23 ¶ And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders; 24 And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. 25 Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die. 26 For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? 27 Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it. 28 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken. 29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! I have quoted a larger portion of the immeidate context to show that verses 28-29 were said at the time that Israel first came to Mount Sinai when they were initially given the ten commandments after just coming out of Egypt. Hence, the time frame for this statement was just about a week after they left Egypt. Notice the time frame spelled out beginning in verse 23: 23 ¶ And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders; Now continue to follow the tense used in verses 24-29 1. "ye said" - vv. 24-27 2. "And the Lord heard your words" - v. 28a 3. "And the Lord said unto me" - vv. 28b-30. So there can be no question that this text recounts the historical acts and words exchanged between Israel with Moses and the Lord with Moses at the time of Exodus 19-20. Now, look at verse 29: 29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever This text necessarily infers the following: 1. They did not possess such a heart when God said this or else the Lord's words are senseless. 2. Such a heart if possessed "would fear me, and keep all my comandments always" as there is no other stated reason for them to obtain such a heart. 3. Thus exposure to the revealed Word of God did not enable or provide such ability but that ability only comes with such a heart. 4. Hence, from the time they came out of Egypt they did not possess this kind of heart. Now, consider Deuteronomy 29:4 which is stated 40 years later after God had said Deuteronomy 5:29: 4 Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. This verse demands the necessary infererences: 1. Such a heart must be "given" to them by the Lord and the Lord had not "given" such a heart to them "unto this day." 2. The reason stated for possessing such a heart is "to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear" 3. Therefore, without such a heart there is no ability "to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear." 4. They have been without this kind of heart at least from Deuteronomy 5:29 until Deuteronomy 29:4 "The Lord hath not given you an heart to.....until this day." CONCLUSION: Skandelon and the Arminian position claims that all lost men have such a heart "to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear" from natural birth and that "hardening" is the willful resistance to truth that produces "hardening" where they lose this ability or cease to have eyes to see and ears to hear or ability to perceive. However, Deuteronomy 5;29 and 29:4 prove that such ability "to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear" or such a heart with that spiritual ability had NEVER been given to them and yet they HARDENED the heart they were in possession of. This proves that hardening occurs without the ability to "perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear" but rather has reference to the heart they are naturally born with, or the fallen heart, which can "harden" or resist and reject light but is without SPIRITUAL ABILITY to "perceive" or "eyes to see" or "ears to hear" without a NEW heart being first given. Hence, hardening refers to the natural state and the natural conscience and its natural response to light whereas spiritual perception only comes with being given a NEW HEART by God as demanded by Deut. 5:29 and 29:4. If you disagree with my conclusion, note that my conclusion is based upon the numerical defined points above and is the natural conclusion to those points. If you disagree, please be kind enough to identify the number above where you believe my logic or inference drawn is incorrect and why.