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1. As elsewhere in antiquity, so too in Israel the curse and its opposite (Blessing) were understood primarily as words of power that were thought to take effect magically. The curse was a materialized, harmful force that flew across the earth, overtook the one against whom it was uttered, and brought about his or her destruction (Zech. 5:1–4). To avert it, there was need of a countercurse (Gen. 27:29; Num. 24:9; Ps. 140:9–11) or of an opposing blessing (Judg. 17:2; 1 Kgs. 2:44–45). Fear of the automatic operation of a curse led to the use of “bless” as a euphemism for “curse” (Job 1:5; 2:9) or to…

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Schottroff, Willy, “Curse”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 28 January 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_C1587>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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