Hebrew Highlights 135 - Debt


          Shalom, this is Yuval Shomron coming to you from Jerusalem.


MAT 6:9-12, "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.  'Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  'Give us this day our daily bread.  'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

LUK 11:2-4, “And He said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come.  'Give us each day our daily bread.  'And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us."

Have you ever wondered about this seeming discrepancy in the scriptures?  Who was right, Matthew or Luke?  What did Yeshua really say?  Are we to ask God to forgive us our debts, or our sins?

Actually, the answer is very simple.  They were both right.  Jesus usually spoke to the crowds in Aramaic, the street language of the day.  In Aramaic, “sin” and “debt” are the same word.  We can see it used in DAN 9:20, “Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God.”

Before we pursue further our little revelation, let’s read PSA 38:18, “For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin.”

Both sin and debt cause anxiety.  They both put us in an uncomfortable position.  In both cases, we know we owe something, and that something will not go away until it is paid up.  We fret and pace until the bill is cleared, together with our good name.

Now let’s look at PSA 85:2, “Thou didst forgive the iniquity of Thy people; Thou didst cover all their sin. Selah.”  Here again we see too common words, which are often used in conjunction with both sin and debt, forgiveness, and covering.  In both cases, we usually talk about someone other than ourselves getting us out of hot water.  For instance, we might say, “my dad decided to “cover” my college debts.  In other words, he paid them off so that I might breath easily.  Whether we are talking of a loan or grant is in this case unimportant.  The “covering” means our debts cannot pop up their ugly little heads and haunt us.

Debts, as well as sins, can also be forgiven.  Yeshua makes this comparison in the story in MAT 18:23-27, "For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a certain king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.  "And when he had begun to settle them, there was brought to him one who owed him ten thousand talents.  "But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.  "The slave therefore falling down, prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will repay you everything.'  "And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.”  The story goes on, but for our purposes, this section will suffice.

We owe God our very lives, and certainly our eternal life.  Had He not sent His son to pay off the bill of our sin, we would be facing the equivalent of a trillion dollar credit card balance with insurmountable interest.

But, like us earthly fathers who sometimes have the privilege of bailing out our children’s comparatively small arrears, our Heavenly Father loving helps us with a magnanimous gift He knows we can never return.

The question of how to thank Him is addressed in PSA 116:12-14,  “What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me?  I shall lift up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.  I shall pay my vows to the Lord, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people.”

In other words, we should be thankful daily for our great salvation, and be obedient to Him; and not just in private, but where the entire world can see.


Usually, if someone pays off our debts, we keep the name of the benefactor a secret.  This may be because he wishes it so, or as in many cases, we would rather have people believe we managed to crawl into prosperity with our own strength and prowess.


When it comes to forgiveness of sins, we need to let everyone know that we couldn’t do it ourselves.  Dad helped us out.


Shalom Shalom from the already glowing Jerusalem