(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.
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).
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.)
(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.)
(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.)
(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.)
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
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).
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
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.
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.