Posts Tagged ‘chemlah’

Mercy – Hebrew: Chemlah


Chemlah in Hebrew means ‘compassion’ or ‘pity.’ This word comes from the same root as chamal or חמל which means ‘to spare.’ The morning prayer from the Sidur known as the Modeh Ani utilizes the word chemlah.

Modeh ani lefanekha melekh chai vekayam shehecḥezarta bi nishmahti b’cḥemlah, rabah emunatekha.” English: “I give thanks before you, King living and eternal, for You have returned within me my soul with compassion; abundant is Your faithfulness!”

There are only two verses in Scripture that use chemlah; otherwise they use chamal.

“But he dallied, so the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand and the hands of his two daughters — Adonai was being merciful [chemlah] to him — and led them, leaving them outside the city” Genesis 19:16).

“In all their troubles he was troubled; then the Angel of His Presence saved them; in his love and pity [chemlah] he redeemed them. He had lifted them up and carried them throughout the days of old” (Isaiah 63:9).

The following verses use chamal meaning ‘to spare.’

“She opened it and looked inside, and there in front of her was a crying baby boy! Moved with pity [chamal] , she said, “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children” (Exodus 2:6).

“But the king spared [chamal] M’fivoshet, the son of Y’honatan the son of Sha’ul, because of the oath before Adonai between David and Y’honatan the son of Sha’ul” (2 Samuel 21:7).

“For jealousy drives a man into a rage; he will show no mercy when he takes revenge …” (Proverbs 6:34).

“Who will take pity on you, Yerushalayim? Who will grieve for you? Who will turn aside to ask about your welfare?” (Jeremiah 15:5).

“Time after time, and frequently, Adonai, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers; because he had compassion on his people and on the place where he lived” (2 Chronicles 36:15).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Chet is a picture of a Fence and means ‘to protect’ as the inner room or heart.’

Mem is a picture of Water and means ‘mighty.’

Lamed is a picture of a Shepherd’s Staff and mean ‘authority.’

Hey is a picture of a Window and means ‘to ‘reveal.’

chemlah – reveal the protection of ‘the heartwith mighty authority

In Greek, eleos means ‘the outward manifestation of pity.’ The word assumes need on the part of him who receives it, and the resources necessary to meet the need on the part of him who gives it.

“I exhort you, therefore, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer yourselves as a sacrifice, living and set apart for God.  This will please him; it is the logical “Temple worship” for you” (Romans 12:1).

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