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By Judith E. McKinlay

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Extra resources for Gendering Wisdom the Host: Biblical Invitations to Eat and Drink (Gender, Culture, Theory, 4)

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A strategy at hand was that of convergence, used in the polytheistic ancient Near East for combining different gods or goddesses. The question I want to raise here is whether such a wariness of the feminine will be transferred even to the traces of asherah that remain within the scriptural imagery. If the convergence theory is accepted, will the masculinization understood in the move from Asherah to Yahweh continue? Or, to return to Bal's suggestion, will the feminine refuse to be totally suppressed, continuing to be expressed variously as attribute, or metaphor, of the one god, Yahweh, so that there will be, at least in part, and ineradicably, a feminine dimension of the divine?

The parallel phrase follows, to 'walk in the way of insight'. This too is to be acquired by turning aside to Wisdom and receiving her offer. There is the implication that it is the hostess herself who is the content of this gift. Listening for Echoes and Searching for Clues to Meaning Many scholars have read this text, detail after detail has been scanned for interpretive clues, and many different interpretive frameworks have been applied with markedly different results. If the metaphor of echo 31.

8. S. McFague, Metaphorical Theology: Models of God in Religious Language (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1982), p. 36. 9. Ricoeur, in 'Biblical Hermeneutics', Semeia 4 (1975), pp. 29-148 (p. ' Soskice (Metaphor and Religious Language, p. 89) does not explain her qualification 'at least about some metaphors'. 2. 10This is part of the 'is' and 'is not' tension. If this is so, the associative networks that each term brings to the metaphor will also be part of the newness. " If in the Proverbs poems Wisdom represents the Wisdom of Yahweh, an assumption that will be considered more closely later in this chapter, the metaphor also comes within the much broader sphere of Israelite 'God-language', where it forms part of Israel's answer to the problem of how to talk about God, the unnamed One of the Tetragrammaton.

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