Greek word - (ochlos G3793, plethos G4128, murias G3461)
Quiz - Choose the answer that is closest to what you think MULTITUDE is.
A - 10,000
B - a large number of something
C - a crowd
D - all of the above
Problem - Outdated
ochlos (G3793) "When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him." (Matthew 8:1)
plethos (G4128) "And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense." (Luke 1:10)
Multitude is an outdated word. We do not say, "There was a large multitude at the game last night."
A multitude is a large number of something or a crowd. It is easy to take the English word apart. Multi- means many, and -tude is a suffix that is added to a prefix to make it a word (fortitude, latitude, altitude). So it is something that is many.
Three Greek words are translated as multitude in the King James Version: ochlos (G3793), plethos (G4128), and murias (G3461).
Murias (G3461) is the number, ten thousand (10,000), and is translated as such every time by the King James Version except in Luke 12:1 where it is "an innumerable multitude" and in Hebrews 12:22 where it is "an innumerable company". Why the King James translators chose not to translate murias in those two verses the way they usually did, as ten thousand, I don't know. They should have.
Ochlos (G3793) is a crowd. In the King James Version, it is translated as multitude 78 times, people 84 times, press 5 times, company 7 times, and number once. It could have been translated as multitude or crowd every time.
Plethos (G4128) is a large number of something. In the King James Version, it is translated as multitude 30 times, company once, and bundle once.
So what is a multitude in the Bible? You cannot know for certain until you consult the Greek text. If the Greek word behind multitude is murias, it is ten thousand. If it is ochlos, it is a crowd. And if it is plethos, it is a large number.
In the Bible, depending on the Greek word it translates, multitude is 10,000, multitude is a crowd, or multitude is a large number.
ochlos (G3793) = large number
plethos (G4128) = crowd
murias (G3461) = ten thousand
Bible Version Tally (how other versions translate this word)
ochlos (G3793) Matthew 8:1 - multitude (11 of 53), crowd (37 of 53), people (4 of 53), throng (1 of 53)
plethos (G4128) Luke 1:10 - multitude (19 of 52), not translated (9 of 52), crowd (9 of 52), assembly (7 of 52), many (4 of 52), congregation (3 of 52), throng (1 of 52)
ochlos (G3793) "After He walked down from the mountain, big crowds followed Him." (Matthew 8:1)
plethos (G4128) "And the entire large number of the group were praying outside at the incense hour." (Luke 1:10)
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