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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