Psalm 103:12
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
103:6-14 Truly God is good to all: he is in a special manner good to Israel. He has revealed himself and his grace to them. By his ways we may understand his precepts, the ways he requires us to walk in; and his promises and purposes. He always has been full of compassion. How unlike are those to God, who take every occasion to chide, and never know when to cease! What would become of us, if God should deal so with us? The Scripture says a great deal of the mercy of God, and we all have experienced it. The father pities his children that are weak in knowledge, and teaches them; pities them when they are froward, and bears with them; pities them when they are sick, and comforts them; pities them when they are fallen, and helps them to rise; pities them when they have offended, and, upon their submission, forgives them; pities them when wronged, and rights them: thus the Lord pities those that fear him. See why he pities. He considers the frailty of our bodies, and the folly of our souls, how little we can do, how little we can bear; in all which his compassion appears.As far as the east is from the west - As far as possible; as far as we can imagine. These are the points in our apprehension most distant from each other, and as we can conceive nothing beyond them, so the meaning is, that we cannot imagine our sins could be more effectually removed than they are. The literal meaning of the Hebrew is, "like the distance of the east from the west" or, "like its being far."

So far hath he removed our transgressions from us - That is, he has put them entirely away. They are so removed that they cannot affect us any more. We are safe from all condemnation for our sins, as if they had not been committed at all. Compare the notes at Isaiah 43:25; notes at Isaiah 44:22.

12. removed … from us—so as no longer to affect our relations to Him. The guilt of our sins from our persons and consciences. The sense is, He hath fully pardoned them, so as never to remember them more, as he promiseth, Jeremiah 31:34 Hebrews 10:17. As far as the east is from the west,.... Which Kimchi thinks is mentioned because it contains the length of the habitable world; and therefore it is not said as far as the north is from the south; since a man can go from east to west, but not from north to south, because of the extreme heat and cold. But this distance is not given with respect to those opposite parts of the earth, which scarcely exceed 12700 miles; but with respect to those opposite points in the heavens: and the meaning is, that as far as the eastern point of the heavens is from the western point of them; which more illustrates the matter in hand, or the blessing later mentioned, than the other.

So far hath he removed our transgressions from us; which removed men and angels from God, and set them at a distance from him; and which, if not removed, are such burdens as must sink men down into the lowest hell; and yet cannot be removed by anything that they can do; not by any sacrifices, services, or duties of any kind; nor in any other way, nor by any other person, than the Lord himself: and this is to be understood not of a removal of the being of sin out of his people, for that is not done in this life; rather of the removal of the guilt of sin, by a special application of pardoning grace and mercy; see 2 Samuel 12:13, but, best of all, of a removal of sins to Christ, and of them by his sacrifice and satisfaction: Christ engaged as a surety for his people; Jehovah the Father considered him as such; and therefore did not impute their sins to them, but to him; and when he sent him in the likeness of sinful flesh, he removed them from them, and laid them upon him; who voluntarily took them on himself, cheerfully bore them, and, by bearing them, removed the iniquity of the land in one day; and carried them away to the greatest distance, and even put them away for ever by the sacrifice of himself; and upon the satisfaction he gave to divine justice, the Lord removed them both from him and them; justified and acquitted him, and his people in him: and by this means so effectually, and so far, are their transgressions removed, that they shall never be seen any more, nor ever be imputed to them, nor be brought against them to their condemnation; in consequence of which, pardon is applied to them, and so sin is removed from their consciences, as before observed; see Leviticus 16:21.

As far as {h} the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

(h) As great as the world is, so full is it of signs of God's mercies toward his faithful when he has removed their sins.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. For similar language to denote the completeness of the removal of sin by pardoning grace cp. Isaiah 38:17; Micah 7:19.Verse 12. - As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. God's mercy is the cause, the removal of sin the result. The two are commensurate, and are "described by the largest measures which the earth can afford." His range of vision being widened from himself, the poet now in Psalm 103:6 describes God's gracious and fatherly conduct towards sinful and perishing men, and that as it shines forth from the history of Israel and is known and recognised in the light of revelation. What Psalm 103:6 says is a common-place drawn from the history of Israel. משׁפּטים is an accusative governed by the עשׂה that is to be borrowed out of עשׂה (so Baer after the Masora). And because Psalm 103:6 is the result of an historical retrospect and survey, יודיע in Psalm 103:7 can affirm that which happened in the past (cf. Psalm 96:6.); for the supposition of Hengstenberg and Hitzig, that Moses here represents Israel like Jacob, Isaac, and Joseph in other instances, is without example in the whole Israelitish literature. It becomes clear from Psalm 103:8 in what sense the making of His ways known is meant. The poet has in his mind Moses' prayer: "make known to me now Thy way" (Exodus 33:13), which Jahve fulfilled by passing by him as he stood in the cleft of the rock and making Himself visible to him as he looked after Him, amidst the proclamation of His attributes. The ways of Jahve are therefore in this passage not those in which men are to walk in accordance with His precepts (Psalm 25:4), but those which He Himself follows in the course of His redemptive history (Psalm 67:3). The confession drawn from Exodus 34:6. is become a formula of the Israelitish faith (Psalm 86:15; Psalm 145:8; Joel 2:13; Nehemiah 9:17, and frequently). In Psalm 103:9. the fourth attribute (ורב־חסד) is made the object of further praise. He is not only long (ארך from ארך, like כּבד from כּבד) in anger, i.e., waiting a long time before He lets His anger loose, but when He contends, i.e., interposes judicially, this too is not carried to the full extent (Psalm 78:38), He is not angry for ever (נטר, to keep, viz., anger, Amos 1:11; cf. the parallels, both as to matter and words, Jeremiah 3:5; Isaiah 57:16). The procedure of His righteousness is regulated not according to our sins, but according to His purpose of mercy. The prefects in Psalm 103:10 state that which God has constantly not done, and the futures in Psalm 103:9 what He continually will not do.
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