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Yahweh Fighting from Heaven: God as Warrior and as God of Heaven in the Hebrew Psalter and Ancient Near Estern Iconography


Klingbeil, Martin (1999). Yahweh Fighting from Heaven: God as Warrior and as God of Heaven in the Hebrew Psalter and Ancient Near Estern Iconography. Fribourg, Switzerland / Göttingen, Germany: University Press / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Abstract

Based on a comprehensive survey of metaphors of God in the Hebrew psalter, a total number of 507 occurrences are identified in which God is described by means of a metaphor. Applying modern metaphor theory, these occurrences are classified according to their main metaphor, submetaphor, metaphor type, and metaphor category. It is shown, that a proportionally small number of 17 main metaphor groups with their respective submetaphors exist which describe Yahweh in mostly anthropomorphic categories. Focusing on the God of heaven and warrior metaphors, a group of eight psalms is selected which display a recurrence of the two metaphors: Psa 18, 21, 29, 46, 65, 68, 83, and 144. Each psalm is discussed according to its transmitted text, semantic peculiarities, and literary structures, followed by short comments on the passage. It appears that the authors of the psalms under consideration used imagery familiar to them from their Syro-Palestinian background, but adapted and shaped it accordingly to their literary. Intentions in the form of an interpretatio Israelitica. The notion of Yahweh fighting as a warrior from heaven on behalf of his people encompasses the spectrum of meaning for the God of heaven and warrior metaphors in the most comprehensive way.
In the iconographic part of the study, the visual sources are presented in three groups, i.e., depictions of gods or goddesses displaying warrior attributes, those with god of heaven attributes, and a group manifesting attributes which are reflective both imageries. A total number of 93 images are presented of which approximately one-third come from Syro-Palestinian archaeological sites. It is noted that the more aggressive depictions of gods. Can generally be associated with earlier time periods and are well represented in Syro-Palestine. As the most prolific source for iconographic images reflecting the God of heaven and warrior metaphors, the Neo-Assyrian glyptic of the 9th-7th centuries can be established.
In comparing the two bodies of evidence, it appears that the biblical authors employed metaphors reflecting motifs from ANE iconography, although it is not possible to speak of a one-to-one relationship. Rather, the reutilization and adaptation of the imagery and its ascription to Yahweh demonstrates the tendency to indicate the superiority of Yahweh over the deities of the ANE in a strong monotheistic fashion.

Abstract

Based on a comprehensive survey of metaphors of God in the Hebrew psalter, a total number of 507 occurrences are identified in which God is described by means of a metaphor. Applying modern metaphor theory, these occurrences are classified according to their main metaphor, submetaphor, metaphor type, and metaphor category. It is shown, that a proportionally small number of 17 main metaphor groups with their respective submetaphors exist which describe Yahweh in mostly anthropomorphic categories. Focusing on the God of heaven and warrior metaphors, a group of eight psalms is selected which display a recurrence of the two metaphors: Psa 18, 21, 29, 46, 65, 68, 83, and 144. Each psalm is discussed according to its transmitted text, semantic peculiarities, and literary structures, followed by short comments on the passage. It appears that the authors of the psalms under consideration used imagery familiar to them from their Syro-Palestinian background, but adapted and shaped it accordingly to their literary. Intentions in the form of an interpretatio Israelitica. The notion of Yahweh fighting as a warrior from heaven on behalf of his people encompasses the spectrum of meaning for the God of heaven and warrior metaphors in the most comprehensive way.
In the iconographic part of the study, the visual sources are presented in three groups, i.e., depictions of gods or goddesses displaying warrior attributes, those with god of heaven attributes, and a group manifesting attributes which are reflective both imageries. A total number of 93 images are presented of which approximately one-third come from Syro-Palestinian archaeological sites. It is noted that the more aggressive depictions of gods. Can generally be associated with earlier time periods and are well represented in Syro-Palestine. As the most prolific source for iconographic images reflecting the God of heaven and warrior metaphors, the Neo-Assyrian glyptic of the 9th-7th centuries can be established.
In comparing the two bodies of evidence, it appears that the biblical authors employed metaphors reflecting motifs from ANE iconography, although it is not possible to speak of a one-to-one relationship. Rather, the reutilization and adaptation of the imagery and its ascription to Yahweh demonstrates the tendency to indicate the superiority of Yahweh over the deities of the ANE in a strong monotheistic fashion.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Monograph
Communities & Collections:Special Collections > Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis
Dewey Decimal Classification:200 Religion
290 Other religions
930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)
Language:English
Date:1999
Deposited On:19 Apr 2018 08:08
Last Modified:07 Apr 2020 07:09
Publisher:University Press / Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Series Name:Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis
Volume:169
Number of Pages:361
ISBN:3-7278-1250-8
Additional Information:Digitalisat erstellt durch Florian Lippke, Departement für Biblische Studien, Universität Freiburg Schweiz
OA Status:Green
Related URLs:https://www.zora.uzh.ch/54117/

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