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The Responsive SelfPersonal Religion in Biblical Literature of the Neo-Babylonian and Persian Periods$
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Susan Niditch

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300166361

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300166361.001.0001

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Sour Grapes, Suffering, and Coping with Chaos

Sour Grapes, Suffering, and Coping with Chaos

Outlook on the Individual

(p.17) 1 Sour Grapes, Suffering, and Coping with Chaos
The Responsive Self

Susan Niditch

Yale University Press

This chapter explores the emphasis on individual responsibility for sin found in 6th century BCE biblical texts. Of special interest is the saying found in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, “The parents eat (have eaten) sour grapes, and the teeth of the children twinge,” (Ezek 18:2-3; Jer 31:29) and the fascinating rhetorical tour de force that follows in Ezekiel 18. The chapter discusses the ways in which Jeremiah and Ezekiel’s theological understanding of the proverb about sour grapes might be seen to contrast with conventional interpretations that try to make sense of undeserved suffering.

Keywords:   justice, proverb, chaos, performance context, Clifford Geertz, theodicy, sin, punishment

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