a city of the kingdom of Israel (2 Chr. 13:19).
Orientals, the name of a Canaanitish tribe which inhabited the
north-eastern part of Israel in the time of Abraham (Gen.
15:19). Probably they were identical with the "children of the
east," who inhabited the country between Israel and the
an answer; i.e., to "prayer", the father of Shamgar, who was one
of the judges of Israel (Judg. 3:31).
illustrious, the tenth judge of Israel (Judg. 12:8-10). He ruled
sight; aspect, the father of Jeroboam, the king of Israel (1
Kings 11:26, etc.).
(Acts 5:21), the "elders of Israel" who formed a component part
of the Sanhedrin.
brightness, one of the stations where Israel encamped in the
wilderness (Num. 33:23, 24).
sweet odour, a city on the northern border of Israel (Num.
34:9), south-east of Hamath.
ascent of the scorpions; i.e., "scorpion-hill", a pass on the
south-eastern border of Israel (Num. 34:4; Josh. 15:3). It is
identified with the pass of Sufah, entering Israel from the
great Wady el-Fikreh, south of the Dead Sea. (See AKRABBIM
a general name for the countries that lay north of Israel.
Most of the invading armies entered Israel from the north
(Isa. 41:25; Jer. 1:14,15; 50:3,9,41; 51:48; Ezek. 26:7).
(Heb. holedh), enumerated among unclean animals (Lev. 11:29).
Some think that this Hebrew word rather denotes the mole (Spalax
typhlus) common in Israel. There is no sufficient reason,
however, to depart from the usual translation. The weasel tribe
are common also in Israel.
=Israel (q.v.), "the land of the Philistines" (Ps. 60:8;
87:4; 108:9). The word is supposed to mean "the land of
wanderers" or "of strangers."
prince of darkness, one of the gods of the Arvites, who
colonized part of Samaria after the deportation of Israel by
Shalmaneser (2 Kings 17:31).
(R.V. marg. of Deut. 11:30, etc.), the Pistacia terebinthus of
botanists; a tree very common in the south and east of
Israel. (See OAK ¯T0002758.)
rock of the Almighty, the father of Shelumiel, who was chief of
the tribe of Simeon when Israel was encamped at Sinai (Num. 1:6;
the name conferred on Jacob after the great prayer-struggle at
Peniel (Gen. 32:28), because "as a prince he had power with God
and prevailed." (See JACOB ¯T0001945.) This is the common name
given to Jacob's descendants. The whole people of the twelve
tribes are called "Israelites," the "children of Israel" (Josh.
3:17; 7:25; Judg. 8:27; Jer. 3:21), and the "house of Israel"
(Ex. 16:31; 40:38).
This name Israel is sometimes used emphatically for the true
Israel (Ps. 73:1: Isa. 45:17; 49:3; John 1:47; Rom. 9:6; 11:26).
After the death of Saul the ten tribes arrogated to themselves
this name, as if they were the whole nation (2 Sam. 2:9, 10, 17,
28; 3:10, 17; 19:40-43), and the kings of the ten tribes were
called "kings of Israel," while the kings of the two tribes were
called "kings of Judah."
After the Exile the name Israel was assumed as designating the
salvation, the son of Beeri, and author of the book of
prophecies bearing his name. He belonged to the kingdom of
Israel. "His Israelitish origin is attested by the peculiar,
rough, Aramaizing diction, pointing to the northern part of
Israel; by the intimate acquaintance he evinces with the
localities of Ephraim (5:1; 6:8, 9; 12:12; 14:6, etc.); by
passages like 1:2, where the kingdom is styled 'the land', and
7:5, where the Israelitish king is designated as 'our' king."
The period of his ministry (extending to some sixty years) is
indicated in the superscription (Hos. 1:1, 2). He is the only
prophet of Israel who has left any written prophecy.
fascination, a royal city of the Canaanites, in the north of
Israel (Josh. 11:1; 12:20; 19:25). It was in the eastern
boundary of the tribe of Asher, and is identified with the
modern ruined village of Kesaf or Yasif, N.E. of Accho.
(Adoram, 1 Kings 12:18), the son of Abda, was "over the
tribute," i.e., the levy or forced labour. He was stoned to
death by the people of Israel (1 Kings 4:6; 5:14)
my people, a name given by Jehovah to the people of Israel (Hos.
2:1, 23. Comp. 1:9; Ezek. 16:8; Rom. 9:25, 26; 1 Pet. 2:10).
one of the judges of Israel (1 Sam. 12:11). It is uncertain who
he was. Some suppose that Barak is meant, others Samson, but
most probably this is a contracted form of Abdon (Judg. 12:13).
well of heroes, probably the name given to Beer, the place where
the chiefs of Israel dug a well (Num. 21:16; Isa. 15:8).
hail. (1.) A town in the south of Israel (Gen. 16:14), in the
desert of Shur, near Lahai-roi.
(2.) A son of Shuthelah, and grandson of Ephraim (1 Chr.
fortified, a people descended from Mizraim (Gen. 10:14; 1 Chr.
1:12). Their original seat was probably somewhere in Lower
Egypt, along the sea-coast to the south border of Israel.
a harbour (Ps. 107:30; Acts 27: 12). The most famous on the
coast of Israel was that of Tyre (Ezek. 27:3). That of Crete,
called "Fair Havens," is mentioned Acts 27:8.
village of Addar, a place in the southern boundary of Israel
(Num. 34:4), in the desert to the west of Kadesh-barnea. It is
called Adar in Josh. 15:3.
common in later times among the Jews in Israel (Matt. 23:37;
Luke 13:34). It is noticeable that this familiar bird is only
mentioned in these passages in connection with our Lord's
lamentation over the impenitence of Jerusalem.
wrapped up, a place on the north border of Israel. The "way
of Hethlon" (Ezek. 47:15; 48:1) is probably the pass at the end
of Lebanon from the Mediterranean to the great plain of Hamath
(q.v.), or the "entrance of Hamath."
dry. (1.) For Jabesh-Gilead (1 Sam. 11:3,9,10).
(2.) The father of Shallum (2 Kings 15:10, 13, 14), who
usurped the throne of Israel on the death of Zachariah.
a poetical name for the people of Israel, used in token of
affection, meaning, "the dear upright people" (Deut. 32:15;
33:5, 26; Isa. 44:2).
=Jeho'ram. (1.) One of the kings of Israel (2 Kings 8:16, 25,
28). He was the son of Ahab.
(2.) Jehoram, the son and successor of Jehoshaphat on the
throne of Judah (2 Kings 8:24).
strife, a Canaanitish city in the north of Israel (Josh.
11:1; 12:19), whose king was slain by Joshua; perhaps the ruin
Madin, near Hattin, some 5 miles west of Tiberias.
a cave, a place in the northern boundary of Israel (Josh.
13:4). This may be the cave of Jezzin in Lebanon, 10 miles east
of Sidon, on the Damascus road; or probably, as others think,
Mogheirizeh, north-east of Sidon.
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.
Uz, The land of
where Job lived (1:1; Jer. 25:20; Lam. 4:21), probably somewhere
to the east or south-east of Israel and north of Edom. It is
mentioned in Scripture only in these three passages.
side; sloping place, a town in the north of Israel, near
Hamath (Num. 34:8; Ezek. 47:15). It has been identified with the
ruins of Sudud, between Emesa (Hums) and Baalbec, but that is
probably a poetic or prolonged name of the land of Cush, the
Arabian Cush (Hab. 3:7). Some have, however, supposed this to be
the same as Chushan-rishathaim (Judg. 3:8, 10), i.e., taking the
latter part of the name as a title or local appellation, Chushan
"of the two iniquities" (= oppressing Israel, and provoking them
to idolatry), a Mesopotamian king, identified by Rawlinson with
Asshur-ris-ilim (the father of Tiglathpileser I.); but
incorrectly, for the empire of Assyria was not yet founded. He
held Israel in bondage for eight years.
with Baal, a king of Sidon (B.C. 940-908), father of Jezebel,
who was the wife of Ahab (1 Kings 16:31). He is said to have
been also a priest of Astarte, whose worship was closely allied
to that of Baal, and this may account for his daughter's zeal in
promoting idolatry in Israel. This marriage of Ahab was most
fatal to both Israel and Judah. Dido, the founder of Carthage,
was his granddaughter.
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
After the Captivity this name was applied to the whole of the
country west of the Jordan (Hag. 1:1, 14; 2:2). But under the
Romans, in the time of Christ, it denoted the southernmost of
the three divisions of Israel (Matt. 2:1, 5; 3:1; 4:25),
although it was also sometimes used for Israel generally
The province of Judea, as distinguished from Galilee and
Samaria, included the territories of the tribes of Judah,
Benjamin, Dan, Simeon, and part of Ephraim. Under the Romans it
was a part of the province of Syria, and was governed by a
conforting, the son of Gadi, and successor of Shallum, king of
Israel, whom he slew. After a reign of about ten years (B.C.
771-760) he died, leaving the throne to his son Pekahiah. His
reign was one of cruelty and oppression (2 Kings 15:14-22).
During his reign, Pul (q.v.), king of Assyria, came with a
powerful force against Israel, but was induced to retire by a
gift from Menahem of 1,000 talents of silver.
prince, son of Eliadah. Abandoning the service of Hadadezer, the
king of Zobah, on the occasion of his being defeated by David,
he became the "captain over a band" of marauders, and took
Damascus, and became king of Syria (1 Kings 11:23-25; 2 Sam.
8:3-8). For centuries after this the Syrians were the foes of
Israel. He "became an adversary to Israel all the days of
a collection of families descending from one ancestor. The
"twelve tribes" of the Hebrews were the twelve collections of
families which sprang from the sons of Jacob. In Matt. 24:30 the
word has a wider significance. The tribes of Israel are referred
to as types of the spiritual family of God (Rev. 7). (See
ISRAEL, KINGDOM OF ¯T0001909; JUDAH, KINGDOM OF ¯T0002126.)
In a prophecy concerning our Lord, Isaiah (7:14) says, "A virgin
[R.V. marg., 'the virgin'] shall conceive, and bear a son"
(comp. Luke 1:31-35). The people of the land of Zidon are thus
referred to by Isaiah (23:12), "O thou oppressed virgin,
daughter of Zidon;" and of the people of Israel, Jeremiah
(18:13) says, "The virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible
herdsman's place, one of the royal cities of the Canaanites
(Josh. 12:16), near which was a cave where the five kings who
had confederated against Israel sought refuge (10:10-29). They
were put to death by Joshua, who afterwards suspended their
bodies upon five trees. It has been identified with the modern
village called Sumeil, standing on a low hill about 7 miles to
the north-west of Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin), where are
ancient remains and a great cave. The Israel Exploration
surveyors have, however, identified it with el-Mughar, or "the
caves," 3 miles from Jabneh and 2 1/2 southwest of Ekron,
because, they say, "at this site only of all possible sites for
Makkedah in the Israel plain do caves still exist." (See
oak of weeping, a tree near Bethel, at the spot where Deborah,
Rebekah's nurse, was buried (Gen. 35:8). Large trees, from their
rarity in the plains of Israel, were frequently designated as
landmarks. This particular tree was probably the same as the
"palm tree of Deborah" (Judg. 4:5).
place of a multitude, a place where Solomon had an extensive
vineyard (Cant. 8:11). It has been supposed to be identical with
Baal-gad, and also with Hammon in the tribe of Asher (Josh.
19:28). Others identify it with Belamon, in Central Israel,
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."
of Israel in Egypt (Ex. 2:23, 25; 5), which is called the "house
of bondage" (13:3; 20:2). This word is used also with reference
to the captivity in Babylon (Isa. 14:3), and the oppression of
the Persian king (Ezra 9:8, 9).
vine-dresser. (1.) The last named of the four sons of Reuben
(2.) A descendant of Judah (1 Chr. 4:1). He is elsewhere
(2:18) called Caleb (q.v.).
(3.) The son of Zimri, and the father of Achan (Josh. 7:1),
"the troubler of Israel."
The Christians in Israel, from various causes, suffered from
poverty. Paul awakened an interest in them among the Gentile
churches, and made pecuniary collections in their behalf (Acts
24:17; Rom. 15:25, 26; 1 Cor. 16:1-3; 2 Cor. 8:9; Gal. 2:10).
Consolation of Israel
a name for the Messiah in common use among the Jews, probably
suggested by Isa. 12:1; 49:13. The Greek word thus rendered
(Luke 2:25, paraklesis) is kindred to that translated
"Comforter" in John 14:16, etc., parakletos.
the fruit of a species of palm (q.v.), the Phoenix dactilifera.
This was a common tree in Israel (Joel 1:12; Neh. 8:15). Palm
branches were carried by the Jews on festive occasions, and
especially at the feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:40; Neh. 8:15).
From the middle of May to about the middle of August the land of
Israel is dry. It is then the "drought of summer" (Gen.
31:40; Ps. 32:4), and the land suffers (Deut. 28:23: Ps. 102:4),
vegetation being preserved only by the dews (Hag. 1:11). (See
mighty one; God of Israel, the name which Jacob gave to the
alter which he erected on the piece of land where he pitched his
tent before Shechem, and which he afterwards purchased from the
sons of Hamor (Gen. 33:20).
Hos. 4:13; rendered "terebinth" in the Revised Version. It is
the Pistacia terebinthus of Linn., a tree common in Israel,
long-lived, and therefore often employed for landmarks and in
designating places (Gen. 35:4; Judg. 6:11, 19. Rendered "oak" in
both A.V. and R.V.). (See TEIL TREE ¯T0003597.)
or Gashmu, firmness, probably chief of the Arabs south of
Israel, one of the enemies of the Jews after the return from
Babylon (Neh. 2:19; 6:1, 2). He united with Sanballat and Tobiah
in opposing the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem.
a native of the Philistine city of Gath (Josh. 13:3). Obed-edom,
in whose house the ark was placed, is so designated (2 Sam.
6:10). Six hundred Gittites came with David from Gath into
Israel (15:18, 19).
Hellenists, Greek-Jews; Jews born in a foreign country, and thus
did not speak Hebrew (Acts 6:1; 9:29), nor join in the Hebrew
services of the Jews in Israel, but had synagogues of their
own in Jerusalem. Joel 3:6 =Greeks.
a district in the north-east of Israel, forming, along with
the adjacent territory of Trachonitis, the tetrarchy of Philip
(Luke 3:1). The present Jedur comprehends the chief part of
Ituraea. It is bounded on the east by Trachonitis, on the south
by Gaulanitis, on the west by Hermon, and on the north by the
plain of Damascus.
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).
Jehovah-swearing, the daughter of Jehoram, the king of Israel.
She is called Jehoshabeath in 2 Chr. 22:11. She was the only
princess of the royal house who was married to a high priest,
Jehoiada (2 Chr. 22:11).
Jehovah my banner, the title given by Moses to the altar which
he erected on the hill on the top of which he stood with
uplifted hands while Israel prevailed over their enemies the
Amalekites (Ex. 17:15).
The Israelites in the wilderness longed for the "onions and
garlick of Egypt" (Num. 11:5). This was the _betsel_ of the
Hebrews, the Allium cepe of botanists, of which it is said that
there are some thirty or forty species now growing in Israel.
The onion is "the 'undivided' leek, _unio_, _unus_, one."
the Lord opened his eyes, the son and successor of Menahem on
the throne of Israel. He was murdered in the royal palace of
Samaria by Pekah, one of the captains of his army (2 Kings
15:23-26), after a reign of two years (B.C. 761-759). He "did
that which was evil in the sight of the Lord."
a garden herb (Ruta graveolens) which the Pharisees were careful
to tithe (Luke 11:42), neglecting weightier matters. It is
omitted in the parallel passage of Matt. 23:23. There are
several species growing wild in Israel. It is used for
medicinal and culinary purposes. It has a powerful scent, and is
a stimulant. (See MINT ¯T0002560.)
Ex. 25:30 (R.V. marg., "presence bread"); 1 Chr. 9:32 (marg.,
"bread of ordering"); Num. 4:7: called "hallowed bread" (R.V.,
"holy bread") in 1 Sam. 21:1-6.
This bread consisted of twelve loaves made of the finest
flour. They were flat and thin, and were placed in two rows of
six each on a table in the holy place before the Lord. They were
renewed every Sabbath (Lev. 24:5-9), and those that were removed
to give place to the new ones were to be eaten by the priests
only in the holy place (see 1 Sam. 21:3-6; comp. Matt. 12:3, 4).
The number of the loaves represented the twelve tribes of
Israel, and also the entire spiritual Israel, "the true Israel;"
and the placing of them on the table symbolized the entire
consecration of Israel to the Lord, and their acceptance of God
as their God. The table for the bread was made of acacia wood, 3
feet long, 18 inches broad, and 2 feet 3 inches high. It was
plated with pure gold. Two staves, plated with gold, passed
through golden rings, were used for carrying it.
Heb. nechoth, identified with the Arabic naka'at, the gum
tragacanth, obtained from the astralagus, of which there are
about twenty species found in Israel. The tragacanth of
commerce is obtained from the A. tragacantha. "The gum exudes
plentifully under the heat of the sun on the leaves, thorns, and
exteremity of the twigs."
the bearded darnel, mentioned only in Matt. 13:25-30. It is the
Lolium temulentum, a species of rye-grass, the seeds of which
are a strong soporific poison. It bears the closest resemblance
to wheat till the ear appears, and only then the difference is
discovered. It grows plentifully in Syria and Israel.
building of Jehovah, the son of Ginath, a man of some position,
whom a considerable number of the people chose as monarch. For
the period of four years he contended for the throne with Omri
(1 Kings 16:21, 22), who at length gained the mastery, and
became sole monarch of Israel.
a scarlet worm. (1.) Eldest son of Issachar (Gen. 46:13).
(2.) A judge of the tribe of Issachar who "judged" Israel
twenty-three years (Judg. 10:1, 2), when he died, and was buried
in Shamir. He was succeeded by Jair.
one of the most important products of Israel. The first
mention of it is in the history of Noah (Gen. 9:20). It is
afterwards frequently noticed both in the Old and New
Testaments, and in the ruins of terraced vineyards there are
evidences that it was extensively cultivated by the Jews. It was
cultivated in Israel before the Israelites took possession of
it. The men sent out by Moses brought with them from the Valley
of Eshcol a cluster of grapes so large that "they bare it
between two upon a staff" (Num. 13: 23). The vineyards of
En-gedi (Cant. 1:14), Heshbon, Sibmah, Jazer, Elealeh (Isa.
16:8-10; Jer. 48:32, 34), and Helbon (Ezek. 27:18), as well as
of Eshcol, were celebrated.
The Church is compared to a vine (Ps. 80:8), and Christ says
of himself, "I am the vine" (John 15:1). In one of his parables
also (Matt. 21:33) our Lord compares his Church to a vineyard
which "a certain householder planted, and hedged round about,"
Hos. 10:1 is rendered in the Revised Version, "Israel is a
luxuriant vine, which putteth forth his fruit," instead of
"Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself,"
of the Authorized Version.
Zophim, Field of
field of watchers, a place in Moab on the range of Pisgah (Num.
23:14). To this place Balak brought Balaam, that he might from
thence curse the children of Israel. Balaam could only speak the
word of the Lord, and that was blessing. It is the modern
Tal'at-es-Safa. (See PISGAH ¯T0002962.)
(1) of love (Hos. 11:4); (2) of Christ (Ps. 2:3); (3) uniting
together Christ's body the church (Col. 2:19; 3:14; Eph. 4:3);
(4) the emblem of the captivity of Israel (Ezek. 34:27; Isa.
28:22; 52:2); (5) of brotherhood (Ezek. 37:15-28); (6) no bands
to the wicked in their death (Ps. 73:4; Job 21:7; Ps. 10:6).
Also denotes chains (Luke 8:29); companies of soldiers (Acts
21:31); a shepherd's staff, indicating the union between Judah
and Israel (Zech. 11:7).
the standing title of the Syrian kings, meaning "the son of
Hadad." (See HADADEZER ¯T0001569.)
(1.) The king of Syria whom Asa, king of Judah, employed to
invade Israel (1 Kings 15:18).
(2.) Son of the preceding, also king of Syria. He was long
engaged in war against Israel. He was murdered probably by
Hazael, by whom he was succeeded (2 Kings 8:7-15), after a reign
of some thirty years.
(3.) King of Damascus, and successor of his father Hazael on
the throne of Syria (2 Kings 13:3, 4). His misfortunes in war
are noticed by Amos (1:4).
(1.) Hebrew _atad_, Judg. 9:14; rendered "thorn," Ps. 58:9. The
LXX. and Vulgate render by rhamnus, a thorny shrub common in
Israel, resembling the hawthorn.
(2.) Hebrew _hoah_, Isa. 34:13 (R.V. "thistles"); "thickets"
in 1 Sam. 13:6; "thistles" in 2 Kings 14:9, 2 Chr. 25:18, Job
31:40; "thorns" in 2 Chr. 33:11, Cant. 2:2, Hos. 9:6. The word
may be regarded as denoting the common thistle, of which there
are many species which encumber the corn-fields of Israel.
(See THORNS ¯T0003642.)
a scarcity of provisions (1 Kings 17). There were frequent
dearths in Israel. In the days of Abram there was a "famine
in the land" (Gen. 12:10), so also in the days of Jacob (47:4,
13). We read also of dearths in the time of the judges (Ruth
1:1), and of the kings (2 Sam. 21:1; 1 Kings 18:2; 2 Kings 4:38;
In New Testament times there was an extensive famine in
Israel (Acts 11:28) in the fourth year of the reign of the
emperor Claudius (A.D. 44 and 45).
the central mountainous district of Israel occupied by the
tribe of Ephraim (Josh. 17:15; 19:50; 20:7), extending from
Bethel to the plain of Jezreel. In Joshua's time (Josh. 17:18)
these hills were densely wooded. They were intersected by
well-watered, fertile valleys, referred to in Jer. 50:19. Joshua
was buried at Timnath-heres among the mountains of Ephraim, on
the north side of the hill of Gaash (Judg. 2:9). This region is
also called the "mountains of Israel" (Josh. 11:21) and the
"mountains of Samaria" (Jer. 31:5, 6: Amos 3:9).
David at the cave of Adullam thus addressed his persecutor Saul
(1 Sam. 24:14): "After whom is the king of Israel come out?
after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea?" He
thus speaks of himself as the poor, contemptible object of the
monarch's pursuit, a "worthy object truly for an expedition of
the king of Israel with his picked troops!" This insect is in
Eastern language the popular emblem of insignificance. In 1 Sam.
26:20 the LXX. read "come out to seek my life" instead of "to
seek a flea."
Very few species of flowers are mentioned in the Bible although
they abounded in Israel. It has been calculated that in
Western Syria and Israel from two thousand to two thousand
five hundred plants are found, of which about five hundred
probably are British wild-flowers. Their beauty is often alluded
to (Cant. 2:12; Matt. 6:28). They are referred to as affording
an emblem of the transitory nature of human life (Job 14:2; Ps.
103:15; Isa. 28:1; 40:6; James 1:10). Gardens containing flowers
and fragrant herbs are spoken of (Cant. 4:16; 6:2).
Harosheth of the Gentiles
(Judg. 4:2) or nations, a city near Hazor in Galilee of the
Gentiles, or Upper Galilee, in the north of Israel. It was
here that Jabin's great army was marshalled before it went forth
into the great battlefield of Esdraelon to encounter the army of
Israel, by which it was routed and put to flight (Judg. 4). It
was situated "at the entrance of the pass to Esdraelon from the
plain of Acre" at the base of Carmel. The name in the Hebrew is
_Harosheth ha Gojim_, i.e., "the smithy of the nations;"
probably, as is supposed, so called because here Jabin's iron
war-chariots, armed with scythes, were made. It is identified
(Heb. netz, a word expressive of strong and rapid flight, and
hence appropriate to the hawk). It is an unclean bird (Lev.
11:16; Deut. 14:15). It is common in Syria and surrounding
countries. The Hebrew word includes various species of
Falconidae, with special reference perhaps to the kestrel (Falco
tinnunculus), the hobby (Hypotriorchis subbuteo), and the lesser
kestrel (Tin, Cenchris). The kestrel remains all the year in
Israel, but some ten or twelve other species are all migrants
from the south. Of those summer visitors to Israel special
mention may be made of the Falco sacer and the Falco lanarius.
(See NIGHT-HAWK ¯T0002729.)
one of the original tribes scattered over Israel, from Hermon
to Gibeon in the south. The name is interpreted as "midlanders"
or "villagers" (Gen. 10:17; 1 Chr. 1:15). They were probably a
branch of the Hittites. At the time of Jacob's return to Canaan,
Hamor the Hivite was the "prince of the land" (Gen. 24:2-28).
They are next mentioned during the Conquest (Josh. 9:7;
11:19). They principally inhabited the northern confines of
Western Israel (Josh. 11:3; Judg. 3:3). A remnant of them
still existed in the time of Solomon (1 Kings 9:20).
Many varieties of the rose proper are indigenous to Syria. The
famed rose of Damascus is white, but there are also red and
yellow roses. In Cant. 2:1 and Isa. 35:1 the Hebrew word
_habatstseleth_ (found only in these passages), rendered "rose"
(R.V. marg., "autumn crocus"), is supposed by some to mean the
oleander, by others the sweet-scented narcissus (a native of
Israel), the tulip, or the daisy; but nothing definite can be
affirmed regarding it.
The "rose of Sharon" is probably the cistus or rock-rose,
several species of which abound in Israel. "Mount Carmel
especially abounds in the cistus, which in April covers some of
the barer parts of the mountain with a glow not inferior to that
of the Scottish heather." (See MYRRH ¯T0002632 .)
ascent, the high priest when the ark was at Shiloh (1 Sam. 1:3,
9). He was the first of the line of Ithamar, Aaron's fourth son
(1 Chr. 24:3; comp. 2 Sam. 8:17), who held that office. The
office remained in his family till the time of Abiathar (1 Kings
2:26, 27), whom Solomon deposed, and appointed Zadok, of the
family of Eleazar, in his stead (35). He acted also as a civil
judge in Israel after the death of Samson (1 Sam. 4:18), and
judged Israel for forty years.
His sons Hophni and Phinehas grossly misconducted themselves,
to the great disgust of the people (1 Sam. 2:27-36). They were
licentious reprobates. He failed to reprove them so sternly as
he ought to have done, and so brought upon his house the
judgment of God (2:22-33; 3:18). The Israelites proclaimed war
against the Philistines, whose army was encamped at Aphek. The
battle, fought a short way beyond Mizpeh, ended in the total
defeat of Israel. Four thousand of them fell in "battle array".
They now sought safety in having the "ark of the covenant of the
Lord" among them. They fetched it from Shiloh, and Hophni and
Phinehas accompanied it. This was the first time since the
settlement of Israel in Canaan that the ark had been removed
from the sanctuary. The Philistines put themselves again in
array against Israel, and in the battle which ensued "Israel was
smitten, and there was a very great slaughter." The tidings of
this great disaster were speedily conveyed to Shiloh, about 20
miles distant, by a messenger, a Benjamite from the army. There
Eli sat outside the gate of the sanctuary by the wayside,
anxiously waiting for tidings from the battle-field. The full
extent of the national calamity was speedily made known to him:
"Israel is fled before the Philistines, there has also been a
great slaughter among the people, thy two sons Hophni and
Phinehas are dead, and the ark of God is taken" (1 Sam.
4:12-18). When the old man, whose eyes were "stiffened" (i.e.,
fixed, as of a blind eye unaffected by the light) with age,
heard this sad story of woe, he fell backward from off his seat
and died, being ninety and eight years old. (See ITHAMAR
Eli, Heb. eli, "my God", (Matt. 27:46), an exclamation used by
Christ on the cross. Mark (15:34), as usual, gives the original
Aramaic form of the word, Eloi.
Naphtali, Tribe of
On this tribe Jacob pronounced the patriarchal blessing,
"Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words" (Gen.
49:21). It was intended thus to set forth under poetic imagery
the future character and history of the tribe.
At the time of the Exodus this tribe numbered 53,400 adult
males (Num. 1:43), but at the close of the wanderings they
numbered only 45,400 (26:48-50). Along with Dan and Asher they
formed "the camp of Dan," under a common standard (2:25-31),
occupying a place during the march on the north side of the
The possession assigned to this tribe is set forth in Josh.
19:32-39. It lay in the north-eastern corner of the land,
bounded on the east by the Jordan and the lakes of Merom and
Galilee, and on the north it extended far into Coele-Syria, the
valley between the two Lebanon ranges. It comprehended a greater
variety of rich and beautiful scenery and of soil and climate
than fell to the lot of any other tribe. The territory of
Naphtali extended to about 800 square miles, being the double of
that of Issachar. The region around Kedesh, one of its towns,
was originally called Galil, a name afterwards given to the
whole northern division of Canaan. A large number of foreigners
settled here among the mountains, and hence it was called
"Galilee of the Gentiles" (q.v.), Matt. 4:15, 16. The southern
portion of Naphtali has been called the "Garden of Israel."
It was of unrivalled fertility. It was the principal scene of
our Lord's public ministry. Here most of his parables were
spoken and his miracles wrought.
This tribe was the first to suffer from the invasion of
Benhadad, king of Syria, in the reigns of Baasha, king of
Israel, and Asa, king of Judah (1 Kings 15:20; 2 Chr. 16:4). In
the reign of Pekah, king of Israel, the Assyrians under
Tiglath-pileser swept over the whole north of Israel, and
carried the people into captivity (2 Kings 15:29). Thus the
kingdom of Israel came to an end (B.C. 722).
Naphtali is now almost wholly a desert, the towns of Tiberias,
on the shore of the Lake of Galilee, and Safed being the only
places in it of any importance.
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
(Heb. shu'al, a name derived from its digging or burrowing under
ground), the Vulpes thaleb, or Syrian fox, the only species of
this animal indigenous to Israel. It burrows, is silent and
solitary in its habits, is destructive to vineyards, being a
plunderer of ripe grapes (Cant. 2:15). The Vulpes Niloticus, or
Egyptian dog-fox, and the Vulpes vulgaris, or common fox, are
also found in Israel.
The proverbial cunning of the fox is alluded to in Ezek. 13:4,
and in Luke 13:32, where our Lord calls Herod "that fox." In
Judg. 15:4, 5, the reference is in all probability to the
jackal. The Hebrew word _shu'al_ through the Persian _schagal_
becomes our jackal (Canis aureus), so that the word may bear
that signification here. The reasons for preferring the
rendering "jackal" are (1) that it is more easily caught than
the fox; (2) that the fox is shy and suspicious, and flies
mankind, while the jackal does not; and (3) that foxes are
difficult, jackals comparatively easy, to treat in the way here
described. Jackals hunt in large numbers, and are still very
numerous in Southern Israel.
whom God beholds, an officer of Ben-hadad II., king of Syria,
who ultimately came to the throne, according to the word of the
Lord to Elijah (1 Kings 19:15), after he had put the king to
death (2 Kings 8:15). His interview with Elisha is mentioned in
2 Kings 8. The Assyrians soon after his accession to the throne
came against him and defeated him with very great loss; and
three years afterwards again invaded Syria, but on this occasion
Hazael submitted to them. He then turned his arms against
Israel, and ravaged "all the land of Gilead," etc. (2 Kings
10:33), which he held in a degree of subjection to him (13:3-7,
22). He aimed at the subjugation also of the kingdom of Judah,
when Joash obtained peace by giving him "all the gold that was
found in the treasures of the house of the Lord, and in the
king's house" (2 Kings 12:18; 2 Chr. 24:24). He reigned about
forty-six years (B.C.886-840), and was succeeded on the throne
by his son Ben-hadad (2 Kings 13:22-25), who on several
occasions was defeated by Jehoash, the king of Israel, and
compelled to restore all the land of Israel his father had
built fortress, a city and fortress of Moab, the modern Kerak, a
small town on the brow of a steep hill about 6 miles from
Rabbath-Moab and 10 miles from the Dead Sea; called also
Kir-haresh, Kir-hareseth, Kir-heres (Isa. 16:7, 11; Jer. 48:31,
36). After the death of Ahab, Mesha, king of Moab (see MOABITE
STONE ¯T0002586), threw off allegiance to the king of Israel,
and fought successfully for the independence of his kingdom.
After this Jehoram, king of Israel, in seeking to regain his
supremacy over Moab, entered into an alliance with Jehoshaphat,
king of Judah, and with the king of Edom. The three kings led
their armies against Mesha, who was driven back to seek refuge
in Kir-haraseth. The Moabites were driven to despair. Mesha then
took his eldest son, who would have reigned in his stead, and
offered him as a burnt-offering on the wall of the fortress in
the sight of the allied armies. "There was great indignation
against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to
their own land." The invaders evacuated the land of Moab, and
Mesha achieved the independence of his country (2 Kings
winding, a winter torrent of Central Israel, which rises
about the roots of Tabor and Gilboa, and passing in a northerly
direction through the plains of Esdraelon and Acre, falls into
the Mediterranean at the north-eastern corner of the bay of
Acre, at the foot of Carmel. It is the drain by which the waters
of the plain of Esdraelon and of the mountains that surround it
find their way to the sea. It bears the modern name of Nahr
el-Mokattah, i.e., "the river of slaughter" (comp. 1 Kings
18:40). In the triumphal song of Deborah (Judg. 5:21) it is
spoken of as "that ancient river," either (1) because it had
flowed on for ages, or (2), according to the Targum, because it
was "the torrent in which were shown signs and wonders to Israel
of old;" or (3) probably the reference is to the exploits in
that region among the ancient Canaanites, for the adjoining
plain of Esdraelon was the great battle-field of Israel.
This was the scene of the defeat of Sisera (Judg. 4:7, 13),
and of the destruction of the prophets of Baal by Elijah (1
Kings 18:40). "When the Kishon was at its height, it would be,
partly on account of its quicksands, as impassable as the ocean
itself to a retreating army." (See DEBORAH ¯T0000996.)
Obadiah, Book of
consists of one chapter, "concerning Edom," its impending doom
(1:1-16), and the restoration of Israel (1:17-21). This is the
shortest book of the Old Testament.
There are on record the account of four captures of Jerusalem,
(1) by Shishak in the reign of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:25); (2) by
the Philistines and Arabians in the reign of Jehoram (2 Chr.
21:16); (3) by Joash, the king of Israel, in the reign of
Amaziah (2 Kings 14:13); and (4) by the Babylonians, when
Jerusalem was taken and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (B.C. 586).
Obadiah (1:11-14) speaks of this capture as a thing past. He
sees the calamity as having already come on Jerusalem, and the
Edomites as joining their forces with those of the Chaldeans in
bringing about the degradation and ruin of Israel. We do not
indeed read that the Edomites actually took part with the
Chaldeans, but the probabilities are that they did so, and this
explains the words of Obadiah in denouncing against Edom the
judgments of God. The date of his prophecies was thus in or
about the year of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Edom is the type of Israel's and of God's last foe (Isa.
63:1-4). These will finally all be vanquished, and the kingdom
will be the Lord's (comp. Ps. 22:28).
(Heb. tamar), the date-palm characteristic of Israel. It is
described as "flourishing" (Ps. 92:12), tall (Cant. 7:7),
"upright" (Jer. 10:5). Its branches are a symbol of victory
(Rev. 7:9). "Rising with slender stem 40 or 50, at times even
80, feet aloft, its only branches, the feathery, snow-like,
pale-green fronds from 6 to 12 feet long, bending from its top,
the palm attracts the eye wherever it is seen." The whole land
of Israel was called by the Greeks and Romans Phoenicia,
i.e., "the land of palms." Tadmor in the desert was called by
the Greeks and Romans Palmyra, i.e., "the city of palms." The
finest specimens of this tree grew at Jericho (Deut. 34:3) and
Engedi and along the banks of the Jordan. Branches of the palm
tree were carried at the feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:40). At
our Lord's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem the crowds took
palm branches, and went forth to meet him, crying, "Hosanna:
Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the
Lord" (Matt. 21:8; John 12:13). (See DATE ¯T0000979.)
The Israelites had to take possession of the Promised Land by
conquest. They had to engage in a long and bloody war before the
Canaanitish tribes were finally subdued. Except in the case of
Jericho and Ai, the war did not become aggressive till after the
death of Joshua. Till then the attack was always first made by
the Canaanites. Now the measure of the iniquity of the
Canaanites was full, and Israel was employed by God to sweep
them away from off the face of the earth. In entering on this
new stage of the war, the tribe of Judah, according to divine
direction, took the lead.
In the days of Saul and David the people of Israel engaged in
many wars with the nations around, and after the division of the
kingdom into two they often warred with each other. They had to
defend themselves also against the inroads of the Egyptians, the
Assyrians, and the Babylonians. The whole history of Israel from
first to last presents but few periods of peace.
The Christian life is represented as a warfare, and the
Christian graces are also represented under the figure of pieces
of armour (Eph. 6:11-17; 1 Thess. 5:8; 2 Tim. 2:3, 4). The final
blessedness of believers is attained as the fruit of victory
one of the earliest cultivated grains. It bore the Hebrew name
_hittah_, and was extensively cultivated in Israel. There are
various species of wheat. That which Pharaoh saw in his dream
was the Triticum compositum, which bears several ears upon one
stalk (Gen. 41:5). The "fat of the kidneys of wheat" (Deut.
32:14), and the "finest of the wheat" (Ps. 81:16; 147:14),
denote the best of the kind. It was exported from Israel in
great quantities (1 Kings 5:11; Ezek. 27:17; Acts 12:20).
Parched grains of wheat were used for food in Israel (Ruth
2:14; 1 Sam. 17:17; 2 Sam. 17:28). The disciples, under the
sanction of the Mosaic law (Deut. 23:25), plucked ears of corn,
and rubbing them in their hands, ate the grain unroasted (Matt.
12:1; Mark 2:23; Luke 6:1). Before any of the wheat-harvest,
however, could be eaten, the first-fruits had to be presented
before the Lord (Lev. 23:14).
meadow of the house of Maachah, a city in the north of
Israel, in the neighbourhood of Dan and Ijon, in the tribe of
Naphtali. It was a place of considerable strength and
importance. It is called a "mother in Israel", i.e., a
metropolis (2 Sam. 20:19). It was besieged by Joab (2 Sam.
20:14), by Benhadad (1 Kings 15:20), and by Tiglath-pileser (2
Kings 15:29) about B.C. 734. It is elsewhere called Abel-maim,
meadow of the waters, (2 Chr. 16:4). Its site is occupied by the
modern Abil or Abil-el-kamh, on a rising ground to the east of
the brook Derdarah, which flows through the plain of Huleh into
the Jordan, about 6 miles to the west-north-west of Dan.
employed by the sacred writers in certain portions of the Old
Testament, viz., Dan. 2:4-7, 28; Ezra 4:8-6:18; 7:12-26; Gen.
31:46; Jer. 10:11. It is the Aramaic dialect, as it is sometimes
called, as distinguished from the Hebrew dialect. It was the
language of commerce and of social intercourse in Western Asia,
and after the Exile gradually came to be the popular language of
Israel. It is called "Syrian" in 2 Kings 18:26. Some isolated
words in this language are preserved in the New Testament (Matt.
5:22; 6:24; 16:17; 27:46; Mark 3:17; 5:41; 7:34; 14:36; Acts
1:19; 1 Cor. 16:22). These are specimens of the vernacular
language of Israel at that period. The term "Hebrew" was also
sometimes applied to the Chaldee because it had become the
language of the Hebrews (John 5:2; 19:20).
Cush of double wickedness, or governor of two presidencies, the
king of Mesopotamia who oppressed Israel in the generation
immediately following Joshua (Judg. 3:8). We learn from the
Tell-el-Amarna tablets that Israel had been invaded by the
forces of Aram-naharaim (A.V., "Mesopotamia") more than once,
long before the Exodus, and that at the time they were written
the king of Aram-naharaim was still intriguing in Canaan. It is
mentioned among the countries which took part in the attack upon
Egypt in the reign of Rameses III. (of the Twentieth Dynasty),
but as its king is not one of the princes stated to have been
conquered by the Pharaoh, it would seem that he did not actually
enter Egypt. As the reign of Rameses III. corresponds with the
Israelitish occupation of Canaan, it is probable that the
Egyptian monuments refer to the oppression of the Israelites by
Chushan-rishathaim. Canaan was still regarded as a province of
Egypt, so that, in attacking it Chushan-rishathaim would have
been considered to be attacking Egypt.
the rendering of a Hebrew word _bor_, which means a receptacle
for water conveyed to it; distinguished from _beer_, which
denotes a place where water rises on the spot (Jer. 2:13; Prov.
5:15; Isa. 36:16), a fountain. Cisterns are frequently mentioned
in Scripture. The scarcity of springs in Israel made it
necessary to collect rain-water in reservoirs and cisterns (Num.
21:22). (See WELL ¯T0003803.)
Empty cisterns were sometimes used as prisons (Jer. 38:6; Lam.
3:53; Ps. 40:2; 69:15). The "pit" into which Joseph was cast
(Gen. 37:24) was a _beer_ or dry well. There are numerous
remains of ancient cisterns in all parts of Israel.
(Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:17), Heb. shalak, "plunging," or "darting
down," (the Phalacrocorax carbo), ranked among the "unclean"
birds; of the same family group as the pelican. It is a
"plunging" bird, and is common on the coasts and the island seas
of Israel. Some think the Hebrew word should be rendered
"gannet" (Sula bassana, "the solan goose"); others that it is
the "tern" or "sea swallow," which also frequents the coasts of
Israel as well as the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan valley
during several months of the year. But there is no reason to
depart from the ordinary rendering.
In Isa. 34:11, Zeph. 2:14 (but in R.V., "pelican") the Hebrew
word rendered by this name is _ka'ath_. It is translated
"pelican" (q.v.) in Ps. 102:6. The word literally means the
"vomiter," and the pelican is so called from its vomiting the
shells and other things which it has voraciously swallowed. (See