Use of “aphesis” (forgiveness) in the Septuagint

“Deissmann has made an interesting study of the use of aphesis [forgiveness] in the Septuagint (BS, pp. 98-101). There it is translated ‘brooks’ (Joel 1:20) and ‘rivers’ (Lam. 3:47). He shows that this is probably due to the use of the term in Egypt—the Septuagint was made in that country—for the ‘releasing’ of water by opening the sluices. Then there is the common use in the Septuagint of aphesis for the Year of Jubilee. It was a time of release of land. In Egypt the word was used for the ‘release’ of land from the payment of taxes. This usage is found both on the famous Rosetta Stone (196 B.C.) and the papyri. The Septuagint also uses it for the sabbatical year (Exod. 23:11).”

— Ralph Earle, Word Meanings in the NT, p. 290.

#forgiveness, #remission-of-sins, #septuagint