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Girdlestone's Synonyms of the Old Testament
Where the word Nacham signifies to be comforted, the LXX rendering is usually a form of παρακαλέω. But the word comfort in its modern usage hardly conveys the etymological force which it ought to have. It originally signified support and encouragement, quite as muc has consolation. The comforter or advocate of the N.T. administers help and strengt has well as peace and joy; and the being comforted often involves both a confirmation in the right course, and also a relinquishing of a previous course.
The verb παρακαλει̂ν in the N.T. generally signifies to beseech or to encourage. It represents an earnestness and urgency prompted by deep feeling - see, for example, Matthew 8:5, where the leper falls before Christ, 'beseeching him' to cleanse him; Romans 12:1, 'I beseech you by the mercies of God.' Sometimes, however, it signifies to cheer up, as in 2 Corinthians 1:4, 'Who comforteth us in all our tribulations.' Compare Matthew 5:4, 'Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.'
The word παράκλητος occurs five times in the N.T in four of these passages we have rendered it by the word comforter in the fifth, although we have our Lord's authority for adopting the same rendering in the one case as in the other, ['He shall give you another Comforter,' implying that they had one already, even Himself. St. John in his First Epistle may well be supposed to have this passage in his mind when be uses the word παράκλητος of Christ.] we have rendered it Advocate. The Vulgate has paraclitus in John 14:16, and advocatus in 1 John 2:1; so Luther has Tröster and Fürsprecher. The word Beist and adopted by De Wette and Van Ess gives rather the classical than the Judaeo-Greek sense.
In Romans 15:4-5, we read of 'patience and comfort' of the Scriptures, and of 'the God of patience and consolation.' The Apostle here beautifully represents the truth that the Scriptures are the means of conveying that patience and comfort of which God is the source. The R. V. has comfort in both verses.
the Second Week of Advent