Newbold College

Department of Theological Studies








 Presented in the Fulfilment

of the Requirements of the Course

BDBS 221 Prophets and Writings




Allan Falk

 April 2006



 Many Christians are troubled by the role corporate punishment plays in God’s dealings with his people, as they are narrated in Joshua and other places in the Old Testament. The question is how should these seemingly difficult ethical issues be understood?

        The purpose of this study is therefore an attempt to shed some light on the issues concerning corporate punishment, to make the study more practical I will try to look at three issues related to corporate punishment in Joshua chapter seven.[1]

1)      How was it possible for a just God to let his people execute Achan’s children for a crime their father committed?

2)      How could God let thirty-six soldiers die on account of Achan’s crime?

3)      Why did God remove his support from the entire congregation, because of the sin of one man?

        I am doing this research because it is a question I and many others are struggling with. How can a just God do like that?

        This being a relatively small paper, I will not try to answer questions like. Why is God so frequently using death as punishment in the Old Testament? Or why God destroyed som many nations to create room for the Israelites? I will only deal with issues related to corporate punishment.

        The basic assumption for this work is that the Bible is God’s true word, and that the reader has a reasonable acquaintance with the Old Testament.

        The task will be accomplished in the following steps:

1)      Joshua chapter seven:

a)      Exegesis/analysis of Joshua seven.

b)      Ethical problems arising from Joshua seven

2)      Explanations given

  1. Joshua seven an apologetic
  2. Corporate personality
  3. Individual legal system
  4. Taking the devoted
  5. The authors ideas

3)      Parallels to other Biblical texts with similar ethical problems

4)      The second commandment

5)      Ezekiel chapter eighteen

6)      Discussion of the three ethical issues in Joshua seven:

a)      The execution of Achan’s children.

b)      The death of thirty-six innocent soldiers.

c)      The whole congregation left by God.

7)      Conclusion.



In this study of the problems concerning corporate punishment in the Old Testament, I will concentrate on the story about Achan in Joshua chapter seven; from there I will draw parallels to other Biblical narratives. This seems to be a good approach for at least two reason, it is a very well known story to most people, and several scholars have been discussing that story during most of the twentieth century;[2] secondly seen with our modern western mindset, it is a pretty horrible story about children being stoned and burned because their father committed a crime against God and the nation.[3]


This will not be a complete exegesis of Joshua 7; I will exegete the sections where I find something important concerning the ethical issues in question. Parts of it I will leave to explain itself, and parts of it I will comment on.

Joshua 7, 1 But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the LORD's anger burned against Israel.

         It seems that Achan took some of the devoted things Joshua had warned them against taking in Joshua 6, 18. With reference to Leviticus 27, 28 it is likely that the devoted things were devoted to God, and therefore most holy.

        Finally this introduction tells us that all the Israelites were regarded unfaithful because of Achan’s personal sin; therefore God was angry with all of them.

Joshua 7, 2-5 Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, "Go up and spy out the region." So the men went up and spied out Ai.

 3 When they returned to Joshua, they said, "Not all the people will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary all the people, for only a few men are there."

 4 So about three thousand men went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai,

 5 who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted and became like water.

         The only comment I find necessary here is, that it seems as Joshua might have forgotten to ask for Gods counsel before the Israelites attacked Ai. In Numbers 27, 21 he was instructed to do so.

Joshua 7, 6-9 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the LORD, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads.

 7 And Joshua said, "Ah, Sovereign LORD, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan!

 8 O Lord, what can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies?

 9 The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?"

         This whole scene takes place before the ark of the Lord; that was where they meet their God asking for advice. It tells us how they showed their grief, but more interestingly it gives us the understanding that Joshua did not knew where the problem was.

Joshua 7, 10-12 The LORD said to Joshua, "Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?

 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.

 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.

         Gods command to Joshua, “Stand up” seems to imply that it was time for action. Then God told Joshua what they had done, they had broken the covenant by both stealing and lying. I find it very interesting that the plural form “they” are used all the way through these verses. Achan committed the act, but the entire congregation is held responsible.

        In verse 12 it is almost implied that taking what was devoted to destruction, devoted the Israelites themselves to destruction; therefore God would not be with them before they removed the devoted items.

Joshua 7, 13-15 "Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, 'Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: That which is devoted is among you, O Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it.

 14 "'In the morning, present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe that the LORD takes shall come forward clan by clan; the clan that the LORD takes shall come forward family by family; and the family that the LORD takes shall come forward man by man.

 15 He who is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him. He has violated the covenant of the LORD and has done a disgraceful thing in Israel!'"

         Here Joshua is told to tell the Israelites that they have some devoted things among them, and therefore they can not win against their enemies as long as they are there. The Israelites are given one day to cleanse themselves both outside and inside in their hearts. Finally they are told that God will reveal what they do not confess themselves, and that the punishment will be destruction of the sinner with all his belongings, which in ancient Jewish culture probably included his wife and children. This seems to have been a great opportunity for Achan to confess. Someone can wonder why he, his wife or his children never went to Joshua and revealing their problem.

Joshua 7, 16-19 Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was taken.

 17 The clans of Judah came forward, and he took the Zerahites. He had the clan of the Zerahites come forward by families, and Zimri was taken.

 18 Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.

         It seems to be implied that God had instructed them how he would point out the culprit, maybe it was by lot.[4] The main point is that God revealed that it was Achan, who had sinned.

Joshua 7, 19-21 Then Joshua said to Achan, "My son, give glory to the LORD, the God of Israel, and give him the praise. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me."

 20 Achan replied, "It is true! I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I have done:

 21 When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath."

         This verses tell us that Achan acknowledges that he is the sinner, he tells in details what he did, but we do not se any sincere repentance in him.

Joshua 7, 22.23 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath.

 23 They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before the LORD.

         Here the proof is presented for Joshua, the Israelites and God himself.

Joshua 7, 24-26 Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold wedge, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor.

 25 Joshua said, "Why have you brought this trouble on us? The LORD will bring trouble on you today." Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them.

 26 Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the LORD turned from his fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since.

        In accordance with verse 15 these verses tell us straight forward that Achan together with his sons, daughters and animals were killed. Then it is stated that all Israel did it; which probably means that they were all present and consented.

        The great pile of stones heaped over them, which remained there for a long time, could imply that the Israelites were supposed to remember the incident. Maybe God tried to teach an important lesson.


After this reading through of Joshua seven, I am ready to identify the three problematic ethical issues already mentioned in the introduction.

1) The first one is found in verse five, where we according to verse twelve have thirty-six men  killed because Israel as a whole have lost Gods favour, which they according to verse one lost because one man stole something devoted. The question is can it be ethically correct that God allowed these thirty-six men to die because of one mans sin?

2) The second problem has already been touched in previous. It is found in verse one as well as verse twelve. How could God remove his support from the Israelite nation because of one mans sin?

3) The third and maybe most horrible question for us as individualistic westerners, comes from verse fifteen and twenty-five. How could God demand that the Israelites burned Achan’s children together with him?


Taking into consideration the cruelty which took place in Joshua seven and other similar Old Testament narratives, it is by far strange that these incidents have been questioned. It is therefore also obvious that several scholars have been presenting their ideas on this subject. In this work I will present the ideas of four different scholars, and finally add a few of my own ideas. What has puzzled me is that I have not found any old literature on the matter, before the twentieth century I have only found commentaries. Maybe it is a new trend to question the God Almighty.


The date for the authorship of Joshua is widely disputed. Jewish tradition tells us that Joshua himself wrote most of the book. Conservative scholars argue that an eyewitness and contemporary of Joshua wrote it, but more critical scholars say that it was probably written in the late period of Kings or in the post-exilic period. That can give us a difference of up to eight hundred years.[5]

        This disagreement is interesting because some scholars think that narratives like the one about Achan are apologetic. R. E. Clements suggests that stories like he ones in Joshua 1-9 might have reached their final form in the exilic period.[6] They needed to explain why they were in exile in Babylon. Maybe they compared Judah’s neglect in implementing Gods commands to the neglect of Achan.

        For the purpose of this paper, I have decided to follow the line of the conservative scholars, which is in line with my personal belief. I shall not here try to defend that position apart from just mentioning Joshua 5, 6 where the word “us”[7] is used by the author.


Reading through the work of different scholars on the issue in question, a certain name pups up almost everywhere, and that is Henry Wheeler Robinson.

        He was an English Baptist theologian and Old Testament scholar and as such he wrote a book titled The Christian Doctrine of Man;[8] in that book we find the notion of corporate personality.

        Mr. Robinson introduced this notion of corporate personality as a tool to understand pre-exilic Hebrew thought better. He wrote, ‘Whether in relation to man or to God, the individual person was conceived and treated as merged in the larger group of family or clan or nation.’[9] 

        With this notion Robinson explains a long line of the problematic narratives and laws in the Old Testament.


J. R. Porter acknowledges that the notion “corporate personality” defined by Robinson is a very helpful tool when we are dealing with issues in the Old Testament, but he is also sounding a warning.[10] He is especially pointing at the Hebrew laws; they are according to him not designed after the concept “corporate personality”. They are made on the basis of individuals, meant to deal with the guilt of an individual, and the punishment of an individual.[11]Porter has therefore now questioned the way Robinson explained many of the Old Testament narratives using the notion corporate personality.


Joel S. Kaminsky directs our attention to Joshua 7, 12 and argues that this notion of devoting the enemy and their possessions to destruction or to God is sacral in its nature, and that it therefore has a taboo which can be transmitted if the devoted persons or items are not handled in the correct way.[12]Or to put it in other words, he suggests that this taboo might have been contagious in some way or another.


In the remaining part of the paper I will try to bring evidence supporting Porters view that the legal system in the Old Testament was indeed individualistic. By doing so I will not try to deny the notion of corporate personality, but I will suggest that notions like corporate responsibility and corporate consequences are certainly also present.

        I have already rejected Clements argument that the narrative might be an apologetic, so I will not go deeper into that, but I will bring a small argument against Kaminskys suggestion that the devoted items might have been contagious.

        To make a foundation for my arguments I will go through a number of Old Testament narratives, which I thing can give some insight into the issue in question. Finally I will take a brief look at Ezekiel 18 and the second commandment in Exodus 20.


In this section I will take a small look at a number of Old Testament narratives, showing where I think they are shedding some light on the way God dealt with transgressors in that period of time.

         A parallel to another Biblical text where some children were punished together with their parents and others were not.

       In Numbers chapter 16 we have the narrative about how Korah, Dathan and Abiram lead out in an open rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. The final result was that God opened the ground and had all of them buried alive.

        The question is who were buried together with Korah, Dathan and Abiram? Num 16, 27 tell us that the wives and children were buried together with Dathan and Abiram, and Num 26, 11 tell us that at least some of Korah’s sons were not buried together with him.

        This suggests that God does not treat all the same; Korah’s sons were not killed together with him, like the sons of Dathan and Abiram.

 A parallel to another Biblical text where one committed a sin, but two were punished.

        In Num 20 we find one of the occasions where the Israelites were missing water, God told Moses to speak to the cliff, but in his anger Moses end up hitting the cliff with his staff.

        Immediately God tells Moses and Aaron, what their punishment will be. Moses alone did the wrong act, but they were both punished.

        In verse 12 God states their guilt, he says, “because you did not trust enough in me”. This indicates that God is not only looking at peoples acts; he is also weighing people’s motives and moral status. So because Moses and Aaron had the same lack of faith, they were both guilty.

 A parallel to another Biblical text where the leader was not punished.  

        The story about the golden calf in Exodus 32 is quite remarkable, the people wanting and enjoying the idolatrous experience were punished, but the active leader was not punished.

        Verse four plainly tells us that Aaron made the idol, verse five tells us that he was the one building the alter, and finally he also announced the idolatrous festival. However he was not punished, instead he was promoted to the rank of high priest.

        The Biblical text does not explain this dilemma, but I suspect that God reads peoples motives and judges after them, rather than after their actions.                                                                                                           

A parallel to a text showing how people can be affected by events, which are out of their own control.

        Daniel 1 tells the story about how God gave Jerusalem into the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar as a result of Israel’s neglect in keeping their covenant with God. Together with everybody else Daniel was taken to Babylon, he was not particularly guilty, but he had to carry a corporate responsibility and consequence for the wrong doings of the nation.   

A parallel to a text where somebody escaped the ban.

In Joshua 6 we have the story about how Rahab a sinful prostitute living in Jericho escaped the ban, because she had a positive attitude to God. In the very next chapter we have our story about how Achan a good Israelite looses his life because of his disrespect towards Gods instructions.

        Rahab saved the lives of all her relatives because she accepted that she as a person and all her belongings were doomed to destruction by the Israelite God.[13]

        Achan got all his relatives killed because he could not accept that the devoted items were really the property of the Lord.

         The difference between Rahab and Achan, might have been that she recognised Gods authority he did not.[14]


A parallel to a text where one persons act influences many

In Genesis three we have the story about how Eve through her one disobedience brought sin into this world; her one mistake has affected us all. Equally we know that Jesus through his one sinless life saved us all.

        It seems to be a universal law that one persons act can impact on many.



I am bringing the second commandment to the reader’s attention because it might prove to hold a key to the understanding of why Achan’s children were killed together with him.

        The second commandment found in Exodus twenty reads like this: ‘for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,’[15]

        If this is not supposed to contradict Deuteronomy 24, 16 then there most be some kind of explanation or interpretation in relation to the word punishing. Mrs. White has suggested that the children are not punished because of the parent’s sins, but through inheritance a lot of moral problems are easily transferred from one generation to the next. God does not interfere with natural courses, if a child grows up in an environment with low moral; he or she also easily gets a low moral.[16]



I am winding up my research with Ezekiel eighteen because the entire chapter seems to reject the issue of corporate punishment. God tells us through the prophet Ezekiel, that the sinner will be punished for his or her wrong own doings and nobody else.

        In the introduction to Ezekiel eighteen, we find an interesting proverb: The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'?[17] It seems that the Israelites themselves were also debating the issue of corporate punishment.

        Whoever the message in Ezekiel eighteen can be summarized in four short sentences:

1) A sinner shall die because of his own sins.

2) A righteous shall live because of his righteousness.

3) A sinner turning away from his sins shall not die.

4) A righteous beginning to sin shall die.

        In the entire chapter God really deals with people in a very individualistic way. My question would be, has God always dealt with people in an individualistic way or has he changed over time? Was he dealing more corporate with people in ancient times, and then turned more individualistic later?



In this section I will turn back to the narrative in Joshua seven, and try to relate some of the thoughts and findings from the last three sections, that are the parallels to narratives in other Biblical texts and the thoughts from Exodus twenty and Ezekiel eighteen.



One explanation would be that Achan and his family were corporately punished because they were viewed as one corporate unity (corporate personality). Another could be that his wife and children were counted as his possessions, and therefore burned together with tent and other belongings.

        Whoever let me present one or two other solutions which could be implied through comparison with two of the other narratives.

        If we look at the situation through the story about Korah, Dathan and Abiram, where only som of the children were killed, then it could be implied that God makes a difference between the guilty and the not guilty.

        If we look at the situation through the story about Moses and Aaron, it is implied that you do not have to commit the action to be guilty; you only need to have the same morale.

        If Korah’s wife and children knew what were hidden in their tent, and they did not respond to Joshua’s call for repentance, then they were all equally guilty.

        Like Aaron had the same moral as Moses, Achan’s children could have had the same moral as their father; that would echo the wisdom from the second commandment.



The death of thirty- six innocent soldiers seems to equal Daniel’s situation when he was taken captive. They were probably not guilty of any particular sin themselves, but they had a corporate responsibility for the sin the Israelites as a nation had committed. The sad part for them was that they happened to be the ones, who also had to carry the corporate consequence of the nations quilt.



When I read about a whole congregation left by God, because of one culprit, I immediately think about Eve’s first mistake. How come that one person’s act can influence so many?

        I am yet to discover why it seems to be a fact, that many Biblical events follow two principles of corporate character, which I would term the principles of corporate responsibility and corporate consequence. I would like to study these principles deeper on another occasion.



My conclusion is that I do see much light in Robinsons notion of corporate personality, but I also se the need of caution sounded by Porter. I think that Porter was right when he emphasised that the legal system in the Old Testament is individualistic. I can whoever not see any support for Kaminsky’s idea about a contagious taboo being the reason behind the killing of Achan’s children; I think God is concerned with people’s character not what they might have been touching.

        As I tried to see the Old Testament narratives through Robinson’s notion of corporate personality, I really go interested in the notions of corporate responsibility and consequence. I would really like to study them further.




A Commentary, Critical, Experimental, and Practical on the Old and New Testaments,

        by Rev. Robert Jamieson, (Glasgow: William Collins, 1869) II


Britannica, ‘Henry Wheeler Robinson’,


        [accessed 09 April 2006]

Calvin John, Commentaries on The Book of Joshua, ed. by Henry Beveridge,

        Calvin’s Commentaries, 22 vols (MI: Baker Books, 2003)

Clements, R. E., ‘Achan’s Sin: Warfare and Holiness’, in Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do what is Right?: Studies on the Nature of God in Tribute to James L. Crenshaw,

        Ed. by David Penchansky and Paul L. Redditt (IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000), pp. 113-126

Commentary on the Old Testament, by C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, 10 vols

        (MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1975), II, 74-83

Kaminsky, S. Joel, ‘Joshua 7: Reassessment of Israelite Conceptions of Corporate punishment’,

        in The Pitcher is Broken: Memorial Essays for Gösta W. Ahlström, ed. by Steven W. Holloway and Lowell K. Handy (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), pp. 315-346

Ngan, Lai Ling Elizabeth, ‘A Teaching outline for the Book of Joshua’,

        Review and Expositor, 95 (1998), 161-168

Porter, Joshua Roy, ‘Legal aspects of the concept of corporate personality in the Old Testament’, Vestus testamentum, 15 (1965), 361-380

 Robinson, H. Wheeler, The Christian Doctrine of Man, 2nd edn (Edinburg: T. & T. Clerke, 1926

Rogerson, John W., ‘Hebrew conception of corporate personality: a re-examination’,

        Journal of Theological Studies’, 21 (1970), 1-16

Spina, Frank Anthony, ‘Rahab the Isralite & Achan the Canaanite’,

        Bible Review, 17 no 4 (2001), 25-54

Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary, ed. by Francis D. Nichol, 7vols

        (WA: Review and Herald, 1954), I, 603

Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary, ed. by Francis D. Nichol, 7vols

        (WA: Review and Herald, 1954), II, 205-211

Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Dictionary, by Horn, Siegfried H.,

        (WA: Review and Herald, 1960), 604-605

The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. by David Noel Freedman, 6 vols

        (NY: Doubleday, 1992) III
The NIV Study Bible (London: Zondervan, 2003)

Thompson, Alden, Who’s afraid of the Old Testament God? (Exetere: Paternoster Press, 1988)

White, E. G., Patriarker og Profeter, (København: Dansk Bogforlag, 1962)

Wikipedia, ‘Book of Joshua’,

        <> [accessed 22 March 2006]


[1] S. Joel Kaminsky, ‘Joshua 7: Reassessment of Israelite Conceptions of Corporate punishment’,

        in The Pitcher is Broken: Memorial Essays for Gösta W. Ahlström, ed. by Steven W. Holloway and Lowell K. Handy (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), p. 320

[2] Robinson, H. Wheeler, The Christian Doctrine of Man, 2nd edn (Edinburg: T. & T. Clerke, 1926), p. 29

[3] R. E. Clements, ‘Achan’s Sin: Warfare and Holiness’, in Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do what is Right?: Studies on the Nature of God in Tribute to James L. Crenshaw,

        Ed. by David Penchansky and Paul L. Redditt (IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000), p. 113

[4] Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary, ed. by Francis D. Nichol, 7vols

        (WA: Review and Herald, 1954), II, 209

[5] Wikipedia, ‘Book of Joshua’,

        <> [accessed 22 March 2006]

[6] R. E. Clements, ‘Achan’s Sin: Warfare and Holiness’, in Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do what is Right?: Studies on the Nature of God in Tribute to James L. Crenshaw,

        Ed. by David Penchansky and Paul L. Redditt (IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000), p. 124

[7] Joshua 5,6 The Israelites had moved about in the desert forty years until all the men who were of military age when they left Egypt had died, since they had not obeyed the LORD. For the LORD had sworn to them that they would not see the land that he had solemnly promised their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.

[8] Britannica, ‘Henry Wheeler Robinson’,

        <>  [accessed 09 April 2006]

[9] H. Wheeler Robinson, The Christian Doctrine of Man, 2nd edn (Edinburg: T. & T. Clerke, 1926), p. 27

[10] Porter, Joshua Roy, ‘Legal aspects of the concept of corporate personality in the Old Testament’, Vestus testamentum, 15 (1965), p. 361

[11] Porter, Joshua Roy,  p. 378

[12] Kaminsky, S. Joel, ‘Joshua 7: Reassessment of Israelite Conceptions of Corporate punishment’, in The Pitcher is Broken: Memorial Essays for Gösta W. Ahlström, ed. by Steven W. Holloway and Lowell K. Handy (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), p. 336

[13] Joshua 2, 8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof  9 and said to them, "I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.

[14] Spina, Frank Anthony, ‘Rahab the Isralite & Achan the Canaanite’,

        Bible Review, 17 no 4 (2001), P. 25

[15] Exodus 20, 4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,  6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

[16] White, E. G., Patriarker og Profeter, (København: Dansk Bogforlag, 1962), p. 152

[17] Ezekiel 18, 2 "What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: "'The fathers eat sour  grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'?

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