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Study Resources :: Dictionaries :: May, Mayest, Might

Dictionaries :: May, Mayest, Might

Below are articles from the following dictionary:
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g1410 Greek: dunamai

May, Mayest, Might:

"to be able, have power," whether by personal ability, permission, or opportunity, is sometimes rendered "may" or "might," e.g., Mat 26:9; Mar 14:5; Act 17:19; 1Th 2:6. In the following the RV substitutes "can," "canst," "couldst," for the AV, e.g., Mat 26:42; Mar 4:32; 14:7; Luk 16:2; Act 24:11; 25:11; 27:12; 1Cr 7:21; 14:31 (here the alteration is especially important, as not permission for all to prophesy, but ability to do so, is the meaning); Eph 3:4. In the following the RV substitutes the verb "to be able," Act 19:40; 24:8; Rev 13:17.
See ABLE, B, No. 1.

2 Strong's Number: g1832 Greek: exesti

May, Mayest, Might:

"it is premitted, lawful" (eimi, "to be," prefixed by ek, "from"), is rendered "(I) may" in Act 2:29, RV [AV, "let (me)"]; in Act 21:37, "may (I)," lit., "is it permitted (me to speak)?" Some mss. have it in Act 8:37, "thou mayest" (AV).

3 Strong's Number: g2470 Greek: isos

May, Mayest, Might:

"equally" (from the adjective isos, "equal"), is translated "it may be" in Luk 20:13 (i.e., "perhaps").

4 Strong's Number: g5177 Greek: tunchano

May, Mayest, Might:

"to meet with, reach, obtain," denotes, intransitively, "to happen, chance, befall;" used impersonally with the conjunction ei, "if," it signifies "it may be," "perhaps," e.g., 1Cr 14:10; 15:37, "it may chance;" 1Cr 16:6.


(1) In Mat 8:28, AV, ischuo, "to have strength, be strong, be well able," is translated "might" (RV, "could").

(2) "May," "might," sometimes translate the prepositional phrase eis, "unto," with the definite article, followed by the infinitive mood of some verb, expressing purpose, e.g., Act 3:19, "may be blotted out," lit., "unto the blotting out of;" Rom 3:26, "that he might be," lit., "unto his being;" so Rom 8:29; 2Cr 1:4, "that we may be able," lit., "unto our being able;" Eph 1:18, "that ye may know," lit., "unto your knowing;" Act 7:19; Rom 1:11; 4:16; 12:2; 15:13; Phl 1:10; 1Th 3:10, 13; 2Th 1:5; 2:6, 10; Hbr 12:10. In Luk 20:20 the best mss. have hoste, "so as to," RV, as, e.g., in 1Pe 1:21. Sometimes the article with the infinitive mood without a preceding preposition, expresses result, e.g., Luk 21:22; Act 26:18 (twice), "that they may turn," RV; cp. Rom 6:6; 11:10; 1Cr 10:13; Phl 3:10, "that I may know;" Jam 5:17.

(3) The phrases "may be," "might be," are frequently the rendering of the verb "to be," in the subjunctive or optative moods, preceded by a conjunction introducing a condition, or expressing a wish or purpose, e.g., Mat 6:4; Jhn 14:3; 17:11. Sometimes the phrase translates simply the infinitive mood of the verb eimi, "to be," e.g., Luk 8:38, lit., "to be (with Him);" so the RV in 2Cr 5:9; in 2Cr 9:5, "that (the same) might be," lit., "(the same) to be."

(4) In Hbr 7:9 the phrase hos ("so") epos ("a word") eipen ("to say"), i.e., lit., "so to say a word" is an idiom, translated in the RV, "so to say" (AV, "if I may so say"); the Eng. equivalent is "one might almost say."


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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