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Dictionaries :: Expedient

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International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia


eks-pe'-di-ent (sumphero): The Greek word translated "expedient" (sumphero) means literally, "to bear or bring together"; with a personal reference, "to be well or profitable." In the New Testament it never means "profitable" or "convenient" as opposed to what is strictly right. It is translated "expedient" (Joh 11:50, "it is expedient for us," the Revised Version (British and American) "for you"; Joh 16:7, "It is expedient for you that I go away," i.e. "profitable," "for your good," 18:14; 1Co 6:12; 10:23; 2Co 8:10; 12:1). In Mt 19:10, instead of "not good to marry," the Revised Version (British and American) has "not expedient." The modern sense of "expediency" as "hastening" or "acceleration," is not found in the New Testament, any more than its bad sense of "mere convenience." "Nothing but the right can ever be expedient" (Whately).

Written by W. L. Walker

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g4851 Greek: sumphero



(a), transitively, lit., "to bring together," (sun, "with," phero, "to bring"), Act 19:19;

(b) intransitively, "to be an advantage, profitable, expedient" (not merely 'convenient'); it is used mostly impersonally, "it is (it was) expedient;" so in Mat 19:10, RV (negatively), AV, "it is (not) good;" Jhn 11:50; 16:7; 18:14; 1Cr 6:12; 10:23; 2Cr 8:10; 12:1; "it is profitable," Mat 5:29, 30; 18:6, RV; "was profitable," Act 20:20; "to profit withal," 1Cr 12:7; in Hbr 12:10, used in the neuter of the present participle with the article as a noun, "for (our) profit."
See PROFIT. Cp. the adjective sumphoros (or sumpheron), "profitable," used with the article as a noun, 1Cr 7:35; 10:33.


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