Shadows on the Sundial of Ahaz and New Light on the Troubled History of Isaiah 38:8 and 2 Kings 20:11

Csaba Balogh: Shadows on the Sundial of Ahaz and New Light on the Troubled History of Isaiah 38:8 and 2 Kings 20:11. In: Vetus Testamentum 72.4 (2022), 1-33. pp.

The textual history of biblical pericopes preserved in more than one version is very complex. Although the stories in Isa 38 and 2 Kgs 20 appear to have originated with some distinctive accents, one can observe a later tendency to harmonise these parallel accounts. Against the background of ancient scribal practices, the current investigation places the wide range of available empirical data regarding Isa 38:8 and 2 Kgs 20:9–11 in a complex network of evidences. This data network is evaluated both along the individual, distinctive tradition lines of the two books, as well as in their interaction with each other. The textual history reconstructed here based on this empirical data grid witnesses the existence of two different traditions regarding Isaiah’s astronomical sign. In the version preserved by the book of Isaiah, YHWH returned the sun, while in the version of the book of Kings, he returned the shadow. The proposed text-historical reconstruction resolves the often-noted grammatical and other types of incongruences within both narrative variants of the current Masoretic text.

https://brill.com/view/journals/vt/aop/article-10.1163-15685330-bja10102...