Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?…
This question was framed in the very spirit of the old law of retaliation. By proposing any limit whatever to forgiveness, Peter showed that he still considered that to forgive was the exceptional thing, was to forego a right which must some time be reassumed, was not an eternal law of the kingdom, but only a tentative measure which at any moment may be revoked; that underneath the forgiveness we extend to an erring brother, there lies a right to revenge which we may at any time assert. This feeling, wherever it exists shows that we are living with retaliation for the law, forgiveness for the exception. But Christ's law is, that forgiveness shall be unlimited.
(Marcus Dods, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?