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Hesed in the Old Testament: Loyalty or Lovingkindness

Hesed in the Old Testament: Loyalty or Lovingkindness

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Published by Randy Neal
Does the Hebrew term hesed mean loyalty or lovingkingness?
Does the Hebrew term hesed mean loyalty or lovingkingness?

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Published by: Randy Neal on Aug 10, 2012
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04/14/2013

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 Hesed:
Loyalty or Lovingkindness?John R. NealAmridge UniversityTurner School of TheologyBiblical Etymology & Exegesis (FD 9353)Dr. Rodney Cloud
 
 
 
1
 Hesed:
Loyalty or Lovingkindness?
Introduction and OverviewOf Views on
 Hesed 
 Nelson Glueck’s study of the word
hesed 
, which first appeared when his doctoraldissertation was published in the summer of 1927 (in German I might add),
 became a “landmark in the study of the history of ideas of the Bible.”
1
His work was published again in 1961 andlater republished in English (by Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati) in 1967. Dr. Glueck arguedthat
hesed 
carried the idea of covenant love or loyalty.The chapter by Gerald A. Laure gives a history of different scholars and their writings onthe subject of 
hesed 
since the year Glueck’s work first appeared. He summarizes the works of 
some 21 different Old Testament scholars from various backgrounds for the next forty years(beginning with Lofthouse in 1933 and concluding with E.M. Good and his article on Love in the
 Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible
series from 1962).
While most agreed with Glueck’s
conclusions, some disagreed with his loyalty concept.An even more recent work is an online publication by John Meade who examines thecontrasting views between Francis Anderson and that of Glueck.
2
He covers more recent
1
Nelson Glueck,
 Hesed in the Bible,
Trans. By Alfred Gottschalk, Introduction by Gerald A. Laure, Editedby Elias L. Epstein. (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011), ix.
2
John Meade,
O.T. Hesed in the N.T.
Online Publication, Summer 2006. Accessed June 2012.

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