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Chapter Summary

The Hebrew Bible is a record of the relationship between God, humankind and the universe. The fundamental tenet is that God is the Creator of the universe who established a covenant with Israel. The central message of the Hebrew Bible is that forgiveness and reconciliation have the highest priority in the hierarchy of God's attitude to humankind. Reward is mentioned in many short statements in the biblical narratives and prophetic literature. Although the Hebrew Bible emphasizes that punishment is educative in its aim and that divine mercy is greater than the exigencies of justice, there is comparatively little mention made of forgiveness and mercy. The issues of reward, punishment, and forgiveness are central not only to philosophy but also to literature. God in the Bible is motivated by the apparent paradox of the rational principle of justice and of a father's love.

Keywords: divine mercy; forgiveness; Hebrew Bible; punishment

10.1163/9789004276031_034
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