Proverbs 18:19 A brother offended [is harder to be won] than a strong city: and [their] contentions [are] like the bars of a castle.
Scriptures Mentioning The Bars Of A Castle
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a fortress in Jerusalem, at the north-west corner of the temple area. It is called "the castle" (Acts 21:34, 37). From the stairs of this castle Paul delivered his famous speech to the multitude in the area below (Acts 22:1-21). It was originally a place in which were kept the vestments of the high priest. Herod fortified it, and called it Antonia in honour of his friend Mark Antony. It was of great size, and commanded the temple. It was built on a plateau of rock, separated on the north from the hill Bezetha by a ditch about 30 feet deep and 165 feet wide.
a military fortress (1 Chr. 11:7), also probably a kind of tower used by the priests for making known anything discovered at a distance (1 Chr. 6:54). Castles are also mentioned (Gen. 25:16) as a kind of watch-tower, from which shepherds kept watch over their flocks by night. The "castle" into which the chief captain commanded Paul to be brought was the quarters of the Roman soldiers in the fortress of Antonia (so called by Herod after his patron Mark Antony), which was close to the north-west corner of the temple (Acts 21:34), which it commanded.
the Black Fortress, was built by Herod the Great in the gorge of Callirhoe, one of the wadies 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, as a frontier rampart against Arab marauders. John the Baptist was probably cast into the prison connected with this castle by Herod Antipas, whom he had reproved for his adulterous marriage with Herodias. Here Herod "made a supper" on his birthday. He was at this time marching against Aretas, king of Perea, to whose daughter he had been married. During the revelry of the banquet held in the border fortress, to please Salome, who danced before him, he sent an executioner, who beheaded John, and "brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel" (Mark 6:14-29). This castle stood "starkly bold and clear" 3,860 feet above the Dead Sea, and 2,546 above the Mediterranean. Its ruins, now called M'khaur, are still visible on the northern end of Jebel Attarus.
sacred city, a city of Phrygia, where was a Christian church under the care of Epaphras (Col. 4:12, 13). This church was founded at the same time as that of Colosse. It now bears the name of Pambuk-Kalek, i.e., "Cotton Castle", from the white appearance of the cliffs at the base of which the ruins are found.
trodden hard, or fastness, or "the waterless hill", the name of the Canaanite city which stood on Mount Zion (Josh. 15:8; 18:16, 28). It is identified with Jerusalem (q.v.) in Judg. 19:10, and with the castle or city of David (1 Chr. 11:4,5). It was a place of great natural strength, and its capture was one of David's most brilliant achievements (2 Sam. 5:8).
a city of Asia Minor, on the borders of Lydia and Mysia. Its modern name is Ak-hissar, i.e., "white castle." Here was one of the seven churches (Rev. 1:11; 2:18-28). Lydia, the seller of purple, or rather of cloth dyed with this colour, was from this city (Acts 16:14). It was and still is famous for its dyeing. Among the ruins, inscriptions have been found relating to the guild of dyers in that city in ancient times.
(Matt. 14:3-11; Mark 6:17-28; Luke 3:19), the daughter of Aristobulus and Bernice. While residing at Rome with her husband Herod Philip I. and her daughter, Herod Antipas fell in with her during one of his journeys to that city. She consented to leave her husband and become his wife. Some time after, Herod met John the Baptist, who boldly declared the marriage to be unlawful. For this he was "cast into prison," in the castle probably of Machaerus (q.v.), and was there subsequently beheaded.
street; broad place. (1.) The father of Hadadezer, king of Tobah (2 Sam. 8:3, 12). (2.) Neh. 10:11. (3.) The same, probably, as Beth-rehob (2 Sam. 10:6, 8; Judg. 18:28), a place in the north of Israel (Num. 13:21). It is now supposed to be represented by the castle of Hunin, south-west of Dan, on the road from Hamath into Coele-Syria. (4.) A town of Asher (Josh. 19:28), to the east of Zidon. (5.) Another town of Asher (Josh. 19:30), kept possession of by the Canaanites (Judg. 1:31).
David, City of
(1.) David took from the Jebusites the fortress of Mount Zion. He "dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David" (1 Chr. 11:7). This was the name afterwards given to the castle and royal palace on Mount Zion, as distinguished from Jerusalem generally (1 Kings 3:1; 8:1), It was on the south-west side of Jerusalem, opposite the temple mount, with which it was connected by a bridge over the Tyropoeon valley. (2) Bethlehem is called the "city of David" (Luke 2:4, 11), because it was David's birthplace and early home (1 Sam. 17:12).
The city of this name mentioned in Scripture lay on the confines of Phrygia and Lydia, about 40 miles east of Ephesus (Rev. 3:14), on the banks of the Lycus. It was originally called Diospolis and then Rhoas, but afterwards Laodicea, from Laodice, the wife of Antiochus II., king of Syria, who rebuilt it. It was one of the most important and flourishing cities of Asia Minor. At a very early period it became one of the chief seats of Christianity (Col. 2:1; 4:15; Rev. 1:11, etc.). It is now a deserted place, called by the Turks Eski-hissar or "old castle."
perfect. (1.) The wife of Zebedee and mother of James and John (Mat. 27:56), and probably the sister of Mary, the mother of our Lord (John 19:25). She sought for her sons places of honour in Christ's kingdom (Matt. 20:20, 21; compare 19:28). She witnessed the crucifixion (Mark 15:40), and was present with the other women at the sepulchre (Matt. 27:56). (2.) "The daughter of Herodias," not named in the New Testament. On the occasion of the birthday festival held by Herod Antipas, who had married her mother Herodias, in the fortress of Machaerus, she "came in and danced, and pleased Herod" (Mark 6:14-29). John the Baptist, at that time a prisoner in the dungeons underneath the castle, was at her request beheaded by order of Herod, and his head given to the damsel in a charger, "and the damsel gave it to her mother," whose revengeful spirit was thus gratified. "A luxurious feast of the period" (says Farrar, Life of Christ) "was not regarded as complete unless it closed with some gross pantomimic representation; and doubtless Herod had adopted the evil fashion of his day. But he had not anticipated for his guests the rare luxury of seeing a princess, his own niece, a grand-daughter of Herod the Great and of Mariamne, a descendant, therefore, of Simon the high priest and the great line of Maccabean princes, a princess who afterwards became the wife of a tetrarch [Philip, tetrarch of Trachonitis] and the mother of a king, honouring them by degrading herself into a scenic dancer."
John the Baptist
the "forerunner of our Lord." We have but fragmentary and imperfect accounts of him in the Gospels. He was of priestly descent. His father, Zacharias, was a priest of the course of Abia (1 Chr. 24:10), and his mother, Elisabeth, was of the daughters of Aaron (Luke 1:5). The mission of John was the subject of prophecy (Matt. 3:3; Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1). His birth, which took place six months before that of Jesus, was foretold by an angel. Zacharias, deprived of the power of speech as a token of God's truth and a reproof of his own incredulity with reference to the birth of his son, had the power of speech restored to him on the occasion of his circumcision (Luke 1:64). After this no more is recorded of him for thirty years than what is mentioned in Luke 1:80. John was a Nazarite from his birth (Luke 1:15; Num. 6:1-12). He spent his early years in the mountainous tract of Judah lying between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea (Matt. 3:1-12). At length he came forth into public life, and great multitudes from "every quarter" were attracted to him. The sum of his preaching was the necessity of repentance. He denounced the Sadducees and Pharisees as a "generation of vipers," and warned them of the folly of trusting to external privileges (Luke 3:8). "As a preacher, John was eminently practical and discriminating. Self-love and covetousness were the prevalent sins of the people at large. On them, therefore, he enjoined charity and consideration for others. The publicans he cautioned against extortion, the soldiers against crime and plunder." His doctrine and manner of life roused the entire south of Israel, and the people from all parts flocked to the place where he was, on the banks of the Jordan. There he baptized thousands unto repentance. The fame of John reached the ears of Jesus in Nazareth (Matt. 3:5), and he came from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized of John, on the special ground that it became him to "fulfil all righteousness" (3:15). John's special office ceased with the baptism of Jesus, who must now "increase" as the King come to his kingdom. He continued, however, for a while to bear testimony to the Messiahship of Jesus. He pointed him out to his disciples, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God." His public ministry was suddenly (after about six months probably) brought to a close by his being cast into prison by Herod, whom he had reproved for the sin of having taken to himself the wife of his brother Philip (Luke 3:19). He was shut up in the castle of Machaerus (q.v.), a fortress on the southern extremity of Peraea, 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, and here he was beheaded. His disciples, having consigned the headless body to the grave, went and told Jesus all that had occurred (Matt. 14:3-12). John's death occurred apparently just before the third Passover of our Lord's ministry. Our Lord himself testified regarding him that he was a "burning and a shining light" (John 5:35).
probably connected with the Roman family of the Pontii, and called "Pilate" from the Latin pileatus, i.e., "wearing the pileus", which was the "cap or badge of a manumitted slave," as indicating that he was a "freedman," or the descendant of one. He was the sixth in the order of the Roman procurators of Judea (A.D. 26-36). His headquarters were at Caesarea, but he frequently went up to Jerusalem. His reign extended over the period of the ministry of John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ, in connection with whose trial his name comes into prominent notice. Pilate was a "typical Roman, not of the antique, simple stamp, but of the imperial period, a man not without some remains of the ancient Roman justice in his soul, yet pleasure-loving, imperious, and corrupt. He hated the Jews whom he ruled, and in times of irritation freely shed their blood. They returned his hatred with cordiality, and accused him of every crime, maladministration, cruelty, and robbery. He visited Jerusalem as seldom as possible; for, indeed, to one accustomed to the pleasures of Rome, with its theatres, baths, games, and gay society, Jerusalem, with its religiousness and ever-smouldering revolt, was a dreary residence. When he did visit it he stayed in the palace of Herod the Great, it being common for the officers sent by Rome into conquered countries to occupy the palaces of the displaced sovereigns." After his trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus was brought to the Roman procurator, Pilate, who had come up to Jerusalem as usual to preserve order during the Passover, and was now residing, perhaps, in the castle of Antonia, or it may be in Herod's palace. Pilate came forth from his palace and met the deputation from the Sanhedrin, who, in answer to his inquiry as to the nature of the accusation they had to prefer against Jesus, accused him of being a "malefactor." Pilate was not satisfied with this, and they further accused him (1) of sedition, (2) preventing the payment of the tribute to Caesar, and (3) of assuming the title of king (Luke 23:2). Pilate now withdrew with Jesus into the palace (John 18:33) and examined him in private (37,38); and then going out to the deputation still standing before the gate, he declared that he could find no fault in Jesus (Luke 23:4). This only aroused them to more furious clamour, and they cried that he excited the populace "throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee." When Pilate heard of Galilee, he sent the accused to Herod Antipas, who had jurisdiction over that province, thus hoping to escape the difficulty in which he found himself. But Herod, with his men of war, set Jesus at nought, and sent him back again to Pilate, clad in a purple robe of mockery (23:11, 12). Pilate now proposed that as he and Herod had found no fault in him, they should release Jesus; and anticipating that they would consent to this proposal, he ascended the judgment-seat as if ready to ratify the decision (Matt. 27:19). But at this moment his wife (Claudia Procula) sent a message to him imploring him to have nothing to do with the "just person." Pilate's feelings of perplexity and awe were deepened by this incident, while the crowd vehemently cried out, "Not this man, but Barabbas." Pilate answered, "What then shall I do with Jesus?" The fierce cry immediately followed. "Let him be crucified." Pilate, apparently vexed, and not knowning what to do, said, "Why, what evil hath he done?" but with yet fiercer fanaticism the crowd yelled out, "Away with him! crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate yielded, and sent Jesus away to be scourged. This scourging was usually inflicted by lictors; but as Pilate was only a procurator he had no lictor, and hence his soldiers inflicted this terrible punishment. This done, the soldiers began to deride the sufferer, and they threw around him a purple robe, probably some old cast-off robe of state (Matt. 27:28; John 19:2), and putting a reed in his right hand, and a crowd of thorns on his head, bowed the knee before him in mockery, and saluted him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They took also the reed and smote him with it on the head and face, and spat in his face, heaping upon him every indignity. Pilate then led forth Jesus from within the Praetorium (Matt. 27:27) before the people, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, saying, "Behold the man!" But the sight of Jesus, now scourged and crowned and bleeding, only stirred their hatred the more, and again they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!" and brought forth this additional charge against him, that he professed to be "the Son of God." Pilate heard this accusation with a superstitious awe, and taking him once more within the Praetorium, asked him, "Whence art thou?" Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate was irritated by his continued silence, and said, "Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee?" Jesus, with calm dignity, answered the Roman, "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above." After this Pilate seemed more resolved than ever to let Jesus go. The crowd perceiving this cried out, "If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend." This settled the matter. He was afraid of being accused to the emperor. Calling for water, he washed his hands in the sight of the people, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person." The mob, again scorning his scruples, cried, "His blood be on us, and on our children." Pilate was stung to the heart by their insults, and putting forth Jesus before them, said, "Shall I crucify your King?" The fatal moment had now come. They madly exclaimed, "We have no king but Caesar;" and now Jesus is given up to them, and led away to be crucified. By the direction of Pilate an inscription was placed, according to the Roman custom, over the cross, stating the crime for which he was crucified. Having ascertained from the centurion that he was dead, he gave up the body to Joseph of Arimathea to be buried. Pilate's name now disappears from the Gospel history. References to him, however, are found in the Acts of the Apostles (3:13; 4:27; 13:28), and in 1 Tim. 6:13. In A.D. 36 the governor of Syria brought serious accusations against Pilate, and he was banished to Vienne in Gaul, where, according to tradition, he committed suicide.