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Reward & Punishment

Punishing Egypt Measure-for-Measure

The plagues and the drowning of the Egyptians were designed to showcase YHWH’s power throughout the world (Exodus 9:16). Both the Wisdom of Solomon (1st cent. C.E.) and Mekhilta (2nd cent. C.E.) develop systematic interpretations of the plagues, showing how the details were measure-for-measure punishments, they differ on the meaning of the lesson when it comes to non-Jews.

Prof.

Ishay Rosen-Zvi

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No Heaven or Hell, Only Sheʾol

Sheʾol and its synonyms, בּוֹר “pit,” שַׁחַת “chasm,” and אֲבַדּוֹן “oblivion,” was the fate of all people upon death. The wicked were sent there early, while the righteous were rewarded with a long life. During the Second Temple period, the negative attitude about death and sheʾol develops into a concept of post-mortem punishment and eventually hell. 1 Enoch’s four chambers for the dead is the first step in that direction.

Prof.

Meghan Henning

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