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Showing posts from October, 2005

God's Hesed in Action (Psalm 90:14)

Psalm 90:14 O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Ever since my first year of Hebrew, I’ve been fascinated with the word hesed. It is one of the dominant OT words for how God deals with us, and without question the most frequently praised attribute of God: “for his hesed endures forever!” Dr. Terry Rude, my first year Hebrew prof., defined it as God’s ‘loyal lovingkindness.’ Of its ± 248 occurrences, the KJV translates it mercy 149x, the NASB – lovingkindness 176x, the NIV – love, ESV – steadfast love, NET Bible – loyal love, NLT – faithful love.

As Dr. John Oswalt said in his Aldersgate Forum lectures on holiness last week: this is a very difficult word to translate. In fact four PhD dissertations in the last century were dedicated to determining the meaning(s) of this word, and I even ventured a shot at it in a lengthy footnote (Ch. 5, ftnt. 34) in my dissertation.

Despite looking at all its occurrences, studying its se…