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Daily Reading – 25th August 2016

 

Matthew 5.7

Oh the blessings of the merciful, because they will be shown mercy.     

There are at least three Hebrew words that have the same meaning as merciful, and it is good for us to have some knowledge of these words, as they take us back to the understanding that the listeners of Jesus would have had.

1) Firstly there is the word:

  • Channuwn = in Greek eleos This means:
  • to be gracious,
  • to be shown consideration,
  • to favour someone or something or to be shown favour,
  • to be pitied,
  • mercy (13? times in the OT)
  1. a) An example of channuwn is found in Exodus 22.26-27:

[26] If you take your neighbour’s cloak as a pledge of repayment, you must return it by nightfall.

[27] Your neighbour will need it to stay warm during the night. If you do not return it and your neighbour cries out to Me for help, then I will hear, for I am very merciful – (NLT).

We have already come across this word when we were studying the words of Jesus about the blessings of the poor. We saw how God gave specific instructions to His people. How they were to look after those who were poor within their community.

However, the word channuwn is used specifically by God to describe His nature.

The word ‘channuwn’ is translated as ‘compassionate’, telling us that God is compassionate. God said this in the context of how His covenanted people were to be responsible for one another. They were to be compassionate, because God declares Himself to be a compassionate God.

In this they were to be imitators of God, just as we must also be.

The compassion, mercy, that they had received they were to pass on to the poor. They were not to look down on them, but they were to be benign towards them. They were not to belittle them, but to be merciful toward them. They were not to ignore them, but to bring merciful relief to them.

Each one of us must always seek to be like Jesus, who said:

“Give as freely as you have received” – Matthew 10.8 (NLT).

 

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