CHESED=Grace

Ken Smith kens at 180solutions.com
Wed Jan 16 15:03:09 EST 2002


BibleWindows lists some 252 occurrences of XSD in the MT.  I haven't
examined them all, but at least in some instances, no particular
covenant is clearly in view, though there generally seems to be an
assumption that the XSD to be shown is justified by some connection or
obligation between the two parties.

For instance, Lot uses it in Genesis 19:19, when he's pleading to be
allowed to escape to Zoar instead of the mountains.  Perhaps Lot is
making a reference to the Abrahamic covenant, but that's certainly not
clear.  He may possibly be making an oblique appeal to the fact that he
was willing to sacrifice his own daughters to save the angels' lives.

It is also used in Genesis 24:49, where the appeal is to relatives, not
God, and seems to be be referring less to a specific covenant than to
bonds of kinship.  The idea of "loyalty" might be in the background.

In Lev. 20:17, it is translated as "disgrace" (ONEIDOS in the LXX), but
this is pretty clearly a reference to a different concept.

In Joshua 2:12, Rahab asks the two spies to show XSD with her and her
family, in exchange for the saving their lives.

In Judges 1:24, the spies checking out Bethel promise XSD to a man
coming from the city if he will help them out.

In 1 Sam. 20:8, the covenant between Jonathan and David is clearly in
view, and is the basis for David's appeal to Jonathan for help.

In 1 Kings 2:7, David instructs Solomon to show XSD to the sons of
Barzillai, because they aided him when he was fleeing from Absalom.

Without anything like a claim to having made an exhaustive survey of the
material, it does seem that in a number of cases, an appeal is being
made to a "connection" between the parties, whether this is formal or
informal, based on a covenant, kinship, or merely some sort of action
for which appellant might reasonably expect an obligation to have been
incurred.

Does anybody have any references where this is not the case?  I.e.,
where the kindness or favor is entirely unmerited, without any
pre-existing connection or covenant between the parties?

Ken Smith

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lisbeth S. Fried [mailto:lizfried at umich.edu]
> Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2002 11:15 AM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: RE: CHESED=Grace
>
>
>
> Independent of deserving it if you're in the covenant.
> I know of its usage with David, and it's in the context
> of a covenant relationship between God and him.
> So if you have other examples, I'd like to see where it
> has nothing to do with a covenantal relationship.
> For example, is there hesed between one persona and
> another or is only between God and man??
> Is it unidirectional, or bi-directional?
> The hesed of David wouldn't refer to his mercy to GOd,
> but his loyalty.
> Liz
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Shoshanna Walker [mailto:rosewalk at concentric.net]
> > Sent: Wed, January 16, 2002 2:16 PM
> > To: Biblical Hebrew
> > Subject: Re: CHESED=Grace
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > That is not what it means, because it refers to kindness or
> an act of
> > kindness which is bestowed independently of the recipient's
> deserving
> > it or not.
> >
> > It is also not only an action, but a quality which is attributed to
> > G-d
> >
> > Charity is an example (not definition) of Chesed
> >
> > Shoshanna



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