Jag är Gud och inte människa (Hos 11:9) : Kan Guds medlidande besegra våra antropomorfa gudsbilder?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article analyses the Bible’s most famous and debated texts which express divine repentance. 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. The exegetical discussion habitually focuses on what is going on in YHWH’s mind and heart, but also on the alleged struggle between anger and love. 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 notorious difficult conclusion of the passage: ‘I will not enter the city’. The author also problematizes the influence from the Lutheran tradition’s understanding of ‘God against God’ on the exegetical discussion, i.e., the passage is supposed to mirror an inner struggle within the Deity ‘for our sake’. This understanding runs the risk of transforming the pain of God to an internal transaction which is hard to sympathize with and to feel involved
Original languageSwedish
Pages (from-to)136-155
JournalTeologisk tidsskrift
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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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