This book brings current research on oral traditional poetry to bear on a recurrent biblical prophetic metaphor: the mourning earth. Tracing persistence and flexibility in phraseological and thematic patterning within a set of nine prophetic compositions (Amos 1:2; Hos 4:1–3; Jer 4:23–28; 12:1–4, 7–13; 23:9–12; Isa 24:1–20; 33:7–9; Joel 1:5–20), the study explores in each passage the particular expression and literary impact of the metaphor and its attendant themes and motifs. Since consideration is given to the diachronic dimensions of the nine texts, the study serves as an illustration of the operation of an oral or oral-derived aesthetic within the biblical prophetic traditions over a range of historical settings as well as prophetic genres.
Katherine M. Hayes is Professor of Sacred Scripture at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York.
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