The word ne•cha•ma is very unique. If you break its letters down you’ll receive two overlapping words: no•ach (comfortable and resting) and cham or cha•ma (warm). Even the first word attests to the Hebrew origin of the English word ‘comfort:’ ne•cha•ma is then an offer of rest and easement to a troubled, suffering soul. Comfort, indeed, is best induced by warmth and restful conditions.
As a noun, ne•cha•ma appears only in the New Testament:
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort;’
There are many other verb references of comfort and consolation in both the Old and New Testaments.
Two of the Books of the Old Testament are about ne•cha•ma – The Book of Nehemiah which means: ‘God is my comfort,’ and the Book of the prophet Nachum whose name means comfort and consolation. If you have ever taken an Israel tour you certainly remember Capernaum (or Kapernaum), an ancient settlement on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. This is just a little distortion of the Hebrew name of the site: Kfar Nahum, which means the Village of Nahum.
The ne•cha•ma is the leading motif of the latter prophecies of several prophets and especially of Isaiah who said mercifully: ‘na•cha•moo, na•cha•mu ami.’
‘Comfort my people, comfort them, says your God. Speak comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry to her, that her fighting is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.’