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Metaphor and Masculinity in Hosea


Susan E. Haddox

The metaphors in Hosea are rich and varied, comprising both gendered and non-gendered image fields. This book examines the use of metaphor in Hosea through the lens of masculinity studies, which provides a means to elucidate connections between the images and to analyze their cumulative rhetorical effect. The rhetoric of both the gendered and non-gendered imagery is analyzed using a model from cognitive anthropology, which divides social space along three axes: activity, potency, and goodness. People use metaphors to position and to move one another within this space. These axes reveal how the metaphors in Hosea rhetorically relate the audience, represented by Ephraim/Israel, and YHWH to a particular construction of masculinity. Hosea uses the imagery of Assyrian treaty curses to reinforce YHWH’s masculinity and dominance, while undermining the masculinity of the audience. The rhetoric of the text attempts to bring the audience into an appropriately subordinate position with respect to YHWH and to shape its members’ actions and attitudes accordingly.


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Notes 165


NOTES 1 Introduction and History of Interpretation 1. Several Assyrian inscriptions mention Israelite kings in lists of those defeated or paying tribute. The Monolith Inscription describing the western campaign of Shalmaneser III in 853–852 mentions the defeat of Ahab the Israelite (Jeffrey Kah-jin Kuan, Neo-Assyrian Historical Inscriptions and Syria-Palestine [Jian Dao Diss. 1; Hong Kong: Alliance Bible Seminary, 1995], 31). Several other skirmishes are mentioned in the following years, and in an inscription dated 12 years later, a tribute from Jehu is recorded. Three years after that the Black Obelisk inscription records Jehu‘s tribute in greater detail: ―The maddattu of Jehu, the (Bit)-Humrite. Silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase, golden goblets, golden pitchers, tin, a hutartu for the hand of the king, and puašhatu, I received from him.‖ It also displays a picture of Jehu prostrating himself before Shalmaneser (Kuan, Neo-Assyrian Historical Inscriptions, 63–64). 2. J. Maxwell Miller and John H. Hayes, A History of Ancient Israel and Judah (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1986), 289. 3. Kuan, Neo-Assyrian Historical Inscriptions, 65. 4. John H. Hayes and Paul K. Hooker, A New Chronology for the Kings of Israel and Judah and Its Implications for Biblical History and Literature (Atlanta: John Knox, 1988), 55. 5. My translation. 6. Kuan, Neo-Assyrian Historical Inscriptions, 147–48. 7. H. J. Cook, ―Pekah,‖ VT 14 (1964): 121–35; Hayes and Hooker, A New Chronology, 54. 8. Hayes and Hooker, A New Chronology, 60. 9. Miller and Hayes, History of Ancient Israel,...

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