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Bible Lexicons

Old & New Testament Greek Lexical DictionaryGreek Lexicon

Strong's #1907 - ἐπέχω

Root Word (Etymology)
from (G1909) and (G2192)
Parts of Speech
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  1. to have or hold upon, apply, to observe, attend to
    1. to give attention to
  2. to hold towards, hold forth, present
  3. to check
    1. delay, stop, stay
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 995 ‑ בִּין (bene);  1214 ‑ בָּצַע (baw‑tsah');  2308 ‑ חָדַל (khaw‑dal');  2342 ‑ חוּל (khool, kheel);  3176 ‑ יָהַל (yaw‑chal');  3811 ‑ לָאָה (law‑aw');  4513 ‑ מָנַע (maw‑nah');  6113 ‑ עָצַר (aw‑tsar');  6960 ‑ קָוָה (kaw‑vaw');  
Frequency Lists
Verse Results
KJV (5)
Luke 1
Acts 2
Philippians 1
1 Timothy 1
NAS (9)
Luke 1
Acts 3
Philippians 2
1 Timothy 3
CSB (4)
Luke 1
Acts 1
Philippians 1
1 Timothy 1
BSB (5)
Luke 1
Acts 2
Philippians 1
1 Timothy 1
ESV (5)
Luke 1
Acts 2
Philippians 1
1 Timothy 1
WEB (6)
Luke 1
Acts 3
Philippians 1
1 Timothy 1
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions


I fut. ἐφέξω (v. infr. IV. 1, 2) and ἐπισχήσω E. Andr. 160, D. 45.88: aor. ἐπέσχον, imper. ἐπίσχες, inf. ἐπισχεῖν; poet. ἐπισχέθοι A. Th. 453 (lyr.), ἐπέσχεθον A.R. 4.1622: pf. ἐπέσχηκα Supp.Epigr. 1.362.12 (Samos, iv B.C.): have or hold upon, θρῆνυν.., τῷ κεν ἐπισχοίης (v.l. ἐπίσχοιας) λιπαροὺς πόδας Il. 14.241, cf. Od. 17.410; ποτῷ κρωσσὸν ἐ. hold it to or for.., Theoc. 13.46; λόγον ζωῆς ἐπέχοντες (sc. κόσμῳ) holding it out like a torch, Philippians 2:16 : Med., hold by, χειρός A.R. 4.751.


1. hold out to, present, offer, οἶνον ἐπισχών Il. 9.489; ἐπέσχε τε οἶνον ἐρυθρόν Od. 16.444; κοτύλην.. ἐπέσχε Il. 22.494; εἴ ποτέ τοι.. μαζὸν ἐπέσχον ib. 83, cf. E. Andr. 225; also γάλακτι δ' οὐκ ἐπέσχον οὐδὲ μαστῷ τροφεῖα ματρός I offered not mother's food with my breast, Id. Ion 1492: c. inf., πιεῖν ἐπέσχον Ar. Nu. 1382: abs., Id. Pax 1167: Med., ἐπισχόμενος (sc. τὴν κύλικα) ἐξέπιεν having put it to his lips, Pl. Phd. 117c, cf. Stesich. 7, A.R. 1.472, Luc. Tox. 37; ἐπὶ χείλεσι.. μαστὸν ἐπισχομένη Euph. 92; present a sum of money, τῇ πόλει Supp.Epigr. l.c.

2. extend, spread out, τὴν πλεκτάνην Arist. HA 550b6.

3. simply, hold, σκῆπτρα IPE 2.37 (Panticapaeum); of writings, contain, Philostr. VS 2.24.2, cf. 2.9.1.

4. enjoin, impose a task, c. dat. pers., Procop. Arc. 17, Vand. 1.8.


1. hold or direct towards, ἔπεχε τόξον σκοπῷ Pi. O. 2.89; ἄλλῳ ἐπεῖχε τόξα E. HF 984: Med., abs., ἐπισχόμενος βάλεν ἰῷ having aimed at him he hit him, Od. 22.15. intr., aim at, attack, τί μοι ὧδ' ἐπέχεις; why thus launch out against me? 19.71; in tmesi, ἐπὶ αὐτῷ πάντες ἔχωμεν 22.75; ἀλλήλοις ἐ. Hes. Th. 711; ἄνδρα ἐπέχοντα τῷ Πύρρῳ Plu. Pyrrh. 16; ἐπέχειν ἐπί τινα Hdt. 9.59; τὰς ἐπὶ σφίσι ναῦς ἐπεχούσας Th. 8.105; πρός τι Plu. Ant. 66: c. dat., ἀκτῇσιν ἐπέσχεθον held straight for the beach, A.R. 4.1766: abs., E. Ba. 1131.

2. ἐπέχειν τὴν διάνοιαν ἐπί τινι direct one's mind to a thing, Pl. Lg. 926b; τῷ πολέμῳ τὴν γνώμην Plu. Aem. 8, etc.; also ἐ. ἑαυτόν τινι attend to him, Pl. R. 399b codd. abs., ἐπέχειν (sc. τὸν νοῦν) intend, purpose, c. inf., ἐπεῖχε ἐλλάμψεσθαι Hdt. 1.80, cf. 153, 6.96: c. dat. rei, to be intent upon, ταῖς ἀρχαῖς, διαβάσει, etc., Ar. Lys. 490, Plb. 3.43.2, etc.

3. stand facing, face in a line of battle, οὗτοι (sc. οἱ Μῆδοι) ἐπέσχον Κορινθίους Hdt. 9.31. hold back, keep in check, ἐπέσχε δὲ καλὰ ῥέεθρα Il. 21.244; καὶ πῶς ἐπέσχε χεῖρα μαιμῶσαν φόνου; S. Aj. 50; ἐπισχὼν ἡνίαν ib. 847; ἐπίσχωμεν τὸ πλεῖν Id. Ph. 881; ὀργάς E. Hel. 1642; οὐκ ἐφέξετε στόμα; Id. Hec. 1283; χρησμοὺς ἐ. withhold them, Id. Ph. 866; ἐπέχειν τινὰ τῷ ξύλῳ keep him down with the stick, Ar. Pax 1121; τὸ εὐθέως ἐπιχειρεῖν Th. 7.33; confine, as the earth a corpse, AP 7.461 (Mel.); ἐ. τῇ χειρὶ τὸ στόμα cover, Plu. Cat.Mi. 28; ἐπέχομεν τὴν ἐκπνοήν Gal. 6.172; τὰς διαχωρήσεις ἐ. Id. Vict.Att. 12: Med., ἐπισχόμενος τὰ ὦτα Pl. Smp. 216a:

1. Pass., τοῦ βάθους ἐπεσχημένου J. AJ 5.1.3; to be prevented, hindered, ὑπό τινος PFreib. 11.13 (iv A.D.); of the menses, Gal. 1.184. stay or adjourn proceedings, τὰ πρὸς Ἀργείους Th. 5.46; τὴν ζημίαν καὶ τὴν κατασκαφήν ib. 63; τὴν δίαιταν D. 21.84; suspend payments, in Pass., PTeb. 337.4 (ii/iii A.D.), cf. PGiss. 48.11 (iii A.D.). ἐ. τινά τινος stop, hinder from, E. Andr. 160, Ar. Lys. 742, D.S. 13.87: c. inf., σε μήτε νὺξ μήτε ἡμέρα ἐπισχέτω ὥστε ἀνεῖναι.. let them not stop thee so that thou neglect.., Th. 1.129; ἐ. τινὰ μὴ πράσσειν τι S. El. 517, Ph. 349; κλαυθμυρίζον τὸ βρέφος ἐπισχεῖν μὴ δυνάμεναι Sor. 1.88: Pass., μηδενὸς ἐπεχομένου no objection being taken, PTeb. 327.37 (ii A.D.). impers., ἐπέχει there is a hindrance, Astramps. Orac. 97.3.

2. abs., stay, pause, Ἀντίνοος δ' ἔτ' ἐπεῖχε Od. 21.186; refrain, Hdt. 1.32, 5.51, 7.139; εἰ δ' ἐφέξετον if you tarry, S. El. 1369, etc.: folld. by a Conj., esp. in imper., ἐπίσχες ἢν.. wait and see whether.., E. Supp. 397; ἐπίσχες ἔστ' ἂν.. προσμάθῃς A. Pr. 697; ἐ. ἕως.. D. 4.1; μέχρι τοσούτου ἔως.. Th. 1.90; ἐπίσχες, abs., hold! stop! A. Ch. 896, S. OC 856, etc.; ἐπίσχετε, μηδὲ συρίξητε Timocl. 2.6D.; ἐπίσχετον, μάθωμεν S. Ph. 539, cf. E. Hipp. 567; in part., ἐπισχὼν ὀλίγον χρόνον Hdt. 1.132, al.; τὸ ἐπισχεῖν, opp. τὸ παραχρῆμα, Antipho 5.73; οὐ πολὺν χρόνον ἐπισχὼν ἧκεν came after a short interval, Pl. Phd. 59e; μικρὸν ἐπισχόντα διεφθείροντο they very shortly died, Thphr. HP 4.4.13, cf. Diocl.Fr. 43; in Th. 2.81 οὐκ ἐπέσχον τὸ στρατόπεδον καταλαβεῖν did not halt for the purpose of occupying a camp (unless it, = ' had no intention of occupying'). c. gen. rei, stop or cease from, ἐπίσχες τοῦ δρόμου Ar. Av. 1200; τῆς πορείας X. Cyr. 4.2.12; τούτου Th. 8.31; also ἐ. περί τινος Id. 5.32, cf. 8.5: so c. inf., leave off, cease to do, X. Mem. 3.6.10: c. part., cease doing, ἀναλῶν οὐκ ἐφέξεις Ar. Eq. 915 (lyr.), cf. E. Ph. 449. as technical term of the Sceptics, suspend judgement, doubt, Str. 2.1.11, Ph. 1.387, S.E. P. 1.196; ἐ. ἐν τοῖς ἀδήλοις Plu. 2.955c; [πρὸς] τὰ ἄδηλα Arr. Epict. 1.7.5.

3. Med., maintain reserve, ἐπείχετο [ἡ σύγκλητος] κατὰ τοὺς Ἀθηναίους Plb. 30.19.17 (s. v.l.). reach or extend over a space, ἐπτὰ δ' ἐπέσχε πέλεθρα Il. 21.407; ὁπόσσον ἐπέσχε πυρὸς μένος so far as the fire reached, 23.238, cf. Hdt. 7.19, Th. 2.77, f.l. in Hp. Aër. 5, etc.: aor. Med., ἐπέσχετο he lay outstretched, Hes. Th. 177; βούβρωστις ἐπέσχετο κόσμον prevailed over.., Epigr.Gr. 793.5 (Apollonia); ἀφορία ἐ. τὸν βίον Longin. 44.1. have power over, occupy a country, οἱ Σκύθαι τὴν Ἀσίην πᾶσαν ἐπέσχον Hdt. 1.104, cf. 108, 8.32, Th. 2.101, 7.62, etc.;

1. of things, ἐπ' ὀκτὼ μῆνας Κυρηναίους ὀπώρη ἐ. occupies or engages them, Hdt. 4.199; τὴν πόλιν ἐπεῖχε κλαυθμός Plu. Oth. 17; ὧν τὰς χρόας τὸ ἡμερινὸν φῶς ἐ. overspreads, Pl. R. 508c: κραυγῆς ἐπεχούσης τὴν ἐκκλησίαν D.S. 13.87; πρὸ τοῦ τὰ σώματα τὰς ὠδῖνας ἐπισχεῖν Sor. 2.53: generally, occupy, τὴν κρατίστην μοῖραν ἐ. hold the foremost place, Longin. 9.1, cf. 44.12; ὕλης ἐ. τάξιν Stoic. 3.27; τὴν γῆν κέντρου λόγον ἐπέχουσαν D.L. 7.155, cf. Placit. 3. Praef.; τὸν τέλειον ἐ. λόγον Gal. 19.160; δίκην ἐπέχειν ἡμᾶς φυτῶν we are like plants, Meno Iatr. 6.18.

2. abs., prevail, predominate, ἢν μὴ λαμπρὸς ἄνεμος ἐπέχῃ Hdt. 2.96; σεισμοὶ ἐπέσχον ἐπὶ πλεῖστον μέρος γῆς Th. 1.23; πάντῃ ἐπεῖχε γαλήνη Timo 63; [ τῶν νεῶν] ἐπὶ πολὺ τῆς θαλάσσης ἐπεχουσῶν being spread over.., Th. 1.50; τὴν [τύχην].., ἣ νῦν ἐπέχει D. 18.253; ἐτησίων ἐπεχόντων Plb. 5.5.6. of Time, continue, τὴν θύραν ἐπεῖχε κρούων Ar. Ec. 317; ἐπέχων καὶ οὐκ ἀνιείς continuously, Pl. Tht. 165e; ἐπὶ πλείους ἡμέρας ὁ σεισμὸς ἐπεῖχεν D.C. 68.25; σκότος, νὺξ ἐπέσχε, came on, Plu. Mar. 20, Crass. 30, etc. Med., fut. ἐπιέξομαι, meet, Orac. in Michel 855.39 (Magn. Mae.).

Thayer's Expanded Definition

ἐπέχω; imperfect ἐπειχον; 2 aorist ἐπέσχον;

1. to have or hold upon, apply: namely, τόν νοῦν, to observe, attend to, followed by an indirect question, Luke 14:7; τίνι, dative of person, to give attention to one, Acts 3:5; 1 Timothy 4:16 (with the dative of a thing, Sir. 31:2 (Sir. 34:2); 2 Macc. 9:25; Polybius 3, 43, 2, etc.; fully ὀφθαλμόν τίνι, Lucian, dial. mar. 1, 2).

2. to hold toward, hold forth, present: λόγον ζωῆς, as a light, by which illumined ye are the lights of the world, Philippians 2:16 (others besides, cf. Meyer or Ellicott at the passage).

3. to check ((cf. English hold up), German anhalten): namely, ἐμαυτόν, to delay, stop, stay, Acts 19:22, and in Greek writings from Homer down; (cf. Winers Grammar, § 38, 1; Buttmann, 144 (126); Fritzsche on Sir. 5:1).

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
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Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament

ἐπ -έχω ,

[in LXX for H2308, etc.; also Sirach 8:1; Sirach 34:2, 2 Maccabees 5:25; 2 Maccabees 9:25, al.;]

1. to hold upon.

2. Like παρέχω (as in Hom., al.), to hold out, offer: λόγον ζωῆς , Philippians 2:16.

3. to hold or direct towards, Sc.νοῦν ;

(a) absol., to intend, purpose;

(b) to observe, give attention to (v. MM, Exp., xiv): seq. πῶς , Luke 14:7; c. dat. pers., Acts 3:5, 1 Timothy 4:16.

4. to stay, wait: Acts 19:22 (in legal phrase, MM, Exp., l.c.).†

Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament.
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
Vocabulary of the Greek NT

For ἐπέχω, ";fix attention on,"; ";pay heed,"; as in Acts 3:5, 1 Timothy 4:16, cf. P Fay 112.11 (A.D. 99) ἐπέχον τῷ δακτυλιστῇ Ζωίλωι καὶ εἵνα αὐτὸν μὴ δυσωπήσῃς, ";give heed to the measurer (?) Zoilus; don’t look askance at him,"; BGU IV. 1040.26 (ii/A.D.) οἱ γὰρ γ [ε ]ωργοὶ ἡμεῖν ἐπέχουσιν [καὶ ] κα [θ᾽ ἡ ]μῶν μέλλουσιν ἐντυν [χ ]άνει [ν. Cf. P Oxy I. 67.5 (A.D. 338) παρα [νόμω ]ς ἐπέχοντάς μου τῶν οἰκοπέδων, ";making illegal encroachments on my estates"; (Edd.). The sense of ";delay,"; ";hinder,"; is found in the legal phrase μηδενὸς ἐπεχομένου, ";if no one objects,"; or ";if there is no hindrance,"; as in P Tebt II. 327.37 (late ii/A.D.), P Oxy III. 488.43 (ii/iii A.D.). For the use of the verb in connexion with the ";suspension"; of payments, see P Tebt II. 337.4 (ii/iii A.D.) μετὰ τὰς ἀπὸ ἐποχίμων συστ [αλ (είσας)?] διὰ τὸ εἰσπ (ραχθῆναι) πρὸ τοῦ ἐπισχεθῆναι, ";after deducting the sums which were withdrawn from the category of suspended payments because they were collected before they were suspended"; (Edd.), and P Giss I. 48.11 (A.D. 202–3) with the editor’s note : cf. also P Tebt II. 336.13 (c. A.D. 190) of lands ἐν ἐποχῇ, i.e. lands on which the collection of rents had been suspended, owing to their having been flooded and rendered useless. So P Giss I. 8.13 (A.D. 119) ἀξιῶν ἐπισχεθ ̣ ̣ν ̣α ̣ι ̣ τὴν πρᾶσιν μέχρι ἂν περὶ τούτου κρι ̣θ ̣ῶμεν, ";asking that the sale should be stopped until a decision had been given in this matter."; The meaning of ";wait,"; as in Acts 19:22, may be illustrated from P Lille I. 26.7 (iii/B.C.) πεερὶ (l. περὶ) δὲ τούτου τοῦ μέρους δεήσει ἐπισχεῖν [ἕως ἂν ] μάθωμεν, ";wait until we learn,"; and the curious love-charm, Preisigke 4947.15 (iii/A.D.), where the petitioner prays that the lady of his affections should be led to love him—καὶ μὴ ἐπ ̣εχ ̣έτω μίαν ὥραν, ἕως ἔλθῃ πρὸς ἐμὲ. . . εἰς τὸν ἅπαντα χρόνον, ";and let her not wait one hour, until she come to me for all time"; : cf. also P Petr II. 20 i. 15 (B.C. 252) ἐπεὶ καὶ αὐτὸς ἔπεσχον τοῦ ἐντυχεῖν, ";wherefore I also refrained from meeting him"; (see ib. III. p. 77), P Flor II. 151.13 (A.D. 267) μέλλων γὰρ στρατιώτης πέμπεσθαι ἐπ᾽ αὐτοὺς ἐγὼ ἔπεσχον. None of the above citations can be said to throw any fresh light on the use of the verb in Philippians 2:16, but it may be noted that against the translation ";holding forth"; (AV, RV : cf. Hom. Od. xvi. 444 cited by Moule CGT ad l.), Field (Notes, p. 193 f.) brings forward a number of exx. from late Greek in support of rendering λόγον ἐπέχω τινός = ";correspond,"; ";play the part of,"; and hence translates ";being in the stead of life to it (sc. the world)."; On the other hand, evidence can be quoted for ἐπέχω = a strengthened ἔχω, as Plut. Oth. 17 τὴν πόλιν ἐπεῖχε κλαυθμός (see Haupt in Meyer .9 ad l.), and hence the translation ";holding fast the word of life."; It may be added that in Att. xiii. 21. 3 Cicero objects to inhibere as a rendering of ἐπέχειν, on the ground that inhibere, as a term used in rowing, = ";to back water,"; whereas ἐπέχειν = ";to hold oneself balanced between two opinions"; : see Tyrrell Cicero in his Letters, p. 242.


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.
List of Word Forms
επειχεν επείχεν ἐπεῖχεν επέσχε επεσχεν ἐπέσχεν επέσχον επεχε επέχε ἔπεχε επέχει επεχοντες επέχοντες ἐπέχοντες επεχων επέχων ἐπέχων επήκοα επήλυτος επίσχες επίσχης επίσχω επισχών epeche épeche epechon epechōn epéchon epéchōn epechontes epéchontes epeichen epeîchen epeschen epéschen
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