THE EFFECT AND POWER OF DISCOURSE: A CASE STUDY OF A METAPHOR IN HOSEA

Gerald West

Abstract


At the core of this article are two questions.  Where do metaphors come from?  What do metaphors do?  As the article will demonstrate these are not idle questions, but questions that matter.  The article presents a literary and sociological analysis of women in Hosea, with particular reference to Hosea 1-3.  The first section examines the marriage-harlotry metaphor in two parts.  The first part of this examination focuses on three analyses of the marriage-harlotry metaphor by feminist biblical scholars.  The second part of the examination concentrates on the nature of metaphor.  This discussion leads into the second section in which I explore the relationship between language and life, particularly the life of women in Israel.  The third and concluding section reflects on the relationship between language and the sociological location of women in the biblical text and our own South African context.  The power of metaphor in the biblical text and our context challenges us to discourse carefully and critically concerning all metaphors, but particularly those metaphors in which women are not only the vehicles but also the victims.

Keywords


Metaphors; Hosea 1-3; Women in Hosea; Marriage-harlotry metaphor; Nature of metaphor; Language and life; Life of women in Israel

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/57-0-1582

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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