Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JETS 35:3 (September 1992) p. 407
Jeremiah 2: A Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, Chaps. 26-52. By William L. Holladay. Hermeneia series. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1989, xxxi + 543 pp., n.p.
This volume completes Holladay’s monumental study of the book of Jeremiah begun in Jeremiah 1. The second volume contains a general introduction to the entire book of Jeremiah (which, of course, would have been more appropriately placed at the beginning of the first volume), an exegesis of chaps. 26–52, a general bibliography, and indices covering both volumes.
All the praises expressed in my review of Jeremiah 1 apply to the commentary section of this second volume as well. Holladay’s exegetical skills in interpreting the text of Jeremiah are as remarkable here as they are in the first volume. Particularly commendable is his facility with Hebrew grammar and syntax, which enriches virtually every page (e.g. pp. 128-129); his competence in dealing with difficult Hebrew idioms and words (e.g. his discussion of the “yoke” worn by Jeremiah [p. 120]); and his proposal for the difficult laḥăliq in 37:12 (pp. 287-288). His command of and interaction with scholarly secondary literature and quality bibliographic resources is a model for all commentators (e.g. pp. 109-110 nn. 35–40; pp. 256-261 nn. 15–41). His level-headed handling of interpretive issues is refreshing (see his considerations of the omission of the protasis in 26:9 [pp. 105-106]; the repeated expression, “all the people,” in chap. 26 [pp. 104-105]; and “a voice is heard in Ramah…, Rachel weeping for her children,” in 31:15 [pp. 186-188]). Holladay’s sensitivity to literary features and surface structure, and his treatment of text-critical and form-critical issues, are exemplary and apparent throughout. Likewise noteworthy is his extensive use of ancient Near Eastern resources to shed light on the text of Jeremiah (cf. e.g. his treatment of chap. 39).
I have very few quibbles with the commentary. Kiriath Jearim is not in the Shephelah (p. 109) but nearly eight kilometers away in the Judahite highlands. Mount Tabor is not “far from other mountains”; it is connected to an adjacent hill nearly as high as it is (Har Devora on modern Hebrew maps), and Mount Moreh, approximately the same height, is immediately to its south (seven kilometers away). Tell en-Nasbeh does give an unblocked vie...
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