The Conflict between Israelite Prophecy and Babylonian Astronomy in Isaiah 44:25 and 47

Christiaan Erwich


Isa 44:25 and 47 refer to astronomy and divination. On the basis of these references some theories place the anti-Babylonian polemic of Isa 47 in the atmosphere of Nabonidus’ conflict with his priests over the moon goddess Šin. This article rejects that Deutero-Isaiah’s authors had specific knowledge of either Babylonian cultic practices or the religious and political situation under the reign of Nabonidus. Instead, it is proposed that Deutero-Isaiah wrote its polemic against Babylonian ideas of communicating with the divine from a Judahite setting. This conflict between Israelite prophecy and Babylonian mantic practices can be reduced to four factors: only YHWH fulfills his plans; Babylonian instrumental divination versus Israelite intuitive prophecy; divinatory wisdom is foolish; YHWH saves.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.