Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Sacred Theology (STM)


Exegetical Theology

First Advisor

Horace Hummel

Scripture References in this Resource

1 Kings 9:7; 1 Samuel 16:14; 1 Samuel 4; 1 Samuel 8:18; 2 Chronicles 30:9; Amos 5:22; Deuteronomy 1:41-46; Deuteronomy 23:14; Deuteronomy 31:16-18; Deuteronomy 32:19-20; Exodus 33:3; Ezekiel 10-11; Ezekiel 20:3, 31; Ezekiel 39:23-24; Ezekiel 7:22; Ezekiel 8:18; Genesis 3; Genesis 4:14-16; Hosea 5:14-6:6; Hosea 5:6; Hosea 9:12; Isaiah 1:15; Isaiah 45:15; Isaiah 57:14-21; Isaiah 58:3; Isaiah 59:1-2; Isaiah 63:10; Isaiah 8:17; Jeremiah 11:11, 14; Jeremiah 14:11-12; Jeremiah 15:1; Jeremiah 18:17; Jeremiah 23:39; Jeremiah 32:31; Jeremiah 33:5; Jeremiah 52:3; Jeremiah 7:15-16; Joshua 7:12; Judges 16:20; Leviticus 26:31; Micah 3:4-7; Numbers 12:9-10; Numbers 14:39-45; Proverbs 15:29; Psalms 27:9; Psalms 51:11; Psalms 66:18; Psalms 78:59-60; Psalms 89:46


The purpose of this study is to show that not only was the Deus Absens, the Absent God, an important part of Old Testament thought, but also that this motif was used by the various authors of the Old Testament as one means to express the judgment of God. This is not to say that every text in which God's absence is referred to must be understood as a judgment text. In some cases God's Absence is to be attributed to His transcendent nature rather than to His judgment. This is particularly true of the many passages in the Psalms in which the Psalmist wonders where God is and why He does not act for His servant. In other texts, Isaiah 45:15 for example, God's hiddenness refers to His mysterious way of acting rather than to his absence in judgment. In turn, both of these may have their roots in what Gerhard von Rad viewed as the distinction between the theology of manifestation and the theology of abiding presence in the Old Testament.3 When all of these texts are omitted there still remain a significant number of texts in which God’s absence is directly connected with His anger. The Present God becomes the Absent God in judgment. It is with these texts and with this motif that this study is concerned.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.