Isaiah’s Herald -- By: Matthew Seufert
WTJ 77:2 (Fall 2015) p. 219
Matthew Seufert is a PhD candidate in Old Testament at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.
Isaiah is well known for his use of the Servant figure, and many scholars have written on the topic. Far less attention, however, has been given to another of Isaiah’s figures. In
The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms defines leitmotif as “a frequently repeated phrase, image, symbol, or situation in a literary work, the occurrence of which usually indicates or supports a theme.”2 The book of Isaiah repeats the Herald-image to support the themes of Yhwh’s word (its sureness and existence), Yhwh’s superiority, and the comfort of his people.3
Since Isaiah’s Herald has largely been unexamined, I first set forth a few items of background information, which are simply intended to illumine the figure. I survey the meaning of the root בשׂר, from which Isaiah’s Herald
WTJ 77:2 (Fall 2015) p. 220
(מבשׂר/מבשׂרת) comes, both throughout the ancient Near East and in the OT. After a brief look at the main context in which the Herald appears in the OT, the central portion of the study consists of an examination of the pertinent texts in Isaiah. I end the article with brief conclusions and suggestions for further study.
II. The Root בשׂר
The root בשׂר means one of two things, either “to bring good news” or “to bring news.” The consensus of scholarship, ar...
Click here to subscribe