Monday, January 02, 2012


“One can also note that the word למה [LMH] (‘why’) often finds itself in the context of angry speech. There are several reasons. First, angry individuals who perceive a wrongdoing often ask why the wrongdoing occurred...Second, given the fact that people become angry not necessarily because of actual wrongdoing but because of perceived wrongdoing, other individuals sometimes challenge their reasons for anger, asking why they are angry. This is the case with God’s question to Cain (Gen 4:6). Finally, anger can trigger a series of events that others seek to avoid. In a couple of instances, people ask why these sorts of events should take place...In all, the word למה [LMH] appears approximately three times more frequently in verses such as Exod 32:12 that mention anger than in the entire Hebrew Bible. These data provide additional evidence that anger in the Bible does not automatically and immediately result in violence (see ,3§ ,4.3.4§ above) but instead may lead, for example, to verbal confrontation.”— From Fratricide to Forgiveness: The Language and Ethics of Anger in Genesis , pages 72-73

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