Severe Grace: An Examination of the Benevolence of the God Character in the Ten Plagues in Exodus 7:1-12:32 and in the Book of Jonah


Paul Faust

Publication Date

January 2011

Document Type



English Language and Literature


Dr. Prior was a reader on the committee for this thesis.


In Exodus 34:6-7, God claims to be "a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty." This claim to coexistent mercy and wrath figures as a central claim regarding the benevolence of the God character in both the Ten Plagues Narrative in Exodus 7:1-12:32 and in the Book of Jonah. This thesis examines the God character's claim to benevolence in those two passages and claims that, based upon the literary data of those primary texts within the broader context of the Hebrew Bible, the actions and words of the God character are demonstrably benevolent toward the other characters present.