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Old & New Testament Greek

Entry for Strong's #1988 - ἐπιστάτης

Word Origin:
from (1909) and a presumed derivative of (2476)
Parts of Speech:
Noun Masculine
Word Definition  [ Thayer's | Strong's ]
Thayer's Definition
  1. any sort of superintendent or overseer
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 5057 ‑ נַגִד (naw‑gheed', naw‑gheed');   5065 ‑ נָגַשׂ (naw‑gas');   5329 ‑ נָצַח (naw‑tsakh');   6496 ‑ פָּקִיד (paw‑keed');   7287 ‑ רָדָה (raw‑daw');   8269 ‑ שַׂר (sar);  
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions

ἐπιστᾰτ-ης, ου, ὁ, (ἐφίσταμαι)


1. one who stands near or by: hence, like ἱκέτης, suppliant, οὐ σύ γ' ἂν.. σῷ ἐπιστάτῃ οὐδ' ἅλα δοίης Od. 17.455.

2.. in battle-order, one's rear-rank man, X. Cyr. 3.3.50, 8.1.10, al.. also, even numbers in a λόχος, Ascl. Tact. 2.3, Arr. Tact. 6.6.


1. one who stands or is mounted upon, ἁρμάτων ἐ., of a charioteer, S. El. 702, E. Ph. 1147; ἐλεφάντων ἐ., of the driver, Plb. 1.40.11.

2.. one who is set over, chief, commander, A. Th. 816 (815); ὅπλων Id. Pers. 379; ποιμνίων ἐ. S. Aj. 27; ἐρετμῶν ἐ. E. Hel. 1267; θύματος ἐ. Id. Hec. 223; but ταύρων πυρπνόων ζεύγλῃσι mastering them with.., Id. Med. 478; ἐνόπτρων καὶ μύρων, of the Trojans, Id. Or. 1112; ἐ. Κολωνοῦ, of a tutelary god, S. OC 889; [ καιρὸς] ἀνδράσιν μέγιστος ἔργου παντός ἐστ' ἐ. Id. El. 76; also in Prose, ἐ. γενέσθαι τῶν λόγων ἴσους καὶ κοινούς judges, And. 4.7; ποίας ἐργασίας ἐ.; Answ. ἐ. τοῦ ποιῆσαι δεινὸν λέγειν (where it = ἐπιστήμων) Pl. Prt. 312d; πραγμάτων Isoc. 4.121; ἐπιστάται ἄθλων stewards of games, Pl. Lg. 949a, cf. X. Lac. 8.4; of a pilot, Id. Oec. 21.3; supervisor of training, Pl. R. 412a, X. Mem. 3.5.18 (pl.); ἐ. τῶν παίδων IG 12(1).43 (Rhodes); τῶν ἐφήβων Inscr.Prien. 112.73 (i B.C.): voc. ἐπιστάτα, = Rabbi, Luke 5:5, al.


1. president of a board or assembly: at Athens, ἐ. τῶν πρυτάνεων chairman of βουλή and ἐκκλησία in cent. v, Arist. Ath. 44.1, later, keeper of Treasury or Archives, IG 3.841, etc.; ἐ. τῶν προέδρων chairman of βουλή and ἐκκλησία from cent.iv, Aeschin. 3.39, D. 22.9, etc.; ἐ. ὁ ἐκ τῶν προέδρων IG 22.204.31 (iv B.C.); in other Greek states, ib.12(1).731 (Rhodes), 12(7).515.116, 125 (Amorgos), etc.; ἐ. τῶν νομοθετῶν ib.22.222; τῶν δικα[στῶν ] LW 1539 (Erythrae).

2.. overseer, superintendent, in charge of any public building or works, τοῦ νεὼ τοῦ ἐν πόλει, i.e. of the temple of Athena Polias, IG 12.372; ἱεροῦ UPZ 42.22 (ii B.C.); ἐ. τῶν ἔργων clerk of the works, D. 18.114, LXX Exodus 1:11 (pl.); τῶν δημοσίων ἔργων Aeschin. 3.14; τοῦ ναυτικοῦ ib.222; τῆς Ἀκαδημείας Hyp. Dem.Fr. 7; τοῦ Μουσείου OGI 104.4 (ii B.C.); τῶν κοπρώνων D. 25.49.

3.. governor, administrator, τῆς πόλεως OGI 254.3 (Babylon, ii B.C.), cf. IG 12(3).320.7 (Thera, iii B.C.), OGI 479.7 (Dorylaeum, ii A.D.); κώμης local magistrate, Arch.Pap. 4.38.

4.. = προστάτης, Lat. patronus, IG 14.1317.. in Ar. Av. 437, = χυτρόπους, Ar.Byz. ap. Eust. 1827.45; other explanations, ibid., cf.Sch.Ar.l.c.: τοὐπιστάτου is fr. ἐπίστατος, = πυρίστατος, Anon. ap. Eust. 1827.56: dub. sens. in BpW 1892.514; cf. ἐπίστατον.

Thayer's Expanded Definition
 ἐπιστάτης, ἐπιστατου, (ἐφίστημι), any sort of a superintendent or overseer (often so in secular writings, and several times in the Sept., as Exodus 1:11; Exodus 5:14; 1 Kings 5:16; 2 Kings 25:19; Jeremiah 36:26 (Jeremiah 29:26>); 2 Chronicles 2:2; 2 Chronicles 31:12); a master, used in this sense for רַבִּי by the disciples (cf. Luke 17:13) when addressing Jesus, who called him thus not from the fact that he was a teacher, but because of his authority (Bretschneider); found only in Luke 5:5; Luke 8:24,45; Luke 9:33,49; Luke 17:13.

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

ἐπιστάτης in its original sense of ";superintendent,"; ";overseer,"; is found in a number of different connexions, e.g. . εἰρήνης κώμης (P Oxy I. 64.2—iii/iv A.D.), . τοῦ ἱεροῦ (P Par 26.22—B.C. 163) and τῶν ἱερῶν (P Leid G.4—end of ii/B.C.), . τῆς πόλεως (BGU III. 1006.6—iii/B.C.), . τῶν φυλακιτῶν (P Tebt I. 5.159—B.C. 118). For further particulars regarding . τῆς κώμης, a local justice, see Archiv iv. p. 35 ff., and for . τοῦ ἱεροῦ Preisigke Prinz-Joachim-Ostr p. 60 ff., and for the word generally Preisigke Fachwörter, p. 89 f. The verb ἐπιστατέω is found in P Oxy XII. 1413.20 (A.D. 270–5). In connexion with the Lukan use of the subst. applied to Jesus instead of the Hebrew Ῥαββί in the sense of ";Master,"; Rouffiac (Recherches, p. 56f.) refers to an ἐπιστάταν τῶν παίδων (IG XII. 1, 43), apparently a sort of headmaster, and to τὸν ἐπιστά [την τὸ ]ν ̣ τῶν ̣ ἐφήβω ̣ν ̣, whose duty it was τ [ὰς ψυχ ]ὰς πρὸς ἀρετὴν καὶ πάθος ἀνθρώπινον προάγεσθαι (Priene 112.73 ff.—after B.C. 84). He adds that the vocative was often used in the Greek gymnasia when the ephebi addressed their masters. See also Dalman Words of Jesus, p. 336.


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.
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Επιστατα επιστάτα Ἐπιστάτα επιστάται επιστάτας επιστάτην επιστάτης επιστατών Epistata Epistáta
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