highlanders, or hillmen, the name given to the descendants of
one of the sons of Canaan (Gen. 14:7), called Amurra or Amurri
in the Assyrian and Egyptian inscriptions. On the early
Babylonian monuments all Syria, including Israel, is known as
"the land of the Amorites." The southern slopes of the mountains
of Judea are called the "mount of the Amorites" (Deut. 1:7, 19,
20). They seem to have originally occupied the land stretching
from the heights west of the Dead Sea (Gen. 14:7) to Hebron (13.
Compare 13:8; Deut. 3:8; 4:46-48), embracing "all Gilead and all
Bashan" (Deut. 3:10), with the Jordan valley on the east of the
river (4:49), the land of the "two kings of the Amorites," Sihon
and Og (Deut. 31:4; Josh. 2:10; 9:10). The five kings of the
Amorites were defeated with great slaughter by Joshua (10:10).
They were again defeated at the waters of Merom by Joshua, who
smote them till there were none remaining (Josh. 11:8). It is
mentioned as a surprising circumstance that in the days of
Samuel there was peace between them and the Israelites (1 Sam.
7:14). The discrepancy supposed to exist between Deut. 1:44 and
Num. 14:45 is explained by the circumstance that the terms
"Amorites" and "Amalekites" are used synonymously for the
"Canaanites." In the same way we explain the fact that the
"Hivites" of Gen. 34:2 are the "Amorites" of 48:22. Compare Josh.
10:6; 11:19 with 2 Sam. 21:2; also Num. 14:45 with Deut. 1:44.
The Amorites were warlike mountaineers. They are represented on
the Egyptian monuments with fair skins, light hair, blue eyes,
aquiline noses, and pointed beards. They are supposed to have
been men of great stature; their king, Og, is described by Moses
as the last "of the remnant of the giants" (Deut. 3:11). Both
Sihon and Og were independent kings. Only one word of the
Amorite language survives, "Shenir," the name they gave to Mount
Hermon (Deut. 3:9).
blast, a city of Moab which was occupied by the Amorites (Num.
Mount of the Amorites
the range of hills which rises abruptly in the wilderness of
et-Tih ("the wandering"), mentioned Deut. 1:19, 20, "that great
and terrible wilderness."
elevated. (1.) Denotes Mount Hermon in Deut. 4:48; called Sirion
by the Sidonians, and by the Amorites Shenir (Deut. 3:9). (See
(2.) The Greek form of Zion (q.v.) in Matt. 21:5; John 12:15.
striking down. The whole country on the east of Jordan, from the
Arnon to the Jabbok, was possessed by the Amorites, whose king,
Sihon, refused to permit the Israelites to pass through his
territory, and put his army in array against them. The
Israelites went forth against him to battle, and gained a
complete victory. The Amorites were defeated; Sihon, his sons,
and all his people were smitten with the sword, his walled towns
were captured, and the entire country of the Amorites was taken
possession of by the Israelites (Num. 21:21-30; Deut. 2:24-37).
The country from the Jabbok to Hermon was at this time ruled
by Og, the last of the Rephaim. He also tried to prevent the
progress of the Israelites, but was utterly routed, and all his
cities and territory fell into the hands of the Israelites
(compare Num. 21:33-35; Deut. 3:1-14; Ps. 135: 10-12; 136:17-22).
These two victories gave the Israelites possession of the
country on the east of Jordan, from the Arnon to the foot of
Hermon. The kingdom of Sihon embraced about 1,500 square miles,
while that of Og was more than 3,000 square miles.
house of wastes, or deserts, a town near Abel-shittim, east of
Jordan, in the desert of Moab, where the Israelites encamped not
long before crossing the Jordan (Num. 33:49; A.V.,
"Bethjesimoth"). It was within the territory of Sihon, king of
the Amorites (Josh. 12:3).
=Shenir, the name given to Hermon by the Amorites (Deut. 3:9).
It means "coat of mail" or "breastplate," and is equivalent to
"Sirion." Some interpret the word as meaning "the prominent" or
"the snowy mountain." It is properly the name of the central of
the three summits of Hermon (q.v.).
frozen rain-drops; one of the plagues of Egypt (Ex. 9:23). It is
mentioned by Haggai as a divine judgment (Hag. 2:17). A
hail-storm destroyed the army of the Amorites when they fought
against Joshua (Josh. 10:11). Ezekiel represents the wall daubed
with untempered mortar as destroyed by great hail-stones (Ezek.
13:11). (See also 38:22; Rev. 8:7; 11:19; 16:21.)
swift, the southern boundary of the territory of Israel beyond
Jordan, separating it from the land of Moab (Deut. 3:8, 16).
This river (referred to twenty-four times in the Bible) rises in
the mountains of Gilead, and after a circuitous course of about
80 miles through a deep ravine it falls into the Dead Sea nearly
opposite Engedi. The stream is almost dry in summer. It is now
called el-Mujeb. The territory of the Amorites extended from the
Arnon to the Jabbok.
intelligence, a city ruled over by Sihon, king of the Amorites
(Josh. 3:10; 13:17). It was taken by Moses (Num. 21:23-26), and
became afterwards a Levitical city (Josh. 21:39) in the tribe of
Reuben (Num. 32:37). After the Exile it was taken possession of
by the Moabites (Isa. 15:4; Jer. 48:2, 34, 45). The ruins of
this town are still seen about 20 miles east of Jordan from the
north end of the Dead Sea. There are reservoirs in this
district, which are probably the "fishpools" referred to in
the seed of the father, or, according to others, the desirable
land, the eldest son of Lot (Gen. 19:37), of incestuous birth.
(2.) Used to denote the people of Moab (Num. 22:3-14; Judg.
3:30; 2 Sam. 8:2; Jer. 48:11, 13).
(3.) The land of Moab (Jer. 48:24), called also the "country
of Moab" (Ruth 1:2, 6; 2:6), on the east of Jordan and the Dead
Sea, and south of the Arnon (Num. 21:13, 26). In a wider sense
it included the whole region that had been occupied by the
Amorites. It bears the modern name of Kerak.
In the Plains of Moab, opposite Jericho (Num. 22:1; 26:63;
Josh. 13:32), the children of Israel had their last encampment
before they entered the land of Canaan. It was at that time in
the possession of the Amorites (Num. 21:22). "Moses went up from
the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of
Pisgah," and "died there in the land of Moab, according to the
word of the Lord" (Deut. 34:5, 6). "Surely if we had nothing
else to interest us in the land of Moab, the fact that it was
from the top of Pisgah, its noblest height, this mightiest of
the prophets looked out with eye undimmed upon the Promised
Land; that it was here on Nebo, its loftiest mountain, that he
died his solitary death; that it was here, in the valley over
against Beth-peor, he found his mysterious sepulchre, we have
enough to enshrine the memory in our hearts."
he (God) helps, a city of the Amorites on the east of Jordan,
and assigned, with neighbouring places in Gilead, to Gad (Num.
32:1, 35; Josh. 13:25). It was allotted to the Merarite Levites
(21:39). In David's time it was occupied by the Hebronites,
i.e., the descendants of Kohath (1 Chr. 26:31). It is mentioned
in the "burdens" proclaimed over Moab (Isa. 16:8, 9; Jer.
48:32). Its site is marked by the modern ruin called Sar or
Seir, about 10 miles west of Amman, and 12 from Heshbon. "The
vineyards that once covered the hill-sides are gone; and the
wild Bedawin from the eastern desert make cultivation of any
sold. (1.) Manasseh's oldest son (Josh. 17:1), or probably his
only son (see 1 Chr. 7:14, 15; compare Num. 26:29-33; Josh.
13:31). His descendants are referred to under the name of
Machirites, being the offspring of Gilead (Num. 26:29). They
settled in land taken from the Amorites (Num. 32:39, 40; Deut.
3:15) by a special enactment (Num. 36:1-3; Josh. 17:3, 4). He is
once mentioned as the representative of the tribe of Manasseh
east of Jordan (Judg. 5:14).
(2.) A descendant of the preceding, residing at Lo-debar,
where he maintained Jonathan's son Mephibosheth till he was
taken under the care of David (2 Sam. 9:4), and where he
afterwards gave shelter to David himself when he was a fugitive
Israel and Syria appear to have been originally inhabited by
three different tribes. (1.) The Semites, living on the east of
the isthmus of Suez. They were nomadic and pastoral tribes. (2.)
The Phoenicians, who were merchants and traders; and (3.) the
Hittites, who were the warlike element of this confederation of
tribes. They inhabited the whole region between the Euphrates
and Damascus, their chief cities being Carchemish on the
Euphrates, and Kadesh, now Tell Neby Mendeh, in the Orontes
valley, about six miles south of the Lake of Homs. These
Hittites seem to have risen to great power as a nation, as for a
long time they were formidable rivals of the Egyptian and
Assyrian empires. In the book of Joshua they always appear as
the dominant race to the north of Galilee.
Somewhere about the twenty-third century B.C. the Syrian
confederation, led probably by the Hittites, arched against
Lower Egypt, which they took possession of, making Zoan their
capital. Their rulers were the Hyksos, or shepherd kings. They
were at length finally driven out of Egypt. Rameses II. sought
vengeance against the "vile Kheta," as he called them, and
encountered and defeated them in the great battle of Kadesh,
four centuries after Abraham. (See JOSHUA T0002114.)
They are first referred to in Scripture in the history of
Abraham, who bought from Ephron the Hittite the field and the
cave of Machpelah (Gen. 15:20: 23:3-18). They were then settled
at Kirjath-arba. From this tribe Esau took his first two wives
They are afterwards mentioned in the usual way among the
inhabitants of the Promised Land (Ex. 23:28). They were closely
allied to the Amorites, and are frequently mentioned along with
them as inhabiting the mountains of Israel. When the spies
entered the land they seem to have occupied with the Amorites
the mountain region of Judah (Num. 13:29). They took part with
the other Canaanites against the Israelites (Josh. 9:1; 11:3).
After this there are few references to them in Scripture.
Mention is made of "Ahimelech the Hittite" (1 Sam. 26:6), and of
"Uriah the Hittite," one of David's chief officers (2 Sam.
23:39; 1 Chr. 11:41). In the days of Solomon they were a
powerful confederation in the north of Syria, and were ruled by
"kings." They are met with after the Exile still a distinct
people (Ezra 9:1; compare Neh. 13:23-28).
The Hebrew merchants exported horses from Egypt not only for
the kings of Israel, but also for the Hittites (1 Kings 10:28,
29). From the Egyptian monuments we learn that "the Hittites
were a people with yellow skins and 'Mongoloid' features, whose
receding foreheads, oblique eyes, and protruding upper jaws are
represented as faithfully on their own monuments as they are on
those of Egypt, so that we cannot accuse the Egyptian artists of
caricaturing their enemies. The Amorites, on the contrary, were
a tall and handsome people. They are depicted with white skins,
blue eyes, and reddish hair, all the characteristics, in fact,
of the white race" (Sayce's The Hittites). The original seat of
the Hittite tribes was the mountain ranges of Taurus. They
belonged to Asia Minor, and not to Syria.
(Heb. plural goyum). At first the word "goyim" denoted generally
all the nations of the world (Gen. 18:18; compare Gal. 3:8). The
Jews afterwards became a people distinguished in a marked manner
from the other "goyim". They were a separate people (Lev. 20:23;
26:14-45; Deut. 28), and the other nations, the Amorites,
Hittites, etc., were the "goyim", the heathen, with whom the
Jews were forbidden to be associated in any way (Josh. 23:7; 1
Kings 11:2). The practice of idolatry was the characteristic of
these nations, and hence the word came to designate idolaters
(Ps. 106:47; Jer. 46:28; Lam. 1:3; Isa. 36:18), the wicked (Ps.
9:5, 15, 17).
The corresponding Greek word in the New Testament, "ethne",
has similar shades of meaning. In Acts 22:21, Gal. 3:14, it
denotes the people of the earth generally; and in Matt. 6:7, an
idolater. In modern usage the word denotes all nations that are
strangers to revealed religion.
and Aij'alon, place of deer. (1.) A town and valley originally
assigned to the tribe of Dan, from which, however, they could
not drive the Amorites (Judg. 1:35). It was one of the Levitical
cities given to the Kohathites (1 Chr. 6:69). It was not far
from Beth-shemesh (2 Chr. 28:18). It was the boundary between
the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, and is frequently mentioned in
Jewish history (2 Chr. 11:10; 1 Sam. 14:31; 1 Chr. 8:13). With
reference to the valley named after the town, Joshua uttered the
celebrated command, "Sun, stand thou still on Gibeon; and thou,
Moon, in the valley of Ajalon" (Josh. 10:12). It has been
identified as the modern Yalo, at the foot of the Beth-horon
pass (q.v.). In the Tell Amarna letters Adoni-zedek (q.v.)
speaks of the destruction of the "city of Ajalon" by the
invaders, and describes himself as "afflicted, greatly
afflicted" by the calamities that had come on the land, urging
the king of Egypt to hasten to his help.
(2.) A city in the tribe of Zebulun (Judg. 12:12), the modern
Jalun, three miles north of Cabul.
lord of justice or righteousness, was king in Jerusalem at the
time when the Israelites invaded Israel (Josh. 10:1,3). He
formed a confederacy with the other Canaanite kings against
the Israelites, but was utterly routed by Joshua when he was
engaged in besieging the Gibeonites. The history of this victory
and of the treatment of the five confederated kings is recorded
in Josh. 10:1-27. (Compare Deut. 21:23). Among the Tell Amarna
tablets (see EGYPT T0001137) are some very interesting letters
from Adoni-zedec to the King of Egypt. These illustrate in a
very remarkable manner the history recorded in Josh. 10, and
indeed throw light on the wars of conquest generally, so that
they may be read as a kind of commentary on the book of Joshua.
Here the conquering career of the Abiri (i.e., Hebrews) is
graphically described: "Behold, I say that the land of the king
my lord is ruined", "The wars are mighty against me", "The
Hebrew chiefs plunder all the king's lands", "Behold, I the
chief of the Amorites am breaking to pieces." Then he implores
the king of Egypt to send soldiers to help him, directing that
the army should come by sea to Ascalon or Gaza, and thence march
to Wru-sa-lim (Jerusalem) by the valley of Elah.
fountain of the kid, place in the wilderness of Judah (Josh.
15:62), on the western shore of the Dead Sea (Ezek. 47:10), and
nearly equidistant from both extremities. To the wilderness near
this town David fled for fear of Saul (Josh. 15:62; 1 Sam.
23:29). It was at first called Hazezon-tamar (Gen. 14:7), a city
of the Amorites.
The vineyards of Engedi were celebrated in Solomon's time
(Cant. 1:4). It is the modern 'Ain Jidy. The "fountain" from
which it derives its name rises on the mountain side about 600
feet above the sea, and in its rapid descent spreads luxuriance
all around it. Along its banks the osher grows abundantly. That
shrub is thus described by Porter: "The stem is stout, measuring
sometimes nearly a foot in diameter, and the plant grows to the
height of 15 feet or more. It has a grayish bark and long oval
leaves, which when broken off discharge a milky fluid. The fruit
resembles an apple, and hangs in clusters of two or three. When
ripe it is of a rich yellow colour, but on being pressed it
explodes like a puff-ball. It is chiefly filled with air...This
is the so-called 'apple of Sodom.'" Through Samaria, etc. (See
house of the hollow, or of the cavern, the name of two towns or
villages (2 Chr. 8:5; 1 Chr. 7:24) in the territory of Ephraim,
on the way from Jerusalem to Joppa. They are distinguished as
Beth-horon "the upper" and Beth-horon "the nether." They are
about 2 miles apart, the former being about 10 miles north-west
of Jerusalem. Between the two places was the ascent and descent
of Beth-horon, leading from Gibeon down to the western plain
(Josh. 10:10, 11; 18:13, 14), down which the five kings of the
Amorites were driven by Joshua in that great battle, the most
important in which the Hebrews had been as yet engaged, being
their first conflict with their enemies in the open field.
Jehovah interposed in behalf of Israel by a terrific hailstorm,
which caused more deaths among the Canaanites than did the
swords of the Israelites. Beth-horon is mentioned as having been
taken by Shishak, B.C. 945, in the list of his conquests, and
the pass was the scene of a victory of Judas Maccabeus. (Compare
Ex. 9:19, 25; Job 38:22, 23; Ps. 18:12-14; Isa. 30:30.) The
modern name of these places is Beit-ur, distinguished by
el-Foka, "the upper," and el-Tahta, "the nether." The lower was
at the foot of the pass, and the upper, 500 feet higher, at the
top, west of Gibeon. (See GIBEON T0001480.)
mighty; strength. (1.) One of the chief towns of the kingdom of
Bashan (Josh. 12:4, 5). Here Og was defeated by the Israelites,
and the strength of the Amorites broken (Num. 21:33-35). It
subsequently belonged to Manasseh, for a short time apparently,
and afterwards became the abode of banditti and outlaws (Josh.
13:31). It has been identified with the modern Edr'a, which
stands on a rocky promontory on the south-west edge of the Lejah
(the Argob of the Hebrews, and Trachonitis of the Greeks). The
ruins of Edr'a are the most extensive in the Hauran. They are 3
miles in circumference. A number of the ancient houses still
remain; the walls, roofs, and doors being all of stone. The wild
region of which Edrei was the capital is thus described in its
modern aspect: "Elevated about 20 feet above the plain, it is a
labyrinth of clefts and crevasses in the rock, formed by
volcanic action; and owing to its impenetrable condition, it has
become a refuge for outlaws and turbulent characters, who make
it a sort of Cave of Adullam...It is, in fact, an impregnable
natural fortress, about 20 miles in length and 15 in breadth"
(Porter's Syria, etc.). Beneath this wonderful city there is
also a subterranean city, hollowed out probably as a refuge for
the population of the upper city in times of danger. (See BASHAN
(2.) A town of Naphtali (Josh. 19:37).
(= Khudur-Lagamar of the inscriptions), king of Elam. Many
centuries before the age of Abraham, Canaan and even the
Sinaitic peninsula had been conquered by Babylonian kings, and
in the time of Abraham himself Babylonia was ruled by a dynasty
which claimed sovereignity over Syria and Israel. The kings
of the dynasty bore names which were not Babylonian, but at once
South Arabic and Hebrew. The most famous king of the dynasty was
Khammu-rabi, who united Babylonia under one rule, and made
Babylon its capital. When he ascended the throne, the country
was under the suzerainty of the Elamites, and was divided into
two kingdoms, that of Babylon (the Biblical Shinar) and that of
Larsa (the Biblical Ellasar). The king of Larsa was Eri-Aku
("the servant of the moon-god"), the son of an Elamite prince,
Kudur-Mabug, who is entitled "the father of the land of the
Amorites." A recently discovered tablet enumerates among the
enemies of Khammu-rabi, Kudur-Lagamar ("the servant of the
goddess Lagamar") or Chedorlaomer, Eri-Aku or Arioch, and
Tudkhula or Tidal. Khammu-rabi, whose name is also read
Ammi-rapaltu or Amraphel by some scholars, succeeded in
overcoming Eri-Aku and driving the Elamites out of Babylonia.
Assur-bani-pal, the last of the Assyrian conquerors, mentions in
two inscriptions that he took Susa 1635 years after
Kedor-nakhunta, king of Elam, had conquered Babylonia. It was in
the year B.C. 660 that Assur-bani-pal took Susa.
a 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.
the designation of a tribe descended from Moab, the son of Lot
(Gen. 19:37). From Zoar, the cradle of this tribe, on the
south-eastern border of the Dead Sea, they gradually spread over
the region on the east of Jordan. Rameses II., the Pharaoh of
the Oppression, enumerates Moab (Muab) among his conquests.
Shortly before the Exodus, the warlike Amorites crossed the
Jordan under Sihon their king and drove the Moabites (Num.
21:26-30) out of the region between the Arnon and the Jabbok,
and occupied it, making Heshbon their capital. They were then
confined to the territory to the south of the Arnon.
On their journey the Israelites did not pass through Moab, but
through the "wilderness" to the east (Deut. 2:8; Judg. 11:18),
at length reaching the country to the north of the Arnon. Here
they remained for some time till they had conquered Bashan (see
SIHON T0003427; OG T0002771). The Moabites were alarmed, and
their king, Balak, sought aid from the Midianites (Num. 22:2-4).
It was while they were here that the visit of Balaam (q.v.) to
Balak took place. (See MOSES T0002602.)
After the Conquest, the Moabites maintained hostile relations
with the Israelites, and frequently harassed them in war (Judg.
3:12-30; 1 Sam. 14). The story of Ruth, however, shows the
existence of friendly relations between Moab and Bethlehem. By
his descent from Ruth, David may be said to have had Moabite
blood in his veins. Yet there was war between David and the
Moabites (2 Sam. 8:2; 23:20; 1 Chr. 18:2), from whom he took
great spoil (2 Sam. 8:2, 11, 12; 1 Chr. 11:22; 18:11).
During the one hundred and fifty years which followed the
defeat of the Moabites, after the death of Ahab (see MESHA
T0002505), they regained, apparently, much of their former
prosperty. At this time Isaiah (15:1) delivered his "burden of
Moab," predicting the coming of judgment on that land (compare 2
Kings 17:3; 18:9; 1 Chr. 5:25, 26). Between the time of Isaiah
and the commencement of the Babylonian captivity we have very
seldom any reference to Moab (Jer. 25:21; 27:3; 40:11; Zeph.
After the Return, it was Sanballat, a Moabite, who took chief
part in seeking to prevent the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Neh.
2:19; 4:1; 6:1).
Numbers, Book of
the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew
be-midbar, i.e., "in the wilderness." In the LXX. version it is
called "Numbers," and this name is now the usual title of the
book. It is so called because it contains a record of the
numbering of the people in the wilderness of Sinai (1-4), and of
their numbering afterwards on the plain of Moab (26).
This book is of special historical interest as furnishing us
with details as to the route of the Israelites in the wilderness
and their principal encampments. It may be divided into three
1. The numbering of the people at Sinai, and preparations for
their resuming their march (1-10:10). The sixth chapter gives an
account of the vow of a Nazarite.
2. An account of the journey from Sinai to Moab, the sending
out of the spies and the report they brought back, and the
murmurings (eight times) of the people at the hardships by the
3. The transactions in the plain of Moab before crossing the
Jordan (21:21-ch. 36).
The period comprehended in the history extends from the second
month of the second year after the Exodus to the beginning of
the eleventh month of the fortieth year, in all about
thirty-eight years and ten months; a dreary period of
wanderings, during which that disobedient generation all died in
the wilderness. They were fewer in number at the end of their
wanderings than when they left the land of Egypt. We see in this
history, on the one hand, the unceasing care of the Almighty
over his chosen people during their wanderings; and, on the
other hand, the murmurings and rebellions by which they offended
their heavenly Protector, drew down repeated marks of his
displeasure, and provoked him to say that they should "not enter
into his rest" because of their unbelief (Heb. 3:19).
This, like the other books of the Pentateuch, bears evidence
of having been written by Moses.
The expression "the book of the wars of the Lord," occurring
in 21:14, has given rise to much discussion. But, after all,
"what this book was is uncertain, whether some writing of Israel
not now extant, or some writing of the Amorites which contained
songs and triumphs of their king Sihon's victories, out of which
Moses may cite this testimony, as Paul sometimes does out of
heathen poets (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12)."
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.)
(1.) Heb. nephilim, meaning "violent" or "causing to fall" (Gen.
6:4). These were the violent tyrants of those days, those who
fell upon others. The word may also be derived from a root
signifying "wonder," and hence "monsters" or "prodigies." In
Num. 13:33 this name is given to a Canaanite tribe, a race of
large stature, "the sons of Anak." The Revised Version, in these
passages, simply transliterates the original, and reads
(2.) Heb. rephaim, a race of giants (Deut. 3:11) who lived on
the east of Jordan, from whom Og was descended. They were
probably the original inhabitants of the land before the
immigration of the Canaanites. They were conquered by
Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:5), and their territories were promised as
a possession to Abraham (15:20). The Anakim, Zuzim, and Emim
were branches of this stock.
In Job 26:5 (R.V., "they that are deceased;" marg., "the
shades," the "Rephaim") and Isa. 14:9 this Hebrew word is
rendered (A.V.) "dead." It means here "the shades," the departed
spirits in Sheol. In Sam. 21:16, 18, 20, 33, "the giant" is
(A.V.) the rendering of the singular form "ha raphah", which may
possibly be the name of the father of the four giants referred
to here, or of the founder of the Rephaim. The Vulgate here
reads "Arapha," whence Milton (in Samson Agonistes) has borrowed
the name "Harapha." (See also 1 Chron. 20:5, 6, 8; Deut. 2:11,
20; 3:13; Josh. 15:8, etc., where the word is similarly rendered
"giant.") It is rendered "dead" in (A.V.) Ps. 88:10; Prov. 2:18;
9:18; 21:16: in all these places the Revised Version marg. has
"the shades." (See also Isa. 26:14.)
(3.) Heb. 'Anakim (Deut. 2:10, 11, 21; Josh. 11:21, 22; 14:12,
15; called "sons of Anak," Num. 13:33; "children of Anak,"
13:22; Josh. 15:14), a nomad race of giants descended from Arba
(Josh. 14:15), the father of Anak, that dwelt in the south of
Israel near Hebron (Gen. 23:2; Josh. 15:13). They were a
Cushite tribe of the same race as the Philistines and the
Egyptian shepherd kings. David on several occasions encountered
them (2 Sam. 21:15-22). From this race sprung Goliath (1 Sam.
(4.) Heb. 'emin, a warlike tribe of the ancient Canaanites.
They were "great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims" (Gen.
14:5; Deut. 2:10, 11).
(5.) Heb. Zamzummim (q.v.), Deut. 2:20 so called by the
(6.) Heb. gibbor (Job 16:14), a mighty one, i.e., a champion
or hero. In its plural form (gibborim) it is rendered "mighty
men" (2 Sam. 23:8-39; 1 Kings 1:8; 1 Chr. 11:9-47; 29:24.) The
band of six hundred whom David gathered around him when he was a
fugitive were so designated. They were divided into three
divisions of two hundred each, and thirty divisions of twenty
each. The captians of the thirty divisions were called "the
thirty," the captains of the two hundred "the three," and the
captain over the whole was called "chief among the captains" (2
Sam. 23:8). The sons born of the marriages mentioned in Gen. 6:4
are also called by this Hebrew name.
Babylon, kingdom of
called "the land of the Chaldeans" (Jer. 24:5; Ezek, 12:13), was
an extensive province in Central Asia along the valley of the
Tigris from the Persian Gulf northward for some 300 miles. It
was famed for its fertility and its riches. Its capital was the
city of Babylon, a great commercial centre (Ezek. 17:4; Isa.
43:14). Babylonia was divided into the two districts of Accad in
the north, and Summer (probably the Shinar of the Old Testament)
in the south. Among its chief cities may be mentioned Ur (now
Mugheir or Mugayyar), on the western bank of the Euphrates;
Uruk, or Erech (Gen. 10:10) (now Warka), between Ur and Babylon;
Larsa (now Senkereh), the Ellasar of Gen. 14:1, a little to the
east of Erech; Nipur (now Niffer), south-east of Babylon;
Sepharvaim (2 Kings 17:24), "the two Sipparas" (now Abu-Habba),
considerably to the north of Babylon; and Eridu, "the good city"
(now Abu-Shahrein), which lay originally on the shore of the
Persian Gulf, but is now, owing to the silting up of the sand,
about 100 miles distant from it. Another city was Kulunu, or
Calneh (Gen. 10:10).
The salt-marshes at the mouths of the Euphrates and Tigris
were called Marratu, "the bitter" or "salt", the Merathaim of
Jer. 50:21. They were the original home of the Kalda, or
The most famous of the early kings of Babylonia were Sargon of
Accad (B.C.3800) and his son, Naram-Sin, who conquered a large
part of Western Asia, establishing their power in Israel, and
even carrying their arms to the Sinaitic peninsula. A great
Babylonian library was founded in the reign of Sargon. Babylonia
was subsequently again broken up into more than one state, and
at one time fell under the domination of Elam. This was put an
end to by Khammu-rabi (Amraphel), who drove the Elamites out of
the country, and overcame Arioch, the son of an Elamite prince.
From this time forward Babylonia was a united monarchy. About
B.C. 1750 it was conquered by the Kassi, or Kosseans, from the
mountains of Elam, and a Kassite dynasty ruled over it for 576
years and 9 months.
In the time of Khammu-rabi, Syria and Israel were subject
to Babylonia and its Elamite suzerain; and after the overthrow
of the Elamite supremacy, the Babylonian kings continued to
exercise their influence and power in what was called "the land
of the Amorites." In the epoch of the Kassite dynasty, however,
Canaan passed into the hands of Egypt.
In B.C. 729, Babylonia was conquered by the Assyrian king
Tiglath-pileser III.; but on the death of Shalmaneser IV. it was
seized by the Kalda or "Chaldean" prince Merodach-baladan (2
Kings 20:12-19), who held it till B.C. 709, when he was driven
out by Sargon.
Under Sennacherib, Babylonia revolted from Assyria several
times, with the help of the Elamites, and after one of these
revolts Babylon was destroyed by Sennacherib, B.C. 689. It was
rebuilt by Esarhaddon, who made it his residence during part of
the year, and it was to Babylon that Manasseh was brought a
prisoner (2 Chr. 33:11). After the death of Esarhaddon,
Saul-sumyukin, the viceroy of Babylonia, revolted against his
brother the Assyrian king, and the revolt was suppressed with
When Nineveh was destroyed, B.C. 606, Nabopolassar, the
viceroy of Babylonia, who seems to have been of Chaldean
descent, made himself independent. His son Nebuchadrezzar
(Nabu-kudur-uzur), after defeating the Egyptians at Carchemish,
succeeded him as king, B.C. 604, and founded the Babylonian
empire. He strongly fortified Babylon, and adorned it with
palaces and other buildings. His son, Evil-merodach, who
succeeded him in B.C. 561, was murdered after a reign of two
years. The last monarch of the Babylonian empire was Nabonidus
(Nabu-nahid), B.C. 555-538, whose eldest son, Belshazzar
(Bilu-sar-uzur), is mentioned in several inscriptions. Babylon
was captured by Cyrus, B.C. 538, and though it revolted more
than once in later years, it never succeeded in maintaining its
the land of the Nile and the pyramids, the oldest kingdom of
which we have any record, holds a place of great significance in
The Egyptians belonged to the white race, and their original
home is still a matter of dispute. Many scholars believe that it
was in Southern Arabia, and recent excavations have shown that
the valley of the Nile was originally inhabited by a low-class
population, perhaps belonging to the Nigritian stock, before the
Egyptians of history entered it. The ancient Egyptian language,
of which the latest form is Coptic, is distantly connected with
the Semitic family of speech.
Egypt consists geographically of two halves, the northern
being the Delta, and the southern Upper Egypt, between Cairo and
the First Cataract. In the Old Testament, Northern or Lower
Egypt is called Mazor, "the fortified land" (Isa. 19:6; 37: 25,
where the A.V. mistranslates "defence" and "besieged places");
while Southern or Upper Egypt is Pathros, the Egyptian
Pa-to-Res, or "the land of the south" (Isa. 11:11). But the
whole country is generally mentioned under the dual name of
Mizraim, "the two Mazors."
The civilization of Egypt goes back to a very remote
antiquity. The two kingdoms of the north and south were united
by Menes, the founder of the first historical dynasty of kings.
The first six dynasties constitute what is known as the Old
Empire, which had its capital at Memphis, south of Cairo, called
in the Old Testament Moph (Hos. 9:6) and Noph. The native name
was Mennofer, "the good place."
The Pyramids were tombs of the monarchs of the Old Empire,
those of Gizeh being erected in the time of the Fourth Dynasty.
After the fall of the Old Empire came a period of decline and
obscurity. This was followed by the Middle Empire, the most
powerful dynasty of which was the Twelfth. The Fayyum was
rescued for agriculture by the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty; and
two obelisks were erected in front of the temple of the sun-god
at On or Heliopolis (near Cairo), one of which is still
standing. The capital of the Middle Empire was Thebes, in Upper
The Middle Empire was overthrown by the invasion of the
Hyksos, or shepherd princes from Asia, who ruled over Egypt,
more especially in the north, for several centuries, and of whom
there were three dynasties of kings. They had their capital at
Zoan or Tanis (now San), in the NEern part of the Delta.
It was in the time of the Hyksos that Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph
entered Egypt. The Hyksos were finally expelled about B.C. 1600,
by the hereditary princes of Thebes, who founded the Eighteenth
Dynasty, and carried the war into Asia. Canaan and Syria were
subdued, as well as Cyprus, and the boundaries of the Egyptian
Empire were fixed at the Euphrates. The Soudan, which had been
conquered by the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty, was again annexed
to Egypt, and the eldest son of the Pharaoh took the title of
"Prince of Cush."
One of the later kings of the dynasty, Amenophis IV., or
Khu-n-Aten, endeavoured to supplant the ancient state religion
of Egypt by a new faith derived from Asia, which was a sort of
pantheistic monotheism, the one supreme god being adored under
the image of the solar disk. The attempt led to religious and
civil war, and the Pharaoh retreated from Thebes to Central
Egypt, where he built a new capital, on the site of the present
Tell-el-Amarna. The cuneiform tablets that have been found there
represent his foreign correspondence (about B.C. 1400). He
surrounded himself with officials and courtiers of Asiatic, and
more especially Canaanite, extraction; but the native party
succeeded eventually in overthrowing the government, the capital
of Khu-n-Aten was destroyed, and the foreigners were driven out
of the country, those that remained being reduced to serfdom.
The national triumph was marked by the rise of the Nineteenth
Dynasty, in the founder of which, Rameses I., we must see the
"new king, who knew not Joseph." His grandson, Rameses II.,
reigned sixty-seven years (B.C. 1348-1281), and was an
indefatigable builder. As Pithom, excavated by Dr. Naville in
1883, was one of the cities he built, he must have been the
Pharaoh of the Oppression. The Pharaoh of the Exodus may have
been one of his immediate successors, whose reigns were short.
Under them Egypt lost its empire in Asia, and was itself
attacked by barbarians from Libya and the north.
The Nineteenth Dynasty soon afterwards came to an end; Egypt
was distracted by civil war; and for a short time a Canaanite,
Arisu, ruled over it.
Then came the Twentieth Dynasty, the second Pharaoh of which,
Rameses III., restored the power of his country. In one of his
campaigns he overran the southern part of Israel, where the
Israelites had not yet settled. They must at the time have been
still in the wilderness. But it was during the reign of Rameses
III. that Egypt finally lost Gaza and the adjoining cities,
which were seized by the Pulista, or Philistines.
After Rameses III., Egypt fell into decay. Solomon married the
daughter of one of the last kings of the Twenty-first Dynasty,
which was overthrown by Shishak I., the general of the Libyan
mercenaries, who founded the Twenty-second Dynasty (1 Kings
11:40; 14:25, 26). A list of the places he captured in Israel
is engraved on the outside of the south wall of the temple of
In the time of Hezekiah, Egypt was conquered by Ethiopians
from the Soudan, who constituted the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. The
third of them was Tirhakah (2 Kings 19:9). In B.C. 674 it was
conquered by the Assyrians, who divided it into twenty
satrapies, and Tirhakah was driven back to his ancestral
dominions. Fourteen years later it successfully revolted under
Psammetichus I. of Sais, the founder of the Twenty-sixth
Dynasty. Among his successors were Necho (2 Kings 23:29) and
Hophra, or Apries (Jer. 37:5, 7, 11). The dynasty came to an end
in B.C. 525, when the country was subjugated by Cambyses. Soon
afterwards it was organized into a Persian satrapy.
The title of Pharaoh, given to the Egyptian kings, is the
Egyptian Per-aa, or "Great House," which may be compared to that
of "Sublime Porte." It is found in very early Egyptian texts.
The Egyptian religion was a strange mixture of pantheism and
animal worship, the gods being adored in the form of animals.
While the educated classes resolved their manifold deities into
manifestations of one omnipresent and omnipotent divine power,
the lower classes regarded the animals as incarnations of the
Under the Old Empire, Ptah, the Creator, the god of Memphis,
was at the head of the Pantheon; afterwards Amon, the god of
Thebes, took his place. Amon, like most of the other gods, was
identified with Ra, the sun-god of Heliopolis.
The Egyptians believed in a resurrection and future life, as
well as in a state of rewards and punishments dependent on our
conduct in this world. The judge of the dead was Osiris, who had
been slain by Set, the representative of evil, and afterwards
restored to life. His death was avenged by his son Horus, whom
the Egyptians invoked as their "Redeemer." Osiris and Horus,
along with Isis, formed a trinity, who were regarded as
representing the sun-god under different forms.
Even in the time of Abraham, Egypt was a flourishing and
settled monarchy. Its oldest capital, within the historic
period, was Memphis, the ruins of which may still be seen near
the Pyramids and the Sphinx. When the Old Empire of Menes came
to an end, the seat of empire was shifted to Thebes, some 300
miles farther up the Nile. A short time after that, the Delta
was conquered by the Hyksos, or shepherd kings, who fixed their
capital at Zoan, the Greek Tanis, now San, on the Tanic arm of
the Nile. All this occurred before the time of the new king
"which knew not Joseph" (Ex. 1:8). In later times Egypt was
conquered by the Persians (B.C. 525), and by the Greeks under
Alexander the Great (B.C. 332), after whom the Ptolemies ruled
the country for three centuries. Subsequently it was for a time
a province of the Roman Empire; and at last, in A.D. 1517, it
fell into the hands of the Turks, of whose empire it still forms
nominally a part. Abraham and Sarah went to Egypt in the time of
the shepherd kings. The exile of Joseph and the migration of
Jacob to "the land of Goshen" occurred about 200 years later. On
the death of Solomon, Shishak, king of Egypt, invaded Israel
(1 Kings 14:25). He left a list of the cities he conquered.
A number of remarkable clay tablets, discovered at
Tell-el-Amarna in Upper Egypt, are the most important historical
records ever found in connection with the Bible. They most fully
confirm the historical statements of the Book of Joshua, and
prove the antiquity of civilization in Syria and Israel. As
the clay in different parts of Israel differs, it has been
found possible by the clay alone to decide where the tablets
come from when the name of the writer is lost. The inscriptions
are cuneiform, and in the Aramaic language, resembling Assyrian.
The writers are Phoenicians, Amorites, and Philistines, but in
no instance Hittites, though Hittites are mentioned. The tablets
consist of official dispatches and letters, dating from B.C.
1480, addressed to the two Pharaohs, Amenophis III. and IV., the
last of this dynasty, from the kings and governors of Phoenicia
and Israel. There occur the names of three kings killed by
Joshua, Adoni-zedec, king of Jerusalem, Japhia, king of Lachish
(Josh. 10:3), and Jabin, king of Hazor (11:1); also the Hebrews
(Abiri) are said to have come from the desert.
The principal prophecies of Scripture regarding Egypt are
these, Isa. 19; Jer. 43: 8-13; 44:30; 46; Ezek. 29-32; and it
might be easily shown that they have all been remarkably
fulfilled. For example, the singular disappearance of Noph
(i.e., Memphis) is a fulfilment of Jer. 46:19, Ezek. 30:13.