Scholars have identified lists of body parts as a compositional device in Biblical Hebrew poetry and as a way to highlight key themes in the biblical text or uncover hidden meanings. In addition, body parts have been given metaphorical and euphemistic senses. In this article I propose that body parts can form a poetic device an sich. This device is characterized by its willful exploitation of space: bodily space (with oppositions such as up–down and left–right), interpersonal space (connecting different characters), and literal space occupied by words in verses and phrases (with the opposition first–last). I will address each of these types of space and illustrate them with examples from Judg 4–5. In addition, I will examine the effect of the device, in terms of both story building and story decoding. A comparison between the prosaic and poetic accounts of the story of Jael and Sisera will show that the use of body parts, like other poetic devices, generates different reading experiences.

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