Torah and Prophecy in Deuteronomy 29:21-30:10 and Jeremiah 31:31-34: The Battle for the Soul of the Prophets and its Reception in the Inqolobane Yesizwe

  • Ndikho Mtshiselwa University of South Africa
Keywords: Jeremiah, Deuteronomy, Deuteronomistic History, Torah and Prophecy, inclusion, equality, covenantal relationship, South Africa


It is generally accepted that the Book of Jeremiah underwent a process of Deuteronomistic (Dtr) editing. The cross-references that exist between the book and the Dtr History, as argued by Thomas Römer, among others, supports that claim. Furthermore, it seems that the Dtr edition of Jeremiah elevated the Torah and placed prophecy at the margins. Thus, Jeremiah 31:31-34 is set against Deuteronomy 29:21-30:10 as well as the Dtr texts in the Book of Jeremiah. This paper argues that in the text of Jeremiah 31:31-34, there is a battle for the soul of the prophet(s). Based on an African worldview, the relevance of the themes of inclusion, equality and covenantal relationship found in the text to the (South) African context is probed. The Inqolobane Yesizwe (a garner of the nation), which consists of a collection of Zulu wise sayings, proverbs, traditions and histories, provides the context for the African worldview. Thus, the paper posits a possible reception of the battle for the soul of the prophet(s) in the discourse of Torah and Prophecy among the Zulu people.


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