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Forgiveness – Part 3; On sin.

Author Stephen Pidgeon - Monday, October 27, 2014


In the Hebrew, there is delineation concerning the various kinds of offenses that register before ELOHIYM and that require repentance (teshuvah).  Let’ take a look at these, with the understanding that the scribes and the prophets setting forth these discussions simply sought to clarify the actions of man in regard to the covenant of YAH.

First, is the sin group called חַָאָּטת chatta’ah, which means an offence (sometimes habitual sinfulness), and its penalty, occasion, sacrifice, or expiation.

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 18:20

And YAHUAH said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin (chatta’ah) is very grievous;

This chatta’ah is a plural form of the word חטָא chata’ which means to sin; by inference, to forfeit, lack, expiate, repent, to lead astray, condemn, trespass.  Both of these have in their origin the word חטָא chet' (pronounced (k)hate, which means a crime or its penalty; a grievous offence, or sin.  The example for this is a difficult one: 

Tehilliym (Psalms) 51:5

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin ְחֵטְא (khate) did my mother conceive me.

However, sometimes sin is simply described as bad, and the word used is ra’ רע, which means bad or evil; adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, mischievous, misery, naughty, noisome, wicked, wretchedness, or wrong.

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 39:9

There is none greaterֺ in this house than I; neither hats he kept back anything from me but thee, because you art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness רע (ra’), and sin חָטָא (khate) against ELOHIYM?

When discussing the sins of the nation, however, we have yet another word, a word which describes guiltiness, fault, offense and trespass, which is the word ה'אַשְׁמָ ashmah.

Vayiqra (Leviticus) 4:3

If the priest (cohen) that is anointed do sin (chata’) according to the sin (ה'אַשְׁמָ ashmah) of the people (am); then let him bring for his sin (chatta’ah), which he has sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto YAHUAH for a sin offering.

The sins of the nation which are done through ignorance are called שָׁגָה shagah, which means to go astray, to be deceived, to err, to be ravished, to wander, and to sin through ignorance.

Vayiqra (Leviticus) 4:13

And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance (שָׁגָה shagah) and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done somewhat against any of the commandments (mishva’oth) of YAHUAH concerning things which should not be done, and are guilty;

One sin whose name is a bit surprising describes temptation, or perversity.  This sin is called Avon (pronounced עָוֹן avown’).

Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 19:15

And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take your wife, and your two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity (עָוֹן avown’) of the city.

Melekiym Rishon (1 Kings) 17:18

And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with you, O you man of ELOHIYM? Are you come unto me to call my sin (עָוֹן avown’) to remembrance, and to slay my son?

Tehilliym (Psalms) 51:5

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity (עָוֹן avown’); and in sin (חָטָא khate) did my mother conceive me.

In the Latin language, there is a word for evil which is mala, as in the common law doctrine of mala in se (evil intent).  However, this word too has a Hebrew root. The Hebrew word for treachery and falsehood is the wordלעַמַ  ma`al.

Ezra 9:4

Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of ELOHIYM of Yisra’el, because of the transgression (לעַמַ ma`al).of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.

Finally, let us consider the sin of rebellion, or transgression, which is פֶּשַׁע pesha`.

Shemot (Exodus) 34:7

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving (אשנָ ashar) iniquity (ןוֹעָ  avon) and transgression (פֶּשַׁע pesha) and sin (תאָטָּח  chatta’ah), and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity (עָוֹן avon); of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

Bemidbar (Numbers) 14:18

YAHUAH is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving (אשנָ ashar) iniquity (עָוֹן avon) and transgression (פֶּשַׁע pesha)), and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity (עָוֹן avon) of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

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