Job 38:14 It is turned as clay [to] the seal; and they stand as a garment.
Scriptures Mentioning The Seals Made Of Clay
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This word is used of sediment found in pits or in streets (Isa. 57:20; Jer. 38:60), of dust mixed with spittle (John 9:6), and of potter's clay (Isa. 41:25; Nah. 3:14; Jer. 18:1-6; Rom. 9:21). Clay was used for sealing (Job 38:14; Jer. 32:14). Our Lord's tomb may have been thus sealed (Matt. 27:66). The practice of sealing doors with clay is still common in the East. Clay was also in primitive times used for mortar (Gen. 11:3). The "clay ground" in which the large vessels of the temple were cast (1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chr. 4:17) was a compact loam fitted for the purpose. The expression literally rendered is, "in the thickness of the ground,", meaning, "in stiff ground" or in clay.
(Heb. homer), cement of lime and sand (Gen. 11:3; Ex. 1:14); also potter's clay (Isa. 41:25; Nah. 3:14). Also Heb. 'aphar, usually rendered "dust," clay or mud used for cement in building (Lev. 14:42, 45). Mortar for pulverizing (Prov. 27:22) grain or other substances by means of a pestle instead of a mill. Mortars were used in the wilderness for pounding the manna (Num. 11:8). It is commonly used in Israel at the present day to pound wheat, from which the Arabs make a favourite dish called kibby.
(Hab. 2:6) is correctly rendered in the Revised Version "pledges." The Chaldean power is here represented as a rapacious usurer, accumulating the wealth that belonged to others.
a place near Succoth, in the plain of the Jordan, "in the clay ground," near which Hiram cast the brazen utensils for the temple (1 Kings 7:46); probably the same as Zartan. It is also called Zeredathah (2 Chr. 4:17). (See ZEREDA T0003909.)
Canaan, the language of
mentioned in Isa. 19:18, denotes the language spoken by the Jews resident in Israel. The language of the Canaanites and of the Hebrews was substantially the same. This is seen from the fragments of the Phoenician language which still survive, which show the closest analogy to the Hebrew. Yet the subject of the language of the "Canaanites" is very obscure. The cuneiform writing of Babylon, as well as the Babylonian language, was taught in the Canaanite schools, and the clay tablets of Babylonian literature were stored in the Canaanite libraries. Even the Babylonian divinities were borrowed by the Canaanites.
occurs only once in Scripture (1 Cor. 10:11, A.V. marg.). The Greek word "tupos" is rendered "print" (John 20:25), "figure" (Acts 7:43; Rom. 5:14), "fashion" (Acts 7:44), "manner" (Acts 23:25), "form" (Rom. 6:17), "example" or "ensample" (1 Cor. 10:6, 11; Phil. 3:17; 1 Thess. 1:7; 2 Thess. 3:9; 1 Tim. 4:12). It properly means a "model" or "pattern" or "mould" into which clay or wax was pressed, that it might take the figure or exact shape of the mould. The word "type" is generally used to denote a resemblance between something present and something future, which is called the "antitype."
commonly a ring engraved with some device (Gen. 38:18, 25). Jezebel "wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal" (1 Kings 21:8). Seals are frequently mentioned in Jewish history (Deut. 32:34; Neh. 9:38; 10:1; Esther 3:12; Cant. 8:6; Isa. 8:16; Jer. 22:24; 32:44, etc.). Sealing a document was equivalent to the signature of the owner of the seal. "The use of a signet-ring by the monarch has recently received a remarkable illustration by the discovery of an impression of such a signet on fine clay at Koyunjik, the site of the ancient Nineveh. This seal appears to have been impressed from the bezel of a metallic finger-ring. It is an oval, 2 inches in length by 1 inch wide, and bears the image, name, and titles of the Egyptian king Sabaco" (Rawlinson's Hist. Illus. of the O.T., p. 46). The actual signet-rings of two Egyptian kings (Cheops and Horus) have been discovered. (See SIGNET T0003426.) The use of seals is mentioned in the New Testament only in connection with the record of our Lord's burial (Matt. 27:66). The tomb was sealed by the Pharisees and chief priests for the purpose of making sure that the disciples would not come and steal the body away (ver. 63, 64). The mode of doing this was probably by stretching a cord across the stone and sealing it at both ends with sealing-clay. When God is said to have sealed the Redeemer, the meaning is, that he has attested his divine mission (John 6:27). Circumcision is a seal, an attestation of the covenant (Rom. 4:11). Believers are sealed with the Spirit, as God's mark put upon them (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). Converts are by Paul styled the seal of his apostleship, i.e., they are its attestation (1 Cor. 9:2). Seals and sealing are frequently mentioned in the book of Revelation (5:1; 6:1; 7:3; 10:4; 22:10).
probably the same as Assur-bani-pal (Sardanapalos of the Greeks), styled the "great and noble" (Ezra 4:10), was the son and successor (B.C. 668) of Esar-haddon (q.v.). He was "luxurious, ambitious, and cruel, but a magnificent patron of literature." He formed at Nineveh a library of clay tablets, numbering about 10,000. These are now mostly in the British Museum. They throw much light on the history and antiquities of Assyria. Assur-bani-pal was a munificent patron of literature, and the conqueror of Elam. Towards the middle of his reign his empire was shaken by a great rebellion headed by his brother in Babylon. The rebellion was finally put down, but Egypt was lost, and the military power of Assyria was so exhausted that it could with difficulty resist the hordes of Kimmerians who poured over Western Asia. (See NINEVEH T0002735.)
a seal used to attest documents (Dan. 6:8-10, 12). In 6:17, this word properly denotes a ring. The impression of a signet ring on fine clay has recently been discovered among the ruins at Nineveh. It bears the name and title of an Egyptian king. Two actual signet rings of ancient Egyptian monarchs (Cheops and Horus) have also been discovered. When digging a shaft close to the south wall of the temple area, the engineers of the Israel Exploration Fund, at a depth of 12 feet below the surface, came upon a pavement of polished stones, formerly one of the streets of the city. Under this pavement they found a stratum of 16 feet of concrete, and among this concrete, 10 feet down, they found a signet stone bearing the inscription, in Old Hebrew characters, "Haggai, son of Shebaniah." It has been asked, Might not this be the actual seal of Haggai the prophet? We know that he was in Jerusalem after the Captivity; and it is somewhat singular that he alone of all the minor prophets makes mention of a signet (Hag. 2:23). (See SEAL T0003246.)
Zebulun, Tribe of
numbered at Sinai (Num. 1:31) and before entering Canaan (26:27). It was one of the tribes which did not drive out the Canaanites, but only made them tributary (Judg. 1:30). It took little interest in public affairs. It responded, however, readily to the summons of Gideon (6:35), and afterwards assisted in enthroning David at Hebron (1 Chr. 12:33, 40). Along with the other northern tribes, Zebulun was carried away into the land of Assyria by Tiglath-pileser (2 Kings 15:29). In Deborah's song the words, "Out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer" (Judg. 5:14) has been rendered in the R.V., "They that handle the marshal's staff." This is a questionable rendering. "The word "sopher" ('scribe' or 'writer') defines the word "shebhet" ('rod' or 'pen') with which it is conjoined. The 'rod of the scribe' on the Assyrian monuments was the stylus of wood or metal, with the help of which the clay tablet was engraved, or the papyrus inscribed with characters. The scribe who wielded it was the associate and assistant of the 'lawgivers.'" (Sayce).
high-born. (1.) Generally "Huram," one of the sons of Bela (1 Chr. 8:5). (2.) Also "Huram" and "Horam," king of Tyre. He entered into an alliance with David, and assisted him in building his palace by sending him able workmen, and also cedar-trees and fir-trees from Lebanon (2 Sam. 5:11; 1 Chr. 14:1). After the death of David he entered into a similar alliance with Solomon, and assisted him greatly in building the temple (1 Kings 5:1; 9:11; 2 Chr. 2:3). He also took part in Solomon's traffic to the Eastern Seas (1 Kings 9:27; 10:11; 2 Chr. 8:18; 9:10). (3.) The "master workman" whom Hiram sent to Solomon. He was the son of a widow of Dan, and of a Tyrian father. In 2 Chr. 2:13 "Huram my father" should be Huram Abi, the word "Abi" (rendered here "my father") being regarded as a proper name, or it may perhaps be a title of distinction given to Huram, and equivalent to "master." (Compare 1 Kings 7:14; 2 Chr. 4:16.) He cast the magnificent brazen works for Solomon's temple in clay-beds in the valley of Jordan, between Succoth and Zarthan.
There are five different Hebrew words so rendered in the Authorized Version: (1.) A basket (Heb. sal, a twig or osier) for holding bread (Gen. 40:16; Ex. 29:3, 23; Lev. 8:2, 26, 31; Num. 6:15, 17, 19). Sometimes baskets were made of twigs peeled; their manufacture was a recognized trade among the Hebrews. (2.) That used (Heb. salsilloth') in gathering grapes (Jer. 6:9). (3.) That in which the first fruits of the harvest were presented, Heb. tene, (Deut. 26:2, 4). It was also used for household purposes. In form it tapered downwards like that called "corbis" by the Romans. (4.) A basket (Heb. kelub) having a lid, resembling a bird-cage. It was made of leaves or rushes. The name is also applied to fruit-baskets (Amos 8:1, 2). (5.) A basket (Heb. dud) for carrying figs (Jer. 24:2), also clay to the brick-yard (R.V., Ps. 81:6), and bulky articles (2 Kings 10:7). This word is also rendered in the Authorized Version "kettle" (1 Sam. 2:14), "caldron" (2 Chr. 35:13), "seething-pot" (Job 41:20). In the New Testament mention is made of the basket (Gr. kophinos, small "wicker-basket") for the "fragments" in the miracle recorded Mark 6:43, and in that recorded Matt. 15:37 (Gr. spuris, large "rope-basket"); also of the basket in which Paul escaped (Acts 9:25, Gr. spuris; 2 Cor. 11: 33, Gr. sargane, "basket of plaited cords").
the high land or mountains, a city in the land of Shinar. It has been identified with the mounds of Akker Kuf, some 50 miles to the north of Babylon; but this is doubtful. It was one of the cities of Nimrod's kingdom (Ge 10:10). It stood close to the Euphrates, opposite Sippara. (See SEPHARVAIM T0003277.) It is also the name of the country of which this city was the capital, namely, northern or upper Babylonia. The Accadians who came from the "mountains of the east," where the ark rested, attained to a high degree of civilization. In the Babylonian inscriptions they are called "the black heads" and "the black faces," in contrast to "the white race" of Semitic descent. They invented the form of writing in pictorial hieroglyphics, and also the cuneiform system, in which they wrote many books partly on papyrus and partly on clay. The Semitic Babylonians ("the white race"), or, as some scholars think, first the Cushites, and afterwards, as a second immigration, the Semites, invaded and conquered this country; and then the Accadian language ceased to be a spoken language, although for the sake of its literary treasures it continued to be studied by the educated classes of Babylonia. A large portion of the Ninevite tablets brought to light by Oriental research consists of interlinear or parallel translations from Accadian into Assyrian; and thus that long-forgotten language has been recovered by scholars. It belongs to the class of languages called agglutinative, common to the Tauranian race; i.e., it consists of words "glued together," without declension of conjugation. These tablets in a remarkable manner illustrate ancient history. Among other notable records, they contain an account of the Creation which closely resembles that given in the book of Genesis, of the Sabbath as a day of rest, and of the Deluge and its cause. (See BABYLON T0000409; CHALDEA T0000758.)
the name given to the chief of the three great historical annual festivals of the Jews. It was kept in remembrance of the Lord's passing over the houses of the Israelites (Ex. 12:13) when the first born of all the Egyptians were destroyed. It is called also the "feast of unleavened bread" (Ex. 23:15; Mark 14:1; Acts 12:3), because during its celebration no leavened bread was to be eaten or even kept in the household (Ex. 12:15). The word afterwards came to denote the lamb that was slain at the feast (Mark 14:12-14; 1 Cor. 5:7). A detailed account of the institution of this feast is given in Ex. 12 and 13. It was afterwards incorporated in the ceremonial law (Lev. 23:4-8) as one of the great festivals of the nation. In after times many changes seem to have taken place as to the mode of its celebration as compared with its first celebration (compare Deut. 16:2, 5, 6; 2 Chr. 30:16; Lev. 23:10-14; Num. 9:10, 11; 28:16-24). Again, the use of wine (Luke 22:17, 20), of sauce with the bitter herbs (John 13:26), and the service of praise were introduced. There is recorded only one celebration of this feast between the Exodus and the entrance into Canaan, namely, that mentioned in Num. 9:5. (See JOSIAH T0002116.) It was primarily a commemorative ordinance, reminding the children of Israel of their deliverance out of Egypt; but it was, no doubt, also a type of the great deliverance wrought by the Messiah for all his people from the doom of death on account of sin, and from the bondage of sin itself, a worse than Egyptian bondage (1 Cor. 5:7; John 1:29; 19:32-36; 1 Pet. 1:19; Gal. 4:4, 5). The appearance of Jerusalem on the occasion of the Passover in the time of our Lord is thus fittingly described: "The city itself and the neighbourhood became more and more crowded as the feast approached, the narrow streets and dark arched bazaars showing the same throng of men of all nations as when Jesus had first visited Jerusalem as a boy. Even the temple offered a strange sight at this season, for in parts of the outer courts a wide space was covered with pens for sheep, goats, and cattle to be used for offerings. Sellers shouted the merits of their beasts, sheep bleated, oxen lowed. Sellers of doves also had a place set apart for them. Potters offered a choice from huge stacks of clay dishes and ovens for roasting and eating the Passover lamb. Booths for wine, oil, salt, and all else needed for sacrifices invited customers. Persons going to and from the city shortened their journey by crossing the temple grounds, often carrying burdens...Stalls to change foreign money into the shekel of the temple, which alone could be paid to the priests, were numerous, the whole confusion making the sanctuary like a noisy market" (Geikie's Life of Christ).
The art of writing must have been known in the time of the early Pharaohs. Moses is commanded "to write for a memorial in a book" (Ex. 17:14) a record of the attack of Amalek. Frequent mention is afterwards made of writing (28:11, 21, 29, 36; 31:18; 32:15, 16; 34:1, 28; 39:6, 14, 30). The origin of this art is unknown, but there is reason to conclude that in the age of Moses it was well known. The inspired books of Moses are the most ancient extant writings, although there are written monuments as old as about B.C. 2000. The words expressive of "writing," "book," and "ink," are common to all the branches or dialects of the Semitic language, and hence it has been concluded that this art must have been known to the earliest Semites before they separated into their various tribes, and nations, and families. "The Old Testament and the discoveries of Oriental archaeology alike tell us that the age of the Exodus was throughout the world of Western Asia an age of literature and books, of readers and writers, and that the cities of Israel were stored with the contemporaneous records of past events inscribed on imperishable clay. They further tell us that the kinsfolk and neighbours of the Israelites were already acquainted with alphabetic writing, that the wanderers in the desert and the tribes of Edom were in contact with the cultured scribes and traders of Ma'in [Southern Arabia], and that the 'house of bondage' from which Israel had escaped was a land where the art of writing was blazoned not only on the temples of the gods, but also on the dwellings of the rich and powerful.", Sayce. (See DEBIR T0000995; PHOENICIA T0002943.) The "Book of the Dead" was a collection of prayers and formulae, by the use of which the souls of the dead were supposed to attain to rest and peace in the next world. It was composed at various periods from the earliest time to the Persian conquest. It affords an interesting glimpse into the religious life and system of belief among the ancient Egyptians. We learn from it that they believed in the existence of one Supreme Being, the immortality of the soul, judgement after death, and the resurrection of the body. It shows, too, a high state of literary activity in Egypt in the time of Moses. It refers to extensive libraries then existing. That of Ramessium, in Thebes, e.g., built by Rameses II., contained 20,000 books. When the Hebrews entered Canaan it is evident that the art of writing was known to the original inhabitants, as appears, e.g., from the name of the city Debir having been at first Kirjath-sepher, i.e., the "city of the book," or the "book town" (Josh. 10:38; 15:15; Judg. 1:11). The first mention of letter-writing is in the time of David (2 Sam. 11:14, 15). Letters are afterwards frequently spoken of (1 Kings 21:8, 9, 11; 2 Kings 10:1, 3, 6, 7; 19:14; 2 Chr. 21:12-15; 30:1, 6-9, etc.).
the land of the Nile and the pyramids, the oldest kingdom of which we have any record, holds a place of great significance in Scripture. The Egyptians belonged to the white race, and their original home is still a matter of dispute. Many scholars believe that it was in Southern Arabia, and recent excavations have shown that the valley of the Nile was originally inhabited by a low-class population, perhaps belonging to the Nigritian stock, before the Egyptians of history entered it. The ancient Egyptian language, of which the latest form is Coptic, is distantly connected with the Semitic family of speech. Egypt consists geographically of two halves, the northern being the Delta, and the southern Upper Egypt, between Cairo and the First Cataract. In the Old Testament, Northern or Lower Egypt is called Mazor, "the fortified land" (Isa. 19:6; 37: 25, where the A.V. mistranslates "defence" and "besieged places"); while Southern or Upper Egypt is Pathros, the Egyptian Pa-to-Res, or "the land of the south" (Isa. 11:11). But the whole country is generally mentioned under the dual name of Mizraim, "the two Mazors." The civilization of Egypt goes back to a very remote antiquity. The two kingdoms of the north and south were united by Menes, the founder of the first historical dynasty of kings. The first six dynasties constitute what is known as the Old Empire, which had its capital at Memphis, south of Cairo, called in the Old Testament Moph (Hos. 9:6) and Noph. The native name was Mennofer, "the good place." The Pyramids were tombs of the monarchs of the Old Empire, those of Gizeh being erected in the time of the Fourth Dynasty. After the fall of the Old Empire came a period of decline and obscurity. This was followed by the Middle Empire, the most powerful dynasty of which was the Twelfth. The Fayyum was rescued for agriculture by the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty; and two obelisks were erected in front of the temple of the sun-god at On or Heliopolis (near Cairo), one of which is still standing. The capital of the Middle Empire was Thebes, in Upper Egypt. The Middle Empire was overthrown by the invasion of the Hyksos, or shepherd princes from Asia, who ruled over Egypt, more especially in the north, for several centuries, and of whom there were three dynasties of kings. They had their capital at Zoan or Tanis (now San), in the NEern part of the Delta. It was in the time of the Hyksos that Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph entered Egypt. The Hyksos were finally expelled about B.C. 1600, by the hereditary princes of Thebes, who founded the Eighteenth Dynasty, and carried the war into Asia. Canaan and Syria were subdued, as well as Cyprus, and the boundaries of the Egyptian Empire were fixed at the Euphrates. The Soudan, which had been conquered by the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty, was again annexed to Egypt, and the eldest son of the Pharaoh took the title of "Prince of Cush." One of the later kings of the dynasty, Amenophis IV., or Khu-n-Aten, endeavoured to supplant the ancient state religion of Egypt by a new faith derived from Asia, which was a sort of pantheistic monotheism, the one supreme god being adored under the image of the solar disk. The attempt led to religious and civil war, and the Pharaoh retreated from Thebes to Central Egypt, where he built a new capital, on the site of the present Tell-el-Amarna. The cuneiform tablets that have been found there represent his foreign correspondence (about B.C. 1400). He surrounded himself with officials and courtiers of Asiatic, and more especially Canaanite, extraction; but the native party succeeded eventually in overthrowing the government, the capital of Khu-n-Aten was destroyed, and the foreigners were driven out of the country, those that remained being reduced to serfdom. The national triumph was marked by the rise of the Nineteenth Dynasty, in the founder of which, Rameses I., we must see the "new king, who knew not Joseph." His grandson, Rameses II., reigned sixty-seven years (B.C. 1348-1281), and was an indefatigable builder. As Pithom, excavated by Dr. Naville in 1883, was one of the cities he built, he must have been the Pharaoh of the Oppression. The Pharaoh of the Exodus may have been one of his immediate successors, whose reigns were short. Under them Egypt lost its empire in Asia, and was itself attacked by barbarians from Libya and the north. The Nineteenth Dynasty soon afterwards came to an end; Egypt was distracted by civil war; and for a short time a Canaanite, Arisu, ruled over it. Then came the Twentieth Dynasty, the second Pharaoh of which, Rameses III., restored the power of his country. In one of his campaigns he overran the southern part of Israel, where the Israelites had not yet settled. They must at the time have been still in the wilderness. But it was during the reign of Rameses III. that Egypt finally lost Gaza and the adjoining cities, which were seized by the Pulista, or Philistines. After Rameses III., Egypt fell into decay. Solomon married the daughter of one of the last kings of the Twenty-first Dynasty, which was overthrown by Shishak I., the general of the Libyan mercenaries, who founded the Twenty-second Dynasty (1 Kings 11:40; 14:25, 26). A list of the places he captured in Israel is engraved on the outside of the south wall of the temple of Karnak. In the time of Hezekiah, Egypt was conquered by Ethiopians from the Soudan, who constituted the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. The third of them was Tirhakah (2 Kings 19:9). In B.C. 674 it was conquered by the Assyrians, who divided it into twenty satrapies, and Tirhakah was driven back to his ancestral dominions. Fourteen years later it successfully revolted under Psammetichus I. of Sais, the founder of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. Among his successors were Necho (2 Kings 23:29) and Hophra, or Apries (Jer. 37:5, 7, 11). The dynasty came to an end in B.C. 525, when the country was subjugated by Cambyses. Soon afterwards it was organized into a Persian satrapy. The title of Pharaoh, given to the Egyptian kings, is the Egyptian Per-aa, or "Great House," which may be compared to that of "Sublime Porte." It is found in very early Egyptian texts. The Egyptian religion was a strange mixture of pantheism and animal worship, the gods being adored in the form of animals. While the educated classes resolved their manifold deities into manifestations of one omnipresent and omnipotent divine power, the lower classes regarded the animals as incarnations of the gods. Under the Old Empire, Ptah, the Creator, the god of Memphis, was at the head of the Pantheon; afterwards Amon, the god of Thebes, took his place. Amon, like most of the other gods, was identified with Ra, the sun-god of Heliopolis. The Egyptians believed in a resurrection and future life, as well as in a state of rewards and punishments dependent on our conduct in this world. The judge of the dead was Osiris, who had been slain by Set, the representative of evil, and afterwards restored to life. His death was avenged by his son Horus, whom the Egyptians invoked as their "Redeemer." Osiris and Horus, along with Isis, formed a trinity, who were regarded as representing the sun-god under different forms. Even in the time of Abraham, Egypt was a flourishing and settled monarchy. Its oldest capital, within the historic period, was Memphis, the ruins of which may still be seen near the Pyramids and the Sphinx. When the Old Empire of Menes came to an end, the seat of empire was shifted to Thebes, some 300 miles farther up the Nile. A short time after that, the Delta was conquered by the Hyksos, or shepherd kings, who fixed their capital at Zoan, the Greek Tanis, now San, on the Tanic arm of the Nile. All this occurred before the time of the new king "which knew not Joseph" (Ex. 1:8). In later times Egypt was conquered by the Persians (B.C. 525), and by the Greeks under Alexander the Great (B.C. 332), after whom the Ptolemies ruled the country for three centuries. Subsequently it was for a time a province of the Roman Empire; and at last, in A.D. 1517, it fell into the hands of the Turks, of whose empire it still forms nominally a part. Abraham and Sarah went to Egypt in the time of the shepherd kings. The exile of Joseph and the migration of Jacob to "the land of Goshen" occurred about 200 years later. On the death of Solomon, Shishak, king of Egypt, invaded Israel (1 Kings 14:25). He left a list of the cities he conquered. A number of remarkable clay tablets, discovered at Tell-el-Amarna in Upper Egypt, are the most important historical records ever found in connection with the Bible. They most fully confirm the historical statements of the Book of Joshua, and prove the antiquity of civilization in Syria and Israel. As the clay in different parts of Israel differs, it has been found possible by the clay alone to decide where the tablets come from when the name of the writer is lost. The inscriptions are cuneiform, and in the Aramaic language, resembling Assyrian. The writers are Phoenicians, Amorites, and Philistines, but in no instance Hittites, though Hittites are mentioned. The tablets consist of official dispatches and letters, dating from B.C. 1480, addressed to the two Pharaohs, Amenophis III. and IV., the last of this dynasty, from the kings and governors of Phoenicia and Israel. There occur the names of three kings killed by Joshua, Adoni-zedec, king of Jerusalem, Japhia, king of Lachish (Josh. 10:3), and Jabin, king of Hazor (11:1); also the Hebrews (Abiri) are said to have come from the desert. The principal prophecies of Scripture regarding Egypt are these, Isa. 19; Jer. 43: 8-13; 44:30; 46; Ezek. 29-32; and it might be easily shown that they have all been remarkably fulfilled. For example, the singular disappearance of Noph (i.e., Memphis) is a fulfilment of Jer. 46:19, Ezek. 30:13.
is "any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God" (1 John 3:4; Rom. 4:15), in the inward state and habit of the soul, as well as in the outward conduct of the life, whether by omission or commission (Rom. 6:12-17; 7:5-24). It is "not a mere violation of the law of our constitution, nor of the system of things, but an offence against a personal lawgiver and moral governor who vindicates his law with penalties. The soul that sins is always conscious that his sin is (1) intrinsically vile and polluting, and (2) that it justly deserves punishment, and calls down the righteous wrath of God. Hence sin carries with it two inalienable characters, (1) ill-desert, guilt (reatus); and (2) pollution (macula).", Hodge's Outlines. The moral character of a man's actions is determined by the moral state of his heart. The disposition to sin, or the habit of the soul that leads to the sinful act, is itself also sin (Rom. 6:12-17; Gal. 5:17; James 1:14, 15). The origin of sin is a mystery, and must for ever remain such to us. It is plain that for some reason God has permitted sin to enter this world, and that is all we know. His permitting it, however, in no way makes God the author of sin. Adam's sin (Gen. 3:1-6) consisted in his yielding to the assaults of temptation and eating the forbidden fruit. It involved in it, (1) the sin of unbelief, virtually making God a liar; and (2) the guilt of disobedience to a positive command. By this sin he became an apostate from God, a rebel in arms against his Creator. He lost the favour of God and communion with him; his whole nature became depraved, and he incurred the penalty involved in the covenant of works. Original sin. "Our first parents being the root of all mankind, the guilt of their sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature were conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation." Adam was constituted by God the federal head and representative of all his posterity, as he was also their natural head, and therefore when he fell they fell with him (Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:22-45). His probation was their probation, and his fall their fall. Because of Adam's first sin all his posterity came into the world in a state of sin and condemnation, i.e., (1) a state of moral corruption, and (2) of guilt, as having judicially imputed to them the guilt of Adam's first sin. "Original sin" is frequently and properly used to denote only the moral corruption of their whole nature inherited by all men from Adam. This inherited moral corruption consists in, (1) the loss of original righteousness; and (2) the presence of a constant proneness to evil, which is the root and origin of all actual sin. It is called "sin" (Rom. 6:12, 14, 17; 7:5-17), the "flesh" (Gal. 5:17, 24), "lust" (James 1:14, 15), the "body of sin" (Rom. 6:6), "ignorance," "blindness of heart," "alienation from the life of God" (Eph. 4:18, 19). It influences and depraves the whole man, and its tendency is still downward to deeper and deeper corruption, there remaining no recuperative element in the soul. It is a total depravity, and it is also universally inherited by all the natural descendants of Adam (Rom. 3:10-23; 5:12-21; 8:7). Pelagians deny original sin, and regard man as by nature morally and spiritually well; semi-Pelagians regard him as morally sick; Augustinians, or, as they are also called, Calvinists, regard man as described above, spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1; 1 John 3:14). The doctrine of original sin is proved, (1.) From the fact of the universal sinfulness of men. "There is no man that sinneth not" (1 Kings 8:46; Isa. 53:6; Ps. 130:3; Rom. 3:19, 22, 23; Gal. 3:22). (2.) From the total depravity of man. All men are declared to be destitute of any principle of spiritual life; man's apostasy from God is total and complete (Job 15:14-16; Gen. 6:5,6). (3.) From its early manifestation (Ps. 58:3; Prov. 22:15). (4.) It is proved also from the necessity, absolutely and universally, of regeneration (John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17). (5.) From the universality of death (Rom. 5:12-20). Various kinds of sin are mentioned, (1.) "Presumptuous sins," or as literally rendered, "sins with an uplifted hand", i.e., defiant acts of sin, in contrast with "errors" or "inadvertencies" (Ps. 19:13). (2.) "Secret", i.e., hidden sins (19:12); sins which escape the notice of the soul. (3.) "Sin against the Holy Ghost" (q.v.), or a "sin unto death" (Matt. 12:31, 32; 1 John 5:16), which amounts to a wilful rejection of grace. Sin, a city in Egypt, called by the Greeks Pelusium, which means, as does also the Hebrew name, "clayey" or "muddy," so called from the abundance of clay found there. It is called by Ezekel (Ezek. 30:15) "the strength of Egypt, "thus denoting its importance as a fortified city. It has been identified with the modern Tineh, "a miry place," where its ruins are to be found. Of its boasted magnificence only four red granite columns remain, and some few fragments of others.
in the Babylonian orthography Nabu-kudur-uzur, which means "Nebo, protect the crown!" or the "frontiers." In an inscription he styles himself "Nebo's favourite." He was the son and successor of Nabopolassar, who delivered Babylon from its dependence on Assyria and laid Nineveh in ruins. He was the greatest and most powerful of all the Babylonian kings. He married the daughter of Cyaxares, and thus the Median and Babylonian dynasties were united. Necho II., the king of Egypt, gained a victory over the Assyrians at Carchemish. (See JOSIAH T0002116; MEGIDDO T0002463.) This secured to Egypt the possession of the Syrian provinces of Assyria, including Israel. The remaining provinces of the Assyrian empire were divided between Babylonia and Media. But Nabopolassar was ambitious of reconquering from Necho the western provinces of Syria, and for this purpose he sent his son with a powerful army westward (Dan. 1:1). The Egyptians met him at Carchemish, where a furious battle was fought, resulting in the complete rout of the Egyptians, who were driven back (Jer. 46:2-12), and Syria and Phoenicia brought under the sway of Babylon (B.C. 606). From that time "the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land" (2 Kings 24:7). Nebuchadnezzar also subdued the whole of Israel, and took Jerusalem, carrying away captive a great multitude of the Jews, among whom were Daniel and his companions (Dan. 1:1, 2; Jer. 27:19; 40:1). Three years after this, Jehoiakim, who had reigned in Jerusalem as a Babylonian vassal, rebelled against the oppressor, trusting to help from Egypt (2 Kings 24:1). This led Nebuchadnezzar to march an army again to the conquest of Jerusalem, which at once yielded to him (B.C. 598). A third time he came against it, and deposed Jehoiachin, whom he carried into Babylon, with a large portion of the population of the city, and the sacred vessels of the temple, placing Zedekiah on the throne of Judah in his stead. He also, heedless of the warnings of the prophet, entered into an alliance with Egypt, and rebelled against Babylon. This brought about the final siege of the city, which was at length taken and utterly destroyed (B.C. 586). Zedekiah was taken captive, and had his eyes put out by order of the king of Babylon, who made him a prisoner for the remainder of his life. An onyx cameo, now in the museum of Florence, bears on it an arrow-headed inscription, which is certainly ancient and genuine. The helmeted profile is said (Schrader) to be genuine also, but it is more probable that it is the portrait of a usurper in the time of Darius (Hystaspes), called Nidinta-Bel, who took the name of "Nebuchadrezzar." The inscription has been thus translated:, "In honour of Merodach, his lord, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in his lifetime had this made." A clay tablet, now in the British Museum, bears the following inscription, the only one as yet found which refers to his wars: "In the thirty-seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the country of Babylon, he went to Egypt [Misr] to make war. Amasis, king of Egypt, collected [his army], and marched and spread abroad." Thus were fulfilled the words of the prophet (Jer. 46:13-26; Ezek. 29:2-20). Having completed the subjugation of Phoenicia, and inflicted chastisement on Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar now set himself to rebuild and adorn the city of Babylon (Dan. 4:30), and to add to the greatness and prosperity of his kingdom by constructing canals and aqueducts and reservoirs surpassing in grandeur and magnificence everything of the kind mentioned in history (Dan. 2:37). He is represented as a "king of kings," ruling over a vast kingdom of many provinces, with a long list of officers and rulers under him, "princes, governors, captains," etc. (3:2, 3, 27). He may, indeed, be said to have created the mighty empire over which he ruled. "Modern research has shown that Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest monarch that Babylon, or perhaps the East generally, ever produced. He must have possessed an enormous command of human labour, nine-tenths of Babylon itself, and nineteen-twentieths of all the other ruins that in almost countless profusion cover the land, are composed of bricks stamped with his name. He appears to have built or restored almost every city and temple in the whole country. His inscriptions give an elaborate account of the immense works which he constructed in and about Babylon itself, abundantly illustrating the boast, 'Is not this great Babylon which I have build?'" Rawlinson, Hist. Illustrations. After the incident of the "burning fiery furnace" (Dan. 3) into which the three Hebrew confessors were cast, Nebuchadnezzar was afflicted with some peculiar mental aberration as a punishment for his pride and vanity, probably the form of madness known as lycanthropy (i.e, "the change of a man into a wolf"). A remarkable confirmation of the Scripture narrative is afforded by the recent discovery of a bronze door-step, which bears an inscription to the effect that it was presented by Nebuchadnezzar to the great temple at Borsippa as a votive offering on account of his recovery from a terrible illness. (See DANIEL T0000969.) He survived his recovery for some years, and died B.C. 562, in the eighty-third or eighty-fourth year of his age, after a reign of forty-three years, and was succeeded by his son Evil-merodach, who, after a reign of two years, was succeeded by Neriglissar (559-555), who was succeeded by Nabonadius (555-538), at the close of whose reign (less than a quarter of a century after the death of Nebuchadnezzar) Babylon fell under Cyrus at the head of the combined armies of Media and Persia. "I have examined," says Sir Henry Rawlinson, "the bricks belonging perhaps to a hundred different towns and cities in the neighbourhood of Baghdad, and I never found any other legend than that of Nebuchadnezzar, son of Nabopolassar, king of Babylon." Nine-tenths of all the bricks amid the ruins of Babylon are stamped with his name.
First mentioned in Gen. 10:11, which is rendered in the Revised Version, "He [i.e., Nimrod] went forth into Assyria and builded Nineveh." It is not again noticed till the days of Jonah, when it is described (Jonah 3:3; 4:11) as a great and populous city, the flourishing capital of the Assyrian empire (2 Kings 19:36; Isa. 37:37). The book of the prophet Nahum is almost exclusively taken up with prophetic denunciations against this city. Its ruin and utter desolation are foretold (Nah.1:14; 3:19, etc.). Zephaniah also (2:13-15) predicts its destruction along with the fall of the empire of which it was the capital. From this time there is no mention of it in Scripture till it is named in gospel history (Matt. 12:41; Luke 11:32). This "exceeding great city" lay on the eastern or left bank of the river Tigris, along which it stretched for some 30 miles, having an average breadth of 10 miles or more from the river back toward the eastern hills. This whole extensive space is now one immense area of ruins. Occupying a central position on the great highway between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, thus uniting the East and the West, wealth flowed into it from many sources, so that it became the greatest of all ancient cities. About B.C. 633 the Assyrian empire began to show signs of weakness, and Nineveh was attacked by the Medes, who subsequently, about B.C. 625, being joined by the Babylonians and Susianians, again attacked it, when it fell, and was razed to the ground. The Assyrian empire then came to an end, the Medes and Babylonians dividing its provinces between them. "After having ruled for more than six hundred years with hideous tyranny and violence, from the Caucasus and the Caspian to the Persian Gulf, and from beyond the Tigris to Asia Minor and Egypt, it vanished like a dream" (Nah. 2:6-11). Its end was strange, sudden, tragic. It was God's doing, his judgement on Assyria's pride (Isa. 10:5-19). Forty years ago our knowledge of the great Assyrian empire and of its magnificent capital was almost wholly a blank. Vague memories had indeed survived of its power and greatness, but very little was definitely known about it. Other cities which had perished, as Palmyra, Persepolis, and Thebes, had left ruins to mark their sites and tell of their former greatness; but of this city, imperial Nineveh, not a single vestige seemed to remain, and the very place on which it had stood was only matter of conjecture. In fulfilment of prophecy, God made "an utter end of the place." It became a "desolation." In the days of the Greek historian Herodotus, B.C. 400, it had become a thing of the past; and when Xenophon the historian passed the place in the "Retreat of the Ten Thousand," the very memory of its name had been lost. It was buried out of sight, and no one knew its grave. It is never again to rise from its ruins. At length, after being lost for more than two thousand years, the city was disentombed. A little more than forty years ago the French consul at Mosul began to search the vast mounds that lay along the opposite bank of the river. The Arabs whom he employed in these excavations, to their great surprise, came upon the ruins of a building at the mound of Khorsabad, which, on further exploration, turned out to be the royal palace of Sargon, one of the Assyrian kings. They found their way into its extensive courts and chambers, and brought forth form its hidded depths many wonderful sculptures and other relics of those ancient times. The work of exploration has been carried on almost continuously by M. Botta, Sir Henry Layard, George Smith, and others, in the mounds of Nebi-Yunus, Nimrud, Koyunjik, and Khorsabad, and a vast treasury of specimens of old Assyrian art has been exhumed. Palace after palace has been discovered, with their decorations and their sculptured slabs, revealing the life and manners of this ancient people, their arts of war and peace, the forms of their religion, the style of their architecture, and the magnificence of their monarchs. The streets of the city have been explored, the inscriptions on the bricks and tablets and sculptured figures have been read, and now the secrets of their history have been brought to light. One of the most remarkable of recent discoveries is that of the library of King Assur-bani-pal, or, as the Greek historians call him, Sardanapalos, the grandson of Sennacherib (q.v.). (See ASNAPPER T0000347.) This library consists of about ten thousand flat bricks or tablets, all written over with Assyrian characters. They contain a record of the history, the laws, and the religion of Assyria, of the greatest value. These strange clay leaves found in the royal library form the most valuable of all the treasuries of the literature of the old world. The library contains also old Accadian documents, which are the oldest extant documents in the world, dating as far back as probably about the time of Abraham. (See SARGON T0003227.) "The Assyrian royalty is, perhaps, the most luxurious of our century [reign of Assur-bani-pal...Its victories and conquests, uninterrupted for one hundred years, have enriched it with the spoil of twenty peoples. Sargon has taken what remained to the Hittites; Sennacherib overcame Chaldea, and the treasures of Babylon were transferred to his coffers; Esarhaddon and Assur-bani-pal himself have pillaged Egypt and her great cities, Sais, Memphis, and Thebes of the hundred gates...Now foreign merchants flock into Nineveh, bringing with them the most valuable productions from all countries, gold and perfume from South Arabia and the Chaldean Sea, Egyptian linen and glass-work, carved enamels, goldsmiths' work, tin, silver, Phoenician purple; cedar wood from Lebanon, unassailable by worms; furs and iron from Asia Minor and Armenia" (Ancient Egypt and Assyria, by G. Maspero, page 271). The bas-reliefs, alabaster slabs, and sculptured monuments found in these recovered palaces serve in a remarkable manner to confirm the Old Testament history of the kings of Israel. The appearance of the ruins shows that the destruction of the city was due not only to the assailing foe but also to the flood and the fire, thus confirming the ancient prophecies concerning it. "The recent excavations," says Rawlinson, "have shown that fire was a great instrument in the destruction of the Nineveh palaces. Calcined alabaster, charred wood, and charcoal, colossal statues split through with heat, are met with in parts of the Nineveh mounds, and attest the veracity of prophecy." Nineveh in its glory was (Jonah 3:4) an "exceeding great city of three days' journey", i.e., probably in circuit. This would give a circumference of about 60 miles. At the four corners of an irregular quadrangle are the ruins of Kouyunjik, Nimrud, Karamless and Khorsabad. These four great masses of ruins, with the whole area included within the parallelogram they form by lines drawn from the one to the other, are generally regarded as composing the whole ruins of Nineveh.