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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Light, Noun, and Verb, Lighten

A — 1: φῶς

(Strong's #5457 — Noun Neuter — phos — foce )

akin to phao, "to give light" (from roots pha---, and phan---, expressing "light as seen by the eye," and, metaphorically, as "reaching the mind," whence phaino, "to make to appear," phaneros, "evident," etc.); cp. Eng., "phosphorus" (lit., "light-bearing"). "Primarily light is a luminous emanation, probably of force, from certain bodies, which enables the eye to discern form and color. Light requires an organ adapted for its reception (Matthew 6:22 ). Where the eye is absent, or where it has become impaired from any cause, light is useless. Man, naturally, is incapable of receiving spiritual light inasmuch as he lacks the capacity for spiritual things, 1 Corinthians 2:14 . Hence believers are called 'sons of light,' Luke 16:8 , not merely because they have received a revelation from God, but because in the New Birth they have received the spiritual capacity for it.

"Apart from natural phenomena, light is used in Scripture of (a) the glory of God's dwelling-place, 1 Timothy 6:16; (b) the nature of God, 1 John 1:5; (c) the impartiality of God, James 1:17; (d) the favor of God, Psalm 4:6; of the King, Proverbs 16:15; of an influential man, Job 29:24; (e) God, as the illuminator of His people, Isaiah 60:19,20; (f) the Lord Jesus as the illuminator of men, John 1:4,5,9; 3:19; 8:12; 9:5; 12:35,36,46; Acts 13:47; (g) the illuminating power of the Scriptures, Psalm 119:105; and of the judgments and commandments of God, Isaiah 51:4; Proverbs 6:23 , cp. Psalm 43:3; (h) the guidance of God, Job 29:3; Psalm 112:4; Isaiah 58:10; and, ironically, of the guidance of man, Romans 2:19; (i) salvation, 1 Peter 2:9; (j) righteousness, Romans 13:12; 2 Corinthians 11:14,15; 1 John 2:9,10; (k) witness for God, Matthew 5:14,16; John 5:35; (l) prosperity and general well-being, Esther 8:16; Job 18:18; Isaiah 58:8-10 ." * [* From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 159,160.]

A — 2: φωστήρ

(Strong's #5458 — Noun Masculine — phoster — foce-tare' )

denotes "a luminary, light," or "light-giver;" it is used figuratively of believers, as shining in the spiritual darkness of the world, Philippians 2:15; in Revelation 21:11 it is used of Christ as the "Light" reflected in and shining through the heavenly city (cp. Revelation 21:23 ). In the Sept., Genesis 1:14,16 .

A — 3: φωτισμός

(Strong's #5462 — Noun Masculine — photismos — fo-tis-mos' )

"an illumination, light," is used metaphorically in 2 Corinthians 4:4 , of the "light" of the Gospel, and in 2 Corinthians 4:6 , of the knowledge of the glory of God. In the Sept., Job 3:9; Psalm 27:1; 44:3; 78:14; 90:8; 139:11 .

A — 4: φέγγος

(Strong's #5338 — Noun Neuter — phengos — feng'-gos )

"brightness, luster," is used of the "light" of the moon, Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24; of a lamp, Luke 11:33 (some mss. have phos, here).

A — 5: λύχνος

(Strong's #3088 — Noun Masculine — luchnos — lookh'-nos )

"a hand-lamp:" see LAMP.

A — 6: λαμπάς

(Strong's #2985 — Noun Feminine — lampas — lam-pas' )

"a torch:" see LAMP.

B — 1: φωτίζω

(Strong's #5461 — Verb — photizo — fo-tid'-zo )

used (a) intrasitively, signifies "to shine, give light," Revelation 22:5; (b) transitively, (1) "to illumine, to light, enlighten, to be lightened," Luke 11:36; Revelation 21:23; in the Passive Voice, Revelation 18:1; metaphorically, of spiritual enlightenment, John 1:9; Ephesians 1:18; 3:9 , "to make ... see;" Hebrews 6:4; 10:32 , "ye were enlightened," RV (AV, "... illuminated"); (2) "to bring to light," 1 Corinthians 4:5 (of God's act in the future); 2 Timothy 1:10 (of God's act in the past). See ENLIGHTEN , ILLUMINATE.

B — 2: ἐπιφαύσκω

(Strong's #2017 — Verb — epiphausko — ep-ee-fow'-o )

or possibly epiphauo, "to shine forth," is rendered "shall give ... light," in Ephesians 5:14 , AV (RV, "shall shine upon"), of the glory of Christ, illumining the believer who fulfills the conditions, so that being guided by His "light" he reflects His character. See SHINE. Cp. epiphosko, "to dawn" (really a variant form of epiphausko).

B — 3: λάμπω

(Strong's #2989 — Verb — lampo — lam'-po )

"to give the light of a torch," is rendered "giveth light" in Matthew 5:15 , AV (RV, "shineth"). See SHINE.

B — 4: ἐπιφαίνω

(Strong's #2014 — Verb — epiphaino — ep-ee-fah'ee-no )

transitively, "to show forth" (epi, "upon," phaino, "to cause to shine"), is used intransitively and metaphorically in Luke 1:79 , and rendered "to give light," AV (RV, "to shine upon"). See APPEAR , SHINE.

B — 5: ἅπτω

(Strong's #681 — Verb — hapto — hap'-to )

"to kindle a fire" and so give "light:" see KINDLE , No. 1, Note.

B — 6: καίω

(Strong's #2545 — Verb — kaio — kah'-yo )

"to burn," is translated "do (men) light" in Matthew 5:15 . See BURN.

B — 7: ἀστράπτω

(Strong's #797 — Verb — astrapto — as-trap'-to )

"to flash forth, lighten as lightning" (akin to astrape, "lightning"), occurs in Luke 17:24; 24:4 (AV "shining;" RV, "dazzling"). See DAZZLING.

Note: In Luke 2:32 , AV, the noun apokalupsis, "an unveiling, revelation," preceded by eis, "unto, with a view to," is rendered "to lighten" (RV, "for revelation;" marg., "(the) unveiling"). See REVELATION.

C — 1: φωτεινός

(Strong's #5460 — Adjective — photeinos — fo-ti-nos' )

from phos (A, No. 1), "bright," is rendered "full of light" in Matthew 6:22; Luke 11:34,36 (twice), figuratively, of the single-mindedness of the eye, which acts as the lamp of the body; in Matthew 17:5 , "bright," of a cloud. See BRIGHT.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Light, Noun, and Verb, Lighten'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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