Friday, September 22, 2023

Just? Not so much

Ancient Near Eastern gods were not just; although they valued justice (because order in the human world allowed humans to serve their function of providing for the needs of the gods), they themselves were petty, vindictive, and arbitrary in bestowing favor or disfavor. In contrast, because Yahweh’s identity is vested in justice, if Israel behaves according to its culture’s understanding of justice (circumscribed by the holiness code), it will be a recipient of blessing.— The Lost World of the Israelite Conquest, 122–23

<idle musing>
If ever there was an understatement, they just made it! Not just ANE gods, but ancient Greek and Roman gods fit that description. Remember, the Greek philosophers bemoaned the moral state of the gods! They were anything but just themselves, although they didn't like injustice among the people and were thought to be quick to judge it.

And this snippet brings up another thing that John Walton has continually pushed in his books: The gods created humanity to serve them so they could party/do their thing. So, basically people aren't valued as people, but as slaves. That's a radically different viewpoint from the biblical one, where humanity ('adam) is created in the image and likeness of God (בְּצַלְמֵ֖נוּ כִּדְמוּתֵ֑נוּ). Not as serving a needy god, but as stewards of his creation. There's a lot to unpack there, but we'll leave it alone today.
</idle musing>

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