Nahum, Book of
Nahum prophesied, according to some, in the beginning of the
reign of Ahaz (B.C. 743). Others, however, think that his
prophecies are to be referred to the latter half of the reign of
Hezekiah (about B.C. 709). This is the more probable opinion,
internal evidences leading to that conclusion. Probably the book
was written in Jerusalem (soon after B.C. 709), where he
witnessed the invasion of Sennacherib and the destruction of his
host (2 Kings 19:35).
The subject of this prophecy is the approaching complete and
final destruction of Nineveh, the capital of the great and at
that time flourishing Assyrian empire. Assur-bani-pal was at the
height of his glory. Nineveh was a city of vast extent, and was
then the centre of the civilzation and commerce of the world, a
"bloody city all full of lies and robbery" (Nah. 3:1), for it
had robbed and plundered all the neighbouring nations. It was
strongly fortified on every side, bidding defiance to every
enemy; yet it was to be utterly destroyed as a punishment for
the great wickedness of its inhabitants.
Jonah had already uttered his message of warning, and Nahum
was followed by Zephaniah, who also predicted (Zeph. 2:4-15) the
destruction of the city, predictions which were remarkably
fulfilled (B.C. 625) when Nineveh was destroyed apparently by
fire, and the Assyrian empire came to an end, an event which
changed the face of Asia. (See NINEVEH T0002735.)
(Heb., "the all-demanding world" = Gr. Hades, "the unknown
region"), the invisible world of departed souls. (See HELL
destruction, the Hebrew name (equivalent to the Greek Apollyon,
i.e., destroyer) of "the angel of the bottomless pit" (Rev.
9:11). It is rendered "destruction" in Job 28:22; 31:12; 26:6;
Prov. 15:11; 27:20. In the last three of these passages the
Revised Version retains the word "Abaddon." We may regard this
word as a personification of the idea of destruction, or as
sheol, the realm of the dead.
in Job 26:6, 28:22 (Heb. abaddon) is sheol, the realm of the
an inflammable mineral substance found in quantities on the
shores of the Dead Sea. The cities of the plain were destroyed
by a rain of fire and brimstone (Gen. 19:24, 25). In Isa. 34:9
allusion is made to the destruction of these cities. This word
figuratively denotes destruction or punishment (Job 18:15; Isa.
30:33; 34:9; Ps. 11:6; Ezek. 38:22). It is used to express the
idea of excruciating torment in Rev. 14:10; 19:20; 20:10.
Destruction, City of
(Isa. 19:18; Heb. Ir-ha-Heres, "city of overthrow," because of
the evidence it would present of the overthrow of heathenism),
the ideal title of On or Heliopolis (q.v.).
this world, (1 Chr. 11:30); called Heleb (2 Sam. 23:29).
occurs in Authorized Version, James 5:16. The Revised Version
renders appropriately: "The supplication of a righteous man
availeth much in its working", i.e., "it moves the hand of Him
who moves the world."
of the Gentiles (Isa. 60:5, 11; R.V., "the wealth of the
nations") denotes the wealth of the heathen. The whole passage
means that the wealth of the Gentile world should be consecrated
to the service of the church.
a companion and fellow-labourer of Paul during his first
imprisonment at Rome (Philemon 1:24; Col. 4:14). It appears,
however, that the love of the world afterwards mastered him, and
he deserted the apostle (2 Tim. 4:10).
In its primary sense, as denoting the first principles or
constituents of things, it is used in 2 Pet. 3:10: "The elements
shall be dissolved." In a secondary sense it denotes the first
principles of any art or science. In this sense it is used in
Gal. 4:3, 9; Col. 2:8, 20, where the expressions, "elements of
the world," "week and beggarly elements," denote that state of
religious knowledge existing among the Jews before the coming of
Christ, the rudiments of religious teaching. They are "of the
world," because they are made up of types which appeal to the
senses. They are "weak," because insufficient; and "beggarly,"
or "poor," because they are dry and barren, not being
accompanied by an outpouring of spiritual gifts and graces, as
the gospel is.
house of two cakes of figs, a city of Moab, upon which Jeremiah
(48:22) denounced destruction. It is called also
Almon-diblathaim (Num. 33:46) and Diblath (Ezek. 6:14). (R.V.,
Heb. deber, "destruction," a "great mortality", the fifth plague
that fell upon the Egyptians (Ex. 9:3). It was some distemper
that resulted in the sudden and widespread death of the cattle.
It was confined to the cattle of the Egyptians that were in the
trouble or affiction of any kind (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 13:21; 2
Cor. 7:4). In Rom. 2:9 "tribulation and anguish" are the penal
sufferings that shall overtake the wicked. In Matt. 24:21, 29,
the word denotes the calamities that were to attend the
destruction of Jerusalem.
a Jewish mystical sect somewhat resembling the Pharisees. They
affected great purity. They originated about B.C. 100, and
disappeared from history after the destruction of Jerusalem.
They are not directly mentioned in Scripture, although they may
be referred to in Matt. 19:11, 12, Col. 2:8, 18, 23.
the name generally given to Upper Egypt (the Thebaid of the
Greeks), as distinguished from Matsor, or Lower Egypt (Isa.
11:11; Jer. 44:1, 15; Ezek. 30:14), the two forming Mizraim.
After the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, colonies
of Jews settled "in the country of Pathros" and other parts of
(1.) In the sense of soil or ground, the translation of the word
"adamah'". In Gen. 9:20 "husbandman" is literally "man of the
ground or earth." Altars were to be built of earth (Ex. 20:24).
Naaman asked for two mules' burden of earth (2 Kings 5:17),
under the superstitious notion that Jehovah, like the gods of
the heathen, could be acceptably worshipped only on his own
(2). As the rendering of "'erets", it means the whole world
(Gen. 1:2); the land as opposed to the sea (1:10). "Erets" also
denotes a country (21:32); a plot of ground (23:15); the ground
on which a man stands (33:3); the inhabitants of the earth (6:1;
11:1); all the world except Israel (2 Chr. 13:9). In the New
Testament "the earth" denotes the land of Judea (Matt. 23:35);
also things carnal in contrast with things heavenly (John 3:31;
Col. 3:1, 2).
Witness of the Spirit
(Rom. 8:16), the consciousness of the gracious operation of the
Spirit on the mind, "a certitude of the Spirit's presence and
work continually asserted within us", manifested "in his
comforting us, his stirring us up to prayer, his reproof of our
sins, his drawing us to works of love, to bear testimony before
the world," etc.
made great by Jehovah. (1.) the son of Jeduthum (1 Chr. 25:3,
9). (2.) The grandfather of the prophet Zephaniah, and the
father of Cushi (Zeph. 1:1). (3.) One of the Jewish nobles who
conspired against Jeremiah (Jer. 38:1). (4.) The son of Ahikam,
and grandson of Shaphan, secretary of king Josiah (Jer. 26:24).
After the destruction of Jerusalem (see ZEDEKIAH T0003894),
Nebuchadnezzar left him to govern the country as tributary to
him (2 Kings 25:22; Jer. 40:5; 52:16). Ishmael, however, at the
head of a party of the royal family, "Jewish irreconcilables",
rose against him, and slew him and "all the Jews that were with
him" (Jer. 41:2, 3) at Mizpah about three months after the
destruction of Jerusalem. He and his band also plundered the
town of Mizpah, and carried off many captives. He was, however,
overtaken by Johanan and routed. He fled with such of his
followers as escaped to the Ammonites (41:15). The little
remnant of the Jews now fled to Egypt.
a Persian word (pardes), properly meaning a "pleasure-ground" or
"park" or "king's garden." (See EDEN T0001127.) It came in
course of time to be used as a name for the world of happiness
and rest hereafter (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 12:4; Rev. 2:7). For
"garden" in Gen. 2:8 the LXX. has "paradise."
adversary; accuser. When used as a proper name, the Hebrew word
so rendered has the article "the adversary" (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7).
In the New Testament it is used as interchangeable with
Diabolos, or the devil, and is so used more than thirty times.
He is also called "the dragon," "the old serpent" (Rev. 12:9;
20:2); "the prince of this world" (John 12:31; 14:30); "the
prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2); "the god of this
world" (2 Cor. 4:4); "the spirit that now worketh in the
children of disobedience" (Eph. 2:2). The distinct personality
of Satan and his activity among men are thus obviously
recognized. He tempted our Lord in the wilderness (Matt.
4:1-11). He is "Beelzebub, the prince of the devils" (12:24). He
is "the constant enemy of God, of Christ, of the divine kingdom,
of the followers of Christ, and of all truth; full of falsehood
and all malice, and exciting and seducing to evil in every
possible way." His power is very great in the world. He is a
"roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). Men are
said to be "taken captive by him" (2 Tim. 2:26). Christians are
warned against his "devices" (2 Cor. 2:11), and called on to
"resist" him (James 4:7). Christ redeems his people from "him
that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Heb. 2:14).
Satan has the "power of death," not as lord, but simply as
Tree of the knowledge of good and evil
stood in the midst of the garden of Eden, beside the tree of
life (Gen. 2, 3). Adam and Eve were forbidden to take of the
fruit which grew upon it. But they disobeyed the divine
injunction, and so sin and death by sin entered our world and
became the heritage of Adam's posterity. (See ADAM T0000077.)
frequently referred to by the sacred writers (Nah. 1:3-6).
Thunder and lightning are spoken of as tokens of God's wrath (2
Sam. 22:15; Job 28:26; 37:4; Ps. 135:7; 144:6; Zech. 9:14). They
represent God's glorious and awful majesty (Rev. 4:5), or some
judgment of God on the world (20:9).
to express contempt (Job 27:23). The destruction of the temple
is thus spoken of (1 Kings 9:8). Zechariah (10:8) speaks of the
Lord gathering the house of Judah as it were with a hiss: "I
will hiss for them." This expression may be "derived from the
noise made to attract bees in hiving, or from the sound
naturally made to attract a person's attention."
Heb. 'ash, from a root meaning "to fall away," as moth-eaten
garments fall to pieces (Job 4:19; 13:28; Isa. 50:9; 51:8; Hos.
Gr. ses, thus rendered in Matt. 6:19, 20; Luke 12:33. Allusion
is thus made to the destruction of clothing by the larvae of the
clothes-moth. This is the only lepidopterous insect referred to
burning; the walled, a city in the vale of Siddim (Gen. 13:10;
14:1-16). The wickedness of its inhabitants brought down upon it
fire from heaven, by which it was destroyed (18:16-33; 19:1-29;
Deut. 23:17). This city and its awful destruction are frequently
alluded to in Scripture (Deut. 29:23; 32:32; Isa. 1:9, 10; 3:9;
13:19; Jer. 23:14; Ezek. 16:46-56; Zeph. 2:9; Matt. 10:15; Rom.
9:29; 2 Pet. 2:6, etc.). No trace of it or of the other cities
of the plain has been discovered, so complete was their
destruction. Just opposite the site of Zoar, on the south-west
coast of the Dead Sea, is a range of low hills, forming a mass
of mineral salt called Jebel Usdum, "the hill of Sodom." It has
been concluded, from this and from other considerations, that
the cities of the plain stood at the southern end of the Dead
Sea. Others, however, with much greater probability, contend
that they stood at the northern end of the sea. [in 1897].
life of (i.e., from) God, a native of Bethel, who built (i.e.,
fortified) Jericho some seven hundred years after its
destruction by the Israelites. There fell on him for such an act
the imprecation of Joshua (6:26). He laid the foundation in his
first-born, and set up the gates in his youngest son (1 Kings
16:34), i.e., during the progress of the work all his children
according to some MSS., meaning "city of destruction." Other
MSS. read "'Irhahares"; rendered "city of the sun", Isa. 19:18,
where alone the word occurs. This name may probably refer to
Heliopolis. The prophecy here points to a time when the Jews
would so increase in number there as that the city would fall
under their influence. This might be in the time of the
Ptolemies. (See ON T0002786.)
used of children generally (Matt. 11:25; 21:16; Luke 10:21; Rom.
2:20). It is used also of those who are weak in Christian faith
and knowledge (1 Cor. 3:1; Heb. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:2). In Isa. 3:4
the word "babes" refers to a succession of weak and wicked
princes who reigned over Judah from the death of Josiah downward
to the destruction of Jerusalem.
deep-rooted hatred. "I will put enmity between thee and the
woman, between thy seed and her seed" (Gen. 3:15). The
friendship of the world is "enmity with God" (James 4:4; 1 John
2:15, 16). The "carnal mind" is "enmity against God" (Rom. 8:7).
By the abrogation of the Mosaic institutes the "enmity" between
Jew and Gentile is removed. They are reconciled, are "made one"
(Eph. 2:15, 16).
John, Gospel of
The genuineness of this Gospel, i.e., the fact that the apostle
John was its author, is beyond all reasonable doubt. In recent
times, from about 1820, many attempts have been made to impugn
its genuineness, but without success.
The design of John in writing this Gospel is stated by himself
(John 20:31). It was at one time supposed that he wrote for the
purpose of supplying the omissions of the synoptical, i.e., of
the first three, Gospels, but there is no evidence for this.
"There is here no history of Jesus and his teaching after the
manner of the other evangelists. But there is in historical form
a representation of the Christian faith in relation to the
person of Christ as its central point; and in this
representation there is a picture on the one hand of the
antagonism of the world to the truth revealed in him, and on the
other of the spiritual blessedness of the few who yield
themselves to him as the Light of life" (Reuss).
After the prologue (1:1-5), the historical part of the book
begins with verse 6, and consists of two parts. The first part
(1:6-ch. 12) contains the history of our Lord's public ministry
from the time of his introduction to it by John the Baptist to
its close. The second part (ch. 13-21) presents our Lord in the
retirement of private life and in his intercourse with his
immediate followers (13-17), and gives an account of his
sufferings and of his appearances to the disciples after his
The peculiarities of this Gospel are the place it gives (1) to
the mystical relation of the Son to the Father, and (2) of the
Redeemer to believers; (3) the announcement of the Holy Ghost as
the Comforter; (4) the prominence given to love as an element in
the Christian character. It was obviously addressed primarily to
It was probably written at Ephesus, which, after the
destruction of Jerusalem (A.D. 70), became the centre of
Christian life and activity in the East, about A.D. 90.
Book of Zephaniah
The book of the prophecies of Zephaniah consists of:
(a) An introduction (1:1-6), announcing the judgment of the world, and the judgment upon Israel, because of their transgressions.
(b) The description of the judgment (1:7-18).
(c) An exhortation to seek God while there is still time (2:1-3).
(d) The announcement of judgment on the heathen (2:4-15).
(e) The hopeless misery of Jerusalem (3:1-7).
(f) The promise of salvation (3:8-20).
a colonnade on the east of the temple, so called from a
tradition that it was a relic of Solomon's temple left standing
after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. (Compare 1
Kings 7:6.) The word "porch" is in the New Testament the
rendering of three different Greek words:
(1.) Stoa, meaning a portico or veranda (John 5:2; 10:23; Acts
(2.) Pulon, a gateway (Matt. 26:71).
(3.) Proaulion, the entrance to the inner court (Mark 14:68).
the refuse of winnowed corn. It was usually burned (Ex. 15:7;
Isa. 5:24; Matt. 3:12). This word sometimes, however, means
dried grass or hay (Isa. 5:24; 33:11). Chaff is used as a figure
of abortive wickedness (Ps. 1:4; Matt. 3:12). False doctrines
are also called chaff (Jer. 23:28), or more correctly rendered
"chopped straw." The destruction of the wicked, and their
powerlessness, are likened to the carrying away of chaff by the
wind (Isa. 17:13; Hos. 13:3; Zeph. 2:2).
(Luke 2:2; R.V., "enrolment"), "when Cyrenius was governor of
Syria," is simply a census of the people, or an enrolment of
them with a view to their taxation. The decree for the enrolment
was the occasion of Joseph and Mary's going up to Bethlehem. It
has been argued by some that Cyrenius (q.v.) was governor of
Cilicia and Syria both at the time of our Lord's birth and some
years afterwards. This decree for the taxing referred to the
whole Roman world, and not to Judea alone. (See CENSUS
a centurion whose history is narrated in Acts 10. He was a
"devout man," and like the centurion of Capernaum, believed in
the God of Israel. His residence at Caesrea probably brought him
into contact with Jews who communicated to him their
expectations regarding the Messiah; and thus he was prepared to
welcome the message Peter brought him. He became the first fruit
of the Gentile world to Christ. He and his family were baptized
and admitted into the Christian church (Acts 10:1, 44-48). (See
grace, an aged widow, the daughter of Phanuel. She was a
"prophetess," like Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah (2 Chr. 34:22).
After seven years of married life her husband died, and during
her long widowhood she daily attended the temple services. When
she was eighty-four years old, she entered the temple at the
moment when the aged Simeon uttered his memorable words of
praise and thanks to God that he had fulfilled his ancient
promise in sending his Son into the world (Luke 2:36, 37).
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."
the cognomen of the first Roman emperor, C. Julius Caesar
Octavianus, during whose reign Christ was born (Luke 2:1). His
decree that "all the world should be taxed" was the divinely
ordered occasion of Jesus' being born, according to prophecy
(Micah 5:2), in Bethlehem. This name being simply a title
meaning "majesty" or "venerable," first given to him by the
senate (B.C. 27), was borne by succeeding emperors. Before his
death (A.D. 14) he associated Tiberius with him in the empire
(Luke 3:1), by whom he was succeeded.
(Luke 2:46; 5:17; Acts 5:34), a teacher. The Jewish doctors
taught and disputed in synagogues, or wherever they could find
an audience. Their disciples were allowed to propose to them
questions. They assumed the office without any appointment to
it. The doctors of the law were principally of the sect of the
Pharisees. Schools were established after the destruction of
Jerusalem at Babylon and Tiberias, in which academical degrees
were conferred on those who passed a certain examination. Those
of the school of Tiberias were called by the title "rabbi," and
those of Babylon by that of "master."
a name figuratively given to Christ (Rev. 22:16; compare 2 Pet.
1:19). When Christ promises that he will give the "morning star"
to his faithful ones, he "promises that he will give to them
himself, that he will give to them himself, that he will impart
to them his own glory and a share in his own royal dominion; for
the star is evermore the symbol of royalty (Matt. 2:2), being
therefore linked with the sceptre (Num. 24:17). All the glory of
the world shall end in being the glory of the Church." Trench's
brother of support = helper, one of the five whom Josiah sent to
consult the prophetess Huldah in connection with the discovery
of the book of the law (2 Kings 22:12-14; 2 Chr. 34:20). He was
the son of Shaphan, the royal secretary, and the father of
Gedaliah, governor of Judea after the destruction of Jerusalem
by the Babylonians (2 Kings 25:22; Jer. 40:5-16; 43:6). On one
occasion he protected Jeremiah against the fury of Jehoiakim
(Jer. 26:24). It was in the chamber of another son (Germariah)
of Shaphan that Baruch read in the ears of all the people
Coming of Christ
(1) with reference to his first advent "in the fulness of the
time" (1 John 5:20; 2 John 1:7), or (2) with reference to his
coming again the second time at the last day (Acts 1:11; 3:20,
21; 1 Thess. 4:15; 2 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 9:28).
The expression is used metaphorically of the introduction of
the gospel into any place (John 15:22; Eph. 2:17), the visible
establishment of his kingdom in the world (Matt. 16:28), the
conferring on his people of the peculiar tokens of his love
(John 14:18, 23, 28), and his executing judgment on the wicked
(2 Thess. 2:8).
one separated from the world and consecrated to God; one holy by
profession and by covenant; a believer in Christ (Ps. 16:3; Rom.
1:7; 8:27; Phil. 1:1; Heb. 6:10).
The "saints" spoken of in Jude 1:14 are probably not the
disciples of Christ, but the "innumerable company of angels"
(Heb. 12:22; Ps. 68:17), with reference to Deut. 33:2.
This word is also used of the holy dead (Matt. 27:52; Rev.
18:24). It was not used as a distinctive title of the apostles
and evangelists and of a "spiritual nobility" till the fourth
century. In that sense it is not a scriptural title.
(Matt. 21:12; Mark 11:15; John 2:15). Every Israelite from
twenty years and upwards had to pay (Ex. 30:13-15) into the
sacred treasury half a shekel every year as an offering to
Jehovah, and that in the exact Hebrew half-shekel piece. There
was a class of men, who frequented the temple courts, who
exchanged at a certain premium foreign moneys for these
half-shekels to the Jews who came up to Jerusalem from all parts
of the world. (See PASSOVER T0002864.) When our Lord drove the
traffickers out of the temple, these moneychangers fared worst.
Their tables were overturned and they themselves were expelled.
the name of the original inhabitants of Jebus, mentioned
frequently among the seven nations doomed to destruction (Gen.
10:16; 15:21; Ex. 3:8, 17; 13:5, etc.). At the time of the
arrival of the Israelites in Israel they were ruled by
Adonizedek (Josh. 10:1, 23). They were defeated by Joshua, and
their king was slain; but they were not entirely driven out of
Jebus till the time of David, who made it the capital of his
kingdom instead of Hebron. The site on which the temple was
afterwards built belonged to Araunah, a Jebusite, from whom it
was purchased by David, who refused to accept it as a free gift
(2 Sam. 24:16-25; 1 Chr. 21:24, 25).
warm, hot, and hence the south; also an Egyptian word meaning
"black", the youngest son of Noah (Gen. 5:32; compare 9:22,24).
The curse pronounced by Noah against Ham, properly against
Canaan his fourth son, was accomplished when the Jews
subsequently exterminated the Canaanites.
One of the most important facts recorded in Gen. 10 is the
foundation of the earliest monarchy in Babylonia by Nimrod the
grandson of Ham (6, 8, 10). The primitive Babylonian empire was
thus Hamitic, and of a cognate race with the primitive
inhabitants of Arabia and of Ethiopia. (See ACCAD T0000060.)
The race of Ham were the most energetic of all the descendants
of Noah in the early times of the post-diluvian world.
Under the patriarchs the property of a father was divided among
the sons of his legitimate wives (Gen. 21:10; 24:36; 25:5), the
eldest son getting a larger portion than the rest. The Mosaic
law made specific regulations regarding the transmission of real
property, which are given in detail in Deut. 21:17; Num. 27:8;
36:6; 27:9-11. Succession to property was a matter of right and
not of favour. Christ is the "heir of all things" (Heb. 1:2;
Col. 1:15). Believers are heirs of the "promise," "of
righteousness," "of the kingdom," "of the world," "of God,"
"joint heirs" with Christ (Gal 3:29; Heb. 6:17; 11:7; James 2:5;
Rom. 4:13; 8:17).
the most celebrated city in the world at the time of Christ. It
is said to have been founded B.C. 753. When the New Testament
was written, Rome was enriched and adorned with the spoils of
the world, and contained a population estimated at 1,200,000, of
which the half were slaves, and including representatives of
nearly every nation then known. It was distinguished for its
wealth and luxury and profligacy. The empire of which it was the
capital had then reached its greatest prosperity.
On the day of Pentecost there were in Jerusalem "strangers
from Rome," who doubtless carried with them back to Rome tidings
of that great day, and were instrumental in founding the church
there. Paul was brought to this city a prisoner, where he
remained for two years (Acts 28:30, 31) "in his own hired
house." While here, Paul wrote his epistles to the Philippians,
to the Ephesians, to the Colossians, to Philemon, and probably
also to the Hebrews. He had during these years for companions
Luke and Aristarchus (Acts 27:2), Timothy (Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:1),
Tychicus (Eph. 6: 21), Epaphroditus (Phil. 4:18), and John Mark
(Col. 4:10). (See PAUL T0002871.)
Beneath this city are extensive galleries, called "catacombs,"
which were used from about the time of the apostles (one of the
inscriptions found in them bears the date A.D. 71) for some
three hundred years as places of refuge in the time of
persecution, and also of worship and burial. About four thousand
inscriptions have been found in the catacombs. These give an
interesting insight into the history of the church at Rome down
to the time of Constantine.
submersion, one of the five cities of the plain of Siddim (q.v.)
which were destroyed by fire (Gen. 10:19; 13:10; 19:24, 28).
These cities probably stood close together, and were near the
northern extremity of what is now the Dead Sea. This city is
always mentioned next after Sodom, both of which were types of
impiety and wickedness (Gen. 18:20; Rom. 9:29). Their
destruction is mentioned as an "ensample unto those that after
should live ungodly" (2 Pet. 2:6; Jude 1:4-7). Their wickedness
became proverbial (Deut. 32:32; Isa. 1:9, 10; Jer. 23:14). But
that wickedness may be exceeded (Matt. 10:15; Mark 6:11). (See
DEAD SEA T0000991).
Siddim, Vale of
valley of the broad plains, "which is the salt sea" (Gen. 14:3,
8, 10), between Engedi and the cities of the plain, at the south
end of the Dead Sea. It was "full of slime-pits" (R.V., "bitumen
pits"). Here Chedorlaomer and the confederate kings overthrew
the kings of Sodom and the cities of the plain. God afterwards,
on account of their wickedness, "overthrew those cities, and all
the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities;" and the smoke
of their destruction "went up as the smoke of a furnace"
(19:24-28), and was visible from Mamre, where Abraham dwelt.
Some, however, contend that the "cities of the plain" were
somewhere at the north of the Dead Sea. (See SODOM T0003469.)
ten cities=deka, ten, and polis, a city, a district on the east
and south-east of the Sea of Galilee containing "ten cities,"
which were chiefly inhabited by Greeks. It included a portion of
Bashan and Gilead, and is mentioned three times in the New
Testament (Matt. 4:25; Mark 5:20; 7:31). These cities were
Scythopolis, i.e., "city of the Scythians", (ancient Bethshean,
the only one of the ten cities on the west of Jordan), Hippos,
Gadara, Pella (to which the Christians fled just before the
destruction of Jerusalem), Philadelphia (ancient Rabbath-ammon),
Gerasa, Dion, Canatha, Raphana, and Damascus. When the Romans
conquered Syria (B.C. 65) they rebuilt, and endowed with certain
privileges, these "ten cities," and the province connected with
them they called "Decapolis."
(1.) The orient (mizrah); the rising of the sun. Thus "the east
country" is the country lying to the east of Syria, the Elymais
(2). Properly what is in front of one, or a country that is
before or in front of another; the rendering of the word
"kedem". In pointing out the quarters, a Hebrew always looked
with his face toward the east. The word "kedem" is used when the
four quarters of the world are described (Gen. 13:14; 28:14);
and "mizrah" when the east only is distinguished from the west
(Josh. 11:3; Ps. 50:1; 103:12, etc.). In Gen. 25:6 "eastward" is
literally "unto the land of kedem;" i.e., the lands lying east
of Israel, namely, Arabia, Mesopotamia, etc.
agile; also called Ornan 1 Chr. 21:15, a Jebusite who dwelt in
Jerusalem before it was taken by the Israelites. The destroying
angel, sent to punish David for his vanity in taking a census of
the people, was stayed in his work of destruction near a
threshing-floor belonging to Araunah which was situated on Mount
Moriah. Araunah offered it to David as a free gift, together
with the oxen and the threshing instruments; but the king
insisted on purchasing it at its full price (2 Sam. 24:24; 1
Chr. 21:24, 25), for, according to the law of sacrifices, he
could not offer to God what cost him nothing. On the same place
Solomon afterwards erected the temple (2 Sam. 24:16; 2 Chr.
3:1). (See ALTAR T0000185.)
blowing from the four quarters of heaven (Jer. 49:36; Ezek.
37:9; Dan. 8:8; Zech. 2:6). The east wind was parching (Ezek.
17:10; 19:12), and is sometimes mentioned as simply denoting a
strong wind (Job 27:21; Isa. 27:8). This wind prevails in
Israel from February to June, as the west wind (Luke 12:54)
does from November to February. The south was a hot wind (Job
37:17; Luke 12:55). It swept over the Arabian peninsula. The
rush of invaders is figuratively spoken of as a whirlwind (Isa.
21:1); a commotion among the nations of the world as a striving
of the four winds (Dan. 7:2). The winds are subject to the
divine power (Ps. 18:10; 135:7).
a symbol of kings descended from royal ancestors (Ezek. 17:3,
10; Dan. 11:7); of prosperity (Job 8:16); of the Messiah, a
branch out of the root of the stem of Jesse (Isa. 11:1), the
"beautiful branch" (4:2), a "righteous branch" (Jer. 23:5), "the
Branch" (Zech. 3:8; 6:12).
Disciples are branches of the true vine (John 15:5, 6). "The
branch of the terrible ones" (Isa. 25:5) is rightly translated
in the Revised Version "the song of the terrible ones," i.e.,
the song of victory shall be brought low by the destruction of
Babylon and the return of the Jews from captivity.
The "abominable branch" is a tree on which a malefactor has
been hanged (Isa. 14:19). The "highest branch" in Ezek. 17:3
represents Jehoiakim the king.
the son of Jair, of the tribe of Benjamin. It has been alleged
that he was carried into captivity with Jeconiah, and hence that
he must have been at least one hundred and twenty-nine years old
in the twelfth year of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). But the words of
Esther do not necessarily lead to this conclusion. It was
probably Kish of whom it is said (ver. 6) that he "had been
carried away with the captivity."
He resided at Susa, the metropolis of Persia. He adopted his
cousin Hadassah (Esther), an orphan child, whom he tenderly
brought up as his own daughter. When she was brought into the
king's harem and made queen in the room of the deposed queen
Vashti, he was promoted to some office in the court of
Ahasuerus, and was one of those who "sat in the king's gate"
(Esther 2:21). While holding this office, he discovered a plot
of the eunuchs to put the king to death, which, by his
vigilance, was defeated. His services to the king in this matter
were duly recorded in the royal chronicles.
Haman (q.v.) the Agagite had been raised to the highest
position at court. Mordecai refused to bow down before him; and
Haman, being stung to the quick by the conduct of Mordecai,
resolved to accomplish his death in a wholesale destruction of
the Jewish exiles throughout the Persian empire (Esther 3:8-15).
Tidings of this cruel scheme soon reached the ears of Mordecai,
who communicated with Queen Esther regarding it, and by her wise
and bold intervention the scheme was frustrated. The Jews were
delivered from destruction, Mordecai was raised to a high rank,
and Haman was executed on the gallows he had by anticipation
erected for Mordecai (6:2-7:10). In memory of the signal
deliverance thus wrought for them, the Jews to this day
celebrate the feast (9:26-32) of Purim (q.v.).
First mentioned in Gen. 10:11, which is rendered in the Revised
Version, "He [i.e., Nimrod] went forth into Assyria and builded
Nineveh." It is not again noticed till the days of Jonah, when
it is described (Jonah 3:3; 4:11) as a great and populous city,
the flourishing capital of the Assyrian empire (2 Kings 19:36;
Isa. 37:37). The book of the prophet Nahum is almost exclusively
taken up with prophetic denunciations against this city. Its
ruin and utter desolation are foretold (Nah.1:14; 3:19, etc.).
Zephaniah also (2:13-15) predicts its destruction along with the
fall of the empire of which it was the capital. From this time
there is no mention of it in Scripture till it is named in
gospel history (Matt. 12:41; Luke 11:32).
This "exceeding great city" lay on the eastern or left bank of
the river Tigris, along which it stretched for some 30 miles,
having an average breadth of 10 miles or more from the river
back toward the eastern hills. This whole extensive space is now
one immense area of ruins. Occupying a central position on the
great highway between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean,
thus uniting the East and the West, wealth flowed into it from
many sources, so that it became the greatest of all ancient
About B.C. 633 the Assyrian empire began to show signs of
weakness, and Nineveh was attacked by the Medes, who
subsequently, about B.C. 625, being joined by the Babylonians
and Susianians, again attacked it, when it fell, and was razed
to the ground. The Assyrian empire then came to an end, the
Medes and Babylonians dividing its provinces between them.
"After having ruled for more than six hundred years with hideous
tyranny and violence, from the Caucasus and the Caspian to the
Persian Gulf, and from beyond the Tigris to Asia Minor and
Egypt, it vanished like a dream" (Nah. 2:6-11). Its end was
strange, sudden, tragic. It was God's doing, his judgement on
Assyria's pride (Isa. 10:5-19).
Forty years ago our knowledge of the great Assyrian empire and
of its magnificent capital was almost wholly a blank. Vague
memories had indeed survived of its power and greatness, but
very little was definitely known about it. Other cities which
had perished, as Palmyra, Persepolis, and Thebes, had left ruins
to mark their sites and tell of their former greatness; but of
this city, imperial Nineveh, not a single vestige seemed to
remain, and the very place on which it had stood was only matter
of conjecture. In fulfilment of prophecy, God made "an utter end
of the place." It became a "desolation."
In the days of the Greek historian Herodotus, B.C. 400, it had
become a thing of the past; and when Xenophon the historian
passed the place in the "Retreat of the Ten Thousand," the very
memory of its name had been lost. It was buried out of sight,
and no one knew its grave. It is never again to rise from its
At length, after being lost for more than two thousand years,
the city was disentombed. A little more than forty years ago the
French consul at Mosul began to search the vast mounds that lay
along the opposite bank of the river. The Arabs whom he employed
in these excavations, to their great surprise, came upon the
ruins of a building at the mound of Khorsabad, which, on further
exploration, turned out to be the royal palace of Sargon, one of
the Assyrian kings. They found their way into its extensive
courts and chambers, and brought forth form its hidded depths
many wonderful sculptures and other relics of those ancient
The work of exploration has been carried on almost
continuously by M. Botta, Sir Henry Layard, George Smith, and
others, in the mounds of Nebi-Yunus, Nimrud, Koyunjik, and
Khorsabad, and a vast treasury of specimens of old Assyrian art
has been exhumed. Palace after palace has been discovered, with
their decorations and their sculptured slabs, revealing the life
and manners of this ancient people, their arts of war and peace,
the forms of their religion, the style of their architecture,
and the magnificence of their monarchs. The streets of the city
have been explored, the inscriptions on the bricks and tablets
and sculptured figures have been read, and now the secrets of
their history have been brought to light.
One of the most remarkable of recent discoveries is that of
the library of King Assur-bani-pal, or, as the Greek historians
call him, Sardanapalos, the grandson of Sennacherib (q.v.). (See
ASNAPPER T0000347.) This library consists of about ten thousand
flat bricks or tablets, all written over with Assyrian
characters. They contain a record of the history, the laws, and
the religion of Assyria, of the greatest value. These strange
clay leaves found in the royal library form the most valuable of
all the treasuries of the literature of the old world. The
library contains also old Accadian documents, which are the
oldest extant documents in the world, dating as far back as
probably about the time of Abraham. (See SARGON T0003227.)
"The Assyrian royalty is, perhaps, the most luxurious of our
century [reign of Assur-bani-pal...Its victories and conquests,
uninterrupted for one hundred years, have enriched it with the
spoil of twenty peoples. Sargon has taken what remained to the
Hittites; Sennacherib overcame Chaldea, and the treasures of
Babylon were transferred to his coffers; Esarhaddon and
Assur-bani-pal himself have pillaged Egypt and her great cities,
Sais, Memphis, and Thebes of the hundred gates...Now foreign
merchants flock into Nineveh, bringing with them the most
valuable productions from all countries, gold and perfume from
South Arabia and the Chaldean Sea, Egyptian linen and
glass-work, carved enamels, goldsmiths' work, tin, silver,
Phoenician purple; cedar wood from Lebanon, unassailable by
worms; furs and iron from Asia Minor and Armenia" (Ancient Egypt
and Assyria, by G. Maspero, page 271).
The bas-reliefs, alabaster slabs, and sculptured monuments
found in these recovered palaces serve in a remarkable manner to
confirm the Old Testament history of the kings of Israel. The
appearance of the ruins shows that the destruction of the city
was due not only to the assailing foe but also to the flood and
the fire, thus confirming the ancient prophecies concerning it.
"The recent excavations," says Rawlinson, "have shown that fire
was a great instrument in the destruction of the Nineveh
palaces. Calcined alabaster, charred wood, and charcoal,
colossal statues split through with heat, are met with in parts
of the Nineveh mounds, and attest the veracity of prophecy."
Nineveh in its glory was (Jonah 3:4) an "exceeding great city
of three days' journey", i.e., probably in circuit. This would
give a circumference of about 60 miles. At the four corners of
an irregular quadrangle are the ruins of Kouyunjik, Nimrud,
Karamless and Khorsabad. These four great masses of ruins, with
the whole area included within the parallelogram they form by
lines drawn from the one to the other, are generally regarded as
composing the whole ruins of Nineveh.
the wanderer; loiterer, for some unknown reason emigrated with
his family from his native mountains in the north to the plains
of Mesopotamia. He had three sons, Haran, Nahor, and Abraham,
and one daughter, Sarah. He settled in "Ur of the Chaldees,"
where his son Haran died, leaving behind him his son Lot. Nahor
settled at Haran, a place on the way to Ur. Terah afterwards
migrated with Abraham (probably his youngest son) and Lot (his
grandson), together with their families, from Ur, intending to
go with them to Canaan; but he tarried at Haran, where he spent
the remainder of his days, and died at the age of two hundred
and five years (Gen. 11:24-32; Josh. 24:2). What a wonderful
part the descendants of this Chaldean shepherd have played in
the history of the world!
called also Achar, i.e., one who troubles (1 Chr. 2:7), in
commemoration of his crime, which brought upon him an awful
destruction (Josh. 7:1). On the occasion of the fall of Jericho,
he seized, contrary to the divine command, an ingot of gold, a
quantity of silver, and a costly Babylonish garment, which he
hid in his tent. Joshua was convinced that the defeat which the
Israelites afterwards sustained before Ai was a proof of the
divine displeasure on account of some crime, and he at once
adopted means by the use of the lot for discovering the
criminal. It was then found that Achan was guilty, and he was
stoned to death in the valley of Achor. He and all that belonged
to him were then consumed by fire, and a heap of stones was
raised over the ashes.
Heb. 'akhbar, "swift digger"), properly the dormouse, the
field-mouse (1 Sam. 6:4). In Lev. 11:29, Isa. 66:17 this word is
used generically, and includes the jerboa (Mus jaculus), rat,
hamster (Cricetus), which, though declared to be unclean
animals, were eaten by the Arabs, and are still eaten by the
Bedouins. It is said that no fewer than twenty-three species of
this group ('akhbar=Arab. ferah) of animals inhabit Israel.
God "laid waste" the people of Ashdod by the terrible visitation
of field-mice, which are like locusts in their destructive
effects (1 Sam. 6:4, 11, 18). Herodotus, the Greek historian,
accounts for the destruction of the army of Sennacherib (2 Kings
19:35) by saying that in the night thousands of mice invaded the
camp and gnawed through the bow-strings, quivers, and shields,
and thus left the Assyrians helpless. (See SENNACHERIB
(1.) Heb. hatsir, ripe grass fit for mowing (1 Kings 18:5; Job
40:15; Ps. 104:14). As the herbage rapidly fades under the
scorching sun, it is used as an image of the brevity of human
life (Isa. 40:6, 7; Ps. 90:5). In Num. 11:5 this word is
(2.) Heb. deshe', green grass (Gen. 1:11, 12; Isa. 66:14;
Deut. 32:2). "The sickly and forced blades of grass which spring
up on the flat plastered roofs of houses in the East are used as
an emblem of speedy destruction, because they are small and
weak, and because, under the scorching rays of the sun, they
soon wither away" (2 Kings 19:26; Ps. 129:6; Isa. 37:27).
The dry stalks of grass were often used as fuel for the oven
(Matt. 6:30; 13:30; Luke 12:28).
sons enjoyed certain special privileges (Deut. 21:17; Gen.
25:23, 31, 34; 49:3; 1 Chr. 5:1; Heb. 12:16; Ps. 89:27). (See
The "first-born of the poor" signifies the most miserable of
the poor (Isa. 14:30). The "church of the first-born" signifies
the church of the redeemed.
The destruction of the first-born was the last of the ten
plagues inflicted on the Egyptians (Ex. 11:1-8; 12:29, 30).
Menephtah is probably the Pharaoh whose first-born was slain.
His son did not succeed or survive his father, but died early.
The son's tomb has been found at Thebes unfinished, showing it
was needed earlier than was expected. Some of the records on the
tomb are as follows: "The son whom Menephtah loves; who draws
towards him his father's heart, the singer, the prince of
archers, who governed Egypt on behalf of his father. Dead."
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.
described as an animal of great ferocity and strength (Num.
23:22, R.V., "wild ox," marg., "ox-antelope;" 24:8; Isa. 34:7,
R.V., "wild oxen"), and untamable (Job 39:9). It was in reality
a two-horned animal; but the exact reference of the word so
rendered (reem) is doubtful. Some have supposed it to be the
buffalo; others, the white antelope, called by the Arabs rim.
Most probably, however, the word denotes the Bos primigenius
("primitive ox"), which is now extinct all over the world. This
was the auerochs of the Germans, and the urus described by
Caesar (Gal. Bel., vi.28) as inhabiting the Hercynian forest.
The word thus rendered has been found in an Assyrian inscription
written over the wild ox or bison, which some also suppose to be
the animal intended (compare Deut. 33:17; Ps. 22:21; 29:6; 92:10).
(originally Ge bene Hinnom; i.e., "the valley of the sons of
Hinnom"), a deep, narrow glen to the south of Jerusalem, where
the idolatrous Jews offered their children in sacrifice to
Molech (2 Chr. 28:3; 33:6; Jer. 7:31; 19:2-6). This valley
afterwards became the common receptacle for all the refuse of
the city. Here the dead bodies of animals and of criminals, and
all kinds of filth, were cast and consumed by fire kept always
burning. It thus in process of time became the image of the
place of everlasting destruction. In this sense it is used by
our Lord in Matt. 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark
9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5. In these passages, and also in James
3:6, the word is uniformly rendered "hell," the Revised Version
placing "Gehenna" in the margin. (See HELL T0001731; HINNOM
=Se'lah, rock, the capital of Edom, situated in the great valley
extending from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea (2 Kings 14:7). It
was near Mount Hor, close by the desert of Zin. It is called
"the rock" (Judg. 1:36). When Amaziah took it he called it
Joktheel (q.v.) It is mentioned by the prophets (Isa. 16:1;
Obad. 1:3) as doomed to destruction.
It appears in later history and in the Vulgate Version under
the name of Petra. "The caravans from all ages, from the
interior of Arabia and from the Gulf of Persia, from Hadramaut
on the ocean, and even from Sabea or Yemen, appear to have
pointed to Petra as a common centre; and from Petra the tide
seems again to have branched out in every direction, to Egypt,
Israel, and Syria, through Arsinoe, Gaza, Tyre, Jerusalem,
and Damascus, and by other routes, terminating at the
Mediterranean." (See EDOM T0001129 .)
(Acts 21:2) = Phenice (11:19; 15:3; R.V., Phoenicia), Gr.
phoinix, "a palm", the land of palm-trees; a strip of land of an
average breadth of about 20 miles along the shores of the
Mediterranean, from the river Eleutherus in the north to the
promotory of Carmel in the south, about 120 miles in length.
This name is not found in the Old Testament, and in the New
Testament it is mentioned only in the passages above referred
"In the Egyptian inscriptions Phoenicia is called Keft, the
inhabitants being Kefa; and since Keft-ur, or 'Greater
Phoenicia,' was the name given to the delta of the Nile from the
Phoenician colonies settled upon it, the Philistines who came
from Caphtor or Keft-ur must have been of Phoenician origin"
(compare Deut. 2:23; Jer. 47:4; Amos 9:7)., Sayce's Bible and the
Phoenicia lay in the very centre of the old world, and was the
natural entrepot for commerce with foreign nations. It was the
"England of antiquity." "The trade routes from all Asia
converged on the Phoenician coast; the centres of commerce on
the Euphrates and Tigris forwarding their goods by way of Tyre
to the Nile, to Arabia, and to the west; and, on the other hand,
the productions of the vast regions bordering the Mediterranean
passing through the Canaanite capital to the eastern world." It
was "situate at the entry of the sea, a merchant of the people
for many isles" (Ezek. 27:3, 4). The far-reaching commercial
activity of the Phoenicians, especially with Tarshish and the
western world, enriched them with vast wealth, which introduced
boundless luxury and developed among them a great activity in
all manner of arts and manufactures. (See TYRE T0003737.)
The Phoenicians were the most enterprising merchants of the
old world, establishing colonies at various places, of which
Carthage was the chief. They were a Canaanite branch of the race
of Ham, and are frequently called Sidonians, from their
principal city of Sidon. None could "skill to hew timber like
unto the Sidonians" (1 Kings 5:6). King Hiram rendered important
service to Solomon in connection with the planning and building
of the temple, casting for him all the vessels for the temple
service, and the two pillars which stood in the front of the
porch, and "the molten sea" (1 Kings 7:21-23). Singular marks
have been found by recent exploration on the great stones that
form the substructure of the temple. These marks, both painted
and engraved, have been regarded as made by the workmen in the
quarries, and as probably intended to indicate the place of
these stones in the building. "The Biblical account (1 Kings
5:17, 18) is accurately descriptive of the massive masonry now
existing at the south-eastern angle (of the temple area), and
standing on the native rock 80 feet below the present surface.
The Royal Engineers found, buried deeply among the rubbish of
many centuries, great stones, costly and hewed stones, forming
the foundation of the sanctuary wall; while Phoenician fragments
of pottery and Phoenician marks painted on the massive blocks
seem to proclaim that the stones were prepared in the quarry by
the cunning workmen of Hiram, the king of Tyre." (See TEMPLE
The Phoenicians have been usually regarded as the inventors of
alphabetic writing. The Egyptians expressed their thoughts by
certain symbols, called "hieroglyphics", i.e., sacred carvings,
so styled because used almost exclusively on sacred subjects.
The recent discovery, however, of inscriptions in Southern
Arabia (Yemen and Hadramaut), known as Hemyaritic, in connection
with various philogical considerations, has led some to the
conclusion that the Phoenician alphabet was derived from the
Mineans (admitting the antiquity of the kingdom of Ma'in, Judg.
10:12; 2 Chr. 26:7). Thus the Phoenician alphabet ceases to be
the mother alphabet. Sayce thinks "it is more than possible that
the Egyptians themselves were emigrants from Southern Arabia."
(See MOABITE STONE T0002586.)
"The Phoenicians were renowned in ancient times for the
manufacture of glass, and some of the specimens of this work
that have been preserved are still the wonder of mankind...In
the matter of shipping, whether ship-building be thought of or
traffic upon the sea, the Phoenicians surpassed all other
nations." "The name Phoenicia is of uncertain origin, though it
may be derived from Fenkhu, the name given in the Egyptian
inscriptions to the natives of Israel. Among the chief
Phoenician cities were Tyre and Sidon, Gebal north of Beirut,
Arvad or Arados and Zemar."
The Hebrew word so rendered is from a root meaning "to travel
about," "to migrate," and hence "a traveller." In the East, in
ancient times, merchants travelled about with their merchandise
from place to place (Gen. 37:25; Job 6:18), and carried on their
trade mainly by bartering (Gen. 37:28; 39:1). After the Hebrews
became settled in Israel they began to engage in commercial
pursuits, which gradually expanded (49:13; Deut. 33:18; Judg.
5:17), till in the time of Solomon they are found in the chief
marts of the world (1 Kings 9:26; 10:11, 26, 28; 22:48; 2 Chr.
1:16; 9:10, 21). After Solomon's time their trade with foreign
nations began to decline. After the Exile it again expanded into
wider foreign relations, because now the Jews were scattered in
a thousand years; the name given to the era mentioned in Rev.
20:1-7. Some maintain that Christ will personally appear on
earth for the purpose of establishing his kingdom at the
beginning of this millennium. Those holding this view are
usually called "millenarians." On the other hand, it is
maintained, more in accordance with the teaching of Scripture,
we think, that Christ's second advent will not be premillennial,
and that the right conception of the prospects and destiny of
his kingdom is that which is taught, e.g., in the parables of
the leaven and the mustard-seed. The triumph of the gospel, it
is held, must be looked for by the wider and more efficient
operation of the very forces that are now at work in extending
the gospel; and that Christ will only come again at the close of
this dispensation to judge the world at the "last day." The
millennium will thus precede his coming.
so called by the Romans; called Artemis by the Greeks, the
"great" goddess worshipped among heathen nations under various
modifications. Her most noted temple was that at Ephesus. It was
built outside the city walls, and was one of the seven wonders
of the ancient world. "First and last it was the work of 220
years; built of shining marble; 342 feet long by 164 feet broad;
supported by a forest of columns, each 56 feet high; a sacred
museum of masterpieces of sculpture and painting. At the centre,
hidden by curtains, within a gorgeous shrine, stood the very
ancient image of the goddess, on wood or ebony reputed to have
fallen from the sky. Behind the shrine was a treasury, where, as
in 'the safest bank in Asia,' nations and kings stored their
most precious things. The temple as St. Paul saw it subsisted
till A.D. 262, when it was ruined by the Goths" (Acts
19:23-41)., Moule on Ephesians: Introd.
rest, (Heb. Noah) the grandson of Methuselah (Gen. 5:25-29), who
was for two hundred and fifty years contemporary with Adam, and
the son of Lamech, who was about fifty years old at the time of
Adam's death. This patriarch is rightly regarded as the
connecting link between the old and the new world. He is the
second great progenitor of the human family.
The words of his father Lamech at his birth (Gen. 5:29) have
been regarded as in a sense prophetical, designating Noah as a
type of Him who is the true "rest and comfort" of men under the
burden of life (Matt.11:28).
He lived five hundred years, and then there were born unto him
three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gen. 5:32). He was a "just
man and perfect in his generation," and "walked with God" (compare
Ezek. 14:14,20). But now the descendants of Cain and of Seth
began to intermarry, and then there sprang up a race
distinguished for their ungodliness. Men became more and more
corrupt, and God determined to sweep the earth of its wicked
population (Gen. 6:7). But with Noah God entered into a
covenant, with a promise of deliverance from the threatened
deluge (18). He was accordingly commanded to build an ark
(6:14-16) for the saving of himself and his house. An interval
of one hundred and twenty years elapsed while the ark was being
built (6:3), during which Noah bore constant testimony against
the unbelief and wickedness of that generation (1 Pet. 3:18-20;
2 Pet. 2:5).
When the ark of "gopher-wood" (mentioned only here) was at
length completed according to the command of the Lord, the
living creatures that were to be preserved entered into it; and
then Noah and his wife and sons and daughters-in-law entered it,
and the "Lord shut him in" (Gen.7:16). The judgment-threatened
now fell on the guilty world, "the world that then was, being
overflowed with water, perished" (2 Pet. 3:6). The ark floated
on the waters for one hundred and fifty days, and then rested on
the mountains of Ararat (Gen. 8:3,4); but not for a considerable
time after this was divine permission given him to leave the
ark, so that he and his family were a whole year shut up within
it (Gen. 6-14).
On leaving the ark Noah's first act was to erect an altar, the
first of which there is any mention, and offer the sacrifices of
adoring thanks and praise to God, who entered into a covenant
with him, the first covenant between God and man, granting him
possession of the earth by a new and special charter, which
remains in force to the present time (Gen. 8:21-9:17). As a sign
and witness of this covenant, the rainbow was adopted and set
apart by God, as a sure pledge that never again would the earth
be destroyed by a flood.
But, alas! Noah after this fell into grievous sin (Gen. 9:21);
and the conduct of Ham on this sad occasion led to the memorable
prediction regarding his three sons and their descendants. Noah
"lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years, and he
died" (28:29). (See DELUGE T0001011).
Noah, motion, (Heb. No'ah) one of the five daughters of
Zelophehad (Num.26:33; 27:1; 36:11; Josh. 17:3).
who is like God? (1.) The title given to one of the chief angels
(Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1). He had special charge of Israel as a
nation. He disputed with Satan (Jude 1:9) about the body of
Moses. He is also represented as warning against "that old
serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole
world" (Rev. 12:7-9).
(2.) The father of Sethur, the spy selected to represent Asher
(3.) 1 Chr. 7:3, a chief of the tribe of Issachar.
(4.) 1 Chr. 8:16, a Benjamite.
(5.) A chief Gadite in Bashan (1 Chr. 5:13).
(6.) A Manassite, "a captain of thousands" who joined David at
Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:20).
(7.) A Gershonite Levite (1 Chr. 6:40).
(8.) The father of Omri (1 Chr. 27:18).
(9.) One of the sons of king Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 21:2, 4). He
was murdered by his brother Jehoram.
reward of God. (1.) A chief of the tribe of Manasseh at the
census at Sinai (Num. 1:10; 2:20; 7:54, 59).
(2.) The son of rabbi Simeon, and grandson of the famous rabbi
Hillel. He was a Pharisse, and therefore the opponent of the
party of the Sadducees. He was noted for his learning, and was
president of the Sanhedrim during the regins of Tiberius,
Caligula, and Claudius, and died, it is said, about eighteen
years before the destruction of Jerusalem.
When the apostles were brought before the council, charged
with preaching the resurrection of Jesus, as a zealous Pharisee
Gamaliel councelled moderation and calmness. By a reference to
well-known events, he advised them to "refrain from these men."
If their work or counsel was of man, it would come to nothing;
but if it was of God, they could not destroy it, and therefore
ought to be on their guard lest they should be "found fighting
against God" (Acts 5:34-40). Paul was one of his disciples
anything laid up or suspended; hence anything laid up in a
temple or set apart as sacred. In this sense the form of the
word is "anath(ee)ma", once in plural used in the Greek New
Testament, in Luke 21:5, where it is rendered "gifts." In the
LXX. the form "anathema" is generally used as the rendering of
the Hebrew word "herem", derived from a verb which means (1) to
consecrate or devote; and (2) to exterminate. Any object so
devoted to the Lord could not be redeemed (Num. 18:14; Lev.
27:28, 29); and hence the idea of exterminating connected with
the word. The Hebrew verb (haram) is frequently used of the
extermination of idolatrous nations. It had a wide range of
application. The "anathema" or "herem" was a person or thing
irrevocably devoted to God (Lev. 27:21, 28); and "none devoted
shall be ransomed. He shall surely be put to death" (27:29). The
word therefore carried the idea of devoted to destruction (Num.
21:2, 3; Josh. 6:17); and hence generally it meant a thing
accursed. In Deut. 7:26 an idol is called a "herem" =
"anathema", a thing accursed.
In the New Testament this word always implies execration. In
some cases an individual denounces an anathema on himself unless
certain conditions are fulfilled (Acts 23:12, 14, 21). "To call
Jesus accursed" [anathema] (1 Cor. 12:3) is to pronounce him
execrated or accursed. If any one preached another gospel, the
apostle says, "let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:8, 9); i.e., let his
conduct in so doing be accounted accursed.
In Rom. 9:3, the expression "accursed" (anathema) from Christ,
i.e., excluded from fellowship or alliance with Christ, has
occasioned much difficulty. The apostle here does not speak of
his wish as a possible thing. It is simply a vehement expression
of feeling, showing how strong was his desire for the salvation
of his people.
The anathema in 1 Cor. 16:22 denotes simply that they who love
not the Lord are rightly objects of loathing and execration to
all holy beings; they are guilty of a crime that merits the
severest condemnation; they are exposed to the just sentence of
"everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord."
the capital of Attica, the most celebrated city of the ancient
world, the seat of Greek literature and art during the golden
period of Grecian history. Its inhabitants were fond of novelty
(Acts 17:21), and were remarkable for their zeal in the worship
of the gods. It was a sarcastic saying of the Roman satirist
that it was "easier to find a god at Athens than a man."
On his second missionary journey Paul visited this city (Acts
17:15; compare 1 Thess. 3:1), and delivered in the Areopagus his
famous speech (17:22-31). The altar of which Paul there speaks
as dedicated "to the [properly "an"] unknown God" (23) was
probably one of several which bore the same inscription. It is
supposed that they originated in the practice of letting loose a
flock of sheep and goats in the streets of Athens on the
occasion of a plague, and of offering them up in sacrifice, at
the spot where they lay down, "to the god concerned."
(Heb. plural goyum). At first the word "goyim" denoted generally
all the nations of the world (Gen. 18:18; compare Gal. 3:8). The
Jews afterwards became a people distinguished in a marked manner
from the other "goyim". They were a separate people (Lev. 20:23;
26:14-45; Deut. 28), and the other nations, the Amorites,
Hittites, etc., were the "goyim", the heathen, with whom the
Jews were forbidden to be associated in any way (Josh. 23:7; 1
Kings 11:2). The practice of idolatry was the characteristic of
these nations, and hence the word came to designate idolaters
(Ps. 106:47; Jer. 46:28; Lam. 1:3; Isa. 36:18), the wicked (Ps.
9:5, 15, 17).
The corresponding Greek word in the New Testament, "ethne",
has similar shades of meaning. In Acts 22:21, Gal. 3:14, it
denotes the people of the earth generally; and in Matt. 6:7, an
idolater. In modern usage the word denotes all nations that are
strangers to revealed religion.
Maccabees, Books of the
There were originally five books of the Maccabees. The first
contains a history of the war of independence, commencing (B.C.
175) in a series of patriotic struggles against the tyranny of
Antiochus Epiphanes, and terminating B.C. 135. It became part of
the Vulgate Version of the Bible, and was thus retained among
The second gives a history of the Maccabees' struggle from
B.C. 176 to B.C. 161. Its object is to encourage and admonish
the Jews to be faithful to the religion of their fathers.
The third does not hold a place in the Apocrypha, but is read
in the Greek Church. Its design is to comfort the Alexandrian
Jews in their persecution. Its writer was evidently an
The fourth was found in the Library of Lyons, but was
afterwards burned. The fifth contains a history of the Jews from
B.C. 184 to B.C. 86. It is a compilation made by a Jew after the
destruction of Jerusalem, from ancient memoirs, to which he had
access. It need scarcely be added that none of these books has
any divine authority.
Habakkuk, Prophecies of
were probably written about B.C. 650-627, or, as some think, a
few years later. This book consists of three chapters, the
contents of which are thus comprehensively described: "When the
prophet in spirit saw the formidable power of the Chaldeans
approaching and menacing his land, and saw the great evils they
would cause in Judea, he bore his complaints and doubts before
Jehovah, the just and the pure (1:2-17). And on this occasion
the future punishment of the Chaldeans was revealed to him (2).
In the third chapter a presentiment of the destruction of his
country, in the inspired heart of the prophet, contends with his
hope that the enemy would be chastised." The third chapter is a
sublime song dedicated "to the chief musician," and therefore
intended apparently to be used in the worship of God. It is
"unequalled in majesty and splendour of language and imagery."
The passage in 2:4, "The just shall live by his faith," is
quoted by the apostle in Rom. 1:17. (Compare Gal. 3:12; Heb.
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
conjugal infidelity. An adulterer was a man who had illicit
intercourse with a married or a betrothed woman, and such a
woman was an adulteress. Intercourse between a married man and
an unmarried woman was fornication. Adultery was regarded as a
great social wrong, as well as a great sin.
The Mosaic law (Num. 5:11-31) prescribed that the suspected
wife should be tried by the ordeal of the "water of jealousy."
There is, however, no recorded instance of the application of
this law. In subsequent times the Rabbis made various
regulations with the view of discovering the guilty party, and
of bringing about a divorce. It has been inferred from John
8:1-11 that this sin became very common during the age preceding
the destruction of Jerusalem.
Idolatry, covetousness, and apostasy are spoken of as adultery
spiritually (Jer. 3:6, 8, 9; Ezek. 16:32; Hos. 1:2:3; Rev.
2:22). An apostate church is an adulteress (Isa. 1:21; Ezek.
23:4, 7, 37), and the Jews are styled "an adulterous generation"
(Matt. 12:39). (Compare Rev. 12.)
(i.e., "Valley of the Cheesemongers"), the name given by
Josephus the historian to the valley or rugged ravine which in
ancient times separated Mount Moriah from Mount Zion. This
valley, now filled up with a vast accumulation of rubbish, and
almost a plain, was spanned by bridges, the most noted of which
was Zion Bridge, which was probably the ordinary means of
communication between the royal palace on Zion and the temple. A
fragment of the arch (q.v.) of this bridge (called "Robinson's
Arch"), where it projects from the sanctuary wall, was
discovered by Robinson in 1839. This arch was destroyed by the
Romans when Jerusalem was taken.
The western wall of the temple area rose up from the bottom of
this valley to the height of 84 feet, where it was on a level
with the area, and above this, and as a continuance of it, the
wall of Solomon's cloister rose to the height of about 50 feet,
"so that this section of the wall would originally present to
view a stupendous mass of masonry scarcely to be surpassed by
any mural masonry in the world."
(Old Egypt. Sant= "stronghold," the modern San). A city on the
Tanitic branch of the Nile, called by the Greeks Tanis. It was
built seven years after Hebron in Israel (Num. 13:22). This
great and important city was the capital of the Hyksos, or
Shepherd kings, who ruled Egypt for more than 500 years. It was
the frontier town of Goshen. Here Pharaoh was holding his court
at the time of his various interviews with Moses and Aaron. "No
trace of Zoan exists; Tanis was built over it, and city after
city has been built over the ruins of that" (Harper, Bible and
Modern Discovery). Extensive mounds of ruins, the wreck of the
ancient city, now mark its site (Isa. 19:11, 13; 30:4; Ezek.
30:14). "The whole constitutes one of the grandest and oldest
ruins in the world."
This city was also called "the Field of Zoan" (Ps. 78:12, 43)
and "the Town of Rameses" (q.v.), because the oppressor rebuilt
and embellished it, probably by the forced labour of the
Hebrews, and made it his northern capital.
Derived probably from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., "the Lord's
house"), which was used by ancient authors for the place of
In the New Testament it is the translation of the Greek word
ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew "kahal" of the Old
Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly, the character
of which can only be known from the connection in which the word
is found. There is no clear instance of its being used for a
place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times
it early received this meaning. Nor is this word ever used to
denote the inhabitants of a country united in the same
profession, as when we say the "Church of England," the "Church
of Scotland," etc.
We find the word ecclesia used in the following senses in the
New Testament: (1.) It is translated "assembly" in the ordinary
classical sense (Acts 19:32, 39, 41).
(2.) It denotes the whole body of the redeemed, all those whom
the Father has given to Christ, the invisible catholic church
(Eph. 5:23, 25, 27, 29; Heb. 12:23).
(3.) A few Christians associated together in observing the
ordinances of the gospel are an ecclesia (Rom. 16:5; Col. 4:15).
(4.) All the Christians in a particular city, whether they
assembled together in one place or in several places for
religious worship, were an ecclesia. Thus all the disciples in
Antioch, forming several congregations, were one church (Acts
13:1); so also we read of the "church of God at Corinth" (1 Cor.
1:2), "the church at Jerusalem" (Acts 8:1), "the church of
Ephesus" (Rev. 2:1), etc.
(5.) The whole body of professing Christians throughout the
world (1 Cor. 15:9; Gal. 1:13; Matt. 16:18) are the church of
The church visible "consists of all those throughout the world
that profess the true religion, together with their children."
It is called "visible" because its members are known and its
assemblies are public. Here there is a mixture of "wheat and
chaff," of saints and sinners. "God has commanded his people to
organize themselves into distinct visible ecclesiastical
communities, with constitutions, laws, and officers, badges,
ordinances, and discipline, for the great purpose of giving
visibility to his kingdom, of making known the gospel of that
kingdom, and of gathering in all its elect subjects. Each one of
these distinct organized communities which is faithful to the
great King is an integral part of the visible church, and all
together constitute the catholic or universal visible church." A
credible profession of the true religion constitutes a person a
member of this church. This is "the kingdom of heaven," whose
character and progress are set forth in the parables recorded in
The children of all who thus profess the true religion are
members of the visible church along with their parents. Children
are included in every covenant God ever made with man. They go
along with their parents (Gen. 9:9-17; 12:1-3; 17:7; Ex. 20:5;
Deut. 29:10-13). Peter, on the day of Pentecost, at the
beginning of the New Testament dispensation, announces the same
great principle. "The promise [just as to Abraham and his seed
the promises were made] is unto you, and to your children" (Acts
2:38, 39). The children of believing parents are "holy", i.e.,
are "saints", a title which designates the members of the
Christian church (1 Cor. 7:14). (See BAPTISM T0000435.)
The church invisible "consists of the whole number of the
elect that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under
Christ, the head thereof." This is a pure society, the church in
which Christ dwells. It is the body of Christ. it is called
"invisible" because the greater part of those who constitute it
are already in heaven or are yet unborn, and also because its
members still on earth cannot certainly be distinguished. The
qualifications of membership in it are internal and are hidden.
It is unseen except by Him who "searches the heart." "The Lord
knoweth them that are his" (2 Tim. 2:19).
The church to which the attributes, prerogatives, and promises
appertaining to Christ's kingdom belong, is a spiritual body
consisting of all true believers, i.e., the church invisible.
(1.) Its unity. God has ever had only one church on earth. We
sometimes speak of the Old Testament Church and of the New
Testament church, but they are one and the same. The Old
Testament church was not to be changed but enlarged (Isa.
49:13-23; 60:1-14). When the Jews are at length restored, they
will not enter a new church, but will be grafted again into
"their own olive tree" (Rom. 11:18-24; compare Eph. 2:11-22). The
apostles did not set up a new organization. Under their ministry
disciples were "added" to the "church" already existing (Acts
(2.) Its universality. It is the "catholic" church; not
confined to any particular country or outward organization, but
comprehending all believers throughout the whole world.
(3.) Its perpetuity. It will continue through all ages to the
end of the world. It can never be destroyed. It is an
called "dag" by the Hebrews, a word denoting great fecundity
(Gen. 9:2; Num. 11:22; Jonah 2:1, 10). No fish is mentioned by
name either in the Old or in the New Testament. Fish abounded in
the Mediterranean and in the lakes of the Jordan, so that the
Hebrews were no doubt acquainted with many species. Two of the
villages on the shores of the Sea of Galilee derived their names
from their fisheries, Bethsaida (the "house of fish") on the
east and on the west. There is probably no other sheet of water
in the world of equal dimensions that contains such a variety
and profusion of fish. About thirty-seven different kinds have
been found. Some of the fishes are of a European type, such as
the roach, the barbel, and the blenny; others are markedly
African and tropical, such as the eel-like silurus. There was a
regular fish-market apparently in Jerusalem (2 Chr. 33:14; Neh.
3:3; 12:39; Zeph. 1:10), as there was a fish-gate which was
probably contiguous to it.
Sidon is the oldest fishing establishment known in history.
the offspring of the divine command (Gen. 1:3). "All the more
joyous emotions of the mind, all the pleasing sensations of the
frame, all the happy hours of domestic intercourse were
habitually described among the Hebrews under imagery derived
from light" (1 Kings 11:36; Isa. 58:8; Esther 8:16; Ps. 97:11).
Light came also naturally to typify true religion and the
felicity it imparts (Ps. 119:105; Isa. 8:20; Matt. 4:16, etc.),
and the glorious inheritance of the redeemed (Col. 1:12; Rev.
21:23-25). God is said to dwell in light inaccessible (1 Tim.
6:16). It frequently signifies instruction (Matt. 5:16; John
5:35). In its highest sense it is applied to Christ as the "Sun
of righteousness" (Mal. 4:2; Luke 2:32; John 1:7-9). God is
styled "the Father of lights" (James 1:17). It is used of angels
(2 Cor. 11:14), and of John the Baptist, who was a "burning and
a shining light" (John 5:35), and of all true disciples, who are
styled "the light of the world" (Matt. 5:14).
perfection (LXX., "truth;" Vulg., "veritas"), Ex. 28:30; Deut.
33:8; Judg. 1:1; 20:18; 1 Sam. 14:3,18; 23:9; 2 Sam. 21:1. What
the "Urim and Thummim" were cannot be determined with any
certainty. All we certainly know is that they were a certain
divinely-given means by which God imparted, through the high
priest, direction and counsel to Israel when these were needed.
The method by which this was done can be only a matter of mere
conjecture. They were apparently material objects, quite
distinct from the breastplate, but something added to it after
all the stones had been set in it, something in addition to the
breastplate and its jewels. They may have been, as some suppose,
two small images, like the teraphim (compare Judg. 17:5; 18:14,
17, 20; Hos. 3:4), which were kept in the bag of the
breastplate, by which, in some unknown way, the high priest
could give forth his divinely imparted decision when consulted.
They were probably lost at the destruction of the temple by
Nebuchadnezzar. They were never seen after the return from
Judah, Kingdom of
When the disruption took place at Shechem, at first only the
tribe of Judah followed the house of David. But very soon after
the tribe of Benjamin joined the tribe of Judah, and Jerusalem
became the capital of the new kingdom (Josh. 18:28), which was
called the kingdom of Judah. It was very small in extent, being
only about the size of the Scottish county of Perth.
For the first sixty years the kings of Judah aimed at
re-establishing their authority over the kingdom of the other
ten tribes, so that there was a state of perpetual war between
them. For the next eighty years there was no open war between
them. For the most part they were in friendly alliance,
co-operating against their common enemies, especially against
Damascus. For about another century and a half Judah had a
somewhat checkered existence after the termination of the
kingdom of Israel till its final overthrow in the destruction of
the temple (B.C. 588) by Nebuzar-adan, who was captain of
Nebuchadnezzar's body-guard (2 Kings 25:8-21).
The kingdom maintained a separate existence for three hundred
and eighty-nine years. It occupied an area of 3,435 square
miles. (See ISRAEL, KINGDOM OF T0001909.)
=Topheth, from Heb. toph "a drum," because the cries of children
here sacrificed by the priests of Moloch were drowned by the
noise of such an instrument; or from taph or toph, meaning "to
burn," and hence a place of burning, the name of a particular
part in the valley of Hinnom. "Fire being the most destructive
of all elements, is chosen by the sacred writers to symbolize
the agency by which God punishes or destroys the wicked. We are
not to assume from prophetical figures that material fire is the
precise agent to be used. It was not the agency employed in the
destruction of Sennacherib, mentioned in Isa. 30:33...Tophet
properly begins where the Vale of Hinnom bends round to the
east, having the cliffs of Zion on the north, and the Hill of
Evil Counsel on the south. It terminates at Beer 'Ayub, where it
joins the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The cliffs on the southern side
especially abound in ancient tombs. Here the dead carcasses of
beasts and every offal and abomination were cast, and left to be
either devoured by that worm that never died or consumed by that
fire that was never quenched." Thus Tophet came to represent the
place of punishment. (See HINNOM T0001790.)
=Askelon=Ascalon, was one of the five cities of the Philistines
(Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 6:17). It stood on the shore of the
Mediterranean, 12 miles north of Gaza. It is mentioned on an
inscription at Karnak in Egypt as having been taken by king
Rameses II., the oppressor of the Hebrews. In the time of the
judges (Judg. 1:18) it fell into the possession of the tribe of
Judah; but it was soon after retaken by the Philistines (2 Sam.
1:20), who were not finally dispossessed till the time of
Alexander the Great. Samson went down to this place from
Timnath, and slew thirty men and took their spoil. The prophets
foretold its destruction (Jer. 25:20; 47:5, 7). It became a
noted place in the Middle Ages, having been the scene of many a
bloody battle between the Saracens and the Crusaders. It was
beseiged and taken by Richard the Lion-hearted, and "within its
walls and towers now standing he held his court." Among the Tell
Amarna tablets (see EGYPT T0001137) are found letters or
official despatches from Yadaya, "captain of horse and dust of
the king's feet," to the "great king" of Egypt, dated from
Ascalon. It is now called 'Askalan.
and Aij'alon, place of deer. (1.) A town and valley originally
assigned to the tribe of Dan, from which, however, they could
not drive the Amorites (Judg. 1:35). It was one of the Levitical
cities given to the Kohathites (1 Chr. 6:69). It was not far
from Beth-shemesh (2 Chr. 28:18). It was the boundary between
the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, and is frequently mentioned in
Jewish history (2 Chr. 11:10; 1 Sam. 14:31; 1 Chr. 8:13). With
reference to the valley named after the town, Joshua uttered the
celebrated command, "Sun, stand thou still on Gibeon; and thou,
Moon, in the valley of Ajalon" (Josh. 10:12). It has been
identified as the modern Yalo, at the foot of the Beth-horon
pass (q.v.). In the Tell Amarna letters Adoni-zedek (q.v.)
speaks of the destruction of the "city of Ajalon" by the
invaders, and describes himself as "afflicted, greatly
afflicted" by the calamities that had come on the land, urging
the king of Egypt to hasten to his help.
(2.) A city in the tribe of Zebulun (Judg. 12:12), the modern
Jalun, three miles north of Cabul.
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).
(1.) Heb. seor (Ex. 12:15, 19; 13:7; Lev. 2:11), the remnant of
dough from the preceding baking which had fermented and become
(2.) Heb. hamets, properly "ferment." In Num. 6:3, "vinegar of
wine" is more correctly "fermented wine." In Ex. 13:7, the
proper rendering would be, "Unfermented things [Heb. matstsoth]
shall be consumed during the seven days; and there shall not be
seen with thee fermented things [hamets], and there shall not be
seen with thee leavened mass [seor] in all thy borders." The
chemical definition of ferment or yeast is "a substance in a
state of putrefaction, the atoms of which are in a continual
The use of leaven was strictly forbidden in all offerings made
to the Lord by fire (Lev. 2:11; 7:12; 8:2; Num. 6:15). Its
secretly penetrating and diffusive power is referred to in 1
Cor. 5:6. In this respect it is used to illustrate the growth of
the kingdom of heaven both in the individual heart and in the
world (Matt. 13:33). It is a figure also of corruptness and of
perverseness of heart and life (Matt. 16:6, 11; Mark 8:15; 1
Cor. 5:7, 8).
winding, a winter torrent of Central Israel, which rises
about the roots of Tabor and Gilboa, and passing in a northerly
direction through the plains of Esdraelon and Acre, falls into
the Mediterranean at the NEern corner of the bay of
Acre, at the foot of Carmel. It is the drain by which the waters
of the plain of Esdraelon and of the mountains that surround it
find their way to the sea. It bears the modern name of Nahr
el-Mokattah, i.e., "the river of slaughter" (compare 1 Kings
18:40). In the triumphal song of Deborah (Judg. 5:21) it is
spoken of as "that ancient river," either (1) because it had
flowed on for ages, or (2), according to the Targum, because it
was "the torrent in which were shown signs and wonders to Israel
of old;" or (3) probably the reference is to the exploits in
that region among the ancient Canaanites, for the adjoining
plain of Esdraelon was the great battle-field of Israel.
This was the scene of the defeat of Sisera (Judg. 4:7, 13),
and of the destruction of the prophets of Baal by Elijah (1
Kings 18:40). "When the Kishon was at its height, it would be,
partly on account of its quicksands, as impassable as the ocean
itself to a retreating army." (See DEBORAH T0000996.)
Obadiah, Book of
consists of one chapter, "concerning Edom," its impending doom
(1:1-16), and the restoration of Israel (1:17-21). This is the
shortest book of the Old Testament.
There are on record the account of four captures of Jerusalem,
(1) by Shishak in the reign of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:25); (2) by
the Philistines and Arabians in the reign of Jehoram (2 Chr.
21:16); (3) by Joash, the king of Israel, in the reign of
Amaziah (2 Kings 14:13); and (4) by the Babylonians, when
Jerusalem was taken and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (B.C. 586).
Obadiah (1:11-14) speaks of this capture as a thing past. He
sees the calamity as having already come on Jerusalem, and the
Edomites as joining their forces with those of the Chaldeans in
bringing about the degradation and ruin of Israel. We do not
indeed read that the Edomites actually took part with the
Chaldeans, but the probabilities are that they did so, and this
explains the words of Obadiah in denouncing against Edom the
judgments of God. The date of his prophecies was thus in or
about the year of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Edom is the type of Israel's and of God's last foe (Isa.
63:1-4). These will finally all be vanquished, and the kingdom
will be the Lord's (compare Ps. 22:28).
banning; i.e., placing under a "ban," or devoting to utter
destruction. After the manifestation of God's anger against the
Israelites, on account of their rebellion and their murmurings
when the spies returned to the camp at Kadesh, in the wilderness
of Paran, with an evil report of the land, they quickly repented
of their conduct, and presumed to go up "to the head of the
mountain," seeking to enter the Promised Land, but without the
presence of the Lord, without the ark of the convenant, and
without Moses. The Amalekites and the Canaanites came down and
"smote and discomfited them even unto Hormah" (Num. 14:45). This
place, or perhaps the watch-tower commanding it, was originally
called Zephath (Judg. 1:17), the modern Sebaiteh. Afterwards
(Num. 21:1-3) Arad, the king of the Canaanites, at the close of
the wanderings, when the Israelites were a second time encamped
at Kadesh, "fought against them, and took some of them
prisoners." But Israel vowed a vow unto the Lord utterly to
destroy the cities of the Canaanites; they "banned" them, and
hence the place was now called Hormah. But this "ban" was not
fully executed till the time of Joshua, who finally conquered
the king of this district, so that the ancient name Zephath
became "Hormah" (Josh. 12:14; Judg. 1:17).
generally understood as denoting the Messiah, "the peaceful
one," as the word signifies (Gen. 49:10). The Vulgate Version
translates the word, "he who is to be sent," in allusion to the
Messiah; the Revised Version, margin, "till he come to Shiloh;"
and the LXX., "until that which is his shall come to Shiloh." It
is most simple and natural to render the expression, as in the
Authorized Version, "till Shiloh come," interpreting it as a
proper name (compare Isa. 9:6).
Shiloh, a place of rest, a city of Ephraim, "on the north side
of Bethel," from which it is distant 10 miles (Judg. 21:19); the
modern Seilun (the Arabic for Shiloh), a "mass of shapeless
ruins." Here the tabernacle was set up after the Conquest (Josh.
18:1-10), where it remained during all the period of the judges
till the ark fell into the hands of the Philistines. "No spot in
Central Israel could be more secluded than this early
sanctuary, nothing more featureless than the landscape around;
so featureless, indeed, the landscape and so secluded the spot
that from the time of St. Jerome till its re-discovery by Dr.
Robinson in 1838 the very site was forgotten and unknown." It is
referred to by Jeremiah (7:12, 14; 26:4-9) five hundred years
after its destruction.
bitterness, the sister of Lazarus and Mary, and probably the
eldest of the family, who all resided at Bethany (Luke 10:38,
40, 41; John 11:1-39). From the residence being called "her
house," some have supposed that she was a widow, and that her
brother and sister lodged with her. She seems to have been of an
anxious, bustling spirit, anxious to be helpful in providing the
best things for the Master's use, in contrast to the quiet
earnestness of Mary, who was more concerned to avail herself of
the opportunity of sitting at his feet and learning of him.
Afterwards at a supper given to Christ and his disciples in her
house "Martha served." Nothing further is known of her.
"Mary and Martha are representatives of two orders of human
character. One was absorbed, preoccupied, abstracted; the other
was concentrated and single-hearted. Her own world was the all
of Martha; Christ was the first thought with Mary. To Martha
life was 'a succession of particular businesses;' to Mary life
'was rather the flow of one spirit.' Martha was Petrine, Mary
was Johannine. The one was a well-meaning, bustling busybody;
the other was a reverent disciple, a wistful listener." Paul had
such a picture as that of Martha in his mind when he spoke of
serving the Lord "without distraction" (1 Cor. 7:35).
or Tilgath-Pil-neser, the Assyrian throne-name of Pul (q.v.). He
appears in the Assyrian records as gaining, in the fifth year of
his reign (about B.C. 741), a victory over Azariah (= Uzziah in
2 Chr.26:1), king of Judah, whose achievements are described in
2 Chr. 26:6-15. He is first mentioned in Scripture, however, as
gaining a victory over Pekah, king of Israel, and Rezin of
Damascus, who were confederates. He put Rezin to death, and
punished Pekah by taking a considerable portion of his kingdom,
and carrying off (B.C. 734) a vast number of its inhabitants
into captivity (2 Kings 15:29; 16:5-9; 1 Chr. 5:6, 26), the
Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh whom he
settled in Gozan. In the Assyrian annals it is further related
that, before he returned from Syria, he held a court at
Damascus, and received submission and tribute from the
neighbouring kings, among whom were Pekah of Samaria and
"Yahu-khazi [i.e., Ahaz], king of Judah" (compare 2 Kings
He was the founder of what is called "the second Assyrian
empire," an empire meant to embrace the whole world, the centre
of which should be Nineveh. He died B.C. 728, and was succeeded
by a general of his army, Ulula, who assumed the name
(1.) A Reubenite (1 Chr. 5:4), the father of Shimei.
(2.) The name of the leader of the hostile party described in
Ezek. 38,39, as coming from the "north country" and assailing
the people of Israel to their own destruction. This prophecy has
been regarded as fulfilled in the conflicts of the Maccabees
with Antiochus, the invasion and overthrow of the Chaldeans, and
the temporary successes and destined overthrow of the Turks. But
"all these interpretations are unsatisfactory and inadequate.
The vision respecting Gog and Magog in the Apocalypse (Rev.
20:8) is in substance a reannouncement of this prophecy of
Ezekiel. But while Ezekiel contemplates the great conflict in a
more general light as what was certainly to be connected with
the times of the Messiah, and should come then to its last
decisive issues, John, on the other hand, writing from the
commencement of the Messiah's times, describes there the last
struggles and victories of the cause of Christ. In both cases
alike the vision describes the final workings of the world's
evil and its results in connection with the kingdom of God, only
the starting-point is placed further in advance in the one case
than in the other."
It has been supposed to be the name of a district in the wild
NE steppes of Central Asia, north of the Hindu-Kush, now
a part of Turkestan, a region about 2,000 miles NE of