chapter
6 Pages

of of

judgment belly/womb torment ofpres-
By20-21-)et-yerekek

Instead of her lover's semen entering her, it is the water of judgment that streams into the woman. The poison will cause her belly/womb to swell with pain and in torment her sexual organs will collapse. IS A most arresting allusion to the sexual act gone wrong. The string of verbs in w. 20-21-)et-yerekek nophelet ve)et-bitnek tsavah) "your thigh/sexual organs shall sag/fall away and your womb swell/distend))-echoed in v. 27, focuses attention upon the sexual act. Thus, a connection is made between the husband's loss ofprestige through his wife's adulterous act and the loss of erection. The wife's sagging (and therefore empty) womb becomes a symbol of measure for measure punishment meted out for the husband's loss ofprestige. Through the punishment that drains her ofsexuality and power, he regains his authority.