The Hebrew word (atalleph') so rendered (Lev. 11:19; Deut.
14:18) implies "flying in the dark." The bat is reckoned among
the birds in the list of unclean animals. To cast idols to the
"moles and to the bats" means to carry them into dark caverns or
desolate places to which these animals resort (Isa. 2:20), i.e.,
to consign them to desolation or ruin.
an organized living creature endowed with sensation. The
Levitical law divided animals into clean and unclean, although
the distinction seems to have existed before the Flood (Gen.
7:2). The clean could be offered in sacrifice and eaten. All
animals that had not cloven hoofs and did not chew the cud were
unclean. The list of clean and unclean quadrupeds is set forth
in the Levitical law (Deut. 14:3-20; Lev. 11).
the projecting parts of a shield (Job 15:26). The Hebrew word
thus rendered means anything convex or arched, and hence the
back, as of animals.
(occurring only Isa. 13:21. Heb. ochim, i.e., "shrieks;" hence
"howling animals"), a general name for screech owls (howlets),
which occupy the desolate palaces of Babylon. Some render the
(an old English plural of the word beef), a name applicable to
all ruminating animals except camels, and especially to the
Bovidce, or horned cattle (Lev. 22:19, 21; Num. 31:28, 30, 33,
(Heb. tsabh). Ranked among the unclean animals (Lev. 11:29).
Land tortoises are common in Syria. The LXX. renders the word by
"land crocodile." The word, however, more probably denotes a
lizard, called by the modern Arabs "dhabb".
a cleft hoof as of neat cattle (Ex. 10:26; Ezek. 32:13); hence
also of the horse, though not cloven (Isa. 5:28). The "parting
of the hoof" is one of the distinctions between clean and
unclean animals (Lev. 11:3; Deut. 14:7).
(Heb. holedh), enumerated among unclean animals (Lev. 11:29).
Some think that this Hebrew word rather denotes the mole (Spalax
typhlus) common in Israel. There is no sufficient reason,
however, to depart from the usual translation. The weasel tribe
are common also in Israel.
Heb. 'akhbar, "swift digger"), properly the dormouse, the
field-mouse (1 Sam. 6:4). In Lev. 11:29, Isa. 66:17 this word is
used generically, and includes the jerboa (Mus jaculus), rat,
hamster (Cricetus), which, though declared to be unclean
animals, were eaten by the Arabs, and are still eaten by the
Bedouins. It is said that no fewer than twenty-three species of
this group ('akhbar=Arab. ferah) of animals inhabit Israel.
God "laid waste" the people of Ashdod by the terrible visitation
of field-mice, which are like locusts in their destructive
effects (1 Sam. 6:4, 11, 18). Herodotus, the Greek historian,
accounts for the destruction of the army of Sennacherib (2 Kings
19:35) by saying that in the night thousands of mice invaded the
camp and gnawed through the bow-strings, quivers, and shields,
and thus left the Assyrians helpless. (See SENNACHERIB
imperfection or bodily deformity excluding men from the
priesthood, and rendering animals unfit to be offered in
sacrifice (Lev. 21:17-23; 22:19-25). The Christian church, as
justified in Christ, is "without blemish" (Eph. 5:27). Christ
offered himself a sacrifice "without blemish," acceptable to God
(1 Pet. 1:19).
(Heb. 'ayal), a stag or male deer. It is ranked among the clean
animals (Deut. 12:15; 14:5; 15:22), and was commonly killed for
food (1 Kings 4:23). The hart is frequently alluded to in the
poetical and prophetical books (Isa. 35:6; Cant. 2:8, 9; Lam.
1:6; Ps. 42:1).
cloth made of black goats' hair, coarse, rough, and thick, used
for sacks, and also worn by mourners (Gen. 37:34; 42:25; 2 Sam.
3:31; Esther 4:1, 2; Ps. 30:11, etc.), and as a sign of
repentance (Matt. 11:21). It was put upon animals by the people
of Nineveh (Jonah 3:8).
First-born, Sanctification of the
A peculiar sanctity was attached to the first-born both of man
and of cattle. God claimed that the first-born males of man and
of animals should be consecrated to him, the one as a priest
(Ex. 19:22, 24), representing the family to which he belonged,
and the other to be offered up in sacrifice (Gen. 4:4).
The various forms of uncleanness according to the Mosaic law are
enumerated in Lev. 11-15; Num. 19. The division of animals into
clean and unclean was probably founded on the practice of
sacrifice. It existed before the Flood (Gen. 7:2). The
regulations regarding such animals are recorded in Lev. 11 and
The Hebrews were prohibited from using as food certain animal
substances, such as (1) blood; (2) the fat covering the
intestines, termed the caul; (3) the fat on the intestines,
called the mesentery; (4) the fat of the kidneys; and (5) the
fat tail of certain sheep (Ex. 29:13, 22; Lev. 3:4-9; 9:19;
The chief design of these regulations seems to have been to
establish a system of regimen which would distinguish the Jews
from all other nations. Regarding the design and the abolition
of these regulations the reader will find all the details in
Lev. 20:24-26; Acts 10:9-16; 11:1-10; Heb. 9:9-14.
First-born, Redemption of
From the beginning the office of the priesthood in each family
belonged to the eldest son. But when the extensive plan of
sacrificial worship was introduced, requiring a company of men
to be exclusively devoted to this ministry, the primitive office
of the first-born was superseded by that of the Levites (Num.
3:11-13), and it was ordained that the first-born of man and of
unclean animals should henceforth be redeemed (18:15).
The laws concerning this redemption of the first-born of man
are recorded in Ex. 13:12-15; 22:29; 34:20; Num. 3:45; 8:17;
18:16; Lev. 12:2, 4.
The first-born male of every clean animal was to be given up
to the priest for sacrifice (Deut. 12:6; Ex. 13:12; 34:20; Num.
But the first-born of unclean animals was either to be
redeemed or sold and the price given to the priest (Lev.
27:11-13, 27). The first-born of an ass, if not redeemed, was to
be put to death (Ex. 13:13; 34:20).
occurs only in Ps. 80:13. The same Hebrew word is elsewhere
rendered "swine" (Lev. 11:7; Deut. 14:8; Prov. 11:22; Isa. 65:4;
66:3, 17). The Hebrews abhorred swine's flesh, and accordingly
none of these animals were reared, except in the district beyond
the Sea of Galilee. In the psalm quoted above the powers that
destroyed the Jewish nation are compared to wild boars and wild
beasts of the field.
a species of lizard which has the faculty of changing the colour
of its skin. It is ranked among the unclean animals in Lev.
11:30, where the Hebrew word so translated is "coah" (R.V.,
"land crocodile"). In the same verse the Hebrew "tanshemeth",
rendered in Authorized Version "mole," is in Revised Version
"chameleon," which is the correct rendering. This animal is very
common in Egypt and in the Holy Land, especially in the Jordan
Heb. dishon, "springing", (Deut. 14:5), one of the animals
permitted for food. It is supposed to be the Antelope addax. It
is described as "a large animal, over 3 1/2 feet high at the
shoulder, and, with its gently-twisted horns, 2 1/2 feet long.
Its colour is pure white, with the exception of a short black
mane, and a tinge of tawny on the shoulders and back.",
Tristram's Natural History.
(1.) Heb. hah, a "ring" inserted in the nostrils of animals to
which a cord was fastened for the purpose of restraining them (2
Kings 19:28; Isa. 37:28, 29; Ezek. 29:4; 38:4). "The Orientals
make use of this contrivance for curbing their
work-beasts...When a beast becomes unruly they have only to draw
the cord on one side, which, by stopping his breath, punishes
him so effectually that after a few repetitions he fails not to
become quite tractable whenever he begins to feel it"
(Michaelis). So God's agents are never beyond his control.
(2.) Hakkah, a fish "hook" (Job 41:2, Heb. Text, 40:25; Isa.
19:8; Hab. 1:15).
(3.) Vav, a "peg" on which the curtains of the tabernacle were
hung (Ex. 26:32).
(4.) Tsinnah, a fish-hooks (Amos 4:2).
(5.) Mazleg, flesh-hooks (1 Sam. 2:13, 14), a kind of fork
with three teeth for turning the sacrifices on the fire, etc.
(6.) Mazmeroth, pruning-hooks (Isa. 2:4; Joel 3:10).
(7.) 'Agmon (Job 41:2, Heb. Text 40:26), incorrectly rendered
in the Authorized Version. Properly a rush-rope for binding
animals, as in Revised Version margin.
(Heb. hazir), regarded as the most unclean and the most abhorred
of all animals (Lev. 11:7; Isa. 65:4; 66:3, 17; Luke 15:15, 16).
A herd of swine were drowned in the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:32,
33). Spoken of figuratively in Matt. 7:6 (see Prov. 11:22). It
is frequently mentioned as a wild animal, and is evidently the
wild boar (Arab. khanzir), which is common among the marshes of
the Jordan valley (Ps. 80:13).
(Luke 2:7, 12, 16), the name (Gr. phatne, rendered "stall" in
Luke 13:15) given to the place where the infant Redeemer was
laid. It seems to have been a stall or crib for feeding cattle.
Stables and mangers in our modern sense were in ancient times
unknown in the East. The word here properly denotes "the ledge
or projection in the end of the room used as a stall on which
the hay or other food of the animals of travellers was placed."
(See INN T0001883.)
The offering up of sacrifices is to be regarded as a divine
institution. It did not originate with man. God himself
appointed it as the mode in which acceptable worship was to be
offered to him by guilty man. The language and the idea of
sacrifice pervade the whole Bible.
Sacrifices were offered in the ante-diluvian age. The Lord
clothed Adam and Eve with the skins of animals, which in all
probability had been offered in sacrifice (Gen. 3:21). Abel
offered a sacrifice "of the firstlings of his flock" (4:4; Heb.
11:4). A distinction also was made between clean and unclean
animals, which there is every reason to believe had reference to
the offering up of sacrifices (Gen. 7:2, 8), because animals
were not given to man as food till after the Flood.
The same practice is continued down through the patriarchal
age (Gen. 8:20; 12:7; 13:4, 18; 15:9-11; 22:1-18, etc.). In the
Mosaic period of Old Testament history definite laws were
prescribed by God regarding the different kinds of sacrifices
that were to be offered and the manner in which the offering was
to be made. The offering of stated sacrifices became indeed a
prominent and distinctive feature of the whole period (Ex.
12:3-27; Lev. 23:5-8; Num. 9:2-14). (See ALTAR T0000185.)
We learn from the Epistle to the Hebrews that sacrifices had
in themselves no value or efficacy. They were only the "shadow
of good things to come," and pointed the worshippers forward to
the coming of the great High Priest, who, in the fullness of the
time, "was offered once for all to bear the sin of many."
Sacrifices belonged to a temporary economy, to a system of types
and emblems which served their purposes and have now passed
away. The "one sacrifice for sins" hath "perfected for ever them
that are sanctified."
Sacrifices were of two kinds: 1. Unbloody, such as (1)
first-fruits and tithes; (2) meat and drink-offerings; and (3)
incense. 2. Bloody, such as (1) burnt-offerings; (2)
peace-offerings; and (3) sin and trespass offerings. (See
Unconverted men are so called (1 Cor. 3:3). They are represented
as of a "carnal mind, which is enmity against God" (Rom. 8:6,
7). Enjoyments that minister to the wants and desires of man's
animal nature are so called (Rom. 15:27; 1 Cor. 9:11). The
ceremonial of the Mosaic law is spoken of as "carnal," because
it related to things outward, the bodies of men and of animals,
and the purification of the flesh (Heb. 7:16; 9:10). The weapons
of Christian warfare are "not carnal", that is, they are not of
man's device, nor are wielded by human power (2 Cor. 10:4).
This word is used of flocks or herds of grazing animals (Ex.
22:5; Num. 20:4, 8, 11; Ps. 78:48); of beasts of burden (Gen.
45:17); of eatable beasts (Prov. 9:2); and of swift beasts or
dromedaries (Isa. 60:6). In the New Testament it is used of a
domestic animal as property (Rev. 18:13); as used for food (1
Cor. 15:39), for service (Luke 10:34; Acts 23:24), and for
sacrifice (Acts 7:42).
When used in contradistinction to man (Ps. 36:6), it denotes a
brute creature generally, and when in contradistinction to
creeping things (Lev. 11:2-7; 27:26), a four-footed animal.
The Mosaic law required that beasts of labour should have rest
on the Sabbath (Ex. 20:10; 23:12), and in the Sabbatical year
all cattle were allowed to roam about freely, and eat whatever
grew in the fields (Ex. 23:11; Lev. 25:7). No animal could be
castrated (Lev. 22:24). Animals of different kinds were to be
always kept separate (Lev. 19:19; Deut. 22:10). Oxen when used
in threshing were not to be prevented from eating what was
within their reach (Deut. 25:4; 1 Cor.9:9).
This word is used figuratively of an infuriated multitude (1
Cor. 15:32; Acts 19:29; compare Ps. 22:12, 16; Eccl. 3:18; Isa.
11:6-8), and of wicked men (2 Pet. 2:12). The four beasts of
Daniel 7:3, 17, 23 represent four kingdoms or kings.
a person employed to perform culinary service. In early times
among the Hebrews cooking was performed by the mistress of the
household (Gen. 18:2-6; Judg. 6:19), and the process was very
expeditiously performed (Gen. 27:3, 4, 9, 10). Professional
cooks were afterwards employed (1 Sam. 8:13; 9:23). Few animals,
as a rule, were slaughtered (other than sacrifices), except for
purposes of hospitality (Gen. 18:7; Luke 15:23). The paschal
lamb was roasted over a fire (Ex. 12:8, 9; 2Chr. 35:13). Cooking
by boiling was the usual method adopted (Lev. 8:31; Ex. 16:23).
No cooking took place on the Sabbath day (Ex. 35:3).
(1.) Heb. 'asar, "to bind;" hence the act of fastening animals
to a cart (1 Sam. 6:7, 10; Jer. 46:4, etc.).
(2.) An Old English word for "armour;" Heb. neshek (2 Chr.
(3.) Heb. shiryan, a coat of mail (1 Kings 22:34; 2 Chr.
18:33; rendered "breastplate" in Isa. 59:17).
(4.) The children of Israel passed out of Egypt "harnessed"
(Ex. 13:18), i.e., in an orderly manner, and as if to meet a
foe. The word so rendered is probably a derivative from Hebrew
"hamesh" (i.e., "five"), and may denote that they went up in
five divisions, viz., the van, centre, two wings, and
Heb. ramoth, meaning "heights;" i.e., "high-priced" or valuable
things, or, as some suppose, "that which grows high," like a
tree (Job 28:18; Ezek. 27:16), according to the Rabbins, red
coral, which was in use for ornaments.
The coral is a cretaceous marine product, the deposit by
minute polypous animals of calcareous matter in cells in which
the animal lives. It is of numberless shapes as it grows, but
usually is branched like a tree. Great coral reefs and coral
islands abound in the Red Sea, whence probably the Hebrews
derived their knowledge of it. It is found of different colours,
white, black, and red. The red, being esteemed the most
precious, was used, as noticed above, for ornamental purposes.
Originally the Creator granted the use of the vegetable world
for food to man (Gen. 1:29), with the exception mentioned
(2:17). The use of animal food was probably not unknown to the
antediluvians. There is, however, a distinct law on the subject
given to Noah after the Deluge (Gen. 9:2-5). Various articles of
food used in the patriarchal age are mentioned in Gen. 18:6-8;
25:34; 27:3, 4; 43:11. Regarding the food of the Israelites in
Egypt, see Ex. 16:3; Num. 11:5. In the wilderness their ordinary
food was miraculously supplied in the manna. They had also
quails (Ex. 16:11-13; Num. 11:31).
In the law of Moses there are special regulations as to the
animals to be used for food (Lev. 11; Deut. 14:3-21). The Jews
were also forbidden to use as food anything that had been
consecrated to idols (Ex. 34:15), or animals that had died of
disease or had been torn by wild beasts (Ex. 22:31; Lev. 22:8).
(See also for other restrictions Ex. 23:19; 29:13-22; Lev.
3:4-9; 9:18, 19; 22:8; Deut. 14:21.) But beyond these
restrictions they had a large grant from God (Deut. 14:26;
Food was prepared for use in various ways. The cereals were
sometimes eaten without any preparation (Lev. 23:14; Deut.
23:25; 2 Kings 4:42). Vegetables were cooked by boiling (Gen.
25:30, 34; 2 Kings 4:38, 39), and thus also other articles of
food were prepared for use (Gen. 27:4; Prov. 23:3; Ezek. 24:10;
Luke 24:42; John 21:9). Food was also prepared by roasting (Ex.
12:8; Lev. 2:14). (See COOK T0000892.)
Heb. tsir'ah, "stinging", (Ex. 23:28; Deut. 7:20; Josh. 24:12).
The word is used in these passages as referring to some means by
which the Canaanites were to be driven out from before the
Israelites. Some have supposed that the word is used in a
metaphorical sense as the symbol of some panic which would seize
the people as a "terror of God" (Gen. 35:5), the consternation
with which God would inspire the Canaanites. In Israel there
are four species of hornets, differing from our hornets, being
larger in size, and they are very abundant. They "attack human
beings in a very furious manner." "The furious attack of a swarm
of hornets drives cattle and horses to madness, and has even
caused the death of the animals."
consisted of wine (Num. 15:5; Hos. 9:4) poured around the altar
(Ex. 30:9). Joined with meat-offerings (Num. 6:15, 17; 2 Kings
16:13; Joel 1:9, 13; 2:14), presented daily (Ex. 29:40), on the
Sabbath (Num. 28:9), and on feast-days (28:14). One-fourth of an
hin of wine was required for one lamb, one-third for a ram, and
one-half for a bullock (Num. 15:5; 28:7, 14). "Drink offerings
of blood" (Ps. 16:4) is used in allusion to the heathen practice
of mingling the blood of animals sacrificed with wine or water,
and pouring out the mixture in the worship of the gods, and the
idea conveyed is that the psalmist would not partake of the
abominations of the heathen.
or Hagarite. (1.) One of David's mighty men (1 Chr. 11:38), the
son of a foreigner.
(2.) Used of Jaziz (1 Chr. 27:31), who was over David's
flocks. "A Hagarite had charge of David's flocks, and an
Ishmaelite of his herds, because the animals were pastured in
districts where these nomadic people were accustomed to feed
(3.) In the reign of Saul a great war was waged between the
trans-Jordanic tribes and the Hagarites (1 Chr. 5), who were
overcome in battle. A great booty was captured by the two tribes
and a half, and they took possession of the land of the
Subsequently the "Hagarenes," still residing in the land on
the east of Jordan, entered into a conspiracy against Israel
(compare Ps. 83:6). They are distinguished from the Ishmaelites.
Heb. 'orebh, from a root meaning "to be black" (compare Cant.
5:11); first mentioned as "sent forth" by Noah from the ark
(Gen. 8:7). "Every raven after his kind" was forbidden as food
(Lev. 11:15; Deut. 14:14). Ravens feed mostly on carrion, and
hence their food is procured with difficulty (Job 38:41; Ps.
147:9). When they attack kids or lambs or weak animals, it is
said that they first pick out the eyes of their victims (Prov.
30:17). When Elijah was concealed by the brook Cherith, God
commanded the ravens to bring him "bread and flesh in the
morning, and bread and flesh in the evening" (1 Kings 17:3-6).
(See ELIJAH T0001167.)
There are eight species of ravens in Israel, and they are
everywhere very numerous in that land.
(originally Ge bene Hinnom; i.e., "the valley of the sons of
Hinnom"), a deep, narrow glen to the south of Jerusalem, where
the idolatrous Jews offered their children in sacrifice to
Molech (2 Chr. 28:3; 33:6; Jer. 7:31; 19:2-6). This valley
afterwards became the common receptacle for all the refuse of
the city. Here the dead bodies of animals and of criminals, and
all kinds of filth, were cast and consumed by fire kept always
burning. It thus in process of time became the image of the
place of everlasting destruction. In this sense it is used by
our Lord in Matt. 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark
9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5. In these passages, and also in James
3:6, the word is uniformly rendered "hell," the Revised Version
placing "Gehenna" in the margin. (See HELL T0001731; HINNOM
in the Old Testament denotes (1) a particular part of the body
of man and animals (Gen. 2:21; 41:2; Ps. 102:5, marg.); (2) the
whole body (Ps. 16:9); (3) all living things having flesh, and
particularly humanity as a whole (Gen. 6:12, 13); (4) mutability
and weakness (2 Chr. 32:8; compare Isa. 31:3; Ps. 78:39). As
suggesting the idea of softness it is used in the expression
"heart of flesh" (Ezek. 11:19). The expression "my flesh and
bone" (Judg. 9:2; Isa. 58:7) denotes relationship.
In the New Testament, besides these it is also used to denote
the sinful element of human nature as opposed to the "Spirit"
(Rom. 6:19; Matt. 16:17). Being "in the flesh" means being
unrenewed (Rom. 7:5; 8:8, 9), and to live "according to the
flesh" is to live and act sinfully (Rom. 8:4, 5, 7, 12).
This word also denotes the human nature of Christ (John 1:14,
"The Word was made flesh." Compare also 1 Tim. 3:16; Rom. 1:3).
It is by no means certain that the Hebrews were acquainted with
mineral coal, although it is found in Syria. Their common fuel
was dried dung of animals and wood charcoal. Two different words
are found in Hebrew to denote coal, both occurring in Prov.
26:21, "As coal [Heb. peham; i.e., "black coal"] is to burning
coal [Heb. gehalim]." The latter of these words is used in Job
41:21; Prov. 6:28; Isa. 44:19. The words "live coal" in Isa. 6:6
are more correctly "glowing stone." In Lam. 4:8 the expression
"blacker than a coal" is literally rendered in the margin of the
Revised Version "darker than blackness." "Coals of fire" (2 Sam.
22:9, 13; Ps. 18:8, 12, 13, etc.) is an expression used
metaphorically for lightnings proceeding from God. A false
tongue is compared to "coals of juniper" (Ps. 120:4; James 3:6).
"Heaping coals of fire on the head" symbolizes overcoming evil
with good. The words of Paul (Rom. 12:20) are equivalent to
saying, "By charity and kindness thou shalt soften down his
enmity as surely as heaping coals on the fire fuses the metal in
The first-fruits of the ground were offered unto God just as the
first-born of man and animals.
The law required, (1.) That on the morrow after the Passover
Sabbath a sheaf of new corn should be waved by the priest before
the altar (Lev. 23:5, 6, 10, 12; 2:12).
(2.) That at the feast of Pentecost two loaves of leavened
bread, made from the new flour, were to be waved in like manner
(Lev. 23:15, 17; Num. 28:26).
(3.) The feast of Tabernacles was an acknowledgement that the
fruits of the harvest were from the Lord (Ex. 23:16; 34:22).
(4.) Every individual, besides, was required to consecrate to
God a portion of the first-fruits of the land (Ex. 22:29; 23:19;
34:26; Num. 15:20, 21).
(5.) The law enjoined that no fruit was to be gathered from
newly-planted fruit-trees for the first three years, and that
the first-fruits of the fourth year were to be consecrated to
the Lord (Lev. 19:23-25). Jeremiah (2:3) alludes to the
ordinance of "first-fruits," and hence he must have been
acquainted with the books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers,
where the laws regarding it are recorded.
Heb. zebub, (Eccl. 10:1; Isa. 7:18). This fly was so grievous a
pest that the Phoenicians invoked against it the aid of their
god Baal-zebub (q.v.). The prophet Isaiah (7:18) alludes to some
poisonous fly which was believed to be found on the confines of
Egypt, and which would be called by the Lord. Poisonous flies
exist in many parts of Africa, for instance, the different kinds
Heb. 'arob, the name given to the insects sent as a plague on
the land of Egypt (Ex. 8:21-31; Ps. 78:45; 105:31). The LXX.
render this by a word which means the "dog-fly," the cynomuia.
The Jewish commentators regarded the Hebrew word here as
connected with the word "'arab", which means "mingled;" and they
accordingly supposed the plague to consist of a mixed multitude
of animals, beasts, reptiles, and insects. But there is no doubt
that "the "'arab"" denotes a single definite species. Some
interpreters regard it as the Blatta orientalis, the cockroach,
a species of beetle. These insects "inflict very painful bites
with their jaws; gnaw and destroy clothes, household furniture,
leather, and articles of every kind, and either consume or
render unavailable all eatables."
the third book of the Pentateuch; so called in the Vulgate,
after the LXX., because it treats chiefly of the Levitical
In the first section of the book (1-17), which exhibits the
worship itself, there is, (1.) A series of laws (1-7) regarding
sacrifices, burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and thank-offerings
(1-3), sin-offerings and trespass-offerings (4; 5), followed by
the law of the priestly duties in connection with the offering
of sacrifices (6; 7). (2.) An historical section (8-10), giving
an account of the consecration of Aaron and his sons (8);
Aaron's first offering for himself and the people (9); Nadab and
Abihu's presumption in offering "strange fire before Jehovah,"
and their punishment (10). (3.) Laws concerning purity, and the
sacrifices and ordinances for putting away impurity (11-16). An
interesting fact may be noted here. Canon Tristram, speaking of
the remarkable discoveries regarding the flora and fauna of the
Holy Land by the Israel Exploration officers, makes the
following statement:, "Take these two catalogues of the clean
and unclean animals in the books of Leviticus  and
Deuteronomy . There are eleven in Deuteronomy which do not
occur in Leviticus, and these are nearly all animals and birds
which are not found in Egypt or the Holy Land, but which are
numerous in the Arabian desert. They are not named in Leviticus
a few weeks after the departure from Egypt; but after the people
were thirty-nine years in the desert they are named, a strong
proof that the list in Deuteronomy was written at the end of the
journey, and the list in Leviticus at the beginning. It fixes
the writing of that catalogue to one time and period only, viz.,
that when the children of Israel were familiar with the fauna
and the flora of the desert" (Palest. Expl. Quart., Jan. 1887).
(4.) Laws marking the separation between Israel and the heathen
(17-20). (5.) Laws about the personal purity of the priests, and
their eating of the holy things (20; 21); about the offerings of
Israel, that they were to be without blemish (22:17-33); and
about the due celebration of the great festivals (23; 25). (6.)
Then follow promises and warnings to the people regarding
obedience to these commandments, closing with a section on vows.
The various ordinances contained in this book were all
delivered in the space of a month (compare Ex. 40:17; Num. 1:1),
the first month of the second year after the Exodus. It is the
third book of Moses.
No book contains more of the very words of God. He is almost
throughout the whole of it the direct speaker. This book is a
prophecy of things to come, a shadow whereof the substance is
Christ and his kingdom. The principles on which it is to be
interpreted are laid down in the Epistle to the Hebrews. It
contains in its complicated ceremonial the gospel of the grace
Trumpets were at first horns perforated at the tip, used for
various purposes (Josh. 6:4,5).
Flasks or vessels were made of horn (1 Sam. 16:1, 13; 1 Kings
But the word is used also metaphorically to denote the
projecting corners of the altar of burnt offerings (Ex. 27:2)
and of incense (30:2). The horns of the altar of burnt offerings
were to be smeared with the blood of the slain bullock (29:12;
Lev. 4:7-18). The criminal, when his crime was accidental, found
an asylum by laying hold of the horns of the altar (1 Kings
The word also denotes the peak or summit of a hill (Isa. 5:1,
where the word "hill" is the rendering of the same Hebrew word).
This word is used metaphorically also for strength (Deut.
33:17) and honour (Job 16:15; Lam. 2:3). Horns are emblems of
power, dominion, glory, and fierceness, as they are the chief
means of attack and defence with the animals endowed with them
(Dan. 8:5, 9; 1 Sam. 2:1; 16:1, 13; 1 Kings 1:39; 22:11; Josh.
6:4, 5; Ps. 75:5, 10; 132:17; Luke 1:69, etc.). The expression
"horn of salvation," applied to Christ, means a salvation of
strength, or a strong Saviour (Luke 1:69). To have the horn
"exalted" denotes prosperity and triumph (Ps. 89:17, 24). To
"lift up" the horn is to act proudly (Zech. 1:21).
Horns are also the symbol of royal dignity and power (Jer.
48:25; Zech. 1:18; Dan. 8:24).
frequently used in its proper sense, for fastening a tent (Ex.
35:18; 39:40), yoking animals to a cart (Isa. 5:18), binding
prisoners (Judg. 15:13; Ps. 2:3; 129:4), and measuring ground (2
Sam. 8;2; Ps. 78:55). Figuratively, death is spoken of as the
giving way of the tent-cord (Job 4:21. "Is not their tent-cord
plucked up?" R.V.). To gird one's self with a cord was a token
of sorrow and humiliation. To stretch a line over a city meant
to level it with the ground (Lam. 2:8). The "cords of sin" are
the consequences or fruits of sin (Prov. 5:22). A "threefold
cord" is a symbol of union (Eccl. 4:12). The "cords of a man"
(Hos. 11:4) means that men employ, in inducing each other,
methods such as are suitable to men, and not "cords" such as
oxen are led by. Isaiah (5:18) says, "Woe unto them that draw
iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart
rope." This verse is thus given in the Chaldee paraphrase: "Woe
to those who begin to sin by little and little, drawing sin by
cords of vanity: these sins grow and increase till they are
strong and are like a cart rope." This may be the true meaning.
The wicked at first draw sin with a slender cord; but by-and-by
their sins increase, and they are drawn after them by a cart
rope. Henderson in his commentary says: "The meaning is that the
persons described were not satisfied with ordinary modes of
provoking the Deity, and the consequent ordinary approach of his
vengeance, but, as it were, yoked themselves in the harness of
iniquity, and, putting forth all their strength, drew down upon
themselves, with accelerated speed, the load of punishment which
their sins deserved."
the most powerful of all carnivorous animals. Although not now
found in Israel, they must have been in ancient times very
numerous there. They had their lairs in the forests (Jer. 5:6;
12:8; Amos 3:4), in the caves of the mountains (Cant. 4:8; Nah.
2:12), and in the canebrakes on the banks of the Jordan (Jer.
49:19; 50:44; Zech. 11:3).
No fewer than at least six different words are used in the Old
Testament for the lion. (1.) "Gor" (i.e., a "suckling"), the
lion's whelp (Gen. 49:9; Jer. 51:38, etc.). (2.) "Kephir" (i.e.,
"shaggy"), the young lion (Judg. 14:5; Job 4:10; Ps. 91:13;
104:21), a term which is also used figuratively of cruel enemies
(Ps. 34:10; 35:17; 58:6; Jer. 2:15). (3.) "'Ari" (i.e., the
"puller" in pieces), denoting the lion in general, without
reference to age or sex (Num. 23:24; 2 Sam. 17:10, etc.). (4.)
"Shahal" (the "roarer"), the mature lion (Job 4:10; Ps. 91:13;
Prov. 26:13; Hos. 5:14). (5.) "Laish", so called from its
strength and bravery (Job 4:11; Prov. 30:30; Isa. 30:6). The
capital of Northern Dan received its name from this word. (6.)
"Labi", from a root meaning "to roar," a grown lion or lioness
(Gen. 49:9; Num. 23:24; 24:9; Ezek. 19:2; Nah. 2:11).
The lion of Israel was properly of the Asiatic variety,
distinguished from the African variety, which is larger. Yet it
not only attacked flocks in the presence of the shepherd, but
also laid waste towns and villages (2 Kings 17:25, 26) and
devoured men (1 Kings 13:24, 25). Shepherds sometimes,
single-handed, encountered lions and slew them (1 Sam. 17:34,
35; Amos 3:12). Samson seized a young lion with his hands and
"rent him as he would have rent a kid" (Judg. 14:5, 6). The
strength (Judg. 14:18), courage (2 Sam. 17:10), and ferocity
(Gen. 49:9) of the lion were proverbial.
(1.) Heb. bath-haya'anah, "daughter of greediness" or of
"shouting." In the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:16; Deut.
14:15); also mentioned in Job 30:29; Isa. 13:21; 34:13; 43:20;
Jer. 50:39; Micah 1:8. In all these passages the Revised Version
translates "ostrich" (q.v.), which is the correct rendering.
(2.) Heb. yanshuph, rendered "great owl" in Lev. 11:17; Deut.
14:16, and "owl" in Isa. 34:11. This is supposed to be the
Egyptian eagle-owl (Bubo ascalaphus), which takes the place of
the eagle-owl (Bubo maximus) found in Southern Europe. It is
found frequenting the ruins of Egypt and also of the Holy Land.
"Its cry is a loud, prolonged, and very powerful hoot. I know
nothing which more vividly brought to my mind the sense of
desolation and loneliness than the re-echoing hoot of two or
three of these great owls as I stood at midnight among the
ruined temples of Baalbek" (Tristram).
The LXX. and Vulgate render this word by "ibis", i.e., the
(3.) Heb. kos, rendered "little owl" in Lev. 11:17; Deut.
14:16, and "owl" in Ps. 102:6. The Arabs call this bird "the
mother of ruins." It is by far the most common of all the owls
of Israel. It is the Athene persica, the bird of Minerva, the
symbol of ancient Athens.
(4.) Heb. kippoz, the "great owl" (Isa. 34:15); Revised
Version, "arrow-snake;" LXX. and Vulgate, "hedgehog," reading in
the text, kippod, instead of kippoz. There is no reason to doubt
the correctness of the rendering of the Authorized Version.
Tristram says: "The word [i.e., kippoz] is very possibly an
imitation of the cry of the scops owl (Scops giu), which is very
common among ruins, caves, and old walls of towns...It is a
migrant, returning to Israel in spring."
(5.) Heb. lilith, "screech owl" (Isa. 34:14, marg. and R.V.,
"night monster"). The Hebrew word is from a root signifying
"night." Some species of the owl is obviously intended by this
word. It may be the hooting or tawny owl (Syrnium aluco), which
is common in Egypt and in many parts of Israel. This verse in
Isaiah is "descriptive of utter and perpetual desolation, of a
land that should be full of ruins, and inhabited by the animals
that usually make such ruins their abode."
plural cherubim, the name of certain symbolical figures
frequently mentioned in Scripture. They are first mentioned in
connection with the expulsion of our first parents from Eden
(Gen. 3:24). There is no intimation given of their shape or
form. They are next mentioned when Moses was commanded to
provide furniture for the tabernacle (Ex. 25:17-20; 26:1, 31).
God promised to commune with Moses "from between the cherubim"
(25:22). This expression was afterwards used to denote the
Divine abode and presence (Num. 7:89; 1 Sam. 4:4; Isa. 37:16;
Ps. 80:1; 99:1). In Ezekiel's vision (10:1-20) they appear as
living creatures supporting the throne of God. From Ezekiel's
description of them (1;10; 41:18, 19), they appear to have been
compound figures, unlike any real object in nature; artificial
images possessing the features and properties of several
animals. Two cherubim were placed on the mercy-seat of the ark;
two of colossal size overshadowed it in Solomon's temple.
Ezekiel (1:4-14) speaks of four; and this number of "living
creatures" is mentioned in Rev. 4:6. Those on the ark are called
the "cherubim of glory" (Heb. 9:5), i.e., of the Shechinah, or
cloud of glory, for on them the visible glory of God rested.
They were placed one at each end of the mercy-seat, with wings
stretched upward, and their faces "toward each other and toward
the mercy-seat." They were anointed with holy oil, like the ark
itself and the other sacred furniture.
The cherubim were symbolical. They were intended to represent
spiritual existences in immediate contact with Jehovah. Some
have regarded them as symbolical of the chief ruling power by
which God carries on his operations in providence (Ps. 18:10).
Others interpret them as having reference to the redemption of
men, and as symbolizing the great rulers or ministers of the
church. Many other opinions have been held regarding them which
need not be referred to here. On the whole, it seems to be most
satisfactory to regard the interpretation of the symbol to be
variable, as is the symbol itself.
Their office was, (1) on the expulsion of our first parents
from Eden, to prevent all access to the tree of life; and (2) to
form the throne and chariot of Jehovah in his manifestation of
himself on earth. He dwelleth between and sitteth on the
cherubim (1 Sam. 4:4; Ps. 80:1; Ezek. 1:26, 28).
Noah's ark, a building of gopher-wood, and covered with pitch,
300 cubits long, 50 cubits broad, and 30 cubits high (Gen.
6:14-16); an oblong floating house of three stories, with a door
in the side and a window in the roof. It was 100 years in
building (Gen. 5:32; 7:6). It was intended to preserve certain
persons and animals from the deluge which God was about to bring
over the earth. It contained eight persons (Gen. 7:13; 2 Pet.
2:5), and of all "clean" animals seven pairs, and of "unclean"
one pair, and of birds seven pairs of each sort (Gen. 7:2, 3).
It was in the form of an oblong square, with flat bottom and
sloping roof. Traditions of the Deluge, by which the race of man
was swept from the earth, and of the ark of Noah have been found
existing among all nations.
The ark of bulrushes in which the infant Moses was laid (Ex.
2:3) is called in the Hebrew "teebah", a word derived from the
Egyptian "teb", meaning "a chest." It was daubed with slime and
with pitch. The bulrushes of which it was made were the papyrus
The sacred ark is designated by a different Hebrew word,
"'aron'", which is the common name for a chest or coffer used
for any purpose (Gen. 50:26; 2 Kings 12:9, 10). It is
distinguished from all others by such titles as the "ark of God"
(1 Sam. 3:3), "ark of the covenant" (Josh. 3:6; Heb. 9:4), "ark
of the testimony" (Ex. 25:22). It was made of acacia or shittim
wood, a cubit and a half broad and high and two cubits long, and
covered all over with the purest gold. Its upper surface or lid,
the mercy-seat, was surrounded with a rim of gold; and on each
of the two sides were two gold rings, in which were placed two
gold-covered poles by which the ark could be carried (Num. 7:9;
10:21; 4:5,19, 20; 1 Kings 8:3, 6). Over the ark, at the two
extremities, were two cherubim, with their faces turned toward
each other (Lev. 16:2; Num. 7:89). Their outspread wings over
the top of the ark formed the throne of God, while the ark
itself was his footstool (Ex. 25:10-22; 37:1-9). The ark was
deposited in the "holy of holies," and was so placed that one
end of the poles by which it was carried touched the veil which
separated the two apartments of the tabernacle (1 Kings 8:8).
The two tables of stone which constituted the "testimony" or
evidence of God's covenant with the people (Deut. 31:26), the
"pot of manna" (Ex. 16:33), and "Aaron's rod that budded" (Num.
17:10), were laid up in the ark (Heb. 9:4). (See TABERNACLE
T0003559) The ark and the sanctuary were "the beauty of Israel"
(Lam. 2:1). During the journeys of the Israelites the ark was
carried by the priests in advance of the host (Num. 4:5, 6;
10:33-36; Ps. 68:1; 132:8). It was borne by the priests into the
bed of the Jordan, which separated, opening a pathway for the
whole of the host to pass over (Josh. 3:15, 16; 4:7, 10, 11, 17,
18). It was borne in the procession round Jericho (Josh. 6:4, 6,
8, 11, 12). When carried it was always wrapped in the veil, the
badgers' skins, and blue cloth, and carefully concealed even
from the eyes of the Levites who carried it. After the
settlement of Israel in Israel the ark remained in the
tabernacle at Gilgal for a season, and was then removed to
Shiloh till the time of Eli, between 300 and 400 years (Jer.
7:12), when it was carried into the field of battle so as to
secure, as they supposed, victory to the Hebrews, and was taken
by the Philistines (1 Sam. 4:3-11), who sent it back after
retaining it seven months (1 Sam. 5:7, 8). It remained then at
Kirjath-jearim (7:1,2) till the time of David (twenty years),
who wished to remove it to Jerusalem; but the proper mode of
removing it having been neglected, Uzzah was smitten with death
for putting "forth his hand to the ark of God," and in
consequence of this it was left in the house of Obed-edom in
Gath-rimmon for three months (2 Sam. 6:1-11), at the end of
which time David removed it in a grand procession to Jerusalem,
where it was kept till a place was prepared for it (12-19). It
was afterwards deposited by Solomon in the temple (1 Kings
8:6-9). When the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and plundered
the temple, the ark was probably taken away by Nebuchadnezzar
and destroyed, as no trace of it is afterwards to be found. The
absence of the ark from the second temple was one of the points
in which it was inferior to the first temple.
the name given by Greek writers of the second century to that
inland sea called in Scripture the "salt sea" (Gen. 14:3; Num.
34:12), the "sea of the plain" (Deut. 3:17), the "east sea"
(Ezek. 47:18; Joel 2:20), and simply "the sea" (Ezek. 47:8). The
Arabs call it Bahr Lut, i.e., the Sea of Lot. It lies about 16
miles in a straight line to the east of Jerusalem. Its surface
is 1,292 feet below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. It
covers an area of about 300 square miles. Its depth varies from
1,310 to 11 feet. From various phenomena that have been
observed, its bottom appears to be still subsiding. It is about
53 miles long, and of an average breadth of 10 miles. It has no
outlet, the great heat of that region causing such rapid
evaporation that its average depth, notwithstanding the rivers
that run into it (see JORDAN T0002112), is maintained with
little variation. The Jordan alone discharges into it no less
than six million tons of water every twenty-four hours.
The waters of the Dead Sea contain 24.6 per cent. of mineral
salts, about seven times as much as in ordinary sea-water; thus
they are unusually buoyant. Chloride of magnesium is most
abundant; next to that chloride of sodium (common salt). But
terraces of alluvial deposits in the deep valley of the Jordan
show that formerly one great lake extended from the Waters of
Merom to the foot of the watershed in the Arabah. The waters
were then about 1,400 feet above the present level of the Dead
Sea, or slightly above that of the Mediterranean, and at that
time were much less salt.
Nothing living can exist in this sea. "The fish carried down
by the Jordan at once die, nor can even mussels or corals live
in it; but it is a fable that no bird can fly over it, or that
there are no living creatures on its banks. Dr. Tristram found
on the shores three kinds of kingfishers, gulls, ducks, and
grebes, which he says live on the fish which enter the sea in
shoals, and presently die. He collected one hundred and eighteen
species of birds, some new to science, on the shores, or
swimming or flying over the waters. The cane-brakes which fringe
it at some parts are the homes of about forty species of
mammalia, several of them animals unknown in England; and
innumerable tropical or semi-tropical plants perfume the
atmosphere wherever fresh water can reach. The climate is
perfect and most delicious, and indeed there is perhaps no place
in the world where a sanatorium could be established with so
much prospect of benefit as at Ain Jidi (Engedi).", Geikie's
of false prophets (Deut. 18:10, 14; Micah 3:6, 7, 11), of
necromancers (1 Sam. 28:8), of the Philistine priests and
diviners (1 Sam. 6:2), of Balaam (Josh. 13:22). Three kinds of
divination are mentioned in Ezek. 21:21, by arrows, consulting
with images (the teraphim), and by examining the entrails of
animals sacrificed. The practice of this art seems to have been
encouraged in ancient Egypt. Diviners also abounded among the
aborigines of Canaan and the Philistines (Isa. 2:6; 1 Sam. 28).
At a later period multitudes of magicians poured from Chaldea
and Arabia into the land of Israel, and pursued their
occupations (Isa. 8:19; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chr. 33:6). This
superstition widely spread, and in the time of the apostles
there were "vagabond Jews, exorcists" (Acts 19:13), and men like
Simon Magus (Acts 8:9), Bar-jesus (13:6, 8), and other jugglers
and impostors (19:19; 2 Tim. 3:13). Every species and degree of
this superstition was strictly forbidden by the law of Moses
(Ex. 22:18; Lev. 19:26, 31; 20:27; Deut. 18:10, 11).
But beyond these various forms of superstition, there are
instances of divination on record in the Scriptures by which God
was pleased to make known his will.
(1.) There was divination by lot, by which, when resorted to
in matters of moment, and with solemnity, God intimated his will
(Josh. 7:13). The land of Canaan was divided by lot (Num. 26:55,
56); Achan's guilt was detected (Josh. 7:16-19), Saul was
elected king (1 Sam. 10:20, 21), and Matthias chosen to the
apostleship, by the solem lot (Acts 1:26). It was thus also that
the scape-goat was determined (Lev. 16:8-10).
(2.) There was divination by dreams (Gen. 20:6; Deut. 13:1, 3;
Judg. 7:13, 15; Matt. 1:20; 2:12, 13, 19, 22). This is
illustrated in the history of Joseph (Gen. 41:25-32) and of
Daniel (2:27; 4:19-28).
(3.) By divine appointment there was also divination by the
Urim and Thummim (Num. 27:21), and by the ephod.
(4.) God was pleased sometimes to vouch-safe direct vocal
communications to men (Deut. 34:10; Ex. 3:4; 4:3; Deut. 4:14,
15; 1 Kings 19:12). He also communed with men from above the
mercy-seat (Ex. 25:22), and at the door of the tabernacle (Ex.
(5.) Through his prophets God revealed himself, and gave
intimations of his will (2 Kings 13:17; Jer. 51:63, 64).
from the Hebrew "gamal", "to repay" or "requite," as the camel
does the care of its master. There are two distinct species of
camels, having, however, the common characteristics of being
"ruminants without horns, without muzzle, with nostrils forming
oblique slits, the upper lip divided and separately movable and
extensile, the soles of the feet horny, with two toes covered by
claws, the limbs long, the abdomen drawn up, while the neck,
long and slender, is bent up and down, the reverse of that of a
horse, which is arched."
(1.) The Bactrian camel is distinguished by two humps. It is a
native of the high table-lands of Central Asia.
(2.) The Arabian camel or dromedary, from the Greek "dromos",
"a runner" (Isa. 60:6; Jer. 2:23), has but one hump, and is a
native of Western Asia or Africa.
The camel was early used both for riding and as a beast of
burden (Gen. 24:64; 37:25), and in war (1 Sam. 30:17; Isa.
21:7). Mention is made of the camel among the cattle given by
Pharaoh to Abraham (Gen. 12:16). Its flesh was not to be eaten,
as it was ranked among unclean animals (Lev. 11:4; Deut. 14:7).
Abraham's servant rode on a camel when he went to fetch a wife
for Isaac (Gen. 24:10, 11). Jacob had camels as a portion of his
wealth (30:43), as Abraham also had (24:35). He sent a present
of thirty milch camels to his brother Esau (32:15). It appears
to have been little in use among the Jews after the conquest. It
is, however, mentioned in the history of David (1 Chr. 27:30),
and after the Exile (Ezra 2:67; Neh. 7:69). Camels were much in
use among other nations in the East. The queen of Sheba came
with a caravan of camels when she came to see the wisdom of
Solomon (1 Kings 10:2; 2 Chr. 9:1). Benhadad of Damascus also
sent a present to Elisha, "forty camels' burden" (2 Kings 8:9).
To show the difficulty in the way of a rich man's entering
into the kingdom, our Lord uses the proverbial expression that
it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
To strain at (rather, out) a gnat and swallow a camel was also
a proverbial expression (Matt. 23:24), used with reference to
those who were careful to avoid small faults, and yet did not
hesitate to commit the greatest sins. The Jews carefully
filtered their wine before drinking it, for fear of swallowing
along with it some insect forbidden in the law as unclean, and
yet they omitted openly the "weightier matters" of the law.
The raiment worn by John the Baptist was made of camel's hair
(Matt. 3:4; Mark 1:6), by which he was distinguished from those
who resided in royal palaces and wore soft raiment. This was
also the case with Elijah (2 Kings 1:8), who is called "a hairy
man," from his wearing such raiment. "This is one of the most
admirable materials for clothing; it keeps out the heat, cold,
and rain." The "sackcloth" so often alluded to (2 Kings 1:8;
Isa. 15:3; Zech. 13:4, etc.) was probably made of camel's hair.
(1.) Materials used. The earliest and simplest an apron of
fig-leaves sewed together (Gen. 3:7); then skins of animals
(3:21). Elijah's dress was probably the skin of a sheep (2 Kings
1:8). The Hebrews were early acquainted with the art of weaving
hair into cloth (Ex. 26:7; 35:6), which formed the sackcloth of
mourners. This was the material of John the Baptist's robe
(Matt. 3:4). Wool was also woven into garments (Lev. 13:47;
Deut. 22:11; Ezek. 34:3; Job 31:20; Prov. 27:26). The Israelites
probably learned the art of weaving linen when they were in
Egypt (1 Chr. 4:21). Fine linen was used in the vestments of the
high priest (Ex. 28:5), as well as by the rich (Gen. 41:42;
Prov. 31:22; Luke 16:19). The use of mixed material, as wool and
flax, was forbidden (Lev. 19:19; Deut. 22:11).
(2.) Colour. The prevailing colour was the natural white of
the material used, which was sometimes rendered purer by the
fuller's art (Ps. 104:1, 2; Isa. 63:3; Mark 9:3). The Hebrews
were acquainted with the art of dyeing (Gen. 37:3, 23). Various
modes of ornamentation were adopted in the process of weaving
(Ex. 28:6; 26:1, 31; 35:25), and by needle-work (Judg. 5:30; Ps.
45:13). Dyed robes were imported from foreign countries,
particularly from Phoenicia (Zeph. 1:8). Purple and scarlet
robes were the marks of the wealthy (Luke 16:19; 2 Sam. 1:24).
(3.) Form. The robes of men and women were not very much
different in form from each other.
(a) The "coat" (kethoneth), of wool, cotton, or linen, was
worn by both sexes. It was a closely-fitting garment, resembling
in use and form our shirt (John 19:23). It was kept close to the
body by a girdle (John 21:7). A person wearing this "coat" alone
was described as naked (1 Sam. 19:24; Isa. 20:2; 2 Kings 6:30;
John 21:7); deprived of it he would be absolutely naked.
(b) A linen cloth or wrapper (sadin) of fine linen, used
somewhat as a night-shirt (Mark 14:51). It is mentioned in Judg.
14:12, 13, and rendered there "sheets."
(c) An upper tunic (meil), longer than the "coat" (1 Sam.
2:19; 24:4; 28:14). In 1 Sam. 28:14 it is the mantle in which
Samuel was enveloped; in 1 Sam. 24:4 it is the "robe" under
which Saul slept. The disciples were forbidden to wear two
"coats" (Matt. 10:10; Luke 9:3).
(d) The usual outer garment consisted of a piece of woollen
cloth like a Scotch plaid, either wrapped round the body or
thrown over the shoulders like a shawl, with the ends hanging
down in front, or it might be thrown over the head so as to
conceal the face (2 Sam. 15:30; Esther 6:12). It was confined to
the waist by a girdle, and the fold formed by the overlapping of
the robe served as a pocket (2 Kings 4:39; Ps. 79:12; Hag. 2:12;
Prov. 17:23; 21:14).
Female dress. The "coat" was common to both sexes (Cant. 5:3).
But peculiar to females were (1) the "veil" or "wimple," a kind
of shawl (Ruth 3:15; rendered "mantle," R.V., Isa. 3:22); (2)
the "mantle," also a species of shawl (Isa. 3:22); (3) a "veil,"
probably a light summer dress (Gen. 24:65); (4) a "stomacher," a
holiday dress (Isa. 3:24). The outer garment terminated in an
ample fringe or border, which concealed the feet (Isa. 47:2;
The dress of the Persians is described in Dan. 3:21.
The reference to the art of sewing are few, inasmuch as the
garments generally came forth from the loom ready for being
worn, and all that was required in the making of clothes
devolved on the women of a family (Prov. 31:22; Acts 9:39).
Extravagance in dress is referred to in Jer. 4:30; Ezek.
16:10; Zeph. 1:8 (R.V., "foreign apparel"); 1 Tim. 2:9; 1 Pet.
3:3. Rending the robes was expressive of grief (Gen. 37:29, 34),
fear (1 Kings 21:27), indignation (2 Kings 5:7), or despair
(Judg. 11:35; Esther 4:1).
Shaking the garments, or shaking the dust from off them, was a
sign of renunciation (Acts 18:6); wrapping them round the head,
of awe (1 Kings 19:13) or grief (2 Sam. 15:30; casting them off,
of excitement (Acts 22:23); laying hold of them, of supplication
(1 Sam. 15:27). In the case of travelling, the outer garments
were girded up (1 Kings 18:46). They were thrown aside also when
they would impede action (Mark 10:50; John 13:4; Acts 7:58).
the land of the Nile and the pyramids, the oldest kingdom of
which we have any record, holds a place of great significance in
The Egyptians belonged to the white race, and their original
home is still a matter of dispute. Many scholars believe that it
was in Southern Arabia, and recent excavations have shown that
the valley of the Nile was originally inhabited by a low-class
population, perhaps belonging to the Nigritian stock, before the
Egyptians of history entered it. The ancient Egyptian language,
of which the latest form is Coptic, is distantly connected with
the Semitic family of speech.
Egypt consists geographically of two halves, the northern
being the Delta, and the southern Upper Egypt, between Cairo and
the First Cataract. In the Old Testament, Northern or Lower
Egypt is called Mazor, "the fortified land" (Isa. 19:6; 37: 25,
where the A.V. mistranslates "defence" and "besieged places");
while Southern or Upper Egypt is Pathros, the Egyptian
Pa-to-Res, or "the land of the south" (Isa. 11:11). But the
whole country is generally mentioned under the dual name of
Mizraim, "the two Mazors."
The civilization of Egypt goes back to a very remote
antiquity. The two kingdoms of the north and south were united
by Menes, the founder of the first historical dynasty of kings.
The first six dynasties constitute what is known as the Old
Empire, which had its capital at Memphis, south of Cairo, called
in the Old Testament Moph (Hos. 9:6) and Noph. The native name
was Mennofer, "the good place."
The Pyramids were tombs of the monarchs of the Old Empire,
those of Gizeh being erected in the time of the Fourth Dynasty.
After the fall of the Old Empire came a period of decline and
obscurity. This was followed by the Middle Empire, the most
powerful dynasty of which was the Twelfth. The Fayyum was
rescued for agriculture by the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty; and
two obelisks were erected in front of the temple of the sun-god
at On or Heliopolis (near Cairo), one of which is still
standing. The capital of the Middle Empire was Thebes, in Upper
The Middle Empire was overthrown by the invasion of the
Hyksos, or shepherd princes from Asia, who ruled over Egypt,
more especially in the north, for several centuries, and of whom
there were three dynasties of kings. They had their capital at
Zoan or Tanis (now San), in the NEern part of the Delta.
It was in the time of the Hyksos that Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph
entered Egypt. The Hyksos were finally expelled about B.C. 1600,
by the hereditary princes of Thebes, who founded the Eighteenth
Dynasty, and carried the war into Asia. Canaan and Syria were
subdued, as well as Cyprus, and the boundaries of the Egyptian
Empire were fixed at the Euphrates. The Soudan, which had been
conquered by the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty, was again annexed
to Egypt, and the eldest son of the Pharaoh took the title of
"Prince of Cush."
One of the later kings of the dynasty, Amenophis IV., or
Khu-n-Aten, endeavoured to supplant the ancient state religion
of Egypt by a new faith derived from Asia, which was a sort of
pantheistic monotheism, the one supreme god being adored under
the image of the solar disk. The attempt led to religious and
civil war, and the Pharaoh retreated from Thebes to Central
Egypt, where he built a new capital, on the site of the present
Tell-el-Amarna. The cuneiform tablets that have been found there
represent his foreign correspondence (about B.C. 1400). He
surrounded himself with officials and courtiers of Asiatic, and
more especially Canaanite, extraction; but the native party
succeeded eventually in overthrowing the government, the capital
of Khu-n-Aten was destroyed, and the foreigners were driven out
of the country, those that remained being reduced to serfdom.
The national triumph was marked by the rise of the Nineteenth
Dynasty, in the founder of which, Rameses I., we must see the
"new king, who knew not Joseph." His grandson, Rameses II.,
reigned sixty-seven years (B.C. 1348-1281), and was an
indefatigable builder. As Pithom, excavated by Dr. Naville in
1883, was one of the cities he built, he must have been the
Pharaoh of the Oppression. The Pharaoh of the Exodus may have
been one of his immediate successors, whose reigns were short.
Under them Egypt lost its empire in Asia, and was itself
attacked by barbarians from Libya and the north.
The Nineteenth Dynasty soon afterwards came to an end; Egypt
was distracted by civil war; and for a short time a Canaanite,
Arisu, ruled over it.
Then came the Twentieth Dynasty, the second Pharaoh of which,
Rameses III., restored the power of his country. In one of his
campaigns he overran the southern part of Israel, where the
Israelites had not yet settled. They must at the time have been
still in the wilderness. But it was during the reign of Rameses
III. that Egypt finally lost Gaza and the adjoining cities,
which were seized by the Pulista, or Philistines.
After Rameses III., Egypt fell into decay. Solomon married the
daughter of one of the last kings of the Twenty-first Dynasty,
which was overthrown by Shishak I., the general of the Libyan
mercenaries, who founded the Twenty-second Dynasty (1 Kings
11:40; 14:25, 26). A list of the places he captured in Israel
is engraved on the outside of the south wall of the temple of
In the time of Hezekiah, Egypt was conquered by Ethiopians
from the Soudan, who constituted the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. The
third of them was Tirhakah (2 Kings 19:9). In B.C. 674 it was
conquered by the Assyrians, who divided it into twenty
satrapies, and Tirhakah was driven back to his ancestral
dominions. Fourteen years later it successfully revolted under
Psammetichus I. of Sais, the founder of the Twenty-sixth
Dynasty. Among his successors were Necho (2 Kings 23:29) and
Hophra, or Apries (Jer. 37:5, 7, 11). The dynasty came to an end
in B.C. 525, when the country was subjugated by Cambyses. Soon
afterwards it was organized into a Persian satrapy.
The title of Pharaoh, given to the Egyptian kings, is the
Egyptian Per-aa, or "Great House," which may be compared to that
of "Sublime Porte." It is found in very early Egyptian texts.
The Egyptian religion was a strange mixture of pantheism and
animal worship, the gods being adored in the form of animals.
While the educated classes resolved their manifold deities into
manifestations of one omnipresent and omnipotent divine power,
the lower classes regarded the animals as incarnations of the
Under the Old Empire, Ptah, the Creator, the god of Memphis,
was at the head of the Pantheon; afterwards Amon, the god of
Thebes, took his place. Amon, like most of the other gods, was
identified with Ra, the sun-god of Heliopolis.
The Egyptians believed in a resurrection and future life, as
well as in a state of rewards and punishments dependent on our
conduct in this world. The judge of the dead was Osiris, who had
been slain by Set, the representative of evil, and afterwards
restored to life. His death was avenged by his son Horus, whom
the Egyptians invoked as their "Redeemer." Osiris and Horus,
along with Isis, formed a trinity, who were regarded as
representing the sun-god under different forms.
Even in the time of Abraham, Egypt was a flourishing and
settled monarchy. Its oldest capital, within the historic
period, was Memphis, the ruins of which may still be seen near
the Pyramids and the Sphinx. When the Old Empire of Menes came
to an end, the seat of empire was shifted to Thebes, some 300
miles farther up the Nile. A short time after that, the Delta
was conquered by the Hyksos, or shepherd kings, who fixed their
capital at Zoan, the Greek Tanis, now San, on the Tanic arm of
the Nile. All this occurred before the time of the new king
"which knew not Joseph" (Ex. 1:8). In later times Egypt was
conquered by the Persians (B.C. 525), and by the Greeks under
Alexander the Great (B.C. 332), after whom the Ptolemies ruled
the country for three centuries. Subsequently it was for a time
a province of the Roman Empire; and at last, in A.D. 1517, it
fell into the hands of the Turks, of whose empire it still forms
nominally a part. Abraham and Sarah went to Egypt in the time of
the shepherd kings. The exile of Joseph and the migration of
Jacob to "the land of Goshen" occurred about 200 years later. On
the death of Solomon, Shishak, king of Egypt, invaded Israel
(1 Kings 14:25). He left a list of the cities he conquered.
A number of remarkable clay tablets, discovered at
Tell-el-Amarna in Upper Egypt, are the most important historical
records ever found in connection with the Bible. They most fully
confirm the historical statements of the Book of Joshua, and
prove the antiquity of civilization in Syria and Israel. As
the clay in different parts of Israel differs, it has been
found possible by the clay alone to decide where the tablets
come from when the name of the writer is lost. The inscriptions
are cuneiform, and in the Aramaic language, resembling Assyrian.
The writers are Phoenicians, Amorites, and Philistines, but in
no instance Hittites, though Hittites are mentioned. The tablets
consist of official dispatches and letters, dating from B.C.
1480, addressed to the two Pharaohs, Amenophis III. and IV., the
last of this dynasty, from the kings and governors of Phoenicia
and Israel. There occur the names of three kings killed by
Joshua, Adoni-zedec, king of Jerusalem, Japhia, king of Lachish
(Josh. 10:3), and Jabin, king of Hazor (11:1); also the Hebrews
(Abiri) are said to have come from the desert.
The principal prophecies of Scripture regarding Egypt are
these, Isa. 19; Jer. 43: 8-13; 44:30; 46; Ezek. 29-32; and it
might be easily shown that they have all been remarkably
fulfilled. For example, the singular disappearance of Noph
(i.e., Memphis) is a fulfilment of Jer. 46:19, Ezek. 30:13.
a contract or agreement between two parties. In the Old
Testament the Hebrew word "berith" is always thus translated.
"Berith" is derived from a root which means "to cut," and hence
a covenant is a "cutting," with reference to the cutting or
dividing of animals into two parts, and the contracting parties
passing between them, in making a covenant (Gen. 15; Jer. 34:18,
The corresponding word in the New Testament Greek is
"diatheke", which is, however, rendered "testament" generally in
the Authorized Version. It ought to be rendered, just as the
word "berith" of the Old Testament, "covenant."
This word is used (1) of a covenant or compact between man and
man (Gen. 21:32), or between tribes or nations (1 Sam. 11:1;
Josh. 9:6, 15). In entering into a convenant, Jehovah was
solemnly called on to witness the transaction (Gen. 31:50), and
hence it was called a "covenant of the Lord" (1 Sam. 20:8). The
marriage compact is called "the covenant of God" (Prov. 2:17),
because the marriage was made in God's name. Wicked men are
spoken of as acting as if they had made a "covenant with death"
not to destroy them, or with hell not to devour them (Isa.
(2.) The word is used with reference to God's revelation of
himself in the way of promise or of favour to men. Thus God's
promise to Noah after the Flood is called a covenant (Gen. 9;
Jer. 33:20, "my covenant"). We have an account of God's
covernant with Abraham (Gen. 17, compare Lev. 26:42), of the
covenant of the priesthood (Num. 25:12, 13; Deut. 33:9; Neh.
13:29), and of the covenant of Sinai (Ex. 34:27, 28; Lev.
26:15), which was afterwards renewed at different times in the
history of Israel (Deut. 29; Josh. 1:24; 2 Chr. 15; 23; 29; 34;
Ezra 10; Neh. 9). In conformity with human custom, God's
covenant is said to be confirmed with an oath (Deut. 4:31; Ps.
89:3), and to be accompanied by a sign (Gen. 9; 17). Hence the
covenant is called God's "counsel," "oath," "promise" (Ps. 89:3,
4; 105:8-11; Heb. 6:13-20; Luke 1:68-75). God's covenant
consists wholly in the bestowal of blessing (Isa. 59:21; Jer.
The term covenant is also used to designate the regular
succession of day and night (Jer. 33:20), the Sabbath (Ex.
31:16), circumcision (Gen. 17:9, 10), and in general any
ordinance of God (Jer. 34:13, 14).
A "covenant of salt" signifies an everlasting covenant, in the
sealing or ratifying of which salt, as an emblem of perpetuity,
is used (Num. 18:19; Lev. 2:13; 2 Chr. 13:5).
COVENANT OF WORKS, the constitution under which Adam was
placed at his creation. In this covenant, (1.) The contracting
parties were (a) God the moral Governor, and (b) Adam, a free
moral agent, and representative of all his natural posterity
(Rom. 5:12-19). (2.) The promise was "life" (Matt. 19:16, 17;
Gal. 3:12). (3.) The condition was perfect obedience to the law,
the test in this case being abstaining from eating the fruit of
the "tree of knowledge," etc. (4.) The penalty was death (Gen.
This covenant is also called a covenant of nature, as made
with man in his natural or unfallen state; a covenant of life,
because "life" was the promise attached to obedience; and a
legal covenant, because it demanded perfect obedience to the
The "tree of life" was the outward sign and seal of that life
which was promised in the covenant, and hence it is usually
called the seal of that covenant.
This covenant is abrogated under the gospel, inasmuch as
Christ has fulfilled all its conditions in behalf of his people,
and now offers salvation on the condition of faith. It is still
in force, however, as it rests on the immutable justice of God,
and is binding on all who have not fled to Christ and accepted
CONVENANT OF GRACE, the eternal plan of redemption entered
into by the three persons of the Godhead, and carried out by
them in its several parts. In it the Father represented the
Godhead in its indivisible sovereignty, and the Son his people
as their surety (John 17:4, 6, 9; Isa. 42:6; Ps. 89:3).
The conditions of this covenant were, (1.) On the part of the
Father (a) all needful preparation to the Son for the
accomplishment of his work (Heb. 10:5; Isa. 42:1-7); (b) support
in the work (Luke 22:43); and (c) a glorious reward in the
exaltation of Christ when his work was done (Phil. 2:6-11), his
investiture with universal dominion (John 5:22; Ps. 110:1), his
having the administration of the covenant committed into his
hands (Matt. 28:18; John 1:12; 17:2; Acts 2:33), and in the
final salvation of all his people (Isa. 35:10; 53:10, 11; Jer.
31:33; Titus 1:2). (2.) On the part of the Son the conditions
were (a) his becoming incarnate (Gal. 4:4, 5); and (b) as the
second Adam his representing all his people, assuming their
place and undertaking all their obligations under the violated
covenant of works; (c) obeying the law (Ps. 40:8; Isa. 42:21;
John 9:4, 5), and (d) suffering its penalty (Isa. 53; 2 Cor.
5:21; Gal. 3:13), in their stead.
Christ, the mediator of, fulfils all its conditions in behalf
of his people, and dispenses to them all its blessings. In Heb.
8:6; 9:15; 12:24, this title is given to Christ. (See