‘Compassion’ is found 61 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and ‘mercy’ is found 52 times. ‘Compassion’ means ‘concern’ for the sufferings and struggles of others.’ ‘Mercy’ means ‘to forgive’ when it’s in your power to harm.’
Chesed in Hebrew means ‘loving-kindness, mercy and compassion.‘
“For Adonai will have compassion on Ya‘akov — he will once again choose Isra’el and resettle them in their own land, where foreigners will join them, attaching themselves to the house of Ya‘akov” (Isaiah 14:1).
“I will betroth you to me forever; yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, in justice, in grace and in compassion” (Hosea 2:21).
“Has God forgotten to be compassionate? Has he in anger withheld his mercy?” (Selah)” (Psalm 77:10).
“Here, your servant has already found favor in your sight, and you have shown me even greater mercy by saving my life. But I can’t escape to the hills, because I’m afraid the disaster will overtake me, and I will die” (Genesis 19:19).
Hebrew Word Pictures
ח Chet – A Fence means ‘protect.’
ס Samech – A Prop means ‘support.’
ד Dalet – A Door means ‘pathway.’
The Hebrew Word Picture for chesed: protect and support the pathway.
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