Mercy is a quality fundamental to God's interaction with humankind. In the English Bible, the noun signifies concrete expressions of compassion and love. Verbal phrases such as 'to be merciful', 'to have mercy on' or 'to show mercy towards' underline further the active and volitional character of mercy. The adjective 'merciful' denotes a quality of God and a requirement of his people. The primary Hebrew term for mercy is hesed, which refers to the love, compassion and kindness upon which God's covenant with Israel was founded...
Mercy is a quality intrinsic to the divine disposition. It is so essential that in some situations the adjective 'merciful' alone could be used to refer to God (Ps. 116:5). The experience of God's people was that his mercy revealed in historical acts of redemption was, unlike human mercy, inexhaustible (Lam. 3:22; 2 Sam. 24:14)...
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Read this in preparation for a talk I'm giving next Saturday, from the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology's definition of mercy:
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