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Bible Lexicons

Old & New Testament Greek Lexical DictionaryGreek Lexicon

Strong's #971 - βιάζω

from (G979)
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  1. to use force, to apply force
  2. to force, inflict violence on
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 2040 ‑ הָרַס (haw‑ras');  2388 ‑ חָזַק (khaw‑zak');  3533 ‑ כָּבַשׁ (kaw‑bash');  6113 ‑ עָצַר (aw‑tsar');  6484 ‑ פָּצַר (paw‑tsar');  6555 ‑ פָּרַץ (paw‑rats');  8610 ‑ תָּפַשׂ (taw‑fas');  
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KJV (2)
Matthew 1
Luke 1
NAS (4)
Matthew 2
Luke 2
HCS (2)
Matthew 1
Luke 1
BSB (2)
Matthew 1
Luke 1
ESV (1)
Luke 1
WEB (1)
Luke 1
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions



1. constrain, Act. once in Hom., ἦ μάλα δή με βιάζετε Od. 12.297; ἐβίασε τὴν γυναῖκά μου Alc.Com. 29: abs., εἰ πάνυ ἐβίαζον if they used force, Hp. Epid. 2.24; cf. infr. 1.2: Pass., fut. βιασθήσομαι Paus. 6.5.9: aor. ἐβιάσθην, pf. βεβίασμαι (v. infr.): to be hard pressed or overpowered, βελέεσσι βιάζεται Il. 11.589; βιάζετο γὰρ βελ. 15.727; βιασθέντες λύᾳ Pi. N. 9.14; νόσῳ Ar. Fr. 20 (= Trag.Adesp. 70); to be forced or constrained to do, c. inf., Id. Th. 890: c. acc. cogn., βιάζομαι τάδε S. Ant. 66, cf. 1073; βιασθείς Id. El. 575; ἐπεὶ ἐβιάσθη Th. 4.44; ὑπό τινος Id. 1.2; opp. ἀδικεῖσθαι, ib. 77; βιασθεὶς ἄκων ἔπραξεν D. 6.16; ἵνα ἢ συγχωρήσωσιν.. ἢ βιασθῶσιν Id. 18.175; βιαζόμενος ὑπό τινος ἐξήμαρτεν Antipho 4.4.5; βεβιασμένοι forcibly made slaves, X. Hier. 2.12; πόλεις βεβ. Id. HG 5.2.23: βιαζόμενος ὑπὸ τῆς παρούσης ἀπορίας Th. 7.67; τὸ βιασθέν those who are forced, Arist. Pol. 1255a11; of things, τοὔνειδος ὀργῇ βιασθέν forced from one by anger, S. OT 524; τὸ βεβιασμένον forced to fit a hypothesis, Arist. Metaph. 1082b2; βεβ. σχήματα forced figures of speech, D.H. Th. 33, cf. Porph. Antr. 36.

2. Act., make good, suffice to discharge a debt, PFlor. 56.13.

II more freq. βιάζομαι, aor. Med. ἐβιασάμην, pf. βεβίασμαι D. 19.206, Men. Sam. 63, D.C. 46.45:

1. overpower by force, press hard, ἦ μάλα δή σε βιάζεται ὠκὺς Ἀχιλλεύς Il. 22.229, etc.; β. τοὺς πολεμίους dislodge them, X. An. 1.4.5; β. νόμους to do them violence, Th. 8.53; βιασάμενος ταῦτα πάντα having broken through all these restraints, Lys. 6.52; β. γυναῖκα force her, Ar. Pl. 1092; opp. πείθειν, Lys. 1.32; β. αὑτόν lay violent hands on oneself, Pl. Phd. 61c, 61d; β. τινά, c. inf., force one to do, X. An. 1.3.1; τί με βιάζεσθε λέγειν; Arist. Fr. 44: with inf. omitted, β. τὰ σφάγια force the victims [ to be favourable ], Hdt. 9.41; β. ἄστρα Theoc. 22.9: c. dupl. acc., αὐδῶ πόλιν σε μὴ β. τόδε A. Th. 1047.

2. c. acc. rei, carry by force, βιάσασθαι τὸν ἔκπλουν force an exit, Th. 7.72; τὴν ἀπόβασιν Id. 4.11: c. acc. neut., And. 4.17, X. HG 5.3.12.

3. abs., act with violence, use force, A. Pr. 1010, Ag. 1509 (lyr.), S. Aj. 1160, etc.; πρὸς τὸ λαμπρὸν ὁ φθόνος βιάζεται Trag.Adesp. 547.12; opp. δικάζομαι, Th. 1.77; β. διὰ φυλάκων force one's way, Id. 7.83; β. ἐς τὸ ἔξω, β. εἴσω, ib. 69, X. Cyr. 3.3.69; δρόμῳ β. Th. 1.63: c. inf., β. πρὸς τὸν λόφον ἐλθεῖν Id. 7.79; βιαζόμενοι βλάπτειν using every effort to hurt me, Lys. 9.16; but βιαζόμενοιμὴ ἀποδιδόναι refusing with violence to repay, X. HG 5.3.12: esp. in part., ἵνα βιασάμενοι ἐκπλεύσωσι may sail out by forcing their way, Th. 7.67; συνεξέρχονται βιασάμενοι X. An. 7.8.11; ἐπὶ μᾶλλον ἔτι β. (of a famine) grow worse and worse, Hdt. 1.94.

4. contend or argue vehemently, c. inf., Pl. Sph. 246b; β. τὸ μὴ ὂν ὡς ἔστι κατά τι ib. 241d: abs., persist in assertion, D. 21.205.

Thayer's Expanded Definition

βιάζω: (βία); to use force, to apply force; τινα, to force, inflict violence on, one; the active is very rare and almost exclusively poetic (from Homer down); passive (Buttmann, 53 (46)) in Matthew 11:12 βασιλεία τοῦ οὐρανοῦ βιάζεται, the kingdom of heaven is taken by violence, carried by storm, i. e. a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought for with the most ardent zeal and the intensest exertion; cf. Xenophon, Hell. 5, 2, 15 (23) πόλεις τάς βεβιασμενας; (but see Weiss, James Morison, Norton, in the place cited). The other explanation: the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence namely, from its enemies, agrees neither with the time when Christ spoke the words, nor with the context; cf. Fritzsche, DeWette, Meyer, at the passage, middle, βιάζομαι followed by εἰς τί to force one's way into a thing, (ἐς τήν Ποτιδαιαν, Thucydides 1, 63; ἐς τό ἔξω, 7, 69; εἰς τήν παρεμβολήν, Polybius 1, 74, 5; εἰς τά ἐντός, Philo, vit. Moys. i., § 19; εἰς τό στρατόπεδον, Plutarch, Otho 12, etc.): εἰς τήν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, to get a share in the kingdom of God by the utmost earnestness and effort, Luke 16:16. (Compare: παραβιάζομαι.)

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


(< βία ), and depon. -ομαι ,

[in LXX for H6555, H6484, etc.;]

to force, constrain, rare in act. (poët. and late prose), but found in cl. in pass., and so perh. βιάζεται , suffereth violence, Matthew 11:12, EV (but v. infr.), whether

(a) in good sense, of disciples (Thayer, al.), or

(b) in bad sense, of the enemies of the kingdom (Meyer, in l; Dalman, Words, 139 ff.; Cremer, 141 ff.). Mid., advanceth violently, Mt, l.c. (Deiss., BS., 258; Banks, v. ref. in DCG, ii, 803 f.); seq. εἰς , to press violently, or force one's way into, Luke 16:16 (v. ICC, in l, and in Mt, l.c.; cf. παραβιάζομαι and v. MM, 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

The verb is common, and its compounds ἀπο -, κατα - and εἰσ - can be quoted; but there seems little that promises decisive help for the difficult Logion of Matthew 11:12 = Luke 16:16. That in the former βιάζεται can be passive, as all the ancient versions assume, may be illustrated by such evidence as P Oxy II. 294.16 (A.D. 22) ἐγὼ δὲ βιάζομαι ὑπὸ φίλω [ν . Cf. βιάζομαι τάδε in Sophocles (Ant. 66), ";I am forced to it."; In the same direction tend the passages quotable for a transitive use of the middle. So P Giss I. 19.13 (ii/A.D.), if rightly supplemented, [γ ]ευστος ἐκοιμώμην [ἕως ὁ π ]α ̣τήρ μου εἰσελθὼν ἐβιάσατό [με , ";made me take food";; P Amh II. 35.17 (B.C. 132) βιασάμενος αὐτοὺς ἐπὶ τῆς ἅλω , ";compelled them to go to the threshing-floor"; (Edd.), P Lond 1171 verso (c).9 (A.D. 42) βεβιασμένος τινά , P Magd 27.4 (B.C. 218) βιάζεταί με πλίνθον προσ [ ]γων καὶ θεμέλιον σκάπτων ὥστε οἰκοδομεῖν . The middle can however be used absolutely, = come forward violently or enter by force. Deissmann (BS, p. 258) supports this by Syll 633.8 (imperial period), where in the epigraphic regulations for the sanctuary of Men Tyrannus it is laid down—ἐὰν δέ τις βιάσηται , ἀπρόσδεκτος ἡ θυσία παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ . It must be admitted that Deissmann’s second translation above is as preferable for this inscr. as the first is for Mt l. c. if the verb must be middle : one who supports either of these renderings would still have to illustrate the application of the verb to something abstract or impersonal. There are many other citations available for the absolute use. Putting first those where no εἰς follows, we have Syll 418.24 (A.D. 238) ἐπεὶ δὲ κατὰ καιροὺς εἰς ὕβριν (?) προχωρεῖν τινὲς καὶ βιάζεσθαι (= use violence) ἤρξαντο , ib. 893.4 (ii/A.D.) εἴ τις παρὰ τὴν βούλησιν Πυθίδος βιασάμενος (= by force) ἀνοίξῃ τὴν καμἁραν , JHS xxxiv. p. 1 ff. (inscrr. from Lycia), no. 43.5 ὁ βιασάμενος of one who has forcibly entered a tomb (cf. 45.6 εἰ δέ τις ἐκβιάσηται ). (From literature may be added Demosthenes Callicl. 17 (p. 1276) κἂν βιάσηταί ποτε , ἀποφράττειν ἅπαντες καὶ παροικοδομεῖν εἰώθαμεν , ";when it [the flood water] forces its way.";) So in the papyri P Magd 1.17 (B.C. 221) περὶ δὲ τοῦ βεβιασμένους [αὐ ]τ ̣οὺς κατεσπαρκέναι , ";quant à la contrainte imposée par eux pour les semailles"; (Edd.), P Tebt I. 6.31 (B.C. 140–39) τινὰς δὲ καὶ βιαζομέν [ου ]ς , ";some who even take forcible possession"; (Edd.), P Flor III. 382.54 (A.D. 222–3) ἐπὶ οὖν ὁ πραγματικὸς ἐπὶ τῶν τόπων εἰσχυ ̣ει βιάσ ̣ασθαι , and PSI II. 120.50 (? iv/A.D.) εὐμετάβολος γὰρ ὁ θεός . πεῖσαι ζήτει , μὴ βιάσασθαι · ὁ μὲν γὰρ βιασάμενος ἐχθρός , ὁ δὲ πείσας σοφός . This last, however, implies an object. D. S. Sharp, Epictetus and the NT, p. 67, cites a good parallel from Epict. iv. 7. 20 f. : ἀποκλεισμὸς ἐμοὶ οὐ γίνεται , ἀλλὰ τοῖς βιαζομένοις . διὰ τί οὖν οὐ βιάζομαι ; ";those who (try to) force their way in,"; as he rightly renders. This meaning of forcible entry is more precisely expressed with εἰς , or by the compound, as is seen from Grimm’s illustrations of Lk l. c., and by P Tor I. 1x. 2 (B.C. 116) (= Chrest. II. p. 39) εἴπαμεν τῶι μὲν Ἑρμίαι μὴ εἰσβιάζεσθαι , τοῖς δὲ περὶ τὸν Ὧρον κρατεῖν , P Leid G.18 (i/B.C.) μη [θ ]ενὶ ἐξεῖναι εἰσβιάζεσθαι εἰς αὐτ [ ]ν , BGU III. 1004 i. 11 (iii/B.C.) ἀφ᾽ οὗ χρόνου εἰσβεβίασται . It is at least clear that Luke’s Logion can be naturally rendered ";everyone is entering it violently."; It may be added that β . in the middle may be followed by an infin. Thus in Arrian’s account of Alexander’s death we find βιάσασθαι ἰδεῖν . Similarly in P Ryl I. 24.11 (Homeric scholia—i/A.D.) ]ὰν τὰ ἑαυτοῦ [ἀπολιπὼν ] ἅρματα . . . [ἐφ᾽ ἑτέρων ἐπι ]βῆναι βιάζη [ται . With the transitive exx. above will go the acc. et inf. constr. in Michel 1010.33 (i/B.C. init.) βιασαμένων δὲ αὐτὸν τῶν τεχνιτῶν πάλιν τὸ τέταρτον ὑπομεῖναι ἐπιμελητήν .

[Supplemental from 1930 edition]

For the difficult βιάζεται in Matthew 11:12, see Exp T xxviii, p. 101 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
βιαζεται βιάζεται βιάζη βιασάμενος βιάση βιασώμεθα εβιάσατο biazetai biázetai
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