23 Aug 2015 Blessed are the Merciful, for they will be shown mercy

Blessed are the Merciful

Jesus’ first public sermon was recorded in the Gospels of Matthew (Matthew 5) and Luke (Luke 6).  His fifth blessing from God, called the “Beatitudes,” that Matthew recorded was:

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

We all have an idea of what it means to be merciful, so what I want to do is examine what the Bible says about mercy. In the Old Testament, the word “mercy” in Hebrew is חֶמְלַת, transliterated “chemlah” (pronounced khem-law’) and “merciful” is חָסַד, transliterated “chacad” (pronounced khaw-sad’); meanings are to “be good,” “kind,” “pious,” “compassionate” and to “bow in courtesy to an equal.”  In the New Testament, the word “mercy” in Greek is ἔλεος, transliterated “eleos” (pronounced el’-eh-os), and “merciful” is ἐλεήμονες, transliterated “eleémón” (pronounced el-eh-ay’-mone); meanings are to have “pity,” “compassion” or “covenant-love” for someone. Additional words we can look at in Hebrew are חַנּוּן, transliterated “channun” (pronounced khan-noon’), meaning “gracious,” and רָ֫חַם , transliterated “racham” (pronounced rakh’-am), meaning “compassionate.”

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