often referred to in Scripture (Job 40:9; Ps. 77:18; 104:7).
James and John were called by our Lord "sons of thunder" (Mark
3:17). In Job 39:19, instead of "thunder," as in the Authorized
Version, the Revised Version translates (ra'amah) by "quivering
main" (marg., "shaking"). Thunder accompanied the giving of the
law at Sinai (Ex. 19:16). It was regarded as the voice of God
(Job 37:2; Ps. 18:13; 81:7; comp. John 12:29). In answer to
Samuel's prayer (1 Sam. 12:17, 18), God sent thunder, and "all
the people greatly feared," for at such a season (the
wheat-harvest) thunder and rain were almost unknown in
sons of thunder, a surname given by our Lord to James and John
(Mark 3:17) on account of their fervid and impetuous temper
thunder. (1.) One of the sons of Cush (Gen. 10:7). (2.) A
country which traded with Tyre (Ezek. 27:22).
thunder of the Lord, one of the princes who returned from the
Exile (Neh. 7:7); called also Reelaiah (Ezra 2:2).
frequently referred to by the sacred writers (Nah. 1:3-6).
Thunder and lightning are spoken of as tokens of God's wrath (2
Sam. 22:15; Job 28:26; 37:4; Ps. 135:7; 144:6; Zech. 9:14). They
represent God's glorious and awful majesty (Rev. 4:5), or some
judgment of God on the world (20:9).
(1.) The son of Zebedee and Salome; an elder brother of John the
apostle. He was one of the twelve. He was by trade a fisherman,
in partnership with Peter (Matt. 20:20; 27:56). With John and
Peter he was present at the transfiguration (Matt. 17:1; Mark
9:2), at the raising of Jairus's daughter (Mark 5:37-43), and in
the garden with our Lord (14:33). Because, probably, of their
boldness and energy, he and John were called Boanerges, i.e.,
"sons of thunder." He was the first martyr among the apostles,
having been beheaded by King Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:1, 2), A.D.
44. (Comp. Matt. 4:21; 20:20-23).
(2.) The son of Alphaeus, or Cleopas, "the brother" or near
kinsman or cousin of our Lord (Gal. 1:18, 19), called James "the
Less," or "the Little," probably because he was of low stature.
He is mentioned along with the other apostles (Matt. 10:3; Mark
3:18; Luke 6:15). He had a separate interview with our Lord
after his resurrection (1 Cor. 15:7), and is mentioned as one of
the apostles of the circumcision (Acts 1:13). He appears to have
occupied the position of head of the Church at Jerusalem, where
he presided at the council held to consider the case of the
Gentiles (Acts 12:17; 15:13-29: 21:18-24). This James was the
author of the epistle which bears his name.
of the sun, the son of Manoah, born at Zorah. The narrative of
his life is given in Judg. 13-16. He was a "Nazarite unto God"
from his birth, the first Nazarite mentioned in Scripture (Judg.
13:3-5; comp. Num. 6:1-21). The first recorded event of his life
was his marriage with a Philistine woman of Timnath (Judg.
14:1-5). Such a marriage was not forbidden by the law of Moses,
as the Philistines did not form one of the seven doomed
Canaanite nations (Ex. 34:11-16; Deut. 7:1-4). It was, however,
an ill-assorted and unblessed marriage. His wife was soon taken
from him and given "to his companion" (Judg. 14:20). For this
Samson took revenge by burning the "standing corn of the
Philistines" (15:1-8), who, in their turn, in revenge "burnt her
and her father with fire." Her death he terribly avenged
(15:7-19). During the twenty years following this he judged
Israel; but we have no record of his life. Probably these twenty
years may have been simultaneous with the last twenty years of
Eli's life. After this we have an account of his exploits at
Gaza (16:1-3), and of his infatuation for Delilah, and her
treachery (16:4-20), and then of his melancholy death
(16:21-31). He perished in the last terrible destruction he
brought upon his enemies. "So the dead which he slew at his
death were more [in social and political importance=the elite of
the people] than they which he slew in his life."
"Straining all his nerves, he bowed:
As with the force of winds and waters pent,
When mountains tremble, those two massy pillars
With horrible convulsion to and fro
He tugged, he shook, till down they came, and drew
The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder
Upon the heads of all who sat beneath,
Lords, ladies, captains, counsellors, or priests,
Their choice nobility and flower."
Milton's Samson Agonistes.
a "stroke" of affliction, or disease. Sent as a divine
chastisement (Num. 11:33; 14:37; 16:46-49; 2 Sam. 24:21).
Painful afflictions or diseases, (Lev. 13:3, 5, 30; 1 Kings
8:37), or severe calamity (Mark 5:29; Luke 7:21), or the
judgment of God, so called (Ex. 9:14). Plagues of Egypt were ten
(1.) The river Nile was turned into blood, and the fish died,
and the river stank, so that the Egyptians loathed to drink of
the river (Ex. 7:14-25).
(2.) The plague of frogs (Ex. 8:1-15).
(3.) The plague of lice (Heb. kinnim, properly gnats or
mosquitoes; comp. Ps. 78:45; 105:31), "out of the dust of the
land" (Ex. 8:16-19).
(4.) The plague of flies (Heb. arob, rendered by the LXX.
dog-fly), Ex. 8:21-24.
(5.) The murrain (Ex.9:1-7), or epidemic pestilence which
carried off vast numbers of cattle in the field. Warning was
given of its coming.
(6.) The sixth plague, of "boils and blains," like the third,
was sent without warning (Ex.9:8-12). It is called (Deut. 28:27)
"the botch of Egypt," A.V.; but in R.V., "the boil of Egypt."
"The magicians could not stand before Moses" because of it.
(7.) The plague of hail, with fire and thunder (Ex. 9:13-33).
Warning was given of its coming. (Comp. Ps. 18:13; 105:32, 33).
(8.) The plague of locusts, which covered the whole face of
the earth, so that the land was darkened with them (Ex.
10:12-15). The Hebrew name of this insect, _arbeh_, points to
the "multitudinous" character of this visitation. Warning was
given before this plague came.
(9.) After a short interval the plague of darkness succeeded
that of the locusts; and it came without any special warning
(Ex. 10:21-29). The darkness covered "all the land of Egypt" to
such an extent that "they saw not one another." It did not,
however, extend to the land of Goshen.
(10.) The last and most fearful of these plagues was the death
of the first-born of man and of beast (Ex. 11:4, 5; 12:29,30).
The exact time of the visitation was announced, "about
midnight", which would add to the horror of the infliction. Its
extent also is specified, from the first-born of the king to the
first-born of the humblest slave, and all the first-born of
beasts. But from this plague the Hebrews were completely
exempted. The Lord "put a difference" between them and the
Egyptians. (See PASSOVER ¯T0002864.)