The book of Jeremiah poses a challenge to biblical scholarship in terms of its literary composition and textual fluidity. This study offers an innovative approach to the problem by focusing on an instructive case study. Building on the critical recognition that the prophecy contained in Jer 10:1-16 is a composite text, this study systematically discusses the various literary strands discernible in the prophecy: satirical depictions of idolatry, an Aramaic citation, and hymnic passages. A chapter is devoted to each strand, revealing its compositional development—from the earliest recoverable stages down to its late reception. A range of pertinent evidence—culled from the literary, text-critical, and linguistic realms—is examined and sets within broader perspectives, with an eye open to cultural history and the development of theological outlook.
The investigation of a particular text has important implications for the textual and compositional history of Jeremiah as a whole. Rather than settling for the common opinion that Jeremiah developed in two main stages, reflected in the MT and LXX respectively, a nuanced supplementary model is advocated, which better accords with the complexity of the available evidence.