Words with Teeth aims at a combination of both establishing metaphor as the primary reading strategy for approaching Biblical Hebrew Poetry and applying the said strategy to a heterogeneous group of psalms know, in rather Victorian English, as the Psalms of Imprecation.
This volume will first introduce the reader to the phenomenon of metaphor and how it interfaces with the Hebrew poetic text. It will then offer an historical/exegetical review of the reception of the Psalms of Imprecation, ranging from their exclusion on theological grounds to their acceptance on psychological grounds and the various shades of curiosity and revulsion in between. The main body of the book will represent a close individual reading of the Psalms of imprecation, using metaphor as a reading strategy. It will conclude in agreement with Adele Berlin that metaphor in Biblical Hebrew Poetry is the flip-side to parallelism, that parallelism frequently provides the structuring basis upon which non-structuring metaphor is grounded, and that metaphorical speech provided the psalmist(s) with a way of speaking the unspeakable about God and her relationship with human persons.