Returning to Yahweh and Yahweh’s Return: Aspects of שׁוּב in the Book of Malachi


Book of the Twelve
Yahweh’s Torah


This article examines aspects of שׁוּב in the book of Malachi against the background of an obvious complementary and inadequate pattern of Israel/Judah’s repentance and incomplete restoration. As people whose history is characterised by covenant failure and refusal to repent, the book of Malachi present a robust conglomeration of persistent noncompliance and rebellion of the postexilic Yehudite community, thus making her guilty of unfaithfulness and unworthy of Yahweh’s restoration. The article surveys aspects of שׁוּב in three relative books of the Book of the Twelve and then examines three seemingly connected aspects; namely, Torah compliance, return to the right cult and Yahweh’s return in the book of Malachi. What emerges at the end of this article is that Israel/Judah’s hope of spiritual revitalisation, and complete restoration, is her faithful and wholehearted return to the right cult and to Yahweh’s Torah.

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