the Hermes (i.e., "the speaker") of the Greeks (Acts 14:12), a
heathen God represented as the constant attendant of Jupiter,
and the god of eloquence. The inhabitants of Lystra took Paul
for this god because he was the "chief speaker."
the destroyer, subduer, or fish-god, the god of the Moabites
(Num. 21:29; Jer. 48:7, 13, 46). The worship of this god, "the
abomination of Moab," was introduced at Jerusalem by Solomon (1
Kings 11:7), but was abolished by Josiah (2 Kings 23:13). On the
"Moabite Stone" (q.v.), Mesha (2 Kings 3:5) ascribes his
victories over the king of Israel to this god, "And Chemosh
drove him before my sight."
(Gr. Logos), one of the titles of our Lord, found only in the
writings of John (John 1:1-14; 1 John 1:1; Rev. 19:13). As such,
Christ is the revealer of God. His office is to make God known.
"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which
is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John
1:18). This title designates the divine nature of Christ. As the
Word, he "was in the beginning" and "became flesh." "The Word
was with God " and "was God," and was the Creator of all things
(compare Ps.33: 6; 107:20; 119:89; 147:18; Isa. 40:8).
a change from enmity to friendship. It is mutual, i.e., it is a
change wrought in both parties who have been at enmity.
(1.) In Col. 1:21, 22, the word there used refers to a change
wrought in the personal character of the sinner who ceases to be
an enemy to God by wicked works, and yields up to him his full
confidence and love. In 2 Cor. 5:20 the apostle beseeches the
Corinthians to be "reconciled to God", i.e., to lay aside their
(2.) Rom. 5:10 refers not to any change in our disposition
toward God, but to God himself, as the party reconciled. Romans
5:11 teaches the same truth. From God we have received "the
reconciliation" (R.V.), i.e., he has conferred on us the token
of his friendship. So also 2 Cor. 5:18, 19 speaks of a
reconciliation originating with God, and consisting in the
removal of his merited wrath. In Eph. 2:16 it is clear that the
apostle does not refer to the winning back of the sinner in love
and loyalty to God, but to the restoration of God's forfeited
favour. This is effected by his justice being satisfied, so that
he can, in consistency with his own nature, be favourable toward
sinners. Justice demands the punishment of sinners. The death of
Christ satisfies justice, and so reconciles God to us. This
reconciliation makes God our friend, and enables him to pardon
and save us. (See ATONEMENT T0000362.)
man of God, or virgin of God, or house of God. (1.) The son of
Nahor by Milcah; nephew of Abraham, and father of Rebekah (Gen.
22:22, 23; 24:15, 24, 47). He appears in person only once
(2.) A southern city of Judah (1 Chr. 4:30); called also
Bethul (Josh. 19:4) and Bethel (12:16; 1 Sam. 30:27).
Son of God
The plural, "sons of God," is used (Gen. 6:2, 4) to denote the
pious descendants of Seth. In Job 1:6; 38:7 this name is applied
to the angels. Hosea uses the phrase (1:10) to designate the
gracious relation in which men stand to God.
In the New Testament this phrase frequently denotes the
relation into which we are brought to God by adoption (Rom.
8:14, 19; 2 Cor. 6:18; Gal. 4:5, 6; Phil. 2:15; 1 John 3:1, 2).
It occurs thirty-seven times in the New Testament as the
distinctive title of our Saviour. He does not bear this title in
consequence of his miraculous birth, nor of his incarnation, his
resurrection, and exaltation to the Father's right hand. This is
a title of nature and not of office. The sonship of Christ
denotes his equality with the Father. To call Christ the Son of
God is to assert his true and proper divinity. The second Person
of the Trinity, because of his eternal relation to the first
Person, is the Son of God. He is the Son of God as to his divine
nature, while as to his human nature he is the Son of David
(Rom. 1:3, 4. Compare Gal. 4:4; John 1:1-14; 5:18-25; 10:30-38,
which prove that Christ was the Son of God before his
incarnation, and that his claim to this title is a claim of
equality with God).
When used with reference to creatures, whether men or angels,
this word is always in the plural. In the singular it is always
used of the second Person of the Trinity, with the single
exception of Luke 3:38, where it is used of Adam.
covenant lord, the name of the god worshipped in Shechem after
the death of Gideon (Judg. 8:33; 9:4). In 9:46 he is called
simply "the god Berith." The name denotes the god of the
covenant into which the Israelites entered with the Canaanites,
contrary to the command of Jehovah (Ex. 34:12), when they began
to fall away to the worship of idols.
denounced by God against the serpent (Gen. 3:14), and against
Cain (4:11). These divine maledictions carried their effect with
them. Prophetical curses were sometimes pronounced by holy men
(Gen. 9:25; 49:7; Deut. 27:15; Josh. 6:26). Such curses are not
the consequence of passion or revenge, they are predictions.
No one on pain of death shall curse father or mother (Ex.
21:17), nor the prince of his people (22:28), nor the deaf (Lev.
19:14). Cursing God or blaspheming was punishable by death (Lev.
24:10-16). The words "curse God and die" (R.V., "renounce God
and die"), used by Job's wife (Job 2:9), have been variously
interpreted. Perhaps they simply mean that as nothing but death
was expected, God would by this cursing at once interpose and
destroy Job, and so put an end to his sufferings.
the transliteration of the Hebrew word "tsebha'oth", meaning
"hosts," "armies" (Rom. 9:29; James 5:4). In the LXX. the Hebrew
word is rendered by "Almighty." (See Rev. 4:8; compare Isa. 6:3.)
It may designate Jehovah as either (1) God of the armies of
earth, or (2) God of the armies of the stars, or (3) God of the
unseen armies of angels; or perhaps it may include all these
champion of El; man of God, a descendant of Cain (Gen. 4:18), so
called, perhaps, to denote that even among the descendants of
Cain God had not left himself without a witness.
that extraordinary or supernatural divine influence vouchsafed
to those who wrote the Holy Scriptures, rendering their writings
infallible. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God"
(R.V., "Every scripture inspired of God"), 2 Tim. 3:16. This is
true of all the "sacred writings," not in the sense of their
being works of genius or of supernatural insight, but as
"theopneustic," i.e., "breathed into by God" in such a sense
that the writers were supernaturally guided to express exactly
what God intended them to express as a revelation of his mind
and will. The testimony of the sacred writers themselves
abundantly demonstrates this truth; and if they are infallible
as teachers of doctrine, then the doctrine of plenary
inspiration must be accepted. There are no errors in the Bible
as it came from God, none have been proved to exist.
Difficulties and phenomena we cannot explain are not errors. All
these books of the Old and New Testaments are inspired. We do
not say that they contain, but that they are, the Word of God.
The gift of inspiration rendered the writers the organs of God,
for the infallible communication of his mind and will, in the
very manner and words in which it was originally given.
As to the nature of inspiration we have no information. This
only we know, it rendered the writers infallible. They were all
equally inspired, and are all equally infallible. The
inspiration of the sacred writers did not change their
characters. They retained all their individual peculiarities as
thinkers or writers. (See BIBLE T0000580; WORD OF GOD
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.
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.
helper of God, or assembly of God. (1.) The third son of Nahor
(2.) Son of Shiphtan, appointed on behalf of the tribe of
Ephraim to partition the land of Canaan (Num. 34:24).
(3.) A Levite (1 Chr. 27:17).
a word not found in Scripture, but used to express the doctrine
of the unity of God as subsisting in three distinct Persons.
This word is derived from the Gr. trias, first used by
Theophilus (A.D. 168-183), or from the Lat. trinitas, first used
by Tertullian (A.D. 220), to express this doctrine. The
propositions involved in the doctrine are these: 1. That God is
one, and that there is but one God (Deut. 6:4; 1 Kings 8:60;
Isa. 44:6; Mark 12:29, 32; John 10:30). 2. That the Father is a
distinct divine Person (hypostasis, subsistentia, persona,
suppositum intellectuale), distinct from the Son and the Holy
Spirit. 3. That Jesus Christ was truly God, and yet was a Person
distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. 4. That the Holy
Spirit is also a distinct divine Person.
Government of God
See PROVIDENCE T0003012.
fly-lord, the god of the Philistines at Ekron (2 Kings 1:2, 3,
16). This name was given to the god because he was supposed to
be able to avert the plague of flies which in that region was to
be feared. He was consulted by Ahaziah as to his recovery.
(Gr. form Beel'zebul), the name given to Satan, and found only
in the New Testament (Matt. 10:25; 12:24, 27; Mark 3:22). It is
probably the same as Baalzebub (q.v.), the god of Ekron, meaning
"the lord of flies," or, as others think, "the lord of dung," or
gift of God. Acts 1:23.
an oblation, dedicated to God. Thus Cain consecrated to God of
the first-fruits of the earth, and Abel of the firstlings of the
flock (Gen. 4:3, 4). Under the Levitical system different kinds
of offerings are specified, and laws laid down as to their
presentation. These are described under their distinctive names.
In the Old Testament used in every case, except 2 Sam. 16:23, to
denote the most holy place in the temple (1 Kings 6:5, 19-23;
8:6). In 2 Sam. 16:23 it means the Word of God. A man inquired
"at the oracle of God" by means of the Urim and Thummim in the
breastplate on the high priest's ephod. In the New Testament it
is used only in the plural, and always denotes the Word of God
(Rom. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, etc.). The Scriptures are called "living
oracles" (compare Heb. 4:12) because of their quickening power
the lion of God. (1.) One of the chief men sent by Ezra to
procure Levites for the sanctuary (Ezra 8:16).
(2.) A symbolic name for Jerusalem (Isa. 29:1, 2, 7) as
"victorious under God," and in Ezek. 43:15, 16, for the altar
(marg., Heb. 'ariel) of burnt offerings, the secret of Israel's
lion-like, venerable. (1.) A king of Ellasar who was confederate
with Chedorlamer (Gen. 14:1,9). The tablets recently discovered
by Mr. Pinches (see CHALDEA T0000758) show the true reading is
Eri-Aku of Larsa. This Elamite name meant "servant of the
moon-god." It was afterwards changed into Rimsin, "Have mercy, O
moon-god." (2.) Dan. 2:14.
the principal deity of the ancient Greeks and Romans. He was
worshipped by them under various epithets. Barnabas was
identified with this god by the Lycaonians (Acts 14:12), because
he was of stately and commanding presence, as they supposed
Jupiter to be. There was a temple dedicated to this god outside
the gates of Lystra (14:13).
God with us, Matt. 1:23). (See IMMANUEL T0001875.)
(Heb. kabhod; Gr. doxa). (1.) Abundance, wealth, treasure, and
hence honour (Ps. 49:12); glory (Gen. 31:1; Matt. 4:8; Rev.
(2.) Honour, dignity (1 Kings 3:13; Heb. 2:7 1 Pet. 1:24); of
God (Ps. 19:1; 29:1); of the mind or heart (Gen. 49:6; Ps. 7:5;
(3.) Splendour, brightness, majesty (Gen. 45:13; Isa. 4:5;
Acts 22:11; 2 Cor. 3:7); of Jehovah (Isa. 59:19; 60:1; 2 Thess.
(4.) The glorious moral attributes, the infinite perfections
of God (Isa. 40:5; Acts 7:2; Rom. 1:23; 9:23; Eph. 1:12). Jesus
is the "brightness of the Father's glory" (Heb. 1:3; John 1:14;
(5.) The bliss of heaven (Rom. 2:7, 10; 5:2; 8:18; Heb. 2:10;
1 Pet. 5:1, 10).
(6.) The phrase "Give glory to God" (Josh. 7:19; Jer. 13:16)
is a Hebrew idiom meaning, "Confess your sins." The words of the
Jews to the blind man, "Give God the praise" (John 9:24), are an
adjuration to confess. They are equivalent to, "Confess that you
are an impostor," "Give God the glory by speaking the truth;"
for they denied that a miracle had been wrought.
servant of God, (Jer. 36:26), the father of Shelemiah.
servant of God, (1 Chr. 5:15), a Gadite chief.
comforted by God, a Levitical musician (1 Chr. 15:18).
is converse with God; the intercourse of the soul with God, not
in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him.
Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant,
ejaculatory or formal. It is a "beseeching the Lord" (Ex.
32:11); "pouring out the soul before the Lord" (1 Sam. 1:15);
"praying and crying to heaven" (2 Chr. 32:20); "seeking unto God
and making supplication" (Job 8:5); "drawing near to God" (Ps.
73:28); "bowing the knees" (Eph. 3:14).
Prayer presupposes a belief in the personality of God, his
ability and willingness to hold intercourse with us, his
personal control of all things and of all his creatures and all
Acceptable prayer must be sincere (Heb. 10:22), offered with
reverence and godly fear, with a humble sense of our own
insignificance as creatures and of our own unworthiness as
sinners, with earnest importunity, and with unhesitating
submission to the divine will. Prayer must also be offered in
the faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer,
and that he will fulfil his word, "Ask, and ye shall receive"
(Matt. 7:7, 8; 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13, 14), and in the
name of Christ (16:23, 24; 15:16; Eph. 2:18; 5:20; Col. 3:17; 1
Prayer is of different kinds, secret (Matt. 6:6); social, as
family prayers, and in social worship; and public, in the
service of the sanctuary.
Intercessory prayer is enjoined (Num. 6:23; Job 42:8; Isa.
62:6; Ps. 122:6; 1 Tim. 2:1; James 5:14), and there are many
instances on record of answers having been given to such
prayers, e.g., of Abraham (Gen. 17:18, 20; 18:23-32; 20:7, 17,
18), of Moses for Pharaoh (Ex. 8:12, 13, 30, 31; Ex. 9:33), for
the Israelites (Ex. 17:11, 13; 32:11-14, 31-34; Num. 21:7, 8;
Deut. 9:18, 19, 25), for Miriam (Num. 12:13), for Aaron (Deut.
9:20), of Samuel (1 Sam. 7:5-12), of Solomon (1 Kings 8; 2 Chr.
6), Elijah (1 Kings 17:20-23), Elisha (2 Kings 4:33-36), Isaiah
(2 Kings 19), Jeremiah (42:2-10), Peter (Acts 9:40), the church
(12:5-12), Paul (28:8).
No rules are anywhere in Scripture laid down for the manner of
prayer or the attitude to be assumed by the suppliant. There is
mention made of kneeling in prayer (1 Kings 8:54; 2 Chr. 6:13;
Ps. 95:6; Isa. 45:23; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; 9:40; Eph. 3:14,
etc.); of bowing and falling prostrate (Gen. 24:26, 52; Ex.
4:31; 12:27; Matt. 26:39; Mark 14:35, etc.); of spreading out
the hands (1 Kings 8:22, 38, 54; Ps. 28:2; 63:4; 88:9; 1 Tim.
2:8, etc.); and of standing (1 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kings 8:14, 55; 2
Chr. 20:9; Mark 11:25; Luke 18:11, 13).
If we except the "Lord's Prayer" (Matt. 6:9-13), which is,
however, rather a model or pattern of prayer than a set prayer
to be offered up, we have no special form of prayer for general
use given us in Scripture.
Prayer is frequently enjoined in Scripture (Ex. 22:23, 27; 1
Kings 3:5; 2 Chr. 7:14; Ps. 37:4; Isa. 55:6; Joel 2:32; Ezek.
36:37, etc.), and we have very many testimonies that it has been
answered (Ps. 3:4; 4:1; 6:8; 18:6; 28:6; 30:2; 34:4; 118:5;
James 5:16-18, etc.).
"Abraham's servant prayed to God, and God directed him to the
person who should be wife to his master's son and heir (Gen.
"Jacob prayed to God, and God inclined the heart of his
irritated brother, so that they met in peace and friendship
(Gen. 32:24-30; 33:1-4).
"Samson prayed to God, and God showed him a well where he
quenched his burning thirst, and so lived to judge Israel (Judg.
"David prayed, and God defeated the counsel of Ahithophel (2
Sam. 15:31; 16:20-23; 17:14-23).
"Daniel prayed, and God enabled him both to tell
Nebuchadnezzar his dream and to give the interpretation of it
(Dan. 2: 16-23).
"Nehemiah prayed, and God inclined the heart of the king of
Persia to grant him leave of absence to visit and rebuild
Jerusalem (Neh. 1:11; 2:1-6).
"Esther and Mordecai prayed, and God defeated the purpose of
Haman, and saved the Jews from destruction (Esther 4:15-17; 6:7,
"The believers in Jerusalem prayed, and God opened the prison
doors and set Peter at liberty, when Herod had resolved upon his
death (Acts 12:1-12).
"Paul prayed that the thorn in the flesh might be removed, and
his prayer brought a large increase of spiritual strength, while
the thorn perhaps remained (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
"Prayer is like the dove that Noah sent forth, which blessed
him not only when it returned with an olive-leaf in its mouth,
but when it never returned at all.", Robinson's Job.
a moral rather than an intellectual quality. To be "foolish" is
to be godless (Ps. 14:1; compare Judg. 19:23; 2 Sam. 13:13). True
wisdom is a gift from God to those who ask it (Job 28:12-28;
Prov. 3:13-18; Rom. 1:22; 16:27; 1 Cor. 1:17-21; 2:6-8; James
1:5). "Wisdom" in Prov. 1:20; 8:1; 9:1-5 may be regarded not as
a mere personification of the attribute of wisdom, but as a
divine person, "Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God"
(1 Cor. 1:24). In Matt. 11:19 it is the personified principle of
wisdom that is meant.
snatched away by God, a descendant of Zerah (1 Chr. 9:6).
vision of God, the father of Joel the prophet (Joel 1:1).
face of God, father of the prophetess Anna (q.v.), Luke 2:36.
a rule of action. (1.) The Law of Nature is the will of God as
to human conduct, founded on the moral difference of things, and
discoverable by natural light (Rom. 1:20; 2:14, 15). This law
binds all men at all times. It is generally designated by the
term conscience, or the capacity of being influenced by the
moral relations of things.
(2.) The Ceremonial Law prescribes under the Old Testament the
rites and ceremonies of worship. This law was obligatory only
till Christ, of whom these rites were typical, had finished his
work (Heb. 7:9, 11; 10:1; Eph. 2:16). It was fulfilled rather
than abrogated by the gospel.
(3.) The Judicial Law, the law which directed the civil policy
of the Hebrew nation.
(4.) The Moral Law is the revealed will of God as to human
conduct, binding on all men to the end of time. It was
promulgated at Sinai. It is perfect (Ps. 19:7), perpetual (Matt.
5:17, 18), holy (Rom. 7:12), good, spiritual (14), and exceeding
broad (Ps. 119:96). Although binding on all, we are not under it
as a covenant of works (Gal. 3:17). (See COMMANDMENTS
(5.) Positive Laws are precepts founded only on the will of
God. They are right because God commands them.
(6.) Moral positive laws are commanded by God because they are
allotted by God, the first of the sons of Naphtali (Gen. 46:24).
smitten by God, the son of Irad, and father of Methusael (Gen.
redeemed of God, the son of Ammihud, a prince of Naphtali (Num.
asked for of God, father of Zerubbabel (Ezra 3:2, 8; Neh. 12:1).
deep-rooted hatred. "I will put enmity between thee and the
woman, between thy seed and her seed" (Gen. 3:15). The
friendship of the world is "enmity with God" (James 4:4; 1 John
2:15, 16). The "carnal mind" is "enmity against God" (Rom. 8:7).
By the abrogation of the Mosaic institutes the "enmity" between
Jew and Gentile is removed. They are reconciled, are "made one"
(Eph. 2:15, 16).
plural of Baal; images of the god Baal (Judg. 2:11; 1 Sam. 7:4).
God is his rejector, one of David's thirty-seven distinguished
heros (2 Sam. 23:25).
God allots, a prince of the tribe of Asher (Num. 1:13), in the
God is her oath, the daughter of Amminadab and the wife of Aaron
God his salvation, a son of David, 2 Sam. 5:15 = Elishama, 1
upright towards God, the head of the seventh division of
Levitical musicians (1 Chr. 25:14).
little fish; diminutive from dag = a fish, the fish-god; the
national god of the Philistines (Judg. 16:23). This idol had the
body of a fish with the head and hands of a man. It was an
Assyrio-Babylonian deity, the worship of which was introduced
among the Philistines through Chaldea. The most famous of the
temples of Dagon were at Gaza (Judg. 16:23-30) and Ashdod (1
Sam. 5:1-7). (See FISH T0001343.)
Goodness of God
a perfection of his character which he exercises towards his
creatures according to their various circumstances and relations
(Ps. 145:8, 9; 103:8; 1 John 4:8). Viewed generally, it is
benevolence; as exercised with respect to the miseries of his
creatures it is mercy, pity, compassion, and in the case of
impenitent sinners, long-suffering patience; as exercised in
communicating favour on the unworthy it is grace. "Goodness and
justice are the several aspects of one unchangeable, infinitely
wise, and sovereign moral perfection. God is not sometimes
merciful and sometimes just, but he is eternally infinitely just
and merciful." God is infinitely and unchangeably good (Zeph.
3:17), and his goodness is incomprehensible by the finite mind
(Rom. 11: 35, 36). "God's goodness appears in two things, giving
Word of God
(Heb. 4:12, etc.). The Bible so called because the writers of
its several books were God's organs in communicating his will to
men. It is his "word," because he speaks to us in its sacred
pages. Whatever the inspired writers here declare to be true and
binding upon us, God declares to be true and binding. This word
is infallible, because written under the guidance of the Holy
Spirit, and therefore free from all error of fact or doctrine or
precept. (See INSPIRATION T0001884; BIBLE T0000580.) All
saving knowledge is obtained from the word of God. In the case
of adults it is an indispensable means of salvation, and is
efficacious thereunto by the gracious influence of the Holy
Spirit (John 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:15, 16; 1 Pet. 1:23).
The old objection against the doctrine of salvation by grace,
that it does away with the necessity of good works, and lowers
the sense of their importance (Rom. 6), although it has been
answered a thousand times, is still alleged by many. They say if
men are not saved by works, then works are not necessary. If the
most moral of men are saved in the same way as the very chief of
sinners, then good works are of no moment. And more than this,
if the grace of God is most clearly displayed in the salvation
of the vilest of men, then the worse men are the better.
The objection has no validity. The gospel of salvation by
grace shows that good works are necessary. It is true,
unchangeably true, that without holiness no man shall see the
Lord. "Neither adulterers, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor
drunkards" shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Works are "good" only when, (1) they spring from the principle
of love to God. The moral character of an act is determined by
the moral principle that prompts it. Faith and love in the heart
are the essential elements of all true obedience. Hence good
works only spring from a believing heart, can only be wrought by
one reconciled to God (Eph. 2:10; James 2:18:22). (2.) Good
works have the glory of God as their object; and (3) they have
the revealed will of God as their only rule (Deut. 12:32; Rev.
Good works are an expression of gratitude in the believer's
heart (John 14:15, 23; Gal. 5:6). They are the fruits of the
Spirit (Titus 2:10-12), and thus spring from grace, which they
illustrate and strengthen in the heart.
Good works of the most sincere believers are all imperfect,
yet like their persons they are accepted through the mediation
of Jesus Christ (Col. 3:17), and so are rewarded; they have no
merit intrinsically, but are rewarded wholly of grace.
(Heb. nabi, from a root meaning "to bubble forth, as from a
fountain," hence "to utter", compare Ps. 45:1). This Hebrew word
is the first and the most generally used for a prophet. In the
time of Samuel another word, "ro'eh", "seer", began to be used
(1 Sam. 9:9). It occurs seven times in reference to Samuel.
Afterwards another word, "hozeh", "seer" (2 Sam. 24:11), was
employed. In 1 Ch. 29:29 all these three words are used: "Samuel
the seer (ro'eh), Nathan the prophet (nabi'), Gad the seer"
(hozeh). In Josh. 13:22 Balaam is called (Heb.) a "kosem"
"diviner," a word used only of a false prophet.
The "prophet" proclaimed the message given to him, as the
"seer" beheld the vision of God. (See Num. 12:6, 8.) Thus a
prophet was a spokesman for God; he spake in God's name and by
his authority (Ex. 7:1). He is the mouth by which God speaks to
men (Jer. 1:9; Isa. 51:16), and hence what the prophet says is
not of man but of God (2 Pet. 1:20, 21; compare Heb. 3:7; Acts
4:25; 28:25). Prophets were the immediate organs of God for the
communication of his mind and will to men (Deut. 18:18, 19). The
whole Word of God may in this general sense be spoken of as
prophetic, inasmuch as it was written by men who received the
revelation they communicated from God, no matter what its nature
might be. The foretelling of future events was not a necessary
but only an incidental part of the prophetic office. The great
task assigned to the prophets whom God raised up among the
people was "to correct moral and religious abuses, to proclaim
the great moral and religious truths which are connected with
the character of God, and which lie at the foundation of his
Any one being a spokesman for God to man might thus be called
a prophet. Thus Enoch, Abraham, and the patriarchs, as bearers
of God's message (Gen. 20:7; Ex. 7:1; Ps. 105:15), as also Moses
(Deut. 18:15; 34:10; Hos. 12:13), are ranked among the prophets.
The seventy elders of Israel (Num. 11:16-29), "when the spirit
rested upon them, prophesied;" Asaph and Jeduthun "prophesied
with a harp" (1 Chr. 25:3). Miriam and Deborah were prophetesses
(Ex. 15:20; Judg. 4:4). The title thus has a general application
to all who have messages from God to men.
But while the prophetic gift was thus exercised from the
beginning, the prophetical order as such began with Samuel.
Colleges, "schools of the prophets", were instituted for the
training of prophets, who were constituted, a distinct order (1
Sam. 19:18-24; 2 Kings 2:3, 15; 4:38), which continued to the
close of the Old Testament. Such "schools" were established at
Ramah, Bethel, Gilgal, Gibeah, and Jericho. The "sons" or
"disciples" of the prophets were young men (2 Kings 5:22; 9:1,
4) who lived together at these different "schools" (4:38-41).
These young men were taught not only the rudiments of secular
knowledge, but they were brought up to exercise the office of
prophet, "to preach pure morality and the heart-felt worship of
Jehovah, and to act along and co-ordinately with the priesthood
and monarchy in guiding the state aright and checking all
attempts at illegality and tyranny."
In New Testament times the prophetical office was continued.
Our Lord is frequently spoken of as a prophet (Luke 13:33;
24:19). He was and is the great Prophet of the Church. There was
also in the Church a distinct order of prophets (1 Cor. 12:28;
Eph. 2:20; 3:5), who made new revelations from God. They
differed from the "teacher," whose office it was to impart
truths already revealed.
Of the Old Testament prophets there are sixteen, whose
prophecies form part of the inspired canon. These are divided
into four groups:
(1.) The prophets of the northern kingdom (Israel), viz.,
Hosea, Amos, Joel, Jonah.
(2.) The prophets of Judah, viz., Isaiah, Jeremiah, Obadiah,
Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah.
(3.) The prophets of Captivity, viz., Ezekiel and Daniel.
(4.) The prophets of the Restoration, viz., Haggai, Zechariah,
(Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:20; Col. 2:9), the essential being or the
nature of God.
the Omnipotent, the name of God in frequent use in the Hebrew
Scriptures, generally translated "the Almighty."
(A.S. and Dutch God; Dan. Gud; Ger. Gott), the name of the
Divine Being. It is the rendering (1) of the Hebrew "'El", from
a word meaning to be strong; (2) of "'Eloah", plural "'Elohim".
The singular form, "Eloah", is used only in poetry. The plural
form is more commonly used in all parts of the Bible, The Hebrew
word Jehovah (q.v.), the only other word generally employed to
denote the Supreme Being, is uniformly rendered in the
Authorized Version by "LORD," printed in small capitals. The
existence of God is taken for granted in the Bible. There is
nowhere any argument to prove it. He who disbelieves this truth
is spoken of as one devoid of understanding (Ps. 14:1).
The arguments generally adduced by theologians in proof of the
being of God are:
(1.) The a priori argument, which is the testimony afforded by
(2.) The a posteriori argument, by which we proceed logically
from the facts of experience to causes. These arguments are,
(a) The cosmological, by which it is proved that there must be
a First Cause of all things, for every effect must have a cause.
(b) The teleological, or the argument from design. We see
everywhere the operations of an intelligent Cause in nature.
(c) The moral argument, called also the anthropological
argument, based on the moral consciousness and the history of
mankind, which exhibits a moral order and purpose which can only
be explained on the supposition of the existence of God.
Conscience and human history testify that "verily there is a God
that judgeth in the earth."
The attributes of God are set forth in order by Moses in Ex.
34:6,7. (see also Deut. 6:4; 10:17; Num. 16:22; Ex. 15:11;
33:19; Isa. 44:6; Hab. 3:6; Ps. 102:26; Job 34:12.) They are
also systematically classified in Rev. 5:12 and 7:12.
God's attributes are spoken of by some as absolute, i.e., such
as belong to his essence as Jehovah, Jah, etc.; and relative,
i.e., such as are ascribed to him with relation to his
creatures. Others distinguish them into communicable, i.e.,
those which can be imparted in degree to his creatures:
goodness, holiness, wisdom, etc.; and incommunicable, which
cannot be so imparted: independence, immutability, immensity,
and eternity. They are by some also divided into natural
attributes, eternity, immensity, etc.; and moral, holiness,
Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain
statement is true (Phil. 1:27; 2 Thess. 2:13). Its primary idea
is trust. A thing is true, and therefore worthy of trust. It
admits of many degrees up to full assurance of faith, in
accordance with the evidence on which it rests.
Faith is the result of teaching (Rom. 10:14-17). Knowledge is
an essential element in all faith, and is sometimes spoken of as
an equivalent to faith (John 10:38; 1 John 2:3). Yet the two are
distinguished in this respect, that faith includes in it assent,
which is an act of the will in addition to the act of the
understanding. Assent to the truth is of the essence of faith,
and the ultimate ground on which our assent to any revealed
truth rests is the veracity of God.
Historical faith is the apprehension of and assent to certain
statements which are regarded as mere facts of history.
Temporary faith is that state of mind which is awakened in men
(e.g., Felix) by the exhibition of the truth and by the
influence of religious sympathy, or by what is sometimes styled
the common operation of the Holy Spirit.
Saving faith is so called because it has eternal life
inseparably connected with it. It cannot be better defined than
in the words of the Assembly's Shorter Catechism: "Faith in
Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon
him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel."
The object of saving faith is the whole revealed Word of God.
Faith accepts and believes it as the very truth most sure. But
the special act of faith which unites to Christ has as its
object the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John
7:38; Acts 16:31). This is the specific act of faith by which a
sinner is justified before God (Rom. 3:22, 25; Gal. 2:16; Phil.
3:9; John 3:16-36; Acts 10:43; 16:31). In this act of faith the
believer appropriates and rests on Christ alone as Mediator in
all his offices.
This assent to or belief in the truth received upon the divine
testimony has always associated with it a deep sense of sin, a
distinct view of Christ, a consenting will, and a loving heart,
together with a reliance on, a trusting in, or resting in
Christ. It is that state of mind in which a poor sinner,
conscious of his sin, flees from his guilty self to Christ his
Saviour, and rolls over the burden of all his sins on him. It
consists chiefly, not in the assent given to the testimony of
God in his Word, but in embracing with fiducial reliance and
trust the one and only Saviour whom God reveals. This trust and
reliance is of the essence of faith. By faith the believer
directly and immediately appropriates Christ as his own. Faith
in its direct act makes Christ ours. It is not a work which God
graciously accepts instead of perfect obedience, but is only the
hand by which we take hold of the person and work of our
Redeemer as the only ground of our salvation.
Saving faith is a moral act, as it proceeds from a renewed
will, and a renewed will is necessary to believing assent to the
truth of God (1 Cor. 2:14; 2 Cor. 4:4). Faith, therefore, has
its seat in the moral part of our nature fully as much as in the
intellectual. The mind must first be enlightened by divine
teaching (John 6:44; Acts 13:48; 2 Cor. 4:6; Eph. 1:17, 18)
before it can discern the things of the Spirit.
Faith is necessary to our salvation (Mark 16:16), not because
there is any merit in it, but simply because it is the sinner's
taking the place assigned him by God, his falling in with what
God is doing.
The warrant or ground of faith is the divine testimony, not
the reasonableness of what God says, but the simple fact that he
says it. Faith rests immediately on, "Thus saith the Lord." But
in order to this faith the veracity, sincerity, and truth of God
must be owned and appreciated, together with his
unchangeableness. God's word encourages and emboldens the sinner
personally to transact with Christ as God's gift, to close with
him, embrace him, give himself to Christ, and take Christ as
his. That word comes with power, for it is the word of God who
has revealed himself in his works, and especially in the cross.
God is to be believed for his word's sake, but also for his
Faith in Christ secures for the believer freedom from
condemnation, or justification before God; a participation in
the life that is in Christ, the divine life (John 14:19; Rom.
6:4-10; Eph. 4:15,16, etc.); "peace with God" (Rom. 5:1); and
sanctification (Acts 26:18; Gal. 5:6; Acts 15:9).
All who thus believe in Christ will certainly be saved (John
6:37, 40; 10:27, 28; Rom. 8:1).
The faith=the gospel (Acts 6:7; Rom. 1:5; Gal. 1:23; 1 Tim.
3:9; Jude 1:3).
whom God has blessed, a Buzite, the father of Elihu, one of
Job's friends (Job 32:2, 6).
God his deliverance, one of David's sons (2 Sam. 5:16); called
also Eliphelet (1 Chr. 3:8).
deliverance of God, the prince of Issachar who assisted "to
divide the land by inheritance" (Num. 34:26).
(1.) Of time (Gal. 4:4), the time appointed by God, and foretold
by the prophets, when Messiah should appear. (2.) Of Christ
(John 1:16), the superabundance of grace with which he was
filled. (3.) Of the Godhead bodily dwelling in Christ (Col.
2:9), i.e., the whole nature and attributes of God are in
Christ. (4.) Eph. 1:23, the church as the fulness of Christ,
i.e., the church makes Christ a complete and perfect head.
champion of God, used as a proper name to designate the angel
who was sent to Daniel (8:16) to explain the vision of the ram
and the he-goat, and to communicate the prediction of the
seventy weeks (Dan. 9:21-27).
He announced also the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:11),
and of the Messiah (26). He describes himself in the words, "I
am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God" (1:19).
fortune (i.e., sent) of God, the representative of the tribe of
Zebulum among the twelve spies (Num. 13:10).
rock of God, chief of the family of the Merarites (Num. 3:35) at
the time of the Exodus.
Esther, Book of
The authorship of this book is unknown. It must have been
obviously written after the death of Ahasuerus (the Xerxes of
the Greeks), which took place B.C. 465. The minute and
particular account also given of many historical details makes
it probable that the writer was contemporary with Mordecai and
Esther. Hence we may conclude that the book was written probably
about B.C. 444-434, and that the author was one of the Jews of
This book is more purely historical than any other book of
Scripture; and it has this remarkable peculiarity that the name
of God does not occur in it from first to last in any form. It
has, however, been well observed that "though the name of God be
not in it, his finger is." The book wonderfully exhibits the
providential government of God.
whose benefactor is God, the father of Delaiah, and grandfather
of Shemaiah, who joined Sanballat against Nehemiah (Neh. 6:10).
whom God has loved, one of the seventy elders whom Moses
appointed (Num. 11:26, 27) to administer justice among the
people. He, with Medad, prophesied in the camp instead of going
with the rest to the tabernacle, as Moses had commanded. This
incident was announced to Moses by Joshua, who thought their
conduct in this respect irregular. Moses replied, "Enviest thou
for my sake? would God that all the Lord's people were prophets"
(Num. 11:24-30; compare Mark 9:38; Luke 9:49).
tower of God, a fortified city of Naphtali (Josh. 19:38),
supposed by some to be identical with Magdala (q.v.).
common to all (Job 5:7; 14:1; Ps. 34:19); are for the good of
men (James 1:2, 3, 12; 2 Cor. 12:7) and the glory of God (2 Cor.
12:7-10; 1 Pet. 4:14), and are to be borne with patience by the
Lord's people (Ps. 94:12; Prov. 3:12). They are all directed by
God (Lam. 3:33), and will result in the everlasting good of his
people (2 Cor. 4:16-18) in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:35-39).
the devoting or setting apart of anything to the worship or
service of God. The race of Abraham and the tribe of Levi were
thus consecrated (Ex. 13:2, 12, 15; Num. 3:12). The Hebrews
devoted their fields and cattle, and sometimes the spoils of
war, to the Lord (Lev. 27:28, 29). According to the Mosaic law
the first-born both of man and beast were consecrated to God.
In the New Testament, Christians are regarded as consecrated
to the Lord (1 Pet. 2:9).
in the highest sense belongs to God (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 15:4), and
to Christians as consecrated to God's service, and in so far as
they are conformed in all things to the will of God (Rom. 6:19,
22; Eph. 1:4; Titus 1:8; 1 Pet. 1:15). Personal holiness is a
work of gradual development. It is carried on under many
hindrances, hence the frequent admonitions to watchfulness,
prayer, and perseverance (1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 7:1; Eph. 4:23,
24). (See SANCTIFICATION T0003212.)
that act of grace whereby Christ took our human nature into
union with his Divine Person, became man. Christ is both God and
man. Human attributes and actions are predicated of him, and he
of whom they are predicated is God. A Divine Person was united
to a human nature (Acts 20:28; Rom. 8:32; 1 Cor. 2:8; Heb.
2:11-14; 1 Tim. 3:16; Gal. 4:4, etc.). The union is
hypostatical, i.e., is personal; the two natures are not mixed
or confounded, and it is perpetual.
subdued by God. (1.) A city of Judah near Lachish (Josh. 15,
38). Perhaps the ruin Kutlaneh, south of Gezer.
(2.) Amaziah, king of Judah, undertook a great expedition
against Edom (2 Chr. 25:5-10), which was completely successful.
He routed the Edomites and slew vast numbers of them. So
wonderful did this victory appear to him that he acknowledged
that it could have been achieved only by the special help of
God, and therefore he called Selah (q.v.), their great fortress
city, by the name of Joktheel (2 Kings 14:7).
an uncovering, a bringing to light of that which had been
previously wholly hidden or only obscurely seen. God has been
pleased in various ways and at different times (Heb. 1:1) to
make a supernatural revelation of himself and his purposes and
plans, which, under the guidance of his Spirit, has been
committed to writing. (See WORD OF GOD T0003832.) The
Scriptures are not merely the "record" of revelation; they are
the revelation itself in a written form, in order to the
accurate presevation and propagation of the truth.
Revelation and inspiration differ. Revelation is the
supernatural communication of truth to the mind; inspiration
(q.v.) secures to the teacher or writer infallibility in
communicating that truth to others. It renders its subject the
spokesman or prophet of God in such a sense that everything he
asserts to be true, whether fact or doctrine or moral principle,
is true, infallibly true.
This word does not occur in the Authorized Version of the New
Testament except in Rom. 5:11, where in the Revised Version the
word "reconciliation" is used. In the Old Testament it is of
The meaning of the word is simply at-one-ment, i.e., the state
of being at one or being reconciled, so that atonement is
reconciliation. Thus it is used to denote the effect which flows
from the death of Christ.
But the word is also used to denote that by which this
reconciliation is brought about, viz., the death of Christ
itself; and when so used it means satisfaction, and in this
sense to make an atonement for one is to make satisfaction for
his offences (Ex. 32:30; Lev. 4:26; 5:16; Num. 6:11), and, as
regards the person, to reconcile, to propitiate God in his
By the atonement of Christ we generally mean his work by which
he expiated our sins. But in Scripture usage the word denotes
the reconciliation itself, and not the means by which it is
effected. When speaking of Christ's saving work, the word
"satisfaction," the word used by the theologians of the
Reformation, is to be preferred to the word "atonement."
Christ's satisfaction is all he did in the room and in behalf of
sinners to satisfy the demands of the law and justice of God.
Christ's work consisted of suffering and obedience, and these
were vicarious, i.e., were not merely for our benefit, but were
in our stead, as the suffering and obedience of our vicar, or
substitute. Our guilt is expiated by the punishment which our
vicar bore, and thus God is rendered propitious, i.e., it is now
consistent with his justice to manifest his love to
transgressors. Expiation has been made for sin, i.e., it is
covered. The means by which it is covered is vicarious
satisfaction, and the result of its being covered is atonement
or reconciliation. To make atonement is to do that by virtue of
which alienation ceases and reconciliation is brought about.
Christ's mediatorial work and sufferings are the ground or
efficient cause of reconciliation with God. They rectify the
disturbed relations between God and man, taking away the
obstacles interposed by sin to their fellowship and concord. The
reconciliation is mutual, i.e., it is not only that of sinners
toward God, but also and pre-eminently that of God toward
sinners, effected by the sin-offering he himself provided, so
that consistently with the other attributes of his character his
love might flow forth in all its fulness of blessing to men. The
primary idea presented to us in different forms throughout the
Scripture is that the death of Christ is a satisfaction of
infinite worth rendered to the law and justice of God (q.v.),
and accepted by him in room of the very penalty man had
incurred. It must also be constantly kept in mind that the
atonement is not the cause but the consequence of God's love to
guilty men (John 3:16; Rom. 3:24, 25; Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:9;
4:9). The atonement may also be regarded as necessary, not in an
absolute but in a relative sense, i.e., if man is to be saved,
there is no other way than this which God has devised and
carried out (Ex. 34:7; Josh. 24:19; Ps. 5:4; 7:11; Nahum 1:2, 6;
Rom. 3:5). This is God's plan, clearly revealed; and that is
enough for us to know.
made by God, one of David's body-guard, the son of Abner (1 Chr.
27:21), called Jasiel in 1 Chr. 11:47.
assembled by God, a son of Azmaveth. He was one of the Benjamite
archers who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:3).
before God; i.e., his servant, one of the Levites who returned
with Zerubbabel from the Captivity (Neh. 9:4; 10:9; 12:8).
gift of God. (1.) The son of Levi, and father of Heli (Luke
(2.) Son of another Levi (Luke 3:29).
friend of God, (Num. 10:29)=Reuel (q.v.), Ex. 2:18, the
father-in-law of Moses, and probably identical with Jethro
miracle of God, the third of the twelve sons of Ishmael, and
head of an Arabian tribe (Gen. 25:13; 1 Chr. 1:29).
praiser of God. (1.) A descendant of Judah (1 Chr. 4:16).
(2.) A Levite of the family of Merari (2 Chr. 29:12).
the Aramaic form of Baal, the national god of the Babylonians
(Isa. 46:1; Jer. 50:2; 51:44). It signifies "lord." (See BAAL
God my bow, the birthplace of Nahum the prophet (Nah. 1:1). It
was probably situated in Galilee, but nothing definite is known
dedicated to God, a king whom his mother instructed (Prov.
31:1-9). Nothing is certainly known concerning him. The rabbis
identified him with Solomon.
whom God has judged, one of the "captains of hundreds"
associated with Jehoiada in the league to overthrow the
usurpation of Athaliah (2 Chr. 23:1).
grace of God. (1.) A chief of the tribe of Manasseh (Num.
34:23). (2.) A chief of the tribe of Asher (1 Chr. 7:39).
God is the habitation of his people, who find rest and safety in
him (Ps. 71:3; 91:9). Justice and judgment are the habitation of
God's throne (Ps. 89:14, Heb. mekhon, "foundation"), because all
his acts are founded on justice and judgment. (See Ps. 132:5,
13; Eph. 2:22, of Canaan, Jerusalem, and the temple as God's
habitation.) God inhabits eternity (Isa. 57:15), i.e., dwells
not only among men, but in eternity, where time is unknown; and
"the praises of Israel" (Ps. 22:3), i.e., he dwells among those
praises and is continually surrounded by them.
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.
snatched away by God. (1.) A descendant of Benjamin (1 Chr.
(2.) One of the Levites who took part in praising God on the
removal of the ark to Jerusalem (1 Chr. 16:5).
(3.) 2 Chr. 29:13. A Levite of the sons of Asaph.
(4.) 2 Chr. 26:11. A scribe.
(5.) 1 Chr. 5:7. A Reubenite chief.
(6.) One of the chief Levites, who made an offering for the
restoration of the Passover by Josiah (2 Chr. 35:9).
(7.) Ezra 8:13.
(8.) Ezra 10:43.
Kingdom of God
(Matt. 6:33; Mark 1:14, 15; Luke 4:43) = "kingdom of Christ"
(Matt. 13:41; 20:21) = "kingdom of Christ and of God" (Eph. 5:5)
= "kingdom of David" (Mark 11:10) = "the kingdom" (Matt. 8:12;
13:19) = "kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 13:41), all
denote the same thing under different aspects, viz.: (1)
Christ's mediatorial authority, or his rule on the earth; (2)
the blessings and advantages of all kinds that flow from this
rule; (3) the subjects of this kingdom taken collectively, or
first used of the tabernacle, which is called "the temple of the
Lord" (1 Sam. 1:9). In the New Testament the word is used
figuratively of Christ's human body (John 2:19, 21). Believers
are called "the temple of God" (1 Cor. 3:16, 17). The Church is
designated "an holy temple in the Lord" (Eph. 2:21). Heaven is
also called a temple (Rev. 7:5). We read also of the heathen
"temple of the great goddess Diana" (Acts 19:27).
This word is generally used in Scripture of the sacred house
erected on the summit of Mount Moriah for the worship of God. It
is called "the temple" (1 Kings 6:17); "the temple [R.V.,
'house'] of the Lord" (2 Kings 11:10); "thy holy temple" (Ps.
79:1); "the house of the Lord" (2 Chr. 23:5, 12); "the house of
the God of Jacob" (Isa. 2:3); "the house of my glory" (60:7); an
"house of prayer" (56:7; Matt. 21:13); "an house of sacrifice"
(2 Chr. 7:12); "the house of their sanctuary" (2 Chr. 36:17);
"the mountain of the Lord's house" (Isa. 2:2); "our holy and our
beautiful house" (64:11); "the holy mount" (27:13); "the palace
for the Lord God" (1 Chr. 29:1); "the tabernacle of witness" (2
Chr. 24:6); "Zion" (Ps. 74:2; 84:7). Christ calls it "my
Father's house" (John 2:16).
(Heb. Hebhel), a breath, or vanity, the second son of Adam and
Eve. He was put to death by his brother Cain (Gen. 4:1-16).
Guided by the instruction of their father, the two brothers were
trained in the duty of worshipping God. "And in process of time"
(marg. "at the end of days", i.e., on the Sabbath) each of them
offered up to God of the first-fruits of his labors. Cain, as a
husbandman, offered the fruits of the field; Abel, as a
shepherd, of the firstlings of his flock. "The Lord had respect
unto Abel and his offering; but unto Cain and his offering he
had not respect" (Gen. 4:3-5). On this account Cain was angry
with his brother, and formed the design of putting him to death;
a design which he at length found an opportunity of carrying
into effect (Gen. 4:8,9. Compare 1 John 3:12). There are several
references to Abel in the New Testament. Our Saviour speaks of
him as "righteous" (Matt. 23:35). "The blood of sprinkling" is
said to speak "better things than that of Abel" (Heb. 12:24);
i.e., the blood of Jesus is the reality of which the blood of
the offering made by Abel was only the type. The comparison here
is between the sacrifice offered by Christ and that offered by
Abel, and not between the blood of Christ calling for mercy and
the blood of the murdered Abel calling for vengeance, as has
sometimes been supposed. It is also said (Heb. 11:4) that "Abel
offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain." This
sacrifice was made "by faith;" this faith rested in God, not
only as the Creator and the God of providence, but especially in
God as the great Redeemer, whose sacrifice was typified by the
sacrifices which, no doubt by the divine institution, were
offered from the days of Adam downward. On account of that
"faith" which looked forward to the great atoning sacrifice,
Abel's offering was accepted of God. Cain's offering had no such
reference, and therefore was rejected. Abel was the first
martyr, as he was the first of our race to die.
Abel (Heb. 'abhel), lamentation (1 Sam. 6:18), the name given
to the great stone in Joshua's field whereon the ark was "set
down." The Revised Version, however, following the Targum and
the LXX., reads in the Hebrew text "'ebhen" (= a stone), and
accordingly translates "unto the great stone, whereon they set
down the ark." This reading is to be preferred.
Abel (Heb. 'abhel), a grassy place, a meadow. This word enters
into the composition of the following words:
God has graciously given, a tower in the wall of Jerusalem (Neh.
3:1; 12:39). It is mentioned also in Jer. 31:38; Zech. 14:10.
a Chaldee or Syriac word meaning "wealth" or "riches" (Luke
16:9-11); also, by personification, the god of riches (Matt.
6:24; Luke 16:9-11).
Lat. pietas, properly honour and respect toward parents (1 Tim.
5:4). In Acts 17:23 the Greek verb is rendered "ye worship," as
applicable to God.
O sun-god, defend the lord! (Ezra 1:8, 11), probably another
name for Zerubbabel (q.v.), Ezra 2:2; Hag. 1:12, 14; Zech. 4:6,
goodness of God, the father of one whom the kings of Syria and
Samaria in vain attempted to place on the throne of Ahaz (Isa.
This Hebrew word means firm, and hence also faithful (Rev.
3:14). In Isa. 65:16, the Authorized Version has "the God of
truth," which in Hebrew is "the God of Amen." It is frequently
used by our Saviour to give emphasis to his words, where it is
translated "verily." Sometimes, only, however, in John's Gospel,
it is repeated, "Verily, verily." It is used as an epithet of
the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 3:14).
It is found singly and sometimes doubly at the end of prayers
(Ps. 41:13; 72:19; 89:52), to confirm the words and invoke the
fulfilment of them. It is used in token of being bound by an
oath (Num. 5:22; Deut. 27:15-26; Neh. 5:13; 8:6; 1 Chr. 16:36).
In the primitive churches it was common for the general audience
to say "Amen" at the close of the prayer (1 Cor. 14:16).
The promises of God are Amen; i.e., they are all true and sure
(2 Cor. 1:20).
the capital of Attica, the most celebrated city of the ancient
world, the seat of Greek literature and art during the golden
period of Grecian history. Its inhabitants were fond of novelty
(Acts 17:21), and were remarkable for their zeal in the worship
of the gods. It was a sarcastic saying of the Roman satirist
that it was "easier to find a god at Athens than a man."
On his second missionary journey Paul visited this city (Acts
17:15; compare 1 Thess. 3:1), and delivered in the Areopagus his
famous speech (17:22-31). The altar of which Paul there speaks
as dedicated "to the [properly "an"] unknown God" (23) was
probably one of several which bore the same inscription. It is
supposed that they originated in the practice of letting loose a
flock of sheep and goats in the streets of Athens on the
occasion of a plague, and of offering them up in sacrifice, at
the spot where they lay down, "to the god concerned."
in Rom. 13:2, means "condemnation," which comes on those who
withstand God's ordinance of magistracy. This sentence of
condemnation comes not from the magistrate, but from God, whose
authority is thus resisted.
In 1 Cor. 11:29 (R.V., "judgment") this word means
condemnation, in the sense of exposure to severe temporal
judgements from God, as the following verse explains.
In Rom. 14:23 the word "damned" means "condemned" by one's own
conscience, as well as by the Word of God. The apostle shows
here that many things which are lawful are not expedient; and
that in using our Christian liberty the question should not
simply be, Is this course I follow lawful? but also, Can I
follow it without doing injury to the spiritual interests of a
brother in Christ? He that "doubteth", i.e., is not clear in his
conscience as to "meats", will violate his conscience "if he
eat," and in eating is condemned; and thus one ought not so to
use his liberty as to lead one who is "weak" to bring upon
himself this condemnation.
the Greek rendering of the Hebrew "Koheleth", which means
"Preacher." The old and traditional view of the authorship of
this book attributes it to Solomon. This view can be
satisfactorily maintained, though others date it from the
Captivity. The writer represents himself implicitly as Solomon
(1:12). It has been appropriately styled The Confession of King
Solomon. "The writer is a man who has sinned in giving way to
selfishness and sensuality, who has paid the penalty of that sin
in satiety and weariness of life, but who has through all this
been under the discipline of a divine education, and has learned
from it the lesson which God meant to teach him." "The writer
concludes by pointing out that the secret of a true life is that
a man should consecrate the vigour of his youth to God." The
key-note of the book is sounded in ch. 1:2,
"Vanity of vanities! saith the Preacher,
Vanity of vanities! all is vanity!"
i.e., all man's efforts to find happiness apart from God are