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A Puzzle for You

March 31, 2010
I had hoped to introduce a final contributor to the Three Testaments publication by now, but we are still working on that. There are also some people laboring behind the scenes that should be recognized as they work on certain pieces, but I’ll do that all at once soon.

Meanwhile, I have a puzzle or riddle with which I need help. The draft text of the prologue and the first four chapters is complete, finishing my contribution to Part One, except for a paragraph containing an idea I could not finally substantiate. I thought I had it, but I was wrong so I removed a word from the copy below. But it is such a good idea, if another word or several could be found, I would be grateful.

Here it is:
There is also a tone to Second Isaiah, not found in First Isaiah, but again reflective of a particular Zoroastrian focus. For example, the Hebrew word for “______________,” a recurring Zoroastrian theme, appears rarely in the Torah, and not at all in First Isaiah, but _______ times in Second Isaiah. This is the kind of “marker” we shall eventually apply with profit to the search for echoes of Zoroastrianism in the Quran.

The marker I thought I had was wrong, and there may be no such marker, but if any of you can find a unique word in Second Isaiah - in Hebrew or in translation – a unique or special word for justice, righteousness, salvation, or anything else as used by Second Isaiah, - please reply to me by email or in a comment here. It may turn out to be something connected to the Zoroastrians then holding sway in Babylon, with whom Second Isaiah had connections, as I do succeed in illustrating in other ways. I am chagrined that my own "brilliant discovery" of such a word connecting them turned out to be a dud, but the idea behind it is so good that I hope someone among our collaborators and readers can fill in the blanks or suggest something equivalent.
Posted by: Brian Arthur Brown