What does Loneliness mean in the Bible?

Dictionary

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Loneliness
LONELINESS.—To speak of the isolation of Christ would give a wrong impression as far as the everyday circumstances of His life are concerned. He was most often either in crowds, teaching and healing, or else seeking loneliness without success; He was lonely in the same sense as that in which Nazareth and Syria were lonely—placed close to the world’s highways, yet living a life of their own (cf. G. A. Smith, HGHL [1] , p. 432; Edersheim, Life and Times of Messiah, i. 147). We may notice four aspects of what may be called the loneliness of Christ.
1. Solitude for the purposes of prayer, meditation, and rest. The outstanding instances are—the Temptation in the Wilderness (Matthew 4:1, Mark 1:12, Luke 4:2), the retirement after the excitement consequent on the feeding of the five thousand (Matthew 14:22, Mark 6:45; cf. John 6:15), and the retirement for prayer, soon interrupted (Mark 1:35; cf. also Luke 6:12; Luke 9:18 where Mark 8:27 has ‘in the way he asked his disciples’). It should be noted that at times of peculiar spiritual intensity Jesus withdrew from the other disciples, but kept by Him Peter and the sons of Zebedee, as at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1, Mark 9:2, Luke 9:28), at the raising of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:37), and at Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37—‘watch with me,’—Mark 14:35, Luke 22:43).
2. Retirement from possible persecution, or from unwished for notoriety: e.g. after the death of John the Baptist (Matthew 14:13; in Mark 6:11 this retirement immediately follows the return of the Twelve); from the opposition of the Pharisees (Matthew 16:13, Mark 8:27, Luke 9:18; also Matthew 15:21, Mark 7:24). Similarly, He was extremely anxious that His miracles should not become known (Luke 5:13, Matthew 8:4, Mark 8:26; Mark 9:9; the chief exception, where there were special reasons, is in Mark 5:19). The opposite reason for solitude and concealment is given in John 6:15 (‘perceiving that they were about to come and take him by force, to make him king’). On the other hand, it must be remembered that (a) Jesus was constantly accompanied, at least in Galilee and at the end in Jerusalem, by twelve friends and disciples specially appointed (Matthew 10:2, Mark 3:16, Luke 10:1 imply a larger circle from which to draw); to these we must add a number of women (Luke 8:3; cf. Matthew 27:55, Mark 15:40, Luke 23:49). In connexion with the visits to Jerusalem recounted in the Fourth Gospel, the disciples are hardly mentioned; John 7:10, coupled with the absence of reference to the disciples in chs. 7 to 10, seems to make it certain that Jesus was alone; we find the disciples with Him again in John 11:16. (b) In the earlier part of His ministry Jesus was constantly inconvenienced by the thronging of the vast crowds drawn to His side (cf. Matthew 4:23; Matthew 8:18; Matthew 9:35, Mark 1:37, Luke 4:42; Luke 12:1; see Swete, St. Mark, p. lxxx); in the last visit to Jerusalem He sought retirement at night by leaving the city either for Bethany or the Mount of Olives (Matthew 21:17, Mark 11:19, Luke 21:37). (c) His conduct was social enough—as distinet from that of John and of the Essenes—to give rise to the slanders about ‘a gluttonous man and a winebibber’ (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34); He went to the marriage at Cana (John 2:1); He was found at the feast in Simon’s house (Matthew 26:6, Mark 14:3, also Luke 7:36); with Matthew (Matthew 9:10, Luke 5:29), and Zacehaeus (Luke 19:6); and contrasted Himself with John as one who ‘comes eating and drinking’ (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34).
3. The inevitable result of His own attitude. The question in Matthew 12:48 seems to be that of one who wilfully cuts himself off from human ties; as He faced death more nearly, isolation could not but grow on Him (Matthew 17:12, Mark 9:30, Luke 9:22; Luke 9:44, cf. also Mark 10:32); as early as the feeding of the five thousand, ‘many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him’ (John 6:66). The disciples remained with Him till the end, when the arrest proved too much for their loyalty, although we find John, with the women, at the foot of the cross (John 19:25-26, Matthew 27:55, Mark 15:40).
4. The uniqueness of Christ’s Person. This is emphasized chiefly in the Fourth Gospel; though that it was soon felt is shown in Luke 5:8 (‘Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord’; compare the timidity of the disciples in John 21:12); and easily gathered from the manner in which the disciples misunderstood Him and His purposes for themselves (Matthew 20:21, Mark 10:37; cf. Luke 9:54-55, and Mark 9:32, Luke 9:46; Luke 22:24). When Christ speaks of His own nearness to the Father, distance from mankind must naturally follow; see John 5:18 ff; John 8:16; John 8:27; John 8:29; John 10:30; John 20:17. On the other hand, this special relation of Christ to the Father is one which is, through Christ, to be shared by His disciples (see John 10:4, ch. 17 passim, and John 20:17). The extreme of loneliness, as it is heard in the cry upon the cross (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34, cf. Luke 23:46, John 19:30), lasted, it would seem, but for a moment. See Dereliction.
Literature.—In addition to the Commentaries and Lives of Christ, see F. W. Robertson, Sermons, 1st Series, p. 220; J. Caird, Aspects of Life, p. 111; II. P. Liddon, Passiontide Sermons, p. 138; J. Martineau, Endeavours after the Christian Life, p. 159; E. B. Pusey, Sermons from Advent to Whitsuntide, p. 188.
W. F. Lofthouse.
Webster's Dictionary - Loneliness
(1):
(n.) The state of being unfrequented by human beings; as, the loneliness of a road.
(2):
(n.) Love of retirement; disposition to solitude.
(3):
(n.) The condition of being lonely; solitude; seclusion.
(4):
(n.) A feeling of depression resulting from being alone.

Sentence search

Elengeness - ) Loneliness; misery
Loneliness - ) The state of being unfrequented by human beings; as, the Loneliness of a road
Owl - (Leviticus 11:17; Deuteronomy 14:17) The Loneliness of the owl gave occasion to the Psalmist to describe thereby his solitary state of affliction
Crane - Isaiah 38:14 (a) Hezekiah uses this word to illustrate the emptiness of his heart and the Loneliness of his spirit when he was on his sick bed
Owl - Psalm 102:6 (a) This bird represents the Lord JESUS in His solitude and Loneliness
Pelican - Psalm 102:6 (a) This is a type of CHRIST in His Loneliness
Sparrow - Psalm 102:7 (a) Our Lord Himself uses this bird as a type of His Loneliness in His life on earth
Reck - ...
Of night or Loneliness it recks me not
Breach - That in which Job rejoiced, his many friends, his family, his farm, and his business were all taken from him, and in his poverty and Loneliness he was exposed to his enemies
Nest - By contrasting His own with the more fortunate condition of the birds, Christ intimates that whoever, like the scribe, would follow Him to the uttermost, may for His sake have to endure Loneliness, misunderstanding, and rejection
Seven Words of Christ -
Overcome by an agony of Loneliness, He cried out the fourth word, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me"" (Matthew 27)
Loneliness - LONELINESS. He was most often either in crowds, teaching and healing, or else seeking Loneliness without success; He was lonely in the same sense as that in which Nazareth and Syria were lonely—placed close to the world’s highways, yet living a life of their own (cf. We may notice four aspects of what may be called the Loneliness of Christ. The extreme of Loneliness, as it is heard in the cry upon the cross (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34, cf
Pelican - (Leviticus 11:18) Notwithstanding the Psalmist seems to have had much respect to the solitary pursuit of this bird, when describing his Loneliness of soul under this figure—"I am like a pelican of the wilderness
Owl - Psalms 102:6, "I am like an owl in a ruin" (Syriac and Arabic versions), expressing his Loneliness, surrounded by foes, with none to befriend
Gate - The woes of a city were disclosed in the mourning or Loneliness of these places of resort, Isaiah 14:31 Jeremiah 14:2
Owl - I know nothing which more vividly brought to my mind the sense of desolation and Loneliness than the re-echoing hoot of two or three of these great owls as I stood at midnight among the ruined temples of Baalbek" (Tristram)
Vale, Valley - ...
The reference in Psalms 23:4 to the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ may be simply figurative of a place of peril and Loneliness, or, as Gunkel holds, the place through which the ancient Hebrews supposed the soul had to pass on the way to the under world
Galilee, Sea of - ...
Its present appearance is thus described: "The utter Loneliness and absolute stillness of the scene are exceedingly impressive
Despondency - What was the cause of this depression in Gethsemane? Was it due to bodily exhaustion, the body affecting the mind and making it more sensitive to sad surroundings? Was it due to the mental strain of publicity and opposition, or to Loneliness and the pain of failure? (‘He came unto his own, and his own received him not,’ John 1:11)
Population - ‘Save in the recorded hours of our Lord’s praying, the history of Galilee has no intervals of silence and Loneliness; the noise of a close and busy life is always audible; and to every crisis in the Gospels and in Josephus we see crowds immediately swarm’ (HGHL Struggles of Soul - His struggle of soul culminated, severe and grievous as it had often been, in the agony and desolation of the Cross, when the beloved Son of God was so made sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) and a curse (Galatians 3:13) for mankind, that in His darkness and Loneliness He felt Himself forsaken of God (Matthew 27:46)
Wells And Springs - At this hour, the well was a favorite place of resort, and presented a scene of life and gayety greatly in contrast with its ordinary Loneliness, Genesis 24:11-28 29:1-10 Exodus 2:16-19 1 Samuel 9:11
Moses - ...
The death of Moses is marked by tragic Loneliness, yet graced with God's presence
Angels - Compare Genesis 24:7; Genesis 24:40 (the angelic guidance of Abraham's servant in choosing a wife for Isaac, and encouraging Jacob in his Loneliness at Bethel on first leaving home, Genesis 28) with Psalms 97:7; Judges 13:16; Judges 13:22
Judaea - It is a barren, uncultivated region, unique in its setting, and notable above all other sections of the land for its desolation, its Loneliness, and its scenes of wild and savage grandeur
Judaea - It is a barren, uncultivated region, unique in its setting, and notable above all other sections of the land for its desolation, its Loneliness, and its scenes of wild and savage grandeur
the Woman With the Issue of Blood - Even if this woman had come on a very much better errand than she did come; and with a far better kind of faith and love; even had she come as David and Paul and Luther came all their days; she would only have gone home to a more horrible pit in her own heart than ever, and to a more corrupt and abominable and burdensome body of death than ever, and to a Loneliness that the happiest home in Canaan could not have comforted; to a lifelong death indeed, of which her twelve years' issue of blood was but a far off and feeble emblem
Discipline - Pain and sorrow, frustrated hopes, long delays, Loneliness, changed circumstances, persecution, the death of loved ones, and other ‘dispensations of Providence,’ are designed to chasten and ennoble the soul
John the Baptist - " It was on such things as these that Elizabeth suckled her heavensent son till it sometimes seemed to him in his Loneliness of soul and in his agony of heart that he himself had been made sin, and nothing but sin
Joseph And Mary - Day after day, week after week, Joseph's misery increased, and when, as his wont was, he went up to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, that only made him feel his Loneliness and his misery all the more
Birds - On the other hand, the psalmist may have intended this contradiction to emphasize the depth of Loneliness and utter desolation which he was experiencing
Night (2) - ...
‘Save in the recorded hours of our Lord’s praying, the history of Galilee has no intervals of silence and Loneliness; the noise of a close and busy life is always audible; and to every crisis in the Gospels and in Josephus we see crowds Immediately swarm’ (G
Humiliation of Christ - It cost Him a struggle to submit and adjust Himself to that which He knew was so fraught with difficulty, persecution, humiliation, Loneliness, suspense, and suffering, ending with the final agonies and the death of abandonment and shame
Saul - At the death of a father or a mother; at the time of leaving home to take our place in a lonely world; or, again, at that happy time when our Loneliness was so graciously dealt with by God
Heman - Asaph, also, in the same seat, felt the same Loneliness
Jeremiah - ...
'Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging-place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them!' The Loneliness of a man's heart among his own people is one of the heaviest crosses that any man has to take up
Religious Experience - But Jesus left them, and in utter Loneliness and sorrow they stood gazing into the heavens which had received Him
Sexuality, Human - This interpretation does not do exegetical justice to the narrative, for the Loneliness described in 2:18-20 would be incomprehensible for a sexually undifferentiated creature unaware that he/she was lacking a sexual counterpart