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Original Research

‘Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate...’ (Jl 2:13). A prophetic perspective on reconciliation and restoration

W J Wessels

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 26, No 1 (2005), 308-325. doi: 10.4102/ve.v26i1.226

Submitted: 02 October 2005
Published:  02 October 2005

Abstract

In this article the Old Testament prophetic literature will be the focus of discussion with regard to the matter of restoring broken relationships, be it between God and humans or between humans as such. The relationship between Yahweh and his people was formally established by means of a covenant. The presentation of the prophetic material is done with a narrow focus on the issues of reconciliation and restoration. Prophets and prophetic  texts are selected with the mentioned focus in mind and presented as the results of research done on the chosen texts. It is therefore done with a real awareness of the complexity of the prophetic material and the historical embedding of prophetic material. A detailed discussion of introductory and
theological issues are therefore not presented, but taken into account. What result in this paper is a focussed presentation on the mentioned topics in some of the prophetic material. Although the word reconciliation is not an Old Testament concept, it is clear that the idea of re-establishment and renewal of  the relationship between God and people was ever present. The prophets had the duty to address the
reasons for damage to this covenant relationship and to warn the people of the consequences if they continue to disobey the stipulations and ethical demands of this relationship. The prophets not only served as witnesses of the efforts of Yahweh to reconcile with his people, but also as instruments to bring it about. 

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Author affiliations

W J Wessels, University of South Africa, South Africa

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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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