furst ('echadh, ri'shon; proton, to proton, protos):

Of these words, which are those most frequently used for "first," ri'shon is from rosh, "the head, and is used for the highest, chief, etc.; also of time, the beginning, e.g. Genesis 8:13, in the first month"; in Isaiah 44:6; 48:12, it is used of Yahweh as Eternal and solely Supreme--the First and the Last (compare Isaiah 41:4). Special usages are in connection with "firstborn," "first- fruit," etc.; proton is used of that which is first in order; but also of that which is first or chief in importance, etc. (Matthew 6:33; James 3:17). In 1 Timothy 1:15, Paul says Jesus came "to save sinners; of whom I am chief," literally, "first"; the same word is used by Jesus of the "first" of the commandments (Mark 12:29); where we read in 1 Corinthians 15:3, "I delivered unto you first of all," it is en protois ("in the foremost place"); "The first and the last" is applied to Christ as Eternal and Supreme (Revelation 1:17; 2:8; 22:13); protos is "the first day" (Matthew 26:17; Mark 16:9); in Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1,19; Acts 20:7, it is mia ("one").

W. L. Walker

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'FIRST'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.  

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