There are few, if any, texts in the Hebrew Bible that exceed the goriness of the imagery in Isa 63:1–6. How should this text be read? In Violence, Otherness and Identity in Isaiah 63:1–6, Dominic Irudayaraj utilizes social identity theory and iconographic exegesis to illuminate how the portrayal of Yhwh as a “stooping warrior” would establish the identity of postexilic Yehud, while distancing the postexilic community from their “proximate other,” Edom.”

After an introduction, Irudayaraj’s first chapter is fairly straightforward—he situates the community addressed in 63:1–6 within a context of marginalization under Persian rule, offers a detailed translation of the passage, and identifies the text’s key themes, while mindful of its place within Isa 56–66.

In ch. 2, the focus shifts to social identity theory, where he is able to explore national identity formation by an “in-group” in relation to the “proximate other.” A “proximate other” differs from...

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