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Hebrew Studies 39 (1998) 231 Reviews Unfortunately because of his methodological vocabulary, Rosenbaum's observations sometimes drown in highly technical details. In the metalanguage he develops for describing and explaining variations in special positions and word-orders, he puts the focus on the communication situation . But when it comes to the possibility of fmding pragmatic information, communicative intention, and the speaker's anticipation of the addressee's interpretation in Isaiah 40-55, Rosenbaum might sometimes be too optimistic . Further, since his approach differs somewhat from the traditional historical-critical approaches, his application of secondary literature may seem arbitrary. In spite of these critical remarks, Rosenbaum's study represents a fruitful contribution to new ways of reading Isaiah 40-55, as regards both method and interpretation. By this study, he has shown that syntax, which has been a neglected field in biblical studies, is of great importance for understanding these poetical texts. The work ought to be of inspiration to everyone working seriously on Isaiah 40-55. Kristin loachimsen University of Oslo Oslo N-03J5, Norway JEREMIAH, Volume 1: 1-25. By William McKane. International Critical Commentary. Pp. cxxii + 658. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1986. Cloth, $59.95. JEREMIAH, Volume 2: 26-52. By William McKane. International Critical Commentary. pp. cxxiii-clxxiv + 659-1396. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1996. Cloth, $59.95. McKane's recently published Jeremiah II (1996) brings to completion a two-volume commentary on the largest book in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Jeremiah I was published a decade earlier (1986). An important gap is thus ftlled in the ICC series, in which an original Jeremiah volume never appeared. The translation is good, though occasionally periphrastic like the NEB and REB. McKane's stated exegetical aim is to recover the history of the text by comparing the ancient versions, the most important being the Septuagint, whose shorter text (by one-eighth) and different order after 25:13 consistently, though not always, gets preference over the Hebrew Hebrew Studies 39 (1998) 232 Reviews Masoretic Text. The Septuagint's location of foreign nation oracles after 25:13a is rightly taken to be more original, the relocation to chapters 4651 in the Masoretic Text being a later development. I agree too that "this book" in 25:13a looks ahead to the foreign nation collection, not back to an Urrolle or enlarged scroll. As for the short and long text where McKane reflects the consensus that the Masoretic Text's plusses are largely later expansion , I have greater reservations, particularly in chapters 1-20 where the Septuagint appears to have suffered more from haplography than previously imagined (see my forthcoming article with David Noel Freedman in Eretz-Israel 26). Other data of a poetic and rhetorical nature (the latter holding no interest for McKane) show that the Masoretic Text is far and away the better--and probably more original-text in 1-20. The situation in 21-52, which has more prose than poetry, is somewhat different, although here, too, haplography in the Septuagint is more arguable than has generally been recognized. So while agreeing with McKane that each text must be examined on its own merits, my assessment of the SeptuagintMasoretic Text problem varies at certain points from his. So far as 10:1-10 is concerned, I think McKane is quite mistaken to give preference to the shorter and sequentially-different text of the Septuagint and 4QJerb. Again, the Masoretic Text is better and arguably more original. The other distinguishing mark of this commentary is that much spacetoo much, actually-is given over to discussing the secondary literature, much of it dated and insufficiently represented. McKane's circumlocutory prose goes on sometimes for pages with little or no yield, and when a judicious decision is arrived at, as does happen, one wishes it had come much sooner and less laboriously. Alonso-Schakel has this aphorism on biblical scholarship: "Share the fruit, not the sweat." On page 5 of volume I, after discussing problems associated with dating the beginning of Jeremiah's career, McKane comes around fmaUy to supporting (without argument) the widely-abandoned view of Horst (and originally Hyatt) for a low chronology . Hyatt himself gave up...


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