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Poetic Justice in the Bible

Season
Season 4
Episode Number
126
Release Date
May 5, 2022
Tags
Literary DevicesJacobEsauEsther

Defining Poetic Justice

Poetic justice is "an outcome in which vice is punished and virtue rewarded usually in a manner peculiarly or ironically appropriate."[1] Essentially poetic justice is what someone gets what they deserve. We love to see this because it's the neat ending we alway want to see: we want to see the good guy lifted up and the bad guy punished. The first secular example that came to my mind while I was studying this topic was Ever After, a realistic version of Cinderella. In Ever After, the stepmother forces Cinderella into servant hood and mistreats her, but in the end Cinderella is married to the prince and the stepmother is forced to become a servant.

Biblical Examples

📖 Passage
👥 Who
👑 Poetic Justice
Genesis 25; 27; 29
Jacob & Esau
Jacob tricks Isaac into giving him Esau's blessing; Laban tricks Jacob into 14 years of work and marrying the wrong daughter
Exodus 1; 11
Israelites in Egypt
Pharaoh has Israelite children killed; God punishes Egypt by killing the firstborns in the final plague
Esther 3-10
Esther & the Jews
Haman tries to get Mordecai and the Jews killed; Mordecai is exalted and Haman is killed
The Whole Bible
Everybody
The whole purpose of the Bible is the concept of the righteous gaining paradise and the serpent who took it from us being cast out forever

References and Footnotes

  1. "Poetic Justice". Merriam Webster Dictionary; visited May 2022

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PSALMS to God is a blog, podcast, and YouTube channel that discusses many topics and issues, always keeping YHWH as the anchor. Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”—here, the aim is to always ask questions and study to find the answers. You can keep up with new content by signing up for the weekly newsletter.

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