Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The verb δεω (deo) means to bind, pretty much on a precise par with the English verb to bind. It describes the forced joining of elements: bundling things or binding one thing to some other thing, implying constraint or restriction. It's used 44 times in the New Testament, see full concordance, and from it derive:
- The curious verbal expression δει (dei), which is basically an impersonal 3rd person singular form of our parent verb, meaning: it is needed, required, necessary, fitting or even morally obligatory. The imperfect form points to something that's been long deemed necessary: it ought to be so ... according to long-standing conviction. The present tense refers to necessity derived from an acute situation. Our verb is used 104 times; see full concordance.
- The noun δεσμη (desme), meaning a bundle or something bound (Matthew 13:30 only).
- The noun δεσμος (desmo), meaning a thing that binds: a bond or restriction; or the condition of being bound: imprisonment, bondage. This noun is used 20 times, see full concordance, and from it in turn derive:
- The verb δεσμευω (desmeuo), meaning to apply bonds or imprison (Matthew 23:4 and Acts 22:4 only).
- The alternate but similar verb δεσμεω (desmeo), also meaning to apply bonds or imprison (Luke 8:29 only). From this verb comes:
- The noun δεσμιος (desmios), meaning a bound one, a prisoner. And note that in the old world imprisonment was not a form of punishment; one was thrown in prison in order to wait one's trial during which one was either acquitted or else punished with a fine, torture, forced labor, exile or death. Only on rare occasions would a person be bound — perhaps to protect others from his violent outbursts (Mark 5:3). This word is used 16 times, see full concordance, and is equivalent with the noun δεσμωτης (desmotes), see below.
- Together with the noun φυλαξ (phulax), meaning keeper: the noun δεσμοφυλαξ (desmophulax), meaning prison-keeper or warden (Acts 16:23, 16:27 and 16:36 only). In the classical world, a prison was a holding pen where to-be-tried people were held. Since these suspects might be guilty of a crime punishable by death, letting any prisoner escape translated to a death sentence to the prison-keeper.
- The noun δεσμωτηριον (desmoterion), meaning a prison or place of bondage: a place where suspects awaited their trial. This word is used 4 times; see full concordance.
- The noun δεσμωτης (desmotes), meaning a prisoner (Acts 27:1 and 27:42 only). A more common word for prisoner is δεσμιος (desmios), see above.
- Together with the preposition κατα (kata), meaning down from or down upon: the verb καταδεω (katadeo), meaning to bind down, or to dress or bandage (Luke 10:34 only).
- Together with the preposition περι (peri), meaning around or about: the verb περιδεω (perideo), meaning to bind around: to swaddle or wrap (John 11:44 only).
- Together with the preposition συν (sun), meaning together or with: the verb συνδεω (sundeo), meaning to bind together with or jointly bind (Hebrews 13:3 only). From this word comes:
- The noun συνδεσμος (sundesmos), meaning a thing that binds together or is bound together: a conglomeration. This noun is used 4 times; see full concordance.
- Together with the preposition υπο (hupo), meaning under, beneath: the verb υποδεω (hupodeo), meaning to bind under. This verb served as the regular verb for shoeing foot wear (Mark 6:9, Acts 12:8 and Ephesians 6:15 only), and from it in turn derives:
- The noun υποδημα (hupodema), literally meaning under-bound and denoting foot wear: sandals or shoes. The sandal is probably a much younger invention than the shoe and even in Biblical times many cultures (including the Greeks) shunned the wearing of foot wear. The Romans normalized footwear, but only for free people, and slaves still went barefoot (Acts 7:33). This may also help to understand why John the Baptist seemed so concerned about the foot wear of Jesus (Matthew 3:11). This noun is used 10 times; see full concordance.