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Old / New Testament Greek Lexical Dictionary

Entry for Strong's #5586 - ψῆφος

Word Origin
from the same as (5584)
Parts of Speech
Noun Feminine
Word Definition [ Thayer | Strong | Mounce ]
Thayer's Definition
  1. a small worn smooth stone, a pebble
    1. in the ancient courts of justice the accused were condemned by black pebbles and the acquitted by white
  2. a vote (on account of the use of pebbles in voting)
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 2687 ‑ חָצָץ (khaw‑tsawts');  2808 ‑ חֶשְׁבּוֹן (khesh‑bone');  6864 ‑ צֹר (tsore);  
Frequency Lists  [ Book | Word | Parsing ]
Verse Results
KJV (3) NAS (3) HCS (3)
Acts 1
Revelation 1
Acts 1
Revelation 1
Acts 1
Revelation 2

Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions


Dor. ψᾶφος, Aeol. ψᾶφαξ, ἡ, gen. pl. ψηφάων Man. 4.448: (ψάω):

a small round worn stone, pebble, ψᾶφος ἑλισσομένα Pi. O. 10(11).9; οὐκ ἂν εἰδείην λέγειν ποντιᾶν ψάφων ἀριθμόν ib. 13.46; ψήφῳ μούνῃ διατετρανέεις, opp. μόγις ἂν λίθῳ παίσας διαρρήξειας, Hdt. 3.12; ψ. ἄμμου a grain of sand, LXX Si. 18.10.

2. precious stone, gem, Philostr. VA 3.27; esp. worn in a ring, Luc. DMeretr. 9.

II acc. to the various uses made of such pebbles:

1 pebble used for reckoning, counter, λογίζεσθαι ψήφοις calculate or reckon by abacus, cipher, Hdt. 2.36, etc.: hence to reckon exactly or accurately, opp. ἀπὸ χειρὸς λ., Ar. V. 656 (anap.); οὐ τιθεὶς ψήφους D. 18.229; ἐν ψήφῳ λέγειν A. Ag. 570; ἐν ψήφου λόγῳ θέσθαι E. Rh. 309: metaph., ταῖς τοῦ συμφέροντος ψήφοις μετρεῖν τὰς ἔχθρας καὶ τὰς φιλίας Plb. 2.47.5: hence ψῆφος itself for a cipher, number, πὸτ ἄρτιον (sc. ἀριθμὸν) ποτθέμειν.. ψᾶφον Epich. 170: pl., accounts, καθαραὶ ψ., where there is an exact balance, D. 18.227; οἱ περὶ τὰς ψ. calculators, Alciphr. 1.26; ψήφων ἄπειρος Plu. 2.812e; δακτυλικὴ ψ. reckoning on the fingers, AP 11.290 (Pall.); of astrological calculations, Vett.Val. 10.15, al. in Magic, κατέχων τὴν ψ. (i. e. the object on which the number is written) λέγε.. PMag.Par. 1.1048, cf. 937.

2. pebble used for a draughts- or chess-man, Pl. R. 487c; κύβος ἐν παιδιᾷ ψήφων Plu. 2.427f. pebble used by jugglers, ψηφάων παῖκται Man. 4.448.

3. pebble used in divination, ἡ διὰ ψήφων μαντική Apollod. 3.10.2.

4. cube used in mosaic pavements, Gal. Protr. 8.

5. pebble used in voting, ψήφῳ ψηφίζεσθαι Hdt. 9.55; ἐὰν μὴ τῇ ψ... ψηφίσωνται κρύβδην ψηφιζόμενοι D. 59.89: hence, the vote itself, ψῆφον φέρειν give one's vote, ἐν καρδίᾳ ψ. φέροντες A. Eu. 680, cf. And. 1.2, D. 57.61, etc.; ὑπέρ τινος Lycurg. 7; περί τινος Id. 11, etc.; ψήφου φορά E. Supp. 484; ψῆφον τίθεσθαι, = ψηφίζεσθαι, Hdt. 8.123, cf. 6.57; εἰς τεῦχος.. ψήφους ἔθεντο A. Ag. 816; c. inf., Hdt. 3.73; ψ. προσθέσθαι Th. 1.40; ψήφῳ διαιρεῖν to determine by vote, A. Eu. 630; ψήφῳ κρίνειν, Th. 1.87, etc.; μεταλαβὼν τὸ πέμπτον μέρος τῶν ψ. Pl. Ap. 36b, cf. Lex ap. D. 21.47: in collect. sense, ἐχρῆν.. ψ. περὶ αὐτοῦ γενέσθαι a vote is taken, Antipho 5.47; ἡ καθαιροῦσα ψ. Lys. 13.37; ἡ σῴζουσα ψ. D. 19.66; οἷς ἂν πλείστη γένηται ψ. a majority of votes, Pl. Lg. 759d: τὴν ψῆφον ἐπάγειν to put the vote or question, of the president, Th. 1.119, 125; ψῆφον δοῦναι περί τινος IG 22.222.24, cf. D. 21.188; ψ. ἀναδοὺς περί τινος App. BC 1.100; so ψ. περὶ ἡμῶν ὑπὲρ ἀνδραποδισμοῦ προτεθεῖσαν D. 19.65; διένεμον (vv. ll. διενέμοντο, ἔφερον) τὰς ψ. were casting their votes, Hdt. 8.123; ὑπὸ ψήφου μιᾶς with one accord, Ar. Lys. 270; ψ. φανερά open voting, ψ. φανερὰν διενεγκεῖν Th. 4.74; τὴν ψ. οὐκ εἰς καδίσκους ἀλλὰ φανερὰν ἐπὶ τὰς τραπέζας τίθεσθαι Lys. 13.37, cf. Pl. Lg. 767d, 855d; opp. ψ. ἀφανής voting by ballot, Aeschin. 3.233; κρύβδην τὴν ψ. φέρειν Arist. Rh.Al. 1433a23, cf. 1424b2, Ath. 69.1. that which is carried by vote, a vote, ψ. καταγνώσεως a vote of condemnation, Th. 3.82; ψῆφος αὐτῷ ἐπῆκτο περὶ φυγῆς a vote of banishment was moved for against him, X. An. 7.7.57, cf. A. Th. 198; ψήφῳ πόλεως γνωσθεῖσαι Id. Supp. 7 (anap.): hence, any resolve or decree, ψ. τυράννων S. Ant. 60; λιθίνα ψᾶφος a decree written on stone, Pi. O. 7.87; διδοῖ ψᾶφον περ' αὐτᾶς [the oak] gives judgement of itself, Id. P. 4.265; ψ. φλεγυρὰ βροτῶν, i. e. public opinion, Cratin. 57 (lyr.); τίν' ἂν ψῆφον θεῖο; what judgment.. ? Pl. Prt. 330c, cf. R. 450a; ἡ ἐμὴ ψ. Id. Phlb. 57a. Ἀθηνᾶς ψ., calculus Minervae, prov. phrase to express acquittal, when the votes were even, Philostr. VS 2.3. ψ. is sts. omitted, κἂν ἴσαι γένωνται Ar. Ra. 685 (lyr.); πάσαις κρατεῖν Luc. Bis Acc. 18, cf. 22. Διὸς ψῆφος (ψῆφοι Hsch.), prov. ἐπὶ τῶν ἱερῶν καὶ ἀθίκτων, of the scene of contest betw. Athena and Poseidon, Suid., etc. Κόννου ψ., negligible quantity, cipher, Ar. V. 675 (anap.), cf. Κοννᾶς.

6. place of voting, tribunal, E. IT 945, El. 1263.

7. metaph., influence, πόλις μεγάλην ψ. ἔχουσα Lib. Or. 18.13.

Thayer's Expanded Definition

ψῆφος, ψηφου, (from ψάω, see ψάλλω), a small, worn, smooth stone; pebble (from Pindar, Herodotus down; (in Homer ψηφίς));

1. since in the ancient courts of justice the accused were condemned by black pebbles and acquitted by white (cf. Passow, under the word, ψῆφος, 2 c, vol. ii, p. 2574b; (Liddell and Scott, under the word, 4 d.); Ovid. met. 15, 41; (Plutarch, Alcib. 22, 2)), and a man on his acquittal was spoken of as νικησας (Theophrastus, char. 17 (19), 3) and the ψῆφος acquitting Dim called νικητήριος (Heliodorus 3, 3 under the end), Christ promises that to the one who has gained eternal life by coming off conqueror over temptation (τῷ νικουντι (A. V. to him that overcometh)) he will give ψῆφον λευκήν, Revelation 2:17; but the figure is explained differently by different interpretations; cf. Düsterdieck (or Lee in the 'Speaker's Commentary') at the passage; (B. D. under the word, Stones, 8). Ewald (Die Johann. Schriften, ii., p. 136; (cf. Lee as above; Plumptre in B. D. under the word, Hospitality, at the end)) understnads it to be the tessera hospitalis (cf. Rich, Dict. of Antiq., under the word, Tessera, 3; Becker, Charicles, namely, i. note 17), which on being shown secures admission to the enjoyment of the heavenly manna; the Greek name, however, for this tessera, is not ψῆφος, but σύμβολον.

2. a vote (on account of the use of pebbles in voting): καταφέρω (which see), Acts 26:10.

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
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All rights rserved. Used by permission.
Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament

ψῆφος , -ου ,

(<ψάω , to rub),

[in LXX: Exodus 4:25 (H6864), Lamentations 3:16 (H2687), Ecclesiastes 7:26 (25) (H6864), 2 Kings 12:4 (5) A, Sirach 18:10, 4 Maccabees 15:26 *;]

1. a small smooth stone, a pebble: ψ . λευκή (for suggestions as to the meaning, v. Swete, in l), Revelation 2:17.

2. From the use of pebbles in voting, a vote: Acts 26:10.†

Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament.
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
List of Word Forms
εψιθύριζον ψηφον ψήφον ψῆφον ψηφω ψιθυρίζουσι psephon psêphon psēphon psē̂phon
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