Jeremiah as yhwh’s Stronghold (Jer 1:18)

In: Vetus Testamentum
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In the book of Jeremiah, the prophet proclaims that Jerusalem will be destroyed by a foreign nation. According to the call narrative, however, Jeremiah himself is transformed into “a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall” (Jer 1:18). While these architectural metaphors have often been explained with regard to Egyptian royal ideology, the article further explores their meaning and function within their literary context. Comparing characterizations of both the prophet and personified Jerusalem, the essay argues that Jer 1:18 offers a late comment to the book: Jeremiah functions as a stand-in for yhwh’s favorite city. A text-critical investigation of Jer 1:18 demonstrates—in contrast to former studies—that the mt pluses deliberately elaborate the prophet’s role by rendering him a substitute for the temple.

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