The varieties of vengeance in the book of jeremiah

Shamir Yona, Rafael Furman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Vengeance is a prominent subject in various contexts throughout the book ofjeremiah. In fact, it is possible to divide the theme of vengeance in the book ofjeremiah into three principle categories: 1) The vengeance of the LORD against the people of Israel because of its sins in the realms of moral behavior and religion. 2) The vengeance of the LORD against foreign states, principally Babylonia and Egypt. The vengeance against Babylonia is directed primarily against Babylonia because of its responsibility for the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem. The vengeance against Egypt is directed against Egypt’s arrogance and her imperialistic designs. 3) The LORD’s vengeance against the personal enemies of the prophet Jeremiah such as Pashhur son of Immer, the priest (Jeremiah 20:1); and Hananiah son of Azur, the prophet (Jeremiah 28). The references to vengeance in the book ofjeremiah constitute an integral element within the idea of the LORD’s vengeance against those who attack the people who convey the LORD’s word and his messengers in the Hebrew Bible. The attack is understood as directed directly against the LORD. The subject of vengeance is a literary structure, which is continually expanded in the following manner: It begins with personal retaliation against particular individuals. It moves on to retribution directed at the people of Israel. Finally, it moves on to retaliation on behalf of the people of Israel against regional empires. In our opinion, this structure is rooted in the thought of the authors and editors of the book ofjeremiah. They sought to express their feeling and the feeling of the community in which they lived, as a personal response to the tragedy that befell the people who went into exile to Babylonia, as well as the spiritual crisis, which followed that tragedy. The anger and the theological questions that the crisis of destruction and exile brought about found expression in the extensive preoccupation with various kinds of vengeance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication‘Isaac went out to the field’
Subtitle of host publicationStudies in Archaeology and Ancient Cultures in Honor of Isaac Gilead
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781784918309
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


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