Kabzeel gathering of God, a city in the extreme south of Judah, near to Idumaea (Josh. 15:21), the birthplace of Benaiah, one of David's chief warriors (2 Sam. 23:20; 1 Chr. 11:22). It was called also Jekabzeel (Neh. 11:25), after the Captivity.
Kadesh holy, or Kadesh-Barnea, sacred desert of wandering, a place on the south-eastern border of Palestine, about 165 miles from Horeb. It lay in the "wilderness" or "desert of Zin" (Gen. 14:7; Num. 13:3-26; 14:29-33; 20:1; 27:14), on the border of Edom (20:16). From this place, in compliance with the desire of the people, Moses sent forth "twelve spies" to spy the land. After examining it in all its districts, the spies brought back an evil report, Joshua and Caleb alone giving a good report of the land (13:18-31). Influenced by the discouraging report, the people abandoned all hope of entering into the Promised Land. They remained a considerable time at Kadesh. (See HORMAH; KORAH.) Because of their unbelief, they were condemned by God to wander for thirty-eight years in the wilderness. They took their journey from Kadesh into the deserts of Paran, "by way of the Red Sea" (Deut. 2:1). (One theory is that during these thirty-eight years they remained in and about Kadesh.) At the end of these years of wanderings, the tribes were a second time gathered together at Kadesh. During their stay here at this time Miriam died and was buried. Here the people murmured for want of water, as their forefathers had done formerly at Rephidim; and Moses, irritated by their chidings, "with his rod smote the rock twice," instead of "speaking to the rock before their eyes," as the Lord had commanded him (comp. Num. 27:14; Deut. 9:23; Ps. 106:32, 33). Because of this act of his, in which Aaron too was involved, neither of them was to be permitted to set foot within the Promised Land (Num. 20:12, 24). The king of Edom would not permit them to pass on through his territory, and therefore they commenced an eastward march, and "came unto Mount Hor" (20:22). This place has been identified with 'Ain el-Kadeis, about 12 miles east-south-east of Beersheba. (See SPIES.)
Kadesh the sacred city of the Hittites, on the left bank of the Orontes, about 4 miles south of the Lake of Homs. It is identified with the great mound Tell Neby Mendeh, some 50 to 100 feet high, and 400 yards long. On the ruins of the temple of Karnak, in Egypt, has been found an inscription recording the capture of this city by Rameses II. (See PHARAOH.) Here the sculptor "has chiselled in deep work on the stone, with a bold execution of the several parts, the procession of the warriors, the battle before Kadesh, the storming of the fortress, the overthrow of the enemy, and the camp life of the Egyptians." (See HITTITES.)
Kadmiel before God; i.e., his servant, one of the Levites who returned with Zerubbabel from the Captivity (Neh. 9:4; 10:9; 12:8).
Kadmonites Orientals, the name of a Canaanitish tribe which inhabited the north-eastern part of Palestine in the time of Abraham (Gen. 15:19). Probably they were identical with the "children of the east," who inhabited the country between Palestine and the Euphrates.
Kanah reedy; brook of reeds.
(1.) A stream forming the boundary between Ephraim and Manasseh, from the Mediterranean eastward to Tappuah (Josh. 16:8). It has been identified with the sedgy streams that constitute the Wady Talaik, which enters the sea between Joppa and Caesarea. Others identify it with the river' Aujeh.
(2.) A town in the north of Asher (Josh. 19:28). It has been identified with 'Ain-Kana, a village on the brow of a valley some 7 miles south-east of Tyre. About a mile north of this place are many colossal ruins strown about. And in the side of a neighbouring ravine are figures of men, women, and children cut in the face of the rock. These are supposed to be of Phoenician origin.
Kareah bald, the father of Johanan and Jonathan, who for a time were loyal to Gedaliah, the Babylonian governor of Jerusalem (Jer. 40:8, 13, 15, 16).
Karkaa a floor; bottom, a place between Adar and Azmon, about midway between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea (Josh. 15:3).
Karkor foundation, a place in the open desert wastes on the east of Jordan (Judg. 8:10), not far beyond Succoth and Penuel, to the south. Here Gideon overtook and routed a fugitive band of Midianites under Zeba and Zalmunna, whom he took captive.
Kartah city, a town in the tribe of Zebulun assigned to the Levites of the family of Merari (Josh. 21:34). It is identical with Kattath (19:15), and perhaps also with Kitron (Judg. 1:30).
Kartan double city, a town of Naphali, assigned to the Gershonite Levites, and one of the cities of refuge (Josh. 21:32). It was probably near the north-western shore of the Sea of Tiberias, identical with the ruined village el-Katanah.
Kattath (Josh. 19:15), a town of Asher, has been identified with Kana el Jelil. (See CANA.)
Kedar dark-skinned, the second son of Ishmael (Gen. 25:13). It is the name for the nomadic tribes of Arabs, the Bedouins generally (Isa. 21:16; 42:11; 60:7; Jer. 2:10; Ezek. 27:21), who dwelt in the north-west of Arabia. They lived in black hair-tents (Cant. 1:5). To "dwell in the tents of Kedar" was to be cut off from the worship of the true God (Ps. 120:5). The Kedarites suffered at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 49:28, 29).
Kedemah eastward, the last-named of the sons of Ishmael (Gen. 25:15).
Kedemoth beginnings; easternmost, a city of Reuben, assigned to the Levites of the family of Merari (Josh. 13:18). It lay not far north-east of Dibon-gad, east of the Dead Sea.
(1.) A place in the extreme south of Judah (Josh. 15:23). Probably the same as Kadesh-barnea (q.v.).
(2.) A city of Issachar (1 Chr. 6:72). Possibly Tell Abu Kadeis, near Lejjun.
(3.) A "fenced city" of Naphtali, one of the cities of refuge (Josh. 19:37; Judg. 4:6). It was assigned to the Gershonite Levites (Josh. 21:32). It was originally a Canaanite royal city (Josh. 12:22), and was the residence of Barak (Judg. 4:6); and here he and Deborah assembled the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali before the commencement of the conflict with Sisera in the plain of Esdraelon, "for Jehovah among the mighty" (9, 10). In the reign of Pekah it was taken by Tiglath-Pileser (2 Kings 15:29). It was situated near the "plain" (rather "the oak") of Zaanaim, and has been identified with the modern Kedes, on the hills fully four miles north-west of Lake El Huleh. It has been supposed by some that the Kedesh of the narrative, where Barak assembled his troops, was not the place in Upper Galilee so named, which was 30 miles distant from the plain of Esdraelon, but Kedish, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, 12 miles from Tabor.
Kedron the valley, now quite narrow, between the Mount of Olives and Mount Moriah. The upper part of it is called the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The LXX., in 1 Kings 15:13, translate "of the cedar." The word means "black," and may refer to the colour of the water or the gloom of the ravine, or the black green of the cedars which grew there. John 18:1, "Cedron," only here in New Testament. (See KIDRON.)
Kehelathah assembly, one of the stations of the Israelites in the desert (Num. 33:22, 23).
Keilah citadel, a city in the lowlands of Judah (Josh. 15:44). David rescued it from the attack of the Philistines (1 Sam. 23:1-8); but the inhabitants proving unfaithful to him, in that they sought to deliver him up to Saul (13), he and his men "departed from Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go." They fled to the hill Hareth, about 3 miles to the east, and thence through Hebron to Ziph (q.v.). "And David was in the wilderness of Ziph, in a wood" (1 Sam. 23:15). Here Jonathan sought him out, "and strengthened his hand in God." This was the last interview between David and Jonathan (23:16-18). It is the modern Khurbet Kila. Others identify it with Khuweilfeh, between Beit Jibrin (Eleutheropolis) and Beersheba, mentioned in the Amarna tablets.
Kelita dwarf, a Levite who assisted Ezra in expounding the law to the people (Neh. 8:7; 10:10).
Kemuel helper of God, or assembly of God.
(1.) The third son of Nahor (Gen. 22:21).
(2.) Son of Shiphtan, appointed on behalf of the tribe of Ephraim to partition the land of Canaan (Num. 34:24).
(3.) A Levite (1 Chr. 27:17).
Kenath possession, a city of Gilead. It was captured by Nobah, who called it by his own name (Num. 32:42). It has been identified with Kunawat, on the slopes of Jebel Hauran (Mount Bashan), 60 miles east from the south end of the Sea of Galilee.
(1.) One of the sons of Eliphaz, the son of Esau. He became the chief of an Edomitish tribe (Gen. 36:11, 15, 42).
(2.) Caleb's younger brother, and father of Othniel (Josh. 15:17), whose family was of importance in Israel down to the time of David (1 Chr. 27:15). Some think that Othniel (Judg. 1:13), and not Kenaz, was Caleb's brother.
(3.) Caleb's grandson (1 Chr. 4:15).
Kenites smiths, the name of a tribe inhabiting the desert lying between southern Palestine and the mountains of Sinai. Jethro was of this tribe (Judg. 1:16). He is called a "Midianite" (Num. 10:29), and hence it is concluded that the Midianites and the Kenites were the same tribe. They were wandering smiths, "the gipsies and travelling tinkers of the old Oriental world. They formed an important guild in an age when the art of metallurgy was confined to a few" (Sayce's Races, etc.). They showed kindness to Israel in their journey through the wilderness. They accompanied them in their march as far as Jericho (Judg. 1:16), and then returned to their old haunts among the Amalekites, in the desert to the south of Judah. They sustained afterwards friendly relations with the Israelites when settled in Canaan (Judg. 4:11, 17-21; 1 Sam. 27:10; 30:29). The Rechabites belonged to this tribe (1 Chr. 2:55) and in the days of Jeremiah (35:7-10) are referred to as following their nomad habits. Saul bade them depart from the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15:6) when, in obedience to the divine commission, he was about to "smite Amalek." And his reason is, "for ye showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt." Thus "God is not unrighteous to forget the kindnesses shown to his people; but they shall be remembered another day, at the farthest in the great day, and recompensed in the resurrection of the just" (M. Henry's Commentary). They are mentioned for the last time in Scripture in 1 Sam. 27:10; comp. 30:20.
(1.) The name of a tribe referred to in the covenant God made with Abraham (Gen. 15:19). They are not mentioned among the original inhabitants of Canaan (Ex. 3:8; Josh. 3:10), and probably they inhabited some part of Arabia, in the confines of Syria.
(2.) A designation given to Caleb (R.V., Num. 32:12; A.V., Kenezite).
Kerchief mentioned only Ezek. 13:18, 21, as an article of apparel or ornament applied to the head of the idolatrous women of Israel. The precise meaning of the word is uncertain. It appears to have been a long loose shawl, such as Oriental women wrap themselves in (Ruth 3:15; Isa. 3:22). Some think that it was a long veil or head-dress, denoting by its form the position of those who wore it.
Keren-happuch horn of the face-paint = cosmetic-box, the name of Job's third daughter (Job. 42:14), born after prosperity had returned to him.
(1.) A town in the south of Judah (Josh. 15:25). Judas the traitor was probably a native of this place, and hence his name Iscariot. It has been identified with the ruins of el-Kureitein, about 10 miles south of Hebron. (See HAZOR, 4).
(2.) A city of Moab (Jer. 48:24, 41), called Kirioth (Amos 2:2).
Kesitah (Gen. 33:19, R.V., marg., a Hebrew word, rendered, A.V., pl. "pieces of money," marg., "lambs;" Josh. 24:32, "pieces of silver;" Job 42:11, "piece of money"). The kesitah was probably a piece of money of a particular weight, cast in the form of a lamb. The monuments of Egypt show that such weights were used. (See PIECES.)
Kettle a large pot for cooking. The same Hebrew word (dud, "boiling") is rendered also "pot" (Ps. 81:6), "caldron" (2 Chr. 35:13), "basket" (Jer. 24:2). It was used for preparing the peace-offerings (1 Sam. 2:13, 14).
Keturah incense, the wife of Abraham, whom he married probably after Sarah's death (Gen. 25:1-6), by whom he had six sons, whom he sent away into the east country. Her nationality is unknown. She is styled "Abraham's concubine" (1 Chr. 1:32). Through the offshoots of the Keturah line Abraham became the "father of many nations."
Key frequently mentioned in Scripture. It is called in Hebrew _maphteah_, i.e., the opener (Judg. 3:25); and in the Greek New Testament _kleis_, from its use in shutting (Matt. 16:19; Luke 11:52; Rev. 1:18, etc.). Figures of ancient Egyptian keys are frequently found on the monuments, also of Assyrian locks and keys of wood, and of a large size (comp. Isa. 22:22). The word is used figuratively of power or authority or office (Isa. 22:22; Rev. 3:7; Rev. 1:8; comp. 9:1; 20:1; comp. also Matt. 16:19; 18:18). The "key of knowledge" (Luke 11:52; comp. Matt. 23:13) is the means of attaining the knowledge regarding the kingdom of God. The "power of the keys" is a phrase in general use to denote the extent of ecclesiastical authority.
Kezia cassia, the name of Job's second daughter (42:14), born after prosperity had returned to him.
Keziz abrupt; cut off, a city of the tribe of Benjamin (Josh. 18:21).
Kibroth-hattaavah the graves of the longing or of lust, one of the stations of the Israelites in the wilderness. It was probably in the Wady Murrah, and has been identified with the Erweis el-Ebeirig, where the remains of an ancient encampment have been found, about 30 miles north-east of Sinai, and exactly a day's journey from 'Ain Hudherah. "Here began the troubles of the journey. First, complaints broke out among the people, probably at the heat, the toil, and the privations of the march; and then God at once punished them by lightning, which fell on the hinder part of the camp, and killed many persons, but ceased at the intercession of Moses (Num. 11:1, 2). Then a disgust fell on the multitude at having nothing to eat but the manna day after day, no change, no flesh, no fish, no high-flavoured vegetables, no luscious fruits...The people loathed the 'light food,' and cried out to Moses, 'Give us flesh, give us flesh, that we may eat.'" In this emergency Moses, in despair, cried unto God. An answer came. God sent "a prodigious flight of quails, on which the people satiated their gluttonous appetite for a full month. Then punishment fell on them: they loathed the food which they had desired; it bred disease in them; the divine anger aggravated the disease into a plague, and a heavy mortality was the consequence. The dead were buried without the camp; and in memory of man's sin and of the divine wrath this name, Kibroth-hattaavah, the Graves of Lust, was given to the place of their sepulchre" (Num. 11:34, 35; 33:16, 17; Deut. 9:22; comp. Ps. 78:30, 31)., Rawlinson's Moses, p. 175. From this encampment they journeyed in a north-eastern direction to Hazeroth.
Kibzaim two heaps, a city of Ephraim, assigned to the Kohathite Levites, and appointed as a city of refuge (Josh. 21: 22). It is also called Jokmeam (1 Chr. 6:68).
Kid the young of the goat. It was much used for food (Gen. 27:9; 38:17; Judg. 6:19; 14:6). The Mosaic law forbade to dress a kid in the milk of its dam, a law which is thrice repeated (Ex. 23:19; 34:26; Deut. 14:21). Among the various reasons assigned for this law, that appears to be the most satisfactory which regards it as "a protest against cruelty and outraging the order of nature." A kid cooked in its mother's milk is "a gross, unwholesome dish, and calculated to kindle animal and ferocious passions, and on this account Moses may have forbidden it. Besides, it is even yet associated with immoderate feasting; and originally, I suspect," says Dr. Thomson (Land and the Book), "was connected with idolatrous sacrifices."
Kidron = Kedron = Cedron, turbid, the winter torrent which flows through the Valley of Jehoshaphat, on the eastern side of Jerusalem, between the city and the Mount of Olives. This valley is known in Scripture only by the name "the brook Kidron." David crossed this brook bare-foot and weeping, when fleeing from Absalom (2 Sam. 15:23, 30), and it was frequently crossed by our Lord in his journeyings to and fro (John 18:1). Here Asa burned the obscene idols of his mother (1 Kings 15:13), and here Athaliah was executed (2 Kings 11:16). It afterwards became the receptacle for all manner of impurities (2 Chr. 29:16; 30:14); and in the time of Josiah this valley was the common cemetery of the city (2 Kings 23:6; comp. Jer. 26:23). Through this mountain ravine no water runs, except after heavy rains in the mountains round about Jerusalem. Its length from its head to en-Rogel is 2 3/4 miles. Its precipitous, rocky banks are filled with ancient tombs, especially the left bank opposite the temple area. The greatest desire of the Jews is to be buried there, from the idea that the Kidron is the "valley of Jehoshaphat" mentioned in Joel 3:2. Below en-Rogel the Kidron has no historical or sacred interest. It runs in a winding course through the wilderness of Judea to the north-western shore of the Dead Sea. Its whole length, in a straight line, is only some 20 miles, but in this space its descent is about 3,912 feet. (See KEDRON.) Recent excavations have brought to light the fact that the old bed of the Kidron is about 40 feet lower than its present bed, and about 70 feet nearer the sanctuary wall.
Kinah an elegy, a city in the extreme south of Judah (Josh. 15:22). It was probably not far from the Dead Sea, in the Wady Fikreh.
Kine (Heb. sing. parah, i.e., "fruitful"), mentioned in Pharaoh's dream (Gen. 41: 18). Here the word denotes "buffaloes," which fed on the reeds and sedge by the river's brink.
King is in Scripture very generally used to denote one invested with authority, whether extensive or limited. There were thirty-one kings in Canaan (Josh. 12:9, 24), whom Joshua subdued. Adonibezek subdued seventy kings (Judg. 1:7). In the New Testament the Roman emperor is spoken of as a king (1 Pet. 2:13, 17); and Herod Antipas, who was only a tetrarch, is also called a king (Matt. 14:9; Mark 6:22). This title is applied to God (1 Tim. 1:17), and to Christ, the Son of God (1 Tim. 6:15, 16; Matt. 27:11). The people of God are also called "kings" (Dan. 7:22, 27; Matt. 19:28; Rev. 1:6, etc.). Death is called the "king of terrors" (Job 18:14). Jehovah was the sole King of the Jewish nation (1 Sam. 8:7; Isa. 33:22). But there came a time in the history of that people when a king was demanded, that they might be like other nations (1 Sam. 8:5). The prophet Samuel remonstrated with them, but the people cried out, "Nay, but we will have a king over us." The misconduct of Samuel's sons was the immediate cause of this demand. The Hebrew kings did not rule in their own right, nor in name of the people who had chosen them, but partly as servants and partly as representatives of Jehovah, the true King of Israel (1 Sam. 10:1). The limits of the king's power were prescribed (1 Sam. 10:25). The officers of his court were, (1) the recorder or remembrancer (2 Sam. 8:16; 1 Kings 4:3); (2) the scribe (2 Sam. 8:17; 20:25); (3) the officer over the house, the chief steward (Isa. 22:15); (4) the "king's friend," a confidential companion (1 Kings 4:5); (5) the keeper of the wardrobe (2 Kings 22:14); (6) captain of the bodyguard (2 Sam. 20:23); (7) officers over the king's treasures, etc. (1 Chr. 27:25-31); (8) commander-in-chief of the army (1 Chr. 27:34); (9) the royal counsellor (1 Chr. 27:32; 2 Sam. 16:20-23). (For catalogue of kings of Israel and Judah see chronological table in Appendix.)
Kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33; Mark 1:14, 15; Luke 4:43) = "kingdom of Christ" (Matt. 13:41; 20:21) = "kingdom of Christ and of God" (Eph. 5:5) = "kingdom of David" (Mark 11:10) = "the kingdom" (Matt. 8:12; 13:19) = "kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 13:41), all denote the same thing under different aspects, viz.: (1) Christ's mediatorial authority, or his rule on the earth; (2) the blessings and advantages of all kinds that flow from this rule; (3) the subjects of this kingdom taken collectively, or the Church.
Kingly office of Christ one of the three special relations in which Christ stands to his people. Christ's office as mediator comprehends three different functions, viz., those of a prophet, priest, and king. These are not three distinct offices, but three functions of the one office of mediator. Christ is King and sovereign Head over his Church and over all things to his Church (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; Col. 1:18; 2:19). He executes this mediatorial kingship in his Church, and over his Church, and over all things in behalf of his Church. This royalty differs from that which essentially belongs to him as God, for it is given to him by the Father as the reward of his obedience and sufferings (Phil. 2:6-11), and has as its especial object the upbuilding and the glory of his redeemed Church. It attaches, moreover, not to his divine nature as such, but to his person as God-man. Christ's mediatorial kingdom may be regarded as comprehending, (1) his kingdom of power, or his providential government of the universe; (2) his kingdom of grace, which is wholly spiritual in its subjects and administration; and (3) his kingdom of glory, which is the consummation of all his providential and gracious administration. Christ sustained and exercised the function of mediatorial King as well as of Prophet and Priest, from the time of the fall of man, when he entered on his mediatorial work; yet it may be said that he was publicly and formally enthroned when he ascended up on high and sat down at the Father's right hand (Ps. 2:6; Jer. 23:5; Isa. 9:6), after his work of humiliation and suffering on earth was "finished."
King's dale mentioned only in Gen. 14:17; 2 Sam. 18:18, the name given to "the valley of Shaveh," where the king of Sodom met Abram.
Kings, The Books of. The two books of Kings formed originally but one book in the Hebrew Scriptures. The present division into two books was first made by the LXX., which now, with the Vulgate, numbers them as the third and fourth books of Kings, the two books of Samuel being the first and second books of Kings. They contain the annals of the Jewish commonwealth from the accession of Solomon till the subjugation of the kingdom by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians (apparently a period of about four hundred and fifty-three years). The books of Chronicles (q.v.) are more comprehensive in their contents than those of Kings. The latter synchronize with 1 Chr. 28-2 Chr. 36:21. While in the Chronicles greater prominence is given to the priestly or Levitical office, in the Kings greater prominence is given to the kingly. The authorship of these books is uncertain. There are some portions of them and of Jeremiah that are almost identical, e.g., 2 Kings 24:18-25 and Jer. 52; 39:1-10; 40:7-41:10. There are also many undesigned coincidences between Jeremiah and Kings (2 Kings 21-23 and Jer. 7:15; 15:4; 19:3, etc.), and events recorded in Kings of which Jeremiah had personal knowledge. These facts countenance in some degree the tradition that Jeremiah was the author of the books of Kings. But the more probable supposition is that Ezra, after the Captivity, compiled them from documents written perhaps by David, Solomon, Nathan, Gad, and Iddo, and that he arranged them in the order in which they now exist. In the threefold division of the Scriptures by the Jews, these books are ranked among the "Prophets." They are frequently quoted or alluded to by our Lord and his apostles (Matt. 6:29; 12:42; Luke 4:25, 26; 10:4; comp. 2 Kings 4:29; Mark 1:6; comp. 2 Kings 1:8; Matt. 3:4, etc.). The sources of the narrative are referred to (1) "the book of the acts of Solomon" (1 Kings 11:41); (2) the "book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah" (14:29; 15:7, 23, etc.); (3) the "book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel" (14:19; 15:31; 16:14, 20, 27, etc.). The date of its composition was some time between B.C. 561, the date of the last chapter (2 Kings 25), when Jehoiachin was released from captivity by Evil-merodach, and B.C. 538, the date of the decree of deliverance by Cyrus.
Kinsman. Heb. goel, from root meaning to redeem. The goel
among the Hebrews was the nearest male blood relation alive. Certain
important obligations devolved upon him toward his next of kin.
(1.) If any one from poverty was unable to redeem his inheritance, it was the duty of the kinsman to redeem it (Lev. 25:25,28; Ruth 3:9, 12). He was also required to redeem his relation who had sold himself into slavery (Lev. 25:48, 49). God is the Goel of his people because he redeems them (Ex. 6:6; Isa. 43:1; 41:14; 44:6, 22; 48:20; Ps. 103:4; Job 19:25, etc.).
(2.) The goel also was the avenger (q.v.) of blood (Num. 35:21) in the case of the murder of the next of kin.
Kir a wall or fortress, a place to which Tiglath-pileser carried the Syrians captive after he had taken the city of Damascus (2 Kings 16:9; Amos 1:5; 9:7). Isaiah (22:6), who also was contemporary with these events, mentions it along with Elam. Some have supposed that Kir is a variant of Cush (Susiana), on the south of Elam.
Kir-haraseth built fortress, a city and fortress of Moab, the modern Kerak, a small town on the brow of a steep hill about 6 miles from Rabbath-Moab and 10 miles from the Dead Sea; called also Kir-haresh, Kir-hareseth, Kir-heres (Isa. 16:7, 11; Jer. 48:31, 36). After the death of Ahab, Mesha, king of Moab (see MOABITE STONE), threw off allegiance to the king of Israel, and fought successfully for the independence of his kingdom. After this Jehoram, king of Israel, in seeking to regain his supremacy over Moab, entered into an alliance with Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and with the king of Edom. The three kings led their armies against Mesha, who was driven back to seek refuge in Kir-haraseth. The Moabites were driven to despair. Mesha then took his eldest son, who would have reigned in his stead, and offered him as a burnt-offering on the wall of the fortress in the sight of the allied armies. "There was great indignation against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land." The invaders evacuated the land of Moab, and Mesha achieved the independence of his country (2 Kings 3:20-27).
Kirjath city, a city belonging to Benjamin (Josh. 18:28), the modern Kuriet el-'Enab, i.e., "city of grapes", about 7 1/2 miles west-north-west of Jerusalem.
Kirjathaim two cities; a double city.
(1.) A city of refuge in Naphtali (1 Chr. 6:76).
(2.) A town on the east of Jordan (Gen. 14:5; Deut. 2:9, 10). It was assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Num. 32:37). In the time of Ezekiel (25:9) it was one of the four cities which formed the "glory of Moab" (comp. Jer. 48:1, 23). It has been identified with el-Kureiyat, 11 miles south-west of Medeba, on the south slope of Jebel Attarus, the ancient Ataroth.
Kirjath-arba city of Arba, the original name of Hebron (q.v.), so called from the name of its founder, one of the Anakim (Gen. 23:2; 35:27; Josh. 15:13). It was given to Caleb by Joshua as his portion. The Jews interpret the name as meaning "the city of the four", i.e., of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Adam, who were all, as they allege, buried there.
Kirjath-huzoth city of streets, Num. 22:39, a Moabite city, which some identify with Kirjathaim. Balak here received and entertained Balaam, whom he had invited from Pethor, among the "mountains of the east," beyond the Euphrates, to lay his ban upon the Israelites, whose progress he had no hope otherwise of arresting. It was probably from the summit of Attarus, the high place near the city, that the soothsayer first saw the encampments of Israel.
Kirjath-jearim city of jaars; i.e., of woods or forests, a Gibeonite town (Josh. 9:17) on the border of Benjamin, to which tribe it was assigned (18:15, 28). The ark was brought to this place (1 Sam. 7:1, 2) from Beth-shemesh and put in charge of Abinadab, a Levite. Here it remained till it was removed by David to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:2, 3, 12; 1 Chr. 15:1-29; comp. Ps. 132). It was also called Baalah (Josh. 15:9) and Kirjath-baal (60). It has been usually identified with Kuriet el-'Enab (i.e., "city of grapes"), among the hills, about 8 miles north-east of 'Ain Shems (i.e., Beth-shemesh). The opinion, however, that it is to be identified with 'Erma, 4 miles east of 'Ain Shems, on the edge of the valley of Sorek, seems to be better supported. (See KIRJATH.) The words of Ps. 132:6, "We found it in the fields of the wood," refer to the sojourn of the ark at Kirjath-jearim. "Wood" is here the rendering of the Hebrew word _jaar_, which is the singular of _jearim_.
Kirjath-sannah city of the sannah; i.e., of the palm(?), Josh. 15:49; the same as Kirjath-sepher (15:16; Judg. 1:11) and Debir (q.v.), a Canaanitish royal city included in Judah (Josh. 10:38; 15:49), and probably the chief seat of learning among the Hittites. It was about 12 miles to the south-west of Hebron.
Kirjath-sepher city of books, Josh. 15:15; same as Kirjath-sannah (q.v.), now represented by the valley of ed-Dhaberiyeh, south-west of Hebron. The name of this town is an evidence that the Canaanites were acquainted with writing and books. "The town probably contained a noted school, or was the site of an oracle and the residence of some learned priest." The "books" were probably engraved stones or bricks.
Kir of Moab Isa. 15:1. The two strongholds of Moab were Ar and Kir, which latter is probably the Kir-haraseth (16:7) following.
Kish a bow.
(1.) A Levite of the family of Merari (1 Chr. 23:21; 24:29).
(2.) A Benjamite of Jerusalem (1 Chr. 8:30; 9:36).
(3.) A Levite in the time of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29:12).
(4.) The great-grandfather of Mordecai (Esther 2:5).
(5.) A Benjamite, the son of Abiel, and father of king Saul (1 Sam. 9:1, 3; 10:11, 21; 14:51; 2 Sam. 21:14). All that is recorded of him is that he sent his son Saul in search of his asses that had strayed, and that he was buried in Zelah. Called Cis, Acts 13:21 (R.V., Kish).
Kishion hardness, a city of Issachar assigned to the Gershonite Levites (Josh. 19:20), the same as Kishon (21:28).
Kishon winding, a winter torrent of Central Palestine, which rises about the roots of Tabor and Gilboa, and passing in a northerly direction through the plains of Esdraelon and Acre, falls into the Mediterranean at the north-eastern corner of the bay of Acre, at the foot of Carmel. It is the drain by which the waters of the plain of Esdraelon and of the mountains that surround it find their way to the sea. It bears the modern name of Nahr el-Mokattah, i.e., "the river of slaughter" (comp. 1 Kings 18:40). In the triumphal song of Deborah (Judg. 5:21) it is spoken of as "that ancient river," either (1) because it had flowed on for ages, or (2), according to the Targum, because it was "the torrent in which were shown signs and wonders to Israel of old;" or (3) probably the reference is to the exploits in that region among the ancient Canaanites, for the adjoining plain of Esdraelon was the great battle-field of Palestine. This was the scene of the defeat of Sisera (Judg. 4:7, 13), and of the destruction of the prophets of Baal by Elijah (1 Kings 18:40). "When the Kishon was at its height, it would be, partly on account of its quicksands, as impassable as the ocean itself to a retreating army." (See DEBORAH.)
Kiss of affection (Gen. 27:26, 27; 29:13; Luke 7:38, 45); reconciliation (Gen. 33:4; 2 Sam. 14:33); leave-taking (Gen. 31:28,55; Ruth 1:14; 2 Sam. 19:39); homage (Ps. 2:12; 1 Sam. 10:1); spoken of as between parents and children (Gen. 27:26; 31:28, 55; 48:10; 50:1; Ex. 18:7; Ruth 1:9, 14); between male relatives (Gen. 29:13; 33:4; 45:15). It accompanied social worship as a symbol of brotherly love (Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26; 1 Pet. 5:14). The worship of idols was by kissing the image or the hand toward the image (1 Kings 19:18; Hos. 13:2).
Kite an unclean and keen-sighted bird of prey (Lev. 11:14; Deut. 14:13). The Hebrew word used, _'ayet_, is rendered "vulture" in Job 28:7 in Authorized Version, "falcon" in Revised Version. It is probably the red kite (Milvus regalis), a bird of piercing sight and of soaring habits found all over Palestine.
Kithlish a man's wall, a town in the plain of Judah (Josh. 15:40). It has been identified with Jelameh.
Kitron knotty, a city of Zebulun (Judg. 1:30), called also Kattath (Josh. 19:15); supposed to be "Cana of Galilee."
Kittim (Gen. 10:4). (See CHITTIM.)
Knead to prepare dough in the process of baking (Gen. 18:6; 1 Sam. 28:24; Hos. 7:4).
Kneading-trough the vessel in which the dough, after being mixed and leavened, was left to swell or ferment (Ex. 8:3; 12:34; Deut. 28:5, 7). The dough in the vessels at the time of the Exodus was still unleavened, because the people were compelled to withdraw in haste.
(1.) Heb. hereb, "the waster," a sharp instrument for circumcision (Josh. 5:2, 3, lit. "knives of flint;" comp. Ex. 4:25); a razor (Ezek. 5:1); a graving tool (Ex. 20:25); an axe (Ezek. 26:9).
(2.) Heb. maakeleth, a large knife for slaughtering and cutting up food (Gen. 22:6, 10; Prov. 30:14).
(3.) Heb. sakkin, a knife for any purpose, a table knife (Prov. 23:2).
(4.) Heb. mahalaph, a butcher's knife for slaughtering the victims offered in sacrifice (Ezra 1:9).
(5.) Smaller knives (Heb. ta'ar, Jer. 36:26) were used for sharpening pens. The pruning-knives mentioned in Isa. 18:5 (Heb. mizmaroth) were probably curved knives.
Knock "Though Orientals are very jealous of their privacy, they never knock when about to enter your room, but walk in without warning or ceremony. It is nearly impossible to teach an Arab servant to knock at your door. They give warning at the outer gate either by calling or knocking. To stand and call is a very common and respectful mode. Thus Moses commanded the holder of a pledge to stand without and call to the owner to come forth (Deut. 24:10). This was to avoid the violent intrusion of cruel creditors. Peter stood knocking at the outer door (Acts 12:13, 16), and the three men sent to Joppa by Cornelius made inquiry and 'stood before the gate' (10:17, 18). The idea is that the guard over your privacy is to be placed at the entrance." Knocking is used as a sign of importunity (Matt. 7:7, 8; Luke 13:25), and of the coming of Christ (Luke 12:36; Rev. 3:20).
Knop some architectural ornament.
(1.) Heb. kaphtor (Ex. 25:31-36), occurring in the description of the candlestick. It was an ornamental swell beneath the cups of the candlestick, probably an imitation of the fruit of the almond.
(2.) Heb. peka'im, found only in 1 Kings 6:18 and 7:24, an ornament resembling a small gourd or an egg, on the cedar wainscot in the temple and on the castings on the brim of the brazen sea.
Koa he-camel, occurs only in Ezek. 23:23, some province or place in the Babylonian empire, used in this passage along with Shoa (q.v.).
Kohath assembly, the second son of Levi, and father of Amram (Gen. 46:11). He came down to Egypt with Jacob, and lived to the age of one hundred and thirty-three years (Ex. 6:18).
Kohathites the descendants of Kohath. They formed the first of the three divisions of the Levites (Ex. 6:16, 18; Num. 3:17). In the journeyings of the Israelites they had the charge of the most holy portion of the vessels of the tabernacle, including the ark (Num. 4). Their place in the marching and encampment was south of the tabernacle (Num. 3:29, 31). Their numbers at different times are specified (3:28; 4:36; 26:57, 62). Samuel was of this division.
Korah ice, hail.
(1.) The third son of Esau, by Aholibamah (Gen. 36:14; 1 Chr. 1:35).
(2.) A Levite, the son of Izhar, the brother of Amram, the father of Moses and Aaron (Ex. 6:21). The institution of the Aaronic priesthood and the Levitical service at Sinai was a great religious revolution. The old priesthood of the heads of families passed away. This gave rise to murmurings and discontent, while the Israelites were encamped at Kadesh for the first time, which came to a head in a rebellion against Moses and Aaron, headed by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Two hundred and fifty princes, "men of renown" i.e., well-known men from among the other tribes, joined this conspiracy. The whole company demanded of Moses and Aaron that the old state of things should be restored, alleging that "they took too much upon them" (Num. 16:1-3). On the morning after the outbreak, Korah and his associates presented themselves at the door of the tabernacle, and "took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon." But immediately "fire from the Lord" burst forth and destroyed them all (Num. 16:35). Dathan and Abiram "came out and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children," and it came to pass "that the ground clave asunder that was under them; and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up." A plague thereafter began among the people who sympathized in the rebellion, and was only stayed by Aaron's appearing between the living and the dead, and making "an atonement for the people" (16:47). The descendants of the sons of Korah who did not participate in the rebellion afterwards rose to eminence in the Levitical service.
Korahites that portion of the Kohathites that descended
(1.) They were an important branch of the singers of the Kohathite division (2 Chr. 20:19). There are eleven psalms (42-49; 84; 85; 87; 88) dedicated to the sons of Korah.
(2.) Some of the sons of Korah also were "porters" of the temple (1 Chr. 9:17-19); one of them was over "things that were made in the pans" (31), i.e., the baking in pans for the meat-offering (Lev. 2:5).
(1.) A Levite and temple-warder of the Korahites, the son of Asaph. He was father of Shallum and Meshelemiah, temple-porters (1 Chr. 9:19; 26:1).
(2.) A Levitical porter at the east gate of the temple (2 Chr. 31:14).
(3.) In 1 Chr. 26:19 the word should be "Korahites," as in the Revised Version.
Korhites a Levitical family descended from Korah (Ex. 6:24; 1 Chr. 12:6; 26:1; 2 Chr. 20:19).
(1.) A descendant of Judah. 1 Chr. 4:8, "Coz;" R.V., "Hakkoz."
(2.) A priest, the head of the seventh division of the priests (Ezra 2:61; Neh. 3:4, 21; 7:63). In 1 Chr. 24:10 the word has the article prefixed, and it is taken as a part of the word "Hakkoz."
(1.) The son of Bethuel, who was the son of Nahor, Abraham's brother. He lived at Haran in Mesopotamia. His sister Rebekah was Isaac's wife (Gen. 24). Jacob, one of the sons of this marriage, fled to the house of Laban, whose daughters Leah and Rachel (ch. 29) he eventually married. (See JACOB.)
(2.) A city in the Arabian desert in the route of the Israelites (Deut. 1:1), probably identical with Libnah (Num. 33:20).
Lachish impregnable, a royal Canaanitish city in the Shephelah, or maritime plain of Palestine (Josh. 10:3, 5; 12:11). It was taken and destroyed by the Israelites (Josh. 10:31-33). It afterwards became, under Rehoboam, one of the strongest fortresses of Judah (2 Chr. 10:9). It was assaulted and probably taken by Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:14, 17; 19:8; Isa. 36:2). An account of this siege is given on some slabs found in the chambers of the palace of Koyunjik, and now in the British Museum. The inscription has been deciphered as follows:, "Sennacherib, the mighty king, king of the country of Assyria, sitting on the throne of judgment before the city of Lachish: I gave permission for its slaughter." (See NINEVEH.) Lachish has been identified with Tell-el-Hesy, where a cuneiform tablet has been found, containing a letter supposed to be from Amenophis at Amarna in reply to one of the Amarna tablets sent by Zimrida from Lachish. This letter is from the chief of Atim (= Etam, 1 Chr. 4:32) to the chief of Lachish, in which the writer expresses great alarm at the approach of marauders from the Hebron hills. "They have entered the land," he says, "to lay waste...strong is he who has come down. He lays waste." This letter shows that "the communication by tablets in cuneiform script was not only usual in writing to Egypt, but in the internal correspondence of the country. The letter, though not so important in some ways as the Moabite stone and the Siloam text, is one of the most valuable discoveries ever made in Palestine" (Conder's Tell Amarna Tablets, p. 134). Excavations at Lachish are still going on, and among other discoveries is that of an iron blast-furnace, with slag and ashes, which is supposed to have existed B.C. 1500. If the theories of experts are correct, the use of the hot-air blast instead of cold air (an improvement in iron manufacture patented by Neilson in 1828) was known fifteen hundred years before Christ. (See FURNACE.)
Ladder occurs only once, in the account of Jacob's vision (Gen. 28:12).
Laish a lion.
(1.) A city of the Sidonians, in the extreme north of Palestine (Judg. 18:7, 14); called also Leshem (Josh. 19:47) and Dan (Judg. 18:7, 29; Jer. 8:16). It lay near the sources of the Jordan, about 4 miles from Paneas. The restless and warlike tribe of Dan (q.v.), looking out for larger possessions, invaded this country and took Laish with its territory. It is identified with the ruin Tell-el-Kady, "the mound of the judge," to the north of the Waters of Merom (Josh. 11:5).
(2.) A place mentioned in Isa. 10:30. It has been supposed to be the modern el-Isawiyeh, about a mile north-east of Jerusalem.
(3.) The father of Phalti (1 Sam. 25:44).
Lama (Matt. 27:46), a Hebrew word meaning why, quoted from Ps. 22:1.
(1.) Heb. kebes, a male lamb from the first to the third year. Offered daily at the morning and the evening sacrifice (Ex. 29:38-42), on the Sabbath day (Num. 28:9), at the feast of the New Moon (28:11), of Trumpets (29:2), of Tabernacles (13-40), of Pentecost (Lev. 23:18-20), and of the Passover (Ex. 12:5), and on many other occasions (1 Chr. 29:21; 2 Chr. 29:21; Lev. 9:3; 14:10-25).
(2.) Heb. taleh, a young sucking lamb (1 Sam. 7:9; Isa. 65:25). In the symbolical language of Scripture the lamb is the type of meekness and innocence (Isa. 11:6; 65:25; Luke 10:3; John 21:15). The lamb was a symbol of Christ (Gen. 4:4; Ex. 12:3; 29:38; Isa. 16:1; 53:7; John 1:36; Rev. 13:8). Christ is called the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36), as the great sacrifice of which the former sacrifices were only types (Num. 6:12; Lev. 14:12-17; Isa. 53:7; 1 Cor. 5:7).
Lamech the strikerdown; the wild man.
(1.) The fifth in descent from Cain. He was the first to violate the primeval ordinance of marriage (Gen. 4:18-24). His address to his two wives, Adah and Zillah (4:23, 24), is the only extant example of antediluvian poetry. It has been called "Lamech's sword-song." He was "rude and ruffianly," fearing neither God nor man. With him the curtain falls on the race of Cain. We know nothing of his descendants.
(2.) The seventh in descent from Seth, being the only son of Methuselah. Noah was the oldest of his several sons (Gen. 5:25-31; Luke 3:36).
Lamentation (Heb. qinah), an elegy or dirge. The first example of this form of poetry is the lament of David over Saul and Jonathan (2 Sam. 1:17-27). It was a frequent accompaniment of mourning (Amos 8:10). In 2 Sam. 3:33, 34 is recorded David's lament over Abner. Prophecy sometimes took the form of a lament when it predicted calamity (Ezek. 27:2, 32; 28:12; 32:2, 16).
Lamentations, Book of called in the Hebrew canon _'Ekhah_, meaning "How," being the formula for the commencement of a song of wailing. It is the first word of the book (see 2 Sam. 1:19-27). The LXX. adopted the name rendered "Lamentations" (Gr. threnoi = Heb. qinoth) now in common use, to denote the character of the book, in which the prophet mourns over the desolations brought on the city and the holy land by Chaldeans. In the Hebrew Bible it is placed among the Khethubim. (See BIBLE.) As to its authorship, there is no room for hesitancy in following the LXX. and the Targum in ascribing it to Jeremiah. The spirit, tone, language, and subject-matter are in accord with the testimony of tradition in assigning it to him. According to tradition, he retired after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar to a cavern outside the Damascus gate, where he wrote this book. That cavern is still pointed out. "In the face of a rocky hill, on the western side of the city, the local belief has placed 'the grotto of Jeremiah.' There, in that fixed attitude of grief which Michael Angelo has immortalized, the prophet may well be supposed to have mourned the fall of his country" (Stanley, Jewish Church). The book consists of five separate poems. In chapter 1 the prophet dwells on the manifold miseries oppressed by which the city sits as a solitary widow weeping sorely. In chapter 2 these miseries are described in connection with the national sins that had caused them. Chapter 3 speaks of hope for the people of God. The chastisement would only be for their good; a better day would dawn for them. Chapter 4 laments the ruin and desolation that had come upon the city and temple, but traces it only to the people's sins. Chapter 5 is a prayer that Zion's reproach may be taken away in the repentance and recovery of the people. The first four poems (chapters) are acrostics, like some of the Psalms (25, 34, 37, 119), i.e., each verse begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet taken in order. The first, second, and fourth have each twenty-two verses, the number of the letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The third has sixty-six verses, in which each three successive verses begin with the same letter. The fifth is not acrostic. Speaking of the "Wailing-place (q.v.) of the Jews" at Jerusalem, a portion of the old wall of the temple of Solomon, Schaff says: "There the Jews assemble every Friday afternoon to bewail the downfall of the holy city, kissing the stone wall and watering it with their tears. They repeat from their well-worn Hebrew Bibles and prayer-books the Lamentations of Jeremiah and suitable Psalms."
(1.) That part of the candle-sticks of the tabernacle and the temple which bore the light (Ex. 25:37; 1 Kings 7:49; 2 Chr. 4:20; 13:11; Zech. 4:2). Their form is not described. Olive oil was generally burned in them (Ex. 27:20).
(2.) A torch carried by the soliders of Gideon (Judg. 7:16, 20). (R.V., "torches.")
(3.) Domestic lamps (A.V., "candles") were in common use among the Hebrews (Matt. 5:15; Mark 4:21, etc.).
(4.) Lamps or torches were used in connection with marriage ceremonies (Matt. 25:1). This word is also frequently metaphorically used to denote life, welfare, guidance, etc. (2 Sam. 21:17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 6:23; 13:9).
Landmark a boundary line indicated by a stone, stake, etc. (Deut. 19:14; 27:17; Prov. 22:28; 23:10; Job 24:2). Landmarks could not be removed without incurring the severe displeasure of God.
Laodicea. The city of this name mentioned in Scripture lay on the confines of Phrygia and Lydia, about 40 miles east of Ephesus (Rev. 3:14), on the banks of the Lycus. It was originally called Diospolis and then Rhoas, but afterwards Laodicea, from Laodice, the wife of Antiochus II., king of Syria, who rebuilt it. It was one of the most important and flourishing cities of Asia Minor. At a very early period it became one of the chief seats of Christianity (Col. 2:1; 4:15; Rev. 1:11, etc.). It is now a deserted place, called by the Turks Eski-hissar or "old castle."
Laodicea, Epistle from (Col. 4:16), was probably the Epistle to the Ephesians, as designed for general circulation. It would reach the Colossians by way of Laodicea.
Lapidoth torches. Deborah is called "the wife of Lapidoth" (Judg. 4:4). Some have rendered the expression "a woman of a fiery spirit," under the supposition that Lapidoth is not a proper name, a woman of a torch-like spirit.
Lapping of water like a dog, i.e., by putting the hand filled with water to the mouth. The dog drinks by shaping the end of his long thin tongue into the form of a spoon, thus rapidly lifting up water, which he throws into his mouth. The three hundred men that went with Gideon thus employed their hands and lapped the water out of their hands (Judg. 7:7).
Lapwing the name of an unclean bird, mentioned only in Lev. 11:19 and Deut. 14:18. The Hebrew name of this bird, _dukiphath_, has been generally regarded as denoting the hoope (Upupa epops), an onomatopoetic word derived from the cry of the bird, which resembles the word "hoop;" a bird not uncommon in Palestine. Others identify it with the English peewit.
Lasaea a city in the island of Crete (Acts 27:8). Its ruins are still found near Cape Leonda, about 5 miles east of "Fair Havens."
Lasha fissure, a place apparently east of the Dead Sea (Gen. 10:19). It was afterwards known as Callirhoe, a place famous for its hot springs.
Latchet a thong (Acts 22:25), cord, or strap fastening the sandal on the foot (Isa. 5:27; Mark 1:7; Luke 3:16).
Latin the vernacular language of the ancient Romans (John 19:20).
(1.) Heb. 'eshnabh, a latticed opening through which the cool breeze passes (Judg. 5:28). The flat roofs of the houses were sometimes enclosed with a parapet of lattice-work on wooden frames, to screen the women of the house from the gaze of the neighbourhood.
(2.) Heb. harakim, the network or lattice of a window (Cant. 2:9).
(3.) Heb. sebakhah, the latticed balustrade before a window or balcony (2 Kings 1:2). The lattice window is frequently used in Eastern countries.
Laver (Heb. kiyor), a "basin" for boiling in, a "pan" for cooking (1 Sam. 2:14), a "fire-pan" or hearth (Zech. 12:6), the sacred wash-bowl of the tabernacle and temple (Ex. 30:18, 28; 31:9; 35:16; 38:8; 39:39; 40:7, 11, 30, etc.), a basin for the water used by the priests in their ablutions. That which was originally used in the tabernacle was of brass (rather copper; Heb. nihsheth), made from the metal mirrors the women brought out of Egypt (Ex. 38:8). It contained water wherewith the priests washed their hands and feet when they entered the tabernacle (40:32). It stood in the court between the altar and the door of the tabernacle (30:19, 21). In the temple there were ten lavers used for the sacrifices, and the molten sea for the ablutions of the priests (2 Chr. 4:6). The position and uses of these are described 1 Kings 7:23-39; 2 Chr. 4:6. The "molten sea" was made of copper, taken from Tibhath and Chun, cities of Hadarezer, king of Zobah (1 Chr. 18:8; 1 Kings 7:23-26). No lavers are mentioned in the second temple.
Law a rule of action.
(1.) The Law of Nature is the will of God as to human conduct, founded on the moral difference of things, and discoverable by natural light (Rom. 1:20; 2:14, 15). This law binds all men at all times. It is generally designated by the term conscience, or the capacity of being influenced by the moral relations of things.
(2.) The Ceremonial Law prescribes under the Old Testament the rites and ceremonies of worship. This law was obligatory only till Christ, of whom these rites were typical, had finished his work (Heb. 7:9, 11; 10:1; Eph. 2:16). It was fulfilled rather than abrogated by the gospel.
(3.) The Judicial Law, the law which directed the civil policy of the Hebrew nation.
(4.) The Moral Law is the revealed will of God as to human conduct, binding on all men to the end of time. It was promulgated at Sinai. It is perfect (Ps. 19:7), perpetual (Matt. 5:17, 18), holy (Rom. 7:12), good, spiritual (14), and exceeding broad (Ps. 119:96). Although binding on all, we are not under it as a covenant of works (Gal. 3:17). (See COMMANDMENTS.)
(5.) Positive Laws are precepts founded only on the will of God. They are right because God commands them.
(6.) Moral positive laws are commanded by God because they are right.
Law of Moses is the whole body of the Mosaic legislation (1 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 23:25; Ezra 3:2). It is called by way of eminence simply "the Law" (Heb. Torah, Deut. 1:5; 4:8, 44; 17:18, 19; 27:3, 8). As a written code it is called the "book of the law of Moses" (2 Kings 14:6; Isa. 8:20), the "book of the law of God" (Josh. 24:26). The great leading principle of the Mosaic law is that it is essentially theocratic; i.e., it refers at once to the commandment of God as the foundation of all human duty.
Lawyer among the Jews, was one versed in the laws of Moses, which he expounded in the schools and synagogues (Matt. 22:35; Luke 10:25). The functions of the "lawyer" and "scribe" were identical. (See DOCTOR.)
Lazarus an abbreviation of Eleazar, whom God helps.
(1.) The brother of Mary and Martha of Bethany. He was raised from the dead after he had lain four days in the tomb (John 11:1-44). This miracle so excited the wrath of the Jews that they sought to put both Jesus and Lazarus to death.
(2.) A beggar named in the parable recorded Luke 16:19-31.
Leaf of a tree. The olive-leaf mentioned Gen. 8:11. The barren fig-tree had nothing but leaves (Matt. 21:19; Mark 11:13). The oak-leaf is mentioned Isa. 1:30; 6:13. There are numerous allusions to leaves, their flourishing, their decay, and their restoration (Lev. 26:36; Isa. 34:4; Jer. 8:13; Dan. 4:12, 14, 21; Mark 11:13; 13:28). The fresh leaf is a symbol of prosperity (Ps. 1:3; Jer. 17:8; Ezek. 47:12); the faded, of decay (Job 13:25; Isa. 1:30; 64:6; Jer. 8:13). Leaf of a door (1 Kings 6:34), the valve of a folding door. Leaf of a book (Jer. 36:23), perhaps a fold of a roll.
League a treaty or confederacy. The Jews were forbidden to enter into an alliance of any kind (1) with the Canaanites (Ex. 23:32, 33; 34:12-16); (2) with the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8, 14; Deut. 25:17-19); (3) with the Moabites and Ammonites (Deut. 2:9, 19). Treaties were permitted to be entered into with all other nations. Thus David maintained friendly intercourse with the kings of Tyre and Hamath, and Solomon with the kings of Tyre and Egypt.
Leah weary, the eldest daughter of Laban, and sister of Rachel (Gen. 29:16). Jacob took her to wife through a deceit of her father (Gen. 29:23). She was "tender-eyed" (17). She bore to Jacob six sons (32-35), also one daughter, Dinah (30:21). She accompanied Jacob into Canaan, and died there before the time of the going down into Egypt (Gen. 31), and was buried in the cave of Machpelah (49:31).
Leannoth for answering; i.e., in singing, occurs in the title to Ps. 88. The title "Mahalath (q.v.) Leannoth" may be rendered "concerning sickness, to be sung" i.e., perhaps, to be sung in sickness.
Leasing (Ps. 4:2; 5:6) an Old English word meaning lies, or lying, as the Hebrew word _kazabh_ is generally rendered.
Leather a girdle of, worn by Elijah (2 Kings 1:8) and John the Baptist (Matt. 3:4). Leather was employed both for clothing (Num. 31:20; Heb. 11:37) and for writing upon. The trade of a tanner is mentioned (Acts 9:43; 10:6, 32). It was probably learned in Egypt.
(1.) Heb. seor (Ex. 12:15, 19; 13:7; Lev. 2:11), the remnant of dough from the preceding baking which had fermented and become acid.
(2.) Heb. hamets, properly "ferment." In Num. 6:3, "vinegar of wine" is more correctly "fermented wine." In Ex. 13:7, the proper rendering would be, "Unfermented things [Heb. matstsoth] shall be consumed during the seven days; and there shall not be seen with thee fermented things [hamets], and there shall not be seen with thee leavened mass [seor] in all thy borders." The chemical definition of ferment or yeast is "a substance in a state of putrefaction, the atoms of which are in a continual motion." The use of leaven was strictly forbidden in all offerings made to the Lord by fire (Lev. 2:11; 7:12; 8:2; Num. 6:15). Its secretly penetrating and diffusive power is referred to in 1 Cor. 5:6. In this respect it is used to illustrate the growth of the kingdom of heaven both in the individual heart and in the world (Matt. 13:33). It is a figure also of corruptness and of perverseness of heart and life (Matt. 16:6, 11; Mark 8:15; 1 Cor. 5:7, 8).
Lebanon white, "the white mountain of Syria," is the loftiest and most celebrated mountain range in Syria. It is a branch running southward from the Caucasus, and at its lower end forking into two parallel ranges, the eastern or Anti-Lebanon, and the western or Lebanon proper. They enclose a long valley (Josh. 11:17) of from 5 to 8 miles in width, called by Roman writers Coele-Syria, now called el-Buka'a, "the valley," a prolongation of the valley of the Jordan. Lebanon proper, Jebel es-Sharki, commences at its southern extremity in the gorge of the Leontes, the ancient Litany, and extends north-east, parallel to the Mediterranean coast, as far as the river Eleutherus, at the plain of Emesa, "the entering of Hamath" (Num. 34:8; 1 Kings 8:65), in all about 90 geographical miles in extent. The average height of this range is from 6,000 to 8,000 feet; the peak of Jebel Mukhmel is about 10,200 feet, and the Sannin about 9,000. The highest peaks are covered with perpetual snow and ice. In the recesses of the range wild beasts as of old still abound (2 Kings 14:9; Cant. 4:8). The scenes of the Lebanon are remarkable for their grandeur and beauty, and supplied the sacred writers with many expressive similes (Ps. 29:5, 6; 72:16; 104:16-18; Cant. 4:15; Isa. 2:13; 35:2; 60:13; Hos. 14:5). It is famous for its cedars (Cant. 5:15), its wines (Hos. 14:7), and its cool waters (Jer. 18:14). The ancient inhabitants were Giblites and Hivites (Josh. 13:5; Judg. 3:3). It was part of the Phoenician kingdom (1 Kings 5:2-6). The eastern range, or Anti-Lebanon, or "Lebanon towards the sunrising," runs nearly parallel with the western from the plain of Emesa till it connects with the hills of Galilee in the south. The height of this range is about 5,000 feet. Its highest peak is Hermon (q.v.), from which a number of lesser ranges radiate. Lebanon is first mentioned in the description of the boundary of Palestine (Deut. 1:7; 11:24). It was assigned to Israel, but was never conquered (Josh. 13:2-6; Judg. 3:1-3). The Lebanon range is now inhabited by a population of about 300,000 Christians, Maronites, and Druses, and is ruled by a Christian governor. The Anti-Lebanon is inhabited by Mohammedans, and is under a Turkish ruler.
Lebbaeus courageous, a surname of Judas (Jude), one of the twelve (Matt. 10:3), called also Thaddaeus, not to be confounded with the Judas who was the brother of our Lord.
Lebonah frankincense, a town near Shiloh, on the north side of Bethel (Judg. 21:19). It has been identified with el-Lubban, to the south of Nablus.
Leek (Heb. hatsir; the Allium porrum), rendered "grass" in 1 Kings 18:5, 2 Kings 19:26, Job 40:15, etc.; "herb" in Job 8:12; "hay" in Prov. 27:25, and Isa. 15:6; "leeks" only in Num. 11:5. This Hebrew word seems to denote in this last passage simply herbs, such as lettuce or savoury herbs cooked as kitchen vegetables, and not necessarily what are now called leeks. The leek was a favourite vegetable in Egypt, and is still largely cultivated there and in Palestine.
Lees (Heb. shemarim), from a word meaning to keep or preserve. It was applied to "lees" from the custom of allowing wine to stand on the lees that it might thereby be better preserved (Isa. 25:6). "Men settled on their lees" (Zeph. 1:12) are men "hardened or crusted." The image is derived from the crust formed at the bottom of wines long left undisturbed (Jer. 48:11). The effect of wealthy undisturbed ease on the ungodly is hardening. They become stupidly secure (comp. Ps. 55:19; Amos 6:1). To drink the lees (Ps. 75:8) denotes severe suffering.
Left hand among the Hebrews, denoted the north (Job 23:9; Gen. 14:15), the face of the person being supposed to be toward the east.
Left-handed (Judg. 3:15; 20:16), one unable to use the right hand skilfully, and who therefore uses the left; and also one who uses the left as well as the right, ambidexter. Such a condition of the hands is due to physical causes. This quality was common apparently in the tribe of Benjamin.
Legion a regiment of the Roman army, the number of men composing which differed at different times. It originally consisted of three thousand men, but in the time of Christ consisted of six thousand, exclusive of horsemen, who were in number a tenth of the foot-men. The word is used (Matt. 26:53; Mark 5:9) to express simply a great multitude.
Lehi a jawbone, a place in the tribe of Judah where Samson achieved a victory over the Philistines (Judg. 15:9, 14, 16), slaying a thousand of them with the jawbone of an ass. The words in 15:19, "a hollow place that was in the jaw" (A.V.), should be, as in Revised Version, "the hollow place that is in Lehi."
Lemuel dedicated to God, a king whom his mother instructed (Prov. 31:1-9). Nothing is certainly known concerning him. The rabbis identified him with Solomon.
Lentiles (Heb. 'adashim), a species of vetch (Gen. 25:34; 2 Sam. 23:11), common in Syria under the name addas. The red pottage made by Jacob was of lentils (Gen. 25:29-34). They were among the provisions brought to David when he fled from Absalom (2 Sam. 17:28). It is the Ervum lens of Linnaeus, a leguminous plant which produces a fruit resembling a bean.
Leopard (Heb. namer, so called because spotted, Cant. 4:8), was that great spotted feline which anciently infested the mountains of Syria, more appropriately called a panther (Felis pardus). Its fierceness (Isa. 11:6), its watching for its prey (Jer. 5:6), its swiftness (Hab. 1:8), and the spots of its skin (Jer. 13:23), are noticed. This word is used symbolically (Dan. 7:6; Rev. 13:2).
Leprosy (Heb. tsara'ath, a "smiting," a "stroke," because the disease was regarded as a direct providential infliction). This name is from the Greek lepra, by which the Greek physicians designated the disease from its scaliness. We have the description of the disease, as well as the regulations connected with it, in Lev. 13; 14; Num. 12:10-15, etc. There were reckoned six different circumstances under which it might develop itself, (1) without any apparent cause (Lev. 13:2-8); (2) its reappearance (9-17); (3) from an inflammation (18-28); (4) on the head or chin (29-37); (5) in white polished spots (38, 39); (6) at the back or in the front of the head (40-44). Lepers were required to live outside the camp or city (Num. 5:1-4; 12:10-15, etc.). This disease was regarded as an awful punishment from the Lord (2 Kings 5:7; 2 Chr. 26:20). (See MIRIAM; GEHAZI; UZZIAH.) This disease "begins with specks on the eyelids and on the palms, gradually spreading over the body, bleaching the hair white wherever they appear, crusting the affected parts with white scales, and causing terrible sores and swellings. From the skin the disease eats inward to the bones, rotting the whole body piecemeal." "In Christ's day no leper could live in a walled town, though he might in an open village. But wherever he was he was required to have his outer garment rent as a sign of deep grief, to go bareheaded, and to cover his beard with his mantle, as if in lamentation at his own virtual death. He had further to warn passers-by to keep away from him, by calling out, 'Unclean! unclean!' nor could he speak to any one, or receive or return a salutation, since in the East this involves an embrace." That the disease was not contagious is evident from the regulations regarding it (Lev. 13:12, 13, 36; 2 Kings 5:1). Leprosy was "the outward and visible sign of the innermost spiritual corruption; a meet emblem in its small beginnings, its gradual spread, its internal disfigurement, its dissolution little by little of the whole body, of that which corrupts, degrades, and defiles man's inner nature, and renders him unmeet to enter the presence of a pure and holy God" (Maclear's Handbook O.T). Our Lord cured lepers (Matt. 8:2, 3; Mark 1:40-42). This divine power so manifested illustrates his gracious dealings with men in curing the leprosy of the soul, the fatal taint of sin.
Letter in Rom. 2:27, 29 means the outward form. The "oldness of the letter" (7:6) is a phrase which denotes the old way of literal outward obedience to the law as a system of mere external rules of conduct. In 2 Cor. 3:6, "the letter" means the Mosaic law as a written law. (See WRITING.)
Leummim peoples; nations, the last mentioned of the three sons of Dedan, and head of an Arabian tribe (Gen. 25:3).
(1.) The third son of Jacob by Leah. The origin of the name is found in Leah's words (Gen. 29:34), "This time will my husband be joined [Heb. yillaveh] unto me." He is mentioned as taking a prominent part in avenging his sister Dinah (Gen. 34:25-31). He and his three sons went down with Jacob (46:11) into Egypt, where he died at the age of one hundred and thirty-seven years (Ex. 6:16).
(2.) The father of Matthat, and son of Simeon, of the ancestors of Christ (Luke 3:29).
(3.) Luke 3:24.
(4.) One of the apostles, the son of Alphaeus (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27, 29), called also Matthew (Matt. 9:9).
Leviathan a transliterated Hebrew word (livyathan), meaning "twisted," "coiled." In Job 3:8, Revised Version, and marg. of Authorized Version, it denotes the dragon which, according to Eastern tradition, is an enemy of light; in 41:1 the crocodile is meant; in Ps. 104:26 it "denotes any large animal that moves by writhing or wriggling the body, the whale, the monsters of the deep." This word is also used figuratively for a cruel enemy, as some think "the Egyptian host, crushed by the divine power, and cast on the shores of the Red Sea" (Ps. 74:14). As used in Isa. 27:1, "leviathan the piercing [R.V. 'swift'] serpent, even leviathan that crooked [R.V. marg. 'winding'] serpent," the word may probably denote the two empires, the Assyrian and the Babylonian.
Levirate Law from Latin levir, "a husband's brother," the name of an ancient custom ordained by Moses, by which, when an Israelite died without issue, his surviving brother was required to marry the widow, so as to continue his brother's family through the son that might be born of that marriage (Gen. 38:8; Deut. 25:5-10; comp. Ruth 3; 4:10). Its object was "to raise up seed to the departed brother."
Levite a descendant of the tribe of Levi (Ex. 6:25; Lev. 25:32; Num. 35:2; Josh. 21:3, 41). This name is, however, generally used as the title of that portion of the tribe which was set apart for the subordinate offices of the sanctuary service (1 Kings 8:4; Ezra 2:70), as assistants to the priests. When the Israelites left Egypt, the ancient manner of worship was still observed by them, the eldest son of each house inheriting the priest's office. At Sinai the first change in this ancient practice was made. A hereditary priesthood in the family of Aaron was then instituted (Ex. 28:1). But it was not till that terrible scene in connection with the sin of the golden calf that the tribe of Levi stood apart and began to occupy a distinct position (Ex. 32). The religious primogeniture was then conferred on this tribe, which henceforth was devoted to the service of the sanctuary (Num. 3:11-13). They were selected for this purpose because of their zeal for the glory of God (Ex. 32:26), and because, as the tribe to which Moses and Aaron belonged, they would naturally stand by the lawgiver in his work. The Levitical order consisted of all the descendants of Levi's three sons, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari; whilst Aaron, Amram's son (Amram, son of Kohat), and his issue constituted the priestly order. The age and qualification for Levitical service are specified in Num. 4:3, 23, 30, 39, 43, 47. They were not included among the armies of Israel (Num. 1:47; 2:33; 26:62), but were reckoned by themselves. They were the special guardians of the tabernacle (Num. 1:51; 18:22-24). The Gershonites pitched their tents on the west of the tabernacle (3:23), the Kohathites on the south (3:29), the Merarites on the north (3:35), and the priests on the east (3:38). It was their duty to move the tent and carry the parts of the sacred structure from place to place. They were given to Aaron and his sons the priests to wait upon them and do work for them at the sanctuary services (Num. 8:19; 18:2-6). As being wholly consecrated to the service of the Lord, they had no territorial possessions. Jehovah was their inheritance (Num. 18:20; 26:62; Deut. 10:9; 18:1, 2), and for their support it was ordained that they should receive from the other tribes the tithes of the produce of the land. Forty-eight cities also were assigned to them, thirteen of which were for the priests "to dwell in", i.e., along with their other inhabitants. Along with their dwellings they had "suburbs", i.e., "commons", for their herds and flocks, and also fields and vineyards (Num. 35:2-5). Nine of these cities were in Judah, three in Naphtali, and four in each of the other tribes (Josh. 21). Six of the Levitical cities were set apart as "cities of refuge" (q.v.). Thus the Levites were scattered among the tribes to keep alive among them the knowledge and service of God. (See PRIEST.)
Leviticus the third book of the Pentateuch; so called in
the Vulgate, after the LXX., because it treats chiefly of the
Levitical service. In the first section of the book (1-17), which
exhibits the worship itself, there is,
(1.) A series of laws (1-7) regarding sacrifices, burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and thank-offerings (1-3), sin-offerings and trespass-offerings (4; 5), followed by the law of the priestly duties in connection with the offering of sacrifices (6; 7).
(2.) An historical section (8-10), giving an account of the consecration of Aaron and his sons (8); Aaron's first offering for himself and the people (9); Nadab and Abihu's presumption in offering "strange fire before Jehovah," and their punishment (10).
(3.) Laws concerning purity, and the sacrifices and ordinances for putting away impurity (11-16). An interesting fact may be noted here. Canon Tristram, speaking of the remarkable discoveries regarding the flora and fauna of the Holy Land by the Palestine Exploration officers, makes the following statement:, "Take these two catalogues of the clean and unclean animals in the books of Leviticus  and Deuteronomy . There are eleven in Deuteronomy which do not occur in Leviticus, and these are nearly all animals and birds which are not found in Egypt or the Holy Land, but which are numerous in the Arabian desert. They are not named in Leviticus a few weeks after the departure from Egypt; but after the people were thirty-nine years in the desert they are named, a strong proof that the list in Deuteronomy was written at the end of the journey, and the list in Leviticus at the beginning. It fixes the writing of that catalogue to one time and period only, viz., that when the children of Israel were familiar with the fauna and the flora of the desert" (Palest. Expl. Quart., Jan. 1887).
(4.) Laws marking the separation between Israel and the heathen (17-20).
(5.) Laws about the personal purity of the priests, and their eating of the holy things (20; 21); about the offerings of Israel, that they were to be without blemish (22:17-33); and about the due celebration of the great festivals (23; 25).
(6.) Then follow promises and warnings to the people regarding obedience to these commandments, closing with a section on vows. The various ordinances contained in this book were all delivered in the space of a month (comp. Ex. 40:17; Num. 1:1), the first month of the second year after the Exodus. It is the third book of Moses. No book contains more of the very words of God. He is almost throughout the whole of it the direct speaker. This book is a prophecy of things to come, a shadow whereof the substance is Christ and his kingdom. The principles on which it is to be interpreted are laid down in the Epistle to the Hebrews. It contains in its complicated ceremonial the gospel of the grace of God.
Levy (1 Kings 4:6, R.V.; 5:13), forced service. The service of tributaries was often thus exacted by kings. Solomon raised a "great levy" of 30,000 men, about two per cent. of the population, to work for him by courses on Lebanon. Adoram (12:18) presided over this forced labour service (Ger. Frohndienst; Fr. corvee).
Lewdness (Acts 18:14), villany or wickedness, not lewdness in the modern sense of the word. The word "lewd" is from the Saxon, and means properly "ignorant," "unlearned," and hence low, vicious (Acts 17:5).
Libertine found only Acts 6:9, one who once had been a slave, but who had been set at liberty, or the child of such a person. In this case the name probably denotes those descendants of Jews who had been carried captives to Rome as prisoners of war by Pompey and other Roman generals in the Syrian wars, and had afterwards been liberated. In A.D. 19 these manumitted Jews were banished from Rome. Many of them found their way to Jerusalem, and there established a synagogue.
Libnah transparency; whiteness.
(1.) One of the stations of the Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 33:20, 21).
(2.) One of the royal cities of the Canaanites taken by Joshua (Josh. 10:29-32; 12:15). It became one of the Levitical towns in the tribe of Judah (21:13), and was strongly fortified. Sennacherib laid siege to it (2 Kings 19:8; Isa. 37:8). It was the native place of Hamutal, the queen of Josiah (2 Kings 23:31). It stood near Lachish, and has been identified with the modern Arak el-Menshiyeh.
Libni white, one of the two sons of Gershon, the son of Levi (Ex. 6:17; Num. 3:18, 21). (See LAADAN)
Libya the country of the Ludim (Gen. 10:13), Northern Africa, a large tract lying along the Mediterranean, to the west of Egypt (Acts 2:10). Cyrene was one of its five cities.
Lice (Heb. kinnim), the creatures employed in the third plague sent upon Egypt (Ex. 8:16-18). They were miraculously produced from the dust of the land. "The entomologists Kirby and Spence place these minute but disgusting insects in the very front rank of those which inflict injury upon man. A terrible list of examples they have collected of the ravages of this and closely allied parasitic pests." The plague of lice is referred to in Ps. 105:31. Some have supposed that the word denotes not lice properly, but gnats. Others, with greater probability, take it to mean the "tick" which is much larger than lice.
Lie an intentional violation of the truth. Lies are emphatically condemned in Scripture (John 8:44; 1 Tim. 1:9, 10; Rev. 21:27; 22:15). Mention is made of the lies told by good men, as by Abraham (Gen. 12:12, 13; 20:2), Isaac (26:7), and Jacob (27:24); also by the Hebrew midwives (Ex. 1:15-19), by Michal (1 Sam. 19:14), and by David (1 Sam. 20:6). (See ANANIAS.)
Lieutenant (only in A.V. Esther 3:12; 8:9; 9:3; Ezra 8:36), a governor or viceroy of a Persian province having both military and civil power. Correctly rendered in the Revised Version "satrap."
Life generally of physical life (Gen. 2:7; Luke 16:25, etc.); also used figuratively (1) for immortality (Heb. 7:16); (2) conduct or manner of life (Rom. 6:4); (3) spiritual life or salvation (John 3:16, 17, 18, 36); (4) eternal life (Matt. 19:16, 17; John 3:15); of God and Christ as the absolute source and cause of all life (John 1:4; 5:26, 39; 11:25; 12:50).
Light the offspring of the divine command (Gen. 1:3). "All the more joyous emotions of the mind, all the pleasing sensations of the frame, all the happy hours of domestic intercourse were habitually described among the Hebrews under imagery derived from light" (1 Kings 11:36; Isa. 58:8; Esther 8:16; Ps. 97:11). Light came also naturally to typify true religion and the felicity it imparts (Ps. 119:105; Isa. 8:20; Matt. 4:16, etc.), and the glorious inheritance of the redeemed (Col. 1:12; Rev. 21:23-25). God is said to dwell in light inaccessible (1 Tim. 6:16). It frequently signifies instruction (Matt. 5:16; John 5:35). In its highest sense it is applied to Christ as the "Sun of righteousness" (Mal. 4:2; Luke 2:32; John 1:7-9). God is styled "the Father of lights" (James 1:17). It is used of angels (2 Cor. 11:14), and of John the Baptist, who was a "burning and a shining light" (John 5:35), and of all true disciples, who are styled "the light of the world" (Matt. 5:14).
Lightning frequently referred to by the sacred writers (Nah. 1:3-6). Thunder and lightning are spoken of as tokens of God's wrath (2 Sam. 22:15; Job 28:26; 37:4; Ps. 135:7; 144:6; Zech. 9:14). They represent God's glorious and awful majesty (Rev. 4:5), or some judgment of God on the world (20:9).
Lign-aloes (only in pl., Heb. 'ahalim), a perfume derived from some Oriental tree (Num. 24:6), probably the agallochum or aloe-wood. (See ALOES).
Ligure (Heb. leshem) occurs only in Ex. 28:19 and 39:12, as the name of a stone in the third row on the high priest's breastplate. Some have supposed that this stone was the same as the jacinth (q.v.), others that it was the opal. There is now no mineral bearing this name. The "ligurite" is so named from Liguria in Italy, where it was found.
Lily. The Hebrew name shushan or shoshan, i.e., "whiteness", was used as the general name of several plants common to Syria, such as the tulip, iris, anemone, gladiolus, ranunculus, etc. Some interpret it, with much probability, as denoting in the Old Testament the water-lily (Nymphoea lotus of Linn.), or lotus (Cant. 2:1, 2; 2:16; 4:5; 5:13; 6:2, 3; 7:2). "Its flowers are large, and they are of a white colour, with streaks of pink. They supplied models for the ornaments of the pillars and the molten sea" (1 Kings 7:19, 22, 26; 2 Chr. 4:5). In the Canticles its beauty and fragrance shadow forth the preciousness of Christ to the Church. Groser, however (Scrip. Nat. Hist.), strongly argues that the word, both in the Old and New Testaments, denotes liliaceous plants in general, or if one genus is to be selected, that it must be the genus Iris, which is "large, vigorous, elegant in form, and gorgeous in colouring." The lilies (Gr. krinia) spoken of in the New Testament (Matt. 6:28; Luke 12:27) were probably the scarlet martagon (Lilium Chalcedonicum) or "red Turk's-cap lily", which "comes into flower at the season of the year when our Lord's sermon on the mount is supposed to have been delivered. It is abundant in the district of Galilee; and its fine scarlet flowers render it a very conspicous and showy object, which would naturally attract the attention of the hearers" (Balfour's Plants of the Bible). Of the true "floral glories of Palestine" the pheasant's eye (Adonis Palestina), the ranunuculus (R. Asiaticus), and the anemone (A coronaria), the last named is however, with the greatest probability regarded as the "lily of the field" to which our Lord refers. "Certainly," says Tristram (Nat. Hist. of the Bible), "if, in the wondrous richness of bloom which characterizes the land of Israel in spring, any one plant can claim pre-eminence, it is the anemone, the most natural flower for our Lord to pluck and seize upon as an illustration, whether walking in the fields or sitting on the hill-side." "The white water-lily (Nymphcea alba) and the yellow water-lily (Nuphar lutea) are both abundant in the marshes of the Upper Jordan, but have no connection with the lily of Scripture."
Lime. The Hebrew word so rendered means "boiling" or "effervescing." From Isa. 33:12 it appears that lime was made in a kiln lighted by thorn-bushes. In Amos 2:1 it is recorded that the king of Moab "burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime." The same Hebrew word is used in Deut. 27:2-4, and is there rendered "plaster." Limestone is the chief constituent of the mountains of Syria.
(1.) Heb., pishet, pishtah, denotes "flax," of which linen is made (Isa. 19:9); wrought flax, i.e., "linen cloth", Lev. 13:47, 48, 52, 59; Deut. 22:11. Flax was early cultivated in Egypt (Ex. 9:31), and also in Palestine (Josh. 2:6; Hos. 2:9). Various articles were made of it: garments (2 Sam. 6:14), girdles (Jer. 13:1), ropes and thread (Ezek. 40:3), napkins (Luke 24:12; John 20:7), turbans (Ezek. 44:18), and lamp-wicks (Isa. 42:3).
(2.) Heb. buts, "whiteness;" rendered "fine linen" in 1 Chr. 4:21; 15:27; 2 Chr. 2:14; 3:14; Esther 1:6; 8:15, and "white linen" 2 Chr. 5:12. It is not certain whether this word means cotton or linen.
(3.) Heb. bad; rendered "linen" Ex. 28:42; 39:28; Lev. 6:10; 16:4, 23, 32; 1 Sam. 2:18; 2 Sam. 6:14, etc. It is uniformly used of the sacred vestments worn by the priests. The word is from a root signifying "separation."
(4.) Heb. shesh; rendered "fine linen" Ex. 25:4; 26:1, 31, 36, etc. In Prov. 31:22 it is rendered in Authorized Version "silk," and in Revised Version "fine linen." The word denotes Egyptian linen of peculiar whiteness and fineness (byssus). The finest Indian linen, the finest now made, has in an inch one hundred threads of warp and eighty-four of woof; while the Egyptian had sometimes one hundred and forty in the warp and sixty-four in the woof. This was the usual dress of the Egyptian priest. Pharaoh arrayed Joseph in a dress of linen (Gen. 41:42).
(5.) Heb. 'etun. Prov. 7:16, "fine linen of Egypt;" in Revised Version, "the yarn of Egypt."
(6.) Heb. sadin. Prov. 31:24, "fine linen;" in Revised Version, "linen garments" (Judg. 14:12, 13; Isa. 3:23). From this Hebrew word is probably derived the Greek word sindon, rendered "linen" in Mark 14:51, 52; 15:46; Matt. 27:59. The word "linen" is used as an emblem of moral purity (Rev. 15:6). In Luke 16:19 it is mentioned as a mark of luxury.
Linen-yarn (See YARN.).
Lines were used for measuring and dividing land; and hence the word came to denote a portion or inheritance measured out; a possession (Ps. 16:6).
(1.) Heb. mashkoph, a projecting cover (Ex. 12:22, 23; ver. 7, "upper door post," but R.V. "lintel"); the head-piece of a door, which the Israelites were commanded to mark with the blood of the paschal lamb.
(2.) Heb. kaphtar. Amos 9:1; Zeph. 2:14 (R.V. correctly "chapiters," as in A.V. marg.).
Lions the most powerful of all carnivorous animals.
Although not now found in Palestine, they must have been in ancient
times very numerous there. They had their lairs in the forests (Jer.
5:6; 12:8; Amos 3:4), in the caves of the mountains (Cant. 4:8; Nah.
2:12), and in the canebrakes on the banks of the Jordan (Jer. 49:19;
50:44; Zech. 11:3). No fewer than at least six different words are
used in the Old Testament for the lion.
(1.) _Gor_ (i.e., a "suckling"), the lion's whelp (Gen. 49:9; Jer. 51:38, etc.).
(2.) _Kephir_ (i.e., "shaggy"), the young lion (Judg. 14:5; Job 4:10; Ps. 91:13; 104:21), a term which is also used figuratively of cruel enemies (Ps. 34:10; 35:17; 58:6; Jer. 2:15).
(3.) _'Ari_ (i.e., the "puller" in pieces), denoting the lion in general, without reference to age or sex (Num. 23:24; 2 Sam. 17:10, etc.).
(4.) _Shahal_ (the "roarer"), the mature lion (Job 4:10; Ps. 91:13; Prov. 26:13; Hos. 5:14).
(5.) _Laish_, so called from its strength and bravery (Job 4:11; Prov. 30:30; Isa. 30:6). The capital of Northern Dan received its name from this word.
(6.) _Labi_, from a root meaning "to roar," a grown lion or lioness (Gen. 49:9; Num. 23:24; 24:9; Ezek. 19:2; Nah. 2:11). The lion of Palestine was properly of the Asiatic variety, distinguished from the African variety, which is larger. Yet it not only attacked flocks in the presence of the shepherd, but also laid waste towns and villages (2 Kings 17:25, 26) and devoured men (1 Kings 13:24, 25). Shepherds sometimes, single-handed, encountered lions and slew them (1 Sam. 17:34, 35; Amos 3:12). Samson seized a young lion with his hands and "rent him as he would have rent a kid" (Judg. 14:5, 6). The strength (Judg. 14:18), courage (2 Sam. 17:10), and ferocity (Gen. 49:9) of the lion were proverbial.
Lip besides its literal sense (Isa. 37:29, etc.), is used in the original (saphah) metaphorically for an edge or border, as of a cup (1 Kings 7:26), a garment (Ex. 28:32), a curtain (26:4), the sea (Gen. 22:17), the Jordan (2 Kings 2:13). To "open the lips" is to begin to speak (Job 11:5); to "refrain the lips" is to keep silence (Ps. 40:9; 1 Pet. 3:10). The "fruit of the lips" (Heb. 13:15) is praise, and the "calves of the lips" thank-offerings (Hos. 14:2). To "shoot out the lip" is to manifest scorn and defiance (Ps. 22:7). Many similar forms of expression are found in Scripture.
Litter (Heb. tsab, as being lightly and gently borne), a sedan or palanquin for the conveyance of persons of rank (Isa. 66:20). In Num. 7:3, the words "covered wagons" are more literally "carts of the litter kind." There they denote large and commodious vehicles drawn by oxen, and fitted for transporting the furniture of the temple.
Liver (Heb. kabhed, "heavy;" hence the liver, as being the heaviest of the viscera, Ex. 29:13, 22; Lev. 3:4, 1, 10, 15) was burnt upon the altar, and not used as sacrificial food. In Ezek. 21:21 there is allusion, in the statement that the king of Babylon "looked upon the liver," to one of the most ancient of all modes of divination. The first recorded instance of divination (q.v.) is that of the teraphim of Laban. By the teraphim the LXX. and Josephus understood "the liver of goats." By the "caul above the liver," in Lev. 4:9; 7:4, etc., some understand the great lobe of the liver itself.
Living creatures as represented by Ezekiel (1-10) and John (Rev. 4, etc.), are the cherubim. They are distinguished from angels (Rev. 15:7); they join the elders in the "new song" (5:8, 9); they warn of danger from divine justice (Isa. 6:3-5), and deliver the commission to those who execute it (Ezek. 10:2, 7); they associate with the elders in their sympathy with the hundred and forty-four thousand who sing the new song (Rev. 14:3), and with the Church in the overthrow of her enemies (19:4). They are supposed to represent mercy, as distinguished from justice, mercy in its various instrumentalities, and especially as connected with the throne of God, the "throne of grace."
Lizard. Only in Lev. 11:30, as rendering of Hebrew _letaah_, so called from its "hiding." Supposed to be the Lacerta gecko or fan-foot lizard, from the toes of which poison exudes. (See CHAMELEON.)
Lo-ammi not my people, a symbolical name given by God's command to Hosea's second son in token of Jehovah's rejection of his people (Hos. 1:9, 10), his treatment of them as a foreign people. This Hebrew word is rendered by "not my people" in ver. 10; 2:23.
Loan. The Mosaic law required that when an Israelite needed to borrow, what he asked was to be freely lent to him, and no interest was to be charged, although interest might be taken of a foreigner (Ex. 22:25; Deut. 23:19, 20; Lev. 25:35-38). At the end of seven years all debts were remitted. Of a foreigner the loan might, however, be exacted. At a later period of the Hebrew commonwealth, when commerce increased, the practice of exacting usury or interest on loans, and of suretiship in the commercial sense, grew up. Yet the exaction of it from a Hebrew was regarded as discreditable (Ps. 15:5; Prov. 6:1, 4; 11:15; 17:18; 20:16; 27:13; Jer. 15:10). Limitations are prescribed by the law to the taking of a pledge from the borrower. The outer garment in which a man slept at night, if taken in pledge, was to be returned before sunset (Ex. 22:26, 27; Deut. 24:12, 13). A widow's garment (Deut. 24:17) and a millstone (6) could not be taken. A creditor could not enter the house to reclaim a pledge, but must remain outside till the borrower brought it (10, 11). The Hebrew debtor could not be retained in bondage longer than the seventh year, or at farthest the year of jubilee (Ex. 21:2; Lev. 25:39, 42), but foreign sojourners were to be "bondmen for ever" (Lev. 25:44-54).
Lock. The Hebrews usually secured their doors by bars of wood or iron (Isa. 45:2; 1 Kings 4:3). These were the locks originally used, and were opened and shut by large keys applied through an opening in the outside (Judg. 3:24). (See KEY.) Lock of hair (Judg. 16:13, 19; Ezek. 8:3; Num. 6:5, etc.).
Locust. There are ten Hebrew words used in Scripture to signify locust. In the New Testament locusts are mentioned as forming part of the food of John the Baptist (Matt. 3:4; Mark 1:6). By the Mosaic law they were reckoned "clean," so that he could lawfully eat them. The name also occurs in Rev. 9:3, 7, in allusion to this Oriental devastating insect. Locusts belong to the class of Orthoptera, i.e., straight-winged. They are of many species. The ordinary Syrian locust resembles the grasshopper, but is larger and more destructive. "The legs and thighs of these insects are so powerful that they can leap to a height of two hundred times the length of their bodies. When so raised they spread their wings and fly so close together as to appear like one compact moving mass." Locusts are prepared as food in various ways. Sometimes they are pounded, and then mixed with flour and water, and baked into cakes; "sometimes boiled, roasted, or stewed in butter, and then eaten." They were eaten in a preserved state by the ancient Assyrians. The devastations they make in Eastern lands are often very appalling. The invasions of locusts are the heaviest calamites that can befall a country. "Their numbers exceed computation: the hebrews called them 'the countless,' and the Arabs knew them as 'the darkeners of the sun.' Unable to guide their own flight, though capable of crossing large spaces, they are at the mercy of the wind, which bears them as blind instruments of Providence to the doomed region given over to them for the time. Innumerable as the drops of water or the sands of the seashore, their flight obscures the sun and casts a thick shadow on the earth (Ex. 10:15; Judg. 6:5; 7:12; Jer. 46:23; Joel 2:10). It seems indeed as if a great aerial mountain, many miles in breadth, were advancing with a slow, unresting progress. Woe to the countries beneath them if the wind fall and let them alight! They descend unnumbered as flakes of snow and hide the ground. It may be 'like the garden of Eden before them, but behind them is a desolate wilderness. At their approach the people are in anguish; all faces lose their colour' (Joel 2:6). No walls can stop them; no ditches arrest them; fires kindled in their path are forthwith extinguished by the myriads of their dead, and the countless armies march on (Joel 2:8, 9). If a door or a window be open, they enter and destroy everything of wood in the house. Every terrace, court, and inner chamber is filled with them in a moment. Such an awful visitation swept over Egypt (Ex. 10:1-19), consuming before it every green thing, and stripping the trees, till the land was bared of all signs of vegetation. A strong north-west wind from the Mediterranean swept the locusts into the Red Sea.", Geikie's Hours, etc., ii., 149.
Lo-debar no pasture, (2 Sam. 17:27), a town in Gilead not far from Mahanaim, north of the Jabbok (9:4, 5). It is probably identical with Debir (Josh. 13:26).
Lodge a shed for a watchman in a garden (Isa. 1:8). The Hebrew name _melunah_ is rendered "cottage" (q.v.) in Isa. 24:20. It also denotes a hammock or hanging-bed.
Log the smallest measure for liquids used by the Hebrews (Lev. 14:10, 12, 15, 21, 24), called in the Vulgate sextarius. It is the Hebrew unit of measure of capacity, and is equal to the contents of six ordinary hen's eggs=the twelfth part of a him, or nearly a pint.
Lois the maternal grandmother of Timothy. She is commended by Paul for her faith (2 Tim. 1:5).
Loop a knotted "eye" of cord, corresponding to the "taches" or knobs in the edges of the curtains of the tabernacle, for joining them into a continuous circuit, fifty to a curtain (Ex. 26:4, 5, 10, 11).
Lord. There are various Hebrew and Greek words so rendered.
(1.) Heb. Jehovah, has been rendered in the English Bible LORD, printed in small capitals. This is the proper name of the God of the Hebrews. The form "Jehovah" is retained only in Ex. 6:3; Ps. 83:18; Isa. 12:2; 26:4, both in the Authorized and the Revised Version.
(2.) Heb. 'adon, means one possessed of absolute control. It denotes a master, as of slaves (Gen. 24:14, 27), or a ruler of his subjects (45:8), or a husband, as lord of his wife (18:12). The old plural form of this Hebrew word is _'adonai_. From a superstitious reverence for the name "Jehovah," the Jews, in reading their Scriptures, whenever that name occurred, always pronounced it _'Adonai_.
(3.) Greek kurios, a supreme master, etc. In the LXX. this is invariably used for "Jehovah" and "'Adonai."
(4.) Heb. ba'al, a master, as having domination. This word is applied to human relations, as that of husband, to persons skilled in some art or profession, and to heathen deities. "The men of Shechem," literally "the baals of Shechem" (Judg. 9:2, 3). These were the Israelite inhabitants who had reduced the Canaanites to a condition of vassalage (Josh. 16:10; 17:13).
(5.) Heb. seren, applied exclusively to the "lords of the Philistines" (Judg. 3:3). The LXX. render it by satrapies. At this period the Philistines were not, as at a later period (1 Sam. 21:10), under a kingly government. (See Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 6:18.) There were five such lordships, viz., Gath, Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron.
Lord's day only once, in Rev. 1:10, was in the early Christian ages used to denote the first day of the week, which commemorated the Lord's resurrection. There is every reason to conclude that John thus used the name. (See SABBATH.)
Lord's Prayer the name given to the only form of prayer Christ taught his disciples (Matt. 6:9-13). The closing doxology of the prayer is omitted by Luke (11:2-4), also in the R.V. of Matt. 6:13. This prayer contains no allusion to the atonement of Christ, nor to the offices of the Holy Spirit. "All Christian prayer is based on the Lord's Prayer, but its spirit is also guided by that of His prayer in Gethsemane and of the prayer recorded John 17. The Lord's Prayer is the comprehensive type of the simplest and most universal prayer."
Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 11:20), called also "the Lord's
table" (10:21), "communion," "cup of blessing"
(10:16), and "breaking of bread" (Acts 2:42). In the early
Church it was called also "eucharist," or giving of thanks
(comp. Matt. 26:27), and generally by the Latin Church "mass,"
a name derived from the formula of dismission, Ite, missa est, i.e.,
"Go, it is discharged." The account of the institution of
this ordinance is given in Matt. 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:19,
20, and 1 Cor. 11:24-26. It is not mentioned by John. It was
(1.) To commemorate the death of Christ: "This do in remembrance of me."
(2.) To signify, seal, and apply to believers all the benefits of the new covenant. In this ordinance Christ ratifies his promises to his people, and they on their part solemnly consecrate themselves to him and to his entire service.
(3.) To be a badge of the Christian profession.
(4.) To indicate and to promote the communion of believers with Christ.
(5.) To represent the mutual communion of believers with each other. The elements used to represent Christ's body and blood are bread and wine. The kind of bread, whether leavened or unleavened, is not specified. Christ used unleavened bread simply because it was at that moment on the paschal table. Wine, and no other liquid, is to be used (Matt. 26:26-29). Believers "feed" on Christ's body and blood, (1) not with the mouth in any manner, but (2) by the soul alone, and (3) by faith, which is the mouth or hand of the soul. This they do (4) by the power of the Holy Ghost. This "feeding" on Christ, however, takes place not in the Lord's Supper alone, but whenever faith in him is exercised. This is a permanent ordinance in the Church of Christ, and is to be observed "till he come" again.
Lo-ruhamah not pitied, the name of the prophet Hosea's first daughter, a type of Jehovah's temporary rejection of his people (Hos. 1:6; 2:23).
Lot (Heb. goral, a "pebble"), a small stone used in casting lots (Num. 33:54; Jonah 1:7). The lot was always resorted to by the Hebrews with strictest reference to the interposition of God, and as a method of ascertaining the divine will (Prov. 16:33), and in serious cases of doubt (Esther 3:7). Thus the lot was used at the division of the land of Canaan among the serveral tribes (Num. 26:55; 34:13), at the detection of Achan (Josh. 7:14, 18), the election of Saul to be king (1 Sam. 10:20, 21), the distribution of the priestly offices of the temple service (1 Chr. 24:3, 5, 19; Luke 1:9), and over the two goats at the feast of Atonement (Lev. 16:8). Matthias, who was "numbered with the eleven" (Acts 1:24-26), was chosen by lot. This word also denotes a portion or an inheritance (Josh. 15:1; Ps. 125:3; Isa. 17:4), and a destiny, as assigned by God (Ps. 16:5; Dan. 12:13). Lot, (Heb. lot), a covering; veil, the son of Haran, and nephew of Abraham (Gen. 11:27). On the death of his father, he was left in charge of his grandfather Terah (31), after whose death he accompanied his uncle Abraham into Canaan (12:5), thence into Egypt (10), and back again to Canaan (13:1). After this he separated from him and settled in Sodom (13:5-13). There his righteous soul was "vexed" from day to day (2 Pet. 2:7), and he had great cause to regret this act. Not many years after the separation he was taken captive by Chedorlaomer, and was rescued by Abraham (Gen. 14). At length, when the judgment of God descended on the guilty cities of the plain (Gen. 19:1-20), Lot was miraculously delivered. When fleeing from the doomed city his wife "looked back from behind him, and became a pillar of salt." There is to this day a peculiar crag at the south end of the Dead Sea, near Kumran, which the Arabs call Bint Sheik Lot, i.e., Lot's wife. It is "a tall, isolated needle of rock, which really does bear a curious resemblance to an Arab woman with a child upon her shoulder." From the words of warning in Luke 17:32, "Remember Lot's wife," it would seem as if she had gone back, or tarried so long behind in the desire to save some of her goods, that she became involved in the destruction which fell on the city, and became a stiffened corpse, fixed for a time in the saline incrustations. She became "a pillar of salt", i.e., as some think, of asphalt. (See SALT.) Lot and his daughters sought refuge first in Zoar, and then, fearing to remain there longer, retired to a cave in the neighbouring mountains (Gen. 19:30). Lot has recently been connected with the people called on the Egyptian monuments Rotanu or Lotanu, who is supposed to have been the hero of the Edomite tribe Lotan.
Lotan coverer, one of the sons of Seir, the Horite (Gen. 36:20, 29).
Love This word seems to require explanation only in the case of its use by our Lord in his interview with "Simon, the son of Jonas," after his resurrection (John 21:16, 17). When our Lord says, "Lovest thou me?" he uses the Greek word _agapas_; and when Simon answers, he uses the Greek word _philo_, i.e., "I love." This is the usage in the first and second questions put by our Lord; but in the third our Lord uses Simon's word. The distinction between these two Greek words is thus fitly described by Trench:, "_Agapan_ has more of judgment and deliberate choice; _philein_ has more of attachment and peculiar personal affection. Thus the 'Lovest thou' (Gr. agapas) on the lips of the Lord seems to Peter at this moment too cold a word, as though his Lord were keeping him at a distance, or at least not inviting him to draw near, as in the passionate yearning of his heart he desired now to do. Therefore he puts by the word and substitutes his own stronger 'I love' (Gr. philo) in its room. A second time he does the same. And now he has conquered; for when the Lord demands a third time whether he loves him, he does it in the word which alone will satisfy Peter ('Lovest thou,' Gr. phileis), which alone claims from him that personal attachment and affection with which indeed he knows that his heart is full." In 1 Cor. 13 the apostle sets forth the excellency of love, as the word "charity" there is rendered in the Revised Version.
Lubims the inhabitants of a thirsty or scorched land; the Lybians, an African nation under tribute to Egypt (2 Chr. 12:3; 16:8). Their territory was apparently near Egypt. They were probably the Mizraite Lehabim.
Lucas a friend and companion of Paul during his imprisonment at Rome; Luke (q.v.), the beloved physician (Philemon 1:24; Col. 4:14).
Lucifer brilliant star, a title given to the king of Babylon (Isa. 14:12) to denote his glory.
Lucius of Cyrene, a Christian teacher at Antioch (Acts 13:1), and Paul's kinsman (Rom. 16:21). His name is Latin, but his birthplace seems to indicate that he was one of the Jews of Cyrene, in North Africa.
Lucre from the Lat. lucrum, "gain." 1 Tim. 3:3, "not given to filthy lucre." Some MSS. have not the word so rendered, and the expression has been omit ted in the Revised Version.
(1.) The fourth son of Shem (Gen. 10:22; 1 Chr. 1:17), ancestor of the Lydians probably.
(2.) One of the Hamitic tribes descended from Mizraim (Gen. 10:13), a people of Africa (Ezek. 27:10; 30:5), on the west of Egypt. The people called Lud were noted archers (Isa. 66:19; comp. Jer. 46:9).
Ludim probably the same as Lud (2) (comp. Gen. 10:13; 1 Chr. 1:11). They are associated (Jer. 46:9) with African nations as mercenaries of the king of Egypt.
Luhith made of boards, a Moabitish place between Zoar and Horonaim (Isa. 15:5; Jer. 48:5).
Luke the evangelist, was a Gentile. The date and circumstances of his conversion are unknown. According to his own statement (Luke 1:2), he was not an "eye-witness and minister of the word from the beginning." It is probable that he was a physician in Troas, and was there converted by Paul, to whom he attached himself. He accompanied him to Philippi, but did not there share his imprisonment, nor did he accompany him further after his release in his missionary journey at this time (Acts 17:1). On Paul's third visit to Philippi (20:5, 6) we again meet with Luke, who probably had spent all the intervening time in that city, a period of seven or eight years. From this time Luke was Paul's constant companion during his journey to Jerusalem (20:6-21:18). He again disappears from view during Paul's imprisonment at Jerusalem and Caesarea, and only reappears when Paul sets out for Rome (27:1), whither he accompanies him (28:2, 12-16), and where he remains with him till the close of his first imprisonment (Philemon 1:24; Col. 4:14). The last notice of the "beloved physician" is in 2 Tim. 4:11. There are many passages in Paul's epistles, as well as in the writings of Luke, which show the extent and accuracy of his medical knowledge.
Luke, Gospel according to was written by Luke. He does not claim to have been an eye-witness of our Lord's ministry, but to have gone to the best sources of information within his reach, and to have written an orderly narrative of the facts (Luke 1:1-4). The authors of the first three Gospels, the synoptics, wrote independently of each other. Each wrote his independent narrative under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Each writer has some things, both in matter and style, peculiar to himself, yet all the three have much in common. Luke's Gospel has been called "the Gospel of the nations, full of mercy and hope, assured to the world by the love of a suffering Saviour;" "the Gospel of the saintly life;" "the Gospel for the Greeks; the Gospel of the future; the Gospel of progressive Christianity, of the universality and gratuitousness of the gospel; the historic Gospel; the Gospel of Jesus as the good Physician and the Saviour of mankind;" the "Gospel of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man;" "the Gospel of womanhood;" "the Gospel of the outcast, of the Samaritan, the publican, the harlot, and the prodigal;" "the Gospel of tolerance." The main characteristic of this Gospel, as Farrar (Cambridge Bible, Luke, Introd.) remarks, is fitly expressed in the motto, "Who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil" (Acts 10:38; comp. Luke 4:18). Luke wrote for the "Hellenic world." This Gospel is indeed "rich and precious." "Out of a total of 1151 verses, Luke has 389 in common with Matthew and Mark, 176 in common with Matthew alone, 41 in common with Mark alone, leaving 544 peculiar to himself. In many instances all three use identical language." (See MATTHEW; MARK; GOSPELS.) There are seventeen of our Lord's parables peculiar to this Gospel. (See List of Parables in Appendix.) Luke also records seven of our Lord's miracles which are omitted by Matthew and Mark. (See List of Miracles in Appendix.) The synoptical Gospels are related to each other after the following scheme. If the contents of each Gospel be represented by 100, then when compared this result is obtained: Mark has 7 peculiarities, 93 coincidences. Matthew 42 peculiarities, 58 coincidences. Luke 59 peculiarities, 41 coincidences. That is, thirteen-fourteenths of Mark, four-sevenths of Matthew, and two-fifths of Luke are taken up in describing the same things in very similar language. Luke's style is more finished and classical than that of Matthew and Mark. There is less in it of the Hebrew idiom. He uses a few Latin words (Luke 12:6; 7:41; 8:30; 11:33; 19:20), but no Syriac or Hebrew words except sikera, an exciting drink of the nature of wine, but not made of grapes (from Heb. shakar, "he is intoxicated", Lev. 10:9), probably palm wine. This Gospel contains twenty-eight distinct references to the Old Testament. The date of its composition is uncertain. It must have been written before the Acts, the date of the composition of which is generally fixed at about 63 or 64 A.D. This Gospel was written, therefore, probably about 60 or 63, when Luke may have been at Caesarea in attendance on Paul, who was then a prisoner. Others have conjectured that it was written at Rome during Paul's imprisonment there. But on this point no positive certainty can be attained. It is commonly supposed that Luke wrote under the direction, if not at the dictation of Paul. Many words and phrases are common to both; e.g., compare: Luke 4:22; with Col. 4:6. Luke 4:32; with 1 Cor. 2:4. Luke 6:36; with 2 Cor. 1:3. Luke 6:39; with Rom. 2:19. Luke 9:56; with 2 Cor. 10:8. Luke 10:8; with 1 Cor. 10:27. Luke 11:41; with Titus 1:15. Luke 18:1; with 2 Thess. 1:11. Luke 21:36; with Eph. 6:18. Luke 22:19, 20; with 1 Cor. 11:23-29. Luke 24:46; with Acts 17:3. Luke 24:34; with 1 Cor. 15:5.
Lunatic probably the same as epileptic, the symptoms of which disease were supposed to be more aggravated as the moon increased. In Matt. 4:24 "lunatics" are distinguished from demoniacs. In 17:15 the name "lunatic" is applied to one who is declared to have been possessed. (See DAEMONIAC.)
Lust sinful longing; the inward sin which leads to the falling away from God (Rom. 1:21). "Lust, the origin of sin, has its place in the heart, not of necessity, but because it is the centre of all moral forces and impulses and of spiritual activity." In Mark 4:19 "lusts" are objects of desire.
Luz a nut-bearing tree, the almond.
(1.) The ancient name of a royal Canaanitish city near the site of Bethel (Gen. 28:19; 35:6), on the border of Benjamin (Josh. 18:13). Here Jacob halted, and had a prophetic vision. (See BETHEL.)
(2.) A place in the land of the Hittites, founded (Judg. 1:26) by "a man who came forth out of the city of Luz." It is identified with Luweiziyeh, 4 miles north-west of Banias.
Lycaonia an inland province of Asia Minor, on the west of Cappadocia and the south of Galatia. It was a Roman province, and its chief towns were Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. The "speech of Lycaonia" (Acts 14:11) was probably the ancient Assyrian language, or perhaps, as others think, a corrupt Greek intermingled with Syriac words. Paul preached in this region, and revisited it (Acts 16:1-6; 18:23; 19:1).
Lycia a wolf, a province in the south-west of Asia Minor, opposite the island of Rhodes. It forms part of the region now called Tekeh. It was a province of the Roman empire when visited by Paul (Acts 21:1; 27:5). Two of its towns are mentioned, Patara (21:1, 2) and Myra (27:5).
Lydda a town in the tribe of Ephraim, mentioned only in the New Testament (Acts 9:32, 35, 38) as the scene of Peter's miracle in healing the paralytic AEneas. It lay about 9 miles east of Joppa, on the road from the sea-port to Jerusalem. In the Old Testament (1 Chr. 8:12) it is called Lod. It was burned by the Romans, but was afterwards rebuilt, and was known by the name of Diospolis. Its modern name is Ludd. The so-called patron saint of England, St. George, is said to have been born here.
(1.) Ezek. 30:5 (Heb. Lud), a province in the west of Asia Minor, which derived its name from the fourth son of Shem (Gen. 10:22). It was bounded on the east by the greater Phrygia, and on the west by Ionia and the AEgean Sea.
(2.) A woman of Thyatira, a "seller of purple," who dwelt in Philippi (Acts 16:14, 15). She was not a Jewess but a proselyte. The Lord opened her heart as she heard the gospel from the lips of Paul (16:13). She thus became the first in Europe who embraced Christianity. She was a person apparently of considerable wealth, for she could afford to give a home to Paul and his companions. (See THYATIRA.)
Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene (Luke 3:1), on the eastern slope of Anti-Lebanon, near the city of Damascus.
Lysias, Claudius the chief captain (chiliarch) who commanded the Roman troops in Jerusalem, and sent Paul under guard to the procurator Felix at Caesarea (Acts 21:31-38; 22:24-30). His letter to his superior officer is an interesting specimen of Roman military correspondence (23:26-30). He obtained his Roman citizenship by purchase, and was therefore probably a Greek. (See CLAUDIUS.)
Lystra a town of Lycaonia, in Asia Minor, in a wild district and among a rude population. Here Paul preached the gospel after he had been driven by persecution from Iconium (Acts 14:2-7). Here also he healed a lame man (8), and thus so impressed the ignorant and superstitious people that they took him for Mercury, because he was the "chief speaker," and his companion Barnabas for Jupiter, probably in consequence of his stately, venerable appearance; and were proceeding to offer sacrifices to them (13), when Paul earnestly addressed them and turned their attention to the true source of all blessings. But soon after, through the influence of the Jews from Antioch in Pisidia and Iconium, they stoned Paul and left him for dead (14:19). On recovering, Paul left for Derbe; but soon returned again, through Lystra, encouraging the disciples there to steadfastness. He in all likelihood visited this city again on his third missionary tour (Acts 18:23). Timothy, who was probably born here (2 Tim. 3:10, 11), was no doubt one of those who were on this occasion witnesses of Paul's persecution and his courage in Lystra.
Maachah oppression, a small Syrian kingdom near Geshur,
east of the Hauran, the district of Batanea (Josh. 13:13; 2 Sam.
10:6,8; 1 Chr. 19:7).
(2.) A daughter of Talmai, king of the old native population of Geshur. She became one of David's wives, and was the mother of Absalom (2 Sam. 3:3).
(3.) The father of Hanan, who was one of David's body-guard (1 Chr. 11:43).
(4.) The daughter of Abishalom (called Absalom, 2 Chr. 11:20-22), the third wife of Rehoboam, and mother of Abijam (1 Kings 15:2). She is called "Michaiah the daughter of Uriel," who was the husband of Absalom's daughter Tamar (2 Chr. 13:2). Her son Abijah or Abijam was heir to the throne.
(5.) The father of Achish, the king of Gath (1 Kings 2:39), called also Maoch (1 Sam. 27:2).
Maaleh-acrabbim ascent of the scorpions; i.e., "scorpion-hill", a pass on the south-eastern border of Palestine (Num. 34:4; Josh. 15:3). It is identified with the p ass of Sufah, entering Palestine from the great Wady el-Fikreh, south of the Dead Sea. (See AKRABBIM.)
Maarath desolation, a place in the mountains of Judah (Josh. 15:59), probably the modern village Beit Ummar, 6 miles north of Hebron.
Maaseiah the work of Jehovah.
(1.) One of the Levites whom David appointed as porter for the ark (1 Chr. 15:18, 20).
(2.) One of the "captains of hundreds" associated with Jehoiada in restoring king Jehoash to the throne (2 Chr. 23:1).
(3.) The "king's son," probably one of the sons of king Ahaz, killed by Zichri in the invasion of Judah by Pekah, king of Israel (2 Chr. 28:7).
(4.) One who was sent by king Josiah to repair the temple (2 Chr. 34:8). He was governor (Heb. sar, rendered elsewhere in the Authorized Version "prince," "chief captain," chief ruler") of Jerusalem.
(5.) The father of the priest Zephaniah (Jer. 21:1; 37:3).
(6.) The father of the false prophet Zedekiah (Jer. 29:21). Maase'iah, refuge is Jehovah, a priest, the father of Neriah (Jer. 32:12; 51:59).
Maasiai work of Jehovah, one of the priests resident at Jerusalem at the Captivity (1 Chr. 9:12).
Maath small, a person named in our Lord's ancestry (Luke 3:26).
Maaziah strength or consolation of Jehovah.
(1.) The head of the twenty-fourth priestly course (1 Chr. 24:18) in David's reign.
(2.) A priest (Neh. 10:8).
Maccabees. This word does not occur in Scripture. It was the name given to the leaders of the national party among the Jews who suffered in the persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes, who succeeded to the Syrian throne B.C. 175. It is supposed to have been derived from the Hebrew word (makkabah) meaning "hammer," as suggestive of the heroism and power of this Jewish family, who are, however, more properly called Asmoneans or Hasmonaeans, the origin of which is much disputed. After the expulsion of Antiochus Epiphanes from Egypt by the Romans, he gave vent to his indignation on the Jews, great numbers of whom he mercilessly put to death in Jerusalem. He oppressed them in every way, and tried to abolish altogether the Jewish worship. Mattathias, an aged priest, then residing at Modin, a city to the west of Jerusalem, became now the courageous leader of the national party; and having fled to the mountains, rallied round him a large band of men prepared to fight and die for their country and for their religion, which was now violently suppressed. In 1 Macc. 2:60 is recorded his dying counsels to his sons with reference to the war they were now to carry on. His son Judas, "the Maccabee," succeeded him (B.C. 166) as the leader in directing the war of independence, which was carried on with great heroism on the part of the Jews, and was terminated in the defeat of the Syrians.
Maccabees, Books of the. There were originally five books of the Maccabees. The first contains a history of the war of independence, commencing (B.C. 175) in a series of patriotic struggles against the tyranny of Antiochus Epiphanes, and terminating B.C. 135. It became part of the Vulgate Version of the Bible, and was thus retained among the Apocrypha. The second gives a history of the Maccabees' struggle from B.C. 176 to B.C. 161. Its object is to encourage and admonish the Jews to be faithful to the religion of their fathers. The third does not hold a place in the Apocrypha, but is read in the Greek Church. Its design is to comfort the Alexandrian Jews in their persecution. Its writer was evidently an Alexandrian Jew. The fourth was found in the Library of Lyons, but was afterwards burned. The fifth contains a history of the Jews from B.C. 184 to B.C. 86. It is a compilation made by a Jew after the destruction of Jerusalem, from ancient memoirs, to which he had access. It need scarcely be added that none of these books has any divine authority.
Macedonia in New Testament times, was a Roman province lying north of Greece. It was governed by a propraetor with the title of proconsul. Paul was summoned by the vision of the "man of Macedonia" to preach the gospel there (Acts 16:9). Frequent allusion is made to this event (18:5; 19:21; Rom. 15:26; 2 Cor. 1:16; 11:9; Phil. 4:15). The history of Paul's first journey through Macedonia is given in detail in Acts 16:10-17:15. At the close of this journey he returned from Corinth to Syria. He again passed through this country (20:1-6), although the details of the route are not given. After many years he probably visited it for a third time (Phil. 2:24; 1 Tim. 1:3). The first convert made by Paul in Europe was (Acts 16:13-15) Lydia (q.v.), a "seller of purple," residing in Philippi, the chief city of the eastern division of Macedonia.
Machaerus the Black Fortress, was built by Herod the Great in the gorge of Callirhoe, one of the wadies 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, as a frontier rampart against Arab marauders. John the Baptist was probably cast into the prison connected with this castle by Herod Antipas, whom he had reproved for his adulterous marriage with Herodias. Here Herod "made a supper" on his birthday. He was at this time marching against Aretas, king of Perea, to whose daughter he had been married. During the revelry of the banquet held in the border fortress, to please Salome, who danced before him, he sent an executioner, who beheaded John, and "brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel" (Mark 6:14-29). This castle stood "starkly bold and clear" 3,860 feet above the Dead Sea, and 2,546 above the Mediterranean. Its ruins, now called M'khaur, are still visible on the northern end of Jebel Attarus.
Machbanai clad with a mantle, or bond of the Lord, one of the Gadite heroes who joined David in the wilderness (1 Chr. 12:13).
(1.) Manasseh's oldest son (Josh. 17:1), or probably his only son (see 1 Chr. 7:14, 15; comp. Num. 26:29-33; Josh. 13:31). His descendants are referred to under the name of Machirites, being the offspring of Gilead (Num. 26:29). They settled in land taken from the Amorites (Num. 32:39, 40; Deut. 3:15) by a special enactment (Num. 36:1-3; Josh. 17:3, 4). He is once mentioned as the representative of the tribe of Manasseh east of Jordan (Judg. 5:14).
(2.) A descendant of the preceding, residing at Lo-debar, where he maintained Jonathan's son Mephibosheth till he was taken under the care of David (2 Sam. 9:4), and where he afterwards gave shelter to David himself when he was a fugitive (17:27).
Machpelah portion; double cave, the cave which Abraham bought, together with the field in which it stood, from Ephron the Hittite, for a family burying-place (Gen. 23). It is one of those Bible localities about the identification of which there can be no doubt. It was on the slope of a hill on the east of Hebron, "before Mamre." Here were laid the bodies of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah (Gen. 23:19; 25:9; 49:31; 50:13). Over the cave an ancient Christian church was erected, probably in the time of Justinian, the Roman emperor. This church has been converted into a Mohammedan mosque. The whole is surrounded by the el-Haram i.e., "the sacred enclosure," about 200 feet long, 115 broad, and of an average height of about 50. This building, from the immense size of some of its stones, and the manner in which they are fitted together, is supposed by some to have been erected in the days of David or of Solomon, while others ascribe it to the time of Herod. It is looked upon as the most ancient and finest relic of Jewish architecture. On the floor of the mosque are erected six large cenotaphs as monuments to the dead who are buried in the cave beneath. Between the cenotaphs of Isaac and Rebekah there is a circular opening in the floor into the cavern below, the cave of Machpelah. Here it may be that the body of Jacob, which was embalmed in Egypt, is still preserved (much older embalmed bodies have recently been found in the cave of Deir el-Bahari in Egypt, see PHARAOH), though those of the others there buried may have long ago mouldered into dust. The interior of the mosque was visited by the Prince of Wales in 1862 by a special favour of the Mohammedan authorities. An interesting account of this visit is given in Dean Stanley's Lectures on the Jewish Church. It was also visited in 1866 by the Marquis of Bute, and in 1869 by the late Emperor (Frederick) of Germany, then the Crown Prince of Prussia. In 1881 it was visited by the two sons of the Prince of Wales, accompanied by Sir C. Wilson and others. (See Palestine Quarterly Statement, October 1882).
Madai middle land, the third "son" of Japheth (Gen. 10:2), the name by which the Medes are known on the Assyrian monuments.
Madmannah dunghill, the modern el-Minyay, 15 miles south-south-west of Gaza (Josh. 15:31; 1 Chr. 2:49), in the south of Judah. The Pal. Mem., however, suggest Umm Deimneh, 12 miles north-east of Beersheba, as the site.
Madmen ibid., a Moabite town threatened with the sword of the Babylonians (Jer. 48:2).
Madmenah ibid., a town in Benjamin, not far from Jerusalem, towards the north (Isa. 10:31). The same Hebrew word occurs in Isa. 25:10, where it is rendered "dunghill." This verse has, however, been interpreted as meaning "that Moab will be trodden down by Jehovah as teben [broken straw] is trodden to fragments on the threshing-floors of Madmenah."
Madness This word is used in its proper sense in Deut. 28:34, John 10:20, 1 Cor. 14:23. It also denotes a reckless state of mind arising from various causes, as over-study (Eccl. 1:17; 2:12), blind rage (Luke 6:11), or a depraved temper (Eccl. 7:25; 9:3; 2 Pet. 2:16). David feigned madness (1 Sam. 21:13) at Gath because he "was sore afraid of Achish."
Madon strife, a Canaanitish city in the north of Palestine (Josh. 11:1; 12:19), whose king was slain by Joshua; perhaps the ruin Madin, near Hattin, some 5 miles west of Tiberias.
Magdala a tower, a town in Galilee, mentioned only in Matt. 15:39. In the parallel passage in Mark 8:10 this place is called Dalmanutha. It was the birthplace of Mary called the Magdalen, or Mary Magdalene. It was on the west shore of the Lake of Tiberias, and is now probably the small obscure village called el-Mejdel, about 3 miles north-west of Tiberias. In the Talmud this city is called "the city of colour," and a particular district of it was called "the tower of dyers." The indigo plant was much cultivated here.
Magdalene a surname derived from Magdala, the place of her nativity, given to one of the Marys of the Gospels to distinguish her from the other Marys (Matt. 27:56, 61; 28:1, etc.). A mistaken notion has prevailed that this Mary was a woman of bad character, that she was the woman who is emphatically called "a sinner" (Luke 7:36-50). (See MARY.)
Magic The Jews seem early to have consulted the teraphim (q.v.) for oracular answers (Judg. 18:5, 6; Zech. 10:2). There is a remarkable illustration of this divining by teraphim in Ezek. 21:19-22. We read also of the divining cup of Joseph (Gen. 44:5). The magicians of Egypt are frequently referred to in the history of the Exodus. Magic was an inherent part of the ancient Egyptian religion, and entered largely into their daily life. All magical arts were distinctly prohibited under penalty of death in the Mosaic law. The Jews were commanded not to learn the "abomination" of the people of the Promised Land (Lev. 19:31; Deut. 18:9-14). The history of Saul's consulting the witch of Endor (1 Sam. 28:3-20) gives no warrant for attributing supernatural power to magicians. From the first the witch is here only a bystander. The practice of magic lingered among the people till after the Captivity, when they gradually abandoned it. It is not much referred to in the New Testament. The Magi mentioned in Matt. 2:1-12 were not magicians in the ordinary sense of the word. They belonged to a religious caste, the followers of Zoroaster, the astrologers of the East. Simon, a magician, was found by Philip at Samaria (Acts 8:9-24); and Paul and Barnabas encountered Elymas, a Jewish sorcerer, at Paphos (13:6-12). At Ephesus there was a great destruction of magical books (Acts 19:18, 19).
Magicians Heb. hartumim, (dan. 1:20) were sacred scribes who acted as interpreters of omens, or "revealers of secret things."
Magistrate a public civil officer invested with authority. The Hebrew shophetim, or judges, were magistrates having authority in the land (Deut. 1:16, 17). In Judg. 18:7 the word "magistrate" (A.V.) is rendered in the Revised Version "possessing authority", i.e., having power to do them harm by invasion. In the time of Ezra (9:2) and Nehemiah (2:16; 4:14; 13:11) the Jewish magistrates were called _seganim_, properly meaning "nobles." In the New Testament the Greek word _archon_, rendered "magistrate" (Luke 12:58; Titus 3:1), means one first in power, and hence a prince, as in Matt. 20:25, 1 Cor. 2:6, 8. This term is used of the Messiah, "Prince of the kings of the earth" (Rev. 1:5). In Acts 16:20, 22, 35, 36, 38, the Greek term _strategos_, rendered "magistrate," properly signifies the leader of an army, a general, one having military authority. The _strategoi_ were the duumviri, the two praetors appointed to preside over the administration of justice in the colonies of the Romans. They were attended by the sergeants (properly lictors or "rod bearers").
Magog region of Gog, the second of the "sons" of Japheth (Gen. 10:2; 1 Chr. 1:5). In Ezekiel (38:2; 39:6) it is the name of a nation, probably some Scythian or Tartar tribe descended from Japheth. They are described as skilled horsemen, and expert in the use of the bow. The Latin father Jerome says that this word denotes "Scythian nations, fierce and innumerable, who live beyond the Caucasus and the Lake Maeotis, and near the Caspian Sea, and spread out even onward to India." Perhaps the name "represents the Assyrian Mat Gugi, or 'country of Gugu,' the Gyges of the Greeks" (Sayce's Races, etc.).
Magor-missabib fear on every side (Jer. 20:3), a symbolical name given to the priest Pashur, expressive of the fate announced by the prophet as about to come upon him. Pashur was to be carried to Babylon, and there die.
Mahalaleel praise of God.
(1.) The son of Cainan, of the line of Seth (Gen. 5:12-17); called Maleleel (Luke 3:37).
(2.) Neh. 11:4, a descendant of Perez.
Mahalath a lute; lyre.
(1.) The daughter of Ishmael, and third wife of Esau (Gen. 28:9); called also Bashemath (Gen. 36:3).
(2.) The daughter of Jerimoth, who was one of David's sons. She was one of Rehoboam's wives (2 Chr. 11:18).
Mahalath Leannoth Maschil. This word leannoth seems to point to some kind of instrument unknown (Ps. 88, title). The whole phrase has by others been rendered, "On the sickness of affliction: a lesson;" or, "Concerning afflictive sickness: a didactic psalm."
Mahalath Maschil in the title of Ps. 53, denoting that this was a didactic psalm, to be sung to the accompaniment of the lute or guitar. Others regard this word "mahalath" as the name simply of an old air to which the psalm was to be sung. Others, again, take the word as meaning "sickness," and regard it as alluding to the contents of the psalm.
Mahanaim two camps, a place near the Jabbok, beyond Jordan, where Jacob was met by the "angels of God," and where he divided his retinue into "two hosts" on his return from Padan-aram (Gen. 32:2). This name was afterwards given to the town which was built at that place. It was the southern boundary of Bashan (Josh. 13:26, 30), and became a city of the Levites (21:38). Here Saul's son Ishbosheth reigned (2 Sam. 2:8, 12), while David reigned at Hebron. Here also, after a troubled reign, Ishbosheth was murdered by two of his own bodyguard (2 Sam. 4:5-7), who brought his head to David at Hebron, but were, instead of being rewarded, put to death by him for their cold-blooded murder. Many years after this, when he fled from Jerusalem on the rebellion of his son Absalom, David made Mahanaim, where Barzillai entertained him, his headquarters, and here he mustered his forces which were led against the army that had gathered around Absalom. It was while sitting at the gate of this town that tidings of the great and decisive battle between the two hosts and of the death of his son Absalom reached him, when he gave way to the most violent grief (2 Sam. 17:24-27). The only other reference to Mahanaim is as a station of one of Solomon's purveyors (1 Kings 4:14). It has been identified with the modern Mukhumah, a ruin found in a depressed plain called el-Bukie'a, "the little vale," near Penuel, south of the Jabbok, and north-east of es-Salt.
Mahaneh-dan. Judg. 18:12 = "camp of Dan" 13:25 (R.V., "Mahaneh-dan"), a place behind (i.e., west of) Kirjath-jearim, where the six hundred Danites from Zorah and Eshtaol encamped on their way to capture the city of Laish, which they rebuilt and called "Dan, after the name of their father" (18:11-31). The Palestine Explorers point to a ruin called 'Erma, situated about 3 miles from the great corn valley on the east of Samson's home.
(1.) A Kohathite Levite, father of Elkanah (1 Chr. 6:35).
(2.) Another Kohathite Levite, of the time of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29:12).
Mahazioth visions, a Kohathite Levite, chief of the twenty-third course of musicians (1 Chr. 25:4, 30).
Maher-shalal-hash-baz plunder speedeth; spoil hasteth, (Isa. 8:1-3; comp. Zeph. 1:14), a name Isaiah was commanded first to write in large characters on a tablet, and afterwards to give as a symbolical name to a son that was to be born to him (Isa. 8:1, 3), as denoting the sudden attack on Damascus and Syria by the Assyrian army.
Mahlah disease, one of the five daughters of Zelophehad (Num. 27:1-11) who had their father's inheritance, the law of inheritance having been altered in their favour.
Mahlon sickly, the elder of Elimelech the Bethlehemite's two sons by Naomi. He married Ruth and died childless (Ruth 1:2, 5; 4:9, 10), in the land of Moab.
Mahol dance, the father of four sons (1 Kings 4:31) who were inferior in wisdom only to Solomon.
Mail, Coat of "a corselet of scales," a cuirass formed of pieces of metal overlapping each other, like fish-scales (1 Sam. 17:5); also (38) a corselet or garment thus encased.
Main-sail (Gr. artemon), answering to the modern "mizzen-sail," as some suppose. Others understand the "jib," near the prow, or the "fore-sail," as likely to be most useful in bringing a ship's head to the wind in the circumstances described (Acts 27:40).
Makheloth assemblies, a station of the Israelites in the desert (Num. 33:25, 26).
Makkedah herdsman's place, one of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Josh. 12:16), near which was a cave where the five kings who had confederated against Israel sought refuge (10:10-29). They were put to death by Joshua, who afterwards suspended their bodies upon five trees. It has been identified with the modern village called Sumeil, standing on a low hill about 7 miles to the north-west of Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin), where are ancient remains and a great cave. The Palestine Exploration surveyors have, however, identified it with el-Mughar, or "the caves," 3 miles from Jabneh and 2 1/2 southwest of Ekron, because, they say, "at this site only of all possible sites for Makkedah in the Palestine plain do caves still exist." (See ADONI-ZEDEC.)
Maktesh mortar, a place in or near Jerusalem inhabited by silver merchants (Zeph. 1:11). It has been conjectured that it was the "Phoenician quarter" of the city, where the traders of that nation resided, after the Oriental custom.
Malachi messenger or angel, the last of the minor prophets, and the writer of the last book of the Old Testament canon (Mal. 4:4, 5, 6). Nothing is known of him beyond what is contained in his book of prophecies. Some have supposed that the name is simply a title descriptive of his character as a messenger of Jehovah, and not a proper name. There is reason, however, to conclude that Malachi was the ordinary name of the prophet. He was contemporary with Nehemiah (comp. Mal. 2:8 with Neh. 13:15; Mal. 2:10-16 with Neh. 13:23). No allusion is made to him by Ezra, and he does not mention the restoration of the temple, and hence it is inferred that he prophesied after Haggai and Zechariah, and when the temple services were still in existence (Mal. 1:10; 3:1, 10). It is probable that he delivered his prophecies about B.C. 420, after the second return of Nehemiah from Persia (Neh. 13:6), or possibly before his return.
Malachi, Prophecies of. The contents of the book are comprised in four chapters. In the Hebrew text the third and fourth chapters (of the A.V.) form but one. The whole consists of three sections, preceded by an introduction (Mal. 1:1-5), in which the prophet reminds Israel of Jehovah's love to them. The first section (1:6-2:9) contains a stern rebuke addressed to the priests who had despised the name of Jehovah, and been leaders in a departure from his worship and from the covenant, and for their partiality in administering the law. In the second (2:9-16) the people are rebuked for their intermarriages with idolatrous heathen. In the third (2:17-4:6) he addresses the people as a whole, and warns them of the coming of the God of judgment, preceded by the advent of the Messiah. This book is frequently referred to in the New Testament (Matt. 11:10; 17:12; Mark 1:2; 9:11, 12; Luke 1:17; Rom. 9:13).
Malcam (2 Sam. 12:30, Heb., R.V., "their king;" Jer. 49:1, 3, R.V.; Zeph. 1:5), the national idol of the Ammonites. When Rabbah was taken by David, the crown of this idol was among the spoils. The weight is said to have been "a talent of gold" (above 100 lbs.). The expression probably denotes its value rather than its weight. It was adorned with precious stones.
Malchiah Jehovah's king.
(1.) The head of the fifth division of the priests in the time of David (1 Chr. 24:9).
(2.) A priest, the father of Pashur (1 Chr. 9:12; Jer. 38:1).
(3.) One of the priests appointed as musicians to celebrate the completion of the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 12:42).
(4.) A priest who stood by Ezra when he "read in the book of the law of God" (Neh. 8:4).
(5.) Neh. 3:11.
(6.) Neh. 3:31.
(7.) Neh. 3:14.
Malchi-shua king of help, one of the four sons of Saul (1 Chr. 8:33). He perished along with his father in the battle of Gilboa (1 Sam. 31:2).
Malchus reigning, the personal servant or slave of the high priest Caiaphas. He is mentioned only by John. Peter cut off his right ear in the garden of Gethsemane (John 18:10). But our Lord cured it with a touch (Matt. 26:51; Mark 14:47; Luke 22:51). This was the last miracle of bodily cure wrought by our Lord. It is not mentioned by John.
Mallothi my fulness, a Kohathite Levite, one of the sons of Heman the Levite (1 Chr. 25:4), and chief of the nineteenth division of the temple musicians (26).
Mallows occurs only in Job 30:4 (R.V., "saltwort"). The word so rendered (malluah, from melah, "salt") most probably denotes the Atriplex halimus of Linnaeus, a species of sea purslane found on the shores of the Dead Sea, as also of the Mediterranean, and in salt marshes. It is a tall shrubby orach, growing to the height sometimes of 10 feet. Its buds and leaves, with those of other saline plants, are eaten by the poor in Palestine.
Malluch reigned over, or reigning.
(1.) A Levite of the family of Merari (1 Chr. 6:44).
(2.) A priest who returned from Babylon (Neh. 12:2).
(3.) Ezra 10:29.
(4.) Ezra 10:32
Mammon a Chaldee or Syriac word meaning "wealth" or "riches" (Luke 16:9-11); also, by personification, the god of riches (Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:9-11).
(1.) An Amoritish chief in alliance with Abraham (Gen. 14:13, 24).
(2.) The name of the place in the neighbourhood of Hebron (q.v.) where Abraham dwelt (Gen. 23:17, 19; 35:27); called also in Authorized Version (13:18) the "plain of Mamre," but in Revised Version more correctly "the oaks [marg., 'terebinths'] of Mamre." The name probably denotes the "oak grove" or the "wood of Mamre," thus designated after Abraham's ally. This "grove" must have been within sight of or "facing" Machpelah (q.v.). The site of Mamre has been identified with Ballatet Selta, i.e., "the oak of rest", where there is a tree called "Abraham's oak," about a mile and a half west of Hebron. Others identify it with er-Rameh, 2 miles north of Hebron.
(1.) Heb. 'Adam, used as the proper name of the first man. The name is derived from a word meaning "to be red," and thus the first man was called Adam because he was formed from the red earth. It is also the generic name of the human race (Gen. 1:26, 27; 5:2; 8:21; Deut. 8:3). Its equivalents are the Latin homo and the Greek anthropos (Matt. 5:13, 16). It denotes also man in opposition to woman (Gen. 3:12; Matt. 19:10).
(2.) Heb. 'ish, like the Latin vir and Greek aner, denotes properly a man in opposition to a woman (1 Sam. 17:33; Matt. 14:21); a husband (Gen. 3:16; Hos. 2:16); man with reference to excellent mental qualities.
(3.) Heb. 'enosh, man as mortal, transient, perishable (2 Chr. 14:11; Isa. 8:1; Job 15:14; Ps. 8:4; 9:19, 20; 103:15). It is applied to women (Josh. 8:25).
(4.) Heb. geber, man with reference to his strength, as distinguished from women (Deut. 22:5) and from children (Ex. 12:37); a husband (Prov. 6:34).
(5.) Heb. methim, men as mortal (Isa. 41:14), and as opposed to women and children (Deut. 3:6; Job 11:3; Isa. 3:25). Man was created by the immediate hand of God, and is generically different from all other creatures (Gen. 1:26, 27; 2:7). His complex nature is composed of two elements, two distinct substances, viz., body and soul (Gen. 2:7; Eccl. 12:7; 2 Cor. 5:1-8). The words translated "spirit" and "soul," in 1 Thess. 5:23, Heb. 4:12, are habitually used interchangeably (Matt. 10:28; 16:26; 1 Pet. 1:22). The "spirit" (Gr. pneuma) is the soul as rational; the "soul" (Gr. psuche) is the same, considered as the animating and vital principle of the body. Man was created in the likeness of God as to the perfection of his nature, in knowledge (Col. 3:10), righteousness, and holiness (Eph. 4:24), and as having dominion over all the inferior creatures (Gen. 1:28). He had in his original state God's law written on his heart, and had power to obey it, and yet was capable of disobeying, being left to the freedom of his own will. He was created with holy dispositions, prompting him to holy actions; but he was fallible, and did fall from his integrity (3:1-6). (See FALL.)
Manaen consoler, a Christian teacher at Antioch. Nothing else is known of him beyond what is stated in Acts 13:1, where he is spoken of as having been brought up with (Gr. syntrophos; rendered in R.V. "foster brother" of) Herod, i.e., Herod Antipas, the tetrach, who, with his brother Archelaus, was educated at Rome.
Manasseh who makes to forget. "God hath made me
forget" (Heb. nashshani), Gen. 41:51.
(1.) The elder of the two sons of Joseph. He and his brother Ephraim were afterwards adopted by Jacob as his own sons (48:1). There is an account of his marriage to a Syrian (1 Chr. 7:14); and the only thing afterwards recorded of him is, that his grandchildren were "brought up upon Joseph's knees" (Gen. 50:23; R.V., "born upon Joseph's knees") i.e., were from their birth adopted by Joseph as his own children. The tribe of Manasseh was associated with that of Ephraim and Benjamin during the wanderings in the wilderness. They encamped on the west side of the tabernacle. According to the census taken at Sinai, this tribe then numbered 32,200 (Num. 1:10, 35; 2:20, 21). Forty years afterwards its numbers had increased to 52,700 (26:34, 37), and it was at this time the most distinguished of all the tribes. The half of this tribe, along with Reuben and Gad, had their territory assigned them by Moses on the east of the Jordan (Josh. 13:7-14); but it was left for Joshua to define the limits of each tribe. This territory on the east of Jordan was more valuable and of larger extent than all that was allotted to the nine and a half tribes in the land of Palestine. It is sometimes called "the land of Gilead," and is also spoken of as "on the other side of Jordan." The portion given to the half tribe of Manasseh was the largest on the east of Jordan. It embraced the whole of Bashan. It was bounded on the south by Mahanaim, and extended north to the foot of Lebanon. Argob, with its sixty cities, that "ocean of basaltic rocks and boulders tossed about in the wildest confusion," lay in the midst of this territory. The whole "land of Gilead" having been conquered, the two and a half tribes left their wives and families in the fortified cities there, and accompanied the other tribes across the Jordan, and took part with them in the wars of conquest. The allotment of the land having been completed, Joshua dismissed the two and a half tribes, commending them for their heroic service (Josh. 22:1-34). Thus dismissed, they returned over Jordan to their own inheritance. (See ED.) On the west of Jordan the other half of the tribe of Manasseh was associated with Ephraim, and they had their portion in the very centre of Palestine, an area of about 1,300 square miles, the most valuable part of the whole country, abounding in springs of water. Manasseh's portion was immediately to the north of that of Ephraim (Josh. 16). Thus the western Manasseh defended the passes of Esdraelon as the eastern kept the passes of the Hauran.
(2.) The only son and successor of Hezekiah on the throne of Judah. He was twelve years old when he began to reign (2 Kings 21:1), and he reigned fifty-five years (B.C. 698-643). Though he reigned so long, yet comparatively little is known of this king. His reign was a continuation of that of Ahaz, both in religion and national polity. He early fell under the influence of the heathen court circle, and his reign was characterized by a sad relapse into idolatry with all its vices, showing that the reformation under his father had been to a large extent only superficial (Isa. 7:10; 2 Kings 21:10-15). A systematic and persistent attempt was made, and all too successfully, to banish the worship of Jehovah out of the land. Amid this wide-spread idolatry there were not wanting, however, faithful prophets (Isaiah, Micah) who lifted up their voice in reproof and in warning. But their fidelity only aroused bitter hatred, and a period of cruel persecution against all the friends of the old religion began. "The days of Alva in Holland, of Charles IX. in France, or of the Covenanters under Charles II. in Scotland, were anticipated in the Jewish capital. The streets were red with blood." There is an old Jewish tradition that Isaiah was put to death at this time (2 Kings 21:16; 24:3, 4; Jer. 2:30), having been sawn asunder in the trunk of a tree. Psalms 49, 73, 77, 140, and 141 seem to express the feelings of the pious amid the fiery trials of this great persecution. Manasseh has been called the "Nero of Palestine." Esarhaddon, Sennacherib's successor on the Assyrian throne, who had his residence in Babylon for thirteen years (the only Assyrian monarch who ever reigned in Babylon), took Manasseh prisoner (B.C. 681) to Babylon. Such captive kings were usually treated with great cruelty. They were brought before the conqueror with a hook or ring passed through their lips or their jaws, having a cord attached to it, by which they were led. This is referred to in 2 Chr. 33:11, where the Authorized Version reads that Esarhaddon "took Manasseh among the thorns;" while the Revised Version renders the words, "took Manasseh in chains;" or literally, as in the margin, "with hooks." (Comp. 2 Kings 19:28.) The severity of Manasseh's imprisonment brought him to repentance. God heard his cry, and he was restored to his kingdom (2 Chr. 33:11-13). He abandoned his idolatrous ways, and enjoined the people to worship Jehovah; but there was no thorough reformation. After a lengthened reign extending through fifty-five years, the longest in the history of Judah, he died, and was buried in the garden of Uzza, the "garden of his own house" (2 Kings 21:17, 18; 2 Chr. 33:20), and not in the city of David, among his ancestors. He was succeeded by his son Amon. In Judg. 18:30 the correct reading is "Moses," and not "Manasseh." The name "Manasseh" is supposed to have been introduced by some transcriber to avoid the scandal of naming the grandson of Moses the great lawgiver as the founder of an idolatrous religion.
Mandrakes. Hebrew dudaim; i.e., "love-plants", occurs only in Gen. 30:14-16 and Cant. 7:13. Many interpretations have been given of this word _dudaim_. It has been rendered "violets," "Lilies," "jasmines," "truffles or mushrooms," "flowers," the "citron," etc. The weight of authority is in favour of its being regarded as the Mandragora officinalis of botanists, "a near relative of the night-shades, the 'apple of Sodom' and the potato plant." It possesses stimulating and narcotic properties (Gen. 30:14-16). The fruit of this plant resembles the potato-apple in size, and is of a pale orange colour. It has been called the "love-apple." The Arabs call it "Satan's apple." It still grows near Jerusalem, and in other parts of Palestine.
Maneh portion (Ezek. 45:12), rendered "pound" (1 Kings 10:17; Ezra 2:69; Neh. 7:71, 72), a weight variously estimated, probably about 2 1/2 or 3 lbs. A maneh of gold consisted of a hundred common shekels (q.v.). (Comp. 1 Kings 10:17, and 2 Chr. 9:16).
Manger (Luke 2:7, 12, 16), the name (Gr. phatne, rendered "stall" in Luke 13:15) given to the place where the infant Redeemer was laid. It seems to have been a stall or crib for feeding cattle. Stables and mangers in our modern sense were in ancient times unknown in the East. The word here properly denotes "the ledge or projection in the end of the room used as a stall on which the hay or other food of the animals of travellers was placed." (See INN.)
Manna Heb. man-hu, "What is that?" the name given by the Israelites to the food miraculously supplied to them during their wanderings in the wilderness (Ex. 16:15-35). The name is commonly taken as derived from _man_, an expression of surprise, "What is it?" but more probably it is derived from _manan_, meaning "to allot," and hence denoting an "allotment" or a "gift." This "gift" from God is described as "a small round thing," like the "hoar-frost on the ground," and "like coriander seed," "of the colour of bdellium," and in taste "like wafers made with honey." It was capable of being baked and boiled, ground in mills, or beaten in a mortar (Ex. 16:23; Num. 11:7). If any was kept over till the following morning, it became corrupt with worms; but as on the Sabbath none fell, on the preceding day a double portion was given, and that could be kept over to supply the wants of the Sabbath without becoming corrupt. Directions concerning the gathering of it are fully given (Ex. 16:16-18, 33; Deut. 8:3, 16). It fell for the first time after the eighth encampment in the desert of Sin, and was daily furnished, except on the Sabbath, for all the years of the wanderings, till they encamped at Gilgal, after crossing the Jordan, when it suddenly ceased, and where they "did eat of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more" (Josh. 5:12). They now no longer needed the "bread of the wilderness." This manna was evidently altogether a miraculous gift, wholly different from any natural product with which we are acquainted, and which bears this name. The manna of European commerce comes chiefly from Calabria and Sicily. It drops from the twigs of a species of ash during the months of June and July. At night it is fluid and resembles dew, but in the morning it begins to harden. The manna of the Sinaitic peninsula is an exudation from the "manna-tamarisk" tree (Tamarix mannifera), the el-tarfah of the Arabs. This tree is found at the present day in certain well-watered valleys in the peninsula of Sinai. The manna with which the people of Israel were fed for forty years differs in many particulars from all these natural products. Our Lord refers to the manna when he calls himself the "true bread from heaven" (John 6:31-35; 48-51). He is also the "hidden manna" (Rev. 2:17; comp. John 6:49,51).
Manoah rest, a Danite, the father of Samson (Judg. 13:1-22, and 14:2-4).
Man of sin a designation of Antichrist given in 2 Thess. 2:3-10, usually regarded as descriptive of the Papal power; but "in whomsoever these distinctive features are found, whoever wields temporal and spiritual power in any degree similar to that in which the man of sin is here described as wielding it, he, be he pope or potentate, is beyond all doubt a distinct type of Antichrist."
Manslayer one who was guilty of accidental homicide, and was entitled to flee to a city of refuge (Num. 35:6, 12, 22, 23), his compulsory residence in which terminated with the death of the high priest. (See CITY OF REFUGE.)
(1.) Heb. 'addereth, a large over-garment. This word is used of Elijah's mantle (1 Kings 19:13, 19; 2 Kings 2:8, 13, etc.), which was probably a sheepskin. It appears to have been his only garment, a strip of skin or leather binding it to his loins. _'Addereth_ twice occurs with the epithet "hairy" (Gen. 25:25; Zech. 13:4, R.V.). It is the word denoting the "goodly Babylonish garment" which Achan coveted (Josh. 7:21).
(2.) Heb. me'il, frequently applied to the "robe of the ephod" (Ex. 28:4, 31; Lev. 8:7), which was a splendid under tunic wholly of blue, reaching to below the knees. It was woven without seam, and was put on by being drawn over the head. It was worn not only by priests but by kings (1 Sam. 24:4), prophets (15:27), and rich men (Job 1:20; 2:12). This was the "little coat" which Samuel's mother brought to him from year to year to Shiloh (1 Sam. 2:19), a miniature of the official priestly robe.
(3.) Semikah, "a rug," the garment which Jael threw as a covering over Sisera (Judg. 4:18). The Hebrew word occurs nowhere else in Scripture.
(4.) Maataphoth, plural, only in Isa. 3:22, denoting a large exterior tunic worn by females. (See DRESS.)
Maoch compressed, the father of Achish, king of Gath (1 Sam. 27:2). Called also Maachah (1 Kings 2:39).
Maon habitation, a town in the tribe of Judah, about 7 miles south of Hebron, which gave its name to the wilderness, the district round the conical hill on which the town stood. Here David hid from Saul, and here Nabal had his possessions and his home (1 Sam. 23:24, 25; 25:2). "Only some small foundations of hewn stone, a square enclosure, and several cisterns are now to be seen at Maon. Are they the remains of Nabal's great establishment?" The hill is now called Tell M'ain.
Mara bitter; sad, a symbolical name which Naomi gave to herself because of her misfortunes (Ruth 1:20).
Marah bitterness, a fountain at the sixth station of the Israelites (Ex. 15:23, 24; Num. 33:8) whose waters were so bitter that they could not drink them. On this account they murmured against Moses, who, under divine direction, cast into the fountain "a certain tree" which took away its bitterness, so that the people drank of it. This was probably the 'Ain Hawarah, where there are still several springs of water that are very "bitter," distant some 47 miles from 'Ayun Mousa.
Maralah trembling, a place on the southern boundary of Zebulun (Josh. 19:11). It has been identified with the modern M'alul, about 4 miles south-west of Nazareth.
Maranatha (1 Cor. 16:22) consists of two Aramean words, Maran'athah, meaning, "our Lord comes," or is "coming." If the latter interpretation is adopted, the meaning of the phrase is, "Our Lord is coming, and he will judge those who have set him at nought." (Comp. Phil. 4:5; James 5:8, 9.)
Marble as a mineral, consists of carbonate of lime, its
texture varying from the highly crystalline to the compact. In Esther
1:6 there are four Hebrew words which are rendered marble:,
(1.) Shesh, "pillars of marble." But this word probably designates dark-blue limestone rather than marble.
(2.) Dar, some regard as Parian marble. It is here rendered "white marble." But nothing is certainly known of it.
(3.) Bahat, "red marble," probably the verd-antique or half-porphyry of Egypt.
(4.) Sohareth, "black marble," probably some spotted variety of marble. "The marble pillars and tesserae of various colours of the palace at Susa came doubtless from Persia itself, where marble of various colours is found, especially in the province of Hamadan Susiana." The marble of Solomon's architectural works may have been limestone from near Jerusalem, or from Lebanon, or possibly white marble from Arabia. Herod employed Parian marble in the temple, and marble columns still exist in great abundance at Jerusalem.
Marcheshvan the post-biblical name of the month which was the eighth of the sacred and the second of the civil year of the Jews. It began with the new moon of our November. It is once called Bul (1 Kings 6:38). Assyrian, Arah Samna, "eighth month,"
Marcus Col. 4:10; Philemon 1:24; 1 Pet. 5:13; R.V., "Mark" (q.v.).
Mareshah possession, a city in the plain of Judah (John. 15:44). Here Asa defeated Zerah the Ethiopian (2 Chr. 14:9, 10). It is identified with the ruin el-Mer'ash, about 1 1/2 mile south of Beit Jibrin.
Mark the evangelist; "John whose surname was Mark" (Acts 12:12, 25). Mark (Marcus, Col. 4:10, etc.) was his Roman name, which gradually came to supersede his Jewish name John. He is called John in Acts 13:5, 13, and Mark in 15:39, 2 Tim. 4:11, etc. He was the son of Mary, a woman apparently of some means and influence, and was probably born in Jerusalem, where his mother resided (Acts 12:12). Of his father we know nothing. He was cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10). It was in his mother's house that Peter found "many gathered together praying" when he was released from prison; and it is probable that it was here that he was converted by Peter, who calls him his "son" (1 Pet. 5:13). It is probable that the "young man" spoken of in Mark 14:51, 52 was Mark himself. He is first mentioned in Acts 12:25. He went with Paul and Barnabas on their first journey (about A.D. 47) as their "minister," but from some cause turned back when they reached Perga in Pamphylia (Acts 12:25; 13:13). Three years afterwards a "sharp contention" arose between Paul and Barnabas (15:36-40), because Paul would not take Mark with him. He, however, was evidently at length reconciled to the apostle, for he was with him in his first imprisonment at Rome (Col. 4:10; Philemon 1:24). At a later period he was with Peter in Babylon (1 Pet. 5:13), then, and for some centuries afterwards, one of the chief seats of Jewish learning; and he was with Timothy in Ephesus when Paul wrote him during his second imprisonment (2 Tim. 4:11). He then disappears from view.
Market-place any place of public resort, and hence a public place or broad street (Matt. 11:16; 20:3), as well as a forum or market-place proper, where goods were exposed for sale, and where public assemblies and trials were held (Acts 16:19; 17:17). This word occurs in the Old Testament only in Ezek. 27:13. In early times markets were held at the gates of cities, where commodities were exposed for sale (2 Kings 7:18). In large towns the sale of particular articles seems to have been confined to certain streets, as we may infer from such expressions as "the bakers' street" (Jer. 37:21), and from the circumstance that in the time of Josephus the valley between Mounts Zion and Moriah was called the Tyropoeon or the "valley of the cheesemakers."
Mark, Gospel according to. It is the current and apparently
well-founded tradition that Mark derived his information mainly from
the discourses of Peter. In his mother's house he would have abundant
opportunities of obtaining information from the other apostles and
their coadjutors, yet he was "the disciple and interpreter of
Peter" specially. As to the time when it was written, the Gospel
furnishes us with no definite information. Mark makes no mention of
the destruction of Jerusalem, hence it must have been written before
that event, and probably about A.D. 63. The place where it was
written was probably Rome. Some have supposed Antioch (comp. Mark
15:21 with Acts 11:20). It was intended primarily for Romans. This
appears probable when it is considered that it makes no reference to
the Jewish law, and that the writer takes care to interpret words
which a Gentile would be likely to misunderstand, such as,
"Boanerges" (3:17); "Talitha cumi" (5:41);
"Corban" (7:11); "Bartimaeus" (10:46); "Abba"
(14:36); "Eloi," etc. (15:34). Jewish usages are also
explained (7:3; 14:3; 14:12; 15:42). Mark also uses certain Latin
words not found in any of the other Gospels, as "speculator"
(6:27, rendered, A.V., "executioner;" R.V., "soldier
of his guard"), "xestes" (a corruption of sextarius,
rendered "pots," 7:4, 8), "quadrans" (12:42,
rendered "a farthing"), "centurion" (15:39, 44,
45). He only twice quotes from the Old Testament (1:2; 15:28). The
characteristics of this Gospel are, (1) the absence of the genealogy
of our Lord, (2) whom he represents as clothed with power, the "lion
of the tribe of Judah."
(3.) Mark also records with wonderful minuteness the very words (3:17; 5:41; 7:11, 34; 14:36) as well as the position (9:35) and gestures (3:5, 34; 5:32; 9:36; 10:16) of our Lord.
(4.) He is also careful to record particulars of person (1:29, 36; 3:6, 22, etc.), number (5:13; 6:7, etc.), place (2:13; 4:1; 7:31, etc.), and time (1:35; 2:1; 4:35, etc.), which the other evangelists omit.
(5.) The phrase "and straightway" occurs nearly forty times in this Gospel; while in Luke's Gospel, which is much longer, it is used only seven times, and in John only four times. "The Gospel of Mark," says Westcott, "is essentially a transcript from life. The course and issue of facts are imaged in it with the clearest outline." "In Mark we have no attempt to draw up a continuous narrative. His Gospel is a rapid succession of vivid pictures loosely strung together without much attempt to bind them into a whole or give the events in their natural sequence. This pictorial power is that which specially characterizes this evangelist, so that 'if any one desires to know an evangelical fact, not only in its main features and grand results, but also in its most minute and so to speak more graphic delineation, he must betake himself to Mark.'" The leading principle running through this Gospel may be expressed in the motto: "Jesus came...preaching the gospel of the kingdom" (Mark 1:14). "Out of a total of 662 verses, Mark has 406 in common with Matthew and Luke, 145 with Matthew, 60 with Luke, and at most 51 peculiar to itself." (See MATTHEW.)
Maroth bitterness; i.e., "perfect grief", a place not far from Jerusalem; mentioned in connection with the invasion of the Assyrian army (Micah 1:12).
Marriage was instituted in Paradise when man was in innocence (Gen. 2:18-24). Here we have its original charter, which was confirmed by our Lord, as the basis on which all regulations are to be framed (Matt. 19:4, 5). It is evident that monogamy was the original law of marriage (Matt. 19:5; 1 Cor. 6:16). This law was violated in after times, when corrupt usages began to be introduced (Gen. 4:19; 6:2). We meet with the prevalence of polygamy and concubinage in the patriarchal age (Gen. 16:1-4; 22:21-24; 28:8, 9; 29:23-30, etc.). Polygamy was acknowledged in the Mosaic law and made the basis of legislation, and continued to be practised all down through the period of Jewish histroy to the Captivity, after which there is no instance of it on record. It seems to have been the practice from the beginning for fathers to select wives for their sons (Gen. 24:3; 38:6). Sometimes also proposals were initiated by the father of the maiden (Ex. 2:21). The brothers of the maiden were also sometimes consulted (Gen. 24:51; 34:11), but her own consent was not required. The young man was bound to give a price to the father of the maiden (31:15; 34:12; Ex. 22:16, 17; 1 Sam. 18:23, 25; Ruth 4:10; Hos. 3:2) On these patriarchal customs the Mosaic law made no change. In the pre-Mosaic times, when the proposals were accepted and the marriage price given, the bridegroom could come at once and take away his bride to his own house (Gen. 24:63-67). But in general the marriage was celebrated by a feast in the house of the bride's parents, to which all friends were invited (29:22, 27); and on the day of the marriage the bride, concealed under a thick veil, was conducted to her future husband's home. Our Lord corrected many false notions then existing on the subject of marriage (Matt. 22:23-30), and placed it as a divine institution on the highest grounds. The apostles state clearly and enforce the nuptial duties of husband and wife (Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet. 3:1-7). Marriage is said to be "honourable" (Heb. 13:4), and the prohibition of it is noted as one of the marks of degenerate times (1 Tim. 4:3). The marriage relation is used to represent the union between God and his people (Isa. 54:5; Jer. 3:1-14; Hos. 2:9, 20). In the New Testament the same figure is employed in representing the love of Christ to his saints (Eph. 5:25-27). The Church of the redeemed is the "Bride, the Lamb's wife" (Rev. 19:7-9).
Marriage-feasts (John 2:1-11) "lasted usually for a whole week; but the cost of such prolonged rejoicing is very small in the East. The guests sit round the great bowl or bowls on the floor, the meal usually consisting of a lamb or kid stewed in rice or barley. The most honoured guests sit nearest, others behind; and all in eating dip their hand into the one smoking mound, pieces of the thin bread, bent together, serving for spoons when necessary. After the first circle have satisfied themselves, those lower in honour sit down to the rest, the whole company being men, for women are never seen at a feast. Water is poured on the hands before eating; and this is repeated when the meal closes, the fingers having first been wiped on pieces of bread, which, after serving the same purpose as table-napkins with us, are thrown on the ground to be eaten by any dog that may have stolen in from the streets through the ever-open door, or picked up by those outside when gathered and tossed out to them (Matt. 15:27; Mark 7:28). Rising from the ground and retiring to the seats round the walls, the guests then sit down cross-legged and gossip, or listen to recitals, or puzzle over riddles, light being scantily supplied by a small lamp or two, or if the night be chilly, by a smouldering fire of weeds kindled in the middle of the room, perhaps in a brazier, often in a hole in the floor. As to the smoke, it escapes as it best may; but indeed there is little of it, though enough to blacken the water or wine or milk skins hung up on pegs on the wall. (Comp. Ps. 119:83.) To some such marriage-feast Jesus and his five disciples were invited at Cana of Galilee." Geikie's Life of Christ. (See CANA.)
Mars Hill the Areopagus or rocky hill in Athens, north-west of the Acropolis, where the Athenian supreme tribunal and court of morals was held. From some part of this hill Paul delivered the address recorded in Acts 17:22-31. (See AREOPAGUS.)
Martha bitterness, the sister of Lazarus and Mary, and probably the eldest of the family, who all resided at Bethany (Luke 10:38, 40, 41; John 11:1-39). From the residence being called "her house," some have supposed that she was a widow, and that her brother and sister lodged with her. She seems to have been of an anxious, bustling spirit, anxious to be helpful in providing the best things for the Master's use, in contrast to the quiet earnestness of Mary, who was more concerned to avail herself of the opportunity of sitting at his feet and learning of him. Afterwards at a supper given to Christ and his disciples in her house "Martha served." Nothing further is known of her. "Mary and Martha are representatives of two orders of human character. One was absorbed, preoccupied, abstracted; the other was concentrated and single-hearted. Her own world was the all of Martha; Christ was the first thought with Mary. To Martha life was 'a succession of particular businesses;' to Mary life 'was rather the flow of one spirit.' Martha was Petrine, Mary was Johannine. The one was a well-meaning, bustling busybody; the other was a reverent disciple, a wistful listener." Paul had such a picture as that of Martha in his mind when he spoke of serving the Lord "without distraction" (1 Cor. 7:35).
Martyr one who bears witness of the truth, and suffers
death in the cause of Christ (Acts 22:20; Rev. 2:13; 17:6). In this
sense Stephen was the first martyr. The Greek word so rendered in all
other cases is translated "witness."
(1.) In a court of justice (Matt. 18:16; 26:65; Acts 6:13; 7:58; Heb. 10:28; 1 Tim. 5:19).
(2.) As of one bearing testimony to the truth of what he has seen or known (Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8, 22; Rom. 1:9; 1 Thess. 2:5, 10; 1 John 1:2).
Mary Hebrew Miriam.
(1.) The wife of Joseph, the mother of Jesus, called the "Virgin Mary," though never so designated in Scripture (Matt. 2:11; Acts 1:14). Little is known of her personal history. Her genealogy is given in Luke 3. She was of the tribe of Judah and the lineage of David (Ps. 132:11; Luke 1:32). She was connected by marriage with Elisabeth, who was of the lineage of Aaron (Luke 1:36). While she resided at Nazareth with her parents, before she became the wife of Joseph, the angel Gabriel announced to her that she was to be the mother of the promised Messiah (Luke 1:35). After this she went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, who was living with her husband Zacharias (probably at Juttah, Josh. 15:55; 21:16, in the neighbourhood of Maon), at a considerable distance, about 100 miles, from Nazareth. Immediately on entering the house she was saluted by Elisabeth as the mother of her Lord, and then forthwith gave utterance to her hymn of thanksgiving (Luke 1:46-56; comp. 1 Sam. 2:1-10). After three months Mary returned to Nazareth to her own home. Joseph was supernaturally made aware (Matt. 1:18-25) of her condition, and took her to his own home. Soon after this the decree of Augustus (Luke 2:1) required that they should proceed to Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), some 80 or 90 miles from Nazareth; and while they were there they found shelter in the inn or khan provided for strangers (Luke 2:6, 7). But as the inn was crowded, Mary had to retire to a place among the cattle, and there she brought forth her son, who was called Jesus (Matt. 1:21), because he was to save his people from their sins. This was followed by the presentation in the temple, the flight into Egypt, and their return in the following year and residence at Nazareth (Matt. 2). There for thirty years Mary, the wife of Joseph the carpenter, resides, filling her own humble sphere, and pondering over the strange things that had happened to her. During these years only one event in the history of Jesus is recorded, viz., his going up to Jerusalem when twelve years of age, and his being found among the doctors in the temple (Luke 2:41-52). Probably also during this period Joseph died, for he is not again mentioned. After the commencement of our Lord's public ministry little notice is taken of Mary. She was present at the marriage in Cana. A year and a half after this we find her at Capernaum (Matt. 12:46, 48, 49), where Christ uttered the memorable words, "Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!" The next time we find her is at the cross along with her sister Mary, and Mary Magdalene, and Salome, and other women (John 19:26). From that hour John took her to his own abode. She was with the little company in the upper room after the Ascension (Acts 1:14). From this time she wholly disappears from public notice. The time and manner of her death are unknown.
(2.) Mary Magdalene, i.e., Mary of Magdala, a town on the western shore of the Lake of Tiberias. She is for the first time noticed in Luke 8:3 as one of the women who "ministered to Christ of their substance." Their motive was that of gratitude for deliverances he had wrought for them. Out of Mary were cast seven demons. Gratitude to her great Deliverer prompted her to become his follower. These women accompanied him also on his last journey to Jerusalem (Matt. 27:55; Mark 15:41; Luke 23:55). They stood near the cross. There Mary remained till all was over, and the body was taken down and laid in Joseph's tomb. Again, in the earliest dawn of the first day of the week she, with Salome and Mary the mother of James (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2), came to the sepulchre, bringing with them sweet spices, that they might anoint the body of Jesus. They found the sepulchre empty, but saw the "vision of angels" (Matt. 28:5). She hastens to tell Peter and John, who were probably living together at this time (John 20:1, 2), and again immediately returns to the sepulchre. There she lingers thoughtfully, weeping at the door of the tomb. The risen Lord appears to her, but at first she knows him not. His utterance of her name "Mary" recalls her to consciousness, and she utters the joyful, reverent cry, "Rabboni." She would fain cling to him, but he forbids her, saying, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father." This is the last record regarding Mary of Magdala, who now returned to Jerusalem. The idea that this Mary was "the woman who was a sinner," or that she was unchaste, is altogether groundless.
(3.) Mary the sister of Lazarus is brought to our notice in connection with the visits of our Lord to Bethany. She is contrasted with her sister Martha, who was "cumbered about many things" while Jesus was their guest, while Mary had chosen "the good part." Her character also appears in connection with the death of her brother (John 11:20,31,33). On the occasion of our Lord's last visit to Bethany, Mary brought "a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus" as he reclined at table in the house of one Simon, who had been a leper (Matt. 26:6; Mark 14:3; John 12:2,3). This was an evidence of her overflowing love to the Lord. Nothing is known of her subsequent history. It would appear from this act of Mary's, and from the circumstance that they possessed a family vault (11:38), and that a large number of Jews from Jerusalem came to condole with them on the death of Lazarus (11:19), that this family at Bethany belonged to the wealthier class of the people. (See MARTHA.)
(4.) Mary the wife of Cleopas is mentioned (John 19:25) as standing at the cross in company with Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Jesus. By comparing Matt. 27:56 and Mark 15:40, we find that this Mary and "Mary the mother of James the little" are on and the same person, and that she was the sister of our Lord's mother. She was that "other Mary" who was present with Mary of Magdala at the burial of our Lord (Matt. 27:61; Mark 15:47); and she was one of those who went early in the morning of the first day of the week to anoint the body, and thus became one of the first witnesses of the resurrection (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:1).
(5.) Mary the mother of John Mark was one of the earliest of our Lord's disciples. She was the sister of Barnabas (Col. 4:10), and joined with him in disposing of their land and giving the proceeds of the sale into the treasury of the Church (Acts 4:37; 12:12). Her house in Jerusalem was the common meeting-place for the disciples there.
(6.) A Christian at Rome who treated Paul with special kindness (Rom. 16:6).
Maschil instructing, occurs in the title of thirteen Psalms (32, 42, 44, etc.). It denotes a song enforcing some lesson of wisdom or piety, a didactic song. In Ps. 47:7 it is rendered, Authorized Version, "with understanding;" Revised Version, marg., "in a skilful psalm."
Mash (= Meshech 1 Chr. 1:17), one of the four sons of Aram, and the name of a tribe descended from him (Gen. 10:23) inhabiting some part probably of Mesopotamia. Some have supposed that they were the inhabitants of Mount Masius, the present Karja Baghlar, which forms part of the chain of Taurus.
Mashal entreaty, a levitical town in the tribe of Asher (1 Chr. 6:74); called Mishal (Josh. 21:30).
Mason an artificer in stone. The Tyrians seem to have been specially skilled in architecture (1 Kings 5:17, 18; 2 Sam. 5:11). This art the Hebrews no doubt learned in Egypt (Ex. 1:11, 14), where ruins of temples and palaces fill the traveller with wonder at the present day.
Masrekah vineyard of noble vines, a place in Idumea, the native place of Samlah, one of the Edomitish kings (Gen. 36:36; 1 Chr. 1:47).
Massa a lifting up, gift, one of the sons of Ishmael, the founder of an Arabian tribe (Gen. 25:14); a nomad tribe inhabiting the Arabian desert toward Babylonia.
Massah trial, temptation, a name given to the place where the Israelites, by their murmuring for want of water, provoked Jehovah to anger against them. It is also called Meribah (Ex. 17:7; Deut. 6:16; Ps. 95:8, 9; Heb. 3:8).
(1.) A priest of Baal, slain before his altar during the reformation under Jehoiada (2 Kings 11:18).
(2.) The son of Eleazar, and father of Jacob, who was the father of Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary (Matt. 1:15).
(3.) The father of Shephatiah (Jer. 38:1).
Mattanah a gift, a station of the Israelites (Num. 21:18, 19) between the desert and the borders of Moab, in the Wady Waleh.
Mattaniah gift of Jehovah.
(1.) A Levite, son of Heman, the chief of the ninth class of temple singers (1 Chr. 25:4, 16).
(2.) A Levite who assisted in purifying the temple at the reformation under Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29:13).
(3.) The original name of Zedekiah (q.v.), the last of the kings of Judah (2 Kings 24:17). He was the third son of Josiah, who fell at Megiddo. He succeeded his nephew Jehoiakin.
(1.) The son of Amos, in the genealogy of our Lord (Luke 3:25).
(2.) The son of Semei, in the same genealogy (Luke 3:26).
Matthan gift, one of our Lord's ancestry (Matt. 1:15).
Matthat gift of God.
(1.) The son of Levi, and father of Heli (Luke 3:24).
(2.) Son of another Levi (Luke 3:29).
Matthew gift of God, a common Jewish name after the Exile. He was the son of Alphaeus, and was a publican or tax-gatherer at Capernaum. On one occasion Jesus, coming up from the side of the lake, passed the custom-house where Matthew was seated, and said to him, "Follow me." Matthew arose and followed him, and became his disciple (Matt. 9:9). Formerly the name by which he was known was Levi (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27); he now changed it, possibly in grateful memory of his call, to Matthew. The same day on which Jesus called him he made a "great feast" (Luke 5:29), a farewell feast, to which he invited Jesus and his disciples, and probably also many of old associates. He was afterwards selected as one of the twelve (6:15). His name does not occur again in the Gospel history except in the lists of the apostles. The last notice of him is in Acts 1:13. The time and manner of his death are unknown.
Matthew, Gospel according to. The author of this book was
beyond a doubt the Matthew, an apostle of our Lord, whose name it
bears. He wrote the Gospel of Christ according to his own plans and
aims, and from his own point of view, as did also the other
"evangelists." As to the time of its composition, there is
little in the Gospel itself to indicate. It was evidently written
before the destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. 24), and some time after
the events it records. The probability is that it was written between
the years A.D. 60 and 65. The cast of thought and the forms of
expression employed by the writer show that this Gospel was written
for Jewish Christians of Palestine. His great object is to prove that
Jesus of Nazareth was the promised Messiah, and that in him the
ancient prophecies had their fulfilment. The Gospel is full of
allusions to those passages of the Old Testament in which Christ is
predicted and foreshadowed. The one aim prevading the whole book is
to show that Jesus is he "of whom Moses in the law and the
prophets did write." This Gospel contains no fewer than
sixty-five references to the Old Testament, forty-three of these
being direct verbal citations, thus greatly outnumbering those found
in the other Gospels. The main feature of this Gospel may be
expressed in the motto, "I am not come to destroy, but to
fulfil." As to the language in which this Gospel was written
there is much controversy. Many hold, in accordance with old
tradition, that it was originally written in Hebrew (i.e., the
Aramaic or Syro-Chaldee dialect, then the vernacular of the
inhabitants of Palestine), and afterwards translated into Greek,
either by Matthew himself or by some person unknown. This theory,
though earnestly maintained by able critics, we cannot see any ground
for adopting. From the first this Gospel in Greek was received as of
authority in the Church. There is nothing in it to show that it is a
translation. Though Matthew wrote mainly for the Jews, yet they were
everywhere familiar with the Greek language. The same reasons which
would have suggested the necessity of a translation into Greek would
have led the evangelist to write in Greek at first. It is confessed
that this Gospel has never been found in any other form than that in
which we now possess it. The leading characteristic of this Gospel is
that it sets forth the kingly glory of Christ, and shows him to be
the true heir to David's throne. It is the Gospel of the kingdom.
Matthew uses the expression "kingdom of heaven" (thirty-two
times), while Luke uses the expression "kingdom of God"
(thirty-three times). Some Latinized forms occur in this Gospel, as
kodrantes (Matt. 5:26), for the Latin quadrans, and phragello
(27:26), for the Latin flagello. It must be remembered that Matthew
was a tax-gatherer for the Roman government, and hence in contact
with those using the Latin language. As to the relation of the
Gospels to each other, we must maintain that each writer of the
synoptics (the first three) wrote independently of the other two,
Matthew being probably first in point of time. "Out of a total
of 1071 verses, Matthew has 387 in common with Mark and Luke, 130
with Mark, 184 with Luke; only 387 being peculiar to itself."
(See MARK; LUKE; GOSPELS.) The book is fitly
divided into these four parts:
(1.) Containing the genealogy, the birth, and the infancy of Jesus (1; 2).
(2.) The discourses and actions of John the Baptist preparatory to Christ's public ministry (3; 4:11).
(3.) The discourses and actions of Christ in Galilee (4:12-20:16).
(4.) The sufferings, death and resurrection of our Lord (20:17-28).
Matthias gift of God. Acts 1:23.
Mattithiah gift of Jehovah.
(1.) One of the sons of Jeduthun (1 Chr. 25:3, 21).
(2.) The eldest son of Shallum, of the family of Korah (1 Chr. 9:31).
(3.) One who stood by Ezra while reading the law (Neh. 8:4).
(4.) The son of Amos, and father of Joseph, in the genealogy of our Lord (Luke 3:25).
(1.) Heb. ma'eder, an instrument for dressing or pruning a vineyard (Isa. 7:25); a weeding-hoe.
(2.) Heb. mahareshah (1 Sam. 13:1), perhaps the ploughshare or coulter.
(3.) Heb. herebh, marg. of text (2 Chr. 34:6). Authorized Version, "with their mattocks," marg. "mauls." The Revised Version renders "in their ruins," marg. "with their axes." The Hebrew text is probably corrupt.
Maul an old name for a mallet, the rendering of the Hebrew mephits (Prov. 25:18), properly a war-club.
Mazzaroth prognostications, found only Job 38:32, probably meaning "the twelve signs" (of the zodiac), as in the margin (comp. 2 Kings 23:5).
(1.) Heb. ha'ahu (Gen. 41:2, 18), probably an Egyptain word transferred to the Hebrew; some kind of reed or water-plant. In the Revised Version it is rendered "reed-grass", i.e., the sedge or rank grass by the river side.
(2.) Heb. ma'areh (Judg. 20:33), pl., "meadows of Gibeah" (R.V., after the LXX., "Maareh-geba"). Some have adopted the rendering "after Gibeah had been left open." The Vulgate translates the word "from the west."
Meah an hundred, a tower in Jersalem on the east wall (Neh. 3:1) in the time of Nehemiah.
Meals are at the present day "eaten from a round table little higher than a stool, guests sitting cross-legged on mats or small carpets in a circle, and dipping their fingers into one large dish heaped with a mixture of boiled rice and other grain and meat. But in the time of our Lord, and perhaps even from the days of Amos (6:4, 7), the foreign custom had been largely introduced of having broad couches, forming three sides of a small square, the guests reclining at ease on their elbows during meals, with their faces to the space within, up and down which servants passed offering various dishes, or in the absence of servants, helping themselves from dishes laid on a table set between the couches." Geikie's Life of Christ. (Comp. Luke 7:36-50.) (See ABRAHAM'S BOSOM; BANQUET; FEAST.)
Mearah a cave, a place in the northern boundary of Palestine (Josh. 13:4). This may be the cave of Jezzin in Lebanon, 10 miles east of Sidon, on the Damascus road; or probably, as others think, Mogheirizeh, north-east of Sidon.
Measure Several words are so rendered in the Authorized
(1.) Those which are indefinite. (a) Hok, Isa. 5:14, elsewhere "statute." (b) Mad, Job 11:9; Jer. 13:25, elsewhere "garment." (c) Middah, the word most frequently thus translated, Ex. 26:2, 8, etc. (d) Mesurah, Lev. 19:35; 1 Chr. 23:29. (e) Mishpat, Jer. 30:11, elsewhere "judgment." (f) Mithkoneth and token, Ezek. 45:11. (g) In New Testament metron, the usual Greek word thus rendered (Matt. 7:2; 23:32; Mark 4:24).
(2.) Those which are definite. (a) 'Eyphah, Deut. 25:14, 15, usually "ephah." (b) Ammah, Jer. 51:13, usually "cubit." (c) Kor, 1 Kings 4:22, elsewhere "cor;" Greek koros, Luke 16:7. (d) Seah, Gen. 18:6; 1 Sam. 25:18, a seah; Greek saton, Matt. 13:33; Luke 13:21. (e) Shalish, "a great measure," Isa. 40:12; literally a third, i.e., of an ephah. (f) In New Testament batos, Luke 16:6, the Hebrew "bath;" and choinix, Rev. 6:6, the choenix, equal in dry commodities to one-eighth of a modius.
Meat-offering. (Heb. minhah), originally a gift of any kind. This Hebrew word came latterly to denote an "unbloody" sacrifice, as opposed to a "bloody" sacrifice. A "drink-offering" generally accompanied it. The law regarding it is given in Lev. 2, and 6:14-23. It was a recognition of the sovereignty of God and of his bounty in giving all earthly blessings (1 Chr. 29:10-14; Deut. 26:5-11). It was an offering which took for granted and was based on the offering for sin. It followed the sacrifice of blood. It was presented every day with the burnt-offering (Ex. 29:40, 41), and consisted of flour or of cakes prepared in a special way with oil and frankincense.
Mebunnai construction, building of Jehovah, one of David's bodyguard (2 Sam. 23:27; comp. 21:18); called Sibbechai and Sibbecai (1 Chr. 11:29; 27:11).
Medad love, one of the elders nominated to assist Moses in the government of the people. He and Eldad "prophesied in the camp" (Num. 11:24-29).
Medan contention, the third son of Abraham by Keturah (Gen. 25:2).
Mede (Heb. Madai), a Median or inhabitant of Media (Dan. 11:1). In Gen. 10:2 the Hebrew word occurs in the list of the sons of Japheth. But probably this is an ethnic and not a personal name, and denotes simply the Medes as descended from Japheth.
Medeba waters of quiet, an ancient Moabite town (Num. 21:30). It was assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Josh. 13:16). Here was fought the great battle in which Joab defeated the Ammonites and their allies (1 Chr. 19:7-15; comp. 2 Sam. 10:6-14). In the time of Isaiah (15:2) the Moabites regained possession of it from the Ammonites. (See HANUN.) The ruins of this important city, now Madeba or Madiyabah, are seen about 8 miles south-west of Heshbon, and 14 east of the Dead Sea. Among these are the ruins of what must have been a large temple, and of three cisterns of considerable extent, which are now dry. These cisterns may have originated the name Medeba, "waters of quiet." (See OMRI.)
Media Heb. Madai, which is rendered in the Authorized Version (1) "Madai," Gen. 10:2; (2) "Medes," 2 Kings 17:6; 18:11; (3) "Media," Esther 1:3; 10:2; Isa. 21:2; Dan. 8:20; (4) "Mede," only in Dan. 11:1. We first hear of this people in the Assyrian cuneiform records, under the name of Amada, about B.C. 840. They appear to have been a branch of the Aryans, who came from the east bank of the Indus, and were probably the predominant race for a while in the Mesopotamian valley. They consisted for three or four centuries of a number of tribes, each ruled by its own chief, who at length were brought under the Assyrian yoke (2 Kings 17:6). From this subjection they achieved deliverance, and formed themselves into an empire under Cyaxares (B.C. 633). This monarch entered into an alliance with the king of Babylon, and invaded Assyria, capturing and destroying the city of Nineveh (B.C. 625), thus putting an end to the Assyrian monarchy (Nah. 1:8; 2:5,6; 3:13, 14). Media now rose to a place of great power, vastly extending its boundaries. But it did not long exist as an independent kingdom. It rose with Cyaxares, its first king, and it passed away with him; for during the reign of his son and successor Astyages, the Persians waged war against the Medes and conquered them, the two nations being united under one monarch, Cyrus the Persian (B.C. 558). The "cities of the Medes" are first mentioned in connection with the deportation of the Israelites on the destruction of Samaria (2 Kings 17:6; 18:11). Soon afterwards Isaiah (13:17; 21:2) speaks of the part taken by the Medes in the destruction of Babylon (comp. Jer. 51:11, 28). Daniel gives an account of the reign of Darius the Mede, who was made viceroy by Cyrus (Dan. 6:1-28). The decree of Cyrus, Ezra informs us (6:2-5), was found in "the palace that is in the province of the Medes," Achmetha or Ecbatana of the Greeks, which is the only Median city mentioned in Scripture.
Mediator one who intervenes between two persons who are at variance, with a view to reconcile them. This word is not found in the Old Testament; but the idea it expresses is found in Job 9:33, in the word "daysman" (q.v.), marg., "umpire." This word is used in the New Testament to denote simply an internuncius, an ambassador, one who acts as a medium of communication between two contracting parties. In this sense Moses is called a mediator in Gal. 3:19. Christ is the one and only mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). He makes reconciliation between God and man by his all-perfect atoning sacrifice. Such a mediator must be at once divine and human, divine, that his obedience and his sufferings might possess infinite worth, and that he might possess infinite wisdom and knowlege and power to direct all things in the kingdoms of providence and grace which are committed to his hands (Matt. 28:18; John 5:22, 25, 26, 27); and human, that in his work he might represent man, and be capable of rendering obedience to the law and satisfying the claims of justice (Heb. 2:17, 18; 4:15, 16), and that in his glorified humanity he might be the head of a glorified Church (Rom. 8:29). This office involves the three functions of prophet, priest, and king, all of which are discharged by Christ both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation. These functions are so inherent in the one office that the quality appertaining to each gives character to every mediatorial act. They are never separated in the exercise of the office of mediator.
Meekness a calm temper of mind, not easily provoked (James 3:13). Peculiar promises are made to the meek (Matt. 5:5; Isa. 66:2). The cultivation of this spirit is enjoined (Col. 3:12; 1 Tim. 6:11; Zeph. 2:3), and is exemplified in Christ (Matt. 11:29), Abraham (Gen. 13; 16:5, 6) Moses (Num. 12:3), David (Zech. 12:8; 2 Sam. 16:10, 12), and Paul (1 Cor. 9:19).
Megiddo place of troops, originally one of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Josh. 12:21), belonged to the tribe of Manasseh (Judg. 1:27), but does not seem to have been fully occupied by the Israelites till the time of Solomon (1 Kings 4:12; 9:15). The valley or plain of Megiddo was part of the plain of Esdraelon, the great battle-field of Palestine. It was here Barak gained a notable victory over Jabin, the king of Hazor, whose general, Sisera, led on the hostile army. Barak rallied the warriors of the northern tribes, and under the encouragement of Deborah (q.v.), the prophetess, attacked the Canaanites in the great plain. The army of Sisera was thrown into complete confusion, and was engulfed in the waters of the Kishon, which had risen and overflowed its banks (Judg. 4:5). Many years after this (B.C. 610), Pharaohnecho II., on his march against the king of Assyria, passed through the plains of Philistia and Sharon; and King Josiah, attempting to bar his progress in the plain of Megiddo, was defeated by the Egyptians. He was wounded in battle, and died as they bore him away in his chariot towards Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chr. 35:22-24), and all Israel mourned for him. So general and bitter was this mourning that it became a proverb, to which Zechariah (12:11, 12) alludes. Megiddo has been identified with the modern el-Lejjun, at the head of the Kishon, under the north-eastern brow of Carmel, on the south-western edge of the plain of Esdraelon, and 9 miles west of Jezreel. Others identify it with Mujedd'a, 4 miles south-west of Bethshean, but the question of its site is still undetermined.
Mehetabeel whose benefactor is God, the father of Delaiah, and grandfather of Shemaiah, who joined Sanballat against Nehemiah (Neh. 6:10).
Mehetabel wife of Hadad, one of the kings of Edom (Gen. 36:39).
Mehujael smitten by God, the son of Irad, and father of Methusael (Gen. 4:18).
Mehuman faithful, one of the eunchs whom Ahasuerus (Xerxes) commanded to bring in Vashti (Esther 1:10).
Mehunims habitations, (2 Chr. 26:7; R.V. "Meunim," Vulg. Ammonitae), a people against whom Uzziah waged a successful war. This word is in Hebrew the plural of Ma'on, and thus denotes the Maonites who inhabited the country on the eastern side of the Wady el-Arabah. They are again mentioned in 1 Chr. 4:41 (R.V.), in the reign of King Hezekiah, as a Hamite people, settled in the eastern end of the valley of Gedor, in the wilderness south of Palestine. In this passage the Authorized Version has "habitation," erroneously following the translation of Luther. They are mentioned in the list of those from whom the Nethinim were made up (Ezra 2:50; Neh. 7:52).
Me-jarkon waters of yellowness, or clear waters, a river in the tribe of Dan (Josh. 19:46). It has been identified with the river 'Aujeh, which rises at Antipatris.
Mekonah a base or foundation, a town in the south of Judah (Neh. 11:28), near Ziklag.
Melchi my king.
(1.) The son of Addi, and father of Neri (Luke 3:28).
(2.) Luke 3:24.
Melchizedek king of righteousness, the king of Salem (q.v.). All we know of him is recorded in Gen. 14:18-20. He is subsequently mentioned only once in the Old Testament, in Ps. 110:4. The typical significance of his history is set forth in detail in the Epistle to the Hebrews, ch. 7. The apostle there points out the superiority of his priesthood to that of Aaron in these several respects, (1) Even Abraham paid him tithes; (2) he blessed Abraham; (3) he is the type of a Priest who lives for ever; (4) Levi, yet unborn, paid him tithes in the person of Abraham; (5) the permanence of his priesthood in Christ implied the abrogation of the Levitical system; (6) he was made priest not without an oath; and (7) his priesthood can neither be transmitted nor interrupted by death: "this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood." The question as to who this mysterious personage was has given rise to a great deal of modern speculation. It is an old tradition among the Jews that he was Shem, the son of Noah, who may have survived to this time. Melchizedek was a Canaanitish prince, a worshipper of the true God, and in his peculiar history and character an instructive type of our Lord, the great High Priest (Heb. 5:6, 7; 6:20). One of the Amarna tablets is from Ebed-Tob, king of Jerusalem, the successor of Melchizedek, in which he claims the very attributes and dignity given to Melchizedek in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Melea fulness, the son of Menan and father of Eliakim, in the genealogy of our Lord (Luke 3:31).
Melech king, the second of Micah's four sons (1 Chr. 8:35), and thus grandson of Mephibosheth.
Melita (Acts 27:28), an island in the Mediterranean, the modern Malta. Here the ship in which Paul was being conveyed a prisoner to Rome was wrecked. The bay in which it was wrecked now bears the name of "St. Paul's Bay", "a certain creek with a shore." It is about 2 miles deep and 1 broad, and the whole physical condition of the scene answers the description of the shipwreck given in Acts 28. It was originally colonized by Phoenicians ("barbarians," 28:2). It came into the possession of the Greeks (B.C. 736), from whom it was taken by the Carthaginians (B.C. 528). In B.C. 242 it was conquered by the Romans, and was governed by a Roman propraetor at the time of the shipwreck (Acts 28:7). Since 1800, when the French garrison surrendered to the English force, it has been a British dependency. The island is about 17 miles long and 9 wide, and about 60 in circumference. After a stay of three months on this island, during which the "barbarians" showed them no little kindness, Julius procured for himself and his company a passage in another Alexandrian corn-ship which had wintered in the island, in which they proceeded on their voyage to Rome (Acts 28:13, 14).
Melons only in Num. 11:5, the translation of the Hebrew abattihim, the LXX. and Vulgate pepones, Arabic britikh. Of this plant there are various kinds, the Egyptian melon, the Cucumus chate, which has been called "the queen of cucumbers;" the water melon, the Cucurbita citrullus; and the common or flesh melon, the Cucumus melo. "A traveller in the East who recollects the intense gratitude which a gift of a slice of melon inspired while journeying over the hot and dry plains, will readily comprehend the regret with which the Hebrews in the Arabian desert looked back upon the melons of Egypt" (Kitto).
Melzar probably a Persian word meaning master of wine, i.e., chief butler; the title of an officer at the Babylonian court (Dan. 1:11, 16) who had charge of the diet of the Hebrew youths.
Memphis only in Hos. 9:6, Hebrew Moph. In Isa. 19:13; Jer. 2:16; 46:14, 19; Ezek. 30:13, 16, it is mentioned under the name Noph. It was the capital of Lower, i.e., of Northern Egypt. From certain remains found half buried in the sand, the site of this ancient city has been discovered near the modern village of Minyet Rahinch, or Mitraheny, about 16 miles above the ancient head of the Delta, and 9 miles south of Cairo, on the west bank of the Nile. It is said to have been founded by Menes, the first king of Egypt, and to have been in circumference about 19 miles. "There are few remains above ground," says Manning (The Land of the Pharaohs), "of the splendour of ancient Memphis. The city has utterly disappeared. If any traces yet exist, they are buried beneath the vast mounds of crumbling bricks and broken pottery which meet the eye in every direction. Near the village of Mitraheny is a colossal statue of Rameses the Great. It is apparently one of the two described by Herodotus and Diodorus as standing in front of the temple of Ptah. They were originally 50 feet in height. The one which remains, though mutilated, measures 48 feet. It is finely carved in limestone, which takes a high polish, and is evidently a portrait. It lies in a pit, which, during the inundation, is filled with water. As we gaze on this fallen and battered statue of the mighty conqueror who was probably contemporaneous with Moses, it is impossible not to remember the words of the prophet Isaiah, 19:13; 44:16-19, and Jeremiah, 46:19."
Memucan dignified, one of the royal counsellors at the court of Ahasuerus, by whose suggestion Vashti was divorced (Esther 1:14, 16, 21).
Menahem conforting, the son of Gadi, and successor of Shallum, king of Israel, whom he slew. After a reign of about ten years (B.C. 771-760) he died, leaving the throne to his son Pekahiah. His reign was one of cruelty and oppression (2 Kings 15:14-22). During his reign, Pul (q.v.), king of Assyria, came with a powerful force against Israel, but was induced to retire by a gift from Menahem of 1,000 talents of silver.
Mene (Dan. 5:25, 26), numbered, one of the words of the mysterious inscription written "upon the plaister of the wall" in Belshazzar's palace at Babylon. The writing was explained by Daniel. (See BELSHAZZAR.)
Meni Isa. 65:11, marg. (A.V., "that number;" R.V., "destiny"), probably an idol which the captive Israelites worshipped after the example of the Babylonians. It may have been a symbol of destiny. LXX., tuche.
Meonenim (Judg. 9:37; A.V., "the plain of Meonenim;" R.V., "the oak of Meonenim") means properly "soothsayers" or "sorcerers," "wizards" (Deut. 18:10, 14; 2 Kings 21:6; Micah 5:12). This may be the oak at Shechem under which Abram pitched his tent (see SHECHEM), the "enchanter's oak," so called, perhaps, from Jacob's hiding the "strange gods" under it (Gen. 35:4).
Mephaath splendour, a Levitical city (Josh. 21:37) of the tribe of Reuben (13:18).
Mephibosheth exterminator of shame; i.e., of idols.
(1.) The name of Saul's son by the concubine Rizpah (q.v.), the daughter of Aiah. He and his brother Armoni were with five others "hanged on a hill before the Lord" by the Gibeonites, and their bodies exposed in the sun for five months (2 Sam. 21:8-10).
(2.) The son of Jonathan, and grandson of Saul (2 Sam. 4:4). He was but five years old when his father and grandfather fell on Mount Gilboa. The child's nurse hearing of this calamity, fled with him from Gibeah, the royal residence, and stumbling in her haste, the child was thrown to the ground and maimed in both his feet, and ever after was unable to walk (19:26). He was carried to the land of Gilead, where he found a refuge in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar, by whom he was brought up. Some years after this, when David had subdued all the adversaries of Israel, he began to think of the family of Jonathan, and discovered that Mephibosheth was residing in the house of Machir. Thither he sent royal messengers, and brought him and his infant son to Jerusalem, where he ever afterwards resided (2 Sam. 9). When David was a fugitive, according to the story of Ziba (2 Sam. 16:1-4) Mephibosheth proved unfaithful to him, and was consequently deprived of half of his estates; but according to his own story, however (19:24-30), he had remained loyal to his friend. After this incident he is only mentioned as having been protected by David against the vengeance the Gibeonites were permitted to execute on the house of Saul (21:7). He is also called Merib-baal (1 Chr. 8:34; 9:40). (See ZIBA.)
Merab increase, the eldest of Saul's two daughters (1 Sam. 14:49). She was betrothed to David after his victory over Goliath, but does not seem to have entered heartily into this arrangement (18:2, 17, 19). She was at length, however, married to Adriel of Abel-Meholah, a town in the Jordan valley, about 10 miles south of Bethshean, with whom the house of Saul maintained alliance. She had five sons, who were all put to death by the Gibeonites on the hill of Gibeah (2 Sam. 21:8).
Meraiah resistance, a chief priest, a contemporary of the high priest Joiakim (Neh. 12:12).
(1.) Father of Amariah, a high priest of the line of Eleazar (1 Chr. 6:6, 7, 52).
(2.) Neh. 12:15, a priest who went to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel. He is called Meremoth in Neh. 12:3.
Merari sad; bitter, the youngest son of Levi, born before the descent of Jacob into Egypt, and one of the seventy who accompanied him thither (Gen. 46:11; Ex. 6:16). He became the head of one of the great divisions of the Levites (Ex. 6:19). (See MERARITES.)
Merarites the descendants of Merari (Num. 26:57). They with the Gershonites and the Kohathites had charge of the tabernacle, which they had to carry from place to place (Num. 3:20, 33-37; 4:29-33). In the distribution of the oxen and waggons offered by the princes (Num. 7), Moses gave twice as many to the Merarites (four waggons and eight oxen) as he gave to the Gershonites, because the latter had to carry only the lighter furniture of the tabernacle, such as the curtains, hangings, etc., while the former had to carry the heavier portion, as the boards, bars, sockets, pillars, etc., and consequently needed a greater supply of oxen and waggons. This is a coincidence illustrative of the truth of the narrative. Their place in marching and in the camp was on the north of the tabernacle. The Merarites afterwards took part with the other Levitical families in the various functions of their office (1 Chr. 23:6, 21-23; 2 Chr. 29:12, 13). Twelve cities with their suburbs were assigned to them (Josh. 21:7, 34-40).
Merathaim double rebellion, probably a symbolical name given to Babylon (Jer. 50:21), denoting rebellion exceeding that of other nations.
Merchant The Hebrew word so rendered is from a root meaning "to travel about," "to migrate," and hence "a traveller." In the East, in ancient times, merchants travelled about with their merchandise from place to place (Gen. 37:25; Job 6:18), and carried on their trade mainly by bartering (Gen. 37:28; 39:1). After the Hebrews became settled in Palestine they began to engage in commercial pursuits, which gradually expanded (49:13; Deut. 33:18; Judg. 5:17), till in the time of Solomon they are found in the chief marts of the world (1 Kings 9:26; 10:11, 26, 28; 22:48; 2 Chr. 1:16; 9:10, 21). After Solomon's time their trade with foreign nations began to decline. After the Exile it again expanded into wider foreign relations, because now the Jews were scattered in many lands.
Mercurius the Hermes (i.e., "the speaker") of the Greeks (Acts 14:12), a heathen God represented as the constant attendant of Jupiter, and the god of eloquence. The inhabitants of Lystra took Paul for this god because he was the "chief speaker."
Mercy compassion for the miserable. Its object is misery. By the atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of mercy towards the sons of men, in harmony with the demands of truth and righteousness (Gen. 19:19; Ex. 20:6; 34:6, 7; Ps. 85:10; 86:15, 16). In Christ mercy and truth meet together. Mercy is also a Christian grace (Matt. 5:7; 18:33-35).
Mercy-seat (Heb. kapporeth, a "covering;" LXX. and N.T., hilasterion; Vulg., propitiatorium), the covering or lid of the ark of the covenant (q.v.). It was of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, or perhaps rather a plate of solid gold, 2 1/2 cubits long and 1 1/2 broad (Ex. 25:17; 30:6; 31:7). It is compared to the throne of grace (Heb. 9:5; Eph. 2:6). The holy of holies is called the "place of the mercy-seat" (1 Chr. 28:11: Lev. 16:2). It has been conjectured that the censer (thumiaterion, meaning "anything having regard to or employed in the burning of incense") mentioned in Heb. 9:4 was the "mercy-seat," at which the incense was burned by the high priest on the great day of atonement, and upon or toward which the blood of the goat was sprinkled (Lev. 16:11-16; comp. Num. 7:89 and Ex. 25:22).
Mered rebellion, one of the sons of Ezra, of the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 4:17).
Meremoth exaltations, heights, a priest who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:3), to whom were sent the sacred vessels (Ezra 8:33) belonging to the temple. He took part in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:4).
Meribah quarrel or strife.
(1.) One of the names given by Moses to the fountain in the desert of Sin, near Rephidim, which issued from the rock in Horeb, which he smote by the divine command, "because of the chiding of the children of Israel" (Ex. 17:1-7). It was also called Massah (q.v.). It was probably in Wady Feiran, near Mount Serbal.
(2.) Another fountain having a similar origin in the desert of Zin, near to Kadesh (Num. 27:14). The two places are mentioned together in Deut. 33:8. Some think the one place is called by the two names (Ps. 81:7). In smiting the rock at this place Moses showed the same impatience as the people (Num. 20:10-12). This took place near the close of the wanderings in the desert (Num. 20:1-24; Deut. 32:51).
Merib-baal contender with Baal, (1 Chr. 8:34; 9:40), elsewhere called Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 4:4), the son of Jonathan.
Merodach death; slaughter, the name of a Babylonian god, probably the planet Mars (Jer. 50:2), or it may be another name of Bel, the guardian divinity of Babylon. This name frequently occurs as a surname to the kings of Assyria and Babylon.
Merodach-baladan. Merodach has given a son, (Isa. 39:1), "the hereditary chief of the Chaldeans, a small tribe at that time settled in the marshes at the mouth of the Euphrates, but in consequence of his conquest of Babylon afterwards, they became the dominant caste in Babylonia itself." One bearing this name sent ambassadors to Hezekiah (B.C. 721). He is also called Berodach-baladan (2 Kings 20:12; 2 Chr. 20:31). (See HEZEKIAH.)
Merom height, a lake in Northern Palestine through which the Jordan flows. It was the scene of the third and last great victory gained by Joshua over the Canaanites (Josh. 11:5-7). It is not again mentioned in Scripture. Its modern name is Bakrat el-Huleh. "The Ard el-Huleh, the centre of which the lake occupies, is a nearly level plain of 16 miles in length from north to south, and its breadth from east to west is from 7 to 8 miles. On the west it is walled in by the steep and lofty range of the hills of Kedesh-Naphtali; on the east it is bounded by the lower and more gradually ascending slopes of Bashan; on the north it is shut in by a line of hills hummocky and irregular in shape and of no great height, and stretching across from the mountains of Naphtali to the roots of Mount Hermon, which towers up at the north-eastern angle of the plain to a height of 10,000 feet. At its southern extremity the plain is similarly traversed by elevated and broken ground, through which, by deep and narrow clefts, the Jordan, after passing through Lake Huleh, makes its rapid descent to the Sea of Galilee." The lake is triangular in form, about 4 1/2 miles in length by 3 1/2 at its greatest breadth. Its surface is 7 feet above that of the Mediterranean. It is surrounded by a morass, which is thickly covered with canes and papyrus reeds, which are impenetrable. Macgregor with his canoe, the Rob Roy, was the first that ever, in modern times, sailed on its waters. (See JORDAN.)
Meronothite a name given to Jehdeiah, the herdsman of the royal asses in the time of David and Solomon (1 Chr. 27:30), probably as one being a native of some unknown town called Meronoth.
Meroz a plain in the north of Palestine, the inhabitants of which were severely condemned because they came not to help Barak against Sisera (Judg. 5:23: comp. 21:8-10; 1 Sam. 11:7). It has been identified with Marassus, on a knoll to the north of Wady Jalud, but nothing certainly is known of it. Like Chorazin, it is only mentioned in Scripture in connection with the curse pronounced upon it.
Mesha middle district, Vulgate, Messa.
(1.) A plain in that part of the boundaries of Arabia inhabited by the descendants of Joktan (Gen. 10:30).
(2.) Heb. meysh'a, "deliverance," the eldest son of Caleb (1 Chr. 2:42), and brother of Jerahmeel.
(3.) Heb. id, a king of Moab, the son of Chemosh-Gad, a man of great wealth in flocks and herds (2 Kings 3:4). After the death of Ahab at Ramoth-Gilead, Mesha shook off the yoke of Israel; but on the ascension of Jehoram to the throne of Israel, that king sought the help of Jehoshaphat in an attempt to reduce the Moabites again to their former condition. The united armies of the two kings came unexpectedly on the army of the Moabites, and gained over them an easy victory. The whole land was devastated by the conquering armies, and Mesha sought refuge in his last stronghold, Kir-harasheth (q.v.). Reduced to despair, he ascended the wall of the city, and there, in the sight of the allied armies, offered his first-born son a sacrifice to Chemosh, the fire-god of the Moabites. This fearful spectacle filled the beholders with horror, and they retired from before the besieged city, and recrossed the Jordan laden with spoil (2 Kings 3:25-27). The exploits of Mesha are recorded in the Phoenician inscription on a block of black basalt found at Dibon, in Moab, usually called the "Moabite stone" (q.v.).
Meshach the title given to Mishael, one of the three Hebrew youths who were under training at the Babylonian court for the rank of Magi (Dan. 1:7; 2:49; 3:12-30). This was probably the name of some Chaldean god.
Meshech drawing out, the sixth son of Japheth (Gen. 10:2), the founder of a tribe (1 Chr. 1:5; Ezek. 27:13; 38:2,3). They were in all probability the Moschi, a people inhabiting the Moschian Mountains, between the Black and the Caspian Seas. In Ps. 120:5 the name occurs as simply a synonym for foreigners or barbarians. "During the ascendency of the Babylonians and Persians in Western Asia, the Moschi were subdued; but it seems probable that a large number of them crossed the Caucasus range and spread over the northern steppes, mingling with the Scythians. There they became known as Muscovs, and gave that name to the Russian nation and its ancient capital by which they are still generally known throughout the East"
Meshelemiah friendship of Jehovah, a Levite of the family of the Korhites, called also Shelemiah (1 Chr. 9:21; 26:1, 2, 9, 14). He was a temple gate-keeper in the time of David.
(1.) The father of Berechiah (2 Chr. 28:12).
(2.) A priest, the son of Immer (Neh. 11:13).
(1.) One of the chief Gadites in Bashan in the time of Jotham (1 Chr. 5:13).
(2.) Grandfather of Shaphan, "the scribe," in the reign of Josiah (2 Kings 22:3).
(3.) A priest, father of Hilkiah (1 Chr. 9:11; Neh. 11:11), in the reign of Ammon; called Shallum in 1 Chr. 6:12.
(4.) A Levite of the family of Kohath (2 Chr. 34:12), in the reign of Josiah.
(5.) 1 Chr. 8:17.
(6.) 1 Chr. 3:19.
(7.) Neh. 12:13.
(8.) A chief priest (Neh. 12:16).
(9.) One of the leading Levites in the time of Ezra (8:16).
(10.) A priest (1 Chr. 9:12).
(11.) One of the principal Israelites who supported Ezra when expounding the law to the people (Neh. 8:4).
Meshullemeth friend, the wife of Manasseh, and the mother of Amon (2 Kings 21:19), Kings of Judah.
Mesopotamia the country between the two rivers (Heb. Aram-naharaim; i.e., "Syria of the two rivers"), the name given by the Greeks and Romans to the region between the Euphrates and the Tigris (Gen. 24:10; Deut. 23:4; Judg. 3:8, 10). In the Old Testament it is mentioned also under the name "Padan-aram;" i.e., the plain of Aram, or Syria (Gen. 25:20). The northern portion of this fertile plateau was the original home of the ancestors of the Hebrews (Gen. 11; Acts 7:2). From this region Isaac obtained his wife Rebecca (Gen. 24:10, 15), and here also Jacob sojourned (28:2-7) and obtained his wives, and here most of his sons were born (35:26; 46:15). The petty, independent tribes of this region, each under its own prince, were warlike, and used chariots in battle. They maintained their independence till after the time of David, when they fell under the dominion of Assyria, and were absorbed into the empire (2 Kings 19:13).
Mess a portion of food given to a guest (Gen. 43:34; 2 Sam. 11:8).
Messenger (Heb. mal'ak, Gr. angelos), an angel, a messenger who runs on foot, the bearer of despatches (Job 1:14; 1 Sam. 11:7; 2 Chr. 36:22); swift of foot (2 Kings 9:18).
Messiah (Heb. mashiah), in all the thirty-nine instances of its occurring in the Old Testament, is rendered by the LXX. "Christos." It means anointed. Thus priests (Ex. 28:41; 40:15; Num. 3:3), prophets (1 Kings 19:16), and kings (1 Sam. 9:16; 16:3; 2 Sam. 12:7) were anointed with oil, and so consecrated to their respective offices. The great Messiah is anointed "above his fellows" (Ps. 45:7); i.e., he embraces in himself all the three offices. The Greek form "Messias" is only twice used in the New Testament, in John 1:41 and 4:25 (R.V., "Messiah"), and in the Old Testament the word Messiah, as the rendering of the Hebrew, occurs only twice (Dan 9:25, 26; R.V., "the anointed one"). The first great promise (Gen. 3:15) contains in it the germ of all the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament regarding the coming of the Messiah and the great work he was to accomplish on earth. The prophecies became more definite and fuller as the ages rolled on; the light shone more and more unto the perfect day. Different periods of prophetic revelation have been pointed out, (1) the patriarchal; (2) the Mosaic; (3) the period of David; (4) the period of prophetism, i.e., of those prophets whose works form a part of the Old Testament canon. The expectations of the Jews were thus kept alive from generation to generation, till the "fulness of the times," when Messiah came, "made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law." In him all these ancient prophecies have their fulfilment. Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the great Deliverer who was to come. (Comp. Matt. 26:54; Mark 9:12; Luke 18:31; 22:37; John 5:39; Acts 2; 16:31; 26:22, 23.)
Metheg-ammah bridle of the mother, a figurative name for a chief city, as in 2 Sam. 8:1, "David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines" (R.V., "took the bridle of the mother-city"); i.e., subdued their capital or strongest city, viz., Gath (1 Chr. 18:1).
Methusael champion of El; man of God, a descendant of Cain (Gen. 4:18), so called, perhaps, to denote that even among the descendants of Cain God had not left himself without a witness.
Methuselah man of the dart, the son of Enoch, and grandfather of Noah. He was the oldest man of whom we have any record, dying at the age of nine hundred and sixty-nine years, in the year of the Flood (Gen. 5:21-27; 1 Chr. 1:3).
Mezahab water of gold, the father of Matred (Gen. 36:39; 1 Chr. 1:50), and grandfather of Mehetabel, wife of Hadar, the last king of Edom.
Miamin = Mijamin, from the right hand.
(1.) The head of one of the divisions of the priests (1 Chr. 24:9).
(2.) A chief priest who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:5), called Mijamin (10:7) and Miniamin (12:17).
Mibhar choice, a Hagarene, one of David's warriors (1 Chr. 11:38); called also Bani the Gadite (2 Sam. 23:36).
(1.) One of Ishmael's twelve sons, and head of an Arab tribe (Gen. 25:13).
(2.) A son of Simeon (1 Chr. 4:25).
Mibzar fortress, one of the Edomitish "dukes" descended from Esau (Gen. 36:42; 1 Chr. 1:53).
Micah a shortened form of Micaiah, who is like Jehovah?
(1.) A man of Mount Ephraim, whose history so far is introduced in Judg. 17, apparently for the purpose of leading to an account of the settlement of the tribe of Dan in Northern Palestine, and for the purpose also of illustrating the lawlessness of the times in which he lived (Judg. 18; 19:1-29; 21:25).
(2.) The son of Merib-baal (Mephibosheth), 1 Chr. 8:34, 35.
(3.) The first in rank of the priests of the family of Kohathites (1 Chr. 23:20).
(4.) A descendant of Joel the Reubenite (1 Chr. 5:5).
(5.) "The Morasthite," so called to distinguish him from Micaiah, the son of Imlah (1 Kings 22:8). He was a prophet of Judah, a contemporary of Isaiah (Micah 1:1), a native of Moresheth of Gath (1:14, 15). Very little is known of the circumstances of his life (comp. Jer. 26:18, 19).
Micah, Book of the sixth in order of the so-called minor prophets. The superscription to this book states that the prophet exercised his office in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. If we reckon from the beginning of Jotham's reign to the end of Hezekiah's (B.C. 759-698), then he ministered for about fifty-nine years; but if we reckon from the death of Jotham to the accession of Hezekiah (B.C. 743-726), his ministry lasted only sixteen years. It has been noticed as remarkable that this book commences with the last words of another prophet, "Micaiah the son of Imlah" (1 Kings 22:28): "Hearken, O people, every one of you." The book consists of three sections, each commencing with a rebuke, "Hear ye," etc., and closing with a promise, (1) ch. 1; 2; (2) ch. 3-5, especially addressed to the princes and heads of the people; (3) ch. 6-7, in which Jehovah is represented as holding a controversy with his people: the whole concluding with a song of triumph at the great deliverance which the Lord will achieve for his people. The closing verse is quoted in the song of Zacharias (Luke 1:72, 73). The prediction regarding the place "where Christ should be born," one of the most remarkable Messianic prophecies (Micah 5:2), is quoted in Matt. 2:6. There are the following references to this book in the New Testament: 5:2, with Matt. 2:6; John 7:42. 7:6, with Matt. 10:21,35,36. 7:20, with Luke 1:72,73.
Micaiah who is like Jehovah?, the son of Imlah, a faithful prophet of Samaria (1 Kings 22:8-28). Three years after the great battle with Ben-hadad (20:29-34), Ahab proposed to Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, that they should go up against Ramoth-Gilead to do battle again with Ben-hadad. Jehoshaphat agreed, but suggested that inquiry should be first made "at the word of Jehovah." Ahab's prophets approved of the expedition; but Jehoshaphat, still dissatisfied, asked if there was no other prophet besides the four hundred that had appeared, and was informed of this Micaiah. He was sent for from prison, where he had been confined, probably on account of some prediction disagreeable to Ahab; and he condemned the expedition, and prophesied that it would end, as it did, in disaster. We hear nothing further of this prophet. Some have supposed that he was the unnamed prophet referred to in 1 Kings 20:35-42.
(1.) 2 Sam. 9:12 =MICAH (2).
(2.) The son of Zabdi, a Levite of the family of Asaph (Neh. 11:17, 22).
Michael who is like God?
(1.) The title given to one of the chief angels (Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1). He had special charge of Israel as a nation. He disputed with Satan (Jude 1:9) about the body of Moses. He is also represented as warning against "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world" (Rev. 12:7-9).
(2.) The father of Sethur, the spy selected to represent Asher (Num. 13:13).
(3.) 1 Chr. 7:3, a chief of the tribe of Issachar.
(4.) 1 Chr. 8:16, a Benjamite.
(5.) A chief Gadite in Bashan (1 Chr. 5:13).
(6.) A Manassite, "a captain of thousands" who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:20).
(7.) A Gershonite Levite (1 Chr. 6:40).
(8.) The father of Omri (1 Chr. 27:18).
(9.) One of the sons of king Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 21:2, 4). He was murdered by his brother Jehoram.
(1.) The queen-mother of King Abijah (2 Chr. 13:2). (See MAACAH, 4).
(2.) One of those sent out by Jehoshaphat to instruct the people in the law (2 Chr. 17:7).
(3.) 2 Kings 22:12.
(4.) The son of Gemariah. He reported to the king's officers Jeremiah's prediction, which he had heard Baruch read (Jer. 36:11, 13) from his father Gemariah's chamber in the temple.
(5.) A Levite (Neh. 12:35).
(6.) A priest (Neh. 12:41).
Michal rivulet, or who as God?, the younger of Saul's two daughters by his wife Ahinoam (1 Sam. 14:49, 50). "Attracted by the graces of his person and the gallantry of his conduct, she fell in love with David and became his wife" (18:20-28). She showed her affection for him by promoting his escape to Naioth when Saul sought his life (1 Sam. 19:12-17. Comp. Ps. 59. See TERAPHIM). After this she did not see David for many years. Meanwhile she was given in marriage to another man, Phalti or Phaltiel of Gallim (1 Sam. 25:44), but David afterwards formally reclaimed her as his lawful wife (2 Sam. 3:13-16). The relation between her and David soon after this was altered. They became alienated from each other. This happened on that memorable day when the ark was brought up in great triumph from its temporary resting-place to the Holy City. In David's conduct on that occasion she saw nothing but a needless humiliation of the royal dignity (1 Chr. 15:29). She remained childless, and thus the races of David and Saul were not mixed. In 2 Sam. 21:8 her name again occurs, but the name Merab should probably be here substituted for Michal (comp. 1 Sam. 18:19).
Michmash something hidden, a town of Benjamin (Ezra 2:27), east of Bethel and south of Migron, on the road to Jerusalem (Isa. 10:28). It lay on the line of march of an invading army from the north, on the north side of the steep and precipitous Wady es-Suweinit ("valley of the little thorn-tree" or "the acacia"), and now bears the name of Mukhmas. This wady is called "the passage of Michmash" (1 Sam. 13:23). Immediately facing Mukhmas, on the opposite side of the ravine, is the modern representative of Geba, and behind this again are Ramah and Gibeah. This was the scene of a great battle fought between the army of Saul and the Philistines, who were utterly routed and pursued for some 16 miles towards Philistia as far as the valley of Aijalon. "The freedom of Benjamin secured at Michmash led through long years of conflict to the freedom of all its kindred tribes." The power of Benjamin and its king now steadily increased. A new spirit and a new hope were now at work in Israel. (See SAUL.)
Michmethah hiding-place, a town in the northern border of Ephraim and Manasseh, and not far west of Jordan (Josh. 16:6; 17:7).
Michri prize of Jehovah, a Benjamite, the father of Uzzi (1 Chr. 9:8).
Michtam writing; i.e., a poem or song found in the titles of Ps. 16; 56-60. Some translate the word "golden", i.e., precious. It is rendered in the LXX. by a word meaning "tablet inscription" or a "stelograph." The root of the word means to stamp or grave, and hence it is regarded as denoting a composition so precious as to be worthy to be engraven on a durable tablet for preservation; or, as others render, "a psalm precious as stamped gold," from the word _kethem_, "fine or stamped gold."
Middin measures, one of the six cities "in the wilderness," on the west of the Dead Sea, mentioned along with En-gedi (Josh. 15:61).
Midian strife, the fourth son of Abraham by Keturah, the father of the Midianites (Gen. 25:2; 1 Chr. 1:32).
Midianite an Arabian tribe descended from Midian. They inhabited principally the desert north of the peninsula of Arabia. The peninsula of Sinai was the pasture-ground for their flocks. They were virtually the rulers of Arabia, being the dominant tribe. Like all Arabians, they were a nomad people. They early engaged in commercial pursuits. It was to one of their caravans that Joseph was sold (Gen. 37:28, 36). The next notice of them is in connection with Moses' flight from Egypt (Ex. 2:15-21). Here in Midian Moses became the servant and afterwards the son-in-law of Reuel or Jethro, the priest. After the Exodus, the Midianites were friendly to the Israelites so long as they traversed only their outlying pasture-ground on the west of the Arabah; but when, having passed the southern end of Edom, they entered into the land of Midian proper, they joined with Balak, the king of Moab, in a conspiracy against them (Num. 22:4-7). Balaam, who had been sent for to curse Israel, having utterly failed to do so, was dismissed by the king of Moab; nevertheless he still tarried among the Midianites, and induced them to enter into correspondence with the Israelites, so as to bring them into association with them in the licentious orgies connected with the worship of Baal-Peor. This crafty counsel prevailed. The Israelites took part in the heathen festival, and so brought upon themselves a curse indeed. Their apostasy brought upon them a severe punishment. A plague broke out amongst them, and more than twenty-four thousand of the people perished (Num. 25:9). But the Midianites were not to be left unpunished. A terrible vengeance was denounced against them. A thousand warriors from each tribe, under the leadership of Phinehas, went forth against them. The Midianites were utterly routed. Their cities were consumed by fire, five of their kings were put to death, and the whole nation was destroyed (Josh. 13:21, 22). Balaam also perished by the sword, receiving the "wages of his unrighteousness" (Num. 31:8; 2 Pet. 2:15). The whole of the country on the east of Jordan, now conquered by the Israelites (see SIHON; OG), was divided between the two tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh. Some two hundred and fifty years after this the Midianites had regained their ancient power, and in confederation with the Amalekites and the "children of the east" they made war against their old enemies the Israelites, whom for seven years they oppressed and held in subjection. They were at length assailed by Gideon in that ever-memorable battle in the great plain of Esdraelon, and utterly destroyed (Judg. 6:1-ch. 7). Frequent allusions are afterwards made to this great victory (Ps. 83:10, 12; Isa. 9:4; 10:6). They now wholly pass away from the page of history both sacred and profane.
Midwife The two midwives mentioned in Ex. 1:15 were probably the superintendents of the whole class.
Migdal-Edar tower of the flock, a place 2 miles south of Jerusalem, near the Bethlehem road (Gen. 35:21). (See EDAR.)
Migdal-el tower of God, a fortified city of Naphtali (Josh. 19:38), supposed by some to be identical with Magdala (q.v.).
Migdal-gad tower of fortune, a town in the plains of Judah, probably the modern el-Mejdel, a little to the north-east of Ascalon (Josh. 15:37).
(1.) A strongly-fortified place 12 miles from Pelusium, in the north of Egypt (Jer. 44:1; 46:14). This word is rendered "tower" in Ezek. 29:10, but the margin correctly retains the name Migdol, "from Migdol to Syene;" i.e., from Migdol in the north to Syene in the south, in other words, the whole of Egypt.
(2.) A place mentioned in the passage of the Red Sea (Ex. 14:2; Num. 33:7, 8). It is probably to be identified with Bir Suweis, about 2 miles from Suez.
Migron precipice or landslip, a place between Aiath and Michmash (Isa. 10:28). The town of the same name mentioned in 1 Sam. 14:2 was to the south of this.
(1.) An officer under Dodai, in the time of David and Solomon (1 Chr. 27:4).
(2.) A Benjamite (1 Chr. 8:32; 9:37, 38).
Milaiai eloquent, a Levitical musician (Neh. 12:36) who took part in the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem.
Mildew (the rendering of a Hebrew word meaning "to be yellow," yellowness), the result of cutting east winds blighting and thus rendering the grain unproductive (Deut. 28:22; 1 Kings 8:37; 2 Chr. 6:28).
Mile (from Lat. mille, "a thousand;" Matt. 5:41), a Roman measure of 1,000 paces of 5 feet each. Thus the Roman mile has 1618 yards, being 142 yards shorter than the English mile.
Miletus (Miletum, 2 Tim. 4:20), a seaport town and the ancient capital of Ionia, about 36 miles south of Ephesus. On his voyage from Greece to Syria, Paul touched at this port, and delivered that noble and pathetic address to the elders ("presbyters," ver. 28) of Ephesus recorded in Acts 20:15-35. The site of Miletus is now some 10 miles from the coast. (See EPHESIANS, EPISTLE TO.)
(1.) Hebrew halabh, "new milk", milk in its fresh state (Judg. 4:19). It is frequently mentioned in connection with honey (Ex. 3:8; 13:5; Josh. 5:6; Isa. 7:15, 22; Jer. 11:5). Sheep (Deut. 32:14) and goats (Prov. 27:27) and camels (Gen. 32:15), as well as cows, are made to give their milk for the use of man. Milk is used figuratively as a sign of abundance (Gen. 49:12; Ezek. 25:4; Joel 3:18). It is also a symbol of the rudiments of doctrine (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, 13), and of the unadulterated word of God (1 Pet. 2:2).
(2.) Heb. hem'ah, always rendered "butter" in the Authorized Version. It means "butter," but also more frequently "cream," or perhaps, as some think, "curdled milk," such as that which Abraham set before the angels (Gen. 18:8), and which Jael gave to Sisera (Judg. 5:25). In this state milk was used by travellers (2 Sam. 17:29). If kept long enough, it acquired a slightly intoxicating or soporific power. This Hebrew word is also sometimes used for milk in general (Deut. 32:14; Job 20:17).
Mill for grinding corn, mentioned as used in the time of Abraham (Gen. 18:6). That used by the Hebrews consisted of two circular stones, each 2 feet in diameter and half a foot thick, the lower of which was called the "nether millstone" (Job 41:24) and the upper the "rider." The upper stone was turned round by a stick fixed in it as a handle. There were then no public mills, and thus each family required to be provided with a hand-mill. The corn was ground daily, generally by the women of the house (Isa. 47:1, 2; Matt. 24:41). It was with the upper stone of a hand-mill that "a certain woman" at Thebez broke Abimelech's skull (Judg. 9:53, "a piece of a millstone;" literally, "a millstone rider", i.e., the "runner," the stone which revolves. Comp. 2 Sam. 11:21). Millstones could not be pledged (Deut. 24:6), as they were necessary in every family.
Millennium a thousand years; the name given to the era mentioned in Rev. 20:1-7. Some maintain that Christ will personally appear on earth for the purpose of establishing his kingdom at the beginning of this millennium. Those holding this view are usually called "millenarians." On the other hand, it is maintained, more in accordance with the teaching of Scripture, we think, that Christ's second advent will not be premillennial, and that the right conception of the prospects and destiny of his kingdom is that which is taught, e.g., in the parables of the leaven and the mustard-seed. The triumph of the gospel, it is held, must be looked for by the wider and more efficient operation of the very forces that are now at work in extending the gospel; and that Christ will only come again at the close of this dispensation to judge the world at the "last day." The millennium will thus precede his coming.
Millet (Heb. dohan; only in Ezek. 4:9), a small grain, the produce of the Panicum miliaceum of botanists. It is universally cultivated in the East as one of the smaller corn-grasses. This seed is the cenchros of the Greeks. It is called in India warree, and by the Arabs dukhan, and is extensively used for food, being often mixed with other grain. In this country it is only used for feeding birds.
Millo (Heb. always with the article, "the"
(1.) Probably the Canaanite name of some fortification, consisting of walls filled in with earth and stones, which protected Jerusalem on the north as its outermost defence. It is always rendered Akra i.e., "the citadel", in the LXX. It was already existing when David conquered Jerusalem (2 Sam. 5:9). He extended it to the right and left, thus completing the defence of the city. It was rebuilt by Solomon (1 Kings 9:15, 24; 11:27) and repaired by Hezekiah (2 Chr. 32:5).
(2.) In Judg. 9:6, 20 it is the name of a rampart in Shechem, probably the "tower of Shechem" (9:46, 49).
Mincing (Heb. taphoph, Isa. 3:16), taking affectedly short and quick steps. Luther renders the word by "wag" or "waggle," thus representing "the affected gait of coquettish females."
Mine The process of mining is described in Job 28:1-11. Moses speaks of the mineral wealth of Palestine (Deut. 8:9). Job 28:4 is rightly thus rendered in the Revised Version, "He breaketh open a shaft away from where men sojourn; they are forgotten of the foot [that passeth by]; they hang afar from men, they swing to and fro." These words illustrate ancient mining operations.
Minister one who serves, as distinguished from the master.
(1.) Heb. meshereth, applied to an attendant on one of superior rank, as to Joshua, the servant of Moses (Ex. 33:11), and to the servant of Elisha (2 Kings 4:43). This name is also given to attendants at court (2 Chr. 22:8), and to the priests and Levites (Jer. 33:21; Ezek. 44:11).
(2.) Heb. pelah (Ezra 7:24), a "minister" of religion. Here used of that class of sanctuary servants called "Solomon's servants" in Ezra 2:55-58 and Neh. 7:57-60.
(3.) Greek leitourgos, a subordinate public administrator, and in this sense applied to magistrates (Rom. 13:6). It is applied also to our Lord (Heb. 8:2), and to Paul in relation to Christ (Rom. 15:16).
(4.) Greek hyperetes (literally, "under-rower"), a personal attendant on a superior, thus of the person who waited on the officiating priest in the synagogue (Luke 4:20). It is applied also to John Mark, the attendant on Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:5).
(5.) Greek diaconos, usually a subordinate officer or assistant employed in relation to the ministry of the gospel, as to Paul and Apollos (1 Cor. 3:5), Tychicus (Eph. 6:21), Epaphras (Col. 1:7), Timothy (1 Thess. 3:2), and also to Christ (Rom. 15:8).
Minni only in Jer. 51:27, as the name of a province in Armenia, which was at this time under the Median kings. Armenia is regarded by some as = Har-minni i.e., the mountainous country of Minni. (See ARMENIA.)
Minnith distribution, an Ammonitish town (Judg. 11:33) from which wheat was exported to Tyre (Ezek. 27:17). It was probably somewhere in the Mishor or table-land on the east of Jordan. There is a gentle valley running for about 4 miles east of Dhiban called Kurm Dhiban, "the vineyards of Dibon." Tristram supposes that this may be the "vineyards" mentioned in Judg. (l.c.).
Minstrel (Matt. 9:23), a flute-player. Such music was a usual accompaniment of funerals. In 2 Kings 3:15 it denotes a player on a stringed instrument.
Mint (Gr. heduosmon, i.e., "having a sweet smell"), one of the garden herbs of which the Pharisees paid tithes (Matt. 23:23; Luke 11:42). It belongs to the labiate family of plants. The species most common in Syria is the Mentha sylvestris, the wild mint, which grows much larger than the garden mint (M. sativa). It was much used in domestic economy as a condiment, and also as a medicine. The paying of tithes of mint was in accordance with the Mosiac law (Deut. 14:22), but the error of the Pharisees lay in their being more careful about this little matter of the mint than about weightier matters.
Miracle an event in the external world brought about by the
immediate agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the
use of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed
to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the
truth of his message (John 2:18; Matt. 12:38). It is an occurrence at
once above nature and above man. It shows the intervention of a power
that is not limited by the laws either of matter or of mind, a power
interrupting the fixed laws which govern their movements, a
supernatural power. "The suspension or violation of the laws of
nature involved in miracles is nothing more than is constantly taking
place around us. One force counteracts another: vital force keeps the
chemical laws of matter in abeyance; and muscular force can control
the action of physical force. When a man raises a weight from the
ground, the law of gravity is neither suspended nor violated, but
counteracted by a stronger force. The same is true as to the walking
of Christ on the water and the swimming of iron at the command of the
prophet. The simple and grand truth that the universe is not under
the exclusive control of physical forces, but that everywhere and
always there is above, separate from and superior to all else, an
infinite personal will, not superseding, but directing and
controlling all physical causes, acting with or without them."
God ordinarily effects his purpose through the agency of second
causes; but he has the power also of effecting his purpose
immediately and without the intervention of second causes, i.e., of
invading the fixed order, and thus of working miracles. Thus we
affirm the possibility of miracles, the possibility of a higher hand
intervening to control or reverse nature's ordinary movements. In the
New Testament these four Greek words are principally used to
(1.) Semeion, a "sign", i.e., an evidence of a divine commission; an attestation of a divine message (Matt. 12:38, 39; 16:1, 4; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16; 23:8; John 2:11, 18, 23; Acts 6:8, etc.); a token of the presence and working of God; the seal of a higher power.
(2.) Terata, "wonders;" wonder-causing events; portents; producing astonishment in the beholder (Acts 2:19).
(3.) Dunameis, "might works;" works of superhuman power (Acts 2:22; Rom. 15:19; 2 Thess. 2:9); of a new and higher power.
(4.) Erga, "works;" the works of Him who is "wonderful in working" (John 5:20, 36). Miracles are seals of a divine mission. The sacred writers appealed to them as proofs that they were messengers of God. Our Lord also appealed to miracles as a conclusive proof of his divine mission (John 5:20, 36; 10:25, 38). Thus, being out of the common course of nature and beyond the power of man, they are fitted to convey the impression of the presence and power of God. Where miracles are there certainly God is. The man, therefore, who works a miracle affords thereby clear proof that he comes with the authority of God; they are his credentials that he is God's messenger. The teacher points to these credentials, and they are a proof that he speaks with the authority of God. He boldly says, "God bears me witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles." The credibility of miracles is established by the evidence of the senses on the part of those who are witnesses of them, and to all others by the testimony of such witnesses. The witnesses were competent, and their testimony is trustworthy. Unbelievers, following Hume, deny that any testimony can prove a miracle, because they say miracles are impossible. We have shown that miracles are possible, and surely they can be borne witness to. Surely they are credible when we have abundant and trustworthy evidence of their occurrence. They are credible just as any facts of history well authenticated are credible. Miracles, it is said, are contrary to experience. Of course they are contrary to our experience, but that does not prove that they were contrary to the experience of those who witnessed them. We believe a thousand facts, both of history and of science, that are contrary to our experience, but we believe them on the ground of competent testimony. An atheist or a pantheist must, as a matter of course, deny the possibility of miracles; but to one who believes in a personal God, who in his wisdom may see fit to interfere with the ordinary processes of nature, miracles are not impossible, nor are they incredible. (See LIST OF MIRACLES, Appendix.)
Miriam their rebellion.
(1.) The sister of Moses and Aaron (Ex. 2:4-10; 1 Chr. 6:3). Her name is prominent in the history of the Exodus. She is called "the prophetess" (Ex. 15:20). She took the lead in the song of triumph after the passage of the Red Sea. She died at Kadesh during the second encampment at that place, toward the close of the wanderings in the wilderness, and was buried there (Num. 20:1). (See AARON; MOSES.)
(2.) 1 Chr. 4:17, one of the descendants of Judah.
Misdeem (Deut. 32:27, R.V.). The Authorized Version reads, "should behave themselves strangely;" i.e., not recognize the truth, misunderstand or mistake the cause of Israel's ruin, which was due to the fact that God had forsaken them on account of their apostasy.
Misgab height, a town of Moab, or simply, the height=the citadel, some fortress so called; or perhaps a general name for the highlands of Moab, as some think (Jer. 48:1). In Isa. 25:12, the word is rendered "high fort."
Mishael who is like God!
(1.) A Levite; the eldest of the three sons of Uzziel (Ex. 6:22).
(2.) One of the three Hebrew youths who were trained with Daniel in Babylon (Dan. 1:11, 19), and promoted to the rank of Magi. He and his companions were afterwards cast into the burning fiery furnace for refusing to worship the idol the king had set up, from which they were miraculously delivered (3:13-30). His Chaldean name was Meshach (q.v.).
Mishal a city of the tribe of Asher (Josh. 21:30; 1 Chr. 6:74). It is probably the modern Misalli, on the shore near Carmel.
Misham their cleansing or their beholding, a Benjamite, one of the sons of Elpaal (1 Chr. 8:12).
Misheal (Josh. 19:26), a town of Asher, probably the same as Mishal.
(1.) One of the sons of Ishmael (Gen. 25:14), and founder of an Arab tribe.
(2.) A Simeonite (1 Chr. 4:25, 26).
Mishmannah fatness, one of the Gadite heroes who gathered to David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:10).
Misrephoth-maim burning of waters, supposed to be salt-pans, or lime-kilns, or glass-factories, a place to which Joshua pursued a party of Canaanites after the defeat of Jabin (Josh. 11:8). It is identified with the ruin Musheirifeh, at the promontory of en-Nakhurah, some 11 miles north of Acre.
Mite contraction of minute, from the Latin minutum, the translation of the Greek word lepton, the very smallest bronze of copper coin (Luke 12:59; 21:2). Two mites made one quadrans, i.e., the fourth part of a Roman as, which was in value nearly a halfpenny. (See FARTHING.)
Mithcah sweetness, one of the stations of the Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 33:28, 29).
Mithredath given by Mithra, or dedicated to Mithra, i.e.,
the sun, the Hebrew form of the Greek name Mithridates.
(1.) The "treasurer" of King Cyrus (Ezra 1:8).
(2.) Ezra 4:7, a Persian officer in Samaria.
Mitre (Heb. mitsnepheth), something rolled round the head; the turban or head-dress of the high priest (Ex. 28:4, 37, 39; 29:6, etc.). In the Authorized Version of Ezek. 21:26, this Hebrew word is rendered "diadem," but in the Revised Version, "mitre." It was a twisted band of fine linen, 8 yards in length, coiled into the form of a cap, and worn on official occasions (Lev. 8:9; 16:4; Zech. 3:5). On the front of it was a golden plate with the inscription, "Holiness to the Lord." The mitsnepheth differed from the mitre or head-dress (migba'ah) of the common priest. (See BONNET.)
Mitylene the chief city of the island of Lesbos, on its east coast, in the AEgean Sea. Paul, during his third missionary journey, touched at this place on his way from Corinth to Judea (Acts 20:14), and here tarried for a night. It lies between Assos and Chios. It is now under the Turkish rule, and bears the name of Metelin.
Mixed multitude (Ex. 12:38), a class who accompanied the Israelites as they journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, the first stage of the Exodus. These were probably miscellaneous hangers-on to the Hebrews, whether Egyptians of the lower orders, or the remains of the Hyksos (see EGYPT; MOSES), as some think. The same thing happened on the return of the Jews from Babylon (Neh. 13:3), a "mixed multitude" accompanied them so far.
Mizar smallness, a summit on the eastern ridge of Lebanon, near which David lay after escaping from Absalom (Ps. 42:6). It may, perhaps, be the present Jebel Ajlun, thus named, "the little", in contrast with the greater elevation of Lebanon and Hermon.
Mizpah or Miz'peh, watch-tower; the look-out.
(1.) A place in Gilead, so named by Laban, who overtook Jacob at this spot (Gen. 31:49) on his return to Palestine from Padan-aram. Here Jacob and Laban set up their memorial cairn of stones. It is the same as Ramath-mizpeh (Josh. 13:26).
(2.) A town in Gilead, where Jephthah resided, and where he assumed the command of the Israelites in a time of national danger. Here he made his rash vow; and here his daughter submitted to her mysterious fate (Judg. 10:17; 11:11, 34). It may be the same as Ramoth-Gilead (Josh. 20:8), but it is more likely that it is identical with the foregoing, the Mizpeh of Gen. 31:23, 25, 48, 49.
(3.) Another place in Gilead, at the foot of Mount Hermon, inhabited by Hivites (Josh. 11:3, 8). The name in Hebrew here has the article before it, "the Mizpeh," "the watch-tower." The modern village of Metullah, meaning also "the look-out," probably occupies the site so called.
(4.) A town of Moab to which David removed his parents for safety during his persecution by Saul (1 Sam. 22:3). This was probably the citadel known as Kir-Moab, now Kerak. While David resided here he was visited by the prophet Gad, here mentioned for the first time, who was probably sent by Samuel to bid him leave the land of Moab and betake himself to the land of Judah. He accordingly removed to the forest of Hareth (q.v.), on the edge of the mountain chain of Hebron.
(5.) A city of Benjamin, "the watch-tower", where the people were accustomed to meet in great national emergencies (Josh. 18:26; Judg. 20:1, 3; 21:1, 5; 1 Sam. 7:5-16). It has been supposed to be the same as Nob (1 Sam. 21:1; 22:9-19). It was some 4 miles north-west of Jerusalem, and was situated on the loftiest hill in the neighbourhood, some 600 feet above the plain of Gibeon. This village has the modern name of Neby Samwil, i.e., the prophet Samuel, from a tradition that Samuel's tomb is here. (See NOB.) Samuel inaugurated the reformation that characterized his time by convening a great assembly of all Israel at Mizpeh, now the politico-religious centre of the nation. There, in deep humiliation on account of their sins, they renewed their vows and entered again into covenant with the God of their fathers. It was a period of great religious awakening and of revived national life. The Philistines heard of this assembly, and came up against Israel. The Hebrews charged the Philistine host with great fury, and they were totally routed. Samuel commemorated this signal victory by erecting a memorial-stone, which he called "Ebenezer" (q.v.), saying, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us" (1 Sam. 7:7-12).
Mizpar number, one of the Jews who accompanied Zerubbabel from Babylon (Ezra 2:2); called also Mispereth (Neh. 7:7).
Mizraim the dual form of matzor, meaning a "mound" or "fortress," the name of a people descended from Ham (Gen. 10:6, 13; 1 Chr. 1:8, 11). It was the name generally given by the Hebrews to the land of Egypt (q.v.), and may denote the two Egypts, the Upper and the Lower. The modern Arabic name for Egypt is Muzr.
Mizzah despair, one of the four sons of Reuel, the son of Esau (Gen. 36:13, 17).
Mnason reminding, or remembrancer, a Christian of Jerusalem with whom Paul lodged (Acts 21:16). He was apparently a native of Cyprus, like Barnabas (11:19, 20), and was well known to the Christians of Caesarea (4:36). He was an "old disciple" (R.V., "early disciple"), i.e., he had become a Christian in the beginning of the formation of the Church in Jerusalem.
Moab the seed of the father, or, according to others, the
desirable land, the eldest son of Lot (Gen. 19:37), of incestuous
(2.) Used to denote the people of Moab (Num. 22:3-14; Judg. 3:30; 2 Sam. 8:2; Jer. 48:11, 13).
(3.) The land of Moab (Jer. 48:24), called also the "country of Moab" (Ruth 1:2, 6; 2:6), on the east of Jordan and the Dead Sea, and south of the Arnon (Num. 21:13, 26). In a wider sense it included the whole region that had been occupied by the Amorites. It bears the modern name of Kerak. In the Plains of Moab, opposite Jericho (Num. 22:1; 26:63; Josh. 13:32), the children of Israel had their last encampment before they entered the land of Canaan. It was at that time in the possession of the Amorites (Num. 21:22). "Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah," and "died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord" (Deut. 34:5, 6). "Surely if we had nothing else to interest us in the land of Moab, the fact that it was from the top of Pisgah, its noblest height, this mightiest of the prophets looked out with eye undimmed upon the Promised Land; that it was here on Nebo, its loftiest mountain, that he died his solitary death; that it was here, in the valley over against Beth-peor, he found his mysterious sepulchre, we have enough to enshrine the memory in our hearts."
Moabite the designation of a tribe descended from Moab, the son of Lot (Gen. 19:37). From Zoar, the cradle of this tribe, on the south-eastern border of the Dead Sea, they gradually spread over the region on the east of Jordan. Rameses II., the Pharaoh of the Oppression, enumerates Moab (Muab) among his conquests. Shortly before the Exodus, the warlike Amorites crossed the Jordan under Sihon their king and drove the Moabites (Num. 21:26-30) out of the region between the Arnon and the Jabbok, and occupied it, making Heshbon their capital. They were then confined to the territory to the south of the Arnon. On their journey the Israelites did not pass through Moab, but through the "wilderness" to the east (Deut. 2:8; Judg. 11:18), at length reaching the country to the north of the Arnon. Here they remained for some time till they had conquered Bashan (see SIHON; OG). The Moabites were alarmed, and their king, Balak, sought aid from the Midianites (Num. 22:2-4). It was while they were here that the visit of Balaam (q.v.) to Balak took place. (See MOSES.) After the Conquest, the Moabites maintained hostile relations with the Israelites, and frequently harassed them in war (Judg. 3:12-30; 1 Sam. 14). The story of Ruth, however, shows the existence of friendly relations between Moab and Bethlehem. By his descent from Ruth, David may be said to have had Moabite blood in his veins. Yet there was war between David and the Moabites (2 Sam. 8:2; 23:20; 1 Chr. 18:2), from whom he took great spoil (2 Sam. 8:2, 11, 12; 1 Chr. 11:22; 18:11). During the one hundred and fifty years which followed the defeat of the Moabites, after the death of Ahab (see MESHA), they regained, apparently, much of their former prosperty. At this time Isaiah (15:1) delivered his "burden of Moab," predicting the coming of judgment on that land (comp. 2 Kings 17:3; 18:9; 1 Chr. 5:25, 26). Between the time of Isaiah and the commencement of the Babylonian captivity we have very seldom any reference to Moab (Jer. 25:21; 27:3; 40:11; Zeph. 2:8-10). After the Return, it was Sanballat, a Moabite, who took chief part in seeking to prevent the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Neh. 2:19; 4:1; 6:1).
Moabite Stone a basalt stone, bearing an inscription by King Mesha, which was discovered at Dibon by Klein, a German missionary at Jerusalem, in 1868. It was 3 1/2 feet high and 2 in breadth and in thickness, rounded at the top. It consisted of thirty-four lines, written in Hebrew-Phoenician characters. It was set up by Mesha as a record and memorial of his victories. It records (1) Mesha's wars with Omri, (2) his public buildings, and (3) his wars against Horonaim. This inscription in a remarkable degree supplements and corroborates the history of King Mesha recorded in 2 Kings 3:4-27. With the exception of a very few variations, the Moabite language in which the inscription is written is identical with the Hebrew. The form of the letters here used supplies very important and interesting information regarding the history of the formation of the alphabet, as well as, incidentally, regarding the arts of civilized life of those times in the land of Moab. This ancient monument, recording the heroic struggles of King Mesha with Omri and Ahab, was erected about B.C. 900. Here "we have the identical slab on which the workmen of the old world carved the history of their own times, and from which the eye of their contemporaries read thousands of years ago the record of events of which they themselves had been the witnesses." It is the oldest inscription written in alphabetic characters, and hence is, apart from its value in the domain of Hebrew antiquities, of great linguistic importance.
Moladah birth, a city in the south of Judah which fell to Simeon (Josh. 15:21-26; 19:2). It has been identified with the modern el-Milh, 10 miles east of Beersheba.
Mole Heb. tinshameth (Lev. 11:30), probably signifies some species of lizard (rendered in R.V., "chameleon"). In Lev. 11:18, Deut. 14:16, it is rendered, in Authorized Version, "swan" (R.V., "horned owl"). The Heb. holed (Lev. 11:29), rendered "weasel," was probably the mole-rat. The true mole (Talpa Europoea) is not found in Palestine. The mole-rat (Spalax typhlus) "is twice the size of our mole, with no external eyes, and with only faint traces within of the rudimentary organ; no apparent ears, but, like the mole, with great internal organs of hearing; a strong, bare snout, and with large gnawing teeth; its colour a pale slate; its feet short, and provided with strong nails; its tail only rudimentary." In Isa. 2:20, this word is the rendering of two words _haphar peroth_, which are rendered by Gesenius "into the digging of rats", i.e., rats' holes. But these two Hebrew words ought probably to be combined into one (lahporperoth) and translated "to the moles", i.e., the rat-moles. This animal "lives in underground communities, making large subterranean chambers for its young and for storehouses, with many runs connected with them, and is decidedly partial to the loose debris among ruins and stone-heaps, where it can form its chambers with least trouble."
Moloch king, the name of the national god of the Ammonites, to whom children were sacrificed by fire. He was the consuming and destroying and also at the same time the purifying fire. In Amos 5:26, "your Moloch" of the Authorized Version is "your king" in the Revised Version (comp. Acts 7:43). Solomon (1 Kings 11:7) erected a high place for this idol on the Mount of Olives, and from that time till the days of Josiah his worship continued (2 Kings 23:10, 13). In the days of Jehoahaz it was partially restored, but after the Captivity wholly disappeared. He is also called Molech (Lev. 18:21; 20:2-5, etc.), Milcom (1 Kings 11:5, 33, etc.), and Malcham (Zeph. 1:5). This god became Chemosh among the Moabites.
Money Of uncoined money the first notice we have is in the history of Abraham (Gen. 13:2; 20:16; 24:35). Next, this word is used in connection with the purchase of the cave of Machpelah (23:16), and again in connection with Jacob's purchase of a field at Shalem (Gen. 33:18, 19) for "an hundred pieces of money"=an hundred Hebrew kesitahs (q.v.), i.e., probably pieces of money, as is supposed, bearing the figure of a lamb. The history of Joseph affords evidence of the constant use of money, silver of a fixed weight. This appears also in all the subsequent history of the Jewish people, in all their internal as well as foreign transactions. There were in common use in trade silver pieces of a definite weight, shekels, half-shekels, and quarter-shekels. But these were not properly coins, which are pieces of metal authoritatively issued, and bearing a stamp. Of the use of coined money we have no early notice among the Hebrews. The first mentioned is of Persian coinage, the daric (Ezra 2:69; Neh. 7:70) and the 'adarkon (Ezra 8:27). The daric (q.v.) was a gold piece current in Palestine in the time of Cyrus. As long as the Jews, after the Exile, lived under Persian rule, they used Persian coins. These gave place to Greek coins when Palestine came under the dominion of the Greeks (B.C. 331), the coins consisting of gold, silver, and copper pieces. The usual gold pieces were staters (q.v.), and the silver coins tetradrachms and drachms. In the year B.C. 140, Antiochus VII. gave permission to Simon the Maccabee to coin Jewish money. Shekels (q.v.) were then coined bearing the figure of the almond rod and the pot of manna.
Money-changer (Matt. 21:12; Mark 11:15; John 2:15). Every Israelite from twenty years and upwards had to pay (Ex. 30:13-15) into the sacred treasury half a shekel every year as an offering to Jehovah, and that in the exact Hebrew half-shekel piece. There was a class of men, who frequented the temple courts, who exchanged at a certain premium foreign moneys for these half-shekels to the Jews who came up to Jerusalem from all parts of the world. (See PASSOVER.) When our Lord drove the traffickers out of the temple, these money-changers fared worst. Their tables were overturned and they themselves were expelled.
Month. Among the Egyptians the month of thirty days each was in use long before the time of the Exodus, and formed the basis of their calculations. From the time of the institution of the Mosaic law the month among the Jews was lunar. The cycle of religious feasts depended on the moon. The commencement of a month was determined by the observation of the new moon. The number of months in the year was usually twelve (1 Kings 4:7; 1 Chr. 27:1-15); but every third year an additional month (ve-Adar) was inserted, so as to make the months coincide with the seasons. "The Hebrews and Phoenicians had no word for month save 'moon,' and only saved their calendar from becoming vague like that of the Moslems by the interpolation of an additional month. There is no evidence at all that they ever used a true solar year such as the Egyptians possessed. The latter had twelve months of thirty days and five epagomenac or odd days.", Palestine Quarterly, January 1889.
Moon heb. yareah, from its paleness (Ezra 6:15), and lebanah, the "white" (Cant. 6:10; Isa. 24:23), was appointed by the Creator to be with the sun "for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years" (Gen. 1:14-16). A lunation was among the Jews the period of a month, and several of their festivals were held on the day of the new moon. It is frequently referred to along with the sun (Josh. 10:12; Ps. 72:5, 7, 17; 89:36, 37; Eccl. 12:2; Isa. 24:23, etc.), and also by itself (Ps. 8:3; 121:6). The great brilliance of the moon in Eastern countries led to its being early an object of idolatrous worship (Deut. 4:19; 17:3; Job 31:26), a form of idolatry against which the Jews were warned (Deut. 4:19; 17:3). They, however, fell into this idolatry, and offered incense (2 Kings 23:5; Jer. 8:2), and also cakes of honey, to the moon (Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19, 25).
Mordecai the son of Jair, of the tribe of Benjamin. It has been alleged that he was carried into captivity with Jeconiah, and hence that he must have been at least one hundred and twenty-nine years old in the twelfth year of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). But the words of Esther do not necessarily lead to this conclusion. It was probably Kish of whom it is said (ver. 6) that he "had been carried away with the captivity." He resided at Susa, the metropolis of Persia. He adopted his cousin Hadassah (Esther), an orphan child, whom he tenderly brought up as his own daughter. When she was brought into the king's harem and made queen in the room of the deposed queen Vashti, he was promoted to some office in the court of Ahasuerus, and was one of those who "sat in the king's gate" (Esther 2:21). While holding this office, he discovered a plot of the eunuchs to put the king to death, which, by his vigilance, was defeated. His services to the king in this matter were duly recorded in the royal chronicles. Haman (q.v.) the Agagite had been raised to the highest position at court. Mordecai refused to bow down before him; and Haman, being stung to the quick by the conduct of Mordecai, resolved to accomplish his death in a wholesale destruction of the Jewish exiles throughout the Persian empire (Esther 3:8-15). Tidings of this cruel scheme soon reached the ears of Mordecai, who communicated with Queen Esther regarding it, and by her wise and bold intervention the scheme was frustrated. The Jews were delivered from destruction, Mordecai was raised to a high rank, and Haman was executed on the gallows he had by anticipation erected for Mordecai (6:2-7:10). In memory of the signal deliverance thus wrought for them, the Jews to this day celebrate the feast (9:26-32) of Purim (q.v.).
Moreh an archer, teacher; fruitful.
(1.) A Canaanite probably who inhabited the district south of Shechem, between Mounts Ebal and Gerizim, and gave his name to the "plain" there (Gen. 12:6). Here at this "plain," or rather (R.V.) "oak," of Moreh, Abraham built his first altar in the land of Palestine; and here the Lord appeared unto him. He afterwards left this plain and moved southward, and pitched his tent between Bethel on the west and Hai on the east (Gen. 12:7, 8).
Moreh, the Hill of probably identical with "little Hermon," the modern Jebel ed-Duhy, or perhaps one of the lower spurs of this mountain. It is a gray ridge parallel to Gilboa on the north; and between the two lay the battle-field, the plain of Jezreel (q.v.), where Gideon overthrew the Midianites (Judg. 7:1-12).
Moresheth-gath possession of the wine-press, the birthplace of the prophet Micah (1:14), who is called the "Morasthite" (Jer. 26:18). This place was probably a suburb of Gath.
Moriah the chosen of Jehovah. Some contend that Mount Gerizim is meant, but most probably we are to regard this as one of the hills of Jerusalem. Here Solomon's temple was built, on the spot that had been the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite (2 Sam. 24:24, 25; 2 Chr. 3:1). It is usually included in Zion, to the north-east of which it lay, and from which it was separated by the Tyropoean valley. This was "the land of Moriah" to which Abraham went to offer up his son Isaac (Gen. 22:2). It has been supposed that the highest point of the temple hill, which is now covered by the Mohammedan Kubbetes-Sakhrah, or "Dome of the Rock," is the actual site of Araunah's threshing-floor. Here also, one thousand years after Abraham, David built an altar and offered sacrifices to God. (See JERUSALEM; NUMBERING THE PEOPLE.)
Mortar (Heb. homer), cement of lime and sand (Gen. 11:3; Ex. 1:14); also potter's clay (Isa. 41:25; Nah. 3:14). Also Heb. 'aphar, usually rendered "dust," clay or mud used for cement in building (Lev. 14:42, 45). Mortar for pulverizing (Prov. 27:22) grain or other substances by means of a pestle instead of a mill. Mortars were used in the wilderness for pounding the manna (Num. 11:8). It is commonly used in Palestine at the present day to pound wheat, from which the Arabs make a favourite dish called kibby.
Mosera a bond, one of the stations of the Israelites in the wilderness (Deut. 10:6), at the foot of Mount Hor. (Comp. Num. 33:37, 38). It has been identified with el-Tayibeh, a small fountain at the bottom of the pass leading to the ascent of Mount Hor.
Moseroth bonds, one of the stations in the wilderness (Num. 33:30, 31), probably the same as Mosera.
Moses drawn (or Egypt. mesu, "son;" hence Rameses, royal son). On the invitation of Pharaoh (Gen. 45:17-25), Jacob and his sons went down into Egypt. This immigration took place probably about 350 years before the birth of Moses. Some centuries before Joseph, Egypt had been conquered by a pastoral Semitic race from Asia, the Hyksos, who brought into cruel subjection the native Egyptians, who were an African race. Jacob and his retinue were accustomed to a shepherd's life, and on their arrival in Egypt were received with favour by the king, who assigned them the "best of the land", the land of Goshen, to dwell in. The Hyksos or "shepherd" king who thus showed favour to Joseph and his family was in all probability the Pharaoh Apopi (or Apopis). Thus favoured, the Israelites began to "multiply exceedingly" (Gen. 47:27), and extended to the west and south. At length the supremacy of the Hyksos came to an end. The descendants of Jacob were allowed to retain their possession of Goshen undisturbed, but after the death of Joseph their position was not so favourable. The Egyptians began to despise them, and the period of their "affliction" (Gen. 15:13) commenced. They were sorely oppressed. They continued, however, to increase in numbers, and "the land was filled with them" (Ex. 1:7). The native Egyptians regarded them with suspicion, so that they felt all the hardship of a struggle for existence. In process of time "a king [probably Seti I.] arose who knew not Joseph" (Ex. 1:8). (See PHARAOH.) The circumstances of the country were such that this king thought it necessary to weaken his Israelite subjects by oppressing them, and by degrees reducing their number. They were accordingly made public slaves, and were employed in connection with his numerous buildings, especially in the erection of store-cities, temples, and palaces. The children of Israel were made to serve with rigour. Their lives were made bitter with hard bondage, and "all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour" (Ex. 1:13, 14). But this cruel oppression had not the result expected of reducing their number. On the contrary, "the more the Egyptians afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew" (Ex. 1:12). The king next tried, through a compact secretly made with the guild of midwives, to bring about the destruction of all the Hebrew male children that might be born. But the king's wish was not rigorously enforced; the male children were spared by the midwives, so that "the people multiplied" more than ever. Thus baffled, the king issued a public proclamation calling on the people to put to death all the Hebrew male children by casting them into the river (Ex. 1:22). But neither by this edict was the king's purpose effected. One of the Hebrew households into which this cruel edict of the king brought great alarm was that of Amram, of the family of the Kohathites (Ex. 6:16-20), who with his wife Jochebed and two children, Miriam, a girl of perhaps fifteen years of age, and Aaron, a boy of three years, resided in or near Memphis, the capital city of that time. In this quiet home a male child was born (B.C. 1571). His mother concealed him in the house for three months from the knowledge of the civic authorities. But when the task of concealment became difficult, Jochebed contrived to bring her child under the notice of the daughter of the king by constructing for him an ark of bulrushes, which she laid among the flags which grew on the edge of the river at the spot where the princess was wont to come down and bathe. Her plan was successful. The king's daughter "saw the child; and behold the child wept." The princess (see PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER, 1) sent Miriam, who was standing by, to fetch a nurse. She went and brought the mother of the child, to whom the princess said, "Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages." Thus Jochebed's child, whom the princess called "Moses", i.e., "Saved from the water" (Ex. 2:10), was ultimately restored to her. As soon as the natural time for weaning the child had come, he was transferred from the humble abode of his father to the royal palace, where he was brought up as the adopted son of the princess, his mother probably accompanying him and caring still for him. He grew up amid all the grandeur and excitement of the Egyptian court, maintaining, however, probably a constant fellowship with his mother, which was of the highest importance as to his religious belief and his interest in his "brethren." His education would doubtless be carefully attended to, and he would enjoy all the advantages of training both as to his body and his mind. He at length became "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians" (Acts 7:22). Egypt had then two chief seats of learning, or universities, at one of which, probably that of Heliopolis, his education was completed. Moses, being now about twenty years of age, spent over twenty more before he came into prominence in Bible history. These twenty years were probably spent in military service. There is a tradition recorded by Josephus that he took a lead in the war which was then waged between Egypt and Ethiopia, in which he gained renown as a skilful general, and became "mighty in deeds" (Acts 7:22). After the termination of the war in Ethiopia, Moses returned to the Egyptian court, where he might reasonably have expected to be loaded with honours and enriched with wealth. But "beneath the smooth current of his life hitherto, a life of alternate luxury at the court and comparative hardness in the camp and in the discharge of his military duties, there had lurked from childhood to youth, and from youth to manhood, a secret discontent, perhaps a secret ambition. Moses, amid all his Egyptian surroundings, had never forgotten, had never wished to forget, that he was a Hebrew." He now resolved to make himself acquainted with the condition of his countrymen, and "went out unto his brethren, and looked upon their burdens" (Ex. 2:11). This tour of inspection revealed to him the cruel oppression and bondage under which they everywhere groaned, and could not fail to press on him the serious consideration of his duty regarding them. The time had arrived for his making common cause with them, that he might thereby help to break their yoke of bondage. He made his choice accordingly (Heb. 11:25-27), assured that God would bless his resolution for the welfare of his people. He now left the palace of the king and took up his abode, probably in his father's house, as one of the Hebrew people who had for forty years been suffering cruel wrong at the hands of the Egyptians. He could not remain indifferent to the state of things around him, and going out one day among the people, his indignation was roused against an Egyptian who was maltreating a Hebrew. He rashly lifted up his hand and slew the Egyptian, and hid his body in the sand. Next day he went out again and found two Hebrews striving together. He speedily found that the deed of the previous day was known. It reached the ears of Pharaoh (the "great Rameses," Rameses II.), who "sought to slay Moses" (Ex. 2:15). Moved by fear, Moses fled from Egypt, and betook himself to the land of Midian, the southern part of the peninsula of Sinai, probably by much the same route as that by which, forty years afterwards, he led the Israelites to Sinai. He was providentially led to find a new home with the family of Reuel, where he remained for forty years (Acts 7:30), under training unconsciously for his great life's work. Suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the burning bush (Ex. 3), and commissioned him to go down to Egypt and "bring forth the children of Israel" out of bondage. He was at first unwilling to go, but at length he was obedient to the heavenly vision, and left the land of Midian (4:18-26). On the way he was met by Aaron (q.v.) and the elders of Israel (27-31). He and Aaron had a hard task before them; but the Lord was with them (ch. 7-12), and the ransomed host went forth in triumph. (See EXODUS.) After an eventful journey to and fro in the wilderness, we see them at length encamped in the plains of Moab, ready to cross over the Jordan into the Promised Land. There Moses addressed the assembled elders (Deut. 1:1-4; 5:1-26:19; 27:11-30:20), and gives the people his last counsels, and then rehearses the great song (Deut. 32), clothing in fitting words the deep emotions of his heart at such a time, and in review of such a marvellous history as that in which he had acted so conspicious a part. Then, after blessing the tribes (33), he ascends to "the mountain of Nebo (q.v.), to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho" (34:1), and from thence he surveys the land. "Jehovah shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, and the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar" (Deut. 34:2-3), the magnificient inheritance of the tribes of whom he had been so long the leader; and there he died, being one hundred and twenty years old, according to the word of the Lord, and was buried by the Lord "in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor" (34:6). The people mourned for him during thirty days. Thus died "Moses the man of God" (Deut. 33:1; Josh. 14:6). He was distinguished for his meekness and patience and firmness, and "he endured as seeing him who is invisible." "There arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel" (Deut. 34:10-12). The name of Moses occurs frequently in the Psalms and Prophets as the chief of the prophets. In the New Testament he is referred to as the representative of the law and as a type of Christ (John 1:17; 2 Cor. 3:13-18; Heb. 3:5, 6). Moses is the only character in the Old Testament to whom Christ likens himself (John 5:46; comp. Deut. 18:15, 18, 19; Acts 7:37). In Heb. 3:1-19 this likeness to Moses is set forth in various particulars. In Jude 1:9 mention is made of a contention between Michael and the devil about the body of Moses. This dispute is supposed to have had reference to the concealment of the body of Moses so as to prevent idolatry.
Mote (Gr. karphos, something dry, hence a particle of wood or chaff, etc.). A slight moral defect is likened to a mote (Matt. 7:3-5; Luke 6:41, 42).
Moth Heb. 'ash, from a root meaning "to fall away," as moth-eaten garments fall to pieces (Job 4:19; 13:28; Isa. 50:9; 51:8; Hos. 5:12). Gr. ses, thus rendered in Matt. 6:19, 20; Luke 12:33. Allusion is thus made to the destruction of clothing by the larvae of the clothes-moth. This is the only lepidopterous insect referred to in Scripture.
Mouldy Of the Gibeonites it is said that "all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy" (Josh. 9:5, 12). The Hebrew word here rendered "mouldy" (nikuddim) is rendered "cracknels" in 1 Kings 14:3, and denotes a kind of crisp cake. The meaning is that the bread of the Gibeonites had become dry and hard, hard as biscuits, and thus was an evidence of the length of the journey they had travelled.
Mount. Palestine is a hilly country (Deut. 3:25; 11:11; Ezek. 34:13). West of Jordan the mountains stretch from Lebanon far down into Galilee, terminating in Carmel. The isolated peak of Tabor rises from the elevated plain of Esdraelon, which, in the south, is shut in by hills spreading over the greater part of Samaria. The mountains of Western and Middle Palestine do not extend to the sea, but gently slope into plains, and toward the Jordan fall down into the Ghor. East of the Jordan the Anti-Lebanon, stretching south, terminates in the hilly district called Jebel Heish, which reaches down to the Sea of Gennesareth. South of the river Hieromax there is again a succession of hills, which are traversed by wadies running toward the Jordan. These gradually descend to a level at the river Arnon, which was the boundary of the ancient trans-Jordanic territory toward the south. The composition of the Palestinian hills is limestone, with occasional strata of chalk, and hence the numerous caves, some of large extent, found there.
Mount of beatitudes. See SERMON.
Mount of corruption (2 Kings 23:13; Vulg., "mount of offence"), the name given to a part of the Mount of Olives, so called because idol temples were there erected in the time of Solomon, temples to the Zidonian Ashtoreth and to the "abominations" of Moab and Ammon.
Mount of the Amalekites a place near Pirathon (q.v.), in the tribe of Ephraim (Judg. 12:15).
Mount of the Amorites the range of hills which rises abruptly in the wilderness of et-Tih ("the wandering"), mentioned Deut. 1:19, 20, "that great and terrible wilderness."
Mount of the congregation only in Isa. 14:13, a mythic mountain of the Babylonians, regarded by them as the seat of the gods. It was situated in the far north, and in Babylonian inscriptions is described as a mountain called Im-Kharasak, "the mighty mountain of Bel, whose head reaches heaven, whose root is the holy deep." In their geography they are said to have identified it with mount El-wend, near Ecbatana.
Mount of the valley (Josh. 13:19), a district in the east of Jordan, in the territory of Reuben. The "valley" here was probably the Ghor or valley of the Jordan, and hence the "mount" would be the hilly region in the north end of the Dead Sea. (See ZARETH-SHAHAR.)
Mourn. Frequent references are found in Scripture to,
(1.) Mourning for the dead. Abraham mourned for Sarah (Gen. 23:2); Jacob for Joseph (37:34, 35); the Egyptians for Jacob (50:3-10); Israel for Aaron (Num. 20:29), for Moses (Deut. 34:8), and for Samuel (1 Sam. 25:1); David for Abner (2 Sam. 3:31, 35); Mary and Martha for Lazarus (John 11); devout men for Stephen (Acts 8:2), etc.
(2.) For calamities, Job (1:20, 21; 2:8); Israel (Ex. 33:4); the Ninevites (Jonah 3:5); Israel, when defeated by Benjamin (Judg. 20:26), etc.
(3.) Penitential mourning, by the Israelites on the day of atonement (Lev. 23:27; Acts 27:9); under Samuel's ministry (1 Sam. 7:6); predicted in Zechariah (Zech. 12:10, 11); in many of the psalms (51, etc.). Mourning was expressed, (1) by weeping (Gen. 35:8, marg.; Luke 7:38, etc.); (2) by loud lamentation (Ruth 1:9; 1 Sam. 6:19; 2 Sam. 3:31); (3) by the disfigurement of the person, as rending the clothes (Gen. 37:29, 34; Matt. 26:65), wearing sackcloth (Gen. 37:34; Ps. 35:13), sprinkling dust or ashes on the person (2 Sam. 13:19; Jer. 6:26; Job 2:12), shaving the head and plucking out the hair of the head or beard (Lev. 10:6; Job 1:20), neglect of the person or the removal of ornaments (Ex. 33:4; Deut. 21:12, 13; 2 Sam. 14:2; 19:24; Matt. 6:16, 17), fasting (2 Sam. 1:12), covering the upper lip (Lev. 13:45; Micah 3:7), cutting the flesh (Jer. 16:6, 7), and sitting in silence (Judg. 20:26; 2 Sam. 12:16; 13:31; Job 1:20). In the later times we find a class of mourners who could be hired to give by their loud lamentation the external tokens of sorrow (2 Chr. 35:25; Jer. 9:17; Matt. 9:23). The period of mourning for the dead varied. For Jacob it was seventy days (Gen. 50:3); for Aaron (Num. 20:29) and Moses (Deut. 34:8) thirty days; and for Saul only seven days (1 Sam. 31:13). In 2 Sam. 3:31-35, we have a description of the great mourning for the death of Abner.
Mouse Heb. 'akhbar, "swift digger"), properly the dormouse, the field-mouse (1 Sam. 6:4). In Lev. 11:29, Isa. 66:17 this word is used generically, and includes the jerboa (Mus jaculus), rat, hamster (Cricetus), which, though declared to be unclean animals, were eaten by the Arabs, and are still eaten by the Bedouins. It is said that no fewer than twenty-three species of this group ('akhbar=Arab. ferah) of animals inhabit Palestine. God "laid waste" the people of Ashdod by the terrible visitation of field-mice, which are like locusts in their destructive effects (1 Sam. 6:4, 11, 18). Herodotus, the Greek historian, accounts for the destruction of the army of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:35) by saying that in the night thousands of mice invaded the camp and gnawed through the bow-strings, quivers, and shields, and thus left the Assyrians helpless. (See SENNACHERIB.)
Mowing (Heb. gez), rendered in Ps. 72:6 "mown grass." The expression "king's mowings" (Amos 7:1) refers to some royal right of early pasturage, the first crop of grass for the cavalry (comp. 1 Kings 18:5).
Moza a going forth.
(1.) One of the sons of Caleb (1 Chr. 2:46).
(2.) The son of Zimri, of the posterity of Saul (1 Chr. 8:36, 37; 9:42, 43).
Mozah an issuing of water, a city of Benjamin (Josh. 18:26).
Mufflers (Isa. 3:19), veils, light and tremulous. Margin, "spangled ornaments."
Mulberry Heb. bakah, "to weep;" rendered "Baca" (R.V., "weeping") in Ps. 84:6. The plural form of the Hebrew bekaim is rendered "mulberry trees" in 2 Sam. 5:23, 24 and 1 Chr. 14:14, 15. The tree here alluded to was probably the aspen or trembling poplar. "We know with certainty that the black poplar, the aspen, and the Lombardy poplar grew in Palestine. The aspen, whose long leaf-stalks cause the leaves to tremble with every breath of wind, unites with the willow and the oak to overshadow the watercourses of the Lebanon, and with the oleander and the acacia to adorn the ravines of Southern Palestine" (Kitto). By "the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees" we are to understand a rustling among the trees like the marching of an army. This was the signal that the Lord himself would lead forth David's army to victory. (See SYCAMINE.)
Mule (Heb. pered), so called from the quick step of the animal or its power of carrying loads. It is not probable that the Hebrews bred mules, as this was strictly forbidden in the law (Lev. 19:19), although their use was not forbidden. We find them in common use even by kings and nobles (2 Sam. 18:9; 1 Kings 1:33; 2 Kings 5:17; Ps. 32:9). They are not mentioned, however, till the time of David, for the word rendered "mules" (R.V. correctly, "hot springs") in Gen. 36:24 (yemim) properly denotes the warm springs of Callirhoe, on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. In David's reign they became very common (2 Sam. 13:29; 1 Kings 10:25). Mules are not mentioned in the New Testament. Perhaps they had by that time ceased to be used in Palestine.
Murder Wilful murder was distinguished from accidental homicide, and was invariably visited with capital punishment (Num. 35:16, 18, 21, 31; Lev. 24:17). This law in its principle is founded on the fact of man's having been made in the likeness of God (Gen. 9:5, 6; John 8:44; 1 John 3:12, 15). The Mosiac law prohibited any compensation for murder or the reprieve of the murderer (Ex. 21:12, 14; Deut. 19:11, 13; 2 Sam. 17:25; 20:10). Two witnesses were required in any capital case (Num. 35:19-30; Deut. 17:6-12). If the murderer could not be discovered, the city nearest the scene of the murder was required to make expiation for the crime committed (Deut. 21:1-9). These offences also were to be punished with death, (1) striking a parent; (2) cursing a parent; (3) kidnapping (Ex. 21:15-17; Deut. 27:16).
Murmuring of the Hebrews in the wilderness, called forth the displeasure of God, which was only averted by the earnest prayer of Moses (Num. 11:33, 34; 12; 14:27, 30, 31; 16:3; 21:4-6; Ps. 106:25). Forbidden by Paul (1 Cor. 10:10).
Murrain Heb. deber, "destruction," a "great mortality", the fifth plague that fell upon the Egyptians (Ex. 9:3). It was some distemper that resulted in the sudden and widespread death of the cattle. It was confined to the cattle of the Egyptians that were in the field (9:6).
Mushi receding, the second of the two sons of Merari (Ex. 6:19; Num. 3:20). His sons were called Mushites (Num. 3:33; 26:58).
Music. Jubal was the inventor of musical instruments (Gen. 4:21). The Hebrews were much given to the cultivation of music. Their whole history and literature afford abundant evidence of this. After the Deluge, the first mention of music is in the account of Laban's interview with Jacob (Gen. 31:27). After their triumphal passage of the Red Sea, Moses and the children of Israel sang their song of deliverance (Ex. 15). But the period of Samuel, David, and Solomon was the golden age of Hebrew music, as it was of Hebrew poetry. Music was now for the first time systematically cultivated. It was an essential part of training in the schools of the prophets (1 Sam. 10:5; 19:19-24; 2 Kings 3:15; 1 Chr. 25:6). There now arose also a class of professional singers (2 Sam. 19:35; Eccl. 2:8). The temple, however, was the great school of music. In the conducting of its services large bands of trained singers and players on instruments were constantly employed (2 Sam. 6:5; 1 Chr. 15; 16; 23;5; 25:1-6). In private life also music seems to have held an important place among the Hebrews (Eccl. 2:8; Amos 6:4-6; Isa. 5:11, 12; 24:8, 9; Ps. 137; Jer. 48:33; Luke 15:25).
Musician, Chief. (Heb. menatstseah), the precentor of the Levitical choir or orchestra in the temple, mentioned in the titles of fifty-five psalms, and in Hab. 3:19, Revised Version. The first who held this office was Jeduthun (1 Chr. 16:41), and the office appears to have been hereditary. Heman and Asaph were his two colleagues (2 Chr. 35:15).
Music, Instrumental. Among instruments of music used by the
Hebrews a principal place is given to stringed instruments. These
(1.) The kinnor, the "harp."
(2.) The nebel, "a skin bottle," rendered "psaltery."
(3.) The sabbeka, or "sackbut," a lute or lyre.
(4.) The gittith, occurring in the title of Ps. 8; 8; 84.
(5.) Minnim (Ps. 150:4), rendered "stringed instruments;" in Ps. 45:8, in the form _minni_, probably the apocopated (i.e., shortened) plural, rendered, Authorized Version, "whereby," and in the Revised Version "stringed instruments."
(6.) Machalath, in the titles of Ps. 53 and 88; supposed to be a kind of lute or guitar. Of wind instruments mention is made of,
(1.) The 'ugab (Gen. 4:21; Job 21:12; 30:31), probably the so-called Pan's pipes or syrinx.
(2.) The qeren or "horn" (Josh. 6:5; 1 Chr. 25:5).
(3.) The shophar, rendered "trumpet" (Josh. 6:4, 6, 8). The word means "bright," and may have been so called from the clear, shrill sound it emitted. It was often used (Ex. 19:13; Num. 10:10; Judg. 7:16, 18; 1 Sam. 13:3).
(4.) The hatsotserah, or straight trumpet (Ps. 98:6; Num. 10:1-10). This name is supposed by some to be an onomatopoetic word, intended to imitate the pulse-like sound of the trumpet, like the Latin taratantara. Some have identified it with the modern trombone.
(5.) The halil, i.e, "bored through," a flute or pipe (1 Sam. 10:5; 1 Kings 1:40; Isa. 5:12; Jer. 48:36) which is still used in Palestine.
(6.) The sumponyah, rendered "dulcimer" (Dan. 3:5), probably a sort of bagpipe.
(7.) The maskrokith'a (Dan. 3:5), rendered "flute," but its precise nature is unknown. Of instruments of percussion mention is made of,
(1.) The toph, an instrument of the drum kind, rendered "timbrel" (Ex. 15:20; Job 21:12; Ps. 68:25); also "tabret" (Gen. 31:27; Isa. 24:8; 1 Sam. 10:5).
(2.) The paamon, the "bells" on the robe of the high priest (Ex. 28:33; 39:25).
(3.) The tseltselim, "cymbals" (2 Sam. 6:5; Ps. 150:5), which are struck together and produce a loud, clanging sound. Metsilloth, "bells" on horses and camels for ornament, and metsiltayim, "cymbals" (1 Chr. 13:8; Ezra 3:10, etc.). These words are all derived from the same root, tsalal, meaning "to tinkle."
(4.) The menaan'im, used only in 2 Sam. 6:5, rendered "cornets" (R.V., "castanets"); in the Vulgate, "sistra," an instrument of agitation.
(5.) The shalishim, mentioned only in 1 Sam. 18:6, rendered "instruments of music" (marg. of R.V., "triangles or three-stringed instruments"). The words in Eccl. 2:8, "musical instruments, and that of all sorts," Authorized Version, are in the Revised Version "concubines very many."
Mustard a plant of the genus sinapis, a pod-bearing, shrub-like plant, growing wild, and also cultivated in gardens. The little round seeds were an emblem of any small insignificant object. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament; and in each of the three instances of its occurrence in the New Testament (Matt. 13:31, 32; Mark 4:31, 32; Luke 13:18, 19) it is spoken of only with reference to the smallness of its seed. The common mustard of Palestine is the Sinapis nigra. This garden herb sometimes grows to a considerable height, so as to be spoken of as "a tree" as compared with garden herbs.
Muth-labben occurring only in the title of Psalm 9. Some interpret the words as meaning "on the death of Labben," some unknown person. Others render the word, "on the death of the son;" i.e., of Absalom (2 Sam. 18:33). Others again have taken the word as the name of a musical instrument, or as the name of an air to which the psalm was sung.
Muzzle. Grain in the East is usually thrashed by the sheaves being spread out on a floor, over which oxen and cattle are driven to and fro, till the grain is trodden out. Moses ordained that the ox was not to be muzzled while thrashing. It was to be allowed to eat both the grain and the straw (Deut. 25:4). (See AGRICULTURE.)
Myra one of the chief towns of Lycia, in Asia Minor, about 2 1/2 miles from the coast (Acts 27:5). Here Paul removed from the Adramyttian ship in which he had sailed from Caesarea, and entered into the Alexandrian ship, which was afterwards wrecked at Melita (27:39-44).
Myrrh Heb. mor.
(1.) First mentioned as a principal ingredient in the holy anointing oil (Ex. 30:23). It formed part of the gifts brought by the wise men from the east, who came to worship the infant Jesus (Matt. 2:11). It was used in embalming (John 19:39), also as a perfume (Esther 2:12; Ps. 45:8; Prov. 7:17). It was a custom of the Jews to give those who were condemned to death by crucifixion "wine mingled with myrrh" to produce insensibility. This drugged wine was probably partaken of by the two malefactors, but when the Roman soldiers pressed it upon Jesus "he received it not" (Mark 15:23). (See GALL.) This was the gum or viscid white liquid which flows from a tree resembling the acacia, found in Africa and Arabia, the Balsamodendron myrrha of botanists. The "bundle of myrrh" in Cant. 1:13 is rather a "bag" of myrrh or a scent-bag.
(2.) Another word _lot_ is also translated "myrrh" (Gen. 37:25; 43:11; R.V., marg., "or ladanum"). What was meant by this word is uncertain. It has been thought to be the chestnut, mastich, stacte, balsam, turpentine, pistachio nut, or the lotus. It is probably correctly rendered by the Latin word ladanum, the Arabic ladan, an aromatic juice of a shrub called the Cistus or rock rose, which has the same qualities, though in a slight degree, of opium, whence a decoction of opium is called laudanum. This plant was indigenous to Syria and Arabia.
Myrtle (Isa. 41:19; Neh. 8:15; Zech. 1:8), Hebrew hadas, known in the East by the name _as_, the Myrtus communis of the botanist. "Although no myrtles are now found on the mount (of Olives), excepting in the gardens, yet they still exist in many of the glens about Jerusalem, where we have often seen its dark shining leaves and white flowers. There are many near Bethlehem and about Hebron, especially near Dewir Dan, the ancient Debir. It also sheds its fragrance on the sides of Carmel and of Tabor, and fringes the clefts of the Leontes in its course through Galilee. We meet with it all through Central Palestine" (Tristram).
Mysia a province in the north-west of Asia Minor. On his first voyage to Europe (Acts 16:7, 8) Paul passed through this province and embarked at its chief port Troas.
Mystery the calling of the Gentiles into the Christian Church, so designated (Eph. 1:9, 10; 3:8-11; Col. 1:25-27); a truth undiscoverable except by revelation, long hid, now made manifest. The resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15:51), and other doctrines which need to be explained but which cannot be fully understood by finite intelligence (Matt. 13:11; Rom. 11:25; 1 Cor. 13:2); the union between Christ and his people symbolized by the marriage union (Eph. 5:31, 32; comp. 6:19); the seven stars and the seven candlesticks (Rev. 1:20); and the woman clothed in scarlet (17:7), are also in this sense mysteries. The anti-Christian power working in his day is called by the apostle (2 Thess. 2:7) the "mystery of iniquity."
Naam pleasantness, one of the three sons of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh (1 Chr. 4:15).
Naamah the beautiful.
(1.) The daughter of Lamech and Zillah (Gen. 4: 22).
(2.) The daughter of the king of Ammon, one of the wives of Solomon, the only one who appears to have borne him a son, viz., Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:21, 31).
(3.) A city in the plain of Judah (Josh. 15:41), supposed by some to be identified with Na'aneh, some 5 miles south-east of Makkedah.
Naaman pleasantness, a Syrian, the commander of the armies of Benhadad II. in the time of Joram, king of Israel. He was afflicted with leprosy; and when the little Hebrew slave-girl that waited on his wife told her of a prophet in Samaria who could cure her master, he obtained a letter from Benhadad and proceeded with it to Joram. The king of Israel suspected in this some evil design against him, and rent his clothes. Elisha the prophet hearing of this, sent for Naaman, and the strange interview which took place is recorded in 2 Kings 5. The narrative contains all that is known of the Syrian commander. He was cured of his leprosy by dipping himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of Elisha. His cure is alluded to by our Lord (Luke 4:27).
Naamathite the designation of Zophar, one of Job's three friends (Job 2:11; 11:1), so called from some place in Arabia, called Naamah probably.
Naarah a girl, the second of Ashur's two wives, of the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 4:5, 6).
Naarai youthful, a military chief in David's army (1 Chr. 11:37), called also Paarai (2 Sam. 23:35).
Naaran boyish, juvenile, a town in Ephraim between Bethel and Jericho (1 Chr. 7:28).
Naarath girl, a town on the boundary between Ephraim and Benjamin (Josh. 16:7), not far probably from Jericho, to the north (1 Chr. 7:28).
Nabal foolish, a descendant of Caleb who dwelt at Maon (1 Sam. 25), the modern Main, 7 miles south-east of Hebron. He was "very great, and he had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats...but the man was churlish and evil in his doings." During his wanderings David came into that district, and hearing that Nabal was about to shear his sheep, he sent ten of his young men to ask "whatsoever cometh unto thy hand for thy servants." Nabal insultingly resented the demand, saying, "Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse?" (1 Sam. 25:10, 11). One of the shepherds that stood by and saw the reception David's messengers had met with, informed Abigail, Nabal's wife, who at once realized the danger that threatened her household. She forthwith proceeded to the camp of David, bringing with her ample stores of provisions (25:18). She so courteously and persuasively pled her cause that David's anger was appeased, and he said to her, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel which sent thee this day to meet me." On her return she found her husband incapable from drunkenness of understanding the state of matters, and not till the following day did she explain to him what had happened. He was stunned by a sense of the danger to which his conduct had exposed him. "His heart died within him, and he became as a stone." and about ten days after "the Lord smote Nabal that he died" (1 Sam. 25:37, 38). Not long after David married Abigail (q.v.).
Naboth fruits, "the Jezreelite," was the owner of a portion of ground on the eastern slope of the hill of Jezreel (2 Kings 9:25, 26). This small "plat of ground" seems to have been all he possessed. It was a vineyard, and lay "hard by the palace of Ahab" (1 Kings 21:1, 2), who greatly coveted it. Naboth, however, refused on any terms to part with it to the king. He had inherited it from his fathers, and no Israelite could lawfully sell his property (Lev. 25:23). Jezebel, Ahab's wife, was grievously offended at Naboth's refusal to part with his vineyard. By a crafty and cruel plot she compassed his death. His sons also shared his fate (2 Kings 9:26; 1 Kings 21:19). She then came to Ahab and said, "Arise, take possession of the vineyard; for Naboth is not alive, but dead." Ahab arose and went forth into the garden which had so treacherously and cruelly been acquired, seemingly enjoying his new possession, when, lo, Elijah suddenly appeared before him and pronounced against him a fearful doom (1 Kings 21:17-24). Jehu and Bidcar were with Ahab at this time, and so deeply were the words of Elijah imprinted on Jehu's memory that many years afterwards he refers to them (2 Kings 9:26), and he was the chief instrument in inflicting this sentence on Ahab and Jezebel and all their house (9:30-37). The house of Ahab was extinguished by him. Not one of all his great men and his kinsfolk and his priests did Jehu spare (10:11). Ahab humbled himself at Elijah's words (1 Kings 21:28, 29), and therefore the prophecy was fulfilled not in his fate but in that of his son Joram (2 Kings 9:25). The history of Naboth, compared with that of Ahab and Jezebel, furnishes a remarkable illustration of the law of a retributive providence, a law which runs through all history (comp. Ps. 109:17, 18).
Nachon prepared, the owner of a thrashing-floor near which Uzzah was slain (2 Sam. 6:6); called also Chidon (1 Chr. 13:9).
Nadab liberal, generous.
(1.) The eldest of Aaron's four sons (Ex. 6:23; Num. 3:2). He with his brothers and their father were consecrated as priests of Jehovah (Ex. 28:1). He afterwards perished with Abihu for the sin of offering strange fire on the altar of burnt-offering (Lev. 10:1,2; Num. 3:4; 26:60).
(2.) The son and successor of Jeroboam, the king of Israel (1 Kings 14:20). While engaged with all Israel in laying siege to Gibbethon, a town of southern Dan (Josh. 19:44), a conspiracy broke out in his army, and he was slain by Baasha (1 Kings 15:25-28), after a reign of two years (B.C. 955-953). The assassination of Nadab was followed by that of his whole house, and thus this great Ephraimite family became extinct (1 Kings 15:29).
(3.) One of the sons of Shammai in the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 2:28, 30).
Nagge illuminating, one of the ancestors of Christ in the maternal line (Luke 3:25).
Nahaliel possession, or valley of God, one of the encampments of the Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 21:19), on the confines of Moab. This is identified with the ravine of the Zerka M'ain, the ancient Callirhoe, the hot springs on the east of the Jordan, not far from the Dead Sea.
Nahallal pasture, a city in Zebulun on the border of Issachar (Josh. 19:15), the same as Nahalol (Judg. 1:30). It was given to the Levites. It has been by some identified with Malul in the plain of Esdraelon, 4 miles from Nazareth.
Naharai snorer, a Berothite, one of David's heroes, and armour-bearer of Joab (1 Chr. 11:39).
(1.) King of the Ammonites in the time of Saul. The inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead having been exposed to great danger from Nahash, sent messengers to Gibeah to inform Saul of their extremity. He promptly responded to the call, and gathering together an army he marched against Nahash. "And it came to pass that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them [the Ammonites] were not left together" (1 Sam. 11:1-11).
(2.) Another king of the Ammonites of the same name is mentioned, who showed kindness to David during his wanderings (2 Sam. 10:2). On his death David sent an embassy of sympathy to Hanun, his son and successor, at Rabbah Ammon, his capital. The grievous insult which was put upon these ambassadors led to a war against the Ammonites, who, with their allies the Syrians, were completely routed in a battle fought at "the entering in of the gate," probably of Medeba (2 Sam. 10:6-14). Again Hadarezer rallied the Syrian host, which was totally destroyed by the Israelite army under Joab in a decisive battle fought at Helam (2 Sam. 10:17), near to Hamath (1 Chr. 18:3). "So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more" (2 Sam. 10:19).
(3.) The father of Amasa, who was commander-in-chief of Abasolom's army (2 Sam. 17:25). Jesse's wife had apparently been first married to this man, to whom she bore Abigail and Zeruiah, who were thus David's sisters, but only on the mother's side (1 Chr. 2:16).
(1.) One of the four sons of Reuel, the son of Esau (Gen. 36:13, 17).
(2.) A Kohathite Levite (1 Chr. 6:26).
(3.) A Levite, one of the overseers of the sacred offerings of the temple (2 Chr. 31:13).
Nahbi hidden, one of the twelve spies sent out to explore the land of Canaan (Num. 13:14).
(1.) The father of Terah, who was the father of Abraham (Gen. 11:22-25; Luke 3:34).
(2.) A son of Terah, and elder brother of Abraham (Gen. 11:26, 27; Josh. 24:2, R.V.). He married Milcah, the daughter of his brother Haran, and remained in the land of his nativity on the east of the river Euphrates at Haran (Gen. 11:27-32). A correspondence was maintained between the family of Abraham in Canaan and the relatives in the old ancestral home at Haran till the time of Jacob. When Jacob fled from Haran all intercourse between the two branches of the family came to an end (Gen. 31:55). His grand-daughter Rebekah became Isaac's wife (24:67).
Nahshon sorcerer, the son of Aminadab, and prince of the children of Judah at the time of the first numbering of the tribes in the wilderness (Ex. 6:23). His sister Elisheba was the wife of Aaron. He died in the wilderness (Num. 26:64, 65). His name occurs in the Greek form Naasson in the genealogy of Christ (Matt, 1:4; Luke 3:32).
Nahum consolation, the seventh of the so-called minor prophets, an Elkoshite. All we know of him is recorded in the book of his prophecies. He was probably a native of Galilee, and after the deportation of the ten tribes took up his residence in Jerusalem. Others think that Elkosh was the name of a place on the east bank of the Tigris, and that Nahum dwelt there.
Nahum, Book of. Nahum prophesied, according to some, in the beginning of the reign of Ahaz (B.C. 743). Others, however, think that his prophecies are to be referred to the latter half of the reign of Hezekiah (about B.C. 709). This is the more probable opinion, internal evidences leading to that conclusion. Probably the book was written in Jerusalem (soon after B.C. 709), where he witnessed the invasion of Sennacherib and the destruction of his host (2 Kings 19:35). The subject of this prophecy is the approaching complete and final destruction of Nineveh, the capital of the great and at that time flourishing Assyrian empire. Assur-bani-pal was at the height of his glory. Nineveh was a city of vast extent, and was then the centre of the civilzation and commerce of the world, a "bloody city all full of lies and robbery" (Nah. 3:1), for it had robbed and plundered all the neighbouring nations. It was strongly fortified on every side, bidding defiance to every enemy; yet it was to be utterly destroyed as a punishment for the great wickedness of its inhabitants. Jonah had already uttered his message of warning, and Nahum was followed by Zephaniah, who also predicted (Zeph. 2:4-15) the destruction of the city, predictions which were remarkably fulfilled (B.C. 625) when Nineveh was destroyed apparently by fire, and the Assyrian empire came to an end, an event which changed the face of Asia. (See NINEVEH.)
Nail for fastening.
(1.) Hebrew yathed, "piercing," a peg or nail of any material (Ezek. 15:3), more especially a tent-peg (Ex. 27:19; 35:18; 38:20), with one of which Jael (q.v.) pierced the temples of Sisera (Judg. 4:21, 22). This word is also used metaphorically (Zech. 10:4) for a prince or counsellor, just as "the battle-bow" represents a warrior.
(2.) Masmer, a "point," the usual word for a nail. The words of the wise are compared to "nails fastened by the masters of assemblies" (Eccl. 12:11, A.V.). The Revised Version reads, "as nails well fastened are the words of the masters," etc. Others (as Plumptre) read, "as nails fastened are the masters of assemblies" (comp. Isa. 22:23; Ezra 9:8). David prepared nails for the temple (1 Chr. 22:3; 2 Chr. 3:9). The nails by which our Lord was fixed to the cross are mentioned (John 20:25; Col. 2:14). Nail of the finger (Heb. tsipporen, "scraping"). To "pare the nails" is in Deut. 21:12 (marg., "make," or "dress," or "suffer to grow") one of the signs of purification, separation from former heathenism (comp. Lev. 14:8; Num. 8:7). In Jer. 17:1 this word is rendered "point."
Nain (from Heb. nain, "green pastures," "lovely"), the name of a town near the gate of which Jesus raised to life a widow's son (Luke 7:11-17). It is identified with the village called Nein, standing on the north-western slope of Jebel ed-Duhy (= the "hill Moreh" = "Little hermon"), about 4 miles from Tabor and 25 southwest of Capernaum. At the foot of the slope on which it stands is the great plain of Esdraelon. This was the first miracle of raising the dead our Lord had wrought, and it excited great awe and astonishment among the people.
Naioth dwellings, the name given to the prophetical college established by Samuel near Ramah. It consisted of a cluster of separate dwellings, and hence its name. David took refuge here when he fled from Saul (1 Sam. 19:18, 19, 22, 23), and here he passed a few weeks in peace (comp. Ps. 11). It was probably the common residence of the "sons of the prophets."
Naked This word denotes (1) absolute nakedness (Gen. 2:25; Job 1:21; Eccl. 5:15; Micah 1:8; Amos 2:16); (2) being poorly clad (Isa. 58:7; James 2:15). It denotes also (3) the state of one who has laid aside his loose outer garment (Lat. nudus), and appears clothed only in a long tunic or under robe worn next the skin (1 Sam. 19:24; Isa. 47:3; comp. Mark 14:52; John 21:7). It is used figuratively, meaning "being discovered" or "made manifest" (Job 26:6; Heb. 4:13). In Ex. 32:25 the expression "the people were naked" (A.V.) is more correctly rendered in the Revised Version "the people were broken loose", i.e., had fallen into a state of lawlessness and insubordination. In 2 Chr. 28:19 the words "he made Judah naked" (A.V.), but Revised Version "he had dealt wantonly in Judah," mean "he had permitted Judah to break loose from all the restraints of religion."
Naomi the lovable; my delight, the wife of Elimelech, and mother of Mahlon and Chilion, and mother-in-law of Ruth (1:2, 20, 21; 2:1). Elimelech and his wife left the district of Bethlehem-Judah, and found a new home in the uplands of Moab. In course of time he died, as also his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, who had married women of Moab, and three widows were left mourning the loss of their husbands. Naomi longs to return now to her own land, to Bethlehem. One of her widowed daughters-in-law, Ruth, accompanies her, and is at length married to Boaz (q.v.).
Naphish refresher, one of the sons of Ishmael (Gen. 25:15; 1 Chr. 1:31). He was the father of an Arab tribe.
Naphtali my wrestling, the fifth son of Jacob. His mother was Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid (Gen. 30:8). When Jacob went down into Egypt, Naphtali had four sons (Gen. 46:24). Little is known of him as an individual.
Naphtali, Mount the mountainous district of Naphtali (Josh. 20:7).
Naphtali, Tribe of. On this tribe Jacob pronounced the patriarchal blessing, "Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words" (Gen. 49:21). It was intended thus to set forth under poetic imagery the future character and history of the tribe. At the time of the Exodus this tribe numbered 53,400 adult males (Num. 1:43), but at the close of the wanderings they numbered only 45,400 (26:48-50). Along with Dan and Asher they formed "the camp of Dan," under a common standard (2:25-31), occupying a place during the march on the north side of the tabernacle. The possession assigned to this tribe is set forth in Josh. 19:32-39. It lay in the north-eastern corner of the land, bounded on the east by the Jordan and the lakes of Merom and Galilee, and on the north it extended far into Coele-Syria, the valley between the two Lebanon ranges. It comprehended a greater variety of rich and beautiful scenery and of soil and climate than fell to the lot of any other tribe. The territory of Naphtali extended to about 800 square miles, being the double of that of Issachar. The region around Kedesh, one of its towns, was originally called Galil, a name afterwards given to the whole northern division of Canaan. A large number of foreigners settled here among the mountains, and hence it was called "Galilee of the Gentiles" (q.v.), Matt. 4:15, 16. The southern portion of Naphtali has been called the "Garden of Palestine." It was of unrivalled fertility. It was the principal scene of our Lord's public ministry. Here most of his parables were spoken and his miracles wrought. This tribe was the first to suffer from the invasion of Benhadad, king of Syria, in the reigns of Baasha, king of Israel, and Asa, king of Judah (1 Kings 15:20; 2 Chr. 16:4). In the reign of Pekah, king of Israel, the Assyrians under Tiglath-pileser swept over the whole north of Israel, and carried the people into captivity (2 Kings 15:29). Thus the kingdom of Israel came to an end (B.C. 722). Naphtali is now almost wholly a desert, the towns of Tiberias, on the shore of the Lake of Galilee, and Safed being the only places in it of any importance.
Naphtuhim a Hamitic tribe descended from Mizraim (Gen. 10:13). Others identify this word with Napata, the name of the city and territory on the southern frontier of Mizraim, the modern Meroe, at the great bend of the Nile at Soudan. This city was the royal residence, it is said, of Queen Candace (Acts 8:27). Here there are extensive and splendid ruins.
Napkin (Gr. soudarion, John 11:44; 20:7; Lat. sudarium, a "sweat-cloth"), a cloth for wiping the sweat from the face. But the word is used of a wrapper to fold money in (Luke 19:20), and as an article of dress, a "handkerchief" worn on the head (Acts 19:12).
Narcissus daffodil, a Roman whom Paul salutes (Rom. 16:11). He is supposed to have been the private secretary of the emperor Claudius. This is, however, quite uncertain.
(1.) A prophet in the reigns of David and Solomon (2 Chr. 9:29). He is first spoken of in connection with the arrangements David made for the building of the temple (2 Sam. 7:2, 3, 17), and next appears as the reprover of David on account of his sin with Bathsheba (12:1-14). He was charged with the education of Solomon (12:25), at whose inauguration to the throne he took a prominent part (1 Kings 1:8, 10, 11, 22-45). His two sons, Zabad (1 Chr. 2:36) and Azariah (1 Kings 4:5) occupied places of honour at the king's court. He last appears in assisting David in reorganizing the public worship (2 Chr. 29:25). He seems to have written a life of David, and also a life of Solomon (1 Chr. 29:29; 2 Chr. 9:29).
(2.) A son of David, by Bathsheba (2 Sam. 5:14), whose name appears in the genealogy of Mary, the mother of our Lord (Luke 3:31).
(3.) Ezra 8:16.
Nathanael given or gift of God, one of our Lord's disciples, "of Cana in Galilee" (John 21:2). He was "an Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile" (1:47, 48). His name occurs only in the Gospel of John, who in his list of the disciples never mentions Bartholomew, with whom he has consequently been identified. He was one of those to whom the Lord showed himself alive after his resurrection, at the Sea of Tiberias.
Nativity of Christ. The birth of our Lord took place at the time and place predicted by the prophets (Gen. 49:10; Isa. 7:14; Jer. 31:15; Micah 5:2; Hag. 2:6-9; Dan. 9:24, 25). Joseph and Mary were providentially led to go up to Bethlehem at this period, and there Christ was born (Matt. 2:1, 6; Luke 2:1, 7). The exact year or month or day of his birth cannot, however, now be exactly ascertained. We know, however, that it took place in the "fulness of the time" (Gal. 4:4), i.e., at the fittest time in the world's history. Chronologists are now generally agreed that the year 4 before the Christian era was the year of Christ's nativity, and consequently that he was about four years old in the year 1 A.D.
Naughty figs (Jer. 24:2). "The bad figs may have been such either from having decayed, and thus been reduced to a rotten condition, or as being the fruit of the sycamore, which contains a bitter juice" (Tristram, Nat. Hist.). The inferiority of the fruit is here referred to as an emblem of the rejected Zedekiah and his people.
Nazarene. This epithet (Gr. Nazaraios) is applied to Christ only once (Matt. 2:23). In all other cases the word is rendered "of Nazareth" (Mark 1:24; 10:47; 14:67, etc.). When this Greek designation was at first applied to our Lord, it was meant simply to denote the place of his residence. In course of time the word became a term of reproach. Thus the word "Nazarene" carries with it an allusion to those prophecies which speak of Christ as "despised of men" (Isa. 53:3). Some, however, think that in this name there is an allusion to the Hebrew _netser_, which signifies a branch or sprout. It is so applied to the Messiah (Isa. 11:1), i.e., he whom the prophets called the _Netse_, the "Branch." The followers of Christ were called "the sect of Nazarenes" (Acts 24:5). All over Palestine and Syria this name is still given to Christians. (See NAZARETH.)
Nazareth separated, generally supposed to be the Greek form of the Hebrew _netser_, a "shoot" or "sprout." Some, however, think that the name of the city must be connected with the name of the hill behind it, from which one of the finest prospects in Palestine is obtained, and accordingly they derive it from the Hebrew _notserah_, i.e., one guarding or watching, thus designating the hill which overlooks and thus guards an extensive region. This city is not mentioned in the Old Testament. It was the home of Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:39), and here the angel announced to the Virgin the birth of the Messiah (1:26-28). Here Jesus grew up from his infancy to manhood (4:16); and here he began his public ministry in the synagogue (Matt. 13:54), at which the people were so offended that they sought to cast him down from the precipice whereon their city was built (Luke 4:29). Twice they expelled him from their borders (4:16-29; Matt. 13:54-58); and he finally retired from the city, where he did not many mighty works because of their unbelief (Matt. 13:58), and took up his residence in Capernaum. Nazareth is situated among the southern ridges of Lebanon, on the steep slope of a hill, about 14 miles from the Sea of Galilee and about 6 west from Mount Tabor. It is identified with the modern village en-Nazirah, of six or ten thousand inhabitants. It lies "as in a hollow cup" lower down upon the hill than the ancient city. The main road for traffic between Egypt and the interior of Asia passed by Nazareth near the foot of Tabor, and thence northward to Damascus. It is supposed from the words of Nathanael in John 1:46 that the city of Nazareth was held in great disrepute, either because, it is said, the people of Galilee were a rude and less cultivated class, and were largely influenced by the Gentiles who mingled with them, or because of their lower type of moral and religious character. But there seems to be no sufficient reason for these suppositions. The Jews believed that, according to Micah 5:2, the birth of the Messiah would take place at Bethlehem, and nowhere else. Nathanael held the same opinion as his countrymen, and believed that the great "good" which they were all expecting could not come from Nazareth. This is probably what Nathanael meant. Moreover, there does not seem to be any evidence that the inhabitants of Galilee were in any respect inferior, or that a Galilean was held in contempt, in the time of our Lord. (See Dr. Merrill's Galilee in the Time of Christ.) The population of this city (now about 10,000) in the time of Christ probably amounted to 15,000 or 20,000 souls. "The so-called 'Holy House' is a cave under the Latin church, which appears to have been originally a tank. The 'brow of the hill', site of the attempted precipitation, is probably the northern cliff: the traditional site has been shown since the middle ages at some distance to the south. None of the traditional sites are traceable very early, and they have no authority. The name Nazareth perhaps means 'a watch tower' (now en-Nasrah), but is connected in the New Testament with Netzer, 'a branch' (Isa. 4:2; Jer. 23:5; Zech. 3:8; 6:12; Matt. 2:23), Nazarene being quite a different word from Nazarite."
Nazarite (Heb. form Nazirite), the name of such Israelites as took on them the vow prescribed in Num. 6:2-21. The word denotes generally one who is separated from others and consecrated to God. Although there is no mention of any Nazarite before Samson, yet it is evident that they existed before the time of Moses. The vow of a Nazarite involved these three things, (1) abstinence from wine and strong drink, (2) refraining from cutting the hair off the head during the whole period of the continuance of the vow, and (3) the avoidance of contact with the dead. When the period of the continuance of the vow came to an end, the Nazarite had to present himself at the door of the sanctuary with (1) a he lamb of the first year for a burnt-offering, (2) a ewe lamb of the first year for a sin-offering, and (3) a ram for a peace-offering. After these sacrifices were offered by the priest, the Nazarite cut off his hair at the door and threw it into the fire under the peace-offering. For some reason, probably in the midst of his work at Corinth, Paul took on himself the Nazarite vow. This could only be terminated by his going up to Jerusalem to offer up the hair which till then was to be left uncut. But it seems to have been allowable for persons at a distance to cut the hair, which was to be brought up to Jerusalem, where the ceremony was completed. This Paul did at Cenchrea just before setting out on his voyage into Syria (Acts 18:18). On another occasion (Acts 21:23-26), at the feast of Pentecost, Paul took on himself again the Nazarite vow. "The ceremonies involved took a longer time than Paul had at his disposal, but the law permitted a man to share the vow if he could find companions who had gone through the prescribed ceremonies, and who permitted him to join their company. This permission was commonly granted if the new comer paid all the fees required from the whole company (fee to the Levite for cutting the hair and fees for sacrifices), and finished the vow along with the others. Four Jewish Christians were performing the vow, and would admit Paul to their company, provided he paid their expenses. Paul consented, paid the charges, and when the last seven days of the vow began he went with them to live in the temple, giving the usual notice to the priests that he had joined in regular fashion, was a sharer with the four men, and that his vow would end with theirs. Nazarites retired to the temple during the last period of seven days, because they could be secure there against any accidental defilement" (Lindsay's Acts). As to the duration of a Nazarite's vow, every one was left at liberty to fix his own time. There is mention made in Scripture of only three who were Nazarites for life, Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist (Judg. 13:4, 5; 1 Sam. 1:11; Luke 1:15). In its ordinary form, however, the Nazarite's vow lasted only thirty, and at most one hundred, days. (See RECHABITES.) This institution was a symbol of a life devoted to God and separated from all sin, a holy life.
Neah shaking, or settlement, or descent, a town on the east side of Zebulun, not far from Rimmon (Josh. 19:13).
Neapolis new city, a town in Thrace at which Paul first landed in Europe (Acts 16:11). It was the sea-port of the inland town of Philippi, which was distant about 10 miles. From this port Paul embarked on his last journey to Jerusalem (Acts 20:6). It is identified with the modern Turco-Grecian Kavalla.
(1.) Ishmael's eldest son (Gen. 25:13), and the prince of an Israelitish tribe (16). He had a sister, Mahalath, who was one of Esau's wives (Gen. 28:9; 36:3).
(2.) The name of the Ishmaelite tribe descended from the above (Gen. 25:13,18). The "rams of Nebaioth" (Isa. 60:7) are the gifts which these wandering tribes of the desert would consecrate to God.
Neballat wickedness in secret, (Neh. 11:34), probably the village of Beit Nebala, about 4 miles north of Lydda.
Nebat sight; aspect, the father of Jeroboam, the king of Israel (1 Kings 11:26, etc.).
Nebo proclaimer; prophet.
(1.) A Chaldean god whose worship was introduced into Assyria by Pul (Isa. 46:1; Jer. 48:1). To this idol was dedicated the great temple whose ruins are still seen at Birs Nimrud. A statue of Nebo found at Calah, where it was set up by Pul, king of Assyria, is now in the British Museum.
(2.) A mountain in the land of Moab from which Moses looked for the first and the last time on the Promised Land (Deut. 32:49; 34:1). It has been identified with Jebel Nebah, on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea, near its northern end, and about 5 miles south-west of Heshbon. It was the summit of the ridge of Pisgah (q.v.), which was a part of the range of the "mountains of Abarim." It is about 2,643 feet in height, but from its position it commands a view of Western Palestine. Close below it are the plains of Moab, where Balaam, and afterwards Moses, saw the tents of Israel spread along.
(3.) A town on the east of Jordan which was taken possession of and rebuilt by the tribe of Reuben (Num. 32:3,38; 1 Chr. 5:8). It was about 8 miles south of Heshbon.
(4.) The "children of Nebo" (Ezra 2:29; Neh. 7:33) were of those who returned from Babylon. It was a town in Benjamin, probably the modern Beit Nubah, about 7 miles north-west of Hebron.
Nebuchadnezzar in the Babylonian orthography Nabu-kudur-uzur, which means "Nebo, protect the crown!" or the "frontiers." In an inscription he styles himself "Nebo's favourite." He was the son and successor of Nabopolassar, who delivered Babylon from its dependence on Assyria and laid Nineveh in ruins. He was the greatest and most powerful of all the Babylonian kings. He married the daughter of Cyaxares, and thus the Median and Babylonian dynasties were united. Necho II., the king of Egypt, gained a victory over the Assyrians at Carchemish. (See JOSIAH; MEGIDDO.) This secured to Egypt the possession of the Syrian provinces of Assyria, including Palestine. The remaining provinces of the Assyrian empire were divided between Babylonia and Media. But Nabopolassar was ambitious of reconquering from Necho the western provinces of Syria, and for this purpose he sent his son with a powerful army westward (Dan. 1:1). The Egyptians met him at Carchemish, where a furious battle was fought, resulting in the complete rout of the Egyptians, who were driven back (Jer. 46:2-12), and Syria and Phoenicia brought under the sway of Babylon (B.C. 606). From that time "the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land" (2 Kings 24:7). Nebuchadnezzar also subdued the whole of Palestine, and took Jerusalem, carrying away captive a great multitude of the Jews, among whom were Daniel and his companions (Dan. 1:1, 2; Jer. 27:19; 40:1). Three years after this, Jehoiakim, who had reigned in Jerusalem as a Babylonian vassal, rebelled against the oppressor, trusting to help from Egypt (2 Kings 24:1). This led Nebuchadnezzar to march an army again to the conquest of Jerusalem, which at once yielded to him (B.C. 598). A third time he came against it, and deposed Jehoiachin, whom he carried into Babylon, with a large portion of the population of the city, and the sacred vessels of the temple, placing Zedekiah on the throne of Judah in his stead. He also, heedless of the warnings of the prophet, entered into an alliance with Egypt, and rebelled against Babylon. This brought about the final siege of the city, which was at length taken and utterly destroyed (B.C. 586). Zedekiah was taken captive, and had his eyes put out by order of the king of Babylon, who made him a prisoner for the remainder of his life. An onyx cameo, now in the museum of Florence, bears on it an arrow-headed inscription, which is certainly ancient and genuine. The helmeted profile is said (Schrader) to be genuine also, but it is more probable that it is the portrait of a usurper in the time of Darius (Hystaspes), called Nidinta-Bel, who took the name of "Nebuchadrezzar." The inscription has been thus translated:, "In honour of Merodach, his lord, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in his lifetime had this made." A clay tablet, now in the British Museum, bears the following inscription, the only one as yet found which refers to his wars: "In the thirty-seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the country of Babylon, he went to Egypt [Misr] to make war. Amasis, king of Egypt, collected [his army], and marched and spread abroad." Thus were fulfilled the words of the prophet (Jer. 46:13-26; Ezek. 29:2-20). Having completed the subjugation of Phoenicia, and inflicted chastisement on Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar now set himself to rebuild and adorn the city of Babylon (Dan. 4:30), and to add to the greatness and prosperity of his kingdom by constructing canals and aqueducts and reservoirs surpassing in grandeur and magnificence everything of the kind mentioned in history (Dan. 2:37). He is represented as a "king of kings," ruling over a vast kingdom of many provinces, with a long list of officers and rulers under him, "princes, governors, captains," etc. (3:2, 3, 27). He may, indeed, be said to have created the mighty empire over which he ruled. "Modern research has shown that Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest monarch that Babylon, or perhaps the East generally, ever produced. He must have possessed an enormous command of human labour, nine-tenths of Babylon itself, and nineteen-twentieths of all the other ruins that in almost countless profusion cover the land, are composed of bricks stamped with his name. He appears to have built or restored almost every city and temple in the whole country. His inscriptions give an elaborate account of the immense works which he constructed in and about Babylon itself, abundantly illustrating the boast, 'Is not this great Babylon which I have build?'" Rawlinson, Hist. Illustrations. After the incident of the "burning fiery furnace" (Dan. 3) into which the three Hebrew confessors were cast, Nebuchadnezzar was afflicted with some peculiar mental aberration as a punishment for his pride and vanity, probably the form of madness known as lycanthropy (i.e, "the change of a man into a wolf"). A remarkable confirmation of the Scripture narrative is afforded by the recent discovery of a bronze door-step, which bears an inscription to the effect that it was presented by Nebuchadnezzar to the great temple at Borsippa as a votive offering on account of his recovery from a terrible illness. (See DANIEL.) He survived his recovery for some years, and died B.C. 562, in the eighty-third or eighty-fourth year of his age, after a reign of forty-three years, and was succeeded by his son Evil-merodach, who, after a reign of two years, was succeeded by Neriglissar (559-555), who was succeeded by Nabonadius (555-538), at the close of whose reign (less than a quarter of a century after the death of Nebuchadnezzar) Babylon fell under Cyrus at the head of the combined armies of Media and Persia. "I have examined," says Sir H. Rawlinson, "the bricks belonging perhaps to a hundred different towns and cities in the neighbourhood of Baghdad, and I never found any other legend than that of Nebuchadnezzar, son of Nabopolassar, king of Babylon." Nine-tenths of all the bricks amid the ruins of Babylon are stamped with his name.
Nebuchadrezzar = Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 21:2, 7; 22:25; 24:1, etc.), a nearer approach to the correct spelling of the word.
Nebushasban adorer of Nebo, or Nebo saves me, the "Rabsaris," or chief chamberlain, of the court of Babylon. He was one of those whom the king sent to release Jeremiah from prison in Jerusalem (Jer. 39:13).
Nebuzaradan "the captain of the guard," in rank next to the king, who appears prominent in directing affairs at the capture of Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:8-20; Jer. 39:11; 40:2-5). He showed kindness toward Jeremiah, as commanded by Nebuchadnezzar (40:1). Five years after this he again came to Jerusalem and carried captive seven hundred and forty-five more Jews.
Necho II an Egyptian king, the son and successor of Psammetichus (B.C. 610-594), the contemporary of Josiah, king of Judah. For some reason he proclaimed war against the king of Assyria. He led forth a powerful army and marched northward, but was met by the king of Judah at Megiddo, who refused him a passage through his territory. Here a fierce battle was fought and Josiah was slain (2 Chr. 35:20-24). Possibly, as some suppose, Necho may have brought his army by sea to some port to the north of Dor (comp. Josh. 11:2; 12:23), a Phoenician town at no great distance from Megiddo. After this battle Necho marched on to Carchemish (q.v.), where he met and conquered the Assyrian army, and thus all the Syrian provinces, including Palestine, came under his dominion. On his return march he deposed Jehoahaz, who had succeeded his father Josiah, and made Eliakim, Josiah's eldest son, whose name he changed into Jehoiakim, king. Jehoahaz he carried down into Egypt, where he died (2 Kings 23:31; 2 Chr. 36:1-4). Four years after this conquest Necho again marched to the Euphrates; but here he was met and his army routed by the Chaldeans (B.C. 606) under Nebuchadnezzar, who drove the Egyptians back, and took from them all the territory they had conquered, from the Euphrates unto the "river of Egypt" (Jer. 46:2; 2 Kings 24:7, 8). Soon after this Necho died, and was succeeded by his son, Psammetichus II. (See NEBUCHADNEZZAR.)
Neck used sometimes figuratively. To "lay down the neck" (Rom. 16:4) is to hazard one's life. Threatenings of coming judgments are represented by the prophets by their laying bands upon the people's necks (Deut. 28:48; Isa. 10:27; Jer. 27:2). Conquerors put their feet on the necks of their enemies as a sign of their subjection (Josh. 10:24; 2 Sam. 22:41).
Necromancer (Deut. 15:11), i.e., "one who interrogates the dead," as the word literally means, with the view of discovering the secrets of futurity (comp. 1 Sam. 28:7). (See DIVINATION.)
Nedabiah moved of Jehovah, one of the sons of Jeconiah (1 Chr. 3:18).
Needle used only in the proverb, "to pass through a needle's eye" (Matt. 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25). Some interpret the expression as referring to the side gate, close to the principal gate, usually called the "eye of a needle" in the East; but it is rather to be taken literally. The Hebrew females were skilled in the use of the needle (Ex. 28:39; 26:36; Judg. 5:30).
Neginah in the title of Ps. 61, denotes the music of stringed instruments (1 Sam. 16:16; Isa. 38:20). It is the singular form of Neginoth.
Neginoth i.e., songs with instrumental accompaniment, found in the titles of Ps. 4; 6; 54; 55; 67; 76; rendered "stringed instruments," Hab. 3:19, A.V. It denotes all kinds of stringed instruments, as the "harp," "psaltery," "viol," etc. The "chief musician on Neginoth" is the leader of that part of the temple choir which played on stringed instruments.
Nehelamite the name given to a false prophet Shemaiah, who went with the captives to Babylon (Jer. 29:24, 31, 32). The origin of the name is unknown. It is rendered in the marg, "dreamer."
Nehemiah comforted by Jehovah.
(1.) Ezra 2:2; Neh. 7:7.
(2.) Neh. 3:16.
(3.) The son of Hachaliah (Neh. 1:1), and probably of the tribe of Judah. His family must have belonged to Jerusalem (Neh. 2:3). He was one of the "Jews of the dispersion," and in his youth was appointed to the important office of royal cup-bearer at the palace of Shushan. The king, Artaxerxes Longimanus, seems to have been on terms of friendly familiarity with his attendant. Through his brother Hanani, and perhaps from other sources (Neh. 1:2; 2:3), he heard of the mournful and desolate condition of the Holy City, and was filled with sadness of heart. For many days he fasted and mourned and prayed for the place of his fathers' sepulchres. At length the king observed his sadness of countenance and asked the reason of it. Nehemiah explained it all to the king, and obtained his permission to go up to Jerusalem and there to act as _tirshatha_, or governor of Judea. He went up in the spring of B.C. 446 (eleven years after Ezra), with a strong escort supplied by the king, and with letters to all the pashas of the provinces through which he had to pass, as also to Asaph, keeper of the royal forests, directing him to assist Nehemiah. On his arrival he set himself to survey the city, and to form a plan for its restoration; a plan which he carried out with great skill and energy, so that the whole was completed in about six months. He remained in Judea for thirteen years as governor, carrying out many reforms, notwithstanding much opposition that he encountered (Neh. 13:11). He built up the state on the old lines, "supplementing and completing the work of Ezra," and making all arrangements for the safety and good government of the city. At the close of this important period of his public life, he returned to Persia to the service of his royal master at Shushan or Ecbatana. Very soon after this the old corrupt state of things returned, showing the worthlessness to a large extent of the professions that had been made at the feast of the dedication of the walls of the city (Neh. 12. See EZRA). Malachi now appeared among the people with words of stern reproof and solemn warning; and Nehemiah again returned from Persia (after an absence of some two years), and was grieved to see the widespread moral degeneracy that had taken place during his absence. He set himself with vigour to rectify the flagrant abuses that had sprung up, and restored the orderly administration of public worship and the outward observance of the law of Moses. Of his subsequent history we know nothing. Probably he remained at his post as governor till his death (about B.C. 413) in a good old age. The place of his death and burial is, however, unknown. "He resembled Ezra in his fiery zeal, in his active spirit of enterprise, and in the piety of his life: but he was of a bluffer and a fiercer mood; he had less patience with transgressors; he was a man of action rather than a man of thought, and more inclined to use force than persuasion. His practical sagacity and high courage were very markedly shown in the arrangement with which he carried through the rebuilding of the wall and balked the cunning plans of the 'adversaries.' The piety of his heart, his deeply religious spirit and constant sense of communion with and absolute dependence upon God, are strikingly exhibited, first in the long prayer recorded in ch. 1:5-11, and secondly and most remarkably in what have been called his 'interjectional prayers', those short but moving addresses to Almighty God which occur so frequently in his writings, the instinctive outpouring of a heart deeply moved, but ever resting itself upon God, and looking to God alone for aid in trouble, for the frustration of evil designs, and for final reward and acceptance" (Rawlinson). Nehemiah was the last of the governors sent from the Persian court. Judea after this was annexed to the satrapy of Coele-Syria, and was governed by the high priest under the jurisdiction of the governor of Syria, and the internal government of the country became more and more a hierarchy.
Nehemiah, Book of. The author of this book was no doubt
Nehemiah himself. There are portions of the book written in the first
person (ch. 1-7; 12:27-47, and 13). But there are also portions of it
in which Nehemiah is spoken of in the third person (ch. 8; 9; 10). It
is supposed that these portions may have been written by Ezra; of
this, however, there is no distinct evidence. These portions had
their place assigned them in the book, there can be no doubt, by
Nehemiah. He was the responsible author of the whole book, with the
exception of ch. 12:11, 22, 23. The date at which the book was
written was probably about B.C. 431-430, when Nehemiah had returned
the second time to Jerusalem after his visit to Persia. The book,
which may historically be regarded as a continuation of the book of
Ezra, consists of four parts.
(1.) An account of the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, and of the register Nehemiah had found of those who had returned from Babylon (ch. 1-7).
(2.) An account of the state of religion among the Jews during this time (8-10).
(3.) Increase of the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the census of the adult male population, and names of the chiefs, together with lists of priests and Levites (11-12:1-26).
(4.) Dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the arrangement of the temple officers, and the reforms carried out by Nehemiah (12:27-ch. 13). This book closes the history of the Old Testament. Malachi the prophet was contemporary with Nehemiah.
Nehiloth only in the title of Ps. 5. It is probably derived from a root meaning "to bore," "perforate," and hence denotes perforated wind instruments of all kinds. The psalm may be thus regarded as addressed to the conductor of the temple choir which played on flutes and such-like instruments.
Nehushta copper, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem, and the wife of Jehoiakin (2 Kings 24:8), king of Judah.
Nehushtan of copper; a brazen thing a name of contempt given to the serpent Moses had made in the wilderness (Num. 21:8), and which Hezekiah destroyed because the children of Israel began to regard it as an idol and "burn incense to it." The lapse of nearly one thousand years had invested the "brazen serpent" with a mysterious sanctity; and in order to deliver the people from their infatuation, and impress them with the idea of its worthlessness, Hezekiah called it, in contempt, "Nehushtan," a brazen thing, a mere piece of brass (2 Kings 18:4).
Neiel dwelling-place of God, a town in the territory of Asher, near its southern border (Josh. 19:27). It has been identified with the ruin Y'anin, near the outlet of the Wady esh Sha-ghur, less than 2 miles north of Kabul, and 16 miles east of Caesarea.
Nekeb cavern, a town on the boundary of Naphtali (Josh. 19:33). It has with probability, been identified with Seiyadeh, nearly 2 miles east of Bessum, a ruin half way between Tiberias and Mount Tabor.
Nemuel day of God.
(1.) One of Simeon's five sons (1 Chr. 4:24), called also Jemuel (Gen. 46:10).
(2.) A Reubenite, a son of Eliab, and brother of Dathan and Abiram (Num. 26:9).
Nephilim (Gen. 6:4; Num. 13:33, R.V.), giants, the Hebrew word left untranslated by the Revisers, the name of one of the Canaanitish tribes. The Revisers have, however, translated the Hebrew gibborim, in Gen. 6:4, "mighty men."
Nephtoah opened, a fountain and a stream issuing from it on the border between Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:8, 9; 18:15). It has been identified with 'Ain Lifta, a spring about 2 1/2 miles north-west of Jerusalem. Others, however, have identified it with 'Ain' Atan, on the south-west of Bethlehem, whence water is conveyed through "Pilate's aqueduct" to the Haram area at Jerusalem.
Ner light, the father of Kish (1 Chr. 8:33). 1 Sam. 14:51 should be read, "Kish, the father of Saul, and Ner, the father of Abner, were the sons of Abiel." And hence this Kish and Ner were brothers, and Saul and Abner were first cousins (comp. 1 Chr. 9:36).
Nereus a Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent his salutation (Rom. 16:15).
Nergal the great dog; that is, lion, one of the chief gods of the Assyrians and Babylonians (2 Kings 17:30), the god of war and hunting. He is connected with Cutha as its tutelary deity.
Nergal-sharezer. Nergal, protect the king!
(1.) One of the "princes of the king of Babylon who accompanied him in his last expedition against Jerusalem" (Jer. 39:3, 13).
(2.) Another of the "princes," who bore the title of "Rabmag." He was one of those who were sent to release Jeremiah from prison (Jer. 39:13) by "the captain of the guard." He was a Babylonian grandee of high rank. From profane history and the inscriptions, we are led to conclude that he was the Neriglissar who murdered Evil-merodach, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, and succeeded him on the throne of Babylon (B.C. 559-556). He was married to a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. The ruins of a palace, the only one on the right bank of the Euphrates, bear inscriptions denoting that it was built by this king. He was succeeded by his son, a mere boy, who was murdered after a reign of some nine months by a conspiracy of the nobles, one of whom, Nabonadius, ascended the vacant throne, and reigned for a period of seventeen years (B.C. 555-538), at the close of which period Babylon was taken by Cyrus. Belshazzar, who comes into notice in connection with the taking of Babylon, was by some supposed to have been the same as Nabonadius, who was called Nebuchadnezzar's son (Dan. 5:11, 18, 22), because he had married his daughter. But it is known from the inscriptions that Nabonadius had a son called Belshazzar, who may have been his father's associate on the throne at the time of the fall of Babylon, and who therefore would be the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. The Jews had only one word, usually rendered "father," to represent also such a relationship as that of "grandfather" or "great-grandfather."
Nero occurs only in the superscription (which is probably spurious, and is altogether omitted in the R.V.) to the Second Epistle to Timothy. He became emperor of Rome when he was about seventeen years of age (A.D. 54), and soon began to exhibit the character of a cruel tyrant and heathen debauchee. In May A.D. 64, a terrible conflagration broke out in Rome, which raged for six days and seven nights, and totally destroyed a great part of the city. The guilt of this fire was attached to him at the time, and the general verdict of history accuses him of the crime. "Hence, to suppress the rumour," says Tacitus (Annals, xv. 44), "he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished with the most exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who are hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of that name, was put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the reign of Tiberius; but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only throughout Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also, whither all things horrible and disgraceful flow, from all quarters, as to a common receptacle, and where they are encouraged. Accordingly, first three were seized, who confessed they were Christians. Next, on their information, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much on the charge of burning the city as of hating the human race. And in their deaths they were also made the subjects of sport; for they were covered with the hides of wild beasts and worried to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and, when day declined, burned to serve for nocturnal lights. Nero offered his own gardens for that spectacle, and exhibited a Circensian game, indiscriminately mingling with the common people in the habit of a charioteer, or else standing in his chariot; whence a feeling of compassion arose toward the sufferers, though guilty and deserving to be made examples of by capital punishment, because they seemed not to be cut off for the public good, but victims to the ferocity of one man." Another Roman historian, Suetonius (Nero, xvi.), says of him: "He likewise inflicted punishments on the Christians, a sort of people who hold a new and impious superstition" (Forbes's Footsteps of St. Paul, p. 60). Nero was the emperor before whom Paul was brought on his first imprisonment at Rome, and the apostle is supposed to have suffered martyrdom during this persecution. He is repeatedly alluded to in Scripture (Acts 25:11; Phil. 1:12, 13; 4:22). He died A.D. 68.
Net in use among the Hebrews for fishing, hunting, and
fowling. The fishing-net was probably constructed after the form of
that used by the Egyptians (Isa. 19:8). There were three kinds of
(1.) The drag-net or hauling-net (Gr. sagene), of great size, and requiring many men to work it. It was usually let down from the fishing-boat, and then drawn to the shore or into the boat, as circumstances might require (Matt. 13:47, 48).
(2.) The hand-net or casting-net (Gr. amphiblestron), which was thrown from a rock or a boat at any fish that might be seen (Matt. 4:18; Mark 1:16). It was called by the Latins funda. It was of circular form, "like the top of a tent."
(3.) The bag-net (Gr. diktyon), used for enclosing fish in deep water (Luke 5:4-9). The fowling-nets were (1) the trap, consisting of a net spread over a frame, and supported by a stick in such a way that it fell with the slightest touch (Amos 3:5, "gin;" Ps. 69:22; Job 18:9; Eccl. 9:12). (2) The snare, consisting of a cord to catch birds by the leg (Job 18:10; Ps. 18:5; 116:3; 140:5).
(3.) The decoy, a cage filled with birds as decoys (Jer. 5:26, 27). Hunting-nets were much in use among the Hebrews.
Nethaneel given of God.
(1.) The son of Zuar, chief of the tribe of Issachar at the Exodus (Num. 1:8; 2:5).
(2.) One of David's brothers (1 Chr. 2:14).
(3.) A priest who blew the trumpet before the ark when it was brought up to Jerusalem (1 Chr. 15:24).
(4.) A Levite (1 Chr. 24:6).
(5.) A temple porter, of the family of the Korhites (1 Chr. 26:4).
(6.) One of the "princes" appointed by Jehoshaphat to teach the law through the cities of Judah (2 Chr. 17:7).
(7.) A chief Levite in the time of Josiah (2 Chr. 35:9).
(8.) Ezra 10:22.
(9.) Neh. 12:21.
(10.) A priest's son who bore a trumpet at the dedication of the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 12:36).
Nethaniah given of Jehovah.
(1.) One of Asaph's sons, appointed by David to minister in the temple (1 Chr. 25:2, 12).
(2.) A Levite sent by Jehoshaphat to teach the law (2 Chr. 17:8).
(3.) Jer. 36:14.
(4.) 2 Kings 25:23, 25.
Nethinim the name given to the hereditary temple servants in all the post-Exilian books of Scripture. The word means given, i.e., "those set apart", viz., to the menial work of the sanctuary for the Levites. The name occurs seventeen times, and in each case in the Authorized Version incorrectly terminates in "s", "Nethinims;" in the Revised Version, correctly without the "s" (Ezra 2:70; 7:7, 24; 8:20, etc.). The tradition is that the Gibeonites (Josh. 9:27) were the original caste, afterwards called Nethinim. Their numbers were added to afterwards from captives taken in battle; and they were formally given by David to the Levites (Ezra 8:20), and so were called Nethinim, i.e., the given ones, given to the Levites to be their servants. Only 612 Nethinim returned from Babylon (Ezra 2:58; 8:20). They were under the control of a chief from among themselves (2:43; Neh. 7:46). No reference to them appears in the New Testament, because it is probable that they became merged in the general body of the Jewish people.
Netophah distillation; dropping, a town in Judah, in the neighbourhood, probably, of Bethlehem (Neh. 7:26; 1 Chr. 2:54). Two of David's guards were Netophathites (1 Chr. 27:13, 15). It has been identified with the ruins of Metoba, or Um Toba, to the north-east of Bethlehem.
(1.) Heb. haral, "pricking" or "burning," Prov. 24:30, 31 (R.V. marg., "wild vetches"); Job 30:7; Zeph. 2:9. Many have supposed that some thorny or prickly plant is intended by this word, such as the bramble, the thistle, the wild plum, the cactus or prickly pear, etc. It may probably be a species of mustard, the Sinapis arvensis, which is a pernicious weed abounding in corn-fields. Tristram thinks that this word "designates the prickly acanthus (Acanthus spinosus), a very common and troublesome weed in the plains of Palestine."
(2.) Heb. qimmosh, Isa. 34:13; Hos. 9:6; Prov. 24:31 (in both versions, "thorns"). This word has been regarded as denoting thorns, thistles, wild camomile; but probably it is correctly rendered "nettle," the Urtica pilulifera, "a tall and vigorous plant, often 6 feet high, the sting of which is much more severe and irritating than that of our common nettle."
New Moon, Feast of. Special services were appointed for the commencement of a month (Num. 28:11-15; 10:10). (See FESTIVALS.)
New Testament (Luke 22:20), rather "New Covenant," in contrast to the old covenant of works, which is superseded. "The covenant of grace is called new; it succeeds to the old broken covenant of works. It is ever fresh, flourishing, and excellent; and under the gospel it is dispensed in a more clear, spiritual, extensive, and powerful manner than of old" (Brown of Haddington). Hence is derived the name given to the latter portion of the Bible. (See TESTAMENT.)
Neziah victory; pure, Ezra 2:54; Neh. 7:56.
Nezib a town in the "plain" of Judah. It has been identified with Beit Nuzib, about 14 miles south-west of Jerusalem, in the Wady Sur (Josh. 15:43).
Nibhaz barker, the name of an idol, supposed to be an evil demon of the Zabians. It was set up in Samaria by the Avites (2 Kings 17:31), probably in the form of a dog.
Nibshan fertile; light soil, a city somewhere "in the wilderness" of Judah (Josh. 15:62), probably near Engedi.
Nicanor conqueror, one of the seven deacons appointed in the apostolic Church (Acts 6:1-6). Nothing further is known of him.
Nicodemus the people is victor, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin. He is first noticed as visiting Jesus by night (John 3:1-21) for the purpose of learning more of his doctrines, which our Lord then unfolded to him, giving prominence to the necessity of being "born again." He is next met with in the Sanhedrin (7:50-52), where he protested against the course they were taking in plotting against Christ. Once more he is mentioned as taking part in the preparation for the anointing and burial of the body of Christ (John 19:39). We hear nothing more of him. There can be little doubt that he became a true disciple.
Nicolaitanes The church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:6) is commended for hating the "deeds" of the Nicolaitanes, and the church of Pergamos is blamed for having them who hold their "doctrines" (15). They were seemingly a class of professing Christians, who sought to introduce into the church a false freedom or licentiousness, thus abusing Paul's doctrine of grace (comp. 2 Pet. 2:15, 16, 19), and were probably identical with those who held the doctrine of Baalam (q.v.), Rev. 2:14.
Nicolas the victory of the people, a proselyte of Antioch, one of the seven deacons (Acts 6:5).
Nicopolis city of victory, where Paul intended to winter (Titus 3:12). There were several cities of this name. The one here referred to was most probably that in Epirus, which was built by Augustus Caesar to commemorate his victory at the battle of Actium (B.C. 31). It is the modern Paleoprevesa, i.e., "Old Prevesa." The subscription to the epistle to Titus calls it "Nicopolis of Macedonia", i.e., of Thrace. This is, however, probably incorrect.
Niger black, a surname of Simeon (Acts 13:1). He was probably so called from his dark complexion.
Night-hawk (Heb. tahmas) occurs only in the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:16; Deut. 14:15). This was supposed to be the night-jar (Caprimulgus), allied to the swifts. The Hebrew word is derived from a root meaning "to scratch or tear the face," and may be best rendered, in accordance with the ancient versions, "an owl" (Strix flammea). The Revised Version renders "night-hawk."
Nile dark; blue, not found in Scripture, but frequently referred to in the Old Testament under the name of Sihor, i.e., "the black stream" (Isa. 23:3; Jer. 2:18) or simply "the river" (Gen. 41:1; Ex. 1:22, etc.) and the "flood of Egypt" (Amos 8:8). It consists of two rivers, the White Nile, which takes its rise in the Victoria Nyanza, and the Blue Nile, which rises in the Abyssinian Mountains. These unite at the town of Khartoum, whence it pursues its course for 1,800 miles, and falls into the Mediterranean through its two branches, into which it is divided a few miles north of Cairo, the Rosetta and the Damietta branch. (See EGYPT.)
Nimrah pure, a city on the east of Jordan (Num. 32:3); probably the same as Beth-nimrah (Josh. 13:27). It has been identified with the Nahr Nimrin, at one of the fords of Jordan, not far from Jericho.
Nimrim, Waters of the stream of the leopards, a stream in Moab (Isa. 15:6; Jer. 48:34); probably the modern Wady en-Nemeirah, a rich, verdant spot at the south-eastern end of the Dead Sea.
Nimrod firm, a descendant of Cush, the son of Ham. He was the first who claimed to be a "mighty one in the earth." Babel was the beginning of his kingdom, which he gradually enlarged (Gen. 10:8-10). The "land of Nimrod" (Micah 5:6) is a designation of Assyria or of Shinar, which is a part of it.
Nimshi saved. Jehu was "the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi" (2 Kings 9:2; comp. 1 Kings 19:16).
Nineveh. First mentioned in Gen. 10:11, which is rendered in the Revised Version, "He [i.e., Nimrod] went forth into Assyria and builded Nineveh." It is not again noticed till the days of Jonah, when it is described (Jonah 3:3; 4:11) as a great and populous city, the flourishing capital of the Assyrian empire (2 Kings 19:36; Isa. 37:37). The book of the prophet Nahum is almost exclusively taken up with prophetic denunciations against this city. Its ruin and utter desolation are foretold (Nah.1:14; 3:19, etc.). Zephaniah also (2:13-15) predicts its destruction along with the fall of the empire of which it was the capital. From this time there is no mention of it in Scripture till it is named in gospel history (Matt. 12:41; Luke 11:32). This "exceeding great city" lay on the eastern or left bank of the river Tigris, along which it stretched for some 30 miles, having an average breadth of 10 miles or more from the river back toward the eastern hills. This whole extensive space is now one immense area of ruins. Occupying a central position on the great highway between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, thus uniting the East and the West, wealth flowed into it from many sources, so that it became the greatest of all ancient cities. About B.C. 633 the Assyrian empire began to show signs of weakness, and Nineveh was attacked by the Medes, who subsequently, about B.C. 625, being joined by the Babylonians and Susianians, again attacked it, when it fell, and was razed to the ground. The Assyrian empire then came to an end, the Medes and Babylonians dividing its provinces between them. "After having ruled for more than six hundred years with hideous tyranny and violence, from the Caucasus and the Caspian to the Persian Gulf, and from beyond the Tigris to Asia Minor and Egypt, it vanished like a dream" (Nah. 2:6-11). Its end was strange, sudden, tragic. It was God's doing, his judgement on Assyria's pride (Isa. 10:5-19). Forty years ago our knowledge of the great Assyrian empire and of its magnificent capital was almost wholly a blank. Vague memories had indeed survived of its power and greatness, but very little was definitely known about it. Other cities which had perished, as Palmyra, Persepolis, and Thebes, had left ruins to mark their sites and tell of their former greatness; but of this city, imperial Nineveh, not a single vestige seemed to remain, and the very place on which it had stood was only matter of conjecture. In fulfilment of prophecy, God made "an utter end of the place." It became a "desolation." In the days of the Greek historian Herodotus, B.C. 400, it had become a thing of the past; and when Xenophon the historian passed the place in the "Retreat of the Ten Thousand," the very memory of its name had been lost. It was buried out of sight, and no one knew its grave. It is never again to rise from its ruins. At length, after being lost for more than two thousand years, the city was disentombed. A little more than forty years ago the French consul at Mosul began to search the vast mounds that lay along the opposite bank of the river. The Arabs whom he employed in these excavations, to their great surprise, came upon the ruins of a building at the mound of Khorsabad, which, on further exploration, turned out to be the royal palace of Sargon, one of the Assyrian kings. They found their way into its extensive courts and chambers, and brought forth form its hidded depths many wonderful sculptures and other relics of those ancient times. The work of exploration has been carried on almost continuously by M. Botta, Sir Henry Layard, George Smith, and others, in the mounds of Nebi-Yunus, Nimrud, Koyunjik, and Khorsabad, and a vast treasury of specimens of old Assyrian art has been exhumed. Palace after palace has been discovered, with their decorations and their sculptured slabs, revealing the life and manners of this ancient people, their arts of war and peace, the forms of their religion, the style of their architecture, and the magnificence of their monarchs. The streets of the city have been explored, the inscriptions on the bricks and tablets and sculptured figures have been read, and now the secrets of their history have been brought to light. One of the most remarkable of recent discoveries is that of the library of King Assur-bani-pal, or, as the Greek historians call him, Sardanapalos, the grandson of Sennacherib (q.v.). (See ASNAPPER.) This library consists of about ten thousand flat bricks or tablets, all written over with Assyrian characters. They contain a record of the history, the laws, and the religion of Assyria, of the greatest value. These strange clay leaves found in the royal library form the most valuable of all the treasuries of the literature of the old world. The library contains also old Accadian documents, which are the oldest extant documents in the world, dating as far back as probably about the time of Abraham. (See SARGON.) "The Assyrian royalty is, perhaps, the most luxurious of our century [reign of Assur-bani-pa]...Its victories and conquests, uninterrupted for one hundred years, have enriched it with the spoil of twenty peoples. Sargon has taken what remained to the Hittites; Sennacherib overcame Chaldea, and the treasures of Babylon were transferred to his coffers; Esarhaddon and Assur-bani-pal himself have pillaged Egypt and her great cities, Sais, Memphis, and Thebes of the hundred gates...Now foreign merchants flock into Nineveh, bringing with them the most valuable productions from all countries, gold and perfume from South Arabia and the Chaldean Sea, Egyptian linen and glass-work, carved enamels, goldsmiths' work, tin, silver, Phoenician purple; cedar wood from Lebanon, unassailable by worms; furs and iron from Asia Minor and Armenia" (Ancient Egypt and Assyria, by G. Maspero, page 271). The bas-reliefs, alabaster slabs, and sculptured monuments found in these recovered palaces serve in a remarkable manner to confirm the Old Testament history of the kings of Israel. The appearance of the ruins shows that the destruction of the city was due not only to the assailing foe but also to the flood and the fire, thus confirming the ancient prophecies concerning it. "The recent excavations," says Rawlinson, "have shown that fire was a great instrument in the destruction of the Nineveh palaces. Calcined alabaster, charred wood, and charcoal, colossal statues split through with heat, are met with in parts of the Nineveh mounds, and attest the veracity of prophecy." Nineveh in its glory was (Jonah 3:4) an "exceeding great city of three days' journey", i.e., probably in circuit. This would give a circumference of about 60 miles. At the four corners of an irregular quadrangle are the ruins of Kouyunjik, Nimrud, Karamless and Khorsabad. These four great masses of ruins, with the whole area included within the parallelogram they form by lines drawn from the one to the other, are generally regarded as composing the whole ruins of Nineveh.
Nisan month of flowers, (Neh. 2:1) the first month of the Jewish sacred year. (See ABIB.) Assyrian nisannu, "beginning."
Nisroch probably connected with the Hebrew word _nesher_, an eagle. An Assyrian god, supposed to be that represented with the head of an eagle. Sennacherib was killed in the temple of this idol (2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38).
Nitre (Prov. 25:20; R.V. marg., "soda"), properly "natron," a substance so called because, rising from the bottom of the Lake Natron in Egypt, it becomes dry and hard in the sun, and is the soda which effervesces when vinegar is poured on it. It is a carbonate of soda, not saltpetre, which the word generally denotes (Jer. 2:22; R.V. "lye").
No or No-A'mon, the home of Amon, the name of Thebes, the ancient capital of what is called the Middle Empire, in Upper or Southern Egypt. "The multitude of No" (Jer. 46:25) is more correctly rendered, as in the Revised Version, "Amon of No", i.e., No, where Jupiter Amon had his temple. In Ezek. 30:14, 16 it is simply called "No;" but in ver. 15 the name has the Hebrew Hamon prefixed to it, "Hamon No." This prefix is probably the name simply of the god usually styled Amon or Ammon. In Nah. 3:8 the "populous No" of the Authorized Version is in the Revised Version correctly rendered "No-Amon." It was the Diospolis or Thebes of the Greeks, celebrated for its hundred gates and its vast population. It stood on both sides of the Nile, and is by some supposed to have included Karnak and Luxor. In grandeur and extent it can only be compared to Nineveh. It is mentioned only in the prophecies referred to, which point to its total destruction. It was first taken by the Assyrians in the time of Sargon (Isa. 20). It was afterwards "delivered into the hand" of Nebuchadnezzar and Assurbani-pal (Jer. 46:25, 26). Cambyses, king of the Persians (B.C. 525), further laid it waste by fire. Its ruin was completed (B.C. 81) by Ptolemy Lathyrus. The ruins of this city are still among the most notable in the valley of the Nile. They have formed a great storehouse of interesting historic remains for more than two thousand years. "As I wandered day after day with ever-growing amazement amongst these relics of ancient magnificence, I felt that if all the ruins in Europe, classical, Celtic, and medieval, were brought together into one centre, they would fall far short both in extent and grandeur of those of this single Egyptian city." Manning, The Land of the Pharaohs.
Noadiah meeting with the Lord.
(1.) A Levite who returned from Babylon (Ezra 8:33).
(2.) A false prophetess who assisted Tobiah and Sanballat against the Jews (Neh. 6:14). Being bribed by them, she tried to stir up discontent among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and so to embarrass Nehemiah in his great work of rebuilding the ruined walls of the city.
Noah rest, (Heb. Noah) the grandson of Methuselah (Gen. 5:25-29), who was for two hundred and fifty years contemporary with Adam, and the son of Lamech, who was about fifty years old at the time of Adam's death. This patriarch is rightly regarded as the connecting link between the old and the new world. He is the second great progenitor of the human family. The words of his father Lamech at his birth (Gen. 5:29) have been regarded as in a sense prophetical, designating Noah as a type of Him who is the true "rest and comfort" of men under the burden of life (Matt.11:28). He lived five hundred years, and then there were born unto him three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gen. 5:32). He was a "just man and perfect in his generation," and "walked with God" (comp. Ezek. 14:14,20). But now the descendants of Cain and of Seth began to intermarry, and then there sprang up a race distinguished for their ungodliness. Men became more and more corrupt, and God determined to sweep the earth of its wicked population (Gen. 6:7). But with Noah God entered into a covenant, with a promise of deliverance from the threatened deluge (18). He was accordingly commanded to build an ark (6:14-16) for the saving of himself and his house. An interval of one hundred and twenty years elapsed while the ark was being built (6:3), during which Noah bore constant testimony against the unbelief and wickedness of that generation (1 Pet. 3:18-20; 2 Pet. 2:5). When the ark of "gopher-wood" (mentioned only here) was at length completed according to the command of the Lord, the living creatures that were to be preserved entered into it; and then Noah and his wife and sons and daughters-in-law entered it, and the "Lord shut him in" (Gen.7:16). The judgment-threatened now fell on the guilty world, "the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished" (2 Pet. 3:6). The ark floated on the waters for one hundred and fifty days, and then rested on the mountains of Ararat (Gen. 8:3,4); but not for a considerable time after this was divine permission given him to leave the ark, so that he and his family were a whole year shut up within it (Gen. 6-14). On leaving the ark Noah's first act was to erect an altar, the first of which there is any mention, and offer the sacrifices of adoring thanks and praise to God, who entered into a covenant with him, the first covenant between God and man, granting him possession of the earth by a new and special charter, which remains in force to the present time (Gen. 8:21-9:17). As a sign and witness of this covenant, the rainbow was adopted and set apart by God, as a sure pledge that never again would the earth be destroyed by a flood. But, alas! Noah after this fell into grievous sin (Gen. 9:21); and the conduct of Ham on this sad occasion led to the memorable prediction regarding his three sons and their descendants. Noah "lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years, and he died" (28:29). (See DELUGE). Noah, motion, (Heb. No'ah) one of the five daughters of Zelophehad (Num.26:33; 27:1; 36:11; Josh. 17:3).
Nob high place, a city of the priests, first mentioned in the history of David's wanderings (1 Sam. 21:1). Here the tabernacle was then standing, and here Ahimelech the priest resided. (See AHIMELECH.) From Isa. 10:28-32 it seems to have been near Jerusalem. It has been identified by some with el-Isawiyeh, one mile and a half to the north-east of Jerusalem. But according to Isa. 10:28-32 it was on the south of Geba, on the road to Jerusalem, and within sight of the city. This identification does not meet these conditions, and hence others (as Dean Stanley) think that it was the northern summit of Mount Olivet, the place where David "worshipped God" when fleeing from Absalom (2 Sam. 15:32), or more probably (Conder) that it was the same as Mizpeh (q.v.), Judg. 20:1; Josh. 18:26; 1 Sam. 7:16, at Nebi Samwil, about 5 miles north-west of Jerusalem. After being supplied with the sacred loaves of showbread, and girding on the sword of Goliath, which was brought forth from behind the ephod, David fled from Nob and sought refuge at the court of Achish, the king of Gath, where he was cast into prison. (Comp. titles of Ps. 34 and 56.)
(1.) Num. 32:42.
(2.) The name given to Kenath (q.v.) by Nobah when he conquered it. It was on the east of Gilead (Judg. 8:11).
Nobleman (Gr. basilikos, i.e., "king's man"), an officer of state (John 4:49) in the service of Herod Antipas. He is supposed to have been the Chuza, Herod's steward, whose wife was one of those women who "ministered unto the Lord of their substance" (Luke 8:3). This officer came to Jesus at Cana and besought him to go down to Capernaum and heal his son, who lay there at the point of death. Our Lord sent him away with the joyful assurance that his son was alive.
Nod exile; wandering; unrest, a name given to the country to which Cain fled (Gen.4:16). It lay on the east of Eden.
Nodab noble, probably a tribe descended from one of the sons of Ishmael, with whom the trans-Jordanic tribes made war (1 Chr.5:19).
Nogah splendour, one of David's sons, born at Jerusalem (1 Chr. 3:7).
Noph the Hebrew name of an Egyptian city (Isa. 19:13; Jer.2:16; 44:1; 46:14, 19; Ezek. 30:13, 16). In Hos. 9:6 the Hebrew name is Moph, and is translated "Memphis," which is its Greek and Latin form. It was one of the most ancient and important cities of Egypt, and stood a little to the south of the modern Cairo, on the western bank of the Nile. It was the capital of Lower Egypt. Among the ruins found at this place is a colossal statue of Rameses the Great. (See MEMPHIS.)
Nophah blast, a city of Moab which was occupied by the Amorites (Num. 21:30).
North country a general name for the countries that lay north of Palestine. Most of the invading armies entered Palestine from the north (Isa. 41:25; Jer. 1:14,15; 50:3,9,41; 51:48; Ezek. 26:7).
Northward (Heb. tsaphon), a "hidden" or "dark place," as opposed to the sunny south (Deut. 3:27). A Hebrew in speaking of the points of the compass was considered as always having his face to the east, and hence "the left hand" (Gen. 14:15; Job 23:9) denotes the north. The "kingdoms of the north" are Chaldea, Assyria, Media, etc.
Nose-jewels. Only mentioned in Isa. 3:21, although refered to in Gen. 24:47, Prov. 11:22, Hos. 2:13. They were among the most valued of ancient female ornaments. They "were made of ivory or metal, and occasionally jewelled. They were more than an inch in diameter, and hung upon the mouth. Eliezer gave one to Rebekah which was of gold and weighed half a shekel...At the present day the women in the country and in the desert wear these ornaments in one of the sides of the nostrils, which droop like the ears in consequence."
Numbering of the people. Besides the numbering of the tribes mentioned in the history of the wanderings in the wilderness, we have an account of a general census of the whole nation from Dan to Beersheba, which David gave directions to Joab to make (1 Chr. 21:1). Joab very reluctantly began to carry out the king's command. This act of David in ordering a numbering of the people arose from pride and a self-glorifying spirit. It indicated a reliance on his part on an arm of flesh, an estimating of his power not by the divine favour but by the material resources of his kingdom. He thought of military achievement and of conquest, and forgot that he was God's vicegerent. In all this he sinned against God. While Joab was engaged in the census, David's heart smote him, and he became deeply conscious of his fault; and in profound humiliation he confessed, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done." The prophet Gad was sent to him to put before him three dreadful alternatives (2 Sam. 24:13; for "seven years" in this verse, the LXX. and 1 Chr. 21:12 have "three years"), three of Jehovah's four sore judgments (Ezek. 14:21). Two of these David had already experienced. He had fled for some months before Absalom, and had suffered three years' famine on account of the slaughter of the Gibeonites. In his "strait" David said, "Let me fall into the hands of the Lord." A pestilence broke out among the people, and in three days swept away 70,000. At David's intercession the plague was stayed, and at the threshing-floor of Araunah (q.v.), where the destroying angel was arrested in his progress, David erected an altar, and there offered up sacrifies to God (2 Chr. 3:1). The census, so far as completed, showed that there were at least 1,300,000 fighting men in the kingdom, indicating at that time a population of about six or seven millions in all. (See CENSUS.)
Numbers, Book of the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew be-midbar, i.e., "in the wilderness." In the LXX. version it is called "Numbers," and this name is now the usual title of the book. It is so called because it contains a record of the numbering of the people in the wilderness of Sinai (1-4), and of their numbering afterwards on the plain of Moab (26). This book is of special historical interest as furnishing us with details as to the route of the Israelites in the wilderness and their principal encampments. It may be divided into three parts: 1. The numbering of the people at Sinai, and preparations for their resuming their march (1-10:10). The sixth chapter gives an account of the vow of a Nazarite. 2. An account of the journey from Sinai to Moab, the sending out of the spies and the report they brought back, and the murmurings (eight times) of the people at the hardships by the way (10:11-21:20). 3. The transactions in the plain of Moab before crossing the Jordan (21:21-ch. 36). The period comprehended in the history extends from the second month of the second year after the Exodus to the beginning of the eleventh month of the fortieth year, in all about thirty-eight years and ten months; a dreary period of wanderings, during which that disobedient generation all died in the wilderness. They were fewer in number at the end of their wanderings than when they left the land of Egypt. We see in this history, on the one hand, the unceasing care of the Almighty over his chosen people during their wanderings; and, on the other hand, the murmurings and rebellions by which they offended their heavenly Protector, drew down repeated marks of his displeasure, and provoked him to say that they should "not enter into his rest" because of their unbelief (Heb. 3:19). This, like the other books of the Pentateuch, bears evidence of having been written by Moses. The expression "the book of the wars of the Lord," occurring in 21:14, has given rise to much discussion. But, after all, "what this book was is uncertain, whether some writing of Israel not now extant, or some writing of the Amorites which contained songs and triumphs of their king Sihon's victories, out of which Moses may cite this testimony, as Paul sometimes does out of heathen poets (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12)."
Nun Beyond the fact that he was the father of Joshua nothing more is known of him (Ex. 33:11).
Nuts were among the presents Jacob sent into Egypt for the purpose of conciliating Joseph (Gen. 43:11). This was the fruit of the pistachio tree, which resembles the sumac. It is of the size of an olive. In Cant. 6:11 a different Hebrew word ('egoz), which means "walnuts," is used.
Nymphas nymph, saluted by Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians as a member of the church of Laodicea (Col. 4:15).
Oak There are six Hebrew words rendered "oak."
(1.) 'El occurs only in the word El-paran (Gen. 14:6). The LXX. renders by "terebinth." In the plural form this word occurs in Isa. 1:29; 57:5 (A.V. marg. and R.V., "among the oaks"); 61:3 ("trees"). The word properly means strongly, mighty, and hence a strong tree.
(2.) 'Elah, Gen. 35:4, "under the oak which was by Shechem" (R.V. marg., "terebinth"). Isa. 6:13, A.V., "teil-tree;" R.V., "terebinth." Isa. 1:30, R.V. marg., "terebinth." Absalom in his flight was caught in the branches of a "great oak" (2 Sam. 18:9; R.V. marg., "terebinth").
(3.) 'Elon, Judg. 4:11; 9:6 (R.V., "oak;" A.V., following the Targum, "plain") properly the deciduous species of oak shedding its foliage in autumn.
(4.) 'Elan, only in Dan. 4:11,14,20, rendered "tree" in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. Probably some species of the oak is intended.
(5.) 'Allah, Josh. 24:26. The place here referred to is called Allon-moreh ("the oak of Moreh," as in R.V.) in Gen. 12:6 and 35:4.
(6.) 'Allon, always rendered "oak." Probably the evergreen oak (called also ilex and holm oak) is intended. The oak woods of Bashan are frequently alluded to (Isa. 2:13; Ezek. 27:6). Three species of oaks are found in Palestine, of which the "prickly evergreen oak" (Quercus coccifera) is the most abundant. "It covers the rocky hills of Palestine with a dense brushwood of trees from 8 to 12 feet high, branching from the base, thickly covered with small evergreen rigid leaves, and bearing acorns copiously." The so-called Abraham's oak at Hebron is of this species. Tristram says that this oak near Hebron "has for several centuries taken the place of the once renowned terebinth which marked the site of Mamre on the other side of the city. The terebinth existed at Mamre in the time of Vespasian, and under it the captive Jews were sold as slaves. It disappeared about A.D. 330, and no tree now marks the grove of Mamre. The present oak is the noblest tree in Southern Palestine, being 23 feet in girth, and the diameter of the foliage, which is unsymmetrical, being about 90 feet." (See HEBRON; TEIL-TREE.)
Oath a solemn appeal to God, permitted on fitting occasions (Deut. 6:13; Jer. 4:2), in various forms (Gen. 16:5; 2 Sam. 12:5; Ruth 1:17; Hos. 4:15; Rom. 1:9), and taken in different ways (Gen. 14:22; 24:2; 2 Chr. 6:22). God is represented as taking an oath (Heb. 6:16-18), so also Christ (Matt. 26:64), and Paul (Rom. 9:1; Gal. 1:20; Phil. 1:8). The precept, "Swear not at all," refers probably to ordinary conversation between man and man (Matt. 5:34,37). But if the words are taken as referring to oaths, then their intention may have been to show "that the proper state of Christians is to require no oaths; that when evil is expelled from among them every yea and nay will be as decisive as an oath, every promise as binding as a vow."
Obadiah servant of the Lord.
(1.) An Israelite who was chief in the household of King Ahab (1 Kings 18:3). Amid great spiritual degeneracy he maintained his fidelity to God, and interposed to protect The Lord's prophets, an hundred of whom he hid at great personal risk in a cave (4, 13). Ahab seems to have held Obadiah in great honour, although he had no sympathy with his piety (5, 6, 7). The last notice of him is his bringing back tidings to Ahab that Elijah, whom he had so long sought for, was at hand (9-16). "Go," said Elijah to him, when he met him in the way, "go tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here."
(2.) A chief of the tribe of Issachar (1 Chr. 7:3).
(3.) A descendant of Saul (1 Chr. 8:38).
(4.) A Levite, after the Captivity (1 Chr. 9:16).
(5.) A Gadite who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:9).
(6.) A prince of Zebulun in the time of David (1 Chr. 27:19).
(7.) One of the princes sent by Jehoshaphat to instruct the people in the law (2 Chr. 17:7).
(8.) A Levite who superintended the repairs of the temple under Josiah (2 Chr. 34:12).
(9.) One who accompanied Ezra on the return from Babylon (Ezra 8:9).
(10.) A prophet, fourth of the minor prophets in the Hebrew canon, and fifth in the LXX. He was probably contemporary with Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Of his personal history nothing is known.
Obadiah, Book of consists of one chapter, "concerning Edom," its impending doom (1:1-16), and the restoration of Israel (1:17-21). This is the shortest book of the Old Testament. There are on record the account of four captures of Jerusalem, (1) by Shishak in the reign of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:25); (2) by the Philistines and Arabians in the reign of Jehoram (2 Chr. 21:16); (3) by Joash, the king of Israel, in the reign of Amaziah (2 Kings 14:13); and (4) by the Babylonians, when Jerusalem was taken and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (B.C. 586). Obadiah (1:11-14) speaks of this capture as a thing past. He sees the calamity as having already come on Jerusalem, and the Edomites as joining their forces with those of the Chaldeans in bringing about the degradation and ruin of Israel. We do not indeed read that the Edomites actually took part with the Chaldeans, but the probabilities are that they did so, and this explains the words of Obadiah in denouncing against Edom the judgments of God. The date of his prophecies was thus in or about the year of the destruction of Jerusalem. Edom is the type of Israel's and of God's last foe (Isa. 63:1-4). These will finally all be vanquished, and the kingdom will be the Lord's (comp. Ps. 22:28).
Obal stripped, the eight son of Joktan (Gen. 10:28); called also Ebal (1 Chr. 1:22).
Obed serving; worshipping.
(1.) A son of Boaz and Ruth (Ruth 4:21, 22), and the grandfather of David (Matt. 1:5).
(2.) 1 Chr. 2:34-38.
(3.) 1 Chr. 26:7.
(4.) 2 Chr. 23:1.
Obed-Edom servant of Edom.
(1.) "The Gittite" (probably so called because he was a native of Gath-rimmon), a Levite of the family of the Korhites (1 Chr. 26:1, 4-8), to whom was specially intrusted the custody of the ark (1 Chr. 15:18). When David was bringing up the ark "from the house of Abinadab, that was in Gibeah" (probably some hill or eminence near Kirjath-jearim), and had reached Nachon's threshing-floor, he became afraid because of the "breach upon Uzzah," and carried it aside into the house of Obededom (2 Sam. 6:1-12). There it remained for six months, and was to him and his house the occasion of great blessing. David then removed it with great rejoicing to Jerusalem, and set it in the midst of the tabernacle he had pitched for it.
(2.) A Merarite Levite, a temple porter, who with his eight sons guarded the southern gate (1 Chr. 15:18, 21; 26:4, 8, 15).
(3.) One who had charge of the temple treasures (2 Chr. 25:24).
Obeisance homage or reverence to any one (Gen. 37:7; 43:28).
Obil a keeper of camels, an Ishmaelite who was "over the camels" in the time of David (1 Chr. 27:30).
Oboth bottles, an encampment of the Israelites during the wanderings in the wilderness (Num. 33:43), the first after the setting up of the brazen serpent.
Oded restoring, or setting up.
(1.) Father of the prophet Azariah (2 Chr. 15:1, 8).
(2.) A prophet in the time of Ahaz and Pekah (2 Chr. 28:9-15).
(1.) An injury or wrong done to one (1 Sam. 25:31; Rom. 5:15).
(2.) A stumbling-block or cause of temptation (Isa. 8:14; Matt. 16:23; 18:7). Greek skandalon, properly that at which one stumbles or takes offence. The "offence of the cross" (Gal. 5:11) is the offence the Jews took at the teaching that salvation was by the crucified One, and by him alone. Salvation by the cross was a stumbling-block to their national pride.
Offering an oblation, dedicated to God. Thus Cain consecrated to God of the first-fruits of the earth, and Abel of the firstlings of the flock (Gen. 4:3, 4). Under the Levitical system different kinds of offerings are specified, and laws laid down as to their presentation. These are described under their distinctive names.
Og gigantic, the king of Bashan, who was defeated by Moses in a pitched battle at Edrei, and was slain along with his sons (Deut. 1:4), and whose kingdom was given to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh (Num. 21:32-35; Deut. 3:1-13). His bedstead (or rather sarcophagus) was of iron (or ironstone), 9 cubits in length and 4 cubits in breadth. His overthrow was afterwards celebrated in song (Ps. 135:11; 136:20). (See SIHON.)
Ohad united, or power, the third son of Simeon (Gen. 46:10).
Ohel a house; tent, the fourth son of Zerubbabel (1 Chr. 3:20).
Oil. Only olive oil seems to have been used among the Hebrews. It was used for many purposes: for anointing the body or the hair (Ex. 29:7; 2 Sam. 14:2; Ps. 23:5; 92:10; 104:15; Luke 7:46); in some of the offerings (Ex. 29:40; Lev. 7:12; Num. 6:15; 15:4), but was excluded from the sin-offering (Lev. 5:11) and the jealousy-offering (Num. 5:15); for burning in lamps (Ex. 25:6; 27:20; Matt. 25:3); for medicinal purposes (Isa. 1:6; Luke 10:34; James 5:14); and for anointing the dead (Matt. 26:12; Luke 23:56). It was one of the most valuable products of the country (Deut. 32:13; Ezek. 16:13), and formed an article of extensive commerce with Tyre (27:17). The use of it was a sign of gladness (Ps. 92:10; Isa. 61:3), and its omission a token of sorrow (2 Sam. 14:2; Matt. 6:17). It was very abundant in Galilee. (See OLIVE.)
Oil-tree (Isa. 41:19; R.V. marg., "oleaster"), Heb. 'etz shemen, rendered "olive tree" in 1 Kings 6:23, 31, 32, 33 (R.V., "olive wood") and "pine branches" in Neh. 8:15 (R.V., "branches of wild olive"), was some tree distinct from the olive. It was probably the oleaster (Eleagnus angustifolius), which grows abundantly in almost all parts of Palestine, especially about Hebron and Samaria. "It has a fine hard wood," says Tristram, "and yields an inferior oil, but it has no relationship to the olive, which, however, it resembles in general appearance."
Ointment. Various fragrant preparations, also compounds for medical purposes, are so called (Ex. 30:25; Ps. 133:2; Isa. 1:6; Amos 6:6; John 12:3; Rev. 18:13).
Old gate one of the gates in the north wall of Jerusalem, so called because built by the Jebusites (Neh. 3:6; 12:39).
Olive the fruit of the olive-tree. This tree yielded oil which was highly valued. The best oil was from olives that were plucked before being fully ripe, and then beaten or squeezed (Deut. 24:20; Isa. 17:6; 24:13). It was called "beaten," or "fresh oil" (Ex. 27:20). There were also oil-presses, in which the oil was trodden out by the feet (Micah 6:15). James (3:12) calls the fruit "olive berries." The phrase "vineyards and olives" (Judg. 15:5, A.V.) should be simply "olive-yard," or "olive-garden," as in the Revised Version. (See OIL.)
Olive-tree is frequently mentioned in Scripture. The dove from the ark brought an olive-branch to Noah (Gen. 8:11). It is mentioned among the most notable trees of Palestine, where it was cultivated long before the time of the Hebrews (Deut. 6:11; 8:8). It is mentioned in the first Old Testament parable, that of Jotham (Judg. 9:9), and is named among the blessings of the "good land," and is at the present day the one characteristic tree of Palestine. The oldest olive-trees in the country are those which are enclosed in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is referred to as an emblem of prosperity and beauty and religious privilege (Ps. 52:8; Jer. 11:16; Hos. 14:6). The two "witnesses" mentioned in Rev. 11:4 are spoken of as "two olive trees standing before the God of the earth." (Comp. Zech. 4:3, 11-14.) The "olive-tree, wild by nature" (Rom. 11:24), is the shoot or cutting of the good olive-tree which, left ungrafted, grows up to be a "wild olive." In Rom. 11:17 Paul refers to the practice of grafting shoots of the wild olive into a "good" olive which has become unfruitful. By such a process the sap of the good olive, by pervading the branch which is "graffed in," makes it a good branch, bearing good olives. Thus the Gentiles, being a "wild olive," but now "graffed in," yield fruit, but only through the sap of the tree into which they have been graffed. This is a process "contrary to nature" (11:24).
Olves, Mount of so called from the olive trees with which its sides are clothed, is a mountain ridge on the east of Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:7; Ezek. 11:23; Zech. 14:4), from which it is separated by the valley of Kidron. It is first mentioned in connection with David's flight from Jerusalem through the rebellion of Absalom (2 Sam. 15:30), and is only once again mentioned in the Old Testament, in Zech. 14:4. It is, however, frequently alluded to (1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13; Neh. 8:15; Ezek. 11:23). It is frequently mentioned in the New Testament (Matt. 21:1; 26:30, etc.). It now bears the name of Jebel et-Tur, i.e., "Mount of the Summit;" also sometimes called Jebel ez-Zeitun, i.e., "Mount of Olives." It is about 200 feet above the level of the city. The road from Jerusalem to Bethany runs as of old over this mount. It was on this mount that Jesus stood when he wept over Jerusalem. "No name in Scripture," says Dr. Porter, "calls up associations at once so sacred and so pleasing as that of Olivet. The 'mount' is so intimately connected with the private, the devotional life of the Saviour, that we read of it and look at it with feelings of deepest interest and affection. Here he often sat with his disciples, telling them of wondrous events yet to come, of the destruction of the Holy City; of the sufferings, the persecution, and the final triumph of his followers (Matt. 24). Here he gave them the beautiful parables of the ten virgins and the five talents (25); here he was wont to retire on each evening for meditation, and prayer, and rest of body, when weary and harassed by the labours and trials of the day (Luke 21:37); and here he came on the night of his betrayal to utter that wonderful prayer, 'O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt' (Matt. 26:39). And when the cup of God's wrath had been drunk, and death and the grave conquered, he led his disciples out again over Olivet as far as to Bethany, and after a parting blessing ascended to heaven (Luke 24:50, 51; Acts 1:12)." This mount, or rather mountain range, has four summits or peaks: (1) the "Galilee" peak, so called from a tradition that the angels stood here when they spoke to the disciples (Acts 1:11); (2) the "Mount of Ascension," the supposed site of that event, which was, however, somewhere probably nearer Bethany (Luke 24:51, 52); (3) the "Prophets," from the catacombs on its side, called "the prophets' tombs;" and (4) the "Mount of Corruption," so called because of the "high places" erected there by Solomon for the idolatrous worship of his foreign wives (1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13; Vulg., "Mount of Offence").
Olympas a Roman Christian whom Paul salutes (Rom. 16:15).
Omar eloquent, the son of Eliphaz, who was Esau's eldest son (Gen. 36:11-15).
Omega (Rev. 1:8), the last letter in the Greek alphabet. (See A.)
Omer a handful, one-tenth of an ephah = half a gallon dry measure (Ex. 16:22, 32, 33, 36) = "tenth deal."
Omri servant of Jehovah. When Elah was murdered by Zimri at Tirzah (1 Kings 16:15-27), Omri, his captain, was made king (B.C. 931). For four years there was continued opposition to his reign, Tibni, another claimant to the throne, leading the opposing party; but at the close of that period all his rivals were defeated, and he became king of Israel, "Tibni died and Omri reigned" (B.C. 927). By his vigour and power he gained great eminence and consolidated the kingdom. He fixed his dynasty on the throne so firmly that it continued during four succeeding reigns. Tirza was for six years the seat of his government. He then removed the capital to Samaria (q.v.), where he died, and was succeeded by his son Ahab. "He wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all that were before him." Beth-omri, "the house" or "city of Omri," is the name usually found on Assyrian inscriptions for Samaria. In the stele of Mesha (the "Moabite stone"), which was erected in Moab about twenty or thirty years after Omri's death, it is recorded that Omri oppressed Moab till Mesha delivered the land: "Omri, king of Israel, oppressed Moab many days, for Chemosh was angry with his land. His son succeeded him, and he also said, I will oppress Moab" (comp. 2 Kings 1:1; 3:4, 5). The "Moabite stone" also records that "Omri took the land of Medeba, and occupied it in his day and in the days of his son forty years."
On light; the sun, (Gen. 41:45, 50), the great seat of sun-worship, called also Bethshemesh (Jer. 43:13) and Aven (Ezek. 30:17), stood on the east bank of the Nile, a few miles north of Memphis, and near Cairo, in the north-east. The Vulgate and the LXX. Versions have "Heliopolis" ("city of the sun") instead of On in Genesis and of Aven in Ezekiel. The "city of destruction" Isaiah speaks of (19:18, marg. "of Heres;" Heb. 'Ir-ha-heres, which some MSS. read Ir-ha-heres, i.e., "city of the sun") may be the name given to On, the prophecy being that the time will come when that city which was known as the "city of the sun-god" shall become the "city of destruction" of the sun-god, i.e., when idolatry shall cease, and the worship of the true God be established. In ancient times this city was full of obelisks dedicated to the sun. Of these only one now remains standing. "Cleopatra's Needle" was one of those which stood in this city in front of the Temple of Tum, i.e., "the sun." It is now erected on the Thames Embankment, London. "It was at On that Joseph wooed and won the dark-skinned Asenath, the daughter of the high priest of its great temple." This was a noted university town, and here Moses gained his acquaintance with "all the wisdom of the Egyptians."
Onan strong, the second son of Judah (Gen. 38:4-10; comp. Deut. 25:5; Matt. 22:24). He died before the going down of Jacob and his family into Egypt.
Onesimus useful, a slave who, after robbing his master Philemon (q.v.) at Colosse, fled to Rome, where he was converted by the apostle Paul, who sent him back to his master with the epistle which bears his name. In it he beseeches Philemon to receive his slave as a "faithful and beloved brother." Paul offers to pay to Philemon anything his slave had taken, and to bear the wrong he had done him. He was accompanied on his return by Tychicus, the bearer of the Epistle to the Colossians (Philemon 1:16, 18). The story of this fugitive Colossian slave is a remarkable evidence of the freedom of access to the prisoner which was granted to all, and "a beautiful illustration both of the character of St. Paul and the transfiguring power and righteous principles of the gospel."
Onesiphorus bringing profit, an Ephesian Christian who showed great kindness to Paul at Rome. He served him in many things, and had oft refreshed him. Paul expresses a warm interest in him and his household (2 Tim. 1:16-18; 4:19).
Onion The Israelites in the wilderness longed for the "onions and garlick of Egypt" (Num. 11:5). This was the _betsel_ of the Hebrews, the Allium cepe of botanists, of which it is said that there are some thirty or forty species now growing in Palestine. The onion is "the 'undivided' leek, _unio_, _unus_, one."
Ono a town of Benjamin, in the "plain of Ono" (1 Chr. 8:12; Ezra 2:33); now Kefr 'Ana, 5 miles north of Lydda, and about 30 miles north-west of Jerusalem. Not succeeding in their attempts to deter Nehemiah from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Sanballat and Tobiah resorted to strategem, and pretending to wish a conference with him, they invited him to meet them at Ono. Four times they made the request, and every time Nehemiah refused to come. Their object was to take him prisoner.
Onycha a nail; claw; hoof, (Heb. sheheleth; Ex. 30:34), a Latin word applied to the operculum, i.e., the claw or nail of the strombus or wing-shell, a univalve common in the Red Sea. The opercula of these shell-fish when burned emit a strong odour "like castoreum." This was an ingredient in the sacred incense.
Onyx a hail; claw; hoof, (Heb. shoham), a precious stone adorning the breast-plate of the high priest and the shoulders of the ephod (Ex. 28:9-12, 20; 35:27; Job 28:16; Ezek. 28:13). It was found in the land of Havilah (Gen. 2:12). The LXX. translates the Hebrew word by smaragdos, an emerald. Some think that the sardonyx is meant. But the onyx differs from the sardonyx in this, that while the latter has two layers (black and white) the former has three (black, white, and red).
Open place. Gen. 38:14, 21, mar. Enaim; the same probably as Enam (Josh. 15:34), a city in the lowland or Shephelah.
Ophel hill; mound, the long, narrow, rounded promontory on the southern slope of the temple hill, between the Tyropoeon and the Kedron valley (2 Chr. 27:3; 33:14; Neh. 3:26, 27). It was surrounded by a separate wall, and was occupied by the Nethinim after the Captivity. This wall has been discovered by the engineers of the Palestine Exploration Fund at the south-eastern angle of the temple area. It is 4 feet below the present surface. In 2 Kings 5:24 this word is translated "tower" (R.V., "hill"), denoting probably some eminence near Elisha's house.
(1.) One of the sons of Joktan (Gen. 10:29).
(2.) Some region famous for its gold (1 Kings 9:28; 10:11; 22:48; Job 22:24; 28:16; Isa. 13:12). In the LXX. this word is rendered "Sophir," and "Sofir" is the Coptic name for India, which is the rendering of the Arabic version, as also of the Vulgate. Josephus has identified it with the Golden Chersonese, i.e., the Malay peninsula. It is now generally identified with Abhira, at the mouth of the Indus. Much may be said, however, in favour of the opinion that it was somewhere in Arabia.
Ophni mouldy, a city of Benjamin (Josh. 18:24).
Ophrah a fawn. 1 Chr. 4:14.
(1.) A city of Benjamin (Josh. 18:23); probably identical with Ephron (2 Chr. 13:19) and Ephraim (John 11:54).
(2.) "Of the Abi-ezrites." A city of Manasseh, 6 miles south-west of Shechem, the residence of Gideon (Judg. 6:11; 8:27, 32). After his great victory over the Midianites, he slew at this place the captive kings (8:18-21). He then assumed the function of high priest, and sought to make Ophrah what Shiloh should have been. This thing "became a snare" to Gideon and his house. After Gideon's death his family resided here till they were put to death by Abimelech (Judg. 9:5). It is identified with Ferata.
Oracle. In the Old Testament used in every case, except 2 Sam. 16:23, to denote the most holy place in the temple (1 Kings 6:5, 19-23; 8:6). In 2 Sam. 16:23 it means the Word of God. A man inquired "at the oracle of God" by means of the Urim and Thummim in the breastplate on the high priest's ephod. In the New Testament it is used only in the plural, and always denotes the Word of God (Rom. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, etc.). The Scriptures are called "living oracles" (comp. Heb. 4:12) because of their quickening power (Acts 7:38).
Oreb raven, a prince of Midian, who, being defeated by Gideon and put to straits, was slain along with Zeeb (Judg. 7:20-25). Many of the Midianites perished along with him (Ps. 83:9; Isa. 10:26).
Oreb, The rock of the place where Gideon slew Oreb after the defeat of the Midianites (Judg. 7:25; Isa. 10:26). It was probably the place now called Orbo, on the east of Jordan, near Bethshean.
Oren ash or pine, the son of Jerahmeel (1 Chr. 2:25).
Organ some kind of wind instrument, probably a kind of Pan's pipes (Gen. 4:21; Job 21:12; Ps. 150:4), which consisted of seven or eight reeds of unequal length.
Orion Heb. Kesil; i.e., "the fool", the name of a constellation (Job 9:9; 38:31; Amos 5:8) consisting of about eighty stars. The Vulgate renders thus, but the LXX. renders by Hesperus, i.e., "the evening-star," Venus. The Orientals "appear to have conceived of this constellation under the figure of an impious giant bound upon the sky." This giant was, according to tradition, Nimrod, the type of the folly that contends against God. In Isa. 13:10 the plural form of the Hebrew word is rendered "constellations."
Ornan 1 Chr. 21:15. (See ARAUNAH.)
Orpah forelock or fawn, a Moabitess, the wife of Chilion (Ruth 1:4; 4:10). On the death of her husband she accompanied Naomi, her mother-in-law, part of the way to Bethlehem, and then returned to Moab.
Orphans (Lam. 5:3), i.e., desolate and without protectors. The word occurs only here. In John 14:18 the word there rendered "comfortless" (R.V., "desolate;" marg., "orphans") properly means "orphans." The same Greek word is rendered "fatherless" in James 1:27.
Osprey Heb. 'ozniyyah, an unclean bird according to the Mosaic law (Lev. 11:13; Deut. 14:12); the fish-eating eagle (Pandion haliaetus); one of the lesser eagles. But the Hebrew word may be taken to denote the short-toed eagle (Circaetus gallicus of Southern Europe), one of the most abundant of the eagle tribe found in Palestine.
Ossifrage Heb. peres = to "break" or "crush", the lammer-geier, or bearded vulture, the largest of the whole vulture tribe. It was an unclean bird (Lev. 11:13; Deut. 14:12). It is not a gregarious bird, and is found but rarely in Palestine. "When the other vultures have picked the flesh off any animal, he comes in at the end of the feast, and swallows the bones, or breaks them, and swallows the pieces if he cannot otherwise extract the marrow. The bones he cracks [hence the appropriateness of the name ossifrage, i.e., "bone-breaker"] by letting them fall on a rock from a great height. He does not, however, confine himself to these delicacies, but whenever he has an opportunity will devour lambs, kids, or hares. These he generally obtains by pushing them over cliffs, when he has watched his opportunity; and he has been known to attack men while climbing rocks, and dash them against the bottom. But tortoises and serpents are his ordinary food...No doubt it was a lammer-geier that mistook the bald head of the poet AEschylus for a stone, and dropped on it the tortoise which killed him" (Tristram's Nat. Hist.).
Ostrich (Lam. 4:3), the rendering of Hebrew pl. enim; so called from its greediness and gluttony. The allusion here is to the habit of the ostrich with reference to its eggs, which is thus described: "The outer layer of eggs is generally so ill covered that they are destroyed in quantities by jackals, wild-cats, etc., and that the natives carry them away, only taking care not to leave the marks of their footsteps, since, when the ostrich comes and finds that her nest is discovered, she crushes the whole brood, and builds a nest elsewhere." In Job 39:13 this word in the Authorized Version is the rendering of a Hebrew word (notsah) which means "feathers," as in the Revised Version. In the same verse the word "peacocks" of the Authorized Version is the rendering of the Hebrew pl. renanim, properly meaning "ostriches," as in the Revised Version. (See OWL, 1.)
Othni a lion of Jehovah, a son of Shemaiah, and one of the temple porters in the time of David (1 Chr. 26:7). He was a "mighty man of valour."
Othniel lion of God, the first of the judges. His wife Achsah was the daughter of Caleb (Josh. 15:16, 17; Judg. 1:13). He gained her hand as a reward for his bravery in leading a successful expedition against Debir (q.v.). Some thirty years after the death of Joshua, the Israelites fell under the subjection of Chushan-rishathaim (q.v.), the king of Mesopotamia. He oppressed them for full eight years, when they "cried" unto Jehovah, and Othniel was raised up to be their deliverer. He was the younger brother of Caleb (Judg. 3:8, 9-11). He is the only judge mentioned connected with the tribe of Judah. Under him the land had rest forty years.
Ouches an Old English word denoting cavities or sockets in which gems were set (Ex. 28:11).
Oven Heb. tannur, (Hos. 7:4). In towns there appear to have been public ovens. There was a street in Jerusalem (Jer. 37:21) called "bakers' street" (the only case in which the name of a street in Jerusalem is preserved). The words "tower of the furnaces" (Neh. 3:11; 12:38) is more properly "tower of the ovens" (Heb. tannurim). These resemble the ovens in use among ourselves. There were other private ovens of different kinds. Some were like large jars made of earthenware or copper, which were heated inside with wood (1 Kings 17:12; Isa. 44:15; Jer. 7:18) or grass (Matt. 6:30), and when the fire had burned out, small pieces of dough were placed inside or spread in thin layers on the outside, and were thus baked. (See FURNACE.) Pits were also formed for the same purposes, and lined with cement. These were used after the same manner. Heated stones, or sand heated by a fire heaped over it, and also flat irons pans, all served as ovens for the preparation of bread. (See Gen. 18:6; 1 Kings 19:6.)
(1.) Heb. bath-haya'anah, "daughter of greediness" or of "shouting." In the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:16; Deut. 14:15); also mentioned in Job 30:29; Isa. 13:21; 34:13; 43:20; Jer. 50:39; Micah 1:8. In all these passages the Revised Version translates "ostrich" (q.v.), which is the correct rendering.
(2.) Heb. yanshuph, rendered "great owl" in Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:16, and "owl" in Isa. 34:11. This is supposed to be the Egyptian eagle-owl (Bubo ascalaphus), which takes the place of the eagle-owl (Bubo maximus) found in Southern Europe. It is found frequenting the ruins of Egypt and also of the Holy Land. "Its cry is a loud, prolonged, and very powerful hoot. I know nothing which more vividly brought to my mind the sense of desolation and loneliness than the re-echoing hoot of two or three of these great owls as I stood at midnight among the ruined temples of Baalbek" (Tristram). The LXX. and Vulgate render this word by "ibis", i.e., the Egyptian heron.
(3.) Heb. kos, rendered "little owl" in Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:16, and "owl" in Ps. 102:6. The Arabs call this bird "the mother of ruins." It is by far the most common of all the owls of Palestine. It is the Athene persica, the bird of Minerva, the symbol of ancient Athens.
(4.) Heb. kippoz, the "great owl" (Isa. 34:15); Revised Version, "arrow-snake;" LXX. and Vulgate, "hedgehog," reading in the text, kippod, instead of kippoz. There is no reason to doubt the correctness of the rendering of the Authorized Version. Tristram says: "The word [i.e., kippoz] is very possibly an imitation of the cry of the scops owl (Scops giu), which is very common among ruins, caves, and old walls of towns...It is a migrant, returning to Palestine in spring."
(5.) Heb. lilith, "screech owl" (Isa. 34:14, marg. and R.V., "night monster"). The Hebrew word is from a root signifying "night." Some species of the owl is obviously intended by this word. It may be the hooting or tawny owl (Syrnium aluco), which is common in Egypt and in many parts of Palestine. This verse in Isaiah is "descriptive of utter and perpetual desolation, of a land that should be full of ruins, and inhabited by the animals that usually make such ruins their abode."
Ox. Heb. bakar, "cattle;" "neat cattle", (Gen. 12:16; 34:28; Job 1:3, 14; 42:12, etc.); not to be muzzled when treading the corn (Deut. 25:4). Referred to by our Lord in his reproof to the Pharisees (Luke 13:15; 14:5).
Ox goad mentioned only in Judg. 3:31, the weapon with which Shamgar (q.v.) slew six hundred Philistines. "The ploughman still carries his goad, a weapon apparently more fitted for the hand of the soldier than the peaceful husbandman. The one I saw was of the 'oak of Bashan,' and measured upwards of ten feet in length. At one end was an iron spear, and at the other a piece of the same metal flattened. One can well understand how a warrior might use such a weapon with effect in the battle-field" (Porter's Syria, etc.). (See GOAD.)
(1.) One of David's brothers; the sixth son of Jesse (1 Chr. 2:15).
(2.) A son of Jerahmeel (1 Chr. 2:25).
Ozias son of Joram (Matt. 1:8); called also Uzziah (2 Kings 15:32, 34).
Ozni hearing, one of the sons of Gad; also called Ezbon (Gen. 46:16; Num. 26:16).