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

τετρα

The familiar prefix τετρα (tetra) means four but only occurs in compounds. The actual cardinal number four is τεσσαρες (tessares).


τεσσαρες

The cardinal number τεσσαρες (tessares) occurs four times in the New Testament: in Matthew 24:31, Mark 2:3, Acts 10:11 and Revelation 4:4. But it's also a part of the following derivations and compound words:

  • Together with the cardinal number δεκα (deka), meaning ten: the cardinal number δεκατεσσαρες (dekatessares), or fourteen (Matthew 1:17, 2 Corinthians 12:2, Galatians 2:1).
  • With the decimal extension: τεσσαρακοντα (tessarakonta), meaning forty (Matthew 4:2, Mark 1:13, Acts 1:3). From this word derives:
    • Together with the noun ετος (etos), meaning year: the adjective τεσσαρακονταετης (tessarakontaetes), meaning of forty years (Acts 7:23 and 13:18 only)
  • Together with the ordinal number δεκατος (dekatos), meaning tenth: the ordinal number τεσσαρεσκαιδεκατος (tessareskaidekatos), meaning fourteenth (Acts 27:27 and 27:33 only).
  • The ordinal number τεταρτος (tetartos), meaning fourth (Matthew 14:25, Acts 10:30, Revelation 4:7). From this word comes:
    • The adjective τεταρταιος (tetartaios), meaning the fourth [day] (John 11:39 only).
τετρα

The prefix τετρα (tetra), meaning four, occurs in the following compounds:

  • Together with the noun γωνια (gonia), meaning edge or corner: the adjective τετραγωνος (tetragonos), meaning four-edged in the same way in which a pentagon is five-edged (Revelation 21:16 only, but the Septuagint uses the same word in Exodus 27:1 and Ezekiel 41:21).
  • The noun τετρασ (tetras), also meaning four. This word only occurs in the New Testament in the diminutive form τετραδιον (tetradion), a quaternion or foursome of soldiers; the standard for a night watch (Acts 12:4).
  • The adverb τετρακις (tetrakis), meaning four times. This word only occurs in combination with the cardinal number χιλιοι (chilioi), meaning a thousand, to form the cardinal number τετρακισχιλιοι (tetrakischilioi), meaning four thousand (Matthew 15:38, Mark 8:9, Acts 21:30).
  • Together with the cardinal εκατον (hekaton), meaning hundred: the cardinal τετρακοσιοι (tetrakosioi), meaning four hundred (Acts 5:36, Galatians 3:17).
  • Together with the noun μην (men), meaning month: the adjective τετραμηνον (tetramenon), meaning of four months (John 4:35 only).
  • Together with the adjective απλοος (haploos), meaning single in the sense of straightforwardness: the adjective τετραπλοος (tetraploos) meaning fourfold, in the sense of: four times straight out of the gate! (Luke 19:8 only).
  • Together with the noun πουσ (pous), meaning foot: the adjective τετραπους (tetrapous), meaning four-footed (Acts 10:12, 11:6 and Romans 1:23 only).
  • Together with the verb αρχω (archo), meaning to rule: the noun τετραρχης (tetrarches), meaning tetrarch: the ruler of the fourth part of what was previously one region (Matthew 14:9, Mark 6:14, Luke 3:1). After Herod the Great's death, his kingdom was divided over three tetrarchs, namely Archelaus of Judea, Agrippa of Galilee and Peraea, Philip of the east-Jordanian territories, and a toparch namely Herod the Great's granddaughter Salome I, who had famously asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. From this word comes:
    • The verb τετραρχεω (tetrarcheo), meaning to rule as tetrarch (Luke 3:1).
  • Together with a derivation of the noun πουσ (pous), meaning foot: the noun τραπεζα (trapeza, hence our English words "trapezoid" and "trapezium"), which denotes a (four-legged) table of any kind (Matthew 15:27, Luke 16:21, Hebrews 9:2), or that which is set on it (Acts 16:34), but particularly the table used by money changers and lenders (Matthew 21:12, Luke 19:23). From this word comes:
    • The noun τραπεζιτης (trapezites), meaning a money changer or banker (Matthew 25:27).
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