An Analysis of the Metaphors in the Book of Nahum Using Conceptual Blending Theory
Metaphors convey more than superficial expressions intended to induce emotion. They also convey meaning through conceptual constructs. This fact has already been recognized by much of Nahum scholarship. However, there has been no close reading of Nahum’s metaphors with a sustained methodology that ascertains their meanings through their conceptual constructs. This dissertation fills this gap in Nahum scholarship by analyzing the metaphors in Nahum using Conceptual Blending Theory (CBT). This analysis reveals a careful crafting of Nahum’s metaphors. A path schema provides a framework for a meta-narrative of Nineveh’s fall by sustaining elaborations of metaphors throughout the book. This gives Judah hope that YHWH will soon bring an end to Assyria’s rule. A container schema is regularly applied to YHWH and his enemies. This gives Judah hope by revealing the truth of Assyria’s vulnerabilities. Valence reversal, a literary technique, reveals appropriate modes of judgment against Nineveh by using Nineveh’s own self-identifying metaphors against them. Underlying the entire book is the revealing of the presence of YHWH. Despite fears to the contrary, YHWH has not abandoned Judah; rather, he is present, here and now. The metaphors in the book of Nahum clarify and deepen existing understanding of Nahum’s theology, and of Assyria’s place in Old Testament theology, and they also provide a deeper comfort and hope to Judah that would be absent without.
PHD in Theology
Nahum, Criticism, interpretation, Metaphor in the Bible, Metaphor
Missions and World Christianity
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