CHESED=Grace

George Athas gathas at hotkey.net.au
Fri Jan 18 20:55:34 EST 2002


Shoshanna,

I have no doubt that the Kabbalistic literature treats XESED in this way. However, it is from a
much later time to Biblical Hebrew. In Greek we have the same phenomenon -- words evolve in their
meaning, even if only slightly.

A contextual analysis of XESED will demonstrate that it does include concepts of mercy and
lovingkindness, as you mentioned. However, those words "mercy" and "lovingkindness" are probably
not the best way to translate the biblical Hebrew word XESED. I think "commitment" or "devotion"
are the best candidates I have come across to translate this word.

Also, NE'EMANUT is better translated as "steadfastness" than "loyalty". AHABAH implies a
*relationship* of steadfastness -- ie, "loyalty" -- whereas NE'EMANUT is a more generic term for
steadfastness, be it in the context of a relationship or not.


Best regards,

GEORGE ATHAS
(Sydney, Australia)



Best regards,

GEORGE ATHAS
(Sydney, Australia)

----- Original Message -----
From: Shoshanna Walker <rosewalk at concentric.net>

| According to the Kabbalists, Chesed is both lovingkindness and mercy
| - even though there is also another word - Rachamim -
|
| The word for "loyalty" is Ne'emanut, not Ahava
| 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.
|
|
| And loyalty implies obedience
|
| >
| > 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.
|
|
| What passage is this, where, so that I can look it up.
|
| Shoshanna
|
| >
| > 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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