Hi! Welcome to “Dusty Phrases.” You will find below an ancient phrase in one language or another, along with its English translation. You may also find the power to inspire your friends or provoke dread among your enemies.
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Lord have mercy.
Where does this phrase come from? (Via Wiki)
Kyrie, a transliteration of Greek Κύριε, vocative case of Κύριος (Kyrios), is a common name of an important prayer of Christian liturgy, also called the Kyrie eleison (/ˈkɪəri.eɪ ɪˈleɪ.ɪsɒn, -sən/ KEER-ee-ay il-AY-iss-on, -ən; Ancient Greek: Κύριε, ἐλέησον, romanized: Kýrie eléēson, lit. ‘Lord, have mercy’).
The prayer, “Kyrie, eleison,” “Lord, have mercy” derives from a Biblical phrase. Greek ἐλέησόν με κύριε “have mercy on me, Lord” is the Septuagint translation of the phrase חָנֵּנִי יְהוָה found often in Psalms ( 6:2, 9:13, 31:9, 86:3, 123:3)
In the New Testament, the Greek phrase occurs three times in Matthew:
- Matthew 15:22: the Canaanite woman cries out to Jesus, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David.” (Ἐλέησόν με κύριε υἱὲ Δαβίδ)
- Matthew 17:15: “Lord, have mercy on my son” (Κύριε ἐλέησόν μου τὸν υἱόν)
- Matthew 20:30f, two unnamed blind men call out to Jesus, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David.” (Ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς κύριε υἱὸς Δαβίδ)
In the Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee (Luke 18:9-14) the despised tax collector who cries out “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner” is contrasted with the smug Pharisee who believes he has no need for forgiveness.
Luke 17:13 has epistates “master” instead of kyrios “lord” (Ἰησοῦ ἐπιστάτα ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς), being less suggestive of the kyrios “lord” used as euphemism for YHWH in the Septuagint. There are other examples in the text of the gospels without the kyrie “lord”, e.g. Mark 10:46, where blind Bartimaeus cries out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” In the biblical text, the phrase is always personalized by an explicit object (such as, “on me”, “on us”, “on my son”), while in the Eucharistic celebration it can be seen more as a general expression of confidence in God’s love.: 293
For some of you, though, the phrase might seem familiar – despite perhaps not knowing much about either the Greek language or the Bible. If that’s true, then you might be recalling a 1980s pop song by Mr. Mister.