Reading Zephaniah with a Concordance: Suggestions for a Redaction History

By Holladay, William L. | Journal of Biblical Literature, Winter 2001 | Go to article overview

Reading Zephaniah with a Concordance: Suggestions for a Redaction History


Holladay, William L., Journal of Biblical Literature


The germ of the present study is a datum contrary to expectation that has struck my eye-that while Jeremiah was stimulated to model a whole series of turns of phrase on material found in Zeph 1:2-13, there are no antecedents to his phraseology, it would seem, in the "day of wrath" passage, Zeph 1:14-18. The unexpectedness of this datum rests on two circumstances-on the assumption of current scholarship that all of vv. 2-18 of ch. 1 are an authentic part of Zephaniah's proclamation,1 and on the multiplicity of occasions on which phrases referring to a culminating judgment of God were crafted by Jeremiah.

Beyond the general assumption of the authenticity of all of 1:2-18, on the other hand, scholars have tended to vary in their judgments as to what is authentic to Zephaniah in chs. 2 and 3;2 indeed, Adele Berlin, in her commentary, has deliberately chosen not to try to separate authentic and secondary passages throughout the whole book.3 And, beyond the lack of unanimity on the authenticity of material in chs. 2 and 3, the material in 3:1-13 raises a further uncertainty, namely, where the boundaries of its literary units lie, as one can see by a comparison of the grouping of verses in current Bibles, such as the NJB and the REB (does v. 8 belong with what precedes or with what follows?).4 IMAGE FORMULA65IMAGE FORMULA66IMAGE FORMULA67IMAGE FORMULA68IMAGE FORMULA69IMAGE FORMULA70IMAGE FORMULA71IMAGE FORMULA72IMAGE FORMULA73IMAGE FORMULA74IMAGE FORMULA75IMAGE FORMULA76IMAGE FORMULA77

1 E. …

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