An interest in temporality had of course always marked interpretation of the Bible as a theological and dogmatic endeavor, but it was directly related to more decisive claims about the character of God. … Time was previously understood according to not just economic but also immanent and ontological considerations, and these were seen as subsisting together in , and revealed by, a complex network of scriptural senses (35).This more ancient understanding of time is more in line with that of the Bible, which wishes to witness to the “history of the prophetic word in Israel and the world, under God's providential care and final purpose” (219). This has hermeneutical implications for the late-modern interpreter. We need to go back to school, as it were, a rediscover
a form of historical interpretation of the prophets that will … try to comprehend just how the prophetic canon is offering its own very sophisticated version of history (72).
According to Seitz, the messengers of God's word are “participant[s] in a drama larger than [themselves]” (245); they belong to “to a larger history and sweep than they as individuals were able to recognize at the time” (242). The function of secondary levels of tradition is to “figure” these “elected agents” into this larger theological reality. The deeds, words, and events of the prophet's lifetime are understood within the broader context of God's providence, within “a larger history of God's ways with his people” (190).