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How Comprehensible Can Divine Silence Be? Reflections on the Biblical Evidence

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Chapter Summary

The Silent God deals with the theme of divine silence. The distinction between comprehensible and incomprehensible silence of God is noteworthy. Humans may find the lack of communication as problematic. The reasons for the silence of the Gods are there in the texts. Korpel and De Moor indicate that in certain situations prophecy and other means to learn the will of God were absent or scarce, especially when God was angry. The Bible contains many explicit and implicit warnings against imprudent speaking in the name of God. Walter Brueggemann wants to do justice to the theological diversity in the Hebrew Bible and distinguishes biblical 'core testimony' from biblical 'counter-testimony'. In Qohelet God acts, but he does not speak and his acts are incomprehensible. The modern attention for the silence of God has ancient roots, in the Bible and in ancient Near Eastern texts that are much older than the Bible.

Keywords: Biblical evidence; De Moor; divine silence; Korpel; Qohelet; Walter Brueggemann

10.1163/9789004259133_008
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