restricted access Through the Kaleidoscope of Literary Imagery in Exodus 15: Poetics and Historiography in Service to Religious Exuberance


Exodus 15, the Song at the Sea, appears to be triggered by the divine victory over the Egyptians at the Sea, but the poet draws on other literary images of destruction, images that are incompatible, in order to express exuberance over divine victory. This seemingly rudimentary technique is adroitly deployed in tandem with strategies of historical shaping and poetics. Time is retarded and accelerated, events and characters are omitted or transformed, and perspective and emphasis are shifted. Reality contemporary to the poet is mirrored in the distant past. Poetic strategies of endstopping, varying line length, and staircase parallelism work in tandem to heighten emotional intensity.