Reflections of Empire in Isaiah 1-39: Responses to Assyrian Ideology

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


In this new book Shawn Zelig Aster relates the prophecies found in First Isaiah to the historical events ofof the 8th century BCE, when Assyria controlled much of the ancient Near East. Aster elucidates the arguments of Isaiah 1-2, 6-8, 10-12, 14, 19, 31, and 36-37 by explaining that the passages contain hidden polemic along with the imperial propaganda of the Assyrian empire. Aster illustrates that the prophet adapts motifs from Assyrian propaganda, while subverting Assyrian claims to universal dominion. Aster argues that Isaiah does this in order to promote belief in a single omnipotent God, more powerful than any human empire. The book exposes the meaning behind these passages of Isaiah, as well as the history of Israel in the period 745-701 BCE.


A critique of the predominate scholarly position that dates the material of First Isaiah to the Babylonian period and later
An analysis of the theology of First Isaiah in relation to Assyrian imperial propaganda
A strong case for dating First Isaiah to the time of Tiglath-pileser III, Sargon, and Sennacherib
Original languageAmerican English
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherSociety of Biblical Literature
Number of pages359
ISBN (Print)‎ 9781628372014
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameAncient Near Eastern Monographs

Bibliographical note

XIX, 359 PP.


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