The “Weeping Prophet” And “Pouting Prophet” In Dialogue: Intertextual Connections Between Jeremiah And Jonah -- By: Gary Yates

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 59:2 (Jun 2016)
Article: The “Weeping Prophet” And “Pouting Prophet” In Dialogue: Intertextual Connections Between Jeremiah And Jonah
Author: Gary Yates


The “Weeping Prophet” And “Pouting Prophet” In Dialogue: Intertextual Connections Between Jeremiah And Jonah

Gary Yates*

* Gary Yates is professor of biblical studies and OT at Liberty University School of Divinity, 1971 University Blvd., Lynchburg, VA 24515.

Abstract: Innerbiblical allusions are a prominent feature in the book of Jonah. The present article examines intertextual connections between Jonah and Jeremiah. This study will specifically explore how the connections between Jeremiah and Jonah contribute to the parody of Jonah as an “anti-prophet” and the special emphasis in both books on repentance as the proper response to the prophetic word. Comparison of Jeremiah and Jonah will also help to demonstrate the unique contribution of these two books to the theological emphasis on Yahweh’s concern for the nations in the prophetic canon of the Hebrew Bible.

Key Words: Jeremiah, Jonah, OT Prophets, Book of the Twelve, repentance.

The study of intertextuality focuses on how biblical texts echo, allude to, quote, reapply, or even reconfigure other canonical passages for various rhetorical and theological purposes. Innerbiblical allusion is especially prominent in the book of Jonah, which is not surprising in light of the highly artistic nature of this short work. Hyun Chul Paul Kim argues that “intertextual allusions in the book of Jonah suggest its function and place” and that Jonah’s dialogue with other passages in the Hebrew Bible helps provide “expression to thematic emphases of the post-exilic communities in the Second Temple period.”1Salters comments, “In only 48 verses

… there are so many connections with the Old Testament that one might begin to doubt if Jonah has anything new to say.”2

The purpose of this study is to focus on potential intertextual connections between the books of Jonah and Jeremiah. In 1947, André Feuillet argued that the narrator in Jonah composed the book by reproducing material from other sources, particularly the book of Jeremiah.3 The relationship between the two books is likely far more complex, and questions concerning the direction of influence between biblical texts are not easily answered. The amount of innerbiblical allusion in Jonah suggests that those responsible for the final form of the book did employ Jeremiah as a foil for Jonah, but the composition and editing of both books likely extended into the postexilic period, and it is possible that cross-pollination occurred be...

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