Say - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G3004, lego ]
primarily, to pick out, gather," chiefly denotes "to say, speak, affirm," whether of actual speech, e.g., Matthew 11:17, or of unspoken thought, e.g., Matthew 3:9, or of a message in writing, e.g., 2 Corinthians 8:8. The 2nd aorist form eipon is used to supply that tense, which is lacking in lego. Concerning the phrase "he answered and said," it is a well known peculiarity of Hebrew narrative style that a speech is introduced, not simply by "and he said," but by prefixing "and he answered" (apokrinomai, with eipon). In Matthew 14:27, "saying," and Mark 6:50, "and saith," emphasis is perhaps laid on the fact that the Lord, hitherto silent as He moved over the lake, then addressed His disciples. That the phrase sometimes occurs where no explicit question has preceded (e.g., Matthew 11:25; Matthew 17:4; Matthew 28:5; Mark 11:14; Mark 12:35; Luke 13:15; Luke 14:3; John 5:17, John 5:19), illustrates the use of the Hebrew idiom.

Note: A characteristic of lego is that it refers to the purport or sentiment of what is said as well as the connection of the words; this is illustrated in Hebrews 8:1, RV, "(in the things which) we are saying," AV, "(which) we have spoken." In comparison with laleo (No. 2), lego refers especially to the substance of what is "said," laleo, to the words conveying the utterance; See, e.g., John 12:49, "what I should say (lego, in the 2nd aorist subjunctive form eipo), and what I should speak (laleo);" John 12:50, "even as the Father hath said (laleo, in the perfect form eireke) unto Me, so I speak" (laleo); cp. 1 Corinthians 14:34, "saith (lego) the law;" 1 Corinthians 14:35, "to speak" (laleo). Sometimes laleo signifies the utterance, as opposed to silence, lego declares what is "said;" e.g., Romans 3:19, "what things soever the law saith (lego), it speaketh (laleo) to them that are under the law;" See also Mark 6:50; Luke 24:6. In the NT laleo never has the meaning "to chatter."

[ 2,,G2980, laleo ]
"to speak," is sometimes translated "to say;" in the following where the AV renders it thus, the RV alters it to the verb "to speak," e.g., John 8:25 (3rd part), John 8:26; John 16:6; John 18:20 (2nd part), John 18:21 (1st part); Acts 3:22 (2nd part); 1 Corinthians 9:8 (1st part); Hebrews 5:5; in the following the RV uses the verb "to say," John 16:18; Acts 23:18 (2nd part); Acts 26:22 (2nd part); Hebrews 11:18. See Note above, and SPEAK, TALK, TELL, UTTER.

[ 3,,G5346, phemi ]
"to declare, say,"
(a) is frequently used in quoting the words of another, e.g., Matthew 13:29; Matthew 26:61;
(b) is interjected into the recorded words, e.g., Acts 23:35;
(c) is used impersonally, 2 Corinthians 10:10.

[ 4,,G3004, eiro ]
an obsolete verb, has the future tense ereo, used, e.g., in Matthew 7:4; Luke 4:23 (2nd part); Luke 13:25 (last part); Romans 3:5; Romans 4:1; Romans 6:1; Romans 7:7 (1st part); Romans 8:31; Romans 9:14, Romans 9:19-Romans 9:20, Romans 9:30; Romans 11:19; 1 Corinthians 15:35; 2 Corinthians 12:6; James 2:18. The perfect is used, e.g., in John 12:50; See No. 1, Note. The 1st aorist Passive, "it was said," is used in Romans 9:12, Romans 9:26; Revelation 6:11. See SPEAK, No. 13.

[ 5,,G4302, proeipon ]
and proereo, "to say before," used as aorist and future respectively of prolego (pro, "before," and No. 1), is used
(a) of prophecy, e.g., Romans 9:29; "to tell before," Matthew 24:25; Mark 13:23; "were spoken before," 2 Peter 3:2; Jude 1:17;
(b) of "saying" before, 2 Corinthians 7:3; 2 Corinthians 13:2, RV (AV, "to tell before" and "foretell"); Galatians 1:9; Galatians 5:21; in 1 Thessalonians 4:6, "we forewarned," RV. See FORETELL, FOREWARN, TELL.

[ 6,,G473, anteipon ]
"to say against" (anti, "against," and No. 1), is so rendered in Acts 4:14. See GAINSAY.


(1) Phasko, "to affirm, assert," is translated "saying" in Acts 24:9, AV (RV, "affirming"), and Revelation 2:2 in some mss. (AV). See AFFIRM, No. 3.

(2) In Acts 2:14, AV, apophthengomai, "to speak forth" (RV), is rendered "said."

(3) The phrase tout' esti (i.e., touto esti), "that is," is so translated in Matthew 27:46, RV (AV, "that is to say"); so Acts 1:19; in Hebrews 9:11; Hebrews 10:20, AV and RV, "that is to say;" in Mark 7:11 the phrase is ho esti, lit., "which is;" the phrase ho legetai, lit., "which is said," John 1:38; John 20:16, is rendered "which is to say."

(4) In Luke 7:40; Acts 13:15, the imperative mood of eipon and lego, respectively, is rendered "say on."

(5) In Mark 6:22, AV, autes, "herself," RV, is rendered "the said."

(6) In Hebrews 5:11, "we have many things to say" is, lit., "much (polus) is the word (or discourse, logos) for us."

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words