Om Sexual and Marital Metaphors in Hosea
Sharon Moughtin-Mumby considers the often unrecognised impact of different approaches to metaphor on readings of the prophtic sexual and marital metaphorical language. She outlines a practical and consciously simplified approach to metaphor, placing strong emphasis on the influence of literary context on metaphorical meaning. Drawing on this approach, she read Hosea 4-14, Jeremiah 2:1- 4:4, Isaiah, Ezekiel 16 and 23, and Hosea 1-3with fresh eyes. Her lucid new readings reveal the way in which scholarship has repeatedly stifled the prophetic metaphorical language by reading it within the 'default contexts' of 'the marriage metaphor' and 'cultic prostitution', which for so many years have been simply assumed. Readers are encouraged instead to read these diversemetaphors and similes within their distinctive literary contexts in which they have the potential to rise vividly to life, provoking the question: how are we to respond to these disquieting, powerful texts in the midst of the Hebrew Bible?