kum'-fert (nacham; parakaleo): The New Testament word is variously translated, as "comfort," "exhort," "beseech," the exact translation to be determined by the context. Etymologically, it is "to call alongside of," i.e. to summon for assistance. To comfort is to cheer and encourage. It has a positive force wanting in its synonym "console," as it indicates the dispelling of grief by the impartation of strength. the Revised Version (British and American) has correctly changed the translation of paramutheomai from the King James Version "comfort," to "consolation." So in the Old Testament, "Comfort ye my people" (Isa 40:1) is much stronger than "console," which affords only the power of calm endurance of affliction, while the brightest hopes of the future and the highest incentives to present activity are the gifts of the Divine grace that is here bestowed.
H. E. Jacobs