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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
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HELBERG, J.L.  and  VAN DER WALT, Chris. God, violence, and land in Deuteronomy. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2015, vol.49, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2305-0853.

Deuteronomy attests of God's exceptional love as proven to Israel in connection with the Promised Land. However, his preferential treatment of Israel and his involvement in violence invokes many questions and much debate. This article investigates two aspects, which do not really receive attention in the debate: on the one hand, human responsibility and guilt, and on the other hand that of God. The findings are: (1) Neither the nations nor Israel can reproach God, for they themselves act violently and exploitingly. They inhabit the earth at the expense of others and of the earth itself. They act obstinately toward the Law and the will of God, who has the best in mind for them. Even so, God is without blame, incomprehensibly in control of all that happens, even when he acts in and through the use of the sinful reality. (2) Deuteronomy testifies about God's severe violence ánd overpowering love. It is implicitly stated that God takes the responsibility and blame of sinful and rebellious humanity upon himself. The servant songs of Isaiah shed even more light on this issue. God must especially be appreciated by these positive testimonies and with complete trust in his unfathomable power and grace.

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