King - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ A-1,Noun,G935, basileus ]
a king" (cp. Eng., "Basil"), e.g., Matthew 1:6, is used of the Roman emperor in 1 Peter 2:13, 1 Peter 2:17 (a command of general application); this reference to the emperor is illustrated frequently in the Koine (See Preface to this volume); of Herod the Tetrarch (used by courtesy), Matthew 14:9; of Christ, as the "King" of the Jews, e.g., Matthew 2:2; Matthew 27:11, Matthew 27:29, Matthew 27:37; as the "King" of Israel, Mark 15:32; John 1:49; John 12:13; as "King of kings," Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16; as "the King" in judging nations and men at the establishment of the millennial kingdom, Matthew 25:34, Matthew 25:40; of God, "the great King," Matthew 5:35; "the King eternal, incorruptible, invisible," 1 Timothy 1:17; "King of kings," 1 Timothy 6:15, See Note
(2) below; "King of the ages," Revelation 15:3, RV (AV, "saints"). Christ's "kingship" was predicted in the OT, e.g., Psalms 2:6, and in the NT, e.g., Luke 1:32-Luke 1:33; He came as such, e.g., Matthew 2:2; John 18:37; was rejected and died as such, Luke 19:14; Matthew 27:37; is now a "King" Priest, after the order of Melchizedek, Hebrews 5:6; Hebrews 7:1, Hebrews 7:17; and will reign for ever and ever, Revelation 11:15.


(1) In Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:10, the most authentic mss. have the word basileia, "kingdom," instead of the plural of basileus, AV, "kings," RV, "a kingdom (to be priests)," and "a kingdom (and priests)." The kingdom was conditionally offered by God to Israel, that they should be to Him "a kingdom of priests," Exodus 19:6, the entire nation fulfilling priestly worship and service. Their failure to fulfil His covenant resulted in the selection of the Aaronic priesthood. The bringing in of the new and better covenant of grace has constituted all believers a spiritual kingdom, a holy and royal priesthood, 1 Peter 2:5, 1 Peter 2:9.

(2) In 1 Timothy 6:15, the word "kings" translates the present participle of the verb basileuo, "to be king, to have kingship," lit., "of (those) who are kings." See REIGN,

(3) Deissmann has shown that the title "king of kings" was "in very early eastern history a decoration of great monarchs and also a divine title" (Light from the Ancient East, pp. 367ff.). Moulton and Milligan illustrate the use of the title among the Persians, from documents discovered in Media.

[ B-1,Adjective,G934, basileios ]
denoting "royal," as in 1 Peter 2:9, is used in the plural, of the courts or palaces of kings, Luke 7:25, "kings' courts;" a possible meaning is "among royal courtiers or persons."

[ B-2,Adjective,G937, basilikos ]
"royal, belonging to a king," is used in Acts 12:20 with "country" understood, "their country was fed from the king's," lit., "the royal (country)." See NOBLEMAN, ROYAL.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words