Avon - Carrying Guilt
The verse above is God's own revelation about Himself, when he passed by Moses on Mt. Sinai and showed him his glory. It was God's answer to Moses' request: "And now, if I have found favor in your sight, show me your way, that I may know you, that I may continue to find favor in your sight!" (Exodus 32:13) This phrase is called by Jews the "Thirteen Attributes of God," counting thirteen ways God's mercy is described.* This is a very important text about God, quoted eight other times in the Bible and often used as part of Jewish liturgy.
An intesting thing in Hebrew in this passage is that the words that describe God's "forgiving wickedness" are literally "to lift or carry guilt," and in fact, many other places is actually translated as "bear iniquity" or "to bear guilt". The same phrase "noseh avon" is used in many passages, including the following:
Interestingly, the same phrase that is applied to God in terms of forgiving sins is also applied to the atonement sacrifices which bore the sins of the people. There is another word for forgiving sin, selach, that could have been used, but bearing guilt is what God speaks of here. It sounds as if God's answer to Moses' request that he "show him his way" is to say that he would bear his people's guilt!
the light of this, one more place where "noseh avon" is used
is very significant in relation to the suffering of the Christ - Isaiah's prophecy of God's servant who would redeem Israel by paying for their sins:
In the light of this, one more place where "noseh avon" is used is very significant in relation to the suffering of the Christ - Isaiah's prophecy of God's servant who would redeem Israel by paying for their sins:
It appears that when Moses asked the Lord to reveal his glory and to show him his plan, that the Lord answered by hinting even then of his future plans. Already he had determined that he himself would bear our wickedness, transgression and sin.
| ©2003 Lois A. Tverberg, Ph.D., OurRabbiJesus.com. All rights
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