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WHO WEEPS IN JEREMIAH VIII 23 (IX 1)? IDENTIFYING DRAMATIC SPEAKERS IN THE POETRY OF JEREMIAH

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Since the work of A. Heschel, who described the pathos of God in Jeremiah, it has become common to identify the weeping speaker of Jeremiah viii 23 as Yahweh. Many hold that the speech of God and the speech of the prophet are indistinguishable, but a few, including M. Biddle, maintain that Yahweh alone is the speaker. This paper contends that the speaker of Jeremiah viii 23 (and several other passages that express sympathy for the people) is not Yahweh, but Jeremiah. It argues that the sympathetic term bat-'ammî found in these passages and similar passages in Lamentations is typical of a speaker who cries out to God in complaint. Distinguishing Jeremiah's diction and concerns from Yahweh's allows the poetry of Jeremiah ii-xx to be read as dramatic dialogue.

Affiliations: 1: Indianapolis

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853302760013857
2002-04-01
2016-12-09

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