Then he said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, almost to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me.” Bible see other translations

“soul.” The Greek word often translated “soul” is psuchē (#5590 ψυχή; pronounced psoo-'kay), and it has a large number of meanings, including the physical life of a person or animal; an individual person; or attitudes, emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Here it is used more broadly of Jesus himself with an emphasis on his thoughts and emotions. Thus, while the verse could read something such as, “I am troubled” (cp. NAB; CJB), the inclusion of the word “soul” points us to his thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

[For a more complete explanation of “soul,” see Appendix 7: “Usages of ‘Soul.’”]

“deeply grieved.” The Greek word is perilupos (#4036 περίλυπος), and it means deeply grieved, very sad, exceedingly sorrowful. Jesus knew the time of his arrest was approaching, and he was dealing with the emotions that were flooding him. He knew from Scripture and from the culture that he would be whipped and beaten for some 40 hours before dying on the cross as the true Passover Lamb. It was requiring all his love and resolve to move ahead and obey God to his painful death.

almost to the point of death.” The Greek is more literally simply “to death.” The Greek phrase “to the point of death” means “that his sorrow is so great that he is hardly able to bear it.”a Jesus is not saying that his sorrow will literally result in his death, but the phrase is idiomatic and means that he is very deeply grieved. We use the same idiomatic phraseology when say things like, “I am freezing to death,” or, “I am starving to death.” The word death is more idiomatic than literal and expresses the depth of the emotion.

Donald Hagner, Matthew 14-28 [WBC], 782.

Commentary for: Matthew 26:38