The strong and the fat heart in the OT - Does God hearten the heart?
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Keywords

hardening of the heart
God and man
sovereignty
Hebrew language

Abstract

This article looks at the different Hebrew terms used in connection with the stubbornness of the heart. Is there a difference between “making the heart strong” and “making the heart fat”? And what other verbs are used in these contexts where God is active in the hearts of human beings? It also asks how these divine actions are related to the actions of the respective humans. To do this, we will first look at the anthropological meaning of the term “heart” in the Old Testament and then relate this meaning to the different verbs used for God’s actions. The article starts with the assumption of a synchronic reading of the Old Testament and also tries to answer the question of whether or not there is also some change or development of the terms used for God’s working in the hearts of human beings throughout the different books of the Old Testament. 

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