Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
δυο δις δευτερος
Several Greek words have to do with two, but they are obviously related:
The word δυο (duo) is the Greek word for the cardinal number two, and is used closely comparable to the word two in English. In the New Testament it's used 133 times, see full concordance, and comes with the following derivatives:
- Together with δεκα (deka), meaning ten, it forms δεκαδυω (dekaduo), meaning twelve (Acts 19:7 and 24:11 only).
- Curiously, the Greek language has another word for twelve, which is the reverse of the previous word: δωδεκα (dodeka). This version is used for "the twelve" apostles or "the twelve" tribes and occurs 73 times; see full concordance. This word in turn yields:
Derived from δυο (duo), meaning two, the adverb δις (dis) means twice. This word occurs 6 times independently, see full concordance, and is part of the following compounds:
- Together with the cardinal number εκατον (hekaton), meaning a hundred: the cardinal number διακοσιοι (diakosioi), meaning two hundred. This numeral occurs 8 times; see full concordance.
- Together with the noun δραχμη (drachme), meaning a drachma: the noun διδραχμον (didrachmon), a double-drachma (Matthew 17:24 only).
- Together with the noun ετος (etos), meaning year: the adjective διετης (dietes), meaning of two years [old] (Matthew 2:16 only). From this word comes:
- Together with the noun θαλασσα (thalassa), meaning sea: the adjective διθαλασσος (dithalassos), denoting the confluence or meeting point of two seas (Acts 27:41 only).
- Together with the verb λεγω (lego), meaning to speak: the adjective διλογος (dilogos), meaning something like double-tongued; deceitful in speech (1 Timothy 3:8 only).
- Together with the suffix -plous, which means times: the adjective διπλους (diplous), meaning twice as much. It occurs 4 times; see full concordance, and the comparative form of this word, διπλοτερον (diploteron), means two-fold more (Matthew 23:15). From this adjective comes:
- The verb διπλοω (diploo), meaning to double (Revelation 18:6 only).
- The verb δισταζω (distazo), meaning to waver between two options or doubt between two possibilities (Matthew 14:31 and 28:17 only).
- Together with the noun στομα (stoma), meaning mouth or edge: the adjective διστομος (distomos), meaning double-edged. This adjective occurs 4 times; see full concordance.
- Together with the cardinal number χιλιοι (chilioi), meaning a thousand: the number δισχιλιοι (dischilioi), meaning two thousand (Mark 5:13 only).
- Together with the noun ψυχη (psuche), meaning mind or soul: the adjective διψυχος (dipsuchos), meaning double-minded or wavering (James 1:8 and 4:8 only).
From the adverb δις (dis), meaning twice, derives the adverb διχα (dicha), meaning in two, divided in half. It does not occur unbound in the New Testament but yields the following derivation and compounds:
- The verb διχαζω (dichazo), meaning to divide in two, to split, to bisect (Matthew 10:35 only).
- Together with the noun στασις (stasis), meaning stance or uprising, from the verb ιστημι (histemi), meaning to stand: the noun διχοστασια (dichostasia), which describes one of two halves of a group that's split into virtually equal rivals; a division (Romans 16:17, 1 Corinthians 3:3 and Galatians 5:20 only).
- Together with the otherwise unused noun τομη (tome), meaning a cut, from the unused verb τεμνω (temno), to cut: the verb διχοτομεω (dichotomeo), meaning to cut in half. This word described a method of execution, and occurs in Matthew 24:51 and Luke 12:46 only, where it describes the fate of the proverbial evil servant. A late Jewish tradition (Talmud, Yevamot 49b) understood that this word described how the evil king Manasseh had executed the prophet Isaiah. Manasseh had legalized this deed by linking Isaiah 6:1 to Exodus 33:20. King Manasseh was an ancestor of Jesus, and the story seems to also imply that the evil servant received what he inflicted on others.
The adjective δευτερος (deuteros) means second in number (Matthew 22:26), order (Acts 13:33), place (Hebrews 9:3) or time (Acts 7:13). Our word may be used as an adverb, in which case it means "secondly/again" (John 3:4, 1 Corinthians 12:28). Our word is also part of the familiar name Deuteronomy, which literally means Second Numbers — and it's a bit of a mystery why have a Deuteronomy and not a, say, Deuterosamuel or Deuterocorinthians. Our word occurs 43 times, see full concordance, and from it derive:
- The adjective δευτεραιος (deuteraios), meaning of or on the second (day). In the New Testament this word occurs only in Acts 28:13.
- Together with the superlative adjective πρωτος (protos), meaning very first: the curious adjective δευτεροπρωτος (deuteroprotos), literally meaning second-first. It's used only in Luke 6:1, where it modifies the noun Sabbath as an admitted enigma to what it might constitute. The word occurs nowhere else in Greek literature and may be a literal interpretation of some Hebrew custom. Why Luke found it necessary to use this highly unusual word to pinpoint precisely on which Sabbath Jesus' disciples picked grain and ate them, and Jesus declared himself Lord of the Sabbath, is an additional mystery.