SPECIAL TOPIC: LOVINGKINDNESS (hesed)

This term (BDB 338 I, KB 336 II) has a wide semantic field.

A. Used in connection to human beings

1. kindness to fellow men (e.g., 1 Sam. 20:14; 2 Sam. 16:17; 2 Chr. 24:22; Job 6:14; Ps. 141:5; Pro. 19:22; 20:6)

2. kindness toward the poor and needy (e.g., Micah 6:8)

3. affection of Israel toward YHWH (cf. Jer. 2:2; Hos. 6:4,6)

4. the temporary beauty of a wild flower (cf. Isa. 40:6)

B. Used in connection to God

1. covenant loyalty and love

a. "in redemption from enemies and troubles" (e.g., Gen. 19:19; 39:21; Exod. 15:13; Ps. 31:16; 32:10; 33:18,22; 36:7,10; 42:8; 44:26; 66:20; 85:7; 90:14; 94:18; 107:8,15,21,31; 109:21-22; 143:8,12; Jer. 31:3; Ezra 7:28; 9:9) 

b. "in preservation of life from death" (e.g., Job 10:12; Ps. 6:4-5; 86:13)

c. "in quickening of spiritual life" (e.g., Ps. 119:41,76,88,124,149,159)

d. "in redemption from sin" (cf. Ps. 25:7; 51:1; 130:7-8)

e. "in keeping the covenants" (e.g., Deut. 7:9,12; 2 Chr. 6:14; Neh. 1:5; 9:32; Dan. 9:4; Mic. 7:20)

2. describes a divine attribute (e.g., Exod. 34:6; Ps. 86:15; 103:8; Neh. 9:17; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2; Micah 7:20)

3. kindness of God

a. "abundant" (e.g., Num. 14:18; Neh. 9:17; Ps. 86:5; 103:8; 145:8; Joel 2:13; Jer. 4:2)

b. "great in extent" (e.g., Exod. 20:6; Deut. 5:10; 7:9)

c. "everlasting" (e.g., 1 Chr. 16:34,41; 2 Chr. 5:13; 7:3,6; 20:21; Ezra 3:11; Ps. 100:5; 106:1; 107:1; 118:1,2,3,4,29; 136:1-26; 138:8; Jer. 33:11)

d. like a stronghold (e.g., Ps. 59:17)

e. related to  God's power (e.g., Ps. 62:11c-12a)

4. deeds of kindness (e.g., 2 Chr. 6:42; Ps. 89:2; Isa. 55:3; 63:7; Lam. 3:22) 

This word is translated many ways in English translations.  I think the best summary definition would be "God's no-strings-attached covenant loyalty."  It is parallel to the NT term "love" (agapaƍ).  God is faithful and loving because of who He is!

 

Copyright © 2014 Bible Lessons International