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Bible Lexicons

Old & New Testament Greek Lexical DictionaryGreek Lexicon

Strong's #536 - ἀπαρχή

from a compound of (G575) and (G756)
Parts of Speech
Noun Feminine
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  1. to offer firstlings or firstfruits
  2. to take away the firstfruits of the productions of the earth which was offered to God. The first portion of the dough, from which sacred loaves were to be prepared. Hence term used of persons consecrated to God for all time.
  3. persons superior in excellence to others of the same class
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 2459 ‑ חֶלֶב (kheh'‑leb, khay'‑leb);  4643 ‑ מַעַשְׂרָה (mah‑as‑ayr', mah‑as‑ar', mah‑as‑raw');  7225 ‑ רֵאשִׁית (ray‑sheeth');  8573 ‑ תְּנוּפָה (ten‑oo‑faw');  8641 ‑ תְּרֻמָה (ter‑oo‑maw', ter‑oo‑maw');  
Frequency Lists
Verse Results
KJV (8)
Romans 3
1 Corinthians 3
James 1
Revelation 1
NAS (16)
Romans 6
1 Corinthians 6
James 2
Revelation 2
HCS (9)
Romans 3
1 Corinthians 3
2 Thessalonians 1
James 1
Revelation 1
BSB (8)
Romans 3
1 Corinthians 3
James 1
Revelation 1
ESV (8)
Romans 3
1 Corinthians 3
James 1
Revelation 1
WEB (8)
Romans 4
1 Corinthians 2
James 1
Revelation 1
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions

ἀπαρχή, ἡ,

mostly in pl. ἀπαρχαί (cf. ἄπαργμα):

1 beginning of a sacrifice, primal offering (of hairs cut from the forehead), ἀπαρχαὶ κόμης E. Or. 96, cf. Ph. 1525 (lyr.); later, a banquet held on this occasion, Plu. 2.40b.

2. firstlings for sacrifice or offering, first-fruits, ἁπάντων ἀπαρχαί Hdt. 4.71; ἀπαρχὰς ἄγειν θεοῖσι S. Tr. 183; ἀπαρχὰς θύειν E. Fr. 516; ἀ. σκυλευμάτων Ph. 857; ἐπιφέρειν ἀ. τῶν ὡραίων Th. 3.58; τῶν ὄντων Isa 5.42, cf. Epicur. Fr. 130, etc.: so also in sg., λείας ἀ. S. Tr. 761; ἀ. τῶν πατρων χρημάτων Hdt. 1.92, etc.; ἀνθρώπων ἀ. εἰς Δελφοὺς ἀποστέλλειν Arist. Fr. 485; ἀ. ἀπό τινος ἀνατιθέναι Hdt. 4.88; inscribed on votive offerings, [ ἀνέθηκεν].. τόδ' α. IG 1.382, etc.; freq. in LXX, as Exodus 25:2, al., cf. Romans 11:16, and metaph., ἀ. τῶν κεκοιμημένων 1 Corinthians 15:20; τῶν κτισμάτων James 1:18.

3. metaph., ἀπαρχαὶ τῶν ἐμῶν προσφθεγμάτων E. Ion 402; ἀπαρχὴν τῆς σοφίας ἀνέθεσαν Pl. Prt. 343b, etc.; ἀ. ἀπὸ φιλοσοφίας Plu. 2.172c.

4. tax on inheritances, PTaur. 1.7.10; tax paid by Jews, Stud.Pal. 4.72 (i A. D.).

5. entrance fee, PTeb. 316.10 (i A.D.), al.

6. board of officials (cf. sq.), IG 12(8).273 (Thasos).

7. birth-certificate of a free person, PTeb. 316.10 (i A. D.), PGnom. 131 (ii A. D.): perh. metaph. in Romans 8:23.

Thayer's Expanded Definition

ἀπαρχή, ἀπαρχῆς, (from ἀπάρχομαι:

a. to offer firstlings or first-fruits;

b. to take away the first-fruits; cf. ἀπό in ἀποδεκατόω), in the Sept. generally equivalent to רֵאשִׁית; the first-fruits of the productions of the earth (both those in a natural state and those prepared for use by hand), which were offered to God; cf. Winers RWB under the word Erstlinge (BB. DD. under the word First-fruits): ἀπαρχή namely, τοῦ φυράματος, the first portion of the dough, from which sacred loaves were to be prepared (Numbers 15:19-21), Romans 11:16. Hence, in a transferred use, employed a. of persons consecrated to God, leading the rest in time: ἀπαρχή τῆς Ἀχαΐας the first person in Achaia to enroll himself as a Christian, 1 Corinthians 16:15; with εἰς Χριστόν added, Romans 16:5; with a reference to the moral creation effected by Christianity all the Christians of that age are called ἀπαρχή τίς (a kind of first-fruits) τῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ κτισμάτων, James 1:18 (see Huther at the passage) (noteworthy is εἵλατο ὑμᾶς Θεός ἀπαρχήν etc. as first-fruits] 2 Thessalonians 2:13 L Tr marginal reading WH marginal reading; Christ is called ἀπαρχή τῶν κεκοιμημένων as the first one recalled to life of them that have fallen asleep, 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23 (here the phrase seems also to signify that by his case the future resurrection of Christians is guaranteed; because the first-fruits forerun and are, as it were, a pledge and promise of the rest of the harvest).

b. of persons superior in excellence to others of the same class: so in Revelation 14:4 of a certain class of Christians sacred and dear to God and Christ beyond all others (Schol. ad Euripides, Or. 96 ἀπαρχή ἐλέγετο οὐ μόνον πρῶτον τῇ τάξει, ἀλλά καί τό πρῶτον τῇ τιμή).

c. οἱ ἔχοντες τήν ἀπαρχήν τοῦ πνεύματος who have the first-fruits (of future blessings) in the Spirit (τοῦ πνεύματος is genitive of apposition), Romans 8:23; cf. what Winer § 50, 8 a. says in opposition to those (e. g. Meyer, but see Weiss in edition 6) who take τοῦ πνεύματος as a partitive genitive, so that οἱ ἔχοντες τήν ἀπαρχήν τοῦ πνεύματος are distinguished from the great multitude who will receive the Spirit subsequently. (In Greek writings from (Sophocles) Herodotus down.)

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011 by Biblesoft, Inc.
All rights rserved. Used by permission. BibleSoft.com
Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament

ἀπ -αρχή , -ῆς ,

(< ἀπάρχομαι , to make a beginning in sacrifice, offer first fruits),

[in LXX chiefly for H8641, H7225;]

1. the beginning of a sacrifice.

2. first fruits: τοῦ φυράματος (cf. Numbers 15:20), Romans 11:16. Metaph., . τοῦ πνεύματος : Romans 8:23; of Christians: Romans 16:5; Romans 16:1 Co_16:15, 2 Thessalonians 2:13 (WH, mg., R, mg., txt., ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς ; v. Lft., Notes, 119 f.), James 1:18, Revelation 14:4; of Christ: 1 Corinthians 15:20; 1 Corinthians 15:23 (Cremer, 117; MM, VGT, s.v.).†

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

In P Tor I. 1vii. 10 (B.C. 117) the word is used for ";legacy-duty"; : see Wilcken Ostr. i. p. 345 f., Archiv iii. p. 7 f., and Mitteis in Chrest. II. p. 421. In P Tebt II. 316.10 (A.D. 99) καὶ μὴ ἀλλοτρίᾳ ἀπαρχῇ μηδὲ ὁμονυμίᾳ κεχρῆσται, the editors understand it of the ";entrance-fee"; paid by ephebi on enrolment in the Alexandrian demes, and suggest the same meaning for P Flor I. 57.81 (A.D. 166) τ ̣οῦ παι ̣δὸς ἀπαρχή, where, however, Vitelli refers it to ";la tassa di successione,"; and Wilcken (Chrest. I. p. 168) regards the sense as still obscure. See also BGU I. 30 ἡ ἀπαρχὴ Μάρκου Ἀντωνίου Διοσκύρου, and ib. IV. 1150.11 (B.C. 11) ἀνακεκόμισται δὲ ἡ Ὀπώρα παρὰ τῆ (ς) Ἀρτέμιδ (ος) ἃς ἔδωκ (εν) αὐτῇ ἐν ὑπ (αλλάγματι) ἀπαρχὰς δύο κατὰ δουλικ (ῶν) σωμάτων Δ. καὶ Ἐ. οἵας καὶ ἔλαβεν. The editor (Schubart) compares P Tebt II. 316 and the note there (see above), but observes that the meaning will not suit the present passage : neither ";legacy-duty"; nor ";entrance-fee"; will serve, nor ";an impost upon Jews."; Schubart suggests it was some pecuniary rights in these slaves which Artemis had ";deposited in pledge"; with Opora. In the Magnesian inscriptions the word is very common in the sense of a personal ";gift"; to the goddess : thus in 83, . τῆι θεᾶι Ἀρ [τέμιδι ]. It is a very old use of the word, as may be seen from the lines inscribed by an Athenian potter of vi/B.C. on a base intended for a vase (Syll 772)—Νέαρχος ἀν [ ]θηκε [ν ὁ κεραμε ]ὺς ἔργον ἀπαρχὲ [ν τ ]ἀθεναίαι. Thieme (p. 26) throws out the suggestion that this sense might possibly be recognized in Romans 8:23. From Syll we may also cite 529.24 (i/B.C.—";i.e. sacrificium,"; notes Dittenberger); 587.263 al (B.C. 329—ἐπαρχῆς, as throughout this long inscription, except in .297 : it is . τοῦ σίτου, first-fruits given to Demeter and Kore at Eleusis); 588.114 (ii/B.C.); 611.21 (ii/i B.C.—see note). So OGIS 179.12 (B.C. 95) δίδοσθαι. . κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν ἀπαρχὴν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν. . πυροῦ ἀρτά (βας) ρ ̄π ̄β ̄ ̯(182½), i.e. ½ art. of wheat for each day of the year. It is clear that the connotation ";first-fruits"; could not be pressed in our exegesis of the term when it appears in NT, apart from associations wholly outside the field surveyed in this article; and we are perhaps at liberty to render ";sacrifice"; or ";gift"; where it improves the sense. The uses of this liberty must not be discussed here. For a discussion of the word, see Gradenwitz in Berl. Philol. Woch. 1914, p. 135 ff.


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
απαρχαί απαρχαίς απαρχάς απαρχη απαρχή ἀπαρχὴ απαρχην απαρχήν ἀπαρχήν ἀπαρχὴν απαρχής απάρχου απαρχών απήρξαντο απήρξατο aparche aparchē aparchḕ aparchen aparchēn aparchḗn aparchḕn
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