The article examines the widely accepted theory that the Alexandrian edition of the book of Jeremiah, as represented by the Septuagint, is structured in line with the so-called “tripartite eschatological pattern”, a way of organizing prophetical books in three major sections: first, oracles of doom for Israel; second, oracles of doom for the nations; and third, oracles of salvation for Israel. The scrutiny concludes that the theory fails to give proper consideration to the preponderance of prophecies and descriptions of doom in part three of the Greek Jeremiah, chaps. 33-52 (Hebrew 26-45 + 52). Moreover, if indeed a redactor had wished to subject the book to the eschatological pattern, the material would have afforded him opportunities to arrange it in ways much more amenable to the pattern. Therefore, the theory should be abandoned. More probably, chaps. 26-45 + 46-49 + 50-51 in the Hebrew serve to illustrate the doom announced first on Judah, then on the foreign nations, and finally on Babylon in Jer 25:15-29.
The article examines the widely accepted theory that according to Jer 43:5-7 Jeremiah was forced to emigrate to Egypt by his fellow-countrymen. The scrutiny concludes that the assumption, besides being inherently improbable, not only lacks a textual basis but contradicts important features of the source. Therefore, it ought to be abandoned.
In a massive study, Benjamin Ziemer has launched a scathing stricture of redaction criticism in Old Testament studies. Based on comparative material from an impressive range of Ancient Near Eastern, biblical, early Jewish and early Christian literature, he maintains that diachronic research is unable to deliver meaningful reconstructions that reach more than one stage of textual development behind the present biblical text. Moving beyond that boundary would amount to unfettered speculation. While his appraisal is overwhelmingly negative, there is one biblical book on which he endeavors to devise a redaction-critical hypothesis of his own: the book of Jeremiah. The article evaluates Ziemer’s theory on Jeremiah and draws some general conclusions regarding the validity of his verdict on traditional redaction-critical research.
The article casts doubt on Shimon Gesundheit’s theory, published in this journal (VT 62  29-57), that in the case of Jer 25,1-14—contrary to mainstream scholarly opinion—the Masoretic text form commands priority over the edition represented by the LXX. Even though Gesundheit’s approach is basically sound, his results fail to convince. The conclusions drawn from a diachronic analysis of the passage hold wider implications for the redaction history of the book of Jeremiah, the working philosophies of the ancient tradents of the book, and exegetical method in general.