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Bible Notes: Sacrament
Originally appeared on spirituality.com
Hebrew: Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
A beautiful summary of Mosaic law, this verse from Micah employs two very often used concepts of Old Testament virtue, justice and mercy. Justly is derived from the noun,mish-pat, which itself comes from the verb, sha-phat, having the primary sense of exercising the processes of government, civil or religious. In the Bible, judges were respected leaders of experience, wisdom, and power. Ideally they ruled in accord with themish-pat, the governing principles, of God. Moses, Deborah, and Solomon were legendary judges in Israel because of their closeness to God, and to do justly implied a fair society on all levels. The mercy that one should love is one way of translating the very broad term khe-sed, a divine attribute of the LORD (Yahweh or Jehovah) from Ex. 34:6, which is also translated lovingkindness, loyal love, steadfast love, kindness, or simply goodness. The last word occurs nowhere else in the Bible but in this verse—yet it is an interesting directive for the good life. Hatz-ne-ah is translated humbly, but means also be modest, be reserved or retiring, tend toward preservation, live cautiously orcarefully.