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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Hebrew Words



Forgive
By Jeff A. Benner

סלחsalahh

Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thy hand. For I will make him a great nation. (Genesis 21:18)

The Hebrew word behind "lift up" is נשא (nasa, Strong's #5375) and means to take hold of something and lift it up, either to move or remove it. This very same Hebrew word is also used in the following verse.

Consider mine affliction and my travail; And forgive all my sins. (ASV, Psalm 25:18)

From a Hebraic perspective, the forgiveness of sins is the same as lifting it off and removing it just as we see in Micah 7:19.

He will again have compassion upon us; he will tread our iniquities under foot; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. (ASV)

The Hebrew word סלח (salahh, Strong's #5545) is also translated as forgive and is used in the following verse where the forgiveness of iniquity is being paralleled with the healing (or lifting up) of diseases.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases. (RSV, Psalm 103:2,3)

By investigating other words that are related to סלח (salahh) we can see that this word has a very similar meaning to נשא (nasa).

  • סלד (salad, Strong's #5539) means "to leap up."
  • סלע (sala, Strong's #5553) is a "cliff" (a wall that is lifted up).
  • סלק (salaq, Strong's #5559) means "to ascend."



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