A Alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet, as Omega is the last. These letters occur in the text of Rev. 1:8,11; 21:6; 22:13, and are represented by "Alpha" and "Omega" respectively (omitted in R.V., 1:11). They mean "the first and last" (Comp. Heb. 12:2; Isa. 41:4; 44:6; Rev. 1:11, 17; 2:8.). In the symbols of the early Christian Church these two letters are frequently combined with the cross or with Christ's monogram to denote his divinity.
Aaron the eldest son of Amram and Jochebed, a daughter of Levi (Ex. 6:20). Some explain the name as meaning mountaineer, others mountain of strength, illuminator. He was born in Egypt three years before his brother Moses, and a number of years after his sister Miriam (2:1, 4; 7:7). He married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab of the house of Judah (6:23; 1 Chr. 2:10), by whom he had four sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. When the time for the deliverance of Isarael out of Egypt drew nigh, he was sent by God (Ex. 4:14, 27-30) to meet his long-absent brother, that he might co-operate with him in all that they were required to do in bringing about the Exodus. He was to be the "mouth" or "prophet" of Moses, i.e., was to speak for him, because he was a man of a ready utterance (7:1, 2, 9, 10, 19). He was faithful to his trust, and stood by Moses in all his interviews with Pharaoh. When the ransomed tribes fought their first battle with Amalek in Rephidim, Moses stood on a hill overlooking the scene of the conflict with the rod of God in his outstretched hand. On this occasion he was attended by Aaron and Hur, his sister's husband, who held up his wearied hands till Joshua and the chosen warriors of Israel gained the victory (17:8-13). Afterwards, when encamped before Sinai, and when Moses at the command of God ascended the mount to receive the tables of the law, Aaron and his two sons, Nadab and Abihu, along with seventy of the elders of Israel, were permitted to accompany him part of the way, and to behold afar off the manifestation of the glory of Israel's God (Ex. 19:24; 24:9-11). While Moses remained on the mountain with God, Aaron returned unto the people; and yielding through fear, or ignorance, or instability of character, to their clamour, made unto them a golden calf, and set it up as an object of worship (Ex. 32:4; Ps. 106:19). On the return of Moses to the camp, Aaron was sternly rebuked by him for the part he had acted in this matter; but he interceded for him before God, who forgave his sin (Deut. 9:20). On the mount, Moses received instructions regarding the system of worship which was to be set up among the people; and in accordance therewith Aaron and his sons were consecrated to the priest's office (Lev. 8; 9). Aaron, as high priest, held henceforth the prominent place appertaining to that office. When Israel had reached Hazeroth, in "the wilderness of Paran," Aaron joined with his sister Miriam in murmuring against Moses, "because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married," probably after the death of Zipporah. But the Lord vindicated his servant Moses, and punished Miriam with leprosy (Num. 12). Aaron acknowledged his own and his sister's guilt, and at the intercession of Moses they were forgiven. Twenty years after this, when the children of Israel were encamped in the wilderness of Paran, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram conspired against Aaron and his sons; but a fearful judgment from God fell upon them, and they were destroyed, and the next day thousands of the people also perished by a fierce pestilence, the ravages of which were only stayed by the interposition of Aaron (Num. 16). That there might be further evidence of the divine appointment of Aaron to the priestly office, the chiefs of the tribes were each required to bring to Moses a rod bearing on it the name of his tribe. And these, along with the rod of Aaron for the tribe of Levi, were laid up overnight in the tabernacle, and in the morning it was found that while the other rods remained unchanged, that of Aaron "for the house of Levi" budded, blossomed, and yielded almonds (Num. 17:1-10). This rod was afterwards preserved in the tabernacle (Heb. 9:4) as a memorial of the divine attestation of his appointment to the priesthood. Aaron was implicated in the sin of his brother at Meribah (Num. 20:8-13), and on that account was not permitted to enter the Promised Land. When the tribes arrived at Mount Hor, "in the edge of the land of Edom," at the command of God Moses led Aaron and his son Eleazar to the top of that mountain, in the sight of all the people. There he stripped Aaron of his priestly vestments, and put them upon Eleazar; and there Aaron died on the top of the mount, being 123 years old (Num. 20:23-29. Comp. Deut. 10:6; 32:50), and was "gathered unto his people." The people, "even all the house of Israel," mourned for him thirty days. Of Aaron's sons two survived him, Eleazar, whose family held the high-priesthood till the time of Eli; and Ithamar, in whose family, beginning with Eli, the high-priesthood was held till the time of Solomon. Aaron's other two sons had been struck dead (Lev. 10:1, 2) for the daring impiety of offering "strange fire" on the alter of incense. The Arabs still show with veneration the traditionary site of Aaron's grave on one of the two summits of Mount Hor, which is marked by a Mohammedan chapel. His name is mentioned in the Koran, and there are found in the writings of the rabbins many fabulous stories regarding him. He was the first anointed priest. His descendants, "the house of Aaron," constituted the priesthood in general. In the time of David they were very numerous (1 Chr. 12:27). The other branches of the tribe of Levi held subordinate positions in connection with the sacred office. Aaron was a type of Christ in his official character as the high priest. His priesthood was a "shadow of heavenly things," and was intended to lead the people of Israel to look forward to the time when "another priest" would arise "after the order of Melchizedek" (Heb. 6:20). (See MOSES)
Aaronites the descendants of Aaron, and therefore priests. Jehoiada, the father of Benaiah, led 3,700 Aaronites as "fighting men" to the support of David at Hebron (1 Chr. 12:27). Eleazar (Num. 3:32), and at a later period Zadok (1 Chr. 27:17), was their chief.
Abaddon destruction, the Hebrew name (equivalent to the Greek Apollyon, i.e., destroyer) of "the angel of the bottomless pit" (Rev. 9:11). It is rendered "destruction" in Job 28:22; 31:12; 26:6; Prov. 15:11; 27:20. In the last three of these passages the Revised Version retains the word "Abaddon." We may regard this word as a personification of the idea of destruction, or as sheol, the realm of the dead.
Abagtha one of the seven eunuchs in Ahasuerus's court (Esther 1:10; 2:21).
Abana stony (Heb. marg. "Amanah," perennial), the chief river of Damascus (2 Kings 5:12). Its modern name is Barada, the Chrysorrhoas, or "golden stream," of the Greeks. It rises in a cleft of the Anti-Lebanon range, about 23 miles north-west of Damascus, and after flowing southward for a little way parts into three smaller streams, the central one flowing through Damascus, and the other two on each side of the city, diffusing beauty and fertility where otherwise there would be barrenness.
Abarim regions beyond; i.e., on the east of Jordan, a mountain, or rather a mountain-chain, over against Jericho, to the east and south-east of the Dead Sea, in the land of Moab. From "the top of Pisgah", i.e., Mount Nebo (q.v.), one of its summits, Moses surveyed the Promised Land (Deut. 3:27; 32:49), and there he died (34:1, 5). The Israelites had one of their encampments in the mountains of Abarim (Num. 33:47,48) after crossing the Arnon.
Abba This Syriac or Chaldee word is found three times in the New Testament (Mark 14:36; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6), and in each case is followed by its Greek equivalent, which is translated "father." It is a term expressing warm affection and filial confidence. It has no perfect equivalent in our language. It has passed into European languages as an ecclesiastical term, "abbot."
(1.) The father of Adoniram, whom Solomon set over the tribute (1 Kings 4:6); i.e., the forced labour (R.V., "levy").
(2.) A Levite of the family of Jeduthun (Neh. 11:17), also called Obadiah (1 Chr. 9:16).
Abdeel servant of God, (Jer. 36:26), the father of Shelemiah.
Abdi my servant.
(1.) 1 Chr. 6:44.
(2.) 2 Chr. 29:12.
(3.) Ezra 10:26.
Abdiel servant of God, (1 Chr. 5:15), a Gadite chief.
(1.) The son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, the tenth judge of Israel (Judg. 12:13-15). He is probably the Bedan of 1 Sam. 12:11.
(2.) The first-born of Gibeon of the tribe of Benjamin (1 Chr. 8:30; 9:36).
(3.) The son of Micah, one of those whom Josiah sent to the prophetess Huldah to ascertain from her the meaning of the recently discovered book of the law (2 Chr. 34:20). He is called Achbor in 2 Kings 22:12.
(4.) One of the "sons" of Shashak (1 Chr. 8:23). This is the name also of a Levitical town of the Gershonites, in the tribe of Asher (Josh. 21:30; 1 Chr. 6:74). The ruins of Abdeh, some 8 miles north-east of Accho, probably mark its site.
Abednego servant of Nego = Nebo, the Chaldee name given to Azariah, one of Daniel's three companions (Dan. 2:49). With Shadrach and Meshach, he was delivered from the burning fiery furnace (3:12-30).
Abel (Heb. Hebhel), a breath, or vanity, the second son of Adam and Eve. He was put to death by his brother Cain (Gen. 4:1-16). Guided by the instruction of their father, the two brothers were trained in the duty of worshipping God. "And in process of time" (marg. "at the end of days", i.e., on the Sabbath) each of them offered up to God of the first-fruits of his labours. Cain, as a husbandman, offered the fruits of the field; Abel, as a shepherd, of the firstlings of his flock. "The Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering; but unto Cain and his offering he had not respect" (Gen. 4:3-5). On this account Cain was angry with his brother, and formed the design of putting him to death; a design which he at length found an opportunity of carrying into effect (Gen. 4:8,9. Comp. 1 John 3:12). There are several references to Abel in the New Testament. Our Saviour speaks of him as "righteous" (Matt. 23:35). "The blood of sprinkling" is said to speak "better things than that of Abel" (Heb. 12:24); i.e., the blood of Jesus is the reality of which the blood of the offering made by Abel was only the type. The comparison here is between the sacrifice offered by Christ and that offered by Abel, and not between the blood of Christ calling for mercy and the blood of the murdered Abel calling for vengeance, as has sometimes been supposed. It is also said (Heb. 11:4) that "Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain." This sacrifice was made "by faith;" this faith rested in God, not only as the Creator and the God of providence, but especially in God as the great Redeemer, whose sacrifice was typified by the sacrifices which, no doubt by the divine institution, were offered from the days of Adam downward. On account of that "faith" which looked forward to the great atoning sacrifice, Abel's offering was accepted of God. Cain's offering had no such reference, and therefore was rejected. Abel was the first martyr, as he was the first of our race to die. Abel (Heb. 'abhel), lamentation (1 Sam. 6:18), the name given to the great stone in Joshua's field whereon the ark was "set down." The Revised Version, however, following the Targum and the LXX., reads in the Hebrew text _'ebhen_ (= a stone), and accordingly translates "unto the great stone, whereon they set down the ark." This reading is to be preferred. Abel (Heb. 'abhel), a grassy place, a meadow. This word enters into the composition of the following words:
Abel-beth-maachah meadow of the house of Maachah, a city in the north of Palestine, in the neighbourhood of Dan and Ijon, in the tribe of Naphtali. It was a place of considerable strength and importance. It is called a "mother in Israel", i.e., a metropolis (2 Sam. 20:19). It was besieged by Joab (2 Sam. 20:14), by Benhadad (1 Kings 15:20), and by Tiglath-pileser (2 Kings 15:29) about B.C. 734. It is elsewhere called Abel-maim, meadow of the waters, (2 Chr. 16:4). Its site is occupied by the modern Abil or Abil-el-kamh, on a rising ground to the east of the brook Derdarah, which flows through the plain of Huleh into the Jordan, about 6 miles to the west-north-west of Dan.
Abel-cheramim (Judg. 11:33, R.V.; A. V., "plain of the vineyards"), a village of the Ammonites, whither Jephthah pursued their forces.
Abel-meholah meadow of dancing, or the dancing-meadow, the birth-place and residence of the prophet Elisha, not far from Beth-shean (1 Kings 4:12), in the tribe of Issachar, near where the Wady el-Maleh emerges into the valley of the Jordan, "the rich meadow-land which extends about 4 miles south of Beth-shean; moist and luxuriant." Here Elisha was found at his plough by Elijah on his return up the Jordan valley from Horeb (1 Kings 19:16). It is now called 'Ain Helweh.
Abel-mizraim meadow of Egypt, or mourning of Egypt, a place "beyond," i.e., on the west of Jordan, at the "threshing-floor of Atad." Here the Egyptians mourned seventy days for Jacob (Gen. 50:4-11). Its site is unknown.
Abel-shittim meadow of the acacias, frequently called simply "Shittim" (Num. 25:1; Josh. 2:1; Micah 6:5), a place on the east of Jordan, in the plain of Moab, nearly opposite Jericho. It was the forty-second encampment of the Israelites, their last resting-place before they crossed the Jordan (Num. 33:49; 22:1; 26:3; 31:12; comp. 25:1; 31:16).
Abez tin, or white, a town in the tribe of Issachar (Josh. 19:20), at the north of the plain of Esdraelon. It is probably identified with the ruins of el-Beida.
Abia my father is the Lord, the Greek form of Abijah, or Abijam (Matt. 1:7), instead of Abiah (1 Chr. 7:8). In Luke 1:5, the name refers to the head of the eighth of the twenty-four courses into which David divided the priests (1 Chr. 24:10).
Abi-albon father of strength; i.e., "valiant", one of David's body-guard of thirty mighty men (2 Sam. 23:31); called also Abiel (1 Chr. 11:32).
Abiasaph father of gathering; the gatherer, the youngest of the three sons of Korah the Levite, head of a family of Korhites (Ex. 6:24); called Ebisaph (1 Chr. 6:37).
Abiathar father of abundance, or my father excels, the son of Ahimelech the high priest. He was the tenth high priest, and the fourth in descent from Eli. When his father was slain with the priests of Nob, he escaped, and bearing with him the ephod, he joined David, who was then in the cave of Adullam (1 Sam. 22:20-23; 23:6). He remained with David, and became priest of the party of which he was the leader (1 Sam. 30:7). When David ascended the throne of Judah, Abiathar was appointed high priest (1 Chr. 15:11; 1 Kings 2:26) and the "king's companion" (1 Chr. 27:34). Meanwhile Zadok, of the house of Eleazar, had been made high priest. These appointments continued in force till the end of David's reign (1 Kings 4:4). Abiathar was deposed (the sole historical instance of the deposition of a high priest) and banished to his home at Anathoth by Solomon, because he took part in the attempt to raise Adonijah to the throne. The priesthood thus passed from the house of Ithamar (1 Sam. 2:30-36; 1 Kings 1:19; 2:26, 27). Zadok now became sole high priest. In Mark 2:26, reference is made to an occurrence in "the days of Abiathar the high priest." But from 1 Sam. 22, we learn explicitly that this event took place when Ahimelech, the father of Abiathar, was high priest. The apparent discrepancy is satisfactorily explained by interpreting the words in Mark as referring to the life-time of Abiathar, and not to the term of his holding the office of high priest. It is not implied in Mark that he was actual high priest at the time referred to. Others, however, think that the loaves belonged to Abiathar, who was at that time (Lev. 24:9) a priest, and that he either himself gave them to David, or persuaded his father to give them.
Abib an ear of corn, the month of newly-ripened grain (Ex. 13:4; 23:15); the first of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, and the seventh of the civil year. It began about the time of the vernal equinox, on 21st March. It was called Nisan, after the Captivity (Neh. 2:1). On the fifteenth day of the month, harvest was begun by gathering a sheaf of barley, which was offered unto the Lord on the sixteenth (Lev. 23:4-11).
Abida or Abi'dah, father of knowledge; knowing, one of the five sons of Midian, who was the son of Abraham by Keturah (1 Chr. 1:33), and apparently the chief of an Arab tribe.
Abidan father of judgment; judge, head of the tribe of Benjamin at the Exodus (Num. 1:11; 2:22).
Abieezer father of help; i.e., "helpful."
(1.) The second of the three sons of Hammoleketh, the sister of Gilead. He was the grandson of Manasseh (1 Chr. 7:18). From his family Gideon sprang (Josh. 17:2; comp. Judg. 6:34; 8:2). He was also called Jeezer (Num. 26:30).
(2.) One of David's thirty warriors (2 Sam. 23:27; comp. 1 Chr. 27:12).
(3.) The prince of the tribe of Dan at the Exodus (Num. 1:12).
Abiel father (i.e., "possessor") of God =
(1.) The son of Zeror and father of Ner, who was the grandfather of Saul (1 Sam. 14:51; 1 Chr. 8:33; 9:39). In 1 Sam. 9:1, he is called the "father," probably meaning the grandfather, of Kish.
(2.) An Arbathite, one of David's warriors (1 Chr. 11:32); called also Abi-albon (2 Sam. 23:31).
Abiezrite father of help, a descendant of Abiezer (Judg. 6:11,24; 8:32).
Abigail father (i.e., "leader") of the dance, or
(1.) The sister of David, and wife of Jether an Ishmaelite (1 Chr. 2:16,17). She was the mother of Amasa (2 Sam. 17:25).
(2.) The wife of the churlish Nabal, who dwelt in the district of Carmel (1 Sam. 25:3). She showed great prudence and delicate management at a critical period of her husband's life. She was "a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance." After Nabal's death she became the wife of David (1 Sam. 25:14-42), and was his companion in all his future fortunes (1 Sam. 27:3; 30:5; 2 Sam. 2:2). By her David had a son called Chileab (2 Sam. 3:3), elsewhere called Daniel (1 Chr. 3:1).
Abihail father of might.
(1.) Num. 3:35.
(2.) 1 Chr. 2:29.
(3.) 1 Chr. 5:14.
(4.) The second wife of King Rehoboam (2 Chr. 11:18), a descendant of Eliab, David's eldest brother.
(5.) The father of Esther and uncle of Mordecai (Esther 2:15).
Abihu father of Him; i.e., "worshipper of God", the second of the sons of Aaron (Ex. 6:23; Num. 3:2; 26:60; 1 Chr. 6:3). Along with his three brothers he was consecrated to the priest's office (Ex. 28:1). With his father and elder brother he accompanied the seventy elders part of the way up the mount with Moses (Ex. 24:1,9). On one occasion he and Nadab his brother offered incense in their censers filled with "strange" (i.e., common) fire, i.e., not with fire taken from the great brazen altar (Lev. 6:9, etc.), and for this offence they were struck dead, and were taken out and buried without the camp (Lev. 10:1-11; comp. Num. 3:4; 26:61; 1 Chr. 24:2). It is probable that when they committed this offence they were intoxicated, for immediately after is given the law prohibiting the use of wine or strong drink to the priests.
Abihud father (i.e., "possessor") of renown.
(1.) One of the sons of Bela, the son of Benjamin (1 Chr. 8:3); called also Ahihud (ver. 7).
(2.) A descendant of Zerubbabel and father of Eliakim (Matt. 1:13, "Abiud"); called also Juda (Luke 3:26), and Obadiah (1 Chr. 3:21).
Abijah father (i.e., "possessor or worshipper")
(1.) 1 Chr. 7:8.
(2.) 1 Chr. 2:24.
(3.) The second son of Samuel (1 Sam. 8:2; 1 Chr. 6:28). His conduct, along with that of his brother, as a judge in Beer-sheba, to which office his father had appointed him, led to popular discontent, and ultimately provoked the people to demand a royal form of government.
(4.) A descendant of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, a chief of one of the twenty-four orders into which the priesthood was divided by David (1 Chr. 24:10). The order of Abijah was one of those which did not return from the Captivity (Ezra 2:36-39; Neh. 7:39-42; 12:1).
(5.) The son of Rehoboam, whom he succeeded on the throne of Judah (1 Chr. 3:10). He is also called Abijam (1 Kings 14:31; 15:1-8). He began his three years' reign (2 Chr. 12:16; 13:1,2) with a strenuous but unsuccessful effort to bring back the ten tribes to their allegiance. His address to "Jeroboam and all Israel", before encountering them in battle, is worthy of being specially noticed (2 Chr. 13:5-12). It was a very bloody battle, no fewer than 500,000 of the army of Israel having perished on the field. He is described as having walked "in all the sins of his father" (1 Kings 15:3; 2 Chr. 11:20-22). It is said in 1 Kings 15:2 that "his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom;" but in 2 Chr. 13:2 we read, "his mother's name was Michaiah, the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah." The explanation is that Maachah is just a variation of the name Michaiah, and that Abishalom is probably the same as Absalom, the son of David. It is probable that "Uriel of Gibeah" married Tamar, the daughter of Absalom (2 Sam. 14:27), and by her had Maachah. The word "daughter" in 1 Kings 15:2 will thus, as it frequently elsewhere does, mean grand-daughter.
(6.) A son of Jeroboam, the first king of Israel. On account of his severe illness when a youth, his father sent his wife to consult the prophet Ahijah regarding his recovery. The prophet, though blind with old age, knew the wife of Jeroboam as soon as she approached, and under a divine impulse he announced to her that inasmuch as in Abijah alone of all the house of Jeroboam there was found "some good thing toward the Lord," he only would come to his grave in peace. As his mother crossed the threshold of the door on her return, the youth died, and "all Israel mourned for him" (1 Kings 14:1-18).
(7.) The daughter of Zechariah (2 Chr. 29:1; comp. Isa. 8:2), and afterwards the wife of Ahaz. She is also called Abi (2 Kings 18:2).
(8.) One of the sons of Becher, the son of Benjamin (1 Chr. 7:8). "Abiah," A.V.
Abijam 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, 5.)
Abilene a plain, a district lying on the east slope of the Anti-Lebanon range; so called from its chief town, Abila (Luke 3:1), which stood in the Suk Wady Barada, between Heliopolis (Baalbec) and Damascus, 38 miles from the former and 18 from the latter. Lysanias was governor or tetrarch of this province.
Abimael father of Mael, one of the sons or descendants of Joktan, in Northern Arabia (Gen. 10:28; 1 Chr. 1:22).
Abimelech my father a king, or father of a king, a common
name of the Philistine kings, as "Pharaoh" was of the
(1.) The Philistine king of Gerar in the time of Abraham (Gen. 20:1-18). By an interposition of Providence, Sarah was delivered from his harem, and was restored to her husband Abraham. As a mark of respect he gave to Abraham valuable gifts, and offered him a settlement in any part of his country; while at the same time he delicately and yet severely rebuked him for having practised a deception upon him in pretending that Sarah was only his sister. Among the gifts presented by the king were a thousand pieces of silver as a "covering of the eyes" for Sarah; i.e., either as an atoning gift and a testimony of her innocence in the sight of all, or rather for the purpose of procuring a veil for Sarah to conceal her beauty, and thus as a reproof to her for not having worn a veil which, as a married woman, she ought to have done. A few years after this Abimelech visited Abraham, who had removed southward beyond his territory, and there entered into a league of peace and friendship with him. This league was the first of which we have any record. It was confirmed by a mutual oath at Beer-sheba (Gen. 21:22-34).
(2.) A king of Gerar in the time of Isaac, probably the son of the preceeding (Gen. 26:1-22). Isaac sought refuge in his territory during a famine, and there he acted a part with reference to his wife Rebekah similar to that of his father Abraham with reference to Sarah. Abimelech rebuked him for the deception, which he accidentally discovered. Isaac settled for a while here, and prospered. Abimelech desired him, however, to leave his territory, which Isaac did. Abimelech afterwards visited him when he was encamped at Beer-sheba, and expressed a desire to renew the covenant which had been entered into between their fathers (Gen. 26:26-31).
(3.) A son of Gideon (Judg. 9:1), who was proclaimed king after the death of his father (Judg. 8:33-9:6). One of his first acts was to murder his brothers, seventy in number, "on one stone," at Ophrah. Only one named Jotham escaped. He was an unprincipled, ambitious ruler, often engaged in war with his own subjects. When engaged in reducing the town of Thebez, which had revolted, he was struck mortally on his head by a mill-stone, thrown by the hand of a woman from the wall above. Perceiving that the wound was mortal, he desired his armour-bearer to thrust him through with his sword, that it might not be said he had perished by the hand of a woman (Judg. 9:50-57).
(4.) The son of Abiathar, and high priest in the time of David (1 Chr. 18:16). In the parallel passage, 2 Sam. 8:17, we have the name Ahimelech, and Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech. This most authorities consider the more correct reading.
(5.) Achish, king of Gath, in the title of Ps. 34. (Comp. 1 Sam. 21:10-15.)
Abinadab father of nobleness; i.e., "noble."
(1.) A Levite of Kirjath-jearim, in whose house the ark of the covenant was deposited after having been brought back from the land of the Philistines (1 Sam. 7:1). It remained there twenty years, till it was at length removed by David (1 Sam. 7:1,2; 1 Chr. 13:7).
(2.) The second of the eight sons of Jesse (1 Sam. 16:8). He was with Saul in the campaign against the Philistines in which Goliath was slain (1 Sam. 17:13).
(3.) One of Saul's sons, who peristed with his father in the battle of Gilboa (1 Sam. 31:2; 1 Chr. 10:2).
(4.) One of Solomon's officers, who "provided victuals for the king and his household." He presided, for this purpose, over the district of Dor (1 Kings 4:11).
Abinoam father of kindness, the father of Barak (Judg. 4:6; 5:1).
Abiram father of height; i.e., "proud."
(1.) One of the sons of Eliab, who joined Korah in the conspiracy against Moses and Aaron. He and all the conspirators, with their families and possessions (except the children of Korah), were swallowed up by an earthquake (Num. 16:1-27; 26:9; Ps. 106:17).
(2.) The eldest son of Hiel the Bethelite, who perished prematurely in consequence of his father's undertaking to rebuild Jericho (1 Kings 16:34), according to the words of Joshua (6:26). (See JERICHO.)
Abishag father of (i.e., "given to") error, a young woman of Shunem, distinguished for her beauty. She was chosen to minister to David in his old age. She became his wife (1 Kings 1:3,4,15). After David's death Adonijah persuaded Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, to entreat the king to permit him to marry Abishag. Solomon suspected in this request an aspiration to the throne, and therefore caused him to be put to death (1 Kings 2:17-25).
Abishai father of (i.e., "desirous of") a gift, the eldest son of Zeruiah, David's sister. He was the brother of Joab and Asahel (2 Sam. 2:18; 1 Chr. 2:16). Abishai was the only one who accompanied David when he went to the camp of Saul and took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster (1 Sam. 26:5-12). He had the command of one of the three divisions of David's army at the battle with Absalom (2 Sam. 18:2,5,12). He slew the Philistine giant Ishbi-benob, who threatened David's life (2 Sam. 21:15-17). He was the chief of the second rank of the three "mighties" (2 Sam. 23:18, 19; 1 Chr. 11:20,21); and on one occasion withstood 300 men, and slew them with his own spear (2 Sam. 23:18). Abishai is the name of the Semitic chief who offers gifts to the lord of Beni-Hassan. See illustration facing page 10.
Abishua father of welfare; i.e., "fortunate."
(1.) The grandson of Benjamin (1 Chr. 8:4).
(2.) The son of Phinehas the high priest (1 Chr. 6:4,5,50; Ezra 7:5).
Abishur father of the wall; i.e., "mason", one of the two sons of Shammai of the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 2:28,29).
Abital father of dew; i.e., "fresh", David's fifth wife (2 Sam. 3:4).
Abitub father of goodness, a Benjamite (1 Chr. 8:11).
Abjects (Ps. 35:15), the translation of a Hebrew word meaning smiters; probably, in allusion to the tongue, slanderers. (Comp. Jer. 18:18.)
Ablution or washing, was practised,
(1.) When a person was initiated into a higher state: e.g., when Aaron and his sons were set apart to the priest's office, they were washed with water previous to their investiture with the priestly robes (Lev. 8:6).
(2.) Before the priests approached the altar of God, they were required, on pain of death, to wash their hands and their feet to cleanse them from the soil of common life (Ex. 30:17-21). To this practice the Psalmist alludes, Ps. 26:6.
(3.) There were washings prescribed for the purpose of cleansing from positive defilement contracted by particular acts. Of such washings eleven different species are prescribed in the Levitical law (Lev. 12-15).
(4.) A fourth class of ablutions is mentioned, by which a person purified or absolved himself from the guilt of some particular act. For example, the elders of the nearest village where some murder was committed were required, when the murderer was unknown, to wash their hands over the expiatory heifer which was beheaded, and in doing so to say, "Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it" (Deut. 21:1-9). So also Pilate declared himself innocent of the blood of Jesus by washing his hands (Matt. 27:24). This act of Pilate may not, however, have been borrowed from the custom of the Jews. The same practice was common among the Greeks and Romans. The Pharisees carried the practice of ablution to great excess, thereby claiming extraordinary purity (Matt. 23:25). Mark (7:1-5) refers to the ceremonial ablutions. The Pharisees washed their hands "oft," more correctly, "with the fist" (R.V., "diligently"), or as an old father, Theophylact, explains it, "up to the elbow." (Compare also Mark 7:4; Lev. 6:28; 11: 32-36; 15:22) (See WASHING.)
Abner father of light; i.e., "enlightening", the son of Ner and uncle of Saul. He was commander-in-chief of Saul's army (1 Sam. 14:50; 17:55; 20:25). He first introduced David to the court of Saul after the victory over Goliath (1 Sam. 17:57). After the death of Saul, David was made king over Judah, and reigned in Hebron. Among the other tribes there was a feeling of hostility to Judah; and Abner, at the head of Ephraim, fostered this hostility in the interest of the house of Saul, whose son Ish-bosheth he caused to be proclaimed king (2 Sam. 2:8). A state of war existed between these two kings. A battle fatal to Abner, who was the leader of Ish-boseth's army, was fought with David's army under Joab at Gibeon (2 Sam. 2:12). Abner, escaping from the field, was overtaken by Asahel, who was "light of foot as a wild roe," the brother of Joab and Abishai, whom he thrust through with a back stroke of his spear (2 Sam. 2: 18-32). Being rebuked by Ish-bosheth for the impropriety of taking to wife Rizpah, who had been a concubine of King Saul, he found an excuse for going over to the side of David, whom he now professed to regard as anointed by the Lord to reign over all Israel. David received him favourably, and promised that he would have command of the armies. At this time Joab was absent from Hebron, but on his return he found what had happened. Abner had just left the city; but Joab by a stratagem recalled him, and meeting him at the gate of the city on his return, thrust him through with his sword (2 Sam. 3:27, 31-39; 4:12. Comp. 1 Kings 2:5, 32). David lamented in pathetic words the death of Abner, "Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?" (2 Sam. 3:33-38.)
Abomination This word is used,
(1.) To express the idea that the Egyptians considered themselves as defiled when they ate with strangers (Gen. 43:32). The Jews subsequently followed the same practice, holding it unlawful to eat or drink with foreigners (John 18:28; Acts 10:28; 11:3).
(2.) Every shepherd was "an abomination" unto the Egyptians (Gen. 46:34). This aversion to shepherds, such as the Hebrews, arose probably from the fact that Lower and Middle Egypt had formerly been held in oppressive subjection by a tribe of nomad shepherds (the Hyksos), who had only recently been expelled, and partly also perhaps from this other fact that the Egyptians detested the lawless habits of these wandering shepherds.
(3.) Pharaoh was so moved by the fourth plague, that while he refused the demand of Moses, he offered a compromise, granting to the Israelites permission to hold their festival and offer their sacrifices in Egypt. This permission could not be accepted, because Moses said they would have to sacrifice "the abomination of the Egyptians" (Ex. 8:26); i.e., the cow or ox, which all the Egyptians held as sacred, and which they regarded it as sacrilegious to kill.
(4.) Daniel (11:31), in that section of his prophecies which is generally interpreted as referring to the fearful calamities that were to fall on the Jews in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, says, "And they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate." Antiochus Epiphanes caused an altar to be erected on the altar of burnt-offering, on which sacrifices were offered to Jupiter Olympus. (Comp. 1 Macc. 1:57). This was the abomination of the desolation of Jerusalem. The same language is employed in Dan. 9:27 (comp. Matt. 24:15), where the reference is probably to the image-crowned standards which the Romans set up at the east gate of the temple (A.D. 70), and to which they paid idolatrous honours. "Almost the entire religion of the Roman camp consisted in worshipping the ensign, swearing by the ensign, and in preferring the ensign before all other gods." These ensigns were an "abomination" to the Jews, the "abomination of desolation." This word is also used symbolically of sin in general (Isa. 66:3); an idol (44:19); the ceremonies of the apostate Church of Rome (Rev. 17:4); a detestable act (Ezek. 22:11).
Abraham father of a multitude, son of Terah, named (Gen. 11:27) before his older brothers Nahor and Haran, because he was the heir of the promises. Till the age of seventy, Abram sojourned among his kindred in his native country of Chaldea. He then, with his father and his family and household, quitted the city of Ur, in which he had hitherto dwelt, and went some 300 miles north to Haran, where he abode fifteen years. The cause of his migration was a call from God (Acts 7:2-4). There is no mention of this first call in the Old Testament; it is implied, however, in Gen. 12. While they tarried at Haran, Terah died at the age of 205 years. Abram now received a second and more definite call, accompanied by a promise from God (Gen. 12:1,2); whereupon he took his departure, taking his nephew Lot with him, "not knowing whither he went" (Heb. 11:8). He trusted implicitly to the guidance of Him who had called him. Abram now, with a large household of probably a thousand souls, entered on a migratory life, and dwelt in tents. Passing along the valley of the Jabbok, in the land of Canaan, he formed his first encampment at Sichem (Gen. 12:6), in the vale or oak-grove of Moreh, between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south. Here he received the great promise, "I will make of thee a great nation," etc. (Gen. 12:2,3,7). This promise comprehended not only temporal but also spiritual blessings. It implied that he was the chosen ancestor of the great Deliverer whose coming had been long ago predicted (Gen. 3:15). Soon after this, for some reason not mentioned, he removed his tent to the mountain district between Bethel, then called Luz, and Ai, towns about two miles apart, where he built an altar to "Jehovah." He again moved into the southern tract of Palestine, called by the Hebrews the Negeb; and was at length, on account of a famine, compelled to go down into Egypt. This took place in the time of the Hyksos, a Semitic race which now held the Egyptians in bondage. Here occurred that case of deception on the part of Abram which exposed him to the rebuke of Pharaoh (Gen. 12:18). Sarai was restored to him; and Pharaoh loaded him with presents, recommending him to withdraw from the country. He returned to Canaan richer than when he left it, "in cattle, in silver, and in gold" (Gen. 12:8; 13:2. Comp. Ps. 105:13, 14). The whole party then moved northward, and returned to their previous station near Bethel. Here disputes arose between Lot's shepherds and those of Abram about water and pasturage. Abram generously gave Lot his choice of the pasture-ground. (Comp. 1 Cor. 6:7.) He chose the well-watered plain in which Sodom was situated, and removed thither; and thus the uncle and nephew were separated. Immediately after this Abram was cheered by a repetition of the promises already made to him, and then removed to the plain or "oak-grove" of Mamre, which is in Hebron. He finally settled here, pitching his tent under a famous oak or terebinth tree, called "the oak of Mamre" (Gen. 13:18). This was his third resting-place in the land. Some fourteen years before this, while Abram was still in Chaldea, Palestine had been invaded by Chedorlaomer, King of Elam, who brought under tribute to him the five cities in the plain to which Lot had removed. This tribute was felt by the inhabitants of these cities to be a heavy burden, and after twelve years they revolted. This brought upon them the vengeance of Chedorlaomer, who had in league with him four other kings. He ravaged the whole country, plundering the towns, and carrying the inhabitants away as slaves. Among those thus treated was Lot. Hearing of the disaster that had fallen on his nephew, Abram immediately gathered from his own household a band of 318 armed men, and being joined by the Amoritish chiefs Mamre, Aner, and Eshcol, he pursued after Chedorlaomer, and overtook him near the springs of the Jordan. They attacked and routed his army, and pursued it over the range of Anti-Libanus as far as to Hobah, near Damascus, and then returned, bringing back all the spoils that had been carried away. Returning by way of Salem, i.e., Jerusalem, the king of that place, Melchizedek, came forth to meet them with refreshments. To him Abram presented a tenth of the spoils, in recognition of his character as a priest of the most high God (Gen. 14:18-20). In a recently-discovered tablet, dated in the reign of the grandfather of Amraphel (Gen. 14:1), one of the witnesses is called "the Amorite, the son of Abiramu," or Abram. Having returned to his home at Mamre, the promises already made to him by God were repeated and enlarged (Gen. 13:14). "The word of the Lord" (an expression occurring here for the first time) "came to him" (15:1). He now understood better the future that lay before the nation that was to spring from him. Sarai, now seventy-five years old, in her impatience, persuaded Abram to take Hagar, her Egyptian maid, as a concubine, intending that whatever child might be born should be reckoned as her own. Ishmael was accordingly thus brought up, and was regarded as the heir of these promises (Gen. 16). When Ishmael was thirteen years old, God again revealed yet more explicitly and fully his gracious purpose; and in token of the sure fulfilment of that purpose the patriarch's name was now changed from Abram to Abraham (Gen. 17:4,5), and the rite of circumcision was instituted as a sign of the covenant. It was then announced that the heir to these covenant promises would be the son of Sarai, though she was now ninety years old; and it was directed that his name should be Isaac. At the same time, in commemoration of the promises, Sarai's name was changed to Sarah. On that memorable day of God's thus revealing his design, Abraham and his son Ishmael and all the males of his house were circumcised (Gen. 17). Three months after this, as Abraham sat in his tent door, he saw three men approaching. They accepted his proffered hospitality, and, seated under an oak-tree, partook of the fare which Abraham and Sarah provided. One of the three visitants was none other than the Lord, and the other two were angels in the guise of men. The Lord renewed on this occasion his promise of a son by Sarah, who was rebuked for her unbelief. Abraham accompanied the three as they proceeded on their journey. The two angels went on toward Sodom; while the Lord tarried behind and talked with Abraham, making known to him the destruction that was about to fall on that guilty city. The patriarch interceded earnestly in behalf of the doomed city. But as not even ten righteous persons were found in it, for whose sake the city would have been spared, the threatened destruction fell upon it; and early next morning Abraham saw the smoke of the fire that consumed it as the "smoke of a furnace" (Gen. 19:1-28). After fifteen years' residence at Mamre, Abraham moved southward, and pitched his tent among the Philistines, near to Gerar. Here occurred that sad instance of prevarication on his part in his relation to Abimelech the King (Gen. 20). (See ABIMELECH.) Soon after this event, the patriarch left the vicinity of Gerar, and moved down the fertile valley about 25 miles to Beer-sheba. It was probably here that Isaac was born, Abraham being now an hundred years old. A feeling of jealousy now arose between Sarah and Hagar, whose son, Ishmael, was no longer to be regarded as Abraham's heir. Sarah insisted that both Hagar and her son should be sent away. This was done, although it was a hard trial to Abraham (Gen. 21:12). (See HAGAR; ISHMAEL.) At this point there is a blank in the patriarch's history of perhaps twenty-five years. These years of peace and happiness were spent at Beer-sheba. The next time we see him his faith is put to a severe test by the command that suddenly came to him to go and offer up Isaac, the heir of all the promises, as a sacrifice on one of the mountains of Moriah. His faith stood the test (Heb. 11:17-19). He proceeded in a spirit of unhesitating obedience to carry out the command; and when about to slay his son, whom he had laid on the altar, his uplifted hand was arrested by the angel of Jehovah, and a ram, which was entangled in a thicket near at hand, was seized and offered in his stead. From this circumstance that place was called Jehovah-jireh, i.e., "The Lord will provide." The promises made to Abraham were again confirmed (and this was the last recorded word of God to the patriarch); and he descended the mount with his son, and returned to his home at Beer-sheba (Gen. 22:19), where he resided for some years, and then moved northward to Hebron. Some years after this Sarah died at Hebron, being 127 years old. Abraham acquired now the needful possession of a burying-place, the cave of Machpelah, by purchase from the owner of it, Ephron the Hittite (Gen. 23); and there he buried Sarah. His next care was to provide a wife for Isaac, and for this purpose he sent his steward, Eliezer, to Haran (or Charran, Acts 7:2), where his brother Nahor and his family resided (Gen. 11:31). The result was that Rebekah, the daughter of Nahor's son Bethuel, became the wife of Isaac (Gen. 24). Abraham then himself took to wife Keturah, who became the mother of six sons, whose descendants were afterwards known as the "children of the east" (Judg. 6:3), and later as "Saracens." At length all his wanderings came to an end. At the age of 175 years, 100 years after he had first entered the land of Canaan, he died, and was buried in the old family burying-place at Machpelah (Gen. 25:7-10). The history of Abraham made a wide and deep impression on the ancient world, and references to it are interwoven in the religious traditions of almost all Eastern nations. He is called "the friend of God" (James 2:23), "faithful Abraham" (Gal. 3:9), "the father of us all" (Rom. 4:16).
Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:22,23) refers to the custom of reclining on couches at table, which was prevalent among the Jews, an arrangement which brought the head of one person almost into the bosom of the one who sat or reclined above him. To "be in Abraham's bosom" thus meant to enjoy happiness and rest (Matt. 8:11; Luke 16:23) at the banquet in Paradise. (See BANQUET; MEALS.)
Abram exalted father. (See ABRAHAM.)
Abronah R.V., one of Israel's halting-places in the desert (Num.33:34,35), just before Ezion-gaber. In A.V., "Ebronah."
Absalom father of peace; i.e., "peaceful" David's son by Maacah (2 Sam. 3:3; comp. 1 Kings 1:6). He was noted for his personal beauty and for the extra-ordinary profusion of the hair of his head (2 Sam. 14:25,26). The first public act of his life was the blood-revenge he executed against Amnon, David's eldest son, who had basely wronged Absalom's sister Tamar. This revenge was executed at the time of the festivities connected with a great sheep-shearing at Baal-hazor. David's other sons fled from the place in horror, and brought the tidings of the death of Amnon to Jerusalem. Alarmed for the consequences of the act, Absalom fled to his grandfather at Geshur, and there abode for three years (2 Sam. 3:3; 13:23-38). David mourned his absent son, now branded with the guilt of fratricide. As the result of a stratagem carried out by a woman of Tekoah, Joab received David's sanction to invite Absalom back to Jerusalem. He returned accordingly, but two years elapsed before his father admitted him into his presence (2 Sam. 14:28). Absalom was now probably the oldest surviving son of David, and as he was of royal descent by his mother as well as by his father, he began to aspire to the throne. His pretensions were favoured by the people. By many arts he gained their affection; and after his return from Geshur (2 Sam. 15:7; marg., R.V.) he went up to Hebron, the old capital of Judah, along with a great body of the people, and there proclaimed himself king. The revolt was so successful that David found it necessary to quit Jerusalem and flee to Mahanaim, beyond Jordan; where upon Absalom returned to Jerusalem and took possession of the throne without opposition. Ahithophel, who had been David's chief counsellor, deserted him and joined Absalom, whose chief counsellor he now became. Hushai also joined Absalom, but only for the purpose of trying to counteract the counsels of Ahithophel, and so to advantage David's cause. He was so far successful that by his advice, which was preferred to that of Ahithophel, Absalom delayed to march an army against his father, who thus gained time to prepare for the defence. Absalom at length marched out against his father, whose army, under the command of Joab, he encountered on the borders of the forest of Ephraim. Twenty thousand of Absalom's army were slain in that fatal battle, and the rest fled. Absalom fled on a swift mule; but his long flowing hair, or more probably his head, was caught in the bough of an oak, and there he was left suspended till Joab came up and pierced him through with three darts. His body was then taken down and cast into a pit dug in the forest, and a heap of stones was raised over his grave. When the tidings of the result of that battle were brought to David, as he sat impatiently at the gate of Mahanaim, and he was told that Absalom had been slain, he gave way to the bitter lamentation: "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" (2 Sam. 18:33. Comp. Ex. 32:32; Rom. 9:3). Absalom's three sons (2 Sam. 14:27; comp. 18:18) had all died before him, so that he left only a daughter, Tamar, who became the grandmother of Abijah.
Acacia (Heb. shittim) Ex. 25:5, R.V. probably the Acacia seyal (the gum-arabic tree); called the "shittah" tree (Isa. 41:19). Its wood is called shittim wood (Ex. 26:15,26; 25:10,13,23,28, etc.). This species (A. seyal) is like the hawthorn, a gnarled and thorny tree. It yields the gum-arabic of commerce. It is found in abundance in the Sinaitic peninsula.
Accad the high land or mountains, a city in the land of Shinar. It has been identified with the mounds of Akker Kuf, some 50 miles to the north of Babylon; but this is doubtful. It was one of the cities of Nimrod's kingdom (Ge 10:10). It stood close to the Euphrates, opposite Sippara. (See SEPHARVAIM.) It is also the name of the country of which this city was the capital, namely, northern or upper Babylonia. The Accadians who came from the "mountains of the east," where the ark rested, attained to a high degree of civilization. In the Babylonian inscriptions they are called "the black heads" and "the black faces," in contrast to "the white race" of Semitic descent. They invented the form of writing in pictorial hieroglyphics, and also the cuneiform system, in which they wrote many books partly on papyrus and partly on clay. The Semitic Babylonians ("the white race"), or, as some scholars think, first the Cushites, and afterwards, as a second immigration, the Semites, invaded and conquered this country; and then the Accadian language ceased to be a spoken language, although for the sake of its literary treasures it continued to be studied by the educated classes of Babylonia. A large portion of the Ninevite tablets brought to light by Oriental research consists of interlinear or parallel translations from Accadian into Assyrian; and thus that long-forgotten language has been recovered by scholars. It belongs to the class of languages called agglutinative, common to the Tauranian race; i.e., it consists of words "glued together," without declension of conjugation. These tablets in a remarkable manner illustrate ancient history. Among other notable records, they contain an account of the Creation which closely resembles that given in the book of Genesis, of the Sabbath as a day of rest, and of the Deluge and its cause. (See BABYLON; CHALDEA.)
Accho sultry or sandy, a town and harbour of Phoenicia, in the tribe of Asher, but never acquired by them (Judg. 1:31). It was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans by the name of Ptolemais, from Ptolemy the king of Egypt, who rebuilt it about B.C. 100. Here Paul landed on his last journey to Jerusalem (Acts 21:7). During the crusades of the Middle Ages it was called Acra; and subsequently, on account of its being occupied by the Knights Hospitallers of Jerusalem, it was called St. Jean d'Acre, or simply Acre.
Accuser Satan is styled the "accuser of the brethren" (Rev. 12:10. Comp. Job 1:6; Zech. 3:1), as seeking to uphold his influence among men by bringing false charges against Christians, with the view of weakening their influence and injuring the cause with which they are identified. He was regarded by the Jews as the accuser of men before God, laying to their charge the violations of the law of which they were guilty, and demanding their punishment. The same Greek word, rendered "accuser," is found in John 8:10 (but omitted in the Revised Version); Acts 23:30, 35; 24:8; 25:16, 18, in all of which places it is used of one who brings a charge against another.
Aceldama the name which the Jews gave in their proper tongue, i.e., in Aramaic, to the field which was purchased with the money which had been given to the betrayer of our Lord. The word means "field of blood." It was previously called "the potter's field" (Matt. 27:7, 8; Acts 1:19), and was appropriated as the burial-place for strangers. It lies on a narrow level terrace on the south face of the valley of Hinnom. Its modern name is Hak ed-damm.
Achaia the name originally of a narrow strip of territory in Greece, on the north-west of the Peloponnesus. Subsequently it was applied by the Romans to the whole Peloponnesus, now called the Morea, and the south of Greece. It was then one of the two provinces (Macedonia being the other) into which they divided the country when it fell under their dominion. It is in this latter enlarged meaning that the name is always used in the New Testament (Acts 18:12, 27; 19:21; Rom. 15: 26; 16:5, etc.). It was at the time when Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles under the proconsular form of government; hence the appropriate title given to Gallio as the "deputy," i.e., proconsul, of Achaia (Acts 18:12).
Achaichus (1 Cor. 16:17), one of the members of the church of Corinth who, with Fortunatus and Stephanas, visited Paul while he was at Ephesus, for the purpose of consulting him on the affairs of the church. These three probably were the bearers of the letter from Corinth to the apostle to which he alludes in 1 Cor. 7:1.
Achan called also Achar, i.e., one who troubles (1 Chr. 2:7), in commemoration of his crime, which brought upon him an awful destruction (Josh. 7:1). On the occasion of the fall of Jericho, he seized, contrary to the divine command, an ingot of gold, a quantity of silver, and a costly Babylonish garment, which he hid in his tent. Joshua was convinced that the defeat which the Israelites afterwards sustained before Ai was a proof of the divine displeasure on account of some crime, and he at once adopted means by the use of the lot for discovering the criminal. It was then found that Achan was guilty, and he was stoned to death in the valley of Achor. He and all that belonged to him were then consumed by fire, and a heap of stones was raised over the ashes.
Achbor gnawing = mouse.
(1.) An Edomitish king (Gen. 36:38; 1 Chr. 1:49).
(2.) One of Josiah's officers sent to the prophetess Huldah to inquire regarding the newly-discovered book of the law (2 Kings 22:12, 14). He is also called Abdon (2 Chr. 34:20).
Achish angry, perhaps only a general title of royalty
applicable to the Philistine kings.
(1.) The king with whom David sought refuge when he fled from Saul (1 Sam. 21:10-15). He is called Abimelech in the superscription of Ps. 34. It was probably this same king to whom David a second time repaired at the head of a band of 600 warriors, and who assigned him Ziklag, whence he carried on war against the surrounding tribes (1 Sam. 27:5-12). Achish had great confidence in the valour and fidelity of David (1 Sam. 28:1,2), but at the instigation of his courtiers did not permit him to go up to battle along with the Philistine hosts (1 Sam. 29:2-11). David remained with Achish a year and four months.
(2.) Another king of Gath, probably grandson of the foregoing, to whom the two servants of Shimei fled. This led Shimei to go to Gath in pursuit of them, and the consequence was that Solomon put him to death (1 Kings 2:39-46).
Achmetha (Ezra 6:2), called Ecbatana by classical writers, the capital of northern Media. Here was the palace which was the residence of the old Median monarchs, and of Cyrus and Cambyses. In the time of Ezra, the Persian kings resided usually at Susa of Babylon. But Cyrus held his court at Achmetha; and Ezra, writing a century after, correctly mentions the place where the decree of Cyrus was found.
Achor trouble, a valley near Jericho, so called in consequence of the trouble which the sin of Achan caused Israel (Josh. 7:24,26). The expression "valley of Achor" probably became proverbial for that which caused trouble, and when Isaiah (Isa. 65:10) refers to it he uses it in this sense: "The valley of Achor, a place for herds to lie down in;" i.e., that which had been a source of calamity would become a source of blessing. Hosea also (Hos. 2:15) uses the expression in the same sense: "The valley of Achor for a door of hope;" i.e., trouble would be turned into joy, despair into hope. This valley has been identified with the Wady Kelt.
Achsah anklet, Caleb's only daughter (1 Chr. 2:49). She was offered in marriage to the man who would lead an attack on the city of Debir, or Kirjath-sepher. This was done by Othniel (q.v.), who accordingly obtained her as his wife (Josh. 15:16-19; Judg. 1:9-15).
Achshaph fascination, a royal city of the Canaanites, in the north of Palestine (Josh. 11:1; 12:20; 19:25). It was in the eastern boundary of the tribe of Asher, and is identified with the modern ruined village of Kesaf or Yasif, N.E. of Accho.
(1.) A town in the Shephelah, or plain country of Judah (Josh. 15:44); probably the same as Chezib of Gen. 38:5 = Ain Kezbeh.
(2.) A Phoenician city (the Gr. Ecdippa), always retained in their possession though assigned to the tribe of Asher (Josh. 19:29; Judg. 1:31). It is identified with the modern es-Zib, on the Mediterranean, about 8 miles north of Accho.
Acre is the translation of a word (tse'med), which properly means a yoke, and denotes a space of ground that may be ploughed by a yoke of oxen in a day. It is about an acre of our measure (Isa. 5:10; 1 Sam. 14:14).
Acts of the Apostles the title now given to the fifth and
last of the historical books of the New Testament. The author styles
it a "treatise" (1:1). It was early called "The Acts,"
"The Gospel of the Holy Ghost," and "The Gospel of the
Resurrection." It contains properly no account of any of the
apostles except Peter and Paul. John is noticed only three times; and
all that is recorded of James, the son of Zebedee, is his execution
by Herod. It is properly therefore not the history of the "Acts
of the Apostles," a title which was given to the book at a later
date, but of "Acts of Apostles," or more correctly, of
"Some Acts of Certain Apostles." As regards its authorship,
it was certainly the work of Luke, the "beloved physician"
(comp. Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1). This is the uniform tradition of
antiquity, although the writer nowhere makes mention of himself by
name. The style and idiom of the Gospel of Luke and of the Acts, and
the usage of words and phrases common to both, strengthen this
opinion. The writer first appears in the narrative in 16:11, and then
disappears till Paul's return to Philippi two years afterwards, when
he and Paul left that place together (20:6), and the two seem
henceforth to have been constant companions to the end. He was
certainly with Paul at Rome (28; Col. 4:14). Thus he wrote a great
portion of that history from personal observation. For what lay
beyond his own experience he had the instruction of Paul. If, as is
very probable, 2 Tim. was written during Paul's second imprisonment
at Rome, Luke was with him then as his faithful companion to the last
(2 Tim. 4:11). Of his subsequent history we have no certain
information. The design of Luke's Gospel was to give an exhibition of
the character and work of Christ as seen in his history till he was
taken up from his disciples into heaven; and of the Acts, as its
sequel, to give an illustration of the power and working of the
gospel when preached among all nations, "beginning at
Jerusalem." The opening sentences of the Acts are just an
expansion and an explanation of the closing words of the Gospel. In
this book we have just a continuation of the history of the church
after Christ's ascension. Luke here carries on the history in the
same spirit in which he had commenced it. It is only a book of
beginnings, a history of the founding of churches, the initial steps
in the formation of the Christian society in the different places
visited by the apostles. It records a cycle of "representative
events." All through the narrative we see the ever-present,
all-controlling power of the ever-living Saviour. He worketh all and
in all in spreading abroad his truth among men by his Spirit and
through the instrumentality of his apostles. The time of the writing
of this history may be gathered from the fact that the narrative
extends down to the close of the second year of Paul's first
imprisonment at Rome. It could not therefore have been written
earlier than A.D. 61 or 62, nor later than about the end of A.D. 63.
Paul was probably put to death during his second imprisonment, about
A.D. 64, or, as some think, 66. The place where the book was written
was probably Rome, to which Luke accompanied Paul. The key to the
contents of the book is in 1:8, "Ye shall be witnesses unto me
both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the
uttermost part of the earth." After referring to what had been
recorded in a "former treatise" of the sayings and doings
of Jesus Christ before his ascension, the author proceeds to give an
account of the circumstances connected with that event, and then
records the leading facts with reference to the spread and triumphs
of Christianity over the world during a period of about thirty years.
The record begins with Pentecost (A.D. 33) and ends with Paul's first
imprisonment (A.D. 63 or 64). The whole contents of the book may be
divided into these three parts:
(1.) Chaps. 1-12, describing the first twelve years of the Christian church. This section has been entitled "From Jerusalem to Antioch." It contains the history of the planting and extension of the church among the Jews by the ministry of Peter.
(2.) Chaps. 13-21, Paul's missionary journeys, giving the history of the extension and planting of the church among the Gentiles.
(3.) Chaps. 21-28, Paul at Rome, and the events which led to this. Chaps. 13-28 have been entitled "From Antioch to Rome." In this book it is worthy of note that no mention is made of the writing by Paul of any of his epistles. This may be accounted for by the fact that the writer confined himself to a history of the planting of the church, and not to that of its training or edification. The relation, however, between this history and the epistles of Paul is of such a kind, i.e., brings to light so many undesigned coincidences, as to prove the genuineness and authenticity of both, as is so ably shown by Paley in his _Horae Paulinae_. "No ancient work affords so many tests of veracity; for no other has such numerous points of contact in all directions with contemporary history, politics, and topography, whether Jewish, or Greek, or Roman." Lightfoot. (See PAUL.)
(1.) The first of Lamech's two wives, and the mother of Jabal and Jubal (Gen. 4:19, 20, 23).
(2.) The first of Esau's three wives, the daughter of Elon the Hittite (Gen. 36:2,4), called also Bashemath (26:34).
Adam red, a Babylonian word, the generic name for man, having the same meaning in the Hebrew and the Assyrian languages. It was the name given to the first man, whose creation, fall, and subsequent history and that of his descendants are detailed in the first book of Moses (Gen. 1:27-ch. 5). "God created man [Heb., Adam] in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Adam was absolutely the first man whom God created. He was formed out of the dust of the earth (and hence his name), and God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and gave him dominion over all the lower creatures (Gen. 1:26; 2:7). He was placed after his creation in the Garden of Eden, to cultivate it, and to enjoy its fruits under this one prohibition: "Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The first recorded act of Adam was his giving names to the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, which God brought to him for this end. Thereafter the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon him, and while in an unconscious state took one of his ribs, and closed up his flesh again; and of this rib he made a woman, whom he presented to him when he awoke. Adam received her as his wife, and said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." He called her Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Being induced by the tempter in the form of a serpent to eat the forbidden fruit, Eve persuaded Adam, and he also did eat. Thus man fell, and brought upon himself and his posterity all the sad consequences of his transgression. The narrative of the Fall comprehends in it the great promise of a Deliverer (Gen. 3:15), the "first gospel" message to man. They were expelled from Eden, and at the east of the garden God placed a flame, which turned every way, to prevent access to the tree of life (Gen. 3). How long they were in Paradise is matter of mere conjecture. Shortly after their expulsion Eve brought forth her first-born, and called him Cain. Although we have the names of only three of Adam's sons, viz., Cain, Abel, and Seth, yet it is obvious that he had several sons and daughters (Gen. 5:4). He died aged 930 years. Adam and Eve were the progenitors of the whole human race. Evidences of varied kinds are abundant in proving the unity of the human race. The investigations of science, altogether independent of historical evidence, lead to the conclusion that God "hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth" (Acts 17:26. Comp. Rom. 5:12-12; 1 Cor. 15:22-49).
Adamah red earth, a fortified city of Naphtali, probably the modern Damieh, on the west side of the sea of Tiberias (Josh. 19:33, 36).
Adamant (Heb. shamir), Ezek. 3:9. The Greek word adamas means diamond. This stone is not referred to, but corundum or some kind of hard steel. It is an emblem of firmness in resisting adversaries of the truth (Zech. 7:12), and of hard-heartedness against the truth (Jer. 17:1).
Adam, a type The apostle Paul speaks of Adam as "the figure of him who was to come." On this account our Lord is sometimes called the second Adam. This typical relation is described in Rom. 5:14-19.
Adam, the city of is referred to in Josh. 3:16. It stood "beside Zarethan," on the west bank of Jordan (1 Kings 4:12). At this city the flow of the water was arrested and rose up "upon an heap" at the time of the Israelites' passing over (Josh. 3:16).
Adar large, the sixth month of the civil and the twelfth of the ecclesiastical year of the Jews (Esther 3:7, 13; 8:12; 9:1, 15, 17, 19, 21). It included the days extending from the new moon of our March to the new moon of April. The name was first used after the Captivity. When the season was backward, and the lambs not yet of a paschal size, or the barley not forward enough for abib, then a month called Veadar, i.e., a second Adar, was intercalated.
Adbeel miracle of God, the third of the twelve sons of Ishmael, and head of an Arabian tribe (Gen. 25:13; 1 Chr. 1:29).
Addar ample, splendid, son of Bela (1 Chr. 8:3); called also "Ard" (Gen. 46:21)
Adder (Ps. 140:3; Rom. 3:13, "asp") is the
(1.) Akshub ("coiling" or "lying in wait"), properly an asp or viper, found only in this passage.
(2.) Pethen ("twisting"), a viper or venomous serpent identified with the cobra (Naja haje) (Ps. 58:4; 91:13); elsewhere "asp."
(3.) Tziphoni ("hissing") (Prov. 23:32); elsewhere rendered "cockatrice," Isa. 11:8; 14:29; 59:5; Jer. 8:17, as it is here in the margin of the Authorized Version. The Revised Version has "basilisk." This may have been the yellow viper, the Daboia xanthina, the largest and most dangerous of the vipers of Palestine.
(4.) Shephiphon ("creeping"), occurring only in Gen. 49:17, the small speckled venomous snake, the "horned snake," or cerastes. Dan is compared to this serpent, which springs from its hiding-place on the passer-by.
Addi ornament, (Luke 3:28), the son of Cosam, and father of Melchi, one of the progenitors of Christ.
Addon low, one of the persons named in Neh. 7:61 who could not "shew their father's house" on the return from captivity. This, with similar instances (ver. 63), indicates the importance the Jews attached to their genealogies.
Adiel ornament of God.
(1.) The father of Azmaveth, who was treasurer under David and Solomon (1 Chr. 27:25).
(2.) A family head of the tribe of Simeon (1 Chr. 4:36).
(3.) A priest (1 Chr. 9:12).
(1.) Ezra 8:6.
(2.) Neh. 10:16.
Adina slender, one of David's warriors (1 Chr. 11:42), a Reubenite.
Adino the Eznite, one of David's mighty men (2 Sam. 23:8). (See JASHOBEAM.)
Adjuration a solemn appeal whereby one person imposes on another the obligation of speaking or acting as if under an oath (1 Sam. 14:24; Josh. 6:26; 1 Kings 22:16). We have in the New Testament a striking example of this (Matt. 26:63; Mark 5:7), where the high priest calls upon Christ to avow his true character. It would seem that in such a case the person so adjured could not refuse to give an answer. The word "adjure", i.e., cause to swear is used with reference to the casting out of demons (Acts 19:13).
Admah earth, one of the five cities of the vale of Siddim (Gen. 10:19). It was destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrah (19:24; Deut. 29:23). It is supposed by some to be the same as the Adam of Josh. 3:16, the name of which still lingers in Damieh, the ford of Jordan. (See ZEBOIM.)
(1.) A chief of the tribe of Manasseh who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:20).
(2.) A general under Jehoshaphat, chief over 300,000 men (2 Chr. 17:14).
Adonibezek lord of Bezek, a Canaanitish king who, having subdued seventy of the chiefs that were around him, made an attack against the armies of Judah and Simeon, but was defeated and brought as a captive to Jerusalem, where his thumbs and great toes were cut off. He confessed that God had requited him for his like cruelty to the seventy kings whom he had subdued (Judg. 1:4-7; comp. 1 Sam. 15:33).
Adonijah my Lord is Jehovah.
(1.) The fourth son of David (2 Sam. 3:4). After the death of his elder brothers, Amnon and Absalom, he became heir-apparent to the throne. But Solomon, a younger brother, was preferred to him. Adonijah, however, when his father was dying, caused himself to be proclaimed king. But Nathan and Bathsheba induced David to give orders that Solomon should at once be proclaimed and admitted to the throne. Adonijah fled and took refuge at the altar, and received pardon for his conduct from Solomon on the condition that he showed himself "a worthy man" (1 Kings 1:5-53). He afterwards made a second attempt to gain the throne, but was seized and put to death (1 Kings 2:13-25).
(2.) A Levite sent with the princes to teach the book of the law to the inhabitants of Judah (2 Chr. 17:8).
(3.) One of the "chiefs of the people" after the Captivity (Neh. 10:16).
Adonikam whom the Lord sets up, one of those "which came with Zerubbabel" (Ezra 2:13). His "children," or retainers, to the number of 666, came up to Jerusalem (8:13).
Adoniram (Adoram, 1 Kings 12:18), the son of Abda, was "over the tribute," i.e., the levy or forced labour. He was stoned to death by the people of Israel (1 Kings 4:6; 5:14)
Adoni-zedec lord of justice or righteousness, was king in Jerusalem at the time when the Israelites invaded Palestine (Josh. 10:1,3). He formed a confederacy with the other Canaanitish 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. (Comp. Deut. 21:23). Among the Tell Amarna tablets (see EGYPT) 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.
Adoption the giving to any one the name and place and
privileges of a son who is not a son by birth.
(1.) Natural. Thus Pharaoh's daughter adopted Moses (Ex. 2:10), and Mordecai Esther (Esther 2:7).
(2.) National. God adopted Israel (Ex. 4:22; Deut. 7:6; Hos. 11:1; Rom. 9:4).
(3.) Spiritual. An act of God's grace by which he brings men into the number of his redeemed family, and makes them partakers of all the blessings he has provided for them. Adoption represents the new relations into which the believer is introduced by justification, and the privileges connected therewith, viz., an interest in God's peculiar love (John 17:23; Rom. 5:5-8), a spiritual nature (2 Pet. 1:4; John 1:13), the possession of a spirit becoming children of God (1 Pet. 1:14; 2 John 4; Rom. 8:15-21; Gal. 5:1; Heb. 2:15), present protection, consolation, supplies (Luke 12:27-32; John 14:18; 1 Cor. 3:21-23; 2 Cor. 1:4), fatherly chastisements (Heb. 12:5-11), and a future glorious inheritance (Rom. 8:17,23; James 2:5; Phil. 3:21).
Adoram. See ADONIRAM.
Adore to worship; to express reverence and homage. The forms of adoration among the Jews were putting off the shoes (Ex. 3:5; Josh. 5:15), and prostration (Gen. 17:3; Ps. 95:6; Isa. 44:15, 17, 19; 46:6). To "kiss the Son" in Ps. 2:12 is to adore and worship him. (See Dan. 3:5, 6.) The word itself does not occur in Scripture.
Adrammelech Adar the king.
(1.) An idol; a form of the sun-god worshipped by the inhabitants of Sepharvaim (2 Kings 17:31), and brought by the Sepharvite colonists into Samaria.
(2.) A son of Sennacherib, king of Assyria (2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38).
Adramyttium a city of Asia Minor on the coast of Mysia, which in early times was called AEolis. The ship in which Paul embarked at Caesarea belonged to this city (Acts 27:2). He was conveyed in it only to Myra, in Lycia, whence he sailed in an Alexandrian ship to Italy. It was a rare thing for a ship to sail from any port of Palestine direct for Italy. It still bears the name Adramyti, and is a place of some traffic.
Adria (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.
Adriel flock of God, the son of Barzillai, the Meholathite, to whom Saul gave in marriage his daughter Merab (1 Sam. 18:19). The five sons that sprang from this union were put to death by the Gibeonites (2 Sam. 21:8, 9. Here it is said that Michal "brought up" [R.V., "bare"] these five sons, either that she treated them as if she had been their own mother, or that for "Michal" we should read "Merab," as in 1 Sam. 18:19).
Adullam one of the royal cities of the Canaanites, now 'Aid-el-ma (Josh. 12:15; 15:35). It stood on the old Roman road in the valley of Elah (q.v.), which was the scene of David's memorable victory over Goliath (1 Sam. 17:2), and not far from Gath. It was one of the towns which Rehoboam fortified against Egypt (2 Chr. 11:7). It was called "the glory of Israel" (Micah 1:15). The Cave of Adullam has been discovered about 2 miles south of the scene of David's triumph, and about 13 miles west from Bethlehem. At this place is a hill some 500 feet high pierced with numerous caverns, in one of which David gathered together "every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented" (1 Sam. 22:2). Some of these caverns are large enough to hold 200 or 300 men. According to tradition this cave was at Wady Khureitun, between Bethlehem and the Dead Sea, but this view cannot be well maintained.
Adullamite an inhabitant of the city of Adullam (Gen. 38:1, 12, 20).
Adultery conjugal infidelity. An adulterer was a man who had illicit intercourse with a married or a betrothed woman, and such a woman was an adulteress. Intercourse between a married man and an unmarried woman was fornication. Adultery was regarded as a great social wrong, as well as a great sin. The Mosaic law (Num. 5:11-31) prescribed that the suspected wife should be tried by the ordeal of the "water of jealousy." There is, however, no recorded instance of the application of this law. In subsequent times the Rabbis made various regulations with the view of discovering the guilty party, and of bringing about a divorce. It has been inferred from John 8:1-11 that this sin became very common during the age preceding the destruction of Jerusalem. Idolatry, covetousness, and apostasy are spoken of as adultery spiritually (Jer. 3:6, 8, 9; Ezek. 16:32; Hos. 1:2:3; Rev. 2:22). An apostate church is an adulteress (Isa. 1:21; Ezek. 23:4, 7, 37), and the Jews are styled "an adulterous generation" (Matt. 12:39). (Comp. Rev. 12.)
Adummim the red ones, a place apparently on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem, "on the south side of the torrent" Wady Kelt, looking toward Gilgal, mentioned Josh. 15:7; 18:17. It was nearly half-way between Jerusalem and Jericho, and now bears the name of Tal-at-ed-Dumm. It is supposed to have been the place referred to in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). Recently a new carriage-road has been completed, and carriages for the first time have come along this road from Jerusalem.
Adversary (Heb. satan), an opponent or foe (1 Kings 5:4; 11:14, 23, 25; Luke 13:17); one that speaks against another, a complainant (Matt. 5:25; Luke 12:58); an enemy (Luke 18:3), and specially the devil (1 Pet. 5:8).
Advocate (Gr. parakletos), one who pleads another's cause, who helps another by defending or comforting him. It is a name given by Christ three times to the Holy Ghost (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7, where the Greek word is rendered "Comforter," q.v.). It is applied to Christ in 1 John 2:1, where the same Greek word is rendered "Advocate," the rendering which it should have in all the places where it occurs. Tertullus "the orator" (Acts 24:1) was a Roman advocate whom the Jews employed to accuse Paul before Felix.
AEnon springs, a place near Salim where John baptized (John 3:23). It was probably near the upper source of the Wady Far'ah, an open valley extending from Mount Ebal to the Jordan. It is full of springs. A place has been found called 'Ainun, four miles north of the springs.
Affection feeling or emotion. Mention is made of "vile affections" (Rom. 1:26) and "inordinate affection" (Col. 3:5). Christians are exhorted to set their affections on things above (Col. 3:2). There is a distinction between natural and spiritual or gracious affections (Ezek. 33:32).
Affinity relationship by alliance (2 Chr. 18:1) or by marriage (1 Kings 3:1). Marriages are prohibited within certain degrees of affinity, enumerated Lev. 18:6-17. Consanguinity is relationship by blood.
Afflictions common to all (Job 5:7; 14:1; Ps. 34:19); are for the good of men (James 1:2, 3, 12; 2 Cor. 12:7) and the glory of God (2 Cor. 12:7-10; 1 Pet. 4:14), and are to be borne with patience by the Lord's people (Ps. 94:12; Prov. 3:12). They are all directed by God (Lam. 3:33), and will result in the everlasting good of his people (2 Cor. 4:16-18) in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:35-39).
Agabus a "prophet," probably one of the seventy disciples of Christ. He prophesied at Antioch of an approaching famine (Acts 11:27, 28). Many years afterwards he met Paul at Caesarea, and warned him of the bonds and affliction that awaited him at Jerusalem should he persist in going thither (Acts 21:10-12).
Agag flame, the usual title of the Amalekite kings, as
"Pharaoh" was of the Egyptian.
(1.) A king of the Amalekites referred to by Balaam (Num. 24:7). He lived at the time of the Exodus.
(2.) Another king of the Amalekites whom Saul spared unlawfully, but whom Samuel on his arrival in the camp of Saul ordered, in retributive justice (Judg. 1), to be brought out and cut in pieces (1 Sam. 15:8-33. Comp. Ex. 17:11; Num. 14:45).
Agagite a name applied to Haman and also to his father (Esther 3:1, 10; 8:3, 5). Probably it was equivalent to Amalekite.
Agate (Heb. shebo), a precious stone in the breast-plate of the high priest (Ex. 28:19; 39:12), the second in the third row. This may be the agate properly so called, a semi-transparent crystallized quartz, probably brought from Sheba, whence its name. In Isa. 54:12 and Ezek. 27:16, this word is the rendering of the Hebrew cadcod, which means "ruddy," and denotes a variety of minutely crystalline silica more or less in bands of different tints. This word is from the Greek name of a stone found in the river Achates in Sicily.
Age used to denote the period of a man's life (Gen. 47:28), the maturity of life (John 9:21), the latter end of life (Job 11:17), a generation of the human race (Job 8:8), and an indefinite period (Eph. 2:7; 3:5, 21; Col. 1:26). Respect to be shown to the aged (Lev. 19:32). It is a blessing to communities when they have old men among them (Isa. 65:20; Zech. 8:4). The aged supposed to excel in understanding (Job 12:20; 15:10; 32:4, 9; 1 Kings 12:6, 8). A full age the reward of piety (Job 5:26; Gen. 15:15).
Agee fugitive, the father of Shammah, who was one of David's mighty men (2 Sam. 23:11)
Agony contest; wrestling; severe struggling with pain and suffering. Anguish is the reflection on evil that is already past, while agony is a struggle with evil at the time present. It is only used in the New Testament by Luke (22:44) to describe our Lord's fearful struggle in Gethsemane. The verb from which the noun "agony" is derived is used to denote an earnest endeavour or striving, as "Strive [agonize] to enter" (Luke 13:24); "Then would my servants fight" [agonize] (John 18:36). Comp. 1 Cor. 9:25; Col. 1:29; 4:12; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7, where the words "striveth," "labour," "conflict," "fight," are the renderings of the same Greek verb.
Agriculture Tilling the ground (Gen. 2:15; 4:2, 3, 12) and rearing cattle were the chief employments in ancient times. The Egyptians excelled in agriculture. And after the Israelites entered into the possession of the Promised Land, their circumstances favoured in the highest degree a remarkable development of this art. Agriculture became indeed the basis of the Mosaic commonwealth. The year in Palestine was divided into six agricultural periods:- I. SOWING TIME. Tisri, latter half (beginning about the autumnal equinox.) Marchesvan. Kisleu, former half. Early rain due = first showers of autumn. II. UNRIPE TIME. Kisleu, latter half. Tebet. Sebat, former half. III. COLD SEASON. Sebat, latter half. Adar. [Veadar.] Nisan, former half. Latter rain due (Deut. 11:14; Jer. 5:24; Hos. 6:3; Zech. 10:1; James 5:7; Job 29:23). IV. HARVEST TIME. Nisan, latter half. (Beginning about vernal equinox. Barley green. Passover.) Ijar. Sivan, former half., Wheat ripe. Pentecost. V. SUMMER (total absence of rain) Sivan, latter half. Tammuz. Ab, former half. VI. SULTRY SEASON Ab, latter half. Elul. Tisri, former half., Ingathering of fruits. The six months from the middle of Tisri to the middle of Nisan were occupied with the work of cultivation, and the rest of the year mainly with the gathering in of the fruits. The extensive and easily-arranged system of irrigation from the rills and streams from the mountains made the soil in every part of Palestine richly productive (Ps. 1:3; 65:10; Prov. 21:1; Isa. 30:25; 32:2, 20; Hos. 12:11), and the appliances of careful cultivation and of manure increased its fertility to such an extent that in the days of Solomon, when there was an abundant population, "20,000 measures of wheat year by year" were sent to Hiram in exchange for timber (1 Kings 5:11), and in large quantities also wheat was sent to the Tyrians for the merchandise in which they traded (Ezek. 27:17). The wheat sometimes produced an hundredfold (Gen. 26:12; Matt. 13:23). Figs and pomegranates were very plentiful (Num. 13:23), and the vine and the olive grew luxuriantly and produced abundant fruit (Deut. 33:24). Lest the productiveness of the soil should be exhausted, it was enjoined that the whole land should rest every seventh year, when all agricultural labour would entirely cease (Lev. 25:1-7; Deut. 15:1-10). It was forbidden to sow a field with divers seeds (Deut. 22:9). A passer-by was at liberty to eat any quantity of corn or grapes, but he was not permitted to carry away any (Deut. 23:24, 25; Matt. 12:1). The poor were permitted to claim the corners of the fields and the gleanings. A forgotten sheaf in the field was to be left also for the poor. (See Lev. 19:9, 10; Deut. 24:19.) Agricultural implements and operations. The sculptured monuments and painted tombs of Egypt and Assyria throw much light on this subject, and on the general operations of agriculture. Ploughs of a simple construction were known in the time of Moses (Deut. 22:10; comp. Job 1:14). They were very light, and required great attention to keep them in the ground (Luke 9:62). They were drawn by oxen (Job 1:14), cows (1 Sam. 6:7), and asses (Isa. 30:24); but an ox and an ass must not be yoked together in the same plough (Deut. 22:10). Men sometimes followed the plough with a hoe to break the clods (Isa. 28:24). The oxen were urged on by a "goad," or long staff pointed at the end, so that if occasion arose it could be used as a spear also (Judg. 3:31; 1 Sam. 13:21). When the soil was prepared, the seed was sown broadcast over the field (Matt. 13:3-8). The "harrow" mentioned in Job 39:10 was not used to cover the seeds, but to break the clods, being little more than a thick block of wood. In highly irrigated spots the seed was trampled in by cattle (Isa. 32:20); but doubtless there was some kind of harrow also for covering in the seed scattered in the furrows of the field. The reaping of the corn was performed either by pulling it up by the roots, or cutting it with a species of sickle, according to circumstances. The corn when cut was generally put up in sheaves (Gen. 37:7; Lev. 23:10-15; Ruth 2:7, 15; Job 24:10; Jer. 9:22; Micah 4:12), which were afterwards gathered to the threshing-floor or stored in barns (Matt. 6:26). The process of threshing was performed generally by spreading the sheaves on the threshing-floor and causing oxen and cattle to tread repeatedly over them (Deut. 25:4; Isa. 28:28). On occasions flails or sticks were used for this purpose (Ruth 2:17; Isa. 28:27). There was also a "threshing instrument" (Isa. 41:15; Amos 1:3) which was drawn over the corn. It was called by the Hebrews a moreg, a threshing roller or sledge (2 Sam. 24:22; 1 Chr. 21:23; Isa. 3:15). It was somewhat like the Roman tribulum, or threshing instrument. When the grain was threshed, it was winnowed by being thrown up against the wind (Jer. 4:11), and afterwards tossed with wooden scoops (Isa. 30:24). The shovel and the fan for winnowing are mentioned in Ps. 35:5, Job 21:18, Isa. 17:13. The refuse of straw and chaff was burned (Isa. 5:24). Freed from impurities, the grain was then laid up in granaries till used (Deut. 28:8; Prov. 3:10; Matt. 6:26; 13:30; Luke 12:18).
Agrippa I. the grandson of Herod the Great, and son of Aristobulus and Bernice. The Roman emperor Caligula made him governor first of the territories of Philip, then of the tetrarchy of Lysanias, with the title of king ("king Herod"), and finally of that of Antipas, who was banished, and of Samaria and Judea. Thus he became ruler over the whole of Palestine. He was a persecutor of the early Christians. He slew James, and imprisoned Peter (Acts 12:1-4). He died at Caesarea, being "eaten of worms" (Acts 12:23), A.D. 44. (Comp. Josephus, Ant. xix. 8.)
Agrippa II. son of the foregoing, was born at Rome, A.D. 27. He was the brother of Bernice and Drusilla. The Emperor Claudius (A.D. 48) invested him with the office of superintendent of the Temple of Jerusalem, and made him governor (A.D. 50) of Chalcis. He was afterwards raised to the rank of king, and made governor over the tetrarchy of Philip and Lysanias (Acts 25:13; 26:2, 7). It was before him that Paul delivered (A.D. 59) his speech recorded in Acts 26. His private life was very profligate. He died (the last of his race) at Rome, at the age of about seventy years, A.D. 100.
Ague the translation in Lev. 26:16 (R.V., "fever") of the Hebrew word kaddah'ath, meaning "kindling", i.e., an inflammatory or burning fever. In Deut. 28:22 the word is rendered "fever."
Agur gatherer; the collector, mentioned as author of the sayings in Prov. 30. Nothing is known of him beyond what is there recorded.
Ah! an exclamation of sorrow or regret (Ps. 35:25; Isa. 1:4, 24; Jer. 1:6; 22:18; Mark 15:29).
Aha! an exclamation of ridicule (Ps. 35:21; 40:15; 70:3). In Isa. 44:16 it signifies joyful surprise, as also in Job 39:25, R.V.
Ahab father's brother.
(1.) The son of Omri, whom he succeeded as the seventh king of Israel. His history is recorded in 1 Kings 16-22. His wife was Jezebel (q.v.), who exercised a very evil influence over him. To the calf-worship introduced by Jeroboam he added the worship of Baal. He was severely admonished by Elijah (q.v.) for his wickedness. His anger was on this account kindled against the prophet, and he sought to kill him. He undertook three campaigns against Ben-hadad II., king of Damascus. In the first two, which were defensive, he gained a complete victory over Ben-hadad, who fell into his hands, and was afterwards released on the condition of his restoring all the cities of Israel he then held, and granting certain other concessions to Ahab. After three years of peace, for some cause Ahab renewed war (1 Kings 22:3) with Ben-hadad by assaulting the city of Ramoth-gilead, although the prophet Micaiah warned him that he would not succeed, and that the 400 false prophets who encouraged him were only leading him to his ruin. Micaiah was imprisoned for thus venturing to dissuade Ahab from his purpose. Ahab went into the battle disguised, that he might if possible escape the notice of his enemies; but an arrow from a bow "drawn at a venture" pierced him, and though stayed up in his chariot for a time he died towards evening, and Elijah's prophecy (1 Kings 21:19) was fulfilled. He reigned twenty-three years. Because of his idolatry, lust, and covetousness, Ahab is referred to as pre-eminently the type of a wicked king (2 Kings 8:18; 2 Chr. 22:3; Micah 6:16).
(2.) A false prophet referred to by Jeremiah (Jer. 29:21), of whom nothing further is known.
Ahasuerus There are three kings designated by this name in
(1.) The father of Darius the Mede, mentioned in Dan. 9:1. This was probably the Cyaxares I. known by this name in profane history, the king of Media and the conqueror of Nineveh.
(2.) The king mentioned in Ezra 4:6, probably the Cambyses of profane history, the son and successor of Cyrus (B.C. 529).
(3.) The son of Darius Hystaspes, the king named in the Book of Esther. He ruled over the kingdoms of Persia, Media, and Babylonia, "from India to Ethiopia." This was in all probability the Xerxes of profane history, who succeeded his father Darius (B.C. 485). In the LXX. version of the Book of Esther the name Artaxerxes occurs for Ahasuerus. He reigned for twenty-one years (B.C. 486-465). He invaded Greece with an army, it is said, of more than 2,000,000 soldiers, only 5,000 of whom returned with him. Leonidas, with his famous 300, arrested his progress at the Pass of Thermopylae, and then he was defeated disastrously by Themistocles at Salamis. It was after his return from this invasion that Esther was chosen as his queen.
Ahava water, the river (Ezra 8:21) by the banks of which the Jewish exiles assembled under Ezra when about to return to Jerusalem from Babylon. In all probability this was one of the streams of Mesopotamia which flowed into the Euphrates somewhere in the north-west of Babylonia. It has, however, been supposed to be the name of a place (Ezra 8:15) now called Hit, on the Euphrates, east of Damascus.
(1.) A grandson of Jonathan (1 Chr. 8:35; 9:42).
(2.) The son and successor of Jotham, king of Judah (2 Kings 16; Isa. 7-9; 2 Chr. 28). He gave himself up to a life of wickedness and idolatry. Notwithstanding the remonstrances and warnings of Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah, he appealed for help against Rezin, king of Damascus, and Pekah, king of Israel, who threatened Jerusalem, to Tiglath-pileser, the king of Assyria, to the great injury of his kingdom and his own humilating subjection to the Assyrians (2 Kings 16:7, 9; 15:29). He also introduced among his people many heathen and idolatrous customs (Isa. 8:19; 38:8; 2 Kings 23:12). He died at the age of thirty-five years, after reigning sixteen years (B.C. 740-724), and was succeeded by his son Hezekiah. Because of his wickedness he was "not brought into the sepulchre of the kings."
Ahaziah held by Jehovah.
(1.) The son and successor of Ahab. He followed the counsels of his mother Jezebel, and imitated in wickedness the ways of his father. In his reign the Moabites revolted from under his authority (2 Kings 3:5-7). He united with Jehoshaphat in an attempt to revive maritime trade by the Red Sea, which proved a failure (2 Chr. 20:35-37). His messengers, sent to consult the god of Ekron regarding his recovery from the effects of a fall from the roof-gallery of his palace, were met on the way by Elijah, who sent them back to tell the king that he would never rise from his bed (1 Kings 22:51; 2 Kings 1:18).
(2.) The son of Joram, or Jehoram, and sixth king of Judah. Called Jehoahaz (2 Chr. 21:17; 25:23), and Azariah (2 Chr. 22:6). Guided by his idolatrous mother Athaliah, his reign was disastrous (2 Kings 8:24-29; 9:29). He joined his uncle Jehoram, king of Israel, in an expedition against Hazael, king of Damascus; but was wounded at the pass of Gur when attempting to escape, and had strength only to reach Megiddo, where he died (2 Kings 9:22-28). He reigned only one year.
Ahiam mother's brother, one of David's thirty heroes (2 Sam. 23:33; 1 Chr. 11:35).
Ahiezer brother of help; i.e., "helpful."
(1.) The chief of the tribe of Dan at the time of the Exodus (Num. 1:12; 2:25; 10:25).
(2.) The chief of the Benjamite slingers that repaired to David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:3).
Ahihud brother (i.e., "friend") of union.
(1.) A son of Bela, the son of Benjamin (1 Chr. 8:7).
(2.) Name different in Hebrew, meaning brother of Judah. Chief of the tribe of Asher; one of those appointed by Moses to superintend the division of Canaan among the tribe (Num. 34:27).
Ahijah brother (i.e., "friend") of Jehovah.
(1.) One of the sons of Bela (1 Chr. 8:7, R.V.). In A.V. called "Ahiah."
(2.) One of the five sons of Jerahmeel, who was great-grandson of Judah (1 Chr. 2:25).
(3.) Son of Ahitub (1 Sam. 14:3, 18), Ichabod's brother; the same probably as Ahimelech, who was high priest at Nob in the reign of Saul (1 Sam. 22:11). Some, however, suppose that Ahimelech was the brother of Ahijah, and that they both officiated as high priests, Ahijah at Gibeah or Kirjath-jearim, and Ahimelech at Nob.
(4.) A Pelonite, one of David's heroes (1 Chr. 11:36); called also Eliam (2 Sam. 23:34).
(5.) A Levite having charge of the sacred treasury in the temple (1 Chr. 26:20).
(6.) One of Solomon's secretaries (1 Kings 4:3).
(7.) A prophet of Shiloh (1 Kings 11:29; 14:2), called the "Shilonite," in the days of Rehoboam. We have on record two of his remarkable prophecies, 1 Kings 11:31-39, announcing the rending of the ten tribes from Solomon; and 1 Kings 14:6-16, delivered to Jeroboam's wife, foretelling the death of Abijah the king's son, the destruction of Jeroboam's house, and the captivity of Israel "beyond the river." Jeroboam bears testimony to the high esteem in which he was held as a prophet of God (1 Kings 14:2,3).
Ahikam brother of support = helper, one of the five whom Josiah sent to consult the prophetess Huldah in connection with the discovery of the book of the law (2 Kings 22:12-14; 2 Chr. 34:20). He was the son of Shaphan, the royal secretary, and the father of Gedaliah, governor of Judea after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians (2 Kings 25:22; Jer. 40:5-16; 43:6). On one occasion he protected Jeremiah against the fury of Jehoiakim (Jer. 26:24). It was in the chamber of another son (Germariah) of Shaphan that Baruch read in the ears of all the people Jeremiah's roll.
Ahimaaz brother of anger = irascible.
(1.) The father Ahinoam, the wife of Saul (1 Sam. 14:50).
(2.) The son and successor of Zadok in the office of high priest (1 Chr. 6:8, 53). On the occasion of the revolt of Absalom he remained faithful to David, and was of service to him in conveying to him tidings of the proceedings of Absalom in Jerusalem (2 Sam. 15:24-37; 17:15-21). He was swift of foot, and was the first to carry to David tidings of the defeat of Absalom, although he refrained, from delicacy of feeling, from telling him of his death (2 Sam. 18:19-33).
Ahiman brother of a gift = liberal.
(1.) One of the three giant Anakim brothers whom Caleb and the spies saw in Mount Hebron (Num. 13:22) when they went in to explore the land. They were afterwards driven out and slain (Josh. 15:14; Judg. 1:10).
(2.) One of the guardians of the temple after the Exile (1 Chr. 9:17).
Ahimelech brother of the king, the son of Ahitub and father of Abiathar (1 Sam. 22:20-23). He descended from Eli in the line of Ithamar. In 1 Chr. 18:16 he is called Abimelech, and is probably the same as Ahiah (1 Sam. 14:3, 18). He was the twelfth high priest, and officiated at Nob, where he was visited by David (to whom and his companions he gave five loaves of the showbread) when he fled from Saul (1 Sam. 21:1-9). He was summoned into Saul's presence, and accused, on the information of Doeg the Edomite, of disloyalty because of his kindness to David; whereupon the king commanded that he, with the other priests who stood beside him (86 in all), should be put to death. This sentence was carried into execution by Doeg in the most cruel manner (1 Sam. 22:9-23). Possibly Abiathar had a son also called Ahimelech, or the two names, as some think, may have been accidentally transposed in 2 Sam. 8:17; 1 Chr. 18:16, marg.; 24:3, 6, 31.
Ahinadab brother of liberality = liberal, one of the twelve commissariat officers appointed by Solomon in so many districts of his kingdom to raise supplies by monthly rotation for his household. He was appointed to the district of Mahanaim (1 Kings 4:14), east of Jordan.
Ahinoam brother of pleasantness = pleasant.
(1.) The daughter of Ahimaaz, and wife of Saul (1 Sam. 14:50).
(2.) A Jezreelitess, the first wife of David (1 Sam. 25:43; 27:3). She was the mother of Amnon (2 Sam. 3:2). (See 1 Sam. 30:5, 18; 2 Sam. 2:2.)
(1.) One of the sons of Beriah (1 Chr. 8:14).
(2.) One of the sons of Jehiel the Gibeonite (1 Chr. 8:31; 9:37).
(3.) One of the sons of Abinadab the Levite. While Uzzah went by the side of the ark, he walked before it guiding the oxen which drew the cart on which it was carried, after having brought it from his father's house in Gibeah (1 Chr. 13:7; 2 Sam. 6:3, 4).
Ahira brother of evil = unlucky, or my brother is friend, chief of the tribe of Naphtali at the Exodus (Num. 1:15; 2:29).
Ahishar brother of song = singer, the officer who was "over the household" of Solomon (1 Kings 4:6).
Ahithophel brother of insipidity or impiety, a man greatly renowned for his sagacity among the Jews. At the time of Absalom's revolt he deserted David (Ps. 41:9; 55:12-14) and espoused the cause of Absalom (2 Sam. 15:12). David sent his old friend Hushai back to Absalom, in order that he might counteract the counsel of Ahithophel (2 Sam. 15:31-37). This end was so far gained that Ahithophel saw he had no longer any influence, and accordingly he at once left the camp of Absalom and returned to Giloh, his native place, where, after arranging his wordly affairs, he hanged himself, and was buried in the sepulchre of his fathers (2 Sam. 17:1-23). He was the type of Judas (Ps. 41:9).
Ahitub brother of goodness = good.
(1.) The son of Phinehas. On the death of his grandfather Eli he succeeded to the office of high priest, and was himself succeeded by his son Ahijah (1 Sam. 14:3; 22:9, 11, 12, 20).
(2.) The father of Zadok, who was made high priest by Saul after the extermination of the family of Ahimelech (1 Chr. 6:7, 8; 2 Sam. 8:17).
Ahlab 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.
Ahoah brotherly, one of the sons of Bela, the son of Benjamin (1 Chr. 8:4). He is also called Ahiah (ver. 7) and Iri (1 Chr. 7:7). His descendants were called Ahohites (2 Sam. 23:9, 28).
Ahohite an epithet applied to Dodo, one of Solomon's captains (1 Chr. 27:4); to his son Eleazar, one of David's three mightiest heroes (2 Sam. 23:9; 1 Chr. 11:12); and to Zalmon, one of the thirty (2 Sam. 23:28; 1 Chr. 11:29), from their descent from Ahoah.
Aholah she has her own tent, a name used by Ezekiel (23:4, 5, 36, 44) as a symbol of the idolatry of the kingdom of Israel. This kingdom is described as a lewdwoman, an adulteress, given up to the abominations and idolatries of the Egyptians and Assyrians. Because of her crimes, she was carried away captive, and ceased to be a kingdom. (Comp. Ps. 78:67-69; 1 Kings 12:25-33; 2 Chr. 11:13-16.)
Aholiab tent of the father, an artist of the tribe of Dan, appointed to the work of preparing materials for the tabernacle (Ex. 31:6; 35:34; 36:1, 2; 38:23).
Aholibah my tent is in her, the name of an imaginary harlot, applied symbolically to Jerusalem, because she had abandoned the worship of the true God and given herself up to the idolatries of foreign nations. (Ezek. 23:4, 11, 22, 36, 44).
Aholibamah tent of the height, the name given to Judith, the daughter of Beeri = Anah (Gen. 26:34; 36:2), when she became the wife of Esau. A district among the mountains of Edom, probably near Mount Hor, was called after her name, or it may be that she received her name from the district. From her descended three tribes of Edomites, founded by her three sons.
(1.) One of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Josh. 10:1; Gen. 12:8; 13:3). It was the scene of Joshua's defeat, and afterwards of his victory. It was the second Canaanite city taken by Israel (Josh. 7:2-5; 8:1-29). It lay rebuilt and inhibited by the Benjamites (Ezra 2:28; Neh. 7:32; 11:31). It lay to the east of Bethel, "beside Beth-aven." The spot which is most probably the site of this ancient city is Haiyan, 2 miles east from Bethel. It lay up the Wady Suweinit, a steep, rugged valley, extending from the Jordan valley to Bethel.
(2.) A city in the Ammonite territory (Jer. 49:3). Some have thought that the proper reading of the word is Ar (Isa. 15:1).
Aijeleth Shahar hind of the dawn, a name found in the title of Ps. 22. It is probably the name of some song or tune to the measure of which the psalm was to be chanted. Some, however, understand by the name some instrument of music, or an allegorical allusion to the subject of the psalm.
Air the atmosphere, as opposed to the higher regions of the sky (1 Thess. 4:17; Rev. 9:2; 16:17). This word occurs once as the rendering of the Hebrew _ruah_ (Job 41:16); elsewhere it is the rendering of _shamaiyim_, usually translated "heavens." The expression "to speak into the air" (1 Cor. 14:9) is a proverb denoting to speak in vain, as to "beat the air" (1 Cor. 9:26) denotes to labour in vain.
Ajalon 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.
Akkub (another form of Jacob).
(1.) The head of one of the families of Nethinim (Ezra 2:45).
(2.) A Levite who kept the gate of the temple after the return from Babylon (1 Chr. 9:17; Ezra 2:42; Neh. 7:45).
(3.) A descendant of David (1 Chr. 3:24).
Akrabbim scorpions, probably the general name given to the ridge containing the pass between the south of the Dead Sea and Zin, es-Sufah, by which there is an ascent to the level of the land of Palestine. Scorpions are said to abound in this whole district, and hence the name (Num. 34:4). It is called "Maaleh-acrabbim" in Josh. 15:3, and "the ascent of Akrabbim" in Num. 34:4.
Alabaster occurs only in the New Testament in connection with the box of "ointment of spikenard very precious," with the contents of which a woman anointed the head of Jesus as he sat at supper in the house of Simon the leper (Matt. 26:7; Mark 14:3; Luke 7:37). These boxes were made from a stone found near Alabastron in Egypt, and from this circumstance the Greeks gave them the name of the city where they were made. The name was then given to the stone of which they were made; and finally to all perfume vessels, of whatever material they were formed. The woman "broke" the vessel; i.e., she broke off, as was usually done, the long and narrow neck so as to reach the contents. This stone resembles marble, but is softer in its texture, and hence very easily wrought into boxes. Mark says (14:5) that this box of ointment was worth more than 300 pence, i.e., denarii, each of the value of sevenpence halfpenny of our money, and therefore worth about 10 pounds. But if we take the denarius as the day's wage of a labourer (Matt. 20:2), say two shillings of our money, then the whole would be worth about 30 pounds, so costly was Mary's offering.
Alamoth virgins, a musical term (1 Chr. 15:20), denoting that the psalm which bears this inscription (Ps. 46) was to be sung by soprano or female voices.
Alarm a particular quivering sound of the silver trumpets to give warning to the Hebrews on their journey through the wilderness (Num. 10:5, 6), a call to arms, or a war-note (Jer. 4:19; 49:2; Zeph. 1:16).
(1.) One of the nine sons of Becher, the son of Benjamin (1 Chr. 7:8).
(2.) One of the sons of Jehoadah, or Jarah, son of Ahaz (1 Chr. 8:36).
(3.) A sacerdotal city of Benjamin (1 Chr. 6:60), called also Almon (Josh. 21:18), now Almit, a mile north-east of the ancient Anathoth.
(1.) A relative of Annas the high priest, present when Peter and John were examined before the Sanhedrim (Acts 4:6).
(2.) A man whose father, Simon the Cyrenian, bore the cross of Christ (Mark 15:21).
(3.) A Jew of Ephesus who took a prominent part in the uproar raised there by the preaching of Paul (Acts 19:33). The Jews put him forward to plead their cause before the mob. It was probably intended that he should show that he and the other Jews had no sympathy with Paul any more than the Ephesians had. It is possible that this man was the same as the following.
(4.) A coppersmith who, with Hymenaeus and others, promulgated certain heresies regarding the resurrection (1 Tim. 1:19; 2 Tim. 4:14), and made shipwreck of faith and of a good conscience. Paul excommunicated him (1 Tim. 1:20; comp. 1 Cor. 5:5).
Alexander the Great the king of Macedonia, the great conqueror; probably represented in Daniel by the "belly of brass" (Dan. 2:32), and the leopard and the he-goat (7:6; 11:3,4). He succeeded his father Philip, and died at the age of thirty-two from the effects of intemperance, B.C. 323. His empire was divided among his four generals.
Alexandria the ancient metropolis of Lower Egypt, so called from its founder, Alexander the Great (about B.C. 333). It was for a long period the greatest of existing cities, for both Nineveh and Babylon had been destroyed, and Rome had not yet risen to greatness. It was the residence of the kings of Egypt for 200 years. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament, and only incidentally in the New. Apollos, eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures, was a native of this city (Acts 18:24). Many Jews from Alexandria were in Jerusalem, where they had a synagogue (Acts 6:9), at the time of Stephen's martyrdom. At one time it is said that as many as 10,000 Jews resided in this city. It possessed a famous library of 700,000 volumes, which was burned by the Saracens (A.D. 642). It was here that the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek. This is called the Septuagint version, from the tradition that seventy learned men were engaged in executing it. It was, however, not all translated at one time. It was begun B.C. 280, and finished about B.C. 200 or 150. (See VERSION.)
Algum (2 Chr. 2:8; 9:10,11), the same as almug (1 Kings 10:11).
Alien a foreigner, or person born in another country, and
therefore not entitled to the rights and privileges of the country
where he resides. Among the Hebrews there were two classes of aliens.
(1.) Those who were strangers generally, and who owned no landed property.
(2.) Strangers dwelling in another country without being naturalized (Lev. 22:10; Ps. 39:12). Both of these classes were to enjoy, under certain conditions, the same rights as other citizens (Lev. 19:33, 34; Deut. 10:19). They might be naturalized and permitted to enter into the congregation of the Lord by submitting to circumcision and abandoning idolatry (Deut. 23:3-8). This term is used (Eph. 2:12) to denote persons who have no interest in Christ.
Allegory used only in Gal. 4:24, where the apostle refers to the history of Isaac the free-born, and Ishmael the slave-born, and makes use of it allegorically. Every parable is an allegory. Nathan (2 Sam. 12:1-4) addresses David in an allegorical narrative. In the eightieth Psalm there is a beautiful allegory: "Thou broughtest a vine out of Egypt," etc. In Eccl. 12:2-6, there is a striking allegorical description of old age.
Alleluia the Greek form (Rev. 19:1, 3, 4, 6) of the Hebrew Hallelujah = Praise ye Jehovah, which begins or ends several of the psalms (106, 111, 112, 113, etc.).
Alliance a treaty between nations, or between individuals, for their mutual advantage. Abraham formed an alliance with some of the Canaanitish princes (Gen. 14:13), also with Abimelech (21:22-32). Joshua and the elders of Israel entered into an alliance with the Gibeonites (Josh. 9:3-27). When the Israelites entered Palestine they were forbidden to enter into alliances with the inhabitants of the country (Lev. 18:3, 4; 20:22, 23). Solomon formed a league with Hiram (1 Kings 5:12). This "brotherly covenant" is referred to 250 years afterwards (Amos 1:9). He also appears to have entered into an alliance with Pharaoh (1 Kings 10:28, 29). In the subsequent history of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel various alliances were formed between them and also with neighbouring nations at different times. From patriarchal times a covenant of alliance was sealed by the blood of some sacrificial victim. The animal sacrificed was cut in two (except birds), and between these two parts the persons contracting the alliance passed (Gen. 15:10). There are frequent allusions to this practice (Jer. 34:18). Such alliances were called "covenants of salt" (Num. 18:19; 2 Chr. 13:5), salt being the symbol of perpetuity. A pillar was set up as a memorial of the alliance between Laban and Jacob (Gen. 31:52). The Jews throughout their whole history attached great importance to fidelity to their engagements. Divine wrath fell upon the violators of them (Josh. 9:18; 2 Sam. 21:1, 2; Ezek. 17:16).
(1.) The expression in the Authorized Version of Josh. 19:33, "from Allon to Zaanannim," is more correctly rendered in the Revised Version, "from the oak in Zaanannim." The word denotes some remarkable tree which stood near Zaanannim, and which served as a landmark.
(2.) The son of Jedaiah, of the family of the Simeonites, who expelled the Hamites from the valley of Gedor (1 Chr. 4:37).
Allon-bachuth oak of weeping, a tree near Bethel, at the spot where Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, was buried (Gen. 35:8). Large trees, from their rarity in the plains of Palestine, were frequently designated as landmarks. This particular tree was probably the same as the "palm tree of Deborah" (Judg. 4:5).
Almodad immeasurable, the first named of the sons of Joktan (Gen. 10:26), the founder of an Arabian tribe.
Almon hidden, one of the sacerdotal cities of Benjamin (Josh. 21:18), called also Alemeth (1 Chr. 6:60).
Almond a native of Syria and Palestine. In form, blossoms, and fruit it resembles the peach tree. Its blossoms are of a very pale pink colour, and appear before its leaves. Its Hebrew name, _shaked_, signifying "wakeful, hastening," is given to it on account of its putting forth its blossoms so early, generally in February, and sometimes even in January. In Eccl. 12:5, it is referred to as illustrative, probably, of the haste with which old age comes. There are others, however, who still contend for the old interpretation here. "The almond tree bears its blossoms in the midst of winter, on a naked, leafless stem, and these blossoms (reddish or flesh-coloured in the beginning) seem at the time of their fall exactly like white snow-flakes. In this way the almond blossom is a very fitting symbol of old age, with its silvery hair and its wintry, dry, barren, unfruitful condition." In Jer. 1:11 "I see a rod of an almond tree [shaked]...for I will hasten [shaked] my word to perform it" the word is used as an emblem of promptitude. Jacob desired his sons (Gen. 43:11) to take with them into Egypt of the best fruits of the land, almonds, etc., as a present to Joseph, probably because this tree was not a native of Egypt. Aaron's rod yielded almonds (Num. 17:8; Heb. 9:4). Moses was directed to make certain parts of the candlestick for the ark of carved work "like unto almonds" (Ex. 25:33, 34). The Hebrew word _luz_, translated "hazel" in the Authorized Version (Gen. 30:37), is rendered in the Revised Version "almond." It is probable that _luz_ denotes the wild almond, while _shaked_ denotes the cultivated variety.
Alms Not found in the Old Testament, but repeatedly in the New. The Mosaic legislation (Lev. 25:35; Deut. 15:7) tended to promote a spirit of charity, and to prevent the occurrence of destitution among the people. Such passages as these, Ps. 41:1; 112:9; Prov. 14:31; Isa. 10:2; Amos 2:7; Jer. 5:28; Ezek. 22:29, would also naturally foster the same benevolent spirit. In the time of our Lord begging was common (Mark 10:46; Acts 3:2). The Pharisees were very ostentatious in their almsgivings (Matt. 6:2). The spirit by which the Christian ought to be actuated in this duty is set forth in 1 John 3:17. A regard to the state of the poor and needy is enjoined as a Christian duty (Luke 3:11; 6:30; Matt. 6:1; Acts 9:36; 10:2, 4), a duty which was not neglected by the early Christians (Luke 14:13; Acts 20:35; Gal. 2:10; Rom. 15:25-27; 1 Cor. 16:1-4). They cared not only for the poor among themselves, but contributed also to the necessities of those at a distance (Acts 11:29; 24:17; 2 Cor. 9:12). Our Lord and his attendants showed an example also in this (John 13:29). In modern times the "poor-laws" have introduced an element which modifies considerably the form in which we may discharge this Christian duty.
Almug (1 Kings 10:11, 12) = algum (2 Chr. 2:8; 9:10, 11), in the Hebrew occurring only in the plural _almuggim_ (indicating that the wood was brought in planks), the name of a wood brought from Ophir to be used in the building of the temple, and for other purposes. Some suppose it to have been the white sandal-wood of India, the Santalum album of botanists, a native of the mountainous parts of the Malabar coasts. It is a fragrant wood, and is used in China for incense in idol-worship. Others, with some probability, think that it was the Indian red sandal-wood, the pterocarpus santalinus, a heavy, fine-grained wood, the Sanscrit name of which is valguka. It is found on the Coromandel coast and in Ceylon.
Aloes (Heb. 'ahalim), a fragrant wood (Num. 24:6; Ps. 45:8; Prov. 7:17; Cant. 4:14), the Aquilaria agallochum of botanists, or, as some suppose, the costly gum or perfume extracted from the wood. It is found in China, Siam, and Northern India, and grows to the height sometimes of 120 feet. This species is of great rarity even in India. There is another and more common species, called by Indians aghil, whence Europeans have given it the name of Lignum aquile, or eagle-wood. Aloewood was used by the Egyptians for embalming dead bodies. Nicodemus brought it (pounded aloe-wood) to embalm the body of Christ (John 19:39); but whether this was the same as that mentioned elsewhere is uncertain. The bitter aloes of the apothecary is the dried juice of the leaves Aloe vulgaris.
(1.) The father of James the Less, the apostle and writer of the epistle (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13), and the husband of Mary (John 19:25). The Hebrew form of this name is Cleopas, or Clopas (q.v.).
(2.) The father of Levi, or Matthew (Mark 2:14).
Altar (Heb. mizbe'ah, from a word meaning "to slay"),
any structure of earth (Ex. 20:24) or unwrought stone (20:25) on
which sacrifices were offered. Altars were generally erected in
conspicuous places (Gen. 22:9; Ezek. 6:3; 2 Kings 23:12; 16:4; 23:8;
Acts 14:13). The word is used in Heb. 13:10 for the sacrifice offered
upon it--the sacrifice Christ offered. Paul found among the many
altars erected in Athens one bearing the inscription, "To the
unknown God" (Acts 17:23), or rather "to an [i.e., some]
unknown God." The reason for this inscription cannot now be
accurately determined. It afforded the apostle the occasion of
proclaiming the gospel to the "men of Athens." The first
altar we read of is that erected by Noah (Gen. 8:20). Altars were
erected by Abraham (Gen. 12:7; 13:4; 22:9), by Isaac (Gen. 26:25), by
Jacob (33:20; 35:1, 3), and by Moses (Ex. 17:15, "Jehovah-nissi").
In the tabernacle, and afterwards in the temple, two altars were
(1.) The altar of burnt offering (Ex. 30:28), called also the "brasen altar" (Ex. 39:39) and "the table of the Lord" (Mal. 1:7). This altar, as erected in the tabernacle, is described in Ex. 27:1-8. It was a hollow square, 5 cubits in length and in breadth, and 3 cubits in height. It was made of shittim wood, and was overlaid with plates of brass. Its corners were ornamented with "horns" (Ex. 29:12; Lev. 4:18). In Ex. 27:3 the various utensils appertaining to the altar are enumerated. They were made of brass. (Comp. 1 Sam. 2:13, 14; Lev. 16:12; Num. 16:6, 7.) In Solomon's temple the altar was of larger dimensions (2 Chr. 4:1. Comp. 1 Kings 8:22, 64; 9:25), and was made wholly of brass, covering a structure of stone or earth. This altar was renewed by Asa (2 Chr. 15:8). It was removed by Ahaz (2 Kings 16:14), and "cleansed" by Hezekiah, in the latter part of whose reign it was rebuilt. It was finally broken up and carried away by the Babylonians (Jer. 52:17). After the return from captivity it was re-erected (Ezra 3:3, 6) on the same place where it had formerly stood. (Comp. 1 Macc. 4:47.) When Antiochus Epiphanes pillaged Jerusalem the altar of burnt offering was taken away. Again the altar was erected by Herod, and remained in its place till the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans (70 A.D.). The fire on the altar was not permitted to go out (Lev. 6:9). In the Mosque of Omar, immediately underneath the great dome, which occupies the site of the old temple, there is a rough projection of the natural rock, of about 60 feet in its extreme length, and 50 in its greatest breadth, and in its highest part about 4 feet above the general pavement. This rock seems to have been left intact when Solomon's temple was built. It was in all probability the site of the altar of burnt offering. Underneath this rock is a cave, which may probably have been the granary of Araunah's threshing-floor (1 Chr. 21:22).
(2.) The altar of incense (Ex. 30:1-10), called also "the golden altar" (39:38; Num. 4:11), stood in the holy place "before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony." On this altar sweet spices were continually burned with fire taken from the brazen altar. The morning and the evening services were commenced by the high priest offering incense on this altar. The burning of the incense was a type of prayer (Ps. 141:2; Rev. 5:8; 8:3, 4). This altar was a small movable table, made of acacia wood overlaid with gold (Ex. 37:25, 26). It was 1 cubit in length and breadth, and 2 cubits in height. In Solomon's temple the altar was similar in size, but was made of cedar-wood (1 Kings 6:20; 7:48) overlaid with gold. In Ezek. 41:22 it is called "the altar of wood." (Comp. Ex. 30:1-6.) In the temple built after the Exile the altar was restored. Antiochus Epiphanes took it away, but it was afterwards restored by Judas Maccabaeus (1 Macc. 1:23; 4:49). Among the trophies carried away by Titus on the destruction of Jerusalem the altar of incense is not found, nor is any mention made of it in Heb. 9. It was at this altar Zacharias ministered when an angel appeared to him (Luke 1:11). It is the only altar which appears in the heavenly temple (Isa. 6:6; Rev. 8:3,4).
Altaschith destroy not, the title of Ps. 57, 58, 59, and 75. It was probably the name of some song to the melody of which these psalms were to be chanted.
Alush 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.
Amalek dweller in a valley, the son of Eliphaz and grandson of Esau (Gen. 36:12; 1 Chr. 1:36); the chief of an Idumean tribe (Gen. 36:16). His mother was a Horite, a tribe whose territory the descendants of Esau had seized.
Amalekite a tribe that dwelt in Arabia Petraea, between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. They were not the descendants of Amalek, the son of Eliphaz, for they existed in the days of Abraham (Gen. 14:7). They were probably a tribe that migrated from the shores of the Persian Gulf and settled in Arabia. "They dwelt in the land of the south...from Havilah until thou comest to Shur" (Num. 13:29; 1 Sam. 15:7). They were a pastoral, and hence a nomadic race. Their kings bore the hereditary name of Agag (Num. 24:7; 1 Sam. 15:8). They attempted to stop the Israelites when they marched through their territory (Deut. 25:18), attacking them at Rephidim (Ex. 17:8-13; comp. Deut. 25:17; 1 Sam. 15:2). They afterwards attacked the Israelites at Hormah (Num. 14:45). We read of them subsequently as in league with the Moabites (Judg. 3:13) and the Midianites (Judg. 6:3). Saul finally desolated their territory and destroyed their power (1 Sam. 14:48; 15:3), and David recovered booty from them (1 Sam. 30:18-20). In the Babylonian inscriptions they are called Sute, in those of Egypt Sittiu, and the Amarna tablets include them under the general name of Khabbati, or "plunderers."
(1.) The Hebrew margin of 2 Kings 5:12 gives this as another reading of Abana (q.v.), a stream near Damascus.
(2.) A mountain (Cant. 4:8), probably the southern summit of Anti-Libanus, at the base of which are the sources of the Abana.
Amariah said by Jehovah.
(1.) One of the descendants of Aaron by Eleazar (1 Chr. 6:7,52). He was probably the last of the high priests of Eleazar's line prior to the transfer of that office to Eli, of the line of Ithamar.
(2.) A Levite, son of Hebron, of the lineage of Moses (1 Chr. 23:19; 24:23).
(3.) A "chief priest" who took an active part in the reformation under Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 19:11); probably the same as mentioned in 1 Chr. 6:9.
(4.) 1 Chr. 6:11; Ezra 7:3.
(5.) One of the high priests in the time of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 31:15).
(6.) Zeph. 1:1.
(7.) Neh. 11:4.
(8.) Neh. 10:3.
(9.) Ezra 10:42.
(1.) The son of Abigail, a sister of king David (1 Chr. 2:17; 2 Sam. 17:25). He was appointed by David to command the army in room of his cousin Joab (2 Sam. 19:13), who afterwards treacherously put him to death as a dangerous rival (2 Sam. 20:4-12).
(2.) A son of Hadlai, and chief of Ephraim (2 Chr. 28:12) in the reign of Ahaz.
(1.) A Levite, son of Elkanah, of the ancestry of Samuel (1 Chr. 6:25, 35).
(2.) The leader of a body of men who joined David in the "stronghold," probably of Adullam (1 Chr. 12:18).
(3.) One of the priests appointed to precede the ark with blowing of trumpets on its removal from the house of Obed-edom (1 Chr. 15:24).
(4.) The father of a Levite, one of the two Kohathites who took a prominent part at the instance of Hezekiah in the cleansing of the temple (2 Chr. 29:12).
Amashai the son of Azareel, appointed by Nehemiah to reside at Jerusalem and do the work of the temple (Neh. 11:13).
Amasiah burden of (i.e., "sustained by") Jehovah, the "son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself unto the Lord," a captain over thousands under Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 17:16; comp. Judg. 5:9).
Amaziah strengthened by Jehovah.
(1.) A Levite, son of Hilkiah, of the descendants of Ethan the Merarite (1 Chr. 6:45).
(2.) The son and successor of Joash, and eighth king of the separate kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 14:1-4). He began his reign by punishing the murderers of his father (5-7; 2 Chr. 25:3-5). He was the first to employ a mercenary army of 100,000 Israelite soldiers, which he did in his attempt to bring the Edomites again under the yoke of Judah (2 Chr. 25:5, 6). He was commanded by a prophet of the Lord to send back the mercenaries, which he did (2 Chr. 25:7-10, 13), much to their annoyance. His obedience to this command was followed by a decisive victory over the Edomites (2 Chr. 25:14-16). Amaziah began to worship some of the idols he took from the Edomites, and this was his ruin, for he was vanquished by Joash, king of Israel, whom he challenged to battle. The disaster he thus brought upon Judah by his infatuation in proclaiming war against Israel probably occasioned the conspiracy by which he lost his life (2 Kings 14:8-14, 19). He was slain at Lachish, whither he had fled, and his body was brought upon horses to Jerusalem, where it was buried in the royal sepulchre (2 Kings 14:19, 20; 2 Chr. 25:27, 28).
(3.) A priest of the golden calves at Bethel (Amos 7:10-17).
(4.) The father of Joshah, one of the Simeonite chiefs in the time of Hezekiah (1 Chr. 4:34).
Ambassador In the Old Testament the Hebrew word _tsir_, meaning "one who goes on an errand," is rendered thus (Josh. 9:4; Prov. 13:17; Isa. 18:2; Jer. 49:14; Obad. 1:1). This is also the rendering of _melits_, meaning "an interpreter," in 2 Chr. 32:31; and of _malak_, a "messenger," in 2 Chr. 35:21; Isa. 30:4; 33:7; Ezek. 17:15. This is the name used by the apostle as designating those who are appointed by God to declare his will (2 Cor. 5:20; Eph. 6:20). The Hebrews on various occasions and for various purposes had recourse to the services of ambassadors, e.g., to contract alliances (Josh. 9:4), to solicit favours (Num. 20:14), to remonstrate when wrong was done (Judg. 11:12), to condole with a young king on the death of his father (2 Sam. 10:2), and to congratulate a king on his accession to the throne (1 Kings 5:1). To do injury to an ambassador was to insult the king who sent him (2 Sam. 10:5).
Amber (Ezek. 1:4, 27; 8:2. Heb., hashmal, rendered by the LXX. elektron, and by the Vulgate electrum), a metal compounded of silver and gold. Some translate the word by "polished brass," others "fine brass," as in Rev. 1:15; 2:18. It was probably the mixture now called electrum. The word has no connection, however, with what is now called amber, which is a gummy substance, reckoned as belonging to the mineral kingdom though of vegetable origin, a fossil resin.
Ambush Joshua at the capture of Ai lay in ambush, and so deceived the inhabitants that he gained an easy victory (Josh. 8:4-26). Shechem was taken in this manner (Judg. 9:30-45. Comp. Jer. 51:12).
Amen This Hebrew word means firm, and hence also faithful (Rev. 3:14). In Isa. 65:16, the Authorized Version has "the God of truth," which in Hebrew is "the God of Amen." It is frequently used by our Saviour to give emphasis to his words, where it is translated "verily." Sometimes, only, however, in John's Gospel, it is repeated, "Verily, verily." It is used as an epithet of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 3:14). It is found singly and sometimes doubly at the end of prayers (Ps. 41:13; 72:19; 89:52), to confirm the words and invoke the fulfilment of them. It is used in token of being bound by an oath (Num. 5:22; Deut. 27:15-26; Neh. 5:13; 8:6; 1 Chr. 16:36). In the primitive churches it was common for the general audience to say "Amen" at the close of the prayer (1 Cor. 14:16). The promises of God are Amen; i.e., they are all true and sure (2 Cor. 1:20).
Amethyst one of the precious stones in the breastplate of the high priest (Ex. 28:19; 39:12), and in the foundation of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:20). The ancients thought that this stone had the power of dispelling drunkenness in all who wore or touched it, and hence its Greek name formed from _a_, "privative," and _methuo_, "to get drunk." Its Jewish name, _ahlamah'_, was derived by the rabbins from the Hebrew word _halam_, "to dream," from its supposed power of causing the wearer to dream. It is a pale-blue crystallized quartz, varying to a dark purple blue. It is found in Persia and India, also in different parts of Europe.
Amittai true, the father of Jonah the prophet, a native of Gath-hepher (2 Kings 14:25; Jonah 1:1).
Ammah a cubit, the name of a hill which Joab and Abishai reached as the sun went down, when they were in pursuit of Abner (2 Sam. 2:24). It lay to the east of Gibeon.
Ammi my people, a name given by Jehovah to the people of Israel (Hos. 2:1, 23. Comp. 1:9; Ezek. 16:8; Rom. 9:25, 26; 1 Pet. 2:10).
Ammiel people of God.
(1.) One of the twelve spies sent by Moses to search the land of Canaan (Num. 13:12). He was one of the ten who perished by the plague for their unfavourable report (Num. 14:37).
(2.) The father of Machir of Lo-debar, in whose house Mephibosheth resided (2 Sam. 9:4, 5; 17:27).
(3.) The father of Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, and afterwards of David (1 Chr. 3:5). He is called Eliam in 2 Sam. 11:3.
(4.) One of the sons of Obed-edom the Levite (1 Chr. 26:5).
Ammihud people of glory; i.e., "renowned."
(1.) The father of the Ephraimite chief Elishama, at the time of the Exodus (Num. 1:10; 2:18; 7:48, 53).
(2.) Num. 34:20.
(3.) Num. 34:28.
(4.) The father of Talmai, king of Geshur, to whom Absalom fled after the murder of Amnon (2 Sam. 13:37).
(5.) The son of Omri, and the father of Uthai (1 Chr. 9:4).
Amminadab kindred of the prince.
(1.) The father of Nahshon, who was chief of the tribe of Judah (Num. 1:7; 2:3; 7:12, 17; 10:14). His daughter Elisheba was married to Aaron (Ex. 6:23).
(2.) A son of Kohath, the second son of Levi (1 Chr. 6:22), called also Izhar (2, 18).
(3.) Chief of the 112 descendants of Uzziel the Levite (1 Chr. 15:10, 11).
Amminadib a person mentioned in Cant. 6:12, whose chariots were famed for their swiftness. It is rendered in the margin "my willing people," and in the Revised Version "my princely people."
Ammishaddai people of the Almighty, the father of Ahiezer, who was chief of the Danites at the time of the Exodus (Num. 1:12; 2:25). This is one of the few names compounded with the name of God, Shaddai, "Almighty."
Ammizabad people of the giver, the son of Benaiah, who was the third and chief captain of the host under David (1 Chr. 27:6).
Ammon another form of the name Ben-ammi, the son of Lot (Gen. 19:38). This name is also used for his posterity (Ps. 83:7).
Ammonite the usual name of the descendants of Ammon, the son of Lot (Gen. 19:38). From the very beginning (Deut. 2:16-20) of their history till they are lost sight of (Judg. 5:2), this tribe is closely associated with the Moabites (Judg. 10:11; 2 Chr. 20:1; Zeph. 2:8). Both of these tribes hired Balaam to curse Israel (Deut. 23:4). The Ammonites were probably more of a predatory tribe, moving from place to place, while the Moabites were more settled. They inhabited the country east of the Jordan and north of Moab and the Dead Sea, from which they had expelled the Zamzummims or Zuzims (Deut. 2:20; Gen. 14:5). They are known as the Beni-ammi (Gen. 19:38), Ammi or Ammon being worshipped as their chief god. They were of Semitic origin, and closely related to the Hebrews in blood and language. They showed no kindness to the Israelites when passing through their territory, and therefore they were prohibited from "entering the congregation of the Lord to the tenth generation" (Deut. 23:3). They afterwards became hostile to Israel (Judg. 3:13). Jephthah waged war against them, and "took twenty cities with a very great slaughter" (Judg. 11:33). They were again signally defeated by Saul (1 Sam. 11:11). David also defeated them and their allies the Syrians (2 Sam. 10:6-14), and took their chief city, Rabbah, with much spoil (2 Sam. 10:14; 12:26-31). The subsequent events of their history are noted in 2 Chr. 20:25; 26:8; Jer. 49:1; Ezek. 25:3, 6. One of Solomon's wives was Naamah, an Ammonite. She was the mother of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:31; 2 Chr. 12:13). The prophets predicted fearful judgments against the Ammonites because of their hostility to Israel (Zeph. 2:8; Jer. 49:1-6; Ezek. 25:1-5, 10; Amos 1:13-15). The national idol worshipped by this people was Molech or Milcom, at whose altar they offered human sacrifices (1 Kings 11:5, 7). The high places built for this idol by Solomon, at the instigation of his Ammonitish wives, were not destroyed till the time of Josiah (2 Kings 23:13).
(1.) One of the sons of Shammai, of the children of Ezra (1 Chr. 4:20; comp. 17).
(2.) The eldest son of David, by Ahinoam of Jezreel (1 Chr. 3:1; 2 Sam. 3:2). Absalom caused him to be put to death for his great crime in the matter of Tamar (2 Sam. 13:28, 29).
(1.) The governor of Samaria in the time of Ahab. The prophet Micaiah was committed to his custody (1 Kings 22:26; 2 Chr. 18:25).
(2.) The son of Manasseh, and fourteenth king of Judah. He restored idolatry, and set up the images which his father had cast down. Zephaniah (1:4; 3:4, 11) refers to the moral depravity prevailing in this king's reign. He was assassinated (2 Kings 21:18-26: 2 Chr. 33:20-25) by his own servants, who conspired against him.
(3.) An Egyptian god, usually depicted with a human body and the head of a ram, referred to in Jer. 46:25, where the word "multitudes" in the Authorized Version is more appropriately rendered "Amon" in the Revised Version. In Nah. 3:8 the expression "populous No" of the Authorized version is rendered in the Revised Version "No-amon." Amon is identified with Ra, the sun-god of Heliopolis.
(4.) Neh. 7:59.
Amorites 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 Palestine, 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. Comp. 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. Comp. 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).
Amos borne; a burden, one of the twelve minor prophets. He
was a native of Tekota, the modern Tekua, a town about 12 miles
south-east of Bethlehem. He was a man of humble birth, neither a
"prophet nor a prophet's son," but "an herdman and a
dresser of sycomore trees," R.V. He prophesied in the days of
Uzziah, king of Judah, and was contemporary with Isaiah and Hosea
(Amos 1:1; 7:14, 15; Zech. 14:5), who survived him a few years. Under
Jeroboam II. the kingdom of Israel rose to the zenith of its
prosperity; but that was followed by the prevalence of luxury and
vice and idolatry. At this period Amos was called from his obscurity
to remind the people of the law of God's retributive justice, and to
call them to repentance. The Book of Amos consists of three parts:
(1.) The nations around are summoned to judgment because of their sins (1:1-2:3). He quotes Joel 3:16.
(2.) The spiritual condition of Judah, and especially of Israel, is described (2:4-6:14).
(3.) In 7:1-9:10 are recorded five prophetic visions. (a) The first two (7:1-6) refer to judgments against the guilty people. (b) The next two (7:7-9; 8:1-3) point out the ripeness of the people for the threatened judgements. 7:10-17 consists of a conversation between the prophet and the priest of Bethel. (c) The fifth describes the overthrow and ruin of Israel (9:1-10); to which is added the promise of the restoration of the kingdom and its final glory in the Messiah's kingdom. The style is peculiar in the number of the allusions made to natural objects and to agricultural occupations. Other allusions show also that Amos was a student of the law as well as a "child of nature." These phrases are peculiar to him: "Cleanness of teeth" [i.e., want of bread] (4:6); "The excellency of Jacob" (6:8; 8:7); "The high places of Isaac" (7:9); "The house of Isaac" (7:16); "He that createth the wind" (4:13). Quoted, Acts 7:42.
Amoz strong, the father of the prophet Isaiah (2 Kings 19:2, 20; 20:1; Isa. 1:1; 2:1). As to his personal history little is positively known. He is supposed by some to have been the "man of God" spoken of in 2 Chr. 25:7, 8.
Amphipolis city on both sides, a Macedonian city, a great Roman military station, through which Paul and Silas passed on their way from Philippi to Thessalonica, a distance of 33 Roman miles from Philippi (Acts 17:1).
Amplias a Roman Christian saluted by Paul (Rom. 16:8).
Amram kindred of the High; i.e., "friend of Jehovah."
(1.) The son of Kohath, the son of Levi. He married Jochebed, "his father's sister," and was the father of Aaron, Miriam, and Moses (Ex. 6:18, 20; Num. 3:19). He died in Egypt at the age of 137 years (Ex. 6:20). His descendants were called Amramites (Num. 3:27; 1 Chr. 26:23).
(2.) Ezra 10:34.
Amraphel king of Shinar, southern Chaldea, one of the confederates of Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, in a war against Sodom and cities of the plain (Gen. 14:1, 4). It is now found that Amraphel (or Ammirapaltu) is the Khammu-rabi whose name appears on recently-discovered monuments. (See CHEDORLAOMER). After defeating Arioch (q.v.) he united Babylonia under one rule, and made Babylon his capital.
Anab grape-town, one of the cities in the mountains of Judah, from which Joshua expelled the Anakim (Josh. 11:21; 15:50). It still retains its ancient name. It lies among the hills, 10 miles south-south-west of Hebron.
(1.) One of the sons of Seir, and head of an Idumean tribe, called a Horite, as in course of time all the branches of this tribe were called from their dwelling in caves in Mount Seir (Gen. 36:20, 29; 1 Chr. 1:38).
(2.) One of the two sons of Zibeon the Horite, and father of Esau's wife Aholibamah (Gen. 36:18, 24).
Anak long-necked, the son of Arba, father of the Anakim (Josh. 15:13; 21:11, Heb. _Anok_).
Anakim the descendants of Anak (Josh. 11:21; Num. 13:33; Deut. 9:2). They dwelt in the south of Palestine, in the neighbourhood of Hebron (Gen. 23:2; Josh. 15:13). In the days of Abraham (Gen. 14:5, 6) they inhabited the region afterwards known as Edom and Moab, east of the Jordan. They were probably a remnant of the original inhabitants of Palestine before the Canaanites, a Cushite tribe from Babel, and of the same race as the Phoenicians and the Egyptian shepherd kings. Their formidable warlike appearance, as described by the spies sent to search the land, filled the Israelites with terror. They seem to have identified them with the Nephilim, the "giants" (Gen. 6:4; Num. 13:33) of the antediluvian age. There were various tribes of Anakim (Josh. 15:14). Joshua finally expelled them from the land, except a remnant that found a refuge in the cities of Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod (Josh. 11:22). The Philistine giants whom David encountered (2 Sam. 21:15-22) were descendants of the Anakim. (See GIANTS.)
Anamim the name of an Egyptian tribe descended from Mizraim (Gen. 10:13; 1 Chr. 1:11).
Anammelech one of the gods worshipped by the people of Sepharvaim, who colonized Samaria (2 Kings 17:31). The name means "Anu is king." It was a female deity representing the moon, as Adrammelech (q.v.) was the male representing the sun.
Anan cloud, one of the Israelites who sealed the covenant after the return from Babylon (Neh. 10:26).
Ananiah protected by Jehovah, the name of a town in the tribe of Benjamin between Nob and Hazor (Neh. 11:32). It is probably the modern Beit Hanina, a small village 3 miles north of Jerusalem.
Ananias a common Jewish name, the same as Hananiah.
(1.) One of the members of the church at Jerusalem, who conspired with his wife Sapphira to deceive the brethren, and who fell down and immediately expired after he had uttered the falsehood (Acts 5:5). By common agreement the members of the early Christian community devoted their property to the work of furthering the gospel and of assisting the poor and needy. The proceeds of the possessions they sold were placed at the disposal of the apostles (Acts 4:36, 37). Ananias might have kept his property had he so chosen; but he professed agreement with the brethren in the common purpose, and had of his own accord devoted it all, as he said, to these sacred ends. Yet he retained a part of it for his own ends, and thus lied in declaring that he had given it all. "The offence of Ananias and Sapphira showed contempt of God, vanity and ambition in the offenders, and utter disregard of the corruption which they were bringing into the society. Such sin, committed in despite of the light which they possessed, called for a special mark of divine indignation."
(2.) A Christian at Damascus (Acts 9:10). He became Paul's instructor; but when or by what means he himself became a Christian we have no information. He was "a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt" at Damascus (22:12).
(3.) The high priest before whom Paul was brought in the procuratorship of Felix (Acts 23:2, 5, 24). He was so enraged at Paul's noble declaration, "I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day," that he commanded one of his attendants to smite him on the mouth. Smarting under this unprovoked insult, Paul quickly replied, "God shall smite thee, thou whited wall." Being reminded that Ananias was the high priest, to whose office all respect was to be paid, he answered, "I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest" (Acts 23:5). This expression has occasioned some difficulty, as it is scarcely probable that Paul should have been ignorant of so public a fact. The expression may mean (a) that Paul had at the moment overlooked the honour due to the high priest; or (b), as others think, that Paul spoke ironically, as if he had said, "The high priest breaking the law! God's high priest a tyrant and a lawbreaker! I see a man in white robes, and have heard his voice, but surely it cannot, it ought not to be, the voice of the high priest." (See Dr. Lindsay on Acts, _in loco_.) (c) Others think that from defect of sight Paul could not observe that the speaker was the high priest. In all this, however, it may be explained, Paul, with all his excellency, comes short of the example of his divine Master, who, when he was reviled, reviled not again.
Anath an answer; i.e., to "prayer", the father of Shamgar, who was one of the judges of Israel (Judg. 3:31).
Anathema anything laid up or suspended; hence anything laid up in a temple or set apart as sacred. In this sense the form of the word is _anath(ee)ma_, once in plural used in the Greek New Testament, in Luke 21:5, where it is rendered "gifts." In the LXX. the form _anathema_ is generally used as the rendering of the Hebrew word _herem_, derived from a verb which means (1) to consecrate or devote; and (2) to exterminate. Any object so devoted to the Lord could not be redeemed (Num. 18:14; Lev. 27:28, 29); and hence the idea of exterminating connected with the word. The Hebrew verb (haram) is frequently used of the extermination of idolatrous nations. It had a wide range of application. The _anathema_ or _herem_ was a person or thing irrevocably devoted to God (Lev. 27:21, 28); and "none devoted shall be ransomed. He shall surely be put to death" (27:29). The word therefore carried the idea of devoted to destruction (Num. 21:2, 3; Josh. 6:17); and hence generally it meant a thing accursed. In Deut. 7:26 an idol is called a _herem_ = _anathema_, a thing accursed. In the New Testament this word always implies execration. In some cases an individual denounces an anathema on himself unless certain conditions are fulfilled (Acts 23:12, 14, 21). "To call Jesus accursed" [anathema] (1 Cor. 12:3) is to pronounce him execrated or accursed. If any one preached another gospel, the apostle says, "let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:8, 9); i.e., let his conduct in so doing be accounted accursed. In Rom. 9:3, the expression "accursed" (anathema) from Christ, i.e., excluded from fellowship or alliance with Christ, has occasioned much difficulty. The apostle here does not speak of his wish as a possible thing. It is simply a vehement expression of feeling, showing how strong was his desire for the salvation of his people. The anathema in 1 Cor. 16:22 denotes simply that they who love not the Lord are rightly objects of loathing and execration to all holy beings; they are guilty of a crime that merits the severest condemnation; they are exposed to the just sentence of "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord."
Anathoth the name of one of the cities of refuge, in the tribe of Benjamin (Josh. 21:18). The Jews, as a rule, did not change the names of the towns they found in Palestine; hence this town may be regarded as deriving its name from the goddess Anat. It was the native place of Abiezer, one of David's "thirty" (2 Sam. 23:27), and of Jehu, another of his mighty men (1 Chr. 12:3). It is chiefly notable, however, as the birth-place and usual residence of Jeremiah (Jer. 1:1; 11:21-23; 29:27; 32:7-9). It suffered greatly from the army of Sennacherib, and only 128 men returned to it from the Exile (Neh. 7:27; Ezra 2:23). It lay about 3 miles north of Jerusalem. It has been identified with the small and poor village of 'Anata, containing about 100 inhabitants.
Anchor From Acts 27:29, 30, 40, it would appear that the Roman vessels carried several anchors, which were attached to the stern as well as to the prow. The Roman anchor, like the modern one, had two teeth or flukes. In Heb. 6:19 the word is used metaphorically for that which supports or keeps one steadfast in the time of trial or of doubt. It is an emblem of hope. "If you fear, Put all your trust in God: that anchor holds."
Ancient of Days an expression applied to Jehovah three times in the vision of Daniel (7:9, 13, 22) in the sense of eternal. In contrast with all earthly kings, his days are past reckoning.
Andrew manliness, a Greek name; one of the apostles of our Lord. He was of Bethsaida in Galilee (John 1:44), and was the brother of Simon Peter (Matt. 4:18; 10:2). On one occasion John the Baptist, whose disciple he then was, pointing to Jesus, said, "Behold the Lamb of God" (John 1:40); and Andrew, hearing him, immediately became a follower of Jesus, the first of his disciples. After he had been led to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, his first care was to bring also his brother Simon to Jesus. The two brothers seem to have after this pursued for a while their usual calling as fishermen, and did not become the stated attendants of the Lord till after John's imprisonment (Matt. 4:18, 19; Mark 1:16, 17). Very little is related of Andrew. He was one of the confidential disciples (John 6:8; 12:22), and with Peter, James, and John inquired of our Lord privately regarding his future coming (Mark 13:3). He was present at the feeding of the five thousand (John 6:9), and he introduced the Greeks who desired to see Jesus (John 12:22); but of his subsequent history little is known. It is noteworthy that Andrew thrice brings others to Christ, (1) Peter; (2) the lad with the loaves; and (3) certain Greeks. These incidents may be regarded as a key to his character.
Andronicus man-conquering, a Jewish Christian, the kinsman and fellowprisoner of Paul (Rom. 16:7); "of note among the apostles."
Anem two fountains, a Levitical city in the tribe of Issachar (1 Chr. 6:73). It is also called En-gannim (q.v.) in Josh. 19:21; the modern Jenin.
Aner a boy.
(1.) A Canaanitish chief who joined his forces with those of Abraham in pursuit of Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:13,24).
(2.) A city of Manasseh given to the Levites of Kohath's family (1 Chr. 6:70).
Angel a word signifying, both in the Hebrew and Greek, a
"messenger," and hence employed to denote any agent God
sends forth to execute his purposes. It is used of an ordinary
messenger (Job 1:14: 1 Sam. 11:3; Luke 7:24; 9:52), of prophets (Isa.
42:19; Hag. 1:13), of priests (Mal. 2:7), and ministers of the New
Testament (Rev. 1:20). It is also applied to such impersonal agents
as the pestilence (2 Sam. 24:16, 17; 2 Kings 19:35), the wind (Ps.
104:4). But its distinctive application is to certain heavenly
intelligences whom God employs in carrying on his government of the
world. The name does not denote their nature but their office as
messengers. The appearances to Abraham at Mamre (Gen. 18:2, 22. Comp.
19:1), to Jacob at Peniel (Gen. 32:24, 30), to Joshua at Gilgal
(Josh. 5:13, 15), of the Angel of the Lord, were doubtless
manifestations of the Divine presence, "foreshadowings of the
incarnation," revelations before the "fulness of the time"
of the Son of God.
(1.) The existence and orders of angelic beings can only be discovered from the Scriptures. Although the Bible does not treat of this subject specially, yet there are numerous incidental details that furnish us with ample information. Their personal existence is plainly implied in such passages as Gen. 16:7, 10, 11; Judg. 13:1-21; Matt. 28:2-5; Heb. 1:4, etc. These superior beings are very numerous. "Thousand thousands," etc. (Dan. 7:10; Matt. 26:53; Luke 2:13; Heb. 12:22, 23). They are also spoken of as of different ranks in dignity and power (Zech. 1:9, 11; Dan. 10:13; 12:1; 1 Thess. 4:16; Jude 1:9; Eph. 1:21; Col. 1:16).
(2.) As to their nature, they are spirits (Heb. 1:14), like the soul of man, but not incorporeal. Such expressions as "like the angels" (Luke 20:36), and the fact that whenever angels appeared to man it was always in a human form (Gen. 18:2; 19:1, 10; Luke 24:4; Acts 1:10), and the titles that are applied to them ("sons of God," Job 1:6; 38:7; Dan. 3:25; comp. 28) and to men (Luke 3:38), seem all to indicate some resemblance between them and the human race. Imperfection is ascribed to them as creatures (Job 4:18; Matt. 24:36; 1 Pet. 1:12). As finite creatures they may fall under temptation; and accordingly we read of "fallen angels." Of the cause and manner of their "fall" we are wholly ignorant. We know only that "they left their first estate" (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 12:7,9), and that they are "reserved unto judgement" (2 Pet. 2:4). When the manna is called "angels' food," this is merely to denote its excellence (Ps. 78:25). Angels never die (Luke 20:36). They are possessed of superhuman intelligence and power (Mark 13:32; 2 Thess. 1:7; Ps. 103:20). They are called "holy" (Luke 9:26), "elect" (1 Tim. 5:21). The redeemed in glory are "like unto the angels" (Luke 20:36). They are not to be worshipped (Col. 2:18; Rev. 19:10).
(3.) Their functions are manifold. (a) In the widest sense they are agents of God's providence (Ex. 12:23; Ps. 104:4; Heb. 11:28; 1 Cor. 10:10; 2 Sam. 24:16; 1 Chr. 21:16; 2 Kings 19:35; Acts 12:23). (b) They are specially God's agents in carrying on his great work of redemption. There is no notice of angelic appearances to man till after the call of Abraham. From that time onward there are frequent references to their ministry on earth (Gen. 18; 19; 24:7, 40; 28:12; 32:1). They appear to rebuke idolatry (Judg. 2:1-4), to call Gideon (Judg. 6:11, 12), and to consecrate Samson (13:3). In the days of the prophets, from Samuel downward, the angels appear only in their behalf (1 Kings 19:5; 2 Kings 6:17; Zech. 1-6; Dan. 4:13, 23; 10:10, 13, 20, 21). The Incarnation introduces a new era in the ministrations of angels. They come with their Lord to earth to do him service while here. They predict his advent (Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:26-38), minister to him after his temptation and agony (Matt. 4:11; Luke 22:43), and declare his resurrection and ascension (Matt. 28:2-8; John 20:12, 13; Acts 1:10, 11). They are now ministering spirits to the people of God (Heb. 1:14; Ps. 34:7; 91:11; Matt. 18:10; Acts 5:19; 8:26; 10:3; 12:7; 27:23). They rejoice over a penitent sinner (Luke 15:10). They bear the souls of the redeemed to paradise (Luke 16:22); and they will be the ministers of judgement hereafter on the great day (Matt. 13:39, 41, 49; 16:27; 24:31). The passages (Ps. 34:7, Matt. 18:10) usually referred to in support of the idea that every individual has a particular guardian angel have no such meaning. They merely indicate that God employs the ministry of angels to deliver his people from affliction and danger, and that the angels do not think it below their dignity to minister even to children and to the least among Christ's disciples. The "angel of his presence" (Isa. 63:9. Comp. Ex. 23:20, 21; 32:34; 33:2; Num. 20:16) is probably rightly interpreted of the Messiah as the guide of his people. Others have supposed the expression to refer to Gabriel (Luke 1:19).
Anger the emotion of instant displeasure on account of something evil that presents itself to our view. In itself it is an original susceptibility of our nature, just as love is, and is not necessarily sinful. It may, however, become sinful when causeless, or excessive, or protracted (Matt. 5:22; Eph. 4:26; Col. 3:8). As ascribed to God, it merely denotes his displeasure with sin and with sinners (Ps. 7:11).
Anim fountains, a city in the mountains of Judah (Josh. 15:50), now el-Ghuwein, near Eshtemoh, about 10 miles south-west of Hebron.
Animal an organized living creature endowed with sensation. The Levitical law divided animals into clean and unclean, although the distinction seems to have existed before the Flood (Gen. 7:2). The clean could be offered in sacrifice and eaten. All animals that had not cloven hoofs and did not chew the cud were unclean. The list of clean and unclean quadrupeds is set forth in the Levitical law (Deut. 14:3-20; Lev. 11).
Anise This word is found only in Matt. 23:23. It is the plant commonly known by the name of dill, the Peucedanum graveolens of the botanist. This name dill is derived from a Norse word which means to soothe, the plant having the carminative property of allaying pain. The common dill, the Anethum graveolens, is an annual growing wild in the cornfields of Spain and Portugal and the south of Europe generally. There is also a species of dill cultivated in Eastern countries known by the name of shubit. It was this species of garden plant of which the Pharisees were in the habit of paying tithes. The Talmud requires that the seeds, leaves, and stem of dill shall pay tithes. It is an umbelliferous plant, very like the caraway, its leaves, which are aromatic, being used in soups and pickles. The proper anise is the Pimpinella anisum.
Anna grace, an aged widow, the daughter of Phanuel. She was a "prophetess," like Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah (2 Chr. 34:22). After seven years of married life her husband died, and during her long widowhood she daily attended the temple services. When she was eighty-four years old, she entered the temple at the moment when the aged Simeon uttered his memorable words of praise and thanks to God that he had fulfilled his ancient promise in sending his Son into the world (Luke 2:36, 37).
Annas was high priest A.D. 7-14. In A.D. 25 Caiaphas, who had married the daughter of Annas (John 18:13), was raised to that office, and probably Annas was now made president of the Sanhedrim, or deputy or coadjutor of the high priest, and thus was also called high priest along with Caiaphas (Luke 3:2). By the Mosaic law the high-priesthood was held for life (Num. 3:10); and although Annas had been deposed by the Roman procurator, the Jews may still have regarded him as legally the high priest. Our Lord was first brought before Annas, and after a brief questioning of him (John 18:19-23) was sent to Caiaphas, when some members of the Sanhedrim had met, and the first trial of Jesus took place (Matt. 26:57-68). This examination of our Lord before Annas is recorded only by John. Annas was president of the Sanhedrim before which Peter and John were brought (Acts 4:6).
Anoint The practice of anointing with perfumed oil was
common among the Hebrews.
(1.) The act of anointing was significant of consecration to a holy or sacred use; hence the anointing of the high priest (Ex. 29:29; Lev. 4:3) and of the sacred vessels (Ex. 30:26). The high priest and the king are thus called "the anointed" (Lev. 4:3, 5, 16; 6:20; Ps. 132:10). Anointing a king was equivalent to crowning him (1 Sam. 16:13; 2 Sam. 2:4, etc.). Prophets were also anointed (1 Kings 19:16; 1 Chr. 16:22; Ps. 105:15). The expression, "anoint the shield" (Isa. 21:5), refers to the custom of rubbing oil on the leather of the shield so as to make it supple and fit for use in war.
(2.) Anointing was also an act of hospitality (Luke 7:38, 46). It was the custom of the Jews in like manner to anoint themselves with oil, as a means of refreshing or invigorating their bodies (Deut. 28:40; Ruth 3:3; 2 Sam. 14:2; Ps. 104:15, etc.). This custom is continued among the Arabians to the present day.
(3.) Oil was used also for medicinal purposes. It was applied to the sick, and also to wounds (Ps. 109:18; Isa. 1:6; Mark 6:13; James 5:14).
(4.) The bodies of the dead were sometimes anointed (Mark 14:8; Luke 23:56).
(5.) The promised Deliverer is twice called the "Anointed" or Messiah (Ps. 2:2; Dan. 9:25, 26), because he was anointed with the Holy Ghost (Isa. 61:1), figuratively styled the "oil of gladness" (Ps. 45:7; Heb. 1:9). Jesus of Nazareth is this anointed One (John 1:41; Acts 9:22; 17:2, 3; 18:5, 28), the Messiah of the Old Testament.
Ant (Heb. nemalah, from a word meaning to creep, cut off, destroy), referred to in Prov. 6:6; 30:25, as distinguished for its prudent habits. Many ants in Palestine feed on animal substances, but others draw their nourishment partly or exclusively from vegetables. To the latter class belongs the ant to which Solomon refers. This ant gathers the seeds in the season of ripening, and stores them for future use; a habit that has been observed in ants in Texas, India, and Italy.
Antichrist against Christ, or an opposition Christ, a rival
Christ. The word is used only by the apostle John. Referring to false
teachers, he says (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7), "Even now
are there many antichrists."
(1.) This name has been applied to the "little horn" of the "king of fierce countenance" (Dan. 7:24, 25; 8:23-25).
(2.) It has been applied also to the "false Christs" spoken of by our Lord (Matt. 24:5, 23, 24).
(3.) To the "man of sin" described by Paul (2 Thess. 2:3, 4, 8-10).
(4.) And to the "beast from the sea" (Rev. 13:1; 17:1-18).
(1.) In Syria, on the river Orontes, about 16 miles from the Mediterranean, and some 300 miles north of Jerusalem. It was the metropolis of Syria, and afterwards became the capital of the Roman province in Asia. It ranked third, after Rome and Alexandria, in point of importance, of the cities of the Roman empire. It was called the "first city of the East." Christianity was early introduced into it (Acts 11:19, 21, 24), and the name "Christian" was first applied here to its professors (Acts 11:26). It is intimately connected with the early history of the gospel (Acts 6:5; 11:19, 27, 28, 30; 12:25; 15:22-35; Gal. 2:11, 12). It was the great central point whence missionaries to the Gentiles were sent forth. It was the birth-place of the famous Christian father Chrysostom, who died A.D. 407. It bears the modern name of Antakia, and is now a miserable, decaying Turkish town. Like Philippi, it was raised to the rank of a Roman colony. Such colonies were ruled by "praetors" (R.V. marg., Acts 16:20, 21).
(2.) In the extreme north of Pisidia; was visited by Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey (Acts 13:14). Here they found a synagogue and many proselytes. They met with great success in preaching the gospel, but the Jews stirred up a violent opposition against them, and they were obliged to leave the place. On his return, Paul again visited Antioch for the purpose of confirming the disciples (Acts 14:21). It has been identified with the modern Yalobatch, lying to the east of Ephesus.
Antiochus the name of several Syrian kings from B.C. 280 to
B.C. 65. The most notable of these were,
(1.) Antiochus the Great, who ascended the throne B.C. 223. He is regarded as the "king of the north" referred to in Dan. 11:13-19. He was succeeded (B.C. 187) by his son, Seleucus Philopater, spoken of by Daniel (11:20) as "a raiser of taxes", in the Revised Version, "one that shall cause an exactor to pass through the glory of the kingdom."
(2.) Antiochus IV., surnamed "Epiphanes" i.e., the Illustrious, succeeded his brother Seleucus (B.C. 175). His career and character are prophetically described by Daniel (11:21-32). He was a "vile person." In a spirit of revenge he organized an expedition against Jerusalem, which he destroyed, putting vast multitudes of its inhabitants to death in the most cruel manner. From this time the Jews began the great war of independence under their heroic Maccabean leaders with marked success, defeating the armies of Antiochus that were sent against them. Enraged at this, Antiochus marched against them in person, threatening utterly to exterminate the nation; but on the way he was suddenly arrested by the hand of death (B.C. 164).
(1.) Herod Antipas, a son of Herod the Great by his Samaritan wife Malthace. He was tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea during the whole period of our Lord's life on earth (Luke 23:7). He was a frivolous and vain prince, and was chargeable with many infamous crimes (Mark 8:15; Luke 3:19; 13:31, 32). He beheaded John the Baptist (Matt. 14:1-12) at the instigation of Herodias, the wife of his half-brother Herod-Philip, whom he had married. Pilate sent Christ to him when he was at Jerusalem at the Passover (Luke 23:7). He asked some idle questions of him, and after causing him to be mocked, sent him back again to Pilate. The wife of Chuza, his house-steward, was one of our Lord's disciples (Luke 8:3).
(2.) A "faithful martyr" (Rev. 2:13), of whom nothing more is certainly known.
Antipatris a city built by Herod the Great, and called by this name in honour of his father, Antipater. It lay between Caesarea and Lydda, two miles inland, on the great Roman road from Caesarea to Jerusalem. To this place Paul was brought by night (Acts 23:31) on his way to Caesarea, from which it was distant 28 miles. It is identified with the modern, Ras-el-Ain, where rise the springs of Aujeh, the largest springs in Palestine.
Antonia a fortress in Jerusalem, at the north-west corner of the temple area. It is called "the castle" (Acts 21:34, 37). From the stairs of this castle Paul delivered his famous speech to the multitude in the area below (Acts 22:1-21). It was originally a place in which were kept the vestments of the high priest. Herod fortified it, and called it Antonia in honour of his friend Mark Antony. It was of great size, and commanded the temple. It was built on a plateau of rock, separated on the north from the hill Bezetha by a ditch about 30 feet deep and 165 feet wide.
Antothite an inhabitant of Anathoth, found only in 1 Chr. 11:28; 12:3. In 2 Sam. 23:27 it is Anethothite; in 1 Chr. 27:12, Anetothite. (R.V., "Anathothite.")
Anvil the rendering of the Hebrew word , "beaten," found only in Isa. 41:7.
Ape an animal of the monkey tribe (1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chr. 9:21). It was brought from India by the fleets of Solomon and Hiram, and was called by the Hebrews _koph_, and by the Greeks _kepos_, both words being just the Indian Tamil name of the monkey, kapi, i.e., swift, nimble, active. No species of ape has ever been found in Palestine or the adjacent regions.
Apelles a Christian at Rome whom Paul salutes (Rom. 16:10), and styles "approved in Christ."
Apharsachites a company of the colonists whom the Assyrian king planted in Samaria (Ezra 5:6; 6:6).
Apharsites another of the tribes removed to Samaria (Ezra 4:9), or perhaps the same as the preceding.
Aphik (Judg. 1:31); Aphek (Josh. 13:4; 19:30), stronghold.
(1.) A city of the tribe of Asher. It was the scene of the licentious worship of the Syrian Aphrodite. The ruins of the temple, "magnificent ruins" in a "spot of strange wildness and beauty", are still seen at Afka, on the north-west slopes of Lebanon, near the source of the river Adonis (now Nahr Ibrahim), 12 miles east of Gebal.
(2.) A city of the tribe of Issachar, near to Jezreel (1 Sam. 4:1; 29:1; comp. 28:4).
(3.) A town on the road from Damascus to Palestine, in the level plain east of Jordan, near which Benhadad was defeated by the Israelites (1 Kings 20:26, 30; 2 Kings 13:17). It has been identified with the modern Fik, 6 miles east of the Sea of Galilee, opposite Tiberias.
Apocalypse the Greek name of the Book of Revelation (q.v.).
Apocrypha hidden, spurious, the name given to certain
ancient books which found a place in the LXX. and Latin Vulgate
versions of the Old Testament, and were appended to all the great
translations made from them in the sixteenth century, but which have
no claim to be regarded as in any sense parts of the inspired Word.
(1.) They are not once quoted by the New Testament writers, who frequently quote from the LXX. Our Lord and his apostles confirmed by their authority the ordinary Jewish canon, which was the same in all respects as we now have it.
(2.) These books were written not in Hebrew but in Greek, and during the "period of silence," from the time of Malachi, after which oracles and direct revelations from God ceased till the Christian era.
(3.) The contents of the books themselves show that they were no part of Scripture. The Old Testament Apocrypha consists of fourteen books, the chief of which are the Books of the Maccabees (q.v.), the Books of Esdras, the Book of Wisdom, the Book of Baruch, the Book of Esther, Ecclesiasticus, Tobit, Judith, etc. The New Testament Apocrypha consists of a very extensive literature, which bears distinct evidences of its non-apostolic origin, and is utterly unworthy of regard.
Apollonia a city of Macedonia between Amphipolis and Thessalonica, from which it was distant about 36 miles. Paul and Silas passed through it on their way to Thessalonica (Acts 17:1).
Apollos a Jew "born at Alexandria," a man well versed in the Scriptures and eloquent (Acts 18:24; R.V., "learned"). He came to Ephesus (about A.D. 49), where he spake "boldly" in the synagogue (18:26), although he did not know as yet that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. Aquila and Priscilla instructed him more perfectly in "the way of God", i.e., in the knowledge of Christ. He then proceeded to Corinth, where he met Paul (Acts 18:27; 19:1). He was there very useful in watering the good seed Paul had sown (1 Cor. 1:12), and in gaining many to Christ. His disciples were much attached to him (1 Cor. 3:4-7, 22). He was with Paul at Ephesus when he wrote the First Epistle to the Corinthians; and Paul makes kindly reference to him in his letter to Titus (3:13). Some have supposed, although without sufficient ground, that he was the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Apollyon destroyer, the name given to the king of the hosts represented by the locusts (Rev. 9:11). It is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Abaddon (q.v.).
Apostle a person sent by another; a messenger; envoy. This
word is once used as a descriptive designation of Jesus Christ, the
Sent of the Father (Heb. 3:1; John 20:21). It is, however, generally
used as designating the body of disciples to whom he intrusted the
organization of his church and the dissemination of his gospel, "the
twelve," as they are called (Matt. 10:1-5; Mark 3:14; 6:7; Luke
6:13; 9:1). We have four lists of the apostles, one by each of the
synoptic evangelists (Matt. 10:2-4; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14), and one in
the Acts (1:13). No two of these lists, however, perfectly coincide.
Our Lord gave them the "keys of the kingdom," and by the
gift of his Spirit fitted them to be the founders and governors of
his church (John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-15). To them, as
representing his church, he gave the commission to "preach the
gospel to every creature" (Matt. 28:18-20). After his ascension
he communicated to them, according to his promise, supernatural gifts
to qualify them for the discharge of their duties (Acts 2:4; 1 Cor.
2:16; 2:7, 10, 13; 2 Cor. 5:20; 1 Cor. 11:2). Judas Iscariot, one of
"the twelve," fell by transgression, and Matthias was
substituted in his place (Acts 1:21). Saul of Tarsus was afterwards
added to their number (Acts 9:3-20; 20:4; 26:15-18; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2:7;
2 Tim. 1:11). Luke has given some account of Peter, John, and the two
Jameses (Acts 12:2, 17; 15:13; 21:18), but beyond this we know
nothing from authentic history of the rest of the original twelve.
After the martyrdom of James the Greater (Acts 12:2), James the Less
usually resided at Jerusalem, while Paul, "the apostle of the
uncircumcision," usually travelled as a missionary among the
Gentiles (Gal. 2:8). It was characteristic of the apostles and
necessary (1) that they should have seen the Lord, and been able to
testify of him and of his resurrection from personal knowledge (John
15:27; Acts 1:21, 22; 1 Cor. 9:1; Acts 22:14, 15).
(2.) They must have been immediately called to that office by Christ (Luke 6:13; Gal. 1:1).
(3.) It was essential that they should be infallibly inspired, and thus secured against all error and mistake in their public teaching, whether by word or by writing (John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Thess. 2:13).
(4.) Another qualification was the power of working miracles (Mark 16:20; Acts 2:43; 1 Cor. 12:8-11). The apostles therefore could have had no successors. They are the only authoritative teachers of the Christian doctrines. The office of an apostle ceased with its first holders. In 2 Cor. 8:23 and Phil. 2:25 the word "messenger" is the rendering of the same Greek word, elsewhere rendered "apostle."
Apothecary rendered in the margin and the Revised Version "perfumer," in Ex. 30:25; 37:29; Eccl. 10:1. The holy oils and ointments were prepared by priests properly qualified for this office. The feminine plural form of the Hebrew word is rendered "confectionaries" in 1 Sam. 8:13.
Apparel In Old Testament times the distinction between male
and female attire was not very marked. The statute forbidding men to
wear female apparel (Deut. 22:5) referred especially to ornaments and
head-dresses. Both men and women wore (1) an under garment or tunic,
which was bound by a girdle. One who had only this tunic on was
spoken of as "naked" (1 Sam. 19:24; Job 24:10; Isa. 20:2).
Those in high stations sometimes wore two tunics, the outer being
called the "upper garment" (1 Sam. 15:27; 18:4; 24:5; Job
(2.) They wore in common an over-garment ("mantle," Isa. 3:22; 1 Kings 19:13; 2 Kings 2:13), a loose and flowing robe. The folds of this upper garment could be formed into a lap (Ruth 3:15; Ps. 79:12; Prov. 17:23; Luke 6:38). Generals of armies usually wore scarlet robes (Judg. 8:26; Nah. 2:3). A form of conspicuous raiment is mentioned in Luke 20:46; comp. Matt. 23:5. Priests alone wore trousers. Both men and women wore turbans. Kings and nobles usually had a store of costly garments for festive occasions (Isa. 3:22; Zech. 3:4) and for presents (Gen. 45:22; Esther 4:4; 6:8, 11; 1 Sam. 18:4; 2 Kings 5:5; 10:22). Prophets and ascetics wore coarse garments (Isa. 20:2; Zech. 13:4; Matt. 3:4).
Appeal a reference of any case from an inferior to a superior court. Moses established in the wilderness a series of judicatories such that appeals could be made from a lower to a higher (Ex. 18:13-26.) Under the Roman law the most remarkable case of appeal is that of Paul from the tribunal of Festus at Caesarea to that of the emperor at Rome (Acts 25:11, 12, 21, 25). Paul availed himself of the privilege of a Roman citizen in this matter.
Apphia increasing, a female Christian at Colosse (Philemon 1:2), supposed by some to have been the wife of Philemon.
Appii Forum i.e., "the market of Appius" (Acts 28:15, R.V.), a town on the road, the "Appian Way," from Rome to Brundusium. It was 43 miles from Rome. Here Paul was met by some Roman Christians on his way to the capital. It was natural that they should halt here and wait for him, because from this place there were two ways by which travellers might journey to Rome.
Apple (Heb. tappuah, meaning "fragrance"). Probably the apricot or quince is intended by the word, as Palestine was too hot for the growth of apples proper. It is enumerated among the most valuable trees of Palestine (Joel 1:12), and frequently referred to in Canticles, and noted for its beauty (2:3, 5; 8:5). There is nothing to show that it was the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Dr. Tristram has suggested that the apricot has better claims than any other fruit-tree to be the apple of Scripture. It grows to a height of 30 feet, has a roundish mass of glossy leaves, and bears an orange coloured fruit that gives out a delicious perfume. The "apple of the eye" is the Heb. _ishon_, meaning manikin, i.e., the pupil of the eye (Prov. 7:2). (Comp. the promise, Zech. 2:8; the prayer, Ps. 17:8; and its fulfilment, Deut. 32:10.) The so-called "apple of Sodom" some have supposed to be the Solanum sanctum (Heb. hedek), rendered "brier" (q.v.) in Micah 7:4, a thorny plant bearing fruit like the potato-apple. This shrub abounds in the Jordan valley. (See ENGEDI.)
Apron found in the Authorized Version in Gen. 3:7, of the bands of fig-leaves made by our first parents. In Acts 19:12, it denotes the belt or half-girdle worn by artisans and servants round the waist for the purpose of preserving the clothing from injury. In marg. of Authorized Version, Ruth 3:15, correctly rendered instead of "vail." (R.V., "mantle.")
Aquila eagle, a native of Pontus, by occupation a tent-maker, whom Paul met on his first visit to Corinth (Acts 18:2). Along with his wife Priscilla he had fled from Rome in consequence of a decree (A.D. 50) by Claudius commanding all Jews to leave the city. Paul sojourned with him at Corinth, and they wrought together at their common trade, making Cilician hair-cloth for tents. On Paul's departure from Corinth after eighteen months, Aquila and his wife accompanied him to Ephesus, where they remained, while he proceeded to Syria (Acts 18:18, 26). When they became Christians we are not informed, but in Ephesus they were (1 Cor. 16:19) Paul's "helpers in Christ Jesus." We find them afterwards at Rome (Rom. 16:3), interesting themselves still in the cause of Christ. They are referred to some years after this as being at Ephesus (2 Tim. 4:19). This is the last notice we have of them.
Arab ambush, a city in the mountains of Judah (Josh. 15:52), now Er-Rabiyeh.
Arabah 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.
Arabia arid, an extensive region in the south-west of Asia.
It is bounded on the west by the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea, on
the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the east by the Persian Gulf
and the Euphrates. It extends far into the north in barren deserts,
meeting those of Syria and Mesopotamia. It is one of the few
countries of the world from which the original inhabitants have never
been expelled. It was anciently divided into three parts:,
(1.) Arabia Felix (Happy Arabia), so called from its fertility. It embraced a large portion of the country now known by the name of Arabia. The Arabs call it Yemen. It lies between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.
(2.) Arabia Deserta, the el-Badieh or "Great Wilderness" of the Arabs. From this name is derived that which is usually given to the nomadic tribes which wander over this region, the "Bedaween," or, more generally, "Bedouin,"
(3.) Arabia Petraea, i.e., the Rocky Arabia, so called from its rocky mountains and stony plains. It comprehended all the north-west portion of the country, and is much better known to travellers than any other portion. This country is, however, divided by modern geographers into (1) Arabia Proper, or the Arabian Peninsula; (2) Northern Arabia, or the Arabian Desert; and (3) Western Arabia, which includes the peninsula of Sinai and the Desert of Petra, originally inhabited by the Horites (Gen. 14:6, etc.), but in later times by the descendants of Esau, and known as the Land of Edom or Idumea, also as the Desert of Seir or Mount Seir. The whole land appears (Gen. 10) to have been inhabited by a variety of tribes of different lineage, Ishmaelites, Arabians, Idumeans, Horites, and Edomites; but at length becoming amalgamated, they came to be known by the general designation of Arabs. The modern nation of Arabs is predominantly Ishmaelite. Their language is the most developed and the richest of all the Semitic languages, and is of great value to the student of Hebrew. The Israelites wandered for forty years in Arabia. In the days of Solomon, and subsequently, commercial intercourse was to a considerable extent kept up with this country (1 Kings 10:15; 2 Chr. 9:14; 17:11). Arabians were present in Jerusalem at Pentecost (Acts 2:11). Paul retired for a season into Arabia after his conversion (Gal. 1:17). This country is frequently referred to by the prophets (Isa. 21:11; 42:11; Jer. 25:24, etc.)
(1.) Now Tell Arad, a Canaanite city, about 20 miles south of Hebron. The king of Arad "fought against Israel and took of them prisoners" when they were retreating from the confines of Edom (Num. 21:1; 33:40; Judg. 1:16). It was finally subdued by Joshua (12:14).
(2.) One of the sons of Beriah (1 Chr. 8:15).
Aram the son of Shem (Gen. 10:22); according to Gen. 22:21, a grandson of Nahor. In Matt. 1:3, 4, and Luke 3:33, this word is the Greek form of Ram, the father of Amminadab (1 Chr. 2:10). The word means high, or highlands, and as the name of a country denotes that elevated region extending from the northeast of Palestine to the Euphrates. It corresponded generally with the Syria and Mesopotamia of the Greeks and Romans. In Gen. 25:20; 31:20, 24; Deut. 26:5, the word "Syrian" is properly "Aramean" (R.V., marg.). Damascus became at length the capital of the several smaller kingdoms comprehended under the designation "Aram" or "Syria."
Aram-naharaim Aram of the two rivers, is Mesopotamia (as it is rendered in Gen. 24:10), the country enclosed between the Tigris on the east and the Euphrates on the west (Ps. 60, title); called also the "field of Aram" (Hos. 12:12, R.V.) i.e., the open country of Aram; in the Authorized Version, "country of Syria." Padan-aram (q.v.) was a portion of this country.
Aram-zobah (Ps. 60, title), probably the region between the Euphrates and the Orontes.
Aran wild goat, a descendant of Seir the Horite (Gen. 36:28).
Ararat sacred land or high land, the name of a country on one of the mountains of which the ark rested after the Flood subsided (Gen. 8:4). The "mountains" mentioned were probably the Kurdish range of South Armenia. In 2 Kings 19:37, Isa. 37:38, the word is rendered "Armenia" in the Authorized Version, but in the Revised Version, "Land of Ararat." In Jer. 51:27, the name denotes the central or southern portion of Armenia. It is, however, generally applied to a high and almost inaccessible mountain which rises majestically from the plain of the Araxes. It has two conical peaks, about 7 miles apart, the one 14,300 feet and the other 10,300 feet above the level of the plain. Three thousand feet of the summit of the higher of these peaks is covered with perpetual snow. It is called Kuh-i-nuh, i.e., "Noah's mountain", by the Persians. This part of Armenia was inhabited by a people who spoke a language unlike any other now known, though it may have been related to the modern Georgian. About B.C. 900 they borrowed the cuneiform characters of Nineveh, and from this time we have inscriptions of a line of kings who at times contended with Assyria. At the close of the seventh century B.C. the kingdom of Ararat came to an end, and the country was occupied by a people who are ancestors of the Armenians of the present day.
Araunah agile; also called Ornan 1 Chr. 21:15, a Jebusite who dwelt in Jerusalem before it was taken by the Israelites. The destroying angel, sent to punish David for his vanity in taking a census of the people, was stayed in his work of destruction near a threshing-floor belonging to Araunah which was situated on Mount Moriah. Araunah offered it to David as a free gift, together with the oxen and the threshing instruments; but the king insisted on purchasing it at its full price (2 Sam. 24:24; 1 Chr. 21:24, 25), for, according to the law of sacrifices, he could not offer to God what cost him nothing. On the same place Solomon afterwards erected the temple (2 Sam. 24:16; 2 Chr. 3:1). (See ALTAR.)
Arba four, a giant, father of Anak. From him the city of Hebron derived its name of Kirjath-arba, i.e., the city of Araba (Josh. 14:15; 15:13; 21:11; Gen. 13:18; 23:2). (See HEBRON.)
Arbathite a name given to Abi-albon, or, as elsewhere called, Abiel, one of David's warriors (2 Sam. 23:31; 1 Chr. 11:32), probably as being an inhabitant of Arabah (Josh. 15:61), a town in the wilderness of Judah.
Arch an architectural term found only in Ezek. 40:16, 21, 22, 26, 29. There is no absolute proof that the Israelites employed arches in their buildings. The arch was employed in the building of the pyramids of Egypt. The oldest existing arch is at Thebes, and bears the date B.C. 1350. There are also still found the remains of an arch, known as Robinson's Arch, of the bridge connecting Zion and Moriah. (See TYROPOEON VALLEY.)
Archangel (1Thess. 4:16; Jude 1:9), the prince of the angels.
Archelaus ruler of the people, son of Herod the Great, by Malthace, a Samaritan woman. He was educated along with his brother Antipas at Rome. He inherited from his father a third part of his kingdom viz., Idumea, Judea, and Samaria, and hence is called "king" (Matt. 2:22). It was for fear of him that Joseph and Mary turned aside on their way back from Egypt. Till a few days before his death Herod had named Antipas as his successor, but in his last moments he named Archelaus.
Archer a shooter with the bow (1 Chr. 10:3). This art was of high antiquity (Gen. 21:20; 27:3). Saul was wounded by the Philistine archers (1 Sam. 31:3). The phrase "breaking the bow" (Hos. 1:5; Jer. 49:35) is equivalent to taking away one's power, while "strengthening the bow" is a symbol of its increase (Gen. 49:24). The Persian archers were famous among the ancients (Isa. 13:18; Jer. 49:35; 50:9, 14, 29, 42. (See BOW).
Archevite one of the nations planted by the Assyrians in Samaria (Ezra 4:9); the men of Erech.
Archi a city on the boundary of Ephraim and Benjamin (Josh. 16:2), between Bethel and Beth-horon the nether.
Archippus master of the horse, a "fellow-soldier" of Paul's (Philemon 1:2), whom he exhorts to renewed activity (Col. 4:17). He was a member of Philemon's family, probably his son.
Archite the usual designation of Hushai (2 Sam. 15:32; 17:5, 14; 1 Chr. 27:33), who was a native of Archi. He was "the king's friend", i.e., he held office under David similar to that of our modern privy councillor.
Arcturus bear-keeper, the name given by the ancients to the brightest star in the constellation Bootes. In the Authorized Version (Job 9:9; 38:32) it is the rendering of the Hebrew word _'ash_, which probably designates the constellation the Great Bear. This word ('ash) is supposed to be derived from an Arabic word meaning night-watcher, because the Great Bear always revolves about the pole, and to our nothern hemisphere never sets.
Ard descent, a grandson of Benjamin (Num. 26:38-40). In 1 Chr. 8:3 he is called Addar. His descendants are mentioned in Num. 26:40.
Ardon descendant, the last of the three sons of Caleb by his first wife Azubah (1 Chr. 2:18).
Areopagite a member of the court of Areopagus (Acts 17:34).
Areopagus the Latin form of the Greek word rendered "Mars' hill." But it denotes also the council or court of justice which met in the open air on the hill. It was a rocky height to the west of the Acropolis at Athens, on the south-east summit of which the council was held which was constituted by Solon, and consisted of nine archons or chief magistrates who were then in office, and the ex-archons of blameless life. On this hill of Mars (Gr. Ares) Paul delivered his memorable address to the "men of Athens" (Acts 17:22-31).
Aretas the father-in-law of Herod Antipas, and king of Arabia Petraea. His daughter returned to him on the occasion of her husband's entering into an adulterous alliance with Herodias, the wife of Herod-Philip, his half-brother (Luke 3:19, 20; Mark 6:17; Matt. 14:3). This led to a war between Aretas and Herod Antipas. Herod's army was wholly destroyed (A.D. 36). Aretas, taking advantage of the complications of the times on account of the death of the Emperor Tiberius (A.D. 37), took possession of Damascus (2 Cor. 11:32; comp. Acts 9:25). At this time Paul returned to Damascus from Arabia.
Argob stony heap, an "island," as it has been called, of rock about 30 miles by 20, rising 20 or 30 feet above the table-land of Bashan; a region of crags and chasms wild and rugged in the extreme. On this "island" stood sixty walled cities, ruled over by Og. It is called Trachonitis ("the rugged region") in the New Testament (Luke 3:1). These cities were conquered by the Israelites (Deut. 3:4; 1 Kings 4:13). It is now called the Lejah. Here "sixty walled cities are still traceable in a space of 308 square miles. The architecture is ponderous and massive. Solid walls 4 feet thick, and stones on one another without cement; the roofs enormous slabs of basaltic rock, like iron; the doors and gates are of stone 18 inches thick, secured by ponderous bars. The land bears still the appearance of having been called the 'land of giants' under the giant Og." "I have more than once entered a deserted city in the evening, taken possession of a comfortable house, and spent the night in peace. Many of the houses in the ancient cities of Bashan are perfect, as if only finished yesterday. The walls are sound, the roofs unbroken, and even the window-shutters in their places. These ancient cities of Bashan probably contain the very oldest specimens of domestic architecture in the world" (Porter's Giant Cities). (See BASHAN.)
Arieh the lion, the name of one of the body-guard slain with Pekahiah at Samaria (2 Kings 15:25) by the conspirator Pekah.
Ariel the lion of God.
(1.) One of the chief men sent by Ezra to procure Levites for the sanctuary (Ezra 8:16).
(2.) A symbolic name for Jerusalem (Isa. 29:1, 2, 7) as "victorious under God," and in Ezek. 43:15, 16, for the altar (marg., Heb. 'ariel) of burnt offerings, the secret of Israel's lion-like strength.
Arimathea a "city of the Jews" (Luke 23:51), the birth-place of Joseph in whose sepulchre our Lord was laid (Matt. 27:57, 60; John 19:38). It is probably the same place as Ramathaim in Ephraim, and the birth-place of Samuel (1 Sam. 1:1, 19). Others identify it with Ramleh in Dan, or Rama (q.v.) in Benjamin (Matt. 2:18).
Arioch lion-like, venerable.
(1.) A king of Ellasar who was confederate with Chedorlamer (Gen. 14:1,9). The tablets recently discovered by Mr. Pinches (see CHALDEA) show the true reading is Eri-Aku of Larsa. This Elamite name meant "servant of the moon-god." It was afterwards changed into Rimsin, "Have mercy, O moon-god."
(2.) Dan. 2:14.
Aristarchus best ruler, native of Thessalonica (Acts 20:4), a companion of Paul (Acts 19:29; 27:2). He was Paul's "fellow-prisoner" at Rome (Col. 4:10; Philemon 1:24).
Aristobulus a Roman mentioned in Paul's Epistle to the Romans (16:10), whose "household" is saluated.
Ark Noah's ark, a building of gopher-wood, and covered with pitch, 300 cubits long, 50 cubits broad, and 30 cubits high (Gen. 6:14-16); an oblong floating house of three stories, with a door in the side and a window in the roof. It was 100 years in building (Gen. 5:32; 7:6). It was intended to preserve certain persons and animals from the deluge which God was about to bring over the earth. It contained eight persons (Gen. 7:13; 2 Pet. 2:5), and of all "clean" animals seven pairs, and of "unclean" one pair, and of birds seven pairs of each sort (Gen. 7:2, 3). It was in the form of an oblong square, with flat bottom and sloping roof. Traditions of the Deluge, by which the race of man was swept from the earth, and of the ark of Noah have been found existing among all nations. The ark of bulrushes in which the infant Moses was laid (Ex. 2:3) is called in the Hebrew _teebah_, a word derived from the Egyptian _teb_, meaning "a chest." It was daubed with slime and with pitch. The bulrushes of which it was made were the papyrus reed. The sacred ark is designated by a different Hebrew word, _'aron'_, which is the common name for a chest or coffer used for any purpose (Gen. 50:26; 2 Kings 12:9, 10). It is distinguished from all others by such titles as the "ark of God" (1 Sam. 3:3), "ark of the covenant" (Josh. 3:6; Heb. 9:4), "ark of the testimony" (Ex. 25:22). It was made of acacia or shittim wood, a cubit and a half broad and high and two cubits long, and covered all over with the purest gold. Its upper surface or lid, the mercy-seat, was surrounded with a rim of gold; and on each of the two sides were two gold rings, in which were placed two gold-covered poles by which the ark could be carried (Num. 7:9; 10:21; 4:5,19, 20; 1 Kings 8:3, 6). Over the ark, at the two extremities, were two cherubim, with their faces turned toward each other (Lev. 16:2; Num. 7:89). Their outspread wings over the top of the ark formed the throne of God, while the ark itself was his footstool (Ex. 25:10-22; 37:1-9). The ark was deposited in the "holy of holies," and was so placed that one end of the poles by which it was carried touched the veil which separated the two apartments of the tabernacle (1 Kings 8:8). The two tables of stone which constituted the "testimony" or evidence of God's covenant with the people (Deut. 31:26), the "pot of manna" (Ex. 16:33), and "Aaron's rod that budded" (Num. 17:10), were laid up in the ark (Heb. 9:4). (See TABERNACLE) The ark and the sanctuary were "the beauty of Israel" (Lam. 2:1). During the journeys of the Israelites the ark was carried by the priests in advance of the host (Num. 4:5, 6; 10:33-36; Ps. 68:1; 132:8). It was borne by the priests into the bed of the Jordan, which separated, opening a pathway for the whole of the host to pass over (Josh. 3:15, 16; 4:7, 10, 11, 17, 18). It was borne in the procession round Jericho (Josh. 6:4, 6, 8, 11, 12). When carried it was always wrapped in the veil, the badgers' skins, and blue cloth, and carefully concealed even from the eyes of the Levites who carried it. After the settlement of Israel in Palestine the ark remained in the tabernacle at Gilgal for a season, and was then removed to Shiloh till the time of Eli, between 300 and 400 years (Jer. 7:12), when it was carried into the field of battle so as to secure, as they supposed, victory to the Hebrews, and was taken by the Philistines (1 Sam. 4:3-11), who sent it back after retaining it seven months (1 Sam. 5:7, 8). It remained then at Kirjath-jearim (7:1,2) till the time of David (twenty years), who wished to remove it to Jerusalem; but the proper mode of removing it having been neglected, Uzzah was smitten with death for putting "forth his hand to the ark of God," and in consequence of this it was left in the house of Obed-edom in Gath-rimmon for three months (2 Sam. 6:1-11), at the end of which time David removed it in a grand procession to Jerusalem, where it was kept till a place was prepared for it (12-19). It was afterwards deposited by Solomon in the temple (1 Kings 8:6-9). When the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and plundered the temple, the ark was probably taken away by Nebuchadnezzar and destroyed, as no trace of it is afterwards to be found. The absence of the ark from the second temple was one of the points in which it was inferior to the first temple.
Arkite (Gen. 10:17; 1 Chr. 1:15), a designation of certain descendants from the Phoenicians or Sidonians, the inhabitants of Arka, 12 miles north of Tripoli, opposite the northern extremity of Lebanon.
Arm used to denote power (Ps. 10:15; Ezek. 30:21; Jer. 48:25). It is also used of the omnipotence of God (Ex. 15:16; Ps. 89:13; 98:1; 77:15; Isa. 53:1; John 12:38; Acts 13:17)
Armageddon occurs only in Rev. 16:16 (R.V., "Har-Magedon"), as symbolically designating the place where the "battle of that great day of God Almighty" (ver. 14) shall be fought. The word properly means the "mount of Megiddo." It is the scene of the final conflict between Christ and Antichrist. The idea of such a scene was suggested by the Old Testament great battle-field, the plain of Esdraelon (q.v.).
Armenia high land, occurs only in Authorized Version, 2 Kings 19:37; in Revised Version, "Ararat," which is the Hebrew word. A country in western Asia lying between the Caspian and the Black Sea. Here the ark of Noah rested after the Deluge (Gen. 8:4). It is for the most part high table-land, and is watered by the Aras, the Kur, the Euphrates, and the Tigris. Ararat was properly the name of a part of ancient Armenia. Three provinces of Armenia are mentioned in Jer. 51:27, Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz. Some, however, think Minni a contraction for Armenia. (See ARARAT.)
Armoni inhabitant of a fortress, the first-named of the two sons of Saul and Rizpah. He was delivered up to the Gibeonites by David, and hanged by them (2 Sam. 21:8, 9).
Armour is employed in the English Bible to denote military
equipment, both offensive and defensive.
(1.) The offensive weapons were different at different periods of history. The "rod of iron" (Ps. 2:9) is supposed to mean a mace or crowbar, an instrument of great power when used by a strong arm. The "maul" (Prov. 25:18; cognate Hebrew word rendered "battle-axe" in Jer. 51:20, and "slaughter weapon" in Ezek. 9:2) was a war-hammer or martel. The "sword" is the usual translation of _hereb_, which properly means "poniard." The real sword, as well as the dirk-sword (which was always double-edged), was also used (1 Sam. 17:39; 2 Sam. 20:8; 1 Kings 20:11). The spear was another offensive weapon (Josh. 8:18; 1 Sam. 17:7). The javelin was used by light troops (Num. 25:7, 8; 1 Sam. 13:22). Saul threw a javelin at David (1 Sam. 19:9, 10), and so virtually absolved him from his allegiance. The bow was, however, the chief weapon of offence. The arrows were carried in a quiver, the bow being always unbent till the moment of action (Gen. 27:3; 48:22; Ps. 18:34). The sling was a favourite weapon of the Benjamites (1 Sam. 17:40; 1 Chr. 12:2. Comp. 1 Sam. 25:29).
(2.) Of the defensive armour a chief place is assigned to the shield or buckler. There were the great shield or target (the _tzinnah_), for the protection of the whole person (Gen. 15:1; Ps. 47:9; 1 Sam. 17:7; Prov. 30:5), and the buckler (Heb. _mageen_) or small shield (1 Kings 10:17; Ezek. 26:8). In Ps. 91:4 "buckler" is properly a roundel appropriated to archers or slingers. The helmet (Ezek. 27:10; 1 Sam. 17:38), a covering for the head; the coat of mail or corselet (1 Sam. 17:5), or habergeon (Neh. 4;16), harness or breat-plate (Rev. 9:9), for the covering of the back and breast and both upper arms (Isa. 59:17; Eph. 6:14). The cuirass and corselet, composed of leather or quilted cloth, were also for the covering of the body. Greaves, for the covering of the legs, were worn in the time of David (1 Sam. 17:6). Reference is made by Paul (Eph. 6:14-17) to the panoply of a Roman soldier. The shield here is the thureon, a door-like oblong shield above all, i.e., covering the whole person, not the small round shield. There is no armour for the back, but only for the front.
Armour-bearer an officer selected by kings and generals because of his bravery, not only to bear their armour, but also to stand by them in the time of danger. They were the adjutants of our modern armies (Judg. 9:54; 1 Sam. 14:7; 16:21; 31:6).
Armoury the place in which armour was deposited when not used (Neh. 3:19; Jer. 50:25). At first each man of the Hebrews had his own arms, because all went to war. There were no arsenals or magazines for arms till the time of David, who had a large collection of arms, which he consecrated to the Lord in his tabernacle (1 Sa,. 21:9; 2 Sam. 8:7-12; 1 Chr. 26:26, 27).
Army The Israelites marched out of Egypt in military order (Ex. 13:18, "harnessed;" marg., "five in a rank"). Each tribe formed a battalion, with its own banner and leader (Num. 2:2; 10:14). In war the army was divided into thousands and hundreds under their several captains (Num. 31:14), and also into families (Num. 2:34; 2 Chr. 25:5; 26:12). From the time of their entering the land of Canaan to the time of the kings, the Israelites made little progress in military affairs, although often engaged in warfare. The kings introduced the custom of maintaining a bodyguard (the Gibborim; i.e., "heroes"), and thus the nucleus of a standing army was formed. Saul had an army of 3,000 select warriors (1 Sam. 13:2; 14:52; 24:2). David also had a band of soldiers around him (1 Sam. 23:13; 25:13). To this band he afterwards added the Cherethites and the Pelethites (2 Sam. 15:18; 20:7). At first the army consisted only of infantry (1 Sam. 4:10; 15:4), as the use of horses was prohibited (Deut. 17:16); but chariots and horses were afterwards added (2 Sam. 8:4; 1 Kings 10:26, 28, 29; 1 Kings 9:19). In 1 Kings 9:22 there is given a list of the various gradations of rank held by those who composed the army. The equipment and maintenance of the army were at the public expense (2 Sam. 17:28, 29; 1 Kings 4:27; 10:16, 17; Judg. 20:10). At the Exodus the number of males above twenty years capable of bearing arms was 600,000 (Ex. 12:37). In David's time it mounted to the number of 1,300,000 (2 Sam. 24:9).
Arnon 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.
(1.) A town on the north bank of the Arnon (Deut. 4:48; Judg. 11:26; 2 Kings 10:33), the southern boundary of the kingdom of Sihon (Josh. 12:2). It is now called Arair, 13 miles west of the Dead Sea.
(2.) One of the towns built by the tribe of Gad (Num. 32:34) "before Rabbah" (Josh. 13:25), the Ammonite capital. It was famous in the history of Jephthah (Judg. 11:33) and of David (2 Sam. 24:5). (Comp. Isa. 17:2; 2 Kings 15:29.)
(3.) A city in the south of Judah, 12 miles south-east of Beersheba, to which David sent presents after recovering the spoil from the Amalekites at Ziklag (1 Sam. 30:26, 28). It was the native city of two of David's warriors (1 Chr. 11:44). It is now called Ar'arah.
Arpad (Isa. 10:9; 36:19; 37:13), also Arphad, support, a Syrian city near Hamath, along with which it is invariably mentioned (2 Kings 19:13; 18:34; Isa. 10:9), and Damascus (Jer. 49:23). After a siege of three years it fell (B.C. 742) before the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser II. Now Tell Erfud.
Arphaxad son of Shem, born the year after the Deluge. He died at the age of 438 years (Gen. 11:10-13; 1 Chr. 1:17, 18; Luke 3:36). He dwelt in Mesopotamia, and became, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, the progenitor of the Chaldeans. The tendency is to recognize in the word the name of the country nearest the ancient domain of the Chaldeans. Some regard the word as an Egypticized form of the territorial name of Ur Kasdim, or Ur of the Chaldees.
Arrows At first made of reeds, and then of wood tipped with iron. Arrows are sometimes figuratively put for lightning (Deut. 32:23, 42; Ps. 7:13; 18:14; 144:6; Zech. 9:14). They were used in war as well as in the chase (Gen. 27:3; 49:23). They were also used in divination (Ezek. 21:21). The word is frequently employed as a symbol of calamity or disease inflicted by God (Job 6:4; 34:6; Ps. 38:2; Deut. 32:23. Comp. Ezek. 5:16), or of some sudden danger (Ps. 91:5), or bitter words (Ps. 64:3), or false testimony (Prov. 25:18).
Artaxerxes the Greek form of the name of several Persian
(1.) The king who obstructed the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 4:7). He was probably the Smerdis of profane history.
(2.) The king mentioned in Ezra 7:1, in the seventh year (B.C. 458) of whose reign Ezra led a second colony of Jews back to Jerusalem, was probably Longimanus, who reigned for forty years (B.C. 464-425); the grandson of Darius, who, fourteen years later, permitted Nehemiah to return and rebuild Jerusalem.
Artificer a person engaged in any kind of manual occupation (Gen. 4:22; Isa. 3:3).
Artillery 1 Sam. 20:40, (Heb. keli, meaning "apparatus;" here meaning collectively any missile weapons, as arrows and lances. In Revised Version, "weapons"). This word is derived from the Latin artillaria = equipment of war.
Arvad wandering, (Ezek. 27:8), a small island and city on the coast of Syria, mentioned as furnishing mariners and soldiers for Tyre. The inhabitants were called Arvadites. The name is written Aruada or Arada in the Tell-el-Amarna tablets.
Asa physician, son of Abijah and grandson of Rehoboam, was the third king of Judah. He was zealous in maintaining the true worship of God, and in rooting all idolatry, with its accompanying immoralities, out of the land (1 Kings 15:8-14). The Lord gave him and his land rest and prosperity. It is recorded of him, however, that in his old age, when afflicted, he "sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians" (comp. Jer. 17:5). He died in the forty-first year of his reign, greatly honoured by his people (2 Chr. 16:1-13), and was succeeded by his son Jehoshaphat.
Asahel made by God, the youngest son of Zeruiah, David's sister. He was celebrated for his swiftness of foot. When fighting against Ish-bosheth at Gibeon, in the army of his brother Joab, he was put to death by Abner, whom he pursued from the field of battle (2 Sam. 2:18, 19). He is mentioned among David's thirty mighty men (2 Sam. 23:24; 1 Chr. 11:26). Others of the same name are mentioned (2 Chr. 17:8; 31:13; Ezra 10:15).
Asaph convener, or collector.
(1.) A Levite; one of the leaders of David's choir (1 Chr. 6:39). Psalms 50 and 73-83 inclusive are attributed to him. He is mentioned along with David as skilled in music, and a "seer" (2 Chr. 29:30). The "sons of Asaph," mentioned in 1 Chr. 25:1, 2 Chr. 20:14, and Ezra 2:41, were his descendants, or more probably a class of poets or singers who recognized him as their master.
(2.) The "recorder" in the time of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:18, 37).
(3.) The "keeper of the king's forest," to whom Nehemiah requested from Artaxerxes a "letter" that he might give him timber for the temple at Jerusalem (Neh. 2:8).
Ascension. See CHRIST.
Asenath an Egyptian name, meaning "gift of the sun-god", daughter of Potipherah, priest of On or Heliopolis, wife of Joseph (Gen. 41:45). She was the mother of Manasseh and Ephraim (50-52; 46:20).
Ash (Heb. o'ren, "tremulous"), mentioned only Isa. 44:14 (R.V., "fir tree"). It is rendered "pine tree" both in the LXX. and Vulgate versions. There is a tree called by the Arabs _aran_, found still in the valleys of Arabia Petraea, whose leaf resembles that of the mountain ash. This may be the tree meant. Our ash tree is not known in Syria.
Ashdod stronghold, a Philistine city (Josh. 15:47), about midway between Gaza and Joppa, and 3 miles from the Mediterranean. It was one of the chief seats of the worship of Dagon (1 Sam. 5:5). It belonged to the tribe of Judah (Josh. 15:47), but it never came into their actual possession. It was an important city, as it stood on the highroad from Egypt to Palestine, and hence was strongly fortified (2 Chr. 26:6; Isa. 20:1). Uzziah took it, but fifty years after his death it was taken by the Assyrians (B.C. 758). According to Sargon's record, it was captured by him in B.C. 711. The only reference to it in the New Testament, where it is called Azotus, is in the account of Philip's return from Gaza (Acts 8:40). It is now called Eshdud.
Ashdoth-pisgah (Deut. 3:17; Josh. 12:3; 13:20) in Authorized Version, but in Revised Version translated "slopes of Pisgah." In Deut. 4:49 it is translated in the Authorized Version "springs of Pisgah." The name Ashdoth is translated "springs" in the Authorized Version, but "slopes" in the Revised Version, of Josh. 10:40 and 12:8. It has been identified with the springs under Mount Nebo, now called 'Ayun Musa.
Asher happy, Jacob's eigth son; his mother was Zilpah, Leah's handmaid (Gen. 30:13). Of the tribe founded by him nothing is recorded beyond its holding a place in the list of the tribes (35:26; 46:17; Ex. 1:4, etc.) It increased in numbers twenty-nine percent, during the thirty-eight years' wanderings. The place of this tribe during the march through the desert was between Dan and Naphtali (Num. 2:27). The boundaries of the inheritance given to it, which contained some of the richest soil in Palestine, and the names of its towns, are recorded in Josh. 19:24-31; Judg. 1:31, 32. Asher and Simeon were the only tribes west of the Jordan which furnished no hero or judge for the nation. Anna the prophetess was of this tribe (Luke 2:36).
Asherah and pl. Asherim in Revised Version, instead of "grove" and "groves" of the Authorized Version. This was the name of a sensual Canaanitish goddess Astarte, the feminine of the Assyrian Ishtar. Its symbol was the stem of a tree deprived of its boughs, and rudely shaped into an image, and planted in the ground. Such religious symbols ("groves") are frequently alluded to in Scripture (Ex. 34:13; Judg. 6:25; 2 Kings 23:6; 1 Kings 16:33, etc.). These images were also sometimes made of silver or of carved stone (2 Kings 21:7; "the graven image of Asherah," R.V.). (See GROVE, 1.).
Ashes The ashes of a red heifer burned entire (Num. 19:5) when sprinkled on the unclean made them ceremonially clean (Heb. 9:13). To cover the head with ashes was a token of self-abhorrence and humiliation (2 Sam. 13:19; Esther 4:3; Jer. 6:26, etc.). To feed on ashes (Isa. 44:20), means to seek that which will prove to be vain and unsatisfactory, and hence it denotes the unsatisfactory nature of idol-worship. (Comp. Hos. 12:1).
Ashkelon = Askelon = Ascalon, was one of the five cities of the Philistines (Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 6:17). It stood on the shore of the Mediterranean, 12 miles north of Gaza. It is mentioned on an inscription at Karnak in Egypt as having been taken by king Rameses II., the oppressor of the Hebrews. In the time of the judges (Judg. 1:18) it fell into the possession of the tribe of Judah; but it was soon after retaken by the Philistines (2 Sam. 1:20), who were not finally dispossessed till the time of Alexander the Great. Samson went down to this place from Timnath, and slew thirty men and took their spoil. The prophets foretold its destruction (Jer. 25:20; 47:5, 7). It became a noted place in the Middle Ages, having been the scene of many a bloody battle between the Saracens and the Crusaders. It was beseiged and taken by Richard the Lion-hearted, and "within its walls and towers now standing he held his court." Among the Tell Amarna tablets (see EGYPT) are found letters or official despatches from Yadaya, "captain of horse and dust of the king's feet," to the "great king" of Egypt, dated from Ascalon. It is now called 'Askalan.
Ashkenaz 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.
Ashpenaz the master of the eunuchs of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 1:3), the "Rabsaris" of the court. His position was similar to that of the Kislar-aga of the modern Turkish sultans.
Ashtaroth a city of Bashan, in the kingdom of Og (Deut. 1:4; Josh. 12:4; 13:12; 9:10). It was in the half-tribe of Manasseh (Josh. 13:12), and as a Levitical city was given to the Gershonites (1 Chr. 6:71). Uzzia, one of David's valiant men (1 Chr. 11:44), is named as of this city. It is identified with Tell Ashterah, in the Hauran, and is noticed on monuments B.C. 1700-1500. The name Beesh-terah (Josh. 21:27) is a contraction for Beth-eshterah, i.e., "the house of Ashtaroth."
Ashteroth Karnaim Ashteroth of the two horns, the abode of the Rephaim (Gen. 14:5). It may be identified with Ashtaroth preceding; called "Karnaim", i.e., the "two-horned" (the crescent moon). The Samaritan version renders the word by "Sunamein," the present es-Sunamein, 28 miles south of Damascus.
Ashtoreth the moon goddess of the Phoenicians, representing the passive principle in nature, their principal female deity; frequently associated with the name of Baal, the sun-god, their chief male deity (Judg. 10:6; 1 Sam. 7:4; 12:10). These names often occur in the plural (Ashtaroth, Baalim), probably as indicating either different statues or different modifications of the deities. This deity is spoken of as Ashtoreth of the Zidonians. She was the Ishtar of the Accadians and the Astarte of the Greeks (Jer. 44:17; 1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:13). There was a temple of this goddess among the Philistines in the time of Saul (1 Sam. 31:10). Under the name of Ishtar, she was one of the great deities of the Assyrians. The Phoenicians called her Astarte. Solomon introduced the worship of this idol (1 Kings 11:33). Jezebel's 400 priests were probably employed in its service (1 Kings 18:19). It was called the "queen of heaven" (Jer. 44:25).
Ashurites mentioned among those over whom Ish-bosheth was made king (2 Sam. 2:9).
Asia is used to denote Proconsular Asia, a Roman province which embraced the western parts of Asia Minor, and of which Ephesus was the capital, in Acts 2:9; 6:9; 16:6; 19:10,22; 20:4, 16, 18, etc., and probably Asia Minor in Acts 19:26, 27; 21:27; 24:18; 27:2. Proconsular Asia contained the seven churches of the Apocalypse (Rev. 1:11). The "chiefs of Asia" (Acts 19:31) were certain wealthy citizens who were annually elected to preside over the games and religious festivals of the several cities to which they belonged. Some of these "Asiarchs" were Paul's friends.
Asnapper probably the same as Assur-bani-pal (Sardanapalos of the Greeks), styled the "great and noble" (Ezra 4:10), was the son and successor (B.C. 668) of Esar-haddon (q.v.). He was "luxurious, ambitious, and cruel, but a magnificent patron of literature." He formed at Nineveh a library of clay tablets, numbering about 10,000. These are now mostly in the British Museum. They throw much light on the history and antiquities of Assyria. Assur-bani-pal was a munificent patron of literature, and the conqueror of Elam. Towards the middle of his reign his empire was shaken by a great rebellion headed by his brother in Babylon. The rebellion was finally put down, but Egypt was lost, and the military power of Assyria was so exhausted that it could with difficulty resist the hordes of Kimmerians who poured over Western Asia. (See NINEVEH.)
Asp (Heb. pethen), Deut. 32:33; Job 20:14, 16; Isa. 11:8. It was probably the Egyptian cobra (Naja haje), which was very poisonous (Rom. 3:13; Gr. aspis). The Egyptians worshipped it as the _uraeus_, and it was found in the desert and in the fields. The peace and security of Messiah's reign is represented by the figure of a child playing on the hole of the asp. (See ADDER.)
Ass frequently mentioned throughout Scripture. Of the
domesticated species we read of,
(1.) The she ass (Heb. 'athon), so named from its slowness (Gen. 12:16; 45:23; Num. 22:23; 1 Sam. 9:3).
(2.) The male ass (Heb. hamor), the common working ass of Western Asia, so called from its red colour. Issachar is compared to a strong ass (Gen. 49:14). It was forbidden to yoke together an ass and an ox in the plough (Deut. 22:10).
(3.) The ass's colt (Heb. 'air), mentioned Judg. 10:4; 12:14. It is rendered "foal" in Gen. 32:15; 49:11. (Comp. Job 11:12; Isa. 30:6.) The ass is an unclean animal, because it does not chew the cud (Lev. 11:26. Comp. 2 Kings 6:25). Asses constituted a considerable portion of wealth in ancient times (Gen. 12:16; 30:43; 1 Chr. 27:30; Job 1:3; 42:12). They were noted for their spirit and their attachment to their master (Isa. 1:3). They are frequently spoken of as having been ridden upon, as by Abraham (Gen. 22:3), Balaam (Num. 22:21), the disobedient prophet (1 Kings 13:23), the family of Abdon the judge, seventy in number (Judg. 12:14), Zipporah (Ex. 4:20), the Shunammite (1 Sam. 25:30), etc. Zechariah (9:9) predicted our Lord's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, "riding upon an ass, and upon a colt," etc. (Matt. 21:5, R.V.). Of wild asses two species are noticed, (1) that called in Hebrew _'arod_, mentioned Job 39:5 and Dan. 5:21, noted for its swiftness; and (2) that called _pe're_, the wild ass of Asia (Job 39:6-8; 6:5; 11:12; Isa. 32:14; Jer. 2:24; 14:6, etc.). The wild ass was distinguished for its fleetness and its extreme shyness. In allusion to his mode of life, Ishmael is likened to a wild ass (Gen. 16:12. Here the word is simply rendered "wild" in the Authorized Version, but in the Revised Version, "wild-ass among men").
Asshur second son of Shem (Gen. 10:22; 1 Chr. 1:17). He went from the land of Shinar and built Nineveh, etc. (Gen. 10:11,12). He probably gave his name to Assyria, which is the usual translation of the word, although the form Asshur is sometimes retained (Num. 24:22, 24; Ezek. 27:23, etc.). In Gen. 2:14 "Assyria" ought to be "Asshur," which was the original capital of Assyria, a city represented by the mounds of Kalah Sherghat, on the west bank of the Tigris. This city was founded by Bel-kap-kapu about B.C. 1700. At a later date the capital was shifted to Ninua, or Nineveh, now Koyunjik, on the eastern bank of the river. (See CALAH; NINEVEH.)
Assos 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 distant.
Assurance The resurrection of Jesus (Acts 17:31) is the "assurance" (Gr. pistis, generally rendered "faith") or pledge God has given that his revelation is true and worthy of acceptance. The "full assurance [Gr. plerophoria, 'full bearing'] of faith" (Heb. 10:22) is a fulness of faith in God which leaves no room for doubt. The "full assurance of understanding" (Col. 2:2) is an entire unwavering conviction of the truth of the declarations of Scripture, a joyful steadfastness on the part of any one of conviction that he has grasped the very truth. The "full assurance of hope" (Heb. 6:11) is a sure and well-grounded expectation of eternal glory (2 Tim. 4:7, 8). This assurance of hope is the assurance of a man's own particular salvation. This infallible assurance, which believers may attain unto as to their own personal salvation, is founded on the truth of the promises (Heb. 6:18), on the inward evidence of Christian graces, and on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption (Rom. 8:16). That such a certainty may be attained appears from the testimony of Scripture (Rom. 8:16; 1 John 2:3; 3:14), from the command to seek after it (Heb. 6:11; 2 Pet. 1:10), and from the fact that it has been attained (2 Tim. 1:12; 4:7, 8; 1 John 2:3; 4:16). This full assurance is not of the essence of saving faith. It is the result of faith, and posterior to it in the order of nature, and so frequently also in the order of time. True believers may be destitute of it. Trust itself is something different from the evidence that we do trust. Believers, moreover, are exhorted to go on to something beyond what they at present have when they are exhorted to seek the grace of full assurance (Heb. 10:22; 2 Pet. 1:5-10). The attainment of this grace is a duty, and is to be diligently sought. "Genuine assurance naturally leads to a legitimate and abiding peace and joy, and to love and thankfulness to God; and these from the very laws of our being to greater buoyancy, strength, and cheerfulness in the practice of obedience in every department of duty." This assurance may in various ways be shaken, diminished, and intermitted, but the principle out of which it springs can never be lost. (See FAITH.)
Assyria the name derived from the city Asshur on the Tigris, the original capital of the country, was originally a colony from Babylonia, and was ruled by viceroys from that kingdom. It was a mountainous region lying to the north of Babylonia, extending along the Tigris as far as to the high mountain range of Armenia, the Gordiaean or Carduchian mountains. It was founded in B.C. 1700 under Bel-kap-kapu, and became an independent and a conquering power, and shook off the yoke of its Babylonian masters. It subdued the whole of Northern Asia. The Assyrians were Semites (Gen. 10:22), but in process of time non-Semite tribes mingled with the inhabitants. They were a military people, the "Romans of the East." Of the early history of the kingdom of Assyria little is positively known. In B.C. 1120 Tiglath-pileser I., the greatest of the Assyrian kings, "crossed the Euphrates, defeated the kings of the Hittites, captured the city of Carchemish, and advanced as far as the shores of the Mediterranean." He may be regarded as the founder of the first Assyrian empire. After this the Assyrians gradually extended their power, subjugating the states of Northern Syria. In the reign of Ahab, king of Israel, Shalmaneser II. marched an army against the Syrian states, whose allied army he encountered and vanquished at Karkar. This led to Ahab's casting off the yoke of Damascus and allying himself with Judah. Some years after this the Assyrian king marched an army against Hazael, king of Damascus. He besieged and took that city. He also brought under tribute Jehu, and the cities of Tyre and Sidon. About a hundred years after this (B.C. 745) the crown was seized by a military adventurer called Pul, who assumed the name of Tiglath-pileser III. He directed his armies into Syria, which had by this time regained its independence, and took (B.C. 740) Arpad, near Aleppo, after a siege of three years, and reduced Hamath. Azariah (Uzziah) was an ally of the king of Hamath, and thus was compelled by Tiglath-pileser to do him homage and pay a yearly tribute. In B.C. 738, in the reign of Menahem, king of Israel, Pul invaded Israel, and imposed on it a heavy tribute (2 Kings 15:19). Ahaz, the king of Judah, when engaged in a war against Israel and Syria, appealed for help to this Assyrian king by means of a present of gold and silver (2 Kings 16:8); who accordingly "marched against Damascus, defeated and put Rezin to death, and besieged the city itself." Leaving a portion of his army to continue the siege, "he advanced through the province east of Jordan, spreading fire and sword," and became master of Philistia, and took Samaria and Damascus. He died B.C. 727, and was succeeded by Shalmanezer IV., who ruled till B.C. 722. He also invaded Syria (2 Kings 17:5), but was deposed in favour of Sargon (q.v.) the Tartan, or commander-in-chief of the army, who took Samaria (q.v.) after a siege of three years, and so put an end to the kingdom of Israel, carrying the people away into captivity, B.C. 722 (2 Kings 17:1-6, 24; 18:7, 9). He also overran the land of Judah, and took the city of Jerusalem (Isa. 10:6, 12, 22, 24, 34). Mention is next made of Sennacherib (B.C. 705), the son and successor of Sargon (2 Kings 18:13; 19:37; Isa. 7:17, 18); and then of Esar-haddon, his son and successor, who took Manasseh, king of Judah, captive, and kept him for some time a prisoner at Babylon, which he alone of all the Assyrian kings made the seat of his government (2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38). Assur-bani-pal, the son of Esarhaddon, became king, and in Ezra 4:10 is referred to as Asnapper. From an early period Assyria had entered on a conquering career, and having absorbed Babylon, the kingdoms of Hamath, Damascus, and Samaria, it conquered Phoenicia, and made Judea feudatory, and subjected Philistia and Idumea. At length, however, its power declined. In B.C. 727 the Babylonians threw off the rule of the Assyrians, under the leadership of the powerful Chaldean prince Merodach-baladan (2 Kings 20:12), who, after twelve years, was subdued by Sargon, who now reunited the kingdom, and ruled over a vast empire. But on his death the smouldering flames of rebellion again burst forth, and the Babylonians and Medes successfully asserted their independence (B.C. 625), and Assyria fell according to the prophecies of Isaiah (10:5-19), Nahum (3:19), and Zephaniah (3:13), and the many separate kingdoms of which it was composed ceased to recognize the "great king" (2 Kings 18:19; Isa. 36:4). Ezekiel (31) attests (about B.C. 586) how completely Assyria was overthrown. It ceases to be a nation. (See NINEVEH; BABYLON.)
Astrologer (Dan. 1:20; 2:2, 10, 27, etc.) Heb. 'ashshaph', an enchanter, one who professes to divine future events by the appearance of the stars. This science flourished among the Chaldeans. It was positively forbidden to the Jews (Deut. 4:19; 18:10; Isa. 47:13).
Astronomy The Hebrews were devout students of the wonders of the starry firmanent (Amos 5:8; Ps. 19). In the Book of Job, which is the oldest book of the Bible in all probability, the constellations are distinguished and named. Mention is made of the "morning star" (Rev. 2:28; comp. Isa. 14:12), the "seven stars" and "Pleiades," "Orion," "Arcturus," the "Great Bear" (Amos 5:8; Job 9:9; 38:31), "the crooked serpent," Draco (Job 26:13), the Dioscuri, or Gemini, "Castor and Pollux" (Acts 28:11). The stars were called "the host of heaven" (Isa. 40:26; Jer. 33:22). The oldest divisions of time were mainly based on the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, the "ordinances of heaven" (Gen. 1:14-18; Job 38:33; Jer. 31:35; 33:25). Such observations led to the division of the year into months and the mapping out of the appearances of the stars into twelve portions, which received from the Greeks the name of the "zodiac." The word "Mazzaroth" (Job 38:32) means, as the margin notes, "the twelve signs" of the zodiac. Astronomical observations were also necessary among the Jews in order to the fixing of the proper time for sacred ceremonies, the "new moons," the "passover," etc. Many allusions are found to the display of God's wisdom and power as seen in the starry heavens (Ps. 8; 19:1-6; Isa. 51:6, etc.)
Asuppim (1 Chr. 26:15, 17, Authorized Version; but in Revised Version, "storehouse"), properly the house of stores for the priests. In Neh. 12:25 the Authorized Version has "thresholds," marg. "treasuries" or "assemblies;" Revised Version, "storehouses."
Atad buckthorn, a place where Joseph and his brethren, when on their way from Egypt to Hebron with the remains of their father Jacob, made for seven days a "great and very sore lamentation." On this account the Canaanites called it "Abel-mizraim" (Gen. 50:10, 11). It was probably near Hebron. The word is rendered "bramble" in Judg. 9:14, 15, and "thorns" in Ps. 58:9.
(1.) A city east of Jordan, not far from Gilead (Num. 32:3).
(2.) A town on the border of Ephraim and Benjamin (Josh. 16:2, 7), called also Ataroth-adar (16:5). Now ed-Da'rieh.
(3.) "Ataroth, the house of Joab" (1 Chr. 2:54), a town of Judah inhabited by the descendants of Caleb.
Ater shut; lame.
(1.) Ezra 2:16.
(2.) Neh. 10:17.
(3.) Ezra 2:42.
Athaliah whom God afflicts.
(1.) The daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, and the wife of Jehoram, king of Judah (2 Kings 8:18), who "walked in the ways of the house of Ahab" (2 Chr. 21:6), called "daughter" of Omri (2 Kings 8:26). On the death of her husband and of her son Ahaziah, she resolved to seat herself on the vacant throne. She slew all Ahaziah's children except Joash, the youngest (2 Kings 11:1,2). After a reign of six years she was put to death in an insurrection (2 Kings 11:20; 2 Chr. 21:6; 22:10-12; 23:15), stirred up among the people in connection with Josiah's being crowned as king.
(2.) Ezra 8:7.
(3.) 1 Chr. 8:26.
Athens the capital of Attica, the most celebrated city of the ancient world, the seat of Greek literature and art during the golden period of Grecian history. Its inhabitants were fond of novelty (Acts 17:21), and were remarkable for their zeal in the worship of the gods. It was a sarcastic saying of the Roman satirist that it was "easier to find a god at Athens than a man." On his second missionary journey Paul visited this city (Acts 17:15; comp. 1 Thess. 3:1), and delivered in the Areopagus his famous speech (17:22-31). The altar of which Paul there speaks as dedicated "to the [properly "an"] unknown God" (23) was probably one of several which bore the same inscription. It is supposed that they originated in the practice of letting loose a flock of sheep and goats in the streets of Athens on the occasion of a plague, and of offering them up in sacrifice, at the spot where they lay down, "to the god concerned."
Atonement This word does not occur in the Authorized Version of the New Testament except in Rom. 5:11, where in the Revised Version the word "reconciliation" is used. In the Old Testament it is of frequent occurrence. The meaning of the word is simply at-one-ment, i.e., the state of being at one or being reconciled, so that atonement is reconciliation. Thus it is used to denote the effect which flows from the death of Christ. But the word is also used to denote that by which this reconciliation is brought about, viz., the death of Christ itself; and when so used it means satisfaction, and in this sense to make an atonement for one is to make satisfaction for his offences (Ex. 32:30; Lev. 4:26; 5:16; Num. 6:11), and, as regards the person, to reconcile, to propitiate God in his behalf. By the atonement of Christ we generally mean his work by which he expiated our sins. But in Scripture usage the word denotes the reconciliation itself, and not the means by which it is effected. When speaking of Christ's saving work, the word "satisfaction," the word used by the theologians of the Reformation, is to be preferred to the word "atonement." Christ's satisfaction is all he did in the room and in behalf of sinners to satisfy the demands of the law and justice of God. Christ's work consisted of suffering and obedience, and these were vicarious, i.e., were not merely for our benefit, but were in our stead, as the suffering and obedience of our vicar, or substitute. Our guilt is expiated by the punishment which our vicar bore, and thus God is rendered propitious, i.e., it is now consistent with his justice to manifest his love to transgressors. Expiation has been made for sin, i.e., it is covered. The means by which it is covered is vicarious satisfaction, and the result of its being covered is atonement or reconciliation. To make atonement is to do that by virtue of which alienation ceases and reconciliation is brought about. Christ's mediatorial work and sufferings are the ground or efficient cause of reconciliation with God. They rectify the disturbed relations between God and man, taking away the obstacles interposed by sin to their fellowship and concord. The reconciliation is mutual, i.e., it is not only that of sinners toward God, but also and pre-eminently that of God toward sinners, effected by the sin-offering he himself provided, so that consistently with the other attributes of his character his love might flow forth in all its fulness of blessing to men. The primary idea presented to us in different forms throughout the Scripture is that the death of Christ is a satisfaction of infinite worth rendered to the law and justice of God (q.v.), and accepted by him in room of the very penalty man had incurred. It must also be constantly kept in mind that the atonement is not the cause but the consequence of God's love to guilty men (John 3:16; Rom. 3:24, 25; Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:9; 4:9). The atonement may also be regarded as necessary, not in an absolute but in a relative sense, i.e., if man is to be saved, there is no other way than this which God has devised and carried out (Ex. 34:7; Josh. 24:19; Ps. 5:4; 7:11; Nahum 1:2, 6; Rom. 3:5). This is God's plan, clearly revealed; and that is enough for us to know.
Atonement, Day of the great annual day of humiliation and expiation for the sins of the nation, "the fast" (Acts 27:9), and the only one commanded in the law of Moses. The mode of its observance is described in Lev. 16:3-10; 23:26-32; and Num. 29:7-11. It was kept on the tenth day of the month Tisri, i.e., five days before the feast of Tabernacles, and lasted from sunset to sunset. (See AZAZEL.)
Augustus the cognomen of the first Roman emperor, C. Julius Caesar Octavianus, during whose reign Christ was born (Luke 2:1). His decree that "all the world should be taxed" was the divinely ordered occasion of Jesus' being born, according to prophecy (Micah 5:2), in Bethlehem. This name being simply a title meaning "majesty" or "venerable," first given to him by the senate (B.C. 27), was borne by succeeding emperors. Before his death (A.D. 14) he associated Tiberius with him in the empire (Luke 3:1), by whom he was succeeded.
Augustus band (Acts 27:1.: literally, of Sebaste, the Greek form of Augusta, the name given to Caesarea in honour of Augustus Caesar). Probably this "band" or cohort consisted of Samaritan soldiers belonging to Caesarea.
Ava a place in Assyria from which colonies were brought to Samaria (2 Kings 17:24). It is probably the same with Ivah (18:34; 19:13; Isa. 37:13). It has been identified with Hit on the Euphrates.
Aven nothingness; vanity.
(1.) Hosea speaks of the "high places of Aven" (10:8), by which he means Bethel. He also calls it Beth-aven, i.e., "the house of vanity" (4:15), on account of the golden calves Jeroboam had set up there (1 Kings 12:28).
(2.) Translated by the LXX. "On" in Ezek. 30:17. The Egyptian Heliopolis or city of On (q.v.).
(3.) In Amos 1:5 it denotes the Syrian Heliopolis, the modern Baalbec.
Avenger of blood (Heb. goel, from verb gaal, "to be near of kin," "to redeem"), the nearest relative of a murdered person. It was his right and duty to slay the murderer (2 Sam. 14:7, 11) if he found him outside of a city of refuge. In order that this law might be guarded against abuse, Moses appointed six cities of refuge (Ex. 21:13; Num. 35:13; Deut. 19:1,9). These were in different parts of the country, and every facility was afforded the manslayer that he might flee to the city that lay nearest him for safety. Into the city of refuge the avenger durst not follow him. This arrangement applied only to cases where the death was not premeditated. The case had to be investigated by the authorities of the city, and the wilful murderer was on no account to be spared. He was regarded as an impure and polluted person, and was delivered up to the _goel_ (Deut. 19:11-13). If the offence was merely manslaughter, then the fugitive must remain within the city till the death of the high priest (Num. 35:25).
Avim 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 Avites.
Awl an instrument only referred to in connection with the custom of boring the ear of a slave (Ex. 21:6; Deut. 15:17), in token of his volunteering perpetual service when he might be free. (Comp. Ps. 40:6; Isa. 50:5).
Axe used in the Authorized Version of Deut. 19:5; 20:19; 1 Kings 6:7, as the translation of a Hebrew word which means "chopping." It was used for felling trees (Isa. 10:34) and hewing timber for building. It is the rendering of a different word in Judg. 9:48, 1 Sam. 13:20, 21, Ps. 74:5, which refers to its sharpness. In 2 Kings 6:5 it is the translation of a word used with reference to its being made of iron. In Isa. 44:12 the Revised Version renders by "axe" the Hebrew _maatsad_, which means a "hewing" instrument. In the Authorized Version it is rendered "tongs." It is also used in Jer. 10:3, and rendered "axe." The "battle-axe" (army of Medes and Persians) mentioned in Jer. 51:20 was probably, as noted in the margin of the Revised Version, a "maul" or heavy mace. In Ps. 74:6 the word so rendered means "feller." (See the figurative expression in Matt. 3:10; Luke 3:9.)
Azal (Zech. 14:5) should perhaps be rendered "very near" = "the way of escape shall be made easy." If a proper name, it may denote some place near the western extremity of the valley here spoken of near Jerusalem.
Azariah whom Jehovah helps.
(1.) Son of Ethan, of the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 2:8).
(2.) Son of Ahimaaz, who succeeded his grandfather Zadok as high priest (1 Chr. 6:9; 1 Kings 4:2) in the days of Solomon. He officiated at the consecration of the temple (1 Chr. 6:10).
(3.) The son of Johanan, high priest in the reign of Abijah and Asa (2 Chr. 6:10, 11).
(4.) High priest in the reign of Uzziah, king of Judah (2 Kings 14:21; 2 Chr. 26:17-20). He was contemporary with the prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Joel.
(5.) High priest in the days of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 31:10-13). Of the house of Zadok.
(6.) Several other priests and Levites of this name are mentioned (1 Chr. 6:36; Ezra 7:1; 1 Chr. 9:11; Neh. 3:23, etc.).
(7.) The original name of Abed-nego (Dan. 1:6, 7, 11, 16). He was of the royal family of Judah, and with his other two companions remarkable for his personal beauty and his intelligence as well as piety.
(8.) The son of Oded, a remarkable prophet in the days of Asa (2 Chr. 15:1). He stirred up the king and the people to a great national reformation.
Azazel (Lev. 16:8, 10, 26, Revised Version only here; rendered "scape-goat" in the Authorized Version). This word has given rise to many different views. Some Jewish interpreters regard it as the name of a place some 12 miles east of Jerusalem, in the wilderness. Others take it to be the name of an evil spirit, or even of Satan. But when we remember that the two goats together form a type of Christ, on whom the Lord "laid the iniquity of us all," and examine into the root meaning of this word (viz., "separation"), the interpretation of those who regard the one goat as representing the atonement made, and the other, that "for Azazel," as representing the effect of the great work of atonement (viz., the complete removal of sin), is certainly to be preferred. The one goat which was "for Jehovah" was offered as a sin-offering, by which atonement was made. But the sins must also be visibly banished, and therefore they were symbolically laid by confession on the other goat, which was then "sent away for Azazel" into the wilderness. The form of this word indicates intensity, and therefore signifies the total separation of sin: it was wholly carried away. It was important that the result of the sacrifices offered by the high priest alone in the sanctuary should be embodied in a visible transaction, and hence the dismissal of the "scape-goat." It was of no consequence what became of it, as the whole import of the transaction lay in its being sent into the wilderness bearing away sin. As the goat "for Jehovah" was to witness to the demerit of sin and the need of the blood of atonement, so the goat "for Azazel" was to witness to the efficacy of the sacrifice and the result of the shedding of blood in the taking away of sin.
Azaziah whom Jehovah strengthened.
(1.) One of the Levitical harpers in the temple (1 Chr. 15:21).
(2.) The father of Hoshea, who was made ruler over the Ephraimites (1 Chr. 27:20).
(3.) One who had charge of the temple offerings (2 Chr. 31:13).
Azekah dug over, a town in the Shephelah or low hills of Judah (Josh. 15:35), where the five confederated Amoritish kings were defeated by Joshua and their army destroyed by a hailstrom (10:10, 11). It was one of the places re-occupied by the Jews on their return from the Captivity (Neh. 11:30).
Azel noble, a descendant of king Saul (1 Chr. 8:37; 9:43, 44).
Azmaveth strong as death.
(1.) One of David's thirty warriors (2 Sam. 23:31).
(2.) An overseer over the royal treasury in the time of David and Solomon (1 Chr. 27:25).
(3.) A town in the tribe of Judah, near Jerusalem (Neh. 12:29; Ezra 2:24).
(4.) 1 Chr. 8:36
Azotus the Grecized form (Acts 8:40, etc.) of Ashdod (q.v.).
(1.) The wife of Caleb (1 Chr. 2:18, 19).
(2.) The daughter of Shilhi, and mother of king Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:42).
Azur and Azzur helper.
(1.) The father of Hananiah, a false prophet (Jer. 28:1).
(2.) The father of Jaazaniah (Ezek. 11:1).
(3.) One of those who sealed the covenant with Jehovah on the return from Babylon (Neh. 10:17).
(1.) The name appropriated to the principal male god of the Phoenicians. It is found in several places in the plural BAALIM (Judg. 2:11; 10:10; 1 Kings 18:18; Jer. 2:23; Hos. 2:17). Baal is identified with Molech (Jer. 19:5). It was known to the Israelites as Baal-peor (Num. 25:3; Deut. 4:3), was worshipped till the time of Samuel (1 Sam 7:4), and was afterwards the religion of the ten tribes in the time of Ahab (1 Kings 16:31-33; 18:19, 22). It prevailed also for a time in the kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 8:27; comp. 11:18; 16:3; 2 Chr. 28:2), till finally put an end to by the severe discipline of the Captivity (Zeph. 1:4-6). The priests of Baal were in great numbers (1 Kings 18:19), and of various classes (2 Kings 10:19). Their mode of offering sacrifices is described in 1 Kings 18:25-29. The sun-god, under the general title of Baal, or "lord," was the chief object of worship of the Canaanites. Each locality had its special Baal, and the various local Baals were summed up under the name of Baalim, or "lords." Each Baal had a wife, who was a colourless reflection of himself.
(2.) A Benjamite, son of Jehiel, the progenitor of the Gibeonites (1 Chr. 8:30; 9:36).
(3.) The name of a place inhabited by the Simeonites, the same probably as Baal-ath-beer (1 Chr. 4:33; Josh. 19:8).
Baalah mistress; city.
(1.) A city in the south of Judah (Josh. 15:29), elsewhere called Balah (Josh. 19:3) and Bilhah (1 Chr. 4:29). Now Khurbet Zebalah.
(2.) A city on the northern border of the tribe of Judah (Josh. 15:10), called also Kirjath-jearim, q.v. (15:9; 1 Chr. 13:6), now Kuriet-el-Enab, or as some think, 'Erma.
(3.) A mountain on the north-western boundary of Judah and Dan (Josh. 15:11).
Baalath a town of the tribe of Dan (Josh. 19:44). It was fortified by Solomon (1 Kings 9:18; 2 Chr. 8:6). Some have identified it with Bel'ain, in Wady Deir Balut.
Baalath-beer Baalah of the well, (Josh. 19:8, probably the same as Baal, mentioned in 1 Chr. 4:33, a city of Simeon.
Baalbec called by the Greeks Heliopolis i.e., "the city of the sun", because of its famous Temple of the Sun, has by some been supposed to be Solomon's "house of the forest of Lebanon" (1 Kings 7:2; 10:17; 2 Chr. 9:16); by others it is identified with Baal-gad (q.v.). It was a city of Coele-Syria, on the lowest declivity of Anti-Libanus, about 42 miles north-west of Damascus. It was one of the most splendid of Syrian cities, existing from a remote antiquity. After sustaining several sieges under the Moslems and others, it was finally destroyed by an earthquake in 1759. Its ruins are of great extent.
Baal-berith covenant lord, the name of the god worshipped in Shechem after the death of Gideon (Judg. 8:33; 9:4). In 9:46 he is called simply "the god Berith." The name denotes the god of the covenant into which the Israelites entered with the Canaanites, contrary to the command of Jehovah (Ex. 34:12), when they began to fall away to the worship of idols.
Baale of Judah lords of Judah, a city in the tribe of Judah from which David brought the ark into Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:2). Elsewhere (1 Chr. 13:6) called Kirjath-jearim. (See BAALAH.)
Baal-gad lord of fortune, or troop of Baal, a Canaanite city in the valley of Lebanon at the foot of Hermon, hence called Baal-hermon (Judge. 3:3; 1 Chr. 5:23), near the source of the Jordan (Josh. 13:5; 11:17; 12:7). It was the most northern point to which Joshua's conquests extended. It probably derived its name from the worship of Baal. Its modern representative is Banias. Some have supposed it to be the same as Baalbec.
Baal-hamon place of a multitude, a place where Solomon had an extensive vineyard (Cant. 8:11). It has been supposed to be identical with Baal-gad, and also with Hammon in the tribe of Asher (Josh. 19:28). Others identify it with Belamon, in Central Palestine, near Dothaim.
Baal-hanan lord of grace.
(1.) A king of Edom, son of Achbor (Gen. 36:38, 39; 1 Chr. 1:49, 50).
(2.) An overseer of "the olive trees and sycomore trees in the low plains" (the Shephelah) under David (1 Chr. 27:28).
Baal-hazor having a courtyard, or Baal's village, the place on the borders of Ephraim and Benjamin where Absalom held the feast of sheep-shearing when Amnon was assassinated (2 Sam. 13:23). Probably it is the same with Hazor (Neh. 11:33), now Tell' Asur, 5 miles north-east of Bethel.
Baal-hermon lord of Hermon.
(1.) A city near Mount Hermon inhabited by the Ephraimites (1 Chr. 5:23). Probably identical with Baal-gad (Josh. 11:17).
(2.) A mountain east of Lebanon (Judg. 3:3). Probably it may be the same as Mount Hermon, or one of its three peaks.
Baali my lord, a title the prophet (Hos. 2:16) reproaches the Jewish church for applying to Jehovah, instead of the more endearing title Ishi, meaning "my husband."
Baalim plural of Baal; images of the god Baal (Judg. 2:11; 1 Sam. 7:4).
Baalis king of the Ammonites at the time of the Babylonian captivity (Jer. 40:14). He hired Ishmael to slay Gedaliah who had been appointed governor over the cities of Judah.
Baal-meon lord of dwelling, a town of Reuben (Num. 32:38), called also Beth-meon (Jer. 48:23) and Beth-baal-meon (Josh. 13:17). It is supposed to have been the birth-place of Elisha. It is identified with the modern M'ain, about 3 miles south-east of Heshbon.
Baal-peor lord of the opening, a god of the Moabites (Num. 25:3; 31:16; Josh. 22:17), worshipped by obscene rites. So called from Mount Peor, where this worship was celebrated, the Baal of Peor. The Israelites fell into the worship of this idol (Num. 25:3, 5, 18; Deut. 4:3; Ps. 106:28; Hos. 9:10).
Baal-perazim Baal having rents, bursts, or destructions, the scene of a victory gained by David over the Philistines (2 Sam. 5:20; 1 Chr. 14:11). Called Mount Perazim (Isa. 28:21). It was near the valley of Rephaim, west of Jerusalem. Identified with the modern Jebel Aly.
Baal-shalisha lord of Shalisha, a place from which a man came with provisions for Elisha, apparently not far from Gilgal (2 Kings 4:42). It has been identified with Sirisia, 13 miles north of Lydda.
Baal-tamar lord of palm trees, a place in the tribe of Benjamin near Gibeah of Saul (Judg. 20:33). It was one of the sanctuaries or groves of Baal. Probably the palm tree of Deborah (Judg. 4:5) is alluded to in the name.
Baal-zebub fly-lord, the god of the Philistines at Ekron (2 Kings 1:2, 3, 16). This name was given to the god because he was supposed to be able to avert the plague of flies which in that region was to be feared. He was consulted by Ahaziah as to his recovery.
Baal-zephon Baal of the north, an Egyptian town on the shores of the Gulf of Suez (Ex. 14:2; Num. 33:7), over against which the children of Israel encamped before they crossed the Red Sea. It is probably to be identified with the modern Jebel Deraj or Kulalah, on the western shore of the Gulf of Suez. Baal-zapuna of the Egyptians was a place of worship.
Baana son of affliction.
(1.) One of Solomon's purveyors (1 Kings 4:12).
(2.) Son of Hushai, another of Solomon's purveyors (1 Kings 4:16).
(3.) Father of Zadok (Neh. 3:4).
Baanah son of affliction.
(1.) One of the two sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, a captain in Saul's army. He and his brother Rechab assassinated Ishbosheth (2 Sam. 4:2), and were on this account slain by David, and their mutilated bodies suspended over the pool at Hebron (5, 6, 12).
(2.) The father of Heled, who was one of David's thirty heroes (2 Sam. 23:29; 1 Chr. 11:30).
Baasha bravery, the third king of the separate kingdom of Israel, and founder of its second dynasty (1 Kings 15; 16; 2 Chr. 16:1-6). He was the son of Ahijah of the tribe of Issachar. The city of Tirzah he made the capital of his kingdom, and there he was buried, after an eventful reign of twenty-four years (1 Kings 15:33). On account of his idolatries his family was exterminated, according to the word of the prophet Jehu (1 Kings 16:3, 4, 10-13).
Babe used of children generally (Matt. 11:25; 21:16; Luke 10:21; Rom. 2:20). It is used also of those who are weak in Christian faith and knowledge (1 Cor. 3:1; Heb. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:2). In Isa. 3:4 the word "babes" refers to a succession of weak and wicked princes who reigned over Judah from the death of Josiah downward to the destruction of Jerusalem.
Babel, tower of the name given to the tower which the primitive fathers of our race built in the land of Shinar after the Deluge (Gen. 11:1-9). Their object in building this tower was probably that it might be seen as a rallying-point in the extensive plain of Shinar, to which they had emigrated from the uplands of Armenia, and so prevent their being scattered abroad. But God interposed and defeated their design by condounding their language, and hence the name Babel, meaning "confusion." In the Babylonian tablets there is an account of this event, and also of the creation and the deluge. (See CHALDEA.) The Temple of Belus, which is supposed to occupy its site, is described by the Greek historian Herodotus as a temple of great extent and magnificence, erected by the Babylonians for their god Belus. The treasures Nebuchadnezzar brought from Jerusalem were laid up in this temple (2 Chr. 36:7). The Birs Nimrud, at ancient Borsippa, about 7 miles south-west of Hillah, the modern town which occupies a part of the site of ancient Babylon, and 6 miles from the Euphrates, is an immense mass of broken and fire-blasted fragments, of about 2,300 feet in circumference, rising suddenly to the height of 235 feet above the desert-plain, and is with probability regarded as the ruins of the tower of Babel. This is "one of the most imposing ruins in the country." Others think it to be the ruins of the Temple of Belus.
Babylon the Greek form of BABEL; Semitic form Babilu, meaning "The Gate of God." In the Assyrian tablets it means "The city of the dispersion of the tribes." The monumental list of its kings reaches back to B.C. 2300, and includes Khammurabi, or Amraphel (q.v.), the contemporary of Abraham. It stood on the Euphrates, about 200 miles above its junction with the Tigris, which flowed through its midst and divided it into two almost equal parts. The Elamites invaded Chaldea (i.e., Lower Mesopotamia, or Shinar, and Upper Mesopotamia, or Accad, now combined into one) and held it in subjection. At length Khammu-rabi delivered it from the foreign yoke, and founded the new empire of Chaldea (q.v.), making Babylon the capital of the united kingdom. This city gradually grew in extent and grandeur, but in process of time it became subject to Assyria. On the fall of Nineveh (B.C. 606) it threw off the Assyrian yoke, and became the capital of the growing Babylonian empire. Under Nebuchadnezzar it became one of the most splendid cities of the ancient world. After passing through various vicissitudes the city was occupied by Cyrus, "king of Elam," B.C. 538, who issued a decree permitting the Jews to return to their own land (Ezra 1). It then ceased to be the capital of an empire. It was again and again visited by hostile armies, till its inhabitants were all driven from their homes, and the city became a complete desolation, its very site being forgotten from among men. On the west bank of the Euphrates, about 50 miles south of Bagdad, there is found a series of artificial mounds of vast extent. These are the ruins of this once famous proud city. These ruins are principally (1) the great mound called Babil by the Arabs. This was probably the noted Temple of Belus, which was a pyramid about 480 feet high. (2) The Kasr (i.e., "the palace"). This was the great palace of Nebuchadnezzar. It is almost a square, each side of which is about 700 feet long. The little town of Hillah, near the site of Babylon, is built almost wholly of bricks taken from this single mound. (3) A lofty mound, on the summit of which stands a modern tomb called Amran ibn-Ali. This is probably the most ancient portion of the remains of the city, and represents the ruins of the famous hanging-gardens, or perhaps of some royal palace. The utter desolation of the city once called "The glory of kingdoms" (Isa.13:19) was foretold by the prophets (Isa.13:4-22; Jer. 25:12; 50:2, 3; Dan. 2:31-38). The Babylon mentioned in 1 Pet. 5:13 was not Rome, as some have thought, but the literal city of Babylon, which was inhabited by many Jews at the time Peter wrote. In Rev. 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; and 18:2, "Babylon" is supposed to mean Rome, not considered as pagan, but as the prolongation of the ancient power in the papal form. Rome, pagan and papal, is regarded as one power. "The literal Babylon was the beginner and supporter of tyranny and idolatry...This city and its whole empire were taken by the Persians under Cyrus; the Persians were subdued by the Macedonians, and the Macedonians by the Romans; so that Rome succeeded to the power of old Babylon. And it was her method to adopt the worship of the false deities she had conquered; so that by her own act she became the heiress and successor of all the Babylonian idolatry, and of all that was introduced into it by the immediate successors of Babylon, and consequently of all the idolatry of the earth." Rome, or "mystical Babylon," is "that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (17:18).
Babylonish garment a robe of rich colours fabricated at Babylon, and hence of great value (Josh.7:21).
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 Chaldeans. 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 Palestine, 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 Palestine 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 difficulty. 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 independence.
Baca, Valley of (Ps. 84:6; R.V., "valley of weeping," marg., "or balsam trees"), probably a valley in some part of Palestine, or generally some one of the valleys through which pilgrims had to pass on their way to the sanctuary of Jehovah on Zion; or it may be figuratively "a valley of weeping."
Backbite In Ps. 15:3, the rendering of a word which means to run about tattling, calumniating; in Prov. 25:23, secret talebearing or slandering; in Rom. 1:30 and 2 Cor. 12:20, evil-speaking, maliciously defaming the absent.
Backslide to draw back or apostatize in matters of religion (Acts 21:21; 2 Thess. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1). This may be either partial (Prov. 14:14) or complete (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:38, 39). The apostasy may be both doctrinal and moral.
Badger 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 Palestine, 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.
(1.) A pocket of a cone-like shape in which Naaman bound two pieces of silver for Gehazi (2 Kings 5:23). The same Hebrew word occurs elsewhere only in Isa. 3:22, where it is rendered "crisping-pins," but denotes the reticules (or as R.V., "satchels") carried by Hebrew women.
(2.) Another word (kees) so rendered means a bag for carrying weights (Deut. 25:13; Prov. 16:11; Micah 6:11). It also denotes a purse (Prov. 1:14) and a cup (23:31).
(3.) Another word rendered "bag" in 1 Sam. 17:40 is rendered "sack" in Gen. 42:25; and in 1 Sam. 9:7; 21:5 "vessel," or wallet for carrying food.
(4.) The word rendered in the Authorized Version "bags," in which the priests bound up the money contributed for the restoration of the temple (2 Kings 12:10), is also rendered "bundle" (Gen. 42:35; 1 Sam. 25:29). It denotes bags used by travellers for carrying money during a journey (Prov. 7:20; Hag. 1:6).
(5.) The "bag" of Judas was a small box (John 12:6; 13:29).
Bahurim young men, a place east of Jerusalem (2 Sam. 3:16; 19:16), on the road to the Jordan valley. Here Shimei resided, who poured forth vile abuse against David, and flung dust and stones at him and his party when they were making their way down the eastern slopes of Olivet toward Jordan (16:5); and here Jonathan and Ahimaaz hid themselves (17:18). With the exception of Shimei, Azmaveth, one of David's heroes, is the only other native of the place who is mentioned (2 Sam. 23:31; 1 Chr. 11:33).
Bajith house, probably a city of Moab, which had a celebrated idol-temple (Isa. 15:2). It has also been regarded as denoting simply the temple of the idol of Moab as opposed to the "high place."
Bake The duty of preparing bread was usually, in ancient times, committed to the females or the slaves of the family (Gen. 18:6; Lev. 26:26; 1 Sam. 8:13); but at a later period we find a class of public bakers mentioned (Hos. 7:4, 6; Jer. 37:21). The bread was generally in the form of long or round cakes (Ex. 29:23; 1 Sam. 2:36), of a thinness that rendered them easily broken (Isa. 58:7; Matt. 14:19; 26:26; Acts 20:11). Common ovens were generally used; at other times a jar was half-filled with hot pebbles, and the dough was spread over them. Hence we read of "cakes baken on the coals" (1 Kings 19:6), and "baken in the oven" (Lev. 2:4). (See BREAD.)
Bake-meats baked provisions (Gen. 40:17), literally "works of the baker," such as biscuits and cakes.
Balaam lord of the people; foreigner or glutton, as interpreted by others, the son of Beor, was a man of some rank among the Midianites (Num. 31:8; comp. 16). He resided at Pethor (Deut. 23:4), in Mesopotamia (Num. 23:7). It is evident that though dwelling among idolaters he had some knowledge of the true God; and was held in such reputation that it was supposed that he whom he blessed was blessed, and he whom he cursed was cursed. When the Israelites were encamped on the plains of Moab, on the east of Jordan, by Jericho, Balak sent for Balaam "from Aram, out of the mountains of the east," to curse them; but by the remarkable interposition of God he was utterly unable to fulfil Balak's wish, however desirous he was to do so. The apostle Peter refers (2 Pet. 2:15, 16) to this as an historical event. In Micah 6:5 reference also is made to the relations between Balaam and Balak. Though Balaam could not curse Israel, yet he suggested a mode by which the divine displeasure might be caused to descend upon them (Num. 25). In a battle between Israel and the Midianites (q.v.) Balaam was slain while fighting on the side of Balak (Num. 31:8). The "doctrine of Balaam" is spoken of in Rev. 2:14, in allusion to the fact that it was through the teaching of Balaam that Balak learned the way by which the Israelites might be led into sin. (See NICOLAITANES.) Balaam was constrained to utter prophecies regarding the future of Israel of wonderful magnificence and beauty of expression (Num. 24:5-9, 17).
Baladan he has given a son, the father of the Babylonian king (2 Kings 20:12; Isa. 39:1) Merodach-baladan (q.v.).
Balah a city in the tribe of Simeon (Josh. 19:3), elsewhere called Bilhah (1 Chr. 4:29) and Baalah (Josh. 15:29).
Balak empty; spoiler, a son of Zippor, and king of the Moabites (Num. 22:2, 4). From fear of the Israelites, who were encamped near the confines of his territory, he applied to Balaam (q.v.) to curse them; but in vain (Josh. 24:9).
Balance occurs in Lev. 19:36 and Isa. 46:6, as the rendering of the Hebrew _kanch'_, which properly means "a reed" or "a cane," then a rod or beam of a balance. This same word is translated "measuring reed" in Ezek. 40:3,5; 42:16-18. There is another Hebrew word, _mozena'yim_, i.e., "two poisers", also so rendered (Dan. 5:27). The balances as represented on the most ancient Egyptian monuments resemble those now in use. A "pair of balances" is a symbol of justice and fair dealing (Job 31:6; Ps. 62:9; Prov. 11:1). The expression denotes great want and scarcity in Rev. 6:5.
Baldness from natural causes was uncommon (2 Kings 2:23; Isa. 3:24). It was included apparently under "scab" and "scurf," which disqualified for the priesthood (Lev. 21:20). The Egyptians were rarely subject to it. This probably arose from their custom of constantly shaving the head, only allowing the hair to grow as a sign of mourning. With the Jews artificial baldness was a sign of mourning (Isa. 22:12; Jer. 7:29; 16:6); it also marked the conclusion of a Nazarite's vow (Acts 18:18; 21:24; Num. 6:9). It is often alluded to (Micah 1:16; Amos 8:10; Jer. 47:5). The Jews were forbidden to follow the customs of surrounding nations in making themselves bald (Deut. 14:1).
Balm contracted from Bal'sam, a general name for many oily
or resinous substances which flow or trickle from certain trees or
plants when an incision is made through the bark.
(1.) This word occurs in the Authorized Version (Gen. 37:25; 43:11; Jer. 8:22; 46:11; 51:8; Ezek. 27:17) as the rendering of the Hebrew word _tsori_ or _tseri_, which denotes the gum of a tree growing in Gilead (q.v.), which is very precious. It was celebrated for its medicinal qualities, and was circulated as an article of merchandise by Arab and Phoenician merchants. The shrub so named was highly valued, and was almost peculiar to Palestine. In the time of Josephus it was cultivated in the neighbourhood of Jericho and the Dead Sea. There is an Arab tradition that the tree yielding this balm was brought by the queen of Sheba as a present to Solomon, and that he planted it in his gardens at Jericho.
(2.) There is another Hebrew word, _basam_ or _bosem_, from which our word "balsam," as well as the corresponding Greek balsamon, is derived. It is rendered "spice" (Cant. 5:1, 13; 6:2; margin of Revised Version, "balsam;" Ex. 35:28; 1 Kings 10:10), and denotes fragrance in general. _Basam_ also denotes the true balsam-plant, a native of South Arabia (Cant. l.c.).
Bamah a height, a name used simply to denote a high place where the Jews worshipped idols (Ezek. 20:29). The plural is translated "high places" in Num. 22:41 and Ezek. 36:2.
Bamoth heights, the forty-seventh station of the Israelites (Num. 21:19,20) in the territory of the Moabites.
Bamoth-baal heights of Baal, a place on the river Arnon, or in the plains through which it flows, east of Jordan (Josh. 13:17; comp. Num. 21:28). It has been supposed to be the same place as Bamoth.
Bands (1) of love (Hos. 11:4); (2) of Christ (Ps. 2:3); (3) uniting together Christ's body the church (Col. 2:19; 3:14; Eph. 4:3); (4) the emblem of the captivity of Israel (Ezek. 34:27; Isa. 28:22; 52:2); (5) of brotherhood (Ezek. 37:15-28); (6) no bands to the wicked in their death (Ps. 73:4; Job 21:7; Ps. 10:6). Also denotes chains (Luke 8:29); companies of soldiers (Acts 21:31); a shepherd's staff, indicating the union between Judah and Israel (Zech. 11:7).
(1.) 1 Chr. 6:46.
(2.) One of David's thirty-seven warriors, a Gadite (2 Sam. 23:36).
(3.) Ezra 2:10; 10:29,34,38.
(4.) A Levite who was prominent in the reforms on the return from Babylon (Neh. 8:7; 9:4,5). His son Rehum took part in rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:17).
(1.) The flag or banner of the larger kind, serving for three tribes marching together. These standards, of which there were four, were worked with embroidery and beautifully ornamented (Num. 1:52; 2:2, 3, 10, 18, 25; Cant. 2:4; 6:4, 10).
(2.) The flag borne by each separate tribe, of a smaller form. Probably it bore on it the name of the tribe to which it belonged, or some distinguishing device (Num. 2:2,34).
(3.) A lofty signal-flag, not carried about, but stationary. It was usually erected on a mountain or other lofty place. As soon as it was seen the war-trumpets were blown (Ps. 60:4; Isa. 5:26; 11:12; 13:2; 18:3; 30:17; Jer. 4:6 21; Ezek. 27:7).
(4.) A "sign of fire" (Jer. 6:1) was sometimes used as a signal. The banners and ensigns of the Roman army had idolatrous images upon them, and hence they are called the "abomination of desolation" (q.v.). The principal Roman standard, however, was an eagle. (See Matt. 24:28; Luke 17:37, where the Jewish nation is compared to a dead body, which the eagles gather together to devour.) God's setting up or giving a banner (Ps. 20:5; 60:4; Cant. 2:4) imports his presence and protection and aid extended to his people.
Banquet a feast provided for the entertainment of a company of guests (Esther 5; 7; 1 Pet. 4:3); such as was provided for our Lord by his friends in Bethany (Matt. 26:6; Mark 14:3; comp. John 12:2). These meals were in the days of Christ usually called "suppers," after the custom of the Romans, and were partaken of toward the close of the day. It was usual to send a second invitation (Matt. 22:3; Luke 14:17) to those who had been already invited. When the whole company was assembled, the master of the house shut the door with his own hands (Luke 13:25; Matt. 25:10). The guests were first refreshed with water and fragrant oil (Luke 7:38; Mark 7:4). A less frequent custom was that of supplying each guest with a robe to be worn during the feast (Eccles. 9:8; Rev. 3:4, 5; Matt. 22:11). At private banquets the master of the house presided; but on public occasions a "governor of the feast" was chosen (John 2:8). The guests were placed in order according to seniority (Gen. 43:33), or according to the rank they held (Prov. 25:6,7; Matt. 23:6; Luke 14:7). As spoons and knives and forks are a modern invention, and were altogether unknown in the East, the hands alone were necessarily used, and were dipped in the dish, which was common to two of the guests (John 13:26). In the days of our Lord the guests reclined at table; but the ancient Israelites sat around low tables, cross-legged, like the modern Orientals. Guests were specially honoured when extra portions were set before them (Gen. 43:34), and when their cup was filled with wine till it ran over (Ps. 23:5). The hands of the guests were usually cleaned by being rubbed on bread, the crumbs of which fell to the ground, and were the portion for dogs (Matt. 15:27; Luke 16:21). At the time of the three annual festivals at Jerusalem family banquets were common. To these the "widow, and the fatherless, and the stranger" were welcome (Deut. 16:11). Sacrifices also included a banquet (Ex. 34:15; Judg. 16:23). Birthday banquets are mentioned (Gen. 40:20; Matt. 14:6). They were sometimes protracted, and attended with revelry and excess (Gen. 21:8; 29:22; 1 Sam. 25:2,36; 2 Sam. 13:23). Portions were sometimes sent from the table to poorer friends (Neh. 8:10; Esther 9:19, 22). (See MEALS.)
Baptism, Christian an ordinance immediately instituted by Christ (Matt. 28:19, 20), and designed to be observed in the church, like that of the Supper, "till he come." The words "baptize" and "baptism" are simply Greek words transferred into English. This was necessarily done by the translators of the Scriptures, for no literal translation could properly express all that is implied in them. The mode of baptism can in no way be determined from the Greek word rendered "baptize." Baptists say that it means "to dip," and nothing else. That is an incorrect view of the meaning of the word. It means both (1) to dip a thing into an element or liquid, and (2) to put an element or liquid over or on it. Nothing therefore as to the mode of baptism can be concluded from the mere word used. The word has a wide latitude of meaning, not only in the New Testament, but also in the LXX. Version of the Old Testament, where it is used of the ablutions and baptisms required by the Mosaic law. These were effected by immersion, and by affusion and sprinkling; and the same word, "washings" (Heb. 9:10, 13, 19, 21) or "baptisms," designates them all. In the New Testament there cannot be found a single well-authenticated instance of the occurrence of the word where it necessarily means immersion. Moreover, none of the instances of baptism recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (2:38-41; 8:26-39; 9:17, 18; 22:12-16; 10:44-48; 16:32-34) favours the idea that it was by dipping the person baptized, or by immersion, while in some of them such a mode was highly improbable. The gospel and its ordinances are designed for the whole world, and it cannot be supposed that a form for the administration of baptism would have been prescribed which would in any place (as in a tropical country or in polar regions) or under any circumstances be inapplicable or injurious or impossible. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two symbolical ordinances of the New Testament. The Supper represents the work of Christ, and Baptism the work of the Spirit. As in the Supper a small amount of bread and wine used in this ordinance exhibits in symbol the great work of Christ, so in Baptism the work of the Holy Spirit is fully seen in the water poured or sprinkled on the person in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. That which is essential in baptism is only "washing with water," no mode being specified and none being necessary or essential to the symbolism of the ordinance. The apostles of our Lord were baptized with the Holy Ghost (Matt. 3:11) by his coming upon them (Acts 1:8). The fire also with which they were baptized sat upon them. The extraordinary event of Pentecost was explained by Peter as a fulfilment of the ancient promise that the Spirit would be poured out in the last days (2:17). He uses also with the same reference the expression shed forth as descriptive of the baptism of the Spirit (33). In the Pentecostal baptism "the apostles were not dipped into the Spirit, nor plunged into the Spirit; but the Spirit was shed forth, poured out, fell on them (11:15), came upon them, sat on them." That was a real and true baptism. We are warranted from such language to conclude that in like manner when water is poured out, falls, comes upon or rests upon a person when this ordinance is administered, that person is baptized. Baptism is therefore, in view of all these arguments "rightly administered by pouring or sprinkling water upon the person." The subjects of baptism. This raises questions of greater importance than those relating to its mode. 1. The controversy here is not about "believers' baptism," for that is common to all parties. Believers were baptized in apostolic times, and they have been baptized in all time by all the branches of the church. It is altogether a misrepresentation to allege, as is sometimes done by Baptists, that their doctrine is "believers' baptism." Every instance of adult baptism, or of "believers' baptism," recorded in the New Testament (Acts 2:41; 8:37; 9:17, 18; 10:47; 16:15; 19:5, etc.) is just such as would be dealt with in precisely the same way by all branches of the Protestant Church, a profession of faith or of their being "believers" would be required from every one of them before baptism. The point in dispute is not the baptism of believers, but whether the infant children of believers, i.e., of members of the church, ought to be baptized. 2. In support of the doctrine of infant baptism, i.e., of the baptism of the infants, or rather the "children," of believing parents, the following considerations may be adduced: The Church of Christ exists as a divinely organized community. It is the "kingdom of God," one historic kingdom under all dispensations. The commonwealth of Israel was the "church" (Acts 7:38; Rom. 9:4) under the Mosaic dispensation. The New Testament church is not a new and different church, but one with that of the Old Testament. The terms of admission into the church have always been the same viz., a profession of faith and a promise of subjection to the laws of the kingdom. Now it is a fact beyond dispute that the children of God's people under the old dispensation were recognized as members of the church. Circumcision was the sign and seal of their membership. It was not because of carnal descent from Abraham, but as being the children of God's professing people, that this rite was administered (Rom. 4:11). If children were members of the church under the old dispensation, which they undoubtedly were, then they are members of the church now by the same right, unless it can be shown that they have been expressly excluded. Under the Old Testament parents acted for their children and represented them. (See Gen. 9:9; 17:10; Ex. 24:7, 8; Deut. 29:9-13.) When parents entered into covenant with God, they brought their children with them. This was a law in the Hebrew Church. When a proselyte was received into membership, he could not enter without bringing his children with him. The New Testament does not exclude the children of believers from the church. It does not deprive them of any privilege they enjoyed under the Old Testament. There is no command or statement of any kind, that can be interpreted as giving any countenance to such an idea, anywhere to be found in the New Testament. The church membership of infants has never been set aside. The ancient practice, orginally appointed by God himself, must remain a law of his kingdom till repealed by the same divine authority. There are lambs in the fold of the Good Shepherd (John 21:15; comp. Luke 1:15; Matt. 19:14; 1 Cor. 7:14). "In a company of converts applying for admission into Christ's house there are likely to be some heads of families. How is their case to be treated? How, for example, are Lydia and her neighbour the keeper of the city prison to be treated? Both have been converted. Both are heads of families. They desire to be received into the infant church of Philippi. What is Christ's direction to them? Shall we say that it is to this effect: 'Arise, and wash away your sins, and come into my house. But you must come in by yourselves. These babes in your arms, you must leave them outside. They cannot believe yet, and so they cannot come in. Those other little ones by your side, their hearts may perhaps have been touched with the love of God; still, they are not old enough to make a personal profession, so they too must be left outside...For the present you must leave them where they are and come in by yourselves.' One may reasonably demand very stringent proofs before accepting this as a fair representation of the sort of welcome Christ offers to parents who come to his door bringing their children with them. Surely it is more consonant with all we know about him to suppose that his welcome will be more ample in its scope, and will breathe a more gracious tone. Surely it would be more like the Good Shepherd to say, 'Come in, and bring your little ones along with you. The youngest needs my salvation; and the youngest is accessible to my salvation. You may be unable as yet to deal with them about either sin or salvation, but my gracious power can find its way into their hearts even now. I can impart to them pardon and a new life. From Adam they have inherited sin and death; and I can so unite them to myself that in me they shall be heirs of righteousness and life. You may without misgiving bring them to me. And the law of my house requires that the same day which witnesses your reception into it by baptism must witness their reception also'" (The Church, by Professor Binnie, D.D.).
Baptism for the dead only mentioned in 1 Cor. 15:29. This expression as used by the apostle may be equivalent to saying, "He who goes through a baptism of blood in order to join a glorified church which has no existence [i.e., if the dead rise not] is a fool." Some also regard the statement here as an allusion to the strange practice which began, it is said, to prevail at Corinth, in which a person was baptized in the stead of others who had died before being baptized, to whom it was hoped some of the benefits of that rite would be extended. This they think may have been one of the erroneous customs which Paul went to Corinth to "set in order."
Baptism, John's was not Christian baptism, nor was that which was practised by the disciples previous to our Lord's crucifixion. Till then the New Testament economy did not exist. John's baptism bound its subjects to repentance, and not to the faith of Christ. It was not administered in the name of the Trinity, and those whom John baptized were rebaptized by Paul (Acts 18:24; 19:7).
Baptism of Christ. Christ had to be formally inaugurated into the public discharge of his offices. For this purpose he came to John, who was the representative of the law and the prophets, that by him he might be introduced into his offices, and thus be publicly recognized as the Messiah of whose coming the prophecies and types had for many ages borne witness. John refused at first to confer his baptism on Christ, for he understood not what he had to do with the "baptism of repentance." But Christ said, "'Suffer it to be so now,' NOW as suited to my state of humiliation, my state as a substitute in the room of sinners." His reception of baptism was not necessary on his own account. It was a voluntary act, the same as his act of becoming incarnate. Yet if the work he had engaged to accomplish was to be completed, then it became him to take on him the likeness of a sinner, and to fulfil all righteousness (Matt. 3:15). The official duty of Christ and the sinless person of Christ are to be distinguished. It was in his official capacity that he submitted to baptism. In coming to John our Lord virtually said, "Though sinless, and without any personal taint, yet in my public or official capacity as the Sent of God, I stand in the room of many, and bring with me the sin of the world, for which I am the propitiation." Christ was not made under the law on his own account. It was as surety of his people, a position which he spontaneously assumed. The administration of the rite of baptism was also a symbol of the baptism of suffering before him in this official capacity (Luke 12:50). In thus presenting himself he in effect dedicated or consecrated himself to the work of fulfilling all righteousness.
Bar 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. 3:13).
Barabbas i.e., son of Abba or of a father, a notorious robber whom Pilate proposed to condemn to death instead of Jesus, whom he wished to release, in accordance with the Roman custom (John 18:40; Mark 15:7; Luke 23:19). But the Jews were so bent on the death of Jesus that they demanded that Barabbas should be pardoned (Matt. 27:16-26; Acts 3:14). This Pilate did.
Barachel whom God has blessed, a Buzite, the father of Elihu, one of Job's friends (Job 32:2, 6).
Barachias, Berechiah 4 (q.v.), whom Jehovah hath blessed, father of the prophet Zechariah (Zech. 1:1,7; Matt. 23:35).
Barak lightning, the son of Abinoam (Judg. 4:6). At the summons of Deborah he made war against Jabin. She accompanied him into the battle, and gave the signal for the little army to make the attack; in which the host of Jabin was completely routed. The battle was fought (Judg. 4:16) in the plain of Jezreel (q.v.). This deliverance of Israel is commemorated in Judg. 5. Barak's faith is commended (Heb. 11:32). "The character of Barak, though pious, does not seem to have been heroic. Like Gideon, and in a sense Samson, he is an illustration of the words in Heb. 11:34, 'Out of weakness were made strong.'" (See DEBORAH.)
Barbarian a Greek word used in the New Testament (Rom. 1:14) to denote one of another nation. In Col. 3:11, the word more definitely designates those nations of the Roman empire that did not speak Greek. In 1 Cor. 14:11, it simply refers to one speaking a different language. The inhabitants of Malta are so called (Acts 28:1,2, 4). They were originally a Carthaginian colony. This word nowhere in Scripture bears the meaning it does in modern times.
Barber Found only once, in Ezek. 5:1, where reference is made to the Jewish custom of shaving the head as a sign of mourning. The Nazarites were untouched by the razor from their birth (Num. 6:5). Comp. Judg. 16:19.
Barefoot To go barefoot was a sign of great distress (Isa. 20:2, 3, 4), or of some great calamity having fallen on a person (2 Sam. 15:30).
Bariah fugitive, one of Shemaiah's five sons. Their father is counted along with them in 1 Chr. 3:22.
Bar-jesus son of Joshua, the patronymic of Elymas the sorcerer (Acts 13:6), who met Paul and Barnabas at Paphos. Elymas is a word of Arabic origin meaning "wise."
Bar-jona son of Jonah, the patronymic of Peter (Matt. 16:17; John 1:42), because his father's name was Jonas. (See PETER.)
Barkos painter, (Ezra 2:53; Neh. 7:55). The father of some of the Nethinim.
Barley a grain much cultivated in Egypt (Ex. 9:31) and in Palestine (Lev. 27:16; Deut. 8:8). It was usually the food of horses (1 Kings 4:28). Barley bread was used by the poorer people (Judg. 7:13; 2 Kings 4:42). Barley of the first crop was ready for the harvest by the time of the Passover, in the middle of April (Ruth 1:22; 2 Sam. 21:9). Mention is made of barley-meal (Num. 5:15). Our Lord fed five thousand with "five barley loaves and two small fishes" (John 6:9).
Barn a storehouse (Deut. 28:8; Job 39:12; Hag. 2:19) for grain, which was usually under ground, although also sometimes above ground (Luke 12:18).
Barnabas son of consolation, the surname of Joses, a Levite (Acts 4:36). His name stands first on the list of prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch (13:1). Luke speaks of him as a "good man" (11:24). He was born of Jewish parents of the tribe of Levi. He was a native of Cyprus, where he had a possession of land (Acts 4:36, 37), which he sold. His personal appearance is supposed to have been dignified and commanding (Acts 14:11, 12). When Paul returned to Jerusalem after his conversion, Barnabas took him and introduced him to the apostles (9:27). They had probably been companions as students in the school of Gamaliel. The prosperity of the church at Antioch led the apostles and brethren at Jerusalem to send Barnabas thither to superintend the movement. He found the work so extensive and weighty that he went to Tarsus in search of Saul to assist him. Saul returned with him to Antioch and laboured with him for a whole year (Acts 11:25, 26). The two were at the end of this period sent up to Jerusalem with the contributions the church at Antioch had made for the poorer brethren there (11:28-30). Shortly after they returned, bringing John Mark with them, they were appointed as missionaries to the heathen world, and in this capacity visited Cyprus and some of the principal cities of Asia Minor (Acts 13:14). Returning from this first missionary journey to Antioch, they were again sent up to Jerusalem to consult with the church there regarding the relation of Gentiles to the church (Acts 15:2: Gal. 2:1). This matter having been settled, they returned again to Antioch, bringing the decree of the council as the rule by which Gentiles were to be admitted into the church. When about to set forth on a second missionary journey, a dispute arose between Saul and Barnabas as to the propriety of taking John Mark with them again. The dispute ended by Saul and Barnabas taking separate routes. Saul took Silas as his companion, and journeyed through Syria and Cilicia; while Barnabas took his nephew John Mark, and visited Cyprus (Acts 15:36-41). Barnabas is not again mentioned by Luke in the Acts.
Barrel a vessel used for keeping flour (1 Kings 17:12, 14, 16). The same word (cad) so rendered is also translated "pitcher," a vessel for carrying water (Gen. 24:14; Judg. 7:16).
Barren For a woman to be barren was accounted a severe punishment among the Jews (Gen. 16:2; 30:1-23; 1 Sam. 1:6, 27; Isa. 47:9; 49:21; Luke 1:25). Instances of barrenness are noticed (Gen. 11:30; 25:21; 29:31; Judg. 13:2, 3; Luke 1:7, 36).
Barsabas son of Saba, the surname (1) of Joseph, also called Justus (Acts 1:23), some identify him with Barnabas; (2) of Judas, who was a "prophet." Nothing more is known of him than what is mentioned in Acts 15:32.
Bartholomew son of Tolmai, one of the twelve apostles (Matt. 10:3; Acts 1:13); generally supposed to have been the same as Nathanael. In the synoptic gospels Philip and Bartholomew are always mentioned together, while Nathanael is never mentioned; in the fourth gospel, on the other hand, Philip and Nathanael are similarly mentioned together, but nothing is said of Bartholomew. He was one of the disciples to whom our Lord appeared at the Sea of Tiberias after his resurrection (John 21:2). He was also a witness of the Ascension (Acts 1:4, 12, 13). He was an "Israelite indeed" (John 1:47).
Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, one of the two blind beggars of Jericho (Mark 10:46; Matt. 20:30). His blindness was miraculously cured on the ground of his faith.
(1.) The secretary of the prophet Jeremiah (32:12; 36:4). He was of the tribe of Judah (51:59). To him Jeremiah dictated his prophecies regarding the invasion of the Babylonians and the Captivity. These he read to the people from a window in the temple in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah (Jer. 36). He afterwards read them before the counsellors of the king at a private interview; and then to the king himself, who, after hearing a part of the roll, cut it with a penknife, and threw it into the fire of his winter parlour, where he was sitting. During the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, he was the keeper of the deed of purchase Jeremiah had made of the territory of Hanameel (Jer. 32:12). Being accused by his enemies of favouring the Chaldeans, he was cast, with Jeremiah, into prison, where he remained till the capture of Jerusalem (B.C. 586). He probably died in Babylon.
(2.) Neh. 3:20; 10:6; 11:5.
Barzillai of iron.
(1.) A Meholathite, the father of Adriel (2 Sam. 21:8).
(2.) A Gileadite of Rogelim who was distinguished for his loyalty to David. He liberally provided for the king's followers (2 Sam. 17:27). David on his death-bed, remembering his kindness, commended Barzillai's children to the care of Solomon (1 Kings 2:7).
(3.) A priest who married a daughter of the preceding (Ezra 2:61).
Bashan light soil, first mentioned in Gen. 14:5, where it
is said that Chedorlaomer and his confederates "smote the
Rephaim in Ashteroth," where Og the king of Bashan had his
residence. At the time of Israel's entrance into the Promised Land,
Og came out against them, but was utterly routed (Num. 21:33-35;
Deut. 3:1-7). This country extended from Gilead in the south to
Hermon in the north, and from the Jordan on the west to Salcah on the
east. Along with the half of Gilead it was given to the half-tribe of
Manasseh (Josh. 13:29-31). Golan, one of its cities, became a "city
of refuge" (Josh. 21:27). Argob, in Bashan, was one of Solomon's
commissariat districts (1 Kings 4:13). The cities of Bashan were
taken by Hazael (2 Kings 10:33), but were soon after reconquered by
Jehoash (2 Kings 13:25), who overcame the Syrians in three battles,
according to the word of Elisha (19). From this time Bashan almost
disappears from history, although we read of the wild cattle of its
rich pastures (Ezek. 39:18; Ps. 22:12), the oaks of its forests (Isa.
2:13; Ezek. 27:6; Zech. 11:2), and the beauty of its extensive plains
(Amos 4:1; Jer. 50:19). Soon after the conquest, the name "Gilead"
was given to the whole country beyond Jordan. After the Exile, Bashan
was divided into four districts,
(1.) Gaulonitis, or Jaulan, the most western;
(2.) Auranitis, the Hauran (Ezek. 47:16);
(3.) Argob or Trachonitis, now the Lejah; and
(4.) Batanaea, now Ard-el-Bathanyeh, on the east of the Lejah, with many deserted towns almost as perfect as when they were inhabited. (See HAURAN.)
Bashan-havoth-jair the Bashan of the villages of Jair, the general name given to Argob by Jair, the son of Manasseh (Deut. 3:14), containing sixty cities with walls and brazen gates (Josh. 13:30; 1 Kings 4:13). (See ARGOB.)
Bashan, Hill of (Ps. 68:15), probably another name for Hermon, which lies to the north of Bashan.
(1.) The daughter of Ishmael, the last of Esau's three wives (Gen. 36:3, 4, 13), from whose son Reuel four tribes of the Edomites sprung. She is also called Mahalath (Gen. 28:9). It is noticeable that Esau's three wives receive different names in the genealogical table of the Edomites (Gen. 36) from those given to them in the history (Gen. 26:34; 28:9).
(2.) A daughter of Solomon, and wife of Ahimaaz, one of his officers (1 Kings 4:15).
Basilisk (in R.V., Isa. 11:8; 14:29; 59:5; Jer. 8:17), the "king serpent," as the name imports; a fabulous serpent said to be three spans long, with a spot on its head like a crown. Probably the yellow snake is intended. (See COCKATRICE.)
Basin or Bason.
(1.) A trough or laver (Heb. aggan') for washing (Ex. 24:6); rendered also "goblet" (Cant. 7:2) and "cups" (Isa. 22:24).
(2.) A covered dish or urn (Heb. k'for) among the vessels of the temple (1 Chr. 28:17; Ezra 1:10; 8:27).
(3.) A vase (Heb. mizrak) from which to sprinkle anything. A metallic vessel; sometimes rendered "bowl" (Amos 6:6; Zech. 9:15). The vessels of the tabernacle were of brass (Ex. 27:3), while those of the temple were of gold (2 Chr. 4:8).
(4.) A utensil (Heb. saph) for holding the blood of the victims (Ex. 12:22); also a basin for domestic purposes (2 Sam. 17:28). The various vessels spoken of by the names "basin, bowl, charger, cup, and dish," cannot now be accurately distinguished. The basin in which our Lord washed the disciples' feet (John 13:5) must have been larger and deeper than the hand-basin.
Basket There are five different Hebrew words so rendered in
the Authorized Version:
(1.) A basket (Heb. sal, a twig or osier) for holding bread (Gen. 40:16; Ex. 29:3, 23; Lev. 8:2, 26, 31; Num. 6:15, 17, 19). Sometimes baskets were made of twigs peeled; their manufacture was a recognized trade among the Hebrews.
(2.) That used (Heb. salsilloth') in gathering grapes (Jer. 6:9).
(3.) That in which the first fruits of the harvest were presented, Heb. tene, (Deut. 26:2, 4). It was also used for household purposes. In form it tapered downwards like that called _corbis_ by the Romans.
(4.) A basket (Heb. kelub) having a lid, resembling a bird-cage. It was made of leaves or rushes. The name is also applied to fruit-baskets (Amos 8:1, 2).
(5.) A basket (Heb. dud) for carrying figs (Jer. 24:2), also clay to the brick-yard (R.V., Ps. 81:6), and bulky articles (2 Kings 10:7). This word is also rendered in the Authorized Version "kettle" (1 Sam. 2:14), "caldron" (2 Chr. 35:13), "seething-pot" (Job 41:20). In the New Testament mention is made of the basket (Gr. kophinos, small "wicker-basket") for the "fragments" in the miracle recorded Mark 6:43, and in that recorded Matt. 15:37 (Gr. spuris, large "rope-basket"); also of the basket in which Paul escaped (Acts 9:25, Gr. spuris; 2 Cor. 11: 33, Gr. sargane, "basket of plaited cords").
Bastard In the Old Testament the rendering of the Hebrew word _mamzer'_, which means "polluted." In Deut. 23:2, it occurs in the ordinary sense of illegitimate offspring. In Zech. 9:6, the word is used in the sense of foreigner. From the history of Jephthah we learn that there were bastard offspring among the Jews (Judg. 11:1-7). In Heb. 12:8, the word (Gr. nothoi) is used in its ordinary sense, and denotes those who do not share the privileges of God's children.
Bastinado beating, a mode of punishment common in the East. It is referred to by "the rod of correction" (Prov. 22:15), "scourging" (Lev. 19:20), "chastising" (Deut. 22:18). The number of blows could not exceed forty (Deut. 25:2, 3).
Bat The Hebrew word (atalleph') so rendered (Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18) implies "flying in the dark." The bat is reckoned among the birds in the list of unclean animals. To cast idols to the "moles and to the bats" means to carry them into dark caverns or desolate places to which these animals resort (Isa. 2:20), i.e., to consign them to desolation or ruin.
Bath a Hebrew liquid measure, the tenth part of an homer (1 Kings 7:26, 38; Ezek. 45:10, 14). It contained 8 gallons 3 quarts of our measure. "Ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath" (Isa. 5:10) denotes great unproductiveness.
Bath-rabbim daughter of many, the name of one of the gates of the city of Heshbon, near which were pools (Cant.7:4).
Baths The use of the bath was very frequent among the Hebrews (Lev. 14:8; Num. 19:19, ect.). The high priest at his inauguration (Lev. 8:6), and on the day of atonement, was required to bathe himself (16:4, 24). The "pools" mentioned in Neh. 3:15, 16, 2 Kings 20:20, Isa. 22:11, John 9:7, were public bathing-places.
Bath-sheba daughter of the oath, or of seven, called also Bath-shu'a (1 Chr. 3:5), was the daughter of Eliam (2 Sam. 11:3) or Ammiel (1 Chr. 3:5), and wife of Uriah the Hittite. David committed adultery with her (2 Sam. 11:4, 5; Ps. 51:1). The child born in adultery died (2 Sam. 12:15-19). After her husband was slain (11:15) she was married to David (11:27), and became the mother of Solomon (12:24; 1 Kings 1:11; 2:13). She took a prominent part in securing the succession of Solomon to the throne (1 Kings 1:11, 16-21).
Battering-ram (Ezek. 4:2; 21:22), a military engine, consisting of a long beam of wood hung upon a frame, for making breaches in walls. The end of it which was brought against the wall was shaped like a ram's head.
Battle-axe a mallet or heavy war-club. Applied metaphorically (Jer. 51:20) to Cyrus, God's instrument in destroying Babylon.
Battle-bow the war-bow used in fighting (Zech. 9:10; 10:4). "Thy bow was made quite naked" (Hab. 3:9) means that it was made ready for use. By David's order (2 Sam. 1:18) the young men were taught the use, or rather the song of the bow. (See ARMOUR, BOW.)
Battlement a parapet wall or balustrade surrounding the flat roofs of the houses, required to be built by a special law (Deut. 22:8). In Jer. 5:10, it denotes the parapet of a city wall.
Bay 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 Nile. 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.
Bay tree named only in Ps. 37:35, Authorized Version. The Hebrew word so rendered is _ereh_, which simply means "native born", i.e., a tree not transplanted, but growing on its native soil, and therefore luxuriantly. If the psalmist intended by this word to denote any particular tree, it may have been the evergreen bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), which is a native of Palestine. Instead of "like a green bay tree" in the Authorized Version, the Revised Version has, "like a green tree in its native soil."
Bdellium occurs only in Gen. 2:12, where it designates a product of the land of Havilah; and in Num. 11:7, where the manna is likened to it in colour. It was probably an aromatic gum like balsam which exuded from a particular tree (Borassus flabelliformis) still found in Arabia, Media, and India. It bears a resemblance in colour to myrrh. Others think the word denotes "pearls," or some precious stone.
Beacon a pole (Heb. to'ren) used as a standard or ensign set on the tops of mountains as a call to the people to assemble themselves for some great national purpose (Isa. 30:17). In Isa. 33:23 and Ezek. 27:5, the same word is rendered "mast." (See Banner.)
Bealiah whose Lord is Jehovah, a Benjamite, one of David's thirty heroes of the sling and bow (1 Chr. 12:5).
Bealoth citizens, a town in the extreme south of Judah (Josh. 15:24); probably the same as Baalath-beer (19:8). In 1 Kings 4:16, the Authorized Version has "in Aloth," the Revised Version "Bealoth."
Beam occurs in the Authorized Version as the rendering of various Hebrew words. In 1 Sam. 17:7, it means a weaver's frame or principal beam; in Hab. 2:11, a crossbeam or girder; 2 Kings 6:2, 5, a cross-piece or rafter of a house; 1 Kings 7:6, an architectural ornament as a projecting step or moulding; Ezek. 41:25, a thick plank. In the New Testament the word occurs only in Matt. 7:3, 4, 5, and Luke 6:41, 42, where it means (Gr. dokos) a large piece of wood used for building purposes, as contrasted with "mote" (Gr. karphos), a small piece or mere splinter. "Mote" and "beam" became proverbial for little and great faults.
Beans mentioned in 2 Sam. 17:28 as having been brought to David when flying from Absalom. They formed a constituent in the bread Ezekiel (4:9) was commanded to make, as they were in general much used as an article of diet. They are extensively cultivated in Egypt and Arabia and Syria.
Bear a native of the mountain regions of Western Asia, frequently mentioned in Scripture. David defended his flocks against the attacks of a bear (1 Sam. 17:34-37). Bears came out of the wood and destroyed the children who mocked the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 2:24). Their habits are referred to in Isa. 59:11; Prov. 28:15; Lam. 3:10. The fury of the female bear when robbed of her young is spoken of (2 Sam. 17:8; Prov. 17:12; Hos. 13:8). In Daniel's vision of the four great monarchies, the Medo-Persian empire is represented by a bear (7:5).
Beard The mode of wearing it was definitely prescribed to the Jews (Lev. 19:27; 21:5). Hence the import of Ezekiel's (5:1-4) description of the "razor" i.e., the agents of an angry providence being used against the guilty nation of the Jews. It was a part of a Jew's daily toilet to anoint his beard with oil and perfume (Ps. 133:2). Beards were trimmed with the most fastidious care (2 Sam. 19:24), and their neglet was an indication of deep sorrow (Isa. 15:2; Jer. 41:5). The custom was to shave or pluck off the hair as a sign of mourning (Isa. 50:6; Jer. 48:37; Ezra 9:3). The beards of David's ambassadors were cut off by hanun (2 Sam. 10:4) as a mark of indignity. On the other hand, the Egyptians carefully shaved the hair off their faces, and they compelled their slaves to do so also (Gen. 41:14).
Beast This word is used of flocks or herds of grazing animals (Ex. 22:5; Num. 20:4, 8, 11; Ps. 78:48); of beasts of burden (Gen. 45:17); of eatable beasts (Prov. 9:2); and of swift beasts or dromedaries (Isa. 60:6). In the New Testament it is used of a domestic animal as property (Rev. 18:13); as used for food (1 Cor. 15:39), for service (Luke 10:34; Acts 23:24), and for sacrifice (Acts 7:42). When used in contradistinction to man (Ps. 36:6), it denotes a brute creature generally, and when in contradistinction to creeping things (Lev. 11:2-7; 27:26), a four-footed animal. The Mosaic law required that beasts of labour should have rest on the Sabbath (Ex. 20:10; 23:12), and in the Sabbatical year all cattle were allowed to roam about freely, and eat whatever grew in the fields (Ex. 23:11; Lev. 25:7). No animal could be castrated (Lev. 22:24). Animals of different kinds were to be always kept separate (Lev. 19:19; Deut. 22:10). Oxen when used in threshing were not to be prevented from eating what was within their reach (Deut. 25:4; 1 Cor.9:9). This word is used figuratively of an infuriated multitude (1 Cor. 15:32; Acts 19:29; comp. Ps. 22:12, 16; Eccl. 3:18; Isa. 11:6-8), and of wicked men (2 Pet. 2:12). The four beasts of Daniel 7:3, 17, 23 represent four kingdoms or kings.
Beaten gold in Num. 8:4, means "turned" or rounded work in gold. The Greek Version, however, renders the word "solid gold;" the Revised Version, "beaten work of gold." In 1 Kings 10:16, 17, it probably means "mixed" gold, as the word ought to be rendered, i.e., not pure gold. Others render the word in these places "thin plates of gold."
Beaten oil (Ex. 27:20; 29:40), obtained by pounding olives in a mortar, not by crushing them in a mill. It was reckoned the best. (See OLIVE.)
Beautiful gate the name of one of the gates of the temple (Acts 3:2). It is supposed to have been the door which led from the court of the Gentiles to the court of the women. It was of massive structure, and covered with plates of Corinthian brass.
Becher first-born; a youth, the second son of Benjamin (Gen. 46:21), who came down to Egypt with Jacob. It is probable that he married an Ephraimitish heiress, and that his descendants were consequently reckoned among the tribe of Ephraim (Num. 26:35; 1 Chr. 7:20, 21). They are not reckoned among the descendants of Benjamin (Num. 26:38).
Bed (Heb. mittah), for rest at night (Ex. 8:3; 1 Sam. 19:13, 15, 16, etc.); during sickness (Gen. 47:31; 48:2; 49:33, etc.); as a sofa for rest (1 Sam. 28:23; Amos 3:12). Another Hebrew word (er'es) so rendered denotes a canopied bed, or a bed with curtains (Deut. 3:11; Ps. 132:3), for sickness (Ps. 6:6; 41:3). In the New Testament it denotes sometimes a litter with a coverlet (Matt. 9:2, 6; Luke 5:18; Acts 5:15). The Jewish bedstead was frequently merely the divan or platform along the sides of the house, sometimes a very slight portable frame, sometimes only a mat or one or more quilts. The only material for bed-clothes is mentioned in 1 Sam. 19:13. Sleeping in the open air was not uncommon, the sleeper wrapping himself in his outer garment (Ex. 22:26,27; Deut. 24:12,13).
Bedan one of the judges of Israel (1 Sam. 12:11). It is uncertain who he was. Some suppose that Barak is meant, others Samson, but most probably this is a contracted form of Abdon (Judg. 12:13).
Bed-chamber an apartment in Eastern houses, furnished with a slightly elevated platform at the upper end and sometimes along the sides, on which were laid mattresses. This was the general arrangement of the public sleeping-room for the males of the family and for guests, but there were usually besides distinct bed-chambers of a more private character (2 Kings 4:10; Ex. 8:3; 2 Kings 6:12). In 2 Kings 11:2 this word denotes, as in the margin of the Revised Version, a store-room in which mattresses were kept.
Bedstead used in Deut. 3:11, but elsewhere rendered "couch," "bed." In 2 Kings 1:4; 16:2; Ps. 132:3; Amos 3:12, the divan is meant by this word.
Bee First mentioned in Deut. 1:44. Swarms of bees, and the danger of their attacks, are mentioned in Ps. 118:12. Samson found a "swarm of bees" in the carcass of a lion he had slain (Judg. 14:8). Wild bees are described as laying up honey in woods and in clefts of rocks (Deut. 32:13; Ps. 81:16). In Isa. 7:18 the "fly" and the "bee" are personifications of the Egyptians and Assyrians, the inveterate enemies of Israel.
Beelzebub (Gr. form Beel'zebul), the name given to Satan, and found only in the New Testament (Matt. 10:25; 12:24, 27; Mark 3:22). It is probably the same as Baalzebub (q.v.), the god of Ekron, meaning "the lord of flies," or, as others think, "the lord of dung," or "the dung-god."
(1.) A place where a well was dug by the direction of Moses, at the forty-fourth station of the Hebrews in their wanderings (Num. 21:16-18) in the wilderness of Moab. (See WELL.)
(2.) A town in the tribe of Judah to which Jotham fled for fear of Abimelech (Judg. 9:21). Some have identified this place with Beeroth.
Beer-elim well of heroes, probably the name given to Beer, the place where the chiefs of Israel dug a well (Num. 21:16; Isa. 15:8).
Beeri illustrious, or the well-man.
(1.) The father of Judith, one of the wives of Esau (Gen. 26:34), the same as Adah (Gen. 36:2).
(2.) The father of the prophet Hosea (1:1).
Beer-lahai-roi i.e., "the well of him that liveth and seeth me," or, as some render it, "the well of the vision of life", the well where the Lord met with Hagar (Gen. 16:7-14). Isaac dwelt beside this well (24:62; 25:11). It has been identified with 'Ain Muweileh, or Moilahhi, south-west of Beersheba, and about 12 miles W. from Kadesh-barnea.
Beeroth wells, one of the four cities of the Hivites which entered by fraud into a league with Joshua. It belonged to Benjamin (Josh. 18:25). It has by some been identified with el-Bireh on the way to Nablus, 10 miles north of Jerusalem.
Beeroth of the children of Jaakan (Deut. 10:6). The same as Bene-jaakan (Num. 33:31).
Beersheba well of the oath, or well of seven, a well dug by Abraham, and so named because he and Abimelech here entered into a compact (Gen. 21:31). On re-opening it, Isaac gave it the same name (Gen. 26:31-33). It was a favourite place of abode of both of these patriarchs (21:33-22:1, 19; 26:33; 28:10). It is mentioned among the "cities" given to the tribe of Simeon (Josh. 19:2; 1 Chr. 4:28). From Dan to Beersheba, a distance of about 144 miles (Judg. 20:1; 1 Chr. 21:2; 2 Sam. 24:2), became the usual way of designating the whole Promised Land, and passed into a proverb. After the return from the Captivity the phrase is narrowed into "from Beersheba unto the valley of Hinnom" (Neh. 11:30). The kingdom of the ten tribes extended from Beersheba to Mount Ephraim (2 Chr. 19:4). The name is not found in the New Testament. It is still called by the Arabs Bir es-Seba, i.e., "well of the seven", where there are to the present day two principal wells and five smaller ones. It is nearly midway between the southern end of the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean.
Beetle (Heb. hargol, meaning "leaper"). Mention of it is made only in Lev. 11:22, where it is obvious the word cannot mean properly the beetle. It denotes some winged creeper with at least four feet, "which has legs above its feet, to leap withal." The description plainly points to the locust (q.v.). This has been an article of food from the earliest times in the East to the present day. The word is rendered "cricket" in the Revised Version.
Beeves (an old English plural of the word beef), a name applicable to all ruminating animals except camels, and especially to the Bovidce, or horned cattle (Lev. 22:19, 21; Num. 31:28, 30, 33, 38, 44).
Beg That the poor existed among the Hebrews we have abundant evidence (Ex. 23:11; Deut. 15:11), but there is no mention of beggars properly so called in the Old Testament. The poor were provided for by the law of Moses (Lev. 19:10; Deut. 12:12; 14:29). It is predicted of the seed of the wicked that they shall be beggars (Ps. 37:25; 109:10). In the New Testament we find not seldom mention made of beggars (Mark 10:46; Luke 16:20, 21; Acts 3:2), yet there is no mention of such a class as vagrant beggars, so numerous in the East. "Beggarly," in Gal. 4:9, means worthless.
Behead a method of taking away life practised among the Egyptians (Gen. 40:17-19). There are instances of this mode of punishment also among the Hebrews (2 Sam. 4:8; 20:21,22; 2 Kings 10:6-8). It is also mentioned in the New Testament (Matt. 14:8-12; Acts 12:2).
Behemoth (Job 40:15-24). Some have supposed this to be an Egyptian word meaning a "water-ox." The Revised Version has here in the margin "hippopotamus," which is probably the correct rendering of the word. The word occurs frequently in Scripture, but, except here, always as a common name, and translated "beast" or "cattle."
Bekah Both the name and its explanation, "a half shekel," are given in Ex. 38:26. The word properly means a "division," a "part." (R.V., "beka.")
Bel the Aramaic form of Baal, the national god of the Babylonians (Isa. 46:1; Jer. 50:2; 51:44). It signifies "lord." (See BAAL.)
Bela a thing swallowed.
(1.) A city on the shore of the Dead Sea, not far from Sodom, called also Zoar. It was the only one of the five cities that was spared at Lot's intercession (Gen. 19:20,23). It is first mentioned in Gen. 14:2,8.
(2.) The eldest son of Benjamin (Num. 26:38; "Belah," Gen. 46:21).
(3.) The son of Beor, and a king of Edom (Gen. 36:32, 33; 1 Chr. 1:43).
(4.) A son of Azaz (1 Chr. 5:8).
Belial worthlessness, frequently used in the Old Testament as a proper name. It is first used in Deut. 13:13. In the New Testament it is found only in 2 Cor. 6:15, where it is used as a name of Satan, the personification of all that is evil. It is translated "wicked" in Deut. 15:9; Ps. 41:8 (R.V. marg.); 101:3; Prov. 6:12, etc. The expression "son" or "man of Belial" means simply a worthless, lawless person (Judg. 19:22; 20:13; 1 Sam. 1:16; 2:12).
Bell The bells first mentioned in Scripture are the small golden bells attached to the hem of the high priest's ephod (Ex. 28:33, 34, 35). The "bells of the horses" mentioned by Zechariah (14:20) were attached to the bridles or belts round the necks of horses trained for war, so as to accustom them to noise and tumult.
Bellows occurs only in Jer. 6:29, in relation to the casting of metal. Probably they consisted of leather bags similar to those common in Egypt.
Belly the seat of the carnal affections (Titus 1:12; Phil. 3:19; Rom. 16:18). The word is used symbolically for the heart (Prov. 18:8; 20:27; 22:18, marg.). The "belly of hell" signifies the grave or underworld (Jonah 2:2).
Belshazzar Bel protect the king!, the last of the kings of Babylon (Dan. 5:1). He was the son of Nabonidus by Nitocris, who was the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar and the widow of Nergal-sharezer. When still young he made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and when heated with wine sent for the sacred vessels his "father" (Dan. 5:2), or grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from the temple in Jerusalem, and he and his princes drank out of them. In the midst of their mad revelry a hand was seen by the king tracing on the wall the announcement of God's judgment, which that night fell upon him. At the instance of the queen (i.e., his mother) Daniel was brought in, and he interpreted the writing. That night the kingdom of the Chaldeans came to an end, and the king was slain (Dan. 5:30). (See NERGAL-SHAREZER.) The absence of the name of Belshazzar on the monuments was long regarded as an argument against the genuineness of the Book of Daniel. In 1854 Sir Henry Rawlinson found an inscription of Nabonidus which referred to his eldest son. Quite recently, however, the side of a ravine undermined by heavy rains fell at Hillah, a suburb of Babylon. A number of huge, coarse earthenware vases were laid bare. These were filled with tablets, the receipts and contracts of a firm of Babylonian bankers, which showed that Belshazzar had a household, with secretaries and stewards. One was dated in the third year of the king Marduk-sar-uzur. As Marduk-sar-uzar was another name for Baal, this Marduk-sar-uzur was found to be the Belshazzar of Scripture. In one of these contract tablets, dated in the July after the defeat of the army of Nabonidus, we find him paying tithes for his sister to the temple of the sun-god at Sippara.
Belteshazzar Beltis protect the king!, the Chaldee name given to Daniel by Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 1:7).
Benaiah built up by Jehovah.
(1.) The son of Jehoiada, chief priest (1 Chr. 27:5). He was set by David over his body-guard of Cherethites and Pelethites (2 Sam. 8:18; 1 Kings 1:32; 1 Chr. 18:17). His exploits are enumerated in 2 Sam. 23:20, 21, 22; 1 Chr. 11:22. He remained faithful to Solomon (1 Kings 1:8, 10, 26), by whom he was raised to the rank of commander-in-chief (1 Kings 2:25, 29, 30, 34, 35; 4:4).
(2.) 2 Sam. 23:30; 1 Chr. 11:31.
(3.) A musical Levite (1 Chr. 15:18, 20).
(4.) A priest (1 Chr. 15:24; 16:6).
(5.) The son of Jeiel (2 Chr. 20:14).
Ben-ammi son of my kindred; i.e., "born of incest", the son of Lot by his youngest daughter (Gen. 19:38).
Bench deck of a Tyrian ship, described by Ezekiel (27:6) as overlaid with box-wood.
Bene-jaakan children of Jaakan (Num. 33:31, 32), the same as Beeroth.
Ben-hadad the standing title of the Syrian kings, meaning
"the son of Hadad." (See HADADEZER.)
(1.) The king of Syria whom Asa, king of Judah, employed to invade Israel (1 Kings 15:18).
(2.) Son of the preceding, also king of Syria. He was long engaged in war against Israel. He was murdered probably by Hazael, by whom he was succeeded (2 Kings 8:7-15), after a reign of some thirty years.
(3.) King of Damascus, and successor of his father Hazael on the throne of Syria (2 Kings 13:3, 4). His misfortunes in war are noticed by Amos (1:4).
Benjamin son of my right hand.
(1.) The younger son of Jacob by Rachel (Gen. 35:18). His birth took place at Ephrath, on the road between Bethel and Bethlehem, at a short distance from the latter place. His mother died in giving him birth, and with her last breath named him Ben-oni, son of my pain, a name which was changed by his father into Benjamin. His posterity are called Benjamites (Gen. 49:27; Deut. 33:12; Josh. 18:21). The tribe of Benjamin at the Exodus was the smallest but one (Num. 1:36, 37; Ps. 68:27). During the march its place was along with Manasseh and Ephraim on the west of the tabernacle. At the entrance into Canaan it counted 45,600 warriors. It has been inferred by some from the words of Jacob (Gen. 49:27) that the figure of a wolf was on the tribal standard. This tribe is mentioned in Rom. 11:1; Phil. 3:5. The inheritance of this tribe lay immediately to the south of that of Ephraim, and was about 26 miles in length and 12 in breadth. Its eastern boundary was the Jordan. Dan intervened between it and the Philistines. Its chief towns are named in Josh. 18:21-28. The history of the tribe contains a sad record of a desolating civil war in which they were engaged with the other eleven tribes. By it they were almost exterminated (Judg. 20:20, 21; 21:10). (See GIBEAH.) The first king of the Jews was Saul, a Benjamite. A close alliance was formed between this tribe and that of Judah in the time of David (2 Sam. 19:16, 17), which continued after his death (1 Kings 11:13; 12:20). After the Exile these two tribes formed the great body of the Jewish nation (Ezra 1:5; 10:9). The tribe of Benjamin was famous for its archers (1 Sam. 20:20, 36; 2 Sam. 1:22; 1 Chr. 8:40; 12:2) and slingers (Judge. 20:6). The gate of Benjamin, on the north side of Jerusalem (Jer. 37:13; 38:7; Zech. 14:10), was so called because it led in the direction of the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. It is called by Jeremiah (20:2) "the high gate of Benjamin;" also "the gate of the children of the people" (17:19). (Comp. 2 Kings 14:13.)
Beor a torch.
(1.) The father of Bela, one of the kings of Edom (Gen. 36:32).
(2.) The father of Balaam (Num. 22:5; 24:3, 15; 31:8). In 2 Pet. 2:15 he is called Bosor.
Bera gift, or son of evil, king of Sodom at the time of the invasion of the four kings under Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:2, 8, 17, 21).
(1.) A valley not far from Engedi, where Jehoshaphat overthrew the Moabites and Ammonites (2 Chr. 20:26). It has been identified with the valley of Bereikut. (R.V., "Beracah.")
(2.) One of the Benjamite warriors, Saul's brethren, who joined David when at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:3).
Berea a city of Macedonia to which Paul with Silas and Timotheus went when persecuted at Thessalonica (Acts 17:10, 13), and from which also he was compelled to withdraw, when he fled to the sea-coast and thence sailed to Athens (14, 15). Sopater, one of Paul's companions belonged to this city, and his conversion probably took place at this time (Acts 20:4). It is now called Verria.
Berechiah blessed by Jehovah.
(1.) Son of Shimea, and father of Asaph the musician (1 Chr. 6:39; 15:17).
(2.) One of the seven Ephraimite chieftains, son of Meshillemoth (2 Chr. 28:12).
(3.) The fourth of the five sons of Zerubbabel, of the royal family of Judah (1 Chr. 3:20).
(4.) The father of the prophet Zechariah (1:1,7).
(1.) A town in the south of Palestine (Gen. 16:14), in the desert of Shur, near Lahai-roi.
(2.) A son of Shuthelah, and grandson of Ephraim (1 Chr. 7:20).
Beriah a gift, or in evil.
(1.) One of Asher's four sons, and father of Heber (Gen. 46:17).
(2.) A son of Ephraim (1 Chr. 7:20-23), born after the slaughter of his brothers, and so called by his father "because it went evil with his house" at that time.
(3.) A Benjamite who with his brother Shema founded Ajalon and expelled the Gittites (1 Chr. 8:13).
Bernice bearer of victory, the eldest daughter of Agrippa I., the Herod Agrippa of Acts 12:20. After the early death of her first husband she was married to her uncle Herod, king of Chalcis. After his death (A.D. 40) she lived in incestuous connection with her brother Agrippa II. (Acts 25:13, 23; 26:30). They joined the Romans at the outbreak of the final war between them and the Jews, and lived afterwards at Rome.
Berodach-baladan the king of Babylon who sent a friendly deputation to Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:12). In Isa. 39:1 he is called Merodach-baladan (q.v.).
Beryl the rendering in the Authorized Version of the Hebrew word _tarshish_, a precious stone; probably so called as being brought from Tarshish. It was one of the stones on the breastplate of the high priest (Ex. 28:20; R.V. marg., "chalcedony;" 39:13). The colour of the wheels in Ezekiel's vision was as the colour of a beryl stone (1:16; 10:9; R.V., "stone of Tarshish"). It is mentioned in Cant. 5:14; Dan. 10:6; Rev. 21:20. In Ezek. 28:13 the LXX. render the word by "chrysolite," which the Jewish historian Josephus regards as its proper translation. This also is the rendering given in the Authorized Version in the margin. That was a gold-coloured gem, the topaz of ancient authors.
Besom the rendering of a Hebrew word meaning sweeper, occurs only in Isa. 14:23, of the sweeping away, the utter ruin, of Babylon.
Besor cold, a ravine or brook in the extreme south-west of Judah, where 200 of David's men stayed behind because they were faint, while the other 400 pursued the Amalekites (1 Sam. 30:9, 10, 21). Probably the Wadyes Sheriah, south of Gaza.
Bestead the rendering in Isa. 8:21, where alone it occurs, of a Hebrew word meaning to oppress, or be in circumstances of hardship.
Betah confidence, a city belonging to Hadadezer, king of Zobah, which yielded much spoil of brass to David (2 Sam. 8:8). In 1 Chr. 18:8 it is called Tibhath.
Beth occurs frequently as the appellation for a house, or dwelling-place, in such compounds as the words immediately following:
Bethabara house of the ford, a place on the east bank of the Jordan, where John was baptizing (John 1:28). It may be identical with Bethbarah, the ancient ford of Jordan of which the men of Ephraim took possession (Judg. 7:24). The Revised Version reads "Bethany beyond Jordan." It was the great ford, and still bears the name of "the ford," Makhadhet 'Abarah, "the ford of crossing over," about 25 miles from Nazareth. (See BETHBARAH.)
Beth-anath house of response, one of the fenced cities of Naphtali (Josh. 19:38). It is perhaps identical with the modern village 'Ainata, 6 miles west of Kedesh.
Beth-anoth house of answers, a city in the mountainous district of Judah (Josh. 15:59). It has been identified with the modern Beit-'Anun, about 3 miles northeast of Hebron.
Bethany house of dates.
(1.) The Revised Version in John 1:28 has this word instead of Bethabara, on the authority of the oldest manuscripts. It appears to have been the name of a place on the east of Jordan.
(2.) A village on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives (Mark 11:1), about 2 miles east of Jerusalem, on the road to Jericho. It derived its name from the number of palm-trees which grew there. It was the residence of Lazarus and his sisters. It is frequently mentioned in connection with memorable incidents in the life of our Lord (Matt. 21:17; 26:6; Mark 11:11, 12; 14:3; Luke 24:50; John 11:1; 12:1). It is now known by the name of el-Azariyeh, i.e., "place of Lazarus," or simply Lazariyeh. Seen from a distance, the village has been described as "remarkably beautiful, the perfection of retirement and repose, of seclusion and lovely peace." Now a mean village, containing about twenty families.
Beth-arabah 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).
Beth-aram house of the height; i.e., "mountain-house", one of the towns of Gad, 3 miles east of Jordan, opposite Jericho (Josh. 13:27). Probably the same as Beth-haran in Num. 32:36. It was called by king Herod, Julias, or Livias, after Livia, the wife of Augustus. It is now called Beit-haran.
Beth-arbel house of God's court, a place alluded to by Hosea (10:14) as the scene of some great military exploit, but not otherwise mentioned in Scripture. The Shalman here named was probably Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria (2 Kings 17:3).
Beth-aven house of nothingness; i.e., "of idols", a place in the mountains of Benjamin, east of Bethel (Josh. 7:2; 18:12; 1 Sam. 13:5). In Hos. 4:15; 5:8; 10:5 it stands for "Bethel" (q.v.), and it is so called because it was no longer the "house of God," but "the house of idols," referring to the calves there worshipped.
Beth-barah house of crossing, a place south of the scene of Gideon's victory (Judg. 7:24). It was probably the chief ford of the Jordan in that district, and may have been that by which Jacob crossed when he returned from Mesopotamia, near the Jabbok (Gen. 32:22), and at which Jephthah slew the Ephraimites (Judg. 12:4). Nothing, however, is certainly known of it. (See BETHABARA.)
Beth-car sheep-house, a place to which the Israelites pursued the Philistines west from Mizpeh (1 Sam. 7:11).
Beth-dagon house of Dagon.
(1.) A city in the low country or plain of Judah, near Philistia (Josh. 15:41); the modern Beit Degan, about 5 miles from Lydda.
(2.) A city near the south-east border of Asher (Josh. 19:27). It was a Philistine colony. It is identical with the modern ruined village of Tell D'auk.
Beth-diblathaim house of two cakes of figs, a city of Moab, upon which Jeremiah (48:22) denounced destruction. It is called also Almon-diblathaim (Num. 33:46) and Diblath (Ezek. 6:14). (R.V., "Diblah.")
Bethel house of God.
(1.) A place in Central Palestine, about 10 miles north of Jerusalem, at the head of the pass of Michmash and Ai. It was originally the royal Canaanite city of Luz (Gen. 28:19). The name Bethel was at first apparently given to the sanctuary in the neighbourhood of Luz, and was not given to the city itself till after its conquest by the tribe of Ephraim. When Abram entered Canaan he formed his second encampment between Bethel and Hai (Gen. 12:8); and on his return from Egypt he came back to it, and again "called upon the name of the Lord" (13:4). Here Jacob, on his way from Beersheba to Haran, had a vision of the angels of God ascending and descending on the ladder whose top reached unto heaven (28:10, 19); and on his return he again visited this place, "where God talked with him" (35:1-15), and there he "built an altar, and called the place El-beth-el" (q.v.). To this second occasion of God's speaking with Jacob at Bethel, Hosea (12:4,5) makes reference. In troublous times the people went to Bethel to ask counsel of God (Judg. 20:18, 31; 21:2). Here the ark of the covenant was kept for a long time under the care of Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron (20:26-28). Here also Samuel held in rotation his court of justice (1 Sam. 7:16). It was included in Israel after the kingdom was divided, and it became one of the seats of the worship of the golden calf (1 Kings 12:28-33; 13:1). Hence the prophet Hosea (Hos. 4:15; 5:8; 10:5, 8) calls it in contempt Beth-aven, i.e., "house of idols." Bethel remained an abode of priests even after the kingdom of Israel was desolated by the king of Assyria (2 Kings 17:28, 29). At length all traces of the idolatries were extirpated by Josiah, king of Judah (2 Kings 23:15-18); and the place was still in existence after the Captivity (Ezra 2:28; Neh. 7:32). It has been identified with the ruins of Beitin, a small village amid extensive ruins some 9 miles south of Shiloh.
(2.) Mount Bethel was a hilly district near Bethel (Josh. 16:1; 1 Sam. 13:2).
(3.) A town in the south of Judah (Josh. 8:17; 12:16).
Bethelite a designation of Hiel (q.v.), who rebuilt Jericho and experienced the curse pronounced long before (1 Kings 16:34).
Bether dissection or separation, certain mountains mentioned in Cant. 2:17; probably near Lebanon.
Bethesda house of mercy, a reservoir (Gr. kolumbethra, "a swimming bath") with five porches, close to the sheep-gate or market (Neh. 3:1; John 5:2). Eusebius the historian (A.D. 330) calls it "the sheep-pool." It is also called "Bethsaida" and "Beth-zatha" (John 5:2, R.V. marg.). Under these "porches" or colonnades were usually a large number of infirm people waiting for the "troubling of the water." It is usually identified with the modern so-called Fountain of the Virgin, in the valley of the Kidron, and not far from the Pool of Siloam (q.v.); and also with the Birket Israel, a pool near the mouth of the valley which runs into the Kidron south of "St. Stephen's Gate." Others again identify it with the twin pools called the "Souterrains," under the convent of the Sisters of Zion, situated in what must have been the rock-hewn ditch between Bezetha and the fortress of Antonia. But quite recently Schick has discovered a large tank, as sketched here, situated about 100 feet north-west of St. Anne's Church, which is, as he contends, very probably the Pool of Bethesda. No certainty as to its identification, however, has as yet been arrived at. (See FOUNTAIN; GIHON.)
Beth-gamul camel-house, a city in the "plain country" of Moab denounced by the prophet (Jer. 48:23); probably the modern Um-el-Jemal, near Bozrah, one of the deserted cities of the Hauran.
Beth-gilgal house of Gilgal, a place from which the inhabitants gathered for the purpose of celebrating the rebuilding of the walls on the return exile (Neh. 12:29). (See GILGAL.)
Beth-haccerem house of a vineyard, a place in the tribe of Judah (Neh. 3:14) where the Benjamites were to set up a beacon when they heard the trumpet against the invading army of the Babylonians (Jer. 6:1). It is probable that this place is the modern 'Ain Karim, or "well of the vineyards," near which there is a ridge on which are cairns which may have served as beacons of old, one of which is 40 feet high and 130 in diameter.
Beth-horon 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. (Comp. 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.)
Beth-jeshimoth 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).
Beth-le-Aphrah (R.V. Micah 1:10), house of dust. The Authorized Version reads "in the house of Aphrah." This is probably the name of a town in the Shephelah, or "low country," between Joppa and Gaza.
Bethlehem house of bread.
(1.) A city in the "hill country" of Judah. It was originally called Ephrath (Gen. 35:16, 19; 48:7; Ruth 4:11). It was also called Beth-lehem Ephratah (Micah 5:2), Beth-lehem-judah (1 Sam. 17:12), and "the city of David" (Luke 2:4). It is first noticed in Scripture as the place where Rachel died and was buried "by the wayside," directly to the north of the city (Gen. 48:7). The valley to the east was the scene of the story of Ruth the Moabitess. There are the fields in which she gleaned, and the path by which she and Naomi returned to the town. Here was David's birth-place, and here also, in after years, he was anointed as king by Samuel (1 Sam. 16:4-13); and it was from the well of Bethlehem that three of his heroes brought water for him at the risk of their lives when he was in the cave of Adullam (2 Sam. 23:13-17). But it was distinguished above every other city as the birth-place of "Him whose goings forth have been of old" (Matt. 2:6; comp. Micah 5:2). Afterwards Herod, "when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men," sent and slew "all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under" (Matt. 2:16, 18; Jer. 31:15). Bethlehem bears the modern name of Beit-Lahm, i.e., "house of flesh." It is about 5 miles south of Jerusalem, standing at an elevation of about 2,550 feet above the sea, thus 100 feet higher than Jerusalem. There is a church still existing, built by Constantine the Great (A.D. 330), called the "Church of the Nativity," over a grotto or cave called the "holy crypt," and said to be the "stable" in which Jesus was born. This is perhaps the oldest existing Christian church in the world. Close to it is another grotto, where Jerome the Latin father is said to have spent thirty years of his life in translating the Scriptures into Latin. (See VERSION.)
(2.) A city of Zebulun, mentioned only in Josh. 19:15. Now Beit-Lahm, a ruined village about 6 miles west-north-west of Nazareth.
Beth-peor house of Peor; i.e., "temple of Baal-peor", a place in Moab, on the east of Jordan, opposite Jericho. It was in the tribe of Reuben (Josh. 13:20; Deut. 3:29; 4:46). In the "ravine" or valley over against Beth-peor Moses was probably buried (Deut. 34:6).
Beth-phage house of the unripe fig, a village on the Mount of Olives, on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho (Matt. 21:1; Mark 11:1; Luke 19:29), and very close to Bethany. It was the limit of a Sabbath-day's journey from Jerusalem, i.e., 2,000 cubits. It has been identified with the modern Kefr-et-Tur.
Bethsaida house of fish.
(1.) A town in Galilee, on the west side of the sea of Tiberias, in the "land of Gennesaret." It was the native place of Peter, Andrew, and Philip, and was frequently resorted to by Jesus (Mark 6:45; John 1:44; 12:21). It is supposed to have been at the modern 'Ain Tabighah, a bay to the north of Gennesaret.
(2.) A city near which Christ fed 5,000 (Luke 9:10; comp. John 6:17; Matt. 14:15-21), and where the blind man had his sight restored (Mark 8:22), on the east side of the lake, two miles up the Jordan. It stood within the region of Gaulonitis, and was enlarged by Philip the tetrarch, who called it "Julias," after the emperor's daughter. Or, as some have supposed, there may have been but one Bethsaida built on both sides of the lake, near where the Jordan enters it. Now the ruins et-Tel.
Beth-shean house of security or rest, a city which belonged to Manasseh (1 Chr. 7:29), on the west of Jordan. The bodies of Saul and his sons were fastened to its walls. In Solomon's time it gave its name to a district (1 Kings 4:12). The name is found in an abridged form, Bethshan, in 1 Sam. 31:10, 12 and 2 Sam. 21:12. It is on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus, about 5 miles from the Jordan, and 14 from the south end of the Lake of Gennesaret. After the Captivity it was called Scythopolis, i.e., "the city of the Scythians," who about B.C. 640 came down from the steppes of Southern Russia and settled in different places in Syria. It is now called Beisan.
Beth-shemesh house of the sun.
(1.) A sacerdotal city in the tribe of Dan (Josh. 21:16; 1 Sam. 6:15), on the north border of Judah (Josh. 15:10). It was the scene of an encounter between Jehoash, king of Israel, and Amaziah, king of Judah, in which the latter was made prisoner (2 Kings 14:11, 13). It was afterwards taken by the Philistines (2 Chr. 28:18). It is the modern ruined Arabic village 'Ain-shems, on the north-west slopes of the mountains of Judah, 14 miles west of Jerusalem.
(2.) A city between Dothan and the Jordan, near the southern border of Issachar (Josh. 19:22), 7 1/2 miles south of Beth-shean. It is the modern Ain-esh-Shemsiyeh.
(3.) One of the fenced cities of Naphtali (Josh. 19:38), between Mount Tabor and the Jordan. Now Khurbet Shema, 3 miles west of Safed. But perhaps the same as No. 2.
(4.) An idol sanctuary in Egypt (Jer. 43:13); called by the Greeks Heliopolis, and by the Egyptians On (q.v.), Gen. 41:45.
Beth-tappuah house of apples, a town of Judah, now Tuffuh, 5 miles west of Hebron (Josh. 15:53).
Bethuel man of God, or virgin of God, or house of God.
(1.) The son of Nahor by Milcah; nephew of Abraham, and father of Rebekah (Gen. 22:22, 23; 24:15, 24, 47). He appears in person only once (24:50).
(2.) A southern city of Judah (1 Chr. 4:30); called also Bethul (Josh. 19:4) and Bethel (12:16; 1 Sam. 30:27).
Bethzur house of rock, a town in the mountains of Judah (Josh. 15:58), about 4 miles to the north of Hebron. It was built by Rehoboam for the defence of his kingdom (2 Chr. 11:7). It stood near the modern ed-Dirweh. Its ruins are still seen on a hill which bears the name of Beit-Sur, and which commands the road from Beer-sheba and Hebron to Jerusalem from the south.
Betroth to promise "by one's truth." Men and women were betrothed when they were engaged to be married. This usually took place a year or more before marriage. From the time of betrothal the woman was regarded as the lawful wife of the man to whom she was betrothed (Deut. 28:30; Judg. 14:2, 8; Matt. 1:18-21). The term is figuratively employed of the spiritual connection between God and his people (Hos. 2:19, 20).
Beulah married, is used in Isa. 62:4 metaphorically as the name of Judea: "Thy land shall be married," i.e., favoured and blessed of the Lord.
Bewray to reveal or disclose; an old English word equivalent to "betray" (Prov. 27:16; 29:24, R.V., "uttereth;" Isa. 16:3; Matt. 26:73).
Beyond when used with reference to Jordan, signifies in the writings of Moses the west side of the river, as he wrote on the east bank (Gen. 50:10, 11; Deut. 1:1, 5; 3:8, 20; 4:46); but in the writings of Joshua, after he had crossed the river, it means the east side (Josh. 5:1; 12:7; 22:7).
Bezaleel in the shadow of God; i.e., "under his protection", the artificer who executed the work of art in connection with the tabernacle in the wilderness (Ex. 31:2; 35:30). He was engaged principally in works of metal, wood, and stone; while Aholiab, who was associated with him and subordinate to him, had the charge of the textile fabrics (36:1, 2; 38:22). He was of the tribe of Judah, the son of Uri, and grandson of Hur (31:2). Mention is made in Ezra 10:30 of another of the same name.
(1.) The residence of Adoni-bezek, in the lot of Judah (Judg. 1:5). It was in the mountains, not far from Jerusalem. Probably the modern Bezkah, 6 miles south-east of Lydda.
(2.) The place where Saul numbered the forces of Israel and Judah (1 Sam. 11:8); somewhere in the centre of the country, near the Jordan valley. Probably the modern Ibzik, 13 miles north-east of Shechem.
Bezer ore of gold or silver.
(1.) A city of the Reubenites; one of the three cities of refuge on the east of Jordan (Deut. 4: 43; Josh. 20:8). It has been identified with the modern ruined village of Burazin, some 12 miles north of Heshbon; also with Kasur-el-Besheir, 2 miles south-west of Dibon.
(2.) A descendant of Asher (1 Chr. 7:37).
Bible Bible, the English form of the Greek name _Biblia_, meaning "books," the name which in the fifth century began to be given to the entire collection of sacred books, the "Library of Divine Revelation." The name Bible was adopted by Wickliffe, and came gradually into use in our English language. The Bible consists of sixty-six different books, composed by many different writers, in three different languages, under different circumstances; writers of almost every social rank, statesmen and peasants, kings, herdsmen, fishermen, priests, tax-gatherers, tentmakers; educated and uneducated, Jews and Gentiles; most of them unknown to each other, and writing at various periods during the space of about 1600 years: and yet, after all, it is only one book dealing with only one subject in its numberless aspects and relations, the subject of man's redemption. It is divided into the Old Testament, containing thirty-nine books, and the New Testament, containing twenty-seven books. The names given to the Old in the writings of the New are "the scriptures" (Matt. 21:42), "scripture" (2 Pet. 1:20), "the holy scriptures" (Rom. 1:2), "the law" (John 12:34), "the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms" (Luke 24:44), "the law and the prophets" (Matt. 5:17), "the old covenant" (2 Cor. 3:14, R.V.). There is a break of 400 years between the Old Testament and the New. (See APOCRYPHA.) The Old Testament is divided into three parts: 1. The Law (Torah), consisting of the Pentateuch, or five books of Moses. 2. The Prophets, consisting of (1) the former, namely, Joshua, Judges, the Books of Samuel, and the Books of Kings; (2) the latter, namely, the greater prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets. 3. The Hagiographa, or holy writings, including the rest of the books. These were ranked in three divisions:, (1) The Psalms, Proverbs, and Job, distinguished by the Hebrew name, a word formed of the initial letters of these books, _emeth_, meaning truth. (2) Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther, called the five rolls, as being written for the synagogue use on five separate rolls. (3) Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles. Between the Old and the New Testament no addition was made to the revelation God had already given. The period of New Testament revelation, extending over a century, began with the appearance of John the Baptist. The New Testament consists of (1) the historical books, viz., the Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles; (2) the Epistles; and (3) the book of prophecy, the Revelation. The division of the Bible into chapters and verses is altogether of human invention, designed to facilitate reference to it. The ancient Jews divided the Old Testament into certain sections for use in the synagogue service, and then at a later period, in the ninth century A.D., into verses. Our modern system of chapters for all the books of the Bible was introduced by Cardinal Hugo about the middle of the thirteenth century (he died 1263). The system of verses for the New Testament was introduced by Stephens in 1551, and generally adopted, although neither Tyndale's nor Coverdale's English translation of the Bible has verses. The division is not always wisely made, yet it is very useful. (See VERSION.)
Bier the frame on which dead bodies were conveyed to the grave (Luke 7:14).
Bigtha garden, or gift of fortune, one of the seven eunuchs or chamberlains who had charge of the harem of Ahasuerus (Esther 1:10).
Bigthan one of the eunuchs who "kept the door" in the court of Ahasuerus. With Teresh he conspired against the king's life. Mordecai detected the conspiracy, and the culprits were hanged (Esther 2:21-23; 6:1-3).
Bildad son of contention, one of Job's friends. He is called "the Shuhite," probably as belonging to Shuah, a district in Arabia, in which Shuah, the sixth son of Abraham by Keturah, settled (Gen. 25:2). He took part in each of the three controversies into which Job's friends entered with him (Job 8:1; 18:1; 25:1), and delivered three speeches, very severe and stern in their tone, although less violent than those of Zophar, but more so than those of Eliphaz.
(1.) The head of the fifteenth sacerdotal course for the temple service (1 Chr. 24:14).
(2.) A priest who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:5, 18).
Bilhah faltering; bashful, Rachel's handmaid, whom she gave to Jacob (Gen. 29:29). She was the mother of Dan and Naphtali (Gen. 30:3-8). Reuben was cursed by his father for committing adultry with her (35:22; 49:4). He was deprived of the birth-right, which was given to the sons of Joseph.
Bilshan son of the tongue; i.e., "eloquent", a man of some note who returned from the Captivity with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:2; Neh. 7:7).
Bird Birds are divided in the Mosaic law into two classes, (1) the clean (Lev. 1:14-17; 5:7-10; 14:4-7), which were offered in sacrifice; and (2) the unclean (Lev. 11:13-20). When offered in sacrifice, they were not divided as other victims were (Gen. 15:10). They are mentioned also as an article of food (Deut. 14:11). The art of snaring wild birds is referred to (Ps. 124:7; Prov. 1:17; 7:23; Jer. 5:27). Singing birds are mentioned in Ps. 104:12; Eccl. 12:4. Their timidity is alluded to (Hos. 11:11). The reference in Ps. 84:3 to the swallow and the sparrow may be only a comparison equivalent to, "What her house is to the sparrow, and her nest to the swallow, that thine altars are to my soul."
Birsha son of wickedness, a king of Gomorrah whom Abraham succoured in the invasion of Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:2).
Birth As soon as a child was born it was washed, and rubbed with salt (Ezek. 16:4), and then swathed with bandages (Job 38:9; Luke 2:7, 12). A Hebrew mother remained forty days in seclusion after the birth of a son, and after the birth of a daughter double that number of days. At the close of that period she entered into the tabernacle or temple and offered up a sacrifice of purification (Lev. 12:1-8; Luke 2:22). A son was circumcised on the eighth day after his birth, being thereby consecrated to God (Gen. 17:10-12; comp. Rom. 4:11). Seasons of misfortune are likened to the pains of a woman in travail, and seasons of prosperity to the joy that succeeds child-birth (Isa. 13:8; Jer. 4:31; John 16:21, 22). The natural birth is referred to as the emblem of the new birth (John 3:3-8; Gal. 6:15; Titus 3:5, etc.).
Birth-day The observance of birth-days was common in early times (Job 1:4, 13, 18). They were specially celebrated in the land of Egypt (Gen. 40:20). There is no recorded instance in Scripture of the celebration of birth-days among the Jews. On the occasion of Herod's birth-day John the Baptist was beheaded (Matt. 14:6).
(1.) This word denotes the special privileges and advantages belonging to the first-born son among the Jews. He became the priest of the family. Thus Reuben was the first-born of the patriarchs, and so the priesthood of the tribes belonged to him. That honour was, however, transferred by God from Reuben to Levi (Num. 3:12, 13; 8:18).
(2.) The first-born son had allotted to him also a double portion of the paternal inheritance (Deut. 21:15-17). Reuben was, because of his undutiful conduct, deprived of his birth-right (Gen. 49:4; 1 Chr. 5:1). Esau transferred his birth-right to Jacob (Gen. 25:33).
(3.) The first-born inherited the judicial authority of his father, whatever it might be (2 Chr. 21:3). By divine appointment, however, David excluded Adonijah in favour of Solomon.
(4.) The Jews attached a sacred importance to the rank of "first-born" and "first-begotten" as applied to the Messiah (Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:18; Heb. 1:4-6). As first-born he has an inheritance superior to his brethren, and is the alone true priest.
Bishop an overseer. In apostolic times, it is quite manifest that there was no difference as to order between bishops and elders or presbyters (Acts 20:17-28; 1 Pet. 5:1, 2; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3). The term bishop is never once used to denote a different office from that of elder or presbyter. These different names are simply titles of the same office, "bishop" designating the function, namely, that of oversight, and "presbyter" the dignity appertaining to the office. Christ is figuratively called "the bishop [episcopos] of souls" (1 Pet. 2:25).
Bit the curb put into the mouths of horses to restrain them. The Hebrew word (metheg) so rendered in Ps. 32:9 is elsewhere translated "bridle" (2 Kings 19:28; Prov. 26:3; Isa. 37:29). Bits were generally made of bronze or iron, but sometimes also of gold or silver. In James 3:3 the Authorized Version translates the Greek word by "bits," but the Revised Version by "bridles."
Bith-ron the broken or divided place, a district in the Arabah or Jordan valley, on the east of the river (2 Sam. 2:29). It was probably the designation of the region in general, which is broken and intersected by ravines.
Bithynia a province in Asia Minor, to the south of the Euxine and Propontis. Christian congregations were here formed at an early time (1 Pet. 1:1). Paul was prevented by the Spirit from entering this province (Acts 16:7). It is noted in church history as the province ruled over by Pliny as Roman proconsul, who was perplexed as to the course he should take with the numerous Christians brought before his tribunal on account of their profession of Christianity and their conduct, and wrote to Trajan, the emperor, for instructions (A.D. 107).
Bitter Bitterness is symbolical of affliction, misery, and servitude (Ex. 1:14; Ruth 1:20; Jer. 9:15). The Chaldeans are called the "bitter and hasty nation" (Hab. 1:6). The "gall of bitterness" expresses a state of great wickedness (Acts 8:23). A "root of bitterness" is a wicked person or a dangerous sin (Heb. 12:15). The Passover was to be eaten with "bitter herbs" (Ex. 12:8; Num. 9:11). The kind of herbs so designated is not known. Probably they were any bitter herbs obtainable at the place and time when the Passover was celebrated. They represented the severity of the servitude under which the people groaned; and have been regarded also as typical of the sufferings of Christ.
Bittern is found three times in connection with the desolations to come upon Babylon, Idumea, and Nineveh (Isa. 14:23; 34:11; Zeph. 2:14). This bird belongs to the class of cranes. Its scientific name is Botaurus stellaris. It is a solitary bird, frequenting marshy ground. The Hebrew word (kippod) thus rendered in the Authorized Version is rendered "porcupine" in the Revised Version. But in the passages noted the kippod is associated with birds, with pools of water, and with solitude and desolation. This favours the idea that not the "porcupine" but the "bittern" is really intended by the word.
Bitumen Gen. 11:3, R.V., margin, rendered in the A.V. "slime"), a mineral pitch. With this the ark was pitched (6:14. See also Ex. 2:3.) (See SLIME.)
Black properly the absence of all colour. In Prov. 7:9 the Hebrew word means, as in the margin of the Revised Version, "the pupil of the eye." It is translated "apple" of the eye in Deut. 32:10; Ps. 17:8; Prov. 7:2. It is a different word which is rendered "black" in Lev. 13:31,37; Cant. 1:5; 5:11; and Zech. 6:2, 6. It is uncertain what the "black marble" of Esther 1:6 was which formed a part of the mosaic pavement.
Blade applied to the glittering point of a spear (Job 39:23) or sword (Nah. 3:3), the blade of a dagger (Judg. 3:22); the "shoulder blade" (Job 31:22); the "blade" of cereals (Matt. 13:26).
Blains occurs only in connection with the sixth plague of Egypt (Ex. 9:9, 10). In Deut. 28:27, 35, it is called "the botch of Egypt." It seems to have been the fearful disease of black leprosy, a kind of elephantiasis, producing burning ulcers.
Blasphemy In the sense of speaking evil of God this word is found in Ps. 74:18; Isa. 52:5; Rom. 2:24; Rev. 13:1, 6; 16:9, 11, 21. It denotes also any kind of calumny, or evil-speaking, or abuse (1 Kings 21:10; Acts 13:45; 18:6, etc.). Our Lord was accused of blasphemy when he claimed to be the Son of God (Matt. 26:65; comp. Matt. 9:3; Mark 2:7). They who deny his Messiahship blaspheme Jesus (Luke 22:65; John 10:36). Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (Matt. 12:31, 32; Mark 3:28, 29; Luke 12:10) is regarded by some as a continued and obstinate rejection of the gospel, and hence is an unpardonable sin, simply because as long as a sinner remains in unbelief he voluntarily excludes himself from pardon. Others regard the expression as designating the sin of attributing to the power of Satan those miracles which Christ performed, or generally those works which are the result of the Spirit's agency.
Blastus chamberlain to king Herod Agrippa I. (Acts 12:20). Such persons generally had great influence with their masters.
Blemish imperfection or bodily deformity excluding men from the priesthood, and rendering animals unfit to be offered in sacrifice (Lev. 21:17-23; 22:19-25). The Christian church, as justified in Christ, is "without blemish" (Eph. 5:27). Christ offered himself a sacrifice "without blemish," acceptable to God (1 Pet. 1:19).
(1.) God blesses his people when he bestows on them some gift temporal or spiritual (Gen. 1:22; 24:35; Job 42:12; Ps. 45:2; 104:24, 35).
(2.) We bless God when we thank him for his mercies (Ps. 103:1, 2; 145:1, 2).
(3.) A man blesses himself when he invokes God's blessing (Isa. 65:16), or rejoices in God's goodness to him (Deut. 29:19; Ps. 49:18).
(4.) One blesses another when he expresses good wishes or offers prayer to God for his welfare (Gen. 24:60; 31:55; 1 Sam. 2:20). Sometimes blessings were uttered under divine inspiration, as in the case of Noah, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses (Gen. 9:26, 27; 27:28, 29, 40; 48:15-20; 49:1-28; Deut. 33). The priests were divinely authorized to bless the people (Deut. 10:8; Num. 6:22-27). We have many examples of apostolic benediction (2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 6:23, 24; 2 Thess. 3:16, 18; Heb. 13:20, 21; 1 Pet. 5:10, 11).
(5.) Among the Jews in their thank-offerings the master of the feast took a cup of wine in his hand, and after having blessed God for it and for other mercies then enjoyed, handed it to his guests, who all partook of it. Ps. 116:13 refers to this custom. It is also alluded to in 1 Cor. 10:16, where the apostle speaks of the "cup of blessing."
Blind Blind beggars are frequently mentioned (Matt. 9:27; 12:22; 20:30; John 5:3). The blind are to be treated with compassion (Lev. 19:14; Deut. 27:18). Blindness was sometimes a punishment for disobedience (1 Sam. 11:2; Jer. 39:7), sometimes the effect of old age (Gen. 27:1; 1 Kings 14:4; 1 Sam. 4:15). Conquerors sometimes blinded their captives (2 Kings 25:7; 1 Sam. 11:2). Blindness denotes ignorance as to spiritual things (Isa. 6:10; 42:18, 19; Matt. 15:14; Eph. 4:18). The opening of the eyes of the blind is peculiar to the Messiah (Isa. 29:18). Elymas was smitten with blindness at Paul's word (Acts 13:11).
(1.) As food, prohibited in Gen. 9:4, where the use of animal food is first allowed. Comp. Deut. 12:23; Lev. 3:17; 7:26; 17:10-14. The injunction to abstain from blood is renewed in the decree of the council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:29). It has been held by some, and we think correctly, that this law of prohibition was only ceremonial and temporary; while others regard it as still binding on all. Blood was eaten by the Israelites after the battle of Gilboa (1 Sam. 14:32-34).
(2.) The blood of sacrifices was caught by the priest in a basin, and then sprinkled seven times on the altar; that of the passover on the doorposts and lintels of the houses (Ex. 12; Lev. 4:5-7; 16:14-19). At the giving of the law (Ex. 24:8) the blood of the sacrifices was sprinkled on the people as well as on the altar, and thus the people were consecrated to God, or entered into covenant with him, hence the blood of the covenant (Matt. 26:28; Heb. 9:19, 20; 10:29; 13:20).
(3.) Human blood. The murderer was to be punished (Gen. 9:5). The blood of the murdered "crieth for vengeance" (Gen. 4:10). The "avenger of blood" was the nearest relative of the murdered, and he was required to avenge his death (Num. 35:24, 27). No satisfaction could be made for the guilt of murder (Num. 35:31).
(4.) Blood used metaphorically to denote race (Acts 17:26), and as a symbol of slaughter (Isa. 34:3). To "wash the feet in blood" means to gain a great victory (Ps. 58:10). Wine, from its red colour, is called "the blood of the grape" (Gen. 49:11). Blood and water issued from our Saviour's side when it was pierced by the Roman soldier (John 19:34). This has led pathologists to the conclusion that the proper cause of Christ's death was rupture of the heart. (Comp. Ps. 69:20.)
Bloody sweat the sign and token of our Lord's great agony (Luke 22:44).
Blot a stain or reproach (Job 31:7; Prov. 9:7). To blot out sin is to forgive it (Ps. 51:1, 9; Isa. 44:22; Acts 3:19). Christ's blotting out the handwriting of ordinances was his fulfilling the law in our behalf (Col. 2:14).
Blue generally associated with purple (Ex. 25:4; 26:1, 31, 36, etc.). It is supposed to have been obtained from a shellfish of the Mediterranean, the Helix ianthina of Linnaeus. The robe of the high priest's ephod was to be all of this colour (Ex. 28:31), also the loops of the curtains (26:4) and the ribbon of the breastplate (28:28). Blue cloths were also made for various sacred purposes (Num. 4:6, 7, 9, 11, 12). (See COLOUR.)
Boanerges sons of thunder, a surname given by our Lord to James and John (Mark 3:17) on account of their fervid and impetuous temper (Luke 9:54).
Boar occurs only in Ps. 80:13. The same Hebrew word is elsewhere rendered "swine" (Lev. 11:7; Deut. 14:8; Prov. 11:22; Isa. 65:4; 66:3, 17). The Hebrews abhorred swine's flesh, and accordingly none of these animals were reared, except in the district beyond the Sea of Galilee. In the psalm quoted above the powers that destroyed the Jewish nation are compared to wild boars and wild beasts of the field.
(1.) The husband of Ruth, a wealthy Bethlehemite. By the "levirate law" the duty devolved on him of marrying Ruth the Moabitess (Ruth 4:1-13). He was a kinsman of Mahlon, her first husband.
(2.) The name given (for what reason is unknown) to one of the two (the other was called Jachin) brazen pillars which Solomon erected in the court of the temple (1 Kings 7:21; 2 Chr. 3:17). These pillars were broken up and carried to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.
Bochim weepers, a place where the angel of the Lord reproved the Israelites for entering into a league with the people of the land. This caused them bitterly to weep, and hence the name of the place (Judg. 2:1, 5). It lay probably at the head of one of the valleys between Gilgal and Shiloh.
Boil (rendered "botch" in Deut. 28:27, 35), an aggravated ulcer, as in the case of Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:7; Isa. 38:21) or of the Egyptians (Ex. 9:9, 10, 11; Deut. 28:27, 35). It designates the disease of Job (2:7), which was probably the black leprosy.
Bolled (Ex. 9:31), meaning "swollen or podded for seed," was adopted in the Authorized Version from the version of Coverdale (1535). The Revised Version has in the margin "was in bloom," which is the more probable rendering of the Hebrew word. It is the fact that in Egypt when barley is in ear (about February) flax is blossoming.
Bolster The Hebrew word _kebir_, rendered "pillow" in 1 Sam. 19:13, 16, but in Revised Version marg. "quilt" or "network," probably means some counterpane or veil intended to protect the head of the sleeper. A different Hebrew word (meraashoth') is used for "bolster" (1 Sam. 26:7, 11, 16). It is rightly rendered in Revised Version "at his head." In Gen. 28:11, 18 the Authorized Version renders it "for his pillows," and the Revised Version "under his head." In Ezek. 13:18, 20 another Hebrew word (kesathoth) is used, properly denoting "cushions" or "pillows," as so rendered both in the Authorized and the Revised Version.
Bond an obligation of any kind (Num. 30:2, 4, 12). The word means also oppression or affliction (Ps. 116:16; Phil. 1:7). Christian love is the "bond of perfectness" (Col. 3:14), and the influences of the Spirit are the "bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3).
Bondage of Israel in Egypt (Ex. 2:23, 25; 5), which is called the "house of bondage" (13:3; 20:2). This word is used also with reference to the captivity in Babylon (Isa. 14:3), and the oppression of the Persian king (Ezra 9:8, 9).
Bonnet (Heb. peer), Ex. 39:28 (R.V., "head-tires"); Ezek. 44:18 (R.V., "tires"), denotes properly a turban worn by priests, and in Isa. 3:20 (R.V., "head-tires") a head-dress or tiara worn by females. The Hebrew word so rendered literally means an ornament, as in Isa. 61:10 (R.V., "garland"), and in Ezek. 24:17, 23 "tire" (R.V., "head-tire"). It consisted of a piece of cloth twisted about the head. In Ex. 28:40; 29:9 it is the translation of a different Hebrew word (migba'ah), which denotes the turban (R.V., "head-tire") of the common priest as distinguished from the mitre of the high priest. (See MITRE.)
Book This word has a comprehensive meaning in Scripture. In the Old Testament it is the rendering of the Hebrew word _sepher_, which properly means a "writing," and then a "volume" (Ex. 17:14; Deut. 28:58; 29:20; Job 19:23) or "roll of a book" (Jer. 36:2, 4). Books were originally written on skins, on linen or cotton cloth, and on Egyptian papyrus, whence our word "paper." The leaves of the book were generally written in columns, designated by a Hebrew word properly meaning "doors" and "valves" (Jer. 36:23, R.V., marg. "columns"). Among the Hebrews books were generally rolled up like our maps, or if very long they were rolled from both ends, forming two rolls (Luke 4:17-20). Thus they were arranged when the writing was on flexible materials; but if the writing was on tablets of wood or brass or lead, then the several tablets were bound together by rings through which a rod was passed. A sealed book is one whose contents are secret (Isa. 29:11; Rev. 5:1-3). To "eat" a book (Jer. 15:16; Ezek. 2:8-10; 3:1-3; Rev. 10:9) is to study its contents carefully. The book of judgment (Dan. 7:10) refers to the method of human courts of justice as illustrating the proceedings which will take place at the day of God's final judgment. The book of the wars of the Lord (Num. 21:14), the book of Jasher (Josh. 10:13), and the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah and Israel (2 Chr. 25:26), were probably ancient documents known to the Hebrews, but not forming a part of the canon. The book of life (Ps. 69:28) suggests the idea that as the redeemed form a community or citizenship (Phil. 3:20; 4:3), a catalogue of the citizens' names is preserved (Luke 10:20; Rev. 20:15). Their names are registered in heaven (Luke 10:20; Rev. 3:5). The book of the covenant (Ex. 24:7), containing Ex. 20:22-23:33, is the first book actually mentioned as a part of the written word. It contains a series of laws, civil, social, and religious, given to Moses at Sinai immediately after the delivery of the decalogue. These were written in this "book."
Booth a hut made of the branches of a tree. In such tabernacles Jacob sojourned for a season at a place named from this circumstance Succoth (Gen. 33:17). Booths were erected also at the feast of Tabernacles (q.v.), Lev. 23:42, 43, which commemorated the abode of the Israelites in the wilderness.
Booty captives or cattle or objects of value taken in war. In Canaan all that breathed were to be destroyed (Deut. 20: 16). The "pictures and images" of the Canaanites were to be destroyed also (Num. 33:52). The law of booty as to its division is laid down in Num. 31:26-47. David afterwards introduced a regulation that the baggage-guard should share the booty equally with the soldiers engaged in battle. He also devoted of the spoils of war for the temple (1 Sam. 30:24-26; 2 Sam. 8:11; 1 Chr. 26:27).
Borrow The Israelites "borrowed" from the Egyptians (Ex. 12:35, R.V., "asked") in accordance with a divine command (3:22; 11:2). But the word (sha'al) so rendered here means simply and always to "request" or "demand." The Hebrew had another word which is properly translated "borrow" in Deut. 28:12; Ps. 37:21. It was well known that the parting was final. The Egyptians were so anxious to get the Israelites away out of their land that "they let them have what they asked" (Ex. 12:36, R.V.), or literally "made them to ask," urged them to take whatever they desired and depart. (See LOAN.)
Bosom In the East objects are carried in the bosom which Europeans carry in the pocket. To have in one's bosom indicates kindness, secrecy, or intimacy (Gen. 16:5; 2 Sam. 12:8). Christ is said to have been in "the bosom of the Father," i.e., he had the most perfect knowledge of the Father, had the closest intimacy with him (John 1:18). John (13:23) was "leaning on Jesus' bosom" at the last supper. Our Lord carries his lambs in his bosom, i.e., has a tender, watchful care over them (Isa. 40:11).
Bosor the Chaldee or Aramaic form of the name Beor, the father of Balaam (2 Pet. 2:15).
Bosses the projecting parts of a shield (Job 15:26). The Hebrew word thus rendered means anything convex or arched, and hence the back, as of animals.
Botch the name given in Deut. 28:27, 35 to one of the Egyptian plagues (Ex. 9:9). The word so translated is usually rendered "boil" (q.v.).
Bottle a vessel made of skins for holding wine (Josh. 9:4. 13; 1 Sam. 16:20; Matt. 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37, 38), or milk (Judg. 4:19), or water (Gen. 21:14, 15, 19), or strong drink (Hab. 2:15). Earthenware vessels were also similarly used (Jer. 19:1-10; 1 Kings 14:3; Isa. 30:14). In Job 32:19 (comp. Matt. 9:17; Luke 5:37, 38; Mark 2:22) the reference is to a wine-skin ready to burst through the fermentation of the wine. "Bottles of wine" in the Authorized Version of Hos. 7:5 is properly rendered in the Revised Version by "the heat of wine," i.e., the fever of wine, its intoxicating strength. The clouds are figuratively called the "bottles of heaven" (Job 38:37). A bottle blackened or shrivelled by smoke is referred to in Ps. 119:83 as an image to which the psalmist likens himself.
Bow The bow was in use in early times both in war and in the chase (Gen. 21:20; 27:3; 48:22). The tribe of Benjamin were famous for the use of the bow (1 Chr. 8:40; 12:2; 2 Chr. 14:8; 17:17); so also were the Elamites (Isa. 22:6) and the Lydians (Jer. 46:9). The Hebrew word commonly used for bow means properly to tread (1 Chr. 5:18; 8:40), and hence it is concluded that the foot was employed in bending the bow. Bows of steel (correctly "copper") are mentioned (2 Sam. 22:35; Ps. 18:34). The arrows were carried in a quiver (Gen. 27:3; Isa. 22:6; 49:2; Ps. 127:5). They were apparently sometimes shot with some burning material attached to them (Ps. 120:4). The bow is a symbol of victory (Ps. 7:12). It denotes also falsehood, deceit (Ps. 64:3, 4; Hos. 7:16; Jer. 9:3). "The use of the bow" in 2 Sam. 1:18 (A.V.) ought to be "the song of the bow," as in the Revised Version.
Bowels (Phil. 1:8; 2:1; Col. 3:12), compassionate feelings; R.V., "tender mercies."
Bowing a mode of showing respect. Abraham "bowed himself to the people of the land" (Gen. 23:7); so Jacob to Esau (Gen. 33:3); and the brethren of Joseph before him as the governor of the land (Gen. 43:28). Bowing is also frequently mentioned as an act of adoration to idols (Josh. 23:7; 2 Kings 5:18; Judg. 2:19; Isa. 44:15), and to God (Josh. 5:14; Ps. 22:29; 72:9; Micah 6:6; Ps. 95:6; Eph. 3:14).
Bowl The sockets of the lamps of the golden candlestick of the tabernacle are called bowls (Ex. 25:31, 33, 34; 37:17, 19, 20); the same word so rendered being elsewhere rendered "cup" (Gen. 44:2, 12, 16), and wine "pot" (Jer. 35:5). The reservoir for oil, from which pipes led to each lamp in Zechariah's vision of the candlestick, is called also by this name (Zech. 4:2, 3); so also are the vessels used for libations (Ex. 25:29; 37:16).
Box for holding oil or perfumery (Mark 14:3). It was of the form of a flask or bottle. The Hebrew word (pak) used for it is more appropriately rendered "vial" in 1 Sam. 10:1, and should also be so rendered in 2 Kings 9:1, where alone else it occurs.
Box-tree (Heb. teashshur), mentioned in Isa. 60:13; 41:19, was, according to some, a species of cedar growing in Lebanon. The words of Ezek. 27:6 literally translated are, "Thy benches they have made of ivory, the daughter of the ashur tree," i.e., inlaid with ashur wood. The ashur is the box-tree, and accordingly the Revised Version rightly reads "inlaid in box wood." This is the Buxus sempervirens of botanists. It is remarkable for the beauty of its evergreen foliage and for the utility of its hard and durable wood.
Bozrah 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 Dead Sea.
(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.
(1.) Anklets (Num. 31:50; 2 Sam. 1:10), and with reference to men.
(2.) The rendering of a Hebrew word meaning fasteners, found in Gen. 24:22, 30, 47.
(3.) In Isa. 3:19, the rendering of a Hebrew word meaning chains, i.e., twisted or chain-like bracelets.
(4.) In Ex. 35:22 it designates properly a clasp for fastening the dress of females. Some interpret it as a nose-ring.
(5.) In Gen. 38:18, 25, the rendering of a Hebrew word meaning "thread," and may denote the ornamental cord with which the signet was suspended from the neck of the wearer. Bracelets were worn by men as well as by women (Cant. 5:14, R.V.). They were of many various forms. The weight of those presented by Eliezer to Rebekah was ten shekels (Gen. 24:22).
(1.) Hebrew _atad_, Judg. 9:14; rendered "thorn," Ps. 58:9. The LXX. and Vulgate render by rhamnus, a thorny shrub common in Palestine, resembling the hawthorn.
(2.) Hebrew _hoah_, Isa. 34:13 (R.V. "thistles"); "thickets" in 1 Sam. 13:6; "thistles" in 2 Kings 14:9, 2 Chr. 25:18, Job 31:40; "thorns" in 2 Chr. 33:11, Cant. 2:2, Hos. 9:6. The word may be regarded as denoting the common thistle, of which there are many species which encumber the corn-fields of Palestine. (See THORNS.)
Branch a symbol of kings descended from royal ancestors (Ezek. 17:3, 10; Dan. 11:7); of prosperity (Job 8:16); of the Messiah, a branch out of the root of the stem of Jesse (Isa. 11:1), the "beautiful branch" (4:2), a "righteous branch" (Jer. 23:5), "the Branch" (Zech. 3:8; 6:12). Disciples are branches of the true vine (John 15:5, 6). "The branch of the terrible ones" (Isa. 25:5) is rightly translated in the Revised Version "the song of the terrible ones," i.e., the song of victory shall be brought low by the destruction of Babylon and the return of the Jews from captivity. The "abominable branch" is a tree on which a malefactor has been hanged (Isa. 14:19). The "highest branch" in Ezek. 17:3 represents Jehoiakim the king.
Brass which is an alloy of copper and zinc, was not known till the thirteenth century. What is designated by this word in Scripture is properly copper (Deut. 8:9). It was used for fetters (Judg. 16:21; 2 Kings 25:7), for pieces of armour (1 Sam. 17:5, 6), for musical instruments (1 Chr. 15:19; 1 Cor. 13:1), and for money (Matt. 10:9). It is a symbol of insensibility and obstinacy in sin (Isa. 48:4; Jer. 6:28; Ezek. 22:18), and of strength (Ps. 107:16; Micah 4:13). The Macedonian empire is described as a kingdom of brass (Dan. 2:39). The "mountains of brass" Zechariah (6:1) speaks of have been supposed to represent the immutable decrees of God. The serpent of brass was made by Moses at the command of God (Num. 21:4-9), and elevated on a pole, so that it might be seen by all the people when wounded by the bite of the serpents that were sent to them as a punishment for their murmurings against God and against Moses. It was afterwards carried by the Jews into Canaan, and preserved by them till the time of Hezekiah, who caused it to be at length destroyed because it began to be viewed by the people with superstitious reverence (2 Kings 18:4). (See NEHUSHTAN.) The brazen serpent is alluded to by our Lord in John 3:14, 15. (See SERPENT.)
Bravery (Isa. 3:18), an old English word meaning comeliness or beauty.
Breach an opening in a wall (1 Kings 11:27; 2 Kings 12:5); the fracture of a limb (Lev. 24:20), and hence the expression, "Heal, etc." (Ps. 60:2). Judg. 5:17, a bay or harbour; R.V., "by his creeks."
Bread among the Jews was generally made of wheat (Ex. 29:2; Judg. 6:19), though also sometimes of other grains (Gen. 14:18; Judg. 7:13). Parched grain was sometimes used for food without any other preparation (Ruth 2:14). Bread was prepared by kneading in wooden bowls or "kneading troughs" (Gen. 18:6; Ex. 12:34; Jer. 7:18). The dough was mixed with leaven and made into thin cakes, round or oval, and then baked. The bread eaten at the Passover was always unleavened (Ex. 12:15-20; Deut. 16:3). In the towns there were public ovens, which were much made use of for baking bread; there were also bakers by trade (Hos. 7:4; Jer. 37:21). Their ovens were not unlike those of modern times. But sometimes the bread was baked by being placed on the ground that had been heated by a fire, and by covering it with the embers (1 Kings 19:6). This was probably the mode in which Sarah prepared bread on the occasion referred to in Gen. 18:6. In Lev. 2 there is an account of the different kinds of bread and cakes used by the Jews. (See BAKE.) The shew-bread (q.v.) consisted of twelve loaves of unleavened bread prepared and presented hot on the golden table every Sabbath. They were square or oblong, and represented the twelve tribes of Israel. The old loaves were removed every Sabbath, and were to be eaten only by the priests in the court of the sanctuary (Ex. 25:30; Lev. 24:8; 1 Sam. 21:1-6; Matt. 12:4). The word bread is used figuratively in such expressions as "bread of sorrows" (Ps. 127:2), "bread of tears" (80:5), i.e., sorrow and tears are like one's daily bread, they form so great a part in life. The bread of "wickedness" (Prov. 4:17) and "of deceit" (20:17) denote in like manner that wickedness and deceit are a part of the daily life.
(1.) That piece of ancient armour that protected the breast. This word is used figuratively in Eph. 6:14 and Isa. 59:17. (See ARMOUR.)
(2.) An ornament covering the breast of the high priest, first mentioned in Ex. 25:7. It was made of embroidered cloth, set with four rows of precious stones, three in each row. On each stone was engraved the name of one of the twelve tribes (Ex. 28:15-29; 39:8-21). It was in size about ten inches square. The two upper corners were fastened to the ephod by blue ribbons. It was not to be "loosed from the ephod" (Ex. 28:28). The lower corners were fastened to the girdle of the priest. As it reminded the priest of his representative character, it was called the memorial (28:29). It was also called the breastplate of judgment (28:15). (See PRIEST.)
Breeches (Ex. 28:42), rather linen drawers, reaching from the waist to a little above the knee, worn by the priests (Ezek. 44:17, 18).
Bribe None to be taken; "for the gift maketh open eyes blind, and perverteth the cause of the righteous" (Ex. 23:8, literally rendered).
Bricks the making of, formed the chief labour of the Israelites in Egypt (Ex. 1:13, 14). Those found among the ruins of Babylon and Nineveh are about a foot square and four inches thick. They were usually dried in the sun, though also sometimes in kilns (2 Sam. 12:31; Jer. 43:9; Nah. 3:14). (See NEBUCHADNEZZAR.) The bricks used in the tower of Babel were burnt bricks, cemented in the building by bitumen (Gen. 11:3).
Bride frequently used in the ordinary sense (Isa. 49:18; 61:10, etc.). The relation between Christ and his church is set forth under the figure of that between a bridegroom and bride (John 3:29). The church is called "the bride" (Rev. 21:9; 22:17). Compare parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt. 25:1-13).
Bridle Three Hebrew words are thus rendered in the
(1.) Heb. _mahsom'_ signifies a muzzle or halter or bridle, by which the rider governs his horse (Ps.39:1).
(2.) _Me'theg_, rendered also "bit" in Ps. 32:9, which is its proper meaning. Found in 2 Kings 19:28, where the restraints of God's providence are metaphorically styled his "bridle" and "hook." God's placing a "bridle in the jaws of the people" (Isa. 30:28; 37:29) signifies his preventing the Assyrians from carrying out their purpose against Jerusalem.
(3.) Another word, _re'sen_, was employed to represent a halter or bridle-rein, as used Ps. 32:9; Isa. 30:28. In Job 30:11 the restraints of law and humanity are called a bridle.
Brier This word occurs frequently, and is the translation
of several different terms.
(1.) Micah 7:4, it denotes a species of thorn shrub used for hedges. In Prov. 15:19 the word is rendered "thorn" (Heb. _hedek_, "stinging"), supposed by some to be what is called the "apple of Sodom" (q.v.).
(2.) Ezek. 28:24, _sallon'_, properly a "prickle," such as is found on the shoots of the palm tree.
(3.) Isa. 55:13, probably simply a thorny bush. Some, following the Vulgate Version, regard it as the "nettle."
(4.) Isa. 5:6; 7:23-25, etc., frequently used to denote thorny shrubs in general. In 10:17; 27:4, it means troublesome men.
(5.) In Heb. 6:8 the Greek word (tribolos) so rendered means "three-pronged," and denotes the land caltrop, a low throny shrub resembling in its spikes the military "crow-foot." Comp. Matt. 7:16, "thistle."
Brigandine (Jer. 46:4; 51:3), an obsolete English word denoting a scale coat of armour, or habergeon, worn by light-armed "brigands." The Revised Version has "coat of mail."
Brimstone an inflammable mineral substance found in quantities on the shores of the Dead Sea. The cities of the plain were destroyed by a rain of fire and brimstone (Gen. 19:24, 25). In Isa. 34:9 allusion is made to the destruction of these cities. This word figuratively denotes destruction or punishment (Job 18:15; Isa. 30:33; 34:9; Ps. 11:6; Ezek. 38:22). It is used to express the idea of excruciating torment in Rev. 14:10; 19:20; 20:10.
Brook a torrent.
(1.) Applied to small streams, as the Arnon, Jabbok, etc. Isaiah (15:7) speaks of the "book of the willows," probably the Wady-el-Asha.
(2.) It is also applied to winter torrents (Job 6:15; Num. 34:5; Josh. 15:4, 47), and to the torrent-bed or wady as well as to the torrent itself (Num. 13:23; 1 Kings 17:3).
(3.) In Isa. 19:7 the river Nile is meant, as rendered in the Revised Version.
(1.) In the natural and common sense (Matt. 1:2; Luke 3:1, 19).
(2.) A near relation, a cousin (Gen. 13:8; 14:16; Matt. 12:46; John 7:3; Acts 1:14; Gal. 1:19).
(3.) Simply a fellow-countryman (Matt. 5:47; Acts 3:22; Heb. 7:5).
(4.) A disciple or follower (Matt. 25:40; Heb. 2:11, 12).
(5.) One of the same faith (Amos 1:9; Acts 9:30; 11:29; 1 Cor. 5:11); whence the early disciples of our Lord were known to each other as brethren.
(6.) A colleague in office (Ezra 3:2; 1 Cor. 1:1; 2 Cor. 1:1).
(7.) A fellow-man (Gen. 9:5; 19:7; Matt. 5:22, 23, 24; 7:5; Heb. 2:17).
(8.) One beloved or closely united with another in affection (2 Sam. 1:26; Acts 6:3; 1 Thess. 5:1). Brethren of Jesus (Matt. 1:25; 12:46, 50: Mark 3:31, 32; Gal. 1:19; 1 Cor. 9:5, etc.) were probably the younger children of Joseph and Mary. Some have supposed that they may have been the children of Joseph by a former marriage, and others that they were the children of Mary, the Virgin's sister, and wife of Cleophas. The first interpretation, however, is the most natural.
Bruit a rumour or report (Jer. 10:22, R.V. "rumour;" Nah. 3:19).
Bucket a vessel to draw water with (Isa. 40:15); used figuratively, probably, of a numerous issue (Num. 24:7).
(1.) A portable shield (2 Sam. 22:31; 1 Chr. 5:18).
(2.) A shield surrounding the person; the targe or round form; used once figuratively (Ps. 91:4).
(3.) A large shield protecting the whole body (Ps. 35:2; Ezek. 23:24; 26:8).
(4.) A lance or spear; improperly rendered "buckler" in the Authorized Version (1 Chr. 12:8), but correctly in the Revised Version "spear." The leather of shields required oiling (2 Sam. 1:21; Isa. 21:5), so as to prevent its being injured by moisture. Copper (= "brass") shields were also in use (1 Sam. 17:6; 1 Kings 14:27). Those spoken of in 1 Kings 10:16, etc.; 14:26, were probably of massive metal. The shields David had taken from his enemies were suspended in the temple as mementoes (2 Kings 11:10). (See ARMOUR, SHIELD.)
Building among the Jews was suited to the climate and conditions of the country. They probably adopted the kind of architecture for their dwellings which they found already existing when they entered Canaan (Deut. 6:10; Num. 13:19). Phoenician artists (2 Sam. 5:11; 1 Kings 5:6, 18) assisted at the erection of the royal palace and the temple at Jerusalem. Foreigners also assisted at the restoration of the temple after the Exile (Ezra 3:7). In Gen. 11:3, 9, we have the first recorded instance of the erection of buildings. The cities of the plain of Shinar were founded by the descendants of Shem (10:11, 12, 22). The Israelites were by occupation shepherds and dwellers in tents (Gen. 47:3); but from the time of their entering Canaan they became dwellers in towns, and in houses built of the native limestone of Palestine. Much building was carried on in Solomon's time. Besides the buildings he completed at Jerusalem, he also built Baalath and Tadmor (1 Kings 9:15, 24). Many of the kings of Israel and Judah were engaged in erecting various buildings. Herod and his sons and successors restored the temple, and built fortifications and other structures of great magnificence in Jerusalem (Luke 21:5). The instruments used in building are mentioned as the plumb-line (Amos 7:7), the measuring-reed (Ezek. 40:3), and the saw (1 Kings 7:9). Believers are "God's building" (1 Cor. 3:9); and heaven is called "a building of God" (2 Cor. 5:1). Christ is the only foundation of his church (1 Cor. 3:10-12), of which he also is the builder (Matt. 16:18).
Bul rainy, the eighth ecclesiastical month of the year (1 Kings 6:38), and the second month of the civil year; later called Marchesvan (q.v.). (See MONTH.)
(1.) The translation of a word which is a generic name for horned cattle (Isa. 65:25). It is also rendered "cow" (Ezek. 4:15), "ox" (Gen. 12:16).
(2.) The translation of a word always meaning an animal of the ox kind, without distinction of age or sex (Hos. 12:11). It is rendered "cow" (Num. 18:17) and "ox" (Lev. 17:3).
(3.) Another word is rendered in the same way (Jer. 31:18). It is also translated "calf" (Lev. 9:3; Micah 6:6). It is the same word used of the "molten calf" (Ex. 32:4, 8) and "the golden calf" (1 Kings 12:28).
(4.) In Judg. 6:25; Isa. 34:7, the Hebrew word is different. It is the customary word for bulls offered in sacrifice. In Hos. 14:2, the Authorized Version has "calves," the Revised Version "bullocks."
(1.) In Isa. 58:5 the rendering of a word which denotes "belonging to a marsh," from the nature of the soil in which it grows (Isa. 18:2). It was sometimes platted into ropes (Job. 41:2; A.V., "hook," R.V., "rope," lit. "cord of rushes").
(2.) In Ex. 2:3, Isa. 18:2 (R.V., "papyrus") this word is the translation of the Hebrew _gome_, which designates the plant as absorbing moisture. In Isa. 35:7 and Job 8:11 it is rendered "rush." This was the Egyptian papyrus (papyrus Nilotica). It was anciently very abundant in Egypt. The Egyptians made garments and shoes and various utensils of it. It was used for the construction of the ark of Moses (Ex. 2:3, 5). The root portions of the stem were used for food. The inside bark was cut into strips, which were sewed together and dried in the sun, forming the papyrus used for writing. It is no longer found in Egypt, but grows luxuriantly in Palestine, in the marshes of the Huleh, and in the swamps at the north end of the Lake of Gennesaret. (See CANE.)
Bulwarks mural towers, bastions, were introduced by king Uzziah (2 Chr. 26:15; Zeph. 1:16; Ps. 48:13; Isa. 26:1). There are five Hebrew words so rendered in the Authorized Version, but the same word is also variously rendered.
(1.) A bundle of twigs (Ex. 12:22).
(2.) Bunch or cake of raisins (2 Sam. 16:1).
(3.) The "bunch of a camel" (Isa. 30:6).
(1.) A load of any kind (Ex. 23:5).
(2.) A severe task (Ex. 2:11).
(3.) A difficult duty, requiring effort (Ex. 18:22).
(4.) A prophecy of a calamitous or disastrous nature (Isa. 13:1; 17:1; Hab. 1:1, etc.).
Burial The first burial we have an account of is that of Sarah (Gen. 23). The first commercial transaction recorded is that of the purchase of a burial-place, for which Abraham weighed to Ephron "four hundred shekels of silver current money with the merchants." Thus the patriarch became the owner of a part of the land of Canaan, the only part he ever possessed. When he himself died, "his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah," beside Sarah his wife (Gen. 25:9). Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, was buried under Allon-bachuth, "the oak of weeping" (Gen. 35:8), near to Bethel. Rachel died, and was buried near Ephrath; "and Jacob set a pillar upon her grave" (16-20). Isaac was buried at Hebron, where he had died (27, 29). Jacob, when charging his sons to bury him in the cave of Machpelah, said, "There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah" (49:31). In compliance with the oath which he made him swear unto him (47:29-31), Joseph, assisted by his brethren, buried Jacob in the cave of Machpelah (50:2, 13). At the Exodus, Moses "took the bones of Joseph with him," and they were buried in the "parcel of ground" which Jacob had bought of the sons of Hamor (Josh. 24:32), which became Joseph's inheritance (Gen. 48:22; 1 Chr. 5:1; John 4:5). Two burials are mentioned as having taken place in the wilderness. That of Miriam (Num. 20:1), and that of Moses, "in the land of Moab" (Deut. 34:5, 6, 8). There is no account of the actual burial of Aaron, which probably, however, took place on the summit of Mount Hor (Num. 20:28, 29). Joshua was buried "in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-serah" (Josh. 24: 30). In Job we find a reference to burying-places, which were probably the Pyramids (3:14, 15). The Hebrew word for "waste places" here resembles in sound the Egyptian word for "pyramids." Samuel, like Moses, was honoured with a national burial (1 Sam. 25:1). Joab (1 Kings 2:34) "was buried in his own house in the wilderness." In connection with the burial of Saul and his three sons we meet for the first time with the practice of burning the dead (1 Sam. 31:11-13). The same practice is again referred to by Amos (6:10). Absalom was buried "in the wood" where he was slain (2 Sam. 18:17, 18). The raising of the heap of stones over his grave was intended to mark abhorrence of the person buried (comp. Josh. 7:26 and 8:29). There was no fixed royal burying-place for the Hebrew kings. We find several royal burials taking place, however, "in the city of David" (1 Kings 2:10; 11:43; 15:8; 2 Kings 14:19, 20; 15:38; 1 Kings 14:31; 22:50; 2 Chr. 21:19, 20; 2 Chr. 24:25, etc.). Hezekiah was buried in the mount of the sepulchres of the sons of David; "and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour at his death" (2 Chr. 32:33). Little is said regarding the burial of the kings of Israel. Some of them were buried in Samaria, the capital of their kingdom (2 Kings 10:35; 13:9; 14:16). Our Lord was buried in a new tomb, hewn out of the rock, which Joseph of Arimathea had prepared for himself (Matt. 27:57-60; Mark 15:46; John 19:41, 42). The grave of Lazarus was "a cave, and a stone lay on it" (John 11:38). Graves were frequently either natural caverns or artificial excavations formed in the sides of rocks (Gen. 23:9; Matt. 27:60); and coffins were seldom used, unless when the body was brought from a distance.
Burnt offering. Hebrew _olah_; i.e., "ascending," the whole being consumed by fire, and regarded as ascending to God while being consumed. Part of every offering was burnt in the sacred fire, but this was wholly burnt, a "whole burnt offering." It was the most frequent form of sacrifice, and apparently the only one mentioned in the book of Genesis. Such were the sacrifices offered by Abel (Gen. 4:3, 4, here called _minhah_; i.e., "a gift"), Noah (Gen. 8:20), Abraham (Gen. 22:2, 7, 8, 13), and by the Hebrews in Egypt (Ex. 10:25). The law of Moses afterwards prescribed the occasions and the manner in which burnt sacrifices were to be offered. There were "the continual burnt offering" (Ex. 29:38-42; Lev. 6:9-13), "the burnt offering of every sabbath," which was double the daily one (Num. 28:9, 10), "the burnt offering of every month" (28:11-15), the offerings at the Passover (19-23), at Pentecost (Lev. 23:16), the feast of Trumpets (23:23-25), and on the day of Atonement (Lev. 16). On other occasions special sacrifices were offered, as at the consecration of Aaron (Ex. 29) and the dedication of the temple (1 Kings 8:5, 62-64). Free-will burnt offerings were also permitted (Lev. 1:13), and were offered at the accession of Solomon to the throne (1 Chr. 29:21), and at the reformation brought about by Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29: 31-35). These offerings signified the complete dedication of the offerers unto God. This is referred to in Rom. 12:1. (See ALTAR, SACRIFICE.)
Bush in which Jehovah appeared to Moses in the wilderness (Ex. 3:2; Acts 7:30). It is difficult to say what particular kind of plant or bush is here meant. Probably it was the mimosa or acacia. The words "in the bush" in Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37, mean "in the passage or paragraph on the bush;" i.e., in Ex. 3.
Butler properly a servant in charge of the wine (Gen. 40:1-13; 41:9). The Hebrew word, _mashkeh_, thus translated is rendered also (plural) "cup-bearers" (1 Kings 10:5; 2 Chr. 9:4). Nehemiah (1:11) was cup-bearer to king Artaxerxes. It was a position of great responsibility and honour in royal households.
Butter (Heb. hemah), curdled milk (Gen. 18:8; Judg. 5:25; 2 Sam. 17:29), or butter in the form of the skim of hot milk or cream, called by the Arabs kaimak, a semi-fluid (Job 20:17; 29:6; Deut. 32:14). The words of Prov. 30:33 have been rendered by some "the pressure [not churning] of milk bringeth forth cheese."
(1.) The second son of Nahor and Milcah, and brother of Huz (Gen. 22:21). Elihu was one of his descendants (Job 32:2).
(2.) One of the chiefs of the tribe of Gad (1 Chr. 5:14).
(3.) A district in Arabia Petrea (Jer. 25:23).
Buzi the father of the prophet Ezekiel (1:3).
By in the expression "by myself" (A.V., 1 Cor. 4:4), means, as rendered in the Revised Version, "against myself."
By and by immediately (Matt. 13:21; R.V., "straightway;" Luke 21:9).
By-ways only in Judg. 5:6 and Ps. 125:5; literally "winding or twisted roads." The margin has "crooked ways."
By-word Hebrew _millah_ (Job 30:9), a word or speech, and hence object of talk; Hebrew _mashal_ (Ps. 44:14), a proverb or parable. When it denotes a sharp word of derision, as in Deut. 28:37, 1 Kings 9:7, 2 Chr. 7:20, the Hebrew _sheninah_ is used. In Jer. 24:9 it is rendered "taunt."