the principal meal of the day among the Jews. It was partaken of
in the early part of the evening (Mark 6:21; John 12:2; 1 Cor.
11:21). (See LORD'S SUPPER T0002318.)
(1 Cor. 11:20), called also "the Lord's table" (10:21),
"communion," "cup of blessing" (10:16), and "breaking of bread"
In the early Church it was called also "eucharist," or giving
of thanks (compare Matt. 26:27), and generally by the Latin Church
"mass," a name derived from the formula of dismission, Ite,
missa est, i.e., "Go, it is discharged."
The account of the institution of this ordinance is given in
Matt. 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:19, 20, and 1 Cor.
11:24-26. It is not mentioned by John.
It was designed, (1.) To commemorate the death of Christ:
"This do in remembrance of me." (2.) To signify, seal, and apply
to believers all the benefits of the new covenant. In this
ordinance Christ ratifies his promises to his people, and they
on their part solemnly consecrate themselves to him and to his
entire service. (3.) To be a badge of the Christian profession.
(4.) To indicate and to promote the communion of believers with
Christ. (5.) To represent the mutual communion of believers with
The elements used to represent Christ's body and blood are
bread and wine. The kind of bread, whether leavened or
unleavened, is not specified. Christ used unleavened bread
simply because it was at that moment on the paschal table. Wine,
and no other liquid, is to be used (Matt. 26:26-29). Believers
"feed" on Christ's body and blood, (1) not with the mouth in any
manner, but (2) by the soul alone, and (3) by faith, which is
the mouth or hand of the soul. This they do (4) by the power of
the Holy Ghost. This "feeding" on Christ, however, takes place
not in the Lord's Supper alone, but whenever faith in him is
This is a permanent ordinance in the Church of Christ, and is
to be observed "till he come" again.
fellowship with God (Gen. 18:17-33; Ex. 33:9-11; Num. 12:7, 8),
between Christ and his people (John 14:23), by the Spirit (2
Cor. 13:14; Phil. 2:1), of believers with one another (Eph.
4:1-6). The Lord's Supper is so called (1 Cor. 10:16, 17),
because in it there is fellowship between Christ and his
disciples, and of the disciples with one another.
praise, the name given to the group of Psalms 113-118, which are
preeminently psalms of praise. It is called "The Egyptian
Hallel," because it was chanted in the temple whilst the
Passover lambs were being slain. It was chanted also on other
festival occasions, as at Pentecost, the feast of Tabernacles,
and the feast of Dedication. The Levites, standing before the
altar, chanted it verse by verse, the people responding by
repeating the verses or by intoned hallelujahs. It was also
chanted in private families at the feast of Passover. This was
probably the hymn which our Saviour and his disciples sung at
the conclusion of the Passover supper kept by them in the upper
room at Jerusalem (Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26).
There is also another group called "The Great Hallel,"
comprehending Psalms 118-136, which was recited on the first
evening at the Passover supper and on occasions of great joy.
only once, in Rev. 1:10, was in the early Christian ages used to
denote the first day of the week, which commemorated the Lord's
resurrection. There is every reason to conclude that John thus
used the name. (See SABBATH T0003170.)
the name given to the only form of prayer Christ taught his
disciples (Matt. 6:9-13). The closing doxology of the prayer is
omitted by Luke (11:2-4), also in the R.V. of Matt. 6:13. This
prayer contains no allusion to the atonement of Christ, nor to
the offices of the Holy Spirit. "All Christian prayer is based
on the Lord's Prayer, but its spirit is also guided by that of
His prayer in Gethsemane and of the prayer recorded John 17. The
Lord's Prayer is the comprehensive type of the simplest and most
In the East objects are carried in the bosom which Europeans
carry in the pocket. To have in one's bosom indicates kindness,
secrecy, or intimacy (Gen. 16:5; 2 Sam. 12:8). Christ is said to
have been in "the bosom of the Father," i.e., he had the most
perfect knowledge of the Father, had the closest intimacy with
him (John 1:18). John (13:23) was "leaning on Jesus' bosom" at
the last supper. Our Lord carries his lambs in his bosom, i.e.,
has a tender, watchful care over them (Isa. 40:11).
gift, one of our Lord's ancestry (Matt. 1:15).
the sign and token of our Lord's great agony (Luke 22:44).
elevation, father of Joseph in the line of our Lord's ancestry
small, a person named in our Lord's ancestry (Luke 3:26).
a mountain some 1,200 feet high, about 7 miles north-west of
Jericho, the traditional scene of our Lord's temptation (Matt.
occurs only Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16. The verb to "sing an hymn"
occurs Matt. 26:30 and Mark 14:26. The same Greek word is
rendered to "sing praises" Acts 16:25 (R.V., "sing hymns") and
Heb. 2:12. The "hymn" which our Lord sang with his disciples at
the last Supper is generally supposed to have been the latter
part of the Hallel, comprehending Ps. 113-118. It was thus a
name given to a number of psalms taken together and forming a
The noun hymn is used only with reference to the services of
the Greeks, and was distinguished from the psalm. The Greek
tunes required Greek hymns. Our information regarding the
hymnology of the early Christians is very limited.
the Grecized form of Quirinus. His full name was Publius
Sulpicius Quirinus. Recent historical investigation has proved
that Quirinus was governor of Cilicia, which was annexed to
Syria at the time of our Lord's birth. Cilicia, which he ruled,
being a province of Syria, he is called the governor, which he
was de jure, of Syria. Some ten years afterwards he was
appointed governor of Syria for the second time. During his
tenure of office, at the time of our Lord's birth (Luke 2:2), a
"taxing" (R.V., "enrolment;" i.e., a registration) of the people
was "first made;" i.e., was made for the first time under his
government. (See TAXING T0003595.)
my delight is in her. (1.) The wife of Hezekiah and mother of
king Manasseh (2 Kings 21:1).
(2.) A symbolical name of Zion, as representing the Lord's
favour toward her (Isa. 62:4).
(1 John 2:20,27; R.V., "anointing"). Kings, prophets, and
priests were anointed, in token of receiving divine grace. All
believers are, in a secondary sense, what Christ was in a
primary sense, "the Lord's anointed."
common in later times among the Jews in Israel (Matt. 23:37;
Luke 13:34). It is noticeable that this familiar bird is only
mentioned in these passages in connection with our Lord's
lamentation over the impenitence of Jerusalem.
the Black Fortress, was built by Herod the Great in the gorge of
Callirhoe, one of the wadies 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, as a
frontier rampart against Arab marauders. John the Baptist was
probably cast into the prison connected with this castle by
Herod Antipas, whom he had reproved for his adulterous marriage
with Herodias. Here Herod "made a supper" on his birthday. He
was at this time marching against Aretas, king of Perea, to
whose daughter he had been married. During the revelry of the
banquet held in the border fortress, to please Salome, who
danced before him, he sent an executioner, who beheaded John,
and "brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel"
(Mark 6:14-29). This castle stood "starkly bold and clear" 3,860
feet above the Dead Sea, and 2,546 above the Mediterranean. Its
ruins, now called M'khaur, are still visible on the northern end
of Jebel Attarus.
(1.) Herod Antipas, a son of Herod the Great by his Samaritan
wife Malthace. He was tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea during the
whole period of our Lord's life on earth (Luke 23:7). He was a
frivolous and vain prince, and was chargeable with many infamous
crimes (Mark 8:15; Luke 3:19; 13:31, 32). He beheaded John the
Baptist (Matt. 14:1-12) at the instigation of Herodias, the wife
of his half-brother Herod-Philip, whom he had married. Pilate
sent Christ to him when he was at Jerusalem at the Passover
(Luke 23:7). He asked some idle questions of him, and after
causing him to be mocked, sent him back again to Pilate. The
wife of Chuza, his house-steward, was one of our Lord's
disciples (Luke 8:3).
(2.) A "faithful martyr" (Rev. 2:13), of whom nothing more is
Zebulun, Lot of
in Galilee, to the north of Issachar and south of Asher and
Naphtali (Josh. 19:10-16), and between the Sea of Galilee and
the Mediterranean. According to ancient prophecy this part of
Galilee enjoyed a large share of our Lord's public ministry
(Isa. 9:1, 2; Matt. 4:12-16).
Thieves, The two
(Luke 23:32, 39-43), robbers, rather brigands, probably
followers of Barabbas. Our Lord's cross was placed between those
of the "malefactors," to add to the ignominy of his position.
According to tradition, Demas or Dismas was the name of the
penitent thief hanging on the right, and Gestas of the
impenitent on the left.
the Greek form of a Syro-Chaldaic or Aramaic word, meaning "Be
opened," uttered by Christ when healing the man who was deaf and
dumb (Mark 7:34). It is one of the characteristics of Mark that
he uses the very Aramaic words which fell from our Lord's lips.
(See 3:17; 5:41; 7:11; 14:36; 15:34.)
named along with Bethsaida and Capernaum as one of the cities in
which our Lord's "mighty works" were done, and which was doomed
to woe because of signal privileges neglected (Matt. 11:21; Luke
10:13). It has been identified by general consent with the
modern Kerazeh, about 2 1/2 miles up the Wady Kerazeh from
Capernaum; i.e., Tell Hum.
was not Christian baptism, nor was that which was practised by
the disciples previous to our Lord's crucifixion. Till then the
New Testament economy did not exist. John's baptism bound its
subjects to repentance, and not to the faith of Christ. It was
not administered in the name of the Trinity, and those whom John
baptized were rebaptized by Paul (Acts 18:24; 19:7).
a Galilean fisherman, the husband of Salome (q.v.), and the
father of James and John, two of our Lord's disciples (Matt.
4:21; 27:56; Mark 15:40). He seems to have been a man of some
position in Capernaum, for he had two boats (Luke 5:4) and
"hired servants" (Mark 1:20) of his own. No mention is made of
him after the call of his two sons by Jesus.
given or gift of God, one of our Lord's disciples, "of Cana in
Galilee" (John 21:2). He was "an Israelite indeed, in whom was
no guile" (1:47, 48). His name occurs only in the Gospel of
John, who in his list of the disciples never mentions
Bartholomew, with whom he has consequently been identified. He
was one of those to whom the Lord showed himself alive after his
resurrection, at the Sea of Tiberias.
(1.) The patriarch Judah, son of Jacob (Luke 3:33; Heb. 7:14).
In Luke 1:39; Heb. 7:14; Rev. 5:5; 7:5, the word refers to the
tribe of Judah.
(2.) The father of Simeon in Christ's maternal ancestry (Luke
(3.) Son of Joanna, and father of Joseph in Christ's maternal
ancestry (26), probably identical with Abiud (Matt. 1:13), and
with Obadiah (1 Chr. 3:21).
(4.) One of the Lord's "brethren" (Mark 6:3).
whom God has loved, one of the seventy elders whom Moses
appointed (Num. 11:26, 27) to administer justice among the
people. He, with Medad, prophesied in the camp instead of going
with the rest to the tabernacle, as Moses had commanded. This
incident was announced to Moses by Joshua, who thought their
conduct in this respect irregular. Moses replied, "Enviest thou
for my sake? would God that all the Lord's people were prophets"
(Num. 11:24-30; compare Mark 9:38; Luke 9:49).
(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
gift of Jehovah. (1.) A son of Asahel, Joab's brother (1 Chr.
(2.) A Levite who took part as one of the teachers in the
system of national education instituted by Jehoshaphat (2 Chr.
(3.) The son of Ishmael, "the ruler of the house of Judah in
all the king's matters" (2 Chr. 19:8-11).
(4.) A son of Beriah (1 Chr. 8:15).
(5.) A Korhite porter of the Lord's house (1 Chr. 26:2). Three
or four others of this name are also mentioned.
common to all (Job 5:7; 14:1; Ps. 34:19); are for the good of
men (James 1:2, 3, 12; 2 Cor. 12:7) and the glory of God (2 Cor.
12:7-10; 1 Pet. 4:14), and are to be borne with patience by the
Lord's people (Ps. 94:12; Prov. 3:12). They are all directed by
God (Lam. 3:33), and will result in the everlasting good of his
people (2 Cor. 4:16-18) in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:35-39).
occurs only in the New Testament in connection with the box of
"ointment of spikenard very precious," with the contents of
which a woman anointed the head of Jesus as he sat at supper in
the house of Simon the leper (Matt. 26:7; Mark 14:3; Luke 7:37).
These boxes were made from a stone found near Alabastron in
Egypt, and from this circumstance the Greeks gave them the name
of the city where they were made. The name was then given to the
stone of which they were made; and finally to all perfume
vessels, of whatever material they were formed. The woman
"broke" the vessel; i.e., she broke off, as was usually done,
the long and narrow neck so as to reach the contents. This stone
resembles marble, but is softer in its texture, and hence very
easily wrought into boxes. Mark says (14:5) that this box of
ointment was worth more than 300 pence, i.e., denarii, each of
the value of sevenpence halfpenny of our money, and therefore
worth about 10 pounds. But if we take the denarius as the day's
wage of a labourer (Matt. 20:2), say two shillings of our money,
then the whole would be worth about 30 pounds, so costly was
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).
The word "full" is from the Anglo-Saxon fullian, meaning "to
whiten." To full is to press or scour cloth in a mill. This art
is one of great antiquity. Mention is made of "fuller's soap"
(Mal. 3:2), and of "the fuller's field" (2 Kings 18:17). At his
transfiguration our Lord's rainment is said to have been white
"so as no fuller on earth could white them" (Mark 9:3). En-rogel
(q.v.), meaning literally "foot-fountain," has been interpreted
as the "fuller's fountain," because there the fullers trod the
cloth with their feet.
In our Lord's time the Jews had adopted the Greek and Roman
division of the night into four watches, each consisting of
three hours, the first beginning at six o'clock in the evening
(Luke 12:38; Matt. 14:25; Mark 6:48). But the ancient division,
known as the first and second cock-crowing, was still retained.
The cock usually crows several times soon after midnight (this
is the first crowing), and again at the dawn of day (and this is
the second crowing). Mark mentions (14:30) the two
cock-crowings. Matthew (26:34) alludes to that only which was
emphatically the cock-crowing, viz, the second.
an inhabitant or native of Galilee. This word was used as a name
of contempt as applied to our Lord's disciples (Luke 22:59; Acts
2:7). All the apostles, with the exception of Judas Iscariot
(Acts 1:11), were Galileans. Peter was detected by his Galilean
accent (Matt. 26:69; Mark 14:70).
This was also one of the names of reproach given to the early
Christians. Julian the Apostate, as he is called, not only used
the epithet himself when referring to Christ and his apostles,
but he made it a law that no one should ever call the Christians
by any other name.
an ordinance immediately instituted by Christ (Matt. 28:19, 20),
and designed to be observed in the church, like that of the
Supper, "till he come." The words "baptize" and "baptism" are
simply Greek words transferred into English. This was
necessarily done by the translators of the Scriptures, for no
literal translation could properly express all that is implied
The mode of baptism can in no way be determined from the Greek
word rendered "baptize." Baptists say that it means "to dip,"
and nothing else. That is an incorrect view of the meaning of
the word. It means both (1) to dip a thing into an element or
liquid, and (2) to put an element or liquid over or on it.
Nothing therefore as to the mode of baptism can be concluded
from the mere word used. The word has a wide latitude of
meaning, not only in the New Testament, but also in the LXX.
Version of the Old Testament, where it is used of the ablutions
and baptisms required by the Mosaic law. These were effected by
immersion, and by affusion and sprinkling; and the same word,
"washings" (Heb. 9:10, 13, 19, 21) or "baptisms," designates
them all. In the New Testament there cannot be found a single
well-authenticated instance of the occurrence of the word where
it necessarily means immersion. Moreover, none of the instances
of baptism recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (2:38-41;
8:26-39; 9:17, 18; 22:12-16; 10:44-48; 16:32-34) favours the
idea that it was by dipping the person baptized, or by
immersion, while in some of them such a mode was highly
The gospel and its ordinances are designed for the whole
world, and it cannot be supposed that a form for the
administration of baptism would have been prescribed which would
in any place (as in a tropical country or in polar regions) or
under any circumstances be inapplicable or injurious or
Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two symbolical
ordinances of the New Testament. The Supper represents the work
of Christ, and Baptism the work of the Spirit. As in the Supper
a small amount of bread and wine used in this ordinance exhibits
in symbol the great work of Christ, so in Baptism the work of
the Holy Spirit is fully seen in the water poured or sprinkled
on the person in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
That which is essential in baptism is only "washing with water,"
no mode being specified and none being necessary or essential to
the symbolism of the ordinance.
The apostles of our Lord were baptized with the Holy Ghost
(Matt. 3:11) by his coming upon them (Acts 1:8). The fire also
with which they were baptized sat upon them. The extraordinary
event of Pentecost was explained by Peter as a fulfilment of the
ancient promise that the Spirit would be poured out in the last
days (2:17). He uses also with the same reference the expression
shed forth as descriptive of the baptism of the Spirit (33). In
the Pentecostal baptism "the apostles were not dipped into the
Spirit, nor plunged into the Spirit; but the Spirit was shed
forth, poured out, fell on them (11:15), came upon them, sat on
them." That was a real and true baptism. We are warranted from
such language to conclude that in like manner when water is
poured out, falls, comes upon or rests upon a person when this
ordinance is administered, that person is baptized. Baptism is
therefore, in view of all these arguments "rightly administered
by pouring or sprinkling water upon the person."
The subjects of baptism. This raises questions of greater
importance than those relating to its mode.
1. The controversy here is not about "believers' baptism," for
that is common to all parties. Believers were baptized in
apostolic times, and they have been baptized in all time by all
the branches of the church. It is altogether a misrepresentation
to allege, as is sometimes done by Baptists, that their doctrine
is "believers' baptism." Every instance of adult baptism, or of
"believers' baptism," recorded in the New Testament (Acts 2:41;
8:37; 9:17, 18; 10:47; 16:15; 19:5, etc.) is just such as would
be dealt with in precisely the same way by all branches of the
Protestant Church, a profession of faith or of their being
"believers" would be required from every one of them before
baptism. The point in dispute is not the baptism of believers,
but whether the infant children of believers, i.e., of members
of the church, ought to be baptized.
2. In support of the doctrine of infant baptism, i.e., of the
baptism of the infants, or rather the "children," of believing
parents, the following considerations may be adduced:
The Church of Christ exists as a divinely organized community.
It is the "kingdom of God," one historic kingdom under all
dispensations. The commonwealth of Israel was the "church" (Acts
7:38; Rom. 9:4) under the Mosaic dispensation. The New Testament
church is not a new and different church, but one with that of
the Old Testament. The terms of admission into the church have
always been the same viz., a profession of faith and a promise
of subjection to the laws of the kingdom. Now it is a fact
beyond dispute that the children of God's people under the old
dispensation were recognized as members of the church.
Circumcision was the sign and seal of their membership. It was
not because of carnal descent from Abraham, but as being the
children of God's professing people, that this rite was
administered (Rom. 4:11). If children were members of the church
under the old dispensation, which they undoubtedly were, then
they are members of the church now by the same right, unless it
can be shown that they have been expressly excluded. Under the
Old Testament parents acted for their children and represented
them. (See Gen. 9:9; 17:10; Ex. 24:7, 8; Deut. 29:9-13.) When
parents entered into covenant with God, they brought their
children with them. This was a law in the Hebrew Church. When a
proselyte was received into membership, he could not enter
without bringing his children with him. The New Testament does
not exclude the children of believers from the church. It does
not deprive them of any privilege they enjoyed under the Old
Testament. There is no command or statement of any kind, that
can be interpreted as giving any countenance to such an idea,
anywhere to be found in the New Testament. The church membership
of infants has never been set aside. The ancient practice,
orginally appointed by God himself, must remain a law of his
kingdom till repealed by the same divine authority. There are
lambs in the fold of the Good Shepherd (John 21:15; compare Luke
1:15; Matt. 19:14; 1 Cor. 7:14).
"In a company of converts applying for admission into Christ's
house there are likely to be some heads of families. How is
their case to be treated? How, for example, are Lydia and her
neighbour the keeper of the city prison to be treated? Both have
been converted. Both are heads of families. They desire to be
received into the infant church of Philippi. What is Christ's
direction to them? Shall we say that it is to this effect:
'Arise, and wash away your sins, and come into my house. But you
must come in by yourselves. These babes in your arms, you must
leave them outside. They cannot believe yet, and so they cannot
come in. Those other little ones by your side, their hearts may
perhaps have been touched with the love of God; still, they are
not old enough to make a personal profession, so they too must
be left outside...For the present you must leave them where they
are and come in by yourselves.' One may reasonably demand very
stringent proofs before accepting this as a fair representation
of the sort of welcome Christ offers to parents who come to his
door bringing their children with them. Surely it is more
consonant with all we know about him to suppose that his welcome
will be more ample in its scope, and will breathe a more
gracious tone. Surely it would be more like the Good Shepherd to
say, 'Come in, and bring your little ones along with you. The
youngest needs my salvation; and the youngest is accessible to
my salvation. You may be unable as yet to deal with them about
either sin or salvation, but my gracious power can find its way
into their hearts even now. I can impart to them pardon and a
new life. From Adam they have inherited sin and death; and I can
so unite them to myself that in me they shall be heirs of
righteousness and life. You may without misgiving bring them to
me. And the law of my house requires that the same day which
witnesses your reception into it by baptism must witness their
reception also'" (The Church, by Professor Binnie, D.D.).
contest; wrestling; severe struggling with pain and suffering.
Anguish is the reflection on evil that is already past, while
agony is a struggle with evil at the time present. It is only
used in the New Testament by Luke (22:44) to describe our Lord's
fearful struggle in Gethsemane.
The verb from which the noun "agony" is derived is used to
denote an earnest endeavour or striving, as "Strive [agonize] to
enter" (Luke 13:24); "Then would my servants fight" [agonize]
(John 18:36). Compare 1 Cor. 9:25; Col. 1:29; 4:12; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2
Tim. 4:7, where the words "striveth," "labour," "conflict,"
"fight," are the renderings of the same Greek verb.
(1.) Gr. balantion, a bag (Luke 10:4; 22:35, 36).
(2.) Gr. zone, properly a girdle (Matt. 10:9; Mark 6:8), a
money-belt. As to our Lord's sending forth his disciples without
money in their purses, the remark has been made that in this
"there was no departure from the simple manners of the country.
At this day the farmer sets out on excursions quite as extensive
without a para in his purse; and a modern Moslem prophet of
Tarshisha thus sends forth his apostles over this identical
region. No traveller in the East would hestitate to throw
himself on the hospitality of any village." Thomson's Land and
the Book. (See SCRIP T0003242.)
Corinthians, First Epistle to the
was written from Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:8) about the time of the
Passover in the third year of the apostle's sojourn there (Acts
19:10; 20:31), and when he had formed the purpose to visit
Macedonia, and then return to Corinth (probably A.D. 57).
The news which had reached him, however, from Corinth
frustrated his plan. He had heard of the abuses and contentions
that had arisen among them, first from Apollos (Acts 19:1), and
then from a letter they had written him on the subject, and also
from some of the "household of Chloe," and from Stephanas and
his two friends who had visited him (1 Cor. 1:11; 16:17). Paul
thereupon wrote this letter, for the purpose of checking the
factious spirit and correcting the erroneous opinions that had
sprung up among them, and remedying the many abuses and
disorderly practices that prevailed. Titus and a brother whose
name is not given were probably the bearers of the letter (2
Cor. 2:13; 8:6, 16-18).
The epistle may be divided into four parts:
(1.) The apostle deals with the subject of the lamentable
divisions and party strifes that had arisen among them (1 Cor.
(2.) He next treats of certain cases of immorality that had
become notorious among them. They had apparently set at nought
the very first principles of morality (5; 6).
(3.) In the third part he discusses various questions of
doctrine and of Christian ethics in reply to certain
communications they had made to him. He especially rectifies
certain flagrant abuses regarding the celebration of the Lord's
(4.) The concluding part (15; 16) contains an elaborate
defense of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, which
had been called in question by some among them, followed by some
general instructions, intimations, and greetings.
This epistle "shows the powerful self-control of the apostle
in spite of his physical weakness, his distressed circumstances,
his incessant troubles, and his emotional nature. It was
written, he tells us, in bitter anguish, 'out of much affliction
and pressure of heart...and with streaming eyes' (2 Cor. 2:4);
yet he restrained the expression of his feelings, and wrote with
a dignity and holy calm which he thought most calculated to win
back his erring children. It gives a vivid picture of the early
church...It entirely dissipates the dream that the apostolic
church was in an exceptional condition of holiness of life or
purity of doctrine." The apostle in this epistle unfolds and
applies great principles fitted to guide the church of all ages
in dealing with the same and kindred evils in whatever form they
This is one of the epistles the authenticity of which has
never been called in question by critics of any school, so many
and so conclusive are the evidences of its Pauline origin.
The subscription to this epistle states erroneously in the
Authorized Version that it was written at Philippi. This error
arose from a mistranslation of 1 Cor. 16:5, "For I do pass
through Macedonia," which was interpreted as meaning, "I am
passing through Macedonia." In 16:8 he declares his intention of
remaining some time longer in Ephesus. After that, his purpose
is to "pass through Macedonia."
early used in foreign commerce by the Phoenicians (Gen. 49:13).
Moses (Deut. 28:68) and Job (9:26) make reference to them, and
Balaam speaks of the "ships of Chittim" (Num. 24:24). Solomon
constructed a navy at Ezion-geber by the assistance of Hiram's
sailors (1 Kings 9:26-28; 2 Chr. 8:18). Afterwards, Jehoshaphat
sought to provide himself with a navy at the same port, but his
ships appear to have been wrecked before they set sail (1 Kings
22:48, 49; 2 Chr. 20:35-37).
In our Lord's time fishermen's boats on the Sea of Galilee
were called "ships." Much may be learned regarding the
construction of ancient merchant ships and navigation from the
record in Acts 27, 28.
This word is used of sediment found in pits or in streets (Isa.
57:20; Jer. 38:60), of dust mixed with spittle (John 9:6), and
of potter's clay (Isa. 41:25; Nah. 3:14; Jer. 18:1-6; Rom.
9:21). Clay was used for sealing (Job 38:14; Jer. 32:14). Our
Lord's tomb may have been thus sealed (Matt. 27:66). The
practice of sealing doors with clay is still common in the East.
Clay was also in primitive times used for mortar (Gen. 11:3).
The "clay ground" in which the large vessels of the temple were
cast (1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chr. 4:17) was a compact loam fitted for
the purpose. The expression literally rendered is, "in the
thickness of the ground,", meaning, "in stiff ground" or in
a city (now Tripoli) in Upper Libya, North Africa, founded by a
colony of Greeks (B.C. 630). It contained latterly a large
number of Jews, who were introduced into the city by Ptolemy,
the son of Lagus, because he thought they would contribute to
the security of the place. They increased in number and
influence; and we are thus prepared for the frequent references
to them in connection with the early history of Christianity.
Simon, who bore our Lord's cross, was a native of this place
(Matt. 27:32; Mark 15:21). Jews from Cyrene were in Jerusalem at
Pentecost (Acts 2:10); and Cyrenian Jews had a synagogue at
Jerusalem (6:9). Converts belonging to Cyrene contributed to the
formation of the first Gentile church at Antioch (11:20). Among
"the prophets and teachers" who "ministered to the Lord at
Antioch" was Lucius of Cyrene (13:1).
a word of Anglo-Saxon origin, and meaning "God's spell", i.e.,
word of God, or rather, according to others, "good spell", i.e.,
good news. It is the rendering of the Greek "evangelion", i.e.,
"good message." It denotes (1) "the welcome intelligence of
salvation to man as preached by our Lord and his followers. (2.)
It was afterwards transitively applied to each of the four
histories of our Lord's life, published by those who are
therefore called 'Evangelists', writers of the history of the
gospel (the evangelion). (3.) The term is often used to express
collectively the gospel doctrines; and 'preaching the gospel' is
often used to include not only the proclaiming of the good
tidings, but the teaching men how to avail themselves of the
offer of salvation, the declaring of all the truths, precepts,
promises, and threatenings of Christianity." It is termed "the
gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24), "the gospel of the
kingdom" (Matt. 4:23), "the gospel of Christ" (Rom. 1:16), "the
gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15), "the glorious gospel," "the
everlasting gospel," "the gospel of salvation" (Eph. 1:13).
(Heb. tamar), the date-palm characteristic of Israel. It is
described as "flourishing" (Ps. 92:12), tall (Cant. 7:7),
"upright" (Jer. 10:5). Its branches are a symbol of victory
(Rev. 7:9). "Rising with slender stem 40 or 50, at times even
80, feet aloft, its only branches, the feathery, snow-like,
pale-green fronds from 6 to 12 feet long, bending from its top,
the palm attracts the eye wherever it is seen." The whole land
of Israel was called by the Greeks and Romans Phoenicia,
i.e., "the land of palms." Tadmor in the desert was called by
the Greeks and Romans Palmyra, i.e., "the city of palms." The
finest specimens of this tree grew at Jericho (Deut. 34:3) and
Engedi and along the banks of the Jordan. Branches of the palm
tree were carried at the feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:40). At
our Lord's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem the crowds took
palm branches, and went forth to meet him, crying, "Hosanna:
Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the
Lord" (Matt. 21:8; John 12:13). (See DATE T0000979.)
the Jewish high priest (A.D. 27-36) at the beginning of our
Lord's public ministry, in the reign of Tiberius (Luke 3:2), and
also at the time of his condemnation and crucifixion (Matt.
26:3,57; John 11:49; 18:13, 14). He held this office during the
whole of Pilate's administration. His wife was the daughter of
Annas, who had formerly been high priest, and was probably the
vicar or deputy (Heb. sagan) of Caiaphas. He was of the sect of
the Sadducees (Acts 5:17), and was a member of the council when
he gave his opinion that Jesus should be put to death "for the
people, and that the whole nation perish not" (John 11:50). In
these words he unconsciously uttered a prophecy. "Like Saul, he
was a prophet in spite of himself." Caiaphas had no power to
inflict the punishment of death, and therefore Jesus was sent to
Pilate, the Roman governor, that he might duly pronounce the
sentence against him (Matt. 27:2; John 18:28). At a later period
his hostility to the gospel is still manifest (Acts 4:6). (See
the abbreviated form of Simeon. (1.) One of the twelve apostles,
called the Canaanite (Matt. 10:4; Mark 3:18). This word
"Canaanite" does not mean a native of Canaan, but is derived
from the Syriac word Kanean or Kaneniah, which was the name of a
Jewish sect. The Revised Version has "Cananaean;" marg., "or
Zealot" He is also called "Zelotes" (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13; R.V.,
"the Zealot"), because previous to his call to the apostleship
he had been a member of the fanatical sect of the Zealots. There
is no record regarding him.
(2.) The father of Judas Iscariot (John 6:71; 13:2, 26).
(3.) One of the brothers of our Lord (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3).
(4.) A Pharisee in whose house "a woman of the city which was
a sinner" anointed our Lord's feet with ointment (Luke 7:36-38).
(5.) A leper of Bethany, in whose house Mary anointed our
Lord's head with ointment "as he sat at meat" (Matt. 26:6-13;
(6.) A Jew of Cyrene, in North Africa, then a province of
Libya. A hundred thousand Jews from Israel had been settled
in this province by Ptolemy Soter (B.C. 323-285), where by this
time they had greatly increased in number. They had a synagogue
in Jerusalem for such of their number as went thither to the
annual feasts. Simon was seized by the soldiers as the
procession wended its way to the place of crucifixion as he was
passing by, and the heavy cross which Christ from failing
strength could no longer bear was laid on his shoulders. Perhaps
they seized him because he showed sympathy with Jesus. He was
the "father of Alexander and Rufus" (Matt. 27:32). Possibly this
Simon may have been one of the "men of Cyrene" who preached the
word to the Greeks (Acts 11:20).
(7.) A sorcerer of great repute for his magical arts among the
Samaritans (Acts 8:9-11). He afterwards became a professed
convert to the faith under the preaching of Philip the deacon
and evangelist (12, 13). His profession was, however, soon found
to be hollow. His conduct called forth from Peter a stern rebuke
(8:18-23). From this moment he disappears from the Church's
history. The term "Simony," as denoting the purchase for money
of spiritual offices, is derived from him.
(8.) A Christian at Joppa, a tanner by trade, with whom Peter
on one occasion lodged (Acts 9:43).
(9.) Simon Peter (Matt. 4:18). See PETER T0002911.
Practised by the Ishmaelites (Gen. 16:12), the Chaldeans and
Sabeans (Job 1:15, 17), and the men of Shechem (Judg. 9:25. See
also 1 Sam. 27:6-10; 30; Hos. 4:2; 6:9). Robbers infested Judea
in our Lord's time (Luke 10:30; John 18:40; Acts 5:36, 37;
21:38; 2 Cor. 11:26). The words of the Authorized Version,
"counted it not robbery to be equal," etc. (Phil. 2:6, 7), are
better rendered in the Revised Version, "counted it not a prize
to be on an equality," etc., i.e., "did not look upon equality
with God as a prize which must not slip from his grasp" = "did
not cling with avidity to the prerogatives of his divine
majesty; did not ambitiously display his equality with God."
"Robbers of churches" should be rendered, as in the Revised
Version, "of temples." In the temple at Ephesus there was a
great treasure-chamber, and as all that was laid up there was
under the guardianship of the goddess Diana, to steal from such
a place would be sacrilege (Acts 19:37).
Luke, Gospel according to
was written by Luke. He does not claim to have been an
eye-witness of our Lord's ministry, but to have gone to the best
sources of information within his reach, and to have written an
orderly narrative of the facts (Luke 1:1-4). The authors of the
first three Gospels, the synoptics, wrote independently of each
other. Each wrote his independent narrative under the guidance
of the Holy Spirit.
Each writer has some things, both in matter and style,
peculiar to himself, yet all the three have much in common.
Luke's Gospel has been called "the Gospel of the nations, full
of mercy and hope, assured to the world by the love of a
suffering Saviour;" "the Gospel of the saintly life;" "the
Gospel for the Greeks; the Gospel of the future; the Gospel of
progressive Christianity, of the universality and gratuitousness
of the gospel; the historic Gospel; the Gospel of Jesus as the
good Physician and the Saviour of mankind;" the "Gospel of the
Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man;" "the Gospel of
womanhood;" "the Gospel of the outcast, of the Samaritan, the
publican, the harlot, and the prodigal;" "the Gospel of
tolerance." The main characteristic of this Gospel, as Farrar
(Cambridge Bible, Luke, Introd.) remarks, is fitly expressed in
the motto, "Who went about doing good, and healing all that were
oppressed of the devil" (Acts 10:38; compare Luke 4:18). Luke
wrote for the "Hellenic world." This Gospel is indeed "rich and
"Out of a total of 1151 verses, Luke has 389 in common with
Matthew and Mark, 176 in common with Matthew alone, 41 in common
with Mark alone, leaving 544 peculiar to himself. In many
instances all three use identical language." (See MATTHEW
T0002442; MARK T0002419; GOSPELS T0001532.)
There are seventeen of our Lord's parables peculiar to this
Gospel. (See List of Parables in Appendix.) Luke also records
seven of our Lord's miracles which are omitted by Matthew and
Mark. (See List of Miracles in Appendix.) The synoptical Gospels
are related to each other after the following scheme. If the
contents of each Gospel be represented by 100, then when
compared this result is obtained:
Mark has 7 peculiarities, 93 coincidences.
Matthew 42 peculiarities, 58 coincidences.
Luke 59 peculiarities, 41 coincidences.
That is, thirteen-fourteenths of Mark, four-sevenths of Matthew,
and two-fifths of Luke are taken up in describing the same
things in very similar language.
Luke's style is more finished and classical than that of
Matthew and Mark. There is less in it of the Hebrew idiom. He
uses a few Latin words (Luke 12:6; 7:41; 8:30; 11:33; 19:20),
but no Syriac or Hebrew words except sikera, an exciting drink
of the nature of wine, but not made of grapes (from Heb. shakar,
"he is intoxicated", Lev. 10:9), probably palm wine.
This Gospel contains twenty-eight distinct references to the
The date of its composition is uncertain. It must have been
written before the Acts, the date of the composition of which is
generally fixed at about 63 or 64 A.D. This Gospel was written,
therefore, probably about 60 or 63, when Luke may have been at
Caesarea in attendance on Paul, who was then a prisoner. Others
have conjectured that it was written at Rome during Paul's
imprisonment there. But on this point no positive certainty can
It is commonly supposed that Luke wrote under the direction,
if not at the dictation of Paul. Many words and phrases are
common to both; e.g., compare:
Luke 4:22; with Col. 4:6.
Luke 4:32; with 1 Cor. 2:4.
Luke 6:36; with 2 Cor. 1:3.
Luke 6:39; with Rom. 2:19.
Luke 9:56; with 2 Cor. 10:8.
Luke 10:8; with 1 Cor. 10:27.
Luke 11:41; with Titus 1:15.
Luke 18:1; with 2 Thess. 1:11.
Luke 21:36; with Eph. 6:18.
Luke 22:19, 20; with 1 Cor. 11:23-29.
Luke 24:46; with Acts 17:3.
Luke 24:34; with 1 Cor. 15:5.
that which is out of sight, a Greek word used to denote the
state or place of the dead. All the dead alike go into this
place. To be buried, to go down to the grave, to descend into
hades, are equivalent expressions. In the LXX. this word is the
usual rendering of the Hebrew sheol, the common receptacle of
the departed (Gen. 42:38; Ps. 139:8; Hos. 13:14; Isa. 14:9).
This term is of comparatively rare occurrence in the Greek New
Testament. Our Lord speaks of Capernaum as being "brought down
to hell" (hades), i.e., simply to the lowest debasement, (Matt.
11:23). It is contemplated as a kind of kingdom which could
never overturn the foundation of Christ's kingdom (16:18), i.e.,
Christ's church can never die.
In Luke 16:23 it is most distinctly associated with the doom
and misery of the lost.
In Acts 2:27-31 Peter quotes the LXX. version of Ps. 16:8-11,
plainly for the purpose of proving our Lord's resurrection from
the dead. David was left in the place of the dead, and his body
saw corruption. Not so with Christ. According to ancient
prophecy (Ps. 30:3) he was recalled to life.
Peter, Second Epistle of
The question of the authenticity of this epistle has been much
discussed, but the weight of evidence is wholly in favour of its
claim to be the production of the apostle whose name it bears.
It appears to have been written shortly before the apostle's
death (1:14). This epistle contains eleven references to the Old
Testament. It also contains (3:15, 16) a remarkable reference to
Paul's epistles. Some think this reference is to 1 Thess.
4:13-5:11. A few years ago, among other documents, a parchment
fragment, called the "Gospel of Peter," was discovered in a
Christian tomb at Akhmim in Upper Egypt. Origen (obiit A.D.
254), Eusebius (obiit 340), and Jerome (obiit 420) refer to such
a work, and hence it has been concluded that it was probably
written about the middle of the second century. It professes to
give a history of our Lord's resurrection and ascension. While
differing in not a few particulars from the canonical Gospels,
the writer shows plainly that he was acquinted both with the
synoptics and with the Gospel of John. Though apocryphal, it is
of considerable value as showing that the main facts of the
history of our Lord were then widely known.
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).
a city on the northeast of the marshy plain of el-Huleh, 120
miles north of Jerusalem, and 20 miles north of the Sea of
Galilee, at the "upper source" of the Jordan, and near the base
of Mount Hermon. It is mentioned in Matt. 16:13 and Mark 8:27 as
the northern limit of our Lord's public ministry. According to
some its original name was Baal-Gad (Josh. 11:17), or
Baal-Hermon (Judg. 3:3; 1 Chr. 5:23), when it was a Canaanite
sanctuary of Baal. It was afterwards called Panium or Paneas,
from a deep cavern full of water near the town. This name was
given to the cavern by the Greeks of the Macedonian kingdom of
Antioch because of its likeness to the grottos of Greece, which
were always associated with the worship of their god Pan. Its
modern name is Banias. Here Herod built a temple, which he
dedicated to Augustus Caesar. This town was afterwards enlarged
and embellished by Herod Philip, the tetrarch of Trachonitis, of
whose territory it formed a part, and was called by him Caesarea
Philippi, partly after his own name, and partly after that of
the emperor Tiberius Caesar. It is thus distinguished from the
Caesarea of Israel. (See JORDAN T0002112.)
(1.) "Paper reeds" (Isa. 19:7; R.V., "reeds"). Heb. 'aroth,
properly green herbage growing in marshy places.
(2.) Heb. kaneh (1 Kings 14:15; Job 40:21; Isa. 19:6), whence
the Gr. kanna, a "cane," a generic name for a reed of any kind.
The reed of Egypt and Israel is the Arundo donax, which
grows to the height of 12 feet, its stalk jointed like the
bamboo, "with a magnificent panicle of blossom at the top, and
so slender and yielding that it will lie perfectly flat under a
gust of wind, and immediately resume its upright position." It
is used to illustrate weakness (2 Kings 18:21; Ezek. 29:6), also
fickleness or instability (Matt. 11:7; compare Eph. 4:14).
A "bruised reed" (Isa. 42:3; Matt. 12:20) is an emblem of a
believer weak in grace. A reed was put into our Lord's hands in
derision (Matt. 27:29); and "they took the reed and smote him on
the head" (30). The "reed" on which they put the sponge filled
with vinegar (Matt. 27:48) was, according to John (19:29), a
hyssop stalk, which must have been of some length, or perhaps a
bunch of hyssop twigs fastened to a rod with the sponge. (See
first used of the tabernacle, which is called "the temple of the
Lord" (1 Sam. 1:9). In the New Testament the word is used
figuratively of Christ's human body (John 2:19, 21). Believers
are called "the temple of God" (1 Cor. 3:16, 17). The Church is
designated "an holy temple in the Lord" (Eph. 2:21). Heaven is
also called a temple (Rev. 7:5). We read also of the heathen
"temple of the great goddess Diana" (Acts 19:27).
This word is generally used in Scripture of the sacred house
erected on the summit of Mount Moriah for the worship of God. It
is called "the temple" (1 Kings 6:17); "the temple [R.V.,
'house'] of the Lord" (2 Kings 11:10); "thy holy temple" (Ps.
79:1); "the house of the Lord" (2 Chr. 23:5, 12); "the house of
the God of Jacob" (Isa. 2:3); "the house of my glory" (60:7); an
"house of prayer" (56:7; Matt. 21:13); "an house of sacrifice"
(2 Chr. 7:12); "the house of their sanctuary" (2 Chr. 36:17);
"the mountain of the Lord's house" (Isa. 2:2); "our holy and our
beautiful house" (64:11); "the holy mount" (27:13); "the palace
for the Lord God" (1 Chr. 29:1); "the tabernacle of witness" (2
Chr. 24:6); "Zion" (Ps. 74:2; 84:7). Christ calls it "my
Father's house" (John 2:16).
a deep, narrow ravine separating Mount Zion from the so-called
"Hill of Evil Counsel." It took its name from "some ancient
hero, the son of Hinnom." It is first mentioned in Josh. 15:8.
It had been the place where the idolatrous Jews burned their
children alive to Moloch and Baal. A particular part of the
valley was called Tophet, or the "fire-stove," where the
children were burned. After the Exile, in order to show their
abhorrence of the locality, the Jews made this valley the
receptacle of the offal of the city, for the destruction of
which a fire was, as is supposed, kept constantly burning there.
The Jews associated with this valley these two ideas, (1) that
of the sufferings of the victims that had there been sacrificed;
and (2) that of filth and corruption. It became thus to the
popular mind a symbol of the abode of the wicked hereafter. It
came to signify hell as the place of the wicked. "It might be
shown by infinite examples that the Jews expressed hell, or the
place of the damned, by this word. The word Gehenna [the Greek
contraction of Hinnom] was never used in the time of Christ in
any other sense than to denote the place of future punishment."
About this fact there can be no question. In this sense the word
is used eleven times in our Lord's discourses (Matt. 23:33; Luke
12:5; Matt. 5:22, etc.).
(1) Heb. mererah, meaning "bitterness" (Job 16:13); i.e., the
bile secreted in the liver. This word is also used of the poison
of asps (20:14), and of the vitals, the seat of life (25).
(2.) Heb. rosh. In Deut. 32:33 and Job 20:16 it denotes the
poison of serpents. In Hos. 10:4 the Hebrew word is rendered
"hemlock." The original probably denotes some bitter, poisonous
plant, most probably the poppy, which grows up quickly, and is
therefore coupled with wormwood (Deut. 29:18; Jer. 9:15; Lam.
3:19). Compare Jer. 8:14; 23:15, "water of gall," Gesenius, "poppy
juice;" others, "water of hemlock," "bitter water."
(3.) Gr. chole (Matt. 27:34), the LXX. translation of the
Hebrew "rosh" in Ps. 69; 21, which foretells our Lord's
sufferings. The drink offered to our Lord was vinegar (made of
light wine rendered acid, the common drink of Roman soldiers)
"mingled with gall," or, according to Mark (15:23), "mingled
with myrrh;" both expressions meaning the same thing, namely,
that the vinegar was made bitter by the infusion of wormwood or
some other bitter substance, usually given, according to a
merciful custom, as an anodyne to those who were crucified, to
render them insensible to pain. Our Lord, knowing this, refuses
to drink it. He would take nothing to cloud his faculties or
blunt the pain of dying. He chooses to suffer every element of
woe in the bitter cup of agony given him by the Father (John
servant of the Lord. (1.) An Israelite who was chief in the
household of King Ahab (1 Kings 18:3). Amid great spiritual
degeneracy he maintained his fidelity to God, and interposed to
protect The Lord's prophets, an hundred of whom he hid at great
personal risk in a cave (4, 13). Ahab seems to have held Obadiah
in great honour, although he had no sympathy with his piety (5,
6, 7). The last notice of him is his bringing back tidings to
Ahab that Elijah, whom he had so long sought for, was at hand
(9-16). "Go," said Elijah to him, when he met him in the way,
"go tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here."
(2.) A chief of the tribe of Issachar (1 Chr. 7:3).
(3.) A descendant of Saul (1 Chr. 8:38).
(4.) A Levite, after the Captivity (1 Chr. 9:16).
(5.) A Gadite who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:9).
(6.) A prince of Zebulun in the time of David (1 Chr. 27:19).
(7.) One of the princes sent by Jehoshaphat to instruct the
people in the law (2 Chr. 17:7).
(8.) A Levite who superintended the repairs of the temple
under Josiah (2 Chr. 34:12).
(9.) One who accompanied Ezra on the return from Babylon (Ezra
(10.) A prophet, fourth of the minor prophets in the Hebrew
canon, and fifth in the LXX. He was probably contemporary with
Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Of his personal history nothing is known.
(Gr. parabole), a placing beside; a comparison; equivalent to
the Heb. mashal, a similitude. In the Old Testament this is used
to denote (1) a proverb (1 Sam. 10:12; 24:13; 2 Chr. 7:20), (2)
a prophetic utterance (Num. 23:7; Ezek. 20:49), (3) an enigmatic
saying (Ps. 78:2; Prov. 1:6). In the New Testament, (1) a
proverb (Mark 7:17; Luke 4:23), (2) a typical emblem (Heb. 9:9;
11:19), (3) a similitude or allegory (Matt. 15:15; 24:32; Mark
3:23; Luke 5:36; 14:7); (4) ordinarily, in a more restricted
sense, a comparison of earthly with heavenly things, "an earthly
story with a heavenly meaning," as in the parables of our Lord.
Instruction by parables has been in use from the earliest
times. A large portion of our Lord's public teaching consisted
of parables. He himself explains his reasons for this in his
answer to the inquiry of the disciples, "Why speakest thou to
them in parables?" (Matt. 13:13-15; Mark 4:11, 12; Luke 8:9,
10). He followed in so doing the rule of the divine procedures,
as recorded in Matt. 13:13.
The parables uttered by our Lord are all recorded in the
synoptical (i.e., the first three) Gospels. The fourth Gospel
contains no parable properly so called, although the
illustration of the good shepherd (John 10:1-16) has all the
essential features of a parable. (See List of Parables in
in the New Testament the instrument of crucifixion, and hence
used for the crucifixion of Christ itself (Eph. 2:16; Heb. 12:2;
1 Cor. 1:17, 18; Gal. 5:11; 6:12, 14; Phil. 3:18). The word is
also used to denote any severe affliction or trial (Matt. 10:38;
16:24; Mark 8:34; 10:21).
The forms in which the cross is represented are these:
1. The crux simplex (I), a "single piece without transom."
2. The crux decussata (X), or St. Andrew's cross.
3. The crux commissa (T), or St. Anthony's cross.
4. The crux immissa (t), or Latin cross, which was the kind of
cross on which our Saviour died. Above our Lord's head, on the
projecting beam, was placed the "title." (See CRUCIFIXION
After the conversion, so-called, of Constantine the Great
(B.C. 313), the cross first came into use as an emblem of
Christianity. He pretended at a critical moment that he saw a
flaming cross in the heavens bearing the inscription, "In hoc
signo vinces", i.e., By this sign thou shalt conquer, and that
on the following night Christ himself appeared and ordered him
to take for his standard the sign of this cross. In this form a
new standard, called the Labarum, was accordingly made, and
borne by the Roman armies. It remained the standard of the Roman
army till the downfall of the Western empire. It bore the
embroidered monogram of Christ, i.e., the first two Greek
letters of his name, X and P (chi and rho), with the Alpha and
Omega. (See A T0000001.)
Hebrew Miriam. (1.) The wife of Joseph, the mother of Jesus,
called the "Virgin Mary," though never so designated in
Scripture (Matt. 2:11; Acts 1:14). Little is known of her
personal history. Her genealogy is given in Luke 3. She was of
the tribe of Judah and the lineage of David (Ps. 132:11; Luke
1:32). She was connected by marriage with Elisabeth, who was of
the lineage of Aaron (Luke 1:36).
While she resided at Nazareth with her parents, before she
became the wife of Joseph, the angel Gabriel announced to her
that she was to be the mother of the promised Messiah (Luke
1:35). After this she went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, who
was living with her husband Zacharias (probably at Juttah, Josh.
15:55; 21:16, in the neighbourhood of Maon), at a considerable
distance, about 100 miles, from Nazareth. Immediately on
entering the house she was saluted by Elisabeth as the mother of
her Lord, and then forthwith gave utterance to her hymn of
thanksgiving (Luke 1:46-56; compare 1 Sam. 2:1-10). After three
months Mary returned to Nazareth to her own home. Joseph was
supernaturally made aware (Matt. 1:18-25) of her condition, and
took her to his own home. Soon after this the decree of Augustus
(Luke 2:1) required that they should proceed to Bethlehem (Micah
5:2), some 80 or 90 miles from Nazareth; and while they were
there they found shelter in the inn or khan provided for
strangers (Luke 2:6, 7). But as the inn was crowded, Mary had to
retire to a place among the cattle, and there she brought forth
her son, who was called Jesus (Matt. 1:21), because he was to
save his people from their sins. This was followed by the
presentation in the temple, the flight into Egypt, and their
return in the following year and residence at Nazareth (Matt.
2). There for thirty years Mary, the wife of Joseph the
carpenter, resides, filling her own humble sphere, and pondering
over the strange things that had happened to her. During these
years only one event in the history of Jesus is recorded, viz.,
his going up to Jerusalem when twelve years of age, and his
being found among the doctors in the temple (Luke 2:41-52).
Probably also during this period Joseph died, for he is not
After the commencement of our Lord's public ministry little
notice is taken of Mary. She was present at the marriage in
Cana. A year and a half after this we find her at Capernaum
(Matt. 12:46, 48, 49), where Christ uttered the memorable words,
"Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched
forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother
and my brethren!" The next time we find her is at the cross
along with her sister Mary, and Mary Magdalene, and Salome, and
other women (John 19:26). From that hour John took her to his
own abode. She was with the little company in the upper room
after the Ascension (Acts 1:14). From this time she wholly
disappears from public notice. The time and manner of her death
(2.) Mary Magdalene, i.e., Mary of Magdala, a town on the
western shore of the Lake of Tiberias. She is for the first time
noticed in Luke 8:3 as one of the women who "ministered to
Christ of their substance." Their motive was that of gratitude
for deliverances he had wrought for them. Out of Mary were cast
seven demons. Gratitude to her great Deliverer prompted her to
become his follower. These women accompanied him also on his
last journey to Jerusalem (Matt. 27:55; Mark 15:41; Luke 23:55).
They stood near the cross. There Mary remained till all was
over, and the body was taken down and laid in Joseph's tomb.
Again, in the earliest dawn of the first day of the week she,
with Salome and Mary the mother of James (Matt. 28:1; Mark
16:2), came to the sepulchre, bringing with them sweet spices,
that they might anoint the body of Jesus. They found the
sepulchre empty, but saw the "vision of angels" (Matt. 28:5).
She hastens to tell Peter and John, who were probably living
together at this time (John 20:1, 2), and again immediately
returns to the sepulchre. There she lingers thoughtfully,
weeping at the door of the tomb. The risen Lord appears to her,
but at first she knows him not. His utterance of her name "Mary"
recalls her to consciousness, and she utters the joyful,
reverent cry, "Rabboni." She would fain cling to him, but he
forbids her, saying, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to
my Father." This is the last record regarding Mary of Magdala,
who now returned to Jerusalem. The idea that this Mary was "the
woman who was a sinner," or that she was unchaste, is altogether
(3.) Mary the sister of Lazarus is brought to our notice in
connection with the visits of our Lord to Bethany. She is
contrasted with her sister Martha, who was "cumbered about many
things" while Jesus was their guest, while Mary had chosen "the
good part." Her character also appears in connection with the
death of her brother (John 11:20,31,33). On the occasion of our
Lord's last visit to Bethany, Mary brought "a pound of ointment
of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus" as he
reclined at table in the house of one Simon, who had been a
leper (Matt. 26:6; Mark 14:3; John 12:2,3). This was an evidence
of her overflowing love to the Lord. Nothing is known of her
subsequent history. It would appear from this act of Mary's, and
from the circumstance that they possessed a family vault
(11:38), and that a large number of Jews from Jerusalem came to
condole with them on the death of Lazarus (11:19), that this
family at Bethany belonged to the wealthier class of the people.
(See MARTHA T0002426.)
(4.) Mary the wife of Cleopas is mentioned (John 19:25) as
standing at the cross in company with Mary of Magdala and Mary
the mother of Jesus. By comparing Matt. 27:56 and Mark 15:40, we
find that this Mary and "Mary the mother of James the little"
are on and the same person, and that she was the sister of our
Lord's mother. She was that "other Mary" who was present with
Mary of Magdala at the burial of our Lord (Matt. 27:61; Mark
15:47); and she was one of those who went early in the morning
of the first day of the week to anoint the body, and thus became
one of the first witnesses of the resurrection (Matt. 28:1; Mark
16:1; Luke 24:1).
(5.) Mary the mother of John Mark was one of the earliest of
our Lord's disciples. She was the sister of Barnabas (Col.
4:10), and joined with him in disposing of their land and giving
the proceeds of the sale into the treasury of the Church (Acts
4:37; 12:12). Her house in Jerusalem was the common
meeting-place for the disciples there.
(6.) A Christian at Rome who treated Paul with special
kindness (Rom. 16:6).
Book of James
The Epistle of James.
(1.) Author of, was James the Less, the Lord's brother, one of
the twelve apostles. He was one of the three pillars of the
Church (Gal. 2:9).
(2.) It was addressed to the Jews of the dispersion, "the
twelve tribes scattered abroad."
(3.) The place and time of the writing of the epistle were
Jerusalem, where James was residing, and, from internal
evidence, the period between Paul's two imprisonments at Rome,
probably about A.D. 62.
(4.) The object of the writer was to enforce the practical
duties of the Christian life. "The Jewish vices against which he
warns them are, formalism, which made the service of God consist
in washings and outward ceremonies, whereas he reminds them
(1:27) that it consists rather in active love and purity;
fanaticism, which, under the cloak of religious zeal, was
tearing Jerusalem in pieces (1:20); fatalism, which threw its
sins on God (1:13); meanness, which crouched before the rich
(2:2); falsehood, which had made words and oaths play-things
(3:2-12); partisanship (3:14); evil speaking (4:11); boasting
(4:16); oppression (5:4). The great lesson which he teaches them
as Christians is patience, patience in trial (1:2), patience in
good works (1:22-25), patience under provocation (3:17),
patience under oppression (5:7), patience under persecution
(5:10); and the ground of their patience is that the coming of
the Lord draweth nigh, which is to right all wrong (5:8)."
"Justification by works," which James contends for, is
justification before man, the justification of our profession of
faith by a consistent life. Paul contends for the doctrine of
"justification by faith;" but that is justification before God,
a being regarded and accepted as just by virtue of the
righteousness of Christ, which is received by faith.
commonly a ring engraved with some device (Gen. 38:18, 25).
Jezebel "wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his
seal" (1 Kings 21:8). Seals are frequently mentioned in Jewish
history (Deut. 32:34; Neh. 9:38; 10:1; Esther 3:12; Cant. 8:6;
Isa. 8:16; Jer. 22:24; 32:44, etc.). Sealing a document was
equivalent to the signature of the owner of the seal. "The use
of a signet-ring by the monarch has recently received a
remarkable illustration by the discovery of an impression of
such a signet on fine clay at Koyunjik, the site of the ancient
Nineveh. This seal appears to have been impressed from the bezel
of a metallic finger-ring. It is an oval, 2 inches in length by
1 inch wide, and bears the image, name, and titles of the
Egyptian king Sabaco" (Rawlinson's Hist. Illus. of the O.T., p.
46). The actual signet-rings of two Egyptian kings (Cheops and
Horus) have been discovered. (See SIGNET T0003426.)
The use of seals is mentioned in the New Testament only in
connection with the record of our Lord's burial (Matt. 27:66).
The tomb was sealed by the Pharisees and chief priests for the
purpose of making sure that the disciples would not come and
steal the body away (ver. 63, 64). The mode of doing this was
probably by stretching a cord across the stone and sealing it at
both ends with sealing-clay. When God is said to have sealed the
Redeemer, the meaning is, that he has attested his divine
mission (John 6:27). Circumcision is a seal, an attestation of
the covenant (Rom. 4:11). Believers are sealed with the Spirit,
as God's mark put upon them (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). Converts are by
Paul styled the seal of his apostleship, i.e., they are its
attestation (1 Cor. 9:2). Seals and sealing are frequently
mentioned in the book of Revelation (5:1; 6:1; 7:3; 10:4;
The common Hebrew word for wine is "yayin", from a root meaning
"to boil up," "to be in a ferment." Others derive it from a root
meaning "to tread out," and hence the juice of the grape trodden
out. The Greek word for wine is "oinos", and the Latin "vinun".
But besides this common Hebrew word, there are several others
which are thus rendered.
(1.) Ashishah (2 Sam. 6:19; 1 Chr. 16:3; Cant. 2:5; Hos. 3:1),
which, however, rather denotes a solid cake of pressed grapes,
or, as in the Revised Version, a cake of raisins.
(2.) 'Asis, "sweet wine," or "new wine," the product of the
same year (Cant. 8:2; Isa. 49:26; Joel 1:5; 3:18; Amos 9:13),
from a root meaning "to tread," hence juice trodden out or
pressed out, thus referring to the method by which the juice is
obtained. The power of intoxication is ascribed to it.
(3.) Hometz. See VINEGAR T0003771.
(4.) Hemer, Deut. 32:14 (rendered "blood of the grape") Isa.
27:2 ("red wine"), Ezra 6:9; 7:22; Dan. 5:1, 2, 4. This word
conveys the idea of "foaming," as in the process of
fermentation, or when poured out. It is derived from the root
"hamar", meaning "to boil up," and also "to be red," from the
idea of boiling or becoming inflamed.
(5.) 'Enabh, a grape (Deut. 32:14). The last clause of this
verse should be rendered as in the Revised Version, "and of the
blood of the grape ['enabh] thou drankest wine [hemer]." In Hos.
3:1 the phrase in Authorized Version, "flagons of wine," is in
the Revised Version correctly "cakes of raisins." (Compare Gen.
49:11; Num. 6:3; Deut. 23:24, etc., where this Hebrew word is
rendered in the plural "grapes.")
(6.) Mesekh, properly a mixture of wine and water with spices
that increase its stimulating properties (Isa. 5:22). Ps. 75:8,
"The wine [yayin] is red; it is full of mixture [mesekh];" Prov.
23:30, "mixed wine;" Isa. 65:11, "drink offering" (R.V.,
(7.) Tirosh, properly "must," translated "wine" (Deut. 28:51);
"new wine" (Prov. 3:10); "sweet wine" (Micah 6:15; R.V.,
"vintage"). This Hebrew word has been traced to a root meaning
"to take possession of" and hence it is supposed that tirosh is
so designated because in intoxicating it takes possession of the
brain. Among the blessings promised to Esau (Gen. 27:28) mention
is made of "plenty of corn and tirosh." Israel is called "a
land of corn and tirosh" (Deut. 33:28; compare Isa. 36:17). See
also Deut. 28:51; 2 Chr. 32:28; Joel 2:19; Hos. 4:11, ("wine
[yayin] and new wine [tirosh] take away the heart").
(8.) Sobhe (root meaning "to drink to excess," "to suck up,"
"absorb"), found only in Isa. 1:22, Hos. 4:18 ("their drink;"
Gesen. and marg. of R.V., "their carouse"), and Nah. 1:10
("drunken as drunkards;" lit., "soaked according to their
drink;" R.V., "drenched, as it were, in their drink", i.e.,
according to their sobhe).
(9.) Shekar, "strong drink," any intoxicating liquor; from a
root meaning "to drink deeply," "to be drunken", a generic term
applied to all fermented liquors, however obtained. Num. 28:7,
"strong wine" (R.V., "strong drink"). It is sometimes
distinguished from wine, c.g., Lev. 10:9, "Do not drink wine
[yayin] nor strong drink [shekar];" Num. 6:3; Judg. 13:4, 7;
Isa. 28:7 (in all these places rendered "strong drink").
Translated "strong drink" also in Isa. 5:11; 24:9; 29:9; 56:12;
Prov. 20:1; 31:6; Micah 2:11.
(10.) Yekebh (Deut. 16:13, but in R.V. correctly
"wine-press"), a vat into which the new wine flowed from the
press. Joel 2:24, "their vats;" 3:13, "the fats;" Prov. 3:10,
"Thy presses shall burst out with new wine [tirosh];" Hag. 2:16;
Jer. 48:33, "wine-presses;" 2 Kings 6:27; Job. 24:11.
(11.) Shemarim (only in plural), "lees" or "dregs" of wine. In
Isa. 25:6 it is rendered "wines on the lees", i.e., wine that
has been kept on the lees, and therefore old wine.
(12.) Mesek, "a mixture," mixed or spiced wine, not diluted
with water, but mixed with drugs and spices to increase its
strength, or, as some think, mingled with the lees by being
shaken (Ps. 75:8; Prov. 23:30).
In Acts 2:13 the word "gleukos", rendered "new wine," denotes
properly "sweet wine." It must have been intoxicating.
In addition to wine the Hebrews also made use of what they
called "debash", which was obtained by boiling down must to
one-half or one-third of its original bulk. In Gen. 43:11 this
word is rendered "honey." It was a kind of syrup, and is called
by the Arabs at the present day dibs. This word occurs in the
phrase "a land flowing with milk and honey" (debash), Ex. 3:8,
17; 13:5; 33:3; Lev. 20:24; Num. 13: 27. (See HONEY T0001809.)
Our Lord miraculously supplied wine at the marriage feast in
Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-11). The Rechabites were forbidden the
use of wine (Jer. 35). The Nazarites also were to abstain from
its use during the period of their vow (Num. 6:1-4); and those
who were dedicated as Nazarites from their birth were
perpetually to abstain from it (Judg. 13:4, 5; Luke 1:15; 7:33).
The priests, too, were forbidden the use of wine and strong
drink when engaged in their sacred functions (Lev. 10:1, 9-11).
"Wine is little used now in the East, from the fact that
Mohammedans are not allowed to taste it, and very few of other
creeds touch it. When it is drunk, water is generally mixed with
it, and this was the custom in the days of Christ also. The
people indeed are everywhere very sober in hot climates; a
drunken person, in fact, is never seen", (Geikie's Life of
Christ). The sin of drunkenness, however, must have been not
uncommon in the olden times, for it is mentioned either
metaphorically or literally more than seventy times in the
A drink-offering of wine was presented with the daily
sacrifice (Ex. 29:40, 41), and also with the offering of the
first-fruits (Lev. 23:13), and with various other sacrifices
(Num. 15:5, 7, 10). Wine was used at the celebration of the
Passover. And when the Lord's Supper was instituted, the wine
and the unleavened bread then on the paschal table were by our
Lord set apart as memorials of his body and blood.
Several emphatic warnings are given in the New Testament
against excess in the use of wine (Luke 21:34; Rom. 13:13; Eph.
5:18; 1 Tim. 3:8; Titus 1:7).
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.
The temple erected by the exiles on their return from Babylon
had stood for about five hundred years, when Herod the Great
became king of Judea. The building had suffered considerably
from natural decay as well as from the assaults of hostile
armies, and Herod, desirous of gaining the favour of the Jews,
proposed to rebuild it. This offer was accepted, and the work
was begun (B.C. 18), and carried out at great labour and
expense, and on a scale of surpassing splendour. The main part
of the building was completed in ten years, but the erection of
the outer courts and the embellishment of the whole were carried
on during the entire period of our Lord's life on earth (John
2:16, 19-21), and the temple was completed only A.D. 65. But it
was not long permitted to exist. Within forty years after our
Lord's crucifixion, his prediction of its overthrow was
accomplished (Luke 19: 41-44). The Roman legions took the city
of Jerusalem by storm, and notwithstanding the strenuous efforts
Titus made to preserve the temple, his soldiers set fire to it
in several places, and it was utterly destroyed (A.D. 70), and
was never rebuilt.
Several remains of Herod's stately temple have by recent
explorations been brought to light. It had two courts, one
intended for the Israelites only, and the other, a large outer
court, called "the court of the Gentiles," intended for the use
of strangers of all nations. These two courts were separated by
a low wall, as Josephus states, some 4 1/2 feet high, with
thirteen openings. Along the top of this dividing wall, at
regular intervals, were placed pillars bearing in Greek an
inscription to the effect that no stranger was, on the pain of
death, to pass from the court of the Gentiles into that of the
Jews. At the entrance to a graveyard at the north-western angle
of the Haram wall, a stone was discovered by M. Ganneau in 1871,
built into the wall, bearing the following inscription in Greek
capitals: "No stranger is to enter within the partition wall and
enclosure around the sanctuary. Whoever is caught will be
responsible to himself for his death, which will ensue."
There can be no doubt that the stone thus discovered was one
of those originally placed on the boundary wall which separated
the Jews from the Gentiles, of which Josephus speaks.
It is of importance to notice that the word rendered
"sanctuary" in the inscription was used in a specific sense of
the inner court, the court of the Israelites, and is the word
rendered "temple" in John 2:15 and Acts 21:28, 29. When Paul
speaks of the middle wall of partition (Eph. 2:14), he probably
makes allusion to this dividing wall. Within this partition wall
stood the temple proper, consisting of, (1) the court of the
women, 8 feet higher than the outer court; (2) 10 feet higher
than this court was the court of Israel; (3) the court of the
priests, again 3 feet higher; and lastly (4) the temple floor, 8
feet above that; thus in all 29 feet above the level of the
The summit of Mount Moriah, on which the temple stood, is now
occupied by the Haram esh-Sherif, i.e., "the sacred enclosure."
This enclosure is about 1,500 feet from north to south, with a
breadth of about 1,000 feet, covering in all a space of about 35
acres. About the centre of the enclosure is a raised platform,
16 feet above the surrounding space, and paved with large stone
slabs, on which stands the Mohammedan mosque called Kubbet
es-Sahkra i.e., the "Dome of the Rock," or the Mosque of Omar.
This mosque covers the site of Solomon's temple. In the centre
of the dome there is a bare, projecting rock, the highest part
of Moriah (q.v.), measuring 60 feet by 40, standing 6 feet above
the floor of the mosque, called the sahkra, i.e., "rock." Over
this rock the altar of burnt-offerings stood. It was the
threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. The exact position on
this "sacred enclosure" which the temple occupied has not been
yet definitely ascertained. Some affirm that Herod's temple
covered the site of Solomon's temple and palace, and in addition
enclosed a square of 300 feet at the south-western angle. The
temple courts thus are supposed to have occupied the southern
portion of the "enclosure," forming in all a square of more than
900 feet. It is argued by others that Herod's temple occupied a
square of 600 feet at the south-west of the "enclosure."
Nahum's town, a Galilean city frequently mentioned in the
history of our Lord. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament.
After our Lord's expulsion from Nazareth (Matt. 4:13-16; Luke
4:16-31), Capernaum became his "own city." It was the scene of
many acts and incidents of his life (Matt. 8:5, 14, 15; 9:2-6,
10-17; 15:1-20; Mark 1:32-34, etc.). The impenitence and
unbelief of its inhabitants after the many evidences our Lord
gave among them of the truth of his mission, brought down upon
them a heavy denunciation of judgement (Matt. 11:23).
It stood on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. The "land
of Gennesaret," near, if not in, which it was situated, was one
of the most prosperous and crowded districts of Israel. This
city lay on the great highway from Damascus to Acco and Tyre. It
has been identified with Tell Hum, about two miles south-west of
where the Jordan flows into the lake. Here are extensive ruins
of walls and foundations, and also the remains of what must have
been a beautiful synagogue, which it is conjectured may have
been the one built by the centurion (Luke 7:5), in which our
Lord frequently taught (John 6:59; Mark 1:21; Luke 4:33). Others
have conjectured that the ruins of the city are to be found at
Khan Minyeh, some three miles further to the south on the shore
of the lake. "If Tell Hum be Capernaum, the remains spoken of
are without doubt the ruins of the synagogue built by the Roman
centurion, and one of the most sacred places on earth. It was in
this building that our Lord gave the well-known discourse in
John 6; and it was not without a certain strange feeling that on
turning over a large block we found the pot of manna engraved on
its face, and remembered the words, 'I am that bread of life:
your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.'",
(The Recovery of Jerusalem.)
First mentioned in Gen. 3:7. The fig-tree is mentioned (Deut.
8:8) as one of the valuable products of Israel. It was a sign
of peace and prosperity (1 Kings 4:25; Micah 4:4; Zech. 3:10).
Figs were used medicinally (2 Kings 20:7), and pressed together
and formed into "cakes" as articles of diet (1 Sam. 30:12; Jer.
Our Lord's cursing the fig-tree near Bethany (Mark 11:13) has
occasioned much perplexity from the circumstance, as mentioned
by the evangelist, that "the time of figs was not yet." The
explanation of the words, however, lies in the simple fact that
the fruit of the fig-tree appears before the leaves, and hence
that if the tree produced leaves it ought also to have had
fruit. It ought to have had fruit if it had been true to its
"pretensions," in showing its leaves at this particular season.
"This tree, so to speak, vaunted itself to be in advance of all
the other trees, challenged the passer-by that he should come
and refresh himself with its fruit. Yet when the Lord accepted
its challenge and drew near, it proved to be but as the others,
without fruit as they; for indeed, as the evangelist observes,
the time of figs had not yet arrived. Its fault, if one may use
the word, lay in its pretensions, in its making a show to run
before the rest when it did not so indeed" (Trench, Miracles).
The fig-tree of Israel (Ficus carica) produces two and
sometimes three crops of figs in a year, (1) the bikkurah, or
"early-ripe fig" (Micah 7:1; Isa. 28:4; Hos. 9:10, R.V.), which
is ripe about the end of June, dropping off as soon as it is
ripe (Nah. 3:12); (2) the kermus, or "summer fig," then begins
to be formed, and is ripe about August; and (3) the pag (plural
"green figs," Cant. 2:13; Gr. olynthos, Rev. 6:13, "the untimely
fig"), or "winter fig," which ripens in sheltered spots in
frequently mentioned throughout Scripture. Of the domesticated
species we read of, (1.) The she ass (Heb. 'athon), so named
from its slowness (Gen. 12:16; 45:23; Num. 22:23; 1 Sam. 9:3).
(2.) The male ass (Heb. hamor), the common working ass of
Western Asia, so called from its red colour. Issachar is
compared to a strong ass (Gen. 49:14). It was forbidden to yoke
together an ass and an ox in the plough (Deut. 22:10). (3.) The
ass's colt (Heb. 'air), mentioned Judg. 10:4; 12:14. It is
rendered "foal" in Gen. 32:15; 49:11. (Compare Job 11:12; Isa.
30:6.) The ass is an unclean animal, because it does not chew
the cud (Lev. 11:26. Compare 2 Kings 6:25). Asses constituted a
considerable portion of wealth in ancient times (Gen. 12:16;
30:43; 1 Chr. 27:30; Job 1:3; 42:12). They were noted for their
spirit and their attachment to their master (Isa. 1:3). They are
frequently spoken of as having been ridden upon, as by Abraham
(Gen. 22:3), Balaam (Num. 22:21), the disobedient prophet (1
Kings 13:23), the family of Abdon the judge, seventy in number
(Judg. 12:14), Zipporah (Ex. 4:20), the Shunammite (1 Sam.
25:30), etc. Zechariah (9:9) predicted our Lord's triumphal
entrance into Jerusalem, "riding upon an ass, and upon a colt,"
etc. (Matt. 21:5, R.V.).
Of wild asses two species are noticed, (1) that called in
Hebrew "'arod", mentioned Job 39:5 and Dan. 5:21, noted for its
swiftness; and (2) that called "pe're", the wild ass of Asia
(Job 39:6-8; 6:5; 11:12; Isa. 32:14; Jer. 2:24; 14:6, etc.). The
wild ass was distinguished for its fleetness and its extreme
shyness. In allusion to his mode of life, Ishmael is likened to
a wild ass (Gen. 16:12. Here the word is simply rendered "wild"
in the Authorized Version, but in the Revised Version, "wild-ass
The Hebrew name shushan or shoshan, i.e., "whiteness", was used
as the general name of several plants common to Syria, such as
the tulip, iris, anemone, gladiolus, ranunculus, etc. Some
interpret it, with much probability, as denoting in the Old
Testament the water-lily (Nymphoea lotus of Linn.), or lotus
(Cant. 2:1, 2; 2:16; 4:5; 5:13; 6:2, 3; 7:2). "Its flowers are
large, and they are of a white colour, with streaks of pink.
They supplied models for the ornaments of the pillars and the
molten sea" (1 Kings 7:19, 22, 26; 2 Chr. 4:5). In the Canticles
its beauty and fragrance shadow forth the preciousness of Christ
to the Church. Groser, however (Scrip. Nat. Hist.), strongly
argues that the word, both in the Old and New Testaments,
denotes liliaceous plants in general, or if one genus is to be
selected, that it must be the genus Iris, which is "large,
vigorous, elegant in form, and gorgeous in colouring."
The lilies (Gr. krinia) spoken of in the New Testament (Matt.
6:28; Luke 12:27) were probably the scarlet martagon (Lilium
Chalcedonicum) or "red Turk's-cap lily", which "comes into
flower at the season of the year when our Lord's sermon on the
mount is supposed to have been delivered. It is abundant in the
district of Galilee; and its fine scarlet flowers render it a
very conspicous and showy object, which would naturally attract
the attention of the hearers" (Balfour's Plants of the Bible).
Of the true "floral glories of Israel" the pheasant's eye
(Adonis Palestina), the ranunuculus (R. Asiaticus), and the
anemone (A coronaria), the last named is however, with the
greatest probability regarded as the "lily of the field" to
which our Lord refers. "Certainly," says Tristram (Nat. Hist. of
the Bible), "if, in the wondrous richness of bloom which
characterizes the land of Israel in spring, any one plant can
claim pre-eminence, it is the anemone, the most natural flower
for our Lord to pluck and seize upon as an illustration, whether
walking in the fields or sitting on the hill-side." "The white
water-lily (Nymphcea alba) and the yellow water-lily (Nuphar
lutea) are both abundant in the marshes of the Upper Jordan, but
have no connection with the lily of Scripture."
Naphtali, Tribe of
On this tribe Jacob pronounced the patriarchal blessing,
"Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words" (Gen.
49:21). It was intended thus to set forth under poetic imagery
the future character and history of the tribe.
At the time of the Exodus this tribe numbered 53,400 adult
males (Num. 1:43), but at the close of the wanderings they
numbered only 45,400 (26:48-50). Along with Dan and Asher they
formed "the camp of Dan," under a common standard (2:25-31),
occupying a place during the march on the north side of the
The possession assigned to this tribe is set forth in Josh.
19:32-39. It lay in the NEern corner of the land,
bounded on the east by the Jordan and the lakes of Merom and
Galilee, and on the north it extended far into Coele-Syria, the
valley between the two Lebanon ranges. It comprehended a greater
variety of rich and beautiful scenery and of soil and climate
than fell to the lot of any other tribe. The territory of
Naphtali extended to about 800 square miles, being the double of
that of Issachar. The region around Kedesh, one of its towns,
was originally called Galil, a name afterwards given to the
whole northern division of Canaan. A large number of foreigners
settled here among the mountains, and hence it was called
"Galilee of the Gentiles" (q.v.), Matt. 4:15, 16. The southern
portion of Naphtali has been called the "Garden of Israel."
It was of unrivalled fertility. It was the principal scene of
our Lord's public ministry. Here most of his parables were
spoken and his miracles wrought.
This tribe was the first to suffer from the invasion of
Benhadad, king of Syria, in the reigns of Baasha, king of
Israel, and Asa, king of Judah (1 Kings 15:20; 2 Chr. 16:4). In
the reign of Pekah, king of Israel, the Assyrians under
Tiglath-pileser swept over the whole north of Israel, and
carried the people into captivity (2 Kings 15:29). Thus the
kingdom of Israel came to an end (B.C. 722).
Naphtali is now almost wholly a desert, the towns of Tiberias,
on the shore of the Lake of Galilee, and Safed being the only
places in it of any importance.
(1.) Heb. sar (1 Sam. 22:2; 2 Sam. 23:19). Rendered "chief,"
Gen. 40:2; 41:9; rendered also "prince," Dan. 1:7; "ruler,"
Judg. 9:30; "governor,' 1 Kings 22:26. This same Hebrew word
denotes a military captain (Ex. 18:21; 2 Kings 1:9; Deut. 1:15;
1 Sam. 18:13, etc.), the "captain of the body-guard" (Gen.
37:36; 39:1; 41:10; Jer. 40:1), or, as the word may be rendered,
"chief of the executioners" (marg.). The officers of the king's
body-guard frequently acted as executioners. Nebuzar-adan (Jer.
39:13) and Arioch (Dan. 2:14) held this office in Babylon.
The "captain of the guard" mentioned in Acts 28:16 was the
Praetorian prefect, the commander of the Praetorian troops.
(2.) Another word (Heb. katsin) so translated denotes
sometimes a military (Josh. 10:24; Judg. 11:6, 11; Isa. 22:3
"rulers;" Dan. 11:18) and sometimes a civil command, a judge,
magistrate, Arab. "kady", (Isa. 1:10; 3:6; Micah 3:1, 9).
(3.) It is also the rendering of a Hebrew word (shalish)
meaning "a third man," or "one of three." The LXX. render in
plural by "tristatai"; i.e., "soldiers fighting from chariots,"
so called because each war-chariot contained three men, one of
whom acted as charioteer while the other two fought (Ex. 14:7;
15:4; 1 Kings 9:22; compare 2 Kings 9:25). This word is used also
to denote the king's body-guard (2 Kings 10:25; 1 Chr. 12:18; 2
Chr. 11:11) or aides-de-camp.
(4.) The "captain of the temple" mentioned in Acts 4:1 and
5:24 was not a military officer, but superintendent of the guard
of priests and Levites who kept watch in the temple by night.
(Compare "the ruler of the house of God," 1 Chr. 9:11; 2 Chr.
31:13; Neh. 11:11.)
(5.) The Captain of our salvation is a name given to our Lord
(Heb. 2:10), because he is the author and source of our
salvation, the head of his people, whom he is conducting to
glory. The "captain of the Lord's host" (Josh. 5:14, 15) is the
name given to that mysterious person who manifested himself to
Abraham (Gen. 12:7), and to Moses in the bush (Ex. 3:2, 6, etc.)
the Angel of the covenant. (See ANGEL T0000240.)
a common mode of punishment among heathen nations in early
times. It is not certain whether it was known among the ancient
Jews; probably it was not. The modes of capital punishment
according to the Mosaic law were, by the sword (Ex. 21),
strangling, fire (Lev. 20), and stoning (Deut. 21).
This was regarded as the most horrible form of death, and to a
Jew it would acquire greater horror from the curse in Deut.
This punishment began by subjecting the sufferer to scourging.
In the case of our Lord, however, his scourging was rather
before the sentence was passed upon him, and was inflicted by
Pilate for the purpose, probably, of exciting pity and procuring
his escape from further punishment (Luke 23:22; John 19:1).
The condemned one carried his own cross to the place of
execution, which was outside the city, in some conspicuous place
set apart for the purpose. Before the nailing to the cross took
place, a medicated cup of vinegar mixed with gall and myrrh (the
sopor) was given, for the purpose of deadening the pangs of the
sufferer. Our Lord refused this cup, that his senses might be
clear (Matt. 27:34). The spongeful of vinegar, sour wine, posca,
the common drink of the Roman soldiers, which was put on a
hyssop stalk and offered to our Lord in contemptuous pity (Matt.
27:48; Luke 23:36), he tasted to allay the agonies of his thirst
(John 19:29). The accounts given of the crucifixion of our Lord
are in entire agreement with the customs and practices of the
Roman in such cases. He was crucified between two "malefactors"
(Isa. 53:12; Luke 23:32), and was watched by a party of four
soldiers (John 19:23; Matt. 27:36, 54), with their centurion.
The "breaking of the legs" of the malefactors was intended to
hasten death, and put them out of misery (John 19:31); but the
unusual rapidity of our Lord's death (19:33) was due to his
previous sufferings and his great mental anguish. The omission
of the breaking of his legs was the fulfilment of a type (Ex.
12:46). He literally died of a broken heart, a ruptured heart,
and hence the flowing of blood and water from the wound made by
the soldier's spear (John 19:34). Our Lord uttered seven
memorable words from the cross, namely, (1) Luke 23:34; (2)
23:43; (3) John 19:26; (4) Matt. 27:46, Mark 15:34; (5) John
19:28; (6) 19:30; (7) Luke 23:46.
favour, grace, one of the wives of Elkanah the Levite, and the
mother of Samuel (1 Sam. 1; 2). Her home was at
Ramathaim-zophim, whence she was wont every year to go to
Shiloh, where the tabernacle had been pitched by Joshua, to
attend the offering of sacrifices there according to the law
(Ex. 23:15; 34:18; Deut. 16:16), probably at the feast of the
Passover (compare Ex. 13:10). On occasion of one of these "yearly"
visits, being grieved by reason of Peninnah's conduct toward
her, she went forth alone, and kneeling before the Lord at the
sanctuary she prayed inaudibly. Eli the high priest, who sat at
the entrance to the holy place, observed her, and
misunderstanding her character he harshly condemned her conduct
(1 Sam. 1:14-16). After hearing her explanation he retracted his
injurious charge and said to her, "Go in peace: and the God of
Israel grant thee thy petition." Perhaps the story of the wife
of Manoah was not unknown to her. Thereafter Elkanah and his
family retired to their quiet home, and there, before another
Passover, Hannah gave birth to a son, whom, in grateful memory
of the Lord's goodness, she called Samuel, i.e., "heard of God."
After the child was weaned (probably in his third year) she
brought him to Shiloh into the house of the Lord, and said to
Eli the aged priest, "Oh my lord, I am the woman that stood by
thee here, praying unto the Lord. For this child I prayed; and
the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him:
therefore I also have granted him to the Lord; as long as he
liveth he is granted to the Lord" (1 Sam. 1:27, 28, R.V.). Her
gladness of heart then found vent in that remarkable prophetic
song (2:1-10; compare Luke 1:46-55) which contains the first
designation of the Messiah under that name (1 Sam. 2:10,
"Annointed" = "Messiah"). And so Samuel and his parents parted.
He was left at Shiloh to minister "before the Lord." And each
year, when they came up to Shiloh, Hannah brought to her absent
child "a little coat" (Heb. meil, a term used to denote the
"robe" of the ephod worn by the high priest, Ex. 28:31), a
priestly robe, a long upper tunic (1 Chr. 15:27), in which to
minister in the tabernacle (1 Sam. 2:19; 15:27; Job 2:12). "And
the child Samuel grew before the Lord." After Samuel, Hannah had
three sons and two daughters.
circuit. Solomon rewarded Hiram for certain services rendered
him by the gift of an upland plain among the mountains of
Naphtali. Hiram was dissatisfied with the gift, and called it
"the land of Cabul" (q.v.). The Jews called it Galil. It
continued long to be occupied by the original inhabitants, and
hence came to be called "Galilee of the Gentiles" (Matt. 4:15),
and also "Upper Galilee," to distinguish it from the extensive
addition afterwards made to it toward the south, which was
usually called "Lower Galilee." In the time of our Lord, Galilee
embraced more than one-third of Western Israel, extending
"from Dan on the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, to the
ridges of Carmel and Gilboa on the south, and from the Jordan
valley on the east away across the splendid plains of Jezreel
and Acre to the shores of the Mediterranean on the west."
Israel was divided into three provinces, Judea, Samaria, and
Galilee, which comprehended the whole northern section of the
country (Acts 9:31), and was the largest of the three.
It was the scene of some of the most memorable events of
Jewish history. Galilee also was the home of our Lord during at
least thirty years of his life. The first three Gospels are
chiefly taken up with our Lord's public ministry in this
province. "The entire province is encircled with a halo of holy
associations connected with the life, works, and teachings of
Jesus of Nazareth." "It is noteworthy that of his thirty-two
beautiful parables, no less than ninteen were spoken in Galilee.
And it is no less remarkable that of his entire thirty-three
great miracles, twenty-five were wrought in this province. His
first miracle was wrought at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, and
his last, after his resurrection, on the shore of Galilee's sea.
In Galilee our Lord delivered the Sermon on The Mount, and the
discourses on 'The Bread of Life,' on 'Purity,' on
'Forgiveness,' and on 'Humility.' In Galilee he called his first
disciples; and there occurred the sublime scene of the
Transfiguration" (Porter's Through Samaria).
When the Sanhedrin were about to proceed with some plan for
the condemnation of our Lord (John 7:45-52), Nicodemus
interposed in his behalf. (Compare Deut. 1:16,17; 17:8.) They
replied, "Art thou also of Galilee?.... Out of Galilee ariseth
no prophet." This saying of theirs was "not historically true,
for two prophets at least had arisen from Galilee, Jonah of
Gath-hepher, and the greatest of all the prophets, Elijah of
Thisbe, and perhaps also Nahum and Hosea. Their contempt for
Galilee made them lose sight of historical accuracy" (Alford,
The Galilean accent differed from that of Jerusalem in being
broader and more guttural (Mark 14:70).
(Heb. verb shabbath, meaning "to rest from labour"), the day of
rest. It is first mentioned as having been instituted in
Paradise, when man was in innocence (Gen. 2:2). "The sabbath was
made for man," as a day of rest and refreshment for the body and
of blessing to the soul.
It is next referred to in connection with the gift of manna to
the children of Israel in the wilderness (Ex. 16:23); and
afterwards, when the law was given from Sinai (20:11), the
people were solemnly charged to "remember the sabbath day, to
keep it holy." Thus it is spoken of as an institution already
In the Mosaic law strict regulations were laid down regarding
its observance (Ex. 35:2, 3; Lev. 23:3; 26:34). These were
peculiar to that dispensation.
In the subsequent history of the Jews frequent references are
made to the sanctity of the Sabbath (Isa. 56:2, 4, 6, 7; 58:13,
14; Jer. 17:20-22; Neh. 13:19). In later times they perverted
the Sabbath by their traditions. Our Lord rescued it from their
perversions, and recalled to them its true nature and intent
(Matt. 12:10-13; Mark 2:27; Luke 13:10-17).
The Sabbath, originally instituted for man at his creation, is
of permanent and universal obligation. The physical necessities
of man require a Sabbath of rest. He is so constituted that his
bodily welfare needs at least one day in seven for rest from
ordinary labour. Experience also proves that the moral and
spiritual necessities of men also demand a Sabbath of rest. "I
am more and more sure by experience that the reason for the
observance of the Sabbath lies deep in the everlasting
necessities of human nature, and that as long as man is man the
blessedness of keeping it, not as a day of rest only, but as a
day of spiritual rest, will never be annulled. I certainly do
feel by experience the eternal obligation, because of the
eternal necessity, of the Sabbath. The soul withers without it.
It thrives in proportion to its observance. The Sabbath was made
for man. God made it for men in a certain spiritual state
because they needed it. The need, therefore, is deeply hidden in
human nature. He who can dispense with it must be holy and
spiritual indeed. And he who, still unholy and unspiritual,
would yet dispense with it is a man that would fain be wiser
than his Maker" (F. W. Robertson).
The ancient Babylonian calendar, as seen from recently
recovered inscriptions on the bricks among the ruins of the
royal palace, was based on the division of time into weeks of
seven days. The Sabbath is in these inscriptions designated
Sabattu, and defined as "a day of rest for the heart" and "a day
of completion of labour."
The change of the day. Originally at creation the seventh day
of the week was set apart and consecrated as the Sabbath. The
first day of the week is now observed as the Sabbath. Has God
authorized this change? There is an obvious distinction between
the Sabbath as an institution and the particular day set apart
for its observance. The question, therefore, as to the change of
the day in no way affects the perpetual obligation of the
Sabbath as an institution. Change of the day or no change, the
Sabbath remains as a sacred institution the same. It cannot be
If any change of the day has been made, it must have been by
Christ or by his authority. Christ has a right to make such a
change (Mark 2:23-28). As Creator, Christ was the original Lord
of the Sabbath (John 1:3; Heb. 1:10). It was originally a
memorial of creation. A work vastly greater than that of
creation has now been accomplished by him, the work of
redemption. We would naturally expect just such a change as
would make the Sabbath a memorial of that greater work.
True, we can give no text authorizing the change in so many
words. We have no express law declaring the change. But there
are evidences of another kind. We know for a fact that the first
day of the week has been observed from apostolic times, and the
necessary conclusion is, that it was observed by the apostles
and their immediate disciples. This, we may be sure, they never
would have done without the permission or the authority of their
After his resurrection, which took place on the first day of
the week (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1), we never
find Christ meeting with his disciples on the seventh day. But
he specially honoured the first day by manifesting himself to
them on four separate occasions (Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:34, 18-33;
John 20:19-23). Again, on the next first day of the week, Jesus
appeared to his disciples (John 20:26).
Some have calculated that Christ's ascension took place on the
first day of the week. And there can be no doubt that the
descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost was on that day (Acts
2:1). Thus Christ appears as instituting a new day to be
observed by his people as the Sabbath, a day to be henceforth
known amongst them as the "Lord's day." The observance of this
"Lord's day" as the Sabbath was the general custom of the
primitive churches, and must have had apostolic sanction (compare
Acts 20:3-7; 1 Cor. 16:1, 2) and authority, and so the sanction
and authority of Jesus Christ.
The words "at her sabbaths" (Lam. 1:7, A.V.) ought probably to
be, as in the Revised Version, "at her desolations."
the name given to the chief of the three great historical annual
festivals of the Jews. It was kept in remembrance of the Lord's
passing over the houses of the Israelites (Ex. 12:13) when the
first born of all the Egyptians were destroyed. It is called
also the "feast of unleavened bread" (Ex. 23:15; Mark 14:1; Acts
12:3), because during its celebration no leavened bread was to
be eaten or even kept in the household (Ex. 12:15). The word
afterwards came to denote the lamb that was slain at the feast
(Mark 14:12-14; 1 Cor. 5:7).
A detailed account of the institution of this feast is given
in Ex. 12 and 13. It was afterwards incorporated in the
ceremonial law (Lev. 23:4-8) as one of the great festivals of
the nation. In after times many changes seem to have taken place
as to the mode of its celebration as compared with its first
celebration (compare Deut. 16:2, 5, 6; 2 Chr. 30:16; Lev.
23:10-14; Num. 9:10, 11; 28:16-24). Again, the use of wine (Luke
22:17, 20), of sauce with the bitter herbs (John 13:26), and the
service of praise were introduced.
There is recorded only one celebration of this feast between
the Exodus and the entrance into Canaan, namely, that mentioned
in Num. 9:5. (See JOSIAH T0002116.) It was primarily a
commemorative ordinance, reminding the children of Israel of
their deliverance out of Egypt; but it was, no doubt, also a
type of the great deliverance wrought by the Messiah for all his
people from the doom of death on account of sin, and from the
bondage of sin itself, a worse than Egyptian bondage (1 Cor.
5:7; John 1:29; 19:32-36; 1 Pet. 1:19; Gal. 4:4, 5). The
appearance of Jerusalem on the occasion of the Passover in the
time of our Lord is thus fittingly described: "The city itself
and the neighbourhood became more and more crowded as the feast
approached, the narrow streets and dark arched bazaars showing
the same throng of men of all nations as when Jesus had first
visited Jerusalem as a boy. Even the temple offered a strange
sight at this season, for in parts of the outer courts a wide
space was covered with pens for sheep, goats, and cattle to be
used for offerings. Sellers shouted the merits of their beasts,
sheep bleated, oxen lowed. Sellers of doves also had a place set
apart for them. Potters offered a choice from huge stacks of
clay dishes and ovens for roasting and eating the Passover lamb.
Booths for wine, oil, salt, and all else needed for sacrifices
invited customers. Persons going to and from the city shortened
their journey by crossing the temple grounds, often carrying
burdens...Stalls to change foreign money into the shekel of the
temple, which alone could be paid to the priests, were numerous,
the whole confusion making the sanctuary like a noisy market"
(Geikie's Life of Christ).
John the Baptist
the "forerunner of our Lord." We have but fragmentary and
imperfect accounts of him in the Gospels. He was of priestly
descent. His father, Zacharias, was a priest of the course of
Abia (1 Chr. 24:10), and his mother, Elisabeth, was of the
daughters of Aaron (Luke 1:5). The mission of John was the
subject of prophecy (Matt. 3:3; Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1). His birth,
which took place six months before that of Jesus, was foretold
by an angel. Zacharias, deprived of the power of speech as a
token of God's truth and a reproof of his own incredulity with
reference to the birth of his son, had the power of speech
restored to him on the occasion of his circumcision (Luke 1:64).
After this no more is recorded of him for thirty years than what
is mentioned in Luke 1:80. John was a Nazarite from his birth
(Luke 1:15; Num. 6:1-12). He spent his early years in the
mountainous tract of Judah lying between Jerusalem and the Dead
Sea (Matt. 3:1-12).
At length he came forth into public life, and great multitudes
from "every quarter" were attracted to him. The sum of his
preaching was the necessity of repentance. He denounced the
Sadducees and Pharisees as a "generation of vipers," and warned
them of the folly of trusting to external privileges (Luke 3:8).
"As a preacher, John was eminently practical and discriminating.
Self-love and covetousness were the prevalent sins of the people
at large. On them, therefore, he enjoined charity and
consideration for others. The publicans he cautioned against
extortion, the soldiers against crime and plunder." His doctrine
and manner of life roused the entire south of Israel, and the
people from all parts flocked to the place where he was, on the
banks of the Jordan. There he baptized thousands unto
The fame of John reached the ears of Jesus in Nazareth (Matt.
3:5), and he came from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized of John,
on the special ground that it became him to "fulfil all
righteousness" (3:15). John's special office ceased with the
baptism of Jesus, who must now "increase" as the King come to
his kingdom. He continued, however, for a while to bear
testimony to the Messiahship of Jesus. He pointed him out to his
disciples, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God." His public ministry
was suddenly (after about six months probably) brought to a
close by his being cast into prison by Herod, whom he had
reproved for the sin of having taken to himself the wife of his
brother Philip (Luke 3:19). He was shut up in the castle of
Machaerus (q.v.), a fortress on the southern extremity of
Peraea, 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, and here he was beheaded.
His disciples, having consigned the headless body to the grave,
went and told Jesus all that had occurred (Matt. 14:3-12).
John's death occurred apparently just before the third Passover
of our Lord's ministry. Our Lord himself testified regarding him
that he was a "burning and a shining light" (John 5:35).
shoulder. (1.) The son of Hamor the Hivite (Gen. 33:19; 34).
(2.) A descendant of Manasseh (Num. 26:31; Josh. 17:2).
(3.) A city in Samaria (Gen. 33:18), called also Sichem
(12:6), Sychem (Acts 7:16). It stood in the narrow sheltered
valley between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south, these
mountains at their base being only some 500 yards apart. Here
Abraham pitched his tent and built his first altar in the
Promised Land, and received the first divine promise (Gen. 12:6,
7). Here also Jacob "bought a parcel of a field at the hands of
the children of Hamor" after his return from Mesopotamia, and
settled with his household, which he purged from idolatry by
burying the teraphim of his followers under an oak tree, which
was afterwards called "the oak of the sorcerer" (Gen. 33:19;
35:4; Judg. 9:37). (See MEONENIM T0002483.) Here too, after a
while, he dug a well, which bears his name to this day (John
4:5, 39-42). To Shechem Joshua gathered all Israel "before God,"
and delivered to them his second parting address (Josh.
24:1-15). He "made a covenant with the people that day" at the
very place where, on first entering the land, they had responded
to the law from Ebal and Gerizim (Josh. 24:25), the terms of
which were recorded "in the book of the law of God", i.e., in
the roll of the law of Moses; and in memory of this solemn
transaction a great stone was set up "under an oak" (compare Gen.
28:18; 31:44-48; Ex. 24:4; Josh. 4:3, 8, 9), possibly the old
"oak of Moreh," as a silent witness of the transaction to all
Shechem became one of the cities of refuge, the central city
of refuge for Western Israel (Josh. 20:7), and here the bones
of Joseph were buried (24:32). Rehoboam was appointed king in
Shechem (1 Kings 12:1, 19), but Jeroboam afterwards took up his
residence here. This city is mentioned in connection with our
Lord's conversation with the woman of Samaria (John 4:5); and
thus, remaining as it does to the present day, it is one of the
oldest cities of the world. It is the modern Nablus, a
contraction for Neapolis, the name given to it by Vespasian. It
lies about a mile and a half up the valley on its southern
slope, and on the north of Gerizim, which rises about 1,100 feet
above it, and is about 34 miles north of Jerusalem. It contains
about 10,000 inhabitants, of whom about 160 are Samaritans and
100 Jews, the rest being Christians and Mohammedans.
The site of Shechem is said to be of unrivalled beauty.
Stanley says it is "the most beautiful, perhaps the only very
beautiful, spot in Central Israel."
Gaza, near Shechem, only mentioned 1 Chr. 7:28, has entirely
disappeared. It was destroyed at the time of the Conquest, and
its place was taken by Shechem. (See SYCHAR T0003542.)
Jehovah is his help, or Jehovah the Saviour. The son of Nun, of
the tribe of Ephraim, the successor of Moses as the leader of
Israel. He is called Jehoshua in Num. 13:16 (A.V.), and Jesus in
Acts 7:45 and Heb. 4:8 (R.V., Joshua).
He was born in Egypt, and was probably of the age of Caleb,
with whom he is generally associated. He shared in all the
events of the Exodus, and held the place of commander of the
host of the Israelites at their great battle against the
Amalekites in Rephidim (Ex. 17:8-16). He became Moses' minister
or servant, and accompanied him part of the way when he ascended
Mount Sinai to receive the two tables (Ex. 32:17). He was also
one of the twelve who were sent on by Moses to explore the land
of Canaan (Num. 13:16, 17), and only he and Caleb gave an
encouraging report. Under the direction of God, Moses, before
his death, invested Joshua in a public and solemn manner with
authority over the people as his successor (Deut. 31:23). The
people were encamped at Shittim when he assumed the command
(Josh. 1:1); and crossing the Jordan, they encamped at Gilgal,
where, having circumcised the people, he kept the Passover, and
was visited by the Captain of the Lord's host, who spoke to him
encouraging words (1:1-9).
Now began the wars of conquest which Joshua carried on for
many years, the record of which is in the book which bears his
name. Six nations and thirty-one kings were conquered by him
(Josh. 11:18-23; 12:24). Having thus subdued the Canaanites,
Joshua divided the land among the tribes, Timnath-serah in Mount
Ephraim being assigned to himself as his own inheritance. (See
SHILOH T0003375; PRIEST T0003001.)
His work being done, he died, at the age of one hundred and
ten years, twenty-five years after having crossed the Jordan. He
was buried in his own city of Timnath-serah (Josh. 24); and "the
light of Israel for the time faded away."
Joshua has been regarded as a type of Christ (Heb. 4:8) in the
following particulars: (1) In the name common to both; (2)
Joshua brings the people into the possession of the Promised
Land, as Jesus brings his people to the heavenly Canaan; and (3)
as Joshua succeeded Moses, so the Gospel succeeds the Law.
The character of Joshua is thus well sketched by Edersheim:,
"Born a slave in Egypt, he must have been about forty years old
at the time of the Exodus. Attached to the person of Moses, he
led Israel in the first decisive battle against Amalek (Ex.
17:9, 13), while Moses in the prayer of faith held up to heaven
the God-given 'rod.' It was no doubt on that occasion that his
name was changed from Oshea, 'help,' to Jehoshua, 'Jehovah is
help' (Num. 13:16). And this name is the key to his life and
work. Alike in bringing the people into Canaan, in his wars, and
in the distribution of the land among the tribes, from the
miraculous crossing of Jordan and taking of Jericho to his last
address, he was the embodiment of his new name, 'Jehovah is
help.' To this outward calling his character also corresponded.
It is marked by singleness of purpose, directness, and
decision...He sets an object before him, and unswervingly
follows it" (Bible Hist., iii. 103)
help. (1.) A priest among those that returned to Jerusalem under
Zerubabel (Neh. 12:1).
(2.) The "scribe" who led the second body of exiles that
returned from Babylon to Jerusalem B.C. 459, and author of the
book of Scripture which bears his name. He was the son, or
perhaps grandson, of Seraiah (2 Kings 25:18-21), and a lineal
descendant of Phinehas, the son of Aaron (Ezra 7:1-5). All we
know of his personal history is contained in the last four
chapters of his book, and in Neh. 8 and 12:26.
In the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see
DARIUS T0000975), he obtained leave to go up to Jerusalem and
to take with him a company of Israelites (Ezra 8). Artaxerxes
manifested great interest in Ezra's undertaking, granting him
"all his request," and loading him with gifts for the house of
God. Ezra assembled the band of exiles, probably about 5,000 in
all, who were prepared to go up with him to Jerusalem, on the
banks of the Ahava, where they rested for three days, and were
put into order for their march across the desert, which was
completed in four months. His proceedings at Jerusalem on his
arrival there are recorded in his book.
He was "a ready scribe in the law of Moses," who "had prepared
his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach
in Israel statutes and judgments." "He is," says Professor
Binnie, "the first well-defined example of an order of men who
have never since ceased in the church; men of sacred erudition,
who devote their lives to the study of the Holy Scriptures, in
order that they may be in a condition to interpret them for the
instruction and edification of the church. It is significant
that the earliest mention of the pulpit occurs in the history of
Ezra's ministry (Neh. 8:4). He was much more of a teacher than a
priest. We learn from the account of his labors in the book of
Nehemiah that he was careful to have the whole people instructed
in the law of Moses; and there is no reason to reject the
constant tradition of the Jews which connects his name with the
collecting and editing of the Old Testament canon. The final
completion of the canon may have been, and probably was, the
work of a later generation; but Ezra seems to have put it much
into the shape in which it is still found in the Hebrew Bible.
When it is added that the complete organization of the synagogue
dates from this period, it will be seen that the age was
emphatically one of Biblical study" (The Psalms: their History,
For about fourteen years, i.e., till B.C. 445, we have no
record of what went on in Jerusalem after Ezra had set in order
the ecclesiastical and civil affairs of the nation. In that year
another distinguished personage, Nehemiah, appears on the scene.
After the ruined wall of the city had been built by Nehemiah,
there was a great gathering of the people at Jerusalem
preparatory to the dedication of the wall. On the appointed day
the whole population assembled, and the law was read aloud to
them by Ezra and his assistants (Neh. 8:3). The remarkable scene
is described in detail. There was a great religious awakening.
For successive days they held solemn assemblies, confessing
their sins and offering up solemn sacrifices. They kept also the
feast of Tabernacles with great solemnity and joyous enthusiasm,
and then renewed their national covenant to be the Lord's.
Abuses were rectified, and arrangements for the temple service
completed, and now nothing remained but the dedication of the
walls of the city (Neh. 12).
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
is converse with God; the intercourse of the soul with God, not
in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him.
Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant,
ejaculatory or formal. It is a "beseeching the Lord" (Ex.
32:11); "pouring out the soul before the Lord" (1 Sam. 1:15);
"praying and crying to heaven" (2 Chr. 32:20); "seeking unto God
and making supplication" (Job 8:5); "drawing near to God" (Ps.
73:28); "bowing the knees" (Eph. 3:14).
Prayer presupposes a belief in the personality of God, his
ability and willingness to hold intercourse with us, his
personal control of all things and of all his creatures and all
Acceptable prayer must be sincere (Heb. 10:22), offered with
reverence and godly fear, with a humble sense of our own
insignificance as creatures and of our own unworthiness as
sinners, with earnest importunity, and with unhesitating
submission to the divine will. Prayer must also be offered in
the faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer,
and that he will fulfil his word, "Ask, and ye shall receive"
(Matt. 7:7, 8; 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13, 14), and in the
name of Christ (16:23, 24; 15:16; Eph. 2:18; 5:20; Col. 3:17; 1
Prayer is of different kinds, secret (Matt. 6:6); social, as
family prayers, and in social worship; and public, in the
service of the sanctuary.
Intercessory prayer is enjoined (Num. 6:23; Job 42:8; Isa.
62:6; Ps. 122:6; 1 Tim. 2:1; James 5:14), and there are many
instances on record of answers having been given to such
prayers, e.g., of Abraham (Gen. 17:18, 20; 18:23-32; 20:7, 17,
18), of Moses for Pharaoh (Ex. 8:12, 13, 30, 31; Ex. 9:33), for
the Israelites (Ex. 17:11, 13; 32:11-14, 31-34; Num. 21:7, 8;
Deut. 9:18, 19, 25), for Miriam (Num. 12:13), for Aaron (Deut.
9:20), of Samuel (1 Sam. 7:5-12), of Solomon (1 Kings 8; 2 Chr.
6), Elijah (1 Kings 17:20-23), Elisha (2 Kings 4:33-36), Isaiah
(2 Kings 19), Jeremiah (42:2-10), Peter (Acts 9:40), the church
(12:5-12), Paul (28:8).
No rules are anywhere in Scripture laid down for the manner of
prayer or the attitude to be assumed by the suppliant. There is
mention made of kneeling in prayer (1 Kings 8:54; 2 Chr. 6:13;
Ps. 95:6; Isa. 45:23; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; 9:40; Eph. 3:14,
etc.); of bowing and falling prostrate (Gen. 24:26, 52; Ex.
4:31; 12:27; Matt. 26:39; Mark 14:35, etc.); of spreading out
the hands (1 Kings 8:22, 38, 54; Ps. 28:2; 63:4; 88:9; 1 Tim.
2:8, etc.); and of standing (1 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kings 8:14, 55; 2
Chr. 20:9; Mark 11:25; Luke 18:11, 13).
If we except the "Lord's Prayer" (Matt. 6:9-13), which is,
however, rather a model or pattern of prayer than a set prayer
to be offered up, we have no special form of prayer for general
use given us in Scripture.
Prayer is frequently enjoined in Scripture (Ex. 22:23, 27; 1
Kings 3:5; 2 Chr. 7:14; Ps. 37:4; Isa. 55:6; Joel 2:32; Ezek.
36:37, etc.), and we have very many testimonies that it has been
answered (Ps. 3:4; 4:1; 6:8; 18:6; 28:6; 30:2; 34:4; 118:5;
James 5:16-18, etc.).
"Abraham's servant prayed to God, and God directed him to the
person who should be wife to his master's son and heir (Gen.
"Jacob prayed to God, and God inclined the heart of his
irritated brother, so that they met in peace and friendship
(Gen. 32:24-30; 33:1-4).
"Samson prayed to God, and God showed him a well where he
quenched his burning thirst, and so lived to judge Israel (Judg.
"David prayed, and God defeated the counsel of Ahithophel (2
Sam. 15:31; 16:20-23; 17:14-23).
"Daniel prayed, and God enabled him both to tell
Nebuchadnezzar his dream and to give the interpretation of it
(Dan. 2: 16-23).
"Nehemiah prayed, and God inclined the heart of the king of
Persia to grant him leave of absence to visit and rebuild
Jerusalem (Neh. 1:11; 2:1-6).
"Esther and Mordecai prayed, and God defeated the purpose of
Haman, and saved the Jews from destruction (Esther 4:15-17; 6:7,
"The believers in Jerusalem prayed, and God opened the prison
doors and set Peter at liberty, when Herod had resolved upon his
death (Acts 12:1-12).
"Paul prayed that the thorn in the flesh might be removed, and
his prayer brought a large increase of spiritual strength, while
the thorn perhaps remained (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
"Prayer is like the dove that Noah sent forth, which blessed
him not only when it returned with an olive-leaf in its mouth,
but when it never returned at all.", Robinson's Job.
originally called Simon (=Simeon ,i.e., "hearing"), a very
common Jewish name in the New Testament. He was the son of Jona
(Matt. 16:17). His mother is nowhere named in Scripture. He had
a younger brother called Andrew, who first brought him to Jesus
(John 1:40-42). His native town was Bethsaida, on the western
coast of the Sea of Galilee, to which also Philip belonged. Here
he was brought up by the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and was
trained to the occupation of a fisher. His father had probably
died while he was still young, and he and his brother were
brought up under the care of Zebedee and his wife Salome (Matt.
27:56; Mark 15:40; 16:1). There the four youths, Simon, Andrew,
James, and John, spent their boyhood and early manhood in
constant fellowship. Simon and his brother doubtless enjoyed all
the advantages of a religious training, and were early
instructed in an acquaintance with the Scriptures and with the
great prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah. They did
not probably enjoy, however, any special training in the study
of the law under any of the rabbis. When Peter appeared before
the Sanhedrin, he looked like an "unlearned man" (Acts 4:13).
"Simon was a Galilean, and he was that out and out...The
Galileans had a marked character of their own. They had a
reputation for an independence and energy which often ran out
into turbulence. They were at the same time of a franker and
more transparent disposition than their brethren in the south.
In all these respects, in bluntness, impetuosity, headiness, and
simplicity, Simon was a genuine Galilean. They spoke a peculiar
dialect. They had a difficulty with the guttural sounds and some
others, and their pronunciation was reckoned harsh in Judea. The
Galilean accent stuck to Simon all through his career. It
betrayed him as a follower of Christ when he stood within the
judgment-hall (Mark 14:70). It betrayed his own nationality and
that of those conjoined with him on the day of Pentecost (Acts
2:7)." It would seem that Simon was married before he became an
apostle. His wife's mother is referred to (Matt. 8:14; Mark
1:30; Luke 4:38). He was in all probability accompanied by his
wife on his missionary journeys (1 Cor. 9:5; compare 1 Pet. 5:13).
He appears to have been settled at Capernaum when Christ
entered on his public ministry, and may have reached beyond the
age of thirty. His house was large enough to give a home to his
brother Andrew, his wife's mother, and also to Christ, who seems
to have lived with him (Mark 1:29, 36; 2:1), as well as to his
own family. It was apparently two stories high (2:4).
At Bethabara (R.V., John 1:28, "Bethany"), beyond Jordan, John
the Baptist had borne testimony concerning Jesus as the "Lamb of
God" (John 1:29-36). Andrew and John hearing it, followed Jesus,
and abode with him where he was. They were convinced, by his
gracious words and by the authority with which he spoke, that he
was the Messiah (Luke 4:22; Matt. 7:29); and Andrew went forth
and found Simon and brought him to Jesus (John 1:41).
Jesus at once recognized Simon, and declared that hereafter he
would be called Cephas, an Aramaic name corresponding to the
Greek Petros, which means "a mass of rock detached from the
living rock." The Aramaic name does not occur again, but the
name Peter gradually displaces the old name Simon, though our
Lord himself always uses the name Simon when addressing him
(Matt. 17:25; Mark 14:37; Luke 22:31, compare 21:15-17). We are
not told what impression the first interview with Jesus produced
on the mind of Simon. When we next meet him it is by the Sea of
Galilee (Matt. 4:18-22). There the four (Simon and Andrew, James
and John) had had an unsuccessful night's fishing. Jesus
appeared suddenly, and entering into Simon's boat, bade him
launch forth and let down the nets. He did so, and enclosed a
great multitude of fishes. This was plainly a miracle wrought
before Simon's eyes. The awe-stricken disciple cast himself at
the feet of Jesus, crying, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful
man, O Lord" (Luke 5:8). Jesus addressed him with the assuring
words, "Fear not," and announced to him his life's work. Simon
responded at once to the call to become a disciple, and after
this we find him in constant attendance on our Lord.
He is next called into the rank of the apostleship, and
becomes a "fisher of men" (Matt. 4:19) in the stormy seas of the
world of human life (Matt. 10:2-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:13-16),
and takes a more and more prominent part in all the leading
events of our Lord's life. It is he who utters that notable
profession of faith at Capernaum (John 6:66-69), and again at
Caesarea Philippi (Matt. 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-20).
This profession at Caesarea was one of supreme importance, and
our Lord in response used these memorable words: "Thou art
Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church."
"From that time forth" Jesus began to speak of his sufferings.
For this Peter rebuked him. But our Lord in return rebuked
Peter, speaking to him in sterner words than he ever used to any
other of his disciples (Matt. 16:21-23; Mark 8:31-33). At the
close of his brief sojourn at Caesarea our Lord took Peter and
James and John with him into "an high mountain apart," and was
transfigured before them. Peter on that occasion, under the
impression the scene produced on his mind, exclaimed, "Lord, it
is good for us to be here: let us make three tabernacles" (Matt.
On his return to Capernaum the collectors of the temple tax (a
didrachma, half a sacred shekel), which every Israelite of
twenty years old and upwards had to pay (Ex. 30:15), came to
Peter and reminded him that Jesus had not paid it (Matt.
17:24-27). Our Lord instructed Peter to go and catch a fish in
the lake and take from its mouth the exact amount needed for the
tax, viz., a stater, or two half-shekels. "That take," said our
Lord, "and give unto them for me and thee."
As the end was drawing nigh, our Lord sent Peter and John
(Luke 22:7-13) into the city to prepare a place where he should
keep the feast with his disciples. There he was forewarned of
the fearful sin into which he afterwards fell (22:31-34). He
accompanied our Lord from the guest-chamber to the garden of
Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-46), which he and the other two who had
been witnesses of the transfiguration were permitted to enter
with our Lord, while the rest were left without. Here he passed
through a strange experience. Under a sudden impulse he cut off
the ear of Malchus (47-51), one of the band that had come forth
to take Jesus. Then follow the scenes of the judgment-hall
(54-61) and his bitter grief (62).
He is found in John's company early on the morning of the
resurrection. He boldly entered into the empty grave (John
20:1-10), and saw the "linen clothes laid by themselves" (Luke
24:9-12). To him, the first of the apostles, our risen Lord
revealed himself, thus conferring on him a signal honour, and
showing how fully he was restored to his favour (Luke 24:34; 1
Cor. 15:5). We next read of our Lord's singular interview with
Peter on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where he thrice asked
him, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?" (John 21:1-19). (See
After this scene at the lake we hear nothing of Peter till he
again appears with the others at the ascension (Acts 1:15-26).
It was he who proposed that the vacancy caused by the apostasy
of Judas should be filled up. He is prominent on the day of
Pentecost (2:14-40). The events of that day "completed the
change in Peter himself which the painful discipline of his fall
and all the lengthened process of previous training had been
slowly making. He is now no more the unreliable, changeful,
self-confident man, ever swaying between rash courage and weak
timidity, but the stead-fast, trusted guide and director of the
fellowship of believers, the intrepid preacher of Christ in
Jerusalem and abroad. And now that he is become Cephas indeed,
we hear almost nothing of the name Simon (only in Acts 10:5, 32;
15:14), and he is known to us finally as Peter."
After the miracle at the temple gate (Acts 3) persecution
arose against the Christians, and Peter was cast into prison. He
boldly defended himself and his companions at the bar of the
council (4:19, 20). A fresh outburst of violence against the
Christians (5:17-21) led to the whole body of the apostles being
cast into prison; but during the night they were wonderfully
delivered, and were found in the morning teaching in the temple.
A second time Peter defended them before the council (Acts
5:29-32), who, "when they had called the apostles and beaten
them, let them go."
The time had come for Peter to leave Jerusalem. After
labouring for some time in Samaria, he returned to Jerusalem,
and reported to the church there the results of his work (Acts
8:14-25). Here he remained for a period, during which he met
Paul for the first time since his conversion (9:26-30; Gal.
1:18). Leaving Jerusalem again, he went forth on a missionary
journey to Lydda and Joppa (Acts 9:32-43). He is next called on
to open the door of the Christian church to the Gentiles by the
admission of Cornelius of Caesarea (ch. 10).
After remaining for some time at Caesarea, he returned to
Jerusalem (Acts 11:1-18), where he defended his conduct with
reference to the Gentiles. Next we hear of his being cast into
prison by Herod Agrippa (12:1-19); but in the night an angel of
the Lord opened the prison gates, and he went forth and found
refuge in the house of Mary.
He took part in the deliberations of the council in Jerusalem
(Acts 15:1-31; Gal. 2:1-10) regarding the relation of the
Gentiles to the church. This subject had awakened new interest
at Antioch, and for its settlement was referred to the council
of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. Here Paul and Peter met
We have no further mention of Peter in the Acts of the
Apostles. He seems to have gone down to Antioch after the
council at Jerusalem, and there to have been guilty of
dissembling, for which he was severely reprimanded by Paul (Gal.
2:11-16), who "rebuked him to his face."
After this he appears to have carried the gospel to the east,
and to have laboured for a while at Babylon, on the Euphrates (1
Pet. 5:13). There is no satisfactory evidence that he was ever
at Rome. Where or when he died is not certainly known. Probably
he died between A.D. 64 and 67.
Heb. 'ammah; i.e., "mother of the arm," the fore-arm, is a word
derived from the Latin cubitus, the lower arm. It is difficult
to determine the exact length of this measure, from the
uncertainty whether it included the entire length from the elbow
to the tip of the longest finger, or only from the elbow to the
root of the hand at the wrist. The probability is that the
longer was the original cubit. The common computation as to the
length of the cubit makes it 20.24 inches for the ordinary
cubit, and 21.888 inches for the sacred one. This is the same as
the Egyptian measurements.
A rod or staff the measure of a cubit is called in Judg. 3:16
"gomed", which literally means a "cut," something "cut off." The
LXX. and Vulgate render it "span."
Canaan, the language of
mentioned in Isa. 19:18, denotes the language spoken by the Jews
resident in Israel. The language of the Canaanites and of the
Hebrews was substantially the same. This is seen from the
fragments of the Phoenician language which still survive, which
show the closest analogy to the Hebrew. Yet the subject of the
language of the "Canaanites" is very obscure. The cuneiform
writing of Babylon, as well as the Babylonian language, was
taught in the Canaanite schools, and the clay tablets of
Babylonian literature were stored in the Canaanite libraries.
Even the Babylonian divinities were borrowed by the Canaanites.
a stream. (1.) One of the four rivers of Eden (Gen. 2:13). It
has been identified with the Nile. Others regard it as the Oxus,
or the Araxes, or the Ganges. But as, according to the sacred
narrative, all these rivers of Eden took their origin from the
head-waters of the Euphrates and the Trigris, it is probable
that the Gihon is the ancient Araxes, which, under the modern
name of the Arras, discharges itself into the Caspian Sea. It
was the Asiatic and not the African "Cush" which the Gihon
compassed (Gen. 10:7-10). (See EDEN T0001127.)
(2.) The only natural spring of water in or near Jerusalem is
the "Fountain of the Virgin" (q.v.), which rises outside the
city walls on the west bank of the Kidron valley. On the
occasion of the approach of the Assyrian army under Sennacherib,
Hezekiah, in order to prevent the besiegers from finding water,
"stopped the upper water course of Gihon, and brought it
straight down to the west side of the city of David" (2 Chr.
32:30; 33:14). This "fountain" or spring is therefore to be
regarded as the "upper water course of Gihon." From this
"fountain" a tunnel cut through the ridge which forms the south
part of the temple hill conveys the water to the Pool of Siloam,
which lies on the opposite side of this ridge at the head of the
Tyropoeon ("cheesemakers'") valley, or valley of the son of
Hinnom, now filled up by rubbish. The length of this tunnel is
about 1,750 feet. In 1880 an inscription was accidentally
discovered on the wall of the tunnel about nineteen feet from
where it opens into the Pool of Siloam. This inscription was
executed in all probability by Hezekiah's workmen. It briefly
narrates the history of the excavation. It may, however, be
possible that this tunnel was executed in the time of Solomon.
If the "waters of Shiloah that go softly" (Isa. 8:6) refers to
the gentle stream that still flows through the tunnel into the
Pool of Siloam, then this excavation must have existed before
the time of Hezekiah.
In the upper part of the Tyropoeoan valley there are two pools
still existing, the first, called Birket el-Mamilla, to the west
of the Jaffa gate; the second, to the south of the first, called
Birket es-Sultan. It is the opinion of some that the former was
the "upper" and the latter the "lower" Pool of Gihon (2 Kings
18:17; Isa. 7:3; 36:2; 22:9). (See CONDUIT T0000877; SILOAM
The Hebrews were devout students of the wonders of the starry
firmanent (Amos 5:8; Ps. 19). In the Book of Job, which is the
oldest book of the Bible in all probability, the constellations
are distinguished and named. Mention is made of the "morning
star" (Rev. 2:28; compare Isa. 14:12), the "seven stars" and
"Pleiades," "Orion," "Arcturus," the "Great Bear" (Amos 5:8; Job
9:9; 38:31), "the crooked serpent," Draco (Job 26:13), the
Dioscuri, or Gemini, "Castor and Pollux" (Acts 28:11). The stars
were called "the host of heaven" (Isa. 40:26; Jer. 33:22).
The oldest divisions of time were mainly based on the
observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, the
"ordinances of heaven" (Gen. 1:14-18; Job 38:33; Jer. 31:35;
33:25). Such observations led to the division of the year into
months and the mapping out of the appearances of the stars into
twelve portions, which received from the Greeks the name of the
"zodiac." The word "Mazzaroth" (Job 38:32) means, as the margin
notes, "the twelve signs" of the zodiac. Astronomical
observations were also necessary among the Jews in order to the
fixing of the proper time for sacred ceremonies, the "new
moons," the "passover," etc. Many allusions are found to the
display of God's wisdom and power as seen in the starry heavens
(Ps. 8; 19:1-6; Isa. 51:6, etc.)
the sacred city of the Hittites, on the left bank of the
Orontes, about 4 miles south of the Lake of Homs. It is
identified with the great mound Tell Neby Mendeh, some 50 to 100
feet high, and 400 yards long. On the ruins of the temple of
Karnak, in Egypt, has been found an inscription recording the
capture of this city by Rameses II. (See PHARAOH T0002923.)
Here the sculptor "has chiselled in deep work on the stone, with
a bold execution of the several parts, the procession of the
warriors, the battle before Kadesh, the storming of the
fortress, the overthrow of the enemy, and the camp life of the
Egyptians." (See HITTITES T0001794.)
On the return from the Exile, the Jews refused the Samaritans
participation with them in the worship at Jerusalem, and the
latter separated from all fellowship with them, and built a
temple for themselves on Mount Gerizim. This temple was razed to
the ground more than one hundred years B.C. Then a system of
worship was instituted similar to that of the temple at
Jerusalem. It was founded on the Law, copies of which had been
multiplied in Israel as well as in Judah. Thus the Pentateuch
was preserved among the Samaritans, although they never called
it by this name, but always "the Law," which they read as one
book. The division into five books, as we now have it, however,
was adopted by the Samaritans, as it was by the Jews, in all
their priests' copies of "the Law," for the sake of convenience.
This was the only portion of the Old Testament which was
accepted by the Samaritans as of divine authority.
The form of the letters in the manuscript copies of the
Samaritan Pentateuch is different from that of the Hebrew
copies, and is probably the same as that which was in general
use before the Captivity. There are other peculiarities in the
writing which need not here be specified.
There are important differences between the Hebrew and the
Samaritan copies of the Pentateuch in the readings of many
sentences. In about two thousand instances in which the
Samaritan and the Jewish texts differ, the LXX. agrees with the
former. The New Testament also, when quoting from the Old
Testament, agrees as a rule with the Samaritan text, where that
differs from the Jewish. Thus Ex. 12:40 in the Samaritan reads,
"Now the sojourning of the children of Israel and of their
fathers which they had dwelt in the land of Canaan and in Egypt
was four hundred and thirty years" (compare Gal. 3:17). It may be
noted that the LXX. has the same reading of this text.
(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."
Book of Joshua
contains a history of the Israelites from the death of Moses to
that of Joshua. It consists of three parts: (1.) The history of
the conquest of the land (1-12).
(2.) The allotment of the land
to the different tribes, with the appointment of cities of
refuge, the provision for the Levites (13-22), and the dismissal
of the eastern tribes to their homes. This section has been
compared to the Domesday Book of the Norman conquest.
farewell addresses of Joshua, with an account of his death (23,
This book stands first in the second of the three sections,
(1) the Law, (2) the Prophets, (3) the "other writings" =
Hagiographa, into which the Jewish Church divided the Old
Testament. There is every reason for concluding that the uniform
tradition of the Jews is correct when they assign the authorship
of the book to Joshua, all except the concluding section; the
last verses (24:29-33) were added by some other hand.
There are two difficulties connected with this book which have
given rise to much discussion,
(1.) The miracle of the standing
still of the sun and moon on Gibeon. The record of it occurs in
Joshua's impassioned prayer of faith, as quoted (Josh. 10:12-15)
from the "Book of Jasher" (q.v.). There are many explanations
given of these words. They need, however, present no difficulty
if we believe in the possibility of God's miraculous
interposition in behalf of his people. Whether it was caused by
the refraction of the light, or how, we know not.
(2.) Another difficulty arises out of the command given by God
utterly to exterminate the Canaanites. "Shall not the Judge of
all the earth do right?" It is enough that Joshua clearly knew
that this was the will of God, who employs his terrible
agencies, famine, pestilence, and war, in the righteous
government of this world. The Canaanites had sunk into a state
of immorality and corruption so foul and degrading that they had
to be rooted out of the land with the edge of the sword. "The
Israelites' sword, in its bloodiest executions, wrought a work
of mercy for all the countries of the earth to the very end of
This book resembles the Acts of the Apostles in the number and
variety of historical incidents it records, and in its many
references to persons and places; and as in the latter case the
epistles of Paul (see Paley's Horae Paul.) confirm its
historical accuracy by their incidental allusions and
"undesigned coincidences," so in the former modern discoveries
confirm its historicity. The Amarna tablets (see ADONIZEDEC
T0000099) are among the most remarkable discoveries of the age.
Dating from about B.C. 1480 down to the time of Joshua, and
consisting of official communications from Amorite, Phoenician,
and Philistine chiefs to the king of Egypt, they afford a
glimpse into the actual condition of Israel prior to the
Hebrew invasion, and illustrate and confirm the history of the
conquest. A letter, also still extant, from a military officer,
"master of the captains of Egypt," dating from near the end of
the reign of Rameses II., gives a curious account of a journey,
probably official, which he undertook through Israel as far
north as to Aleppo, and an insight into the social condition of
the country at that time. Among the things brought to light by
this letter and the Amarna tablets is the state of confusion and
decay that had now fallen on Egypt. The Egyptian garrisons that
had held possession of Israel from the time of Thothmes III.,
some two hundred years before, had now been withdrawn. The way
was thus opened for the Hebrews. In the history of the conquest
there is no mention of Joshua having encountered any Egyptian
force. The tablets contain many appeals to the king of Egypt for
help against the inroads of the Hebrews, but no help seems ever
to have been sent. Is not this just such a state of things as
might have been anticipated as the result of the disaster of the
Exodus? In many points, as shown under various articles, the
progress of the conquest is remarkably illustrated by the
tablets. The value of modern discoveries in their relation to
Old Testament history has been thus well described:
"The difficulty of establishing the charge of lack of
historical credibility, as against the testimony of the Old
Testament, has of late years greatly increased. The outcome of
recent excavations and explorations is altogether against it. As
long as these books contained, in the main, the only known
accounts of the events they mention, there was some plausibility
in the theory that perhaps these accounts were written rather to
teach moral lessons than to preserve an exact knowledge of
events. It was easy to say in those times men had not the
historic sense. But the recent discoveries touch the events
recorded in the Bible at very many different points in many
different generations, mentioning the same persons, countries,
peoples, events that are mentioned in the Bible, and showing
beyond question that these were strictly historic. The point is
not that the discoveries confirm the correctness of the Biblical
statements, though that is commonly the case, but that the
discoveries show that the peoples of those ages had the historic
sense, and, specifically, that the Biblical narratives they
touch are narratives of actual occurrences."
Bible, the English form of the Greek name "Biblia", meaning
"books," the name which in the fifth century began to be given
to the entire collection of sacred books, the "Library of Divine
Revelation." The name Bible was adopted by Wickliffe, and came
gradually into use in our English language. The Bible consists
of sixty-six different books, composed by many different
writers, in three different languages, under different
circumstances; writers of almost every social rank, statesmen
and peasants, kings, herdsmen, fishermen, priests,
tax-gatherers, tentmakers; educated and uneducated, Jews and
Gentiles; most of them unknown to each other, and writing at
various periods during the space of about 1600 years: and yet,
after all, it is only one book dealing with only one subject in
its numberless aspects and relations, the subject of man's
It is divided into the Old Testament, containing thirty-nine
books, and the New Testament, containing twenty-seven books. The
names given to the Old in the writings of the New are "the
scriptures" (Matt. 21:42), "scripture" (2 Pet. 1:20), "the holy
scriptures" (Rom. 1:2), "the law" (John 12:34), "the law of
Moses, the prophets, and the psalms" (Luke 24:44), "the law and
the prophets" (Matt. 5:17), "the old covenant" (2 Cor. 3:14,
R.V.). There is a break of 400 years between the Old Testament
and the New. (See APOCRYPHA T0000263.)
The Old Testament is divided into three parts:, 1. The Law
(Torah), consisting of the Pentateuch, or five books of Moses.
2. The Prophets, consisting of (1) the former, namely, Joshua,
Judges, the Books of Samuel, and the Books of Kings; (2) the
latter, namely, the greater prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and
Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets. 3. The Hagiographa, or
holy writings, including the rest of the books. These were
ranked in three divisions:, (1) The Psalms, Proverbs, and Job,
distinguished by the Hebrew name, a word formed of the initial
letters of these books, "emeth", meaning truth. (2) Canticles,
Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther, called the five
rolls, as being written for the synagogue use on five separate
rolls. (3) Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles.
Between the Old and the New Testament no addition was made to
the revelation God had already given. The period of New
Testament revelation, extending over a century, began with the
appearance of John the Baptist.
The New Testament consists of (1) the historical books, viz.,
the Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles; (2) the Epistles; and
(3) the book of prophecy, the Revelation.
The division of the Bible into chapters and verses is
altogether of human invention, designed to facilitate reference
to it. The ancient Jews divided the Old Testament into certain
sections for use in the synagogue service, and then at a later
period, in the ninth century A.D., into verses. Our modern
system of chapters for all the books of the Bible was introduced
by Cardinal Hugo about the middle of the thirteenth century (he
died 1263). The system of verses for the New Testament was
introduced by Stephens in 1551, and generally adopted, although
neither Tyndale's nor Coverdale's English translation of the
Bible has verses. The division is not always wisely made, yet it
is very useful. (See VERSION T0003768.)
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.
When the Hebrews crossed the Jordan, as soon as the feet of the
priests were dipped in the water, the flow of the stream was
arrested. The point of arrest was the "city of Adam beside
Zaretan," probably near Succoth, at the mouth of the Jabbok,
some 30 miles up the river from where the people were encamped.
There the water "stood and rose upon an heap." Thus the whole
space of 30 miles of the river-bed was dry, that the tribes
might pass over (Josh. 3:16, 17; compare Ps. 104:3).
(1.) Jonah's gourd (Jonah 4:6-10), bearing the Hebrew name
"kikayon" (found only here), was probably the kiki of the
Egyptians, the croton. This is the castor-oil plant, a species
of ricinus, the palma Christi, so called from the palmate
division of its leaves. Others with more probability regard it
as the cucurbita the el-keroa of the Arabs, a kind of pumpkin
peculiar to the East. "It is grown in great abundance on the
alluvial banks of the Tigris and on the plain between the river
and the ruins of Nineveh." At the present day it is trained to
run over structures of mud and brush to form boots to protect
the gardeners from the heat of the noon-day sun. It grows with
extraordinary rapidity, and when cut or injured withers away
also with great rapidity.
(2.) Wild gourds (2 Kings 4:38-40), Heb. pakkuoth, belong to
the family of the cucumber-like plants, some of which are
poisonous. The species here referred to is probably the
colocynth (Cucumis colocynthus). The LXX. render the word by
"wild pumpkin." It abounds in the desert parts of Syria, Egypt,
and Arabia. There is, however, another species, called the
Cucumis prophetarum, from the idea that it afforded the gourd
which "the sons of the prophets" shred by mistake into their
Lamentations, Book of
called in the Hebrew canon "'Ekhah", meaning "How," being the
formula for the commencement of a song of wailing. It is the
first word of the book (see 2 Sam. 1:19-27). The LXX. adopted
the name rendered "Lamentations" (Gr. threnoi = Heb. qinoth) now
in common use, to denote the character of the book, in which the
prophet mourns over the desolations brought on the city and the
holy land by Chaldeans. In the Hebrew Bible it is placed among
the Khethubim. (See BIBLE T0000580.)
As to its authorship, there is no room for hesitancy in
following the LXX. and the Targum in ascribing it to Jeremiah.
The spirit, tone, language, and subject-matter are in accord
with the testimony of tradition in assigning it to him.
According to tradition, he retired after the destruction of
Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar to a cavern outside the Damascus
gate, where he wrote this book. That cavern is still pointed
out. "In the face of a rocky hill, on the western side of the
city, the local belief has placed 'the grotto of Jeremiah.'
There, in that fixed attitude of grief which Michael Angelo has
immortalized, the prophet may well be supposed to have mourned
the fall of his country" (Stanley, Jewish Church).
The book consists of five separate poems. In chapter 1 the
prophet dwells on the manifold miseries oppressed by which the
city sits as a solitary widow weeping sorely. In chapter 2 these
miseries are described in connection with the national sins that
had caused them. Chapter 3 speaks of hope for the people of God.
The chastisement would only be for their good; a better day
would dawn for them. Chapter 4 laments the ruin and desolation
that had come upon the city and temple, but traces it only to
the people's sins. Chapter 5 is a prayer that Zion's reproach
may be taken away in the repentance and recovery of the people.
The first four poems (chapters) are acrostics, like some of
the Psalms (25, 34, 37, 119), i.e., each verse begins with a
letter of the Hebrew alphabet taken in order. The first, second,
and fourth have each twenty-two verses, the number of the
letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The third has sixty-six verses,
in which each three successive verses begin with the same
letter. The fifth is not acrostic.
Speaking of the "Wailing-place (q.v.) of the Jews" at
Jerusalem, a portion of the old wall of the temple of Solomon,
Schaff says: "There the Jews assemble every Friday afternoon to
bewail the downfall of the holy city, kissing the stone wall and
watering it with their tears. They repeat from their well-worn
Hebrew Bibles and prayer-books the Lamentations of Jeremiah and
The Israelites had to take possession of the Promised Land by
conquest. They had to engage in a long and bloody war before the
Canaanite tribes were finally subdued. Except in the case of
Jericho and Ai, the war did not become aggressive till after the
death of Joshua. Till then the attack was always first made by
the Canaanites. Now the measure of the iniquity of the
Canaanites was full, and Israel was employed by God to sweep
them away from off the face of the earth. In entering on this
new stage of the war, the tribe of Judah, according to divine
direction, took the lead.
In the days of Saul and David the people of Israel engaged in
many wars with the nations around, and after the division of the
kingdom into two they often warred with each other. They had to
defend themselves also against the inroads of the Egyptians, the
Assyrians, and the Babylonians. The whole history of Israel from
first to last presents but few periods of peace.
The Christian life is represented as a warfare, and the
Christian graces are also represented under the figure of pieces
of armour (Eph. 6:11-17; 1 Thess. 5:8; 2 Tim. 2:3, 4). The final
blessedness of believers is attained as the fruit of victory
(Ezek. 30:17), supposed to mean. "a cat," or a deity in the form
of a cat, worshipped by the Egyptians. It was called by the
Greeks Bubastis. The hieroglyphic name is "Pe-bast", i.e., the
house of Bast, the Artemis of the Egyptians. The town of Bubasts
was situated on the Pelusian branch, i.e., the easternmost
branch, of the Delta. It was the seat of one of the chief annual
festivals of the Egyptians. Its ruins bear the modern name of
witness, a word not found in the original Hebrew, nor in the
LXX. and Vulgate, but added by the translators in the Authorized
Version, also in the Revised Version, of Josh. 22:34. The words
are literally rendered: "And the children of Reuben and the
children of Gad named the altar. It is a witness between us that
Jehovah is God." This great altar stood probably on the east
side of the Jordan, in the land of Gilead, "over against the
land of Canaan." After the division of the Promised Land, the
tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, on
returning to their own settlements on the east of Jordan (Josh.
22:1-6), erected a great altar, which they affirmed, in answer
to the challenge of the other tribes, was not for sacrifice, but
only as a witness ('Ed) or testimony to future generations that
they still retained the same interest in the nation as the other