Old Testament Essays
On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919
KATHO, Bungishabaku. Seek the peace of the city... for in her peace there shall be peace for you (Jeremiah 29:4-9). Old testam. essays [online]. 2013, vol.26, n.2, pp.348-364. ISSN 2312-3621.
Most of the uses of the concept in the book of Jeremiah are negative. They are related either to the false concept of peace in Judah that was being promoted by political and religious leaders, or to the oracles of false prophets who were opposed to the ministry of Jeremiah. This essay argues that for these opponents (false prophets, political and religious leaders), the assurance of peace was mostly grounded in a false sense of security motivated by the traditions of Zion 's inviolability and the election of the Davidic dynasty. However, Jeremiah himself uses the word in 29:7 to urge the exiles of Judah in Babylon to seek the peace of the city where they have been forced to live. The hard question this article tries to address is: how could exiles seek the peace of their enemy? Jeremiah responds to the question in two ways: the exiles must first accept that they are not in Babylon because of the military power of the army of Nebucadnezzar, but because of their disobedience to the covenant. Secondly, Yahweh has not forgotten his people despite their current situation in exile. The author analyzes this passage in the context of Africa, where it is not uncommon to learn that refugees are creating problems for the cities where they live.