Recent studies in cognitive linguistics demonstrate metaphor’s indispensability to meaning. Still, the presence of metaphor in biblical law is largely unrecognized. Utilizing Zoltán Kövecses’s categories of complex conceptual metaphor—orientational, ontological, and structural—this essay identifies and classifies such metaphors in the Decalogue (Exod 20:1–17) and Covenant Code (Exod 20:23–23:19), demonstrating their ubiquity and their influence on meaning. Exodus 20:7 is a potent example. Most interpretations of this prohibition—from false oaths to mispronunciation to magic—neglect the metaphorical nature of the expression. Exodus 20:7 exhibits metonymy embedded in metaphor, where name stands for Yhwh’sclaim to ownership (declared at Sinai). The command assumes that the divine name is worn as an invisible brand, and it charges the people to conduct themselves as befits Yhwh’s own people. The field of associations and entailments generated by this metaphor are a rich source of reflection on biblical election.

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