(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
bitterness, a fountain at the sixth station of the Israelites
(Ex. 15:23, 24; Num. 33:8) whose waters were so bitter that they
could not drink them. On this account they murmured against
Moses, who, under divine direction, cast into the fountain "a
certain tree" which took away its bitterness, so that the people
drank of it. This was probably the 'Ain Hawarah, where there are
still several springs of water that are very "bitter," distant
some 47 miles from 'Ayun Mousa.
Bitterness is symbolical of affliction, misery, and servitude
(Ex. 1:14; Ruth 1:20; Jer. 9:15). The Chaldeans are called the
"bitter and hasty nation" (Hab. 1:6). The "gall of bitterness"
expresses a state of great wickedness (Acts 8:23). A "root of
bitterness" is a wicked person or a dangerous sin (Heb. 12:15).
The Passover was to be eaten with "bitter herbs" (Ex. 12:8;
Num. 9:11). The kind of herbs so designated is not known.
Probably they were any bitter herbs obtainable at the place and
time when the Passover was celebrated. They represented the
severity of the servitude under which the people groaned; and
have been regarded also as typical of the sufferings of Christ.
bitter; sad, a symbolical name which Naomi gave to herself
because of her misfortunes (Ruth 1:20).
Vine of Sodom
referred to only in Deut. 32:32. Among the many conjectures as
to this tree, the most probable is that it is the 'osher of the
Arabs, which abounds in the region of the Dead Sea. Its fruit
are the so-called "apples of Sodom," which, though beautiful to
the eye, are exceedingly bitter to the taste. (See EN-GEDI
T0001207.) The people of Israel are referred to here by Moses
as being utterly corrupt, bringing forth only bitter fruit.
(1.) Heb. 'eseb, any green plant; herbage (Gen. 1:11, 12, 29,
30; 2:5; 3:18, etc.); comprehending vegetables and all green
herbage (Amos 7:1, 2).
(2.) "Yarak", green; any green thing; foliage of trees (2
Kings 19:26; Ps. 37:2); a plant; herb (Deut. 11:10).
(3.) "Or", meaning "light" In Isa. 26:19 it means "green
herbs;" in 2 Kings 4:39 probably the fruit of some plant.
(4.) "Merorim", plural, "bitter herbs," eaten by the
Israelites at the Passover (Ex. 12:8; Num. 9:11). They were
bitter plants of various sorts, and referred symbolically to the
oppression in Egypt.
a morsel of bread (John 13:26; compare Ruth 2:14). Our Lord took a
piece of unleavened bread, and dipping it into the broth of
bitter herbs at the Paschal meal, gave it to Judas. (Compare Ruth
sad; bitter, the youngest son of Levi, born before the descent
of Jacob into Egypt, and one of the seventy who accompanied him
thither (Gen. 46:11; Ex. 6:16). He became the head of one of the
great divisions of the Levites (Ex. 6:19). (See MERARITES
of water like a dog, i.e., by putting the hand filled with water
to the mouth. The dog drinks by shaping the end of his long thin
tongue into the form of a spoon, thus rapidly lifting up water,
which he throws into his mouth. The three hundred men that went
with Gideon thus employed their hands and lapped the water out
of their hands (Judg. 7:7).
(Jer. 24:2). "The bad figs may have been such either from having
decayed, and thus been reduced to a rotten condition, or as
being the fruit of the sycamore, which contains a bitter juice"
(Tristram, Nat. Hist.). The inferiority of the fruit is here
referred to as an emblem of the rejected Zedekiah and his
Heb. tsinnor, (2 Sam. 5:8). This Hebrew word occurs only
elsewhere in Ps. 42:7 in the plural, where it is rendered
"waterspouts." It denotes some passage through which water
passed; a water-course.
In Gen. 30:38, 41 the Hebrew word rendered "gutters" is
"rahat", and denotes vessels overflowing with water for cattle
(Ex. 2:16); drinking-troughs.
As streams were few in Israel, water was generally stored up
in winter in reservoirs, and distributed through gardens in
numerous rills, which could easily be turned or diverted by the
foot (Deut. 11:10).
For purposes of irrigation, water was raised from streams or
pools by water-wheels, or by a shaduf, commonly used on the
banks of the Nile to the present day.
(Heb. 'ain; i.e., "eye" of the water desert), a natural source
of living water. Israel was a "land of brooks of water, of
fountains, and depths that spring out of valleys and hills"
(Deut. 8:7; 11:11).
These fountains, bright sparkling "eyes" of the desert, are
remarkable for their abundance and their beauty, especially on
the west of Jordan. All the perennial rivers and streams of the
country are supplied from fountains, and depend comparatively
little on surface water. "Israel is a country of mountains
and hills, and it abounds in fountains of water. The murmur of
these waters is heard in every dell, and the luxuriant foliage
which surrounds them is seen in every plain." Besides its
rain-water, its cisterns and fountains, Jerusalem had also an
abundant supply of water in the magnificent reservoir called
"Solomon's Pools" (q.v.), at the head of the Urtas valley,
whence it was conveyed to the city by subterrean channels some
10 miles in length. These have all been long ago destroyed, so
that no water from the "Pools" now reaches Jerusalem. Only one
fountain has been discovered at Jerusalem, the so-called
"Virgins's Fountains," in the valley of Kidron; and only one
well (Heb. beer), the Bir Eyub, also in the valley of Kidron,
south of the King's Gardens, which has been dug through the
solid rock. The inhabitants of Jerusalem are now mainly
dependent on the winter rains, which they store in cisterns.
(See WELL T0003803.)
Water of jealousy
a phrase employed (not, however, in Scripture) to denote the
water used in the solemn ordeal prescribed by the law of Moses
(Num. 5:11-31) in cases of "jealousy."
a water-course or channel (Job 38:25). The "conduit of the upper
pool" (Isa. 7:3) was formed by Hezekiah for the purpose of
conveying the waters from the upper pool in the valley of Gihon
to the west side of the city of David (2 Kings 18:17; 20:20; 2
Chr. 32:30). In carrying out this work he stopped "the waters of
the fountains which were without the city" i.e., "the upper
water-course of Gihon", and conveyed it down from the west
through a canal into the city, so that in case of a siege the
inhabitants of the city might have a supply of water, which
would thus be withdrawn from the enemy. (See SILOAM T0003433.)
There are also the remains of a conduit which conducted water
from the so-called "Pools of Solomon," beyond Bethlehem, into
the city. Water is still conveyed into the city from the
fountains which supplied these pools by a channel which crosses
the valley of Hinnom.
The drinks of the Hebrews were water, wine, "strong drink," and
vinegar. Their drinking vessels were the cup, goblet or "basin,"
the "cruse" or pitcher, and the saucer.
To drink water by measure (Ezek. 4:11), and to buy water to
drink (Lam. 5:4), denote great scarcity. To drink blood means to
be satiated with slaughter.
The Jews carefully strained their drinks through a sieve,
through fear of violating the law of Lev. 11:20, 23, 41, 42.
(See Matt. 23:24. "Strain at" should be "strain out.")
Ancient ships had two great broad-bladed oars for rudders.
These, when not in use, were lifted out of the water and bound
or tied up. When required for use, these bands were unloosed and
the rudders allowed to drop into the water (Acts 27:40).
the rendering of a Hebrew word "bor", which means a receptacle
for water conveyed to it; distinguished from "beer", which
denotes a place where water rises on the spot (Jer. 2:13; Prov.
5:15; Isa. 36:16), a fountain. Cisterns are frequently mentioned
in Scripture. The scarcity of springs in Israel made it
necessary to collect rain-water in reservoirs and cisterns (Num.
21:22). (See WELL T0003803.)
Empty cisterns were sometimes used as prisons (Jer. 38:6; Lam.
3:53; Ps. 40:2; 69:15). The "pit" into which Joseph was cast
(Gen. 37:24) was a "beer" or dry well. There are numerous
remains of ancient cisterns in all parts of Israel.
an issuing of water, a city of Benjamin (Josh. 18:26).
Drawer of water
(Deut. 29:11; Josh. 9:21, 23), a servile employment to which the
Gibeonites were condemned.
a vessel to draw water with (Isa. 40:15); used figuratively,
probably, of a numerous issue (Num. 24:7).
At first made of reeds, and then of wood tipped with iron.
Arrows are sometimes figuratively put for lightning (Deut.
32:23, 42; Ps. 7:13; 18:14; 144:6; Zech. 9:14). They were used
in war as well as in the chase (Gen. 27:3; 49:23). They were
also used in divination (Ezek. 21:21).
The word is frequently employed as a symbol of calamity or
disease inflicted by God (Job 6:4; 34:6; Ps. 38:2; Deut. 32:23.
Compare Ezek. 5:16), or of some sudden danger (Ps. 91:5), or
bitter words (Ps. 64:3), or false testimony (Prov. 25:18).
water of gold, the father of Matred (Gen. 36:39; 1 Chr. 1:50),
and grandfather of Mehetabel, wife of Hadar, the last king of
Water of separation
used along with the ashes of a red heifer for the ceremonial
cleansing of persons defiled by contact with a dead body (Num.
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).
Pools of Solomon
the name given to three large open cisterns at Etam, at the head
of the Wady Urtas, having an average length of 400 feet by 220
in breadth, and 20 to 30 in depth. These pools derive their
chief supply of water from a spring called "the sealed
fountain," about 200 yards to the north-west of the upper pool,
to which it is conveyed by a large subterranean passage. They
are 150 feet distant from each other, and each pool is 20 feet
lower than that above it, the conduits being so arranged that
the lowest, which is the largest and finest of the three, is
filled first, and then in succession the others. It has been
estimated that these pools cover in all a space of about 7
acres, and are capable of containing three million gallons of
water. They were, as is generally supposed, constructed in the
days of Solomon. They are probably referred to in Eccles. 2:6.
On the fourth day after his victory over the Ammonites, etc., in
the wilderness of Tekoa, Jehoshaphat assembled his army in the
valley of Berachah ("blessing"), and there blessed the Lord.
Berachah has been identified with the modern Bereikut, some 5
miles south of Wady Urtas, and hence the "valley of Berachah"
may be this valley of pools, for the word means both "blessing"
and "pools;" and it has been supposed, therefore, that this
victory was celebrated beside Solomon's pools (2 Chr. 20:26).
These pools were primarily designed to supply Jerusalem with
water. From the lower pool an aqueduct has been traced conveying
the water through Bethlehem and across the valley of Gihon, and
along the west slope of the Tyropoeon valley, till it finds its
way into the great cisterns underneath the temple hill. The
water, however, from the pools reaches now only to Bethlehem.
The aqueduct beyond this has been destroyed.
River of God
(Ps. 65:9), as opposed to earthly streams, denoting that the
divine resources are inexhaustible, or the sum of all
fertilizing streams that water the earth (Gen. 2:10).
(1.) Heb. hemah, "heat," the poison of certain venomous reptiles
(Deut. 32:24, 33; Job 6:4; Ps. 58:4), causing inflammation.
(2.) Heb. rosh, "a head," a poisonous plant (Deut. 29:18),
growing luxuriantly (Hos. 10:4), of a bitter taste (Ps. 69:21;
Lam. 3:5), and coupled with wormwood; probably the poppy. This
word is rendered "gall", q.v., (Deut. 29:18; 32:33; Ps. 69:21;
Jer. 8:14, etc.), "hemlock" (Hos. 10:4; Amos 6:12), and "poison"
(Job 20:16), "the poison of asps," showing that the "rosh" was
not exclusively a vegetable poison.
(3.) In Rom. 3:13 (compare Job 20:16; Ps. 140:3), James 3:8, as
the rendering of the Greek ios.
Water of purification
used in cases of ceremonial cleansings at the consecration of
the Levites (Num. 8:7). It signified, figuratively, that
purifying of the heart which must characterize the servants of
a vessel used for keeping flour (1 Kings 17:12, 14, 16). The
same word (cad) so rendered is also translated "pitcher," a
vessel for carrying water (Gen. 24:14; Judg. 7:16).
(1.) Heb. rosh (Hos. 10:4; rendered "gall" in Deut. 29:18;
32:32; Ps. 69:21; Jer. 9:15; 23:15; "poison," Job 20:16;
"venom," Deut. 32:33). "Rosh is the name of some poisonous plant
which grows quickly and luxuriantly; of a bitter taste, and
therefore coupled with wormwood (Deut. 29:18; Lam. 3:19). Hence
it would seem to be not the hemlock cicuta, nor the colocynth or
wild gourd, nor lolium darnel, but the poppy so called from its
heads" (Gesenius, Lex.).
(2.) Heb. la'anah, generally rendered "wormwood" (q.v.), Deut.
29:18, Text 17; Prov. 5:4; Jer. 9:15; 23:15. Once it is rendered
"hemlock" (Amos 6:12; R.V., "wormwood"). This Hebrew word is
from a root meaning "to curse," hence the accursed.
Common in Israel in winter (Ps. 147:16). The snow on the tops
of the Lebanon range is almost always within view throughout the
whole year. The word is frequently used figuratively by the
sacred writers (Job 24:19; Ps. 51:7; 68:14; Isa. 1:18). It is
mentioned only once in the historical books (2 Sam. 23:20). It
was "carried to Tyre, Sidon, and Damascus as a luxury, and
labourers sweltering in the hot harvest-fields used it for the
purpose of cooling the water which they drank (Prov. 25:13; Jer.
18:14). No doubt Herod Antipas, at his feasts in Tiberias,
enjoyed also from this very source the modern luxury of
Jealousy, Waters of
water which the suspected wife was required to drink, so that
the result might prove her guilt or innocence (Num. 5:12-17,
27). We have no record of this form of trial having been
actually resorted to.
a place upon the shore, a town belonging to Dan (Josh. 19:46).
It is now Tell er-Rakkeit, 6 miles north of Joppa, on the
sea-shore, near the mouth of the river 'Aujeh, i.e., "yellow
water." (See KANAH T0002155.)
trial, temptation, a name given to the place where the
Israelites, by their murmuring for want of water, provoked
Jehovah to anger against them. It is also called Meribah (Ex.
17:7; Deut. 6:16; Ps. 95:8, 9; Heb. 3:8).
(Heb. 'ahalim), a fragrant wood (Num. 24:6; Ps. 45:8; Prov.
7:17; Cant. 4:14), the Aquilaria agallochum of botanists, or, as
some suppose, the costly gum or perfume extracted from the wood.
It is found in China, Siam, and Northern India, and grows to the
height sometimes of 120 feet. This species is of great rarity
even in India. There is another and more common species, called
by Indians aghil, whence Europeans have given it the name of
Lignum aquile, or eagle-wood. Aloewood was used by the Egyptians
for embalming dead bodies. Nicodemus brought it (pounded
aloe-wood) to embalm the body of Christ (John 19:39); but
whether this was the same as that mentioned elsewhere is
The bitter aloes of the apothecary is the dried juice of the
leaves Aloe vulgaris.
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
Adam, the city of
is referred to in Josh. 3:16. It stood "beside Zarethan," on the
west bank of Jordan (1 Kings 4:12). At this city the flow of the
water was arrested and rose up "upon an heap" at the time of the
Israelites' passing over (Josh. 3:16).
(Hos. 10:7), the rendering of "ketseph", which properly means
twigs or splinters (as rendered in the LXX. and marg. R.V.). The
expression in Hosea may therefore be read, "as a chip on the
face of the water," denoting the helplessness of the piece of
wood as compared with the irresistable current.
warm springs, one of the "fenced cities" of Naphtali (Josh.
19:35). It is identified with the warm baths (the heat of the
water ranging from 136 degrees to 144 degrees) still found on
the shore a little to the south of Tiberias under the name of
Hummam Tabariyeh ("Bath of Tiberias").
(Job 40:15-24). Some have supposed this to be an Egyptian word
meaning a "water-ox." The Revised Version has here in the margin
"hippopotamus," which is probably the correct rendering of the
word. The word occurs frequently in Scripture, but, except here,
always as a common name, and translated "beast" or "cattle."
eyrie. (1.) A village of the tribe of Simeon (1 Chr. 4:32). Into
some cleft ("top," A.V.,; R.V., "cleft") of a rock here Samson
retired after his slaughter of the Philistines (Judg. 15:8, 11).
It was a natural stronghold. It has been identified with Beit
'Atab, west of Bethlehem, near Zorah and Eshtaol. On the crest
of a rocky knoll, under the village, is a long tunnel, which may
be the "cleft" in which Samson hid.
(2.) A city of Judah, fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chr. 11:6). It
was near Bethlehem and Tekoah, and some distance apparently to
the north of (1). It seems to have been in the district called
Nephtoah (or Netophah), where were the sources of the water from
which Solomon's gardens and pleasure-grounds and pools, as well
as Bethlehem and the temple, were supplied. It is now 'Ain
'Atan, at the head of the Wady Urtas, a fountain sending forth a
copious supply of pure water.
perfect, a place (probably the village of Salim) some 2 miles
east of Jacob's well. There is an abundant supply of water,
which may have been the reason for Jacob's settling at this
place (Gen. 33:18-20). The Revised Version translates this word,
and reads, "Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem," thus
not regarding it as a proper name at all.
fountain of the treaders; i.e., "foot-fountain;" also called the
"fullers' fountain," because fullers here trod the clothes in
water. It has been identified with the "fountain of the virgin"
(q.v.), the modern 'Ain Ummel-Daraj. Others identify it, with
perhaps some probability, with the Bir Eyub, to the south of the
Pool of Siloam, and below the junction of the valleys of Kidron
and Hinnom. (See FOUNTAIN T0001378.)
It was at this fountain that Jonathan and Ahimaaz lay hid
after the flight of David (2 Sam. 17:17); and here also Adonijah
held the feast when he aspired to the throne of his father (1
The Bir Eyub, or "Joab's well," "is a singular work of ancient
enterprise. The shaft sunk through the solid rock in the bed of
the Kidron is 125 feet deep...The water is pure and entirely
sweet, quite different from that of Siloam; which proves that
there is no connection between them." Thomson's Land and the
(Ezek. 1:22, with the epithet "terrible," as dazzling the
spectators with its brightness). The word occurs in Rev. 4:6;
21:11; 22:1. It is a stone of the flint order, the most refined
kind of quartz. The Greek word here used means also literally
"ice." The ancients regarded the crystal as only pure water
congealed into extreme hardness by great length of time.
dweller among the people; or to whom the people turn, the
Hachmonite (1 Chr. 11:11), one of David's chief heroes who
joined him at Ziklag (12:6). He was the first of the three who
broke through the host of the Philistines to fetch water to
David from the well of Bethlehem (2 Sam. 23:13-17). He is also
called Adino the Eznite (8).
opened, a fountain and a stream issuing from it on the border
between Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:8, 9; 18:15). It has been
identified with 'Ain Lifta, a spring about 2 1/2 miles
north-west of Jerusalem. Others, however, have identified it
with 'Ain' Atan, on the south-west of Bethlehem, whence water is
conveyed through "Pilate's aqueduct" to the Haram area at
water, the river (Ezra 8:21) by the banks of which the Jewish
exiles assembled under Ezra when about to return to Jerusalem
from Babylon. In all probability this was one of the streams of
Mesopotamia which flowed into the Euphrates somewhere in the
north-west of Babylonia. It has, however, been supposed to be
the name of a place (Ezra 8:15) now called Hit, on the
Euphrates, east of Damascus.
a hole in the ground (Ex. 21:33, 34), a cistern for water (Gen.
37:24; Jer. 14:3), a vault (41:9), a grave (Ps. 30:3). It is
used as a figure for mischief (Ps. 9:15), and is the name given
to the unseen place of woe (Rev. 20:1, 3). The slime-pits in the
vale of Siddim were wells which yielded asphalt (Gen. 14:10).
the valley, now quite narrow, between the Mount of Olives and
Mount Moriah. The upper part of it is called the Valley of
Jehoshaphat. The LXX., in 1 Kings 15:13, translate "of the
cedar." The word means "black," and may refer to the colour of
the water or the gloom of the ravine, or the black green of the
cedars which grew there. John 18:1, "Cedron," only here in New
Testament. (See KIDRON T0002187.)
(1.) Heb. ha'ahu (Gen. 41:2, 18), probably an Egyptain word
transferred to the Hebrew; some kind of reed or water-plant. In
the Revised Version it is rendered "reed-grass", i.e., the sedge
or rank grass by the river side.
(2.) Heb. ma'areh (Judg. 20:33), pl., "meadows of Gibeah"
(R.V., after the LXX., "Maareh-geba"). Some have adopted the
rendering "after Gibeah had been left open." The Vulgate
translates the word "from the west."
(Heb. beer), to be distinguished from a fountain (Heb. 'ain). A
"beer" was a deep shaft, bored far under the rocky surface by
the art of man, which contained water which percolated through
the strata in its sides. Such wells were those of Jacob and
Beersheba, etc. (see Gen. 21:19, 25, 30, 31; 24:11; 26:15,
18-25, 32, etc.). In the Pentateuch this word beer, so rendered,
occurs twenty-five times.
Siloam, Pool of
sent or sending. Here a notable miracle was wrought by our Lord
in giving sight to the blind (John 9:7-11). It has been
identified with the Birket Silwan in the lower Tyropoeon valley,
to the south-east of the hill of Zion.
The water which flows into this pool intermittingly by a
subterranean channel springs from the "Fountain of the Virgin"
(q.v.). The length of this channel, which has several windings,
is 1,750 feet, though the direct distance is only 1,100 feet.
The pool is 53 feet in length from north to south, 18 feet wide,
and 19 deep. The water passes from it by a channel cut in the
rock into the gardens below. (See EN-ROGEL T0001214.)
Many years ago (1880) a youth, while wading up the conduit by
which the water enters the pool, accidentally discovered an
inscription cut in the rock, on the eastern side, about 19 feet
from the pool. This is the oldest extant Hebrew record of the
kind. It has with great care been deciphered by scholars, and
has been found to be an account of the manner in which the
tunnel was constructed. Its whole length is said to be "twelve
hundred cubits;" and the inscription further notes that the
workmen, like the excavators of the Mont Cenis Tunnel, excavated
from both ends, meeting in the middle.
Some have argued that the inscription was cut in the time of
Solomon; others, with more probability, refer it to the reign of
Hezekiah. A more ancient tunnel was discovered in 1889 some 20
feet below the ground. It is of smaller dimensions, but more
direct in its course. It is to this tunnel that Isaiah (8:6)
The Siloam inscription above referred to was surreptitiously
cut from the wall of the tunnel in 1891 and broken into
fragments. These were, however, recovered by the efforts of the
British Consul at Jerusalem, and have been restored to their
(Heb. kiyor), a "basin" for boiling in, a "pan" for cooking (1
Sam. 2:14), a "fire-pan" or hearth (Zech. 12:6), the sacred
wash-bowl of the tabernacle and temple (Ex. 30:18, 28; 31:9;
35:16; 38:8; 39:39; 40:7, 11, 30, etc.), a basin for the water
used by the priests in their ablutions.
That which was originally used in the tabernacle was of brass
(rather copper; Heb. nihsheth), made from the metal mirrors the
women brought out of Egypt (Ex. 38:8). It contained water
wherewith the priests washed their hands and feet when they
entered the tabernacle (40:32). It stood in the court between
the altar and the door of the tabernacle (30:19, 21).
In the temple there were ten lavers used for the sacrifices,
and the molten sea for the ablutions of the priests (2 Chr.
4:6). The position and uses of these are described 1 Kings
7:23-39; 2 Chr. 4:6. The "molten sea" was made of copper, taken
from Tibhath and Chun, cities of Hadarezer, king of Zobah (1
Chr. 18:8; 1 Kings 7:23-26).
No lavers are mentioned in the second temple.
a utensil; a flask or cup for holding water (1 Sam. 26:11, 12,
16; 1 Kings 19:6) or oil (1 Kings 17:12, 14, 16). In 1 Kings
14:3 the word there so rendered means properly a bottle, as in
Jer. 19:1, 10, or pitcher. In 2 Kings 2:20, a platter or flat
metal saucer is intended. The Hebrew word here used is
translated "dish" in 21:13; "pans," in 2 Chr. 35:13; and
"bosom," in Prov. 19:24; 26:15 (R.V., "dish").
(Heb. 'i, "dry land," as opposed to water) occurs in its usual
signification (Isa. 42:4, 10, 12, 15, compare Jer. 47:4), but more
frequently simply denotes a maritime region or sea-coast (Isa.
20:6, R.V.," coastland;" 23:2, 6; Jer. 2:10; Ezek. 27:6, 7).
(See CHITTIM T0000811.) The shores of the Mediterranean are
called the "islands of the sea" (Isa. 11:11), or the "isles of
the Gentiles" (Gen. 10:5), and sometimes simply "isles" (Ps.
72:10); Ezek. 26:15, 18; 27:3, 35; Dan. 11:18).
is found three times in connection with the desolations to come
upon Babylon, Idumea, and Nineveh (Isa. 14:23; 34:11; Zeph.
2:14). This bird belongs to the class of cranes. Its scientific
name is Botaurus stellaris. It is a solitary bird, frequenting
marshy ground. The Hebrew word (kippod) thus rendered in the
Authorized Version is rendered "porcupine" in the Revised
Version. But in the passages noted the kippod is associated with
birds, with pools of water, and with solitude and desolation.
This favours the idea that not the "porcupine" but the "bittern"
is really intended by the word.
of an ass afforded Samson a weapon for the great slaughter of
the Philistines (Judg. 15.15), in which he slew a thousand men.
In verse 19 the Authorized Version reads, "God clave a hollow
place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout." This
is a mis-translation of the words. The rendering should be as in
the Revised Version, "God clave the hollow place that is in
Lehi," etc., Lehi (q.v.) being the name of the hill where this
conflict was waged, possibly so called because it was in shape
like a jaw-bone.
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."
(1.) Heb. 'aphik, properly the channel or ravine that holds
water (2 Sam. 22:16), translated "brook," "river," "stream," but
not necessarily a perennial stream (Ezek. 6:3; 31:12; 32:6;
(2.) Heb. nahal, in winter a "torrent," in summer a "wady" or
valley (Gen. 32:23; Deut. 2:24; 3:16; Isa. 30:28; Lam. 2:18;
These winter torrents sometimes come down with great
suddenness and with desolating force. A distinguished traveller
thus describes his experience in this matter:, "I was encamped
in Wady Feiran, near the base of Jebel Serbal, when a tremendous
thunderstorm burst upon us. After little more than an hour's
rain, the water rose so rapidly in the previously dry wady that
I had to run for my life, and with great difficulty succeeded in
saving my tent and goods; my boots, which I had not time to pick
up, were washed away. In less than two hours a dry desert wady
upwards of 300 yards broad was turned into a foaming torrent
from 8 to 10 feet deep, roaring and tearing down and bearing
everything upon it, tangled masses of tamarisks, hundreds of
beautiful palmtrees, scores of sheep and goats, camels and
donkeys, and even men, women, and children, for a whole
encampment of Arabs was washed away a few miles above me. The
storm commenced at five in the evening; at half-past nine the
waters were rapidly subsiding, and it was evident that the flood
had spent its force." (Compare Matt. 7:27; Luke 6:49.)
(3.) Nahar, a "river" continuous and full, a perennial stream,
as the Jordan, the Euphrates (Gen. 2:10; 15:18; Deut. 1:7; Ps.
66:6; Ezek. 10:15).
(4.) Tel'alah, a conduit, or water-course (1 Kings 18:32; 2
Kings 18:17; 20:20; Job 38:25; Ezek. 31:4).
(5.) Peleg, properly "waters divided", i.e., streams divided,
throughout the land (Ps. 1:3); "the rivers [i.e., 'divisions']
of waters" (Job 20:17; 29:6; Prov. 5:16).
(6.) Ye'or, i.e., "great river", probably from an Egyptian
word (Aur), commonly applied to the Nile (Gen. 41:1-3), but also
to other rivers (Job 28:10; Isa. 33:21).
(7.) Yubhal, "a river" (Jer. 17:8), a full flowing stream.
(8.) 'Ubhal, "a river" (Dan. 8:2).
trees, (Ex. 15:27; Num. 33:9), the name of the second station
where the Israelites encamped after crossing the Red Sea. It had
"twelve wells of water and threescore and ten palm trees." It
has been identified with the Wady Ghurundel, the most noted of
the four wadies which descend from the range of et-Tih towards
the sea. Here they probably remained some considerable time. The
form of expression in Ex. 16:1 seems to imply that the people
proceeded in detachments or companies from Elim, and only for
the first time were assembled as a complete host when they
reached the wilderness of Sin (q.v.).
Grain reduced to the form of meal is spoken of in the time of
Abraham (Gen. 18:6). As baking was a daily necessity, grain was
also ground daily at the mills (Jer. 25:10). The flour mingled
with water was kneaded in kneading-troughs, and sometimes leaven
(Ex. 12:34) was added and sometimes omitted (Gen. 19:3). The
dough was then formed into thin cakes nine or ten inches in
diameter and baked in the oven.
Fine flour was offered by the poor as a sin-offering (Lev.
5:11-13), and also in connection with other sacrifices (Num.
Jezreel, Fountain of
where Saul encamped before the battle of Gilboa (1 Sam. 29:1).
In the valley under Zerin there are two considerable springs,
one of which, perhaps that here referred to, "flows from under a
sort of cavern in the wall of conglomerate rock which here forms
the base of Gilboa. The water is excellent; and issuing from
crevices in the rocks, it spreads out at once into a fine limpid
pool forty or fifty feet in diameter, full of fish" (Robinson).
This may be identical with the "well of Harod" (Judg. 7:1; compare
2 Sam. 23:25), probably the 'Ain Jalud, i.e., the "spring of
only in Num. 11:5, the translation of the Hebrew abattihim, the
LXX. and Vulgate pepones, Arabic britikh. Of this plant there
are various kinds, the Egyptian melon, the Cucumus chate, which
has been called "the queen of cucumbers;" the water melon, the
Cucurbita citrullus; and the common or flesh melon, the Cucumus
melo. "A traveller in the East who recollects the intense
gratitude which a gift of a slice of melon inspired while
journeying over the hot and dry plains, will readily comprehend
the regret with which the Hebrews in the Arabian desert looked
back upon the melons of Egypt" (Kitto).
the name given to the new and mixed inhabitants whom Esarhaddon
(B.C. 677), the king of Assyria, brought from Babylon and other
places and settled in the cities of Samaria, instead of the
original inhabitants whom Sargon (B.C. 721) had removed into
captivity (2 Kings 17:24; compare Ezra 4:2, 9, 10). These
strangers (compare Luke 17:18) amalgamated with the Jews still
remaining in the land, and gradually abandoned their old
idolatry and adopted partly the Jewish religion.
After the return from the Captivity, the Jews in Jerusalem
refused to allow them to take part with them in rebuilding the
temple, and hence sprang up an open enmity between them. They
erected a rival temple on Mount Gerizim, which was, however,
destroyed by a Jewish king (B.C. 130). They then built another
at Shechem. The bitter enmity between the Jews and Samaritans
continued in the time of our Lord: the Jews had "no dealings
with the Samaritans" (John 4:9; compare Luke 9:52, 53). Our Lord
was in contempt called "a Samaritan" (John 8:48). Many of the
Samaritans early embraced the gospel (John 4:5-42; Acts 8:25;
9:31; 15:3). Of these Samaritans there still remains a small
population of about one hundred and sixty, who all reside in
Shechem, where they carefully observe the religious customs of
their fathers. They are the "smallest and oldest sect in the
reedy, a town of Galilee, near Capernaum. Here our Lord wrought
his first miracle, the turning of water into wine (John 2:1-11;
4:46). It is also mentioned as the birthplace of Nathanael
(21:2). It is not mentioned in the Old Testament. It has been
identified with the modern Kana el-Jelil, also called Khurbet
Kana, a place 8 or 9 miles north of Nazareth. Others have
identified it with Kefr Kenna, which lies on the direct road to
the Sea of Galilee, about 5 miles NE of Nazareth, and 12
in a direct course from Tiberias. It is called "Cana of
Galilee," to distinguish it from Cana of Asher (Josh. 19:28).
the serpent-stone, a rocky plateau near the centre of the
village of Siloam, and near the fountain of En-rogel, to which
the women of the village resort for water (1 Kings 1:5-9). Here
Adonijah (q.v.) feasted all the royal princess except Solomon
and the men who took part with him in his effort to succeed to
the throne. While they were assembled here Solomon was
proclaimed king, through the intervention of Nathan. On hearing
this, adonijah fled and took refuge in the sanctuary (1 Kings
1:49-53). He was afterwards pardoned.
Zoheleth projects into or slightly over-hangs the Kidron
valley. It is now called ez-Zehwell or Zahweileh.
a pond, or reservoir, for holding water (Heb. berekhah; modern
Arabic, birket), an artificial cistern or tank. Mention is made
of the pool of Gibeon (2 Sam. 2:13); the pool of Hebron (4:12);
the upper pool at Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:17; 20:20); the pool of
Samaria (1 Kings 22:38); the king's pool (Neh. 2:14); the pool
of Siloah (Neh. 3:15; Eccles. 2:6); the fishpools of Heshbon
(Cant. 7:4); the "lower pool," and the "old pool" (Isa.
The "pool of Bethesda" (John 5:2,4, 7) and the "pool of
Siloam" (John 9:7, 11) are also mentioned. Isaiah (35:7) says,
"The parched ground shall become a pool." This is rendered in
the Revised Version "glowing sand," etc. (marg., "the mirage,"
etc.). The Arabs call the mirage "serab," plainly the same as
the Hebrew word "sarab", here rendered "parched ground." "The
mirage shall become a pool", i.e., the mock-lake of the burning
desert shall become a real lake, "the pledge of refreshment and
joy." The "pools" spoken of in Isa. 14:23 are the marshes caused
by the ruin of the canals of the Euphrates in the neighbourhood
The cisterns or pools of the Holy City are for the most part
excavations beneath the surface. Such are the vast cisterns in
the temple hill that have recently been discovered by the
engineers of the Israel Exploration Fund. These underground
caverns are about thirty-five in number, and are capable of
storing about ten million gallons of water. They are connected
with one another by passages and tunnels.
(Heb. yam), signifies (1) "the gathering together of the
waters," the ocean (Gen. 1:10); (2) a river, as the Nile (Isa.
19:5), the Euphrates (Isa. 21:1; Jer. 51:36); (3) the Red Sea
(Ex. 14:16, 27; 15:4, etc.); (4) the Mediterranean (Ex. 23:31;
Num. 34:6, 7; Josh. 15:47; Ps. 80:11, etc.); (5) the "sea of
Galilee," an inland fresh-water lake, and (6) the Dead Sea or
"salt sea" (Gen. 14:3; Num. 34:3, 12, etc.). The word "sea" is
used symbolically in Isa. 60:5, where it probably means the
nations around the Mediterranean. In Dan. 7:3, Rev. 13:1 it may
mean the tumultuous changes among the nations of the earth.
Heb. la'anah, the Artemisia absinthium of botanists. It is noted
for its intense bitterness (Deut. 29:18; Prov. 5:4; Jer. 9:15;
Amos 5:7). It is a type of bitterness, affliction, remorse,
punitive suffering. In Amos 6:12 this Hebrew word is rendered
"hemlock" (R.V., "wormwood"). In the symbolical language of the
Apocalypse (Rev. 8:10, 11) a star is represented as falling on
the waters of the earth, causing the third part of the water to
The name by which the Greeks designated it, absinthion, means
"undrinkable." The absinthe of France is distilled from a
species of this plant. The "southernwood" or "old man,"
cultivated in cottage gardens on account of its fragrance, is
another species of it.
(John 4:5, 6). This is one of the few sites in Israel about
which there is no dispute. It was dug by Jacob, and hence its
name, in the "parcel of ground" which he purchased from the sons
of Hamor (Gen. 33:19). It still exists, but although after
copious rains it contains a little water, it is now usually
quite dry. It is at the entrance to the valley between Ebal and
Gerizim, about 2 miles south-east of Shechem. It is about 9 feet
in diameter and about 75 feet in depth, though in ancient times
it was no doubt much deeper, probably twice as deep. The digging
of such a well must have been a very laborious and costly
"Unfortunately, the well of Jacob has not escaped that
misplaced religious veneration which cannot be satisfied with
leaving the object of it as it is, but must build over it a
shrine to protect and make it sacred. A series of buildings of
various styles, and of different ages, have cumbered the ground,
choked up the well, and disfigured the natural beauty and
simplicity of the spot. At present the rubbish in the well has
been cleared out; but there is still a domed structure over it,
and you gaze down the shaft cut in the living rock and see at a
depth of 70 feet the surface of the water glimmering with a pale
blue light in the darkness, while you notice how the limestone
blocks that form its curb have been worn smooth, or else
furrowed by the ropes of centuries" (Hugh Macmillan).
At the entrance of the enclosure round the well is planted in
the ground one of the wooden poles that hold the telegraph wires
between Jerusalem and Haifa.
Tabernacles, Feast of
the third of the great annual festivals of the Jews (Lev.
23:33-43). It is also called the "feast of ingathering" (Ex.
23:16; Deut. 16:13). It was celebrated immediately after the
harvest, in the month Tisri, and the celebration lasted for
eight days (Lev. 23:33-43). During that period the people left
their homes and lived in booths formed of the branches of trees.
The sacrifices offered at this time are mentioned in Num.
29:13-38. It was at the time of this feast that Solomon's temple
was dedicated (1 Kings 8:2). Mention is made of it after the
return from the Captivity. This feast was designed (1) to be a
memorial of the wilderness wanderings, when the people dwelt in
booths (Lev. 23:43), and (2) to be a harvest thanksgiving (Neh.
8:9-18). The Jews, at a later time, introduced two appendages to
the original festival, viz., (1) that of drawing water from the
Pool of Siloam, and pouring it upon the altar (John 7:2, 37), as
a memorial of the water from the rock in Horeb; and (2) of
lighting the lamps at night, a memorial of the pillar of fire by
night during their wanderings.
"The feast of Tabernacles, the harvest festival of the Jewish
Church, was the most popular and important festival after the
Captivity. At Jerusalem it was a gala day. It was to the autumn
pilgrims, who arrived on the 14th (of the month Tisri, the feast
beginning on the 15th) day, like entrance into a silvan city.
Roofs and courtyards, streets and squares, roads and gardens,
were green with boughs of citron and myrtle, palm and willow.
The booths recalled the pilgrimage through the wilderness. The
ingathering of fruits prophesied of the spiritual harvest.",
Valling's Jesus Christ, p. 133.
the name given by Greek writers of the second century to that
inland sea called in Scripture the "salt sea" (Gen. 14:3; Num.
34:12), the "sea of the plain" (Deut. 3:17), the "east sea"
(Ezek. 47:18; Joel 2:20), and simply "the sea" (Ezek. 47:8). The
Arabs call it Bahr Lut, i.e., the Sea of Lot. It lies about 16
miles in a straight line to the east of Jerusalem. Its surface
is 1,292 feet below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. It
covers an area of about 300 square miles. Its depth varies from
1,310 to 11 feet. From various phenomena that have been
observed, its bottom appears to be still subsiding. It is about
53 miles long, and of an average breadth of 10 miles. It has no
outlet, the great heat of that region causing such rapid
evaporation that its average depth, notwithstanding the rivers
that run into it (see JORDAN T0002112), is maintained with
little variation. The Jordan alone discharges into it no less
than six million tons of water every twenty-four hours.
The waters of the Dead Sea contain 24.6 per cent. of mineral
salts, about seven times as much as in ordinary sea-water; thus
they are unusually buoyant. Chloride of magnesium is most
abundant; next to that chloride of sodium (common salt). But
terraces of alluvial deposits in the deep valley of the Jordan
show that formerly one great lake extended from the Waters of
Merom to the foot of the watershed in the Arabah. The waters
were then about 1,400 feet above the present level of the Dead
Sea, or slightly above that of the Mediterranean, and at that
time were much less salt.
Nothing living can exist in this sea. "The fish carried down
by the Jordan at once die, nor can even mussels or corals live
in it; but it is a fable that no bird can fly over it, or that
there are no living creatures on its banks. Dr. Tristram found
on the shores three kinds of kingfishers, gulls, ducks, and
grebes, which he says live on the fish which enter the sea in
shoals, and presently die. He collected one hundred and eighteen
species of birds, some new to science, on the shores, or
swimming or flying over the waters. The cane-brakes which fringe
it at some parts are the homes of about forty species of
mammalia, several of them animals unknown in England; and
innumerable tropical or semi-tropical plants perfume the
atmosphere wherever fresh water can reach. The climate is
perfect and most delicious, and indeed there is perhaps no place
in the world where a sanatorium could be established with so
much prospect of benefit as at Ain Jidi (Engedi).", Geikie's
(Heb. pishtah, i.e., "peeled", in allusion to the fact that the
stalks of flax when dried were first split or peeled before
being steeped in water for the purpose of destroying the pulp).
This plant was cultivated from earliest times. The flax of Egypt
was destroyed by the plague of hail when it "was bolled", i.e.,
was forming pods for seed (Ex. 9:31). It was extensively
cultivated both in Egypt and Israel. Reference is made in
Josh. 2:6 to the custom of drying flax-stalks by exposing them
to the sun on the flat roofs of houses. It was much used in
forming articles of clothing such as girdles, also cords and
bands (Lev. 13:48, 52, 59; Deut. 22:11). (See LINEN T0002296.)
separatists (Heb. persahin, from parash, "to separate"). They
were probably the successors of the Assideans (i.e., the
"pious"), a party that originated in the time of Antiochus
Epiphanes in revolt against his heathenizing policy. The first
mention of them is in a description by Josephus of the three
sects or schools into which the Jews were divided (B.C. 145).
The other two sects were the Essenes and the Sadducees. In the
time of our Lord they were the popular party (John 7:48). They
were extremely accurate and minute in all matters appertaining
to the law of Moses (Matt. 9:14; 23:15; Luke 11:39; 18:12).
Paul, when brought before the council of Jerusalem, professed
himself a Pharisee (Acts 23:6-8; 26:4, 5).
There was much that was sound in their creed, yet their system
of religion was a form and nothing more. Theirs was a very lax
morality (Matt. 5:20; 15:4, 8; 23:3, 14, 23, 25; John 8:7). On
the first notice of them in the New Testament (Matt. 3:7), they
are ranked by our Lord with the Sadducees as a "generation of
vipers." They were noted for their self-righteousness and their
pride (Matt. 9:11; Luke 7:39; 18:11, 12). They were frequently
rebuked by our Lord (Matt. 12:39; 16:1-4).
From the very beginning of his ministry the Pharisees showed
themselves bitter and persistent enemies of our Lord. They could
not bear his doctrines, and they sought by every means to
destroy his influence among the people.
consisted of wine (Num. 15:5; Hos. 9:4) poured around the altar
(Ex. 30:9). Joined with meat-offerings (Num. 6:15, 17; 2 Kings
16:13; Joel 1:9, 13; 2:14), presented daily (Ex. 29:40), on the
Sabbath (Num. 28:9), and on feast-days (28:14). One-fourth of an
hin of wine was required for one lamb, one-third for a ram, and
one-half for a bullock (Num. 15:5; 28:7, 14). "Drink offerings
of blood" (Ps. 16:4) is used in allusion to the heathen practice
of mingling the blood of animals sacrificed with wine or water,
and pouring out the mixture in the worship of the gods, and the
idea conveyed is that the psalmist would not partake of the
abominations of the heathen.
(John 2:1-11) "lasted usually for a whole week; but the cost of
such prolonged rejoicing is very small in the East. The guests
sit round the great bowl or bowls on the floor, the meal usually
consisting of a lamb or kid stewed in rice or barley. The most
honoured guests sit nearest, others behind; and all in eating
dip their hand into the one smoking mound, pieces of the thin
bread, bent together, serving for spoons when necessary. After
the first circle have satisfied themselves, those lower in
honour sit down to the rest, the whole company being men, for
women are never seen at a feast. Water is poured on the hands
before eating; and this is repeated when the meal closes, the
fingers having first been wiped on pieces of bread, which, after
serving the same purpose as table-napkins with us, are thrown on
the ground to be eaten by any dog that may have stolen in from
the streets through the ever-open door, or picked up by those
outside when gathered and tossed out to them (Matt. 15:27; Mark
7:28). Rising from the ground and retiring to the seats round
the walls, the guests then sit down cross-legged and gossip, or
listen to recitals, or puzzle over riddles, light being scantily
supplied by a small lamp or two, or if the night be chilly, by a
smouldering fire of weeds kindled in the middle of the room,
perhaps in a brazier, often in a hole in the floor. As to the
smoke, it escapes as it best may; but indeed there is little of
it, though enough to blacken the water or wine or milk skins
hung up on pegs on the wall. (Compare Ps. 119:83.) To some such
marriage-feast Jesus and his five disciples were invited at Cana
of Galilee." Geikie's Life of Christ. (See CANA T0000702.)
(1.) A booth in a vineyard (Isa. 1:8); a temporary shed covered
with leaves or straw to shelter the watchman that kept the
garden. These were slight fabrics, and were removed when no
longer needed, or were left to be blown down in winter (Job
(2.) A lodging-place (rendered "lodge" in Isa. 1:8); a
slighter structure than the "booth," as the cucumber patch is
more temporary than a vineyard (Isa. 24:20). It denotes a frail
structure of boughs supported on a few poles, which is still in
use in the East, or a hammock suspended between trees, in which
the watchman was accustomed to sleep during summer.
(3.) In Zeph. 2:6 it is the rendering of the Hebrew "keroth",
which some suppose to denote rather "pits" (R.V. marg., "caves")
or "wells of water," such as shepherds would sink.
salvation. (1.) The original name of the son of Nun, afterwards
called Joshua (Num. 13:8, 16; Deut. 32:44).
(2.) 1 Chr. 27:20. The ruler of Ephraim in David's time.
(3.) The last king of Israel. He conspired against and slew
his predecessor, Pekah (Isa. 7:16), but did not ascend the
throne till after an interregnum of warfare of eight years (2
Kings 17:1, 2). Soon after this he submitted to Shalmaneser, the
Assyrian king, who a second time invaded the land to punish
Hoshea, because of his withholding tribute which he had promised
to pay. A second revolt brought back the Assyrian king Sargon,
who besieged Samaria, and carried the ten tribes away beyond the
Euphrates, B.C. 720 (2 Kings 17:5, 6; 18:9-12). No more is heard
of Hoshea. He disappeared like "foam upon the water" (Hos. 10:7;
place of troops, originally one of the royal cities of the
Canaanites (Josh. 12:21), belonged to the tribe of Manasseh
(Judg. 1:27), but does not seem to have been fully occupied by
the Israelites till the time of Solomon (1 Kings 4:12; 9:15).
The valley or plain of Megiddo was part of the plain of
Esdraelon, the great battle-field of Israel. It was here
Barak gained a notable victory over Jabin, the king of Hazor,
whose general, Sisera, led on the hostile army. Barak rallied
the warriors of the northern tribes, and under the encouragement
of Deborah (q.v.), the prophetess, attacked the Canaanites in
the great plain. The army of Sisera was thrown into complete
confusion, and was engulfed in the waters of the Kishon, which
had risen and overflowed its banks (Judg. 4:5).
Many years after this (B.C. 610), Pharaohnecho II., on his
march against the king of Assyria, passed through the plains of
Philistia and Sharon; and King Josiah, attempting to bar his
progress in the plain of Megiddo, was defeated by the Egyptians.
He was wounded in battle, and died as they bore him away in his
chariot towards Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chr. 35:22-24), and
all Israel mourned for him. So general and bitter was this
mourning that it became a proverb, to which Zechariah (12:11,
12) alludes. Megiddo has been identified with the modern
el-Lejjun, at the head of the Kishon, under the NEern
brow of Carmel, on the south-western edge of the plain of
Esdraelon, and 9 miles west of Jezreel. Others identify it with
Mujedd'a, 4 miles south-west of Bethshean, but the question of
its site is still undetermined.
The Hebrew word "tan" (plural, tannin) is so rendered in Job
7:12 (A.V.; but R.V., "sea-monster"). It is rendered by
"dragons" in Deut. 32:33; Ps. 91:13; Jer. 51:34; Ps. 74:13
(marg., "whales;" and marg. of R.V., "sea-monsters"); Isa. 27:1;
and "serpent" in Ex. 7:9 (R.V. marg., "any large reptile," and
so in ver. 10, 12). The words of Job (7:12), uttered in bitter
irony, where he asks, "Am I a sea or a whale?" simply mean,
"Have I a wild, untamable nature, like the waves of the sea,
which must be confined and held within bounds, that they cannot
pass?" "The serpent of the sea, which was but the wild, stormy
sea itself, wound itself around the land, and threatened to
swallow it up...Job inquires if he must be watched and plagued
like this monster, lest he throw the world into disorder"
The whale tribe are included under the general Hebrew name
"tannin" (Gen. 1:21; Lam. 4:3). "Even the sea-monsters
[tanninim] draw out the breast." The whale brings forth its
young alive, and suckles them.
It is to be noticed of the story of Jonah's being "three days
and three nights in the whale's belly," as recorded in Matt.
12:40, that here the Gr. ketos means properly any kind of
sea-monster of the shark or the whale tribe, and that in the
book of Jonah (1:17) it is only said that "a great fish" was
prepared to swallow Jonah. This fish may have been, therefore,
some great shark. The white shark is known to frequent the
Mediterranean Sea, and is sometimes found 30 feet in length.
father of (i.e., "desirous of") a gift, the eldest son of
Zeruiah, David's sister. He was the brother of Joab and Asahel
(2 Sam. 2:18; 1 Chr. 2:16). Abishai was the only one who
accompanied David when he went to the camp of Saul and took the
spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster (1 Sam.
26:5-12). He had the command of one of the three divisions of
David's army at the battle with Absalom (2 Sam. 18:2,5,12). He
slew the Philistine giant Ishbi-benob, who threatened David's
life (2 Sam. 21:15-17). He was the chief of the second rank of
the three "mighties" (2 Sam. 23:18, 19; 1 Chr. 11:20,21); and on
one occasion withstood 300 men, and slew them with his own spear
(2 Sam. 23:18). Abishai is the name of the Semitic chief who
offers gifts to the lord of Beni-Hassan. See illustration facing
a vessel made of skins for holding wine (Josh. 9:4. 13; 1 Sam.
16:20; Matt. 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37, 38), or milk (Judg.
4:19), or water (Gen. 21:14, 15, 19), or strong drink (Hab.
Earthenware vessels were also similarly used (Jer. 19:1-10; 1
Kings 14:3; Isa. 30:14). In Job 32:19 (compare Matt. 9:17; Luke
5:37, 38; Mark 2:22) the reference is to a wine-skin ready to
burst through the fermentation of the wine. "Bottles of wine" in
the Authorized Version of Hos. 7:5 is properly rendered in the
Revised Version by "the heat of wine," i.e., the fever of wine,
its intoxicating strength.
The clouds are figuratively called the "bottles of heaven"
(Job 38:37). A bottle blackened or shrivelled by smoke is
referred to in Ps. 119:83 as an image to which the psalmist
Joel, Book of
Joel was probably a resident in Judah, as his commission was to
that people. He makes frequent mention of Judah and Jerusalem
(1:14; 2:1, 15, 32; 3:1, 12, 17, 20, 21).
He probably flourished in the reign of Uzziah (about B.C.
800), and was contemporary with Amos and Isaiah.
The contents of this book are, (1.) A prophecy of a great
public calamity then impending over the land, consisting of a
want of water and an extraordinary plague of locusts (1:1-2:11).
(2.) The prophet then calls on his countrymen to repent and to
turn to God, assuring them of his readiness to forgive
(2:12-17), and foretelling the restoration of the land to its
accustomed fruitfulness (18-26). (3.) Then follows a Messianic
prophecy, quoted by Peter (Acts 2:39). (4.) Finally, the prophet
foretells portents and judgments as destined to fall on the
enemies of God (ch. 3, but in the Hebrew text 4).
Sea, The molten
the great laver made by Solomon for the use of the priests in
the temple, described in 1 Kings 7:23-26; 2 Chr. 4:2-5. It stood
in the south-eastern corner of the inner court. It was 5 cubits
high, 10 in diameter from brim to brim, and 30 in circumference.
It was placed on the backs of twelve oxen, standing with their
faces outward. It was capable of containing two or three
thousand baths of water (compare 2 Chr. 4:5), which was originally
supplied by the Gibeonites, but was afterwards brought by a
conduit from the pools of Bethlehem. It was made of "brass"
(copper), which Solomon had taken from the captured cities of
Hadarezer, the king of Zobah (1 Chr. 18:8). Ahaz afterwards
removed this laver from the oxen, and placed it on a stone
pavement (2 Kings 16:17). It was destroyed by the Chaldeans
(Mark 7:1-9). The Jews, like other Orientals, used their fingers
when taking food, and therefore washed their hands before doing
so, for the sake of cleanliness. Here the reference is to the
ablutions prescribed by tradition, according to which "the
disciples ought to have gone down to the side of the lake,
washed their hands thoroughly, 'rubbing the fist of one hand in
the hollow of the other, then placed the ten finger-tips
together, holding the hands up, so that any surplus water might
flow down to the elbow, and thence to the ground.'" To neglect
to do this had come to be regarded as a great sin, a sin equal
to the breach of any of the ten commandments. Moses had
commanded washings oft, but always for some definite cause; but
the Jews multiplied the legal observance till they formed a
large body of precepts. To such precepts about ceremonial
washing Mark here refers. (See ABLUTION T0000051.)
the great deliverance wrought for the children of Isreal when
they were brought out of the land of Egypt with "a mighty hand
and with an outstretched arm" (Ex 12:51; Deut. 26:8; Ps 114;
136), about B.C. 1490, and four hundred and eighty years (1
Kings 6:1) before the building of Solomon's temple.
The time of their sojourning in Egypt was, according to Ex.
12:40, the space of four hundred and thirty years. In the LXX.,
the words are, "The sojourning of the children of Israel which
they sojourned in Egypt and in the land of Canaan was four
hundred and thirty years;" and the Samaritan version reads, "The
sojourning of the children of Israel and of their fathers which
they sojourned in the land of Canaan and in the land of Egypt
was four hundred and thirty years." In Gen. 15:13-16, the period
is prophetically given (in round numbers) as four hundred years.
This passage is quoted by Stephen in his defence before the
council (Acts 7:6).
The chronology of the "sojourning" is variously estimated.
Those who adopt the longer term reckon thus:
| From the descent of Jacob into Egypt to the
| death of Joseph 71
| From the death of Joseph to the birth of
| Moses 278
| From the birth of Moses to his flight into
| Midian 40
| From the flight of Moses to his return into
| Egypt 40
| From the return of Moses to the Exodus 1
Others contend for the shorter period of two hundred and
fifteen years, holding that the period of four hundred and
thirty years comprehends the years from the entrance of Abraham
into Canaan (see LXX. and Samaritan) to the descent of Jacob
into Egypt. They reckon thus:
| From Abraham's arrival in Canaan to Isaac's
| birth 25
| From Isaac's birth to that of his twin sons
| Esau and Jacob 60
| From Jacob's birth to the going down into
| Egypt 130
| From Jacob's going down into Egypt to the
| death of Joseph 71
| From death of Joseph to the birth of Moses 64
| From birth of Moses to the Exodus 80
| In all... 430
During the forty years of Moses' sojourn in the land of
Midian, the Hebrews in Egypt were being gradually prepared for
the great national crisis which was approaching. The plagues
that successively fell upon the land loosened the bonds by which
Pharaoh held them in slavery, and at length he was eager that
they should depart. But the Hebrews must now also be ready to
go. They were poor; for generations they had laboured for the
Egyptians without wages. They asked gifts from their neighbours
around them (Ex. 12:35), and these were readily bestowed. And
then, as the first step towards their independent national
organization, they observed the feast of the Passover, which was
now instituted as a perpetual memorial. The blood of the paschal
lamb was duly sprinkled on the doorposts and lintels of all
their houses, and they were all within, waiting the next
movement in the working out of God's plan. At length the last
stroke fell on the land of Egypt. "It came to pass, that at
midnight Jehovah smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt."
Pharaoh rose up in the night, and called for Moses and Aaron by
night, and said, "Rise up, and get you forth from among my
people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve
Jehovah, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds,
as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also." Thus was
Pharaoh (q.v.) completely humbled and broken down. These words
he spoke to Moses and Aaron "seem to gleam through the tears of
the humbled king, as he lamented his son snatched from him by so
sudden a death, and tremble with a sense of the helplessness
which his proud soul at last felt when the avenging hand of God
had visited even his palace."
The terror-stricken Egyptians now urged the instant departure
of the Hebrews. In the midst of the Passover feast, before the
dawn of the 15th day of the month Abib (our April nearly), which
was to be to them henceforth the beginning of the year, as it
was the commencement of a new epoch in their history, every
family, with all that appertained to it, was ready for the
march, which instantly began under the leadership of the heads
of tribes with their various sub-divisions. They moved onward,
increasing as they went forward from all the districts of
Goshen, over the whole of which they were scattered, to the
common centre. Three or four days perhaps elapsed before the
whole body of the people were assembled at Rameses, and ready to
set out under their leader Moses (Ex. 12:37; Num. 33:3). This
city was at that time the residence of the Egyptian court, and
here the interviews between Moses and Pharaoh had taken place.
From Rameses they journeyed to Succoth (Ex. 12:37), identified
with Tel-el-Maskhuta, about 12 miles west of Ismailia. (See
PITHOM T0002968.) Their third station was Etham (q.v.), 13:20,
"in the edge of the wilderness," and was probably a little to
the west of the modern town of Ismailia, on the Suez Canal. Here
they were commanded "to turn and encamp before Pi-hahiroth,
between Migdol and the sea", i.e., to change their route from
east to due south. The Lord now assumed the direction of their
march in the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. They
were then led along the west shore of the Red Sea till they came
to an extensive camping-ground "before Pi-hahiroth," about 40
miles from Etham. This distance from Etham may have taken three
days to traverse, for the number of camping-places by no means
indicates the number of days spent on the journey: e.g., it took
fully a month to travel from Rameses to the wilderness of Sin
(Ex. 16:1), yet reference is made to only six camping-places
during all that time. The exact spot of their encampment before
they crossed the Red Sea cannot be determined. It was probably
somewhere near the present site of Suez.
Under the direction of God the children of Israel went
"forward" from the camp "before Pi-hahiroth," and the sea opened
a pathway for them, so that they crossed to the farther shore in
safety. The Egyptian host pursued after them, and, attempting to
follow through the sea, were overwhelmed in its returning
waters, and thus the whole military force of the Egyptians
perished. They "sank as lead in the mighty waters" (Ex. 15:1-9;
compare Ps. 77:16-19).
Having reached the eastern shore of the sea, perhaps a little
way to the north of 'Ayun Musa ("the springs of Moses"), there
they encamped and rested probably for a day. Here Miriam and the
other women sang the triumphal song recorded in Ex. 15:1-21.
From 'Ayun Musa they went on for three days through a part of
the barren "wilderness of Shur" (22), called also the
"wilderness of Etham" (Num. 33:8; compare Ex. 13:20), without
finding water. On the last of these days they came to Marah
(q.v.), where the "bitter" water was by a miracle made
Their next camping-place was Elim (q.v.), where were twelve
springs of water and a grove of "threescore and ten" palm trees
After a time the children of Israel "took their journey from
Elim," and encamped by the Red Sea (Num. 33:10), and thence
removed to the "wilderness of Sin" (to be distinguished from the
wilderness of Zin, 20:1), where they again encamped. Here,
probably the modern el-Markha, the supply of bread they had
brought with them out of Egypt failed. They began to "murmur"
for want of bread. God "heard their murmurings" and gave them
quails and manna, "bread from heaven" (Ex. 16:4-36). Moses
directed that an omer of manna should be put aside and preserved
as a perpetual memorial of God's goodness. They now turned
inland, and after three encampments came to the rich and fertile
valley of Rephidim, in the Wady Feiran. Here they found no
water, and again murmured against Moses. Directed by God, Moses
procured a miraculous supply of water from the "rock in Horeb,"
one of the hills of the Sinai group (17:1-7); and shortly
afterwards the children of Israel here fought their first battle
with the Amalekites, whom they smote with the edge of the sword.
From the eastern extremity of the Wady Feiran the line of
march now probably led through the Wady esh-Sheikh and the Wady
Solaf, meeting in the Wady er-Rahah, "the enclosed plain in
front of the magnificient cliffs of Ras Sufsafeh." Here they
encamped for more than a year (Num. 1:1; 10:11) before Sinai
The different encampments of the children of Israel, from the
time of their leaving Egypt till they reached the Promised Land,
are mentioned in Ex. 12:37-19; Num. 10-21; 33; Deut. 1, 2, 10.
It is worthy of notice that there are unmistakable evidences
that the Egyptians had a tradition of a great exodus from their
country, which could be none other than the exodus of the
this word is found in Ex. 25:5; 26:14; 35:7, 23; 36:19; 39:34;
Num. 4:6, etc. The tabernacle was covered with badgers' skins;
the shoes of women were also made of them (Ezek. 16:10). Our
translators seem to have been misled by the similarity in sound
of the Hebrew "tachash" and the Latin "taxus", "a badger." The
revisers have correctly substituted "seal skins." The Arabs of
the Sinaitic peninsula apply the name "tucash" to the seals and
dugongs which are common in the Red Sea, and the skins of which
are largely used as leather and for sandals. Though the badger
is common in Israel, and might occur in the wilderness, its
small hide would have been useless as a tent covering. The
dugong, very plentiful in the shallow waters on the shores of
the Red Sea, is a marine animal from 12 to 30 feet long,
something between a whale and a seal, never leaving the water,
but very easily caught. It grazes on seaweed, and is known by
naturalists as Halicore tabernaculi.
one of the two portions into which the tabernacle was divided
(Ex. 26:31; 37:17-25; Heb. 9:2). It was 20 cubits long and 10 in
height and breadth. It was illuminated by the golden
candlestick, as it had no opening to admit the light. It
contained the table of showbread (Ex. 25:23-29) and the golden
altar of incense (30:1-11). It was divided from the holy of
holies by a veil of the most costly materials and the brightest
The arrangement of the temple (q.v.) was the same in this
respect. In it the walls of hewn stone were wainscotted with
cedar and overlaid with gold, and adorned with beautiful
carvings. It was entered from the porch by folding doors
overlaid with gold and richly embossed. Outside the holy place
stood the great tank or "sea" of molten brass, supported by
twelve oxen, three turned each way, capable of containing two
thousand baths of water. Besides this there were ten lavers and
the brazen altar of burnt sacrifice.
supports, one of the stations of the Israelites, situated in the
Wady Feiran, near its junction with the Wady esh-Sheikh. Here no
water could be found for the people to drink, and in their
impatience they were ready to stone Moses, as if he were the
cause of their distress. At the command of God Moses smote "the
rock in Horeb," and a copious stream flowed forth, enough for
all the people. After this the Amalekites attacked the
Israelites while they were here encamped, but they were utterly
defeated (Ex. 17:1, 8-16). They were the "first of the nations"
to make war against Israel (Num. 24:20).
Leaving Rephidim, the Israelites advanced into the wilderness
of Sinai (Ex. 19:1, 2; Num. 33:14, 15), marching probably
through the two passes of the Wady Solaf and the Wady
esh-Sheikh, which converge at the entrance to the plain
er-Rahah, the "desert of Sinai," which is two miles long and
about half a mile broad. (See SINAI T0003442; MERIBAH
conjugal infidelity. An adulterer was a man who had illicit
intercourse with a married or a betrothed woman, and such a
woman was an adulteress. Intercourse between a married man and
an unmarried woman was fornication. Adultery was regarded as a
great social wrong, as well as a great sin.
The Mosaic law (Num. 5:11-31) prescribed that the suspected
wife should be tried by the ordeal of the "water of jealousy."
There is, however, no recorded instance of the application of
this law. In subsequent times the Rabbis made various
regulations with the view of discovering the guilty party, and
of bringing about a divorce. It has been inferred from John
8:1-11 that this sin became very common during the age preceding
the destruction of Jerusalem.
Idolatry, covetousness, and apostasy are spoken of as adultery
spiritually (Jer. 3:6, 8, 9; Ezek. 16:32; Hos. 1:2:3; Rev.
2:22). An apostate church is an adulteress (Isa. 1:21; Ezek.
23:4, 7, 37), and the Jews are styled "an adulterous generation"
(Matt. 12:39). (Compare Rev. 12.)
called "dag" by the Hebrews, a word denoting great fecundity
(Gen. 9:2; Num. 11:22; Jonah 2:1, 10). No fish is mentioned by
name either in the Old or in the New Testament. Fish abounded in
the Mediterranean and in the lakes of the Jordan, so that the
Hebrews were no doubt acquainted with many species. Two of the
villages on the shores of the Sea of Galilee derived their names
from their fisheries, Bethsaida (the "house of fish") on the
east and on the west. There is probably no other sheet of water
in the world of equal dimensions that contains such a variety
and profusion of fish. About thirty-seven different kinds have
been found. Some of the fishes are of a European type, such as
the roach, the barbel, and the blenny; others are markedly
African and tropical, such as the eel-like silurus. There was a
regular fish-market apparently in Jerusalem (2 Chr. 33:14; Neh.
3:3; 12:39; Zeph. 1:10), as there was a fish-gate which was
probably contiguous to it.
Sidon is the oldest fishing establishment known in history.
house of mercy, a reservoir (Gr. kolumbethra, "a swimming bath")
with five porches, close to the sheep-gate or market (Neh. 3:1;
John 5:2). Eusebius the historian (A.D. 330) calls it "the
sheep-pool." It is also called "Bethsaida" and "Beth-zatha"
(John 5:2, R.V. marg.). Under these "porches" or colonnades were
usually a large number of infirm people waiting for the
"troubling of the water." It is usually identified with the
modern so-called Fountain of the Virgin, in the valley of the
Kidron, and not far from the Pool of Siloam (q.v.); and also
with the Birket Israel, a pool near the mouth of the valley
which runs into the Kidron south of "St. Stephen's Gate." Others
again identify it with the twin pools called the "Souterrains,"
under the convent of the Sisters of Zion, situated in what must
have been the rock-hewn ditch between Bezetha and the fortress
of Antonia. But quite recently Schick has discovered a large
tank, as sketched here, situated about 100 feet north-west of
St. Anne's Church, which is, as he contends, very probably the
Pool of Bethesda. No certainty as to its identification,
however, has as yet been arrived at. (See FOUNTAIN T0001378;
(Heb. rothem), called by the Arabs retem, and known as Spanish
broom; ranked under the genus genista. It is a desert shrub, and
abounds in many parts of Israel. In the account of his
journey from Akabah to Jerusalem, Dr. Robinson says: "This is
the largest and most conspicuous shrub of these deserts, growing
thickly in the water-courses and valleys. Our Arabs always
selected the place of encampment, if possible, in a spot where
it grew, in order to be sheltered by it at night from the wind;
and during the day, when they often went on in advance of the
camels, we found them not unfrequently sitting or sleeping under
a bush of retem to shelter them from the sun. It was in this
very desert, a day's journey from Beersheba, that the prophet
Elijah lay down and slept beneath the same shrub" (1 Kings 19:4,
5). It afforded material for fuel, and also in cases of
extremity for human food (Ps. 120:4; Job 30:4). One of the
encampments in the wilderness of Paran is called Rithmah, i.e.,
"place of broom" (Num. 33:18).
"The Bedawin of Sinai still burn this very plant into a
charcoal which throws out the most intense heat."
the Graecized form of Judah. (1.) The patriarch (Matt. 1:2, 3).
(2.) Son of Simon (John 6:71; 13:2, 26), surnamed Iscariot,
i.e., a man of Kerioth (Josh. 15:25). His name is uniformly the
last in the list of the apostles, as given in the synoptic
(i.e., the first three) Gospels. The evil of his nature probably
gradually unfolded itself till "Satan entered into him" (John
13:27), and he betrayed our Lord (18:3). Afterwards he owned his
sin with "an exceeding bitter cry," and cast the money he had
received as the wages of his iniquity down on the floor of the
sanctuary, and "departed and went and hanged himself" (Matt.
27:5). He perished in his guilt, and "went unto his own place"
(Acts 1:25). The statement in Acts 1:18 that he "fell headlong
and burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out,"
is in no way contrary to that in Matt. 27:5. The sucide first
hanged himself, perhaps over the valley of Hinnom, "and the rope
giving way, or the branch to which he hung breaking, he fell
down headlong on his face, and was crushed and mangled on the
rocky pavement below."
Why such a man was chosen to be an apostle we know not, but it
is written that "Jesus knew from the beginning who should betray
him" (John 6:64). Nor can any answer be satisfactorily given to
the question as to the motives that led Judas to betray his
Master. "Of the motives that have been assigned we need not care
to fix on any one as that which simply led him on. Crime is, for
the most part, the result of a hundred motives rushing with
bewildering fury through the mind of the criminal."
(3.) A Jew of Damascus (Acts 9:11), to whose house Ananias was
sent. The street called "Straight" in which it was situated is
identified with the modern "street of bazaars," where is still
pointed out the so-called "house of Judas."
(4.) A Christian teacher, surnamed Barsabas. He was sent from
Jerusalem to Antioch along with Paul and Barnabas with the
decision of the council (Acts 15:22, 27, 32). He was a "prophet"
and a "chief man among the brethren."
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.)
the process by which a person unclean, according to the
Levitical law, and thereby cut off from the sanctuary and the
festivals, was restored to the enjoyment of all these
The great annual purification of the people was on the Day of
But in the details of daily life there were special causes of
cermonial uncleanness which were severally provided for by
ceremonial laws enacted for each separate case. For example, the
case of the leper (Lev. 13, 14), and of the house defiled by
leprosy (14:49-53; see also Matt. 8:2-4). Uncleanness from
touching a dead body (Num. 19:11; Hos. 9:4; Hag. 2:13; Matt.
23:27; Luke 11:44). The case of the high priest and of the
Nazarite (Lev. 21:1-4, 10, 11; Num. 6:6, 7; Ezek. 44:25).
Purification was effected by bathing and washing the clothes
(Lev. 14:8, 9); by washing the hands (Deut. 21:6; Matt. 27:24);
washing the hands and feet (Ex. 30:18-21; Heb. 6:2, "baptisms",
R.V. marg., "washings;" 9:10); sprinkling with blood and water
(Ex. 24:5-8; Heb. 9:19), etc. Allusions to this rite are found
in Ps. 26:6; 51:7; Ezek. 36:25; Heb. 10:22.
was "taken out of man" (Gen. 2:23), and therefore the man has
the preeminence. "The head of the woman is the man;" but yet
honour is to be shown to the wife, "as unto the weaker vessel"
(1 Cor. 11:3, 8, 9; 1 Pet. 3:7). Several women are mentioned in
Scripture as having been endowed with prophetic gifts, as Miriam
(Ex. 15:20), Deborah (Judg. 4:4, 5), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14),
Noadiah (Neh. 6:14), Anna (Luke 2:36, 37), and the daughters of
Philip the evangelist (Acts 21:8, 9). Women are forbidden to
teach publicly (1 Cor. 14:34, 35; 1 Tim. 2:11, 12). Among the
Hebrews it devolved upon women to prepare the meals for the
household (Gen. 18:6; 2 Sam. 13:8), to attend to the work of
spinning (Ex. 35:26; Prov. 31:19), and making clothes (1 Sam.
2:19; Prov. 31:21), to bring water from the well (Gen. 24:15; 1
Sam. 9:11), and to care for the flocks (Gen. 29:6; Ex. 2:16).
The word "woman," as used in Matt. 15:28, John 2:4 and 20:13,
15, implies tenderness and courtesy and not disrespect. Only
where revelation is known has woman her due place of honour
assigned to her.
There are ten Hebrew words used in Scripture to signify locust.
In the New Testament locusts are mentioned as forming part of
the food of John the Baptist (Matt. 3:4; Mark 1:6). By the
Mosaic law they were reckoned "clean," so that he could lawfully
eat them. The name also occurs in Rev. 9:3, 7, in allusion to
this Oriental devastating insect.
Locusts belong to the class of Orthoptera, i.e.,
straight-winged. They are of many species. The ordinary Syrian
locust resembles the grasshopper, but is larger and more
destructive. "The legs and thighs of these insects are so
powerful that they can leap to a height of two hundred times the
length of their bodies. When so raised they spread their wings
and fly so close together as to appear like one compact moving
mass." Locusts are prepared as food in various ways. Sometimes
they are pounded, and then mixed with flour and water, and baked
into cakes; "sometimes boiled, roasted, or stewed in butter, and
then eaten." They were eaten in a preserved state by the ancient
The devastations they make in Eastern lands are often very
appalling. The invasions of locusts are the heaviest calamites
that can befall a country. "Their numbers exceed computation:
the hebrews called them 'the countless,' and the Arabs knew them
as 'the darkeners of the sun.' Unable to guide their own flight,
though capable of crossing large spaces, they are at the mercy
of the wind, which bears them as blind instruments of Providence
to the doomed region given over to them for the time.
Innumerable as the drops of water or the sands of the seashore,
their flight obscures the sun and casts a thick shadow on the
earth (Ex. 10:15; Judg. 6:5; 7:12; Jer. 46:23; Joel 2:10). It
seems indeed as if a great aerial mountain, many miles in
breadth, were advancing with a slow, unresting progress. Woe to
the countries beneath them if the wind fall and let them alight!
They descend unnumbered as flakes of snow and hide the ground.
It may be 'like the garden of Eden before them, but behind them
is a desolate wilderness. At their approach the people are in
anguish; all faces lose their colour' (Joel 2:6). No walls can
stop them; no ditches arrest them; fires kindled in their path
are forthwith extinguished by the myriads of their dead, and the
countless armies march on (Joel 2:8, 9). If a door or a window
be open, they enter and destroy everything of wood in the house.
Every terrace, court, and inner chamber is filled with them in a
moment. Such an awful visitation swept over Egypt (Ex. 10:1-19),
consuming before it every green thing, and stripping the trees,
till the land was bared of all signs of vegetation. A strong
north-west wind from the Mediterranean swept the locusts into
the Red Sea.", Geikie's Hours, etc., ii., 149.
in use among the Hebrews for fishing, hunting, and fowling. The
fishing-net was probably constructed after the form of that used
by the Egyptians (Isa. 19:8). There were three kinds of nets.
(1.) The drag-net or hauling-net (Gr. sagene), of great size,
and requiring many men to work it. It was usually let down from
the fishing-boat, and then drawn to the shore or into the boat,
as circumstances might require (Matt. 13:47, 48). (2.) The
hand-net or casting-net (Gr. amphiblestron), which was thrown
from a rock or a boat at any fish that might be seen (Matt.
4:18; Mark 1:16). It was called by the Latins funda. It was of
circular form, "like the top of a tent." (3.) The bag-net (Gr.
diktyon), used for enclosing fish in deep water (Luke 5:4-9).
The fowling-nets were (1) the trap, consisting of a net spread
over a frame, and supported by a stick in such a way that it
fell with the slightest touch (Amos 3:5, "gin;" Ps. 69:22; Job
18:9; Eccl. 9:12). (2) The snare, consisting of a cord to catch
birds by the leg (Job 18:10; Ps. 18:5; 116:3; 140:5). (3.) The
decoy, a cage filled with birds as decoys (Jer. 5:26, 27).
Hunting-nets were much in use among the Hebrews.