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Old / New Testament Greek Lexical Dictionary

Entry for Strong's #5348 - φθάνω

Word Origin
apparently a primary verb
Parts of Speech
Word Definition [ Thayer | Strong | Mounce ]
Thayer's Definition
  1. to come before, precede, anticipate
  2. to come to, arrive at
  3. to reach, attain to
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 553 ‑ אָמֵץ (aw‑mats');  1692 ‑ דָּבַק (daw‑bak');  3013 ‑ יָגָה (yaw‑gaw');  4291 ‑ מְטָה (met‑aw', met‑aw');  5060 ‑ נָגַע (naw‑gah');  
Frequency Lists  [ Book | Word | Parsing ]
Verse Results
KJV (7) NAS (7) HCS (7)
Matthew 1
Luke 1
Romans 1
2 Corinthians 1
Philippians 1
1 Thessalonians 2
Matthew 1
Luke 1
Romans 1
2 Corinthians 1
Philippians 1
1 Thessalonians 2
Matthew 1
Luke 1
Romans 1
2 Corinthians 1
Philippians 1
1 Thessalonians 2
V-AAI-1P 2
V-AAI-3S 4
V-AAS-1P 1
V-AAI-1P 2
V-AAI-3S 4
V-AAS-1P 1
V-AAI-1P 2
V-AAI-3S 4
V-AAS-1P 1
V-AAI-3S 1
V-AAI-1P 3
V-AAI-3S 6
V-AAS-1P 1

Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions


Il. 9.506, impf. ἔφθανον X. HG 6.2.30, AP 9.272 (Bianor): fut. φθήσομαι Il. 23.444, Th. 5.10, Pl. R. 375c, etc.; but φθάσω [ ] Hp. Morb. 3.13 (s. v. l.), X. Cyr. 5.4.38: aor. ἔφθᾰσα Hdt. 7.161, A. Pers. 752 (troch.), Th. 3.49, X. Cyr. 7.1.19, etc.; imper. φθάσον J. AJ 6.11.7; opt. 3 sg. φθάσειε Isoc. 8.120, pl. φθάσειαν X. HG 7.2.14 (this tense prevails in later Gk., Plb. 3.66.1, etc.); Dor. ἔφθασσα Theoc. 2.115: but the only aor. is ἔφθην, not found in A. or S., but the more usual form in E. and Ar., less freq. in Th., X., D.; pl. ἔφθημεν, -ητε, -ησαν, E. Ph. 1468, Isoc. 5.7, Antipho 2.2.5, pl.3 φθάν Il. 11.51; subj. φθῶ, Ephesians 3:1-21 sg. φθήῃ, φθῇσιν, 16.861, 23.805; Ephesians 1:1-23 pl. φθέωμεν Od. 16.383; 3 pl. φθέωσι 24.437; opt. φθαίην, Ephesians 3:1-21 sg. φθαίησι (παρα-) Il. 10.346; inf. φθῆναι Hdt. 6.115, Th. 4.4; part. φθάς Hdt. 3.71; part. Med. φθάμενος Il. 5.119, al., Hes. Op. 554: pf. ἔφθᾰκα Philipp. ap. D. 18.39, LXX 2 Chronicles 28:9, IG 12 9).906.26 (Chalcis, iii A. D.); πέφθακα Ps.-Callisth. 2.10 (v. l): plpf. ἐφθάκει Plu. Galb. 17, Luc. Philops. 6: Pass., Arist. Mu. 395a18: impf. ἐφθάνετο AP 9.278 (Bianor); ἐφθάνοντο J. BJ 5.2.4 (v.l. ἐφονεύοντο): aor. ἐφθάσθην D.H. 6.25, Epigr.Gr. 315 (Smyrna), IPE 2.197 (Panticapaeum, ii A. D.), J. AJ 8.12.4. Gal. 4.560. [ φθᾰνω always in Att. (so also in AP 9.272 (Bianor), APl. 4.382, 384); φθᾱνω in Il. 9.506, 21.262 (where Zenod. read φθανέει for φθάνει)]:

come or do first or before others:

I c. acc. pers., to be beforehand with, overtake, outstrip, in running or otherwise, φθάνει δέ τε καὶ τὸν ἄγοντα Il. 21.262; φθῆ σε τελος θανάτοιο 11.451, cf. Hes. Op. 554, 570, Hdt. 7.161, E. Heracl. 120, IT 669, Isoc. 9.42, etc.; οὐ μὴ φθάσωμεν τοὺς κοιμηθέντας 1 Thessalonians 4:15; so ἔφθησαν τὸν χειμῶνα they anticipated the storm, Hdt. 7.188; φθάσας τὸν λογισμόν D. 21.38: Pass., to be overtaken, ὑπό τινος Arist. Mu. 395a18, AP 9.278 (Bianor); ἐφθάσθην (v. supr.).

II abs., come or act first, opp. ὑστερέω or ὑστερίζω, E. Ph. 975, X. An. 6.1.18, cf. Th. 4.121; τοῦ φθάσαντος ἁρπαγή the prey of the first comer, A. Pers. 752 (troch.), cf. Fr. 23 (lyr.); πρὶν ἐλθεῖν αὐτοὺς φθάσαι βουλόμενοι Th. 7.36; μὴ φθάσῃ ἐς τὸν Ἑλλήσποντον ἐσπλεύσας Id. 8, 100; φθάσαι πρὶν ἀδικηθῆναι Arist. Pol. 1302b23, cf. Rh. 1373a23; in later writers, τὰ φθάσαντα the things before mentioned, Ael. VH 1.34, Arg. D. 46; part. φθάνων, φθάσας previous, τῶν φθασάντων δυεῖν βιβλίων Porph. Abst. 3.1; ἐν τοῖς φθάνουσιν ἔργοις Dex.Hist. Fr. 26 J.; τοῖς φθάνουσι κατορθώμασι Id. Fr. 6 J.; οἱ φθάσαντες πόνοι Agath. 5.16; τὸ φθάνον previous time, Ael. VH 14.6; τὸ φθάσαν, τὰ φθάσαντα, the past, Agath. 3.2, al., Procop.Gaz. 32; ὁ φθάσας χρόνος Men. Prot. p.127 D.

2. with Preps., come or arrive first, ἕως τῶν οὐρανῶν LXX 2 Chronicles 28:9; ἔφθασεν ἐφ' ὑμᾶς Matthew 12:28, Luke 11:20; 1 Thessalonians 2:16 : φ. εἰς.., simply, arriveat, attain to, Romans 9:31, Philippians 3:16, Plu. 2.338a; φθάσομεν εἰς Πηλούσι[ον] PPar. 18.14 (ii A. D.): abs., of Time, arrive, καιρὸς τῆς τομῆς ἔφθακε (v.l. ἔφθασεν) LXX Ca. 2.12; ἔφθασεν ὁ μὴν ὁ ἕβδομος ib. 2 Esdras 3:1. extend, μέχρι γῆς Plot. 3.27; εἰς βορρᾶν PFlor. 50.87 (iii A. D.). reach, αἰθέρα APl. 4.384. Gramm., to be applied or applicable, ἐπ' ἀμφοτέρας τὰς διαθέσεις A.D. Synt. 211.22, cf. 217.23, al.

III the action in which one is beforehand is expressed by the part. agreeing with the subject, [ Ἄτη] πολλὸν ὑπεκπροθέει, φθάνει δέ τε πᾶσαν ἐπ' αἶαν βλάπτουσ' ἀνθρώπους and is beforehand in doing men mischief, Il. 9.506; ἀλλ' ἄρα μιν φθῆ Τηλέμαχος κατόπισθε βαλών Telemachus was beforehand with him in striking, i.e. struck first, Od. 22.91, cf. 16.383, Il. 10.368; ἔφθασέν με προαπελθὼν Χάρμος PCair.Zen. 16.3 (iii B. C.); ἔφθησαν ἀπικόμενοι arrived first, Hdt. 4.136, cf. 6.115; so φ. εὐεργετῶν to be the first to show a kindness, X. Mem. 2.3.14; ὅπως φθάσειαν βοηθήσαντες Id. HG 7.2.14; ἔφθασαν προκαταλαβόντες Th. 3.112; φθάνουσιν αὐτοὺς προκαταφυγοῦσαι Id. 2.91; ἢν φθάσωσιν πρότερον διαφθείραντες τὸ στράτευμα Id. 7.25; φ. γόνασι προσπεσὼν πατρός E. HF 986, etc: part. Pass. is also used, ἦ κε πολὺ φθαίη πόλις ἁλοῦσα, i.e. it would be taken first, Il. 13.815; εἴ κε φθήῃ τυπείς shall be wounded first, 16.861; φθαίητε γὰρ ἂν.. ἐξανδραποδισθέντες ἣ.. Hdt. 6.108; μὴ φθάσωσι προεπιβουλευόμενοι Th. 3.83; ἔφθη κατακωλυθείς X. HG 1.6.17; φθάνειν δεῖ πεφραγμένους τοὶς πόρους they must first be blocked up, Id. Cyr. 2.4.25: these clauses, being compar. in sense, are folld. by a gen., φθὰν δὲ μέγ' ἱππήων.. κοσμηθέντες were drawn up before the drivers, Il. 11.51; more freq. by πρὶν.. or .., ἔφθη ὀρεξάμενος, πρὶν οὐτάσαι 16.322, cf. Antipho 1.29, X. Cyr. 3.2.4; φθήσονται τούτοισι πόδες καὶ γοῦνα καμόντα ἢ ὑμῖν Il. 23.444; ἔφθης πεζὸς ἰὼν ἢ ἐγὼ σὺν νηΐ Od. 11.58; ἔφθησαν ἀναβάντες πρὶν ἢ.. Hdt. 9.70; ἔφθησαν ἐκπεσόντες πρότερον ἢ.. Id. 6.91. in later Gr., c. part. to express previous action or happening, φθάνω ὑμῖν πρότερον γεγραφηκώς I have already written to you, POxy. 1666.3 (iii A. D.), cf. 237 vi30 (ii A. D.), etc.; ἔφθασα εἰρηκώς Luc. Pisc. 29; ὡς ἔφθην εἰπών Id. Par. 3; cf. 111.2b.

2. in the same sense, part. φθάς or φθάσας, φθάμενος, is used like an Adv. with a principal Verb, ὅς μ' ἔβαλε φθάμενος, for ὅς μ' ἔφθη βαλών, Il. 5.119, cf. 13.387, Od. 19.449; οὐκ ἄλλος φθὰς ἐμεῦ κατήγορος ἔσται no other shall be an accuser before me, Hdt. 3.71; ἀνέῳξάς με φθάσας you opened the door before me, Ar. Pl. 1102; φθάσας προσπεσοῦμαι Th. 5.9, cf. 2.91, X. Cyr. 1.5.3, etc.; even with a part., φθάσας.. ἁρπάσας Hdt. 6.65; rarely part. pres., φθάνοντες δῃοῦμεν X. Cyr. 3.3.18. in signf. 111.1b, φθάσαντες ἐπληρώσαμεν αὐτούς we had already paid them, POxy. 1103.6 (iv A. D.); but ὡσεὶ καὶ ὁμογενῆ φθάσας εἶπον as if I had said (not had already said) ., Gal. 16.502.

3. rarely c. inf., ὁ φθάσας θαρσῆσαι he that first gains confidence, Th. 3.82; σπεύδειν ὅπως.. φθαίης ἔτ' εἰς ἐκκλησίαν ἐλθεῖν (v.l. ἐλθών) hurry to be in time to get to.., Ar. Eq. 935 (lyr.), cf. Nu. 1384 (v. infr. IV. 1); μόλις φθάνει θρόνοισιν ἐμπεσοῦσα μὴ χαμαὶ πεσεῖν hardly manages by falling first on the seat not to fall on the ground, E. Med. 1169; more freq. in later writers, of actions which one manages to do, does before or has done first or already, A.R. 1.1189, D.H. 4.59, 61, Sor. 1.111, Gal. 15.2,93, Luc. DMort. 13.2, Harm. 2; ἐὰν φθάσω πρὸ τῆς τρύγης ἀνελθεῖν PSI 8.971.10 (iii/iv A. D.); ἐὰν ὁ ἰατρὸς αὐτὸ φθάσῃ κενῶσαι Gal. 16.499; φθάνοντος ἤδη πυρέττειν ἐκ τεττάρων ἡμερῶν τοῦ νοσοῦντος having already begun, ib.498; μὴ φθάνων προσηκόντως τρέφεσθαι if he is not first suitably nourished, Id. 18(2).36, cf. 84,103; συμβαίνει φθάνειν ἀποθνῄσκειν τοὺς νεωτέρους the young die first, ib.222; εἰ φθάσαιμεν παλαιοὺς πίθους ἔχειν μεγάλους if we already have.., Gp. 6.3.11, cf. 10.22.2, al., A.D. Pron. 90.1; ἔφθακεν οὖν ταῦτα ἐψηφίσθαι καὶ τῇ βουλῇ IG 12(9).906.26 (Chalcis, iii A. D.).

with negatives,

1 with οὐ and part. (inf. is v. l. in Ar. Nu. 1384), folld. by καί or καὶ εὐθύς, of two actions following close on each other, οὐ φθάνειν χρὴ συσκιάζοντας γένυν καὶ.. ὁρμᾶν you must no sooner get your beard than you march, E. Supp. 1219; οὐ φθάνει ἐξαγόμενος καὶ εὐθὺς ὅμοιός ἐστι τοῖς ἀκαθάρτοις no sooner is he brought out than he becomes unclean, X. Eq. 5.10, cf. Ar. Nu. 1384; οὐκ ἔφθημεν εἰς Τροιζῆν' ἐλθόντες καὶ τοιαύταις νόσοις ἐλήφθημεν ἐξ ὧν.. no sooner had we come to Troezen than.., Isoc. 19.22, cf. 5.53, 8.98, 9.53; οὐκ ἔφθη μοι συμβᾶσα ἡ ἀτυχία καὶ εὐθὺς ἐπεχείρησαν διαφορῆσαι τἄνδοθεν scarcely or no sooner had misfortune befallen me when.., D. 57.65, cf. 43.69, Isoc. 4.86.

2. οὐκ ἂν φθάνοις, οὐκ ἂν φθάνοιτε, with part. pres., express a strong exhortation or urgent command, οὐκ ἂν φθάνοιτε τὴν ταχίστην ὀπίσω ἀπαλλασσόμενοι you could not be too quick in departing, i.e. make haste and be off, Hdt. 7.162; οὐ φθάνοιτ' ἔτ' ἄν θνῄσκοντες make haste and die, E. Or. 936, cf. 941, Alc. 662, Heracl. 721, Tr. 456 (troch.), IT 245; οὐκ ἂν φθάνοιτον τοῦτο πράττοντε Ar. Pl. 485; ἀποτρέχων οὐκ ἂν φθάνοις ib. 1133; εἰς ἀγορὰν ἰὼν ταχέως οὐκ ἂν φθάνοις ib. 874, cf. Ec. 118; οὐκ ἂν φθάνοις λέγων Pl. Smp. 185e, X. Mem. 2.3.11; these phrases are not to be treated as questions, cf. οὐκ ἂν φθάνοιμι (sc. λέγων) Pl. Smp. 214e, cf. Phd. 100c, D. 25.40, Luc. Fug. 26, Symp. 2, Anach. 14: c. part. aor., once in Luc., Vit.Auct. 26. in 1, 2, or 3 pers., to express immediate futurity, οὐκ ἂν φθάνοις ἀκούων you shall hear in a moment, Pl. Euthd. 272d; οὐκ ἂν φθάνοι τὸ πλῆθος τούτοις τοῖς θηρίοις δουλεῦον will soon (or inevitably) be enslaved to.., D. 24.143; also to express what is logically inevitable, οὐκ ἂν φθάνοιεν αὐτοὺς προσκυνοῦντες they will soon be (or cannot logically help) worshipping them, Aristeas 137; τοῦτο μὲν οὐκ ἂν φθάνοις καὶ Ἐμπεδοκλεῖ πρὸ αὐτοῦ ἐγκαλῶν Luc. Fug. 2; οὐκ ἂν φθάνοι κἀμὲ μάντιν λέγων Id. Hes. 8; οὐκ ἂν φθάνοι τις ἁπάσας ἀναιρῶν τὰς τοιαύτας προστασίας Id. Apol. 11: c. part. aor., Id. Tox. 2.

Thayer's Expanded Definition

φθάνω: 1 aorist ἔφθασα (Winer's Grammar, § 15 under the word); perfect ἐφθακα (1 Thessalonians 2:16 L text WH marginal reading); from Homer down;

1. to come before, precede, anticipate: ἡμεῖς οὐ μή φθάσωμεν (see μή, IV. 2) τούς κοιμηθέντας, we shall not get the start of those who have fallen asleep, i. e. we shall not attain to the fellowship of Christ sooner than the dead, nor have precedence in blessedness, 1 Thessalonians 4:15; ἔφθασεν ἐπ' αὐτούς ὀργή, (God's penal) wrath came upon them unexpectedly, 1 Thessalonians 2:16; ἔφθασεν ἐφ' ὑμᾶς βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ, the kingdom of God has come upon you sooner than you expected, Matthew 12:28; Luke 11:20; (but all the preceding examples except the first are referred by the majority of recent interpretations to the following heading; — a meaning especially common when the verb is construed with prepositions).

2. in the Alex. (and other later) writings the idea of priority disappears, to come to, arrive at: εἰς τί, Philippians 3:16; to reach, attain to, a thing, Romans 9:31; ἄχρι τίνος, 2 Corinthians 10:14; (τίνι, to a thing, Tobit 5:19; ἕως τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, Test xii. Patr., p. 530 (i. e. test. Rub. 5 at the end); μεγαλωσύνη σου ἐμεγαλύνθη καί ἔφθασεν εἰς τόν οὐρανόν, Daniel 4:19, Theod. (cf. 17, 25; φθάνειν ἕως τῶν οὐρανῶν, 2 Chronicles 28:9; ἔφθασεν μήν ἕβδομος, 2 Esdr. 3:1; Philo de mund. opif. § 1; de legg. alleg. 3:76; de confus. lingg. § 29; Plutarch, apotheg. Lacon. § 28; de Alex. s. virt. s. fort. orat. 2:5. Cf. Sophocles Lexicon, under the word; Geldart, Modern Greek, p. 206; Winer's Grammar, § 2, 1 b.)). (Compare: προφθάνω.)

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

φθάνω ,

[in LXX for H5060 hi., H4291, etc.;]

1. to come before another, anticipate (cl.): c. acc pers., 1 Thessalonians 4:15.

2. In late writers and MGr. (v. Kennedy, Sources, 156; Lft., Notes, 35), to come, arrive: Romans 9:31; seq. εἰς , Philippians 3:16; ἄχρι , 2 Corinthians 10:14; ἐπί (cf. Da TH Daniel 4:21, and v. Dalman, Words, 107), Matthew 12:28, Luke 11:20, 1 Thessalonians 2:16 (cf. προ -φθάνω ).†

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 the metaph. use of this verb =";puff up,"; as in 1Co. 4:6 ἵνα μὴ εἷς ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἑνὸς φυσιοῦσθε (for form, cf. Proleg. p. 54), see Cic. ad Att. v. 20. 6 πεφύσημαι. This form φυσάω occurs in Herodas II. 32 τῇ γενῇ φυσῶντες, ";priding themselves on their birth,"; and Menander Ἐπιτρέπ, 529.


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
έφθακε εφθασαμεν εφθάσαμεν ἐφθάσαμεν έφθασαν έφθασε εφθασεν έφθασεν ἔφθασεν φθάνει φθάνοντα φθάρματά φθάσας φθασωμεν φθάσωμεν φθάσωσιν ephthasamen ephthásamen ephthasen éphthasen phthasomen phthasōmen phthásomen phthásōmen
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