Throughout the Bible, many verses help you know that a friend’s death isn’t the end of your friendship.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Old Testament Bible Verses About the Death of a Friend
- New Testament Bible Verses About the Death of a Friend
Check out these Bible verses about the death of a friend for comfort during this difficult time.
Old Testament Bible Verses About the Death of a Friend
As you’ll see below, many Bible verses about death reflect on God’s love and promises for safekeeping in the afterlife.
1. Ecclesiastes 7:1
“A good name is better than fine perfume, and one’s day of death is better than his day of birth.”
The Book of Ecclesiastes was written by a pensive king who looked back on his life for wisdom and understanding. Here, he implies that he can win the battle and leave behind a worthy name.
2. Hosea 13:14
“I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? Compassion is hidden from my eyes.”
Hosea 13:14 mentions God’s redemption of people from death. That act indicates God’s plan to gather his people and take them all to heaven.
3. Isaiah 40:11
“He tends his flock like a shepherd; he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart. He gently leads the nursing ewes.”
This verse recognizes that God considers the needs of the innocent.
4. Isaiah 41:10
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will surely help you; I will uphold you with my right hand of righteousness.”
Chapter 41 of the Book of Isaiah references God’s help to Israel. Here, we find a passage that works if you’d like to add it to a sympathy card or text to your friend’s parents or other family members.
5. Isaiah 51:3
“For the Lord will comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and melodious song.”
Not knowing what to expect at a funeral is quite normal but you may hear phrases about heaven and the afterlife — similar to this verse.
6. Joshua 1:9
“Have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
This passage serves as a guide and pillar of strength during tough times. It can work as meditative support when your grief seems unbearable.
7. 2 Samuel 12:23
“But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
2 Samuel 12:23 is a somewhat pragmatic consideration of life and death: Your loved one won’t return because the house that God built means there’s no need to return to earth.
8. Psalm 48:14
“For this God is our God forever and ever; he will be our guide even till death.”
Psalm 48:14 is a comforting verse that explains how God will be a caregiver and protector throughout life and after death. It could work as a personal reminder to have faith or you could write it in a sympathy card.
9. Psalm 34:18
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted; he saves the contrite in spirit.”
Chapter 34 in the Book of Psalms refers to King David driving away a Philistine king named Abimelech. It explains that those who seek him through trust, duty, and obedience will find his love ever-present.
10. Psalm 73:26
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Even though one may see the riches and successes provide a good life for them in a Psalm of Asaph, it says that God provides strength to the devoted and pure of heart.
11. Psalm 116:15
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”
It’s important for people to hear and listen to you during your grief. This verse may work for anyone who needs to keep God present so he can welcome his flock.
12. Psalm 147:3
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Psalm 147 glorifies God’s grace and works for those who need comfort, including when your best friend dies.
New Testament Bible Verses About the Death of a Friend
The following verses from the New Testament tell the stories of Jesus’ life and often provide welcome commentary for ways to deal with a friend’s death.
13. Acts 1:9
“After he had said this, they watched as he was taken up, and a cloud hid him from their sight.”
The Books of Acts (of the apostles) refers to the founding, building, and spread of Christianity. Act 1:9 references the ascension of Christ, who also stayed within full view until the clouds enveloped him.
14. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44
1 Corinthians 15:42-44 offers reassuring verses to dispel the unknowns of death and the body will once again become whole.
15. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
“For our light and momentary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that is far beyond comparison.”
The Bible often makes comparisons to one’s life on earth versus what to expect in heaven. Here, the suffering that is “light and momentary” is erased by what is immeasurable and eternal.
16. John 11:25-26
The Gospel of John is a retelling of Jesus’ life and teachings. In verses 11:25-26, Jesus reassures Martha and Mary that he will resurrect their brother to live on because of their brother’s faith in Jesus.
17. John 14:1-3
In “God’s house of many rooms,” the Bible describes heaven, with plenty of room for all of God’s children and places of peace and rest.
18. Matthew 5:1-3
The Sermon on the Mount is a compilation of Jesus’ teachings and includes the Beatitudes. Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The meaning is that regardless of the fatigue or dereliction, all will change in heaven.
19. Matthew 5:4
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
This verse from the Beatitudes offers a blessing to those in grief. Write it on a card attached to flowers or in a text if you try to comfort a friend’s partner or parent after tragedy takes your friend away.
20. Philippians 1:3
“I thank my God every time I remember you.”
Philippians 1:3 is a great verse to memorize for those moments when your friend pops into your head. No matter what causes them to suddenly appear — a funny joke or a scene on TV, you can use verses to act as remembrance quotes for your friend.
21. Revelation 21:4
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away.”
The Book of Revelation is the final book in the Bible. Here, there’s additional support for God as healer and savior when he returns to gather his people in heaven.
22. Romans 8:28
“And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”
The meaning of this verse is about having endurance, both in faith and mind, to accept what is destined. It goes on to say that if you do, God will embrace you in heaven when he is ready.
23. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
Here, the Bible offers comfort to those experiencing the death of a friend. It goes on to say that he will protect those who believe in God. But more, that the death of someone who believes in Jesus alters the outcome, the sleep will be gentle and restful until reawakened with God.
There’s No Letting Go of a Friend
Losing a dear friend is never easy, but Christian theology conveys many messages throughout the Bible to help you gather strength to get through tough times. If this is your faith entirely, then you already know that you never truly lose anyone — you just have to wait to see your friend again.
- Bible Hub. (2020). Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages. https://biblehub.com/
- May, H. G., et al. (1973, 1989). The New Oxford Annotated Bible: The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version Containing the Old and New Testaments ... Introductions, Comments, Cross References, General Articles, Measures and Weights, Chronological Tables of Rulers, Maps, and Indexes. New York: Oxford University Press.