Prophet Pearls #43 – Masei (Jeremiah 2:4-28; 3:4)

Prophet Pearls Masei ,anatot, cisterns in israel, E’evod, Ein Perat, haftarah, jeremiah, Jeremiah 2:4-28; 3:4, Keith Johnson, makor, makor hebrew foundation, masei, Masei – Jeremiah 2:4-28; 3:4, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, Prophet Pearls, prophets, Qere Ketiv, Tetragrammaton, Yehovah, אעבדIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Masei covering Jeremiah 2:4-28; 3:4. Gordon gives eyewitness accounts of the springs and cisterns of Israel—springs that are sources and fountains of living water and man-made cisterns that can be rendered worthless. We learn that the “makor” (mem, qoof, reish), the “spring” with which Jeremiah was most familiar, still exists today.

The word-of-the-week is "E'evod" (אעבד) which provides a play on words (via the aleph) when Israel calls to “my father”—the mighty one. Whether Jeremiah wrote “I will not serve” or “I will not transgress” is an issue for the “Qere/Ketiv”—an exacting system that compares margin notes left by scribes to determine if words should be read differently than they were written. While some scholars profess that reading Adonai instead of the written “yud-hei-vav-hei” is a Qere/Ketiv issue, Gordon maintains the meticulousness of a scribe.

Photo by Nehemia Gordon of Ein Perat, a spring of living water in the Judean Desert near Anatot, the ancient home town of the Prophet Jeremiah.

"For My people... They have forsaken Me, the Fount of living waters..." Jeremiah 2:13

I look forward to reading your comments!

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7 thoughts on “Prophet Pearls #43 – Masei (Jeremiah 2:4-28; 3:4)

  1. 1960’s the Feminist movement was teaching women (younger) that marriage was a man’s idea of slavery and that they need to leave their husbands and go find who they really are and Be somebody. Many females did leave their husbands and children, some infants. This was begnning of breaking up family system; which is the strength of any nation. I was very unnatural, that’s the degree of how it was so evil.

  2. Re. the comment on rhetorical questions and expected no answers in the bible, I just wanted to point out that the expected answer may still be ‘no’ in this instance — I may be wrong, but even when nations switched out their gods for others, they tended to keep the old ones. They just added to their collection, so to speak, and over time the roles played by different ones (or the names they chose to give them) altered. Even in China, don’t they still have mini shrines to the ancestors and local deities before they get to the more ‘major’ deities in their temples? I’m not trying to fit all examples of this into the one interpretive box, but that’s my understanding in this particular instance.

      • Reconsidering this, I see that the point really isn’t that relevant since the Israelites did still sacrifice to God in His temple (and elsewhere), they just added in a tonne of other gods and blended their worship with the worship of the one true God. It’s funny what you don’t notice sometimes!

  3. Concerning minutes 12:00-13:22, There are other parts in the biblical Hebrew where God asks a rhetorical question and the answer is yes e.g
    Isaiah 49:15.
    Can a woman forget her sucking child,
    That she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?
    Yea, these may forget,
    Yet will not I forget thee
    This indicates that when God ask a rhetorical question in the bible, we shouldn’t assume that the correct answer is no. it is just that, a question; and not necessarily an answer posed as a question. Which implies that rhetorical questions from God don’t necessarily suggest that a response with “no” is the right answer.

    • bells, I understand your point, but I think the point of the particular verse you cited is that a woman could be expected to never forget her suckling child, it’s wired into her to be compassionate and to be aware of her child’s needs. It reads to me as just an added point of emphasis, a reminder of his eternal, complete compassion, mercy and determination to have relationship. Even if a woman forgets her child (definitely an unlikely and certainly an unnatural occurrence), God never will forge His people. So, it’s still kind of an expected ‘no’, but then he challenges that expected answer to reinforce God’s surpassing love for His people.

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