“He Will Cast their Sins into the Depths of the Sea . . .” Exodus Allusions and the Personification of Sin in Micah 7:7-20

in Vetus Testamentum
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Attending to allusions to Exodus 15 within Micah 7 provides insight into the metaphorical language of Mic 7:18-20. The human enemy of the Exodus is reinterpreted in the exilic context of Micah; the people’s own sins—the cause for their oppression—must be subdued by God, i.e. forgiven, and cast into the depths of the sea (7:19) so they may be freed from the consequences. This unusual metaphor for sin corresponds with a metaphor for redemption unparalleled in the Hebrew Bible: divine forgiveness is conceptualized as the physical domination and removal of an enemy, i.e. sin. Utilizing the Conceptual Metaphor Theory (cmt) of G. Lakoff and M. Johnson, this article will analyze such metaphors in light of Exodus themes.

“He Will Cast their Sins into the Depths of the Sea . . .” Exodus Allusions and the Personification of Sin in Micah 7:7-20

in Vetus Testamentum

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4

Lakoff and Johnson p. 5.

8

Lakoff and Johnson pp.7-9.

20

McComiskey p. 67.

23

FishbaneTexts p. 121.

26

Ibid. pp. 361-62.

27

FishbaneTexts p. 126.

30

Andersen and Freedman p. 600.

39

Mays pp. 167-68.

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