ע
ABARIM
Publications
Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary: The New Testament Greek word: εικω

Source: https://www.abarim-publications.com/DictionaryG/e/e-i-k-om.html

εικω

Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary

εικω  εικον

Scholars and dictionaries commonly report the existence of two separate verbs of the form εικω (eiko), but here at Abarim Publications we doubt that the ancients saw them as different:

εικω I

The verb εικω (eiko I) means to give way, to make way for or to yield to pressure or impulse. It's frequently used by the ancient writers but in the Bible it occurs only once, namely in Galatians 2:5, where Paul reports that he and company did not yield in subjection to false brothers in Jerusalem, or that they were not in any way impressed by them.

εικω II

The verb εικω (eiko II) is commonly reported to simply mean to resemble or be like, but in fact it's an industrial term that expresses what happens when a mold is pressed into a material like clay or metal: the material gives way under pressure and a likeness of the mold appears. The result of this procedure is an εικον (eikon), hence our word "icon", which is typically a mass produced reproduction or impression of an original prototype.

Our verb εικω (eiko) ultimately stems from a Proto-Indo-European root "weyk-", meaning to curve, bend or exchange. It occurs in the New Testament only in James 1:6 and 1:23, both times in the construction: "he resembles a man who...".

From our verb derive the following words:

εικη

The adverb εικη (eike) means without plan or purpose, for no reason, at random or in vain. It's not clear where this adverb may have come from, but it resembles the verb εικω (eiko II) enough to suspect that a native speaker of Greek would have surmised that it expressed a similar effortless repetition: a being not critical about the uniqueness of some situation, and sizing something or someone up according to some prefabricated category. Our adverb is used 7 times in the New Testament; see full concordance.

εικοσι

The word εικοσι (eikosi) means twenty. It is thought to derive from a broadly attested Proto-Indo-European root "widkmti-", twenty, in turn from "dwi-", two, and "dekm-", ten, but it's obviously rather unlike this ancient word and much rather like our verbs εικω (eiko).

The Greek word for ten is δεκα (deka), and the Hebrew one is עשר ('eser) and although our modern word "ten" is strictly used for quantities between 9 and 11, in these ancient languages both words are also used to refer to any complete group or whole set — think of the "ten" commandments, the "ten" plagues, Abraham's "ten" camels, and so on.

And that would mean that our word εικοσι (eikosi) not so much specifically describes a precise quantity between 19 and 21, but rather "twice the whole bunch" or "double the usual" (see Luke 14:31). In Revelation 4:4 and onward occurs the compound phrase "twenty four," which similarly appears to denote a doubling or mirroring of an original twelve, rather than specifically one less than 25.

The numeral εικοσι (eikosi), twenty, occurs 11 times; see full concordance.


Associated Biblical names