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Hebrew Studies 39 (1998) 226 Reviews redaction of the Twelve. But he did not need to; that was not his chosen subject; neither could he have done so in the space available to him. Nor do the authors always offer solutions to the problems they discuss. For example , Freedman raises the issue of false prophecy, but does not attempt a new solution. Second, the contributors wanted to show both the diversity of methods and of issues in contemporary research. Such diversity is the hallmark of biblical study at the end of the Twentieth Century and makes the field exciting. On the other hand, the book omits methods like structural exegesis, deconstructionism, and feminine exegesis, and it addresses only a few issues. That too is no failure. One small volume can only be illustrative of the diversity in modem biblical scholarship. Paul L. Redditt Georgetown College Georgetown, KY 40324 preddill@georgetowncollege.edu BATTERED LOVE: MARRIAGE, SEX, AND VIOLENCE IN THE HEBREW PROPHETS. By Renita J. Weems. Pp. xiii + 150. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995. Paper, $17.00. This book questions and critiques the use of sexual violence as a trope in prophetic literature in particular and in the Hebrew Bible in general. Weems suggests that the use of such a trope should not be dismissed as a literary device. As the prophets used rhetorical flourishes such as parables, metaphors, contrasts, parallelisms, and other devices to win over their mostly male audiences, they relied on a literary treasury that could successfully evoke everyday life in ancient Israel. One ingredient in this daily life was marriage and family life. A wayward wife who betrays her husband was a powerfully negative image in a society that perceived women as their husbands' possessions. Promiscuity in women posed a threat to social and property codes that were at the basis of Israel's patriarchal identity. Intercourse with a married woman was menacing to a closed, endogamous society such as Israel for two reasons: it blurred ancestral and property lines and called into question a husband's ability to control his wife's sexuality . By using the powerful metaphor of the promiscuous wife, the prophet succeeded in engaging his audience and winning them over to his perspective. Hebrew Studies 39 (1998) 227 Reviews The prophets' portrayal of Israel as a wayward wife, however, contributed to the overall depiction of women's sexuality as deviant, evil, and dangerous. To be sure, the issue of women's sexuality as such was not at the center of prophetic thought. The prophets were concerned with the fate of the land, God's relationship with the nation, and the nation's political demise. Yet the repeated association of Israel's misbehavior with that of a wayward wife lent credence to the general distrust of women in a patriarchal society: "Drawing close connections between women's bodies and deIIlement , intimacy and power. violence and control, female nakedness and shame, dread and the erotic, the prophets were poets working within the conventions of ancient rhetoric and the rules of persuasion" (p. 6). Chapter One, "'You Have the Forehead of a Whore,' The Rhetoric of a Metaphor," discusses the marriage metaphor within the context of metaphorical speech in the Bible. Five human relationships are used in prophetic speech to describe the relationship between Israel and Yahweh: judge and litigant, parent and child, master and slave, king and vassal, and husband and wife. The prophets drew on institutions of their own day to defme their experience of the divine; they emphasized the reciprocal responsibility each partner bore, but the burden of the relationship rested fumly on the shoulders of the subordinate partner. The emphasis on these relationships stressed hierarchy, domination, and retribution. The dominant partner had the right to retaliate against and penalize the subordinate partner . The prophets' use of the marriage metaphor made it virtually impossible to think of God as other than a dominant male and of Israel as other than a subordinate female. Chapter Two, "'Is She Not my Wife?' Prophets, Audiences, and Expectations," focuses especially on the marriage metaphor in Hosea and points up the ways in which this eighth century prophet developed the image of the adulterous wife with special detail. The...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 226-228
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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