Word Study: Mercy

The word “mercy” occurs about 195 times in the Old Testament (KJV). The Strong’s lists 6 entries in Hebrew translated “mercy” – 2603 (14 times), 2604 (1), 2617 (120), 3727 (27), 7355 (29) and 7356 (4). Because 2603 & 2604 and 7355 & 7356 are spelled with the exact same Hebrew letters I will combine them as one entry. Thus, the total for each word will be 2603/2604 (15 times), 2617 (120), 3727 (27) and 7355/7356 (33). The Hebrew word for 3727 is “kapporeth”. It is derived from the Hebrew, “kaphar”, which simply means “to cover”. Thus, “kipporeth” is “the cover” or what we know as the “mercy seat”. 7355 & 7356 are the Hebrew word “racham” which means “to love”. Thus, when mercy is translated from 7355 or 7356 it should be “love”.  Thus, we are left with two “word buckets”. One bucket is 2603/2604, chanan, which means “ to bend or stoop to inferior”. This word is closely related to the Hebrew word for “grace”. The other bucket is 2617, KeCeD, with a meaning to bow at the neck, and act of reverence. (The word study for grace can be reviewed. It is a blessing.) So the Hebrew word translated mercy is “the favor given to one who has, to one who has not” just as grace. Also the  recipient  is unable to give the gift to the giver. This is God and all people and offering of His Son, His life on the cross at the hands of the creature when all were His enemies. How great is the love of God in Yeshua and the mercy He extends to all people without partiality.

Now, beloved, I have given the total number of the Hebrew words translated “mercy”, but there are many more verses concerning this favor bestowed on those who are unable to give back. For you see the Hebrew words 2603/2604 are translated “mercy” 15 times, but these words are found 78 total times. 2617 is translated 120 times, but the word is found 248 total times in the OT. So in the light of the gospel, grace and mercy are magnified. Enough so, that there is a distinction seen between the two spiritual words. For mercy is given to all, but grace is given to the few. “Many are called, and few are chosen.” Many are called and many are given mercy. “For in Adam all died, but in the Mashiach all are made alive in God’s own order”“Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Yeshua is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” In eternity to come, there are the nations of the saved, and the saved. The nations of the saved (people make up nations) are of the saved, but they do indeed live. The saved have been saved from sin, and death and judgment starting at an appointed time in the days of their flesh when God granted them grace. They are the recipients of both mercy and grace. They do not lie in the grave of condemnation, but to them is life unceasing – to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord. Mercy to all is declared in Mat 5:43ff, “You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love the neighbor, and hate thy enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies. Bless them that curse you. Do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, that you may be the children of your Father, which is in heaven. For He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.” And grace to a few is declared in Rom 11:5, “Even so at this present time (and all generations since the Mashiach, Yeshua, death for our sin, His burial and His resurrection the third day according to the Old Testament) also there is a remnant according to the election of grace”, “for all people have not the faith.” (2 Thes 3:2) Again in eternity to come, there are the nations of the saved (mercy) and the saved (mercy and grace). The chosen ones who endure to the end, and thus, are saved and will be saved, walk in the free gift from God, not of works lest any person should boast, and they shall abide in the presence of God forever, face to face. The nations of the saved will walk in His mercy and live, but shall not enter into the New Yerushalem. But the nations of the saved shall bring all their glory to the city of their God. And there shall be no sorrow, or pain or tears or remorse, sickness or weakness, for everything shall be as it should be. It shall be very good!

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