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Old & New Testament Greek Lexical DictionaryGreek Lexicon

Strong's #3379 - μήποτε

may'-pot-eh, may pot'-eh
from (G3361) and (G4218)
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μὴ οὐκ
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  1. that ... not, lest, whether perhaps, whether or not, in no way, perhaps
Frequency Lists
Verse Results
KJV (27)
Matthew 8
Mark 2
Luke 8
Acts 2
2 Timothy 2
Hebrews 5
NAS (22)
Matthew 7
Mark 2
Luke 5
Acts 3
2 Timothy 2
Hebrews 3
HCS (18)
Matthew 6
Mark 2
Luke 4
Acts 1
2 Timothy 1
Hebrews 4
BSB (1)
Matthew 1
ESV (22)
Matthew 6
Mark 1
Luke 6
John 1
Acts 2
2 Timothy 2
Hebrews 4
WEB (24)
Matthew 7
Mark 2
Luke 7
John 1
Acts 1
2 Timothy 2
Hebrews 4
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions

μήποτε or μή ποτε,

Ion. μή κοτε (v. infr. 11):


1. as Adv. never, on no account, after ὡς, A. Pr. 205, Eu. 882; after εἰ, Id. Ch. 182, etc.: c. inf., Id. Eu. 977, Supp. 617; esp. in oaths, never, ὀμοῦμαι, μή ποτε τῆς εὐνῆς ἐπιβήμεναι Il. 9.133, 275; ἐπεκέκλετ' Ἐρινῦς, μή ποτε.. ἐφέσσεσθαι ib. 455; in aposiopesis, ἢ μήπορ' ἆρ'.. Men. Sam. 97: in orat. obliq., Hes. Op. 86.

2. in prohibition or warning, with aor. subj., μή ποτε καὶ σὺ.. ὀλέσσῃς Od. 19.81, etc.: with inf. for imper., 11.441.

3. in later Gr., perhaps, Arist. EN 1172a33, LXX Genesis 24:5, Aristeas 15, Ph. 1.13, Arr. Epict. 3.22.80, Plu. 2.106d, A.D. Pron. 18.4.

II as Conj., lest ever, αἰσχυνόμενοι φάτιν ἀνδρῶν.., μή ποτέ τις εἴπῃσι Od. 21.324, al.; οὐδαμὰ ἐλπίσας μή κοτε ἄρα.. ἐλάσῃ Hdt. 1.77, cf. 8.53.

Thayer's Expanded Definition

μήποτε (from μή and πότε) (μή πότε (separately) L WH (except Matthew 25:9, see below) Tr (except 2 Timothy 2:25)), differing from οὔποτε as μή does from οὐ; (from Homer down). Accordingly it is:

1. a particle of Negation; not ever, never: ἐπεί μήποτε ἰσχύει, since it is never of force, because the writer thinks that the very idea of its having force is to be denied, Hebrews 9:17 (where WH text μή τότε), on which see Winers Grammar, 480 (447), cf. Buttmann, 353 (304); but others refer, this passage to 3 a. below.

2. a prohibitory conjunction; lest ever, lest at any time, lest haply, (also written separately μή πότε ((see at the beginning), especially when the component parts retain each its distinctive force; cf. Lipsius, Gram. Untersuch., p. 129f; Ellendt, Lex. Sophocles 2:107. In the N. T. use of this particle the notion of time usual to πότε seems to recede before that of contingency, lest perchance)), so that it refers to the preceding verb and indicates the purpose of the designated action (Winer's Grammar, § 56, 2): with a subjunctive present Luke 12:58; with a subjunctive aorist, Matthew 4:6 and Luke 4:11, from Psalm 90:12 () (where the Sept. for פֶּן); Matthew 5:25 ((cf. below)); Matthew 7:6 (R G); and Acts 28:27 (both from Isaiah 6:10, where the Sept. for פֶּן); Matthew 13:29 (οὐ namely, θέλω); Matthew 15:32; Matthew 27:64; Mark 4:12; Luke 14:12; with ἵνα prefixed, Luke 14:29; with a future indicative (see Buttmann, § 139, 7, cf. also, p. 368 (315)

d.): (Matthew 7:6 L T Tr WH; (cf. )); Mark 14:2; (Luke 12:58 L T Tr WH). after verbs of fearing, taking care (Winers Grammar, as above; Buttmann, § 139, 48): with subjunctive aorist — so after προσέχω, to take heed, lest etc., Luke 21:34; Hebrews 2:1 (Sir. 11:33); so that an antecedent φοβούμενοι or προσέχοντες must be mentally supplied, Acts 5:39; μήποτε οὐκ ἀρκέσῃ, lest perchance there be not enough (so that οὐκ ἀρκέσῃ forms one idea, and φοβούμεθα must be supplied before μήποτε), Matthew 25:9 R T WH marginal reading; but L Tr WH text, together with Meyer, et al., have correctly restored μήποτε (namely, τοῦτο γενέσθω (Winer's Grammar, § 64, 7 a.)) οὐ μή ἀρκέσῃ, i. e. "Not so! There will in no wise be enough" (see μή, IV. 2); cf. Bornemann in the Studien und Kritiken for 1843, p. 143f; (but all the editors above named remove the punctuation mark after μήποτε; in which case it may be connected directly with the words which follow it and translated (with R. V.) 'peradventure there will not be enough'; cf. Buttmann, § 148, 10, especially, p. 354 (304) note. For additional examples of μήποτε in this sense (cf. Aristotle, eth. Nic. 10, 10, p. 1179a, 24; with indicative, ibid., pp. 1172{a}, 33; 1173{a} 22, etc.), see Sophocles Lexicon, under the word; Alexander Buttmann (1873) in his translation of Apoll. Dysk., index under the word; (cf. Liddell and Scott, under the word μή, Buttmann, 9)). after φοβοῦμαι, with present subjunctive Hebrews 4:1; so that φοβούμενος must be supplied before it, Luke 14:8. after βλέπειν with a future indicative (cf. Winer's Grammar, § 56, 2 b. α.; Buttmann, 243 (209)), Hebrews 3:12.

3. a particle of interrogation accompanied with doubt (see μή, III.), whether ever, whether at any time; whether perchance, whether haply, (German doch nicht etwa; ob nicht etwa);

a. in a direct question introduced by ἐπεί, for, else (see ἐπεί, 2 under the end): so according to the not improbable interpretation of some (e. g. L WH marginal reading, Delitzsch) in Hebrews 9:17, see in 1 above. In the remaining N. T. passages so used that the inquirer, though he doubts and expects a negative answer, yet is inclined to believe what he doubtfully asks about; thus, in a direct question, in John 7:26.

b. in indirect questions; α. with the optative (where the words are regarded as the thought of someone (Winers Grammar, § 41 b. 4 c.; Buttmann, § 139, 60)): Luke 3:15. (See β.) β. with the subjunctive: 2 Timothy 2:25 (R G L (cf. Buttmann, 46 (40));. but T Tr WH text give the optative), where μήποτε κτλ. depend on the suppressed idea διαλογιζόμενος (cf. Buttmann, § 139, 62 at the end; Winer's Grammar, as above).

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
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Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament


(= μή ποτε , and so written in WH, exc. Matthew 25:9),

negative particle, related to οὔποτε as μή to οὐ .

1. As neg. particle, never: Hebrews 9:17 (R, mg., but v. infr.; WH, txt., μή τότε ).

2. As conjc., lest ever, lest haply (the idea of chance rather than of time seems to prevail in NT) : Matthew 4:6 (LXX) Matthew 5:25; Matthew 7:6; Matthew 13:15 (LXX), Matthew 13:29; Matthew 15:32; Matthew 27:64, Mark 4:12 (LXX) Mark 14:2, Luke 4:11; Luke 12:58; Luke 14:12; Luke 14:29, Acts 28:27; after verbs of fearing or taking heed, Luke 21:34, Hebrews 2:1; Hebrews 3:12; Hebrews 4:1; with ellipse of the verb or ptcp., Luke 14:8, Acts 5:39; in later writers (v. M, Pr., 192 f.), perhaps, Matthew 25:9.

3. As interrogative;

(a) in direct questions, like μή , expecting a negative answer: John 7:26, Hebrews 9:17, (R, txt., cf. Westc., in l; but v. supr.);

(b) in indirect questions, whether haply, if haply: Luke 3:15, 2 Timothy 2:25.†

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
μη μή Μηποτε μηποτέ Μήποτε μήποτέ Mepote Mēpote Mḗpote