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Numbers 14:17-19

Context
14:17 So now, let the power of my Lord 1  be great, just as you have said, 14:18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in loyal love, 2  forgiving iniquity and transgression, 3  but by no means clearing 4  the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children until the third and fourth generations.’ 5  14:19 Please forgive 6  the iniquity of this people according to your great loyal love, 7  just as you have forgiven this people from Egypt even until now.”

1 tc The form in the text is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay), the word that is usually used in place of the tetragrammaton. It is the plural form with the pronominal suffix, and so must refer to God.

2 tn The expression is רַב־חֶסֶד (rav khesed) means “much of loyal love,” or “faithful love.” Some have it “totally faithful,” but that omits the aspect of his love.

3 tn Or “rebellion.”

4 tn The infinitive absolute emphasizes the verbal activity of the imperfect tense, which here serves as a habitual imperfect. Negated it states what God does not do; and the infinitive makes that certain.

5 sn The Decalogue adds “to those who hate me.” The point of the line is that the effects of sin, if not the sinful traits themselves, are passed on to the next generation.

6 tn The verb סְלַח־נָא (selakh-na’), the imperative form, means “forgive” (see Ps 130:4), “pardon,” “excuse.” The imperative is of course a prayer, a desire, and not a command.

7 tn The construct unit is “the greatness of your loyal love.” This is the genitive of specification, the first word being the modifier.



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