What the scriptures say about
benevolence, clemency, compassion, loving kindness
Mercy Seat

Easton's Bible Dictionary | Smith's Bible Dictionary | International Standard Bible Encyclopedia | Thompson Chain Reference

MERCY in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]

select Cross Reference Bible links
Genesis 43:14 - May God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may release to you your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.
Exodus 33:19 - ... I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
Psalm 9:13 - Have mercy on me, Yahweh. See my affliction by those who hate me, and lift me up from the gates of death;
Psalm 23:6 - Surely goodness and loving kindness shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in Yahweh’s house forever. (mercy in KJV)
Hosea 1:6-7 - ... I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, that I should in any way pardon them. But I will have mercy on the house of Judah...
Hosea 6:6 - For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
Micah 6:8 - He has shown you, O man, what is good. What does Yahweh require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 7:20 - You will give truth to Jacob, and mercy to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.

MERCY [Easton Bible Dictionary]

Compassion for the miserable. Its object is misery. By the atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of mercy towards the sons of men, in harmony with the demands of truth and righteousness (Genesis 19:19; Exodus 20:6; 34:6,7; Psalms 85:10; 86:15,16). In Christ mercy and truth meet together. Mercy is also a Christian grace (Matthew 5:7; 18:33-35).


(Heb. kapporeth, a "covering;" LXX. and N.T., hilasterion; Vulg., propitiatorium), the covering or lid of the ark of the covenant (q.v.). It was of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, or perhaps rather a plate of solid gold, 2 1/2 cubits long and 1 1/2 broad (Exodus 25:17; 30:6; 31:7). It is compared to the throne of grace (Hebrews 9:5; Ephesians 2:6). The holy of holies is called the "place of the mercy-seat" (1 Chronicles 28:11; Leviticus 16:2).

It has been conjectured that the censer (thumiaterion, meaning "anything having regard to or employed in the burning of incense") mentioned in Hebrews 9:4 was the "mercy-seat," at which the incense was burned by the high priest on the great day of atonement, and upon or toward which the blood of the goat was sprinkled (Leviticus 16:11-16; Compare Numbers 7:89 and Exodus 25:22).

MERCY, MERCIFUL [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

mur'-si, mur'-si-fool (checedh, racham, chanan; eleos, eleeo, oiktirmos):

"Mercy" is a distinctive Bible word characterizing God as revealed to men.

In the Old Testament it is most often the translation of checedh, "kindness," "loving-kindness" (see LOVINGKINDNESS ), but rachamim, literally, "bowels" (the sympathetic region), and chanan, "to be inclined to," "to be gracious," are also frequently translated "mercy"; eleos, "kindness," "beneficence," and eleeo, "to show kindness," are the chief words rendering "mercy" in the New Testament; oiktirmos, "pity," "compassion," occurs a few times, also oiktirmon, "pitiful," eleemon, "kind," "compassionate," twice; hileos, "forgiving," and anileos, "not forgiving," "without mercy," once each (Hebrews 8:12; James 2:13).

(1) Mercy is

(a) an essential quality of God (Exodus 34:6-7; Deuteronomy 4:31; Psalms 62:12, etc.); it is His delight (Micah 7:18,20; Psalms 52:8); He is "the Father of mercies" (2 Corinthians 1:3), "rich in mercy" (Ephesians 2:4), "full of pity, and merciful" (James 5:11);

(b) it is associated with forgiveness (Exodus 34:7; Numbers 14:18; 1 Timothy 1:13,16);

(c) with His forbearance (Psalms 145:8, "Yahweh is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great lovingkindness"; compare Romans 2:4; 11:32);

(d) with His covenant (1 Kings 8:23; Nehemiah 1:5), with His justice (Psalms 101:1), with His faithfulness (Psalms 89:24), with His truth (Psalms 108:4); mercy and truth are united in Proverbs 3:3; 14:22, etc. (in Psalms 85:10 we have "Mercy and truth are met together");

(e) it goes forth to all (Psalms 145:9, "Yahweh is good to all; and his tender mercies are over all his works"; compare Psalms 145:16, "Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing," the Revised Version margin "satisfiest every living thing with favor");

(f) it shows itself in pitying help (Exodus 3:7; Ezra 9:9 f), supremely in Christ and His salvation (Luke 1:50,54,58; Ephesians 2:4);

(g) it is abundant, practically infinite (Psalms 86:5,15; 119:64);

(h) it is everlasting (1 Chronicles 16:34,41; Ezra 3:11; Psalms 100:5; 136 repeatedly).

(2) "Mercy" is used of man as well as of God, and is required on man's part toward man and beast

(Deuteronomy 25:4; Psalms 37:21; 109:16; Proverbs 12:10; Daniel 4:27; Micah 6:8; Matthew 5:7, "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy"; Matthew 25:31-46; Luke 6:36, "Be ye merciful, even as your Father is merciful"; Luke 10:30 f, the Good Samaritan; Luke 14:12-16; James 3:17).

(3) In the New Testament "mercy" (eleos, usually the Septuagint translation of checedh) is associated with "grace" (charis) in the apostolical greetings and elsewhere. Trench points out that the difference between them is that the freeness of God's love is the central point of charis, while eleos has in view misery and its relief; charis is His free grace and gift displayed in the forgiveness of sins -- extended to men as they are guilty; His eleos (is extended to them) as they are miserable. The lower creation may be the object of His mercy (eleos), but man alone of His grace (charis); he alone needs it and is capable of receiving it (Synonyms of the New Testament, 163 f).

(4) From all the foregoing it will be seen that mercy in God is not merely His pardon of offenders, but His attitude to man, and to the world generally, from which His pardoning mercy proceeds. The frequency with which mercy is enjoined on men is specially deserving of notice, with the exclusion of the unmerciful from sonship to the all-merciful Father and from the benefits of His mercifulness. Shakespeare's question, "How canst thou hope for mercy rendering none?" is fully warranted by our Lord's teaching and by Scripture in general; compare especially the parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18:21-35).

(5) As the rule, the American Standard Revised Version has "lovingkindness" for "mercy" when checedh is used of God, and "kindness" when it is used of men in relation to each other. "Compassion" (translation of racham) is also in several instances substituted for "mercy" (Isaiah 9:17; 14:1; 27:11; Jeremiah 13:14; 30:18), also "goodness" (translation of checedh referring to man) (Hosea 4:1; 6:6).

W. L. Walker

MERCY [Thompson Chain Reference]
Merciful, Promises to

    * Psalms 41:3
    * Psalms 112:9
    * Proverbs 11:17
    * Proverbs 14:31
    * Isaiah 58:10
    * Daniel 4:27
    * Matthew 5:7
    * Matthew 6:14
    * Matthew 25:40
    * Luke 6:38
    * SEE Promises, Divine


    * (Examples of)
    * Of Saul
          o 1 Samuel 11:13
    * Of David
          o 1 Samuel 26:9
          o 2 Samuel 19:22
    * Solomon
          o 1 Kings 1:52
    * Of Elisha
          o 2 Kings 6:22
    * Of Christ
          o Luke 9:55
          o John 8:7
    * SEE Human; Compassion
    * SEE Kindness


    * General References to Divine
          o Deuteronomy 4:31
          o 2 Samuel 24:14
          o Psalms 86:5
    * Eternal
          o Psalms 103:17
          o Psalms 106:1
    * Boundless
          o Psalms 108:4
          o Psalms 119:64
    * Prolongs Life
          o Lamentations 3:22-23
    * Encourages to Penitence
          o Joel 2:13
    * Forgives Sin
          o Micah 7:18
          o Luke 1:50
          o Ephesians 2:4
    * Makes Salvation Possible
          o Titus 3:5
          o SEE Divine; Compassion
          o SEE Divine; Forbearance
          o SEE Forgiveness
          o SEE Sin
          o SEE God
          o SEE Penalty, Delayed
    * Man Commanded to Exercise
          o Proverbs 3:3
          o Proverbs 11:17
          o Hosea 12:6
          o Micah 6:8
          o Matthew 5:7
          o Luke 6:36
          o James 2:13
          o SEE Judgment
          o SEE Uncharitableness
          o SEE Brotherly Love
          o SEE Forbearance
          o SEE Retaliation
    * Promises of Divine
          o Exodus 34:7
          o 2 Samuel 22:26
          o 2 Chronicles 30:9
          o Psalms 89:28
          o Psalms 103:8
          o Isaiah 54:7
          o Isaiah 55:7
          o Jeremiah 3:12
          o SEE Pardon
          o SEE Forgiveness
          o SEE Restoration
    * God's
          o Judges 5:4
          o Job 26:8
          o Job 37:16
          o Psalms 77:17
          o Ecclesiastes 11:3
          o Ecclesiastes 11:4
          o Ecclesiastes 12:2
          o 2 Peter 2:17
    * Sought
          o Deuteronomy 21:8
          o 1 Kings 8:30
          o Psalms 6:2
          o Psalms 27:7
          o Psalms 51:1
          o Psalms 85:7
          o Psalms 119:77
          o Psalms 123:3
          o Daniel 9:16
          o Habakkuk 3:2
          o Luke 18:13
          o SEE Crying to God
          o SEE Repentance
          o SEE Pardon 
    * Neglect of
          o Psalms 109:16
          o Proverbs 21:13
          o Ezekiel 34:4
          o Zechariah 11:16
          o Matthew 25:43
          o Luke 16:20
          o Luke 16:21
          o James 4:17
          o SEE Poor, The
          o SEE Inhospitality
          o SEE Selfishness


Home | Keyword Index