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Perverse Delight: Some Observations On An Unpleasant Theme In The Old Testament

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Chapter Summary

Perverse delight is usually regarded as something most objectionable. In this chapter some remarks shall be made about the description of perverse delight, about the literary context, about its evaluation, and about the question whether it makes a difference if Israel is the subject or the object. A classic statement about perverse delight can be found with the prophet Obadiah who blames Edom for taking malicious pleasure in the suffering of Judah. As with Isaiah 14 one can find many examples in modern commentaries of attempts to cope with this unmistakable form of perverse delight. As a conclusion it can be noted that according to the Old Testament delight in the suffering of the other is not always perverse and sometimes even justified.

Keywords: Isaiah 14; Old testament; perverse delight



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