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Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The Greek word: βασιλευς

Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/DictionaryG/b/b-a-s-i-l-e-u-sfin.html

Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary

βασιλευς

The noun βασιλευς (basileus) means king (hence our word "basilica"). Our word is of unclear origin but it was possibly imported from an Anatolian language — the Lydian word for king was battos. In the classics this word is used to describe monarchs, but also chiefs, lords, masters and otherwise venerable persons or men of greatness or distinction.

In the New Testament our noun is used of David (Matthew 1:6), other Jewish kings (Luke 10:24), Herod (Matthew 2:1), Aretas, an Arabian king (2 Corinthians 11:32), and the Roman Caesar (John 19:15).

Very often this word is applied to Jesus, the king of the Jews (Matthew 2:2, Luke 19:38, John 1:49). Note that the word Christ means "anointed one" and was a synonym for the Jewish king. Christ's royalty is unique in the sense that it didn't make Him the sole ruler of the world later Rome writers made Him out to be, but rather because in His kingdom, everybody was king (Revelation 5:10).

From our noun come the following derivations:

  • The important noun βασιλεια (basileia), meaning royal dominion or kingdom. Besides describing the dominion of earthly rulers or bosses (Luke 19:12, Revelation 17:12), this word occurs frequently in the term "kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 3:2, 4:17, 5:3, etcetera) or "kingdom of God" (Mark 1:5, Luke 4:43, John 3:3, etcetera). Again we note that this latter kingdom is one without a traditional governmental structure (1 Corinthians 15:24).
  • The adjective βασιλειος (basileios), meaning royal (Luke 7:25 and 1 Peter 2:9 only).
  • The verb βασιλευω (basileuo), meaning to be king or rule as one (Mathew 2:22, Luke 1:33, 1 Corinthians 4:8). From this verb comes:
    • Together with the preposition συν (sun), meaning together or with: the important verb συμβασιλευω (sumbasileuo), meaning to co-reign. This verb occurs more than a dozen times, always denoting the joint regency of the saved with Christ (1 Corinthians 4:8, 2 Timothy 2:12).
  • The adjective βασιλικος (basilikos), meaning kingly (James 2:8), belonging to a king (Acts 12:20), or in the service of a king (John 4:46).
  • The noun βασιλισσα (basilissa), meaning queen (Matthew 12:42, Luke 11:31, Acts 8:27, Revelation 18:7).

Associated Biblical names