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Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The New Testament Greek word: εις

Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/DictionaryG/e/e-i-sfin.html

εις

Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary

εις

There are two Greek words that are spelled εις, but one is commonly pronounced as (eis) and the other one as (heis). But note that diacritical marks (that aim to retain pronunciation) didn't exist in Greek until well after the New Testament was written. That means that our two words were wholly identical to the Biblical authors, and differentiated only by context.


εις I

The ubiquitous preposition εις (eis) describes a motion into any place or thing, and can often be translated with "in", "into" or "at". It is the opposite of εκ (ek), which describes a motion out of anything, and differs from προς (pros) in that the latter describes the approach while εις (eis) describes the arrival.

In a temporal sense, our word reflects arriving at a certain point in time, and can hence be translated with "up to" or "until". As such, it may also be used to describe the final result of a process (bind them into bundles, Matthew 13:30) or the upper limit of a clause or condition (guilty as hell, Matthew 5:22).

This preposition εις (eis) occurs 1773 times in the New Testament, see full concordance, and from it derive:

  • The adverb εσο (eso), meaning in, into or within; the reverse of εξο (exo), meaning out. In several places this word forms the phrase "within-man" (Romans 7:22, Ephesians 3:16) which is traditionally interpreted to refer to the inner state of someone; one's most intimate thoughts. Here at Abarim Publications we surmise that this phrase rather refers to someone who exists within somewhere, someone who's in, who's with the in-crowd (see 1 Corinthians 5:12). Our adverb occurs 8 times, see full concordance, and from it in turn come:
    • The adverb εσωθεν (esothen), meaning interior or on the inside, which corresponds to εξωθεν (exothen), meaning exterior. It's used 13 times; see full concordance.
    • The comparative εσωτερος (esoteros; hence our English word esoteric), meaning further-in. This word corresponds to εξωτερος (exoteros), meaning further-out, and is used in Acts 16:24 and Hebrews 6:19 only.

εις II

The word εις (heis) is the cardinal number one (Matthew 5:41, Romans 3:12). Its rather curious feminine form is μια (mia), and the neutral is εν (hen), which looks surprisingly similar to the preposition εν (en), meaning in, on or at. Note that the reverse of the preposition εις (eis), meaning in — that is: εκ (ek), meaning out — corresponds with the number εξ (hex) meaning six.

Besides its purely numerical value, our noun εις (heis) may express unity ("one flesh", Mark 10:8) and inclusivity ("each one", Matthew 17:4, Ephesians 5:33, Revelation 21:21). It may mean "even one" (Matthew 5:36), "one and the same" (Romans 3:30), "someone" (Matthew 19:16), "a certain one person" (Mark 14:51). On occasion our word may be used as ordinal number, meaning first (Matthew 28:1).

This numeral occurs an impressive 347 times in the New Testament, see full concordance, and the neutral form of it gives rise to the following Biblical derivations:

  • Together with δεκα (deka) meaning ten: the cardinal ενδκα (hendeka), meaning eleven. This word is used 6 times, see full concordance, and from it in turn comes:
  • The noun ενοτης (henotes), meaning oneness or unity (Ephesians 4:3 and 4:13 only).