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Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The Greek word: δικη
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Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary

δικη

The important noun δικη (dike) initially meant manner or custom and came to denote established protocol and finally became a legal term covering that what is just or right, and the penal (just) consequence of violating a rule. In the Bible this noun occurs only four times; in the sense of penalty or punishment (Acts 25:15, 2 Thessalonians 1:9 and Jude 1:7) and once as the more general concept of justice (Acts 28:4), although this occurrence may also be an appellation of the goddess Dike (= Justice). The list of derivations of this noun is understandably colossal:

  • The adjective δικαιος (dikaios), meaning right, righteous, just (Matthew 27:19, John 17:25). This adjective returns in the following words:
    • Together with the noun κρισις (krisis), meaning judgment or opinion, our adjective forms the noun δικαιοκρισια (dikaiokrisia), meaning righteous judgment (Romans 2:5).
    • The ubiquitous noun δικαιοσυνη (dikaiosune), meaning justice, righteousness (Matthew 6:33, Romans 5:17, Ephesians 4:24).
    • The evenly ubiquitous verb δικαιοω (dikaioo), meaning to justify in the sense of bringing someone to righteousness (Matthew 12:37, Luke 12:14, Acts 7:27). From this verb in turn come:
      • The noun δικαιωμα (dikaioma), meaning righteous(ness) as a result of the process described by the verb δικαιοω (dikaioo) (Romans 5:16, Hebrews 9:1, Revelation 19:8).
      • The noun δικαιωσις (dikaiosis), denoting the declaration of righteousness as a result of the verb δικαιοω (dikaioo) (Romans 4:25 and Romans 5:18 only).
  • The adverb δικαιως (dikaios), meaning just or justly (1 Peter 2:23), honestly (1 Thessalonians 2:10), proper (1 Corinthians 15:34).
  • The (unused) verb δικαζω (dikazo), meaning to give judgment. This unused verb yields the following derivations that do occur in the New Testament:
    • The noun δικαστησ (dikastes), meaning a judge but not the one which dispenses a final judgment, rather one who partakes in the process of getting there; an arbiter (Luke 12:14, Acts 7:27).
    • In combination with of the common preposition κατα (kata), meaning down from, down upon, down in, this unused verb forms the verb καταδικαζω (katadikazo), meaning to give judgment against a person or to recognize evidence against a person (Matthew 12:7, Luke 6:37, James 5:6).
  • With the common prefix of negation α (a) the noun αδικος (adikos), meaning unjust or unrighteous (Matthew 5:45, 1 Peter 3:18, Hebrews 6:10). From this noun come the following words:
    • The verb αδικεω (adikeo), meaning to act unjustly or do wrong (Matthew 20:13, Luke 10:19, Acts 25:11).
      • The noun αδικημα (adikema), denoting an injustice or crime (Acts 18:14, Revelation 18:5).
    • The noun αδικια (adikia), meaning injustice (Luke 18:6, 2 Corinthians 12:13, 1 John 5:17).
    • The adverb αδικως (adikos), meaning unjustly or wrongly (1 Peter 2:19).
  • With the common preposition αντι (anti), meaning over or against the noun αντιδικος (antidikos), meaning an adversary or opponent in a lawsuit (Matthew 5:25). This legal term is applied to satan in Luke 12:58.
  • With the common preposition εκ (ek), meaning out the noun εκδικος (ekdikos), literally and originally meaning outlaw but later applied to an executer of law, an avenger or punisher (Romans 13:4, 1 Thessalonians 4:6 only). From this noun derives:
    • The verb εκδικεω (ekdikeo), meaning to dispense justice, and from this verb comes:
      • The noun εκδικησις (ekdikesis), meaning an execution of justice.
  • With the common preposition εν (en), meaning in, on, at, by the adjective ενδικος (endikos), meaning fair or just (Hebrews 2:2, Romans 3:8 only).
  • With the common preposition υπο (hupo), meaning under, beneath or through the adjective υποδικος (hupodikos), meaning under sentence; obligated, condemned or subject to prosecution (Romans 3:19).

Associated Biblical names

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