• Wilhelm J. Wessels University of South Africa


The book of Jeremiah reflects a particular period in the history of Judah, certain theological perspectives and a particular portrayal of the prophet Jeremiah. Covenant theology played a major role in Jeremiah’s view of life and determined his expectations of leaders and ordinary people. He placed high value on justice and trustworthiness, and people who did not adhere to this would in his view bear the consequences of disobedience to Yahweh’s moral demands and unfaithfulness. The prophet expected those in positions of leadership to adhere to certain ethical obligations as is clear from most of the nouns which appear in Jeremiah 5:1–6. This article argues that crisis situations in history affect leaders’ communication, attitudes and responses. Leaders’ worldviews and ideologies play a definitive role in their responses to crises. Jeremiah’s religious views are reflected in his criticism and demands of people in his society. This is also true as seen from the way the people and leaders in Judah responded to the prophet’s proclamation. Jeremiah 5:1–6 emphasises that knowledge and accountability are expected of leaders at all times, but in particular during unstable political times.


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