Original Research

An ‘undervalued’ salvation oracle in the book of Jeremiah: Jeremiah 50:4–5 (Masoretic text)

Marius D. Terblanche
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 44, No 1 | a2901 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v44i1.2901 | © 2023 Marius D. Terblanche | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 May 2023 | Published: 21 November 2023

About the author(s)

Marius D. Terblanche, Department of Old and New Testament, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Abstract

The present article sets out to demonstrate that the promise of an eternal covenant in Jeremiah 50:5 plays a pivotal role in the book of Jeremiah Masoretic text (MT). In contrast to the promise of the new covenant in 31:31, this promise of an eternal covenant has received relatively little scholarly attention. A close reading of the salvation oracle in Jeremiah 50:4–5 does, however, reveal that the promise of an eternal covenant presents a distinctive voice when compared to that of the new covenant. Within its immediate context, the oracles against Babylon, the oracle in Jeremiah 50:4–5 introduces the subtheme: the restoration of Israel and Judah. Allusions to material in the preceding chapters reveal a dialogical relationship between Jeremiah 50:4–5 and the Foe from the North oracles in 4:5–6:30, the communal lament in 14:19–22 and the salvation oracle in 31:2–6. The placement of the oracles against Babylon in the MT of the book of Jeremiah had the effect that the hope expressed in Jeremiah 50:4–5 became more pronounced. In spite of the tragic events of 587 BCE., there was hope for a restoration of the covenantal relationship with Yahweh.

The article takes a close analysis of the salvation oracle in Jeremiah 50:4–5 MT as premise. In light of the intertextual character of the book of Jeremiah, allusions to material in the preceding chapters are explored.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The research highlights the pivotal role of the salvation oracle in Jeremiah 50:4–5 in the book of Jeremiah MT. It should be taken into consideration for the understanding of the book as a whole.


Keywords

Jeremiah 50:4–5; allusions; new covenant; eternal covenant; oracles against Babylon; Book of Jeremiah MT

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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