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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Hear, Hearing

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A — 1: ἀκούω

(Strong's #191 — Verb — akouo — ak-oo'-o )

the usual word denoting "to hear," is used (a) intransitively, e.g., Matthew 11:15; Mark 4;23; (b) transitively when the object is expressed, sometimes in the accusative case, sometimes in the genitive. Thus in Acts 9:7 , "hearing the voice," the noun "voice" is in the partitive genitive case [i.e., hearing (something) of], whereas in Acts 22:9 , "they heard not the voice," the construction is with the accusative. This removes the idea of any contradiction. The former indicates a "hearing" of the sound, the latter indicates the meaning or message of the voice (this they did not hear). "The former denotes the sensational perception, the latter (the accusative case) the thing perceived" (Cremer). In John 5:25,28 , the genitive case is used, indicating a "sensational perception" that the Lord's voice is sounding; in John 3:8 , of "hearing" the wind, the accusative is used, stressing "the thing perceived."

That God "hears" prayer signifies that He answers prayer, e.g., John 9:31; 1 John 5:14,15 . Sometimes the verb is used with para ("from beside"), e.g., John 1:40 , "one of the two which heard John speak," lit., "heard from beside John," suggesting that he stood beside him; in John 8:26,40 , indicating the intimate fellowship of the Son with the Father; the same construction is used in Acts 10:22; 2 Timothy 2:2 , in the latter case, of the intimacy between Paul and Timothy. See HEARKEN.

A — 2: εἰσακούω

(Strong's #1522 — Verb — eisakouo — ice-ak-oo'-o )

"to listen to" (eis, to, and No. 1), has two meanings, (a) "to hear and obey," 1 Corinthians 14:21 , "they will not hear;" (b) "to hear so as to answer," of God's answer to prayer, Matthew 6:7; Luke 1:13; Acts 10:31; Hebrews 5:7 .

A — 3: διακούω

(Strong's #1251 — Verb — diakouo — dee-ak-oo'-om-ahee )

"to hear through, hear fully" (dia, "through," and No. 1), is used technically, of "hearing" judicially, in Acts 23:35 , of Felix in regard to the charges against Paul. In the Sept., Deuteronomy 1:16; Job 9:33 .

A — 4: ἐπακούω

(Strong's #1873 — Verb — epakouo — ep-ak-oo'-o )

"to listen to, hear with favor, at or upon an occasion" (epi, "upon," and No. 1), is used in 2 Corinthians 6:2 (RV, "hearken").

A — 5: ἐπακροάομαι

(Strong's #1874 — Verb — epakroaomai — ep-ak-ro-ah'-om-ahee )

"to listen attentively to" (epi, used intensively, and a verb akin to No. 1), is used in Acts 16:25 , "(the prisoners) were listening to (them)," RV, expressive of rapt attention.

A — 6: προακούω

(Strong's #4257 — Verb — proakouo — pro-ak-oo'-o )

signifies "to hear before" (pro), Colossians 1:5 , where Lightfoot suggests that the preposition contrasts what they heard before, the true Gospel, with the false gospel of their recent teachers.

A — 7: παρακούω

(Strong's #3878 — Verb — parakouo — par-ak-oo'-o )

primarily signifies "to overhear, hear amiss or imperfectly" (para, "beside, amiss," and No. 1); then (in the NT) "to hear without taking heed, to neglect to hear," Matthew 18:17 (twice); in Mark 5:36 the best mss. have this verb, which the RV renders "not heeding" (marg., "overhearing"); some mss. have No. 1, AV, "hearing." It seems obvious that the Lord paid no attention to those from the ruler's house and their message that his daughter was dead. Cp. the noun parakoe, "disobedience."

B — 1: ἀκοή

(Strong's #189 — Noun Feminine — akoe — ak-o-ay' )

akin to A, No. 1, denotes (a) "the sense of hearing," 1 Corinthians 12:17; 2 Peter 2:8; a combination of verb and noun is used in phrases which have been termed Hebraic as they express somewhat literally an OT phraseology, e.g., "By hearing ye shall hear," Matthew 13:14; Acts 28:26 , RV, a mode of expression conveying emphasis; (b) "the organ of hearing," Mark 7:35 , "ears;" Luke 7:1 , RV, "ears," for AV, "audience;" Acts 17:20; 2 Timothy 4:3,4; Hebrews 5:11 , "dull of hearing," lit., "dull as to ears;" (c) "a thing heard, a message or teaching," John 12:38 , "report;" Romans 10:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13 , "the word of the message," lit. "the word of hearing" (AV, "which ye heard"); Hebrews 4:2 , "the word of hearing," RV, for AV, "the word preached;" in a somewhat similar sense, "a rumor, report," Matthew 4:24; 14:1; Mark 1:28 , AV, "fame," RV, "report;" Matthew 24:6; Mark 13:7 , "rumors (of wars);" (d) "the receiving of a message," Romans 10:17 , something more than the mere sense of "hearing" [see (a)]; so with the phrase "the hearing of faith," Galatians 3:2,5 , which it seems better to understand so than under (c). See EAR , FAME , PREACH , REPORT , RUMOR.

Notes: (1) For diagnosis (investigation, followed by decision), rendered "hearing" in Acts 25:21 , AV, see DECISION. (2) For the phrase to be dull of hearing, lit., "to hear heavily," Matthew 13:15; Acts 28:27 , see DULL. (3) For akroaterion, "a place of hearing," Acts 25:23 , see PLACE.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Hear, Hearing'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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