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Jeremiah Chapter 1: A Detailed Exegesis

2793 words - 11 pages

Jeremiah; often thought of as a 'gloomy' prophet was called by Yahweh to be his messenger for the people. Many people of Jeremiah's time called themselves prophets, often speaking form their own hearts and not of Yahweh's but Jeremiah is noted amongst a few as a true prophet. The first chapter of the book of Jeremiah looks at his context and historical background, and his commission from Yahweh. For him, it was signs that Yahweh placed in his everyday life that led Jeremiah to become a prophet .The first twenty-five chapters of Jeremiah are known as the 'poetic oracles' with the text being broken down also into different literary sources. Such literary sources can also be seen in chapter 1.The book of Jeremiah that we have today is a greatly edited piece. There were two editions found at Qumran, the Greek Septuagint (LXX) and the Hebrew, Masoretic text (MT). The LXX is considerably shorter than the MT with some less 2,700 words or so. It is the MT that is usually used in exegesis for this reason although it must be noted that there are also additions in the LXX omitted from the MT. It is important though, that we are aware of the editorial process that has taken place.vv 1-3 Introduction and setting. The book opens with a reference to the period of Jeremiah's time and his background. Jeremiah's father was a priest, Hilkiah who is an unknown character aside from in Jeremiah although Hilkiah was the name of the priest who found The Book of Law though it is unlikely this was the same man. Anathoth is not exactly the place where Jeremiah lived, but the area or, within view of it. The town today bears a derivation of its name but the site has moved slightly .In the days of King the thirteenth year. Josiah reigned from 640-609BCE meaning that Jeremiah's ministry began c627. However there is much debate into the dating and R.P.Carroll suggests this date is incorrect as no oracles can be dated during the reign of Josiah and even goes as far to say the information provided in vv 1-3 "tells us nothing about when the book was written and by whom". 2Kings 25:2 supports the date for the end of Jeremiah's ministry, giving us the time period of Jeremiah's ministry between 627-587. Jerome suggests that v2 "was the introductory title of Jeremiah's call and must be joined to v4" onwards, and that "v3 was introduced when a longer collection of oracles was added" There is certainly some unease about the join between v2 and v3 . Surely it would seem that in the thirteenth year would be from the thirteenth year as the last part of v3 ends until the captivity.It is significant that the introductory lines of the book of Jeremiah include a reference to the captivity of Jerusalem because this can be seen as the 'climax' of the prophet's work and somewhat proves his authenticity . It also serves to point out possibly the main intention or "thrust" as Thompson puts it, of Jeremiah's preaching; the point when Yahweh's prophecy is fulfilled through Jeremiah. We...

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