This article is posted with the permission of Trinity Theological Journal and the author. Please click on the attachment to view Gordon C. I. Wong, “Make Their Ears Dull: Irony in Isaiah 6:9-10” Trinity Theological Journal 16 (2008) 24-34.
Here is the author’s abstract:
In Isaiah 6:9-10, the prophet appears to be commissioned by God to make the ears of the people dull in order to prevent them from repenting. This article begins by proposing that these verses are better understood as rhetorical irony designed to persuade the people to (and not prevent them from) repentance. An alternative rhetorical interpretation and three literal interpretations are also discussed and rejected in favour of the view that assumes the use of irony.