In the Spirituality of "TongSungGiDo</I> of the Korean Church
Chapter 3. Female References and Images for God in the Bible
← 66 | 67 → Chapter 3
In the Bible, especially the Hebrew Bible, we can find many anthropomorphic metaphors for God, including female images. These anthropomorphic metaphors help us reflect on who God is and what God is doing for us. Moreover, they assist us in finding our identity in God’s images. In particular, female images help worshipping female-women realize that they are created in God’s image, and thus understand their physical, psychological, and spiritual phenomena in light of the female images of God.
God’s female images in the Bible are significant not only as they relate to the issue of female identity, in the resemblance between God and themselves as the image of God, but also because of the biblical metaphors that describe God’s unconditional love and compassion toward the people as children. While many images and references for God are motherly anatomical images of womb and breast, images of God’s skillful caring as midwife are also used, as well as images of the authority and power of the subjective female, the female householder or supervisor.
The womb image of God1 in the Hebrew Bible was perceived and carefully studied by Phyllis Trible in the 1970s. According to her study, the singular form of the Hebrew noun rahamim (compassion) shown in 1 Kings 3:16–28 (a story of two women’s dispute about a baby) is the noun rehem which means “womb” or “uterus.”2 In other words, the plural form of ‘womb’ is the noun ‘compassion.’ ← 67 | 68 → Thus, Trible...
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