Split Personality

James L. Crenshaw

in Defending God

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780195140026
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835607 | DOI:
 Split Personality

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The tension between justice and mercy within God gave rise to stories illustrating YHWH’s desire to let compassion prevail, although not always. Genesis 18–19 has Abraham plead with God to spare the innocents who lived in the doomed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the prophet Joel appeals to God to extend the merciful attributes of Exod 34:6 to a devastated Judean populace. In contrast, a petulant Jonah objects when a merciful God spares a foreign city, Nineveh, and a greatly wronged prophet, Jeremiah, accuses YHWH of rape.

Keywords: justice; mercy; compassion; Genesis; Abraham; innocents; Sodom; Exodus; prophet; Nineveh

Chapter.  4204 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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