Understanding the “Hesed” of God

Hebrew is an amazing language. The nuance of Hebrew roots and the depth of meaning goes far beyond what our English language can capture. There is always amazement in studying Biblical Hebrew.

One such example is the Hebrew word “hesed,” that has such endearing meaning. Listen in and be blessed as it is explained here:

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness [ḥeseḏ] is everlasting" (Psa 118:1). The Hebrew word ḥeseḏ is not an easy word to translate, but includes within its semantic range "loyalty," "faithfulness," "favor," "goodness," "graciousness," "proofs of mercy," "lovingkindness." So whatever ḥeseḏ is and whatever it means, it is a word that expresses the perfection of who God is to his people, and ought, therefore, be an attribute of God that makes us celebrate. And here is a surprising fact. The word ḥeseḏ appears 250 times in the Hebrew Bible, with the great majority of its occurrences in the book of Psalms (129!). The book of Psalms is divided into 5 books, and ḥeseḏ appears 23 times in Book I (Ps 1-41), 18 times in Book II (Ps 42-72), 14 times in Book III (Ps 72-89), and 14 times in Book IV (Ps 90-106). In Book V, however, ḥeseḏ appears 60 times, the single greatest concentration of God's perfect goodness in the entire Bible. No wonder then, that the single greatest concentration of the verbs "to give thanks" and "to praise" are also found in Book V of the Psalter! Want to praise God more? Then spend more time meditating on the ḥeseḏ of God! "Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things, and consider the ḥeseḏ of the LORD" (Ps 107:43).

The hesed of the Lord brings worship and praise! Regardless of how it is translated in English, may you gain new depth of God’s goodness, favor, faithfulness and loyalty each time you read it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.