Jehoiakim’s So-called ʽʽDonkey Burialʼʼ (Jer 22:19): More Observations on This Puzzling Passage

  • Paul A. Kruger University of Stellenbosch
Keywords: non-burial, corpse abuse, curse catalogues, Assyrian royal inscriptions


A variety of suggestions have been advanced to unravel the obscure picture of a “donkey burial†in Jer 22:19, such as taking it as (1) representative of the broad category of a “non-burialâ€, (2) regarding the image as a metaphor signifying the bestial way Jehoiakim’s dead body will be treated, (3) explaining the pronouncement in Jer 22:19 as an example of the disgraceful manner in which a corpse could be dealt with during a siege when circumstances hardly permit any other way of interment, or (4) deeming what was prophesied about Jehoiakim’s corpse as an example of grave desecration. The purpose of this contribution is not to offer another solution, but to illustrate that, apart from the specific reference to “an ass’s burialâ€, all the other motifs associated with this image in Jer 22:19 draw on a common ancient Near Eastern literary repertoire, as is especially attested in curse catalogues and royal inscriptions.