COURSE (from Lat. cursus, “to run”):

1. εὐθυδρομέω, G2312, “run a straight course,” as of a ship (Acts 16:11), cf. KJV, NEB.

2. מְסִלָּה, H5019, “highway,” LXX τρίβος, G5561, “their courses,” as of the stars (Judg 5:20).

4. τρέχω, G5556, “to proceed quickly and without hindrance” (2 Thess 3:1), cf. KJV.

5. τροχός, G5580, a wheel, i.e., the course of life (James 3:6).

6. αἰών, G172, “age, course of things: according to the ‘course of this world’” (Eph 2:2).


A, Edersheim, The Temple, Its Ministry and Services (n.d.), 86-88, 90, 91; W. F. Arndt and F. W. Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (1957).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(from Latin cursus, "a running," "race," "voyage," "way"):

(1) euthudromeo, "forward or onward movement," as of a ship: "We made a straight course" (Ac 16:11; compare Ac 21:1); "We had finished our course." (the Revised Version (British and American) "voyage," Ac 21:7).

(2) A (prescribed or self-appointed) path, as of the sun: "Swift is the sun in his course" (1 Esdras 4:34); of the stars: "The stars in their courses fought against Sisera" (Jud 5:20 the King James Version) (see Astronomy; Astrology); of a river (or irrigating canal?): "as willows by the watercourses" (Isa 44:4); of a race (techo "that the word of the Lord may have free course.") (the Revised Version (British and American) "may run") (2Th 3:1).

(3) A career in such a course (dromos): "I have finished my (the Revised Version (British and American) "the") course" (2Ti 4:7); "as John fulfilled (the Revised Version (British and American) "was fulfilling") his course" (Ac 13:25); "that I might finish (the Revised Version (British and American) "may accomplish") my course" (Ac 20:24).

(4) A way or manner, as of life: "Every one turned to his course" (Jer 8:6); "their course is evil" (Jer 23:10); "walked according to the course aion, the Revised Version, [margin "age"] of this world" (Eph 2:2).

(5) Orderly succession: "sang together by course" (the American Standard Revised Version "sang one to another") (Ezr 3:11); "by course" (the Revised Version (British and American) "in turn") (1Co 14:27); the courses of the priests and Levites (1Ch 27:1-15; 1Ch 28:1; 2Ch 5:11; Lu 1:5,8).

See Priests and Levites.

(6) A row or layer, as of masonry: "All the foundations of the earth are out of count" (the Revised Version (British and American) "are moved"; the American Standard Revised Version "are shaken") (Ps 82:5).

(7) (The tongue) "setteth on fire the course (the Revised Version (British and American) "wheel") of nature" (Jas 3:6). The cycle of generation (ton trochon tes geneseos) here means the physical world as constituted by the round of origin and decay, and typified by the Orphic (legendary) cycle of births and deaths through which the soul passes in metempsychosis.

See also GAMES.