They are a Stiff-Necked People (Exod. 32: 9-10)

by Kosuke Koyama

>Kosuke Koyama is John D.Rockefeller, Jr., Professor of Ecumenics and World Christianity at Union Theology Seminary in New York City.

This article appeared in the Christian Century, August 30-September 6, 1989, p. 779. Copyright by the Christian Century Foundation and used by permission. Current articles and subscription information can be found at This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted & Winnie Brock.


God criticizes his own people, for the God of Moses and of the Israelites is a unique God. No other Gods are impartial.

And the Lord said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people; now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them [Exod. 32: 9-10].