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Re: question

Dear NPL,
 You seem to be mixing the idea of the remnant with Sectarianism.  It is 
quite probalby that later Jewish sectarians saw them selves as the chosen 
remnant, as did, indeed, already the Exilic community according to 
Ezekiel, but to say that isaiah 4 is the beginning of sectarianism is to 
confuse the idea on which something is based with the later develpoment.  
i am aware that you might not view Isaiah ben Amotz as a prophet of the 
the Assyrian period and certainly not any of the prophecies placed in the 
book bearing his name.  NOnetheless, this position may not be acceptable 
to those with whom you are discussing the point, so clarify please.
Victor AVigdor Hurowitz
Dept of Bible and ANE
Ben Gurion University
Beer Sheva, ISRAEL

Dear VAH
I am only mixing remnant with sect if I adopt a certain historical 

If you do not see Isaiah as a prophet from the 8th cent, or better 
his book as a collection not predating Trito-Isaiah (which it can as 
a book not), then any indication of sectarianism (or perhaps better 
the idea of being a special religious community separated from the 
world) also in the Hebrew Bible fits in a socio-political and 
religious framework as present in (Philip D.) the Persian period or 
even later.

I.e.: The origin of the idea of sectarianism should be studied, not 
as something which relates to sectarianism inside the Jewish 
community, but as something which marked out a religious group in 
contrast to a wider world. F.ex. is this an intellectual enterprise 
or a national idea shared by all members of what was to be the 
Palestinian Jewish society in Greco-Roman times? How far does this 
idea relates with e.g. Herodotus' idea of the Hellenes as forming a 
nation (would his idea have been shared by the 95%+ who tilled the 
land around in Greece?).

It wouldn't help in this connection to refer to traditional 
historical reconstructions, saying 1) Isaiah wrote about a history to 
come (and the post-exilic remnant) or accepting at face value 2) the traditional idea 
of the remnant which returned from the exile. A more subtle approach 
will be needed - and here we really move on to one of Philip Davies 
favourite themes, the unlikeliness of the biblical idea of an exile: 
Is the exile a historical fact as described or a ideological matrix 
for claiming the land? 

We can continue for a long time along these lines, but let it be 
enough for a starter. Still, when discussing the situation in 
Palestine in the 5th century, the so-called Gedenkschrift of Nehemiah 
is a most interresting experience.

Otherwise it is probably more suited for IOUDAIOS than for Orion (not 
said to stop the discussion)
Niels Peter Lemche
Dep. Biblical Studies
University of Copenhagen
Phone: 45 49 13 81 24
Fax: 45 49 13 81 28
e-mail: npl@teol.ku.dk