The Female Body And Human And Agricultural Fertility

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Hosea 3:12-13: 12The guilt of Ephraim is bound up, His sin is kept in store. 13The labor pains of childbirth come for him, But he is not a wise son, At the right time he does not stand in position At the place of bursting forth of children. Outline: Hosea 13:12-13: Ephraim’s Folly Motif of Guilt and Sin (v. 12). Assonance and parallelism in v. 12. Parallel structure in Hosea 4:8, 8:13, 9:9. Motif of Folly (v. 13) Wisdom is observing the signs of nature Ephraim’s folly leads to death Motif of the Female Body (v. 13) Death in childbirth as taboo Connection netween the female body and human and agricultural fertility Hosea 13:12-13 in Context Previous to the passage above, the author has expounded on Israel’s foolishness. Israel is…show more content…
In verse 12, there is the motif of guilt and sin, arranged in such a way as to form an assonance for emphasis. Verse 13 contains the motifs of the folly of Ephraim which leads to his destruction, and the imagery of the female body, both common threads in the book of Hosea. The imagery of the female body, particularly regarding death in childbirth, is deeply connected to ideas of taboo, human fertility and agricultural fertility. These verses encourage us to question the world around us and to be prepared to leave our comfort zone. The First Motif: Guilt and Sin In verse 12, the author uses several linguistic devices to make his point. Both verbs, צָרוּר֙ and צְפוּנָ֖ה, begin with the same Hebrew letter and form an assonance. In addition, both nouns, עֲוֺ֣ן and חַטָּאתֽוֹ, present similar concepts. How the author is making his point here adds to the point itself; in the Hebrew, this verse is repetitive in both sound and meaning. This emphasizes the author’s point and makes it less easily dismissed or forgotten. It digs deeper into the minds of the audience than if the author had merely stated it once. Interestingly, the word pair of guilt and sin appear three other times in Hosea (4:8; 8:13; 9:9), and each time the verse is similarly structured with an assonance of the verbs and the same two parallel nouns above. The linguistic quality of these verses makes them memorable, what we might call today an ear-worm. In each of these verses, the guilt and sin are
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