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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Hebrew Words



The Hebrew word for "sin" is חטאה (hhatah, Strong's #2403) and literally means "miss the mark." From my understanding of the Bible, there are two types of sin, accidental and deliberate. I explain it this way. The Hebrew people were a nomadic people and their language and lifestyle is wrapped around this culture. One of the aspects of a nomad is his constant journey from one watering hole to another and one pasture to another. If you are walking on a journey (literal or figurative) and find yourself "lost from the path," which is the Hebrew word רשע (rasha, Strong's #7563), you correct yourself and get back on the path. This was a "mistake" (accidentally missing the mark), but not deliberate. Once you are back on the right path, all is good. However, if you decide to leave the path and make your own, you are again "lost from the path", but this time, being a deliberate act, it is a purposeful mistake (missing the mark on purpose). In the Bible God gives his "directions" (usually translated as "commands") for the journey that his people are to be on. As long as they remain on that journey, they are tsadiq (Strong's #6662, usually translated as "righteous," but literally means "on the correct path"), even if they accidentally leave the path, but return (this is the Hebrew verb shuv, Strong's #7725, usually translated as "repentance," but literally means "to return") back to the correct path.




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