CHESED=Grace

George Athas gathas at hotkey.net.au
Wed Jan 16 18:32:28 EST 2002


The word for mercy is RAXAMIM.

The word "lovingkindness" is only half the story with XESED.

The word for "loyalty" seems to be AHABAH (usually translated "love", but in the sense of showing
loyalty, not affection). This word has developed into later forms of Hebrew as the equivalent of
English "love". The commandment to "love Yahweh your God" is not to show him affection, but to be
loyal to him.

CHESED implies both a contractual obligation, as well as a favourable disposition. It should not be
translated "grace" since that is CHEN. A good example of CHESED is seen in the story of the
Israelite spies and Rahab. They make a CHESED with her -- a commitment, or a bargain.

The best way to sort out what a word means (and one word can have many meanings) is to study the
contexts in which they appear.


Best regards,

GEORGE ATHAS
(Sydney, Australia)

----- Original Message -----
From: Lisbeth S. Fried <lizfried at umich.edu>
To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2002 6:01 AM
Subject: RE: CHESED=Grace


| I think it should be "covenant loyalty," fealty,
| what the sovereign owes the vassal, and what the vassal
| owes his lord.
| Liz
|
| > -----Original Message-----
| > From: Shoshanna Walker [mailto:rosewalk at concentric.net]
| > Sent: Wed, January 16, 2002 1:57 PM
| > To: Biblical Hebrew
| > Subject: Re: CHESED=Grace
| >
| >
| > Yes, lovingkindness or mercy
| >
| > Exactly
| >
| > shoshanna
| >
| >
| > >
| > > The understanding I have of the word chesed is that it is translated as
| > > grace, mercy or lovingkindness.
| > > >From "The Place of Faith and Grace in Judaism" by David R.Blumenthal.
| > >
| > > Christine Bass
| > >
| > >
| > >
| > > ----- Original Message -----
| > > From: "George Athas" <gathas at hotkey.net.au>
| > > To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
| > > Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2002 5:52 AM
| > > Subject: CHESED
| > >
| > >
| > > > > The second question might refer to a different word
| > altogether--khesed,
| > > > > which is notoriously difficult to translate into English
| > but probably
| > > gets
| > > > > rendered both as "righteousness" and "charity" in English
| > versions. It
| > > is
| > > > > often understood as something like "covenant faithfulness," but I
| > don't
| > > > > know that that really captures the sense either.
| > > >
| > > > It's not that hard to translate CHESED into English. I go for either
| > > "commitment" or "devotion".
| > > >
| > > > Best regards,
| > > >
| > > > GEORGE ATHAS
| > > > (Sydney, Australia)
| > > >
| > > >
| > > >
| > >
| > >
| > >
| > >
| > > ---
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| > >
| > >
| >
| >
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