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Psalms 103:8-12


103:8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful;

he is patient 1  and demonstrates great loyal love. 2 

103:9 He does not always accuse,

and does not stay angry. 3 

103:10 He does not deal with us as our sins deserve; 4 

he does not repay us as our misdeeds deserve. 5 

103:11 For as the skies are high above the earth,

so his loyal love towers 6  over his faithful followers. 7 

103:12 As far as the eastern horizon 8  is from the west, 9 

so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions 10  from us.

1 tn Heb “slow to anger” (see Ps 86:15).

2 tn Heb “and great of loyal love” (see Ps 86:15).

3 tn The Hebrew verb נָטַר (natar) is usually taken to mean “to keep; to guard,” with “anger” being understood by ellipsis. The idiom “to guard anger” is then understood to mean “to remain angry” (see Lev 19:18; Jer 3:5, 12; Nah 1:2). However, it is possible that this is a homonymic root meaning “to be angry” (see HALOT 695 s.v. נטר).

4 tn Heb “not according to our sins does he do to us.”

5 tn Heb “and not according to our misdeeds does he repay us.”

6 tn For this sense of the verb גָבַר (gavar), see L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 17, 19.

7 tn Heb “those who fear him.”

8 tn Heb “sunrise.”

9 tn Or “sunset.”

10 tn The Hebrew term פֶּשַׁע (pesha’, rebellious act”) is here used metonymically for the guilt such actions produce.

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