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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621

Abstract

WESSELS, Wilhelm J.. Calling leaders to account: A dialogue with Jeremiah 5:1-9. Old testam. essays [online]. 2015, vol.28, n.3, pp. 874-893. ISSN 2312-3621.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2015/v28n3a17.

Reading an ancient biblical text asking modern day questions is a challenging endeavour. In this article I attempt to engage Jer 5:1-9 in terms of leadership accountability. An analysis of this passage reveals that the prophet distinguishes between insignificant people and big people, probably referring to the peasants and the leaders in the Judean society. Jeremiah made it clear that he expected more of the leaders in terms of doing what is right; trust and truth. The leaders have failed in this regard and are therefore held accountable for the ethical demise of the Judean society. Because of their disloyalty to Yahweh and the covenant, the prophet announces punishment. In the light of what emanated from this passage an attempt was made to engage the Jeremiah text from the perspective of modern day readers with an interest in leader accountability and ethics.

Keywords : Dialogue; accountability; forgiveness; ethics; worldview and leaders.

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