In every language there are words that are so rich and deep in meaning that they are difficult to translate adequately with a single word into another language. Such words require a wide study of their usage in the Bible to understand the breadth of meaning.
Read 1 Kings 3:6, Psalm 57:3, Psalm 66:20, Psalm 143:8, and Micah 7:20. How do God’s mercy and kindness extend toward His created beings?
The Hebrew word chesed (mercy) is one of the richest and most profound words in the Old Testament. It describes God’s love, lovingkindess, mercy, and covenant attitude toward His people. In these few passages, we have seen Him show “great mercy [chesed] to Your servant David …; You have continued this great kindness [chesed] for him” (1 Kings 3:6, NKJV). He “shall send forth His mercy [chesed] and His truth” (Ps. 57:3, NKJV). Concerning Israel, He will “give truth to Jacob and mercy [chesed] to Abraham” (Mic. 7:20, NKJV). Entire books have been written on the word chesed, trying to capture the depth of God’s mercy and love toward us.
Read Numbers 6:24-26, Job 3:26, Psalm 29:11, Isaiah 9:6, and Isaiah 32:17. In these passages, what is the “peace” or shalom talked about in them?
The Hebrew word shalom is often translated as “peace”. But the meaning of the word is much deeper and broader than this. It can be translated as “wholeness, completeness, and well-being”. God’s blessing and graciousness keep us in a state of shalom, which is a gift from God (Num. 6:24-26). By contrast, Job’s experience of trouble produces a situation where he is “not at ease” (NKJV) nor is he “quiet”, for he lacks shalom. In this hectic world, it is a profound blessing to welcome the Sabbath day with the words Shabbat shalom, for our communion with God provides the ultimate peace and wholeness that our lives desire.
|In whatever language we speak and read — even without knowing the original meaning of these words — how can we experience the reality of what these words mean to the best of our understanding?|