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Metaphor in the Book of Psalms or the Book of Psalms as Metaphor?

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Chapter Summary

The Book of Psalms is full of metaphors and similes. The book opens, in Psalm1, with an image of the righteous as trees firmly set by streams and the wicked as wind-driven chaff. Harshav's relational approach can be applied to the metaphors of the Psalter in a manner similar to the way that he applies them to modern poetry in his chapter, except that ancient frames of reference can never be known to the extent that those of modern, living cultures can. The chapter illustrates the utility of the approach with Psalm 23, which contains a famous metaphorical non-sequitur. Psalm 23 evokes many frames of reference, in both individual and national dimensions, and invites the reader to explore the manifold relationship between them and yet other frames of reference, to establish the dense field of reference that is the world of the poem.

Keywords:Benjamin Harshav; biblical metaphor; biblical psalms; metaphorical non-sequitur

10.1163/9789004240841_017
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