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Old & New Testament Greek Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #2992 - λαός
- a people, people group, tribe, nation, all those who are of the same stock and language
- of a great part of the population gathered together anywhere
Ion. ληός Hippon. 88, Hdt. 5.42 (v.l. λαόν, which is in all Mss. in 4.148), cj. in Mimn. 14.9; Att. λεώς, which is also used in Hdt. 1.22, 8.136, while the form λαός is sts. used in Trag., and once or twice even in Com. (v. infr. 1.3): also in Inscrr. and Pap. (v. infr.) and in late Prose, as Foed.Byz. ap. Plb. 4.52.7 (pl.), Str. 14.4.3 (pl.), Plu. 2.1096b, etc. (both forms in pr. nn., Λεωβώτης Hdt. 7.204, Λαβώτας X. HG 1.2.18, etc.).
1 in Il., λαός (λαοί) usu. means men, i.e. soldiers, both of the whole army and smaller divisions, κριτὸς ἔγρετο λ. Ἀχαιῶν 7.434; λαὸν ἀγείρειν 16.129; πολὺν ὤλεσα λαόν 2.115: pl., ἅμα τῷ γε.. ἄριστοι λ. ἕποντ ' ib. 578; στίχες ἀσπιστάων λ. 4.91; periphr., στρατὸς λαῶν ib. 76; λαῶν ἔθνος 13.495; mostly including both foot and horse, as 2.809; but sts. λαός denotes foot, as opp. horse, 7.342; also, a land army, opp. a fleet, 4.76, 9.424, 10.14; also, the common men, opp. their leaders, 2.365, 13.108; but
2. in Od., λαοί, more rarely λαός, almost always means men or people; as subjects of a prince, e.g. 3.214, 305, al. (λαοί is sts. so used in Il., e.g. 17.226, 24.611; λαοὶ ἀγροιῶται country- folk, 11.676; work-people, 17.390); of sailors, Od. 14.248; so after Hom., ναυτικὸς λεώς seafaring folk, A. Pers. 383; πᾶς ὁ χειρῶναξ λεώς S. Fr. 844; ὁ γεωργικὸς λεώς Ar. Pax 920 (lyr.): in sg., slave, τὸν Εὐρυσθέως λεών, of Heracles, Hecat. 23 J.; and so perh. λεὼς αὔτοικος GDI 5533e (Zeleia): more generally, μέροπες λαοί, i.e. man kind, A. Supp. 90 (lyr.); λ. ἐγχώριοι the natives, ib. 517, cf. Od. 6.194; esp. in Egypt, of the fellahin, PRLaws 42.11 - 16 (iii B. C.), PSI 4.380.5 (iii B. C.), etc.; civil population, opp. priests and soldiers, OGI 90.12 (Rosetta, ii B. C.), cf. 225.8 (Milet., iii B. C.), al.
3. people assembled, as in the theatre, ὁ πολὺς λαῶν ὄχλος Ar. Ra. 676, cf. 219 (both lyr.); esp. in the Ecclesia, αἱ στίχες τῶν λαῶν Id. Eq. 163: hence the phrase ἀκούετε λεῴ hear O people ! — the usual way of beginning proclamations at Athens, like our Oyez ! Sus. 1.1, Ar. Pax 551, Av. 448; τιμῶσιν οἱ πάντες λεῴ ib. 1275; δεῦρ' ἴτε, πάντες λεῴ Arist. Fr. 384; Ἀττικὸς λεώς A. Eu. 681; ὁ πολὺς λεώς the multitude, Pl. R. 458d, etc.
4. in LXX, of the people, as opp. priests and Levites, 1 Esdras 5:46; in NT, of Jews, opp. Gentiles, Matthew 2:6, Luke 2:10, al., cf. SIG 1247 (Jewish tombstones); of Christians, opp. heathen, Acts 15:14, al.
II a people, i.e. all who are called by one name, first in Pi., Δωριεῖ λαῷ O. 8.30; Λυδῶν δὲ λαὸς καὶ Φρυγῶν A. Pers. 770; ξύμπας Ἀχαιῶν λαός S. Ph. 1243, cf. OT 144, etc.; ἱππόται λαοί, i.e. the Thessalians, Pi. P. 4.153, cf. 9.54, N. 1.17. (The resemblance between λαός people and λᾶος stone (cf. λᾶας) is implied in Il. 24.611 λαοὺς δὲ λίθους ποίησε Κρονίων (in the story of Niobe); and so Pi. explains the word from the legend of Deucalion, O. 9.46, cf. Epich. 122, Apollod. 1.7.2; but cf. Philoch. 12.) (From λᾱϝ -, as shown by the pr.names Λαϝοπτόλεμος GDI 3151, ϝιόλαϝος ib.3132 (Corinth): hence prob. λήϊτον.)
λαός , -οῦ , ὁ ,
a word rarely found in Att.. prose;
1. the people at large (Hom., al.), esp. of people assembled: Matthew 27:25, Luke 1:21; Luke 3:15 al.; pl. (Hom., al., Papyri; v. MM, xvi), Acts 4:27.
2. a people, those of the same race and language (Pind., Æsch., al.. in LXX, Genesis 26:11, Exodus 9:16, al.): joined with γλῶσσα , φυλή , ἔθνος , Revelation 5:9; Revelation 7:9; Revelation 11:9, al.; pl., Luke 2:31, Romans 15:11; esp. as almost always in LXX. of Israel, Matthew 4:23, Mark 7:6, Luke 2:10, John 11:50, Hebrews 2:17, al.; opp. to τ . ἔθνη . Acts 26:17; Acts 26:23, Romans 15:10; οἱ πρεσβύτεροι (πρῶτοι , etc.) τοῦ λ ., Matthew 21:23, Luke 19:17, Acts 4:8, al.; ὁ λ . μου (αὐτοῦ , τ . θεοῦ ), Matthew 2:6, Luke 1:68, Hebrews 11:25, al.; of the people disting. from the rulers and priests (1 Esdras 1:10, Judith 8:9, al.), Matthew 26:5, Luke 20:19, Hebrews 5:3, al.; of Christians, as the people of God, Acts 15:14, Romans 9:25-26, Hebrews 4:9; περιούσιος , Titus 2:14; εἰς περιποίησιν , 1 Peter 2:9 (LXX).
SYN.: see δῆμος G1218
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
In the papyri λαοί is the regular term for ";natives,"; ";fellaheen."; Thus in P Petr II. 4(11).4 (B.C. 255–4) we hear of a salt-tax imposed τοῖς ἐκ Κερκεήσιος λαοῖς, where the editor remarks, ";an ancient and poetical form for people found both in the LXX and in Papyri"; : cf. P Lille I. 16.8 (iii/B.C.) ἐπειδὴ καὶ ἀπεργάζονται οἱ λαοὶ τὸ κέρμα τοῦτο εἰς ἄριστον, ";since the natives are working off (?) this small tax as well as they can,"; P Par 63.101 (B.C. 164) (= P Petr III. p. 26) τοὺς πλείστους δὲ τῶν ἐν ταῖς κώμαις κατοικούντων λαῶν οἳ διὰ τὴν τῶν δεόντων σπάνιν ἐργατεύοντες πορίζονται τὰ πρὸς τὸ ζῆν, ";also most of the people inhabiting the villages, who, through lack of necessaries, supply themselves with the means of life by hard labour"; (Mahaffy), ib. .132 τ ̣ῶν μὲν ταλαιπώρων λαῶν καὶ τῶν μαχίμων καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἀδυνατούντων φει ̣σε ̣σθε, ";you must spare the miserable populace and the μάχιμοι and the others who are incapable"; (id.), and ib. .166 προτρεψαμένου τοὺς στρατηγοὺς καὶ τοὺς λαοὺς ἐ [πι ]δέξασθαι τὰ τῆς ἀσχολίας, ";instigated the strategi and the people to undertake the labour (of seed-sowing)"; (id.). For a similar use in the inscrr. cf. OGIS 90.12 (Rosetta stone—B.C. 196) ὅπως ὅ τε λαὸς καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι πάντες ἐν εὐθηνίαι ὦσιν ἐπὶ ἑαυτοῦ βασιλείας, where the editor defines λαός as ";volgus Aegyptiorum, praecipue opifices et agricolae, eidem fere qui v. 52 ἰδιῶται appellantur ut distinguantur a sacerdotibus,"; and ib. 225.8, .22, .34 (iii/B.C.), where it is applied to the native population of Syria. See also Syll 897 (Larisa) Θεοφίλα Σελεύκου γυνὴ τῷ λαῷ χα [ί ]ρειν : Dittenberger says the word is often so used in epitaphs. The expression λαϊκὰ (σώματα) occurs bis in P Lille I. 10 (iii/B.C.), where it stands with τεθραμμένα between ἀρσενικά and θηλυκά in an enumeration, but the editors are unable to determine the exact meaning. The adj. is also found in BGU IV. 1053 . 10 (B.C. 13) μηδὲ ἐπ᾽ ἄσυλον τόπον μηδὲ ἐπὶ λαϊκὴν βοήθηαν. For λαοκρίτης (not in LS8), a native judge, cf. P Tebt I. 5.219 (B.C. 118) τὰς δὲ τῶν Αἰγυ (πτίων) πρὸς τοὺς αὐτοὺς <Αἰ >γυ (πτίους) κρίσεις μὴ ἐπισπᾶσθαι τοὺς χρημα (τιστὰς) ἀλλ᾽ ἐᾶν κριν (om.) διεξάγεσθαι ἐπὶ τῶν λαοκριτῶν κατὰ τοὺς τῆς χώρας νόμους, ";and that suits of Egyptians against Egyptians shall not be dragged by the chrematistae into their own courts, but they shall allow them to be decided before the native judges in accordance with the national laws"; (Edd.), and P Tor I. 1vii. 3 (B.C. 116) εἰ καὶ ἐπὶ λαοκριτῶν διεκρίνοντο καθ᾽ οὓς παρεκείτο νόμους, ";si apud Populares Iudices lis instituta esset ad praescriptum legum ab ipso laudatarum"; (Ed.) : see further Archiv v. p. 1 ff. For λαογραφία (LXX) in its primary sense of a taxing-list of native Egyptians, cf. P Tebt I. 103 (B.C. 94 or 61) with the editors’ introduction, and see s.v. ἀπογραφή. On the characteristic use of λαός in the LXX and NT with reference to first the Jews, then the Christians, see Hort on 1 Peter 2:9, and cf. Hicks (CR i. p. 42), who, after remarking on the ";noble associations"; of the word in past Greek life and thought, points out that ";it was reserved for Jewish lips to give the word a sacred significance and a world-wide currency."; On its application to the ";laity"; as distinguished from the ";clergy"; in the Lycaonian inscrr. from mid. iv/A.D., see Ramsay Luke, p. 387 ff. MGr λαϊκός, ";layman.";
Mayser thinks the word may originally have been a poetic word used primarily in the plur. : see Gr. p. 29, but cf. Thumb Archiv iv. p. 490, and Wackernagel Hellenistica, p. 10.
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