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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Captive, Captivity

A — 1: αἰχμάλωτος

(Strong's #164 — Adjective — aichmalotos — aheekh-mal-o-tos' )

lit., "one taken by the spear" (from aichme, "a spear," and halotos, a verbal adjective, from halonai, "to be captured"), hence denotes "a captive," Luke 4:18 .

A — 2: αἰχμαλωσία

(Strong's #161 — Noun Feminine — aichmalosia — aheekh-mal-o-see'-ah )

"captivity," the abstract noun in contrast to No. 1, the concrete, is found in Revelation 13:10; Ephesians 4:8 , where "He led captivity captive" (marg., "a multitude of captives") seems to be an allusion to the triumphal procession by which a victory was celebrated, the "captives" taken forming part of the procession. See Judges 5:12 . The quotation is from Psalm 68:18 , and probably is a forceful expression for Christ's victory, through His death, over the hostile powers of darkness. An alternative suggestion is that at His ascension Christ transferred the redeemed Old Testament saints from Sheol to His own presence in glory.

B — 1: αἰχμαλωτεύω

(Strong's #162 — Verb — aichmaloteuo — aheekh-mal-o-tew'-o )

signifies (a) "to be a prisoner of war," (b) "to make a prisoner of war." The latter meaning is the only one used in the NT, Ephesians 4:8 .

B — 2: αἰχμαλωτίζω

(Strong's #163 — Verb — aichmalotizo — aheekh-mal-o-tid'-zo )

practically synonymous with No. 1, denotes either "to lead away captive," Luke 21:24 , or "to subjugate, to bring under control," said of the effect of the Law in one's members in bringing the person into captivity under the law of sin, Romans 7:23; or of subjugating the thoughts to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5; or of those who took captive "silly women laden with sins," 2 Timothy 3:6 .

B — 3: ζωγρέω

(Strong's #2221 — Verb — zogreo — dzogue-reh'-o )

lit. signifies "to take men alive" (from zoos, "alive," and agreuo, "to hunt or catch"), Luke 5:10 (marg. "take alive"), there of the effects of the work of the Gospel; in 2 Timothy 2:26 it is said of the power of Satan to lead men astray. The verse should read "and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the Devil (having been taken captive by him), unto the will of God." This is the probable meaning rather than "to take alive or for life." See CATCH.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Captive, Captivity'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ved/c/captive-captivity.html. 1940.

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