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Divine Justice/Divine Command

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Chapter Summary

'Divine Law/Divine Command' could mean that the two terms, 'divine law' and 'divine command', are terms in apposition, thus asserting: divine law is divine command, the two being seen as interchangeable. Nevertheless, the author argues that for at least one important school of thought within the Jewish tradition, which is the school of thought he has greatest theological affinity with; divine law and divine command are not the same. One can begin to make the case for the difference between divine justice and divine command philologically. In biblical Hebrew, the most common word for 'law' as in the Law rather than a law is mishpat, which is also the most common word for 'justice'. The commandments spoken of by Judaism are divine commandments, that is, commandments given by God to human recipients. The adjective 'divine' here refers to the source of the commandments, not to the nature of the commandments themselves.

Keywords: biblical Hebrew; divine commandments; divine law; God; human judgment; Judaism



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