Aug 212014

חָ֫סֶד  is the Hebrew word used in Jonah 2:8 for “their own mercy”.

Today we were challenged in the Hello Mornings Immersed study to find a word we see commonly used in the passages. We were prompted to pick a common word or a word we see used often in that piece of scripture. However, the word “mercy” stuck out to me.


They that regard vain idols forsake their own mercy.”

So I decided to look up mercy in this context. On I found that in this context “mercy” is not a standalone word. It is “their own mercy” and in this context the word translates to Hebrew as Checed (Kheh’-sed) and then back to English as “favour”.

Crazy, I know! But it was fun to look up and find the original word that that piece of scripture came from!

Yet. What is favour when we speak of it like this?

“They that regard vain idols forsake favour

Does this mean that they are giving up any favours that God would have done for them? Does this mean that they lose standing or credibility? How do we relate an old word into today?

I guess the biggest thing is to realize that there are different words that mean the same things or that have slightly different meanings in different contexts. When I read the original verse I understand it to mean that they are giving up on God by choosing idols, but when I read it with the word favour in place I seem to understand it to mean that God will withhold things from them if they want to have idols.

In both cases the result is the same, they are on their own. Yet, when I read that they forsake mercy it sounds like they are choosing to say no to God and when they “forsake favour” they are having it withheld.

If you are studying along with us for Hello Mornings or you have anything to add I would LOVE to hear what your interpretation of this is! If you used your own word which word did you choose and what did you find out about it?


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  2 Responses to “Mercy – Checed – Favour”

  1. Hi, Marisa. Hesed…a really rich word in Hebrew, as I understand it. It definitely means favour, and here are two more thoughts about it. 1) it carries the idea of from enduring favour or loving kindness. Examples are Psalm 103 v. 17 “His hesed is from everlasting to everlasting.” and Psalm 106 v. 1 “It endures forever.” 2) Hesed is often used with mishpat, meaning justice, as in Zechariah 7:9-10, “Render true judgments (mishpat), show kindness and mercy (hesed) or Hosea 12:6, “hold fast to love (hesed) and justice (mishpat)…”. You are definitely trending for me, Mama! Thanks for your blog!

    • Thanks for the extra information Jan! It is so interesting to search through Strong’s to find the information about a simple word. The dictionary definitely doesn’t do words much justice! Thanks again!

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