Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bulletin for Biblical Research
Volume: BBR 22:2 (NA 2012)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Cor Notebaart. Metallurgical Metaphors in the Hebrew Bible. Amsterdamse Cahiers voor Exegese van de Bijbel en zijn Tradities Supplement Series 9. Bergambacht: 2VM, 2010. Pp. iv + 369. ISBN 978–94–90393–06–9. $33.00 paper.

Cor Notebaart is a Dutch mineralogist and metallurgist. He has worked as a scientific researcher for several corporations in Africa and the Netherlands, including Anglo American and Shell Research. The present volume, a 2010 Ph.D. dissertation supervised by Klaas Spronk at the Protestantse Theologische Universiteit, competently combines Notebaart’s metallurgical expertise with his interest in the ancient Near East.

The first three chapters serve as an introduction to the rest of the study. The first chapter gives the book’s raison d’être, briefly outlining the history of scholarship on metallurgy and the ancient Near East. The second chapter summarizes the book’s primary objectives: to contribute to the understanding of biblical metaphor, to provide a metallurgical background to texts containing metallurgical phraseology, to gauge the background knowledge of metallurgy of the biblical authors, and to explore cultic use of metals (p. 6). The third chapter surveys metaphor theory. Notebaart begins with Aristotle and concludes with recent insights from cognitive linguistics. He then defines a metaphor as “a juxtaposition of two different conceptual domains,” the source and target domains, which “contain elements of similarity or conjunctive elements, but also contrasting elements or disjunctive elements” (p. 19). The juxtaposition of these two domains creates tension, especially when the elements contrast or are incongruous, and thereby directs the attention of the reader.

The bulk of this volume appears in the fourth chapter, an analysis of metallurgical metaphors in the Hebrew Bible. Here, Notebaart examines approximately 37 different biblical texts that contain metallurgical imagery. The imagery ranges from the metaphor of assaying (e.g., Jer 9:6) to the rich mineralogical and metallurgical metaphors of Job 28 to metaphors associating bronze and iron (e.g., Deut 28:23; Jer 1:18). Examination of each metaphor entails a discussion of the text (basic meaning and text-critical issues), metallurgical aspects (the metallurgical background for the metaphor), and metaphor analysis (the metaphor’s meaning in light of the tension it creates).

The next two chapters survey metallurgy in the ancient Near East. First, Notebaart investigates archaeometallurgy by examining the geological sources, metallurgical techniqu...

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