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Curse
(650 words)

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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