The first place we find ‘forgive’, we do not find repentance:
Bereshit (Genesis) 50:14-21 After burying his father,
Joseph returned to
Joseph's brothers are asking forgiveness through their dead father.
Pharaoh repented, and HaShem forgave:
Shemot (Exodus) 10:16-19 Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron
and said, "I have sinned against HaShem your God and against you. Now
forgive my sin once more and pray to HaShem your God
to take this deadly plague away from me." Moses then left Pharaoh and
prayed to HaShem. And HaShem changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which
caught up the locusts and carried them into the
The Israelites sinned. Moses asked for forgiveness. There was no repentance. HaShem punished.
Shemot (Exodus) 32:25-35 Moses saw that the people were running wild
and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to
their enemies. So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, "Whoever
is for HaShem, come to me." And all the Levites rallied to him. Then he
said to them, "This is what HaShem, the God of
Moses asked for forgiveness. HaShem forgave and punished.
Bamidbar (Numbers) 14:14-25 And they will tell the inhabitants of this
land about it. They have already heard that you, O HaShem,
are with these people and that you, O HaShem, have been seen face to face, that
your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by
day and a pillar of fire by night. If you put these people to death all at one
time, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, 'HaShem was
not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath; so he
slaughtered them in the desert.' "Now may the Lord's strength be
displayed, just as you have declared: 'HaShem is slow to anger, abounding in
love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not
leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.'
In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as
you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt
until now." HaShem replied, "I have forgiven them, as you asked.
Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of HaShem fills
the whole earth, Not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who
disobeyed me and tested me ten times-- Not one of them
will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers.
No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. But because my
servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will
bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. Since
the Amalekites and Canaanites are living in the
valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to
Solomon asks HaShem to forgive when
I Melakim (Kings) 8:33-39 "When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and confess your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple, Then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their fathers. "When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and confess your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, Then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance. "When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when an enemy besieges them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, And when a prayer or plea is made by any of your people Israel--each one aware of the afflictions of his own heart, and spreading out his hands toward this temple-- Then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with each man according to all he does, since you know his heart (for you alone know the hearts of all men),
Here Solomon again links repentance and forgiveness:
I Melakim (Kings) 8:46-51 "When they sin against you--for there is no one who does not sin--and you become angry with them and give them over to the enemy, who takes them captive to his own land, far away or near; And if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their conquerors and say, 'We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly'; And if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their fathers, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; Then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their conquerors to show them mercy; For they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.
HaShem has agreed to forgive our sins IF...
II Divrei HaYamim (Chronicles) 7:10-16 On the twenty-third
day of the seventh month he sent the people to their homes, joyful and glad
in heart for the good things HaShem had done for David and Solomon and for his
people Israel. When Solomon had finished the temple
HaShem does not forgive when there is no repentance:
Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 5:7-11 "Why should I forgive you? Your
children have forsaken me and sworn by gods that are not gods. I supplied all
their needs, yet they committed adultery and thronged to the houses of
prostitutes. They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for another
man's wife. Should I not punish them for this?" declares HaShem.
"Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this? "Go through her
vineyards and ravage them, but do not destroy them completely. Strip off her
branches, for these people do not belong to HaShem. The house of
One day HaShem will give us a new heart and will forgive us for the last time.
Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 31:33-34 "This is the covenant
I will make with the house of
HaShem will forgive us when we turn from our wicked ways.
Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 36:1-3 In the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of
Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from HaShem: "Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to
you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began
speaking to you in the reign of Josiah till now. Perhaps when the people of
Yeshua's parable to illustrate forgiveness includes repentance.
Matityahu (Matthew) 18:21-35 Then Peter came to Yeshua and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Yeshua answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. "Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. "The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. "But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded. "His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.' "But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. "Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
Yeshua said that if there is repentance, we should forgive.
Luqas (Luke) 17:1-4 Yeshua said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him."
Here Yeshua is forgiving without apparent repentance:
Luqas (Luke) 23:32-34 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals--one on his right, the other on his left. Yeshua said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Peter here equates forgiveness and repentance:
II Luqas (Acts) 8:18-24 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money And said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin." Then Simon answered, "Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me."
I Yochanan (John) 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
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This study was written by
Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David
Comments may be submitted to:
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