Shalom, everyone! After the incident of the Golden Calf (Exodus 32), The Almighty commanded Moshe (Moses) to hew two stone tablets upon which The Almighty would write the same words that were upon the first set of tablets that Moses broke in anger at the sin of Yisra’el. The Almighty commanded Moshe to come up to Mount Sinai alone to the top of the mountain. There, The Almighty descended in a cloud, stood with Moshe, and proclaimed His Name, “Y-H-W-H.” As The Almighty passed before Moshe, He proclaimed what is referred to in Judaism as “The Thirteen Attributes of Mercy.” These may be found in Exodus 34:6-7. These words are very special as The Almighty proclaimed them about Himself. We should remember and internalize how The Almighty describes Himself so that we will always have an accurate view of who He is.
Indeed The Almighty is merciful, He forgives our iniquities, transgressions, and sins, however, His Mercy should never be taken for granted. If we continue in disobedience, He will visit our iniquities upon our children unto the third and fourth generations. While we are comforted in The Almighty‘s Mercy, we must remember that we have a responsibility to ourselves and to our descendants to obey His Commandments.
The following are The Almighty‘s Thirteen Attributes of Mercy as recorded in Exodus 34:6-7. Each attribute is denoted by a number (#). Please note that The Almighty’s Name, “Y-H-W-H” is an attribute of His Mercy:
The Almighty’s Thirteen Attributes of Mercy
|And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed:||Va-ya’avor Y-H-W-H, al-panav, vayiqrah||וַיַּעֲבֹר יְהוָה עַל-פָּנָיו, וַיִּקְרָא,|
|(2) the LORD,||Y-H-W-H||יְהוָה|
|(5) and gracious||v’chanun||וְחַנּוּן|
|(6) long-suffering,||erech apayim||אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם,|
|(7) and abundant in goodness||rav chesed||וְרַב-חֶסֶד|
|(8) and truth;||v’emet||וֶאֱמֶת|
|(9) keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation,||notzer chesed la’alafim||נֹצֵר חֶסֶד לָאֲלָפִים|
|(10) forgiving iniquity||noseh avon||נֹשֵׂא עָוֺן|
|(11) and transgression||vafeshah||וָפֶשַׁע|
|(12) and sin;||v’chata’ah||וְחַטָּאָה|
|(13) and that will by no means clear the guilty visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and unto the fourth generation.||v’naqeh, lo y’naqeh, poked avon avot al-banim b’nei al-shileshim v’al-ribeim||וְנַקֵּה, לֹא יְנַקֶּה–פֹּקֵד עֲוֺן אָבוֹת עַל-בָּנִים וְעַל-בְּנֵי בָנִים, עַל-שִׁלֵּשִׁים וְעַל-רִבֵּעִים.|