- רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן יְהוָה;
אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם וְרַב-חָסֶד οἰκτίρμων καὶ ἐλεήμων ὁ κύριος
μακρόθυμος καὶ πολυέλεος The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. KJV
I wonder if we would recognize that when 1 Cor. 13 says “Love is patient, love is kind” that it refers to the attributes of God, which can also be found in this psalm. I am not sure about the Hebrew, but the Greek says to me,
- “Pitying and having mercy, the Lord,
patient and full of kindness.”
There is very little concordance in either the LXX or the KJV with respect to these attributes of God. By tracing back one can find that חָסֶד hesed is translated into Greek by δικαιοσύνη, and ἔλεος, and into English as “kindness” and “mercy”.
It seems from the LXX as if “justice”, “mercy” and “kindness” run into each other. I realize that in English we would keep these distinct.
In Gen. 20:13, Abraham asks Sarah to show him hesed and it is translated as δικαιοσύνη, “justice”, but when Rahab and Ruth showed hesed, it was translated as ἔλεος – “mercy”. Both of these are translated into English as “kindness”. However, when God shows hesed, it is usually translated into English as “mercy”. Only the Rotherham Bible has kindness for Psalm 103:8.
- Compassionate and gracious, is Yahweh, –
Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness.
In fact, the Rotherham Bible has “lovingkindness” in Gen. 20:13, Joshua 2:12, Ruth 2:20, Ruth 3:10 and Psalm 103:8.