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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Hebrew Words

By Jeff A. Benner


This Hebrew word is usually translated as “mercy” or “kindness.” It is derived from the root חסד (Hh.S.D, Strong’s #2616), which is usually translated as “to be merciful” or “to be kind.” However, these abstract English terms do not convey the more concrete meaning of the original Hebrew. A related word that will help in understanding this concrete meaning is the noun החיסד (hhasiydah, Strong’s #2624), meaning a “stork.” The stork’s curved neck provides the clue, which is the “bowing” of the head, which one would do when showing respect, kindness or mercy.

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