i.e., the "house-band," connecting and keeping together the
whole family. A man when betrothed was esteemed from that time a
husband (Matt. 1:16, 20; Luke 2:5). A recently married man was
exempt from going to war for "one year" (Deut. 20:7; 24:5).
my husband, a symbolical name used in Hos. 2:16 (See BAALI
possession, or possessed; i.e., "by a husband", the wife of
Uzziah, and mother of king Jotham (2 Kings 15:33).
alacrity. (1.) The husband of Ruth, a wealthy Bethlehemite. By
the "levirate law" the duty devolved on him of marrying Ruth the
Moabitess (Ruth 4:1-13). He was a kinsman of Mahlon, her first
(2.) The name given (for what reason is unknown) to one of the
two (the other was called Jachin) brazen pillars which Solomon
erected in the court of the temple (1 Kings 7:21; 2 Chr. 3:17).
These pillars were broken up and carried to Babylon by
the pining one, the younger son of Elimelech and Naomi, and
husband of Orpah, Ruth's sister (Ruth 1:2; 4:9).
the name of the offering the husband was to bring when he
charged his wife with adultery (Num. 5:11-15).
(Matt. 14:3-11; Mark 6:17-28; Luke 3:19), the daughter of
Aristobulus and Bernice. While residing at Rome with her husband
Herod Philip I. and her daughter, Herod Antipas fell in with her
during one of his journeys to that city. She consented to leave
her husband and become his wife. Some time after, Herod met John
the Baptist, who boldly declared the marriage to be unlawful.
For this he was "cast into prison," in the castle probably of
Machaerus (q.v.), and was there subsequently beheaded.
(Cant. 4:8-12; Hos. 4:13, 14) may denote either husband or wife,
but in the Scriptures it denotes only the latter.
my lord, a title the prophet (Hos. 2:16) reproaches the Jewish
church for applying to Jehovah, instead of the more endearing
title Ishi, meaning "my husband."
poverty, "keeper of the wardrobe," i.e., of the sacerdotal
vestments (2 Chr. 34:22); called Harhas 2 Kings 22:14. He was
husband of the prophetess Huldah.
forelock or fawn, a Moabitess, the wife of Chilion (Ruth 1:4;
4:10). On the death of her husband she accompanied Naomi, her
mother-in-law, part of the way to Bethlehem, and then returned
God her oath, the mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1:5). She was
a descendant of Aaron. She and her husband Zacharias (q.v.)
"were both righteous before God" (Luke 1:5, 13). Mary's visit to
Elisabeth is described in 1:39-63.
gift. (1.) A priest of Baal, slain before his altar during the
reformation under Jehoiada (2 Kings 11:18).
(2.) The son of Eleazar, and father of Jacob, who was the
father of Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary (Matt. 1:15).
(3.) The father of Shephatiah (Jer. 38:1).
(1.) The father of James the Less, the apostle and writer of the
epistle (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13), and the
husband of Mary (John 19:25). The Hebrew form of this name is
Cleopas, or Clopas (q.v.).
(2.) The father of Levi, or Matthew (Mark 2:14).
expulsion. (1.) The eldest son of Levi (1 Chr. 6:16, 17, 20, 43,
62, 71; 15:7)=GERSHON (q.v.).
(2.) The elder of the two sons of Moses born to him in Midian
(Ex. 2:22; 18:3). On his way to Egypt with his family, in
obedience to the command of the Lord, Moses was attacked by a
sudden and dangerous illness (4:24-26), which Zipporah his wife
believed to have been sent because he had neglected to
circumcise his son. She accordingly took a "sharp stone" and
circumcised her son Gershom, saying, "Surely a bloody husband
art thou to me", i.e., by the blood of her child she had, as it
were, purchased her husband, had won him back again.
(3.) A descendant of Phinehas who returned with Ezra from
Babylon (Ezra 8:2).
(4.) The son of Manasseh (Judg. 18:30), in R.V. "of Moses."
The ordinance of marriage was sanctioned in Paradise (Gen. 2:24;
Matt. 19:4-6). Monogamy was the original law under which man
lived, but polygamy early commenced (Gen. 4:19), and continued
to prevail all down through Jewish history. The law of Moses
regulated but did not prohibit polygamy. A man might have a
plurality of wives, but a wife could have only one husband. A
wife's legal rights (Ex. 21:10) and her duties (Prov. 31:10-31;
1 Tim. 5:14) are specified. She could be divorced in special
cases (Deut. 22:13-21), but could not divorce her husband.
Divorce was restricted by our Lord to the single case of
adultery (Matt. 19:3-9). The duties of husbands and wives in
their relations to each other are distinctly set forth in the
New Testament (1 Cor. 7:2-5; Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet.
third and youngest daughter of Herod Agrippa I. (Acts 12:1-4,
20-23). Felix, the Roman procurator of Judea, induced her to
leave her husband, Azizus, the king of Emesa, and become his
wife. She was present with Felix when Paul reasoned of
"righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come" (Acts 24:24).
She and her son perished in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, A.D.
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.
bearer of victory, the eldest daughter of Agrippa I., the Herod
Agrippa of Acts 12:20. After the early death of her first
husband she was married to her uncle Herod, king of Chalcis.
After his death (A.D. 40) she lived in incestuous connection
with her brother Agrippa II. (Acts 25:13, 23; 26:30). They
joined the Romans at the outbreak of the final war between them
and the Jews, and lived afterwards at Rome.
grace, an aged widow, the daughter of Phanuel. She was a
"prophetess," like Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah (2 Chr. 34:22).
After seven years of married life her husband died, and during
her long widowhood she daily attended the temple services. When
she was eighty-four years old, she entered the temple at the
moment when the aged Simeon uttered his memorable words of
praise and thanks to God that he had fulfilled his ancient
promise in sending his Son into the world (Luke 2:36, 37).
a corruption of Dumuzi, the Accadian sun-god (the Adonis of the
Greeks), the husband of the goddess Ishtar. In the Chaldean
calendar there was a month set apart in honour of this god, the
month of June to July, the beginning of the summer solstice. At
this festival, which lasted six days, the worshippers, with loud
lamentations, bewailed the funeral of the god, they sat "weeping
for Tammuz" (Ezek. 8:14).
The name, also borrowed from Chaldea, of one of the months of
the Hebrew calendar.
the Lord is my light. (1.) A Hittite, the husband of Bathsheba,
whom David first seduced, and then after Uriah's death married.
He was one of the band of David's "mighty men." The sad story of
the curel wrongs inflicted upon him by David and of his mournful
death are simply told in the sacred record (2 Sam. 11:2-12:26).
(See BATHSHEBA T0000474; DAVID T0000982.)
(2.) A priest of the house of Ahaz (Isa. 8:2).
(3.) The father of Meremoth, mentioned in Ezra 8:33.
a hole, as of a viper, etc. (1.) A son of Caleb (1 Chr. 2:19,
50; 4:1, 4; compare 2 Chr. 1:5).
(2.) The husband of Miriam, Moses' sister (Ex. 17:10-12). He
was associated with Aaron in charge of the people when Moses was
absent on Sinai (Ex. 24:14). He was probably of the tribe of
Judah, and grandfather of Bezaleel (Ex. 31:2; 35:30; 1 Chr.
(3.) One of the five princes of Midian who were defeated and
slain by the Israelites under the command of Phinehas (Num.
life; living, the name given by Adam to his wife (Gen. 3:20;
4:1). The account of her creation is given in Gen. 2:21, 22. The
Creator, by declaring that it was not good for man to be alone,
and by creating for him a suitable companion, gave sanction to
monogamy. The commentator Matthew Henry says: "This companion
was taken from his side to signify that she was to be dear unto
him as his own flesh. Not from his head, lest she should rule
over him; nor from his feet, lest he should tyrannize over her;
but from his side, to denote that species of equality which is
to subsist in the marriage state." And again, "That wife that is
of God's making by special grace, and of God's bringing by
special providence, is likely to prove a helpmeet to her
husband." Through the subtle temptation of the serpent she
violated the commandment of God by taking of the forbidden
fruit, which she gave also unto her husband (1 Tim. 2:13-15; 2
Cor. 11:3). When she gave birth to her first son, she said, "I
have gotten a man from the Lord" (R.V., "I have gotten a man
with the help of the Lord," Gen. 4:1). Thus she welcomed Cain,
as some think, as if he had been the Promised One the "Seed of
When the tidings of the disastrous defeat of the Israelites in
the battle against the Philistines near to Mizpeh were carried
to Shiloh, the wife of Phinehas "was near to be delivered. And
when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and
that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed
herself and travailed" (1 Sam. 4:19-22). In her great distress
she regarded not "the women that stood by her," but named the
child that was born "Ichabod" i.e., no glory, saying, "The glory
is departed from Isreal;" and with that word on her lips she
BATH-SHEBA (BATHSHEBA). Daughter of the oath, or of seven, called also Bath-shu'a (1
Chr. 3:5), was the daughter of Eliam (2 Sam. 11:3) or Ammiel (1
Chr. 3:5), and wife of Uriah the Hittite. David committed
adultery with her (2 Sam. 11:4, 5; Ps. 51:1). The child born in
adultery died (2 Sam. 12:15-19). After her husband was slain
(11:15) she was married to David (11:27), and became the mother
of Solomon (12:24; 1 Kings 1:11; 2:13). She took a prominent
part in securing the succession of Solomon to the throne (1
Kings 1:11, 16-21).
There are various Hebrew and Greek words so rendered.
(1.) Heb. Jehovah, has been rendered in the English Bible
LORD, printed in small capitals. This is the proper name of the
God of the Hebrews. The form "Jehovah" is retained only in Ex.
6:3; Ps. 83:18; Isa. 12:2; 26:4, both in the Authorized and the
(2.) Heb. 'adon, means one possessed of absolute control. It
denotes a master, as of slaves (Gen. 24:14, 27), or a ruler of
his subjects (45:8), or a husband, as lord of his wife (18:12).
The old plural form of this Hebrew word is "'adonai". From a
superstitious reverence for the name "Jehovah," the Jews, in
reading their Scriptures, whenever that name occurred, always
pronounced it "'Adonai".
(3.) Greek kurios, a supreme master, etc. In the LXX. this is
invariably used for "Jehovah" and "'Adonai."
(4.) Heb. ba'al, a master, as having domination. This word is
applied to human relations, as that of husband, to persons
skilled in some art or profession, and to heathen deities. "The
men of Shechem," literally "the baals of Shechem" (Judg. 9:2,
3). These were the Israelite inhabitants who had reduced the
Canaanites to a condition of vassalage (Josh. 16:10; 17:13).
(5.) Heb. seren, applied exclusively to the "lords of the
Philistines" (Judg. 3:3). The LXX. render it by satrapies. At
this period the Philistines were not, as at a later period (1
Sam. 21:10), under a kingly government. (See Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam.
6:18.) There were five such lordships, viz., Gath, Ashdod, Gaza,
Ashkelon, and Ekron.
adhesion. (1.) The third son of Jacob by Leah. The origin of the
name is found in Leah's words (Gen. 29:34), "This time will my
husband be joined [Heb. yillaveh] unto me." He is mentioned as
taking a prominent part in avenging his sister Dinah (Gen.
34:25-31). He and his three sons went down with Jacob (46:11)
into Egypt, where he died at the age of one hundred and
thirty-seven years (Ex. 6:16).
(2.) The father of Matthat, and son of Simeon, of the
ancestors of Christ (Luke 3:29).
(3.) Luke 3:24.
(4.) One of the apostles, the son of Alphaeus (Mark 2:14; Luke
5:27, 29), called also Matthew (Matt. 9:9).
whom God afflicts. (1.) The daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, and
the wife of Jehoram, king of Judah (2 Kings 8:18), who "walked
in the ways of the house of Ahab" (2 Chr. 21:6), called
"daughter" of Omri (2 Kings 8:26). On the death of her husband
and of her son Ahaziah, she resolved to seat herself on the
vacant throne. She slew all Ahaziah's children except Joash, the
youngest (2 Kings 11:1,2). After a reign of six years she was
put to death in an insurrection (2 Kings 11:20; 2 Chr. 21:6;
22:10-12; 23:15), stirred up among the people in connection with
Josiah's being crowned as king.
(2.) Ezra 8:7. (3.) 1 Chr. 8:26.
a noose, the daughter of Bethuel, and the wife of Isaac (Gen.
22:23; 24:67). The circumstances under which Abraham's "steward"
found her at the "city of Nahor," in Padan-aram, are narrated in
Gen. 24-27. "She can hardly be regarded as an amiable woman.
When we first see her she is ready to leave her father's house
for ever at an hour's notice; and her future life showed not
only a full share of her brother Laban's duplicity, but the
grave fault of partiality in her relations to her children, and
a strong will, which soon controlled the gentler nature of her
husband." The time and circumstances of her death are not
recorded, but it is said that she was buried in the cave of
Machpelah (Gen. 49:31).
oppression, a small Syrian kingdom near Geshur, east of the
Hauran, the district of Batanea (Josh. 13:13; 2 Sam. 10:6,8; 1
(2.) A daughter of Talmai, king of the old native population
of Geshur. She became one of David's wives, and was the mother
of Absalom (2 Sam. 3:3).
(3.) The father of Hanan, who was one of David's body-guard (1
(4.) The daughter of Abishalom (called Absalom, 2 Chr.
11:20-22), the third wife of Rehoboam, and mother of Abijam (1
Kings 15:2). She is called "Michaiah the daughter of Uriel," who
was the husband of Absalom's daughter Tamar (2 Chr. 13:2). Her
son Abijah or Abijam was heir to the throne.
(5.) The father of Achish, the king of Gath (1 Kings 2:39),
called also Maoch (1 Sam. 27:2).
Ruth The Book of
was originally a part of the Book of Judges, but it now forms
one of the twenty-four separate books of the Hebrew Bible.
The history it contains refers to a period perhaps about one
hundred and twenty-six years before the birth of David. It gives
(1) an account of Naomi's going to Moab with her husband,
Elimelech, and of her subsequent return to Bethlehem with her
daughter-in-law; (2) the marriage of Boaz and Ruth; and (3) the
birth of Obed, of whom David sprang.
The author of this book was probably Samuel, according to
"Brief as this book is, and simple as is its story, it is
remarkably rich in examples of faith, patience, industry, and
kindness, nor less so in indications of the care which God takes
of those who put their trust in him."
happy, the Roman procurator of Judea before whom Paul "reasoned"
(Acts 24:25). He appears to have expected a bribe from Paul, and
therefore had several interviews with him. The "worthy deeds"
referred to in 24:2 was his clearing the country of banditti and
At the end of a two years' term, Porcius Festus was appointed
in the room of Felix (A.D. 60), who proceeded to Rome, and was
there accused of cruelty and malversation of office by the Jews
of Caesarea. The accusation was rendered nugatory by the
influence of his brother Pallas with Nero. (See Josephus, Ant.
xx. 8, 9.)
Drusilla, the daughter of Herod Agrippa, having been induced
by Felix to desert her husband, the king of Emesa, became his
adulterous companion. She was seated beside him when Paul
"reasoned" before the judge. When Felix gave place to Festus,
being "willing to do the Jews a pleasure," he left Paul bound.
palm. (1.) A place mentioned by Ezekiel (47:19; 48:28), on the
southeastern border of Israel. Some suppose this was "Tadmor"
(2.) The daughter-in-law of Judah, to whose eldest son, Er,
she was married (Gen. 38:6). After her husband's death, she was
married to Onan, his brother (8), and on his death, Judah
promised to her that his third son, Shelah, would become her
husband. This promise was not fulfilled, and hence Tamar's
revenge and Judah's great guilt (38:12-30).
(3.) A daughter of David (2 Sam. 13:1-32; 1 Chr. 3:9), whom
Amnon shamefully outraged and afterwards "hated exceedingly,"
thereby illustrating the law of human nature noticed even by the
heathen, "Proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem laeseris",
i.e., "It is the property of human nature to hate one whom you
(4.) A daughter of Absalom (2 Sam. 14:27).
(1.) Heb. 'Adam, used as the proper name of the first man. The
name is derived from a word meaning "to be red," and thus the
first man was called Adam because he was formed from the red
earth. It is also the generic name of the human race (Gen. 1:26,
27; 5:2; 8:21; Deut. 8:3). Its equivalents are the Latin homo
and the Greek anthropos (Matt. 5:13, 16). It denotes also man in
opposition to woman (Gen. 3:12; Matt. 19:10).
(2.) Heb. 'ish, like the Latin vir and Greek aner, denotes
properly a man in opposition to a woman (1 Sam. 17:33; Matt.
14:21); a husband (Gen. 3:16; Hos. 2:16); man with reference to
excellent mental qualities.
(3.) Heb. 'enosh, man as mortal, transient, perishable (2 Chr.
14:11; Isa. 8:1; Job 15:14; Ps. 8:4; 9:19, 20; 103:15). It is
applied to women (Josh. 8:25).
(4.) Heb. geber, man with reference to his strength, as
distinguished from women (Deut. 22:5) and from children (Ex.
12:37); a husband (Prov. 6:34).
(5.) Heb. methim, men as mortal (Isa. 41:14), and as opposed
to women and children (Deut. 3:6; Job 11:3; Isa. 3:25).
Man was created by the immediate hand of God, and is
generically different from all other creatures (Gen. 1:26, 27;
2:7). His complex nature is composed of two elements, two
distinct substances, viz., body and soul (Gen. 2:7; Eccl. 12:7;
2 Cor. 5:1-8).
The words translated "spirit" and "soul," in 1 Thess. 5:23,
Heb. 4:12, are habitually used interchangeably (Matt. 10:28;
16:26; 1 Pet. 1:22). The "spirit" (Gr. pneuma) is the soul as
rational; the "soul" (Gr. psuche) is the same, considered as the
animating and vital principle of the body.
Man was created in the likeness of God as to the perfection of
his nature, in knowledge (Col. 3:10), righteousness, and
holiness (Eph. 4:24), and as having dominion over all the
inferior creatures (Gen. 1:28). He had in his original state
God's law written on his heart, and had power to obey it, and
yet was capable of disobeying, being left to the freedom of his
own will. He was created with holy dispositions, prompting him
to holy actions; but he was fallible, and did fall from his
integrity (3:1-6). (See FALL T0001304.)
foolish, a descendant of Caleb who dwelt at Maon (1 Sam. 25),
the modern Main, 7 miles south-east of Hebron. He was "very
great, and he had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats...but the man was
churlish and evil in his doings." During his wanderings David
came into that district, and hearing that Nabal was about to
shear his sheep, he sent ten of his young men to ask "whatsoever
cometh unto thy hand for thy servants." Nabal insultingly
resented the demand, saying, "Who is David, and who is the son
of Jesse?" (1 Sam. 25:10, 11). One of the shepherds that stood
by and saw the reception David's messengers had met with,
informed Abigail, Nabal's wife, who at once realized the danger
that threatened her household. She forthwith proceeded to the
camp of David, bringing with her ample stores of provisions
(25:18). She so courteously and persuasively pled her cause that
David's anger was appeased, and he said to her, "Blessed be the
Lord God of Israel which sent thee this day to meet me."
On her return she found her husband incapable from drunkenness
of understanding the state of matters, and not till the
following day did she explain to him what had happened. He was
stunned by a sense of the danger to which his conduct had
exposed him. "His heart died within him, and he became as a
stone." and about ten days after "the Lord smote Nabal that he
died" (1 Sam. 25:37, 38). Not long after David married Abigail
lover of horses. (1.) One of the twelve apostles; a native of
Bethsaida, "the city of Andrew and Peter" (John 1:44). He
readily responded to the call of Jesus when first addressed to
him (43), and forthwith brought Nathanael also to Jesus (45,46).
He seems to have held a prominent place among the apostles
(Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; John 6:5-7; 12:21, 22; 14:8, 9; Acts
1:13). Of his later life nothing is certainly known. He is said
to have preached in Phrygia, and to have met his death at
(2.) One of the "seven" (Acts 6:5), called also "the
evangelist" (21:8, 9). He was one of those who were "scattered
abroad" by the persecution that arose on the death of Stephen.
He went first to Samaria, where he laboured as an evangelist
with much success (8:5-13). While he was there he received a
divine command to proceed toward the south, along the road
leading from Jerusalem to Gaza. These towns were connected by
two roads. The one Philip was directed to take was that which
led through Hebron, and thence through a district little
inhabited, and hence called "desert." As he travelled along this
road he was overtaken by a chariot in which sat a man of
Ethiopia, the eunuch or chief officer of Queen Candace, who was
at that moment reading, probably from the Septuagint version, a
portion of the prophecies of Isaiah (53:6,7). Philip entered
into conversation with him, and expounded these verses,
preaching to him the glad tidings of the Saviour. The eunuch
received the message and believed, and was forthwith baptized,
and then "went on his way rejoicing." Philip was instantly
caught away by the Spirit after the baptism, and the eunuch saw
him no more. He was next found at Azotus, whence he went forth
in his evangelistic work till he came to Caesarea. He is not
mentioned again for about twenty years, when he is still found
at Caesarea (Acts 21:8) when Paul and his companions were on the
way to Jerusalem. He then finally disappears from the page of
(3.) Mentioned only in connection with the imprisonment of
John the Baptist (Matt. 14:3; Mark 6:17; Luke 3:19). He was the
son of Herod the Great, and the first husband of Herodias, and
the father of Salome. (See HEROD PHILIP I. T0001763)
(4.) The "tetrarch of Ituraea" (Luke 3:1); a son of Herod the
Great, and brother of Herod Antipas. The city of
Caesarea-Philippi was named partly after him (Matt. 16:13; Mark
8:27). (See HEROD PHILIP II. T0001764)
was instituted in Paradise when man was in innocence (Gen.
2:18-24). Here we have its original charter, which was confirmed
by our Lord, as the basis on which all regulations are to be
framed (Matt. 19:4, 5). It is evident that monogamy was the
original law of marriage (Matt. 19:5; 1 Cor. 6:16). This law was
violated in after times, when corrupt usages began to be
introduced (Gen. 4:19; 6:2). We meet with the prevalence of
polygamy and concubinage in the patriarchal age (Gen. 16:1-4;
22:21-24; 28:8, 9; 29:23-30, etc.). Polygamy was acknowledged in
the Mosaic law and made the basis of legislation, and continued
to be practised all down through the period of Jewish histroy to
the Captivity, after which there is no instance of it on record.
It seems to have been the practice from the beginning for
fathers to select wives for their sons (Gen. 24:3; 38:6).
Sometimes also proposals were initiated by the father of the
maiden (Ex. 2:21). The brothers of the maiden were also
sometimes consulted (Gen. 24:51; 34:11), but her own consent was
not required. The young man was bound to give a price to the
father of the maiden (31:15; 34:12; Ex. 22:16, 17; 1 Sam. 18:23,
25; Ruth 4:10; Hos. 3:2) On these patriarchal customs the Mosaic
law made no change.
In the pre-Mosaic times, when the proposals were accepted and
the marriage price given, the bridegroom could come at once and
take away his bride to his own house (Gen. 24:63-67). But in
general the marriage was celebrated by a feast in the house of
the bride's parents, to which all friends were invited (29:22,
27); and on the day of the marriage the bride, concealed under a
thick veil, was conducted to her future husband's home.
Our Lord corrected many false notions then existing on the
subject of marriage (Matt. 22:23-30), and placed it as a divine
institution on the highest grounds. The apostles state clearly
and enforce the nuptial duties of husband and wife (Eph.
5:22-33; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet. 3:1-7). Marriage is said to be
"honourable" (Heb. 13:4), and the prohibition of it is noted as
one of the marks of degenerate times (1 Tim. 4:3).
The marriage relation is used to represent the union between
God and his people (Isa. 54:5; Jer. 3:1-14; Hos. 2:9, 20). In
the New Testament the same figure is employed in representing
the love of Christ to his saints (Eph. 5:25-27). The Church of
the redeemed is the "Bride, the Lamb's wife" (Rev. 19:7-9).
my father a king, or father of a king, a common name of the
Philistine kings, as "Pharaoh" was of the Egyptian kings. (1.)
The Philistine king of Gerar in the time of Abraham (Gen.
20:1-18). By an interposition of Providence, Sarah was delivered
from his harem, and was restored to her husband Abraham. As a
mark of respect he gave to Abraham valuable gifts, and offered
him a settlement in any part of his country; while at the same
time he delicately and yet severely rebuked him for having
practised a deception upon him in pretending that Sarah was only
his sister. Among the gifts presented by the king were a
thousand pieces of silver as a "covering of the eyes" for Sarah;
i.e., either as an atoning gift and a testimony of her innocence
in the sight of all, or rather for the purpose of procuring a
veil for Sarah to conceal her beauty, and thus as a reproof to
her for not having worn a veil which, as a married woman, she
ought to have done. A few years after this Abimelech visited
Abraham, who had removed southward beyond his territory, and
there entered into a league of peace and friendship with him.
This league was the first of which we have any record. It was
confirmed by a mutual oath at Beersheba (Gen. 21:22-34).
(2.) A king of Gerar in the time of Isaac, probably the son of
the preceeding (Gen. 26:1-22). Isaac sought refuge in his
territory during a famine, and there he acted a part with
reference to his wife Rebekah similar to that of his father
Abraham with reference to Sarah. Abimelech rebuked him for the
deception, which he accidentally discovered. Isaac settled for a
while here, and prospered. Abimelech desired him, however, to
leave his territory, which Isaac did. Abimelech afterwards
visited him when he was encamped at Beersheba, and expressed a
desire to renew the covenant which had been entered into between
their fathers (Gen. 26:26-31).
(3.) A son of Gideon (Judg. 9:1), who was proclaimed king
after the death of his father (Judg. 8:33-9:6). One of his first
acts was to murder his brothers, seventy in number, "on one
stone," at Ophrah. Only one named Jotham escaped. He was an
unprincipled, ambitious ruler, often engaged in war with his own
subjects. When engaged in reducing the town of Thebez, which had
revolted, he was struck mortally on his head by a mill-stone,
thrown by the hand of a woman from the wall above. Perceiving
that the wound was mortal, he desired his armour-bearer to
thrust him through with his sword, that it might not be said he
had perished by the hand of a woman (Judg. 9:50-57).
(4.) The son of Abiathar, and high priest in the time of David
(1 Chr. 18:16). In the parallel passage, 2 Sam. 8:17, we have
the name Ahimelech, and Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech. This
most authorities consider the more correct reading. (5.) Achish,
king of Gath, in the title of Ps. 34. (Compare 1 Sam. 21:10-15.)
the Oldest son of Amram and Jochebed, a daughter of Levi (Ex.
6:20). Some explain the name as meaning mountaineer, others
mountain of strength, illuminator. He was born in Egypt three
years before his brother Moses, and a number of years after his
sister Miriam (2:1,4; 7:7). He married Elisheba, the daughter of
Amminadab of the house of Judah (6:23; 1 Chr. 2:10), by whom he
had four sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. When the
time for the deliverance of Isarael out of Egypt drew nigh, he
was sent by God (Ex. 4:14,27-30) to meet his long-absent
brother, that he might co-operate with him in all that they were
required to do in bringing about the Exodus. He was to be the
"mouth" or "prophet" of Moses, i.e., was to speak for him,
because he was a man of a ready utterance (7:1,2,9,10,19). He
was faithful to his trust, and stood by Moses in all his
interviews with Pharaoh.
When the ransomed tribes fought their first battle with Amalek
in Rephidim, Moses stood on a hill overlooking the scene of the
conflict with the rod of God in his outstretched hand. On this
occasion he was attended by Aaron and Hur, his sister's husband,
who held up his wearied hands till Joshua and the chosen
warriors of Israel gained the victory (17:8-13).
Afterwards, when encamped before Sinai, and when Moses at the
command of God ascended the mount to receive the tables of the
law, Aaron and his two sons, Nadab and Abihu, along with seventy
of the elders of Israel, were permitted to accompany him part of
the way, and to behold afar off the manifestation of the glory
of Israel's God (Ex. 19:24; 24:9-11). While Moses remained on
the mountain with God, Aaron returned unto the people; and
yielding through fear, or ignorance, or instability of
character, to their clamour, made unto them a golden calf, and
set it up as an object of worship (Ex. 32:4; Ps. 106:19). On the
return of Moses to the camp, Aaron was sternly rebuked by him
for the part he had acted in this matter; but he interceded for
him before God, who forgave his sin (Deut. 9:20).
On the mount, Moses received instructions regarding the system
of worship which was to be set up among the people; and in
accordance therewith Aaron and his sons were consecrated to the
priest's office (Lev. 8; 9). Aaron, as high priest, held
henceforth the prominent place appertaining to that office.
When Israel had reached Hazeroth, in "the wilderness of
Paran," Aaron joined with his sister Miriam in murmuring against
Moses, "because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married,"
probably after the death of Zipporah. But the Lord vindicated
his servant Moses, and punished Miriam with leprosy (Num. 12).
Aaron acknowledged his own and his sister's guilt, and at the
intercession of Moses they were forgiven.
Twenty years after this, when the children of Israel were
encamped in the wilderness of Paran, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram
conspired against Aaron and his sons; but a fearful judgment
from God fell upon them, and they were destroyed, and the next
day thousands of the people also perished by a fierce
pestilence, the ravages of which were only stayed by the
interposition of Aaron (Num. 16). That there might be further
evidence of the divine appointment of Aaron to the priestly
office, the chiefs of the tribes were each required to bring to
Moses a rod bearing on it the name of his tribe. And these,
along with the rod of Aaron for the tribe of Levi, were laid up
overnight in the tabernacle, and in the morning it was found
that while the other rods remained unchanged, that of Aaron "for
the house of Levi" budded, blossomed, and yielded almonds (Num.
17:1-10). This rod was afterwards preserved in the tabernacle
(Heb. 9:4) as a memorial of the divine attestation of his
appointment to the priesthood.
Aaron was implicated in the sin of his brother at Meribah
(Num. 20:8-13), and on that account was not permitted to enter
the Promised Land. When the tribes arrived at Mount Hor, "in the
edge of the land of Edom," at the command of God Moses led Aaron
and his son Eleazar to the top of that mountain, in the sight of
all the people. There he stripped Aaron of his priestly
vestments, and put them upon Eleazar; and there Aaron died on
the top of the mount, being 123 years old (Num. 20:23-29. Compare
Deut. 10:6; 32:50), and was "gathered unto his people." The
people, "even all the house of Israel," mourned for him thirty
days. Of Aaron's sons two survived him, Eleazar, whose family
held the high-priesthood till the time of Eli; and Ithamar, in
whose family, beginning with Eli, the high-priesthood was held
till the time of Solomon. Aaron's other two sons had been struck
dead (Lev. 10:1,2) for the daring impiety of offering "strange
fire" on the alter of incense.
The Arabs still show with veneration the traditionary site of
Aaron's grave on one of the two summits of Mount Hor, which is
marked by a Mohammedan chapel. His name is mentioned in the
Koran, and there are found in the writings of the rabbins many
fabulous stories regarding him.
He was the first anointed priest. His descendants, "the house
of Aaron," constituted the priesthood in general. In the time of
David they were very numerous (1 Chr. 12:27). The other branches
of the tribe of Levi held subordinate positions in connection
with the sacred office. Aaron was a type of Christ in his
official character as the high priest. His priesthood was a
"shadow of heavenly things," and was intended to lead the people
of Israel to look forward to the time when "another priest"
would arise "after the order of Melchizedek" (Heb. 6:20). (See
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).
=Saul (q.v.) was born about the same time as our Lord. His
circumcision-name was Saul, and probably the name Paul was also
given to him in infancy "for use in the Gentile world," as
"Saul" would be his Hebrew home-name. He was a native of Tarsus,
the capital of Cilicia, a Roman province in the south-east of
Asia Minor. That city stood on the banks of the river Cydnus,
which was navigable thus far; hence it became a centre of
extensive commercial traffic with many countries along the
shores of the Mediterranean, as well as with the countries of
central Asia Minor. It thus became a city distinguished for the
wealth of its inhabitants.
Tarsus was also the seat of a famous university, higher in
reputation even than the universities of Athens and Alexandria,
the only others that then existed. Here Saul was born, and here
he spent his youth, doubtless enjoying the best education his
native city could afford. His father was of the straitest sect
of the Jews, a Pharisee, of the tribe of Benjamin, of pure and
unmixed Jewish blood (Acts 23:6; Phil. 3:5). We learn nothing
regarding his mother; but there is reason to conclude that she
was a pious woman, and that, like-minded with her husband, she
exercised all a mother influence in moulding the character of
her son, so that he could afterwards speak of himself as being,
from his youth up, "touching the righteousness which is in the
law, blameless" (Phil. 3:6).
We read of his sister and his sister's son (Acts 23:16), and
of other relatives (Rom. 16:7, 11, 12). Though a Jew, his father
was a Roman citizen. How he obtained this privilege we are not
informed. "It might be bought, or won by distinguished service
to the state, or acquired in several other ways; at all events,
his son was freeborn. It was a valuable privilege, and one that
was to prove of great use to Paul, although not in the way in
which his father might have been expected to desire him to make
use of it." Perhaps the most natural career for the youth to
follow was that of a merchant. "But it was decided that...he
should go to college and become a rabbi, that is, a minister, a
teacher, and a lawyer all in one."
According to Jewish custom, however, he learned a trade before
entering on the more direct preparation for the sacred
profession. The trade he acquired was the making of tents from
goats' hair cloth, a trade which was one of the commonest in
His preliminary education having been completed, Saul was
sent, when about thirteen years of age probably, to the great
Jewish school of sacred learning at Jerusalem as a student of
the law. Here he became a pupil of the celebrated rabbi
Gamaliel, and here he spent many years in an elaborate study of
the Scriptures and of the many questions concerning them with
which the rabbis exercised themselves. During these years of
diligent study he lived "in all good conscience," unstained by
the vices of that great city.
After the period of his student-life expired, he probably left
Jerusalem for Tarsus, where he may have been engaged in
connection with some synagogue for some years. But we find him
back again at Jerusalem very soon after the death of our Lord.
Here he now learned the particulars regarding the crucifixion,
and the rise of the new sect of the "Nazarenes."
For some two years after Pentecost, Christianity was quietly
spreading its influence in Jerusalem. At length Stephen, one of
the seven deacons, gave forth more public and aggressive
testimony that Jesus was the Messiah, and this led to much
excitement among the Jews and much disputation in their
synagogues. Persecution arose against Stephen and the followers
of Christ generally, in which Saul of Tarsus took a prominent
part. He was at this time probably a member of the great
Sanhedrin, and became the active leader in the furious
persecution by which the rulers then sought to exterminate
But the object of this persecution also failed. "They that
were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word." The
anger of the persecutor was thereby kindled into a fiercer
flame. Hearing that fugitives had taken refuge in Damascus, he
obtained from the chief priest letters authorizing him to
proceed thither on his persecuting career. This was a long
journey of about 130 miles, which would occupy perhaps six days,
during which, with his few attendants, he steadily went onward,
"breathing out threatenings and slaughter." But the crisis of
his life was at hand. He had reached the last stage of his
journey, and was within sight of Damascus. As he and his
companions rode on, suddenly at mid-day a brilliant light shone
round them, and Saul was laid prostrate in terror on the ground,
a voice sounding in his ears, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou
me?" The risen Saviour was there, clothed in the vesture of his
glorified humanity. In answer to the anxious inquiry of the
stricken persecutor, "Who art thou, Lord?" he said, "I am Jesus
whom thou persecutest" (Acts 9:5; 22:8; 26:15).
This was the moment of his conversion, the most solemn in all
his life. Blinded by the dazzling light (Acts 9:8), his
companions led him into the city, where, absorbed in deep
thought for three days, he neither ate nor drank (9:11).
Ananias, a disciple living in Damascus, was informed by a vision
of the change that had happened to Saul, and was sent to him to
open his eyes and admit him by baptism into the Christian church
(9:11-16). The whole purpose of his life was now permanently
Immediately after his conversion he retired into the solitudes
of Arabia (Gal. 1:17), perhaps of "Sinai in Arabia," for the
purpose, probably, of devout study and meditation on the
marvellous revelation that had been made to him. "A veil of
thick darkness hangs over this visit to Arabia. Of the scenes
among which he moved, of the thoughts and occupations which
engaged him while there, of all the circumstances of a crisis
which must have shaped the whole tenor of his after-life,
absolutely nothing is known. 'Immediately,' says St. Paul, 'I
went away into Arabia.' The historian passes over the incident
[compare Acts 9:23 and 1 Kings 11:38, 39]. It is a mysterious
pause, a moment of suspense, in the apostle's history, a
breathless calm, which ushers in the tumultuous storm of his
active missionary life." Coming back, after three years, to
Damascus, he began to preach the gospel "boldly in the name of
Jesus" (Acts 9:27), but was soon obliged to flee (9:25; 2 Cor.
11:33) from the Jews and betake himself to Jerusalem. Here he
tarried for three weeks, but was again forced to flee (Acts
9:28, 29) from persecution. He now returned to his native Tarsus
(Gal. 1:21), where, for probably about three years, we lose
sight of him. The time had not yet come for his entering on his
great life-work of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles.
At length the city of Antioch, the capital of Syria, became
the scene of great Christian activity. There the gospel gained a
firm footing, and the cause of Christ prospered. Barnabas
(q.v.), who had been sent from Jerusalem to superintend the work
at Antioch, found it too much for him, and remembering Saul, he
set out to Tarsus to seek for him. He readily responded to the
call thus addressed to him, and came down to Antioch, which for
"a whole year" became the scene of his labors, which were
crowned with great success. The disciples now, for the first
time, were called "Christians" (Acts 11:26).
The church at Antioch now proposed to send out missionaries to
the Gentiles, and Saul and Barnabas, with John Mark as their
attendant, were chosen for this work. This was a great epoch in
the history of the church. Now the disciples began to give
effect to the Master's command: "Go ye into all the world, and
preach the gospel to every creature."
The three missionaries went forth on the first missionary
tour. They sailed from Seleucia, the seaport of Antioch, across
to Cyprus, some 80 miles to the south-west. Here at Paphos,
Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul, was converted, and now Saul
took the lead, and was ever afterwards called Paul. The
missionaries now crossed to the mainland, and then proceeded 6
or 7 miles up the river Cestrus to Perga (Acts 13:13), where
John Mark deserted the work and returned to Jerusalem. The two
then proceeded about 100 miles inland, passing through
Pamphylia, Pisidia, and Lycaonia. The towns mentioned in this
tour are the Pisidian Antioch, where Paul delivered his first
address of which we have any record (13:16-51; compare 10:30-43),
Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. They returned by the same route to
see and encourage the converts they had made, and ordain elders
in every city to watch over the churches which had been
gathered. From Perga they sailed direct for Antioch, from which
they had set out.
After remaining "a long time", probably till A.D. 50 or 51, in
Antioch, a great controversy broke out in the church there
regarding the relation of the Gentiles to the Mosaic law. For
the purpose of obtaining a settlement of this question, Paul and
Barnabas were sent as deputies to consult the church at
Jerusalem. The council or synod which was there held (Acts 15)
decided against the Judaizing party; and the deputies,
accompanied by Judas and Silas, returned to Antioch, bringing
with them the decree of the council.
After a short rest at Antioch, Paul said to Barnabas: "Let us
go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have
preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do." Mark
proposed again to accompany them; but Paul refused to allow him
to go. Barnabas was resolved to take Mark, and thus he and Paul
had a sharp contention. They separated, and never again met.
Paul, however, afterwards speaks with honour of Barnabas, and
sends for Mark to come to him at Rome (Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11).
Paul took with him Silas, instead of Barnabas, and began his
second missionary journey about A.D. 51. This time he went by
land, revisiting the churches he had already founded in Asia.
But he longed to enter into "regions beyond," and still went
forward through Phrygia and Galatia (16:6). Contrary to his
intention, he was constrained to linger in Galatia (q.v.), on
account of some bodily affliction (Gal. 4:13, 14). Bithynia, a
populous province on the shore of the Black Sea, lay now before
him, and he wished to enter it; but the way was shut, the Spirit
in some manner guiding him in another direction, till he came
down to the shores of the AEgean and arrived at Troas, on the
north-western coast of Asia Minor (Acts 16:8). Of this long
journey from Antioch to Troas we have no account except some
references to it in his Epistle to the Galatians (4:13).
As he waited at Troas for indications of the will of God as to
his future movements, he saw, in the vision of the night, a man
from the opposite shores of Macedonia standing before him, and
heard him cry, "Come over, and help us" (Acts 16:9). Paul
recognized in this vision a message from the Lord, and the very
next day set sail across the Hellespont, which separated him
from Europe, and carried the tidings of the gospel into the
Western world. In Macedonia, churches were planted in Philippi,
Thessalonica, and Berea. Leaving this province, Paul passed into
Achaia, "the paradise of genius and renown." He reached Athens,
but quitted it after, probably, a brief sojourn (17:17-31). The
Athenians had received him with cold disdain, and he never
visited that city again. He passed over to Corinth, the seat of
the Roman government of Achaia, and remained there a year and a
half, labouring with much success. While at Corinth, he wrote
his two epistles to the church of Thessalonica, his earliest
apostolic letters, and then sailed for Syria, that he might be
in time to keep the feast of Pentecost at Jerusalem. He was
accompanied by Aquila and Priscilla, whom he left at Ephesus, at
which he touched, after a voyage of thirteen or fifteen days. He
landed at Caesarea, and went up to Jerusalem, and having
"saluted the church" there, and kept the feast, he left for
Antioch, where he abode "some time" (Acts 18:20-23).
He then began his third missionary tour. He journeyed by land
in the "upper coasts" (the more eastern parts) of Asia Minor,
and at length made his way to Ephesus, where he tarried for no
less than three years, engaged in ceaseless Christian labour.
"This city was at the time the Liverpool of the Mediterranean.
It possessed a splendid harbour, in which was concentrated the
traffic of the sea which was then the highway of the nations;
and as Liverpool has behind her the great towns of Lancashire,
so had Ephesus behind and around her such cities as those
mentioned along with her in the epistles to the churches in the
book of Revelation, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis,
Philadelphia, and Laodicea. It was a city of vast wealth, and it
was given over to every kind of pleasure, the fame of its
theatres and race-course being world-wide" (Stalker's Life of
St. Paul). Here a "great door and effectual" was opened to the
apostle. His fellow-labourers aided him in his work, carrying
the gospel to Colosse and Laodicea and other places which they
Very shortly before his departure from Ephesus, the apostle
wrote his First Epistle to the Corinthians (q.v.). The
silversmiths, whose traffic in the little images which they made
was in danger (see DEMETRIUS T0001013), organized a riot
against Paul, and he left the city, and proceeded to Troas (2
Cor. 2:12), whence after some time he went to meet Titus in
Macedonia. Here, in consequence of the report Titus brought from
Corinth, he wrote his second epistle to that church. Having
spent probably most of the summer and autumn in Macedonia,
visiting the churches there, specially the churches of Philippi,
Thessalonica, and Berea, probably penetrating into the interior,
to the shores of the Adriatic (Rom. 15:19), he then came into
Greece, where he abode three month, spending probably the
greater part of this time in Corinth (Acts 20:2). During his
stay in this city he wrote his Epistle to the Galatians, and
also the great Epistle to the Romans. At the end of the three
months he left Achaia for Macedonia, thence crossed into Asia
Minor, and touching at Miletus, there addressed the Ephesian
presbyters, whom he had sent for to meet him (Acts 20:17), and
then sailed for Tyre, finally reaching Jerusalem, probably in
the spring of A.D. 58.
While at Jerusalem, at the feast of Pentecost, he was almost
murdered by a Jewish mob in the temple. (See TEMPLE, HEROD'S
T0003611.) Rescued from their violence by the Roman commandant,
he was conveyed as a prisoner to Caesarea, where, from various
causes, he was detained a prisoner for two years in Herod's
praetorium (Acts 23:35). "Paul was not kept in close
confinement; he had at least the range of the barracks in which
he was detained. There we can imagine him pacing the ramparts on
the edge of the Mediterranean, and gazing wistfully across the
blue waters in the direction of Macedonia, Achaia, and Ephesus,
where his spiritual children were pining for him, or perhaps
encountering dangers in which they sorely needed his presence.
It was a mysterious providence which thus arrested his energies
and condemned the ardent worker to inactivity; yet we can now
see the reason for it. Paul was needing rest. After twenty years
of incessant evangelization, he required leisure to garner the
harvest of experience...During these two years he wrote nothing;
it was a time of internal mental activity and silent progress"
(Stalker's Life of St. Paul).
At the end of these two years Felix (q.v.) was succeeded in
the governorship of Israel by Porcius Festus, before whom the
apostle was again heard. But judging it right at this crisis to
claim the privilege of a Roman citizen, he appealed to the
emperor (Acts 25:11). Such an appeal could not be disregarded,
and Paul was at once sent on to Rome under the charge of one
Julius, a centurion of the "Augustan cohort." After a long and
perilous voyage, he at length reached the imperial city in the
early spring, probably, of A.D. 61. Here he was permitted to
occupy his own hired house, under constant military custody.
This privilege was accorded to him, no doubt, because he was a
Roman citizen, and as such could not be put into prison without
a trial. The soldiers who kept guard over Paul were of course
changed at frequent intervals, and thus he had the opportunity
of preaching the gospel to many of them during these "two whole
years," and with the blessed result of spreading among the
imperial guards, and even in Caesar's household, an interest in
the truth (Phil. 1:13). His rooms were resorted to by many
anxious inquirers, both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 28:23, 30, 31),
and thus his imprisonment "turned rather to the furtherance of
the gospel," and his "hired house" became the centre of a
gracious influence which spread over the whole city. According
to a Jewish tradition, it was situated on the borders of the
modern Ghetto, which has been the Jewish quarters in Rome from
the time of Pompey to the present day. During this period the
apostle wrote his epistles to the Colossians, Ephesians,
Philippians, and to Philemon, and probably also to the Hebrews.
This first imprisonment came at length to a close, Paul having
been acquitted, probably because no witnesses appeared against
him. Once more he set out on his missionary labors, probably
visiting western and eastern Europe and Asia Minor. During this
period of freedom he wrote his First Epistle to Timothy and his
Epistle to Titus. The year of his release was signalized by the
burning of Rome, which Nero saw fit to attribute to the
Christians. A fierce persecution now broke out against the
Christians. Paul was siezed, and once more conveyed to Rome a
prisoner. During this imprisonment he probably wrote the Second
Epistle to Timothy, the last he ever wrote. "There can be little
doubt that he appered again at Nero's bar, and this time the
charge did not break down. In all history there is not a more
startling illustration of the irony of human life than this
scene of Paul at the bar of Nero. On the judgment-seat, clad in
the imperial purple, sat a man who, in a bad world, had attained
the eminence of being the very worst and meanest being in it, a
man stained with every crime, a man whose whole being was so
steeped in every nameable and unnameable vice, that body and
soul of him were, as some one said at the time, nothing but a
compound of mud and blood; and in the prisoner's dock stood the
best man the world possessed, his hair whitened with labors for
the good of men and the glory of God. The trial ended: Paul was
condemned, and delivered over to the executioner. He was led out
of the city, with a crowd of the lowest rabble at his heels. The
fatal spot was reached; he knelt beside the block; the
headsman's axe gleamed in the sun and fell; and the head of the
apostle of the world rolled down in the dust" (probably A.D.
66), four years before the fall of Jerusalem.