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Punishment of the offending organ in biblical literature

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image of Vetus Testamentum

One aspect of the principle of "measure for measure" is considered—the idea that the offending organ is punished. This concept can be found in all the biblical genres: narrative, law, the prophetic literature, poetry, and the wisdom literature. The organs that are punished run almost the full length of the body, from head to toe. Sometimes the concept is invoked literally, sometimes only metaphorically. In most cases the punishment is heaven-sent; but there are no few incidents where human action is involved and even animals (twice). In every case, the principle serves a theological function, in that it corroborates the existence of reward and punishment in the world.


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