Divine retribution  

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Divine retribution is a supernatural punishment usually directed towards all or some portions of humanity by a deity.

This theological concept exists in virtually all major religions. Many cultures also have at least one story about how a deity exacted punishment on previous inhabitants of their land, causing their doom.

An example of divine retribution is the story found in many cultures about a great flood destroying part or nearly all of mankind, as described in the Epic of Gilgamesh or Book of Genesis (6:9-8:22), leaving one principle 'chosen' survivor. In the former example it is Utnapishtim, and in the latter example Noah. References in the Qur'an to a man named Nuh who was commanded by God to build an ark also suggest that one man and his followers were saved in a great flood.

Other examples in Hebrew religious literature include the dispersion of the builders of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:20-21, 19:23-28), and the Ten Plagues visited upon the ancient Egyptians for persecuting God's chosen people, the Children of Israel (Exodus, Chapters 7-12).

Christian beliefs have the final wrath just subsequent to the Great Tribulation (persecution from Satan and the Beast/Antichrist). Revelation hold God to sound trumpets and pour from vials/bowls to afflict the remaining disobedient population of the planet.

The concept of divine retribution is controversial because stories of divine retribution often depict God as acting in an irrational way, punishing the innocent, and killing even children and babies in his fury.

Popular culture

Divine retribution is the driving force of Shakespeare's War of the Roses tetralogy, comprising the plays 1 Henry VI, 2 Henry VI, 3 Henry VI and Richard III, in which the Houses of York and Lancaster are made to atone for the sin of deposing a rightful king, Richard II.

In the movie The Divine Enforcer (1992), a priest becomes a vigilante in response to increased crime in Los Angeles. He falls for a young lady who has visions of a serial killer murdering people. But when she gets kidnapped by the killer himself, the priest speaks these words, "Open the gates of Hell! For I am the right hand of God!"

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Divine retribution" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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