divine-foreknowledge

Genesis 1:27-28 English Standard Version (ESV)

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

It was God’s intention that his first couple, namely, Adam and Eve were to procreate, and cultivate the Garden of Eden until it covered the entire earth, filled with humans worshipping him. – Genesis 1:28

If the first couple had not rebelled, they and their offspring could have lived forever.–Genesis 2:15-17

One of the angels in heaven (who became Satan), abused his free will (James 1:14-15). He then willfully chose to rebel against God. Satan used a lowly serpent to contribute to Adam and Eve abusing their free will, and disobeying God, believing they did not need him, and could walk on their own. – Genesis 3:1-6; Job 1-2.

God removed the rebellious Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. (Gen. 3:23-24) The first human couple had children, but they all grew old and eventually died. (Gen. 3:19; Rom. 5:12), just as the animals died. – Ecclesiastes 3:18-20

Genesis 6:5 (AT) tells us just before the flood of Noah, that “the wickedness of man on earth was great, and the whole bent of his thinking was never anything but evil.” After the flood, God said of man, “the bent of man’s mind may be evil from his very youth.” (Gen 8:21, AT) Jeremiah 10:23 tells us “that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.” Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Yes, the man was not designed to walk on his own. However, the man was also not designed with absolute free will, but free will under the sovereignty of his Creator. The imperfect man is mentally bent toward wickedness, fleshly desires, to which Satan has set up this world, so it caters to the fallen flesh of imperfect humans. The apostle John tells us, “For all that is in the world, the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life, is not from the Father but is from the world.” – 1 John 2:16.

Getting back to Genesis 1:27 that says, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them,” which means that man is born with a moral nature, which creates within him a conscience that reflects God’s moral values. (Rom 2:14-15) It acts as a moral law within all imperfect humans but even more so, those who have trained the conscience with God’s Word. However, it has an opponent as fallen man also possesses the “law of sin,” ‘missing the mark of perfection,’ the natural desire toward wickedness. Listen to the internal battle of the apostle Paul. –Romans 6:12; 7:22-23.

Romans 7:21-24 English Standard Version (ESV)

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

However, there is hope,

Romans 7:25 English Standard Version (ESV)

25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Yes, even imperfect man and woman have a conscience that reflects God’s moral values. Therefore, when we hear of such things as ones being tortured, it is repugnant to us. Even if the person has committed some heinous crime, it is still sickening and abhorrent to the human mind, which reflects God’s moral values on a small scale in our human imperfection. Therefore, we can only wonder how God, who has perfect moral values, would view the idea of torturing humans for an eternity, which is what the hellfire doctrine teaches.

Jeremiah 7:31 English Standard Version (ESV)

31 And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind.

Imagine if we can, we have come home to find that our husband has inserted a pipe up the rectum of our 17-year-old daughter, with it coming out her mouth. He has her over a fire and is slowly cooking her alive. He has the fire set, so it will burn her very slowly, lasting days. He says that he is tired of her sinful actions, and she must pay for her rebellious spirit. How would our Christian conscience take that scene, would we simply set our purse down, and start helping him turn her on the thin rod on which she is impaled for roasting over the fire? Would we have no feeling as she screams out in agony? How do we place a loving and just God in such a light, when we only have a fraction of his moral values, and know that this scene would be so shocking and hurtful, it is unthinkable. Likely, as the reader started this paragraph, the language of even saying such things was so revolting that we have questioned why we even bought such a book. Keep in mind, it is our God given conscience that made us feel that way.

Regardless of this hypothetical daughter’s sinful nature, and her rebellious spirit, a parent’s heart would be torn in two. The disdain for the husband, the one who applied the torture, would be unbearable. The love of God is merciful and has the feeling of sympathy. A loving father may choose to punish his child but never torture. In fact, the United States will not allow any form of capital punishment (i.e., death penalty) that includes any pain and suffering. This is true, even when they are executing people for the vilest crimes.

Nevertheless, much of Christianity teaches that God is a torturer, and his form of justice is to exceed the crime, because he is vindictive, as a human rejected his sovereignty, so he burns this one alive, in an eternal hellfire. If a child refused to follow the rules of the house, would we kick her out, or would we burn her slowly over a fiery pit in the backyard? Which is more just, to kick a person out of eternal life (annihilationism), or to torturously burn them alive for an eternity. Who would create a torture chamber, and see that as justice? Would this be one who is repeatedly described as the epitome of love, justice, mercy, kindness, and wisdom?

1 John 4:8 English Standard Version (ESV)

8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Unreasonable Doctrine?

Does the above almighty being inflict eternal torture on a person, who has only sinned for 70 years? Does this sound like a person that deserves to be loved? Did not Adolf Hitler do the same thing to the Jews and Christians? Even if a human sinned every day of an 80-year lifetime grievously, would eternal fiery torment be a just punishment? Hardly! It would be unjust to God, who already told us how to view justice when he said an eye for an eye, a life for a life.

Deuteronomy 32:4 English Standard Version (ESV)

4 “The Rock, his work is perfect,

    for all his ways are justice.

A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,

    just and upright is he.

What Does Deuteronomy 32:4 Mean?

God’s justice, like every other aspect of his unparalleled personality, is perfect, not lacking in anything. Every time God expresses his justice, it is flawless, never too lenient and never too harsh.

Holman Old Testament Commentary

32:1-4. Although the words of Moses in his song were designed to testify against Israel’s coming defections, the true subject of the song was the greatness of our God. Once convicted of their sin, Israel would be brought back to God not by the failure of their idols but by the supreme faithfulness and beauty of the Rock of Israel, a God who does no wrong.[1]

New American Commentary

32:3–4 There clearly is a subject shift in v. 3, where Moses appears as a character witness on the Lord’s behalf. Also addressing the heavens and the earth, he extols the Lord’s greatness, especially by the public proclamation of his name, that is, of his reputation (v. 3; cf. Exod 33:19; 34:5–6). The expected result was that all who heard should ascribe greatness (“praise”) to God. Knowledge of God can lead to no other response than to acknowledge his might. Specific expressions of his power are his identification as “the Rock” (haṣṣûr; cf. vv. 15, 18, 30; Hab 1:12), the foundation and fortress (cf. Pss 31:3; 62:7; 71:3; 89:26; 95:1; Isa 30:29) whose works are upright (thus tāmîm, “having integrity”) and whose ways are characterized by justice (mišpāṭ, “rectitude”; cf. Gen 18:25; Job 40:8; Pss 111:7; 119:149). In the context of self-defense these attributes speak most particularly to the Lord’s own character. Thus he is also faithful in the sense that he is dependable (ʾĕmûnâ; cf. Pss 88:11; 89:2–3, 6, 9; Isa 25:1; Hos 2:19), devoid of any hint of injustice (ʾên ʿāwel), a God who is righteous and just in all he does (v. 4b). These descriptions are especially apropos in a legal setting in which the reputation of the Lord may be under attack as he himself proceeds to level charges of impropriety against his covenant partner Israel.[2]

The main thoughts here, which apply to our discussion is, “God does no wrong,” a God “devoid of any hint of injustice (ʾênʿāwel), a God, who is righteous and just in all he does (v. 4b).”

Tsadaq, “to be righteous, be in the right, be justified, be just.” This verb, which occurs fewer than 40 times in biblical Hebrew, is derived from the noun tsedeq. The basic meaning of tsadaq is “to be righteous.” It is a legal term which involves the whole process of justice. God “is righteous” in all of His relations …”[3]

Now, let us look at the Son of God, and his perception of retribution.

Matthew 5:38-42 English Standard Version (ESV)

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if any one slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

What Did Jesus Mean?

Holman New Testament Commentary

5:38–42. As many people do today, the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day must have taken the “eye for an eye” passages (Exod. 21:24; Lev. 24:19–20; Deut. 19:21) as justification for hurting others at least as badly as they had been hurt. The law was not given to exact revenge, but to legislate justice. Breaking the law has consequences, but personal vengeance has no place. These passages have often been wrongly taken as a minimum guideline for retaliation. What Jesus clarifies is that they were always intended as a maximum or a ceiling for retaliation, and that mercy was always an acceptable intention underlying these laws.

For the kingdom servant, legalistically “letting the punishment fit the crime” and insisting upon a “pound of flesh” falls short. We must actually consider blessing the repentant criminal. Mercy (withholding deserved punishment) and grace (giving undeserved gifts) are legitimate norms of conduct.

The one mile (5:41) refers to the practice of the Roman soldiers requiring civilians to carry their burden for one mile. By Roman law, the soldier could require no more than one mile of a single porter, but Jesus’ kingdom servants (in representing the gracious spirit of their king) are to go beyond what is required of them.[4]

New American Commentary

5:38–42 Jesus next alludes to Exod 21:24 and Deut. 19:21. Again, he formally abrogates an Old Testament command in order to intensify and internalize its application. This law originally prohibited the formal exaction of an overly severe punishment that did not fit a crime as well as informal, self-appointed vigilante action. Now Jesus teaches the principle that Christian kindness should transcend even straightforward tit-for-tat retribution. None of the commands of vv. 39–42 can easily be considered absolute; all must be read against the historical background of first-century Judaism. Nevertheless, in light of prevailing ethical thought Jesus contrasts radically with most others of his day in stressing the need to decisively break the natural chain of evil action and reaction that characterizes human relationships.

Antistēnai (“resist”) in v. 39 was often used in a legal context (cf. Isa 50:8) and in light of v. 40 is probably to be taken that way here. Jesus’ teaching then parallels 1 Cor 6:7 against not taking fellow believers to court, though it could be translated somewhat more broadly as “do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you” (GNB). We must nevertheless definitely resist evil in certain contexts (cf. Jas 4:7; 1 Pet 5:9). Striking a person on the right cheek suggests a backhanded slap from a typically right-handed aggressor and was a characteristic Jewish form of insult. Jesus tells us not to trade such insults even if it means receiving more. In no sense does v. 39 require Christians to subject themselves or others to physical danger or abuse, nor does it bear directly on the pacifism-just war debate. Verse 40 is clearly limited to a legal context. One must be willing to give as collateral an outer garment—more than what the law could require, which was merely an inner garment (cf. Exod 22:26–27). Coat and shirt reflect contemporary parallels to “cloak” and “tunic,” though both of the latter looked more like long robes. Verse 41 continues the legal motif by referring to Roman conscription of private citizens to help carry military equipment for soldiers as they traveled.

Each of these commands requires Jesus’ followers to act more generously than what the letter of the law demanded. “Going the extra mile” has rightly become a proverbial expression and captures the essence of all of Jesus’ illustrations. Not only must disciples reject all behavior motivated only by a desire for retaliation, but they also must positively work for the good of those with whom they would otherwise be at odds. In v. 42 Jesus calls his followers to give to those who ask and not turn from those who would borrow. He presumes that the needs are genuine and commands us not to ignore them, but he does not specifically mandate how best we can help. As Augustine rightly noted, the text says “give to everyone that asks,” not “give everything to him that asks” (De Sermone Domine en Monte 67). Compare Jesus’ response to the request made of him in Luke 12:13–15. It is also crucial to note that “a willingness to forego one’s personal rights, and to allow oneself to be insulted and imposed upon, is not incompatible with a firm stand for matters of principle and for the rights of others (cf. Paul’s attitude in Acts 16:37; 22:25; 25:8–12).” Verses 39–42 thus comprise a “focal instance” of nonretaliation; specific, extreme commands attract our attention to a key ethical theme that must be variously applied as circumstances change.[5]

If the above are examples of how the Father and the Son see justice, retaliation, and retribution, it would clearly be injustice to torment someone in a pit of fire eternally, for a limited number of sins that was committed over a 70-80 year period.

There is only one person, who knows what happens after death, and it is God. He made it all too clear as to what happens to humans at death.

Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 English Standard Version (ESV)

19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.

These verses have no mention of some eternal fiery torment. Humans simply return to the dust from which they came, no longer in existence, when they die. Some will receive a resurrection from the dead, other will simply remain dead forever.

If a person is to feel the torment of eternal hellfire, they have to be conscious. However, God inspired Solomon to write, “Yes, the living know they are going to die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward; they are completely forgotten.” (Eccles 9:5) Based on this, it is impossible for those that have died, who “know nothing,” to have knowledge of the anguishes of hellfire.

Dangerous Doctrine?

Some Christians would actually make the statement that ‘the doctrine of hellfire is useful.’ Why would they say that? They believe that it helps deter the Christian from sinning. Well, the same thing is believed about the death penalty for capital murder. Are not the United States prisons filled with death row inmates? In fact, the prison system is filled with all kinds of Christians, committing any number of different crimes. The truth is, the hellfire doctrine is actually harmful. If a person accepts that God tortures people for eternity, for sinning a mere 70-80 years, will they not view humans torturing humans as acceptable. Did not the Catholic Church torture Christians during the Inquisitions for simply disobeying the church? Yes, they burned them at the stake, stretched them on a rack,[6] until their bones broke, and beat them relentlessly.

If hellfire is so unreasonable logically, why do so many Christians, who claim to have the mind of Christ, accept such cruelty from their loving God? “Mind control (also known as brainwashing, coercive persuasion, thought control, or thought reform) is an indoctrination process that results in “an impairment of autonomy, an inability to think independently, and a disruption of beliefs and affiliations. In this context, brainwashing refers to the involuntary reeducation of basic beliefs and values”[7] The term has been applied to any tactic, psychological or otherwise, which can be seen as subverting an individual’s sense of control over their own thinking, behavior, emotions or decision making.”[8] Yes, these ones were raised in ultra-religious households, where they were taught the hellfire doctrine from childhood, up unto their adult years, so it is a deeply ingrain belief.

Keep in mind that after Adam sinned. Imperfect humans had and have had a natural inclination toward sin. It bears repeating again, Genesis 6:5 (AT) tells us just before the flood of Noah, that “the wickedness of man on earth was great, and the whole bent of his thinking was never anything but evil.” After the flood, God said of man, “the bent of man’s mind may be evil from his very youth.” (Gen 8:21, AT) Jeremiah 10:23 tells us “that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.” Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Yes, man naturally leans toward bad.

What is the Punishment for Sin?

If the hellfire doctrine does not exist, what is the punishment for sin? What is Adam’s punishment for rejecting God, what is the rest of humanities punishment for rejecting the Gospel? What was Adam told would happen, if he sinned? He was told, “for in the day that you eat of it the tree of knowledge] you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:17) What happened to Adam? God told him, “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Gen. 3:19) What did Paul say was the punishment for sin? “The wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6:23) Life was and is a gift from God. If we reject God, if we willfully, sin unrepentantly, the gift is taken away, and we die.

The same Christians who have been programmed to accept the contradiction of a loving God, who tortures humans forever, would actually ask, ‘how is that just, because everyone dies?’ It is true that we all die. Why? Paul tells us, “sin came into the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” We are all sinners.

If we all are sinners, and we all die, what is the point in trying to live a Christlike life? Is it true justice, if the one who is attempting to live a virtuous life, should die, just as the wicked man dies? However, this is irrational thinking, and some things are being left out of the formula of justice. While both die, the righteous one will receive a resurrection, with the hope of eternal life. We see that Jesus ‘gave his life as a ransom for many’ (Matt. 20:28). We see that “all who are in the tombs will hear [the] voice [of Jesus] and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:28-29) We are told, “that there is going to be a resurrection, both of the righteous and the unrighteous.” – Acts 24:15

Romans 5:18-21 English Standard Version (ESV)

18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Righteous Receive the Resurrection of Life

The wages of sin is death, and wages of willful unrepentant sin is eternal death (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26-31), never being resurrected, as Paul said, “will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction.” (2 Thess. 1:9) It is true that when we die, we no longer exist, except in the memory of God, as dead is dead. However, as we are seeing here, the righteous will receive a resurrection. Even those in the Old Testament had a hope for something better, as Job’s words clearly demonstrate,

Job 14:13-15 English Standard Version (ESV)

13 Oh that you would hide me in Sheol,

    that you would conceal me until your wrath be past,

    that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!

14 If a man dies, shall he live again?

    All the days of my service I would wait,

    till my renewal should come.

15 You would call, and I would answer you;

    you would long for the work of your hands.[9]

The righteous man Job believed that his remaining faithful to God, would result in God remember him after he had died, and one day, he would be resurrected. Jesus himself, speaking to a Jewish audience, confirmed the hope that the Israelites had been carrying for 2,000 years,

John 5:28-29 English Standard Version (ESV)

28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

When Jesus returns, he will bring many angels, and wipe out the wicked. However, the righteous will not be destroyed, and the righteous prior to Jesus first coming back in the first century, will receive a resurrection. The unrighteous, which had never had the opportunity to know God, will also be resurrected for a chance to hear the Good News, and then, they will be judged on what they do during the millennial reign of Christ. Acts 24:15) Therefore, the punishment for sin is death, the punishment for those, who “keep on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,” i.e., eternal death. However, “there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust [i.e., those who never heard the Good News].” – Acts 24:15

Life on Earth under God’s Kingdom

Isaiah 65:21-23 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

21 They shall build houses and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 They shall not build and another inhabit;
they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree will the days of my people be,
and the work of their hands my chosen ones will enjoy to the full.
23 They shall not labor in vain
or bear children for calamity,
for they are the seed[10] made up of those blessed by Jehovah,,
and their descendants with them.

On this, the Holman Old Testament Commentary says, “The injustices of life would disappear. Long life would be the rule for God’s people, death at a hundred being like an infant’s death that could only be explained as the death of a sinner. All of God’s people would live to a ripe old age and enjoy the fruits of their life. The age of Messiah would clearly have dawned (cp. 11:6–9). No longer would people lose their property and crops to foreign invaders. Each of God’s faithful people would enjoy the works of their hands. Labor would be rewarded in the field and in the birth place. Every newborn would escape the “horror of sudden disaster” (author’s translation; NIV, misfortune). Curses would disappear. Every generation would be blessed by God.”[11]

Revelation 21:3-4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and he will dwell[12] among them, and they shall be his people,[13] and God himself will be among them,[14] and he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things, have passed away.”

“[God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (21:4) These are not tears of joy but rather tears that were the result of pain, suffering, old age, the loss of loved ones, and death. The Father will not only wipe away these tears of sorrow from our eyes but, he will remove them permanently forever, as he will have removed all that would ever lead to such tears, i.e., the removal of the causes.

“Death shall be no more.” (21:4) Certainly, the enemy death has brought about more unwanted tears than anything else. After the thousand year reign of Christ, Satan will be released from the abyss for a while, succeeding to mislead many more. After that, those who have remained faithful will have the grip of death removed forever. The Father will remove the real cause of death; that is, the inherited sin from Adam. (Rom. 5:12) “The last enemy that will be abolished is death.” (1 Cor. 15:26) Those who were faithful through the Great Tribulation, Armageddon, the Millennium, and the release of Satan for a little while will live for an eternity in a paradise earth, in human perfection, just as God had originally intended.

“Neither shall there be … pain anymore.” (21:4) The type of pain that is spoken of being removed here is the physical, mental, and emotional, which was brought on by the sin of Adam and the inherited imperfection that resulted after that. It will be no more.

This new life without tears, pain, mourning, crying, and death will certainly be a reality for those with a heavenly hope as they rule with Christ in heaven but also for those with an earthly hope, which is who is being spoken of here specifically. Notice that all of this was introduced with the words “the tabernacle of God is among men.” (21:3) We know that men live here on earth. Moreover, the context is describing the renewed earth where “death shall be no more.” This is referring the world where death had existed but will now be no more. Death has never existed in the spiritual heavens where the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as well as the angels, live. However, for over six thousand years, death has existed here on the earth. Thus, the promises of Revelation 21:3-4 are meant specifically for those here on earth, which will be a restored or renewed earth.

The restored or renewed earth will be filled with people who fear God and sincerely love their neighbor. (Heb. 2:5; Lu 10:25-28.) The changes that take place as a result of God’s heavenly Kingdom, namely, Jesus and his co-rulers, will be so weighty that the Bible speaks of “a new earth,” i.e., a new faithful human society.

How is it that God “will dwell among them,” that is among humankind after Armageddon? God would turn his attention to his people in the forthcoming renewed or restored earth, setting them free from sin and death. Then God will turn his attention to Satan the Devil, the god of this wicked world. The God of peace will abyss Satan for a thousand years, and then he will crush Satan by throwing him into the lake of fire. (2 Cor. 4:4; Rom. 16:20; Rev. 20:10, 14) After all of this, Jesus will hand the kingdom back over to the Father. (1 Cor. 15:28) After that, we do not know. However, we do know that more books will be opened during the millennium, where we will likely learn more.

[1] Anders, Max; McIntosh, Doug, Deuteronomy, Holman Old Testament Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002), 359-360.

[2] Eugene H. Merrill, Deuteronomy, vol. 4, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994), 410.

[3] W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 205.

[4] Stuart K. Weber, Matthew, vol. 1, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 69.

[5] Craig Blomberg, Matthew, vol. 22, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 113–114.

[6] The rack is a torture device consisting of a rectangular, usually wooden frame, slightly raised from the ground, with a roller at one or both ends. The victim’s ankles are fastened to one roller and the wrists are chained to the other. As the interrogation progresses, a handle and ratchet attached to the top roller are used to very gradually stepwise increase the tension on the chains, inducing excruciating pain. By means of pulleys and levers this roller could be rotated on its own axis, thus straining the ropes until the sufferer’s joints were dislocated and eventually separated. Additionally, if muscle fibres are stretched excessively, they lose their ability to contract, rendering them ineffective.

One gruesome aspect of being stretched too far on the rack is the loud popping noises made by snapping cartilage, ligaments or bones. One powerful method for putting pressure upon prisoners was to force them to watch someone else being subjected to the rack. Confining the prisoner on the rack enabled further tortures to be simultaneously applied, typically including burning the flanks with hot torches or candles or using pincers made with specially roughened grips to tear out the nails of the fingers and toes.– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rack_(torture)

[7] Kowal, D. M. (2000). Brainwashing. In A. E. Kazdin (Ed.) , Encyclopedia of psychology, Vol. 1 (pp. 463-464). American Psychological Association.

[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_washing#cite_note-1

[9] This led him to consider the doctrine of resurrection and to wonder if it would be best for him to die and thus rest until the day when the dead rise (14:13–17). – David S. Dockery et al., Holman Bible Handbook (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 1992), 316.

[10] I.e., offspring

[11] Anders, Max; Butler, Trent (2002-04-01). Holman Old Testament Commentary – Isaiah (p. 374). B&H Publishing. Kindle Edition.

[12] Lit he will tabernacle

[13] Some mss peoples

[14] One early ms and be their God