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image of Vetus Testamentum

The present contribution examines the use of animal terminology—wild dogs—in Ps. lix and endeavours to interpret this terminology within the framework of a working definition of metaphor as a stylistic feature of BHP and its function therein. As a result, it would appear that the author's metaphorisation of his enemy (either personal or national) as a pack of wild dogs foaming at the mouth and terrorising the city at night allows him to introduce elements of imprecation. Indeed, animal terminology, focusing particularly on mouth, teeth etc. is common among the so-called psalms of imprecation. At a second level, it is possible to detect traces of a further metaphorisation in which the author invites the divinity to behave as wild dogs would in destroying his enemy.


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