'Who is like Yahweh?'
Recent theology has seen a renewed vigour in debates about the nature and character of God. Juan Cruz turns to one of the prophetic books in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Micah, to consider the metaphors it uses to portray the God of Israel and what they reveal about the deity. The book of Micah contains two dominant types of metaphor for Yahweh, namely the legal metaphors in 1:2-16 and 6:1-16 and the pastoral metaphors in 2:12-13, 4:6-7, 5:1-4a and 7:14-20. The former type of metaphors presents Yahweh in a courtroom setting, where he accuses his people of their sins, brings a lawsuit against them, and pronounces their judgement. The pastoral metaphors, on the other hand, describe Yahweh as the shepherd of his people, primarily concerned with the restoration and well-being of Israel. The two sets of metaphors therefore respectively present Yahweh in a positive and a negative light. Drawing on insights from philosophy and literary studies, and making particular use of the theories of Benjamin Harshav, Juan Cruz explores the divine metaphors by analysing the arguments they make within their respective literary units and in the context of the whole book, as well as the significant tensions that develop between the metaphors. The volume provides helpful tools to analyse metaphors for God, which may be also used for analysis of non-divine metaphors, and should contribute to our theological understanding of God in the Hebrew Bible, most especially in the book of Micah, a book whose title bears the meaning, 'Who is like Yahweh?'. Juan Cruz, PhD, is former lecturer of Old Testament and Biblical Hebrew in PTS College & Advanced Studies, Philippines, from 2004-2010. He is currently volunteer minister of Northfield Parish Church, Aberdeen, Scotland.
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