Natural Phenomena Imagery 127
Predications of Non-Gender-Based Imagery 127 as more protection from the sun and from herbivores. The water in this case is provided by YHWH, who acts as dew for them. All of the activity is thus under the control of YHWH, who can provide or withhold the moisture necessary for growth. Because YHWH is overseeing the growth, it moves in the right direction, towards goodness. YHWH is identified as a cypress, a symbol of strength and majesty. While the cypress is not particularly active, it does represent strength. This tree also provides fruit for Ephraim, showing not only its power to sustain life, but also its positive care. The references to plants not attributed to Ephraim or YHWH also show interesting features. They are relatively active and almost personi- fied. The poison weeds break out, the thorns and thistles grow up over tents and altars. They appear powerful, in that neither the tents/altars, nor the people supposedly caring for them are able to stop them. Pre- sumably the people have been taken away, but even so, they lack the ability to protect their homes, possessions, and religious sites. While the actions of these plants carry out YHWH‘s judgment on Ephraim, the im- ages themselves are quite negative. Natural Phenomena Imagery Several images drawn from the inanimate natural world signify YHWH and Israel/Ephraim throughout Hosea. The most common is water and dew, which is quite understandable in a dry land. Other images are re- lated to light and wind. Most of...
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