Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
T. R. Hobbs
This thesis re-examines Jeremiah's use and understanding of the wilderness motif. The first chapter reviews and critiques the secondary literature on the subject. Since the two major passages referred to in support of the "nomadic ideal" are Hos. 2:16-17 and Jer. 2:2-3, their past interpretations receive special attention.
Chapter two is a rhetorical and contextual analysis of Jer. 2:2-4:4. Based on a series of contrasts discovered in this passage, it is concluded that Jeremiah does refer to the wilderness period as a time when Israel responded to Yahweh in a positive manner. It is also suggested that the bases of Jer. 2:2-4:4 is Israel's breach of the Mosaic covenant, and Yahweh's desire to establish a new covenant.
Chapter three examines the history of the marriage metaphor as a means of illustrating Yahweh's relationship with Israel. It is concluded that there are two sources of the metaphor. The first originates with the incident at Beth Baal Peor. There Israel participated in sexual intercourse as a means of worshipping Baal Peor, and this event was interpreted and described as religious harlotry. Both Hosea and Jer. 2:2-4:4 reflect this tradition. The second is grounded in the old Canaanite idea that capital cities were royal goddesses. This concept was adopted by the Judeans after David's conquest of Jerusalem, and is visible in the writings of the southern prophets, Isaiah, Micah, and Ezekiel.
DeRoche, Michael Paul, "The Wilderness Motif in Jeremiah: A Rhetorical Analysis" (1979). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2737.