“I am God and Not Human” (Hos 11,9) : Can Divine Compassion Overcome our Anthropomorphisms?

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1 Citation (SciVal)


Hos 11,8-9 is characterized by its strong anthropomorphic language
and by its (illusory?) disassociation from it. A reference to Israel’s God as “not human” motivates the unexpected change of mind and compassion for God’s Israel. This article is based on a tradition-historical oriented typological reading of the expression “I am God and not human.” It suggests a new interpretation of this expression which throws a new light on the notoriously difficult conclusion of the passage: “I will not enter the city.” The exegetical discussion
normally focuses on what is going on in YHWH’s mind and heart,
but also on the alleged struggle between anger and love. The author’s interpretation points to the risk of transforming the pain of God into an internal transaction, with which it is hard to sympathize and to feel involved.
For many of us, the dynamic notion of God found
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-151
JournalScandinavian Journal of the Old Testament
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Philosophy, Ethics and Religion


  • Bible
  • Old Testament
  • God
  • Hosea
  • anthropomorphisms
  • divine repentance
  • holiness
  • compassion
  • Sodom


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