beauty, one of the Egyptian midwives (Ex. 1:15).
(Isa. 3:18), an old English word meaning comeliness or beauty.
beauty, a sea-port in Dan (Josh. 19:46); called Joppa (q.v.) in
2 Chr. 2:16; Ezra 3:7; Jonah 1:3; and in New Testament.
festive; the dancer, a wife of David and the mother of Adonijah
(2 Sam. 3:4; 1 Kings 1:5, 11; 2:13; 1 Chr. 3:2), who, like
Absalom, was famed for his beauty.
Frequently referred to (1 Kings 10:2; 2 Chr. 3:6; 9:10; Rev.
18:16; 21:19). There are about twenty different names of such
stones in the Bible. They are figuratively introduced to denote
value, beauty, durability (Cant. 5:14; Isa 54:11, 12; Lam. 4:7).
father of (i.e., "given to") error, a young woman of Shunem,
distinguished for her beauty. She was chosen to minister to
David in his old age. She became his wife (1 Kings 1:3,4,15).
After David's death Adonijah persuaded Bathsheba, Solomon's
mother, to entreat the king to permit him to marry Abishag.
Solomon suspected in this request an aspiration to the throne,
and therefore caused him to be put to death (1 Kings 2:17-25).
a plain, a level tract extending from the Mediterranean to the
hill country to the west of Jerusalem, about 30 miles long and
from 8 to 15 miles broad, celebrated for its beauty and
fertility (1 Chr. 27:29; Isa. 33:9; 35:2; 65:10). The "rose of
Sharon" is celebrated (Cant. 2:1). It is called Lasharon (the
article la being here a part of the word) in Josh. 12:18.
(Heb. "'armon"; i.e., "naked"), mentioned in connection with
Jacob's artifice regarding the cattle (Gen. 30:37). It is one of
the trees of which, because of its strength and beauty, the
Assyrian empire is likened (Ezek. 31:8; R.V., "plane trees"). It
is probably the Oriental plane tree (Platanus orientalis) that
is intended. It is a characteristic of this tree that it
annually sheds its outer bark, becomes "naked." The chestnut
tree proper is not a native of Israel.
stony (Heb. marg. "Amanah," perennial), the chief river of
Damascus (2 Kings 5:12). Its modern name is Barada, the
Chrysorrhoas, or "golden stream," of the Greeks. It rises in a
cleft of the Anti-Lebanon range, about 23 miles north-west of
Damascus, and after flowing southward for a little way parts
into three smaller streams, the central one flowing through
Damascus, and the other two on each side of the city, diffusing
beauty and fertility where otherwise there would be barrenness.
(Heb. teashshur), mentioned in Isa. 60:13; 41:19, was, according
to some, a species of cedar growing in Lebanon. The words of
Ezek. 27:6 literally translated are, "Thy benches they have made
of ivory, the daughter of the ashur tree," i.e., inlaid with
ashur wood. The ashur is the box-tree, and accordingly the
Revised Version rightly reads "inlaid in box wood." This is the
Buxus sempervirens of botanists. It is remarkable for the beauty
of its evergreen foliage and for the utility of its hard and
Very few species of flowers are mentioned in the Bible although
they abounded in Israel. It has been calculated that in
Western Syria and Israel from two thousand to two thousand
five hundred plants are found, of which about five hundred
probably are British wild-flowers. Their beauty is often alluded
to (Cant. 2:12; Matt. 6:28). They are referred to as affording
an emblem of the transitory nature of human life (Job 14:2; Ps.
103:15; Isa. 28:1; 40:6; James 1:10). Gardens containing flowers
and fragrant herbs are spoken of (Cant. 4:16; 6:2).
a garden of riches. (1.) A town of Naphtali, called Chinnereth
(Josh. 19:35), sometimes in the plural form Chinneroth (11:2).
In later times the name was gradually changed to Genezar and
Gennesaret (Luke 5:1). This city stood on the western shore of
the lake to which it gave its name. No trace of it remains. The
plain of Gennesaret has been called, from its fertility and
beauty, "the Paradise of Galilee." It is now called el-Ghuweir.
(2.) The Lake of Gennesaret, the Grecized form of CHINNERETH
(q.v.). (See GALILEE, SEA OF T0001418.)
(Ex. 28:17; 39:10; Ezek. 28:13). Heb. barkath; LXX. smaragdos;
Vulgate, smaragdus; Revised Version, marg., "emerald." The
Hebrew word is from a root meaning "to glitter," "lighten,"
"flash." When held up to the sun, this gem shines like a burning
coal, a dark-red glowing coal, and hence is called
"carbunculus", i.e., a little coal. It was one of the jewels in
the first row of the high priest's breastplate. It has been
conjectured by some that the garnet is meant. In Isa. 54:12 the
Hebrew word is "'ekdah", used in the prophetic description of
the glory and beauty of the mansions above. Next to the diamond
it is the hardest and most costly of all precious stones.
(Heb. tsebi), properly the gazelle (Arab. ghazal), permitted for
food (Deut. 14:5; compare Deut. 12:15, 22; 15:22; 1 Kings 4:23),
noted for its swiftness and beauty and grace of form (2 Sam.
2:18; 1 Chr. 12:8; Cant. 2:9; 7:3; 8:14).
The gazelle (Gazella dorcas) is found in great numbers in
Israel. "Among the gray hills of Galilee it is still 'the roe
upon the mountains of Bether,' and I have seen a little troop of
gazelles feeding on the Mount of Olives close to Jerusalem
The Hebrew word ('ayyalah) in Prov. 5: 19 thus rendered (R.V.,
"doe"), is properly the "wild she-goat," the mountain goat, the
ibex. (See 1 Sam. 24:2; Ps. 104:18; Job 39:1.)
(Judg. 1:31); Aphek (Josh. 13:4; 19:30), stronghold. (1.) A city
of the tribe of Asher. It was the scene of the licentious
worship of the Syrian Aphrodite. The ruins of the temple,
"magnificent ruins" in a "spot of strange wildness and beauty",
are still seen at Afka, on the north-west slopes of Lebanon,
near the source of the river Adonis (now Nahr Ibrahim), 12 miles
east of Gebal.
(2.) A city of the tribe of Issachar, near to Jezreel (1 Sam.
4:1; 29:1; compare 28:4).
(3.) A town on the road from Damascus to Israel, in the
level plain east of Jordan, near which Benhadad was defeated by
the Israelites (1 Kings 20:26, 30; 2 Kings 13:17). It has been
identified with the modern Fik, 6 miles east of the Sea of
Galilee, opposite Tiberias.
pleasantness. (1.) An old royal city of the Canaanites, which
was destroyed by Joshua (Josh. 12:24). Jeroboam chose it for his
residence, and he removed to it from Shechem, which at first he
made the capital of his kingdom. It remained the chief residence
of the kings of Israel till Omri took Samaria (1 Kings 14:17;
15:21; 16:6, 8, etc.). Here Zimri perished amid the flames of
the palace to which in his despair he had set fire (1 Kings
16:18), and here Menahem smote Shallum (2 Kings 15:14, 16).
Solomon refers to its beauty (Cant. 6:4). It has been identified
with the modern mud hamlet Teiasir, 11 miles north of Shechem.
Others, however, would identify it with Telluza, a village about
6 miles east of Samaria.
(2.) The youngest of Zelophehad's five daughters (Num. 26:33;
Not in common use among the Hebrews. It is first mentioned in
Ex. 28:40 (A.V., "bonnets;" R.V., "head-tires"). It was used
especially for purposes of ornament (Job 29:14; Isa. 3:23;
62:3). The Hebrew word here used, "tsaniph", properly means a
turban, folds of linen wound round the head. The Hebrew word
"peer", used in Isa. 61:3, there rendered "beauty" (A.V.) and
"garland" (R.V.), is a head-dress or turban worn by females
(Isa. 3: 20, "bonnets"), priests (Ex. 39:28), a bridegroom (Isa.
61:10, "ornament;" R.V., "garland"). Ezek. 16:10 and Jonah 2:5
are to be understood of the turban wrapped round the head. The
Hebrew "shebisim" (Isa. 3:18), in the Authorized Version
rendered "cauls," and marg. "networks," denotes probably a kind
of netted head-dress. The "horn" (Heb. keren) mentioned in 1
Sam. 2:1 is the head-dress called by the Druses of Mount Lebanon
(Heb. tappuah, meaning "fragrance"). Probably the apricot or
quince is intended by the word, as Israel was too hot for the
growth of apples proper. It is enumerated among the most
valuable trees of Israel (Joel 1:12), and frequently referred
to in Canticles, and noted for its beauty (2:3, 5; 8:5). There
is nothing to show that it was the "tree of the knowledge of
good and evil." Dr. Tristram has suggested that the apricot has
better claims than any other fruit-tree to be the apple of
Scripture. It grows to a height of 30 feet, has a roundish mass
of glossy leaves, and bears an orange coloured fruit that gives
out a delicious perfume. The "apple of the eye" is the Heb.
"ishon", meaning manikin, i.e., the pupil of the eye (Prov.
7:2). (Compare the promise, Zech. 2:8; the prayer, Ps. 17:8; and
its fulfilment, Deut. 32:10.)
The so-called "apple of Sodom" some have supposed to be the
Solanum sanctum (Heb. hedek), rendered "brier" (q.v.) in Micah
7:4, a thorny plant bearing fruit like the potato-apple. This
shrub abounds in the Jordan valley. (See ENGEDI T0001207.)
whom Jehovah helps. (1.) Son of Ethan, of the tribe of Judah (1
(2.) Son of Ahimaaz, who succeeded his grandfather Zadok as
high priest (1 Chr. 6:9; 1 Kings 4:2) in the days of Solomon. He
officiated at the consecration of the temple (1 Chr. 6:10).
(3.) The son of Johanan, high priest in the reign of Abijah
and Asa (2 Chr. 6:10, 11).
(4.) High priest in the reign of Uzziah, king of Judah (2
Kings 14:21; 2 Chr. 26:17-20). He was contemporary with the
prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Joel.
(5.) High priest in the days of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 31:10-13). Of
the house of Zadok.
(6.) Several other priests and Levites of this name are
mentioned (1 Chr. 6:36; Ezra 7:1; 1 Chr. 9:11; Neh. 3:23, etc.).
(7.) The original name of Abed-nego (Dan. 1:6, 7, 11, 16). He
was of the royal family of Judah, and with his other two
companions remarkable for his personal beauty and his
intelligence as well as piety.
(8.) The son of Oded, a remarkable prophet in the days of Asa
(2 Chr. 15:1). He stirred up the king and the people to a great
(Heb. 'ain; i.e., "eye" of the water desert), a natural source
of living water. Israel was a "land of brooks of water, of
fountains, and depths that spring out of valleys and hills"
(Deut. 8:7; 11:11).
These fountains, bright sparkling "eyes" of the desert, are
remarkable for their abundance and their beauty, especially on
the west of Jordan. All the perennial rivers and streams of the
country are supplied from fountains, and depend comparatively
little on surface water. "Israel is a country of mountains
and hills, and it abounds in fountains of water. The murmur of
these waters is heard in every dell, and the luxuriant foliage
which surrounds them is seen in every plain." Besides its
rain-water, its cisterns and fountains, Jerusalem had also an
abundant supply of water in the magnificent reservoir called
"Solomon's Pools" (q.v.), at the head of the Urtas valley,
whence it was conveyed to the city by subterrean channels some
10 miles in length. These have all been long ago destroyed, so
that no water from the "Pools" now reaches Jerusalem. Only one
fountain has been discovered at Jerusalem, the so-called
"Virgins's Fountains," in the valley of Kidron; and only one
well (Heb. beer), the Bir Eyub, also in the valley of Kidron,
south of the King's Gardens, which has been dug through the
solid rock. The inhabitants of Jerusalem are now mainly
dependent on the winter rains, which they store in cisterns.
(See WELL T0003803.)
Heb. hasidah, meaning "kindness," indicating thus the character
of the bird, which is noted for its affection for its young. It
is in the list of birds forbidden to be eaten by the Levitical
law (Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18). It is like the crane, but larger
in size. Two species are found in Israel, the white, which
are dispersed in pairs over the whole country; and the black,
which live in marshy places and in great flocks. They migrate to
Israel periodically (about the 22nd of March). Jeremiah
alludes to this (Jer. 8:7). At the appointed time they return
with unerring sagacity to their old haunts, and re-occupy their
old nests. "There is a well-authenticated account of the
devotion of a stork which, at the burning of the town of Delft,
after repeated and unsuccessful attempts to carry off her young,
chose rather to remain and perish with them than leave them to
their fate. Well might the Romans call it the pia avis!"
In Job 39:13 (A.V.), instead of the expression "or wings and
feathers unto the ostrich" (marg., "the feathers of the stork
and ostrich"), the Revised Version has "are her pinions and
feathers kindly" (marg., instead of "kindly," reads "like the
stork's"). The object of this somewhat obscure verse seems to be
to point out a contrast between the stork, as distinguished for
her affection for her young, and the ostrich, as distinguished
for her indifference.
Zechariah (5:9) alludes to the beauty and power of the stork's
lord of the people; foreigner or glutton, as interpreted by
others, the son of Beor, was a man of some rank among the
Midianites (Num. 31:8; compare 16). He resided at Pethor (Deut.
23:4), in Mesopotamia (Num. 23:7). It is evident that though
dwelling among idolaters he had some knowledge of the true God;
and was held in such reputation that it was supposed that he
whom he blessed was blessed, and he whom he cursed was cursed.
When the Israelites were encamped on the plains of Moab, on the
east of Jordan, by Jericho, Balak sent for Balaam "from Aram,
out of the mountains of the east," to curse them; but by the
remarkable interposition of God he was utterly unable to fulfil
Balak's wish, however desirous he was to do so. The apostle
Peter refers (2 Pet. 2:15, 16) to this as an historical event.
In Micah 6:5 reference also is made to the relations between
Balaam and Balak. Though Balaam could not curse Israel, yet he
suggested a mode by which the divine displeasure might be caused
to descend upon them (Num. 25). In a battle between Israel and
the Midianites (q.v.) Balaam was slain while fighting on the
side of Balak (Num. 31:8).
The "doctrine of Balaam" is spoken of in Rev. 2:14, in
allusion to the fact that it was through the teaching of Balaam
that Balak learned the way by which the Israelites might be led
into sin. (See NICOLAITANES T0002725.) Balaam was constrained
to utter prophecies regarding the future of Israel of wonderful
magnificence and beauty of expression (Num. 24:5-9, 17).
beauty, a town in the portion of Dan (Josh. 19:46; A.V.,
"Japho"), on a sandy promontory between Caesarea and Gaza, and
at a distance of 30 miles north-west from Jerusalem. It is one
of the oldest towns in Asia. It was and still is the chief
sea-port of Judea. It was never wrested from the Phoenicians. It
became a Jewish town only in the second century B.C. It was from
this port that Jonah "took ship to flee from the presence of the
Lord" (Jonah 1:3). To this place also the wood cut in Lebanon by
Hiram's men for Solomon was brought in floats (2 Chr. 2:16); and
here the material for the building of the second temple was also
landed (Ezra 3:7). At Joppa, in the house of Simon the tanner,
"by the sea-side," Peter resided "many days," and here, "on the
house-top," he had his "vision of tolerance" (Acts 9:36-43). It
bears the modern name of Jaffa, and exibituds all the
decrepitude and squalor of cities ruled over by the Turks.
"Scarcely any other town has been so often overthrown, sacked,
pillaged, burned, and rebuilt." Its present population is said
to be about 16,000. It was taken by the French under Napoleon in
1799, who gave orders for the massacre here of 4,000 prisoners.
It is connected with Jerusalem by the only carriage road that
exists in the country, and also by a railway completed in 1892.
It is noticed on monuments B.C. 1600-1300, and was attacked by
Sannacharib B.C. 702.
is frequently mentioned in Scripture. The dove from the ark
brought an olive-branch to Noah (Gen. 8:11). It is mentioned
among the most notable trees of Israel, where it was
cultivated long before the time of the Hebrews (Deut. 6:11;
8:8). It is mentioned in the first Old Testament parable, that
of Jotham (Judg. 9:9), and is named among the blessings of the
"good land," and is at the present day the one characteristic
tree of Israel. The oldest olive-trees in the country are
those which are enclosed in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is
referred to as an emblem of prosperity and beauty and religious
privilege (Ps. 52:8; Jer. 11:16; Hos. 14:6). The two "witnesses"
mentioned in Rev. 11:4 are spoken of as "two olive trees
standing before the God of the earth." (Compare Zech. 4:3, 11-14.)
The "olive-tree, wild by nature" (Rom. 11:24), is the shoot or
cutting of the good olive-tree which, left ungrafted, grows up
to be a "wild olive." In Rom. 11:17 Paul refers to the practice
of grafting shoots of the wild olive into a "good" olive which
has become unfruitful. By such a process the sap of the good
olive, by pervading the branch which is "graffed in," makes it a
good branch, bearing good olives. Thus the Gentiles, being a
"wild olive," but now "graffed in," yield fruit, but only
through the sap of the tree into which they have been graffed.
This is a process "contrary to nature" (11:24).
light soil, first mentioned in Gen. 14:5, where it is said that
Chedorlaomer and his confederates "smote the Rephaim in
Ashteroth," where Og the king of Bashan had his residence. At
the time of Israel's entrance into the Promised Land, Og came
out against them, but was utterly routed (Num. 21:33-35; Deut.
3:1-7). This country extended from Gilead in the south to Hermon
in the north, and from the Jordan on the west to Salcah on the
east. Along with the half of Gilead it was given to the
half-tribe of Manasseh (Josh. 13:29-31). Golan, one of its
cities, became a "city of refuge" (Josh. 21:27). Argob, in
Bashan, was one of Solomon's commissariat districts (1 Kings
4:13). The cities of Bashan were taken by Hazael (2 Kings
10:33), but were soon after reconquered by Jehoash (2 Kings
13:25), who overcame the Syrians in three battles, according to
the word of Elisha (19). From this time Bashan almost disappears
from history, although we read of the wild cattle of its rich
pastures (Ezek. 39:18; Ps. 22:12), the oaks of its forests (Isa.
2:13; Ezek. 27:6; Zech. 11:2), and the beauty of its extensive
plains (Amos 4:1; Jer. 50:19). Soon after the conquest, the name
"Gilead" was given to the whole country beyond Jordan. After the
Exile, Bashan was divided into four districts, (1.) Gaulonitis,
or Jaulan, the most western; (2.) Auranitis, the Hauran (Ezek.
47:16); (3.) Argob or Trachonitis, now the Lejah; and (4.)
Batanaea, now Ard-el-Bathanyeh, on the east of the Lejah, with
many deserted towns almost as perfect as when they were
inhabited. (See HAURAN T0001675.)
(John 4:5, 6). This is one of the few sites in Israel about
which there is no dispute. It was dug by Jacob, and hence its
name, in the "parcel of ground" which he purchased from the sons
of Hamor (Gen. 33:19). It still exists, but although after
copious rains it contains a little water, it is now usually
quite dry. It is at the entrance to the valley between Ebal and
Gerizim, about 2 miles south-east of Shechem. It is about 9 feet
in diameter and about 75 feet in depth, though in ancient times
it was no doubt much deeper, probably twice as deep. The digging
of such a well must have been a very laborious and costly
"Unfortunately, the well of Jacob has not escaped that
misplaced religious veneration which cannot be satisfied with
leaving the object of it as it is, but must build over it a
shrine to protect and make it sacred. A series of buildings of
various styles, and of different ages, have cumbered the ground,
choked up the well, and disfigured the natural beauty and
simplicity of the spot. At present the rubbish in the well has
been cleared out; but there is still a domed structure over it,
and you gaze down the shaft cut in the living rock and see at a
depth of 70 feet the surface of the water glimmering with a pale
blue light in the darkness, while you notice how the limestone
blocks that form its curb have been worn smooth, or else
furrowed by the ropes of centuries" (Hugh Macmillan).
At the entrance of the enclosure round the well is planted in
the ground one of the wooden poles that hold the telegraph wires
between Jerusalem and Haifa.
fortune; luck. (1.) Jacob's seventh son, by Zilpah, Leah's
handmaid, and the brother of Asher (Gen. 30:11-13; 46:16, 18).
In the Authorized Version of 30:11 the words, "A troop cometh:
and she called," etc., should rather be rendered, "In fortune
[R.V., 'Fortunate']: and she called," etc., or "Fortune cometh,"
The tribe of Gad during the march through the wilderness had
their place with Simeon and Reuben on the south side of the
tabernacle (Num. 2:14). The tribes of Reuben and Gad continued
all through their history to follow the pastoral pursuits of the
patriarchs (Num. 32:1-5).
The portion allotted to the tribe of Gad was on the east of
Jordan, and comprehended the half of Gilead, a region of great
beauty and fertility (Deut. 3:12), bounded on the east by the
Arabian desert, on the west by the Jordan (Josh. 13:27), and on
the north by the river Jabbok. It thus included the whole of the
Jordan valley as far north as to the Sea of Galilee, where it
narrowed almost to a point.
This tribe was fierce and warlike; they were "strong men of
might, men of war for the battle, that could handle shield and
buckler, their faces the faces of lions, and like roes upon the
mountains for swiftness" (1 Chr. 12:8; 5:19-22). Barzillai (2
Sam. 17:27) and Elijah (1 Kings 17:1) were of this tribe. It was
carried into captivity at the same time as the other tribes of
the northern kingdom by Tiglath-pileser (1 Chr. 5:26), and in
the time of Jeremiah (49:1) their cities were inhabited by the
(2.) A prophet who joined David in the "hold," and at whose
advice he quitted it for the forest of Hareth (1 Chr. 29:29; 2
Chr. 29:25; 1 Sam. 22:5). Many years after we find mention made
of him in connection with the punishment inflicted for numbering
the people (2 Sam. 24:11-19; 1 Chr. 21:9-19). He wrote a book
called the "Acts of David" (1 Chr. 29:29), and assisted in the
arrangements for the musical services of the "house of God" (2
Chr. 29:25). He bore the title of "the king's seer" (2 Sam.
24:11, 13; 1 Chr. 21:9).
The Hebrew name shushan or shoshan, i.e., "whiteness", was used
as the general name of several plants common to Syria, such as
the tulip, iris, anemone, gladiolus, ranunculus, etc. Some
interpret it, with much probability, as denoting in the Old
Testament the water-lily (Nymphoea lotus of Linn.), or lotus
(Cant. 2:1, 2; 2:16; 4:5; 5:13; 6:2, 3; 7:2). "Its flowers are
large, and they are of a white colour, with streaks of pink.
They supplied models for the ornaments of the pillars and the
molten sea" (1 Kings 7:19, 22, 26; 2 Chr. 4:5). In the Canticles
its beauty and fragrance shadow forth the preciousness of Christ
to the Church. Groser, however (Scrip. Nat. Hist.), strongly
argues that the word, both in the Old and New Testaments,
denotes liliaceous plants in general, or if one genus is to be
selected, that it must be the genus Iris, which is "large,
vigorous, elegant in form, and gorgeous in colouring."
The lilies (Gr. krinia) spoken of in the New Testament (Matt.
6:28; Luke 12:27) were probably the scarlet martagon (Lilium
Chalcedonicum) or "red Turk's-cap lily", which "comes into
flower at the season of the year when our Lord's sermon on the
mount is supposed to have been delivered. It is abundant in the
district of Galilee; and its fine scarlet flowers render it a
very conspicous and showy object, which would naturally attract
the attention of the hearers" (Balfour's Plants of the Bible).
Of the true "floral glories of Israel" the pheasant's eye
(Adonis Palestina), the ranunuculus (R. Asiaticus), and the
anemone (A coronaria), the last named is however, with the
greatest probability regarded as the "lily of the field" to
which our Lord refers. "Certainly," says Tristram (Nat. Hist. of
the Bible), "if, in the wondrous richness of bloom which
characterizes the land of Israel in spring, any one plant can
claim pre-eminence, it is the anemone, the most natural flower
for our Lord to pluck and seize upon as an illustration, whether
walking in the fields or sitting on the hill-side." "The white
water-lily (Nymphcea alba) and the yellow water-lily (Nuphar
lutea) are both abundant in the marshes of the Upper Jordan, but
have no connection with the lily of Scripture."
white, "the white mountain of Syria," is the loftiest and most
celebrated mountain range in Syria. It is a branch running
southward from the Caucasus, and at its lower end forking into
two parallel ranges, the eastern or Anti-Lebanon, and the
western or Lebanon proper. They enclose a long valley (Josh.
11:17) of from 5 to 8 miles in width, called by Roman writers
Coele-Syria, now called el-Buka'a, "the valley," a prolongation
of the valley of the Jordan.
Lebanon proper, Jebel es-Sharki, commences at its southern
extremity in the gorge of the Leontes, the ancient Litany, and
extends NE, parallel to the Mediterranean coast, as far
as the river Eleutherus, at the plain of Emesa, "the entering of
Hamath" (Num. 34:8; 1 Kings 8:65), in all about 90 geographical
miles in extent. The average height of this range is from 6,000
to 8,000 feet; the peak of Jebel Mukhmel is about 10,200 feet,
and the Sannin about 9,000. The highest peaks are covered with
perpetual snow and ice. In the recesses of the range wild beasts
as of old still abound (2 Kings 14:9; Cant. 4:8). The scenes of
the Lebanon are remarkable for their grandeur and beauty, and
supplied the sacred writers with many expressive similes (Ps.
29:5, 6; 72:16; 104:16-18; Cant. 4:15; Isa. 2:13; 35:2; 60:13;
Hos. 14:5). It is famous for its cedars (Cant. 5:15), its wines
(Hos. 14:7), and its cool waters (Jer. 18:14). The ancient
inhabitants were Giblites and Hivites (Josh. 13:5; Judg. 3:3).
It was part of the Phoenician kingdom (1 Kings 5:2-6).
The eastern range, or Anti-Lebanon, or "Lebanon towards the
sunrising," runs nearly parallel with the western from the plain
of Emesa till it connects with the hills of Galilee in the
south. The height of this range is about 5,000 feet. Its highest
peak is Hermon (q.v.), from which a number of lesser ranges
Lebanon is first mentioned in the description of the boundary
of Israel (Deut. 1:7; 11:24). It was assigned to Israel, but
was never conquered (Josh. 13:2-6; Judg. 3:1-3).
The Lebanon range is now inhabited by a population of about
300,000 Christians, Maronites, and Druses, and is ruled by a
Christian governor. The Anti-Lebanon is inhabited by
Mohammedans, and is under a Turkish ruler.
a park; generally with the article, "the park." (1.) A prominent
headland of Central Israel, consisting of several connected
hills extending from the plain of Esdraelon to the sea, a
distance of some 12 miles or more. At the east end, in its
highest part, it is 1,728 feet high, and at the west end it
forms a promontory to the bay of Acre about 600 feet above the
sea. It lay within the tribe of Asher. It was here, at the east
end of the ridge, at a place called el-Mukhrakah (i.e., the
place of burning), that Elijah brought back the people to their
allegiance to God, and slew the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18).
Here were consumed the "fifties" of the royal guard; and here
also Elisha received the visit of the bereaved mother whose son
was restored by him to life (2 Kings 4:25-37). "No mountain in
or around Israel retains its ancient beauty so much as
Carmel. Two or three villages and some scattered cottages are
found on it; its groves are few but luxuriant; it is no place
for crags and precipices or rocks of wild goats; but its surface
is covered with a rich and constant verdure." "The whole
mountain-side is dressed with blossom, and flowering shrubs, and
fragrant herbs." The western extremity of the ridge is, however,
more rocky and bleak than the eastern. The head of the bride in
Cant. 7:5 is compared to Carmel. It is ranked with Bashan on
account of its rich pastures (Isa. 33:9; Jer. 50:19; Amos 1:2).
The whole ridge is deeply furrowed with rocky ravines filled
with dense jungle. There are many caves in its sides, which at
one time were inhabited by swarms of monks. These caves are
referred to in Amos 9:3. To them Elijah and Elisha often
resorted (1 Kings 18:19, 42; 2 Kings 2:25). On its north-west
summit there is an ancient establishment of Carmelite monks.
Vineyards have recently been planted on the mount by the German
colonists of Haifa. The modern Arabic name of the mount is
Kurmul, but more commonly Jebel Mar Elyas, i.e., Mount St.
Elias, from the Convent of Elias.
(2.) A town in the hill country of Judah (Josh. 15:55), the
residence of Nabal (1 Sam. 25:2, 5, 7, 40), and the native place
of Abigail, who became David's wife (1 Sam. 27:3). Here king
Uzziah had his vineyards (2 Chr. 26:10). The ruins of this town
still remain under the name of Kurmul, about 10 miles
south-south-east of Hebron, close to those of Maon.
a judge. (1.) The fifth son of Jacob. His mother was Bilhah,
Rachel's maid (Gen. 30:6, "God hath judged me", Heb. dananni).
The blessing pronounced on him by his father was, "Dan shall
judge his people" (49:16), probably in allusion to the judgeship
of Samson, who was of the tribe of Dan.
The tribe of Dan had their place in the march through the
wilderness on the north side of the tabernacle (Num. 2:25, 31;
10:25). It was the last of the tribes to receive a portion in
the Land of Promise. Its position and extent are described in
The territory of Dan extended from the west of that of Ephraim
and Benjamin to the sea. It was a small territory, but was very
fertile. It included in it, among others, the cities of Lydda,
Ekron, and Joppa, which formed its northern boundary. But this
district was too limited. "Squeezed into the narrow strip
between the mountains and the sea, its energies were great
beyond its numbers." Being pressed by the Amorites and the
Philistines, whom they were unable to conquer, they longed for a
wider space. They accordingly sent out five spies from two of
their towns, who went north to the sources of the Jordan, and
brought back a favourable report regarding that region. "Arise,"
they said, "be not slothful to go, and to possess the land," for
it is "a place where there is no want of any thing that is in
the earth" (Judg. 18:10). On receiving this report, 600 Danites
girded on their weapons of war, and taking with them their wives
and their children, marched to the foot of Hermon, and fought
against Leshem, and took it from the Sidonians, and dwelt
therein, and changed the name of the conquered town to Dan
(Josh. 19:47). This new city of Dan became to them a new home,
and was wont to be spoken of as the northern limit of Israel,
the length of which came to be denoted by the expression "from
Dan to Beersheba", i.e., about 144 miles.
"But like Lot under a similar temptation, they seem to have
succumbed to the evil influences around them, and to have sunk
down into a condition of semi-heathenism from which they never
emerged. The mounds of ruins which mark the site of the city
show that it covered a considerable extent of ground. But there
remains no record of any noble deed wrought by the degenerate
tribe. Their name disappears from the roll-book of the natural
and the spiritual Israel.", Manning's Those Holy Fields.
This old border city was originally called Laish. Its modern
name is Tell el-Kady, "Hill of the Judge." It stands about four
miles below Caesarea Philippi, in the midst of a region of
surpassing richness and beauty.
(2.) This name occurs in Ezek 27:19, Authorize Version; but
the words there, "Dan also," should be simply, as in the Revised
Version, "Vedan," an Arabian city, from which various kinds of
merchandise were brought to Tyre. Some suppose it to have been
the city of Aden in Arabia. (See MAHANEH-DAN T0002375.)
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.)
my father a king, or father of a king, a common name of the
Philistine kings, as "Pharaoh" was of the Egyptian kings. (1.)
The Philistine king of Gerar in the time of Abraham (Gen.
20:1-18). By an interposition of Providence, Sarah was delivered
from his harem, and was restored to her husband Abraham. As a
mark of respect he gave to Abraham valuable gifts, and offered
him a settlement in any part of his country; while at the same
time he delicately and yet severely rebuked him for having
practised a deception upon him in pretending that Sarah was only
his sister. Among the gifts presented by the king were a
thousand pieces of silver as a "covering of the eyes" for Sarah;
i.e., either as an atoning gift and a testimony of her innocence
in the sight of all, or rather for the purpose of procuring a
veil for Sarah to conceal her beauty, and thus as a reproof to
her for not having worn a veil which, as a married woman, she
ought to have done. A few years after this Abimelech visited
Abraham, who had removed southward beyond his territory, and
there entered into a league of peace and friendship with him.
This league was the first of which we have any record. It was
confirmed by a mutual oath at Beersheba (Gen. 21:22-34).
(2.) A king of Gerar in the time of Isaac, probably the son of
the preceeding (Gen. 26:1-22). Isaac sought refuge in his
territory during a famine, and there he acted a part with
reference to his wife Rebekah similar to that of his father
Abraham with reference to Sarah. Abimelech rebuked him for the
deception, which he accidentally discovered. Isaac settled for a
while here, and prospered. Abimelech desired him, however, to
leave his territory, which Isaac did. Abimelech afterwards
visited him when he was encamped at Beersheba, and expressed a
desire to renew the covenant which had been entered into between
their fathers (Gen. 26:26-31).
(3.) A son of Gideon (Judg. 9:1), who was proclaimed king
after the death of his father (Judg. 8:33-9:6). One of his first
acts was to murder his brothers, seventy in number, "on one
stone," at Ophrah. Only one named Jotham escaped. He was an
unprincipled, ambitious ruler, often engaged in war with his own
subjects. When engaged in reducing the town of Thebez, which had
revolted, he was struck mortally on his head by a mill-stone,
thrown by the hand of a woman from the wall above. Perceiving
that the wound was mortal, he desired his armour-bearer to
thrust him through with his sword, that it might not be said he
had perished by the hand of a woman (Judg. 9:50-57).
(4.) The son of Abiathar, and high priest in the time of David
(1 Chr. 18:16). In the parallel passage, 2 Sam. 8:17, we have
the name Ahimelech, and Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech. This
most authorities consider the more correct reading. (5.) Achish,
king of Gath, in the title of Ps. 34. (Compare 1 Sam. 21:10-15.)
father of peace; i.e., "peaceful" David's son by Maacah (2 Sam.
3:3; compare 1 Kings 1:6). He was noted for his personal beauty
and for the extra-ordinary profusion of the hair of his head (2
Sam. 14:25,26). The first public act of his life was the
blood-revenge he executed against Amnon, David's eldest son, who
had basely wronged Absalom's sister Tamar. This revenge was
executed at the time of the festivities connected with a great
sheep-shearing at Baal-hazor. David's other sons fled from the
place in horror, and brought the tidings of the death of Amnon
to Jerusalem. Alarmed for the consequences of the act, Absalom
fled to his grandfather at Geshur, and there abode for three
years (2 Sam. 3:3; 13:23-38).
David mourned his absent son, now branded with the guilt of
fratricide. As the result of a stratagem carried out by a woman
of Tekoah, Joab received David's sanction to invite Absalom back
to Jerusalem. He returned accordingly, but two years elapsed
before his father admitted him into his presence (2 Sam. 14:28).
Absalom was now probably the oldest surviving son of David, and
as he was of royal descent by his mother as well as by his
father, he began to aspire to the throne. His pretensions were
favoured by the people. By many arts he gained their affection;
and after his return from Geshur (2 Sam. 15:7; marg., R.V.) he
went up to Hebron, the old capital of Judah, along with a great
body of the people, and there proclaimed himself king. The
revolt was so successful that David found it necessary to quit
Jerusalem and flee to Mahanaim, beyond Jordan; where upon
Absalom returned to Jerusalem and took possession of the throne
without opposition. Ahithophel, who had been David's chief
counsellor, deserted him and joined Absalom, whose chief
counsellor he now became. Hushai also joined Absalom, but only
for the purpose of trying to counteract the counsels of
Ahithophel, and so to advantage David's cause. He was so far
successful that by his advice, which was preferred to that of
Ahithophel, Absalom delayed to march an army against his father,
who thus gained time to prepare for the defence.
Absalom at length marched out against his father, whose army,
under the command of Joab, he encountered on the borders of the
forest of Ephraim. Twenty thousand of Absalom's army were slain
in that fatal battle, and the rest fled. Absalom fled on a swift
mule; but his long flowing hair, or more probably his head, was
caught in the bough of an oak, and there he was left suspended
till Joab came up and pierced him through with three darts. His
body was then taken down and cast into a pit dug in the forest,
and a heap of stones was raised over his grave. When the tidings
of the result of that battle were brought to David, as he sat
impatiently at the gate of Mahanaim, and he was told that
Absalom had been slain, he gave way to the bitter lamentation:
"O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died
for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" (2 Sam. 18:33. Compare Ex.
32:32; Rom. 9:3).
Absalom's three sons (2 Sam. 14:27; compare 18:18) had all died
before him, so that he left only a daughter, Tamar, who became
the grandmother of Abijah.
has been well defined as "the measured language of emotion."
Hebrew poetry deals almost exclusively with the great question
of man's relation to God. "Guilt, condemnation, punishment,
pardon, redemption, repentance are the awful themes of this
In the Hebrew scriptures there are found three distinct kinds
of poetry, (1) that of the Book of Job and the Song of Solomon,
which is dramatic; (2) that of the Book of Psalms, which is
lyrical; and (3) that of the Book of Ecclesiastes, which is
didactic and sententious.
Hebrew poetry has nothing akin to that of Western nations. It
has neither metre nor rhyme. Its great peculiarity consists in
the mutual correspondence of sentences or clauses, called
parallelism, or "thought-rhyme." Various kinds of this
parallelism have been pointed out:
(1.) Synonymous or cognate parallelism, where the same idea is
repeated in the same words (Ps. 93:3; 94:1; Prov. 6:2), or in
different words (Ps. 22, 23, 28, 114, etc.); or where it is
expressed in a positive form in the one clause and in a negative
in the other (Ps. 40:12; Prov. 6:26); or where the same idea is
expressed in three successive clauses (Ps. 40:15, 16); or in a
double parallelism, the first and second clauses corresponding
to the third and fourth (Isa. 9:1; 61:10, 11).
(2.) Antithetic parallelism, where the idea of the second
clause is the converse of that of the first (Ps. 20:8; 27:6, 7;
34:11; 37:9, 17, 21, 22). This is the common form of gnomic or
proverbial poetry. (See Prov. 10-15.)
(3.) Synthetic or constructive or compound parallelism, where
each clause or sentence contains some accessory idea enforcing
the main idea (Ps. 19:7-10; 85:12; Job 3:3-9; Isa. 1:5-9).
(4.) Introverted parallelism, in which of four clauses the
first answers to the fourth and the second to the third (Ps.
135:15-18; Prov. 23:15, 16), or where the second line reverses
the order of words in the first (Ps. 86:2).
Hebrew poetry sometimes assumes other forms than these. (1.)
An alphabetical arrangement is sometimes adopted for the purpose
of connecting clauses or sentences. Thus in the following the
initial words of the respective verses begin with the letters of
the alphabet in regular succession: Prov. 31:10-31; Lam. 1, 2,
3, 4; Ps. 25, 34, 37, 145. Ps. 119 has a letter of the alphabet
in regular order beginning every eighth verse.
(2.) The repetition of the same verse or of some emphatic
expression at intervals (Ps. 42, 107, where the refrain is in
verses, 8, 15, 21, 31). (Compare also Isa. 9:8-10:4; Amos 1:3, 6,
9, 11, 13; 2:1, 4, 6.)
(3.) Gradation, in which the thought of one verse is resumed
in another (Ps. 121).
Several odes of great poetical beauty are found in the
historical books of the Old Testament, such as the song of Moses
(Ex. 15), the song of Deborah (Judg. 5), of Hannah (1 Sam. 2),
of Hezekiah (Isa. 38:9-20), of Habakkuk (Hab. 3), and David's
"song of the bow" (2 Sam. 1:19-27).
Noah's ark, a building of gopher-wood, and covered with pitch,
300 cubits long, 50 cubits broad, and 30 cubits high (Gen.
6:14-16); an oblong floating house of three stories, with a door
in the side and a window in the roof. It was 100 years in
building (Gen. 5:32; 7:6). It was intended to preserve certain
persons and animals from the deluge which God was about to bring
over the earth. It contained eight persons (Gen. 7:13; 2 Pet.
2:5), and of all "clean" animals seven pairs, and of "unclean"
one pair, and of birds seven pairs of each sort (Gen. 7:2, 3).
It was in the form of an oblong square, with flat bottom and
sloping roof. Traditions of the Deluge, by which the race of man
was swept from the earth, and of the ark of Noah have been found
existing among all nations.
The ark of bulrushes in which the infant Moses was laid (Ex.
2:3) is called in the Hebrew "teebah", a word derived from the
Egyptian "teb", meaning "a chest." It was daubed with slime and
with pitch. The bulrushes of which it was made were the papyrus
The sacred ark is designated by a different Hebrew word,
"'aron'", which is the common name for a chest or coffer used
for any purpose (Gen. 50:26; 2 Kings 12:9, 10). It is
distinguished from all others by such titles as the "ark of God"
(1 Sam. 3:3), "ark of the covenant" (Josh. 3:6; Heb. 9:4), "ark
of the testimony" (Ex. 25:22). It was made of acacia or shittim
wood, a cubit and a half broad and high and two cubits long, and
covered all over with the purest gold. Its upper surface or lid,
the mercy-seat, was surrounded with a rim of gold; and on each
of the two sides were two gold rings, in which were placed two
gold-covered poles by which the ark could be carried (Num. 7:9;
10:21; 4:5,19, 20; 1 Kings 8:3, 6). Over the ark, at the two
extremities, were two cherubim, with their faces turned toward
each other (Lev. 16:2; Num. 7:89). Their outspread wings over
the top of the ark formed the throne of God, while the ark
itself was his footstool (Ex. 25:10-22; 37:1-9). The ark was
deposited in the "holy of holies," and was so placed that one
end of the poles by which it was carried touched the veil which
separated the two apartments of the tabernacle (1 Kings 8:8).
The two tables of stone which constituted the "testimony" or
evidence of God's covenant with the people (Deut. 31:26), the
"pot of manna" (Ex. 16:33), and "Aaron's rod that budded" (Num.
17:10), were laid up in the ark (Heb. 9:4). (See TABERNACLE
T0003559) The ark and the sanctuary were "the beauty of Israel"
(Lam. 2:1). During the journeys of the Israelites the ark was
carried by the priests in advance of the host (Num. 4:5, 6;
10:33-36; Ps. 68:1; 132:8). It was borne by the priests into the
bed of the Jordan, which separated, opening a pathway for the
whole of the host to pass over (Josh. 3:15, 16; 4:7, 10, 11, 17,
18). It was borne in the procession round Jericho (Josh. 6:4, 6,
8, 11, 12). When carried it was always wrapped in the veil, the
badgers' skins, and blue cloth, and carefully concealed even
from the eyes of the Levites who carried it. After the
settlement of Israel in Israel the ark remained in the
tabernacle at Gilgal for a season, and was then removed to
Shiloh till the time of Eli, between 300 and 400 years (Jer.
7:12), when it was carried into the field of battle so as to
secure, as they supposed, victory to the Hebrews, and was taken
by the Philistines (1 Sam. 4:3-11), who sent it back after
retaining it seven months (1 Sam. 5:7, 8). It remained then at
Kirjath-jearim (7:1,2) till the time of David (twenty years),
who wished to remove it to Jerusalem; but the proper mode of
removing it having been neglected, Uzzah was smitten with death
for putting "forth his hand to the ark of God," and in
consequence of this it was left in the house of Obed-edom in
Gath-rimmon for three months (2 Sam. 6:1-11), at the end of
which time David removed it in a grand procession to Jerusalem,
where it was kept till a place was prepared for it (12-19). It
was afterwards deposited by Solomon in the temple (1 Kings
8:6-9). When the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and plundered
the temple, the ark was probably taken away by Nebuchadnezzar
and destroyed, as no trace of it is afterwards to be found. The
absence of the ark from the second temple was one of the points
in which it was inferior to the first temple.
Before his death David had "with all his might" provided
materials in great abundance for the building of the temple on
the summit of Mount Moriah (1 Chr. 22:14; 29:4; 2 Chr. 3:1), on
the east of the city, on the spot where Abraham had offered up
Isaac (Gen. 22:1-14). In the beginning of his reign Solomon set
about giving effect to the desire that had been so earnestly
cherished by his father, and prepared additional materials for
the building. From subterranean quarries at Jerusalem he
obtained huge blocks of stone for the foundations and walls of
the temple. These stones were prepared for their places in the
building under the eye of Tyrian master-builders. He also
entered into a compact with Hiram II., king of Tyre, for the
supply of whatever else was needed for the work, particularly
timber from the forests of Lebanon, which was brought in great
rafts by the sea to Joppa, whence it was dragged to Jerusalem (1
Kings 5). As the hill on which the temple was to be built did
not afford sufficient level space, a huge wall of solid masonry
of great height, in some places more than 200 feet high, was
raised across the south of the hill, and a similar wall on the
eastern side, and in the spaces between were erected many arches
and pillars, thus raising up the general surface to the required
level. Solomon also provided for a sufficient water supply for
the temple by hewing in the rocky hill vast cisterns, into which
water was conveyed by channels from the "pools" near Bethlehem.
One of these cisterns, the "great sea," was capable of
containing three millions of gallons. The overflow was led off
by a conduit to the Kidron.
In all these preparatory undertakings a space of about three
years was occupied; and now the process of the erection of the
great building began, under the direction of skilled Phoenician
builders and workmen, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, 480
years after the Exodus (1 Kings 6; 2 Chr. 3). Many thousands of
labourers and skilled artisans were employed in the work. Stones
prepared in the quarries underneath the city (1 Kings 5:17, 18)
of huge dimension (see QUARRIES T0003032) were gradually placed
on the massive walls, and closely fitted together without any
mortar between, till the whole structure was completed. No sound
of hammer or axe or any tool of iron was heard as the structure
arose (6:7). "Like some tall palm the noiseless fabric sprang."
The building was 60 cubits long, 20 cubits wide, and 30 cubits
high. The engineers of the Israel Exploration Fund, in their
explorations around the temple area, discovered what is believed
to have been the "chief corner stone" of the temple, "the most
interesting stone in the world." It lies at the bottom of the
south-eastern angle, and is 3 feet 8 inches high by 14 feet
long. It rests on the solid rock at a depth of 79 feet 3 inches
below the present surface. (See PINNACLE T0002957.) In
examining the walls the engineers were "struck with admiration
at the vastness of the blocks and the general excellence of the
At length, in the autumn of the eleventh year of his reign,
seven and a half years after it had been begun, the temple was
completed in all its architectural magnificence and beauty. For
thirteen years there it stood, on the summit of Moriah, silent
and unused. The reasons for this strange delay in its
consecration are unknown. At the close of these thirteen years
preparations for the dedication of the temple were made on a
scale of the greatest magnificence. The ark was solemnly brought
from the tent in which David had deposited it to the place
prepared for it in the temple, and the glory-cloud, the symbol
of the divine presence, filled the house. Then Solomon ascended
a platform which had been erected for him, in the sight of all
the people, and lifting up his hands to heaven poured out his
heart to God in prayer (1 Kings 8; 2 Chr. 6, 7). The feast of
dedication, which lasted seven days, followed by the feast of
tabernacles, marked a new era in the history of Israel. On the
eighth day of the feast of tabernacles, Solomon dismissed the
vast assemblage of the people, who returned to their homes
filled with joy and gladness, "Had Solomon done no other service
beyond the building of the temple, he would still have
influenced the religious life of his people down to the latest
days. It was to them a perpetual reminder and visible symbol of
God's presence and protection, a strong bulwark of all the
sacred traditions of the law, a witness to duty, an impulse to
historic study, an inspiration of sacred song."
The temple consisted of, (1.) The oracle or most holy place (1
Kings 6:19; 8:6), called also the "inner house" (6:27), and the
"holiest of all" (Heb. 9:3). It was 20 cubits in length,
breadth, and height. It was floored and wainscotted with cedar
(1 Kings 6:16), and its walls and floor were overlaid with gold
(6:20, 21, 30). There was a two-leaved door between it and the
holy place overlaid with gold (2 Chr. 4:22); also a veil of blue
purple and crimson and fine linen (2 Chr. 3:14; compare Ex.
26:33). It had no windows (1 Kings 8:12). It was indeed the
dwelling-place of God. (2.) The holy place (q.v.), 1 Kings
8:8-10, called also the "greater house" (2 Chr. 3:5) and the
"temple" (1 Kings 6:17). (3.) The porch or entrance before the
temple on the east (1 Kings 6:3; 2 Chr. 3:4; 29:7). In the porch
stood the two pillars Jachin and Boaz (1 Kings 7:21; 2 Kings
11:14; 23:3). (4.) The chambers, which were built about the
temple on the southern, western, and northern sides (1 Kings
6:5-10). These formed a part of the building.
Round about the building were, (1.) The court of the priests
(2 Chr. 4:9), called the "inner court" (1 Kings 6:36). It
contained the altar of burnt-offering (2 Chr. 15:8), the brazen
sea (4:2-5, 10), and ten lavers (1 Kings 7:38, 39). (2.) The
great court, which surrounded the whole temple (2 Chr. 4:9).
Here the people assembled to worship God (Jer. 19:14; 26:2).
This temple erected by Solomon was many times pillaged during
the course of its history, (1) 1 Kings 14:25, 26; (2) 2 Kings
14:14; (3) 2 Kings 16:8, 17, 18; (4) 2 Kings 18:15, 16. At last
it was pillaged and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24:13;
2 Chr. 36:7). He burned the temple, and carried all its
treasures with him to Babylon (2 Kings 25:9-17; 2 Chr. 36:19;
Isa. 64:11). These sacred vessels were at length, at the close
of the Captivity, restored to the Jews by Cyrus (Ezra 1:7-11).
peaceful, (Heb. Shelomoh), David's second son by Bathsheba,
i.e., the first after their legal marriage (2 Sam. 12). He was
probably born about B.C. 1035 (1 Chr. 22:5; 29:1). He succeeded
his father on the throne in early manhood, probably about
sixteen or eighteen years of age. Nathan, to whom his education
was intrusted, called him Jedidiah, i.e., "beloved of the Lord"
(2 Sam. 12:24, 25). He was the first king of Israel "born in the
purple." His father chose him as his successor, passing over the
claims of his elder sons: "Assuredly Solomon my son shall reign
after me." His history is recorded in 1 Kings 1-11 and 2 Chr.
1-9. His elevation to the throne took place before his father's
death, and was hastened on mainly by Nathan and Bathsheba, in
consequence of the rebellion of Adonijah (1 Kings 1:5-40).
During his long reign of forty years the Hebrew monarchy gained
its highest splendour. This period has well been called the
"Augustan age" of the Jewish annals. The first half of his reign
was, however, by far the brighter and more prosperous; the
latter half was clouded by the idolatries into which he fell,
mainly from his heathen intermarriages (1 Kings 11:1-8; 14:21,
Before his death David gave parting instructions to his son (1
Kings 2:1-9; 1 Chr. 22:7-16; 28). As soon as he had settled
himself in his kingdom, and arranged the affairs of his
extensive empire, he entered into an alliance with Egypt by the
marriage of the daughter of Pharaoh (1 Kings 3:1), of whom,
however, nothing further is recorded. He surrounded himself with
all the luxuries and the external grandeur of an Eastern
monarch, and his government prospered. He entered into an
alliance with Hiram, king of Tyre, who in many ways greatly
assisted him in his numerous undertakings. (See HIRAM
For some years before his death David was engaged in the
active work of collecting materials (1 Chr. 29:6-9; 2 Chr.
2:3-7) for building a temple in Jerusalem as a permanent abode
for the ark of the covenant. He was not permitted to build the
house of God (1 Chr. 22:8); that honour was reserved to his son
Solomon. (See TEMPLE T0003610.)
After the completion of the temple, Solomon engaged in the
erection of many other buildings of importance in Jerusalem and
in other parts of his kingdom. For the long space of thirteen
years he was engaged in the erection of a royal palace on Ophel
(1 Kings 7:1-12). It was 100 cubits long, 50 broad, and 30 high.
Its lofty roof was supported by forty-five cedar pillars, so
that the hall was like a forest of cedar wood, and hence
probably it received the name of "The House of the Forest of
Lebanon." In front of this "house" was another building, which
was called the Porch of Pillars, and in front of this again was
the "Hall of Judgment," or Throne-room (1 Kings 7:7; 10:18-20; 2
Chr. 9:17-19), "the King's Gate," where he administered justice
and gave audience to his people. This palace was a building of
great magnificence and beauty. A portion of it was set apart as
the residence of the queen consort, the daughter of Pharaoh.
From the palace there was a private staircase of red and scented
sandal wood which led up to the temple.
Solomon also constructed great works for the purpose of
securing a plentiful supply of water for the city (Eccl. 2:4-6).
He then built Millo (LXX., "Acra") for the defence of the city,
completing a line of ramparts around it (1 Kings 9:15, 24;
11:27). He erected also many other fortifications for the
defence of his kingdom at various points where it was exposed to
the assault of enemies (1 Kings 9:15-19; 2 Chr. 8:2-6). Among
his great undertakings must also be mentioned the building of
Tadmor (q.v.) in the wilderness as a commercial depot, as well
as a military outpost.
During his reign Israel enjoyed great commercial
prosperity. Extensive traffic was carried on by land with Tyre
and Egypt and Arabia, and by sea with Spain and India and the
coasts of Africa, by which Solomon accumulated vast stores of
wealth and of the produce of all nations (1 Kings 9:26-28;
10:11, 12; 2 Chr. 8:17, 18; 9:21). This was the "golden age" of
Israel. The royal magnificence and splendour of Solomon's court
were unrivalled. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred
concubines, an evidence at once of his pride, his wealth, and
his sensuality. The maintenance of his household involved
immense expenditure. The provision required for one day was
"thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal,
ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an
hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallow-deer, and
fatted fowl" (1 Kings 4:22, 23).
Solomon's reign was not only a period of great material
prosperity, but was equally remarkable for its intellectual
activity. He was the leader of his people also in this uprising
amongst them of new intellectual life. "He spake three thousand
proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake
of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the
hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts,
and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes" (1 Kings
His fame was spread abroad through all lands, and men came
from far and near "to hear the wisdom of Solomon." Among others
thus attracted to Jerusalem was "the queen of the south" (Matt.
12:42), the queen of Sheba, a country in Arabia Felix. "Deep,
indeed, must have been her yearning, and great his fame, which
induced a secluded Arabian queen to break through the immemorial
custom of her dreamy land, and to put forth the energy required
for braving the burdens and perils of so long a journey across a
wilderness. Yet this she undertook, and carried it out with
safety." (1 Kings 10:1-13; 2 Chr. 9:1-12.) She was filled with
amazement by all she saw and heard: "there was no more spirit in
her." After an interchange of presents she returned to her
But that golden age of Jewish history passed away. The bright
day of Solomon's glory ended in clouds and darkness. His decline
and fall from his high estate is a sad record. Chief among the
causes of his decline were his polygamy and his great wealth.
"As he grew older he spent more of his time among his
favourites. The idle king living among these idle women, for
1,000 women, with all their idle and mischievous attendants,
filled the palaces and pleasure-houses which he had built (1
Kings 11:3), learned first to tolerate and then to imitate their
heathenish ways. He did not, indeed, cease to believe in the God
of Israel with his mind. He did not cease to offer the usual
sacrifices in the temple at the great feasts. But his heart was
not right with God; his worship became merely formal; his soul,
left empty by the dying out of true religious fervour, sought to
be filled with any religious excitement which offered itself.
Now for the first time a worship was publicly set up amongst the
people of the Lord which was not simply irregular or forbidden,
like that of Gideon (Judg. 8:27), or the Danites (Judg. 18:30,
31), but was downright idolatrous." (1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings
This brought upon him the divine displeasure. His enemies
prevailed against him (1 Kings 11:14-22, 23-25, 26-40), and one
judgment after another fell upon the land. And now the end of
all came, and he died, after a reign of forty years, and was
buried in the city of David, and "with him was buried the
short-lived glory and unity of Israel." "He leaves behind him
but one weak and worthless son, to dismember his kingdom and
disgrace his name."
"The kingdom of Solomon," says Rawlinson, "is one of the most
striking facts in the Biblical history. A petty nation, which
for hundreds of years has with difficulty maintained a separate
existence in the midst of warlike tribes, each of which has in
turn exercised dominion over it and oppressed it, is suddenly
raised by the genius of a soldier-monarch to glory and
greatness. An empire is established which extends from the
Euphrates to the borders of Egypt, a distance of 450 miles; and
this empire, rapidly constructed, enters almost immediately on a
period of peace which lasts for half a century. Wealth,
grandeur, architectural magnificence, artistic excellence,
commercial enterprise, a position of dignity among the great
nations of the earth, are enjoyed during this space, at the end
of which there is a sudden collapse. The ruling nation is split
in twain, the subject-races fall off, the pre-eminence lately
gained being wholly lost, the scene of struggle, strife,
oppression, recovery, inglorious submission, and desperate
effort, re-commences.", Historical Illustrations.