The Notion of God Reflected in the Lion Imagery of the Book of Hosea

In: Vetus Testamentum
Yisca Zimran Bar Ilan University Israel

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This article is concerned with Hosea’s political counsel in 5:12-15, and explores the content and unique meaning of the lion imagery presented in this unit. The prophet’s words and their theological root are clarified through a discussion of the meaning of the lion imagery in the book of Hosea, as well as through comparison with similar imagery found in the book of Isaiah and extra-biblical sources. This analysis illuminates the unique theological perspective that Hosea wishes to impart to the people: Through the image of a lion, Hosea conveys that God exercises full, absolute control over Israel. He emphasizes, however, that God’s power is not extended over other nations. Hosea’s worldview, as will demonstrate in the article, challenges biblical notions of the God of Israel’s universality, as well as certain extra-biblical notions of the power of other deities and authorities.

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