My Study Bible


From the Encyclopaedia Judaica 14:73

Repentance is a Prerequisite n: something that is necessary to end or to the carrying out of a function – prerequisite adj. for divine forgiveness: God will not pardon man unconditionally but waits for him to repent. In repentance man must experience genuine remorse for the wrong he has committed and then convert his acts. Two sub stages are discernible in the latter process: first, the negative one of ceasing to do evil (Isa. 33;15 ; Ps. 15; 24;4) and second the positive step of doing good (Isa. 1:17; 58:5 ff; Jer. 7:3; 26:13 ; Amos 5:14-15; Ps. 34:15-16; 37:27).

The Bible is rich in idioms describing man’s active role in the process of repentance e.g., “incline the heart to the Lord” ( Josh. 24:23), “Make oneself a new heart” (Ezek. 18:31), circumcise the heart”. (Jer. 4:4), “wash the heart” (Jer. 4:14), and “break one’s fallow ground” (Hos. 10:12).

However all these expressions of man’s penitential adj: of or relating to penitence or penance. activity are summarizes by one verb which dominates the Bible, (SHWB, ‘to return’) which develops ultimately into rabbinic concept of teshuvah, repentance. This root combines in itself both requisites of repentance: To turn from the evil and turn to the good. The motion of turning implies that sin is not an ineradicable stain but a straying from the path, and that by the effort of turning; a power God has given to all men, The sinner can redirect his destiny. That this concept of turning back (to YHVH יְהֹוָה
Hebrew Yəhōwā, one vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יהוה‎ (YHWH), the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. It is considered one of the seven names of God in Judaism and a form of God’s name in Christianity. Covenant making covenant keeping GOD. For more info click here
) is not a prophetic innovation but goes back to Israel’s ancient traditions is clear from Amos, without bothering to explain it’s meaning (Amos 4:6-11). Neither he nor Isaiah stresses repentance, except in his earliest prophecy (1:16-18 to which the prophet adds 19 – 20 by way of interpretation and 27), not because in they believe it is insignificant, but because in their time the people had sinned to such an extent, that they had overstepped the limits of divine forbearance and the gates of repentance were closed (Amos 7; Isa. 6)

For Isaiah, the need to turn back indeed continues to play a role, but only for the few who will survive God’s Purge. This Surviving remnant will itself actively engage in a program of repentance to qualify for residence in the New Zion (e.g. Isa. 10:20-23; 17:7-8: 27:9; 29:18 ff.; 30:18-26; 31: 6-7; 32:1-8, 15ff.; 33:5-6). Indeed, the name of the prophet’s firstborn was imprinted with this message: “[Only] a remnant will return” (Shear-Jashub Isa. 7:3)

In the teaching of both Hosea and Jeremiah, on the other hand, the call to turn back is never abandoned. When Jeremiah despairs of man’s capability of self-renewal, he postulates that God will provide a “new heart” that will overcome sin and merit eternal forgiveness (31:32-33; 32:39-40; cf Deut 30:6; Ezek. 36:26-27).

*See also Forgiveness

RSS Word Definition – My Study Bible
  • Ketuvim (Writings)
    The third section of the Tanakh, also known as the Hebrew Bible, is an impressive compilation of various writings with a wide range of themes and styles. These writings are collected under the name “Ketuvim,” which translates to mean “Writings.” Within this section, readers can find an exceptional array of religious expressions, some of which […]
  • Nevi’im Prophets
    Nevi’im (the Prophets section of the Bible) presents Israel’s history as a nation on its land.
  • Penitence
    n: the quality of state of being penitent: sorrow for sins or faults
  • Penitential
    adj: of or relating to penitence or penance
  • Prerequisite
    Prerequisite n: something that is necessary to end or to the carrying out of a function – prerequisite adj.
  • Repentance
    From the Encyclopaedia Judaica 14:73 Repentance is a Prerequisite n: something that is necessary to end or to the carrying out of a function – prerequisite adj. for divine forgiveness: God will not pardon man unconditionally but waits for him to repent. In repentance man must experience genuine remorse for the wrong he has committed […]
  • Proselytes (law of conversion)
    From The Encylopaedia Judacia 13:1183-1184 The procedure, established by the tannaim, according to which a non-Jew may be into the Jewish faith, was elucided as follows: “in our days, when a proselyte came to be converted we say to him: ‘What is your objective? Is it not known to you that the people of Israel […]
  • Proselytes
    The Encyclopaedia Judaica 13:1182 contains a fascinating analysis that provides extensive evidence of an increasingly common trend towards the conversion to Judaism during the Second Temple period. This period, especially in its later stages, witnessed a marked rise in the use of the term “ger”, previously reserved for referring to strangers or aliens, to denote […]
  • Kidron
    From the Encyclopaedia Judaica 10:988 The first biblical reference to the “brook” Kidron occurs in connection with Davids ABsalm (II Sam. 15:23) In the time of divided monarchy, the reforming Kings of Judah, Asa, Hezekiah, and Josiah, cast away and burnt the various idols which defiled Jerusalem there (I Kings 15:13 ; II Kings 23:4, […]
  • Ru’ah ha-Kodesh (name for God)
    From the Encyclopaedia Judaica 14:365 רוח הקודש A more problematical use of the term Ru’ah ha-Kodesh is when in some way hypothesized, or used as a synonym for God. This tendency toward hypostatization is already apparent in such expressions as “Ru’ah ha-Kodesh resting” on a person or place, or someone “receiving Ru’ah ha-Kodesh”. But it […]
  • Exegesis
    To explain, interpret, fr. ex-the geisthai to lead – more at SEEK  an explanation or critical inter operation of a text.
  • Casuistry
    A method or doctrine dealing with cases of conscience and the resolution of questions of right or wrong in conduct.
  • Dialectic
    a: discussion and reasoning by dialogue as a method of intellectual investigation. b: the Platonic investigation of eternal ideals
  • Baalim
    (From Easton’s Bible Dictionary) plural of Baal; images of the god Baal (Judges 2:11; 1 Samuel 7:4).
  • Esoteric
    adjective 1a. designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone < a body of ~ legal doctrine b. of or relating to a small group 2a. limited to a small circle b. Private, Confidental ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Greek es?terikos, from es?ter?, comparative of es? ‘within,’ from es, eis ‘into.’ Compare with […]
  • Etymology
    The history of a linguistic form (as a word) shown by tracing it’s development since it’s earliest recorded occurrence in athe language where it is found, by tracing it’s transmission from one langue to another, by identifying it cognates to a common ancestral form in an ancestral language.
  • Mikveh
    A collection of water A pool or bath of clear water, immersion in which renders ritually clean a person who become ritually unclean through contact with the dead (Num. 19) or any other defiling object or through an unclean flux from the body (Lev. 15) and especially a menstruant. It is similarly used for vessels […]
  • Torah
    The Law (/ˈtɔːrə, ˈtoʊrə/; Biblical Hebrew: תּוֹרָה‎ Tōrā, “Instruction”, “Teaching” or “Law”) The first five books of the Bible or also called “the books of Moses” comes from an archery term meaning to shoot

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