Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The verb αυξανω (auxano) or αυξω (auxo) means to wax or increase, either in quality (to grow in size, power, maturity) or quantity (to grow in number or multitude). It stems from the Proto-Indo-European root "hewg-" (or "aug-") meaning to increase (hence also English words like augment, augur and auxiliary) and is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew verbs רבב (rabab) and כבר (kabar).
Our verb is used 22 times in the New Testament, see full concordance, and from it come:
- The noun αυξησις (auxesis), meaning growth, both quantitative and qualitative (Ephesians 4:16 and Colossians 2:19 only).
- Together with the preposition συν (sun), meaning together or with: the verb συναυξανω (sunauxano), meaning to grow (up) together (Matthew 13:30 only).
- Together with the preposition υπερ (huper), meaning over or beyond: the verb υπεραυξανω (huperauxano), meaning to grow exceedingly (2 Thessalonians 1:3 only).
From the same PIE root as the above (but probably branched off before proto-Greek became Greek), the noun αυγη (auge) primarily means dawn: the emergence and rapidly waxing of the splendor of sunlight and the vanishing of darkness. From that primary meaning came the meaning of splendor and brightness in general — but probably whilst retaining its association with recent appearance and continued increase (a more common word that refers to dawn is the verb αυριον, aurion).
Since light, life and intellect go hand in hand, this important Greek word became part of familiar expressions such as "seeing the light" (getting born, or getting smart), "hold up to the light" (to closely examine), "in full light" (clearly, openly).
In our riveting article on the Hebrew verb שחר (shahar), to darken, we argue that one's first birth is into "solar" consciousness, which has to do with one's own ratio and intellect, whereas one's second birth or birth-from-above (John 3:3) is into one's "stellar" consciousness, which has to do with one's ability to willfully provoke the temporary eclipse of one's own ratio in favor of a clear view on the widely diverse perspectives of those around us (which is of course what the Body of Christ is all about).
Since the sun rises in the east, our word sometimes occurs poetically as synonym of east, and since the east is often used synonymous with the past, so is our word for dawn (see the verb ανατελλω, anatello, to rise, or the Hebrew word קדם, qedem, past or east).
Our noun αυγη (auge), dawn, is used in the New Testament in Acts 20:11 only, and from it derive:
- The verb αυγαζω (augazo), meaning to illuminate, to dawn upon (2 Corinthians 4:4 only). From this verb come:
- Together with the preposition δια (dia), meaning through or through-and-through: the verb διαυγαζω (diaugazo), meaning to shine through, see-through, or dawn upon through and though (2 Peter 1:19 only). From this verb derives:
- Together with the adverb τηλε (tele), meaning at a distance or far off: the adverb τηλαυγως (telaugos), meaning exceedingly brightly, or with far-reaching rays of light (or insight). This adverb is used in Mark 8:25 only, obviously as a pun on the name Augustus.