Archive for the ‘jeremiah’ Category
Tremper Longman told us he was suspicious of most chiasms discovered by biblical scholars. I seem to be writing a paper for him that claims to have discovered one in Jeremiah 32. Oh dear.
What do you think?
v17: Nothing is too difficult for God.
v18-19 – God repays man according to what he has done.
v20-22 – Exodus and conquest.
v23 – Israel’s disobedience.
v24 – The city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans.
v 25 – The problem.
v 26 – Announcement of an oracle
v 27 – Is anything too difficult?
v28-29 – The city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans.
v30-35 – Israel’s disobedience.
v 37-41 – Return and restoration.
v 42-44 – God who brought disaster will bring good.
I think v. 17 has to be seen as an introduction to the rest of the section with the declaration that nothing is too hard for God being demonstrated through the rest of the chapter. I like that the first half of the chiasm is found in Jeremiah’s prayer and that this is then precisely matched by God’s answer. I think he’ll point out that the sections on Israel’s disobedience are unbalanced but I shall argue that this is part of a pattern in which every section in the first part is heightened and expanded in the second. The announcement of the oracle in v. 26 may seem like something of an anticlimax at the heart of the chiasm, but I am going to argue that the whole chapter is really about the trustworthiness of God’s word and that this is an important point in demonstrating that the only answer to the problem is in God’s word. The oracle was first announced in v1, and then had another false start in v6, so actually its final announcement here in v26 is a really significant turning point in the chapter.
Any other thoughts?