In Jeremiah 3:1–4:4, the prophet employs the image of Israel as God’s unfaithful wife, who acts like a prostitute. The entire passage is a rich and complex rhetorical tapestry designed to convince the people of Israel of the error of their political and religious ways, and their need to change before it is too late. As well as metaphor and gender, another important thread in the tapestry is intertextuality, according to which the historical, political and social contexts of both author and reader enter into dialogue and thus produce different interpretations. But, as Shields shows in her final chapter, it is in the end the rhetoric of gender that actually constructs the text, providing the frame, the warp and woof, of the entire tapestry, and thus the prophet’s primary means of persuasion.
Mary E. Shields was educated at Westminster Collect, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Emory University. Her published works include Teaching the Bible: Practical Strategies for Classroom Instruction, "Gender and Violence in Ezekiel", and "Subverting a Man of God, Elevating a Woman: Role and Power Reversals in 2 Kings 4".