Friday, December 27, 2013

Forgive - Part Two...Bitter-Sweet: The Nature of Forgiveness

…Forgive… Part Two
Bitter-Sweet: The Nature of Forgiveness

Luke 6:27–49 (NET)[1]
6:27 “But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies,91 do good to those who hate you, 6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat92 you. 6:29 To the person who strikes you on the cheek,93 offer the other as well,94 and from the person who takes away your coat,95 do not withhold your tunic96 either.97 6:30 Give to everyone who asks you,98 and do not ask for your possessions99 back100 from the person who takes them away. 6:31 Treat others101 in the same way that you would want them to treat you.102
6:32 “If103 you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners104 love those who love them.105 6:33 And106 if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even107 sinners108 do the same. 6:34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to be repaid,109 what credit is that to you? Even sinners110 lend to sinners, so that they may be repaid in full.111 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back.112 Then113 your reward will be great, and you will be sons114 of the Most High,115 because he is kind to ungrateful and evil people.116 6:36 Be merciful,117 just as your Father is merciful. 6:37 “Do118 not judge,119 and you will not be judged;120 do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive,121 and you will be forgiven. 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over,122 will be poured123 into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive.”124
6:39 He also told them a parable: “Someone who is blind cannot lead another who is blind, can he?125 Won’t they both fall126 into a pit? 6:40 A disciple127 is not greater than128 his teacher, but everyone when fully trained will be like his teacher. 6:41 Why129 do you see the speck130 in your brother’s eye, but fail to see131 the beam of wood132 in your own? 6:42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while you yourself don’t see the beam in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6:43 “For133 no good tree bears bad134 fruit, nor again135 does a bad tree bear good fruit, 6:44 for each tree is known136 by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered137 from thorns, nor are grapes picked138 from brambles.139 6:45 The good person out of the good treasury of his140 heart141 produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasury142 produces evil, for his mouth speaks143 from what fills144 his heart.
6:46 “Why145 do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’146 and don’t do what I tell you?147
6:47 “Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and puts them into practice148—I will show you what he is like: 6:48 He is like a man149 building a house, who dug down deep,150 and laid the foundation on bedrock. When151 a flood came, the river152 burst against that house but153 could not shake it, because it had been well built.154 6:49 But the person who hears and does not put my words into practice155 is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When156 the river burst against that house,157 it collapsed immediately, and was utterly destroyed!”158 [2] [3]

I'd like to tell you a tale, but first a disclaimer: it involves a family that had a dark side to their history, one that those of us who love the Jewish people would find repugnant. But this is an epistle that hopes to transcend hurt and hate; for to speak of forgiveness we must be able to forgive. A friend of mine that served with me in the military came from an unusual background. His father was a tank commander in World War II under Patton. His mother was a German citizen with a family legacy – her father was associated with the regime of Adolf Hilter.[4] I saw the photos, heard the stories, touched the memorabilia that the family had saved of the memories of those times – bitter sweet times for them.

Such a legacy could not be ignored. What the family once was under the Nazi regime and what they were reduced to under the treads of Patton’s tanks was evident in the mother’s stories. Mrs. “M” (I won’t name her here, out of privacy concerns) stories swung like that pendulum: from the once "proud" father who thought he served a noble cause until his too-late realization that he had followed a madman. Then the horror of the brutal war that had been wrought by those who believed in this madman finally broke him, and as a young girl she watched the utter destruction of her homeland under the cruelty of Hitler and the relentless bombing of the Allied campaign designed to bring the rogue state of Germany under heel. She wept of the tales of the feasts she attended with the upper echelons of German society to the begging for scraps of food as the American and Russian Armies and tanks rolled through the ruins of her homeland. Her's were bitter-sweet memories, mostly bitter. 

This story is not to paint any picture that dispels the truth of the evil that the Nazis were. It is just a back drop of one family and a lead into the story on forgiveness. Mrs. "M" was ashamed of her past, ashamed of the connection her family had to Hitler. She was reluctant to speak of it, and the mementos she had were kept locked away; I only found out because I was a military history buff, and inquired about the items Mr. "M" kept on display: his tanker patches and a faded picture of him and George Patton. The story came out in bits and pieces, and I watched as the anguish of the past still gripped her 40 odd years later. I wonder if anyone in all those forty-odd years ever offered her forgiveness - I wonder if she ever sought to be forgiven. Wounds of the body heal, but wounds of the soul will always be open, festering sores unless forgiveness can come in; may we remember that in our walk with God, that there are wounds you sometimes never see, and only kindness and love can breach the gap.

She had lived a life that had swung from one extreme to the other. Of all that remained, of all the memorabilia in their house, one thing stood out in my memory: an old grandfather’s clock. It had been one of the few items that had been preserved and transported back to America after the war, after the tanker had met and fallen in love with the daughter of the maestro. This clock stood six foot tall, its massive pendulum faithfully ticking off the seconds. It was this pendulum I remember. If the clock was allowed to run down, then on restart the pendulum would swing hard, knocking against the right side then the left of the cabinet, till it would settle down into its rhythmic swing in the middle, dutifully ticking off the seconds once more.

 What does this all have to do with our topic today? We humans are like that old clock: we often start out in the middle, dutifully ticking away the seconds, but then we wind down and need to be restarted. Our pendulums swing right then left and after time we settle down to the middle, and a gentle arc takes over, and we count the seconds once more. We live our lives like this: swing hard and knocking against the walls that hem us in till we finally settle on a safer path in the middle – and count off the seconds of our lives. What is usually left ends up being bitter-sweet.

Take this season for example. Christmas is celebrated and most have a good time – unless one has experienced loss of a loved one, or some other calamity has shook your world; then this season is just bitter-sweet. The bitterness comes in because you feel your loss all over again, the pain as sharp as it ever was; the sweet comes in the memories, but even these bring no real relief for they just remind you of the bitter once more and what you had is not the same as what you have.

Christmas for me now is a holiday for others. Since I have come to the truth of God’s word, I don’t celebrate it: I can’t, because of what I have replaced it with and that is the Truth of Yeshua and the Torah. Memories of Christmas’ past flood my mind though, but I know now all these memories were built upon lies. Lies about the birthday of a Savior, lies about a jolly fat man in a red suit and flying reindeer, lies about so many gifts under a shiny tree that kept my parents in bondage for the debt they incurred to put them there. Memories of a mother who would patch a father’s underwear so they could afford to buy their children new ones… Bitter-sweet. 

Scripture tells us of such a time where we’ll understand the bitter-sweet again:

Jeremiah 16:19-21 (NASB95)
     19     O Lord, my astrength and my stronghold,
And my brefuge in the day of distress,
To You the cnations will come
From the ends of the earth and say,
“Our fathers have inherited nothing but dfalsehood,
Futility and 1ethings of no profit.”
20     Can man make gods for himself?
Yet they are anot gods!
21     “Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—
This time I will amake them know
My 1power and My might;
And they shall bknow that My name is the Lord.” [5]

This is where I came too: I followed nothing but lies till I found Truth. But even then, there is a bitter-sweetness to this. Those that had taught me lies did not for the most part do so out of malice – only ignorance. They had been taught lies, by those who had been taught lies by those who had believed lies… On and on it has gone for almost 2000 years. It is bitter because what we should have known was built upon lies, yet sweet, because what we did learn had just enough truth in it to keep us searching because our souls yearned for more. So it is with the nature of forgiveness: bitter-sweet.

Do any of us understand the emotions we go through every day? When I lost my parents, first my mother to Alzheimer’s and then my father to his complications, I was angry – angry at myself for not being there, for not being a good enough son, for not telling them while they were alive how much they meant to me – and angry because they were gone. How dare they die before I could unburden my soul with all the junk that I wanted to be rid of! How dare they leave me! I still need – I still NEED them – even at my age I still need them. I was angry at a God who would take from me that which I needed, and wanted. My emotions have swung like that grandfather’s clock’s pendulum: hit the cabinet hard on the right, swing hard left – bang! bang! – till I’m spent… My energy is drained… and I count off the seconds once more… Do you feel this way? Can any other understand? When my sisters suffered their losses, of the passing of husbands and son, the pendulum swung again… O why did I waste forty years in the wilderness! Why wasn’t I a better brother! Why didn’t I get to know my family better! Why! Why! Why! Why God did you do it again! And Again! And Again!

…Right – left – right – left – center – tick, tock…

The pendulum swings because I did not understand the Hands that wind the clock in the first place. I did not understand the greatest power in the universe: forgiveness. I did not understand the strength required to forgive. I did not understand…

Daniel 10:8-12 (NKJV)
8 Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my 4vigor was turned to 5frailty in me, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground.
10 eSuddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. 11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, fman greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.
12 Then he said to me,
g“Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, hyour words were heard; and I have come because of your words. [6]

                I had to set my heart to understand, and to humble myself before Elohi so as to be heard; the cry of a wounded heart He does not ignore… So bear with me now and let us explore this, the highest, most profound attribute of God.

The Three Fold Sequence[7]

In God’s world, in His economy there is a pattern to all things.
·         While I do not hold to the Trinity or the theory of God being a “triune unity”, I do believe He has revealed Himself to us in three ways: as Father Elohi; with the power and manifestation of His Spirit (His presence); and with His only begotten Son, Yeshua our Messiah.

Many other Three Fold Truths emerge in His word if we look close enough:
  •        The fact that He created us in His image, Spirit, Soul, and Body
  •         As seen in His Holy Temple/Tabernacle: Outer Court, Inner Court and the Holy of Holies (Most Holy Place)
  •       We are commanded to meet with Him Three Times a year:

o   Exodus 23:14-17 (NET) 23:14 “Three times32 in the year you must make a pilgrim feast33 to me. 23:15 You are to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; seven days34 you must eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you, at the appointed time of the month of Abib, for at that time35 you came out of Egypt. No one may appear before36 me empty-handed. 23:16 “You are also to observe37 the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors that you have sown in the field, and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year38 when you have gathered in39 your harvest40 out of the field. 23:17 At41 three times in the year all your males will appear before the Lord God.42 [8]
o   Deu 16:16-17  "Three times a year all your men are to appear in the presence of Adonai your God in the place which he will choose - at the festival of matzah, at the festival of Shavu`ot and at the festival of Sukkot. They are not to show up before Adonai empty-handed,  (17)  but every man is to give what he can, in accordance with the blessing Adonai your God has given you. [9]

In the Book of Proverbs, it also speaks of this pattern:

Proverbs 22:20-21 (NASB95)
20     Have I not written to you 1aexcellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,
21     To make you aknow the 1certainty of the words of truth
That you may 2bcorrectly answer him who sent you? [10]

Here, the Hebrew word for “excellent” gives us a deeper understanding of the three fold sequence:

“…excellent: shaw-loshe’; or ‘shalosh
- Original: שׁלשׁ שׁלושׁ שׁלישׁo
- Transliteration: Shaliysh
- Phonetic: shaw-leesh'
- Definition:
1. third part
a. name of a measure
2. a musical instrument
a. maybe three-stringed, triangular shape, or three-barred
b. perhaps a sistrum or triangle
3. shield carrier, adjutant, officer, captain
- Origin: from H7969
- TWOT entry: 2403e,2403f,2403g
- Part(s) of speech: Noun Masculine
- Strong's: (The second form used in 1Ch_11:11 1Ch_11:12 1Ch_11:18; the third form used in 2Sa_23:13); from H7969; a triple that is (as a musical instrument) a triangle (or perhaps rather three stringed lute); also (as an indefinitely great quantity) a three fold measure (perhaps a treble ephah); also (as an officer) a general of the third rank (upward that is the highest): - captain instrument of musick (great) lord (great) measure prince three [from the margin]…”[11]

The idea for “excellence” is “great measure”. Yahvey expects us to meet Him in three realms, to encounter Him in mind, soul and body. We see this in the Shema:
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (NKJV)
4 g“Hear, O Israel: 2The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 hYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, iwith all your soul, and with all your strength. [12]

As with the Feasts, the progression of revelatory knowledge of Yahvey is sequential; we are meant to move into these different levels of understanding as we learn. [13]  These encounters have to be experienced: there is no other way to move into their knowledge. This isn’t gnostic knowledge, some secret knowledge held only by those “elite” enough to “get it”; this is knowledge imparted to us by Elohi’s Spirit as we position our hearts to learn and understand.

Our understanding comes in the way we conduct our lives through our ministries; this in turn alters our destinies. A wise man once said “…if our faith isn’t strong enough to change our behavior, it isn’t strong enough to alter our destiny…” [14] We are not to appear before God “empty handed” – this means that in the meetings we have with God we are not to come unprepared. We are to come ready to meet Him. And that means we need a clean heart…

Matthew 5:21-24 (NASB95)

21     aYou have heard that 1the ancients were told, ‘bYou shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be 2liable to cthe court.’
22     “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be 1guilty before athe court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘2You good-for-nothing,’ shall be 1guilty before 3bthe supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be 1guilty enough to go into the 4cfiery hell.
23     “Therefore if you are apresenting your 1offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24     leave your 1offering there before the altar and go; first be areconciled to your brother, and then come and present your 1offering. [15]

In   Another translation, these same verses are translated like this:

Mat 5:21-24 “… [You*] hear for [It] is spoken [to] the [men] ancient not [You] will murder Who but ever may murder Obligated will be [to] the judgment  (22)  I but say [to] you* for Every The [Man] Being Enraged [with] the brother [of] him Obligated will be [to] the judgment Who but ever may say [to] the brother [of] him raka Obligated will be [to] the council Who but ever may say [Man] Foolish Obligated will be to the hell [of] the fire  (23)  if so [You] may present the gift [of] you to the altar (and) there [You] may be reminded for The Brother [of] you has something against you  (24)  release! there the gift [of] you before the altar and go! firstly be reconciled! [to] the brother [of] you and then Coming present! the gift [of] you…”[16]

Notice the word “release! This is forgiveness at its core. But, as with everything in life, there is a process. So, let us take a look at this.

In Hebrew, there are three words[17] related to “forgiveness”, much like there are three words related to “grace”. I bring up “grace” because it is important to our understanding of forgiveness. Allow me to do a quick review of the concept of “grace” and then tie in all together.

The three levels of grace are found in God’s name that He spoke unto Moshe in the wilderness:

Exodus 34:5-8
aThe Lord descended in the cloud and stood there with him as 1he called upon the name of the Lord.
6) Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed,

“The Lord, the Lord God, acompassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness and 1truth;
7) who akeeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He bwill by no means leave the guilty unpunished, cvisiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”
8) Moses made haste 1ato bow low toward the earth and worship. [18]

We have three words here:
  1.      . Compassionate
  2.        Gracious
  3.      . Loving-kindness

These translate to three Hebrew words:
1.       Compassionate (or in some translations merciful) is the word “racham”…
“…- Original: רחוּם
- Transliteration: Rachuwm
- Phonetic: rakh-oom'
- Definition:
1. compassionate
a. always of God with one possible exception
- Origin: from H7355
- TWOT entry: 2146c
- Part(s) of speech: Adjective
- Strong's: From H7355; compassionate: - full of compassion merciful.
Total KJV Occurrences: 13
  compassion, 5
 Psa_78:38; Psa_86:15; Psa_111:4; Psa_112:4; Psa_145:8
  merciful, 8
 Exo_34:6; Deu_4:31; 2Ch_30:9; Neh_9:17; Neh_9:31; Psa_103:8; Joe_2:13; Jon_4:2 …”[19]
2.       Gracious is the word “chanan”…
“…- Original: חנּוּן
- Transliteration: Channuwn
- Phonetic: khan-noon'
- Definition:
1. gracious
- Origin: from H2603
- TWOT entry: TWOT- 694d
- Part(s) of speech: Adjective
- Strong's: From H2603; gracious: - gracious.
Total KJV Occurrences: 13
  gracious, 13
 Exo_22:27; Exo_34:6; 2Ch_30:9; Neh_9:17; Neh_9:31; Psa_86:15; Psa_103:8; Psa_111:4; Psa_112:4; Psa_116:5; Psa_145:8; Joe_2:13; Jon_4:2…” [20]
3.       Loving-kindness is the word “chesed” though it is closely tied with “abounding” or “abundant” and is spoken as “rav (or rab) chesed”…
“…- Original: חסד
- Transliteration: Checed
- Phonetic: kheh'-sed
- Definition:       
1. goodness, kindness, faithfulness
2. a reproach, shame
- Origin: from H2616
- TWOT entry: 698a,699a
- Part(s) of speech: Noun Masculine
- Strong's: From H2616; kindness; by implication (towards God) piety; rarely (by opprobrium) reproof or (subjectively) beauty: - favour good deed (-liness -ness) kindly (loving-) kindness merciful (kindness) mercy pity reproach wicked thing.
Total KJV Occurrences: 247
  away, 1
  deeds, 1
  favor, 3
 Est_2:17; Job_10:12; Dan_1:9  
  goodliness, 1
  goodness, 12
 Exo_34:6; 2Ch_32:32; 2Ch_35:26; Psa_33:5; Psa_52:1; Psa_107:8; Psa_107:15; Psa_107:21; Psa_107:31; Psa_144:2; Pro_20:6; Hos_6:4  
  kindly, 5 Gen_24:49; Gen_47:29; Jos_2:14; Rth_1:8; 1Sa_20:8…”  [21]
Rav or rab:
“…- Original: רב
- Transliteration: Rab
- Phonetic: rab
- Definition: adj
1. much, many, great
a. much
b. many
c. abounding in
d. more numerous than
e. abundant, enough
f. great
g. strong
h. greater than adv
i. much, exceedingly n m
2. captain, chief
- Origin: contracted from H7231
- TWOT entry: 2099a,2099b
- Part(s) of speech:
- Strong's: By contraction from H7231; abundant (in quantity size age number rank quality): - (in) abound (-undance -ant -antly) captain elder enough exceedingly full great (-ly man one) increase long (enough [time]) (do have) many (-ifold things a time) ([ship-]) master mighty more (too very) much multiply (-tude) officer often [-times] plenteous populous prince process [of time] suffice (-ient).
Total KJV Occurrences: 458…” [22]

These three words represent the three fold pattern of “grace”; they have an order of progression as well:
a)      Rav chesed
b)      Chanan
c)       Racham

Remember I said the Bible was a legal document? Here in the progression of “grace” we begin to see how that plays into what God does for us, and how it all ties into forgiveness.

In “rav chesed”, we find mercy. Ever wonder where the phrase “throw yourself on the mercy of the court” comes from? It comes from the concept of “rav chesed”. What is mercy? When someone shows us mercy, he is giving you a pass on what you deserve to actually get. We have sinned and transgressed God’s holy law, trampled upon His holy word: what do we deserve? Judgment and death. Yet, as the Supreme Judge, He gives us a pass. Why? Because He is long-suffering. He delays His anger and judgment in order that we might repent. In calling upon Yahvey in “rav chesed we ask for mercy, and in His grace He grants it. This is the power, true power; it is the power to forgive when it is His right to judge. When we recite this Name/attribute of God it’s as if we are asking him to not judge us alone by our free will choices but through His abundant kindness would He please take some of the responsibility tip the balance of justice in our favor. In essence we are saying to Him “I was bad, Daddy; but please, no matter how bad I was, O God, you create evil… O please shoulder a part of this, my evil, for me… help me…”[23]

The next progression of “grace” is where most believers walk; they think it is the “unmerited favor” of God, yet “chanan” is actually just a bit different. Here, in “chanan” the Supreme Judge has already delayed His anger by showing us “rav chesed”; but we still have not fully repented of our deeds and words – the sentence of death still hangs over us. In “chanan”, Yahvey takes pity on us, still not desiring that we die, it is His pity, His heart that once again delays the righteous judgment that He should meet out to us. When a person cries out to God to declare His name of “chanan”, they are crying out “There is nothing or no one to justify or comfort  me, but please Daddy, Father,  it hurts;  help me.” The Father’s heart is moved with pity and He allows more time to repent.

The final progression of “grace” is where we should all be. It is “racham”. It is here when a person declares God’s name “Racham”, we are crying out “ PLEASE look at the mitigating circumstances!” We have thrown ourselves on the mercy of the court. We aren’t making excuses for our actions, but realize that sometimes things get beyond our ability to contain them -  this is what we are asking God to remember, and to show us mercy in our mistakes, in our regrets, in our sorrow. We have come to repentance, we have made t’shuvah back to God, and we now come willfully under His command. “Racham” means that we understand that we need to walk in obedience to His ways, to His Torah, and He gives us the ability to obey. No longer are we walking in mercy, or pity. We now walk because we have been pardoned, the Supreme Judge has declared us acquitted of our crimes. Notice I did not say “not guilty”, for guilty we are, but He has acquitted us of our transgressions. Webster’s dictionary says this:

“…ACQUIT', v.t. [L. cedo.]
To set free; to release or discharge from an obligation, accusation, guilt, censure, suspicion, or whatever lies upon a person as a charge or duty; as, the jury acquitted the prisoner; we acquit a man of evil intentions. It is followed by of before the object; to acquit from is obsolete. In a reciprocal sense, as, the soldier acquitted himself well in battle, the word has a like sense, implying the discharge of a duty or obligation. Hence its use in expressing excellence in performance; as the orator acquitted himself well, that is, in a manner that his situation and public expectation demanded…” [24]

We are set free. Released.

Now let us see how this ties in with forgiveness.

The three Hebrew words used for forgiveness are:
  1.       Selichah
  2.        Mechilah
  3.      Kapparah

1.       Selichah:
“…-Original: סליחה
- Transliteration: s’liychah
- Phonetic: sel-ee-khaw'
- Definition:
1. forgiveness
- Origin: from H5545
- TWOT entry: 1505b
- Part(s) of speech: Noun Feminine
- Strong's: From H5545; pardon: - forgiveness pardon.
Total KJV Occurrences: 3
   forgiveness, 1
  forgivenesses, 1
  pardon, 1
 Neh_9:17 …” [25]

This word is used of YHVH’s forgiving nature. Look at Psalm 130:1-4:

Psalm 130:1-4 (NASB95)
A Song of Ascents.
1) Out of the adepths I have cried to You, O Lord.
2) Lord, ahear my voice!
Let bYour ears be attentive
To the cvoice of my supplications.
3) If You, 1Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could astand?
4) But there is aforgiveness with You,
That You may be bfeared. [26]

The psalmist write that if God chose to record sin, who could stand? But the nature of God is to forgive, not excuse or condone, but to pardon, to release. There is a process though; the party that has committed the wrong has to seek forgiveness through repentance. This has to accomplished by seeking to address the wrong we did, whether against God or man. Asking to be forgiven must be rooted in the love and fear of God, and love for our fellow man. [27] One has to be able to see the truth of their own flaws and seek the reconciliation that is required. The process of t’shuvah, the return to God, also requires us to take inventory of our lives. Why do we want to be forgiven? Is it just to ease our guilt, or is there a deeper motivation, one that says “My hurt doesn’t belong to me – it belongs to someone else, someone whom I can help because I know their pain.” If we only seek to be forgiven because it eases our pain, what has been accomplished? Is the world repaired by our selfishness?

"If your brother has wronged you in your property, forget it at once even if he has not asked you to do so; what he took was not yours, and he did not take anything from you. Where injury has been done to your person or honour, be easily appeased as soon as your brother asks for forgiveness and desires to be reconciled. He who soon forgives is soon forgiven. If you are really good, if humility is one of your qualities, you will forget hurts and insults without pardon being asked of you; like the well known chasid, you will never lie down to sleep without being reconciled with the whole world, all of which God covers with the wings of His peace." Samson Raphael Hirsch from Horeb. [28]

God knows everything about us, our Lashon Ha’Rah (evil tongue), our Lashon Kodesh (sacred tongue), our Yetzer Tov (the inclination to do good) and our Yetzet Ha’Rah (the inclination to do evil). Our goal is to understand this and act accordingly. If you know you are being watched and weighed, would not you alter your behavior? In contrast to all we have been taught in Christianity, we are not born in sin; our soul was pure from God. It is the actions and directions we take in our life that chain us to the sinful life; unforgiveness chains us to bitterness, bitterness chains us to despair; despair chains us to anger, anger to hate and on and on it goes. Our disobedience to God lays the path for our mistreatment of one another. Kepha (Peter) said this:

2 Peter 3:9 (NRSV)
9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you,b not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. [29]

God’s nature leads Him to forgive; we are created in His image, thus we have the same capacity. May we use it. This seeking forgiveness opens the door to be forgiven… It is here we need also to walk in rav chesed toward those who have hurt us, and to seek chesed from those we have wronged.

2.       The second step in the process of forgiveness is “mechilah”. We can translate this word as “wiping away”.
“…- Original: מחה
- Transliteration: Machah (or mechilah)
- Phonetic: maw-khaw'
- Definition:
1. to wipe, wipe out
a. (Qal)
1. to wipe
2. to blot out, obliterate
3. to blot out, exterminate
b. (Niphal)
1. to be wiped out
2. to be blotted out
3. to be exterminated
c. (Hiphil) to blot out (from memory)
2. (Qal) to strike
3. (Pual) full of marrow (participle)
- Origin: a primitive root
- TWOT entry: 1178,1179,1181c
- Part(s) of speech: Verb
- Strong's: A primitive root; properly to stroke or rub; by implication to erase; also to smooth (as if with oil) that is grease or make fat; also to touch that is reach to: - abolish blot out destroy full of marrow put out reach unto X utterly wipe (away out)…” [30]

The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says this:

1178     מָחָה (māḥâ) I, wipe, wipe out.
“…Almost all of the thirty-three occurrences of this verb are theologically significant. It is first found in the flood narrative. Every living thing on the face of the earth that breathed was blotted out (Gen 7:22–23) including all human beings, except eight. māḥâ figures prominently in the prayer in which Moses begged God to forgive the sin Israel incurred when they worshiped the golden calf. “If not, blot me out of your book,” prays Moses (Ex 32:32–33). It had been God’s intention to blot out Israel’s name from under heaven (Deut 9:14), as repeated in Deut 29:20 [H 19] (see also Ps 69:28 [H 29]). Whether he regards it thus as a stain (as in Ps 51:3, 11) or a debt in a ledger (as in Col 2:14) is not known with certainty. But he was willing, as was the apostle Paul, to be accursed for the sake of his brethren.
Note that erasures in ancient leather scrolls were made by washing or sponging off’ the ink rather than blotting. “Wipe out” is therefore more accurate for the idea of expunge.
When God did move in judgment, he wiped Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down (II Kgs 21:13). During the time of the judges, the entire tribe of Benjamin was almost blotted out (Jud 21:17).
The sinner prays as David did that God will blot out, i.e. erase his transgressions and iniquities (Ps 51:1 [H 3], 9 [H 11]). God does so for his own sake and remembers those sins no longer (Isa 43:25). Thus sins which loomed as a thick cloud were blotted out (Isa 44:22). While God is omniscient, these sins he deliberately remembers against us no longer. The reverse action can be seen in Ps 109:14, and Neh 4:5 [H 3:37]. māḥâ is also used to describe the lifestyle of an adulterous woman who eats, wipes her mouth, and protestingly claims that she has done no wrong (Prov 30:20).
Then there is the case of the jealous husband who suspected his wife of adultery. As part of the psychological ordeal to which she was subjected in the presence of the Lord, the woman had to drink bitter water into which curses written on a scroll had been wiped in order to determine her innocence or guilt. (Num 5:23).
Finally, Isa 25:8 proclaims that God will wipe away tears from all faces…” [31]

The idea is that in our guide to forgiveness, we want to right the wrong we did to another; the inverse is the same. We should be able to wipe away the wrongs someone has done to us if they come and seek forgiveness. Our response to this is not easy, but well within the power God has imparted to us. Giving forgiveness is a requirement at this point in our process and chanan should be the level of grace we exercise here.

3.       The third phase of our journey into forgiveness rests in “kapparah” or atonement.  

Here at the highest level of forgiveness is where its true power lies. In kapparah, there is not just remorse over a hurtful act, there is genuine repentance for the act. It is defined as:
“…- Original: כּפר
- Transliteration: Kaphar
- Phonetic: kaw-far'
- Definition:
1. to cover, purge, make an atonement, make reconciliation, cover over with pitch
a. (Qal) to coat or cover with pitch
b. (Piel)
1. to cover over, pacify, propitiate
2. to cover over, atone for sin, make atonement for
3. to cover over, atone for sin and persons by legal rites
c. (Pual)
1. to be covered over
2. to make atonement for
d. (Hithpael) to be covered
- Origin: a primitive root
- TWOT entry: 1023,1024,1025,1026
- Part(s) of speech: Verb
- Strong's: A primitive root; to cover (specifically with bitumen); figuratively to expiate or condone to placate or cancel: - appease make (an) atonement cleanse disannul forgive be merciful pacify pardon to pitch purge (away) put off (make) reconcile (-liation).
Total KJV Occurrences: 102
  appease, 1
  atonement, 71
 Exo_29:36; Exo_29:37; Exo_30:10(2); Exo_30:15; Exo_30:16; Exo_32:30; Lev_1:4; Lev_4:20; Lev_4:26; Lev_4:31; Lev_4:35; Lev_5:6; Lev_5:10; Lev_5:13; Lev_5:16; Lev_5:18; Lev_6:7; Lev_7:7; Lev_8:34; Lev_9:7(2); Lev_10:17; Lev_12:7; Lev_12:8; Lev_14:18; Lev_14:19; Lev_14:20; Lev_14:21; Lev_14:29; Lev_14:31; Lev_14:53; Lev_15:15; Lev_15:30; Lev_16:6; Lev_16:10; Lev_16:11; Lev_16:16; Lev_16:17(2); Lev_16:18; Lev_16:24; Lev_16:27; Lev_16:30; Lev_16:32; Lev_16:33(3); Lev_16:34; Lev_17:11(2); Lev_19:22; Lev_23:28; Num_6:11; Num_8:12; Num_8:19; Num_8:21; Num_15:25; Num_15:28(2); Num_16:46; Num_16:47; Num_25:13; Num_28:22; Num_28:30; Num_29:5; Num_31:50; 2Sa_21:3; 1Ch_6:49; 2Ch_29:24; Neh_10:33…” [32]

Kapparah is seen in the narrative concerning Noach and the ark and is also linked with the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur:

“…Gen 6:14  Make6213 thee an ark8392 of gopher1613 wood;6086 rooms7064 shalt thou make6213 (853) in the ark,8392 and shalt pitch3722 it within4480, 1004 and without4480, 2351 with pitch.3724

Noah’s Ark: 

“pitch it within”  :
·         “pitch” : H3722 כּפר  kâphar kaw-far'
A primitive root; to cover  (specifically with bitumen)…
“within” : H1004  בּית   bayith  bah'-yith
“..without with pitch…” 
·         “without” : H2351  חץ    חוּץ  chûts  chûts  khoots, khoots
(Both forms feminine in the plural); from an unused root meaning to sever; properly separate by a wall, that is, outside, outdoors: - abroad, field, forth, highway, more, out (-side, -ward), street, without.

·         “pitch” :  H3724  כּפר  kôpher  ko'-fer
From H3722; properly a cover, that is, (literally) a village (as covered in); (specifically) bitumen (as used for coating), and the henna plant (as used for dyeing); figuratively a redemption price: - bribe, camphire, pitch, ransom, satisfaction, sum of money, village.

“Kopher” is used as a noun
·         As seen in above definitions, a type or picture emerges from the example of Noah’s Ark:  one is changed (or covered over) (denotes action) from within, i.e. the Holy Spirit.  (kaphar or kapparah)
·         We are also covered by, or coated with on the outside, (denotes something) i.e. the Blood of Christ..
(as in “Cover us with Your Blood, Yeshua…”)  or “kopher”

The Ark of the Covenant:
On the Day of Atonement, (10th day of the 7th month, the month of Tishri, our Sept.-Oct), the High Priest would enter into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice upon the Mercy Seat of the Ark, the כּפּרת  kappôreth.    This covering of the blood is the word “kapparah”  (the sprinkling of the blood): 

Leviticus 23:26-28 (NASB95)
26     The Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
27     “On exactly athe tenth day of this seventh month is bthe day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you,
and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the Lord.
28     “You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a aday of atonement, bto make atonement on your behalf before the Lord your God. [33]

Kapparah is a cover, a cover for our sins, for our transgressions against God. The first indication of kapparah is found in the narrative in Genesis 4:

Genesis 4:1-7 (Tanakh)
4) Now the man knewa his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gainedb a male child with the help of the Lord.” 2She then bore his brother Abel. Abel became a keeper of sheep, and Cain became a tiller of the soil. 3In the course of time, Cain brought an offering to the Lord from the fruit of the soil; 4and Abel, for his part, brought the choicest of the firstlings of his flock. The Lord paid heed to Abel and his offering, 5but to Cain and his offering He paid no heed. Cain was much distressed and his face fell. 6And the Lord said to Cain,
“Why are you distressed,
And why is your face fallen?
7cSurely, if you do right,
There is uplift.
But if you do not do right
Sin couches at the door;
Its urge is toward you,
Yet you can be its master.” [34]
The idea here is that “…"If you shall do better," God admonishes Cain, "the punishment will be carried over," and if you do not, "sin (punishment) crouches at the opening..." [35]

                All of our actions, our deeds, can have the effect of polluting our souls with sin. Sin is clearly defined in the word as the transgression of Yahvey’s Torah (1 John 3:4). John also tells us that we must seek to purify ourselves from this sin (1 John 3:2-3).  It is by the means of t’shuvah (repentance) and kapparah (cover and/or acquittal) that God is able to put into place a barrier between man and the punishment for his sin.

“…According to Rashi, the words "kapparah" (acquittal) and"kofer" (indemnity payment) are derived from the same Hebrew root ["kfr”] and have a common signification. Punishment is not a self‑negating phenomenon--an indemnity must be offered and paid in order to withdraw the liability claim. That indemnity payment is made through teshuvah(repentance) itself. Kapparah (acquittal) is the result of the payment of this "ransom" which releases and redeems man from punishment…” [36]

Does anyone begin to see the significance of all this? Rabbi Soloveitchik has identified salvation, whether or not that was his intention. The “kophar”, the indemnity payment, had to be offered up: Yeshua on the cross. T’shuvah, had to be made: our act of genuine repentance before God. I am reminded of what Rabbi Sha’ul (Paul) says in 2 Corinthians…
2 Corinthians 7:9-11 (NET)

7:9 Now I rejoice, not because you were made sad,27 but because you were made sad to the point of repentance. For you were made sad as God intended,28 so that you were not harmed29 in any way by us. 7:10 For sadness as intended by God produces a repentance that leads to salvation, leaving no regret, but worldly sadness brings about death. 7:11 For see what this very thing, this sadness30 as God intended, has produced in you: what eagerness, what defense of yourselves,31 what indignation,32 what alarm, what longing, what deep concern,33 what punishment!34 In everything you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. [37]

The King James Bible describes this “sadness” as “Godly sorrow”, a more accurate description of how the weight of our sin should make us feel. This then leads to “kapparah”; though this level of forgiveness cannot be achieved by any human means; only God can come in and “wipe out” or “release” one’s soul from the bondage of sin, of guilt, of remorse, of anger, of hurt, of pain, of bitterness, of addictions, of loss; it is only through God that comfort can enter our hearts and give us rest. This is why I love the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. Throughout the year, my soul is afflicted; wound piled upon wound – some self-inflicted, other caused from without. All year long, no matter what I do, I have the nagging weight of baggage that I drag around. I’m not saying that the blessed atoning death and resurrection of Yeshua isn’t enough: it truly is, but God in His wisdom is bringing believers in Messiah back to His Feasts – and Yom Kippur.  Just as sin and unforgiveness pollutes us, so has God made a way to cleanse us again. Our Kohen Gadol (High Priest), Yeshua Ha’Machiach, has sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat to purify us of the pollution we have perpetrated upon ourselves, and we are purified (taharah) from the liability of our transgressions. T’shuvah, kapparah, taharah… the three fold sequence appears once again…

                In the legal concept of the covenant God has made with His people, Israel and Judah (and of those of us who have had  ourselves attached to the Commonwealth of Israel through the faith in Yeshua the Messiah), kapparah has issued a writ of withdrawal of claim – the claim of just punishment for our sins. This is what I was calling the true power of God: to punish requires little power – all one has to do is execute judgment. But to forgive – ah, here is great power, to withhold righteous judgment and exchange it with mercy. This requires God to put His nature as Supreme Judge back on the shelf and look upon us and declare us “not guilty” even the preponderance of evidence is against us. The power of God lies in His power to forgive; thus it is the same with us. To be forgiven is to forgive, to wipe away, to blot out. With kapparah, comes racham; the grace to walk it out.

                We spend an extraordinary time in the pursuit of how to “forgive ourselves” when nowhere in the Scriptures does God every tell us to do so. We are told to forgive others, so that God can then forgive us. This preoccupation we have with ourselves is what keeps us from the comfort and rest God has promised us. Yeshua said:

Matthew 6:19-33 (NKJV)
19 t“…Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 ubut lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 v “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is 7good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is 8bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 wNo one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. xYou cannot serve God and 9mammon.
25 “Therefore I say to you, ydo not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
26 zLook at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one 1cubit to his 2stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not 3arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But aseek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you…” [38]

We serve two masters when we think about ourselves. We all go through pain, but this pain is not for us – it is not for us to hold onto it, to smother ourselves in it, to dwell on it, to nurture it because it is familiar – this pain doesn’t belong to us. The unforgiveness, the bitterness, doesn’t belong to us. God has given us this season so that we, in our pain, will have the ability to recognize this same pain in others, and reach out to them in love. As we help them ease their pain, ours is eased also. As we comfort, we are comforted. As we forgive, we are forgiven.

Our greatest obstacle to freedom is our inability to forgive the One that we need forgiveness from. Yes, for all our troubles and trials, we tend to blame God. Have you said to Him today through your tears “I forgive you God…”? Have you said in your pain and fear “I forgive you God…”? He doesn’t need our forgiveness, but we need to articulate ours – we need to taharah, to purify our souls, for even if we try hard to not hold anything against God, are we really, really sure we don’t? He is so easy to blame; I mean He doesn’t fight back. He just waits with patient lovingkindness – rav chesed - and with pity for our pain – chanan – and waits, waits for s to reach out to Him in racham, in obedience and humility.

It is all bittersweet. The process takes us through astonishing changes as we begin to shed the dead layers of our souls and expose the tender live layers to the light of God. We are like an onion, peeling back dry layers to get to the freshness underneath. That process brings tears to our eyes does it not? So should the peeling back of our “armor”, the layers we have built up around our hearts just “so we won’t hurt anymore.” That isn’t life: that is just a slow, painful death as we dry up and wither away. We need the bitter to get the sweet; there is no other way around it.

It takes no power to hold onto pain and suffering. It takes power to forgive and live again. God’s mighty power wants to come and walk with you through these painful times; Yeshua wants to come and comfort you, to ease the storm in your life. I know that this has been a long post, and I pray you have made it through. If you have, my prayer is that you see the process and begin to work out the things that beset you, and come into the fullness of life once more. May He be forever exalted in all our lives.

…May the Lord richly bless you this day, my beloved.. Hashem Yeshua, in the name of Yeshua, Amein…

[1] [Author’s Note:] Throughout these studies I have used the notes that come along with the passages I cite from the sources that I cite: these need a bit of a disclaimer though. As in all things, not everything that is footnoted is something that I necessarily agree with, especially if it contradicts what I believe pertains to any matters of the Torah or the commandments of God. I give you the notes as they are written by the authors of the material I cite from, so that you can see the information contained within them. It truly is not my place to edit or correct them; if they state anything that is in opposition to what I teach, then so be it. I will address these issues if requested, but for the sake of brevity (as if any of these posts of mine are brief ) I insert them and let them stand as they are. If I don’t agree with them, why do I include them you might ask? I don’t believe in censuring anyone’s opinions; as I would not want mine censured, so I will not do to that to another. As Rabbi Hillel once stated, “What is hateful to you, do not do to another. That is the whole Torah. Go and learn it.” Torah leads me to respect others, even if I disagree; it leads me to present both sides of the coin, even if it could mean I’d lose part of the argument. That is not to say I should not challenge something I believe contradicts the truth of God’s word; that I will do in the main body of my epistles; that is where my gentle dissent belongs. Most (but not all) of the differences will come when I quote from the NET® Bible; it has a decidedly Western/Greek mindset to it, but as a wise man once said “How do you eat chicken? Swallow the meat and spit out the bones..”
·          [The following notes are taken from the NET Bible® footnotes, copyright (c) 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press L.L.C. All rights reserved. Used by permission from, n.d. Numbering system is unique to NET® Notes..]
91  sn Love your enemies is the first of four short exhortations that call for an unusual response to those who are persecuting disciples. Disciples are to relate to hostility in a completely unprecedented manner.
92  tn The substantival participle ἐπηρεαζόντων (epēreazontōn), sometimes translated “those who abuse” (NRSV), is better rendered “those who mistreat,” a more general term (see L&N 88.129).
93  sn The phrase strikes you on the cheek probably pictures public rejection, like the act that indicated expulsion from the synagogue.
94  sn This command to offer the other cheek as well is often misunderstood. It means that there is risk involved in reaching out to people with God’s hope. But if one is struck down in rejection, the disciple is to continue reaching out.
95  tn Or “cloak.”
96  tn See the note on the word “tunics” in 3:11.
97  sn The command do not withhold your tunic either is again an image of continually being totally at risk as one tries to keep contact with those who are hostile to what Jesus and his disciples offer.
98  sn Jesus advocates a generosity and a desire to meet those in dire need with the command give to everyone who asks you. This may allude to begging; giving alms was viewed highly in the ancient world (Matt 6:1–4; Deut 15:7–11).
99  tn Grk “your things,” sometimes translated “what is yours” or “what belongs to you.”
100  sn Do not ask for your possessions back … is an example of showing forgiveness. Paul’s remarks in 1 Cor 6:7 may reflect this principle.
101  tn This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos), referring to both males and females.
102  sn Jesus’ teaching as reflected in the phrase treat others in the same way you would want them to treat you, known generally as the Golden Rule, is not completely unique in the ancient world, but it is stated here in its most emphatic, selfless form.
103  tn Grk “And if.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. This is a first class condition, but the next two conditional clauses are third class conditions, so that stylistic variation is probably at work.
104  sn Here the term sinners may refer to people who had no concern for observing the details of the Mosaic law; these were often treated as social outcasts. See L&N 88.295.
105  sn Jesus’ point in the statement even sinners love those who love them is that disciples are to go farther than sinners do. The examples replay vv. 29–30.
106  tc ‡ Three key mss (𝔓75 א* B) have “for” here, but it is unlikely that it was present originally. The addition of conjunctions, especially to the beginning of a clause, are typically suspect because they fit the pattern of Koine tendencies toward greater explicitness. NA27 has the word in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.
107  tc Most mss (A D L Θ Ξ Ψ f13 33 𝔐 lat) include γάρ (gar, “for”) following καί (kai, here translated “even”), but a few important mss (א B W 700 892* 1241 pc) lack the conjunction. The inclusion of the conjunction seems to be motivated by clarity and should probably be considered inauthentic.
108  sn See the note on the word sinners in v. 32.
109  tn Grk “to receive”; but in context the repayment of the amount lent is implied. Jesus was noting that utilitarian motives are the way of the world.
110  sn See the note on the word sinners in v. 32.
111  tn Grk “to receive as much again.”
112  tn Or “in return.”
113  tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the outcome or result. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started in the translation at this point.
114  sn The character of these actions reflects the grace and kindness of God, bearing witness to a “line of descent” or relationship of the individual to God (sons of the Most High). There is to be a unique kind of ethic at work with disciples. Jesus refers specifically to sons here because in the ancient world sons had special privileges which were rarely accorded to daughters. However, Jesus is most likely addressing both men and women in this context, so women too would receive these same privileges.
115  sn That is, “sons of God.”
116  tn Or “to the ungrateful and immoral.” The word “people” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.
117  sn Merciful is a characteristic of God often noted in the OT: Exod 34:6; Deut 4:31; Joel 2:31; Jonah 4:2; 2 Sam 24:14. This remark also echoes the more common OT statements like Lev 19:2 or Deut 18:13: “you must be holy as I am holy.”
118  tn Grk “And do.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
119  sn As the Gospel makes clear, with the statement do not judge Jesus had in mind making a judgment that caused one to cut oneself off from someone so that they ceased to be reached out to (5:27–32; 15:1–32). Jesus himself did make judgments about where people stand (11:37–54), but not in such a way that he ceased to continue to offer them God’s grace.
120  sn The point of the statement do not judge, and you will not be judged is that the standards one applies to others God applies back. The passive verbs in this verse look to God’s action.
121  sn On forgive see Luke 11:4; 1 Pet 3:7.
122  sn The background to the image pressed down, shaken together, running over is pouring out grain for measure in the marketplace. One often poured the grain into a container, shook it to level out the grain and then poured in some more. Those who are generous have generosity running over for them.
123  tn Grk “they will give”; that is, “pour.” The third person plural has been replaced by the passive in the translation.
124  tn Grk “by [the measure] with which you measure it will be measured back to you.”
125  tn Questions prefaced with μή () in Greek anticipate a negative answer. This can sometimes be indicated by using a “tag” at the end in English (here it is “can he?”).
126  sn The picture of a blind man leading a blind man is a warning to watch who one follows: Won’t they both fall into a pit? The sermon has been about religious choices and reacting graciously to those who oppose the followers of Jesus. Here Jesus’ point was to be careful who you follow and where they are taking you.
127  tn Or “student.”
128  tn Or “significantly different.” The idea, as the next phrase shows, is that teachers build followers who go the same direction they do.
129  tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
130  sn A speck (also twice in v. 42) refers to a small piece of wood, chaff, or straw (L&N 3.66).
131  tn Or “do not notice.”
132  sn The beam of wood (also twice in v. 42) refers to a big piece of wood, the main beam of a building, in contrast to the speck in the other’s eye (L&N 7.78).
133  tn The explanatory connective γάρ (gar) is often dropped from translations, but the point of the passage is that one should be self-corrective and be careful who one follows (vv. 41–42), because such choices also reflect what the nature of the tree is and its product.
134  tn Grk “rotten.” The word σαπρός, modifying both “fruit” and “tree,” can also mean “diseased” (L&N 65.28).
135  tc Most mss, especially later ones (A C D Θ Ψ 33 𝔐 lat sy sa), lack the adverb πάλιν (palin, “again”) here. Its presence is attested, however, by several good witnesses (𝔓75 א B L W Ξ f1, 13 579 892 1241 2542).
136  sn The principle of the passage is that one produces what one is.
137  tn Grk “they do not gather”; this has been simplified to the passive voice in the translation since the subject “they” is not specified further in the context.
138  tn This is a different verb (τρυγῶσιν, trugōsin) for gathering from the previous one (συλλέγουσιν, sullegousin).
139  tn This is a different term (βάτος, batos) for a thorn or bramble bush than the previous one (ἄκανθα, akantha).sn The statement nor are grapes picked from brambles illustrates the principle: That which cannot produce fruit, does not produce fruit.
140  tn Grk “the”; the Greek article has been translated here and in the following clause (“out of the evil”) as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).
141  sn Mention of the heart shows that Jesus is not interested in what is done, but why. Motives are more important than actions for him.
142  tn The word “treasury” is not repeated in the Greek text at this point, but is implied.
143  sn What one utters from one’s mouth is especially singled out as the example of this principle. James seems to have known this teaching (Jas 1:26; 3:1–12).
144  tn Grk “for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
145  tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
146  tn The double use of the vocative is normally used in situations of high emotion or emphasis. Even an emphatic confession without action means little.
147  sn Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do what I tell you? Respect is not a matter of mere words, but is reflected in obedient action. This short saying, which is much simpler than its more developed conceptual parallel in Matt 7:21–23, serves in this form to simply warn and issue a call to hear and obey, as the last parable also does in vv. 47–49.
148  tn Grk “and does them.”
149  tn Here and in v. 49 the Greek text reads ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos), while the parallel account in Matt 7:24–27 uses ἀνήρ (anēr) in vv. 24 and 26.
150  tn There are actually two different Greek verbs used here: “who dug (ἔσκαψεν, eskapsen) and dug deep (ἐβάθυνεν, ebathunen).” Jesus is placing emphasis on the effort to which the man went to prepare his foundation.
151  tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
152  sn The picture here is of a river overflowing its banks and causing flooding and chaos.
153  tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in the context.
154  tc Most mss, especially later ones (A C D Θ Ψ f1, 13 𝔐 latt), read “because he built [it] on the rock” rather than because it had been well built” (𝔓75vid א B L W Ξ 33 579 892 1241 2542 pc sa). The reading of the later mss seems to be a harmonization to Matt 7:25, rendering it most likely secondary.
155  tn Grk “does not do [them].”
156  tn Grk “against which”; because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative clause was converted to a temporal clause in the translation and a new sentence started here.
157  tn Grk “it”; the referent (that house) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
158  tn Grk “and its crash was great.”sn The extra phrase at the end of this description (and was utterly destroyed) portrays the great disappointment that the destruction of the house caused as it crashed and was swept away.
·         End “NET®” notes
[2]  Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Lk 6:27–49). Biblical Studies Press.
[3] Biblical Studies Press: The NET Bible First Edition Notes; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible : Biblical Studies Press, ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press
[4] This story has a point, but I want to make it clear: I do not, will not, ever uphold the Nazi’s as anything other than what they were – evil. Every picture tells a story, every heart has one too. The story of Mrs. “M” is just one of those that illustrates the point I am trying to make.
a  Ps 18:1, 2; Is 25:4
b  Nah 1:7
c  Ps 22:27; Is 2:2; Jer 3:17; 4:2
d  Is 44:20; Hab 2:18 (literally “lies”)
1  Lit there is nothing profitable in them
e  Is 44:10
a  Ps 115:4–8; Is 37:19; Jer 2:11; 5:7; Hos 8:4–6; Gal 4:8
a  Ps 9:16
1  Lit hand
b  Ps 83:18; Is 43:3; Jer 33:2; Amos 5:8
[5]  New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
4  Lit. splendor
5  Lit. ruin
e  Dan. 9:21
f  Dan. 9:23
g  Rev. 1:17
h  Dan. 9:3, 4, 22, 23; Acts 10:4
[6]  The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[7] With thanks to Peter McArthur of The Issachar Ministry for the lead and inspiration of this timely truth… See
[The following notes are taken from the NET Bible® footnotes, copyright (c) 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press L.L.C. All rights reserved. Used by permission from, n.d. Numbering system is unique to NET® Notes..]
32 tn The expression rendered “three times” is really “three feet,” or “three foot-beats.” The expression occurs only a few times in the Law. The expressing is an adverbial accusative.
33 tn This is the word תָּחֹג (takhog) from the root חָגַג (khagag); it describes a feast that was accompanied by a pilgrimage. It was first used by Moses in his appeal that Israel go three days into the desert to hold such a feast.
34 tn This is an adverbial accusative of time.
35 tn Heb “in it.”
36 tn The verb is a Niphal imperfect; the nuance of permission works well here – no one is permitted to appear before God empty (Heb “and they will not appear before me empty”).
37 tn The words “you are also to observe” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
38 tn An infinitive construct with a preposition and a pronominal suffix is used to make a temporal clause: “in the going in of the year.” The word “year” is the subjective genitive, the subject of the clause.
39 tn An infinitive construct with a preposition and a pronominal suffix is used to make a temporal clause: “in the ingathering of you.”
40 tn Heb “gathered in your labors.” This is a metonymy of cause put for the effect. “Labors” are not gathered in, but what the labors produced – the harvest.
41 tn Adverbial accusative of time: “three times” becomes “at three times.”
42 tn Here the divine Name reads in Hebrew הָאָדֹן יְהוָה (haadon yéhvah), which if rendered according to the traditional scheme of “Lord” for “Yahweh” would result in “Lord Lord.” A number of English versions therefore render this phrase “Lord God,” and that convention has been followed here.
·         End “NET®” notes
[8] Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
[9] Stern, David H. The Complete Jewish Bible. ©Jewish New Testament Publications, 1998.  Electronic Edition, e-Sword v. 10.2.1. Copyright ©2000-2013 by Rick Meyers
1  Or previous
Prov 8:6
Luke 1:3, 4
1  Lit truth
2  Lit return to words of truth
b  Prov 25:13; 1 Pet 3:15
[10]  New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[11] F. Brown, S. Driver, C. Briggs; J. Strong; J.H. Thayer. Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Thayer’s Greek Definitions, and the Strong’s King James Concordance. Electronic Edition, © 2000–2013 e-Sword v 10.2.1 by Rick Meyers, n.d.
g  Deut. 4:35; Mark 12:29; John 17:3; [1 Cor. 8:4, 6]
2  Or The Lord is our God, the Lord alone, i.e., the only one
h  Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27
i  2 Kin. 23:25
[12]  The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[13] See “The Third Way”, The Issachar Ministry, ©Peter McArthur 1997, 2003
[14] Pastor Mark Biltz,
a  Matt 5:27, 33, 38, 43
1  Lit it was said to the ancients
b  Ex 20:13; Deut 5:17
2  Or guilty before
c  Deut 16:18; 2 Chr 19:5f
1  Or liable to
a  Deut 16:18; 2 Chr 19:5f
2  Or empty-head; Gr Raka (Raca) fr Aram reqa
1  Or liable to
3  Lit the Sanhedrin
b  Matt 10:17; 26:59; Mark 13:9; 14:55; 15:1; Luke 22:66; John 11:47; Acts 4:15; 5:21; 6:12; 22:30; 23:1; 24:20
1  Or liable to
4  Lit Gehenna of fire
c  Matt 5:29f; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43ff; Luke 12:5; James 3:6
a  Matt 5:24
1  Or gift
1  Or gift
a  Rom 12:17, 18
1  Or gift
[15]  New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[16] Harness, Mark D. Accurate New Testament First Edition. First Edition. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2009.
[17] There is that “three fold sequence” again…
a Ex 19:9; 33:9
1 Or he called out with the name of the Lord
a Num 14:18; Deut 4:31; Neh 9:17; Ps 86:15; 103:8; 108:4; 145:8; Joel 2:13; Rom 2:4
1 Or faithfulness
a Ex 20:5, 6; Deut 5:10; 7:9; Ps 103:3; 130:3, 4; 1 John 1:9
b Ex 23:7; Deut 7:10; Job 10:14; Nah 1:3
c Deut 5:9
1 Lit and bowed...worshiped
a Ex 4:31
[18] New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Ex 34:5–8). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[19] F. Brown, S. Driver, C. Briggs; J. Strong; J.H. Thayer. Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Thayer’s Greek Definitions, and the Strong’s King James Concordance. Electronic Edition, © 2000–2013 e-Sword v 10.2.1 by Rick Meyers, n.d.
[20] …Ibid…
[21] F. Brown, S. Driver, C. Briggs; J. Strong; J.H. Thayer. Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Thayer’s Greek Definitions, and the Strong’s King James Concordance. Electronic Edition, © 2000–2013 e-Sword v 10.2.1 by Rick Meyers, n.d.
[22] …Ibid…
[24] Webster, Noah. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of American English. Foundation for American Christian Education, 1828. Electronic edition, theWORD software ©2003-2012 by Costas Stergiou, version

[25] F. Brown, S. Driver, C. Briggs; J. Strong; J.H. Thayer. Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Thayer’s Greek Definitions, and the Strong’s King James Concordance. Electronic Edition, © 2000–2013 e-Sword v 10.2.1 by Rick Meyers, n.d.
a  Ps 42:7; 69:2; Lam 3:55
a  Ps 64:1; 119:149
b  2 Chr 6:40; Neh 1:6, 11
c  Ps 28:2; 140:6
1  Heb Yah
a  Ps 76:7; 143:2; Nah 1:6; Mal 3:2; Rev 6:17
a  Ex 34:7; Neh 9:17; Ps 86:5; Is 55:7; Dan 9:9
b  1 Kin 8:39, 40; Jer 33:8, 9
[26]  New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[28] Horeb: A Philosophy of Jewish Laws and Observances, by Rabbi Samson Raphel Hirch Soncino Pr Ltd; 7th edition (January 1, 2002)
b  Other ancient authorities read on your account
[29]  The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
[30] F. Brown, S. Driver, C. Briggs; J. Strong; J.H. Thayer. Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Thayer’s Greek Definitions, and the Strong’s King James Concordance. Electronic Edition, © 2000–2013 e-Sword v 10.2.1 by Rick Meyers, n.d.
[31]Harris, R. L., Harris, R. L., Archer, G. L., & Waltke, B. K. (1999, c1980). Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (498). Chicago: Moody Press.
[32] F. Brown, S. Driver, C. Briggs; J. Strong; J.H. Thayer. Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, Thayer’s Greek Definitions, and the Strong’s King James Concordance. Electronic Edition, © 2000–2013 e-Sword v 10.2.1 by Rick Meyers, n.d.

a  Lev 16:29; 25:9; Num 29:7
b  Ex 30:10; Lev 16:30; 23:28; Num 29:7–11
a  Lev 23:27
b  Lev 16:34
[33]  New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
a  Heb. yada˓, often in a sexual sense.
b  Heb. qanithi, connected with “Cain.”
c  Meaning of verse uncertain.
[34]  Jewish Publication Society. (1997, c1985). Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures : A new translation of the Holy Scriptures according to the traditional Hebrew text. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.
·         [The following notes are taken from the NET Bible® footnotes, copyright (c) 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press L.L.C. All rights reserved. Used by permission from, n.d. Numbering system is unique to NET® Notes..]
[36] …Ibid…
27 tn Grk “were grieved” (so also twice later in the verse).
28 tn Grk “corresponding to God,” that is, corresponding to God’s will (κατὰ θεόν, kata theon). The same phrase occurs in vv. 10 and 11.
29 tn Grk “so that you did not suffer loss.”
30 tn Grk “this very thing, to be grieved.”
31 tn The words “of yourselves” are not in the Greek text but are implied.
32 sn What indignation refers to the Corinthians’ indignation at the offender.
33 tn Or “what zeal.”
34 sn That is, punishment for the offender.
·         End “NET®” notes
[37]  Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press. 
t  Prov. 23:4; [1 Tim. 6:17; Heb. 13:5]; James 5:1
u  Matt. 19:21; Luke 12:33; 18:22; 1 Tim. 6:19; 1 Pet. 1:4
v  Luke 11:34, 35
7  Clear, or healthy
8  Evil, or unhealthy
w  Luke 16:9, 11, 13
x  [Gal. 1:10; 1 Tim. 6:17; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15]
9  Lit., in Aram., riches
y  [Ps. 55:22]; Luke 12:22; [Phil. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:7]
z  Job 38:41; Ps. 147:9; Matt. 10:29; Luke 12:24
1  About 18 inches
2  height
3  dressed
a  1 Kin. 3:13; Luke 12:31; [1 Tim. 4:8]
[38]  The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

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