The first place we find ‘forgive’, we do not find repentance:

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 50:14-21 After burying his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, together with his brothers and all the others who had gone with him to bury his father. When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?" So they sent word to Joseph, saying, "Your father left these instructions before he died: 'This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.' Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father." When their message came to him, Joseph wept. His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. "We are your slaves," they said. But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

 

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 Red Sea. Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt.

 

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 Israel, says: 'Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.'" The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. Then Moses said, "You have been set apart to HaShem today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day." The next day Moses said to the people, "You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to HaShem; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin." So Moses went back to HaShem and said, "Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin--but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written." HaShem replied to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin." And HaShem struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.

 

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 the Red Sea."

 

Solomon asks HaShem to forgive when Israel repents:

 

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 of HaShem and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of HaShem and in his own palace, HaShem appeared to him at night and said: "I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

 

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 Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to me," declares HaShem.

 

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 Israel after that time," declares HaShem. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know HaShem,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares HaShem. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

 

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 Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, each of them will turn from his wicked way; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin."

 

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."

 

If...

 

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.

 

* * *


This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:

 

Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

4544 Highline Drive SE

Olympia, WA 98501

 

Internet address:  gkilli@aol.com

Web page:  http://www.betemunah.org/

 

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