Jeremiah's vision of the almond rod (Jer 1:11–12): an anthropological perspective
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In Jeremiah 1:12, Yahweh explains Jeremiah's vision of an almond rod (מַקֵּל שָׁקֵד) with the obscure observation that he is watching (שָׁקֵד) over his word. There seems to be little logic in this clarification and scholars mostly settle for an interpretation of the almond rod as a figure for Yahweh's vigilance. This article ventures an anthropological reading of the vision by investigating the association of the almond, or "watching" (שָׁקֵד), rod with the ancient Israelite conception of the evil eye. It is argued that the almond had served as a symbol of evil, thus throwing light on Yahweh's explication of Jeremiah's vision, saying that he is watching (שָׁקֵד) over his word (דברו) to do (עשה) it.