Divine Judgment Against Aram   1 comment

Above:  Statue of Jeremiah, Salisbury Cathedral

Image in the Public Domain

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READING JEREMIAH, PART XXXI

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Jeremiah 49:23-27

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Since I have started reading the Hebrew prophetic books, roughly in chronological order, I have read oracles against Aram (capital city = Damascus) in Amos 1:3-5; Isaiah 17:1-14.

The inclusion of this oracle is odd because Damascus fell to Assyrian forces in 732 B.C.E.  The oracle describes what will happen yet has occurred.  The oracle does this in language borrowed from and mimicking other passages in the Hebrew Bible.  Also, the oracle, unlike others in this set of oracles, does not specify the sins the nation or city has committed.  Neither does the oracle specify a historical context.

The oracle, which personifies Damascus as a pregnant woman in labor, underscores the panic, weakness, and grief of the inhabitants of that city, on fire.

Perhaps we read this oracle because of Aramean military support for the Chaldean/Neo-Babylonian invasion of Judah in 598/597 B.C.E.  I am unsure, and my historically-oriented brain struggles to make sense of this oracle.

This brief poem lacks every historical reference, every cause for such an action on God’s part.  The poem functions to destabilize every historical-political claim.  The poem asserts that even great concentrations of human power (as in monarchies) are enormously pliable and tentative in the face of Yahweh’s “tidings” and Yahweh’s “plan.”  None can withstand the resolve of God.

–Walter Brueggemann, A Commentary on Jeremiah:  Exile and Homecoming (1998), 458-459

That may be it.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 15, 2021 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN ELLERTON, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF CARL HEINRICH VON BOGATSKY, HUNGARIAN-GERMAN LUTHERAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF DOROTHY FRANCES BLOMFIELD GURNEY, ENGLISH POET AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EVELYN UNDERHILL, ANGLICAN MYSTIC AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT LANDELINUS OF VAUX, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; SAINT AUBERT OF CAMBRAI, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP; SAINT URSMAR OF LOBBES, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND MISSIONARY BISHOP, AND SAINTS DOMITIAN, HADELIN, AND DODO OF LOBBES, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONKS

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Posted June 15, 2021 by neatnik2009 in Amos 1, Isaiah 17, Jeremiah 49

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One response to “Divine Judgment Against Aram

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  1. Pingback: Judah’s Triumph Over Her Enemies | BLOGA THEOLOGICA

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