Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The nourishing God

Blending the imagery of flowing milk into that of flowing water, the passage goes on to promise that the wealth of nations will be “like an overflowing stream,” inverting the negative imagery of floods as a violent threat in, for example, [Isaiah] 30:28; 28:2, 15–18; and 10:22. God then says: “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem” (66:13). So this passage distances YHWH from breastfeeding imagery both through the use of simile and by projecting the divine nursing onto Jerusalem/Zion as a proxy. Nevertheless, it is difficult to ignore the effort to connect God with dea nutrix imagery. —Christopher B. Hays in Divine Doppelgängers: YHWH’s Ancient Look-Alikes, 207

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