What the scriptures say about
gross injustice; guilt; sin; transgressions; reason for punishment
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INIQUITY in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]   Site search: FreeFind

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Psalms 32:5, 51:2 and more...

Isaiah 53:5-11 - "But he was pierced for our transgressions. * He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed..."

Lamentations 4:12-13 - "The kings of the earth didnít believe, neither all the inhabitants of the world, that the adversary and the enemy would enter into the gates of Jerusalem. It is because of the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her."

Daniel 9:16 - "Lord, according to all your righteousness, let your anger and please let your wrath be turned away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a reproach to all who are around us."

Ezekiel 18:19 ff - the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father

Micah 2:1-3 - "Woe to those who plan iniquity,
to those who plot evil on their beds!
At morning's light they carry it out
because it is in their power to do it.

They covet fields and seize them,
and houses, and take them.
They defraud a man of his home,
a fellowman of his inheritance.

Therefore, the LORD says:
"I am planning disaster against this people,
from which you cannot save yourselves.
You will no longer walk proudly,
for it will be a time of calamity.

INIQUITY [Easton's Bible Dictionary]


INIQUITY [Smith's Bible Dictionary]


INIQUITY [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

in-ik'-wi-ti (`awon; anomia):
In the Old Testament of the 11 words translated "iniquity," by far the most common and important is `awon (about 215 times). Etymologically, it is customary to explain it as meaning literally "crookedness," "perverseness," i.e. evil regarded as that which is not straight or upright, moral distortion (from `iwwah, "to bend," "make crooked," "pervert"). Driver, however (following Lagarde), maintains that two roots, distinct in Arabic, have been confused in Hebrew, one = "to bend," "pervert" (as above), and the other = "to err," "go astray"; that `awon is derived from the latter, and consequently expresses the idea of error, deviation from the right path, rather than that of perversion (Driver, Notes on Sam, 135 note)

Whichever etymology is adopted, in actual usage it has three meanings which almost imperceptibly pass into each other:

(1) iniquity,
(2) guilt of iniquity,
(3) punishment of iniquity.
Primarily, it denotes "not an action, but the character of an action" (Oehler), and is so distinguished from "sin" (chaTTa'th). Hence, we have the expression "the iniquity of my sin" (Psalms 32:5).

Thus the meaning glides into that of "guilt," which might often take the place of "iniquity" as the translation of `awon (Genesis 15:16; Exodus 34:7; Jeremiah 2:22, etc.).

From "guilt" it again passes into the meaning of "punishment of guilt," just as Latin piaculum may denote both guilt and its punishment.

The transition is all the easier in Hebrew because of the Hebrew sense of the intimate relation of sin and suffering, e.g.

Genesis 4:13, "My punishment is greater than I can bear"; which is obviously to be preferred to King James Version margin, the Revised Version, margin "Mine iniquity is greater than can be forgiven," for Cain is not so much expressing sorrow for his sin, as complaining of the severity of his punishment;

compare 2 Kings 7:9 (the Revised Version (British and American) "punishment," the Revised Version margin "iniquity");

Isaiah 5:18 (where for "iniquity" we might have "punishment of iniquity," as in Leviticus 26:41,43, etc.);

Isaiah 40:2 ("iniquity," the Revised Version margin "punishment").

The phrase "bear iniquity" is a standing expression for bearing its consequences, i.e. its penalty; generally of the sinner bearing the results of his own iniquity (Leviticus 17:16; 20:17,19; Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 44:10, etc.), but sometimes of one bearing the iniquity of another vicariously, and so taking it away (e.g. Ezekiel 4:4 f; Ezekiel 18:19 f). Of special interest in the latter sense are the sufferings of the Servant of Yahweh, who shall "bear the iniquities" of the people (Isaiah 53:11; compare Isaiah 53:6).

Other words frequently translated "iniquity" are:

'awen, literally, "worthlessness," "vanity," hence, "naughtiness," "mischief" (47 times in the King James Version, especially in the phrase "workers of iniquity," Job 4:8; Psalms 5:5; 6:8; Proverbs 10:29, etc.);

`awel and `awlah, literally, "perverseness" (Deuteronomy 32:4; Job 6:29 the King James Version, etc.).

In the New Testament "iniquity" stands for anomia = properly, "the condition of one without law," "lawlessness" (so translated in 1 John 3:4, elsewhere "iniquity," e.g. Matthew 7:23), a word which frequently stood for `awon in the Septuagint; and adikia, literally, "unrighteousness" (e.g. Luke 13:27).

D. Miall Edwards

INIQUITY [Thompson Chain Reference]
    * (general references to)
    * Job 15:16
    * Psalms 41:6
    * Psalms 53:1
    * Isaiah 5:18
    * Jeremiah 30:14
    * Ezekiel 9:9
    * Hosea 14:1
    * Micah 2:1
    * Matthew 23:28
    * Matthew 24:12
    * Romans 6:19

Iniquities, Our

    * Job 14:17
    * Psalms 40:12
    * Psalms 90:8
    * Psalms 130:3
    * Isaiah 59:2
    * Isaiah 64:6
    * Jeremiah 2:22
    * Micah 7:19
    * SEE Universal; Guilt 


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