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Greek Word Study - Supply

Let’s start with the word choreography. We’ll work our way back into ancient Greek theatre, and from there we’ll move forward to the New Testament.

Choreography comes from the “chorus” and the movements “written” for them as they walked across the stage and narrated parts of the story. The chorus—or choir—was an essential part of every play and festival. The expense of hiring the chorus was covered by a wealthy patron of the arts. Out of this came the Greek word choreo (kor REH oh), meaning to “provide the chorus.”

As time passed, a prefix was added to strengthen the word, and it become epichoreo (eh pea kor REH oh). In this form it moved from theatre to the language of marriage contracts, where it meant “to provide an ample supply.” Such contracts, which have been found among papyrus documents, have terminology like this: “The man who marries must supply to his wife the necessities of life, according to his ability.” (In a divorce petition, one man complained that he had to supply his wife’s needs beyond his ability!)

Now let’s look at epichoreo in the New Testament, remembering its background with wealthy patrons of the arts and devoted husbands. Out of his infinite resources, God has become our patron and provider, generously giving us more than an ample supply. To start with, God supplies us with his Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:5). Then, “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness” (2 Corinthians 9: 10). Finally, God will see to it that we are supplied with a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom. From beginning to end, in every generation and millennium, it is God who supplies our needs.