Jump to: ISBEEaston'sWebster'sConcordanceThesaurusGreekHebrewLibrarySubtopicsTerms
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

ag'-o-ni (agonia; Vulgate agonia):

A word occurring only once in the New Testament (Luke 22:44), and used to describe the climax of the mysterious soul-conflict and unspeakable suffering of our Lord in the garden at Gethsemane. The term is derived from the Greek agon "contest" and this in turn from the Greek ago "to drive or lead," as in a chariot race. Its root idea is the struggle and pain of the severest athletic contest or conflict. The wrestling of the athlete has its counterpart in the wrestling of the suffering soul of the Saviour in the garden. At the beginning of this struggle He speaks of His soul being exceeding sorrowful even unto death, and this tumult of emotion culminated in the agony. All that can be suggested by the exhausting struggles and sufferings of charioteers, runners, wrestlers and gladiators, in Grecian and Roman amphitheaters, is summed up in the pain and death-struggle of this solitary word "agony." The word was rendered by Wyclif (1382) "maad in agonye" Tyndale (1534) and following translators use an agony." The record of Jesus' suffering in Gethsemane, in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 26:36-46 Mark 14:32-42 Luke 22:39-46, and also in Hebrews 5:7, 8) indicates that it was threefold:

1. Physical:

The agony of His soul wrought its pain on His body, until "his sweat became as it were great drops of blood falling down upon the ground" (Luke 22:44, omitted by some ancient authorities). He offered His prayers and supplications "with strong crying and tears" (Hebrews 5:7). The intensity of His struggle so distressed and weakened Him that Luke says "there appeared unto him an angel from heaven, strengthening him." The threefold record of the evangelists conveys the idea of the intensest physical pain. As the wire carries the electric current, so every nerve in Jesus' physical being felt the anguish of His sensitive soul as He took upon Himself the burden of the world's sin and moral evil.

2. Mental:

The crisis of Jesus' career as Messiah and Redeemer came in Gethsemane. The moral issue of His atoning work was intelligently and voluntarily met here. The Gospels exhaust language in attempting to portray the stress and struggle of this conflict. "My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death." "Being in an agony he prayed more earnestly, saying, Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me." The mental clearness of Christ's vision of humanity's moral guilt and the energy of will necessary to meet the issue and take "this cup" of being the world's sin-bearer, indicate the awful sorrow and anguish of His supernatural conflict. It is divinely significant that the word "agony" appears but once in all Scripture. This solitary word records a solitary experience. Only One ever compassed the whole range of the world's sorrow and pain, anguish and agony. The shame of criminal arrest in the garden and of subsequent condemnation and death as a malefactor had to His innocent soul the horror of humanity's entire and ageless guilt. The mental and moral anguish of Jesus in Gethsemane interprets the meaning of Paul's description of the atonement, "Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

3. Spiritual:

The agony of Jesus was supremely within the realm of His spirit. The effect of sin in separating the human soul from God was fathomed by the suffering Saviour in the fathomless mystery of His supernatural sorrow. Undoubtedly the anguish of Gethsemane surpassed the physical torture of Calvary. The whole conflict was wrought out here. Jesus' filial spirit, under the burden of the world's guilt, felt isolated from the Father. This awful, momentary seclusion from His Father's face constituted the "cup" which He prayed might pass from Him, and the "agony" of soul, experienced again on the cross, when He felt that God had forsaken Him.

No theory of the atonement can do justice to the threefold anguish of Jesus in Gethsemane and on Calvary, or to the entire trend of Scripture, that does not include the substitutionary element in His voluntary sacrifice, as stated by the prophet: "Yahweh hath laid on him the iniquity of us all," Isaiah 53:6; and by His apostles "who was delivered up for our trespasses," Romans 4:25; "who his own self bare our sins," 1 Peter 2:24.

The word "agony" also occurs in 2 Maccabees 3:14, 16, 21 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "distress") in describing the distress of the people at the attempt of Heliodorus to despoil the treasury of the temple in the days of Onias.

Dwight M. Pratt

74. agonia -- a contest, great fear
... great fear. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: agonia Phonetic Spelling:
(ag-o-nee'-ah) Short Definition: contest, agony Definition: (properly the ...
// - 6k

5604. odin -- a birth pang
... pang. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: odin Phonetic Spelling:
(o-deen') Short Definition: the pain of childbirth, severe agony Definition: the ...
// - 7k

3600. odunao -- to cause or suffer pain
... Word Origin from odune Definition to cause or suffer pain NASB Word Usage agony
(1), am in agony (1), anxiously (1), grieving (1). sorrow, torment. ...
// - 7k

73. agon -- a gathering, contest, struggle
... 73 (a masculine noun, and the root of the English words, "agony," "agonize") --
properly, a (), a grueling (fight); (figuratively) that goes with " the good of ...
// - 7k

3804. pathema -- that which befalls one, ie a suffering, a passion
... to feel strong emotion, like suffering") -- properly, the capacity and privilege
of experiencing strong feeling; , deep emotion, like agony, passion (ardent ...
// - 8k

929. basanismos -- torture
... Cognate: 929 torment (vexation) -- ; subjective agony that corresponds to an basis --
ie as the "torment-rack" proves (reveals) the real "state of affairs" (cf ...
// - 7k

Strong's Hebrew
2427. chil -- a writhing, anguish
... 2426, 2427. chil. 2428 . a writhing, anguish. Transliteration: chil Phonetic
Spelling: (kheel) Short Definition: agony. Word Origin ...
/hebrew/2427.htm - 6k

7661. shabats -- perhaps cramp
... 7660, 7661. shabats. 7662 . perhaps cramp. Transliteration: shabats Phonetic
Spelling: (shaw-bawts') Short Definition: agony. Word ...
/hebrew/7661.htm - 6k


The Last Agony
... THE LAST AGONY. 'In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth
month, came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture h/the last agony.htm

The Agony in Gethsemane.
... CHRIST; HIS CHARACTER AND OFFICES. 226. " The Agony in Gethsemane. 226.
CHM Hemans. The Agony in Gethsemane. 1 He knelt; the ...
/.../ for christian devotion/226 the agony in.htm

Agony in the Garden.
... CHRIST; HIS CHARACTER AND OFFICES. 229. " Agony in the Garden. 229.
CM Haweis. Agony in the Garden. 1 Dark was the night and ...
/.../ for christian devotion/229 agony in the.htm

The Agony, and the Consoler
heart. The agony of two women was long remembered. Their ...
/.../chapter iii the agony and.htm

Prolonged Agony
... BOOK V CHAPTER L PROLONGED AGONY. The history of the Byzantine Empire is
a monotonous story of the intrigues of priests, women, and ...
/.../chapter l prolonged agony.htm

C. The Agony in Gethsemane. Ch. 22:39-46
... VII. THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION. CHS. 22 TO 24 C. The Agony In Gethsemane.
Ch. 22:39-46. 39 And he came out, and went, as his custom ...
/.../erdman/the gospel of luke an exposition/c the agony in gethsemane.htm

The Agony
... Mark CHAPTER 14:34-42 THE AGONY. "And ... St. John, the only Evangelist who was
said to have been present, gives no account of the Agony. ...
/.../chadwick/the gospel of st mark/chapter 14 34-42 the agony.htm

When the Last Agony Draws Nigh,
... III. When the last agony draws nigh,. 8,8,8,8,8,8 ... trans. by Catherine Winkworth,
1855. When the last agony draws nigh,. My spirit sinks in bitter fear: Courage! ...
/.../winkworth/lyra germanica the christian year/iii when the last agony.htm

The Agony in the Garden. (Matt. , xxvi. ; Mark, xiv. ; Luke, xxii. ...
... CHAPTER V. GETHSEMANE. Section 280. The Agony in the Garden. (Matt., xxvi.;
Mark, xiv.; Luke, xxii.). In prayer and retirement Christ ...
/.../section 280 the agony in.htm

Protest and Agony. (I, iv. 10, 19, vi. 11, xi. 18-xii. 6, xv. 10 ...
... 1. Protest and Agony. (I, IV. 10, 19, VI. 11, XI. 18-XII. 6, XV. 10-XVI.
9, XVII. 14-18, XVIII. 18-23, XX. 7-18.). If, as is possible ...
// protest and agony i.htm

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Contest; wrestling; severe struggling with pain and suffering. Anguish is the reflection on evil that is already past, while agony is a struggle with evil at the time present. It is only used in the New Testament by Luke (22:44) to describe our Lord's fearful struggle in Gethsemane.

The verb from which the noun "agony" is derived is used to denote an earnest endeavour or striving, as "Strive [agonize] to enter" (Luke 13:24); "Then would my servants fight" [agonize] (John 18:36). Comp. 1 Corinthians 9:25; Colossians 1:29; 4:12; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7, where the words "striveth," "labour," "conflict," "fight," are the renderings of the same Greek verb.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) Violent contest or striving.

2. (n.) Pain so extreme as to cause writhing or contortions of the body, similar to those made in the athletic contests in Greece; and hence, extreme pain of mind or body; anguish; paroxysm of grief; specifically, the sufferings of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane.

3. (n.) Paroxysm of joy; keen emotion.

4. (n.) The last struggle of life; death struggle.

Agony (20 Occurrences)
... Anguish is the reflection on evil that is already past, while agony is a struggle
with evil at the time present. ... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. AGONY. ...
/a/agony.htm - 18k

Sweat (3 Occurrences)
... Standard Bible Encyclopedia. BLOODY SWEAT. (swet hosei thromboi haimatos): Described
in Luke 22:44 as a physical accompaniment of our Lord's agony at Gethsemane ...
/s/sweat.htm - 14k

Agonize (1 Occurrence)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (vi) To writhe with agony; to suffer violent anguish. ...
3. (vt) To cause to suffer agony; to subject to extreme pain; to torture. ...
/a/agonize.htm - 6k

Bloody (19 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary Bloody sweat: The sign and token of our Lord's
great agony (Luke 22:44). Noah Webster's Dictionary. 1. (a ...
/b/bloody.htm - 17k

Gethsemane (2 Occurrences)
... Mount of Olives, to which Jesus was wont to retire (Luke 22:39) with his disciples,
and which is specially memorable as being the scene of his agony (Mark 14:32 ...
/g/gethsemane.htm - 11k

Writhe (6 Occurrences)
... 3. (vt) To extort; to wring; to wrest. 4. (vi) To twist or contort the body; to
be distorted; as, to writhe with agony. Also used figuratively. ...
/w/writhe.htm - 8k

Inflicts (7 Occurrences)
... Revelation 9:5 Their mission was not to kill, but to cause awful agony for five
months; and this agony was like that which a scorpion inflicts when it stings a ...
/i/inflicts.htm - 8k

Mission (14 Occurrences)
... Revelation 9:5 Their mission was not to kill, but to cause awful agony for five
months; and this agony was like that which a scorpion inflicts when it stings a ...
/m/mission.htm - 11k

Awful (20 Occurrences)
... Revelation 9:5 Their mission was not to kill, but to cause awful agony for five
months; and this agony was like that which a scorpion inflicts when it stings a ...
/a/awful.htm - 12k

Struggle (16 Occurrences)
... 3. (vi) To labor in pain or anguish; to be in agony; to labor in any kind
of difficulty or distress. 4. (n.) A violent effort or ...
/s/struggle.htm - 11k

Bible Concordance
Agony (20 Occurrences)

Mark 14:35 Going forward a short distance He threw Himself upon His face and prayed repeatedly that, if it was possible, He might be spared that time of agony;

Luke 16:24 So he cried aloud, and said, "'Father Abraham, take pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.'

Luke 16:25 "'Remember, my child,' said Abraham, 'that you had all your good things during your lifetime, and that Lazarus in like manner had his bad things. But, now and here, he is receiving consolation and you are in agony.

Luke 22:44 Being in agony he prayed more earnestly. His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.

Acts 2:24 whom God raised up, having freed him from the agony of death, because it was not possible that he should be held by it.

2 Corinthians 12:7 And judging by the stupendous grandeur of the revelations--therefore lest I should be over-elated there has been sent to me, like the agony of impalement, Satan's angel dealing blow after blow, lest I should be over-elated.

Revelation 9:5 Their mission was not to kill, but to cause awful agony for five months; and this agony was like that which a scorpion inflicts when it stings a man.

Revelation 12:2 and she was crying out in the pains and agony of childbirth.

Revelation 16:10 The fifth poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was darkened. They gnawed their tongues because of the pain,
(See NIV)

2 Samuel 1:9 And he said unto me, Stand, I pray thee, beside me, and slay me; for anguish hath taken hold of me, because my life is yet whole in me.

2 Chronicles 21:19 It happened, in process of time, at the end of two years, that his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness, and he died of sore diseases. His people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.
(See RSV)

Psalms 6:2 Have mercy on me, Yahweh, for I am faint. Yahweh, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
(See NIV)

Psalms 42:10 As with a sword in my bones, my adversaries reproach me, while they continually ask me, "Where is your God?"
(See NIV)

Isaiah 13:8 Their hearts will be full of fear; pains and sorrows will overcome them; they will be in pain like a woman in childbirth; they will be shocked at one another; their faces will be like flames.
(See RSV)

Jeremiah 4:19 My soul, my soul! I am pained to my inmost heart; my heart is troubled in me; I am not able to be quiet, because the sound of the horn, the note of war, has come to my ears.
(See NIV)

Jeremiah 50:43 The king of Babylon has heard the news of them, and his hands wax feeble: anguish has taken hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.
(See NAS)

Ezekiel 30:16 I will set a fire in Egypt: Sin shall be in great anguish, and No shall be broken up; and Memphis shall have adversaries in the daytime.

Micah 4:9 Now why do you cry out aloud? Is there no king in you? Has your counselor perished, that pains have taken hold of you as of a woman in travail?
(See NAS)

Micah 4:10 Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail; for now you will go forth out of the city, and will dwell in the field, and will come even to Babylon. There you will be rescued. There Yahweh will redeem you from the hand of your enemies.
(See NIV)

Zechariah 9:5 Ashkelon will see it, and fear; Gaza also, and will writhe in agony; as will Ekron, for her expectation will be disappointed; and the king will perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon will not be inhabited.



Related Terms

Sweat (3 Occurrences)

Agonize (1 Occurrence)

Bloody (19 Occurrences)

Gethsemane (2 Occurrences)

Writhe (6 Occurrences)

Inflicts (7 Occurrences)

Mission (14 Occurrences)

Awful (20 Occurrences)

Struggle (16 Occurrences)

Stings (3 Occurrences)

Sting (5 Occurrences)

Cross (157 Occurrences)

Blood (435 Occurrences)

Yell (1 Occurrence)

Qualm (1 Occurrence)

Nail (9 Occurrences)

Over-elated (1 Occurrence)

Jacob (361 Occurrences)

Gnaw (4 Occurrences)

Grandeur (3 Occurrences)

Gall (17 Occurrences)

Impalement (1 Occurrence)

Impossible (31 Occurrences)

Intense (13 Occurrences)

Freed (32 Occurrences)

Fervently (7 Occurrences)

Threw (133 Occurrences)

Torture (9 Occurrences)

Receiving (72 Occurrences)

Repeatedly (28 Occurrences)

Expire (14 Occurrences)

Earnestness (14 Occurrences)

Earnestly (78 Occurrences)

Elated (2 Occurrences)

Drops (27 Occurrences)

Dealing (36 Occurrences)

Distress (169 Occurrences)

During (182 Occurrences)

Distance (75 Occurrences)

Dropping (33 Occurrences)

Praying (71 Occurrences)

Paradise (6 Occurrences)

Pang (1 Occurrence)

Prayed (97 Occurrences)

Clots (1 Occurrence)

Childbirth (24 Occurrences)

Consolation (23 Occurrences)

Anguish (75 Occurrences)

Stupendous (1 Occurrence)

Spared (45 Occurrences)

Satan's (5 Occurrences)


Short (128 Occurrences)

Aloud (141 Occurrences)

Pains (59 Occurrences)

Water (4571 Occurrences)

Ashkelon (12 Occurrences)

Expectation (25 Occurrences)

Putting (278 Occurrences)


Ostrich (9 Occurrences)

Falling (233 Occurrences)

James (40 Occurrences)

Possible (133 Occurrences)

Blow (124 Occurrences)

Pity (165 Occurrences)

Angel (209 Occurrences)

Judging (141 Occurrences)

Ekron (20 Occurrences)

Raise (175 Occurrences)

Raised (267 Occurrences)

Held (223 Occurrences)

Gaza (22 Occurrences)

Free (454 Occurrences)

Deserted (54 Occurrences)

Face (780 Occurrences)

Disappointed (69 Occurrences)

Inhabited (64 Occurrences)

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Top of Page
Top of Page