Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The verb ρεω (reo) means to flow; hence the famous dictum panta rhei, or everything flows, made famous by Heraclitus of Ephesus. This philosopher of the Persian Empire, who lived during the century of post-exilic restoration of Jerusalem, also pioneered the idea of Logos, which proposes that the universe is governed by a single unchangeable unified natural law (Colossians 2:16-17) rather than whimsically warring deities.
From the Hebrew equivalent of our verb, namely the verb יבל (yabal), to flow, come the names of the final generation of the line of Cain: Jabal, Jubal and Tubal Cain, which is of course rather striking, since their father's name was Lamech, which was also the name of the father of Noah, who survived the flood.
Our verb ρεω (reo) is used for anything that flows: water but also words, which helps to explain the stream of living water that would flow from people's within (John 7:38; which is where our verb's only occurrence happens). From our verb come:
- Together with the noun αιμα (haima), meaning blood: the verb αιμορροεω (haimorroeo), meaning to flow blood (hence our English word hemorrhage). This word occurs only in Matthew 9:20, in the majestically composed story of Jesus who on his way to restore the deceased twelve-year old daughter of Jairus (according to Mark's more elaborate version) heals the woman who has had blood-flow for the same twelve years. All this is an obvious commentary on the state of affairs and purposes of the templar complex.
- The noun ρυσις (rhusis), meaning a flowing (Mark 5:25, Luke 8:43 and 8:44 only).
- Together with the noun χειμα (cheima), meaning winter (in the sense of time of the year): the noun χειμαρρος (cheimarros), meaning winter-flow; a brook or stream that only flows during the rainy season and is dry during summer (John 18:1 only).
The verb ερεω (ereo) means to verbally convey. It's clearly related to the verb ρεω (reo), meaning to flow, and is often spelled the same (without the leading ε). Speaking to the Greeks was what snow is to Eskimos, and our verb ερεω (ereo) appears to emphasize the associative flowing out of words, rather than the actual message (λεγω, lego) or the act of emitting information (επω, epo), or simply to babble (λαλεω, laleo). Heraclitus' famous dictum doesn't only mean "everything flows" but also "everything speaks," which brings to mind Jesus' assertion that man should live on not only bread but every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). Also see the verb ερειδω (ereido), to fix firmly or ridicule.
Our verb is used 95 times, see full concordance, and from it derive:
- Together with both the particle of negation α (a), meaning without, and the preposition αντι (anti), meaning against: the adjective αναντιρρητος (anantirretos), meaning not to be spoken against, or verbally unopposable (Acts 19:36 only). From this adjective in turn comes:
- The adverb αναντιρρητως (anantirretos), meaning without verbal opposition (Acts 10:29 only).
- Together with the preposition παρα (para), meaning near or nearby: the verb παραρρεω (pararreo), meaning to flow by. This verb was used to describe how an adrift ship might float by, and came to be applied to describe situations in which something or someone slipped away or glided by, with implied absence of immediate detection (Hebrews 2:1 only).
- The noun ρημα (rema), uttering. This noun occurs mostly in plural, in which it denotes speech or saying(s). It's used 69 times; see full concordance.
- The noun ρητωρ (retor), meaning speaker (hence our English word rhetoric). This noun is used in Acts 24:1 only.
- The adverb ρητος (retos), meaning uttered or spoken (1 Timothy 4:1 only). In the classics this word mostly modified the declaring of a covenant or formal statement or perhaps some famous dictum. From this adverb comes:
- Together with the particle of negation α (a), meaning without: the adjective αρρηος (arretos), meaning unutterable (2 Corinthians 12:4 only).
The verb ερεθιζω (erethizo) means to irritate, agitate or provocate (2 Corinthians 9:2 and Colossians 3:21 only). It stems from a verb of similar meaning, ερεθω (eretho), which is much rarer in the classics and unused in the New Testament. From this root come ever useful nouns such as ερεθισμα (erethisma), provocation, and ερεθιστος (erethistos), one who is irritated or easily provoked (both unused in the NT).
Where these words ultimately come from isn't clear, but a creative poet might be forgiven to relate them to the verbs ρεω (reo), to flow, and ερεω (ereo), to verbally convey, we discuss above.