This word is used of sediment found in pits or in streets (Isa.
57:20; Jer. 38:60), of dust mixed with spittle (John 9:6), and
of potter's clay (Isa. 41:25; Nah. 3:14; Jer. 18:1-6; Rom.
9:21). Clay was used for sealing (Job 38:14; Jer. 32:14). Our
Lord's tomb may have been thus sealed (Matt. 27:66). The
practice of sealing doors with clay is still common in the East.
Clay was also in primitive times used for mortar (Gen. 11:3).
The "clay ground" in which the large vessels of the temple were
cast (1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chr. 4:17) was a compact loam fitted for
the purpose. The expression literally rendered is, "in the
thickness of the ground,", meaning, "in stiff ground" or in
(Hab. 2:6) is correctly rendered in the Revised Version
"pledges." The Chaldean power is here represented as a rapacious
usurer, accumulating the wealth that belonged to others.
a place near Succoth, in the plain of the Jordan, "in the clay
ground," near which Hiram cast the brazen utensils for the
temple (1 Kings 7:46); probably the same as Zartan. It is also
called Zeredathah (2 Chr. 4:17). (See ZEREDA ¯T0003909.)
(Heb. homer), cement of lime and sand (Gen. 11:3; Ex. 1:14);
also potter's clay (Isa. 41:25; Nah. 3:14). Also Heb. 'aphar,
usually rendered "dust," clay or mud used for cement in building
(Lev. 14:42, 45).
Mortar for pulverizing (Prov. 27:22) grain or other substances
by means of a pestle instead of a mill. Mortars were used in the
wilderness for pounding the manna (Num. 11:8). It is commonly
used in Israel at the present day to pound wheat, from which
the Arabs make a favourite dish called kibby.
Canaan, the language of
mentioned in Isa. 19:18, denotes the language spoken by the Jews
resident in Israel. The language of the Canaanites and of the
Hebrews was substantially the same. This is seen from the
fragments of the Phoenician language which still survive, which
show the closest analogy to the Hebrew. Yet the subject of the
language of the "Canaanites" is very obscure. The cuneiform
writing of Babylon, as well as the Babylonian language, was
taught in the Canaanitish schools, and the clay tablets of
Babylonian literature were stored in the Canaanitish libraries.
Even the Babylonian divinities were borrowed by the Canaanites.
probably the same as Assur-bani-pal (Sardanapalos of the
Greeks), styled the "great and noble" (Ezra 4:10), was the son
and successor (B.C. 668) of Esar-haddon (q.v.). He was
"luxurious, ambitious, and cruel, but a magnificent patron of
literature." He formed at Nineveh a library of clay tablets,
numbering about 10,000. These are now mostly in the British
Museum. They throw much light on the history and antiquities of
Assur-bani-pal was a munificent patron of literature, and the
conqueror of Elam. Towards the middle of his reign his empire
was shaken by a great rebellion headed by his brother in
Babylon. The rebellion was finally put down, but Egypt was lost,
and the military power of Assyria was so exhausted that it could
with difficulty resist the hordes of Kimmerians who poured over
Western Asia. (See NINEVEH ¯T0002735.)
occurs only once in Scripture (1 Cor. 10:11, A.V. marg.). The
Greek word _tupos_ is rendered "print" (John 20:25), "figure"
(Acts 7:43; Rom. 5:14), "fashion" (Acts 7:44), "manner" (Acts
23:25), "form" (Rom. 6:17), "example" or "ensample" (1 Cor.
10:6, 11; Phil. 3:17; 1 Thess. 1:7; 2 Thess. 3:9; 1 Tim. 4:12).
It properly means a "model" or "pattern" or "mould" into which
clay or wax was pressed, that it might take the figure or exact
shape of the mould. The word "type" is generally used to denote
a resemblance between something present and something future,
which is called the "antitype."
commonly a ring engraved with some device (Gen. 38:18, 25).
Jezebel "wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his
seal" (1 Kings 21:8). Seals are frequently mentioned in Jewish
history (Deut. 32:34; Neh. 9:38; 10:1; Esther 3:12; Cant. 8:6;
Isa. 8:16; Jer. 22:24; 32:44, etc.). Sealing a document was
equivalent to the signature of the owner of the seal. "The use
of a signet-ring by the monarch has recently received a
remarkable illustration by the discovery of an impression of
such a signet on fine clay at Koyunjik, the site of the ancient
Nineveh. This seal appears to have been impressed from the bezel
of a metallic finger-ring. It is an oval, 2 inches in length by
1 inch wide, and bears the image, name, and titles of the
Egyptian king Sabaco" (Rawlinson's Hist. Illus. of the O.T., p.
46). The actual signet-rings of two Egyptian kings (Cheops and
Horus) have been discovered. (See SIGNET ¯T0003426.)
The use of seals is mentioned in the New Testament only in
connection with the record of our Lord's burial (Matt. 27:66).
The tomb was sealed by the Pharisees and chief priests for the
purpose of making sure that the disciples would not come and
steal the body away (ver. 63, 64). The mode of doing this was
probably by stretching a cord across the stone and sealing it at
both ends with sealing-clay. When God is said to have sealed the
Redeemer, the meaning is, that he has attested his divine
mission (John 6:27). Circumcision is a seal, an attestation of
the covenant (Rom. 4:11). Believers are sealed with the Spirit,
as God's mark put upon them (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). Converts are by
Paul styled the seal of his apostleship, i.e., they are its
attestation (1 Cor. 9:2). Seals and sealing are frequently
mentioned in the book of Revelation (5:1; 6:1; 7:3; 10:4;
high-born. (1.) Generally "Huram," one of the sons of Bela (1
(2.) Also "Huram" and "Horam," king of Tyre. He entered into
an alliance with David, and assisted him in building his palace
by sending him able workmen, and also cedar-trees and fir-trees
from Lebanon (2 Sam. 5:11; 1 Chr. 14:1). After the death of
David he entered into a similar alliance with Solomon, and
assisted him greatly in building the temple (1 Kings 5:1; 9:11;
2 Chr. 2:3). He also took part in Solomon's traffic to the
Eastern Seas (1 Kings 9:27; 10:11; 2 Chr. 8:18; 9:10).
(3.) The "master workman" whom Hiram sent to Solomon. He was
the son of a widow of Dan, and of a Tyrian father. In 2 Chr.
2:13 "Huram my father" should be Huram Abi, the word "Abi"
(rendered here "my father") being regarded as a proper name, or
it may perhaps be a title of distinction given to Huram, and
equivalent to "master." (Comp. 1 Kings 7:14; 2 Chr. 4:16.) He
cast the magnificent brazen works for Solomon's temple in
clay-beds in the valley of Jordan, between Succoth and Zarthan.
a seal used to attest documents (Dan. 6:8-10, 12). In 6:17, this
word properly denotes a ring. The impression of a signet ring on
fine clay has recently been discovered among the ruins at
Nineveh. It bears the name and title of an Egyptian king. Two
actual signet rings of ancient Egyptian monarchs (Cheops and
Horus) have also been discovered.
When digging a shaft close to the south wall of the temple
area, the engineers of the Israel Exploration Fund, at a
depth of 12 feet below the surface, came upon a pavement of
polished stones, formerly one of the streets of the city. Under
this pavement they found a stratum of 16 feet of concrete, and
among this concrete, 10 feet down, they found a signet stone
bearing the inscription, in Old Hebrew characters, "Haggai, son
of Shebaniah." It has been asked, Might not this be the actual
seal of Haggai the prophet? We know that he was in Jerusalem
after the Captivity; and it is somewhat singular that he alone
of all the minor prophets makes mention of a signet (Hag. 2:23).
(See SEAL ¯T0003246.)
Zebulun, Tribe of
numbered at Sinai (Num. 1:31) and before entering Canaan
(26:27). It was one of the tribes which did not drive out the
Canaanites, but only made them tributary (Judg. 1:30). It took
little interest in public affairs. It responded, however,
readily to the summons of Gideon (6:35), and afterwards assisted
in enthroning David at Hebron (1 Chr. 12:33, 40). Along with the
other northern tribes, Zebulun was carried away into the land of
Assyria by Tiglath-pileser (2 Kings 15:29).
In Deborah's song the words, "Out of Zebulun they that handle
the pen of the writer" (Judg. 5:14) has been rendered in the
R.V., "They that handle the marshal's staff." This is a
questionable rendering. "The word _sopher_ ('scribe' or
'writer') defines the word _shebhet_ ('rod' or 'pen') with which
it is conjoined. The 'rod of the scribe' on the Assyrian
monuments was the stylus of wood or metal, with the help of
which the clay tablet was engraved, or the papyrus inscribed
with characters. The scribe who wielded it was the associate and
assistant of the 'lawgivers.'" (Sayce).
the high land or mountains, a city in the land of Shinar. It has
been identified with the mounds of Akker Kuf, some 50 miles to
the north of Babylon; but this is doubtful. It was one of the
cities of Nimrod's kingdom (Ge 10:10). It stood close to the
Euphrates, opposite Sippara. (See SEPHARVAIM ¯T0003277.)
It is also the name of the country of which this city was the
capital, namely, northern or upper Babylonia. The Accadians who
came from the "mountains of the east," where the ark rested,
attained to a high degree of civilization. In the Babylonian
inscriptions they are called "the black heads" and "the black
faces," in contrast to "the white race" of Semitic descent. They
invented the form of writing in pictorial hieroglyphics, and
also the cuneiform system, in which they wrote many books partly
on papyrus and partly on clay. The Semitic Babylonians ("the
white race"), or, as some scholars think, first the Cushites,
and afterwards, as a second immigration, the Semites, invaded
and conquered this country; and then the Accadian language
ceased to be a spoken language, although for the sake of its
literary treasures it continued to be studied by the educated
classes of Babylonia. A large portion of the Ninevite tablets
brought to light by Oriental research consists of interlinear or
parallel translations from Accadian into Assyrian; and thus that
long-forgotten language has been recovered by scholars. It
belongs to the class of languages called agglutinative, common
to the Tauranian race; i.e., it consists of words "glued
together," without declension of conjugation. These tablets in a
remarkable manner illustrate ancient history. Among other
notable records, they contain an account of the Creation which
closely resembles that given in the book of Genesis, of the
Sabbath as a day of rest, and of the Deluge and its cause. (See
BABYLON ¯T0000409; CHALDEA ¯T0000758.)
There are five different Hebrew words so rendered in the
Authorized Version: (1.) A basket (Heb. sal, a twig or osier)
for holding bread (Gen. 40:16; Ex. 29:3, 23; Lev. 8:2, 26, 31;
Num. 6:15, 17, 19). Sometimes baskets were made of twigs peeled;
their manufacture was a recognized trade among the Hebrews.
(2.) That used (Heb. salsilloth') in gathering grapes (Jer.
(3.) That in which the first fruits of the harvest were
presented, Heb. tene, (Deut. 26:2, 4). It was also used for
household purposes. In form it tapered downwards like that
called _corbis_ by the Romans.
(4.) A basket (Heb. kelub) having a lid, resembling a
bird-cage. It was made of leaves or rushes. The name is also
applied to fruit-baskets (Amos 8:1, 2).
(5.) A basket (Heb. dud) for carrying figs (Jer. 24:2), also
clay to the brick-yard (R.V., Ps. 81:6), and bulky articles (2
Kings 10:7). This word is also rendered in the Authorized
Version "kettle" (1 Sam. 2:14), "caldron" (2 Chr. 35:13),
"seething-pot" (Job 41:20).
In the New Testament mention is made of the basket (Gr.
kophinos, small "wicker-basket") for the "fragments" in the
miracle recorded Mark 6:43, and in that recorded Matt. 15:37
(Gr. spuris, large "rope-basket"); also of the basket in which
Paul escaped (Acts 9:25, Gr. spuris; 2 Cor. 11: 33, Gr. sargane,
"basket of plaited cords").
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 land of the Nile and the pyramids, the oldest kingdom of
which we have any record, holds a place of great significance in
The Egyptians belonged to the white race, and their original
home is still a matter of dispute. Many scholars believe that it
was in Southern Arabia, and recent excavations have shown that
the valley of the Nile was originally inhabited by a low-class
population, perhaps belonging to the Nigritian stock, before the
Egyptians of history entered it. The ancient Egyptian language,
of which the latest form is Coptic, is distantly connected with
the Semitic family of speech.
Egypt consists geographically of two halves, the northern
being the Delta, and the southern Upper Egypt, between Cairo and
the First Cataract. In the Old Testament, Northern or Lower
Egypt is called Mazor, "the fortified land" (Isa. 19:6; 37: 25,
where the A.V. mistranslates "defence" and "besieged places");
while Southern or Upper Egypt is Pathros, the Egyptian
Pa-to-Res, or "the land of the south" (Isa. 11:11). But the
whole country is generally mentioned under the dual name of
Mizraim, "the two Mazors."
The civilization of Egypt goes back to a very remote
antiquity. The two kingdoms of the north and south were united
by Menes, the founder of the first historical dynasty of kings.
The first six dynasties constitute what is known as the Old
Empire, which had its capital at Memphis, south of Cairo, called
in the Old Testament Moph (Hos. 9:6) and Noph. The native name
was Mennofer, "the good place."
The Pyramids were tombs of the monarchs of the Old Empire,
those of Gizeh being erected in the time of the Fourth Dynasty.
After the fall of the Old Empire came a period of decline and
obscurity. This was followed by the Middle Empire, the most
powerful dynasty of which was the Twelfth. The Fayyum was
rescued for agriculture by the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty; and
two obelisks were erected in front of the temple of the sun-god
at On or Heliopolis (near Cairo), one of which is still
standing. The capital of the Middle Empire was Thebes, in Upper
The Middle Empire was overthrown by the invasion of the
Hyksos, or shepherd princes from Asia, who ruled over Egypt,
more especially in the north, for several centuries, and of whom
there were three dynasties of kings. They had their capital at
Zoan or Tanis (now San), in the north-eastern part of the Delta.
It was in the time of the Hyksos that Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph
entered Egypt. The Hyksos were finally expelled about B.C. 1600,
by the hereditary princes of Thebes, who founded the Eighteenth
Dynasty, and carried the war into Asia. Canaan and Syria were
subdued, as well as Cyprus, and the boundaries of the Egyptian
Empire were fixed at the Euphrates. The Soudan, which had been
conquered by the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty, was again annexed
to Egypt, and the eldest son of the Pharaoh took the title of
"Prince of Cush."
One of the later kings of the dynasty, Amenophis IV., or
Khu-n-Aten, endeavoured to supplant the ancient state religion
of Egypt by a new faith derived from Asia, which was a sort of
pantheistic monotheism, the one supreme god being adored under
the image of the solar disk. The attempt led to religious and
civil war, and the Pharaoh retreated from Thebes to Central
Egypt, where he built a new capital, on the site of the present
Tell-el-Amarna. The cuneiform tablets that have been found there
represent his foreign correspondence (about B.C. 1400). He
surrounded himself with officials and courtiers of Asiatic, and
more especially Canaanitish, extraction; but the native party
succeeded eventually in overthrowing the government, the capital
of Khu-n-Aten was destroyed, and the foreigners were driven out
of the country, those that remained being reduced to serfdom.
The national triumph was marked by the rise of the Nineteenth
Dynasty, in the founder of which, Rameses I., we must see the
"new king, who knew not Joseph." His grandson, Rameses II.,
reigned sixty-seven years (B.C. 1348-1281), and was an
indefatigable builder. As Pithom, excavated by Dr. Naville in
1883, was one of the cities he built, he must have been the
Pharaoh of the Oppression. The Pharaoh of the Exodus may have
been one of his immediate successors, whose reigns were short.
Under them Egypt lost its empire in Asia, and was itself
attacked by barbarians from Libya and the north.
The Nineteenth Dynasty soon afterwards came to an end; Egypt
was distracted by civil war; and for a short time a Canaanite,
Arisu, ruled over it.
Then came the Twentieth Dynasty, the second Pharaoh of which,
Rameses III., restored the power of his country. In one of his
campaigns he overran the southern part of Israel, where the
Israelites had not yet settled. They must at the time have been
still in the wilderness. But it was during the reign of Rameses
III. that Egypt finally lost Gaza and the adjoining cities,
which were seized by the Pulista, or Philistines.
After Rameses III., Egypt fell into decay. Solomon married the
daughter of one of the last kings of the Twenty-first Dynasty,
which was overthrown by Shishak I., the general of the Libyan
mercenaries, who founded the Twenty-second Dynasty (1 Kings
11:40; 14:25, 26). A list of the places he captured in Israel
is engraved on the outside of the south wall of the temple of
In the time of Hezekiah, Egypt was conquered by Ethiopians
from the Soudan, who constituted the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. The
third of them was Tirhakah (2 Kings 19:9). In B.C. 674 it was
conquered by the Assyrians, who divided it into twenty
satrapies, and Tirhakah was driven back to his ancestral
dominions. Fourteen years later it successfully revolted under
Psammetichus I. of Sais, the founder of the Twenty-sixth
Dynasty. Among his successors were Necho (2 Kings 23:29) and
Hophra, or Apries (Jer. 37:5, 7, 11). The dynasty came to an end
in B.C. 525, when the country was subjugated by Cambyses. Soon
afterwards it was organized into a Persian satrapy.
The title of Pharaoh, given to the Egyptian kings, is the
Egyptian Per-aa, or "Great House," which may be compared to that
of "Sublime Porte." It is found in very early Egyptian texts.
The Egyptian religion was a strange mixture of pantheism and
animal worship, the gods being adored in the form of animals.
While the educated classes resolved their manifold deities into
manifestations of one omnipresent and omnipotent divine power,
the lower classes regarded the animals as incarnations of the
Under the Old Empire, Ptah, the Creator, the god of Memphis,
was at the head of the Pantheon; afterwards Amon, the god of
Thebes, took his place. Amon, like most of the other gods, was
identified with Ra, the sun-god of Heliopolis.
The Egyptians believed in a resurrection and future life, as
well as in a state of rewards and punishments dependent on our
conduct in this world. The judge of the dead was Osiris, who had
been slain by Set, the representative of evil, and afterwards
restored to life. His death was avenged by his son Horus, whom
the Egyptians invoked as their "Redeemer." Osiris and Horus,
along with Isis, formed a trinity, who were regarded as
representing the sun-god under different forms.
Even in the time of Abraham, Egypt was a flourishing and
settled monarchy. Its oldest capital, within the historic
period, was Memphis, the ruins of which may still be seen near
the Pyramids and the Sphinx. When the Old Empire of Menes came
to an end, the seat of empire was shifted to Thebes, some 300
miles farther up the Nile. A short time after that, the Delta
was conquered by the Hyksos, or shepherd kings, who fixed their
capital at Zoan, the Greek Tanis, now San, on the Tanic arm of
the Nile. All this occurred before the time of the new king
"which knew not Joseph" (Ex. 1:8). In later times Egypt was
conquered by the Persians (B.C. 525), and by the Greeks under
Alexander the Great (B.C. 332), after whom the Ptolemies ruled
the country for three centuries. Subsequently it was for a time
a province of the Roman Empire; and at last, in A.D. 1517, it
fell into the hands of the Turks, of whose empire it still forms
nominally a part. Abraham and Sarah went to Egypt in the time of
the shepherd kings. The exile of Joseph and the migration of
Jacob to "the land of Goshen" occurred about 200 years later. On
the death of Solomon, Shishak, king of Egypt, invaded Israel
(1 Kings 14:25). He left a list of the cities he conquered.
A number of remarkable clay tablets, discovered at
Tell-el-Amarna in Upper Egypt, are the most important historical
records ever found in connection with the Bible. They most fully
confirm the historical statements of the Book of Joshua, and
prove the antiquity of civilization in Syria and Israel. As
the clay in different parts of Israel differs, it has been
found possible by the clay alone to decide where the tablets
come from when the name of the writer is lost. The inscriptions
are cuneiform, and in the Aramaic language, resembling Assyrian.
The writers are Phoenicians, Amorites, and Philistines, but in
no instance Hittites, though Hittites are mentioned. The tablets
consist of official dispatches and letters, dating from B.C.
1480, addressed to the two Pharaohs, Amenophis III. and IV., the
last of this dynasty, from the kings and governors of Phoenicia
and Israel. There occur the names of three kings killed by
Joshua, Adoni-zedec, king of Jerusalem, Japhia, king of Lachish
(Josh. 10:3), and Jabin, king of Hazor (11:1); also the Hebrews
(Abiri) are said to have come from the desert.
The principal prophecies of Scripture regarding Egypt are
these, Isa. 19; Jer. 43: 8-13; 44:30; 46; Ezek. 29-32; and it
might be easily shown that they have all been remarkably
fulfilled. For example, the singular disappearance of Noph
(i.e., Memphis) is a fulfilment of Jer. 46:19, Ezek. 30:13.
the name given to the chief of the three great historical annual
festivals of the Jews. It was kept in remembrance of the Lord's
passing over the houses of the Israelites (Ex. 12:13) when the
first born of all the Egyptians were destroyed. It is called
also the "feast of unleavened bread" (Ex. 23:15; Mark 14:1; Acts
12:3), because during its celebration no leavened bread was to
be eaten or even kept in the household (Ex. 12:15). The word
afterwards came to denote the lamb that was slain at the feast
(Mark 14:12-14; 1 Cor. 5:7).
A detailed account of the institution of this feast is given
in Ex. 12 and 13. It was afterwards incorporated in the
ceremonial law (Lev. 23:4-8) as one of the great festivals of
the nation. In after times many changes seem to have taken place
as to the mode of its celebration as compared with its first
celebration (comp. Deut. 16:2, 5, 6; 2 Chr. 30:16; Lev.
23:10-14; Num. 9:10, 11; 28:16-24). Again, the use of wine (Luke
22:17, 20), of sauce with the bitter herbs (John 13:26), and the
service of praise were introduced.
There is recorded only one celebration of this feast between
the Exodus and the entrance into Canaan, namely, that mentioned
in Num. 9:5. (See JOSIAH ¯T0002116.) It was primarily a
commemorative ordinance, reminding the children of Israel of
their deliverance out of Egypt; but it was, no doubt, also a
type of the great deliverance wrought by the Messiah for all his
people from the doom of death on account of sin, and from the
bondage of sin itself, a worse than Egyptian bondage (1 Cor.
5:7; John 1:29; 19:32-36; 1 Pet. 1:19; Gal. 4:4, 5). The
appearance of Jerusalem on the occasion of the Passover in the
time of our Lord is thus fittingly described: "The city itself
and the neighbourhood became more and more crowded as the feast
approached, the narrow streets and dark arched bazaars showing
the same throng of men of all nations as when Jesus had first
visited Jerusalem as a boy. Even the temple offered a strange
sight at this season, for in parts of the outer courts a wide
space was covered with pens for sheep, goats, and cattle to be
used for offerings. Sellers shouted the merits of their beasts,
sheep bleated, oxen lowed. Sellers of doves also had a place set
apart for them. Potters offered a choice from huge stacks of
clay dishes and ovens for roasting and eating the Passover lamb.
Booths for wine, oil, salt, and all else needed for sacrifices
invited customers. Persons going to and from the city shortened
their journey by crossing the temple grounds, often carrying
burdens...Stalls to change foreign money into the shekel of the
temple, which alone could be paid to the priests, were numerous,
the whole confusion making the sanctuary like a noisy market"
(Geikie's Life of Christ).
is "any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of
God" (1 John 3:4; Rom. 4:15), in the inward state and habit of
the soul, as well as in the outward conduct of the life, whether
by omission or commission (Rom. 6:12-17; 7:5-24). It is "not a
mere violation of the law of our constitution, nor of the system
of things, but an offence against a personal lawgiver and moral
governor who vindicates his law with penalties. The soul that
sins is always conscious that his sin is (1) intrinsically vile
and polluting, and (2) that it justly deserves punishment, and
calls down the righteous wrath of God. Hence sin carries with it
two inalienable characters, (1) ill-desert, guilt (reatus); and
(2) pollution (macula).", Hodge's Outlines.
The moral character of a man's actions is determined by the
moral state of his heart. The disposition to sin, or the habit
of the soul that leads to the sinful act, is itself also sin
(Rom. 6:12-17; Gal. 5:17; James 1:14, 15).
The origin of sin is a mystery, and must for ever remain such
to us. It is plain that for some reason God has permitted sin to
enter this world, and that is all we know. His permitting it,
however, in no way makes God the author of sin.
Adam's sin (Gen. 3:1-6) consisted in his yielding to the
assaults of temptation and eating the forbidden fruit. It
involved in it, (1) the sin of unbelief, virtually making God a
liar; and (2) the guilt of disobedience to a positive command.
By this sin he became an apostate from God, a rebel in arms
against his Creator. He lost the favour of God and communion
with him; his whole nature became depraved, and he incurred the
penalty involved in the covenant of works.
Original sin. "Our first parents being the root of all
mankind, the guilt of their sin was imputed, and the same death
in sin and corrupted nature were conveyed to all their
posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation." Adam
was constituted by God the federal head and representative of
all his posterity, as he was also their natural head, and
therefore when he fell they fell with him (Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor.
15:22-45). His probation was their probation, and his fall their
fall. Because of Adam's first sin all his posterity came into
the world in a state of sin and condemnation, i.e., (1) a state
of moral corruption, and (2) of guilt, as having judicially
imputed to them the guilt of Adam's first sin.
"Original sin" is frequently and properly used to denote only
the moral corruption of their whole nature inherited by all men
from Adam. This inherited moral corruption consists in, (1) the
loss of original righteousness; and (2) the presence of a
constant proneness to evil, which is the root and origin of all
actual sin. It is called "sin" (Rom. 6:12, 14, 17; 7:5-17), the
"flesh" (Gal. 5:17, 24), "lust" (James 1:14, 15), the "body of
sin" (Rom. 6:6), "ignorance," "blindness of heart," "alienation
from the life of God" (Eph. 4:18, 19). It influences and
depraves the whole man, and its tendency is still downward to
deeper and deeper corruption, there remaining no recuperative
element in the soul. It is a total depravity, and it is also
universally inherited by all the natural descendants of Adam
(Rom. 3:10-23; 5:12-21; 8:7). Pelagians deny original sin, and
regard man as by nature morally and spiritually well;
semi-Pelagians regard him as morally sick; Augustinians, or, as
they are also called, Calvinists, regard man as described above,
spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1; 1 John 3:14).
The doctrine of original sin is proved, (1.) From the fact of
the universal sinfulness of men. "There is no man that sinneth
not" (1 Kings 8:46; Isa. 53:6; Ps. 130:3; Rom. 3:19, 22, 23;
Gal. 3:22). (2.) From the total depravity of man. All men are
declared to be destitute of any principle of spiritual life;
man's apostasy from God is total and complete (Job 15:14-16;
Gen. 6:5,6). (3.) From its early manifestation (Ps. 58:3; Prov.
22:15). (4.) It is proved also from the necessity, absolutely
and universally, of regeneration (John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17). (5.)
From the universality of death (Rom. 5:12-20).
Various kinds of sin are mentioned, (1.) "Presumptuous sins,"
or as literally rendered, "sins with an uplifted hand", i.e.,
defiant acts of sin, in contrast with "errors" or
"inadvertencies" (Ps. 19:13). (2.) "Secret", i.e., hidden sins
(19:12); sins which escape the notice of the soul. (3.) "Sin
against the Holy Ghost" (q.v.), or a "sin unto death" (Matt.
12:31, 32; 1 John 5:16), which amounts to a wilful rejection of
Sin, a city in Egypt, called by the Greeks Pelusium, which
means, as does also the Hebrew name, "clayey" or "muddy," so
called from the abundance of clay found there. It is called by
Ezekel (Ezek. 30:15) "the strength of Egypt, "thus denoting its
importance as a fortified city. It has been identified with the
modern Tineh, "a miry place," where its ruins are to be found.
Of its boasted magnificence only four red granite columns
remain, and some few fragments of others.
in the Babylonian orthography Nabu-kudur-uzur, which means
"Nebo, protect the crown!" or the "frontiers." In an inscription
he styles himself "Nebo's favourite." He was the son and
successor of Nabopolassar, who delivered Babylon from its
dependence on Assyria and laid Nineveh in ruins. He was the
greatest and most powerful of all the Babylonian kings. He
married the daughter of Cyaxares, and thus the Median and
Babylonian dynasties were united.
Necho II., the king of Egypt, gained a victory over the
Assyrians at Carchemish. (See JOSIAH ¯T0002116; MEGIDDO
¯T0002463.) This secured to Egypt the possession of the Syrian
provinces of Assyria, including Israel. The remaining
provinces of the Assyrian empire were divided between Babylonia
and Media. But Nabopolassar was ambitious of reconquering from
Necho the western provinces of Syria, and for this purpose he
sent his son with a powerful army westward (Dan. 1:1). The
Egyptians met him at Carchemish, where a furious battle was
fought, resulting in the complete rout of the Egyptians, who
were driven back (Jer. 46:2-12), and Syria and Phoenicia brought
under the sway of Babylon (B.C. 606). From that time "the king
of Egypt came not again any more out of his land" (2 Kings
24:7). Nebuchadnezzar also subdued the whole of Israel, and
took Jerusalem, carrying away captive a great multitude of the
Jews, among whom were Daniel and his companions (Dan. 1:1, 2;
Jer. 27:19; 40:1).
Three years after this, Jehoiakim, who had reigned in
Jerusalem as a Babylonian vassal, rebelled against the
oppressor, trusting to help from Egypt (2 Kings 24:1). This led
Nebuchadnezzar to march an army again to the conquest of
Jerusalem, which at once yielded to him (B.C. 598). A third time
he came against it, and deposed Jehoiachin, whom he carried into
Babylon, with a large portion of the population of the city, and
the sacred vessels of the temple, placing Zedekiah on the throne
of Judah in his stead. He also, heedless of the warnings of the
prophet, entered into an alliance with Egypt, and rebelled
against Babylon. This brought about the final siege of the city,
which was at length taken and utterly destroyed (B.C. 586).
Zedekiah was taken captive, and had his eyes put out by order of
the king of Babylon, who made him a prisoner for the remainder
of his life.
An onyx cameo, now in the museum of Florence, bears on it an
arrow-headed inscription, which is certainly ancient and
genuine. The helmeted profile is said (Schrader) to be genuine
also, but it is more probable that it is the portrait of a
usurper in the time of Darius (Hystaspes), called Nidinta-Bel,
who took the name of "Nebuchadrezzar." The inscription has been
thus translated:, "In honour of Merodach, his lord,
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in his lifetime had this made."
A clay tablet, now in the British Museum, bears the following
inscription, the only one as yet found which refers to his wars:
"In the thirty-seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the
country of Babylon, he went to Egypt [Misr] to make war. Amasis,
king of Egypt, collected [his army], and marched and spread
abroad." Thus were fulfilled the words of the prophet (Jer.
46:13-26; Ezek. 29:2-20). Having completed the subjugation of
Phoenicia, and inflicted chastisement on Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar
now set himself to rebuild and adorn the city of Babylon (Dan.
4:30), and to add to the greatness and prosperity of his kingdom
by constructing canals and aqueducts and reservoirs surpassing
in grandeur and magnificence everything of the kind mentioned in
history (Dan. 2:37). He is represented as a "king of kings,"
ruling over a vast kingdom of many provinces, with a long list
of officers and rulers under him, "princes, governors,
captains," etc. (3:2, 3, 27). He may, indeed, be said to have
created the mighty empire over which he ruled.
"Modern research has shown that Nebuchadnezzar was the
greatest monarch that Babylon, or perhaps the East generally,
ever produced. He must have possessed an enormous command of
human labour, nine-tenths of Babylon itself, and
nineteen-twentieths of all the other ruins that in almost
countless profusion cover the land, are composed of bricks
stamped with his name. He appears to have built or restored
almost every city and temple in the whole country. His
inscriptions give an elaborate account of the immense works
which he constructed in and about Babylon itself, abundantly
illustrating the boast, 'Is not this great Babylon which I have
build?'" Rawlinson, Hist. Illustrations.
After the incident of the "burning fiery furnace" (Dan. 3)
into which the three Hebrew confessors were cast, Nebuchadnezzar
was afflicted with some peculiar mental aberration as a
punishment for his pride and vanity, probably the form of
madness known as lycanthropy (i.e, "the change of a man into a
wolf"). A remarkable confirmation of the Scripture narrative is
afforded by the recent discovery of a bronze door-step, which
bears an inscription to the effect that it was presented by
Nebuchadnezzar to the great temple at Borsippa as a votive
offering on account of his recovery from a terrible illness.
(See DANIEL ¯T0000969.)
He survived his recovery for some years, and died B.C. 562, in
the eighty-third or eighty-fourth year of his age, after a reign
of forty-three years, and was succeeded by his son
Evil-merodach, who, after a reign of two years, was succeeded by
Neriglissar (559-555), who was succeeded by Nabonadius
(555-538), at the close of whose reign (less than a quarter of a
century after the death of Nebuchadnezzar) Babylon fell under
Cyrus at the head of the combined armies of Media and Persia.
"I have examined," says Sir H. Rawlinson, "the bricks
belonging perhaps to a hundred different towns and cities in the
neighbourhood of Baghdad, and I never found any other legend
than that of Nebuchadnezzar, son of Nabopolassar, king of
Babylon." Nine-tenths of all the bricks amid the ruins of
Babylon are stamped with his name.
First mentioned in Gen. 10:11, which is rendered in the Revised
Version, "He [i.e., Nimrod] went forth into Assyria and builded
Nineveh." It is not again noticed till the days of Jonah, when
it is described (Jonah 3:3; 4:11) as a great and populous city,
the flourishing capital of the Assyrian empire (2 Kings 19:36;
Isa. 37:37). The book of the prophet Nahum is almost exclusively
taken up with prophetic denunciations against this city. Its
ruin and utter desolation are foretold (Nah.1:14; 3:19, etc.).
Zephaniah also (2:13-15) predicts its destruction along with the
fall of the empire of which it was the capital. From this time
there is no mention of it in Scripture till it is named in
gospel history (Matt. 12:41; Luke 11:32).
This "exceeding great city" lay on the eastern or left bank of
the river Tigris, along which it stretched for some 30 miles,
having an average breadth of 10 miles or more from the river
back toward the eastern hills. This whole extensive space is now
one immense area of ruins. Occupying a central position on the
great highway between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean,
thus uniting the East and the West, wealth flowed into it from
many sources, so that it became the greatest of all ancient
About B.C. 633 the Assyrian empire began to show signs of
weakness, and Nineveh was attacked by the Medes, who
subsequently, about B.C. 625, being joined by the Babylonians
and Susianians, again attacked it, when it fell, and was razed
to the ground. The Assyrian empire then came to an end, the
Medes and Babylonians dividing its provinces between them.
"After having ruled for more than six hundred years with hideous
tyranny and violence, from the Caucasus and the Caspian to the
Persian Gulf, and from beyond the Tigris to Asia Minor and
Egypt, it vanished like a dream" (Nah. 2:6-11). Its end was
strange, sudden, tragic. It was God's doing, his judgement on
Assyria's pride (Isa. 10:5-19).
Forty years ago our knowledge of the great Assyrian empire and
of its magnificent capital was almost wholly a blank. Vague
memories had indeed survived of its power and greatness, but
very little was definitely known about it. Other cities which
had perished, as Palmyra, Persepolis, and Thebes, had left ruins
to mark their sites and tell of their former greatness; but of
this city, imperial Nineveh, not a single vestige seemed to
remain, and the very place on which it had stood was only matter
of conjecture. In fulfilment of prophecy, God made "an utter end
of the place." It became a "desolation."
In the days of the Greek historian Herodotus, B.C. 400, it had
become a thing of the past; and when Xenophon the historian
passed the place in the "Retreat of the Ten Thousand," the very
memory of its name had been lost. It was buried out of sight,
and no one knew its grave. It is never again to rise from its
At length, after being lost for more than two thousand years,
the city was disentombed. A little more than forty years ago the
French consul at Mosul began to search the vast mounds that lay
along the opposite bank of the river. The Arabs whom he employed
in these excavations, to their great surprise, came upon the
ruins of a building at the mound of Khorsabad, which, on further
exploration, turned out to be the royal palace of Sargon, one of
the Assyrian kings. They found their way into its extensive
courts and chambers, and brought forth form its hidded depths
many wonderful sculptures and other relics of those ancient
The work of exploration has been carried on almost
continuously by M. Botta, Sir Henry Layard, George Smith, and
others, in the mounds of Nebi-Yunus, Nimrud, Koyunjik, and
Khorsabad, and a vast treasury of specimens of old Assyrian art
has been exhumed. Palace after palace has been discovered, with
their decorations and their sculptured slabs, revealing the life
and manners of this ancient people, their arts of war and peace,
the forms of their religion, the style of their architecture,
and the magnificence of their monarchs. The streets of the city
have been explored, the inscriptions on the bricks and tablets
and sculptured figures have been read, and now the secrets of
their history have been brought to light.
One of the most remarkable of recent discoveries is that of
the library of King Assur-bani-pal, or, as the Greek historians
call him, Sardanapalos, the grandson of Sennacherib (q.v.). (See
ASNAPPER ¯T0000347.) This library consists of about ten thousand
flat bricks or tablets, all written over with Assyrian
characters. They contain a record of the history, the laws, and
the religion of Assyria, of the greatest value. These strange
clay leaves found in the royal library form the most valuable of
all the treasuries of the literature of the old world. The
library contains also old Accadian documents, which are the
oldest extant documents in the world, dating as far back as
probably about the time of Abraham. (See SARGON ¯T0003227.)
"The Assyrian royalty is, perhaps, the most luxurious of our
century [reign of Assur-bani-pa]...Its victories and conquests,
uninterrupted for one hundred years, have enriched it with the
spoil of twenty peoples. Sargon has taken what remained to the
Hittites; Sennacherib overcame Chaldea, and the treasures of
Babylon were transferred to his coffers; Esarhaddon and
Assur-bani-pal himself have pillaged Egypt and her great cities,
Sais, Memphis, and Thebes of the hundred gates...Now foreign
merchants flock into Nineveh, bringing with them the most
valuable productions from all countries, gold and perfume from
South Arabia and the Chaldean Sea, Egyptian linen and
glass-work, carved enamels, goldsmiths' work, tin, silver,
Phoenician purple; cedar wood from Lebanon, unassailable by
worms; furs and iron from Asia Minor and Armenia" (Ancient Egypt
and Assyria, by G. Maspero, page 271).
The bas-reliefs, alabaster slabs, and sculptured monuments
found in these recovered palaces serve in a remarkable manner to
confirm the Old Testament history of the kings of Israel. The
appearance of the ruins shows that the destruction of the city
was due not only to the assailing foe but also to the flood and
the fire, thus confirming the ancient prophecies concerning it.
"The recent excavations," says Rawlinson, "have shown that fire
was a great instrument in the destruction of the Nineveh
palaces. Calcined alabaster, charred wood, and charcoal,
colossal statues split through with heat, are met with in parts
of the Nineveh mounds, and attest the veracity of prophecy."
Nineveh in its glory was (Jonah 3:4) an "exceeding great city
of three days' journey", i.e., probably in circuit. This would
give a circumference of about 60 miles. At the four corners of
an irregular quadrangle are the ruins of Kouyunjik, Nimrud,
Karamless and Khorsabad. These four great masses of ruins, with
the whole area included within the parallelogram they form by
lines drawn from the one to the other, are generally regarded as
composing the whole ruins of Nineveh.