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Title: A Woman Will 'Encompass' a Man
Subtitle: On Gender Reversal in Jer 31,22b
Author(s): KRUGER, Paul A.
Journal: Biblica
Volume: 89    Issue: 3   Date: 2008   
Pages: 380-388
DOI: 10.2143/BIB.89.3.3188958

Abstract :
This contribution reviews the various interpretations offered to understand the obscure pronouncement in Jer 31,22b: 'A woman will encompass a man'. One of the most popular proposals, which is also the most plausible, is to regard the utterance as an example of gender role reversal. What the proponents of this viewpoint fail to demonstrate satisfactorily, however, is how this saying in Jer 31,22b relates to the multiple other ancient Near Eastern cultural contexts (literary, social-political and religious) where the same mundus inversus principle is likewise attested. It is argued that this broad backdrop is a sine qua non for the proper understanding of this enigmatic passage.

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