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Hebrew for Christians
Rebellion and Forgiveness

Ashrei Nesuy Pesha' -

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Happy is the one whose transgression is forgiven

Psalm 111:10

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
(Psalm 32:1)

Hebrew words for "sin"

The Hebrew word most often translated as "sin" in our English Bibles is the word chata'ah (חֲטָאָה), which means "missing the mark," as an archer might miss his target when shooting an arrow. Chata'ah is an error, a mistake, or a case of "missing the target."

There are other words in Hebrew that convey more serious misdeed than chata'ah. One of these words is pesha (פֶּשַׁע), a willful transgression done to spite God. This word suggests defiance, rebellion, and a casting off of God's authority. In most Bibles, pesha is translated as "transgression," meaning "going beyond the limits" of God's Torah (law).

Another such word is avon (עָוֹן), usually translated as "iniquity" in our Bibles. Avon is connected with the idea of perversion, or a willful twisting and distorting of the will of God for selfish ends....

Sins "taken up" by the Mashiach

In this verse, King David describes the happiness of the one whose pesha is "forgiven." Interestingly, the word translated "forgiven" comes from a root word (nasa) that means  "to lift up, to take up, or to carry." In other words, happy is the one whose rebellion against the Lord has been "taken up" and whose chata'ah has been covered. The Psalm continues: "Happy is the one whom the Lord does not hold guilty of selfish perversion, that is, avon, and in whose spirit there is no deceit (Psalm 32:2).

Isaiah chapter 53 tells us more about how our transgressions were "taken up." The Lord Jesus was wounded for our transgressions (pesha), crushed for our iniquities (avon), and bore the sin (chata'ah) of many. For those of us who are trusting in His sacrificial death as a guilt offering (asham) before the Father, we are indeed made happy and given His shalom....


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