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Old & New Testament Greek

Entry for Strong's #1437 - ἐάν

Word Origin:
from (1487) and (302)
Parts of Speech:
Word Definition  [ Thayer's | Strong's ]
Thayer's Definition
  1. if, in case
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions


(so early Attic Inscrr., as IG 12.3.20, εἰάν sts. after B.C. 400, ib.22.28.17, cf. PEleph. 1.8, 10 (iv B.C.)), also contr. ἤν and ἄν, v. ἤν, ἄν (B) [], which by crasis with καί become κἄν: — if haply, if, regularly folld. by subj.: for its use and for examples, v. εἰ B. 11, and ἄν (A) B. 1.1. II in Hellenistic and late Greek, = ἄν after relative Pronouns and Conjunctions, as ὃς ἐάν who soever, LXX Genesis 15:14, PTeb. 107.8 (ii B. C.), Matthew 5:19, al.; ὅσος ἐάν PPetr. 3p.120 (iii B.C.), Matthew 18:18; ὅστις ἐάν Ph. 1.220, M.Ant. 9.23; ὅπου ἐάν Matthew 8:19, etc.; ὅθεν ἐάν Gp. 1.3.3: folld. by ind., LXX 1 Samuel 2:14. [The second syll. of ἐάν is long, S. OC 1407, Ar. V. 228, Sopat. 6.9.]

Thayer's Expanded Definition

I. a conditional particle (derived from εἰ ἄν), which makes reference to time and to experience, introducing something future, but not determining, before the event, whether it is certainly to take place; if, in case, (Latin si; German wenn; im Fall, dass; falls; wofern); cf., among others, Hermann ad Viger., p. 832; Klotz ad Devar. ii. 2, p. 450ff; Winer s Grammar, 291 f (273 f). It is connected:

1. with the subjunctive, according to the regular usage of the more ancient and elegant classic writers.

a. with the subjunctive present: Matthew 6:22 (ἐάν οὖν ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς , if it be the case, as to which I do not know, that thine eye etc.); Matthew 6:23; Matthew 17:20; Luke 10:6; John 7:17; John 8:54 ( R G L marginal reading); John 9:31; 11:9,10>; Acts 5:38; Acts 13:41; Romans 2:25; 1 Corinthians 9:16; Galatians 5:2; 1 Timothy 1:8 (not Lachmann); Hebrews 13:23; 1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:3,15 etc.

b. with the subjunctive aorist, corresponding to the Latin future perfect: Matthew 4:9 (ἐάν προσκυνήσῃς μοι, if thou shalt have worshipped me); Matthew 5:46; Matthew 9:21; Mark 3:24; Mark 9:50 Luke 14:34; Luke 17:4; Luke 20:28; John 5:43; John 11:57; Romans 7:2; Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 7:8,39; 1 Corinthians 8:10; 1 Corinthians 16:10 (ἐάν ἔλθῃ Τιμόθεος; for although he was already on his way to Corinth, yet some hindrance might still prevent his arriving); 2 Corinthians 9:4; Galatians 6:1; James 2:2; 1 John 5:16 (Lachmann present); Revelation 3:20, and often; also in the oratio obliqua, where the better Greek writers use the optative: John 9:22; John 11:57; Acts 9:2 ( Winer s Grammar, 294 (276); (cf. Buttmann, 224 (193))). The difference between the present and the aorist may be seen especially from the following passages: 2 Timothy 2:5 ἐάν δέ καί ἀθλῇ τίς, οὐ στεφανοῦται, ἐάν μή νομίμως ἀθλήσῃ, 1 Corinthians 14:23 ἐάν οὖν συνέλθῃ ἐκκλησία ... καί πάντες γλώσσαις λαλῶσιν, εἰσέλθωσι δέ ἰδιῶται ἀπ', 1 Corinthians 14:24 ἐάν δέ πάντες προφητεύωσιν, εἰσέλθῃ δέ τίς ἄπιστος, Matthew 21:21 ἐάν ἔχητε πίστιν καί μή διακριθῆτε. Also εἰ (" quod per se nihil significat praeter conditionem," Klotz, the passage cited, p. 455) and ἐάν are distinguished in propositions subjoined the one to the other ( Winer's Grammar, 296 (277f)): John 13:17 εἰ ταῦτα οἴδατε, μακάριοι ἐστε, ἐάν ποιῆτε αὐτά, John 3:12; 1 Corinthians 7:36; in statements antithetic, Acts 5:38f; or parallel, Mark 3:24-26. Finally, where one of the evangelists uses εἰ, another has ἐάν, but so that each particle retains its own force, inasmuch as one and the same thing is differently conceived of by the different minds: Mark 9:43 ἐάν σκανδαλίζῃ (σκανδαλίσῃ L marginal reading T WH text) χείρ σου, and Mark 9:47 ἐάν ὀφθαλμός σου σκανδαλίζῃ σε, i. e. if so be that, etc.; on the other hand, Matthew , in Matthew 18:8f and Matthew 5:29f concerning the same thing says εἰ.

c. irregularly, but to be explained as an imitation of the Hebrew אִם which is also a particle of time (cf. Gesenius, Thesaurus, under the word, 4), ἐάν with the subjunctive aorist is used of things which the speaker or writer thinks will certainly take place, where ὅταν, when, whenever, should have been used: ἐάν ὑψωθῶ, John 12:32; ἐάν πορευθῶ, John 14:3; ἐάν φανερωθῇ, 1 John 2:28 ( L T Tr WH, for ὅταν R G); 1 John 3:2; ἐάν ἀκούσητε, Hebrews 3:7 from Psalm 94:8 (Psalm 95:8>); (ἐάν εἰσέλθῃς εἰς τόν νυμφῶνα, Tobit 6:17 (16) (others, ὅταν); ἐάν ἀποθάνω, θάψον με, Tobit 4:3, cf. Tobit 4:4 ὅταν ἀποθάνῃ, θάψον αὐτήν; for אִם when, Isaiah 24:13; Amos 7:2).

d. sometimes when the particle is used with the subjunctive aorist the futurity of a thing is not so much affirmed as imagined, it being known to be something which never could happen: ἐάν εἴπῃ πούς, if the foot should say, or were to say, 1 Corinthians 12:15; ἐάν ἔλθω πρός ὑμᾶς γλώσσαις λαλῶν, 1 Corinthians 14:6.

2. by a somewhat negligent use, met with from the time of Aristotle on, ἐάν is connected also with the indicative (cf. Klotz, the passage cited, p. 468ff; Kühner, § 575 Anm. 5; Winer s Grammar, 295 (277); Buttmann, 221 f (191 f); Tdf. Proleg., p. 124 f; WH s Appendix, p. 171; Sophocles' Lexicon, under the word; Vincent and Dickson, Modern Greek, 2nd edition, Appendix, § 77); and a. with the future indicative, in meaning akin, as is well known, to the subjunctive: (ἐάν δύο συμφωνησουσιν, Matthew 18:19 T Tr); ἐάν οὗτοι σιωπησουσι, Luke 19:40 L T Tr WH; ἐάν ... ὁδηγήσει, Acts 8:31 T Tr WH (ἐάν βεβηλώσουσιν αὐτά, Leviticus 22:9); but also b. with the present indicative: ἐάν δανείζετε, Luke 6:34 L marginal reading Tr text; ἐάν στήκετε, 1 Thessalonians 3:8 T Tr text WH; ἐάν τέ ἀποθνῄσκομεν, Romans 14:8 Lachmann with an preterite indicative, but one having the force of a present: ἐάν (Lachmann ἄν) οἴδαμεν, 1 John 5:15 without variant.

3. ἐάν joined with other particles;

a. ἐάν δέ καί, but if also, but even if, ( A. V. but and if (retained by R. V. in 1Cor.)); with the subjunctive: Matthew 18:17; 1 Corinthians 7:11,28; 2 Timothy 2:5.

b. ἐάν καί: Galatians 6:1.

c. ἐάν μή, if not, unless, except; with the subjunctive present: Matthew 10:13; Luke 13:3 (Lachmann text aorist); Acts 15:1 ( Rec.); 1 Corinthians 8:8; 1 Corinthians 9:16 ( R G L marginal reading T WH marginal reading); James 2:17; 1 John 3:21; with the subjunctive aorist: Matthew 6:15; Matthew 18:35; Mark 3:27; John 3:8; John 8:24; 1 Corinthians 14:6f, 9; Romans 10:15; (Romans 11:23> R L); 2 Timothy 2:5; Revelation 2:5,22 ( R L), and often. with the indicative present: ἐάν μή πιστεύετε, John 10:38 Tdf. In some passages, although the particles ἐάν μή retain their native force of unless, if not, yet, so far as the sense is concerned, one may translate them, but that, without: Matthew 26:42 (the cup cannot pass by without my drinking. it); οὐ γάρ ἐστιν κρυπτόν, ἐάν μή φανερωθῇ ( Treg.), there is nothing hid, but that it shall be made manifest (properly, nothing whatever is hid, except that it should be made manifest), Mark 4:22; οὐδείς ἐστιν, ὅς ἀφῆκεν οἰκίαν ... ἐάν μή λάβῃ, but that shall receive (properly, unless he shall receive ... it cannot be said that anyone has left), Mark 10:29,30 (cf. Buttmann, § 149,6. On the supposed use of ἐάν μή (εἰ μή) as equivalent to ἀλλά, cf. Meyer on Matthew 12:4; Galatians 1:7; Galatians 2:16; Fritzsche on Romans 14:14 at the end; Ellicott and Lightfoot on Galatians , at the passages cited. See εἰ, III:8c. β.)

d. ἐάνπερ ( L Tr separately, ἐάν περ) if only, if indeed: Hebrews 3:6 (where L brackets περ, and T Tr WH read ἐάν), Hebrews 3:14>; Hebrews 6:3>; it occurs neither in the Sept. nor in the O. T. Apocrypha; on its use in Greek writings cf. Klotz, the passage cited, p. 483f.

e. ἐάν τέ ... ἐάν τέ, sive ... sive, whether ... or: Romans 14:8; (often in the Sept. for אִם ... אִם, as Exodus 19:13; Leviticus 3:1; Deuteronomy 18:3). Cf. Klotz, the passage cited, p. 479f; Kühner, § 541; ( Buttmann, 221 (191)).

f. κἄν for καί ἐάν, see κἄν.

II. The classic use of the conditional particle ἐάν also in the contracted form ἄν (see p. 34{b} above) seems to have led the biblical writers of both Testaments to connect ἐάν, with relative pronouns and adverbs instead of the potential particle ἄν, as ὅς ἐάν (so Tdf. in 12places), ἐάν (so Tdf. uniformly), etc. (this use among secular writings is very doubtful, cf. Winer s Grammar, p. 310 (291); Buttmann, 72 (63)): Matthew 5:19; Matthew 10:14 ( R G); Matthew 15:5>; Mark 6:22; Luke 9:48 ( WH ἄν); Luke 17:33>; Acts 7:7 ( R G T); 1 Corinthians 6:18; Ephesians 6:8 ( R G L text); 3 John 1:5, etc.; ὅπου ἐάν, Matthew 8:19; Matthew 26:13; Mark 6:10 ( L Tr ἄν). ὁσάκις ἐάν, Revelation 11:6. οὗ ἐάν, 1 Corinthians 16:6 ( 1 Maccabees 6:36). καθό ἐάν, 2 Corinthians 8:12 ( Tdf. ἄν; ὅστις ἐάν, Galatians 5:10 T Tr WH; ἥτις ἐάν, Acts 3:23 Tdf. For many other examples see Sophocles' Lexicon, under the word, ἐάν, 3.) In many places the manuscripts vary between ἐάν and ἄν; cf. ἄν, II., p. 34; (and especially Tdf. Proleg., p. 96).

ἐάνπερ, see ἐάν I:3d.

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
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Vocabulary of the Greek NT


The difference between ἐάν and εἰ is considerably lessened in Hellenistic Greek, with the result that the former is found fairly frequently with the ind. (as in Luke 19:40, Acts 8:31, 1 Thessalonians 3:8, 1 John 5:15), e.g. P Par 62viii. 8 (c. B.C. 170) ἐὰν δ᾽ ὑπερβόλιόν ἐνέστη, ib. 18.10 (Imperial period?) ἐὰν μάχουσιν (or -οῦσιν) μετ᾽ ἐσοῦ οἱ ἀδελφοί σου, P Tebt I. 58.55 (B.C. 111) ἐὰν δεῖ σε συνπεσῖν τῶι Ἀνικήτωι σύνπεσαι, ";if you must meet Anicetus, meet him,"; P Amh II. 93.24 (A.D. 181) ἐὰν φαίνεται μισθῶσαι, and P Oxy VIII. 1157.15 (late iii/A.D.) ἐὰν δὲ ἦσαν. See further Deissmann BS p. 201 f. and Proleg. p. 168, where attention is also drawn to the ambiguous ἐὰν ἦν, which is normally to be read , cf. Moulton CR xv. pp. 38, 436. The following exx. of conditional ἐάν may be cited from P Ryl II.—153.21 (A.D. 138–61) ὡς ἐὰν αὐτοὶ δο [κῶσι χορηγοῦντα ]ς, 154.28 (A.D. 66) οἷα ἐὰν. . ἐγβῆι, 155.21 (A.D. 138–61) ω ̣[στε ἐὰν αἱρῆται, 163.18 (A.D. 139) ὁπηνίκα ἐὰν αἱρῇ. See also s.v. ἄν.


For this intensive particle which in Bibl. Greek is confined to Hebrews 3:14 (contrast v. 6), 6.3, cf. BGU IV. 1141.80 (B.C. 14) διασαφήσουσιν οὓς ἀπέσταλκες, ἐάνπερ μὴ θ ̣ελήσωσιν προσχαρίσασθαι συνδούλωι, P Fay 124.9 (ii/A.D.) ἐάνπερ μὴ εὐ [γ ]νομωνῇς (l. εὐγνωμονῇς) τὰ πρὸς τὴν μητέρα, ";if so be you are unfair in your conduct towards your mother.";


The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament.
Copyright © 1914, 1929, 1930 by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Hodder and Stoughton, London.
Derivative Copyright © 2015 by Allan Loder.
Frequency / Word / Parsing Lists  [ Book | Word | Parsing ]
Verse Results
KJV (275)NAS (96)HCS (321)
1 Corinthians34
2 Corinthians6
1 Thessalonians1
1 Timothy3
2 Timothy2
1 Peter1
1 John18
3 John2
1 Corinthians38
2 Corinthians6
1 Thessalonians1
2 Thessalonians1
1 Timothy3
2 Timothy2
1 Peter1
1 John21
3 John2
1 Corinthians43
2 Corinthians7
1 Thessalonians1
2 Thessalonians1
1 Timothy3
2 Timothy3
1 Peter1
1 John20
3 John2
List of Word Forms
αν ἂν εαν εάν ἐάν ἐὰν εάνπερ ἐάνπερ έαρ έαρι έαρος εξ ος ω an àn ean eán eàn eanper eánper
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