Humoral theory as motivation for anger metaphors in the Hebrew Bible

  • Zacharias Kotzé Department of Afro-Asiatic Studies, Sign Language and Language Practice, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Keywords: humoral theory, motivation, anger metaphors, Hebrew Bible


This article reviews the role of the ancient Israelite humoral theory in the motivation of anger metaphors in the Hebrew Bible. It is argued that the role of the folk theory of bodily fluids on the cognitive interpretation of anger in the Hebrew Bible has been underestimated. While the study of universal bodily experience as motivation for conceptual metaphor and metonymy in Classical Hebrew has proven to be of great value, such research needs to be supplemented by further inquiries into the role of the ancient Israelite folk theory regarding physiology. Evidence is provided that many of the Classical Hebrew words and expressions for anger can be brought in direct relation with the ancient Israelite beliefs regarding the humours.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2005, 23(2): 205–209

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614