Jeremiah, Biblical scholarship
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.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Pike, Dana M., "Formed In and Called from the Womb" (2017). Faculty Publications. 4375.
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