This word is entirely synonymous with compassion both in OT and NT, except, perhaps, in 1Pe 3:8, where 'sympathetic' would better express the meaning of the original word (see Revised Version margin). Pity was regarded by OT writers as holding an essential place in the relations of God and His people (see Ps 78:38; 86:15; 103:13; 111:4; 112:4; 145:8; Isa 63:8; cf. Jas 5:11). One of the ways in which this Divine feeling became active on their behalf reveals an incipient belief in the dealings of Jehovah with nations other than Israel; for He is often represented as infusing compassion for His chosen into the hearts of their enemies (cf. 1Ki 8:50; 2Ch 30:9; Ps 106:46; Ezr 9:9; Ne 1:11; Jer 42:12). An objective manifestation of the feeling of pity in the heart of God was recognized in the preservation of His people from destruction (La 3:22 f.), and in the numerous instances which were regarded as the interventions of mercy on their behalf (cf. Ex 15:13; Nu 14:19; De 13:17; 30:3; 2Ki 13:23; 2Ch 36:15). The direct result of this belief was that Israelites were expected to display a similar disposition towards their brethren (cf. Mic 6:8; Isa 1:17; Jer 21:12; Pr 19:17). They were not required, however, to look beyond the limits of their own race (De 7:16, See De 7:9) except in the case of individual aliens who might at any time be living within their borders (see Ex 22:21; 23:9; De 10:18 f. etc.).
In the parable of the Unmerciful Servant, Jesus inculcates the exercise of pity in men's dealings with each other, and teaches the sacredness of its character by emphasizing its identity with God's compassion for sinners (Mt 18:33; cf. Lu 6:36; Mt 5:7; 9:18). The teaching of Jesus, moreover, broadened its conception in the human mind by insisting that henceforth it could never be confined to the members of the Jewish nation (cf. the parable of the Good Samaritan, Lu 10:25-37). At the same time His own attitude to the thronging multitudes surrounding Him was characterized by profound pity for their weaknesses (Mt 15:32 = Mr 8:2; cf. Mt 9:36; 14:14). Under His guidance, too, Divine pity for the world was transmuted into that Eternal Love which resulted in the Incarnation (Joh 3:16). Side by side with this development, and in exact correspondence with it, Jesus evolves out of human pity for frailty the more fundamental, because it is the more living, quality of love, which He insists will be active even in the face of enmity (Mt 5:43 f., Lu 6:27 ff.).
J. R. Willis.
"In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; In Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation.
"You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
"You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.
"Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness, just as You also have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now."
"Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
"You shall consume all the peoples whom the LORD your God will deliver to you; your eye shall not pity them, nor shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.
"He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.
"Nothing from that which is put under the ban shall cling to your hand, in order that the LORD may turn from His burning anger and show mercy to you, and have compassion on you and make you increase, just as He has sworn to your fathers,
then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you.
and forgive Your people who have sinned against You and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You, and make them objects of compassion before those who have taken them captive, that they may have compassion on them
"For we are slaves; yet in our bondage our God has not forsaken us, but has extended lovingkindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.
"O Lord, I beseech You, may Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and the prayer of Your servants who delight to revere Your name, and make Your servant successful today and grant him compassion before this man " Now I was the cupbearer to the king.
But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them; And often He restrained His anger And did not arouse all His wrath.
But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.
Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
He also made them objects of compassion In the presence of all their captors.
He has made His wonders to be remembered; The LORD is gracious and compassionate.
Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.
The LORD is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.
One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.
Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.
For He said, "Surely, they are My people, Sons who will not deal falsely " So He became their Savior.
O house of David, thus says the LORD: "Administer justice every morning; And deliver the person who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor, That My wrath may not go forth like fire And burn with none to extinguish it, Because of the evil of their deeds.
'I will also show you compassion, so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your own soil.
The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail.
He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.'
While He was saying these things to them, a synagogue official came and bowed down before Him, and said, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live."
Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.
When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.
And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, "I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way."
'Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?'
"I feel compassion for the people because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat.
"But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?" read more. And he answered, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE." But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied and said, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. "And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. "Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. "But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. "On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.' "Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?" And he said, "The one who showed mercy toward him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same."
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
We count those blessed who endured You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.
To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;