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 of the need for them to change before it is too late. As well as metaphor and gender, another important thread in this tapestry is intertextuality, within which the historical, political and social contexts of both author and reader enter into dialogue and produce different interpretations. But, as Shield shows in her final chapter, it is ultimately the rhetoric of gender that actually constructs the text, providing the frame, warp and woof of the entire tapestry, and thus functioning as the prophet's primary means of persuasion. This is volume 387 in the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement series.
'Surely as a faithless wife leaves her husband, so you have been faithless to me, O house of Israel, says the Lord.'