(2 Kings 18:26; Ezra 4:7; Dan. 2:4), more correctly rendered
"Aramaic," including both the Syriac and the Chaldee languages.
In the New Testament there are several Syriac words, such as
"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" (Mark 15:34; Matt. 27:46 gives
the Heb. form, "Eli, Eli"), "Raca" (Matt. 5:22), "Ephphatha"
(Mark 7:34), "Maran-atha" (1 Cor. 16:22).
A Syriac version of the Old Testament, containing all the
canonical books, along with some apocryphal books (called the
Peshitto, i.e., simple translation, and not a paraphrase), was
made early in the second century, and is therefore the first
Christian translation of the Old Testament. It was made directly
from the original, and not from the LXX. Version. The New
Testament was also translated from Greek into Syriac about the
same time. It is noticeable that this version does not contain
the Second and Third Epistles of John, 2 Peter, Jude, and the
Apocalypse. These were, however, translated subsequently and
placed in the version. (See VERSION ¯T0003768.)
ascent, the high priest when the ark was at Shiloh (1 Sam. 1:3,
9). He was the first of the line of Ithamar, Aaron's fourth son
(1 Chr. 24:3; comp. 2 Sam. 8:17), who held that office. The
office remained in his family till the time of Abiathar (1 Kings
2:26, 27), whom Solomon deposed, and appointed Zadok, of the
family of Eleazar, in his stead (35). He acted also as a civil
judge in Israel after the death of Samson (1 Sam. 4:18), and
judged Israel for forty years.
His sons Hophni and Phinehas grossly misconducted themselves,
to the great disgust of the people (1 Sam. 2:27-36). They were
licentious reprobates. He failed to reprove them so sternly as
he ought to have done, and so brought upon his house the
judgment of God (2:22-33; 3:18). The Israelites proclaimed war
against the Philistines, whose army was encamped at Aphek. The
battle, fought a short way beyond Mizpeh, ended in the total
defeat of Israel. Four thousand of them fell in "battle array".
They now sought safety in having the "ark of the covenant of the
Lord" among them. They fetched it from Shiloh, and Hophni and
Phinehas accompanied it. This was the first time since the
settlement of Israel in Canaan that the ark had been removed
from the sanctuary. The Philistines put themselves again in
array against Israel, and in the battle which ensued "Israel was
smitten, and there was a very great slaughter." The tidings of
this great disaster were speedily conveyed to Shiloh, about 20
miles distant, by a messenger, a Benjamite from the army. There
Eli sat outside the gate of the sanctuary by the wayside,
anxiously waiting for tidings from the battle-field. The full
extent of the national calamity was speedily made known to him:
"Israel is fled before the Philistines, there has also been a
great slaughter among the people, thy two sons Hophni and
Phinehas are dead, and the ark of God is taken" (1 Sam.
4:12-18). When the old man, whose eyes were "stiffened" (i.e.,
fixed, as of a blind eye unaffected by the light) with age,
heard this sad story of woe, he fell backward from off his seat
and died, being ninety and eight years old. (See ITHAMAR
Eli, Heb. eli, "my God", (Matt. 27:46), an exclamation used by
Christ on the cross. Mark (15:34), as usual, gives the original
Aramaic form of the word, Eloi.
Mark, Gospel according to
It is the current and apparently well-founded tradition that
Mark derived his information mainly from the discourses of
Peter. In his mother's house he would have abundant
opportunities of obtaining information from the other apostles
and their coadjutors, yet he was "the disciple and interpreter
of Peter" specially.
As to the time when it was written, the Gospel furnishes us
with no definite information. Mark makes no mention of the
destruction of Jerusalem, hence it must have been written before
that event, and probably about A.D. 63.
The place where it was written was probably Rome. Some have
supposed Antioch (comp. Mark 15:21 with Acts 11:20).
It was intended primarily for Romans. This appears probable
when it is considered that it makes no reference to the Jewish
law, and that the writer takes care to interpret words which a
Gentile would be likely to misunderstand, such as, "Boanerges"
(3:17); "Talitha cumi" (5:41); "Corban" (7:11); "Bartimaeus"
(10:46); "Abba" (14:36); "Eloi," etc. (15:34). Jewish usages are
also explained (7:3; 14:3; 14:12; 15:42). Mark also uses certain
Latin words not found in any of the other Gospels, as
"speculator" (6:27, rendered, A.V., "executioner;" R.V.,
"soldier of his guard"), "xestes" (a corruption of sextarius,
rendered "pots," 7:4, 8), "quadrans" (12:42, rendered "a
farthing"), "centurion" (15:39, 44, 45). He only twice quotes
from the Old Testament (1:2; 15:28).
The characteristics of this Gospel are, (1) the absence of the
genealogy of our Lord, (2) whom he represents as clothed with
power, the "lion of the tribe of Judah." (3.) Mark also records
with wonderful minuteness the very words (3:17; 5:41; 7:11, 34;
14:36) as well as the position (9:35) and gestures (3:5, 34;
5:32; 9:36; 10:16) of our Lord. (4.) He is also careful to
record particulars of person (1:29, 36; 3:6, 22, etc.), number
(5:13; 6:7, etc.), place (2:13; 4:1; 7:31, etc.), and time
(1:35; 2:1; 4:35, etc.), which the other evangelists omit. (5.)
The phrase "and straightway" occurs nearly forty times in this
Gospel; while in Luke's Gospel, which is much longer, it is used
only seven times, and in John only four times.
"The Gospel of Mark," says Westcott, "is essentially a
transcript from life. The course and issue of facts are imaged
in it with the clearest outline." "In Mark we have no attempt to
draw up a continuous narrative. His Gospel is a rapid succession
of vivid pictures loosely strung together without much attempt
to bind them into a whole or give the events in their natural
sequence. This pictorial power is that which specially
characterizes this evangelist, so that 'if any one desires to
know an evangelical fact, not only in its main features and
grand results, but also in its most minute and so to speak more
graphic delineation, he must betake himself to Mark.'" The
leading principle running through this Gospel may be expressed
in the motto: "Jesus came...preaching the gospel of the kingdom"
"Out of a total of 662 verses, Mark has 406 in common with
Matthew and Luke, 145 with Matthew, 60 with Luke, and at most 51
peculiar to itself." (See MATTHEW ¯T0002442.)