Friday, February 23, 2007

Jeremiah (the biblical book)

Having spent much of my waking moments in the last couple of days working on my theses as the consequence of not having a chapter finished on schedule [although it is every minute according to Dutch standards so i've had a bit of time for coffee and tea and eating and talking and reading emails but not that much]. because my theses are both on the book of Jeremiah, i’ve spent quite a bit of time with it. specifically i’ve been focused on the emotional aspects of the book. the number of emotions and frequency that they’re mentioned is significant. yet, a couple of things seem a bit odd: the LORD weeps for Moab whom He punishes, but the text never mentions Him weeping for Israel whom He’s also finally punishing and loved enough to postpone punishment again and again. And the emotions mentioned by Jeremiah are not necessarily connected to events that one would expect would produce a significant emotional response. For example in Jer 26, Jeremiah is threatened with death, defends himself and his calling, gives himself into the hands of his persecutors (with the likely result being death), only to have someone else come to his defense and then not be put to death. Such an event, along with the instances of Jeremiah’s capture, must have produced some kind of emotional response by Jeremiah – but none of these are mentioned. So why are some obvious instances where Jeremiah would experience emotion neglected and the instances in the text actually included? (i'm hoping that my thesis might be able to answer some of those questions...)

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