Mount of corruption
(2 Kings 23:13; Vulg., "mount of offence"), the name given to a
part of the Mount of Olives, so called because idol temples were
there erected in the time of Solomon, temples to the Zidonian
Ashtoreth and to the "abominations" of Moab and Ammon.
the valley, now quite narrow, between the Mount of Olives and
Mount Moriah. The upper part of it is called the Valley of
Jehoshaphat. The LXX., in 1 Kings 15:13, translate "of the
cedar." The word means "black," and may refer to the colour of
the water or the gloom of the ravine, or the black green of the
cedars which grew there. John 18:1, "Cedron," only here in New
Testament. (See KIDRON ¯T0002187.)
house of the unripe fig, a village on the Mount of Olives, on
the road from Jerusalem to Jericho (Matt. 21:1; Mark 11:1; Luke
19:29), and very close to Bethany. It was the limit of a
Sabbath-day's journey from Jerusalem, i.e., 2,000 cubits. It has
been identified with the modern Kefr-et-Tur.
fountain of the sun a spring which formed one of the landmarks
on the boundary between Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:7; 18:17).
It was between the "ascent of Adummim" and the spring of
En-rogel, and hence was on the east of Jerusalem and of the
Mount of Olives. It is the modern 'Ain-Haud i.e., the "well of
the apostles" about a mile east of Bethany, the only spring on
the road to Jericho. The sun shines on it the whole day long.
(Isa. 41:19; Neh. 8:15; Zech. 1:8), Hebrew hadas, known in the
East by the name _as_, the Myrtus communis of the botanist.
"Although no myrtles are now found on the mount (of Olives),
excepting in the gardens, yet they still exist in many of the
glens about Jerusalem, where we have often seen its dark shining
leaves and white flowers. There are many near Bethlehem and
about Hebron, especially near Dewir Dan, the ancient Debir. It
also sheds its fragrance on the sides of Carmel and of Tabor,
and fringes the clefts of the Leontes in its course through
Galilee. We meet with it all through Central Israel"
house of dates. (1.) The Revised Version in John 1:28 has this
word instead of Bethabara, on the authority of the oldest
manuscripts. It appears to have been the name of a place on the
east of Jordan.
(2.) A village on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of
Olives (Mark 11:1), about 2 miles east of Jerusalem, on the road
to Jericho. It derived its name from the number of palm-trees
which grew there. It was the residence of Lazarus and his
sisters. It is frequently mentioned in connection with memorable
incidents in the life of our Lord (Matt. 21:17; 26:6; Mark
11:11, 12; 14:3; Luke 24:50; John 11:1; 12:1). It is now known
by the name of el-Azariyeh, i.e., "place of Lazarus," or simply
Lazariyeh. Seen from a distance, the village has been described
as "remarkably beautiful, the perfection of retirement and
repose, of seclusion and lovely peace." Now a mean village,
containing about twenty families.
Jehoshaphat, Valley of
mentioned in Scripture only in Joel 3:2, 12. This is the name
given in modern times to the valley between Jerusalem and the
Mount of Olives, and the Kidron flows through it. Here
Jehoshaphat overthrew the confederated enemies of Israel (Ps.
83:6-8); and in this valley also God was to overthrow the
Tyrians, Zidonians, etc. (Joel 3:4, 19), with an utter
overthrow. This has been fulfilled; but Joel speaks of the final
conflict, when God would destroy all Jerusalem's enemies, of
whom Tyre and Zidon, etc., were types. The "valley of
Jehoshaphat" may therefore be simply regarded as a general term
for the theatre of God's final judgments on the enemies of
This valley has from ancient times been used by the Jews as a
burial-ground. It is all over paved with flat stones as
tombstones, bearing on them Hebrew inscriptions.
king, the name of the national god of the Ammonites, to whom
children were sacrificed by fire. He was the consuming and
destroying and also at the same time the purifying fire. In Amos
5:26, "your Moloch" of the Authorized Version is "your king" in
the Revised Version (comp. Acts 7:43). Solomon (1 Kings 11:7)
erected a high place for this idol on the Mount of Olives, and
from that time till the days of Josiah his worship continued (2
Kings 23:10, 13). In the days of Jehoahaz it was partially
restored, but after the Captivity wholly disappeared. He is also
called Molech (Lev. 18:21; 20:2-5, etc.), Milcom (1 Kings 11:5,
33, etc.), and Malcham (Zeph. 1:5). This god became Chemosh
among the Moabites.
(Heb. tsebi), properly the gazelle (Arab. ghazal), permitted for
food (Deut. 14:5; comp. Deut. 12:15, 22; 15:22; 1 Kings 4:23),
noted for its swiftness and beauty and grace of form (2 Sam.
2:18; 1 Chr. 12:8; Cant. 2:9; 7:3; 8:14).
The gazelle (Gazella dorcas) is found in great numbers in
Israel. "Among the gray hills of Galilee it is still 'the roe
upon the mountains of Bether,' and I have seen a little troop of
gazelles feeding on the Mount of Olives close to Jerusalem
The Hebrew word ('ayyalah) in Prov. 5: 19 thus rendered (R.V.,
"doe"), is properly the "wild she-goat," the mountain goat, the
ibex. (See 1 Sam. 24:2; Ps. 104:18; Job 39:1.)
Siloam, Tower of
mentioned only Luke 13:4. The place here spoken of is the
village now called Silwan, or Kefr Silwan, on the east of the
valley of Kidron, and to the north-east of the pool. It stands
on the west slope of the Mount of Olives.
As illustrative of the movement of small bands of Canaanites
from place to place, and the intermingling of Canaanites and
Israelites even in small towns in earlier times, M.C. Ganneau
records the following curious fact: "Among the inhabitants of
the village (of Siloam) there are a hundred or so domiciled for
the most part in the lower quarter, and forming a group apart
from the rest, called Dhiabrye, i.e., men of Dhiban. It appears
that at some remote period a colony from the capital of king
Mesha (Dibon-Moab) crossed the Jordan and fixed itself at the
gates of Jerusalem at Silwan. The memory of this migration is
still preserved; and I am assured by the people themselves that
many of their number are installed in other villages round
Jerusalem" (quoted by Henderson, Israel).
Olves, Mount of
so called from the olive trees with which its sides are clothed,
is a mountain ridge on the east of Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:7;
Ezek. 11:23; Zech. 14:4), from which it is separated by the
valley of Kidron. It is first mentioned in connection with
David's flight from Jerusalem through the rebellion of Absalom
(2 Sam. 15:30), and is only once again mentioned in the Old
Testament, in Zech. 14:4. It is, however, frequently alluded to
(1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13; Neh. 8:15; Ezek. 11:23).
It is frequently mentioned in the New Testament (Matt. 21:1;
26:30, etc.). It now bears the name of Jebel et-Tur, i.e.,
"Mount of the Summit;" also sometimes called Jebel ez-Zeitun,
i.e., "Mount of Olives." It is about 200 feet above the level of
the city. The road from Jerusalem to Bethany runs as of old over
this mount. It was on this mount that Jesus stood when he wept
over Jerusalem. "No name in Scripture," says Dr. Porter, "calls
up associations at once so sacred and so pleasing as that of
Olivet. The 'mount' is so intimately connected with the private,
the devotional life of the Saviour, that we read of it and look
at it with feelings of deepest interest and affection. Here he
often sat with his disciples, telling them of wondrous events
yet to come, of the destruction of the Holy City; of the
sufferings, the persecution, and the final triumph of his
followers (Matt. 24). Here he gave them the beautiful parables
of the ten virgins and the five talents (25); here he was wont
to retire on each evening for meditation, and prayer, and rest
of body, when weary and harassed by the labours and trials of
the day (Luke 21:37); and here he came on the night of his
betrayal to utter that wonderful prayer, 'O my Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will,
but as thou wilt' (Matt. 26:39). And when the cup of God's wrath
had been drunk, and death and the grave conquered, he led his
disciples out again over Olivet as far as to Bethany, and after
a parting blessing ascended to heaven (Luke 24:50, 51; Acts
This mount, or rather mountain range, has four summits or
peaks: (1) the "Galilee" peak, so called from a tradition that
the angels stood here when they spoke to the disciples (Acts
1:11); (2) the "Mount of Ascension," the supposed site of that
event, which was, however, somewhere probably nearer Bethany
(Luke 24:51, 52); (3) the "Prophets," from the catacombs on its
side, called "the prophets' tombs;" and (4) the "Mount of
Corruption," so called because of the "high places" erected
there by Solomon for the idolatrous worship of his foreign wives
(1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13; Vulg., "Mount of Offence").
oil-press, the name of an olive-yard at the foot of the Mount of
Olives, to which Jesus was wont to retire (Luke 22:39) with his
disciples, and which is specially memorable as being the scene
of his agony (Mark 14:32; John 18:1; Luke 22:44). The plot of
ground pointed out as Gethsemane is now surrounded by a wall,
and is laid out as a modern European flower-garden. It contains
eight venerable olive-trees, the age of which cannot, however,
be determined. The exact site of Gethsemane is still in
question. Dr. Thomson (The Land and the Book) says: "When I
first came to Jerusalem, and for many years afterward, this plot
of ground was open to all whenever they chose to come and
meditate beneath its very old olivetrees. The Latins, however,
have within the last few years succeeded in gaining sole
possession, and have built a high wall around it...The Greeks
have invented another site a little to the north of it...My own
impression is that both are wrong. The position is too near the
city, and so close to what must have always been the great
thoroughfare eastward, that our Lord would scarcely have
selected it for retirement on that dangerous and dismal
night...I am inclined to place the garden in the secluded vale
several hundred yards to the north-east of the present
(Ex. 27:20; 29:40), obtained by pounding olives in a mortar, not
by crushing them in a mill. It was reckoned the best. (See OLIVE
= Kedron = Cedron, turbid, the winter torrent which flows
through the Valley of Jehoshaphat, on the eastern side of
Jerusalem, between the city and the Mount of Olives. This valley
is known in Scripture only by the name "the brook Kidron." David
crossed this brook bare-foot and weeping, when fleeing from
Absalom (2 Sam. 15:23, 30), and it was frequently crossed by our
Lord in his journeyings to and fro (John 18:1). Here Asa burned
the obscene idols of his mother (1 Kings 15:13), and here
Athaliah was executed (2 Kings 11:16). It afterwards became the
receptacle for all manner of impurities (2 Chr. 29:16; 30:14);
and in the time of Josiah this valley was the common cemetery of
the city (2 Kings 23:6; comp. Jer. 26:23).
Through this mountain ravine no water runs, except after heavy
rains in the mountains round about Jerusalem. Its length from
its head to en-Rogel is 2 3/4 miles. Its precipitous, rocky
banks are filled with ancient tombs, especially the left bank
opposite the temple area. The greatest desire of the Jews is to
be buried there, from the idea that the Kidron is the "valley of
Jehoshaphat" mentioned in Joel 3:2.
Below en-Rogel the Kidron has no historical or sacred
interest. It runs in a winding course through the wilderness of
Judea to the north-western shore of the Dead Sea. Its whole
length, in a straight line, is only some 20 miles, but in this
space its descent is about 3,912 feet. (See KEDRON ¯T0002166.)
Recent excavations have brought to light the fact that the old
bed of the Kidron is about 40 feet lower than its present bed,
and about 70 feet nearer the sanctuary wall.
Mount of beatitudes
See SERMON ¯T0003286.
the fruit of the olive-tree. This tree yielded oil which was
highly valued. The best oil was from olives that were plucked
before being fully ripe, and then beaten or squeezed (Deut.
24:20; Isa. 17:6; 24:13). It was called "beaten," or "fresh oil"
(Ex. 27:20). There were also oil-presses, in which the oil was
trodden out by the feet (Micah 6:15). James (3:12) calls the
fruit "olive berries." The phrase "vineyards and olives" (Judg.
15:5, A.V.) should be simply "olive-yard," or "olive-garden," as
in the Revised Version. (See OIL ¯T0002774.)
the mountainous district of Naphtali (Josh. 20:7).
mount of breaches, only in Isa. 28:21. It is the same as
BAAL-PERAZIM (q.v.), where David gained a victory over the
Philistines (2 Sam. 5:20).
linen-worker, one of David's heroes, a native of the valley of
Mount Gaash (1 Chr. 11:32).
citizen, chief of an Edomite tribe in Mount Seir (Gen. 36:43).
a peg, or a prince, one of the Edomitish kings of Mount Seir
Mount of the Amalekites
a place near Pirathon (q.v.), in the tribe of Ephraim (Judg.
=Senir, (Deut. 3:9; Cant. 4:8), the name given to Mount Hermon
(q.v.) by the Sidonians.
lord of Hermon. (1.) A city near Mount Hermon inhabited by the
Ephraimites (1 Chr. 5:23). Probably identical with Baal-gad
(2.) A mountain east of Lebanon (Judg. 3:3). Probably it may
be the same as Mount Hermon, or one of its three peaks.
Jehovah will see; i.e., will provide, the name given by Abraham
to the scene of his offering up the ram which was caught in the
thicket on Mount Moriah. The expression used in Gen. 22:14, "in
the mount of the Lord it shall be seen," has been regarded as
equivalent to the saying, "Man's extremity is God's
a bond, one of the stations of the Israelites in the wilderness
(Deut. 10:6), at the foot of Mount Hor. (Comp. Num. 33:37, 38).
It has been identified with el-Tayibeh, a small fountain at the
bottom of the pass leading to the ascent of Mount Hor.
Mount of the valley
(Josh. 13:19), a district in the east of Jordan, in the
territory of Reuben. The "valley" here was probably the Ghor or
valley of the Jordan, and hence the "mount" would be the hilly
region in the north end of the Dead Sea. (See ZARETH-SHAHAR
Congregation, mount of the
(Isa. 14:13), has been supposed to refer to the place where God
promised to meet with his people (Ex. 25:22; 29:42, 43) i.e.,
the mount of the Divine presence, Mount Zion. But here the king
of Babylon must be taken as expressing himself according to his
own heathen notions, and not according to those of the Jews. The
"mount of the congregation" will therefore in this case mean the
northern mountain, supposed by the Babylonians to be the
meeting-place of their gods. In the Babylonian inscriptions
mention is made of a mountain which is described as "the mighty
mountain of Bel, whose head rivals heaven, whose root is the
holy deep." This mountain was regarded in their mythology as the
place where the gods had their seat.
fatness, the thirtieth halting-place of the Israelites during
their wanderings in the wilderness, not far from Mount Hor (Num.
Mount of the Amorites
the range of hills which rises abruptly in the wilderness of
et-Tih ("the wandering"), mentioned Deut. 1:19, 20, "that great
and terrible wilderness."
David, City of
(1.) David took from the Jebusites the fortress of Mount Zion.
He "dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David" (1 Chr.
11:7). This was the name afterwards given to the castle and
royal palace on Mount Zion, as distinguished from Jerusalem
generally (1 Kings 3:1; 8:1), It was on the south-west side of
Jerusalem, opposite the temple mount, with which it was
connected by a bridge over the Tyropoeon valley.
(2) Bethlehem is called the "city of David" (Luke 2:4, 11),
because it was David's birth-place and early home (1 Sam.
strength; confidence, a place on the border of Judah, on the
side of Mount Jearim (Josh. 15:10); probably identified with the
modern village of Kesla, on the western mountains of Judah.
sun. (1.) "Mount Heres" (Judg. 1:35), Heb. Har-heres, i.e.,
"sun-mountain;" probably identical with Irshemesh in Josh.
(2.) Isa. 19:18, marg. (See ON ¯T0002786.)
cavern, a town on the boundary of Naphtali (Josh. 19:33). It has
with probability, been identified with Seiyadeh, nearly 2 miles
east of Bessum, a ruin half way between Tiberias and Mount
probably the hilly region or upland wilderness on the north of
the desert of Paran forming the southern boundary of the
Promised Land (Deut. 33:2; Hab. 3:3).
the metropolis of Lydia in Asia Minor. It stood on the river
Pactolus, at the foot of mount Tmolus. Here was one of the seven
Asiatic churches (Rev. 3:1-6). It is now a ruin called
portion of the sun, where Joshua was buried (Judg. 2:9). It was
"in the mount of Ephraim, in the north side of the hill Gaash,"
10 miles south-west of Shechem. The same as the following.
Mount of the congregation
only in Isa. 14:13, a mythic mountain of the Babylonians,
regarded by them as the seat of the gods. It was situated in the
far north, and in Babylonian inscriptions is described as a
mountain called Im-Kharasak, "the mighty mountain of Bel, whose
head reaches heaven, whose root is the holy deep." In their
geography they are said to have identified it with mount
El-wend, near Ecbatana.
Sermon on the mount
After spending a night in solemn meditation and prayer in the
lonely mountain-range to the west of the Lake of Galilee (Luke
6:12), on the following morning our Lord called to him his
disciples, and from among them chose twelve, who were to be
henceforth trained to be his apostles (Mark 3:14, 15). After
this solemn consecration of the twelve, he descended from the
mountain-peak to a more level spot (Luke 6:17), and there he sat
down and delivered the "sermon on the mount" (Matt. 5-7; Luke
6:20-49) to the assembled multitude. The mountain here spoken of
was probably that known by the name of the "Horns of Hattin"
(Kurun Hattin), a ridge running east and west, not far from
Capernaum. It was afterwards called the "Mount of Beatitudes."
of our Lord on a "high mountain apart," is described by each of
the three evangelists (Matt. 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36).
The fullest account is given by Luke, who, no doubt, was
informed by Peter, who was present on the occasion. What these
evangelists record was an absolute historical reality, and not a
mere vision. The concurrence between them in all the
circumstances of the incident is exact. John seems to allude to
it also (John 1:14). Forty years after the event Peter
distinctly makes mention of it (2 Pet. 1:16-18). In describing
the sanctification of believers, Paul also seems to allude to
this majestic and glorious appearance of our Lord on the "holy
mount" (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 3:18).
The place of the transfiguration was probably Mount Hermon
(q.v.), and not Mount Tabor, as is commonly supposed.
springs, a place near Salim where John baptized (John 3:23). It
was probably near the upper source of the Wady Far'ah, an open
valley extending from Mount Ebal to the Jordan. It is full of
springs. A place has been found called 'Ainun, four miles north
of the springs.
Baal having rents, bursts, or destructions, the scene of a
victory gained by David over the Philistines (2 Sam. 5:20; 1
Chr. 14:11). Called Mount Perazim (Isa. 28:21). It was near the
valley of Rephaim, west of Jerusalem. Identified with the modern
fertile places; the loins, a town of Issachar, on the slopes of
some mountain between Jezreel and Shunem (Josh. 19:18). It has
been identified with Chisloth-tabor, 2 1/2 miles to the west of
Mount Tabor, and north of Jezreel; now Iksal.
pasture, a Levitical town of Issachar (Josh. 19:12; 21:28), near
the border of Zebulum. It is the modern small village of
Deburich, at the base of Mount Tabor. Tradition has incorrectly
made it the scene of the miracle of the cure of the lunatic
child (Matt. 17:14).
possession, a city of Gilead. It was captured by Nobah, who
called it by his own name (Num. 32:42). It has been identified
with Kunawat, on the slopes of Jebel Hauran (Mount Bashan), 60
miles east from the south end of the Sea of Galilee.
(= Meshech 1 Chr. 1:17), one of the four sons of Aram, and the
name of a tribe descended from him (Gen. 10:23) inhabiting some
part probably of Mesopotamia. Some have supposed that they were
the inhabitants of Mount Masius, the present Karja Baghlar,
which forms part of the chain of Taurus.
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.)
a sharp thorn. (1.) One of the sons of Michah (1 Chr. 24:24).
(2.) A town among the mountains of Judah (Josh. 15:48);
probably Somerah, 2 1/2 miles north-west of Debir.
(3.) The residence of Tola, one of the judges, on Mount
Ephraim (Judg. 10:1, 2).
elevated. (1.) Denotes Mount Hermon in Deut. 4:48; called Sirion
by the Sidonians, and by the Amorites Shenir (Deut. 3:9). (See
(2.) The Greek form of Zion (q.v.) in Matt. 21:5; John 12:15.
the fortress, a city on the north of Mount Ephraim; the
birthplace of Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:26). It is probably the same
as Zaretan (Josh. 3:16), Zererath (Judg. 7:22), Zartanah (1
Kings 4:12), or the following.
is frequently mentioned in Scripture. The dove from the ark
brought an olive-branch to Noah (Gen. 8:11). It is mentioned
among the most notable trees of Israel, where it was
cultivated long before the time of the Hebrews (Deut. 6:11;
8:8). It is mentioned in the first Old Testament parable, that
of Jotham (Judg. 9:9), and is named among the blessings of the
"good land," and is at the present day the one characteristic
tree of Israel. The oldest olive-trees in the country are
those which are enclosed in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is
referred to as an emblem of prosperity and beauty and religious
privilege (Ps. 52:8; Jer. 11:16; Hos. 14:6). The two "witnesses"
mentioned in Rev. 11:4 are spoken of as "two olive trees
standing before the God of the earth." (Comp. Zech. 4:3, 11-14.)
The "olive-tree, wild by nature" (Rom. 11:24), is the shoot or
cutting of the good olive-tree which, left ungrafted, grows up
to be a "wild olive." In Rom. 11:17 Paul refers to the practice
of grafting shoots of the wild olive into a "good" olive which
has become unfruitful. By such a process the sap of the good
olive, by pervading the branch which is "graffed in," makes it a
good branch, bearing good olives. Thus the Gentiles, being a
"wild olive," but now "graffed in," yield fruit, but only
through the sap of the tree into which they have been graffed.
This is a process "contrary to nature" (11:24).
(i.e., "Valley of the Cheesemongers"), the name given by
Josephus the historian to the valley or rugged ravine which in
ancient times separated Mount Moriah from Mount Zion. This
valley, now filled up with a vast accumulation of rubbish, and
almost a plain, was spanned by bridges, the most noted of which
was Zion Bridge, which was probably the ordinary means of
communication between the royal palace on Zion and the temple. A
fragment of the arch (q.v.) of this bridge (called "Robinson's
Arch"), where it projects from the sanctuary wall, was
discovered by Robinson in 1839. This arch was destroyed by the
Romans when Jerusalem was taken.
The western wall of the temple area rose up from the bottom of
this valley to the height of 84 feet, where it was on a level
with the area, and above this, and as a continuance of it, the
wall of Solomon's cloister rose to the height of about 50 feet,
"so that this section of the wall would originally present to
view a stupendous mass of masonry scarcely to be surpassed by
any mural masonry in the world."
regions beyond; i.e., on the east of Jordan, a mountain, or
rather a mountain-chain, over against Jericho, to the east and
south-east of the Dead Sea, in the land of Moab. From "the top
of Pisgah", i.e., Mount Nebo (q.v.), one of its summits, Moses
surveyed the Promised Land (Deut. 3:27; 32:49), and there he
died (34:1,5). The Israelites had one of their encampments in
the mountains of Abarim (Num. 33:47,48) after crossing the
brother of a gift = liberal. (1.) One of the three giant Anakim
brothers whom Caleb and the spies saw in Mount Hebron (Num.
13:22) when they went in to explore the land. They were
afterwards driven out and slain (Josh. 15:14; Judg. 1:10).
(2.) One of the guardians of the temple after the Exile (1
tent of the height, the name given to Judith, the daughter of
Beeri = Anah (Gen. 26:34; 36:2), when she became the wife of
Esau. A district among the mountains of Edom, probably near
Mount Hor, was called after her name, or it may be that she
received her name from the district. From her descended three
tribes of Edomites, founded by her three sons.
speech. (1.) One of the sons of Seir, and head of an Idumean
tribe, called a Horite, as in course of time all the branches of
this tribe were called from their dwelling in caves in Mount
Seir (Gen. 36:20, 29; 1 Chr. 1:38).
(2.) One of the two sons of Zibeon the Horite, and father of
Esau's wife Aholibamah (Gen. 36:18, 24).
occurs only in Rev. 16:16 (R.V., "Har-Magedon"), as symbolically
designating the place where the "battle of that great day of God
Almighty" (ver. 14) shall be fought. The word properly means the
"mount of Megiddo." It is the scene of the final conflict
between Christ and Antichrist. The idea of such a scene was
suggested by the Old Testament great battle-field, the plain of
(Deut. 3:17; Josh. 12:3; 13:20) in Authorized Version, but in
Revised Version translated "slopes of Pisgah." In Deut. 4:49 it
is translated in the Authorized Version "springs of Pisgah." The
name Ashdoth is translated "springs" in the Authorized Version,
but "slopes" in the Revised Version, of Josh. 10:40 and 12:8. It
has been identified with the springs under Mount Nebo, now
called 'Ayun Musa.
lord of the opening, a god of the Moabites (Num. 25:3; 31:16;
Josh. 22:17), worshipped by obscene rites. So called from Mount
Peor, where this worship was celebrated, the Baal of Peor. The
Israelites fell into the worship of this idol (Num. 25:3, 5, 18;
Deut. 4:3; Ps. 106:28; Hos. 9:10).
Heb. mishneh (2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chr. 34:22), rendered in Revised
Version "second quarter", the residence of the prophetess
Huldah. The Authorized Version followed the Jewish commentators,
who, following the Targum, gave the Hebrew word its
post-Biblical sense, as if it meant a place of instruction. It
properly means the "second," and may therefore denote the lower
city (Acra), which was built after the portion of the city on
Mount Zion, and was enclosed by a second wall.
third and youngest daughter of Herod Agrippa I. (Acts 12:1-4,
20-23). Felix, the Roman procurator of Judea, induced her to
leave her husband, Azizus, the king of Emesa, and become his
wife. She was present with Felix when Paul reasoned of
"righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come" (Acts 24:24).
She and her son perished in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, A.D.
treasure. (1.) One of the sons of Seir, the native princes,
"dukes," of Mount Hor (Gen. 36:21, 27). (2.) 1 Chr. 7:21; (3.)
4:4. (4.) One of the Gadite champions who repaired to David at
Ziklag (12:9). (5.) A Levite (Neh. 3:19). (6.) A priest (12:42).
bridge, the name of a district or principality of Syria near
Gilead, between Mount Hermon and the Lake of Tiberias (2 Sam.
15:8; 1 Chr. 2:23). The Geshurites probably inhabited the rocky
fastness of Argob, the modern Lejah, in the north-east corner of
Bashan. In the time of David it was ruled by Talmai, whose
daughter he married, and who was the mother of Absalom, who fled
to Geshur after the murder of Amnon (2 Sam. 13:37).
Gibeah of Phinehas
(Josh. 15:57, R.V. marg.), a city on Mount Ephraim which had
been given to Phinehas (24:33 "hill," A.V.; R.V. marg. and Heb.,
"Gibeah."). Here Eleazar the son of Aaron was buried. It has
been identified with the modern Khurbet Jibia, 5 miles north of
Guphna towards Shechem.
trodden hard, or fastness, or "the waterless hill", the name of
the Canaanitish city which stood on Mount Zion (Josh. 15:8;
18:16, 28). It is identified with Jerusalem (q.v.) in Judg.
19:10, and with the castle or city of David (1 Chr. 11:4,5). It
was a place of great natural strength, and its capture was one
of David's most brilliant achievements (2 Sam. 5:8).
(1.) Heb. bik'ah, a "cleft" of the mountains (Deut. 8:7; 11:11;
Ps. 104:8; Isa. 41:18); also a low plain bounded by mountains,
as the plain of Lebanon at the foot of Hermon around the sources
of the Jordan (Josh. 11:17; 12:7), and the valley of Megiddo (2
(2.) 'Emek, "deep;" "a long, low plain" (Job 39:10, 21; Ps.
65:13; Cant. 2:1), such as the plain of Esdraelon; the "valley
of giants" (Josh. 15:8), usually translated "valley of Rephaim"
(2 Sam. 5:18); of Elah (1 Sam. 17:2), of Berachah (2 Chr.
20:26); the king's "dale" (Gen. 14:17); of Jehoshaphat (Joel
3:2, 12), of Achor (Josh. 7:24; Isa. 65:10), Succoth (Ps. 60:6),
Ajalon (Josh. 10:12), Jezreel (Hos. 1:5).
(3.) Ge, "a bursting," a "flowing together," a narrow glen or
ravine, such as the valley of the children of Hinnom (2 Kings
23:10); of Eshcol (Deut. 1:24); of Sorek (Judg. 16:4), etc.
The "valley of vision" (Isa. 22:1) is usually regarded as
denoting Jerusalem, which "may be so called," says Barnes (Com.
on Isa.), "either (1) because there were several valleys within
the city and adjacent to it, as the vale between Mount Zion and
Moriah, the vale between Mount Moriah and Mount Ophel, between
these and Mount Bezetha, and the valley of Jehoshaphat, the
valley of the brook Kidron, etc., without the walls of the city;
or (2) more probably it was called the valley in reference to
its being compassed with hills rising to a considerable
elevation above the city" (Ps. 125:2; comp. also Jer. 21:13,
where Jerusalem is called a "valley").
(4.) Heb. nahal, a wady or water-course (Gen. 26:19; Cant.
the splendour of the dawn, a city "in the mount of the valley"
(Josh. 13:19). It is identified with the ruins of Zara, near the
mouth of the Wady Zerka Main, on the eastern shore of the Dead
Sea, some 3 miles south of the Callirrhoe. Of this town but
little remains. "A few broken basaltic columns and pieces of
wall about 200 yards back from the shore, and a ruined fort
rather nearer the sea, about the middle of the coast line of the
plain, are all that are left" (Tristram's Land of Moab).
(1.) A town of Benjamin (Josh. 18:22); now the ruin, rather two
ruins, es-Sumrah, 4 miles north of Jericho.
(2.) A mount in the highlands of Ephraim, to the north of
Jerusalem (2 Chr. 13:4-20). Here the armies of Abijah and
Jeroboam engaged in a bloody battle, which issued in the total
defeat of the king of Israel, who never "recovered strength
again," and soon after died.
the central mountainous district of Israel occupied by the
tribe of Ephraim (Josh. 17:15; 19:50; 20:7), extending from
Bethel to the plain of Jezreel. In Joshua's time (Josh. 17:18)
these hills were densely wooded. They were intersected by
well-watered, fertile valleys, referred to in Jer. 50:19. Joshua
was buried at Timnath-heres among the mountains of Ephraim, on
the north side of the hill of Gaash (Judg. 2:9). This region is
also called the "mountains of Israel" (Josh. 11:21) and the
"mountains of Samaria" (Jer. 31:5, 6: Amos 3:9).
Deut. 14:5 (R.V., "Wild goat"); 1 Kings 4:23 (R.V., "roebucks").
This animal, called in Hebrew _yahmur_, from a word meaning "to
be red," is regarded by some as the common fallow-deer, the
Cervus dama, which is said to be found very generally over
Western and Southern Asia. It is called "fallow" from its
pale-red or yellow colour. Some interpreters, however, regard
the name as designating the bubale, Antelope bubale, the "wild
cow" of North Africa, which is about the size of a stag, like
the hartebeest of South Africa. A species of deer has been found
at Mount Carmel which is called _yahmur_ by the Arabs. It is
said to be similar to the European roebuck.
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.
Many varieties of the rose proper are indigenous to Syria. The
famed rose of Damascus is white, but there are also red and
yellow roses. In Cant. 2:1 and Isa. 35:1 the Hebrew word
_habatstseleth_ (found only in these passages), rendered "rose"
(R.V. marg., "autumn crocus"), is supposed by some to mean the
oleander, by others the sweet-scented narcissus (a native of
Israel), the tulip, or the daisy; but nothing definite can be
affirmed regarding it.
The "rose of Sharon" is probably the cistus or rock-rose,
several species of which abound in Israel. "Mount Carmel
especially abounds in the cistus, which in April covers some of
the barer parts of the mountain with a glow not inferior to that
of the Scottish heather." (See MYRRH ¯T0002632 .)
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.
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
originally denoted only the sea-coast of the land of Canaan
inhabited by the Philistines (Ex. 15:14; Isa. 14:29, 31; Joel
3:4), and in this sense exclusively the Hebrew name Pelesheth
(rendered "Philistia" in Ps. 60:8; 83:7; 87:4; 108:9) occurs in
the Old Testament.
Not till a late period in Jewish history was this name used to
denote "the land of the Hebrews" in general (Gen. 40:15). It is
also called "the holy land" (Zech. 2:12), the "land of Jehovah"
(Hos. 9:3; Ps. 85:1), the "land of promise" (Heb. 11:9), because
promised to Abraham (Gen. 12:7; 24:7), the "land of Canaan"
(Gen. 12:5), the "land of Israel" (1 Sam. 13:19), and the "land
of Judah" (Isa. 19:17).
The territory promised as an inheritance to the seed of
Abraham (Gen. 15:18-21; Num. 34:1-12) was bounded on the east by
the river Euphrates, on the west by the Mediterranean, on the
north by the "entrance of Hamath," and on the south by the
"river of Egypt." This extent of territory, about 60,000 square
miles, was at length conquered by David, and was ruled over also
by his son Solomon (2 Sam. 8; 1 Chr. 18; 1 Kings 4:1, 21). This
vast empire was the Promised Land; but Israel was only a part
of it, terminating in the north at the southern extremity of the
Lebanon range, and in the south in the wilderness of Paran, thus
extending in all to about 144 miles in length. Its average
breadth was about 60 miles from the Mediterranean on the west to
beyond the Jordan. It has fittingly been designated "the least
of all lands." Western Israel, on the south of Gaza, is only
about 40 miles in breadth from the Mediterranean to the Dead
Sea, narrowing gradually toward the north, where it is only 20
miles from the sea-coast to the Jordan.
Israel, "set in the midst" (Ezek. 5:5) of all other lands,
is the most remarkable country on the face of the earth. No
single country of such an extent has so great a variety of
climate, and hence also of plant and animal life. Moses
describes it as "a good land, a land of brooks of water, of
fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a
land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and
pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; a land wherein
thou shalt not eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack
any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose
hills thou mayest dig brass" (Deut. 8:7-9).
"In the time of Christ the country looked, in all probability,
much as now. The whole land consists of rounded limestone hills,
fretted into countless stony valleys, offering but rarely level
tracts, of which Esdraelon alone, below Nazareth, is large
enough to be seen on the map. The original woods had for ages
disappeared, though the slopes were dotted, as now, with figs,
olives, and other fruit-trees where there was any soil.
Permanent streams were even then unknown, the passing rush of
winter torrents being all that was seen among the hills. The
autumn and spring rains, caught in deep cisterns hewn out like
huge underground jars in the soft limestone, with artificial
mud-banked ponds still found near all villages, furnished water.
Hills now bare, or at best rough with stunted growth, were then
terraced, so as to grow vines, olives, and grain. To-day almost
desolate, the country then teemed with population. Wine-presses
cut in the rocks, endless terraces, and the ruins of old
vineyard towers are now found amidst solitudes overgrown for
ages with thorns and thistles, or with wild shrubs and poor
gnarled scrub" (Geikie's Life of Christ).
From an early period the land was inhabited by the descendants
of Canaan, who retained possession of the whole land "from Sidon
to Gaza" till the time of the conquest by Joshua, when it was
occupied by the twelve tribes. Two tribes and a half had their
allotments given them by Moses on the east of the Jordan (Deut.
3:12-20; comp. Num. 1:17-46; Josh. 4:12-13). The remaining
tribes had their portion on the west of Jordan.
From the conquest till the time of Saul, about four hundred
years, the people were governed by judges. For a period of one
hundred and twenty years the kingdom retained its unity while it
was ruled by Saul and David and Solomon. On the death of
Solomon, his son Rehoboam ascended the throne; but his conduct
was such that ten of the tribes revolted, and formed an
independent monarchy, called the kingdom of Israel, or the
northern kingdom, the capital of which was first Shechem and
afterwards Samaria. This kingdom was destroyed. The Israelites
were carried captive by Shalmanezer, king of Assyria, B.C. 722,
after an independent existence of two hundred and fifty-three
years. The place of the captives carried away was supplied by
tribes brought from the east, and thus was formed the Samaritan
nation (2 Kings 17:24-29).
Nebuchadnezzar came up against the kingdom of the two tribes,
the kingdom of Judah, the capital of which was Jerusalem, one
hundred and thirty-four years after the overthrow of the kingdom
of Israel. He overthrew the city, plundered the temple, and
carried the people into captivity to Babylon (B.C. 587), where
they remained seventy years. At the close of the period of the
Captivity, they returned to their own land, under the edict of
Cyrus (Ezra 1:1-4). They rebuilt the city and temple, and
restored the old Jewish commonwealth.
For a while after the Restoration the Jews were ruled by
Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, and afterwards by the high
priests, assisted by the Sanhedrin. After the death of Alexander
the Great at Babylon (B.C. 323), his vast empire was divided
between his four generals. Egypt, Arabia, Israel, and
Coele-Syria fell to the lot of Ptolemy Lagus. Ptolemy took
possession of Israel in B.C. 320, and carried nearly one
hundred thousand of the inhabitants of Jerusalem into Egypt. He
made Alexandria the capital of his kingdom, and treated the Jews
with consideration, confirming them in the enjoyment of many
After suffering persecution at the hands of Ptolemy's
successors, the Jews threw off the Egyptian yoke, and became
subject to Antiochus the Great, the king of Syria. The cruelty
and opression of the successors of Antiochus at length led to
the revolt under the Maccabees (B.C. 163), when they threw off
the Syrian yoke.
In the year B.C. 68, Israel was reduced by Pompey the Great
to a Roman province. He laid the walls of the city in ruins, and
massacred some twelve thousand of the inhabitants. He left the
temple, however, unijured. About twenty-five years after this
the Jews revolted and cast off the Roman yoke. They were
however, subdued by Herod the Great (q.v.). The city and the
temple were destroyed, and many of the inhabitants were put to
death. About B.C. 20, Herod proceeded to rebuild the city and
restore the ruined temple, which in about nine years and a half
was so far completed that the sacred services could be resumed
in it (comp. John 2:20). He was succeeded by his son Archelaus,
who was deprived of his power, however, by Augustus, A.D. 6,
when Israel became a Roman province, ruled by Roman governors
or procurators. Pontius Pilate was the fifth of these
procurators. He was appointed to his office A.D. 25.
Exclusive of Idumea, the kingdom of Herod the Great
comprehended the whole of the country originally divided among
the twelve tribes, which he divided into four provinces or
districts. This division was recognized so long as Israel was
under the Roman dominion. These four provinces were, (1) Judea,
the southern portion of the country; (2) Samaria, the middle
province, the northern boundary of which ran along the hills to
the south of the plain of Esdraelon; (3) Galilee, the northern
province; and (4) Peraea (a Greek name meaning the "opposite
country"), the country lying east of the Jordan and the Dead
Sea. This province was subdivided into these districts, (1)
Peraea proper, lying between the rivers Arnon and Jabbok; (2)
Galaaditis (Gilead); (3) Batanaea; (4) Gaulonitis (Jaulan); (5)
Ituraea or Auranitis, the ancient Bashan; (6) Trachonitis; (7)
Abilene; (8) Decapolis, i.e., the region of the ten cities. The
whole territory of Israel, including the portions alloted to
the trans-Jordan tribes, extended to about eleven thousand
square miles. Recent exploration has shown the territory on the
west of Jordan alone to be six thousand square miles in extent,
the size of the principality of Wales.
a park; generally with the article, "the park." (1.) A prominent
headland of Central Israel, consisting of several connected
hills extending from the plain of Esdraelon to the sea, a
distance of some 12 miles or more. At the east end, in its
highest part, it is 1,728 feet high, and at the west end it
forms a promontory to the bay of Acre about 600 feet above the
sea. It lay within the tribe of Asher. It was here, at the east
end of the ridge, at a place called el-Mukhrakah (i.e., the
place of burning), that Elijah brought back the people to their
allegiance to God, and slew the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18).
Here were consumed the "fifties" of the royal guard; and here
also Elisha received the visit of the bereaved mother whose son
was restored by him to life (2 Kings 4:25-37). "No mountain in
or around Israel retains its ancient beauty so much as
Carmel. Two or three villages and some scattered cottages are
found on it; its groves are few but luxuriant; it is no place
for crags and precipices or rocks of wild goats; but its surface
is covered with a rich and constant verdure." "The whole
mountain-side is dressed with blossom, and flowering shrubs, and
fragrant herbs." The western extremity of the ridge is, however,
more rocky and bleak than the eastern. The head of the bride in
Cant. 7:5 is compared to Carmel. It is ranked with Bashan on
account of its rich pastures (Isa. 33:9; Jer. 50:19; Amos 1:2).
The whole ridge is deeply furrowed with rocky ravines filled
with dense jungle. There are many caves in its sides, which at
one time were inhabited by swarms of monks. These caves are
referred to in Amos 9:3. To them Elijah and Elisha often
resorted (1 Kings 18:19, 42; 2 Kings 2:25). On its north-west
summit there is an ancient establishment of Carmelite monks.
Vineyards have recently been planted on the mount by the German
colonists of Haifa. The modern Arabic name of the mount is
Kurmul, but more commonly Jebel Mar Elyas, i.e., Mount St.
Elias, from the Convent of Elias.
(2.) A town in the hill country of Judah (Josh. 15:55), the
residence of Nabal (1 Sam. 25:2, 5, 7, 40), and the native place
of Abigail, who became David's wife (1 Sam. 27:3). Here king
Uzziah had his vineyards (2 Chr. 26:10). The ruins of this town
still remain under the name of Kurmul, about 10 miles
south-south-east of Hebron, close to those of Maon.
agile; also called Ornan 1 Chr. 21:15, a Jebusite who dwelt in
Jerusalem before it was taken by the Israelites. The destroying
angel, sent to punish David for his vanity in taking a census of
the people, was stayed in his work of destruction near a
threshing-floor belonging to Araunah which was situated on Mount
Moriah. Araunah offered it to David as a free gift, together
with the oxen and the threshing instruments; but the king
insisted on purchasing it at its full price (2 Sam. 24:24; 1
Chr. 21:24, 25), for, according to the law of sacrifices, he
could not offer to God what cost him nothing. On the same place
Solomon afterwards erected the temple (2 Sam. 24:16; 2 Chr.
3:1). (See ALTAR ¯T0000185.)
fountain of gardens. (1.) A town in the plains of Judah (Josh.
15:34), north-west of Jerusalem, between Zanoah and Tappuah. It
is the modern Umm Jina.
(2.) A city on the border of Machar (Josh. 19:21), allotted to
the Gershonite Levites (21:29). It is identified with the modern
Jenin, a large and prosperous town of about 4,000 inhabitants,
situated 15 miles south of Mount Tabor, through which the road
from Jezreel to Samaria and Jerusalem passes. When Ahaziah, king
of Judah, attempted to escape from Jehu, he "fled by the way of
the garden house" i.e., by way of En-gannim. Here he was
overtaken by Jehu and wounded in his chariot, and turned aside
and fled to Megiddo, a distance of about 20 miles, to die there.
(1.) Heb. gib'eah, a curved or rounded hill, such as are common
to Israel (Ps. 65:12; 72:3; 114:4, 6).
(2.) Heb. har, properly a mountain range rather than an
individual eminence (Ex. 24:4, 12, 13, 18; Num. 14:40, 44, 45).
In Deut. 1:7, Josh. 9:1; 10:40; 11:16, it denotes the elevated
district of Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim, which forms the
watershed between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea.
(3.) Heb. ma'aleh in 1 Sam. 9:11. Authorized Version "hill" is
correctly rendered in the Revised Version "ascent."
(4.) In Luke 9:37 the "hill" is the Mount of Transfiguration.
his excellence, or gain, a prince or priest of Midian, who
succeeded his father Reuel. Moses spent forty years after his
exile from the Egyptian court as keeper of Jethro's flocks.
While the Israelites were encamped at Sinai, and soon after
their victory over Amalek, Jethro came to meet Moses, bringing
with him Zipporah and her two sons. They met at the "mount of
God," and "Moses told him all that the Lord had done unto
Pharaoh" (Ex. 18:8). On the following day Jethro, observing the
multiplicity of the duties devolving on Moses, advised him to
appoint subordinate judges, rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of
fifties, and of tens, to decide smaller matters, leaving only
the weightier matters to be referred to Moses, to be laid before
the Lord. This advice Moses adopted (Ex. 18). He was also called
Hobab (q.v.), which was probably his personal name, while Jethro
was an official name. (See MOSES ¯T0002602.)
quarrel or strife. (1.) One of the names given by Moses to the
fountain in the desert of Sin, near Rephidim, which issued from
the rock in Horeb, which he smote by the divine command,
"because of the chiding of the children of Israel" (Ex. 17:1-7).
It was also called Massah (q.v.). It was probably in Wady
Feiran, near Mount Serbal.
(2.) Another fountain having a similar origin in the desert of
Zin, near to Kadesh (Num. 27:14). The two places are mentioned
together in Deut. 33:8. Some think the one place is called by
the two names (Ps. 81:7). In smiting the rock at this place
Moses showed the same impatience as the people (Num. 20:10-12).
This took place near the close of the wanderings in the desert
(Num. 20:1-24; Deut. 32:51).
a shortened form of Micaiah, who is like Jehovah? (1.) A man of
Mount Ephraim, whose history so far is introduced in Judg. 17,
apparently for the purpose of leading to an account of the
settlement of the tribe of Dan in Northern Israel, and for
the purpose also of illustrating the lawlessness of the times in
which he lived (Judg. 18; 19:1-29; 21:25).
(2.) The son of Merib-baal (Mephibosheth), 1 Chr. 8:34, 35.
(3.) The first in rank of the priests of the family of
Kohathites (1 Chr. 23:20).
(4.) A descendant of Joel the Reubenite (1 Chr. 5:5).
(5.) "The Morasthite," so called to distinguish him from
Micaiah, the son of Imlah (1 Kings 22:8). He was a prophet of
Judah, a contemporary of Isaiah (Micah 1:1), a native of
Moresheth of Gath (1:14, 15). Very little is known of the
circumstances of his life (comp. Jer. 26:18, 19).
the chosen of Jehovah. Some contend that Mount Gerizim is meant,
but most probably we are to regard this as one of the hills of
Jerusalem. Here Solomon's temple was built, on the spot that had
been the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite (2 Sam. 24:24,
25; 2 Chr. 3:1). It is usually included in Zion, to the
north-east of which it lay, and from which it was separated by
the Tyropoean valley. This was "the land of Moriah" to which
Abraham went to offer up his son Isaac (Gen. 22:2). It has been
supposed that the highest point of the temple hill, which is now
covered by the Mohammedan Kubbetes-Sakhrah, or "Dome of the
Rock," is the actual site of Araunah's threshing-floor. Here
also, one thousand years after Abraham, David built an altar and
offered sacrifices to God. (See JERUSALEM ¯T0002043; NUMBERING
THE PEOPLE ¯T0002753.)
Israel is a hilly country (Deut. 3:25; 11:11; Ezek. 34:13).
West of Jordan the mountains stretch from Lebanon far down into
Galilee, terminating in Carmel. The isolated peak of Tabor rises
from the elevated plain of Esdraelon, which, in the south, is
shut in by hills spreading over the greater part of Samaria. The
mountains of Western and Middle Israel do not extend to the
sea, but gently slope into plains, and toward the Jordan fall
down into the Ghor.
East of the Jordan the Anti-Lebanon, stretching south,
terminates in the hilly district called Jebel Heish, which
reaches down to the Sea of Gennesareth. South of the river
Hieromax there is again a succession of hills, which are
traversed by wadies running toward the Jordan. These gradually
descend to a level at the river Arnon, which was the boundary of
the ancient trans-Jordanic territory toward the south.
The composition of the Palestinian hills is limestone, with
occasional strata of chalk, and hence the numerous caves, some
of large extent, found there.
=Se'lah, rock, the capital of Edom, situated in the great valley
extending from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea (2 Kings 14:7). It
was near Mount Hor, close by the desert of Zin. It is called
"the rock" (Judg. 1:36). When Amaziah took it he called it
Joktheel (q.v.) It is mentioned by the prophets (Isa. 16:1;
Obad. 1:3) as doomed to destruction.
It appears in later history and in the Vulgate Version under
the name of Petra. "The caravans from all ages, from the
interior of Arabia and from the Gulf of Persia, from Hadramaut
on the ocean, and even from Sabea or Yemen, appear to have
pointed to Petra as a common centre; and from Petra the tide
seems again to have branched out in every direction, to Egypt,
Israel, and Syria, through Arsinoe, Gaza, Tyre, Jerusalem,
and Damascus, and by other routes, terminating at the
Mediterranean." (See EDOM ¯T0001129 .)
two resting-places, a little village in the tribe of Issachar,
to the north of Jezreel and south of Mount Gilboa (Josh. 19:18),
where the Philistines encamped when they came against Saul (1
Sam. 28:4), and where Elisha was hospitably entertained by a
rich woman of the place. On the sudden death of this woman's son
she hastened to Carmel, 20 miles distant across the plain, to
tell Elisha, and to bring him with her to Shunem. There, in the
"prophet's chamber," the dead child lay; and Elisha entering it,
shut the door and prayed earnestly: and the boy was restored to
life (2 Kings 4:8-37). This woman afterwards retired during the
famine to the low land of the Philistines; and on returning a
few years afterwards, found her house and fields in the
possession of a stranger. She appealed to the king at Samaria,
and had them in a somewhat remarkable manner restored to her
(comp. 2 Kings 8:1-6).
highlanders, or hillmen, the name given to the descendants of
one of the sons of Canaan (Gen. 14:7), called Amurra or Amurri
in the Assyrian and Egyptian inscriptions. On the early
Babylonian monuments all Syria, including Israel, is known as
"the land of the Amorites." The southern slopes of the mountains
of Judea are called the "mount of the Amorites" (Deut. 1:7, 19,
20). They seem to have originally occupied the land stretching
from the heights west of the Dead Sea (Gen. 14:7) to Hebron (13.
Comp. 13:8; Deut. 3:8; 4:46-48), embracing "all Gilead and all
Bashan" (Deut. 3:10), with the Jordan valley on the east of the
river (4:49), the land of the "two kings of the Amorites," Sihon
and Og (Deut. 31:4; Josh. 2:10; 9:10). The five kings of the
Amorites were defeated with great slaughter by Joshua (10:10).
They were again defeated at the waters of Merom by Joshua, who
smote them till there were none remaining (Josh. 11:8). It is
mentioned as a surprising circumstance that in the days of
Samuel there was peace between them and the Israelites (1 Sam.
7:14). The discrepancy supposed to exist between Deut. 1:44 and
Num. 14:45 is explained by the circumstance that the terms
"Amorites" and "Amalekites" are used synonymously for the
"Canaanites." In the same way we explain the fact that the
"Hivites" of Gen. 34:2 are the "Amorites" of 48:22. Comp. Josh.
10:6; 11:19 with 2 Sam. 21:2; also Num. 14:45 with Deut. 1:44.
The Amorites were warlike mountaineers. They are represented on
the Egyptian monuments with fair skins, light hair, blue eyes,
aquiline noses, and pointed beards. They are supposed to have
been men of great stature; their king, Og, is described by Moses
as the last "of the remnant of the giants" (Deut. 3:11). Both
Sihon and Og were independent kings. Only one word of the
Amorite language survives, "Shenir," the name they gave to Mount
Hermon (Deut. 3:9).
The plague (the ninth) of darkness in Egypt (Ex. 10:21) is
described as darkness "which may be felt." It covered "all the
land of Egypt," so that "they saw not one another." It did not
extend to the land of Goshen (ver. 23).
When Jesus hung upon the cross (Matt. 27:45; Luke 23:44), from
the "sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the
On Mount Sinai, Moses (Ex. 20:21) "drew near unto the thick
darkness where God was." This was the "thick cloud upon the
mount" in which Jehovah was when he spake unto Moses there. The
Lord dwelt in the cloud upon the mercy-seat (1 Kings 8:12), the
cloud of glory. When the psalmist (Ps. 97:2) describes the
inscrutable nature of God's workings among the sons of men, he
says, "Clouds and darkness are round about him." God dwells in
Darkness (Isa. 13:9, 10; Matt. 24:29) also is a symbol of the
judgments that attend on the coming of the Lord. It is a symbol
of misery and adversity (Job 18:6; Ps. 107:10; Isa. 8:22; Ezek.
30:18). The "day of darkness" in Joel 2:2, caused by clouds of
locusts, is a symbol of the obscurity which overhangs all divine
proceedings. "Works of darkness" are impure actions (Eph. 5:11).
"Outer darkness" refers to the darkness of the streets in the
East, which are never lighted up by any public or private lamps
after nightfall, in contrast with the blaze of cheerful light in
the house. It is also a symbol of ignorance (Isa. 9:2; 60:2;
Matt. 6:23) and of death (Job 10:21; 17:13).
the Greek form of the Hebrew "Jezreel," the name of the great
plain (called by the natives Merj Ibn Amer; i.e., "the meadow of
the son of Amer") which stretches across Central Israel from
the Jordan to the Mediterraanean, separating the mountain ranges
of Carmel and Samaria from those of Galilee, extending about 14
miles from north to south, and 9 miles from east to west. It is
drained by "that ancient river" the Kishon, which flows westward
to the Mediterranean. From the foot of Mount Tabor it branches
out into three valleys, that on the north passing between Tabor
and Little Hermon (Judg. 4:14); that on the south between Mount
Gilboa and En-gannim (2 Kings 9:27); while the central portion,
the "valley of Jezreel" proper, runs into the Jordan valley
(which is about 1,000 feet lower than Esdraelon) by Bethshean.
Here Gideon gained his great victory over the Midianites (Judg.
7:1-25). Here also Barak defeated Sisera, and Saul's army was
defeated by the Philistines, and king Josiah, while fighting in
disguise against Necho, king of Egypt, was slain (2 Chr.
35:20-27; 2 Kings 23-29). This plain has been well called the
"battle-field of Israel." "It has been a chosen place for
encampment in every contest carried on in this country, from the
days of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, in the history of
whose wars with Arphaxad it is mentioned as the Great Plain of
Esdraelon, until the disastrous march of Napoleon Bonaparte from
Egypt into Syria. Jews, Gentiles, Saracens, Crusaders,
Frenchmen, Egyptians, Persians, Druses, Turks, and Arabs,
warriors out of every nation which is under heaven, have pitched
their tents in the plain, and have beheld the various banners of
their nations wet with the dews of Tabor and Hermon" (Dr.
first used of the tabernacle, which is called "the temple of the
Lord" (1 Sam. 1:9). In the New Testament the word is used
figuratively of Christ's human body (John 2:19, 21). Believers
are called "the temple of God" (1 Cor. 3:16, 17). The Church is
designated "an holy temple in the Lord" (Eph. 2:21). Heaven is
also called a temple (Rev. 7:5). We read also of the heathen
"temple of the great goddess Diana" (Acts 19:27).
This word is generally used in Scripture of the sacred house
erected on the summit of Mount Moriah for the worship of God. It
is called "the temple" (1 Kings 6:17); "the temple [R.V.,
'house'] of the Lord" (2 Kings 11:10); "thy holy temple" (Ps.
79:1); "the house of the Lord" (2 Chr. 23:5, 12); "the house of
the God of Jacob" (Isa. 2:3); "the house of my glory" (60:7); an
"house of prayer" (56:7; Matt. 21:13); "an house of sacrifice"
(2 Chr. 7:12); "the house of their sanctuary" (2 Chr. 36:17);
"the mountain of the Lord's house" (Isa. 2:2); "our holy and our
beautiful house" (64:11); "the holy mount" (27:13); "the palace
for the Lord God" (1 Chr. 29:1); "the tabernacle of witness" (2
Chr. 24:6); "Zion" (Ps. 74:2; 84:7). Christ calls it "my
Father's house" (John 2:16).
father of Him; i.e., "worshipper of God", the second of the sons
of Aaron (Ex. 6:23; Num. 3:2; 26:60; 1 Chr. 6:3). Along with his
three brothers he was consecrated to the priest's office (Ex.
28:1). With his father and elder brother he accompanied the
seventy elders part of the way up the mount with Moses (Ex.
24:1,9). On one occasion he and Nadab his brother offered
incense in their censers filled with "strange" (i.e., common)
fire, i.e., not with fire taken from the great brazen altar
(Lev. 6:9, etc.), and for this offence they were struck dead,
and were taken out and buried without the camp (Lev. 10:1-11;
comp. Num. 3:4; 26:61; 1 Chr. 24:2). It is probable that when
they committed this offence they were intoxicated, for
immediately after is given the law prohibiting the use of wine
or strong drink to the priests.
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.
a city on the northeast of the marshy plain of el-Huleh, 120
miles north of Jerusalem, and 20 miles north of the Sea of
Galilee, at the "upper source" of the Jordan, and near the base
of Mount Hermon. It is mentioned in Matt. 16:13 and Mark 8:27 as
the northern limit of our Lord's public ministry. According to
some its original name was Baal-Gad (Josh. 11:17), or
Baal-Hermon (Judg. 3:3; 1 Chr. 5:23), when it was a Canaanite
sanctuary of Baal. It was afterwards called Panium or Paneas,
from a deep cavern full of water near the town. This name was
given to the cavern by the Greeks of the Macedonian kingdom of
Antioch because of its likeness to the grottos of Greece, which
were always associated with the worship of their god Pan. Its
modern name is Banias. Here Herod built a temple, which he
dedicated to Augustus Caesar. This town was afterwards enlarged
and embellished by Herod Philip, the tetrarch of Trachonitis, of
whose territory it formed a part, and was called by him Caesarea
Philippi, partly after his own name, and partly after that of
the emperor Tiberius Caesar. It is thus distinguished from the
Caesarea of Israel. (See JORDAN ¯T0002112.)
terebinth or oak. (1.) Valley of, where the Israelites were
encamped when David killed Goliath (1 Sam. 17:2, 19). It was
near Shochoh of Judah and Azekah (17:1). It is the modern Wady
es-Sunt, i.e., "valley of the acacia." "The terebinths from
which the valley of Elah takes its name still cling to their
ancient soil. On the west side of the valley, near Shochoh,
there is a very large and ancient tree of this kind known as the
'terebinth of Wady Sur,' 55 feet in height, its trunk 17 feet in
circumference, and the breadth of its shade no less than 75
feet. It marks the upper end of the Elah valley, and forms a
noted object, being one of the largest terebinths in Israel."
Geikie's, The Holy Land, etc.
(2.) One of the Edomite chiefs or "dukes" of Mount Seir (Gen.
(3.) The second of the three sons of Caleb, the son of
Jephunneh (1 Chr. 4:15).
(4.) The son and successor of Baasha, king of Israel (1 Kings
16:8-10). He was killed while drunk by Zimri, one of the
captains of his chariots, and was the last king of the line of
Baasha. Thus was fullfilled the prophecy of Jehu (6, 7, 11-14).
(5.) The father of Hoshea, the last king of Israel (2 Kings
hill of testimony, (Gen. 31:21), a mountainous region east of
Jordan. From its mountainous character it is called "the mount
of Gilead" (Gen. 31:25). It is called also "the land of Gilead"
(Num. 32:1), and sometimes simply "Gilead" (Ps. 60:7; Gen.
37:25). It comprised the possessions of the tribes of Gad and
Reuben and the south part of Manasseh (Deut. 3:13; Num. 32:40).
It was bounded on the north by Bashan, and on the south by Moab
and Ammon (Gen. 31:21; Deut. 3:12-17). "Half Gilead" was
possessed by Sihon, and the other half, separated from it by the
river Jabbok, by Og, king of Bashan. The deep ravine of the
river Hieromax (the modern Sheriat el-Mandhur) separated Bashan
from Gilead, which was about 60 miles in length and 20 in
breadth, extending from near the south end of the Lake of
Gennesaret to the north end of the Dead Sea. Abarim, Pisgah,
Nebo, and Peor are its mountains mentioned in Scripture.
Not in common use among the Hebrews. It is first mentioned in
Ex. 28:40 (A.V., "bonnets;" R.V., "head-tires"). It was used
especially for purposes of ornament (Job 29:14; Isa. 3:23;
62:3). The Hebrew word here used, _tsaniph_, properly means a
turban, folds of linen wound round the head. The Hebrew word
_peer_, used in Isa. 61:3, there rendered "beauty" (A.V.) and
"garland" (R.V.), is a head-dress or turban worn by females
(Isa. 3: 20, "bonnets"), priests (Ex. 39:28), a bridegroom (Isa.
61:10, "ornament;" R.V., "garland"). Ezek. 16:10 and Jonah 2:5
are to be understood of the turban wrapped round the head. The
Hebrew _shebisim_ (Isa. 3:18), in the Authorized Version
rendered "cauls," and marg. "networks," denotes probably a kind
of netted head-dress. The "horn" (Heb. keren) mentioned in 1
Sam. 2:1 is the head-dress called by the Druses of Mount Lebanon
a deep, narrow ravine separating Mount Zion from the so-called
"Hill of Evil Counsel." It took its name from "some ancient
hero, the son of Hinnom." It is first mentioned in Josh. 15:8.
It had been the place where the idolatrous Jews burned their
children alive to Moloch and Baal. A particular part of the
valley was called Tophet, or the "fire-stove," where the
children were burned. After the Exile, in order to show their
abhorrence of the locality, the Jews made this valley the
receptacle of the offal of the city, for the destruction of
which a fire was, as is supposed, kept constantly burning there.
The Jews associated with this valley these two ideas, (1) that
of the sufferings of the victims that had there been sacrificed;
and (2) that of filth and corruption. It became thus to the
popular mind a symbol of the abode of the wicked hereafter. It
came to signify hell as the place of the wicked. "It might be
shown by infinite examples that the Jews expressed hell, or the
place of the damned, by this word. The word Gehenna [the Greek
contraction of Hinnom] was never used in the time of Christ in
any other sense than to denote the place of future punishment."
About this fact there can be no question. In this sense the word
is used eleven times in our Lord's discourses (Matt. 23:33; Luke
12:5; Matt. 5:22, etc.).
high place, a city of the priests, first mentioned in the
history of David's wanderings (1 Sam. 21:1). Here the tabernacle
was then standing, and here Ahimelech the priest resided. (See
AHIMELECH ¯T0000143.) From Isa. 10:28-32 it seems to have been
near Jerusalem. It has been identified by some with el-Isawiyeh,
one mile and a half to the north-east of Jerusalem. But
according to Isa. 10:28-32 it was on the south of Geba, on the
road to Jerusalem, and within sight of the city. This
identification does not meet these conditions, and hence others
(as Dean Stanley) think that it was the northern summit of Mount
Olivet, the place where David "worshipped God" when fleeing from
Absalom (2 Sam. 15:32), or more probably (Conder) that it was
the same as Mizpeh (q.v.), Judg. 20:1; Josh. 18:26; 1 Sam. 7:16,
at Nebi Samwil, about 5 miles north-west of Jerusalem.
After being supplied with the sacred loaves of showbread, and
girding on the sword of Goliath, which was brought forth from
behind the ephod, David fled from Nob and sought refuge at the
court of Achish, the king of Gath, where he was cast into
prison. (Comp. titles of Ps. 34 and 56.)
the name given to the new and mixed inhabitants whom Esarhaddon
(B.C. 677), the king of Assyria, brought from Babylon and other
places and settled in the cities of Samaria, instead of the
original inhabitants whom Sargon (B.C. 721) had removed into
captivity (2 Kings 17:24; comp. Ezra 4:2, 9, 10). These
strangers (comp. Luke 17:18) amalgamated with the Jews still
remaining in the land, and gradually abandoned their old
idolatry and adopted partly the Jewish religion.
After the return from the Captivity, the Jews in Jerusalem
refused to allow them to take part with them in rebuilding the
temple, and hence sprang up an open enmity between them. They
erected a rival temple on Mount Gerizim, which was, however,
destroyed by a Jewish king (B.C. 130). They then built another
at Shechem. The bitter enmity between the Jews and Samaritans
continued in the time of our Lord: the Jews had "no dealings
with the Samaritans" (John 4:9; comp. Luke 9:52, 53). Our Lord
was in contempt called "a Samaritan" (John 8:48). Many of the
Samaritans early embraced the gospel (John 4:5-42; Acts 8:25;
9:31; 15:3). Of these Samaritans there still remains a small
population of about one hundred and sixty, who all reside in
Shechem, where they carefully observe the religious customs of
their fathers. They are the "smallest and oldest sect in the