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gra'-shus (chanan; charis): In general, the word means "to favor," "to show kindness" to an inferior and "to be compassionate." All Old Testament passages are derived from the same root, and yet there are two evident shades of meaning derived from it. (1) As above, "favorable" or, causative, "to cause to be gracious," as "Yahweh make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee" (Nu 6:25); "And the Lord was gracious unto them" (2 Ki 13:23 the King James Version); "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion" (Ps 145:8 the King James Version). (2) In a modified sense, "graceful," "winsome" or "attractive," as applied particularly to persons and things. Used thus 3 times in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament. "A gracious woman retaineth honor" (Prov 11:16 the King James Version; compare Eccl 10:12 and Lk 4:22).
The word is used once in the New Testament from root of Greek word chrestos, meaning "useful" as a benefit: "if ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious" (1 Pet 2:3).
In the main, however, the adjective is applied in the Old Testament to Yahweh, as indicative of His favor and mercy, His long-suffering and general inclination of favor and kindness.
Walter G. Clippinger
Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'gracious'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". - ISBE; 1915.

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