Tuesday, April 07, 2020

YHWH as Israel’s and Judah’s husband (baʿal)

The marital metaphor of “husband” is not used of Phoenician deities otherwise invoked as Baal, where one might expect to find it. Moreover, there is no extant evidence of this metaphor for deity in ANE texts, and it is plausibly an inner-Israelite development. In any case, it is a mark of distinctiveness in YHWH’s portrayal. The relative infrequency of identifying YHWH explicitly as a “husband,” using the lemma baʿal, is belied by the broader employment of the marriage and household metaphors for relating YHWH and people in the OT.— J. Andrew Dearman in Divine Doppelgängers: YHWH’s Ancient Look-Alikes, p. 84

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