A network of conventional and deliberate metaphors in Psalm 22
Number of pages
SourceJournal for the Study of the Old Testament, 44, 4, (2020), pp. 642-666
Article / Letter to editor
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Leerstoel Textuele, historische en systematische studies van het Jodendom en Christendom
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament
SubjectCenter for Biblical and Theological Studies (CBTS)
Metaphors are not stand-alone units, but figure often in larger chains and regularly build upon each other. Yet, not all metaphors are the same. Some are very simple, such as the simile, while other metaphors require more active cross-domain mapping in thought. Still others are also contextdependent, deliberately used to convey new insights or used with a certain rhetorical intention. The study of various metaphorical clusters in Psalm 22 allows us to discuss the different types of metaphors and their distinct communicative functions. The most remarkable metaphorical cluster is based on the conceptual metaphor yhwh is fire. Built upon this conceptual layer is another metaphor, namely people melt before yhwh like wax melts before fire. Used in the context of Ps. 22.15, this deliberate metaphor confirms yhwh’s absolute sovereignty. His authority and power are in Ps. 22.13–17 the reason for fear, because his is a flaming and destructive power.
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