and jeremiah is an erdmans one which doesnt appear part of a set
You are most certainly right there.... and a great volume it is. As is his Psalm commentary by Fortress. I value his work greatly just saying easier said than done in some cases. Here are a couple small snippets from both.
As the texts are now presented, both chs. 24 and 29 characterize Jeremiah as practicing pastoral care among the exiles. That pastoral care is expressed around two convictions: (a) there must be a realistic and intentional embrace of the Exile as a place where Jews must now be and where God has summoned them to obedience (29:5–7), and (
there is a long-term hope for return and restoration that can be affirmed and accepted (vv. 10–14).
Both affirmations are important for the exiles and for the shape of the Jeremiah tradition. The first, which enacts “tearing down and plucking up,” offers an alternative against romantic escapism and abdication. The second, which enacts “building and planting,” speaks against ultimate despair. The two themes together correspond to the governing verbs of 1:10 and reflect the basic structure of the completed message of the Jeremiah tradition. While Jeremiah’s word is characteristically one of judgment, it is striking that this voice of judgment brings with it a powerful voice of hope. The suffering of exile is for the OT the matrix in which the hope of God is most powerfully and characteristically at work.31 The Exile is the place where God’s faithful promises work a profound newness. Nowhere is this more passionately voiced than in the tradition of Jeremiah. Thus the completed tradition anticipates Paul: “… suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us …” (Rom. 5:3–5).
Walter Brueggemann, A Commentary on Jeremiah: Exile and Homecoming (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1998), 255–256.
Psalm 131 is also a simple expression of submission to the reliable ordering of life. Verses 1–2 are likely the original form of the poem. At the outset Yahweh is identified, almost abruptly, as the one who will be credited with a well-ordered life. There is here a glad acceptance of life on the terms God gives. The body of the poem consists in two statements. The first is a negative denial or a statement of innocence (v. 1). It is marked by three negatives, with a fourth one understood: not lifted up, not raised too high, not walked in greatness, [not] in things beyond me. The speaker has not thought too highly of himself (cf. Rom. 12:3), which means he understands the proper relation to God. It is not a relationship between equals, but is one of subordination, submission, trust, which this speaker gladly accepts.
The positive counterpart in verse 2 is an affirmation of serenity and well-being from one who trusts in God’s motherly care. It is a daring metaphor, approached in other ways in Num. 11:11–15 and Isa. 49:14–15. It is a characterization of relationship with God that grows out of observing the most trusting, elemental, and dependent relationship in all human interaction. The child does not try to be the equal of the mother or independent of the mother.
The need and claims of this psalm are contrasted most harshly in Isa. 2:6–22, where Israel is accused of being proud, haughty, lifted up, arrogant, and autonomous. That way, says the prophet, leads to destruction. The voice of this psalm announces the positive counterpart. This does not mean abdication or resignation, but the recognition of how life with God finally is.
The use of this remarkable domestic metaphor makes a stunning theological affirmation about the proper ordering of life. First, it affirms that creatureliness is contrasted with autonomy. The faithful human creature, like a small baby, like a tiny bird waiting for the mother to feed it, has no inclination for autonomy. Second, the poem understands that such glad, submissive reliance leaves one free of anxiety, for anxiety is wrought either in trying to be self-sufficient (which one cannot be) or in trying to be an equal of the mother-God, rather that a fed dependent.
The piety reflected in this psalm is directly opposed to modernity with its drive toward independence, self-sufficiency, and autonomy. It is worth noting that the Psalms deny the Oedipal inclination that there can be freedom only if the controlling, authoritarian father-god be slain or denied. The myth of modernity believes that real maturity is to be free of every relationship of dependence. But when the metaphor is changed from a harsh controlling father to a gently feeding mother, it is evident that the human goal need not be breaking away, but happy trust.
If Psalm 131 were taken as the whole of our relationship with God, one might judge it to be naive and romantic. Without taking it for the whole statement, it does provide for us a remarkable metaphor for some dimensions of faithful living that are lost in many of our other images for our relationship with God.
The third verse of the psalm appears to be added. As we have seen in Psalm 14:7, there seems to be a process by which intimate statements of faith are systematically reassigned to Judah and Israel. In this psalm, verse 3 has the effect of identifying Israel as the trusting child. The image of Israel is then of one who has ceased to insist on its own way and has submitted to the trustworthy will of Yahweh. That kind of submission is exactly what makes it possible for Israel (or any other) to hope. Unless there is submission, there will be no hope, for autonomy and self-sufficiency are finally postures of hopelessness in which free gifts are excluded and one is left to one’s own resources. In this psalm (unlike Isa. 2:6–22) Israel is able to hope and to receive good gifts from this feeding God.
Thou didst hide thy face,
I was dismayed.
To thee, O Lord, I cried;
and to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise thee?
Will it tell of thy faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me!
O Lord, be thou my helper!”
Walter Brueggemann, The Message of the Psalms: A Theological Commentary (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1984), 48–50.