The God 's Divine Punishment Essays

The God 's Divine Punishment Essays

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Throughout the Hebrew scriptures, God distributes divine punishment amongst offenders of his divine law and commands. The severity of these punishments differs greatly, from the use of plagues to total destruction. Many biblical scholars argue that the holy scriptures promote the idea of retributive justice (something along the lines of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” (Exodus 21:24). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/justice-retributive/) defines retributive justice as the act of enforcing punishment that is proportionate to the crime or offense committed, and that no innocent person(s) should be harmed by this punishment. Because God’s divine retribution found throughout the Tenakh is inconsistent with the definition of retributive justice, retributive justice is not promoted in the Bible and thus the divine punishment of God is its own form of justice.
The very first idea of retributive justice is in Genesis 2:17 (KJV): “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” God makes this remark to Adam concerning the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. In this verse, God gives Adam a law and a punishment for breaking said law. This punishment is not straightforward however, causing the interpretation of this word to be literal or spiritual death. The punishment God delivers to Adam and Eve after the breaking of this law is found in Gen 3:16-19, where God promises painful childbirth, the requirement of burdensome labor in order to live, and ultimate death. Following along with the definition of retributive justice, the punishment given by God does not allow for any form of rehabilitation...


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...did God choose to punish those who were doing his own divine will? Why is it that God brought punishments against a whole nation for one person’s decision to offend God? The answer is to show His own divine power is stronger than any other divine being’s. God wanted to let the people of Egypt and Babylon know that there is a stronger divine power than those they worshipped, and that divine being is the god of the Israelites. And as for punishing those who offended God and the people of Israel under the influence of God, Pharaoh chose to not let the Hebrews go into the desert, and God only gave him no chance to change his mind, and God did not punish Nebuchadnezzar, nor his children, but punished the third generation of Babylonians.
Regardless, God punishes a nation rather than the offender, which is a direct contradiction to the definition of retributive justice.

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