In the history of the Hebrew people, who became known as Jews, a theme arises that would become a means of describing the polarity of their experience and their relationship with God--'woe or weal.'
Weal is a word that denotes a period of great prosperity, happiness, fulfillment, well-being. Woe, of course, is the opposite--a period of poverty, despair, abandonment, and distress.
The ancient Hebrews, according to the Bible, were schooled by God Himself in the simple concept that if they obeyed Him and lived according to the covenant that they themselves had agreed to, then they would be blessed. If, however, they violated that covenant with God, they would suffer the consequences.
Those consequences were dire.
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