The first-fruits of the ground were offered unto God just as the
first-born of man and animals.
The law required, (1.) That on the morrow after the Passover
Sabbath a sheaf of new corn should be waved by the priest before
the altar (Lev. 23:5, 6, 10, 12; 2:12).
(2.) That at the feast of Pentecost two loaves of leavened
bread, made from the new flour, were to be waved in like manner
(Lev. 23:15, 17; Num. 28:26).
(3.) The feast of Tabernacles was an acknowledgement that the
fruits of the harvest were from the Lord (Ex. 23:16; 34:22).
(4.) Every individual, besides, was required to consecrate to
God a portion of the first-fruits of the land (Ex. 22:29; 23:19;
34:26; Num. 15:20, 21).
(5.) The law enjoined that no fruit was to be gathered from
newly-planted fruit-trees for the first three years, and that
the first-fruits of the fourth year were to be consecrated to
the Lord (Lev. 19:23-25). Jeremiah (2:3) alludes to the
ordinance of "first-fruits," and hence he must have been
acquainted with the books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers,
where the laws regarding it are recorded.
parts of peace-offerings were so called, because they were waved
by the priests (Ex. 29:24, 26, 27; Lev. 7:20-34; 8:27; 9:21;
10:14, 15, etc.), in token of a solemn special presentation to
God. They then became the property of the priests. The
first-fruits, a sheaf of barley, offered at the feast of
Pentecost (Lev. 23:17-20), and wheat-bread, the first-fruits of
the second harvest, offered at the Passover (10-14), were
an oblation, dedicated to God. Thus Cain consecrated to God of
the first-fruits of the earth, and Abel of the firstlings of the
flock (Gen. 4:3, 4). Under the Levitical system different kinds
of offerings are specified, and laws laid down as to their
presentation. These are described under their distinctive names.
commendable, a Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent his
salutation (Rom. 16:5). He is spoken of as "the first fruits of
Achaia" (R.V., "of Asia", i.e., of proconsular Asia, which is
probably the correct reading). As being the first convert in
that region, he was peculiarly dear to the apostle. He calls him
his "well beloved."
Heb. terumah, (Ex. 29:27) means simply an offering, a present,
including all the offerings made by the Israelites as a present.
This Hebrew word is frequently employed. Some of the rabbis
attach to the word the meaning of elevation, and refer it to the
heave offering, which consisted in presenting the offering by a
motion up and down, distinguished from the wave offering, which
consisted in a repeated movement in a horizontal direction, a
"wave offering to the Lord as ruler of earth, a heave offering
to the Lord as ruler of heaven." The right shoulder, which fell
to the priests in presenting thank offerings, was called the
heave shoulder (Lev. 7:34; Num. 6:20). The first fruits offered
in harvest-time (Num. 15:20, 21) were heave offerings.
(Heb. Hebhel), a breath, or vanity, the second son of Adam and
Eve. He was put to death by his brother Cain (Gen. 4:1-16).
Guided by the instruction of their father, the two brothers were
trained in the duty of worshipping God. "And in process of time"
(marg. "at the end of days", i.e., on the Sabbath) each of them
offered up to God of the first-fruits of his labours. Cain, as a
husbandman, offered the fruits of the field; Abel, as a
shepherd, of the firstlings of his flock. "The Lord had respect
unto Abel and his offering; but unto Cain and his offering he
had not respect" (Gen. 4:3-5). On this account Cain was angry
with his brother, and formed the design of putting him to death;
a design which he at length found an opportunity of carrying
into effect (Gen. 4:8,9. Comp. 1 John 3:12). There are several
references to Abel in the New Testament. Our Saviour speaks of
him as "righteous" (Matt. 23:35). "The blood of sprinkling" is
said to speak "better things than that of Abel" (Heb. 12:24);
i.e., the blood of Jesus is the reality of which the blood of
the offering made by Abel was only the type. The comparison here
is between the sacrifice offered by Christ and that offered by
Abel, and not between the blood of Christ calling for mercy and
the blood of the murdered Abel calling for vengeance, as has
sometimes been supposed. It is also said (Heb. 11:4) that "Abel
offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain." This
sacrifice was made "by faith;" this faith rested in God, not
only as the Creator and the God of providence, but especially in
God as the great Redeemer, whose sacrifice was typified by the
sacrifices which, no doubt by the divine institution, were
offered from the days of Adam downward. On account of that
"faith" which looked forward to the great atoning sacrifice,
Abel's offering was accepted of God. Cain's offering had no such
reference, and therefore was rejected. Abel was the first
martyr, as he was the first of our race to die.
Abel (Heb. 'abhel), lamentation (1 Sam. 6:18), the name given
to the great stone in Joshua's field whereon the ark was "set
down." The Revised Version, however, following the Targum and
the LXX., reads in the Hebrew text _'ebhen_ (= a stone), and
accordingly translates "unto the great stone, whereon they set
down the ark." This reading is to be preferred.
Abel (Heb. 'abhel), a grassy place, a meadow. This word enters
into the composition of the following words:
one of the earliest cultivated grains. It bore the Hebrew name
_hittah_, and was extensively cultivated in Israel. There are
various species of wheat. That which Pharaoh saw in his dream
was the Triticum compositum, which bears several ears upon one
stalk (Gen. 41:5). The "fat of the kidneys of wheat" (Deut.
32:14), and the "finest of the wheat" (Ps. 81:16; 147:14),
denote the best of the kind. It was exported from Israel in
great quantities (1 Kings 5:11; Ezek. 27:17; Acts 12:20).
Parched grains of wheat were used for food in Israel (Ruth
2:14; 1 Sam. 17:17; 2 Sam. 17:28). The disciples, under the
sanction of the Mosaic law (Deut. 23:25), plucked ears of corn,
and rubbing them in their hands, ate the grain unroasted (Matt.
12:1; Mark 2:23; Luke 6:1). Before any of the wheat-harvest,
however, could be eaten, the first-fruits had to be presented
before the Lord (Lev. 23:14).
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").
frequently used in its proper sense, for fastening a tent (Ex.
35:18; 39:40), yoking animals to a cart (Isa. 5:18), binding
prisoners (Judg. 15:13; Ps. 2:3; 129:4), and measuring ground (2
Sam. 8;2; Ps. 78:55). Figuratively, death is spoken of as the
giving way of the tent-cord (Job 4:21. "Is not their tent-cord
plucked up?" R.V.). To gird one's self with a cord was a token
of sorrow and humiliation. To stretch a line over a city meant
to level it with the ground (Lam. 2:8). The "cords of sin" are
the consequences or fruits of sin (Prov. 5:22). A "threefold
cord" is a symbol of union (Eccl. 4:12). The "cords of a man"
(Hos. 11:4) means that men employ, in inducing each other,
methods such as are suitable to men, and not "cords" such as
oxen are led by. Isaiah (5:18) says, "Woe unto them that draw
iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart
rope." This verse is thus given in the Chaldee paraphrase: "Woe
to those who begin to sin by little and little, drawing sin by
cords of vanity: these sins grow and increase till they are
strong and are like a cart rope." This may be the true meaning.
The wicked at first draw sin with a slender cord; but by-and-by
their sins increase, and they are drawn after them by a cart
rope. Henderson in his commentary says: "The meaning is that the
persons described were not satisfied with ordinary modes of
provoking the Deity, and the consequent ordinary approach of his
vengeance, but, as it were, yoked themselves in the harness of
iniquity, and, putting forth all their strength, drew down upon
themselves, with accelerated speed, the load of punishment which
their sins deserved."
the graves of the longing or of lust, one of the stations of the
Israelites in the wilderness. It was probably in the Wady
Murrah, and has been identified with the Erweis el-Ebeirig,
where the remains of an ancient encampment have been found,
about 30 miles north-east of Sinai, and exactly a day's journey
from 'Ain Hudherah.
"Here began the troubles of the journey. First, complaints
broke out among the people, probably at the heat, the toil, and
the privations of the march; and then God at once punished them
by lightning, which fell on the hinder part of the camp, and
killed many persons, but ceased at the intercession of Moses
(Num. 11:1, 2). Then a disgust fell on the multitude at having
nothing to eat but the manna day after day, no change, no flesh,
no fish, no high-flavoured vegetables, no luscious fruits...The
people loathed the 'light food,' and cried out to Moses, 'Give
us flesh, give us flesh, that we may eat.'" In this emergency
Moses, in despair, cried unto God. An answer came. God sent "a
prodigious flight of quails, on which the people satiated their
gluttonous appetite for a full month. Then punishment fell on
them: they loathed the food which they had desired; it bred
disease in them; the divine anger aggravated the disease into a
plague, and a heavy mortality was the consequence. The dead were
buried without the camp; and in memory of man's sin and of the
divine wrath this name, Kibroth-hattaavah, the Graves of Lust,
was given to the place of their sepulchre" (Num. 11:34, 35;
33:16, 17; Deut. 9:22; comp. Ps. 78:30, 31)., Rawlinson's Moses,
p. 175. From this encampment they journeyed in a north-eastern
direction to Hazeroth.
The offering up of sacrifices is to be regarded as a divine
institution. It did not originate with man. God himself
appointed it as the mode in which acceptable worship was to be
offered to him by guilty man. The language and the idea of
sacrifice pervade the whole Bible.
Sacrifices were offered in the ante-diluvian age. The Lord
clothed Adam and Eve with the skins of animals, which in all
probability had been offered in sacrifice (Gen. 3:21). Abel
offered a sacrifice "of the firstlings of his flock" (4:4; Heb.
11:4). A distinction also was made between clean and unclean
animals, which there is every reason to believe had reference to
the offering up of sacrifices (Gen. 7:2, 8), because animals
were not given to man as food till after the Flood.
The same practice is continued down through the patriarchal
age (Gen. 8:20; 12:7; 13:4, 18; 15:9-11; 22:1-18, etc.). In the
Mosaic period of Old Testament history definite laws were
prescribed by God regarding the different kinds of sacrifices
that were to be offered and the manner in which the offering was
to be made. The offering of stated sacrifices became indeed a
prominent and distinctive feature of the whole period (Ex.
12:3-27; Lev. 23:5-8; Num. 9:2-14). (See ALTAR ¯T0000185.)
We learn from the Epistle to the Hebrews that sacrifices had
in themselves no value or efficacy. They were only the "shadow
of good things to come," and pointed the worshippers forward to
the coming of the great High Priest, who, in the fullness of the
time, "was offered once for all to bear the sin of many."
Sacrifices belonged to a temporary economy, to a system of types
and emblems which served their purposes and have now passed
away. The "one sacrifice for sins" hath "perfected for ever them
that are sanctified."
Sacrifices were of two kinds: 1. Unbloody, such as (1)
first-fruits and tithes; (2) meat and drink-offerings; and (3)
incense. 2. Bloody, such as (1) burnt-offerings; (2)
peace-offerings; and (3) sin and trespass offerings. (See
red, a Babylonian word, the generic name for man, having the
same meaning in the Hebrew and the Assyrian languages. It was
the name given to the first man, whose creation, fall, and
subsequent history and that of his descendants are detailed in
the first book of Moses (Gen. 1:27-ch. 5). "God created man
[Heb., Adam] in his own image, in the image of God created he
him; male and female created he them."
Adam was absolutely the first man whom God created. He was
formed out of the dust of the earth (and hence his name), and
God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and gave him
dominion over all the lower creatures (Gen. 1:26; 2:7). He was
placed after his creation in the Garden of Eden, to cultivate
it, and to enjoy its fruits under this one prohibition: "Of the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it;
for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
The first recorded act of Adam was his giving names to the
beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, which God brought
to him for this end. Thereafter the Lord caused a deep sleep to
fall upon him, and while in an unconscious state took one of his
ribs, and closed up his flesh again; and of this rib he made a
woman, whom he presented to him when he awoke. Adam received her
as his wife, and said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh
of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken
out of Man." He called her Eve, because she was the mother of
Being induced by the tempter in the form of a serpent to eat
the forbidden fruit, Eve persuaded Adam, and he also did eat.
Thus man fell, and brought upon himself and his posterity all
the sad consequences of his transgression. The narrative of the
Fall comprehends in it the great promise of a Deliverer (Gen.
3:15), the "first gospel" message to man. They were expelled
from Eden, and at the east of the garden God placed a flame,
which turned every way, to prevent access to the tree of life
(Gen. 3). How long they were in Paradise is matter of mere
Shortly after their expulsion Eve brought forth her
first-born, and called him Cain. Although we have the names of
only three of Adam's sons, viz., Cain, Abel, and Seth, yet it is
obvious that he had several sons and daughters (Gen. 5:4). He
died aged 930 years.
Adam and Eve were the progenitors of the whole human race.
Evidences of varied kinds are abundant in proving the unity of
the human race. The investigations of science, altogether
independent of historical evidence, lead to the conclusion that
God "hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on
all the face of the earth" (Acts 17:26. Comp. Rom. 5:12-12; 1
There were daily (Lev. 23), weekly, monthly, and yearly
festivals, and great stress was laid on the regular observance
of them in every particular (Num. 28:1-8; Ex. 29:38-42; Lev.
6:8-23; Ex. 30:7-9; 27:20).
(1.) The septenary festivals were,
(a) The weekly Sabbath (Lev. 23:1-3; Ex. 19:3-30; 20:8-11;
(b) The seventh new moon, or the feast of Trumpets (Num.
(c) The Sabbatical year (Ex. 23:10, 11; Lev. 25:2-7).
(d) The year of jubilee (Lev. 23-35; 25: 8-16; 27:16-25).
(2.) The great feasts were,
(a) The Passover. (b) The feast of Pentecost, or of weeks. (c)
The feast of Tabernacles, or of ingathering.
On each of these occasions every male Israelite was commanded
"to appear before the Lord" (Deut. 27:7; Neh. 8:9-12). The
attendance of women was voluntary. (Comp. Luke 2:41; 1 Sam. 1:7;
2:19.) The promise that God would protect their homes (Ex.
34:23, 24) while all the males were absent in Jerusalem at these
feasts was always fulfilled. "During the whole period between
Moses and Christ we never read of an enemy invading the land at
the time of the three festivals. The first instance on record is
thirty-three years after they had withdrawn from themselves the
divine protection by imbruing their hands in the Saviour's
blood, when Cestius, the Roman general, slew fifty of the people
of Lydda while all the rest had gone up to the feast of
Tabernacles, A.D. 66."
These festivals, besides their religious purpose, had an
important bearing on the maintenance among the people of the
feeling of a national unity. The times fixed for their
observance were arranged so as to interfere as little as
possible with the industry of the people. The Passover was kept
just before the harvest commenced, Pentecost at the conclusion
of the corn harvest and before the vintage, the feast of
Tabernacles after all the fruits of the ground had been gathered
(3.) The Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the seventh month
(Lev. 16:1, 34; 23:26-32; Num. 29:7-11). (See ATONEMENT, DAY OF
Of the post-Exilian festivals reference is made to the feast
of Dedication (John 10:22). This feast was appointed by Judas
Maccabaeus in commemoration of the purification of the temple
after it had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes. The "feast of
Purim" (q.v.), Esther 9:24-32, was also instituted after the
Exile. (Cf. John 5:1.)
Philippians, Epistle to
was written by Paul during the two years when he was "in bonds"
in Rome (Phil. 1:7-13), probably early in the year A.D. 62 or in
the end of 61.
The Philippians had sent Epaphroditus, their messenger, with
contributions to meet the necessities of the apostle; and on his
return Paul sent back with him this letter. With this precious
communication Epaphroditus sets out on his homeward journey.
"The joy caused by his return, and the effect of this wonderful
letter when first read in the church of Philippi, are hidden
from us. And we may almost say that with this letter the church
itself passes from our view. To-day, in silent meadows, quiet
cattle browse among the ruins which mark the site of what was
once the flourishing Roman colony of Philippi, the home of the
most attractive church of the apostolic age. But the name and
fame and spiritual influence of that church will never pass. To
myriads of men and women in every age and nation the letter
written in a dungeon at Rome, and carried along the Egnatian Way
by an obscure Christian messenger, has been a light divine and a
cheerful guide along the most rugged paths of life" (Professor
The church at Philippi was the first-fruits of European
Christianity. Their attachment to the apostle was very fervent,
and so also was his affection for them. They alone of all the
churches helped him by their contributions, which he gratefully
acknowledges (Acts 20:33-35; 2 Cor. 11:7-12; 2 Thess. 3:8). The
pecuniary liberality of the Philippians comes out very
conspicuously (Phil. 4:15). "This was a characteristic of the
Macedonian missions, as 2 Cor. 8 and 9 amply and beautifully
prove. It is remarkable that the Macedonian converts were, as a
class, very poor (2 Cor. 8:2); and the parallel facts, their
poverty and their open-handed support of the great missionary
and his work, are deeply harmonious. At the present day the
missionary liberality of poor Christians is, in proportion,
really greater than that of the rich" (Moule's Philippians,
The contents of this epistle give an interesting insight into
the condition of the church at Rome at the time it was written.
Paul's imprisonment, we are informed, was no hindrance to his
preaching the gospel, but rather "turned out to the furtherance
of the gospel." The gospel spread very extensively among the
Roman soldiers, with whom he was in constant contact, and the
Christians grew into a "vast multitude." It is plain that
Christianity was at this time making rapid advancement in Rome.
The doctrinal statements of this epistle bear a close relation
to those of the Epistle to the Romans. Compare also Phil. 3:20
with Eph. 2:12, 19, where the church is presented under the idea
of a city or commonwealth for the first time in Paul's writings.
The personal glory of Christ is also set forth in almost
parallel forms of expression in Phil. 2:5-11, compared with Eph.
1:17-23; 2:8; and Col. 1:15-20. "This exposition of the grace
and wonder of His personal majesty, personal self-abasement, and
personal exaltation after it," found in these epistles, "is, in
a great measure, a new development in the revelations given
through St. Paul" (Moule). Other minuter analogies in forms of
expression and of thought are also found in these epistles of
a word as used in Scripture denoting produce in general, whether
vegetable or animal. The Hebrews divided the fruits of the land
into three classes:,
(1.) The fruit of the field, "corn-fruit" (Heb. dagan); all
kinds of grain and pulse.
(2.) The fruit of the vine, "vintage-fruit" (Heb. tirosh);
grapes, whether moist or dried.
(3.) "Orchard-fruits" (Heb. yitshar), as dates, figs, citrons,
Injunctions concerning offerings and tithes were expressed by
these Hebrew terms alone (Num. 18:12; Deut. 14:23). This word
"fruit" is also used of children or offspring (Gen. 30:2; Deut.
7:13; Luke 1:42; Ps. 21:10; 132:11); also of the progeny of
beasts (Deut. 28:51; Isa. 14:29).
It is used metaphorically in a variety of forms (Ps. 104:13;
Prov. 1:31; 11:30; 31:16; Isa. 3:10; 10:12; Matt. 3:8; 21:41;
26:29; Heb. 13:15; Rom. 7:4, 5; 15:28).
The fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23; Eph. 5:9; James 3:17,
18) are those gracious dispositions and habits which the Spirit
produces in those in whom he dwells and works.
Chronicles, Books of
The two books were originally one. They bore the title in the
Massoretic Hebrew _Dibre hayyamim_, i.e., "Acts of the Days."
This title was rendered by Jerome in his Latin version
"Chronicon," and hence "Chronicles." In the Septuagint version
the book is divided into two, and bears the title Paraleipomena,
i.e., "things omitted," or "supplements", because containing
many things omitted in the Books of Kings.
The contents of these books are comprehended under four heads.
(1.) The first nine chapters of Book I. contain little more than
a list of genealogies in the line of Israel down to the time of
David. (2.) The remainder of the first book contains a history
of the reign of David. (3.) The first nine chapters of Book II.
contain the history of the reign of Solomon. (4.) The remaining
chapters of the second book contain the history of the separate
kingdom of Judah to the time of the return from Babylonian
The time of the composition of the Chronicles was, there is
every ground to conclude, subsequent to the Babylonian Exile,
probably between 450 and 435 B.C. The contents of this twofold
book, both as to matter and form, correspond closely with this
idea. The close of the book records the proclamation of Cyrus
permitting the Jews to return to their own land, and this forms
the opening passage of the Book of Ezra, which must be viewed as
a continuation of the Chronicles. The peculiar form of the
language, being Aramaean in its general character, harmonizes
also with that of the books which were written after the Exile.
The author was certainly contemporary with Zerubbabel, details
of whose family history are given (1 Chr. 3:19).
The time of the composition being determined, the question of
the authorship may be more easily decided. According to Jewish
tradition, which was universally received down to the middle of
the seventeenth century, Ezra was regarded as the author of the
Chronicles. There are many points of resemblance and of contact
between the Chronicles and the Book of Ezra which seem to
confirm this opinion. The conclusion of the one and the
beginning of the other are almost identical in expression. In
their spirit and characteristics they are the same, showing thus
also an identity of authorship.
In their general scope and design these books are not so much
historical as didactic. The principal aim of the writer appears
to be to present moral and religious truth. He does not give
prominence to political occurences, as is done in Samuel and
Kings, but to ecclesiastical institutions. "The genealogies, so
uninteresting to most modern readers, were really an important
part of the public records of the Hebrew state. They were the
basis on which not only the land was distributed and held, but
the public services of the temple were arranged and conducted,
the Levites and their descendants alone, as is well known, being
entitled and first fruits set apart for that purpose." The
"Chronicles" are an epitome of the sacred history from the days
of Adam down to the return from Babylonian Exile, a period of
about 3,500 years. The writer gathers up "the threads of the old
national life broken by the Captivity."
The sources whence the chronicler compiled his work were
public records, registers, and genealogical tables belonging to
the Jews. These are referred to in the course of the book (1
Chr. 27:24; 29:29; 2 Chr. 9:29; 12:15; 13:22; 20:34; 24:27;
26:22; 32:32; 33:18, 19; 27:7; 35:25). There are in Chronicles,
and the books of Samuel and Kings, forty parallels, often
verbal, proving that the writer both knew and used these records
(1 Chr. 17:18; comp. 2 Sam. 7:18-20; 1 Chr. 19; comp. 2 Sam. 10,
As compared with Samuel and Kings, the Book of Chronicles
omits many particulars there recorded (2 Sam. 6:20-23; 9; 11;
14-19, etc.), and includes many things peculiar to itself (1
Chr. 12; 22; 23-26; 27; 28; 29, etc.). Twenty whole chapters,
and twenty-four parts of chapters, are occupied with matter not
found elsewhere. It also records many things in fuller detail,
as (e.g.) the list of David's heroes (1 Chr. 12:1-37), the
removal of the ark from Kirjath-jearim to Mount Zion (1 Chr. 13;
15:2-24; 16:4-43; comp. 2 Sam. 6), Uzziah's leprosy and its
cause (2 Chr. 26:16-21; comp. 2 Kings 15:5), etc.
It has also been observed that another peculiarity of the book
is that it substitutes modern and more common expressions for
those that had then become unusual or obsolete. This is seen
particularly in the substitution of modern names of places, such
as were in use in the writer's day, for the old names; thus
Gezer (1 Chr. 20:4) is used instead of Gob (2 Sam. 21:18), etc.
The Books of Chronicles are ranked among the _khethubim_ or
hagiographa. They are alluded to, though not directly quoted, in
the New Testament (Heb. 5:4; Matt. 12:42; 23:35; Luke 1:5;
Tilling the ground (Gen. 2:15; 4:2, 3, 12) and rearing cattle
were the chief employments in ancient times. The Egyptians
excelled in agriculture. And after the Israelites entered into
the possession of the Promised Land, their circumstances
favoured in the highest degree a remarkable development of this
art. Agriculture became indeed the basis of the Mosaic
The year in Israel was divided into six agricultural
I. SOWING TIME.
Tisri, latter half
(beginning about the autumnal equinox.)
Kisleu, former half.
Early rain due = first showers of autumn.
II. UNRIPE TIME.
Kisleu, latter half.
Sebat, former half.
III. COLD SEASON.
Sebat, latter half.
Nisan, former half.
Latter rain due (Deut. 11:14; Jer. 5:24; Hos. 6:3; Zech. 10:1;
James 5:7; Job 29:23).
IV. HARVEST TIME.
Nisan, latter half.
(Beginning about vernal equinox. Barley green. Passover.)
Sivan, former half., Wheat ripe. Pentecost.
V. SUMMER (total absence of rain)
Sivan, latter half.
Ab, former half.
VI. SULTRY SEASON
Ab, latter half.
Tisri, former half., Ingathering of fruits.
The six months from the middle of Tisri to the middle of Nisan
were occupied with the work of cultivation, and the rest of the
year mainly with the gathering in of the fruits. The extensive
and easily-arranged system of irrigation from the rills and
streams from the mountains made the soil in every part of
Israel richly productive (Ps. 1:3; 65:10; Prov. 21:1; Isa.
30:25; 32:2, 20; Hos. 12:11), and the appliances of careful
cultivation and of manure increased its fertility to such an
extent that in the days of Solomon, when there was an abundant
population, "20,000 measures of wheat year by year" were sent to
Hiram in exchange for timber (1 Kings 5:11), and in large
quantities also wheat was sent to the Tyrians for the
merchandise in which they traded (Ezek. 27:17). The wheat
sometimes produced an hundredfold (Gen. 26:12; Matt. 13:23).
Figs and pomegranates were very plentiful (Num. 13:23), and the
vine and the olive grew luxuriantly and produced abundant fruit
Lest the productiveness of the soil should be exhausted, it
was enjoined that the whole land should rest every seventh year,
when all agricultural labour would entirely cease (Lev. 25:1-7;
It was forbidden to sow a field with divers seeds (Deut.
22:9). A passer-by was at liberty to eat any quantity of corn or
grapes, but he was not permitted to carry away any (Deut. 23:24,
25; Matt. 12:1). The poor were permitted to claim the corners of
the fields and the gleanings. A forgotten sheaf in the field was
to be left also for the poor. (See Lev. 19:9, 10; Deut. 24:19.)
Agricultural implements and operations.
The sculptured monuments and painted tombs of Egypt and
Assyria throw much light on this subject, and on the general
operations of agriculture. Ploughs of a simple construction were
known in the time of Moses (Deut. 22:10; comp. Job 1:14). They
were very light, and required great attention to keep them in
the ground (Luke 9:62). They were drawn by oxen (Job 1:14), cows
(1 Sam. 6:7), and asses (Isa. 30:24); but an ox and an ass must
not be yoked together in the same plough (Deut. 22:10). Men
sometimes followed the plough with a hoe to break the clods
(Isa. 28:24). The oxen were urged on by a "goad," or long staff
pointed at the end, so that if occasion arose it could be used
as a spear also (Judg. 3:31; 1 Sam. 13:21).
When the soil was prepared, the seed was sown broadcast over
the field (Matt. 13:3-8). The "harrow" mentioned in Job 39:10
was not used to cover the seeds, but to break the clods, being
little more than a thick block of wood. In highly irrigated
spots the seed was trampled in by cattle (Isa. 32:20); but
doubtless there was some kind of harrow also for covering in the
seed scattered in the furrows of the field.
The reaping of the corn was performed either by pulling it up
by the roots, or cutting it with a species of sickle, according
to circumstances. The corn when cut was generally put up in
sheaves (Gen. 37:7; Lev. 23:10-15; Ruth 2:7, 15; Job 24:10; Jer.
9:22; Micah 4:12), which were afterwards gathered to the
threshing-floor or stored in barns (Matt. 6:26).
The process of threshing was performed generally by spreading
the sheaves on the threshing-floor and causing oxen and cattle
to tread repeatedly over them (Deut. 25:4; Isa. 28:28). On
occasions flails or sticks were used for this purpose (Ruth
2:17; Isa. 28:27). There was also a "threshing instrument" (Isa.
41:15; Amos 1:3) which was drawn over the corn. It was called by
the Hebrews a moreg, a threshing roller or sledge (2 Sam. 24:22;
1 Chr. 21:23; Isa. 3:15). It was somewhat like the Roman
tribulum, or threshing instrument.
When the grain was threshed, it was winnowed by being thrown
up against the wind (Jer. 4:11), and afterwards tossed with
wooden scoops (Isa. 30:24). The shovel and the fan for winnowing
are mentioned in Ps. 35:5, Job 21:18, Isa. 17:13. The refuse of
straw and chaff was burned (Isa. 5:24). Freed from impurities,
the grain was then laid up in granaries till used (Deut. 28:8;
Prov. 3:10; Matt. 6:26; 13:30; Luke 12:18).
bunch; brave. (1.) A young Amoritish chief who joined Abraham in
the recovery of Lot from the hands of Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:13,
(2.) A valley in which the spies obtained a fine cluster of
grapes (Num. 13:23, 24; "the brook Eshcol," A.V.; "the valley of
Eshcol," R.V.), which they took back with them to the camp of
Israel as a specimen of the fruits of the Promised Land. On
their way back they explored the route which led into the south
(the Negeb) by the western edge of the mountains at Telilat
el-'Anab, i.e., "grape-mounds", near Beersheba. "In one of these
extensive valleys, perhaps in Wady Hanein, where miles of
grape-mounds even now meet the eye, they cut the gigantic
clusters of grapes, and gathered the pomegranates and figs, to
show how goodly was the land which the Lord had promised for
their inheritance.", Palmer's Desert of the Exodus.
allotted by God, the first of the sons of Naphtali (Gen. 46:24).
Resurrection of Christ
one of the cardinal facts and doctrines of the gospel. If Christ
be not risen, our faith is vain (1 Cor. 15:14). The whole of the
New Testament revelation rests on this as an historical fact. On
the day of Pentecost Peter argued the necessity of Christ's
resurrection from the prediction in Ps. 16 (Acts 2:24-28). In
his own discourses, also, our Lord clearly intimates his
resurrection (Matt. 20:19; Mark 9:9; 14:28; Luke 18:33; John
The evangelists give circumstantial accounts of the facts
connected with that event, and the apostles, also, in their
public teaching largely insist upon it. Ten different
appearances of our risen Lord are recorded in the New Testament.
They may be arranged as follows:
(1.) To Mary Magdalene at the sepulchre alone. This is
recorded at length only by John (20:11-18), and alluded to by
(2.) To certain women, "the other Mary," Salome, Joanna, and
others, as they returned from the sepulchre. Matthew (28:1-10)
alone gives an account of this. (Comp. Mark 16:1-8, and Luke
(3.) To Simon Peter alone on the day of the resurrection. (See
Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5.)
(4.) To the two disciples on the way to Emmaus on the day of
the resurrection, recorded fully only by Luke (24:13-35. Comp.
Mark 16:12, 13).
(5.) To the ten disciples (Thomas being absent) and others
"with them," at Jerusalem on the evening of the resurrection
day. One of the evangelists gives an account of this appearance,
(6.) To the disciples again (Thomas being present) at
Jerusalem (Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:33-40; John 20:26-28. See also
1 Cor. 15:5).
(7.) To the disciples when fishing at the Sea of Galilee. Of
this appearance also John (21:1-23) alone gives an account.
(8.) To the eleven, and above 500 brethren at once, at an
appointed place in Galilee (1 Cor. 15:6; comp. Matt. 28:16-20).
(9.) To James, but under what circumstances we are not
informed (1 Cor. 15:7).
(10.) To the apostles immediately before the ascension. They
accompanied him from Jerusalem to Mount Olivet, and there they
saw him ascend "till a cloud received him out of their sight"
(Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50-52; Acts 1:4-10).
It is worthy of note that it is distinctly related that on
most of these occasions our Lord afforded his disciples the
amplest opportunity of testing the fact of his resurrection. He
conversed with them face to face. They touched him (Matt. 28:9;
Luke 24:39; John 20:27), and he ate bread with them (Luke 24:42,
43; John 21:12, 13).
(11.) In addition to the above, mention might be made of
Christ's manifestation of himself to Paul at Damascus, who
speaks of it as an appearance of the risen Saviour (Acts 9:3-9,
17; 1 Cor. 15:8; 9:1).
It is implied in the words of Luke (Acts 1:3) that there may
have been other appearances of which we have no record.
The resurrection is spoken of as the act (1) of God the Father
(Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:24; 3:15; Rom. 8:11; Eph. 1:20; Col. 2:12;
Heb. 13:20); (2) of Christ himself (John 2:19; 10:18); and (3)
of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 3:18).
The resurrection is a public testimony of Christ's release
from his undertaking as surety, and an evidence of the Father's
acceptance of his work of redemption. It is a victory over death
and the grave for all his followers.
The importance of Christ's resurrection will be seen when we
consider that if he rose the gospel is true, and if he rose not
it is false. His resurrection from the dead makes it manifest
that his sacrifice was accepted. Our justification was secured
by his obedience to the death, and therefore he was raised from
the dead (Rom. 4:25). His resurrection is a proof that he made a
full atonement for our sins, that his sacrifice was accepted as
a satisfaction to divine justice, and his blood a ransom for
sinners. It is also a pledge and an earnest of the resurrection
of all believers (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 6:14; 15:47-49; Phil. 3:21;
1 John 3:2). As he lives, they shall live also.
It proved him to be the Son of God, inasmuch as it
authenticated all his claims (John 2:19; 10:17). "If Christ did
not rise, the whole scheme of redemption is a failure, and all
the predictions and anticipations of its glorious results for
time and for eternity, for men and for angels of every rank and
order, are proved to be chimeras. 'But now is Christ risen from
the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.'
Therefore the Bible is true from Genesis to Revelation. The
kingdom of darkness has been overthrown, Satan has fallen as
lightning from heaven, and the triumph of truth over error, of
good over evil, of happiness over misery is for ever secured."
With reference to the report which the Roman soldiers were
bribed (Matt. 28:12-14) to circulate concerning Christ's
resurrection, "his disciples came by night and stole him away
while we slept," Matthew Henry in his "Commentary," under John
20:1-10, fittingly remarks, "The grave-clothes in which Christ
had been buried were found in very good order, which serves for
an evidence that his body was not 'stolen away while men slept.'
Robbers of tombs have been known to take away 'the clothes' and
leave the body; but none ever took away 'the body' and left the
clothes, especially when they were 'fine linen' and new (Mark
15:46). Any one would rather choose to carry a dead body in its
clothes than naked. Or if they that were supposed to have stolen
it would have left the grave-clothes behind, yet it cannot be
supposed they would find leisure to 'fold up the linen.'"
The common Hebrew word for wine is _yayin_, from a root meaning
"to boil up," "to be in a ferment." Others derive it from a root
meaning "to tread out," and hence the juice of the grape trodden
out. The Greek word for wine is _oinos_, and the Latin _vinun_.
But besides this common Hebrew word, there are several others
which are thus rendered.
(1.) Ashishah (2 Sam. 6:19; 1 Chr. 16:3; Cant. 2:5; Hos. 3:1),
which, however, rather denotes a solid cake of pressed grapes,
or, as in the Revised Version, a cake of raisins.
(2.) 'Asis, "sweet wine," or "new wine," the product of the
same year (Cant. 8:2; Isa. 49:26; Joel 1:5; 3:18; Amos 9:13),
from a root meaning "to tread," hence juice trodden out or
pressed out, thus referring to the method by which the juice is
obtained. The power of intoxication is ascribed to it.
(3.) Hometz. See VINEGAR ¯T0003771.
(4.) Hemer, Deut. 32:14 (rendered "blood of the grape") Isa.
27:2 ("red wine"), Ezra 6:9; 7:22; Dan. 5:1, 2, 4. This word
conveys the idea of "foaming," as in the process of
fermentation, or when poured out. It is derived from the root
_hamar_, meaning "to boil up," and also "to be red," from the
idea of boiling or becoming inflamed.
(5.) 'Enabh, a grape (Deut. 32:14). The last clause of this
verse should be rendered as in the Revised Version, "and of the
blood of the grape ['enabh] thou drankest wine [hemer]." In Hos.
3:1 the phrase in Authorized Version, "flagons of wine," is in
the Revised Version correctly "cakes of raisins." (Comp. Gen.
49:11; Num. 6:3; Deut. 23:24, etc., where this Hebrew word is
rendered in the plural "grapes.")
(6.) Mesekh, properly a mixture of wine and water with spices
that increase its stimulating properties (Isa. 5:22). Ps. 75:8,
"The wine [yayin] is red; it is full of mixture [mesekh];" Prov.
23:30, "mixed wine;" Isa. 65:11, "drink offering" (R.V.,
(7.) Tirosh, properly "must," translated "wine" (Deut. 28:51);
"new wine" (Prov. 3:10); "sweet wine" (Micah 6:15; R.V.,
"vintage"). This Hebrew word has been traced to a root meaning
"to take possession of" and hence it is supposed that tirosh is
so designated because in intoxicating it takes possession of the
brain. Among the blessings promised to Esau (Gen. 27:28) mention
is made of "plenty of corn and tirosh." Israel is called "a
land of corn and tirosh" (Deut. 33:28; comp. Isa. 36:17). See
also Deut. 28:51; 2 Chr. 32:28; Joel 2:19; Hos. 4:11, ("wine
[yayin] and new wine [tirosh] take away the heart").
(8.) Sobhe (root meaning "to drink to excess," "to suck up,"
"absorb"), found only in Isa. 1:22, Hos. 4:18 ("their drink;"
Gesen. and marg. of R.V., "their carouse"), and Nah. 1:10
("drunken as drunkards;" lit., "soaked according to their
drink;" R.V., "drenched, as it were, in their drink", i.e.,
according to their sobhe).
(9.) Shekar, "strong drink," any intoxicating liquor; from a
root meaning "to drink deeply," "to be drunken", a generic term
applied to all fermented liquors, however obtained. Num. 28:7,
"strong wine" (R.V., "strong drink"). It is sometimes
distinguished from wine, c.g., Lev. 10:9, "Do not drink wine
[yayin] nor strong drink [shekar];" Num. 6:3; Judg. 13:4, 7;
Isa. 28:7 (in all these places rendered "strong drink").
Translated "strong drink" also in Isa. 5:11; 24:9; 29:9; 56:12;
Prov. 20:1; 31:6; Micah 2:11.
(10.) Yekebh (Deut. 16:13, but in R.V. correctly
"wine-press"), a vat into which the new wine flowed from the
press. Joel 2:24, "their vats;" 3:13, "the fats;" Prov. 3:10,
"Thy presses shall burst out with new wine [tirosh];" Hag. 2:16;
Jer. 48:33, "wine-presses;" 2 Kings 6:27; Job. 24:11.
(11.) Shemarim (only in plural), "lees" or "dregs" of wine. In
Isa. 25:6 it is rendered "wines on the lees", i.e., wine that
has been kept on the lees, and therefore old wine.
(12.) Mesek, "a mixture," mixed or spiced wine, not diluted
with water, but mixed with drugs and spices to increase its
strength, or, as some think, mingled with the lees by being
shaken (Ps. 75:8; Prov. 23:30).
In Acts 2:13 the word _gleukos_, rendered "new wine," denotes
properly "sweet wine." It must have been intoxicating.
In addition to wine the Hebrews also made use of what they
called _debash_, which was obtained by boiling down must to
one-half or one-third of its original bulk. In Gen. 43:11 this
word is rendered "honey." It was a kind of syrup, and is called
by the Arabs at the present day dibs. This word occurs in the
phrase "a land flowing with milk and honey" (debash), Ex. 3:8,
17; 13:5; 33:3; Lev. 20:24; Num. 13: 27. (See HONEY ¯T0001809.)
Our Lord miraculously supplied wine at the marriage feast in
Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-11). The Rechabites were forbidden the
use of wine (Jer. 35). The Nazarites also were to abstain from
its use during the period of their vow (Num. 6:1-4); and those
who were dedicated as Nazarites from their birth were
perpetually to abstain from it (Judg. 13:4, 5; Luke 1:15; 7:33).
The priests, too, were forbidden the use of wine and strong
drink when engaged in their sacred functions (Lev. 10:1, 9-11).
"Wine is little used now in the East, from the fact that
Mohammedans are not allowed to taste it, and very few of other
creeds touch it. When it is drunk, water is generally mixed with
it, and this was the custom in the days of Christ also. The
people indeed are everywhere very sober in hot climates; a
drunken person, in fact, is never seen", (Geikie's Life of
Christ). The sin of drunkenness, however, must have been not
uncommon in the olden times, for it is mentioned either
metaphorically or literally more than seventy times in the
A drink-offering of wine was presented with the daily
sacrifice (Ex. 29:40, 41), and also with the offering of the
first-fruits (Lev. 23:13), and with various other sacrifices
(Num. 15:5, 7, 10). Wine was used at the celebration of the
Passover. And when the Lord's Supper was instituted, the wine
and the unleavened bread then on the paschal table were by our
Lord set apart as memorials of his body and blood.
Several emphatic warnings are given in the New Testament
against excess in the use of wine (Luke 21:34; Rom. 13:13; Eph.
5:18; 1 Tim. 3:8; Titus 1:7).
First-born, Sanctification of the
A peculiar sanctity was attached to the first-born both of man
and of cattle. God claimed that the first-born males of man and
of animals should be consecrated to him, the one as a priest
(Ex. 19:22, 24), representing the family to which he belonged,
and the other to be offered up in sacrifice (Gen. 4:4).
immeasurable, the first named of the sons of Joktan (Gen.
10:26), the founder of an Arabian tribe.
descendant, the last of the three sons of Caleb by his first
wife Azubah (1 Chr. 2:18).
uprightness, the first of the three sons of Caleb by Azubah (1
stricken, mother of Jeroboam, the first king of the ten tribes
(1 Kings 11:26).
a native of Syria and Israel. In form, blossoms, and fruit it
resembles the peach tree. Its blossoms are of a very pale pink
colour, and appear before its leaves. Its Hebrew name, _shaked_,
signifying "wakeful, hastening," is given to it on account of
its putting forth its blossoms so early, generally in February,
and sometimes even in January. In Eccl. 12:5, it is referred to
as illustrative, probably, of the haste with which old age
comes. There are others, however, who still contend for the old
interpretation here. "The almond tree bears its blossoms in the
midst of winter, on a naked, leafless stem, and these blossoms
(reddish or flesh-coloured in the beginning) seem at the time of
their fall exactly like white snow-flakes. In this way the
almond blossom is a very fitting symbol of old age, with its
silvery hair and its wintry, dry, barren, unfruitful condition."
In Jer. 1:11 "I see a rod of an almond tree [shaked]...for I
will hasten [shaked] my word to perform it" the word is used as
an emblem of promptitude. Jacob desired his sons (Gen. 43:11) to
take with them into Egypt of the best fruits of the land,
almonds, etc., as a present to Joseph, probably because this
tree was not a native of Egypt. Aaron's rod yielded almonds
(Num. 17:8; Heb. 9:4). Moses was directed to make certain parts
of the candlestick for the ark of carved work "like unto
almonds" (Ex. 25:33, 34). The Hebrew word _luz_, translated
"hazel" in the Authorized Version (Gen. 30:37), is rendered in
the Revised Version "almond." It is probable that _luz_ denotes
the wild almond, while _shaked_ denotes the cultivated variety.
fruits, "the Jezreelite," was the owner of a portion of ground
on the eastern slope of the hill of Jezreel (2 Kings 9:25, 26).
This small "plat of ground" seems to have been all he possessed.
It was a vineyard, and lay "hard by the palace of Ahab" (1 Kings
21:1, 2), who greatly coveted it. Naboth, however, refused on
any terms to part with it to the king. He had inherited it from
his fathers, and no Israelite could lawfully sell his property
(Lev. 25:23). Jezebel, Ahab's wife, was grievously offended at
Naboth's refusal to part with his vineyard. By a crafty and
cruel plot she compassed his death. His sons also shared his
fate (2 Kings 9:26; 1 Kings 21:19). She then came to Ahab and
said, "Arise, take possession of the vineyard; for Naboth is not
alive, but dead." Ahab arose and went forth into the garden
which had so treacherously and cruelly been acquired, seemingly
enjoying his new possession, when, lo, Elijah suddenly appeared
before him and pronounced against him a fearful doom (1 Kings
21:17-24). Jehu and Bidcar were with Ahab at this time, and so
deeply were the words of Elijah imprinted on Jehu's memory that
many years afterwards he refers to them (2 Kings 9:26), and he
was the chief instrument in inflicting this sentence on Ahab and
Jezebel and all their house (9:30-37). The house of Ahab was
extinguished by him. Not one of all his great men and his
kinsfolk and his priests did Jehu spare (10:11).
Ahab humbled himself at Elijah's words (1 Kings 21:28, 29),
and therefore the prophecy was fulfilled not in his fate but in
that of his son Joram (2 Kings 9:25).
The history of Naboth, compared with that of Ahab and Jezebel,
furnishes a remarkable illustration of the law of a retributive
providence, a law which runs through all history (comp. Ps.
Tabernacles, Feast of
the third of the great annual festivals of the Jews (Lev.
23:33-43). It is also called the "feast of ingathering" (Ex.
23:16; Deut. 16:13). It was celebrated immediately after the
harvest, in the month Tisri, and the celebration lasted for
eight days (Lev. 23:33-43). During that period the people left
their homes and lived in booths formed of the branches of trees.
The sacrifices offered at this time are mentioned in Num.
29:13-38. It was at the time of this feast that Solomon's temple
was dedicated (1 Kings 8:2). Mention is made of it after the
return from the Captivity. This feast was designed (1) to be a
memorial of the wilderness wanderings, when the people dwelt in
booths (Lev. 23:43), and (2) to be a harvest thanksgiving (Neh.
8:9-18). The Jews, at a later time, introduced two appendages to
the original festival, viz., (1) that of drawing water from the
Pool of Siloam, and pouring it upon the altar (John 7:2, 37), as
a memorial of the water from the rock in Horeb; and (2) of
lighting the lamps at night, a memorial of the pillar of fire by
night during their wanderings.
"The feast of Tabernacles, the harvest festival of the Jewish
Church, was the most popular and important festival after the
Captivity. At Jerusalem it was a gala day. It was to the autumn
pilgrims, who arrived on the 14th (of the month Tisri, the feast
beginning on the 15th) day, like entrance into a silvan city.
Roofs and courtyards, streets and squares, roads and gardens,
were green with boughs of citron and myrtle, palm and willow.
The booths recalled the pilgrimage through the wilderness. The
ingathering of fruits prophesied of the spiritual harvest.",
Valling's Jesus Christ, p. 133.
The old objection against the doctrine of salvation by grace,
that it does away with the necessity of good works, and lowers
the sense of their importance (Rom. 6), although it has been
answered a thousand times, is still alleged by many. They say if
men are not saved by works, then works are not necessary. If the
most moral of men are saved in the same way as the very chief of
sinners, then good works are of no moment. And more than this,
if the grace of God is most clearly displayed in the salvation
of the vilest of men, then the worse men are the better.
The objection has no validity. The gospel of salvation by
grace shows that good works are necessary. It is true,
unchangeably true, that without holiness no man shall see the
Lord. "Neither adulterers, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor
drunkards" shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Works are "good" only when, (1) they spring from the principle
of love to God. The moral character of an act is determined by
the moral principle that prompts it. Faith and love in the heart
are the essential elements of all true obedience. Hence good
works only spring from a believing heart, can only be wrought by
one reconciled to God (Eph. 2:10; James 2:18:22). (2.) Good
works have the glory of God as their object; and (3) they have
the revealed will of God as their only rule (Deut. 12:32; Rev.
Good works are an expression of gratitude in the believer's
heart (John 14:15, 23; Gal. 5:6). They are the fruits of the
Spirit (Titus 2:10-12), and thus spring from grace, which they
illustrate and strengthen in the heart.
Good works of the most sincere believers are all imperfect,
yet like their persons they are accepted through the mediation
of Jesus Christ (Col. 3:17), and so are rewarded; they have no
merit intrinsically, but are rewarded wholly of grace.
ornament. (1.) The first of Lamech's two wives, and the mother
of Jabal and Jubal (Gen. 4:19, 20, 23).
(2.) The first of Esau's three wives, the daughter of Elon the
Hittite (Gen. 36:2,4), called also Bashemath (26:34).
not pitied, the name of the prophet Hosea's first daughter, a
type of Jehovah's temporary rejection of his people (Hos. 1:6;
month of flowers, (Neh. 2:1) the first month of the Jewish
sacred year. (See ABIB ¯T0000026.) Assyrian nisannu,
bottles, an encampment of the Israelites during the wanderings
in the wilderness (Num. 33:43), the first after the setting up
of the brazen serpent.
a skin prepared for writing on; so called from Pergamos (q.v.),
where this was first done (2 Tim. 4:13).
(1.) This word denotes the special privileges and advantages
belonging to the first-born son among the Jews. He became the
priest of the family. Thus Reuben was the first-born of the
patriarchs, and so the priesthood of the tribes belonged to him.
That honour was, however, transferred by God from Reuben to Levi
(Num. 3:12, 13; 8:18).
(2.) The first-born son had allotted to him also a double
portion of the paternal inheritance (Deut. 21:15-17). Reuben
was, because of his undutiful conduct, deprived of his
birth-right (Gen. 49:4; 1 Chr. 5:1). Esau transferred his
birth-right to Jacob (Gen. 25:33).
(3.) The first-born inherited the judicial authority of his
father, whatever it might be (2 Chr. 21:3). By divine
appointment, however, David excluded Adonijah in favour of
(4.) The Jews attached a sacred importance to the rank of
"first-born" and "first-begotten" as applied to the Messiah
(Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:18; Heb. 1:4-6). As first-born he has an
inheritance superior to his brethren, and is the alone true
First-born, Redemption of
From the beginning the office of the priesthood in each family
belonged to the eldest son. But when the extensive plan of
sacrificial worship was introduced, requiring a company of men
to be exclusively devoted to this ministry, the primitive office
of the first-born was superseded by that of the Levites (Num.
3:11-13), and it was ordained that the first-born of man and of
unclean animals should henceforth be redeemed (18:15).
The laws concerning this redemption of the first-born of man
are recorded in Ex. 13:12-15; 22:29; 34:20; Num. 3:45; 8:17;
18:16; Lev. 12:2, 4.
The first-born male of every clean animal was to be given up
to the priest for sacrifice (Deut. 12:6; Ex. 13:12; 34:20; Num.
But the first-born of unclean animals was either to be
redeemed or sold and the price given to the priest (Lev.
27:11-13, 27). The first-born of an ass, if not redeemed, was to
be put to death (Ex. 13:13; 34:20).
In our Lord's time the Jews had adopted the Greek and Roman
division of the night into four watches, each consisting of
three hours, the first beginning at six o'clock in the evening
(Luke 12:38; Matt. 14:25; Mark 6:48). But the ancient division,
known as the first and second cock-crowing, was still retained.
The cock usually crows several times soon after midnight (this
is the first crowing), and again at the dawn of day (and this is
the second crowing). Mark mentions (14:30) the two
cock-crowings. Matthew (26:34) alludes to that only which was
emphatically the cock-crowing, viz, the second.
Haggai, Book of
consists of two brief, comprehensive chapters. The object of the
prophet was generally to urge the people to proceed with the
rebuilding of the temple.
Chapter first comprehends the first address (2-11) and its
effects (12-15). Chapter second contains,
(1.) The second prophecy (1-9), which was delivered a month
after the first.
(2.) The third prophecy (10-19), delivered two months and
three days after the second; and
(3.) The fourth prophecy (20-23), delivered on the same day as
These discourses are referred to in Ezra 5:1; 6:14; Heb.
12:26. (Comp. Hag. 2:7, 8, 22.)
inhabitant of a fortress, the first-named of the two sons of
Saul and Rizpah. He was delivered up to the Gibeonites by David,
and hanged by them (2 Sam. 21:8, 9).
the month of gifts, i.e., of vintage offerings; called Tisri
after the Exile; corresponding to part of September and October.
It was the first month of the civil year, and the seventh of the
sacred year (1 Kings 8:2).
the wife of Moses (Num. 12:1). It is supposed that Zipporah,
Moses' first wife (Ex. 2:21), was now dead. His marriage of this
"woman" descended from Ham gave offence to Aaron and Miriam.
fortunate, a disciple of Corinth who visited Paul at Ephesus,
and returned with Stephanas and Achaicus, the bearers of the
apostle's first letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 16:17).
boughs of, were to be carried in festive procession on the first
day of the feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:40). This was probably
the olive tree (Neh. 8:15), although no special tree is
a province in the north-west of Asia Minor. On his first voyage
to Europe (Acts 16:7, 8) Paul passed through this province and
embarked at its chief port Troas.
Three presidents are mentioned, of whom Daniel was the first
(Dan. 6:2-7). The name in the original is _sarkhin_, probably a
Persian word meaning perfects or ministers.
the first month of the civil year, and the seventh of the
ecclesiastical year. See ETHANIM ¯T0001261 (1 Kings 8:2). Called
in the Assyrian inscriptions Tasaritu, i.e. "beginning."
sons enjoyed certain special privileges (Deut. 21:17; Gen.
25:23, 31, 34; 49:3; 1 Chr. 5:1; Heb. 12:16; Ps. 89:27). (See
The "first-born of the poor" signifies the most miserable of
the poor (Isa. 14:30). The "church of the first-born" signifies
the church of the redeemed.
The destruction of the first-born was the last of the ten
plagues inflicted on the Egyptians (Ex. 11:1-8; 12:29, 30).
Menephtah is probably the Pharaoh whose first-born was slain.
His son did not succeed or survive his father, but died early.
The son's tomb has been found at Thebes unfinished, showing it
was needed earlier than was expected. Some of the records on the
tomb are as follows: "The son whom Menephtah loves; who draws
towards him his father's heart, the singer, the prince of
archers, who governed Egypt on behalf of his father. Dead."
Galatians, Epistle to
The genuineness of this epistle is not called in question. Its
Pauline origin is universally acknowledged.
Occasion of. The churches of Galatia were founded by Paul
himself (Acts 16:6; Gal. 1:8; 4:13, 19). They seem to have been
composed mainly of converts from heathenism (4:8), but partly
also of Jewish converts, who probably, under the influence of
Judaizing teachers, sought to incorporate the rites of Judaism
with Christianity, and by their active zeal had succeeded in
inducing the majority of the churches to adopt their views (1:6;
3:1). This epistle was written for the purpose of counteracting
this Judaizing tendency, and of recalling the Galatians to the
simplicity of the gospel, and at the same time also of
vindicating Paul's claim to be a divinely-commissioned apostle.
Time and place of writing. The epistle was probably written
very soon after Paul's second visit to Galatia (Acts 18:23). The
references of the epistle appear to agree with this conclusion.
The visit to Jerusalem, mentioned in Gal. 2:1-10, was identical
with that of Acts 15, and it is spoken of as a thing of the
past, and consequently the epistle was written subsequently to
the council of Jerusalem. The similarity between this epistle
and that to the Romans has led to the conclusion that they were
both written at the same time, namely, in the winter of A.D.
57-8, during Paul's stay in Corinth (Acts 20:2, 3). This to the
Galatians is written on the urgency of the occasion, tidings
having reached him of the state of matters; and that to the
Romans in a more deliberate and systematic way, in exposition of
the same great doctrines of the gospel.
Contents of. The great question discussed is, Was the Jewish
law binding on Christians? The epistle is designed to prove
against the Jews that men are justified by faith without the
works of the law of Moses. After an introductory address (Gal.
1:1-10) the apostle discusses the subjects which had occasioned
the epistle. (1) He defends his apostolic authority (1:11-19;
2:1-14); (2) shows the evil influence of the Judaizers in
destroying the very essence of the gospel (3 and 4); (3) exhorts
the Galatian believers to stand fast in the faith as it is in
Jesus, and to abound in the fruits of the Spirit, and in a right
use of their Christian freedom (5-6:1-10); (4) and then
concludes with a summary of the topics discussed, and with the
The Epistle to the Galatians and that to the Romans taken
together "form a complete proof that justification is not to be
obtained meritoriously either by works of morality or by rites
and ceremonies, though of divine appointment; but that it is a
free gift, proceeding entirely from the mercy of God, to those
who receive it by faith in Jesus our Lord."
In the conclusion of the epistle (6:11) Paul says, "Ye see how
large a letter I have written with mine own hand." It is implied
that this was different from his ordinary usage, which was
simply to write the concluding salutation with his own hand,
indicating that the rest of the epistle was written by another
hand. Regarding this conclusion, Lightfoot, in his Commentary on
the epistle, says: "At this point the apostle takes the pen from
his amanuensis, and the concluding paragraph is written with his
own hand. From the time when letters began to be forged in his
name (2 Thess. 2:2; 3:17) it seems to have been his practice to
close with a few words in his own handwriting, as a precaution
against such forgeries...In the present case he writes a whole
paragraph, summing up the main lessons of the epistle in terse,
eager, disjointed sentences. He writes it, too, in large, bold
characters (Gr. pelikois grammasin), that his hand-writing may
reflect the energy and determination of his soul." (See
Commandments, the Ten
(Ex. 34:28; Deut. 10:4, marg. "ten words") i.e., the Decalogue
(q.v.), is a summary of the immutable moral law. These
commandments were first given in their written form to the
people of Israel when they were encamped at Sinai, about fifty
days after they came out of Egypt (Ex. 19:10-25). They were
written by the finger of God on two tables of stone. The first
tables were broken by Moses when he brought them down from the
mount (32:19), being thrown by him on the ground. At the command
of God he took up into the mount two other tables, and God wrote
on them "the words that were on the first tables" (34:1). These
tables were afterwards placed in the ark of the covenant (Deut.
10:5; 1 Kings 8:9). Their subsequent history is unknown. They
are as a whole called "the covenant" (Deut. 4:13), and "the
tables of the covenant" (9:9, 11; Heb. 9:4), and "the
They are obviously "ten" in number, but their division is not
fixed, hence different methods of numbering them have been
adopted. The Jews make the "Preface" one of the commandments,
and then combine the first and second. The Roman Catholics and
Lutherans combine the first and second and divide the tenth into
two. The Jews and Josephus divide them equally. The Lutherans
and Roman Catholics refer three commandments to the first table
and seven to the second. The Greek and Reformed Churches refer
four to the first and six to the second table. The Samaritans
add to the second that Gerizim is the mount of worship. (See LAW
one of the three sons of Gomer (Gen. 10:3), and founder of one
of the tribes of the Japhetic race. They are mentioned in
connection with Minni and Ararat, and hence their original seat
must have been in Armenia (Jer. 51:27), probably near the Black
Sea, which, from their founder, was first called Axenus, and
afterwards the Euxine.
The bells first mentioned in Scripture are the small golden
bells attached to the hem of the high priest's ephod (Ex. 28:33,
34, 35). The "bells of the horses" mentioned by Zechariah
(14:20) were attached to the bridles or belts round the necks of
horses trained for war, so as to accustom them to noise and
a companion and fellow-labourer of Paul during his first
imprisonment at Rome (Philemon 1:24; Col. 4:14). It appears,
however, that the love of the world afterwards mastered him, and
he deserted the apostle (2 Tim. 4:10).
(Ex. 12:23), the agent employed in the killing of the
first-born; the destroying angel or messenger of God. (Comp. 2
Kings 19:35; 2 Sam. 24:15, 16; Ps. 78:49; Acts 12:23.)
tower of the flock, a tower between Bethlehem and Hebron, near
which Jacob first halted after leaving Bethlehem (Gen. 35:21).
In Micah 4:8 the word is rendered "tower of the flock" (marg.,
"Edar"), and is used as a designation of Bethlehem, which
figuratively represents the royal line of David as sprung from
properly so called, was not in use among the Hebrews; straw was
used instead. They cut the grass green as it was needed. The
word rendered "hay" in Prov. 27:25 means the first shoots of the
grass. In Isa. 15:6 the Revised Version has correctly "grass,"
where the Authorized Version has "hay."
one whose business it is to cultivate the ground. It was one of
the first occupations, and was esteemed most honourable (Gen.
9:20; 26:12, 14; 37:7, etc.). All the Hebrews, except those
engaged in religious services, were husbandmen. (See AGRICULTURE
firm. (1.) The fourth son of Simeon (Gen. 46:10), called also
Jarib (1 Chr. 4:24).
(2.) The head of one of the courses (the twenty-first) of
priests (1 Chr. 24:17).
(3.) One of the priests who returned from the Exile (1 Chr.
John, Second Epistle of
is addressed to "the elect lady," and closes with the words,
"The children of thy elect sister greet thee;" but some would
read instead of "lady" the proper name Kyria. Of the thirteen
verses composing this epistle seven are in the First Epistle.
The person addressed is commended for her piety, and is warned
against false teachers.
only once, in Rev. 1:10, was in the early Christian ages used to
denote the first day of the week, which commemorated the Lord's
resurrection. There is every reason to conclude that John thus
used the name. (See SABBATH ¯T0003170.)
(Heb. gez), rendered in Ps. 72:6 "mown grass." The expression
"king's mowings" (Amos 7:1) refers to some royal right of early
pasturage, the first crop of grass for the cavalry (comp. 1
new city, a town in Thrace at which Paul first landed in Europe
(Acts 16:11). It was the sea-port of the inland town of
Philippi, which was distant about 10 miles. From this port Paul
embarked on his last journey to Jerusalem (Acts 20:6). It is
identified with the modern Turco-Grecian Kavalla.
light, the father of Kish (1 Chr. 8:33). 1 Sam. 14:51 should be
read, "Kish, the father of Saul, and Ner, the father of Abner,
were the sons of Abiel." And hence this Kish and Ner were
brothers, and Saul and Abner were first cousins (comp. 1 Chr.
firm, a descendant of Cush, the son of Ham. He was the first who
claimed to be a "mighty one in the earth." Babel was the
beginning of his kingdom, which he gradually enlarged (Gen.
10:8-10). The "land of Nimrod" (Micah 5:6) is a designation of
Assyria or of Shinar, which is a part of it.
the capital of the island of Cyprus, and therefore the residence
of the Roman governor. It was visited by Paul and Barnabas on
their first missionary tour (Acts 13:6). It is new Paphos which
is here meant. It lay on the west coast of the island, about 8
miles north of old Paphos. Its modern name is Baffa.
first referred to in Gen. 45:6, where the Authorized Version has
"earing," but the Revised Version "ploughing;" next in Ex. 34:21
and Deut. 21:4. The plough was originally drawn by oxen, but
sometimes also by asses and by men. (See AGRICULTURE ¯T0000124.)
a city on the south-east coast of Cyprus (Acts 13:5), where Saul
and Barnabas, on their first missionary journey, preached the
word in one of the Jewish synagogues, of which there seem to
have been several in that place. It is now called Famagusta.
an island in the AEgean Sea, off the coast of Thracia, about 32
miles distant. This Thracian Samos was passed by Paul on his
voyage from Troas to Neapolis (Acts 16:11) on his first
missionary journey. It is about 8 miles long and 6 miles broad.
Its modern name is Samothraki.
(Heb. nahash; Gr. ophis), frequently noticed in Scripture. More
than forty species are found in Syria and Arabia. The poisonous
character of the serpent is alluded to in Jacob's blessing on
Dan (Gen. 49:17; see Prov. 30:18, 19; James 3:7; Jer. 8:17).
(See ADDER ¯T0000085.)
This word is used symbolically of a deadly, subtle, malicious
enemy (Luke 10:19).
The serpent is first mentioned in connection with the history
of the temptation and fall of our first parents (Gen. 3). It has
been well remarked regarding this temptation: "A real serpent
was the agent of the temptation, as is plain from what is said
of the natural characteristic of the serpent in the first verse
of the chapter (3:1), and from the curse pronounced upon the
animal itself. But that Satan was the actual tempter, and that
he used the serpent merely as his instrument, is evident (1)
from the nature of the transaction; for although the serpent may
be the most subtle of all the beasts of the field, yet he has
not the high intellectual faculties which the tempter here
displayed. (2.) In the New Testament it is both directly
asserted and in various forms assumed that Satan seduced our
first parents into sin (John 8:44; Rom. 16:20; 2 Cor. 11:3, 14;
Rev. 12:9; 20:2)." Hodge's System. Theol., ii. 127.
(John 10:23; Acts 3:11; 5:12), a colonnade, or cloister
probably, on the eastern side of the temple. It is not mentioned
in connection with the first temple, but Josephus mentions a
porch, so called, in Herod's temple (q.v.).
Paul expresses his intention (Rom. 15:24, 28) to visit Spain.
There is, however, no evidence that he ever carried it into
effect, although some think that he probably did so between his
first and second imprisonment. (See TARSHISH ¯T0003588.)
(not mentioned in Scripture) was the most famous of the monarchs
of the first Assyrian empire (about B.C. 1110). After his death,
for two hundred years the empire fell into decay. The history of
David and Solomon falls within this period. He was succeeded by
his son, Shalmaneser II.
Heb. pitdah (Ezek. 28:13; Rev. 21:20), a golden yellow or
"green" stone brought from Cush or Ethiopia (Job 28:19). It was
the second stone in the first row in the breastplate of the high
priest, and had the name of Simeon inscribed on it (Ex. 28:17).
It is probably the chrysolite of the moderns.
the cognomen of the first Roman emperor, C. Julius Caesar
Octavianus, during whose reign Christ was born (Luke 2:1). His
decree that "all the world should be taxed" was the divinely
ordered occasion of Jesus' being born, according to prophecy
(Micah 5:2), in Bethlehem. This name being simply a title
meaning "majesty" or "venerable," first given to him by the
senate (B.C. 27), was borne by succeeding emperors. Before his
death (A.D. 14) he associated Tiberius with him in the empire
(Luke 3:1), by whom he was succeeded.
the Grecized form of Quirinus. His full name was Publius
Sulpicius Quirinus. Recent historical investigation has proved
that Quirinus was governor of Cilicia, which was annexed to
Syria at the time of our Lord's birth. Cilicia, which he ruled,
being a province of Syria, he is called the governor, which he
was de jure, of Syria. Some ten years afterwards he was
appointed governor of Syria for the second time. During his
tenure of office, at the time of our Lord's birth (Luke 2:2), a
"taxing" (R.V., "enrolment;" i.e., a registration) of the people
was "first made;" i.e., was made for the first time under his
government. (See TAXING ¯T0003595.)
In its primary sense, as denoting the first principles or
constituents of things, it is used in 2 Pet. 3:10: "The elements
shall be dissolved." In a secondary sense it denotes the first
principles of any art or science. In this sense it is used in
Gal. 4:3, 9; Col. 2:8, 20, where the expressions, "elements of
the world," "week and beggarly elements," denote that state of
religious knowledge existing among the Jews before the coming of
Christ, the rudiments of religious teaching. They are "of the
world," because they are made up of types which appeal to the
senses. They are "weak," because insufficient; and "beggarly,"
or "poor," because they are dry and barren, not being
accompanied by an outpouring of spiritual gifts and graces, as
the gospel is.
the capital of ancient Lycaonia. It was first visited by Paul
and Barnabas from Antioch-in-Pisidia during the apostle's first
missionary journey (Acts 13:50, 51). Here they were persecuted
by the Jews, and being driven from the city, they fled to
Lystra. They afterwards returned to Iconium, and encouraged the
church which had been founded there (14:21,22). It was probably
again visited by Paul during his third missionary journey along
with Silas (18:23). It is the modern Konieh, at the foot of
Mount Taurus, about 120 miles inland from the Mediterranean.
one of the first material used for making woven cloth (Lev.
13:47, 48, 52, 59; 19:19). The first-fruit of wool was to be
offered to the priests (Deut. 18:4). The law prohibiting the
wearing of a garment "of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen
together" (Deut. 22:11) may, like some other laws of a similar
character, have been intended to express symbolically the
separateness and simplicity of God's covenant people. The wool
of Damascus, famous for its whiteness, was of great repute in
the Tyrian market (Ezek. 27:18).
Thessalonians, Epistles to the
The first epistle to the Thessalonians was the first of all
Paul's epistles. It was in all probability written from Corinth,
where he abode a "long time" (Acts 18:11, 18), early in the
period of his residence there, about the end of A.D. 52.
The occasion of its being written was the return of Timotheus
from Macedonia, bearing tidings from Thessalonica regarding the
state of the church there (Acts 18:1-5; 1 Thess. 3:6). While, on
the whole, the report of Timothy was encouraging, it also showed
that divers errors and misunderstandings regarding the tenor of
Paul's teaching had crept in amongst them. He addresses them in
this letter with the view of correcting these errors, and
especially for the purpose of exhorting them to purity of life,
reminding them that their sanctification was the great end
desired by God regarding them.
The subscription erroneously states that this epistle was
written from Athens.
The second epistle to the Thessalonians was probably also
written from Corinth, and not many months after the first.
The occasion of the writing of this epistle was the arrival of
tidings that the tenor of the first epistle had been
misunderstood, especially with reference to the second advent of
Christ. The Thessalonians had embraced the idea that Paul had
taught that "the day of Christ was at hand", that Christ's
coming was just about to happen. This error is corrected
(2:1-12), and the apostle prophetically announces what first
must take place. "The apostasy" was first to arise. Various
explanations of this expression have been given, but that which
is most satisfactory refers it to the Church of Rome.
Samuel, Books of
The LXX. translators regarded the books of Samuel and of Kings
as forming one continuous history, which they divided into four
books, which they called "Books of the Kingdom." The Vulgate
version followed this division, but styled them "Books of the
Kings." These books of Samuel they accordingly called the
"First" and "Second" Books of Kings, and not, as in the modern
Protestant versions, the "First" and "Second" Books of Samuel.
The authors of the books of Samuel were probably Samuel, Gad,
and Nathan. Samuel penned the first twenty-four chapters of the
first book. Gad, the companion of David (1 Sam. 22:5), continued
the history thus commenced; and Nathan completed it, probably
arranging the whole in the form in which we now have it (1 Chr.
The contents of the books. The first book comprises a period
of about a hundred years, and nearly coincides with the life of
Samuel. It contains (1) the history of Eli (1-4); (2) the
history of Samuel (5-12); (3) the history of Saul, and of David
in exile (13-31). The second book, comprising a period of
perhaps fifty years, contains a history of the reign of David
(1) over Judah (1-4), and (2) over all Israel (5-24), mainly in
its political aspects. The last four chapters of Second Samuel
may be regarded as a sort of appendix recording various events,
but not chronologically. These books do not contain complete
histories. Frequent gaps are met with in the record, because
their object is to present a history of the kingdom of God in
its gradual development, and not of the events of the reigns of
the successive rulers. It is noticeable that the section (2 Sam.
11:2-12: 29) containing an account of David's sin in the matter
of Bathsheba is omitted in the corresponding passage in 1 Chr.
an entertainer (Rom. 16:23); a tavern-keeper, the keeper of a
caravansary (Luke 10:35).
In warfare, a troop or military force. This consisted at first
only of infantry. Solomon afterwards added cavalry (1 Kings
4:26; 10:26). Every male Israelite from twenty to fifty years of
age was bound by the law to bear arms when necessary (Num. 1:3;
26:2; 2 Chr. 25:5).
Saul was the first to form a standing army (1 Sam. 13:2;
24:2). This example was followed by David (1 Chr. 27:1), and
Solomon (1 Kings 4:26), and by the kings of Israel and Judah (2
Chr. 17:14; 26:11; 2 Kings 11:4, etc.).
in New Testament times, was a Roman province lying north of
Greece. It was governed by a propraetor with the title of
proconsul. Paul was summoned by the vision of the "man of
Macedonia" to preach the gospel there (Acts 16:9). Frequent
allusion is made to this event (18:5; 19:21; Rom. 15:26; 2 Cor.
1:16; 11:9; Phil. 4:15). The history of Paul's first journey
through Macedonia is given in detail in Acts 16:10-17:15. At the
close of this journey he returned from Corinth to Syria. He
again passed through this country (20:1-6), although the details
of the route are not given. After many years he probably visited
it for a third time (Phil. 2:24; 1 Tim. 1:3). The first convert
made by Paul in Europe was (Acts 16:13-15) Lydia (q.v.), a
"seller of purple," residing in Philippi, the chief city of the
eastern division of Macedonia.
Heb. 'orebh, from a root meaning "to be black" (comp. Cant.
5:11); first mentioned as "sent forth" by Noah from the ark
(Gen. 8:7). "Every raven after his kind" was forbidden as food
(Lev. 11:15; Deut. 14:14). Ravens feed mostly on carrion, and
hence their food is procured with difficulty (Job 38:41; Ps.
147:9). When they attack kids or lambs or weak animals, it is
said that they first pick out the eyes of their victims (Prov.
30:17). When Elijah was concealed by the brook Cherith, God
commanded the ravens to bring him "bread and flesh in the
morning, and bread and flesh in the evening" (1 Kings 17:3-6).
(See ELIJAH ¯T0001167.)
There are eight species of ravens in Israel, and they are
everywhere very numerous in that land.
a name; renown, the first mentioned of the sons of Noah (Gen.
5:32; 6:10). He was probably the eldest of Noah's sons. The
words "brother of Japheth the elder" in Gen. 10:21 are more
correctly rendered "the elder brother of Japheth," as in the
Revised Version. Shem's name is generally mentioned first in the
list of Noah's sons. He and his wife were saved in the ark
(7:13). Noah foretold his preeminence over Canaan (9:23-27). He
died at the age of six hundred years, having been for many years
contemporary with Abraham, according to the usual chronology.
The Israelitish nation sprang from him (Gen. 11:10-26; 1 Chr.
one of the seven deacons, who became a preacher of the gospel.
He was the first Christian martyr. His personal character and
history are recorded in Acts 6. "He fell asleep" with a prayer
for his persecutors on his lips (7:60). Devout men carried him
to his grave (8:2).
It was at the feet of the young Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, that
those who stoned him laid their clothes (comp. Deut. 17:5-7)
before they began their cruel work. The scene which Saul then
witnessed and the words he heard appear to have made a deep and
lasting impression on his mind (Acts 22:19, 20).
The speech of Stephen before the Jewish ruler is the first
apology for the universalism of the gospel as a message to the
Gentiles as well as the Jews. It is the longest speech contained
in the Acts, a place of prominence being given to it as a
Timothy, First Epistle to
Paul in this epistle speaks of himself as having left Ephesus
for Macedonia (1:3), and hence not Laodicea, as mentioned in the
subscription; but probably Philippi, or some other city in that
region, was the place where this epistle was written. During the
interval between his first and second imprisonments he probably
visited the scenes of his former labours in Greece and Asia, and
then found his way into Macedonia, whence he wrote this letter
to Timothy, whom he had left behind in Ephesus.
It was probably written about A.D. 66 or 67.
The epistle consists mainly, (1) of counsels to Timothy
regarding the worship and organization of the Church, and the
responsibilities resting on its several members; and (2) of
exhortation to faithfulness in maintaining the truth amid
a word not found in Scripture, but used to express the doctrine
of the unity of God as subsisting in three distinct Persons.
This word is derived from the Gr. trias, first used by
Theophilus (A.D. 168-183), or from the Lat. trinitas, first used
by Tertullian (A.D. 220), to express this doctrine. The
propositions involved in the doctrine are these: 1. That God is
one, and that there is but one God (Deut. 6:4; 1 Kings 8:60;
Isa. 44:6; Mark 12:29, 32; John 10:30). 2. That the Father is a
distinct divine Person (hypostasis, subsistentia, persona,
suppositum intellectuale), distinct from the Son and the Holy
Spirit. 3. That Jesus Christ was truly God, and yet was a Person
distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. 4. That the Holy
Spirit is also a distinct divine Person.
the seed of Babylon, the son of Salathiel or Shealtiel (Hag.
1:1; Zorobabel, Matt. 1:12); called also the son of Pedaiah (1
Chr. 3:17-19), i.e., according to a frequent usage of the word
"son;" the grandson or the nephew of Salathiel. He is also known
by the Persian name of Sheshbazzar (Ezra 1:8, 11). In the first
year of Cyrus, king of Persia, he led the first band of Jews,
numbering 42,360 (Ezra 2:64), exclusive of a large number of
servants, who returned from captivity at the close of the
seventy years. In the second year after the Return, he erected
an altar and laid the foundation of the temple on the ruins of
that which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (3:8-13; ch.
4-6). All through the work he occupied a prominent place,
inasmuch as he was a descendant of the royal line of David.
an ear of corn, the month of newly-ripened grain (Ex. 13:4;
23:15); the first of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, and the
seventh of the civil year. It began about the time of the vernal
equinox, on 21st March. It was called Nisan, after the Captivity
(Neh. 2:1). On the fifteenth day of the month, harvest was begun
by gathering a sheaf of barley, which was offered unto the Lord
on the sixteenth (Lev. 23:4-11).
large, the sixth month of the civil and the twelfth of the
ecclesiastical year of the Jews (Esther 3:7, 13; 8:12; 9:1, 15,
17, 19, 21). It included the days extending from the new moon of
our March to the new moon of April. The name was first used
after the Captivity. When the season was backward, and the lambs
not yet of a paschal size, or the barley not forward enough for
abib, then a month called Veadar, i.e., a second Adar, was
the red ones, a place apparently on the road between Jericho and
Jerusalem, "on the south side of the torrent" Wady Kelt, looking
toward Gilgal, mentioned Josh. 15:7; 18:17. It was nearly
half-way between Jerusalem and Jericho, and now bears the name
of Tal-at-ed-Dumm. It is supposed to have been the place
referred to in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke
10:30-37). Recently a new carriage-road has been completed, and
carriages for the first time have come along this road from
brother of pleasantness = pleasant. (1.) The daughter of
Ahimaaz, and wife of Saul (1 Sam. 14:50).
(2.) A Jezreelitess, the first wife of David (1 Sam. 25:43;
27:3). She was the mother of Amnon (2 Sam. 3:2). (See 1 Sam.
30:5, 18; 2 Sam. 2:2.)
found in the Authorized Version in Gen. 3:7, of the bands of
fig-leaves made by our first parents. In Acts 19:12, it denotes
the belt or half-girdle worn by artisans and servants round the
waist for the purpose of preserving the clothing from injury. In
marg. of Authorized Version, Ruth 3:15, correctly rendered
instead of "vail." (R.V., "mantle.")
the place in which armour was deposited when not used (Neh.
3:19; Jer. 50:25). At first each man of the Hebrews had his own
arms, because all went to war. There were no arsenals or
magazines for arms till the time of David, who had a large
collection of arms, which he consecrated to the Lord in his
tabernacle (1 Sa,. 21:9; 2 Sam. 8:7-12; 1 Chr. 26:26, 27).
first-born; a youth, the second son of Benjamin (Gen. 46:21),
who came down to Egypt with Jacob. It is probable that he
married an Ephraimitish heiress, and that his descendants were
consequently reckoned among the tribe of Ephraim (Num. 26:35; 1
Chr. 7:20, 21). They are not reckoned among the descendants of
Benjamin (Num. 26:38).
First mentioned in Deut. 1:44. Swarms of bees, and the danger of
their attacks, are mentioned in Ps. 118:12. Samson found a
"swarm of bees" in the carcass of a lion he had slain (Judg.
14:8). Wild bees are described as laying up honey in woods and
in clefts of rocks (Deut. 32:13; Ps. 81:16). In Isa. 7:18 the
"fly" and the "bee" are personifications of the Egyptians and
Assyrians, the inveterate enemies of Israel.
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).
bearer of victory, the eldest daughter of Agrippa I., the Herod
Agrippa of Acts 12:20. After the early death of her first
husband she was married to her uncle Herod, king of Chalcis.
After his death (A.D. 40) she lived in incestuous connection
with her brother Agrippa II. (Acts 25:13, 23; 26:30). They
joined the Romans at the outbreak of the final war between them
and the Jews, and lived afterwards at Rome.
alacrity. (1.) The husband of Ruth, a wealthy Bethlehemite. By
the "levirate law" the duty devolved on him of marrying Ruth the
Moabitess (Ruth 4:1-13). He was a kinsman of Mahlon, her first
(2.) The name given (for what reason is unknown) to one of the
two (the other was called Jachin) brazen pillars which Solomon
erected in the court of the temple (1 Kings 7:21; 2 Chr. 3:17).
These pillars were broken up and carried to Babylon by
Mentioned only in Rev. 21:19, as one of the precious stones in
the foundation of the New Jerusalem. The name of this stone is
derived from Chalcedon, where it is said to have been first
discovered. In modern mineralogy this is the name of an
agate-like quartz of a bluish colour. Pliny so names the Indian
ruby. The mineral intended in Revelation is probably the Hebrew
_nophekh_, translated "emerald" (Ex. 28:18; 39:11; Ezek. 27:16;
28:13). It is rendered "anthrax" in the LXX., and "carbunculus"
in the Vulgate. (See CARBUNCLE ¯T0000721.)