The second beatitude as given in Matthew is

"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." (KJ)

In John 14:26, Jesus speaks of a comforter.

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (KJ)

Are 'comforted' and 'comforter' linguistically comparable? Are there other reasons to believe these two words both refer to the Holy Spirit?

  • 1
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    – Dottard
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 22:17
  • 1
    It is certainly the same word (verb parakaleo in Matthew and noun parakletos in John 14, 15 and 16).+1.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 22:21
  • If Jesus says they will be comforted, who do you imagine the comforter might be? In John 14, Jesus comforts his disciples by telling them the Father will send the Comforter to dwell in them, saying also that he, himself, will manifest to them. Then in answer to Judas' (not Iscariot) question about how this will happen, Jesus answers that both he and his Father will make their abode with them.
    – enegue
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 23:43

2 Answers 2


In John 14:26 the Greek noun is παράκλητος (paraklētos), from two root words, "para" = to be beside; and "kletos" = a calling to come. Thus, a parakleos was one who is called to be beside someone. The word is used of a lawyer who helped someone in legal battles. Thus, it is translated: an advocate, intercessor, a consoler, comforter, helper, intercessor, consoler, etc.

In Matt 5:4, the Greek verb is παρακαλέω (parakaleó), in this instance, the verb is in the Future Indicative Passive - 3rd Person Plural.

The two words, παράκλητος (paraklētos) and παρακαλέω (parakaleó) are cognate relatives from the same Greek stem. Thus, there is a definite linguistic connection as Ellicott observes for Matt 5:4:

They shall be comforted.--The pronoun is emphatic. The promise implies the special comfort (including counsel) which the mourner needs; "comforted" he shall be with the sense of pardon and peace, of restored purity and freedom. We cannot separate the promise from the word which Christendom has chosen (we need not now discuss its accuracy) to express the work of the Holy Ghost the Comforter, still less from the yearning expectation that then prevailed among such of our Lord's hearers as were looking for the "consolation"--i.e., the "comfort"--of Israel (Luke 2:25).

  • When Ellicott says "We cannot separate the promise from the word which Christendom has chosen," does he elaborate on this beyond noting the linguistic connection? Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 22:43
  • I have quoted Ellicott in full. See biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/5-4.htm
    – Dottard
    Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 22:44

A similar theme of mourning and comfort is in 1 Chronicles 19:1-3:

Some time later, Nahash king of the Ammonites died and was succeeded by his son. And David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, because his father showed kindness to me.”
So David sent messengers to console Hanun concerning his father. But when David’s servants arrived in the land of the Ammonites to console him, the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun, “Just because David has sent you comforters, do you really believe he is showing respect for your father?

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