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Bible Lexicons

Old & New Testament Greek Lexical DictionaryGreek Lexicon

Strong's #2585 - καπηλεύω

from kapelos (a huckster)
Parts of Speech
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  1. to be a retailer, to peddle
  2. to make money by selling anything
    1. to get sordid gain by dealing in anything, to do a thing for base gain
    2. to trade in the word of God
      1. to try to get base gain by teaching divine truth
    3. to corrupt, to adulterate
      1. peddlers were in the habit of adulterating their commodities for the sake of gain
Frequency Lists
Verse Results
KJV (1)
2 Corinthians 1
NAS (1)
2 Corinthians 1
HCS (1)
2 Corinthians 1
BSB (1)
2 Corinthians 1
ESV (1)
2 Corinthians 1
WEB (1)
2 Corinthians 1
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions


I to be a retail-dealer, drive a petty trade, Hdt. 1.155, 2.35, Isoc. 2.1, Nymphod. 21, IG 11(2).161 A 16 (Delos, iii B. C.), BGU 1024 vii 23 (iv A. D.); δι' ἀψύχου βορᾶς σίτοις καπήλευ ' drive a trade, chaffer with your vegetable food, E. Hipp. 953.


1. c. acc., sell by retail, τὸν ἕρπιν Hippon. 51.

2. metaph., κ. τὰ πρήγματα, of Darius, Hdt. 3.89; κ. τὰ μαθήματα sell learning by retail, hawk it about, Pl. Prt. 313d; κ. τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ 2 Corinthians 2:17; so ἔοικεν οὐ καπηλεύσειν μάχην will not peddle in war, i. e. fight half-heartedly, A. Th. 545; κ. τῇ Χάριτι τὴν ἀμοιβήν Epicur. Sent.Vat. 39; κ. τὴν πολιτείαν traffic in grants of citizenship, D.C. 60.17; κ. τῆς ὥρας ἄνθος or τὴν ὥραν, of prostitutes, Ph. 2.394, 576; εἰρήνην πρὸς Ῥωμαίους Χρυσίου κ. Hdn. 6.7.9; τύχη καπηλεύουσα.. τὸν βίον playing tricks with life, corrupting it, AP 9.180 (Pall.).

Thayer's Expanded Definition

καπηλεύω; (κάπηλος, i. e.

a. an inn-keeper, especially a vintner;

b. a petty retailer, a huckster, pedler; cf. Sir. 26:29 οὐ δικαιωθήσεται κάπηλος ἀπό ἁμαρτίας);

a. to be a retailer, to peddle;

b. with the accusative of the thing, "to make money by selling anything; to get sordid gain by dealing in anything, to do a thing for base gain" (οἱ τά μαθήματα περιαγοντες κατά πόλεις καί πωλοῦντες καί καπηλεύοντες, Plato, Prot., p. 313 d.; μάχην, Aeschylus the Sept. 551 (545); Latincauponari bellum, i. e. to fight for gain, trade in war, Ennius quoted in Cicero, offic. 1, 12, 38; ἑταιραν τό τῆς ὥρας ἄνθος καπηλευουσαν, Philo de caritat. § 14, cf. leg. ad Gaium § 30, and many other examples in other authors). Hence, some suppose that καπηλεύειν τόν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ in 2 Corinthians 2:17 is equivalent to to trade in the word of God, i. e. to try to get base gain by teaching divine truth. But as pedlers were in the habit of adulterating their commodities for the sake of gain (οἱ κάπηλοί σου μίσγουσι τόν οἶνον ὕδατι, Isaiah 1:22 the Sept.; κάπηλοί, οἱ τόν οἶνον κεραννύντες, Pollux, onomast. 7, 193; οἱ φιλοσοφοι ἀποδιδονται τά μαθήματα, ὥσπερ οἱ κάπηλοί, κερασάμενοι γέ οἱ πολλοί καί δολωσαντες καί κακομετρουντες, Lucian. Hermot. 59), καπηλεύειν τί was also used as synonymous with to corrupt, to adulterate (Themistius, or. 21, p. 247, Hard. edition says that the false philosophers τό θειοτατον τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων ἀγαθῶν κιβδηλεύειν τέ καί αἰσχύνειν καί καπηλεύειν); and most interpreters rightly decide in favor of this meaning (on account of the context) in 2 Corinthians 2:17, cf. δολουν τόν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ, 2 Corinthians 4:2. (Cf. Trench, § lxii.)

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

* καπηλεύω

(< κάπηλος , a huckster, cf. Isaiah 1:22 (LXX), Sirach 26:29),

to make a trade of (RV, mg., make merchandise of), or perhaps (cf. Isa, l.c.) to corrupt (RV, tit.): 2 Corinthians 2:17.†

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 verb is confined in Biblical Greek to 2 Corinthians 2:17, where the meaning ";deal in for purposes of gain"; rather than ";adulterate"; may be illustrated from BGU IV. 1024vii. 23 (end of iv/A.D. : Archiv iii. p. 302) with reference to a harlot—ὅτι [τὸν μ ]ὲν βίον ἀσεμνῶς διῆγεν, τὸ δὲ τε ̣[λος. . ]μ ̣ως ν ̣υ ̣π ̣ε ̣ριον ἐκαπήλευσεν. See also the rebuke addressed by Apollonius of Tyana to Euphrates Vita Apoll. i. 13 ἀπῆγε τοῦ χρηματίζεσθαί τε καὶ τὴν σοφίαν καπηλεύειν, ";tried to wean him of his love of filthy lucre and of huckstering his wisdom"; (Conybeare), and the use of καπηλικός = ";mercenary"; in M. Anton. iv. 28. The verb is used = ";trade,"; ";sell,"; in Michel 594.16 (B.C. 279) τῶν οἰκημάτων ἐν οἷς Ἔφεσος καπηλεύει, and for the subst. κάπηλος, ";dealer,"; ";huckster"; (cf. Isaiah 1:22, Sirach 26:29), especially with reference to a retailer of wine, see P Tebt II. 612 (i/ii A.D.) καπήλων Τεβτύνεως διὰ τῶν οἰνοπρατῶν ἑκάστ (ου) (δραχμαὶ) η ̄. For the fem. καπηλίς, see P Fay 12.23 (c. B.C. 103), and for καπηλεῖον, ";inn,"; ";tavern,"; see P Tebt I. 43.16 (B.C. 118). Cf. MGr καπηλειό, ";retail shop.";


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
εκαπνίζετο καπηλευοντες καπηλεύοντες κάπηλοί καπνιζόμενον καπνιζόμενος καπνιζομένων καπνίζον καπνίζονται καπνισθήσονται kapeleuontes kapeleúontes kapēleuontes kapēleúontes
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