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On Agricultural Imagery in Biblical Descriptions of Catastrophes
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On Agricultural Imagery in Biblical Descriptions of Catastrophes

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
This article examines the use of agricultural imagery in biblical literature to embody the... mehr
On Agricultural Imagery in Biblical Descriptions of Catastrophes
This article examines the use of agricultural imagery in biblical literature to embody the destructive force of war and other mass catastrophes. Activities such as vintage, harvest, threshing, and wine-pressing serve as metaphors for the actions of slaughtering, demolition and mass killing. The paper discusses the Ancient Near Eastern origins of the imagery under discussion, and presents the relevant examples from the Hebrew Bible, tracing the development of this absorbing metaphor, and analyzing the different meanings attached to it in different contexts. It shows that the use of destructive agricultural imagery first emerges in ancient Israel as an instance of popular phraseology. In turn, the imagery is employed as a common prophetic motif. The prophetic books examined demonstrate how each prophet appropriates earlier uses of the imagery in prophetic discourse and adapts the agricultural metaphors to suit specific rhetorical needs.