From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

Benevolence —The disposition which sets itself to desire steadfastly the welfareand happiness of others. Christian benevolence is this disposition of heart informed by the example and precept of Christ, this informing of the heart being the work of His Holy Spirit. Continual active benevolence is perhaps the most striking feature in the whole of the Gospel records. It is the keynote of the Sermon on the Mount, and merges into the harmony of love in the final discourses recorded in the Fourth Gospel. The sons of the Most High are to do good to their enemies as well as to their friends ( Luke 6:35). The sons of the Father which is in heaven are to be kindly disposed and actively beneficent both to the just and to the unjust ( Matthew 5:45). And this benevolence, which is to reign in the hearts of His disciples, must have been included in that great last prayer ( John 17:26) that ‘the love wherewith thou lovedst me may be in them.’ A simple rule is given to the follower of Christ for securing and testing this attitude of benevolence: ‘All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them’ ( Matthew 7:12). The Divine image is not so marred in any man as to destroy the intention and desire to do good to relations and friends ( Matthew 5:46;  Matthew 7:11,  Luke 6:33;  Luke 11:13), but the benevolence of the Christian heart is to be a kindly feeling towards all without exception ( Matthew 5:44,  Luke 6:27;  Luke 6:35). There is to be no single blot on the escutcheon; Christians are to be perfect, as their Heavenly Father is perfect ( Matthew 5:48). Natural benevolence expresses itself in the exclamation of those who heard of the fate of the wicked husbandmen in the parable, ‘God forbid’ ( Luke 20:16). Christian benevolence meets us in the story of the arrest in Gethsemane, when the Lord addressed His betrayer as ‘comrade’ (ἑταῖρε,  Matthew 26:50).

Such being the intensive character, the extensive character of benevolence may be observed in Christ’s compassion on the multitudes ( Mark 8:2,  Matthew 14:14), namely, on each individual; and, again, in His healing every one of those around Him on a well-known occasion at Capernaum ( Luke 4:40). By precept as well as by example benevolence is enjoined upon the ministry in the first commission to the Twelve: ‘Freely ye have received, freely give’ ( Matthew 10:8). Not least beautiful and consoling is the assurance that it prevails in the angelic spheres, even towards poor sinners ( Luke 15:7;  Luke 15:10).

Literature.—Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible, art. ‘Love’; Butler, Sermons xi. xii.; Newman, Oxford Univ. Sermons , p. 104 ff.; Schulhof, Law of Forgiveness (1901), 121 ff.

W. B. Frankland.

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [2]

The love of mankind in general, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness. It is distinguished from beneficence, that being the practice, benevolence the desire of doing good. Benevolence must be universal, reaching to every man without exception; but beneficence cannot be so universal, for it is necessarily confined by several considerations; such as our knowledge of objects, and their different circumstances, as well as our own abilities and opportunities of exercising them. Benevolence or good will to others does not imply that we are to neglect our own interests. Our salvation, health, prosperity, and reputation should all be objects of concern: nor will this clash with the affection we may bear to others; on the contrary, experiencing the importance of these blessings ourselves, we shall be anxious for others to possess them also.

The duties of benevolence include those we owe to men, purely on the ground of their being of the same species with ourselves; such as sympathy, relief, & c; those we owe to our country, desiring its honour, safety, prosperity; those we owe to the church of God, as love, zeal, &c.; those we owe to families and individuals, as affection, care, provision, justice, forbearance, &c. Benevolence manifests itself by being pleased with the share of good every creature enjoys; in a disposition to increase it; in feeling an uneasiness at their sufferings; and in the abhorrence of cruelty under every disguise or pretext. The desire of doing good unconnected with any idea of advantage to ourselves is called disinterested benevolence, though some doubt, whether, strictly speaking, there be any such thing; as benevolence is always attended with a pleasure to ourselves, which forms a kind of mental interest. So far, however, as we are able to prefer the good of others to our own, and sacrifice our own comfort for the welfare of any about us, so far it may be said to be disinterested.

See Hutcheson on the Passions, p. 13-26; Doddridge's Lect. 65; Beattie's Elements of Moral Science, vol.i. p. 244-249; Brown's Second Essay on Shaftesbury's Characteristics; and articles LOVE and Self-Love

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [3]

1: Εὔνοια (Strong'S #2133 — Noun Feminine — eunoia — yoo'-noy-ah )

"good will" (eu, "well," nous, "the mind"), is rendered "benevolence" in  1—Corinthians 7:3 , AV. The RV, following the texts which have opheilen ("due"), has "her due," a more comprehensive expression; in  Ephesians 6:7 , "good will."

King James Dictionary [4]

BENEV'OLENCE, n. L. benevolentia, of bene, well and volo, to will or wish. See Will.

1. The disposition to do good good will kindness charitableness the love,of mankind, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness.

The benevolence of God is one of his moral attributes that attribute which delights in the happiness of intelligent beings. "God is love."  1 John 4 .

2. An act of kindness good done charity given. 3. A species of contribution or tax illegally exacted by arbitrary kings of England.

Webster's Dictionary [5]

(1): (n.) An act of kindness; good done; charity given.

(2): (n.) The disposition to do good; good will; charitableness; love of mankind, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness.

(3): (n.) A species of compulsory contribution or tax, which has sometimes been illegally exacted by arbitrary kings of England, and falsely represented as a gratuity.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [6]

bē̇ - nev´ō̇ - lens  : the King James Version translation of phrase in Textus Receptus of the New Testament of   1 Corinthians 7:3 , rejected by the Revised Version (British and American) which following Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek translates Greek opheilḗ , "due." This reference to the marriage relation is explained in  1 Corinthians 7:4 . Compare  Exodus 21:10 .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [7]

due ( Ὀφειλομένη Εὔνοια , but best MSS. simply Ὀφειλή ), a euphemism for marital duty ( 1 Corinthians 7:3). (See Cohabitation).

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [8]

The name of a forced tax exacted from the people by certain kings of England, and which, under Charles I., became so obnoxious as to occasion the demand of the Petition Of Rights ( q. v .), that no tax should be levied without consent of Parliament; first enforced in 1473, declared illegal in 1689.