Grieve - Trench's New Testament Synonyms


lypeo (G3076) Grieve
Be Sorrowful
pentheo (G3996) Lament
threneo (G2354) Wail
kopto (G2875)
Lypeo, pentheo, threneo, and kopto refer to the sense of grief or to its utterance. In sensing grief, there are degrees of intensity; grief is verbally manifested in different forms.
Lypein is a general term that is used to express various forms of grief. Lypein is contrasted with chairein, just as lype (G3077) is contrasted with chara or with edone. Unlike the grief expressed by pentheo, threneo, and kopto, lype refers to an inward grief that does not necessarily manifest itself outwardly, unless the grieving person chooses to reveal it (Rom. 9:2).
Penthein is a stronger term than lypein.Penthein is not merely dolere (to be in pain) or angi (to suffer pain) but lugere (to mourn, to bewail). Like lypein, penthein primarily means to lament for the dead but also includes any other passionate lamenting, since penthos is a form of pathos, a grief so all-encompassing that it cannot be hidden. As Spanheim noted:
For penthein among the Greeks corresponds to the words bkh[1058],
klaiein [G2799], threneinand hyloyl [G1984], ololyzein [G3649] and thus denotes not only grief felt inwardly but also expressed outwardly.
According to Chrysostom, the penthountes of Matthew 5:4 are "those who grieve [lypoumenoi] with intensity," those whose grief is so great that it manifests itself externally. Thus penthein is often joined with klaiein, and we have the phrase penthon kai skythropazon (cf. G4659) in Psalm 35:14. Gregory of Nyssa defined penthos more generally: "Penthos is the mournful disposition of the soul brought about by the loss of anyone of those who are close to the heart." Since Gregory was not distinguishing synonyms, however, he was not careful to make fine distinctions.
Threnein means "to bewail," "to make a threnos." Threnein may refer to mere wailing or lamentation, to breaking out in unstudied words (like an Irish wake), or it may take the more elaborate form of a poem. The beautiful lamentation that David composed over Saul and Jonathan is introduced in the Septuagint with ethrenese Dabid ton threnon touton (2 Sam 1:17). The sublime dirge over Tyre is also called a threnos.
Koptein (Matt. 24:30; Luke 23:27; Rev. 1:7) means "to strike" and was an act that commonly accompanied a threnein. More specifically, koptein means "to strike the breast as an outward sign of grief (Nah. 2:7; Luke 18:13). So kopetos is threnos "with the sound of hands," and, as with penthein, is often a token of grief for the dead. Plutarch joined olophyrseis and kopetoi as two of the more violent manifestations of grief and condemned both for their excesses.

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