3:5 The one who conquers 1 will be dressed like them 2 in white clothing, 3 and I will never 4 erase 5 his name from the book of life, but 6 will declare 7 his name before my Father and before his angels.
“Though your sins have stained you like the color red,
you can become 12 white like snow;
though they are as easy to see as the color scarlet,
1 tn Or “who overcomes.”
2 tn Grk “thus.”
3 tn Or “white robes.”
4 tn The negation here is with οὐ μή (ou mh), the strongest possible form of negation in Koine Greek.
5 tn Or “will never wipe out.”
6 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.
7 tn Grk “will confess.”
9 sn This phrase is treated as a parenthetical explanation by the author.
10 sn The Lord concludes his case against Israel by offering them the opportunity to be forgiven and by setting before them the alternatives of renewed blessing (as a reward for repentance) and final judgment (as punishment for persistence in sin).
11 tn Traditionally, “let us reason together,” but the context suggests a judicial nuance. The Lord is giving the nation its options for the future.
12 tn The imperfects must be translated as modal (indicating capability or possibility) to bring out the conditional nature of the offer. This purification will only occur if the people repent and change their ways.
13 tn The imperfects must be translated as modal (indicating capability or possibility) to bring out the conditional nature of the offer. This purification will only occur if the people repent and change their ways.
14 tn Heb “though your sins are like red, they will become white like snow; though they are red like scarlet, they will be like wool.” The point is not that the sins will be covered up, though still retained. The metaphorical language must be allowed some flexibility and should not be pressed into a rigid literalistic mold. The people’s sins will be removed and replaced by ethical purity. The sins that are now as obvious as the color red will be washed away and the ones who are sinful will be transformed.
15 tn The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request.
16 tn Heb “cleanse me with hyssop.” “Hyssop” was a small plant (see 1 Kgs 4:33) used to apply water (or blood) in purification rites (see Exod 12:22; Lev 14:4-6, 49-52; Num 19:6-18. The psalmist uses the language and imagery of such rites to describe spiritual cleansing through forgiveness.
17 tn After the preceding imperfect, the imperfect with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates result.
18 tn The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request.