Chesed and Truth

Psalms 25:10
(10)  All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Throughout scripture you will find that there is a link between chesed and truth.  Independently they stand alone as subjects unto themselves however when you combine the two together you end up with a dynamic understanding about each.  To that end I’m going to take a moment to look at the truth of chesed’s meaning and along the way try to uncover what has been lost through Greek thinking.

Understanding the meaning of the original Hebrew text will help us to properly determine how chesed has morphed into something away from its origins.  The Hebrew alphabet is very unique in its construction.  The 22 letters that comprise it each has a meaning that is independent in the associations that comes from combining the letter.  If you know what the individual letters represent then their combinations provide a deeper explanation behind the word that they are forming.  In their original formation the letters where pictures that conveyed a particular thought from an item that the people experienced in their daily lives.  To get a better understanding of this then you should go to this site to see the historical significance behind the creation of the letters.

Chesed is formed from three letters which represent the consonants since the Hebrew language does not have vowels.  From right to left they are: Chet, Samekh, Dalet.  Each letter as I’ve stated has a particular meaning that came from a daily object.  The following is their representation.

  • Chet – A wall, fence
  • Samekh – A circle, ring
  • Dalet – A tent door

When a child is being instructed to write these letters they are often told that certain letters are constructed from two different letters as a means of distinguishing the differences between them.  The letter “Chet” is just such a case.  “Chet” is the eighth letter which is a combination of the two prior letters, the Vav and Zayin letter.  The representation for these two letters is as follows:

  • Vav – A connecting pin, tent peg
  • Zayin – A sword, royal scepter

These simple representations when combined together are what formed the underlying meaning of the words that the combinations created.  To understand the basic meaning of Chesed you simply needed to combine the various representations together to arrive at the meaning of the word.

Chesed is a connecting pin, and a sword in a wall which circles about with a doorway in it.

This is the simple meaning.  Next time we’ll look at a more complex meaning to this word that doesn’t have an English equivalent.

Charis, Chesed, and Shalom to you

Mike

 

Chesed – Beyond the Veil of Mercy


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From Chesed to Mercy Today

Every journey has a starting point and a destination.  Knowing about chesed and mercy is no different.  The dilemma is that chesed is recognized as mercy today rather than what its real characteristics are.   So today we’re going to properly delineate what is mercy.  This will give us a starting point.  Our destination will be finding out what chesed is.

Mercy Today.

Mercy is a cry from the heart of one that believes they are separated from God.

Webster’s dictionary defines it as follows:

That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant.

The thing of note here is the many references to the acts of justice in one capacity or another.  This is vital to understand.  Mercy moves from a position of justice or judgment.  Think of it this way:  The defendant always throws himself upon the “mercy” of the court for a favorable ruling.

There is not a person today that would argue that this definition of mercy is invalid.  Yet when you place the word in the context of the scriptures, I think that you’ll find something happened thousands of years ago that warped the true meaning behind a number of passages.

Mercy in the Day

I’m certain that most of you know that what we read in the bible is a translation from a particular language into English, or some other language.  Now I’m pretty sure that many of you may know that the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew and that the New Testament was written in Greek.  But how many of you know that the bible that Jesus, his disciples and even the apostle Paul read was the Old Testament written in Greek?

Legend has it that in the 3rd century BCE King Ptolemy undertook the mission of transcribing the Hebrew Torah into Greek.  The legend says that the king brought 72 Hebrew scholars to his palace and placed each one in a room, each not knowing that any of the other scholars were present also.  The king instructed the scholars to create in Greek a complete version of the Torah.  According to the legend, after 72 days these 72 scholars presented to the king their finished work.  The king read through each of these transcripts and to his astonishment, every single one was written, word for word, exactly like each other.

That might not impress you until you consider that according to those that interpret and write Greek, it is one of the most demanding languages to work with.  I once heard someone familiar with this type of work say that there are possibly nine rules for each word and its syntax that must be met in creating just one sentence in Greek! So now consider the wonder of 72 scholars creating exact copies of the first five books of the bible.

So all the New Testament writers conversed in Greek in the marketplace and were taught in the synagogue from a Torah written in Greek but their thoughts, social structure and holy procedures were conducted in Hebrew.

At this time I trust that one of you is thinking, “What does all of this talk about Greek language have to do with mercy?” (If you’re not, just act like you are.)  The word “mercy” in the Greek is eleos” and according to Thayer’s Greek Definitions this word means:

mercy: kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them

When you connect this with the definition that Webster’s provide these have become the standard that we’ve all embraced, saved and unsaved over the generations.  When I talk about the veil of mercy this definition, its characteristics, its actions and reactions, its presupposition is what I’m referring to.  Now you need to understand that both of these definitions are accurate and appropriate – if you’re Greek!  “EIeos” is not accurate for a Hebrew!

When the scholars interpreted the Torah they were faced with a dilemma – one that every person faces when you have to convey a word from one language into another.  What do you do if the language that you’re interpreting into doesn’t have a word that exactly expresses the same meaning or doesn’t even have a word?  Or consider this: How do you convey an ancient concept to a new generation three millennium from when it was practiced?  Making this relevant to your life: How would you explain an IPad to your great-grandparents when they were your age?  The scholars had to choose the best word that most properly described what they were trying to get across.

The question that should be floating around about now is: What is the Hebrew word that “Eleos” was made to fit into?  That my friend would be chesed.

It will be the star of my next posting.

Charis, Chesed and Shalom to you

Mike

 

 

 

Chesed – Beyond the Veil of Mercy


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Chesed: When mercy isn’t mercy.

What happens when all you thought that you knew about mercy turns out to not be like it at all?

How would your life change if you knew that the last thing that you needed was mercy?

What if the reason that people pray for you to receive mercy is to control your actions?

If I can show you that the scriptures, as they have been translated from their original language, have portrayed mercy incorrectly would you be willing to be more like your Father?

What if I told you that you are a stranger to the covenant that you have with Jesus simply because you think that he had mercy on you?

This site is not for those that are babes.  It is for those that truly are looking for a deeper relationship with the Father and His Son in the Holy Spirit.  Your thoughts and beliefs will be challenged simply because they may not be what they need to be in order to be one with the Father.

If you’ve never accepted Jesus as the Lord of your life and are considering it you should pay close attention to what is posted here.  Jesus tells us that we should count the cost of our actions before we commit ourselves to any plan – that even means salvation.  It’s my intention to hinder your decision but to show you the great reward and your responsibility in obtaining it.

Here is where we’ll begin and I trust that you’ll reap a harvest you never knew existed.

 

Chesed – Beyond the Veil of Mercy


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