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The meaning of Děrôr in Jeremiah 34:17

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2022, 28(2), pp.77-104
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2022.28.2.77
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : March 29, 2022
  • Accepted : May 25, 2022

Kim, Yoo-ki 1

1서울여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims at a better understanding of the meaning of the Hebrew noun děrôr in Jeremiah 34:17. It will begin by reviewing how ancient and modern translations have rendered the word and examine the context in which it is used. Then it will investigate the social context and meaning of andurāru, an Akkadian cognate of the Hebrew word, from which it is borrowed. It will also analyze some linguistic and literary features of Jeremiah 34:8-22 to determine the sense of the word in context. Děrôr has generally been understood to mean ‘release’ or ‘liberty’ and translated as such. The word must have been borrowed from Akkadian andurāru, probably in the Neo-Assyrian period. D. Charpin proposes that the word be understood as ‘return to the original situation’, based on its usage in Akkadian texts as well as the Sumerogram that corresponds to it, ama-ar-gi4, ‘return to the mother’. The event portrayed in Jeremiah 34 reminds us of the Mesopotamian royal edict in that it occurred unexpectedly by the king’s initiative. According to Jeremiah 34:17, since king Zedekiah and Judahites have not obeyed Yahweh by cancelling the děrôr they pronounced, Yahweh in turn proclaims for them děrôr to the sword, pestilence, and famine. Both the comparative study and structural analysis suggest that děrôr should be understood as ‘return to the original situation’ rather than ‘release’ or ‘liberty’. The alternation of děrôr with the verb šûb in Jeremiah 34:8-22 also suggests that the ‘return’ sense of děrôr best fits in the context. By resorting to both diachronic and synchronic analyses, this study offers a new insight into understanding děrôr in Jeremiah 34:17, which not only fits in the context but also better explains the other occurrences of the word in the Old Testament.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.