Heb. shophar, "brightness," with reference to the clearness of
its sound (1 Chr. 15:28; 2 Chr. 15:14; Ps. 98:6; Hos. 5:8). It
is usually rendered in the Authorized Version "trumpet." It
denotes the long and straight horn, about eighteen inches long.
The words of Joel, "Blow the trumpet," literally, "Sound the
cornet," refer to the festival which was the preparation for the
day of Atonement. In Dan. 3:5, 7, 10, 15, the word (keren) so
rendered is a curved horn. The word "cornet" in 2 Sam. 6:5 (Heb.
mena'an'im, occurring only here) was some kind of instrument
played by being shaken like the Egyptian sistrum, consisting of
rings or bells hung loosely on iron rods.
The art of embroidery was known to the Jews (Ex. 26:36; 35:35;
38:23; Judg. 5:30; Ps. 45:14). The skill of the women in this
art was seen in the preparation of the sacerdotal robes of the
high priest (Ex. 28). It seems that the art became hereditary in
certain families (1 Chr. 4:21). The Assyrians were also noted
for their embroidered robes (Ezek. 27:24).
a raised road for public use. Such roads were not found in
Israel; hence the force of the language used to describe the
return of the captives and the advent of the Messiah (Isa.
11:16; 35:8; 40:3; 62:10) under the figure of the preparation of
a grand thoroughfare for their march.
During their possession of Israel the Romans constructed
several important highways, as they did in all countries which
the people is victor, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin.
He is first noticed as visiting Jesus by night (John 3:1-21) for
the purpose of learning more of his doctrines, which our Lord
then unfolded to him, giving prominence to the necessity of
being "born again." He is next met with in the Sanhedrin
(7:50-52), where he protested against the course they were
taking in plotting against Christ. Once more he is mentioned as
taking part in the preparation for the anointing and burial of
the body of Christ (John 19:39). We hear nothing more of him.
There can be little doubt that he became a true disciple.
Jezreel, Day of
the time predicted for the execution of vengeance for the deeds
of blood committed there (Hos. 1:5).
a contract or agreement between two parties. In the Old
Testament the Hebrew word _berith_ is always thus translated.
_Berith_ is derived from a root which means "to cut," and hence
a covenant is a "cutting," with reference to the cutting or
dividing of animals into two parts, and the contracting parties
passing between them, in making a covenant (Gen. 15; Jer. 34:18,
The corresponding word in the New Testament Greek is
_diatheke_, which is, however, rendered "testament" generally in
the Authorized Version. It ought to be rendered, just as the
word _berith_ of the Old Testament, "covenant."
This word is used (1) of a covenant or compact between man and
man (Gen. 21:32), or between tribes or nations (1 Sam. 11:1;
Josh. 9:6, 15). In entering into a convenant, Jehovah was
solemnly called on to witness the transaction (Gen. 31:50), and
hence it was called a "covenant of the Lord" (1 Sam. 20:8). The
marriage compact is called "the covenant of God" (Prov. 2:17),
because the marriage was made in God's name. Wicked men are
spoken of as acting as if they had made a "covenant with death"
not to destroy them, or with hell not to devour them (Isa.
(2.) The word is used with reference to God's revelation of
himself in the way of promise or of favour to men. Thus God's
promise to Noah after the Flood is called a covenant (Gen. 9;
Jer. 33:20, "my covenant"). We have an account of God's
covernant with Abraham (Gen. 17, comp. Lev. 26:42), of the
covenant of the priesthood (Num. 25:12, 13; Deut. 33:9; Neh.
13:29), and of the covenant of Sinai (Ex. 34:27, 28; Lev.
26:15), which was afterwards renewed at different times in the
history of Israel (Deut. 29; Josh. 1:24; 2 Chr. 15; 23; 29; 34;
Ezra 10; Neh. 9). In conformity with human custom, God's
covenant is said to be confirmed with an oath (Deut. 4:31; Ps.
89:3), and to be accompanied by a sign (Gen. 9; 17). Hence the
covenant is called God's "counsel," "oath," "promise" (Ps. 89:3,
4; 105:8-11; Heb. 6:13-20; Luke 1:68-75). God's covenant
consists wholly in the bestowal of blessing (Isa. 59:21; Jer.
The term covenant is also used to designate the regular
succession of day and night (Jer. 33:20), the Sabbath (Ex.
31:16), circumcision (Gen. 17:9, 10), and in general any
ordinance of God (Jer. 34:13, 14).
A "covenant of salt" signifies an everlasting covenant, in the
sealing or ratifying of which salt, as an emblem of perpetuity,
is used (Num. 18:19; Lev. 2:13; 2 Chr. 13:5).
COVENANT OF WORKS, the constitution under which Adam was
placed at his creation. In this covenant, (1.) The contracting
parties were (a) God the moral Governor, and (b) Adam, a free
moral agent, and representative of all his natural posterity
(Rom. 5:12-19). (2.) The promise was "life" (Matt. 19:16, 17;
Gal. 3:12). (3.) The condition was perfect obedience to the law,
the test in this case being abstaining from eating the fruit of
the "tree of knowledge," etc. (4.) The penalty was death (Gen.
This covenant is also called a covenant of nature, as made
with man in his natural or unfallen state; a covenant of life,
because "life" was the promise attached to obedience; and a
legal covenant, because it demanded perfect obedience to the
The "tree of life" was the outward sign and seal of that life
which was promised in the covenant, and hence it is usually
called the seal of that covenant.
This covenant is abrogated under the gospel, inasmuch as
Christ has fulfilled all its conditions in behalf of his people,
and now offers salvation on the condition of faith. It is still
in force, however, as it rests on the immutable justice of God,
and is binding on all who have not fled to Christ and accepted
CONVENANT OF GRACE, the eternal plan of redemption entered
into by the three persons of the Godhead, and carried out by
them in its several parts. In it the Father represented the
Godhead in its indivisible sovereignty, and the Son his people
as their surety (John 17:4, 6, 9; Isa. 42:6; Ps. 89:3).
The conditions of this covenant were, (1.) On the part of the
Father (a) all needful preparation to the Son for the
accomplishment of his work (Heb. 10:5; Isa. 42:1-7); (b) support
in the work (Luke 22:43); and (c) a glorious reward in the
exaltation of Christ when his work was done (Phil. 2:6-11), his
investiture with universal dominion (John 5:22; Ps. 110:1), his
having the administration of the covenant committed into his
hands (Matt. 28:18; John 1:12; 17:2; Acts 2:33), and in the
final salvation of all his people (Isa. 35:10; 53:10, 11; Jer.
31:33; Titus 1:2). (2.) On the part of the Son the conditions
were (a) his becoming incarnate (Gal. 4:4, 5); and (b) as the
second Adam his representing all his people, assuming their
place and undertaking all their obligations under the violated
covenant of works; (c) obeying the law (Ps. 40:8; Isa. 42:21;
John 9:4, 5), and (d) suffering its penalty (Isa. 53; 2 Cor.
5:21; Gal. 3:13), in their stead.
Christ, the mediator of, fulfils all its conditions in behalf
of his people, and dispenses to them all its blessings. In Heb.
8:6; 9:15; 12:24, this title is given to Christ. (See
The observance of birth-days was common in early times (Job 1:4,
13, 18). They were specially celebrated in the land of Egypt
(Gen. 40:20). There is no recorded instance in Scripture of the
celebration of birth-days among the Jews. On the occasion of
Herod's birth-day John the Baptist was beheaded (Matt. 14:6).
only once, in Rev. 1:10, was in the early Christian ages used to
denote the first day of the week, which commemorated the Lord's
resurrection. There is every reason to conclude that John thus
used the name. (See SABBATH ¯T0003170.)
(Isa. 1:13), the convocation on the eighth day of the Feast of
Tabernacles (Lev. 23:36; Num. 29:35, R.V., "solemn assembly;"
marg., "closing festival"). It is the name given also to the
convocation held on the seventh day of the Passover (Deut.
Atonement, Day of
the great annual day of humiliation and expiation for the sins
of the nation, "the fast" (Acts 27:9), and the only one
commanded in the law of Moses. The mode of its observance is
described in Lev. 16:3-10; 23:26-32; and Num. 29:7-11.
It was kept on the tenth day of the month Tisri, i.e., five
days before the feast of Tabernacles, and lasted from sunset to
sunset. (See AZAZEL ¯T0000374.)
Heb. tannur, (Hos. 7:4). In towns there appear to have been
public ovens. There was a street in Jerusalem (Jer. 37:21)
called "bakers' street" (the only case in which the name of a
street in Jerusalem is preserved). The words "tower of the
furnaces" (Neh. 3:11; 12:38) is more properly "tower of the
ovens" (Heb. tannurim). These resemble the ovens in use among
There were other private ovens of different kinds. Some were
like large jars made of earthenware or copper, which were heated
inside with wood (1 Kings 17:12; Isa. 44:15; Jer. 7:18) or grass
(Matt. 6:30), and when the fire had burned out, small pieces of
dough were placed inside or spread in thin layers on the
outside, and were thus baked. (See FURNACE ¯T0001398.)
Pits were also formed for the same purposes, and lined with
cement. These were used after the same manner.
Heated stones, or sand heated by a fire heaped over it, and
also flat irons pans, all served as ovens for the preparation of
bread. (See Gen. 18:6; 1 Kings 19:6.)
First found in Dan. 3:6; 4:19, 33;5:5. It is the rendering of
the Chaldee shaah, meaning a "moment," a "look." It is used in
the New Testament frequently to denote some determinate season
(Matt. 8:13; Luke 12:39).
With the ancient Hebrews the divisions of the day were
"morning, evening, and noon-day" (Ps. 55:17, etc.). The Greeks,
following the Babylonians, divided the day into twelve hours.
The Jews, during the Captivity, learned also from the
Babylonians this method of dividing time. When Judea became
subject to the Romans, the Jews adopted the Roman mode of
reckoning time. The night was divided into four watches (Luke
12:38; Matt. 14:25; 13:25). Frequent allusion is also made to
hours (Matt. 25:13; 26:40, etc.). (See DAY ¯T0000984.)
An hour was the twelfth part of the day, reckoning from
sunrise to sunset, and consequently it perpetually varied in
The Jews reckoned the day from sunset to sunset (Lev. 23:32). It
was originally divided into three parts (Ps. 55:17). "The heat
of the day" (1 Sam. 11:11; Neh. 7:3) was at our nine o'clock,
and "the cool of the day" just before sunset (Gen. 3:8). Before
the Captivity the Jews divided the night into three watches, (1)
from sunset to midnight (Lam. 2:19); (2) from midnight till the
cock-crowing (Judg. 7:19); and (3) from the cock-crowing till
sunrise (Ex. 14:24). In the New Testament the division of the
Greeks and Romans into four watches was adopted (Mark 13:35).
(See WATCHES ¯T0003789.)
The division of the day by hours is first mentioned in Dan.
3:6, 15; 4:19; 5:5. This mode of reckoning was borrowed from the
Chaldeans. The reckoning of twelve hours was from sunrise to
sunset, and accordingly the hours were of variable length (John
The word "day" sometimes signifies an indefinite time (Gen.
2:4; Isa. 22:5; Heb. 3:8, etc.). In Job 3:1 it denotes a
birthday, and in Isa. 2:12, Acts 17:31, and 2 Tim. 1:18, the
great day of final judgment.
(Heb. verb shabbath, meaning "to rest from labour"), the day of
rest. It is first mentioned as having been instituted in
Paradise, when man was in innocence (Gen. 2:2). "The sabbath was
made for man," as a day of rest and refreshment for the body and
of blessing to the soul.
It is next referred to in connection with the gift of manna to
the children of Israel in the wilderness (Ex. 16:23); and
afterwards, when the law was given from Sinai (20:11), the
people were solemnly charged to "remember the sabbath day, to
keep it holy." Thus it is spoken of as an institution already
In the Mosaic law strict regulations were laid down regarding
its observance (Ex. 35:2, 3; Lev. 23:3; 26:34). These were
peculiar to that dispensation.
In the subsequent history of the Jews frequent references are
made to the sanctity of the Sabbath (Isa. 56:2, 4, 6, 7; 58:13,
14; Jer. 17:20-22; Neh. 13:19). In later times they perverted
the Sabbath by their traditions. Our Lord rescued it from their
perversions, and recalled to them its true nature and intent
(Matt. 12:10-13; Mark 2:27; Luke 13:10-17).
The Sabbath, originally instituted for man at his creation, is
of permanent and universal obligation. The physical necessities
of man require a Sabbath of rest. He is so constituted that his
bodily welfare needs at least one day in seven for rest from
ordinary labour. Experience also proves that the moral and
spiritual necessities of men also demand a Sabbath of rest. "I
am more and more sure by experience that the reason for the
observance of the Sabbath lies deep in the everlasting
necessities of human nature, and that as long as man is man the
blessedness of keeping it, not as a day of rest only, but as a
day of spiritual rest, will never be annulled. I certainly do
feel by experience the eternal obligation, because of the
eternal necessity, of the Sabbath. The soul withers without it.
It thrives in proportion to its observance. The Sabbath was made
for man. God made it for men in a certain spiritual state
because they needed it. The need, therefore, is deeply hidden in
human nature. He who can dispense with it must be holy and
spiritual indeed. And he who, still unholy and unspiritual,
would yet dispense with it is a man that would fain be wiser
than his Maker" (F. W. Robertson).
The ancient Babylonian calendar, as seen from recently
recovered inscriptions on the bricks among the ruins of the
royal palace, was based on the division of time into weeks of
seven days. The Sabbath is in these inscriptions designated
Sabattu, and defined as "a day of rest for the heart" and "a day
of completion of labour."
The change of the day. Originally at creation the seventh day
of the week was set apart and consecrated as the Sabbath. The
first day of the week is now observed as the Sabbath. Has God
authorized this change? There is an obvious distinction between
the Sabbath as an institution and the particular day set apart
for its observance. The question, therefore, as to the change of
the day in no way affects the perpetual obligation of the
Sabbath as an institution. Change of the day or no change, the
Sabbath remains as a sacred institution the same. It cannot be
If any change of the day has been made, it must have been by
Christ or by his authority. Christ has a right to make such a
change (Mark 2:23-28). As Creator, Christ was the original Lord
of the Sabbath (John 1:3; Heb. 1:10). It was originally a
memorial of creation. A work vastly greater than that of
creation has now been accomplished by him, the work of
redemption. We would naturally expect just such a change as
would make the Sabbath a memorial of that greater work.
True, we can give no text authorizing the change in so many
words. We have no express law declaring the change. But there
are evidences of another kind. We know for a fact that the first
day of the week has been observed from apostolic times, and the
necessary conclusion is, that it was observed by the apostles
and their immediate disciples. This, we may be sure, they never
would have done without the permission or the authority of their
After his resurrection, which took place on the first day of
the week (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1), we never
find Christ meeting with his disciples on the seventh day. But
he specially honoured the first day by manifesting himself to
them on four separate occasions (Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:34, 18-33;
John 20:19-23). Again, on the next first day of the week, Jesus
appeared to his disciples (John 20:26).
Some have calculated that Christ's ascension took place on the
first day of the week. And there can be no doubt that the
descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost was on that day (Acts
2:1). Thus Christ appears as instituting a new day to be
observed by his people as the Sabbath, a day to be henceforth
known amongst them as the "Lord's day." The observance of this
"Lord's day" as the Sabbath was the general custom of the
primitive churches, and must have had apostolic sanction (comp.
Acts 20:3-7; 1 Cor. 16:1, 2) and authority, and so the sanction
and authority of Jesus Christ.
The words "at her sabbaths" (Lam. 1:7, A.V.) ought probably to
be, as in the Revised Version, "at her desolations."
is the translation of a word (tse'med), which properly means a
yoke, and denotes a space of ground that may be ploughed by a
yoke of oxen in a day. It is about an acre of our measure (Isa.
5:10; 1 Sam. 14:14).
the easternmost and the largest province of Asia Minor.
Christianity very early penetrated into this country (1 Pet.
1:1). On the day of Pentecost there were Cappadocians at
Jerusalem (Acts 2:9).
boughs of, were to be carried in festive procession on the first
day of the feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:40). This was probably
the olive tree (Neh. 8:15), although no special tree is
the principal meal of the day among the Jews. It was partaken of
in the early part of the evening (Mark 6:21; John 12:2; 1 Cor.
11:21). (See LORD'S SUPPER ¯T0002318.)
the period following sunset with which the Jewish day began
(Gen. 1:5; Mark 13:35). The Hebrews reckoned two evenings of
each day, as appears from Ex. 16:12: 30:8; 12:6 (marg.); Lev.
23:5 (marg. R.V., "between the two evenings"). The "first
evening" was that period when the sun was verging towards
setting, and the "second evening" the moment of actual sunset.
The word "evenings" in Jer. 5:6 should be "deserts" (marg.
a lot, lots, a festival instituted by the Jews (Esther 9:24-32)
in ironical commemoration of Haman's consultation of the Pur (a
Persian word), for the purpose of ascertaining the auspicious
day for executing his cruel plot against their nation. It became
a national institution by the common consent of the Jews, and is
observed by them to the present day, on the 14th and 15th of the
month Adar, a month before the Passover.
a prophetic period mentioned in Dan. 9:24, and usually
interpreted on the "year-day" theory, i.e., reckoning each day
for a year. This period will thus represent 490 years. This is
regarded as the period which would elapse till the time of the
coming of the Messiah, dating "from the going forth of the
commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem" i.e., from the
close of the Captivity.
i.e., "fiftieth", found only in the New Testament (Acts 2:1;
20:16; 1 Cor. 16:8). The festival so named is first spoken of in
Ex. 23:16 as "the feast of harvest," and again in Ex. 34:22 as
"the day of the firstfruits" (Num. 28:26). From the sixteenth of
the month of Nisan (the second day of the Passover), seven
complete weeks, i.e., forty-nine days, were to be reckoned, and
this feast was held on the fiftieth day. The manner in which it
was to be kept is described in Lev. 23:15-19; Num. 28:27-29.
Besides the sacrifices prescribed for the occasion, every one
was to bring to the Lord his "tribute of a free-will offering"
(Deut. 16:9-11). The purpose of this feast was to commemorate
the completion of the grain harvest. Its distinguishing feature
was the offering of "two leavened loaves" made from the new corn
of the completed harvest, which, with two lambs, were waved
before the Lord as a thank offering.
The day of Pentecost is noted in the Christian Church as the
day on which the Spirit descended upon the apostles, and on
which, under Peter's preaching, so many thousands were converted
in Jerusalem (Acts 2).
=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.
among the Jews was generally made of wheat (Ex. 29:2; Judg.
6:19), though also sometimes of other grains (Gen. 14:18; Judg.
7:13). Parched grain was sometimes used for food without any
other preparation (Ruth 2:14).
Bread was prepared by kneading in wooden bowls or "kneading
troughs" (Gen. 18:6; Ex. 12:34; Jer. 7:18). The dough was mixed
with leaven and made into thin cakes, round or oval, and then
baked. The bread eaten at the Passover was always unleavened
(Ex. 12:15-20; Deut. 16:3). In the towns there were public
ovens, which were much made use of for baking bread; there were
also bakers by trade (Hos. 7:4; Jer. 37:21). Their ovens were
not unlike those of modern times. But sometimes the bread was
baked by being placed on the ground that had been heated by a
fire, and by covering it with the embers (1 Kings 19:6). This
was probably the mode in which Sarah prepared bread on the
occasion referred to in Gen. 18:6.
In Lev. 2 there is an account of the different kinds of bread
and cakes used by the Jews. (See BAKE ¯T0000419.)
The shew-bread (q.v.) consisted of twelve loaves of unleavened
bread prepared and presented hot on the golden table every
Sabbath. They were square or oblong, and represented the twelve
tribes of Israel. The old loaves were removed every Sabbath, and
were to be eaten only by the priests in the court of the
sanctuary (Ex. 25:30; Lev. 24:8; 1 Sam. 21:1-6; Matt. 12:4).
The word bread is used figuratively in such expressions as
"bread of sorrows" (Ps. 127:2), "bread of tears" (80:5), i.e.,
sorrow and tears are like one's daily bread, they form so great
a part in life. The bread of "wickedness" (Prov. 4:17) and "of
deceit" (20:17) denote in like manner that wickedness and deceit
are a part of the daily life.
Originally the Creator granted the use of the vegetable world
for food to man (Gen. 1:29), with the exception mentioned
(2:17). The use of animal food was probably not unknown to the
antediluvians. There is, however, a distinct law on the subject
given to Noah after the Deluge (Gen. 9:2-5). Various articles of
food used in the patriarchal age are mentioned in Gen. 18:6-8;
25:34; 27:3, 4; 43:11. Regarding the food of the Israelites in
Egypt, see Ex. 16:3; Num. 11:5. In the wilderness their ordinary
food was miraculously supplied in the manna. They had also
quails (Ex. 16:11-13; Num. 11:31).
In the law of Moses there are special regulations as to the
animals to be used for food (Lev. 11; Deut. 14:3-21). The Jews
were also forbidden to use as food anything that had been
consecrated to idols (Ex. 34:15), or animals that had died of
disease or had been torn by wild beasts (Ex. 22:31; Lev. 22:8).
(See also for other restrictions Ex. 23:19; 29:13-22; Lev.
3:4-9; 9:18, 19; 22:8; Deut. 14:21.) But beyond these
restrictions they had a large grant from God (Deut. 14:26;
Food was prepared for use in various ways. The cereals were
sometimes eaten without any preparation (Lev. 23:14; Deut.
23:25; 2 Kings 4:42). Vegetables were cooked by boiling (Gen.
25:30, 34; 2 Kings 4:38, 39), and thus also other articles of
food were prepared for use (Gen. 27:4; Prov. 23:3; Ezek. 24:10;
Luke 24:42; John 21:9). Food was also prepared by roasting (Ex.
12:8; Lev. 2:14). (See COOK ¯T0000892.)
insolence; pride, a poetical name applied to Egypt in Ps. 87:4;
89:10; Isa. 51:9, as "the proud one."
Rahab, (Heb. Rahab; i.e., "broad," "large"). When the Hebrews
were encamped at Shittim, in the "Arabah" or Jordan valley
opposite Jericho, ready to cross the river, Joshua, as a final
preparation, sent out two spies to "spy the land." After five
days they returned, having swum across the river, which at this
season, the month Abib, overflowed its banks from the melting of
the snow on Lebanon. The spies reported how it had fared with
them (Josh. 2:1-7). They had been exposed to danger in Jericho,
and had been saved by the fidelity of Rahab the harlot, to whose
house they had gone for protection. When the city of Jericho
fell (6:17-25), Rahab and her whole family were preserved
according to the promise of the spies, and were incorporated
among the Jewish people. She afterwards became the wife of
Salmon, a prince of the tribe of Judah (Ruth 4:21; 1 Chr. 2:11;
Matt. 1:5). "Rahab's being asked to bring out the spies to the
soldiers (Josh. 2:3) sent for them, is in strict keeping with
Eastern manners, which would not permit any man to enter a
woman's house without her permission. The fact of her covering
the spies with bundles of flax which lay on her house-roof (2:6)
is an 'undesigned coincidence' which strictly corroborates the
narrative. It was the time of the barley harvest, and flax and
barley are ripe at the same time in the Jordan valley, so that
the bundles of flax stalks might have been expected to be drying
just then" (Geikie's Hours, etc., ii., 390).
Revelation, Book of
=The Apocalypse, the closing book and the only prophetical book
of the New Testament canon. The author of this book was
undoubtedly John the apostle. His name occurs four times in the
book itself (1:1, 4, 9; 22:8), and there is every reason to
conclude that the "John" here mentioned was the apostle. In a
manuscript of about the twelfth century he is called "John the
divine," but no reason can be assigned for this appellation.
The date of the writing of this book has generally been fixed
at A.D. 96, in the reign of Domitian. There are some, however,
who contend for an earlier date, A.D. 68 or 69, in the reign of
Nero. Those who are in favour of the later date appeal to the
testimony of the Christian father Irenaeus, who received
information relative to this book from those who had seen John
face to face. He says that the Apocalypse "was seen no long time
As to the relation between this book and the Gospel of John,
it has been well observed that "the leading ideas of both are
the same. The one gives us in a magnificent vision, the other in
a great historic drama, the supreme conflict between good and
evil and its issue. In both Jesus Christ is the central figure,
whose victory through defeat is the issue of the conflict. In
both the Jewish dispensation is the preparation for the gospel,
and the warfare and triumph of the Christ is described in
language saturated with the Old Testament. The difference of
date will go a long way toward explaining the difference of
style." Plummer's Gospel of St. John, Introd.
(abbreviation of Cleopatros), one of the two disciples with whom
Jesus conversed on the way to Emmaus on the day of the
resurrection (Luke 24:18). We know nothing definitely regarding
him. It is not certain that he was the Clopas of John 19:25, or
the Alphaeus of Matt. 10:3, although he may have been so.
an umpire or arbiter or judge (Job 9:33). This word is formed
from the Latin diem dicere, i.e., to fix a day for hearing a
cause. Such an one is empowered by mutual consent to decide the
cause, and to "lay his hand", i.e., to impose his authority, on
both, and enforce his sentence.
palpitation, a fountain near which Gideon and his army encamped
on the morning of the day when they encountered and routed the
Midianites (Judg. 7). It was south of the hill Moreh. The
present 'Ain Jalud ("Goliath's Fountain"), south of Jezreel and
nearly opposite Shunem, is probably the fountain here referred
to (7:4, 5).
an artificer in stone. The Tyrians seem to have been specially
skilled in architecture (1 Kings 5:17, 18; 2 Sam. 5:11). This
art the Hebrews no doubt learned in Egypt (Ex. 1:11, 14), where
ruins of temples and palaces fill the traveller with wonder at
the present day.
day of God. (1.) One of Simeon's five sons (1 Chr. 4:24), called
also Jemuel (Gen. 46:10). (2.) A Reubenite, a son of Eliab, and
brother of Dathan and Abiram (Num. 26:9).
Sabbath day's journey
supposed to be a distance of 2,000 cubits, or less than
half-a-mile, the distance to which, according to Jewish
tradition, it was allowable to travel on the Sabbath day without
violating the law (Acts 1:12; comp. Ex. 16:29; Num. 35:5; Josh.
succeeded his father Jehoiakin (B.C. 599) when only eight years
of age, and reigned for one hundred days (2 Chr. 36:9). He is
also called Jeconiah (Jer. 24:1; 27:20, etc.), and Coniah
(22:24; 37:1). He was succeeded by his uncle, Mattaniah =
Zedekiah (q.v.). He was the last direct heir to the Jewish
crown. He was carried captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar,
along with the flower of the nobility, all the leading men in
Jerusalem, and a great body of the general population, some
thirteen thousand in all (2 Kings 24:12-16; Jer. 52:28). After
an imprisonment of thirty-seven years (Jer. 52:31, 33), he was
liberated by Evil-merodach, and permitted to occupy a place in
the king's household and sit at his table, receiving "every day
a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life"
an ear of corn, the month of newly-ripened grain (Ex. 13:4;
23:15); the first of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, and the
seventh of the civil year. It began about the time of the vernal
equinox, on 21st March. It was called Nisan, after the Captivity
(Neh. 2:1). On the fifteenth day of the month, harvest was begun
by gathering a sheaf of barley, which was offered unto the Lord
on the sixteenth (Lev. 23:4-11).
occurs only in Rev. 16:16 (R.V., "Har-Magedon"), as symbolically
designating the place where the "battle of that great day of God
Almighty" (ver. 14) shall be fought. The word properly means the
"mount of Megiddo." It is the scene of the final conflict
between Christ and Antichrist. The idea of such a scene was
suggested by the Old Testament great battle-field, the plain of
The use of the bath was very frequent among the Hebrews (Lev.
14:8; Num. 19:19, ect.). The high priest at his inauguration
(Lev. 8:6), and on the day of atonement, was required to bathe
himself (16:4, 24). The "pools" mentioned in Neh. 3:15, 16, 2
Kings 20:20, Isa. 22:11, John 9:7, were public bathing-places.
(Heb. hargol, meaning "leaper"). Mention of it is made only in
Lev. 11:22, where it is obvious the word cannot mean properly
the beetle. It denotes some winged creeper with at least four
feet, "which has legs above its feet, to leap withal." The
description plainly points to the locust (q.v.). This has been
an article of food from the earliest times in the East to the
present day. The word is rendered "cricket" in the Revised
A cow and her calf were not to be killed on the same day (Lev.
22:28; Ex. 23:19; Deut. 22:6, 7). The reason for this enactment
is not given. A state of great poverty is described in the words
of Isa. 7:21-25, where, instead of possessing great resources, a
man shall depend for the subsistence of himself and his family
on what a single cow and two sheep could yield.
(Dan. 8:12; 11:31; 12:11), a burnt offering of two lambs of a
year old, which were daily sacrificed in the name of the whole
Israelitish people upon the great altar, the first at dawn of
day, and the second at evening (Dan. 9:21), or more correctly,
"between the two evenings." (See SACRIFICE ¯T0003179.)
"There is no dew properly so called in Israel, for there is
no moisture in the hot summer air to be chilled into dew-drops
by the coldness of the night. From May till October rain is
unknown, the sun shining with unclouded brightness day after
day. The heat becomes intense, the ground hard, and vegetation
would perish but for the moist west winds that come each night
from the sea. The bright skies cause the heat of the day to
radiate very quickly into space, so that the nights are as cold
as the day is the reverse, a peculiarity of climate from which
poor Jacob suffered thousands of years ago (Gen. 31:40). To this
coldness of the night air the indispensable watering of all
plant-life is due. The winds, loaded with moisture, are robbed
of it as they pass over the land, the cold air condensing it
into drops of water, which fall in a gracious rain of mist on
every thirsty blade. In the morning the fog thus created rests
like a sea over the plains, and far up the sides of the hills,
which raise their heads above it like so many islands. At
sunrise, however, the scene speedily changes. By the kindling
light the mist is transformed into vast snow-white clouds, which
presently break into separate masses and rise up the
mountain-sides, to disappear in the blue above, dissipated by
the increasing heat. These are 'the morning clouds and the early
dew that go away' of which Hosea (6:4; 13:3) speaks so
touchingly" (Geikie's The Holy Land, etc., i., p. 72). Dew is a
source of great fertility (Gen. 27:28; Deut. 33:13; Zech. 8:12),
and its withdrawal is regarded as a curse from God (2 Sam. 1:21;
1 Kings 17:1). It is the symbol of a multitude (2 Sam. 17:12;
Ps. 110:3); and from its refreshing influence it is an emblem of
brotherly love and harmony (Ps. 133:3), and of rich spiritual
blessings (Hos. 14:5).
fountain of the sun a spring which formed one of the landmarks
on the boundary between Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:7; 18:17).
It was between the "ascent of Adummim" and the spring of
En-rogel, and hence was on the east of Jerusalem and of the
Mount of Olives. It is the modern 'Ain-Haud i.e., the "well of
the apostles" about a mile east of Bethany, the only spring on
the road to Jericho. The sun shines on it the whole day long.
literally bed-keeper or chamberlain, and not necessarily in all
cases one who was mutilated, although the practice of employing
such mutilated persons in Oriental courts was common (2 Kings
9:32; Esther 2:3). The law of Moses excluded them from the
congregation (Deut. 23:1). They were common also among the
Greeks and Romans. It is said that even to-day there are some in
Rome who are employed in singing soprano in the Sistine Chapel.
Three classes of eunuchs are mentioned in Matt. 19:12.
cave-land, mentioned only in Ezek. 47:16, 18. It was one of the
ancient divisions of Bashan (q.v.), and lay on the south-east of
Gaulanitis or the Jaulan, and on the south of Lejah, extending
from the Arnon to the Hieromax. It was the most fertile region
in Syria, and to this day abounds in the ruins of towns, many of
which have stone doors and massive walls. It retains its ancient
name. It was known by the Greeks and Romans as "Auranitis."
When Joshua took the city of Ai (Josh. 8), he burned it and
"made it an heap [Heb. tel] for ever" (8:28). The ruins of this
city were for a long time sought for in vain. It has been at
length, however, identified with the mound which simply bears
the name of "Tel." "There are many Tels in modern Israel,
that land of Tels, each Tel with some other name attached to it
to mark the former site. But the site of Ai has no other name
'unto this day.' It is simply et-Tel, 'the heap' par
a fragrant composition prepared by the "art of the apothecary."
It consisted of four ingredients "beaten small" (Ex. 30:34-36).
That which was not thus prepared was called "strange incense"
(30:9). It was offered along with every meat-offering; and
besides was daily offered on the golden altar in the holy place,
and on the great day of atonement was burnt by the high priest
in the holy of holies (30:7, 8). It was the symbol of prayer
(Ps. 141:1,2; Rev. 5:8; 8:3, 4).
As streams were few in Israel, water was generally stored up
in winter in reservoirs, and distributed through gardens in
numerous rills, which could easily be turned or diverted by the
foot (Deut. 11:10).
For purposes of irrigation, water was raised from streams or
pools by water-wheels, or by a shaduf, commonly used on the
banks of the Nile to the present day.
Only mentioned in Isa. 3:21, although refered to in Gen. 24:47,
Prov. 11:22, Hos. 2:13. They were among the most valued of
ancient female ornaments. They "were made of ivory or metal, and
occasionally jewelled. They were more than an inch in diameter,
and hung upon the mouth. Eliezer gave one to Rebekah which was
of gold and weighed half a shekel...At the present day the women
in the country and in the desert wear these ornaments in one of
the sides of the nostrils, which droop like the ears in
Paul and his company, loosing from Paphos, sailed north-west and
came to Perga, the capital of Pamphylia (Acts 13:13, 14), a
province about the middle of the southern sea-board of Asia
Minor. It lay between Lycia on the west and Cilicia on the east.
There were strangers from Pamphylia at Jerusalem on the day of
(1.) Jonah's gourd (Jonah 4:6-10), bearing the Hebrew name
_kikayon_ (found only here), was probably the kiki of the
Egyptians, the croton. This is the castor-oil plant, a species
of ricinus, the palma Christi, so called from the palmate
division of its leaves. Others with more probability regard it
as the cucurbita the el-keroa of the Arabs, a kind of pumpkin
peculiar to the East. "It is grown in great abundance on the
alluvial banks of the Tigris and on the plain between the river
and the ruins of Nineveh." At the present day it is trained to
run over structures of mud and brush to form boots to protect
the gardeners from the heat of the noon-day sun. It grows with
extraordinary rapidity, and when cut or injured withers away
also with great rapidity.
(2.) Wild gourds (2 Kings 4:38-40), Heb. pakkuoth, belong to
the family of the cucumber-like plants, some of which are
poisonous. The species here referred to is probably the
colocynth (Cucumis colocynthus). The LXX. render the word by
"wild pumpkin." It abounds in the desert parts of Syria, Egypt,
and Arabia. There is, however, another species, called the
Cucumis prophetarum, from the idea that it afforded the gourd
which "the sons of the prophets" shred by mistake into their
Herod Agrippa I.
son of Aristobulus and Bernice, and grandson of Herod the Great.
He was made tetrarch of the provinces formerly held by Lysanias
II., and ultimately possessed the entire kingdom of his
grandfather, Herod the Great, with the title of king. He put the
apostle James the elder to death, and cast Peter into prison
(Luke 3:1; Acts 12:1-19). On the second day of a festival held
in honour of the emperor Claudius, he appeared in the great
theatre of Caesarea. "The king came in clothed in magnificent
robes, of which silver was the costly brilliant material. It was
early in the day, and the sun's rays fell on the king, so that
the eyes of the beholders were dazzled with the brightness which
surrounded him. Voices here and there from the crowd exclaimed
that it was the apparition of something divine. And when he
spoke and made an oration to them, they gave a shout, saying,
'It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.' But in the midst
of this idolatrous ostentation an angel of God suddenly smote
him. He was carried out of the theatre a dying man." He died
(A.D. 44) of the same loathsome malady which slew his
grandfather (Acts. 12:21-23), in the fifty-fourth year of his
age, having reigned four years as tetrarch and three as king
over the whole of Israel. After his death his kingdom came
under the control of the prefect of Syria, and Israel was now
fully incorporated with the empire.
In our Lord's time the Jews had adopted the Greek and Roman
division of the night into four watches, each consisting of
three hours, the first beginning at six o'clock in the evening
(Luke 12:38; Matt. 14:25; Mark 6:48). But the ancient division,
known as the first and second cock-crowing, was still retained.
The cock usually crows several times soon after midnight (this
is the first crowing), and again at the dawn of day (and this is
the second crowing). Mark mentions (14:30) the two
cock-crowings. Matthew (26:34) alludes to that only which was
emphatically the cock-crowing, viz, the second.
a meeting of a religious character as distinguished from
congregation, which was more general, dealing with political and
legal matters. Hence it is called an "holy convocation." Such
convocations were the Sabbaths (Lev. 23:2, 3), the Passover (Ex.
12:16; Lev. 23:7, 8; Num. 28:25), Pentecost (Lev. 23:21), the
feast of Trumpets (Lev. 23:24; Num. 29:1), the feast of Weeks
(Num. 28:26), and the feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:35, 36). The
great fast, the annual day of atonement, was "the holy
convocation" (Lev. 23:27; Num. 29:7).
now called Candia, one of the largest islands in the
Meditterranean, about 140 miles long and 35 broad. It was at one
time a very prosperous and populous island, having a "hundred
cities." The character of the people is described in Paul's
quotation from "one of their own poets" (Epimenides) in his
epistle to Titus: "The Cretans are alway liars, evil beasts,
slow bellies" (Titus 1:12). Jews from Crete were in Jerusalem on
the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:11). The island was visited by Paul
on his voyage to Rome (Acts 27). Here Paul subsequently left
Titus (1:5) "to ordain elders." Some have supposed that it was
the original home of the Caphtorim (q.v.) or Philistines.
(1.) Used as manure (Luke 13:8); collected outside the city
walls (Neh. 2:13). Of sacrifices, burned outside the camp (Ex.
29:14; Lev. 4:11; 8:17; Num. 19:5). To be "cast out as dung," a
figurative expression (1 Kings 14:10; 2 Kings 9:37; Jer. 8:2;
Ps. 18:42), meaning to be rejected as unprofitable.
(2.) Used as fuel, a substitute for firewood, which was with
difficulty procured in Syria, Arabia, and Egypt (Ezek. 4:12-15),
where cows' and camels' dung is used to the present day for this
the process of preserving a body by means of aromatics (Gen.
50:2, 3, 26). This art was practised by the Egyptians from the
earliest times, and there brought to great perfection. This
custom probably originated in the belief in the future reunion
of the soul with the body. The process became more and more
complicated, and to such perfection was it carried that bodies
embalmed thousands of years ago are preserved to the present day
in the numberless mummies that have been discovered in Egypt.
The embalming of Jacob and Joseph was according to the
Egyptian custom, which was partially followed by the Jews (2
Chr. 16:14), as in the case of king Asa, and of our Lord (John
19:39, 40; Luke 23:56; 24:1). (See PHARAOH ¯T0002923.)
hot baths, a village "three-score furlongs" from jerusalem,
where our Lord had an interview with two of his disciples on the
day of his resurrection (Luke 24:13). This has been identified
with the modern el-Kubeibeh, lying over 7 miles north-west of
Jerusalem. This name, el-Kubeibeh, meaning "little dome," is
derived from the remains of the Crusaders' church yet to be
found there. Others have identified it with the modern Khurbet
Khamasa i.e., "the ruins of Khamasa", about 8 miles south-west
of Jerusalem, where there are ruins also of a Crusaders' church.
Its site, however has been much disputed.
(Gr. charismata), gifts supernaturally bestowed on the early
Christians, each having his own proper gift or gifts for the
edification of the body of Christ. These were the result of the
extraordinary operation of the Spirit, as on the day of
Pentecost. They were the gifts of speaking with tongues, casting
out devils, healing, etc. (Mark 16:17, 18), usually communicated
by the medium of the laying on of the hands of the apostles
(Acts 8:17; 19:6; 1 Tim. 4:14). These charismata were enjoyed
only for a time. They could not continue always in the Church.
They were suited to its infancy and to the necessities of those
Haggai, Book of
consists of two brief, comprehensive chapters. The object of the
prophet was generally to urge the people to proceed with the
rebuilding of the temple.
Chapter first comprehends the first address (2-11) and its
effects (12-15). Chapter second contains,
(1.) The second prophecy (1-9), which was delivered a month
after the first.
(2.) The third prophecy (10-19), delivered two months and
three days after the second; and
(3.) The fourth prophecy (20-23), delivered on the same day as
These discourses are referred to in Ezra 5:1; 6:14; Heb.
12:26. (Comp. Hag. 2:7, 8, 22.)
the season for gathering grain or fruit. On the 16th day of Abib
(or April) a handful of ripe ears of corn was offered as a
first-fruit before the Lord, and immediately after this the
harvest commenced (Lev. 23:9-14; 2 Sam. 21:9, 10; Ruth 2:23). It
began with the feast of Passover and ended with Pentecost, thus
lasting for seven weeks (Ex. 23:16). The harvest was a season of
joy (Ps. 126:1-6; Isa. 9:3). This word is used figuratively
Matt. 9:37; 13:30; Luke 10:2; John 4:35. (See AGRICULTURE
(Heb. minhah), originally a gift of any kind. This Hebrew word
came latterly to denote an "unbloody" sacrifice, as opposed to a
"bloody" sacrifice. A "drink-offering" generally accompanied it.
The law regarding it is given in Lev. 2, and 6:14-23. It was a
recognition of the sovereignty of God and of his bounty in
giving all earthly blessings (1 Chr. 29:10-14; Deut. 26:5-11).
It was an offering which took for granted and was based on the
offering for sin. It followed the sacrifice of blood. It was
presented every day with the burnt-offering (Ex. 29:40, 41), and
consisted of flour or of cakes prepared in a special way with
oil and frankincense.
(Heb. homer), cement of lime and sand (Gen. 11:3; Ex. 1:14);
also potter's clay (Isa. 41:25; Nah. 3:14). Also Heb. 'aphar,
usually rendered "dust," clay or mud used for cement in building
(Lev. 14:42, 45).
Mortar for pulverizing (Prov. 27:22) grain or other substances
by means of a pestle instead of a mill. Mortars were used in the
wilderness for pounding the manna (Num. 11:8). It is commonly
used in Israel at the present day to pound wheat, from which
the Arabs make a favourite dish called kibby.
face of God, a place not far from Succoth, on the east of the
Jordan and north of the river Jabbok. It is also called
"Peniel." Here Jacob wrestled (Gen. 32:24-32) "with a man" ("the
angel", Hos. 12:4. Jacob says of him, "I have seen God face to
face") "till the break of day."
A town was afterwards built there (Judg. 8:8; 1 Kings 12:25).
The men of this place refused to succour Gideon and his little
army when they were in pursuit of the Midianites (Judg. 8:1-21).
On his return, Gideon slew the men of this city and razed its
lofty watch-tower to the ground.
(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.)
the name given to Noah's flood, the history of which is recorded
in Gen. 7 and 8.
It began in the year 2516 B.C., and continued twelve lunar
months and ten days, or exactly one solar year.
The cause of this judgment was the corruption and violence
that filled the earth in the ninth generation from Adam. God in
righteous indignation determined to purge the earth of the
ungodly race. Amid a world of crime and guilt there was one
household that continued faithful and true to God, the household
of Noah. "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations."
At the command of God, Noah made an ark 300 cubits long, 50
broad, and 30 high. He slowly proceeded with this work during a
period of one hundred and twenty years (Gen. 6:3). At length the
purpose of God began to be carried into effect. The following
table exhibits the order of events as they occurred:
In the six hundredth year of his life Noah is commanded by God
to enter the ark, taking with him his wife, and his three sons
with their wives (Gen. 7:1-10).
The rain begins on the seventeenth day of the second month
The rain ceases, the waters prevail, fifteen cubits upward
The ark grounds on one of the mountains of Ararat on the
seventeenth day of the seventh month, or one hundred and fifty
days after the Deluge began (Gen. 8:1-4).
Tops of the mountains visible on the first day of the tenth
month (Gen. 8:5).
Raven and dove sent out forty days after this (Gen. 8:6-9).
Dove again sent out seven days afterwards; and in the evening
she returns with an olive leaf in her mouth (Gen. 8:10, 11).
Dove sent out the third time after an interval of other seven
days, and returns no more (Gen. 8:12).
The ground becomes dry on the first day of the first month of
the new year (Gen. 8:13).
Noah leaves the ark on the twenty-seventh day of the second
month (Gen. 8:14-19).
The historical truth of the narrative of the Flood is
established by the references made to it by our Lord (Matt.
24:37; comp. Luke 17:26). Peter speaks of it also (1 Pet. 3:20;
2 Pet. 2:5). In Isa. 54:9 the Flood is referred to as "the
waters of Noah." The Biblical narrative clearly shows that so
far as the human race was concerned the Deluge was universal;
that it swept away all men living except Noah and his family,
who were preserved in the ark; and that the present human race
is descended from those who were thus preserved.
Traditions of the Deluge are found among all the great
divisions of the human family; and these traditions, taken as a
whole, wonderfully agree with the Biblical narrative, and agree
with it in such a way as to lead to the conclusion that the
Biblical is the authentic narrative, of which all these
traditions are more or less corrupted versions. The most
remarkable of these traditions is that recorded on tablets
prepared by order of Assur-bani-pal, the king of Assyria. These
were, however, copies of older records which belonged to
somewhere about B.C. 2000, and which formed part of the priestly
library at Erech (q.v.), "the ineradicable remembrance of a real
and terrible event." (See NOAH ¯T0002741; CHALDEA ¯T0000758.)
There were daily (Lev. 23), weekly, monthly, and yearly
festivals, and great stress was laid on the regular observance
of them in every particular (Num. 28:1-8; Ex. 29:38-42; Lev.
6:8-23; Ex. 30:7-9; 27:20).
(1.) The septenary festivals were,
(a) The weekly Sabbath (Lev. 23:1-3; Ex. 19:3-30; 20:8-11;
(b) The seventh new moon, or the feast of Trumpets (Num.
(c) The Sabbatical year (Ex. 23:10, 11; Lev. 25:2-7).
(d) The year of jubilee (Lev. 23-35; 25: 8-16; 27:16-25).
(2.) The great feasts were,
(a) The Passover. (b) The feast of Pentecost, or of weeks. (c)
The feast of Tabernacles, or of ingathering.
On each of these occasions every male Israelite was commanded
"to appear before the Lord" (Deut. 27:7; Neh. 8:9-12). The
attendance of women was voluntary. (Comp. Luke 2:41; 1 Sam. 1:7;
2:19.) The promise that God would protect their homes (Ex.
34:23, 24) while all the males were absent in Jerusalem at these
feasts was always fulfilled. "During the whole period between
Moses and Christ we never read of an enemy invading the land at
the time of the three festivals. The first instance on record is
thirty-three years after they had withdrawn from themselves the
divine protection by imbruing their hands in the Saviour's
blood, when Cestius, the Roman general, slew fifty of the people
of Lydda while all the rest had gone up to the feast of
Tabernacles, A.D. 66."
These festivals, besides their religious purpose, had an
important bearing on the maintenance among the people of the
feeling of a national unity. The times fixed for their
observance were arranged so as to interfere as little as
possible with the industry of the people. The Passover was kept
just before the harvest commenced, Pentecost at the conclusion
of the corn harvest and before the vintage, the feast of
Tabernacles after all the fruits of the ground had been gathered
(3.) The Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the seventh month
(Lev. 16:1, 34; 23:26-32; Num. 29:7-11). (See ATONEMENT, DAY OF
Of the post-Exilian festivals reference is made to the feast
of Dedication (John 10:22). This feast was appointed by Judas
Maccabaeus in commemoration of the purification of the temple
after it had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes. The "feast of
Purim" (q.v.), Esther 9:24-32, was also instituted after the
Exile. (Cf. John 5:1.)
As soon as a child was born it was washed, and rubbed with salt
(Ezek. 16:4), and then swathed with bandages (Job 38:9; Luke
2:7, 12). A Hebrew mother remained forty days in seclusion after
the birth of a son, and after the birth of a daughter double
that number of days. At the close of that period she entered
into the tabernacle or temple and offered up a sacrifice of
purification (Lev. 12:1-8; Luke 2:22). A son was circumcised on
the eighth day after his birth, being thereby consecrated to God
(Gen. 17:10-12; comp. Rom. 4:11). Seasons of misfortune are
likened to the pains of a woman in travail, and seasons of
prosperity to the joy that succeeds child-birth (Isa. 13:8; Jer.
4:31; John 16:21, 22). The natural birth is referred to as the
emblem of the new birth (John 3:3-8; Gal. 6:15; Titus 3:5,
one who practises serpent-charming (Ps. 58:5; Jer. 8:17; Eccl.
10:11). It was an early and universal opinion that the most
venomous reptiles could be made harmless by certain charms or by
sweet sounds. It is well known that there are jugglers in India
and in other Eastern lands who practise this art at the present
In Isa. 19:3 the word "charmers" is the rendering of the
Hebrew _'ittim_, meaning, properly, necromancers (R.V. marg.,
"whisperers"). In Deut. 18:11 the word "charmer" means a dealer
in spells, especially one who, by binding certain knots, was
supposed thereby to bind a curse or a blessing on its object. In
Isa. 3:3 the words "eloquent orator" should be, as in the
Revised Version, "skilful enchanter."
Coming of Christ
(1) with reference to his first advent "in the fulness of the
time" (1 John 5:20; 2 John 1:7), or (2) with reference to his
coming again the second time at the last day (Acts 1:11; 3:20,
21; 1 Thess. 4:15; 2 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 9:28).
The expression is used metaphorically of the introduction of
the gospel into any place (John 15:22; Eph. 2:17), the visible
establishment of his kingdom in the world (Matt. 16:28), the
conferring on his people of the peculiar tokens of his love
(John 14:18, 23, 28), and his executing judgment on the wicked
(2 Thess. 2:8).
a person employed to perform culinary service. In early times
among the Hebrews cooking was performed by the mistress of the
household (Gen. 18:2-6; Judg. 6:19), and the process was very
expeditiously performed (Gen. 27:3, 4, 9, 10). Professional
cooks were afterwards employed (1 Sam. 8:13; 9:23). Few animals,
as a rule, were slaughtered (other than sacrifices), except for
purposes of hospitality (Gen. 18:7; Luke 15:23). The paschal
lamb was roasted over a fire (Ex. 12:8, 9; 2Chr. 35:13). Cooking
by boiling was the usual method adopted (Lev. 8:31; Ex. 16:23).
No cooking took place on the Sabbath day (Ex. 35:3).
(Heb. plur. kishshuim; i.e., "hard," "difficult" of digestion,
only in Num. 11:5). This vegetable is extensively cultivated in
the East at the present day, as it appears to have been in
earlier times among the Hebrews. It belongs to the gourd family
of plants. In the East its cooling pulp and juice are most
refreshing. "We need not altogether wonder that the Israelites,
wearily marching through the arid solitudes of the Sinaitic
peninsula, thought more of the cucumbers and watermelons of
which they had had no lack in Egypt, rather than of the cruel
bondage which was the price of these luxuries." Groser's
Scripture Natural History.
Isaiah speaks of a "lodge" (1:8; Heb. sukkah), i.e., a shed or
edifice more solid than a booth, for the protection throughout
the season from spring to autumn of the watchers in a "garden of
the successor of Felix (A.D. 60) as procurator of Judea (Acts
24:27). A few weeks after he had entered on his office the case
of Paul, then a prisoner at Caesarea, was reported to him. The
"next day," after he had gone down to Caesarea, he heard Paul
defend himself in the presence of Herod Agrippa II. and his
sister Bernice, and not finding in him anything worthy of death
or of bonds, would have set him free had he not appealed unto
Caesar (Acts 25:11, 12). In consequence of this appeal Paul was
sent to Rome. Festus, after being in office less than two years,
died in Judea. (See AGRIPPA ¯T0000126.)
(Heb. kerah, from its smoothness) Job 37:10 (R.V., "ice"); Gen.
31:40; Jer. 36:30; rendered "ice" in Job 6:16, 38:29; and
"crystal" in Ezek. 1:22. "At the present day frost is entirely
unknown in the lower portions of the valley of the Jordan, but
slight frosts are sometimes felt on the sea-coast and near
Lebanon." Throughout Western Asia cold frosty nights are
frequently succeeded by warm days.
"Hoar frost" (Heb. kephor, so called from its covering the
ground) is mentioned in Ex. 16:14; Job 38:29; Ps. 147:16.
In Ps. 78:47 the word rendered "frost" (R.V. marg., "great
hail-stones"), _hanamal_, occurs only there. It is rendered by
Gesenius, the Hebrew lexicographer, "ant," and so also by
others, but the usual interpretation derived from the ancient
versions may be maintained.
his excellence, or gain, a prince or priest of Midian, who
succeeded his father Reuel. Moses spent forty years after his
exile from the Egyptian court as keeper of Jethro's flocks.
While the Israelites were encamped at Sinai, and soon after
their victory over Amalek, Jethro came to meet Moses, bringing
with him Zipporah and her two sons. They met at the "mount of
God," and "Moses told him all that the Lord had done unto
Pharaoh" (Ex. 18:8). On the following day Jethro, observing the
multiplicity of the duties devolving on Moses, advised him to
appoint subordinate judges, rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of
fifties, and of tens, to decide smaller matters, leaving only
the weightier matters to be referred to Moses, to be laid before
the Lord. This advice Moses adopted (Ex. 18). He was also called
Hobab (q.v.), which was probably his personal name, while Jethro
was an official name. (See MOSES ¯T0002602.)
are at the present day "eaten from a round table little higher
than a stool, guests sitting cross-legged on mats or small
carpets in a circle, and dipping their fingers into one large
dish heaped with a mixture of boiled rice and other grain and
meat. But in the time of our Lord, and perhaps even from the
days of Amos (6:4, 7), the foreign custom had been largely
introduced of having broad couches, forming three sides of a
small square, the guests reclining at ease on their elbows
during meals, with their faces to the space within, up and down
which servants passed offering various dishes, or in the absence
of servants, helping themselves from dishes laid on a table set
between the couches." Geikie's Life of Christ. (Comp. Luke
7:36-50.) (See ABRAHAM'S BOSOM ¯T0000055; BANQUET ¯T0000434;
(Heb. kapporeth, a "covering;" LXX. and N.T., hilasterion;
Vulg., propitiatorium), the covering or lid of the ark of the
covenant (q.v.). It was of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, or
perhaps rather a plate of solid gold, 2 1/2 cubits long and 1
1/2 broad (Ex. 25:17; 30:6; 31:7). It is compared to the throne
of grace (Heb. 9:5; Eph. 2:6). The holy of holies is called the
"place of the mercy-seat" (1 Chr. 28:11: Lev. 16:2).
It has been conjectured that the censer (thumiaterion, meaning
"anything having regard to or employed in the burning of
incense") mentioned in Heb. 9:4 was the "mercy-seat," at which
the incense was burned by the high priest on the great day of
atonement, and upon or toward which the blood of the goat was
sprinkled (Lev. 16:11-16; comp. Num. 7:89 and Ex. 25:22).
a thousand years; the name given to the era mentioned in Rev.
20:1-7. Some maintain that Christ will personally appear on
earth for the purpose of establishing his kingdom at the
beginning of this millennium. Those holding this view are
usually called "millenarians." On the other hand, it is
maintained, more in accordance with the teaching of Scripture,
we think, that Christ's second advent will not be premillennial,
and that the right conception of the prospects and destiny of
his kingdom is that which is taught, e.g., in the parables of
the leaven and the mustard-seed. The triumph of the gospel, it
is held, must be looked for by the wider and more efficient
operation of the very forces that are now at work in extending
the gospel; and that Christ will only come again at the close of
this dispensation to judge the world at the "last day." The
millennium will thus precede his coming.
the calling of the Gentiles into the Christian Church, so
designated (Eph. 1:9, 10; 3:8-11; Col. 1:25-27); a truth
undiscoverable except by revelation, long hid, now made
manifest. The resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15:51), and other
doctrines which need to be explained but which cannot be fully
understood by finite intelligence (Matt. 13:11; Rom. 11:25; 1
Cor. 13:2); the union between Christ and his people symbolized
by the marriage union (Eph. 5:31, 32; comp. 6:19); the seven
stars and the seven candlesticks (Rev. 1:20); and the woman
clothed in scarlet (17:7), are also in this sense mysteries. The
anti-Christian power working in his day is called by the apostle
(2 Thess. 2:7) the "mystery of iniquity."
Nativity of Christ
The birth of our Lord took place at the time and place predicted
by the prophets (Gen. 49:10; Isa. 7:14; Jer. 31:15; Micah 5:2;
Hag. 2:6-9; Dan. 9:24, 25). Joseph and Mary were providentially
led to go up to Bethlehem at this period, and there Christ was
born (Matt. 2:1, 6; Luke 2:1, 7). The exact year or month or day
of his birth cannot, however, now be exactly ascertained. We
know, however, that it took place in the "fulness of the time"
(Gal. 4:4), i.e., at the fittest time in the world's history.
Chronologists are now generally agreed that the year 4 before
the Christian era was the year of Christ's nativity, and
consequently that he was about four years old in the year 1 A.D.
(1.) Heb. sis (Isa. 38:14; Jer. 8:7), the Arabic for the swift,
which "is a regular migrant, returning in myriads every spring,
and so suddenly that while one day not a swift can be seen in
the country, on the next they have overspread the whole land,
and fill the air with their shrill cry." The swift (cypselus) is
ordinarily classed with the swallow, which it resembles in its
flight, habits, and migration.
(2.) Heb. deror, i.e., "the bird of freedom" (Ps. 84:3; Prov.
26:2), properly rendered swallow, distinguished for its
swiftness of flight, its love of freedom, and the impossibility
of retaining it in captivity. In Isa. 38:14 and Jer. 8:7 the
word thus rendered ('augr) properly means "crane" (as in the
Tongues, Gift of
granted on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4), in fulfilment of a
promise Christ had made to his disciples (Mark 16:17). What this
gift actually was has been a subject of much discussion. Some
have argued that it was merely an outward sign of the presence
of the Holy Spirit among the disciples, typifying his manifold
gifts, and showing that salvation was to be extended to all
nations. But the words of Luke (Acts 2:9) clearly show that the
various peoples in Jerusalem at the time of Pentecost did really
hear themselves addressed in their own special language with
which they were naturally acquainted (comp. Joel 2:28, 29).
Among the gifts of the Spirit the apostle enumerates in 1 Cor.
12:10-14:30, "divers kinds of tongues" and the "interpretation
of tongues." This "gift" was a different manifestation of the
Spirit from that on Pentecost, although it resembled it in many
particulars. Tongues were to be "a sign to them that believe
This word has considerable latitude of meaning in Scripture.
Thus Joseph is called a child at the time when he was probably
about sixteen years of age (Gen. 37:3); and Benjamin is so
called when he was above thirty years (44:20). Solomon called
himself a little child when he came to the kingdom (1 Kings
The descendants of a man, however remote, are called his
children; as, "the children of Edom," "the children of Moab,"
"the children of Israel."
In the earliest times mothers did not wean their children till
they were from thirty months to three years old; and the day on
which they were weaned was kept as a festival day (Gen. 21:8;
Ex. 2:7, 9; 1 Sam. 1:22-24; Matt. 21:16). At the age of five,
children began to learn the arts and duties of life under the
care of their fathers (Deut. 6:20-25; 11:19).
To have a numerous family was regarded as a mark of divine
favour (Gen. 11:30; 30:1; 1 Sam. 2:5; 2 Sam. 6:23; Ps. 127:3;
Figuratively the name is used for those who are ignorant or
narrow-minded (Matt. 11:16; Luke 7:32; 1 Cor. 13:11). "When I
was a child, I spake as a child." "Brethren, be not children in
understanding" (1 Cor. 14:20). "That we henceforth be no more
children, tossed to and fro" (Eph. 4:14).
Children are also spoken of as representing simplicity and
humility (Matt. 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17).
Believers are "children of light" (Luke 16:8; 1 Thess. 5:5) and
"children of obedience" (1 Pet. 1:14).
a peak, the eastern prolongation of the Anti-Lebanon range,
reaching to the height of about 9,200 feet above the
Mediterranean. It marks the north boundary of Israel (Deut.
3:8, 4:48; Josh. 11:3, 17; 13:11; 12:1), and is seen from a
great distance. It is about 40 miles north of the Sea of
Galilee. It is called "the Hermonites" (Ps. 42:6) because it has
more than one summit. The Sidonians called it Sirion, and the
Amorites Shenir (Deut. 3:9; Cant. 4:8). It is also called
Baal-hermon (Judg. 3:3; 1 Chr. 5:23) and Sion (Deut. 4:48).
There is every probability that one of its three summits was the
scene of the transfiguration (q.v.). The "dew of Hermon" is
referred to (Ps. 89: 12). Its modern name is Jebel-esh-Sheikh,
"the chief mountain." It is one of the most conspicuous
mountains in Israel or Syria. "In whatever part of Israel
the Israelite turned his eye northward, Hermon was there,
terminating the view. From the plain along the coast, from the
Jordan valley, from the heights of Moab and Gilead, from the
plateau of Bashan, the pale, blue, snow-capped cone forms the
one feature in the northern horizon."
Our Lord and his disciples climbed this "high mountain apart"
one day, and remained on its summit all night, "weary after
their long and toilsome ascent." During the night "he was
transfigured before them; and his face did shine as the sun."
The next day they descended to Caesarea Philippi.
smiths, the name of a tribe inhabiting the desert lying between
southern Israel and the mountains of Sinai. Jethro was of
this tribe (Judg. 1:16). He is called a "Midianite" (Num.
10:29), and hence it is concluded that the Midianites and the
Kenites were the same tribe. They were wandering smiths, "the
gipsies and travelling tinkers of the old Oriental world. They
formed an important guild in an age when the art of metallurgy
was confined to a few" (Sayce's Races, etc.). They showed
kindness to Israel in their journey through the wilderness. They
accompanied them in their march as far as Jericho (Judg. 1:16),
and then returned to their old haunts among the Amalekites, in
the desert to the south of Judah. They sustained afterwards
friendly relations with the Israelites when settled in Canaan
(Judg. 4:11, 17-21; 1 Sam. 27:10; 30:29). The Rechabites
belonged to this tribe (1 Chr. 2:55) and in the days of Jeremiah
(35:7-10) are referred to as following their nomad habits. Saul
bade them depart from the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15:6) when, in
obedience to the divine commission, he was about to "smite
Amalek." And his reason is, "for ye showed kindness to all the
children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt." Thus "God is
not unrighteous to forget the kindnesses shown to his people;
but they shall be remembered another day, at the farthest in the
great day, and recompensed in the resurrection of the just" (M.
Henry's Commentary). They are mentioned for the last time in
Scripture in 1 Sam. 27:10; comp. 30:20.
the graves of the longing or of lust, one of the stations of the
Israelites in the wilderness. It was probably in the Wady
Murrah, and has been identified with the Erweis el-Ebeirig,
where the remains of an ancient encampment have been found,
about 30 miles north-east of Sinai, and exactly a day's journey
from 'Ain Hudherah.
"Here began the troubles of the journey. First, complaints
broke out among the people, probably at the heat, the toil, and
the privations of the march; and then God at once punished them
by lightning, which fell on the hinder part of the camp, and
killed many persons, but ceased at the intercession of Moses
(Num. 11:1, 2). Then a disgust fell on the multitude at having
nothing to eat but the manna day after day, no change, no flesh,
no fish, no high-flavoured vegetables, no luscious fruits...The
people loathed the 'light food,' and cried out to Moses, 'Give
us flesh, give us flesh, that we may eat.'" In this emergency
Moses, in despair, cried unto God. An answer came. God sent "a
prodigious flight of quails, on which the people satiated their
gluttonous appetite for a full month. Then punishment fell on
them: they loathed the food which they had desired; it bred
disease in them; the divine anger aggravated the disease into a
plague, and a heavy mortality was the consequence. The dead were
buried without the camp; and in memory of man's sin and of the
divine wrath this name, Kibroth-hattaavah, the Graves of Lust,
was given to the place of their sepulchre" (Num. 11:34, 35;
33:16, 17; Deut. 9:22; comp. Ps. 78:30, 31)., Rawlinson's Moses,
p. 175. From this encampment they journeyed in a north-eastern
direction to Hazeroth.
foolish, a descendant of Caleb who dwelt at Maon (1 Sam. 25),
the modern Main, 7 miles south-east of Hebron. He was "very
great, and he had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats...but the man was
churlish and evil in his doings." During his wanderings David
came into that district, and hearing that Nabal was about to
shear his sheep, he sent ten of his young men to ask "whatsoever
cometh unto thy hand for thy servants." Nabal insultingly
resented the demand, saying, "Who is David, and who is the son
of Jesse?" (1 Sam. 25:10, 11). One of the shepherds that stood
by and saw the reception David's messengers had met with,
informed Abigail, Nabal's wife, who at once realized the danger
that threatened her household. She forthwith proceeded to the
camp of David, bringing with her ample stores of provisions
(25:18). She so courteously and persuasively pled her cause that
David's anger was appeased, and he said to her, "Blessed be the
Lord God of Israel which sent thee this day to meet me."
On her return she found her husband incapable from drunkenness
of understanding the state of matters, and not till the
following day did she explain to him what had happened. He was
stunned by a sense of the danger to which his conduct had
exposed him. "His heart died within him, and he became as a
stone." and about ten days after "the Lord smote Nabal that he
died" (1 Sam. 25:37, 38). Not long after David married Abigail
or No-A'mon, the home of Amon, the name of Thebes, the ancient
capital of what is called the Middle Empire, in Upper or
Southern Egypt. "The multitude of No" (Jer. 46:25) is more
correctly rendered, as in the Revised Version, "Amon of No",
i.e., No, where Jupiter Amon had his temple. In Ezek. 30:14, 16
it is simply called "No;" but in ver. 15 the name has the Hebrew
Hamon prefixed to it, "Hamon No." This prefix is probably the
name simply of the god usually styled Amon or Ammon. In Nah. 3:8
the "populous No" of the Authorized Version is in the Revised
Version correctly rendered "No-Amon."
It was the Diospolis or Thebes of the Greeks, celebrated for
its hundred gates and its vast population. It stood on both
sides of the Nile, and is by some supposed to have included
Karnak and Luxor. In grandeur and extent it can only be compared
to Nineveh. It is mentioned only in the prophecies referred to,
which point to its total destruction. It was first taken by the
Assyrians in the time of Sargon (Isa. 20). It was afterwards
"delivered into the hand" of Nebuchadnezzar and Assurbani-pal
(Jer. 46:25, 26). Cambyses, king of the Persians (B.C. 525),
further laid it waste by fire. Its ruin was completed (B.C. 81)
by Ptolemy Lathyrus. The ruins of this city are still among the
most notable in the valley of the Nile. They have formed a great
storehouse of interesting historic remains for more than two
thousand years. "As I wandered day after day with ever-growing
amazement amongst these relics of ancient magnificence, I felt
that if all the ruins in Europe, classical, Celtic, and
medieval, were brought together into one centre, they would fall
far short both in extent and grandeur of those of this single
Egyptian city." Manning, The Land of the Pharaohs.
the most celebrated city in the world at the time of Christ. It
is said to have been founded B.C. 753. When the New Testament
was written, Rome was enriched and adorned with the spoils of
the world, and contained a population estimated at 1,200,000, of
which the half were slaves, and including representatives of
nearly every nation then known. It was distinguished for its
wealth and luxury and profligacy. The empire of which it was the
capital had then reached its greatest prosperity.
On the day of Pentecost there were in Jerusalem "strangers
from Rome," who doubtless carried with them back to Rome tidings
of that great day, and were instrumental in founding the church
there. Paul was brought to this city a prisoner, where he
remained for two years (Acts 28:30, 31) "in his own hired
house." While here, Paul wrote his epistles to the Philippians,
to the Ephesians, to the Colossians, to Philemon, and probably
also to the Hebrews. He had during these years for companions
Luke and Aristarchus (Acts 27:2), Timothy (Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:1),
Tychicus (Eph. 6: 21), Epaphroditus (Phil. 4:18), and John Mark
(Col. 4:10). (See PAUL ¯T0002871.)
Beneath this city are extensive galleries, called "catacombs,"
which were used from about the time of the apostles (one of the
inscriptions found in them bears the date A.D. 71) for some
three hundred years as places of refuge in the time of
persecution, and also of worship and burial. About four thousand
inscriptions have been found in the catacombs. These give an
interesting insight into the history of the church at Rome down
to the time of Constantine.
Tabernacles, Feast of
the third of the great annual festivals of the Jews (Lev.
23:33-43). It is also called the "feast of ingathering" (Ex.
23:16; Deut. 16:13). It was celebrated immediately after the
harvest, in the month Tisri, and the celebration lasted for
eight days (Lev. 23:33-43). During that period the people left
their homes and lived in booths formed of the branches of trees.
The sacrifices offered at this time are mentioned in Num.
29:13-38. It was at the time of this feast that Solomon's temple
was dedicated (1 Kings 8:2). Mention is made of it after the
return from the Captivity. This feast was designed (1) to be a
memorial of the wilderness wanderings, when the people dwelt in
booths (Lev. 23:43), and (2) to be a harvest thanksgiving (Neh.
8:9-18). The Jews, at a later time, introduced two appendages to
the original festival, viz., (1) that of drawing water from the
Pool of Siloam, and pouring it upon the altar (John 7:2, 37), as
a memorial of the water from the rock in Horeb; and (2) of
lighting the lamps at night, a memorial of the pillar of fire by
night during their wanderings.
"The feast of Tabernacles, the harvest festival of the Jewish
Church, was the most popular and important festival after the
Captivity. At Jerusalem it was a gala day. It was to the autumn
pilgrims, who arrived on the 14th (of the month Tisri, the feast
beginning on the 15th) day, like entrance into a silvan city.
Roofs and courtyards, streets and squares, roads and gardens,
were green with boughs of citron and myrtle, palm and willow.
The booths recalled the pilgrimage through the wilderness. The
ingathering of fruits prophesied of the spiritual harvest.",
Valling's Jesus Christ, p. 133.
(1.) A priest of the course of Abia, the eighth of the
twenty-four courses into which the priests had been originally
divided by David (1 Chr. 23:1-19). Only four of these courses or
"families" of the priests returned from the Exile (Ezra
2:36-39); but they were then re-distributed under the old
designations. The priests served at the temple twice each year,
and only for a week each time. Zacharias's time had come for
this service. During this period his home would be one of the
chambers set apart for the priests on the sides of the temple
ground. The offering of incense was one of the most solemn parts
of the daily worship of the temple, and lots were drawn each day
to determine who should have this great honour, an honour which
no priest could enjoy more than once during his lifetime.
While Zacharias ministered at the golden altar of incense in
the holy place, it was announced to him by the angel Gabriel
that his wife Elisabeth, who was also of a priestly family, now
stricken in years, would give birth to a son who was to be
called John, and that he would be the forerunner of the
long-expected Messiah (Luke 1:12-17). As a punishment for his
refusing to believe this message, he was struck dumb and "not
able to speak until the day that these things should be
performed" (20). Nine months passed away, and Elisabeth's child
was born, and when in answer to their inquiry Zacharias wrote on
a "writing tablet," "His name is John," his mouth was opened,
and he praised God (60-79). The child (John the Baptist), thus
"born out of due time," "waxed strong in spirit" (1:80).
(2.) The "son of Barachias," mentioned as having been slain
between the temple and the altar (Matt. 23:35; Luke 11:51).
"Barachias" here may be another name for Jehoiada, as some
think. (See ZECHARIAH ¯T0003892.)
whose God is Jehovah. (1.) "The Tishbite," the "Elias" of the
New Testament, is suddenly introduced to our notice in 1 Kings
17:1 as delivering a message from the Lord to Ahab. There is
mention made of a town called Thisbe, south of Kadesh, but it is
impossible to say whether this was the place referred to in the
name given to the prophet.
Having delivered his message to Ahab, he retired at the
command of God to a hiding-place by the brook Cherith, beyond
Jordan, where he was fed by ravens. When the brook dried up God
sent him to the widow of Zarephath, a city of Zidon, from whose
scanty store he was supported for the space of two years. During
this period the widow's son died, and was restored to life by
Elijah (1 Kings 17: 2-24).
During all these two years a famine prevailed in the land. At
the close of this period of retirement and of preparation for
his work (comp. Gal. 1:17, 18) Elijah met Obadiah, one of Ahab's
officers, whom he had sent out to seek for pasturage for the
cattle, and bade him go and tell his master that Elijah was
there. The king came and met Elijah, and reproached him as the
troubler of Israel. It was then proposed that sacrifices should
be publicly offered, for the purpose of determining whether Baal
or Jehovah were the true God. This was done on Carmel, with the
result that the people fell on their faces, crying, "The Lord,
he is the God." Thus was accomplished the great work of Elijah's
ministry. The prophets of Baal were then put to death by the
order of Elijah. Not one of them escaped. Then immediately
followed rain, according to the word of Elijah, and in answer to
his prayer (James 5:18).
Jezebel, enraged at the fate that had befallen her priests of
Baal, threatened to put Elijah to death (1 Kings 19:1-13). He
therefore fled in alarm to Beersheba, and thence went alone a
day's journey into the wilderness, and sat down in despondency
under a juniper tree. As he slept an angel touched him, and said
unto him, "Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for
thee." He arose and found a cake and a cruse of water. Having
partaken of the provision thus miraculously supplied, he went
forward on his solitary way for forty days and forty nights to
Horeb, the mount of God, where he took up his abode in a cave.
Here the Lord appeared unto him and said, "What dost thou here,
Elijah?" In answer to his despondent words God manifests to him
his glory, and then directs him to return to Damascus and anoint
Hazael king over Syria, and Jehu king over Israel, and Elisha to
be prophet in his room (1 Kings 19:13-21; comp. 2 Kings 8:7-15;
Some six years after this he warned Ahab and Jezebel of the
violent deaths they would die (1 Kings 21:19-24; 22:38). He
also, four years afterwards, warned Ahaziah (q.v.), who had
succeeded his father Ahab, of his approaching death (2 Kings
1:1-16). (See NABOTH ¯T0002645.) During these intervals he
probably withdrew to some quiet retirement, no one knew where.
His interview with Ahaziah's messengers on the way to Ekron, and
the account of the destruction of his captains with their
fifties, suggest the idea that he may have been in retirement at
this time on Mount Carmel.
The time now drew near when he was to be taken up into heaven
(2 Kings 2:1-12). He had a presentiment of what was awaiting
him. He went down to Gilgal, where was a school of the prophets,
and where his successor Elisha, whom he had anointed some years
before, resided. Elisha was solemnized by the thought of his
master's leaving him, and refused to be parted from him. "They
two went on," and came to Bethel and Jericho, and crossed the
Jordan, the waters of which were "divided hither and thither"
when smitten with Elijah's mantle. Arrived at the borders of
Gilead, which Elijah had left many years before, it "came to
pass as they still went on and talked" they were suddenly
separated by a chariot and horses of fire; and "Elijah went up
by a whirlwind into heaven, "Elisha receiving his mantle, which
fell from him as he ascended.
No one of the old prophets is so frequently referred to in the
New Testament. The priests and Levites said to the Baptist (John
1:25), "Why baptizest thou, if thou be not that Christ, nor
Elias?" Paul (Rom. 11:2) refers to an incident in his history to
illustrate his argument that God had not cast away his people.
James (5:17) finds in him an illustration of the power of
prayer. (See also Luke 4:25; 9:54.) He was a type of John the
Baptist in the sternness and power of his reproofs (Luke 9:8).
He was the Elijah that "must first come" (Matt. 11:11, 14), the
forerunner of our Lord announced by Malachi. Even outwardly the
Baptist corresponded so closely to the earlier prophet that he
might be styled a second Elijah. In him we see "the same
connection with a wild and wilderness country; the same long
retirement in the desert; the same sudden, startling entrance on
his work (1 Kings 17:1; Luke 3:2); even the same dress, a hairy
garment, and a leathern girdle about the loins (2 Kings 1:8;
How deep the impression was which Elijah made "on the mind of
the nation may be judged from the fixed belief, which rested on
the words of Malachi (4:5, 6), which many centuries after
prevailed that he would again appear for the relief and
restoration of the country. Each remarkable person as he arrives
on the scene, be his habits and characteristics what they may,
the stern John equally with his gentle Successor, is proclaimed
to be Elijah (Matt. 11:13, 14; 16:14; 17:10; Mark 9:11; 15:35;
Luke 9:7, 8; John 1:21). His appearance in glory on the mount of
transfiguration does not seem to have startled the disciples.
They were 'sore afraid,' but not apparently surprised."
(2.) The Elijah spoken of in 2 Chr. 21:12-15 is by some
supposed to be a different person from the foregoing. He lived
in the time of Jehoram, to whom he sent a letter of warning
(comp. 1 Chr. 28:19; Jer. 36), and acted as a prophet in Judah;
while the Tishbite was a prophet of the northern kingdom. But
there does not seem any necessity for concluding that the writer
of this letter was some other Elijah than the Tishbite. It may
be supposed either that Elijah anticipated the character of
Jehoram, and so wrote the warning message, which was preserved
in the schools of the prophets till Jehoram ascended the throne
after the Tishbite's translation, or that the translation did
not actually take place till after the accession of Jehoram to
the throne (2 Chr. 21:12; 2 Kings 8:16). The events of 2 Kings 2
may not be recorded in chronological order, and thus there may
be room for the opinion that Elijah was still alive in the
beginning of Jehoram's reign.
(Heb. goral, a "pebble"), a small stone used in casting lots
(Num. 33:54; Jonah 1:7). The lot was always resorted to by the
Hebrews with strictest reference to the interposition of God,
and as a method of ascertaining the divine will (Prov. 16:33),
and in serious cases of doubt (Esther 3:7). Thus the lot was
used at the division of the land of Canaan among the serveral
tribes (Num. 26:55; 34:13), at the detection of Achan (Josh.
7:14, 18), the election of Saul to be king (1 Sam. 10:20, 21),
the distribution of the priestly offices of the temple service
(1 Chr. 24:3, 5, 19; Luke 1:9), and over the two goats at the
feast of Atonement (Lev. 16:8). Matthias, who was "numbered with
the eleven" (Acts 1:24-26), was chosen by lot.
This word also denotes a portion or an inheritance (Josh.
15:1; Ps. 125:3; Isa. 17:4), and a destiny, as assigned by God
(Ps. 16:5; Dan. 12:13).
Lot, (Heb. lot), a covering; veil, the son of Haran, and
nephew of Abraham (Gen. 11:27). On the death of his father, he
was left in charge of his grandfather Terah (31), after whose
death he accompanied his uncle Abraham into Canaan (12:5),
thence into Egypt (10), and back again to Canaan (13:1). After
this he separated from him and settled in Sodom (13:5-13). There
his righteous soul was "vexed" from day to day (2 Pet. 2:7), and
he had great cause to regret this act. Not many years after the
separation he was taken captive by Chedorlaomer, and was rescued
by Abraham (Gen. 14). At length, when the judgment of God
descended on the guilty cities of the plain (Gen. 19:1-20), Lot
was miraculously delivered. When fleeing from the doomed city
his wife "looked back from behind him, and became a pillar of
salt." There is to this day a peculiar crag at the south end of
the Dead Sea, near Kumran, which the Arabs call Bint Sheik Lot,
i.e., Lot's wife. It is "a tall, isolated needle of rock, which
really does bear a curious resemblance to an Arab woman with a
child upon her shoulder." From the words of warning in Luke
17:32, "Remember Lot's wife," it would seem as if she had gone
back, or tarried so long behind in the desire to save some of
her goods, that she became involved in the destruction which
fell on the city, and became a stiffened corpse, fixed for a
time in the saline incrustations. She became "a pillar of salt",
i.e., as some think, of asphalt. (See SALT ¯T0003196.)
Lot and his daughters sought refuge first in Zoar, and then,
fearing to remain there longer, retired to a cave in the
neighbouring mountains (Gen. 19:30). Lot has recently been
connected with the people called on the Egyptian monuments
Rotanu or Lotanu, who is supposed to have been the hero of the
Edomite tribe Lotan.
shoulder. (1.) The son of Hamor the Hivite (Gen. 33:19; 34).
(2.) A descendant of Manasseh (Num. 26:31; Josh. 17:2).
(3.) A city in Samaria (Gen. 33:18), called also Sichem
(12:6), Sychem (Acts 7:16). It stood in the narrow sheltered
valley between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south, these
mountains at their base being only some 500 yards apart. Here
Abraham pitched his tent and built his first altar in the
Promised Land, and received the first divine promise (Gen. 12:6,
7). Here also Jacob "bought a parcel of a field at the hands of
the children of Hamor" after his return from Mesopotamia, and
settled with his household, which he purged from idolatry by
burying the teraphim of his followers under an oak tree, which
was afterwards called "the oak of the sorcerer" (Gen. 33:19;
35:4; Judg. 9:37). (See MEONENIM ¯T0002483.) Here too, after a
while, he dug a well, which bears his name to this day (John
4:5, 39-42). To Shechem Joshua gathered all Israel "before God,"
and delivered to them his second parting address (Josh.
24:1-15). He "made a covenant with the people that day" at the
very place where, on first entering the land, they had responded
to the law from Ebal and Gerizim (Josh. 24:25), the terms of
which were recorded "in the book of the law of God", i.e., in
the roll of the law of Moses; and in memory of this solemn
transaction a great stone was set up "under an oak" (comp. Gen.
28:18; 31:44-48; Ex. 24:4; Josh. 4:3, 8, 9), possibly the old
"oak of Moreh," as a silent witness of the transaction to all
Shechem became one of the cities of refuge, the central city
of refuge for Western Israel (Josh. 20:7), and here the bones
of Joseph were buried (24:32). Rehoboam was appointed king in
Shechem (1 Kings 12:1, 19), but Jeroboam afterwards took up his
residence here. This city is mentioned in connection with our
Lord's conversation with the woman of Samaria (John 4:5); and
thus, remaining as it does to the present day, it is one of the
oldest cities of the world. It is the modern Nablus, a
contraction for Neapolis, the name given to it by Vespasian. It
lies about a mile and a half up the valley on its southern
slope, and on the north of Gerizim, which rises about 1,100 feet
above it, and is about 34 miles north of Jerusalem. It contains
about 10,000 inhabitants, of whom about 160 are Samaritans and
100 Jews, the rest being Christians and Mohammedans.
The site of Shechem is said to be of unrivalled beauty.
Stanley says it is "the most beautiful, perhaps the only very
beautiful, spot in Central Israel."
Gaza, near Shechem, only mentioned 1 Chr. 7:28, has entirely
disappeared. It was destroyed at the time of the Conquest, and
its place was taken by Shechem. (See SYCHAR ¯T0003542.)
sacred land or high land, the name of a country on one of the
mountains of which the ark rested after the Flood subsided (Gen.
8:4). The "mountains" mentioned were probably the Kurdish range
of South Armenia. In 2 Kings 19:37, Isa. 37:38, the word is
rendered "Armenia" in the Authorized Version, but in the Revised
Version, "Land of Ararat." In Jer. 51:27, the name denotes the
central or southern portion of Armenia. It is, however,
generally applied to a high and almost inaccessible mountain
which rises majestically from the plain of the Araxes. It has
two conical peaks, about 7 miles apart, the one 14,300 feet and
the other 10,300 feet above the level of the plain. Three
thousand feet of the summit of the higher of these peaks is
covered with perpetual snow. It is called Kuh-i-nuh, i.e.,
"Noah's mountain", by the Persians. This part of Armenia was
inhabited by a people who spoke a language unlike any other now
known, though it may have been related to the modern Georgian.
About B.C. 900 they borrowed the cuneiform characters of
Nineveh, and from this time we have inscriptions of a line of
kings who at times contended with Assyria. At the close of the
seventh century B.C. the kingdom of Ararat came to an end, and
the country was occupied by a people who are ancestors of the
Armenians of the present day.
well of the oath, or well of seven, a well dug by Abraham, and
so named because he and Abimelech here entered into a compact
(Gen. 21:31). On re-opening it, Isaac gave it the same name
(Gen. 26:31-33). It was a favourite place of abode of both of
these patriarchs (21:33-22:1, 19; 26:33; 28:10). It is mentioned
among the "cities" given to the tribe of Simeon (Josh. 19:2; 1
Chr. 4:28). From Dan to Beersheba, a distance of about 144 miles
(Judg. 20:1; 1 Chr. 21:2; 2 Sam. 24:2), became the usual way of
designating the whole Promised Land, and passed into a proverb.
After the return from the Captivity the phrase is narrowed into
"from Beersheba unto the valley of Hinnom" (Neh. 11:30). The
kingdom of the ten tribes extended from Beersheba to Mount
Ephraim (2 Chr. 19:4). The name is not found in the New
Testament. It is still called by the Arabs Bir es-Seba, i.e.,
"well of the seven", where there are to the present day two
principal wells and five smaller ones. It is nearly midway
between the southern end of the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean.
The several books of the Old and New Testaments were from an
early time divided into chapters. The Pentateuch was divided by
the ancient Hebrews into 54 _parshioth_ or sections, one of
which was read in the synagogue every Sabbath day (Acts. 13:15).
These sections were afterwards divided into 669 _sidrim_ or
orders of unequal length. The Prophets were divided in somewhat
the same manner into _haphtaroth_ or passages.
In the early Latin and Greek versions of the Bible, similar
divisions of the several books were made. The New Testament
books were also divided into portions of various lengths under
different names, such as titles and heads or chapters.
In modern times this ancient example was imitated, and many
attempts of the kind were made before the existing division into
chapters was fixed. The Latin Bible published by Cardinal Hugo
of St. Cher in A.D. 1240 is generally regarded as the first
Bible that was divided into our present chapters, although it
appears that some of the chapters were fixed as early as A.D.
1059. This division into chapters came gradually to be adopted
in the published editions of the Hebrew, with some few
variations, and of the Greek Scriptures, and hence of other
one of the largest islands of the Mediterranean, about 148 miles
long and 40 broad. It is distant about 60 miles from the Syrian
coast. It was the "Chittim" of the Old Testament (Num. 24:24).
The Greek colonists gave it the name of Kypros, from the cyprus,
i.e., the henna (see CAMPHIRE ¯T0000701), which grew on this
island. It was originally inhabited by Phoenicians. In B.C. 477
it fell under the dominion of the Greeks; and became a Roman
province B.C. 58. In ancient times it was a centre of great
commercial activity. Corn and wine and oil were produced here in
the greatest perfection. It was rich also in timber and in
It is first mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 4:36) as the
native place of Barnabas. It was the scene of Paul's first
missionary labours (13:4-13), when he and Barnabas and John Mark
were sent forth by the church of Antioch. It was afterwards
visited by Barnabas and Mark alone (15:39). Mnason, an "old
disciple," probaly one of the converts of the day of Pentecost
belonging to this island, is mentioned (21:16). It is also
mentioned in connection with the voyages of Paul (Acts 21:3;
27:4). After being under the Turks for three hundred years, it
was given up to the British Government in 1878.
Burying was among the Jews the only mode of disposing of corpses
(Gen. 23:19; 25:9; 35:8, 9, etc.).
The first traces of burning the dead are found in 1 Sam.
31:12. The burning of the body was affixed by the law of Moses
as a penalty to certain crimes (Lev. 20:14; 21:9).
To leave the dead unburied was regarded with horror (1 Kings
13:22; 14:11; 16:4; 21:24, etc.).
In the earliest times of which we have record kinsmen carried
their dead to the grave (Gen. 25:9; 35:29; Judg. 16:31), but in
later times this was done by others (Amos 6:16).
Immediately after decease the body was washed, and then
wrapped in a large cloth (Acts 9:37; Matt. 27:59; Mark 15:46).
In the case of persons of distinction, aromatics were laid on
the folds of the cloth (John 19:39; comp. John 12:7).
As a rule the burial (q.v.) took place on the very day of the
death (Acts 5:6, 10), and the body was removed to the grave in
an open coffin or on a bier (Luke 7:14). After the burial a
funeral meal was usually given (2 Sam. 3:35; Jer. 16:5, 7; Hos.
man of shame or humiliation, the youngest of Saul's four sons,
and the only one who survived him (2 Sam. 2-4). His name was
originally Eshbaal (1 Chr. 8:33; 9:39). He was about forty years
of age when his father and three brothers fell at the battle of
Gilboa. Through the influence of Abner, Saul's cousin, he was
acknowledged as successor to the throne of Saul, and ruled over
all Israel, except the tribe of Judah (over whom David was
king), for two years, having Mahanaim, on the east of Jordan, as
his capital (2 Sam. 2:9). After a troubled and uncertain reign
he was murdered by his guard, who stabbed him while he was
asleep on his couch at mid-day (2 Sam. 4:5-7); and having cut
off his head, presented it to David, who sternly rebuked them
for this cold-blooded murder, and ordered them to be immediately
(Heb. rothem), called by the Arabs retem, and known as Spanish
broom; ranked under the genus genista. It is a desert shrub, and
abounds in many parts of Israel. In the account of his
journey from Akabah to Jerusalem, Dr. Robinson says: "This is
the largest and most conspicuous shrub of these deserts, growing
thickly in the water-courses and valleys. Our Arabs always
selected the place of encampment, if possible, in a spot where
it grew, in order to be sheltered by it at night from the wind;
and during the day, when they often went on in advance of the
camels, we found them not unfrequently sitting or sleeping under
a bush of retem to shelter them from the sun. It was in this
very desert, a day's journey from Beersheba, that the prophet
Elijah lay down and slept beneath the same shrub" (1 Kings 19:4,
5). It afforded material for fuel, and also in cases of
extremity for human food (Ps. 120:4; Job 30:4). One of the
encampments in the wilderness of Paran is called Rithmah, i.e.,
"place of broom" (Num. 33:18).
"The Bedawin of Sinai still burn this very plant into a
charcoal which throws out the most intense heat."