Friday, 15 February 2008

Leopard and Jeremiah 13:23


Just for some humour....
O Lord, may we learn to do good and not evil.

5 comments:

Paul said...

It is interesting that the verse seem to allude to Ethopians in a negative light. I wonder what the background to this verse is that uses Ethopians as an illutsration...

Kar Yong said...

Perhaps the STM OT expert, the Rabbi, can shed some light?

anthony said...

i don't think the verse is painting the ethiopians in a negative light.

the hebrew word is cush (so translated sometimes as cushite). it has the meaning of nubian or ethiopian, those who live in africa near egypt but closer to the equator. hence, the cushite has black skin because of the tan by the sun.

jeremiah 13:23 employs the rhetorical question who demands an obvious answer which in this case is 'no'. the question is also framed as a disputation. in vv. 20-27, God is disputing with his people (v. 21). the people hypotheticaly ask themselves the question why has all these things happened to them. the answer provided by God is the rhetorical question - can a cushite with black skin tanned by the sun 'turn/overturn' his skin? impossible will be the answer. this will answer the people's query - they have been so conditioned through the years that they will not change from being a rebellious people.hence, they wil received their just punishment.

using the cushite's well-known black skin is not sth degradatory. it is like using a well-known cliche. afterall- hitam manis is beautiful to some people!

Paul said...

Dr. Rabbi ...Thanks for the explanation

Kar Yong said...

Thanks, Rabbi, for the quick response.