A Metaphor for Zion Theology
CHAPTER FOUR: MOTHER ZION’S INNOCENCE
71 CHAPTER FOUR MOTHER ZION’S INNOCENCE Most scholars attribute Zion’s destruction to her own idolatry and foreign alliances. Kamila Blessing writes that “it is noteworthy that all of the texts which make use of the mother-city metaphor demonstrate that guilt is the source of the desolation,” and Galambush believes that “condemnation of the city’s ‘adultery’ is virtually the only reason the metaphor is employed in depicting the cities of Israel.” Regarding Zion in DI, Galambush notes that “Daughter Zion” has been punished with bereavement of her children (51:18), forced drunkenness (51:17, 21-22), shameful widowhood (54:4), and God’s anger.1 Yet, other scholars such as Leland E. Wilshire, John F. A. Sawyer, Knud Jeppesen, Willey, Darr, and Dille argue for Zion’s innocence in DI.2 Wilshire and Sawyer identify mother Zion with the servant figure and point out that both are innocent. I will not enter into the debate of the identity of the servant but will only discuss his comparison with Zion. Wilshire points out, among other things, that just as the Servant is depicted as a vicarious sufferer (53:9), so Zion as a cult-center is an innocent representative sufferer for the people. He writes: The idea that Jerusalem has served its sentence and received “double for its sins” (40:2) is unique to this passage and is difficult to interpret. The word for sin (hatta’t) is not used elsewhere in Deutero-Isaiah to refer to Zion-Jerusalem and is found in this book only in a few references to...
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