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Bible Dictionaries
Dark, Darken, Darkly, Darkness

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

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A — 1: σκοτεινός

(Strong's #4652 — Adjective — skoteinos — skot-i-nos' )

"full of darkness, or covered with darkness," is translated "dark" in Luke 11:36; "full of darkness," in Matthew 6:23; Luke 11:34 , where the physical condition is figurative of the moral. The group of skot-words is derived from a root ska---, meaning "to cover." The same root is to be found in skene, "a tent."

Note: Contrast photeinos, "full of light," e.g., Matthew 6:22 .

A — 2: αὐχμηρός

(Strong's #850 — Adjective — auchmeros — owkh-may-ros' )

from auchmos, "drought produced by excessive heat," hence signifies "dry, murky, dark," 2 Peter 1:19 (RV marg., "squalid"). No. 1 signifies "darkness" produced by covering; No. 2, "darkness" produced by being squalid or murky.

B — 1: σκοτία

(Strong's #4653 — Noun Feminine — skotia — skot-ee'-ah )

is used (a) of physical darkness, "dark," John 6:17 , lit., "darkness had come on," and John 20:1 , lit., "darkness still being;" (b) of secrecy, in general, whether what is done therein is good or evil, Matthew 10:27; Luke 12:3; (c) of spiritual or moral "darkness," emblematic of sin, as a condition of moral or spiritual depravity, Matthew 4:16; John 1:5; 8:12; 12:35,46; 1 John 1:5; 2:8,9,11 .

B — 2: σκότος

(Strong's #4655 — Noun Neuter — skotos — skot'-os )

an older form than No. 1, grammatically masculine, is found in some mss. in Hebrews 12:18 .

B — 3: σκότος

(Strong's #4655 — Noun Neuter — skotos — skot'-os )

a neuter noun, frequent in the Sept., is used in the NT as the equivalent of No. 1; (a) of "physical darkness," Matthew 27:45; 2 Corinthians 4:6; (b) of "intellectual darkness," Romans 2:19 (cp. C, No. 1); (c) of "blindness," Acts 13:11; (d) by metonymy, of the "place of punishment," e.g., Matthew 8:12; 2 Peter 2:17; Jude 1:13; (e) metaphorically, of "moral and spiritual darkness," e.g., Matthew 6:23; Luke 1:79; 11:35; John 3:19; Acts 26:18; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:4,5; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 1:6; (f) by metonymy, of "those who are in moral or spiritual darkness," Ephesians 5:8; (g) of "evil works," Romans 13:12; Ephesians 5:11; (h) of the "evil powers that dominate the world," Luke 22:53; (i) "of secrecy" [as in No. 1, (b)]. While skotos is used more than twice as many times as skotia in the NT, the Apostle John uses skotos only once, 1 John 1:6 , but skotia 15 times out of the 18.

"With the exception of the significance of secrecy [No. 1, (b) and No. 3 (i),] darkness is always used in a bad sense. Moreover the different forms of darkness are so closely allied, being either cause and effect, or else concurrent effects of the same cause, that they cannot always be distinguished; 1 John 1:5; 2:8 , e.g., are passages in which both spiritual and moral darkness are intended." * [* From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp 157-158.]

B — 4: ζόφος

(Strong's #2217 — Noun Masculine — zophos — dzof'-os )

denotes "the gloom of the nether world;" hence, "thick darkness, darkness that may be felt;" it is rendered "darkness" in Hebrews 12:18; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6; in 2 Peter 2:17 , RV, "blackness," AV, "mists;" in Jude 1:13 , RV and AV, "blackness." See BLACKNESS , B, Nos. 1 and 2, MIST.

C — 1: σκοτίζω

(Strong's #4654 — Verb — skotizo — skot-id'-zo )

"to deprive of light, to make dark," is used in the NT in the Passive Voice only, (a) of the heavenly bodies, Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24; Revelation 8:12; (b) metaphorically, of the mind, Romans 1:21; 11:10; (some mss. have it in Luke 23:45 ).

C — 2: σκοτόω

(Strong's #4656 — Verb — skotoo — skot-o'-o )

"to darken," is used (a) of the heavenly bodies, Revelation 9:2; 16:10; (b) metaphorically, of the mind, Ephesians 4:18 .

Note: The phrase en ainigmati, lit., "in an enigma," is rendered "darkly" in 1 Corinthians 13:12 . Ainigma is akin to the verb anissomai, "to hint obscurely." The allusion is to Numbers 12:8 (Sept.), "not in (dia, "by means of") dark speeches" (lit., "enigmas"); God's communications to Moses were not such as in the case of dreams, etc. After the same analogy, what we see and know now is seen "darkly" compared with the direct vision in the presence of God hereafter. The riddles of seeming obscurity in life will all be made clear.

Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Dark, Darken, Darkly, Darkness'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​ved/​d/dark-darken-darkly-darkness.html. 1940.
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