that extraordinary or supernatural divine influence vouchsafed
to those who wrote the Holy Scriptures, rendering their writings
infallible. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God"
(R.V., "Every scripture inspired of God"), 2 Tim. 3:16. This is
true of all the "sacred writings," not in the sense of their
being works of genius or of supernatural insight, but as
"theopneustic," i.e., "breathed into by God" in such a sense
that the writers were supernaturally guided to express exactly
what God intended them to express as a revelation of his mind
and will. The testimony of the sacred writers themselves
abundantly demonstrates this truth; and if they are infallible
as teachers of doctrine, then the doctrine of plenary
inspiration must be accepted. There are no errors in the Bible
as it came from God, none have been proved to exist.
Difficulties and phenomena we cannot explain are not errors. All
these books of the Old and New Testaments are inspired. We do
not say that they contain, but that they are, the Word of God.
The gift of inspiration rendered the writers the organs of God,
for the infallible communication of his mind and will, in the
very manner and words in which it was originally given.
As to the nature of inspiration we have no information. This
only we know, it rendered the writers infallible. They were all
equally inspired, and are all equally infallible. The
inspiration of the sacred writers did not change their
characters. They retained all their individual peculiarities as
thinkers or writers. (See BIBLE T0000580; WORD OF GOD
an uncovering, a bringing to light of that which had been
previously wholly hidden or only obscurely seen. God has been
pleased in various ways and at different times (Heb. 1:1) to
make a supernatural revelation of himself and his purposes and
plans, which, under the guidance of his Spirit, has been
committed to writing. (See WORD OF GOD T0003832.) The
Scriptures are not merely the "record" of revelation; they are
the revelation itself in a written form, in order to the
accurate presevation and propagation of the truth.
Revelation and inspiration differ. Revelation is the
supernatural communication of truth to the mind; inspiration
(q.v.) secures to the teacher or writer infallibility in
communicating that truth to others. It renders its subject the
spokesman or prophet of God in such a sense that everything he
asserts to be true, whether fact or doctrine or moral principle,
is true, infallibly true.
invariably in the New Testament denotes that definite collection
of sacred books, regarded as given by inspiration of God, which
we usually call the Old Testament (2 Tim. 3:15, 16; John 20:9;
Gal. 3:22; 2 Pet. 1:20). It was God's purpose thus to perpetuate
his revealed will. From time to time he raised up men to commit
to writing in an infallible record the revelation he gave. The
"Scripture," or collection of sacred writings, was thus enlarged
from time to time as God saw necessary. We have now a completed
"Scripture," consisting of the Old and New Testaments. The Old
Testament canon in the time of our Lord was precisely the same
as that which we now possess under that name. He placed the seal
of his own authority on this collection of writings, as all
equally given by inspiration (Matt. 5:17; 7:12; 22:40; Luke
16:29, 31). (See BIBLE T0000580; CANON T0000714.)
Word of God
(Heb. 4:12, etc.). The Bible so called because the writers of
its several books were God's organs in communicating his will to
men. It is his "word," because he speaks to us in its sacred
pages. Whatever the inspired writers here declare to be true and
binding upon us, God declares to be true and binding. This word
is infallible, because written under the guidance of the Holy
Spirit, and therefore free from all error of fact or doctrine or
precept. (See INSPIRATION T0001884; BIBLE T0000580.) All
saving knowledge is obtained from the word of God. In the case
of adults it is an indispensable means of salvation, and is
efficacious thereunto by the gracious influence of the Holy
Spirit (John 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:15, 16; 1 Pet. 1:23).
(1.) God blesses his people when he bestows on them some gift
temporal or spiritual (Gen. 1:22; 24:35; Job 42:12; Ps. 45:2;
(2.) We bless God when we thank him for his mercies (Ps.
103:1, 2; 145:1, 2).
(3.) A man blesses himself when he invokes God's blessing
(Isa. 65:16), or rejoices in God's goodness to him (Deut. 29:19;
(4.) One blesses another when he expresses good wishes or
offers prayer to God for his welfare (Gen. 24:60; 31:55; 1 Sam.
2:20). Sometimes blessings were uttered under divine
inspiration, as in the case of Noah, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses
(Gen. 9:26, 27; 27:28, 29, 40; 48:15-20; 49:1-28; Deut. 33). The
priests were divinely authorized to bless the people (Deut.
10:8; Num. 6:22-27). We have many examples of apostolic
benediction (2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 6:23, 24; 2 Thess. 3:16, 18;
Heb. 13:20, 21; 1 Pet. 5:10, 11).
(5.) Among the Jews in their thank-offerings the master of the
feast took a cup of wine in his hand, and after having blessed
God for it and for other mercies then enjoyed, handed it to his
guests, who all partook of it. Ps. 116:13 refers to this custom.
It is also alluded to in 1 Cor. 10:16, where the apostle speaks
of the "cup of blessing."
(1.) The name of Esau (q.v.), Gen. 25:30, "Feed me, I pray thee,
with that same red pottage [Heb. haadom, haadom, i.e., 'the red
pottage, the red pottage'] ...Therefore was his name called
Edom", i.e., Red.
(2.) Idumea (Isa. 34:5, 6; Ezek. 35:15). "The field of Edom"
(Gen. 32:3), "the land of Edom" (Gen. 36:16), was mountainous
(Obad. 1:8, 9, 19, 21). It was called the land, or "the mountain
of Seir," the rough hills on the east side of the Arabah. It
extended from the head of the Gulf of Akabah, the Elanitic gulf,
to the foot of the Dead Sea (1 Kings 9:26), and contained, among
other cities, the rock-hewn Sela (q.v.), generally known by the
Greek name Petra (2 Kings 14:7). It is a wild and rugged region,
traversed by fruitful valleys. Its old capital was Bozrah (Isa.
63:1). The early inhabitants of the land were Horites. They were
destroyed by the Edomites (Deut. 2:12), between whom and the
kings of Israel and Judah there was frequent war (2 Kings 8:20;
2 Chr. 28:17).
At the time of the Exodus they churlishly refused permission
to the Israelites to pass through their land (Num. 20:14-21),
and ever afterwards maintained an attitude of hostility toward
them. They were conquered by David (2 Sam. 8:14; compare 1 Kings
9:26), and afterwards by Amaziah (2 Chr. 25:11, 12). But they
regained again their independence, and in later years, during
the decline of the Jewish kingdom (2 Kings 16:6; R.V. marg.,
"Edomites"), made war against Israel. They took part with the
Chaldeans when Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem, and afterwards
they invaded and held possession of the south of Israel as
far as Hebron. At length, however, Edom fell under the growing
Chaldean power (Jer. 27:3, 6).
There are many prophecies concerning Edom (Isa. 34:5, 6; Jer.
49:7-18; Ezek. 25:13; 35:1-15; Joel 3:19; Amos 1:11; Obad.; Mal.
1:3, 4) which have been remarkably fulfilled. The present
desolate condition of that land is a standing testimony to the
inspiration of these prophecies. After an existence as a people
for above seventeen hundred years, they have utterly
disappeared, and their language even is forgotten for ever. In
Petra, "where kings kept their court, and where nobles
assembled, there no man dwells; it is given by lot to birds, and
beasts, and reptiles."
The Edomites were Semites, closely related in blood and in
language to the Israelites. They dispossessed the Horites of
Mount Seir; though it is clear, from Gen. 36, that they
afterwards intermarried with the conquered population. Edomite
tribes settled also in the south of Judah, like the Kenizzites
(Gen. 36:11), to whom Caleb and Othniel belonged (Josh. 15:17).
The southern part of Edom was known as Teman.
Before his death David had "with all his might" provided
materials in great abundance for the building of the temple on
the summit of Mount Moriah (1 Chr. 22:14; 29:4; 2 Chr. 3:1), on
the east of the city, on the spot where Abraham had offered up
Isaac (Gen. 22:1-14). In the beginning of his reign Solomon set
about giving effect to the desire that had been so earnestly
cherished by his father, and prepared additional materials for
the building. From subterranean quarries at Jerusalem he
obtained huge blocks of stone for the foundations and walls of
the temple. These stones were prepared for their places in the
building under the eye of Tyrian master-builders. He also
entered into a compact with Hiram II., king of Tyre, for the
supply of whatever else was needed for the work, particularly
timber from the forests of Lebanon, which was brought in great
rafts by the sea to Joppa, whence it was dragged to Jerusalem (1
Kings 5). As the hill on which the temple was to be built did
not afford sufficient level space, a huge wall of solid masonry
of great height, in some places more than 200 feet high, was
raised across the south of the hill, and a similar wall on the
eastern side, and in the spaces between were erected many arches
and pillars, thus raising up the general surface to the required
level. Solomon also provided for a sufficient water supply for
the temple by hewing in the rocky hill vast cisterns, into which
water was conveyed by channels from the "pools" near Bethlehem.
One of these cisterns, the "great sea," was capable of
containing three millions of gallons. The overflow was led off
by a conduit to the Kidron.
In all these preparatory undertakings a space of about three
years was occupied; and now the process of the erection of the
great building began, under the direction of skilled Phoenician
builders and workmen, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, 480
years after the Exodus (1 Kings 6; 2 Chr. 3). Many thousands of
labourers and skilled artisans were employed in the work. Stones
prepared in the quarries underneath the city (1 Kings 5:17, 18)
of huge dimension (see QUARRIES T0003032) were gradually placed
on the massive walls, and closely fitted together without any
mortar between, till the whole structure was completed. No sound
of hammer or axe or any tool of iron was heard as the structure
arose (6:7). "Like some tall palm the noiseless fabric sprang."
The building was 60 cubits long, 20 cubits wide, and 30 cubits
high. The engineers of the Israel Exploration Fund, in their
explorations around the temple area, discovered what is believed
to have been the "chief corner stone" of the temple, "the most
interesting stone in the world." It lies at the bottom of the
south-eastern angle, and is 3 feet 8 inches high by 14 feet
long. It rests on the solid rock at a depth of 79 feet 3 inches
below the present surface. (See PINNACLE T0002957.) In
examining the walls the engineers were "struck with admiration
at the vastness of the blocks and the general excellence of the
At length, in the autumn of the eleventh year of his reign,
seven and a half years after it had been begun, the temple was
completed in all its architectural magnificence and beauty. For
thirteen years there it stood, on the summit of Moriah, silent
and unused. The reasons for this strange delay in its
consecration are unknown. At the close of these thirteen years
preparations for the dedication of the temple were made on a
scale of the greatest magnificence. The ark was solemnly brought
from the tent in which David had deposited it to the place
prepared for it in the temple, and the glory-cloud, the symbol
of the divine presence, filled the house. Then Solomon ascended
a platform which had been erected for him, in the sight of all
the people, and lifting up his hands to heaven poured out his
heart to God in prayer (1 Kings 8; 2 Chr. 6, 7). The feast of
dedication, which lasted seven days, followed by the feast of
tabernacles, marked a new era in the history of Israel. On the
eighth day of the feast of tabernacles, Solomon dismissed the
vast assemblage of the people, who returned to their homes
filled with joy and gladness, "Had Solomon done no other service
beyond the building of the temple, he would still have
influenced the religious life of his people down to the latest
days. It was to them a perpetual reminder and visible symbol of
God's presence and protection, a strong bulwark of all the
sacred traditions of the law, a witness to duty, an impulse to
historic study, an inspiration of sacred song."
The temple consisted of, (1.) The oracle or most holy place (1
Kings 6:19; 8:6), called also the "inner house" (6:27), and the
"holiest of all" (Heb. 9:3). It was 20 cubits in length,
breadth, and height. It was floored and wainscotted with cedar
(1 Kings 6:16), and its walls and floor were overlaid with gold
(6:20, 21, 30). There was a two-leaved door between it and the
holy place overlaid with gold (2 Chr. 4:22); also a veil of blue
purple and crimson and fine linen (2 Chr. 3:14; compare Ex.
26:33). It had no windows (1 Kings 8:12). It was indeed the
dwelling-place of God. (2.) The holy place (q.v.), 1 Kings
8:8-10, called also the "greater house" (2 Chr. 3:5) and the
"temple" (1 Kings 6:17). (3.) The porch or entrance before the
temple on the east (1 Kings 6:3; 2 Chr. 3:4; 29:7). In the porch
stood the two pillars Jachin and Boaz (1 Kings 7:21; 2 Kings
11:14; 23:3). (4.) The chambers, which were built about the
temple on the southern, western, and northern sides (1 Kings
6:5-10). These formed a part of the building.
Round about the building were, (1.) The court of the priests
(2 Chr. 4:9), called the "inner court" (1 Kings 6:36). It
contained the altar of burnt-offering (2 Chr. 15:8), the brazen
sea (4:2-5, 10), and ten lavers (1 Kings 7:38, 39). (2.) The
great court, which surrounded the whole temple (2 Chr. 4:9).
Here the people assembled to worship God (Jer. 19:14; 26:2).
This temple erected by Solomon was many times pillaged during
the course of its history, (1) 1 Kings 14:25, 26; (2) 2 Kings
14:14; (3) 2 Kings 16:8, 17, 18; (4) 2 Kings 18:15, 16. At last
it was pillaged and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24:13;
2 Chr. 36:7). He burned the temple, and carried all its
treasures with him to Babylon (2 Kings 25:9-17; 2 Chr. 36:19;
Isa. 64:11). These sacred vessels were at length, at the close
of the Captivity, restored to the Jews by Cyrus (Ezra 1:7-11).