חֶסֶד

There is a word in the Hebrew scriptures that has been following me around: hesed.

Hesed is virtually un-translatable by our paltry English.  It is particularly reserved as an expression of an unending, unmoved, covenantal love between two people.  Hesed is a word used over and over again to describe Yahweh’s insistent love toward his people, Israel.

Over and again in the Old Testament, the words you’ll find to translate include:

steadfast love, mercy, kindness, goodness, favor, loving-kindness

The Psalms (my favorite), are particularly packed with חֶסֶד.  In the New Testament, the closest equivalent is the Greek word charis (“grace.”).

If there is a word marking my 2011 (and mystifying me a bit in my study), it is this one.  I thought it deserved an aside of its own here.  I made the above image to help me catalog it all throughout the OT.

May you find Yahweh’s hesed following you, too.

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