“And You Became Mine” (Ezek 16:8): Good and Evil in a Narcissistic God

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Scholars have defended the cruel behavior of the biblical god as being justified, due to the supposition of God being perfectly omnipotent and infallible. However, one cannot be obtuse to the depictions of Yhwh himself about his feelings and actions, as expressed through biblical narratives and brought forth by his emissaries, the prophets. When observing the prophecies of Ezekiel, for example, through a modern psychological lens, God’s relationship with his subjects, and especially with his offspring—the nation of Israel—reveals clear patterns of malignant narcissistic behavior. This study proposes that evil is an immanent part of God’s nature in the Hebrew Bible. The texts make no effort to disguise God’s narcissistic nature in his behavior towards his chosen one, a behavior that resonates with patterns one would define as evil. Moreover, the texts reflect the willingness of followers to acknowledge their situation as being trapped in an abusive relationship with a vicious patron.

Original languageEnglish
Article number967
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
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  • Ezekiel 16
  • biblical theology
  • divine incest
  • evilness in God
  • familial imagery
  • narcissistic parenting
  • narcissistic personality disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies


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