"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Jeremiah 18:1-11 Commentary
by Richard W. Nysse
The call of Jeremiah used six verbs to characterize his prophetic activity: "pluck up," "pull down," "destroy," "overthrow," "build" and "plant" (1:10, New Revised Standard Version).
More than Jeremiah's activity, these verbs characterize God's activity in Judah in the late 600s and early 500s BCE. Jeremiah is appointed to do God's work through his prophetic proclamation. These horticultural and architectural verbs arch across the book, both for and against Judah. They are, of course, against Judah as it opposes God through oppression within the community and in the quest for security by worshipping other gods and pursuing political intrigue and alliances.
The plucking up, pulling down, destroying and overthrowing the judgment of God is embodied in the destruction of Jerusalem along with the temple and in the onset of the exile. The building and planting occurs in the exile as God reconstitutes the covenant people -- and, more than reconstituting, actually creating anew (31:31-34). In exile, the plucking, pulling down, destroying and overthrowing are directed against the nations that stand against God's reshaping and recreating of the people of Israel/Judah. For the ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 013: Jeremiah
December 04, 2011
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester for "I Love to Tell the Story," a weekly conversation on the narrative lectionary. This week's reading is Jeremiah: Jer. 18:1-11.