a wine-cup (Gen. 40:11, 21), various forms of which are found on
Assyrian and Egyptian monuments. All Solomon's drinking vessels
were of gold (1 Kings 10: 21). The cups mentioned in the New
Testament were made after Roman and Greek models, and were
sometimes of gold (Rev. 17:4).
The art of divining by means of a cup was practiced in Egypt
(Gen. 44:2-17), and in the East generally.
The "cup of salvation" (Ps. 116:13) is the cup of thanksgiving
for the great salvation. The "cup of consolation" (Jer. 16:7)
refers to the custom of friends sending viands and wine to
console relatives in mourning (Prov. 31:6). In 1 Cor. 10:16, the
"cup of blessing" is contrasted with the "cup of devils" (1 Cor.
10:21). The sacramental cup is the "cup of blessing," because of
blessing pronounced over it (Matt. 26:27; Luke 22:17). The
"portion of the cup" (Ps. 11:6; 16:5) denotes one's condition of
life, prosperous or adverse. A "cup" is also a type of sensual
allurement (Jer. 51:7; Prov. 23:31; Rev. 17:4). We read also of
the "cup of astonishment," the "cup of trembling," and the "cup
of God's wrath" (Ps. 75:8; Isa. 51:17; Jer. 25:15; Lam. 4:21;
Ezek. 23:32; Rev. 16:19; comp. Matt. 26:39, 42; John 18:11). The
cup is also the symbol of death (Matt. 16:28; Mark 9:1; Heb.
an officer of high rank with Egyptian, Persian, Assyrian, and
Jewish monarchs. The cup-bearer of the king of Egypt is
mentioned in connection with Joseph's history (Gen. 40:1-21;
41:9). Rabshakeh (q.v.) was cup-bearer in the Assyrian court (2
Kings 18:17). Nehemiah filled this office to the king of Persia
(Neh. 1:11). We read also of Solomon's cup-bearers (1 Kings
10:5; 2 Chr. 9:4).
be gracious, O Nebo! or a cup-bearer of Nebo, probably the title
of Nergal-sharezer, one of the princes of Babylon (Jer. 39:3).
a laver or trough for washing garments. In Cant. 7:2, a bowl or
drinking vessel, a bowl for mixing wine; in Ex. 24:6, a
sacrificial basin. (See CUP ¯T0000938.)
properly a servant in charge of the wine (Gen. 40:1-13; 41:9).
The Hebrew word, _mashkeh_, thus translated is rendered also
(plural) "cup-bearers" (1 Kings 10:5; 2 Chr. 9:4). Nehemiah
(1:11) was cup-bearer to king Artaxerxes. It was a position of
great responsibility and honour in royal households.
The Hebrew word so rendered means simply a round vessel or cup
for containing ink, which was generally worn by writers in the
girdle (Ezek. 9:2, 3,11). The word "inkhorn" was used by the
translators, because in former times in this country horns were
used for containing ink.
The sockets of the lamps of the golden candlestick of the
tabernacle are called bowls (Ex. 25:31, 33, 34; 37:17, 19, 20);
the same word so rendered being elsewhere rendered "cup" (Gen.
44:2, 12, 16), and wine "pot" (Jer. 35:5). The reservoir for
oil, from which pipes led to each lamp in Zechariah's vision of
the candlestick, is called also by this name (Zech. 4:2, 3); so
also are the vessels used for libations (Ex. 25:29; 37:16).
for eating from (2 Kings 21:13). Judas dipped his hand with a
"sop" or piece of bread in the same dish with our Lord, thereby
indicating friendly intimacy (Matt. 26:23). The "lordly dish" in
Judg. 5:25 was probably the shallow drinking cup, usually of
brass. In Judg. 6:38 the same Hebrew word is rendered "bowl."
The dishes of the tabernacle were made of pure gold (Ex.
The drinks of the Hebrews were water, wine, "strong drink," and
vinegar. Their drinking vessels were the cup, goblet or "basin,"
the "cruse" or pitcher, and the saucer.
To drink water by measure (Ezek. 4:11), and to buy water to
drink (Lam. 5:4), denote great scarcity. To drink blood means to
be satiated with slaughter.
The Jews carefully strained their drinks through a sieve,
through fear of violating the law of Lev. 11:20, 23, 41, 42.
(See Matt. 23:24. "Strain at" should be "strain out.")
chief of the princes, the name given to the chief cup-bearer or
the vizier of the Assyrian court; one of Sennacherib's
messengers to Hezekiah. See the speech he delivered, in the
Hebrew language, in the hearing of all the people, as he stood
near the wall on the north side of the city (2 Kings 18:17-37).
He and the other envoys returned to their master and reported
that Hezekiah and his people were obdurate, and would not
a utensil; a flask or cup for holding water (1 Sam. 26:11, 12,
16; 1 Kings 19:6) or oil (1 Kings 17:12, 14, 16). In 1 Kings
14:3 the word there so rendered means properly a bottle, as in
Jer. 19:1, 10, or pitcher. In 2 Kings 2:20, a platter or flat
metal saucer is intended. The Hebrew word here used is
translated "dish" in 21:13; "pans," in 2 Chr. 35:13; and
"bosom," in Prov. 19:24; 26:15 (R.V., "dish").
besides its literal sense (Isa. 37:29, etc.), is used in the
original (saphah) metaphorically for an edge or border, as of a
cup (1 Kings 7:26), a garment (Ex. 28:32), a curtain (26:4), the
sea (Gen. 22:17), the Jordan (2 Kings 2:13). To "open the lips"
is to begin to speak (Job 11:5); to "refrain the lips" is to
keep silence (Ps. 40:9; 1 Pet. 3:10). The "fruit of the lips"
(Heb. 13:15) is praise, and the "calves of the lips"
thank-offerings (Hos. 14:2). To "shoot out the lip" is to
manifest scorn and defiance (Ps. 22:7). Many similar forms of
expression are found in Scripture.
(1.) God blesses his people when he bestows on them some gift
temporal or spiritual (Gen. 1:22; 24:35; Job 42:12; Ps. 45:2;
(2.) We bless God when we thank him for his mercies (Ps.
103:1, 2; 145:1, 2).
(3.) A man blesses himself when he invokes God's blessing
(Isa. 65:16), or rejoices in God's goodness to him (Deut. 29:19;
(4.) One blesses another when he expresses good wishes or
offers prayer to God for his welfare (Gen. 24:60; 31:55; 1 Sam.
2:20). Sometimes blessings were uttered under divine
inspiration, as in the case of Noah, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses
(Gen. 9:26, 27; 27:28, 29, 40; 48:15-20; 49:1-28; Deut. 33). The
priests were divinely authorized to bless the people (Deut.
10:8; Num. 6:22-27). We have many examples of apostolic
benediction (2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 6:23, 24; 2 Thess. 3:16, 18;
Heb. 13:20, 21; 1 Pet. 5:10, 11).
(5.) Among the Jews in their thank-offerings the master of the
feast took a cup of wine in his hand, and after having blessed
God for it and for other mercies then enjoyed, handed it to his
guests, who all partook of it. Ps. 116:13 refers to this custom.
It is also alluded to in 1 Cor. 10:16, where the apostle speaks
of the "cup of blessing."
(1.) A pocket of a cone-like shape in which Naaman bound two
pieces of silver for Gehazi (2 Kings 5:23). The same Hebrew word
occurs elsewhere only in Isa. 3:22, where it is rendered
"crisping-pins," but denotes the reticules (or as R.V.,
"satchels") carried by Hebrew women.
(2.) Another word (kees) so rendered means a bag for carrying
weights (Deut. 25:13; Prov. 16:11; Micah 6:11). It also denotes
a purse (Prov. 1:14) and a cup (23:31).
(3.) Another word rendered "bag" in 1 Sam. 17:40 is rendered
"sack" in Gen. 42:25; and in 1 Sam. 9:7; 21:5 "vessel," or
wallet for carrying food.
(4.) The word rendered in the Authorized Version "bags," in
which the priests bound up the money contributed for the
restoration of the temple (2 Kings 12:10), is also rendered
"bundle" (Gen. 42:35; 1 Sam. 25:29). It denotes bags used by
travellers for carrying money during a journey (Prov. 7:20; Hag.
(5.) The "bag" of Judas was a small box (John 12:6; 13:29).
or Bason. (1.) A trough or laver (Heb. aggan') for washing (Ex.
24:6); rendered also "goblet" (Cant. 7:2) and "cups" (Isa.
(2.) A covered dish or urn (Heb. k'for) among the vessels of
the temple (1 Chr. 28:17; Ezra 1:10; 8:27).
(3.) A vase (Heb. mizrak) from which to sprinkle anything. A
metallic vessel; sometimes rendered "bowl" (Amos 6:6; Zech.
9:15). The vessels of the tabernacle were of brass (Ex. 27:3),
while those of the temple were of gold (2 Chr. 4:8).
(4.) A utensil (Heb. saph) for holding the blood of the
victims (Ex. 12:22); also a basin for domestic purposes (2 Sam.
The various vessels spoken of by the names "basin, bowl,
charger, cup, and dish," cannot now be accurately distinguished.
The basin in which our Lord washed the disciples' feet (John
13:5) must have been larger and deeper than the hand-basin.
The Jews seem early to have consulted the teraphim (q.v.) for
oracular answers (Judg. 18:5, 6; Zech. 10:2). There is a
remarkable illustration of this divining by teraphim in Ezek.
21:19-22. We read also of the divining cup of Joseph (Gen.
44:5). The magicians of Egypt are frequently referred to in the
history of the Exodus. Magic was an inherent part of the ancient
Egyptian religion, and entered largely into their daily life.
All magical arts were distinctly prohibited under penalty of
death in the Mosaic law. The Jews were commanded not to learn
the "abomination" of the people of the Promised Land (Lev.
19:31; Deut. 18:9-14). The history of Saul's consulting the
witch of Endor (1 Sam. 28:3-20) gives no warrant for attributing
supernatural power to magicians. From the first the witch is
here only a bystander. The practice of magic lingered among the
people till after the Captivity, when they gradually abandoned
It is not much referred to in the New Testament. The Magi
mentioned in Matt. 2:1-12 were not magicians in the ordinary
sense of the word. They belonged to a religious caste, the
followers of Zoroaster, the astrologers of the East. Simon, a
magician, was found by Philip at Samaria (Acts 8:9-24); and Paul
and Barnabas encountered Elymas, a Jewish sorcerer, at Paphos
(13:6-12). At Ephesus there was a great destruction of magical
books (Acts 19:18, 19).
a common mode of punishment among heathen nations in early
times. It is not certain whether it was known among the ancient
Jews; probably it was not. The modes of capital punishment
according to the Mosaic law were, by the sword (Ex. 21),
strangling, fire (Lev. 20), and stoning (Deut. 21).
This was regarded as the most horrible form of death, and to a
Jew it would acquire greater horror from the curse in Deut.
This punishment began by subjecting the sufferer to scourging.
In the case of our Lord, however, his scourging was rather
before the sentence was passed upon him, and was inflicted by
Pilate for the purpose, probably, of exciting pity and procuring
his escape from further punishment (Luke 23:22; John 19:1).
The condemned one carried his own cross to the place of
execution, which was outside the city, in some conspicuous place
set apart for the purpose. Before the nailing to the cross took
place, a medicated cup of vinegar mixed with gall and myrrh (the
sopor) was given, for the purpose of deadening the pangs of the
sufferer. Our Lord refused this cup, that his senses might be
clear (Matt. 27:34). The spongeful of vinegar, sour wine, posca,
the common drink of the Roman soldiers, which was put on a
hyssop stalk and offered to our Lord in contemptuous pity (Matt.
27:48; Luke 23:36), he tasted to allay the agonies of his thirst
(John 19:29). The accounts given of the crucifixion of our Lord
are in entire agreement with the customs and practices of the
Roman in such cases. He was crucified between two "malefactors"
(Isa. 53:12; Luke 23:32), and was watched by a party of four
soldiers (John 19:23; Matt. 27:36, 54), with their centurion.
The "breaking of the legs" of the malefactors was intended to
hasten death, and put them out of misery (John 19:31); but the
unusual rapidity of our Lord's death (19:33) was due to his
previous sufferings and his great mental anguish. The omission
of the breaking of his legs was the fulfilment of a type (Ex.
12:46). He literally died of a broken heart, a ruptured heart,
and hence the flowing of blood and water from the wound made by
the soldier's spear (John 19:34). Our Lord uttered seven
memorable words from the cross, namely, (1) Luke 23:34; (2)
23:43; (3) John 19:26; (4) Matt. 27:46, Mark 15:34; (5) John
19:28; (6) 19:30; (7) Luke 23:46.
Olves, Mount of
so called from the olive trees with which its sides are clothed,
is a mountain ridge on the east of Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:7;
Ezek. 11:23; Zech. 14:4), from which it is separated by the
valley of Kidron. It is first mentioned in connection with
David's flight from Jerusalem through the rebellion of Absalom
(2 Sam. 15:30), and is only once again mentioned in the Old
Testament, in Zech. 14:4. It is, however, frequently alluded to
(1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13; Neh. 8:15; Ezek. 11:23).
It is frequently mentioned in the New Testament (Matt. 21:1;
26:30, etc.). It now bears the name of Jebel et-Tur, i.e.,
"Mount of the Summit;" also sometimes called Jebel ez-Zeitun,
i.e., "Mount of Olives." It is about 200 feet above the level of
the city. The road from Jerusalem to Bethany runs as of old over
this mount. It was on this mount that Jesus stood when he wept
over Jerusalem. "No name in Scripture," says Dr. Porter, "calls
up associations at once so sacred and so pleasing as that of
Olivet. The 'mount' is so intimately connected with the private,
the devotional life of the Saviour, that we read of it and look
at it with feelings of deepest interest and affection. Here he
often sat with his disciples, telling them of wondrous events
yet to come, of the destruction of the Holy City; of the
sufferings, the persecution, and the final triumph of his
followers (Matt. 24). Here he gave them the beautiful parables
of the ten virgins and the five talents (25); here he was wont
to retire on each evening for meditation, and prayer, and rest
of body, when weary and harassed by the labours and trials of
the day (Luke 21:37); and here he came on the night of his
betrayal to utter that wonderful prayer, 'O my Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will,
but as thou wilt' (Matt. 26:39). And when the cup of God's wrath
had been drunk, and death and the grave conquered, he led his
disciples out again over Olivet as far as to Bethany, and after
a parting blessing ascended to heaven (Luke 24:50, 51; Acts
This mount, or rather mountain range, has four summits or
peaks: (1) the "Galilee" peak, so called from a tradition that
the angels stood here when they spoke to the disciples (Acts
1:11); (2) the "Mount of Ascension," the supposed site of that
event, which was, however, somewhere probably nearer Bethany
(Luke 24:51, 52); (3) the "Prophets," from the catacombs on its
side, called "the prophets' tombs;" and (4) the "Mount of
Corruption," so called because of the "high places" erected
there by Solomon for the idolatrous worship of his foreign wives
(1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13; Vulg., "Mount of Offence").
(Heb. 'ain, meaning "flowing"), applied (1) to a fountain,
frequently; (2) to colour (Num. 11:7; R.V., "appearance," marg.
"eye"); (3) the face (Ex. 10:5, 15; Num. 22:5, 11), in Num.
14:14, "face to face" (R.V. marg., "eye to eye"). "Between the
eyes", i.e., the forehead (Ex. 13:9, 16).
The expression (Prov. 23:31), "when it giveth his colour in
the cup," is literally, "when it giveth out [or showeth] its
eye." The beads or bubbles of wine are thus spoken of. "To set
the eyes" on any one is to view him with favour (Gen. 44:21; Job
24:23; Jer. 39:12). This word is used figuratively in the
expressions an "evil eye" (Matt. 20:15), a "bountiful eye"
(Prov. 22:9), "haughty eyes" (6:17 marg.), "wanton eyes" (Isa.
3:16), "eyes full of adultery" (2 Pet. 2:14), "the lust of the
eyes" (1 John 2:16). Christians are warned against "eye-service"
(Eph. 6:6; Col. 3:22). Men were sometimes punished by having
their eyes put out (1 Sam. 11:2; Samson, Judg. 16:21; Zedekiah,
2 Kings 25:7).
The custom of painting the eyes is alluded to in 2 Kings 9:30,
R.V.; Jer. 4:30; Ezek. 23:40, a custom which still prevails
extensively among Eastern women.
(1) Heb. mererah, meaning "bitterness" (Job 16:13); i.e., the
bile secreted in the liver. This word is also used of the poison
of asps (20:14), and of the vitals, the seat of life (25).
(2.) Heb. rosh. In Deut. 32:33 and Job 20:16 it denotes the
poison of serpents. In Hos. 10:4 the Hebrew word is rendered
"hemlock." The original probably denotes some bitter, poisonous
plant, most probably the poppy, which grows up quickly, and is
therefore coupled with wormwood (Deut. 29:18; Jer. 9:15; Lam.
3:19). Comp. Jer. 8:14; 23:15, "water of gall," Gesenius, "poppy
juice;" others, "water of hemlock," "bitter water."
(3.) Gr. chole (Matt. 27:34), the LXX. translation of the
Hebrew _rosh_ in Ps. 69; 21, which foretells our Lord's
sufferings. The drink offered to our Lord was vinegar (made of
light wine rendered acid, the common drink of Roman soldiers)
"mingled with gall," or, according to Mark (15:23), "mingled
with myrrh;" both expressions meaning the same thing, namely,
that the vinegar was made bitter by the infusion of wormwood or
some other bitter substance, usually given, according to a
merciful custom, as an anodyne to those who were crucified, to
render them insensible to pain. Our Lord, knowing this, refuses
to drink it. He would take nothing to cloud his faculties or
blunt the pain of dying. He chooses to suffer every element of
woe in the bitter cup of agony given him by the Father (John
(1 Cor. 11:20), called also "the Lord's table" (10:21),
"communion," "cup of blessing" (10:16), and "breaking of bread"
In the early Church it was called also "eucharist," or giving
of thanks (comp. Matt. 26:27), and generally by the Latin Church
"mass," a name derived from the formula of dismission, Ite,
missa est, i.e., "Go, it is discharged."
The account of the institution of this ordinance is given in
Matt. 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:19, 20, and 1 Cor.
11:24-26. It is not mentioned by John.
It was designed, (1.) To commemorate the death of Christ:
"This do in remembrance of me." (2.) To signify, seal, and apply
to believers all the benefits of the new covenant. In this
ordinance Christ ratifies his promises to his people, and they
on their part solemnly consecrate themselves to him and to his
entire service. (3.) To be a badge of the Christian profession.
(4.) To indicate and to promote the communion of believers with
Christ. (5.) To represent the mutual communion of believers with
The elements used to represent Christ's body and blood are
bread and wine. The kind of bread, whether leavened or
unleavened, is not specified. Christ used unleavened bread
simply because it was at that moment on the paschal table. Wine,
and no other liquid, is to be used (Matt. 26:26-29). Believers
"feed" on Christ's body and blood, (1) not with the mouth in any
manner, but (2) by the soul alone, and (3) by faith, which is
the mouth or hand of the soul. This they do (4) by the power of
the Holy Ghost. This "feeding" on Christ, however, takes place
not in the Lord's Supper alone, but whenever faith in him is
This is a permanent ordinance in the Church of Christ, and is
to be observed "till he come" again.
a feast provided for the entertainment of a company of guests
(Esther 5; 7; 1 Pet. 4:3); such as was provided for our Lord by
his friends in Bethany (Matt. 26:6; Mark 14:3; comp. John 12:2).
These meals were in the days of Christ usually called "suppers,"
after the custom of the Romans, and were partaken of toward the
close of the day. It was usual to send a second invitation
(Matt. 22:3; Luke 14:17) to those who had been already invited.
When the whole company was assembled, the master of the house
shut the door with his own hands (Luke 13:25; Matt. 25:10).
The guests were first refreshed with water and fragrant oil
(Luke 7:38; Mark 7:4). A less frequent custom was that of
supplying each guest with a robe to be worn during the feast
(Eccles. 9:8; Rev. 3:4, 5; Matt. 22:11). At private banquets the
master of the house presided; but on public occasions a
"governor of the feast" was chosen (John 2:8). The guests were
placed in order according to seniority (Gen. 43:33), or
according to the rank they held (Prov. 25:6,7; Matt. 23:6; Luke
As spoons and knives and forks are a modern invention, and
were altogether unknown in the East, the hands alone were
necessarily used, and were dipped in the dish, which was common
to two of the guests (John 13:26). In the days of our Lord the
guests reclined at table; but the ancient Israelites sat around
low tables, cross-legged, like the modern Orientals. Guests were
specially honoured when extra portions were set before them
(Gen. 43:34), and when their cup was filled with wine till it
ran over (Ps. 23:5). The hands of the guests were usually
cleaned by being rubbed on bread, the crumbs of which fell to
the ground, and were the portion for dogs (Matt. 15:27; Luke
At the time of the three annual festivals at Jerusalem family
banquets were common. To these the "widow, and the fatherless,
and the stranger" were welcome (Deut. 16:11). Sacrifices also
included a banquet (Ex. 34:15; Judg. 16:23). Birthday banquets
are mentioned (Gen. 40:20; Matt. 14:6). They were sometimes
protracted, and attended with revelry and excess (Gen. 21:8;
29:22; 1 Sam. 25:2,36; 2 Sam. 13:23). Portions were sometimes
sent from the table to poorer friends (Neh. 8:10; Esther 9:19,
22). (See MEALS ¯T0002451.)
righteousness of Jehovah. (1.) The last king of Judah. He was
the third son of Josiah, and his mother's name was Hamutal, the
daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah, and hence he was the brother of
Jehoahaz (2 Kings 23:31; 24:17, 18). His original name was
Mattaniah; but when Nebuchadnezzar placed him on the throne as
the successor to Jehoiachin he changed his name to Zedekiah. The
prophet Jeremiah was his counsellor, yet "he did evil in the
sight of the Lord" (2 Kings 24:19, 20; Jer. 52:2, 3). He
ascended the throne at the age of twenty-one years. The kingdom
was at that time tributary to Nebuchadnezzar; but, despite the
strong remonstrances of Jeremiah and others, as well as the
example of Jehoiachin, he threw off the yoke of Babylon, and
entered into an alliance with Hophra, king of Egypt. This
brought up Nebuchadnezzar, "with all his host" (2 King 25:1),
against Jerusalem. During this siege, which lasted about
eighteen months, "every worst woe befell the devoted city, which
drank the cup of God's fury to the dregs" (2 Kings 25:3; Lam.
4:4, 5, 10). The city was plundered and laid in ruins. Zedekiah
and his followers, attempting to escape, were made captive and
taken to Riblah. There, after seeing his own children put to
death, his own eyes were put out, and, being loaded with chains,
he was carried captive (B.C. 588) to Babylon (2 Kings 25:1-7; 2
Chr. 36:12; Jer. 32:4,5; 34:2, 3; 39:1-7; 52:4-11; Ezek. 12:12),
where he remained a prisoner, how long is unknown, to the day of
After the fall of Jerusalem, Nebuzaraddan was sent to carry
out its complete destruction. The city was razed to the ground.
Only a small number of vinedressers and husbandmen were
permitted to remain in the land (Jer. 52:16). Gedaliah, with a
Chaldean guard stationed at Mizpah, ruled over Judah (2 Kings
25:22, 24; jer. 40:1, 2, 5, 6).
(2.) The son of Chenaanah, a false prophet in the days of Ahab
(1 Kings 22:11, 24; 2 Chr. 18:10, 23).
(3.) The son of Hananiah, a prince of Judah in the days of
Jehoiakim (Jer. 36:12).
separated, generally supposed to be the Greek form of the Hebrew
_netser_, a "shoot" or "sprout." Some, however, think that the
name of the city must be connected with the name of the hill
behind it, from which one of the finest prospects in Israel
is obtained, and accordingly they derive it from the Hebrew
_notserah_, i.e., one guarding or watching, thus designating the
hill which overlooks and thus guards an extensive region.
This city is not mentioned in the Old Testament. It was the
home of Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:39), and here the angel
announced to the Virgin the birth of the Messiah (1:26-28). Here
Jesus grew up from his infancy to manhood (4:16); and here he
began his public ministry in the synagogue (Matt. 13:54), at
which the people were so offended that they sought to cast him
down from the precipice whereon their city was built (Luke
4:29). Twice they expelled him from their borders (4:16-29;
Matt. 13:54-58); and he finally retired from the city, where he
did not many mighty works because of their unbelief (Matt.
13:58), and took up his residence in Capernaum.
Nazareth is situated among the southern ridges of Lebanon, on
the steep slope of a hill, about 14 miles from the Sea of
Galilee and about 6 west from Mount Tabor. It is identified with
the modern village en-Nazirah, of six or ten thousand
inhabitants. It lies "as in a hollow cup" lower down upon the
hill than the ancient city. The main road for traffic between
Egypt and the interior of Asia passed by Nazareth near the foot
of Tabor, and thence northward to Damascus.
It is supposed from the words of Nathanael in John 1:46 that
the city of Nazareth was held in great disrepute, either
because, it is said, the people of Galilee were a rude and less
cultivated class, and were largely influenced by the Gentiles
who mingled with them, or because of their lower type of moral
and religious character. But there seems to be no sufficient
reason for these suppositions. The Jews believed that, according
to Micah 5:2, the birth of the Messiah would take place at
Bethlehem, and nowhere else. Nathanael held the same opinion as
his countrymen, and believed that the great "good" which they
were all expecting could not come from Nazareth. This is
probably what Nathanael meant. Moreover, there does not seem to
be any evidence that the inhabitants of Galilee were in any
respect inferior, or that a Galilean was held in contempt, in
the time of our Lord. (See Dr. Merrill's Galilee in the Time of
The population of this city (now about 10,000) in the time of
Christ probably amounted to 15,000 or 20,000 souls.
"The so-called 'Holy House' is a cave under the Latin church,
which appears to have been originally a tank. The 'brow of the
hill', site of the attempted precipitation, is probably the
northern cliff: the traditional site has been shown since the
middle ages at some distance to the south. None of the
traditional sites are traceable very early, and they have no
authority. The name Nazareth perhaps means 'a watch tower' (now
en-Nasrah), but is connected in the New Testament with Netzer,
'a branch' (Isa. 4:2; Jer. 23:5; Zech. 3:8; 6:12; Matt. 2:23),
Nazarene being quite a different word from Nazarite."
comforted by Jehovah. (1.) Ezra 2:2; Neh. 7:7. (2.) Neh. 3:16.
(3.) The son of Hachaliah (Neh. 1:1), and probably of the
tribe of Judah. His family must have belonged to Jerusalem (Neh.
2:3). He was one of the "Jews of the dispersion," and in his
youth was appointed to the important office of royal cup-bearer
at the palace of Shushan. The king, Artaxerxes Longimanus, seems
to have been on terms of friendly familiarity with his
attendant. Through his brother Hanani, and perhaps from other
sources (Neh. 1:2; 2:3), he heard of the mournful and desolate
condition of the Holy City, and was filled with sadness of
heart. For many days he fasted and mourned and prayed for the
place of his fathers' sepulchres. At length the king observed
his sadness of countenance and asked the reason of it. Nehemiah
explained it all to the king, and obtained his permission to go
up to Jerusalem and there to act as _tirshatha_, or governor of
Judea. He went up in the spring of B.C. 446 (eleven years after
Ezra), with a strong escort supplied by the king, and with
letters to all the pashas of the provinces through which he had
to pass, as also to Asaph, keeper of the royal forests,
directing him to assist Nehemiah. On his arrival he set himself
to survey the city, and to form a plan for its restoration; a
plan which he carried out with great skill and energy, so that
the whole was completed in about six months. He remained in
Judea for thirteen years as governor, carrying out many reforms,
notwithstanding much opposition that he encountered (Neh.
13:11). He built up the state on the old lines, "supplementing
and completing the work of Ezra," and making all arrangements
for the safety and good government of the city. At the close of
this important period of his public life, he returned to Persia
to the service of his royal master at Shushan or Ecbatana. Very
soon after this the old corrupt state of things returned,
showing the worthlessness to a large extent of the professions
that had been made at the feast of the dedication of the walls
of the city (Neh. 12. See EZRA ¯T0001294). Malachi now appeared
among the people with words of stern reproof and solemn warning;
and Nehemiah again returned from Persia (after an absence of
some two years), and was grieved to see the widespread moral
degeneracy that had taken place during his absence. He set
himself with vigour to rectify the flagrant abuses that had
sprung up, and restored the orderly administration of public
worship and the outward observance of the law of Moses. Of his
subsequent history we know nothing. Probably he remained at his
post as governor till his death (about B.C. 413) in a good old
age. The place of his death and burial is, however, unknown. "He
resembled Ezra in his fiery zeal, in his active spirit of
enterprise, and in the piety of his life: but he was of a
bluffer and a fiercer mood; he had less patience with
transgressors; he was a man of action rather than a man of
thought, and more inclined to use force than persuasion. His
practical sagacity and high courage were very markedly shown in
the arrangement with which he carried through the rebuilding of
the wall and balked the cunning plans of the 'adversaries.' The
piety of his heart, his deeply religious spirit and constant
sense of communion with and absolute dependence upon God, are
strikingly exhibited, first in the long prayer recorded in ch.
1:5-11, and secondly and most remarkably in what have been
called his 'interjectional prayers', those short but moving
addresses to Almighty God which occur so frequently in his
writings, the instinctive outpouring of a heart deeply moved,
but ever resting itself upon God, and looking to God alone for
aid in trouble, for the frustration of evil designs, and for
final reward and acceptance" (Rawlinson). Nehemiah was the last
of the governors sent from the Persian court. Judea after this
was annexed to the satrapy of Coele-Syria, and was governed by
the high priest under the jurisdiction of the governor of Syria,
and the internal government of the country became more and more
asked for. (1.) A king of Edom (Gen. 36:37, 38); called Shaul in
1 Chr. 1:48.
(2.) The son of Kish (probably his only son, and a child of
prayer, "asked for"), of the tribe of Benjamin, the first king
of the Jewish nation. The singular providential circumstances
connected with his election as king are recorded in 1 Sam. 8-10.
His father's she-asses had strayed, and Saul was sent with a
servant to seek for them. Leaving his home at Gibeah (10:5, "the
hill of God," A.V.; lit., as in R.V. marg., "Gibeah of God"),
Saul and his servant went toward the north-west over Mount
Ephraim, and then turning north-east they came to "the land of
Shalisha," and thence eastward to the land of Shalim, and at
length came to the district of Zuph, near Samuel's home at Ramah
(9:5-10). At this point Saul proposed to return from the three
days' fruitless search, but his servant suggested that they
should first consult the "seer." Hearing that he was about to
offer sacrifice, the two hastened into Ramah, and "behold,
Samuel came out against them," on his way to the "bamah", i.e.,
the "height", where sacrifice was to be offered; and in answer
to Saul's question, "Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer's
house is," Samuel made himself known to him. Samuel had been
divinely prepared for his coming (9:15-17), and received Saul as
his guest. He took him with him to the sacrifice, and then after
the feast "communed with Saul upon the top of the house" of all
that was in his heart. On the morrow Samuel "took a vial of oil
and poured it on his head," and anointed Saul as king over
Israel (9:25-10:8), giving him three signs in confirmation of
his call to be king. When Saul reached his home in Gibeah the
last of these signs was fulfilled, and the Sprit of God came
upon him, and "he was turned into another man." The simple
countryman was transformed into the king of Israel, a remarkable
change suddenly took place in his whole demeanour, and the
people said in their astonishment, as they looked on the
stalwart son of Kish, "Is Saul also among the prophets?", a
saying which passed into a "proverb." (Comp. 19:24.)
The intercourse between Saul and Samuel was as yet unknown to
the people. The "anointing" had been in secret. But now the time
had come when the transaction must be confirmed by the nation.
Samuel accordingly summoned the people to a solemn assembly
"before the Lord" at Mizpeh. Here the lot was drawn (10:17-27),
and it fell upon Saul, and when he was presented before them,
the stateliest man in all Israel, the air was rent for the first
time in Israel by the loud cry, "God save the king!" He now
returned to his home in Gibeah, attended by a kind of bodyguard,
"a band of men whose hearts God had touched." On reaching his
home he dismissed them, and resumed the quiet toils of his
Soon after this, on hearing of the conduct of Nahash the
Ammonite at Jabeshgilead (q.v.), an army out of all the tribes
of Israel rallied at his summons to the trysting-place at Bezek,
and he led them forth a great army to battle, gaining a complete
victory over the Ammonite invaders at Jabesh (11:1-11). Amid the
universal joy occasioned by this victory he was now fully
recognized as the king of Israel. At the invitation of Samuel
"all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king
before the Lord in Gilgal." Samuel now officially anointed him
as king (11:15). Although Samuel never ceased to be a judge in
Israel, yet now his work in that capacity practically came to an
Saul now undertook the great and difficult enterprise of
freeing the land from its hereditary enemies the Philistines,
and for this end he gathered together an army of 3,000 men (1
Sam. 13:1, 2). The Philistines were encamped at Geba. Saul, with
2,000 men, occupied Michmash and Mount Bethel; while his son
Jonathan, with 1,000 men, occupied Gibeah, to the south of Geba,
and seemingly without any direction from his father "smote" the
Philistines in Geba. Thus roused, the Philistines, who gathered
an army of 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen, and "people as
the sand which is on the sea-shore in multitude," encamped in
Michmash, which Saul had evacuated for Gilgal. Saul now tarried
for seven days in Gilgal before making any movement, as Samuel
had appointed (10:8); but becoming impatient on the seventh day,
as it was drawing to a close, when he had made an end of
offering the burnt offering, Samuel appeared and warned him of
the fatal consequences of his act of disobedience, for he had
not waited long enough (13:13, 14).
When Saul, after Samuel's departure, went out from Gilgal with
his 600 men, his followers having decreased to that number
(13:15), against the Philistines at Michmash (q.v.), he had his
head-quarters under a pomegrante tree at Migron, over against
Michmash, the Wady esSuweinit alone intervening. Here at
Gibeah-Geba Saul and his army rested, uncertain what to do.
Jonathan became impatient, and with his armour-bearer planned an
assault against the Philistines, unknown to Saul and the army
(14:1-15). Jonathan and his armour-bearer went down into the
wady, and on their hands and knees climbed to the top of the
narrow rocky ridge called Bozez, where was the outpost of the
Philistine army. They surprised and then slew twenty of the
Philistines, and immediately the whole host of the Philistines
was thrown into disorder and fled in great terror. "It was a
very great trembling;" a supernatural panic seized the host.
Saul and his 600 men, a band which speedily increased to 10,000,
perceiving the confusion, pursued the army of the Philistines,
and the tide of battle rolled on as far as to Bethaven, halfway
between Michmash and Bethel. The Philistines were totally
routed. "So the Lord saved Israel that day." While pursuing the
Philistines, Saul rashly adjured the people, saying, "Cursed be
the man that eateth any food until evening." But though faint
and weary, the Israelites "smote the Philistines that day from
Michmash to Aijalon" (a distance of from 15 to 20 miles).
Jonathan had, while passing through the wood in pursuit of the
Philistines, tasted a little of the honeycomb which was abundant
there (14:27). This was afterwards discovered by Saul (ver. 42),
and he threatened to put his son to death. The people, however,
interposed, saying, "There shall not one hair of his head fall
to the ground." He whom God had so signally owned, who had
"wrought this great salvation in Israel," must not die. "Then
Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines
went to their own place" (1 Sam. 14:24-46); and thus the
campaign against the Philistines came to an end. This was Saul's
second great military success.
Saul's reign, however, continued to be one of almost constant
war against his enemies round about (14:47, 48), in all of which
he proved victorious. The war against the Amalekites is the only
one which is recorded at length (1 Sam. 15). These oldest and
hereditary (Ex. 17:8; Num. 14:43-45) enemies of Israel occupied
the territory to the south and south-west of Israel. Samuel
summoned Saul to execute the "ban" which God had pronounced
(Deut. 25:17-19) on this cruel and relentless foe of Israel. The
cup of their iniquity was now full. This command was "the test
of his moral qualification for being king." Saul proceeded to
execute the divine command; and gathering the people together,
marched from Telaim (1 Sam. 15:4) against the Amalekites, whom
he smote "from Havilah until thou comest to Shur," utterly
destroying "all the people with the edge of the sword", i.e.,
all that fell into his hands. He was, however, guilty of
rebellion and disobedience in sparing Agag their king, and in
conniving at his soldiers' sparing the best of the sheep and
cattle; and Samuel, following Saul to Gilgal, in the Jordan
valley, said unto him, "Because thou hast rejected the word of
the Lord, he also hath rejected thee from being king" (15:23).
The kingdom was rent from Saul and was given to another, even to
David, whom the Lord chose to be Saul's successor, and whom
Samuel anointed (16:1-13). From that day "the spirit of the Lord
departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled
him." He and Samuel parted only to meet once again at one of the
schools of the prophets.
David was now sent for as a "cunning player on an harp" (1
Sam. 16:16, 18), to play before Saul when the evil spirit
troubled him, and thus was introduced to the court of Saul. He
became a great favourite with the king. At length David returned
to his father's house and to his wonted avocation as a shepherd
for perhaps some three years. The Philistines once more invaded
the land, and gathered their army between Shochoh and Azekah, in
Ephes-dammim, on the southern slope of the valley of Elah. Saul
and the men of Israel went forth to meet them, and encamped on
the northern slope of the same valley which lay between the two
armies. It was here that David slew Goliath of Gath, the
champion of the Philistines (17:4-54), an exploit which led to
the flight and utter defeat of the Philistine army. Saul now
took David permanently into his service (18:2); but he became
jealous of him (ver. 9), and on many occasions showed his enmity
toward him (ver. 10, 11), his enmity ripening into a purpose of
murder which at different times he tried in vain to carry out.
After some time the Philistines "gathered themselves together"
in the plain of Esdraelon, and pitched their camp at Shunem, on
the slope of Little Hermon; and Saul "gathered all Israel
together," and "pitched in Gilboa" (1 Sam. 28:3-14). Being
unable to discover the mind of the Lord, Saul, accompanied by
two of his retinue, betook himself to the "witch of Endor," some
7 or 8 miles distant. Here he was overwhelmed by the startling
communication that was mysteriously made to him by Samuel (ver.
16-19), who appeared to him. "He fell straightway all along on
the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel"
(ver. 20). The Philistine host "fought against Israel: and the
men of Israel fled before the Philistines, and fell down slain
in Mount Gilboa" (31:1). In his despair at the disaster that had
befallen his army, Saul "took a sword and fell upon it." And the
Philistines on the morrow "found Saul and his three sons fallen
in Mount Gilboa." Having cut off his head, they sent it with his
weapons to Philistia, and hung up the skull in the temple of
Dagon at Ashdod. They suspended his headless body, with that of
Jonathan, from the walls of Bethshan. The men of Jabesh-gilead
afterwards removed the bodies from this position; and having
burnt the flesh, they buried the bodies under a tree at Jabesh.
The remains were, however, afterwards removed to the family
sepulchre at Zelah (2 Sam. 21:13, 14). (See DAVID ¯T0000982.)
(3.) "Who is also called Paul" (q.v.), the circumcision name
of the apostle, given to him, perhaps, in memory of King Saul
(Acts 7:58; 8:1; 9:1).