In the Name of Love: Resisting Reader and Abusive Redeemer in Deutero-Isaiah

James Harding


This essay draws Isa. 40:1-2 into the debate about the prophetic marriage metaphor, arguing that the poet is announcing the fulfilment of the prophecy of restoration in Hos. 2:16-25, and is therefore both participating in the metaphor of sexual abuse that dominates Hos. 2:4-15 and assuming that the threatened abuse has been perpetrated. It further suggests that it is not just to explicitly pornographic texts in the Latter Prophets that a hermeneutic of suspicion should be applied, but to texts that announce and celebrate YHWH’s imminent redemption of Israel, in which the prophetic marriage metaphor is implicit, and which insidiously seduce and manipulate readers into accepting the ideology reflected in that metaphor without question.


Isaiah 40:1-2; Hosea 2:4-25; marriage; redemption; suspicion

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Bible and Critical Theory: ISSN 1832-3391