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Greek Word Study - Blot Out

There's a New Year ahead! You get a clean slate-¬freshly erased and wiped clean. Or do you? Is the slate really wiped clean by a new calendar? Can the past be erased?

The Greek word for “erase” or “blot out” is exaleipho (ex ah LAFE oh). In the Greek translation of the Old Testament exaleipho is usually found in a negative context. God “blotted out” every living creature from the face of the earth in Noah's day (Gen 7:23) and he promised in the time of Moses to “blot out” all remembrance of the Amale¬kites (Exod 17:14). God promised to “blot out” the name of idolaters (Deut 29:20) and the name of “whoever has sinned” against him (Exod 32:33).
Furthermore, this “blotting out” was a thorough one. For instance, the name of a father is “wiped out” when he has no sons (Num 27 :4). Words are “wiped off” a scroll (Num 5:23) and leprosy is scraped from a wall and the wall is “plastered over” with other plaster (Lev 14 :42) . After this kind of “erasing” and “blotting out,” no trace of the former state remains.

Despite the generally negative context, two O.T. passages offer rays of hope. King David begged God to “blot out” his transgressions and his iniquities (Ps 51:1, 9). Isaiah went further and gave God’s promise: “I am the one who ‘wipes out’ your transgressions” (Isa 43:25) .

This promise leads us to the New Testament, where God in Christ “wipes away” our sin (Acts 3:19) and “cancels” the certificate of debt which stood against us (Col 2:14). Since our sins are so completely erased, we can look forward to heaven, where all our tears will be “wiped away” (Rev 21:4) and God will NOT “erase” our names from his book (Rev 3:5).

Happy New Year? No . . . this will be a Happy New ETERNITY!