...Dedan, Tema, Buz, and all who cut the corners of their hair. (ESV, NASB & RSV)What are the corners of their hair? Was that the original Buz cut? I love those little quirks lurking in the Bible that pop out and give me a chuckle every now and then. It really is a great read, and it's only by reading it over and over that I get to discover these wee gems.
Jeremiah, however, is solid food. Kathleen Norris writes about him in The Cloister Walk (New York: Riverhead Books, 1996):
Listening to Jeremiah is one hell of a way to get your blood going in the morning; it puts caffeine to shame. 31A great way to start the day.
[A monk said] he was glad to be reading Jeremiah in the morning, and not at evening prayer, when there are more likely to be guests. “The monks can take it,” he said, “but most people have no idea what’s in the Bible, and they come unglued.” 34
A prophet’s task is to reveal the fault lines hidden beneath the comfortable surface of the worlds we invent for ourselves, the national myths as well as the little lies and delusions of control and security that get us through the day. And Jeremiah does this better than anyone. 34