44. SIN, TRESPASS, INIQUITY, &c.
There are many synonymous words to represent the outworking of man's
fallen nature. As these are not always translated by the same English
word, it is necessary that we should distinguish them. The student,
by reference to the following list, will be able to do so :--
- chat'a, to sin; to miss the mark (as in Judg.
20:16). Also of the feet, to stumble and fall (Prov.
19:2). Hence, morally, a coming short, blameworthiness --
not necessarily willful. An act of thought, word, or deed, not a
condition. Usually (but by no means always) rendered sin, and other
words also so rendered.
- 'asham, trespass, to sin through error or ignorance.
Cp. Lev. 4:13; 5:2, 3. Num. 5:6, 7. Judg. 21:22. 1Chron.
21:3. 2Chron. 19:10; 28:10, 13.
'Asham is a breach of commandment,
done in ignorance, but, when the guilt is proved, requiring atonement.
- 'aven, iniquity, specially connected with idolatry.
Used because an idol is nothing and vanity (cp. Hos. 4:15; 5:8; 10:5, 8.
Amos 5:5, marg.). Hence, 'aven comes to mean vanity
(cp. Job 15:35. Ps. 10:7. Prov. 22:8, &c.). The word
has many renderings, which are pointed out in the passages when it occurs.
'Aven is rather a course of bad conduct flowing from the evil desires
of fallen nature, that breaches of the law as such.
- 'avah, perverseness, from the root to be
bent, or crooked. English wrong, i.e. wrung out
of course, expresses it (cp. 1Sam. 20:30. 2Sam. 19:19. 1Kings
8:47. Job 33:37, &c.).
- 'amal, trouble, labor,
Sin viewed in the light of the trouble it causes; and of its burden;
and its grievousness (Isa. 10:1. Hab. 1:3). Often rendered
perverseness (Num. 23:21), also mischief (Job 15:35).
- 'aval, unjust, unfairness, sin in its nature
as deceitful, dishonesty, that which is not equal and right, unfairness
in dealings. Rendered unjust (Ps. 43:1; 82:2. Prov.
29:27. Isa. 26:10), unrighteous (Lev. 19:15, 35).
- 'abar, to pass beyond, transgress. Hence, transgression
(Ps. 17:3. Hos. 6:7; 8:1).
- ra'a', wicked, injurious. From
its root, which indicates its nature as breaking up all that is
good or desirable; injurious to all others. In Greek poneros,
or kakos, bad. Hence especially of moral depravity
and corruption, and lewdness. English "good-for-nothing" (1Sam. 17:28),
naughty (2Kings 2:19. Prov. 20:14. Jer. 24:2).
- pash'a, revolt, rebellion. Sin
against lawful authority. Often rendered transgression (Ps.
51:13. Prov. 28:21. Isa. 43:27). In Prov. 10:12 the action
of love or mercy shown stands in strong contrast to this character of the
- rasha', wickedness, in the sense of the restless
activity of fallen nature (Job 3:17. Isa. 53:9; 57:20, 21); where
it refers to the activity of the impious and ungodly, or robbers.
- ma'al, treachery, unfaithfulness,
of trust, often rendered trespass and transgression. It is used
of Achan (Josh. 7:1; 22:20). Cp. Josh. 22:16. 2Chron. 26:18;
28:22; 33:19. Ezra 9:2, 4. Neh. 13:27, &c.
- shagag, erring from imprudence, rashness, being deceived,
not willfully; and shagah, erring willfully through passion or wine,
hence, to go astray. As sin it is to be distinguished from
presumptuous or high-handed sin. Cp. Lev. 4:13. Num. 15:22,
&c., with Num. 15:30. Ps. 119:21.
- zimmah, meditated, wickedness, plotted,
planned, and designed; wicked, or lewd purpose, especially of sins of unchastity.
- chasad = shameful. A Homonym, meaning
(1) Here, and Job 37:13 (where it is rendered "mercy" in A.V. and R.V.).
But "lightning" is not "mercy" but chastisement. (2) The other meaning
is mercy, lovingkindness, or grace. See note
on Lev. 20:14.
- shal, fault, committed inadvertently through
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