sacred city, a city of Phrygia, where was a Christian church
under the care of Epaphras (Col. 4:12, 13). This church was
founded at the same time as that of Colosse. It now bears the
name of Pambuk-Kalek, i.e., "Cotton Castle", from the white
appearance of the cliffs at the base of which the ruins are
a fortress in Jerusalem, at the north-west corner of the temple
area. It is called "the castle" (Acts 21:34, 37). From the
stairs of this castle Paul delivered his famous speech to the
multitude in the area below (Acts 22:1-21). It was originally a
place in which were kept the vestments of the high priest. Herod
fortified it, and called it Antonia in honour of his friend Mark
Antony. It was of great size, and commanded the temple. It was
built on a plateau of rock, separated on the north from the hill
Bezetha by a ditch about 30 feet deep and 165 feet wide.
a military fortress (1 Chr. 11:7), also probably a kind of tower
used by the priests for making known anything discovered at a
distance (1 Chr. 6:54). Castles are also mentioned (Gen. 25:16)
as a kind of watch-tower, from which shepherds kept watch over
their flocks by night. The "castle" into which the chief captain
commanded Paul to be brought was the quarters of the Roman
soldiers in the fortress of Antonia (so called by Herod after
his patron Mark Antony), which was close to the north-west
corner of the temple (Acts 21:34), which it commanded.
the Black Fortress, was built by Herod the Great in the gorge of
Callirhoe, one of the wadies 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, as a
frontier rampart against Arab marauders. John the Baptist was
probably cast into the prison connected with this castle by
Herod Antipas, whom he had reproved for his adulterous marriage
with Herodias. Here Herod "made a supper" on his birthday. He
was at this time marching against Aretas, king of Perea, to
whose daughter he had been married. During the revelry of the
banquet held in the border fortress, to please Salome, who
danced before him, he sent an executioner, who beheaded John,
and "brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel"
(Mark 6:14-29). This castle stood "starkly bold and clear" 3,860
feet above the Dead Sea, and 2,546 above the Mediterranean. Its
ruins, now called M'khaur, are still visible on the northern end
of Jebel Attarus.
(Matt. 14:3-11; Mark 6:17-28; Luke 3:19), the daughter of
Aristobulus and Bernice. While residing at Rome with her husband
Herod Philip I. and her daughter, Herod Antipas fell in with her
during one of his journeys to that city. She consented to leave
her husband and become his wife. Some time after, Herod met John
the Baptist, who boldly declared the marriage to be unlawful.
For this he was "cast into prison," in the castle probably of
Machaerus (q.v.), and was there subsequently beheaded.
trodden hard, or fastness, or "the waterless hill", the name of
the Canaanitish city which stood on Mount Zion (Josh. 15:8;
18:16, 28). It is identified with Jerusalem (q.v.) in Judg.
19:10, and with the castle or city of David (1 Chr. 11:4,5). It
was a place of great natural strength, and its capture was one
of David's most brilliant achievements (2 Sam. 5:8).
a city of Asia Minor, on the borders of Lydia and Mysia. Its
modern name is Ak-hissar, i.e., "white castle." Here was one of
the seven churches (Rev. 1:11; 2:18-28). Lydia, the seller of
purple, or rather of cloth dyed with this colour, was from this
city (Acts 16:14). It was and still is famous for its dyeing.
Among the ruins, inscriptions have been found relating to the
guild of dyers in that city in ancient times.
David, City of
(1.) David took from the Jebusites the fortress of Mount Zion.
He "dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David" (1 Chr.
11:7). This was the name afterwards given to the castle and
royal palace on Mount Zion, as distinguished from Jerusalem
generally (1 Kings 3:1; 8:1), It was on the south-west side of
Jerusalem, opposite the temple mount, with which it was
connected by a bridge over the Tyropoeon valley.
(2) Bethlehem is called the "city of David" (Luke 2:4, 11),
because it was David's birth-place and early home (1 Sam.
The city of this name mentioned in Scripture lay on the confines
of Phrygia and Lydia, about 40 miles east of Ephesus (Rev.
3:14), on the banks of the Lycus. It was originally called
Diospolis and then Rhoas, but afterwards Laodicea, from Laodice,
the wife of Antiochus II., king of Syria, who rebuilt it. It was
one of the most important and flourishing cities of Asia Minor.
At a very early period it became one of the chief seats of
Christianity (Col. 2:1; 4:15; Rev. 1:11, etc.). It is now a
deserted place, called by the Turks Eski-hissar or "old castle."
street; broad place. (1.) The father of Hadadezer, king of Tobah
(2 Sam. 8:3, 12).
(2.) Neh. 10:11.
(3.) The same, probably, as Beth-rehob (2 Sam. 10:6, 8; Judg.
18:28), a place in the north of Israel (Num. 13:21). It is
now supposed to be represented by the castle of Hunin,
south-west of Dan, on the road from Hamath into Coele-Syria.
(4.) A town of Asher (Josh. 19:28), to the east of Zidon.
(5.) Another town of Asher (Josh. 19:30), kept possession of
by the Canaanites (Judg. 1:31).
perfect. (1.) The wife of Zebedee and mother of James and John
(Mat. 27:56), and probably the sister of Mary, the mother of our
Lord (John 19:25). She sought for her sons places of honour in
Christ's kingdom (Matt. 20:20, 21; comp. 19:28). She witnessed
the crucifixion (Mark 15:40), and was present with the other
women at the sepulchre (Matt. 27:56).
(2.) "The daughter of Herodias," not named in the New
Testament. On the occasion of the birthday festival held by
Herod Antipas, who had married her mother Herodias, in the
fortress of Machaerus, she "came in and danced, and pleased
Herod" (Mark 6:14-29). John the Baptist, at that time a prisoner
in the dungeons underneath the castle, was at her request
beheaded by order of Herod, and his head given to the damsel in
a charger, "and the damsel gave it to her mother," whose
revengeful spirit was thus gratified. "A luxurious feast of the
period" (says Farrar, Life of Christ) "was not regarded as
complete unless it closed with some gross pantomimic
representation; and doubtless Herod had adopted the evil fashion
of his day. But he had not anticipated for his guests the rare
luxury of seeing a princess, his own niece, a grand-daughter of
Herod the Great and of Mariamne, a descendant, therefore, of
Simon the high priest and the great line of Maccabean princes, a
princess who afterwards became the wife of a tetrarch [Philip,
tetrarch of Trachonitis] and the mother of a king, honouring
them by degrading herself into a scenic dancer."
John the Baptist
the "forerunner of our Lord." We have but fragmentary and
imperfect accounts of him in the Gospels. He was of priestly
descent. His father, Zacharias, was a priest of the course of
Abia (1 Chr. 24:10), and his mother, Elisabeth, was of the
daughters of Aaron (Luke 1:5). The mission of John was the
subject of prophecy (Matt. 3:3; Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1). His birth,
which took place six months before that of Jesus, was foretold
by an angel. Zacharias, deprived of the power of speech as a
token of God's truth and a reproof of his own incredulity with
reference to the birth of his son, had the power of speech
restored to him on the occasion of his circumcision (Luke 1:64).
After this no more is recorded of him for thirty years than what
is mentioned in Luke 1:80. John was a Nazarite from his birth
(Luke 1:15; Num. 6:1-12). He spent his early years in the
mountainous tract of Judah lying between Jerusalem and the Dead
Sea (Matt. 3:1-12).
At length he came forth into public life, and great multitudes
from "every quarter" were attracted to him. The sum of his
preaching was the necessity of repentance. He denounced the
Sadducees and Pharisees as a "generation of vipers," and warned
them of the folly of trusting to external privileges (Luke 3:8).
"As a preacher, John was eminently practical and discriminating.
Self-love and covetousness were the prevalent sins of the people
at large. On them, therefore, he enjoined charity and
consideration for others. The publicans he cautioned against
extortion, the soldiers against crime and plunder." His doctrine
and manner of life roused the entire south of Israel, and the
people from all parts flocked to the place where he was, on the
banks of the Jordan. There he baptized thousands unto
The fame of John reached the ears of Jesus in Nazareth (Matt.
3:5), and he came from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized of John,
on the special ground that it became him to "fulfil all
righteousness" (3:15). John's special office ceased with the
baptism of Jesus, who must now "increase" as the King come to
his kingdom. He continued, however, for a while to bear
testimony to the Messiahship of Jesus. He pointed him out to his
disciples, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God." His public ministry
was suddenly (after about six months probably) brought to a
close by his being cast into prison by Herod, whom he had
reproved for the sin of having taken to himself the wife of his
brother Philip (Luke 3:19). He was shut up in the castle of
Machaerus (q.v.), a fortress on the southern extremity of
Peraea, 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, and here he was beheaded.
His disciples, having consigned the headless body to the grave,
went and told Jesus all that had occurred (Matt. 14:3-12).
John's death occurred apparently just before the third Passover
of our Lord's ministry. Our Lord himself testified regarding him
that he was a "burning and a shining light" (John 5:35).
probably connected with the Roman family of the Pontii, and
called "Pilate" from the Latin pileatus, i.e., "wearing the
pileus", which was the "cap or badge of a manumitted slave," as
indicating that he was a "freedman," or the descendant of one.
He was the sixth in the order of the Roman procurators of Judea
(A.D. 26-36). His headquarters were at Caesarea, but he
frequently went up to Jerusalem. His reign extended over the
period of the ministry of John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ,
in connection with whose trial his name comes into prominent
notice. Pilate was a "typical Roman, not of the antique, simple
stamp, but of the imperial period, a man not without some
remains of the ancient Roman justice in his soul, yet
pleasure-loving, imperious, and corrupt. He hated the Jews whom
he ruled, and in times of irritation freely shed their blood.
They returned his hatred with cordiality, and accused him of
every crime, maladministration, cruelty, and robbery. He visited
Jerusalem as seldom as possible; for, indeed, to one accustomed
to the pleasures of Rome, with its theatres, baths, games, and
gay society, Jerusalem, with its religiousness and
ever-smouldering revolt, was a dreary residence. When he did
visit it he stayed in the palace of Herod the Great, it being
common for the officers sent by Rome into conquered countries to
occupy the palaces of the displaced sovereigns."
After his trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus was brought to the
Roman procurator, Pilate, who had come up to Jerusalem as usual
to preserve order during the Passover, and was now residing,
perhaps, in the castle of Antonia, or it may be in Herod's
palace. Pilate came forth from his palace and met the deputation
from the Sanhedrin, who, in answer to his inquiry as to the
nature of the accusation they had to prefer against Jesus,
accused him of being a "malefactor." Pilate was not satisfied
with this, and they further accused him (1) of sedition, (2)
preventing the payment of the tribute to Caesar, and (3) of
assuming the title of king (Luke 23:2). Pilate now withdrew with
Jesus into the palace (John 18:33) and examined him in private
(37,38); and then going out to the deputation still standing
before the gate, he declared that he could find no fault in
Jesus (Luke 23:4). This only aroused them to more furious
clamour, and they cried that he excited the populace "throughout
all Jewry, beginning from Galilee." When Pilate heard of
Galilee, he sent the accused to Herod Antipas, who had
jurisdiction over that province, thus hoping to escape the
difficulty in which he found himself. But Herod, with his men of
war, set Jesus at nought, and sent him back again to Pilate,
clad in a purple robe of mockery (23:11, 12).
Pilate now proposed that as he and Herod had found no fault in
him, they should release Jesus; and anticipating that they would
consent to this proposal, he ascended the judgment-seat as if
ready to ratify the decision (Matt. 27:19). But at this moment
his wife (Claudia Procula) sent a message to him imploring him
to have nothing to do with the "just person." Pilate's feelings
of perplexity and awe were deepened by this incident, while the
crowd vehemently cried out, "Not this man, but Barabbas." Pilate
answered, "What then shall I do with Jesus?" The fierce cry
immediately followed. "Let him be crucified." Pilate, apparently
vexed, and not knowning what to do, said, "Why, what evil hath
he done?" but with yet fiercer fanaticism the crowd yelled out,
"Away with him! crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate yielded, and
sent Jesus away to be scourged. This scourging was usually
inflicted by lictors; but as Pilate was only a procurator he had
no lictor, and hence his soldiers inflicted this terrible
punishment. This done, the soldiers began to deride the
sufferer, and they threw around him a purple robe, probably some
old cast-off robe of state (Matt. 27:28; John 19:2), and putting
a reed in his right hand, and a crowd of thorns on his head,
bowed the knee before him in mockery, and saluted him, saying,
"Hail, King of the Jews!" They took also the reed and smote him
with it on the head and face, and spat in his face, heaping upon
him every indignity.
Pilate then led forth Jesus from within the Praetorium (Matt.
27:27) before the people, wearing the crown of thorns and the
purple robe, saying, "Behold the man!" But the sight of Jesus,
now scourged and crowned and bleeding, only stirred their hatred
the more, and again they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!"
and brought forth this additional charge against him, that he
professed to be "the Son of God." Pilate heard this accusation
with a superstitious awe, and taking him once more within the
Praetorium, asked him, "Whence art thou?" Jesus gave him no
answer. Pilate was irritated by his continued silence, and said,
"Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee?" Jesus,
with calm dignity, answered the Roman, "Thou couldest have no
power at all against me, except it were given thee from above."
After this Pilate seemed more resolved than ever to let Jesus
go. The crowd perceiving this cried out, "If thou let this man
go, thou art not Caesar's friend." This settled the matter. He
was afraid of being accused to the emperor. Calling for water,
he washed his hands in the sight of the people, saying, "I am
innocent of the blood of this just person." The mob, again
scorning his scruples, cried, "His blood be on us, and on our
children." Pilate was stung to the heart by their insults, and
putting forth Jesus before them, said, "Shall I crucify your
King?" The fatal moment had now come. They madly exclaimed, "We
have no king but Caesar;" and now Jesus is given up to them, and
led away to be crucified.
By the direction of Pilate an inscription was placed,
according to the Roman custom, over the cross, stating the crime
for which he was crucified. Having ascertained from the
centurion that he was dead, he gave up the body to Joseph of
Arimathea to be buried. Pilate's name now disappears from the
Gospel history. References to him, however, are found in the
Acts of the Apostles (3:13; 4:27; 13:28), and in 1 Tim. 6:13. In
A.D. 36 the governor of Syria brought serious accusations
against Pilate, and he was banished to Vienne in Gaul, where,
according to tradition, he committed suicide.