consecrated, one of the fenced cities of Naphtali (Josh. 19:38).
Salt, The city of
one of the cities of Judah (Josh. 15:62), probably in the Valley
of Salt, at the southern end of the Dead Sea.
Siddim, Vale of
valley of the broad plains, "which is the salt sea" (Gen. 14:3,
8, 10), between Engedi and the cities of the plain, at the south
end of the Dead Sea. It was "full of slime-pits" (R.V., "bitumen
pits"). Here Chedorlaomer and the confederate kings overthrew
the kings of Sodom and the cities of the plain. God afterwards,
on account of their wickedness, "overthrew those cities, and all
the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities;" and the smoke
of their destruction "went up as the smoke of a furnace"
(19:24-28), and was visible from Mamre, where Abraham dwelt.
Some, however, contend that the "cities of the plain" were
somewhere at the north of the Dead Sea. (See SODOM ¯T0003469.)
head of the stream; bridle, one of Nimrod's cities (Gen. 10:12),
"between Nineveh and Calah." It has been supposed that the four
cities named in this verse were afterwards combined into one
under the name of Nineveh (q.v.). Resen was on the east side of
the Tigris. It is probably identified with the mound of ruins
store cities which the Israelites built for the Egyptians (Ex.
1:11). (See PITHOM ¯T0002968.) Towns in which the treasures of
the kings of Judah were kept were so designated (1 Chr. 27:25).
hidden, one of the sacerdotal cities of Benjamin (Josh. 21:18),
called also Alemeth (1 Chr. 6:60).
measures, one of the six cities "in the wilderness," on the west
of the Dead Sea, mentioned along with En-gedi (Josh. 15:61).
ten cities=deka, ten, and polis, a city, a district on the east
and south-east of the Sea of Galilee containing "ten cities,"
which were chiefly inhabited by Greeks. It included a portion of
Bashan and Gilead, and is mentioned three times in the New
Testament (Matt. 4:25; Mark 5:20; 7:31). These cities were
Scythopolis, i.e., "city of the Scythians", (ancient Bethshean,
the only one of the ten cities on the west of Jordan), Hippos,
Gadara, Pella (to which the Christians fled just before the
destruction of Jerusalem), Philadelphia (ancient Rabbath-ammon),
Gerasa, Dion, Canatha, Raphana, and Damascus. When the Romans
conquered Syria (B.C. 65) they rebuilt, and endowed with certain
privileges, these "ten cities," and the province connected with
them they called "Decapolis."
There were in Israel (1) cities, (2) unwalled villages, and
(3) villages with castles or towers (1 Chr. 27:25). Cities, so
called, had walls, and were thus fenced. The fortifications
consisted of one or two walls, on which were towers or parapets
at regular intervals (2 Chr. 32:5; Jer. 31:38). Around ancient
Jerusalem were three walls, on one of which were ninety towers,
on the second fourteen, and on the third sixty. The tower of
Hananeel, near the north-east corner of the city wall, is
frequently referred to (Neh. 3:1; 12:39; Zech. 14:10). The
gateways of such cities were also fortified (Neh. 2:8; 3:3, 6;
Judg. 16:2, 3; 1 Sam. 23:7).
The Hebrews found many fenced cities when they entered the
Promised Land (Num. 13:28; 32:17, 34-42; Josh. 11:12, 13; Judg.
1:27-33), and we may estimate the strength of some of these
cities from the fact that they were long held in possession by
the Canaanites. The Jebusites, e.g., were enabled to hold
possession of Jerusalem till the time of David (2 Sam. 5:6, 7; 1
Several of the kings of Israel and Judah distinguished
themselves as fortifiers or "builders" of cities.
The earliest mention of city-building is that of Enoch, which
was built by Cain (Gen. 4:17). After the confusion of tongues,
the descendants of Nimrod founded several cities (10:10-12).
Next, we have a record of the cities of the Canaanites, Sidon,
Gaza, Sodom, etc. (10:12, 19; 11:3, 9; 36:31-39). The earliest
description of a city is that of Sodom (19:1-22). Damascus is
said to be the oldest existing city in the world. Before the
time of Abraham there were cities in Egypt (Num. 13:22). The
Israelites in Egypt were employed in building the "treasure
cities" of Pithom and Raamses (Ex. 1:11); but it does not seem
that they had any cities of their own in Goshen (Gen. 46:34;
47:1-11). In the kingdom of Og in Bashan there were sixty "great
cities with walls," and twenty-three cities in Gilead partly
rebuilt by the tribes on the east of Jordan (Num. 21:21, 32, 33,
35; 32:1-3, 34-42; Deut. 3:4, 5, 14; 1 Kings 4:13). On the west
of Jordan were thirty-one "royal cities" (Josh. 12), besides
many others spoken of in the history of Israel.
A fenced city was a city surrounded by fortifications and high
walls, with watch-towers upon them (2 Chr. 11:11; Deut. 3:5).
There was also within the city generally a tower to which the
citizens might flee when danger threatened them (Judg. 9:46-52).
A city with suburbs was a city surrounded with open
pasture-grounds, such as the forty-eight cities which were given
to the Levites (Num. 35:2-7). There were six cities of refuge,
three on each side of Jordan, namely, Kadesh, Shechem, Hebron,
on the west of Jordan; and on the east, Bezer, Ramoth-gilead,
and Golan. The cities on each side of the river were nearly
opposite each other. The regulations concerning these cities are
given in Num. 35:9-34; Deut. 19:1-13; Ex. 21:12-14.
When David reduced the fortress of the Jebusites which stood
on Mount Zion, he built on the site of it a palace and a city,
which he called by his own name (1 Chr. 11:5), the city of
David. Bethlehem is also so called as being David's native town
Jerusalem is called the Holy City, the holiness of the temple
being regarded as extending in some measure over the whole city
Pithom and Raamses, built by the Israelites as "treasure
cities," were not places where royal treasures were kept, but
were fortified towns where merchants might store their goods and
transact their business in safety, or cities in which munitions
of war were stored. (See PITHOM ¯T0002968.)
stony heap, an "island," as it has been called, of rock about 30
miles by 20, rising 20 or 30 feet above the table-land of
Bashan; a region of crags and chasms wild and rugged in the
extreme. On this "island" stood sixty walled cities, ruled over
by Og. It is called Trachonitis ("the rugged region") in the New
Testament (Luke 3:1). These cities were conquered by the
Israelites (Deut. 3:4; 1 Kings 4:13). It is now called the
Lejah. Here "sixty walled cities are still traceable in a space
of 308 square miles. The architecture is ponderous and massive.
Solid walls 4 feet thick, and stones on one another without
cement; the roofs enormous slabs of basaltic rock, like iron;
the doors and gates are of stone 18 inches thick, secured by
ponderous bars. The land bears still the appearance of having
been called the 'land of giants' under the giant Og." "I have
more than once entered a deserted city in the evening, taken
possession of a comfortable house, and spent the night in peace.
Many of the houses in the ancient cities of Bashan are perfect,
as if only finished yesterday. The walls are sound, the roofs
unbroken, and even the window-shutters in their places. These
ancient cities of Bashan probably contain the very oldest
specimens of domestic architecture in the world" (Porter's Giant
Cities). (See BASHAN ¯T0000461.)
king of the Ammonites at the time of the Babylonian captivity
(Jer. 40:14). He hired Ishmael to slay Gedaliah who had been
appointed governor over the cities of Judah.
house of response, one of the fenced cities of Naphtali (Josh.
19:38). It is perhaps identical with the modern village 'Ainata,
6 miles west of Kedesh.
camel-house, a city in the "plain country" of Moab denounced by
the prophet (Jer. 48:23); probably the modern Um-el-Jemal, near
Bozrah, one of the deserted cities of the Hauran.
village of the horse, the same as Sansannah, one of Solomon's
"chariot cities" (Josh. 15:31; 2 Chr. 1:14), a depot in the
south border of Judah.
one of the cities of Mesopotamia destroyed by sennacherib (2
Kings 18:34; 19:13). It is identified with the modern Anah,
lying on the right bank of the Euphrates, not far from
double city, a town of Naphali, assigned to the Gershonite
Levites, and one of the cities of refuge (Josh. 21:32). It was
probably near the north-western shore of the Sea of Tiberias,
identical with the ruined village el-Katanah.
the country of the Ludim (Gen. 10:13), Northern Africa, a large
tract lying along the Mediterranean, to the west of Egypt (Acts
2:10). Cyrene was one of its five cities.
a district in Asia Minor, to the north of Pamphylia. The Taurus
range of mountains extends through it. Antioch, one of its chief
cities, was twice visited by Paul (Acts 13:14; 14:21-24).
enclosure, one of the six cities in the wilderness of Judah,
noted for its "great cistern" (Josh. 15:61). It has been
identified with the ruin Sikkeh, east of Bethany.
an inflammable mineral substance found in quantities on the
shores of the Dead Sea. The cities of the plain were destroyed
by a rain of fire and brimstone (Gen. 19:24, 25). In Isa. 34:9
allusion is made to the destruction of these cities. This word
figuratively denotes destruction or punishment (Job 18:15; Isa.
30:33; 34:9; Ps. 11:6; Ezek. 38:22). It is used to express the
idea of excruciating torment in Rev. 14:10; 19:20; 20:10.
two cities; a double city. (1.) A city of refuge in Naphtali (1
(2.) A town on the east of Jordan (Gen. 14:5; Deut. 2:9, 10).
It was assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Num. 32:37). In the time
of Ezekiel (25:9) it was one of the four cities which formed the
"glory of Moab" (comp. Jer. 48:1, 23). It has been identified
with el-Kureiyat, 11 miles south-west of Medeba, on the south
slope of Jebel Attarus, the ancient Ataroth.
how little! as nothing. (1.) A town on the eastern border of
Asher (Josh. 19:27), probably one of the towns given by Solomon
to Hiram; the modern Kabul, some 8 miles east of Accho, on the
very borders of Galilee.
(2.) A district in the north-west of Galilee, near to Tyre,
containing twenty cities given to Hiram by Solomon as a reward
for various services rendered to him in building the temple (1
Kings 9:13), and as payment of the six score talents of gold he
had borrowed from him. Hiram gave the cities this name because
he was not pleased with the gift, the name signifying "good for
nothing." Hiram seems afterwards to have restored these cities
to Solomon (2 Chr. 8:2).
earth, one of the five cities of the vale of Siddim (Gen.
10:19). It was destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrah (19:24;
Deut. 29:23). It is supposed by some to be the same as the Adam
of Josh. 3:16, the name of which still lingers in Damieh, the
ford of Jordan. (See ZEBOIM ¯T0003885.)
grape-town, one of the cities in the mountains of Judah, from
which Joshua expelled the Anakim (Josh. 11:21; 15:50). It still
retains its ancient name. It lies among the hills, 10 miles
south-south-west of Hebron.
the Bashan of the villages of Jair, the general name given to
Argob by Jair, the son of Manasseh (Deut. 3:14), containing
sixty cities with walls and brazen gates (Josh. 13:30; 1 Kings
4:13). (See ARGOB ¯T0000302.)
wells, one of the four cities of the Hivites which entered by
fraud into a league with Joshua. It belonged to Benjamin (Josh.
18:25). It has by some been identified with el-Bireh on the way
to Nablus, 10 miles north of Jerusalem.
house of the desert, one of the six cities of Judah, situated in
the sunk valley of the Jordan and Dead Sea (Josh. 18:22). In
Josh. 15:61 it is said to have been "in the wilderness." It was
afterwards included in the towns of Benjamin. It is called
Arabah (Josh. 18:18).
village, one of the four cities of the Gibeonitish Hivites with
whom Joshua made a league (9:17). It belonged to Benjamin. It
has been identified with the modern Kefireh, on the west
confines of Benjamin, about 2 miles west of Ajalon and 11 from
Chiefs of Asia
"Asiarchs," the title given to certain wealthy persons annually
appointed to preside over the religious festivals and games in
the various cities of proconsular Asia (Acts 19:31). Some of
these officials appear to have been Paul's friends.
one of the cities of Hadarezer, king of Syria. David procured
brass (i.e., bronze or copper) from it for the temple (1 Chr.
18:8). It is called Berothai in 2 Sam. 8:8; probably the same as
Berothah in Ezek. 47:16.
a name derived from "Golan" (q.v.), one of the cities of refuge
in the territory of Manasseh (Josh. 20:8; 21:27; Deut. 4:43).
This was one of the provinces ruled by Herod Antipas. It lay to
the east of the Lake of Galilee, and included among its towns
Bethsaida-Julias (Mark 8:22) and Seleucia.
warm springs, one of the "fenced cities" of Naphtali (Josh.
19:35). It is identified with the warm baths (the heat of the
water ranging from 136 degrees to 144 degrees) still found on
the shore a little to the south of Tiberias under the name of
Hummam Tabariyeh ("Bath of Tiberias").
Refuge, Cities of
were six in number (Num. 35). 1. On the west of Jordan were (1)
Kadesh, in Naphtali; (2) Shechem, in Mount Ephraim; (3) Hebron,
in Judah. 2. On the east of Jordan were, (1) Golan, in Bashan;
(2) Ramoth-Gilead, in Gad; and (3) Bezer, in Reuben. (See under
each of these names.)
the designation of one of the Phoenician tribes (Gen. 10:18) who
inhabited the town of Sumra, at the western base of the Lebanon
range. In the Amarna tablets (B.C. 1400) Zemar, or Zumur, was
one of the most important of the Phoenician cities, but it
afterwards almost disappears from history.
one of the most ancient cities of Assyria. "Out of that land he
[i.e., Nimrod] went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh,
Rehoboth-Ir, and Calah, and Resen" (Gen. 10:11, R.V.). Its site
is now marked probably by the Nimrud ruins on the left bank of
the Tigris. These cover an area of about 1,000 acres, and are
second only in size and importance to the mass of ruins opposite
Mosul. This city was at one time the capital of the empire, and
was the residence of Sardanapalus and his successors down to the
time of Sargon, who built a new capital, the modern Khorsabad.
It has been conjectured that these four cities mentioned in Gen.
10:11 were afterwards all united into one and called Nineveh
a harp, one of the "fenced cities" of Naphtali (Josh. 19:35;
comp. Deut. 3:17). It also denotes, apparently, a district which
may have taken its name from the adjacent city or lake of
Gennesaret, anciently called "the sea of Chinnereth" (q.v.), and
was probably that enclosed district north of Tiberias afterwards
called "the plain of Gennesaret." Called Chinneroth (R.V.,
Chinnereth) Josh. 11:2. The phrase "all Cinneroth, with all the
land of Naphtali" in 1 Kings 15:20 is parallel to "the
store-houses of the cities of Naphtali" (R.V. marg.) in 2 Chr.
(1 Sam. 5:2), or Beth-dagon, as elsewhere rendered (Josh.15: 41;
19:27), was the sanctuary or temple of Dagon.
The Beth-dagon of Josh. 15:41 was one of the cities of the
tribe of Judah, in the lowland or plain which stretches
westward. It has not been identified.
The Beth-dagon of Josh. 19:27 was one of the border cities of
That of 1 Chr. 10:10 was in the western half-tribe of
Manasseh, where the Philistines, after their victory at Gilboa,
placed Saul's head in the temple of their god. (Comp. 1 Sam.
gazelles or roes. (1.) One of the "five cities of the plain" of
Sodom, generally coupled with Admah (Gen. 10:19; 14:2; Deut.
29:23; Hos. 11:8). It had a king of its own (Shemeber), and was
therefore a place of some importance. It was destroyed along
with the other cities of the plain.
(2.) A valley or rugged glen somewhere near Gibeah in Benjamin
(1 Sam. 13:18). It was probably the ravine now bearing the name
Wady Shakh-ed-Dub'a, or "ravine of the hyena," north of Jericho.
(3.) A place mentioned only in Neh. 11:34, inhabited by the
Benjamites after the Captivity.
Egyptian, Pa-Tum, "house of Tum," the sun-god, one of the
"treasure" cities built for Pharaoh Rameses II. by the
Israelites (Ex. 1:11). It was probably the Patumos of the Greek
historian Herodotus. It has now been satisfactorily identified
with Tell-el-Maskhuta, about 12 miles west of Ismailia, and 20
east of Tel-el-Kebir, on the southern bank of the present Suez
Canal. Here have recently (1883) been discovered the ruins of
supposed grain-chambers, and other evidences to show that this
was a great "store city." Its immense ruin-heaps show that it
was built of bricks, and partly also of bricks without straw.
Succoth (Ex. 12:37) is supposed by some to be the secular name
of this city, Pithom being its sacred name. This was the first
halting-place of the Israelites in their exodus. It has been
argued (Dr. Lansing) that these "store" cities "were residence
cities, royal dwellings, such as the Pharaohs of old, the Kings
of Israel, and our modern Khedives have ever loved to build,
thus giving employment to the superabundant muscle of their
enslaved peoples, and making a name for themselves."
submersion, one of the five cities of the plain of Siddim (q.v.)
which were destroyed by fire (Gen. 10:19; 13:10; 19:24, 28).
These cities probably stood close together, and were near the
northern extremity of what is now the Dead Sea. This city is
always mentioned next after Sodom, both of which were types of
impiety and wickedness (Gen. 18:20; Rom. 9:29). Their
destruction is mentioned as an "ensample unto those that after
should live ungodly" (2 Pet. 2:6; Jude 1:4-7). Their wickedness
became proverbial (Deut. 32:32; Isa. 1:9, 10; Jer. 23:14). But
that wickedness may be exceeded (Matt. 10:15; Mark 6:11). (See
DEAD SEA ¯T0000991).
Among the ancient Hebrews graves were outside of cities in the
open field (Luke 7:12; John 11:30). Kings (1 Kings 2:10) and
prophets (1 Sam. 25:1) were generally buried within cities.
Graves were generally grottoes or caves, natural or hewn out in
rocks (Isa. 22:16; Matt. 27:60). There were family cemeteries
(Gen. 47:29; 50:5; 2 Sam. 19:37). Public burial-places were
assigned to the poor (Jer. 26:23; 2 Kings 23:6). Graves were
usually closed with stones, which were whitewashed, to warn
strangers against contact with them (Matt. 23:27), which caused
ceremonial pollution (Num. 19:16).
There were no graves in Jerusalem except those of the kings,
and according to tradition that of the prophetess Huldah.
king of Shinar, southern Chaldea, one of the confederates of
Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, in a war against Sodom and cities of
the plain (Gen. 14:1, 4). It is now found that Amraphel (or
Ammirapaltu) is the Khammu-rabi whose name appears on
recently-discovered monuments. (See CHEDORLAOMER ¯T0000781).
After defeating Arioch (q.v.) he united Babylonia under one
rule, and made Babylon his capital.
a thing swallowed. (1.) A city on the shore of the Dead Sea, not
far from Sodom, called also Zoar. It was the only one of the
five cities that was spared at Lot's intercession (Gen.
19:20,23). It is first mentioned in Gen. 14:2,8.
(2.) The eldest son of Benjamin (Num. 26:38; "Belah," Gen.
(3.) The son of Beor, and a king of Edom (Gen. 36:32, 33; 1
(4.) A son of Azaz (1 Chr. 5:8).
ore of gold or silver. (1.) A city of the Reubenites; one of the
three cities of refuge on the east of Jordan (Deut. 4: 43; Josh.
20:8). It has been identified with the modern ruined village of
Burazin, some 12 miles north of Heshbon; also with
Kasur-el-Besheir, 2 miles south-west of Dibon.
(2.) A descendant of Asher (1 Chr. 7:37).
named along with Bethsaida and Capernaum as one of the cities in
which our Lord's "mighty works" were done, and which was doomed
to woe because of signal privileges neglected (Matt. 11:21; Luke
10:13). It has been identified by general consent with the
modern Kerazeh, about 2 1/2 miles up the Wady Kerazeh from
Capernaum; i.e., Tell Hum.
one of the Babylonian cities or districts from which Shalmaneser
transplanted certain colonists to Samaria (2 Kings 17:24). Some
have conjectured that the "Cutheans" were identical with the
"Cossaeans" who inhabited the hill-country to the north of the
river Choaspes. Cuthah is now identified with Tell Ibrahim, 15
miles north-east of Babylon.
an enclosure for flocks to rest together (Isa. 13:20).
Sheep-folds are mentioned Num. 32:16, 24, 36; 2 Sam. 7:8; Zeph.
2:6; John 10:1, etc. It was prophesied of the cities of Ammon
(Ezek. 25:5), Aroer (Isa. 17:2), and Judaea, that they would be
folds or couching-places for flocks. "Among the pots," of the
Authorized Version (Ps. 68:13), is rightly in the Revised
Version, "among the sheepfolds."
=Ger'shom expulsion, the eldest of Levi's three sons (Gen.
46:11; Ex. 6:16).
In the wilderness the sons of Gershon had charge of the
fabrics of the tabernacle when it was moved from place to place,
the curtains, veils, tent-hangings (Num. 3: 21-26). Thirteen
Levitical cities fell to the lot of the Gershonites (Josh.
exile, a city of Bashan (Deut. 4:43), one of the three cities of
refuge east of Jordan, about 12 miles north-east of the Sea of
Galilee (Josh. 20:8). There are no further notices of it in
Scripture. It became the head of the province of Gaulanitis, one
of the four provinces into which Bashan was divided after the
Babylonish captivity, and almost identical with the modern
Jaulan, in Western Hauran, about 39 miles in length and 18 in
built by God. (1.) A town in the north boundary of Judah (Josh.
15:11), called afterwards by the Greeks Jamnia, the modern
Yebna, 11 miles south of Jaffa. After the fall of Jerusalem
(A.D. 70), it became one of the most populous cities of Judea,
and the seat of a celebrated school.
(2.) A town on the border of Naphtali (Josh. 19:33). Its later
name was Kefr Yemmah, "the village by the sea," on the south
shore of Lake Merom.
Judah upon Jordan
The Authorized Version, following the Vulgate, has this
rendering in Josh. 19:34. It has been suggested that, following
the Masoretic punctuation, the expression should read thus, "and
Judah; the Jordan was toward the sun-rising." The sixty cities
(Havoth-jair, Num. 32:41) on the east of Jordan were reckoned as
belonging to Judah, because Jair, their founder, was a Manassite
only on his mother's side, but on his father's side of the tribe
of Judah (1 Chr. 2:5, 21-23).
cities. (1.) A town in the south of Judah (Josh. 15:25). Judas
the traitor was probably a native of this place, and hence his
name Iscariot. It has been identified with the ruins of
el-Kureitein, about 10 miles south of Hebron. (See HAZOR
(2.) A city of Moab (Jer. 48:24, 41), called Kirioth (Amos
city of victory, where Paul intended to winter (Titus 3:12).
There were several cities of this name. The one here referred to
was most probably that in Epirus, which was built by Augustus
Caesar to commemorate his victory at the battle of Actium (B.C.
31). It is the modern Paleoprevesa, i.e., "Old Prevesa." The
subscription to the epistle to Titus calls it "Nicopolis of
Macedonia", i.e., of Thrace. This is, however, probably
the Hebrew name of an Egyptian city (Isa. 19:13; Jer.2:16; 44:1;
46:14, 19; Ezek. 30:13, 16). In Hos. 9:6 the Hebrew name is
Moph, and is translated "Memphis," which is its Greek and Latin
form. It was one of the most ancient and important cities of
Egypt, and stood a little to the south of the modern Cairo, on
the western bank of the Nile. It was the capital of Lower Egypt.
Among the ruins found at this place is a colossal statue of
Rameses the Great. (See MEMPHIS ¯T0002478.)
broad places. (1.) A well in Gerar dug by Isaac (Gen. 26:22),
supposed to be in Wady er-Ruheibeh, about 20 miles south of
(2.) An ancient city on the Euphrates (Gen. 36:37; 1 Chr.
1:48), "Rehoboth by the river."
(3.) Named among the cities of Asshur (Gen. 10:11). Probably,
however, the words "rehoboth'ir" are to be translated as in the
Vulgate and the margin of A.V., "the streets of the city," or
rather "the public square of the city", i.e., of Nineveh.
the sea-port of Antioch, near the mouth of the Orontes. Paul and
his companions sailed from this port on their first missionary
journey (Acts 13:4). This city was built by Seleucus Nicator,
the "king of Syria." It is said of him that "few princes have
ever lived with so great a passion for the building of cities.
He is reputed to have built in all nine Seleucias, sixteen
Antiochs, and six Laodiceas." Seleucia became a city of great
importance, and was made a "free city" by Pompey. It is now a
small village, called el-Kalusi.
the descendants of Rechab through Jonadab or Jehonadab. They
belonged to the Kenites, who accompanied the children of Israel
into Israel, and dwelt among them. Moses married a Kenite
wife (Judg. 1:16), and Jael was the wife of "Heber the Kenite"
(4:17). Saul also showed kindness to the Kenites (1 Sam. 15:6).
The main body of the Kenites dwelt in cities, and adopted
settled habits of life (30:29); but Jehonadab forbade his
descendants to drink wine or to live in cities. They were
commanded to lead always a nomad life. They adhered to the law
laid down by Jonadab, and were noted for their fidelity to the
old-established custom of their family in the days of Jeremiah
(35); and this feature of their character is referred to by the
prophet for the purpose of giving point to his own exhortation.
They are referred to in Neh. 3:14 and 1 Chr. 2:55. Dr. Wolff
(1839) found in Arabia, near Mecca, a tribe claiming to be
descendants of Jehonadab; and recently a Bedouin tribe has been
found near the Dead Sea who also profess to be descendants of
the same Kenite chief.
pomegranate. (1.) A man of Beeroth (2 Sam. 4:2), one of the four
Gibeonite cities. (See Josh. 9:17.)
(2.) A Syrian idol, mentioned only in 2 Kings 5:18.
(3.) One of the "uttermost cities" of Judah, afterwards given
to Simeon (Josh. 15:21, 32; 19:7; 1 Chr. 4:32). In Josh. 15:32
Ain and Rimmon are mentioned separately, but in 19:7 and 1 Chr.
4:32 (comp. Neh. 11:29) the two words are probably to be
combined, as forming together the name of one place,
Ain-Rimmon=the spring of the pomegranate. It has been identified
with Um er-Rumamin, about 13 miles south-west of Hebron.
(4.) "Rock of," to which the Benjamites fled (Judg. 20:45, 47;
21:13), and where they maintained themselves for four months
after the fearful battle at Gibeah, in which they were almost
exterminated, 600 only surviving out of about 27,000. It is the
present village of Rummon, "on the very edge of the hill
country, with a precipitous descent toward the Jordan valley,"
supposed to be the site of Ai.
burning; the walled, a city in the vale of Siddim (Gen. 13:10;
14:1-16). The wickedness of its inhabitants brought down upon it
fire from heaven, by which it was destroyed (18:16-33; 19:1-29;
Deut. 23:17). This city and its awful destruction are frequently
alluded to in Scripture (Deut. 29:23; 32:32; Isa. 1:9, 10; 3:9;
13:19; Jer. 23:14; Ezek. 16:46-56; Zeph. 2:9; Matt. 10:15; Rom.
9:29; 2 Pet. 2:6, etc.). No trace of it or of the other cities
of the plain has been discovered, so complete was their
destruction. Just opposite the site of Zoar, on the south-west
coast of the Dead Sea, is a range of low hills, forming a mass
of mineral salt called Jebel Usdum, "the hill of Sodom." It has
been concluded, from this and from other considerations, that
the cities of the plain stood at the southern end of the Dead
Sea. Others, however, with much greater probability, contend
that they stood at the northern end of the sea. [in 1897].
is used to denote Proconsular Asia, a Roman province which
embraced the western parts of Asia Minor, and of which Ephesus
was the capital, in Acts 2:9; 6:9; 16:6; 19:10,22; 20:4, 16, 18,
etc., and probably Asia Minor in Acts 19:26, 27; 21:27; 24:18;
27:2. Proconsular Asia contained the seven churches of the
Apocalypse (Rev. 1:11). The "chiefs of Asia" (Acts 19:31) were
certain wealthy citizens who were annually elected to preside
over the games and religious festivals of the several cities to
which they belonged. Some of these "Asiarchs" were Paul's
called by the Greeks Heliopolis i.e., "the city of the sun",
because of its famous Temple of the Sun, has by some been
supposed to be Solomon's "house of the forest of Lebanon" (1
Kings 7:2; 10:17; 2 Chr. 9:16); by others it is identified with
Baal-gad (q.v.). It was a city of Coele-Syria, on the lowest
declivity of Anti-Libanus, about 42 miles north-west of
Damascus. It was one of the most splendid of Syrian cities,
existing from a remote antiquity. After sustaining several
sieges under the Moslems and others, it was finally destroyed by
an earthquake in 1759. Its ruins are of great extent.
fort, one of the four cities founded by Nimrod (Gen. 10:10). It
is the modern Niffer, a lofty mound of earth and rubbish
situated in the marshes on the left, i.e., the east, bank of the
Euphrates, but 30 miles distant from its present course, and
about 60 miles south-south-east from Babylon. It is mentioned as
one of the towns with which Tyre carried on trade. It was
finally taken and probably destroyed by one of the Assyrian
kings (Amos 6:2). It is called Calno (Isa. 10:9) and Canneh
an artificer in stone, iron, and copper, as well as in wood (2
Sam. 5:11; 1 Chr. 14:1; Mark 6:3). The tools used by carpenters
are mentioned in 1 Sam. 13:19, 20; Judg. 4:21; Isa. 10:15;
44:13. It was said of our Lord, "Is not this the carpenter's
son?" (Matt. 13:55); also, "Is not this the carpenter?" (Mark
6:3). Every Jew, even the rabbis, learned some handicraft: Paul
was a tentmaker. "In the cities the carpenters would be Greeks,
and skilled workmen; the carpenter of a provincial village could
only have held a very humble position, and secured a very
now called Candia, one of the largest islands in the
Meditterranean, about 140 miles long and 35 broad. It was at one
time a very prosperous and populous island, having a "hundred
cities." The character of the people is described in Paul's
quotation from "one of their own poets" (Epimenides) in his
epistle to Titus: "The Cretans are alway liars, evil beasts,
slow bellies" (Titus 1:12). Jews from Crete were in Jerusalem on
the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:11). The island was visited by Paul
on his voyage to Rome (Acts 27). Here Paul subsequently left
Titus (1:5) "to ordain elders." Some have supposed that it was
the original home of the Caphtorim (q.v.) or Philistines.
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.
The city of this name mentioned in Scripture lay on the confines
of Phrygia and Lydia, about 40 miles east of Ephesus (Rev.
3:14), on the banks of the Lycus. It was originally called
Diospolis and then Rhoas, but afterwards Laodicea, from Laodice,
the wife of Antiochus II., king of Syria, who rebuilt it. It was
one of the most important and flourishing cities of Asia Minor.
At a very early period it became one of the chief seats of
Christianity (Col. 2:1; 4:15; Rev. 1:11, etc.). It is now a
deserted place, called by the Turks Eski-hissar or "old castle."
a descendant of the tribe of Levi (Ex. 6:25; Lev. 25:32; Num.
35:2; Josh. 21:3, 41). This name is, however, generally used as
the title of that portion of the tribe which was set apart for
the subordinate offices of the sanctuary service (1 Kings 8:4;
Ezra 2:70), as assistants to the priests.
When the Israelites left Egypt, the ancient manner of worship
was still observed by them, the eldest son of each house
inheriting the priest's office. At Sinai the first change in
this ancient practice was made. A hereditary priesthood in the
family of Aaron was then instituted (Ex. 28:1). But it was not
till that terrible scene in connection with the sin of the
golden calf that the tribe of Levi stood apart and began to
occupy a distinct position (Ex. 32). The religious primogeniture
was then conferred on this tribe, which henceforth was devoted
to the service of the sanctuary (Num. 3:11-13). They were
selected for this purpose because of their zeal for the glory of
God (Ex. 32:26), and because, as the tribe to which Moses and
Aaron belonged, they would naturally stand by the lawgiver in
The Levitical order consisted of all the descendants of Levi's
three sons, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari; whilst Aaron, Amram's
son (Amram, son of Kohat), and his issue constituted the
The age and qualification for Levitical service are specified
in Num. 4:3, 23, 30, 39, 43, 47.
They were not included among the armies of Israel (Num. 1:47;
2:33; 26:62), but were reckoned by themselves. They were the
special guardians of the tabernacle (Num. 1:51; 18:22-24). The
Gershonites pitched their tents on the west of the tabernacle
(3:23), the Kohathites on the south (3:29), the Merarites on the
north (3:35), and the priests on the east (3:38). It was their
duty to move the tent and carry the parts of the sacred
structure from place to place. They were given to Aaron and his
sons the priests to wait upon them and do work for them at the
sanctuary services (Num. 8:19; 18:2-6).
As being wholly consecrated to the service of the Lord, they
had no territorial possessions. Jehovah was their inheritance
(Num. 18:20; 26:62; Deut. 10:9; 18:1, 2), and for their support
it was ordained that they should receive from the other tribes
the tithes of the produce of the land. Forty-eight cities also
were assigned to them, thirteen of which were for the priests
"to dwell in", i.e., along with their other inhabitants. Along
with their dwellings they had "suburbs", i.e., "commons", for
their herds and flocks, and also fields and vineyards (Num.
35:2-5). Nine of these cities were in Judah, three in Naphtali,
and four in each of the other tribes (Josh. 21). Six of the
Levitical cities were set apart as "cities of refuge" (q.v.).
Thus the Levites were scattered among the tribes to keep alive
among them the knowledge and service of God. (See PRIEST
transparency; whiteness. (1.) One of the stations of the
Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 33:20, 21).
(2.) One of the royal cities of the Canaanites taken by Joshua
(Josh. 10:29-32; 12:15). It became one of the Levitical towns in
the tribe of Judah (21:13), and was strongly fortified.
Sennacherib laid siege to it (2 Kings 19:8; Isa. 37:8). It was
the native place of Hamutal, the queen of Josiah (2 Kings
23:31). It stood near Lachish, and has been identified with the
modern Arak el-Menshiyeh.
The street called "Straight" at Damascus (Acts 9:11) is "a long
broad street, running from east to west, about a mile in length,
and forming the principal thoroughfare in the city." In Oriental
towns streets are usually narrow and irregular and filthy (Ps.
18:42; Isa. 10:6). "It is remarkable," says Porter, "that all
the important cities of Israel and Syria Samaria, Caesarea,
Gerasa, Bozrah, Damascus, Palmyra, had their 'straight streets'
running through the centre of the city, and lined with stately
rows of columns. The most perfect now remaining are those of
Palmyra and Gerasa, where long ranges of the columns still
stand.", Through Samaria, etc.
Cities were surrounded by walls, as distinguished from "unwalled
villages" (Ezek. 38:11; Lev. 25:29-34). They were made thick and
strong (Num. 13:28; Deut. 3:5). Among the Jews walls were built
of stone, some of those in the temple being of great size (1
Kings 6:7; 7:9-12; 20:30; Mark 13:1, 2). The term is used
metaphorically of security and safety (Isa. 26:1; 60:18; Rev.
21:12-20). (See FENCE ¯T0001321.)
wanderings; the unloading of tents, so called probably from the
fact of nomads in tents encamping amid the cities and villages
of that region, a place in the north-west of Lake Merom, near
Kedesh, in Naphtali. Here Sisera was slain by Jael, "the wife of
Heber the Kenite," who had pitched his tent in the "plain [R.V.,
'as far as the oak'] of Zaanaim" (Judg. 4:11).
It has been, however, suggested by some that, following the
LXX. and the Talmud, the letter b, which in Hebrew means "in,"
should be taken as a part of the word following, and the phrase
would then be "unto the oak of Bitzanaim," a place which has
been identified with the ruins of Bessum, about half-way between
Tiberias and Mount Tabor.
Till their sojourn in Egypt the Hebrews dwelt in tents. They
then for the first time inhabited cities (Gen. 47:3; Ex. 12:7;
Heb. 11:9). From the earliest times the Assyrians and the
Canaanites were builders of cities. The Hebrews after the
Conquest took possession of the captured cities, and seem to
have followed the methods of building that had been pursued by
the Canaanites. Reference is made to the stone (1 Kings 7:9;
Isa. 9:10) and marble (1 Chr. 29:2) used in building, and to the
internal wood-work of the houses (1 Kings 6:15; 7:2; 10:11, 12;
2 Chr. 3:5; Jer. 22:14). "Ceiled houses" were such as had beams
inlaid in the walls to which wainscotting was fastened (Ezra
6:4; Jer. 22:14; Hag. 1:4). "Ivory houses" had the upper parts
of the walls adorned with figures in stucco with gold and ivory
(1 Kings 22:39; 2 Chr. 3:6; Ps. 45:8).
The roofs of the dwelling-houses were flat, and are often
alluded to in Scripture (2 Sam. 11:2; Isa. 22:1; Matt. 24:17).
Sometimes tents or booths were erected on them (2 Sam. 16:22).
They were protected by parapets or low walls (Deut. 22:8). On
the house-tops grass sometimes grew (Prov. 19:13; 27:15; Ps.
129:6, 7). They were used, not only as places of recreation in
the evening, but also sometimes as sleeping-places at night (1
Sam. 9:25, 26; 2 Sam. 11:2; 16:22; Dan. 4:29; Job 27:18; Prov.
21:9), and as places of devotion (Jer. 32:29; 19:13).
ruins. (1.) One of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Josh.
10:1; Gen. 12:8; 13:3). It was the scene of Joshua's defeat, and
afterwards of his victory. It was the second Canaanite city
taken by Israel (Josh. 7:2-5; 8:1-29). It lay rebuilt and
inhibited by the Benjamites (Ezra 2:28; Neh. 7:32; 11:31). It
lay to the east of Bethel, "beside Beth-aven." The spot which is
most probably the site of this ancient city is Haiyan, 2 miles
east from Bethel. It lay up the Wady Suweinit, a steep, rugged
valley, extending from the Jordan valley to Bethel.
(2.) A city in the Ammonite territory (Jer. 49:3). Some have
thought that the proper reading of the word is Ar (Isa. 15:1).
the name of one of the cities of refuge, in the tribe of
Benjamin (Josh. 21:18). The Jews, as a rule, did not change the
names of the towns they found in Israel; hence this town may
be regarded as deriving its name from the goddess Anat. It was
the native place of Abiezer, one of David's "thirty" (2 Sam.
23:27), and of Jehu, another of his mighty men (1 Chr. 12:3). It
is chiefly notable, however, as the birth-place and usual
residence of Jeremiah (Jer. 1:1; 11:21-23; 29:27; 32:7-9). It
suffered greatly from the army of Sennacherib, and only 128 men
returned to it from the Exile (Neh. 7:27; Ezra 2:23). It lay
about 3 miles north of Jerusalem. It has been identified with
the small and poor village of 'Anata, containing about 100
spoken of counsellors who sat in public trials with the governor
of a province (Acts 25:12).
The Jewish councils were the Sanhedrim, or supreme council of
the nation, which had subordinate to it smaller tribunals (the
"judgment," perhaps, in Matt. 5:21, 22) in the cities of
Israel (Matt. 10:17; Mark 13:9). In the time of Christ the
functions of the Sanhedrim were limited (John 16:2; 2 Cor.
11:24). In Ps. 68:27 the word "council" means simply a company
of persons. (R.V. marg., "company.")
In ecclesiastical history the word is used to denote an
assembly of pastors or bishops for the discussion and regulation
of church affairs. The first of these councils was that of the
apostles and elders at Jerusalem, of which we have a detailed
account in Acts 15.
(LXX., "Orech"), length, or Moon-town, one of the cities of
Nimrod's kingdom in the plain of Shinar (Gen. 10:10); the Orchoe
of the Greeks and Romans. It was probably the city of the
Archevites, who were transplanted to Samaria by Asnapper (Ezra
4:9). It lay on the left bank of the Euphrates, about 120 miles
south-east of Babylon, and is now represented by the mounds and
ruins of Warka. It appears to have been the necropolis of the
Assyrian kings, as the whole region is strewed with bricks and
the remains of coffins. "Standing on the summit of the principal
edifice, called the Buwarizza, a tower 200 feet square in the
centre of the ruins, the beholder is struck with astonishment at
the enormous accumulation of mounds and ancient relics at his
feet. An irregular circle, nearly 6 miles in circumference, is
defined by the traces of an earthen rampart, in some places 40
a wine-vat, one of the five royal cities of the Philistines
(Josh. 13:3) on which the ark brought calamity (1 Sam. 5:8, 9;
6:17). It was famous also as being the birthplace or residence
of Goliath (1 Sam. 17:4). David fled from Saul to Achish, king
of Gath (1 Sam. 21:10; 27:2-4; Ps. 56), and his connection with
it will account for the words in 2 Sam. 1:20. It was afterwards
conquered by David (2 Sam. 8:1). It occupied a strong position
on the borders of Judah and Philistia (1 Sam. 21:10; 1 Chr.
18:1). Its site has been identified with the hill called Tell
esSafieh, the Alba Specula of the Middle Ages, which rises 695
feet above the plain on its east edge. It is noticed on
monuments about B.C. 1500. (See METHEGAMMAH ¯T0002516.)
herdsman's place, one of the royal cities of the Canaanites
(Josh. 12:16), near which was a cave where the five kings who
had confederated against Israel sought refuge (10:10-29). They
were put to death by Joshua, who afterwards suspended their
bodies upon five trees. It has been identified with the modern
village called Sumeil, standing on a low hill about 7 miles to
the north-west of Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin), where are
ancient remains and a great cave. The Israel Exploration
surveyors have, however, identified it with el-Mughar, or "the
caves," 3 miles from Jabneh and 2 1/2 southwest of Ekron,
because, they say, "at this site only of all possible sites for
Makkedah in the Israel plain do caves still exist." (See
any place of public resort, and hence a public place or broad
street (Matt. 11:16; 20:3), as well as a forum or market-place
proper, where goods were exposed for sale, and where public
assemblies and trials were held (Acts 16:19; 17:17). This word
occurs in the Old Testament only in Ezek. 27:13.
In early times markets were held at the gates of cities, where
commodities were exposed for sale (2 Kings 7:18). In large towns
the sale of particular articles seems to have been confined to
certain streets, as we may infer from such expressions as "the
bakers' street" (Jer. 37:21), and from the circumstance that in
the time of Josephus the valley between Mounts Zion and Moriah
was called the Tyropoeon or the "valley of the cheesemakers."
given of God. (1.) The son of Zuar, chief of the tribe of
Issachar at the Exodus (Num. 1:8; 2:5).
(2.) One of David's brothers (1 Chr. 2:14).
(3.) A priest who blew the trumpet before the ark when it was
brought up to Jerusalem (1 Chr. 15:24).
(4.) A Levite (1 Chr. 24:6).
(5.) A temple porter, of the family of the Korhites (1 Chr.
(6.) One of the "princes" appointed by Jehoshaphat to teach
the law through the cities of Judah (2 Chr. 17:7).
(7.) A chief Levite in the time of Josiah (2 Chr. 35:9).
(8.) Ezra 10:22.
(9.) Neh. 12:21.
(10.) A priest's son who bore a trumpet at the dedication of
the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 12:36).
"the land of" (Gen. 47:11), was probably "the land of Goshen"
(q.v.) 45:10. After the Hebrews had built Rameses, one of the
"treasure cities," it came to be known as the "land" in which
that city was built.
The city bearing this name (Ex. 12:37) was probably identical
with Zoan, which Rameses II. ("son of the sun") rebuilt. It
became his special residence, and ranked next in importance and
magnificance to Thebes. Huge masses of bricks, made of Nile mud,
sun-dried, some of them mixed with stubble, possibly moulded by
Jewish hands, still mark the site of Rameses. This was the
general rendezvous of the Israelites before they began their
march out of Egypt. Called also Raamses (Ex. 1:11).
heights of Gilead, a city of refuge on the east of Jordan;
called "Ramoth in Gilead" (Deut. 4:43; Josh. 20:8; 21:38). Here
Ahab, who joined Jehoshaphat in an endeavour to rescue it from
the hands of the king of Syria, was mortally wounded (1 Kings
22:1-36). A similar attempt was afterwards made by Ahaziah and
Joram, when the latter was wounded (2 Kings 8:28). In this city
Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, was anointed by one of the sons of
the prophets (9:1, 4).
It has with probability been identified with Reimun, on the
northern slope of the Jabbok, about 5 miles west of Jerash or
Gerasa, one of the cities of Decapolis. Others identify it with
Gerosh, about 25 miles north-east of es-Salt, with which also
many have identified it. (See RAMATH-MIZPEH ¯T0003066.)
Sea, The molten
the great laver made by Solomon for the use of the priests in
the temple, described in 1 Kings 7:23-26; 2 Chr. 4:2-5. It stood
in the south-eastern corner of the inner court. It was 5 cubits
high, 10 in diameter from brim to brim, and 30 in circumference.
It was placed on the backs of twelve oxen, standing with their
faces outward. It was capable of containing two or three
thousand baths of water (comp. 2 Chr. 4:5), which was originally
supplied by the Gibeonites, but was afterwards brought by a
conduit from the pools of Bethlehem. It was made of "brass"
(copper), which Solomon had taken from the captured cities of
Hadarezer, the king of Zobah (1 Chr. 18:8). Ahaz afterwards
removed this laver from the oxen, and placed it on a stone
pavement (2 Kings 16:17). It was destroyed by the Chaldeans
Shinar, The Land of
LXX. and Vulgate "Senaar;" in the inscriptions, "Shumir;"
probably identical with Babylonia or Southern Mesopotamia,
extending almost to the Persian Gulf. Here the tower of Babel
was built (Gen. 11:1-6), and the city of Babylon. The name
occurs later in Jewish history (Isa. 11:11; Zech. 5:11). Shinar
was apparently first peopled by Turanian tribes, who tilled the
land and made bricks and built cities. Then tribes of Semites
invaded the land and settled in it, and became its rulers. This
was followed in course of time by an Elamite invasion; from
which the land was finally delivered by Khammurabi, the son of
Amarpel ("Amraphel, king of Shinar," Gen. 14:1), who became the
founder of the new empire of Chaldea. (See AMRAPHEL ¯T0000221.)
=Sheshonk I., king of Egypt. His reign was one of great national
success, and a record of his wars and conquests adorns the
portico of what are called the "Bubastite kings" at Karnak, the
ancient Thebes. Among these conquests is a record of that of
Judea. In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign Shishak came up
against the kingdom of Judah with a powerful army. He took the
fenced cities and came to Jerusalem. He pillaged the treasures
of the temple and of the royal palace, and carried away the
shields of gold which Solomon had made (1 Kings 11:40; 14:25; 2
Chr. 12:2). (See REHOBOAM ¯T0003094.) This expedition of the
Egyptian king was undertaken at the instigation of Jeroboam for
the purpose of humbling Judah. Hostilities between the two
kingdoms still continued; but during Rehoboam's reign there was
not again the intervention of a third party.
palm, a city built by Solomon "in the wilderness" (2 Chr. 8:4).
In 1 Kings 9:18, where the word occurs in the Authorized
Version, the Hebrew text and the Revised Version read "Tamar,"
which is properly a city on the southern border of Israel and
toward the wilderness (comp. Ezek. 47:19; 48:28). In 2 Chr. 8:14
Tadmor is mentioned in connection with Hamath-zobah. It is
called Palmyra by the Greeks and Romans. It stood in the great
Syrian wilderness, 176 miles from Damascus and 130 from the
Mediterranean and was the centre of a vast commercial traffic
with Western Asia. It was also an important military station.
(See SOLOMON ¯T0003473.) "Remains of ancient temples and
palaces, surrounded by splendid colonnades of white marble, many
of which are yet standing, and thousands of prostrate pillars,
scattered over a large extent of space, attest the ancient
magnificence of this city of palms, surpassing that of the
renowned cities of Greece and Rome."
light soil, first mentioned in Gen. 14:5, where it is said that
Chedorlaomer and his confederates "smote the Rephaim in
Ashteroth," where Og the king of Bashan had his residence. At
the time of Israel's entrance into the Promised Land, Og came
out against them, but was utterly routed (Num. 21:33-35; Deut.
3:1-7). This country extended from Gilead in the south to Hermon
in the north, and from the Jordan on the west to Salcah on the
east. Along with the half of Gilead it was given to the
half-tribe of Manasseh (Josh. 13:29-31). Golan, one of its
cities, became a "city of refuge" (Josh. 21:27). Argob, in
Bashan, was one of Solomon's commissariat districts (1 Kings
4:13). The cities of Bashan were taken by Hazael (2 Kings
10:33), but were soon after reconquered by Jehoash (2 Kings
13:25), who overcame the Syrians in three battles, according to
the word of Elisha (19). From this time Bashan almost disappears
from history, although we read of the wild cattle of its rich
pastures (Ezek. 39:18; Ps. 22:12), the oaks of its forests (Isa.
2:13; Ezek. 27:6; Zech. 11:2), and the beauty of its extensive
plains (Amos 4:1; Jer. 50:19). Soon after the conquest, the name
"Gilead" was given to the whole country beyond Jordan. After the
Exile, Bashan was divided into four districts, (1.) Gaulonitis,
or Jaulan, the most western; (2.) Auranitis, the Hauran (Ezek.
47:16); (3.) Argob or Trachonitis, now the Lejah; and (4.)
Batanaea, now Ard-el-Bathanyeh, on the east of the Lejah, with
many deserted towns almost as perfect as when they were
inhabited. (See HAURAN ¯T0001675.)
(1.) Of cities, as of Jerusalem (Jer. 37:13; Neh. 1:3; 2:3;
3:3), of Sodom (Gen. 19:1), of Gaza (Judg. 16:3).
(2.) Of royal palaces (Neh. 2:8).
(3.) Of the temple of Solomon (1 Kings 6:34, 35; 2 Kings
18:16); of the holy place (1 Kings 6:31, 32; Ezek. 41:23, 24);
of the outer courts of the temple, the beautiful gate (Acts
(4.) Tombs (Matt. 27:60).
(5.) Prisons (Acts 12:10; 16:27).
(6.) Caverns (1 Kings 19:13).
(7.) Camps (Ex. 32:26, 27; Heb. 13:12).
The materials of which gates were made were,
(1.) Iron and brass (Ps. 107:16; Isa. 45:2; Acts 12:10).
(2.) Stones and pearls (Isa. 54:12; Rev. 21:21).
(3.) Wood (Judg. 16:3) probably.
At the gates of cities courts of justice were frequently held,
and hence "judges of the gate" are spoken of (Deut. 16:18; 17:8;
21:19; 25:6, 7, etc.). At the gates prophets also frequently
delivered their messages (Prov. 1:21; 8:3; Isa. 29:21; Jer.
17:19, 20; 26:10). Criminals were punished without the gates (1
Kings 21:13; Acts 7:59). By the "gates of righteousness" we are
probably to understand those of the temple (Ps. 118:19). "The
gates of hell" (R.V., "gates of Hades") Matt. 16:18, are
generally interpreted as meaning the power of Satan, but
probably they may mean the power of death, denoting that the
Church of Christ shall never die.
called also Azzah, which is its Hebrew name (Deut. 2:23; 1 Kings
4:24; Jer. 25:20), strong, a city on the Mediterranean shore,
remarkable for its early importance as the chief centre of a
great commercial traffic with Egypt. It is one of the oldest
cities of the world (Gen. 10:19; Josh. 15:47). Its earliest
inhabitants were the Avims, who were conquered and displaced by
the Caphtorims (Deut. 2:23; Josh. 13:2, 3), a Philistine tribe.
In the division of the land it fell to the lot of Judah (Josh.
15:47; Judg. 1:18). It was the southernmost of the five great
Philistine cities which gave each a golden emerod as a
trespass-offering unto the Lord (1 Sam. 6:17). Its gates were
carried away by Samson (Judg. 16:1-3). Here he was afterwards a
prisoner, and "did grind in the prison house." Here he also
pulled down the temple of Dagon, and slew "all the lords of the
Philistines," himself also perishing in the ruin (Judg.
16:21-30). The prophets denounce the judgments of God against it
(Jer. 25:20; 47:5; Amos 1:6, 7; Zeph. 2:4). It is referred to in
Acts 8:26. Philip is here told to take the road from Jerusalem
to Gaza (about 6 miles south-west of Jerusalem), "which is
desert", i.e., the "desert road," probably by Hebron, through
the desert hills of Southern Judea. (See SAMSON ¯T0003208.)
It is noticed on monuments as early as B.C. 1600. Its small
port is now called el-Mineh.
whom God sets free, or the breaker through, a "mighty man of
valour" who delivered Israel from the oppression of the
Ammonites (Judg. 11:1-33), and judged Israel six years (12:7).
He has been described as "a wild, daring, Gilead mountaineer, a
sort of warrior Elijah." After forty-five years of comparative
quiet Israel again apostatized, and in "process of time the
children of Ammon made war against Israel" (11:5). In their
distress the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the
land of Tob, to which he had fled when driven out wrongfully by
his brothers from his father's inheritance (2), and the people
made him their head and captain. The "elders of Gilead" in their
extremity summoned him to their aid, and he at once undertook
the conduct of the war against Ammon. Twice he sent an embassy
to the king of Ammon, but in vain. War was inevitable. The
people obeyed his summons, and "the spirit of the Lord came upon
him." Before engaging in war he vowed that if successful he
would offer as a "burnt-offering" whatever would come out of the
door of his house first to meet him on his return. The defeat of
the Ammonites was complete. "He smote them from Aroer, even till
thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of
the vineyards [Heb. 'Abel Keramim], with a very great slaughter"
(Judg. 11:33). The men of Ephraim regarded themselves as
insulted in not having been called by Jephthah to go with him to
war against Ammon. This led to a war between the men of Gilead
and Ephraim (12:4), in which many of the Ephraimites perished.
(See SHIBBOLETH ¯T0003366.) "Then died Jephthah the Gileadite,
and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead" (7).
(Heb. Aram), the name in the Old Testament given to the whole
country which lay to the north-east of Phoenicia, extending to
beyond the Euphrates and the Tigris. Mesopotamia is called (Gen.
24:10; Deut. 23:4) Aram-naharain (=Syria of the two rivers),
also Padan-aram (Gen. 25:20). Other portions of Syria were also
known by separate names, as Aram-maahah (1 Chr. 19:6),
Aram-beth-rehob (2 Sam. 10:6), Aram-zobah (2 Sam. 10:6, 8). All
these separate little kingdoms afterwards became subject to
Damascus. In the time of the Romans, Syria included also a part
of Israel and Asia Minor.
"From the historic annals now accessible to us, the history of
Syria may be divided into three periods: The first, the period
when the power of the Pharaohs was dominant over the fertile
fields or plains of Syria and the merchant cities of Tyre and
Sidon, and when such mighty conquerors as Thothmes III. and
Rameses II. could claim dominion and levy tribute from the
nations from the banks of the Euphrates to the borders of the
Libyan desert. Second, this was followed by a short period of
independence, when the Jewish nation in the south was growing in
power, until it reached its early zenith in the golden days of
Solomon; and when Tyre and Sidon were rich cities, sending their
traders far and wide, over land and sea, as missionaries of
civilization, while in the north the confederate tribes of the
Hittites held back the armies of the kings of Assyria. The
third, and to us most interesting, period is that during which
the kings of Assyria were dominant over the plains of Syria;
when Tyre, Sidon, Ashdod, and Jerusalem bowed beneath the
conquering armies of Shalmaneser, Sargon, and Sennacherib; and
when at last Memphis and Thebes yielded to the power of the
rulers of Nineveh and Babylon, and the kings of Assyria
completed with terrible fulness the bruising of the reed of
Egypt so clearly foretold by the Hebrew prophets.", Boscawen.
one of the royal cities of the Canaanites, now 'Aid-el-ma (Josh.
12:15; 15:35). It stood on the old Roman road in the valley of
Elah (q.v.), which was the scene of David's memorable victory
over Goliath (1 Sam. 17:2), and not far from Gath. It was one of
the towns which Rehoboam fortified against Egypt (2 Chr. 11:7).
It was called "the glory of Israel" (Micah 1:15).
The Cave of Adullam has been discovered about 2 miles south of
the scene of David's triumph, and about 13 miles west from
Bethlehem. At this place is a hill some 500 feet high pierced
with numerous caverns, in one of which David gathered together
"every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt,
and every one that was discontented" (1 Sam. 22:2). Some of
these caverns are large enough to hold 200 or 300 men. According
to tradition this cave was at Wady Khureitun, between Bethlehem
and the Dead Sea, but this view cannot be well maintained.
and Aij'alon, place of deer. (1.) A town and valley originally
assigned to the tribe of Dan, from which, however, they could
not drive the Amorites (Judg. 1:35). It was one of the Levitical
cities given to the Kohathites (1 Chr. 6:69). It was not far
from Beth-shemesh (2 Chr. 28:18). It was the boundary between
the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, and is frequently mentioned in
Jewish history (2 Chr. 11:10; 1 Sam. 14:31; 1 Chr. 8:13). With
reference to the valley named after the town, Joshua uttered the
celebrated command, "Sun, stand thou still on Gibeon; and thou,
Moon, in the valley of Ajalon" (Josh. 10:12). It has been
identified as the modern Yalo, at the foot of the Beth-horon
pass (q.v.). In the Tell Amarna letters Adoni-zedek (q.v.)
speaks of the destruction of the "city of Ajalon" by the
invaders, and describes himself as "afflicted, greatly
afflicted" by the calamities that had come on the land, urging
the king of Egypt to hasten to his help.
(2.) A city in the tribe of Zebulun (Judg. 12:12), the modern
Jalun, three miles north of Cabul.
the ancient metropolis of Lower Egypt, so called from its
founder, Alexander the Great (about B.C. 333). It was for a long
period the greatest of existing cities, for both Nineveh and
Babylon had been destroyed, and Rome had not yet risen to
greatness. It was the residence of the kings of Egypt for 200
years. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament, and only
incidentally in the New. Apollos, eloquent and mighty in the
Scriptures, was a native of this city (Acts 18:24). Many Jews
from Alexandria were in Jerusalem, where they had a synagogue
(Acts 6:9), at the time of Stephen's martyrdom. At one time it
is said that as many as 10,000 Jews resided in this city. It
possessed a famous library of 700,000 volumes, which was burned
by the Saracens (A.D. 642). It was here that the Hebrew Bible
was translated into Greek. This is called the Septuagint
version, from the tradition that seventy learned men were
engaged in executing it. It was, however, not all translated at
one time. It was begun B.C. 280, and finished about B.C. 200 or
150. (See VERSION ¯T0003768.)
the descendants of Anak (Josh. 11:21; Num. 13:33; Deut. 9:2).
They dwelt in the south of Israel, in the neighbourhood of
Hebron (Gen. 23:2; Josh. 15:13). In the days of Abraham (Gen.
14:5, 6) they inhabited the region afterwards known as Edom and
Moab, east of the Jordan. They were probably a remnant of the
original inhabitants of Israel before the Canaanites, a
Cushite tribe from Babel, and of the same race as the
Phoenicians and the Egyptian shepherd kings. Their formidable
warlike appearance, as described by the spies sent to search the
land, filled the Israelites with terror. They seem to have
identified them with the Nephilim, the "giants" (Gen. 6:4; Num.
13:33) of the antediluvian age. There were various tribes of
Anakim (Josh. 15:14). Joshua finally expelled them from the
land, except a remnant that found a refuge in the cities of
Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod (Josh. 11:22). The Philistine giants whom
David encountered (2 Sam. 21:15-22) were descendants of the
Anakim. (See GIANTS ¯T0001474.)
=Askelon=Ascalon, was one of the five cities of the Philistines
(Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 6:17). It stood on the shore of the
Mediterranean, 12 miles north of Gaza. It is mentioned on an
inscription at Karnak in Egypt as having been taken by king
Rameses II., the oppressor of the Hebrews. In the time of the
judges (Judg. 1:18) it fell into the possession of the tribe of
Judah; but it was soon after retaken by the Philistines (2 Sam.
1:20), who were not finally dispossessed till the time of
Alexander the Great. Samson went down to this place from
Timnath, and slew thirty men and took their spoil. The prophets
foretold its destruction (Jer. 25:20; 47:5, 7). It became a
noted place in the Middle Ages, having been the scene of many a
bloody battle between the Saracens and the Crusaders. It was
beseiged and taken by Richard the Lion-hearted, and "within its
walls and towers now standing he held his court." Among the Tell
Amarna tablets (see EGYPT ¯T0001137) are found letters or
official despatches from Yadaya, "captain of horse and dust of
the king's feet," to the "great king" of Egypt, dated from
Ascalon. It is now called 'Askalan.
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).
well of the oath, or well of seven, a well dug by Abraham, and
so named because he and Abimelech here entered into a compact
(Gen. 21:31). On re-opening it, Isaac gave it the same name
(Gen. 26:31-33). It was a favourite place of abode of both of
these patriarchs (21:33-22:1, 19; 26:33; 28:10). It is mentioned
among the "cities" given to the tribe of Simeon (Josh. 19:2; 1
Chr. 4:28). From Dan to Beersheba, a distance of about 144 miles
(Judg. 20:1; 1 Chr. 21:2; 2 Sam. 24:2), became the usual way of
designating the whole Promised Land, and passed into a proverb.
After the return from the Captivity the phrase is narrowed into
"from Beersheba unto the valley of Hinnom" (Neh. 11:30). The
kingdom of the ten tribes extended from Beersheba to Mount
Ephraim (2 Chr. 19:4). The name is not found in the New
Testament. It is still called by the Arabs Bir es-Seba, i.e.,
"well of the seven", where there are to the present day two
principal wells and five smaller ones. It is nearly midway
between the southern end of the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean.
house of the sun. (1.) A sacerdotal city in the tribe of Dan
(Josh. 21:16; 1 Sam. 6:15), on the north border of Judah (Josh.
15:10). It was the scene of an encounter between Jehoash, king
of Israel, and Amaziah, king of Judah, in which the latter was
made prisoner (2 Kings 14:11, 13). It was afterwards taken by
the Philistines (2 Chr. 28:18). It is the modern ruined Arabic
village 'Ain-shems, on the north-west slopes of the mountains of
Judah, 14 miles west of Jerusalem.
(2.) A city between Dothan and the Jordan, near the southern
border of Issachar (Josh. 19:22), 7 1/2 miles south of
Beth-shean. It is the modern Ain-esh-Shemsiyeh.
(3.) One of the fenced cities of Naphtali (Josh. 19:38),
between Mount Tabor and the Jordan. Now Khurbet Shema, 3 miles
west of Safed. But perhaps the same as No. 2.
(4.) An idol sanctuary in Egypt (Jer. 43:13); called by the
Greeks Heliopolis, and by the Egyptians On (q.v.), Gen. 41:45.