130 Metaphor and Masculinity in Hosea Analysis of Natural Phenomena Imagery With the nature imagery, YHWH is more frequently the subject than is Ephraim. The largest set of images in this category is water. YHWH ap- pears as the one who causes rain in 5:10, 6:3, and 10:12, and possibly 2:25. As the one able to control the rain, YHWH shows ultimate pow- er.165 YHWH acts like the dew in 14:6, providing nourishment for the young plant Israel. Most of these references are positive, though 5:10 represents YHWH‘s presumably justified wrath. Israel/Ephraim is only pictured as clouds and dew, and not very good ones at that, because they dissipate early without giving much moisture. Their action and power disperses into the air without result. Their king is carried away by water in 10:7, shown thus as passive and powerless. YHWH is also likened to the wind, exercising judgment on the people and the land and drying up and sweeping them away. This wind is powerful and active, unpredictable and unable to be controlled. The people are the objects of this wind, unable to resist. The imagery as a whole shows YHWH to be in control of nature, using it to enforce his judgment on the people, whereas the people are generally subject to the forces of nature, unable to stand up against their power. When humans are portrayed as natural substances, it is as transitory phenomena. The dew passively condenses out of...
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