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Goodness (Gr. ἀγαθωσύνη, from ἀγαθός; Heb. חֶסֶד) is being honorable, a benefit to society and to God. It is the visible "fruit" of the Holy Spirit that enables one to effectively apply what they have learned to benefit others[1]. This reflects the "loving-kindness" or "mercy" (Heb. חֶסֶד "chesed") of God[2].

Meaning and Usage[]

The Hebrew word חֶסֶד (chesed) is variously translated as "mercy", "kindness", "lovingkindness", "steadfast love" and "goodness". It is a noun derived from the verb חָסַד (chasad), which means "to be good, be kind". The Greek word ἀγαθωσύνη (agathusé) is a noun formed from the common adjective ἀγαθός (agathos), which means "good", "distinguished" and "honorable".

Goodness, though a synonym with Kindness, is often distinguished from it in the Old Testament (especially in poetry)[3]. The first time chesed is used in the Bible, it is spoken by Lot to the angels that had saved him[4]. It is first used to refer to Yahweh when Abraham's servant prayed while searching for a bride for Isaac[5]. Just as the servant trusted God, so Abraham's grandson Jacob would trust the covenant God made for Him at Bethel[6] when he faced his brother Esau[7].


  1. Rom 15:14 (Link)
  2. Exo 34:6 (Link)
  3. Ps 23:6 (Link)
  4. Gen 19:19 (Link)
  5. Gen 24:12; (Perhaps Eliezar) Compare Gen 15:2-3 (Link)
  6. Gen 28:10-19 (Link)
  7. Gen 32:9-12 (Link)
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