Ray Pritchard writes:
There are four different words for forgiveness in the Bible — three Hebrew words and one Greek. The first Hebrew word means “to cover”–like using a rug to cover the dirt on your floor. The second word means “to lift and take away”–which happens when you remove a stain from a carpet. The third word means “to pardon” or “to wipe the record clean.” The fourth word means “to let go” or “to send away,” as when you release a prisoner from jail.
When you put these words together, you get a graphic picture of forgiveness. God covers our sin, he removes the inner stain, he wipes our personal record clean, and then he releases us from our guilt so that we are set free. (19, emphasis added).