first mentioned as purchased by Abraham for Sarah from Ephron
the Hittite (Gen. 23:20). This was the "cave of the field of
Machpelah," where also Abraham and Rebekah and Jacob and Leah
were burried (79:29-32). In Acts 7:16 it is said that Jacob was
"laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of
the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem." It has been proposed,
as a mode of reconciling the apparent discrepancy between this
verse and Gen. 23:20, to read Acts 7:16 thus: "And they [i.e.,
our fathers] were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the
sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of
Emmor [the son] of Sychem." In this way the purchase made by
Abraham is not to be confounded with the purchase made by Jacob
subsequently in the same district. Of this purchase by Abraham
there is no direct record in the Old Testament. (See TOMB
exalted father. (see ABRAHAM T0000054.)
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
contention, the third son of Abraham by Keturah (Gen. 25:2).
snorting. (1.) The father of Terah, who was the father of
Abraham (Gen. 11:22-25; Luke 3:34).
(2.) A son of Terah, and elder brother of Abraham (Gen. 11:26,
27; Josh. 24:2, R.V.). He married Milcah, the daughter of his
brother Haran, and remained in the land of his nativity on the
east of the river Euphrates at Haran (Gen. 11:27-32). A
correspondence was maintained between the family of Abraham in
Canaan and the relatives in the old ancestral home at Haran till
the time of Jacob. When Jacob fled from Haran all intercourse
between the two branches of the family came to an end (Gen.
31:55). His grand-daughter Rebekah became Isaac's wife (24:67).
vine-dressers; celebrated, one of the sons of Abraham by Keturah
snarer, the second son of Abraham and Keturah (Gen. 25:2, 3; 1
son of wickedness, a king of Gomorrah whom Abraham succoured in
the invasion of Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:2).
princess, the wife and at the same time the half-sister of
Abraham (Gen. 11:29; 20:12). This name was given to her at the
time that it was announced to Abraham that she should be the
mother of the promised child. Her story is from her marriage
identified with that of the patriarch till the time of her
death. Her death, at the age of one hundred and twenty-seven
years (the only instance in Scripture where the age of a woman
is recorded), was the occasion of Abraham's purchasing the cave
of Machpelah as a family burying-place.
In the allegory of Gal. 4:22-31 she is the type of the
"Jerusalem which is above." She is also mentioned as Sara in
Heb. 11:11 among the Old Testament worthies, who "all died in
faith." (See ABRAHAM T0000054.)
hiding-place, a place to the north of Damascus, to which Abraham
pursued Chedorlaomer and his confederates (Gen. 14:15).
strife, the fourth son of Abraham by Keturah, the father of the
Midianites (Gen. 25:2; 1 Chr. 1:32).
is the arrangement of facts and events in the order of time. The
writers of the Bible themselves do not adopt any standard era
according to which they date events. Sometimes the years are
reckoned, e.g., from the time of the Exodus (Num. 1:1; 33:38; 1
Kings 6:1), and sometimes from the accession of kings (1 Kings
15:1, 9, 25, 33, etc.), and sometimes again from the return from
Exile (Ezra 3:8).
Hence in constructing a system of Biblecal chronology, the
plan has been adopted of reckoning the years from the ages of
the patriarchs before the birth of their first-born sons for the
period from the Creation to Abraham. After this period other
data are to be taken into account in determining the relative
sequence of events.
As to the patriarchal period, there are three principal
systems of chronology: (1) that of the Hebrew text, (2) that of
the Septuagint version, and (3) that of the Samaritan
Pentateuch, as seen in the scheme on the opposite page.
The Samaritan and the Septuagint have considerably modified
the Hebrew chronology. This modification some regard as having
been wilfully made, and to be rejected. The same system of
variations is observed in the chronology of the period between
the Flood and Abraham. Thus:
| Hebrew Septuigant Samaritan
| From the birth of
| Arphaxad, 2 years
| after the Flood, to
| the birth of Terah. 220 1000 870
| From the birth of
| Terah to the birth
| of Abraham. 130 70 72
The Septuagint fixes on seventy years as the age of Terah at
the birth of Abraham, from Gen. 11:26; but a comparison of Gen.
11:32 and Acts 7:4 with Gen. 12:4 shows that when Terah died, at
the age of two hundred and five years, Abraham was seventy-five
years, and hence Terah must have been one hundred and thirty
years when Abraham was born. Thus, including the two years from
the Flood to the birth of Arphaxad, the period from the Flood to
the birth of Abraham was three hundred and fifty-two years.
The next period is from the birth of Abraham to the Exodus.
This, according to the Hebrew, extends to five hundred and five
years. The difficulty here is as to the four hundred and thirty
years mentioned Ex. 12:40, 41; Gal. 3:17. These years are
regarded by some as dating from the covenant with Abraham (Gen.
15), which was entered into soon after his sojourn in Egypt;
others, with more probability, reckon these years from Jacob's
going down into Egypt. (See EXODUS T0001283.)
In modern times the systems of Biblical chronology that have
been adopted are chiefly those of Ussher and Hales. The former
follows the Hebrew, and the latter the Septuagint mainly.
Archbishop Ussher's (died 1656) system is called the short
chronology. It is that given on the margin of the Authorized
Version, but is really of no authority, and is quite uncertain.
| Ussher Hales
| B.C. B.C.
| Creation 4004 5411
| Flood 2348 3155
| Abram leaves Haran 1921 2078
| Exodus 1491 1648
| Destruction of the
| Temple 588 586
To show at a glance the different ideas of the date of the
creation, it may be interesting to note the following: From
Creation to 1894.
According to Ussher, 5,898; Hales, 7,305; Zunz (Hebrew
reckoning), 5,882; Septuagint (Perowne), 7,305; Rabbinical,
5,654; Panodorus, 7,387; Anianus, 7,395; Constantinopolitan,
7,403; Eusebius, 7,093; Scaliger, 5,844; Dionysius (from whom we
take our Christian era), 7,388; Maximus, 7,395; Syncellus and
Theophanes, 7,395; Julius Africanus, 7,395; Jackson, 7,320.
or Abi'dah, father of knowledge; knowing, one of the five sons
of Midian, who was the son of Abraham by Keturah (1 Chr. 1:33),
and apparently the chief of an Arab tribe.
soaring on high, the king of Zeboiim, who joined with the other
kings in casting off the yoke of Chedorlaomer. After having been
reconquered by him, he was rescued by Abraham (Gen. 14:2).
a boy. (1.) A Canaanite chief who joined his forces with those
of Abraham in pursuit of Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:13,24).
(2.) A city of Manasseh given to the Levites of Kohath's
family (1 Chr. 6:70).
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
manliness. (1.) An Amoritish chief in alliance with Abraham
(Gen. 14:13, 24).
(2.) The name of the place in the neighbourhood of Hebron
(q.v.) where Abraham dwelt (Gen. 23:17, 19; 35:27); called also
in Authorized Version (13:18) the "plain of Mamre," but in
Revised Version more correctly "the oaks [marg., 'terebinths']
of Mamre." The name probably denotes the "oak grove" or the
"wood of Mamre," thus designated after Abraham's ally.
This "grove" must have been within sight of or "facing"
Machpelah (q.v.). The site of Mamre has been identified with
Ballatet Selta, i.e., "the oak of rest", where there is a tree
called "Abraham's oak," about a mile and a half west of Hebron.
Others identify it with er-Rameh, 2 miles north of Hebron.
great, the chief captain of the army of Abimelech, the
Philistine king of Gerar. He entered into an alliance with
Abraham with reference to a certain well which, from this
circumstance, was called Beersheba (q.v.), "the well of the
oath" (Gen. 21:22, 32; 26:26).
the wanderer; loiterer, for some unknown reason emigrated with
his family from his native mountains in the north to the plains
of Mesopotamia. He had three sons, Haran, Nahor, and Abraham,
and one daughter, Sarah. He settled in "Ur of the Chaldees,"
where his son Haran died, leaving behind him his son Lot. Nahor
settled at Haran, a place on the way to Ur. Terah afterwards
migrated with Abraham (probably his youngest son) and Lot (his
grandson), together with their families, from Ur, intending to
go with them to Canaan; but he tarried at Haran, where he spent
the remainder of his days, and died at the age of two hundred
and five years (Gen. 11:24-32; Josh. 24:2). What a wonderful
part the descendants of this Chaldean shepherd have played in
the history of the world!
a name applied to the Israelites in Scripture only by one who is
a foreigner (Gen. 39:14, 17; 41:12, etc.), or by the Israelites
when they speak of themselves to foreigners (40:15; Ex. 1:19),
or when spoken of an contrasted with other peoples (Gen. 43:32;
Ex. 1:3, 7, 15; Deut. 15:12). In the New Testament there is the
same contrast between Hebrews and foreigners (Acts 6:1; Phil.
Derivation. (1.) The name is derived, according to some, from
Eber (Gen. 10:24), the ancestor of Abraham. The Hebrews are
"sons of Eber" (10:21).
(2.) Others trace the name of a Hebrew root-word signifying
"to pass over," and hence regard it as meaning "the man who
passed over," viz., the Euphrates; or to the Hebrew word meaning
"the region" or "country beyond," viz., the land of Chaldea.
This latter view is preferred. It is the more probable origin of
the designation given to Abraham coming among the Canaanites as
a man from beyond the Euphrates (Gen. 14:13).
(3.) A third derivation of the word has been suggested, viz.,
that it is from the Hebrew word "'abhar", "to pass over," whence
"'ebher", in the sense of a "sojourner" or "passer through" as
distinct from a "settler" in the land, and thus applies to the
condition of Abraham (Heb. 11:13).
Dale, the king's
the name of a valley, the alternative for "the valley of Shaveh"
(q.v.), near the Dead Sea, where the king of Sodom met Abraham
(Gen. 14:17). Some have identified it with the southern part of
the valley of Jehoshaphat, where Absalom reared his family
monument (2 Sam. 18:18).
the chosen of Jehovah. Some contend that Mount Gerizim is meant,
but most probably we are to regard this as one of the hills of
Jerusalem. Here Solomon's temple was built, on the spot that had
been the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite (2 Sam. 24:24,
25; 2 Chr. 3:1). It is usually included in Zion, to the
NE of which it lay, and from which it was separated by
the Tyropoean valley. This was "the land of Moriah" to which
Abraham went to offer up his son Isaac (Gen. 22:2). It has been
supposed that the highest point of the temple hill, which is now
covered by the Mohammedan Kubbetes-Sakhrah, or "Dome of the
Rock," is the actual site of Araunah's threshing-floor. Here
also, one thousand years after Abraham, David built an altar and
offered sacrifices to God. (See JERUSALEM T0002043; NUMBERING
THE PEOPLE T0002753.)
king of righteousness, the king of Salem (q.v.). All we know of
him is recorded in Gen. 14:18-20. He is subsequently mentioned
only once in the Old Testament, in Ps. 110:4. The typical
significance of his history is set forth in detail in the
Epistle to the Hebrews, ch. 7. The apostle there points out the
superiority of his priesthood to that of Aaron in these several
respects, (1) Even Abraham paid him tithes; (2) he blessed
Abraham; (3) he is the type of a Priest who lives for ever; (4)
Levi, yet unborn, paid him tithes in the person of Abraham; (5)
the permanence of his priesthood in Christ implied the
abrogation of the Levitical system; (6) he was made priest not
without an oath; and (7) his priesthood can neither be
transmitted nor interrupted by death: "this man, because he
continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood."
The question as to who this mysterious personage was has given
rise to a great deal of modern speculation. It is an old
tradition among the Jews that he was Shem, the son of Noah, who
may have survived to this time. Melchizedek was a Canaanite
prince, a worshipper of the true God, and in his peculiar
history and character an instructive type of our Lord, the great
High Priest (Heb. 5:6, 7; 6:20). One of the Amarna tablets is
from Ebed-Tob, king of Jerusalem, the successor of Melchizedek,
in which he claims the very attributes and dignity given to
Melchizedek in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Jehovah will see; i.e., will provide, the name given by Abraham
to the scene of his offering up the ram which was caught in the
thicket on Mount Moriah. The expression used in Gen. 22:14, "in
the mount of the Lord it shall be seen," has been regarded as
equivalent to the saying, "Man's extremity is God's
(1.) The name of a tribe referred to in the covenant God made
with Abraham (Gen. 15:19). They are not mentioned among the
original inhabitants of Canaan (Ex. 3:8; Josh. 3:10), and
probably they inhabited some part of Arabia, in the confines of
(2.) A designation given to Caleb (R.V., Num. 32:12; A.V.,
flight, or, according to others, stranger, an Egyptian, Sarah's
handmaid (Gen. 16:1; 21:9, 10), whom she gave to Abraham (q.v.)
as a secondary wife (16:2). When she was about to become a
mother she fled from the cruelty of her mistress, intending
apparently to return to her relatives in Egypt, through the
desert of Shur, which lay between. Wearied and worn she had
reached the place she distinguished by the name of
Beer-lahai-roi ("the well of the visible God"), where the angel
of the Lord appeared to her. In obedience to the heavenly
visitor she returned to the tent of Abraham, where her son
Ishmael was born, and where she remained (16) till after the
birth of Isaac, the space of fourteen years. Sarah after this
began to vent her dissatisfaction both on Hagar and her child.
Ishmael's conduct was insulting to Sarah, and she insisted that
he and his mother should be dismissed. This was accordingly
done, although with reluctance on the part of Abraham (Gen.
21:14). They wandered out into the wilderness, where Ishmael,
exhausted with his journey and faint from thirst, seemed about
to die. Hagar "lifted up her voice and wept," and the angel of
the Lord, as before, appeared unto her, and she was comforted
and delivered out of her distresses (Gen. 21:18, 19).
Ishmael afterwards established himself in the wilderness of
Paran, where he married an Egyptian (Gen. 21:20,21).
"Hagar" allegorically represents the Jewish church (Gal.
4:24), in bondage to the ceremonial law; while "Sarah"
represents the Christian church, which is free.
man of God, or virgin of God, or house of God. (1.) The son of
Nahor by Milcah; nephew of Abraham, and father of Rebekah (Gen.
22:22, 23; 24:15, 24, 47). He appears in person only once
(2.) A southern city of Judah (1 Chr. 4:30); called also
Bethul (Josh. 19:4) and Bethel (12:16; 1 Sam. 30:27).
Covering of the eyes
occurs only in Gen. 20:16. In the Revised Version the rendering
is "it (i.e., Abimelech's present of 1,000 pieces of silver to
Abraham) is for thee a covering of the eyes." This has been
regarded as an implied advice to Sarah to conform to the custom
of married women, and wear a complete veil, covering the eyes as
well as the rest of the face.
city of Arba, the original name of Hebron (q.v.), so called from
the name of its founder, one of the Anakim (Gen. 23:2; 35:27;
Josh. 15:13). It was given to Caleb by Joshua as his portion.
The Jews interpret the name as meaning "the city of the four",
i.e., of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Adam, who were all, as they
allege, buried there.
father of a multitude, son of Terah, named (Gen. 11:27) before
his older brothers Nahor and Haran, because he was the heir of
the promises. Till the age of seventy, Abram sojourned among his
kindred in his native country of Chaldea. He then, with his
father and his family and household, quitted the city of Ur, in
which he had hitherto dwelt, and went some 300 miles north to
Haran, where he abode fifteen years. The cause of his migration
was a call from God (Acts 7:2-4). There is no mention of this
first call in the Old Testament; it is implied, however, in Gen.
12. While they tarried at Haran, Terah died at the age of 205
years. Abram now received a second and more definite call,
accompanied by a promise from God (Gen. 12:1,2); whereupon he
took his departure, taking his nephew Lot with him, "not knowing
whither he went" (Heb. 11:8). He trusted implicitly to the
guidance of Him who had called him.
Abram now, with a large household of probably a thousand
souls, entered on a migratory life, and dwelt in tents. Passing
along the valley of the Jabbok, in the land of Canaan, he formed
his first encampment at Sichem (Gen. 12:6), in the vale or
oak-grove of Moreh, between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the
south. Here he received the great promise, "I will make of thee
a great nation," etc. (Gen. 12:2,3,7). This promise comprehended
not only temporal but also spiritual blessings. It implied that
he was the chosen ancestor of the great Deliverer whose coming
had been long ago predicted (Gen. 3:15). Soon after this, for
some reason not mentioned, he removed his tent to the mountain
district between Bethel, then called Luz, and Ai, towns about
two miles apart, where he built an altar to "Jehovah." He again
moved into the southern tract of Israel, called by the
Hebrews the Negeb; and was at length, on account of a famine,
compelled to go down into Egypt. This took place in the time of
the Hyksos, a Semitic race which now held the Egyptians in
bondage. Here occurred that case of deception on the part of
Abram which exposed him to the rebuke of Pharaoh (Gen. 12:18).
Sarai was restored to him; and Pharaoh loaded him with presents,
recommending him to withdraw from the country. He returned to
Canaan richer than when he left it, "in cattle, in silver, and
in gold" (Gen. 12:8; 13:2. Compare Ps. 105:13, 14). The whole
party then moved northward, and returned to their previous
station near Bethel. Here disputes arose between Lot's shepherds
and those of Abram about water and pasturage. Abram generously
gave Lot his choice of the pasture-ground. (Compare 1 Cor. 6:7.)
He chose the well-watered plain in which Sodom was situated, and
removed thither; and thus the uncle and nephew were separated.
Immediately after this Abram was cheered by a repetition of the
promises already made to him, and then removed to the plain or
"oak-grove" of Mamre, which is in Hebron. He finally settled
here, pitching his tent under a famous oak or terebinth tree,
called "the oak of Mamre" (Gen. 13:18). This was his third
resting-place in the land.
Some fourteen years before this, while Abram was still in
Chaldea, Israel had been invaded by Chedorlaomer, King of
Elam, who brought under tribute to him the five cities in the
plain to which Lot had removed. This tribute was felt by the
inhabitants of these cities to be a heavy burden, and after
twelve years they revolted. This brought upon them the vengeance
of Chedorlaomer, who had in league with him four other kings. He
ravaged the whole country, plundering the towns, and carrying
the inhabitants away as slaves. Among those thus treated was
Lot. Hearing of the disaster that had fallen on his nephew,
Abram immediately gathered from his own household a band of 318
armed men, and being joined by the Amoritish chiefs Mamre, Aner,
and Eshcol, he pursued after Chedorlaomer, and overtook him near
the springs of the Jordan. They attacked and routed his army,
and pursued it over the range of Anti-Libanus as far as to
Hobah, near Damascus, and then returned, bringing back all the
spoils that had been carried away. Returning by way of Salem,
i.e., Jerusalem, the king of that place, Melchizedek, came forth
to meet them with refreshments. To him Abram presented a tenth
of the spoils, in recognition of his character as a priest of
the most high God (Gen. 14:18-20).
In a recently-discovered tablet, dated in the reign of the
grandfather of Amraphel (Gen. 14:1), one of the witnesses is
called "the Amorite, the son of Abiramu," or Abram.
Having returned to his home at Mamre, the promises already
made to him by God were repeated and enlarged (Gen. 13:14). "The
word of the Lord" (an expression occurring here for the first
time) "came to him" (15:1). He now understood better the future
that lay before the nation that was to spring from him. Sarai,
now seventy-five years old, in her impatience, persuaded Abram
to take Hagar, her Egyptian maid, as a concubine, intending that
whatever child might be born should be reckoned as her own.
Ishmael was accordingly thus brought up, and was regarded as the
heir of these promises (Gen. 16). When Ishmael was thirteen
years old, God again revealed yet more explicitly and fully his
gracious purpose; and in token of the sure fulfilment of that
purpose the patriarch's name was now changed from Abram to
Abraham (Gen. 17:4,5), and the rite of circumcision was
instituted as a sign of the covenant. It was then announced that
the heir to these covenant promises would be the son of Sarai,
though she was now ninety years old; and it was directed that
his name should be Isaac. At the same time, in commemoration of
the promises, Sarai's name was changed to Sarah. On that
memorable day of God's thus revealing his design, Abraham and
his son Ishmael and all the males of his house were circumcised
(Gen. 17). Three months after this, as Abraham sat in his tent
door, he saw three men approaching. They accepted his proffered
hospitality, and, seated under an oak-tree, partook of the fare
which Abraham and Sarah provided. One of the three visitants was
none other than the Lord, and the other two were angels in the
guise of men. The Lord renewed on this occasion his promise of a
son by Sarah, who was rebuked for her unbelief. Abraham
accompanied the three as they proceeded on their journey. The
two angels went on toward Sodom; while the Lord tarried behind
and talked with Abraham, making known to him the destruction
that was about to fall on that guilty city. The patriarch
interceded earnestly in behalf of the doomed city. But as not
even ten righteous persons were found in it, for whose sake the
city would have been spared, the threatened destruction fell
upon it; and early next morning Abraham saw the smoke of the
fire that consumed it as the "smoke of a furnace" (Gen.
After fifteen years' residence at Mamre, Abraham moved
southward, and pitched his tent among the Philistines, near to
Gerar. Here occurred that sad instance of prevarication on his
part in his relation to Abimelech the King (Gen. 20). (See
ABIMELECH T0000040.) Soon after this event, the patriarch left
the vicinity of Gerar, and moved down the fertile valley about
25 miles to Beersheba. It was probably here that Isaac was
born, Abraham being now an hundred years old. A feeling of
jealousy now arose between Sarah and Hagar, whose son, Ishmael,
was no longer to be regarded as Abraham's heir. Sarah insisted
that both Hagar and her son should be sent away. This was done,
although it was a hard trial to Abraham (Gen. 21:12). (See HAGAR
T0001583; ISHMAEL T0001903.)
At this point there is a blank in the patriarch's history of
perhaps twenty-five years. These years of peace and happiness
were spent at Beersheba. The next time we see him his faith is
put to a severe test by the command that suddenly came to him to
go and offer up Isaac, the heir of all the promises, as a
sacrifice on one of the mountains of Moriah. His faith stood the
test (Heb. 11:17-19). He proceeded in a spirit of unhesitating
obedience to carry out the command; and when about to slay his
son, whom he had laid on the altar, his uplifted hand was
arrested by the angel of Jehovah, and a ram, which was entangled
in a thicket near at hand, was seized and offered in his stead.
From this circumstance that place was called Jehovah-jireh,
i.e., "The Lord will provide." The promises made to Abraham were
again confirmed (and this was the last recorded word of God to
the patriarch); and he descended the mount with his son, and
returned to his home at Beersheba (Gen. 22:19), where he
resided for some years, and then moved northward to Hebron.
Some years after this Sarah died at Hebron, being 127 years
old. Abraham acquired now the needful possession of a
burying-place, the cave of Machpelah, by purchase from the owner
of it, Ephron the Hittite (Gen. 23); and there he buried Sarah.
His next care was to provide a wife for Isaac, and for this
purpose he sent his steward, Eliezer, to Haran (or Charran, Acts
7:2), where his brother Nahor and his family resided (Gen.
11:31). The result was that Rebekah, the daughter of Nahor's son
Bethuel, became the wife of Isaac (Gen. 24). Abraham then
himself took to wife Keturah, who became the mother of six sons,
whose descendants were afterwards known as the "children of the
east" (Judg. 6:3), and later as "Saracens." At length all his
wanderings came to an end. At the age of 175 years, 100 years
after he had first entered the land of Canaan, he died, and was
buried in the old family burying-place at Machpelah (Gen.
The history of Abraham made a wide and deep impression on the
ancient world, and references to it are interwoven in the
religious traditions of almost all Eastern nations. He is called
"the friend of God" (James 2:23), "faithful Abraham" (Gal. 3:9),
"the father of us all" (Rom. 4:16).
fawn-like. (1.) The son of Zohar a Hittite, the owner of the
field and cave of Machpelah (q.v.), which Abraham bought for 400
shekels of silver (Gen. 23:8-17; 25:9; 49:29, 30).
(2.) A mountain range which formed one of the landmarks on the
north boundary of the tribe of Judah (Josh. 15:9), probably the
range on the west side of the Wady Beit-Hanina.
God hears. (1.) Abraham's eldest son, by Hagar the concubine
(Gen. 16:15; 17:23). He was born at Mamre, when Abraham was
eighty-six years of age, eleven years after his arrival in
Canaan (16:3; 21:5). At the age of thirteen he was circumcised
(17:25). He grew up a true child of the desert, wild and
wayward. On the occasion of the weaning of Isaac his rude and
wayward spirit broke out in expressions of insult and mockery
(21:9, 10); and Sarah, discovering this, said to Abraham, "Expel
this slave and her son." Influenced by a divine admonition,
Abraham dismissed Hagar and her son with no more than a skin of
water and some bread. The narrative describing this act is one
of the most beautiful and touching incidents of patriarchal life
(Gen. 21:14-16). (See HAGAR T0001583.)
Ishmael settled in the land of Paran, a region lying between
Canaan and the mountains of Sinai; and "God was with him, and he
became a great archer" (Gen. 21:9-21). He became a great desert
chief, but of his history little is recorded. He was about
ninety years of age when his father Abraham died, in connection
with whose burial he once more for a moment reappears. On this
occasion the two brothers met after being long separated. "Isaac
with his hundreds of household slaves, Ishmael with his troops
of wild retainers and half-savage allies, in all the state of a
Bedouin prince, gathered before the cave of Machpelah, in the
midst of the men of Heth, to pay the last duties to the 'father
of the faithful,' would make a notable subject for an artist"
(Gen. 25:9). Of the after events of his life but little is
known. He died at the age of one hundred and thirty-seven years,
but where and when are unknown (25:17). He had twelve sons, who
became the founders of so many Arab tribes or colonies, the
Ishmaelites, who spread over the wide desert spaces of Northern
Arabia from the Red Sea to the Euphrates (Gen. 37:25, 27, 28;
39:1), "their hand against every man, and every man's hand
(2.) The son of Nethaniah, "of the seed royal" (Jer. 40:8,
15). He plotted against Gedaliah, and treacherously put him and
others to death. He carried off many captives, "and departed to
go over to the Ammonites."
my father a king, or father of a king, a common name of the
Philistine kings, as "Pharaoh" was of the Egyptian kings. (1.)
The Philistine king of Gerar in the time of Abraham (Gen.
20:1-18). By an interposition of Providence, Sarah was delivered
from his harem, and was restored to her husband Abraham. As a
mark of respect he gave to Abraham valuable gifts, and offered
him a settlement in any part of his country; while at the same
time he delicately and yet severely rebuked him for having
practised a deception upon him in pretending that Sarah was only
his sister. Among the gifts presented by the king were a
thousand pieces of silver as a "covering of the eyes" for Sarah;
i.e., either as an atoning gift and a testimony of her innocence
in the sight of all, or rather for the purpose of procuring a
veil for Sarah to conceal her beauty, and thus as a reproof to
her for not having worn a veil which, as a married woman, she
ought to have done. A few years after this Abimelech visited
Abraham, who had removed southward beyond his territory, and
there entered into a league of peace and friendship with him.
This league was the first of which we have any record. It was
confirmed by a mutual oath at Beersheba (Gen. 21:22-34).
(2.) A king of Gerar in the time of Isaac, probably the son of
the preceeding (Gen. 26:1-22). Isaac sought refuge in his
territory during a famine, and there he acted a part with
reference to his wife Rebekah similar to that of his father
Abraham with reference to Sarah. Abimelech rebuked him for the
deception, which he accidentally discovered. Isaac settled for a
while here, and prospered. Abimelech desired him, however, to
leave his territory, which Isaac did. Abimelech afterwards
visited him when he was encamped at Beersheba, and expressed a
desire to renew the covenant which had been entered into between
their fathers (Gen. 26:26-31).
(3.) A son of Gideon (Judg. 9:1), who was proclaimed king
after the death of his father (Judg. 8:33-9:6). One of his first
acts was to murder his brothers, seventy in number, "on one
stone," at Ophrah. Only one named Jotham escaped. He was an
unprincipled, ambitious ruler, often engaged in war with his own
subjects. When engaged in reducing the town of Thebez, which had
revolted, he was struck mortally on his head by a mill-stone,
thrown by the hand of a woman from the wall above. Perceiving
that the wound was mortal, he desired his armour-bearer to
thrust him through with his sword, that it might not be said he
had perished by the hand of a woman (Judg. 9:50-57).
(4.) The son of Abiathar, and high priest in the time of David
(1 Chr. 18:16). In the parallel passage, 2 Sam. 8:17, we have
the name Ahimelech, and Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech. This
most authorities consider the more correct reading. (5.) Achish,
king of Gath, in the title of Ps. 34. (Compare 1 Sam. 21:10-15.)
an intentional violation of the truth. Lies are emphatically
condemned in Scripture (John 8:44; 1 Tim. 1:9, 10; Rev. 21:27;
22:15). Mention is made of the lies told by good men, as by
Abraham (Gen. 12:12, 13; 20:2), Isaac (26:7), and Jacob (27:24);
also by the Hebrew midwives (Ex. 1:15-19), by Michal (1 Sam.
19:14), and by David (1 Sam. 20:6). (See ANANIAS T0000230.)
a calm temper of mind, not easily provoked (James 3:13).
Peculiar promises are made to the meek (Matt. 5:5; Isa. 66:2).
The cultivation of this spirit is enjoined (Col. 3:12; 1 Tim.
6:11; Zeph. 2:3), and is exemplified in Christ (Matt. 11:29),
Abraham (Gen. 13; 16:5, 6) Moses (Num. 12:3), David (Zech. 12:8;
2 Sam. 16:10, 12), and Paul (1 Cor. 9:19).
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
heap of witness, the name of the pile of stones erected by Jacob
and Laban to mark the league of friendship into which they
entered with each other (Gen. 31:47, 48). This was the name
given to the "heap" by Jacob. It is Hebrew, while the name
Jegar-sahadutha, given to it by Laban, is Aramaic (Chaldee or
Syriac). Probably Nahor's family originally spoke Aramaic, and
Abraham and his descendants learned Hebrew, a kindred dialect,
in the land of Canaan.
Before the Exile the Jews had no regularly stamped money. They
made use of uncoined shekels or talents of silver, which they
weighed out (Gen. 23:16; Ex. 38:24; 2 Sam. 18:12). Probably the
silver ingots used in the time of Abraham may have been of a
fixed weight, which was in some way indicated on them. The
"pieces of silver" paid by Abimelech to Abraham (Gen. 20:16),
and those also for which Joseph was sold (37:28), were proably
in the form of rings. The shekel was the common standard of
weight and value among the Hebrews down to the time of the
Captivity. Only once is a shekel of gold mentioned (1 Chr.
21:25). The "six thousand of gold" mentioned in the transaction
between Naaman and Gehazi (2 Kings 5:5) were probably so many
shekels of gold. The "piece of money" mentioned in Job 42:11;
Gen. 33:19 (marg., "lambs") was the Hebrew "kesitah", probably
an uncoined piece of silver of a certain weight in the form of a
sheep or lamb, or perhaps having on it such an impression. The
same Hebrew word is used in Josh. 24:32, which is rendered by
Wickliffe "an hundred yonge scheep."
son of contention, one of Job's friends. He is called "the
Shuhite," probably as belonging to Shuah, a district in Arabia,
in which Shuah, the sixth son of Abraham by Keturah, settled
(Gen. 25:2). He took part in each of the three controversies
into which Job's friends entered with him (Job 8:1; 18:1; 25:1),
and delivered three speeches, very severe and stern in their
tone, although less violent than those of Zophar, but more so
than those of Eliphaz.
a mode of showing respect. Abraham "bowed himself to the people
of the land" (Gen. 23:7); so Jacob to Esau (Gen. 33:3); and the
brethren of Joseph before him as the governor of the land (Gen.
43:28). Bowing is also frequently mentioned as an act of
adoration to idols (Josh. 23:7; 2 Kings 5:18; Judg. 2:19; Isa.
44:15), and to God (Josh. 5:14; Ps. 22:29; 72:9; Micah 6:6; Ps.
95:6; Eph. 3:14).
an archer, teacher; fruitful. (1.) A Canaanite probably who
inhabited the district south of Shechem, between Mounts Ebal and
Gerizim, and gave his name to the "plain" there (Gen. 12:6).
Here at this "plain," or rather (R.V.) "oak," of Moreh, Abraham
built his first altar in the land of Israel; and here the
Lord appeared unto him. He afterwards left this plain and moved
southward, and pitched his tent between Bethel on the west and
Hai on the east (Gen. 12:7, 8).
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).
the art of, was early practised among all nations. Various
materials seem to have been employed by the potter. Earthenware
is mentioned in connection with the history of Melchizedek (Gen.
14:18), of Abraham (18:4-8), of Rebekah (27:14), of Rachel
(29:2, 3, 8, 10). The potter's wheel is mentioned by Jeremiah
(18:3). See also 1 Chr. 4:23; Ps. 2:9; Isa. 45:9; 64:8; Jer.
19:1; Lam. 4:2; Zech. 11:13; Rom. 9:21.
the devoting or setting apart of anything to the worship or
service of God. The race of Abraham and the tribe of Levi were
thus consecrated (Ex. 13:2, 12, 15; Num. 3:12). The Hebrews
devoted their fields and cattle, and sometimes the spoils of
war, to the Lord (Lev. 27:28, 29). According to the Mosaic law
the first-born both of man and beast were consecrated to God.
In the New Testament, Christians are regarded as consecrated
to the Lord (1 Pet. 2:9).
cutting around. This rite, practised before, as some think, by
divers races, was appointed by God to be the special badge of
his chosen people, an abiding sign of their consecration to him.
It was established as a national ordinance (Gen. 17:10, 11). In
compliance with the divine command, Abraham, though ninety-nine
years of age, was circumcised on the same day with Ishmael, who
was thirteen years old (17:24-27). Slaves, whether home-born or
purchased, were circumcised (17:12, 13); and all foreigners must
have their males circumcised before they could enjoy the
privileges of Jewish citizenship (Ex. 12:48). During the journey
through the wilderness, the practice of circumcision fell into
disuse, but was resumed by the command of Joshua before they
entered the Promised Land (Josh. 5:2-9). It was observed always
afterwards among the tribes of israel, although it is not
expressly mentioned from the time of the settlement in Canaan
till the time of Christ, about 1,450 years. The Jews prided
themselves in the possession of this covenant distinction (Judg.
14:3; 15:18; 1 Sam. 14:6; 17:26; 2 Sam. 1:20; Ezek. 31:18).
As a rite of the church it ceased when the New Testament times
began (Gal. 6:15; Col. 3:11). Some Jewish Christians sought to
impose it, however, on the Gentile converts; but this the
apostles resolutely resisted (Acts 15:1; Gal. 6:12). Our Lord
was circumcised, for it "became him to fulfil all
righteousness," as of the seed of Abraham, according to the
flesh; and Paul "took and circumcised" Timothy (Acts 16:3), to
avoid giving offence to the Jews. It would render Timothy's
labors more acceptable to the Jews. But Paul would by no means
consent to the demand that Titus should be circumcised (Gal.
2:3-5). The great point for which he contended was the free
admission of uncircumcised Gentiles into the church. He
contended successfully in behalf of Titus, even in Jerusalem.
In the Old Testament a spiritual idea is attached to
circumcision. It was the symbol of purity (Isa. 52:1). We read
of uncircumcised lips (Ex. 6:12, 30), ears (Jer. 6:10), hearts
(Lev. 26:41). The fruit of a tree that is unclean is spoken of
as uncircumcised (Lev. 19:23).
It was a sign and seal of the covenant of grace as well as of
the national covenant between God and the Hebrews. (1.) It
sealed the promises made to Abraham, which related to the
commonwealth of Israel, national promises. (2.) But the promises
made to Abraham included the promise of redemption (Gal. 3:14),
a promise which has come upon us. The covenant with Abraham was
a dispensation or a specific form of the covenant of grace, and
circumcision was a sign and seal of that covenant. It had a
spiritual meaning. It signified purification of the heart,
inward circumcision effected by the Spirit (Deut. 10:16; 30:6;
Ezek. 44:7; Acts 7:51; Rom. 2:28; Col. 2:11). Circumcision as a
symbol shadowing forth sanctification by the Holy Spirit has now
given way to the symbol of baptism (q.v.). But the truth
embodied in both ordinances is ever the same, the removal of
sin, the sanctifying effects of grace in the heart.
Under the Jewish dispensation, church and state were
identical. No one could be a member of the one without also
being a member of the other. Circumcision was a sign and seal of
membership in both. Every circumcised person bore thereby
evidence that he was one of the chosen people, a member of the
church of God as it then existed, and consequently also a member
of the Jewish commonwealth.
a name employed in the New Testament with reference to Abraham
(Heb. 7:4), the sons of Jacob (Acts 7:8, 9), and to David
(2:29). This name is generally applied to the progenitors of
families or "heads of the fathers" (Josh. 14:1) mentioned in
Scripture, and they are spoken of as antediluvian (from Adam to
Noah) and post-diluvian (from Noah to Jacob) patriachs. But the
expression "the patriarch," by way of eminence, is applied to
the twelve sons of Jacob, or to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
"Patriachal longevity presents itself as one of the most
striking of the facts concerning mankind which the early history
of the Book of Genesis places before us...There is a large
amount of consentient tradition to the effect that the life of
man was originally far more prolonged than it is at present,
extending to at least several hundred years. The Babylonians,
Egyptians, and Chinese exaggerated these hundreds into
thousands. The Greeks and Romans, with more moderation, limited
human life within a thousand or eight hundred years. The Hindus
still farther shortened the term. Their books taught that in the
first age of the world man was free from diseases, and lived
ordinarily four hundred years; in the second age the term of
life was reduced from four hundred to three hundred; in the
third it became two hundred; in the fourth and last it was
brought down to one hundred" (Rawlinson's Historical
Grain reduced to the form of meal is spoken of in the time of
Abraham (Gen. 18:6). As baking was a daily necessity, grain was
also ground daily at the mills (Jer. 25:10). The flour mingled
with water was kneaded in kneading-troughs, and sometimes leaven
(Ex. 12:34) was added and sometimes omitted (Gen. 19:3). The
dough was then formed into thin cakes nine or ten inches in
diameter and baked in the oven.
Fine flour was offered by the poor as a sin-offering (Lev.
5:11-13), and also in connection with other sacrifices (Num.
(= Khudur-Lagamar of the inscriptions), king of Elam. Many
centuries before the age of Abraham, Canaan and even the
Sinaitic peninsula had been conquered by Babylonian kings, and
in the time of Abraham himself Babylonia was ruled by a dynasty
which claimed sovereignity over Syria and Israel. The kings
of the dynasty bore names which were not Babylonian, but at once
South Arabic and Hebrew. The most famous king of the dynasty was
Khammu-rabi, who united Babylonia under one rule, and made
Babylon its capital. When he ascended the throne, the country
was under the suzerainty of the Elamites, and was divided into
two kingdoms, that of Babylon (the Biblical Shinar) and that of
Larsa (the Biblical Ellasar). The king of Larsa was Eri-Aku
("the servant of the moon-god"), the son of an Elamite prince,
Kudur-Mabug, who is entitled "the father of the land of the
Amorites." A recently discovered tablet enumerates among the
enemies of Khammu-rabi, Kudur-Lagamar ("the servant of the
goddess Lagamar") or Chedorlaomer, Eri-Aku or Arioch, and
Tudkhula or Tidal. Khammu-rabi, whose name is also read
Ammi-rapaltu or Amraphel by some scholars, succeeded in
overcoming Eri-Aku and driving the Elamites out of Babylonia.
Assur-bani-pal, the last of the Assyrian conquerors, mentions in
two inscriptions that he took Susa 1635 years after
Kedor-nakhunta, king of Elam, had conquered Babylonia. It was in
the year B.C. 660 that Assur-bani-pal took Susa.
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.
a name; renown, the first mentioned of the sons of Noah (Gen.
5:32; 6:10). He was probably the eldest of Noah's sons. The
words "brother of Japheth the elder" in Gen. 10:21 are more
correctly rendered "the elder brother of Japheth," as in the
Revised Version. Shem's name is generally mentioned first in the
list of Noah's sons. He and his wife were saved in the ark
(7:13). Noah foretold his preeminence over Canaan (9:23-27). He
died at the age of six hundred years, having been for many years
contemporary with Abraham, according to the usual chronology.
The Israelitish nation sprang from him (Gen. 11:10-26; 1 Chr.
Siddim, Vale of
valley of the broad plains, "which is the salt sea" (Gen. 14:3,
8, 10), between Engedi and the cities of the plain, at the south
end of the Dead Sea. It was "full of slime-pits" (R.V., "bitumen
pits"). Here Chedorlaomer and the confederate kings overthrew
the kings of Sodom and the cities of the plain. God afterwards,
on account of their wickedness, "overthrew those cities, and all
the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities;" and the smoke
of their destruction "went up as the smoke of a furnace"
(19:24-28), and was visible from Mamre, where Abraham dwelt.
Some, however, contend that the "cities of the plain" were
somewhere at the north of the Dead Sea. (See SODOM T0003469.)
gloom. (1.) One of the five sons of Midian, and grandson of
Abraham (Gen. 25:4). The city of Ephah, to which he gave his
name, is mentioned Isa. 60:6, 7. This city, with its surrounding
territory, formed part of Midian, on the east shore of the Dead
Sea. It abounded in dromedaries and camels (Judg. 6:5).
(2.) 1 Chr. 2:46, a concubine of Caleb.
(3.) 1 Chr. 2:47, a descendant of Judah.
Ephah, a word of Egyptian origin, meaning measure; a grain
measure containing "three seahs or ten omers," and equivalent to
the bath for liquids (Ex. 16:36; 1 Sam. 17:17; Zech. 5:6). The
double ephah in Prov. 20:10 (marg., "an ephah and an ephah"),
Deut. 25:14, means two ephahs, the one false and the other just.
laughter. (1) Israel, or the kingdom of the ten tribes (Amos
(2.) The only son of Abraham by Sarah. He was the longest
lived of the three patriarchs (Gen. 21:1-3). He was circumcised
when eight days old (4-7); and when he was probably two years
old a great feast was held in connection with his being weaned.
The next memorable event in his life is that connected with
the command of God given to Abraham to offer him up as a
sacrifice on a mountain in the land of Moriah (Gen. 22). (See
ABRAHAM T0000055.) When he was forty years of age Rebekah was
chosen for his wife (Gen. 24). After the death and burial of his
father he took up his residence at Beer-lahai-roi (25:7-11),
where his two sons, Esau and Jacob, were born (21-26), the
former of whom seems to have been his favourite son (27,28).
In consequence of a famine (Gen. 26:1) Isaac went to Gerar,
where he practised deception as to his relation to Rebekah,
imitating the conduct of his father in Egypt (12:12-20) and in
Gerar (20:2). The Philistine king rebuked him for his
After sojourning for some time in the land of the Philistines,
he returned to Beersheba, where God gave him fresh assurance of
covenant blessing, and where Abimelech entered into a covenant
of peace with him.
The next chief event in his life was the blessing of his sons
(Gen. 27:1). He died at Mamre, "being old and full of days"
(35:27-29), one hundred and eighty years old, and was buried in
the cave of Machpelah.
In the New Testament reference is made to his having been
"offered up" by his father (Heb. 11:17; James 2:21), and to his
blessing his sons (Heb. 11:20). As the child of promise, he is
contrasted with Ishmael (Rom. 9:7, 10; Gal. 4:28; Heb. 11:18).
Isaac is "at once a counterpart of his father in simple
devoutness and purity of life, and a contrast in his passive
weakness of character, which in part, at least, may have sprung
from his relations to his mother and wife. After the expulsion
of Ishmael and Hagar, Isaac had no competitor, and grew up in
the shade of Sarah's tent, moulded into feminine softness by
habitual submission to her strong, loving will." His life was so
quiet and uneventful that it was spent "within the circle of a
few miles; so guileless that he let Jacob overreach him rather
than disbelieve his assurance; so tender that his mother's death
was the poignant sorrow of years; so patient and gentle that
peace with his neighbours was dearer than even such a coveted
possession as a well of living water dug by his own men; so
grandly obedient that he put his life at his father's disposal;
so firm in his reliance on God that his greatest concern through
life was to honour the divine promise given to his race.",
Geikie's Hours, etc.
(Heb. goral, a "pebble"), a small stone used in casting lots
(Num. 33:54; Jonah 1:7). The lot was always resorted to by the
Hebrews with strictest reference to the interposition of God,
and as a method of ascertaining the divine will (Prov. 16:33),
and in serious cases of doubt (Esther 3:7). Thus the lot was
used at the division of the land of Canaan among the serveral
tribes (Num. 26:55; 34:13), at the detection of Achan (Josh.
7:14, 18), the election of Saul to be king (1 Sam. 10:20, 21),
the distribution of the priestly offices of the temple service
(1 Chr. 24:3, 5, 19; Luke 1:9), and over the two goats at the
feast of Atonement (Lev. 16:8). Matthias, who was "numbered with
the eleven" (Acts 1:24-26), was chosen by lot.
This word also denotes a portion or an inheritance (Josh.
15:1; Ps. 125:3; Isa. 17:4), and a destiny, as assigned by God
(Ps. 16:5; Dan. 12:13).
Lot, (Heb. lot), a covering; veil, the son of Haran, and
nephew of Abraham (Gen. 11:27). On the death of his father, he
was left in charge of his grandfather Terah (31), after whose
death he accompanied his uncle Abraham into Canaan (12:5),
thence into Egypt (10), and back again to Canaan (13:1). After
this he separated from him and settled in Sodom (13:5-13). There
his righteous soul was "vexed" from day to day (2 Pet. 2:7), and
he had great cause to regret this act. Not many years after the
separation he was taken captive by Chedorlaomer, and was rescued
by Abraham (Gen. 14). At length, when the judgment of God
descended on the guilty cities of the plain (Gen. 19:1-20), Lot
was miraculously delivered. When fleeing from the doomed city
his wife "looked back from behind him, and became a pillar of
salt." There is to this day a peculiar crag at the south end of
the Dead Sea, near Kumran, which the Arabs call Bint Sheik Lot,
i.e., Lot's wife. It is "a tall, isolated needle of rock, which
really does bear a curious resemblance to an Arab woman with a
child upon her shoulder." From the words of warning in Luke
17:32, "Remember Lot's wife," it would seem as if she had gone
back, or tarried so long behind in the desire to save some of
her goods, that she became involved in the destruction which
fell on the city, and became a stiffened corpse, fixed for a
time in the saline incrustations. She became "a pillar of salt",
i.e., as some think, of asphalt. (See SALT T0003196.)
Lot and his daughters sought refuge first in Zoar, and then,
fearing to remain there longer, retired to a cave in the
neighbouring mountains (Gen. 19:30). Lot has recently been
connected with the people called on the Egyptian monuments
Rotanu or Lotanu, who is supposed to have been the hero of the
Edomite tribe Lotan.
bunch; brave. (1.) A young Amoritish chief who joined Abraham in
the recovery of Lot from the hands of Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:13,
(2.) A valley in which the spies obtained a fine cluster of
grapes (Num. 13:23, 24; "the brook Eshcol," A.V.; "the valley of
Eshcol," R.V.), which they took back with them to the camp of
Israel as a specimen of the fruits of the Promised Land. On
their way back they explored the route which led into the south
(the Negeb) by the western edge of the mountains at Telilat
el-'Anab, i.e., "grape-mounds", near Beersheba. "In one of these
extensive valleys, perhaps in Wady Hanein, where miles of
grape-mounds even now meet the eye, they cut the gigantic
clusters of grapes, and gathered the pomegranates and figs, to
show how goodly was the land which the Lord had promised for
their inheritance.", Palmer's Desert of the Exodus.
The first mentioned in Scripture was so grievous as to compel
Abraham to go down to the land of Egypt (Gen. 26:1). Another is
mentioned as having occurred in the days of Isaac, causing him
to go to Gerar (Gen. 26:1, 17). But the most remarkable of all
was that which arose in Egypt in the days of Joseph, which
lasted for seven years (Gen. 41-45).
Famines were sent as an effect of God's anger against a guilty
people (2 Kings 8:1, 2; Amos 8:11; Deut. 28:22-42; 2 Sam. 21:1;
2 Kings 6:25-28; 25:3; Jer. 14:15; 19:9; 42:17, etc.). A famine
was predicted by Agabus (Acts 11:28). Josephus makes mention of
the famine which occurred A.D. 45. Helena, queen of Adiabene,
being at Jerusalem at that time, procured corn from Alexandria
and figs from Cyprus for its poor inhabitants.
an eminence, natural or artificial, where worship by sacrifice
or offerings was made (1 Kings 13:32; 2 Kings 17:29). The first
altar after the Flood was built on a mountain (Gen. 8:20).
Abraham also built an altar on a mountain (12:7, 8). It was on a
mountain in Gilead that Laban and Jacob offered sacrifices
(31:54). After the Israelites entered the Promised Land they
were strictly enjoined to overthrow the high places of the
Canaanites (Ex. 34:13; Deut. 7:5; 12:2, 3), and they were
forbidden to worship the Lord on high places (Deut. 12:11-14),
and were enjoined to use but one altar for sacrifices (Lev.
17:3, 4; Deut. 12; 16:21). The injunction against high places
was, however, very imperfectly obeyed, and we find again and
again mention made of them (2 Kings 14:4; 15:4, 35:2 Chr. 15:17,
for grinding corn, mentioned as used in the time of Abraham
(Gen. 18:6). That used by the Hebrews consisted of two circular
stones, each 2 feet in diameter and half a foot thick, the lower
of which was called the "nether millstone" (Job 41:24) and the
upper the "rider." The upper stone was turned round by a stick
fixed in it as a handle. There were then no public mills, and
thus each family required to be provided with a hand-mill. The
corn was ground daily, generally by the women of the house (Isa.
47:1, 2; Matt. 24:41). It was with the upper stone of a
hand-mill that "a certain woman" at Thebez broke Abimelech's
skull (Judg. 9:53, "a piece of a millstone;" literally, "a
millstone rider", i.e., the "runner," the stone which revolves.
Compare 2 Sam. 11:21). Millstones could not be pledged (Deut.
24:6), as they were necessary in every family.
(an old name for the lime-tree, the tilia), Isa. 6:13, the
terebinth, or turpentine-tree, the Pistacia terebinthus of
botanists. The Hebrew word here used (elah) is rendered oak
(q.v.) in Gen. 35:4; Judg. 6:11, 19; Isa. 1:29, etc. In Isa.
61:3 it is rendered in the plural "trees;" Hos. 4:13, "elm"
(R.V., "terebinth"). Hos. 4:13, "elm" (R.V., "terebinth"). In 1
Sam. 17:2, 19 it is taken as a proper name, "Elah" (R.V. marg.,
"The terebinth of Mamre, or its lineal successor, remained
from the days of Abraham till the fourth century of the
Christian era, and on its site Constantine erected a Christian
church, the ruins of which still remain."
This tree "is seldom seen in clumps or groves, never in
forests, but stands isolated and weird-like in some bare ravine
or on a hill-side where nothing else towers above the low
There are numerous natural caves among the limestone rocks of
Syria, many of which have been artificially enlarged for various
The first notice of a cave occurs in the history of Lot (Gen.
The next we read of is the cave of Machpelah (q.v.), which
Abraham purchased from the sons of Heth (Gen. 25:9, 10). It was
the burying-place of Sarah and of Abraham himself, also of
Isaac, Rebekah, Leah, and Jacob (Gen. 49:31; 50:13).
The cave of Makkedah, into which the five Amorite kings
retired after their defeat by Joshua (10:16, 27).
The cave of Adullam (q.v.), an immense natural cavern, where
David hid himself from Saul (1 Sam. 22:1, 2).
The cave of Engedi (q.v.), now called 'Ain Jidy, i.e., the
"Fountain of the Kid", where David cut off the skirt of Saul's
robe (24:4). Here he also found a shelter for himself and his
followers to the number of 600 (23:29; 24:1). "On all sides the
country is full of caverns which might serve as lurking-places
for David and his men, as they do for outlaws at the present
The cave in which Obadiah hid the prophets (1 Kings 18:4) was
probably in the north, but it cannot be identified.
The cave of Elijah (1 Kings 19:9), and the "cleft" of Moses on
Horeb (Ex. 33:22), cannot be determined.
In the time of Gideon the Israelites took refuge from the
Midianites in dens and caves, such as abounded in the mountain
regions of Manasseh (Judg. 6:2).
Caves were frequently used as dwelling-places (Num. 24:21;
Cant. 2:14; Jer. 49:16; Obad. 1:3). "The excavations at Deir
Dubban, on the south side of the wady leading to Santa Hanneh,
are probably the dwellings of the Horites," the ancient
inhabitants of Idumea Proper. The pits or cavities in rocks were
also sometimes used as prisons (Isa. 24:22; 51:14; Zech. 9:11).
Those which had niches in their sides were occupied as
burying-places (Ezek. 32:23; John 11:38).
the descendants of Anak (Josh. 11:21; Num. 13:33; Deut. 9:2).
They dwelt in the south of Israel, in the neighbourhood of
Hebron (Gen. 23:2; Josh. 15:13). In the days of Abraham (Gen.
14:5, 6) they inhabited the region afterwards known as Edom and
Moab, east of the Jordan. They were probably a remnant of the
original inhabitants of Israel before the Canaanites, a
Cushite tribe from Babel, and of the same race as the
Phoenicians and the Egyptian shepherd kings. Their formidable
warlike appearance, as described by the spies sent to search the
land, filled the Israelites with terror. They seem to have
identified them with the Nephilim, the "giants" (Gen. 6:4; Num.
13:33) of the antediluvian age. There were various tribes of
Anakim (Josh. 15:14). Joshua finally expelled them from the
land, except a remnant that found a refuge in the cities of
Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod (Josh. 11:22). The Philistine giants whom
David encountered (2 Sam. 21:15-22) were descendants of the
Anakim. (See GIANTS T0001474.)
in the Bible denotes a female conjugally united to a man, but in
a relation inferior to that of a wife. Among the early Jews,
from various causes, the difference between a wife and a
concubine was less marked than it would be amongst us. The
concubine was a wife of secondary rank. There are various laws
recorded providing for their protection (Ex. 21:7; Deut.
21:10-14), and setting limits to the relation they sustained to
the household to which they belonged (Gen. 21:14; 25:6). They
had no authority in the family, nor could they share in the
The immediate cause of concubinage might be gathered from the
conjugal histories of Abraham and Jacob (Gen. 16;30). But in
process of time the custom of concubinage degenerated, and laws
were made to restrain and regulate it (Ex. 21:7-9).
Christianity has restored the sacred institution of marriage
to its original character, and concubinage is ranked with the
sins of fornication and adultery (Matt. 19:5-9; 1 Cor. 7:2).
portion; double cave, the cave which Abraham bought, together
with the field in which it stood, from Ephron the Hittite, for a
family burying-place (Gen. 23). It is one of those Bible
localities about the identification of which there can be no
doubt. It was on the slope of a hill on the east of Hebron,
"before Mamre." Here were laid the bodies of Abraham and Sarah,
Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah (Gen. 23:19; 25:9; 49:31;
50:13). Over the cave an ancient Christian church was erected,
probably in the time of Justinian, the Roman emperor. This
church has been converted into a Mohammedan mosque. The whole is
surrounded by the el-Haram i.e., "the sacred enclosure," about
200 feet long, 115 broad, and of an average height of about 50.
This building, from the immense size of some of its stones, and
the manner in which they are fitted together, is supposed by
some to have been erected in the days of David or of Solomon,
while others ascribe it to the time of Herod. It is looked upon
as the most ancient and finest relic of Jewish architecture.
On the floor of the mosque are erected six large cenotaphs as
monuments to the dead who are buried in the cave beneath.
Between the cenotaphs of Isaac and Rebekah there is a circular
opening in the floor into the cavern below, the cave of
Machpelah. Here it may be that the body of Jacob, which was
embalmed in Egypt, is still preserved (much older embalmed
bodies have recently been found in the cave of Deir el-Bahari in
Egypt, see PHARAOH T0002923), though those of the others there
buried may have long ago mouldered into dust. The interior of
the mosque was visited by the Prince of Wales in 1862 by a
special favour of the Mohammedan authorities. An interesting
account of this visit is given in Dean Stanley's Lectures on the
Jewish Church. It was also visited in 1866 by the Marquis of
Bute, and in 1869 by the late Emperor (Frederick) of Germany,
then the Crown Prince of Prussia. In 1881 it was visited by the
two sons of the Prince of Wales, accompanied by Sir C. Wilson
and others. (See Israel Quarterly Statement, October 1882).
God his help. (1.) "Of Damascus," the "steward" (R.V.,
"possessor") of Abraham's house (Gen. 15:2, 3). It was probably
he who headed the embassy sent by Abraham to the old home of his
family in Padan-aram to seek a wife for his son Isaac. The
account of this embassy is given at length in Gen. 24.
(2.) The son of Becher, and grandson of Benjamin (1 Chr. 7:8).
(3.) One of the two sons of Moses, born during his sojourn in
Midian (Ex. 18:4; 1 Chr. 23:15, 17). He remained with his mother
and brother Gershom with Jethro when Moses returned to Egypt.
(Ex. 18:4). They were restored to Moses when Jethro heard of his
departure out of Egypt.
(4.) One of the priests who blew the trumpet before the ark
when it was brought to Jerusalem (1 Chr. 15:24).
(5.) Son of Zichri, and chief of the Reubenites under David (1
(6.) A prophet in the time of Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 20:37).
Others of this name are mentioned Luke 3:29; Ezra 8:16; 10:18,
well of the oath, or well of seven, a well dug by Abraham, and
so named because he and Abimelech here entered into a compact
(Gen. 21:31). On re-opening it, Isaac gave it the same name
(Gen. 26:31-33). It was a favourite place of abode of both of
these patriarchs (21:33-22:1, 19; 26:33; 28:10). It is mentioned
among the "cities" given to the tribe of Simeon (Josh. 19:2; 1
Chr. 4:28). From Dan to Beersheba, a distance of about 144 miles
(Judg. 20:1; 1 Chr. 21:2; 2 Sam. 24:2), became the usual way of
designating the whole Promised Land, and passed into a proverb.
After the return from the Captivity the phrase is narrowed into
"from Beersheba unto the valley of Hinnom" (Neh. 11:30). The
kingdom of the ten tribes extended from Beersheba to Mount
Ephraim (2 Chr. 19:4). The name is not found in the New
Testament. It is still called by the Arabs Bir es-Seba, i.e.,
"well of the seven", where there are to the present day two
principal wells and five smaller ones. It is nearly midway
between the southern end of the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean.
Gen. 2:4, "These are the generations," means the "history." 5:1,
"The book of the generations," means a family register, or
history of Adam. 37:2, "The generations of Jacob" = the history
of Jacob and his descendants. 7:1, "In this generation" = in
this age. Ps. 49:19, "The generation of his fathers" = the
dwelling of his fathers, i.e., the grave. Ps. 73:15, "The
generation of thy children" = the contemporary race. Isa. 53:8,
"Who shall declare his generation?" = His manner of life who
shall declare? or rather = His race, posterity, shall be so
numerous that no one shall be able to declare it.
In Matt. 1:17, the word means a succession or series of
persons from the same stock. Matt. 3:7, "Generation of vipers" =
brood of vipers. 24:34, "This generation" = the persons then
living contemporary with Christ. 1 Pet. 2:9, "A chosen
generation" = a chosen people.
The Hebrews seem to have reckoned time by the generation. In
the time of Abraham a generation was an hundred years, thus:
Gen. 15:16, "In the fourth generation" = in four hundred years
(compare verse 13 and Ex. 12:40). In Deut. 1:35 and 2:14 a
generation is a period of thirty-eight years.
(1.) Heb. haran; i.e., "mountaineer." The eldest son of Terah,
brother of Abraham and Nahor, and father of Lot, Milcah, and
Iscah. He died before his father (Gen. 11:27), in Ur of the
(2.) Heb. haran, i.e., "parched;" or probably from the
Accadian charana, meaning "a road." A celebrated city of Western
Asia, now Harran, where Abram remained, after he left Ur of the
Chaldees, till his father Terah died (Gen. 11:31, 32), when he
continued his journey into the land of Canaan. It is called
"Charran" in the LXX. and in Acts 7:2. It is called the "city of
Nahor" (Gen. 24:10), and Jacob resided here with Laban (30:43).
It stood on the river Belik, an affluent of the Euphrates, about
70 miles above where it joins that river in Upper Mesopotamia or
Padan-aram, and about 600 miles northwest of Ur in a direct
line. It was on the caravan route between the east and west. It
is afterwards mentioned among the towns taken by the king of
Assyria (2 Kings 19:12; Isa. 37:12). It was known to the Greeks
and Romans under the name Carrhae.
(3.) The son of Caleb of Judah (1 Chr. 2:46) by his concubine
(1.) Hebrew halabh, "new milk", milk in its fresh state (Judg.
4:19). It is frequently mentioned in connection with honey (Ex.
3:8; 13:5; Josh. 5:6; Isa. 7:15, 22; Jer. 11:5). Sheep (Deut.
32:14) and goats (Prov. 27:27) and camels (Gen. 32:15), as well
as cows, are made to give their milk for the use of man. Milk is
used figuratively as a sign of abundance (Gen. 49:12; Ezek.
25:4; Joel 3:18). It is also a symbol of the rudiments of
doctrine (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, 13), and of the unadulterated
word of God (1 Pet. 2:2).
(2.) Heb. hem'ah, always rendered "butter" in the Authorized
Version. It means "butter," but also more frequently "cream," or
perhaps, as some think, "curdled milk," such as that which
Abraham set before the angels (Gen. 18:8), and which Jael gave
to Sisera (Judg. 5:25). In this state milk was used by
travellers (2 Sam. 17:29). If kept long enough, it acquired a
slightly intoxicating or soporific power.
This Hebrew word is also sometimes used for milk in general
(Deut. 32:14; Job 20:17).
are of different varieties. Probably the flocks of Abraham and
Isaac were of the wild species found still in the mountain
regions of Persia and Kurdistan. After the Exodus, and as a
result of intercourse with surrounding nations, other species
were no doubt introduced into the herds of the people of Israel.
They are frequently mentioned in Scripture. The care of a
shepherd over his flock is referred to as illustrating God's
care over his people (Ps. 23:1, 2; 74:1; 77:20; Isa. 40:11;
53:6; John 10:1-5, 7-16).
"The sheep of Israel are longer in the head than ours, and
have tails from 5 inches broad at the narrowest part to 15
inches at the widest, the weight being in proportion, and
ranging generally from 10 to 14 lbs., but sometimes extending to
30 lbs. The tails are indeed huge masses of fat" (Geikie's Holy
Land, etc.). The tail was no doubt the "rump" so frequently
referred to in the Levitical sacrifices (Ex. 29:22; Lev. 3:9;
7:3; 9:19). Sheep-shearing was generally an occasion of great
festivity (Gen. 31:19; 38:12, 13; 1 Sam. 25:4-8, 36; 2 Sam.
the language of the Hebrew nation, and that in which the Old
Testament is written, with the exception of a few portions in
Chaldee. In the Old Testament it is only spoken of as "Jewish"
(2 Kings 18:26, 28; Isa. 36:11, 13; 2 Chr 32:18). This name is
first used by the Jews in times subsequent to the close of the
It is one of the class of languages called Semitic, because
they were chiefly spoken among the descendants of Shem.
When Abraham entered Canaan it is obvious that he found the
language of its inhabitants closely allied to his own. Isaiah
(19:18) calls it "the language of Canaan." Whether this
language, as seen in the earliest books of the Old Testament,
was the very dialect which Abraham brought with him into Canaan,
or whether it was the common tongue of the Canaanite nations
which he only adopted, is uncertain; probably the latter opinion
is the correct one. For the thousand years between Moses and the
Babylonian exile the Hebrew language underwent little or no
modification. It preserves all through a remarkable uniformity
of structure. From the first it appears in its full maturity of
development. But through intercourse with Damascus, Assyria, and
Babylon, from the time of David, and more particularly from the
period of the Exile, it comes under the influence of the Aramaic
idiom, and this is seen in the writings which date from this
period. It was never spoken in its purity by the Jews after
their return from Babylon. They now spoke Hebrew with a large
admixture of Aramaic or Chaldee, which latterly became the
predominant element in the national language.
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has only about six thousand
words, all derived from about five hundred roots. Hence the same
word has sometimes a great variety of meanings. So long as it
was a living language, and for ages after, only the consonants
of the words were written. This also has been a source of
difficulty in interpreting certain words, for the meaning varies
according to the vowels which may be supplied. The Hebrew is one
of the oldest languages of which we have any knowledge. It is
essentially identical with the Phoenician language. (See MOABITE
STONE T0002586.) The Semitic languages, to which class the
Hebrew and Phoenician belonged, were spoken over a very wide
area: in Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Israel and Arabia, in
all the countries from the Mediterranean to the borders of
Assyria, and from the mountains of Armenia to the Indian Ocean.
The rounded form of the letters, as seen in the Moabite stone,
was probably that in which the ancient Hebrew was written down
to the time of the Exile, when the present square or Chaldean
form was adopted.
a tribe that dwelt in Arabia Petraea, between the Dead Sea and
the Red Sea. They were not the descendants of Amalek, the son of
Eliphaz, for they existed in the days of Abraham (Gen. 14:7).
They were probably a tribe that migrated from the shores of the
Persian Gulf and settled in Arabia. "They dwelt in the land of
the south...from Havilah until thou comest to Shur" (Num. 13:29;
1 Sam. 15:7). They were a pastoral, and hence a nomadic race.
Their kings bore the hereditary name of Agag (Num. 24:7; 1 Sam.
15:8). They attempted to stop the Israelites when they marched
through their territory (Deut. 25:18), attacking them at
Rephidim (Ex. 17:8-13; compare Deut. 25:17; 1 Sam. 15:2). They
afterwards attacked the Israelites at Hormah (Num. 14:45). We
read of them subsequently as in league with the Moabites (Judg.
3:13) and the Midianites (Judg. 6:3). Saul finally desolated
their territory and destroyed their power (1 Sam. 14:48; 15:3),
and David recovered booty from them (1 Sam. 30:18-20). In the
Babylonian inscriptions they are called Sute, in those of Egypt
Sittiu, and the Amarna tablets include them under the general
name of Khabbati, or "plunderers."
Exodus, Book of
Exodus is the name given in the LXX. to the second book of the
Pentateuch (q.v.). It means "departure" or "outgoing." This name
was adopted in the Latin translation, and thence passed into
other languages. The Hebrews called it by the first words,
according to their custom, Ve-eleh shemoth (i.e., "and these are
It contains, (1.) An account of the increase and growth of the
Israelites in Egypt (ch. 1) (2.) Preparations for their
departure out of Egypt (2-12:36). (3.) Their journeyings from
Egypt to Sinai (12:37-19:2). (4.) The giving of the law and the
establishment of the institutions by which the organization of
the people was completed, the theocracy, "a kingdom of priest
and an holy nation" (19:3-ch. 40).
The time comprised in this book, from the death of Joseph to
the erection of the tabernacle in the wilderness, is about one
hundred and forty-five years, on the supposition that the four
hundred and thirty years (12:40) are to be computed from the
time of the promises made to Abraham (Gal. 3:17).
The authorship of this book, as well as of that of the other
books of the Pentateuch, is to be ascribed to Moses. The
unanimous voice of tradition and all internal evidences
abundantly support this opinion.
a community; alliance. (1.) A city in the south end of the
valley of Eshcol, about midway between Jerusalem and Beersheba,
from which it is distant about 20 miles in a straight line. It
was built "seven years before Zoan in Egypt" (Gen. 13:18; Num.
13:22). It still exists under the same name, and is one of the
most ancient cities in the world. Its earlier name was
Kirjath-arba (Gen. 23:2; Josh. 14:15; 15:3). But "Hebron would
appear to have been the original name of the city, and it was
not till after Abraham's stay there that it received the name
Kirjath-arba, who [i.e., Arba] was not the founder but the
conqueror of the city, having led thither the tribe of the
Anakim, to which he belonged. It retained this name till it came
into the possession of Caleb, when the Israelites restored the
original name Hebron" (Keil, Com.). The name of this city does
not occur in any of the prophets or in the New Testament. It is
found about forty times in the Old. It was the favorite home of
Abraham. Here he pitched his tent under the oaks of Mamre, by
which name it came afterwards to be known; and here Sarah died,
and was buried in the cave of Machpelah (Gen. 23:17-20), which
he bought from Ephron the Hittite. From this place the patriarch
departed for Egypt by way of Beersheba (37:14; 46:1). It was
taken by Joshua and given to Caleb (Josh. 10:36, 37; 12:10;
14:13). It became a Levitical city and a city of refuge (20:7;
21:11). When David became king of Judah this was his royal
residence, and he resided here for seven and a half years (2
Sam. 5:5); and here he was anointed as king over all Israel (2
Sam. 2:1-4, 11; 1 Kings 2:11). It became the residence also of
the rebellious Absalom (2 Sam. 15:10), who probably expected to
find his chief support in the tribe of Judah, now called
In one part of the modern city is a great mosque, which is
built over the grave of Machpelah. The first European who was
permitted to enter this mosque was the Prince of Wales in 1862.
It was also visited by the Marquis of Bute in 1866, and by the
late Emperor Frederick of Germany (then Crown-Prince of Prussia)
One of the largest oaks in Israel is found in the valley of
Eshcol, about 3 miles north of the town. It is supposed by some
to be the tree under which Abraham pitched his tent, and is
called "Abraham's oak." (See OAK T0002758.)
(2.) The third son of Kohath the Levite (Ex. 6:18; 1 Chr. 6:2,
(3.) 1 Chr. 2:42, 43.
(4.) A town in the north border of Asher (Josh. 19:28).
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.
a treaty between nations, or between individuals, for their
Abraham formed an alliance with some of the Canaanite
princes (Gen. 14:13), also with Abimelech (21:22-32). Joshua and
the elders of Israel entered into an alliance with the
Gibeonites (Josh. 9:3-27). When the Israelites entered Israel
they were forbidden to enter into alliances with the inhabitants
of the country (Lev. 18:3, 4; 20:22, 23).
Solomon formed a league with Hiram (1 Kings 5:12). This
"brotherly covenant" is referred to 250 years afterwards (Amos
1:9). He also appears to have entered into an alliance with
Pharaoh (1 Kings 10:28, 29).
In the subsequent history of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel
various alliances were formed between them and also with
neighbouring nations at different times.
From patriarchal times a covenant of alliance was sealed by
the blood of some sacrificial victim. The animal sacrificed was
cut in two (except birds), and between these two parts the
persons contracting the alliance passed (Gen. 15:10). There are
frequent allusions to this practice (Jer. 34:18). Such alliances
were called "covenants of salt" (Num. 18:19; 2 Chr. 13:5), salt
being the symbol of perpetuity. A pillar was set up as a
memorial of the alliance between Laban and Jacob (Gen. 31:52).
The Jews throughout their whole history attached great
importance to fidelity to their engagements. Divine wrath fell
upon the violators of them (Josh. 9:18; 2 Sam. 21:1, 2; Ezek.
Election of Grace
The Scripture speaks (1) of the election of individuals to
office or to honour and privilege, e.g., Abraham, Jacob, Saul,
David, Solomon, were all chosen by God for the positions they
held; so also were the apostles. (2) There is also an election
of nations to special privileges, e.g., the Hebrews (Deut. 7:6;
Rom. 9:4). (3) But in addition there is an election of
individuals to eternal life (2 Thess. 2:13; Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet.
1:2; John 13:18).
The ground of this election to salvation is the good pleasure
of God (Eph. 1:5, 11; Matt. 11:25, 26; John 15:16, 19). God
claims the right so to do (Rom. 9:16, 21).
It is not conditioned on faith or repentance, but is of
soverign grace (Rom. 11:4-6; Eph. 1:3-6). All that pertain to
salvation, the means (Eph. 2:8; 2 Thess. 2:13) as well as the
end, are of God (Acts 5:31; 2 Tim. 2:25; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 2:5,
10). Faith and repentance and all other graces are the exercises
of a regenerated soul; and regeneration is God's work, a "new
Men are elected "to salvation," "to the adoption of sons," "to
be holy and without blame before him in love" (2 Thess. 2:13;
Gal. 4:4, 5; Eph. 1:4). The ultimate end of election is the
praise of God's grace (Eph. 1:6, 12). (See PREDESTINATION
(1.) Trial; a being put to the test. Thus God "tempted [Gen. 22:
1; R.V., 'did prove'] Abraham;" and afflictions are said to
tempt, i.e., to try, men (James 1:2, 12; compare Deut. 8:2),
putting their faith and patience to the test. (2.) Ordinarily,
however, the word means solicitation to that which is evil, and
hence Satan is called "the tempter" (Matt. 4:3). Our Lord was in
this way tempted in the wilderness. That temptation was not
internal, but by a real, active, subtle being. It was not
self-sought. It was submitted to as an act of obedience on his
part. "Christ was led, driven. An unseen personal force bore him
a certain violence is implied in the words" (Matt. 4:1-11).
The scene of the temptation of our Lord is generally supposed
to have been the mountain of Quarantania (q.v.), "a high and
precipitous wall of rock, 1,200 or 1,500 feet above the plain
west of Jordan, near Jericho."
Temptation is common to all (Dan. 12:10; Zech. 13:9; Ps.
66:10; Luke 22:31, 40; Heb. 11:17; James 1:12; 1 Pet. 1:7;
4:12). We read of the temptation of Joseph (Gen. 39), of David
(2 Sam. 24; 1 Chr. 21), of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 32:31), of Daniel
(Dan. 6), etc. So long as we are in this world we are exposed to
temptations, and need ever to be on our watch against them.
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.
Israel and Syria appear to have been originally inhabited by
three different tribes. (1.) The Semites, living on the east of
the isthmus of Suez. They were nomadic and pastoral tribes. (2.)
The Phoenicians, who were merchants and traders; and (3.) the
Hittites, who were the warlike element of this confederation of
tribes. They inhabited the whole region between the Euphrates
and Damascus, their chief cities being Carchemish on the
Euphrates, and Kadesh, now Tell Neby Mendeh, in the Orontes
valley, about six miles south of the Lake of Homs. These
Hittites seem to have risen to great power as a nation, as for a
long time they were formidable rivals of the Egyptian and
Assyrian empires. In the book of Joshua they always appear as
the dominant race to the north of Galilee.
Somewhere about the twenty-third century B.C. the Syrian
confederation, led probably by the Hittites, arched against
Lower Egypt, which they took possession of, making Zoan their
capital. Their rulers were the Hyksos, or shepherd kings. They
were at length finally driven out of Egypt. Rameses II. sought
vengeance against the "vile Kheta," as he called them, and
encountered and defeated them in the great battle of Kadesh,
four centuries after Abraham. (See JOSHUA T0002114.)
They are first referred to in Scripture in the history of
Abraham, who bought from Ephron the Hittite the field and the
cave of Machpelah (Gen. 15:20: 23:3-18). They were then settled
at Kirjath-arba. From this tribe Esau took his first two wives
They are afterwards mentioned in the usual way among the
inhabitants of the Promised Land (Ex. 23:28). They were closely
allied to the Amorites, and are frequently mentioned along with
them as inhabiting the mountains of Israel. When the spies
entered the land they seem to have occupied with the Amorites
the mountain region of Judah (Num. 13:29). They took part with
the other Canaanites against the Israelites (Josh. 9:1; 11:3).
After this there are few references to them in Scripture.
Mention is made of "Ahimelech the Hittite" (1 Sam. 26:6), and of
"Uriah the Hittite," one of David's chief officers (2 Sam.
23:39; 1 Chr. 11:41). In the days of Solomon they were a
powerful confederation in the north of Syria, and were ruled by
"kings." They are met with after the Exile still a distinct
people (Ezra 9:1; compare Neh. 13:23-28).
The Hebrew merchants exported horses from Egypt not only for
the kings of Israel, but also for the Hittites (1 Kings 10:28,
29). From the Egyptian monuments we learn that "the Hittites
were a people with yellow skins and 'Mongoloid' features, whose
receding foreheads, oblique eyes, and protruding upper jaws are
represented as faithfully on their own monuments as they are on
those of Egypt, so that we cannot accuse the Egyptian artists of
caricaturing their enemies. The Amorites, on the contrary, were
a tall and handsome people. They are depicted with white skins,
blue eyes, and reddish hair, all the characteristics, in fact,
of the white race" (Sayce's The Hittites). The original seat of
the Hittite tribes was the mountain ranges of Taurus. They
belonged to Asia Minor, and not to Syria.
Hebrew "olah"; i.e., "ascending," the whole being consumed by
fire, and regarded as ascending to God while being consumed.
Part of every offering was burnt in the sacred fire, but this
was wholly burnt, a "whole burnt offering." It was the most
frequent form of sacrifice, and apparently the only one
mentioned in the book of Genesis. Such were the sacrifices
offered by Abel (Gen. 4:3, 4, here called "minhah"; i.e., "a
gift"), Noah (Gen. 8:20), Abraham (Gen. 22:2, 7, 8, 13), and by
the Hebrews in Egypt (Ex. 10:25).
The law of Moses afterwards prescribed the occasions and the
manner in which burnt sacrifices were to be offered. There were
"the continual burnt offering" (Ex. 29:38-42; Lev. 6:9-13), "the
burnt offering of every sabbath," which was double the daily one
(Num. 28:9, 10), "the burnt offering of every month" (28:11-15),
the offerings at the Passover (19-23), at Pentecost (Lev.
23:16), the feast of Trumpets (23:23-25), and on the day of
Atonement (Lev. 16).
On other occasions special sacrifices were offered, as at the
consecration of Aaron (Ex. 29) and the dedication of the temple
(1 Kings 8:5, 62-64).
Free-will burnt offerings were also permitted (Lev. 1:13), and
were offered at the accession of Solomon to the throne (1 Chr.
29:21), and at the reformation brought about by Hezekiah (2 Chr.
These offerings signified the complete dedication of the
offerers unto God. This is referred to in Rom. 12:1. (See ALTAR
T0000185, SACRIFICE T0003179.)
Of uncoined money the first notice we have is in the history of
Abraham (Gen. 13:2; 20:16; 24:35). Next, this word is used in
connection with the purchase of the cave of Machpelah (23:16),
and again in connection with Jacob's purchase of a field at
Shalem (Gen. 33:18, 19) for "an hundred pieces of money"=an
hundred Hebrew kesitahs (q.v.), i.e., probably pieces of money,
as is supposed, bearing the figure of a lamb.
The history of Joseph affords evidence of the constant use of
money, silver of a fixed weight. This appears also in all the
subsequent history of the Jewish people, in all their internal
as well as foreign transactions. There were in common use in
trade silver pieces of a definite weight, shekels, half-shekels,
and quarter-shekels. But these were not properly coins, which
are pieces of metal authoritatively issued, and bearing a stamp.
Of the use of coined money we have no early notice among the
Hebrews. The first mentioned is of Persian coinage, the daric
(Ezra 2:69; Neh. 7:70) and the 'adarkon (Ezra 8:27). The daric
(q.v.) was a gold piece current in Israel in the time of
Cyrus. As long as the Jews, after the Exile, lived under Persian
rule, they used Persian coins. These gave place to Greek coins
when Israel came under the dominion of the Greeks (B.C. 331),
the coins consisting of gold, silver, and copper pieces. The
usual gold pieces were staters (q.v.), and the silver coins
tetradrachms and drachms.
In the year B.C. 140, Antiochus VII. gave permission to Simon
the Maccabee to coin Jewish money. Shekels (q.v.) were then
coined bearing the figure of the almond rod and the pot of
a tenth of the produce of the earth consecrated and set apart
for special purposes. The dedication of a tenth to God was
recognized as a duty before the time of Moses. Abraham paid
tithes to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:20; Heb. 7:6); and Jacob vowed
unto the Lord and said, "Of all that thou shalt give me I will
surely give the tenth unto thee."
The first Mosaic law on this subject is recorded in Lev.
27:30-32. Subsequent legislation regulated the destination of
the tithes (Num. 18:21-24, 26-28; Deut. 12:5, 6, 11, 17; 14:22,
23). The paying of the tithes was an important part of the
Jewish religious worship. In the days of Hezekiah one of the
first results of the reformation of religion was the eagerness
with which the people brought in their tithes (2 Chr. 31:5, 6).
The neglect of this duty was sternly rebuked by the prophets
(Amos 4:4; Mal. 3:8-10). It cannot be affirmed that the Old
Testament law of tithes is binding on the Christian Church,
nevertheless the principle of this law remains, and is
incorporated in the gospel (1 Cor. 9:13, 14); and if, as is the
case, the motive that ought to prompt to liberality in the cause
of religion and of the service of God be greater now than in Old
Testament times, then Christians outght to go beyond the ancient
Hebrew in consecrating both themselves and their substance to
Every Jew was required by the Levitical law to pay three
tithes of his property (1) one tithe for the Levites; (2) one
for the use of the temple and the great feasts; and (3) one for
the poor of the land.
The first burial we have an account of is that of Sarah (Gen.
23). The first commercial transaction recorded is that of the
purchase of a burial-place, for which Abraham weighed to Ephron
"four hundred shekels of silver current money with the
merchants." Thus the patriarch became the owner of a part of the
land of Canaan, the only part he ever possessed. When he himself
died, "his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of
Machpelah," beside Sarah his wife (Gen. 25:9).
Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, was buried under Allon-bachuth, "the
oak of weeping" (Gen. 35:8), near to Bethel. Rachel died, and
was buried near Ephrath; "and Jacob set a pillar upon her grave"
(16-20). Isaac was buried at Hebron, where he had died (27, 29).
Jacob, when charging his sons to bury him in the cave of
Machpelah, said, "There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife;
there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried
Leah" (49:31). In compliance with the oath which he made him
swear unto him (47:29-31), Joseph, assisted by his brethren,
buried Jacob in the cave of Machpelah (50:2, 13). At the Exodus,
Moses "took the bones of Joseph with him," and they were buried
in the "parcel of ground" which Jacob had bought of the sons of
Hamor (Josh. 24:32), which became Joseph's inheritance (Gen.
48:22; 1 Chr. 5:1; John 4:5). Two burials are mentioned as
having taken place in the wilderness. That of Miriam (Num.
20:1), and that of Moses, "in the land of Moab" (Deut. 34:5, 6,
8). There is no account of the actual burial of Aaron, which
probably, however, took place on the summit of Mount Hor (Num.
Joshua was buried "in the border of his inheritance in
Timnath-serah" (Josh. 24: 30).
In Job we find a reference to burying-places, which were
probably the Pyramids (3:14, 15). The Hebrew word for "waste
places" here resembles in sound the Egyptian word for
Samuel, like Moses, was honoured with a national burial (1
Sam. 25:1). Joab (1 Kings 2:34) "was buried in his own house in
In connection with the burial of Saul and his three sons we
meet for the first time with the practice of burning the dead (1
Sam. 31:11-13). The same practice is again referred to by Amos
Absalom was buried "in the wood" where he was slain (2 Sam.
18:17, 18). The raising of the heap of stones over his grave was
intended to mark abhorrence of the person buried (compare Josh.
7:26 and 8:29). There was no fixed royal burying-place for the
Hebrew kings. We find several royal burials taking place,
however, "in the city of David" (1 Kings 2:10; 11:43; 15:8; 2
Kings 14:19, 20; 15:38; 1 Kings 14:31; 22:50; 2 Chr. 21:19, 20;
2 Chr. 24:25, etc.). Hezekiah was buried in the mount of the
sepulchres of the sons of David; "and all Judah and the
inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour at his death" (2 Chr.
Little is said regarding the burial of the kings of Israel.
Some of them were buried in Samaria, the capital of their
kingdom (2 Kings 10:35; 13:9; 14:16).
Our Lord was buried in a new tomb, hewn out of the rock, which
Joseph of Arimathea had prepared for himself (Matt. 27:57-60;
Mark 15:46; John 19:41, 42).
The grave of Lazarus was "a cave, and a stone lay on it" (John
11:38). Graves were frequently either natural caverns or
artificial excavations formed in the sides of rocks (Gen. 23:9;
Matt. 27:60); and coffins were seldom used, unless when the body
was brought from a distance.
anointed, the Greek translation of the Hebrew word rendered
"Messiah" (q.v.), the official title of our Lord, occurring five
hundred and fourteen times in the New Testament. It denotes that
he was anointed or consecrated to his great redemptive work as
Prophet, Priest, and King of his people. He is Jesus the Christ
(Acts 17:3; 18:5; Matt. 22:42), the Anointed One. He is thus
spoken of by Isaiah (61:1), and by Daniel (9:24-26), who styles
him "Messiah the Prince."
The Messiah is the same person as "the seed of the woman"
(Gen. 3:15), "the seed of Abraham" (Gen. 22:18), the "Prophet
like unto Moses" (Deut. 18:15), "the priest after the order of
Melchizedek" (Ps. 110:4), "the rod out of the stem of Jesse"
(Isa. 11:1, 10), the "Immanuel," the virgin's son (Isa. 7:14),
"the branch of Jehovah" (Isa. 4:2), and "the messenger of the
covenant" (Mal. 3:1). This is he "of whom Moses in the law and
the prophets did write." The Old Testament Scripture is full of
prophetic declarations regarding the Great Deliverer and the
work he was to accomplish. Jesus the Christ is Jesus the Great
Deliverer, the Anointed One, the Saviour of men. This name
denotes that Jesus was divinely appointed, commissioned, and
accredited as the Saviour of men (Heb. 5:4; Isa. 11:2-4; 49:6;
John 5:37; Acts 2:22).
To believe that "Jesus is the Christ" is to believe that he is
the Anointed, the Messiah of the prophets, the Saviour sent of
God, that he was, in a word, what he claimed to be. This is to
believe the gospel, by the faith of which alone men can be
brought unto God. That Jesus is the Christ is the testimony of
God, and the faith of this constitutes a Christian (1 Cor. 12:3;
1 John 5:1).
The five books of Moses were collectively called the Pentateuch,
a word of Greek origin meaning "the five-fold book." The Jews
called them the Torah, i.e., "the law." It is probable that the
division of the Torah into five books proceeded from the Greek
translators of the Old Testament. The names by which these
several books are generally known are Greek.
The first book of the Pentateuch (q.v.) is called by the Jews
Bereshith, i.e., "in the beginning", because this is the first
word of the book. It is generally known among Christians by the
name of Genesis, i.e., "creation" or "generation," being the
name given to it in the LXX. as designating its character,
because it gives an account of the origin of all things. It
contains, according to the usual computation, the history of
about two thousand three hundred and sixty-nine years.
Genesis is divided into two principal parts. The first part
(1-11) gives a general history of mankind down to the time of
the Dispersion. The second part presents the early history of
Israel down to the death and burial of Joseph (12-50).
There are five principal persons brought in succession under
our notice in this book, and around these persons the history of
the successive periods is grouped, viz., Adam (1-3), Noah (4-9),
Abraham (10-25:18), Isaac (25:19-35:29), and Jacob (36-50).
In this book we have several prophecies concerning Christ
(3:15; 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; 49:10). The author of
this book was Moses. Under divine guidance he may indeed have
been led to make use of materials already existing in primeval
documents, or even of traditions in a trustworthy form that had
come down to his time, purifying them from all that was
unworthy; but the hand of Moses is clearly seen throughout in
rolling. (1.) From the solemn transaction of the reading of the
law in the valley of Shechem between Ebal and Gerizim the
Israelites moved forward to Gilgal, and there made a permanent
camp (Josh. 9:6; 10:6). It was "beside the oaks of Moreh," near
which Abraham erected his first altar (Gen. 12:6, 7). This was
one of the three towns to which Samuel resorted for the
administration of justice (1 Sam. 7:16), and here also he
offered sacrifices when the ark was no longer in the tabernacle
at Shiloh (1 Sam. 10:8; 13:7-9). To this place, as to a central
sanctuary, all Israel gathered to renew their allegiance to Saul
(11:14). At a later period it became the scene of idolatrous
worship (Hos. 4:15; 9:15). It has been identified with the ruins
of Jiljilieh, about 5 miles south-west of Shiloh and about the
same distance from Bethel.
(2.) The place in "the plains of Jericho," "in the east border
of Jericho," where the Israelites first encamped after crossing
the Jordan (Josh. 4:19, 20). Here they kept their first Passover
in the land of Canaan (5:10) and renewed the rite of
circumcision, and so "rolled away the reproach" of their
Egyptian slavery. Here the twelve memorial stones, taken from
the bed of the Jordan, were set up; and here also the tabernacle
remained till it was removed to Shiloh (18:1). It has been
identified with Tell Jiljulieh, about 5 miles from Jordan.
(3.) A place, probably in the hill country of Ephraim, where
there was a school of the prophets (2 Kings 4:38), and whence
Elijah and Elisha, who resided here, "went down" to Bethel
(2:1,2). It is mentioned also in Deut. 11:30. It is now known as
Jiljilia, a place 8 miles north of Bethel.
frequently mentioned throughout Scripture. Of the domesticated
species we read of, (1.) The she ass (Heb. 'athon), so named
from its slowness (Gen. 12:16; 45:23; Num. 22:23; 1 Sam. 9:3).
(2.) The male ass (Heb. hamor), the common working ass of
Western Asia, so called from its red colour. Issachar is
compared to a strong ass (Gen. 49:14). It was forbidden to yoke
together an ass and an ox in the plough (Deut. 22:10). (3.) The
ass's colt (Heb. 'air), mentioned Judg. 10:4; 12:14. It is
rendered "foal" in Gen. 32:15; 49:11. (Compare Job 11:12; Isa.
30:6.) The ass is an unclean animal, because it does not chew
the cud (Lev. 11:26. Compare 2 Kings 6:25). Asses constituted a
considerable portion of wealth in ancient times (Gen. 12:16;
30:43; 1 Chr. 27:30; Job 1:3; 42:12). They were noted for their
spirit and their attachment to their master (Isa. 1:3). They are
frequently spoken of as having been ridden upon, as by Abraham
(Gen. 22:3), Balaam (Num. 22:21), the disobedient prophet (1
Kings 13:23), the family of Abdon the judge, seventy in number
(Judg. 12:14), Zipporah (Ex. 4:20), the Shunammite (1 Sam.
25:30), etc. Zechariah (9:9) predicted our Lord's triumphal
entrance into Jerusalem, "riding upon an ass, and upon a colt,"
etc. (Matt. 21:5, R.V.).
Of wild asses two species are noticed, (1) that called in
Hebrew "'arod", mentioned Job 39:5 and Dan. 5:21, noted for its
swiftness; and (2) that called "pe're", the wild ass of Asia
(Job 39:6-8; 6:5; 11:12; Isa. 32:14; Jer. 2:24; 14:6, etc.). The
wild ass was distinguished for its fleetness and its extreme
shyness. In allusion to his mode of life, Ishmael is likened to
a wild ass (Gen. 16:12. Here the word is simply rendered "wild"
in the Authorized Version, but in the Revised Version, "wild-ass
Hebrew, Perath; Assyrian, Purat; Persian cuneiform, Ufratush,
whence Greek Euphrates, meaning "sweet water." The Assyrian name
means "the stream," or "the great stream." It is generally
called in the Bible simply "the river" (Ex. 23:31), or "the
great river" (Deut. 1:7).
The Euphrates is first mentioned in Gen. 2:14 as one of the
rivers of Paradise. It is next mentioned in connection with the
covenant which God entered into with Abraham (15:18), when he
promised to his descendants the land from the river of Egypt to
the river Euphrates (compare Deut. 11:24; Josh. 1:4), a covenant
promise afterwards fulfilled in the extended conquests of David
(2 Sam. 8:2-14; 1 Chr. 18:3; 1 Kings 4:24). It was then the
boundary of the kingdom to the NE. In the ancient
history of Assyria, and Babylon, and Egypt many events are
recorded in which mention is made of the "great river." Just as
the Nile represented in prophecy the power of Egypt, so the
Euphrates represented the Assyrian power (Isa. 8:7; Jer. 2:18).
It is by far the largest and most important of all the rivers
of Western Asia. From its source in the Armenian mountains to
the Persian Gulf, into which it empties itself, it has a course
of about 1,700 miles. It has two sources, (1) the Frat or
Kara-su (i.e., "the black river"), which rises 25 miles
NE of Erzeroum; and (2) the Muradchai (i.e., "the river
of desire"), which rises near Ararat, on the northern slope of
Ala-tagh. At Kebban Maden, 400 miles from the source of the
former, and 270 from that of the latter, they meet and form the
majestic stream, which is at length joined by the Tigris at
Koornah, after which it is called Shat-el-Arab, which runs in a
deep and broad stream for above 140 miles to the sea. It is
estimated that the alluvium brought down by these rivers
encroaches on the sea at the rate of about one mile in thirty
an oath, seven. (1.) Heb. shebha, the son of Raamah (Gen. 10:7),
whose descendants settled with those of Dedan on the Persian
(2.) Heb. id. A son of Joktan (Gen. 10:28), probably the
founder of the Sabeans.
(3.) Heb. id. A son of Jokshan, who was a son of Abraham by
Keturah (Gen. 25:3).
(4.) Heb. id. A kingdom in Arabia Felix. Sheba, in fact, was
Saba in Southern Arabia, the Sabaeans of classical geography,
who carried on the trade in spices with the other peoples of the
ancient world. They were Semites, speaking one of the two main
dialects of Himyaritic or South Arabic. Sheba had become a
monarchy before the days of Solomon. Its queen brought him gold,
spices, and precious stones (1 Kings 10:1-13). She is called by
our Lord the "queen of the south" (Matt. 12:42).
(5.) Heb. shebha', "seven" or "an oak." A town of Simeon
(6.) Heb. id. A "son of Bichri," of the family of Becher, the
son of Benjamin, and thus of the stem from which Saul was
descended (2 Sam. 20:1-22). When David was returning to
Jerusalem after the defeat of Absalom, a strife arose between
the ten tribes and the tribe of Judah, because the latter took
the lead in bringing back the king. Sheba took advantage of this
state of things, and raised the standard of revolt, proclaiming,
"We have no part in David." With his followers he proceeded
northward. David seeing it necessary to check this revolt,
ordered Abishai to take the gibborim, "mighty men," and the
body-guard and such troops as he could gather, and pursue Sheba.
Joab joined the expedition, and having treacherously put Amasa
to death, assumed the command of the army. Sheba took refuge in
Abel-Bethmaachah, a fortified town some miles north of Lake
Merom. While Joab was engaged in laying siege to this city,
Sheba's head was, at the instigation of a "wise woman" who had
held a parley with him from the city walls, thrown over the wall
to the besiegers, and thus the revolt came to an end.
(1.) Heb. sar (1 Sam. 22:2; 2 Sam. 23:19). Rendered "chief,"
Gen. 40:2; 41:9; rendered also "prince," Dan. 1:7; "ruler,"
Judg. 9:30; "governor,' 1 Kings 22:26. This same Hebrew word
denotes a military captain (Ex. 18:21; 2 Kings 1:9; Deut. 1:15;
1 Sam. 18:13, etc.), the "captain of the body-guard" (Gen.
37:36; 39:1; 41:10; Jer. 40:1), or, as the word may be rendered,
"chief of the executioners" (marg.). The officers of the king's
body-guard frequently acted as executioners. Nebuzar-adan (Jer.
39:13) and Arioch (Dan. 2:14) held this office in Babylon.
The "captain of the guard" mentioned in Acts 28:16 was the
Praetorian prefect, the commander of the Praetorian troops.
(2.) Another word (Heb. katsin) so translated denotes
sometimes a military (Josh. 10:24; Judg. 11:6, 11; Isa. 22:3
"rulers;" Dan. 11:18) and sometimes a civil command, a judge,
magistrate, Arab. "kady", (Isa. 1:10; 3:6; Micah 3:1, 9).
(3.) It is also the rendering of a Hebrew word (shalish)
meaning "a third man," or "one of three." The LXX. render in
plural by "tristatai"; i.e., "soldiers fighting from chariots,"
so called because each war-chariot contained three men, one of
whom acted as charioteer while the other two fought (Ex. 14:7;
15:4; 1 Kings 9:22; compare 2 Kings 9:25). This word is used also
to denote the king's body-guard (2 Kings 10:25; 1 Chr. 12:18; 2
Chr. 11:11) or aides-de-camp.
(4.) The "captain of the temple" mentioned in Acts 4:1 and
5:24 was not a military officer, but superintendent of the guard
of priests and Levites who kept watch in the temple by night.
(Compare "the ruler of the house of God," 1 Chr. 9:11; 2 Chr.
31:13; Neh. 11:11.)
(5.) The Captain of our salvation is a name given to our Lord
(Heb. 2:10), because he is the author and source of our
salvation, the head of his people, whom he is conducting to
glory. The "captain of the Lord's host" (Josh. 5:14, 15) is the
name given to that mysterious person who manifested himself to
Abraham (Gen. 12:7), and to Moses in the bush (Ex. 3:2, 6, etc.)
the Angel of the covenant. (See ANGEL T0000240.)
Frequent references are found in Scripture to, (1.) Mourning for
the dead. Abraham mourned for Sarah (Gen. 23:2); Jacob for
Joseph (37:34, 35); the Egyptians for Jacob (50:3-10); Israel
for Aaron (Num. 20:29), for Moses (Deut. 34:8), and for Samuel
(1 Sam. 25:1); David for Abner (2 Sam. 3:31, 35); Mary and
Martha for Lazarus (John 11); devout men for Stephen (Acts 8:2),
(2.) For calamities, Job (1:20, 21; 2:8); Israel (Ex. 33:4);
the Ninevites (Jonah 3:5); Israel, when defeated by Benjamin
(Judg. 20:26), etc.
(3.) Penitential mourning, by the Israelites on the day of
atonement (Lev. 23:27; Acts 27:9); under Samuel's ministry (1
Sam. 7:6); predicted in Zechariah (Zech. 12:10, 11); in many of
the psalms (51, etc.).
Mourning was expressed, (1) by weeping (Gen. 35:8, marg.; Luke
7:38, etc.); (2) by loud lamentation (Ruth 1:9; 1 Sam. 6:19; 2
Sam. 3:31); (3) by the disfigurement of the person, as rending
the clothes (Gen. 37:29, 34; Matt. 26:65), wearing sackcloth
(Gen. 37:34; Ps. 35:13), sprinkling dust or ashes on the person
(2 Sam. 13:19; Jer. 6:26; Job 2:12), shaving the head and
plucking out the hair of the head or beard (Lev. 10:6; Job
1:20), neglect of the person or the removal of ornaments (Ex.
33:4; Deut. 21:12, 13; 2 Sam. 14:2; 19:24; Matt. 6:16, 17),
fasting (2 Sam. 1:12), covering the upper lip (Lev. 13:45; Micah
3:7), cutting the flesh (Jer. 16:6, 7), and sitting in silence
(Judg. 20:26; 2 Sam. 12:16; 13:31; Job 1:20).
In the later times we find a class of mourners who could be
hired to give by their loud lamentation the external tokens of
sorrow (2 Chr. 35:25; Jer. 9:17; Matt. 9:23).
The period of mourning for the dead varied. For Jacob it was
seventy days (Gen. 50:3); for Aaron (Num. 20:29) and Moses
(Deut. 34:8) thirty days; and for Saul only seven days (1 Sam.
31:13). In 2 Sam. 3:31-35, we have a description of the great
mourning for the death of Abner.
The earliest mention of city-building is that of Enoch, which
was built by Cain (Gen. 4:17). After the confusion of tongues,
the descendants of Nimrod founded several cities (10:10-12).
Next, we have a record of the cities of the Canaanites, Sidon,
Gaza, Sodom, etc. (10:12, 19; 11:3, 9; 36:31-39). The earliest
description of a city is that of Sodom (19:1-22). Damascus is
said to be the oldest existing city in the world. Before the
time of Abraham there were cities in Egypt (Num. 13:22). The
Israelites in Egypt were employed in building the "treasure
cities" of Pithom and Raamses (Ex. 1:11); but it does not seem
that they had any cities of their own in Goshen (Gen. 46:34;
47:1-11). In the kingdom of Og in Bashan there were sixty "great
cities with walls," and twenty-three cities in Gilead partly
rebuilt by the tribes on the east of Jordan (Num. 21:21, 32, 33,
35; 32:1-3, 34-42; Deut. 3:4, 5, 14; 1 Kings 4:13). On the west
of Jordan were thirty-one "royal cities" (Josh. 12), besides
many others spoken of in the history of Israel.
A fenced city was a city surrounded by fortifications and high
walls, with watch-towers upon them (2 Chr. 11:11; Deut. 3:5).
There was also within the city generally a tower to which the
citizens might flee when danger threatened them (Judg. 9:46-52).
A city with suburbs was a city surrounded with open
pasture-grounds, such as the forty-eight cities which were given
to the Levites (Num. 35:2-7). There were six cities of refuge,
three on each side of Jordan, namely, Kadesh, Shechem, Hebron,
on the west of Jordan; and on the east, Bezer, Ramoth-gilead,
and Golan. The cities on each side of the river were nearly
opposite each other. The regulations concerning these cities are
given in Num. 35:9-34; Deut. 19:1-13; Ex. 21:12-14.
When David reduced the fortress of the Jebusites which stood
on Mount Zion, he built on the site of it a palace and a city,
which he called by his own name (1 Chr. 11:5), the city of
David. Bethlehem is also so called as being David's native town
Jerusalem is called the Holy City, the holiness of the temple
being regarded as extending in some measure over the whole city
Pithom and Raamses, built by the Israelites as "treasure
cities," were not places where royal treasures were kept, but
were fortified towns where merchants might store their goods and
transact their business in safety, or cities in which munitions
of war were stored. (See PITHOM T0002968.)
The Heb. kohen, Gr. hierus, Lat. sacerdos, always denote one who
At first every man was his own priest, and presented his own
sacrifices before God. Afterwards that office devolved on the
head of the family, as in the cases of Noah (Gen. 8:20), Abraham
(12:7; 13:4), Isaac (26:25), Jacob (31:54), and Job (Job 1:5).
The name first occurs as applied to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18).
Under the Levitical arrangements the office of the priesthood
was limited to the tribe of Levi, and to only one family of that
tribe, the family of Aaron. Certain laws respecting the
qualifications of priests are given in Lev. 21:16-23. There are
ordinances also regarding the priests' dress (Ex. 28:40-43) and
the manner of their consecration to the office (29:1-37).
Their duties were manifold (Ex. 27:20, 21; 29:38-44; Lev.
6:12; 10:11; 24:8; Num. 10:1-10; Deut. 17:8-13; 33:10; Mal.
2:7). They represented the people before God, and offered the
various sacrifices prescribed in the law.
In the time of David the priests were divided into twenty-four
courses or classes (1 Chr. 24:7-18). This number was retained
after the Captivity (Ezra 2:36-39; Neh. 7:39-42).
"The priests were not distributed over the country, but lived
together in certain cities [forty-eight in number, of which six
were cities of refuge, q.v.], which had been assigned to their
use. From thence they went up by turns to minister in the temple
at Jerusalem. Thus the religious instruction of the people in
the country generally was left to the heads of families, until
the establishment of synagogues, an event which did not take
place till the return from the Captivity, and which was the main
source of the freedom from idolatry that became as marked a
feature of the Jewish people thenceforward as its practice had
been hitherto their great national sin."
The whole priestly system of the Jews was typical. It was a
shadow of which the body is Christ. The priests all prefigured
the great Priest who offered "one sacrifice for sins" "once for
all" (Heb. 10:10, 12). There is now no human priesthood. (See
Epistle to the Hebrews throughout.) The term "priest" is indeed
applied to believers (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6), but in these cases
it implies no sacerdotal functions. All true believers are now
"kings and priests unto God." As priests they have free access
into the holiest of all, and offer up the sacrifices of praise
and thanksgiving, and the sacrifices of grateful service from
day to day.
ANGEL, a word signifying, both in the Hebrew and Greek, a "messenger,"
and hence employed to denote any agent God sends forth to
execute his purposes. It is used of an ordinary messenger (Job
1:14: 1 Sam. 11:3; Luke 7:24; 9:52), of prophets (Isa. 42:19;
Hag. 1:13), of priests (Mal. 2:7), and ministers of the New
Testament (Rev. 1:20).
It is also applied to such impersonal agents as the pestilence
(2 Sam. 24:16, 17; 2 Kings 19:35), the wind (Ps. 104:4).
But its distinctive application is to certain heavenly
intelligences whom God employs in carrying on his government of
the world. The name does not denote their nature but their
office as messengers. The appearances to Abraham at Mamre (Gen.
18:2, 22. Compare 19:1), to Jacob at Peniel (Gen. 32:24, 30), to
Joshua at Gilgal (Josh. 5:13, 15), of the Angel of the Lord,
were doubtless manifestations of the Divine presence,
"foreshadowings of the incarnation," revelations before the
"fulness of the time" of the Son of God.
(1.) The existence and orders of angelic beings can only be
discovered from the Scriptures. Although the Bible does not
treat of this subject specially, yet there are numerous
incidental details that furnish us with ample information. Their
personal existence is plainly implied in such passages as Gen.
16:7, 10, 11; Judg. 13:1-21; Matt. 28:2-5; Heb. 1:4, etc.
These superior beings are very numerous. "Thousand thousands,"
etc. (Dan. 7:10; Matt. 26:53; Luke 2:13; Heb. 12:22, 23). They
are also spoken of as of different ranks in dignity and power
(Zech. 1:9, 11; Dan. 10:13; 12:1; 1 Thess. 4:16; Jude 1:9; Eph.
1:21; Col. 1:16).
(2.) As to their nature, they are spirits (Heb. 1:14), like
the soul of man, but not incorporeal. Such expressions as "like
the angels" (Luke 20:36), and the fact that whenever angels
appeared to man it was always in a human form (Gen. 18:2; 19:1,
10; Luke 24:4; Acts 1:10), and the titles that are applied to
them ("sons of God," Job 1:6; 38:7; Dan. 3:25; compare 28) and to
men (Luke 3:38), seem all to indicate some resemblance between
them and the human race. Imperfection is ascribed to them as
creatures (Job 4:18; Matt. 24:36; 1 Pet. 1:12). As finite
creatures they may fall under temptation; and accordingly we
read of "fallen angels." Of the cause and manner of their "fall"
we are wholly ignorant. We know only that "they left their first
estate" (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 12:7,9), and that they are "reserved
unto judgement" (2 Pet. 2:4). When the manna is called "angels'
food," this is merely to denote its excellence (Ps. 78:25).
Angels never die (Luke 20:36). They are possessed of superhuman
intelligence and power (Mark 13:32; 2 Thess. 1:7; Ps. 103:20).
They are called "holy" (Luke 9:26), "elect" (1 Tim. 5:21). The
redeemed in glory are "like unto the angels" (Luke 20:36). They
are not to be worshipped (Col. 2:18; Rev. 19:10).
(3.) Their functions are manifold. (a) In the widest sense
they are agents of God's providence (Ex. 12:23; Ps. 104:4; Heb.
11:28; 1 Cor. 10:10; 2 Sam. 24:16; 1 Chr. 21:16; 2 Kings 19:35;
Acts 12:23). (b) They are specially God's agents in carrying on
his great work of redemption. There is no notice of angelic
appearances to man till after the call of Abraham. From that
time onward there are frequent references to their ministry on
earth (Gen. 18; 19; 24:7, 40; 28:12; 32:1). They appear to
rebuke idolatry (Judg. 2:1-4), to call Gideon (Judg. 6:11, 12),
and to consecrate Samson (13:3). In the days of the prophets,
from Samuel downward, the angels appear only in their behalf (1
Kings 19:5; 2 Kings 6:17; Zech. 1-6; Dan. 4:13, 23; 10:10, 13,
The Incarnation introduces a new era in the ministrations of
angels. They come with their Lord to earth to do him service
while here. They predict his advent (Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:26-38),
minister to him after his temptation and agony (Matt. 4:11; Luke
22:43), and declare his resurrection and ascension (Matt.
28:2-8; John 20:12, 13; Acts 1:10, 11). They are now ministering
spirits to the people of God (Heb. 1:14; Ps. 34:7; 91:11; Matt.
18:10; Acts 5:19; 8:26; 10:3; 12:7; 27:23). They rejoice over a
penitent sinner (Luke 15:10). They bear the souls of the
redeemed to paradise (Luke 16:22); and they will be the
ministers of judgement hereafter on the great day (Matt. 13:39,
41, 49; 16:27; 24:31). The passages (Ps. 34:7, Matt. 18:10)
usually referred to in support of the idea that every individual
has a particular guardian angel have no such meaning. They
merely indicate that God employs the ministry of angels to
deliver his people from affliction and danger, and that the
angels do not think it below their dignity to minister even to
children and to the least among Christ's disciples.
The "angel of his presence" (Isa. 63:9. Compare Ex. 23:20, 21;
32:34; 33:2; Num. 20:16) is probably rightly interpreted of the
Messiah as the guide of his people. Others have supposed the
expression to refer to Gabriel (Luke 1:19).
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
(1.) Definitions. The phrase "heaven and earth" is used to
indicate the whole universe (Gen. 1:1; Jer. 23:24; Acts 17:24).
According to the Jewish notion there were three heavens,
(a) The firmament, as "fowls of the heaven" (Gen. 2:19; 7:3,
23; Ps. 8:8, etc.), "the eagles of heaven" (Lam. 4:19), etc.
(b) The starry heavens (Deut. 17:3; Jer. 8:2; Matt. 24:29).
(c) "The heaven of heavens," or "the third heaven" (Deut.
10:14; 1 Kings 8:27; Ps. 115:16; 148:4; 2 Cor. 12:2).
(2.) Meaning of words in the original,
(a) The usual Hebrew word for "heavens" is "shamayim", a
plural form meaning "heights," "elevations" (Gen. 1:1; 2:1).
(b) The Hebrew word "marom" is also used (Ps. 68:18; 93:4;
102:19, etc.) as equivalent to "shamayim", "high places,"
(c) Heb. galgal, literally a "wheel," is rendered "heaven" in
Ps. 77:18 (R.V., "whirlwind").
(d) Heb. shahak, rendered "sky" (Deut. 33:26; Job 37:18; Ps.
18:11), plural "clouds" (Job 35:5; 36:28; Ps. 68:34, marg.
"heavens"), means probably the firmament.
(e) Heb. rakia is closely connected with (d), and is rendered
"firmamentum" in the Vulgate, whence our "firmament" (Gen. 1:6;
Deut. 33:26, etc.), regarded as a solid expanse.
(3.) Metaphorical meaning of term. Isa. 14:13, 14; "doors of
heaven" (Ps. 78:23); heaven "shut" (1 Kings 8:35); "opened"
(Ezek. 1:1). (See 1 Chr. 21:16.)
(4.) Spiritual meaning. The place of the everlasting
blessedness of the righteous; the abode of departed spirits.
(a) Christ calls it his "Father's house" (John 14:2).
(b) It is called "paradise" (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 12:4; Rev.
(c) "The heavenly Jerusalem" (Gal. 4: 26; Heb. 12:22; Rev.
(d) The "kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 25:1; James 2:5).
(e) The "eternal kingdom" (2 Pet. 1:11).
(f) The "eternal inheritance" (1 Pet. 1:4; Heb. 9:15).
(g) The "better country" (Heb. 11:14, 16).
(h) The blessed are said to "sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob," and to be "in Abraham's bosom" (Luke 16:22; Matt. 8:11);
to "reign with Christ" (2 Tim. 2:12); and to enjoy "rest" (Heb.
In heaven the blessedness of the righteous consists in the
possession of "life everlasting," "an eternal weight of glory"
(2 Cor. 4:17), an exemption from all sufferings for ever, a
deliverance from all evils (2 Cor. 5:1, 2) and from the society
of the wicked (2 Tim. 4:18), bliss without termination, the
"fulness of joy" for ever (Luke 20:36; 2 Cor. 4:16, 18; 1 Pet.
1:4; 5:10; 1 John 3:2). The believer's heaven is not only a
state of everlasting blessedness, but also a "place", a place
"prepared" for them (John 14:2).
(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.
or prediction, was one of the functions of the prophet. It has
been defined as a "miracle of knowledge, a declaration or
description or representation of something future, beyond the
power of human sagacity to foresee, discern, or conjecture."
(See PROPHET T0003006.)
The great prediction which runs like a golden thread through
the whole contents of the Old Testament is that regarding the
coming and work of the Messiah; and the great use of prophecy
was to perpetuate faith in his coming, and to prepare the world
for that event. But there are many subordinate and intermediate
prophecies also which hold an important place in the great chain
of events which illustrate the sovereignty and all-wise
overruling providence of God.
Then there are many prophecies regarding the Jewish nation,
its founder Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; 13:16; 15:5; 17:2, 4-6, etc.),
and his posterity, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants (12:7;
13:14, 15, 17; 15:18-21; Ex. 3:8, 17), which have all been
fulfilled. The twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy contains a
series of predictions which are even now in the present day
being fulfilled. In the writings of the prophets Isaiah
(2:18-21), Jeremiah (27:3-7; 29:11-14), Ezekiel (5:12; 8),
Daniel (8; 9:26, 27), Hosea (9:17), there are also many
prophecies regarding the events which were to befall that
There is in like manner a large number of prophecies relating
to those nations with which the Jews came into contact, as Tyre
(Ezek. 26:3-5, 14-21), Egypt (Ezek. 29:10, 15; 30:6, 12, 13),
Ethiopia (Nahum 3:8-10), Nineveh (Nahum 1:10; 2:8-13; 3:17-19),
Babylon (Isa. 13:4; Jer. 51:7; Isa. 44:27; Jer. 50:38; 51:36,
39, 57), the land of the Philistines (Jer. 47:4-7; Ezek.
25:15-17; Amos 1:6-8; Zeph. 2:4-7; Zech. 9:5-8), and of the four
great monarchies (Dan. 2:39, 40; 7:17-24; 8:9).
But the great body of Old Testament prophecy relates directly
to the advent of the Messiah, beginning with Gen. 3:15, the
first great promise, and extending in ever-increasing fulness
and clearness all through to the very close of the canon. The
Messianic prophecies are too numerous to be quoted. "To him gave
all the prophets witness." (Compare Micah 5:2; Hag. 2:6-9; Isa.
7:14; 9:6, 7; 11:1, 2; 53; 60:10, 13; Ps. 16:11; 68:18.)
Many predictions also were delivered by Jesus and his
apostles. Those of Christ were very numerous. (Compare Matt.
10:23:24; 11:23; 19:28; 21:43, 44; 24; 25:31-46; 26:17-35, 46,
64; Mark 9:1; 10:30; 13; 11:1-6, 14; 14:12-31, 42, 62; 16:17,
shoulder. (1.) The son of Hamor the Hivite (Gen. 33:19; 34).
(2.) A descendant of Manasseh (Num. 26:31; Josh. 17:2).
(3.) A city in Samaria (Gen. 33:18), called also Sichem
(12:6), Sychem (Acts 7:16). It stood in the narrow sheltered
valley between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south, these
mountains at their base being only some 500 yards apart. Here
Abraham pitched his tent and built his first altar in the
Promised Land, and received the first divine promise (Gen. 12:6,
7). Here also Jacob "bought a parcel of a field at the hands of
the children of Hamor" after his return from Mesopotamia, and
settled with his household, which he purged from idolatry by
burying the teraphim of his followers under an oak tree, which
was afterwards called "the oak of the sorcerer" (Gen. 33:19;
35:4; Judg. 9:37). (See MEONENIM T0002483.) Here too, after a
while, he dug a well, which bears his name to this day (John
4:5, 39-42). To Shechem Joshua gathered all Israel "before God,"
and delivered to them his second parting address (Josh.
24:1-15). He "made a covenant with the people that day" at the
very place where, on first entering the land, they had responded
to the law from Ebal and Gerizim (Josh. 24:25), the terms of
which were recorded "in the book of the law of God", i.e., in
the roll of the law of Moses; and in memory of this solemn
transaction a great stone was set up "under an oak" (compare Gen.
28:18; 31:44-48; Ex. 24:4; Josh. 4:3, 8, 9), possibly the old
"oak of Moreh," as a silent witness of the transaction to all
Shechem became one of the cities of refuge, the central city
of refuge for Western Israel (Josh. 20:7), and here the bones
of Joseph were buried (24:32). Rehoboam was appointed king in
Shechem (1 Kings 12:1, 19), but Jeroboam afterwards took up his
residence here. This city is mentioned in connection with our
Lord's conversation with the woman of Samaria (John 4:5); and
thus, remaining as it does to the present day, it is one of the
oldest cities of the world. It is the modern Nablus, a
contraction for Neapolis, the name given to it by Vespasian. It
lies about a mile and a half up the valley on its southern
slope, and on the north of Gerizim, which rises about 1,100 feet
above it, and is about 34 miles north of Jerusalem. It contains
about 10,000 inhabitants, of whom about 160 are Samaritans and
100 Jews, the rest being Christians and Mohammedans.
The site of Shechem is said to be of unrivalled beauty.
Stanley says it is "the most beautiful, perhaps the only very
beautiful, spot in Central Israel."
Gaza, near Shechem, only mentioned 1 Chr. 7:28, has entirely
disappeared. It was destroyed at the time of the Conquest, and
its place was taken by Shechem. (See SYCHAR T0003542.)
(Gr. diaspora, "scattered," James 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:1) of the Jews.
At various times, and from the operation of divers causes, the
Jews were separated and scattered into foreign countries "to the
outmost parts of heaven" (Deut. 30:4).
(1.) Many were dispersed over Assyria, Media, Babylonia, and
Persia, descendants of those who had been transported thither by
the Exile. The ten tribes, after existing as a separate kingdom
for two hundred and fifty-five years, were carried captive (B.C.
721) by Shalmaneser (or Sargon), king of Assyria. They never
returned to their own land as a distinct people, although many
individuals from among these tribes, there can be no doubt,
joined with the bands that returned from Babylon on the
proclamation of Cyrus.
(2.) Many Jews migrated to Egypt and took up their abode
there. This migration began in the days of Solomon (2 Kings
18:21, 24; Isa. 30:7). Alexander the Great placed a large number
of Jews in Alexandria, which he had founded, and conferred on
them equal rights with the Egyptians. Ptolemy Philadelphus, it
is said, caused the Jewish Scriptures to be translated into
Greek (the work began B.C. 284), for the use of the Alexandrian
Jews. The Jews in Egypt continued for many ages to exercise a
powerful influence on the public interests of that country. From
Egypt they spread along the coast of Africa to Cyrene (Acts
2:10) and to Ethiopia (8:27).
(3.) After the time of Seleucus Nicator (B.C. 280), one of the
captains of Alexander the Great, large numbers of Jews migrated
into Syria, where they enjoyed equal rights with the
Macedonians. From Syria they found their way into Asia Minor.
Antiochus the Great, king of Syria and Asia, removed 3,000
families of Jews from Mesopotamia and Babylonia, and planted
them in Phrygia and Lydia.
(4.) From Asia Minor many Jews moved into Greece and
Macedonia, chiefly for purposes of commerce. In the apostles'
time they were found in considerable numbers in all the
From the time of Pompey the Great (B.C. 63) numbers of Jews
from Israel and Greece went to Rome, where they had a
separate quarter of the city assigned to them. Here they enjoyed
Thus were the Jews everywhere scattered abroad. This, in the
overruling providence of God, ultimately contributed in a great
degree toward opening the way for the spread of the gospel into
Dispersion, from the plain of Shinar. This was occasioned by
the confusion of tongues at Babel (Gen. 11:9). They were
scattered abroad "every one after his tongue, after their
families, in their nations" (Gen. 10:5, 20,31).
The tenth chapter of Genesis gives us an account of the
principal nations of the earth in their migrations from the
plain of Shinar, which was their common residence after the
Flood. In general, it may be said that the descendants of
Japheth were scattered over the north, those of Shem over the
central regions, and those of Ham over the extreme south. The
following table shows how the different families were dispersed:
| - Japheth
| - Gomer
| Cimmerians, Armenians
| - Magog
| Caucasians, Scythians
| - Madal
| Medes and Persian tribes
| - Javan
| - Elishah
| - Tarshish
| Etruscans, Romans
| - Chittim
| Cyprians, Macedonians
| - Dodanim
| - Tubal
| Tibareni, Tartars
| - Mechech
| Moschi, Muscovites
| - Tiras
| - Shem
| - Elam
| Persian tribes
| - Asshur
| - Arphaxad
| - Abraham
| - Isaac
| - Jacob
| - Esau
| - Ishmael
| Mingled with Arab tribes
| - Lud
| - Aram
| - Ham
| - Cush
| - Mizrain
| - Phut
| Lybians, Mauritanians
| - Canaan
| Canaanites, Phoenicians