Narrative Parallelism And The "Jehoiakim Frame": A Reading Strategy For Jeremiah 26–45 -- By: Gary E. Yates

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 48:2 (Jun 2005)
Article: Narrative Parallelism And The "Jehoiakim Frame": A Reading Strategy For Jeremiah 26–45
Author: Gary E. Yates

Narrative Parallelism And The "Jehoiakim Frame":
A Reading Strategy For Jeremiah 26–45

Gary E. Yates

Gary Yates is associate professor of Old Testament at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, Lynchburg, VA 24502.

I. Introduction

Many attempting to make sense of prophetic literature in the Hebrew Bible would echo Carroll's assessment that "[t]o the modern reader the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel are virtually incomprehensible as books."1 For Carroll, the problem with reading these books as "books" is that there is a confusing mixture of prose and poetry, a lack of coherent order and arrangement, and a shortage of necessary contextual information needed for accurate interpretation.2 Despite the difficult compositional and historical issues associated with the book of Jeremiah, there is a growing consensus that the search for literary and theological unity in Jeremiah is a legitimate enterprise.3 Hobbs has argued that "it is possible to trace a clearly defined theologically oriented structure to the Book of Jeremiah as it now stands."4

Stulman's Order Amid Chaos is the most extensive and ambitious work to date in looking at the book of Jeremiah as a whole and seeking to demonstrate "that Jeremiah reflects an intentional literary organization and final theological message."5

The purpose of this article is to examine the literary structure and message of one section of the book of Jeremiah, the largely narrative section in Jeremiah 26–45, and to posit a strategy for a holistic reading of this section of the book that will contribute to a further understanding of the literary and theological unity of the book of Jeremiah as a whole.6

II. Evidences Of Unity In Jeremiah 26–45

Not surprisingly, Carroll and others have argued that Jeremiah 26–45 is devoid of any sense of inner unity.7 Despite the overall lack of chronological order and the apparent episodic disarray in Jeremiah 26–45, there are three clear evidences of inner unity and cohesion in this section of the Book of Jeremiah that serve to legitimate this study. First, the...

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