Hamann’s hermeneutic

Hamann allegorized a hermeneutical principle of Jer 38: “We all find ourselves in such a swampy prison as the one in which Jeremiah found himself. Old rags served as ropes to pull him out; to them he owed his gratitude for saving him. Not their appearance, but the services they provided him and the use he made of them, redeemed his life from danger”

He also finds a hermeneutical principle in the story of David’s madness: “Who can read the story of David without a trembling of reverent fear . . . [the story of one] who distorted his gestures, played like a fool, painted the doors of the gate, [and] slobbered on his beard, without hearing in the judgment of Achish an echo of the thinking of an unbelieving joker and sophist of our time.”


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