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God, Anger and Ideology

A study of the growth of Joshua and Judges illustrates how the theme of divine anger has been used differently, according to different historical and social settings. In the deuteronomistic texts the main reason for God's anger is idolatry, which symbolizes a totally negative attitude to everything that God has done or given to the Israelites. This theology of anger is deeply bound to experiences of national catastrophes or threats of crises, and reflects the theological enigma of the exile. A century later, post-deuteronomistic theology gives a wholly different view: the anger of God becomes an instrument of the power struggles between the Israelite parties, or is used for protecting existing leadership.