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Old & New Testament Greek Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #53 - ἁγνός
ἁγνός, ή, όν, (cf. ἅγιος)
pure, chaste, holy, Hom. (only in Od.), etc.:
I of places and things dedicated to gods, hallowed, ἑορτή Od. 21.259; of frankincense, ἁγνὴ ὀδμή Xenoph. 1.7; ἄλσος h.Merc. 187; τέμενος Pi. P. 4.204; ὕδωρ Id. I. 6(5).74; πυρὸς ἁγνόταται παγαί Id. P. 1.21; αἰθήρ A. Pr. 282; φάος, λουτρόν, S. El. 86, Ant. 1201; θύματα Id. Tr. 287, cf. Th. 1.126, D.H. 1.38; of food, Jul. Or. 6.192c (Comp.); χρηστήρια E. Ion 243, etc.; ἐν ἁγνῷ on holy ground, A. Supp. 223, but χῶρον οὐχ ἁ. πατεῖν a spot not lawful to tread on, S. OC 37.
2. of divine persons, chaste, pure, Hom., mostly of Artemis, χρυσόθρονος Ἄ. ἁ. Od. 5.123, 18.202, etc.; also ἁ. Περσεφόνεια 11.386, cf. h.Cer. 337; of Demeter, h.Cer. 203, 439; Χάριτες Sapph. 65; ἁ. θεαί, Demeter and Persephone, IG 14.204, 4.31; Apollo, Pi. P. 9.64; Zeus, A. Supp. 653, S. Ph. 1289: of the attributes of gods, θεῶν σέβας S. OT 830.
II after Hom.,
1. of persons, undefiled, chaste, of maidens, Alc. 55, Pi. P. 4.103, A. Fr. 242; ἁ. αὐδά, of a maiden's voice, Ag. 245; of Hippolytus, E. Hipp. 102; c. gen., λέχους ἁ. δέμας ib. 1003; γάμων ἁ. Pl. Lg. 840d, cf. Men. Epit. 223; ἁ. ἀπ' ἀνδρὸς συνουσίας Jusj. ap. D. 59.78.
2. pure from blood, guiltless, ἁγνοὶ τοὐπὶ τήνδε τὴν κόρην S. Ant. 889; ἁ. χεῖρας E. Or. 1604; μητροκτόνος.. τόθ' ἁ. ὤν Id. El. 975, cf. IA 940; ὅθ' ἁ. ἦν when he had been purified, S. Tr. 258: c. gen., ἁγνὰς χεῖρας αἵματος E. Hipp. 316; φόνου Pl. Lg. 759c; Δάματρος ἀκτᾶς δέμας ἁ. ἴσχειν pure from food, E. Hipp. 138.
3. generally, pure, upright, ἀέθλων ἁ. κρίσις Pi. O. 3.21; ψυχῆς φιλία ἁ. X. Smp. 8.15, etc.
III Adv. ἁγνῶς καὶ καθαρῶς h.Ap. 121, Hes. Op. 337; ἁ. ἔχειν X. Mem. 3.8.10.
ἄγνος, ἡ, Att. ὁ, = λύγος,
I chaste-tree, the branches of which were strewed by matrons on their beds at the Thesmophoria, Vitex Agnus-castus, h.Merc. 410, Chionid. 2, cf. Trag.Adesp. 396, Pl. Phdr. 230b, Hp. Int. 30, Arist. H A 627a9, Nic. Th. 71, Dsc. 1.103. (Associated with the notion of chastity from the like ness of its name to ἁγνός.)
II ἄγνος, ὁ, name of a fish, = καλλιώνυμος Diph.Siph. ap. Ath. 8.356a (sine acc. cod., ἁγνός Kaib.).
III a kind of bird, Sch. Pl. Phdr. l.c., Suid.
ἁγνός , -ή , όν
(<ἅγος , see ἅγιος ),
[in LXX chiefly for H2889 (Pss. and Pr. only), also 2 Maccabees 13:8, 4 Maccabees 18:7, al.;]
1. free from ceremonial defilement, in a condition prepared for worship (for exx. of pagan usage, v. MM, VGT, s.v.).
2. holy, sacred, venerable (2Mac, l.c.).
3. As in OT (cl.), pure, chaste, undefiled, guiltless;
(a) of persons: 2 Corinthians 7:11, 2 Corinthians 11:12, 1 Timothy 5:22, Titus 2:5, 1 John 3:3;
(b) of things: Philippians 4:8, James 3:17, 1 Peter 3:2.†
SYN.: εἰλικρινής G1506 (q.v.), pure, primarily as winnowed, purged, first found in ethical sense in NT (sincere). On the equivalence of ἁ . and καθαρός G2513 (q.v.), v. DCG, ii, 459a, though Westc. (Epp. Jo., 101) notes a distinction between them.
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
In its narrower sense we may compare a psephism from Assos, dated A.D. 37, Syll 364.20 τὴν πάτριον ἁγνὴν Παρθένον (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:2), i.e. Athena Polias, as Dittenberger notes—the ";Blessed Virgin"; of Greek religion : cf. Preisigke 2481 (i/A.D.) Ἰουλία ἁγνή, ἐτῶν κ ̄γ ̄, εὐψύχι. It is applied to holy places in P Tebt II. 616 (ii/A.D.), a letter from a προφήτης,—[ὅ ]τι ἔξεσ ̣[τι ] πᾶσι ἐν ἁγνοῖς τόποις γενέσθαι. For the ceremonial use of ἁ. see Priene 205, εἰσίναι εἰς τ [ὸ ] ἱερὸν ἁγνὸν ἐ [ν ] ἐσθῆτι λευκ [ῆι ], an inscription at the entrance to a ἱερὸς οἶκος. Rouffiac (Recherches, p. 62), who cites the passage, aptly recalls the inscription of the temple of Epidaurus mentioned by Clement Alex. (Strom. V. 1. 13, 3) to illustrate the transition from the ritual to the moral sense—
ἁγνὸν χρὴ νηοῖο θυώδεος ἐντὸς ἰόντα
ἔμμεναι · ἁγνείη δ᾽ ἐστὶ φρονεῖν ὅσια.
(Also in Porphyry de abst. ii. 19, ap. Syll ii. p. 267.) There is also a noteworthy usage in the Chian dialectic inscr., Syll 570.8 (iv/B.C.) [ὁ ἰ ]δὼν κατειπάτω πρ [ὸς ] τὸς βασιλέας ἁγ [νῶς ] πρὸς το θεο, ";give information . . . if he would be blameless before the God."; An interesting example of the adj. occurs in P Oxy I. 41.29 f. (the report of a public meeting, iii/iv A.D.), where at a popular demonstration in honour of the prytanis the people are described as shouting—ἁγνοὶ πιστοὶ σύνδικοι, ἁγνοὶ πιστοὶ σ ̣υ ̣[ν ]ή [γορο ]ι, ἰς ὥρας πᾶσι τοῖς τὴν πόλιν φιλοῦσιν, ";True and upright advocates, true and upright assessors! Hurrah for all who love the city!"; (Edd.). Ἁγνῶς in the sense of Philippians 1:17, ";honestly,"; is common in honorific inscriptions, as OGIS 485.13 (Magnesia, Roman age) τὰς λοιπὰς δὲ φιλοτειμίας τελιάσαντα ἁγνῶς καὶ ἀμέμπτως, ib. 524.5 (Thyatira, do.) ἀγορανομήσαντα τετράμηνον ἁγνῶς : so as .early as Pindar (Ol. iii. 37).
The adjective and its derivatives may accordingly take a wide meaning, as wide as our pure in the ethical sense. But a starting-point must not be overlooked : cf. the Avestan yasna ";ritual,"; Sanskrit yaj, Av. yaz ";to worship,"; showing that it originally denoted ";in a condition prepared for worship."; The uses noted under ἁγνεία and in this article show that this meaning persisted; and it is not out of sight in NT times. In pagan technical language it definitely connoted twofold abstinence, as a necessary condition of entrance into a temple. The definition of Heyschius gives us the condition in its oldest form : ";ἁγνεύειν · καθαρεύειν ἀπό τε ἀφροδισίων καὶ ἀπὸ νεκροῦ.";
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the Fourth Week after Epiphany