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Psalms 103:8-13


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.

103:13 As a father has compassion on his children, 11 

so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers. 12 

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.

11 tn Or “sons,” but the Hebrew term sometimes refers to children in general.

12 tn Heb “those who fear him.”

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