Between Fear and Freedom

Essays on the Interpretation of Jeremiah 30-31


Jeremiah's "Little Book of Consolation" is an intruiging text that provokes a series of interpretative difficulties. Is the text originally from Jeremiah? Can it be construed as a literary coherence or is a complex literary process of emergence to be accepted? What is meant by the 'New Covenant'?
In this monograph Jer. 30–31 is read applying a variety of methods. The text-critical chapter argues for the reinforcement of the editorial theory according to which MT and LXXJer. are to be construed as two different versions. Much attention is paid to the delimitation criticism of these two chapters leading to the assumption that they are composed of ten Sub-Cantos.
Five of these Sub-Cantos are interpreted taking into account Ancient Near Eastern textual material in order to understand the mental framework of the ancient reader. The final chapter pleads for the conceptual coherence of Jer. 30–31 which is seen as based on the idea of divine changeability.

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Bob Becking, Ph.D. (1985) in Theology, Utrecht University, is Professor of Old Testament Study at Utrecht University. Apart from a great variety of articles, he published The Fall of Samaria (Brill, 1992) and was co-editor of the Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (Brill, 1995; 1998)
' Professor Becking has given biblical scholars a significant work that presents the complexity and richness of Hebrew poetry in though-provoking ways In addition, the numerous charts of exegetical notes as well as the extensive bibliography could serve well as a reference or instructional tool for graduate students. [...] Becking is to be highly commended for providing such a thoroughly documented and comprehensively presented exegesis of Jeremiah’s book of consolation in a way that does serve as fertile soil for theological reflection. The depth of analysis as well as the wealth of new insights makes this a significant contribution to the study of ancient Israel’s prophetic literature.' Donald C. Raney II, Review of Biblical Literature, 2007
All those interested in the interpretation of the Bible and its methodology as well as in the History of the Ancient Near East.