Greek word rendered "piece of money" (Matt. 17:27, A.V.; and
"shekel" in R.V.). It was equal to two didrachmas ("tribute
money," 17:24), or four drachmas, and to about 2s. 6d. of our
money. (See SHEKEL ¯T0003336.)
that faculty of the mind, or inborn sense of right and wrong, by
which we judge of the moral character of human conduct. It is
common to all men. Like all our other faculties, it has been
perverted by the Fall (John 16:2; Acts 26:9; Rom. 2:15). It is
spoken of as "defiled" (Titus 1:15), and "seared" (1 Tim. 4:2).
A "conscience void of offence" is to be sought and cultivated
(Acts 24:16; Rom. 9:1; 2 Cor. 1:12; 1 Tim. 1:5, 19; 1 Pet.
(Gen. 33:19, R.V., marg., a Hebrew word, rendered, A.V., pl.
"pieces of money," marg., "lambs;" Josh. 24:32, "pieces of
silver;" Job 42:11, "piece of money"). The kesitah was probably
a piece of money of a particular weight, cast in the form of a
lamb. The monuments of Egypt show that such weights were used.
(See PIECES ¯T0002950.)
(1.) A weight. Heb. maneh, equal to 100 shekels (1 Kings 10:17;
Ezra 2:69; Neh. 7:71, 72). Gr. litra, equal to about 12 oz.
avoirdupois (John 12:3; 19:39).
(2.) A sum of money; the Gr. mna or mina (Luke 19:13, 16, 18,
20, 24, 25). It was equal to 100 drachmas, and was of the value
of about $3, 6s. 8d. of our money. (See MONEY ¯T0002590.)
in Rom. 13:2, means "condemnation," which comes on those who
withstand God's ordinance of magistracy. This sentence of
condemnation comes not from the magistrate, but from God, whose
authority is thus resisted.
In 1 Cor. 11:29 (R.V., "judgment") this word means
condemnation, in the sense of exposure to severe temporal
judgements from God, as the following verse explains.
In Rom. 14:23 the word "damned" means "condemned" by one's own
conscience, as well as by the Word of God. The apostle shows
here that many things which are lawful are not expedient; and
that in using our Christian liberty the question should not
simply be, Is this course I follow lawful? but also, Can I
follow it without doing injury to the spiritual interests of a
brother in Christ? He that "doubteth", i.e., is not clear in his
conscience as to "meats", will violate his conscience "if he
eat," and in eating is condemned; and thus one ought not so to
use his liberty as to lead one who is "weak" to bring upon
himself this condemnation.
Heb. ner, Job 18:6; 29:3; Ps. 18:28; Prov. 24:20, in all which
places the Revised Version and margin of Authorized Version have
"lamp," by which the word is elsewhere frequently rendered. The
Hebrew word denotes properly any kind of candle or lamp or
torch. It is used as a figure of conscience (Prov. 20:27), of a
Christian example (Matt. 5:14, 15), and of prosperity (Job
21:17; Prov. 13:9).
(Matt. 27:6; Mark 12:41; John 8:20). It does not appear that
there was a separate building so called. The name was given to
the thirteen brazen chests, called "trumpets," from the form of
the opening into which the offerings of the temple worshippers
were put. These stood in the outer "court of the women." "Nine
chests were for the appointed money-tribute and for the
sacrifice-tribute, i.e., money-gifts instead of the sacrifices;
four chests for freewill-offerings for wood, incense, temple
decoration, and burnt-offerings" (Lightfoot's Hor. Heb.).
Of uncoined money the first notice we have is in the history of
Abraham (Gen. 13:2; 20:16; 24:35). Next, this word is used in
connection with the purchase of the cave of Machpelah (23:16),
and again in connection with Jacob's purchase of a field at
Shalem (Gen. 33:18, 19) for "an hundred pieces of money"=an
hundred Hebrew kesitahs (q.v.), i.e., probably pieces of money,
as is supposed, bearing the figure of a lamb.
The history of Joseph affords evidence of the constant use of
money, silver of a fixed weight. This appears also in all the
subsequent history of the Jewish people, in all their internal
as well as foreign transactions. There were in common use in
trade silver pieces of a definite weight, shekels, half-shekels,
and quarter-shekels. But these were not properly coins, which
are pieces of metal authoritatively issued, and bearing a stamp.
Of the use of coined money we have no early notice among the
Hebrews. The first mentioned is of Persian coinage, the daric
(Ezra 2:69; Neh. 7:70) and the 'adarkon (Ezra 8:27). The daric
(q.v.) was a gold piece current in Israel in the time of
Cyrus. As long as the Jews, after the Exile, lived under Persian
rule, they used Persian coins. These gave place to Greek coins
when Israel came under the dominion of the Greeks (B.C. 331),
the coins consisting of gold, silver, and copper pieces. The
usual gold pieces were staters (q.v.), and the silver coins
tetradrachms and drachms.
In the year B.C. 140, Antiochus VII. gave permission to Simon
the Maccabee to coin Jewish money. Shekels (q.v.) were then
coined bearing the figure of the almond rod and the pot of
(1) of silver. In Ps. 68:30 denotes "fragments," and not
properly money. In 1 Sam. 2:36 (Heb. agorah), properly a "small
sum" as wages, weighed rather than coined. Josh. 24:32 (Heb.
kesitah, q.v.), supposed by some to have been a piece of money
bearing the figure of a lamb, but rather simply a certain
amount. (Comp. Gen. 33:19).
(2.) The word pieces is omitted in many passages, as Gen.
20:16; 37:28; 45:22, etc. The passage in Zech. 11:12, 13 is
quoted in the Gospel (Matt. 26:15), and from this we know that
the word to be supplied is "shekels." In all these omissions we
may thus warrantably supply this word.
(3.) The "piece of money" mentioned in Matt. 17:27 is a
stater=a Hebrew shekel, or four Greek drachmae; and that in Luke
15:8, 9, Act 19:19, a Greek drachma=a denarius. (See PENNY
a bean, probably of the carob tree, the smallest weight, and
also the smallest piece of money, among the Hebrews, equal to
the twentieth part of a shekel (Ex. 30:13; Lev. 27:25; Num.
3:47). This word came into use in the same way as our word
"grain," from a grain of wheat.
(Gr. soudarion, John 11:44; 20:7; Lat. sudarium, a
"sweat-cloth"), a cloth for wiping the sweat from the face. But
the word is used of a wrapper to fold money in (Luke 19:20), and
as an article of dress, a "handkerchief" worn on the head (Acts
the name given to the piece of ground which was afterwards
bought with the money that had been given to Judas. It was
called the "field of blood" (Matt. 27:7-10). Tradition places it
in the valley of Hinnom. (See ACELDAMA ¯T0000063.)
(Matt. 21:12; Mark 11:15; John 2:15). Every Israelite from
twenty years and upwards had to pay (Ex. 30:13-15) into the
sacred treasury half a shekel every year as an offering to
Jehovah, and that in the exact Hebrew half-shekel piece. There
was a class of men, who frequented the temple courts, who
exchanged at a certain premium foreign moneys for these
half-shekels to the Jews who came up to Jerusalem from all parts
of the world. (See PASSOVER ¯T0002864.) When our Lord drove the
traffickers out of the temple, these money-changers fared worst.
Their tables were overturned and they themselves were expelled.
(Gr. denarion), a silver coin of the value of about 7 1/2d. or
8d. of our present money. It is thus rendered in the New
Testament, and is more frequently mentioned than any other coin
(Matt. 18:28; 20:2, 9, 13; Mark 6:37; 14:5, etc.). It was the
daily pay of a Roman soldier in the time of Christ. In the reign
of Edward III. an English penny was a labourer's day's wages.
This was the "tribute money" with reference to which our Lord
said, "Whose image and superscription is this?" When they
answered, "Caesar's," he replied, "Render therefore to Caesar
the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are
God's" (Matt. 22:19; Mark 12:15).
(1.) Gr. balantion, a bag (Luke 10:4; 22:35, 36).
(2.) Gr. zone, properly a girdle (Matt. 10:9; Mark 6:8), a
money-belt. As to our Lord's sending forth his disciples without
money in their purses, the remark has been made that in this
"there was no departure from the simple manners of the country.
At this day the farmer sets out on excursions quite as extensive
without a para in his purse; and a modern Moslem prophet of
Tarshisha thus sends forth his apostles over this identical
region. No traveller in the East would hestitate to throw
himself on the hospitality of any village." Thomson's Land and
the Book. (See SCRIP ¯T0003242.)
a tax imposed by the Romans. The tax-gatherers were termed
publicans (q.v.), who had their stations at the gates of cities,
and in the public highways, and at the place set apart for that
purpose, called the "receipt of custom" (Matt.9: 9; Mark 2:14),
where they collected the money that was to be paid on certain
goods (Matt.17:25). These publicans were tempted to exact more
from the people than was lawful, and were, in consequence of
their extortions, objects of great hatred. The Pharisees would
have no intercourse with them (Matt.5:46, 47; 9:10, 11).
A tax or tribute (q.v.) of half a shekel was annually paid by
every adult Jew for the temple. It had to be paid in Jewish coin
(Matt. 22:17-19; Mark 12:14, 15). Money-changers (q.v.) were
necessary, to enable the Jews who came up to Jerusalem at the
feasts to exchange their foreign coin for Jewish money; but as
it was forbidden by the law to carry on such a traffic for
emolument (Deut. 23:19, 20), our Lord drove them from the temple
(Matt. 21:12: Mark 11:15).
man-defender. (1.) A relative of Annas the high priest, present
when Peter and John were examined before the Sanhedrim (Acts
(2.) A man whose father, Simon the Cyrenian, bore the cross of
Christ (Mark 15:21).
(3.) A Jew of Ephesus who took a prominent part in the uproar
raised there by the preaching of Paul (Acts 19:33). The Jews put
him forward to plead their cause before the mob. It was probably
intended that he should show that he and the other Jews had no
sympathy with Paul any more than the Ephesians had. It is
possible that this man was the same as the following.
(4.) A coppersmith who, with Hymenaeus and others, promulgated
certain heresies regarding the resurrection (1 Tim. 1:19; 2 Tim.
4:14), and made shipwreck of faith and of a good conscience.
Paul excommunicated him (1 Tim. 1:20; comp. 1 Cor. 5:5).
first mentioned as purchased by Abraham for Sarah from Ephron
the Hittite (Gen. 23:20). This was the "cave of the field of
Machpelah," where also Abraham and Rebekah and Jacob and Leah
were burried (79:29-32). In Acts 7:16 it is said that Jacob was
"laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of
the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem." It has been proposed,
as a mode of reconciling the apparent discrepancy between this
verse and Gen. 23:20, to read Acts 7:16 thus: "And they [i.e.,
our fathers] were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the
sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of
Emmor [the son] of Sychem." In this way the purchase made by
Abraham is not to be confounded with the purchase made by Jacob
subsequently in the same district. Of this purchase by Abraham
there is no direct record in the Old Testament. (See TOMB
According to the Bible, the heart is the centre not only of
spiritual activity, but of all the operations of human life.
"Heart" and "soul" are often used interchangeably (Deut. 6:5;
26:16; comp. Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30, 33), but this is not
generally the case.
The heart is the "home of the personal life," and hence a man
is designated, according to his heart, wise (1 Kings 3:12,
etc.), pure (Ps. 24:4; Matt. 5:8, etc.), upright and righteous
(Gen. 20:5, 6; Ps. 11:2; 78:72), pious and good (Luke 8:15),
etc. In these and such passages the word "soul" could not be
substituted for "heart."
The heart is also the seat of the conscience (Rom. 2:15). It
is naturally wicked (Gen. 8:21), and hence it contaminates the
whole life and character (Matt. 12:34; 15:18; comp. Eccl. 8:11;
Ps. 73:7). Hence the heart must be changed, regenerated (Ezek.
36:26; 11:19; Ps. 51:10-14), before a man can willingly obey
The process of salvation begins in the heart by the believing
reception of the testimony of God, while the rejection of that
testimony hardens the heart (Ps. 95:8; Prov. 28:14; 2 Chr.
36:13). "Hardness of heart evidences itself by light views of
sin; partial acknowledgment and confession of it; pride and
conceit; ingratitude; unconcern about the word and ordinances of
God; inattention to divine providences; stifling convictions of
conscience; shunning reproof; presumption, and general ignorance
of divine things."
(Heb. hattath), the law of, is given in detail in Lev. 4-6:13;
9:7-11, 22-24; 12:6-8; 15:2, 14, 25-30; 14:19, 31; Num. 6:10-14.
On the day of Atonement it was made with special solemnity (Lev.
16:5, 11, 15). The blood was then carried into the holy of
holies and sprinkled on the mercy-seat. Sin-offerings were also
presented at the five annual festivals (Num. 28, 29), and on the
occasion of the consecration of the priests (Ex. 29:10-14, 36).
As each individual, even the most private member of the
congregation, as well as the congregation at large, and the high
priest, was obliged, on being convicted by his conscience of any
particular sin, to come with a sin-offering, we see thus
impressively disclosed the need in which every sinner stands of
the salvation of Christ, and the necessity of making application
to it as often as the guilt of sin renews itself upon his
conscience. This resort of faith to the perfect sacrifice of
Christ is the one way that lies open for the sinner's attainment
of pardon and restoration to peace. And then in the sacrifice
itself there is the reality of that incomparable worth and
preciousness which were so significantly represented in the
sin-offering by the sacredness of its blood and the hallowed
destination of its flesh. With reference to this the blood of
Christ is called emphatically "the precious blood," and the
blood that "cleanseth from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
the name which the Jews gave in their proper tongue, i.e., in
Aramaic, to the field which was purchased with the money which
had been given to the betrayer of our Lord. The word means
"field of blood." It was previously called "the potter's field"
(Matt. 27:7, 8; Acts 1:19), and was appropriated as the
burial-place for strangers. It lies on a narrow level terrace on
the south face of the valley of Hinnom. Its modern name is Hak
(mohar; i.e., price paid for a wife, Gen. 34:12; Ex. 22:17; 1
Sam. 18:25), a nuptial present; some gift, as a sum of money,
which the bridegroom offers to the father of his bride as a
satisfaction before he can receive her. Jacob had no dowry to
give for his wife, but he gave his services (Gen. 29:18; 30:20;
(1.) Matt. 10:29; Luke 12:6. Greek assarion, i.e., a small _as_,
which was a Roman coin equal to a tenth of a denarius or
drachma, nearly equal to a halfpenny of our money.
(2.) Matt. 5:26; Mark 12:42 (Gr. kodrantes), the quadrant, the
fourth of an _as_, equal to two lepta, mites. The lepton (mite)
was the very smallest copper coin.
the sum paid for the use of money, hence interest; not, as in
the modern sense, exorbitant interest. The Jews were forbidden
to exact usury (Lev. 25:36, 37), only, however, in their
dealings with each other (Deut. 23:19, 20). The violation of
this law was viewed as a great crime (Ps. 15:5; Prov. 28:8; Jer.
15:10). After the Return, and later, this law was much neglected
(Neh. 5:7, 10).
Rate of (mention only in Matt. 20:2); to be punctually paid
(Lev. 19:13; Deut. 24:14, 15); judgements threatened against the
withholding of (Jer. 22:13; Mal. 3:5; comp. James 5:4); paid in
money (Matt. 20:1-14); to Jacob in kind (Gen. 29:15, 20; 30:28;
31:7, 8, 41).
a rule of action. (1.) The Law of Nature is the will of God as
to human conduct, founded on the moral difference of things, and
discoverable by natural light (Rom. 1:20; 2:14, 15). This law
binds all men at all times. It is generally designated by the
term conscience, or the capacity of being influenced by the
moral relations of things.
(2.) The Ceremonial Law prescribes under the Old Testament the
rites and ceremonies of worship. This law was obligatory only
till Christ, of whom these rites were typical, had finished his
work (Heb. 7:9, 11; 10:1; Eph. 2:16). It was fulfilled rather
than abrogated by the gospel.
(3.) The Judicial Law, the law which directed the civil policy
of the Hebrew nation.
(4.) The Moral Law is the revealed will of God as to human
conduct, binding on all men to the end of time. It was
promulgated at Sinai. It is perfect (Ps. 19:7), perpetual (Matt.
5:17, 18), holy (Rom. 7:12), good, spiritual (14), and exceeding
broad (Ps. 119:96). Although binding on all, we are not under it
as a covenant of works (Gal. 3:17). (See COMMANDMENTS
(5.) Positive Laws are precepts founded only on the will of
God. They are right because God commands them.
(6.) Moral positive laws are commanded by God because they are
occurs only in the New Testament in connection with the box of
"ointment of spikenard very precious," with the contents of
which a woman anointed the head of Jesus as he sat at supper in
the house of Simon the leper (Matt. 26:7; Mark 14:3; Luke 7:37).
These boxes were made from a stone found near Alabastron in
Egypt, and from this circumstance the Greeks gave them the name
of the city where they were made. The name was then given to the
stone of which they were made; and finally to all perfume
vessels, of whatever material they were formed. The woman
"broke" the vessel; i.e., she broke off, as was usually done,
the long and narrow neck so as to reach the contents. This stone
resembles marble, but is softer in its texture, and hence very
easily wrought into boxes. Mark says (14:5) that this box of
ointment was worth more than 300 pence, i.e., denarii, each of
the value of sevenpence halfpenny of our money, and therefore
worth about 10 pounds. But if we take the denarius as the day's
wage of a labourer (Matt. 20:2), say two shillings of our money,
then the whole would be worth about 30 pounds, so costly was
(1.) A pocket of a cone-like shape in which Naaman bound two
pieces of silver for Gehazi (2 Kings 5:23). The same Hebrew word
occurs elsewhere only in Isa. 3:22, where it is rendered
"crisping-pins," but denotes the reticules (or as R.V.,
"satchels") carried by Hebrew women.
(2.) Another word (kees) so rendered means a bag for carrying
weights (Deut. 25:13; Prov. 16:11; Micah 6:11). It also denotes
a purse (Prov. 1:14) and a cup (23:31).
(3.) Another word rendered "bag" in 1 Sam. 17:40 is rendered
"sack" in Gen. 42:25; and in 1 Sam. 9:7; 21:5 "vessel," or
wallet for carrying food.
(4.) The word rendered in the Authorized Version "bags," in
which the priests bound up the money contributed for the
restoration of the temple (2 Kings 12:10), is also rendered
"bundle" (Gen. 42:35; 1 Sam. 25:29). It denotes bags used by
travellers for carrying money during a journey (Prov. 7:20; Hag.
(5.) The "bag" of Judas was a small box (John 12:6; 13:29).
Before the Exile the Jews had no regularly stamped money. They
made use of uncoined shekels or talents of silver, which they
weighed out (Gen. 23:16; Ex. 38:24; 2 Sam. 18:12). Probably the
silver ingots used in the time of Abraham may have been of a
fixed weight, which was in some way indicated on them. The
"pieces of silver" paid by Abimelech to Abraham (Gen. 20:16),
and those also for which Joseph was sold (37:28), were proably
in the form of rings. The shekel was the common standard of
weight and value among the Hebrews down to the time of the
Captivity. Only once is a shekel of gold mentioned (1 Chr.
21:25). The "six thousand of gold" mentioned in the transaction
between Naaman and Gehazi (2 Kings 5:5) were probably so many
shekels of gold. The "piece of money" mentioned in Job 42:11;
Gen. 33:19 (marg., "lambs") was the Hebrew _kesitah_, probably
an uncoined piece of silver of a certain weight in the form of a
sheep or lamb, or perhaps having on it such an impression. The
same Hebrew word is used in Josh. 24:32, which is rendered by
Wickliffe "an hundred yonge scheep."
weight, the common standard both of weight and value among the
Hebrews. It is estimated at 220 English grains, or a little more
than half an ounce avoirdupois. The "shekel of the sanctuary"
(Ex. 30:13; Num. 3:47) was equal to twenty gerahs (Ezek. 45:12).
There were shekels of gold (1 Chr. 21:25), of silver (1 Sam.
9:8), of brass (17:5), and of iron (7). When it became a coined
piece of money, the shekel of gold was equivalent to about 2
pound of our money. Six gold shekels, according to the later
Jewish system, were equal in value to fifty silver ones.
The temple contribution, with which the public sacrifices were
bought (Ex. 30:13; 2 Chr. 24:6), consisted of one common shekel,
or a sanctuary half-shekel, equal to two Attic drachmas. The
coin, a stater (q.v.), which Peter found in the fish's mouth
paid this contribution for both him and Christ (Matt. 17:24,
27). A zuza, or quarter of a shekel, was given by Saul to Samuel
(1 Sam. 9:8).
in the Revised Version of 1 Chr. 29:7; Ezra 2:69; 8:27; Neh.
7:70-72, where the Authorized Version has "dram." It is the
rendering of the Hebrew darkemon and the Greek dareikos. It was
a gold coin, bearing the figure of a Persian King with his crown
and armed with bow and arrow. It was current among the Jews
after their return from Babylon, i.e., while under the Persian
domination. It weighed about 128 grains troy, and was of the
value of about one guinea or rather more of our money. It is the
first coin mentioned in Scripture, and is the oldest that
history makes known to us.
Jehovah has made perfect. (1.) The son of Shaphan, and one of
the Levites of the temple in the time of Jehoiakim (Jer. 36:10;
2 Kings 22:12). Baruch read aloud to the people from Gemariah's
chamber, and again in the hearing of Gemariah and other scribes,
the prophecies of Jeremiah (Jer. 36:11-20), which filled him
with terror. He joined with others in entreating the king not to
destroy the roll of the prophecies which Baruch had read
(2.) The son of Hilkiah, who accompanied Shaphan with the
tribute-money from Zedekiah to Nebuchadnezzar, and was the
bearer at the same time of a letter from Jeremiah to the Jewish
captives at Babylon (Jer. 29:3, 4).
the rights and privileges of a citizen in distinction from a
foreigner (Luke 15:15; 19:14; Acts 21:39). Under the Mosaic law
non-Israelites, with the exception of the Moabites and the
Ammonites and others mentioned in Deut. 23:1-3, were admitted to
the general privileges of citizenship among the Jews (Ex. 12:19;
Lev. 24:22; Num. 15:15; 35:15; Deut. 10:18; 14:29; 16:10, 14).
The right of citizenship under the Roman government was
granted by the emperor to individuals, and sometimes to
provinces, as a favour or as a recompense for services rendered
to the state, or for a sum of money (Acts 22:28). This "freedom"
secured privileges equal to those enjoyed by natives of Rome.
Among the most notable of these was the provision that a man
could not be bound or imprisoned without a formal trial (Acts
22:25, 26), or scourged (16:37). All Roman citizens had the
right of appeal to Caesar (25:11).
a tax imposed by a king on his subjects (2 Sam. 20:24; 1 Kings
4:6; Rom. 13:6). In Matt. 17:24-27 the word denotes the temple
rate (the "didrachma," the "half-shekel," as rendered by the
R.V.) which was required to be paid for the support of the
temple by every Jew above twenty years of age (Ex. 30:12; 2
Kings 12:4; 2 Chr. 24:6, 9). It was not a civil but a religious
In Matt. 22:17, Mark 12:14, Luke 20:22, the word may be
interpreted as denoting the capitation tax which the Romans
imposed on the Jewish people. It may, however, be legitimately
regarded as denoting any tax whatever imposed by a foreign power
on the people of Israel. The "tribute money" shown to our Lord
(Matt. 22:19) was the denarius, bearing Caesar's superscription.
It was the tax paid by every Jew to the Romans. (See PENNY
which is an alloy of copper and zinc, was not known till the
thirteenth century. What is designated by this word in Scripture
is properly copper (Deut. 8:9). It was used for fetters (Judg.
16:21; 2 Kings 25:7), for pieces of armour (1 Sam. 17:5, 6), for
musical instruments (1 Chr. 15:19; 1 Cor. 13:1), and for money
It is a symbol of insensibility and obstinacy in sin (Isa.
48:4; Jer. 6:28; Ezek. 22:18), and of strength (Ps. 107:16;
The Macedonian empire is described as a kingdom of brass (Dan.
2:39). The "mountains of brass" Zechariah (6:1) speaks of have
been supposed to represent the immutable decrees of God.
The serpent of brass was made by Moses at the command of God
(Num. 21:4-9), and elevated on a pole, so that it might be seen
by all the people when wounded by the bite of the serpents that
were sent to them as a punishment for their murmurings against
God and against Moses. It was afterwards carried by the Jews
into Canaan, and preserved by them till the time of Hezekiah,
who caused it to be at length destroyed because it began to be
viewed by the people with superstitious reverence (2 Kings
18:4). (See NEHUSHTAN ¯T0002700.)
The brazen serpent is alluded to by our Lord in John 3:14, 15.
(See SERPENT ¯T0003287.)
Fishing, the art of
was prosecuted with great industry in the waters of Israel.
It was from the fishing-nets that Jesus called his disciples
(Mark 1:16-20), and it was in a fishing-boat he rebuked the
winds and the waves (Matt. 8:26) and delivered that remarkable
series of prophecies recorded in Matt. 13. He twice miraculously
fed multitudes with fish and bread (Matt. 14:19; 15:36). It was
in the mouth of a fish that the tribute-money was found (Matt.
17:27). And he "ate a piece of broiled fish" with his disciples
after his resurrection (Luke 24:42, 43; comp. Acts 1:3). At the
Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1-14), in obedience to his direction,
the disciples cast their net "on the right side of the ship,"
and enclosed so many that "they were not able to draw it for the
multitude of fishes."
Two kinds of fishing-nets are mentioned in the New Testament:
(1.) The casting-net (Matt. 4:18; Mark 1:16).
(2.) The drag-net or seine (Matt. 13:48).
Fish were also caught by the fishing-hook (Matt. 17:27). (See
first mentioned in the command (Ex. 30:11-16) that every Jew
from twenty years and upward should pay an annual tax of "half a
shekel for an offering to the Lord." This enactment was
faithfully observed for many generations (2 Chr. 24:6; Matt.
Afterwards, when the people had kings to reign over them, they
began, as Samuel had warned them (1 Sam. 8:10-18), to pay taxes
for civil purposes (1 Kings 4:7; 9:15; 12:4). Such taxes, in
increased amount, were afterwards paid to the foreign princes
that ruled over them.
In the New Testament the payment of taxes, imposed by lawful
rulers, is enjoined as a duty (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13, 14).
Mention is made of the tax (telos) on merchandise and travellers
(Matt. 17:25); the annual tax (phoros) on property (Luke 20:22;
23:2); the poll-tax (kensos, "tribute," Matt. 17:25; 22:17; Mark
12:14); and the temple-tax ("tribute money" = two drachmas =
half shekel, Matt. 17:24-27; comp. Ex. 30:13). (See TRIBUTE
a common Jewish name, the same as Hananiah. (1.) One of the
members of the church at Jerusalem, who conspired with his wife
Sapphira to deceive the brethren, and who fell down and
immediately expired after he had uttered the falsehood (Acts
5:5). By common agreement the members of the early Christian
community devoted their property to the work of furthering the
gospel and of assisting the poor and needy. The proceeds of the
possessions they sold were placed at the disposal of the
apostles (Acts 4:36, 37). Ananias might have kept his property
had he so chosen; but he professed agreement with the brethren
in the common purpose, and had of his own accord devoted it all,
as he said, to these sacred ends. Yet he retained a part of it
for his own ends, and thus lied in declaring that he had given
it all. "The offence of Ananias and Sapphira showed contempt of
God, vanity and ambition in the offenders, and utter disregard
of the corruption which they were bringing into the society.
Such sin, committed in despite of the light which they
possessed, called for a special mark of divine indignation."
(2.) A Christian at Damascus (Acts 9:10). He became Paul's
instructor; but when or by what means he himself became a
Christian we have no information. He was "a devout man according
to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt" at
(3.) The high priest before whom Paul was brought in the
procuratorship of Felix (Acts 23:2, 5, 24). He was so enraged at
Paul's noble declaration, "I have lived in all good conscience
before God until this day," that he commanded one of his
attendants to smite him on the mouth. Smarting under this
unprovoked insult, Paul quickly replied, "God shall smite thee,
thou whited wall." Being reminded that Ananias was the high
priest, to whose office all respect was to be paid, he answered,
"I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest" (Acts 23:5).
This expression has occasioned some difficulty, as it is
scarcely probable that Paul should have been ignorant of so
public a fact. The expression may mean (a) that Paul had at the
moment overlooked the honour due to the high priest; or (b), as
others think, that Paul spoke ironically, as if he had said,
"The high priest breaking the law! God's high priest a tyrant
and a lawbreaker! I see a man in white robes, and have heard his
voice, but surely it cannot, it ought not to be, the voice of
the high priest." (See Dr. Lindsay on Acts, _in loco_.) (c)
Others think that from defect of sight Paul could not observe
that the speaker was the high priest. In all this, however, it
may be explained, Paul, with all his excellency, comes short of
the example of his divine Master, who, when he was reviled,
reviled not again.
(A.S. and Dutch God; Dan. Gud; Ger. Gott), the name of the
Divine Being. It is the rendering (1) of the Hebrew _'El_, from
a word meaning to be strong; (2) of _'Eloah_, plural _'Elohim_.
The singular form, _Eloah_, is used only in poetry. The plural
form is more commonly used in all parts of the Bible, The Hebrew
word Jehovah (q.v.), the only other word generally employed to
denote the Supreme Being, is uniformly rendered in the
Authorized Version by "LORD," printed in small capitals. The
existence of God is taken for granted in the Bible. There is
nowhere any argument to prove it. He who disbelieves this truth
is spoken of as one devoid of understanding (Ps. 14:1).
The arguments generally adduced by theologians in proof of the
being of God are:
(1.) The a priori argument, which is the testimony afforded by
(2.) The a posteriori argument, by which we proceed logically
from the facts of experience to causes. These arguments are,
(a) The cosmological, by which it is proved that there must be
a First Cause of all things, for every effect must have a cause.
(b) The teleological, or the argument from design. We see
everywhere the operations of an intelligent Cause in nature.
(c) The moral argument, called also the anthropological
argument, based on the moral consciousness and the history of
mankind, which exhibits a moral order and purpose which can only
be explained on the supposition of the existence of God.
Conscience and human history testify that "verily there is a God
that judgeth in the earth."
The attributes of God are set forth in order by Moses in Ex.
34:6,7. (see also Deut. 6:4; 10:17; Num. 16:22; Ex. 15:11;
33:19; Isa. 44:6; Hab. 3:6; Ps. 102:26; Job 34:12.) They are
also systematically classified in Rev. 5:12 and 7:12.
God's attributes are spoken of by some as absolute, i.e., such
as belong to his essence as Jehovah, Jah, etc.; and relative,
i.e., such as are ascribed to him with relation to his
creatures. Others distinguish them into communicable, i.e.,
those which can be imparted in degree to his creatures:
goodness, holiness, wisdom, etc.; and incommunicable, which
cannot be so imparted: independence, immutability, immensity,
and eternity. They are by some also divided into natural
attributes, eternity, immensity, etc.; and moral, holiness,
the Graecized form of Judah. (1.) The patriarch (Matt. 1:2, 3).
(2.) Son of Simon (John 6:71; 13:2, 26), surnamed Iscariot,
i.e., a man of Kerioth (Josh. 15:25). His name is uniformly the
last in the list of the apostles, as given in the synoptic
(i.e., the first three) Gospels. The evil of his nature probably
gradually unfolded itself till "Satan entered into him" (John
13:27), and he betrayed our Lord (18:3). Afterwards he owned his
sin with "an exceeding bitter cry," and cast the money he had
received as the wages of his iniquity down on the floor of the
sanctuary, and "departed and went and hanged himself" (Matt.
27:5). He perished in his guilt, and "went unto his own place"
(Acts 1:25). The statement in Acts 1:18 that he "fell headlong
and burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out,"
is in no way contrary to that in Matt. 27:5. The sucide first
hanged himself, perhaps over the valley of Hinnom, "and the rope
giving way, or the branch to which he hung breaking, he fell
down headlong on his face, and was crushed and mangled on the
rocky pavement below."
Why such a man was chosen to be an apostle we know not, but it
is written that "Jesus knew from the beginning who should betray
him" (John 6:64). Nor can any answer be satisfactorily given to
the question as to the motives that led Judas to betray his
Master. "Of the motives that have been assigned we need not care
to fix on any one as that which simply led him on. Crime is, for
the most part, the result of a hundred motives rushing with
bewildering fury through the mind of the criminal."
(3.) A Jew of Damascus (Acts 9:11), to whose house Ananias was
sent. The street called "Straight" in which it was situated is
identified with the modern "street of bazaars," where is still
pointed out the so-called "house of Judas."
(4.) A Christian teacher, surnamed Barsabas. He was sent from
Jerusalem to Antioch along with Paul and Barnabas with the
decision of the council (Acts 15:22, 27, 32). He was a "prophet"
and a "chief man among the brethren."
the abbreviated form of Simeon. (1.) One of the twelve apostles,
called the Canaanite (Matt. 10:4; Mark 3:18). This word
"Canaanite" does not mean a native of Canaan, but is derived
from the Syriac word Kanean or Kaneniah, which was the name of a
Jewish sect. The Revised Version has "Cananaean;" marg., "or
Zealot" He is also called "Zelotes" (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13; R.V.,
"the Zealot"), because previous to his call to the apostleship
he had been a member of the fanatical sect of the Zealots. There
is no record regarding him.
(2.) The father of Judas Iscariot (John 6:71; 13:2, 26).
(3.) One of the brothers of our Lord (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3).
(4.) A Pharisee in whose house "a woman of the city which was
a sinner" anointed our Lord's feet with ointment (Luke 7:36-38).
(5.) A leper of Bethany, in whose house Mary anointed our
Lord's head with ointment "as he sat at meat" (Matt. 26:6-13;
(6.) A Jew of Cyrene, in North Africa, then a province of
Libya. A hundred thousand Jews from Israel had been settled
in this province by Ptolemy Soter (B.C. 323-285), where by this
time they had greatly increased in number. They had a synagogue
in Jerusalem for such of their number as went thither to the
annual feasts. Simon was seized by the soldiers as the
procession wended its way to the place of crucifixion as he was
passing by, and the heavy cross which Christ from failing
strength could no longer bear was laid on his shoulders. Perhaps
they seized him because he showed sympathy with Jesus. He was
the "father of Alexander and Rufus" (Matt. 27:32). Possibly this
Simon may have been one of the "men of Cyrene" who preached the
word to the Greeks (Acts 11:20).
(7.) A sorcerer of great repute for his magical arts among the
Samaritans (Acts 8:9-11). He afterwards became a professed
convert to the faith under the preaching of Philip the deacon
and evangelist (12, 13). His profession was, however, soon found
to be hollow. His conduct called forth from Peter a stern rebuke
(8:18-23). From this moment he disappears from the Church's
history. The term "Simony," as denoting the purchase for money
of spiritual offices, is derived from him.
(8.) A Christian at Joppa, a tanner by trade, with whom Peter
on one occasion lodged (Acts 9:43).
(9.) Simon Peter (Matt. 4:18). See PETER ¯T0002911.
the name given to the chief of the three great historical annual
festivals of the Jews. It was kept in remembrance of the Lord's
passing over the houses of the Israelites (Ex. 12:13) when the
first born of all the Egyptians were destroyed. It is called
also the "feast of unleavened bread" (Ex. 23:15; Mark 14:1; Acts
12:3), because during its celebration no leavened bread was to
be eaten or even kept in the household (Ex. 12:15). The word
afterwards came to denote the lamb that was slain at the feast
(Mark 14:12-14; 1 Cor. 5:7).
A detailed account of the institution of this feast is given
in Ex. 12 and 13. It was afterwards incorporated in the
ceremonial law (Lev. 23:4-8) as one of the great festivals of
the nation. In after times many changes seem to have taken place
as to the mode of its celebration as compared with its first
celebration (comp. Deut. 16:2, 5, 6; 2 Chr. 30:16; Lev.
23:10-14; Num. 9:10, 11; 28:16-24). Again, the use of wine (Luke
22:17, 20), of sauce with the bitter herbs (John 13:26), and the
service of praise were introduced.
There is recorded only one celebration of this feast between
the Exodus and the entrance into Canaan, namely, that mentioned
in Num. 9:5. (See JOSIAH ¯T0002116.) It was primarily a
commemorative ordinance, reminding the children of Israel of
their deliverance out of Egypt; but it was, no doubt, also a
type of the great deliverance wrought by the Messiah for all his
people from the doom of death on account of sin, and from the
bondage of sin itself, a worse than Egyptian bondage (1 Cor.
5:7; John 1:29; 19:32-36; 1 Pet. 1:19; Gal. 4:4, 5). The
appearance of Jerusalem on the occasion of the Passover in the
time of our Lord is thus fittingly described: "The city itself
and the neighbourhood became more and more crowded as the feast
approached, the narrow streets and dark arched bazaars showing
the same throng of men of all nations as when Jesus had first
visited Jerusalem as a boy. Even the temple offered a strange
sight at this season, for in parts of the outer courts a wide
space was covered with pens for sheep, goats, and cattle to be
used for offerings. Sellers shouted the merits of their beasts,
sheep bleated, oxen lowed. Sellers of doves also had a place set
apart for them. Potters offered a choice from huge stacks of
clay dishes and ovens for roasting and eating the Passover lamb.
Booths for wine, oil, salt, and all else needed for sacrifices
invited customers. Persons going to and from the city shortened
their journey by crossing the temple grounds, often carrying
burdens...Stalls to change foreign money into the shekel of the
temple, which alone could be paid to the priests, were numerous,
the whole confusion making the sanctuary like a noisy market"
(Geikie's Life of Christ).
The first burial we have an account of is that of Sarah (Gen.
23). The first commercial transaction recorded is that of the
purchase of a burial-place, for which Abraham weighed to Ephron
"four hundred shekels of silver current money with the
merchants." Thus the patriarch became the owner of a part of the
land of Canaan, the only part he ever possessed. When he himself
died, "his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of
Machpelah," beside Sarah his wife (Gen. 25:9).
Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, was buried under Allon-bachuth, "the
oak of weeping" (Gen. 35:8), near to Bethel. Rachel died, and
was buried near Ephrath; "and Jacob set a pillar upon her grave"
(16-20). Isaac was buried at Hebron, where he had died (27, 29).
Jacob, when charging his sons to bury him in the cave of
Machpelah, said, "There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife;
there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried
Leah" (49:31). In compliance with the oath which he made him
swear unto him (47:29-31), Joseph, assisted by his brethren,
buried Jacob in the cave of Machpelah (50:2, 13). At the Exodus,
Moses "took the bones of Joseph with him," and they were buried
in the "parcel of ground" which Jacob had bought of the sons of
Hamor (Josh. 24:32), which became Joseph's inheritance (Gen.
48:22; 1 Chr. 5:1; John 4:5). Two burials are mentioned as
having taken place in the wilderness. That of Miriam (Num.
20:1), and that of Moses, "in the land of Moab" (Deut. 34:5, 6,
8). There is no account of the actual burial of Aaron, which
probably, however, took place on the summit of Mount Hor (Num.
Joshua was buried "in the border of his inheritance in
Timnath-serah" (Josh. 24: 30).
In Job we find a reference to burying-places, which were
probably the Pyramids (3:14, 15). The Hebrew word for "waste
places" here resembles in sound the Egyptian word for
Samuel, like Moses, was honoured with a national burial (1
Sam. 25:1). Joab (1 Kings 2:34) "was buried in his own house in
In connection with the burial of Saul and his three sons we
meet for the first time with the practice of burning the dead (1
Sam. 31:11-13). The same practice is again referred to by Amos
Absalom was buried "in the wood" where he was slain (2 Sam.
18:17, 18). The raising of the heap of stones over his grave was
intended to mark abhorrence of the person buried (comp. Josh.
7:26 and 8:29). There was no fixed royal burying-place for the
Hebrew kings. We find several royal burials taking place,
however, "in the city of David" (1 Kings 2:10; 11:43; 15:8; 2
Kings 14:19, 20; 15:38; 1 Kings 14:31; 22:50; 2 Chr. 21:19, 20;
2 Chr. 24:25, etc.). Hezekiah was buried in the mount of the
sepulchres of the sons of David; "and all Judah and the
inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour at his death" (2 Chr.
Little is said regarding the burial of the kings of Israel.
Some of them were buried in Samaria, the capital of their
kingdom (2 Kings 10:35; 13:9; 14:16).
Our Lord was buried in a new tomb, hewn out of the rock, which
Joseph of Arimathea had prepared for himself (Matt. 27:57-60;
Mark 15:46; John 19:41, 42).
The grave of Lazarus was "a cave, and a stone lay on it" (John
11:38). Graves were frequently either natural caverns or
artificial excavations formed in the sides of rocks (Gen. 23:9;
Matt. 27:60); and coffins were seldom used, unless when the body
was brought from a distance.
beloved, the eighth and youngest son of Jesse, a citizen of
Bethlehem. His father seems to have been a man in humble life.
His mother's name is not recorded. Some think she was the Nahash
of 2 Sam. 17:25. As to his personal appearance, we only know
that he was red-haired, with beautiful eyes and a fair face (1
Sam. 16:12; 17:42).
His early occupation was that of tending his father's sheep on
the uplands of Judah. From what we know of his after history,
doubtless he frequently beguiled his time, when thus engaged,
with his shepherd's flute, while he drank in the many lessons
taught him by the varied scenes spread around him. His first
recorded exploits were his encounters with the wild beasts of
the field. He mentions that with his own unaided hand he slew a
lion and also a bear, when they came out against his flock,
beating them to death in open conflict with his club (1 Sam.
While David, in the freshness of ruddy youth, was thus engaged
with his flocks, Samuel paid an unexpected visit to Bethlehem,
having been guided thither by divine direction (1 Sam. 16:1-13).
There he offered up sacrifice, and called the elders of Israel
and Jesse's family to the sacrificial meal. Among all who
appeared before him he failed to discover the one he sought.
David was sent for, and the prophet immediately recognized him
as the chosen of God, chosen to succeed Saul, who was now
departing from the ways of God, on the throne of the kingdom. He
accordingly, in anticipation, poured on his head the anointing
oil. David went back again to his shepherd life, but "the Spirit
of the Lord came upon David from that day forward," and "the
Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul" (1 Sam. 16:13, 14).
Not long after this David was sent for to soothe with his harp
the troubled spirit of Saul, who suffered from a strange
melancholy dejection. He played before the king so skilfully
that Saul was greatly cheered, and began to entertain great
affection for the young shepherd. After this he went home to
Bethlehem. But he soon again came into prominence. The armies of
the Philistines and of Israel were in battle array in the valley
of Elah, some 16 miles south-west of Bethlehem; and David was
sent by his father with provisions for his three brothers, who
were then fighting on the side of the king. On his arrival in
the camp of Israel, David (now about twenty years of age) was
made aware of the state of matters when the champion of the
Philistines, Goliath of Gath, came forth to defy Israel. David
took his sling, and with a well-trained aim threw a stone "out
of the brook," which struck the giant's forehead, so that he
fell senseless to the ground. David then ran and slew him, and
cut off his head with his own sword (1 Sam. 17). The result was
a great victory to the Israelites, who pursued the Philistines
to the gates of Gath and Ekron.
David's popularity consequent on this heroic exploit awakened
Saul's jealousy (1 Sam. 18:6-16), which he showed in various
ways. He conceived a bitter hatred toward him, and by various
stratagems sought his death (1 Sam. 18-30). The deep-laid plots
of the enraged king, who could not fail to observe that David
"prospered exceedingly," all proved futile, and only endeared
the young hero the more to the people, and very specially to
Jonathan, Saul's son, between whom and David a life-long warm
friendship was formed.
A fugitive. To escape from the vengeance of Saul, David fled
to Ramah (1 Sam. 19:12-18) to Samuel, who received him, and he
dwelt among the sons of the prophets, who were there under
Samuel's training. It is supposed by some that the sixth,
seventh, and eleventh Psalms were composed by him at this time.
This place was only 3 miles from the residence of Saul, who soon
discovered whither the fugitive had gone, and tried
ineffectually to bring him back. Jonathan made a fruitless
effort to bring his father to a better state of mind toward
David (1 Sam. 20), who, being made aware of the fact, saw no
hope of safety but in flight to a distance. We accordingly find
him first at Nob (21:1-9) and then at Gath, the chief city of
the Philistines. The king of the Philistines would not admit him
into his service, as he expected that he would, and David
accordingly now betook himself to the stronghold of Adullam
(22:1-4; 1 Chr. 12:8-18). Here in a short time 400 men gathered
around him and acknowledged him as their leader. It was at this
time that David, amid the harassment and perils of his position,
cried, "Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well
of Bethlehem;" when three of his heroes broke through the lines
of the Philistines and brought him the water for which he longed
(2 Sam. 23:13-17), but which he would not drink.
In his rage at the failure of all his efforts to seize David,
Saul gave orders for the massacre of the entire priestly family
at Nob, "persons who wore a linen ephod", to the number of
eighty-five persons, who were put to death by Doeg the Edomite.
The sad tidings of the massacre were brought to David by
Abiathar, a son of Ahimelech, the only one who escaped. Comp.
Hearing that Keilah, a town on the western frontier, was
harassed by the Philistines, David with his men relieved it (1
Sam. 23:1-14); and then, for fear of Saul, he fled to the
strongholds in the "hill country" of Judah. Comp. Ps. 31. While
encamped there, in the forest in the district of Ziph, he was
visited by Jonathan, who spoke to him words of encouragement
(23:16-18). The two now parted never to meet again. Saul
continued his pursuit of David, who narrowly escaped from him at
this time, and fled to the crags and ravines of Engedi, on the
western shore of the Dead Sea (1 Sam. 23:29). Here Saul, who
still pursued him with his army, narrowly escaped, through the
generous forbearance of David, and was greatly affected by what
David had done for him. He returned home from pursuing him, and
David betook himself to Maon, where, with his 600 men, he
maintained himself by contributions gathered from the district.
Here occurred the incident connected with Nabal and his wife
Abigail (1 Sam. 25), whom David married after Nabal's death.
Saul again went forth (1 Sam. 26) in pursuit of David, who had
hid himself "in the hill Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon," in
the wilderness of Ziph, and was a second time spared through his
forbearance. He returned home, professing shame and penitence
for the way in which he had treated David, and predicting his
elevation to the throne.
Fighting against Israel. Harassed by the necessity of moving
from place to place through fear of Saul, David once more sought
refuge among the Philistines (1 Sam. 27). He was welcomed by the
king, who assigned him Ziklag as his residence. Here David lived
among his followers for some time as an independent chief
engaged in frequent war with the Amalekites and other tribes on
the south of Judah.
Achish summoned David with his men to join his army against
Saul; but the lords of the Philistines were suspicious of
David's loyalty, and therefore he was sent back to Ziklag, which
he found to his dismay may had been pillaged and burnt during
his brief absence. David pursued after the raiders, the
Amalekites, and completely routed them. On his return to Ziklag
tidings reached him of Saul's death (2 Sam. 1). An Amalekite
brought Saul's crown and bracelet and laid them at his feet.
David and his men rent their clothes and mourned for Saul, who
had been defeated in battle near Mount Gilboa. David composed a
beautiful elegy, the most beautiful of all extant Hebrew odes, a
"lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son" (2 Sam.
1:18-27). It bore the title of "The Bow," and was to be taught
to the children, that the memory of Saul and Jonathan might be
preserved among them. "Behold, it is written in the book of
David king over Judah. David and his men now set out for
Hebron under divine direction (2 Sam. 2:1-4). There they were
cordially welcomed, and he was at once anointed as king. He was
now about thirty years of age.
But his title to the throne was not undisputed. Abner took
Ish-bosheth, Saul's only remaining son, over the Jordan to
Mahanaim, and there crowned him as king. Then began a civil war
in Israel. The first encounter between the two opposing armies,
led on the one side by Abner, and on the other by Joab, took
place at the pool of Gibeon. It resulted in the defeat of Abner.
Other encounters, however, between Israel and Judah followed (2
Sam. 3:1, 5), but still success was on the side of David. For
the space of seven and a half years David reigned in Hebron.
Abner now sided with David, and sought to promote his
advancement; but was treacherously put to death by Joab in
revenge for his having slain his brother Asahel at Gibeon
(3:22-39). This was greatly to David's regret. He mourned for
the death of Abner. Shortly after this Ish-bosheth was also
treacherously put to death by two Canaanites of Beeroth; and
there being now no rival, David was anointed king over all
David king over all Israel (2 Sam. 5:1-5; 1 Chr. 11:1-3). The
elders of Israel now repaired to Hebron and offered allegiance
to David in name of all the people, among whom the greatest
enthusiasm prevailed. He was anointed king over all Israel, and
sought out a new seat of government, more suitable than Hebron,
as the capital of his empire. At this time there was a Jebusite
fortress, "the stronghold", on the hill of Zion, called also
Jebus. This David took from the Jebusites, and made it Israel's
capital, and established here his residence, and afterwards
built for himself a palace by the aid of Tyrian tradesmen. The
Philistines, who had for some time observed a kind of truce, now
made war against David; but were defeated in battle at a place
afterwards called, in remembrance of the victory, Baal-perazim.
Again they invaded the land, and were a second time routed by
him. He thus delivered Israel from their enemies.
David now resolved to bring up the ark of the covenant to his
new capital (2 Sam. 6). It was in the house of Abinadab at
Kirjath-jearim, about 7 miles from Jerusalem, where it had been
for many years, from the time when the Philistines had sent it
home (1 Sam. 6; 7). In consequence of the death of Uzzah (for it
was a divine ordinance that only the Levites should handle the
ark, Num. 4), who had put forth his hand to steady the ark when
the cart in which it was being conveyed shook by reason of the
roughness of the road, David stayed the procession, and conveyed
the ark into the house of Obed-edom, a Philistine from Gath.
After three months David brought the ark from the house of
Obed-edom up to Jerusalem. Comp. Ps. 24. Here it was placed in a
new tent or tabernacle which David erected for the purpose.
About seventy years had passed since it had stood in the
tabernacle at Shiloh. The old tabernacle was now at Gibeah, at
which Zadok ministered. David now (1 Chr. 16) carefully set in
order all the ritual of divine worship at Jerusalem, along with
Abiathar the high priest. A new religious era began. The service
of praise was for the first time introduced into public worship.
Zion became henceforth "God's holy hill."
David's wars. David now entered on a series of conquests which
greatly extended and strengthened his kingdom (2 Sam. 8). In a
few years the whole territory from the Euphrates to the river of
Egypt, and from Gaza on the west to Thapsacus on the east, was
under his sway (2 Sam. 8:3-13; 10).
David's fall. He had now reached the height of his glory. He
ruled over a vast empire, and his capital was enriched with the
spoils of many lands. But in the midst of all this success he
fell, and his character became stained with the sin of adultery
(2 Sam. 11:2-27). It has been noted as characteristic of the
Bible that while his military triumphs are recorded in a few
verses, the sad story of his fall is given in detail, a story
full of warning, and therefore recorded. This crime, in the
attempt to conceal it, led to anoter. He was guilty of murder.
Uriah, whom he had foully wronged, an officer of the Gibborim,
the corps of heros (23:39), was, by his order, "set in the front
of the hottest battle" at the siege of Rabbah, in order that he
might be put to death. Nathan the prophet (2 Sam. 7:1-17;
12:1-23) was sent by God to bring home his crimes to the
conscience of the guilty monarch. He became a true penitent. He
bitterly bewailed his sins before God. The thirty-second and
fifty-first Psalms reveal the deep struggles of his soul, and
his spiritual recovery.
Bathsheba became his wife after Uriah's death. Her first-born
son died, according to the word of the prophet. She gave birth
to a second son, whom David called Solomon, and who ultimately
succeeded him on the throne (2 Sam. 12:24, 25).
Peace. After the successful termination of all his wars, David
formed the idea of building a temple for the ark of God. This he
was not permitted to carry into execution, because he had been a
man of war. God, however, sent Nathan to him with a gracious
message (2 Sam. 7:1-16). On receiving it he went into the
sanctuary, the tent where the ark was, and sat before the Lord,
and poured out his heart in words of devout thanksgiving
(18-29). The building of the temple was reserved for his son
Solomon, who would be a man of peace (1 Chr. 22:9; 28:3).
A cloudy evening. Hitherto David's carrer had been one of
great prosperity and success. Now cloudy and dark days came. His
eldest son Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam of Jezreel, was
guilty of a great and shameful crime (2 Sam. 13). This was the
beginning of the disasters of his later years. After two years
Absalom terribly avenged the crime against Tamar, and put Amnon
to death. This brought sore trouble to David's heart. Absalom,
afraid of the consequences of his guilt, fled to Geshur beyond
Jordan, where he remained for three years, when he was brought
back through the intrigue of Joab (2 Sam. 14).
After this there fell upon the land the calamity of three
years' famine (2 Sam. 21:1-14). This was soon after followed by
a pestilence, brought upon the land as a punishment for David's
sinful pride in numbering the people (2 Sam. 24), in which no
fewer than 70,000 perished in the space of three days.
Rebellion of Absalom. The personal respect for David was sadly
lowered by the incident of Bathsheba. There was a strong popular
sentiment against the taking of the census, and the outburst of
the plague in connection with it deepened the feeling of
jealously that had begun to manifest itself among some of the
tribes against David. Absalom, taking full advantage of this
state of things, gradually gained over the people, and at length
openly rebelled against his father, and usurped the throne.
Ahithophel was Absalom's chief counsellor. The revolt began in
Hebron, the capital of Judah. Absalom was there proclaimed king.
David was now in imminent danger, and he left Jerusalem (2 Sam.
15:13-20), and once more became a fugitive. It was a momentous
day in Israel. The incidents of it are recorded with a fulness
of detail greater than of any other day in Old Testament
history. David fled with his followers to Mahanarm, on the east
of Jordan. An unnatural civil war broke out. After a few weeks
the rival armies were mustered and organized. They met in
hostile array at the wood of Ephraim (2 Sam. 18:1-8). Absalom's
army was defeated, and himself put to death by the hand of Joab
(9-18). The tidings of the death of his rebellious son filled
the heart of David with the most poignant grief. He "went up to
the chamber over the gate, and wept" (33), giving utterance to
the heart-broken cry, "Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom,
my son, my son!" Peace was now restored, and David returned to
Jerusalem and resumed the direction of affairs. An unhappy
dispute arose between the men of Judah and the men of Israel
(19:41-43). Sheba, a Benjamite, headed a revolt of the men of
Israel. He was pursued to Abelbeth-maachah, and was there put to
death, and so the revolt came to an end.
The end. After the suppression of the rebellion of Absalom and
that of Sheba, ten comparatively peaceful years of David's life
passed away. During those years he seems to have been
principally engaged in accumulating treasures of every kind for
the great temple at Jerusalem, which it was reserved to his
successor to build (1 Chr. 22; 28; 29), a house which was to be
"exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all
countries" (22:5). The exciting and laborious life he had spent,
and the dangers and trials through which he had passed, had left
him an enfeebled man, prematurely old. It became apparent that
his life was now drawing to its close. A new palace conspiracy
broke out as to who should be his successor. Joab favoured
Adonijah. The chiefs of his party met at the "Fuller's spring,"
in the valley of Kidron, to proclaim him king; but Nathan
hastened on a decision on the part of David in favour of
Solomon, and so the aim of Adonijah's party failed. Solomon was
brought to Jerusalem, and was anointed king and seated on his
father's throne (1 Kings 1:11-53). David's last words are a
grand utterance, revealing his unfailing faith in God, and his
joyful confidence in his gracious covenant promises (2 Sam.
After a reign of forty years and six months (2 Sam. 5:5; 1
Chr. 3:4) David died (B.C. 1015) at the age of seventy years,
"and was buried in the city of David." His tomb is still pointed
out on Mount Zion.
Both in his prophetical and in his regal character David was a
type of the Messiah (1 Sam. 16:13). The book of Psalms commonly
bears the title of the "Psalms of David," from the circumstance
that he was the largest contributor (about eighty psalms) to the
collection. (See PSALMS ¯T0003013.)
"The greatness of David was felt when he was gone. He had
lived in harmony with both the priesthood and the prophets; a
sure sign that the spirit of his government had been throughly
loyal to the higher aims of the theocracy. The nation had not
been oppressed by him, but had been left in the free enjoyment
of its ancient liberties. As far as his power went he had
striven to act justly to all (2 Sam. 8:15). His weak indulgence
to his sons, and his own great sin besides, had been bitterly
atoned, and were forgotten at his death in the remembrance of
his long-tried worth. He had reigned thirty-three years in
Jerusalem and seven and a half at Hebron (2 Sam. 5:5). Israel at
his accession had reached the lowest point of national
depression; its new-born unity rudely dissolved; its territory
assailed by the Philistines. But he had left it an imperial
power, with dominions like those of Egypt or Assyria. The
sceptre of Solomon was already, before his father's death, owned
from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates, and from the Orontes to
the Red Sea.", Geikie's Hours etc., iii.
=Saul (q.v.) was born about the same time as our Lord. His
circumcision-name was Saul, and probably the name Paul was also
given to him in infancy "for use in the Gentile world," as
"Saul" would be his Hebrew home-name. He was a native of Tarsus,
the capital of Cilicia, a Roman province in the south-east of
Asia Minor. That city stood on the banks of the river Cydnus,
which was navigable thus far; hence it became a centre of
extensive commercial traffic with many countries along the
shores of the Mediterranean, as well as with the countries of
central Asia Minor. It thus became a city distinguished for the
wealth of its inhabitants.
Tarsus was also the seat of a famous university, higher in
reputation even than the universities of Athens and Alexandria,
the only others that then existed. Here Saul was born, and here
he spent his youth, doubtless enjoying the best education his
native city could afford. His father was of the straitest sect
of the Jews, a Pharisee, of the tribe of Benjamin, of pure and
unmixed Jewish blood (Acts 23:6; Phil. 3:5). We learn nothing
regarding his mother; but there is reason to conclude that she
was a pious woman, and that, like-minded with her husband, she
exercised all a mother influence in moulding the character of
her son, so that he could afterwards speak of himself as being,
from his youth up, "touching the righteousness which is in the
law, blameless" (Phil. 3:6).
We read of his sister and his sister's son (Acts 23:16), and
of other relatives (Rom. 16:7, 11, 12). Though a Jew, his father
was a Roman citizen. How he obtained this privilege we are not
informed. "It might be bought, or won by distinguished service
to the state, or acquired in several other ways; at all events,
his son was freeborn. It was a valuable privilege, and one that
was to prove of great use to Paul, although not in the way in
which his father might have been expected to desire him to make
use of it." Perhaps the most natural career for the youth to
follow was that of a merchant. "But it was decided that...he
should go to college and become a rabbi, that is, a minister, a
teacher, and a lawyer all in one."
According to Jewish custom, however, he learned a trade before
entering on the more direct preparation for the sacred
profession. The trade he acquired was the making of tents from
goats' hair cloth, a trade which was one of the commonest in
His preliminary education having been completed, Saul was
sent, when about thirteen years of age probably, to the great
Jewish school of sacred learning at Jerusalem as a student of
the law. Here he became a pupil of the celebrated rabbi
Gamaliel, and here he spent many years in an elaborate study of
the Scriptures and of the many questions concerning them with
which the rabbis exercised themselves. During these years of
diligent study he lived "in all good conscience," unstained by
the vices of that great city.
After the period of his student-life expired, he probably left
Jerusalem for Tarsus, where he may have been engaged in
connection with some synagogue for some years. But we find him
back again at Jerusalem very soon after the death of our Lord.
Here he now learned the particulars regarding the crucifixion,
and the rise of the new sect of the "Nazarenes."
For some two years after Pentecost, Christianity was quietly
spreading its influence in Jerusalem. At length Stephen, one of
the seven deacons, gave forth more public and aggressive
testimony that Jesus was the Messiah, and this led to much
excitement among the Jews and much disputation in their
synagogues. Persecution arose against Stephen and the followers
of Christ generally, in which Saul of Tarsus took a prominent
part. He was at this time probably a member of the great
Sanhedrin, and became the active leader in the furious
persecution by which the rulers then sought to exterminate
But the object of this persecution also failed. "They that
were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word." The
anger of the persecutor was thereby kindled into a fiercer
flame. Hearing that fugitives had taken refuge in Damascus, he
obtained from the chief priest letters authorizing him to
proceed thither on his persecuting career. This was a long
journey of about 130 miles, which would occupy perhaps six days,
during which, with his few attendants, he steadily went onward,
"breathing out threatenings and slaughter." But the crisis of
his life was at hand. He had reached the last stage of his
journey, and was within sight of Damascus. As he and his
companions rode on, suddenly at mid-day a brilliant light shone
round them, and Saul was laid prostrate in terror on the ground,
a voice sounding in his ears, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou
me?" The risen Saviour was there, clothed in the vesture of his
glorified humanity. In answer to the anxious inquiry of the
stricken persecutor, "Who art thou, Lord?" he said, "I am Jesus
whom thou persecutest" (Acts 9:5; 22:8; 26:15).
This was the moment of his conversion, the most solemn in all
his life. Blinded by the dazzling light (Acts 9:8), his
companions led him into the city, where, absorbed in deep
thought for three days, he neither ate nor drank (9:11).
Ananias, a disciple living in Damascus, was informed by a vision
of the change that had happened to Saul, and was sent to him to
open his eyes and admit him by baptism into the Christian church
(9:11-16). The whole purpose of his life was now permanently
Immediately after his conversion he retired into the solitudes
of Arabia (Gal. 1:17), perhaps of "Sinai in Arabia," for the
purpose, probably, of devout study and meditation on the
marvellous revelation that had been made to him. "A veil of
thick darkness hangs over this visit to Arabia. Of the scenes
among which he moved, of the thoughts and occupations which
engaged him while there, of all the circumstances of a crisis
which must have shaped the whole tenor of his after-life,
absolutely nothing is known. 'Immediately,' says St. Paul, 'I
went away into Arabia.' The historian passes over the incident
[comp. Acts 9:23 and 1 Kings 11:38, 39]. It is a mysterious
pause, a moment of suspense, in the apostle's history, a
breathless calm, which ushers in the tumultuous storm of his
active missionary life." Coming back, after three years, to
Damascus, he began to preach the gospel "boldly in the name of
Jesus" (Acts 9:27), but was soon obliged to flee (9:25; 2 Cor.
11:33) from the Jews and betake himself to Jerusalem. Here he
tarried for three weeks, but was again forced to flee (Acts
9:28, 29) from persecution. He now returned to his native Tarsus
(Gal. 1:21), where, for probably about three years, we lose
sight of him. The time had not yet come for his entering on his
great life-work of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles.
At length the city of Antioch, the capital of Syria, became
the scene of great Christian activity. There the gospel gained a
firm footing, and the cause of Christ prospered. Barnabas
(q.v.), who had been sent from Jerusalem to superintend the work
at Antioch, found it too much for him, and remembering Saul, he
set out to Tarsus to seek for him. He readily responded to the
call thus addressed to him, and came down to Antioch, which for
"a whole year" became the scene of his labours, which were
crowned with great success. The disciples now, for the first
time, were called "Christians" (Acts 11:26).
The church at Antioch now proposed to send out missionaries to
the Gentiles, and Saul and Barnabas, with John Mark as their
attendant, were chosen for this work. This was a great epoch in
the history of the church. Now the disciples began to give
effect to the Master's command: "Go ye into all the world, and
preach the gospel to every creature."
The three missionaries went forth on the first missionary
tour. They sailed from Seleucia, the seaport of Antioch, across
to Cyprus, some 80 miles to the south-west. Here at Paphos,
Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul, was converted, and now Saul
took the lead, and was ever afterwards called Paul. The
missionaries now crossed to the mainland, and then proceeded 6
or 7 miles up the river Cestrus to Perga (Acts 13:13), where
John Mark deserted the work and returned to Jerusalem. The two
then proceeded about 100 miles inland, passing through
Pamphylia, Pisidia, and Lycaonia. The towns mentioned in this
tour are the Pisidian Antioch, where Paul delivered his first
address of which we have any record (13:16-51; comp. 10:30-43),
Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. They returned by the same route to
see and encourage the converts they had made, and ordain elders
in every city to watch over the churches which had been
gathered. From Perga they sailed direct for Antioch, from which
they had set out.
After remaining "a long time", probably till A.D. 50 or 51, in
Antioch, a great controversy broke out in the church there
regarding the relation of the Gentiles to the Mosaic law. For
the purpose of obtaining a settlement of this question, Paul and
Barnabas were sent as deputies to consult the church at
Jerusalem. The council or synod which was there held (Acts 15)
decided against the Judaizing party; and the deputies,
accompanied by Judas and Silas, returned to Antioch, bringing
with them the decree of the council.
After a short rest at Antioch, Paul said to Barnabas: "Let us
go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have
preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do." Mark
proposed again to accompany them; but Paul refused to allow him
to go. Barnabas was resolved to take Mark, and thus he and Paul
had a sharp contention. They separated, and never again met.
Paul, however, afterwards speaks with honour of Barnabas, and
sends for Mark to come to him at Rome (Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11).
Paul took with him Silas, instead of Barnabas, and began his
second missionary journey about A.D. 51. This time he went by
land, revisiting the churches he had already founded in Asia.
But he longed to enter into "regions beyond," and still went
forward through Phrygia and Galatia (16:6). Contrary to his
intention, he was constrained to linger in Galatia (q.v.), on
account of some bodily affliction (Gal. 4:13, 14). Bithynia, a
populous province on the shore of the Black Sea, lay now before
him, and he wished to enter it; but the way was shut, the Spirit
in some manner guiding him in another direction, till he came
down to the shores of the AEgean and arrived at Troas, on the
north-western coast of Asia Minor (Acts 16:8). Of this long
journey from Antioch to Troas we have no account except some
references to it in his Epistle to the Galatians (4:13).
As he waited at Troas for indications of the will of God as to
his future movements, he saw, in the vision of the night, a man
from the opposite shores of Macedonia standing before him, and
heard him cry, "Come over, and help us" (Acts 16:9). Paul
recognized in this vision a message from the Lord, and the very
next day set sail across the Hellespont, which separated him
from Europe, and carried the tidings of the gospel into the
Western world. In Macedonia, churches were planted in Philippi,
Thessalonica, and Berea. Leaving this province, Paul passed into
Achaia, "the paradise of genius and renown." He reached Athens,
but quitted it after, probably, a brief sojourn (17:17-31). The
Athenians had received him with cold disdain, and he never
visited that city again. He passed over to Corinth, the seat of
the Roman government of Achaia, and remained there a year and a
half, labouring with much success. While at Corinth, he wrote
his two epistles to the church of Thessalonica, his earliest
apostolic letters, and then sailed for Syria, that he might be
in time to keep the feast of Pentecost at Jerusalem. He was
accompanied by Aquila and Priscilla, whom he left at Ephesus, at
which he touched, after a voyage of thirteen or fifteen days. He
landed at Caesarea, and went up to Jerusalem, and having
"saluted the church" there, and kept the feast, he left for
Antioch, where he abode "some time" (Acts 18:20-23).
He then began his third missionary tour. He journeyed by land
in the "upper coasts" (the more eastern parts) of Asia Minor,
and at length made his way to Ephesus, where he tarried for no
less than three years, engaged in ceaseless Christian labour.
"This city was at the time the Liverpool of the Mediterranean.
It possessed a splendid harbour, in which was concentrated the
traffic of the sea which was then the highway of the nations;
and as Liverpool has behind her the great towns of Lancashire,
so had Ephesus behind and around her such cities as those
mentioned along with her in the epistles to the churches in the
book of Revelation, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis,
Philadelphia, and Laodicea. It was a city of vast wealth, and it
was given over to every kind of pleasure, the fame of its
theatres and race-course being world-wide" (Stalker's Life of
St. Paul). Here a "great door and effectual" was opened to the
apostle. His fellow-labourers aided him in his work, carrying
the gospel to Colosse and Laodicea and other places which they
Very shortly before his departure from Ephesus, the apostle
wrote his First Epistle to the Corinthians (q.v.). The
silversmiths, whose traffic in the little images which they made
was in danger (see DEMETRIUS ¯T0001013), organized a riot
against Paul, and he left the city, and proceeded to Troas (2
Cor. 2:12), whence after some time he went to meet Titus in
Macedonia. Here, in consequence of the report Titus brought from
Corinth, he wrote his second epistle to that church. Having
spent probably most of the summer and autumn in Macedonia,
visiting the churches there, specially the churches of Philippi,
Thessalonica, and Berea, probably penetrating into the interior,
to the shores of the Adriatic (Rom. 15:19), he then came into
Greece, where he abode three month, spending probably the
greater part of this time in Corinth (Acts 20:2). During his
stay in this city he wrote his Epistle to the Galatians, and
also the great Epistle to the Romans. At the end of the three
months he left Achaia for Macedonia, thence crossed into Asia
Minor, and touching at Miletus, there addressed the Ephesian
presbyters, whom he had sent for to meet him (Acts 20:17), and
then sailed for Tyre, finally reaching Jerusalem, probably in
the spring of A.D. 58.
While at Jerusalem, at the feast of Pentecost, he was almost
murdered by a Jewish mob in the temple. (See TEMPLE, HEROD'S
¯T0003611.) Rescued from their violence by the Roman commandant,
he was conveyed as a prisoner to Caesarea, where, from various
causes, he was detained a prisoner for two years in Herod's
praetorium (Acts 23:35). "Paul was not kept in close
confinement; he had at least the range of the barracks in which
he was detained. There we can imagine him pacing the ramparts on
the edge of the Mediterranean, and gazing wistfully across the
blue waters in the direction of Macedonia, Achaia, and Ephesus,
where his spiritual children were pining for him, or perhaps
encountering dangers in which they sorely needed his presence.
It was a mysterious providence which thus arrested his energies
and condemned the ardent worker to inactivity; yet we can now
see the reason for it. Paul was needing rest. After twenty years
of incessant evangelization, he required leisure to garner the
harvest of experience...During these two years he wrote nothing;
it was a time of internal mental activity and silent progress"
(Stalker's Life of St. Paul).
At the end of these two years Felix (q.v.) was succeeded in
the governorship of Israel by Porcius Festus, before whom the
apostle was again heard. But judging it right at this crisis to
claim the privilege of a Roman citizen, he appealed to the
emperor (Acts 25:11). Such an appeal could not be disregarded,
and Paul was at once sent on to Rome under the charge of one
Julius, a centurion of the "Augustan cohort." After a long and
perilous voyage, he at length reached the imperial city in the
early spring, probably, of A.D. 61. Here he was permitted to
occupy his own hired house, under constant military custody.
This privilege was accorded to him, no doubt, because he was a
Roman citizen, and as such could not be put into prison without
a trial. The soldiers who kept guard over Paul were of course
changed at frequent intervals, and thus he had the opportunity
of preaching the gospel to many of them during these "two whole
years," and with the blessed result of spreading among the
imperial guards, and even in Caesar's household, an interest in
the truth (Phil. 1:13). His rooms were resorted to by many
anxious inquirers, both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 28:23, 30, 31),
and thus his imprisonment "turned rather to the furtherance of
the gospel," and his "hired house" became the centre of a
gracious influence which spread over the whole city. According
to a Jewish tradition, it was situated on the borders of the
modern Ghetto, which has been the Jewish quarters in Rome from
the time of Pompey to the present day. During this period the
apostle wrote his epistles to the Colossians, Ephesians,
Philippians, and to Philemon, and probably also to the Hebrews.
This first imprisonment came at length to a close, Paul having
been acquitted, probably because no witnesses appeared against
him. Once more he set out on his missionary labours, probably
visiting western and eastern Europe and Asia Minor. During this
period of freedom he wrote his First Epistle to Timothy and his
Epistle to Titus. The year of his release was signalized by the
burning of Rome, which Nero saw fit to attribute to the
Christians. A fierce persecution now broke out against the
Christians. Paul was siezed, and once more conveyed to Rome a
prisoner. During this imprisonment he probably wrote the Second
Epistle to Timothy, the last he ever wrote. "There can be little
doubt that he appered again at Nero's bar, and this time the
charge did not break down. In all history there is not a more
startling illustration of the irony of human life than this
scene of Paul at the bar of Nero. On the judgment-seat, clad in
the imperial purple, sat a man who, in a bad world, had attained
the eminence of being the very worst and meanest being in it, a
man stained with every crime, a man whose whole being was so
steeped in every nameable and unnameable vice, that body and
soul of him were, as some one said at the time, nothing but a
compound of mud and blood; and in the prisoner's dock stood the
best man the world possessed, his hair whitened with labours for
the good of men and the glory of God. The trial ended: Paul was
condemned, and delivered over to the executioner. He was led out
of the city, with a crowd of the lowest rabble at his heels. The
fatal spot was reached; he knelt beside the block; the
headsman's axe gleamed in the sun and fell; and the head of the
apostle of the world rolled down in the dust" (probably A.D.
66), four years before the fall of Jerusalem.
remover or increaser. (1.) The elder of the two sons of Jacob by
Rachel (Gen. 30:23, 24), who, on the occasion of his birth,
said, "God hath taken away [Heb. 'asaph] my reproach." "The Lord
shall add [Heb. yoseph] to me another son" (Gen. 30:24). He was
a child of probably six years of age when his father returned
from Haran to Canaan and took up his residence in the old
patriarchal town of Hebron. "Now Israel loved Joseph more than
all his children, because he was the son of his old age," and he
"made him a long garment with sleeves" (Gen. 37:3, R.V. marg.),
i.e., a garment long and full, such as was worn by the children
of nobles. This seems to be the correct rendering of the words.
The phrase, however, may also be rendered, "a coat of many
pieces", i.e., a patchwork of many small pieces of divers
When he was about seventeen years old Joseph incurred the
jealous hatred of his brothers (Gen. 37:4). They "hated him, and
could not speak peaceably unto him." Their anger was increased
when he told them his dreams (37:11).
Jacob desiring to hear tidings of his sons, who had gone to
Shechem with their flocks, some 60 miles from Hebron, sent
Joseph as his messenger to make inquiry regarding them. Joseph
found that they had left Shechem for Dothan, whither he followed
them. As soon as they saw him coming they began to plot against
him, and would have killed him had not Reuben interposed. They
ultimately sold him to a company of Ishmaelite merchants for
twenty pieces (shekels) of silver (about $2, 10s.), ten pieces
less than the current value of a slave, for "they cared little
what they had for him, if so be they were rid of him." These
merchants were going down with a varied assortment of
merchandise to the Egyptian market, and thither they conveyed
him, and ultimately sold him as a slave to Potiphar, an "officer
of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard" (Gen. 37:36). "The Lord
blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake," and Potiphar
made him overseer over his house. At length a false charge
having been brought against him by Potiphar's wife, he was at
once cast into the state prison (39; 40), where he remained for
at least two years. After a while the "chief of the cupbearers"
and the "chief of the bakers" of Pharaoh's household were cast
into the same prison (40:2). Each of these new prisoners dreamed
a dream in the same night, which Joseph interpreted, the event
occurring as he had said.
This led to Joseph's being remembered subsequently by the
chief butler when Pharaoh also dreamed. At his suggestion Joseph
was brought from prison to interpret the king's dreams. Pharaoh
was well pleased with Joseph's wisdom in interpreting his
dreams, and with his counsel with reference to the events then
predicted; and he set him over all the land of Egypt (Gen.
41:46), and gave him the name of Zaphnath-paaneah. He was
married to Asenath, the daughter of the priest of On, and thus
became a member of the priestly class. Joseph was now about
thirty years of age.
As Joseph had interpreted, seven years of plenty came, during
which he stored up great abundance of corn in granaries built
for the purpose. These years were followed by seven years of
famine "over all the face of the earth," when "all countries
came into Egypt to Joseph to buy corn" (Gen. 41:56, 57; 47:13,
14). Thus "Joseph gathered up all the money that was in the land
of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they
bought." Afterwards all the cattle and all the land, and at last
the Egyptians themselves, became the property of Pharaoh.
During this period of famine Joseph's brethren also came down
to Egypt to buy corn. The history of his dealings with them, and
of the manner in which he at length made himself known to them,
is one of the most interesting narratives that can be read (Gen.
42-45). Joseph directed his brethren to return and bring Jacob
and his family to the land of Egypt, saying, "I will give you
the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the
land. Regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land is
yours." Accordingly Jacob and his family, to the number of
threescore and ten souls, together with "all that they had,"
went down to Egypt. They were settled in the land of Goshen,
where Joseph met his father, and "fell on his neck, and wept on
his neck a good while" (Gen. 46:29).
The excavations of Dr. Naville have shown the land of Goshen
to be the Wady Tumilat, between Ismailia and Zagazig. In Goshen
(Egyptian Qosem) they had pasture for their flocks, were near
the Asiatic frontier of Egypt, and were out of the way of the
Egyptian people. An inscription speaks of it as a district given
up to the wandering shepherds of Asia.
Jacob at length died, and in fulfilment of a promise which he
had exacted, Joseph went up to Canaan to bury his father in "the
field of Ephron the Hittite" (Gen. 47:29-31; 50:1-14). This was
the last recorded act of Joseph, who again returned to Egypt.
"The 'Story of the Two Brothers,' an Egyptian romance written
for the son of the Pharaoh of the Oppression, contains an
episode very similar to the Biblical account of Joseph's
treatment by Potiphar's wife. Potiphar and Potipherah are the
Egyptian Pa-tu-pa-Ra, 'the gift of the sun-god.' The name given
to Joseph, Zaphnath-paaneah, is probably the Egyptian
Zaf-nti-pa-ankh, 'nourisher of the living one,' i.e., of the
Pharaoh. There are many instances in the inscriptions of
foreigners in Egypt receiving Egyptian names, and rising to the
highest offices of state."
By his wife Asenath, Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim
(Gen. 41:50). Joseph having obtained a promise from his brethren
that when the time should come that God would "bring them unto
the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob,"
they would carry up his bones out of Egypt, at length died, at
the age of one hundred and ten years; and "they embalmed him,
and he was put in a coffin" (Gen. 50:26). This promise was
faithfully observed. Their descendants, long after, when the
Exodus came, carried the body about with them during their forty
years' wanderings, and at length buried it in Shechem, in the
parcel of ground which Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor
(Josh. 24:32; comp. Gen. 33:19). With the death of Joseph the
patriarchal age of the history of Israel came to a close.
The Pharaoh of Joseph's elevation was probably Apepi, or
Apopis, the last of the Hyksos kings. Some, however, think that
Joseph came to Egypt in the reign of Thothmes III. (see PHARAOH
¯T0002923), long after the expulsion of the Hyksos.
The name Joseph denotes the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh
in Deut. 33:13-17; the kingdom of Israel in Ezek. 37:16, 19,
Amos 5:6; and the whole covenant people of Israel in Ps. 81:4.
(2.) One of the sons of Asaph, head of the first division of
sacred musicians (1 Chr. 25:2, 9).
(3.) The son of Judah, and father of Semei (Luke 3:26). Other
two of the same name in the ancestry of Christ are also
mentioned (3:24, 30).
(4.) The foster-father of our Lord (Matt. 1:16; Luke 3:23). He
lived at Nazareth in Galilee (Luke 2:4). He is called a "just
man." He was by trade a carpenter (Matt. 13:55). He is last
mentioned in connection with the journey to Jerusalem, when
Jesus was twelve years old. It is probable that he died before
Jesus entered on his public ministry. This is concluded from the
fact that Mary only was present at the marriage feast in Cana of
Galilee. His name does not appear in connection with the scenes
of the crucifixion along with that of Mary (q.v.), John 19:25.
(5.) A native of Arimathea, probably the Ramah of the Old
Testament (1 Sam. 1:19), a man of wealth, and a member of the
Sanhedrim (Matt. 27:57; Luke 23:50), an "honourable counsellor,
who waited for the kingdom of God." As soon as he heard the
tidings of Christ's death, he "went in boldly" (lit. "having
summoned courage, he went") "unto Pilate, and craved the body of
Jesus." Pilate having ascertained from the centurion that the
death had really taken place, granted Joseph's request, who
immediately, having purchased fine linen (Mark 15:46), proceeded
to Golgotha to take the body down from the cross. There,
assisted by Nicodemus, he took down the body and wrapped it in
the fine linen, sprinkling it with the myrrh and aloes which
Nicodemus had brought (John 19:39), and then conveyed the body
to the new tomb hewn by Joseph himself out of a rock in his
garden hard by. There they laid it, in the presence of Mary
Magdalene, Mary the mother of Joses, and other women, and rolled
a great stone to the entrance, and departed (Luke 23:53, 55).
This was done in haste, "for the Sabbath was drawing on" (comp.
(6.) Surnamed Barsabas (Acts 1:23); also called Justus. He was
one of those who "companied with the apostles all the time that
the Lord Jesus went out and in among them" (Acts 1:21), and was
one of the candidates for the place of Judas.