Aram of the two rivers, is Mesopotamia (as it is rendered in
Gen. 24:10), the country enclosed between the Tigris on the east
and the Euphrates on the west (Ps. 60, title); called also the
"field of Aram" (Hos. 12:12, R.V.) i.e., the open country of
Aram; in the Authorized Version, "country of Syria." Padan-aram
(q.v.) was a portion of this country.
occurs only in Esther 1:1 and 8:9, where the extent of the
dominion of the Persian king is described. The country so
designated here is not the peninsula of Hindustan, but the
country surrounding the Indus, the Punjab. The people and the
products of India were well known to the Jews, who seem to have
carried on an active trade with that country (Ezek. 27:15, 24).
marsh. (1.) A town in the low country or shephelah of Judah,
near Zorah (Josh. 15:34). It was re-occupied after the return
from the Captivity (Neh. 11:30). Zanu'ah in Wady Ismail, 10
miles west of Jerusalem, occupies probably the same site.
(2.) A town in the hill country of Judah, some 10 miles to the
south-west of Hebron (Josh. 15:56).
a foreigner, or person born in another country, and therefore
not entitled to the rights and privileges of the country where
he resides. Among the Hebrews there were two classes of aliens.
(1.) Those who were strangers generally, and who owned no
(2.) Strangers dwelling in another country without being
naturalized (Lev. 22:10; Ps. 39:12).
Both of these classes were to enjoy, under certain conditions,
the same rights as other citizens (Lev. 19:33, 34; Deut. 10:19).
They might be naturalized and permitted to enter into the
congregation of the Lord by submitting to circumcision and
abandoning idolatry (Deut. 23:3-8).
This term is used (Eph. 2:12) to denote persons who have no
interest in Christ.
(1.) The orient (mizrah); the rising of the sun. Thus "the east
country" is the country lying to the east of Syria, the Elymais
(2). Properly what is in front of one, or a country that is
before or in front of another; the rendering of the word
"kedem". In pointing out the quarters, a Hebrew always looked
with his face toward the east. The word "kedem" is used when the
four quarters of the world are described (Gen. 13:14; 28:14);
and "mizrah" when the east only is distinguished from the west
(Josh. 11:3; Ps. 50:1; 103:12, etc.). In Gen. 25:6 "eastward" is
literally "unto the land of kedem;" i.e., the lands lying east
of Israel, namely, Arabia, Mesopotamia, etc.
a place or country unknown which, along with Sheba and Asshur,
traded with Tyre (Ezek. 27:23).
country of burnt faces; the Greek word by which the Hebrew Cush
is rendered (Gen. 2:13; 2 Kings 19:9; Esther 1:1; Job 28:19; Ps.
68:31; 87:4), a country which lay to the south of Egypt,
beginning at Syene on the First Cataract (Ezek. 29:10; 30:6),
and extending to beyond the confluence of the White and Blue
Nile. It corresponds generally with what is now known as the
Soudan (i.e., the land of the blacks). This country was known to
the Hebrews, and is described in Isa. 18:1; Zeph. 3:10. They
carried on some commercial intercourse with it (Isa. 45:14).
Its inhabitants were descendants of Ham (Gen. 10:6; Jer.
13:23; Isa. 18:2, "scattered and peeled," A.V.; but in R.V.,
"tall and smooth"). Herodotus, the Greek historian, describes
them as "the tallest and handsomest of men." They are frequently
represented on Egyptian monuments, and they are all of the type
of the true negro. As might be expected, the history of this
country is interwoven with that of Egypt.
Ethiopia is spoken of in prophecy (Ps. 68:31; 87:4; Isa.
45:14; Ezek. 30:4-9; Dan. 11:43; Nah. 3:8-10; Hab. 3:7; Zeph.
striking down. The whole country on the east of Jordan, from the
Arnon to the Jabbok, was possessed by the Amorites, whose king,
Sihon, refused to permit the Israelites to pass through his
territory, and put his army in array against them. The
Israelites went forth against him to battle, and gained a
complete victory. The Amorites were defeated; Sihon, his sons,
and all his people were smitten with the sword, his walled towns
were captured, and the entire country of the Amorites was taken
possession of by the Israelites (Num. 21:21-30; Deut. 2:24-37).
The country from the Jabbok to Hermon was at this time ruled
by Og, the last of the Rephaim. He also tried to prevent the
progress of the Israelites, but was utterly routed, and all his
cities and territory fell into the hands of the Israelites
(compare Num. 21:33-35; Deut. 3:1-14; Ps. 135: 10-12; 136:17-22).
These two victories gave the Israelites possession of the
country on the east of Jordan, from the Arnon to the foot of
Hermon. The kingdom of Sihon embraced about 1,500 square miles,
while that of Og was more than 3,000 square miles.
thunder. (1.) One of the sons of Cush (Gen. 10:7). (2.) A
country which traded with Tyre (Ezek. 27:22).
exile; wandering; unrest, a name given to the country to which
Cain fled (Gen.4:16). It lay on the east of Eden.
Rivers of Babylon
(Ps. 137:1), i.e., of the whole country of Babylonia, e.g., the
Tigris, Euphrates, Chalonas, the Ulai, and the numerous canals.
place of flocks, mentioned only in Micah 1:11. It may be
identified with Zenan, in the plain country of Judah (Josh.
highland, the son of Shem (Gen. 10:22), and the name of the
country inhabited by his descendants (14:1, 9; Isa. 11:11; 21:2,
etc.) lying to the east of Babylonia, and extending to the shore
of the Mediterranean, a distance in a direct line of about 1,000
miles. The name Elam is an Assyrian word meaning "high."
"The inhabitants of Elam, or 'the Highlands,' to the east of
Babylon, were called Elamites. They were divided into several
branches, speaking different dialects of the same agglutinative
language. The race to which they belonged was brachycephalic, or
short-headed, like the pre-Semitic Sumerians of Babylonia.
"The earliest Elamite kingdom seems to have been that of
Anzan, the exact site of which is uncertain; but in the time of
Abraham, Shushan or Susa appears to have already become the
capital of the country. Babylonia was frequently invaded by the
Elamite kings, who at times asserted their supremacy over it (as
in the case of Chedorlaomer, the Kudur-Lagamar, or 'servant of
the goddess Lagamar,' of the cuneiform texts).
"The later Assyrian monarchs made several campaigns against
Elam, and finally Assur-bani-pal (about B.C. 650) succeeded in
conquering the country, which was ravaged with fire and sword.
On the fall of the Assyrian Empire, Elam passed into the hands
of the Persians" (A.H. Sayce).
This country was called by the Greeks Cissia or Susiana.
the country of the Ludim (Gen. 10:13), Northern Africa, a large
tract lying along the Mediterranean, to the west of Egypt (Acts
2:10). Cyrene was one of its five cities.
whitish, one of the sons of Anak (Num. 13:22). When the
Israelites obtained possession of the country the sons of Anak
were expelled and slain (Josh. 15:14; Judg. 1:10).
the easternmost and the largest province of Asia Minor.
Christianity very early penetrated into this country (1 Pet.
1:1). On the day of Pentecost there were Cappadocians at
Jerusalem (Acts 2:9).
camel-house, a city in the "plain country" of Moab denounced by
the prophet (Jer. 48:23); probably the modern Um-el-Jemal, near
Bozrah, one of the deserted cities of the Hauran.
a general name for the countries that lay north of Israel.
Most of the invading armies entered Israel from the north
(Isa. 41:25; Jer. 1:14,15; 50:3,9,41; 51:48; Ezek. 26:7).
(R.V. Micah 1:10), house of dust. The Authorized Version reads
"in the house of Aphrah." This is probably the name of a town in
the Shephelah, or "low country," between Joppa and Gaza.
only in Jer. 51:27, as the name of a province in Armenia, which
was at this time under the Median kings. Armenia is regarded by
some as = Har-minni i.e., the mountainous country of Minni. (See
(in the LXX. called "Thorgal"), styled the "king of nations"
(Gen.14:1-9). Mentioned as Tudkhula on Arioch's brick (see
facing page 139). "Goyyim", translated "nations," is the country
called Gutium, east of Tigris and north of Elam.
(Judg. 5:7, 11). The Hebrew word thus rendered (perazon) means
habitations in the open country, unwalled villages (Deut. 3:5; 1
Sam. 6:18). Others, however, following the LXX. and the Vulgate
versions, render the word "rulers."
Orientals, the name of a Canaanite tribe which inhabited the
NEern part of Israel in the time of Abraham (Gen.
15:19). Probably they were identical with the "children of the
east," who inhabited the country between Israel and the
Hellenists, Greek-Jews; Jews born in a foreign country, and thus
did not speak Hebrew (Acts 6:1; 9:29), nor join in the Hebrew
services of the Jews in Israel, but had synagogues of their
own in Jerusalem. Joel 3:6 =Greeks.
founded by God, a "desert" on the ascent from the valley of the
Dead Sea towards Jerusalem. It lay beyond the wilderness of
Tekoa, in the direction of Engedi (2 Chr. 20:16, 20). It
corresponds with the tract of country now called el-Hasasah.
the name of a country from which Solomon obtained gold for the
temple (2 Chr. 3:6). Some have identified it with Ophir, but it
is uncertain whether it is even the name of a place. It may
simply, as some think, denote "Oriental regions."
arid, an extensive region in the south-west of Asia. It is
bounded on the west by the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea, on
the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the east by the Persian
Gulf and the Euphrates. It extends far into the north in barren
deserts, meeting those of Syria and Mesopotamia. It is one of
the few countries of the world from which the original
inhabitants have never been expelled.
It was anciently divided into three parts:, (1.) Arabia Felix
(Happy Arabia), so called from its fertility. It embraced a
large portion of the country now known by the name of Arabia.
The Arabs call it Yemen. It lies between the Red Sea and the
Persian Gulf. (2.) Arabia Deserta, the el-Badieh or "Great
Wilderness" of the Arabs. From this name is derived that which
is usually given to the nomadic tribes which wander over this
region, the "Bedaween," or, more generally, "Bedouin," (3.)
Arabia Petraea, i.e., the Rocky Arabia, so called from its rocky
mountains and stony plains. It comprehended all the north-west
portion of the country, and is much better known to travellers
than any other portion. This country is, however, divided by
modern geographers into (1) Arabia Proper, or the Arabian
Peninsula; (2) Northern Arabia, or the Arabian Desert; and (3)
Western Arabia, which includes the peninsula of Sinai and the
Desert of Petra, originally inhabited by the Horites (Gen. 14:6,
etc.), but in later times by the descendants of Esau, and known
as the Land of Edom or Idumea, also as the Desert of Seir or
The whole land appears (Gen. 10) to have been inhabited by a
variety of tribes of different lineage, Ishmaelites, Arabians,
Idumeans, Horites, and Edomites; but at length becoming
amalgamated, they came to be known by the general designation of
Arabs. The modern nation of Arabs is predominantly Ishmaelite.
Their language is the most developed and the richest of all the
Semitic languages, and is of great value to the student of
The Israelites wandered for forty years in Arabia. In the days
of Solomon, and subsequently, commercial intercourse was to a
considerable extent kept up with this country (1 Kings 10:15; 2
Chr. 9:14; 17:11). Arabians were present in Jerusalem at
Pentecost (Acts 2:11). Paul retired for a season into Arabia
after his conversion (Gal. 1:17). This country is frequently
referred to by the prophets (Isa. 21:11; 42:11; Jer. 25:24,
The Hebrew word so rendered means simply a round vessel or cup
for containing ink, which was generally worn by writers in the
girdle (Ezek. 9:2, 3,11). The word "inkhorn" was used by the
translators, because in former times in this country horns were
used for containing ink.
Ephraim in the wilderness
(John 11: 54), a town to which our Lord retired with his
disciples after he had raised Lazarus, and when the priests were
conspiring against him. It lay in the wild, uncultivated
hill-country to the NE of Jerusalem, betwen the central
towns and the Jordan valley.
(1.) One of the sons of Cush (Gen. 10:7).
(2.) The name of a country and nation (Isa. 43:3; 45:14)
mentioned along with Egypt and Ethiopia, and therefore probably
in NEern Africa. The ancient name of Meroe. The kings of
Sheba and Seba are mentioned together in Ps. 72:10.
one of the Babylonian cities or districts from which Shalmaneser
transplanted certain colonists to Samaria (2 Kings 17:24). Some
have conjectured that the "Cutheans" were identical with the
"Cossaeans" who inhabited the hill-country to the north of the
river Choaspes. Cuthah is now identified with Tell Ibrahim, 15
miles NE of Babylon.
God has ascended, a place in the pastoral country east of
Jordan, in the tribe of Reuben (Num. 32:3, 37). It is not again
mentioned till the time of Isaiah (15:4; 16:9) and Jeremiah
(48:34). It is now an extensive ruin called el-A'al, about one
mile NE of Heshbon.
exile, a city in the south-west part of the hill-country of
Judah (Josh. 15:51). It was the native place or residence of the
traitor Ahithophel "the Gilonite" (Josh. 15:51; 2 Sam. 15:12),
and where he committed suicide (17:23). It has been identified
with Kurbet Jala, about 7 miles north of Hebron.
incense, the wife of Abraham, whom he married probably after
Sarah's death (Gen. 25:1-6), by whom he had six sons, whom he
sent away into the east country. Her nationality is unknown. She
is styled "Abraham's concubine" (1 Chr. 1:32). Through the
offshoots of the Keturah line Abraham became the "father of many
the name generally given to Upper Egypt (the Thebaid of the
Greeks), as distinguished from Matsor, or Lower Egypt (Isa.
11:11; Jer. 44:1, 15; Ezek. 30:14), the two forming Mizraim.
After the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, colonies
of Jews settled "in the country of Pathros" and other parts of
house of Dagon. (1.) A city in the low country or plain of
Judah, near Philistia (Josh. 15:41); the modern Beit Degan,
about 5 miles from Lydda.
(2.) A city near the south-east border of Asher (Josh. 19:27).
It was a Philistine colony. It is identical with the modern
ruined village of Tell D'auk.
the name of a country (Zech. 9:1) which cannot be identified.
Rawlinson would identify it with Edessa. He mentions that in the
Assyrian inscriptions it is recorded that "Shalmanezer III. made
two expeditions, the first against Damascus B.C. 773, and the
second against Hadrach B.C. 772; and again that Asshurdanin-il
II. made expeditions against Hadrach in B.C. 765 and 755."
Acts 18:2; 27:1, 6; Heb. 13:24), like most geographical names,
was differently used at different periods of history. As the
power of Rome advanced, nations were successively conquered and
added to it till it came to designate the whole country to the
south of the Alps. There was constant intercourse between
Israel and Italy in the time of the Romans.
(1.) The fourth son of Ham (Gen. 10:6). His descendants were
under a curse in consequence of the transgression of his father
(9:22-27). His eldest son, Zidon, was the father of the
Sidonians and Phoenicians. He had eleven sons, who were the
founders of as many tribes (10:15-18).
(2.) The country which derived its name from the preceding.
The name as first used by the Phoenicians denoted only the
maritime plain on which Sidon was built. But in the time of
Moses and Joshua it denoted the whole country to the west of the
Jordan and the Dead Sea (Deut. 11:30). In Josh. 5:12 the LXX.
read, "land of the Phoenicians," instead of "land of Canaan."
The name signifies "the lowlands," as distinguished from the
land of Gilead on the east of Jordan, which was a mountainous
district. The extent and boundaries of Canaan are fully set
forth in different parts of Scripture (Gen. 10:19; 17:8; Num.
13:29; 34:8). (See CANAANITES T0000705, PALESTINE T0002828.)
or Chaldeans, the inhabitants of the country of which Babylon
was the capital. They were so called till the time of the
Captivity (2 Kings 25; Isa. 13:19; 23:13), when, particularly in
the Book of Daniel (5:30; 9:1), the name began to be used with
special reference to a class of learned men ranked with the
magicians and astronomers. These men cultivated the ancient
Cushite language of the original inhabitants of the land, for
they had a "learning" and a "tongue" (1:4) of their own. The
common language of the country at that time had become
assimilated to the Semitic dialect, especially through the
influence of the Assyrians, and was the language that was used
for all civil purposes. The Chaldeans were the learned class,
interesting themselves in science and religion, which consisted,
like that of the ancient Arabians and Syrians, in the worship of
the heavenly bodies. There are representations of this priestly
class, of magi and diviners, on the walls of the Assyrian
remaining portion, the city of Joshua in the hill country of
Ephraim, the same as Timnath-heres (Josh. 19:50; 24:30). "Of all
sites I have seen," says Lieut. Col. Conder, "none is so
striking as that of Joshua's home, surrounded as it is with deep
valleys and wild, rugged hills." Opposite the town is a hill, on
the northern side of which there are many excavated sepulchres.
Among these is the supposed tomb of Joshua, which is said to be
"the most striking monument in the country." It is a "square
chamber with five excavations in three of its sides, the central
one forming a passage leading into a second chamber beyond. A
great number of lamp-niches cover the walls of the porch,
upwards of two hundred, arranged in vertical rows. A single
cavity with a niche for a lamp has been thought to be the
resting-place of the warrior-chief of Israel." The modern Kefr
Haris, 10 miles south-west of Shechem.
falsehood. (1.) A town in the Shephelah, or plain country of
Judah (Josh. 15:44); probably the same as Chezib of Gen. 38:5 =
(2.) A Phoenician city (the Gr. Ecdippa), always retained in
their possession though assigned to the tribe of Asher (Josh.
19:29; Judg. 1:31). It is identified with the modern es-Zib, on
the Mediterranean, about 8 miles north of Accho.
Heb. libneh, "white", (Gen. 30:37; Hos. 4:13), in all
probability the storax tree (Styrax officinalis) or white
poplar, distinguished by its white blossoms and pale leaves. It
is common in the Anti-Libanus. Other species of the poplar are
found in Israel, such as the white poplar (P. alba) of our
own country, the black poplar (P. nigra), and the aspen (P.
tremula). (See WILLOW T0003812.)
lightning. (1.) The residence of Adoni-bezek, in the lot of
Judah (Judg. 1:5). It was in the mountains, not far from
Jerusalem. Probably the modern Bezkah, 6 miles south-east of
(2.) The place where Saul numbered the forces of Israel and
Judah (1 Sam. 11:8); somewhere in the centre of the country,
near the Jordan valley. Probably the modern Ibzik, 13 miles
NE of Shechem.
a mountainous country on the eastern shore of the Adriatic, a
part of the Roman province of Illyricum. It still bears its
ancient name. During Paul's second imprisonment at Rome, Titus
left him to visit Dalmatia (2 Tim. 4:10) for some unknown
purpose. Paul had himself formerly preached in that region (Rom.
The present Emperor of Austria bears, among his other titles,
that of "King of Dalmatia."
extended, a Levitical city in the mountains or hill-country of
Judah (Josh. 15:55; 21:16). Its modern name is Yutta, a place
about 5 1/2 miles south of Hebron. It is supposed to have been
the residence of Zacharias and Elisabeth, and the birthplace of
John the Baptist, and on this account is annually visited by
thousands of pilgrims belonging to the Greek Church (Luke 1:39).
(See MARY T0002428.)
(Heb. dohan; only in Ezek. 4:9), a small grain, the produce of
the Panicum miliaceum of botanists. It is universally cultivated
in the East as one of the smaller corn-grasses. This seed is the
cenchros of the Greeks. It is called in India warree, and by the
Arabs dukhan, and is extensively used for food, being often
mixed with other grain. In this country it is only used for
a race of giants; "a people great, and many, and tall, as the
Anakims" (Deut. 2:20, 21). They were overcome by the Ammonites,
"who called them Zamzummims." They belonged to the Rephaim, and
inhabited the country afterwards occupied by the Ammonites. It
has been conjectured that they might be Ham-zuzims, i.e., Zuzims
dwelling in Ham, a place apparently to the south of Ashteroth
(Gen. 14:5), the ancient Rabbath-ammon.
a plain, a level tract extending from the Mediterranean to the
hill country to the west of Jerusalem, about 30 miles long and
from 8 to 15 miles broad, celebrated for its beauty and
fertility (1 Chr. 27:29; Isa. 33:9; 35:2; 65:10). The "rose of
Sharon" is celebrated (Cant. 2:1). It is called Lasharon (the
article la being here a part of the word) in Josh. 12:18.
terrors, a warlike tribe of giants who were defeated by
Chedorlaomer and his allies in the plain of Kiriathaim. In the
time of Abraham they occupied the country east of Jordan,
afterwards the land of the Moabites (Gen. 14:5; Deut. 2:10).
They were, like the Anakim, reckoned among the Rephaim, and were
conquered by the Moabites, who gave them the name of Emims,
i.e., "terrible men" (Deut. 2:11). The Ammonites called them
a wall. (1.) A city in the mountains or hill country of Judah
(Josh. 15:58), identified with Jedar, between Jerusalem and
(2.) 1 Chr. 4:39, the Gederah of Josh. 15:36, or the
well-known Gerar, as the LXX. read, where the patriarchs of old
had sojourned and fed their flocks (Gen. 20:1, 14, 15; 26:1, 6,
(3.) A town apparently in Benjamin (1 Chr. 12:7), the same
probably as Geder (Josh. 12:13).
The Scythians consisted of "all the pastoral tribes who dwelt to
the north of the Black Sea and the Caspian, and were scattered
far away toward the east. Of this vast country but little was
anciently known. Its modern representative is Russia, which, to
a great extent, includes the same territories." They were the
descendants of Japheth (Gen. 9:27). It appears that in apostolic
times there were some of this people that embraced Christianity
villagers; dwellers in the open country, the Canaanite nation
inhabiting the fertile regions south and south-west of Carmel.
"They were the graziers, farmers, and peasants of the time."
They were to be driven out of the land by the descendants of
Abraham (Gen. 15:20; Ex. 3:8, 17; 23:23; 33:2; 34:11). They are
afterwards named among the conquered tribes (Josh. 24:11). Still
lingering in the land, however, they were reduced to servitude
by Solomon (1 Kings 9:20).
son of Shem, born the year after the Deluge. He died at the age
of 438 years (Gen. 11:10-13; 1 Chr. 1:17, 18; Luke 3:36). He
dwelt in Mesopotamia, and became, according to the Jewish
historian Josephus, the progenitor of the Chaldeans. The
tendency is to recognize in the word the name of the country
nearest the ancient domain of the Chaldeans. Some regard the
word as an Egypticized form of the territorial name of Ur
Kasdim, or Ur of the Chaldees.
enclosure; fortress. (1.) The city of Jobab, one of the early
Edomite kings (Gen. 36:33). This place is mentioned by the
prophets in later times (Isa. 34:6; Jer. 49:13; Amos 1:12; Micah
2:12). Its modern representative is el-Busseireh. It lies in the
mountain district of Petra, 20 miles to the south-east of the
(2.) A Moabite city in the "plain country" (Jer. 48:24), i.e.,
on the high level down on the east of the Dead Sea. It is
probably the modern Buzrah.
a country to the north-west of Macedonia, on the eastern shores
of the Adriatic, now almost wholly comprehended in Dalmatia, a
name formerly given to the southern part of Illyricum (2 Tim.
4:10). It was traversed by Paul in his third missionary journey
(Rom. 15:19). It was the farthest district he had reached in
preaching the gospel of Christ. This reference to Illyricum is
in harmony with Acts 20:2, inasmuch as the apostle's journey
over the parts of Macedonia would bring him to the borders of
narrow pass or recess, a town (Josh. 15:33) in the low country,
the She-phelah of Judah. It was allotted to the tribe of Dan
(Josh. 19:41), and was one of their strongholds. Here Samson
spent his boyhood, and first began to show his mighty strength;
and here he was buried in the burying-place of Manoah his father
(Judg. 13:25; 16:31; 18:2, 8, 11, 12). It is identified with the
modern Yeshua, on a hill 2 miles east of Zorah. Others, however,
identify it with Kustul, east of Kirjath-jearim.
Only mentioned in Isa. 3:21, although refered to in Gen. 24:47,
Prov. 11:22, Hos. 2:13. They were among the most valued of
ancient female ornaments. They "were made of ivory or metal, and
occasionally jewelled. They were more than an inch in diameter,
and hung upon the mouth. Eliezer gave one to Rebekah which was
of gold and weighed half a shekel...At the present day the women
in the country and in the desert wear these ornaments in one of
the sides of the nostrils, which droop like the ears in
place of wasps, a town in the low country of Judah, afterwards
given to Dan (Josh. 19:41; Judg. 18:2), probably the same as
Zoreah (Josh. 15:33). This was Samson's birthplace (Judg. 13:2,
25), and near it he found a grave (16:31). It was situated on
the crest of a hill overlooking the valley of Sorek, and was
fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chr. 11:10). It has been identified
with Sur'ah, in the Wady Surar, 8 miles west of Jerusalem. It is
noticed on monuments in the fifteenth century B.C. as attacked
by the Abiri or Hebrews.
sacred land or high land, the name of a country on one of the
mountains of which the ark rested after the Flood subsided (Gen.
8:4). The "mountains" mentioned were probably the Kurdish range
of South Armenia. In 2 Kings 19:37, Isa. 37:38, the word is
rendered "Armenia" in the Authorized Version, but in the Revised
Version, "Land of Ararat." In Jer. 51:27, the name denotes the
central or southern portion of Armenia. It is, however,
generally applied to a high and almost inaccessible mountain
which rises majestically from the plain of the Araxes. It has
two conical peaks, about 7 miles apart, the one 14,300 feet and
the other 10,300 feet above the level of the plain. Three
thousand feet of the summit of the higher of these peaks is
covered with perpetual snow. It is called Kuh-i-nuh, i.e.,
"Noah's mountain", by the Persians. This part of Armenia was
inhabited by a people who spoke a language unlike any other now
known, though it may have been related to the modern Georgian.
About B.C. 900 they borrowed the cuneiform characters of
Nineveh, and from this time we have inscriptions of a line of
kings who at times contended with Assyria. At the close of the
seventh century B.C. the kingdom of Ararat came to an end, and
the country was occupied by a people who are ancestors of the
Armenians of the present day.
has been called the "Gallia" of the East, Roman writers calling
its inhabitants Galli. They were an intermixture of Gauls and
Greeks, and hence were called Gallo-Graeci, and the country
Gallo-Graecia. The Galatians were in their origin a part of that
great Celtic migration which invaded Macedonia about B.C. 280.
They were invited by the king of Bithynia to cross over into
Asia Minor to assist him in his wars. There they ultimately
settled, and being strengthened by fresh accessions of the same
clan from Europe, they overran Bithynia, and supported
themselves by plundering neighbouring countries. They were great
warriors, and hired themselves out as mercenary soldiers,
sometimes fighting on both sides in the great battles of the
times. They were at length brought under the power of Rome in
B.C. 189, and Galatia became a Roman province B.C. 25.
This province of Galatia, within the limits of which these
Celtic tribes were confined, was the central region of Asia
During his second missionary journey Paul, accompanied by
Silas and Timothy (Acts 16:6), visited the "region of Galatia,"
where he was detained by sickness (Gal. 4:13), and had thus the
longer opportunity of preaching to them the gospel. On his third
journey he went over "all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in
order" (Acts 18:23). Crescens was sent thither by Paul toward
the close of his life (2 Tim. 4:10).
(1.) Heb. midbar, "pasture-ground;" an open tract for pasturage;
a common (Joel 2:22). The "backside of the desert" (Ex. 3:1) is
the west of the desert, the region behind a man, as the east is
the region in front. The same Hebrew word is rendered
"wildernes," and is used of the country lying between Egypt and
Israel (Gen. 21:14, 21; Ex. 4:27; 19:2; Josh. 1:4), the
wilderness of the wanderings. It was a grazing tract, where the
flocks and herds of the Israelites found pasturage during the
whole of their journey to the Promised Land.
The same Hebrew word is used also to denote the wilderness of
Arabia, which in winter and early spring supplies good pasturage
to the flocks of the nomad tribes than roam over it (1 Kings
The wilderness of Judah is the mountainous region along the
western shore of the Dead Sea, where David fed his father's
flocks (1 Sam. 17:28; 26:2). Thus in both of these instances the
word denotes a country without settled inhabitants and without
streams of water, but having good pasturage for cattle; a
country of wandering tribes, as distinguished from that of a
settled people (Isa. 35:1; 50:2; Jer. 4:11). Such, also, is the
meaning of the word "wilderness" in Matt. 3:3; 15:33; Luke 15:4.
(2.) The translation of the Hebrew "Aribah'", "an arid tract"
(Isa. 35:1, 6; 40:3; 41:19; 51:3, etc.). The name Arabah is
specially applied to the deep valley of the Jordan (the Ghor of
the Arabs), which extends from the lake of Tiberias to the
Elanitic gulf. While "midbar" denotes properly a pastoral
region, "arabah" denotes a wilderness. It is also translated
"plains;" as "the plains of Jericho" (Josh. 5:10; 2 Kings 25:5),
"the plains of Moab" (Num. 22:1; Deut. 34:1, 8), "the plains of
the wilderness" (2 Sam. 17:16).
(3.) In the Revised Version of Num. 21:20 the Hebrew word
"jeshimon" is properly rendered "desert," meaning the waste
tracts on both shores of the Dead Sea. This word is also
rendered "desert" in Ps. 78:40; 106:14; Isa. 43:19, 20. It
denotes a greater extent of uncultivated country than the other
words so rendered. It is especially applied to the desert of the
peninsula of Arabia (Num. 21:20; 23:28), the most terrible of
all the deserts with which the Israelites were acquainted. It is
called "the desert" in Ex. 23:31; Deut. 11:24. (See JESHIMON
(4.) A dry place; hence a desolation (Ps. 9:6), desolate (Lev.
26:34); the rendering of the Hebrew word "horbah'". It is
rendered "desert" only in Ps. 102:6, Isa. 48:21, and Ezek. 13:4,
where it means the wilderness of Sinai.
(5.) This word is the symbol of the Jewish church when they
had forsaken God (Isa. 40:3). Nations destitute of the knowledge
of God are called a "wilderness" (32:15, "midbar"). It is a
symbol of temptation, solitude, and persecution (Isa. 27:10,
"midbar"; 33:9, "arabah").
Judah, Tribe of
Judah and his three surviving sons went down with Jacob into
Egypt (Gen. 46:12; Ex. 1:2). At the time of the Exodus, when we
meet with the family of Judah again, they have increased to the
number of 74,000 males (Num. 1:26, 27). Its number increased in
the wilderness (26:22). Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, represented
the tribe as one of the spies (13:6; 34:19). This tribe marched
at the van on the east of the tabernacle (Num. 2:3-9; 10:14),
its standard, as is supposed, being a lion's whelp. Under Caleb,
during the wars of conquest, they conquered that portion of the
country which was afterwards assigned to them as their
inheritance. This was the only case in which any tribe had its
inheritance thus determined (Josh. 14:6-15; 15:13-19).
The inheritance of the tribe of Judah was at first fully
one-third of the whole country west of Jordan, in all about
2,300 square miles (Josh. 15). But there was a second
distribution, when Simeon received an allotment, about 1,000
square miles, out of the portion of Judah (Josh. 19:9). That
which remained to Judah was still very large in proportion to
the inheritance of the other tribes. The boundaries of the
territory are described in Josh. 15:20-63.
This territory given to Judah was divided into four sections.
(1.) The south (Heb. negeb), the undulating pasture-ground
between the hills and the desert to the south (Josh. 15:21.)
This extent of pasture-land became famous as the favourite
camping-ground of the old patriarchs. (2.) The "valley" (15:33)
or lowland (Heb. shephelah), a broad strip lying between the
central highlands and the Mediterranean. This tract was the
garden as well as the granary of the tribe. (3.) The
"hill-country," or the mountains of Judah, an elevated plateau
stretching from below Hebron northward to Jerusalem. "The towns
and villages were generally perched on the tops of hills or on
rocky slopes. The resources of the soil were great. The country
was rich in corn, wine, oil, and fruit; and the daring shepherds
were able to lead their flocks far out over the neighbouring
plains and through the mountains." The number of towns in this
district was thirty-eight (Josh. 15:48-60). (4.) The
"wilderness," the sunken district next the Dead Sea (Josh.
15:61), "averaging 10 miles in breadth, a wild, barren,
uninhabitable region, fit only to afford scanty pasturage for
sheep and goats, and a secure home for leopards, bears, wild
goats, and outlaws" (1 Sam. 17:34; 22:1; Mark 1:13). It was
divided into the "wilderness of En-gedi" (1 Sam. 24:1), the
"wilderness of Judah" (Judg. 1:16; Matt. 3:1), between the
Hebron mountain range and the Dead Sea, the "wilderness of Maon"
(1 Sam. 23:24). It contained only six cities.
Nine of the cities of Judah were assigned to the priests
high land, occurs only in Authorized Version, 2 Kings 19:37; in
Revised Version, "Ararat," which is the Hebrew word. A country
in western Asia lying between the Caspian and the Black Sea.
Here the ark of Noah rested after the Deluge (Gen. 8:4). It is
for the most part high table-land, and is watered by the Aras,
the Kur, the Euphrates, and the Tigris. Ararat was properly the
name of a part of ancient Armenia. Three provinces of Armenia
are mentioned in Jer. 51:27, Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz. Some,
however, think Minni a contraction for Armenia. (See ARARAT
obedience, a town in the mountains of Judah (Josh. 21:14; 1 Chr.
6:57), which was allotted, with the land round it, to the
priests. It was frequented by David and his followers during
their wanderings; and he sent presents of the spoil of the
Amalekites to his friends there (1 Sam. 30:28). It is identified
with es-Semu'a, a village about 3 1/2 miles east of Socoh, and 7
or 8 miles south of Hebron, around which there are ancient
remains of the ruined city. It is the centre of the "south
country" or Negeb. It is also called "Eshtemoh" (Josh. 15:50).
After the Captivity this name was applied to the whole of the
country west of the Jordan (Hag. 1:1, 14; 2:2). But under the
Romans, in the time of Christ, it denoted the southernmost of
the three divisions of Israel (Matt. 2:1, 5; 3:1; 4:25),
although it was also sometimes used for Israel generally
The province of Judea, as distinguished from Galilee and
Samaria, included the territories of the tribes of Judah,
Benjamin, Dan, Simeon, and part of Ephraim. Under the Romans it
was a part of the province of Syria, and was governed by a
region of Gog, the second of the "sons" of Japheth (Gen. 10:2; 1
Chr. 1:5). In Ezekiel (38:2; 39:6) it is the name of a nation,
probably some Scythian or Tartar tribe descended from Japheth.
They are described as skilled horsemen, and expert in the use of
the bow. The Latin father Jerome says that this word denotes
"Scythian nations, fierce and innumerable, who live beyond the
Caucasus and the Lake Maeotis, and near the Caspian Sea, and
spread out even onward to India." Perhaps the name "represents
the Assyrian Mat Gugi, or 'country of Gugu,' the Gyges of the
Greeks" (Sayce's Races, etc.).
(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.)
the son of Shem (Gen. 10:22); according to Gen. 22:21, a
grandson of Nahor. In Matt. 1:3, 4, and Luke 3:33, this word is
the Greek form of Ram, the father of Amminadab (1 Chr. 2:10).
The word means high, or highlands, and as the name of a
country denotes that elevated region extending from the
northeast of Israel to the Euphrates. It corresponded
generally with the Syria and Mesopotamia of the Greeks and
Romans. In Gen. 25:20; 31:20, 24; Deut. 26:5, the word "Syrian"
is properly "Aramean" (R.V., marg.). Damascus became at length
the capital of the several smaller kingdoms comprehended under
the designation "Aram" or "Syria."
habitations, (2 Chr. 26:7; R.V. "Meunim," Vulg. Ammonitae), a
people against whom Uzziah waged a successful war. This word is
in Hebrew the plural of Ma'on, and thus denotes the Maonites who
inhabited the country on the eastern side of the Wady el-Arabah.
They are again mentioned in 1 Chr. 4:41 (R.V.), in the reign of
King Hezekiah, as a Hamite people, settled in the eastern end of
the valley of Gedor, in the wilderness south of Israel. In
this passage the Authorized Version has "habitation,"
erroneously following the translation of Luther.
They are mentioned in the list of those from whom the Nethinim
were made up (Ezra 2:50; Neh. 7:52).
(1.) Gr. balantion, a bag (Luke 10:4; 22:35, 36).
(2.) Gr. zone, properly a girdle (Matt. 10:9; Mark 6:8), a
money-belt. As to our Lord's sending forth his disciples without
money in their purses, the remark has been made that in this
"there was no departure from the simple manners of the country.
At this day the farmer sets out on excursions quite as extensive
without a para in his purse; and a modern Moslem prophet of
Tarshisha thus sends forth his apostles over this identical
region. No traveller in the East would hestitate to throw
himself on the hospitality of any village." Thomson's Land and
the Book. (See SCRIP T0003242.)
a region; lodging-place, a very ancient town and district in the
south border of Israel, which was ruled over by a king named
Abimelech (Gen. 10:19; 20:1, 2). Abraham sojourned here, and
perhaps Isaac was born in this place. Both of these patriarchs
were guilty of the sin of here denying their wives, and both of
them entered into a treaty with the king before they departed to
Beersheba (21:23-34; 26). It seems to have been a rich pastoral
country (2 Chr. 14:12-18). Isaac here reaped an hundred-fold,
and was blessed of God (Gen. 26:12). The "valley of Gerar" (Gen.
26:17) was probably the modern Wady el-Jerdr.
light soil, first mentioned in Gen. 14:5, where it is said that
Chedorlaomer and his confederates "smote the Rephaim in
Ashteroth," where Og the king of Bashan had his residence. At
the time of Israel's entrance into the Promised Land, Og came
out against them, but was utterly routed (Num. 21:33-35; Deut.
3:1-7). This country extended from Gilead in the south to Hermon
in the north, and from the Jordan on the west to Salcah on the
east. Along with the half of Gilead it was given to the
half-tribe of Manasseh (Josh. 13:29-31). Golan, one of its
cities, became a "city of refuge" (Josh. 21:27). Argob, in
Bashan, was one of Solomon's commissariat districts (1 Kings
4:13). The cities of Bashan were taken by Hazael (2 Kings
10:33), but were soon after reconquered by Jehoash (2 Kings
13:25), who overcame the Syrians in three battles, according to
the word of Elisha (19). From this time Bashan almost disappears
from history, although we read of the wild cattle of its rich
pastures (Ezek. 39:18; Ps. 22:12), the oaks of its forests (Isa.
2:13; Ezek. 27:6; Zech. 11:2), and the beauty of its extensive
plains (Amos 4:1; Jer. 50:19). Soon after the conquest, the name
"Gilead" was given to the whole country beyond Jordan. After the
Exile, Bashan was divided into four districts, (1.) Gaulonitis,
or Jaulan, the most western; (2.) Auranitis, the Hauran (Ezek.
47:16); (3.) Argob or Trachonitis, now the Lejah; and (4.)
Batanaea, now Ard-el-Bathanyeh, on the east of the Lejah, with
many deserted towns almost as perfect as when they were
inhabited. (See HAURAN T0001675.)
black. (1.) A son, probably the eldest, of Ham, and the father
of Nimrod (Gen. 10:8; 1 Chr. 1:10). From him the land of Cush
seems to have derived its name. The question of the precise
locality of the land of Cush has given rise to not a little
controversy. The second river of Paradise surrounded the whole
land of Cush (Gen. 2:13, R.V.). The term Cush is in the Old
Testament generally applied to the countries south of the
Israelites. It was the southern limit of Egypt (Ezek. 29:10,
A.V. "Ethiopia," Heb. Cush), with which it is generally
associated (Ps. 68:31; Isa. 18:1; Jer. 46:9, etc.). It stands
also associated with Elam (Isa. 11:11), with Persia (Ezek.
38:5), and with the Sabeans (Isa. 45:14). From these facts it
has been inferred that Cush included Arabia and the country on
the west coast of the Red Sea. Rawlinson takes it to be the
country still known as Khuzi-stan, on the east side of the Lower
Tigris. But there are intimations which warrant the conclusion
that there was also a Cush in Africa, the Ethiopia (so called by
the Greeks) of Africa. Ezekiel speaks (29:10; compare 30:4-6) of
it as lying south of Egypt. It was the country now known to us
as Nubia and Abyssinia (Isa. 18:1; Zeph. 3:10, Heb. Cush). In
ancient Egyptian inscriptions Ethiopia is termed "Kesh". The
Cushites appear to have spread along extensive tracts,
stretching from the Upper Nile to the Euphrates and Tigris. At
an early period there was a stream of migration of Cushites
"from Ethiopia, properly so called, through Arabia, Babylonia,
and Persia, to Western India." The Hamite races, soon after
their arrival in Africa, began to spread north, east, and west.
Three branches of the Cushite or Ethiopian stock, moving from
Western Asia, settled in the regions contiguous to the Persian
Gulf. One branch, called the Cossaeans, settled in the
mountainous district on the east of the Tigris, known afterwards
as Susiana; another occupied the lower regions of the Euphrates
and the Tigris; while a third colonized the southern shores and
islands of the gulf, whence they afterwards emigrated to the
Mediterranean and settled on the coast of Israel as the
Phoenicians. Nimrod was a great Cushite chief. He conquered the
Accadians, a Tauranian race, already settled in Mesopotamia, and
founded his kingdom, the Cushites mingling with the Accads, and
so forming the Chaldean nation.
(2.) A Benjamite of this name is mentioned in the title of Ps.
7. "Cush was probably a follower of Saul, the head of his tribe,
and had sought the friendship of David for the purpose of
'rewarding evil to him that was at peace with him.'"
the name originally of a narrow strip of territory in Greece, on
the north-west of the Peloponnesus. Subsequently it was applied
by the Romans to the whole Peloponnesus, now called the Morea,
and the south of Greece. It was then one of the two provinces
(Macedonia being the other) into which they divided the country
when it fell under their dominion. It is in this latter enlarged
meaning that the name is always used in the New Testament (Acts
18:12, 27; 19:21; Rom. 15: 26; 16:5, etc.). It was at the time
when Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles under the proconsular
form of government; hence the appropriate title given to Gallio
as the "deputy," i.e., proconsul, of Achaia (Acts 18:12).
a lion. (1.) A city of the Sidonians, in the extreme north of
Israel (Judg. 18:7, 14); called also Leshem (Josh. 19:47) and
Dan (Judg. 18:7, 29; Jer. 8:16). It lay near the sources of the
Jordan, about 4 miles from Paneas. The restless and warlike
tribe of Dan (q.v.), looking out for larger possessions, invaded
this country and took Laish with its territory. It is identified
with the ruin Tell-el-Kady, "the mound of the judge," to the
north of the Waters of Merom (Josh. 11:5).
(2.) A place mentioned in Isa. 10:30. It has been supposed to
be the modern el-Isawiyeh, about a mile NE of Jerusalem.
(3.) The father of Phalti (1 Sam. 25:44).
(1.) Heb. sis (Isa. 38:14; Jer. 8:7), the Arabic for the swift,
which "is a regular migrant, returning in myriads every spring,
and so suddenly that while one day not a swift can be seen in
the country, on the next they have overspread the whole land,
and fill the air with their shrill cry." The swift (cypselus) is
ordinarily classed with the swallow, which it resembles in its
flight, habits, and migration.
(2.) Heb. deror, i.e., "the bird of freedom" (Ps. 84:3; Prov.
26:2), properly rendered swallow, distinguished for its
swiftness of flight, its love of freedom, and the impossibility
of retaining it in captivity. In Isa. 38:14 and Jer. 8:7 the
word thus rendered ('augr) properly means "crane" (as in the
The southern portion of Babylonia, Lower Mesopotamia, lying
chiefly on the right bank of the Euphrates, but commonly used of
the whole of the Mesopotamian plain. The Hebrew name is Kasdim,
which is usually rendered "Chaldeans" (Jer. 50:10; 51:24,35).
The country so named is a vast plain formed by the deposits of
the Euphrates and the Tigris, extending to about 400 miles along
the course of these rivers, and about 100 miles in average
breadth. "In former days the vast plains of Babylon were
nourished by a complicated system of canals and water-courses,
which spread over the surface of the country like a network. The
wants of a teeming population were supplied by a rich soil, not
less bountiful than that on the banks of the Egyptian Nile. Like
islands rising from a golden sea of waving corn stood frequent
groves of palm-trees and pleasant gardens, affording to the
idler or traveller their grateful and highly-valued shade.
Crowds of passengers hurried along the dusty roads to and from
the busy city. The land was rich in corn and wine."
Recent discoveries, more especially in Babylonia, have thrown
much light on the history of the Hebrew patriarchs, and have
illustrated or confirmed the Biblical narrative in many points.
The ancestor of the Hebrew people, Abram, was, we are told, born
at "Ur of the Chaldees." "Chaldees" is a mistranslation of the
Hebrew "Kasdim", Kasdim being the Old Testament name of the
Babylonians, while the Chaldees were a tribe who lived on the
shores of the Persian Gulf, and did not become a part of the
Babylonian population till the time of Hezekiah. Ur was one of
the oldest and most famous of the Babylonian cities. Its site is
now called Mugheir, or Mugayyar, on the western bank of the
Euphrates, in Southern Babylonia. About a century before the
birth of Abram it was ruled by a powerful dynasty of kings.
Their conquests extended to Elam on the one side, and to the
Lebanon on the other. They were followed by a dynasty of princes
whose capital was Babylon, and who seem to have been of South
Arabian origin. The founder of the dynasty was Sumu-abi ("Shem
is my father"). But soon afterwards Babylonia fell under Elamite
dominion. The kings of Babylon were compelled to acknowledge the
supremacy of Elam, and a rival kingdom to that of Babylon, and
governed by Elamites, sprang up at Larsa, not far from Ur, but
on the opposite bank of the river. In the time of Abram the king
of Larsa was Eri-Aku, the son of an Elamite prince, and Eri-Aku,
as has long been recognized, is the Biblical "Arioch king of
Ellasar" (Gen. 14:1). The contemporaneous king of Babylon in the
north, in the country termed Shinar in Scripture, was
Khammu-rabi. (See BABYLON T0000409; ABRAHAM T0000054; AMRAPHEL
(Gen. 10:14, R.V.; but in A.V., "Philistim"), a tribe allied to
the Phoenicians. They were a branch of the primitive race which
spread over the whole district of the Lebanon and the valley of
the Jordan, and Crete and other Mediterranean islands. Some
suppose them to have been a branch of the Rephaim (2 Sam.
21:16-22). In the time of Abraham they inhabited the south-west
of Judea, Abimelech of Gerar being their king (Gen. 21:32, 34;
26:1). They are, however, not noticed among the Canaanite
tribes mentioned in the Pentateuch. They are spoken of by Amos
(9:7) and Jeremiah (47:4) as from Caphtor, i.e., probably Crete,
or, as some think, the Delta of Egypt. In the whole record from
Exodus to Samuel they are represented as inhabiting the tract of
country which lay between Judea and Egypt (Ex. 13:17; 15:14, 15;
Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 4).
This powerful tribe made frequent incursions against the
Hebrews. There was almost perpetual war between them. They
sometimes held the tribes, especially the southern tribes, in
degrading servitude (Judg. 15:11; 1 Sam. 13:19-22); at other
times they were defeated with great slaughter (1 Sam. 14:1-47;
17). These hostilities did not cease till the time of Hezekiah
(2 Kings 18:8), when they were entirely subdued. They still,
however, occupied their territory, and always showed their old
hatred to Israel (Ezek. 25:15-17). They were finally conquered
by the Romans.
The Philistines are called Pulsata or Pulista on the Egyptian
monuments; the land of the Philistines (Philistia) being termed
Palastu and Pilista in the Assyrian inscriptions. They occupied
the five cities of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath, in
the south-western corner of Canaan, which belonged to Egypt up
to the closing days of the Nineteenth Dynasty. The occupation
took place during the reign of Rameses III. of the Twentieth
Dynasty. The Philistines had formed part of the great naval
confederacy which attacked Egypt, but were eventually repulsed
by that Pharaoh, who, however, could not dislodge them from
their settlements in Israel. As they did not enter Israel
till the time of the Exodus, the use of the name Philistines in
Gen. 26:1 must be proleptic. Indeed the country was properly
Gerar, as in ch. 20.
They are called Allophyli, "foreigners," in the Septuagint,
and in the Books of Samuel they are spoken of as uncircumcised.
It would therefore appear that they were not of the Semitic
race, though after their establishment in Canaan they adopted
the Semitic language of the country. We learn from the Old
Testament that they came from Caphtor, usually supposed to be
Crete. From Philistia the name of the land of the Philistines
came to be extended to the whole of "Israel." Many scholars
identify the Philistines with the Pelethites of 2 Sam. 8:18.
the high land or mountains, a city in the land of Shinar. It has
been identified with the mounds of Akker Kuf, some 50 miles to
the north of Babylon; but this is doubtful. It was one of the
cities of Nimrod's kingdom (Ge 10:10). It stood close to the
Euphrates, opposite Sippara. (See SEPHARVAIM T0003277.)
It is also the name of the country of which this city was the
capital, namely, northern or upper Babylonia. The Accadians who
came from the "mountains of the east," where the ark rested,
attained to a high degree of civilization. In the Babylonian
inscriptions they are called "the black heads" and "the black
faces," in contrast to "the white race" of Semitic descent. They
invented the form of writing in pictorial hieroglyphics, and
also the cuneiform system, in which they wrote many books partly
on papyrus and partly on clay. The Semitic Babylonians ("the
white race"), or, as some scholars think, first the Cushites,
and afterwards, as a second immigration, the Semites, invaded
and conquered this country; and then the Accadian language
ceased to be a spoken language, although for the sake of its
literary treasures it continued to be studied by the educated
classes of Babylonia. A large portion of the Ninevite tablets
brought to light by Oriental research consists of interlinear or
parallel translations from Accadian into Assyrian; and thus that
long-forgotten language has been recovered by scholars. It
belongs to the class of languages called agglutinative, common
to the Tauranian race; i.e., it consists of words "glued
together," without declension of conjugation. These tablets in a
remarkable manner illustrate ancient history. Among other
notable records, they contain an account of the Creation which
closely resembles that given in the book of Genesis, of the
Sabbath as a day of rest, and of the Deluge and its cause. (See
BABYLON T0000409; CHALDEA T0000758.)
more properly sycomore (Heb. shikmoth and shikmim, Gr.
sycomoros), a tree which in its general character resembles the
fig-tree, while its leaves resemble those of the mulberry; hence
it is called the fig-mulberry (Ficus sycomorus). At Jericho,
Zacchaeus climbed a sycomore-tree to see Jesus as he passed by
(Luke 19:4). This tree was easily destroyed by frost (Ps.
78:47), and therefore it is found mostly in the "vale" (1 Kings
10:27; 2 Chr. 1:15: in both passages the R.V. has properly
"lowland"), i.e., the "low country," the shephelah, where the
climate is mild. Amos (7:14) refers to its fruit, which is of an
inferior character; so also probably Jeremiah (24:2). It is to
be distinguished from our sycamore (the Acer pseudo-platanus),
which is a species of maple often called a plane-tree.
originally denoted only the sea-coast of the land of Canaan
inhabited by the Philistines (Ex. 15:14; Isa. 14:29, 31; Joel
3:4), and in this sense exclusively the Hebrew name Pelesheth
(rendered "Philistia" in Ps. 60:8; 83:7; 87:4; 108:9) occurs in
the Old Testament.
Not till a late period in Jewish history was this name used to
denote "the land of the Hebrews" in general (Gen. 40:15). It is
also called "the holy land" (Zech. 2:12), the "land of Jehovah"
(Hos. 9:3; Ps. 85:1), the "land of promise" (Heb. 11:9), because
promised to Abraham (Gen. 12:7; 24:7), the "land of Canaan"
(Gen. 12:5), the "land of Israel" (1 Sam. 13:19), and the "land
of Judah" (Isa. 19:17).
The territory promised as an inheritance to the seed of
Abraham (Gen. 15:18-21; Num. 34:1-12) was bounded on the east by
the river Euphrates, on the west by the Mediterranean, on the
north by the "entrance of Hamath," and on the south by the
"river of Egypt." This extent of territory, about 60,000 square
miles, was at length conquered by David, and was ruled over also
by his son Solomon (2 Sam. 8; 1 Chr. 18; 1 Kings 4:1, 21). This
vast empire was the Promised Land; but Israel was only a part
of it, terminating in the north at the southern extremity of the
Lebanon range, and in the south in the wilderness of Paran, thus
extending in all to about 144 miles in length. Its average
breadth was about 60 miles from the Mediterranean on the west to
beyond the Jordan. It has fittingly been designated "the least
of all lands." Western Israel, on the south of Gaza, is only
about 40 miles in breadth from the Mediterranean to the Dead
Sea, narrowing gradually toward the north, where it is only 20
miles from the sea-coast to the Jordan.
Israel, "set in the midst" (Ezek. 5:5) of all other lands,
is the most remarkable country on the face of the earth. No
single country of such an extent has so great a variety of
climate, and hence also of plant and animal life. Moses
describes it as "a good land, a land of brooks of water, of
fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a
land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and
pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; a land wherein
thou shalt not eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack
any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose
hills thou mayest dig brass" (Deut. 8:7-9).
"In the time of Christ the country looked, in all probability,
much as now. The whole land consists of rounded limestone hills,
fretted into countless stony valleys, offering but rarely level
tracts, of which Esdraelon alone, below Nazareth, is large
enough to be seen on the map. The original woods had for ages
disappeared, though the slopes were dotted, as now, with figs,
olives, and other fruit-trees where there was any soil.
Permanent streams were even then unknown, the passing rush of
winter torrents being all that was seen among the hills. The
autumn and spring rains, caught in deep cisterns hewn out like
huge underground jars in the soft limestone, with artificial
mud-banked ponds still found near all villages, furnished water.
Hills now bare, or at best rough with stunted growth, were then
terraced, so as to grow vines, olives, and grain. To-day almost
desolate, the country then teemed with population. Wine-presses
cut in the rocks, endless terraces, and the ruins of old
vineyard towers are now found amidst solitudes overgrown for
ages with thorns and thistles, or with wild shrubs and poor
gnarled scrub" (Geikie's Life of Christ).
From an early period the land was inhabited by the descendants
of Canaan, who retained possession of the whole land "from Sidon
to Gaza" till the time of the conquest by Joshua, when it was
occupied by the twelve tribes. Two tribes and a half had their
allotments given them by Moses on the east of the Jordan (Deut.
3:12-20; compare Num. 1:17-46; Josh. 4:12-13). The remaining
tribes had their portion on the west of Jordan.
From the conquest till the time of Saul, about four hundred
years, the people were governed by judges. For a period of one
hundred and twenty years the kingdom retained its unity while it
was ruled by Saul and David and Solomon. On the death of
Solomon, his son Rehoboam ascended the throne; but his conduct
was such that ten of the tribes revolted, and formed an
independent monarchy, called the kingdom of Israel, or the
northern kingdom, the capital of which was first Shechem and
afterwards Samaria. This kingdom was destroyed. The Israelites
were carried captive by Shalmanezer, king of Assyria, B.C. 722,
after an independent existence of two hundred and fifty-three
years. The place of the captives carried away was supplied by
tribes brought from the east, and thus was formed the Samaritan
nation (2 Kings 17:24-29).
Nebuchadnezzar came up against the kingdom of the two tribes,
the kingdom of Judah, the capital of which was Jerusalem, one
hundred and thirty-four years after the overthrow of the kingdom
of Israel. He overthrew the city, plundered the temple, and
carried the people into captivity to Babylon (B.C. 587), where
they remained seventy years. At the close of the period of the
Captivity, they returned to their own land, under the edict of
Cyrus (Ezra 1:1-4). They rebuilt the city and temple, and
restored the old Jewish commonwealth.
For a while after the Restoration the Jews were ruled by
Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, and afterwards by the high
priests, assisted by the Sanhedrin. After the death of Alexander
the Great at Babylon (B.C. 323), his vast empire was divided
between his four generals. Egypt, Arabia, Israel, and
Coele-Syria fell to the lot of Ptolemy Lagus. Ptolemy took
possession of Israel in B.C. 320, and carried nearly one
hundred thousand of the inhabitants of Jerusalem into Egypt. He
made Alexandria the capital of his kingdom, and treated the Jews
with consideration, confirming them in the enjoyment of many
After suffering persecution at the hands of Ptolemy's
successors, the Jews threw off the Egyptian yoke, and became
subject to Antiochus the Great, the king of Syria. The cruelty
and opression of the successors of Antiochus at length led to
the revolt under the Maccabees (B.C. 163), when they threw off
the Syrian yoke.
In the year B.C. 68, Israel was reduced by Pompey the Great
to a Roman province. He laid the walls of the city in ruins, and
massacred some twelve thousand of the inhabitants. He left the
temple, however, unijured. About twenty-five years after this
the Jews revolted and cast off the Roman yoke. They were
however, subdued by Herod the Great (q.v.). The city and the
temple were destroyed, and many of the inhabitants were put to
death. About B.C. 20, Herod proceeded to rebuild the city and
restore the ruined temple, which in about nine years and a half
was so far completed that the sacred services could be resumed
in it (compare John 2:20). He was succeeded by his son Archelaus,
who was deprived of his power, however, by Augustus, A.D. 6,
when Israel became a Roman province, ruled by Roman governors
or procurators. Pontius Pilate was the fifth of these
procurators. He was appointed to his office A.D. 25.
Exclusive of Idumea, the kingdom of Herod the Great
comprehended the whole of the country originally divided among
the twelve tribes, which he divided into four provinces or
districts. This division was recognized so long as Israel was
under the Roman dominion. These four provinces were, (1) Judea,
the southern portion of the country; (2) Samaria, the middle
province, the northern boundary of which ran along the hills to
the south of the plain of Esdraelon; (3) Galilee, the northern
province; and (4) Peraea (a Greek name meaning the "opposite
country"), the country lying east of the Jordan and the Dead
Sea. This province was subdivided into these districts, (1)
Peraea proper, lying between the rivers Arnon and Jabbok; (2)
Galaaditis (Gilead); (3) Batanaea; (4) Gaulonitis (Jaulan); (5)
Ituraea or Auranitis, the ancient Bashan; (6) Trachonitis; (7)
Abilene; (8) Decapolis, i.e., the region of the ten cities. The
whole territory of Israel, including the portions alloted to
the trans-Jordan tribes, extended to about eleven thousand
square miles. Recent exploration has shown the territory on the
west of Jordan alone to be six thousand square miles in extent,
the size of the principality of Wales.
(1.) In the sense of soil or ground, the translation of the word
"adamah'". In Gen. 9:20 "husbandman" is literally "man of the
ground or earth." Altars were to be built of earth (Ex. 20:24).
Naaman asked for two mules' burden of earth (2 Kings 5:17),
under the superstitious notion that Jehovah, like the gods of
the heathen, could be acceptably worshipped only on his own
(2). As the rendering of "'erets", it means the whole world
(Gen. 1:2); the land as opposed to the sea (1:10). "Erets" also
denotes a country (21:32); a plot of ground (23:15); the ground
on which a man stands (33:3); the inhabitants of the earth (6:1;
11:1); all the world except Israel (2 Chr. 13:9). In the New
Testament "the earth" denotes the land of Judea (Matt. 23:35);
also things carnal in contrast with things heavenly (John 3:31;
Col. 3:1, 2).
the giant's backbone (so called from the head of a mountain
which runs out into the sea), an ancient city and harbour at the
NE end of the Elanitic branch of the Red Sea, the Gulf
of Akabah, near Elath or Eloth (Num. 33:35; Deut. 2:8). Here
Solomon built ships, "Tarshish ships," like those trading from
Tyre to Tarshish and the west, which traded with Ophir (1 Kings
9:26; 2 Chr. 8:17); and here also Jehoshaphat's fleet was
shipwrecked (1 Kings 22:48; 2 Chr. 20:36). It became a populous
town, many of the Jews settling in it (2 Kings 16:6, "Elath").
It is supposed that anciently the north end of the gulf flowed
further into the country than now, as far as 'Ain el-Ghudyan,
which is 10 miles up the dry bed of the Arabah, and that
Ezion-geber may have been there.
happy, the Roman procurator of Judea before whom Paul "reasoned"
(Acts 24:25). He appears to have expected a bribe from Paul, and
therefore had several interviews with him. The "worthy deeds"
referred to in 24:2 was his clearing the country of banditti and
At the end of a two years' term, Porcius Festus was appointed
in the room of Felix (A.D. 60), who proceeded to Rome, and was
there accused of cruelty and malversation of office by the Jews
of Caesarea. The accusation was rendered nugatory by the
influence of his brother Pallas with Nero. (See Josephus, Ant.
xx. 8, 9.)
Drusilla, the daughter of Herod Agrippa, having been induced
by Felix to desert her husband, the king of Emesa, became his
adulterous companion. She was seated beside him when Paul
"reasoned" before the judge. When Felix gave place to Festus,
being "willing to do the Jews a pleasure," he left Paul bound.
a pouring out, or a wrestling, one of the streams on the east of
Jordan, into which it falls about midway between the Sea of
Galilee and the Dead Sea, or about 45 miles below the Sea of
Galilee. It rises on the eastern side of the mountains of
Gilead, and runs a course of about 65 miles in a wild and deep
ravine. It was the boundary between the territory of the
Ammonites and that of Og, king of Bashan (Josh. 12:1-5; Num.
21:24); also between the tribe of Reuben and the half tribe of
Manasseh (21:24; Deut. 3:16). In its course westward across the
plains it passes more than once underground. "The scenery along
its banks is probably the most picturesque in Israel; and the
ruins of town and village and fortress which stud the
surrounding mountain-side render the country as interesting as
it is beautiful." This river is now called the Zerka, or blue
in New Testament times, was a Roman province lying north of
Greece. It was governed by a propraetor with the title of
proconsul. Paul was summoned by the vision of the "man of
Macedonia" to preach the gospel there (Acts 16:9). Frequent
allusion is made to this event (18:5; 19:21; Rom. 15:26; 2 Cor.
1:16; 11:9; Phil. 4:15). The history of Paul's first journey
through Macedonia is given in detail in Acts 16:10-17:15. At the
close of this journey he returned from Corinth to Syria. He
again passed through this country (20:1-6), although the details
of the route are not given. After many years he probably visited
it for a third time (Phil. 2:24; 1 Tim. 1:3). The first convert
made by Paul in Europe was (Acts 16:13-15) Lydia (q.v.), a
"seller of purple," residing in Philippi, the chief city of the
eastern division of Macedonia.
"Eastern modes of salutation are not unfrequently so prolonged
as to become wearisome and a positive waste of time. The
profusely polite Arab asks so many questions after your health,
your happiness, your welfare, your house, and other things, that
a person ignorant of the habits of the country would imagine
there must be some secret ailment or mysterious sorrow
oppressing you, which you wished to conceal, so as to spare the
feelings of a dear, sympathizing friend, but which he, in the
depth of his anxiety, would desire to hear of. I have often
listened to these prolonged salutations in the house, the
street, and the highway, and not unfrequently I have experienced
their tedious monotony, and I have bitterly lamented useless
waste of time" (Porter, Through Samaria, etc.). The work on
which the disciples were sent forth was one of urgency, which
left no time for empty compliments and prolonged greetings (Luke
impregnable, a royal Canaanite city in the Shephelah, or
maritime plain of Israel (Josh. 10:3, 5; 12:11). It was taken
and destroyed by the Israelites (Josh. 10:31-33). It afterwards
became, under Rehoboam, one of the strongest fortresses of Judah
(2 Chr. 10:9). It was assaulted and probably taken by
Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:14, 17; 19:8; Isa. 36:2). An account of
this siege is given on some slabs found in the chambers of the
palace of Koyunjik, and now in the British Museum. The
inscription has been deciphered as follows:, "Sennacherib, the
mighty king, king of the country of Assyria, sitting on the
throne of judgment before the city of Lachish: I gave permission
for its slaughter." (See NINEVEH T0002735.)
Lachish has been identified with Tell-el-Hesy, where a
cuneiform tablet has been found, containing a letter supposed to
be from Amenophis at Amarna in reply to one of the Amarna
tablets sent by Zimrida from Lachish. This letter is from the
chief of Atim (=Etam, 1 Chr. 4:32) to the chief of Lachish, in
which the writer expresses great alarm at the approach of
marauders from the Hebron hills. "They have entered the land,"
he says, "to lay waste...strong is he who has come down. He lays
waste." This letter shows that "the communication by tablets in
cuneiform script was not only usual in writing to Egypt, but in
the internal correspondence of the country. The letter, though
not so important in some ways as the Moabite stone and the
Siloam text, is one of the most valuable discoveries ever made
in Israel" (Conder's Tell Amarna Tablets, p. 134).
Excavations at Lachish are still going on, and among other
discoveries is that of an iron blast-furnace, with slag and
ashes, which is supposed to have existed B.C. 1500. If the
theories of experts are correct, the use of the hot-air blast
instead of cold air (an improvement in iron manufacture patented
by Neilson in 1828) was known fifteen hundred years before
Christ. (See FURNACE T0001398.)
the queen of the Ethiopians whose "eunuch" or chamberlain was
converted to Christianity by the instrumentality of Philip the
evangelist (Acts 8:27). The country which she ruled was called
by the Greeks Meroe, in Upper Nubia. It was long the centre of
commercial intercourse between Africa and the south of Asia, and
hence became famous for its wealth (Isa. 45:14).
It is somewhat singular that female sovereignty seems to have
prevailed in Ethiopia, the name Candace (compare "Pharaoh,"
"Ptolemy," "Caesar") being a title common to several successive
queens. It is probable that Judaism had taken root in Ethiopia
at this time, and hence the visit of the queen's treasurer to
Jerusalem to keep the feast. There is a tradition that Candace
was herself converted to Christianity by her treasurer on his
return, and that he became the apostle of Christianity in that
whole region, carrying it also into Abyssinia. It is said that
he also preached the gospel in Arabia Felix and in Ceylon, where
he suffered martyrdom. (See PHILIP T0002936.)
made great by Jehovah. (1.) the son of Jeduthum (1 Chr. 25:3,
9). (2.) The grandfather of the prophet Zephaniah, and the
father of Cushi (Zeph. 1:1). (3.) One of the Jewish nobles who
conspired against Jeremiah (Jer. 38:1). (4.) The son of Ahikam,
and grandson of Shaphan, secretary of king Josiah (Jer. 26:24).
After the destruction of Jerusalem (see ZEDEKIAH T0003894),
Nebuchadnezzar left him to govern the country as tributary to
him (2 Kings 25:22; Jer. 40:5; 52:16). Ishmael, however, at the
head of a party of the royal family, "Jewish irreconcilables",
rose against him, and slew him and "all the Jews that were with
him" (Jer. 41:2, 3) at Mizpah about three months after the
destruction of Jerusalem. He and his band also plundered the
town of Mizpah, and carried off many captives. He was, however,
overtaken by Johanan and routed. He fled with such of his
followers as escaped to the Ammonites (41:15). The little
remnant of the Jews now fled to Egypt.
the common name of the spot where Jesus was crucified. It is
interpreted by the evangelists as meaning "the place of a skull"
(Matt. 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17). This name represents in
Greek letters the Aramaic word Gulgaltha, which is the Hebrew
Gulgoleth (Num. 1:2; 1 Chr. 23:3, 24; 2 Kings 9:35), meaning "a
skull." It is identical with the word Calvary (q.v.). It was a
little knoll rounded like a bare skull. It is obvious from the
evangelists that it was some well-known spot outside the gate
(compare Heb. 13:12), and near the city (Luke 23:26), containing a
"garden" (John 19:41), and on a thoroughfare leading into the
country. Hence it is an untenable idea that it is embraced
within the present "Church of the Holy Sepulchre." The hillock
above Jeremiah's Grotto, to the north of the city, is in all
probability the true site of Calvary. The skull-like appearance
of the rock in the southern precipice of the hillock is very
the country between the two rivers (Heb. Aram-naharaim; i.e.,
"Syria of the two rivers"), the name given by the Greeks and
Romans to the region between the Euphrates and the Tigris (Gen.
24:10; Deut. 23:4; Judg. 3:8, 10). In the Old Testament it is
mentioned also under the name "Padan-aram;" i.e., the plain of
Aram, or Syria (Gen. 25:20). The northern portion of this
fertile plateau was the original home of the ancestors of the
Hebrews (Gen. 11; Acts 7:2). From this region Isaac obtained his
wife Rebecca (Gen. 24:10, 15), and here also Jacob sojourned
(28:2-7) and obtained his wives, and here most of his sons were
born (35:26; 46:15). The petty, independent tribes of this
region, each under its own prince, were warlike, and used
chariots in battle. They maintained their independence till
after the time of David, when they fell under the dominion of
Assyria, and were absorbed into the empire (2 Kings 19:13).
Israel is a hilly country (Deut. 3:25; 11:11; Ezek. 34:13).
West of Jordan the mountains stretch from Lebanon far down into
Galilee, terminating in Carmel. The isolated peak of Tabor rises
from the elevated plain of Esdraelon, which, in the south, is
shut in by hills spreading over the greater part of Samaria. The
mountains of Western and Middle Israel do not extend to the
sea, but gently slope into plains, and toward the Jordan fall
down into the Ghor.
East of the Jordan the Anti-Lebanon, stretching south,
terminates in the hilly district called Jebel Heish, which
reaches down to the Sea of Gennesareth. South of the river
Hieromax there is again a succession of hills, which are
traversed by wadies running toward the Jordan. These gradually
descend to a level at the river Arnon, which was the boundary of
the ancient trans-Jordanic territory toward the south.
The composition of the Palestinian hills is limestone, with
occasional strata of chalk, and hence the numerous caves, some
of large extent, found there.
Only olive oil seems to have been used among the Hebrews. It was
used for many purposes: for anointing the body or the hair (Ex.
29:7; 2 Sam. 14:2; Ps. 23:5; 92:10; 104:15; Luke 7:46); in some
of the offerings (Ex. 29:40; Lev. 7:12; Num. 6:15; 15:4), but
was excluded from the sin-offering (Lev. 5:11) and the
jealousy-offering (Num. 5:15); for burning in lamps (Ex. 25:6;
27:20; Matt. 25:3); for medicinal purposes (Isa. 1:6; Luke
10:34; James 5:14); and for anointing the dead (Matt. 26:12;
It was one of the most valuable products of the country (Deut.
32:13; Ezek. 16:13), and formed an article of extensive commerce
with Tyre (27:17).
The use of it was a sign of gladness (Ps. 92:10; Isa. 61:3),
and its omission a token of sorrow (2 Sam. 14:2; Matt. 6:17). It
was very abundant in Galilee. (See OLIVE T0002778.)
a dog. (1.) One of the three sons of Hezron of the tribe of
Judah. He is also called Chelubai (1 Chr. 2:9). His descendants
are enumerated (18-20, 42-49).
(2.) A "son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah" (1 Chr. 2:50).
Some would read the whole passage thus: "These [i.e., the list
in ver. 42-49] were the sons of Caleb. The sons of Hur, the
firstborn of Ephratah, were Shobal, etc." Thus Hur would be the
name of the son and not the father of Caleb (ver. 19).
(3.) The son of Jephunneh (Num. 13:6; 32:12; Josh. 14:6, 14).
He was one of those whom Moses sent to search the land in the
second year after the Exodus. He was one of the family chiefs of
the tribe of Judah. He and Joshua the son of Nun were the only
two of the whole number who encouraged the people to go up and
possess the land, and they alone were spared when a plague broke
out in which the other ten spies perished (Num. 13; 14). All the
people that had been numbered, from twenty years old and upward,
perished in the wilderness except these two. The last notice we
have of Caleb is when (being then eighty-five years of age) he
came to Joshua at the camp at Gilgal, after the people had
gained possession of the land, and reminded him of the promise
Moses had made to him, by virtue of which he claimed a certain
portion of the land of Kirjath-arba as his inheritance (Josh.
14:6-15; 15:13-15; 21:10-12; 1 Sam. 25:2,3; 30:14). He is called
a "Kenezite" in Josh. 14:6,14. This may simply mean "son of
Kenez" (Num. 32:12). Some, however, read "Jephunneh, the son of
Kenez," who was a descendant of Hezron, the son of Pharez, a
grandson of Judah (1 Chr. 2:5). This Caleb may possibly be
identical with (2).
(4.) Caleb gave his name apparently to a part of the south
country (1 Sam. 30:14) of Judah, the district between Hebron and
Carmel, which had been assigned to him. When he gave up the city
of Hebron to the priests as a city of refuge, he retained
possession of the surrounding country (Josh. 21:11,12; compare 1
Avenger of blood
(Heb. goel, from verb gaal, "to be near of kin," "to redeem"),
the nearest relative of a murdered person. It was his right and
duty to slay the murderer (2 Sam. 14:7, 11) if he found him
outside of a city of refuge. In order that this law might be
guarded against abuse, Moses appointed six cities of refuge (Ex.
21:13; Num. 35:13; Deut. 19:1,9). These were in different parts
of the country, and every facility was afforded the manslayer
that he might flee to the city that lay nearest him for safety.
Into the city of refuge the avenger durst not follow him. This
arrangement applied only to cases where the death was not
premeditated. The case had to be investigated by the authorities
of the city, and the wilful murderer was on no account to be
spared. He was regarded as an impure and polluted person, and
was delivered up to the "goel" (Deut. 19:11-13). If the offence
was merely manslaughter, then the fugitive must remain within
the city till the death of the high priest (Num. 35:25).
Habakkuk, Prophecies of
were probably written about B.C. 650-627, or, as some think, a
few years later. This book consists of three chapters, the
contents of which are thus comprehensively described: "When the
prophet in spirit saw the formidable power of the Chaldeans
approaching and menacing his land, and saw the great evils they
would cause in Judea, he bore his complaints and doubts before
Jehovah, the just and the pure (1:2-17). And on this occasion
the future punishment of the Chaldeans was revealed to him (2).
In the third chapter a presentiment of the destruction of his
country, in the inspired heart of the prophet, contends with his
hope that the enemy would be chastised." The third chapter is a
sublime song dedicated "to the chief musician," and therefore
intended apparently to be used in the worship of God. It is
"unequalled in majesty and splendour of language and imagery."
The passage in 2:4, "The just shall live by his faith," is
quoted by the apostle in Rom. 1:17. (Compare Gal. 3:12; Heb.
the sand region. (1.) A land mentioned in Gen. 2:11 rich in gold
and bdellium and onyx stone. The question as to the locality of
this region has given rise to a great diversity of opinion. It
may perhaps be identified with the sandy tract which skirts
Babylonia along the whole of its western border, stretching from
the lower Euphrates to the mountains of Edom.
(2.) A district in Arabia-Felix. It is uncertain whether the
tribe gave its name to this region or derived its name from it,
and whether it was originally a Cushite (Gen. 10:7) or a
Joktanite tribe (10:29; compare 25:18), or whether there were both
a Cushite and a Joktanite Havilah. It is the opinion of Kalisch,
however, that Havilah "in both instances designates the same
country, extending at least from the Persian to the Arabian
Gulf, and on account of its vast extent easily divided into two
distinct parts." This opinion may be well vindicated.
(3.) One of the sons of Cush (Gen. 10:7).
(4.) A son of Joktan (Gen. 10:29; 1 Chr. 1:23).
pomegranate. (1.) A man of Beeroth (2 Sam. 4:2), one of the four
Gibeonite cities. (See Josh. 9:17.)
(2.) A Syrian idol, mentioned only in 2 Kings 5:18.
(3.) One of the "uttermost cities" of Judah, afterwards given
to Simeon (Josh. 15:21, 32; 19:7; 1 Chr. 4:32). In Josh. 15:32
Ain and Rimmon are mentioned separately, but in 19:7 and 1 Chr.
4:32 (compare Neh. 11:29) the two words are probably to be
combined, as forming together the name of one place,
Ain-Rimmon=the spring of the pomegranate. It has been identified
with Um er-Rumamin, about 13 miles south-west of Hebron.
(4.) "Rock of," to which the Benjamites fled (Judg. 20:45, 47;
21:13), and where they maintained themselves for four months
after the fearful battle at Gibeah, in which they were almost
exterminated, 600 only surviving out of about 27,000. It is the
present village of Rummon, "on the very edge of the hill
country, with a precipitous descent toward the Jordan valley,"
supposed to be the site of Ai.