What did the Israelites "seek" in Rom 11:7?

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pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened

Is "seek" in Rom 11:7 referring to salvation? If so, did they "seek" salvation by trying to keep the Law apart from having faith in God? I am asking in part because I am still thinking through the arguments against Arminianism, and if I understand this verse correctly, it implies that the non-elect cannot have faith in God, because faith and salvation are not granted to them.
 

De Jager

Puritan Board Sophomore
Is "seek" in Rom 11:7 referring to salvation? If so, did they "seek" salvation by trying to keep the Law apart from having faith in God? I am asking in part because I am still thinking through the arguments against Arminianism, and if I understand this verse correctly, it implies that the non-elect cannot have faith in God, because faith and salvation are not granted to them.
My interpretation would be that the seeking is referring to acceptance with God, and that the Israelites sought this by trying to establish their own righteousness based on law-keeping. The elect on the other hand found acceptance with God through faith alone. I reference Romans 9:27-33.

An unconverted person can, in a sense "seek after God", but they can never seek after him rightly and they will never find him. The darkened mind will always go the route of a works-based righteousness. The only way a person will rightly "seek after God" - i.e. seek acceptance with him by faith alone, is to be regenerated by God, which is a fruit of his eternal election.
 

pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
My interpretation would be that the seeking is referring to acceptance with God, and that the Israelites sought this by trying to establish their own righteousness based on law-keeping. The elect on the other hand found acceptance with God through faith alone. I reference Romans 9:27-33.

An unconverted person can, in a sense "seek after God", but they can never seek after him rightly and they will never find him. The darkened mind will always go the route of a works-based righteousness. The only way a person will rightly "seek after God" - i.e. seek acceptance with him by faith alone, is to be regenerated by God, which is a fruit of his eternal election.
Thanks! Any specific reason for "acceptance with God" rather than "salvation"?
 

De Jager

Puritan Board Sophomore
Thanks! Any specific reason for "acceptance with God" rather than "salvation"?
I used those words specifically because to be "saved" implies that you are in a helpless condition. I don't think the unconverted Jew thought that he needed to be "saved". If he really thought he needed to be "saved" he would cry out to God for salvation, like the publican - have mercy on me. The unconverted Jew (and all unconverted people) simply think they need to do x, y and z in order to be in God's good books - not be "saved". The true Israelite knew his need for salvation - "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"
 

pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
Excellent, thank you
I used those words specifically because to be "saved" implies that you are in a helpless condition. I don't think the unconverted Jew thought that he needed to be "saved". If he really thought he needed to be "saved" he would cry out to God for salvation, like the publican - have mercy on me. The unconverted Jew (and all unconverted people) simply think they need to do x, y and z in order to be in God's good books - not be "saved". The true Israelite knew his need for salvation - "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
The below are not thoughts that essentially disagree in any way with the above insights; but rather consent with them.

Rom.11:7 "What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded."
Is.55:6, "Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near."

v7, introduces a conclusion (what then...) to Paul's fuller thought-progress in which election of a remnant within the whole accounts for apparent discrepancy between God's willingness and power to save on one hand, and the unbelief of so many first-century Jews who had rejected New Testament salvation:

Israel at large was seeking God, but they weren’t finding him. On the other hand, the elect within Israel at large (and only they) found him, infallibly, and the rest were blinded, or like Pharaoh, were hardened. What were they seeking, but to find, have, or maintain a complacent relationship with God? They misread their covenant with God through Moses in various ways, but perhaps most often as when they rested in their covenant-status, and regarded either the quality or the quantity (or both) of their obedience--i.e. imperfect works--as the basis and sine qua non of the relationship.

The alternative is no new doctrine, forged by Paul or by NT men to justify their presumed mission (note Scripture quoted before and after this text). What's hard is when those who think they are rightly related to God (as the case of Jews in the text, or Christians today) are made to think again.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I think he may be thinking of righteousness. Now, in this, they would have seen righteousness as attending to the fact that they concerned the Law to be given by God to them for the keeping of righteousness. Thus, they saw turning from the Law as sin and turning back to the Law as a form of repentance (and righteousness) and then the doing of the Law as moving further toward a state of righteousness.

I just preached on this aspect on Sunday as I was preaching on the call of Levi in Luke 5 and the Scribes and Pharisees grumbling at what Jesus would do: namely, eat and drink with sinners.

If you pay attention, much of the conflict with Christ is aimed at the fact that He is a "friend of sinners" (a byword to them) and that He is clear that He is only a Savior and friend to sinners. This was not because the Pharisees and Scribes were practicing a novel form of Rabbinic teaching in contrast the average "Joseph". To the contrary, they were held in general esteem by the people because they were the most scrupulous in following what was the accepted understanding of the Law and righteousness. I try to remind people that the Pharisees were not seen as the "black hats" by the people but one could almost imagine them walking in, in "slow motion" with a cool beat track as the people say: "Whoa! It's the Pharisees!" Jesus wasn't upsetting "power structures" where the cool kids were being forsaken for the "outcasts". If anything, publicans were the worst kind of power brokers who oppressed the poor.

The Rabbis had a place for repentance in their system but no place for forgiveness of sins. That sounds contradictory, but the person who sinned incurred guilt before the Law and his turning away from his sin was considered "righteous" in the sense that he knew he needed to now embark, as a penitent, to do positively, with respect to the Law, what he had done against the Law. N.T. Wright and other new perspective writers conceive of the idea that the Church missed the fact that there was "grace" in this system. The reality is that the "grace" was of the semi-Pelagian kind. You've done bad. God is merciful and counts your repentance as righteous and has given you a means to embark upon a path upon which you might become righteous. How very "gracious".

In fact, the very thing shocking about Levi is that the Rabbis considered this kind of tax collector to have committed such a breach with the Law that if a man like Levi was to repent then the evidence that his repentance would be accepted by God is that he would immediately die. Why? Because there was nothing Levi could do to "undo" what he had done. He could not attain righteousness with respect to the keeping of the Law. His repentance would be seen as righteous if God accepted it but he would never be righteous.

You see in Romans 1 that the Gospel is the righteousness revealed by God through faith. The reason Paul was seen as "hating the Law" and that Christ was abhorred as a friend of tax collectors and sinners wasn't because the consistent Rabbinic Jews didn't believe they needed God's help but because they really believed that righteousness came by a trust in God that led them to perform what the Law required and they would be righteous. This is why all the Parables of Jesus seem so obvious to us except that we aren't thinking like the average Jew whose jaw is agape as he listens to a story of a son who has squandered everything, has hated his father, has sinned in every way conceivable, and is forgiven on the basis of his repentance. That's just not "righteousness". The penitent son has the formula (according to the Rabbis) correct: "Just make me a servant, I'm not worthy (righteous) ... to be your son." He has repented but the way to help the penitent is not to rejoice with them but to help them with their sackcloth and groveling as they recognize how much work is left before they can attain righteousness.

Using one final analogy, if sin is like getting fat and out of shape then the Pharisees are like fitness trainers with 6-pack abs who eat well all the time. Their bodies are righteous! We consider it "righteous" that a fat and out of shape person "repents" of his life but the last thing you would do in such a case is have a huge barbecue to celebrate. The person is still fat. "Graciously", there is a law on how to eat and exercise and (assuming he hasn't gone too far in the opposite direction), even the fattest and most lazy person might become "righteous" some day (and keep up with the regime so he doesn't lose it). But, holy smoke, who has the discipline to be a fitness trainer who not only exercises and eats well in every single meal? The Scribes and Pharisees were like that and people marveled at it the same way some might marvel at someone with a "righteous" lifestyle of exercise and diet.

Then, imagine Jesus calling a tax collector like Levi and his sins are forgiven. Levi is a sinner and has achieved righteousness. Not only that, but you're told that the Messiah didn't come to call "the righteous" (not those who thought they had attained it) but sinners. It blows the mind completely. It's not even looking at the problem or the solution in the same way. Even mercy and grace and the Law have to be completely rethought. It will take the dying and rising of the Son of God to break the power of sin that enslaves and give me new hearts and minds to conceive of such a thing.
 

pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
The below are not thoughts that essentially disagree in any way with the above insights; but rather consent with them.

Rom.11:7 "What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded."
Is.55:6, "Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near."

v7, introduces a conclusion (what then...) to Paul's fuller thought-progress in which election of a remnant within the whole accounts for apparent discrepancy between God's willingness and power to save on one hand, and the unbelief of so many first-century Jews who had rejected New Testament salvation:

Israel at large was seeking God, but they weren’t finding him. On the other hand, the elect within Israel at large (and only they) found him, infallibly, and the rest were blinded, or like Pharaoh, were hardened. What were they seeking, but to find, have, or maintain a complacent relationship with God? They misread their covenant with God through Moses in various ways, but perhaps most often as when they rested in their covenant-status, and regarded either the quality or the quantity (or both) of their obedience--i.e. imperfect works--as the basis and sine qua non of the relationship.

The alternative is no new doctrine, forged by Paul or by NT men to justify their presumed mission (note Scripture quoted before and after this text). What's hard is when those who think they are rightly related to God (as the case of Jews in the text, or Christians today) are made to think again.
Thank you, the various answers do fit nicely together.
 

pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you very much for the insightful answer. It is indeed difficult to remember that the Pharisees were not viewed by their contemporaries as we tend to view them, as Jesus viewed them.
In fact, the very thing shocking about Levi is that the Rabbis considered this kind of tax collector to have committed such a breach with the Law that if a man like Levi was to repent then the evidence that his repentance would be accepted by God is that he would immediately die. Why? Because there was nothing Levi could do to "undo" what he had done. He could not attain righteousness with respect to the keeping of the Law. His repentance would be seen as righteous if God accepted it but he would never be righteous.
If I may ask, where did you get this insight?
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Thank you very much for the insightful answer. It is indeed difficult to remember that the Pharisees were not viewed by their contemporaries as we tend to view them, as Jesus viewed them.

If I may ask, where did you get this insight?
It was through meditation. :)

But seriously,


Also,


This latter work demonstrates that the Pharisees were "man stream".

From Edersheim:
Chapter 17

The Call of Matthew—The Saviour’s Welcome to Sinners—Rabbinic Theology as Regards the Doctrine of Forgiveness in Contrast to the Gospel of Christ—The Call of the Twelve Apostles

(St. Matt. 9:9–13; St. Mark 2:13–17; St. Luke 5:27–32; St. Matt. 10:2–4; St. Mark 3:13–19; St. Luke 6:12–19.)​

In two things chiefly does the fundamental difference appear between Christianity and all other religious systems, notably Rabbinism. And in these two things, therefore, lies the main characteristic of Christ’s work; or, taking a wider view, the fundamental idea of all religions. Subjectively, they concern sin and the sinner; or, to put it objectively, the forgiveness of sin and the welcome to the sinner. But Rabbinism, and every other system down to modern humanitarianism—if it rises so high in its idea of God as to reach that of sin, which is its shadow—can only generally point to God for the forgiveness of sin. What here is merely an abstraction, has become a concrete reality in Christ. He speaks forgiveness on earth, because He is its embodiment. As regards the second idea, that of the sinner, all other systems know of no welcome to him till, by some means (inward or outward), he have ceased to be a sinner and become a penitent. They would first make him a penitent, and then bid him welcome to God; Christ first welcomes him to God, and so makes him a penitent. The one demands, the other imparts life. And so Christ is the Physician, Whom they that are in health need not, but they that are sick. And so Christ came not to call the righteous but sinners—not to repentance, as our common text erroneously puts it in St. Matthew 9:13, and St. Mark 2:17,1 but to Himself, to the Kingdom; and this is the beginning of repentance.

Thus it is that Jesus, when His teaching becomes distinctive from that of Judaism, puts these two points in the foreground: the one at the cure of the paralytic, the other in the call of Levi-Matthew. And this, also, further explains His miracles of healing as for the higher presentation of Himself as the Great Physician, while it gives some insight into the nexus of these two events, and explains their chronological succession.1 It was fitting that at the very outset, when Rabbinism followed and challenged Jesus with hostile intent, these two spiritual facts should be brought out, and that, not in a controversial, but in a positive and practical manner. For, as these two questions of sin and of the possible relation of the sinner to God are the great burden of the soul in its upward striving after God, so the answer to them forms the substance of all religions. Indeed, all the cumbrous observances of Rabbinism—its whole law—were only an attempted answer to the question: How can a man be just with God?

But, as Rabbinism stood self-confessedly silent and powerless as regarded the forgiveness of sins, so it had emphatically no word of welcome or help for the sinner. The very term ‘Pharisee,’ or ‘separated one,’ implied the exclusion of sinners. With this the whole character of Pharisaism accorded; perhaps, we should have said, that of Rabbinism, since the Sadducean would here agree with the Pharisaic Rabbi. The contempt and avoidance of the unlearned, which was so characteristic of the system, arose not from mere pride of knowledge, but from the thought that, as ‘the Law’ was the glory and privilege of Israel—indeed, the object for which the world was created and preserved—ignorance of it was culpable. Thus, the unlearned blasphemed his Creator, and missed or perverted his own destiny. It was a principle, that ‘the ignorant cannot be pious.’ On the principles of Rabbinism, there was logic in all this, and reason also, though sadly perverted. The yoke of ‘the Kingdom of God’ was the high destiny of every true Israelite. Only, to them it lay in external, not internal conformity to the Law of God: ‘in meat and drink,’ not ‘in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.’ True, they also perceived, that ‘sins of thought’ and purpose, though uncommitted, were ‘more grievous than even sins of outward deed;’a but only in this sense, that each outward sin was traceable to inward dereliction or denial of the Law—‘no man sinneth, unless the spirit of error has first entered into him.’b On this ground the punishment of infidelity or apostasy in the next world was endless, while that of actual transgressions was limited in duration.c 2

As ‘righteousness came by the Law,’ so also return to it on the part of the sinner. Hence, although Rabbinism had no welcome to the sinner, it was unceasing in its call to repentance and in extolling its merits. All the prophets had prophesied only of repentance.a The last pages of the Tractate on the Day of Atonement are full of praises of repentance. It not only averted punishment and prolonged life, but brought good, even the final redemption to Israel and the world at large. It surpassed the observance of all the commandments, and was as meritorious as if one had restored the Temple and Altar, and offered all sacrifices.b One hour of penitence and good works outweighed the whole world to come. These are only a few of the extravagant statements by which Rabbinism extolled repentance. But, when more closely examined, we find that this repentance, as preceding the free welcome of invitation to the sinner, was only another form of work-righteousness. This is, at any rate, one meaning1 of the saying which conjoined the Law and repentance, and represented them as preceding the Creation.c Another would seem derived from a kind of Manichæan view of sin. According to it, God Himself was really the author of the Yetser ha Ra, or evil impulse2 (‘the law in our members’), for which, indeed, there was an absolute necessity, if the world was to continue.d 3 Hence, ‘the penitent’ was really ‘the great one,’ since his strong nature had more in it of the ‘evil impulse,’ and the conquest of it by the penitent was really of greater merit than abstinence from sin.e Thus it came, that the true penitent really occupied a higher place—‘stood where the perfectly righteous could not stand.’f There is then both work and merit in penitence; and we can understand, how ‘the gate of penitence is open, even when that of prayer is shut,’g and that these two sentences are not only consistent, but almost cover each other—that the Messianic deliverance would come, if all Israel did righteousness,h and, again, if all Israel repented for only one day;i or, to put it otherwise—if Israel were all saints, or all sinners.k

We have already touched the point where, as regards repentance, as formerly in regard to forgiveness, the teaching of Christ is in absolute and fundamental contrariety to that of the Rabbis. According to Jesus Christ, when we have done all, we are to feel that we are but unprofitable servants.m According to the Rabbis, as St. Paul puts it, ‘righteousness cometh by the Law;’ and, when it is lost, the Law alone can restore life;1 while, according to Christian teaching, it only bringeth death. Thus there was, at the very foundation of religious life, absolute contrariety between Jesus and His contemporaries. Whence, if not from heaven, came a doctrine so novel as that which Jesus made the basis of His Kingdom?

In one respect, indeed, the Rabbinic view was in some measure derived from the Old Testament, though by an external and, therefore, false interpretation of its teaching. In the Old Testament, also, ‘repentance’ was Teshubhah (תשובה), ‘return;’ while, in the New Testament, it is ‘change of mind’ (μετάνοια). It would not be fair here to argue, that the common expression for repenting was ‘to do penitence’ (עשה תשובה), since by its side we frequently meet that other: ‘to return in penitence’ (שוב בתשובה). Indeed, other terms for repentance also occur. Thus Tohu (תהו) means repentance in the sense of regret; Charatah, perhaps, more in that of a change of mind; while Teyubha or Teshubhah is the return of repentance. Yet, according to the very common Rabbinic expression, there is a ‘gate of repentance’ (תיובא, שער תשובה) through which a man must enter, and, even if Charatah be the sorrowing change of mind, it is at most only that gate. Thus, after all, there is more in the ‘doing of penitence’ than appears at first sight. In point of fact, the full meaning of repentance as Teshubhah, or ‘return,’ is only realised, when a man has returned from dereliction to observance of the Law. Then, sins of purpose are looked upon as if they had been unintentional—nay, they become even virtuous actions.a

We are not now speaking of the forgiveness of sins. In truth, Rabbinism knew nothing of a forgiveness of sin, free and unconditional, unless in the case of those who had not the power of doing anything for their atonement. Even in the passage which extols most the freeness and the benefits of repentance (the last pages of the Tractate on the Day of Atonement), there is the most painful discussion about sins great and small, about repentance from fear or from love, about sins against commands or against prohibitions; and, in what cases repentance averted, or else only deferred, judgment, leaving final expiation to be wrought by other means. These were personal sufferings,b death,c or the Day of Atonement.d Besides these, there were always the ‘merits of the fathers;’e or, perhaps, some one good work done;f or, at any rate, the brief period of purgatorial pain, which might open the gate of mercy. These are the so-called ‘advocates’ (Peraqlitin, פרקליטין) of the penitent sinner. In a classical passage on the subject,a repentance is viewed in its bearing on four different spiritual1 conditions, which are supposed to be respectively referred to in Jer. 3:22; Lev. 16:30; Is. 22:14; and Ps. 89:32. The first of these refers to a breach of a command, with immediate and persistent cry for forgiveness, which is at once granted. The second is that of a breach of a prohibition, when, besides repentance, the Day of Atonement is required. The third is that of purposed sin, on which death or cutting off had been threatened, when, besides repentance and the Day of Atonement, sufferings are required; while in open profanation of the Name of God, only death can make final atonement.b

But the nature of repentance has yet to be more fully explained. Its gate is sorrow and shame.c In that sense repentance may be the work of a moment, ‘as in the twinkling of an eye,’d and a life’s sins may obtain mercy by the tears and prayers of a few minutes’ repentance.e 2 To this also refers the beautiful saying, that all which rendered a sacrifice unfit for the altar, such as that it was broken, fitted the penitent for acceptance, since ‘the sacrifices of God were a broken and contrite heart.’f By the side of what may be called contrition, Jewish theology places confession (Viddui, וידוי). This was deemed so integral a part of repentance, that those about to be executed,g or to die,h were admonished to it. Achan of old had thus obtained pardon.i But in the case of the living all this could only be regarded as repentance in the sense of being its preparation or beginning. Even if it were Charatah, or regret at the past, it would not yet be Teshubhah, or return to God; and even if it changed purposed into unintentional sin, arrested judgment, and stayed or banished its Angel, it would still leave a man without those works which are not only his real destiny and merit heaven, but constitute true repentance. For, as sin is ultimately dereliction of the Law, beginning within, so repentance is ultimately return to the Law. In this sense there is a higher and meritorious confession, which not only owns sin but God, and is therefore an inward return to Him. So Adam, when he saw the penitence of Cain, burst into this Psalm,a ‘It is a good thing to confess1 unto the Lord.’b 2 Manasseh, when in trouble, called upon God and was heard,c although it is added, that this was only done in order to prove that the door of repentance was open to all. Indeed, the Angels had closed the windows of Heaven against his prayers, but God opened a place for their entrance beneath His throne of glory.d Similarly, even Pharaoh, who, according to Jewish tradition, made in the Red Sea confession of God,e was preserved, became king of Nineveh, and so brought the Ninevites to true repentance, which verily consisted not merely in sackcloth and fasting, but in restitution, so that every one who had stolen a beam pulled down his whole palace to restore it.f

But, after all, inward repentance only arrested the decrees of justice.g That which really put the penitent into right relationship with God was good deeds. The term must here be taken in its widest sense. Fasting is meritorious in a threefold sense: as the expression of humiliation,h as an offering to God, similar to, but better than the fat of sacrifices on the altar,i and as preventing further sins by chastening and keeping under the body.k A similar view must be taken of self-inflicted penances.m 3 On the other hand, there was restitution to those who had been wronged—as a woman once put it to her husband, to the surrender of one’s ‘girdle.’n 4 Nay, it must be of even more than was due in strict law.o To this must be added public acknowledgment of public sins. If a person had sinned in one direction, he must not only avoid it for the future,5 but aim at doing all the more in the opposite direction, or of overcoming sin in the same circumstances of temptation.6 Beyond all this were the really good works, whether occupation with the Lawa or outward deeds, which constituted perfect repentance. Thus we read,b that every time Israel gave alms or did any kindness, they made in this world great peace, and procured great Paracletes between Israel and their Father in Heaven. Still farther, we are toldc what a sinner must do who would be pardoned. If he had been accustomed daily to read one column in the Bible, let him read two; if to learn one chapter in the Mishnah, let him learn two. But if he be not learned enough to do either, let him become an administrator for the congregation, or a public distributor of alms. Nay, so far was the doctrine of external merit carried, that to be buried in the land of Israel was supposed to ensure forgiveness of sins.d This may, finally, be illustrated by an instance, which also throws some light on the parable of Dives in Hades. Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish had in early life been the associate of two robbers. But he repented, ‘returned to his God with all his heart, with fasting and prayer, was early and late before God, and busied himself with the Torah (Law) and the commandments.’ Then both he and his former companions died, when they saw him in glory, while themselves were in the lowest hell. And when they reminded God, that with Him there was no regard of persons, He pointed to the Rabbi’s penitence and their own impenitence. On this they asked for respite, that they might ‘do great penitence,’ when they were told that there was no space for repentance after death. This is farther enforced by a parable to the effect, that a man, who is going into the wilderness, must provide himself with bread and water while in the inhabited country, if he would not perish in the desert.

Thus, in one and another respect, Rabbinic teaching about the need of repentance runs close to that of the Bible. But the vital difference between Rabbinism and the Gospel lies in this: that whereas Jesus Christ freely invited all sinners, whatever their past, assuring them of welcome and grace, the last word of Rabbinism is only despair, and a kind of Pessimism. For, it is expressly and repeatedly declared in the case of certain sins, and, characteristically, of heresy, that, even if a man genuinely and truly repented, he must expect immediately to die—indeed, his death would be the evidence that his repentance was genuine, since, though such a sinner might turn from his evil, it would be impossible for him, if he lived, to lay hold on the good, and to do it.e

It is in the light of what we have just learned concerning the Rabbinic views of forgiveness and repentance that the call of Levi-Matthew must be read, if we would perceive its full meaning. There is no need to suppose that it took place immediately on the cure of the paralytic. On the contrary, the more circumstantial account of St. Mark implies, that some time had intervened.a If our suggestion be correct, that it was winter when the paralytic was healed at Capernaum, we may suppose it to have been the early spring-time of that favoured district, when Jesus ‘went forth again by the seaside.’ And with this, as we shall see, best agrees the succession of after-events.



1 The words ‘to repentance’ are certainly spurious in St. Matt. and St. Mark. I regard theirs as the original and authentic report of the words of Christ. In St. Luke 5:32, the words ‘unto repentance’ do certainly occur. But, with Godet, I regard them as referring to ‘the righteous,’ and as used, in a sense, ironically.
1 So in all the three Gospels.
a Yoma 29 a
b Sot. 3 a
c Rosh haSh. 17 a
2 Comp. Sepher Iqqarim 4. 28.
a Ber. 34 b
b Vayyik. R. 7
1 It would be quite one-sided to represent this as the only meaning, as, it seems to me, Weber has done in his ‘System d. altsynagog. palæst. Theol.’ This, and a certain defectiveness in the treatment, are among the blemishes in this otherwise interesting and very able posthumous work.
c Pes. 54 a; Ber. R. 1
2 So in too many passages for enumeration.
d Yoma 69 b; Ber. R. 9, and in many places
3 Some of these points have already been stated. But it was necessary to repeat them so as to give a connected view.
e Sanh. 99 a; Maimon. Hil. Tesh. Per. 7.
f Sanh. 99 a; Ber. 34 b
g Yalkut on Ps. 32., p. 101 b
h Sanh. 98 a
i Sanh. 98 a; Jer. Taan. 64 a
k Sanh. 98 a
m St. Luke 17:10
1 So, according to Rabbinism, both in the Sepher Iqqar. and in Menor. Hammaor.
a Yoma 86
b Ber. 3 a, b; Kidd. 81 b
c Yoma u. s.
d Yoma u. s., and many passages
e In almost innumerable passaes
f Ab. Zar. 5 a
a Mechilta, 76 a
1 In Menorath Hammaor (Ner 5. 1. 1, 2) seven kinds of repentance in regard to seven different conditions are mentioned. They are, repentance immediately after the commission of sin; after a course of sin, but while there is still the power of sinning; where there is no longer the occasion for sinning; where it is caused by admonition, or fear of danger; where it is caused by actual affliction; where a man is old, and unable to sin; and, lastly, repentance in prospect of death.
b See also Yoma 86 and following
c Ber. 12 b; Chag. 5 a
d Pesiqta ed. Bub. p. 163 b
e Ab. Zar. 17 a
2 This is illustrated, among other things, by the history of a Rabbi who, at the close of a dissolute life, became a convert by repentance. The story of the occasion of his repentance is not at all nice in its realistic details, and the tears with which a self-righteous colleague saw the beatification of the penitent are painfully illustrative of the elder brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Ab. Z. 17 a).
f Vayyik. R. 7
g Sanh. 6. 2
h Shabb. 32 a
i Sanh. u. s.
a Ps. 92.
1 So it would need to be rendered in this context.
b Ber. R. 22
2 Another beautiful allegory is that, in the fear of Adam, as the night closed in upon his guilt, God gave him two stones to rub against each other, which produced the spark of light—the rubbing of these two stones being emblematic of repentance (Pes. 54 a; Ber. R. 11, 12).
c 2 Chron. 33:12, 13
d Debar. R. 2; ed. Warsh. p. 7 a; comp. Sanh. 102 b, last lines, and 103 a
e Ex. 15:11
f Taan. 16 a
g Rosh haSh. 17 b
h Baba Mez. 85 a
i Ber. 17 a
k u. s.
m Baba Mez. 85 a
3 Baba Mez. 84 b (quoted by Weber) is scarcely an instance. The whole of that part of the Talmud is specially repugnant, from its unsavoury character and grossly absurd stories. In one of the stories in Baba Mez. 85, a Rabbi tries by sitting over the fire in an oven, whether he has become impervious to the fire of Gehinnom. For thirty days he was successful, but after that it was noticed his thighs were singed, whence he was called ‘the little one with the singed thighs’
n Tanch. Noach 4
4 But such restitution was sometimes not insisted on, for the sake of encouraging penitents.
o See the discussion in B. Mez. 37 a
5 Rabbinism has an apt illustration of this in the saying, that all the baths of lustration would not cleanse a man, so long as he continued holding in his hand that which had polluted him (Taan. 16 a).
6 These statements are all so thoroughly Rabbinic, that it is needless to make special references
a Vayyik. R.3, towards the end
b In B. Bab. 10 a
c Vayyik. R. 25, beg. ed. Warsh. p. 38 a
d Tanch. on Gen. 48.
e Ab. Zar. 17 a
a St. Mark 2:13
 
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