There have been a claim that miktāb
in the superscription of “the prayer of Hezekiah” (Isa 38:9-20) should be altered to miktām
is a word consisting of the superscriptions of Pss. 16 and 56-60, although its meaning is yet to be clarified. These superscriptions of those “miktam psalms” relate the historical situations about David’s struggle. Since Isa 38:9 tells the historical situation concerning Hezekiah’s illness, miktāb
there is also thought to be emended to miktām
. W. W. Hallo, who suggests the connection between Sumerian and Akkadian genre of “letter-prayer” and biblical prayer of Hezekiah, also thinks that miktāb
are somehow related.
While most of the “miktam psalms” are classified into the lament genre, the prayer of Hezekiah is traditionally understood to be a thanksgiving song of an individual in which gratitude to and reliance on god play a central role. The author of this paper thinks it preferable to retain miktāb
in Isa 38:9, by regarding the meaning of miktāb
as “what was written,” rather than to emend miktāb
, the word in a strong connection with an individual lament genre. There are some examples of showing that a thanksgiving song may have been “written.” Ps. 40 contains the verses that are considered to be a “written” prayer. Further, “the prayer of Nabonidus” from Qumran has a description of “having written” a thanksgiving prayer. Several Old Aramaic inscriptions have a dedicatory character as a means to proclaim the God’s good will. These examples make it possible to regard miktāb
as the writing for a dedicated thanksgiving song. As long as the clearer ground to emend miktāb
in Isa 38:9 to miktām
, is not presented, the understanding I present in this article should be one of the possibility that keeps miktāb
in the superscription of the prayer of Hezekiah.
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