Friday, January 29, 2010


"In the Hebrew Scriptures, hesed refers to a sort of love that has been promised and is owed—covenant love, that is—as in Hosea 1:1: “When Israel was a child, I loved him and out of Egypt I called my son.” Covenant love is the love God promised to give to his covenant people, and which they in turn were to respond with in kind, loving the God of the Bible with all their hearts, minds and strength. Hesed does not suggest some kind of generic love of everyone. Like marital love, covenantal love is given within the context of a relationship where it is already promised and where the recipient is commanded to respond in kind. Covenant love, like marital love, is neither optional nor unconditional; it is obligatory. This is not to say hesed is compelled—just as in a marriage, love cannot be forced—but it is commanded. This love may be freely and graciously given, but, from the biblical point of view, there is no such thing as free love."

in From Hesed to Agape
What’s love got to do with it?
By Ben Witherington III

1 comment:

  1. In other words, there's no such thing as a free lunch...