"How can you say, 'I am not defiled⋯'?" (Jeremiah 2:20-25): Allusions to Priestly legal traditions in the poetry of Jeremiah

Dalit Rom-Shiloni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

In diametric opposition to the marital love of Jer 2:2, vv. 20-25 accuse the people, "you recline as a whore" (v. 20b), and the following verses elaborate on this adulterous behavior. The goal of this study is to present the intrinsic role of the literary allusions to pentateuchal Priestly and Deuteronomic traditions in this prophecy, to acknowledge the variety of sources evoked, and to suggest a specific allusion to a Priestly legal tradition (or even text) that seems to give Jeremiah's prophecy special force. Three markers point to the sôtâ trial of Num 5:11-31 as the evoked legal tradition (or text). Focusing on one specific poetic passage, commonly taken as "Jeremianic," a portion of the prophet's words in his early career, the article calls attention to Priestly allusions in Jeremiah and raises some of the intriguing questions about Jeremiah's acquaintance with Priestly materials, questions that should be addressed in the study of both the prophetic literature of Jeremiah and in pentateuchal studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-775
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Biblical Literature
Volume133
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

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