Decision, Valley of
a name given to the valley of Jehoshaphat (q.v.) as the vale of
the sentence. The scene of Jehovah's signal inflictions on
Zion's enemies (Joel 3:14; marg., "valley of concision or
the Graecized form of Judah. (1.) The patriarch (Matt. 1:2, 3).
(2.) Son of Simon (John 6:71; 13:2, 26), surnamed Iscariot,
i.e., a man of Kerioth (Josh. 15:25). His name is uniformly the
last in the list of the apostles, as given in the synoptic
(i.e., the first three) Gospels. The evil of his nature probably
gradually unfolded itself till "Satan entered into him" (John
13:27), and he betrayed our Lord (18:3). Afterwards he owned his
sin with "an exceeding bitter cry," and cast the money he had
received as the wages of his iniquity down on the floor of the
sanctuary, and "departed and went and hanged himself" (Matt.
27:5). He perished in his guilt, and "went unto his own place"
(Acts 1:25). The statement in Acts 1:18 that he "fell headlong
and burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out,"
is in no way contrary to that in Matt. 27:5. The sucide first
hanged himself, perhaps over the valley of Hinnom, "and the rope
giving way, or the branch to which he hung breaking, he fell
down headlong on his face, and was crushed and mangled on the
rocky pavement below."
Why such a man was chosen to be an apostle we know not, but it
is written that "Jesus knew from the beginning who should betray
him" (John 6:64). Nor can any answer be satisfactorily given to
the question as to the motives that led Judas to betray his
Master. "Of the motives that have been assigned we need not care
to fix on any one as that which simply led him on. Crime is, for
the most part, the result of a hundred motives rushing with
bewildering fury through the mind of the criminal."
(3.) A Jew of Damascus (Acts 9:11), to whose house Ananias was
sent. The street called "Straight" in which it was situated is
identified with the modern "street of bazaars," where is still
pointed out the so-called "house of Judas."
(4.) A Christian teacher, surnamed Barsabas. He was sent from
Jerusalem to Antioch along with Paul and Barnabas with the
decision of the council (Acts 15:22, 27, 32). He was a "prophet"
and a "chief man among the brethren."
Baca, Valley of
(Ps. 84:6; R.V., "valley of weeping," marg., "or balsam trees"),
probably a valley in some part of Israel, or generally some
one of the valleys through which pilgrims had to pass on their
way to the sanctuary of Jehovah on Zion; or it may be
figuratively "a valley of weeping."
new, a city in the valley of Judah (Josh. 15:37).
multitude of Gog, the name of the valley in which the
slaughtered forces of Gog are to be buried (Ezek. 39:11,15),
"the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea."
Shaveh, Valley of
valley of the plain the ancient name of the "king's dale"
(q.v.), or Kidron, on the north side of Jerusalem (Gen. 14:17).
Dale, the king's
the name of a valley, the alternative for "the valley of Shaveh"
(q.v.), near the Dead Sea, where the king of Sodom met Abraham
(Gen. 14:17). Some have identified it with the southern part of
the valley of Jehoshaphat, where Absalom reared his family
monument (2 Sam. 18:18).
Mount of the valley
(Josh. 13:19), a district in the east of Jordan, in the
territory of Reuben. The "valley" here was probably the Ghor or
valley of the Jordan, and hence the "mount" would be the hilly
region in the north end of the Dead Sea. (See ZARETH-SHAHAR
craftsmen, a valley named in 1 Chr. 4:14. In Neh. 11:35 the
Hebrew word is rendered "valley of craftsmen" (R.V. marg.,
Geha-rashim). Nothing is known of it.
wild broom, a station in the wilderness (Num. 33:18, 19), the
"broom valley," or "valley of broombushes," the place apparently
of the original encampment of Israel, near Kadesh.
(Jer. 19:2), properly the Potter's gate, the gate which led to
the potter's field, in the valley of Hinnom.
linen-worker, one of David's heroes, a native of the valley of
Mount Gaash (1 Chr. 11:32).
Salt, The city of
one of the cities of Judah (Josh. 15:62), probably in the Valley
of Salt, at the southern end of the Dead Sea.
cooling, the king of Adamah, in the valley of Siddim, who with
his confederates was conquered by Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:2).
trouble, a valley near Jericho, so called in consequence of the
trouble which the sin of Achan caused Israel (Josh. 7:24,26).
The expression "valley of Achor" probably became proverbial for
that which caused trouble, and when Isaiah (Isa. 65:10) refers
to it he uses it in this sense: "The valley of Achor, a place
for herds to lie down in;" i.e., that which had been a source of
calamity would become a source of blessing. Hosea also (Hos.
2:15) uses the expression in the same sense: "The valley of
Achor for a door of hope;" i.e., trouble would be turned into
joy, despair into hope. This valley has been identified with the
perfection (LXX., "truth;" Vulg., "veritas"), Ex. 28:30; Deut.
33:8; Judg. 1:1; 20:18; 1 Sam. 14:3,18; 23:9; 2 Sam. 21:1. What
the "Urim and Thummim" were cannot be determined with any
certainty. All we certainly know is that they were a certain
divinely-given means by which God imparted, through the high
priest, direction and counsel to Israel when these were needed.
The method by which this was done can be only a matter of mere
conjecture. They were apparently material objects, quite
distinct from the breastplate, but something added to it after
all the stones had been set in it, something in addition to the
breastplate and its jewels. They may have been, as some suppose,
two small images, like the teraphim (comp. Judg. 17:5; 18:14,
17, 20; Hos. 3:4), which were kept in the bag of the
breastplate, by which, in some unknown way, the high priest
could give forth his divinely imparted decision when consulted.
They were probably lost at the destruction of the temple by
Nebuchadnezzar. They were never seen after the return from
blessing. (1.) A valley not far from Engedi, where Jehoshaphat
overthrew the Moabites and Ammonites (2 Chr. 20:26). It has been
identified with the valley of Bereikut. (R.V., "Beracah.")
(2.) One of the Benjamite warriors, Saul's brethren, who
joined David when at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:3).
Shallecheth, The gate of
i.e., "the gate of casting out," hence supposed to be the refuse
gate; one of the gates of the house of the Lord, "by the
causeway of the going up" i.e., the causeway rising up from the
Tyropoeon valley = valley of the cheesemakers (1 Chr. 26:16).
choice vine, the name of a valley, i.e., a torrent-bed, now the
Wady Surar, "valley of the fertile spot," which drains the
western Judean hills, and flowing by Makkedah and Jabneel, falls
into the sea some eight miles south of Joppa. This was the home
of Deliah, whom Samson loved (Judg. 16:4).
snares(?), a city near the west border of Zebulun (Josh. 19:15).
It has been identified with the modern Jeida, in the valley of
a valley in the west of Judah, near Mareshah; the scene of Asa's
conflict with Zerah the Ethiopian (2 Chr. 14:9-13). Identified
with the Wady Safieh.
Jehoshaphat, Valley of
mentioned in Scripture only in Joel 3:2, 12. This is the name
given in modern times to the valley between Jerusalem and the
Mount of Olives, and the Kidron flows through it. Here
Jehoshaphat overthrew the confederated enemies of Israel (Ps.
83:6-8); and in this valley also God was to overthrow the
Tyrians, Zidonians, etc. (Joel 3:4, 19), with an utter
overthrow. This has been fulfilled; but Joel speaks of the final
conflict, when God would destroy all Jerusalem's enemies, of
whom Tyre and Zidon, etc., were types. The "valley of
Jehoshaphat" may therefore be simply regarded as a general term
for the theatre of God's final judgments on the enemies of
This valley has from ancient times been used by the Jews as a
burial-ground. It is all over paved with flat stones as
tombstones, bearing on them Hebrew inscriptions.
(i.e., "Valley of the Cheesemongers"), the name given by
Josephus the historian to the valley or rugged ravine which in
ancient times separated Mount Moriah from Mount Zion. This
valley, now filled up with a vast accumulation of rubbish, and
almost a plain, was spanned by bridges, the most noted of which
was Zion Bridge, which was probably the ordinary means of
communication between the royal palace on Zion and the temple. A
fragment of the arch (q.v.) of this bridge (called "Robinson's
Arch"), where it projects from the sanctuary wall, was
discovered by Robinson in 1839. This arch was destroyed by the
Romans when Jerusalem was taken.
The western wall of the temple area rose up from the bottom of
this valley to the height of 84 feet, where it was on a level
with the area, and above this, and as a continuance of it, the
wall of Solomon's cloister rose to the height of about 50 feet,
"so that this section of the wall would originally present to
view a stupendous mass of masonry scarcely to be surpassed by
any mural masonry in the world."
(1.) Heb. bik'ah, a "cleft" of the mountains (Deut. 8:7; 11:11;
Ps. 104:8; Isa. 41:18); also a low plain bounded by mountains,
as the plain of Lebanon at the foot of Hermon around the sources
of the Jordan (Josh. 11:17; 12:7), and the valley of Megiddo (2
(2.) 'Emek, "deep;" "a long, low plain" (Job 39:10, 21; Ps.
65:13; Cant. 2:1), such as the plain of Esdraelon; the "valley
of giants" (Josh. 15:8), usually translated "valley of Rephaim"
(2 Sam. 5:18); of Elah (1 Sam. 17:2), of Berachah (2 Chr.
20:26); the king's "dale" (Gen. 14:17); of Jehoshaphat (Joel
3:2, 12), of Achor (Josh. 7:24; Isa. 65:10), Succoth (Ps. 60:6),
Ajalon (Josh. 10:12), Jezreel (Hos. 1:5).
(3.) Ge, "a bursting," a "flowing together," a narrow glen or
ravine, such as the valley of the children of Hinnom (2 Kings
23:10); of Eshcol (Deut. 1:24); of Sorek (Judg. 16:4), etc.
The "valley of vision" (Isa. 22:1) is usually regarded as
denoting Jerusalem, which "may be so called," says Barnes (Com.
on Isa.), "either (1) because there were several valleys within
the city and adjacent to it, as the vale between Mount Zion and
Moriah, the vale between Mount Moriah and Mount Ophel, between
these and Mount Bezetha, and the valley of Jehoshaphat, the
valley of the brook Kidron, etc., without the walls of the city;
or (2) more probably it was called the valley in reference to
its being compassed with hills rising to a considerable
elevation above the city" (Ps. 125:2; comp. also Jer. 21:13,
where Jerusalem is called a "valley").
(4.) Heb. nahal, a wady or water-course (Gen. 26:19; Cant.
the broken or divided place, a district in the Arabah or Jordan
valley, on the east of the river (2 Sam. 2:29). It was probably
the designation of the region in general, which is broken and
intersected by ravines.
hollow Syria, the name (not found in Scripture) given by the
Greeks to the extensive valley, about 100 miles long, between
the Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon range of mountains.
(Neh. 2:13), a gate of ancient Jerusalem, on the south-west
quarter. "The gate outside of which lay the piles of sweepings
and offscourings of the streets," in the valley of Tophet.
quarrel, a well which Isaac's herdsmen dug in the valley of
Gerar, and so called because the herdsmen of Gerar quarrelled
with them for its possession (Gen. 26:20).
Hill of Evil Counsel
on the south of the Valley of Hinnom. It is so called from a
tradition that the house of the high priest Caiaphas, when the
rulers of the Jews resolved to put Christ to death, stood here.
gathering of the people, a city of Ephraim, which was given with
its suburbs to the Levites (1 Chr. 6:68). It lay somewhere in
the Jordan valley (1 Kings 4:12, R.V.; but in A.V. incorrectly
mentioned only in Gen. 14:17; 2 Sam. 18:18, the name given to
"the valley of Shaveh," where the king of Sodom met Abram.
possession, or valley of God, one of the encampments of the
Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 21:19), on the confines of
Moab. This is identified with the ravine of the Zerka M'ain, the
ancient Callirhoe, the hot springs on the east of the Jordan,
not far from the Dead Sea.
Sea of Jazer
(Jer. 48:32), a lake, now represented by some ponds in the high
valley in which the Ammonite city of Jazer lies, the ruins of
which are called Sar.
two gates (Josh. 15:36), more correctly Shaaraim (1 Sam. 17:52),
probably Tell Zakariya and Kefr Zakariya, in the valley of Elah,
3 1/2 miles north-west of Socoh.
Jonah, Book of
This book professes to give an account of what actually took
place in the experience of the prophet. Some critics have sought
to interpret the book as a parable or allegory, and not as a
history. They have done so for various reasons. Thus (1) some
reject it on the ground that the miraculous element enters so
largely into it, and that it is not prophetical but narrative in
its form; (2) others, denying the possibility of miracles
altogether, hold that therefore it cannot be true history.
Jonah and his story is referred to by our Lord (Matt. 12:39,
40; Luke 11:29), a fact to which the greatest weight must be
attached. It is impossible to interpret this reference on any
other theory. This one argument is of sufficient importance to
settle the whole question. No theories devised for the purpose
of getting rid of difficulties can stand against such a proof
that the book is a veritable history.
There is every reason to believe that this book was written by
Jonah himself. It gives an account of (1) his divine commission
to go to Nineveh, his disobedience, and the punishment following
(1:1-17); (2) his prayer and miraculous deliverance (1:17-2:10);
(3) the second commission given to him, and his prompt obedience
in delivering the message from God, and its results in the
repentance of the Ninevites, and God's long-sparing mercy toward
them (ch. 3); (4) Jonah's displeasure at God's merciful
decision, and the rebuke tendered to the impatient prophet (ch.
4). Nineveh was spared after Jonah's mission for more than a
century. The history of Jonah may well be regarded "as a part of
that great onward movement which was before the Law and under
the Law; which gained strength and volume as the fulness of the
times drew near.", Perowne's Jonah.
meadow of dancing, or the dancing-meadow, the birth-place and
residence of the prophet Elisha, not far from Beth-shean (1
Kings 4:12), in the tribe of Issachar, near where the Wady
el-Maleh emerges into the valley of the Jordan, "the rich
meadow-land which extends about 4 miles south of Beth-shean;
moist and luxuriant." Here Elisha was found at his plough by
Elijah on his return up the Jordan valley from Horeb (1 Kings
19:16). It is now called 'Ain Helweh.
(composed of the names of two Syrian idols), the name of a place
in the valley of Megiddo. It is alluded to by the prophet
Zechariah (12:11) in a proverbial expression derived from the
lamentation for Josiah, who was mortally wounded near this place
(2 Chr. 35:22-25). It has been identified with the modern
Rummaneh, a village "at the foot of the Megiddo hills, in a
notch or valley about an hour and a half south of Tell
the valley, now quite narrow, between the Mount of Olives and
Mount Moriah. The upper part of it is called the Valley of
Jehoshaphat. The LXX., in 1 Kings 15:13, translate "of the
cedar." The word means "black," and may refer to the colour of
the water or the gloom of the ravine, or the black green of the
cedars which grew there. John 18:1, "Cedron," only here in New
Testament. (See KIDRON ¯T0002187.)
a little wing, (Matt. 4:5; Luke 4:9). On the southern side of
the temple court was a range of porches or cloisters forming
three arcades. At the south-eastern corner the roof of this
cloister was some 300 feet above the Kidron valley. The
pinnacle, some parapet or wing-like projection, was above this
roof, and hence at a great height, probably 350 feet or more
above the valley.
terebinth or oak. (1.) Valley of, where the Israelites were
encamped when David killed Goliath (1 Sam. 17:2, 19). It was
near Shochoh of Judah and Azekah (17:1). It is the modern Wady
es-Sunt, i.e., "valley of the acacia." "The terebinths from
which the valley of Elah takes its name still cling to their
ancient soil. On the west side of the valley, near Shochoh,
there is a very large and ancient tree of this kind known as the
'terebinth of Wady Sur,' 55 feet in height, its trunk 17 feet in
circumference, and the breadth of its shade no less than 75
feet. It marks the upper end of the Elah valley, and forms a
noted object, being one of the largest terebinths in Israel."
Geikie's, The Holy Land, etc.
(2.) One of the Edomite chiefs or "dukes" of Mount Seir (Gen.
(3.) The second of the three sons of Caleb, the son of
Jephunneh (1 Chr. 4:15).
(4.) The son and successor of Baasha, king of Israel (1 Kings
16:8-10). He was killed while drunk by Zimri, one of the
captains of his chariots, and was the last king of the line of
Baasha. Thus was fullfilled the prophecy of Jehu (6, 7, 11-14).
(5.) The father of Hoshea, the last king of Israel (2 Kings
beloved, the eighth and youngest son of Jesse, a citizen of
Bethlehem. His father seems to have been a man in humble life.
His mother's name is not recorded. Some think she was the Nahash
of 2 Sam. 17:25. As to his personal appearance, we only know
that he was red-haired, with beautiful eyes and a fair face (1
Sam. 16:12; 17:42).
His early occupation was that of tending his father's sheep on
the uplands of Judah. From what we know of his after history,
doubtless he frequently beguiled his time, when thus engaged,
with his shepherd's flute, while he drank in the many lessons
taught him by the varied scenes spread around him. His first
recorded exploits were his encounters with the wild beasts of
the field. He mentions that with his own unaided hand he slew a
lion and also a bear, when they came out against his flock,
beating them to death in open conflict with his club (1 Sam.
While David, in the freshness of ruddy youth, was thus engaged
with his flocks, Samuel paid an unexpected visit to Bethlehem,
having been guided thither by divine direction (1 Sam. 16:1-13).
There he offered up sacrifice, and called the elders of Israel
and Jesse's family to the sacrificial meal. Among all who
appeared before him he failed to discover the one he sought.
David was sent for, and the prophet immediately recognized him
as the chosen of God, chosen to succeed Saul, who was now
departing from the ways of God, on the throne of the kingdom. He
accordingly, in anticipation, poured on his head the anointing
oil. David went back again to his shepherd life, but "the Spirit
of the Lord came upon David from that day forward," and "the
Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul" (1 Sam. 16:13, 14).
Not long after this David was sent for to soothe with his harp
the troubled spirit of Saul, who suffered from a strange
melancholy dejection. He played before the king so skilfully
that Saul was greatly cheered, and began to entertain great
affection for the young shepherd. After this he went home to
Bethlehem. But he soon again came into prominence. The armies of
the Philistines and of Israel were in battle array in the valley
of Elah, some 16 miles south-west of Bethlehem; and David was
sent by his father with provisions for his three brothers, who
were then fighting on the side of the king. On his arrival in
the camp of Israel, David (now about twenty years of age) was
made aware of the state of matters when the champion of the
Philistines, Goliath of Gath, came forth to defy Israel. David
took his sling, and with a well-trained aim threw a stone "out
of the brook," which struck the giant's forehead, so that he
fell senseless to the ground. David then ran and slew him, and
cut off his head with his own sword (1 Sam. 17). The result was
a great victory to the Israelites, who pursued the Philistines
to the gates of Gath and Ekron.
David's popularity consequent on this heroic exploit awakened
Saul's jealousy (1 Sam. 18:6-16), which he showed in various
ways. He conceived a bitter hatred toward him, and by various
stratagems sought his death (1 Sam. 18-30). The deep-laid plots
of the enraged king, who could not fail to observe that David
"prospered exceedingly," all proved futile, and only endeared
the young hero the more to the people, and very specially to
Jonathan, Saul's son, between whom and David a life-long warm
friendship was formed.
A fugitive. To escape from the vengeance of Saul, David fled
to Ramah (1 Sam. 19:12-18) to Samuel, who received him, and he
dwelt among the sons of the prophets, who were there under
Samuel's training. It is supposed by some that the sixth,
seventh, and eleventh Psalms were composed by him at this time.
This place was only 3 miles from the residence of Saul, who soon
discovered whither the fugitive had gone, and tried
ineffectually to bring him back. Jonathan made a fruitless
effort to bring his father to a better state of mind toward
David (1 Sam. 20), who, being made aware of the fact, saw no
hope of safety but in flight to a distance. We accordingly find
him first at Nob (21:1-9) and then at Gath, the chief city of
the Philistines. The king of the Philistines would not admit him
into his service, as he expected that he would, and David
accordingly now betook himself to the stronghold of Adullam
(22:1-4; 1 Chr. 12:8-18). Here in a short time 400 men gathered
around him and acknowledged him as their leader. It was at this
time that David, amid the harassment and perils of his position,
cried, "Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well
of Bethlehem;" when three of his heroes broke through the lines
of the Philistines and brought him the water for which he longed
(2 Sam. 23:13-17), but which he would not drink.
In his rage at the failure of all his efforts to seize David,
Saul gave orders for the massacre of the entire priestly family
at Nob, "persons who wore a linen ephod", to the number of
eighty-five persons, who were put to death by Doeg the Edomite.
The sad tidings of the massacre were brought to David by
Abiathar, a son of Ahimelech, the only one who escaped. Comp.
Hearing that Keilah, a town on the western frontier, was
harassed by the Philistines, David with his men relieved it (1
Sam. 23:1-14); and then, for fear of Saul, he fled to the
strongholds in the "hill country" of Judah. Comp. Ps. 31. While
encamped there, in the forest in the district of Ziph, he was
visited by Jonathan, who spoke to him words of encouragement
(23:16-18). The two now parted never to meet again. Saul
continued his pursuit of David, who narrowly escaped from him at
this time, and fled to the crags and ravines of Engedi, on the
western shore of the Dead Sea (1 Sam. 23:29). Here Saul, who
still pursued him with his army, narrowly escaped, through the
generous forbearance of David, and was greatly affected by what
David had done for him. He returned home from pursuing him, and
David betook himself to Maon, where, with his 600 men, he
maintained himself by contributions gathered from the district.
Here occurred the incident connected with Nabal and his wife
Abigail (1 Sam. 25), whom David married after Nabal's death.
Saul again went forth (1 Sam. 26) in pursuit of David, who had
hid himself "in the hill Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon," in
the wilderness of Ziph, and was a second time spared through his
forbearance. He returned home, professing shame and penitence
for the way in which he had treated David, and predicting his
elevation to the throne.
Fighting against Israel. Harassed by the necessity of moving
from place to place through fear of Saul, David once more sought
refuge among the Philistines (1 Sam. 27). He was welcomed by the
king, who assigned him Ziklag as his residence. Here David lived
among his followers for some time as an independent chief
engaged in frequent war with the Amalekites and other tribes on
the south of Judah.
Achish summoned David with his men to join his army against
Saul; but the lords of the Philistines were suspicious of
David's loyalty, and therefore he was sent back to Ziklag, which
he found to his dismay may had been pillaged and burnt during
his brief absence. David pursued after the raiders, the
Amalekites, and completely routed them. On his return to Ziklag
tidings reached him of Saul's death (2 Sam. 1). An Amalekite
brought Saul's crown and bracelet and laid them at his feet.
David and his men rent their clothes and mourned for Saul, who
had been defeated in battle near Mount Gilboa. David composed a
beautiful elegy, the most beautiful of all extant Hebrew odes, a
"lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son" (2 Sam.
1:18-27). It bore the title of "The Bow," and was to be taught
to the children, that the memory of Saul and Jonathan might be
preserved among them. "Behold, it is written in the book of
David king over Judah. David and his men now set out for
Hebron under divine direction (2 Sam. 2:1-4). There they were
cordially welcomed, and he was at once anointed as king. He was
now about thirty years of age.
But his title to the throne was not undisputed. Abner took
Ish-bosheth, Saul's only remaining son, over the Jordan to
Mahanaim, and there crowned him as king. Then began a civil war
in Israel. The first encounter between the two opposing armies,
led on the one side by Abner, and on the other by Joab, took
place at the pool of Gibeon. It resulted in the defeat of Abner.
Other encounters, however, between Israel and Judah followed (2
Sam. 3:1, 5), but still success was on the side of David. For
the space of seven and a half years David reigned in Hebron.
Abner now sided with David, and sought to promote his
advancement; but was treacherously put to death by Joab in
revenge for his having slain his brother Asahel at Gibeon
(3:22-39). This was greatly to David's regret. He mourned for
the death of Abner. Shortly after this Ish-bosheth was also
treacherously put to death by two Canaanites of Beeroth; and
there being now no rival, David was anointed king over all
David king over all Israel (2 Sam. 5:1-5; 1 Chr. 11:1-3). The
elders of Israel now repaired to Hebron and offered allegiance
to David in name of all the people, among whom the greatest
enthusiasm prevailed. He was anointed king over all Israel, and
sought out a new seat of government, more suitable than Hebron,
as the capital of his empire. At this time there was a Jebusite
fortress, "the stronghold", on the hill of Zion, called also
Jebus. This David took from the Jebusites, and made it Israel's
capital, and established here his residence, and afterwards
built for himself a palace by the aid of Tyrian tradesmen. The
Philistines, who had for some time observed a kind of truce, now
made war against David; but were defeated in battle at a place
afterwards called, in remembrance of the victory, Baal-perazim.
Again they invaded the land, and were a second time routed by
him. He thus delivered Israel from their enemies.
David now resolved to bring up the ark of the covenant to his
new capital (2 Sam. 6). It was in the house of Abinadab at
Kirjath-jearim, about 7 miles from Jerusalem, where it had been
for many years, from the time when the Philistines had sent it
home (1 Sam. 6; 7). In consequence of the death of Uzzah (for it
was a divine ordinance that only the Levites should handle the
ark, Num. 4), who had put forth his hand to steady the ark when
the cart in which it was being conveyed shook by reason of the
roughness of the road, David stayed the procession, and conveyed
the ark into the house of Obed-edom, a Philistine from Gath.
After three months David brought the ark from the house of
Obed-edom up to Jerusalem. Comp. Ps. 24. Here it was placed in a
new tent or tabernacle which David erected for the purpose.
About seventy years had passed since it had stood in the
tabernacle at Shiloh. The old tabernacle was now at Gibeah, at
which Zadok ministered. David now (1 Chr. 16) carefully set in
order all the ritual of divine worship at Jerusalem, along with
Abiathar the high priest. A new religious era began. The service
of praise was for the first time introduced into public worship.
Zion became henceforth "God's holy hill."
David's wars. David now entered on a series of conquests which
greatly extended and strengthened his kingdom (2 Sam. 8). In a
few years the whole territory from the Euphrates to the river of
Egypt, and from Gaza on the west to Thapsacus on the east, was
under his sway (2 Sam. 8:3-13; 10).
David's fall. He had now reached the height of his glory. He
ruled over a vast empire, and his capital was enriched with the
spoils of many lands. But in the midst of all this success he
fell, and his character became stained with the sin of adultery
(2 Sam. 11:2-27). It has been noted as characteristic of the
Bible that while his military triumphs are recorded in a few
verses, the sad story of his fall is given in detail, a story
full of warning, and therefore recorded. This crime, in the
attempt to conceal it, led to anoter. He was guilty of murder.
Uriah, whom he had foully wronged, an officer of the Gibborim,
the corps of heros (23:39), was, by his order, "set in the front
of the hottest battle" at the siege of Rabbah, in order that he
might be put to death. Nathan the prophet (2 Sam. 7:1-17;
12:1-23) was sent by God to bring home his crimes to the
conscience of the guilty monarch. He became a true penitent. He
bitterly bewailed his sins before God. The thirty-second and
fifty-first Psalms reveal the deep struggles of his soul, and
his spiritual recovery.
Bathsheba became his wife after Uriah's death. Her first-born
son died, according to the word of the prophet. She gave birth
to a second son, whom David called Solomon, and who ultimately
succeeded him on the throne (2 Sam. 12:24, 25).
Peace. After the successful termination of all his wars, David
formed the idea of building a temple for the ark of God. This he
was not permitted to carry into execution, because he had been a
man of war. God, however, sent Nathan to him with a gracious
message (2 Sam. 7:1-16). On receiving it he went into the
sanctuary, the tent where the ark was, and sat before the Lord,
and poured out his heart in words of devout thanksgiving
(18-29). The building of the temple was reserved for his son
Solomon, who would be a man of peace (1 Chr. 22:9; 28:3).
A cloudy evening. Hitherto David's carrer had been one of
great prosperity and success. Now cloudy and dark days came. His
eldest son Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam of Jezreel, was
guilty of a great and shameful crime (2 Sam. 13). This was the
beginning of the disasters of his later years. After two years
Absalom terribly avenged the crime against Tamar, and put Amnon
to death. This brought sore trouble to David's heart. Absalom,
afraid of the consequences of his guilt, fled to Geshur beyond
Jordan, where he remained for three years, when he was brought
back through the intrigue of Joab (2 Sam. 14).
After this there fell upon the land the calamity of three
years' famine (2 Sam. 21:1-14). This was soon after followed by
a pestilence, brought upon the land as a punishment for David's
sinful pride in numbering the people (2 Sam. 24), in which no
fewer than 70,000 perished in the space of three days.
Rebellion of Absalom. The personal respect for David was sadly
lowered by the incident of Bathsheba. There was a strong popular
sentiment against the taking of the census, and the outburst of
the plague in connection with it deepened the feeling of
jealously that had begun to manifest itself among some of the
tribes against David. Absalom, taking full advantage of this
state of things, gradually gained over the people, and at length
openly rebelled against his father, and usurped the throne.
Ahithophel was Absalom's chief counsellor. The revolt began in
Hebron, the capital of Judah. Absalom was there proclaimed king.
David was now in imminent danger, and he left Jerusalem (2 Sam.
15:13-20), and once more became a fugitive. It was a momentous
day in Israel. The incidents of it are recorded with a fulness
of detail greater than of any other day in Old Testament
history. David fled with his followers to Mahanarm, on the east
of Jordan. An unnatural civil war broke out. After a few weeks
the rival armies were mustered and organized. They met in
hostile array at the wood of Ephraim (2 Sam. 18:1-8). Absalom's
army was defeated, and himself put to death by the hand of Joab
(9-18). The tidings of the death of his rebellious son filled
the heart of David with the most poignant grief. He "went up to
the chamber over the gate, and wept" (33), giving utterance to
the heart-broken cry, "Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom,
my son, my son!" Peace was now restored, and David returned to
Jerusalem and resumed the direction of affairs. An unhappy
dispute arose between the men of Judah and the men of Israel
(19:41-43). Sheba, a Benjamite, headed a revolt of the men of
Israel. He was pursued to Abelbeth-maachah, and was there put to
death, and so the revolt came to an end.
The end. After the suppression of the rebellion of Absalom and
that of Sheba, ten comparatively peaceful years of David's life
passed away. During those years he seems to have been
principally engaged in accumulating treasures of every kind for
the great temple at Jerusalem, which it was reserved to his
successor to build (1 Chr. 22; 28; 29), a house which was to be
"exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all
countries" (22:5). The exciting and laborious life he had spent,
and the dangers and trials through which he had passed, had left
him an enfeebled man, prematurely old. It became apparent that
his life was now drawing to its close. A new palace conspiracy
broke out as to who should be his successor. Joab favoured
Adonijah. The chiefs of his party met at the "Fuller's spring,"
in the valley of Kidron, to proclaim him king; but Nathan
hastened on a decision on the part of David in favour of
Solomon, and so the aim of Adonijah's party failed. Solomon was
brought to Jerusalem, and was anointed king and seated on his
father's throne (1 Kings 1:11-53). David's last words are a
grand utterance, revealing his unfailing faith in God, and his
joyful confidence in his gracious covenant promises (2 Sam.
After a reign of forty years and six months (2 Sam. 5:5; 1
Chr. 3:4) David died (B.C. 1015) at the age of seventy years,
"and was buried in the city of David." His tomb is still pointed
out on Mount Zion.
Both in his prophetical and in his regal character David was a
type of the Messiah (1 Sam. 16:13). The book of Psalms commonly
bears the title of the "Psalms of David," from the circumstance
that he was the largest contributor (about eighty psalms) to the
collection. (See PSALMS ¯T0003013.)
"The greatness of David was felt when he was gone. He had
lived in harmony with both the priesthood and the prophets; a
sure sign that the spirit of his government had been throughly
loyal to the higher aims of the theocracy. The nation had not
been oppressed by him, but had been left in the free enjoyment
of its ancient liberties. As far as his power went he had
striven to act justly to all (2 Sam. 8:15). His weak indulgence
to his sons, and his own great sin besides, had been bitterly
atoned, and were forgotten at his death in the remembrance of
his long-tried worth. He had reigned thirty-three years in
Jerusalem and seven and a half at Hebron (2 Sam. 5:5). Israel at
his accession had reached the lowest point of national
depression; its new-born unity rudely dissolved; its territory
assailed by the Philistines. But he had left it an imperial
power, with dominions like those of Egypt or Assyria. The
sceptre of Solomon was already, before his father's death, owned
from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates, and from the Orontes to
the Red Sea.", Geikie's Hours etc., iii.
springs, a place near Salim where John baptized (John 3:23). It
was probably near the upper source of the Wady Far'ah, an open
valley extending from Mount Ebal to the Jordan. It is full of
springs. A place has been found called 'Ainun, four miles north
of the springs.
dweller in a valley, the son of Eliphaz and grandson of Esau
(Gen. 36:12; 1 Chr. 1:36); the chief of an Idumean tribe (Gen.
36:16). His mother was a Horite, a tribe whose territory the
descendants of Esau had seized.
(Zech. 14:5) should perhaps be rendered "very near" = "the way
of escape shall be made easy." If a proper name, it may denote
some place near the western extremity of the valley here spoken
of near Jerusalem.
Baal having rents, bursts, or destructions, the scene of a
victory gained by David over the Philistines (2 Sam. 5:20; 1
Chr. 14:11). Called Mount Perazim (Isa. 28:21). It was near the
valley of Rephaim, west of Jerusalem. Identified with the modern
house of the desert, one of the six cities of Judah, situated in
the sunk valley of the Jordan and Dead Sea (Josh. 18:22). In
Josh. 15:61 it is said to have been "in the wilderness." It was
afterwards included in the towns of Benjamin. It is called
Arabah (Josh. 18:18).
house of Peor; i.e., "temple of Baal-peor", a place in Moab, on
the east of Jordan, opposite Jericho. It was in the tribe of
Reuben (Josh. 13:20; Deut. 3:29; 4:46). In the "ravine" or
valley over against Beth-peor Moses was probably buried (Deut.
Ephraim in the wilderness
(John 11: 54), a town to which our Lord retired with his
disciples after he had raised Lazarus, and when the priests were
conspiring against him. It lay in the wild, uncultivated
hill-country to the north-east of Jerusalem, betwen the central
towns and the Jordan valley.
a spot near Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:17; Isa. 36:2; 7:3), on the
side of the highway west of the city, not far distant from the
"upper pool" at the head of the valley of Hinnom. Here the
fullers pursued their occupation.
or Jano'hah, rest. (1.) A town on the north-eastern border of
Ephraim, in the Jordan valley (Josh. 16:6, 7). Identified with
the modern Yanun, 8 miles south-east of Nablus.
(2.) A town of Northern Israel, within the boundaries of
Naphtali. It was taken by the king of Assyria (2 Kings 15:29).
founded by God, a "desert" on the ascent from the valley of the
Dead Sea towards Jerusalem. It lay beyond the wilderness of
Tekoa, in the direction of Engedi (2 Chr. 20:16, 20). It
corresponds with the tract of country now called el-Hasasah.
the name given to the piece of ground which was afterwards
bought with the money that had been given to Judas. It was
called the "field of blood" (Matt. 27:7-10). Tradition places it
in the valley of Hinnom. (See ACELDAMA ¯T0000063.)
Rephaim, Valley of
(Josh. 15:8; 18:16, R.V.). When David became king over all
Israel, the Philistines, judging that he would now become their
uncompromising enemy, made a sudden attack upon Hebron,
compelling David to retire from it. He sought refuge in "the
hold" at Adullam (2 Sam. 5:17-22), and the Philistines took up
their position in the valley of Rephaim, on the west and
south-west of Jerusalem. Thus all communication between
Bethlehem and Jerusalem was intercepted. While David and his
army were encamped here, there occurred that incident narrated
in 2 Sam. 23:15-17. Having obtained divine direction, David led
his army against the Philistines, and gained a complete victory
over them. The scene of this victory was afterwards called
A second time, however, the Philistines rallied their forces
in this valley (2 Sam. 5:22). Again warned by a divine oracle,
David led his army to Gibeon, and attacked the Philistines from
the south, inflicting on them another severe defeat, and chasing
them with great slaughter to Gezer (q.v.). There David kept in
check these enemies of Israel. This valley is now called
peaceful, a place near AEnon (q.v.), on the west of Jordan,
where John baptized (John 3:23). It was probably the Shalem
mentioned in Gen. 33:18, about 7 miles south of AEnon, at the
head of the great Wady Far'ah, which formed the northern
boundary of Judea in the Jordan valley.
mentioned along with serpents (Deut. 8:15). Used also
figuratively to denote wicked persons (Ezek. 2:6; Luke 10:19);
also a particular kind of scourge or whip (1 Kings 12:11).
Scorpions were a species of spider. They abounded in the Jordan
the acacia; rock-thorn, the southern cliff in the Wady
es-Suweinit, a valley south of Michmash, which Jonathan climbed
with his armour-bearer (1 Sam. 14:4, 5). The rock opposite, on
the other side of the wady, was called Bozez.
strife, the second of the two wells dug by Isaac, whose servants
here contended with the Philistines (Gen. 26:21). It has been
identified with the modern Shutneh, in the valley of Gerar, to
the west of Rehoboth, about 20 miles south of Beersheba.
=Zared, luxuriance; willow bush, a brook or valley communicating
with the Dead Sea near its southern extremity (Num. 21:12; Deut.
2:14). It is called the "brook of the willows" (Isa. 15:7) and
the "river of the wilderness" (Amos 6:14). It has been
identified with the Wady el-Aksy.
boiling spring, a mountain range, now Jebel Fukua', memorable as
the scene of Saul's disastrous defeat by the Philistines. Here
also his three sons were slain, and he himself died by his own
hand (1 Sam. 28:4; 31:1-8; 2 Sam. 1:6-21; 21:12; 1 Chr. 10:1,
8). It was a low barren range of mountains bounding the valley
of Esdraelon (Jezreel) on the east, between it and the Jordan
valley. When the tidings of this defeat were conveyed to David,
he gave utterance to those pathetic words in the "Song of the
Bow" (2 Sam. 1:19-27).
Pools of Solomon
the name given to three large open cisterns at Etam, at the head
of the Wady Urtas, having an average length of 400 feet by 220
in breadth, and 20 to 30 in depth. These pools derive their
chief supply of water from a spring called "the sealed
fountain," about 200 yards to the north-west of the upper pool,
to which it is conveyed by a large subterranean passage. They
are 150 feet distant from each other, and each pool is 20 feet
lower than that above it, the conduits being so arranged that
the lowest, which is the largest and finest of the three, is
filled first, and then in succession the others. It has been
estimated that these pools cover in all a space of about 7
acres, and are capable of containing three million gallons of
water. They were, as is generally supposed, constructed in the
days of Solomon. They are probably referred to in Eccles. 2:6.
On the fourth day after his victory over the Ammonites, etc., in
the wilderness of Tekoa, Jehoshaphat assembled his army in the
valley of Berachah ("blessing"), and there blessed the Lord.
Berachah has been identified with the modern Bereikut, some 5
miles south of Wady Urtas, and hence the "valley of Berachah"
may be this valley of pools, for the word means both "blessing"
and "pools;" and it has been supposed, therefore, that this
victory was celebrated beside Solomon's pools (2 Chr. 20:26).
These pools were primarily designed to supply Jerusalem with
water. From the lower pool an aqueduct has been traced conveying
the water through Bethlehem and across the valley of Gihon, and
along the west slope of the Tyropoeon valley, till it finds its
way into the great cisterns underneath the temple hill. The
water, however, from the pools reaches now only to Bethlehem.
The aqueduct beyond this has been destroyed.
Jehovah is his help, or Jehovah the Saviour. The son of Nun, of
the tribe of Ephraim, the successor of Moses as the leader of
Israel. He is called Jehoshua in Num. 13:16 (A.V.), and Jesus in
Acts 7:45 and Heb. 4:8 (R.V., Joshua).
He was born in Egypt, and was probably of the age of Caleb,
with whom he is generally associated. He shared in all the
events of the Exodus, and held the place of commander of the
host of the Israelites at their great battle against the
Amalekites in Rephidim (Ex. 17:8-16). He became Moses' minister
or servant, and accompanied him part of the way when he ascended
Mount Sinai to receive the two tables (Ex. 32:17). He was also
one of the twelve who were sent on by Moses to explore the land
of Canaan (Num. 13:16, 17), and only he and Caleb gave an
encouraging report. Under the direction of God, Moses, before
his death, invested Joshua in a public and solemn manner with
authority over the people as his successor (Deut. 31:23). The
people were encamped at Shittim when he assumed the command
(Josh. 1:1); and crossing the Jordan, they encamped at Gilgal,
where, having circumcised the people, he kept the Passover, and
was visited by the Captain of the Lord's host, who spoke to him
encouraging words (1:1-9).
Now began the wars of conquest which Joshua carried on for
many years, the record of which is in the book which bears his
name. Six nations and thirty-one kings were conquered by him
(Josh. 11:18-23; 12:24). Having thus subdued the Canaanites,
Joshua divided the land among the tribes, Timnath-serah in Mount
Ephraim being assigned to himself as his own inheritance. (See
SHILOH ¯T0003375; PRIEST ¯T0003001.)
His work being done, he died, at the age of one hundred and
ten years, twenty-five years after having crossed the Jordan. He
was buried in his own city of Timnath-serah (Josh. 24); and "the
light of Israel for the time faded away."
Joshua has been regarded as a type of Christ (Heb. 4:8) in the
following particulars: (1) In the name common to both; (2)
Joshua brings the people into the possession of the Promised
Land, as Jesus brings his people to the heavenly Canaan; and (3)
as Joshua succeeded Moses, so the Gospel succeeds the Law.
The character of Joshua is thus well sketched by Edersheim:,
"Born a slave in Egypt, he must have been about forty years old
at the time of the Exodus. Attached to the person of Moses, he
led Israel in the first decisive battle against Amalek (Ex.
17:9, 13), while Moses in the prayer of faith held up to heaven
the God-given 'rod.' It was no doubt on that occasion that his
name was changed from Oshea, 'help,' to Jehoshua, 'Jehovah is
help' (Num. 13:16). And this name is the key to his life and
work. Alike in bringing the people into Canaan, in his wars, and
in the distribution of the land among the tribes, from the
miraculous crossing of Jordan and taking of Jericho to his last
address, he was the embodiment of his new name, 'Jehovah is
help.' To this outward calling his character also corresponded.
It is marked by singleness of purpose, directness, and
decision...He sets an object before him, and unswervingly
follows it" (Bible Hist., iii. 103)
and Aij'alon, place of deer. (1.) A town and valley originally
assigned to the tribe of Dan, from which, however, they could
not drive the Amorites (Judg. 1:35). It was one of the Levitical
cities given to the Kohathites (1 Chr. 6:69). It was not far
from Beth-shemesh (2 Chr. 28:18). It was the boundary between
the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, and is frequently mentioned in
Jewish history (2 Chr. 11:10; 1 Sam. 14:31; 1 Chr. 8:13). With
reference to the valley named after the town, Joshua uttered the
celebrated command, "Sun, stand thou still on Gibeon; and thou,
Moon, in the valley of Ajalon" (Josh. 10:12). It has been
identified as the modern Yalo, at the foot of the Beth-horon
pass (q.v.). In the Tell Amarna letters Adoni-zedek (q.v.)
speaks of the destruction of the "city of Ajalon" by the
invaders, and describes himself as "afflicted, greatly
afflicted" by the calamities that had come on the land, urging
the king of Egypt to hasten to his help.
(2.) A city in the tribe of Zebulun (Judg. 12:12), the modern
Jalun, three miles north of Cabul.
(Heb. 'ain; i.e., "eye" of the water desert), a natural source
of living water. Israel was a "land of brooks of water, of
fountains, and depths that spring out of valleys and hills"
(Deut. 8:7; 11:11).
These fountains, bright sparkling "eyes" of the desert, are
remarkable for their abundance and their beauty, especially on
the west of Jordan. All the perennial rivers and streams of the
country are supplied from fountains, and depend comparatively
little on surface water. "Israel is a country of mountains
and hills, and it abounds in fountains of water. The murmur of
these waters is heard in every dell, and the luxuriant foliage
which surrounds them is seen in every plain." Besides its
rain-water, its cisterns and fountains, Jerusalem had also an
abundant supply of water in the magnificent reservoir called
"Solomon's Pools" (q.v.), at the head of the Urtas valley,
whence it was conveyed to the city by subterrean channels some
10 miles in length. These have all been long ago destroyed, so
that no water from the "Pools" now reaches Jerusalem. Only one
fountain has been discovered at Jerusalem, the so-called
"Virgins's Fountains," in the valley of Kidron; and only one
well (Heb. beer), the Bir Eyub, also in the valley of Kidron,
south of the King's Gardens, which has been dug through the
solid rock. The inhabitants of Jerusalem are now mainly
dependent on the winter rains, which they store in cisterns.
(See WELL ¯T0003803.)
a deep, narrow ravine separating Mount Zion from the so-called
"Hill of Evil Counsel." It took its name from "some ancient
hero, the son of Hinnom." It is first mentioned in Josh. 15:8.
It had been the place where the idolatrous Jews burned their
children alive to Moloch and Baal. A particular part of the
valley was called Tophet, or the "fire-stove," where the
children were burned. After the Exile, in order to show their
abhorrence of the locality, the Jews made this valley the
receptacle of the offal of the city, for the destruction of
which a fire was, as is supposed, kept constantly burning there.
The Jews associated with this valley these two ideas, (1) that
of the sufferings of the victims that had there been sacrificed;
and (2) that of filth and corruption. It became thus to the
popular mind a symbol of the abode of the wicked hereafter. It
came to signify hell as the place of the wicked. "It might be
shown by infinite examples that the Jews expressed hell, or the
place of the damned, by this word. The word Gehenna [the Greek
contraction of Hinnom] was never used in the time of Christ in
any other sense than to denote the place of future punishment."
About this fact there can be no question. In this sense the word
is used eleven times in our Lord's discourses (Matt. 23:33; Luke
12:5; Matt. 5:22, etc.).
ruins. (1.) One of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Josh.
10:1; Gen. 12:8; 13:3). It was the scene of Joshua's defeat, and
afterwards of his victory. It was the second Canaanite city
taken by Israel (Josh. 7:2-5; 8:1-29). It lay rebuilt and
inhibited by the Benjamites (Ezra 2:28; Neh. 7:32; 11:31). It
lay to the east of Bethel, "beside Beth-aven." The spot which is
most probably the site of this ancient city is Haiyan, 2 miles
east from Bethel. It lay up the Wady Suweinit, a steep, rugged
valley, extending from the Jordan valley to Bethel.
(2.) A city in the Ammonite territory (Jer. 49:3). Some have
thought that the proper reading of the word is Ar (Isa. 15:1).
a water-course or channel (Job 38:25). The "conduit of the upper
pool" (Isa. 7:3) was formed by Hezekiah for the purpose of
conveying the waters from the upper pool in the valley of Gihon
to the west side of the city of David (2 Kings 18:17; 20:20; 2
Chr. 32:30). In carrying out this work he stopped "the waters of
the fountains which were without the city" i.e., "the upper
water-course of Gihon", and conveyed it down from the west
through a canal into the city, so that in case of a siege the
inhabitants of the city might have a supply of water, which
would thus be withdrawn from the enemy. (See SILOAM ¯T0003433.)
There are also the remains of a conduit which conducted water
from the so-called "Pools of Solomon," beyond Bethlehem, into
the city. Water is still conveyed into the city from the
fountains which supplied these pools by a channel which crosses
the valley of Hinnom.
stony. (1.) A mountain 3,076 feet above the level of the sea,
and 1,200 feet above the level of the valley, on the north side
of which stood the city of Shechem (q.v.). On this mountain six
of the tribes (Deut. 27:12,13) were appointed to take their
stand and respond according to a prescribed form to the
imprecations uttered in the valley, where the law was read by
the Levites (11:29; 29:4, 13). This mountain was also the site
of the first great altar erected to Jehovah (Deut. 27:5-8; Josh.
8:30-35). After this the name of Ebal does not again occur in
Jewish history. (See GERIZIM ¯T0001465.)
(2.) A descendant of Eber (1 Chr. 1:22), called also Obal
(3.) A descendant of Seir the Horite (Gen. 36:23).
bunch; brave. (1.) A young Amoritish chief who joined Abraham in
the recovery of Lot from the hands of Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:13,
(2.) A valley in which the spies obtained a fine cluster of
grapes (Num. 13:23, 24; "the brook Eshcol," A.V.; "the valley of
Eshcol," R.V.), which they took back with them to the camp of
Israel as a specimen of the fruits of the Promised Land. On
their way back they explored the route which led into the south
(the Negeb) by the western edge of the mountains at Telilat
el-'Anab, i.e., "grape-mounds", near Beersheba. "In one of these
extensive valleys, perhaps in Wady Hanein, where miles of
grape-mounds even now meet the eye, they cut the gigantic
clusters of grapes, and gathered the pomegranates and figs, to
show how goodly was the land which the Lord had promised for
their inheritance.", Palmer's Desert of the Exodus.
(originally Ge bene Hinnom; i.e., "the valley of the sons of
Hinnom"), a deep, narrow glen to the south of Jerusalem, where
the idolatrous Jews offered their children in sacrifice to
Molech (2 Chr. 28:3; 33:6; Jer. 7:31; 19:2-6). This valley
afterwards became the common receptacle for all the refuse of
the city. Here the dead bodies of animals and of criminals, and
all kinds of filth, were cast and consumed by fire kept always
burning. It thus in process of time became the image of the
place of everlasting destruction. In this sense it is used by
our Lord in Matt. 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark
9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5. In these passages, and also in James
3:6, the word is uniformly rendered "hell," the Revised Version
placing "Gehenna" in the margin. (See HELL ¯T0001731; HINNOM
any place of public resort, and hence a public place or broad
street (Matt. 11:16; 20:3), as well as a forum or market-place
proper, where goods were exposed for sale, and where public
assemblies and trials were held (Acts 16:19; 17:17). This word
occurs in the Old Testament only in Ezek. 27:13.
In early times markets were held at the gates of cities, where
commodities were exposed for sale (2 Kings 7:18). In large towns
the sale of particular articles seems to have been confined to
certain streets, as we may infer from such expressions as "the
bakers' street" (Jer. 37:21), and from the circumstance that in
the time of Josephus the valley between Mounts Zion and Moriah
was called the Tyropoeon or the "valley of the cheesemakers."
(1.) Heb. 'abel (Judg. 11:33), a "grassy plain" or "meadow."
Instead of "plains of the vineyards," as in the Authorized
Version, the Revised Version has "Abel-cheramim" (q.v.), comp.
Judg. 11:22; 2 Chr. 16:4.
(2.) Heb. 'elon (Gen. 12:6; 13:18; 14:13; 18:1; Deut. 11:30;
Judg. 9:6), more correctly "oak," as in the Revised Version;
(3.) Heb. bik'ah (Gen. 11:2; Neh. 6:2; Ezek. 3:23; Dan. 3:1),
properly a valley, as rendered in Isa. 40:4, a broad plain
between mountains. In Amos 1:5 the margin of Authorized Version
(4.) Heb. kikar, "the circle," used only of the Ghor, or the
low ground along the Jordan (Gen. 13:10-12; 19:17, 25, 28, 29;
Deut. 34:3; 2 Sam. 18:23; 1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chr. 4:17; Neh. 3:22;
12:28), the floor of the valley through which it flows. This
name is applied to the Jordan valley as far north as Succoth.
(5.) Heb. mishor, "level ground," smooth, grassy table-land
(Deut. 3:10; 4:43; Josh. 13:9, 16, 17, 21; 20:8; Jer. 48:21), an
expanse of rolling downs without rock or stone. In these
passages, with the article prefixed, it denotes the plain in the
tribe of Reuben. In 2 Chr. 26:10 the plain of Judah is meant.
Jerusalem is called "the rock of the plain" in Jer. 21:13,
because the hills on which it is built rise high above the
(6.) Heb. 'arabah, the valley from the Sea of Galilee
southward to the Dead Sea (the "sea of the plain," 2 Kings
14:25; Deut. 1:1; 2:8), a distance of about 70 miles. It is
called by the modern Arabs the Ghor. This Hebrew name is found
in Authorized Version (Josh. 18:18), and is uniformly used in
the Revised Version. Down through the centre of this plain is a
ravine, from 200 to 300 yards wide, and from 50 to 100 feet
deep, through which the Jordan flows in a winding course. This
ravine is called the "lower plain."
The name Arabah is also applied to the whole Jordan valley
from Mount Hermon to the eastern branch of the Red Sea, a
distance of about 200 miles, as well as to that portion of the
valley which stretches from the Sea of Galilee to the same
branch of the Red Sea, i.e., to the Gulf of Akabah about 100
miles in all.
(7.) Heb. shephelah, "low ground," "low hill-land," rendered
"vale" or "valley" in Authorized Version (Josh. 9:1; 10:40;
11:2; 12:8; Judg. 1:9; 1 Kings 10:27). In Authorized Version (1
Chr. 27:28; 2 Chr. 26:10) it is also rendered "low country." In
Jer. 17:26, Obad. 1:19, Zech. 7:7, "plain." The Revised Version
renders it uniformly "low land." When it is preceded by the
article, as in Deut. 1:7, Josh. 11:16; 15:33, Jer. 32:44; 33:13,
Zech. 7:7, "the shephelah," it denotes the plain along the
Mediterranean from Joppa to Gaza, "the plain of the
Philistines." (See VALLEY ¯T0003764.)
Salt, Valley of
a place where it is said David smote the Syrians (2 Sam. 8:13).
This valley (the' Arabah) is between Judah and Edom on the south
of the Dead Sea. Hence some interpreters would insert the words,
"and he smote Edom," after the words, "Syrians" in the above
text. It is conjectured that while David was leading his army
against the Ammonites and Syrians, the Edomites invaded the
south of Judah, and that David sent Joab or Abishai against
them, who drove them back and finally subdued Edom. (Comp. title
to Ps. 60.)
Here also Amaziah "slew of Edom ten thousand men" (2 Kings
14:7; comp. 8: 20-22 and 2 Chr. 25:5-11).
the name which the Jews gave in their proper tongue, i.e., in
Aramaic, to the field which was purchased with the money which
had been given to the betrayer of our Lord. The word means
"field of blood." It was previously called "the potter's field"
(Matt. 27:7, 8; Acts 1:19), and was appropriated as the
burial-place for strangers. It lies on a narrow level terrace on
the south face of the valley of Hinnom. Its modern name is Hak
oak. (1.) The expression in the Authorized Version of Josh.
19:33, "from Allon to Zaanannim," is more correctly rendered in
the Revised Version, "from the oak in Zaanannim." The word
denotes some remarkable tree which stood near Zaanannim, and
which served as a landmark.
(2.) The son of Jedaiah, of the family of the Simeonites, who
expelled the Hamites from the valley of Gedor (1 Chr. 4:37).
an architectural term found only in Ezek. 40:16, 21, 22, 26, 29.
There is no absolute proof that the Israelites employed arches
in their buildings. The arch was employed in the building of the
pyramids of Egypt. The oldest existing arch is at Thebes, and
bears the date B.C. 1350. There are also still found the remains
of an arch, known as Robinson's Arch, of the bridge connecting
Zion and Moriah. (See TYROPOEON VALLEY ¯T0003738.)
lord of fortune, or troop of Baal, a Canaanite city in the
valley of Lebanon at the foot of Hermon, hence called
Baal-hermon (Judge. 3:3; 1 Chr. 5:23), near the source of the
Jordan (Josh. 13:5; 11:17; 12:7). It was the most northern point
to which Joshua's conquests extended. It probably derived its
name from the worship of Baal. Its modern representative is
Banias. Some have supposed it to be the same as Baalbec.
lightning. (1.) The residence of Adoni-bezek, in the lot of
Judah (Judg. 1:5). It was in the mountains, not far from
Jerusalem. Probably the modern Bezkah, 6 miles south-east of
(2.) The place where Saul numbered the forces of Israel and
Judah (1 Sam. 11:8); somewhere in the centre of the country,
near the Jordan valley. Probably the modern Ibzik, 13 miles
north-east of Shechem.
a species of lizard which has the faculty of changing the colour
of its skin. It is ranked among the unclean animals in Lev.
11:30, where the Hebrew word so translated is _coah_ (R.V.,
"land crocodile"). In the same verse the Hebrew _tanshemeth_,
rendered in Authorized Version "mole," is in Revised Version
"chameleon," which is the correct rendering. This animal is very
common in Egypt and in the Holy Land, especially in the Jordan
the fortress; a fortified place, a town in the plain (shephelah)
of Judah (Josh. 15:36). This is a very common Canaanite and
Phoenician name. It is the feminine form of Geder (12:13); the
plural form is Gederoth (15:41). This place has by some been
identified with Jedireh, a ruin 9 miles from Lydda, toward
Eleutheropolis, and 4 miles north of Sur'ah (Zorah), in the
valley of Elah.
a stream. (1.) One of the four rivers of Eden (Gen. 2:13). It
has been identified with the Nile. Others regard it as the Oxus,
or the Araxes, or the Ganges. But as, according to the sacred
narrative, all these rivers of Eden took their origin from the
head-waters of the Euphrates and the Trigris, it is probable
that the Gihon is the ancient Araxes, which, under the modern
name of the Arras, discharges itself into the Caspian Sea. It
was the Asiatic and not the African "Cush" which the Gihon
compassed (Gen. 10:7-10). (See EDEN ¯T0001127.)
(2.) The only natural spring of water in or near Jerusalem is
the "Fountain of the Virgin" (q.v.), which rises outside the
city walls on the west bank of the Kidron valley. On the
occasion of the approach of the Assyrian army under Sennacherib,
Hezekiah, in order to prevent the besiegers from finding water,
"stopped the upper water course of Gihon, and brought it
straight down to the west side of the city of David" (2 Chr.
32:30; 33:14). This "fountain" or spring is therefore to be
regarded as the "upper water course of Gihon." From this
"fountain" a tunnel cut through the ridge which forms the south
part of the temple hill conveys the water to the Pool of Siloam,
which lies on the opposite side of this ridge at the head of the
Tyropoeon ("cheesemakers'") valley, or valley of the son of
Hinnom, now filled up by rubbish. The length of this tunnel is
about 1,750 feet. In 1880 an inscription was accidentally
discovered on the wall of the tunnel about nineteen feet from
where it opens into the Pool of Siloam. This inscription was
executed in all probability by Hezekiah's workmen. It briefly
narrates the history of the excavation. It may, however, be
possible that this tunnel was executed in the time of Solomon.
If the "waters of Shiloah that go softly" (Isa. 8:6) refers to
the gentle stream that still flows through the tunnel into the
Pool of Siloam, then this excavation must have existed before
the time of Hezekiah.
In the upper part of the Tyropoeoan valley there are two pools
still existing, the first, called Birket el-Mamilla, to the west
of the Jaffa gate; the second, to the south of the first, called
Birket es-Sultan. It is the opinion of some that the former was
the "upper" and the latter the "lower" Pool of Gihon (2 Kings
18:17; Isa. 7:3; 36:2; 22:9). (See CONDUIT ¯T0000877; SILOAM
= Kedron = Cedron, turbid, the winter torrent which flows
through the Valley of Jehoshaphat, on the eastern side of
Jerusalem, between the city and the Mount of Olives. This valley
is known in Scripture only by the name "the brook Kidron." David
crossed this brook bare-foot and weeping, when fleeing from
Absalom (2 Sam. 15:23, 30), and it was frequently crossed by our
Lord in his journeyings to and fro (John 18:1). Here Asa burned
the obscene idols of his mother (1 Kings 15:13), and here
Athaliah was executed (2 Kings 11:16). It afterwards became the
receptacle for all manner of impurities (2 Chr. 29:16; 30:14);
and in the time of Josiah this valley was the common cemetery of
the city (2 Kings 23:6; comp. Jer. 26:23).
Through this mountain ravine no water runs, except after heavy
rains in the mountains round about Jerusalem. Its length from
its head to en-Rogel is 2 3/4 miles. Its precipitous, rocky
banks are filled with ancient tombs, especially the left bank
opposite the temple area. The greatest desire of the Jews is to
be buried there, from the idea that the Kidron is the "valley of
Jehoshaphat" mentioned in Joel 3:2.
Below en-Rogel the Kidron has no historical or sacred
interest. It runs in a winding course through the wilderness of
Judea to the north-western shore of the Dead Sea. Its whole
length, in a straight line, is only some 20 miles, but in this
space its descent is about 3,912 feet. (See KEDRON ¯T0002166.)
Recent excavations have brought to light the fact that the old
bed of the Kidron is about 40 feet lower than its present bed,
and about 70 feet nearer the sanctuary wall.
city of books, Josh. 15:15; same as Kirjath-sannah (q.v.), now
represented by the valley of ed-Dhaberiyeh, south-west of
Hebron. The name of this town is an evidence that the Canaanites
were acquainted with writing and books. "The town probably
contained a noted school, or was the site of an oracle and the
residence of some learned priest." The "books" were probably
engraved stones or bricks.
Judg. 18:12 = "camp of Dan" 13:25 (R.V., "Mahaneh-dan"), a place
behind (i.e., west of) Kirjath-jearim, where the six hundred
Danites from Zorah and Eshtaol encamped on their way to capture
the city of Laish, which they rebuilt and called "Dan, after the
name of their father" (18:11-31). The Israel Explorers point
to a ruin called 'Erma, situated about 3 miles from the great
corn valley on the east of Samson's home.
distribution, an Ammonitish town (Judg. 11:33) from which wheat
was exported to Tyre (Ezek. 27:17). It was probably somewhere in
the Mishor or table-land on the east of Jordan. There is a
gentle valley running for about 4 miles east of Dhiban called
Kurm Dhiban, "the vineyards of Dibon." Tristram supposes that
this may be the "vineyards" mentioned in Judg. (l.c.).
swift, one of the rivers of Damascus (2 Kings 5:12). It has been
identified with the 'Awaj, "a small lively river." The whole of
the district watered by the 'Awaj is called the Wady el-'Ajam,
i.e., "the valley of the Persians", so called for some unknown
reason. This river empties itself into the lake or marsh Bahret
Hijaneh, on the east of Damascus. One of its branches bears the
modern name of Wady Barbar, which is probably a corruption of
acacias, also called "Abel-shittim" (Num. 33:49), a plain or
valley in the land of Moab where the Israelites were encamped
after their two victories over Sihon and Og, at the close of
their desert wanderings, and from which Joshua sent forth two
spies (q.v.) "secretly" to "view" the land and Jericho (Josh.
(Heb. hazir), regarded as the most unclean and the most abhorred
of all animals (Lev. 11:7; Isa. 65:4; 66:3, 17; Luke 15:15, 16).
A herd of swine were drowned in the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:32,
33). Spoken of figuratively in Matt. 7:6 (see Prov. 11:22). It
is frequently mentioned as a wild animal, and is evidently the
wild boar (Arab. khanzir), which is common among the marshes of
the Jordan valley (Ps. 80:13).
apple-region. (1.) A town in the valley or lowland of Judah;
formerly a royal city of the Canaanites (Josh. 12:17; 15:34). It
is now called Tuffuh, about 12 miles west of Jerusalem.
(2.) A town on the border of Ephraim (Josh. 16:8). The "land"
of Tappuah fell to Manasseh, but the "city" to Ephraim (17:8).
(3.) En-tappuah, the well of the apple, probably one of the
springs near Yassuf (Josh. 17:7).
the splendour of the dawn, a city "in the mount of the valley"
(Josh. 13:19). It is identified with the ruins of Zara, near the
mouth of the Wady Zerka Main, on the eastern shore of the Dead
Sea, some 3 miles south of the Callirrhoe. Of this town but
little remains. "A few broken basaltic columns and pieces of
wall about 200 yards back from the shore, and a ruined fort
rather nearer the sea, about the middle of the coast line of the
plain, are all that are left" (Tristram's Land of Moab).
house of mercy, a reservoir (Gr. kolumbethra, "a swimming bath")
with five porches, close to the sheep-gate or market (Neh. 3:1;
John 5:2). Eusebius the historian (A.D. 330) calls it "the
sheep-pool." It is also called "Bethsaida" and "Beth-zatha"
(John 5:2, R.V. marg.). Under these "porches" or colonnades were
usually a large number of infirm people waiting for the
"troubling of the water." It is usually identified with the
modern so-called Fountain of the Virgin, in the valley of the
Kidron, and not far from the Pool of Siloam (q.v.); and also
with the Birket Israel, a pool near the mouth of the valley
which runs into the Kidron south of "St. Stephen's Gate." Others
again identify it with the twin pools called the "Souterrains,"
under the convent of the Sisters of Zion, situated in what must
have been the rock-hewn ditch between Bezetha and the fortress
of Antonia. But quite recently Schick has discovered a large
tank, as sketched here, situated about 100 feet north-west of
St. Anne's Church, which is, as he contends, very probably the
Pool of Bethesda. No certainty as to its identification,
however, has as yet been arrived at. (See FOUNTAIN ¯T0001378;
something hidden, a town of Benjamin (Ezra 2:27), east of Bethel
and south of Migron, on the road to Jerusalem (Isa. 10:28). It
lay on the line of march of an invading army from the north, on
the north side of the steep and precipitous Wady es-Suweinit
("valley of the little thorn-tree" or "the acacia"), and now
bears the name of Mukhmas. This wady is called "the passage of
Michmash" (1 Sam. 13:23). Immediately facing Mukhmas, on the
opposite side of the ravine, is the modern representative of
Geba, and behind this again are Ramah and Gibeah.
This was the scene of a great battle fought between the army
of Saul and the Philistines, who were utterly routed and pursued
for some 16 miles towards Philistia as far as the valley of
Aijalon. "The freedom of Benjamin secured at Michmash led
through long years of conflict to the freedom of all its kindred
tribes." The power of Benjamin and its king now steadily
increased. A new spirit and a new hope were now at work in
Israel. (See SAUL ¯T0003230.)
=Topheth, from Heb. toph "a drum," because the cries of children
here sacrificed by the priests of Moloch were drowned by the
noise of such an instrument; or from taph or toph, meaning "to
burn," and hence a place of burning, the name of a particular
part in the valley of Hinnom. "Fire being the most destructive
of all elements, is chosen by the sacred writers to symbolize
the agency by which God punishes or destroys the wicked. We are
not to assume from prophetical figures that material fire is the
precise agent to be used. It was not the agency employed in the
destruction of Sennacherib, mentioned in Isa. 30:33...Tophet
properly begins where the Vale of Hinnom bends round to the
east, having the cliffs of Zion on the north, and the Hill of
Evil Counsel on the south. It terminates at Beer 'Ayub, where it
joins the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The cliffs on the southern side
especially abound in ancient tombs. Here the dead carcasses of
beasts and every offal and abomination were cast, and left to be
either devoured by that worm that never died or consumed by that
fire that was never quenched." Thus Tophet came to represent the
place of punishment. (See HINNOM ¯T0001790.)
young men, a place east of Jerusalem (2 Sam. 3:16; 19:16), on
the road to the Jordan valley. Here Shimei resided, who poured
forth vile abuse against David, and flung dust and stones at him
and his party when they were making their way down the eastern
slopes of Olivet toward Jordan (16:5); and here Jonathan and
Ahimaaz hid themselves (17:18).
With the exception of Shimei, Azmaveth, one of David's heroes,
is the only other native of the place who is mentioned (2 Sam.
23:31; 1 Chr. 11:33).
a place on the west of the Sea of Galilee, mentioned only in
Mark 8:10. In the parallel passage it is said that Christ came
"into the borders of Magdala" (Matt. 15:39). It is plain, then,
that Dalmanutha was near Magdala, which was probably the Greek
name of one of the many Migdols (i.e., watch-towers) on the
western side of the lake of Gennesaret. It has been identified
in the ruins of a village about a mile from Magdala, in the
little open valley of 'Ain-el-Barideh, "the cold fountain,"
called el-Mejdel, possibly the "Migdal-el" of Josh. 19:38.
David, City of
(1.) David took from the Jebusites the fortress of Mount Zion.
He "dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David" (1 Chr.
11:7). This was the name afterwards given to the castle and
royal palace on Mount Zion, as distinguished from Jerusalem
generally (1 Kings 3:1; 8:1), It was on the south-west side of
Jerusalem, opposite the temple mount, with which it was
connected by a bridge over the Tyropoeon valley.
(2) Bethlehem is called the "city of David" (Luke 2:4, 11),
because it was David's birth-place and early home (1 Sam.
languishing, a Philistine woman who dwelt in the valley of Sorek
(Judg. 16:4-20). She was bribed by the "lords of the
Philistines" to obtain from Samson the secret of his strength
and the means of overcoming it (Judg. 16:4-18). She tried on
three occasions to obtain from him this secret in vain. On the
fourth occasion she wrung it from him. She made him sleep upon
her knees, and then called the man who was waiting to help her;
who "cut off the seven locks of his head," and so his "strength
went from him." (See SAMSON ¯T0003208.)
valley of vision, Elisha's trusted servant (2 Kings 4:31; 5:25;
8:4, 5). He appears in connection with the history of the
Shunammite (2 Kings 4:14, 31) and of Naaman the Syrian. On this
latter occasion he was guilty of duplicity and dishonesty of
conduct, causing Elisha to denounce his crime with righteous
sternness, and pass on him the terrible doom that the leprosy of
Naaman would cleave to him and his for ever (5:20-27).
He afterwards appeared before king Joram, to whom he recounted
the great deeds of his master (2 Kings 8:1-6).
a region; lodging-place, a very ancient town and district in the
south border of Israel, which was ruled over by a king named
Abimelech (Gen. 10:19; 20:1, 2). Abraham sojourned here, and
perhaps Isaac was born in this place. Both of these patriarchs
were guilty of the sin of here denying their wives, and both of
them entered into a treaty with the king before they departed to
Beersheba (21:23-34; 26). It seems to have been a rich pastoral
country (2 Chr. 14:12-18). Isaac here reaped an hundred-fold,
and was blessed of God (Gen. 26:12). The "valley of Gerar" (Gen.
26:17) was probably the modern Wady el-Jerdr.
Jezreel, Fountain of
where Saul encamped before the battle of Gilboa (1 Sam. 29:1).
In the valley under Zerin there are two considerable springs,
one of which, perhaps that here referred to, "flows from under a
sort of cavern in the wall of conglomerate rock which here forms
the base of Gilboa. The water is excellent; and issuing from
crevices in the rocks, it spreads out at once into a fine limpid
pool forty or fifty feet in diameter, full of fish" (Robinson).
This may be identical with the "well of Harod" (Judg. 7:1; comp.
2 Sam. 23:25), probably the 'Ain Jalud, i.e., the "spring of
reedy; brook of reeds. (1.) A stream forming the boundary
between Ephraim and Manasseh, from the Mediterranean eastward to
Tappuah (Josh. 16:8). It has been identified with the sedgy
streams that constitute the Wady Talaik, which enters the sea
between Joppa and Caesarea. Others identify it with the river'
(2.) A town in the north of Asher (Josh. 19:28). It has been
identified with 'Ain-Kana, a village on the brow of a valley
some 7 miles south-east of Tyre. About a mile north of this
place are many colossal ruins strown about. And in the side of a
neighbouring ravine are figures of men, women, and children cut
in the face of the rock. These are supposed to be of Phoenician