Thursday, July 27, 2017

Did it work?

I suggest that the divine resolution is one not of fierce sovereignty, belittling Moses’ prayer, but rather a sophisticated and complex statement, which implicitly affirms pardon and covenant loyalty without failing to execute divine justice. I think that the problem has to do with the concept and meaning of divine selîḥâ, as envisaged in this context. If, as we have suggested before, Moses’ petition for divine selîḥâ is primarily a plea for the preservation of divine covenant loyalty, rather than Israel’s forgiveness in the sense of annulment of guilt and sin, then Moses’ prayer has been heard and achieved its objectives. That is, the continuance and preservation of YHWH’s covenant relationship with Israel and the assurance that they as a people will eventually settle in the promised land.—Standing in the Breach, page 97–98

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