the Greek form for Isaiah, constantly used in the Authorized
Version of the New Testament (Matt. 3:3; 4:14), but in the
Revised Version always "Isaiah."
In a prophecy concerning our Lord, Isaiah (7:14) says, "A virgin
[R.V. marg., 'the virgin'] shall conceive, and bear a son"
(compare Luke 1:31-35). The people of the land of Zidon are thus
referred to by Isaiah (23:12), "O thou oppressed virgin,
daughter of Zidon;" and of the people of Israel, Jeremiah
(18:13) says, "The virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible
a remnant shall escape or return (i.e., to God), a symbolical
name which the prophet Isaiah gave to his son (Isa. 7:3),
perhaps his eldest son.
strong, the father of the prophet Isaiah (2 Kings 19:2, 20;
20:1; Isa. 1:1; 2:1). As to his personal history little is
positively known. He is supposed by some to have been the "man
of God" spoken of in 2 Chr. 25:7, 8.
God has ascended, a place in the pastoral country east of
Jordan, in the tribe of Reuben (Num. 32:3, 37). It is not again
mentioned till the time of Isaiah (15:4; 16:9) and Jeremiah
(48:34). It is now an extensive ruin called el-A'al, about one
mile NE of Heshbon.
The expression in the Authorized Version (Isa. 19:7), "the paper
reeds by the brooks," is in the Revised Version more correctly
"the meadows by the Nile." The words undoubtedly refer to a
grassy place on the banks of the Nile fit for pasturage.
In 2 John 1:12 the word is used in its proper sense. The
material so referred to was manufactured from the papyrus, and
hence its name. The papyrus (Heb. gome) was a kind of bulrush
(q.v.). It is mentioned by Job (8:11) and Isaiah (35:7). It was
used for many purposes. This plant (Papyrus Nilotica) is now
unknown in Egypt; no trace of it can be found. The unaccountable
disappearance of this plant from Egypt was foretold by Isaiah
(19:6, 7) as a part of the divine judgment on that land. The
most extensive papyrus growths now known are in the marshes at
the northern end of the lake of Merom.
(Heb. Yesh'yahu, i.e., "the salvation of Jehovah"). (1.) The son
of Amoz (Isa. 1:1; 2:1), who was apparently a man of humble
rank. His wife was called "the prophetess" (8:3), either because
she was endowed with the prophetic gift, like Deborah (Judg.
4:4) and Huldah (2 Kings 22:14-20), or simply because she was
the wife of "the prophet" (Isa. 38:1). He had two sons, who bore
He exercised the functions of his office during the reigns of
Uzziah (or Azariah), Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (1:1). Uzziah
reigned fifty-two years (B.C. 810-759), and Isaiah must have
begun his career a few years before Uzziah's death, probably
B.C. 762. He lived till the fourteenth year of Hezekiah, and in
all likelihood outlived that monarch (who died B.C. 698), and
may have been contemporary for some years with Manasseh. Thus
Isaiah may have prophesied for the long period of at least
His first call to the prophetical office is not recorded. A
second call came to him "in the year that King Uzziah died"
(Isa. 6:1). He exercised his ministry in a spirit of
uncompromising firmness and boldness in regard to all that bore
on the interests of religion. He conceals nothing and keeps
nothing back from fear of man. He was also noted for his
spirituality and for his deep-toned reverence toward "the holy
One of Israel."
In early youth Isaiah must have been moved by the invasion of
Israel by the Assyrian monarch Pul (q.v.), 2 Kings 15:19; and
again, twenty years later, when he had already entered on his
office, by the invasion of Tiglath-pileser and his career of
conquest. Ahaz, king of Judah, at this crisis refused to
co-operate with the kings of Israel and Syria in opposition to
the Assyrians, and was on that account attacked and defeated by
Rezin of Damascus and Pekah of Samaria (2 Kings 16:5; 2 Chr.
28:5, 6). Ahaz, thus humbled, sided with Assyria, and sought the
aid of Tiglath-pileser against Israel and Syria. The consequence
was that Rezin and Pekah were conquered and many of the people
carried captive to Assyria (2 Kings 15:29; 16:9; 1 Chr. 5:26).
Soon after this Shalmaneser determined wholly to subdue the
kingdom of Israel. Samaria was taken and destroyed (B.C. 722).
So long as Ahaz reigned, the kingdom of Judah was unmolested by
the Assyrian power; but on his accession to the throne, Hezekiah
(B.C. 726), who "rebelled against the king of Assyria" (2 Kings
18:7), in which he was encouraged by Isaiah, who exhorted the
people to place all their dependence on Jehovah (Isa. 10:24;
37:6), entered into an alliance with the king of Egypt (Isa.
30:2-4). This led the king of Assyria to threaten the king of
Judah, and at length to invade the land. Sennacherib (B.C. 701)
led a powerful army into Israel. Hezekiah was reduced to
despair, and submitted to the Assyrians (2 Kings 18:14-16). But
after a brief interval war broke out again, and again
Sennacherib (q.v.) led an army into Israel, one detachment of
which threatened Jerusalem (Isa. 36:2-22; 37:8). Isaiah on that
occasion encouraged Hezekiah to resist the Assyrians (37:1-7),
whereupon Sennacherib sent a threatening letter to Hezekiah,
which he "spread before the Lord" (37:14). The judgement of God
now fell on the Assyrian host. "Like Xerxes in Greece,
Sennacherib never recovered from the shock of the disaster in
Judah. He made no more expeditions against either Southern
Israel or Egypt." The remaining years of Hezekiah's reign
were peaceful (2 Chr. 32:23, 27-29). Isaiah probably lived to
its close, and possibly into the reign of Manasseh, but the time
and manner of his death are unknown. There is a tradition that
he suffered martyrdom in the heathen reaction in the time of
(2.) One of the heads of the singers in the time of David (1
Chr. 25:3,15, "Jeshaiah").
(3.) A Levite (1 Chr. 26:25).
(4.) Ezra 8:7.
(5.) Neh. 11:7.
a wall or fortress, a place to which Tiglath-pileser carried the
Syrians captive after he had taken the city of Damascus (2 Kings
16:9; Amos 1:5; 9:7). Isaiah (22:6), who also was contemporary
with these events, mentions it along with Elam. Some have
supposed that Kir is a variant of Cush (Susiana), on the south
plunder speedeth; spoil hasteth, (Isa. 8:1-3; compare Zeph. 1:14),
a name Isaiah was commanded first to write in large characters
on a tablet, and afterwards to give as a symbolical name to a
son that was to be born to him (Isa. 8:1, 3), as denoting the
sudden attack on Damascus and Syria by the Assyrian army.
Isaiah, The Book of
consists of prophecies delivered (Isa. 1) in the reign of Uzziah
(1-5), (2) of Jotham (6), (3) Ahaz (7-14:28), (4) the first half
of Hezekiah's reign (14:28-35), (5) the second half of
Hezekiah's reign (36-66). Thus, counting from the fourth year
before Uzziah's death (B.C. 762) to the last year of Hezekiah
(B.C. 698), Isaiah's ministry extended over a period of
sixty-four years. He may, however, have survived Hezekiah, and
may have perished in the way indicated above.
The book, as a whole, has been divided into three main parts:
(1.) The first thirty-five chapters, almost wholly prophetic,
Israel's enemy Assyria, present the Messiah as a mighty Ruler
and King. (2.) Four chapters are historical (36-39), relating to
the times of Hezekiah. (3.) Prophetical (40-66), Israel's enemy
Babylon, describing the Messiah as a suffering victim, meek and
The genuineness of the section Isa. 40-66 has been keenly
opposed by able critics. They assert that it must be the
production of a deutero-Isaiah, who lived toward the close of
the Babylonian captivity. This theory was originated by Koppe, a
German writer at the close of the last century. There are other
portions of the book also (e.g., ch. 13; 24-27; and certain
verses in ch. 14 and 21) which they attribute to some other
prophet than Isaiah. Thus they say that some five or seven, or
even more, unknown prophets had a hand in the production of this
book. The considerations which have led to such a result are
various: (1.) They cannot, as some say, conceive it possible
that Isaiah, living in B.C. 700, could foretell the appearance
and the exploits of a prince called Cyrus, who would set the
Jews free from captivity one hundred and seventy years after.
(2.) It is alleged that the prophet takes the time of the
Captivity as his standpoint, and speaks of it as then present;
and (3) that there is such a difference between the style and
language of the closing section (40-66) and those of the
preceding chapters as to necessitate a different authorship, and
lead to the conclusion that there were at least two Isaiahs. But
even granting the fact of a great diversity of style and
language, this will not necessitate the conclusion attempted to
be drawn from it. The diversity of subjects treated of and the
peculiarities of the prophet's position at the time the
prophecies were uttered will sufficiently account for this.
The arguments in favour of the unity of the book are quite
conclusive. When the LXX. version was made (about B.C. 250) the
entire contents of the book were ascribed to Isaiah, the son of
Amoz. It is not called in question, moreover, that in the time
of our Lord the book existed in the form in which we now have
it. Many prophecies in the disputed portions are quoted in the
New Testament as the words of Isaiah (Matt. 3:3; Luke 3:4-6;
4:16-41; John 12:38; Acts 8:28; Rom. 10:16-21). Universal and
persistent tradition has ascribed the whole book to one author.
Besides this, the internal evidence, the similarity in the
language and style, in the thoughts and images and rhetorical
ornaments, all points to the same conclusion; and its local
colouring and allusions show that it is obviously of Palestinian
origin. The theory therefore of a double authorship of the book,
much less of a manifold authorship, cannot be maintained. The
book, with all the diversity of its contents, is one, and is, we
believe, the production of the great prophet whose name it
silence, (compare Ps. 94:17), the fourth son of Ishmael; also the
tribe descended from him; and hence also the region in Arabia
which they inhabited (Gen. 25:14; 1 Chr. 1:30).
There was also a town of this name in Judah (Josh. 15:52),
which has been identified with ed-Domeh, about 10 miles
southwest of Hebron. The place mentioned in the "burden" of the
prophet Isaiah (21:11) is Edom or Idumea.
small, a town on the east or south-east of the Dead Sea, to
which Lot and his daughters fled from Sodom (Gen. 19:22, 23). It
was originally called Bela (14:2, 8). It is referred to by the
prophets Isaiah (15:5) and Jeremiah (48:34). Its ruins are still
seen at the opening of the ravine of Kerak, the Kir-Moab
referred to in 2 Kings 3, the modern Tell esh-Shaghur.
The arts of engraving and carving were much practised among the
Jews. They were practised in connection with the construction of
the tabernacle and the temple (Ex. 31:2, 5; 35:33; 1 Kings 6:18,
35; Ps. 74:6), as well as in the ornamentation of the priestly
dresses (Ex. 28:9-36; Zech. 3:9; 2 Chr. 2:7, 14). Isaiah
(44:13-17) gives a minute description of the process of carving
idols of wood.
a torrent. (1.) Applied to small streams, as the Arnon, Jabbok,
etc. Isaiah (15:7) speaks of the "book of the willows," probably
the Wady-el-Asha. (2.) It is also applied to winter torrents
(Job 6:15; Num. 34:5; Josh. 15:4, 47), and to the torrent-bed or
wady as well as to the torrent itself (Num. 13:23; 1 Kings
17:3). (3.) In Isa. 19:7 the river Nile is meant, as rendered in
the Revised Version.
The trust of the hypocrite is compared to the spider's web or
house (Job 8:14). It is said of the wicked by Isaiah that they
"weave the spider's web" (59:5), i.e., their works and designs
are, like the spider's web, vain and useless. The Hebrew word
here used is "'akkabish", "a swift weaver."
In Prov. 30:28 a different Hebrew word (semamith) is used. It
is rendered in the Vulgate by stellio, and in the Revised
Version by "lizard." It may, however, represent the spider, of
which there are, it is said, about seven hundred species in
Heb. zeeb, frequently referred to in Scripture as an emblem of
treachery and cruelty. Jacob's prophecy, "Benjamin shall ravin
as a wolf" (Gen. 49:27), represents the warlike character of
that tribe (see Judg. 19-21). Isaiah represents the peace of
Messiah's kingdom by the words, "The wolf also shall dwell with
the lamb" (Isa. 11:6). The habits of the wolf are described in
Jer. 5:6; Hab. 1:8; Zeph. 3:3; Ezek. 22:27; Matt. 7:15; 10:16;
Acts 20:29. Wolves are still sometimes found in Israel, and
are the dread of shepherds, as of old.
(1.) The fifth son of Japheth (Gen. 10:2).
(2.) A nation, probably descended from the son of Japheth. It
is mentioned by Isaiah (66:19), along with Javan, and by Ezekiel
(27:13), along with Meshech, among the traders with Tyre, also
among the confederates of Gog (Ezek. 38:2, 3; 39:1), and with
Meshech among the nations which were to be destroyed (32:26).
This nation was probably the Tiberini of the Greek historian
Herodotus, a people of the Asiatic highland west of the Upper
Euphrates, the southern range of the Caucasus, on the east of
the Black Sea.
trouble, a valley near Jericho, so called in consequence of the
trouble which the sin of Achan caused Israel (Josh. 7:24,26).
The expression "valley of Achor" probably became proverbial for
that which caused trouble, and when Isaiah (Isa. 65:10) refers
to it he uses it in this sense: "The valley of Achor, a place
for herds to lie down in;" i.e., that which had been a source of
calamity would become a source of blessing. Hosea also (Hos.
2:15) uses the expression in the same sense: "The valley of
Achor for a door of hope;" i.e., trouble would be turned into
joy, despair into hope. This valley has been identified with the
whom God will raise up. (1.) The son of Melea (Luke 3:30), and
probably grandson of Nathan.
(2.) The son of Abiud, of the posterity of Zerubbabel (Matt.
(3.) The son of Hilkiah, who was sent to receive the message
of the invading Assyrians and report it to Isaiah (2 Kings
18:18; 19:2; Isa. 36:3; 37:2). In his office as governor of the
palace of Hezekiah he succeeded Shebna (Isa. 22:15-25). He was a
good man (Isa. 22:20; 2 Kings 18:37), and had a splendid and
(4.) The original name of Jehoiakim, king of Judah (2 Kings
23:34). He was the son of Josiah.
waters of quiet, an ancient Moabite town (Num. 21:30). It was
assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Josh. 13:16). Here was fought
the great battle in which Joab defeated the Ammonites and their
allies (1 Chr. 19:7-15; compare 2 Sam. 10:6-14). In the time of
Isaiah (15:2) the Moabites regained possession of it from the
Ammonites. (See HANUN T0001632.)
The ruins of this important city, now Madeba or Madiyabah, are
seen about 8 miles south-west of Heshbon, and 14 east of the
Dead Sea. Among these are the ruins of what must have been a
large temple, and of three cisterns of considerable extent,
which are now dry. These cisterns may have originated the name
Medeba, "waters of quiet." (See OMRI T0002785.)
(Heb. plur. kishshuim; i.e., "hard," "difficult" of digestion,
only in Num. 11:5). This vegetable is extensively cultivated in
the East at the present day, as it appears to have been in
earlier times among the Hebrews. It belongs to the gourd family
of plants. In the East its cooling pulp and juice are most
refreshing. "We need not altogether wonder that the Israelites,
wearily marching through the arid solitudes of the Sinaitic
peninsula, thought more of the cucumbers and watermelons of
which they had had no lack in Egypt, rather than of the cruel
bondage which was the price of these luxuries." Groser's
Scripture Natural History.
Isaiah speaks of a "lodge" (1:8; Heb. sukkah), i.e., a shed or
edifice more solid than a booth, for the protection throughout
the season from spring to autumn of the watchers in a "garden of
possessor. (1.) A grandson of Jonathan (1 Chr. 8:35; 9:42).
(2.) The son and successor of Jotham, king of Judah (2 Kings
16; Isa. 7-9; 2 Chr. 28). He gave himself up to a life of
wickedness and idolatry. Notwithstanding the remonstrances and
warnings of Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah, he appealed for help
against Rezin, king of Damascus, and Pekah, king of Israel, who
threatened Jerusalem, to Tiglath-pileser, the king of Assyria,
to the great injury of his kingdom and his own humilating
subjection to the Assyrians (2 Kings 16:7, 9; 15:29). He also
introduced among his people many heathen and idolatrous customs
(Isa. 8:19; 38:8; 2 Kings 23:12). He died at the age of
thirty-five years, after reigning sixteen years (B.C. 740-724),
and was succeeded by his son Hezekiah. Because of his wickedness
he was "not brought into the sepulchre of the kings."
Joel, Book of
Joel was probably a resident in Judah, as his commission was to
that people. He makes frequent mention of Judah and Jerusalem
(1:14; 2:1, 15, 32; 3:1, 12, 17, 20, 21).
He probably flourished in the reign of Uzziah (about B.C.
800), and was contemporary with Amos and Isaiah.
The contents of this book are, (1.) A prophecy of a great
public calamity then impending over the land, consisting of a
want of water and an extraordinary plague of locusts (1:1-2:11).
(2.) The prophet then calls on his countrymen to repent and to
turn to God, assuring them of his readiness to forgive
(2:12-17), and foretelling the restoration of the land to its
accustomed fruitfulness (18-26). (3.) Then follows a Messianic
prophecy, quoted by Peter (Acts 2:39). (4.) Finally, the prophet
foretells portents and judgments as destined to fall on the
enemies of God (ch. 3, but in the Hebrew text 4).
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 (compare Jer. 26:18, 19).
the designation of a tribe descended from Moab, the son of Lot
(Gen. 19:37). From Zoar, the cradle of this tribe, on the
south-eastern border of the Dead Sea, they gradually spread over
the region on the east of Jordan. Rameses II., the Pharaoh of
the Oppression, enumerates Moab (Muab) among his conquests.
Shortly before the Exodus, the warlike Amorites crossed the
Jordan under Sihon their king and drove the Moabites (Num.
21:26-30) out of the region between the Arnon and the Jabbok,
and occupied it, making Heshbon their capital. They were then
confined to the territory to the south of the Arnon.
On their journey the Israelites did not pass through Moab, but
through the "wilderness" to the east (Deut. 2:8; Judg. 11:18),
at length reaching the country to the north of the Arnon. Here
they remained for some time till they had conquered Bashan (see
SIHON T0003427; OG T0002771). The Moabites were alarmed, and
their king, Balak, sought aid from the Midianites (Num. 22:2-4).
It was while they were here that the visit of Balaam (q.v.) to
Balak took place. (See MOSES T0002602.)
After the Conquest, the Moabites maintained hostile relations
with the Israelites, and frequently harassed them in war (Judg.
3:12-30; 1 Sam. 14). The story of Ruth, however, shows the
existence of friendly relations between Moab and Bethlehem. By
his descent from Ruth, David may be said to have had Moabite
blood in his veins. Yet there was war between David and the
Moabites (2 Sam. 8:2; 23:20; 1 Chr. 18:2), from whom he took
great spoil (2 Sam. 8:2, 11, 12; 1 Chr. 11:22; 18:11).
During the one hundred and fifty years which followed the
defeat of the Moabites, after the death of Ahab (see MESHA
T0002505), they regained, apparently, much of their former
prosperty. At this time Isaiah (15:1) delivered his "burden of
Moab," predicting the coming of judgment on that land (compare 2
Kings 17:3; 18:9; 1 Chr. 5:25, 26). Between the time of Isaiah
and the commencement of the Babylonian captivity we have very
seldom any reference to Moab (Jer. 25:21; 27:3; 40:11; Zeph.
After the Return, it was Sanballat, a Moabite, who took chief
part in seeking to prevent the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Neh.
2:19; 4:1; 6:1).
Heb. zebub, (Eccl. 10:1; Isa. 7:18). This fly was so grievous a
pest that the Phoenicians invoked against it the aid of their
god Baal-zebub (q.v.). The prophet Isaiah (7:18) alludes to some
poisonous fly which was believed to be found on the confines of
Egypt, and which would be called by the Lord. Poisonous flies
exist in many parts of Africa, for instance, the different kinds
Heb. 'arob, the name given to the insects sent as a plague on
the land of Egypt (Ex. 8:21-31; Ps. 78:45; 105:31). The LXX.
render this by a word which means the "dog-fly," the cynomuia.
The Jewish commentators regarded the Hebrew word here as
connected with the word "'arab", which means "mingled;" and they
accordingly supposed the plague to consist of a mixed multitude
of animals, beasts, reptiles, and insects. But there is no doubt
that "the "'arab"" denotes a single definite species. Some
interpreters regard it as the Blatta orientalis, the cockroach,
a species of beetle. These insects "inflict very painful bites
with their jaws; gnaw and destroy clothes, household furniture,
leather, and articles of every kind, and either consume or
render unavailable all eatables."
whom Jehovah helps. (1.) Son of Ethan, of the tribe of Judah (1
(2.) Son of Ahimaaz, who succeeded his grandfather Zadok as
high priest (1 Chr. 6:9; 1 Kings 4:2) in the days of Solomon. He
officiated at the consecration of the temple (1 Chr. 6:10).
(3.) The son of Johanan, high priest in the reign of Abijah
and Asa (2 Chr. 6:10, 11).
(4.) High priest in the reign of Uzziah, king of Judah (2
Kings 14:21; 2 Chr. 26:17-20). He was contemporary with the
prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Joel.
(5.) High priest in the days of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 31:10-13). Of
the house of Zadok.
(6.) Several other priests and Levites of this name are
mentioned (1 Chr. 6:36; Ezra 7:1; 1 Chr. 9:11; Neh. 3:23, etc.).
(7.) The original name of Abed-nego (Dan. 1:6, 7, 11, 16). He
was of the royal family of Judah, and with his other two
companions remarkable for his personal beauty and his
intelligence as well as piety.
(8.) The son of Oded, a remarkable prophet in the days of Asa
(2 Chr. 15:1). He stirred up the king and the people to a great
(1.) Heb. zahab, so called from its yellow colour (Ex. 25:11; 1
Chr. 28:18; 2 Chr. 3:5).
(2.) Heb. segor, from its compactness, or as being enclosed or
treasured up; thus precious or "fine gold" (1 Kings 6:20; 7:49).
(3.) Heb. paz, native or pure gold (Job 28:17; Ps. 19:10;
(4.) Heb. betzer, "ore of gold or silver" as dug out of the
mine (Job 36:19, where it means simply riches).
(5.) Heb. kethem, i.e., something concealed or separated (Job
28:16,19; Ps. 45:9; Prov. 25:12). Rendered "golden wedge" in
(6.) Heb. haruts, i.e., dug out; poetic for gold (Prov. 8:10;
16:16; Zech. 9:3).
Gold was known from the earliest times (Gen. 2:11). It was
principally used for ornaments (Gen. 24:22). It was very
abundant (1 Chr. 22:14; Nah. 2:9; Dan. 3:1). Many tons of it
were used in connection with the temple (2 Chr. 1:15). It was
found in Arabia, Sheba, and Ophir (1 Kings 9:28; 10:1; Job
28:16), but not in Israel.
In Dan. 2:38, the Babylonian Empire is spoken of as a "head of
gold" because of its great riches; and Babylon was called by
Isaiah (14:4) the "golden city" (R.V. marg., "exactress,"
adopting the reading "marhebah", instead of the usual word
light; the sun, (Gen. 41:45, 50), the great seat of sun-worship,
called also Bethshemesh (Jer. 43:13) and Aven (Ezek. 30:17),
stood on the east bank of the Nile, a few miles north of
Memphis, and near Cairo, in the NE. The Vulgate and the
LXX. Versions have "Heliopolis" ("city of the sun") instead of
On in Genesis and of Aven in Ezekiel. The "city of destruction"
Isaiah speaks of (19:18, marg. "of Heres;" Heb. 'Ir-ha-heres,
which some MSS. read Ir-ha-heres, i.e., "city of the sun") may
be the name given to On, the prophecy being that the time will
come when that city which was known as the "city of the sun-god"
shall become the "city of destruction" of the sun-god, i.e.,
when idolatry shall cease, and the worship of the true God be
In ancient times this city was full of obelisks dedicated to
the sun. Of these only one now remains standing. "Cleopatra's
Needle" was one of those which stood in this city in front of
the Temple of Tum, i.e., "the sun." It is now erected on the
Thames Embankment, London.
"It was at On that Joseph wooed and won the dark-skinned
Asenath, the daughter of the high priest of its great temple."
This was a noted university town, and here Moses gained his
acquaintance with "all the wisdom of the Egyptians."
Jehovah is perfect. (1.) The youngest of Gideon's seventy sons.
He escaped when the rest were put to death by the order of
Abimelech (Judg. 9:5). When "the citizens of Shechem and the
whole house of Millo" were gathered together "by the plain of
the pillar" (i.e., the stone set up by Joshua, 24:26; compare Gen.
35:4) "that was in Shechem, to make Abimelech king," from one of
the heights of Mount Gerizim he protested against their doing so
in the earliest parable, that of the bramble-king. His words
then spoken were prophetic. There came a recoil in the feelings
of the people toward Abimelech, and then a terrible revenge, in
which many were slain and the city of Shechem was destroyed by
Abimelech (Judg. 9:45). Having delivered his warning, Jotham
fled to Beer from the vengeance of Abimelech (9:7-21).
(2.) The son and successor of Uzziah on the throne of Judah.
As during his last years Uzziah was excluded from public life on
account of his leprosy, his son, then twenty-five years of age,
administered for seven years the affairs of the kingdom in his
father's stead (2 Chr. 26:21, 23; 27:1). After his father's
death he became sole monarch, and reigned for sixteen years
(B.C. 759-743). He ruled in the fear of God, and his reign was
prosperous. He was contemporary with the prophets Isaiah, Hosea,
and Micah, by whose ministrations he profited. He was buried in
the sepulchre of the kings, greatly lamented by the people (2
Kings 15:38; 2 Chr. 27:7-9).
a pond, or reservoir, for holding water (Heb. berekhah; modern
Arabic, birket), an artificial cistern or tank. Mention is made
of the pool of Gibeon (2 Sam. 2:13); the pool of Hebron (4:12);
the upper pool at Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:17; 20:20); the pool of
Samaria (1 Kings 22:38); the king's pool (Neh. 2:14); the pool
of Siloah (Neh. 3:15; Eccles. 2:6); the fishpools of Heshbon
(Cant. 7:4); the "lower pool," and the "old pool" (Isa.
The "pool of Bethesda" (John 5:2,4, 7) and the "pool of
Siloam" (John 9:7, 11) are also mentioned. Isaiah (35:7) says,
"The parched ground shall become a pool." This is rendered in
the Revised Version "glowing sand," etc. (marg., "the mirage,"
etc.). The Arabs call the mirage "serab," plainly the same as
the Hebrew word "sarab", here rendered "parched ground." "The
mirage shall become a pool", i.e., the mock-lake of the burning
desert shall become a real lake, "the pledge of refreshment and
joy." The "pools" spoken of in Isa. 14:23 are the marshes caused
by the ruin of the canals of the Euphrates in the neighbourhood
The cisterns or pools of the Holy City are for the most part
excavations beneath the surface. Such are the vast cisterns in
the temple hill that have recently been discovered by the
engineers of the Israel Exploration Fund. These underground
caverns are about thirty-five in number, and are capable of
storing about ten million gallons of water. They are connected
with one another by passages and tunnels.
(Matt. 2:18), the Greek form of Ramah. (1.) A city first
mentioned in Josh. 18:25, near Gibeah of Benjamin. It was
fortified by Baasha, king of Israel (1 Kings 15:17-22; 2 Chr.
16:1-6). Asa, king of Judah, employed Benhadad the Syrian king
to drive Baasha from this city (1 Kings 15:18, 20). Isaiah
(10:29) refers to it, and also Jeremiah, who was once a prisoner
there among the other captives of Jerusalem when it was taken by
Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 39:8-12; 40:1). Rachel, whose tomb lies
close to Bethlehem, is represented as weeping in Ramah (Jer.
31:15) for her slaughtered children. This prophecy is
illustrated and fulfilled in the re-awakening of Rachel's grief
at the slaughter of the infants in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:18). It is
identified with the modern village of er-Ram, between Gibeon and
Beeroth, about 5 miles due north of Jerusalem. (See SAMUEL
(2.) A town identified with Rameh, on the border of Asher,
about 13 miles south-east of Tyre, "on a solitary hill in the
midst of a basin of green fields" (Josh. 19:29).
(3.) One of the "fenced cities" of Naphtali (Josh. 19:36), on
a mountain slope, about seven and a half miles west-south-west
of Safed, and 15 miles west of the north end of the Sea of
Galilee, the present large and well-built village of Rameh.
(4.) The same as Ramathaim-zophim (q.v.), a town of Mount
Ephraim (1 Sam. 1:1, 19).
(5.) The same as Ramoth-gilead (q.v.), 2 Kings 8:29; 2 Chr.
only in Hos. 9:6, Hebrew Moph. In Isa. 19:13; Jer. 2:16; 46:14,
19; Ezek. 30:13, 16, it is mentioned under the name Noph. It was
the capital of Lower, i.e., of Northern Egypt. From certain
remains found half buried in the sand, the site of this ancient
city has been discovered near the modern village of Minyet
Rahinch, or Mitraheny, about 16 miles above the ancient head of
the Delta, and 9 miles south of Cairo, on the west bank of the
Nile. It is said to have been founded by Menes, the first king
of Egypt, and to have been in circumference about 19 miles.
"There are few remains above ground," says Manning (The Land of
the Pharaohs), "of the splendour of ancient Memphis. The city
has utterly disappeared. If any traces yet exist, they are
buried beneath the vast mounds of crumbling bricks and broken
pottery which meet the eye in every direction. Near the village
of Mitraheny is a colossal statue of Rameses the Great. It is
apparently one of the two described by Herodotus and Diodorus as
standing in front of the temple of Ptah. They were originally 50
feet in height. The one which remains, though mutilated,
measures 48 feet. It is finely carved in limestone, which takes
a high polish, and is evidently a portrait. It lies in a pit,
which, during the inundation, is filled with water. As we gaze
on this fallen and battered statue of the mighty conqueror who
was probably contemporaneous with Moses, it is impossible not to
remember the words of the prophet Isaiah, 19:13; 44:16-19, and
anointed, the Greek translation of the Hebrew word rendered
"Messiah" (q.v.), the official title of our Lord, occurring five
hundred and fourteen times in the New Testament. It denotes that
he was anointed or consecrated to his great redemptive work as
Prophet, Priest, and King of his people. He is Jesus the Christ
(Acts 17:3; 18:5; Matt. 22:42), the Anointed One. He is thus
spoken of by Isaiah (61:1), and by Daniel (9:24-26), who styles
him "Messiah the Prince."
The Messiah is the same person as "the seed of the woman"
(Gen. 3:15), "the seed of Abraham" (Gen. 22:18), the "Prophet
like unto Moses" (Deut. 18:15), "the priest after the order of
Melchizedek" (Ps. 110:4), "the rod out of the stem of Jesse"
(Isa. 11:1, 10), the "Immanuel," the virgin's son (Isa. 7:14),
"the branch of Jehovah" (Isa. 4:2), and "the messenger of the
covenant" (Mal. 3:1). This is he "of whom Moses in the law and
the prophets did write." The Old Testament Scripture is full of
prophetic declarations regarding the Great Deliverer and the
work he was to accomplish. Jesus the Christ is Jesus the Great
Deliverer, the Anointed One, the Saviour of men. This name
denotes that Jesus was divinely appointed, commissioned, and
accredited as the Saviour of men (Heb. 5:4; Isa. 11:2-4; 49:6;
John 5:37; Acts 2:22).
To believe that "Jesus is the Christ" is to believe that he is
the Anointed, the Messiah of the prophets, the Saviour sent of
God, that he was, in a word, what he claimed to be. This is to
believe the gospel, by the faith of which alone men can be
brought unto God. That Jesus is the Christ is the testimony of
God, and the faith of this constitutes a Christian (1 Cor. 12:3;
1 John 5:1).
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."
Hosea, Prophecies of
This book stands first in order among the "Minor Prophets." "The
probable cause of the location of Hosea may be the thoroughly
national character of his oracles, their length, their earnest
tone, and vivid representations." This was the longest of the
prophetic books written before the Captivity. Hosea prophesied
in a dark and melancholy period of Israel's history, the period
of Israel's decline and fall. Their sins had brought upon them
great national disasters. "Their homicides and fornication,
their perjury and theft, their idolatry and impiety, are
censured and satirized with a faithful severity." He was a
contemporary of Isaiah. The book may be divided into two parts,
the first containing chapters 1-3, and symbolically representing
the idolatry of Israel under imagery borrowed from the
matrimonial relation. The figures of marriage and adultery are
common in the Old Testament writings to represent the spiritual
relations between Jehovah and the people of Israel. Here we see
the apostasy of Israel and their punishment, with their future
repentance, forgiveness, and restoration.
The second part, containing 4-14, is a summary of Hosea's
discourses, filled with denunciations, threatenings,
exhortations, promises, and revelations of mercy.
Quotations from Hosea are found in Matt. 2:15; 9:15; 12:7;
Rom. 9:25, 26. There are, in addition, various allusions to it
in other places (Luke 23:30; Rev. 6:16, compare Hos. 10:8; Rom.
9:25, 26; 1 Pet. 2:10, compare Hos. 1:10, etc.).
As regards the style of this writer, it has been said that
"each verse forms a whole for itself, like one heavy toll in a
funeral knell." "Inversions (7:8; 9:11, 13; 12: 8), anacolutha
(9:6; 12:8, etc.), ellipses (9:4; 13:9, etc.), paranomasias, and
plays upon words, are very characteristic of Hosea (8:7; 9:15;
10:5; 11:5; 12:11)."
Siloam, Pool of
sent or sending. Here a notable miracle was wrought by our Lord
in giving sight to the blind (John 9:7-11). It has been
identified with the Birket Silwan in the lower Tyropoeon valley,
to the south-east of the hill of Zion.
The water which flows into this pool intermittingly by a
subterranean channel springs from the "Fountain of the Virgin"
(q.v.). The length of this channel, which has several windings,
is 1,750 feet, though the direct distance is only 1,100 feet.
The pool is 53 feet in length from north to south, 18 feet wide,
and 19 deep. The water passes from it by a channel cut in the
rock into the gardens below. (See EN-ROGEL T0001214.)
Many years ago (1880) a youth, while wading up the conduit by
which the water enters the pool, accidentally discovered an
inscription cut in the rock, on the eastern side, about 19 feet
from the pool. This is the oldest extant Hebrew record of the
kind. It has with great care been deciphered by scholars, and
has been found to be an account of the manner in which the
tunnel was constructed. Its whole length is said to be "twelve
hundred cubits;" and the inscription further notes that the
workmen, like the excavators of the Mont Cenis Tunnel, excavated
from both ends, meeting in the middle.
Some have argued that the inscription was cut in the time of
Solomon; others, with more probability, refer it to the reign of
Hezekiah. A more ancient tunnel was discovered in 1889 some 20
feet below the ground. It is of smaller dimensions, but more
direct in its course. It is to this tunnel that Isaiah (8:6)
The Siloam inscription above referred to was surreptitiously
cut from the wall of the tunnel in 1891 and broken into
fragments. These were, however, recovered by the efforts of the
British Consul at Jerusalem, and have been restored to their
borne; a burden, one of the twelve minor prophets. He was a
native of Tekota, the modern Tekua, a town about 12 miles
south-east of Bethlehem. He was a man of humble birth, neither a
"prophet nor a prophet's son," but "an herdman and a dresser of
sycomore trees," R.V. He prophesied in the days of Uzziah, king
of Judah, and was contemporary with Isaiah and Hosea (Amos 1:1;
7:14, 15; Zech. 14:5), who survived him a few years. Under
Jeroboam II. the kingdom of Israel rose to the zenith of its
prosperity; but that was followed by the prevalence of luxury
and vice and idolatry. At this period Amos was called from his
obscurity to remind the people of the law of God's retributive
justice, and to call them to repentance.
The Book of Amos consists of three parts:
(1.) The nations around are summoned to judgment because of
their sins (1:1-2:3). He quotes Joel 3:16.
(2.) The spiritual condition of Judah, and especially of
Israel, is described (2:4-6:14).
(3.) In 7:1-9:10 are recorded five prophetic visions. (a) The
first two (7:1-6) refer to judgments against the guilty people.
(b) The next two (7:7-9; 8:1-3) point out the ripeness of the
people for the threatened judgements. 7:10-17 consists of a
conversation between the prophet and the priest of Bethel. (c)
The fifth describes the overthrow and ruin of Israel (9:1-10);
to which is added the promise of the restoration of the kingdom
and its final glory in the Messiah's kingdom.
The style is peculiar in the number of the allusions made to
natural objects and to agricultural occupations. Other allusions
show also that Amos was a student of the law as well as a "child
of nature." These phrases are peculiar to him: "Cleanness of
teeth" [i.e., want of bread] (4:6); "The excellency of Jacob"
(6:8; 8:7); "The high places of Isaac" (7:9); "The house of
Isaac" (7:16); "He that createth the wind" (4:13). Quoted, Acts
Heb. Madai, which is rendered in the Authorized Version (1)
"Madai," Gen. 10:2; (2) "Medes," 2 Kings 17:6; 18:11; (3)
"Media," Esther 1:3; 10:2; Isa. 21:2; Dan. 8:20; (4) "Mede,"
only in Dan. 11:1.
We first hear of this people in the Assyrian cuneiform
records, under the name of Amada, about B.C. 840. They appear to
have been a branch of the Aryans, who came from the east bank of
the Indus, and were probably the predominant race for a while in
the Mesopotamian valley. They consisted for three or four
centuries of a number of tribes, each ruled by its own chief,
who at length were brought under the Assyrian yoke (2 Kings
17:6). From this subjection they achieved deliverance, and
formed themselves into an empire under Cyaxares (B.C. 633). This
monarch entered into an alliance with the king of Babylon, and
invaded Assyria, capturing and destroying the city of Nineveh
(B.C. 625), thus putting an end to the Assyrian monarchy (Nah.
1:8; 2:5,6; 3:13, 14).
Media now rose to a place of great power, vastly extending its
boundaries. But it did not long exist as an independent kingdom.
It rose with Cyaxares, its first king, and it passed away with
him; for during the reign of his son and successor Astyages, the
Persians waged war against the Medes and conquered them, the two
nations being united under one monarch, Cyrus the Persian (B.C.
The "cities of the Medes" are first mentioned in connection
with the deportation of the Israelites on the destruction of
Samaria (2 Kings 17:6; 18:11). Soon afterwards Isaiah (13:17;
21:2) speaks of the part taken by the Medes in the destruction
of Babylon (compare Jer. 51:11, 28). Daniel gives an account of
the reign of Darius the Mede, who was made viceroy by Cyrus
(Dan. 6:1-28). The decree of Cyrus, Ezra informs us (6:2-5), was
found in "the palace that is in the province of the Medes,"
Achmetha or Ecbatana of the Greeks, which is the only Median
city mentioned in Scripture.
(1.) Heb. bath-haya'anah, "daughter of greediness" or of
"shouting." In the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:16; Deut.
14:15); also mentioned in Job 30:29; Isa. 13:21; 34:13; 43:20;
Jer. 50:39; Micah 1:8. In all these passages the Revised Version
translates "ostrich" (q.v.), which is the correct rendering.
(2.) Heb. yanshuph, rendered "great owl" in Lev. 11:17; Deut.
14:16, and "owl" in Isa. 34:11. This is supposed to be the
Egyptian eagle-owl (Bubo ascalaphus), which takes the place of
the eagle-owl (Bubo maximus) found in Southern Europe. It is
found frequenting the ruins of Egypt and also of the Holy Land.
"Its cry is a loud, prolonged, and very powerful hoot. I know
nothing which more vividly brought to my mind the sense of
desolation and loneliness than the re-echoing hoot of two or
three of these great owls as I stood at midnight among the
ruined temples of Baalbek" (Tristram).
The LXX. and Vulgate render this word by "ibis", i.e., the
(3.) Heb. kos, rendered "little owl" in Lev. 11:17; Deut.
14:16, and "owl" in Ps. 102:6. The Arabs call this bird "the
mother of ruins." It is by far the most common of all the owls
of Israel. It is the Athene persica, the bird of Minerva, the
symbol of ancient Athens.
(4.) Heb. kippoz, the "great owl" (Isa. 34:15); Revised
Version, "arrow-snake;" LXX. and Vulgate, "hedgehog," reading in
the text, kippod, instead of kippoz. There is no reason to doubt
the correctness of the rendering of the Authorized Version.
Tristram says: "The word [i.e., kippoz] is very possibly an
imitation of the cry of the scops owl (Scops giu), which is very
common among ruins, caves, and old walls of towns...It is a
migrant, returning to Israel in spring."
(5.) Heb. lilith, "screech owl" (Isa. 34:14, marg. and R.V.,
"night monster"). The Hebrew word is from a root signifying
"night." Some species of the owl is obviously intended by this
word. It may be the hooting or tawny owl (Syrnium aluco), which
is common in Egypt and in many parts of Israel. This verse in
Isaiah is "descriptive of utter and perpetual desolation, of a
land that should be full of ruins, and inhabited by the animals
that usually make such ruins their abode."
Heb. ya'ar, meaning a dense wood, from its luxuriance. Thus all
the great primeval forests of Syria (Eccl. 2:6; Isa. 44:14; Jer.
5:6; Micah 5:8). The most extensive was the trans-Jordanic
forest of Ephraim (2 Sam. 18:6, 8; Josh. 17:15, 18), which is
probably the same as the wood of Ephratah (Ps. 132:6), some part
of the great forest of Gilead. It was in this forest that
Absalom was slain by Joab. David withdrew to the forest of
Hareth in the mountains of Judah to avoid the fury of Saul (1
Sam. 22:5). We read also of the forest of Bethel (2 Kings 2:23,
24), and of that which the Israelites passed in their pursuit of
the Philistines (1 Sam. 14:25), and of the forest of the cedars
of Lebanon (1 Kings 4:33; 2 Kings 19:23; Hos. 14:5, 6).
"The house of the forest of Lebanon (1 Kings 7:2; 10:17; 2
Chr. 9:16) was probably Solomon's armoury, and was so called
because the wood of its many pillars came from Lebanon, and they
had the appearance of a forest. (See BAALBEC T0000386.)
Heb. horesh, denoting a thicket of trees, underwood, jungle,
bushes, or trees entangled, and therefore affording a safe
hiding-place. place. This word is rendered "forest" only in 2
Chr. 27:4. It is also rendered "wood", the "wood" in the
"wilderness of Ziph," in which david concealed himself (1 Sam.
23:15), which lay south-east of Hebron. In Isa. 17:19 this word
is in Authorized Version rendered incorrectly "bough."
Heb. pardes, meaning an enclosed garden or plantation. Asaph
is (Neh. 2:8) called the "keeper of the king's forest." The same
Hebrew word is used Eccl. 2:5, where it is rendered in the
plural "orchards" (R.V., "parks"), and Cant. 4: 13, rendered
"orchard" (R.V. marg., "a paradise").
"The forest of the vintage" (Zech. 11:2, "inaccessible
forest," or R.V. "strong forest") is probably a figurative
allusion to Jerusalem, or the verse may simply point to the
devastation of the region referred to.
The forest is an image of unfruitfulness as contrasted with a
cultivated field (Isa. 29:17; 32:15; Jer. 26:18; Hos. 2:12).
Isaiah (10:19, 33, 34) likens the Assyrian host under
Sennacherib (q.v.) to the trees of some huge forest, to be
suddenly cut down by an unseen stroke.
Ezekiel, Book of
consists mainly of three groups of prophecies. After an account
of his call to the prophetical office (1-3:21), Ezekiel (1)
utters words of denunciation against the Jews (3:22-24), warning
them of the certain destruction of Jerusalem, in opposition to
the words of the false prophets (4:1-3). The symbolical acts, by
which the extremities to which Jerusalem would be reduced are
described in ch. 4,5, show his intimate acquaintance with the
Levitical legislation. (See Ex. 22:30; Deut. 14:21; Lev. 5:2;
7:18,24; 17:15; 19:7; 22:8, etc.)
(2.) Prophecies against various surrounding nations: against
the Ammonites (Ezek. 25:1-7), the Moabites (8-11), the Edomites
(12-14), the Philistines (15-17), Tyre and Sidon (26-28), and
against Egypt (29-32).
(3.) Prophecies delivered after the destruction of Jerusalem
by Nebuchadnezzar: the triumphs of Israel and of the kingdom of
God on earth (Ezek. 33-39); Messianic times, and the
establishment and prosperity of the kingdom of God (40;48).
The closing visions of this book are referred to in the book
of Revelation (Ezek. 38=Rev. 20:8; Ezek. 47:1-8=Rev. 22:1,2).
Other references to this book are also found in the New
Testament. (Compare Rom. 2:24 with Ezek. 36:2; Rom. 10:5, Gal.
3:12 with Ezek. 20:11; 2 Pet. 3:4 with Ezek. 12:22.)
It may be noted that Daniel, fourteen years after his
deportation from Jerusalem, is mentioned by Ezekiel (14:14)
along with Noah and Job as distinguished for his righteousness,
and some five years later he is spoken of as pre-eminent for his
Ezekiel's prophecies are characterized by symbolical and
allegorical representations, "unfolding a rich series of
majestic visions and of colossal symbols." There are a great
many also of "symbolcal actions embodying vivid conceptions on
the part of the prophet" (4:1-4; 5:1-4; 12:3-6; 24:3-5; 37:16,
etc.) "The mode of representation, in which symbols and
allegories occupy a prominent place, gives a dark, mysterious
character to the prophecies of Ezekiel. They are obscure and
enigmatical. A cloudy mystery overhangs them which it is almost
impossible to penetrate. Jerome calls the book 'a labyrith of
the mysteries of God.' It was because of this obscurity that the
Jews forbade any one to read it till he had attained the age of
Ezekiel is singular in the frequency with which he refers to
the Pentateuch (e.g., Ezek. 27; 28:13; 31:8; 36:11, 34; 47:13,
etc.). He shows also an acquaintance with the writings of Hosea
(Ezek. 37:22), Isaiah (Ezek. 8:12; 29:6), and especially with
those of Jeremiah, his older contemporary (Jer. 24:7, 9; 48:37).
the language of the Hebrew nation, and that in which the Old
Testament is written, with the exception of a few portions in
Chaldee. In the Old Testament it is only spoken of as "Jewish"
(2 Kings 18:26, 28; Isa. 36:11, 13; 2 Chr 32:18). This name is
first used by the Jews in times subsequent to the close of the
It is one of the class of languages called Semitic, because
they were chiefly spoken among the descendants of Shem.
When Abraham entered Canaan it is obvious that he found the
language of its inhabitants closely allied to his own. Isaiah
(19:18) calls it "the language of Canaan." Whether this
language, as seen in the earliest books of the Old Testament,
was the very dialect which Abraham brought with him into Canaan,
or whether it was the common tongue of the Canaanite nations
which he only adopted, is uncertain; probably the latter opinion
is the correct one. For the thousand years between Moses and the
Babylonian exile the Hebrew language underwent little or no
modification. It preserves all through a remarkable uniformity
of structure. From the first it appears in its full maturity of
development. But through intercourse with Damascus, Assyria, and
Babylon, from the time of David, and more particularly from the
period of the Exile, it comes under the influence of the Aramaic
idiom, and this is seen in the writings which date from this
period. It was never spoken in its purity by the Jews after
their return from Babylon. They now spoke Hebrew with a large
admixture of Aramaic or Chaldee, which latterly became the
predominant element in the national language.
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has only about six thousand
words, all derived from about five hundred roots. Hence the same
word has sometimes a great variety of meanings. So long as it
was a living language, and for ages after, only the consonants
of the words were written. This also has been a source of
difficulty in interpreting certain words, for the meaning varies
according to the vowels which may be supplied. The Hebrew is one
of the oldest languages of which we have any knowledge. It is
essentially identical with the Phoenician language. (See MOABITE
STONE T0002586.) The Semitic languages, to which class the
Hebrew and Phoenician belonged, were spoken over a very wide
area: in Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Israel and Arabia, in
all the countries from the Mediterranean to the borders of
Assyria, and from the mountains of Armenia to the Indian Ocean.
The rounded form of the letters, as seen in the Moabite stone,
was probably that in which the ancient Hebrew was written down
to the time of the Exile, when the present square or Chaldean
form was adopted.
whom Jehovah has strengthened. (1.) Son of Ahaz (2 Kings 18:1; 2
Chr. 29:1), whom he succeeded on the throne of the kingdom of
Judah. He reigned twenty-nine years (B.C. 726-697). The history
of this king is contained in 2 Kings 18:20, Isa. 36-39, and 2
Chr. 29-32. He is spoken of as a great and good king. In public
life he followed the example of his great-granfather Uzziah. He
set himself to abolish idolatry from his kingdom, and among
other things which he did for this end, he destroyed the "brazen
serpent," which had been removed to Jerusalem, and had become an
object of idolatrous worship (Num. 21:9). A great reformation
was wrought in the kingdom of Judah in his day (2 Kings 18:4; 2
On the death of Sargon and the accession of his son
Sennacherib to the throne of Assyria, Hezekiah refused to pay
the tribute which his father had paid, and "rebelled against the
king of Assyria, and served him not," but entered into a league
with Egypt (Isa. 30; 31; 36:6-9). This led to the invasion of
Judah by Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:13-16), who took forty cities,
and besieged Jerusalem with mounds. Hezekiah yielded to the
demands of the Assyrian king, and agreed to pay him three
hundred talents of silver and thirty of gold (18:14).
But Sennacherib dealt treacherously with Hezekiah (Isa. 33:1),
and a second time within two years invaded his kingdom (2 Kings
18:17; 2 Chr. 32:9; Isa. 36). This invasion issued in the
destruction of Sennacherib's army. Hezekiah prayed to God, and
"that night the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the
camp of the Assyrians 185,000 men." Sennacherib fled with the
shattered remnant of his forces to Nineveh, where, seventeen
years after, he was assassinated by his sons Adrammelech and
Sharezer (2 Kings 19:37). (See SENNACHERIB T0003273.)
The narrative of Hezekiah's sickness and miraculous recovery
is found in 2 Kings 20:1, 2 Chr. 32:24, Isa. 38:1. Various
ambassadors came to congratulate him on his recovery, and among
them Merodach-baladan, the viceroy of Babylon (2 Chr. 32:23; 2
Kings 20:12). He closed his days in peace and prosperity, and
was succeeded by his son Manasseh. He was buried in the
"chiefest of the sepulchres of the sons of David" (2 Chr.
32:27-33). He had "after him none like him among all the kings
of Judah, nor any that were before him" (2 Kings 18:5). (See
lover of horses. (1.) One of the twelve apostles; a native of
Bethsaida, "the city of Andrew and Peter" (John 1:44). He
readily responded to the call of Jesus when first addressed to
him (43), and forthwith brought Nathanael also to Jesus (45,46).
He seems to have held a prominent place among the apostles
(Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; John 6:5-7; 12:21, 22; 14:8, 9; Acts
1:13). Of his later life nothing is certainly known. He is said
to have preached in Phrygia, and to have met his death at
(2.) One of the "seven" (Acts 6:5), called also "the
evangelist" (21:8, 9). He was one of those who were "scattered
abroad" by the persecution that arose on the death of Stephen.
He went first to Samaria, where he laboured as an evangelist
with much success (8:5-13). While he was there he received a
divine command to proceed toward the south, along the road
leading from Jerusalem to Gaza. These towns were connected by
two roads. The one Philip was directed to take was that which
led through Hebron, and thence through a district little
inhabited, and hence called "desert." As he travelled along this
road he was overtaken by a chariot in which sat a man of
Ethiopia, the eunuch or chief officer of Queen Candace, who was
at that moment reading, probably from the Septuagint version, a
portion of the prophecies of Isaiah (53:6,7). Philip entered
into conversation with him, and expounded these verses,
preaching to him the glad tidings of the Saviour. The eunuch
received the message and believed, and was forthwith baptized,
and then "went on his way rejoicing." Philip was instantly
caught away by the Spirit after the baptism, and the eunuch saw
him no more. He was next found at Azotus, whence he went forth
in his evangelistic work till he came to Caesarea. He is not
mentioned again for about twenty years, when he is still found
at Caesarea (Acts 21:8) when Paul and his companions were on the
way to Jerusalem. He then finally disappears from the page of
(3.) Mentioned only in connection with the imprisonment of
John the Baptist (Matt. 14:3; Mark 6:17; Luke 3:19). He was the
son of Herod the Great, and the first husband of Herodias, and
the father of Salome. (See HEROD PHILIP I. T0001763)
(4.) The "tetrarch of Ituraea" (Luke 3:1); a son of Herod the
Great, and brother of Herod Antipas. The city of
Caesarea-Philippi was named partly after him (Matt. 16:13; Mark
8:27). (See HEROD PHILIP II. T0001764)
or prediction, was one of the functions of the prophet. It has
been defined as a "miracle of knowledge, a declaration or
description or representation of something future, beyond the
power of human sagacity to foresee, discern, or conjecture."
(See PROPHET T0003006.)
The great prediction which runs like a golden thread through
the whole contents of the Old Testament is that regarding the
coming and work of the Messiah; and the great use of prophecy
was to perpetuate faith in his coming, and to prepare the world
for that event. But there are many subordinate and intermediate
prophecies also which hold an important place in the great chain
of events which illustrate the sovereignty and all-wise
overruling providence of God.
Then there are many prophecies regarding the Jewish nation,
its founder Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; 13:16; 15:5; 17:2, 4-6, etc.),
and his posterity, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants (12:7;
13:14, 15, 17; 15:18-21; Ex. 3:8, 17), which have all been
fulfilled. The twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy contains a
series of predictions which are even now in the present day
being fulfilled. In the writings of the prophets Isaiah
(2:18-21), Jeremiah (27:3-7; 29:11-14), Ezekiel (5:12; 8),
Daniel (8; 9:26, 27), Hosea (9:17), there are also many
prophecies regarding the events which were to befall that
There is in like manner a large number of prophecies relating
to those nations with which the Jews came into contact, as Tyre
(Ezek. 26:3-5, 14-21), Egypt (Ezek. 29:10, 15; 30:6, 12, 13),
Ethiopia (Nahum 3:8-10), Nineveh (Nahum 1:10; 2:8-13; 3:17-19),
Babylon (Isa. 13:4; Jer. 51:7; Isa. 44:27; Jer. 50:38; 51:36,
39, 57), the land of the Philistines (Jer. 47:4-7; Ezek.
25:15-17; Amos 1:6-8; Zeph. 2:4-7; Zech. 9:5-8), and of the four
great monarchies (Dan. 2:39, 40; 7:17-24; 8:9).
But the great body of Old Testament prophecy relates directly
to the advent of the Messiah, beginning with Gen. 3:15, the
first great promise, and extending in ever-increasing fulness
and clearness all through to the very close of the canon. The
Messianic prophecies are too numerous to be quoted. "To him gave
all the prophets witness." (Compare Micah 5:2; Hag. 2:6-9; Isa.
7:14; 9:6, 7; 11:1, 2; 53; 60:10, 13; Ps. 16:11; 68:18.)
Many predictions also were delivered by Jesus and his
apostles. Those of Christ were very numerous. (Compare Matt.
10:23:24; 11:23; 19:28; 21:43, 44; 24; 25:31-46; 26:17-35, 46,
64; Mark 9:1; 10:30; 13; 11:1-6, 14; 14:12-31, 42, 62; 16:17,
who makes to forget. "God hath made me forget" (Heb. nashshani),
Gen. 41:51. (1.) The elder of the two sons of Joseph. He and his
brother Ephraim were afterwards adopted by Jacob as his own sons
(48:1). There is an account of his marriage to a Syrian (1 Chr.
7:14); and the only thing afterwards recorded of him is, that
his grandchildren were "brought up upon Joseph's knees" (Gen.
50:23; R.V., "born upon Joseph's knees") i.e., were from their
birth adopted by Joseph as his own children.
The tribe of Manasseh was associated with that of Ephraim and
Benjamin during the wanderings in the wilderness. They encamped
on the west side of the tabernacle. According to the census
taken at Sinai, this tribe then numbered 32,200 (Num. 1:10, 35;
2:20, 21). Forty years afterwards its numbers had increased to
52,700 (26:34, 37), and it was at this time the most
distinguished of all the tribes.
The half of this tribe, along with Reuben and Gad, had their
territory assigned them by Moses on the east of the Jordan
(Josh. 13:7-14); but it was left for Joshua to define the limits
of each tribe. This territory on the east of Jordan was more
valuable and of larger extent than all that was allotted to the
nine and a half tribes in the land of Israel. It is sometimes
called "the land of Gilead," and is also spoken of as "on the
other side of Jordan." The portion given to the half tribe of
Manasseh was the largest on the east of Jordan. It embraced the
whole of Bashan. It was bounded on the south by Mahanaim, and
extended north to the foot of Lebanon. Argob, with its sixty
cities, that "ocean of basaltic rocks and boulders tossed about
in the wildest confusion," lay in the midst of this territory.
The whole "land of Gilead" having been conquered, the two and
a half tribes left their wives and families in the fortified
cities there, and accompanied the other tribes across the
Jordan, and took part with them in the wars of conquest. The
allotment of the land having been completed, Joshua dismissed
the two and a half tribes, commending them for their heroic
service (Josh. 22:1-34). Thus dismissed, they returned over
Jordan to their own inheritance. (See ED T0001125.)
On the west of Jordan the other half of the tribe of Manasseh
was associated with Ephraim, and they had their portion in the
very centre of Israel, an area of about 1,300 square miles,
the most valuable part of the whole country, abounding in
springs of water. Manasseh's portion was immediately to the
north of that of Ephraim (Josh. 16). Thus the western Manasseh
defended the passes of Esdraelon as the eastern kept the passes
of the Hauran.
(2.) The only son and successor of Hezekiah on the throne of
Judah. He was twelve years old when he began to reign (2 Kings
21:1), and he reigned fifty-five years (B.C. 698-643). Though he
reigned so long, yet comparatively little is known of this king.
His reign was a continuation of that of Ahaz, both in religion
and national polity. He early fell under the influence of the
heathen court circle, and his reign was characterized by a sad
relapse into idolatry with all its vices, showing that the
reformation under his father had been to a large extent only
superficial (Isa. 7:10; 2 Kings 21:10-15). A systematic and
persistent attempt was made, and all too successfully, to banish
the worship of Jehovah out of the land. Amid this wide-spread
idolatry there were not wanting, however, faithful prophets
(Isaiah, Micah) who lifted up their voice in reproof and in
warning. But their fidelity only aroused bitter hatred, and a
period of cruel persecution against all the friends of the old
religion began. "The days of Alva in Holland, of Charles IX. in
France, or of the Covenanters under Charles II. in Scotland,
were anticipated in the Jewish capital. The streets were red
with blood." There is an old Jewish tradition that Isaiah was
put to death at this time (2 Kings 21:16; 24:3, 4; Jer. 2:30),
having been sawn asunder in the trunk of a tree. Psalms 49, 73,
77, 140, and 141 seem to express the feelings of the pious amid
the fiery trials of this great persecution. Manasseh has been
called the "Nero of Israel."
Esarhaddon, Sennacherib's successor on the Assyrian throne,
who had his residence in Babylon for thirteen years (the only
Assyrian monarch who ever reigned in Babylon), took Manasseh
prisoner (B.C. 681) to Babylon. Such captive kings were usually
treated with great cruelty. They were brought before the
conqueror with a hook or ring passed through their lips or their
jaws, having a cord attached to it, by which they were led. This
is referred to in 2 Chr. 33:11, where the Authorized Version
reads that Esarhaddon "took Manasseh among the thorns;" while
the Revised Version renders the words, "took Manasseh in
chains;" or literally, as in the margin, "with hooks." (Compare 2
The severity of Manasseh's imprisonment brought him to
repentance. God heard his cry, and he was restored to his
kingdom (2 Chr. 33:11-13). He abandoned his idolatrous ways, and
enjoined the people to worship Jehovah; but there was no
thorough reformation. After a lengthened reign extending through
fifty-five years, the longest in the history of Judah, he died,
and was buried in the garden of Uzza, the "garden of his own
house" (2 Kings 21:17, 18; 2 Chr. 33:20), and not in the city of
David, among his ancestors. He was succeeded by his son Amon.
In Judg. 18:30 the correct reading is "Moses," and not
"Manasseh." The name "Manasseh" is supposed to have been
introduced by some transcriber to avoid the scandal of naming
the grandson of Moses the great lawgiver as the founder of an
Bible, the English form of the Greek name "Biblia", meaning
"books," the name which in the fifth century began to be given
to the entire collection of sacred books, the "Library of Divine
Revelation." The name Bible was adopted by Wickliffe, and came
gradually into use in our English language. The Bible consists
of sixty-six different books, composed by many different
writers, in three different languages, under different
circumstances; writers of almost every social rank, statesmen
and peasants, kings, herdsmen, fishermen, priests,
tax-gatherers, tentmakers; educated and uneducated, Jews and
Gentiles; most of them unknown to each other, and writing at
various periods during the space of about 1600 years: and yet,
after all, it is only one book dealing with only one subject in
its numberless aspects and relations, the subject of man's
It is divided into the Old Testament, containing thirty-nine
books, and the New Testament, containing twenty-seven books. The
names given to the Old in the writings of the New are "the
scriptures" (Matt. 21:42), "scripture" (2 Pet. 1:20), "the holy
scriptures" (Rom. 1:2), "the law" (John 12:34), "the law of
Moses, the prophets, and the psalms" (Luke 24:44), "the law and
the prophets" (Matt. 5:17), "the old covenant" (2 Cor. 3:14,
R.V.). There is a break of 400 years between the Old Testament
and the New. (See APOCRYPHA T0000263.)
The Old Testament is divided into three parts:, 1. The Law
(Torah), consisting of the Pentateuch, or five books of Moses.
2. The Prophets, consisting of (1) the former, namely, Joshua,
Judges, the Books of Samuel, and the Books of Kings; (2) the
latter, namely, the greater prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and
Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets. 3. The Hagiographa, or
holy writings, including the rest of the books. These were
ranked in three divisions:, (1) The Psalms, Proverbs, and Job,
distinguished by the Hebrew name, a word formed of the initial
letters of these books, "emeth", meaning truth. (2) Canticles,
Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther, called the five
rolls, as being written for the synagogue use on five separate
rolls. (3) Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles.
Between the Old and the New Testament no addition was made to
the revelation God had already given. The period of New
Testament revelation, extending over a century, began with the
appearance of John the Baptist.
The New Testament consists of (1) the historical books, viz.,
the Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles; (2) the Epistles; and
(3) the book of prophecy, the Revelation.
The division of the Bible into chapters and verses is
altogether of human invention, designed to facilitate reference
to it. The ancient Jews divided the Old Testament into certain
sections for use in the synagogue service, and then at a later
period, in the ninth century A.D., into verses. Our modern
system of chapters for all the books of the Bible was introduced
by Cardinal Hugo about the middle of the thirteenth century (he
died 1263). The system of verses for the New Testament was
introduced by Stephens in 1551, and generally adopted, although
neither Tyndale's nor Coverdale's English translation of the
Bible has verses. The division is not always wisely made, yet it
is very useful. (See VERSION T0003768.)
Job, Book of
A great diversity of opinion exists as to the authorship of this
book. From internal evidence, such as the similarity of
sentiment and language to those in the Psalms and Proverbs (see
Ps. 88 and 89), the prevalence of the idea of "wisdom," and the
style and character of the composition, it is supposed by some
to have been written in the time of David and Solomon. Others
argue that it was written by Job himself, or by Elihu, or
Isaiah, or perhaps more probably by Moses, who was "learned in
all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and mighty in words and deeds"
(Acts 7:22). He had opportunities in Midian for obtaining the
knowledge of the facts related. But the authorship is altogether
As to the character of the book, it is a historical poem, one
of the greatest and sublimest poems in all literature. Job was a
historical person, and the localities and names were real and
not fictious. It is "one of the grandest portions of the
inspired Scriptures, a heavenly-repleished storehouse of comfort
and instruction, the patriarchal Bible, and a precious monument
of primitive theology. It is to the Old Testament what the
Epistle to the Romans is to the New." It is a didactic narrative
in a dramatic form.
This book was apparently well known in the days of Ezekiel,
B.C. 600 (Ezek. 14:14). It formed a part of the sacred
Scriptures used by our Lord and his apostles, and is referred to
as a part of the inspired Word (Heb. 12:5; 1 Cor. 3:19).
The subject of the book is the trial of Job, its occasion,
nature, endurance, and issue. It exhibits the harmony of the
truths of revelation and the dealings of Providence, which are
seen to be at once inscrutable, just, and merciful. It shows the
blessedness of the truly pious, even amid sore afflictions, and
thus ministers comfort and hope to tried believers of every age.
It is a book of manifold instruction, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in
righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16).
It consists of,
(1.) An historical introduction in prose (ch. 1,2).
(2.) The controversy and its solution, in poetry (ch. 3-42:6).
Job's desponding lamentation (ch. 3) is the occasion of the
controversy which is carried on in three courses of dialogues
between Job and his three friends. The first course gives the
commencement of the controversy (ch. 4-14); the second the
growth of the controversy (15-21); and the third the height of
the controversy (22-27). This is followed by the solution of the
controversy in the speeches of Elihu and the address of Jehovah,
followed by Job's humble confession (42:1-6) of his own fault
(3.) The third division is the historical conclusion, in prose
Sir J. W. Dawson in "The Expositor" says: "It would now seem
that the language and theology of the book of Job can be better
explained by supposing it to be a portion of Minean [Southern
Arabia] literature obtained by Moses in Midian than in any other
way. This view also agrees better than any other with its
references to natural objects, the art of mining, and other
Sin (the god) sends many brothers, son of Sargon, whom he
succeeded on the throne of Assyria (B.C. 705), in the 23rd year
of Hezekiah. "Like the Persian Xerxes, he was weak and
vainglorious, cowardly under reverse, and cruel and boastful in
success." He first set himself to break up the powerful
combination of princes who were in league against him. Among
these was Hezekiah, who had entered into an alliance with Egypt
against Assyria. He accordingly led a very powerful army of at
least 200,000 men into Judea, and devastated the land on every
side, taking and destroying many cities (2 Kings 18:13-16; compare
Isa. 22, 24, 29, and 2 Chr. 32:1-8). His own account of this
invasion, as given in the Assyrian annals, is in these words:
"Because Hezekiah, king of Judah, would not submit to my yoke, I
came up against him, and by force of arms and by the might of my
power I took forty-six of his strong fenced cities; and of the
smaller towns which were scattered about, I took and plundered a
countless number. From these places I took and carried off
200,156 persons, old and young, male and female, together with
horses and mules, asses and camels, oxen and sheep, a countless
multitude; and Hezekiah himself I shut up in Jerusalem, his
capital city, like a bird in a cage, building towers round the
city to hem him in, and raising banks of earth against the
gates, so as to prevent escape...Then upon Hezekiah there fell
the fear of the power of my arms, and he sent out to me the
chiefs and the elders of Jerusalem with 30 talents of gold and
800 talents of silver, and divers treasures, a rich and immense
booty...All these things were brought to me at Nineveh, the seat
of my government." (Compare Isa. 22:1-13 for description of the
feelings of the inhabitants of Jerusalem at such a crisis.)
Hezekiah was not disposed to become an Assyrian feudatory. He
accordingly at once sought help from Egypt (2 Kings 18:20-24).
Sennacherib, hearing of this, marched a second time into
Israel (2 Kings 18:17, 37; 19; 2 Chr. 32:9-23; Isa. 36:2-22.
Isa. 37:25 should be rendered "dried up all the Nile-arms of
Matsor," i.e., of Egypt, so called from the "Matsor" or great
fortification across the isthmus of Suez, which protected it
from invasions from the east). Sennacherib sent envoys to try to
persuade Hezekiah to surrender, but in vain. (See TIRHAKAH
T0003676.) He next sent a threatening letter (2 Kings
19:10-14), which Hezekiah carried into the temple and spread
before the Lord. Isaiah again brought an encouraging message to
the pious king (2 Kings 19:20-34). "In that night" the angel of
the Lord went forth and smote the camp of the Assyrians. In the
morning, "behold, they were all dead corpses." The Assyrian army
This great disaster is not, as was to be expected, taken
notice of in the Assyrian annals.
Though Sennacherib survived this disaster some twenty years,
he never again renewed his attempt against Jerusalem. He was
murdered by two of his own sons (Adrammelech and Sharezer), and
was succeeded by another son, Esarhaddon (B.C. 681), after a
reign of twenty-four years.
a rock, now es-Sur; an ancient Phoenician city, about 23 miles,
in a direct line, north of Acre, and 20 south of Sidon. Sidon
was the oldest Phoenician city, but Tyre had a longer and more
illustrious history. The commerce of the whole world was
gathered into the warehouses of Tyre. "Tyrian merchants were the
first who ventured to navigate the Mediterranean waters; and
they founded their colonies on the coasts and neighbouring
islands of the AEgean Sea, in Greece, on the northern coast of
Africa, at Carthage and other places, in Sicily and Corsica, in
Spain at Tartessus, and even beyond the pillars of Hercules at
Gadeira (Cadiz)" (Driver's Isaiah). In the time of David a
friendly alliance was entered into between the Hebrews and the
Tyrians, who were long ruled over by their native kings (2 Sam.
5:11; 1 Kings 5:1; 2 Chr. 2:3).
Tyre consisted of two distinct parts, a rocky fortress on the
mainland, called "Old Tyre," and the city, built on a small,
rocky island about half-a-mile distant from the shore. It was a
place of great strength. It was besieged by Shalmaneser, who was
assisted by the Phoenicians of the mainland, for five years, and
by Nebuchadnezzar (B.C. 586-573) for thirteen years, apparently
without success. It afterwards fell under the power of Alexander
the Great, after a siege of seven months, but continued to
maintain much of its commercial importance till the Christian
era. It is referred to in Matt. 11:21 and Acts 12:20. In A.D.
1291 it was taken by the Saracens, and has remained a desolate
ruin ever since.
"The purple dye of Tyre had a worldwide celebrity on account
of the durability of its beautiful tints, and its manufacture
proved a source of abundant wealth to the inhabitants of that
Both Tyre and Sidon "were crowded with glass-shops, dyeing and
weaving establishments; and among their cunning workmen not the
least important class were those who were celebrated for the
engraving of precious stones." (2 Chr. 2:7,14).
The wickedness and idolatry of this city are frequently
denounced by the prophets, and its final destruction predicted
(Isa. 23:1; Jer. 25:22; Ezek. 26; 28:1-19; Amos 1:9, 10; Zech.
Here a church was founded soon after the death of Stephen, and
Paul, on his return from his third missionary journey spent a
week in intercourse with the disciples there (Acts 21:4). Here
the scene at Miletus was repeated on his leaving them. They all,
with their wives and children, accompanied him to the sea-shore.
The sea-voyage of the apostle terminated at Ptolemais, about 38
miles from Tyre. Thence he proceeded to Caesarea (Acts 21:5-8).
"It is noticed on monuments as early as B.C. 1500, and
claiming, according to Herodotus, to have been founded about
B.C. 2700. It had two ports still existing, and was of
commercial importance in all ages, with colonies at Carthage
(about B.C. 850) and all over the Mediterranean. It was often
attacked by Egypt and Assyria, and taken by Alexander the Great
after a terrible siege in B.C. 332. It is now a town of 3,000
inhabitants, with ancient tombs and a ruined cathedral. A short
Phoenician text of the fourth century B.C. is the only monument
(Heb. nabi, from a root meaning "to bubble forth, as from a
fountain," hence "to utter", compare Ps. 45:1). This Hebrew word
is the first and the most generally used for a prophet. In the
time of Samuel another word, "ro'eh", "seer", began to be used
(1 Sam. 9:9). It occurs seven times in reference to Samuel.
Afterwards another word, "hozeh", "seer" (2 Sam. 24:11), was
employed. In 1 Ch. 29:29 all these three words are used: "Samuel
the seer (ro'eh), Nathan the prophet (nabi'), Gad the seer"
(hozeh). In Josh. 13:22 Balaam is called (Heb.) a "kosem"
"diviner," a word used only of a false prophet.
The "prophet" proclaimed the message given to him, as the
"seer" beheld the vision of God. (See Num. 12:6, 8.) Thus a
prophet was a spokesman for God; he spake in God's name and by
his authority (Ex. 7:1). He is the mouth by which God speaks to
men (Jer. 1:9; Isa. 51:16), and hence what the prophet says is
not of man but of God (2 Pet. 1:20, 21; compare Heb. 3:7; Acts
4:25; 28:25). Prophets were the immediate organs of God for the
communication of his mind and will to men (Deut. 18:18, 19). The
whole Word of God may in this general sense be spoken of as
prophetic, inasmuch as it was written by men who received the
revelation they communicated from God, no matter what its nature
might be. The foretelling of future events was not a necessary
but only an incidental part of the prophetic office. The great
task assigned to the prophets whom God raised up among the
people was "to correct moral and religious abuses, to proclaim
the great moral and religious truths which are connected with
the character of God, and which lie at the foundation of his
Any one being a spokesman for God to man might thus be called
a prophet. Thus Enoch, Abraham, and the patriarchs, as bearers
of God's message (Gen. 20:7; Ex. 7:1; Ps. 105:15), as also Moses
(Deut. 18:15; 34:10; Hos. 12:13), are ranked among the prophets.
The seventy elders of Israel (Num. 11:16-29), "when the spirit
rested upon them, prophesied;" Asaph and Jeduthun "prophesied
with a harp" (1 Chr. 25:3). Miriam and Deborah were prophetesses
(Ex. 15:20; Judg. 4:4). The title thus has a general application
to all who have messages from God to men.
But while the prophetic gift was thus exercised from the
beginning, the prophetical order as such began with Samuel.
Colleges, "schools of the prophets", were instituted for the
training of prophets, who were constituted, a distinct order (1
Sam. 19:18-24; 2 Kings 2:3, 15; 4:38), which continued to the
close of the Old Testament. Such "schools" were established at
Ramah, Bethel, Gilgal, Gibeah, and Jericho. The "sons" or
"disciples" of the prophets were young men (2 Kings 5:22; 9:1,
4) who lived together at these different "schools" (4:38-41).
These young men were taught not only the rudiments of secular
knowledge, but they were brought up to exercise the office of
prophet, "to preach pure morality and the heart-felt worship of
Jehovah, and to act along and co-ordinately with the priesthood
and monarchy in guiding the state aright and checking all
attempts at illegality and tyranny."
In New Testament times the prophetical office was continued.
Our Lord is frequently spoken of as a prophet (Luke 13:33;
24:19). He was and is the great Prophet of the Church. There was
also in the Church a distinct order of prophets (1 Cor. 12:28;
Eph. 2:20; 3:5), who made new revelations from God. They
differed from the "teacher," whose office it was to impart
truths already revealed.
Of the Old Testament prophets there are sixteen, whose
prophecies form part of the inspired canon. These are divided
into four groups:
(1.) The prophets of the northern kingdom (Israel), viz.,
Hosea, Amos, Joel, Jonah.
(2.) The prophets of Judah, viz., Isaiah, Jeremiah, Obadiah,
Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah.
(3.) The prophets of Captivity, viz., Ezekiel and Daniel.
(4.) The prophets of the Restoration, viz., Haggai, Zechariah,
the name derived from the city Asshur on the Tigris, the
original capital of the country, was originally a colony from
Babylonia, and was ruled by viceroys from that kingdom. It was a
mountainous region lying to the north of Babylonia, extending
along the Tigris as far as to the high mountain range of
Armenia, the Gordiaean or Carduchian mountains. It was founded
in B.C. 1700 under Bel-kap-kapu, and became an independent and a
conquering power, and shook off the yoke of its Babylonian
masters. It subdued the whole of Northern Asia. The Assyrians
were Semites (Gen. 10:22), but in process of time non-Semite
tribes mingled with the inhabitants. They were a military
people, the "Romans of the East."
Of the early history of the kingdom of Assyria little is
positively known. In B.C. 1120 Tiglath-pileser I., the greatest
of the Assyrian kings, "crossed the Euphrates, defeated the
kings of the Hittites, captured the city of Carchemish, and
advanced as far as the shores of the Mediterranean." He may be
regarded as the founder of the first Assyrian empire. After this
the Assyrians gradually extended their power, subjugating the
states of Northern Syria. In the reign of Ahab, king of Israel,
Shalmaneser II. marched an army against the Syrian states, whose
allied army he encountered and vanquished at Karkar. This led to
Ahab's casting off the yoke of Damascus and allying himself with
Judah. Some years after this the Assyrian king marched an army
against Hazael, king of Damascus. He besieged and took that
city. He also brought under tribute Jehu, and the cities of Tyre
About a hundred years after this (B.C. 745) the crown was
seized by a military adventurer called Pul, who assumed the name
of Tiglath-pileser III. He directed his armies into Syria, which
had by this time regained its independence, and took (B.C. 740)
Arpad, near Aleppo, after a siege of three years, and reduced
Hamath. Azariah (Uzziah) was an ally of the king of Hamath, and
thus was compelled by Tiglath-pileser to do him homage and pay a
In B.C. 738, in the reign of Menahem, king of Israel, Pul
invaded Israel, and imposed on it a heavy tribute (2 Kings
15:19). Ahaz, the king of Judah, when engaged in a war against
Israel and Syria, appealed for help to this Assyrian king by
means of a present of gold and silver (2 Kings 16:8); who
accordingly "marched against Damascus, defeated and put Rezin to
death, and besieged the city itself." Leaving a portion of his
army to continue the siege, "he advanced through the province
east of Jordan, spreading fire and sword," and became master of
Philistia, and took Samaria and Damascus. He died B.C. 727, and
was succeeded by Shalmanezer IV., who ruled till B.C. 722. He
also invaded Syria (2 Kings 17:5), but was deposed in favour of
Sargon (q.v.) the Tartan, or commander-in-chief of the army, who
took Samaria (q.v.) after a siege of three years, and so put an
end to the kingdom of Israel, carrying the people away into
captivity, B.C. 722 (2 Kings 17:1-6, 24; 18:7, 9). He also
overran the land of Judah, and took the city of Jerusalem (Isa.
10:6, 12, 22, 24, 34). Mention is next made of Sennacherib (B.C.
705), the son and successor of Sargon (2 Kings 18:13; 19:37;
Isa. 7:17, 18); and then of Esar-haddon, his son and successor,
who took Manasseh, king of Judah, captive, and kept him for some
time a prisoner at Babylon, which he alone of all the Assyrian
kings made the seat of his government (2 Kings 19:37; Isa.
Assur-bani-pal, the son of Esarhaddon, became king, and in
Ezra 4:10 is referred to as Asnapper. From an early period
Assyria had entered on a conquering career, and having absorbed
Babylon, the kingdoms of Hamath, Damascus, and Samaria, it
conquered Phoenicia, and made Judea feudatory, and subjected
Philistia and Idumea. At length, however, its power declined. In
B.C. 727 the Babylonians threw off the rule of the Assyrians,
under the leadership of the powerful Chaldean prince
Merodach-baladan (2 Kings 20:12), who, after twelve years, was
subdued by Sargon, who now reunited the kingdom, and ruled over
a vast empire. But on his death the smouldering flames of
rebellion again burst forth, and the Babylonians and Medes
successfully asserted their independence (B.C. 625), and Assyria
fell according to the prophecies of Isaiah (10:5-19), Nahum
(3:19), and Zephaniah (3:13), and the many separate kingdoms of
which it was composed ceased to recognize the "great king" (2
Kings 18:19; Isa. 36:4). Ezekiel (31) attests (about B.C. 586)
how completely Assyria was overthrown. It ceases to be a nation.
(See NINEVEH T0002735; BABYLON T0000409.)
is converse with God; the intercourse of the soul with God, not
in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him.
Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant,
ejaculatory or formal. It is a "beseeching the Lord" (Ex.
32:11); "pouring out the soul before the Lord" (1 Sam. 1:15);
"praying and crying to heaven" (2 Chr. 32:20); "seeking unto God
and making supplication" (Job 8:5); "drawing near to God" (Ps.
73:28); "bowing the knees" (Eph. 3:14).
Prayer presupposes a belief in the personality of God, his
ability and willingness to hold intercourse with us, his
personal control of all things and of all his creatures and all
Acceptable prayer must be sincere (Heb. 10:22), offered with
reverence and godly fear, with a humble sense of our own
insignificance as creatures and of our own unworthiness as
sinners, with earnest importunity, and with unhesitating
submission to the divine will. Prayer must also be offered in
the faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer,
and that he will fulfil his word, "Ask, and ye shall receive"
(Matt. 7:7, 8; 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13, 14), and in the
name of Christ (16:23, 24; 15:16; Eph. 2:18; 5:20; Col. 3:17; 1
Prayer is of different kinds, secret (Matt. 6:6); social, as
family prayers, and in social worship; and public, in the
service of the sanctuary.
Intercessory prayer is enjoined (Num. 6:23; Job 42:8; Isa.
62:6; Ps. 122:6; 1 Tim. 2:1; James 5:14), and there are many
instances on record of answers having been given to such
prayers, e.g., of Abraham (Gen. 17:18, 20; 18:23-32; 20:7, 17,
18), of Moses for Pharaoh (Ex. 8:12, 13, 30, 31; Ex. 9:33), for
the Israelites (Ex. 17:11, 13; 32:11-14, 31-34; Num. 21:7, 8;
Deut. 9:18, 19, 25), for Miriam (Num. 12:13), for Aaron (Deut.
9:20), of Samuel (1 Sam. 7:5-12), of Solomon (1 Kings 8; 2 Chr.
6), Elijah (1 Kings 17:20-23), Elisha (2 Kings 4:33-36), Isaiah
(2 Kings 19), Jeremiah (42:2-10), Peter (Acts 9:40), the church
(12:5-12), Paul (28:8).
No rules are anywhere in Scripture laid down for the manner of
prayer or the attitude to be assumed by the suppliant. There is
mention made of kneeling in prayer (1 Kings 8:54; 2 Chr. 6:13;
Ps. 95:6; Isa. 45:23; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; 9:40; Eph. 3:14,
etc.); of bowing and falling prostrate (Gen. 24:26, 52; Ex.
4:31; 12:27; Matt. 26:39; Mark 14:35, etc.); of spreading out
the hands (1 Kings 8:22, 38, 54; Ps. 28:2; 63:4; 88:9; 1 Tim.
2:8, etc.); and of standing (1 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kings 8:14, 55; 2
Chr. 20:9; Mark 11:25; Luke 18:11, 13).
If we except the "Lord's Prayer" (Matt. 6:9-13), which is,
however, rather a model or pattern of prayer than a set prayer
to be offered up, we have no special form of prayer for general
use given us in Scripture.
Prayer is frequently enjoined in Scripture (Ex. 22:23, 27; 1
Kings 3:5; 2 Chr. 7:14; Ps. 37:4; Isa. 55:6; Joel 2:32; Ezek.
36:37, etc.), and we have very many testimonies that it has been
answered (Ps. 3:4; 4:1; 6:8; 18:6; 28:6; 30:2; 34:4; 118:5;
James 5:16-18, etc.).
"Abraham's servant prayed to God, and God directed him to the
person who should be wife to his master's son and heir (Gen.
"Jacob prayed to God, and God inclined the heart of his
irritated brother, so that they met in peace and friendship
(Gen. 32:24-30; 33:1-4).
"Samson prayed to God, and God showed him a well where he
quenched his burning thirst, and so lived to judge Israel (Judg.
"David prayed, and God defeated the counsel of Ahithophel (2
Sam. 15:31; 16:20-23; 17:14-23).
"Daniel prayed, and God enabled him both to tell
Nebuchadnezzar his dream and to give the interpretation of it
(Dan. 2: 16-23).
"Nehemiah prayed, and God inclined the heart of the king of
Persia to grant him leave of absence to visit and rebuild
Jerusalem (Neh. 1:11; 2:1-6).
"Esther and Mordecai prayed, and God defeated the purpose of
Haman, and saved the Jews from destruction (Esther 4:15-17; 6:7,
"The believers in Jerusalem prayed, and God opened the prison
doors and set Peter at liberty, when Herod had resolved upon his
death (Acts 12:1-12).
"Paul prayed that the thorn in the flesh might be removed, and
his prayer brought a large increase of spiritual strength, while
the thorn perhaps remained (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
"Prayer is like the dove that Noah sent forth, which blessed
him not only when it returned with an olive-leaf in its mouth,
but when it never returned at all.", Robinson's Job.