Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The verb ικω (iko) means to come or bring, but wasn't very common in the dialect in which the New Testament was written, which instead used the verb ερχομαι (erchomai). Slightly more common, but also not used in the New Testament is the lengthened form of ικω (iko), namely ικνεομαι (hikneomai), also meaning to come or bring, either of people or things or feelings (that "come upon" someone), or situations and even objectives that are attained. It may also be used in the sense of to come close to a certain standard; to be fitting or adequate.
As mentioned, the verb ικνεομαι (hikneomai) is not used independently in the New Testament but does appear as element in the following compounds and derivatives:
- Together with the preposition απο (apo), meaning from: the verb αφικνεομαι (aphikneomai), meaning to arrive; to come somewhere from some other place (Romans 16:19 only). From this noun in turn derives:
- The noun αφιξις (aphixis), meaning arrival (Acts 20:29 only). Commentators generally struggle with this word since Paul uses it here where one's learned intuition might suggest that he meant to discuss his departure. Others might note that Paul probably knew what he was talking about, and invite commentators to understand our word to indeed mean arrival. By the time Paul was on his way to be tried in Jerusalem, he had become such a celebrity that two Roman procurators, namely Felix and Festus, took time out of their busy days to hear him out. The latter involved king Agrippa, who in turn sent Paul on his way to Rome to be heard by emperor Nero, a man who ruled 50 million people. Here at Abarim Publications, we suspect that Paul tried to inform the elders of Ephesus that his rising stardom would surely attract pretenders such as the magicians Elymas and Simon of Samaria, and that he used our noun either indeed to literally say that his arrival at Ephesus long ago (see 20:18) would eventually attract leeches, or perhaps as an expression akin the adjective ικανος (okanos; see below), to describe his having become famous enough to generate such traffic.
- Together with the preposition δια (dia), meaning through or throughout: the verb διικνεομαι (diikneomai), meaning to come through in the sense of to go through (Hebrews 4:12 only). Since this scene describes the sword of God that pierces a human, the sword indeed "comes" and then goes wholly through the person.
- Together with the preposition επι (epi), meaning on or upon: the verb επικνεομαι (epikneomai), meaning to come upon or arrive at (2 Corinthians 10:13 and 10:14 only).
- The adjective ικανος (ikanos), which taps into the parent verb's meaning of to approach or reach a certain standard. It means sufficing or adequate in having reached a proper standard of ability or competence — and not some level of formal loftiness: John the Baptist couldn't bear Jesus' footwear (Matthew 3:11), not because John was an unworthy peasant but because he was not equipped; he wasn't able. Likewise, the centurion apologized to Jesus, probably not for being "unworthy" but because his facilities couldn't handle Jesus and the "great multitudes" that followed him (Matthew 8:8, see 8:1). When our adjective applies to things, situations or conditions it tends to describe "generously sufficient" in quantity or "generously adequate" in quality, usually in order to obtain some kind of objective (Mark 15:15) or not (Luke 23:9). On occasion it is used to express an impressively sized crowd (Mark 10:46, Luke 7:11), or an impressively long time (Luke 8:27), similar to our English colloquial expression: "wow, that's big enough!" or "a pretty long time". Sometimes it denotes an adequate period or a suitable number of days (Acts 9:43). In Acts 22:6 Paul uses our adjective to describe the light that shone about him, but it isn't clear if he meant that it was bright enough in a wow-sense, or actually bright enough to knock him over. In Acts 20:37 Paul describes the wailing of the elders of Ephesus with this word, from which the reader might be tempted to taste a hint of tongue-in-cheek facetiousness on the part of the author. Since Paul had been in Ephesus first, he had become a rock star, and despite all the grief, the Sprit was clearly winning. Perhaps a similar sense of humor is deployed in Jesus' enigmatic appraisal of the mere two swords (Luke 22:38). Our adjective is used 41 times, see full concordance, and from it in turn come:
- The noun ιχνος (ichnos), meaning track or trace in the sense of a series of footsteps or hoof tracks (Romans 4:12, 2 Corinthians 12:18 and 1 Peter 2:21 only).