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Journal of the Bible and its Reception

Managing Editor: Kraemer, David / Marsengill, Katherine

Ed. by Black, Fiona C. / Oekland, Jorunn / MacDonald, Nathan / Ocker, Christopher

Together with Strawbridge, Jennifer R.

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Rachel Weeping: Intertextuality as a Means of Transforming the Readers’ Worldview

Sébastien Doane
Published Online: 2017-06-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jbr-2017-2000


The episode of the Bethlehem massacre (Matt 2:16-18) uses many levels of intertextuality as a rhetorical device, to solicit an emotional response powerful enough to influence the reader’s worldview. What effect do these intertexts have on Matthew’s readers? How is this affective appeal concerning Rachel’s tears intended to impact the reader’s response to Matthew’s story? Rachel weeping is an emotionally charged image that somehow merges two opposites: hope and sorrow. The intertextuality of this figure can influence readers encouraging them to criticize imperial ideologies that have used violence against innocent people in the past, and oppose those which do so currently.

Keywords: Matthew’s Gospel; Rachel; Intertextuality; emotion; Reader-response; injustice; Jeremiah

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About the article

Published Online: 2017-06-17

Published in Print: 2017-04-25

Citation Information: Journal of the Bible and its Reception, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 1–20, ISSN (Online) 2329-4434, ISSN (Print) 2329-440X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jbr-2017-2000.

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