Clusters of messenger formulae

In the 66 chapters of the book of Isaiah the only comparable concentration is in 52:3-6 (with 4 formulae).

Ezekiel with 48 chapters provides an example in 12:21-13:7. Here the theme is prophecy and false prophets. Ezekiel defends himself. In 16 verses there are 11 formulae (3 of which are quotations of the words of the false prophets).

The book of Haggai also gives an example 2:1-8, as does its companion Zechariah, where chapter 8 contains 16 formulae in 23 verses.

In the MT of Jeremiah (though not in the LXX) the frequent use of these formulae is usual, yet in only three places is there a sequence comparable with our passage: 13:8-14 contains 6 formulae, 23:1-6 has 5 and 29:4-25 (which is concerned with false prophets) contains 15.

From this it can be seen how rare are such concentrations in the prophetic corpus, and that most are in contexts or cotexts that suggest that the prophetic word is contentious.



This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,

© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.