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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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sor´ō ( חבל , ḥēbhel , יגון , yāghōn , מכאוב , makh'ōbh , etc.; λύπη , lúpē ): The Old Testament has very many words translated "sorrow," those named being the most frequent; in the New Testament "sorrow" is usually the translation of lúpē ( Luke 22:45; John 16:6; 2 Corinthians 2:3 , 2 Corinthians 2:7 , etc.). Pénthos , translated "sorrow" in Revelation 18:7; Revelation 21:4 , is in the Revised Version (British and American) "mourning." Odúnē , of pain-and distress, is thus rendered in Romans 9:2; 1 Timothy 6:10 (compare the verb in Luke 2:48; Acts 20:38 ). the Revised Version (British and American) frequently gives a more literal rendering of the words used, as "toil" (Genesis 3:17 ), "pangs" (Exodus 15:14 ), "pining" (Deuteronomy 28:65 ), "distress" (Isaiah 5:30 ), "lamentation" (Isaiah 29:2 ), etc.; sometimes also it uses "sorrow" for other words, as for "grief" (2 Chronicles 6:29; Psalm 31:10; Psalm 69:26; etc.; 2 Corinthians 2:5 ), "heaviness" (Romans 9:2; 2 Corinthians 2:1 ).

Sorrow or grief is necessary for discipline, for the development of the finer feelings and higher nature of the soul and spirit (Ecclesiastes 7:3 , "Sorrow is better than laughter; for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made glad," margin "better"). Sorrow inevitably follows sin, and is its punishment, yet the righteous are not exempt from it. The "Servant of Yahweh" was "a man of sorrows" (Isaiah 53:3 ). Christians learn how to be "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2 Corinthians 6:10; 2 Corinthians 7:4; Colossians 1:24; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; etc.). In the New Jerusalem it is predicted that there shall be no sorrow, for sorrow shall have done its work, and the first things have passed away (Revelation 21:4 ).

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Sorrow'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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