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Darkness or Blackness? A Semantic Study of חשך (Joel 3:4)

Title: Darkness or Blackness? A Semantic Study of חשך (Joel 3:4)
Authors : García Ureña, Lourdes
Keywords: Simbolismo de los colores
Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature
Citation: Lourdes García Ureña; Darkness or Blackness? A Semantic Study of חשך (Joel 3:4). Journal of Biblical Literature 1 March 2023; 142 (1): 111–127. doi:
Abstract: Joel’s oracle proclaiming the day of the Lord concludes with the announcement of a series of wonders. The event that the prophet announces is not devoid of chromatism, since the language of color emerges in the prophecy through elements of nature that connote color (blood, fire, smoke [Joel 3:3–4; Eng. 2:30– 31]). It is logical, then, to ask if חשך means “darkness” or, on the contrary, “color.” In order to determine if חשך has a chromatic meaning, I will apply a specific methodology based on cognitive linguistics. First, I will discuss the “encyclopedic knowledge” of the native speaker, describing the meaning of the color terms proposed in the main dictionaries and undertaking a comparative study of how the terms have been translated in the early versions of the Bible. I will then study the occurrences of the color terms in context and analyze the entity that describes the color term—the sun. In the light of this semantic analysis, I conclude that חשך expresses color in Joel 3:4, and this fact has great relevance for the interpretation of the prophecy.
Description: Publicado en OA bajo térmicos de SBL Press Politicy (Society of Biblical Literature)
Este trabajo forma parte de la investigación que realiza el GIR, El lenguaje del color en la Biblia (PC06/0720), de la Universidad CEU San Pablo
A first version of this paper was presented at the 2021 AAR/ SBL Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, in the Biblical Lexicography Section directed by Reinier de Blois and William Ross
Rights :
ISSN: 1934-3876
Issue Date: 15-Mar-2023
Center : Universidad San Pablo-CEU
Appears in Collections:Facultad de Humanidades y CC de la Comunicación

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