International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
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" (Numbers 6:25); "And the Lord was gracious unto them" (2 Kings 13:23 the King James Version); "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion" (Psalm 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" (Proverbs 11:16 the King James Version; compare Ecclesiastes 10:12 Luke 4:22).