In English, com means “with,” and passio means “suffer.” However, It seems to pale in comparison to the Hebrew and Greek meanings of the word.
In Hebrew, the word is rakhum, which is similar to their word for “womb.” Therefore, God’s compassion for us can be seen as “His ability to carry us in His tender care.” * It is found 13x in the Old Testament.**
Exodus 34:6
Deuteronomy 4:31
2 Chronicles 30:9
Nehemiah 9:17; 9:31
Psalms 78:38; 86:15; 103:8; 111:4; 112:4; 145:8
Joel 2:13
Jonah 4:2
In Greek, the word is splagchnizomai. Splagchna means “internal organs,” so splagchnizomai means to be “moved so deeply by something that you feel it in the pit of your stomach.” Jesus uses this word 12x.
Matthew 9:36, 14:14, 15:32, 18:27, 20:34
Mark 1:41, 6:34, 8:2, 9:22
Luke 7:13, 10:33, 15:20
These are excellent examples of “…how translators will often struggle to find the right word, because there is not always a word in English that precisely captures a biblical word in the way it is used in a passage.” * This also shows us how helpful it is to go back to the original word, in the original language, to learn what was truly meant. For God and Jesus to have compassion of this magnitude toward us,–I’m just speechless. There are no words strong enough to thank Him. It’s overwhelming to reflect on the fact that I am a sinner; God hates sin, so He sent His Son, who died for my sins, so that I could be saved from an eternity, separated from Him. Through it all–through the sin, the sacrifice, the gift, Jesus had a gut-wrenching compassion toward me (and you).
When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”
Luke 7:13 NKJV
Father, we come to You as scattered sheep lost and left to our own devices. Even so, You seek us out and bring us back into the fold because of Your unwavering love and compassion for Your sheep. We know Your voice and come when You call. Please stir Your Spirit within us so that we will be reminded of a compassion so great that You gave Your only Son as a substitutionary sacrifice so that we could be saved. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


* From How to Study The Original Hebrew or Greek Word In A Passage, Terran Williams, Found at:

** From Moved With Compassion… by BJ Hostetter, May 27, 2015. Found at: