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God's Repentance And "False Starts" In Biblical History (Genesis 6–9; Exodus 32–34; 1 Samuel 15 And 2 Samuel 7)

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Chapter Summary

In Hebrew Bible narrative, the verb nifal, to repent, with God as subject, plays a significant role within what could be termed a macro-structure: the false start scenario. Each of the covenants that govern biblical historythe creation covenant, the covenant with the people of Israel (grafted upon the covenant with Abraham), and the monarchic covenanthas had a false start, which included an act of repentance coming from God. The three dramatic divine changes in Genesis, Exodus, and 1 Samuel led to the installation of momentous covenantal structures. Whatever the genetic reconstructions, the false start scenario is primarily encountered as a narrative phenomenon, progressively delineated by the recurrence of analogical elements. Focusing on the three scenes of divine repentance, the author scrutinizes the way they unfold a common plot pattern while bringing respective variations into play.

Keywords: Exodus; Genesis; Hebrew Bible; Israel; nifal; Samuel



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