This article focuses on metaphorical language and theophany in Ps 18 and the question of normativity. My results are the following: Point 1. Psalm 18 is placed in the mouth of King David as part of his “testament” and as such it becomes normative for speaking about Israel’s God, with regard not only to content but also to linguistic form. Psalm 18 contains a rich variety of imagery comprising both personal and non-personal metaphors, as well as metonymies, which together have a normative function. Point 2. The personal and non-personal metaphors are set in tension against one another, thereby emphasizing that what is said about Yahweh must not be understood literally. Point 3. The metonymies underline that Yahweh relates to places or phenomena in this world without being bound to them or identified with them. And lastly point 4. The use of both metonymies and metaphors makes the psalm relevant in a variety of situations. Where the temple is physically in Jerusalem, the metonymic reference to Yahweh’s relation to Zion will be meaningful. When the temple is destroyed, or the worshipper lives far away, the metaphorical use of the rock will loosen the close connection between Yahweh and Zion. Then Yahweh himself is regarded both as the rock and the dwelling-place for the worshipper.
Metaphors in the Psalms, 2010, p. 197-207
Metaphors metonymies Psalm 18 normativity
Main Research Area:
Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium