PJerusalemIn Hebrew mercy and grace are often portrayed with one word CHESID, which can be translated as loving-kindness. But there are many variations of mercy, grace and compassion. It is worthy of our closer examination for the Jewish mentality was originally shaped not by Greek, but the Hebrew language. Greek was the idolatrous Hellenistic influence on the ex-exiles from Babylon and Medo-Persia. Therefore, Jesus had something else in His mind than what the Greek languages often portrays.
Being familiar with Jewish culture is indeed of great help, for words alone don’t do the justice. The truth is never found in words alone, but rather what they express; and if they do not adequately express what the speaker says the truth can be twisted and even lost.
In Hebrew God’s presence is associated with His face and His back speaks of being hidden. When His face is turned toward you His back is turned toward your enemy; hence the words of David in Psalm 23:5 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”
This ‘in the presence’ means (Hebrew NEGED) in the sight of your enemy. You sit across the table face to face with God.
There is so much to learn.