If you’ve ever experienced a broken heart, you know there’s nothing like it. You really feel a pain in your chest that hurts so deep. Your entire life gets thrown out of whack and it’s difficult to find any good reason to get out of bed. It can feel like you’ve hit a roadblock and you just can’t figure out how to get back on track. I wanted to look at what the bible says about brokenheartedness and find out what does the word brokenhearted mean in Hebrew and Greek.

All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

What Does The Word ‘Brokenhearted’ Mean In Hebrew?

The Hebrew language combines two words to describe the word ‘brokenhearted’ (just like we do). The two words they combine is shabar and leb.

shabar- to burst.

Shabar is the common word typically used to describe the breaking of things. It’s used in to tell the breaking of the following things:

  • Bows (Hosea 1:5)
  • Bones (Exodus 12:46)
  • Earthen vessels (Judges 7:20)
  • Swords (Hosea 2:18)
  • Yokes or bonds (Jeremiah 28:10)

Also, this word is used to describe a shattered heart or emotion (Psalm 69:20; Ezekiel 6:9).

leb- feelings, will, intellect; the center of anything. 

This word is translated into ‘heart’ 508 times.

The heart of man includes the:

  • feelings,
  • motives,
  • affections,
  • desires,
  • will,
  • aims,
  • principles,
  • thoughts,
  • intellect.

This term speaks of the entire inner man. The head is never regarded as the seat of intelligence. The heart is the center of all feelings and thoughts and the sources of all actions. It’s also receptive to influences coming from the outer world and from God.

The Bible uses this term to speak of the organ (Exodus 2:8), the middle part of something (Exodus 15:8), a man’s personality (Genesis 17:17), and the seat of emotions (Deuteronomy 6:5).

Since it’s the seat of emotions, the Bible describes fearful hearts, merry hearts, and hearts that tremble. The heart is the resting place of the moral character and conscience of a person. For example, pride and rebellion abide in the heart.

The Word of God also teaches that the Lord can give a new heart and create a clean one (Psalm 51:10).

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

– Ezekiel 36:26

What Does The Word ‘Brokenhearted’ Mean In Greek?

Just like in the previous language, the Greek also uses two words to describe the term brokenhearted. The two words we are going to look at are suntribo and kardia.

suntribo- the crush completely; to shatter.

This term is used to speak of harm done by a quick blow. It speaks of breaking something into pieces by crushing.

kardia – the heart; the thoughts or feelings (mind).

Again, the heart means the entire moral and mental activity and the sphere of divine influence.

The heart is the seat of:

  • joy (John 16:22),
  • grief (Romans 9:2),
  • moral nature and spiritual life,
  • physical life (Acts 14:17),
  • the thoughts (Hebrews 4:12),
  • the perceptions (John 12:40),
  • the understanding (Romans 1:21),
  • the imagination (Luke 1:51),
  • the reasoning powers (Mark 2:6),
  • conscience (1 John 3:20),
  • purpose (2 Corinthians 9:7),
  • intentions (1 Peter 4:1),
  • faith (Romans 10:10),
  • the will (Colossians 3:15),
  • the desires (Matthew 5:28),
  • the affections (Luke 24:32).


Understanding what the word brokenhearted mean in Hebrew and Greek turns it into a whole different meaning than what we’re used to. We tend to think a broken heart means that someone hurt us emotionally. However, that’s only a glimpse of the picture the Bible paints. The heart (as described in Hebrew and Greek) is the entire inner being of a man. Everything that person it rests in their heart.

In other words, it would be what we call in English ‘the soul’. An entire man’s personality is found in the heart. All of his thoughts, emotions, intentions, and actions flow out of the heart. It’s no wonder that God has to give us a new heart when we become born again. That’s the only thing He has to change and everything else will be changed with it.

Everything that a man is can be broken or completely shattered. Someone’s purpose, will, and desires can be stolen from them, leaving them with hopelessness and despair. The next time you’re dealing with someone who has a broken heart, remember that they cannot ‘just get over it.’ The Bible says God heals the brokenhearted. It’s spiritual brokenness and has to be dealt with as such.

I hope you enjoyed this article about what the word brokenhearted means in Hebrew and Greek. Please leave any thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this content. Thanks for reading!

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