the wife of Moses (Num. 12:1). It is supposed that Zipporah,
Moses' first wife (Ex. 2:21), was now dead. His marriage of this
"woman" descended from Ham gave offence to Aaron and Miriam.
whom God has loved, one of the seventy elders whom Moses
appointed (Num. 11:26, 27) to administer justice among the
people. He, with Medad, prophesied in the camp instead of going
with the rest to the tabernacle, as Moses had commanded. This
incident was announced to Moses by Joshua, who thought their
conduct in this respect irregular. Moses replied, "Enviest thou
for my sake? would God that all the Lord's people were prophets"
(Num. 11:24-30; comp. Mark 9:38; Luke 9:49).
fortunate, the representative of the tribe of Manasseh among the
twelve "spies" sent by Moses to spy the land (Num. 13:11).
one of those who opposed Moses in Egypt (2 Tim. 3:8). (See
one of the Egyptians who "withstood Moses" (2 Tim. 3:8).
enlargement of the Lord, the son of Eliezer, and grandson of
Moses (1 Chr. 23:17; 24:21).
his excellence, or gain, a prince or priest of Midian, who
succeeded his father Reuel. Moses spent forty years after his
exile from the Egyptian court as keeper of Jethro's flocks.
While the Israelites were encamped at Sinai, and soon after
their victory over Amalek, Jethro came to meet Moses, bringing
with him Zipporah and her two sons. They met at the "mount of
God," and "Moses told him all that the Lord had done unto
Pharaoh" (Ex. 18:8). On the following day Jethro, observing the
multiplicity of the duties devolving on Moses, advised him to
appoint subordinate judges, rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of
fifties, and of tens, to decide smaller matters, leaving only
the weightier matters to be referred to Moses, to be laid before
the Lord. This advice Moses adopted (Ex. 18). He was also called
Hobab (q.v.), which was probably his personal name, while Jethro
was an official name. (See MOSES ¯T0002602.)
(Ex. 32:4,8; Deut. 9:16; Neh. 9:18). This was a molten image of
a calf which the idolatrous Israelites formed at Sinai. This
symbol was borrowed from the custom of the Egyptians. It was
destroyed at the command of Moses (Ex. 32:20). (See AARON
¯T0000002; MOSES ¯T0002602.)
partridge, one of the daughters of Zelophehad the Gileadite, to
whom portions were assigned by Moses (Num. 26:33; 27:1; 36:11).
love, one of the elders nominated to assist Moses in the
government of the people. He and Eldad "prophesied in the camp"
friend of God, (Num. 10:29)=Reuel (q.v.), Ex. 2:18, the
father-in-law of Moses, and probably identical with Jethro
a female bird. Reuel's daughter, who became the wife of Moses
(Ex. 2:21). In consequence of the event recorded in Ex. 4:24-26,
she and her two sons, Gershom and Eliezer, when so far on the
way with Moses toward Egypt, were sent back by him to her own
kinsfolk, the Midianites, with whom they sojourned till Moses
afterwards joined them (18:2-6).
among the Jews, was one versed in the laws of Moses, which he
expounded in the schools and synagogues (Matt. 22:35; Luke
10:25). The functions of the "lawyer" and "scribe" were
identical. (See DOCTOR ¯T0001050.)
swiftness. (1.) A Reubenite whose son was one of the
conspirators against Moses and Aaron (Num. 16:1).
(2.) One of the sons of Jonathan (1 Chr. 2:33).
Water of jealousy
a phrase employed (not, however, in Scripture) to denote the
water used in the solemn ordeal prescribed by the law of Moses
(Num. 5:11-31) in cases of "jealousy."
their rebellion. (1.) The sister of Moses and Aaron (Ex. 2:4-10;
1 Chr. 6:3). Her name is prominent in the history of the Exodus.
She is called "the prophetess" (Ex. 15:20). She took the lead in
the song of triumph after the passage of the Red Sea. She died
at Kadesh during the second encampment at that place, toward the
close of the wanderings in the wilderness, and was buried there
(Num. 20:1). (See AARON ¯T0000002; MOSES ¯T0002602.)
(2.) 1 Chr. 4:17, one of the descendants of Judah.
brother (i.e., "friend") of union. (1.) A son of Bela, the son
of Benjamin (1 Chr. 8:7).
(2.) Name different in Hebrew, meaning brother of Judah. Chief
of the tribe of Asher; one of those appointed by Moses to
superintend the division of Canaan among the tribe (Num. 34:27).
house of Peor; i.e., "temple of Baal-peor", a place in Moab, on
the east of Jordan, opposite Jericho. It was in the tribe of
Reuben (Josh. 13:20; Deut. 3:29; 4:46). In the "ravine" or
valley over against Beth-peor Moses was probably buried (Deut.
in which Jehovah appeared to Moses in the wilderness (Ex. 3:2;
Acts 7:30). It is difficult to say what particular kind of plant
or bush is here meant. Probably it was the mimosa or acacia. The
words "in the bush" in Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37, mean "in the
passage or paragraph on the bush;" i.e., in Ex. 3.
The corners of fields were not to be reaped, and the sheaf
accidentally left behind was not to be fetched away, according
to the law of Moses (Lev. 19:9; 23:22; Deut. 24:21). They were
to be left for the poor to glean. Similar laws were given
regarding vineyards and oliveyards. (Comp. Ruth 2:2.)
fenced enclosures consisting of "a low wall of stones in which
thick bundles of thorny acacia are inserted, the tangled
branches and long needle-like spikes forming a perfectly
impenetrable hedge around the encampment" of tents and cattle
which they sheltered. Such like enclosures abound in the
wilderness of Paran, which the Israelites entered after leaving
Sinai (Num. 11:35; 12:16; 33:17, 18). This third encampment of
the Israelites has been identified with the modern 'Ain
el-Hudhera, some 40 miles north-east of Sinai. Here Miriam
(q.v.), being displeased that Moses had married a Cushite wife
(Num. 12:1), induced Aaron to join with her in rebelling against
Moses. God vindicated the authority of his "servant Moses," and
Miriam was smitten with leprosy. Moses interceded for her, and
she was healed (Num. 12:4-16). From this encampment the
Israelites marched northward across the plateau of et-Tih, and
at length reached KADESH.
Jehovah my banner, the title given by Moses to the altar which
he erected on the hill on the top of which he stood with
uplifted hands while Israel prevailed over their enemies the
Amalekites (Ex. 17:15).
Jehovah is her glory, the wife of Amram, and the mother of
Miriam, Aaron, and Moses (Num. 26:59). She is spoken of as the
sister of Kohath, Amram's father (Ex. 6:20; comp. 16, 18;
of the Hebrews in the wilderness, called forth the displeasure
of God, which was only averted by the earnest prayer of Moses
(Num. 11:33, 34; 12; 14:27, 30, 31; 16:3; 21:4-6; Ps. 106:25).
Forbidden by Paul (1 Cor. 10:10).
Grain in the East is usually thrashed by the sheaves being
spread out on a floor, over which oxen and cattle are driven to
and fro, till the grain is trodden out. Moses ordained that the
ox was not to be muzzled while thrashing. It was to be allowed
to eat both the grain and the straw (Deut. 25:4). (See
a part, a mountain summit in the land of Moab, in the territory
of Reuben, where Balak offered up sacrifices (Num. 21:20;
23:14), and from which Moses viewed the promised land (Deut.
3:27). It is probably the modern Jebel Siaghah. (See NEBO
heard. (1.) One of the spies sent out by Moses to search the
land (Num. 13:4). He represented the tribe of Reuben.
(2.) One of David's sons (1 Chr. 14:4; 3:5, "Shimea;" 2 Sam.
(3.) A Levite under Nehemiah (11:17).
a hole, as of a viper, etc. (1.) A son of Caleb (1 Chr. 2:19,
50; 4:1, 4; comp. 2 Chr. 1:5).
(2.) The husband of Miriam, Moses' sister (Ex. 17:10-12). He
was associated with Aaron in charge of the people when Moses was
absent on Sinai (Ex. 24:14). He was probably of the tribe of
Judah, and grandfather of Bezaleel (Ex. 31:2; 35:30; 1 Chr.
(3.) One of the five princes of Midian who were defeated and
slain by the Israelites under the command of Phinehas (Num.
Law of Moses
is the whole body of the Mosaic legislation (1 Kings 2:3; 2
Kings 23:25; Ezra 3:2). It is called by way of eminence simply
"the Law" (Heb. Torah, Deut. 1:5; 4:8, 44; 17:18, 19; 27:3, 8).
As a written code it is called the "book of the law of Moses" (2
Kings 14:6; Isa. 8:20), the "book of the law of God" (Josh.
The great leading principle of the Mosaic law is that it is
essentially theocratic; i.e., it refers at once to the
commandment of God as the foundation of all human duty.
first-born, of the tribe of Manasseh, and of the family of
Gilead; died in the wilderness. Having left no sons, his
daughters, concerned lest their father's name should be "done
away from among his family," made an appeal to Moses, who, by
divine direction, appointed it as "a statute of judgment" in
Israel that daughters should inherit their father's portion when
no sons were left (Num. 27:1-11). But that the possession of
Zelophehad might not pass away in the year of jubilee from the
tribe to which he belonged, it was ordained by Moses that his
daughters should not marry any one out of their father's tribe;
and this afterwards became a general law (Num. 36).
God his help. (1.) "Of Damascus," the "steward" (R.V.,
"possessor") of Abraham's house (Gen. 15:2, 3). It was probably
he who headed the embassy sent by Abraham to the old home of his
family in Padan-aram to seek a wife for his son Isaac. The
account of this embassy is given at length in Gen. 24.
(2.) The son of Becher, and grandson of Benjamin (1 Chr. 7:8).
(3.) One of the two sons of Moses, born during his sojourn in
Midian (Ex. 18:4; 1 Chr. 23:15, 17). He remained with his mother
and brother Gershom with Jethro when Moses returned to Egypt.
(Ex. 18:4). They were restored to Moses when Jethro heard of his
departure out of Egypt.
(4.) One of the priests who blew the trumpet before the ark
when it was brought to Jerusalem (1 Chr. 15:24).
(5.) Son of Zichri, and chief of the Reubenites under David (1
(6.) A prophet in the time of Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 20:37).
Others of this name are mentioned Luke 3:29; Ezra 8:16; 10:18,
expulsion. (1.) The eldest son of Levi (1 Chr. 6:16, 17, 20, 43,
62, 71; 15:7)=GERSHON (q.v.).
(2.) The elder of the two sons of Moses born to him in Midian
(Ex. 2:22; 18:3). On his way to Egypt with his family, in
obedience to the command of the Lord, Moses was attacked by a
sudden and dangerous illness (4:24-26), which Zipporah his wife
believed to have been sent because he had neglected to
circumcise his son. She accordingly took a "sharp stone" and
circumcised her son Gershom, saying, "Surely a bloody husband
art thou to me", i.e., by the blood of her child she had, as it
were, purchased her husband, had won him back again.
(3.) A descendant of Phinehas who returned with Ezra from
Babylon (Ezra 8:2).
(4.) The son of Manasseh (Judg. 18:30), in R.V. "of Moses."
the five-fold volume, consisting of the first five books of the
Old Testament. This word does not occur in Scripture, nor is it
certainly known when the roll was thus divided into five
portions Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
Probably that was done by the LXX. translators. Some modern
critics speak of a Hexateuch, introducing the Book of Joshua as
one of the group. But this book is of an entirely different
character from the other books, and has a different author. It
stands by itself as the first of a series of historical books
beginning with the entrance of the Israelites into Canaan. (See
The books composing the Pentateuch are properly but one book,
the "Law of Moses," the "Book of the Law of Moses," the "Book of
Moses," or, as the Jews designate it, the "Torah" or "Law." That
in its present form it "proceeds from a single author is proved
by its plan and aim, according to which its whole contents refer
to the covenant concluded between Jehovah and his people, by the
instrumentality of Moses, in such a way that everything before
his time is perceived to be preparatory to this fact, and all
the rest to be the development of it. Nevertheless, this unity
has not been stamped upon it as a matter of necessity by the
latest redactor: it has been there from the beginning, and is
visible in the first plan and in the whole execution of the
work.", Keil, Einl. i.d. A. T.
A certain school of critics have set themselves to reconstruct
the books of the Old Testament. By a process of "scientific
study" they have discovered that the so-called historical books
of the Old Testament are not history at all, but a miscellaneous
collection of stories, the inventions of many different writers,
patched together by a variety of editors! As regards the
Pentateuch, they are not ashamed to attribute fraud, and even
conspiracy, to its authors, who sought to find acceptance to
their work which was composed partly in the age of Josiah, and
partly in that of Ezra and Nehemiah, by giving it out to be the
work of Moses! This is not the place to enter into the details
of this controversy. We may say frankly, however, that we have
no faith in this "higher criticism." It degrades the books of
the Old Testament below the level of fallible human writings,
and the arguments on which its speculations are built are
The evidences in favour of the Mosaic authorship of the
Pentateuch are conclusive. We may thus state some of them
(1.) These books profess to have been written by Moses in the
name of God (Ex. 17:14; 24:3, 4, 7; 32:7-10, 30-34; 34:27; Lev.
26:46; 27:34; Deut. 31:9, 24, 25).
(2.) This also is the uniform and persistent testimony of the
Jews of all sects in all ages and countries (comp. Josh. 8:31,
32; 1 Kings 2:3; Jer. 7:22; Ezra 6:18; Neh. 8:1; Mal. 4:4; Matt.
22:24; Acts 15:21).
(3.) Our Lord plainly taught the Mosaic authorship of these
books (Matt. 5:17, 18; 19:8; 22:31, 32; 23:2; Mark 10:9; 12:26;
Luke 16:31; 20:37; 24:26, 27, 44; John 3:14; 5:45, 46, 47; 6:32,
49; 7:19, 22). In the face of this fact, will any one venture to
allege either that Christ was ignorant of the composition of the
Bible, or that, knowing the true state of the case, he yet
encouraged the people in the delusion they clung to?
(4.) From the time of Joshua down to the time of Ezra there
is, in the intermediate historical books, a constant reference
to the Pentateuch as the "Book of the Law of Moses." This is a
point of much importance, inasmuch as the critics deny that
there is any such reference; and hence they deny the historical
character of the Pentateuch. As regards the Passover, e.g., we
find it frequently spoken of or alluded to in the historical
books following the Pentateuch, showing that the "Law of Moses"
was then certainly known. It was celebrated in the time of
Joshua (Josh. 5:10, cf. 4:19), Hezekiah (2 Chr. 30), Josiah (2
Kings 23; 2 Chr. 35), and Zerubbabel (Ezra 6:19-22), and is
referred to in such passages as 2 Kings 23:22; 2 Chr. 35:18; 1
Kings 9:25 ("three times in a year"); 2 Chr. 8:13. Similarly we
might show frequent references to the Feast of Tabernacles and
other Jewish institutions, although we do not admit that any
valid argument can be drawn from the silence of Scripture in
such a case. An examination of the following texts, 1 Kings 2:9;
2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chr. 23:18; 25:4; 34:14; Ezra 3:2; 7:6; Dan.
9:11, 13, will also plainly show that the "Law of Moses" was
known during all these centuries.
Granting that in the time of Moses there existed certain oral
traditions or written records and documents which he was
divinely led to make use of in his history, and that his writing
was revised by inspired successors, this will fully account for
certain peculiarities of expression which critics have called
"anachronisms" and "contradictions," but in no way militates
against the doctrine that Moses was the original author of the
whole of the Pentateuch. It is not necessary for us to affirm
that the whole is an original composition; but we affirm that
the evidences clearly demonstrate that Moses was the author of
those books which have come down to us bearing his name. The
Pentateuch is certainly the basis and necessary preliminary of
the whole of the Old Testament history and literature. (See
quarrel or strife. (1.) One of the names given by Moses to the
fountain in the desert of Sin, near Rephidim, which issued from
the rock in Horeb, which he smote by the divine command,
"because of the chiding of the children of Israel" (Ex. 17:1-7).
It was also called Massah (q.v.). It was probably in Wady
Feiran, near Mount Serbal.
(2.) Another fountain having a similar origin in the desert of
Zin, near to Kadesh (Num. 27:14). The two places are mentioned
together in Deut. 33:8. Some think the one place is called by
the two names (Ps. 81:7). In smiting the rock at this place
Moses showed the same impatience as the people (Num. 20:10-12).
This took place near the close of the wanderings in the desert
(Num. 20:1-24; Deut. 32:51).
Three princesses are thus mentioned in Scripture: (1.) The
princess who adopted the infant Moses (q.v.), Ex. 2:10. She is
twice mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 7:21: Heb. 11:24). It
would seem that she was alive and in some position of influence
about the court when Moses was compelled to flee from Egypt, and
thus for forty years he had in some way been under her
influence. She was in all probability the sister of Rameses, and
the daughter of Seti I. Josephus calls her Thermuthis. It is
supposed by some that she was Nefert-ari, the wife as well as
sister of Rameses. The mummy of this queen was among the
treasures found at Deir-el-Bahari.
(2.) "Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took (1
(3.) The wife of Solomon (1 Kings 3:1). This is the first
reference since the Exodus to any connection of Israel with
(LXX. "deadly," Vulg. "burning"), Num. 21:6, probably the naja
haje of Egypt; some swift-springing, deadly snake (Isa. 14:29).
After setting out from their encampment at Ezion-gaber, the
Israelites entered on a wide sandy desert, which stretches from
the mountains of Edom as far as the Persian Gulf. While
traversing this region, the people began to murmur and utter
loud complaints against Moses. As a punishment, the Lord sent
serpents among them, and much people of Israel died. Moses
interceded on their behalf, and by divine direction he made a
"brazen serpent," and raised it on a pole in the midst of the
camp, and all the wounded Israelites who looked on it were at
once healed. (Comp. John 3:14, 15.) (See ASP ¯T0000348.) This
"brazen serpent" was preserved by the Israelites till the days
of Hezekiah, when it was destroyed (2 Kings 18:4). (See BRASS
regions beyond; i.e., on the east of Jordan, a mountain, or
rather a mountain-chain, over against Jericho, to the east and
south-east of the Dead Sea, in the land of Moab. From "the top
of Pisgah", i.e., Mount Nebo (q.v.), one of its summits, Moses
surveyed the Promised Land (Deut. 3:27; 32:49), and there he
died (34:1,5). The Israelites had one of their encampments in
the mountains of Abarim (Num. 33:47,48) after crossing the
father of height; i.e., "proud." (1.) One of the sons of Eliab,
who joined Korah in the conspiracy against Moses and Aaron. He
and all the conspirators, with their families and possessions
(except the children of Korah), were swallowed up by an
earthquake (Num. 16:1-27; 26:9; Ps. 106:17).
(2.) The eldest son of Hiel the Bethelite, who perished
prematurely in consequence of his father's undertaking to
rebuild Jericho (1 Kings 16:34), according to the words of
Joshua (6:26). (See JERICHO ¯T0002036.)
kindred of the High; i.e., "friend of Jehovah." (1.) The son of
Kohath, the son of Levi. He married Jochebed, "his father's
sister," and was the father of Aaron, Miriam, and Moses (Ex.
6:18, 20; Num. 3:19). He died in Egypt at the age of 137 years
(Ex. 6:20). His descendants were called Amramites (Num. 3:27; 1
Chr. 26:23). (2.) Ezra 10:34.
a reference of any case from an inferior to a superior court.
Moses established in the wilderness a series of judicatories
such that appeals could be made from a lower to a higher (Ex.
Under the Roman law the most remarkable case of appeal is that
of Paul from the tribunal of Festus at Caesarea to that of the
emperor at Rome (Acts 25:11, 12, 21, 25). Paul availed himself
of the privilege of a Roman citizen in this matter.
Atonement, Day of
the great annual day of humiliation and expiation for the sins
of the nation, "the fast" (Acts 27:9), and the only one
commanded in the law of Moses. The mode of its observance is
described in Lev. 16:3-10; 23:26-32; and Num. 29:7-11.
It was kept on the tenth day of the month Tisri, i.e., five
days before the feast of Tabernacles, and lasted from sunset to
sunset. (See AZAZEL ¯T0000374.)
well. (1.) A place where a well was dug by the direction of
Moses, at the forty-fourth station of the Hebrews in their
wanderings (Num. 21:16-18) in the wilderness of Moab. (See WELL
(2.) A town in the tribe of Judah to which Jotham fled for
fear of Abimelech (Judg. 9:21). Some have identified this place
when used with reference to Jordan, signifies in the writings of
Moses the west side of the river, as he wrote on the east bank
(Gen. 50:10, 11; Deut. 1:1, 5; 3:8, 20; 4:46); but in the
writings of Joshua, after he had crossed the river, it means the
east side (Josh. 5:1; 12:7; 22:7).
(1.) The messenger sent by Joab to David to announce his victory
over Absalom (2 Sam. 18:32).
(2.) The father of Shelemiah (Jer. 36:14).
(3.) Son of Gedaliah, and father of the prophet Zephaniah
(4.) Moses married a Cushite woman (Num. 12:1). From this
circumstance some have supposed that Zipporah was meant, and
hence that Midian was Cush.
literally bed-keeper or chamberlain, and not necessarily in all
cases one who was mutilated, although the practice of employing
such mutilated persons in Oriental courts was common (2 Kings
9:32; Esther 2:3). The law of Moses excluded them from the
congregation (Deut. 23:1). They were common also among the
Greeks and Romans. It is said that even to-day there are some in
Rome who are employed in singing soprano in the Sistine Chapel.
Three classes of eunuchs are mentioned in Matt. 19:12.
The law of Moses pointed out the cases in which the servants of
the Hebrews were to receive their freedom (Ex. 21:2-4, 7, 8;
Lev. 25:39-42, 47-55; Deut. 15:12-18). Under the Roman law the
"freeman" (ingenuus) was one born free; the "freedman"
(libertinus) was a manumitted slave, and had not equal rights
with the freeman (Acts 22:28; comp. Acts 16:37-39; 21:39; 22:25;
surplus; excellence. (1.) Father-in-law of Moses (Ex. 4:18
marg.), called elsewhere Jethro (q.v.).
(2.) The oldest of Gideon's seventy sons (Judg. 8:20).
(3.) The father of Amasa, David's general (1 Kings 2:5, 32);
called Ithra (2 Sam. 17:25).
(4.) 1 Chr. 7:38.
(5.) 1 Chr. 2:32; one of Judah's posterity.
(6.) 1 Chr. 4:17.
the graves of the longing or of lust, one of the stations of the
Israelites in the wilderness. It was probably in the Wady
Murrah, and has been identified with the Erweis el-Ebeirig,
where the remains of an ancient encampment have been found,
about 30 miles north-east of Sinai, and exactly a day's journey
from 'Ain Hudherah.
"Here began the troubles of the journey. First, complaints
broke out among the people, probably at the heat, the toil, and
the privations of the march; and then God at once punished them
by lightning, which fell on the hinder part of the camp, and
killed many persons, but ceased at the intercession of Moses
(Num. 11:1, 2). Then a disgust fell on the multitude at having
nothing to eat but the manna day after day, no change, no flesh,
no fish, no high-flavoured vegetables, no luscious fruits...The
people loathed the 'light food,' and cried out to Moses, 'Give
us flesh, give us flesh, that we may eat.'" In this emergency
Moses, in despair, cried unto God. An answer came. God sent "a
prodigious flight of quails, on which the people satiated their
gluttonous appetite for a full month. Then punishment fell on
them: they loathed the food which they had desired; it bred
disease in them; the divine anger aggravated the disease into a
plague, and a heavy mortality was the consequence. The dead were
buried without the camp; and in memory of man's sin and of the
divine wrath this name, Kibroth-hattaavah, the Graves of Lust,
was given to the place of their sepulchre" (Num. 11:34, 35;
33:16, 17; Deut. 9:22; comp. Ps. 78:30, 31)., Rawlinson's Moses,
p. 175. From this encampment they journeyed in a north-eastern
direction to Hazeroth.
from Latin levir, "a husband's brother," the name of an ancient
custom ordained by Moses, by which, when an Israelite died
without issue, his surviving brother was required to marry the
widow, so as to continue his brother's family through the son
that might be born of that marriage (Gen. 38:8; Deut. 25:5-10;
comp. Ruth 3; 4:10). Its object was "to raise up seed to the
bitterness, a fountain at the sixth station of the Israelites
(Ex. 15:23, 24; Num. 33:8) whose waters were so bitter that they
could not drink them. On this account they murmured against
Moses, who, under divine direction, cast into the fountain "a
certain tree" which took away its bitterness, so that the people
drank of it. This was probably the 'Ain Hawarah, where there are
still several springs of water that are very "bitter," distant
some 47 miles from 'Ayun Mousa.
a calm temper of mind, not easily provoked (James 3:13).
Peculiar promises are made to the meek (Matt. 5:5; Isa. 66:2).
The cultivation of this spirit is enjoined (Col. 3:12; 1 Tim.
6:11; Zeph. 2:3), and is exemplified in Christ (Matt. 11:29),
Abraham (Gen. 13; 16:5, 6) Moses (Num. 12:3), David (Zech. 12:8;
2 Sam. 16:10, 12), and Paul (1 Cor. 9:19).
The process of mining is described in Job 28:1-11. Moses speaks
of the mineral wealth of Israel (Deut. 8:9). Job 28:4 is
rightly thus rendered in the Revised Version, "He breaketh open
a shaft away from where men sojourn; they are forgotten of the
foot [that passeth by]; they hang afar from men, they swing to
and fro." These words illustrate ancient mining operations.
(Ex. 12:38), a class who accompanied the Israelites as they
journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, the first stage of the
Exodus. These were probably miscellaneous hangers-on to the
Hebrews, whether Egyptians of the lower orders, or the remains
of the Hyksos (see EGYPT ¯T0001137; MOSES ¯T0002602), as some
think. The same thing happened on the return of the Jews from
Babylon (Neh. 13:3), a "mixed multitude" accompanied them so
of copper; a brazen thing a name of contempt given to the
serpent Moses had made in the wilderness (Num. 21:8), and which
Hezekiah destroyed because the children of Israel began to
regard it as an idol and "burn incense to it." The lapse of
nearly one thousand years had invested the "brazen serpent" with
a mysterious sanctity; and in order to deliver the people from
their infatuation, and impress them with the idea of its
worthlessness, Hezekiah called it, in contempt, "Nehushtan," a
brazen thing, a mere piece of brass (2 Kings 18:4).
gigantic, the king of Bashan, who was defeated by Moses in a
pitched battle at Edrei, and was slain along with his sons
(Deut. 1:4), and whose kingdom was given to the tribes of Reuben
and Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh (Num. 21:32-35; Deut.
3:1-13). His bedstead (or rather sarcophagus) was of iron (or
ironstone), 9 cubits in length and 4 cubits in breadth. His
overthrow was afterwards celebrated in song (Ps. 135:11;
136:20). (See SIHON ¯T0003427.)
friend of God. (1.) A son of Esau and Bashemath (Gen. 36:4, 10;
1 Chr. 1:35). (2.) "The priest of Midian," Moses' father-in-law
(Ex. 2:18)=Raguel (Num. 10:29). If he be identified with Jethro
(q.v.), then this may be regarded as his proper name, and Jether
or Jethro (i.e., "excellency") as his official title. (3.) Num.
2:14, called also Deuel (1:14; 7:42).
of Moses (Ex. 15; Num. 21:17; Deut. 32; Rev. 15:3), Deborah
(Judg. 5), Hannah (1 Sam. 2), David (2 Sam. 22, and Psalms),
Mary (Luke 1:46-55), Zacharias (Luke 1:68-79), the angels (Luke
2:13), Simeon (Luke 2:29), the redeemed (Rev. 5:9; 19), Solomon
(see SOLOMON, SONGS OF ¯T0003474).
Vine of Sodom
referred to only in Deut. 32:32. Among the many conjectures as
to this tree, the most probable is that it is the 'osher of the
Arabs, which abounds in the region of the Dead Sea. Its fruit
are the so-called "apples of Sodom," which, though beautiful to
the eye, are exceedingly bitter to the taste. (See EN-GEDI
¯T0001207.) The people of Israel are referred to here by Moses
as being utterly corrupt, bringing forth only bitter fruit.
mindful. (1.) Father of Shammua, who was one of the spies sent
out by Moses (Num. 13:4).
(2.) A Merarite Levite (1 Chr. 24:27).
(3.) A son of Asaph, and chief of one of the courses of
singers as arranged by David (1 Chr. 25:2, 10).
(4.) Son of Imri (Neh. 3:2).
(5.) A Levite (Neh. 10:12).
(6.) The son of Mattaniah (Neh. 13:13).
Jehovah is his help, or Jehovah the Saviour. The son of Nun, of
the tribe of Ephraim, the successor of Moses as the leader of
Israel. He is called Jehoshua in Num. 13:16 (A.V.), and Jesus in
Acts 7:45 and Heb. 4:8 (R.V., Joshua).
He was born in Egypt, and was probably of the age of Caleb,
with whom he is generally associated. He shared in all the
events of the Exodus, and held the place of commander of the
host of the Israelites at their great battle against the
Amalekites in Rephidim (Ex. 17:8-16). He became Moses' minister
or servant, and accompanied him part of the way when he ascended
Mount Sinai to receive the two tables (Ex. 32:17). He was also
one of the twelve who were sent on by Moses to explore the land
of Canaan (Num. 13:16, 17), and only he and Caleb gave an
encouraging report. Under the direction of God, Moses, before
his death, invested Joshua in a public and solemn manner with
authority over the people as his successor (Deut. 31:23). The
people were encamped at Shittim when he assumed the command
(Josh. 1:1); and crossing the Jordan, they encamped at Gilgal,
where, having circumcised the people, he kept the Passover, and
was visited by the Captain of the Lord's host, who spoke to him
encouraging words (1:1-9).
Now began the wars of conquest which Joshua carried on for
many years, the record of which is in the book which bears his
name. Six nations and thirty-one kings were conquered by him
(Josh. 11:18-23; 12:24). Having thus subdued the Canaanites,
Joshua divided the land among the tribes, Timnath-serah in Mount
Ephraim being assigned to himself as his own inheritance. (See
SHILOH ¯T0003375; PRIEST ¯T0003001.)
His work being done, he died, at the age of one hundred and
ten years, twenty-five years after having crossed the Jordan. He
was buried in his own city of Timnath-serah (Josh. 24); and "the
light of Israel for the time faded away."
Joshua has been regarded as a type of Christ (Heb. 4:8) in the
following particulars: (1) In the name common to both; (2)
Joshua brings the people into the possession of the Promised
Land, as Jesus brings his people to the heavenly Canaan; and (3)
as Joshua succeeded Moses, so the Gospel succeeds the Law.
The character of Joshua is thus well sketched by Edersheim:,
"Born a slave in Egypt, he must have been about forty years old
at the time of the Exodus. Attached to the person of Moses, he
led Israel in the first decisive battle against Amalek (Ex.
17:9, 13), while Moses in the prayer of faith held up to heaven
the God-given 'rod.' It was no doubt on that occasion that his
name was changed from Oshea, 'help,' to Jehoshua, 'Jehovah is
help' (Num. 13:16). And this name is the key to his life and
work. Alike in bringing the people into Canaan, in his wars, and
in the distribution of the land among the tribes, from the
miraculous crossing of Jordan and taking of Jericho to his last
address, he was the embodiment of his new name, 'Jehovah is
help.' To this outward calling his character also corresponded.
It is marked by singleness of purpose, directness, and
decision...He sets an object before him, and unswervingly
follows it" (Bible Hist., iii. 103)
the great deliverance wrought for the children of Isreal when
they were brought out of the land of Egypt with "a mighty hand
and with an outstretched arm" (Ex 12:51; Deut. 26:8; Ps 114;
136), about B.C. 1490, and four hundred and eighty years (1
Kings 6:1) before the building of Solomon's temple.
The time of their sojourning in Egypt was, according to Ex.
12:40, the space of four hundred and thirty years. In the LXX.,
the words are, "The sojourning of the children of Israel which
they sojourned in Egypt and in the land of Canaan was four
hundred and thirty years;" and the Samaritan version reads, "The
sojourning of the children of Israel and of their fathers which
they sojourned in the land of Canaan and in the land of Egypt
was four hundred and thirty years." In Gen. 15:13-16, the period
is prophetically given (in round numbers) as four hundred years.
This passage is quoted by Stephen in his defence before the
council (Acts 7:6).
The chronology of the "sojourning" is variously estimated.
Those who adopt the longer term reckon thus:
| From the descent of Jacob into Egypt to the
| death of Joseph 71
| From the death of Joseph to the birth of
| Moses 278
| From the birth of Moses to his flight into
| Midian 40
| From the flight of Moses to his return into
| Egypt 40
| From the return of Moses to the Exodus 1
Others contend for the shorter period of two hundred and
fifteen years, holding that the period of four hundred and
thirty years comprehends the years from the entrance of Abraham
into Canaan (see LXX. and Samaritan) to the descent of Jacob
into Egypt. They reckon thus:
| From Abraham's arrival in Canaan to Isaac's
| birth 25
| From Isaac's birth to that of his twin sons
| Esau and Jacob 60
| From Jacob's birth to the going down into
| Egypt 130
| From Jacob's going down into Egypt to the
| death of Joseph 71
| From death of Joseph to the birth of Moses 64
| From birth of Moses to the Exodus 80
| In all... 430
During the forty years of Moses' sojourn in the land of
Midian, the Hebrews in Egypt were being gradually prepared for
the great national crisis which was approaching. The plagues
that successively fell upon the land loosened the bonds by which
Pharaoh held them in slavery, and at length he was eager that
they should depart. But the Hebrews must now also be ready to
go. They were poor; for generations they had laboured for the
Egyptians without wages. They asked gifts from their neighbours
around them (Ex. 12:35), and these were readily bestowed. And
then, as the first step towards their independent national
organization, they observed the feast of the Passover, which was
now instituted as a perpetual memorial. The blood of the paschal
lamb was duly sprinkled on the door-posts and lintels of all
their houses, and they were all within, waiting the next
movement in the working out of God's plan. At length the last
stroke fell on the land of Egypt. "It came to pass, that at
midnight Jehovah smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt."
Pharaoh rose up in the night, and called for Moses and Aaron by
night, and said, "Rise up, and get you forth from among my
people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve
Jehovah, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds,
as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also." Thus was
Pharaoh (q.v.) completely humbled and broken down. These words
he spoke to Moses and Aaron "seem to gleam through the tears of
the humbled king, as he lamented his son snatched from him by so
sudden a death, and tremble with a sense of the helplessness
which his proud soul at last felt when the avenging hand of God
had visited even his palace."
The terror-stricken Egyptians now urged the instant departure
of the Hebrews. In the midst of the Passover feast, before the
dawn of the 15th day of the month Abib (our April nearly), which
was to be to them henceforth the beginning of the year, as it
was the commencement of a new epoch in their history, every
family, with all that appertained to it, was ready for the
march, which instantly began under the leadership of the heads
of tribes with their various sub-divisions. They moved onward,
increasing as they went forward from all the districts of
Goshen, over the whole of which they were scattered, to the
common centre. Three or four days perhaps elapsed before the
whole body of the people were assembled at Rameses, and ready to
set out under their leader Moses (Ex. 12:37; Num. 33:3). This
city was at that time the residence of the Egyptian court, and
here the interviews between Moses and Pharaoh had taken place.
From Rameses they journeyed to Succoth (Ex. 12:37), identified
with Tel-el-Maskhuta, about 12 miles west of Ismailia. (See
PITHOM ¯T0002968.) Their third station was Etham (q.v.), 13:20,
"in the edge of the wilderness," and was probably a little to
the west of the modern town of Ismailia, on the Suez Canal. Here
they were commanded "to turn and encamp before Pi-hahiroth,
between Migdol and the sea", i.e., to change their route from
east to due south. The Lord now assumed the direction of their
march in the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. They
were then led along the west shore of the Red Sea till they came
to an extensive camping-ground "before Pi-hahiroth," about 40
miles from Etham. This distance from Etham may have taken three
days to traverse, for the number of camping-places by no means
indicates the number of days spent on the journey: e.g., it took
fully a month to travel from Rameses to the wilderness of Sin
(Ex. 16:1), yet reference is made to only six camping-places
during all that time. The exact spot of their encampment before
they crossed the Red Sea cannot be determined. It was probably
somewhere near the present site of Suez.
Under the direction of God the children of Israel went
"forward" from the camp "before Pi-hahiroth," and the sea opened
a pathway for them, so that they crossed to the farther shore in
safety. The Egyptian host pursued after them, and, attempting to
follow through the sea, were overwhelmed in its returning
waters, and thus the whole military force of the Egyptians
perished. They "sank as lead in the mighty waters" (Ex. 15:1-9;
comp. Ps. 77:16-19).
Having reached the eastern shore of the sea, perhaps a little
way to the north of 'Ayun Musa ("the springs of Moses"), there
they encamped and rested probably for a day. Here Miriam and the
other women sang the triumphal song recorded in Ex. 15:1-21.
From 'Ayun Musa they went on for three days through a part of
the barren "wilderness of Shur" (22), called also the
"wilderness of Etham" (Num. 33:8; comp. Ex. 13:20), without
finding water. On the last of these days they came to Marah
(q.v.), where the "bitter" water was by a miracle made
Their next camping-place was Elim (q.v.), where were twelve
springs of water and a grove of "threescore and ten" palm trees
After a time the children of Israel "took their journey from
Elim," and encamped by the Red Sea (Num. 33:10), and thence
removed to the "wilderness of Sin" (to be distinguished from the
wilderness of Zin, 20:1), where they again encamped. Here,
probably the modern el-Markha, the supply of bread they had
brought with them out of Egypt failed. They began to "murmur"
for want of bread. God "heard their murmurings" and gave them
quails and manna, "bread from heaven" (Ex. 16:4-36). Moses
directed that an omer of manna should be put aside and preserved
as a perpetual memorial of God's goodness. They now turned
inland, and after three encampments came to the rich and fertile
valley of Rephidim, in the Wady Feiran. Here they found no
water, and again murmured against Moses. Directed by God, Moses
procured a miraculous supply of water from the "rock in Horeb,"
one of the hills of the Sinai group (17:1-7); and shortly
afterwards the children of Israel here fought their first battle
with the Amalekites, whom they smote with the edge of the sword.
From the eastern extremity of the Wady Feiran the line of
march now probably led through the Wady esh-Sheikh and the Wady
Solaf, meeting in the Wady er-Rahah, "the enclosed plain in
front of the magnificient cliffs of Ras Sufsafeh." Here they
encamped for more than a year (Num. 1:1; 10:11) before Sinai
The different encampments of the children of Israel, from the
time of their leaving Egypt till they reached the Promised Land,
are mentioned in Ex. 12:37-19; Num. 10-21; 33; Deut. 1, 2, 10.
It is worthy of notice that there are unmistakable evidences
that the Egyptians had a tradition of a great exodus from their
country, which could be none other than the exodus of the
the eldest son of Amram and Jochebed, a daughter of Levi (Ex.
6:20). Some explain the name as meaning mountaineer, others
mountain of strength, illuminator. He was born in Egypt three
years before his brother Moses, and a number of years after his
sister Miriam (2:1,4; 7:7). He married Elisheba, the daughter of
Amminadab of the house of Judah (6:23; 1 Chr. 2:10), by whom he
had four sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. When the
time for the deliverance of Isarael out of Egypt drew nigh, he
was sent by God (Ex. 4:14,27-30) to meet his long-absent
brother, that he might co-operate with him in all that they were
required to do in bringing about the Exodus. He was to be the
"mouth" or "prophet" of Moses, i.e., was to speak for him,
because he was a man of a ready utterance (7:1,2,9,10,19). He
was faithful to his trust, and stood by Moses in all his
interviews with Pharaoh.
When the ransomed tribes fought their first battle with Amalek
in Rephidim, Moses stood on a hill overlooking the scene of the
conflict with the rod of God in his outstretched hand. On this
occasion he was attended by Aaron and Hur, his sister's husband,
who held up his wearied hands till Joshua and the chosen
warriors of Israel gained the victory (17:8-13).
Afterwards, when encamped before Sinai, and when Moses at the
command of God ascended the mount to receive the tables of the
law, Aaron and his two sons, Nadab and Abihu, along with seventy
of the elders of Israel, were permitted to accompany him part of
the way, and to behold afar off the manifestation of the glory
of Israel's God (Ex. 19:24; 24:9-11). While Moses remained on
the mountain with God, Aaron returned unto the people; and
yielding through fear, or ignorance, or instability of
character, to their clamour, made unto them a golden calf, and
set it up as an object of worship (Ex. 32:4; Ps. 106:19). On the
return of Moses to the camp, Aaron was sternly rebuked by him
for the part he had acted in this matter; but he interceded for
him before God, who forgave his sin (Deut. 9:20).
On the mount, Moses received instructions regarding the system
of worship which was to be set up among the people; and in
accordance therewith Aaron and his sons were consecrated to the
priest's office (Lev. 8; 9). Aaron, as high priest, held
henceforth the prominent place appertaining to that office.
When Israel had reached Hazeroth, in "the wilderness of
Paran," Aaron joined with his sister Miriam in murmuring against
Moses, "because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married,"
probably after the death of Zipporah. But the Lord vindicated
his servant Moses, and punished Miriam with leprosy (Num. 12).
Aaron acknowledged his own and his sister's guilt, and at the
intercession of Moses they were forgiven.
Twenty years after this, when the children of Israel were
encamped in the wilderness of Paran, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram
conspired against Aaron and his sons; but a fearful judgment
from God fell upon them, and they were destroyed, and the next
day thousands of the people also perished by a fierce
pestilence, the ravages of which were only stayed by the
interposition of Aaron (Num. 16). That there might be further
evidence of the divine appointment of Aaron to the priestly
office, the chiefs of the tribes were each required to bring to
Moses a rod bearing on it the name of his tribe. And these,
along with the rod of Aaron for the tribe of Levi, were laid up
overnight in the tabernacle, and in the morning it was found
that while the other rods remained unchanged, that of Aaron "for
the house of Levi" budded, blossomed, and yielded almonds (Num.
17:1-10). This rod was afterwards preserved in the tabernacle
(Heb. 9:4) as a memorial of the divine attestation of his
appointment to the priesthood.
Aaron was implicated in the sin of his brother at Meribah
(Num. 20:8-13), and on that account was not permitted to enter
the Promised Land. When the tribes arrived at Mount Hor, "in the
edge of the land of Edom," at the command of God Moses led Aaron
and his son Eleazar to the top of that mountain, in the sight of
all the people. There he stripped Aaron of his priestly
vestments, and put them upon Eleazar; and there Aaron died on
the top of the mount, being 123 years old (Num. 20:23-29. Comp.
Deut. 10:6; 32:50), and was "gathered unto his people." The
people, "even all the house of Israel," mourned for him thirty
days. Of Aaron's sons two survived him, Eleazar, whose family
held the high-priesthood till the time of Eli; and Ithamar, in
whose family, beginning with Eli, the high-priesthood was held
till the time of Solomon. Aaron's other two sons had been struck
dead (Lev. 10:1,2) for the daring impiety of offering "strange
fire" on the alter of incense.
The Arabs still show with veneration the traditionary site of
Aaron's grave on one of the two summits of Mount Hor, which is
marked by a Mohammedan chapel. His name is mentioned in the
Koran, and there are found in the writings of the rabbins many
fabulous stories regarding him.
He was the first anointed priest. His descendants, "the house
of Aaron," constituted the priesthood in general. In the time of
David they were very numerous (1 Chr. 12:27). The other branches
of the tribe of Levi held subordinate positions in connection
with the sacred office. Aaron was a type of Christ in his
official character as the high priest. His priesthood was a
"shadow of heavenly things," and was intended to lead the people
of Israel to look forward to the time when "another priest"
would arise "after the order of Melchizedek" (Heb. 6:20). (See
drawn (or Egypt. mesu, "son;" hence Rameses, royal son). On the
invitation of Pharaoh (Gen. 45:17-25), Jacob and his sons went
down into Egypt. This immigration took place probably about 350
years before the birth of Moses. Some centuries before Joseph,
Egypt had been conquered by a pastoral Semitic race from Asia,
the Hyksos, who brought into cruel subjection the native
Egyptians, who were an African race. Jacob and his retinue were
accustomed to a shepherd's life, and on their arrival in Egypt
were received with favour by the king, who assigned them the
"best of the land", the land of Goshen, to dwell in. The Hyksos
or "shepherd" king who thus showed favour to Joseph and his
family was in all probability the Pharaoh Apopi (or Apopis).
Thus favoured, the Israelites began to "multiply exceedingly"
(Gen. 47:27), and extended to the west and south. At length the
supremacy of the Hyksos came to an end. The descendants of Jacob
were allowed to retain their possession of Goshen undisturbed,
but after the death of Joseph their position was not so
favourable. The Egyptians began to despise them, and the period
of their "affliction" (Gen. 15:13) commenced. They were sorely
oppressed. They continued, however, to increase in numbers, and
"the land was filled with them" (Ex. 1:7). The native Egyptians
regarded them with suspicion, so that they felt all the hardship
of a struggle for existence.
In process of time "a king [probably Seti I.] arose who knew
not Joseph" (Ex. 1:8). (See PHARAOH ¯T0002923.) The
circumstances of the country were such that this king thought it
necessary to weaken his Israelite subjects by oppressing them,
and by degrees reducing their number. They were accordingly made
public slaves, and were employed in connection with his numerous
buildings, especially in the erection of store-cities, temples,
and palaces. The children of Israel were made to serve with
rigour. Their lives were made bitter with hard bondage, and "all
their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour"
(Ex. 1:13, 14). But this cruel oppression had not the result
expected of reducing their number. On the contrary, "the more
the Egyptians afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew"
The king next tried, through a compact secretly made with the
guild of midwives, to bring about the destruction of all the
Hebrew male children that might be born. But the king's wish was
not rigorously enforced; the male children were spared by the
midwives, so that "the people multiplied" more than ever. Thus
baffled, the king issued a public proclamation calling on the
people to put to death all the Hebrew male children by casting
them into the river (Ex. 1:22). But neither by this edict was
the king's purpose effected.
One of the Hebrew households into which this cruel edict of
the king brought great alarm was that of Amram, of the family of
the Kohathites (Ex. 6:16-20), who with his wife Jochebed and two
children, Miriam, a girl of perhaps fifteen years of age, and
Aaron, a boy of three years, resided in or near Memphis, the
capital city of that time. In this quiet home a male child was
born (B.C. 1571). His mother concealed him in the house for
three months from the knowledge of the civic authorities. But
when the task of concealment became difficult, Jochebed
contrived to bring her child under the notice of the daughter of
the king by constructing for him an ark of bulrushes, which she
laid among the flags which grew on the edge of the river at the
spot where the princess was wont to come down and bathe. Her
plan was successful. The king's daughter "saw the child; and
behold the child wept." The princess (see PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER
¯T0002924 ) sent Miriam, who was standing by, to fetch a
nurse. She went and brought the mother of the child, to whom the
princess said, "Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I
will give thee thy wages." Thus Jochebed's child, whom the
princess called "Moses", i.e., "Saved from the water" (Ex.
2:10), was ultimately restored to her.
As soon as the natural time for weaning the child had come, he
was transferred from the humble abode of his father to the royal
palace, where he was brought up as the adopted son of the
princess, his mother probably accompanying him and caring still
for him. He grew up amid all the grandeur and excitement of the
Egyptian court, maintaining, however, probably a constant
fellowship with his mother, which was of the highest importance
as to his religious belief and his interest in his "brethren."
His education would doubtless be carefully attended to, and he
would enjoy all the advantages of training both as to his body
and his mind. He at length became "learned in all the wisdom of
the Egyptians" (Acts 7:22). Egypt had then two chief seats of
learning, or universities, at one of which, probably that of
Heliopolis, his education was completed. Moses, being now about
twenty years of age, spent over twenty more before he came into
prominence in Bible history. These twenty years were probably
spent in military service. There is a tradition recorded by
Josephus that he took a lead in the war which was then waged
between Egypt and Ethiopia, in which he gained renown as a
skilful general, and became "mighty in deeds" (Acts 7:22).
After the termination of the war in Ethiopia, Moses returned
to the Egyptian court, where he might reasonably have expected
to be loaded with honours and enriched with wealth. But "beneath
the smooth current of his life hitherto, a life of alternate
luxury at the court and comparative hardness in the camp and in
the discharge of his military duties, there had lurked from
childhood to youth, and from youth to manhood, a secret
discontent, perhaps a secret ambition. Moses, amid all his
Egyptian surroundings, had never forgotten, had never wished to
forget, that he was a Hebrew." He now resolved to make himself
acquainted with the condition of his countrymen, and "went out
unto his brethren, and looked upon their burdens" (Ex. 2:11).
This tour of inspection revealed to him the cruel oppression and
bondage under which they everywhere groaned, and could not fail
to press on him the serious consideration of his duty regarding
them. The time had arrived for his making common cause with
them, that he might thereby help to break their yoke of bondage.
He made his choice accordingly (Heb. 11:25-27), assured that God
would bless his resolution for the welfare of his people. He now
left the palace of the king and took up his abode, probably in
his father's house, as one of the Hebrew people who had for
forty years been suffering cruel wrong at the hands of the
He could not remain indifferent to the state of things around
him, and going out one day among the people, his indignation was
roused against an Egyptian who was maltreating a Hebrew. He
rashly lifted up his hand and slew the Egyptian, and hid his
body in the sand. Next day he went out again and found two
Hebrews striving together. He speedily found that the deed of
the previous day was known. It reached the ears of Pharaoh (the
"great Rameses," Rameses II.), who "sought to slay Moses" (Ex.
2:15). Moved by fear, Moses fled from Egypt, and betook himself
to the land of Midian, the southern part of the peninsula of
Sinai, probably by much the same route as that by which, forty
years afterwards, he led the Israelites to Sinai. He was
providentially led to find a new home with the family of Reuel,
where he remained for forty years (Acts 7:30), under training
unconsciously for his great life's work.
Suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the burning
bush (Ex. 3), and commissioned him to go down to Egypt and
"bring forth the children of Israel" out of bondage. He was at
first unwilling to go, but at length he was obedient to the
heavenly vision, and left the land of Midian (4:18-26). On the
way he was met by Aaron (q.v.) and the elders of Israel (27-31).
He and Aaron had a hard task before them; but the Lord was with
them (ch. 7-12), and the ransomed host went forth in triumph.
(See EXODUS ¯T0001283.) After an eventful journey to and fro in
the wilderness, we see them at length encamped in the plains of
Moab, ready to cross over the Jordan into the Promised Land.
There Moses addressed the assembled elders (Deut. 1:1-4;
5:1-26:19; 27:11-30:20), and gives the people his last counsels,
and then rehearses the great song (Deut. 32), clothing in
fitting words the deep emotions of his heart at such a time, and
in review of such a marvellous history as that in which he had
acted so conspicious a part. Then, after blessing the tribes
(33), he ascends to "the mountain of Nebo (q.v.), to the top of
Pisgah, that is over against Jericho" (34:1), and from thence he
surveys the land. "Jehovah shewed him all the land of Gilead,
unto Dan, and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and
Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, and
the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of
palm trees, unto Zoar" (Deut. 34:2-3), the magnificient
inheritance of the tribes of whom he had been so long the
leader; and there he died, being one hundred and twenty years
old, according to the word of the Lord, and was buried by the
Lord "in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor"
(34:6). The people mourned for him during thirty days.
Thus died "Moses the man of God" (Deut. 33:1; Josh. 14:6). He
was distinguished for his meekness and patience and firmness,
and "he endured as seeing him who is invisible." "There arose
not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord
knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders, which the
Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all
his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand,
and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of
all Israel" (Deut. 34:10-12).
The name of Moses occurs frequently in the Psalms and Prophets
as the chief of the prophets.
In the New Testament he is referred to as the representative
of the law and as a type of Christ (John 1:17; 2 Cor. 3:13-18;
Heb. 3:5, 6). Moses is the only character in the Old Testament
to whom Christ likens himself (John 5:46; comp. Deut. 18:15, 18,
19; Acts 7:37). In Heb. 3:1-19 this likeness to Moses is set
forth in various particulars.
In Jude 1:9 mention is made of a contention between Michael
and the devil about the body of Moses. This dispute is supposed
to have had reference to the concealment of the body of Moses so
as to prevent idolatry.
which is an alloy of copper and zinc, was not known till the
thirteenth century. What is designated by this word in Scripture
is properly copper (Deut. 8:9). It was used for fetters (Judg.
16:21; 2 Kings 25:7), for pieces of armour (1 Sam. 17:5, 6), for
musical instruments (1 Chr. 15:19; 1 Cor. 13:1), and for money
It is a symbol of insensibility and obstinacy in sin (Isa.
48:4; Jer. 6:28; Ezek. 22:18), and of strength (Ps. 107:16;
The Macedonian empire is described as a kingdom of brass (Dan.
2:39). The "mountains of brass" Zechariah (6:1) speaks of have
been supposed to represent the immutable decrees of God.
The serpent of brass was made by Moses at the command of God
(Num. 21:4-9), and elevated on a pole, so that it might be seen
by all the people when wounded by the bite of the serpents that
were sent to them as a punishment for their murmurings against
God and against Moses. It was afterwards carried by the Jews
into Canaan, and preserved by them till the time of Hezekiah,
who caused it to be at length destroyed because it began to be
viewed by the people with superstitious reverence (2 Kings
18:4). (See NEHUSHTAN ¯T0002700.)
The brazen serpent is alluded to by our Lord in John 3:14, 15.
(See SERPENT ¯T0003287.)
proclaimer; prophet. (1.) A Chaldean god whose worship was
introduced into Assyria by Pul (Isa. 46:1; Jer. 48:1). To this
idol was dedicated the great temple whose ruins are still seen
at Birs Nimrud. A statue of Nebo found at Calah, where it was
set up by Pul, king of Assyria, is now in the British Museum.
(2.) A mountain in the land of Moab from which Moses looked
for the first and the last time on the Promised Land (Deut.
32:49; 34:1). It has been identified with Jebel Nebah, on the
eastern shore of the Dead Sea, near its northern end, and about
5 miles south-west of Heshbon. It was the summit of the ridge of
Pisgah (q.v.), which was a part of the range of the "mountains
of Abarim." It is about 2,643 feet in height, but from its
position it commands a view of Western Israel. Close below it
are the plains of Moab, where Balaam, and afterwards Moses, saw
the tents of Israel spread along.
(3.) A town on the east of Jordan which was taken possession
of and rebuilt by the tribe of Reuben (Num. 32:3,38; 1 Chr.
5:8). It was about 8 miles south of Heshbon.
(4.) The "children of Nebo" (Ezra 2:29; Neh. 7:33) were of
those who returned from Babylon. It was a town in Benjamin,
probably the modern Beit Nubah, about 7 miles north-west of
supports, one of the stations of the Israelites, situated in the
Wady Feiran, near its junction with the Wady esh-Sheikh. Here no
water could be found for the people to drink, and in their
impatience they were ready to stone Moses, as if he were the
cause of their distress. At the command of God Moses smote "the
rock in Horeb," and a copious stream flowed forth, enough for
all the people. After this the Amalekites attacked the
Israelites while they were here encamped, but they were utterly
defeated (Ex. 17:1, 8-16). They were the "first of the nations"
to make war against Israel (Num. 24:20).
Leaving Rephidim, the Israelites advanced into the wilderness
of Sinai (Ex. 19:1, 2; Num. 33:14, 15), marching probably
through the two passes of the Wady Solaf and the Wady
esh-Sheikh, which converge at the entrance to the plain
er-Rahah, the "desert of Sinai," which is two miles long and
about half a mile broad. (See SINAI ¯T0003442; MERIBAH
people of God. (1.) One of the twelve spies sent by Moses to
search the land of Canaan (Num. 13:12). He was one of the ten
who perished by the plague for their unfavourable report (Num.
(2.) The father of Machir of Lo-debar, in whose house
Mephibosheth resided (2 Sam. 9:4, 5; 17:27).
(3.) The father of Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, and
afterwards of David (1 Chr. 3:5). He is called Eliam in 2 Sam.
(4.) One of the sons of Obed-edom the Levite (1 Chr. 26:5).
That the poor existed among the Hebrews we have abundant
evidence (Ex. 23:11; Deut. 15:11), but there is no mention of
beggars properly so called in the Old Testament. The poor were
provided for by the law of Moses (Lev. 19:10; Deut. 12:12;
14:29). It is predicted of the seed of the wicked that they
shall be beggars (Ps. 37:25; 109:10).
In the New Testament we find not seldom mention made of
beggars (Mark 10:46; Luke 16:20, 21; Acts 3:2), yet there is no
mention of such a class as vagrant beggars, so numerous in the
East. "Beggarly," in Gal. 4:9, means worthless.
different from the ordinary prison in being more severe as a
place of punishment. Like the Roman inner prison (Acts 16:24),
it consisted of a deep cell or cistern (Jer. 38:6). To be shut
up in, a punishment common in Egypt (Gen. 39:20; 40:3; 41:10;
42:19). It is not mentioned, however, in the law of Moses as a
mode of punishment. Under the later kings imprisonment was
frequently used as a punishment (2 Chron. 16:10; Jer. 20:2;
32:2; 33:1; 37:15), and it was customary after the Exile (Matt.
11:2; Luke 3:20; Acts 5:18, 21; Matt. 18:30).
a name frequently used in the Old Testament as denoting a person
clothed with authority, and entitled to respect and reverence
(Gen. 50:7). It also denoted a political office (Num. 22:7). The
"elders of Israel" held a rank among the people indicative of
authority. Moses opened his commission to them (Ex. 3:16). They
attended Moses on all important occasions. Seventy of them
attended on him at the giving of the law (Ex. 24:1). Seventy
also were selected from the whole number to bear with Moses the
burden of the people (Num. 11:16, 17). The "elder" is the
keystone of the social and political fabric wherever the
patriarchal system exists. At the present day this is the case
among the Arabs, where the sheik (i.e., "the old man") is the
highest authority in the tribe. The body of the "elders" of
Israel were the representatives of the people from the very
first, and were recognized as such by Moses. All down through
the history of the Jews we find mention made of the elders as
exercising authority among the people. They appear as governors
(Deut. 31:28), as local magistrates (16:18), administering
justice (19:12). They were men of extensive influence (1 Sam.
30:26-31). In New Testament times they also appear taking an
active part in public affairs (Matt. 16:21; 21:23; 26:59).
The Jewish eldership was transferred from the old dispensation
to the new. "The creation of the office of elder is nowhere
recorded in the New Testament, as in the case of deacons and
apostles, because the latter offices were created to meet new
and special emergencies, while the former was transmitted from
the earlies times. In other words, the office of elder was the
only permanent essential office of the church under either
The "elders" of the New Testament church were the "pastors"
(Eph. 4:11), "bishops or overseers" (Acts 20:28), "leaders" and
"rulers" (Heb. 13:7; 1 Thess. 5:12) of the flock. Everywhere in
the New Testament bishop and presbyter are titles given to one
and the same officer of the Christian church. He who is called
presbyter or elder on account of his age or gravity is also
called bishop or overseer with reference to the duty that lay
upon him (Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17-28; Phil. 1:1).
orginally consisted of the four provinces of Macedonia, Epirus,
Achaia, and Peleponnesus. In Acts 20:2 it designates only the
Roman province of Macedonia. Greece was conquered by the Romans
B.C. 146. After passing through various changes it was erected
into an independent monarchy in 1831.
Moses makes mention of Greece under the name of Javan (Gen.
10:2-5); and this name does not again occur in the Old Testament
till the time of Joel (3:6). Then the Greeks and Hebrews first
came into contact in the Tyrian slave-market. Prophetic notice
is taken of Greece in Dan. 8:21.
The cities of Greece were the special scenes of the labours of
the apostle Paul.
(Heb. 'arnebeth) was prohibited as food according to the Mosaic
law (Lev. 11:6; Deut. 14:7), "because he cheweth the cud, but
divideth not the hoof." The habit of this animal is to grind its
teeth and move its jaw as if it actually chewed the cud. But,
like the cony (q.v.), it is not a ruminant with four stomachs,
but a rodent like the squirrel, rat, etc. Moses speaks of it
according to appearance. It is interdicted because, though
apparently chewing the cud, it did not divide the hoof.
There are two species in Syria, (1) the Lepus Syriacus or
Syrian hare, which is like the English hare; and (2) the Lepus
Sinaiticus, or hare of the desert. No rabbits are found in
intelligence, a city ruled over by Sihon, king of the Amorites
(Josh. 3:10; 13:17). It was taken by Moses (Num. 21:23-26), and
became afterwards a Levitical city (Josh. 21:39) in the tribe of
Reuben (Num. 32:37). After the Exile it was taken possession of
by the Moabites (Isa. 15:4; Jer. 48:2, 34, 45). The ruins of
this town are still seen about 20 miles east of Jordan from the
north end of the Dead Sea. There are reservoirs in this
district, which are probably the "fishpools" referred to in
perpetuity of existence. The doctrine of immortality is taught
in the Old Testament. It is plainly implied in the writings of
Moses (Gen. 5:22, 24; 25:8; 37:35; 47:9; 49:29, comp. Heb.
11:13-16; Ex. 3:6, comp. Matt. 22:23). It is more clearly and
fully taught in the later books (Isa. 14:9; Ps. 17:15; 49:15;
73:24). It was thus a doctrine obviously well known to the Jews.
With the full revelation of the gospel this doctrine was
"brought to light" (2 Tim. 1:10; 1 Cor. 15; 2 Cor. 5:1-6; 1
every seventh year, during which the land, according to the law
of Moses, had to remain uncultivated (Lev. 25:2-7; comp. Ex.
23:10, 11, 12; Lev. 26:34, 35). Whatever grew of itself during
that year was not for the owner of the land, but for the poor
and the stranger and the beasts of the field. All debts, except
those of foreigners, were to be remitted (Deut. 15:1-11). There
is little notice of the observance of this year in Biblical
history. It appears to have been much neglected (2 Chr. 36:20,
Simeon, The tribe of
was "divided and scattered" according to the prediction in Gen.
49:5-7. They gradually dwindled in number, and sank into a
position of insignificance among the other tribes. They
decreased in the wilderness by about two-thirds (comp. Num.
1:23; 26:14). Moses pronounces no blessing on this tribe. It is
passed by in silence (Deut. 33).
This tribe received as their portion a part of the territory
already allotted to Judah (Josh. 19:1-9). It lay in the
south-west of the land, with Judah on the east and Dan on the
north; but whether it was a compact territory or not cannot be
determined. The subsequent notices of this tribe are but few (1
Chr. 4:24-43). Like Reuben on the east of Jordan, this tribe had
little influence on the history of Israel.
The art of writing must have been known in the time of the early
Pharaohs. Moses is commanded "to write for a memorial in a book"
(Ex. 17:14) a record of the attack of Amalek. Frequent mention
is afterwards made of writing (28:11, 21, 29, 36; 31:18; 32:15,
16; 34:1, 28; 39:6, 14, 30). The origin of this art is unknown,
but there is reason to conclude that in the age of Moses it was
well known. The inspired books of Moses are the most ancient
extant writings, although there are written monuments as old as
about B.C. 2000. The words expressive of "writing," "book," and
"ink," are common to all the branches or dialects of the Semitic
language, and hence it has been concluded that this art must
have been known to the earliest Semites before they separated
into their various tribes, and nations, and families.
"The Old Testament and the discoveries of Oriental archaeology
alike tell us that the age of the Exodus was throughout the
world of Western Asia an age of literature and books, of readers
and writers, and that the cities of Israel were stored with
the contemporaneous records of past events inscribed on
imperishable clay. They further tell us that the kinsfolk and
neighbours of the Israelites were already acquainted with
alphabetic writing, that the wanderers in the desert and the
tribes of Edom were in contact with the cultured scribes and
traders of Ma'in [Southern Arabia], and that the 'house of
bondage' from which Israel had escaped was a land where the art
of writing was blazoned not only on the temples of the gods, but
also on the dwellings of the rich and powerful.", Sayce. (See
DEBIR ¯T0000995; PHOENICIA ¯T0002943.)
The "Book of the Dead" was a collection of prayers and
formulae, by the use of which the souls of the dead were
supposed to attain to rest and peace in the next world. It was
composed at various periods from the earliest time to the
Persian conquest. It affords an interesting glimpse into the
religious life and system of belief among the ancient Egyptians.
We learn from it that they believed in the existence of one
Supreme Being, the immortality of the soul, judgement after
death, and the resurrection of the body. It shows, too, a high
state of literary activity in Egypt in the time of Moses. It
refers to extensive libraries then existing. That of Ramessium,
in Thebes, e.g., built by Rameses II., contained 20,000 books.
When the Hebrews entered Canaan it is evident that the art of
writing was known to the original inhabitants, as appears, e.g.,
from the name of the city Debir having been at first
Kirjath-sepher, i.e., the "city of the book," or the "book town"
(Josh. 10:38; 15:15; Judg. 1:11).
The first mention of letter-writing is in the time of David (2
Sam. 11:14, 15). Letters are afterwards frequently spoken of (1
Kings 21:8, 9, 11; 2 Kings 10:1, 3, 6, 7; 19:14; 2 Chr.
21:12-15; 30:1, 6-9, etc.).
The five books of Moses were collectively called the Pentateuch,
a word of Greek origin meaning "the five-fold book." The Jews
called them the Torah, i.e., "the law." It is probable that the
division of the Torah into five books proceeded from the Greek
translators of the Old Testament. The names by which these
several books are generally known are Greek.
The first book of the Pentateuch (q.v.) is called by the Jews
Bereshith, i.e., "in the beginning", because this is the first
word of the book. It is generally known among Christians by the
name of Genesis, i.e., "creation" or "generation," being the
name given to it in the LXX. as designating its character,
because it gives an account of the origin of all things. It
contains, according to the usual computation, the history of
about two thousand three hundred and sixty-nine years.
Genesis is divided into two principal parts. The first part
(1-11) gives a general history of mankind down to the time of
the Dispersion. The second part presents the early history of
Israel down to the death and burial of Joseph (12-50).
There are five principal persons brought in succession under
our notice in this book, and around these persons the history of
the successive periods is grouped, viz., Adam (1-3), Noah (4-9),
Abraham (10-25:18), Isaac (25:19-35:29), and Jacob (36-50).
In this book we have several prophecies concerning Christ
(3:15; 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; 49:10). The author of
this book was Moses. Under divine guidance he may indeed have
been led to make use of materials already existing in primeval
documents, or even of traditions in a trustworthy form that had
come down to his time, purifying them from all that was
unworthy; but the hand of Moses is clearly seen throughout in
ice, hail. (1.) The third son of Esau, by Aholibamah (Gen.
36:14; 1 Chr. 1:35).
(2.) A Levite, the son of Izhar, the brother of Amram, the
father of Moses and Aaron (Ex. 6:21). The institution of the
Aaronic priesthood and the Levitical service at Sinai was a
great religious revolution. The old priesthood of the heads of
families passed away. This gave rise to murmurings and
discontent, while the Israelites were encamped at Kadesh for the
first time, which came to a head in a rebellion against Moses
and Aaron, headed by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Two hundred and
fifty princes, "men of renown" i.e., well-known men from among
the other tribes, joined this conspiracy. The whole company
demanded of Moses and Aaron that the old state of things should
be restored, alleging that "they took too much upon them" (Num.
16:1-3). On the morning after the outbreak, Korah and his
associates presented themselves at the door of the tabernacle,
and "took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid
incense thereon." But immediately "fire from the Lord" burst
forth and destroyed them all (Num. 16:35). Dathan and Abiram
"came out and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives,
and their sons, and their little children," and it came to pass
"that the ground clave asunder that was under them; and the
earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up." A plague
thereafter began among the people who sympathized in the
rebellion, and was only stayed by Aaron's appearing between the
living and the dead, and making "an atonement for the people"
The descendants of the sons of Korah who did not participate
in the rebellion afterwards rose to eminence in the Levitical
When the Israelites reached Kadesh for the first time, and were
encamped there, Moses selected twelve spies from among the
chiefs of the divisions of the tribes, and sent them forth to
spy the land of Canaan (Num. 13), and to bring back to him a
report of its actual condition. They at once proceeded on their
important errand, and went through the land as far north as the
district round Lake Merom. After about six weeks' absence they
returned. Their report was very discouraging, and the people
were greatly alarmed, and in a rebellious spirit proposed to
elect a new leader and return to Egypt. Only two of the spies,
Caleb and Joshua, showed themselves on this occasion
stout-hearted and faithful. All their appeals and remonstrances
were in vain. Moses announced that as a punishment for their
rebellion they must now wander in the wilderness till a new
generation should arise which would go up and posses the land.
The spies had been forty days absent on their expedition, and
for each day the Israelites were to be wanderers for a year in
the desert. (See ESHCOL ¯T0001248.)
Two spies were sent by Joshua "secretly" i.e., unknown to the
people (Josh. 2:1), "to view the land and Jericho" after the
death of Moses, and just before the tribes under his leadership
were about to cross the Jordan. They learned from Rahab (q.v.),
in whose house they found a hiding-place, that terror had fallen
on all the inhabitants of the land because of the great things
they had heard that Jehovah had done for them (Ex. 15:14-16;
comp. 23:27; Deut. 2:25; 11:25). As the result of their mission
they reported: "Truly Jehovah hath delivered into our hands all
the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint
because of us."
(1.) Heb. mitpahath (Ruth 3:15; marg., "sheet" or "apron;" R.V.,
"mantle"). In Isa. 3:22 this word is plural, rendered "wimples;"
R.V., "shawls" i.e., wraps.
(2.) Massekah (Isa. 25:7; in Isa. 28:20 rendered "covering").
The word denotes something spread out and covering or concealing
something else (comp. 2 Cor. 3:13-15).
(3.) Masveh (Ex. 34:33, 35), the veil on the face of Moses.
This verse should be read, "And when Moses had done speaking
with them, he put a veil on his face," as in the Revised
Version. When Moses spoke to them he was without the veil; only
when he ceased speaking he put on the veil (comp. 2 Cor. 3:13,
(4.) Paroheth (Ex. 26:31-35), the veil of the tabernacle and
the temple, which hung between the holy place and the most holy
(2 Chr. 3:14). In the temple a partition wall separated these
two places. In it were two folding-doors, which are supposed to
have been always open, the entrance being concealed by the veil
which the high priest lifted when he entered into the sanctuary
on the day of Atonement. This veil was rent when Christ died on
the cross (Matt. 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45).
(5.) Tza'iph (Gen. 24:65). Rebekah "took a vail and covered
herself." (See also 38:14, 19.) Hebrew women generally appeared
in public without veils (12:14; 24:16; 29:10; 1 Sam. 1:12).
(6.) Radhidh (Cant. 5:7, R.V. "mantle;" Isa. 3:23). The word
probably denotes some kind of cloak or wrapper.
(7.) Masak, the veil which hung before the entrance to the
holy place (Ex. 26:36, 37).
In all the Hebrew manuscripts the Pentateuch (q.v.) forms one
roll or volume divided into larger and smaller sections called
_parshioth_ and _sedarim_. It is not easy to say when it was
divided into five books. This was probably first done by the
Greek translators of the book, whom the Vulgate follows. The
fifth of these books was called by the Greeks Deuteronomion,
i.e., the second law, hence our name Deuteronomy, or a second
statement of the laws already promulgated. The Jews designated
the book by the two first Hebrew words that occur, _'Elle
haddabharim_, i.e., "These are the words." They divided it into
eleven _parshioth_. In the English Bible it contains thirty-four
It consists chiefly of three discourses delivered by Moses a
short time before his death. They were spoken to all Israel in
the plains of Moab, in the eleventh month of the last year of
The first discourse (1-4:40) recapitulates the chief events of
the last forty years in the wilderness, with earnest
exhortations to obedience to the divine ordinances, and warnings
against the danger of forsaking the God of their fathers.
The seond discourse (5-26:19) is in effect the body of the
whole book. The first address is introductory to it. It contains
practically a recapitulation of the law already given by God at
Mount Sinai, together with many admonitions and injunctions as
to the course of conduct they were to follow when they were
settled in Canaan.
The concluding discourse (ch. 27-30) relates almost wholly to
the solemn sanctions of the law, the blessings to the obedient,
and the curse that would fall on the rebellious. He solemnly
adjures them to adhere faithfully to the covenant God had made
with them, and so secure for themselves and their posterity the
These addresses to the people are followed by what may be
called three appendices, namely (1), a song which God had
commanded Moses to write (32:1-47); (2) the blessings he
pronounced on the separate tribes (ch. 33); and (3) the story of
his death (32:48-52) and burial (ch. 34), written by some other
hand, probably that of Joshua.
These farewell addresses of Moses to the tribes of Israel he
had so long led in the wilderness "glow in each line with the
emotions of a great leader recounting to his contemporaries the
marvellous story of their common experience. The enthusiasm they
kindle, even to-day, though obscured by translation, reveals
their matchless adaptation to the circumstances under which they
were first spoken. Confidence for the future is evoked by
remembrance of the past. The same God who had done mighty works
for the tribes since the Exodus would cover their head in the
day of battle with the nations of Israel, soon to be invaded.
Their great lawgiver stands before us, vigorous in his hoary
age, stern in his abhorrence of evil, earnest in his zeal for
God, but mellowed in all relations to earth by his nearness to
heaven. The commanding wisdom of his enactments, the dignity of
his position as the founder of the nation and the first of
prophets, enforce his utterances. But he touches our deepest
emotions by the human tenderness that breathes in all his words.
Standing on the verge of life, he speaks as a father giving his
parting counsels to those he loves; willing to depart and be
with God he has served so well, but fondly lengthening out his
last farewell to the dear ones of earth. No book can compare
with Deuteronomy in its mingled sublimity and tenderness."
Geikie, Hours, etc.
The whole style and method of this book, its tone and its
peculiarities of conception and expression, show that it must
have come from one hand. That the author was none other than
Moses is established by the following considerations: (1.) The
uniform tradition both of the Jewish and the Christian Church
down to recent times. (2.) The book professes to have been
written by Moses (1:1; 29:1; 31:1, 9-11, etc.), and was
obviously intended to be accepted as his work. (3.) The
incontrovertible testimony of our Lord and his apostles (Matt.
19:7, 8; Mark 10:3, 4; John 5:46, 47; Acts 3:22; 7:37; Rom.
10:19) establishes the same conclusion. (4.) The frequent
references to it in the later books of the canon (Josh. 8:31; 1
Kings 2:9; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chr. 23:18; 25:4; 34:14; Ezra 3:2;
7:6; Neh. 8:1; Dan. 9:11, 13) prove its antiquity; and (5) the
archaisms found in it are in harmony with the age in which Moses
lived. (6.) Its style and allusions are also strikingly
consistent with the circumstances and position of Moses and of
the people at that time.
This body of positive evidence cannot be set aside by the
conjectures and reasonings of modern critics, who contended that
the book was somewhat like a forgery, introduced among the Jews
some seven or eight centuries after the Exodus.
said by Jehovah. (1.) One of the descendants of Aaron by Eleazar
(1 Chr. 6:7,52). He was probably the last of the high priests of
Eleazar's line prior to the transfer of that office to Eli, of
the line of Ithamar.
(2.) A Levite, son of Hebron, of the lineage of Moses (1 Chr.
(3.) A "chief priest" who took an active part in the
reformation under Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 19:11); probably the same
as mentioned in 1 Chr. 6:9.
(4.) 1 Chr. 6:11; Ezra 7:3. (5.) One of the high priests in
the time of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 31:15). (6.) Zeph. 1:1. (7.) Neh.
11:4. (8.) Neh. 10:3. (9.) Ezra 10:42.
(Matt. 22:5). Every Hebrew had a certain portion of land
assigned to him as a possession (Num. 26:33-56). In Egypt the
lands all belonged to the king, and the husbandmen were obliged
to give him a fifth part of the produce; so in Israel Jehovah
was the sole possessor of the soil, and the people held it by
direct tenure from him. By the enactment of Moses, the Hebrews
paid a tithe of the produce to Jehovah, which was assigned to
the priesthood. Military service when required was also to be
rendered by every Hebrew at his own expense. The occuptaion of a
husbandman was held in high honour (1 Sam. 11:5-7; 1 Kings
19:19; 2 Chr. 26:10). (See LAND LAWS ¯(n/a); TITHE ¯T0003681.)
the young of the goat. It was much used for food (Gen. 27:9;
38:17; Judg. 6:19; 14:6). The Mosaic law forbade to dress a kid
in the milk of its dam, a law which is thrice repeated (Ex.
23:19; 34:26; Deut. 14:21). Among the various reasons assigned
for this law, that appears to be the most satisfactory which
regards it as "a protest against cruelty and outraging the order
of nature." A kid cooked in its mother's milk is "a gross,
unwholesome dish, and calculated to kindle animal and ferocious
passions, and on this account Moses may have forbidden it.
Besides, it is even yet associated with immoderate feasting; and
originally, I suspect," says Dr. Thomson (Land and the Book),
"was connected with idolatrous sacrifices."
"Though Orientals are very jealous of their privacy, they never
knock when about to enter your room, but walk in without warning
or ceremony. It is nearly impossible to teach an Arab servant to
knock at your door. They give warning at the outer gate either
by calling or knocking. To stand and call is a very common and
respectful mode. Thus Moses commanded the holder of a pledge to
stand without and call to the owner to come forth (Deut. 24:10).
This was to avoid the violent intrusion of cruel creditors.
Peter stood knocking at the outer door (Acts 12:13, 16), and the
three men sent to Joppa by Cornelius made inquiry and 'stood
before the gate' (10:17, 18). The idea is that the guard over
your privacy is to be placed at the entrance."
Knocking is used as a sign of importunity (Matt. 7:7, 8; Luke
13:25), and of the coming of Christ (Luke 12:36; Rev. 3:20).
early used in foreign commerce by the Phoenicians (Gen. 49:13).
Moses (Deut. 28:68) and Job (9:26) make reference to them, and
Balaam speaks of the "ships of Chittim" (Num. 24:24). Solomon
constructed a navy at Ezion-geber by the assistance of Hiram's
sailors (1 Kings 9:26-28; 2 Chr. 8:18). Afterwards, Jehoshaphat
sought to provide himself with a navy at the same port, but his
ships appear to have been wrecked before they set sail (1 Kings
22:48, 49; 2 Chr. 20:35-37).
In our Lord's time fishermen's boats on the Sea of Galilee
were called "ships." Much may be learned regarding the
construction of ancient merchant ships and navigation from the
record in Acts 27, 28.
(Mark 7:1-9). The Jews, like other Orientals, used their fingers
when taking food, and therefore washed their hands before doing
so, for the sake of cleanliness. Here the reference is to the
ablutions prescribed by tradition, according to which "the
disciples ought to have gone down to the side of the lake,
washed their hands thoroughly, 'rubbing the fist of one hand in
the hollow of the other, then placed the ten finger-tips
together, holding the hands up, so that any surplus water might
flow down to the elbow, and thence to the ground.'" To neglect
to do this had come to be regarded as a great sin, a sin equal
to the breach of any of the ten commandments. Moses had
commanded washings oft, but always for some definite cause; but
the Jews multiplied the legal observance till they formed a
large body of precepts. To such precepts about ceremonial
washing Mark here refers. (See ABLUTION ¯T0000051.)
This word is used, (1.) To express the idea that the Egyptians
considered themselves as defiled when they ate with strangers
(Gen. 43:32). The Jews subsequently followed the same practice,
holding it unlawful to eat or drink with foreigners (John 18:28;
Acts 10:28; 11:3).
(2.) Every shepherd was "an abomination" unto the Egyptians
(Gen. 46:34). This aversion to shepherds, such as the Hebrews,
arose probably from the fact that Lower and Middle Egypt had
formerly been held in oppressive subjection by a tribe of nomad
shepherds (the Hyksos), who had only recently been expelled, and
partly also perhaps from this other fact that the Egyptians
detested the lawless habits of these wandering shepherds.
(3.) Pharaoh was so moved by the fourth plague, that while he
refused the demand of Moses, he offered a compromise, granting
to the Israelites permission to hold their festival and offer
their sacrifices in Egypt. This permission could not be
accepted, because Moses said they would have to sacrifice "the
abomination of the Egyptians" (Ex. 8:26); i.e., the cow or ox,
which all the Egyptians held as sacred, and which they regarded
it as sacrilegious to kill.
(4.) Daniel (11:31), in that section of his prophecies which
is generally interpreted as referring to the fearful calamities
that were to fall on the Jews in the time of Antiochus
Epiphanes, says, "And they shall place the abomination that
maketh desolate." Antiochus Epiphanes caused an altar to be
erected on the altar of burnt-offering, on which sacrifices were
offered to Jupiter Olympus. (Comp. 1 Macc. 1:57). This was the
abomination of the desolation of Jerusalem. The same language is
employed in Dan. 9:27 (comp. Matt. 24:15), where the reference
is probably to the image-crowned standards which the Romans set
up at the east gate of the temple (A.D. 70), and to which they
paid idolatrous honours. "Almost the entire religion of the
Roman camp consisted in worshipping the ensign, swearing by the
ensign, and in preferring the ensign before all other gods."
These ensigns were an "abomination" to the Jews, the
"abomination of desolation."
This word is also used symbolically of sin in general (Isa.
66:3); an idol (44:19); the ceremonies of the apostate Church of
Rome (Rev. 17:4); a detestable act (Ezek. 22:11).
anointed, the Greek translation of the Hebrew word rendered
"Messiah" (q.v.), the official title of our Lord, occurring five
hundred and fourteen times in the New Testament. It denotes that
he was anointed or consecrated to his great redemptive work as
Prophet, Priest, and King of his people. He is Jesus the Christ
(Acts 17:3; 18:5; Matt. 22:42), the Anointed One. He is thus
spoken of by Isaiah (61:1), and by Daniel (9:24-26), who styles
him "Messiah the Prince."
The Messiah is the same person as "the seed of the woman"
(Gen. 3:15), "the seed of Abraham" (Gen. 22:18), the "Prophet
like unto Moses" (Deut. 18:15), "the priest after the order of
Melchizedek" (Ps. 110:4), "the rod out of the stem of Jesse"
(Isa. 11:1, 10), the "Immanuel," the virgin's son (Isa. 7:14),
"the branch of Jehovah" (Isa. 4:2), and "the messenger of the
covenant" (Mal. 3:1). This is he "of whom Moses in the law and
the prophets did write." The Old Testament Scripture is full of
prophetic declarations regarding the Great Deliverer and the
work he was to accomplish. Jesus the Christ is Jesus the Great
Deliverer, the Anointed One, the Saviour of men. This name
denotes that Jesus was divinely appointed, commissioned, and
accredited as the Saviour of men (Heb. 5:4; Isa. 11:2-4; 49:6;
John 5:37; Acts 2:22).
To believe that "Jesus is the Christ" is to believe that he is
the Anointed, the Messiah of the prophets, the Saviour sent of
God, that he was, in a word, what he claimed to be. This is to
believe the gospel, by the faith of which alone men can be
brought unto God. That Jesus is the Christ is the testimony of
God, and the faith of this constitutes a Christian (1 Cor. 12:3;
1 John 5:1).
The plague (the ninth) of darkness in Egypt (Ex. 10:21) is
described as darkness "which may be felt." It covered "all the
land of Egypt," so that "they saw not one another." It did not
extend to the land of Goshen (ver. 23).
When Jesus hung upon the cross (Matt. 27:45; Luke 23:44), from
the "sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the
On Mount Sinai, Moses (Ex. 20:21) "drew near unto the thick
darkness where God was." This was the "thick cloud upon the
mount" in which Jehovah was when he spake unto Moses there. The
Lord dwelt in the cloud upon the mercy-seat (1 Kings 8:12), the
cloud of glory. When the psalmist (Ps. 97:2) describes the
inscrutable nature of God's workings among the sons of men, he
says, "Clouds and darkness are round about him." God dwells in
Darkness (Isa. 13:9, 10; Matt. 24:29) also is a symbol of the
judgments that attend on the coming of the Lord. It is a symbol
of misery and adversity (Job 18:6; Ps. 107:10; Isa. 8:22; Ezek.
30:18). The "day of darkness" in Joel 2:2, caused by clouds of
locusts, is a symbol of the obscurity which overhangs all divine
proceedings. "Works of darkness" are impure actions (Eph. 5:11).
"Outer darkness" refers to the darkness of the streets in the
East, which are never lighted up by any public or private lamps
after nightfall, in contrast with the blaze of cheerful light in
the house. It is also a symbol of ignorance (Isa. 9:2; 60:2;
Matt. 6:23) and of death (Job 10:21; 17:13).
holy, or Kadesh-Barnea, sacred desert of wandering, a place on
the south-eastern border of Israel, about 165 miles from
Horeb. It lay in the "wilderness" or "desert of Zin" (Gen. 14:7;
Num. 13:3-26; 14:29-33; 20:1; 27:14), on the border of Edom
(20:16). From this place, in compliance with the desire of the
people, Moses sent forth "twelve spies" to spy the land. After
examining it in all its districts, the spies brought back an
evil report, Joshua and Caleb alone giving a good report of the
land (13:18-31). Influenced by the discouraging report, the
people abandoned all hope of entering into the Promised Land.
They remained a considerable time at Kadesh. (See HORMAH
¯T0001820; KORAH ¯T0002222.) Because of their unbelief, they
were condemned by God to wander for thirty-eight years in the
wilderness. They took their journey from Kadesh into the deserts
of Paran, "by way of the Red Sea" (Deut. 2:1). (One theory is
that during these thirty-eight years they remained in and about
At the end of these years of wanderings, the tribes were a
second time gathered together at Kadesh. During their stay here
at this time Miriam died and was buried. Here the people
murmured for want of water, as their forefathers had done
formerly at Rephidim; and Moses, irritated by their chidings,
"with his rod smote the rock twice," instead of "speaking to the
rock before their eyes," as the Lord had commanded him (comp.
Num. 27:14; Deut. 9:23; Ps. 106:32, 33). Because of this act of
his, in which Aaron too was involved, neither of them was to be
permitted to set foot within the Promised Land (Num. 20:12, 24).
The king of Edom would not permit them to pass on through his
territory, and therefore they commenced an eastward march, and
"came unto Mount Hor" (20:22).
This place has been identified with 'Ain el-Kadeis, about 12
miles east-south-east of Beersheba. (See SPIES ¯T0003493.)
Numbers, Book of
the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew
be-midbar, i.e., "in the wilderness." In the LXX. version it is
called "Numbers," and this name is now the usual title of the
book. It is so called because it contains a record of the
numbering of the people in the wilderness of Sinai (1-4), and of
their numbering afterwards on the plain of Moab (26).
This book is of special historical interest as furnishing us
with details as to the route of the Israelites in the wilderness
and their principal encampments. It may be divided into three
1. The numbering of the people at Sinai, and preparations for
their resuming their march (1-10:10). The sixth chapter gives an
account of the vow of a Nazarite.
2. An account of the journey from Sinai to Moab, the sending
out of the spies and the report they brought back, and the
murmurings (eight times) of the people at the hardships by the
3. The transactions in the plain of Moab before crossing the
Jordan (21:21-ch. 36).
The period comprehended in the history extends from the second
month of the second year after the Exodus to the beginning of
the eleventh month of the fortieth year, in all about
thirty-eight years and ten months; a dreary period of
wanderings, during which that disobedient generation all died in
the wilderness. They were fewer in number at the end of their
wanderings than when they left the land of Egypt. We see in this
history, on the one hand, the unceasing care of the Almighty
over his chosen people during their wanderings; and, on the
other hand, the murmurings and rebellions by which they offended
their heavenly Protector, drew down repeated marks of his
displeasure, and provoked him to say that they should "not enter
into his rest" because of their unbelief (Heb. 3:19).
This, like the other books of the Pentateuch, bears evidence
of having been written by Moses.
The expression "the book of the wars of the Lord," occurring
in 21:14, has given rise to much discussion. But, after all,
"what this book was is uncertain, whether some writing of Israel
not now extant, or some writing of the Amorites which contained
songs and triumphs of their king Sihon's victories, out of which
Moses may cite this testimony, as Paul sometimes does out of
heathen poets (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12)."
from the Old Testament in the New, which are very numerous, are
not made according to any uniform method. When the New Testament
was written, the Old was not divided, as it now is, into
chapters and verses, and hence such peculiarities as these: When
Luke (20:37) refers to Ex. 3:6, he quotes from "Moses at the
bush", i.e., the section containing the record of Moses at the
bush. So also Mark (2:26) refers to 1 Sam. 21:1-6, in the words,
"in the days of Abiathar;" and Paul (Rom. 11:2) refers to 1
Kings ch. 17-19, in the words, "in Elias", i.e., in the portion
of the history regarding Elias.
In general, the New Testament writers quote from the
Septuagint (q.v.) version of the Old Testament, as it was then
in common use among the Jews. But it is noticeable that these
quotations are not made in any uniform manner. Sometimes, e.g.,
the quotation does not agree literally either with the LXX. or
the Hebrew text. This occurs in about one hundred instances.
Sometimes the LXX. is literally quoted (in about ninety
instances), and sometimes it is corrected or altered in the
quotations (in over eighty instances).
Quotations are sometimes made also directly from the Hebrew
text (Matt. 4:15, 16; John 19:37; 1 Cor. 15:54). Besides the
quotations made directly, there are found numberless allusions,
more or less distinct, showing that the minds of the New
Testament writers were filled with the expressions and ideas as
well as historical facts recorded in the Old.
There are in all two hundred and eighty-three direct
quotations from the Old Testament in the New, but not one clear
and certain case of quotation from the Apocrypha (q.v.).
Besides quotations in the New from the Old Testament, there
are in Paul's writings three quotations from certain Greek
poets, Acts 17:28; 1 Cor. 15:33; Titus 1:12. These quotations
are memorials of his early classical education.
more correctly Sanhedrin (Gr. synedrion), meaning "a sitting
together," or a "council." This word (rendered "council," A.V.)
is frequently used in the New Testament (Matt. 5:22; 26:59; Mark
15:1, etc.) to denote the supreme judicial and administrative
council of the Jews, which, it is said, was first instituted by
Moses, and was composed of seventy men (Num. 11:16, 17). But
that seems to have been only a temporary arrangement which Moses
made. This council is with greater probability supposed to have
originated among the Jews when they were under the domination of
the Syrian kings in the time of the Maccabees. The name is first
employed by the Jewish historian Josephus. This "council" is
referred to simply as the "chief priests and elders of the
people" (Matt. 26:3, 47, 57, 59; 27:1, 3, 12, 20, etc.), before
whom Christ was tried on the charge of claiming to be the
Messiah. Peter and John were also brought before it for
promulgating heresy (Acts. 4:1-23; 5:17-41); as was also Stephen
on a charge of blasphemy (6:12-15), and Paul for violating a
temple by-law (22:30; 23:1-10).
The Sanhedrin is said to have consisted of seventy-one
members, the high priest being president. They were of three
classes (1) the chief priests, or heads of the twenty-four
priestly courses (1 Chr. 24), (2) the scribes, and (3) the
elders. As the highest court of judicature, "in all causes and
over all persons, ecclesiastical and civil, supreme," its
decrees were binding, not only on the Jews in Israel, but on
all Jews wherever scattered abroad. Its jurisdiction was greatly
curtailed by Herod, and afterwards by the Romans. Its usual
place of meeting was within the precincts of the temple, in the
hall "Gazith," but it sometimes met also in the house of the
high priest (Matt. 26:3), who was assisted by two
father of Him; i.e., "worshipper of God", the second of the sons
of Aaron (Ex. 6:23; Num. 3:2; 26:60; 1 Chr. 6:3). Along with his
three brothers he was consecrated to the priest's office (Ex.
28:1). With his father and elder brother he accompanied the
seventy elders part of the way up the mount with Moses (Ex.
24:1,9). On one occasion he and Nadab his brother offered
incense in their censers filled with "strange" (i.e., common)
fire, i.e., not with fire taken from the great brazen altar
(Lev. 6:9, etc.), and for this offence they were struck dead,
and were taken out and buried without the camp (Lev. 10:1-11;
comp. Num. 3:4; 26:61; 1 Chr. 24:2). It is probable that when
they committed this offence they were intoxicated, for
immediately after is given the law prohibiting the use of wine
or strong drink to the priests.
the giving to any one the name and place and privileges of a son
who is not a son by birth.
(1.) Natural. Thus Pharaoh's daughter adopted Moses (Ex.
2:10), and Mordecai Esther (Esther 2:7).
(2.) National. God adopted Israel (Ex. 4:22; Deut. 7:6; Hos.
11:1; Rom. 9:4).
(3.) Spiritual. An act of God's grace by which he brings men
into the number of his redeemed family, and makes them partakers
of all the blessings he has provided for them. Adoption
represents the new relations into which the believer is
introduced by justification, and the privileges connected
therewith, viz., an interest in God's peculiar love (John 17:23;
Rom. 5:5-8), a spiritual nature (2 Pet. 1:4; John 1:13), the
possession of a spirit becoming children of God (1 Pet. 1:14; 2
John 4; Rom. 8:15-21; Gal. 5:1; Heb. 2:15), present protection,
consolation, supplies (Luke 12:27-32; John 14:18; 1 Cor.
3:21-23; 2 Cor. 1:4), fatherly chastisements (Heb. 12:5-11), and
a future glorious inheritance (Rom. 8:17,23; James 2:5; Phil.
Avenger of blood
(Heb. goel, from verb gaal, "to be near of kin," "to redeem"),
the nearest relative of a murdered person. It was his right and
duty to slay the murderer (2 Sam. 14:7, 11) if he found him
outside of a city of refuge. In order that this law might be
guarded against abuse, Moses appointed six cities of refuge (Ex.
21:13; Num. 35:13; Deut. 19:1,9). These were in different parts
of the country, and every facility was afforded the manslayer
that he might flee to the city that lay nearest him for safety.
Into the city of refuge the avenger durst not follow him. This
arrangement applied only to cases where the death was not
premeditated. The case had to be investigated by the authorities
of the city, and the wilful murderer was on no account to be
spared. He was regarded as an impure and polluted person, and
was delivered up to the _goel_ (Deut. 19:11-13). If the offence
was merely manslaughter, then the fugitive must remain within
the city till the death of the high priest (Num. 35:25).
(1.) In Isa. 58:5 the rendering of a word which denotes
"belonging to a marsh," from the nature of the soil in which it
grows (Isa. 18:2). It was sometimes platted into ropes (Job.
41:2; A.V., "hook," R.V., "rope," lit. "cord of rushes").
(2.) In Ex. 2:3, Isa. 18:2 (R.V., "papyrus") this word is the
translation of the Hebrew _gome_, which designates the plant as
absorbing moisture. In Isa. 35:7 and Job 8:11 it is rendered
"rush." This was the Egyptian papyrus (papyrus Nilotica). It was
anciently very abundant in Egypt. The Egyptians made garments
and shoes and various utensils of it. It was used for the
construction of the ark of Moses (Ex. 2:3, 5). The root portions
of the stem were used for food. The inside bark was cut into
strips, which were sewed together and dried in the sun, forming
the papyrus used for writing. It is no longer found in Egypt,
but grows luxuriantly in Israel, in the marshes of the Huleh,
and in the swamps at the north end of the Lake of Gennesaret.
(See CANE ¯T0000710.)
(1.) The fourth son of Ham (Gen. 10:6). His descendants were
under a curse in consequence of the transgression of his father
(9:22-27). His eldest son, Zidon, was the father of the
Sidonians and Phoenicians. He had eleven sons, who were the
founders of as many tribes (10:15-18).
(2.) The country which derived its name from the preceding.
The name as first used by the Phoenicians denoted only the
maritime plain on which Sidon was built. But in the time of
Moses and Joshua it denoted the whole country to the west of the
Jordan and the Dead Sea (Deut. 11:30). In Josh. 5:12 the LXX.
read, "land of the Phoenicians," instead of "land of Canaan."
The name signifies "the lowlands," as distinguished from the
land of Gilead on the east of Jordan, which was a mountainous
district. The extent and boundaries of Canaan are fully set
forth in different parts of Scripture (Gen. 10:19; 17:8; Num.
13:29; 34:8). (See CANAANITES ¯T0000705, PALESTINE ¯T0002828.)