And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
The etymological meaning of the word is, "One called to be beside another." The word is used in classical Greek, and a word of similar etymology, from which our word "advocate" is derived, is used in classical Latin to denote a person who patronises another in a judicial cause, and who appears in support of him. It was the custom, before the ancient tribunals, for the parties to appear in court, attended by one or more of their most powerful and influential friends, who were called "paracletes" — the Greek — or "advocates" — the Latin term. They were not advocates in our sense of the term — feed counsel; they were persons who, prompted by affection, were disposed to stand by their friend; and persons in whose knowledge, wisdom, and truth the individual having the cause had confidence. These paracletes, or advocates, gave their friends — "prospelates," or "clients," as they were called — the advantages of their character and station in society, and the aid of their counsel. They stood by them in the court, giving them advice, and speaking in their behalf when it was necessary. Jesus had been the Paraclete of His disciples while He was with them. He had made their cause His own. He had taught them how to manage their cause with God. He had taught them to pray; and He had prayed for them. He had taught them how to manage their cause with the wicked one; bidding them watch and pray, lest they should enter into temptation; and He had prayed for them, that their faith should not fail. When the scribes and Pharisees attacked them, He was ever ready to defend them. In the great cause which was at once His and theirs He was their great helper. He instructed them what to say, and how to act. He gave them miraculous powers, and taught them how to use them. Thus He had been their patron — their paraclete. And He was not to cease to be so; He was, in His Father's house of many mansions, "ever living to interpose in their behalf" (1 John 2:1; Hebrews 7:25). But He was to cease to be their Paraclete on earth; and therefore, knowing how much they needed such a patron and adviser, and monitor and helper, He says, "I will pray to the Father, and He will send you another Paraclete." "Instead of losing, you are to gain by My removal." They had, in becoming His disciples, identified themselves with His cause. They stood pledged to establish the right which their Master's principles had to be universally embraced and submitted to. And all the resources of Judaism and Paganism, all the subtlety of philosophy, all the seductions of idolatry, all the power of kingdoms and empires, all the craft, and activity, and energy of hell, were against them. And what were they? poor, unlearned, obscure men? Truly, they needed a powerful patron, a wise adviser. And such a paraclete was He whom the Saviour promises. He cannot want power, through whose plastic influence the world was formed; He cannot want wisdom, who "searches all things, even the deep things of God"; and we know how He guided them, and enabled them to bring to a triumphant issue their mighty litigation. He filled their minds with the pure light of Divine truth, and their hearts with the holy fire of Divine love, and He poured grace and power into their lips; and when brought before counsels and synagogues, and governors, and kings, He gave them a force of reason and a power of eloquence that could not be withstood. "They spake with tongues, as He gave them utterance," and proclaimed the mysteries of the kingdom, "not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Ghost."
(J. Brown, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;