God first thought to create the world with justice alone. But God saw the world could not endure. So first God created with compassion, and then added justice. So the world could endure.
Vayomer adonai salachti kidvarecha. And God said: I have forgiven according to your word.
Have you yourself not said: The Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness; forgiving iniquity and pardoning transgression…?
Selach na la’avon ha’am hazeh. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of your mercy, even as you have forgiven this people from Egypt until now.
Salachti: I have forgiven.
The Hebrew salach implies not the absolution of sin but the suspension of anger; that [the Israelites] not die immediately and their children may survive; that they live out their lives and their children inherit; that they not be destroyed and the covenant maintained.