Chesed meaning | Chesed etymology

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Chesed in Biblical Hebrew
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The name Chesed in the Bible

Chesed is the fourth son of Abraham's brother Nahor with their niece Milcah (Genesis 22:22). Nahor lived in Haran but was originally from Ur of the Chaldeans (Genesis 11:27-32). The Hebrew word for Chaldeans is Kashedim, which is the plural of Chesed. It seems that Nahor named his son after the people he came from.

Etymology and meaning of the name Chesed

Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names is so opposed to the idea that the Chaldeans could be descended from Chesed (because the Chaldeans are mentioned eleven chapters prior to Chesed, but see the discussion under the name Chaldeans), that he derives the two highly similar names — כשד and כשדים — along two completely different avenues.

Chesed, Jones says, comes from an unused and nowhere else mentioned root כשד, which has an equivalent in the cognate Arabic language, where it means to gain. Hence Jones translates the name Chesed with Increase.

The name Chaldeans, however, Jones insists, consists of two elements, the first being the common Hebrew particle כ (ke) meaning as if:

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

The second segment, according to Jones, is the noun שד (shed), meaning demon:

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

Hence for a meaning of the name Chaldean, Alfred Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads As It Were Demons.

Another possibility is that the second segment of the name Chesed comes from any of the above mentioned words for field.

The development of mankind seems to go hand in hand with that of Babel. Babel's great river the Euphrates is mentioned as early as Genesis 2:4, as it flows through the garden of Eden.

Parallel to the calling of Abraham (who came from Ur of the Chaldeans) the tower of Babel is constructed and subsequently torn down. After her glory days under king Solomon, the surviving tribe(s) Judah (and Simeon) is adopted by the Babylonian empire. And finally, it seems that Ecclesia also grows up in Babylon, only to break free from it and leave it in shambles (Revelation 18:2).

The pun is that the word adam (man, human) comes from the word adamah, meaning field. The meaning of the names Chesed and Chaldean seems to be a reminder that any form of the Babylonian phenomenon is not what brings mankind forth: As If It Were A Field.

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