kindness, graciousness, mercy, love

LOVING KINDNESS in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]

select Cross Reference Bible links
Psalm 13:5 - But I trust in Your loving kindness. My heart rejoices in your salvation.
Psalm 17:7 - Show your marvelous loving kindness, you who save those who take refuge by your right hand from their enemies.
Psalm 18:50 - He gives great deliverance to his kng, and shows loving kindness to his anointed, to David, and to his seed, forevermore.
Psalm 63:3 - Because your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise you.
Jeremiah 31:3 - The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
Hosea 2:19 - I will betroth you to me forever. Yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, in justice, in loving kindness, and in compassion.


luv-ing-kind'-nes (hecedh):

"Lovingkindness" in the King James Version always represents this word (30 times), but of hecedh there are many other renderings, e.g.

"mercy" (frequently), "kindness" (38), "goodness" (12).
The word is derived from chacadh, meaning, perhaps, "to bend or bow oneself," "to incline oneself"; hence, "to be gracious or merciful." the English Revised Version has not many changes, but in the American Standard Revised Version "lovingkindness" is invariably employed when checedh is used of God, and, as a rule, "kindness" when it is used of man, as in Genesis 21:23; Judges 1:24 (the King James Version "mercy," the Revised Version (British and American) "deal kindly"); Ruth 3:10; 2 Chronicles 32:32; 35:26 (the King James Version "goodness,"'); margin "Hebrew: kindness" the Revised Version (British and American) "good deeds"); Job 6:14, etc. Of the uses of the word as on man's part toward God, the only occurrences are: Jeremiah 2:2, "I remember for thee the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals," etc.; Hosea 6:4,6, "Your goodness (the Revised Version margin "or kindness") is as a morning cloud," "I desire goodness (the King James Version "mercy," the Revised Version margin "Kindness"), and not sacrifice," which last passage may denote kindness as toward man.

When used of God checedh denotes, in general, "the Divine Love condescending to His creatures, more especially to sinners, in unmerited kindness" (Delitzsch). It is frequency associated with forgiveness, and is practically equivalent to "mercy" or "mercifulness" (Exodus 20:6), "showing lovingkindness (the English Revised Version "mercy") unto thousands of them that love me"; Exodus 34:6 f, "slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness (the English Revised Version "plenteous in mercy")"; (Exodus 34:7) "keeping lovingkindness (the English Revised Version "mercy") for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin" (compare Numbers 14:18); Micah 7:18, "He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in lovingkindness" (the English Revised Version "mercy"). This quality in Yahweh was one by which He sought to bind His people to Himself. It is greatly magnified in the Old Testament, highly extolled and gloried in, in many of the psalms (Psalms 136 has the constant refrain, "For his lovingkindness endureth forever"). In Deuteronomy 7:12 it is associated with the covenant, and in 2 Samuel 7:15 with the covenant with David (compare Isaiah 55:3, etc.). It was something that could always be relied on.

Being such an essential and distinctive quality of God, the prophets taught that it should also characterize His people. It is part of the Divine requirement in Micah 6:8, "to love kindness" (compare Zechariah 7:9, "Show kindness and compassion every man to his brother"). The want of it in the nation was a cause of Yahweh's controversy with them, e.g. Hosea 4:1, "There is no truth, nor goodness (checedh) (the King James Version and the English Revised Version "mercy"), nor knowledge of God in the land"; Hosea 12:6, "Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep kindness (the King James Version and the English Revised Version "mercy") and justice, and wait for thy God continually." Cheyne (Encyclopedia Biblica) regards [~checedh as denoting paternal affection on God's part, answered by filial and loyal affection and brotherly love on man's part (philadelphia in the New Testament).

The word "lovingkindness" does not occur in the New Testament, but as its equivalents we have such terms as "mercy" "goodness," "kindness," "brotherly love" (see special articles).

W. L. Walker

LOVING KINDNESS [Thompson Chain Reference]
Lovingkindness (also compassion and mercy of God)

    * (of God)
    * Psalms 17:7
    * Psalms 26:3
    * Psalms 63:3
    * Isaiah 63:7
    * Jeremiah 31:3
    * Jeremiah 32:18
    * Hosea 2:19

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