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It's Hosea's Whirlwind

October 14, 2000

Steven Linan's rather negative review of "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda" mentions the show's "dopey dialogue" ("Sorbo Ventures Into Space in the Pedestrian 'Andromeda,' " Oct. 7). He refers to a specific line: "You have sown the wind. You shall now reap the whirlwind." Linan states: "We don't know what that means, but it demonstrates how this corny entry sometimes floats along on hot air."

The line is one of the most powerful lines in Hebrew scripture, from Hosea 8:7: "For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up." It is a stunning, metaphoric condemnation of Israel for praying to false gods and graven images. The figure of the whirlwind resonates strongly with God's answer to Job out of the whirlwind.

It makes perfect sense for such prophetic invective to be hurled by a man attempting to vanquish the captain of a star ship controlled by an artificial intelligence.

I'm afraid that if the show's dialogue is dopey, Linan's example does not illustrate his point terribly well.

ROBERT FAGGEN

Associate professor of literature,

Claremont McKenna College

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