Animal Metaphors and the People of Israel in the Book of Jeremiah
1. Edition 2011
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments -
Though interest in the use of metaphor in the Hebrew Bible has gained momentum in recent years, there is, to date, no investigation which concentrates exclusively on the animal metaphors in the book of Jeremiah. In this book, the author brings to light this neglected area of study by examining the language and imagery of the animal metaphors for the people of Israel in the book of Jeremiah. The contribution that these metaphors make to the theology of the book is given special attention, and since different interpretations have been given to many of the metaphors in question, the author resolves some of the questions regarding the meaning of these images in his in-depth study. Additionally, scholars have not tended to research metaphors for the nation of Israel and thus this volume draws attention to a particular subject which has largely been overlooked.
In chapter one Foreman familiarizes the reader with the major theoretical approaches to metaphor and spells out the approach taken in his investigation. Eighteen metaphors are then thoroughly analyzed in chapters two, three, and four. These metaphors are grouped into three categories, each of which constitutes a chapter: pastoral metaphors, mammal metaphors, and bird metaphors. Chapter five draws the results of the inquiry together. This study reveals how animal metaphors make important theological claims about the nation of Israel and demonstrates that they are essential elements of the message of the book of Jeremiah. Foreman’s elucidation of the language and imagery of the animal metaphors for the people of Israel leads to a richer understanding of these metaphors and ultimately contributes to a more precise interpretation of the message of the book of Jeremiah as a whole.