Jeremiah 46-51, with special reference to the Septuagint, the Targum and Jewish mediaeval exegesis
Chapters 46-51 of the book of Jeremiah contain a series of prophecies against foreign nations, and these 'foreign nation oracles’ form the focus of this thesis. The opening chapter contains a discussion of several outstanding problems connected with these oracles, the chief of these being the problem of authenticity. After examination of the major arguments, the conclusion is reached that the contents of chapters 46-51 are not to be attributed to Jeremiah, but to one or more imitators who employed 'Jeremianic' language. Also discussed are the problems of the differing position and order in which the oracles occur in the Septuagint. The major part of the thesis contains a study of the Septuagint and Targum versions of chs. 46-51, and a consideration of the mediaeval Jewish commentators Rashi, Kimchi and Abravanel. The ancient versions are consulted not as aids to the recovery of a better Hebrew text than the Massoretic text, but rather to gain an insight into the techniques employed by the translators, and to pick out and account for those elements of interpretation which each version contains. The contribution of Rashi and Kimchi to the interpretation of the Hebrew text is also considered, and a separate chapter is devoted to the commentary of Isaac Abravanel. His interest in eschatological speculation significantly affects his interpretation of certain foreign nation oracles. The thesis is primarily concerned with the variety of answers to the problems of exegesis which are provided by the various versions and commentators, and through such answers seeks to understand their presuppositions and interpretative approach.