Keywords

Jeremiah, Biblical scholarship

Abstract

Jeremiah’s call narrative or vocation report includes a clear example of pre-birth divine election:

(1:4) “Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,

(1:5a) ‘Before I formed you in the womb [babbetẹ n] I knew you,

(5b) and before you were born [came forth from the womb/mēreḥem] I consecrated you;

(5c) I appointed you a prophet to the nations’” (Jer. 1:4–5; NRSV).

However, there is ambiguity about the meaning of the phrase “from the womb” and there are persistent questions about the relationship between Jeremiah 1:5a—“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you”—and 1:5b+c, “before you were born [came forth from the womb/ mēreḥem] I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Therefore, this paper engages other biblical texts mentioning in-womb election to determine if the Bible itself provides a clearer indication of the meaning of divine election “from the womb” and how Jeremiah 1:5a and 1:5b+c ought to be understood in relation to each other.

Original Publication Citation

Pike, Dana M. “Formed in and Called from the Womb,” in To Seek the Law of the Lord: Essays in Honor of John W. Welch. Paul Y. Hoskisson and Daniel C. Peterson, eds. (Orem, UT: Interpreter Foundation, 2017), 317-331.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2017

Publisher

Interpreter Foundation

Language

English

College

Religious Education

Department

Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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