SPECIAL TOPIC: FORGIVENESS IN THE OT

Here are most of the Hebrew words or idioms that express divine forgiveness of human sin and rebellion.

1. "forgive," "pardon," סלח – BDB 699, KB 757, i.e., Exod. 34:9; Lev. 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:10, 13, 16, 18; 6:7; 19:22; Num. 14:20; 15:25-28; 30:5,8,12; I Kgs. 8:30, 34, 36, 39, 50; Ps. 25:11; 103:3; Isa. 55:7; Dan. 9:19; Amos 7:2 (this term is always used of God, never of humans)

2. "wipe away," "blot out," נשׂא (very common verb with many meanings) – BDB 669, KB 724, i.e., Exod. 23:21; 32:32; 34:7; Num. 14:18; Josh. 24:19; Ps. 25:18; 32:1,5; 85:2; 99:8; Micah 7:18

3. "cover," "atone," כפר – BDB 497, KB 493, i.e., very common in Leviticus; Ps. 65:3; 78:38; 79:9; Isa. 6:7; 22:14; Jer. 18:23; Ezek. 16:63; Dan. 9:24

4. "blot out," "wipe out," מחה – BDB 562, KB 567, i.e., Neh. 4:5; Ps. 51:1,9; Isa. 43:25; 44:22; Jer. 18:23

5. "heal," רפא – BDB 950, KB 1272, i.e., II Chr. 7:14; Ps. 41:4; 103:3; Isa. 6:10; 57:18; Jer. 3:22; 17:14; 30:17; Hosea 5:13; 14:4

6. "passing over," עבר – BDB 716, KB 778, i.e., Pro. 19:11; Amos 7:8; 8:2; Micah 7:18

7. "wash," כבס – BDB 460, KB 459, i.e., Ps. 51:2,7; Jer. 2:22; 4:14

8. "cleanse," טהר – BDB 372, KB 369, i.e., Lev. 16:30; Ps. 51:7; Pro. 20:9; Ezek. 24:13; 36:25

9. "cast behind the back," שׁלך – BDB 1020, KB 1527, i.e., Isa. 38:17; Micah 7:19

10. "purge," חטא – BDB 306, KB 305, i.e., Ps. 51:7 (this connotation of divine cleansing of this common verb, is found only here)

11. "hide Your face from," סתר – BDB 711, KB 771, i.e., Ps. 51:9

12. "remember" (neg.), זכר – BDB 269, KB 269, i.e., Isa. 43:25

13. "tread on" (lit. "subdue"), כבשׁ – BDB 461, KB 460, i.e., Micah 7:19

 

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