[quote=bob]During an RCIA class someone asked why is it that there are prayers in the Psalms which ask God to take revenge on their enemies, etc.
A reply given was that in the OT times, there was no belief in Life after Death (eternal punishment and reward). So any punishment was for the “here and now” on earth. Longevity and health were signs of God’s love and the converse in true.
Is this argument correct?
Is this the teaching of Judaism?
Actually, Jewish belief in Old Testament times tended to emphasize the here and now, the life here on earth, rather than the afterlife. This is because in the Jewish scriptures, God simply promises the Jewish people peace and abundance if they faithfully keep the Covenant, while on the other hand, punishment **in this life ** is the consequence of disloyalty to God. Thus, you would often read in the Old Testament about the Israelites being delivered by the Lord to the power of the Moabites, the Ammonites, and the Philistines because they have **done evil in the sight of the Lord **, which after repenting of their sin, God sends a deliverer to them. Almost nothing is mentioned of punishment in an afterlife, or even the existence of an afterlife and as a result of this silence, it paved the way to later speculations and even debate among Jewish rabbis about the nature of the afterlife.