Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer, «"The Haughtiness of the Priesthood" (Isa 65,5)», Vol. 85 (2004) 237-244
The expression Kyt#dq yk yb-#gt-l) Kyl) brq (Isa 65,5), is best understood as uttered by one of the priests in Jerusalem. Both the ancient translations as well as contemporary insight in Hebrew grammar support the translation of Kyt#dq as "I am holier than you". This indicates that the speaker in v. 5 regards himself as holier than his immediate surroundings. As such, it indicates a priestly identity. The interpretation of the two expressions "yb-#gt-l)" and "Kyl) brq" support this conclusion: their content express the speaker’s disdain for his opponents and his own sense of self-righteousness. Further, their priestly vocabulary suggests a clerical speaker. Such an understanding complements the claim made by several scholars (e.g., P. Hanson, A. Rofé) that the author of Isa 66,3 held a critical disposition towards the priesthood.