Keeping Company with Nahum: Reading the Oracles against the Nations as Scripture

Richard W. Nysse

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 10/1/1995

Issue: Why Do the Nations Rage? (Vol. 15, No 4, Fall, 1995)

How will we prepare an (our) audience to read the oracles against the nations? That question is important, but within it lurks the presumption that we are not the final audience but only interpreters for another audience. Yet, interpreters are not merely a third party; they are readers as well, that is, addressees. As an addressee I have found it useful to work with the metaphor provided by Wayne Booth in his book The Company We Keep. The oracles against the nations pay us a visit when we read or interpret them. We keep company with them. When we lead others in reading these texts, we set a table. We prepare for a visit. But we sit down at the table as well. Interpreters are also visited.

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