The Jews reckoned the day from sunset to sunset (Lev. 23:32). It
was originally divided into three parts (Ps. 55:17). "The heat
of the day" (1 Sam. 11:11; Neh. 7:3) was at our nine o'clock,
and "the cool of the day" just before sunset (Gen. 3:8). Before
the Captivity the Jews divided the night into three watches, (1)
from sunset to midnight (Lam. 2:19); (2) from midnight till the
cock-crowing (Judg. 7:19); and (3) from the cock-crowing till
sunrise (Ex. 14:24). In the New Testament the division of the
Greeks and Romans into four watches was adopted (Mark 13:35).
(See WATCHES T0003789.)
The division of the day by hours is first mentioned in Dan.
3:6, 15; 4:19; 5:5. This mode of reckoning was borrowed from the
Chaldeans. The reckoning of twelve hours was from sunrise to
sunset, and accordingly the hours were of variable length (John
The word "day" sometimes signifies an indefinite time (Gen.
2:4; Isa. 22:5; Heb. 3:8, etc.). In Job 3:1 it denotes a
birthday, and in Isa. 2:12, Acts 17:31, and 2 Tim. 1:18, the
great day of final judgment.
(Heb. verb shabbath, meaning "to rest from labour"), the day of
rest. It is first mentioned as having been instituted in
Paradise, when man was in innocence (Gen. 2:2). "The sabbath was
made for man," as a day of rest and refreshment for the body and
of blessing to the soul.
It is next referred to in connection with the gift of manna to
the children of Israel in the wilderness (Ex. 16:23); and
afterwards, when the law was given from Sinai (20:11), the
people were solemnly charged to "remember the sabbath day, to
keep it holy." Thus it is spoken of as an institution already
In the Mosaic law strict regulations were laid down regarding
its observance (Ex. 35:2, 3; Lev. 23:3; 26:34). These were
peculiar to that dispensation.
In the subsequent history of the Jews frequent references are
made to the sanctity of the Sabbath (Isa. 56:2, 4, 6, 7; 58:13,
14; Jer. 17:20-22; Neh. 13:19). In later times they perverted
the Sabbath by their traditions. Our Lord rescued it from their
perversions, and recalled to them its true nature and intent
(Matt. 12:10-13; Mark 2:27; Luke 13:10-17).
The Sabbath, originally instituted for man at his creation, is
of permanent and universal obligation. The physical necessities
of man require a Sabbath of rest. He is so constituted that his
bodily welfare needs at least one day in seven for rest from
ordinary labour. Experience also proves that the moral and
spiritual necessities of men also demand a Sabbath of rest. "I
am more and more sure by experience that the reason for the
observance of the Sabbath lies deep in the everlasting
necessities of human nature, and that as long as man is man the
blessedness of keeping it, not as a day of rest only, but as a
day of spiritual rest, will never be annulled. I certainly do
feel by experience the eternal obligation, because of the
eternal necessity, of the Sabbath. The soul withers without it.
It thrives in proportion to its observance. The Sabbath was made
for man. God made it for men in a certain spiritual state
because they needed it. The need, therefore, is deeply hidden in
human nature. He who can dispense with it must be holy and
spiritual indeed. And he who, still unholy and unspiritual,
would yet dispense with it is a man that would fain be wiser
than his Maker" (F. W. Robertson).
The ancient Babylonian calendar, as seen from recently
recovered inscriptions on the bricks among the ruins of the
royal palace, was based on the division of time into weeks of
seven days. The Sabbath is in these inscriptions designated
Sabattu, and defined as "a day of rest for the heart" and "a day
of completion of labour."
The change of the day. Originally at creation the seventh day
of the week was set apart and consecrated as the Sabbath. The
first day of the week is now observed as the Sabbath. Has God
authorized this change? There is an obvious distinction between
the Sabbath as an institution and the particular day set apart
for its observance. The question, therefore, as to the change of
the day in no way affects the perpetual obligation of the
Sabbath as an institution. Change of the day or no change, the
Sabbath remains as a sacred institution the same. It cannot be
If any change of the day has been made, it must have been by
Christ or by his authority. Christ has a right to make such a
change (Mark 2:23-28). As Creator, Christ was the original Lord
of the Sabbath (John 1:3; Heb. 1:10). It was originally a
memorial of creation. A work vastly greater than that of
creation has now been accomplished by him, the work of
redemption. We would naturally expect just such a change as
would make the Sabbath a memorial of that greater work.
True, we can give no text authorizing the change in so many
words. We have no express law declaring the change. But there
are evidences of another kind. We know for a fact that the first
day of the week has been observed from apostolic times, and the
necessary conclusion is, that it was observed by the apostles
and their immediate disciples. This, we may be sure, they never
would have done without the permission or the authority of their
After his resurrection, which took place on the first day of
the week (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1), we never
find Christ meeting with his disciples on the seventh day. But
he specially honoured the first day by manifesting himself to
them on four separate occasions (Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:34, 18-33;
John 20:19-23). Again, on the next first day of the week, Jesus
appeared to his disciples (John 20:26).
Some have calculated that Christ's ascension took place on the
first day of the week. And there can be no doubt that the
descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost was on that day (Acts
2:1). Thus Christ appears as instituting a new day to be
observed by his people as the Sabbath, a day to be henceforth
known amongst them as the "Lord's day." The observance of this
"Lord's day" as the Sabbath was the general custom of the
primitive churches, and must have had apostolic sanction (compare
Acts 20:3-7; 1 Cor. 16:1, 2) and authority, and so the sanction
and authority of Jesus Christ.
The words "at her sabbaths" (Lam. 1:7, A.V.) ought probably to
be, as in the Revised Version, "at her desolations."
First found in Dan. 3:6; 4:19, 33;5:5. It is the rendering of
the Chaldee shaah, meaning a "moment," a "look." It is used in
the New Testament frequently to denote some determinate season
(Matt. 8:13; Luke 12:39).
With the ancient Hebrews the divisions of the day were
"morning, evening, and noon-day" (Ps. 55:17, etc.). The Greeks,
following the Babylonians, divided the day into twelve hours.
The Jews, during the Captivity, learned also from the
Babylonians this method of dividing time. When Judea became
subject to the Romans, the Jews adopted the Roman mode of
reckoning time. The night was divided into four watches (Luke
12:38; Matt. 14:25; 13:25). Frequent allusion is also made to
hours (Matt. 25:13; 26:40, etc.). (See DAY T0000984.)
An hour was the twelfth part of the day, reckoning from
sunrise to sunset, and consequently it perpetually varied in
Atonement, Day of
the great annual day of humiliation and expiation for the sins
of the nation, "the fast" (Acts 27:9), and the only one
commanded in the law of Moses. The mode of its observance is
described in Lev. 16:3-10; 23:26-32; and Num. 29:7-11.
It was kept on the tenth day of the month Tisri, i.e., five
days before the feast of Tabernacles, and lasted from sunset to
sunset. (See AZAZEL T0000374.)
only once, in Rev. 1:10, was in the early Christian ages used to
denote the first day of the week, which commemorated the Lord's
resurrection. There is every reason to conclude that John thus
used the name. (See SABBATH T0003170.)
(Isa. 1:13), the convocation on the eighth day of the Feast of
Tabernacles (Lev. 23:36; Num. 29:35, R.V., "solemn assembly;"
marg., "closing festival"). It is the name given also to the
convocation held on the seventh day of the Passover (Deut.
i.e., "fiftieth", found only in the New Testament (Acts 2:1;
20:16; 1 Cor. 16:8). The festival so named is first spoken of in
Ex. 23:16 as "the feast of harvest," and again in Ex. 34:22 as
"the day of the firstfruits" (Num. 28:26). From the sixteenth of
the month of Nisan (the second day of the Passover), seven
complete weeks, i.e., forty-nine days, were to be reckoned, and
this feast was held on the fiftieth day. The manner in which it
was to be kept is described in Lev. 23:15-19; Num. 28:27-29.
Besides the sacrifices prescribed for the occasion, every one
was to bring to the Lord his "tribute of a free-will offering"
(Deut. 16:9-11). The purpose of this feast was to commemorate
the completion of the grain harvest. Its distinguishing feature
was the offering of "two leavened loaves" made from the new corn
of the completed harvest, which, with two lambs, were waved
before the Lord as a thank offering.
The day of Pentecost is noted in the Christian Church as the
day on which the Spirit descended upon the apostles, and on
which, under Peter's preaching, so many thousands were converted
in Jerusalem (Acts 2).
The observance of birth-days was common in early times (Job 1:4,
13, 18). They were specially celebrated in the land of Egypt
(Gen. 40:20). There is no recorded instance in Scripture of the
celebration of birth-days among the Jews. On the occasion of
Herod's birth-day John the Baptist was beheaded (Matt. 14:6).
a prophetic period mentioned in Dan. 9:24, and usually
interpreted on the "year-day" theory, i.e., reckoning each day
for a year. This period will thus represent 490 years. This is
regarded as the period which would elapse till the time of the
coming of the Messiah, dating "from the going forth of the
commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem" i.e., from the
close of the Captivity.
a lot, lots, a festival instituted by the Jews (Esther 9:24-32)
in ironical commemoration of Haman's consultation of the Pur (a
Persian word), for the purpose of ascertaining the auspicious
day for executing his cruel plot against their nation. It became
a national institution by the common consent of the Jews, and is
observed by them to the present day, on the 14th and 15th of the
month Adar, a month before the Passover.
the period following sunset with which the Jewish day began
(Gen. 1:5; Mark 13:35). The Hebrews reckoned two evenings of
each day, as appears from Ex. 16:12: 30:8; 12:6 (marg.); Lev.
23:5 (marg. R.V., "between the two evenings"). The "first
evening" was that period when the sun was verging towards
setting, and the "second evening" the moment of actual sunset.
The word "evenings" in Jer. 5:6 should be "deserts" (marg.
Jezreel, Day of
the time predicted for the execution of vengeance for the deeds
of blood committed there (Hos. 1:5).
the easternmost and the largest province of Asia Minor.
Christianity very early penetrated into this country (1 Pet.
1:1). On the day of Pentecost there were Cappadocians at
Jerusalem (Acts 2:9).
the principal meal of the day among the Jews. It was partaken of
in the early part of the evening (Mark 6:21; John 12:2; 1 Cor.
11:21). (See LORD'S SUPPER T0002318.)
day of God. (1.) One of Simeon's five sons (1 Chr. 4:24), called
also Jemuel (Gen. 46:10). (2.) A Reubenite, a son of Eliab, and
brother of Dathan and Abiram (Num. 26:9).
boughs of, were to be carried in festive procession on the first
day of the feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:40). This was probably
the olive tree (Neh. 8:15), although no special tree is
is the translation of a word (tse'med), which properly means a
yoke, and denotes a space of ground that may be ploughed by a
yoke of oxen in a day. It is about an acre of our measure (Isa.
5:10; 1 Sam. 14:14).
an artificer in stone. The Tyrians seem to have been specially
skilled in architecture (1 Kings 5:17, 18; 2 Sam. 5:11). This
art the Hebrews no doubt learned in Egypt (Ex. 1:11, 14), where
ruins of temples and palaces fill the traveller with wonder at
the present day.
Sabbath day's journey
supposed to be a distance of 2,000 cubits, or less than
half-a-mile, the distance to which, according to Jewish
tradition, it was allowable to travel on the Sabbath day without
violating the law (Acts 1:12; compare Ex. 16:29; Num. 35:5; Josh.
an umpire or arbiter or judge (Job 9:33). This word is formed
from the Latin diem dicere, i.e., to fix a day for hearing a
cause. Such an one is empowered by mutual consent to decide the
cause, and to "lay his hand", i.e., to impose his authority, on
both, and enforce his sentence.
palpitation, a fountain near which Gideon and his army encamped
on the morning of the day when they encountered and routed the
Midianites (Judg. 7). It was south of the hill Moreh. The
present 'Ain Jalud ("Goliath's Fountain"), south of Jezreel and
nearly opposite Shunem, is probably the fountain here referred
to (7:4, 5).
succeeded his father Jehoiakin (B.C. 599) when only eight years
of age, and reigned for one hundred days (2 Chr. 36:9). He is
also called Jeconiah (Jer. 24:1; 27:20, etc.), and Coniah
(22:24; 37:1). He was succeeded by his uncle, Mattaniah =
Zedekiah (q.v.). He was the last direct heir to the Jewish
crown. He was carried captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar,
along with the flower of the nobility, all the leading men in
Jerusalem, and a great body of the general population, some
thirteen thousand in all (2 Kings 24:12-16; Jer. 52:28). After
an imprisonment of thirty-seven years (Jer. 52:31, 33), he was
liberated by Evil-merodach, and permitted to occupy a place in
the king's household and sit at his table, receiving "every day
a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life"
"There is no dew properly so called in Israel, for there is
no moisture in the hot summer air to be chilled into dew-drops
by the coldness of the night. From May till October rain is
unknown, the sun shining with unclouded brightness day after
day. The heat becomes intense, the ground hard, and vegetation
would perish but for the moist west winds that come each night
from the sea. The bright skies cause the heat of the day to
radiate very quickly into space, so that the nights are as cold
as the day is the reverse, a peculiarity of climate from which
poor Jacob suffered thousands of years ago (Gen. 31:40). To this
coldness of the night air the indispensable watering of all
plant-life is due. The winds, loaded with moisture, are robbed
of it as they pass over the land, the cold air condensing it
into drops of water, which fall in a gracious rain of mist on
every thirsty blade. In the morning the fog thus created rests
like a sea over the plains, and far up the sides of the hills,
which raise their heads above it like so many islands. At
sunrise, however, the scene speedily changes. By the kindling
light the mist is transformed into vast snow-white clouds, which
presently break into separate masses and rise up the
mountain-sides, to disappear in the blue above, dissipated by
the increasing heat. These are 'the morning clouds and the early
dew that go away' of which Hosea (6:4; 13:3) speaks so
touchingly" (Geikie's The Holy Land, etc., i., p. 72). Dew is a
source of great fertility (Gen. 27:28; Deut. 33:13; Zech. 8:12),
and its withdrawal is regarded as a curse from God (2 Sam. 1:21;
1 Kings 17:1). It is the symbol of a multitude (2 Sam. 17:12;
Ps. 110:3); and from its refreshing influence it is an emblem of
brotherly love and harmony (Ps. 133:3), and of rich spiritual
blessings (Hos. 14:5).
(abbreviation of Cleopatros), one of the two disciples with whom
Jesus conversed on the way to Emmaus on the day of the
resurrection (Luke 24:18). We know nothing definitely regarding
him. It is not certain that he was the Clopas of John 19:25, or
the Alphaeus of Matt. 10:3, although he may have been so.
(Dan. 8:12; 11:31; 12:11), a burnt offering of two lambs of a
year old, which were daily sacrificed in the name of the whole
Israelitish people upon the great altar, the first at dawn of
day, and the second at evening (Dan. 9:21), or more correctly,
"between the two evenings." (See SACRIFICE T0003179.)
Paul and his company, loosing from Paphos, sailed north-west and
came to Perga, the capital of Pamphylia (Acts 13:13, 14), a
province about the middle of the southern sea-board of Asia
Minor. It lay between Lycia on the west and Cilicia on the east.
There were strangers from Pamphylia at Jerusalem on the day of
The use of the bath was very frequent among the Hebrews (Lev.
14:8; Num. 19:19, ect.). The high priest at his inauguration
(Lev. 8:6), and on the day of atonement, was required to bathe
himself (16:4, 24). The "pools" mentioned in Neh. 3:15, 16, 2
Kings 20:20, Isa. 22:11, John 9:7, were public bathing-places.
As streams were few in Israel, water was generally stored up
in winter in reservoirs, and distributed through gardens in
numerous rills, which could easily be turned or diverted by the
foot (Deut. 11:10).
For purposes of irrigation, water was raised from streams or
pools by water-wheels, or by a shaduf, commonly used on the
banks of the Nile to the present day.
occurs only in Rev. 16:16 (R.V., "Har-Magedon"), as symbolically
designating the place where the "battle of that great day of God
Almighty" (ver. 14) shall be fought. The word properly means the
"mount of Megiddo." It is the scene of the final conflict
between Christ and Antichrist. The idea of such a scene was
suggested by the Old Testament great battle-field, the plain of
the name given to Noah's flood, the history of which is recorded
in Gen. 7 and 8.
It began in the year 2516 B.C., and continued twelve lunar
months and ten days, or exactly one solar year.
The cause of this judgment was the corruption and violence
that filled the earth in the ninth generation from Adam. God in
righteous indignation determined to purge the earth of the
ungodly race. Amid a world of crime and guilt there was one
household that continued faithful and true to God, the household
of Noah. "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations."
At the command of God, Noah made an ark 300 cubits long, 50
broad, and 30 high. He slowly proceeded with this work during a
period of one hundred and twenty years (Gen. 6:3). At length the
purpose of God began to be carried into effect. The following
table exhibits the order of events as they occurred:
In the six hundredth year of his life Noah is commanded by God
to enter the ark, taking with him his wife, and his three sons
with their wives (Gen. 7:1-10).
The rain begins on the seventeenth day of the second month
The rain ceases, the waters prevail, fifteen cubits upward
The ark grounds on one of the mountains of Ararat on the
seventeenth day of the seventh month, or one hundred and fifty
days after the Deluge began (Gen. 8:1-4).
Tops of the mountains visible on the first day of the tenth
month (Gen. 8:5).
Raven and dove sent out forty days after this (Gen. 8:6-9).
Dove again sent out seven days afterwards; and in the evening
she returns with an olive leaf in her mouth (Gen. 8:10, 11).
Dove sent out the third time after an interval of other seven
days, and returns no more (Gen. 8:12).
The ground becomes dry on the first day of the first month of
the new year (Gen. 8:13).
Noah leaves the ark on the twenty-seventh day of the second
month (Gen. 8:14-19).
The historical truth of the narrative of the Flood is
established by the references made to it by our Lord (Matt.
24:37; compare Luke 17:26). Peter speaks of it also (1 Pet. 3:20;
2 Pet. 2:5). In Isa. 54:9 the Flood is referred to as "the
waters of Noah." The Biblical narrative clearly shows that so
far as the human race was concerned the Deluge was universal;
that it swept away all men living except Noah and his family,
who were preserved in the ark; and that the present human race
is descended from those who were thus preserved.
Traditions of the Deluge are found among all the great
divisions of the human family; and these traditions, taken as a
whole, wonderfully agree with the Biblical narrative, and agree
with it in such a way as to lead to the conclusion that the
Biblical is the authentic narrative, of which all these
traditions are more or less corrupted versions. The most
remarkable of these traditions is that recorded on tablets
prepared by order of Assur-bani-pal, the king of Assyria. These
were, however, copies of older records which belonged to
somewhere about B.C. 2000, and which formed part of the priestly
library at Erech (q.v.), "the ineradicable remembrance of a real
and terrible event." (See NOAH T0002741; CHALDEA T0000758.)
A cow and her calf were not to be killed on the same day (Lev.
22:28; Ex. 23:19; Deut. 22:6, 7). The reason for this enactment
is not given. A state of great poverty is described in the words
of Isa. 7:21-25, where, instead of possessing great resources, a
man shall depend for the subsistence of himself and his family
on what a single cow and two sheep could yield.
an ear of corn, the month of newly-ripened grain (Ex. 13:4;
23:15); the first of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, and the
seventh of the civil year. It began about the time of the vernal
equinox, on 21st March. It was called Nisan, after the Captivity
(Neh. 2:1). On the fifteenth day of the month, harvest was begun
by gathering a sheaf of barley, which was offered unto the Lord
on the sixteenth (Lev. 23:4-11).
(Heb. hargol, meaning "leaper"). Mention of it is made only in
Lev. 11:22, where it is obvious the word cannot mean properly
the beetle. It denotes some winged creeper with at least four
feet, "which has legs above its feet, to leap withal." The
description plainly points to the locust (q.v.). This has been
an article of food from the earliest times in the East to the
present day. The word is rendered "cricket" in the Revised
cave-land, mentioned only in Ezek. 47:16, 18. It was one of the
ancient divisions of Bashan (q.v.), and lay on the south-east of
Gaulanitis or the Jaulan, and on the south of Lejah, extending
from the Arnon to the Hieromax. It was the most fertile region
in Syria, and to this day abounds in the ruins of towns, many of
which have stone doors and massive walls. It retains its ancient
name. It was known by the Greeks and Romans as "Auranitis."
fountain of the sun a spring which formed one of the landmarks
on the boundary between Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:7; 18:17).
It was between the "ascent of Adummim" and the spring of
En-rogel, and hence was on the east of Jerusalem and of the
Mount of Olives. It is the modern 'Ain-Haud i.e., the "well of
the apostles" about a mile east of Bethany, the only spring on
the road to Jericho. The sun shines on it the whole day long.
literally bed-keeper or chamberlain, and not necessarily in all
cases one who was mutilated, although the practice of employing
such mutilated persons in Oriental courts was common (2 Kings
9:32; Esther 2:3). The law of Moses excluded them from the
congregation (Deut. 23:1). They were common also among the
Greeks and Romans. It is said that even to-day there are some in
Rome who are employed in singing soprano in the Sistine Chapel.
Three classes of eunuchs are mentioned in Matt. 19:12.
a fragrant composition prepared by the "art of the apothecary."
It consisted of four ingredients "beaten small" (Ex. 30:34-36).
That which was not thus prepared was called "strange incense"
(30:9). It was offered along with every meat-offering; and
besides was daily offered on the golden altar in the holy place,
and on the great day of atonement was burnt by the high priest
in the holy of holies (30:7, 8). It was the symbol of prayer
(Ps. 141:1,2; Rev. 5:8; 8:3, 4).
(1.) Jonah's gourd (Jonah 4:6-10), bearing the Hebrew name
"kikayon" (found only here), was probably the kiki of the
Egyptians, the croton. This is the castor-oil plant, a species
of ricinus, the palma Christi, so called from the palmate
division of its leaves. Others with more probability regard it
as the cucurbita the el-keroa of the Arabs, a kind of pumpkin
peculiar to the East. "It is grown in great abundance on the
alluvial banks of the Tigris and on the plain between the river
and the ruins of Nineveh." At the present day it is trained to
run over structures of mud and brush to form boots to protect
the gardeners from the heat of the noon-day sun. It grows with
extraordinary rapidity, and when cut or injured withers away
also with great rapidity.
(2.) Wild gourds (2 Kings 4:38-40), Heb. pakkuoth, belong to
the family of the cucumber-like plants, some of which are
poisonous. The species here referred to is probably the
colocynth (Cucumis colocynthus). The LXX. render the word by
"wild pumpkin." It abounds in the desert parts of Syria, Egypt,
and Arabia. There is, however, another species, called the
Cucumis prophetarum, from the idea that it afforded the gourd
which "the sons of the prophets" shred by mistake into their
a meeting of a religious character as distinguished from
congregation, which was more general, dealing with political and
legal matters. Hence it is called an "holy convocation." Such
convocations were the Sabbaths (Lev. 23:2, 3), the Passover (Ex.
12:16; Lev. 23:7, 8; Num. 28:25), Pentecost (Lev. 23:21), the
feast of Trumpets (Lev. 23:24; Num. 29:1), the feast of Weeks
(Num. 28:26), and the feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:35, 36). The
great fast, the annual day of atonement, was "the holy
convocation" (Lev. 23:27; Num. 29:7).
(1.) Used as manure (Luke 13:8); collected outside the city
walls (Neh. 2:13). Of sacrifices, burned outside the camp (Ex.
29:14; Lev. 4:11; 8:17; Num. 19:5). To be "cast out as dung," a
figurative expression (1 Kings 14:10; 2 Kings 9:37; Jer. 8:2;
Ps. 18:42), meaning to be rejected as unprofitable.
(2.) Used as fuel, a substitute for firewood, which was with
difficulty procured in Syria, Arabia, and Egypt (Ezek. 4:12-15),
where cows' and camels' dung is used to the present day for this
When Joshua took the city of Ai (Josh. 8), he burned it and
"made it an heap [Heb. tel] for ever" (8:28). The ruins of this
city were for a long time sought for in vain. It has been at
length, however, identified with the mound which simply bears
the name of "Tel." "There are many Tels in modern Israel,
that land of Tels, each Tel with some other name attached to it
to mark the former site. But the site of Ai has no other name
'unto this day.' It is simply et-Tel, 'the heap' par
(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.
Only mentioned in Isa. 3:21, although refered to in Gen. 24:47,
Prov. 11:22, Hos. 2:13. They were among the most valued of
ancient female ornaments. They "were made of ivory or metal, and
occasionally jewelled. They were more than an inch in diameter,
and hung upon the mouth. Eliezer gave one to Rebekah which was
of gold and weighed half a shekel...At the present day the women
in the country and in the desert wear these ornaments in one of
the sides of the nostrils, which droop like the ears in
In our Lord's time the Jews had adopted the Greek and Roman
division of the night into four watches, each consisting of
three hours, the first beginning at six o'clock in the evening
(Luke 12:38; Matt. 14:25; Mark 6:48). But the ancient division,
known as the first and second cock-crowing, was still retained.
The cock usually crows several times soon after midnight (this
is the first crowing), and again at the dawn of day (and this is
the second crowing). Mark mentions (14:30) the two
cock-crowings. Matthew (26:34) alludes to that only which was
emphatically the cock-crowing, viz, the second.
hot baths, a village "three-score furlongs" from jerusalem,
where our Lord had an interview with two of his disciples on the
day of his resurrection (Luke 24:13). This has been identified
with the modern el-Kubeibeh, lying over 7 miles north-west of
Jerusalem. This name, el-Kubeibeh, meaning "little dome," is
derived from the remains of the Crusaders' church yet to be
found there. Others have identified it with the modern Khurbet
Khamasa i.e., "the ruins of Khamasa", about 8 miles south-west
of Jerusalem, where there are ruins also of a Crusaders' church.
Its site, however has been much disputed.
Haggai, Book of
consists of two brief, comprehensive chapters. The object of the
prophet was generally to urge the people to proceed with the
rebuilding of the temple.
Chapter first comprehends the first address (2-11) and its
effects (12-15). Chapter second contains,
(1.) The second prophecy (1-9), which was delivered a month
after the first.
(2.) The third prophecy (10-19), delivered two months and
three days after the second; and
(3.) The fourth prophecy (20-23), delivered on the same day as
These discourses are referred to in Ezra 5:1; 6:14; Heb.
12:26. (Compare Hag. 2:7, 8, 22.)
the season for gathering grain or fruit. On the 16th day of Abib
(or April) a handful of ripe ears of corn was offered as a
first-fruit before the Lord, and immediately after this the
harvest commenced (Lev. 23:9-14; 2 Sam. 21:9, 10; Ruth 2:23). It
began with the feast of Passover and ended with Pentecost, thus
lasting for seven weeks (Ex. 23:16). The harvest was a season of
joy (Ps. 126:1-6; Isa. 9:3). This word is used figuratively
Matt. 9:37; 13:30; Luke 10:2; John 4:35. (See AGRICULTURE
a peak, the eastern prolongation of the Anti-Lebanon range,
reaching to the height of about 9,200 feet above the
Mediterranean. It marks the north boundary of Israel (Deut.
3:8, 4:48; Josh. 11:3, 17; 13:11; 12:1), and is seen from a
great distance. It is about 40 miles north of the Sea of
Galilee. It is called "the Hermonites" (Ps. 42:6) because it has
more than one summit. The Sidonians called it Sirion, and the
Amorites Shenir (Deut. 3:9; Cant. 4:8). It is also called
Baal-hermon (Judg. 3:3; 1 Chr. 5:23) and Sion (Deut. 4:48).
There is every probability that one of its three summits was the
scene of the transfiguration (q.v.). The "dew of Hermon" is
referred to (Ps. 89: 12). Its modern name is Jebel-esh-Sheikh,
"the chief mountain." It is one of the most conspicuous
mountains in Israel or Syria. "In whatever part of Israel
the Israelite turned his eye northward, Hermon was there,
terminating the view. From the plain along the coast, from the
Jordan valley, from the heights of Moab and Gilead, from the
plateau of Bashan, the pale, blue, snow-capped cone forms the
one feature in the northern horizon."
Our Lord and his disciples climbed this "high mountain apart"
one day, and remained on its summit all night, "weary after
their long and toilsome ascent." During the night "he was
transfigured before them; and his face did shine as the sun."
The next day they descended to Caesarea Philippi.
Herod Agrippa I.
son of Aristobulus and Bernice, and grandson of Herod the Great.
He was made tetrarch of the provinces formerly held by Lysanias
II., and ultimately possessed the entire kingdom of his
grandfather, Herod the Great, with the title of king. He put the
apostle James the elder to death, and cast Peter into prison
(Luke 3:1; Acts 12:1-19). On the second day of a festival held
in honour of the emperor Claudius, he appeared in the great
theatre of Caesarea. "The king came in clothed in magnificent
robes, of which silver was the costly brilliant material. It was
early in the day, and the sun's rays fell on the king, so that
the eyes of the beholders were dazzled with the brightness which
surrounded him. Voices here and there from the crowd exclaimed
that it was the apparition of something divine. And when he
spoke and made an oration to them, they gave a shout, saying,
'It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.' But in the midst
of this idolatrous ostentation an angel of God suddenly smote
him. He was carried out of the theatre a dying man." He died
(A.D. 44) of the same loathsome malady which slew his
grandfather (Acts. 12:21-23), in the fifty-fourth year of his
age, having reigned four years as tetrarch and three as king
over the whole of Israel. After his death his kingdom came
under the control of the prefect of Syria, and Israel was now
fully incorporated with the empire.
foolish, a descendant of Caleb who dwelt at Maon (1 Sam. 25),
the modern Main, 7 miles south-east of Hebron. He was "very
great, and he had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats...but the man was
churlish and evil in his doings." During his wanderings David
came into that district, and hearing that Nabal was about to
shear his sheep, he sent ten of his young men to ask "whatsoever
cometh unto thy hand for thy servants." Nabal insultingly
resented the demand, saying, "Who is David, and who is the son
of Jesse?" (1 Sam. 25:10, 11). One of the shepherds that stood
by and saw the reception David's messengers had met with,
informed Abigail, Nabal's wife, who at once realized the danger
that threatened her household. She forthwith proceeded to the
camp of David, bringing with her ample stores of provisions
(25:18). She so courteously and persuasively pled her cause that
David's anger was appeased, and he said to her, "Blessed be the
Lord God of Israel which sent thee this day to meet me."
On her return she found her husband incapable from drunkenness
of understanding the state of matters, and not till the
following day did she explain to him what had happened. He was
stunned by a sense of the danger to which his conduct had
exposed him. "His heart died within him, and he became as a
stone." and about ten days after "the Lord smote Nabal that he
died" (1 Sam. 25:37, 38). Not long after David married Abigail
Coming of Christ
(1) with reference to his first advent "in the fulness of the
time" (1 John 5:20; 2 John 1:7), or (2) with reference to his
coming again the second time at the last day (Acts 1:11; 3:20,
21; 1 Thess. 4:15; 2 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 9:28).
The expression is used metaphorically of the introduction of
the gospel into any place (John 15:22; Eph. 2:17), the visible
establishment of his kingdom in the world (Matt. 16:28), the
conferring on his people of the peculiar tokens of his love
(John 14:18, 23, 28), and his executing judgment on the wicked
(2 Thess. 2:8).
a person employed to perform culinary service. In early times
among the Hebrews cooking was performed by the mistress of the
household (Gen. 18:2-6; Judg. 6:19), and the process was very
expeditiously performed (Gen. 27:3, 4, 9, 10). Professional
cooks were afterwards employed (1 Sam. 8:13; 9:23). Few animals,
as a rule, were slaughtered (other than sacrifices), except for
purposes of hospitality (Gen. 18:7; Luke 15:23). The paschal
lamb was roasted over a fire (Ex. 12:8, 9; 2Chr. 35:13). Cooking
by boiling was the usual method adopted (Lev. 8:31; Ex. 16:23).
No cooking took place on the Sabbath day (Ex. 35:3).
the successor of Felix (A.D. 60) as procurator of Judea (Acts
24:27). A few weeks after he had entered on his office the case
of Paul, then a prisoner at Caesarea, was reported to him. The
"next day," after he had gone down to Caesarea, he heard Paul
defend himself in the presence of Herod Agrippa II. and his
sister Bernice, and not finding in him anything worthy of death
or of bonds, would have set him free had he not appealed unto
Caesar (Acts 25:11, 12). In consequence of this appeal Paul was
sent to Rome. Festus, after being in office less than two years,
died in Judea. (See AGRIPPA T0000126.)
(Gr. charismata), gifts supernaturally bestowed on the early
Christians, each having his own proper gift or gifts for the
edification of the body of Christ. These were the result of the
extraordinary operation of the Spirit, as on the day of
Pentecost. They were the gifts of speaking with tongues, casting
out devils, healing, etc. (Mark 16:17, 18), usually communicated
by the medium of the laying on of the hands of the apostles
(Acts 8:17; 19:6; 1 Tim. 4:14). These charismata were enjoyed
only for a time. They could not continue always in the Church.
They were suited to its infancy and to the necessities of those
face of God, a place not far from Succoth, on the east of the
Jordan and north of the river Jabbok. It is also called
"Peniel." Here Jacob wrestled (Gen. 32:24-32) "with a man" ("the
angel", Hos. 12:4. Jacob says of him, "I have seen God face to
face") "till the break of day."
A town was afterwards built there (Judg. 8:8; 1 Kings 12:25).
The men of this place refused to succour Gideon and his little
army when they were in pursuit of the Midianites (Judg. 8:1-21).
On his return, Gideon slew the men of this city and razed its
lofty watch-tower to the ground.
(1.) Gr. balantion, a bag (Luke 10:4; 22:35, 36).
(2.) Gr. zone, properly a girdle (Matt. 10:9; Mark 6:8), a
money-belt. As to our Lord's sending forth his disciples without
money in their purses, the remark has been made that in this
"there was no departure from the simple manners of the country.
At this day the farmer sets out on excursions quite as extensive
without a para in his purse; and a modern Moslem prophet of
Tarshisha thus sends forth his apostles over this identical
region. No traveller in the East would hestitate to throw
himself on the hospitality of any village." Thomson's Land and
the Book. (See SCRIP T0003242.)
smiths, the name of a tribe inhabiting the desert lying between
southern Israel and the mountains of Sinai. Jethro was of
this tribe (Judg. 1:16). He is called a "Midianite" (Num.
10:29), and hence it is concluded that the Midianites and the
Kenites were the same tribe. They were wandering smiths, "the
gipsies and travelling tinkers of the old Oriental world. They
formed an important guild in an age when the art of metallurgy
was confined to a few" (Sayce's Races, etc.). They showed
kindness to Israel in their journey through the wilderness. They
accompanied them in their march as far as Jericho (Judg. 1:16),
and then returned to their old haunts among the Amalekites, in
the desert to the south of Judah. They sustained afterwards
friendly relations with the Israelites when settled in Canaan
(Judg. 4:11, 17-21; 1 Sam. 27:10; 30:29). The Rechabites
belonged to this tribe (1 Chr. 2:55) and in the days of Jeremiah
(35:7-10) are referred to as following their nomad habits. Saul
bade them depart from the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15:6) when, in
obedience to the divine commission, he was about to "smite
Amalek." And his reason is, "for ye showed kindness to all the
children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt." Thus "God is
not unrighteous to forget the kindnesses shown to his people;
but they shall be remembered another day, at the farthest in the
great day, and recompensed in the resurrection of the just" (M.
Henry's Commentary). They are mentioned for the last time in
Scripture in 1 Sam. 27:10; compare 30:20.
Heb. shophar, "brightness," with reference to the clearness of
its sound (1 Chr. 15:28; 2 Chr. 15:14; Ps. 98:6; Hos. 5:8). It
is usually rendered in the Authorized Version "trumpet." It
denotes the long and straight horn, about eighteen inches long.
The words of Joel, "Blow the trumpet," literally, "Sound the
cornet," refer to the festival which was the preparation for the
day of Atonement. In Dan. 3:5, 7, 10, 15, the word (keren) so
rendered is a curved horn. The word "cornet" in 2 Sam. 6:5 (Heb.
mena'an'im, occurring only here) was some kind of instrument
played by being shaken like the Egyptian sistrum, consisting of
rings or bells hung loosely on iron rods.
now called Candia, one of the largest islands in the
Meditterranean, about 140 miles long and 35 broad. It was at one
time a very prosperous and populous island, having a "hundred
cities." The character of the people is described in Paul's
quotation from "one of their own poets" (Epimenides) in his
epistle to Titus: "The Cretans are alway liars, evil beasts,
slow bellies" (Titus 1:12). Jews from Crete were in Jerusalem on
the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:11). The island was visited by Paul
on his voyage to Rome (Acts 27). Here Paul subsequently left
Titus (1:5) "to ordain elders." Some have supposed that it was
the original home of the Caphtorim (q.v.) or Philistines.
(Heb. minhah), originally a gift of any kind. This Hebrew word
came latterly to denote an "unbloody" sacrifice, as opposed to a
"bloody" sacrifice. A "drink-offering" generally accompanied it.
The law regarding it is given in Lev. 2, and 6:14-23. It was a
recognition of the sovereignty of God and of his bounty in
giving all earthly blessings (1 Chr. 29:10-14; Deut. 26:5-11).
It was an offering which took for granted and was based on the
offering for sin. It followed the sacrifice of blood. It was
presented every day with the burnt-offering (Ex. 29:40, 41), and
consisted of flour or of cakes prepared in a special way with
oil and frankincense.
This word has considerable latitude of meaning in Scripture.
Thus Joseph is called a child at the time when he was probably
about sixteen years of age (Gen. 37:3); and Benjamin is so
called when he was above thirty years (44:20). Solomon called
himself a little child when he came to the kingdom (1 Kings
The descendants of a man, however remote, are called his
children; as, "the children of Edom," "the children of Moab,"
"the children of Israel."
In the earliest times mothers did not wean their children till
they were from thirty months to three years old; and the day on
which they were weaned was kept as a festival day (Gen. 21:8;
Ex. 2:7, 9; 1 Sam. 1:22-24; Matt. 21:16). At the age of five,
children began to learn the arts and duties of life under the
care of their fathers (Deut. 6:20-25; 11:19).
To have a numerous family was regarded as a mark of divine
favour (Gen. 11:30; 30:1; 1 Sam. 2:5; 2 Sam. 6:23; Ps. 127:3;
Figuratively the name is used for those who are ignorant or
narrow-minded (Matt. 11:16; Luke 7:32; 1 Cor. 13:11). "When I
was a child, I spake as a child." "Brethren, be not children in
understanding" (1 Cor. 14:20). "That we henceforth be no more
children, tossed to and fro" (Eph. 4:14).
Children are also spoken of as representing simplicity and
humility (Matt. 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17).
Believers are "children of light" (Luke 16:8; 1 Thess. 5:5) and
"children of obedience" (1 Pet. 1:14).
the graves of the longing or of lust, one of the stations of the
Israelites in the wilderness. It was probably in the Wady
Murrah, and has been identified with the Erweis el-Ebeirig,
where the remains of an ancient encampment have been found,
about 30 miles NE of Sinai, and exactly a day's journey
from 'Ain Hudherah.
"Here began the troubles of the journey. First, complaints
broke out among the people, probably at the heat, the toil, and
the privations of the march; and then God at once punished them
by lightning, which fell on the hinder part of the camp, and
killed many persons, but ceased at the intercession of Moses
(Num. 11:1, 2). Then a disgust fell on the multitude at having
nothing to eat but the manna day after day, no change, no flesh,
no fish, no high-flavoured vegetables, no luscious fruits...The
people loathed the 'light food,' and cried out to Moses, 'Give
us flesh, give us flesh, that we may eat.'" In this emergency
Moses, in despair, cried unto God. An answer came. God sent "a
prodigious flight of quails, on which the people satiated their
gluttonous appetite for a full month. Then punishment fell on
them: they loathed the food which they had desired; it bred
disease in them; the divine anger aggravated the disease into a
plague, and a heavy mortality was the consequence. The dead were
buried without the camp; and in memory of man's sin and of the
divine wrath this name, Kibroth-hattaavah, the Graves of Lust,
was given to the place of their sepulchre" (Num. 11:34, 35;
33:16, 17; Deut. 9:22; compare Ps. 78:30, 31)., Rawlinson's Moses,
p. 175. From this encampment they journeyed in a NEern
direction to Hazeroth.
the most celebrated city in the world at the time of Christ. It
is said to have been founded B.C. 753. When the New Testament
was written, Rome was enriched and adorned with the spoils of
the world, and contained a population estimated at 1,200,000, of
which the half were slaves, and including representatives of
nearly every nation then known. It was distinguished for its
wealth and luxury and profligacy. The empire of which it was the
capital had then reached its greatest prosperity.
On the day of Pentecost there were in Jerusalem "strangers
from Rome," who doubtless carried with them back to Rome tidings
of that great day, and were instrumental in founding the church
there. Paul was brought to this city a prisoner, where he
remained for two years (Acts 28:30, 31) "in his own hired
house." While here, Paul wrote his epistles to the Philippians,
to the Ephesians, to the Colossians, to Philemon, and probably
also to the Hebrews. He had during these years for companions
Luke and Aristarchus (Acts 27:2), Timothy (Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:1),
Tychicus (Eph. 6: 21), Epaphroditus (Phil. 4:18), and John Mark
(Col. 4:10). (See PAUL T0002871.)
Beneath this city are extensive galleries, called "catacombs,"
which were used from about the time of the apostles (one of the
inscriptions found in them bears the date A.D. 71) for some
three hundred years as places of refuge in the time of
persecution, and also of worship and burial. About four thousand
inscriptions have been found in the catacombs. These give an
interesting insight into the history of the church at Rome down
to the time of Constantine.
Tabernacles, Feast of
the third of the great annual festivals of the Jews (Lev.
23:33-43). It is also called the "feast of ingathering" (Ex.
23:16; Deut. 16:13). It was celebrated immediately after the
harvest, in the month Tisri, and the celebration lasted for
eight days (Lev. 23:33-43). During that period the people left
their homes and lived in booths formed of the branches of trees.
The sacrifices offered at this time are mentioned in Num.
29:13-38. It was at the time of this feast that Solomon's temple
was dedicated (1 Kings 8:2). Mention is made of it after the
return from the Captivity. This feast was designed (1) to be a
memorial of the wilderness wanderings, when the people dwelt in
booths (Lev. 23:43), and (2) to be a harvest thanksgiving (Neh.
8:9-18). The Jews, at a later time, introduced two appendages to
the original festival, viz., (1) that of drawing water from the
Pool of Siloam, and pouring it upon the altar (John 7:2, 37), as
a memorial of the water from the rock in Horeb; and (2) of
lighting the lamps at night, a memorial of the pillar of fire by
night during their wanderings.
"The feast of Tabernacles, the harvest festival of the Jewish
Church, was the most popular and important festival after the
Captivity. At Jerusalem it was a gala day. It was to the autumn
pilgrims, who arrived on the 14th (of the month Tisri, the feast
beginning on the 15th) day, like entrance into a silvan city.
Roofs and courtyards, streets and squares, roads and gardens,
were green with boughs of citron and myrtle, palm and willow.
The booths recalled the pilgrimage through the wilderness. The
ingathering of fruits prophesied of the spiritual harvest.",
Valling's Jesus Christ, p. 133.
There were daily (Lev. 23), weekly, monthly, and yearly
festivals, and great stress was laid on the regular observance
of them in every particular (Num. 28:1-8; Ex. 29:38-42; Lev.
6:8-23; Ex. 30:7-9; 27:20).
(1.) The septenary festivals were,
(a) The weekly Sabbath (Lev. 23:1-3; Ex. 19:3-30; 20:8-11;
(b) The seventh new moon, or the feast of Trumpets (Num.
(c) The Sabbatical year (Ex. 23:10, 11; Lev. 25:2-7).
(d) The year of jubilee (Lev. 23-35; 25: 8-16; 27:16-25).
(2.) The great feasts were,
(a) The Passover. (b) The feast of Pentecost, or of weeks. (c)
The feast of Tabernacles, or of ingathering.
On each of these occasions every male Israelite was commanded
"to appear before the Lord" (Deut. 27:7; Neh. 8:9-12). The
attendance of women was voluntary. (Compare Luke 2:41; 1 Sam. 1:7;
2:19.) The promise that God would protect their homes (Ex.
34:23, 24) while all the males were absent in Jerusalem at these
feasts was always fulfilled. "During the whole period between
Moses and Christ we never read of an enemy invading the land at
the time of the three festivals. The first instance on record is
thirty-three years after they had withdrawn from themselves the
divine protection by imbruing their hands in the Saviour's
blood, when Cestius, the Roman general, slew fifty of the people
of Lydda while all the rest had gone up to the feast of
Tabernacles, A.D. 66."
These festivals, besides their religious purpose, had an
important bearing on the maintenance among the people of the
feeling of a national unity. The times fixed for their
observance were arranged so as to interfere as little as
possible with the industry of the people. The Passover was kept
just before the harvest commenced, Pentecost at the conclusion
of the corn harvest and before the vintage, the feast of
Tabernacles after all the fruits of the ground had been gathered
(3.) The Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the seventh month
(Lev. 16:1, 34; 23:26-32; Num. 29:7-11). (See ATONEMENT, DAY OF
Of the post-Exilian festivals reference is made to the feast
of Dedication (John 10:22). This feast was appointed by Judas
Maccabaeus in commemoration of the purification of the temple
after it had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes. The "feast of
Purim" (q.v.), Esther 9:24-32, was also instituted after the
Exile. (Cf. John 5:1.)
one who practises serpent-charming (Ps. 58:5; Jer. 8:17; Eccl.
10:11). It was an early and universal opinion that the most
venomous reptiles could be made harmless by certain charms or by
sweet sounds. It is well known that there are jugglers in India
and in other Eastern lands who practise this art at the present
In Isa. 19:3 the word "charmers" is the rendering of the
Hebrew "'ittim", meaning, properly, necromancers (R.V. marg.,
"whisperers"). In Deut. 18:11 the word "charmer" means a dealer
in spells, especially one who, by binding certain knots, was
supposed thereby to bind a curse or a blessing on its object. In
Isa. 3:3 the words "eloquent orator" should be, as in the
Revised Version, "skilful enchanter."
the process of preserving a body by means of aromatics (Gen.
50:2, 3, 26). This art was practised by the Egyptians from the
earliest times, and there brought to great perfection. This
custom probably originated in the belief in the future reunion
of the soul with the body. The process became more and more
complicated, and to such perfection was it carried that bodies
embalmed thousands of years ago are preserved to the present day
in the numberless mummies that have been discovered in Egypt.
The embalming of Jacob and Joseph was according to the
Egyptian custom, which was partially followed by the Jews (2
Chr. 16:14), as in the case of king Asa, and of our Lord (John
19:39, 40; Luke 23:56; 24:1). (See PHARAOH T0002923.)
the calling of the Gentiles into the Christian Church, so
designated (Eph. 1:9, 10; 3:8-11; Col. 1:25-27); a truth
undiscoverable except by revelation, long hid, now made
manifest. The resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15:51), and other
doctrines which need to be explained but which cannot be fully
understood by finite intelligence (Matt. 13:11; Rom. 11:25; 1
Cor. 13:2); the union between Christ and his people symbolized
by the marriage union (Eph. 5:31, 32; compare 6:19); the seven
stars and the seven candlesticks (Rev. 1:20); and the woman
clothed in scarlet (17:7), are also in this sense mysteries. The
anti-Christian power working in his day is called by the apostle
(2 Thess. 2:7) the "mystery of iniquity."
(1.) Heb. sis (Isa. 38:14; Jer. 8:7), the Arabic for the swift,
which "is a regular migrant, returning in myriads every spring,
and so suddenly that while one day not a swift can be seen in
the country, on the next they have overspread the whole land,
and fill the air with their shrill cry." The swift (cypselus) is
ordinarily classed with the swallow, which it resembles in its
flight, habits, and migration.
(2.) Heb. deror, i.e., "the bird of freedom" (Ps. 84:3; Prov.
26:2), properly rendered swallow, distinguished for its
swiftness of flight, its love of freedom, and the impossibility
of retaining it in captivity. In Isa. 38:14 and Jer. 8:7 the
word thus rendered ('augr) properly means "crane" (as in the
(Heb. kerah, from its smoothness) Job 37:10 (R.V., "ice"); Gen.
31:40; Jer. 36:30; rendered "ice" in Job 6:16, 38:29; and
"crystal" in Ezek. 1:22. "At the present day frost is entirely
unknown in the lower portions of the valley of the Jordan, but
slight frosts are sometimes felt on the sea-coast and near
Lebanon." Throughout Western Asia cold frosty nights are
frequently succeeded by warm days.
"Hoar frost" (Heb. kephor, so called from its covering the
ground) is mentioned in Ex. 16:14; Job 38:29; Ps. 147:16.
In Ps. 78:47 the word rendered "frost" (R.V. marg., "great
hail-stones"), "hanamal", occurs only there. It is rendered by
Gesenius, the Hebrew lexicographer, "ant," and so also by
others, but the usual interpretation derived from the ancient
versions may be maintained.
Nativity of Christ
The birth of our Lord took place at the time and place predicted
by the prophets (Gen. 49:10; Isa. 7:14; Jer. 31:15; Micah 5:2;
Hag. 2:6-9; Dan. 9:24, 25). Joseph and Mary were providentially
led to go up to Bethlehem at this period, and there Christ was
born (Matt. 2:1, 6; Luke 2:1, 7). The exact year or month or day
of his birth cannot, however, now be exactly ascertained. We
know, however, that it took place in the "fulness of the time"
(Gal. 4:4), i.e., at the fittest time in the world's history.
Chronologists are now generally agreed that the year 4 before
the Christian era was the year of Christ's nativity, and
consequently that he was about four years old in the year 1 A.D.
or No-A'mon, the home of Amon, the name of Thebes, the ancient
capital of what is called the Middle Empire, in Upper or
Southern Egypt. "The multitude of No" (Jer. 46:25) is more
correctly rendered, as in the Revised Version, "Amon of No",
i.e., No, where Jupiter Amon had his temple. In Ezek. 30:14, 16
it is simply called "No;" but in ver. 15 the name has the Hebrew
Hamon prefixed to it, "Hamon No." This prefix is probably the
name simply of the god usually styled Amon or Ammon. In Nah. 3:8
the "populous No" of the Authorized Version is in the Revised
Version correctly rendered "No-Amon."
It was the Diospolis or Thebes of the Greeks, celebrated for
its hundred gates and its vast population. It stood on both
sides of the Nile, and is by some supposed to have included
Karnak and Luxor. In grandeur and extent it can only be compared
to Nineveh. It is mentioned only in the prophecies referred to,
which point to its total destruction. It was first taken by the
Assyrians in the time of Sargon (Isa. 20). It was afterwards
"delivered into the hand" of Nebuchadnezzar and Assurbani-pal
(Jer. 46:25, 26). Cambyses, king of the Persians (B.C. 525),
further laid it waste by fire. Its ruin was completed (B.C. 81)
by Ptolemy Lathyrus. The ruins of this city are still among the
most notable in the valley of the Nile. They have formed a great
storehouse of interesting historic remains for more than two
thousand years. "As I wandered day after day with ever-growing
amazement amongst these relics of ancient magnificence, I felt
that if all the ruins in Europe, classical, Celtic, and
medieval, were brought together into one centre, they would fall
far short both in extent and grandeur of those of this single
Egyptian city." Manning, The Land of the Pharaohs.
(1.) A priest of the course of Abia, the eighth of the
twenty-four courses into which the priests had been originally
divided by David (1 Chr. 23:1-19). Only four of these courses or
"families" of the priests returned from the Exile (Ezra
2:36-39); but they were then re-distributed under the old
designations. The priests served at the temple twice each year,
and only for a week each time. Zacharias's time had come for
this service. During this period his home would be one of the
chambers set apart for the priests on the sides of the temple
ground. The offering of incense was one of the most solemn parts
of the daily worship of the temple, and lots were drawn each day
to determine who should have this great honour, an honour which
no priest could enjoy more than once during his lifetime.
While Zacharias ministered at the golden altar of incense in
the holy place, it was announced to him by the angel Gabriel
that his wife Elisabeth, who was also of a priestly family, now
stricken in years, would give birth to a son who was to be
called John, and that he would be the forerunner of the
long-expected Messiah (Luke 1:12-17). As a punishment for his
refusing to believe this message, he was struck dumb and "not
able to speak until the day that these things should be
performed" (20). Nine months passed away, and Elisabeth's child
was born, and when in answer to their inquiry Zacharias wrote on
a "writing tablet," "His name is John," his mouth was opened,
and he praised God (60-79). The child (John the Baptist), thus
"born out of due time," "waxed strong in spirit" (1:80).
(2.) The "son of Barachias," mentioned as having been slain
between the temple and the altar (Matt. 23:35; Luke 11:51).
"Barachias" here may be another name for Jehoiada, as some
think. (See ZECHARIAH T0003892.)
(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.
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.)
(Heb. plur. kishshuim; i.e., "hard," "difficult" of digestion,
only in Num. 11:5). This vegetable is extensively cultivated in
the East at the present day, as it appears to have been in
earlier times among the Hebrews. It belongs to the gourd family
of plants. In the East its cooling pulp and juice are most
refreshing. "We need not altogether wonder that the Israelites,
wearily marching through the arid solitudes of the Sinaitic
peninsula, thought more of the cucumbers and watermelons of
which they had had no lack in Egypt, rather than of the cruel
bondage which was the price of these luxuries." Groser's
Scripture Natural History.
Isaiah speaks of a "lodge" (1:8; Heb. sukkah), i.e., a shed or
edifice more solid than a booth, for the protection throughout
the season from spring to autumn of the watchers in a "garden of
are at the present day "eaten from a round table little higher
than a stool, guests sitting cross-legged on mats or small
carpets in a circle, and dipping their fingers into one large
dish heaped with a mixture of boiled rice and other grain and
meat. But in the time of our Lord, and perhaps even from the
days of Amos (6:4, 7), the foreign custom had been largely
introduced of having broad couches, forming three sides of a
small square, the guests reclining at ease on their elbows
during meals, with their faces to the space within, up and down
which servants passed offering various dishes, or in the absence
of servants, helping themselves from dishes laid on a table set
between the couches." Geikie's Life of Christ. (Compare Luke
7:36-50.) (See ABRAHAM'S BOSOM T0000055; BANQUET T0000434;
As soon as a child was born it was washed, and rubbed with salt
(Ezek. 16:4), and then swathed with bandages (Job 38:9; Luke
2:7, 12). A Hebrew mother remained forty days in seclusion after
the birth of a son, and after the birth of a daughter double
that number of days. At the close of that period she entered
into the tabernacle or temple and offered up a sacrifice of
purification (Lev. 12:1-8; Luke 2:22). A son was circumcised on
the eighth day after his birth, being thereby consecrated to God
(Gen. 17:10-12; compare Rom. 4:11). Seasons of misfortune are
likened to the pains of a woman in travail, and seasons of
prosperity to the joy that succeeds child-birth (Isa. 13:8; Jer.
4:31; John 16:21, 22). The natural birth is referred to as the
emblem of the new birth (John 3:3-8; Gal. 6:15; Titus 3:5,
man of shame or humiliation, the youngest of Saul's four sons,
and the only one who survived him (2 Sam. 2-4). His name was
originally Eshbaal (1 Chr. 8:33; 9:39). He was about forty years
of age when his father and three brothers fell at the battle of
Gilboa. Through the influence of Abner, Saul's cousin, he was
acknowledged as successor to the throne of Saul, and ruled over
all Israel, except the tribe of Judah (over whom David was
king), for two years, having Mahanaim, on the east of Jordan, as
his capital (2 Sam. 2:9). After a troubled and uncertain reign
he was murdered by his guard, who stabbed him while he was
asleep on his couch at mid-day (2 Sam. 4:5-7); and having cut
off his head, presented it to David, who sternly rebuked them
for this cold-blooded murder, and ordered them to be immediately
his excellence, or gain, a prince or priest of Midian, who
succeeded his father Reuel. Moses spent forty years after his
exile from the Egyptian court as keeper of Jethro's flocks.
While the Israelites were encamped at Sinai, and soon after
their victory over Amalek, Jethro came to meet Moses, bringing
with him Zipporah and her two sons. They met at the "mount of
God," and "Moses told him all that the Lord had done unto
Pharaoh" (Ex. 18:8). On the following day Jethro, observing the
multiplicity of the duties devolving on Moses, advised him to
appoint subordinate judges, rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of
fifties, and of tens, to decide smaller matters, leaving only
the weightier matters to be referred to Moses, to be laid before
the Lord. This advice Moses adopted (Ex. 18). He was also called
Hobab (q.v.), which was probably his personal name, while Jethro
was an official name. (See MOSES T0002602.)
(Heb. kapporeth, a "covering;" LXX. and N.T., hilasterion;
Vulg., propitiatorium), the covering or lid of the ark of the
covenant (q.v.). It was of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, or
perhaps rather a plate of solid gold, 2 1/2 cubits long and 1
1/2 broad (Ex. 25:17; 30:6; 31:7). It is compared to the throne
of grace (Heb. 9:5; Eph. 2:6). The holy of holies is called the
"place of the mercy-seat" (1 Chr. 28:11: Lev. 16:2).
It has been conjectured that the censer (thumiaterion, meaning
"anything having regard to or employed in the burning of
incense") mentioned in Heb. 9:4 was the "mercy-seat," at which
the incense was burned by the high priest on the great day of
atonement, and upon or toward which the blood of the goat was
sprinkled (Lev. 16:11-16; compare Num. 7:89 and Ex. 25:22).
a thousand years; the name given to the era mentioned in Rev.
20:1-7. Some maintain that Christ will personally appear on
earth for the purpose of establishing his kingdom at the
beginning of this millennium. Those holding this view are
usually called "millenarians." On the other hand, it is
maintained, more in accordance with the teaching of Scripture,
we think, that Christ's second advent will not be premillennial,
and that the right conception of the prospects and destiny of
his kingdom is that which is taught, e.g., in the parables of
the leaven and the mustard-seed. The triumph of the gospel, it
is held, must be looked for by the wider and more efficient
operation of the very forces that are now at work in extending
the gospel; and that Christ will only come again at the close of
this dispensation to judge the world at the "last day." The
millennium will thus precede his coming.
gift of God, a common Jewish name after the Exile. He was the
son of Alphaeus, and was a publican or tax-gatherer at
Capernaum. On one occasion Jesus, coming up from the side of the
lake, passed the custom-house where Matthew was seated, and said
to him, "Follow me." Matthew arose and followed him, and became
his disciple (Matt. 9:9). Formerly the name by which he was
known was Levi (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27); he now changed it,
possibly in grateful memory of his call, to Matthew. The same
day on which Jesus called him he made a "great feast" (Luke
5:29), a farewell feast, to which he invited Jesus and his
disciples, and probably also many of old associates. He was
afterwards selected as one of the twelve (6:15). His name does
not occur again in the Gospel history except in the lists of the
apostles. The last notice of him is in Acts 1:13. The time and
manner of his death are unknown.
heb. yareah, from its paleness (Ezra 6:15), and lebanah, the
"white" (Cant. 6:10; Isa. 24:23), was appointed by the Creator
to be with the sun "for signs, and for seasons, and for days,
and years" (Gen. 1:14-16). A lunation was among the Jews the
period of a month, and several of their festivals were held on
the day of the new moon. It is frequently referred to along with
the sun (Josh. 10:12; Ps. 72:5, 7, 17; 89:36, 37; Eccl. 12:2;
Isa. 24:23, etc.), and also by itself (Ps. 8:3; 121:6).
The great brilliance of the moon in Eastern countries led to
its being early an object of idolatrous worship (Deut. 4:19;
17:3; Job 31:26), a form of idolatry against which the Jews were
warned (Deut. 4:19; 17:3). They, however, fell into this
idolatry, and offered incense (2 Kings 23:5; Jer. 8:2), and also
cakes of honey, to the moon (Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19, 25).
Tongues, Gift of
granted on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4), in fulfilment of a
promise Christ had made to his disciples (Mark 16:17). What this
gift actually was has been a subject of much discussion. Some
have argued that it was merely an outward sign of the presence
of the Holy Spirit among the disciples, typifying his manifold
gifts, and showing that salvation was to be extended to all
nations. But the words of Luke (Acts 2:9) clearly show that the
various peoples in Jerusalem at the time of Pentecost did really
hear themselves addressed in their own special language with
which they were naturally acquainted (compare Joel 2:28, 29).
Among the gifts of the Spirit the apostle enumerates in 1 Cor.
12:10-14:30, "divers kinds of tongues" and the "interpretation
of tongues." This "gift" was a different manifestation of the
Spirit from that on Pentecost, although it resembled it in many
particulars. Tongues were to be "a sign to them that believe
the periods into which the time between sunset and sunrise was
divided. They are so called because watchmen relieved each other
at each of these periods. There are frequent references in
Scripture to the duties of watchmen who were appointed to give
notice of the approach of an enemy (2 Sam. 18:24-27; 2 Kings
9:17-20; Isa. 21:5-9). They were sometimes placed for this
purpose on watch-towers (2 Kings 17:9; 18:8). Ministers or
teachers are also spoken of under this title (Jer. 6:17; Ezek.
33:2-9; Heb. 13:17).
The watches of the night were originally three in number, (1)
"the beginning of the watches" (Lam. 2:19); (2) "the middle
watch" (Judg. 7:19); and (3) "the morning watch" (Ex. 14:24; 1
Sam. 11:11), which extended from two o'clock to sunrise. But in
the New Testament we read of four watches, a division probably
introduced by the Romans (Matt. 14:25; Mark 6:48; Luke 12:38).
(See DAY T0000984.)
pure, a superintendant of customs; a chief tax-gather
(publicanus) at Jericho (Luke 19:1-10). "The collection of
customs at Jericho, which at this time produced and exported a
considerable quantity of balsam, was undoubtedly an important
post, and would account for Zacchaeus being a rich man." Being
short of stature, he hastened on before the multitude who were
thronging about Christ as he passed through Jericho on his way
to Jerusalem, and climbed up a sycamore tree that he might be
able to see him. When our Lord reached the spot he looked up to
the publican among the branches, and addressing him by name,
told him to make haste and come down, as he intended that day to
abide at his house. This led to the remarkable interview
recorded by the evangelist, and to the striking parable of the
ten pounds (Luke 19:12-27). At Er-riha (Jericho) there is a
large, venerable looking square tower, which goes by the
traditional name of the House of Zacchaeus.
The sole fast required by the law of Moses was that of the great
Day of Atonement (q.v.), Lev. 23:26-32. It is called "the fast"
The only other mention of a periodical fast in the Old
Testament is in Zech. 7:1-7; 8:19, from which it appears that
during their captivity the Jews observed four annual fasts.
(1.) The fast of the fourth month, kept on the seventeenth day
of Tammuz, the anniversary of the capture of Jerusalem by the
Chaldeans; to commemorate also the incident recorded Ex. 32:19.
(Compare Jer. 52:6, 7.)
(2.) The fast of the fifth month, kept on the ninth of Ab
(compare Num. 14:27), to commemorate the burning of the city and
temple (Jer. 52:12, 13).
(3.) The fast of the seventh month, kept on the third of Tisri
(compare 2 Kings 25), the anniversary of the murder of Gedaliah
(Jer. 41:1, 2).
(4.) The fast of the tenth month (compare Jer. 52:4; Ezek.
33:21; 2 Kings 25:1), to commemorate the beginning of the siege
of the holy city by Nebuchadnezzar.
There was in addition to these the fast appointed by Esther
Public national fasts on account of sin or to supplicate
divine favour were sometimes held. (1.) 1 Sam. 7:6; (2.) 2 Chr.
20:3; (3.) Jer. 36:6-10; (4.) Neh. 9:1.
There were also local fasts. (1.) Judg. 20:26; (2.) 2 Sam.
1:12; (3.) 1 Sam. 31:13; (4.) 1 Kings 21:9-12; (5.) Ezra
8:21-23: (6.) Jonah 3:5-9.
There are many instances of private occasional fasting (1 Sam.
1:7: 20:34; 2 Sam. 3:35; 12:16; 1 Kings 21:27; Ezra 10:6; Neh.
1:4; Dan. 10:2,3). Moses fasted forty days (Ex. 24:18; 34:28),
and so also did Elijah (1 Kings 19:8). Our Lord fasted forty
days in the wilderness (Matt. 4:2).
In the lapse of time the practice of fasting was lamentably
abused (Isa. 58:4; Jer. 14:12; Zech. 7:5). Our Lord rebuked the
Pharisees for their hypocritical pretences in fasting (Matt.
6:16). He himself appointed no fast. The early Christians,
however, observed the ordinary fasts according to the law of
their fathers (Acts 13:3; 14:23; 2 Cor. 6:5).
(1.) Heb. kebes, a male lamb from the first to the third year.
Offered daily at the morning and the evening sacrifice (Ex.
29:38-42), on the Sabbath day (Num. 28:9), at the feast of the
New Moon (28:11), of Trumpets (29:2), of Tabernacles (13-40), of
Pentecost (Lev. 23:18-20), and of the Passover (Ex. 12:5), and
on many other occasions (1 Chr. 29:21; 2 Chr. 29:21; Lev. 9:3;
(2.) Heb. taleh, a young sucking lamb (1 Sam. 7:9; Isa.
65:25). In the symbolical language of Scripture the lamb is the
type of meekness and innocence (Isa. 11:6; 65:25; Luke 10:3;
The lamb was a symbol of Christ (Gen. 4:4; Ex. 12:3; 29:38;
Isa. 16:1; 53:7; John 1:36; Rev. 13:8).
Christ is called the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36), as the great
sacrifice of which the former sacrifices were only types (Num.
6:12; Lev. 14:12-17; Isa. 53:7; 1 Cor. 5:7).
(1.) Fitted on the neck of oxen for the purpose of binding to
them the traces by which they might draw the plough, etc. (Num.
19:2; Deut. 21:3). It was a curved piece of wood called "'ol".
(2.) In Jer. 27:2; 28:10, 12 the word in the Authorized
Version rendered "yoke" is "motah", which properly means a
"staff," or as in the Revised Version, "bar."
These words in the Hebrew are both used figuratively of severe
bondage, or affliction, or subjection (Lev. 26:13; 1 Kings 12:4;
Isa. 47:6; Lam. 1:14; 3:27). In the New Testament the word
"yoke" is also used to denote servitude (Matt. 11:29, 30; Acts
15:10; Gal. 5:1).
(3.) In 1 Sam. 11:7, 1 Kings 19:21, Job 1:3 the word thus
translated is "tzemed", which signifies a pair, two oxen yoked
or coupled together, and hence in 1 Sam. 14:14 it represents as
much land as a yoke of oxen could plough in a day, like the
Latin "jugum". In Isa. 5:10 this word in the plural is
Heb. man-hu, "What is that?" the name given by the Israelites to
the food miraculously supplied to them during their wanderings
in the wilderness (Ex. 16:15-35). The name is commonly taken as
derived from "man", an expression of surprise, "What is it?" but
more probably it is derived from "manan", meaning "to allot,"
and hence denoting an "allotment" or a "gift." This "gift" from
God is described as "a small round thing," like the "hoar-frost
on the ground," and "like coriander seed," "of the colour of
bdellium," and in taste "like wafers made with honey." It was
capable of being baked and boiled, ground in mills, or beaten in
a mortar (Ex. 16:23; Num. 11:7). If any was kept over till the
following morning, it became corrupt with worms; but as on the
Sabbath none fell, on the preceding day a double portion was
given, and that could be kept over to supply the wants of the
Sabbath without becoming corrupt. Directions concerning the
gathering of it are fully given (Ex. 16:16-18, 33; Deut. 8:3,
16). It fell for the first time after the eighth encampment in
the desert of Sin, and was daily furnished, except on the
Sabbath, for all the years of the wanderings, till they encamped
at Gilgal, after crossing the Jordan, when it suddenly ceased,
and where they "did eat of the old corn of the land; neither had
the children of Israel manna any more" (Josh. 5:12). They now no
longer needed the "bread of the wilderness."
This manna was evidently altogether a miraculous gift, wholly
different from any natural product with which we are acquainted,
and which bears this name. The manna of European commerce comes
chiefly from Calabria and Sicily. It drops from the twigs of a
species of ash during the months of June and July. At night it
is fluid and resembles dew, but in the morning it begins to
harden. The manna of the Sinaitic peninsula is an exudation from
the "manna-tamarisk" tree (Tamarix mannifera), the el-tarfah of
the Arabs. This tree is found at the present day in certain
well-watered valleys in the peninsula of Sinai. The manna with
which the people of Israel were fed for forty years differs in
many particulars from all these natural products.
Our Lord refers to the manna when he calls himself the "true
bread from heaven" (John 6:31-35; 48-51). He is also the "hidden
manna" (Rev. 2:17; compare John 6:49,51).
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.
The several books of the Old and New Testaments were from an
early time divided into chapters. The Pentateuch was divided by
the ancient Hebrews into 54 "parshioth" or sections, one of
which was read in the synagogue every Sabbath day (Acts. 13:15).
These sections were afterwards divided into 669 "sidrim" or
orders of unequal length. The Prophets were divided in somewhat
the same manner into "haphtaroth" or passages.
In the early Latin and Greek versions of the Bible, similar
divisions of the several books were made. The New Testament
books were also divided into portions of various lengths under
different names, such as titles and heads or chapters.
In modern times this ancient example was imitated, and many
attempts of the kind were made before the existing division into
chapters was fixed. The Latin Bible published by Cardinal Hugo
of St. Cher in A.D. 1240 is generally regarded as the first
Bible that was divided into our present chapters, although it
appears that some of the chapters were fixed as early as A.D.
1059. This division into chapters came gradually to be adopted
in the published editions of the Hebrew, with some few
variations, and of the Greek Scriptures, and hence of other
(Heb. rothem), called by the Arabs retem, and known as Spanish
broom; ranked under the genus genista. It is a desert shrub, and
abounds in many parts of Israel. In the account of his
journey from Akabah to Jerusalem, Dr. Robinson says: "This is
the largest and most conspicuous shrub of these deserts, growing
thickly in the water-courses and valleys. Our Arabs always
selected the place of encampment, if possible, in a spot where
it grew, in order to be sheltered by it at night from the wind;
and during the day, when they often went on in advance of the
camels, we found them not unfrequently sitting or sleeping under
a bush of retem to shelter them from the sun. It was in this
very desert, a day's journey from Beersheba, that the prophet
Elijah lay down and slept beneath the same shrub" (1 Kings 19:4,
5). It afforded material for fuel, and also in cases of
extremity for human food (Ps. 120:4; Job 30:4). One of the
encampments in the wilderness of Paran is called Rithmah, i.e.,
"place of broom" (Num. 33:18).
"The Bedawin of Sinai still burn this very plant into a
charcoal which throws out the most intense heat."
a large and populous city on the Thermaic bay. It was the
capital of one of the four Roman districts of Macedonia, and was
ruled by a praetor. It was named after Thessalonica, the wife of
Cassander, who built the city. She was so called by her father,
Philip, because he first heard of her birth on the day of his
gaining a victory over the Thessalians. On his second missionary
journey, Paul preached in the synagogue here, the chief
synagogue of the Jews in that part of Macedonia, and laid the
foundations of a church (Acts 17:1-4; 1 Thes. 1:9). The violence
of the Jews drove him from the city, when he fled to Berea (Acts
17:5-10). The "rulers of the city" before whom the Jews "drew
Jason," with whom Paul and Silas lodged, are in the original
called politarchai, an unusual word, which was found, however,
inscribed on an arch in Thessalonica. This discovery confirms
the accuracy of the historian. Paul visited the church here on a
subsequent occasion (20:1-3). This city long retained its
importance. It is the most important town of European Turkey,
under the name of Saloniki, with a mixed population of about
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.
one of the largest islands of the Mediterranean, about 148 miles
long and 40 broad. It is distant about 60 miles from the Syrian
coast. It was the "Chittim" of the Old Testament (Num. 24:24).
The Greek colonists gave it the name of Kypros, from the cyprus,
i.e., the henna (see CAMPHIRE T0000701), which grew on this
island. It was originally inhabited by Phoenicians. In B.C. 477
it fell under the dominion of the Greeks; and became a Roman
province B.C. 58. In ancient times it was a centre of great
commercial activity. Corn and wine and oil were produced here in
the greatest perfection. It was rich also in timber and in
It is first mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 4:36) as the
native place of Barnabas. It was the scene of Paul's first
missionary labors (13:4-13), when he and Barnabas and John Mark
were sent forth by the church of Antioch. It was afterwards
visited by Barnabas and Mark alone (15:39). Mnason, an "old
disciple," probaly one of the converts of the day of Pentecost
belonging to this island, is mentioned (21:16). It is also
mentioned in connection with the voyages of Paul (Acts 21:3;
27:4). After being under the Turks for three hundred years, it
was given up to the British Government in 1878.
Burying was among the Jews the only mode of disposing of corpses
(Gen. 23:19; 25:9; 35:8, 9, etc.).
The first traces of burning the dead are found in 1 Sam.
31:12. The burning of the body was affixed by the law of Moses
as a penalty to certain crimes (Lev. 20:14; 21:9).
To leave the dead unburied was regarded with horror (1 Kings
13:22; 14:11; 16:4; 21:24, etc.).
In the earliest times of which we have record kinsmen carried
their dead to the grave (Gen. 25:9; 35:29; Judg. 16:31), but in
later times this was done by others (Amos 6:16).
Immediately after decease the body was washed, and then
wrapped in a large cloth (Acts 9:37; Matt. 27:59; Mark 15:46).
In the case of persons of distinction, aromatics were laid on
the folds of the cloth (John 19:39; compare John 12:7).
As a rule the burial (q.v.) took place on the very day of the
death (Acts 5:6, 10), and the body was removed to the grave in
an open coffin or on a bier (Luke 7:14). After the burial a
funeral meal was usually given (2 Sam. 3:35; Jer. 16:5, 7; Hos.
rivulet, or who as God?, the younger of Saul's two daughters by
his wife Ahinoam (1 Sam. 14:49, 50). "Attracted by the graces of
his person and the gallantry of his conduct, she fell in love
with David and became his wife" (18:20-28). She showed her
affection for him by promoting his escape to Naioth when Saul
sought his life (1 Sam. 19:12-17. Compare Ps. 59. See TERAPHIM
T0003618). After this she did not see David for many years.
Meanwhile she was given in marriage to another man, Phalti or
Phaltiel of Gallim (1 Sam. 25:44), but David afterwards formally
reclaimed her as his lawful wife (2 Sam. 3:13-16). The relation
between her and David soon after this was altered. They became
alienated from each other. This happened on that memorable day
when the ark was brought up in great triumph from its temporary
resting-place to the Holy City. In David's conduct on that
occasion she saw nothing but a needless humiliation of the royal
dignity (1 Chr. 15:29). She remained childless, and thus the
races of David and Saul were not mixed. In 2 Sam. 21:8 her name
again occurs, but the name Merab should probably be here
substituted for Michal (compare 1 Sam. 18:19).
the process by which a person unclean, according to the
Levitical law, and thereby cut off from the sanctuary and the
festivals, was restored to the enjoyment of all these
The great annual purification of the people was on the Day of
But in the details of daily life there were special causes of
cermonial uncleanness which were severally provided for by
ceremonial laws enacted for each separate case. For example, the
case of the leper (Lev. 13, 14), and of the house defiled by
leprosy (14:49-53; see also Matt. 8:2-4). Uncleanness from
touching a dead body (Num. 19:11; Hos. 9:4; Hag. 2:13; Matt.
23:27; Luke 11:44). The case of the high priest and of the
Nazarite (Lev. 21:1-4, 10, 11; Num. 6:6, 7; Ezek. 44:25).
Purification was effected by bathing and washing the clothes
(Lev. 14:8, 9); by washing the hands (Deut. 21:6; Matt. 27:24);
washing the hands and feet (Ex. 30:18-21; Heb. 6:2, "baptisms",
R.V. marg., "washings;" 9:10); sprinkling with blood and water
(Ex. 24:5-8; Heb. 9:19), etc. Allusions to this rite are found
in Ps. 26:6; 51:7; Ezek. 36:25; Heb. 10:22.