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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Destroy, Destroyer, Destruction, Destructive

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A — 1: ἀπόλλυμι

(Strong's #622 — Verb — apollumi — ap-ol'-loo-mee )

a strengthened form of ollumi, signifies "to destroy utterly;" in Middle Voice, "to perish." The idea is not extinction but ruin, loss, not of being, but of well-being. This is clear from its use, as, e.g., of the marring of wine skins, Luke 5:37; of lost sheep, i.e., lost to the shepherd, metaphorical of spiritual destitution, Luke 15:4,6 , etc.; the lost son, Luke 15:24; of the perishing of food, John 6:27; of gold, 1 Peter 1:7 . So of persons, Matthew 2:13 , "destroy;" Matthew 8:25 , "perish;" Matthew 22:7; 27:20; of the loss of well-being in the case of the unsaved hereafter, Matthew 10:28; Luke 13:3,5; John 3:16 (ver. 15 in some mss.); 10:28; 17:12; Romans 2:12; 1 Corinthians 15:18; 2 Corinthians 2:15 , "are perishing;" 2 Corinthians 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:10; James 4:12; 2 Peter 3:9 . Cp. B, II, No. 1. See DIE , LOSE , MARRED , PERISH.

A — 2: καταργέω

(Strong's #2673 — Verb — katargeo — kat-arg-eh'-o )


A — 3: καθαιρέω

(Strong's #2507 — Verb — kathaireo — kath-ahee-reh'-o )

"to cast down, pull down by force, etc.," is translated "to destroy" in Acts 13:19 . In Acts 19:27 , AV, "should be destroyed," the RV suitably has "should be deposed." See CAST , No. 13, PULL, PUT, TAKE.

A — 4: λύω

(Strong's #3089 — Verb — luo — loo'-o )

"to loose, dissolve, sever, break, demolish," is translated "destroy," in 1 John 3:8 , of the works of the Devil. See BREAK , A, No. 4.

A — 5: καταλύω

(Strong's #2647 — Verb — kataluo — kat-al-oo'-o )

kata, "down," intensive, and No. 4, "to destroy utterly, to overthrow completely," is rendered "destroy," in Matthew 5:17 , twice, of the Law; Matthew 24:2; 26:61; 27:40; Mark 13:2; 14:58; 15:29; Luke 21:6 , of the Temple; in Acts 6:14 , of Jerusalem; in Galatians 2:18 , of the Law as a means of justification; in Romans 14:20 (AV, "destroy," RV, "overthrow"), of the marring of a person's spiritual well-being (in ver. 15 apollumi, No. 1, is used in the same sense); in Acts 5:38,39 (RV, "overthrow") of the failure of purposes; in 2 Corinthians 5:1 , of the death of the body ("dissolved"). See DISSOLVE , NOUGHT (come to), OVERTHROW , THROW.

For its other meaning, "to lodge," see Luke 9:12 and 19:7. See GUEST , LODGE.

A — 6: ὀλοθρεύω

(Strong's #3645 — Verb — olothreuo — ol-oth-ryoo'-o )

"to destroy," especially in the sense of slaying, is found in Hebrews 11:28 , where the RV translates the present participle with the article by the noun "destroyer." See B, below. The verb occurs frequently in the Sept., e.g., Exodus 12:23; Joshua 3:10; 7:25; Jeremiah 2:30; 5:6; 22:7 .

A — 7: ἐξολεθρεύω

(Strong's #1842 — Verb — exolothreuo — ex-ol-oth-ryoo'-o )

ek, "out of" (intensive), and No. 6, "to destroy utterly, to slay wholly," is found in Acts 3:23 , RV, "utterly destroyed," referring to the "destruction" of one who would refuse to hearken to the voice of God through Christ. This verb is far more abundantly used in the Sept. than No. 6; it occurs 35 times in Deut.; 34 in Josh.; 68 in the Psalms.

A — 8: φθείρω

(Strong's #5351 — Verb — phtheiro — fthi'-ro )

see CORRUPT , A, No. 2.

A — 9: διαφθείρω

(Strong's #1311 — Verb — diaphtheiro — dee-af-thi'-ro )

See CORRUPT , A, No. 3.

Note: Portheo, "to ruin by laying waste, to make havock of," is translated "destroyed" in Acts 9:21 , of the attacks upon the church in Jerusalem by Saul of Tarsus; "wasted," in Galatians 1:13 , with reference to the same; "destroyed" in Galatians 1:23 , where "the faith" is put by metonymy (one thing being put for another associated with it), for those who held the faith. In each of these places the RV consistently translates by "made havock of." See HAVOC , WASTE.

* (1) (Personal: DESTROYER)

B — 1: ὀλοθρευτής

(Strong's #3644 — Noun Masculine — olothreutes — ol-oth-ryoo-tace' )

akin to A, No. 6, "a destroyer," is found in 1 Corinthians 10:10 .

Note: For the construction in Hebrews 11:28 , "the destroyer," see A, No. 6. Cp. apolluon, in Revelation 9:11 , the present participle of apollumi, A, No. 1, used as a proper noun.

* (2) (Abstract: DESTRUCTION)

B — 2: ἀπώλεια

(Strong's #684 — Noun Feminine — apoleia — ap-o'-li-a )

akin to A, No. 1, and likewise indicating "loss of well-being, not of being," is used (a) of things, signifying their waste, or ruin; of ointment, Matthew 26:8; Mark 14:4; of money, Acts 8:20 ("perish"); (b) of persons, signifying their spiritual and eternal perdition, Matthew 7:13; John 17:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:3 , where "son of perdition" signifies the proper destiny of the person mentioned; metaphorically of men persistent in evil, Romans 9:22 , where "fitted" is in the Middle Voice, indicating that the vessels of wrath fitted themselves for "destruction;" of the adversaries of the Lord's people, Philippians 1:28 ("perdition"); of professing Christians, really enemies of the cross of Christ, Philippians 3:19 (RV, "perdition"); of those who are subjects of foolish and hurtful lusts, 1 Timothy 6:9 (for the preceding word "destruction" see No. 3, below); of professing Hebrew adherents who shrink back into unbelief, Hebrews 10:39; of false teachers, 2 Peter 2:1,3; of ungodly men, 2 Peter 3:7; of those who wrest the Scriptures, 2 Peter 3:16; of the Beast, the final head of the revived Roman Empire, Revelation 17:8,11; (c) of impersonal subjects, as heresies, 2 Peter 2:1 , where "destructive heresies" (RV; AV, "damnable") is, lit., "heresies of destruction" (marg., "sects of perdition"); in ver. 2 the most authentic mss. have aselgeiais, "lascivious," instead of apoleiais. See PERDITION , PERNICIOUS , WASTE.

B — 3: καθαίρεσις

(Strong's #2506 — Noun Feminine — kathairesis — kath-ah'ee-res-is )

akin to A, No. 3, "a taking down, a pulling down," is used three times in 2Cor., "casting down" in the RV in each place; in 2 Corinthians 10:4 (AV, "pulling down"); in 2 Corinthians 10:8; 13:10 (AV, "destruction") See PULL.

B — 4: ὄλεθρος

(Strong's #3639 — Noun Masculine — olethros — ol'-eth-ros )

"ruin, destruction," akin to A, No. 6, always translated "destruction," is used in 1 Corinthians 5:5 , of the effect upon the physical condition of an erring believer for the purpose of his spiritual profit; in 1 Thessalonians 5:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:9 , of the effect of the Divine judgments upon men at the ushering in of the Day of the Lord and the revelation of the Lord Jesus; in 1 Timothy 6:9 , of the consequences of the indulgence of the flesh, referring to physical "ruin" and possibly that of the whole being, the following word apoleia (see No. 1) stressing the final, eternal and irrevocable character of the "ruin."

B — 5: φθορά

(Strong's #5356 — Noun Feminine — phthora — fthor-ah' )

akin to A, No. 8, denotes "the destruction that comes with corruption." In 2 Peter 2:12 it is used twice; for the AV, "made to be taken and destroyed ... shall utterly perish (phtheeiro) in their own corruption," the RV has "to be taken and destroyed (lit., 'unto capture and destruction,' phthora) ... shall in their destroying (phthora) surely be destroyed," taking the noun in the last clause in the sense of their act of "destroying" others. See CORRUPT , CORRUPTION.

B — 6: σύντριμμα

(Strong's #4938 — Noun Neuter — suntrimma — soon-trim'-mah )

"a breaking in pieces, shattering" (the corresponding verb is suntribo; see under BREAK , BRUISE), hence, "ruin, destruction," is compounded of sun, "together," and trimma, "a rubbing or wearing away." The latter, and tribo, "to beat," are derived from a root, signifying "to rub, wear away;" hence Eng., "tribulation and trouble." It is used, metaphorically, of "destruction," in Romans 3:16 (from Isaiah 59:7 ), which, in a passage setting forth the sinful state of mankind in general, suggest the "wearing" process of the effects of cruelty. The word is frequent in the Sept., especially in Isaiah and Jeremiah.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Destroy, Destroyer, Destruction, Destructive'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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