“For I Am God, Not Man”: Divine Self-Disclosure in the Motive Statements of Hosea

In: Horizons in Biblical Theology
J. Michael Thigpen Professor of Old Testament, Phoenix Seminary Phoenix, AZ USA

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Commentators have long wrestled with the relationship between the emotional portrayal of YHWH and his decision not to destroy his people in Hosea 11:8–9. The key question in this text is why does YHWH act as he does? What is the basis for his decision? In addition, questions abound with regard to how the reader should understand the emotional portrayal itself. Should it be read as an anthropopathic description, or does it challenge the doctrine of divine impassibility? This study investigates the relationship between YHWH’s emotional portrayal and actions in light of Hosea’s understanding of divine motive. Then the results of the study are applied to questions surrounding divine impassibility.

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