Introduction: This paper is not about original sin in any way. I am not advocating the despicable doctrine propagated by the likes of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, which is still a major tenet of many denominations today. We are not conceived as sinful beings. We are born into a world ruled by sin and sinful people. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by YHVH. Yet, from the moment of conception we are governed by both the physical genetics of our parents and also their spiritual history.
Throughout the Word of Elohim, we are instructed to teach our children the ways of YHVH. We are also instructed about the consequences of not doing so. “I, YHVH your elohim am a jealous el, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the third and fourth generation.” (Ex 20:5; Ex 34:7; Deut 5:9; Num 14:18)
The word translated “visiting” in English is the Hebrew word poqad - from the root paqad (פָקָד) meaning to number, visit, muster, appoint. It is the same word used twice in Numbers 4:49 for appointing as well as numbering or counting. Perhaps if we use the term counting or numbering instead of visiting, we would see a different picture. Is it possible YHVH is saying that He will number or count the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generation? If so how is this different than what we normally associate with this verse?