Old Testament-David's repentance- Essay

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Critically assess the claim that David’s repentance was not genuine. (15marks).

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Critically assess the claim that David's repentance was not genuine. (15marks)
There has always been an ongoing debate regarding David's repentance. The Greek
word for "repent" is metanoeo, which means, "to change one's mind." Biblical
repentance is a change of one's mind. Many scholars question the legitimacy of David's
repentance. King David wrote the Psalm of repentance, which is a model of repentance
and begins with these words,
"Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy and according to the
multitude of Thy compassions blot out my transgression. Wash me thoroughly from
mine iniquity and cleanse me from my sin..."
We witness in the bible that David pleads with Nathan. He recognises that it is not the
fault of the child but the fault of his own. The pleading illustrates his remorse and sorrow
for actions about to take place. He makes his guilt public with a demonstration of his
sinfulness. The pleading and the public exhibit of guilt displays to how people that no
one is perfect and even the distinguished king can fault
"David pleaded with Yahweh for the child he kept a strict fast and went home and
spent the night on the bare ground, covered with sacking" (2 Samuel 12:1617).
David was faced with Nathan's message from God. Nathan sends Gods message in
the form of a parable. A parable is a story with a moral. In a parable the listener is
confronted with an unavoidable decision and judges his own life through that choice. As
David listens to Nathan, he is drawn into the parable, his is personally involved. At the
end of the parable David has no choice but to commit self either to the poor man or to
Gemma Mulhern 13J

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the rich man, and in so doing he judges his own deeds. David condemned his own
actions when he responded to the parable stating,
"As Yahweh lives, the man who did this deserves to die." (2 Samuel 12:56)
It is only when Nathan replies, `You are the man' (2 Samuel 12:7) that it becomes
apparent to David the extent of his sin. David was like a spoiled son for whom not
enough can be done.…read more

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`I fasted and wept because I kept thinking, "Who knows? Perhaps Yahweh will take pity
on me and the child will live."' (2 Samuel 12:2122)
David went to his wife and consoled her. By doing this he gives off the impression of the
perfect wife. This could all be an act as immediately after the comforting he sleeps with
Bathsheba. It can be argued that David only consoled Bathsheba for selfish reasons.…read more

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