English Standard Version
‘The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’
King James Bible
The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
American Standard Version
Jehovah is slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; and that will by no means clear the guilty , visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation.
The Lord is patient and full of mercy, taking away iniquity and wickedness, and leaving no man clear, who visitest the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
English Revised Version
The LORD is slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation.
Webster's Bible Translation
The LORD is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation.
Numbers 14:18 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
Intercession of Moses. - Numbers 14:11, Numbers 14:12. Jehovah resented the conduct of the people as base contempt of His deity, and as utter mistrust of Him, notwithstanding all the signs which He had wrought in the midst of the nation; and declared that He would smite the rebellious people with pestilence, and destroy them, and make of Moses a greater and still mightier people. This was just what He had done before, when the rebellion took place at Sinai (Exodus 32:10). But Moses, as a servant who was faithful over the whole house of God, and therefore sought not his own honour, but the honour of his God alone, stood in the breach on this occasion also (Psalm 106:23), with a similar intercessory prayer to that which he had presented at Horeb, except that on this occasion he pleaded the honour of God among the heathen, and the glorious revelation of the divine nature with which he had been favoured at Sinai, as a motive for sparing the rebellious nation (Numbers 14:13-19; cf. Exodus 32:11-13, and Exodus 34:6-7). The first he expressed in these words (Numbers 14:13.): "Not only have the Egyptians heard that Thou hast brought out this people from among them with Thy might; they have also told it to the inhabitants of this land. They (the Egyptians and the other nations) have heard that Thou, Jehovah, art in the midst of this people; that Thou, Jehovah, appearest eye to eye, and Thy cloud stands over them, and Thou goest before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Now, if Thou shouldst slay this people as one man, the nations which have heard the tidings of Thee would say, Because Jehovah was not able to bring this people into the land which He sware to them, He has slain them in the desert." In that case God would be regarded by the heathen as powerless, and His honour would be impaired (cf. Deuteronomy 32:27; Joshua 7:9). It was for the sake of His own honour that God, at a later time, did not allow the Israelites to perish in exile (cf. Isaiah 48:9, Isaiah 48:11; Isaiah 52:5; Ezekiel 36:22-23). - ואמרוּ...ושׁמעוּ (Numbers 14:13, Numbers 14:14), et audierunt et dixerunt; ו - ו equals et - et, both - and. The inhabitants of this land (Numbers 14:13) were not merely the Arabians, but, according to Exodus 15:14., the tribes dwelling in and round Arabia, the Philistines, Edomites, Moabites, and Canaanites, to whom the tidings had been brought of the miracles of God in Egypt and at the Dead Sea. שׁמעוּ, in Numbers 14:14, can neither stand for שׁמעוּ כּי (dixerunt) se audivisse, nor for שׁמעוּ אשׁר, qui audierunt. They are neither of them grammatically admissible, as the relative pronoun cannot be readily omitted in prose; and neither of them would give a really suitable meaning. It is rather a rhetorical resumption of the שׁמעוּ in Numbers 14:13, and the subject of the verb is not only "the Egyptians," but also "the inhabitants of this land" who held communication with the Egyptians, or "the nations" who had heard the report of Jehovah (Numbers 14:15), i.e., all that God had hitherto done for and among the Israelites in Egypt, and on the journey through the desert. "Eye to eye:" i.e., Thou hast appeared to them in the closest proximity. On the pillar of cloud and fire, see at Exodus 13:21-22. "As one man," equivalent to "with a stroke" (Judges 6:16). - In Numbers 14:17, Numbers 14:18, Moses adduces a second argument, viz., the word in which God Himself had revealed His inmost being to him at Sinai (Exodus 34:6-7). The words, "Let the power be great," equivalent to "show Thyself great in power," are not to be connected with what precedes, but with what follows; viz., "show Thyself mighty by verifying Thy word, 'Jehovah, long-suffering and great in mercy,' etc.; forgive, I beseech Thee, this people according to the greatness of Thy mercy, and as Thou hast forgiven this people from Egypt even until now." נשׁא (Numbers 14:19) equals עון נשׁא (Numbers 14:18).
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,
but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,
keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation."
And now, please let the power of the Lord be great as you have promised, saying,
He has not beheld misfortune in Jacob, nor has he seen trouble in Israel. The LORD their God is with them, and the shout of a king is among them.
You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
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Jump to NextAbounding Abundant Anger Children Clear Clearing Disobedience Iniquity Kindness Plenteous Punishes Rebellion Sin Slow Steadfast Third Transgression Unpunished Visiting
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.