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Old / New Testament Greek Lexical Dictionary

Entry for Strong's #874 - ἀφορμή

Word Origin
from a compound of (575) and (3729)
Parts of Speech
Noun Feminine
Word Definition [ Thayer | Strong | Mounce ]
Thayer's Definition
  1. a place from which a movement or attack is made, a base of operations
  2. metaph. that by which endeavour is excited and from which it goes forth
    1. that which gives occasion and supplies matter for an undertaking, the incentive
    2. the resources we avail ourselves of in attempting or performing anything
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 1995 ‑ הָמֹן (haw‑mone', haw‑mone');  
Frequency Lists  [ Book | Word | Parsing ]
Verse Results
KJV (7) NAS (7) HCS (7)
Romans 2
2 Corinthians 2
Galatians 1
1 Timothy 1
Romans 2
2 Corinthians 2
Galatians 1
1 Timothy 1
Romans 2
2 Corinthians 3
Galatians 1
1 Timothy 1

Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions

ἀφορμ-ή, ἡ,


1. starting-point, esp. in war, base of operations, ἀναχώρησίς τε καὶ ἀ. Th. 1.90, cf. Plb. 1.41.6, etc.; place of safety, E. Med. 342.

2. generally, starting-point, origin, occasion or pretext, ἀφορμαὶ λόγων Id. Hec. 1239, Ph. 199; ἀφορμὴν παρέχειν D. 18.156; δεδωκέναι Id. 21.98, cf. 2 Corinthians 5:12; λαβεῖν ἀ. Isoc. 4.61, Romans 7:8; εὑρεῖν BGU 615.6 (ii A. D.), 923.22 (i/ii A. D.); ἵνα ἀ. γένοιτο τιμῆς Inscr.Prien. 105.16 (i B. C.); ἀ. καὶ πρόφασις Plb. 2.52.3; occasion, origin of an illness, Hp. Epid. 2.1.11, Sor. 1.29; εἰδέ τις οἴεται μικρὰν ἀ. εἶναι σιτηρέσιον τοῖς στρατευομένοις ὑπάρχειν a small inducement, D. 4.29; τὸ γὰρ εὖ πράττειν παρὰ τὴν ἀξίαν ἀ. τοῦ κακὼς φρονεῖν Id. 1.23; instigation, incitement, POxy. 237 vii 21 (ii A. D.).

3. means with which one begins a thing, resources, ἀ. τοῦ βίου Lys. 24.24; εἰς τὸν βίον X. Mem. 3.12.4; τίνας εἶχεν ἀφορμὰς ἡ πόλις; D. 18.233; ἀφελεῖν τὴν ἀ. δι' ἣν ὑβρίζει Id. 21.98; πίστις ἀ. μεγίστη πρὸς χρηματισμόν good faith is the best asset for business, Id. 36.44, cf. 11.16; ἀ. ἐπί.. Id. 3.33; esp. means of war, And. 1.109; ἀ. εἰς ξένους χιλίους means for levying 1000 mercenaries, X. HG 4.8.33; ἀ. ἔργων means for undertaking.., Id. Mem. 2.7.11, cf. 3.5.11; πρὸς ἀφορμὴν ἐμπορίας ἢ γεωργίας Arist. Pol. 1320a39; πάντων ἀ. τῶν καλῶν Philem. 110.

4. capital of a banker, etc., Lys. Fr. 1.2, X. Mem. 2.7.12, Lycurg. 26, D. 14.30, 36.11; ἀφορμῆς δίκη suit for restitution of capital, Arg. D. 36.

5. Rhet., food for argument, material, subject, ὑποθέσεις καὶ ἀφορμαὶ λόγων Luc. Rh. Pr, cf. Men.Rh. p.334S., Aps. p.264H.

6. aptitude, inclination, εἰς φιλανθρωπίαν Phld. Ir. p.53 W. (pl.).

II Stoic term for repulsion (opp. ὁρμή), Chrysipp.Stoic. 3.42, cf. 40, Simp. in Epict. p.22D.

III release of water from sluice, PAmh. 2.143.17 (iv A. D.).

Thayer's Expanded Definition

ἀφορμή, ἀφορμῆς, (ἀπό and ὁρμή which see);

1. properly, a place from which a movement or attack is made, a base of operations: Thucydides 1, 90 (τήν Πελοποννησον πᾶσιν ἀναχωρησιν τέ καί ἀφορμήν ἱκανήν εἶναι); Polybius 1, 41, 6.

2. metaphorically, "that by which endeavor is excited and from which it goes forth; that which gives occasion and supplies matter for an undertaking, the incentive; the resources we avail ourselves of in attempting or performing anything": Xenophon, mem. 3, 12, 4 (τοῖς ἑαυτῶν παισί καλλιους ἀφορμας εἰς τόν βίον καταλειπουσι), and often in Greek writings; λαμβάνειν, to take occasion, find an incentive, Romans 7:8, 11 διδόναι, 2 Corinthians 5:12; 1 Timothy 5:14 (3Macc. 3:2; both phrases often also in Greek writings); 2 Corinthians 11:12; Galatians 5:13. On the meanings of this word see Viger. edition Herm., p. 81f; Phryn. ed. Lob., p. 223f; (Rutherford, New Phryn., p. 304).

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

ἀφ -ορμή , -ῆς , ,

[in LXX: Ezekiel 5:7 (H1995), Proverbs 9:9, 3 Maccabees 3:2*;]

prop., a starting point; in war, a base of operations; metaph., an occasion, incentive, opportunity (MM, s.v.): 2 Corinthians 11:12, Galatians 5:13; ἀφ . λαμβάνειν , Luke 11:24, WH, mg., Romans 7:8; Romans 7:11; ἀφ . διδόναι , 2 Corinthians 5:12, 1 Timothy 5:14.*

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

This Pauline word is well established in the vernacular with meanings varying from ";incitement"; or ";prompting"; (P Oxy II. 237vii. 21, A.D. 186, ἐκ μη [τ ]ρὸς ἀφορμῆς ) to the more ordinary ";occasion"; or ";opportunity."; Thus the edict of an Eparch of Egypt, P Oxy I. 34 iii. 12 ff. (A.D. 127) runs τοὺ [ς ] διὰ ἀπειθίαν κ [αὶ ] ὡς ἀφορμὴν ζητοῦντας ἁμαρτημάτω [ν ] τειμωρήσομαι (see under ἀπείθεια ). So in Caracalla’s edict (A.D. 215), P Giss I. 40ii. 11 ἵνα μ [ ] π [αρ᾽ α ]ὐτοῖς ἢ δειλίας αἰτία ἢ παρὰ το [ ]ς κα ̣κοήθεσιν ἐπηρ [ε ]ίας ἀφορμὴ ὑπολειφθῇ . The last clause recalls Romans 7:8, and other passages where ἀφορμή and ἁμαρτία are brought together. (Ζητεῖν ἀφορμήν is a Western reading in Luke 11:54 ). See also BGU II. 615.6 (ii/A.D.) ἀφορμὴν εύρών (l. εὑροῦσα )—a daughter ";finds an opportunity"; to write to her father, ib. 632.11 (ii/A.D.) καὶ ᾽γὼ διὰ πᾶσαν ἀφορμὴν ο [ ]χ ὀκνῶ σοι γράψαι περὶ τῆ [ς ] σωτηρίας μου καὶ τῶν ἐμῶν , ";and on every opportunity I do not delay to write you regarding the health of myself and of mine,"; ib. III. 923.22 (i/ii A.D.) καλῶς οὖν ποιήσεις , ̣ὰν ̣ εὕρῃς ἀφορμὴ [ν ] δ ̣ι ̣α ̣γ ̣ρ ̣αψάμενος κτλ ., P Strass I. 22.20 f. (iii/A.D.) ἔχοντός τινος ἀφορμὴν κἂν βραχεῖαν δικαίαν κατοχῆς , ";if any one has a just occasion of possession for however brief a period,"; and from the inscriptions Priene 105.12 (c. B.C. 9) ]φελος ε ̣ὐτυχεστέρα [ς λάβοι ] ἀφορμάς , and .16 ἵνα ἀφορμὴ γένοιτο τῆς εἰς τὸν Σεβαστὸν τειμῆς . The more literal sense of the word is seen in the iv/A.D. letter P Amh II. 143.14 ff. μὴ θελήσῃς οὖν , κύριε , μῖνε (= μεῖναι ) ἐκτὸς ἡμῶν αὔριον διὰ τὴν ἀφορμὴν τοῦ ὕδατος εἵνα δυνηθῶμεν ποτίσαι τ [ ]ν μέγαν κλῆρον , ";so please, sir, do not stay away from us to-morrow, because of the flow of water, so that we may be able to irrigate the large holding"; (Edd.). It is common in Vettius, esp. with πράξεως or πραγμάτων : thus p. 238.2 περὶ τὰς πράξεις καὶ βιωτικὰς ἀφορμάς . An apparently new verb ἀφορμάζεται is found in the late P Lond IV. 1360.7 (A.D. 710), in the sense of ";make excuses"; (Ed.). In MGr the noun means ";occasion, cause.";



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
αφορμή αφορμην αφορμήν ἀφορμήν ἀφορμὴν aphormen aphormēn aphormḗn aphormḕn
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