Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jeremiah enters the ring

“...the book of Jeremiah draws from a broad vocabulary pool to describe human response in the penitential process. Dominating this vocabulary is clearly change, with special focus on the root שוב [shuv]. The root lies most often at the intersection of embracing and rejecting God, describing either the movement from sin to God or from God to sin, but there are other ways to speak about repentance and its opposite, apostasy, which suggests that there is a breadth to what repentance and apostasy entail. The vocabulary of seeking/finding and forsaking/rejecting suggests a relational dimension; rebellions/submission and fear/trembling suggest a hierarchical dimension. References to mourning and shame suggest an emotional and social dimension; references to speech and hearing suggest a verbal dimension, that is, attention to prophetic speech and expression in prayer. Whereas the vocabulary of action and movement emphasizes the pragmatic dimension of human response, the vocabulary of the heart stresses the affective dimension. This review of the vocabulary of human response, both positive and negative, reveals the wealth of expression and also the height of expectation for the repentance of the people within the book of Jeremiah.”A Severe Mercy, page 230

<idle musing>
Pretty all-inclusive, I would say. Reminds me of Deuteronomy 6:6-9:

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

</idle musing>

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