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Home > Dictionaries > Holman Bible Dictionary > IMPRECATION, IMPRECATORY PSALMS

Holman Bible Dictionary

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Act of invoking a curse. In the Imprecatory Psalms the author calls for God to bring misfortune and disaster upon the enemies (Psalms 5:1; Psalms 11:1; Psalms 17:1; Psalms 35:1; Psalms 55:1; Psalms 59:1; Psalms 69:1; Psalms 109:1; Psalms 137:1; Psalms 140:1). These Psalms are an embarrassment to many Christians who see them in tension with Jesus' teaching on love of enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). It is important to recall the theological principles that underlie such Psalms. These include: (1) the principle that vengeance belongs to God (Deuteronomy 32:35; Psalms 94:1) that excludes personal retaliation and necessitates appeal to God to punish the wicked (compare Romans 12:19); (2) the principle that God's righteousness demands judgment on the wicked (Psalms 5:6; Psalms 11:5-6); (3) the principle that God's covenant love for the people of God necessitates intervention on their part (Psalms 5:7; Psalms 59:10,Psalms 59:16-17); and (4) the principle of prayer that believers trust God with all their thoughts and desires. See Blessing and Cursing.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'IMPRECATION, IMPRECATORY PSALMS'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1991.


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