Original Research: Historical Thought and Source Interpretation

שָׁלוֹם proclamations in the Book of Jeremiah: The dilemma of Jeremiah 4:10 and 23:17

Wilhelm J. Wessels
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 79, No 2 | a7822 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i2.7822 | © 2023 Wilhelm J. Wessels | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 June 2022 | Published: 23 February 2023

About the author(s)

Wilhelm J. Wessels, Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


The use of the noun שָׁלוֹם in the Book of Jeremiah, as it occurs in prophetic proclamations, is of interest for this article. From an overview of a number of passages, it seems that the utterances in Jeremiah 4:10 and 23:17 are contradictory. In Jeremiah 4:10, Jeremiah utters the phrase שָׁלוֹם יִהְיֶה לָכֶם, but in 23:17 he rebukes prophets for proclaiming the very same message. The author argues that the prophet Jeremiah, as he is portrayed in the Book of Jeremiah, developed in his thinking and reaction to matters in correspondence to political and social changes that occurred in the history of Judah. A case is argued that 4:10 should be assigned to the prophet Jeremiah.

Contribution: This article offers original research in the field of biblical studies, more specifically, in the field of the Old Testament. This is in line with the scope of HTS Theological Studies. The article aims at addressing a contradictory pronouncement in Jeremiah 4:10 and 23:17 regarding שָׁלוֹם prophecies in the Book of Jeremiah. The issue of false שָׁלוֹם prophecies and the danger of such proclamations are at the heart of the discussion


Jeremiah 4:10; Jeremiah 23:17; שָׁלוֹם; prophetic proclamation; Judah; royal-Zion ideology.


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