The next fence word that we want to study is racham, compassion.
The letter resh is the pictograph of a man's head and can mean first or beginning. Then we have chet, the fence. The next letter is a mem and means water, especially spiritual water or life. Putting these letters together, the simple word picture of compassion is the beginning of the fence of the water.
Many times the fence words are used together. When Moses was up on Mt Sinai getting the two tablets of stone with the commandments, the Lord proclaimed his name to him.
Exodus 34:6-7 (ESV):
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful [rachum] and gracious [chanun], longsuffering, and abundant in goodness [chesed] and truth,
keeping steadfast love [chesed] for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin….
Psalm 103:8 (KJV):
The LORD is merciful [rachuwm] and gracious [channuwn], slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy [chesed].
See how important it is to know what these words mean? The letter mem emphasizes the spiritual life that comes from fresh, pure water. That is why I translate racham as compassion most of the time, because it is the outpouring of God’s heart to us.
Many times in the gospels, rechem (Aramaic) is used in the phrase “moved with compassion,” where Jesus saw the need of the people and then reached out to heal them or provide what “water” they needed.
Matthew 14:14 (MGI):
And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
Now we have come to the fence, found mercy, lovingkindness and compassion. The next thing we find is love.
Remember chesed had a dalet on the end of the word and this is the pictograph of a door. Where is the door in the fence? God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever would believe on him should have everlasting life. Jesus Christ is the door to being able to go inside the fence.
This word picture comes from Aramaic first, rather than Hebrew, because the Hebrew has a different spelling. The first letter is the fence and the second is the house or family. The simple word picture for love is the fence of the family. The verb is khav and the noun is khuba in Aramaic.
Ephesians 1:4 (MGI):
even as he chose us beforehand in him, from before the foundations of the world, that we should be holy [ones] and without blemish before him. And in love [khuba], he marked us out beforehand for himself,
Hebrew has a similar word for love but it is spelled differently than khuba. Ahabah is strongs #171 and its word picture would be “strength revealed to the family.”
This ties everything together that we have learned so far. God, El or Elohim, is the strong authority who is also a Father, the leader of the house. He draws all men to him through his Son and brings people to his fence where men find mercy, lovingkindness, compassion and love. Remember the mem on the end of racham? Inside the fence are the still waters of Psalm 23. The rest and refreshment of quiet peace is there also. But that is more for another day….