(Heb. nemalah, from a word meaning to creep, cut off, destroy),
referred to in Prov. 6:6; 30:25, as distinguished for its
prudent habits. Many ants in Israel feed on animal
substances, but others draw their nourishment partly or
exclusively from vegetables. To the latter class belongs the ant
to which Solomon refers. This ant gathers the seeds in the
season of ripening, and stores them for future use; a habit that
has been observed in ants in Texas, India, and Italy.
the grandson of Herod the Great, and son of Aristobulus and
Bernice. The Roman emperor Caligula made him governor first of
the territories of Philip, then of the tetrarchy of Lysanias,
with the title of king ("king Herod"), and finally of that of
Antipas, who was banished, and of Samaria and Judea. Thus he
became ruler over the whole of Israel. He was a persecutor of
the early Christians. He slew James, and imprisoned Peter (Acts
12:1-4). He died at Caesarea, being "eaten of worms" (Acts
12:23), A.D. 44. (Comp. Josephus, Ant. xix. 8.)
happy, the Roman procurator of Judea before whom Paul "reasoned"
(Acts 24:25). He appears to have expected a bribe from Paul, and
therefore had several interviews with him. The "worthy deeds"
referred to in 24:2 was his clearing the country of banditti and
At the end of a two years' term, Porcius Festus was appointed
in the room of Felix (A.D. 60), who proceeded to Rome, and was
there accused of cruelty and malversation of office by the Jews
of Caesarea. The accusation was rendered nugatory by the
influence of his brother Pallas with Nero. (See Josephus, Ant.
xx. 8, 9.)
Drusilla, the daughter of Herod Agrippa, having been induced
by Felix to desert her husband, the king of Emesa, became his
adulterous companion. She was seated beside him when Paul
"reasoned" before the judge. When Felix gave place to Festus,
being "willing to do the Jews a pleasure," he left Paul bound.
(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.
Elijah the prophet was thus named (1 Kings 17:1; 21:17, 28,
etc.). In 1 Kings 17:1 the word rendered "inhabitants" is in the
original the same as that rendered "Tishbite," hence that verse
may be read as in the LXX., "Elijah the Tishbite of Tishbi in
Gilead." Some interpret this word as meaning "stranger," and
read the verse, "Elijah the stranger from among the strangers in
Gilead." This designation is probably given to the prophet as
denoting that his birthplace was Tishbi, a place in Upper
Galilee (mentioned in the apocryphal book of Tobit), from which
for some reason he migrated into Gilead. Josephus, the Jewish
historian (Ant. 8:13, 2), however, supposes that Tishbi was some
place in the land of Gilead. It has been identified by some with
el-Ishtib, a some place 22 miles due south of the Sea of
Galilee, among the mountains of Gilead.
a mountain of Samaria, about 3,000 feet above the Mediterranean.
It was on the left of the valley containing the ancient town of
Shechem (q.v.), on the way to Jerusalem. It stood over against
Mount Ebal, the summits of these mountains being distant from
each other about 2 miles (Deut. 27; Josh. 8:30-35). On the
slopes of this mountain the tribes descended from the handmaids
of Leah and Rachel, together with the tribe of Reuben, were
gathered together, and gave the responses to the blessing
pronounced as the reward of obedience, when Joshua in the valley
below read the whole law in the hearing of all the people; as
those gathered on Ebal responded with a loud Amen to the
rehearsal of the curses pronounced on the disobedient. It was
probably at this time that the coffin containing the embalmed
body of Joseph was laid in the "parcel of ground which Jacob
bought of the sons of Hamor" (Gen. 33:19; 50:25).
Josephus relates (Ant. 11:8, 2-4) that Sanballat built a
temple for the Samaritans on this mountain, and instituted a
priesthood, as rivals to those of the Jews at Jerusalem. This
temple was destroyed after it had stood two hundred years. It
was afterwards rebuilt by Herod the Great. There is a Samaritan
tradition that it was the scene of the incident recorded in Gen.
22. There are many ruins on this mountain, some of which are
evidently of Christian buildings. To this mountain the woman of
Sychar referred in John 4:20. For centuries Gerizim was the
centre of political outbreaks. The Samaritans (q.v.), a small
but united body, still linger here, and keep up their ancient