(Josh. 3:16). See DEAD SEA T0000991.
(Heb. yam), signifies (1) "the gathering together of the
waters," the ocean (Gen. 1:10); (2) a river, as the Nile (Isa.
19:5), the Euphrates (Isa. 21:1; Jer. 51:36); (3) the Red Sea
(Ex. 14:16, 27; 15:4, etc.); (4) the Mediterranean (Ex. 23:31;
Num. 34:6, 7; Josh. 15:47; Ps. 80:11, etc.); (5) the "sea of
Galilee," an inland fresh-water lake, and (6) the Dead Sea or
"salt sea" (Gen. 14:3; Num. 34:3, 12, etc.). The word "sea" is
used symbolically in Isa. 60:5, where it probably means the
nations around the Mediterranean. In Dan. 7:3, Rev. 13:1 it may
mean the tumultuous changes among the nations of the earth.
(Joel 2:20; Ezek. 47:18), the Dead Sea, which lay on the east
side of the Holy Land. The Mediterranean, which lay on the west,
was hence called the "great sea for the west border" (Num.
(Acts 27:27; R.V., "the sea of Adria"), the Adriatic Sea,
including in Paul's time the whole of the Mediterranean lying
between Crete and Sicily. It is the modern Gulf of Venice, the
"Mare Superum" of the Romans, as distinguished from the "Mare
Inferum" or Tyrrhenian Sea.
The sea so called extends along the west coast of Arabia for
about 1,400 miles, and separates Asia from Africa. It is
connected with the Indian Ocean, of which it is an arm, by the
Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb. At a point (Ras Mohammed) about 200
miles from its nothern extremity it is divided into two arms,
that on the east called the AElanitic Gulf, now the Bahr
el-'Akabah, about 100 miles long by 15 broad, and that on the
west the Gulf of Suez, about 150 miles long by about 20 broad.
This branch is now connected with the Mediterranean by the Suez
Canal. Between these two arms lies the Sinaitic Peninsula.
The Hebrew name generally given to this sea is "Yam Suph".
This word "suph" means a woolly kind of sea-weed, which the sea
casts up in great abundance on its shores. In these passages,
Ex. 10:19; 13:18; 15:4, 22; 23:31; Num. 14:25, etc., the Hebrew
name is always translated "Red Sea," which was the name given to
it by the Greeks. The origin of this name (Red Sea) is
uncertain. Some think it is derived from the red colour of the
mountains on the western shore; others from the red coral found
in the sea, or the red appearance sometimes given to the water
by certain zoophytes floating in it. In the New Testament (Acts
7:36; Heb. 11:29) this name is given to the Gulf of Suez.
This sea was also called by the Hebrews Yam-mitstraim, i.e.,
"the Egyptian sea" (Isa. 11:15), and simply Ha-yam, "the sea"
(Ex. 14:2, 9, 16, 21, 28; Josh. 24:6, 7; Isa. 10:26, etc.).
The great historical event connected with the Red Sea is the
passage of the children of Israel, and the overthrow of the
Egyptians, to which there is frequent reference in Scripture
(Ex. 14, 15; Num. 33:8; Deut. 11:4; Josh. 2:10; Judg. 11:16; 2
Sam. 22:16; Neh. 9:9-11; Ps. 66:6; Isa. 10:26; Acts 7:36, etc.).
The Hebrew word "tan" (plural, tannin) is so rendered in Job
7:12 (A.V.; but R.V., "sea-monster"). It is rendered by
"dragons" in Deut. 32:33; Ps. 91:13; Jer. 51:34; Ps. 74:13
(marg., "whales;" and marg. of R.V., "sea-monsters"); Isa. 27:1;
and "serpent" in Ex. 7:9 (R.V. marg., "any large reptile," and
so in ver. 10, 12). The words of Job (7:12), uttered in bitter
irony, where he asks, "Am I a sea or a whale?" simply mean,
"Have I a wild, untamable nature, like the waves of the sea,
which must be confined and held within bounds, that they cannot
pass?" "The serpent of the sea, which was but the wild, stormy
sea itself, wound itself around the land, and threatened to
swallow it up...Job inquires if he must be watched and plagued
like this monster, lest he throw the world into disorder"
The whale tribe are included under the general Hebrew name
"tannin" (Gen. 1:21; Lam. 4:3). "Even the sea-monsters
[tanninim] draw out the breast." The whale brings forth its
young alive, and suckles them.
It is to be noticed of the story of Jonah's being "three days
and three nights in the whale's belly," as recorded in Matt.
12:40, that here the Gr. ketos means properly any kind of
sea-monster of the shark or the whale tribe, and that in the
book of Jonah (1:17) it is only said that "a great fish" was
prepared to swallow Jonah. This fish may have been, therefore,
some great shark. The white shark is known to frequent the
Mediterranean Sea, and is sometimes found 30 feet in length.
the name given by Greek writers of the second century to that
inland sea called in Scripture the "salt sea" (Gen. 14:3; Num.
34:12), the "sea of the plain" (Deut. 3:17), the "east sea"
(Ezek. 47:18; Joel 2:20), and simply "the sea" (Ezek. 47:8). The
Arabs call it Bahr Lut, i.e., the Sea of Lot. It lies about 16
miles in a straight line to the east of Jerusalem. Its surface
is 1,292 feet below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. It
covers an area of about 300 square miles. Its depth varies from
1,310 to 11 feet. From various phenomena that have been
observed, its bottom appears to be still subsiding. It is about
53 miles long, and of an average breadth of 10 miles. It has no
outlet, the great heat of that region causing such rapid
evaporation that its average depth, notwithstanding the rivers
that run into it (see JORDAN T0002112), is maintained with
little variation. The Jordan alone discharges into it no less
than six million tons of water every twenty-four hours.
The waters of the Dead Sea contain 24.6 per cent. of mineral
salts, about seven times as much as in ordinary sea-water; thus
they are unusually buoyant. Chloride of magnesium is most
abundant; next to that chloride of sodium (common salt). But
terraces of alluvial deposits in the deep valley of the Jordan
show that formerly one great lake extended from the Waters of
Merom to the foot of the watershed in the Arabah. The waters
were then about 1,400 feet above the present level of the Dead
Sea, or slightly above that of the Mediterranean, and at that
time were much less salt.
Nothing living can exist in this sea. "The fish carried down
by the Jordan at once die, nor can even mussels or corals live
in it; but it is a fable that no bird can fly over it, or that
there are no living creatures on its banks. Dr. Tristram found
on the shores three kinds of kingfishers, gulls, ducks, and
grebes, which he says live on the fish which enter the sea in
shoals, and presently die. He collected one hundred and eighteen
species of birds, some new to science, on the shores, or
swimming or flying over the waters. The cane-brakes which fringe
it at some parts are the homes of about forty species of
mammalia, several of them animals unknown in England; and
innumerable tropical or semi-tropical plants perfume the
atmosphere wherever fresh water can reach. The climate is
perfect and most delicious, and indeed there is perhaps no place
in the world where a sanatorium could be established with so
much prospect of benefit as at Ain Jidi (Engedi).", Geikie's
villagers, one of the Assyrian tribes which Asnapper sent to
repopulate Samaria (Ezra 4:9). They were probably a nomad
Persian tribe on the east of the Caspian Sea, and near the Sea
Tiberias, Sea of
called also the Sea of Galilee (q.v.) and of Gennesaret. In the
Old Testament it is called the Sea of Chinnereth or Chinneroth.
John (21:1) is the only evangelist who so designates this lake.
His doing so incidentally confirms the opinion that he wrote
after the other evangelists, and at a period subsequent to the
taking of Jerusalem (A.D. 70). Tiberias had by this time become
an important city, having been spared by the Romans, and made
the capital of the province when Jerusalem was destroyed. It
thus naturally gave its name to the lake.
plain, in the Revised Version of 2 Kings 14:25; Josh. 3:16;
8:14; 2 Sam. 2:29; 4:7 (in all these passages the A.V. has
"plain"); Amos 6:14 (A.V. "wilderness"). This word is found in
the Authorized Version only in Josh. 18:18. It denotes the
hollow depression through which the Jordan flows from the Lake
of Galilee to the Dead Sea. It is now called by the Arabs
el-Ghor. But the Ghor is sometimes spoken of as extending 10
miles south of the Dead Sea, and thence to the Gulf of Akabah on
the Red Sea is called the Wady el-Arabah.
Red Sea, Passage of
The account of the march of the Israelites through the Red Sea
is given in Ex. 14:22-31. There has been great diversity of
opinion as to the precise place where this occurred. The
difficulty of arriving at any definite conclusion on the matter
is much increased by the consideration that the head of the Gulf
of Suez, which was the branch of the sea that was crossed, must
have extended at the time of the Exodus probably 50 miles
farther north than it does at present. Some have argued that the
crossing took place opposite the Wady Tawarik, where the sea is
at present some 7 miles broad. But the opinion that seems to be
best supported is that which points to the neighbourhood of
Suez. This position perfectly satisfies all the conditions of
the stupendous miracle as recorded in the sacred narrative. (See
sea-ward, i.e., toward the Mediterranean (Deut. 3:27).
a sea-port town of Proconsular Asia, in the district of Mysia,
on the north shore of the Gulf of Adramyttium. Paul came hither
on foot along the Roman road from Troas (Acts 20:13, 14), a
distance of 20 miles. It was about 30 miles distant from Troas
by sea. The island of Lesbos lay opposite it, about 7 miles
used to denote the means by which a door is bolted (Neh. 3:3); a
rock in the sea (Jonah 2:6); the shore of the sea (Job 38:10);
strong fortifications and powerful impediments, etc. (Isa. 45:2;
Amos 1:5); defences of a city (1 Kings 4:13). A bar for a door
was of iron (Isa. 45:2), brass (Ps. 107:16), or wood (Nah.
Sea of glass
a figurative expression used in Rev. 4:6 and 15:2. According to
the interpretation of some, "this calm, glass-like sea, which is
never in storm, but only interfused with flame, represents the
counsels of God, those purposes of righteousness and love which
are often fathomless but never obscure, always the same, though
sometimes glowing with holy anger." (Compare Ps. 36:6; 77:19; Rom.
Siddim, Vale of
valley of the broad plains, "which is the salt sea" (Gen. 14:3,
8, 10), between Engedi and the cities of the plain, at the south
end of the Dead Sea. It was "full of slime-pits" (R.V., "bitumen
pits"). Here Chedorlaomer and the confederate kings overthrew
the kings of Sodom and the cities of the plain. God afterwards,
on account of their wickedness, "overthrew those cities, and all
the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities;" and the smoke
of their destruction "went up as the smoke of a furnace"
(19:24-28), and was visible from Mamre, where Abraham dwelt.
Some, however, contend that the "cities of the plain" were
somewhere at the north of the Dead Sea. (See SODOM T0003469.)
occurs only in Job 30:4 (R.V., "saltwort"). The word so rendered
(malluah, from melah, "salt") most probably denotes the Atriplex
halimus of Linnaeus, a species of sea purslane found on the
shores of the Dead Sea, as also of the Mediterranean, and in
salt marshes. It is a tall shrubby orach, growing to the height
sometimes of 10 feet. Its buds and leaves, with those of other
saline plants, are eaten by the poor in Israel.
fountain of two calves, a place mentioned only in Ezek. 47:10.
Somewhere near the Dead Sea.
two cakes, a city of Moab, on the east of the Dead Sea (Num.
33:46; Jer. 48:22).
denotes the estuary of the Dead Sea at the mouth of the Jordan
(Josh. 15:5; 18:19), also the southern extremity of the same sea
(15:2). The same Hebrew word is rendered "tongue" in Isa. 11:15,
where it is used with reference to the forked mouths of the
Bay in Zech. 6:3, 7 denotes the colour of horses, but the
original Hebrew means strong, and is here used rather to
describe the horses as fleet or spirited.
a line (or natural boundary, as a mountain range). (1.) A tract
in the land of Edom south of the Dead Sea (Ps. 83:7); now called
(2.) A Phoenician city, not far from the sea coast, to the
north of Beyrout (Ezek. 27:9); called by the Greeks Byblos. Now
Jibeil. Mentioned in the Amarna tablets.
An important Phoenician text, referring to the temple of
Baalath, on a monument of Yehu-melek, its king (probably B.C.
600), has been discovered.
(Deut. 1:1, R.V.; marg., "some ancient versions have the Red
Sea," as in the A.V.). Some identify it with Suphah (Num. 21:14,
marg., A.V.) as probably the name of a place. Others identify it
with es-Sufah = Maaleh-acrabbim (Josh. 15:3), and others again
with Zuph (1 Sam. 9:5). It is most probable, however, that, in
accordance with the ancient versions, this word is to be
regarded as simply an abbreviation of Yam-suph, i.e., the "Red
a floor; bottom, a place between Adar and Azmon, about midway
between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea (Josh. 15:3).
enclosure; fortress. (1.) The city of Jobab, one of the early
Edomite kings (Gen. 36:33). This place is mentioned by the
prophets in later times (Isa. 34:6; Jer. 49:13; Amos 1:12; Micah
2:12). Its modern representative is el-Busseireh. It lies in the
mountain district of Petra, 20 miles to the south-east of the
(2.) A Moabite city in the "plain country" (Jer. 48:24), i.e.,
on the high level down on the east of the Dead Sea. It is
probably the modern Buzrah.
(Heb. 'i, "dry land," as opposed to water) occurs in its usual
signification (Isa. 42:4, 10, 12, 15, compare Jer. 47:4), but more
frequently simply denotes a maritime region or sea-coast (Isa.
20:6, R.V.," coastland;" 23:2, 6; Jer. 2:10; Ezek. 27:6, 7).
(See CHITTIM T0000811.) The shores of the Mediterranean are
called the "islands of the sea" (Isa. 11:11), or the "isles of
the Gentiles" (Gen. 10:5), and sometimes simply "isles" (Ps.
72:10); Ezek. 26:15, 18; 27:3, 35; Dan. 11:18).
a pouring out, or a wrestling, one of the streams on the east of
Jordan, into which it falls about midway between the Sea of
Galilee and the Dead Sea, or about 45 miles below the Sea of
Galilee. It rises on the eastern side of the mountains of
Gilead, and runs a course of about 65 miles in a wild and deep
ravine. It was the boundary between the territory of the
Ammonites and that of Og, king of Bashan (Josh. 12:1-5; Num.
21:24); also between the tribe of Reuben and the half tribe of
Manasseh (21:24; Deut. 3:16). In its course westward across the
plains it passes more than once underground. "The scenery along
its banks is probably the most picturesque in Israel; and the
ruins of town and village and fortress which stud the
surrounding mountain-side render the country as interesting as
it is beautiful." This river is now called the Zerka, or blue
(1.) Heb. midhbar, denoting not a barren desert but a district
or region suitable for pasturing sheep and cattle (Ps. 65:12;
Isa. 42:11; Jer. 23:10; Joel 1:19; 2:22); an uncultivated place.
This word is used of the wilderness of Beersheba (Gen. 21:14),
on the southern border of Israel; the wilderness of the Red
Sea (Ex. 13:18); of Shur (15:22), a portion of the Sinaitic
peninsula; of Sin (17:1), Sinai (Lev. 7:38), Moab (Deut. 2:8),
Judah (Judg. 1:16), Ziph, Maon, En-gedi (1 Sam. 23:14, 24;
24:1), Jeruel and Tekoa (2 Chr. 20:16, 20), Kadesh (Ps. 29:8).
"The wilderness of the sea" (Isa. 21:1). Principal Douglas,
referring to this expression, says: "A mysterious name, which
must be meant to describe Babylon (see especially ver. 9),
perhaps because it became the place of discipline to God's
people, as the wilderness of the Red Sea had been (compare Ezek.
20:35). Otherwise it is in contrast with the symbolic title in
Isa. 22:1. Jerusalem is the "valley of vision," rich in
spiritual husbandry; whereas Babylon, the rival centre of
influence, is spiritually barren and as restless as the sea
(compare 57:20)." A Short Analysis of the O.T.
(2.) Jeshimon, a desert waste (Deut. 32:10; Ps. 68:7).
(3.) 'Arabah, the name given to the valley from the Dead Sea
to the eastern branch of the Red Sea. In Deut. 1:1; 2:8, it is
rendered "plain" (R.V., "Arabah").
(4.) Tziyyah, a "dry place" (Ps. 78:17; 105:41).
(5.) Tohu, a "desolate" place, a place "waste" or "unoccupied"
(Deut. 32:10; Job 12:24; compare Gen. 1:2, "without form"). The
wilderness region in the Sinaitic peninsula through which for
forty years the Hebrews wandered is generally styled "the
wilderness of the wanderings." This entire region is in the form
of a triangle, having its base toward the north and its apex
toward the south. Its extent from north to south is about 250
miles, and at its widest point it is about 150 miles broad.
Throughout this vast region of some 1,500 square miles there is
not a single river. The northern part of this triangular
peninsula is properly the "wilderness of the wanderings"
(et-Tih). The western portion of it is called the "wilderness of
Shur" (Ex. 15:22), and the eastern the "wilderness of Paran."
The "wilderness of Judea" (Matt. 3:1) is a wild, barren
region, lying between the Dead Sea and the Hebron Mountains. It
is the "Jeshimon" mentioned in 1 Sam. 23:19.
village of fortune, a city on the south border of Judah (Josh.
15:27), midway between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea.
red earth, a fortified city of Naphtali, probably the modern
Damieh, on the west side of the sea of Tiberias (Josh. 19:33,
measures, one of the six cities "in the wilderness," on the west
of the Dead Sea, mentioned along with En-gedi (Josh. 15:61).
fissure, a place apparently east of the Dead Sea (Gen. 10:19).
It was afterwards known as Callirhoe, a place famous for its hot
mentioned in the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:18; Deut.
14:16), is sometimes met with in the Jordan and the Sea of
little, a place probably east of the Dead Sea, where Joram
discomfited the host of Edom who had revolted from him (2 Kings
an elegy, a city in the extreme south of Judah (Josh. 15:22). It
was probably not far from the Dead Sea, in the Wady Fikreh.
Salt, The city of
one of the cities of Judah (Josh. 15:62), probably in the Valley
of Salt, at the southern end of the Dead Sea.
(Heb., or rather Egyptian, ahu, Job 8:11), rendered "meadow" in
Gen. 41:2, 18; probably the Cyperus esculentus, a species of
rush eaten by cattle, the Nile reed. It also grows in Israel.
In Ex. 2:3, 5, Isa. 19:6, it is the rendering of the Hebrew
"suph", a word which occurs frequently in connection with "yam";
as "yam suph", to denote the "Red Sea" (q.v.) or the sea of
weeds (as this word is rendered, Jonah 2:5). It denotes some
kind of sedge or reed which grows in marshy places. (See PAPER
T0002840, REED T0003087.)
the splendour of the dawn, a city "in the mount of the valley"
(Josh. 13:19). It is identified with the ruins of Zara, near the
mouth of the Wady Zerka Main, on the eastern shore of the Dead
Sea, some 3 miles south of the Callirrhoe. Of this town but
little remains. "A few broken basaltic columns and pieces of
wall about 200 yards back from the shore, and a ruined fort
rather nearer the sea, about the middle of the coast line of the
plain, are all that are left" (Tristram's Land of Moab).
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.
numbering, (Gen. 10:30), supposed by some to be the ancient
Himyaritic capital, "Shaphar," Zaphar, on the Indian Ocean,
between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.
fatness, a town of Asher lying within the unconquered Phoenician
border (Judg. 1:31), north-west of the Sea of Galilee; commonly
identified with Giscala, now el-Jish.
trees, (Ex. 15:27; Num. 33:9), the name of the second station
where the Israelites encamped after crossing the Red Sea. It had
"twelve wells of water and threescore and ten palm trees." It
has been identified with the Wady Ghurundel, the most noted of
the four wadies which descend from the range of et-Tih towards
the sea. Here they probably remained some considerable time. The
form of expression in Ex. 16:1 seems to imply that the people
proceeded in detachments or companies from Elim, and only for
the first time were assembled as a complete host when they
reached the wilderness of Sin (q.v.).
beginnings; easternmost, a city of Reuben, assigned to the
Levites of the family of Merari (Josh. 13:18). It lay not far
NE of Dibon-gad, east of the Dead Sea.
Sea of Jazer
(Jer. 48:32), a lake, now represented by some ponds in the high
valley in which the Ammonite city of Jazer lies, the ruins of
which are called Sar.
projecting; a flower, a cleft or pass, probably that near
En-gedi, which leads up from the Dead Sea (2 Chr. 20:16) in the
direction of Tekoa; now Tell Hasasah.
father of the sea; i.e., "seaman" the name always used in Kings
of the king of Judah, the son of Rehoboam, elsewhere called
Abijah (1 Kings 15:1,7,8). (See ABIJAH T0000036, 5.)
fortified, a people descended from Mizraim (Gen. 10:14; 1 Chr.
1:12). Their original seat was probably somewhere in Lower
Egypt, along the sea-coast to the south border of Israel.
burning; the walled, a city in the vale of Siddim (Gen. 13:10;
14:1-16). The wickedness of its inhabitants brought down upon it
fire from heaven, by which it was destroyed (18:16-33; 19:1-29;
Deut. 23:17). This city and its awful destruction are frequently
alluded to in Scripture (Deut. 29:23; 32:32; Isa. 1:9, 10; 3:9;
13:19; Jer. 23:14; Ezek. 16:46-56; Zeph. 2:9; Matt. 10:15; Rom.
9:29; 2 Pet. 2:6, etc.). No trace of it or of the other cities
of the plain has been discovered, so complete was their
destruction. Just opposite the site of Zoar, on the south-west
coast of the Dead Sea, is a range of low hills, forming a mass
of mineral salt called Jebel Usdum, "the hill of Sodom." It has
been concluded, from this and from other considerations, that
the cities of the plain stood at the southern end of the Dead
Sea. Others, however, with much greater probability, contend
that they stood at the northern end of the sea. [in 1897].
one of the places, the last before Rephidim, at which the
Hebrews rested on their way to Sinai (Num. 33:13, 14). It was
probably situated on the shore of the Red Sea.
(1.) The bed of the sea or of a river (Ps. 18:15; Isa. 8:7).
(2.) The "chanelbone" (Job 31:22 marg.), properly "tube" or
"shaft," an old term for the collar-bone.
multitude of Gog, the name of the valley in which the
slaughtered forces of Gog are to be buried (Ezek. 39:11,15),
"the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea."
lyre, the singular form of the word (Deut. 3:17; Josh. 19:35),
which is also used in the plural form, Chinneroth, the name of a
fenced city which stood near the shore of the lake of Galilee, a
little to the south of Tiberias. The town seems to have given
its name to a district, as appears from 1 Kings 15:20, where the
plural form of the word is used.
The Sea of Chinnereth (Num. 34:11; Josh. 13:27), or of
Chinneroth (Josh. 12: 3), was the "lake of Gennesaret" or "sea
of Tiberias" (Deut. 3:17; Josh. 11:2). Chinnereth was probably
an ancient Canaanite name adopted by the Israelites into their
occurs only in the narrative of the crucifixion (Matt. 27:48;
Mark 15:36; John 19:29). It is ranked as a zoophyte. It is found
attached to rocks at the bottom of the sea.
dwellers in tents, (Vulg. and LXX., "troglodites;" i.e.,
cave-dwellers in the hills along the Red Sea). Shiskak's army,
with which he marched against Jerusalem, was composed partly of
this tribe (2 Chr. 12:3).
knocking, an encampment of the Israelites in the wilderness
(Num. 33:12). It was in the desert of Sin, on the eastern shore
of the western arm of the Red Sea, somewhere in the Wady Feiran.
Nimrim, Waters of
the stream of the leopards, a stream in Moab (Isa. 15:6; Jer.
48:34); probably the modern Wady en-Nemeirah, a rich, verdant
spot at the south-eastern end of the Dead Sea.
submersion, one of the five cities of the plain of Siddim (q.v.)
which were destroyed by fire (Gen. 10:19; 13:10; 19:24, 28).
These cities probably stood close together, and were near the
northern extremity of what is now the Dead Sea. This city is
always mentioned next after Sodom, both of which were types of
impiety and wickedness (Gen. 18:20; Rom. 9:29). Their
destruction is mentioned as an "ensample unto those that after
should live ungodly" (2 Pet. 2:6; Jude 1:4-7). Their wickedness
became proverbial (Deut. 32:32; Isa. 1:9, 10; Jer. 23:14). But
that wickedness may be exceeded (Matt. 10:15; Mark 6:11). (See
DEAD SEA T0000991).
double city, a town of Naphali, assigned to the Gershonite
Levites, and one of the cities of refuge (Josh. 21:32). It was
probably near the north-western shore of the Sea of Tiberias,
identical with the ruined village el-Katanah.
a place upon the shore, a town belonging to Dan (Josh. 19:46).
It is now Tell er-Rakkeit, 6 miles north of Joppa, on the
sea-shore, near the mouth of the river 'Aujeh, i.e., "yellow
water." (See KANAH T0002155.)
an island in the AEgean Sea, which Paul passed on his voyage
from Assos to Miletus (Acts 20:15), on his third missionary
journey. It is about 27 miles long and 20 broad, and lies about
42 miles south-west of Smyrna.
rough; hairy. (1.) A Horite; one of the "dukes" of Edom (Gen.
(2.) The name of a mountainous region occupied by the
Edomites, extending along the eastern side of the Arabah from
the south-eastern extremity of the Dead Sea to near the Akabah,
or the eastern branch of the Red Sea. It was originally occupied
by the Horites (Gen. 14:6), who were afterwards driven out by
the Edomites (Gen. 32:3; 33:14, 16). It was allotted to the
descendants of Esau (Deut. 2:4, 22; Josh. 24:4; 2 Chr. 20:10;
Isa. 21:11; Exek. 25:8).
(3.) A mountain range (not the Edomite range, Gen. 32:3) lying
between the Wady Aly and the Wady Ghurab (Josh. 15:10).
founded by God, a "desert" on the ascent from the valley of the
Dead Sea towards Jerusalem. It lay beyond the wilderness of
Tekoa, in the direction of Engedi (2 Chr. 20:16, 20). It
corresponds with the tract of country now called el-Hasasah.
were present in Jerusalem at Pentecost (Acts 2:9). Parthia lay
on the east of Media and south of Hyrcania, which separated it
from the Caspian Sea. It corresponded with the western half of
the modern Khorasan, and now forms a part of Persia.
Heb. Yarden, "the descender;" Arab. Nahr-esh-Sheriah, "the
watering-place" the chief river of Israel. It flows from
north to south down a deep valley in the centre of the country.
The name descender is significant of the fact that there is
along its whole course a descent to its banks; or it may simply
denote the rapidity with which it "descends" to the Dead Sea.
It originates in the snows of Hermon, which feed its perennial
fountains. Two sources are generally spoken of. (1.) From the
western base of a hill on which once stood the city of Dan, the
northern border-city of Israel, there gushes forth a
considerable fountain called the Leddan, which is the largest
fountain in Syria and the principal source of the Jordan. (2.)
Beside the ruins of Banias, the ancient Caesarea Philippi and
the yet more ancient Panium, is a lofty cliff of limestone, at
the base of which is a fountain. This is the other source of the
Jordan, and has always been regarded by the Jews as its true
source. It rushes down to the plain in a foaming torrent, and
joins the Leddan about 5 miles south of Dan (Tell-el-Kady). (3.)
But besides these two historical fountains there is a third,
called the Hasbany, which rises in the bottom of a valley at the
western base of Hermon, 12 miles north of Tell-el-Kady. It joins
the main stream about a mile below the junction of the Leddan
and the Banias. The river thus formed is at this point about 45
feet wide, and flows in a channel from 12 to 20 feet below the
plain. After this it flows, "with a swift current and a
much-twisted course," through a marshy plain for some 6 miles,
when it falls into the Lake Huleh, "the waters of Merom" (q.v.).
During this part of its course the Jordan has descended about
1,100 feet. At Banias it is 1,080 feet above sea-level. Flowing
from the southern extremity of Lake Huleh, here almost on a
level with the sea, it flows for 2 miles "through a waste of
islets and papyrus," and then for 9 miles through a narrow gorge
in a foaming torrent onward to the Sea of Galilee (q.v.).
"In the whole valley of the Jordan from the Lake Huleh to the
Sea of Galilee there is not a single settled inhabitant. Along
the whole eastern bank of the river and the lakes, from the base
of Hermon to the ravine of Hieromax, a region of great
fertility, 30 miles long by 7 or 8 wide, there are only some
three inhabited villages. The western bank is almost as
desolate. Ruins are numerous enough. Every mile or two is an old
site of town or village, now well nigh hid beneath a dense
jungle of thorns and thistles. The words of Scripture here recur
to us with peculiar force: 'I will make your cities waste, and
bring your sanctuaries unto desolation...And I will bring the
land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall
be astonished at it...And your land shall be desolate, and your
cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as
it lieth desolate' (Lev. 26:31-34).", Dr. Porter's Handbook.
From the Sea of Galilee, at the level of 682 feet below the
Mediterranean, the river flows through a long, low plain called
"the region of Jordan" (Matt. 3:5), and by the modern Arabs the
Ghor, or "sunken plain." This section is properly the Jordan of
Scripture. Down through the midst of the "plain of Jordan" there
winds a ravine varying in breadth from 200 yards to half a mile,
and in depth from 40 to 150 feet. Through it the Jordan flows in
a rapid, rugged, tortuous course down to the Dead Sea. The whole
distance from the southern extremity of the Sea of Galilee to
the Dead Sea is in a straight line about 65 miles, but following
the windings of the river about 200 miles, during which it falls
618 feet. The total length of the Jordan from Banias is about
104 miles in a straight line, during which it falls 2,380 feet.
There are two considerable affluents which enter the river
between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, both from the east.
(1.) The Wady Mandhur, called the Yarmuk by the Rabbins and the
Hieromax by the Greeks. It formed the boundary between Bashan
and Gilead. It drains the plateau of the Hauran. (2.) The Jabbok
or Wady Zerka, formerly the northern boundary of Ammon. It
enters the Jordan about 20 miles north of Jericho.
The first historical notice of the Jordan is in the account of
the separation of Abraham and Lot (Gen. 13:10). "Lot beheld the
plain of Jordan as the garden of the Lord." Jacob crossed and
recrossed "this Jordan" (32:10). The Israelites passed over it
as "on dry ground" (Josh. 3:17; Ps. 114:3). Twice afterwards its
waters were miraculously divided at the same spot by Elijah and
Elisha (2 Kings 2:8, 14).
The Jordan is mentioned in the Old Testament about one hundred
and eighty times, and in the New Testament fifteen times. The
chief events in gospel history connected with it are (1) John
the Baptist's ministry, when "there went out to him Jerusalem,
and all Judaea, and were baptized of him in Jordan" (Matt. 3:6).
(2.) Jesus also "was baptized of John in Jordan" (Mark 1:9).
a people dwelling in Hazerim, or "the villages" or "encampments"
on the south-west corner of the sea-coast (Deut. 2:23). They
were subdued and driven northward by the Caphtorim. A trace of
them is afterwards found in Josh. 13:3, where they are called
mentioned in Acts 20:15, an island in the Aegean Sea, about 5
miles distant from the mainland, having a roadstead, in the
shelter of which Paul and his companions anchored for a night
when on his third missionary return journey. It is now called
used to denote (1) the grave or the abyss (Rom. 10:7; Luke
8:31); (2) the deepest part of the sea (Ps. 69:15); (3) the
chaos mentioned in Gen. 1:2; (4) the bottomless pit, hell (Rev.
9:1, 2; 11:7; 20:13).
possession, a city of Gilead. It was captured by Nobah, who
called it by his own name (Num. 32:42). It has been identified
with Kunawat, on the slopes of Jebel Hauran (Mount Bashan), 60
miles east from the south end of the Sea of Galilee.
ascent of the scorpions; i.e., "scorpion-hill", a pass on the
south-eastern border of Israel (Num. 34:4; Josh. 15:3). It is
identified with the pass of Sufah, entering Israel from the
great Wady el-Fikreh, south of the Dead Sea. (See AKRABBIM
(1.) Heb. tannim, plural of tan. The name of some unknown
creature inhabiting desert places and ruins (Job 30:29; Ps.
44:19; Isa. 13:22; 34:13; 43:20; Jer. 10:22; Micah 1:8; Mal.
1:3); probably, as translated in the Revised Version, the jackal
(2.) Heb. tannin. Some great sea monster (Jer. 51:34). In Isa.
51:9 it may denote the crocodile. In Gen. 1:21 (Heb. plural
tanninim) the Authorized Version renders "whales," and the
Revised Version "sea monsters." It is rendered "serpent" in Ex.
7:9. It is used figuratively in Ps. 74:13; Ezek. 29:3.
In the New Testament the word "dragon" is found only in Rev.
12:3, 4, 7, 9, 16, 17, etc., and is there used metaphorically of
"Satan." (See WHALE T0003805.)
the waste, probably some high waste land to the south of the
Dead Sea (Num. 21:20; 23:28; 1 Sam. 23:19, 24); or rather not a
proper name at all, but simply "the waste" or "wilderness," the
district on which the plateau of Ziph (q.v.) looks down.
Mount of the valley
(Josh. 13:19), a district in the east of Jordan, in the
territory of Reuben. The "valley" here was probably the Ghor or
valley of the Jordan, and hence the "mount" would be the hilly
region in the north end of the Dead Sea. (See ZARETH-SHAHAR
possession, or valley of God, one of the encampments of the
Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 21:19), on the confines of
Moab. This is identified with the ravine of the Zerka M'ain, the
ancient Callirhoe, the hot springs on the east of the Jordan,
not far from the Dead Sea.
(written Cos in the R.V.), a small island, one of the Sporades
in the Aegean Sea, in the north-west of Rhodes, off the coast of
Caria. Paul on his return from his third missionary journey,
passed the night here after sailing from Miletus (Acts 21:1). It
is now called Stanchio.
Dale, the king's
the name of a valley, the alternative for "the valley of Shaveh"
(q.v.), near the Dead Sea, where the king of Sodom met Abraham
(Gen. 14:17). Some have identified it with the southern part of
the valley of Jehoshaphat, where Absalom reared his family
monument (2 Sam. 18:18).
an island in the AEgean Sea, off the coast of Thracia, about 32
miles distant. This Thracian Samos was passed by Paul on his
voyage from Troas to Neapolis (Acts 16:11) on his first
missionary journey. It is about 8 miles long and 6 miles broad.
Its modern name is Samothraki.
Zebulun, Lot of
in Galilee, to the north of Issachar and south of Asher and
Naphtali (Josh. 19:10-16), and between the Sea of Galilee and
the Mediterranean. According to ancient prophecy this part of
Galilee enjoyed a large share of our Lord's public ministry
(Isa. 9:1, 2; Matt. 4:12-16).
=Zared, luxuriance; willow bush, a brook or valley communicating
with the Dead Sea near its southern extremity (Num. 21:12; Deut.
2:14). It is called the "brook of the willows" (Isa. 15:7) and
the "river of the wilderness" (Amos 6:14). It has been
identified with the Wady el-Aksy.
house of the desert, one of the six cities of Judah, situated in
the sunk valley of the Jordan and Dead Sea (Josh. 18:22). In
Josh. 15:61 it is said to have been "in the wilderness." It was
afterwards included in the towns of Benjamin. It is called
Arabah (Josh. 18:18).
new city, a town in Thrace at which Paul first landed in Europe
(Acts 16:11). It was the sea-port of the inland town of
Philippi, which was distant about 10 miles. From this port Paul
embarked on his last journey to Jerusalem (Acts 20:6). It is
identified with the modern Turco-Grecian Kavalla.
a nail; claw; hoof, (Heb. sheheleth; Ex. 30:34), a Latin word
applied to the operculum, i.e., the claw or nail of the strombus
or wing-shell, a univalve common in the Red Sea. The opercula of
these shell-fish when burned emit a strong odour "like
castoreum." This was an ingredient in the sacred incense.
choice vine, the name of a valley, i.e., a torrent-bed, now the
Wady Surar, "valley of the fertile spot," which drains the
western Judean hills, and flowing by Makkedah and Jabneel, falls
into the sea some eight miles south of Joppa. This was the home
of Deliah, whom Samson loved (Judg. 16:4).
(Num. 21:14, marg.; also R.V.), a place at the south-eastern
corner of the Dead Sea, the Ghor es-Safieh. This name is found
in an ode quoted from the "Book of the Wars of the Lord,"
probably a collection of odes commemorating the triumphs of
God's people (compare 21:14, 17, 18, 27-30).
Tob, The land of
a district on the east of Jodan, about 13 miles south-east of
the Sea of Galilee, to which Jephthah fled from his brethren
(Judg. 11:3, 5). It was on the northern boundary of Perea,
between Syria and the land of Ammon (2 Sam. 10:6, 8). Its modern
name is Taiyibeh.
(Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:17), Heb. shalak, "plunging," or "darting
down," (the Phalacrocorax carbo), ranked among the "unclean"
birds; of the same family group as the pelican. It is a
"plunging" bird, and is common on the coasts and the island seas
of Israel. Some think the Hebrew word should be rendered
"gannet" (Sula bassana, "the solan goose"); others that it is
the "tern" or "sea swallow," which also frequents the coasts of
Israel as well as the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan valley
during several months of the year. But there is no reason to
depart from the ordinary rendering.
In Isa. 34:11, Zeph. 2:14 (but in R.V., "pelican") the Hebrew
word rendered by this name is "ka'ath". It is translated
"pelican" (q.v.) in Ps. 102:6. The word literally means the
"vomiter," and the pelican is so called from its vomiting the
shells and other things which it has voraciously swallowed. (See
the giant's backbone (so called from the head of a mountain
which runs out into the sea), an ancient city and harbour at the
NE end of the Elanitic branch of the Red Sea, the Gulf
of Akabah, near Elath or Eloth (Num. 33:35; Deut. 2:8). Here
Solomon built ships, "Tarshish ships," like those trading from
Tyre to Tarshish and the west, which traded with Ophir (1 Kings
9:26; 2 Chr. 8:17); and here also Jehoshaphat's fleet was
shipwrecked (1 Kings 22:48; 2 Chr. 20:36). It became a populous
town, many of the Jews settling in it (2 Kings 16:6, "Elath").
It is supposed that anciently the north end of the gulf flowed
further into the country than now, as far as 'Ain el-Ghudyan,
which is 10 miles up the dry bed of the Arabah, and that
Ezion-geber may have been there.
the Black Fortress, was built by Herod the Great in the gorge of
Callirhoe, one of the wadies 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, as a
frontier rampart against Arab marauders. John the Baptist was
probably cast into the prison connected with this castle by
Herod Antipas, whom he had reproved for his adulterous marriage
with Herodias. Here Herod "made a supper" on his birthday. He
was at this time marching against Aretas, king of Perea, to
whose daughter he had been married. During the revelry of the
banquet held in the border fortress, to please Salome, who
danced before him, he sent an executioner, who beheaded John,
and "brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel"
(Mark 6:14-29). This castle stood "starkly bold and clear" 3,860
feet above the Dead Sea, and 2,546 above the Mediterranean. Its
ruins, now called M'khaur, are still visible on the northern end
of Jebel Attarus.
an ancient empire, extending from the Indus to Thrace, and from
the Caspian Sea to the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. The
Persians were originally a Medic tribe which settled in Persia,
on the eastern side of the Persian Gulf. They were Aryans, their
language belonging to the eastern division of the Indo-European
group. One of their chiefs, Teispes, conquered Elam in the time
of the decay of the Assyrian Empire, and established himself in
the district of Anzan. His descendants branched off into two
lines, one line ruling in Anzan, while the other remained in
Persia. Cyrus II., king of Anzan, finally united the divided
power, conquered Media, Lydia, and Babylonia, and carried his
arms into the far East. His son, Cambyses, added Egypt to the
empire, which, however, fell to pieces after his death. It was
reconquered and thoroughly organized by Darius, the son of
Hystaspes, whose dominions extended from India to the Danube.
=Se'lah, rock, the capital of Edom, situated in the great valley
extending from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea (2 Kings 14:7). It
was near Mount Hor, close by the desert of Zin. It is called
"the rock" (Judg. 1:36). When Amaziah took it he called it
Joktheel (q.v.) It is mentioned by the prophets (Isa. 16:1;
Obad. 1:3) as doomed to destruction.
It appears in later history and in the Vulgate Version under
the name of Petra. "The caravans from all ages, from the
interior of Arabia and from the Gulf of Persia, from Hadramaut
on the ocean, and even from Sabea or Yemen, appear to have
pointed to Petra as a common centre; and from Petra the tide
seems again to have branched out in every direction, to Egypt,
Israel, and Syria, through Arsinoe, Gaza, Tyre, Jerusalem,
and Damascus, and by other routes, terminating at the
Mediterranean." (See EDOM T0001129 .)
a Sanscrit or Aryan word, meaning "the sea coast." (1.) One of
the "sons" of Javan (Gen. 10:4; 1 Chr. 1:7).
(2.) The name of a place which first comes into notice in the
days of Solomon. The question as to the locality of Tarshish has
given rise to not a little discussion. Some think there was a
Tarshish in the East, on the Indian coast, seeing that "ships of
Tarshish" sailed from Eziongeber, on the Red Sea (1 Kings 9:26;
22:48; 2 Chr. 9:21). Some, again, argue that Carthage was the
place so named. There can be little doubt, however, that this is
the name of a Phoenician port in Spain, between the two mouths
of the Guadalquivir (the name given to the river by the Arabs,
and meaning "the great wady" or water-course). It was founded by
a Carthaginian colony, and was the farthest western harbour of
Tyrian sailors. It was to this port Jonah's ship was about to
sail from Joppa. It has well been styled "the Peru of Tyrian
adventure;" it abounded in gold and silver mines.
It appears that this name also is used without reference to
any locality. "Ships of Tarshish" is an expression sometimes
denoting simply ships intended for a long voyage (Isa. 23:1,
14), ships of a large size (sea-going ships), whatever might be
the port to which they sailed. Solomon's ships were so styled (1
Kings 10:22; 22:49).
Galilee, Sea of
(Matt. 4:18; 15:29), is mentioned in the Bible under three other
names. (1.) In the Old Testament it is called the "sea of
Chinnereth" (Num. 34:11; Josh. 12:3; 13:27), as is supposed from
its harp-like shape. (2). The "lake of Gennesareth" once by Luke
(5:1), from the flat district lying on its west coast. (3.) John
(6:1; 21:1) calls it the "sea of Tiberias" (q.v.). The modern
Arabs retain this name, Bahr Tabariyeh.
This lake is 12 1/2 miles long, and from 4 to 7 1/2 broad. Its
surface is 682 feet below the level of the Mediterranean. Its
depth is from 80 to 160 feet. The Jordan enters it 10 1/2 miles
below the southern extremity of the Huleh Lake, or about 26 1/2
miles from its source. In this distance of 26 1/2 miles there is
a fall in the river of 1,682 feet, or of more than 60 feet to
the mile. It is 27 miles east of the Mediterranean, and about 60
miles NE of Jerusalem. It is of an oval shape, and
abounds in fish.
Its present appearance is thus described: "The utter
loneliness and absolute stillness of the scene are exceedingly
impressive. It seems as if all nature had gone to rest,
languishing under the scorching heat. How different it was in
the days of our Lord! Then all was life and bustle along the
shores; the cities and villages that thickly studded them
resounded with the hum of a busy population; while from
hill-side and corn-field came the cheerful cry of shepherd and
ploughman. The lake, too, was dotted with dark fishing-boats and
spangled with white sails. Now a mournful, solitary silence
reigns over sea and shore. The cities are in ruins!"
This sea is chiefly of interest as associated with the public
ministry of our Lord. Capernaum, "his own city" (Matt. 9:1),
stood on its shores. From among the fishermen who plied their
calling on its waters he chose Peter and his brother Andrew, and
James and John, to be disciples, and sent them forth to be
"fishers of men" (Matt. 4:18,22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5: 1-11). He
stilled its tempest, saying to the storm that swept over it,
"Peace, be still" (Matt. 8:23-27; Mark 7:31-35); and here also
he showed himself after his resurrection to his disciples (John
"The Sea of Galilee is indeed the cradle of the gospel. The
subterranean fires of nature prepared a lake basin, through
which a river afterwards ran, keeping its waters always fresh.
In this basin a vast quantity of shell-fish swarmed, and
multiplied to such an extent that they formed the food of an
extraordinary profusion of fish. The great variety and abundance
of the fish in the lake attracted to its shores a larger and
more varied population than existed elsewhere in Israel,
whereby this secluded district was brought into contact with all
parts of the world. And this large and varied population, with
access to all nations and countries, attracted the Lord Jesus,
and induced him to make this spot the centre of his public
(1.) Heb. 'abel (Judg. 11:33), a "grassy plain" or "meadow."
Instead of "plains of the vineyards," as in the Authorized
Version, the Revised Version has "Abel-cheramim" (q.v.), compare
Judg. 11:22; 2 Chr. 16:4.
(2.) Heb. 'elon (Gen. 12:6; 13:18; 14:13; 18:1; Deut. 11:30;
Judg. 9:6), more correctly "oak," as in the Revised Version;
(3.) Heb. bik'ah (Gen. 11:2; Neh. 6:2; Ezek. 3:23; Dan. 3:1),
properly a valley, as rendered in Isa. 40:4, a broad plain
between mountains. In Amos 1:5 the margin of Authorized Version
(4.) Heb. kikar, "the circle," used only of the Ghor, or the
low ground along the Jordan (Gen. 13:10-12; 19:17, 25, 28, 29;
Deut. 34:3; 2 Sam. 18:23; 1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chr. 4:17; Neh. 3:22;
12:28), the floor of the valley through which it flows. This
name is applied to the Jordan valley as far north as Succoth.
(5.) Heb. mishor, "level ground," smooth, grassy table-land
(Deut. 3:10; 4:43; Josh. 13:9, 16, 17, 21; 20:8; Jer. 48:21), an
expanse of rolling downs without rock or stone. In these
passages, with the article prefixed, it denotes the plain in the
tribe of Reuben. In 2 Chr. 26:10 the plain of Judah is meant.
Jerusalem is called "the rock of the plain" in Jer. 21:13,
because the hills on which it is built rise high above the
(6.) Heb. 'arabah, the valley from the Sea of Galilee
southward to the Dead Sea (the "sea of the plain," 2 Kings
14:25; Deut. 1:1; 2:8), a distance of about 70 miles. It is
called by the modern Arabs the Ghor. This Hebrew name is found
in Authorized Version (Josh. 18:18), and is uniformly used in
the Revised Version. Down through the centre of this plain is a
ravine, from 200 to 300 yards wide, and from 50 to 100 feet
deep, through which the Jordan flows in a winding course. This
ravine is called the "lower plain."
The name Arabah is also applied to the whole Jordan valley
from Mount Hermon to the eastern branch of the Red Sea, a
distance of about 200 miles, as well as to that portion of the
valley which stretches from the Sea of Galilee to the same
branch of the Red Sea, i.e., to the Gulf of Akabah about 100
miles in all.
(7.) Heb. shephelah, "low ground," "low hill-land," rendered
"vale" or "valley" in Authorized Version (Josh. 9:1; 10:40;
11:2; 12:8; Judg. 1:9; 1 Kings 10:27). In Authorized Version (1
Chr. 27:28; 2 Chr. 26:10) it is also rendered "low country." In
Jer. 17:26, Obad. 1:19, Zech. 7:7, "plain." The Revised Version
renders it uniformly "low land." When it is preceded by the
article, as in Deut. 1:7, Josh. 11:16; 15:33, Jer. 32:44; 33:13,
Zech. 7:7, "the shephelah," it denotes the plain along the
Mediterranean from Joppa to Gaza, "the plain of the
Philistines." (See VALLEY T0003764.)
one of the three sons of Gomer (Gen. 10:3), and founder of one
of the tribes of the Japhetic race. They are mentioned in
connection with Minni and Ararat, and hence their original seat
must have been in Armenia (Jer. 51:27), probably near the Black
Sea, which, from their founder, was first called Axenus, and
afterwards the Euxine.
the chief city of the island of Lesbos, on its east coast, in
the AEgean Sea. Paul, during his third missionary journey,
touched at this place on his way from Corinth to Judea (Acts
20:14), and here tarried for a night. It lies between Assos and
Chios. It is now under the Turkish rule, and bears the name of
Paul and his company, loosing from Paphos, sailed north-west and
came to Perga, the capital of Pamphylia (Acts 13:13, 14), a
province about the middle of the southern sea-board of Asia
Minor. It lay between Lycia on the west and Cilicia on the east.
There were strangers from Pamphylia at Jerusalem on the day of
(Heb. gabish, Job 28:18; Gr. margarites, Matt. 7:6; 13:46; Rev.
21:21). The pearl oyster is found in the Persian Gulf and the
Red Sea. Its shell is the "mother of pearl," which is of great
value for ornamental purposes (1 Tim. 2:9; Rev. 17:4). Each
shell contains eight or ten pearls of various sizes.
(Gen. 6:14), asphalt or bitumen in its soft state, called
"slime" (Gen. 11:3; 14:10; Ex. 2:3), found in pits near the Dead
Sea (q.v.). It was used for various purposes, as the coating of
the outside of vessels and in building. Allusion is made in Isa.
34:9 to its inflammable character. (See SLIME T0003459.)
(correctly Shi'hor) black; dark the name given to the river Nile
in Isa. 23:3; Jer. 2:18. In Josh. 13:3 it is probably "the river
of Egypt", i.e., the Wady el-Arish (1 Chr. 13:5), which flows
"before Egypt", i.e., in a NEerly direction from Egypt,
and enters the sea about 50 miles south-west of Gaza.
smooth; bald, a hill at the southern extremity of Canaan (Josh.
11:17). It is referred to as if it were a landmark in that
direction, being prominent and conspicuous from a distance. It
has by some been identified with the modern Jebel el-Madura, on
the south frontier of Judah, between the south end of the Dead
Sea and the Wady Gaian.
a city on the south-west coast of Lycia at which Paul landed on
his return from his third missionary journey (Acts 21:1, 2).
Here he found a larger vessel, which was about to sail across
the open sea to the coast of Phoenicia. In this vessel he set
forth, and reached the city of Tyre in perhaps two or three
this word is found in Ex. 25:5; 26:14; 35:7, 23; 36:19; 39:34;
Num. 4:6, etc. The tabernacle was covered with badgers' skins;
the shoes of women were also made of them (Ezek. 16:10). Our
translators seem to have been misled by the similarity in sound
of the Hebrew "tachash" and the Latin "taxus", "a badger." The
revisers have correctly substituted "seal skins." The Arabs of
the Sinaitic peninsula apply the name "tucash" to the seals and
dugongs which are common in the Red Sea, and the skins of which
are largely used as leather and for sandals. Though the badger
is common in Israel, and might occur in the wilderness, its
small hide would have been useless as a tent covering. The
dugong, very plentiful in the shallow waters on the shores of
the Red Sea, is a marine animal from 12 to 30 feet long,
something between a whale and a seal, never leaving the water,
but very easily caught. It grazes on seaweed, and is known by
naturalists as Halicore tabernaculi.