This word in the Old Testament is the translation of Tobh (Exodus 18:9; Psalms 16:2, the Revised Version (British and American) "good"; 23:6), etc.; of Tubh (Exodus 33:19; Psalms 31:19; Jeremiah 31:14; Hosea 3:5), etc.; of checedh (Exodus 34:6), "abundant in goodness," the English Revised Version "plenteous in mercy," the American Standard Revised Version "abundant in loving kindness"; "The goodness of God endureth continually," the Revised Version (British and American) "mercy," the American Standard Revised Version "loving kindness" (Psalms 52:1), etc.
In the New Testament it is the translation of chrestotes ("usefulness," benignity); "the riches of his goodness" (Romans 2:4; 11:22, thrice); of chrestos ("useful," "benign," "kind," in Luke 6:35); "The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance" (Romans 2:4); of agathosune (found only in the New Testament and Septuagint and writings based thereon), "full of goodness." (Romans 15:14); "gentleness, goodness, faith" (Galatians 5:22); "in all goodness and righteousness and truth" (Ephesians 5:9); "all the good pleasure of his goodness," the Revised Version (British and American) "every desire of goodness." (2 Thessalonians 1:11).
The thought of God as good and the prominence given to "good" and "goodness" are distinctive features of the Bible. In the passage quoted above from Galatians 5:22, "goodness" is one of the fruits of the indwelling Spirit of God, and in that from Ephesians 5:9 it is described as being, along with righteousness and truth, "the fruit of the light" which Christians had been "made" in Christ. Here, as elsewhere, we are reminded that the Christian life in its truth is likeness to God, the source and perfection of all good. 2 Thessalonians 1:11 regards God Himself as expressing His goodness in and through us.
See GOOD; GOOD, CHIEF.
W. L. Walker
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