In our study of word pictures, we are going to learn about what I call the "fence words." These are the qualities of God that draw a man to want to accept his plan of salvation.
Chet in Hebrew and kheth in Aramaic are the picture of a tent wall or fence. It divides what is inside from what is outside. The letter even looks like a fence! There are four major words that we will look at in 2 different articles. Below are both the Hebrew and Aramaic words and how to pronounce them.
The first concept is mercy, which sometimes is also translated grace.
In the east, fences were made mostly of stone. Picture yourself outside of this fence and then learn that the fence of God is mercy. God wants to give life to those who are outside the fence and despite their frailties and mistakes. It is the Hebrew word chen.
Khet is the pictograph of the fence and nun is the sprouting seed. Putting these together, the simple word picture is the fence of life
The action underneath the verb chanan is “to give a favor.” “The verb chanan depicts a heartfelt response by someone who has something to give to one who has a need.” That is a quotation from theTheological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Perfect does not mean that Noah never made a mistake. It means that his heart was searching after God – he walked with Elohim -- and he was blameless in his generations, meaning he had kept the genealogy pure from the time of Adam. But Noah certainly had a need because in Genesis 6:5 it says, "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
Chen is usually translated grace or favour, but I like to translate it as mercy, because I believe that communicates more of the heart of the word. The fence that gives life, or protects life is the place where we can find answers for any kind of need.
The Aramaic khenana is more often translated mercy and other related nouns have the same idea of something being undeserved. The prophecy of Elisabeth to Mary is the first place this word is used in the New Testament.
Samekh or semkath is a pictograph of a thorn or support. It means support, or protection. Dalet or daleth is the picture of a door and means the entrance or how to go in the door. So the simple meaning of chesed is the fence of the door.
The first place that chesed is used is regarding Lot and how God saved him out of the destruction of Sodom.
These are the first two fence words. God's mercy and favor draws people to come to His fence. There they find protection and care and his faithful lovingkindness.