This is the first attempt in biblical studies to apply the tools developed by theoreticians of metaphor to the common biblical metaphor of God as king. The extent to which elements of human kingship are projected onto God is investigated, and several significant conclusions emerge:
The lack of a complete fit between human kingship (the vehicle) and God as king (the tenor) is consistent with the tensive view of metaphor, which predominates in contemporary scholarship. The literary study has other benefits. By enumerating the parallels between human and heavenly messengers, it finds that angels should be construed as projections of royal officials. The analysis of human enthronement rituals as they are projected onto God suggests that there was no annual enthronement festival which celebrated God becoming king. The systematic study of the metaphor also opens new avenues for exploring a number of issues in the study of Israelite religion.