An interpretation of Isaiah 6:1-5 in response to the art and ideology of the Achaemenid Empire.
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Cochell, Trevor D.
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This dissertation is an interpretation of Isa 6:1-5. Imperial art, policies, and ideology are a significant part of the context according to which this interpretation is done. The thesis of this dissertation is that in response to the ideology expressed by the imperial art of the empires of the ancient Near East, specifically that of the Achaemenids, the details of the scene in Isa 6:1-5 advance an alternative ideology in which Yahweh alone is sovereign over all the earth. Visual depictions from the ancient Near East of royal figures contribute to a context for interpreting the book of Isaiah. Scenes that include the king enthroned, mythic creatures in the presence of the king, and representatives of the nations bringing tribute to the king are especially relevant to the scene described in Isa 6:1-5. With these symbols as a significant element of an ancient Near Eastern Context it is plausible to interpret Isa 6:1-5 as a counter to the claims of soverignty made by human kings. When reading the book of Isaiah wholistically, the images of chapter 6 contribute to a theme throughout the rest of the book that is critical of empires.