a Persian word (Assyr, sivanu, "bricks"), used after the
Captivity as the name of the third month of the Jewish year,
extending from the new moon in June to the new moon in July
Queen of heaven
(Jer. 7:18; 44:17, 25), the moon, worshipped by the Assyrians as
the receptive power in nature.
New Moon, Feast of
Special services were appointed for the commencement of a month
(Num. 28:11-15; 10:10). (See FESTIVALS ¯T0001325.)
one of the gods worshipped by the people of Sepharvaim, who
colonized Samaria (2 Kings 17:31). The name means "Anu is king."
It was a female deity representing the moon, as Adrammelech
(q.v.) was the male representing the sun.
the name adopted from the Babylonians by the Jews after the
Captivity for the third civil, or ninth ecclesiastical, month
(Neh. 1:1; Zech. 7:1). It corresponds nearly with the moon in
(Neh. 6:15), the name of the sixth month of the ecclesiastical
year, and the twelfth of the civil year. It began with the new
moon of our August and September, and consisted of twenty-nine
the eleventh month of the Hebrew year, extending from the new
moon of February to that of March (Zech. 1:7). Assyrian sabatu,
"storm." (See MONTH ¯T0002592.)
large, the sixth month of the civil and the twelfth of the
ecclesiastical year of the Jews (Esther 3:7, 13; 8:12; 9:1, 15,
17, 19, 21). It included the days extending from the new moon of
our March to the new moon of April. The name was first used
after the Captivity. When the season was backward, and the lambs
not yet of a paschal size, or the barley not forward enough for
abib, then a month called Veadar, i.e., a second Adar, was
lion-like, venerable. (1.) A king of Ellasar who was confederate
with Chedorlamer (Gen. 14:1,9). The tablets recently discovered
by Mr. Pinches (see CHALDEA ¯T0000758) show the true reading is
Eri-Aku of Larsa. This Elamite name meant "servant of the
moon-god." It was afterwards changed into Rimsin, "Have mercy, O
moon-god." (2.) Dan. 2:14.
Among the Egyptians the month of thirty days each was in use
long before the time of the Exodus, and formed the basis of
their calculations. From the time of the institution of the
Mosaic law the month among the Jews was lunar. The cycle of
religious feasts depended on the moon. The commencement of a
month was determined by the observation of the new moon. The
number of months in the year was usually twelve (1 Kings 4:7; 1
Chr. 27:1-15); but every third year an additional month
(ve-Adar) was inserted, so as to make the months coincide with
"The Hebrews and Phoenicians had no word for month save
'moon,' and only saved their calendar from becoming vague like
that of the Moslems by the interpolation of an additional month.
There is no evidence at all that they ever used a true solar
year such as the Egyptians possessed. The latter had twelve
months of thirty days and five epagomenac or odd days.",
Israel Quarterly, January 1889.
Ashteroth of the two horns, the abode of the Rephaim (Gen.
14:5). It may be identified with Ashtaroth preceding; called
"Karnaim", i.e., the "two-horned" (the crescent moon). The
Samaritan version renders the word by "Sunamein," the present
es-Sunamein, 28 miles south of Damascus.
Host of heaven
The sun, moon, and stars are so designated (Gen. 2:1). When the
Jews fell into idolatry they worshipped these (Deut. 4:19; 2
Kings 17:16; 21:3,5; 23:5; Jer. 19:13; Zeph. 1:5; Acts 7:42).
probably the same as epileptic, the symptoms of which disease
were supposed to be more aggravated as the moon increased. In
Matt. 4:24 "lunatics" are distinguished from demoniacs. In 17:15
the name "lunatic" is applied to one who is declared to have
been possessed. (See DAEMONIAC ¯T0000957.)
the post-biblical name of the month which was the eighth of the
sacred and the second of the civil year of the Jews. It began
with the new moon of our November. It is once called Bul (1
Kings 6:38). Assyrian, Arah Samna, "eighth month,"
heb. yareah, from its paleness (Ezra 6:15), and lebanah, the
"white" (Cant. 6:10; Isa. 24:23), was appointed by the Creator
to be with the sun "for signs, and for seasons, and for days,
and years" (Gen. 1:14-16). A lunation was among the Jews the
period of a month, and several of their festivals were held on
the day of the new moon. It is frequently referred to along with
the sun (Josh. 10:12; Ps. 72:5, 7, 17; 89:36, 37; Eccl. 12:2;
Isa. 24:23, etc.), and also by itself (Ps. 8:3; 121:6).
The great brilliance of the moon in Eastern countries led to
its being early an object of idolatrous worship (Deut. 4:19;
17:3; Job 31:26), a form of idolatry against which the Jews were
warned (Deut. 4:19; 17:3). They, however, fell into this
idolatry, and offered incense (2 Kings 23:5; Jer. 8:2), and also
cakes of honey, to the moon (Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19, 25).
of the sun alluded to in Amos 8:9; Micah 3:6; Zech. 14:6; Joel
2:10. Eclipses were regarded as tokens of God's anger (Joel
3:15; Job 9:7). The darkness at the crucifixion has been
ascribed to an eclipse (Matt. 27:45); but on the other hand it
is argued that the great intensity of darkness caused by an
eclipse never lasts for more than six minutes, and this darkness
lasted for three hours. Moreover, at the time of the Passover
the moon was full, and therefore there could not be an eclipse
of the sun, which is caused by an interposition of the moon
between the sun and the earth.
(Heb. shemesh), first mentioned along with the moon as the two
great luminaries of heaven (Gen. 1:14-18). By their motions and
influence they were intended to mark and divide times and
seasons. The worship of the sun was one of the oldest forms of
false religion (Job 31:26,27), and was common among the
Egyptians and Chaldeans and other pagan nations. The Jews were
warned against this form of idolatry (Deut. 4:19; 17:3; comp. 2
Kings 23:11; Jer. 19:13).
"To tire" the head is to adorn it (2 Kings 9:30). As a noun the
word is derived from "tiara," and is the rendering of the Heb.
p'er, a "turban" or an ornament for the head (Ezek. 24:17; R.V.,
"headtire;" 24:23). In Isa. 3:18 the word _saharonim_ is
rendered "round tires like the moon," and in Judg. 8:21, 26
"ornaments," but in both cases "crescents" in the Revised
light, or the moon city, a city "of the Chaldees," the
birthplace of Haran (Gen. 11:28,31), the largest city of Shinar
or northern Chaldea, and the principal commercial centre of the
country as well as the centre of political power. It stood near
the mouth of the Euphrates, on its western bank, and is
represented by the mounds (of bricks cemented by bitumen) of
el-Mugheir, i.e., "the bitumined," or "the town of bitumen," now
150 miles from the sea and some 6 miles from the Euphrates, a
little above the point where it receives the Shat el-Hie, an
affluent from the Tigris. It was formerly a maritime city, as
the waters of the Persian Gulf reached thus far inland. Ur was
the port of Babylonia, whence trade was carried on with the
dwellers on the gulf, and with the distant countries of India,
Ethiopia, and Egypt. It was abandoned about B.C. 500, but long
continued, like Erech, to be a great sacred cemetery city, as is
evident from the number of tombs found there. (See ABRAHAM
The oldest king of Ur known to us is Ur-Ba'u (servant of the
goddess Ba'u), as Hommel reads the name, or Ur-Gur, as others
read it. He lived some twenty-eight hundred years B.C., and took
part in building the famous temple of the moon-god Sin in Ur
itself. The illustration here given represents his cuneiform
inscription, written in the Sumerian language, and stamped upon
every brick of the temple in Ur. It reads: "Ur-Ba'u, king of Ur,
who built the temple of the moon-god."
"Ur was consecrated to the worship of Sin, the Babylonian
moon-god. It shared this honour, however, with another city, and
this city was Haran, or Harran. Harran was in Mesopotamia, and
took its name from the highroad which led through it from the
east to the west. The name is Babylonian, and bears witness to
its having been founded by a Babylonian king. The same witness
is still more decisively borne by the worship paid in it to the
Babylonian moon-god and by its ancient temple of Sin. Indeed,
the temple of the moon-god at Harran was perhaps even more
famous in the Assyrian and Babylonian world than the temple of
the moon-god at Ur.
"Between Ur and Harran there must, consequently, have been a
close connection in early times, the record of which has not yet
been recovered. It may be that Harran owed its foundation to a
king of Ur; at any rate the two cities were bound together by
the worship of the same deity, the closest and most enduring
bond of union that existed in the ancient world. That Terah
should have migrated from Ur to Harran, therefore, ceases to be
extraordinary. If he left Ur at all, it was the most natural
place to which to go. It was like passing from one court of a
temple into another.
"Such a remarkable coincidence between the Biblical narrative
and the evidence of archaeological research cannot be the result
of chance. The narrative must be historical; no writer of late
date, even if he were a Babylonian, could have invented a story
so exactly in accordance with what we now know to have been the
truth. For a story of the kind to have been the invention of
Palestinian tradition is equally impossible. To the unprejudiced
mind there is no escape from the conclusion that the history of
the migration of Terah from Ur to Harran is founded on fact"
On the night of his betrayal, when our Lord was in the garden of
Gethsemane, Judas, "having received a band of men and officers
from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with
lanterns and torches and weapons" (John 18:1-3). Although it was
the time of full moon, yet in the valley of the Kidron "there
fell great, deep shadows from the declivity of the mountain and
projecting rocks; there were there caverns and grottos, into
which a fugitive might retreat; finally, there were probably a
garden-house and tower, into whose gloom it might be necessary
for a searcher to throw light around." Lange's Commentary.
(Nahum 2:3, "torches," Revised Version, "steel," probably should
be "scythes" for war-chariots.)
the moon goddess of the Phoenicians, representing the passive
principle in nature, their principal female deity; frequently
associated with the name of Baal, the sun-god, their chief male
deity (Judg. 10:6; 1 Sam. 7:4; 12:10). These names often occur
in the plural (Ashtaroth, Baalim), probably as indicating either
different statues or different modifications of the deities.
This deity is spoken of as Ashtoreth of the Zidonians. She was
the Ishtar of the Accadians and the Astarte of the Greeks (Jer.
44:17; 1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:13). There was a temple of
this goddess among the Philistines in the time of Saul (1 Sam.
31:10). Under the name of Ishtar, she was one of the great
deities of the Assyrians. The Phoenicians called her Astarte.
Solomon introduced the worship of this idol (1 Kings 11:33).
Jezebel's 400 priests were probably employed in its service (1
Kings 18:19). It was called the "queen of heaven" (Jer. 44:25).
(LXX., "Orech"), length, or Moon-town, one of the cities of
Nimrod's kingdom in the plain of Shinar (Gen. 10:10); the Orchoe
of the Greeks and Romans. It was probably the city of the
Archevites, who were transplanted to Samaria by Asnapper (Ezra
4:9). It lay on the left bank of the Euphrates, about 120 miles
south-east of Babylon, and is now represented by the mounds and
ruins of Warka. It appears to have been the necropolis of the
Assyrian kings, as the whole region is strewed with bricks and
the remains of coffins. "Standing on the summit of the principal
edifice, called the Buwarizza, a tower 200 feet square in the
centre of the ruins, the beholder is struck with astonishment at
the enormous accumulation of mounds and ancient relics at his
feet. An irregular circle, nearly 6 miles in circumference, is
defined by the traces of an earthen rampart, in some places 40
and Aij'alon, place of deer. (1.) A town and valley originally
assigned to the tribe of Dan, from which, however, they could
not drive the Amorites (Judg. 1:35). It was one of the Levitical
cities given to the Kohathites (1 Chr. 6:69). It was not far
from Beth-shemesh (2 Chr. 28:18). It was the boundary between
the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, and is frequently mentioned in
Jewish history (2 Chr. 11:10; 1 Sam. 14:31; 1 Chr. 8:13). With
reference to the valley named after the town, Joshua uttered the
celebrated command, "Sun, stand thou still on Gibeon; and thou,
Moon, in the valley of Ajalon" (Josh. 10:12). It has been
identified as the modern Yalo, at the foot of the Beth-horon
pass (q.v.). In the Tell Amarna letters Adoni-zedek (q.v.)
speaks of the destruction of the "city of Ajalon" by the
invaders, and describes himself as "afflicted, greatly
afflicted" by the calamities that had come on the land, urging
the king of Egypt to hasten to his help.
(2.) A city in the tribe of Zebulun (Judg. 12:12), the modern
Jalun, three miles north of Cabul.
(= Khudur-Lagamar of the inscriptions), king of Elam. Many
centuries before the age of Abraham, Canaan and even the
Sinaitic peninsula had been conquered by Babylonian kings, and
in the time of Abraham himself Babylonia was ruled by a dynasty
which claimed sovereignity over Syria and Israel. The kings
of the dynasty bore names which were not Babylonian, but at once
South Arabic and Hebrew. The most famous king of the dynasty was
Khammu-rabi, who united Babylonia under one rule, and made
Babylon its capital. When he ascended the throne, the country
was under the suzerainty of the Elamites, and was divided into
two kingdoms, that of Babylon (the Biblical Shinar) and that of
Larsa (the Biblical Ellasar). The king of Larsa was Eri-Aku
("the servant of the moon-god"), the son of an Elamite prince,
Kudur-Mabug, who is entitled "the father of the land of the
Amorites." A recently discovered tablet enumerates among the
enemies of Khammu-rabi, Kudur-Lagamar ("the servant of the
goddess Lagamar") or Chedorlaomer, Eri-Aku or Arioch, and
Tudkhula or Tidal. Khammu-rabi, whose name is also read
Ammi-rapaltu or Amraphel by some scholars, succeeded in
overcoming Eri-Aku and driving the Elamites out of Babylonia.
Assur-bani-pal, the last of the Assyrian conquerors, mentions in
two inscriptions that he took Susa 1635 years after
Kedor-nakhunta, king of Elam, had conquered Babylonia. It was in
the year B.C. 660 that Assur-bani-pal took Susa.
(1.) Heb. kebes, a male lamb from the first to the third year.
Offered daily at the morning and the evening sacrifice (Ex.
29:38-42), on the Sabbath day (Num. 28:9), at the feast of the
New Moon (28:11), of Trumpets (29:2), of Tabernacles (13-40), of
Pentecost (Lev. 23:18-20), and of the Passover (Ex. 12:5), and
on many other occasions (1 Chr. 29:21; 2 Chr. 29:21; Lev. 9:3;
(2.) Heb. taleh, a young sucking lamb (1 Sam. 7:9; Isa.
65:25). In the symbolical language of Scripture the lamb is the
type of meekness and innocence (Isa. 11:6; 65:25; Luke 10:3;
The lamb was a symbol of Christ (Gen. 4:4; Ex. 12:3; 29:38;
Isa. 16:1; 53:7; John 1:36; Rev. 13:8).
Christ is called the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36), as the great
sacrifice of which the former sacrifices were only types (Num.
6:12; Lev. 14:12-17; Isa. 53:7; 1 Cor. 5:7).
Colossians, Epistle to the
was written by Paul at Rome during his first imprisonment there
(Acts 28:16, 30), probably in the spring of A.D. 57, or, as some
think, 62, and soon after he had written his Epistle to the
Ephesians. Like some of his other epistles (e.g., those to
Corinth), this seems to have been written in consequence of
information which had somehow been conveyed to him of the
internal state of the church there (Col. 1:4-8). Its object was
to counteract false teaching. A large part of it is directed
against certain speculatists who attempted to combine the
doctrines of Oriental mysticism and asceticism with
Christianity, thereby promising the disciples the enjoyment of a
higher spiritual life and a deeper insight into the world of
spirits. Paul argues against such teaching, showing that in
Christ Jesus they had all things. He sets forth the majesty of
his redemption. The mention of the "new moon" and "sabbath days"
(2:16) shows also that there were here Judaizing teachers who
sought to draw away the disciples from the simplicity of the
Like most of Paul's epistles, this consists of two parts, a
doctrinal and a practical.
(1.) The doctrinal part comprises the first two chapters. His
main theme is developed in chapter 2. He warns them against
being drawn away from Him in whom dwelt all the fulness of the
Godhead, and who was the head of all spiritual powers. Christ
was the head of the body of which they were members; and if they
were truly united to him, what needed they more?
(2.) The practical part of the epistle (3-4) enforces various
duties naturally flowing from the doctrines expounded. They are
exhorted to mind things that are above (3:1-4), to mortify every
evil principle of their nature, and to put on the new man
(3:5-14). Many special duties of the Christian life are also
insisted upon as the fitting evidence of the Christian
character. Tychicus was the bearer of the letter, as he was also
of that to the Ephesians and to Philemon, and he would tell them
of the state of the apostle (4:7-9). After friendly greetings
(10-14), he bids them interchange this letter with that he had
sent to the neighbouring church of Laodicea. He then closes this
brief but striking epistle with his usual autograph salutation.
There is a remarkable resemblance between this epistle and that
to the Ephesians (q.v.). The genuineness of this epistle has not
been called in question.
There were daily (Lev. 23), weekly, monthly, and yearly
festivals, and great stress was laid on the regular observance
of them in every particular (Num. 28:1-8; Ex. 29:38-42; Lev.
6:8-23; Ex. 30:7-9; 27:20).
(1.) The septenary festivals were,
(a) The weekly Sabbath (Lev. 23:1-3; Ex. 19:3-30; 20:8-11;
(b) The seventh new moon, or the feast of Trumpets (Num.
(c) The Sabbatical year (Ex. 23:10, 11; Lev. 25:2-7).
(d) The year of jubilee (Lev. 23-35; 25: 8-16; 27:16-25).
(2.) The great feasts were,
(a) The Passover. (b) The feast of Pentecost, or of weeks. (c)
The feast of Tabernacles, or of ingathering.
On each of these occasions every male Israelite was commanded
"to appear before the Lord" (Deut. 27:7; Neh. 8:9-12). The
attendance of women was voluntary. (Comp. Luke 2:41; 1 Sam. 1:7;
2:19.) The promise that God would protect their homes (Ex.
34:23, 24) while all the males were absent in Jerusalem at these
feasts was always fulfilled. "During the whole period between
Moses and Christ we never read of an enemy invading the land at
the time of the three festivals. The first instance on record is
thirty-three years after they had withdrawn from themselves the
divine protection by imbruing their hands in the Saviour's
blood, when Cestius, the Roman general, slew fifty of the people
of Lydda while all the rest had gone up to the feast of
Tabernacles, A.D. 66."
These festivals, besides their religious purpose, had an
important bearing on the maintenance among the people of the
feeling of a national unity. The times fixed for their
observance were arranged so as to interfere as little as
possible with the industry of the people. The Passover was kept
just before the harvest commenced, Pentecost at the conclusion
of the corn harvest and before the vintage, the feast of
Tabernacles after all the fruits of the ground had been gathered
(3.) The Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the seventh month
(Lev. 16:1, 34; 23:26-32; Num. 29:7-11). (See ATONEMENT, DAY OF
Of the post-Exilian festivals reference is made to the feast
of Dedication (John 10:22). This feast was appointed by Judas
Maccabaeus in commemoration of the purification of the temple
after it had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes. The "feast of
Purim" (q.v.), Esther 9:24-32, was also instituted after the
Exile. (Cf. John 5:1.)
of Sin (the moon god), called also Horeb, the name of the
mountain district which was reached by the Hebrews in the third
month after the Exodus. Here they remained encamped for about a
whole year. Their journey from the Red Sea to this encampment,
including all the windings of the route, was about 150 miles.
The last twenty-two chapters of Exodus, together with the whole
of Leviticus and Num. ch. 1-11, contain a record of all the
transactions which occurred while they were here. From Rephidim
(Ex. 17:8-13) the Israelites journeyed forward through the Wady
Solaf and Wady esh-Sheikh into the plain of er-Rahah, "the
desert of Sinai," about 2 miles long and half a mile broad, and
encamped there "before the mountain." The part of the mountain
range, a protruding lower bluff, known as the Ras Sasafeh
(Sufsafeh), rises almost perpendicularly from this plain, and is
in all probability the Sinai of history. Dean Stanley thus
describes the scene:, "The plain itself is not broken and uneven
and narrowly shut in, like almost all others in the range, but
presents a long retiring sweep, within which the people could
remove and stand afar off. The cliff, rising like a huge altar
in front of the whole congregation, and visible against the sky
in lonely grandeur from end to end of the whole plain, is the
very image of the 'mount that might be touched,' and from which
the voice of God might be heard far and wide over the plain
below." This was the scene of the giving of the law. From the
Ras Sufsafeh the law was proclaimed to the people encamped below
in the plain of er-Rahah. During the lengthened period of their
encampment here the Israelites passed through a very memorable
experience. An immense change passed over them. They are now an
organized nation, bound by covenant engagement to serve the Lord
their God, their ever-present divine Leader and Protector. At
length, in the second month of the second year of the Exodus,
they move their camp and march forward according to a prescribed
order. After three days they reach the "wilderness of Paran,"
the "et-Tih", i.e., "the desert", and here they make their first
encampment. At this time a spirit of discontent broke out
amongst them, and the Lord manifested his displeasure by a fire
which fell on the encampment and inflicted injury on them. Moses
called the place Taberah (q.v.), Num. 11:1-3. The journey
between Sinai and the southern boundary of the Promised Land
(about 150 miles) at Kadesh was accomplished in about a year.
(See MAP facing page 204.)
image-worship or divine honour paid to any created object. Paul
describes the origin of idolatry in Rom. 1:21-25: men forsook
God, and sank into ignorance and moral corruption (1:28).
The forms of idolatry are, (1.) Fetishism, or the worship of
trees, rivers, hills, stones, etc.
(2.) Nature worship, the worship of the sun, moon, and stars,
as the supposed powers of nature.
(3.) Hero worship, the worship of deceased ancestors, or of
In Scripture, idolatry is regarded as of heathen origin, and
as being imported among the Hebrews through contact with heathen
nations. The first allusion to idolatry is in the account of
Rachel stealing her father's teraphim (Gen. 31:19), which were
the relics of the worship of other gods by Laban's progenitors
"on the other side of the river in old time" (Josh. 24:2).
During their long residence in Egypt the Hebrews fell into
idolatry, and it was long before they were delivered from it
(Josh. 24:14; Ezek. 20:7). Many a token of God's displeasure
fell upon them because of this sin.
The idolatry learned in Egypt was probably rooted out from
among the people during the forty years' wanderings; but when
the Jews entered Israel, they came into contact with the
monuments and associations of the idolatry of the old
Canaanitish races, and showed a constant tendency to depart from
the living God and follow the idolatrous practices of those
heathen nations. It was their great national sin, which was only
effectually rebuked by the Babylonian exile. That exile finally
purified the Jews of all idolatrous tendencies.
The first and second commandments are directed against
idolatry of every form. Individuals and communities were equally
amenable to the rigorous code. The individual offender was
devoted to destruction (Ex. 22:20). His nearest relatives were
not only bound to denounce him and deliver him up to punishment
(Deut. 13:20-10), but their hands were to strike the first blow
when, on the evidence of two witnesses at least, he was stoned
(Deut. 17:2-7). To attempt to seduce others to false worship was
a crime of equal enormity (13:6-10). An idolatrous nation shared
the same fate. No facts are more strongly declared in the Old
Testament than that the extermination of the Canaanites was the
punishment of their idolatry (Ex. 34:15, 16; Deut. 7; 12:29-31;
20:17), and that the calamities of the Israelites were due to
the same cause (Jer. 2:17). "A city guilty of idolatry was
looked upon as a cancer in the state; it was considered to be in
rebellion, and treated according to the laws of war. Its
inhabitants and all their cattle were put to death." Jehovah was
the theocratic King of Israel, the civil Head of the
commonwealth, and therefore to an Israelite idolatry was a state
offence (1 Sam. 15:23), high treason. On taking possession of
the land, the Jews were commanded to destroy all traces of every
kind of the existing idolatry of the Canaanites (Ex. 23:24, 32;
34:13; Deut. 7:5, 25; 12:1-3).
In the New Testament the term idolatry is used to designate
covetousness (Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13; Col. 3:5; Eph. 5:5).
The psalms are the production of various authors. "Only a
portion of the Book of Psalms claims David as its author. Other
inspired poets in successive generations added now one now
another contribution to the sacred collection, and thus in the
wisdom of Providence it more completely reflects every phase of
human emotion and circumstances than it otherwise could." But it
is specially to David and his contemporaries that we owe this
precious book. In the "titles" of the psalms, the genuineness of
which there is no sufficient reason to doubt, 73 are ascribed to
David. Peter and John (Acts 4:25) ascribe to him also the second
psalm, which is one of the 48 that are anonymous. About
two-thirds of the whole collection have been ascribed to David.
Psalms 39, 62, and 77 are addressed to Jeduthun, to be sung
after his manner or in his choir. Psalms 50 and 73-83 are
addressed to Asaph, as the master of his choir, to be sung in
the worship of God. The "sons of Korah," who formed a leading
part of the Kohathite singers (2 Chr. 20:19), were intrusted
with the arranging and singing of Ps. 42, 44-49, 84, 85, 87, and
In Luke 24:44 the word "psalms" means the Hagiographa, i.e.,
the holy writings, one of the sections into which the Jews
divided the Old Testament. (See BIBLE ¯T0000580.)
None of the psalms can be proved to have been of a later date
than the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, hence the whole collection
extends over a period of about 1,000 years. There are in the New
Testament 116 direct quotations from the Psalter.
The Psalter is divided, after the analogy of the Pentateuch,
into five books, each closing with a doxology or benediction:
(1.) The first book comprises the first 41 psalms, all of
which are ascribed to David except 1, 2, 10, and 33, which,
though anonymous, may also be ascribed to him.
(2.) Book second consists of the next 31 psalms (42-72), 18 of
which are ascribed to David and 1 to Solomon (the 72nd). The
rest are anonymous.
(3.) The third book contains 17 psalms (73-89), of which the
86th is ascribed to David, the 88th to Heman the Ezrahite, and
the 89th to Ethan the Ezrahite.
(4.) The fourth book also contains 17 psalms (90-106), of
which the 90th is ascribed to Moses, and the 101st and 103rd to
(5.) The fifth book contains the remaining psalms, 44 in
number. Of these, 15 are ascribed to David, and the 127th to
Ps. 136 is generally called "the great hallel." But the Talmud
includes also Ps. 120-135. Ps. 113-118, inclusive, constitute
the "hallel" recited at the three great feasts, at the new moon,
and on the eight days of the feast of dedication.
"It is presumed that these several collections were made at
times of high religious life: the first, probably, near the
close of David's life; the second in the days of Solomon; the
third by the singers of Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 20:19); the fourth
by the men of Hezekiah (29, 30, 31); and the fifth in the days
The Mosaic ritual makes no provision for the service of song
in the worship of God. David first taught the Church to sing the
praises of the Lord. He first introduced into the ritual of the
tabernacle music and song.
Divers names are given to the psalms. (1.) Some bear the
Hebrew designation _shir_ (Gr. ode, a song). Thirteen have this
title. It means the flow of speech, as it were, in a straight
line or in a regular strain. This title includes secular as well
as sacred song.
(2.) Fifty-eight psalms bear the designation (Heb.) _mitsmor_
(Gr. psalmos, a psalm), a lyric ode, or a song set to music; a
sacred song accompanied with a musical instrument.
(3.) Ps. 145, and many others, have the designation (Heb.)
_tehillah_ (Gr. hymnos, a hymn), meaning a song of praise; a
song the prominent thought of which is the praise of God.
(4.) Six psalms (16, 56-60) have the title (Heb.) _michtam_
(5.) Ps. 7 and Hab. 3 bear the title (Heb.) _shiggaion_
Joshua, The Book of
contains a history of the Israelites from the death of Moses to
that of Joshua. It consists of three parts: (1.) The history of
the conquest of the land (1-12). (2.) The allotment of the land
to the different tribes, with the appointment of cities of
refuge, the provision for the Levites (13-22), and the dismissal
of the eastern tribes to their homes. This section has been
compared to the Domesday Book of the Norman conquest. (3.) The
farewell addresses of Joshua, with an account of his death (23,
This book stands first in the second of the three sections,
(1) the Law, (2) the Prophets, (3) the "other writings" =
Hagiographa, into which the Jewish Church divided the Old
Testament. There is every reason for concluding that the uniform
tradition of the Jews is correct when they assign the authorship
of the book to Joshua, all except the concluding section; the
last verses (24:29-33) were added by some other hand.
There are two difficulties connected with this book which have
given rise to much discussion, (1.) The miracle of the standing
still of the sun and moon on Gibeon. The record of it occurs in
Joshua's impassioned prayer of faith, as quoted (Josh. 10:12-15)
from the "Book of Jasher" (q.v.). There are many explanations
given of these words. They need, however, present no difficulty
if we believe in the possibility of God's miraculous
interposition in behalf of his people. Whether it was caused by
the refraction of the light, or how, we know not.
(2.) Another difficulty arises out of the command given by God
utterly to exterminate the Canaanites. "Shall not the Judge of
all the earth do right?" It is enough that Joshua clearly knew
that this was the will of God, who employs his terrible
agencies, famine, pestilence, and war, in the righteous
government of this world. The Canaanites had sunk into a state
of immorality and corruption so foul and degrading that they had
to be rooted out of the land with the edge of the sword. "The
Israelites' sword, in its bloodiest executions, wrought a work
of mercy for all the countries of the earth to the very end of
This book resembles the Acts of the Apostles in the number and
variety of historical incidents it records, and in its many
references to persons and places; and as in the latter case the
epistles of Paul (see Paley's Horae Paul.) confirm its
historical accuracy by their incidental allusions and
"undesigned coincidences," so in the former modern discoveries
confirm its historicity. The Amarna tablets (see ADONIZEDEC
¯T0000099) are among the most remarkable discoveries of the age.
Dating from about B.C. 1480 down to the time of Joshua, and
consisting of official communications from Amorite, Phoenician,
and Philistine chiefs to the king of Egypt, they afford a
glimpse into the actual condition of Israel prior to the
Hebrew invasion, and illustrate and confirm the history of the
conquest. A letter, also still extant, from a military officer,
"master of the captains of Egypt," dating from near the end of
the reign of Rameses II., gives a curious account of a journey,
probably official, which he undertook through Israel as far
north as to Aleppo, and an insight into the social condition of
the country at that time. Among the things brought to light by
this letter and the Amarna tablets is the state of confusion and
decay that had now fallen on Egypt. The Egyptian garrisons that
had held possession of Israel from the time of Thothmes III.,
some two hundred years before, had now been withdrawn. The way
was thus opened for the Hebrews. In the history of the conquest
there is no mention of Joshua having encountered any Egyptian
force. The tablets contain many appeals to the king of Egypt for
help against the inroads of the Hebrews, but no help seems ever
to have been sent. Is not this just such a state of things as
might have been anticipated as the result of the disaster of the
Exodus? In many points, as shown under various articles, the
progress of the conquest is remarkably illustrated by the
tablets. The value of modern discoveries in their relation to
Old Testament history has been thus well described:
"The difficulty of establishing the charge of lack of
historical credibility, as against the testimony of the Old
Testament, has of late years greatly increased. The outcome of
recent excavations and explorations is altogether against it. As
long as these books contained, in the main, the only known
accounts of the events they mention, there was some plausibility
in the theory that perhaps these accounts were written rather to
teach moral lessons than to preserve an exact knowledge of
events. It was easy to say in those times men had not the
historic sense. But the recent discoveries touch the events
recorded in the Bible at very many different points in many
different generations, mentioning the same persons, countries,
peoples, events that are mentioned in the Bible, and showing
beyond question that these were strictly historic. The point is
not that the discoveries confirm the correctness of the Biblical
statements, though that is commonly the case, but that the
discoveries show that the peoples of those ages had the historic
sense, and, specifically, that the Biblical narratives they
touch are narratives of actual occurrences."