Kató Szabolcs Ferencz

Weather imagery plays a major role in Hosea. Hosea 2 recalls the image of an unfaithful wife; Hosea 4:2–3 describes the withering of the land; in 6:3; 10:12; 14:6, the several types of precipitation draw attention to the utterance of YHWH or the requested righteousness; in 9:10.13.16; 10:1; 13:5; 14:6.8, Israel is symbolised by different plants that blossom and wither, depending on their relation to Yhwh. In all of these instances, weather phenomena contribute to these images.

Isa 7:14 is one of the most enigmatic texts of the Old Testament in which the traditional Christian exegesis has found the roots of the dogma of the virgin birth. It remains a question though whether this text indeed focuses on the female figure rathern than the son to be born. Following a brief survey of the recent state of research, in this article I address the question of the possible historical background of the text.

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