The word gentleness is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit found in Galatians 5:22. It can have many different meanings such as to be humble or kind. Let’s look at what does the word gentleness mean in Hebrew and Greek.
But first, I’ll share with you the definition of the word gentleness in the 1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary:
“1. Genteel behavior.
2. Softness of manners; mildness of temper; sweetness of disposition; meekness.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness goodness, faith. Galatians 5:22.
3. Kindness; benevolence.
4. Tenderness; mild treatment.”
All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.
What Does The Word ‘Gentleness’ Mean In Hebrew?
anah- to afflict, be afflicted.
As a verb, this word means “to be afflicted, be humbled, be bowed down, be meek.” It often expressed painful and harsh treatment. Frequently, this term suggests the idea that God sends affliction for disciplinary purposes.
“And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.”
– Deuteronomy 8:2
anavah- modesty; clemency.
What Does The Word ‘Gentleness’ Mean In Greek?
epieikeia- mildness, gentleness.
The word suggests “sweet reasonableness.” It’s translated into:
- clemency (Acts 24:4)
- gentleness of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:1; Ephesians 4:32)
chrestotes- moral excellence.
Chrestotes refers to the virtue that penetrates the while nature. It mellows anything harsh. This virtue is charming, calm, and gentle. It attracts the fellowship of good people, delightful in encouragement, and moderate in manners.
As a noun, it means:
- that which is upright or righteous (Romans 3:12)
- Goodness of the heart (Romans 11:22)
- Kindness (Ephesians 2:7; Titus 3:4; Colossians 3:12)
“But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love…“
– 2 Corinthians 6:4-6
Gentleness is more than an action. It’s an entire way of life. There are few people who can obtain this virtue. However, the Holy Spirit can work it within you if you ask for His help and follow His guidance.
That’s what the word gentleness means in Hebrew and Greek. I pray you found this article helpful. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to share any thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
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