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'rewards and Punishments Come Only After Death' Discuss

Essay 'rewards and Punishments Come Only After Death' Discuss and over other 27,000+ free term papers, essays and research papers examples are available on the website!

Autor:   •  April 9, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,146 Words (5 Pages)  •  537 Views

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The concept of rewards and punishments developed alongside the relationship between God and his chosen people. Originally, the belief was held that that there was no afterlife at all, only 'Sheol', a shadowy underworld; the accepted view was those who prospered in life were being rewarded by God and those who didn't were being punished; as can be seen through Ezekiel 18, Jeremiah 7. However, this was problematic as it was clear that the righteous often suffered and the wicked prospered. This led to a shift in emphasis as can be seen in the texts Deutro-Isaiah 53, 2 Maccabees 7 and Daniel 12. Therefore, whilst the texts prior to Deutro-Isaiah 53 would argue that rewards and punishments only come in this life, Maccabees would disagree and state that rewards and punishments were experience in both this and the afterlife, whereas Daniel concludes that judgment occurs only in the next life.

Ezekiel 18 can be seen to support the idea that Rewards and Punishments are experienced during life on earth. This is evident through a passage in Ezekiel's message that states that: 'The one who has sinned is the one to die'. This would appear to indicate that sinners would be punished during their life, rather than after it. Furthermore, another passage in Ezekiel states that: 'If the wicked repents and adheres to the laws, he will live, not die'. Similarly, this illustrates the idea that Rewards and Punishments occur during a person's earthly life and not after death. In conclusion, this would appear to disagree with the question and instead support the idea that Rewards and Punishments are experienced during life on earth.

Jeremiah 7, commonly known as 'The Temple Scroll' would also appear to indicate that Rewards and Punishments are experienced in this life. This can be seen through the fact that in Jeremiah, God threatens to abandon the people as punishment; which would result in an invasion: 'foe from the North'; the Babylonian Army. This clearly indicates that the chosen people will be punished through the means of invasion by a foreign power. An invasion, under divine command, would have had severe affects on the lives of the Israelites, many would be killed: 'Terror on every side' and even the Temple is to be destroyed which represents the Israelites closeness with God. Therefore, it is evident that Jeremiah 7 supports the idea that Punishments are experienced during a person's time on earth. Similarly, Jeremiah can be seen to support the idea that Rewards are also experienced during a person's time on earth. This is evident through: 'I shall let you stay in this place, in the country I gave for ever to your ancestors of old'. This would appear to indicate that Yahweh's reward to the Israelites would be to allow them to live in the land he had promised in the Abrahamic Covenant; this is a material reward, which can only be appreciated in this life. In conclusion, this would appear to disagree with the idea that 'Rewards and Punishments come only after death' and instead support the view that Rewards and Punishments are experienced during life on earth.

Deutro-Isaiah 53 often referred to as 'The Third Servant Song' can be seen to challenge the view that rewards and punishments occur only during a person's life. This evident through the fact that Isaiah speaks of the 'servant' suffering vicariously on behalf of the people: 'Ours the sorrows he was crying'. This challenged the

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