fa'-b'-l (muthos):

(1) Primitive man conceives of the objects around him as possessing his own characteristics. Consequently in his stories, beasts, trees, rocks, etc., think, talk and act exactly as if they were human beings. Of course, but little advance in knowledge was needed to put an end to this mode of thought, but the form of story-telling developed by it persisted and is found in the folk-tales of all nations. More particularly, the archaic form of story was used for the purpose of moral instruction, and when so used is termed the fable. Modern definitions distinguish it from the parable

(a) by its use of characters of lower intelligence than man (although reasoning and speaking like men), and

(b) by its lesson for this life only. But, while these distinctions serve some practical purpose in distinguishing (say) the fables of Aesop from the parables of Christ, they are of little value to the student of folk-lore. For fable, parable, allegory, etc., are all evolutions from a common stock, and they tend to blend with each other.


(2) The Semitic mind is peculiarly prone to allegorical expression, and a modern Arabian storyteller will invent a fable or a parable as readily as he will talk. And we may be entirely certain that the very scanty appearance of fables in the Old Testament is due only to the character of its material and not at all to an absence of fables from the mouths of the Jews of old. Only two examples have reached us. In Jud 9:7-15 Jotham mocks the choice of AbimeItch as king with the fable of the trees that could find no tree that would accept the trouble of the kingship except the worthless bramble. And in 2Ki 14:9 Jehoash ridicules the pretensions of Amaziah with the story of the thistle that wished to make a royal alliance with the cedar. Yet that the distinction between fable and allegory, etc., is artificial is seen in Isa 5:1,2, where the vineyard is assumed to possess a deliberate will to be perverse.

(3) In the New Testament, "fable" is found in 1Ti 1:4; 4:7; 2Ti 4:4; Tit 1:14; 2Pe 1:16, as the translation of muthos ("myth"). The sense here differs entirely from that discussed above, and "fable" means a (religious) story that has no connection with reality--contrasted with the knowledge of an eyewitness in 2Pe 1:16. The exact nature of these "fables" is of course something out of our knowledge, but the mention in connection with them of "endless genealogies" in 1Ti 1:4 points with high probability to some form of Gnostic speculation that interposed a chain of eons between God and the world. In some of the Gnostic systems that we know, these chains are described with a prolixity so interminable (the Pistis Sophia is the best example) as to justify well the phrase "old wives' fables" in 1Ti 4:7. But that these passages have Gnostic reference need not tell against the Pauline authorship of the Pastorals, as a fairly well developed "Gnosticism" is recognizable in a passage as early as Col 2, and as the description of the fables as Jewish in Tit 1:14 (compare Tit 3:9) is against 2nd-century references. But for details the commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles must be consulted. It is worth noting that in 2Ti 4:4 the adoption of these fables is said to be the result of dabbling in the dubious. This manner of losing one's hold on reality is, unfortunately, something not confined to the apostolic age.

Burton Scott Easton


fas: In Hebrew the translation of three expressions:

(1) panim

(2) `ayin, literally, "eye" and

(3) 'aph, literally, "nose," "nostril," already noted under the word COUNTENANCE, which see.

The first and second of these words are used synonymously, even in metaphorical expressions, as, for example in the phrase "the face of the earth," where panim is used (De 6:15 et passim) and `ayin (Nu 22:5 et passim). The third expression preserves more clearly its original meaning. It is generally used in the phrases "to bow one's self to the earth," "to fall on one's face," where the nose actually touched the ground. Often "my face," "thy face" is mere oriental circumlocution for the personal pronoun "I," "me," "thou," "thee." "In thy face" means "in thy presence;" and is often so translated. A very large number of idiomatic Hebrew expressions have been introduced into our language through the medium of the Bible translation. We notice the most important of these phrases.

"To seek the face" is to seek an audience with a prince or with God, to seek favor (Ps 24:6; 27:8; 105:4; Pr 7:15; Ho 5:15; compare Pr 29:26, where the Revised Version (British and American) translates "Many seek the ruler's favor," literally, many seek the face (Hebrew pene) of a ruler).

If God "hides his face" He withdraws His presence, His favor (De 32:20; Job 34:29; Ps 13:1; 30:7; 143:7; Isa 54:8; Jer 33:5; Eze 39:23,14; Mic 3:4). Such withdrawal of the presence of God is to be understood as a consequence of man's personal disobedience, not as a wrathful denial of God's favor (Isa 59:2). God is asked to "hide his face," i.e. to disregard or overlook (Ps 51:9; compare Ps 10:11). This is also the idea of the prayer: "Cast me not away from thy presence" (literally, "face," Ps 51:11), and of the promise: "The upright shall dwell in thy presence" (literally, "face," Ps 140:13). If used of men, "to hide the face" expresses humility and reverence before an exalted presence (Ex 3:6; Isa 6:2); similarly Elijah "wrapped his face in his mantle" when God passed by (1Ki 19:13). The "covering of the face" is a sign of mourning (2Sa 19:4 = Eze 12:6,12); a "face covered with fatness" is synonymous with prosperity and arrogance (Job 15:27); to have one's face covered by another person is a sign of hopeless doom, as if one were already dead. This was done to Human, when judgment had been pronounced over him (Es 7:8).

"To turn away one's face" is a sign of insulting indifference or contempt (2Ch 29:6; Eze 14:6; Sirach 4:4; compare Jer 2:27; 18:17; 32:33); on the part of God an averted face is synonymous with rejection (Ps 13:1; 27:9; 88:14).

"To harden the face" means to harden one's self against any sort of appeal (Pr 21:29; Isa 50:7; Jer 5:3; compare Eze 3:9).

See also SPIT.

In this connection we also mention the phrase "to respect persons," literally, to "recognize the face" (Le 19:15, or, slightly different in expression, De 1:17; 16:19; Pr 24; 23; 28:21), in the sense of unjustly favoring a person, or requiting him with undue evil. Compare also the Hebrew hadhar (Ex 23:3 the King James Version), "to countenance" (see under the word).

The "showbread" meant literally, "bread of the face," "of the presence," Hebrew lechem panim; Greek artoi enopioi, artoi tes protheseos.

H. L. E. Luering


Lit. "a deed."

The word occurs only in the heading of the chapter, 2Ki 10 the King James Version, "Jehu excuseth the fact by the prophecy of Elijah," and in 2 Macc 4:36, with reference to the murder of Onias, "certain of the Greeks that abhorred the fact (the deed) also" (summisoponerounton, literally, "hating wickedness together with (others))," the Revised Version (British and American) "the Greeks also joining with them in hatred of the wickedness."


fad (nabhel; maraino): "To fade" is in the Old Testament the translation of nabhel, "to droop or wither," figuratively, "to fade," or "pass way" (Ps 18:45; Isa 1:30; 24:4; 28:1,4; 40:7,8); once it is the translation of balal "to well up," "to overflow"; perhaps from nabhal (Isa 64:6, "We all do fade as a leaf"); in the New Testament of maraino, "to come to wither or to fade away" (Jas 1:11, "So also shall the rich man fade away in his ways," the Revised Version (British and American) "in his goings"); compare The Wisdom of Solomon 28, "Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds, before they be withered" (maraino); amardntinos (amaranth), "unfading," occurs in 1Pe 5:4, "the crown of glory that fadeth not away," and amarantos (1Pe 1:4), "an inheritance .... that fadeth not away"; compare The Wisdom of Solomon 6:12, "Wisdom is glorious (the Revised Version (British and American) "radiant"), and fadeth not away."

For "fade" (Eze 47:12), the Revised Version (British and American) has "wither"; for "fall" "falleth" "falling" (Isa 34:4), "fade," "fadeth," "fading".

W. L. Walker


fal (kalah, karath; ekleipo): "Fail" is both intransitive, "to fall short," "be wanting," and trans, "to be wanting to."

Of the many words translated "fail" in the Old Testament, kalah is the most frequent, meaning "to be consumed," "ended" (Job 11:20; 17:5; Ps 69:3; 71:9, etc.; Pr 22:8; Isa 15:6, etc.; Jer 14:6; La 2:11; 3:22; 4:17); it is the translation of karath, "to be cut off" (2Sa 3:29, of failure in succession; so 1Ki 2:4, etc.); `adhar, "to marshal," "to be missed" or "lacking" (Isa 34:16 the King James Version; Isa 40:26 the King James Version; Isa 59:15 the King James Version; Ze 3:5); of raphah, "to become faint" or "to make feeble" (De 31:6,8; "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee," Jos 1:5; 1Ch 28:20); of '-abhadh, "to perish," "be lost" (Ps 142:4, "Refuge hath failed me"; Eze 12:22, "Every vision faileth"). Many other Hebrew words are translated "fail," "faileth," for the most part in single instances.

In the New Testament, ekleipo, "to leave out" or "off," is thrice rendered "fail" (Lu 16:9 "when it shall fail"; Lu 22:32, "that thy faith fail not"; Heb 1:12, "Thy years shall not fail"); ekpipto, "to fall off or away" (1Co 13:8, "Charity (the Revised Version (British and American) "love") never faileth"); katargeo, "to make useless" (1Co 13:8 the King James Version, "Whether prophecies, they shall fail"); hustereo, "to be behind," "to lack" (Heb 12:15 the King James Version); apopsucho, "to swoon away," "failing" (Lu 21:26 the King James Version).

The Revised Version (British and American) has "fail," in a new translation of Jer 18:14, for "fall" (La 1:14, margin "stumble"); "his hand fail" for "fallen in decay" (Le 25:35); "I will in no wise fail thee" for "I will never leave thee" (Heb 13:5; compare De 31:6; Jos 1:5); "failed to enter" for "entered not" (Heb 4:6); "faileth" (American Standard Revised Version) for "ceaseth" (Ps 49:8), the English Revised Version "must be let alone for ever"; "failing" for "was darkened" (Lu 23:45); for "fail" (Ezr 4:22), "be slack," "be missing" (Isa 34:16); "falleth short of" (Heb 12:15, maqrgin, "falleth bacf from"); for "failed," "was all spent" (Ge 47:15); "wholly" (Jos 3:16); "fail (in looking)" (La 4:17); for "faileth," "is lacking" (Isa 40:26; 59:15); for "men's hearts failing them" (Lu 21:26), "men fainting," margin "expiring."

W. L. Walker


fan (advb.): Occurs twice in English Versions of the Bible, in the sense of "gladly":

(1) in Job 27:22 as the rendering of barach, "to flee with haste" (from anything), "He would fain flee out of his hand," literally, as in in of the King James Version, "in fleeing he would flee";

(2) in Lu 15:16, as the translation of epithumeo, "to fix the mind or desire on," "He would fain have filled his belly with the husks which the swine did eat." the Revised Version (British and American) adds two instances:

(1) Lu 13:31, "Herod would fain kill thee";

(2) Ac 26:28, "Thou wouldest fain make me a Christian."



fant (`ayeph, `uph, ya`aph, `alaph, aTaph, dawway, yaghea`, macac, rakhakh, paghar, kahah; ekluo, ekkakeo, kamno): The Hebrew vocabulary for the depressing physical conditions and mental emotions which are rendered in the King James Version by the English words "faint," "fainthess," and other compounds of that stem, is, as will be seen above, wide and varied in derivation. The 11 Hebrew and 3 Greek words and their derivatives are used in 62 passages in the King James Version to express these conditions.

`Ayeph is used to express the exhaustion from fatigue and hunger in the case of Esau (Ge 25:29,30). This and its variants come from a root which primarily means "to cover or conceal," therefore "to be dark or obscure," and so, figuratively, "to be faint or depressed." Israel's helpless state when harassed by Amalek (De 25:18) and the plight of Gideon's weary force when they sought in vain for help at Succoth (Jud 8:4) are described by the same word. Isaiah also uses it to picture the disappointed and unsatisfied appetite of the thirsty man awakening from his dream of refreshment (Isa 29:8). In 2Sa 16:14, `ayephim is probably a proper name of a place (Revised Version, margin).

`Uph in 1Sa 14:28-31 describes the exhaustion of Saul's host in pursuit of the Philistines after the battle of Michmash. The same word expresses the failure of David's strength when in conflict with the same foes, which led to his imminent peril and to the consequent refusal of the commander of his army to allow him to take part personally in the combat (2Sa 21:15).

Ya`-aph is used by Ziba when he brought refreshments to David's men on the flight from Absalom (2Sa 16:2); see also its use in Isa 40:28. Cognate verbal forms occur in Isa 40:30,31; Jer 2:24; 51:58,64; Hab 2:13, as also in Jud 8:15, meaning in all cases the faintness or exhaustion of fatigue or weariness.

`Alpah expresses the faintness from thirst in Am 8:13, or from the heat of the sun (Jon 4:8), and figuratively, the despondency which was the result of the captivity (Isa 51:20). Ezekiel uses it allegorically as describing the withering of the trees for grief at the death of the Assyrian kings (Eze 31:15).

`ATaph is the weariness of the wanderers in the desert (Ps 107:5), the faintness from hunger (La 2:19), or the despondency of Jonah dispelled by his remembrance of God's mercies (Jon 2:7).

Dawway, from a root which signifies the sickness produced by exhaustion from loss of blood, is used in Isa 1:5 for the faintness of heart, the result of remorse for sin, and in Jer 8:18 for the prophet's sorrow for the sins of Israel. A cognate form expresses his sorrow on account of the judgments of God which were incurred as punishments for the national backsliding (La 1:13,12; 5:17).

Macac, literally, "dissolving or melting," is applied to the contagious fear which the example of a cowardly soldier produces among his comrades (De 20:8, the Revised Version (British and American) "melt"). In the remarkable passage in Isa 10:18, in which God pronounces the doom of Assyria when his purposes of chastisement on Israel have been fulfilled, the collapse of Assyria is said to be "as when a standard-bearer fainteth." For this the Revised Version, margin substitutes "as when a sick man pineth away," which is probably the correct rendering. The word macac may mean either a sick man, or else something glittering and seen from afar, such as a standard, but the former sense is more intelligible and suggestive in the context. The rarely used verbal form cognate to macac is used on account of its assonance. Yaghea` (yagha`), which is usually translated "grieved" or "tormented" or "fatigued," is rendered as "fainted" in Jer 45:3. This passage, "I fainted in my sighing" the King James Version, is in Hebrew the same as that which reads, "I am weary with my groaning" in Ps 6:6, and is similarly rendered in the Revised Version (British and American).

Rakhakh, like macac, primarily signifies "to melt" or "to become soft," and is used in prophetic exhortations in which the people are encouraged not to be panic-stricken in the presence of enemies (De 20:3, and also Jer 51:46; Isa 7:4). Another related word, morekh, in the sense of despair and utter loss of courage, is used in expressing the consequences of God's wrath against Israel (Le 26:36). In its literal sense it signifies "blandness," as of the words of a hypocritical enemy (Ps 55:21).

Paghar is the prostration of utter fatigue whereby one is unable to raise himself or to proceed on a journey, as were some of David's little band (1Sa 30:10-21). A cognate word describes the prostration of amazement and incredulity with which Jacob heard of Joseph's condition in Egypt (Ge 45:26).

Kahah, the pining of earnest, longing desire, is translated "fainteth" in Ps 84:2; 119:81; elsewhere it is rendered by words expressing wasting or languishing. The panic in Canaan due to famine is expressed (Ge 47:13) by the word lahah, which implies a state of frenzy.

The only records of actual fainting are

(1) Daniel, in Da 8:27, where the word used is the Niphal of the verb hayah, literally, "became," meaning that he became weak;

(2) swooning is mentioned in Additions to Esther 5:7-14.

In the New Testament "faint" is used in the sense of physical exhaustion (Mt 9:36 the King James Version; Mt 15:32; Mr 8:3), where it is part of the verb ekluo, "to relax." Otherwise it is used figuratively of discouragement of spirit. The same verb is used in Ga 6:9; Heb 12:3,5; but in Lu 18:1; 2Co 4:1-16; Eph 3:13 it is part of the verb ekkakeo (according to some authorities egkakeo, pronounced enkakeo, meaning "to be faint-hearted" or "to be culpably negligent"). In Re 2:3 it is kopiao, literally, "to be tired."

Alexander Macalister


far: The word translated in the King James Version from 9 Hebrew and 4 Greek expressions has nowhere in the Bible the modern sense of "blond," "fair-skinned." The translation of Isa 54:11, "fair colors," refers to the cosmetic use of pukh, stibium, antimony powder, with which black margins were painted around the eyelids, so as to make the eyes appear large and dark. The stones of rebuilt Jerusalem, beautifully laid in their black mortar, are compared with such eyes. We can distinguish the following varieties of meaning:

(1) Beautiful, attractive, Tobh, yaphah, yapheh; Aramaic shappir; Septuagint kalos; in the New Testament asteios. This latter word is in both places where it is found used of Moses (Ac 7:20; Heb 11:23, the Revised Version (British and American) "goodly"), and means literally, town bred (as opposed to boorish), polite, polished in manners, urbane, then nice, pretty.

(2) Pure, free of defilement, the Revised Version (British and American) "clean," Tahor (Zec 3:5).

(3) "Fair speech," plausible, persuasive (leqah, Pr 7:21; eulalos, Sirach 6:5; compare eulogia, Ro 16:18).

(4) Making a fine display (euprosopein, Ga 6:12, "to make a fair show").

(5) Good (of weather) (zahabh, "golden," "clear," Job 37:2,2, the Revised Version (British and American) "golden splendor"); eudia (Mt 16:2).

H. L. E. Luering


far ha'-v'-nz (Kaloi Limenes): A roadstead on the South coast of Crete, about 5 miles East of Cape Matala, the most southerly point of the island. The harbor is formed by a bay, open to the East, and sheltered on the Southwest by two small islands. Here Paul waited for a considerable time (Ac 27:9); but while it afforded good anchorage and a shelter from North and Northwest winds, "the haven was not commodious to winter in" (Ac 27:8,12).



farz: Found only 5 times in the King James Version (Eze 27:12,14,16,19,27), apparently incorrect translation of `izzabhon, according to modern Hebraists (though Gesenius gives "fair" as one of its meanings). The Septuagint translates the Hebrew of the above five passages by two different words, agora, "market-place" (Eze 27:12,14,16,19), and misthos, "hire," "pay" (Eze 27:27,33). The King James Version follows the Wyclif version in Eze 27:12 and the Geneva version throughout, although it properly translates "wares" in Eze 27:33. the Revised Version (British and American) gives "wares" (which see) throughout.



1. Etymology

2. Meaning: a Divergency

3. Faith in the Sense of Creed

4. A Leading Passage Explained

5. Remarks

6. Conclusion

In the Old Testament (the King James Version) the word occurs only twice: De 32:20 ('emun); Hab 2:4 ('emunah). In the latter the Revised Version (British and American) places in the margin the alternative rendering, "faithfulness." In the New Testament it is of very frequent occurrence, always representing pistis, with one exception in the King James Version (not the Revised Version (British and American)), Heb 10:23, where it represents elpis, "hope."

1. Etymology:

The history of the English word is rather interesting than important; use and contexts, alike for it and its Hebrew and Greek parallels, are the surest guides to meaning. But we may note that it occurs in the form "feyth," in Havelok the Dane (13th century); that it is akin to fides and this again to the Sanskrit root bhidh, "to unite," "to bind." It is worth while to recall this primeval suggestion of the spiritual work of faith, as that which, on man's side, unites him to God for salvation.

2. Meaning: a Divergency:

Studying the word "faith" in the light of use and contexts, we find a bifurcation of significance in the Bible. We may word distinguish the two senses as the passive and the active; on the one side, "fidelity," "trustworthiness"; and "faith," "trust," on the other. In Ga 5:22, for example, context makes it clear that "fidelity" is in view, as a quality congruous with the associated graces. (the Revised Version (British and American) accordingly renders pistis there by "faithfulness.") Again, Ro 3:3 the King James Version, "the faith of God," by the nature of the case, means His fidelity to promise. But in the overwhelming majority of cases, "faith," as rendering pistis, means "reliance," "trust." To illustrate would be to quote many scores of passages. It may be enough here to call attention to the recorded use of the by our Lord. Of about twenty passages in the Gospels where pistis occurs as coming from His lips, only one (Mt 23:23) presents it in the apparent sense of "fidelity." All the others conspicuously demand the sense of "reliance," "trust." The same is true of the apostolic writings. In them, with rarest exceptions, the words "reliance," "trust," precisely fit the context as alternatives to "faith." 3. Faith in the Sense of Creed:

Another line of meaning is traceable in a very few passages, where pistis, "faith," appears in the sense of "creed," the truth, or body of truth, which is trusted, or which justifies trust. The most important of such places is the paragraph Jas 2:14-26, where an apparent contradiction to some great Pauline dicta perplexes many readers. The riddle is solved by observing that the writer uses "faith" in the sense of creed, orthodox "belief." This is clear from Jas 2:19, where the "faith." in question is illustrated: "Thou believest that God is one." This is the credal confession of the orthodox Jew (the shema`; see De 6:4), taken as a passport to salvation. Briefly, James presses the futility of creed without life, Paul the necessity of reliance in order to receive "life and peace."

4. A Leading Passage Explained:

It is important to notice that Heb 11:1 is no exception to the rule that "faith" normally means "reliance," "trust." There "Faith is the substance (or possibly, in the light of recent inquiries into the type of Greek used by New Testament writers, "the guaranty") of things hoped for, the evidence (or "convincing proof") of things not seen." This is sometimes interpreted as if faith, in the writer's view, were, so to speak, a faculty of second sight, a mysterious intuition into the spiritual world. But the chapter amply shows that the faith illustrated, e. g. by Abraham, Moses, Rahab, was simply reliance upon a God known to be trustworthy. Such reliance enabled the believer to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen. In short, the phrase here, "faith is the evidence," etc., is parallel in form to our familiar saying, "Knowledge is power."

5. Remarks:

A few detached remarks may be added: (a) The history of the use of the Greek pistis is instructive. In the Septuagint it normally, if not always, bears the "passive" sense "fidelity," "good faith," while in classical Greek it not rarely bears the active sense, "trust." In the koine, the type of Greek universally common at the Christian era, it seems to have adopted the active meaning as the ruling one only just in time, so to speak, to provide it for the utterance of Him whose supreme message was "reliance," and who passed that message on to His apostles. Through their lips and pens "faith," in that sense, became the supreme watchword of Christianity.


6. Conclusion:

In conclusion, without trespassing on the ground of other articles, we call the reader's attention, for his Scriptural studies, to the central place of faith in Christianity, and its significance. As being, in its true idea, a reliance as simple as possible upon the word, power, love, of Another, it is precisely that which, on man's side, adjusts him to the living and merciful presence and action of a trusted God. In its nature, not by any mere arbitrary arrangement, it is his one possible receptive attitude, that in which he brings nothing, so that he may receive all. Thus "faith" is our side of union with Christ. And thus it is our means of possessing all His benefits, pardon, justification, purification, life, peace, glory.

As a comment on our exposition of the ruling meaning of "faith" in Scripture, we may note that this precisely corresponds to its meaning in common life, where, for once that the word means anything else, it means "reliance" a hundred times. Such correspondence between religious terms (in Scripture) and the meaning of the same words in common life, will be found to be invariable.

Handley Dunelm


sa'-inz (pistos ho logos): "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation" (the King James Version). These words form a striking formula which is found--with slight variations--only in the Pastoral Epistles, in 1Ti 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2Ti 2:11; Tit 3:8. A similar expression occurs in Re 21:5 and Re 22:6 (the King James Version), "These sayings are faithful and true."

The Five "Sayings."

Paul's faithful sayings are thus five in number, and "were no doubt rehearsed constantly in the assemblies, till they became well-known watchwords in the various churches scattered over the Mediterranean-washed provinces of the Roman empire" (Ellicott, New Testament Commentary on 1Ti 1:15).

1. The First "Saying":

The first of the faithful sayings speaks of the pre-existence of Christ, of His coming into the world, and the purpose why He came is distinctly stated--to save the lost, irrespective of race or nationality, sinners who, apart from Christ, are without God and without hope.

2. The Second "Saying":

The second of the faithful sayings refers to the work of being a minister of the gospel, a work then so full of danger and always full of difficulty. The office in question is honorable and Christlike, and, in those early days, it meant stern and ceaseless work, grave and constant danger. This faithful saying would act as a call to young men to offer themselves for the work of proclaiming the gospel to the world, and of witnessing for Christ.

3. The Third "Saying":

The third saying is that godliness has an influence that is world-wide; it consists, not merely in holiness and in that fellowship and communion with God which is the very life of the soul; it is also an active force which springs from "the love of Christ constraining us," and manifests itself in love toward all our fellow-men, for they are God's creatures. Godliness transfigures every rank and condition of life. It has the promise of the life that now is: to those who seek the kingdom of God first, all other things will be added. And it has the promise of the life that is to come, the rich prospect of eternal blessedness with Christ. Compare with this saying the remarkable words in Tit 1:2, "in hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before times eternal." Godliness gives all gladness here, and future glory too. This is a faithful saying.

4. The Fourth "Saying":

The fourth of the faithful sayings speaks of the Christian believer's union with Christ, and of the blessedness of that union. The Christian is "dead with Christ," he "suffers with Christ." But the union with Christ is eternal, "We shall also live with him; .... we shall also reign with him" in life that is fadeless, endless and full of glory. Surely then, no one will draw back, for "if we deny him," "if we believe not," "he also will deny us," for "he abideth faithful, he cannot deny himself."

5. The Fifth "Saying":

The fifth and last of the faithful sayings speaks of our former unconverted state, "for we also once were foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures. But .... the kindness and love of God .... toward man appeared, not by works which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us." Blessedness is now the Christian's lot, and this is the result not of our works: we owe it all to the tender love of God, to His Divine pity, to His redeeming grace. Yes, this is a faithful saying.

John Rutherfurd


fath'-fool, fath'-fool-nes: 1. Faithfulness of God in the Old Testament

2. Faithfulness of God in the New Testament


Faithfulness is a quality or attribute applied in the Scripture to both God and man. This article is limited to the consideration of the Scripture teaching concerning the meaning of faithfulness in its application to God.

Faithfulness is one of the characteristics of God's ethical nature. It denotes the firmness or constancy of God in His relations with men, especially with His people. It is, accordingly, one aspect of God's truth and of His unchangeableness. God is true not only because He is really God in contrast to all that is not God, and because He realizes the idea of Godhead, but also because He is constant or faithful in keeping His promises, and therefore is worthy of trust (see TRUTH). God, likewise, is unchangeable in His ethical nature. This unchangeableness the Scripture often connects with God's goodness and mercy, and also with His constancy in reference to His covenant promises, and this is what the Old Testament means by the Faithfulness of God (see UNCHANGEABLENESS).

1. Faithfulfulness of God in the Old Testament:

In the Old Testament this attribute is ascribed to God in passages where the Hebrew words denoting faithfulness do not occur. It is implied in the covenant name Yahweh as unfolded in Ex 3:13-15, which not only expresses God's self-existence and unchangeableness, but, as the context indicates, puts God's immutability in special relation to His gracious promises, thus denoting God's unchangeable faithfulness which is emphasized in the Old Testament to awaken trust in God (De 7:9; Ps 36:5 (Hebrew 6); Isa 11:5; Ho 12:6,9). (For fuller remarks on the name Yahweh in Ex 3:13-15, see article UNCHANGEABLENESS.) It is, moreover, God's faithfulness as well as His immutability which is implied in those passages where God is called a rock, as being the secure object of religious trust (De 32:4,15; Ps 18:2 (Hebrew 3); 42:9 (Hebrew 10); Isa 17:10, etc.). This same attribute is also implied where God reveals Himself to Moses and to Israel as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their fathers' God (Ex 3:6,15,16). The truth concerning God here taught is not simply that He stood in a gracious relation to the Patriarchs, but that He is faithful to His gracious promise to their fathers, and that what He was to them He will continue to be to Moses and to Israel. This is the fundamental idea in the Old Testament concerning the faithfulness of God.

This can be seen also from the Hebrew words which are used to express this quality of God's nature and activity. These words are ne'eman, the Niphal participle of the verb 'aman used as an adjective--"faithful"--and the nouns 'emeth and 'emunah--"faithfulness." The verbal stem 'aman means "to be secure or firm." In the Qal it denotes the firmness of that which supports something, being used in the participle of a nurse who carries a child (Nu 11:12; 2Sa 4:4; Isa 49:23). In the Niphal it denotes the firmness of that which is supported, for example, a child which is carried (Isa 60:4); a well-founded house (1Sa 2:35; 25:28); a wall which firmly holds a nail (Isa 22:23,15); a kingdom firmly established (2Sa 7:16); persons secure in political station (Isa 7:9); a heart which is faithful (Ne 9:8). Hence, in the Niphal the verb comes to have the meaning of being true in the sense of the agreement of words and assertions with reality; for example, of words and revelations (Ge 42:20; Ho 5:9); and of persons (Isa 8:2; Jer 42:5). It has also the meaning of being faithful, being applied to men in Nu 12:7; Ps 101:6; Ne 13:13, etc. In this sense the term is applied to the covenant-keeping Yahweh to express the truth that He is firm or constant, that is, faithful in regard to His covenant promises, and will surely fulfill them (De 7:9; Isa 49:7; and possibly Ho 11:12 (Hebrew 12:1)).

A similar use is made of the nouns 'emeth and 'emunah. Apart from the instances where 'emeth denotes the idea of truth or the correspondence of words and ideas with reality, and the instances where it denotes the agreement of acts and words with the inner disposition, that is, sincerity, it is also used to denote the idea of faithfulness as above defined. As regards the noun 'emunah, apart from a few passages where it is doubtful whether it means truth or faithfulness, it usually denotes the latter idea. Both these nouns, then, are used to signify the idea of faithfulness, that is, constancy or firmness, especially in the fulfillment of all obligations. In this sense these words are not only applied to men, but also to God to express the idea that He is always faithful to His covenant promises. It is this attribute of God which the Psalmist declares (Ps 40:10 (Hebrew 11)), and the greatness of which he affirms by saying that God's faithfulness reacheth to the clouds (Ps 36:5 (Hebrew 6)). It is this which he makes the object of praise (Ps 89:1,2 (Hebrew 2,3); Ps 92:2 (Hebrew 3)); and which he says should be praised and reverenced by all men (Ps 89:5,8 (Hebrew 6,9)). And even this faithfulness is itself characterized by constancy, if we may so speak, for the Psalmist says that it endures to all generations (Ps 100:5). Being thus a characteristic of God, it also characterizes His salvation, and becomes the basis of confidence that God will hear prayer (Ps 143:1). It thus becomes the security of the religious man (Ps 91:4); and the source of God's help to His people (Ps 31:5 (Hebrew 6)). Accordingly in the teaching of prophecy, the salvation of the covenant people rests upon no claim or merit of their own, but solely upon Yahweh's mercy, grace and faithfulness. When Israel incurred God's judgments, it might have appeared as if His promise was to fail, but, so far from this being true, as Yahweh, He is faithful to His word of promise which stands forever (Isa 40:8). Even from eternity His counsels are characterized by faithfulness and truth (Isa 25:1); and this is not because of Israel's faithfulness, but it is for His own sake that Yahweh blotteth out their transgressions (Isa 43:22-25; Mic 7:18-20). It is, moreover, this same characteristic of Yahweh which is asserted in many cases where the Hebrew words 'emeth and 'emunah are translated by the word "truth" in the King James Version. In Ex 34:6 it is God's faithfulness ('emeth) which is referred to, since it evidently signifies His constancy from generation to generation; and in De 32:4 it is also God's faithfulness ('emunah) which is mentioned, since it is contrasted with the faithlessness of Israel. The same is true of 'emeth in Mic 7:20; Ps 31:5 (Hebrew 6)); 91:4; 146:6. This is also true of the numerous instances where God's mercy and truth ('emeth) are combined, His mercy being the source of His gracious promises, and His truth the faithfulness with which He certainly fulfills them (Ps 25:10; 57:3 (Hebrew 4); 61:7 (Hebrew 8); 85:10 (Hebrew 11); 86:15). And since the covenant-keeping Yahweh is faithful, faithfulness comes also to be a characteristic of the New Covenant which is everlasting (Ps 89:28 (Hebrew 29)); compare also for a similar thought, Isa 54:8 ff; Jer 31:35 ff; Ho 2:19 f; Eze 16:60 ff.

It is in this connection, moreover, that God's faithfulness is closely related to His righteousness in the Old Testament. In the second half of the prophecy of Isaiah and in many of the psalms, righteousness is ascribed to God because He comes to help and save His people. Thus righteousness as a quality parallel with grace, mercy and faithfulness is ascribed to God (Isa 41:10; 42:6; 45:13,19,21; 63:1). It appears in these places to widen out from its exclusively judicial or forensic association and to become a quality of God as Saviour of His people. Accordingly this attribute of God is appealed to in the Psalms as the basis of hope for salvation and deliverance (Ps 31:1 (Hebrew 2); 35:24; 71:2; 143:11). Hence, this attribute is associated with God's mercy and grace (Ps 36:5 (Hebrew 6); 36:9 (Hebrew 10); 89:14 (Hebrew 15)); also with His faithfulness (Zec 8:8; Ps 36:6 (Hebrew 7)); Ps 40:10 (Hebrew 11); 88:11,12 (Hebrew 12,13); 89:14 (Hebrew 15); 96:13; 119:137,142; 143:1). Accordingly the Old Testament conception of the righteousness of God has been practically identified with His covenant faithfulness, by such writers as Kautzsch, Riehm and Smend, Ritschl's definition of it being very much the same. Moreover, Ritschl, following Diestel, denied that the idea of distributive and retributive justice is ascribed to God in the Old Testament. In regard to this latter point, it should be remarked in passing that this denial that the judicial or forensic idea of righteousness is ascribed to God in the Old Testament breaks down, not only in view of the fact that the Old Testament does ascribe this attribute to God in many ways, but also in view of the fact that in a number of passages the idea of retribution is specifically referred to the righteousness of God (see RIGHTEOUSNESS; compare against Diestel and Ritschl, Dalman, Die richterliche Gerechtigkeit im Alten Testament).

That which concerns us, however, in regard to this close relation between righteousness and faithfulness is to observe that this should not be pressed to the extent of the identification of righteousness with covenant faithfulness in these passages in the Psalms and the second half of Isa. The idea seems to be that Israel has sinned and has no claim upon Yahweh, finding her only hope of deliverance in His mercy and faithfulness. But this very fact that Yahweh is merciful and faithful becomes, as it were, Israel's claim, or rather the ground of Israel's hope of deliverance from her enemies. Hence, in the recognition of this claim of His people, God is said to be righteous in manifesting His mercy and faithfulness, so that His righteousness, no less than His mercy and faithfulness, becomes the ground of His people's hope. Righteousness is thus closely related in these cases to faithfulness, but it is not identified with it, nor has it in all cases lost entirely its forensic tone. This seems to be, in general, the meaning of righteousness in the Psalms and the second half of Isaiah, with which may also be compared Mic 6:9; Zec 8:8.

The emphasis which this attribute of God has in the Old Testament is determined by the fact that throughout the whole of the Old Testament the covenant relation of Yahweh to His people is founded solely in God's grace, and not on any merit of theirs. If this covenant relation had been based on any claim of Israel, faithfulness on God's part might have been taken for granted. But since Yahweh's covenant relation with Israel and His promises of salvation spring solely from, and depend wholly upon, the grace of God, that which gave firm assurance that the past experience of God's grace would continue in the future was this immutable faithfulness of Yahweh. By it the experience of the fathers was given a religious value for Israel from generation to generation. And even as the faithfulness of God bridged over the past and the present, so also it constituted the connecting link between the present and the future, becoming thus the firm basis of Israel's hope; compare Ps 89 which sets forth the faithfulness of God in its greatness, its firmness as the basis of the covenant and the ground it affords of hope for future help from Yahweh, and for hope that His covenant shall endure forever. When God's people departed from Him all the more emphasis was put upon His faithfulness, so that the only hope of His wayward people lay not only in His grace and mercy but also in His faithfulness, which stands in marked contrast with the faithlessness and inconstancy of His people. This is probably the meaning of the difficult verse Ho 11:12 (Hebrew 12:1).

2. Faithfulness of God in the New Testament:

In the New Testament teaching concerning the faithfulness of God the same idea of faithfulness to His gracious promises is emphasized and held up as the object of a confident trust in God. This idea is usually expressed by the adjective pistos, and once by the noun pistis, which more frequently has the active sense of faith or trust.

An attempt has been made by Wendt (SK, 1883, 511 f; Teaching of Jesus, English translation, I, 259 f) to interpret the words aletheia and alethes in many instances, especially in the Johannine writings, as denoting faithfulness and rectitude, after the analogy of the Septuagint rendering eleos kai aletheia for the Hebrew phrase "mercy and truth," in which truth is equivalent to faithfulness. But the most that could be inferred from the fact that the Septuagint uses the word aletheia to translate the Hebrew word 'emeth, and in about one-half the cases where 'emunah occurs, would be that those Greek words might have been prepared for such a use in the New Testament. But while it is true that there is one usage of these words in John's writings in an ethical sense apparently based on the Old Testament use of 'emeth and 'emunah, the Greek words do not have this meaning when employed to denote a characteristic of God. Neither is the adjective alethinos so used.


In the Epistles of Paul the word aletheia occurs quite frequently to denote the truth revealed by God to man through reason and conscience, and to denote the doctrinal content of the gospel. In two passages, however, the words alethes and aletheia seem to signify the faithfulness of God (Ro 3:4,7; 15:8). In the former passage Paul is contrasting the faithfulness of God with the faithlessness of men, the word alethes, 3:4, and aletheia, 3:7, apparently denoting the same Divine characteristic as the word pistis, 3:3. In the latter passage (Ro 15:8), the vindication of God's covenant faithfulness, through the realization of His promises to the fathers, is declared to have been the purpose of the ministry of Jesus Christ to the Jews.

This faithfulness of God to His covenant promises is frequently emphasized by Paul, the words he employs being the noun pistis (once) and the adjective: pistos. The noun pistis is used once by Paul in this sense (Ro 3:3 ). In this place Paul is arguing that the unbelief of the Jews cannot make void God's faithfulness. Both Jew and Gentile, the apostle had said, are on the same footing as regards justification. Nevertheless the Jews had one great advantage in that they were the people to whom the revelation of God's gracious promises had been committed. These promises will certainly be fulfilled, notwithstanding the fact that some of the Jews were unfaithful, because the fulfillment of these promises depends not on human conduct but on the faithfulness of God, which cannot be made void by human faithlessness and unbelief. And to the supposition that man's faithlessness could make of none effect God's faithfulness, Paul replies `let God be faithful (alethes) and every man a liar' (Ro 3:4), by which Paul means to say that in the fulfillment of God's promises, in spite of the fact that men are faithless, the faithfulness of God will be abundantly vindicated, even though thereby every man should be proven untrue and faithless. And not only so, but human faithlessness will give an opportunity for a manifestation of the faithfulness (aletheia) of God, abounding to His glory (Ro 3:7). God's faithfulness here is His unchangeable constancy and fidelity to His covenant promises; and it is this fidelity to His promises, or the fact that God's gracious gifts and election are without any change of mind on His part, which gave to Paul the assurance that all Israel should finally be saved (Ro 11:25-29). Moreover this covenant faithfulness of God is grounded in His very nature, so that Paul's hope of eternal life rests on the fact that God who cannot lie promised it before the world began (Tit 1:2); and the certainty that God will abide faithful notwithstanding human faithlessness rests on the fact that God cannot deny Himself (2Ti 2:13). It is because God is faithful that His promises in Christ are yea and amen (2Co 1:18,20). This attribute of God, moreover, is the basis of Paul's confident assurance that God will preserve the Christian in temptation (1Co 10:13); and establish him and preserve him from evil (2Th 3:3). And since God is faithful and His gracious promises trustworthy, this characteristic attaches to the "faithful sayings" in the Pastoral Epistles which sum up the gospel, making them worthy of trust and acceptance (1Ti 1:15; 4:9; Tit 3:8).

This faithfulness of God in the sense of fidelity to His promises is set forth as the object of sure trust and hope by the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews. It was the basis of Sarah's faith that she would bear a child when she was past age (Heb 11:11); and it is because God is faithful to His promise in Christ that we can draw nigh to Him with full assurance of faith, holding fast without wavering the profession of hope (Heb 10:23).

John also ascribes this attribute to God. Since one of the most precious of God's promises through Christ is the pardon of sin through the "blood of Jesus Christ," John says that God's faithfulness, as well as His righteousness, is manifested in the forgiveness of sin (1 Joh 1:9).

The faithfulness of God is viewed from a slightly different point by Peter when he tells his readers that those who suffer as Christians and in accordance with God's will should "commit their soul's in well-doing unto a faithful Creator" (1Pe 4:19). The quality of faithfulness, which in the Scripture is more frequently ascribed to God in His relation to man as gracious Saviour, and as the ground of hope in His gracious promises, is here applied by Peter to God in His relation to man as his Creator, and is made the ground of comfort under persecution and suffering. The omission of the article before the words "faithful Creator" makes emphatic that this is a characteristic of God as Creator, and the position of the words in the sentence throws great emphasis on this attribute of God as the basis of comfort under suffering. It is as if Peter would say to suffering Christians, "You suffer not by chance but in accordance with God's will; He, the almighty Creator, made you, and since your suffering is in accordance with His will, you ought to trust yourselves to Him who as your Creator is faithful." It is, of course, Christians who are to derive this comfort, but the faithfulness of God is extended here to cover all His relations to His people, and to pledge all His attributes in their behalf.

This attribute is also ascribed to Christ in the New Testament. Where Jesus is called a faithful high priest, the idea expressed is His fidelity to His obligations to God and to His saving work (Heb 2:17; 3:2,6). But when in the Book of Revelation Jesus Christ is called the "faithful witness" or absolutely the "Faithful and True," it is clear that the quality of faithfulness, in the most absolute sense in which it is characteristic of God in contrast with human changeableness, is ascribed to Christ (Re 1:5; 3:14; 19:11). This is especially clear in the last-named passage. The heavens themselves open to disclose the glorified Christ, and He appears not only as a victorious warrior whose name is faithful and true, but also as the one in whom these attributes have their highest realization, and of whom they are so characteristic as to become the name of the exalted Lord. This clearly implies the Deity of Jesus.

In summing up the Scripture teaching concerning God's faithfulness, three things are noteworthy. In the first place, this characteristic of God is usually connected with His gracious promises of salvation, and is one of those attributes which make God the firm and secure object of religious trust. As is the case with all the Scripture teaching concerning God, it is the religious value of His faithfulness which is made prominent. In the second place, the so-called moral attributes, of which this is one, are essential in order to constitute God the object of religion, along with the so-called incommunicable attributes such as Omnipotence, Omnipresence and Unchangeableness. Take away either class of attributes from God, and He ceases to be God, the object of religious veneration and trust. And in the third place, while these moral attributes, to which faithfulness belongs, have been called "communicable," to distinguish them from the "incommunicable" attributes which distinguish God from all that is finite, it should never be forgotten that, according to the Scripture, God is faithful in such an absolute sense as to contrast Him with men who are faithful only in a relative sense, and who appear as changeable and faithless in comparison with the faithfulness of God.



Besides the Commentaries on the appropriate passages, see Oehler, Theology of the Old Testament, English translation, 95, 112 f 505: Dillmann, Handbuch der alttest. Theol., 268-76, 269-70; Schlatter, Der Glaube im New Testament, 21-22, 259-60. In the works on New Testament theology this subject is treated under the sections on the truthfulness of God.

On the relation of God's truth and faithfulness, see Wendt, Der Gebrauch der Worter, und im New Testament, SK, 1883, 511 f; Stanton, article "Truth," in HDB, IV, 816 f; and the above-mentioned work of Schlatter. On the relation of the faithfulness to the righteousness of God, see Diestel, "Die Idee der Gerechtigkeit vorzuglich im Altes Testament," Jahrbucher fur deutsche Theologie, 1860, 173 f; Kautzsch, Ueber die Derivate des Stammes im Altes Testament Sprachgebrauch; Riehm, Altes Testament Theol., 271 f; Smend, Alttest. Religionsgeschichte, 363 f; Ritschl, Justification and Reconciliation; Dalman, Die richterliche Gerechtigkeit im Altes Testament; and the above-mentioned Old Testament Theologies of Dillmann and Oehler.

Gaspar Wistar Hodge


fath'-les: The translation of apistos, "without faith," having the sense of "unbelieving," "disbelieving." Jesus upbraids the people, "O faithless and perverse generation!" (Mt 17:17; Mr 9:19; Lu 9:41); He says to Thomas, "Be not faithless, but believing" (Joh 20:27); the Revised Version (British and American) adds, "If we are faithless," instead of "believe not" (2Ti 2:13); compare 1Co 7:12-15; 10:27; 14:22,24, etc.; Tit 1:15. In Lu 12:46 apistos has the sense of "unfaithful," so the Revised Version (British and American); perhaps also Re 21:8, "unbelieving."


fo'-k'-n, fol'-k'-n, fal'-kun: The Hebrews did not know the word. Their bird corresponding to our falcon, in all probability, was one of the smaller kestrels covered by the word nets, which seemed to cover all lesser birds of prey that we include in the hawk family. That some of our many divisions of species were known to them is indicated by the phrase "after its kind." The word occurs in the Revised Version (British and American) in Job 28:7, to translation 'ayyah, Greek gups (compare Le 11:14; De 14:13):

"That path no bird of prey knoweth,

Neither hath the falcon's eye seen it."

This substitutes "falcon" for "vulture" in the King James Version. The change weakens the force of the lines. All ornithologists know that eagles, vultures and the large hawks have such range of vision that they at once descend from heights at which we cannot see them to take prey on earth or food placed to tempt them. The falcons and sparrow hawks are small members of the family, some of which feed on little birds, some on insects. They are not celebrated for greater range of vision than other birds of the same location and feeding habits. The strength of these lines lay in the fact that if the path to the mine were so well concealed that the piercing eye of the vulture failed to find it, then it was perfectly hidden indeed.

Gene Stratton-Porter


fol (vb.): The idea of falling is most frequently expressed in Hebrew by naphal, but also by many other words; in Greek by pipto, and its compounds. The uses of the word in Scripture are very varied. There is the literal falling by descent; the falling of the countenance in sorrow, shame, anger, etc. (Ge 4:5,6); the falling in battle (Ge 14:10; Nu 14:3, etc.); the falling into trouble, etc. (Pr 24:16,17); prostration in supplication and reverence (Ge 17:3; Nu 14:5, etc.); falling of the Spirit of Yahweh (Eze 11:5; compare 3:24; 8:1); of apostasy (2Th 2:3; Heb 6:6; Jude 1:24), etc. the Revised Version (British and American) frequently changes "fall" of the King James Version into other words or phrases, as "stumble" (Le 26:37; Ps 64:8; 2Pe 1:10, etc.), "fade" (Isa 33:4), etc.; in Ac 27, the Revised Version (British and American) reads "be cast ashore on rocky ground" for "have fallen upon rocks" (Ac 27:29), "perish" for "fall" (Ac 27:34), "lighting upon" for "falling into" (Ac 27:41).

W. L. Walker



1. Meaning of Genesis 3

2. Genesis 3 in the Old and New Testaments

3. The Fall and the Theory of Evolution

4. The Character of the Fall

The question concerning the origin, the age and the written record of the history of the Fall in Ge 3 need not be discussed here. For in the first place, science can never reach to the oldest origins and the ultimate destinies of humanity, and historical and critical inquiry will never be able to prove either the veracity or the unveracity of this history. And in the second place, exactly as it now lies before us, this history has already formed for centuries a portion of holy Scripture, an indispensable element in the organism of the revelation of salvation, and as such has been accepted in faith by the Hebrew congregation (Jewish people), by Christ, by the apostles, and by the whole Christian church.

1. Meaning of Genesis 3:

That Ge 3 gives us an account of the fall of man, of the loss of his primitive innocence and of the misery, particularly death, to which he has since been subjected, cannot reasonably be denied. The opinion of the Ophites, Kant, Schiller, Hegel, etc., that Ge 3 relates the awakening of man to self-consciousness and personality (see ADAM IN THE OLD TESTAMENT), and therefore does not tell us of a fall, but a marked progression, is disputed by the name which the forbidden tree bears, as indicating to man not merely a tree of knowledge in the ordinary way, but quite specially a tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Ge 3 is not in the least meant to relate to us how man obtained the idea of his nakedness and sexual passions, and from a state of childlike innocence changed in this respect to manlike maturity (Eerdman's De Beteekenis van het Paradijsverhaal, Theologisch Tijdschrift, 1905, 485-511). For according to Genesis, man was created full-grown, received a wife immediately as helpmeet, and at the same time saw himself allotted the task of multiplying and replenishing the earth. Moreover, the idea that sexual desire is something sinful and deserves punishment was entirely foreign to ancient Israel.

Finally, the interpretation of Wellhausen (Geschichte Israels, 1878, 344) cannot be accepted, that man in Ge 3 should obtain "die intellektuelle Welterkenntniss, die metaphysische Erkenntniss der Dinge in ihrem Zusammenhange, ihrem Werth oder Unwerth, ihrem Nutzen oder Schaden" ("the intellectual knowledge of the world, the metaphysical knowledge of things in their connection, their worth or unworth, their utility or hurtfulness"). For in the first place, according to Gen, this was man's peculiar province from the beginning; he received indeed the vocation to subdue the earth, to keep and till the ground, to give the animals their names. And in the second place, the acquiring of this knowledge among the Israelites, who esteemed practical wisdom so highly, is difficult to represent as a fall, or as a punishment deserved for disobedience.

There is no other explanation possible of Ge 3 than that it is the narration of a fall, which consists in the transgression of an explicit command of God, thus bearing a moral significance, and therefore followed by repentance, shame, fear and punishment. The context of the chapter places this interpretation beyond all doubt, for before his fall man is represented as a creature made after God's image and receiving paradise as a dwelling-place, and after the fall he is sent into a rough world, is condemned to a life of labor and sorrow, and increases more and more in sin until the judgment of the Flood.

2. Genesis 3 in the Old and the New Testaments:

It is indeed remarkable how very seldom the Old Testament refers to this history of the Fall. This is not a sufficient reason for pronouncing it of later origin, for the same peculiarity presents itself at the time when, according to all criticism, it was recorded in literature. Prophets, Psalms, Proverbs never quote it; at the most, allusions may be found to it in Ho 6:7 and Ec 7:29; and even Jesus and His apostles in the New Testament very seldom appeal to Ge 3 (Joh 8:44; Ro 5:12; 1Co 15:22; 2Co 11:3; 1Ti 2:14). But it may be considered that the Prophets, Psalms and Proverbs only mention special facts of the past by way of exception, that the apostles even hardly ever quote the words and deeds of Jesus, and that all lived at a time when revelation itself was still proceeding and did not lie before them as a complete whole. With us it is quite a different matter; we are in a certain sense outside revelation, make it a subject of our study and meditation, try to discover the unity which holds all its parts together, and devote our special interest to Adam as a figure and counterpart of Christ. The creation and fall of man occupy therefore a much broader place in the province of our thoughts than they did among the writers of the books of the Old and New Testaments.

Nevertheless, the Fall is the silent hypothesis of the whole Biblical doctrine of sin and redemption; it does not rest only on a few vague passages, but forms an indispensable element in the revelation of salvation. The whole contemplation of man and humanity, of Nature and history, of ethical and physical evil, of redemption and the way in which to obtain it, is connected in Scripture with a Fall, such as Ge 3 relates to us. Sin, for example, is common to all men (1Ki 8:46; Ps 14:3; 130:3; 143:2), and to every man from his conception (Ge 6:5; 8:21; Job 14:4; Ps 51:7). It arouses God's anger and deserves all kinds of punishment, not only of an ethical but of a physical nature (Ge 3:14-19; 4:14; 6:7,13; 11:8; Le 26:14 f; De 28:15; Ps 90:7, etc.); the whole of Scripture proceeds from the thought that sin and death are connected in the closest degree, as are also obedience and life. In the new heaven and new earth all suffering ceases with sin (Re 21:4). Therefore redemption is possible only in the way of forgiveness (Ps 32:1; Isa 43:25, etc.), and circumcision of the heart (De 10:16; 30:16; Jer 4:4), and this includes, further, life, joy, peace, salvation. When Paul in Ro 5:12; 1Co 15:22 indicates Adam as the origin of sin and death, and Christ as the source of righteousness and life, he develops no ideas which are contrary to the organism of revelation or which might be neglected without loss; he merely combines and formulates the data which are explicitly or silently contained in it.

3. The Fall and the Theory of Evolution:

Tradition does little toward the confirmation and elucidation of the Biblical narrative of the Fall. The study of mythology is still too little advanced to determine the ideal or historical value which may be contained in the legend of a Golden Age, in many people's obsequious honoring of the serpent, in the equally widespread belief in a tree of life. The Babylonian representation also (a seal on which a man and woman, seated, are figured as plucking fruit from a tree, while a serpent curls up behind the woman as if whispering in her ear), which G. Smith, Lenormant and Friedrich Delitzsch compare with the Paradise narrative, shows no similarity on nearer view (A. Jeremias, Das Altes Testament im Lichte des alten Orients2, Leipzig, 1906, 203). Indirectly, however, a very powerful witness for the fall of man is furnished by the whole empirical condition of the world and humanity. For a world, such as we know it, full of unrighteousness and sorrow, cannot be explained without the acceptance of such a fact. He who holds fast to the witness of Scripture and conscience to sin as sin (as anomia) cannot deduce it from creation, but must accept the conclusion that it began with a transgression of God's command and thus with a deed of the will. Pythagoras, Plato, Kant, Schelling, Baader have all understood and acknowledged this with more or less clearness. He who denies the Fall must explain sin as a necessity which has its origin in the Creation, in the nature of things, and therefore in God Himself; he justifies man but accuses God, misrepresents the character of sin and makes it everlasting and indefeasible. For if there has not been a fall into sin, there is no redemption of sin possible; sin then loses its merely ethical significance, becomes a trait of the nature of man, and is inexterminable.

This comes out, in later years, in the many endeavors to unite the Fall with the doctrine of evolution (compare Tennant, The Origin and Propagation of Sin2, 1905; A. S. Peake, Christianity: Its Nature and Its Truth, 1908; W. E. Orchard, Modern Theories of Sin, 1909; Francis J. Hall, Evolution and the Fall, 1910). All these endeavors lead to setting on one side the objective standard of sin, which is the law of God, and determining the nature and importance of sin subjectively by the feeling of guilt, which in its turn again depends on the knowledge of and the love for the moral ideal, and itself forms an important factor in moral progress. It is true that the strength of all these endeavors is drawn from theory of the descent of man from the animal. But as to this theory, it is worthy of notice:

(1) that it is up to the present day a hypothesis, and is proved by no single observation, whether direct or indirect;

(2) that the fossils of prehistoric men, found in Germany, Belgium, France and elsewhere have demonstrated the low degree of culture in which these men have lived, but in no sense their dissimilarity with mankind of today (W. Branca, Der Stand unserer Kenntnisse vom fossilen Menschen, Leipzig, 1910);

(3) that the uncivilized and prehistoric man may be as little identified with the first man as the unjustly so-called nature-people and children under age;

(4) that the oldest history of the human race, which has become known through the discoveries at Babylon in the last century, was not that of a state of barbarism, but of high and rich culture (D. Gath Whitley, "What was the Primitive Condition of Man?" Princeton Theol. Review, October, 1906; J. Orr, God's Image in Man, 1906);

(5) that the acceptance of theory of descent as a universal and unlimited rule leads to the denial of the unity of the human race, in a physical and also in an intellectual, moral and religious sense. For it may be possible, even in the school of Darwin, to maintain the unity of the human race so long a time as tradition exercises its influence on the habit of mind; but theory itself undermines its foundation and marks it as an arbitrary opinion. From the standpoint of evolution, there is not only no reason to hold to the "of one blood" of Ac 17:26 the King James Version, but there has never even been a first man; the transition from animal to man was so slow and successive, that the essential distinction fails to be seen. And with the effacing of this boundary, the unity of the moral ideal, of religion, of the laws of thought and of truth, fails also; theory of evolution expels the absolute everywhere and leads necessarily to psychologism, relativism, pragmatism and even to pluralism, which is literally polytheism in a religious sense. The unity of the human race, on the other hand, as it is taught in holy Scripture, is not an indifferent physical question, but an important intellectual, moral and religious one; it is a "postulate" of the whole history of civilization, and expressly or silently accepted by nearly all historians. And conscience bears witness to it, in so far as all men show the work of the moral law written in their hearts, and their thoughts accuse or excuse one another (Ro 2:15); it shows back to the Fall as an "Urthatsache der Geschichte."

4. The Character of the Fall:

What the condition and history of the human race could hardly lead us to imagine, holy Scripture relates to us as a tragic fact in its first pages. The first man was created by God after His own image, not therefore in brutish unconsciousness or childlike naivete, but in a state of bodily and spiritual maturity, with understanding and reason, with knowledge and speech, with knowledge especially of God and His law. Then was given to him moreover a command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This command was not contained in the moral law as such; it was not a natural but a positive commandment; it rested entirely and only on God's will and must be obeyed exclusively for this reason. It placed before man the choice, whether he would be faithful and obedient to God's word and would leave to Him alone the decision as to what is good or evil, or whether he would reserve to himself the right arbitrarily to decide what is good or evil. Thus the question was: Shall theonomy or autonomy be the way to happiness? On this account also the tree was called the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It did not bear this name in the sense that man might obtain from it the empirical knowledge of good and evil, for by his transgression he in truth lost the empirical knowledge of good. But the tree was so named, because man, by eating of it and so transgressing God's commandment, arrogated to himself "die Fahigkeit zur selbstandigen Wahl der Mittel, durch die man sein Gluck schaffen will": "the capacity of independent choice of the means by which he would attain his happiness" (Koberle, Sunde und Gnade im relig. Leben des Volkes Israel bis auf Christenrum, 1905, 64). Theonomy, as obedience to God from free love, includes as such the idea and the possibility of autonomy, therefore that of antinomy also.

But it is the free act and therefore the guilt of man that has changed the possibility into reality. For the mind, there remains here an insoluble problem, as much in the question, why God allowed this Fall to take place, as in the other, how man, created in the likeness of God, could and did fall. There is a great deal of truth in the often-expressed thought, that we can give no account of the origin of sin, because it is not logical, and does not result as a conclusion drawn from two premises. But facts are brutal. What seems logically impossible often exists in reality. The laws of moral life are different from those of thought and from those also of mechanical nature. The narrative in Ge 3, in any case, is psychologically faithful in the highest degree. For the same way as it appears there in the first man, it repeatedly takes place among ourselves (Jas 1:14,15). Furthermore we ought to allow God to justify Himself. The course of revelation discovers to faith how, through all the ages, He holds sin in its entire development in His own almighty hands, and works through grace for a consummation in which, in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He will gather together in one all things in Christ (Eph 1:10). (J. Orr, Sin as a Problem of Today, London, 1910.)

Herman Bavinck




fal'-o (damam): Damam is translated only once in the sense of "fallow" (Ex 23:11). The law required that the Israelites allow their ground to lie fallow one year in, seven. the King James Version is (De 14:5) nir, and is translated "fallow" in its more obsolete sense of "tilled ground" in the King James Version (Jer 4:3; Ho 10:12).












fam (shem, shema`; akoe, pheme): "Fame" has the twofold meaning, (1) of report or rumor, (2) of renown or reputation (in the Old Testament it is not always easy to distinguish the two senses). "Fame," shema`, "fame," "rumor," "reports" (Nu 14:15; Job 28:22, the Revised Version (British and American) "rumor") probably means "report"; but in 1Ki 10:1; 2Ch 9:1; Isa 66:19, it is most probably "renown," or "reputation"; shemu`ah (1Ki 10:7; 2Ch 9:6) may have either meaning; shoma` (Jos 6:27; 9:9; Es 9:4) seems to mean "fame" in the sense of reputation; but in Jer 6:24 (as the American Standard Revised Version) "report"; shem, "name," has the sense of reputation (1Ki 4:31; 1Ch 14:17; 22:5; Ze 3:19, the Revised Version (British and American) "name"); qol, "voice," is report (Ge 45:16, the American Standard Revised Version "report"). In the New Testament akoe, "hearing," is "report," so the Revised Version (British and American) (Mt 4:24; 14:1; Mr 1:28); pheme, "word," "rumor," is report, fame in this sense (Mt 9:26; Lu 4:14); echos, "a sound," "noise" (Lu 4:37, the Revised Version (British and American) "rumor"), and logos, "word" (Lu 5:15, the Revised Version (British and American) "report") have the same meaning; diaphemizo, "to say throughout," "to report publicly" (Mt 9:31, "they .... spread abroad his fame"), seems to imply fame in the sense of reputation.

In 1 Macc 3:26, we have "fame" in the sense of reputation, "His fame (onoma, the Revised Version (British and American) "name") came near even to the king"; so 3:41, "heard the fame of them."

ERV has "fame" for "report" (shema`), Jer 50:43.

W. L. Walker


fa-mil'-yar: Is found as an adjective qualifying "friend" and "spirit."

(1) Used, in a number of Old Testament passages, of spirits which were supposed to come at the call of one who had power over them. 'obh, literally, something "hollow"; compare 'obh, "bottle" (Job 32:19 the King James Version); because the voice of the spirit might have been supposed to come from the one possessed, as from a bottle, or because of the hollow sound which characterized the utterance, as out of the ground (Isa 29:4); or, as some have conjectured, akin to 'ubh, "return" (nekromantis). Probably called "familiar" because it was regarded as a servant (famulus), belonging to the family (familiaris), who might be summoned to do the commands of the one possessing it. The practice of consulting familiar spirits was forbidden by the Mosaic law (Le 19:31; 20:6,27; De 18:11). King Saul put this away early in his reign, but consulted the witch of Endor, who "had a familiar spirit" (1Sa 28:3,7,8,9; 1Ch 10:13). King Manasseh fell into the same sin (2Ki 21:6; 2Ch 33:6); but Josiah put those who dealt with familiar spirits out of the land (2Ki 23:24).

It seems probable, however, that the practice prevailed more or less among the people till the exile (Isa 8:19; 19:3). See "Divination by the 'Ob" in The Expositor T, IX, 157; ASTROLOGY, 1; COMMUNION WITH DEMONS.

(2) "Familiars," "familiar friend," from yadha`, "to know," hence, "acquaintance," one intimately attached (Job 19:14); but more frequently of 'enosh shalom, "man of (my or thy) peace," that is, one to whom the salutation of peace is given (Ps 41:9; Jer 20:10; 38:22; also in Ob 1:7, rendered "the men that were at peace with thee").

Edward Bagby Pollard


fam'-i-li (mishpachah, bayith; patria):

1. The Foundation

2. Monogamy, the Ideal Relation

3. Equality of the Sexes

4. Polygamy

5. The Commandments and the Family (5th Commandment)

6. The Commandments and the Family (7th Commandment)

7. The Commandments and the Family (10th Commandment)

8. Primitive Monogamic Ideal

9. Reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah

10. The New Testament

11. The Teaching of Jesus

12. The Teaching of Paul

13. Modern Dangers


1. The Foundation:

The Bible is the world's great teacher of monogamy--the union for life of one man and one woman in marriage as the basis of the family. Whatever may be said about the time of the writing of the books of the Bible, or of parts of them, the testimony of the whole is incontrovertibly to the point that marriage springs from the choice of one man and one woman of each other for a permanent family relation. Over and through the whole of the Bible this ideal is dominant. There may be instances shown here and there of violation of this rule. But such cases are to be regarded as contrary to the underlying principle of marriage--known even at the time of their occurrence to be antagonistic to the principle.

There may be times when moral principle is violated in high places and perhaps over wide reaches in society. The Bible shows that there were such times in the history of man. But it is undeniable that its tone toward such lapses of men and of society is not one of condonation but one of regret and disapproval. The disasters consequent are faithfully set forth. The feeling that finds expression in its whole history is that in such cases there had been violation of the ideal of right in the sex relation. The ideal of monogamic relation is put in the forefront of the history of man.

2. Monogamy, the Ideal Relation:

The race is introduced synthetically as a species in the incoming of life. "And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Ge 1:27). But with the first particularization of the relation of the sexes to each other the great charter of monogamy was laid down so clearly that Jesus was content to quote it, when with His limitless ethical scrutiny He explained the marriage relation. "And the man said (when the woman was brought to him), This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Ge 2:23,14). It is well to pause and look at the grammatical number of the nouns: "a man," "his wife." The words of the charter hold the sexes to monogamy. The subsequent words make marriage life-lasting. "They twain shall be one flesh." A dualism becomes an individualism. So said Christ: "Wherefore they are no more twain but one flesh" (Mt 19:6 the King James Version). Nothing but death separates a man from his own flesh. Nothing but life-monogamy can find place in the language of this charter.

There is much in the setting of this charter in the account given in Ge that is suggestive of the fine sentiment which we know has always gone along with love and marriage. That this account should have held the place in history that it has had adds testimony to the fine perception of sentiment and the strong grasp on principle out of which it came.

3. Equality of the Sexes:

Eve, "the mother of all living," comes out as distinctly as Adam on the canvas in the portraiture of the first pair. She is the feminine representative--'ishshah--of the race, as Adam is the masculine--'ish (Ge 2:23). The personality of Eve is as complete as that of Adam. She is a rational and accountable creature, as Adam is. In primitive intellectual and moral transactions she has share on equality with Adam, and is equally involved in their results. Different physical consequences fall on her for "transgression," because she is "woman," "the mother of all living" (Ge 3:16). But Adam does not escape retribution for sin, and it may be questioned whether its burden did not fall hardest on him (Ge 3:18,19), for motherhood has its joy as well as its pain, in the companionship of new-born child-life; but the wrestler for subsistence from a reluctant earth must bear his hardship alone. It cannot but be that much of the primitive conjugal love survived the fall.

4. Polygamy:

According to the record, monogamy seems long to have survived the departure from Eden. It is not till many generations after that event that we find a case of polygamy--that of Lamech (Ge 4:19-24). Lamech is said to have had "two wives." The special mention of "two" seems to show that man had not yet wandered far away from monogamy. The indications seem to be that as the race multiplied and went out over the face of the earth they forgot the original kinship and exhibited all manner of barbarities in social relations. Lamech was a polygamist, but he was also a quarrelsome homicide: "I have slain a man for wounding me, and a young man for bruising me" (Ge 4:23). If such acts and dispositions as are disclosed in the case of Lamech become common, it will certainly not be a long while before the only apt description of the condition of society must be that upon which we come in Gen. 6:5: "And Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Out of such condition will come war and slavery, and polygamy--and come they did. It is a straight road from Ge 6:5 to "The Koran, tribute or the sword," and the polygamy of Mohammedans.

5. The Commandments and the Family (5th Commandment):

The commandments (Ex 20:12; De 5:16) are a succinct summary of the supreme moral relations and duties of man. The first four pertain to our relationship to God. The six following concern human relations. Of these six, three have considerations of the family involved in them. Commandments do not come to people ignorant of the subjects to which they relate. A commandment to cover an unknown moral relation is an absurdity. The text of the Fifth Commandment is, "Honor thy father and thy mother." This refers to the relation of children to parents. This commandment could scarcely have arisen when polygamy was a common practice, certainly never from promiscuity. The equality of father and mother is stamped on its face. That idea never could have had strength and solemnity enough, except in a prevailing condition of monogamy, to entitle the command in which it appeared to rank with the important subjects covered by the other commands. Before the gaze of the children to whom this commandment came, the family stood in monogamic honor--the mother a head of the family as well as the father. There is no question about the position of the mother in this commandment. She stands out as clear as Sinai itself. There is no cloud on her majesty. Such honor as goes to the father goes to the mother. She is no chattel, no property, no inferior being, but the mother; no subordinate to the father, but his equal in rank and entitled to equal reverence with him. The commandment would not and could not have so pictured the mother had she been one of the inmates of a harem.

6. The Commandments and the Family (7th Commandment):

The Seventh Commandment (Ex 20:14; De 5:18) gives the family. It secures the home. It says that whatever children are born to the race shall be born in a home and of the home--shall be family-born. The terms adultery and fornication have now become synonymous. Under the influence of polygamous practices a distinction was made in respect to unlawful sex union as to whether one or both of the parties thereto were married or not, or whether one or both were single. Such distinction will not hold in morals. All or any sex union out of marriage is barred by the family idea. Outside of that all sex union is sin.

While it is true that in the laws of Israel sex sin outside the family relation was treated as a subject by itself, yet when we remember how early in life marriage came in those ancient days, and that betrothal in childhood was deemed as sacred as marriage itself, we see that even then the sweep of the commandment was well-nigh universal and over what a broad range it protected the family. The family is the primal eldest institution of man--the greatest and the holiest. Over this institution this commandment stands sentry. It prevents men from breaking up in complete individual isolation, from reverting to solitary savagery. Think to what a child is born outside of the family relation! Then think of all children being so born, and you have the picture of a low plane of animalism from which all trace of the moral responsibility of fatherhood has disappeared, and where even motherhood will be reduced to simple care during the short period of helpless infancy, to such care as belongs to animal instinct. Put up now the idea that marriage shall be universal and that the children born in marriage shall belong genuinely to it, and you have a new heaven and a new earth ia the sex relations of the race of man.

7. The Commandments and the Family (10th Commandment):

The Tenth Commandment seems almost out of place on the list of the commandments. All the others enjoin specific acts. This tenth seems to be a foregleam of the Savior's method--going to the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is an attempt at regulation in man. It goes beyond outward acts and deals with the spirit. Its purpose seems not regulation of man in society but in himself. So far as it has outward relation it seems to apply primarily to the rights of property. We have at common law the expression, "rights of persons; and rights of things," i.e. to property. But the list of things enumerated in the commandment comprises the things most common to family life: house, servants, animals. One is forbidden not only to take but even to desire such things. They are necessary to family life. In this list of things belonging to a neighbor that a man is forbidden to desire occurs the term "wife." To first thought it may seem strange that she should be listed with property in house and chattels. But it may not be very singular. One of woman's greatest blessings to man is helpfulness. Eve, the mother of all living, came as a helpmeet for Adam. Sarah is mistress of domestic operations. A wife quick of thought, accurate in judgment and deft of hand is usually the key to a man's material prosperity. As such help a man's desire might stray to his neighbor's wife as well as to his cattle. Even on this lower plane she is still a constituent element of the family. Here the thought of sex is scarcely discernible. Covetousness unlimited in the accumulation of property is what comes under ban. To treat of that matter would lead too far astray.


It is well to remember in taking leave of the commandments that half of those pertaining to human relations hold the family plainly in view. This is as it should be. The race is divided equally between male and female, and their relations to each other, we might expect, would call for half of the directions devoted to the whole.

8. Primitive Monogamic Ideal:

The laws against adultery and incest (Le 20 and the like) may seem barbarously severe. Be it so; that fact would show they were carried along by a people tremendously in earnest about the integrity of the family. Beneath pioneer severity is usually a solemn principle. That the children of Israel had a tough grasp on the primitive monogamic ideal is not only apparent in all their history, but it comes out clear in what they held as history before their own began. Mr. Gladstone said the tenth chapter of Genesis is the best document of ancient ethnography known to man. But it is made up on family lines. It is a record of the settlement of heads of families as they went forth on the face of the earth. The common statement for the sons of Noah as they filed out over the lands of which they took possession is, `these are the sons of .... after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, in their nations.' Mr. Gladstone called attention to the fact that modern philology verifies this classification of the nations which rests on outgrowth from families.

9. Reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah:

Turning now to a very distant point in history--the return of the Jews from captivity in Babylon--we find in Ezra and Nehemiah the most critical regard for genealogy. The effort to establish "pure blood" was fairly a fanaticism and might even be charged with injustice. Yet this effort was ratified by the people--sufferers in degraded name though many of them must have been. This could never have been done had not the monogamic family idea rested in their hearts as just and right. Nehemiah (13:26) unsparingly condemned the mighty Solomon for his polygamy, and Israel upproved the censure.

10. The New Testament

When we come to the times of the New Testament, contemporaneous polygamy in Jewish society was dead. Wherever New Testament influences have gone, contemporaneous polygamy has ceased to be.

There has been in the United States by Mormonism a belated attempt to revive that crime against the family. But it has had its bad day, and, if it lives at all, it is under the ban of social sentiment and is a crime by law. Consecutive polygamy still exists in nations that are called Christian by the permission of divorce laws. But the tide of Christian sentiment is setting strongly against it, and it takes no special clearness of vision to see that it must go to extinction along with polygamy contemporaneous.

Jesus reaffirmed the original charter of the monogamic family (Mt 19:1-12; Mr 10:2-12). It is to be noticed that He affirmed the indissolubility of the family not only against the parties thereto but against the power of society.


11. The Teaching of Jesus:

At first sight it seems a little strange that Jesus said so little about the family. But as we reflect on the nature of His mission we shall catch the explanation of His silence. He said, "Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfill" (Mt 5:17), that is, to fill out, to expound and expand. He also said, "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost" (Mt 18:11 the King James Version), and, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners" (Mt 9:13), that is, to rectify what was wrong. To what was right He gave the right of way--let it go on in its own course. When the law was right, He said, not one jot or tittle of it should fail (Mt 5:18). With regard to the family, He held the old charter written in the heart of man, before it was burned in brick or committed to manuscript, was right. It was comprehensive, would and ought to stand. So He stood by that, and that sufficed His purpose. Christ did not try to regulate the family so much as to regulate the persons who entered into family life. This may explain why we have no utterance from Him in regard to the conduct and duties of children toward parents. Still stood the ancient statute, "Honor thy father and thy mother." He came not to destroy but to fulfill that. That still indicated the right relation of children to parents. If a child had asked about his relation to his parents, Christ would doubtless have referred him to that commandment, as He did other inquirers about duties to the commandments that cover so large a part of the ethical realm.

12. The Teaching of Paul:

Paul, who particularizes so much in explanation of duties in all relations, scarcely gets beyond the old commandment, "Honor thy father and thy mother," when he says, "Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing in the Lord." It has always been well-pleasing in the Lord. To be sure there was new inspiration to obedience from the new revelation of duty which came to them in Christ, but the duty was enforced by the Fifth Commandment, and that was copied from the deeper revelation in the heart of man.

13. Modern Dangers:

In modern society the two great foes of the family are Divorce and Migration. Families no longer live a continuous life together. We have less family life than the old pastoral nomads. They had to keep together for several generations in order to protect their lives and their flocks and herds. So arose the clan, the tribe and the nation. Family influence can be detected through them. Modern Industries are very much localized. We should easily think that families would be under their controlling influence. But they are not; the industries are localized, the workers are becoming rovers. When trouble comes in an industry, a workman's first resort is to try somewhere else. Cheapness of transportation gives him the opportunity he desires. So with a satchel he goes hunting, much as a barbarian roams the forest for game, alone. He may take his family or leave it behind. He may be separated from his family for months or years--possibly abandon it forever. A very common cause of divorce is abandonment of family by its male head.

In fact, those engaged in a great deal of legitimate industry are looking out for a better place quite as much as to develop the capacities of business in their own locations. The signs over places of business are few that carry the same name in town or city for a generation. Moving is perhaps more the order of the day than movement. The families are few that can be found in the same place for a quarter of a century. The wealthy cannot stay in the same house six months at a time. They have a house in the city for the winter and one in the country for the summer, and then forsake both and fly over the sea, perhaps to remain for years--traveling. How can family ties survive under such migratory life? Society supersedes the family.

Even education is subject to this malign influence. At their most impressive age, when they need family influence most around them, children are sent away to prepare for or to enter upon higher courses of education. This fits them for something else than life in the family from which they sprang and they rarely return to it. We may not be able to check this drift, but we ought to see its tendency to degrade the estimate of the value of the family.


Wolsey, Divorce, Scribners; Publications of the National Divorce Reform League; Reports State and National, ad rem; Peabody, Jesus Christ and the Social Question, chapter iii; Caverno, Divorce, Midland Publishing Co., Madison, Wis.; The Ten Words, Pilgrim Press, Boston.

C. Caverno




fam'-in (ra`abh; limos):

1. Natural Causes

2. Famines Mentioned

3. Divine Relations

4. Figurative Uses

The common Old Testament word for "famine" is ra`abh; re`abhon also occurs (Ge 42:19,33; Ps 37:19), and kaphan (Job 5:22; 30:3), all meaning "hunger" and "famine"; in the New Testament the word is limos, meaning primarily "failure," "want of food."

1. Natural Causes:

In early times, especially in lands dependent on their own productions, famines were not infrequent. They were generally caused by local irregularities of the rainfall, by destructive hail storms (Ex 9:23,11,32), by ravages of insects (Ex 10:15; Joe 1:4) and by enemies (De 28:51); in a city a famine might be caused by a siege (2Ki 6:25); pestilence often followed in its wake, and the suffering was great.

2. Famines Mentioned:

Famines are recorded in the time of Abraham (Ge 12:10, etc.), of Isaac (Ge 26:1), of Jacob, when Joseph was in Egypt--seven years of famine even in Egypt after seven of plenty (Ge 41:54), which also affected Canaan (Ge 42:1), and, indeed, "was over all the face of the earth" (Ge 41:56); in the time of the Judges (Ru 1:1), of David, for three years (2Sa 21:1), of Ahab and Elijah (1Ki 17:1; 18:2; Ecclesiasticus 48:2,3), of Elisha (2Ki 4:38), during the siege of Samaria (2Ki 6:25), the seven years foretold by Elisha (2Ki 8:1), in the reign of Zedekiah in Jerusalem when besieged by Nebuchadnezzar (2Ki 25:3; Jer 52:6; compare 14:1), its great severity is referred to (La 5:10; Baruch 2:25); a "dearth" is also mentioned after the return from Captivity (Ne 5:3); when the city was besieged by Antiochus Eupator (1 Macc 6:54), after the death of Judas (1 Macc 9:24), when Jerusalem was besieged by Simon (1 Macc 13:49), in the time of Claudius (Ac 11:28, in his reign there were frequent famines, one of which in 45 AD severely affected Palestine; Josephus, Ant, XX, v); Christ predicted "famines .... in divers places" as characterizing the end of the age (Mt 24:7; Mr 13:8; Lu 21:11); in the siege of Jerusalem by Titus a terrible famine raged, the consequences of which to the people have never been surpassed.

3. Divine Relations:

Famines are frequently said to be sent as punishments sometimes threatened as such (Le 26:19 f; De 28:49-51; 2Ki 8:1; Ps 105:16; Isa 14:30; 51:19; Jer 14:12,15; 18:21, etc.; Eze 5:16, etc.; Am 8:11; 2 Esdras 15:5,49; 16:19; Tobit 4:13; Ecclesiasticus 39:29; 40:9).

The righteous or godly should be preserved by God in time of famine (Job 5:20, "In famine he will redeem thee from death"; Ps 33:19, "to keep them alive in famine"; 37:19, "In the days of famine they shall be satisfied"); this was a special mark of the Divine favor and power.

4. Figurative Uses:

A famine is used by Amos to indicate the absence of Divine communications as a punishment that should come on the people, a "famine .... of hearing the words of Yahweh" (8:11; compare 1Sa 3:1; 28:6; 2Ch 15:3; Eze 7:26; Mic 3:6); by Zephaniah of the destruction of heathen deities (2:11).

The Revised Version (British and American) has "dearth" for "famine" (Job 5:22); "famine" for "dearth" (Ge 41:54; 2Ch 6:28; Ac 7:11; 11:28); for "hunger" (Jer 38:9; Eze 34:29; Re 6:8); "famines" for "famines and pestilences" (Mt 24:7), "famines and troubles" (Mr 13:8), revised texts.

W. L. Walker


fam'-ish ra`ebh, razah): "To famish" as a transitive verb is the translation of ra`ebh, "to hunger" (Ge 41:55): "All the land of Egypt was famished"; of ra`abh, "hunger" (Isa 5:13), "Their honorable men are famished," margin "Hebrew their glory are men of famine"; of razah, "to make lean," "famish" (Ze 2:11), "For he will famish all the gods of the earth"; it is intransitive as the translation of ra`ebh (Pr 10:3), "Yahweh will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish."


fan'-er: The word "fan" occurs 3 times only in the American Standard Revised Version (Jer 15:7; Mt 3:12; Lu 3:17). In Isa 30:24 mizreh is translated "fork," which is a much better translation if the instrument referred to was shaped like the winnowing fork used by the Syrian farmer today and still so called. In Isa 41:16; Jer 4:11; 15:7, the verb zarah is rendered "winnow" in the American Standard Revised Version. In Jer 51:2, the Revised Version (British and American) substitutes "strangers" for "fanners."


fan'-si (phantazo, "to cause to appear," "show"): In Ecclesiasticus 34:5, "And the heart fancieth, as a woman's in travail" (compare The Wisdom of Solomon 6:16; Heb 12:21).


The marginal explanation in the Revised Version (British and American) of Beth-merhak (beth ha-merchaq, "house of distance"), which is given in the text of 2Sa 15:17 instead of "a place that was far off."



far, far'-ther: "Far" (adj.), distant, remote; (advb.) widely removed, is most frequently in the Old Testament the translation of rachoq, and in the New Testament of makran, but also of other Hebrew and Greek words. The word chalilah, an exclamation of abhorrence or aversion Septuagint me genoito; see FORBID), is rendered "far from me," "far from thee," etc. (Ge 18:25; 1Sa 2:30; 20:9; 22:15; 2Sa 20:20; 23:17; Job 34:10). Besides its literal sense, distance in a spiritual sense is expressed by "far," as "Salvation is far from the wicked" (Ps 119:155; compare Pr 15:29), "far from righteousness" (Isa 46:12), "not far from the kingdom of God" (Mr 12:34), etc. For "far" the Revised Version (British and American) has "aloof" in Job 30:10; in several places the word in the King James Version is omitted (Jud 9:17; Ps 27:9; Isa 19:6; 26:15; Mr 13:34); "a far country" is changed to "another" (Mt 21:33; 25:14; Mr 13:34), etc. For "God forbid" the Revised Version (British and American) has "far be it," "far be it from me" (Ga 6:14; in the American Standard Revised Version, Ge 44:7,17; 1Sa 12:23; Job 27:5, etc.).

The comparative "farther" occurs only once in the Old Testament (Ec 8:17), and thrice in the New Testament (Mt 26:39; Mr 1:19; 10:1), and in each case is replaced in the Revised Version (British and American) by another word or phrase. The Revised Version (British and American), on the other hand, has "its farthest height" for "the height of his border" (Isa 37:24), and "his farthest lodging-place" for "the lodgings of his borders" (2Ki 19:23).

W. L. Walker


far: Occurs twice in the Old Testament as the translation of two Hebrew words, shalom, "peace," "prosperity," "completeness" (1Sa 17:18), found in the section on David's family history omitted by the Septuagint translators, and sakhar, "hire," "reward," Septuagint naulon, "passage-money," "fare" (Jon 1:3). In Hebrew both words are substantives; in English the former is a verb meaning "to go," or "get on as to circumstances" (Century Dict.), the latter, a substantive meaning the price which Jonah paid for a sea-voyage to Tarshish.

In Apocrypha the English verb "fare" helps in the translation of three Greek words, kakoo, "fare evil" (the Revised Version (British and American) "fare ill"), Sirach 3:26; elattoo, "fare worse" (the Revised Version (British and American) "suffer loss"), 32:24; rhonnumi, "be strong," "prosper," in 2 pers. (singular) imperat. (err(h)oso) or plural (err(h)osthe) as a farewell salutation, or at the close of a letter, or to describe the welfare (usually physical or social) of a friend (2 Macc 9:20; 11:21,28, etc.). Compare Ac 15:29; 23:30 margin.

In the New Testament the English verb "fare," in addition to its occurrence in the word "farewell" (which see), occurs only once (Lu 16:19), where it is said that the rich man "fared sumptuously every day" (the Revised Version, margin "living in mirth and splendor every day").

The Greek is euphrainomai, "be merry," and occurs 14 times in the New Testament, 10 in a good sense (Lu 15:23,14,29,32, all referring to the merry-making over the return of the lost son; Ac 2:26, translation of Hebrew samach, "be glad"; Ro 15:10, translation of Hebrew ranah, "to sing"; 2Co 2:2; Ga 4:27, translation of Hebrew ranah, "to sing"; Re 12:12; 18:20); 4 in a bad, or less favorable, sense (Lu 12:19; 16:19; Ac 7:41; Re 11:10). The Greek word is variously translated in the New Testament, "be merry," "make merry," "be glad," "rejoice," "make glad," and only once "fare" (Lu 16:19). In the last passage it means the general physical and material welfare of the rich man (so the Geneva (1560), the Bishops' and Rhemish Bibles, the Revised Version (British and American) (1881), and not simply partaking of rich food so Vulgate, Wyclif, Coverdale, Cranmer, Geneva (1557) and the King James Version). Luther translates Lu 16:19, "lebte alle Tage herrlich und in Freuden"; Weizsacker, "genoss sein Leben alle Tage in Glanze"; Ostervald, "se traitoit bien et magnifiquement"; Oltremare, "faisait brillante chere"; Segond, "menait joyeuse et brillante vie"; Weymouth, "enjoyed a splendid banquet every day," all of which virtually agree with the view taken by us as to meaning of "fare." The lampros, "sumptuously," shows that the rich man's manner of living was "brilliant," "magnificent." the Revised Version (British and American) has "fare" for "do" (Ac 15:36), "fared" for "did" (2Sa 11:7), "hath fared" for "was" (Ge 30:29).

Charles B. Williams


far-wel' (chairo), Fare ye, or thou, well: Originally a wish at parting for those faring forth (traveling):

(1) As a parting wish at the close of a letter it represents the Greek err(h)oso, "Be strong," imperative of rhonnumi, "to make strong" (Ac 15:29; 23:30 the King James Version; see the Revised Version, margin; 2 Macc 11:21); once chairete (imperative of chairo), "Rejoice!" (2Co 13:11, the Revised Version, margin "Rejoice: be perfected").

(2) As equivalent to our saying "good-bye," it represents the Greek apotassomai, "to separate one's self," "to take leave," "to bid farewell" (Lu 9:61, "to bid farewell to them that are at my house"; Ac 18:21, "bade them farewell," the Revised Version (British and American) "taking his leave of them").


W. L. Walker


farm: Mt 22:5 is the only passage where agros, has been rendered "farm." In the many other passages where the same word occurs it is rendered "field" or "piece of ground." Farms such as the Occidental is accustomed to see, namely, isolated dwellings with their groups of outbuildings, surrounded by walls or hedges and overlooking the planted fields, were probably unknown in Palestine. For protection against wild beasts and Arab marauders everyone lived in a village and went out to his fields, located perhaps miles away, only as occasion required.

James A. Patch


far'-thing: The rendering of two words in the Greek of the New Testament, assarion, and kodrantes, Latin quadrans. The assarion was the tenth part of the denarius, and hence in value about one penny or two centuries The quadrans was the fourth part of the Roman as, and worth only about three mills, or less than the English farthing, and is the only term rendered farthing by the American Standard Revised Version. It occurs in Mt 5:26 and Mr 12:42, while assarion, which occurs in Mt 10:29 and Lu 12:6, is rendered "penny" by the American Standard Revised Version.


fash'-un (mishpaT; schema, the make, pattern, shape, manner or appearance of a thing (from Latin faction-em, "a making," through Old French fatson, fachon)): In the Old Testament the noun "fashion" represents 3 Hebrew words:

(1) MishpaT = literally, "judgment," hence, judicial sentence, right, custom, manner; usually translated "judgment" (very frequent), but also a few times "sentence," "cause," "charge," and more frequently "manner" (nearly 40 times in the King James Version). In 3 passages it is translated "fashion," in the sense of style, shape, make, in each case of a building or part of a building (Ex 26:30; 1Ki 6:38; Eze 42:11).

(2) Tekhunah = literally, "arrangement," "adjustment" (compare takhan, "to set right," "adjust," from kun, hekhin, "to set up," "establish"); Eze 43:11, "the form of the house, and the fashion thereof." A cognate word in the preceding verse is translated "pattern" (the Revised Version, margin "sum").

(3) Demuth = "resemblance" (from damah, "to be similar"), generally translated "likeness" in English Versions of the Bible, but "fashion" in 2Ki 16:10, where it means pattern or model. The verb "to fashion" stands for

(a) yatsar, "to form," "fashion" (Ps 33:15; 139:16 the King James Version; Isa 22:11 the King James Version; Isa 44:12; 45:9);

(b) `asah, "to work," "make," "form" (Job 10:8);

(c) kun, "to set up," "establish," "prepare" (Job 31:15; Ps 119:73; Eze 16:7);

(d) tsur, "to bind up together," "compress" (Ex 32:4, of Aaron fashioning the golden calf out of the golden rings).

In the New Testament, the noun represents 5 Greek words:

(1) Of these, the most interesting is schema, "figure," "shape," "fashion" (from schein, aorist of echein, "to have," compare Latin habitus, from habeo, "I have"). Schema denotes a transient, external semblance or fashion, and so it may be distinguished from its synonym morphe, which denotes the essential intrinsic form of a thing, expressing its real nature. (See Lightfoot, Detached Note on Php 2; Trench, New Testament Syn., 252 ff; Gifford, Incarnation, 22 ff. The distinction is rejected by Meyer, on Ro 12:2, and by others.) In the New Testament, the noun schema occurs but twice: 1Co 7:31, "The fashion of this world passeth away," where there seems to be an allusion to theatrical scenes, which are in their very nature transitory (compare 2 Macc 4:13); and Php 2:8, "being found in fashion as a man," i.e. having the outward figure and bearing of a man, such marks of human nature as strike the senses (contrast morphe Theou, "form of God," Php 2:6, and morphe doulou, "form of servant," 2:7, which describe Christ's real inner nature). The word schema is found in compound verbs in the following passages: Ro 12:2, "Be not fashioned (sunschematizesthe) according to this world: but be ye transformed (metamorphousthe) by the renewing of your mind" (so the Revised Version (British and American)), paraphrased by Sanday and Headlam, "Do not adopt the external and fleeting fashion of this world, but be ye transformed in your inmost nature" (Comm. in the place cited.); 2Co 11:13 f, metaschematizomai, the King James Version "transformed," better the Revised Version (British and American) "fashioned," the reference being to "the fictitious, illusory transformation whereby evil assumes the mask of good" (Lightfoot, Commentary on Phil, 131); 1Pe 1:14, "not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts," paraphrased by Lightfoot, "not falling in with the capricious guidance of the passions" (same place) . In Php 3:21, the adjective summorphos is translated "fashioned" in the King James Version, but better "conformed" as in Revised Version (British and American).

(2) Eioos, eidos, literally, "thing seen," "external appearance," "shape," is translated "fashion" in Lu 9:29, of the glorified appearance of the transfigured Christ.

(3) prosopon, literally, "face," hence, look, appearance, Jas 1:11, "The grace of the fashion of it perisheth."

(4) tupos, type, model, translated "fashion" in Ac 7:44 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "figure"), the Greek word being taken from the Septuagint of the quoted passage, Ex 25:40. The same phrase, kata ton tupon, in the parallel passage, Heb 8:5, is translated "according to the pattern."

(5) In one instance the phrase "on this fashion," "in this manner," represents the Greek adverb houtos, "thus" (Mr 2:12).

D. Miall Edwards


fast, fast'-ing (tsum; `innah nephesh, "afflict soul or self," i.e. practice self-denial; nesteia, nesteuein): It is necessary to get rid of some modern notions associated with fasting before we can form a correct idea of its origin and significance in the ancient world. For instance, in the case of many ailments the dieting of the patient is an essential part of the remedy. But we may readily assume that originally fasting was not based on the salutary influence which it exercised on the health of the subject. Considerations of therapeutics played no part in the institution. The theory that fasting, like many other ancient customs, had a religious origin, is in favor with scholars, but we must not assume a religious origin for all practices which in process of time came to be associated with religion.

Many customs, purely secular in their origin, have gradually obtained a religious significance, just as purely religious customs have been dissociated from religion. It is also possible and, in the light of some usages, probable, that different motives operated in the association of fasting, as of some other customs, with religion. Scholars have been too ready to assume that the original significance of fasting was the same in all countries and among all nations. Robertson Smith in his Religion of the Semites advanced and defended theory that fasting was merely a mode of preparation for the tribal meal in which sacrifice originated, and came to be considered at a later stage as part of the sacrificial act. This hypothesis apparently accounts for the otherwise strange fact that both fasting and feasting are religious acts, but it does not give a satisfactory explanation of the constant association of fasting with the "wearing of sackcloth," the "putting of ashes on the head," and other similar customs. It is obvious that very different motives operated in the institution of fasting and of feasting religious observances.

It is a matter of common observation and experience that great distress causes loss of appetite and therefore occasions abstinence from food. Hannah, who was greatly distressed on account of her childlessness, "wept, and did not eat" (1Sa 1:7). Violent anger produces the same effect (1Sa 20:34). According to 1Ki 21:4, Ahab, "heavy and displeased" on account of Naboth's refusal to part with his estate, sulked and "would eat no bread." Fasting, originally the natural expression of grief, became the customary mode of proving to others the inner emotion of sorrow. David demonstrated his grief at Abner's death (2Sa 3:35) by fasting, just as the Psalmist indicated his sympathy with his adversaries' sorry plight in the same way (Ps 35:13). In such passages as Ezr 10:6; Es 4:3, it is not clear whether fasting is used in its religious significance or simply as a natural expression of sorrow (compare also Lu 5:33 and see below). This view explains the association of fasting with the mourning customs of antiquity (compare 1Sa 31:13; 2Sa 1:12). As fasting was a perfectly natural and human expression and evidence of the subject's grief, it readily claimed a place among those religious customs whose main object was the pacification of the anger of God, or the excital of His compassion. Any and every act that would manifest the distressful state of the suppliant would appeal to the Deity and move Him to pity. The interesting incident recorded in 2Sa 12:16-23 suggests the twofold significance of fasting as a religious act or a mode of appealing to the Deity and as a funeral custom. David defends his fasting before and not after the child's death on the ground that while the child was alive David's prayer might be answered. His fasting was intended to make his petition effectual (compare also 1Ki 21:27; Ezr 8:21; Es 4:16). Occasionally fasting was proclaimed on a national scale, e.g. in case of war (Jud 20:26; 2Ch 20:3) or of pestilence (Joe 1:13 f). Fasting having thus become a recognized mode of seeking Divine favor and protection, it was natural that it should be associated with confession of sin, as indisputable evidence of penitence or sorrow for sin.

Fasting might be partial, i.e. abstinence from certain kinds of food, or total, i.e. abstinence from all food as well as from washing, anointing, sleeping. It might be of shorter or longer duration, e.g. for one day, from sunrise to sunset (Jud 20:26; 1Sa 14:24; 2Sa 1:12; 3:35). In 1Sa 31:13 allusion is made to a seven days' fast, while Daniel abstained from "pleasant bread," flesh, wine and anointing for three weeks (Da 10:3). Moses (Ex 34:28) and Elijah (1Ki 19:8) fasted for 40 days. It is probable that these last three references presuppose a totally different conception of the significance of fasting. It is obvious that dreams made a deep impression on primitive man. They were communications from the departed members of the family. At a later stage they were looked upon as revelations from God. During sleep there is total abstinence from food. It was easy to draw the inference that fasting might fit the person to receive these communications from the world of spirits (Da 10:2). The close connection between fasting and insight--intellectual and spiritual--between simple living and high thinking is universally recognized.



Nowack, Hebadische Archaologie; Benzinger, Hebadische Archaologie; Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites.

T. Lewis




(chelebh, chelebh): The layer of subcutaneous fat and the compact suet surrounding the viscera and imbedded in the entrails, which, like the blood, was forbidden as food in the Mosaic code (Le 3:17). It was to be sacrificed to God by being burnt upon the altar (Le 3:16; 30). This had to be done on the very day on which a beast had been slaughtered, to remove temptation from the Israelite to use it otherwise (Ex 23:18). The law was probably a sanitary restriction, for, at an early date, leprosy, scrofula and disfiguring cutaneous diseases were thought to be caused by the use of fat as food. It was, moreover, an important pedagogical provision teaching the idea of self-denial, and the maxim that the richest and best meat of the edible animal belonged to Yahweh.


The expression "fat" is often used in figurative senses, e.g. abundant, exuberant, lusty, fertile, robust, outwardly successful (De 32:15; Ps 92:14 the King James Version; Ps 119:70; Pr 11:25; 13:4, etc.).

H. L. E. Luering




fa'-ther (Anglo-Saxon, Foeder; German, Vater; Hebrew 'abh, etymology uncertain, found in many cognate languages; Greek pater, from root pa, "nourisher," "protector," "upholder"):

1. Immediate Male Ancestor:

Immediate male ancestor. The father in the Hebrew family, as in the Roman, had supreme rights over his children, could dispose of his daughter in marriage (Ge 29), arrange his son's marriage (Ge 24), sell his children (Ex 21:7), but not his daughter to a stranger (Ne 5:5), had power of life and death, as in the case of Isaac (Ge 22), Jephthah's daughter (Jud 11:34 ), the sacrificing of his children to Molech (Le 18:21; 20:3-5), etc. Respect, reverence and affection for fathers (and equally for mothers) is most tenderly, explicitly and sternly prescribed from the earliest times (Ex 20:12; Le 19:3; De 5:16; Mic 7:6; Eze 22:7, etc.). A symmetrical and beautiful picture of the duties and character of the ideal human father may be built up from the Old Testament, with added and enlarged touches from the New Testament. He loves (Ge 37:4); commands (Ge 50:16; Pr 6:20); instructs (Pr 1:8, etc.); guides, encourages, warns (Jer 3:4; 1Th 2:11); trains (Ho 11:3); rebukes (Ge 34:30); restrains (Eli, by contrast, 1Sa 3:13); punishes (De 21:18); chastens (Pr 3:12; De 8:5); nourishes (Isa 1:2); delights in his son (Pr 3:12), and in his son's wisdom (Pr 10:1); is deeply pained by his folly (Pr 17:25); he is considerate of his children's needs and requests (Mt 7:10); considerate of their burdens, or sins (Mal 3:17, "As a man spareth his own son"); tenderly familiar (Lu 11:7, "with me in bed"); considerately self-restrained (Eph 6:4, "Provoke not your children to wrath"); having in view the highest ends (ibid., "Nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord"); pitiful (Ps 103:13, "as a father pitieth his children"); the last human friend (but one) to desert the child (Ps 27:10: "When (a thing to the psalmist incredible) my father and my mother forsake me, then Yahweh will take me up").

2. Ancestors, Immediate or Remote:

(a) Ancestor, immediate or remote: Ge 28:13, "Abraham thy father" (grandfather); 1Ki 22:50, "Jehoshaphat .... David his father"; Jer 35:6, "Jonadab, the son of Rechab, our father"; Da 5:11, "Nebuchadnezzar thy father" (personal or official ancestor); Ge 15:15, "Go to thy fathers in peace" (and so (in the plural) in over 500 passages). The expressions "slept with his fathers," "go down to his fathers," "buried with his fathers," "gathered to his fathers," are self-explanatory euphemisms.

(b) The founders of the (Hebrew) race, specifically the patriarchs:' Ro 9:5, "whose are the fathers," considered here also as in a sense the religious ancestors of all believers.

(c) Progenitors of clans, i.e. (Revised Version (British and American)) "fathers' houses": Ex 6:14; 1Ch 27:1, etc.

(d) Gods as progenitors of men: Jer 2:27, "Who say to a stock, thou art my father."

3. Figurative and Derived Uses:

(a) A spiritual ancestor, one who has infused his own spirit into others, whether good, as Abraham, the father of the faithful, Ro 4:11; or bad, as Joh 8:44, "Ye are of your father the devil."

(b) Indicating closest resemblance, kinship, affinity: Job 17:14, "If I have said to corruption, Thou art my father."

(c) A source: Eph 1:17, "Father of glory"; Job 38:28, "Hath the rain a father?"

(d) Creator: Jas 1:17, "the Father of lights."

(e) The inventor or originator of an art or mode of life: Ge 4:20, "father of such as dwell in tents" (a hint here of hereditary occupations? Probably not).

(f) One who exhibits the fatherly characteristics: Ps 68:5, "a father of the fatherless."

(g) One who occupies a position of counsel, care, or control (frequently applied by sultans to their prime ministers): Ge 45:8, "a father to Pharaoh"; Jud 17:10, "Be unto me a father and a priest."

(h) A revered or honored superior: 2Ki 5:13, "My father, if the prophet had bid thee"; but especially applied to prophets: 2Ki 2:12, "My father, my father!" also to elderly and venerable men: 1 Joh 2:13, "I write unto you, fathers"; hence also, with perhaps an outlook on (2) (a), deceased early Christians: 2Pe 3:4, "from the day that the fathers fell asleep." An ecclesiastical title, condemned (in principle) by our Lord: Mt 23:9, "Call no man your father on the earth"; but applied, under the power of the Spirit, to members of the Sanhedrin (probably) by Stephen: Ac 7:2; and by Paul: 22:1, but the latter, perhaps also the former, may simply refer to the elderly among his hearers. Christ's condemnation is clearly of the praise-seeking or obsequious spirit, rather than of a particular custom.

"Father," used by Mary of Joseph, in relation to Jesus, equals "putative father," a necessary reserve at a time when the virgin birth could not yet be proclaimed (Lu 2:49). But note Jesus' answer: "my Father's house."

Philip Wendell Crannell


(beth 'abh, beth 'abhoth): Father's house in the Old Testament is

(1) a dwelling, the family home (Ge 12:1; 31:14,30; 38:11; 1Sa 18:2);

(2) a family or household (Ge 41:51; 46:31; Ex 12:3, the Revised Version (British and American) "fathers' houses");

(3) the group of households, of several of which the "family' or "clan" was constituted, aggregations of which formed the "tribe," generally "fathers' houses" (Nu 1:18,20; 17:2; Ezr 2:59; Ne 10:34, etc.);

(4)the "family" (clan), mishpachah, "fathers' houses" (Ex 6:14 f; Nu 3:20 );

(5) the tribe, "fathers' house," "houses" (Nu 7:2; 17:1-3, etc.).

In the New Testament "father's house" (oikos tou patros) occurs in the sense of dwelling, house (Lu 16:27; compare 16:4). our Lord also uses the phrase

(1) of the earthly temple-dwelling of God at Jerusalem (Joh 2:16, "Make not my Father's house a house of merchandise"; compare Ps 11:4; Isa 63:15);

(2) of heaven as the abode of God and His children (Joh 14:2, "In my Father's house are many mansions," the Revised Version, margin "abiding places," oikia "house," "dwelling," also household, family; compare Ps 33:13; Isa 63:15; Mt 6:9). The phrase occurs also (Ac 7:20) of Moses, "nourished .... in his father's house" (oikos).

Revised Version has "father's hquse" for "principal household" (1Ch 24:6), "heads of the fathers' houses" for "chief fathers" (Nu 31:26; 32:28; 36:1; 1Ch 9:34, etc.); "one prince of a father's house," for "each of" (Jos 22:14); "the heads of the fathers' (houses)" for "the chief of the fathers," and "the fathers' houses of the chief," for "the principal fathers" (1Ch 24:31).

W. L. Walker


In the Christian religion God is conceived of as "Father," "Our Father .... in heaven" (Mt 6:9,14,26, etc.), "the God and Father of the Lord Jesus" (2Co 11:31, etc.). The tenderness of relation and wealth of love and grace embraced in this profound designation are peculiar to Christ's gospel. Pagan religions also could speak of God as "Father" (Zeus Pater), and in the general sense of Creator God has a universal fatherly relation to the world (Ac 17:24-28). In the Old Testament God was revealed as Father to the chosen nation (Ex 4:22), and to the special representative of the nation, the king (2Sa 7:14), while fatherly love is declared to be the image of His pity for those who fear Him (Ps 103:13). In the gospel of Jesus alone is this Fatherhood revealed to be of the very essence of the Godhead, and to have respect to the individual. Here, however, there is need for great discrimination. To reach the heart of the truth of the Divine Fatherhood it is necessary to begin, not with man, but with the Godhead itself, in whose eternal depths is found the spring of that Fatherly love that reveals itself in time. It is first of all in relation to the eternal Son--before all time--that the meaning of Fatherhood in God is made clear (Joh 1:18). In "God the Father" we have a name pointing to that relation which the first Person in the adorable Trinity sustains to "Son" and "Holy Spirit"--also Divine (Mt 28:19). From this eternal fountain-head flow the relations of God as Father

(1) to the world by creation;

(2) to believers by grace.

Man as created was designed by affinity of nature for sonship to God. The realization of this--his true creature-destiny--was frustrated by sin, and can now only be restored by redemption. Hence, the place of sonship in the gospel, as an unspeakable privilege (1 Joh 3:1), obtained by grace, through regeneration (Joh 1:12,13), and adoption (Ro 8:14,19). In this relation of nearness and privilege to the Father in the kingdom of His Son (Col 1:13), believers are "sons of God" in a sense true of no others. It is a relation, not of nature, but of grace. Fatherhood is now the determinative fact in God's relation to them (Eph 3:14 ). It is an error, nevertheless, to speak of fatherhood as if the whole character of God was therein sufficiently expressed. God is Father, but equally fundamental is His relation to His world as its Moral Ruler and Judge. From eternity to eternity the holy God must pronounce Himself against sin (Ro 1:18); and His fatherly grace cannot avert judgment where the heart remains hard and impenitent (Ro 2:1-9). For the fuller discussion of these points see GOD; CHILDREN OF GOD; TRINITY.

James Orr





fa'-ther-les (yathom; orphanos): The fatherless are frequently mentioned in the Old Testament, generally in association with the widow and the stranger, as typical instances of the unprotected and necessitous, who are, specially subject to oppression, and also to God's special protection. Great philanthropic regard is bestowed on this class throughout. In early legislation there is a special clause to guard them against affliction (Ex 22:22-24). They have a still more prominent place in the Deuteronomic legislation, which gives instructions that a charitable fund be formed out of the tithe, once every three years, for the relief of the destitute (De 14:28,29; 26:12-14), and that gleanings be left in the cornfield, the olive garden, and the vineyard for the benefit of this class (De 24:19-22; compare Le 19:9 f; 23:22, where, however, the "fatherless" are not specially mentioned). The Deuteronomist declares that God is on their side (De 10:18), and strongly condemns those who would oppress them (De 24:17; 27:19). The prophets and psalmists are equally emphatic in pleading for mercy and justice to the fatherless, and in declaring that God is their special guardian (Isa 1:17; Jer 7:6; 22:3; Ho 14:3; Zec 7:10; Ps 10:14; 68:5; 82:3; 146:9; compare Pr 23:10). Oppressing the fatherless is frequently mentioned as a typical act of cruelty and injustice (compare Job 6:27; 22:9; 24:3,1; 29:12 f; 31:16,17,21; Ps 94:6; Isa 1:23; 10:2; Jer 5:28; Eze 22:7; Mal 3:5). Here we have instances of the prophetic passion for righteousness and compassion for the helpless, inspired by a profound sense of the value of human life. Passages in the Apocrypha reflect the same spirit (2 Esdras 2:20; Ecclesiasticus 4:10).

In the New Testament the word "fatherless" occurs but once, where James declares, in the spirit of the Old Testament prophets, that true religious ritual consists in visitation of the fatherless and widows and in moral purity (Jas 1:27). Here the word for "fatherless" is orphanos ("bereft," "orphaned"), which is the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament yathom. In the New Testament the Greek word is found besides only in Joh 14:18, where it means destitute of a teacher or guide (compare La 5:3).

D. Miall Edwards




fath'-um (~orguia): The literal meaning is the length of the outstretched arms, and it was regarded as equal to 4 cubits, or about 6 feet. (Ac 27:28).





fat'-nes (deshen; piotes):

1. Literal:

The translation of deshen (Jud 9:9, "But the olive-tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness?"; Job 36:16 (of food)), "full of fatness"; of chelebh, "fat," "the best part," "the marrow" (Job 15:27; Ps 73:7; Isa 34:6,7); of mishman, "fathess," "fertility" (Ge 27:28, "the fatness of the earth"; Isa 17:4, "the fatness of his flesh"); of shemen, "fatness," "oil" (Ps 109:24); of piotes, "fat," "fatness" (Ro 11:17, "partaker .... of the root of the fatness of the olive tree").

2. Figurative:

"Fatness" is used figuratively for the richness of God's goodness; as such it is the translation of deshen ("They shall be abundantly satisfied (margin "Hebrew watered") with the fatness of thy house" (Ps 36:8); "Thy paths drop fatness" (Ps 65:11; compare Isa 55:2; Jer 31:14).

"With fatness" is supplied, De 32:15 the King James Version, "covered with fatness"; the Revised Version (British and American) has "become sleek"; for "The yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing" (Isa 10:27) the American Standard Revised Version has "by reason of fatness," margin "Hebrew oil"; the English Revised Version as the King James Version, with margin as the American Standard Revised Version; the text is believed to be corrupt; Septuagint has "from your shoulders."

W. L. Walker





folt (chaTa'; aitia, memphomai): Implies defect, of less moral weight than crime or sin. It is the translation of chaTa', "error," "failure," "sin" (Ex 5:16); of cheT', same meaning (Ge 41:9, "I do remember my faults this day"); of `awon, "perversity," "iniquity" (2Sa 3:8; Ps 59:4); of rish`ah, "wrongness," "wickedness" (De 25:2, the Revised Version (British and American) "wickedness"); of shechath (Aramaic) "corruption" (Da 6:4 twice); me'umah, "anything" (1Sa 29:3, "no fault in him," literally, "not anything"); of aitia, "cause," "case," "guilt," (Joh 18:38; 19:4,6; Pilate of Jesus, "I find no fault in him," the Revised Version (British and American) "no crime"; the same word is rendered "accusation," i.e. `legal cause for prosecution,' Mt 27:37; Mr 15:26; compare Ac 25:18,27); of aition, same meaning (Lu 23:4,14; 23:22, aition thanatou "cause of death"); of hettema, "a worse condition," "defect" (1Co 6:7, the Revised Version (British and American) "a defect," margin "a loss to you"); of paraptoma, "a falling aside" (Ga 6:1, "If a man be overtaken in fault," the Revised Version (British and American) "in any trespass," margin "by"; Jas 5:16, "Confess your faults one to another," the Revised Version (British and American) "Confess therefore your sins one to another"); hamartano, "to miss," "err," "sin," is translated "your faults" (1Pe 2:20 the Revised Version (British and American), "when ye sin"); memphomai, "to blame," is translated "to find fault" (Mr 7:2 omitted the Revised Version (British and American); Ro 9:19; Heb 8:8); elegcho, "to convict," "to tell one's fault" (Mt 18:15, the Revised Version (British and American) "show him his fault"); amomos, "without blemish," "spotless," is translated "without fault" (Re 14:5, the Revised Version (British and American) "without blemish," "faultless"; Jude 1:24, "able to present you faultless," the Revised Version (British and American) "without blemish"); amemptos, "blameless," "without reproach" (Heb 8:7, "for if that first covenant had been faultless"). "Faulty" is the translation of 'ashem, "guilty" (2Sa 14:13, "as one which is faulty," the Revised Version (British and American) "guilty"); of 'asham, "to be or become guilty" (Ho 10:2, Revised Version "guilty").

W. L. Walker


fa'-ver (chen, ratson, with other Hebrew words; charis): Means generally good will, acceptance, and the benefits flowing from these; in older usage it meant also the countenance, hence, appearance. Alternating in English Versions of the Bible with "grace," it is used chiefly of man, but sometimes also of God (Ge 18:3; 30:27; 39:21; Ex 3:21; 2Sa 15:25, "in the eyes of Yahweh," etc.). It is used perhaps in the sense of "countenance" in Pr 31:30, "Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain" (the King James Version), where for "favor" the Revised Version (British and American) has "grace"; the reference is to external appearance. "Favored" is used in the sense of "appearance" in the phrase "well-favored" (Ge 29:17; 39:6; 41:2,4).; conversely, "ill-favored" (Ge 41:3,4). For "favor" the Revised Version (British and American) has "have pity on" (Ps 109:12), "good will" (Pr 14:9), "peace" (So 8:10); the English Revised Version "grace" (Ru 2:13), the American Standard Revised Version "kindness" (Es 2:17; Da 1:9), etc. In the American Standard Revised Version "the acceptable year of the Lord" (Isa 61:2) is changed Into "the year of Yahweh's favor"; "Do I now persuade men" (Ga 1:10) into, "Am I now seeking the favor of men," and there are other the Revised Version (British and American) changes.

W. L. Walker





fer (yir'ah, yare'; phobos, phobeo):

Terms, etc.:

"Fear" is the translation of many words in the Old Testament; the chief are: yir'ah, "fear," "terror," "reverence," "awe," most often "the fear of God," "fear of Yahweh" (Ge 20:11; 2Ch 19:9, etc.); also of "fear" generally (Job 22:4; Isa 7:25; Eze 30:13, etc.); yare', "to be afraid," "to fear," "to reverence" (Ge 15:1; Le 19:3,14; De 6:2, etc.); pachadh, "fear," "terror," "dread" (Ge 31:42,53; De 11:25; 1Sa 11:7 the King James Version; Job 4:14; Isa 2:10 the King James Version, etc.).

"Fearful" (timid) is the translation of yare' (De 20:8; Jud 7:3); "to be feared," yare' (Ex 15:11; De 28:58; compare Ps 130:4); in Isa 35:4, it is the translation of mahar, "hasty," "them that are of a fearful heart," margin "Hebrew hasty"; perhaps, ready to flee (for fear).

"Fearfully" (Ps 139:14): yare', "I am fearfully (and) wonderfully made," so the Revised Version (British and American); "and" is not in the text, so that "fearfully" may be equivalent to "extremely," to an awesome degree; compare Ps 65:5, "by terrible things .... in righteousness"; 66:3, "How terrible are thy works (yare' "fearful "); the Septuagint, Peshitta, Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) have "Thou art fearfully wonderful."

"Fearfulness" occurs In Ps 55:5 (yir'ah); Isa 21:4 (pallatsuth), the Revised Version (British and American) "horror"; Isa 33:14 (re`adhah, "trembling"), "Fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites," the Revised Version (British and American) "Trembling hath seized the godless ones."

In the New Testament the chief words are phobos, "fear," "terror," "affright" (Mt 14:26; 28:4,8; Lu 21:26; 1 Joh 4:18, etc.), and phobeo, "to put in fear" (both used of ordinary fear) (Mt 1:20; 10:26; 28:5; 2Co 12:20, etc.); of the fear of God, the noun (Ro 3:18; 2Co 7:1), the verb (Lu 18:4; 23:40, etc.); deilia, "timidity," "fear," occurs in 2Ti 1:7, "God hath not given us the spirit of fear," the Revised Version (British and American) "a spirit of fearfulness"; ekphobos, "frightened out (of one's senses)," "greatly terrified" (Heb 12:21; compare De 9:19; The Wisdom of Solomon 17:9 the King James Version); apo tes eulabeias is translated (Heb 5:7) "(of Christ) who was heard in that he feared," the Revised Version (British and American) "having been heard for his godly fear"; so all the Greek commentators; eulabeia, properly, "caution," "circumspection," is used in the New Testament for godly fear (Heb 12:28, the Revised Version (British and American) "reverence and awe," margin as the King James Version); compare eulabes (Lu 2:25; Ac 2:5; 8:2); eulabeomai, "to act with caution" (Ac 23:10). Deilos, "fearful," "timid," occurs in Mt 8:26; Mr 4:40; Re 21:8, "Their part shall be .... the second death"; phoberos, "fearful," "terrible" (Heb 10:27,31); phobetron, "something fearful," "a terrible sign or portent" (Lu 21:11, Revised Version (British and American) "terrors").

Fear is a natural and, in its purpose, beneficent feeling, arising in the presence or anticipation of danger, and moving to its avoidance; it is also awakened in the presence of superiors and of striking manifestations of power, etc., taking the form of awe or reverence. Fear has been said to be the source of religion, but religion can never have originated from fear alone, since men are impelled to draw nigh with expectation to the object of worship.

"Fear" is certainly a prominent element in Old Testament religion; the "fear of God" or of Yahweh, "the fear of the Lord," is indeed synonymous with religion itself (Ps 34:11; Pr 1:7; Isa 11:2,3; Jer 2:19; Ec 12:13, "the whole duty of man," the Revised Version, margin "the duty of all men"). But although the element of dread, or of "fear" in its lower sense, is not always absent and is sometimes prominent in the earlier stages especially, though not exclusively (Ex 23:27, 'emah; 1Sa 11:7; 2Ch 20:29; Ps 119:120; Isa 2:10,19,21), it is more the feeling of reverent regard for their God, tempered with awe and fear of the punishment of disobedience. As such it is a sentiment commanded and to be cherished toward Yahweh (Ex 20:20; De 6:13; Jos 4:24; 1Sa 12:24; Job 6:14; Ps 33:8; 34:9; Pr 23:17; Ec 5:7, etc.). It is an essential element in the worship and service of Yahweh (2Ki 17 often; Ps 2:11, etc.); it is a Divine qualification of the Messiah (Isa 11:2,3). This "fear of Yahweh" is manifested in keeping God's commandments, walking in His ways, doing His will, avoiding sin, etc. (Ex 20:20; De 6:13,14; 2Sa 23:3; Ps 34:4,9 parallel Pr 8:13; 16:6). It is the true wisdom (Job 28:28; Ps 25:14; Pr 1:7; 15:33); it gives life (Pr 10:27, etc.), blessedness (Ps 128:1,4), sufficiency (Ps 34:9), Divine friendship (Ps 25:14), protection (Ps 34:7), deliverance (Ps 85:9), forgiveness (Ps 130:4). In Ps 90:11 the King James Version has "According to thy fear so is thy wrath," the Revised Version (British and American) "and thy wrath according to the fear that is due unto thee"; the meaning probably is "thy wrath is in proportion to thy fear."

The "fear of the Lord" is a frequent phrase in Apocrypha, and is highly exalted, e.g. Ecclesiasticus 1:11-30; the idea of it became gradually more and more elevated; in 2:15,16 it is joined with the love of God.

"Fear" is the natural consequence of sin (Ge 3:10; 4:13,14; Pr 28:1); it comes as a punishment (De 28:25,28). The fear of man and of evils are dangers to be avoided, from which the fear of God delivers (Nu 14:9; 21:34; Ps 23:4; 31:14, etc.).

"Fear" sometimes stands for the object of fear (Pr 10:24; Isa 66:4); for the object of worship (Ge 31:42,53, "the God of Abraham, and the Fear of isaac," pachadh).

In the New Testament dread, or fear of God in the lower sense, is removed; He is revealed as the loving and forgiving Father, who gives to men the spirit of sonship (Ro 8:15; 2Ti 1:7; 1 Joh 4:18); we are invited even to come "with boldness unto the throne of grace," with confidence, assurance (parrhesia), which, however, may have its literal meaning of free "utterance" (Heb 4:16; 10:19); but there remains a filial fear and sense of awe and of the greatness of the issues involved (Ro 11:20; Eph 5:21, the Revised Version (British and American) "of Christ"; 1Ti 5:20; Heb 4:1); all other fears should be dismissed (Mt 8:26; 10:26-28,31; Lu 12:32); in Mt 10:28; Lu 12:5, "fear" is used in the sense of "stand in awe of," so perhaps Lu 23:40; to "fear God" is sometimes used in the New Testament as equivalent to religion (Lu 18:4; Ac 10:2,35; 13:16,26, used of proselytes); in Heb 10:27, it is said that if Christ be willfully rejected, nothing remains but "a fearful looking for (the Revised Version (British and American) "expectation") of judgment," and 10:31, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God," in which places "fearful" means "terrible," something well to be feared. the Revised Version (British and American) gives frequently a more literal rendering of the words translated "fear."

W. L. Walker


fests (mo`edh, "an appointed day" or "an assembling," chagh, from chaghagh, "to dance" or possibly "to make a pilgrimage"; tsom, "fast," ta`anith, "a day of affliction"):


A) Annual

1. Passover, 15th-22d Nican

2. Pentecost, 6th Ciwan ) Pilgrimage

3. Tabernacles, 15th-22d Tishri ) Festivals

4. Shemini `Atsereth, 23d Tishri

5. New Year, Feast of Trumpets, 1st Tishri

6. Atonement, 10th Tishri

B) Periodic

1. Weekly Sabbath

2. New Moon

3. Sabbath Year

4. Jubilee Year


1. Feast of Dedication, 25th Kiclew

2. Fast of Esther, 13th 'Adhar

3. Feast of Purim, 14th 'Adhar

4. Fast of the Fourth Month, 17th Tammuz

5. Fast of the Fifth Month, 9th 'Abh

6. Fast of the Seventh Month, 3rd Tishri

7. Fast of the Tenth Month, 10th Tebheth

8. Feast of Acra, 23d Iyar

9. Feast of Nicanor, 18th 'Adhar

10. Feast of Woodcarrying, Midsummer Day, 15th 'Abh

11. New Year for Trees, 15th ShebhaT

12. Bi-weekly Fasts, Mondays and Thursdays after Festivals

13. Second Days of Festivals Instituted

14. New Modes of Observing Old Festivals Instituted

The Nature of the Hebrew Festivals:

The Hebrews had an abundance of holidays, some based, according to their tradition, on agriculture and the natural changes of times and seasons, some on historical events connected with the national or religious life of Israel, and still others simply on immemorial custom. in most instances two or more of these bases coexist, and the emphasis on the natural, the agricultural, the national, or the religious phase will vary with different writers, different context, or different times. Any classification of these feasts and fasts on the basis of original significance must therefore be imperfect.

We should rather classify them as preexilic and post-exilic, because the period of the Babylonian captivity marks a complete change, not only in the kinds of festivals instituted from time to time, but also in the manner of celebrating the old.

I. Pre-exilic.

The pre-exilic list includes the three pilgrimage festivals, the Passover week, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles, together with the Eighth Day of Assembly at the conclusion of the last of these feasts, and New Year and Atonement Days, the weekly Sabbath and the New Moon.

1. Observances Common to All:

The preexilic festivals were "holy convocations" (Le 23; Nu 28). Special sacrifices were offered on them in addition to the daily offerings. These sacrifices, however, varied according to the character of the festival (Nu 28; 29). On all of them trumpets (chatsotseroth) were blown while the burnt offerings and the peace-offerings were being sacrificed (Nu 10:10). They were all likened to the weekly Sabbath as days of rest, on which there must be complete suspension of all ordinary work (Le 16:29; 23:7,8,21,24,25,28,35,36).

2. Significance of the Festivals:

The three pilgrimage festivals were known by that name because on them the Israelites gathered at Jerusalem to give thanks for their doubly joyful character. They were of agricultural significance as well as commemorative of national events. Thus, the Passover is connected with the barley harvest; at the same time it is the zeman cheruth, recalling the Exodus from Egypt (Ex 12:6; Le 23:5,8; Nu 28:16-25; De 16:1-8).

Pentecost has an agricultural phase as chagh habikkurim, the celebration of the wheat harvest; it has a religious phase as zeman mattan Thorah in the Jewish liturgy, based on the rabbinical calculation which makes it the day of the giving of the Law, and this religious side has so completely overshadowed the agricultural that among modern Jews the Pentecost has become "confirmation day" (Ex 34:26; Le 23:10-14; Nu 28:26-31).

The Feast of Tabernacles is at once the general harvest festival, chagh he-'aciph, and the anniversary of the beginnings of the wanderings in the wilderness (Ex 23:16; Le 23:33 ff; De 16:13-15). The Eighth Day of Assembly immediately following the last day of Tabernacles (Le 23:36; Nu 29:35 ff; Joh 7:37) and closing the long cycle of Tishri festivals seems to have been merely a final day of rejoicing before the pilgrims returned to their homes.

New Year (Le 23:23-25; Nu 29:1-6) and the Day of Atonement (Le 16:1 ff; 23:26-32; Nu 29:7-11) marked the turning of the year; primarily, perhaps, in the natural phenomena of Palestine, but also in the inner life of the nation and the individual. Hence, the religious significance of these days as days of judgment, penitence and forgiveness soon overshadowed any other significance they may have had. The temple ritual for these days, which is minutely described in the Old Testament and in the Talmud, was the most elaborate and impressive of the year. At the same time Atonement Day was socially an important day of rejoicing.

In addition to these annual festivals the pre-exilic Hebrews celebrated the Sabbath (Nu 28:9,10; Le 23:1-3) and the New Moon (Nu 10:10; 28:11-15). By analogy to the weekly Sabbath, every seventh year was a Sabbath Year (Ex 23:11; Le 25:1-7; De 15:1), and every cycle of seven Sabbath years was closed with a Jubilee Year (Le 25:8-18) somewhat after the analogy of the seven weeks counted before Pentecost.

For further details of all of these preexilic festivals see the separate articles.

II. Post-exilic.

In post-exilic times important historical events were made the basis for the institution of new fasts and feasts. When the first temple was destroyed and the people were carried into captivity, "the sacrifice of the body and one's own fat and blood" were substituted for that of animals (see Talmud, Berakhoth 17a). With such a view of their importance, fasts of all sorts were as a matter of course rapidly multiplied. (Note that the Day of Atonement was the only pre-exilic fast.) Of these post-exilic fasts and feasts, the Feast of Dedication (1 Macc 4:52-59; Joh 10:22; Mishna, Ta`anith 2 10; Mo`edh QaTon 3 9; Josephus, Ant, XII, vii; Apion, II, xxxix) and the Feast of Purim (Es 3:7; 9:24 ff; 2 Macc 15:36); and the fasts of the fourth (Zec 8:19; Jer 39; 52; Mishna, Ta`anith 4 6), the fifth (Zec 7:3,1; 8:19; Ta`anith 4 6), the seventh (Zec 7:5; 8:19; Jer 41:1; 2Ki 25:25; Cedher `Olam Rabba' 26; Meghillath Ta`anith c. 12), the tenth months (Zec 8:19; 2Ki 25), and the Fast of Esther (Es 4:16 f; 9:31) have been preserved by Jewish tradition to this day. (The Feast of Dedication, the Feast of Purim and the Fast of Esther are described in separate articles.)


The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months are based on historical incidents connected with one or more national calamities. In several instances the rabbis have by close figuring been able to connect with the dates of the fasts as well as the feasts other important national events than those for which the days were primarily instituted. Not less than four incidents are connected with the fasts of the fourth month (17th of Tammuz):

(a) on this day the Israelites made the golden calf;

(b) Moses broke the tables of law;

(c) the daily sacrifices ceased for want of cattle when the city was closely besieged prior to the destruction of Jerusalem; and

(d) on this day Jerusalem was stormed by Nebuchadnezzar.

The fast of the fifth month (9th day of 'Abh) receives its significance from the fact that the First Temple was destroyed upon this day by Nebuchadnezzar, and the Second Temple on the same day of the year by Titus. In addition it is said that on this day Yahweh decreed that those who left Egypt should not enter the land of promise; the day is also the anniversary of the capture of the city of Bether by the Emperor Hadrian. The fast of the seventh month (the 3rd day of Tishri) commemorates the murder of Gedaliah at Mizpah. That of the tenth month (10th day of Tebheth) commemorates the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.

Other fasts and feasts no doubt were instituted on similar occasions and received a local or temporary observance, for example, the Feast of Acra (1 Macc 13:50-52; compare 1:33), to celebrate the recapture of Acra ("the citadel") on the 23rd of 'Iyar 141 BC, and the Feast of Nicanor, in celebration of the victory over Nicanor on the 13th day of 'Adhar 160 BC (1 Macc 7:49).

Several other festivals are mentioned in the Talmud and other post-Biblical writings which may have been of even greater antiquity. The Feast of Woodcarrying (Midsummer Day: Ne 10:34; Josephus, BJ, II, vii, 6; Meghillath Ta`anith c.v, p. 32, Mishna, Ta`anith 4 8a), for example, is referred to as the greatest day of rejoicing of the Hebrews, ranking with Atonement Day. It was principally a picnic day to which a religious touch was given by making it the woodgatherers' festival for the Temple. A New Year for trees is mentioned in the Talmud (Ro'sh ha-Shdnah 1 1). The pious, according both to the Jewish tradition and the New Testament, observed many private or semi-public fasts, such as the Mondays, Thursdays and following Monday after Nisan and Tishri (the festival months: Lu 18:12; Mt 9:14; 6:16; Mr 2:18; Lu 5:33; Ac 10:30; Meghillah 31a; Ta`anith 12a; Bdbha' Qama' 8 2). The day before Passover was a fast day for the firstborn (Copherim 21 3).

In post-Biblical times the Jews outside of Palestine doubled each of the following days: the opening and closing day of Passover and Tabernacles and Pentecost, because of the capheq, or doubt as to the proper day to be observed, growing out of the delays in the transmission of the official decree of the Sanhedhrin in each season. Differences in hours of sunrise and sunset between Palestine and other countries may have had something to do at least with the perpetuation of the custom. New Year's Day seems to have been doubled from time immemorial, the forty-eight hours counting as one "long day."

Many new modes of observance appear in post-exilic times in connection with the old established festivals, especially in the high festival season of Tishri. Thus the cimchath beth ha-sho'ebhah, "water drawing festival," was celebrated during the week of Tabernacles with popular games and dances in which even the elders took part, and the streets were so brilliantly illuminated with torches that scarcely an eye was closed in Jerusalem during that week (Talmud, Chullin).

The last day of Tabernacles was known in Talmudic times as yom chibbuT `arabhoth, from the custom of beating willow branches, a custom clearly antedating the various symbolical explanations offered for it. Its festivities were connected with the dismantling of the booth. In later times the day was known as hosha`na' rabba', from the liturgical passages beginning with the word hosha`na', recited throughout the feast and "gathered" on that day. The day after Tabernacles has been made cimchath Torah, the Feast of the Law, from the custom of ending on that day the cycle of fifty-two weekly portions read in the synagogues.

In general it may be said that although the actual observance has changed from time to time to meet new conditions, the synagogal calendar of today is made up of the same festivals as those observed in New Testament times.

Ella Davis Isaacs


Regulated by the sun and moon.

See ASTRONOMY, sec. I, 5.


feth'-erz (notsah; Latin penna): "Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings (the Revised Version (British and American) "pinions") and feathers (the American Standard Revised Version "plumage") unto the ostrich?" (Job 39:13 the King James Version); "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust; his truth shall be thy shield and buckler" (Ps 91:4 the King James Version). In the Revised Version (British and American) this is again changed to pinions. in Da 4:33 the word "feathers" is left. The wonderful plumage of birds was noted and prized in those days, just as now. Old ostriches were too tough and rank of flesh for food. They were pursued for their feathers, which were used for the headdressing and shield ornaments of desert princes. No one doubts that the ships of Solomon introduced peacocks because of their wonderful feathers. Those of the eagle were held in superstitious reverence as late as the days of Pliny, who was ten years old at the time of the crucifixion of Christ. Pliny wrote that the eagle was so powerful that if its feathers be laid in a box with those of other birds, the eagle feathers would "devour and consume all the rest."

Gene Stratton-Porter


fe'-b'-l nez: The expression. is found in three places (one being a free quotation of another): Job 4:4, "Thou hast made firm the feeble (kara`, "bending," "bowing") knees," and Heb 12:12, "Wherefore lift up the hands that hang down, and the palsied (the King James Version "feeble") knees." The Greek word used here (paralelumena, "paralyzed," "motionless") implies the loss of junction, interrupted articulation, the cutting off of vital strength; compare Greek cholos, "lame," and see Delitzsch in his Commentary on Heb, in the place cited

Such an affection of the knees may be due to different causes. It is, e.g., a very frequent symptom of the disease known in the Orient as beriberi, when the muscles of the lower leg shrink to such a degree as to render voluntary locomotion impossible. It always disables its victim, and is therefore often expressive of general debility, e.g. in Ps 109:24, where such weakness is described as the outcome of protracted fasting in Eze 7:17 and 21:7, "All knees shall be weak as water," the expression indicates a complete relaxation of the muscles. Fear effected the same condition in Belshazzar's case, when he saw the writing on the wall (Da 5:6), "The joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another" (compare Na 2:10).

The "sore boil .... in the knees, and in the legs," a disease announced in De 28:35 as a punishment upon Israel for disobedience, cannot now be fully determined. Driver (in his commentary on the passage) thinks of elephantiasis, which is possible but not probable on account of the additional statement, "whereof thou canst not be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the crown of thy head" which would be unexplained, as elephantiasis rarely presents a form in which the whole body is sympathetically affected. I rather think of some form of bubonic plague, which causes very high fever all over the body. In De 28:27 in the enumeration of plagues mention is made of the "boil of Egypt," and some commentators have explained this as "bubonic plague." There is, however, no doubt that the "boil or botch of Egypt" is identical with the disease known to modern medicine as bouton du Nil, Biskra button, Bagdad or Aleppo sore.

H. L. E. Luering


fe'-b'-l-min'-ded (oligopsuchos): Only in 1Th 5:14 the King James Version, in the sense of "fainthearted," as in the Revised Version (British and American). In Septuagint it is used as the equivalent of koshel, the tottering or feeble-kneed in Isa 35:3; 54:6; oligopsuchia occurs in Septuagint twice (Ex 6:9; Ps 54:7), for "anguish of spirit" and "trouble." The term refers to weakness of will and vacillation of purpose rather than to idiocy or morbid imbecility.


fel'-ing: The following varieties of meaning are to be noted:

(1) "To touch," "handle," "grope after" (mashash (Ge 27:12,22; Ex 10:21; mush, Ge 27:21; Jud 16:26; pselaphao, Ac 17:27).

(2) "To know," "understand," "experience" (bin, Ps 58:9; yadha`, Pr 23:35; ginosko, Mr 5:29).

(3) "To have a fellow feeling," "to place one's self into the position of another," especially while suffering, "to have compassion" (sumpathein, Heb 4:15; compare 10:34; which is to be carefully distinguished from the similar verb sumpaschein, which means "to share in the same suffering with another," Ro 8:17; 1Co 12:26). See Delitzsch, Commentary on Heb 4:15.

(4) "To feel harm," "pain," "grief," "to be sensitive" (paschein, with the roots path- and penth-, Ac 28:5); or with the negation: "to have ceased to feel," "to be apathetic," "past feeling," "callous," apelgekos, perfect participle of apalgeo (Eph 4:19) which describes the condition of the sinner, who by hardening his heart against moral influences is left without a sense of his high vocation, without an idea of the awfulness of sin, without reverence to God, without an appreciation of the salvation offered by Him, and without fear of His judgment.

H. L. E. Luering




fan (badha, nakhar; plastos): Occurs

(1) in the sense of "to devise," "invent" as the translation of badha', "to form," "to fashion" (Ne 6:8, "Thou feignest them out of thine own heart"; compare 1Ki 12:33, English Versions of the Bible "devised of his own heart"); of plastos, "formed," "molded" (2Pe 2:3, "with reigned words make merchandise of you");

(2) in the sense of "pretense," nakhar, "to be foreign," "strange" (1Ki 14:5, "feign herself to be another woman," 1ki 14:6; compare Ge 42:7; Pr 26:24); 'abhal, "to mourn," "to act as a mourner" (2Sa 14:2); halal, "to make a show," Hithpael, "to be mad," "to feign madness" (of David, 1Sa 21:13; compare Jer 25:16; 50:38); hupokrinomai, "to give judgment, or act, under a mask" (Lu 20:20, "who feigned themselves to be righteous");

(3) in the sense of "deceit" "fraud," "insincerity," mirmah, "prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips" (Ps 17:1); sheqer, "falsehood," "a lie," "Judah hath not returned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly" (Jer 3:10; compare /APC 2Esdras 8:28); kahash, "to lie," "to feign, or flatter" (2Sa 12:45; Ps 18:44; 66:3; 81:15), where the text of the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), "shall submit themselves," is rendered the margin (the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American)), "yield feigned obedience, Hebrew lie." the Revised Version (British and American) has "feign" for "make" (2Sa 13:5), and "feigned" for "made" (2Sa 13:6).

W. L. Walker


fe'-liks, an-to'-ni-us (Phelix, from Latin felix, "happy"): A Roman procurator of Judea, appointed in succession to Cumanus by the emperor Claudius. The event which led to the introduction of Felix into the narrative of Ac was the riot at Jerusalem (Ac 21:27). There Paul, being attacked at the instigation of the Asiatic Jews for alleged false teaching and profanation of the temple, was rescued with difficulty by Lysias the chief captain. But Lysias, finding that Paul was a Roman citizen, and that therefore the secret plots against the life of his captive might entail serious consequences upon himself, and finding also that Paul was charged on religious rather than on political grounds, sent him on to Felix at Caesarea for trial (Ac 21:31-23:34). On his arrival, Paul was presented to Felix and was then detained for five days in the judgment hall of Herod, till his accusers should also reach Caesarea (Ac 23:33-35). The trial was begun, but after hearing the evidence of Tertullus (see TERTULLUS) and the speech of Paul in his own defense, Felix deferred judgment (Ac 24:1-22). The excuse he gave for delay was the non-appearance of Lysias, but his real reason was in order to obtain bribes for the release of Paul. He therefore treated his prisoner at first with leniency, and pretended along with Drusilla to take interest in his teaching. But these attempts to induce Paul to purchase his freedom failed ignominiously; Paul sought favor of neither Felix nor Drusilla, and made the frequent interviews which he had with them an opportunity for preaching to them concerning righteousness and temperance and the final judgment. The case dragged on for two years till Felix, upon his retirement, "desiring to gain favor with the Jews .... left Paul in bonds" (Ac 24:27). According to the Bezan text, the continued imprisonment of Paul was due to the desire of Felix to please Drusilla.

Felix was the brother of Pallas, who was the infamous favorite of Claudius, and who, according to Tacitus (Annals xiii. 14), fell into disgrace in 55 AD. Tacitus implies that Felix was joint procurator of Judea, along with Cumanus, before being appointed to the sole command, but Josephus is silent as to this. Both Tacitus and Josephus refer to his succeeding Cumanus, Josephus stating that it was at the instigation of Jonathan the high priest. There is some doubt as to the chronology of Felix' tenure of office. Harnack and Blass, following Eusebius and Jerome, place his accession in 51 AD, and the imprisonment of Paul in 54-56 AD; but most modern commentators incline to the dates 52 AD and 56-58 AD. These latter interpret the statement of Paul, "Thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation" (Ac 24:10), as referring to some judicial office, not necessarily that of co-procurator (see Tacitus), previously held by Felix in the time of Cumanus, and argue that this earlier connection of Felix with Judea supplied a reason for the advocacy by Jonathan of Felix' claims to the procuratorship on the deposition of Gumanus. The testimony of Ac as to the evil character of Felix is fully corroborated by the writings of Josephus (BJ, II, xiii). Although he suppressed the robbers and murderers who infested Judea, and among them the "Egyptian" to whom Lysias refers (Ac 21:38), yet "he himself was more hurtful than them all." When occasion offered, he did not hesitate to employ the sicarii (see ASSASSINS) for his own ends. Trading upon the influence of his brother at court, his cruelty and rapacity knew no bounds, and during his rule revolts became continuous, and marked a distinct stage in that seditious movement which culminated in the outbreak of 70 AD (so Schurer). His leaving Paul in bonds was but a final instance of one who sacrificed duty and justice for the sake of his Own unscrupulous selfishness. For more detailed information as to dates, etc., compare Knowling (Expos Greek Test., II, 477 ff).

C. M. Kerr


fel'-oz (1Ki 7:33).



fel'-o (chabher, rea`; hetairos): Meant originally a "partner," from fe, "property," and lag, "to lay," then "a companion," "an equal," "a person or individual," "a worthless person."

(1) As "companion" it is the translation of chabher, "associate," "companion," "friend" (also chabbar, Job 41:6), where we have the original sense of partnership, translated "bands" the Revised Version (British and American), the King James Version "companions"); Ps 45:7, "God hath anointed thee .... above thy fellows"; of habhrah (Ec 4:10; Da 7:20); of rea`, "companion," "friend," "another" (Ex 2:13; Jud 7:13,14,22); re`ah (or ra`yah), "a female friend" (Jud 11:37, "I and my fellows," the Revised Version (British and American) "companions"; here the King James Version applies "fellow" to a female; compare Baruch 6:43, "She reproacheth her fellow," he plesion); in Jud 11:38, "companions" is the translation of `amith, "fellowship"; `amith (Zec 13:7, "the man that is my fellow," literally, "the man of my fellowship"); hetairos, "companion" (Mt 11:16); metochos, "partner"; (compare Lu 5:7; Heb 1:9, quoted from Ps 45:7, Septuagint for chabher).

(2) As an individual or person "fellow" is the translation of 'ish, "a man," "an individual": "make this fellow return" (1Sa 29:4 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "the man"); in the same verse "fellow" is supplied instead of "he"; "fellow" in 1611 meant simply "a man," and it is difficult to say in what passages the ideas of "worthless," etc., are meant to be implied; probably, however, in Jud 18:25, where the Hebrew is simply 'enosh, "man," and the text is almost the only deviation from the rendering "man," "men," "lest angry (margin, Revised Version "bitter of soul") fellows fall upon you"; also Ac 17:5, aner, "a man," "certain lewd fellows of the baser sort," the Revised Version (British and American) "vile fellows"; compare 2Sa 6:20, "vain (req) fellows" (supplied); /APC 1Macc 10:61, "contain pestilent fellows" (aner); Ecclesiasticus 8:15, "a bold fellow" (tolmeros), the Revised Version (British and American) "a rash man"; in several places of the Old Testament "fellow" represents zeh, "this," and in these instances there seems to be something of worthlessness or contempt implied (1Sa 21:15; 25:21; 1Ki 22:27; 2Ki 9:11, and, as before, 1Sa 29:4 the Revised Version (British and American)); in the New Testament also "fellow" often represents houtos, "this," and in most of these cases the King James Version seems to intend something depreciatory to be understood; the Revised Version (British and American) gives simply "man" (Mt 12:24; 26:61,71; Lu 22:59; 23:2; Joh 9:29; Ac 18:13); so Ecclesiasticus 13:23, "If the poor man speaks, they say, What fellow is this?" the Revised Version (British and American) "who is this?" /APC 1Macc 4:5, "These fellows flee from us," the Revised Version (British and American) "these men." the Revised Version (British and American) has "fellows" for "persons" (Jud 9:4), for "men" (Jud 11:3); "base fellows" for "men the children of Belial" ( De 13:13), margin, "sons of worthlessness"; the American Standard Revised Version "worthless fellow" for "son of Belial" (1Sa 25:17,25), "base fellows" for "sons of Belial" (Jud 19:22; 20:13, etc.); the Revised Version (British and American) has also "companions" for "fellows" (Jud 11:37; Eze 37:19; Da 2:13), "each man his fellow" for "one another" (2Ki 3:23); "fellow by" for "neighbor in" (1Ki 20:35).

Fellow-citizen, Fellow-disciple, Fellow-heirs, Yokefellow, etc. In composition, "fellow" always means partner or companion.

W. L. Walker





fe'-mal: Two Hebrew words are thus translated:

(1) neqebhah, which is merely a physiological description of the sexual characteristic (from naqabh, "to perforate"), and which corresponds to zakhar, "male" (see under the word).

(2) 'ishshah, with the irregular plural nashim (only Ge 7:2, in all other places "wife," "woman"), the feminine form of 'ish, "man."

The Greek word is thelus, literally, "the nursing one," "the one giving suck" (from thelazo, "to suckle").

Israelitic law seems frequently guilty of unjust partiality in favor of the male sex, but we have to consider that most of these legal and religious disabilities of women can be explained from the social conditions prevailing at the time of legislation. They are therefore found also in contemporaneous Gentilereligions. Though traces of this prejudice against the weaker sex are found in the New Testament, the religious discrimination between the sexes has practically ceased, as is evident from Ga 3:28: "There can be no male and female; for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus"; compare also 1Pe 3:7.

H. L. E. Luering


fens (batsar, mibhtsar):

Commonly used in the King James Version in the description of fortified places, as the translation of batsar, "to cut off," "to separate," "to fortify" (and forms) (De 3:5; 9:1; 28:52, etc.); mibhtsar, "fenced city," is a fortified place (Nu 32:17,36; Jos 10:20; 19:35, etc.); matsor, "fenced cities," means "bulwark," "citadel" (2Ch 8:5); metsurah, "fortification" (2Ch 11:23; 12:4; 14:6; 21:3); for "fenced" the American Standard Revised Version substitutes "fortified" in all these instances; in Da 11:15, mibhtsar is "a well-fortified city," margin "the fortified cities," the English Revised Version "well-fenced"; "fence" is also the translation of gadher, "a wall" or "fence" (Job 19:8 the American Standard Revised Version, "walled up" (gadhar); Ps 62:3); `azaq, "to loosen" (the ground) as with a mattock (Isa 5:2, where the King James Version has "fenced" it (the vineyard), the American Standard Revised Version "digged it," the English Revised Version "made a trench about it," it" margin "digged it" sukh, "to interweave" or "interlace" (Job 10:11, the Revised Version (British and American) "clothed"); male', "to be or become full" (2Sa 23:7, the Revised Version (British and American) "armed," margin "Hebrew filled").

ERV has "fence" for "wall" (Nu 22:24; Isa 5:5; Ho 2:6; the American Standard Revised Version retains "wall"), for "hedge" (Ec 10:8; Eze 13:5; 22:30; the American Standard Revised Version "wall"); "fenced" for "walled" (Nu 13:28; De 1:28; the American Standard Revised Version "fortified"); compare for "strong" Jos 19:29; Ne 9:25; Ps 108:10 (margin Jos 19:29, "the city of Mibzar-zor, that is, the fortress of Tyre," the English Revised Version ,"fenced"), for "hedged" (La 3:7, American Revised Version, "walled"); compare for "defenced," the English Revised Version "fenced," the American Standard Revised Version "fortified" (Isa 36:1; 37:26, etc.); "fences" for "hedges" (Ps 80:12, the American Standard Revised Version "walls"); in Jer 49:3, the English Revised Version and the American Standard Revised Version have "fences."

See also HEDGE.

W. L. Walker




fer'-et ('anaqah, the Revised Version (British and American) GECKO): Occurs only in Le 11:30 the King James Version, in the list of animals which are unclean "among the creeping things that creep upon the earth." the Revised Version (British and American) has "gecko" with the marginal note, "Words of uncertain meaning, but probably denoting four kinds of lizards." The list of animals in Le 11:29,30 includes

(1) choledh, English Versions of the Bible "weasel";

(2) `akhbar, English Versions of the Bible "mouse";

(3) tsabh, the King James Version "tortoise," the Revised Version (British and American) "great lizard";

(4) 'anaqkah, the King James Version "ferret," the Revised Version (British and American) "gecko";

(5) koach the King James Version "chameleon," the Revised Version (British and American) "land crocodile";

(6) leTa'ah, English Versions of the Bible "lizard";

(7) chomeT, the King James Version "snail," the Revised Version (British and American) "sand lizard";

(8) tinshemeth, the King James Version "mole," the Revised Version (British and American) "chameleon."

It will be noted that while Revised Version makes the first two mammals and the remaining six reptiles, the King James Version makes not only (1) and (2) but also (4) and (8) mammals, and (7) a mollusk. So far as this general classification is concerned the King James Version follows the Septuagint, except in the case of (7). It must be borne in mind that all these words except (2) and (8) occur only in this passage, while (2) and (8) occur each in only a few passages where the context throws but uncertain light upon the meaning. Under these circumstances we ought to be content with the rendering of the Septuagint, unless from philology or tradition we can show good reason for differing. For 'anaqah, Septuagint has mugale, which occurs in Herodotus and Aristotle and may be a shrew mouse or a field mouse. Just as the next word, koach, is found in other passages (see CHAMELEON) with the meaning of "strength," so 'anaqah occurs in several places signifying "moaning" or "sighing" (Ps 12:5; 79:11; 102:20; Mal 2:13). It seems to be from the root, 'anaq, "to choke," "to be in anguish" (compare `anaq, "a collar"; chanaq, "to choke"; Arabic `unq, "neck"; Arabic khanaq, "to strangle"; Greek anagke; Latin angustus; German enge, Nacken; English "anxious," "neck"). Some creature seems to be meant which utters a low cry or squeak, and neither "ferret" (the King James Version) nor "gecko" (Revised Version (British and American)) seems to have a better claim than the older Septuagint rendering of mugale = "shrew mouse" or "field mouse."

Alfred Ely Day


fer'-i-bot (2Sa 19:18).



fur'-vent (dalaq; ektenes, zeo):

"Fervent" (from Latin fervere, "to boil") does not occur in the King James Version of the Old Testament, but the Revised Version (British and American) gives it as the translation of dalaq, "to burn" (Pr 26:23), instead of "burning," "fervent lips and a wicked heart." In the New Testament it is the translation of ektenes, "stretched out," hence, intent, earnest (1Pe 4:8, "being fervent in your love among yourselves"); of zeo, "to boil," "to be hot" (Ro 12:11, "fervent in spirit," Ac 18:25); of zelos, "zeal," "fervor" (2Co 7:7, the Revised Version (British and American) "zeal"), in Jas 5:16 the King James Version has: "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much," where the Greek is: polu ischuei deesis dikaiou energoumene, which the Revised Version (British and American) renders, "The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working."

"Fervently" is the translation of agonizomai, "to strive or struggle" (agonize), Col 4:12 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "Epaphras .... striving for you in his prayers"; of ektenos, literally, in an outstretched manner (1Pe 1:22, the Revised Version (British and American) "Love one another from the heart fervently"; compare 1Pe 4:8, "fervent in your love among yourselves"). Christian love too often lacks this fervency, but Christ's love for us was "stretched out" to the uttermost.

The Revised Version (British and American) has "fervently" for "earnestly" (Jas 5:17, margin "with prayer").

W. L. Walker





fes'-tus, por'-shi-us Porkios Phestos):

The Roman governor or procurator who succeeded Felix in the province of Judea (Ac 24:27), and was thus brought into prominence in the dispute between Paul and the Sanhedrin which continued after the retirement of Felix (Ac 25; 26). Upon the arrival of Festus in Jerusalem, the official capital of his province, the Jews besought of him to send Paul from Caesarea to Jerusalem to appear before them, intending to kill him on the way (Ac 25:3). Festus at first refused their request, and upon his return to Caesarea proceeded himself to examine Paul (Ac 25:6). But on finding that the evidence was conflicting, and reflecting that, as the accused was apparently charged on religious rather than on political grounds, the Sanhedrin was a more suitable court for his case than a Roman tribunal, he asked Paul if he were agreeable to make the journey to Jerusalem (Ac 25:7-9). But Paul, who knew well the nefarious use that the Jews would make of the pleasure which Festus was willing to grant them, made his appeal unto Caesar (Ac 25:10,11). To this request of a Roman citizen accused on a capital charge (compare Ac 25:16), Festus had perforce to give his consent (Ac 25:12). But the manner of his consent indicated his pique at the apparent distrust shown by Paul. By the words "unto Caesar shalt thou go," Festus implied that the case must now be proceeded with to the end: otherwise, had it been left in his own hands, it might have been quashed at an earlier stage (compare also Ac 26:32). Meantime King Agrippa and Bernice had arrived in Caesarea, and to these Festus gave a brief explanation of the circumstances (Ac 25:13-21).

The previous audiences of Festus with Paul and his accusers had, however, served only to confuse him as to the exact nature of the charge. Paul was therefore summoned before the regal court, in order both that Agrippa might hear him, and that the governor might obtain more definite information for insertion in the report he was required to send along with the prisoner to Rome (Ac 25:22-27). The audience which followed was brought to an abrupt conclusion by the interruption of Paul's speech (Ac 26:1-23) by Festus: "Paul, thou art mad; thy much learning is turning thee mad" (Ac 26:24). Yet the meeting was sufficient to convince both Agrippa and Festus that "this man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds" (Ac 26:31).

While Festus displayed a certain contempt for what he regarded as the empty delusions of a harmless maniac, his conduct throughout the whole proceeding was marked by a strict impartiality; and his straightforward dealing with Paul formed a marked contrast to the dilatoriness of Felix. The praise bestowed upon the latter by Tertullus (Ac 24:2) might with better reason have been bestowed on Festus, in that he freed the country from many robbers (Sicarii: Josephus, Ant, XX, viii-x; BJ, II, xiv, 1); but his procuratorship was too short to undo the harm wrought by his predecessor. The exact date of his accession to office is uncertain, and has been variously placed at 55-61 AD

(compare Knowling in Expositor's Greek Testament, II, 488-89; see also FELIX).

C.M. Kerr


Has generally the meaning of "to bring"; it is commonly the translation of Hebrew laqach, "to take" or "lay hold of," Hoph. "to be brought, seized or snatched away" (Ge 18:4, etc.; Ge 27:9; 42:16; 1Sa 4:3; 1Ki 17:10, etc.); twice of nasa', "to lift up" (2Ch 12:11, the American Standard Revised Version "bare"; Job 36:3); of bo', "to come in" (2Ch 1:17; Ne 8:15); of `alah, "to cause to come up" (1Sa 6:21; 7:1); of yatsa', "to cause to come out" (Nu 20:10, the American Standard Revised Version "bring forth"; Jer 26:23), and of a number of other words.

In the New Testament it is the translation of exago, "to lead out" (Ac 16:37, "Let them come themselves and fetch us out," the Revised Version (British and American) "bring"); "to fetch a compass" is the translation of cabhabh (Nu 34:5; Jos 15:3, the Revised Version (British and American) "turn," "turned about"; 2Sa 5:23, the Revised Version (British and American) "make a circuit"; 2Ki 3:9, the Revised Version (British and American) "made a circuit"); of perierchomai (aor. 2, perielthon), "to go about," "to wander up and down" (of a ship driven about; Ac 28:13, the Revised Version (British and American) "made a circuit," margin "some ancient authorities read cast loose").

The Revised Version (British and American) has "fetch" for "bring" (1Ki 3:24), for "call for" (Ac 10:5; 11:13); "fetched" for "called for" (Es 5:10), for "took out" (Jer 37:17); "fetched" for "took" (2Ch 8:18).

W. L. Walker



Found only in the plural in both Old Testament and New Testament; fetters of iron (Ps 105:18; 149:8; so probably Mr 5:4; Lu 8:29) or brass (Jud 16:21; 2Ki 25:7) were frequently used for securing prisoners.


Figurative: of trouble (Job 36:8).


fe'-ver (qaddachath, dalleqeth; puretos, derived from a root signifying "to burn"):

A generic term, applied to all diseases characterized by high temperature of body. Several forms of febrile disease are among the commonest of all maladies in Palestine today, as they were also in the period covered by the Bible history. Of these the most prevalent is ague or intermittent malarial fever, which is common in all parts but especially in low-lying districts or places where there are pools or marshes in which mosquitoes breed, these insects being the commonest carriers of the malaria bacillus. These fevers are generally more severe in late summer and autumn, when the mosquitoes are most numerous, and when there is a liability to chill, owing to the sudden drop of temperature at sunset. During the day one uses as light clothing as possible, but immediately after sunset the air becomes chilly and damp, and the physiological resistance to the influence of the parasite is remarkably diminished. On this account travelers in Palestine at this season should be particular to avoid exposure to these evening damps, and to use mosquito curtains invariably at night.

In most tropical countries now houses are rendered mosquito-proof by close wire netting, and thereby the risk of infection is much diminished. In Palestine the marshes of the north about Banias and the Water of Merom, the Shephelah, and the Jordan valley are the most fever-stricken regions of the country. The word qaddachath is translated burning ague in Le 26:16 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "fever"), and is coupled with dalleqeth, translated inflammation in De 28:22. Septuagint renders the former word puretos, and the latter rhigos in this passage, a collocation which is interesting as Galen uses these words together rhigopuretos in his description of a fever identical with that common in Palestine. In Le the word in Septuagint is ikteros which literally means jaundice, a disease otherwise not mentioned in the Bible.

In Palestine as in other malarious countries the condition of jaundice or yellowing of the skin frequently accompanies repeated and protracted attacks of fever which cause organic disease of the liver. On this account Hippocrates describes all fevers as due to a perverted secretion of bile. These fevers begin with severe shivering fits, hence, the name rhigos which is used by Hippocrates. This is followed by a period of burning dry heat, ending in a period of profuse perspiration. Such attacks may take place daily, a few hours of interval with normal temperature separating the end of one fit from the onset of the next.

The commonest type however is that called tertian, in which a whole day separates one fit from the next. In some of the severe fevers which are rife in the Jordan valley the temperature never falls to the normal, and while there is a short remission between the attacks with a body heat a little above the normal, there is no intermission. Rarer febrile conditions which have been met with in Palestine, such as the Malta fever, present the same characteristics and may continue for months. Cases also of genuine blackwater fever have been recorded by several authorities. It is probable that in former days these fevers were even worse than they are now, as ancient medicine knew of no certain remedy for them. At present they generally yield at once to treatment by quinine, and in my own experience I believe that the administration of this remedy in large and repeated doses is the most effectual treatment.

Other febrile diseases are rife in certain districts in Palestine, and probably existed in Bible times. Typhoid is common in some crowded towns and villages, and considering how little protected the wells are from contamination, the wonder is that it is not much more prevalent. It is probable also that typhus then, as now, was present as an occasional epidemic in the more crowded cities, but even the physicians of Greece and Rome did not differentiate these diseases. All these fevers seem also to have existed in Egypt to much the same extent as in Palestine. The Papyrus Ebers speaks of "a fever of the gods" (46) and another called "a burning of the heart" (102). Its causation is attributed to the influence of the "god of fever," and the evil sequelae of the disease as it affects the heart, stomach, eyes and other organs are described in terms which remind us of the minatory passages in Le 26 and De 28. The conditions there mentioned, such as consuming the eyes and causing sorrow of heart or pining away of the soul, graphically describe the state frequently seen affecting those in the Shephelah villages who have suffered from frequent returns of fever, and who in consequence have developed serious local affections of the liver, spleen and other organs. Before the introduction of quinine, cases of this kind must have been much more commonly met with than they are now. It is probable that this state is that called shachepheth, or consumption, in these passages.

Another form of fever, charchur, the "extreme burning" of the King James Version or "fiery heat" of the Revised Version (British and American), is coupled with the other forms of fever in De 28:22. This is called in Septuagint erethismos or irritation, and may have been a feverish condition with a reddened skin, possibly erysipelas or else one of the eruptive fevers. At present outbreaks of scarlatina, measles and erysipelas are of fairly frequent occurrence and are often very severe.

In the New Testament fever is mentioned eight times. The disease which affected Simon's wife's mother is called a "great fever" (Lu 4:38), and that which nearly proved fatal to the nobleman's son in the same district was also a fever (Joh 4:52). Cases of the kind are common all round the Sea of Galilee at the present day.

Alexander Macalister





fi'-er-i, fir'-i het:

In De 28:22, where the King James Version has "an extreme burning."





fig'-tre (te'enah, plural te'enim, specially "figs"; paggim, "green figs" only in So 2:13; suke, "fig-tree," sukon, "fig"):

1. Fig-Trees in the Old Testament:

The earliest Old Testament reference to the fig is to the leaves, which Adam and Eve converted into aprons (Ge 3:7). The promised land was described (De 8:8) as "a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates," etc. The spies who visited it brought, besides the cluster of grapes, pomegranates and figs (Nu 13:23). The Israelites complained that the wilderness was "no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates" (Nu 20:5). When Egypt was plagued, the fig-trees were smitten (Ps 105:33); a similar punishment was threatened to unfaithful Israel (Jer 5:17; Ho 2:12; Am 4:9). It is only necessary to ride a few miles among the mountain villages of Palestine, with their extensive fig gardens, to realize what a long-lasting injury would be the destruction of these slow-growing trees. Years of patient labor--such as that briefly hinted at in Lu 13:7--must pass before a newly planted group of fig-trees can bear profitably. Plenitude of fruitful vines and fig-trees, specially individual ownership, thus came to be emblematical of long-continued peace and prosperity. In the days of Solomon "Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig-tree" (1Ki 4:25). Compare also 2Ki 18:31; Isa 36:16; Mic 4:4; Zec 3:10; 1 /APC 1Macc 14:12. Only a triumphal faith in Yahweh could rejoice in Him "though the fig-tree shall hot flourish" (Hab 3:17).

2. Natural History of the Fig-Tree:

The Ficus carica, which produces the common fig, is a tree belonging to the Natural Order. Urticaceae, the nettle family, which includes also the banyan, the India rubber fig-tree, the sycamore fig and other useful plants. Fig-trees are cultivated all over the Holy Land, especially in the mountain regions. Wild fig-trees--usually rather shrubs than trees--occur also everywhere; they are usually barren and are described by the fellahin as "male" trees; it is generally supposed that their presence is beneficial to the cultivated variety. The immature flowers harbor small insects which convey pollen to the female flowers and by their irritating presence stimulate the growth of the fruit. Artificial fertilization has been understood since ancient times, and there may be a reference to it in Am 7:14.

Fig-trees are usually of medium height, 10 or 15 ft. for full-grown trees, yet individual specimens sometimes attain as much as 25 ft. The summer foliage is thick and surpasses other trees of its size in its cool and dense shade. In the summer owners of such trees may be seen everywhere sitting in their shadow (Joh 1:48). Such references as Mac 4:4; Zec 3:10, etc., probably are to this custom rather than to the not uncommon one of having a fig-tree overhanging a dwelling.

3. Figs:

The fruit of the fig-tree is peculiar. The floral axis, instead of expanding outward, as with most flowers, closes, as the flower develops, upon the small internal flowers, leaving finally but a small opening at the apex; the axis itself becomes succulent and fruit-like. The male flowers lie around the opening, the female flowers deeper in; fertilization is brought about by the presence of small hymenopterous insects.

There are many varieties of figs in Palestine differing in sweetness, in color and consistence; some are good and some are bad (compare Jer 24:1,8; 29:17). In Palestine and other warm climates the fig yields two crops annually--an earlier one, ripe about June, growing from the "old wood," i.e. from the midsummer sprouts of the previous year, and a second, more important one, ripe about August, which grows upon the "new wood," i.e. upon the spring shoots. By December, fig- trees in the mountainous regions of Palestine have shed all their leaves, and they remain bare until about the end of March, when they commence putting forth their tender leaf buds (Mt 24:32; Mr 13:28,32; Lu 21:29-33), and at the same time, in the leaf axils, appear the tiny figs. They belong to the early signs of spring:

"The voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land;

The fig-tree ripeneth her green figs" (paggim)

--So 2:12,13.

4. Early Figs:

These tiny figs develop along with the leaves up to a certain point--to about the size of a small cherry--and then the great majority of them fall to the ground, carried down with every gust of wind. These are the "unripe figs" (olunthos)--translated, more appropriately in the King James Version, as "untimely figs"--of Re 6:13. Compare also Isa 34:4 the King James Version-- in the Revised Version (British and American) "leaf" has been supplied instead of "fig." These immature figs are known to the fellahin as taksh, by whom they are eaten as they fall; they may even sometimes be seen exposed for sale in the markets in Jerusalem. In the case of many trees the whole of this first crop may thus abort, so that by May no figs at all are to be found on the tree, but with the best varieties of fig-trees a certain proportion of the early crop of figs remains on the tree, and this fruit reaches ripe perfection about June. Such fruit is known in Arabic as dafur, or "early figs," and in Hebrew as bikkurah, "the first-ripe" (Isa 28:4; Jer 24:2; Ho 9:10). They are now, as of old, esteemed for their delicate flavor (Mic 7:1, etc.).

5. The Cursing of the Barren Fig-Tree:

The miracle of our Lord (Mt 21:18-20; Mr 11:12,13,10,21) which occurred in the Passover season, about April, will be understood (as far as the natural phenomena are concerned) by the account given above of the fruiting of the fig-tree, as repeatedly observed by the present writer in the neighborhood of Jerusalem. When the young leaves are newly appearing, in April, every fig- tree which is going to bear fruit at all will have some taksh ("immature figs") upon it, even though "the time of figs" (Mr 11:13 the King James Version), i.e. of ordinary edible figs-- either early or late crop--"was not yet." This taksh is not only eaten today, but it is sure evidence, even when it falls, that the tree bearing it is not barren. This acted parable must be compared with Lu 13:6,9; now the time of judgment was surely coming, the fate of the fruitless Jewish nation was forcibly foretold.

6. Dried Figs:

While fresh figs have always been an important article of diet in their season (Ne 13:15) the dried form is even more used. They are today dried in the sun and threaded on strings (like long necklaces) for convenience of carriage. A "cake of figs" (debhelah, literally, "pressed together") is mentioned (1Sa 30:12); Abigail gave 200 such cakes of figs to David (1Sa 25:18); the people of North Israel sent, with other things, "cakes of figs" as a present to the newly-crowned David (1Ch 12:40). Such masses of figs are much used today--they can be cut into slices with a knife like cheese. Such a mass was used externally for Hezekiah's "boil" (Isa 38:21; 2Ki 20:7); it was a remedy familiar to early medical writers.

E. W. G. Masterman




fig'-ur, fig'-yur (cemel, cemel; tupos):

The translation of cemel, or cemel, "a likeness or image"; perhaps a transposition of tselem, the usual word for likeness; it is elsewhere translated "idol" and "image" (De 4:16, "the similitude of any figure," the Revised Version (British and American) "in the form of any figure"); of tabhnith, "form or likeness" (Isa 44:13, "shapeth it (the idol) .... after the figure of a man"; compare De 4:16); of miqla`ath, "carving," "carved work" (1Ki 6:29: "And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubim and palm- trees and open flowers, within and without," only here and in 1Ki 6:32; 7:31 where the word is translated "carving" and "graying"); in the New Testament "figure" is the translation of tupos, primarily "a mark," "print," "impression," "something made by blows," hence, "figure," "statue," tropically "form," "manner"; a person bearing the form or figure of another, having a certain resemblance, preceding another to come, model, exemplar (Ac 7:43), "the figures (images) which ye made to worship them"; Ro 5:14, "who is the figure (Revised Version, "a figure") of him that was to come," that is, the first Adam was a type of the second Adam, Christ; of antitupon, that which corresponds to a type or model (Heb 9:24 the King James Version, "Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself"); the meaning is simply the correspondence, or likeness (of the tabernacle to heaven), therefore the Revised Version (British and American) renders "like in pattern to the true" (1Pe 3:21, "the like figure whereunto (even) baptism doth also now save us," i.e. baptism is the antitype of the ark "wherein .... eight souls were saved (or brought safely) through water," Revised Version "which also after a true likeness (m "in the antitype") doth now save you even baptism"); of parabole, "a placing alongside", a "comparison," "similitude," hence, image, figure, type (Heb 9:9, "which was a figure for the time then present," the American Standard Revised Version "which is a figure for the time present," the English Revised Version "parable" and "(now) present," namely, the entrance of the high priest into the Holy of Holies was a type of Christ's entrance into heaven; Heb 11:19, "from whence (from the dead) also he received him in a figure," i.e. Abraham received Isaac back from the dead as it were, in the likeness of a resurrection, he not being actually dead, the American Standard Revised Version "from whence he did also in a figure receive him back," the English Revised Version "in a parable"); metaschematizo, "to change the form or appearance," "to transfer figuratively" (1Co 4:6,"These things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos"; the Geneva version reads "I have figuratively described in my own person"). Paul is "substituting himself and Apollos for the teachers most in repute at Corinth that he might thus avoid personality." "Figure" is supplied in Ecclesiasticus 49:9, with en ombro, "He made mention of the enemies under the figure of the rain," the Revised Version (British and American) "He remembered the enemies in storm," margin "(Greek) rain."

The Revised Version (British and American) has "a figure" margin "an interpretation," for "the interpretation" (Pr 1:6; the word is melitsah, only here and Hab 2:6, meaning properly what is involved and needs interpretation; in Hab 2:6 it is translated "taunting proverb," the Revised Version, margin "riddle"); "figured stone" for "image of stone" (Le 26:1); "figured stones" for "pictures" (Nu 33:52).

W. L. Walker



Found only in 1Sa 13:21, but the text here is obscure.

The Hebrew (petsirah phim) signifies "bluntness of edge," and is so rendered in the Revised Version, margin.



fil'-et (chuT, chashuq):

(1) Chut, from a root not used, meaning probably "to sew," therefore a string or a measuring rod or cord, and so a line, tape, thread, fillet. Jer 52:21 translated "line" (the King James Version "fillet"), measuring 12 cubits long, encircling brass pillars standing 18 cubits high, part of the temple treasure plundered by the Chaldeans; and many other things "that were in the house of Yahweh, did the Chaldeans break in pieces." Translated "thread," used by Rahab, in Jos 2:18, and "cord," "three fold .... is not quickly broken," in Ec 4:12.

(2) Chashuq, from a root meaning "to join" and therefore something joined or attached, and so a rail or rod between pillars, i.e. a fillet. The hangings of the court of the tabernacle were supported by brass pillars set in brass sockets, "The hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver" (Ex 27:10,11). The embroidered screen for the door of the Tent was supported by five pillars socketed in brass: "And he overlaid their capitals and their fillets with gold" (Ex 36:38). The pillars for the court and the gate of the court had fillets of silver (Ex 38:10 ). The verb is used in Ex 27:17; 38:17, "All the pillars of the court were filleted with silver."

William Edward Raffety


filth, fil'-thi-nes, fil'-thi (tso'ah, Tum'ah; rhupoo):

The word once translated "filth" in the Old Testament is tso'ah, "excrement" or "dung," elsewhere translated "dung" (Isa 4:4, used figuratively of evil doings, sin, "the filth of the daughters of Zion"; compare Pr 30:12); in the New Testament we have perikatharma "cleansings" "sweepings," offscourings (1Co 4:13, "We are made as the filth of the world," the Revised Version, margin "or refuse"); rhupos, "filth," "dirt," Septuagint for tso'ah in Isa 4:4 (1Pe 3:21, "the filth of the flesh").

"Filthiness" is the translation of tum'ah, "uncleanness" (ritual, Le 5:3; 7:20, etc.), used figuratively of moral impurity, translated "filthiness" (Ezr 6:21; La 1:9; Eze 22:15; 24:11,13; 36:25); niddah, "impurity" (2Ch 29:5); figuratively (Ezr 9:11); the Revised Version (British and American) has "uncleanness," but "filthiness" for uncleanness at close of verse (niddah); nechosheth, "brass," figuratively (for "impurity" or "impudence") (Eze 16:36); aischrotes, primarily "ugliness," tropical for unbecomingness, indecency (only Eph 5:4, "nor filthiness, nor foolish talking"; Alford has "obscenity," Weymouth, "shameful"); akathartes, "uncleanness" (Re 17:4 the King James Version), corrected text, ta akatharta, "the unclean things," so the Revised Version (British and American).

"Filthy" is the translation of 'alach, "to be turbid," to become foul or corrupt in a moral sense (Job 15:16 the King James Version; Ps 14:3; 53:3); `iddim, plural of `iddah, from `adhadh, "to number or compute (monthly courses)"; Isa 64:6, "All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags," the Revised Version (British and American) "as a polluted garment"; compare Eze 36:17; aischros, "ugly," tropical for unbecoming, shameful (Tit 1:11, "for filthy lucre's sake"; compare Tit 1:7); shameful discourse aischrologia (Col 3:8 the King James Version); rhupoo, "filthy," in a moral sense polluted (Re 22:11, "He that is filthy, let him be filthy still," the Revised Version (British and American) "let him be made filthy still" (corrected text), margin "yet more"; Alford, "Let the filthy (morally polluted) pollute himself still" (in the constant middle sense of passive verbs when the act depends on the man's self)).

In Apocrypha we have (Ecclesiasticus 22:1): "A slothful man is compared to a filthy (ardaloo) stone," the Revised Version (British and American) "a stone that is defiled," 22:2 "A slothful man is compared to the filth (bolbiton) of a dunghill"; 27:4 "So the filth (skubalon) of a man in his talk (the Revised Version (British and American) "of man in his reasoning") remaineth."


W. L. Walker




fin (adj., from Latin finire, "to finish"):

Indicates superior quality. Only in a few instances does "fine" represent a separate word: (1) Tobh, "good," qualifies gold (2Ch 3:5,8, "fine gold"; compare Ge 2:12, "good"); fine gold (La 4:1, the King James Version "most fine gold," the Revised Version (British and American) "most pure gold," literally, "good fine gold"), copper (Ezr 8:27, the Revised Version (British and American) "fine bright brass"); Tabh, Aramaic (Da 2:32, "fine gold"). (2) paz, "refined" (So 5:11, "the most fine gold"). (3) chelebh, "fatness," "the best of any kind"; compare Ge 45:18; De 32:14, etc. (Ps 81:16, "the finest of the wheat," the Revised Version, margin Hebrew "fat of wheat"). (4) sariq, "fine combed" (Isa 19:9, "fine flax," the Revised Version (British and American) "combed flax").

In other places it expresses a quality of the substantive: kethem, "fine gold" (Job 31:24; Da 10:5, the Revised Version (British and American) "pure gold"); paz, used as a noun for refined gold (Job 28:17; Ps 19:10; Pr 8:19; Isa 13:12; La 4:2); charuts, "fine gold" (Pr 3:14; compare Ps 68:13, "yellow gold"); coleth, "flour," rendered "fine flour," rolled or crushed small (Le 2:1,4,5,7, etc.); semidalis, "the finest wheaten flour" (Re 18:13); qemach coleth, "fine meal" (Ge 18:6); cadhin, "linen garment" (Septuagint sindon, Pr 31:24 the King James Version; Isa 3:23); shesh, "white," "fine linen" (Ge 41:42; Ex 25:4, etc.); in Pr 31:22 the King James Version has "silk"; sheshi (Eze 16:13, "fine flour"); 'eTun, "what is twisted or spun," "yarn" (Pr 7:16 the King James Version, "fine linen of Egypt" the Revised Version (British and American) "yarn of Egypt"); buts, "fine white cloth," "cotton or linen," "fine linen" (1Ch 4:21; Eze 27:16, etc.; 2Ch 5:12, King James Version "white," the Revised Version (British and American) "fine"); bussos, "byssus," "linen" from buts Septuagint for which, 2Ch 2:14; 3:14), deemed very fine and precious, worn only by the rich (Lu 16:19; Re 18:12); bussinos, "byssine" made of fine linen, Septuagint for buts (1Ch 5:27) (Re 18:16, "clothed in fine linen," the Revised Version (British and American) "arrayed," Re 19:8,14); sindon, "fine linen" (Mr 5:46, "He bought fine linen," the Revised Version (British and American) "a linen cloth"; compare Mr 14:51,52; Mt 27:59; Lu 23:53); it was used for wrapping the body at night, also for wrapping round dead bodies; sindon is Septuagint for cadhin (Jud 14:12,13; Pr 31:24); chalkolibanon (Re 1:15; 2:18, the King James Version "fine brass").

The meaning of this word has been much discussed; chalkos is "brass" in Greek (with many compounds), and libanos is the Septuagint for lebhonah, "frankincense," which word was probably derived from the root labhan, "to burn"; this would give glowing brass, "as if they burned in a furnace"; in Da 10:6 it is nehosheth qalal, the King James Version "polished brass," the Revised Version (British and American) "burnished" (qalal is "to glow"). Plumptre deemed it a hybrid word composed of the Greek chalkos, "brass," and the Hebrew labhan, "white," a technical word, such as might be familiar to the Ephesians; the Revised Version (British and American) has "burnished brass"; Weymouth, "silver-bronze when it is white-hot in a furnace"; the whiteness being expressed by the second half of the Greek word. See Thayer's Lexicon (s.v.).

In Apocrypha we have "fine linen," bussinos (1 Esdras 3:6), "fine bread"; the adjective katharos, separate ( /APC Judith 10:5, the Revised Version, margin "pure bread"); "fine flour" (Ecclesiasticus 35:2; 38:11); semidalis (Bel and the Dragon verse 3; /APC 2Macc 1:8, the Revised Version (British and American) "meal offering").

W. L. Walker


fin'-er, fin'-ing (Pr 25:4 the King James Version).






fin'-ger (Hebrew and Aramaic 'etsba`; daktulos): The fingers are to the Oriental essential in conversation; their language is frequently very eloquent and expressive. They often show what the mouth does not dare to utter, especially grave insult and scorn. The scandalous person is thus described in Pr 6:13 as "teaching" or "making signs with his fingers." Such insulting gestures (compare e.g. the gesture of Shimei in throwing dust or stones at David, 2Sa 16:6) are even now not infrequent in Palestine. The same habit is alluded to in Isa 58:9 by the expression, "putting forth of fingers. "

The fingers were decorated with rings of precious metal, which, with other jewelry worn ostentatiously on the body, often formed the only possession of the wearer, and were therefore carefully guarded. In the same way the law of Yahweh was to be kept: "Bind them (my commandments) upon thy fingers; write them upon the tablet of thy heart" (Pr 7:3).

Figurative: In 1Ki 12:10 and 2Ch 10:10 Rehoboam gives the remarkable answer to his dissatisfied people, which is, at the same time, an excellent example of the use of figurative language in the Orient: "My little finger is thicker than my father's loins," a figure explained in the next verse: "Whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions." The Hebrew word used here for little finger is qoTen, literally, "pettiness," "unimportant thing."

The "finger of God," like the "hand of God," is synonymous with power, omnipotence, sometimes with the additional meaning of the infallible evidence of Divine authorship visible in all His works (Ps 8:3; Lu 11:20), especially in His law (Ex 8:19; 31:18; De 9:10; compare Ex 32:15,16).

The finger or digit as a linear measure is mentioned in Jer 52:21 (Greek daktulos; Josephus, Ant, VIII, iii, 4). It is equal to one finger-breadth, 1/4 of a hand-breadth (palm) = 18,6 millimeters or .73 inches.

H. L. E. Luering


fin'-ger ('etsba`):

The smallest of the Hebrew linear measures. It was equal to the breadth of the finger, or about 3/4 inches, four of which made a palm (Jer 52:21).



fin'-ish (kalah; teleo, with other Hebrew and Greek words): The proper sense of "finish" is to end or complete; so for "finish," "finished," in the King James Version, there is sometimes met with in the Revised Version (British and American) the change to "complete" (Lu 14:28; 2Co 8:6), "accomplish" (Joh 4:34; 5:36; 17:4), "made an end of doing" (2Ch 4:11; compare 2Ch 24:14), etc. In Jas 1:15, for "sin, when it is finished," the Revised Version (British and American) reads "sin when it is full-grown," corresponding to "conceived" of the previous clause. On the other hand, the Revised Version (British and American) has frequently "finished" for other words, as "ended" (Ge 2:2; De 31:30), "accomplished" (Joh 19:28), "filled up," "fulfilled" (Re 15:1,8), etc. The grandest Scriptural example of the word is the cry upon the cross, "It is finished" (Tetelestai, Joh 19:30).

W. L. Walker


fin'-ish-er (teleiotes):

This word is applied to Jesus (Heb 12:2), and comes from teleioo, "to complete," "to make perfect"; hence, it means finisher in the sense of completing; the King James Version "the author and finisher of our faith," the Revised Version (British and American) "the author (margin "captain") and perfecter of our faith"; but "our" is supplied, and in the connection in which the passage stands--after the examples which have been adduced of the power of faith--most probably the best rendering is "the Leader (or Captain) and Perfecter of the Faith," that is of the faith which has been illustrated by those mentioned in Heb 11, who are as "a great cloud of witnesses" to the power of faith; but above all "looking to Jesus, our Leader" in whom it was perfected, as is shown in what follows: "who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross," etc. "In His human nature He exhibited Faith in its highest form, from first to last, and placing Himself as it were at the head of the great army of heroes of Faith, He carried Faith, the source of their strength, to its most complete perfection and to its loftiest triumph" (Westcott).

W. L. Walker


fur, (the Revised Version, margin "cypress"; berosh, 2Sa 6:5; 1Ki 5:8,10, etc.; (berothem (plural only), an Aramaic form, So 1:17):

1. Old Testament References:

This tree was one of the chief trees of Lebanon (Isa 60:13); one of usefulness (Isa 41:19;55:13); associated with the cedar (2Ki 19:23; Ps 104:17; Isa 14:8; Zec 11:2); its boughs were wide and great (Eze 31:8); it was evergreen (Ho 14:8); it could supply boards and timber for doors (1Ki 6:15,24); beams for roofing the temple (2Ch 3:5); planks for shipbuilding (Eze 27:5). In 2Sa 6:5 we read: "David and all the house of Israel played before Yahweh with all manner of instruments made of fir-wood," etc. It is practically certain that the reading in the parallel passage in 1Ch 13:8 is more correct: "David and all Israel played before God with all their might, even with songs," etc. This view is supported by the Septuagint translation (en pase dunamei). There is therefore no necessity to suppose that berosh was a wood used for musical instruments.

2. The Identity of "Berosh":

The identity of berosh is uncertain. It was a name applied either to several of the Coniferae in common or to one or more outstanding species. If the latter is the case we can only seek for the most suited to Old Testament requirements. The Aleppo pine, Pinus Halepensis, is a fine tree which flourishes in the Lebanon, but its wood is not of special excellence and durability. A better tree (or couple of trees) is the sherbin of the Syrians; this name includes two distinct varieties in the suborder Cypressineae, the fine tall juniper, Juniperis excelsa and the cypress, Cypressus sempervirens. They both still occur in considerable numbers in the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon; they are magnificent trees and produce excellent wood--resinous, fragrant, durable. If these trees were not classed locally, as now, under one name, then the cypress is of the two more probably the berosh. The coffins of Egyptian mummies were made of cypress; a compact variety of this cypress is cultivated all over the Turkish empire by the Moslems as an ornament in cemeteries. From early times the cypress has been connected with mourning.

In the Apocrypha there are two definite references to the cypress (kuparissos). In /APC Sirach 24:13, Wisdom says:

"I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus,

And as a cypress tree on the mountains of Hermon."

And in Sirach 50:10 the high priest Simon is said to be

"As an olive tree budding forth fruits,

And as a cypress growing high among the clouds."

These passages, especially the former, certainly favor the idea that berosh was the cypress; the name may, however, have included allied trees.

E. W. G. Masterman


fir ('esh; pur):

These are the common words for fire, occurring very frequently. 'Ur, "light" (Isa 24:15 the King James Version; compare the Revised Version (British and American); Isa 31:9, and see FIRES), nur (Aramaic) (Da 3:22 ff) are found a few times, also 'eshshah (Jer 6:29), and be`erah (Ex 22:6), once each. Ac 28:2,3 has pura, "pyre," and Mr 14:54; Lu 22:56, phos, "light," the Revised Version (British and American) "in the light (of the fire)." "To set on fire," yatsath (2Sa 14:31), lahat (De 32:22, etc.), phlogizo (Jas 3:6).

Fire was regarded by primitive peoples as supernatural in origin and specially Divine. Molech, the fire-god, and other deities were worshipped by certain Canaanitish and other tribes with human sacrifices (De 12:31; 2Ki 17:31; Ps 106:37), and, although this was specially forbidden to the Israelites (Le 18:21; De 12:31; 18:10), they too often lapsed into the practice (2Ki 16:3; 21:6; Jer 7:31; Eze 20:26,31).


1. Literal Usage:

Fire in the Old Testament is specially associated with the Divine presence, e.g. in the making of the Covenant with Abraham (Ge 15:17), in the burning bush. (Ex 3:2-4), in the pillar of fire (Ex 13:21), on Sinai (Ex 19:18), in the flame on the altar (Jud 13:20). Yahweh was "the God that answereth by fire" (1Ki 18:24,38). In the Law, therefore, sacrifices and offerings (including incense) were to be made by fire (Ex 12:8,9,10; Le 1). Fire from Yahweh signified the acceptance of certain special and separate sacrifices (Jud 6:21; 1Ki 18:38; 1Ch 21:26). In Le 9:24 the sacrificial fire "came forth from before Yahweh." The altar-fire was to be kept continually burning (Le 6:12,13); offering by "strange fire" (other than the sacred altar-fire) was punished by "fire from before Yahweh" (Le 10:1,2). Fire came from heaven also at the consecration of Solomon's Temple (2Ch 7:1).

According to /APC 2Macc 1:19-22, at the time of the Captivity priests hid the sacred fire in a well, and Nehemiah found it again, in a miraculous way, for the second Temple. Later, Maccabeus is said to have restored the fire by "striking stones and taking fire out of them" (10:3).

Fire was a frequent instrument of the Divine primitive wrath (Ge 19:24; Ex 9:23 (lightning); Nu 11:1; 16:35, etc.; Ps 104:4, the American Standard Revised Version "Who maketh .... flames of fire his ministers"). Fire shall yet dissolve the world (2Pe 3:12). It was frequently used by the Israelites as a means of destruction of idolatrous objects and the cities of their enemies (De 7:5,25; 12:3; 13:16; Jos 6:24; Jgs, frequently); sometimes also of punishment (Le 20:14; 21:9; Jos 7:25; /APC 2Macc 7:5).

The domestic use of fire was, as among other peoples, for heating, cooking, lighting, etc., but according to the Law no fire could be kindled on the Sabbath day (Ex 35:3). It was employed also for melting (Ex 32:24), and refining (Nu 31:23; 3:2,3, etc.). For the sacrificial fire wood was used as fuel (Ge 22:3,1; Le 6:12); for ordinary purposes, also charcoal (Pr 25:22; Isa 6:6, the Revised Version, margin "or hot stone"; Hab 3:5, the Revised Version (British and American) "fiery bolts," margin "or burning coals"; Joh 21:9, "a fire of coals" the Revised Version, margin "Gr, a fire of charcoal"; Ro 12:20); branches (Nu 15:32; 1Ki 17:12); thorns (Ps 58:9; 118:12; Ec 7:6; Isa 33:12); grass and other herbage (Mt 6:30; Lu 12:28).

2. Figurative Use:

Fire was an emblem

(1) of Yahweh in His glory (Da 7:9);

(2) in His holiness (Isa 6:4);

(3) in His jealousy for His sole worship (De 4:24; Heb 12:29; Ps 79:5; perhaps also Isa 33:14);

(4) of His protection of His people (2Ki 6:17; Zec 2:5);

(5) of His righteous judgment and purification (Zec 13:9; Mal 3:2,3; 1Co 3:13,15);

(6) of His wrath against sin and punishment of the wicked (De 9:3; Ps 18:8; 89:46; Isa 5:24; 30:33, "a Topheth is prepared of old"; Mt 3:10-12; 5:22, the Revised Version (British and American) "the hell of fire," margin "Greek, Gehenna of fire"; see Isa 30:33; Jer 7:31; Mt 13:40,42; 25:41, "eternal fire"; Mr 9:45-49; see Isa 66:24; 2Th 1:7; Heb 10:27; Jude 1:7);

(7) of the word of God in its power (Jer 5:14; 23:29);

(8) of Divine truth (Ps 39:3; Jer 20:9; Lu 12:49);

(9) of that which guides men (Isa 50:10,11);

(10) of the Holy Spirit (Ac 2:3);

(11) of the glorified Christ (Re 1:14);

(12) of kindness in its melting power (Ro 12:20);

(13) of trial and suffering (Ps 66:12; Isa 43:2; 1Pe 1:7; 4:12);

(14) of evil (Pr 6:27; 16:27; Isa 9:18; 65:5); lust or desire (Ho 7:6; /APC Sirach 23:16; 1Co 7:9); greed (Pr 30:16);

(15) of the tongue in its evil aspects (Jas 3:5,6);

(16) of heaven in its purity and glory (Re 15:2; see also Re 21:22,23).

W. L. Walker










fir'-brand ('udh, used for a burning stick taken out of the fire):

In Jud 15:4,5 describing the "brands" (margin "torches") which Samson tied to the foxes' tails, the word is lappidh ("lamp"; see Jud 7:16,20 the Revised Version (British and American), "torches"). Other words are ziqqim, "sparks," "flames" (fiery darts; Pr 26:18), and ziqoth (Isa 50:11); 'udh is used figuratively of angry men (Isa 7:4), and of those mercifully rescued from destruction (Am 4:11; Zec 3:2; the Revised Version (British and American) "brand"). the Revised Version (British and American) gives "firebrand" as translation of moqedh (the King James Version "hearth") in Ps 102:3, "My bones are burned as a firebrand" (margin "as a hearth").


W. L. Walker


fir'-pan (machtah, "firepan," "censer," "snuffdish," from chathah, "to snatch up"):

A vessel for carrying coals. Brazen firepans were part of the furnishings of the altar of burnt offerings (Ex 27:3; 38:3, and in Nu 4:14, where the King James Version wrongly reads "censers," the context indicating a vessel belonging to the brazen altar).

The same word is translated "snuffdishes" in Ex 25:38; 37:23; Nu 4:9, where it refers to golden firepans which belonged to the golden candlestick or lamp stand, and were used to receive the burnt ends of the wicks. In 1Ki 7:50 and 2Ch 4:22, although the King James Version reads "censers," the context points to the firepans belonging to the candlestick; as also in 2Ki 25:15 and Jer 52:19, translated "firepans" in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American). A similar firepan designated by the same Hebrew word but translated "censer" was used to carry the burning coals upon which the incense was thrown and burned (Le 10:1; 16:12; Nu 16:6,17 ff).


The firepan or censer of the Hebrews was doubtless similar to the censer of the Egyptians, pictures of which have been found. It consisted of a pan or pot for the coals, which was held by a straight or slightly curved long handle. The style of censer used in recent centuries, swung by three chains, came into use about the 12th century AD.

George Rice Hovey



In Isa 24:15 the King James Version translates 'urim ("lights," especially Urim in the phrase "Urim and Thummim") "fires." The Revised Version (British and American), understanding the word to mean the region of light, translates "east," which satisfies the context far better, and is adopted by many modern scholars. In Eze 39:9,10 the Revised Version (British and American) has "fires"; in 39:9 "make fires" is a translation of a verb of different root; in Eze 39:10 "fires" translates the common singular noun for fire.


fur'-kin (metretes):

The liquid measure used in Joh 2:6 to indicate the capacity of the water-pots mentioned in the narrative of the miracle of turning the water into wine. It is regarded as equivalent to the Hebrew bath, and thus contained about nine gallons.






furst ('echadh, ri'shon; proton, to proton, protos):

Of these words, which are those most frequently used for "first," ri'shon is from rosh, "the head, and is used for the highest, chief, etc.; also of time, the beginning, e.g. Ge 8:13, in the first month"; in Isa 44:6; 48:12, it is used of Yahweh as Eternal and solely Supreme--the First and the Last (compare Isa 41:4). Special usages are in connection with "firstborn," "first- fruit," etc.; proton is used of that which is first in order; but also of that which is first or chief in importance, etc. (Mt 6:33; Jas 3:17). In 1Ti 1:15, Paul says Jesus came "to save sinners; of whom I am chief," literally, "first"; the same word is used by Jesus of the "first" of the commandments (Mr 12:29); where we read in 1Co 15:3, "I delivered unto you first of all," it is en protois ("in the foremost place"); "The first and the last" is applied to Christ as Eternal and Supreme (Re 1:17; 2:8; 22:13); protos is "the first day" (Mt 26:17; Mr 16:9); in Mt 28:1; Mr 16:2; Lu 24:1; Joh 20:1,19; Ac 20:7, it is mia ("one").

W. L. Walker


furst-be-got'-'-n (prototokos):

This Greek word is translated in two passages in the King James Version by "first-begotten" (Heb 1:6; Re 1:5), but in all other places in the King James Version, and always in the Revised Version (British and American), by "firstborn." It is used in its natural literal sense of Jesus Christ as Mary's firstborn (Lu 2:7; Mt 1:25 the King James Version); it also bears the literal sense of Jesus Christ as Mary's firstborn (Lu 2:7; Mt 1:25 the King James Version); it also bears the literal sense of the firstborn of the firstborn of men and animals (Heb 11:28). It is not used in the New Testament or Septuagint of an only child, which is expressed by monogenes (see below).

Metaphorically, it is used of Jesus Christ to express at once His relation to man and the universe and His difference from them, as both He and they are related to God. The laws and customs of all nations show that to be "firstborn" means, not only priority in time, but a certain superiority in privilege and authority. Israel is Yahweh's firstborn among the nations (Ex 4:22; compare Jer 31:9). The Messianic King is God's firstborn Septuagint prototokos), "the highest of the kings of the earth" (Ps 89:27). Philo applies the word to the Logos as the archetypal and governing idea of creation. Similarly Christ, as "the firstborn of all creation" (Col 1:15), is not only prior to it in time, but above it in power and authority. "All things have been created through him, and unto him" (Col 1:16).

He is "sovereign Lord over all creation by virtue of primo-geniture" (Lightfoot). It denotes His status and character and not His origin; the context does not admit the idea that He is a part of the created universe. So in His incarnation He is brought into the world as "firstborn," and God summons all His angels to worship Him (Heb 1:6). In His resurrection He is "firstborn from the dead" (Col 1:18) or "of the dead" (Re 1:5), the origin and prince of life. And finally He is "firstborn among many brethren" in the consummation of God's purpose of grace, when all the elect are gathered home. Not only is He their Lord, but also their pattern, God's ideal Son and men are "foreordained to be conformed to (his) image" (Ro 8:29). Therefore the saints themselves, as growing in His likeness, and as possessing all the privileges of eldest sons, including the kingdom and the priesthood, may be called the "church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven" (Heb 12:23).

See also BEGOTTEN, and Lightfoot on Col 1:15.

T. Rees


furst'-froots (re'shith, bikkurim; aparche. Septuagint translates re'shith by aparche, but for bikkurim it uses the word protogennemata; compare Philo 22 33):

In acknowledgment of the fact that the land and all its products were the gift of Yahweh to Israel, and in thankfulness for His bounty, all the first-fruits were offered to Him. These were offered in their natural state (e.g. cereals, tree fruits, grapes), or after preparation (e.g. musk, oil, flour, dough), after which the Israelite was at liberty to use the rest (Ex 23:19; Nu 15:20; 18:12; De 26:2; Ne 10:35,37). No absolute distinction can be made between re'shith and bikkurim, but re'shith seems generally to mean what is prepared by human labor, and bikkurim the direct product of Nature. The phrase "the first of the first-fruits" (Ex 23:19; 34:26; Eze 44:30), Hebrew re'shith bikkure, Greek aparchai ton protogennematon, is not quite clear. It may mean the first-ripe or the choicest of the first-fruits.

The re'shith offerings were individual, except that a re'shith of dough was to be offered as a heave offering (Nu 15:17-21). The priest waved a re'shith of corn before the Lord on the morrow after the Sabbath in the week of unleavened bread (Le 23:9-11). These offerings all fell to the priest (Nu 18:12). Bikkurim refers specially to things sown (Ex 23:16; Le 2:14). At the Feast of Weeks, seven weeks after the offering of the sheaf, bikkurim of corn in the ear, parched with fire and bruised, were brought to the House of the Lord as a meal offering (Ex 34:22-26; Le 2:14-16). The bikkurim also fell to the priest, except a portion which was burned as a memorial (Le 2:8-10,16).

The beautiful ceremony of the offering of the re'shith in the House of God is described in De 26:1-11, and is enlarged upon in the Talmud (Bikkurim 3 2). According to the Talmud (Terumoth 4 3) a sixtieth part of the first-fruits in a prepared form was the minimum that could be offered; the more generous brought a fortieth part, and even a thirtieth. The fruits of newly planted trees were not to be gathered during the first three years; the fruits of the fourth year were consecrated to Yahweh, and from the fifth year the fruits belonged to the owner of the trees (Le 19:23-25). According to Mishna, `Orlah i.10, even the shells of nuts and pomegranates could not be used during the first three years as coloring matter or for the lighting of fires. It is held by some scholars that the institution of the tithe (see TITHE) is a later development from the first-fruits.

Figurative: In the Old Testament, in Jer 2:3, Israel is called "the re'shith of his increase." In the New Testament aparche is applied figuratively to the first convert or converts in a particular place (Ro 16:5; 1Co 16:15); to the Christians of that age (Jas 1:18; 2Th 2:13, WHm), and to the 144,000 in heaven (Re 14:4); to Christ, as the first who rose from the dead (1Co 15:20,23); also to the blessings which we receive now through the Spirit, the earnest of greater blessings to come (Ro 8:23).

Paul Levertoff


furst'-born, furst'-ling (bekhor; prototokos):

The Hebrew word denotes the firstborn of human beings as well as of animals (Ex 11:5), while a word from the same root denotes first-fruits (Ex 23:16). All the data point to the conclusion that among the ancestors of the Hebrews the sacrifice of the firstborn was practiced, just as the firstlings of the flocks and the first-fruits of the produce of the earth were devoted to the deity. The narrative of the Moabite war records the sacrifice of the heir to the throne by Mesha, to Chemosh, the national god (2Ki 3:27). The barbarous custom must have become extinct at an early period in the religion of Israel (Ge 22:12). It was probably due to the influence of surrounding nations that the cruel practice was revived toward the close of the monarchical period (2Ki 16:3; 17:17; 21:6; Jer 7:31; Eze 16:20; 23:37; Mic 6:7). Jeremiah denies that the offering of human beings could have been an instruction from Yahweh (7:31; 19:5).

The prophetic conception of God had rendered such a doctrine inconceivable. Clear evidence of the spiritualization and humanizati0n of religion among the Israelites is furnished in the replacement, at an early stage, of the actual sacrifice of the firstborn by their dedication to the service of Yahweh. At a later stage the Levites were substituted for the firstborn. Just as the firstlings of unclean animals were redeemed with money (Ex 13:13; 34:20), for the dedication of the firstborn was substituted the consecration of the Levites to the service of the sanctuary (Nu 3:11-13,15). On the 30th day after birth the firstborn was brought to the priest by the father, who paid five shekels for the child's redemption from service in the temple (compare Lu 2:27; Mishna Bekhoroth viii.8). For that service the Levites were accepted in place of the redeemed firstborn (Nu 3:45). See note. According to Ex 22:29-31 the firstborn were to be given to Yahweh. (The firstborn of clean animals, if free from spot or blemish, were to be sacrificed after eight days, Nu 18:16 ff.) This allusion to the sacrifice of the firstborn as part of the religion of Yahweh has been variously explained. Some scholars suspect the text, but in all probability the verse means no more than similar references to the fact that the firstborn belonged to Yahweh (Ex 13:2; 34:19). The modifying clause, with regard to the redemption of the firstborn, has been omitted. The firstborn possessed definite privileges which were denied to other members of the family. The Law forbade the disinheriting of the firstborn (De 21:15-17). Such legislation, in polygamous times, was necessary to prevent a favorite wife from exercising undue influence over her husband in distributing his property, as in the case of Jacob (Ge 25:23). The oldest son's share was twice as large as that of any other son. When Elisha prayed for a double portion of Elijah's spirit, he simply wished to be considered the firstborn, i.e. the successor, of the dying prophet. Israel was Yahweh's firstborn (Ex 4:22 privileges. She occupied a unique position in virtue of the special relationship between Yahweh and the nation. In three passages (Ro 8:29; Col 1:15; Heb 1:6), Jesus Christ is the firstborn--among many brethren (Ro 8:29); of every creature (Col 1:16). This application of the term to Jesus Christ may be traced back to Ps 89:27 where the Davidic ruler, or perhaps the nation, is alluded to as the firstborn of Yahweh.


NOTE--The custom of redeeming the firstborn son is preserved among the Jews to this day. After thirty days the father invites the "Kohen," i.e. a supposed descendant of Aaron, to the house. The child is brought and shown to the "Kohen," and the father declares the mother of the child to be an Israelite. If she is a "Kohen," redemption is not necessary. The "Kohen" asks the father which he prefers, his child or the five shekels; the father answers that he prefers his son, and pays to the "Kohen" a sum equivalent to five shekels. After receiving the redemption-money, the "Kohen" puts his hands on the child's head and pronounces the Aaronite blessing (Nu 6:22-27).

T. Lewis




(dagh, daghah, da'gh; ichthus, ichthudion, opsarion):

1. Natural History:

Fishes abound in the inland waters of Palestine as well as the Mediterranean. They are often mentioned or indirectly referred to both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, but it is remarkable that no particular kind is distinguished by name. In Le 11:9-12 and De 14:9 f, "whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters" is declared clean, while all that "have not fins and scales" are forbidden. This excluded not only reptiles and amphibians, but also, among fishes, siluroids and eels, sharks, rays and lampreys. For our knowledge of the inland fishes of Palestine we are mainly indebted to Tristram, NHB and Fauna and Flora of Palestine; Lortet, Poissons et reptiles du Lac de Tiberiade; and Russegger, Reisen in Europa, Asien, Afrika, 1835- 1841. The most remarkable feature of the fish fauna of the Jordan valley is its relationship to that of the Nile and of East Central Africa. Two Nile fishes, Chromis nilotica Hasselquist, and Clarias macracanthus Gunth., are found in the Jordan valley, and a number of other species found only in the Jordan valley belong to genera (Chromis and Hemichromis) which are otherwise exclusively African. This seems to indicate that at some time, probably in the early Tertiary, there was some connection between the Palestinian and African river systems. No fish can live in the Dead Sea, and many perish through being carried down by the swift currents of the Jordan and other streams. There are, however, several kinds of small fish which live in salt springs on the borders of the Dead Sea, springs which are as salt as the Dead Sea but which, according to Lortet, lack the magnesium chloride which is a constituent of the Dead Sea water and is fatal to the fish. Capoeta damascina Cuv. and Val., one of the commonest fishes of Syria and Palestine, has been taken by the writer in large numbers in the Arnon and other streams flowing into

the Dead Sea. This is surprising in view of the fact that the Dead Sea seems to form an effective barrier between the fishes of the different streams flowing into it. The indiscriminate mention of fishes without reference to the different kinds is well illustrated by the numerous passages in which "the fishes of the sea, the birds of the heavens, and the beasts of the field," or some equivalent expression, is used to denote all living creatures, e.g. Ge 1:26; 9:2; Nu 11:22; De 4:18; 1Ki 4:33; Job 12:8; Ps 8:8; Eze 38:20; Ho 4:3; Ze 1:3; 1Co 15:39.

2. Jonah's Fish:

An unusually large shark might fulfill the conditions of Jonah's fish (dagh, daghah; but Mt 12:40, ketos, "whale" or "sea monster"). The whale that is found in the Mediterranean (Balaena australis) has a narrow throat and could not swallow a man. No natural explanation is possible of Jonah's remaining alive and conscious for three days in the creature's belly. Those who consider the book historical must regard the whole event as miraculous. For those who consider it to be a story with a purpose, no explanation is required.

3. Fishing:

The present inhabitants of Moab and Edom make no use of the fish that swarm in the Arnon, the Hisa and other streams, but fishing is an important industry in Galilee and Western Palestine. Now, as formerly, spear hooks and nets are employed. The fish-spear (Job 41:7) is little used. Most of the Old Testament references to nets have to do with the taking of birds and beasts and not of fishes, and, while in Hab 1:15 cherem is rendered "net" and mikhmereth "drag," it is hot clear that these and the other words rendered "net" refer to particular kinds of nets. In the New Testament, however, sagene (Mt 13:47), is clearly the dragnet, and amphiblestron (Mt 4:18), is clearly the casting net. The word most often used is diktuon. Though this word is from dikein, "to throw," or "to cast," the context in several places (e.g. Lu 5:4; Joh 21:11) suggests that a dragnet is meant. The dragnet may be several hundred feet long. The upper edge is buoyed and the lower edge is weighted. It is let down from a boat in a line parallel to the shore and is then pulled in by ropes attached to the two ends, several men and boys usually pulling at each end. The use of the casting net requires much skill. It forms a circle of from 10 to 20 feet in diameter with numerous small leaden weights at the circumference. It is lifted by the center and carefully gathered over the right arm. When well thrown it goes to some distance, at the same time spreading out into a wide circle. A cord may be attached to the center, but this is not always the case. When lifted again by the center, the leads come together, dragging over the bottom, and sometimes a large number of fish may be enclosed. The novice has only to try, to realize the dexterity of the practiced fishermen.

Figurative: The fact that so many of our Lord's disciples were fishermen lends a profound interest to their profession. Christ tells Simon and Andrew (Mt 4:19; Mr 1:17) that He will make them fishers of men. The Kingdom of Heaven (Mt 13:47) is likened unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind; which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but the bad they cast away. Tristram (NHB) says that he has seen the fishermen go through their net and throw out into the sea those that were too small for the market or were considered unclean. In Jer 16:16, we read: "Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith Yahweh, and they shall fish them up; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks." In the vision of Ezekiel (Eze 47:9 f), the multitude of fish and the nets spread from En-gedi to En-eglaim are marks of the marvelous change wrought in the Dead Sea by the stream issuing from the temple. The same sign, i.e. of the spreading of nets (Eze 26:5,14), marks the desolation of Tyre. It is a piece of broiled fish that the risen Lord eats with the Eleven in Jerusalem (Lu 24:42), and by the Sea of Galilee (Joh 21:13) He gives the disciples bread and fish.

Alfred Ely Day




kot: This expression is found in Joh 21:7 where the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version have "coat." John here, after representing Peter as "naked" (gumnos), pictures him as girding on his "coat" (ependutes), literally, "upper garment," and not at all specifically a "fisher's coat."



fish'-er fish'-er-man (dayyagh, dawwagh; halieus; Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek haleeus):

Although but few references to fishermen are made in the Bible, these men and their calling are brought into prominence by Jesus' call to certain Galilee fishermen to become His disciples (Mt 4:18,19; Mr 1:16,17). Fishermen, then as now, formed a distinct class. The strenuousness of the work (Lu 5:2) ruled out the weak and indolent. They were crude in manner, rough in speech and in their treatment of others (Lu 9:49,54; Joh 18:10). James and John before they became tempered by Jesus' influence were nicknamed the "sons of thunder" (Mr 3:17). The fishermen's exposure to all kinds of weather made them hardy and fearless. They were accustomed to bear with patience many trying circumstances. They often toiled for hours without success, and yet were always ready to try once more (Lu 5:5; Joh 21:3). Such men, when impelled by the same spirit as filled their Master, became indeed "fishers of men" (Mt 4:19; Mr 1:17).

One of the striking instances of the fulfillment of prophecy is the use by the Syrian fishermen today of the site of ancient Tyre as a place for the spreading of their nets (Eze 26:5,14).

Figurative: Fish were largely used as food (Hab 1:16), hence, the lamentation of the fishermen, who provided for all, typified general desolation (Isa 19:8). On the other hand, abundance of fish and many fishermen indicated general abundance (Eze 47:10). Our modern expression, "treated like a dog," had its counterpart in the language of the Old Testament writers, when they portrayed the punished people of Judah as being treated like fish. Yahweh would send many fishers to fish them up and put sticks or hooks through their cheeks as a fisherman strings his fish (Jer 16:16; Job 41:2). Such treatment of the people of Judah is depicted on some of the Assyrian monuments.

James A. Patch


fish'-hook (cir dughah, chakkah):

The word "fishhooks" occurs but twice in the American Standard Revised Version (Job 41:1; Am 4:2). In other passages the word hook or "angle" is applied to this instrument for fishing (Isa 19:8; Job 41:2). The ancient Egyptian noblemen used to amuse themselves by fishing from their private fishpools with hook and line. The Egyptian monuments show that the hook was quite commonly used for catching fish. The hook is still used in Bible lands, although not as commonly as nets. It is called a cinnarat, probably from the same root as tsinnah, the plural of which is translated hooks in Am 4:2. In Mt 17:27, agkistron (literally, "fishhook"), is rendered "hook."

James A. Patch


fish'-ing (halieuo): Several methods of securing fish are resorted to at the present day along the seashores of Palestine. Two of these, dynamiting and poisoning with the juice of cyclamen bulbs or other poisonous plants, can be passed over as havi ng no bearing on ancient methods.

(1) With Hooks:

Some fishing is done with hooks and lines, either on poles when fishing from shore, or on trawls in deep-sea fishing. The fishhooks now used are of European origin, but bronze fishhooks of a very early date have been discovered. That fishing with hooks was known in Jesus' time is indicated by the Master's command to Peter (Mt 17:27).


(2) With Spears:

Job 41:7 probably refers to an instrument much like the barbed spear still used along the Syrian coast. It is used at night by torchlight.

(3) With Nets:

In the most familiar Bible stories of fisherman life a net was used. Today most of the fishing is done in the same way. These nets are homemade. Frequently one sees the fishermen or members of their families making nets or repairing old ones during the stormy days when fishing is impossible.

Nets are used in three ways:

(a) A circular net, with small meshes and leaded around the edge, is cast from the shore into the shallow water in such a manner that the leaded edge forms the base of a cone, the apex being formed by the fisherman holding the center of the net in his hand. The cone thus formed encloses such fish as cannot escape the quick throw of the fisher.

(b) A long net or seine of one or two fathoms depth, leaded on one edge and provided with floats on the other, is payed out from boats in such a way as to surround a school of fish. Long ropes fastened to the two ends are carried ashore many yards apart, and from five to ten men on each rope gradually draw in the net. The fish are then landed from the shallow water with small nets or by hand. This method is commonly practiced on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

(c) In deeper waters a net similar to that described above, but four or five fathoms deep, is cast from boats and the ends slowly brought together so as to form a circle. Men then dive down and bring one portion of the weighted edge over under the rest, so as to form a bottom. The compass of the net is then narrowed, and the fish are emptied from the net into the boat. Sometimes the net with the fish enclosed is towed into shallow water before drawing. The above method is probably the one the disciples used (Mt 4:18; Mr 1:16; Lu 5:2-10; Joh 21:3-11). Portions of nets with leads and floats, of early Egyptian origin, may be seen in the British Museum.

See NET.

The fishermen today usually work with their garments girdled up about their waists. Frequently they wear only a loose outer garment which is wet much of the time. This garment can be quickly removed by pulling it over the head, When occasion requires the fisherman to jump into the sea. If methods have not changed, Peter had probably just climbed back into the boat after adjusting the net for drawing when he learned that it was Jesus who stood on the shore. He was literally naked and pulled on his coat before he went ashore (Joh 21:7).

James A. Patch



This is a mistranslation. The Hebrew berekhoth (So 7:4) simply means "pools" (Revised Version); "fish" is quite unwarrantably introduced in the King James Version. In Isa 19:10, again, instead of "all that make sluices and ponds for fish" (the King James Version), we should certainly read, with the Revised Version (British and American), "All they that work for hire shall be grieved in soul."



The word "fit" (adjective and verb) occurs a few times, representing nearly as many Hebrew and Greek words. the Revised Version (British and American) frequently alters, as in Le 16:21 (`itti, "timely," "opportune," "ready"), where for "fit" it reads "in readiness," margin "appointed." In 1Ch 7:11 the Revised Version (British and American) has "that were able"; in Isa 44:13, "shapeth"; in Pr 24:27, "ready," etc. "Fitly" in Pr 25:11 is in the Revised Version, margin "in due season"; in So 5:12, "fitly set" is in the Revised Version, margin "sitting by full streams." In the New Testament "fit" is the translation of euthetos, "well placed" (Lu 9:62; 14:35), of kathekon, "suitable" (Ac 22:22), and of katartizo, "to make quite ready" (Ro 9:22, "vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction").

W. L. Walker


fich'-iz (the English word "fitch" is the same as "vetch"):

(1) qetsach (Isa 28:25,27; the Revised Version, margin has "black cummin" (Nigella sativa)). This is the "nutmeg flower," an annual herb (Natural Order, Ranunculaceae), the black seeds of which are sprinkled over some kinds of bread in Palestin. They were used as a condiment by the ancient Greeks and Romans. These seeds have a warm aromatic flavor and are carminative in their properties, assisting digestion. They, like all such plants which readily yield their seed, are still beaten out with rods. The contrast between the stouter staff for the "fitches" and the lighter rod for the cummin is all the more noticeable when the great similarity of the two seeds is noticed.

(2) kuccemim (pl.) (Eze 4:9) the Revised Version (British and American) "spelt" (which see).

E. W. G. Masterman


fiv (chamesh; pente).



Two Hebrew words:

(1) cuph (Ex 2:3,1, "flags"; Isa 19:6, "flags"; Jon 2:5, "weeds"). This is apparently a general name which includes both the fresh-water weeds growing along a river bank and "seaweeds." The Red Sea was known as Yam cuph.

(2) 'achu (Ge 41:2,18, the King James Version "meadow," the Revised Version (British and American) "reed-grass"; Job 8:11, "Can the rush grow up without mire? Can the flag (margin "reed-grass") grow without water?"). Some such general term as "sedges" or "fens" would better meet the requirements.



The translation of 'ashishah, in the King James Version in 2Sa 6:19; 1Ch 16:3; So 2:5; Ho 3:1. In all, these passages the Revised Version (British and American) reads "cake of raisins" or "raisins." It was probably a pressed raisin cake. the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) read "flagons," in Isa 22:24 as a rendering of nebhalim, which is elsewhere (1Sa 1:24; 10:3; 2Sa 16:1, etc.) rendered "bottles," the Revised Version, margin "skins." These were the bags or bottles made of the whole skin of a kid, goat or other animal. the Revised Version (British and American) has "flagons" in Ex 25:29 and 37:16 as translation of qeshawoth, a golden jug or jar used in the tabernacle from which the drink offerings were poured out. The same word is translated "cups" in Nu 4:7.

George Rice Hovey


flak (mappal, a word of uncertain meaning):

It is used in the sense of "refuse (husks) of the wheat" in Am 8:6. With regard to the body we find it used in Job 41:23 in the description of leviathan (the crocodile): "The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm upon him; they cannot be moved." Baethgen in Kautzsch's translation of the Old Testament translates "Wampen," i.e. the collops or lateral folds of flesh and armored skin. A better translation would perhaps be: "the horny epidermic scales" of the body, differentiated from the bony dermal scutes of the back (Hebrew "channels of shields," "courses of scales"), which are mentioned in Job 41:15 margin.

H. L. E. Luering


flam (lahabh, and other forms from same root; phlox):

In Jud 13:20 bis; Job 41:21; Isa 29:6; Joe 2:5, the word is lahabh. Various other words are translated "flame"; mas'eth, "a lifting or rising up" (Jud 20:38,40 the King James Version), the Revised Version (British and American) "cloud" (of smoke); kalil, "completeness" (Jud 20:40 b King James Version margin, "a holocaust, or offering wholly consumed by fire"; compare Le 6:15); shalhebheth (Job 15:30; So 8:6; the American Standard Revised Version "a very flame of Yahweh," margin "or, a most vehement flame"; Eze 20:47, the Revised Version (British and American) "the flaming flame"); shabhibh (Job 18:5; the Revised Version, margin); shebhibh, Aramaic (Da 3:22; 7:9). In Ps 104:4 the American Standard Revised Version has "maketh .... flames of fire his ministers"; the Revised Version (British and American) "flame" for "snare" (Pr 29:8).

Figuratively: "Flame" is used to denote excitement (Pr 29:8 the Revised Version (British and American)), shame, astonishment, "faces of flame" (Isa 13:8); in Re 1:14, the glorified Christ is described as having eyes "as a flame of fire," signifying their searching purity (compare Re 2:18; 19:12). Flame is also a symbol of God's wrath (Ps 83:14; Isa 5:24; 10:17).

See also FIRE.

W. L. Walker


(charum; Septuagint koloborin):

Used only in Le 21:18 as the name of a deformity which disqualified a member of a priestly family for serving the altar.

The root of the word signifies "to cut off" or "to cut flat," and in the Revised Version, margin "slit nose" is substituted. The condition indicated is most probably the depressed, flattened nose which so often accompanies harelip, especially in its double form.

A mere snub-nose can scarcely be regarded as a blemish of sufficient importance to unfit a priest for the service of "offering the bread of God"; but harelip, like blindness or the other congenital malformations or deformities enumerated in this passage, might well render a son of Aaron unfit or unsuitable for public religious duty.

Alexander Macalister


flaks pesheth, also pishtah; linon (Mt 12:20)): The above Hebrew words are applied

(1) to the plant: "The flax was in bloom" (the King James Version "bolled"; Ex 9:31);

(2) the "stalks of flax," literally, "flax of the tree," put on the roof to dry (Jos 2:6);

(3) to the fine fibers used for lighting: the King James Version "tow," "flax," the Revised Version (British and American). "A dimly burning wick will he not quench" (Isa 42:3); "They are quenched as a wick" (Isa 43:17). The thought is perhaps of a scarcely lighted wick just kindled with difficulty from a spark.

(4) In Isa 19:9 mention is made of "combed flax," i.e. flax hackled ready for spinning (compare Ho 2:5,9; Pr 31:13). The reference in Jud 15:14 is to flax twisted into cords.

(5) In Jud 16:9; Isa 1:31, mention is made of ne`oreth, "tow," literally, something "shaken off"--as the root implies--from flax.

(6) The plural form pishtim is used in many passages for linen, or linen garments, e.g. Le 13:47,48,52,59; De 22:11; Jer 13:1 ("linen girdle"); Eze 44:17 f. Linen was in the earliest historic times a favorite material for clothes. The Jewish priestly garments were of pure linen. Egyptian mummies were swathed in linen. Several other Hebrew words were used for linen garments.


Flax is the product of Linum usitatissimum, a herbaceous plant which has been cultivated from the dawn of history. It is perennial and grows to a height of 2 to 3 ft.; it has blue flowers and very fibrous stalks. The tough fibers of the latter, after the decay and removal of the softer woody and gummy material, make up the crude "flax." Linseed, linseed oil and oilcake are useful products of the same plant.

E. W. G. Masterman





fle (par`osh; compare Arabic barghut, "flea," and barghash, "mosquito" (1Sa 24:14; 26:20); kinnim (Ex 8:16), "lice," the Revised Version, margin "sandflies" or "fleas"; Septuagint skniphes, probably best rendered "gnat"; see GNAT; LICE):

In 1Sa 24 Saul seeks David in the wilderness of En-gedi, and David, after cutting off the skirt of Saul's robe in the cave, calls out to him, "After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea" (24:14). Again in 1Sa 26:20 Saul seeks David in the wilderness of Ziph, and David after taking the spear and cruse from beside Saul while he slept, cries out to him, ".... the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains." The flea is here used as a symbol of David's insignificance, coupled perhaps, in the second passage, with a thought of the difficulty that Saul had in laying hands on him. In Encyclopedia Biblica Cheyne finds fault with a similar interpretation given in DB on the ground that it is absurd that David should refer to hunting "a single flea," and proposes to change par`osh 'echadh "a flea," to pere' midhbar, "wild ass of the desert." The writer will only say that no observant resident of Palestine would consider the textual alteration to be called for.

Linnaeus recognized two species of flea, Pulex irritans, the common parasite of man, and Pulex (Sarcopsylla) penetrans, the tropical and sub-tropical jigger flea. More than a hundred species are now listed, and the recent discovery that certain fleas are instrumental in the transmission of the plague has given a new impetus to the study of these tiny pests. A flea that is often commoner in houses than Pulex irritans is the "dog and cat flea," variously known as Pulex serraticeps, Pulex canis, Pulex felis or Ctenocephalus canis.

Alfred Ely Day



See FLY.





@basar, she'er):

1. Etymology:

Used in all senses of the word, the latter, however, most frequently in the sense of kin, family, relationship (compare sha'arah, "kins-woman," Le 18:17): Le 18:6; 25:49; Pr 11:17; Jer 51:35, and probably Ps 73:26. In all other places she'er means "flesh" = body (Pr 5:11) or = food (Ps 78:20,27; Mic 3:2,3). Tibhchah, is "(slaughtered) flesh for food," "butcher's meat" (1Sa 25:11). The word 'eshpar, found only in two parallel passages (2Sa 6:19 = 1Ch 16:3), is of very uncertain meaning. The English versions translate it with "a good piece (portion) of flesh," the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) with "a piece of roast meat," others with "a portion of flesh" and "a measure of wine." It probably means simply "a measured portion." lachum, literally, "eaten," then food (compare lechem, "bread"), has been rarely specialized as flesh or meat (compare Arabic lachm, "meat," "flesh," so in Ze 1:17, where it stands in parallelism with "blood"). The Greek terms are sarx, and kreas, the latter always meaning "butcher's meat" (Ro 14:21; 1Co 8:13).

We can distinguish the following varieties of meaning in Biblical language:

2. Ordinary Sense:

In a physical sense, the chief substance of the animal body, whether used for food and sacrifice, or not; also the flesh of man (Ge 2:21; Ex 21:10; Isa 31:3; Eze 23:20; 1Co 15:39; Re 19:18,21).

3. The Body:

The whole body. This meaning is the extension of the preceding (pars pro toto). This is indicated by the Septuagint, where basar is often translated by the plural hai sarkes (Ge 40:19; Nu 12:12; Job 33:25), and occasionally by soma, i.e. "body" (Le 15:2; 1Ki 21:27). This meaning is also very clear in passages like the following: Ex 4:7; Le 17:14; Nu 8:7; 2Ki 4:34; Pr 5:11, where basar and she'er are combined; and Pr 14:30; Ec 12:12.

4. The Term "All Flesh":

Flesh, as the common term for living things, animals and men, especially the latter (Ge 6:13,17,19; Nu 16:22; Jer 12:12; Mr 13:20); often in the phrase "all flesh" (Ps 65:2; Isa 40:5,6; Jer 25:31; Eze 20:48; Joe 2:28; Lu 3:6).

5. As Opposed to the Spirit:

Flesh as opposed to the spirit, both of which were comprised in the preceding meaning (Ge 6:3; Ps 16:9; Lu 24:39, where "flesh and bones" are combined; Joh 6:63). Thus we find in Joh 1:14, "The Word became flesh"; 1Ti 3:16, "He who was manifested in the flesh"; 1 Joh 4:2, and all passages where the incarnation of Christ is spoken of. The word in this sense approaches the meaning of "earthly life," as in Php 1:22,24, "to live in the flesh," "to abide in the flesh"; compare Phm 1:16 and perhaps 2Co 5:16. Under this meaning we may enumerate expressions such as "arm of flesh" (2Ch 32:8; Jer 17:5), "eyes of flesh" (Job 10:4), etc. Frequently the distinction is made to emphasize the weakness or inferiority of the flesh, as opposed to the superiority of the spirit (Isa 31:3; Mt 26:41; Mr 14:38; Ro 6:19). In this connection we mention also the expression "flesh and blood," a phrase borrowed from rabbinical writings and phraseology (see also Sirach 14:18, "the generation of flesh and blood," and 17:31, "man whose desire is flesh and blood" the King James Version). The expression does not convey, as some have supposed, the idea of inherent sinfulness of the flesh (a doctrine borrowed by Gnostic teachers from oriental sources), but merely the idea of ignorance and frailty in comparison with the possibilities of spiritual nature. The capabilities of our earthly constitution do not suffice to reveal unto us heavenly truths; these must always come to us from above.

So Peter's first recognition of the Divine sonship of Jesus did not proceed from a logical conviction based upon outward facts acting upon his mind, but was based upon a revelation from God vouchsafed to his inner consciousness. Christ says therefore to him: "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar- Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven" (Mt 16:17). Similarly the kingdom of God, being a realm of perfect spiritual submission to God, cannot be inherited by flesh and blood (1Co 15:50), nor was the richly endowed mind a competent tribunal to which Paul could refer his heaven-wrought conviction of his great salvation and the high calling to be a witness and apostle of Christ, so he did well that he "conferred not with flesh and blood" (Ga 1:16). That "flesh and blood" does not imply a sense of inherent sinfulness is moreover shown in all passages where Christ is declared a partaker of such nature (Eph 6:12; Heb 2:14, where, however, we find in the original text the inverted phrase "blood and flesh").

6. Applied to the Carnal Nature:

Flesh in the sense of carnal nature (sarkikos, "carnal"; the King James Version uses sarkinos in Ro 7:14). Human nature, being inferior to the spiritual, is to be in subjection to it. If man refuses to be under this higher law, and as a free agent permits the lower nature to gain an ascendancy over the spirit, the "flesh" becomes a revolting force (Ge 6:3,12; Joh 1:13; Ro 7:14; 1Co 3:1,3; Col 2:18; 1 Joh 2:16). Thus, the fleshly or carnal mind, i.e. a mind in subjection to carnal nature, is opposed to the Divine spirit, who alone is a sufficient corrective, Christ having secured for us the power of overcoming (Ro 8:3), if we manifest a deep desire and an earnest endeavor to overcome (Ga 5:17,18).

7. In the Sense of Relationship:

Flesh in the sense of relationship, tribal connection, kith and kin. For examples, see what has been said above on Hebrew she'er. The following passages are a few of those in which basar is used: Ge 2:24; 37:27; Job 2:5; compare the New Testament passages: Mt 19:5,6; Ro 1:3; 9:3,5,8. The expressions "bone" and "flesh" are found in combination (Ge 2:23; 29:14; Jud 9:2; 2Sa 5:1; 19:12,13; Eph 5:31, the latter in some manuscripts only).

8. Other Meanings:

Some other subdivisions of meanings might be added, for example where "flesh" takes almost the place of "person," as in Col 2:1: "as many as have not seen my face in the flesh," i.e. have not known me personally, or 2:5, "absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit," etc.

H. L. E. Luering


See FLESH, 5.


flesh'-hook (mazlegh, and plural mizlaghoth):

One of the implements used around the sacrificial altar. According to Divine direction given to Moses (Ex 27:3; 38:3), it was to be made of brass, but later David felt impelled by "the Spirit" or "in his spirit" to determine that for use in the magnificent Temple of Solomon it should be made of gold (1Ch 28:17). But Huram made it, with other altar articles, of "bright brass" (2Ch 4:16).

In Samuel's time, it was made with three hook-shaped tines, and was used in taking out the priests' share of the meat offering (1Sa 2:13,14). With the other altar utensils, it was in the special charge of the Kohathites (Nu 4:14). The hooks mentioned in Eze 40:43 were altogether different and for another purpose.


Leonard W. Doolan


flesh'-pot (cir ha-basar, "pot of the flesh"):

One of the six kinds of cooking utensils spoken of as pots or pans or caldrons or basins. Probably usually made of bronze or earthenware. The only mention of flesh-pots, specifically so named, is in Ex 16:3.




See FLY.


flint (challamish (De 8:15; 32:13; Job 28:9; Ps 114:8), tsor (Ex 4:25; Eze 3:9), tser (Isa 5:28), tsur (Job 22:24; Ps 89:43), tsurim (Jos 5:2 f); (= kechlex "pebble"), kochlax ( /APC 1Macc 10:73)):

The word challamish signifies a hard stone, though not certainly flint, and is used as a figure for hardness in Isa 50:7, "Therefore have I set my face like a flint." A similar use of tsor is found in Eze 3:9, "As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead," and Isa 5:28, "Their horses' hoofs shall be accounted as flint"; and of tsela` in Jer 5:3, "They have made their faces harder than a rock." The same three words are used of the rock from which Moses drew water in the wilderness: challamish (De 8:15; Ps 114:8); tsur (Ex 17:6; De 8:15; Ps 78:20; Isa 48:21); cela` (Nu 20:8; Ne 9:15; Ps 78:16).

Tsur and cela` are used oftener than challamish for great rocks and cliffs, but tsur is used also for flint knives in Ex 4:25, "Then Zipporah took a flint (the King James Version "sharp stone"), and cut off the foreskin of her son," and in Jos 5:2 f, "Yahweh said unto Joshua, Make thee knives of flint (the King James Version "sharp knives"), and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time." Surgical implements of flint were used by the ancient Egyptians, and numerous flint chippings with occasional flint implements are found associated with the remains of early man in Syria and Palestine. Flint and the allied mineral, chert, are found in great abundance in the limestone rocks of Syria, Palestine and Egypt.


Alfred Ely Day








In the King James Version not less than 13 words are rendered "flood," though in the Revised Version (British and American) we find in some passages "river," "stream," "tempest," etc. The word is used for: the deluge of Noah, mabbul (Ge 6:17 ff); kataklusmos (Mt 24:38,39; Lu 17:27); the waters of the Red Sea, nazal (Ex 15:8); the Euphrates, nahar, "Your fathers dwelt of old time on the other side of the flood". (the Revised Version (British and American) "beyond the River" Jos 24:2): the Nile, ye'or, "the flood (the Revised Version (British and American) "River") of Egypt" (Am 8:8); the Jordan, nahar, "They went through the flood (the Revised Version (British and American) "river") on foot" (Ps 66:6); torrent, zerem, "as a flood (the Revised Version (British and American) "tempest") of mighty waters" (Isa 28:2); potamos, "The rain descended and the floods came" (Mt 7:25); plemmura, "When a flood arose, the stream brake against that house" (Lu 6:48).

Figurative: nachal, "The floods of ungodly men (the Revised Version (British and American) "ungodliness," the Revised Version, margin "Hebrew Belial") made me afraid" (2Sa 22:5; Ps 18:4); also 'or (Am 8:8 (the King James Version)); shibboleth (Ps 69:2); sheTeph (Da 11:22 (the King James Version)); sheTeph (Ps 32:6 (the King James Version)); potamophoretos (Re 12:15 (the King James Version)).


Alfred Ely Day










flur'-ish (parach, tsuts; anathallo):

The translation of parach, "to break forth" (Ps 72:7; 92:12,13; Pr 14:11; Isa 66:14; So 6:11; 7:12; the Revised Version (British and American) "budded"); of tsuts "to bloom" (Ps 72:16, 90:6; 92:7; 103:15; 132:18); ra`anan, "green," "fresh," is translated "flourishing" in Ps 92:14, the Revised Version (British and American) "green," and ra`anan, Aramaic in Da 4:4; nubh, "to sprout" (Zec 9:17, the King James Version "cheerful").

In an interesting passage (Ec 12:5 the King James Version), the Hiphil future of na'ats, meaning properly "to pierce or strike," hence, to slight or reject, is translated "flourish"; it is said of the old man "The almond tree shall flourish," the Revised Version (British and American) "blossom" (so Ewald, Delitzsch, etc.); na'ats has nowhere else this meaning; it is frequently rendered "contemn;" "despise," etc. Other renderings are, "shall cause loathing" (Gesenius, Knobel, etc.), "shall be despised," i.e. the hoary head; "The almond tree shall shake off its flowers," the silvery hairs falling like the fading white flowers of the almond tree; by others it is taken to indicate "sleeplessness," the name of the almond tree (shaqedh) meaning the watcher or early riser (compare Jer 1:11, "a rod of an almond-tree," literally, "a wakeful (or early) tree"), the almond being the first of the trees to wake from the sleep of winter.


"Flourish" appears once only in the New Testament, in the King James Version, as translation of anathallo, "to put forth anew," or "to make put forth anew" (Php 4:10): "Your care for me hath flourished again," the Revised Version (British and American) "Ye have revived your thought for me."

W. L. Walker


flou'-erz (BLOOM, BLOSSOM, etc.):

(1) gibh`ol, literally, "a small cup," hence, calyx or corolla of a flower (Ex 9:31, "The flax was in bloom").

(2) nets (Ge 40:10, nitstsah, "a flower" or "blossom";Job 15:33; Isa 18:5). These words are used of the early berries of the vine or olive.

(3) nitstsan, "a flower"; plural only, nitstsanim (So 2:12, "The flowers appear on the earth").

(4) perach, root to "burst forth" expresses an early stage of flowering; "blossom" (Isa 5:24; 18:5); "flower" (Na 1:4, "The flower of Lebanon languisheth"). Used of artificial flowers in candlesticks (Ex 25:31 ff).

(5) tsits, "flower" (Isa 40:6); plural tsitstsim, flowers as architectural ornaments (1Ki 6:18); tsitsah, "the fading flower of his glorious beauty" (Isa 28:1,4; also Nu 17:8; Job 14:2, etc.).

(6) anthos, in Septuagint equivalent of all the Hebrew words (Jas 1:10,11; 1Pe 1:24).

The beauty of the profusion of flowers which cover Palestine every spring receives but scant reference in the Old Testament; So 2:12 is perhaps the only clear reference. It is noticeable that the native of Syria thinks little of flowers unless it be for their perfume. our Lord's reference to the flowers ("lilies") is well known (Mt 6:28; Lu 12:27). For details of the flowers of modern Palestine, see BOTANY. The aptness of the expression "flower of the field" for a type of the evanescence of human life (Job 14:2; Ps 103:15; Isa 40:6; Jas 1:10) is the more impressive in a land like Palestine where the annual display of wild flowers, so glorious for a few short weeks, is followed by such desolation. The fresh and brilliant colors fade into masses of withered leaves (not uncommonly cleared by burning), and then even these are blown, away, so that but bare, cracked and baked earth remains for long months where once all was beauty, color and life.

E.W.G. Masterman


floo(King James Version, margin Hab 1:15).









(Verb; `uph petaomai, or, contracted, ptaomai):

Used in preference to "flee" when great speed is to be indicated. "To fly" is used: (1) Literally, of birds, `uph (Ge 1:20; Ps 55:6); da'ah (De 28:49), of sparks (Job 5:7); of the arrow (Ps 91:5); of the seraphim (Isa 6:2,6); of an angel (Da 9:21, ya`aph, "to be caused to fly"); of swift action or movement (Ps 18:10; Jer 48:40); of people (Isa 11:14); of a fleet (Isa 60:8; 1Sa 15:19, 14:32, `asah, "to do," etc.). (2) Figuratively, of a dream (Job 20:8); of man's transitory life (Ps 90:10); of riches (Pr 23:5); of national glory (Ho 9:11).

For "fly" the Revised Version (British and American) has "soar" (Job 39:26) "fly down" (Isa 11:14); for "flying" (Isa 31:5) the American Standard Revised Version has "hovering."

W. L. Walker


fli fliz `arobh (Ex 8:21 ff; Ps 78:45; 105:31; Septuagint kunomuia; "dog-fly"), zebhubh (Ec 10:1; Isa 7:18; Septuagint muiai, "flies"); compare ba`al-zebhubh, "Baal-zebub" (2Ki 1:2 ff), and beelzeboul, "Beelzebul," or beelzeboub, "Beelzebub" (Mt 10:25; 12:24,27; Lu 11:15,18,19); compare Arabic dhubab, "fly" or "bee"; (Note: "dh" for Arabic dhal, pronounced like "d" or "z" or like th in "the"):

The references in Psalms as well as in Exodus are to the plague of flies, and the word `arobh is rendered "swarm of flies" throughout, except in Ps 78:45; 105:31 the King James Version, where we find "divers sorts of flies" (compare Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) omne genus muscarum). In Ex 8:21 we read, "I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are"; in Ex 8:24, .... "the land was corrupted by reason of the swarms of flies"; in Ps 78:45, "He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them." There has been much speculation as to what the insects were, but all the texts cited, including even Ps 78:45, may apply perfectly well to the common house fly (Musca domestica). Some species of blue-bottle fly (Calliphora) might also suit.

The other word, zebhubh, occurs in Ec 10:1, "Dead flies cause the oil of the perfumer to send forth an evil odor; so doth a little folly outweigh wisdom and honor"; and Isa 7:18, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that Yahweh will hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria:" The house fly would fit perfectly the reference in each, but that in Isa would seem to suggest rather one of the horse flies (Tabanidae) or gad flies (Oestridae). Whatever fly may be meant, it is used as a symbol for the military power of Egypt, as the bee for that of Assyria.

Owing to deficiencies in public and private hygiene, and also for other reasons, house flies and others are unusually abundant in Palestine and Egypt and are agents in the transmission of cholera, typhoid fever, ophthalmia and anthrax. Glossina morsitans, the tsetse fly, which is fatal to many domestic animals, and Glossina palpalis which transmits the sleeping sickness, are abundant in tropical Africa, but do not reach Egypt proper.


Alfred Ely Day





fom (qetseph (Ho 10:7); aphros (Lu 9:39), aphrizo (Mr 9:18,20), epaphrizo (Jude 1:13)):

Qetseph from qatsaph, "to break to pieces," or "to break forth into anger," "to be angry," occurs often in the sense of "wrath" or "anger" (e.g. Nu 1:53; Ps 38:1, etc.), and in this passage has been rendered "twigs" or "chips," "As for Samaria, her king is cut off, as foam (the Revised Version, margin "twigs") upon the water" (Ho 10:7). The other references are from the New Testament. In Jude, evil-doers or false teachers are compared to the "wild waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame." In Mark and Luke the references are to the boy with a dumb spirit who foamed at the mouth.

Alfred Ely Day





fold fold'-ing (verb; chabhaq, sabhakh; helisso):

The verb occurs only 3 times in the King James Version, and in each instance represents a different word; we have chabhaq "to clasp" (Ec 4:5), "The fool foldeth his hands together" (compare Pr 6:10); cabhak, "to interweave" (Na 1:10, "folded together as thorns," the English Revised Version "like tangled thorns" the American Standard Revised Version "entangled like thorns"; see ENTANGLE); helisso "to roll or fold up" (Heb 1:12, quoted from Ps 102:26 (Septuagint), the Revised Version (British and American) "As a mantle shalt thou roll them up"). Folding occurs as translation of galil, "turning" or "rolling" (1Ki 6:34 bis, folding leaves of door).

See also HOUSE.

W. L. Walker



The translation of `am, `am "a people or nation" (Ge 33:15, "some of the folk that are with me"; Pr 30:26, "The conies are but a feeble folk"); of le'om, with the same meaning (Jer 51:58, "the folk in the fire," the Revised Version (British and American) "the nations for the fire"); "sick folk" is the translation of arrhostos, "not strong" (Mr 6:5); of ton asthenounton, participle of astheneo, "to be without strength," "weak," "sick" (Joh 5:3, the Revised Version (British and American) "them that were sick"); "sick folks," of astheneis plural of asthenes, "without strength," the Revised Version (British and American) "sick folk" (Ac 5:16).

W. L. Walker


fol'-o ('achar, radhaph; akoloutheo, dioko) :

Frequently the translation of 'achar, "after," e.g. Nu 14:24, "hath followed me fully," literally, "fulfilled after me" (Nu 32:11,12; De 1:36; Am 7:15); radhaph is "to pursue," and is often so translated; it is translated "follow" (Ps 23:6; Isa 5:11, etc.); "follow after" (Ge 44:4; Ex 14:4); reghel, "foot," is several times translated "follow" (literally, "at the foot of"; Ex 11:8; Jud 8:5, etc.); halakh 'achar, "to go after" (De 4:3; 1Ki 14:8, etc.); yalakh 'achar, "to go on after" (Ge 24:5; Jud 2:19, etc.); dabheq, "to cause to cleave to" is "follow hard after" (1Sa 14:22; Ps 63:8, etc.).

In the New Testament, in addition to akoloutheo (Mt 4:20,22,25, etc.) various words and phrases are rendered "follow," e.g. Deute opiso mou, "Come after me" (Mt 4:19, "Follow me," the Revised Version (British and American) "Come ye after me"); dioko, "to pursue" (Lu 17:23; 1Th 5:15, the Revised Version (British and American) "follow after," etc.); mimeomai, "to imitate" (Heb 13:7, "whose faith follow," the Revised Version (British and American) "imitate their faith; 2Thes 3:7,9; 3Joh 1:11); compounds of akoloutheo with ex, para sun, etc. (2Pe 1:16; Mr 16:20; Ac 16:17; Mr 5:37, etc.).

English Revised Version, "Follow after faithfulness" makes an important change in Ps 37:3, where the King James Version has "and verily thou shalt be fed"; but the American Standard Revised Version has "feed on his faithfulness," margin "feed securely or verily thou shalt be fed." For "attained" (1Ti 4:6) the Revised Version (British and American) gives "followed until now."

W. L. Walker


fol'-o-er (mimetes):

"Followers" is in the King James Version the translation of mimetes, "to imitate" (in the New Testament in the good sense of becoming imitators, or following an example), rendered by the Revised Version (British and American) "imitators" (1Co 4:16; 11:1; Eph 5:1; 1Th 1:6; 2:14; Heb 6:12); summimetai, "joint imitators" (Php 3:17); in 1Pe 3:13, the King James Version "followers of that which is good," the word, according to a better text, is zelotis, the Revised Version (British and American) "if ye be zealous of that which is good."







1. Primitive Habits

2. Cereals

3. Leguminous Plants

4. Food of Trees



In a previous article (see BREAD) it has been shown that in the Bible "bread" usually stands for food in general and how this came to be so. In a complementary article on MEALS the methods of preparing and serving food will be dealt with. This article is devoted specifically to the foodstuffs of the Orient, more especially to articles of food in use among the Hebrews in Bible times. These are divisible into two main classes.

I. Vegetable Foods.

1. Primitive Habits:

Orientals in general are vegetarians, rather than flesh eaters. There is some reason to believe that primitive man was a vegetarian (see Ge 2:16; 3:2,6). It would seem, indeed, from a comparison of Ge 1:29 f with 9:3 f that Divine permission to eat the flesh of animals was first given to Noah after the Deluge, and then only on condition of drawing off the blood in a prescribed way (compare the kosher (kasher) meat of the Jews of today).

2. Cereals:

The chief place among the foodstuffs of Orientals must be accorded to the cereals, included in the American Standard Revised Version under the generic term "grain," in the King James Version and the English Revised Version "corn." The two most important of these in the nearer East are wheat (chiTTah) and barley (se`orim). The most primitive way of using the wheat as food was to pluck the (Le 23:14; 2Ki 4:42), remove the husks by rubbing in the hands (De 23:25; Mt 12:1), and eat the grains raw. A common practice in all lands and periods, observed by the fellaheen of Syria today, has been to parch or roast the ears and eat the grain not ground. This is the parched corn (the American Standard Revised Version "'grain") so often mentioned in the Old Testament, which with bread and vinegar (sour wine) constituted the meal of the reapers to which Boaz invited Ru (Ru 2:14).

Later it became customary to grind the wheat into flour (kemach), and, by bolting it with a fine sieve, to obtain the "fine flour" (coleth) of our English Versions of the Bible, which, of course, was then made into "bread" (which see), either without leaven (matstsah) or with (lechem chamets Le 7:13).

Meal, both of wheat and of barley, was prepared in very early times by means of the primitive rubbing-stones, which excavations at Lachish, Gezer and elsewhere show survived the introduction of the hand-mill (see MILL; Compare PEFS, 1902, 326). Barley (se`orim) has always furnished the principal food of the poorer classes, and, like wheat, has been made into bread (Jud 7:13; Joh 6:9,13). Less frequently millet (Eze 4:9) and spelt (kuccemeth; see FITCHES) were so used. (For details of baking, bread-making, etc., see BREAD. III, 1,2,3.)

3. Leguminous Plants:

Vegetable foods of the pulse family (leguminosae) are represented in the Old Testament chiefly by lentils and beans. The pulse of Da 1:12 (zero`im) denotes edible "herbs" in general (Revised Version margin, compare Isa 61:11, "things that are sown"). The lentils (`adhashim) were and are considered very toothsome and nutritious. It was of "red lentils" that Jacob brewed his fateful pottage (Ge 25:29,34), a stew, probably, in which the lentils were flavored with onions and other ingredients, as we find it done in Syria today. Lentils, beans, cereals, etc., were sometimes ground and mixed and made into bread (Eze 4:9). I found them at Gaza roasted also, and eaten with oil and salt, like parched corn.

The children of Israel, when in the wilderness, are said to have looked back wistfully on the "cucumbers .... melons .... leeks .... onions, and the garlic" of Egypt (Nu 11:5). All these things we find later were grown in Palestine. In addition, at least four varieties of the bean, the chickpea, various species of chickory and endive, the bitter herbs of the Passover ritual (Ex 12:8), mustard (Mt 13:31) and many other things available for food, are mentioned in the Mishna, our richest source of information on this subject. Cucumbers (qishshu'im) were then, as now, much used. The oriental variety is much less fibrous and more succulent. and digestible than ours, and supplies the thirsty traveler often with a fine substitute for water where water is scarce or bad. The poor in such cities as Cairo, Beirut and Damascus live largely on bread and cucumbers or melons. The cucumbers are eaten raw, with or without salt, between meals, but also often stuffed and cooked and eaten at meal time. Onions (betsalim), garlic (shummim) and leeks (chatsir) are still much used in Palestine as in Egypt. They are usually eaten raw with bread, though also used for flavoring in cooking, and, like cucumbers, pickled and eaten as a relish with meat (ZDPV, IX, 14). Men in utter extremity sometimes "plucked saltwort" (malluah) and ate the leaves, either raw or boiled, and made "the roots of the broom" their food (Job 30:4).

4. Food of Trees:

In Le 19:23 f it is implied that, when Israel came into the land to possess it, they should "plant all manner of trees for food." They doubtless found such trees in the goodly land in abundance, but in the natural course of things needed to plant more. Many olive trees remain fruitful to extreme old age, as for example those shown the tourist in the garden of Gethsemane, but many more require replanting. Then the olive after planting requires ten or fifteen years to fruit, and trees of a quicker growth, like the fig, are planted beside them and depended on for fruit in the meantime. It is significant that Jotham in his parable makes the olive the first choice of the trees to be their king (Jud 9:9), and the olive tree to respond, "Should I leave my fatness, which God and man honor in me, and go to wave to and fro over the trees?" (American Revised Version margin). The berries of the olive (zayith) were doubtless eaten, then as now, though nowhere in Scripture is it expressly so stated. The chief use of the berries, now as ever, is in furnishing "oil" (which see), but they are eaten in the fresh state, as also after being soaked in brine, by rich and poor alike, and are shipped in great quantities. Olive trees are still more or less abundant in Palestine, especially around Bethlehem and Hebron, on the borders of the rich plains of Esdraelon, Phoenicia, Sharon and Philistia, in the vale of Shechem, the plain of Moreh, and in the trans-Jordanic regions of Gilead and Bashan. They are esteemed as among the best possessions of the towns, and the culture of them is being revived around Jerusalem, in the Jordan valley and elsewhere throughout the land. They are beautiful to behold in all stages of their growth, but especially in spring. Then they bear an amazing wealth of blossoms, which in the breeze fall in showers like snowflakes, a fact that gives point to Job's words, "He shall cast off his flower as the olive-tree" (Job 15:33). The mode of gathering the fruit is still about what it was in ancient times (compare Ex 27:20).

Next in rank to the olive, according to Jotham's order, though first as an article of food, is the fig (in the Old Testament te'enah, in the New Testament suke), whose "sweetness" is praised in the parable (Jud 9:11). It is the principal shade and fruit tree of Palestine, growing in all parts, in many spontaneously, and is the emblem of peace and prosperity (De 8:8; Jud 9:10; 1Ki 4:25; Mic 4:4; Zec 3:10; /APC 1Macc 14:12). The best fig and olive orchards are carefully plowed, first in the spring when the buds are swelling, sometimes again when the second crop is sprouting, and again after the first rains in the autumn. The "first-ripe fig" (bikkurah, Isa 28:4; Jer 24:2), i.e. the early fig which grows on last year's wood, was and is esteemed as a great delicacy, and is often eaten while it is young and green. The late fig (te'enim) is the kind dried in the sun and put up in quantities for use out of season. Among the Greeks and the Romans, as well as among the Hebrews, dried figs were most extensively used. When pressed in a mold they formed the "cakes of figs" (debhelah) mentioned in the Old Testament (1Sa 25:18; 1Ch 12:40), doubtless about such as are found today in Syria and Smyrna, put up for home use and for shipment. It was such a fig-cake that was presented as a poultice (the King James Version "plaster") for Hezekiah's boil (Isa 38:21; compare 2Ki 20:7). As the fruit-buds of the fig appear before the leaves, a tree full of leaves and without fruit would be counted "barren" (Mr 11:12 f; compare Isa 28:4; Jer 24:2; Ho 9:10; Na 3:12; Mt 21:19; Lu 13:7).

Grapes ('anabhim), often called "the fruit of the vine" (Mt 26:29), have always been a much- prized article of food in the Orient. They are closely associated in the Bible with the fig (compare "every man under his vine and under his fig-tree," 1Ki 4:25). Like the olive, the fig, and the date-palm, grapes are indigenous to Syria, the soil and climate being most favorable to their growth and perfection. Southern Palestine especially yields a rich abundance of choice grapes, somewhat as in patriarchal times (Ge 49:11,12). J. T. Haddad, a native Syrian, for many years in the employment of the Turkish government, tells of a variety in the famous valley of Eshcol near Hebron, a bunch from which has been known to weigh twenty-eight pounds (compare Nu 13:23). Of the grapevine there is nothing wasted; the young leaves are used as a green vegetable, and the old are fed to sheep and goats. The branches cut off in pruning, as well as the dead trunk, are used to make charcoal, or for firewood. The failure of such a fruit was naturally regarded as a judgment from Yahweh (Ps 105:33; Jer 5:17; Ho 2:12; Joe 1:7). Grapes, like figs, were both enjoyed in their natural state, and by exposure to the sun dried into raisins (tsimmuqim), the "dried grapes" of Nu 6:3. In this form they were especially well suited to the use of travelers and soldiers (1Sa 25:18; 1Ch 12:40). The meaning of the word rendered "raisin-cake," the American Standard Revised Version "a cake of raisins" (2Sa 6:19 and elsewhere), is uncertain. In Bible times the bulk of the grape product of the land went to the making of wine (which see). Some doubt if the Hebrews knew grape-syrup, but the fact that the Aramaic dibs, corresponding to Hebrew debhash, is used to denote both the natural and artificial honey (grape-syrup), seems to indicate that they knew the latter (compare Ge 43:11; Eze 27:17; and see HONEY).

Less prominent was the fruit of the mulberry figtree (or sycomore) (shiqmah), of the date-palm (tamar), the dates of which, according to the Mishna, were both eaten as they came from the tree, and dried in clusters and pressed into cakes for transport; the pomegranate (tappuach), the "apple" of the King James Version (see APPLE), or quinch, according to others; the husks (Lu 15:16), i.e. the pods of the carob tree keration), are treated elsewhere. Certain nuts were favorite articles of food--pistachio nuts (boTnim), almonds (sheqedhim) and walnuts ('eghoz); and certain spices and vegetables were much used for seasoning: cummin (kammon), anise, dill (the King James Version) qetsach), mint (heduosmon) and mustard (sinapi), which see. Salt (melach), of course, played an important part, then as now, in the cooking and in the life of the Orientals. To "eat the salt" of a person was synonymous with eating his bread (Ezr 4:14), and a "covenant of salt" was held inviolable (Nu 18:19; 2Ch 13:5).

II. Animal Food.

Anciently, even more than now in the East, flesh food was much less used than among western peoples. In the first place, in Israel and among other Semitic peoples, it was confined by law to the use of such animals and birds as were regarded as "clean" (see CLEAN; UNCLEANNESS), or speaking according to the categories of Le 11:2,3; De 14:4-20, domestic animals and game (see Driver on De 14:4-20). Then the poverty of the peasantry from time immemorial has tended to limit the use of meat to special occasions, such as family festivals (chaggim), the entertainment of an honored guest (Ge 18:7; 2Sa 12:4), and the sacrificial meal at the local sanctuary.

The goat (`ez, etc.), especially the "kid of the goats" (Le 4:23,18 the King James Version), was more prized for food by the ancient Hebrews than by modern Orientals, by whom goats are kept chiefly for their milk--most of which they supply (compare Pr 27:27). For this reason they are still among the most valued possessions of rich and poor (compare Ge 30:33; 32:14 with 1Sa 25:2). A kid, as less valuable than a lamb, was naturally the readier victim when meat was required (compare Lu 15:29).

The sheep of Palestine, as of Egypt, are mainly of the fat-tailed species (Ovis aries), the tail of which was forbidden as ordinary food and had to be offered with certain other portions of the fat (Ex 29:22; Le 3:9). To kill a lamb in honor of a gue st is one of the highest acts of Bedouin hospitality. As a rule only the lambs are killed for meat, and they only in honor of some guest or festive occasion (compare 1Sa 25:18; 1Ki 1:19). Likewise the "calves of the herd" supplied the daintiest food of the kind, though the flesh of the neat cattle, male and female, was eaten. The "fatted calf" of Lu 15:23 will be recalled, as also the "fatlings" and the "stalled" (stall-fed) ox of the Old Testament (Pr 15:17). Asharp contrast suggestive of the growth of luxury in Israel is seen by a comparison of 2Sa 17:28 f with 1Ki 4:22 f. The food furnished David and his hardy followers at Mahanaim was "wheat, and barley, and meal, and parched grain, and beans, and lentils, and parched pulse, and honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of the herd," while the daily provision for Solomon's table was "thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal, ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and a hundred sheep, besides harts, and gazelles, and roebucks, and fatted fowl." Nehemiah's daily portion is given as "one ox and six choice sheep" (Ne 5:18).

Milk of large and small animals was a staple article of food (De 32:14; Pr 27:27). It was usually kept in skins, as among the Syrian peasants it is today (Jud 4:19). We find a generic term often used (chem'ah) which covers also cream, clabber and cheese (Pr 30:33). The proper designation of cheese is gebhinah (Job 10:10), but chalabh also is used both for ordinary milk and for a cheese made directly from sweet milk (compare 1Sa 17:18, charitse hechalabh, and our "cottage cheese").


Honey (debhash, nopheth ha-tsuphim), so often mentioned with milk, is ordinary bees' honey (see HONEY). The expression "honey" in the combination debhash wechalabh, for which Palestine was praised, most likely means debhash temarim, i.e. "date-juice." It was much prized and relished (Ps 19:10; Pr 16:24), and seems to have been a favorite food for children (Isa 7:15).

Of game seven species are mentioned (De 14:5). The gazelle and the hart were the typical animals of the chase, much prized for their flesh (De 12:15), and doubtless supplied the venison of Esau's "savory meat" (Ge 25:28; 27:4).

Of fish as food little is said in the Old Testament (see Nu 11:5; Jer 16:16; Eze 47:10; Ec 9:12). No particular species is named, although thirty-six species are said to be found in the waters of the Jordan valley alone. But we may be sure that the fish which the Hebrews enjoyed in Egypt "for nought" (Nu 11:5) had their successors in Canaan (Kennedy). Trade in cured fish was carried on by Tyrian merchants with Jerusalem in Nehemiah's day (Ne 13:16), and there must have been a fish market at or near the fish gate (Ne 3:3). The Sea of Galilee in later times was the center of a great fish industry, as is made clear by the Gospels and by Josephus In the market of Tiberias today fresh fish are sold in great quantities, and a thriving trade in salt fish is carried on. The "small fishes" of our Lord's two great miracles of feeding were doubtless of this kind, as at all times they have been a favorite form of provision for a journey in hot countries.

As to the exact price of food in ancient times little is known. From 2Ki 7:1,16 we learn that one ce'ah of fine flour, and two of barley, sold for a shekel (compare Mt 10:29). For birds allowed as food see De 14:11 and articles on CLEAN; UNCLEANNESS.

Pigeons and turtle doves find a place in the ritual of various sacrifices, and so are to be reckoned as "clean" for ordinary uses as well. The species of domestic fowl found there today seem to have been introduced during the Persian period (compare 2 Esdras 1:30; Mt 23:37; 26:34, etc.). It is thought that the fatted fowl of Solomon's table (1Ki 4:23) were geese (see Mish). Fatted goose is a favorite food with Jews today, as it was with the ancient Egyptians.

Of game birds used for food (see Ne 5:18) the partridge and the quail are prominent, and the humble sparrow comes in for his share of mention (Mt 10:29; Lu 12:6). Then, as now, the eggs of domestic fowls and of all "clean" birds were favorite articles of food (De 22:6; Isa 10:14; Lu 11:12).

Edible insects (Le 11:22 f) are usually classed with animal foods. In general they are of the locust family (see LOCUST). They formed part of the food of John the Baptist (Mt 3:4, etc.), were regarded by the Assyrians as delicacies, and are a favorite food of the Arabs today. They are prepared and served in various ways, the one most common being to remove the head, legs and wings, to drop it in meal, and then fry it in oil or butter. It then tastes a little like fried frogs' legs. In the diet of the Baptist, locusts were associated with wild honey (see HONEY).

As to condiments (see separate articles on SALT; CORIANDER, etc.) it needs only to be said here that the caperberry (Ec 12:5 margin) was eaten before meals as an appetizer and, strictly speaking, was not a condiment. Mustard was valued for the leaves, not for the seed (Mt 13:31). Pepper, though not mentioned in Scripture, is mentioned margin the Mishna as among the condiments. Before it came into use, spicy seeds like cummin, the coriander, etc., played a more important role than since.

The abhorrence of the Hebrews for all food prepared or handled by the heathen (see ABOMINATION) is to be attributed primarily to the intimate association in early times between flesh food and sacrifices to the gods. This finds conspicuous illustration in the case of Daniel (Da 1:8), Judas Maccabeus (2 Macc 5:27), Josephus (Vita, III), and their compatriots (see also Ac 15:20,29; 1Co 8:1-10; 10:19,28). As to sources of food supply and traffic in food stuffs, for primitive usages see Ge 18:7; 27:9; 1Ki 21:2. As to articles and customs of commerce adopted when men became dwellers in cities, see Jer 37:21, where bakers were numerous enough in Jerusalem to give their name to a street or bazaar, where doubtless, as today, they baked and sold bread to the public (compare Mishna,passim). Extensive trade in "victuals" in Nehemiah's day is attested by Ne 13:15 f, and by specific mention of the "fish gate" (3:3) and the "sheep gate" (3:1), so named evidently because of their nearby markets. In John's Gospel (Joh 4:8; 13:29) we have incidental evidence that the disciples were accustomed to buy food as they journeyed through the land. In Jerusalem, cheese was clearly to be bought in the cheesemakers' valley (Tyropoeon), oil of the oil merchants (Mt 25:9), and so on; and Corinth, we may be sure, was not the only city of Paul's day that had a provision market ("shambles," 1Co 10:25 the Revised Version (British and American)).


Mishna B.M. i. 1,2 and passim; Josephus, Vita and BJ; Robinson's Researches, II, 416, etc.; and Biblical Dictionaries, articles on "Food," etc.

George B. Eager


fool nabhal, 'ewil, kecil, cakhal and forms; aphron, aphrosune, moros):

I. In the Old Testament.

1. General:

Taking the words generally, apart from the Wisdom literature, we find nabhal frequently translated "fool" and nebhalah, "folly"; nabhal, however, denotes a wicked person, an evil character, "shamelessly immoral," equivalent to "a son of Belial" (Cheyne), rather than a merely "foolish" person, and nebhalah, "wickedness," "shameless impropriety," rather than simple folly. We have almost a definition of nabhal in Isa 32:6: "For the fool will speak folly, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice profaneness, and to utter error against Yahweh, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and to cause the drink of the thirsty to fail." Abigail described her husband, Nabhal, as "a son of Belial" (the Revised Version (British and American) "worthless fellow"), "for as his name is, so is he" (1Sa 25:25), and what we read of him bears out this character. Other occurrences of the words support the above meaning; they are generally associated with some form of wickedness, frequently with base and unnatural lewdness (Ge 34:7; De 22:21; Jos 7:15; Jud 19:23,14; 20:6,10; 2Sa 13:12). When in Ps 14:1; 53:1 it is said, "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God," it is followed by the statement, "They are corrupt, they have done abominable works," showing that more than "folly" is implied. In Isa 32:5,6 the King James Version nabhal is translated "vile person" and nebhalah "villany," the Revised Version (British and American) "fool" and "folly," Jer 29:23; halal, implying loud boasting is in the King James Version translated "foolish," but it means, rather, "arrogant," which the Revised Version (British and American) adopts (Ps 5:5; 73:3; 75:4, margin "fools"); cakhal, "a fool," also occurs (Ge 31:28; 1Sa 13:13, etc.) for which word see (4) below; also ya'al "to be empty," "to be or become foolish" (Nu 12:11; Isa 19:13; Jer 5:4; 50:36).

2. The Wisdom Literature:

In the Chokhmah or Wisdom literature, which, within the Bible, is contained in Job, Proverbs (especially), Ecclesiastes, Canticles, some Psalms and certain portions of the prophetic writings, "fool" and "folly" are frequent and distinctive words. Their significance is best seen in contrast with "Wisdom." This was the outcome of careful observation and long pondering on actual life in the light of religion and the Divine revelation. Wisdom had its seat in God and was imparted to those who "feared" Him ("The fear of Yahweh is the beginning (chief part) of knowledge" Pr 1:7). Such wisdom was the essence of life, and to be without it was to walk in the way of death and destruction. The fool was he who was thoughtless, careless, conceited, self-sufficient, indifferent to God and His Will, or who might even oppose and scoff at religion and wise instruction. See WISDOM. Various words are used to designate "the fool" and his "folly."

(1) nabhal (Job 2:10; 30:8; Ps 53:1; Pr 17:7-21); nebhalah (Job 42:8; Isa 9:17) (see above).

(2) 'ewil, one of the commonest, the idea conveyed by which is that of one who is hasty, impatient, self-sufficient (Pr 12:15; 15:5; 16:22); despising advice and instruction (Pr 1:7; 14:9; 24:7); ready to speak and act without thinking (Pr 10:14; 12:16; 20:3); quick to get angry, quarrel and cause strife (Pr 11:29; 14:17 'iwweleth; 29:9); unrestrained in his anger (Job 5:2; Pr 17:12); silly, stupid even with brute stupidity (Pr 7:22; 26:11; 27:22; compare Isa 19:11; Jer 4:22); he is associated with "transgression" (Ps 107:17; Pr 13:15; 17:18,19), with "sin" (Pr 24:9), with the "scoffer" (same place) ; 'iwweleth, "foolishness" occurs (Ps 38:5; 69:5; Pr 13:16; "folly," Ps 14:8,24,29, etc.).

(3) kecil is the word most frequent in Proverbs. It is probably from a root meaning "thickness," "sluggishness," suggesting a slow, self-confident person, but it is used with a wide reference.

Self-confidence appears (Pr 14:16; 28:26); ignorance (Ec 2:14); hate of instruction (Pr 1:22; 18:2); thoughtlessness (Pr 10:23; 17:24); self-exposure (Pr 14:33; 15:2; 18:7; 29:11; Ec 5:1; 10:12); anger and contention (Pr 18:6; 19:1; Ec 7:9); rage (Pr 14:16; 17:12); indolence and improvidence (Ec 4:5; Pr 21:20); silly merriment (Ec 7:4,5,6); brutishness (Pr 26:11; compare Ps 49:10; 92:6); it is associated with slander (Pr 10:18), with evil (Pr 13:19).

(4) cakhal, cekhel, cikhluth, also occur. These are probably from a root meaning "to be stopped up" (Cheyne), and are generally taken as denoting thickheadedness; but they are used in a stronger sense than mere foolishness (compare 1Sa 26:21; 2Sa 24:10, etc.). These words do not occur in Prov, but in Ec 2:12; 7:25; cikhluth is associated with "madness" ("Wickedness is folly, and .... foolishness is madness").

(5) pethi, "simple," is only once translated "foolish" (Pr 9:6 the King James Version).

(6) ba`ar, 'brutish," is translated "foolish" (Ps 73:22 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "brutish").

(7) taphel, "insipid," "untempered," is translated "foolish" (La 2:14); tiphlah, "insipidity" (Job 1:22, "foolishly," the English Revised Version, "with foolishness"; Job 24:12, "folly"; Jer 23:13, "folly," the King James Version margin "unsavoury, or, an absurd thing").

(8) toholah (Job 4:18: "Behold, he putteth no trust in his servants; and his angels he chargeth with folly" (Delitzsch, "imperfection," others, "error"), the King James Version margin "nor in his angels in whom he put light").

II. In the Apocrypha.

In the continuation of the Wisdom literature in The Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclus, "fool" frequently occurs with a signification similar to that in Proverbs; in The Wisdom of Solomon we have aphron (12:24; 15:5, etc.), in Ecclesiasticus, moros (18:18; 19:11, etc.; 20:13; 21:16, etc.).

III. In the New Testament.

In the New Testament we have various words translated "fool," "foolish," "folly," etc., in the ordinary acceptation of these terms; aphron, "mindless," "witless" (Lu 11:40; 12:20; 1Co 15:36); aphrosune, "want of mind or wisdom" (2Co 11:1; Mr 7:22); anoia, "want of understanding" (2Ti 3:9); moraino, "to make dull," "foolish" (Ro 1:22; 1Co 1:20); moros, "dull," "stupid" (Mt 7:26; 23:17; 25:2; 1Co 1:25,27); moria, "foolishness" (1Co 1:18 etc.); morologia, "foolish talk" (Eph 5:4).

In Mt 5:22 our Lord says: "Whosoever shall say (to his brother), Thou fool (more), shall be in danger of the hell of fire (the Gehenna of fire)." Two explanations of this word are possible:

(1) that it is not the vocative of the Greek moros--a word which was applied by Jesus Himself to the Pharisees (Mt 23:17,19), but represents the Hebrew morah, "rebel" applied in Nu 20:10 by Moses to the people, "ye rebels" (for which he was believed to be excluded from the promised land; compare Nu 20:12; hence, we have in the Revised Version, margin "or moreh, a Hebrew expression of condemnation"); or

(2) that, as our Lord spake in the Aramaic it is the Greek translation of a word representing the Hebrew nabhal, "vile, or worthless fellow," atheist, etc. (Ps 14:1; 53:1).

W. L. Walker



The plural "fooleries" occurs Ecclesiasticus 22:13 King James Version: "Talk not much with a fool .... and thou shalt never be defiled with his fooleries." The Greek word is entinagmos, "a striking or throwing in," "an attack," from entinasso, "to strike into," "cast at," etc. ( /APC 1Macc 2:36; 2Macc 4:41; 11:11). the Revised Version (British and American) renders "Thou shalt not be defiled in his onslaught," margin "defiled: in his onslaught turn." The meaning is most probably "with what he throws out," i.e. his foolish or vile speeches, as if it were slaver.


foot (reghel, qarcol (only twice in parallel passages: 2Sa 22:37 = Ps 18:36, where it probably means ankle); pous): The dusty roads of Palestine and other eastern lands make a much greater care of the feet necessary than we are accustomed to bestow upon them. The absence of socks or stockings, the use of sandals and low shoes rather than boots and, to an even greater degree, the frequent habit of walking barefoot make it necessary to wash the feet repeatedly every day. This is always done when entering the house, especially the better upper rooms which are usually carpeted. It is a common dictate of good manners to perform this duty to a visitor, either personally or through a servant; at least water for washing has to be presented (Ge 18:4; Lu 7:44). This has therefore become almost synonymous with the bestowal of hospitality (1Ti 5:10). At an early date this service was considered one of the lowest tasks of servants (1Sa 25:41), probably because the youngest and least trained servants were charged with the task, or because of the idea of defilement connected with the foot. It was, for the same reason, if rendered voluntarily, a service which betokened complete devotion. Jesus taught the greatest lesson of humility by performing this humble service to His disciples (Joh 13:4-15). The undoing of the latchets or leather thongs of the sandals (Mr 1:7; Lu 3:16; Joh 1:27) seems to refer to the same menial duty.

Often the feet and shoes were dusted on the highway, as is being done in the Orient to this day, but if it were done in an ostentatious manner in the presence of a person or a community who had refused hospitality to a stranger, it was understood in the same sense in which the cutting in two of the tablecloth was considered in the days of knighthood: it meant rejection and separation (Mt 10:14; Ac 13:51).

The roads of the desert were not only dusty but rough, and the wanderer was almost sure to ruin his ill-made shoes and wound his weary feet. A special providence of God protected the children of Israel from this experience during the long journey through the wilderness. "Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years" (De 8:4; 29:5).

In the house shoes and sandals were never worn; even the most delicate would put on shoes only when going out (De 28:56). The shoes were left outside of the house or in a vestibule. This was especially done in the house of God and at the time of prayer, for whenever or wherever that might be, the law was: "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground" (Ex 3:5; Jos 5:15; Ac 7:33). This custom still prevails among the Moslems of our day. Probably it was the idea of defilement through contact with the common ground which gave rise to its moral application by the Preacher, "Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God" (Ec 5:1 (Hebrew 4:17)).

Nakedness of the feet in public, especially among the wealthier classes, who used to wear shoes or sandals, was a token of mourning (Eze 24:17 and probably also Jer 2:25 and Isa 20:2-4). A peculiar ceremony is referred to in De 25:9,10, whereby a brother-in-law, who refused to perform his duty under the Levirate law, was publicly put to shame. "And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed." See also Ru 4:7,8.

Numerous are the phrases in which the word "foot" or "feet" is used in Biblical language. "To cover the feet" (1Sa 24:3) is synonymous with obeying a call of Nature. "To speak with the feet" is expressive of the eloquence of abusive and obscene gesticulation among oriental people, where hands, eyes and feet are able to express much without the use of words (Pr 6:13). "To sit at the feet," means to occupy the place of a learner (De 33:3; Lu 10:39; Ac 22:3). Vanquished enemies had to submit to being trodden upon by the conqueror (a ceremony often represented on Egyptian monuments; Jos 10:24; Ps 8:6; 110:1; compare Isa 49:23). James warns against an undue humiliation of those who join us in the service of God, even though they be poor or mean-looking, by bidding them to take a lowly place at the feet of the richer members of the congregation (Jas 2:3). We read of dying Jacob that "he gathered up his feet into the bed," for he had evidently used his bed as a couch, on which he had been seated while delivering his charge to his several sons (Ge 49:33). "Foot" or "feet" is sometimes used euphemistically for the genitals (De 28:57; Eze 16:25). In De 11:10 an interesting reference is made to some Egyptian mode of irrigating the fields, `the watering with the foot,' which mode would be unnecessary in the promised land of Canaan which "drinketh water of the rain of heaven." It is, however, uncertain whether this refers to the water-wheels worked by a treadmill arrangement or whether reference is made to the many tributary channels, which, according to representations on the Egyptian monuments, intersected the gardens and fields and which could be stopped or opened by placing or removing a piece of sod at the mouth of the channel. This was usually done with the foot. Frequently we find references to the foot in expressions connected with journeyings and pilgrimages, which formed so large a part in the experiences of Israel, e.g. Ps 91:12, "lest thou dash thy foot against a stone"; 94:18, "My foot slippeth"; 121:3, "He will not suffer thy foot to be moved," and many more. Often the reference is to the "walk," i.e. the moral conduct of life (Ps 73:2; Job 23:11; 31:5).

Figurative: In the metaphorical language of Isa 52:7 "the feet" are synonymous with "the coming."

H. L. E. Luering



See WAR.


foot'-stool (kebhes; hupopodion, "trodden on"): The 15 Scripture references to this term may be classified as literal or figurative. Of the former are the two passages: 2Ch 9:18 and Jas 2:3. In these the footstool was a sort of step or support for the feet placed before the throne or any pretentious seat.

Of figurative uses, there are the following groups:

(1) Of the earth: Isa 66:1; Mt 5:35; Ac 7:49.

(2) Of the ark: 1Ch 28:2.

(3) Of the Temple: Ps 99:5; 132:7; La 2:1; compare Isa 60:13.

(4) Of heathen enemies subdued by the Messianic King: Ps 110:1; Mt 22:44 the King James Version; Mr 12:36; Lu 20:43; Ac 2:35; Heb 1:13; 10:13.

Thus the uses of this term are mainly metaphorical and symbolic of subjection, either to God as universal Lord or to God's Son as King by redemptive right. Compare 1Co 15:25-27, in which all things, including death, are represented as subject to Christ and placed beneath His feet.

Leonard W. Doolan


for (ki (conjunction), le, from 'el (preposition), and various other words. In the New Testament also the words are various, chiefly gar, kai gar, hoti (conjunctions); anti apo eis dia (accusative), epi (dative and accusative), peri (genitive), pros (genitive and accusative), huper (genitive) (prepositions)): the English Revised Version and the American Standard Revised Version give in many cases more literal or more accurate renderings than those in the King James Version.

In the New Testament the most important preps. from a doctrinal point of view are anti, "face to face," "over against," "instead," "on behalf of," peri, "around," "about," "concerning," huper, "over," "on behalf of." The first has been claimed as stating the substitutionary nature of Christ's sacrifice as contrasted with huper and peri, more frequently used of it. But, although anti in the New Testament often means "instead of," "answering to," it does not necessarily imply substitution. On the other hand, in classical Greek huper is sometimes used in that sense (see Trench, Synonyms). "Here as always the root idea of the preposition, the root idea of the case, and the context must all be considered" (Robertson, Grammar, 124). Anti is found in this connection only in Mt 20:28, and Mr 10:45. In Mt 26:28; Mr 14:24, we have peri, also in Heb 10:6,8,18,26; 1Pe 3:18; 1 Joh 2:2; 4:10. Lu 22:19,20 has huper, which is the word commonly used by Paul, as in Ro 5:6,8; 8:32; 14:15; 1Co 15:3, etc., also by John in his Gospel, 6:51; 10:11, etc., and 1 Joh 3:16; also Heb 2:9; 10:12; 1Pe 2:21; 3:18; 4:1; in Ro 8:3 it is peri.

W. L. Walker


for'-a (2Sa 3:22).

See WAR.


for-bar' (chadhal; anechomai): In the Old Testament chadhal, "to leave off," is the word most frequently translated "forbear" (Ex 23:5, etc.); damam, "to be silent," chasakh, "to keep back," mashakh, "to draw or stretch out," occur once each; the Revised Version (British and American) renders Eze 24:17 (damam), "Sigh, but not aloud," margin "Hebrew be silent,"; Pr 24:11 (chasakh), "See that thou hold back," margin "or forbear thou not to deliver," the King James Version "if thou forbear to deliver"; Ne 9:30 (mashakh), "bear" instead of "forbear"; 'aph literally, "breathing," the "nose," hence, from violent breathing, "anger" ('erekh, "long," understood), and kul "to hold," are translated "forbearing" (Pr 25:15; Jer 20:9, respectively).

In the New Testament we have anechomai, "to hold self back or up," "with longsuffering, forbearing one another" (Eph 4:2,; Col 3:13); aniemi "to send back," the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "forbear threatening' (Eph 6:9); pheidomai, "to spare," "but I forbear" (2Co 12:6); meergazesthai, "not to work," "to forbear working" (1Co 9:6); stego, "to cover," "conceal": "when I could no longer forbear" (1Th 3:1,5).

W. L.Walker


for-bar'-ans (anoche):

"Forbearance" (anoche, "a holding back") is ascribed to God (Ro 2:4, "the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering"; 3:25 the Revised Version (British and American), "the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God," the King James Version "remission" (margin "passing over") of sins, that are past, through the forbearance of God"); in Php 4:5, to epieikes is translated by the Revised Version (British and American) "forbearance," margin "gentleness"; it is a Christian grace in likeness to God. "Forbearing" (The King James Version, margin) is substituted by the Revised Version (British and American) for "patient" (anexikakos, "holding up under evil") in 2Ti 2:24.

W. L. Walker


for-bid' (kala; koluo):

Occurs very seldom in the Old Testament except as the rendering of chalilah (see below); it is once the translation of kala', "to restrain" (Nu 11:28, "Joshua .... said My lord Moses forbid them"); twice of tsawah, "to command" (De 2:37, "and wheresoever Yahweh our God forbade us"; De 4:23, "Yahweh thy God hath forbidden thee," literally, "commanded"); once of lo', "not," the Revised Version (British and American) "commanded not to be done" (Le 5:17). In the phrases, "Yahweh forbid" (1Sa 24:6; 26:11; 1Ki 21:13), "God forbid" (Ge 44:7; Jos 22:29; 24:16; 1Sa 12:23; Job 27:5, etc.), "My God forbid it me" (1Ch 11:19), the word is chalilah, denoting profanation, or abhorrence (rendered, Ge 18:25 the King James Version, "that be far from thee"); the English Revised Version leaves the expressions unchanged; the American Standard Revised Version substitutes "far be it from me," "thee," etc., except in 1Sa 14:45; 20:2, where it is, "Far from it."

In the New Testament koluo, "to cut short," "restrain" is the word commonly translated "forbid" (Mt 19:14, "forbid them not," etc.); in Lu 6:29, the Revised Version (British and American) has "withhold not"; diakoluo, with a similar meaning, occurs in Mt 3:14, "John forbade him," the Revised Version (British and American) "would have hindered him"; akolutos, "uncut off" (Ac 28:31), is translated "none forbidding him." The phrase "God forbid" (me genoito, "let it not be," Lu 20:16; Ro 3:4, etc.) is retained by the Revised Version (British and American), with margin "Be it not so," except in Ga 6:14, where the text has "Far be it from me"; me genoito is one of the renderings of chalilah in Septuagint. "God forbid" also appears in Apocrypha ( /APC 1Macc 2:21, the Revised Version (British and American) "Heaven forbid," margin, Greek "may he be propitious," /APC 1Macc 9:10, the Revised Version (British and American) "Let it not be").

W. L. Walker


for'-sis (chayil):

(1) The word is used as a military term, equivalent to army, in 2Ki 25:23,16 (where the King James Version reads "armies"); 2Ch 17:2; Jer 40:7, etc.


(2) In Isa 60:5,11, it is rendered in the Revised Version (British and American) by "wealth," and in Ob verse 11, by "substance."

Two other Hebrew words are also translated "forces" in the King James Version, ma'amatstsim (Job 36:19), and ma`oz (Da 11:38), the latter being rendered in the Revised Version (British and American) "fortresses."


ford (ma`abhar (Ge 32:22; "pass" (of Michmash), 1Sa 13:23; "stroke" (the Revised Version, margin "passing"), Isa 30:32); ma`barah (Jos 2:7; Jud 3:28; 12:5,6; Isa 16:2 "pass" (of Michmash), 1Sa 14:4; "passages" (the Revised Version, margin "fords"), Jer 51:32); `abharah (2Sa 15:28; 17:16; "ferry-boat" (the Revised Version, margin "convoy"), 2Sa 19:18); from `abhar, "to pass over"; compare Arabic `abar, "to pass over" and ma`bar, "a ford"):

In the journeyings of the children of Israel, in addition to the miraculous passages of the Red Sea and the Jordan, they had other streams to pass over, especially the Zered (Chisa') and the Arnon (Maujib) (Nu 21:12,13; De 2:24). The Jabbok (Zarqa) is frequently referred to, particularly in connection with Jacob (Ge 32:22). The most frequent references are to the Jordan which, in time of flood, was impassable (Jos 3:15).

The lower Jordan is about 100 ft. wide, and from 5 to 12 ft. deep, so that in the absence of bridges, the places where it was possible to ford were of great importance. The passage of the Jordan is referred to in connection with Jacob (Ge 32:10), Gideon (Jud 8:4), the children of Ammon (Jud 10:9), Abner and his men (2Sa 2:29), David (2Sa 10:17; 17:22), Absalom (2Sa 17:24), and others. Jesus undoubtedly crossed the Jordan, and John is thought to have baptized at the ford of the Jordan near Jericho. The fords of the Jordan are specifically mentioned in Jos 2:7 in connection with the pursuit of the spies who were hidden in Rahab's house, and in 2Sa 15:28; 17:16 in connection with the flight of David. In the last two passages we have abharah, the same word which, in the account of David's return (2Sa 19:18), is rendered "ferry-boat" (the Revised Version, margin "convoy").


Alfred Ely Day


for-kast'; (vb.) (chashabh):

To forecast is both to plan or scheme beforehand and to consider or see beforehand. It is in the first sense that it is used in Da 11:24,25 (the King James Version) as the translation of chashabh, "to think," "meditate," "devise," "plot," "He shall forecast his devices (The King James Version, margin "Hebrew think his thoughts") against the strongholds"; "They shall forecast devices against him," the Revised Version (British and American) "devise his devices"; compare Na 1:9, "What do ye devise against Yahweh?" In the second sense, the word occurs in The Wisdom of Solomon 17:11 the Revised Version (British and American), "Wickedness .... always forecasteth the worst lot" (proeilephen), margin "Most authorities read hath added" (proseilephen).

W. L. Walker



(1) 'abh ri'shon, "first father," "chief father," hence, "early ancestor": "turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers" (Jer 11:10).

(2) progonos, "born before," "ancestor": "whom I serve from my forefathers" (2Ti 1:3). It is translated "parents" (including grandparents) in 1Ti 5:4: "and to requite their parents."


for'-frunt (panim):

For "forefront," "front" is now generally used, since "back-front" has gone out of use. "Forefront" is the translation of panim, "face" (2Ki 16:14; Eze 40:19; 47:1); of mul panim, "over against the face" (Ex 26:9; Le 8:9, "And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate"; for "upon his forefront" the Revised Version (British and American) has "in front; 2Sa 11:15, "in the forefront of the hottest battle"); of ro'sh, "head" (2Ch 20:27); of shen, "tooth" (1Sa 14:5, "The forefront (The King James Version, margin "Hebrew tooth") of the one was situated northward over against Michmash," the Revised Version (British and American) "The one crag rose up on the north in front of Michmash"); in /APC 1Macc 4:57 margin it is the translation of prosopon, "face": "They decked the forefront of the temple with crowns of gold."

The Revised Version (British and American) has "forefront" for "face" (Eze 40:15), "in the forefront of" for "over against" (Jos 22:11).

W. L. Walker





for'-ed (metsach; metopon):

(1) In a literal sense the word is used frequently in the Scriptures. Aaron and after him every high priest was to wear on the forehead the golden frontlet having the engraved motto, "Holy to Yahweh" (Ex 28:36,38). The condition of the forehead was an important criterion in the diagnosis of leprosy by the priest (Le 13:42,43; 2Ch 26:20). It was in the forehead that brave young David smote Goliath with the stone from his sling (1Sa 17:49). The faulty translation of the King James Version in Eze 16:12 has been corrected in the Revised Version (British and American), reference being had in the passage to a nose-ring, not to an ornament of the forehead. While the cutting or tattooing of the body was strictly forbidden to the Israelite on account of the heathen associations of the custom (Le 19:28), we find frequent mention made of markings on the forehead, which were especially used to designate slaves (see Philo, De Monarchia, I) or devotees of a godhead (Lucian, De Syria Dea, 59). In 3 Macc 2:29 we read that Ptolemy IV Philopator branded some Jews with the sign of an ivy leaf, marking them as devotees of Bacchus-Dionysos. Possibly we may compare herewith the translation of Isa 44:5 (Revised Version margin): "And another shall write on his hand, Unto Yahweh" (or Yahweh's slave). Very clear is the passage Eze 9:4,6 (and perhaps Job 31:35), where the word used for "mark" is taw, the name of the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet which in its earliest form has the shape of an upright plus sign (Baal Lebanon Inscr; 11th century BC) or of a lying (St Andrew's) cross X (Moabite Inscr, 9th century BC), the simplest sign in the old Israelite alphabet, and at the same time the character which in the Greek alphabet represents the X, the initial of Christ. In the New Testament we find a clear echo of the above-mentioned Old Testament passage, the marking of the foreheads of the righteous (Re 7:3; 9:4; 14:1; 22:4). The godless followers of the beast are marked on the (right) hand and on the forehead (Re 13:16; 14:9; 20:4), and the apocalyptic woman dressed in scarlet and purple has her name written on her forehead (Re 17:5).

(2) In a metaphorical sense the expression, "a harlot's forehead," is used (Jer 3:3) to describe the shameless apostasy and faithlessness of Israel. Eze speaks of the stiff-necked obstinacy and the persistent unwillingness of Israel to hear the message of Yahweh: "All the house of Israel are of a hard forehead and of a stiff heart" (Jer 3:7), and God makes his prophet's "forehead hard .... as an adamant harder than flint," whereby an unflinching loyalty to God and a complete disregard of opposition is meant (Jer 3:8,9). Compare the phrase: "to harden the face," under the word FACE.

H. L. E. Luering


for'-in di-vin'-i-tiz (Ac 17:18 margin).



for'-in-er" The translation of nokhri, "unknown," "foreign," frequently rendered "stranger" (De 15:3; Ob 1:11); of toshabh, "a settler," "an alien resident" (Ex 12:45; the Revised Version (British and American) "sojourner"; compare Le 25:47; Ps 39:12); of paroikos, "dwelling near," "sojourner" (Eph 2:19, the Revised Version (British and American) sojourners").

Revised Version has "foreigner" for "stranger" (De 17:15; 23:20; 29:22; Ru 2:10; 2Sa 15:19), for "alien" (De 14:21); "the hand of a foreigner" for "a stranger's hand" (Le 22:25).



for-no', for-nol'-ej:

1. Meaning of the Term

2. Foreknowledge as Prescience

3. Foreknowledge Based on Foreordination

4. Foreknowledge as Equivalent to Foreordination


1. Meaning of the Term:

The word "foreknowledge" has two meanings. It is a term used in theology to denote the prescience or foresight of God, that is, His knowledge of the entire course of events which are future from the human point of view; and it is also used in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) to translate the Greek words proginoskein and prognosis in the New Testament, in which instances the word "fore-knowledge" approaches closely the idea of fore- ordination.

2. Fore-knowledge as Prescience:

In the sense of prescience foreknowledge is an aspect of God's omniscience (see OMNISCIENCE). God's knowledge, according to the Scripture, is perfect, that is, it is omniscience. It is true that the Scripture makes use of anthropomorphic forms of expression as regards the way in which God obtains knowledge (Ge 3:8), and sometimes even represents Him as if He did not know certain things (Ge 11:5; 18:21); nevertheless the constant representation of the Scripture is that God knows everything. This perfect knowledge of God, moreover, is not merely a knowledge which is practically unlimited for all religious purposes, but is omniscience in the strictest sense of the term. In the historical books of the Old Testament the omniscience of God is a constant underlying presupposition when it is said that God watches men's actions, knows their acts and words, and discloses to them the future; while in the Psalms, Prophets and Wisdom literature, this Divine attribute becomes an object of reflection, and finds doctrinal expression. It cannot, however, be said that this attribute of God appears only late in the history of special revelation; it is a characteristic of the Biblical idea of God from the very first, and it is only its didactic expression which comes out with especial clearness in the later books. God's knowledge, then, is represented as perfect. Since He is free from all limits of space, His omniscience is frequently connected with His omnipresence. This is the thought which underlies the anthropomorphic expressions where God is represented as seeing, beholding and having eyes. God's eyes go to and fro throughout the whole earth (2Ch 16:9), and are every place beholding the evil and the good (Pr 15:3). Even Sheol is naked and open to God's sight (Pr 15:11; Job 26:6). The night and darkness are light to Him, and darkness and light for God are both alike (Ps 139:12). All animals and fowls are His, and so are known by Him (Ps 50:11), and as their Creator God knows all the hosts of the heavenly bodies (Ps 147:4; Isa 40:26). He knows also the heart of man and its thoughts (1Sa 16:7; 1Ki 8:39; Ps 7:9 (Hebrew 10); Ps 94:11; 139:2; Jer 11:20; 17:9,10; 20:12; Eze 11:5). Furthermore, God knows man entirely in all his ways (Ps 139:1-5; Pr 5:21). He looks from heaven and sees all men (Ps 11:4; 14:2; 33:13,14,15). Evil and sin are also known to God (Ge 3:11; 6:5,9,13; 2Sa 7:20; Ps 69:5 (Hebrew 6); Jer 16:17; 18:23). In a word, God knows with absolute accuracy all about man (Job 11:11; 34:21; Ps 33:15; Pr 5:21; Ho 5:3; Jer 11:20; 12:3; 17:9 f; 18:23). This perfect knowledge finds its classic expression in Ps 139.

God is also, according to the Old Testament, free from all limitations of time, so that His consciousness is not in the midst of the stream of the succeeding moments of time, as is the case with the human consciousness. God is not only without beginning or end of days, but with Him a thousand years are as one day. Hence, God knows in one eternal intuition that which for the human consciousness is past, present and future. In a strict sense, therefore, there can be no foreknowledge or prescience with God, and the distinction in God's knowledge made by theologians, as knowledge of reminiscence, vision and prescience, is after all an anthropomorphism. Nevertheless this is the only way in which we can conceive of the Divine omniscience in its relation to time, and consequently the Scripture represents the matter as if God's knowledge of future events were a foreknowledge or prescience, and God is represented as knowing the past, present and future.

It is God's knowledge of events which from the human point of view are future that constitutes His foreknowledge in the sense of prescience. God is represented as having a knowledge of the entire course of events before they take place. Such a knowledge belongs to the Scriptural idea of God from the very outset of special revelation. He knows beforehand what Abraham will do, and what will happen to him; He knows beforehand that Pharaoh's heart will be hardened, and that Moses will deliver Israel (Ge 15:13 ff; Ex 3:19; 7:4; 11:1 ff). The entire history of the patriarchal period of revelation exhibits plainly the foreknowledge of God in this sense. In prophecy this aspect of the Divine knowledge is made the subject of explicit assertion, and its religious significance is brought out. Nothing future is hidden from Yahweh (Isa 41:22; 42:9; 43:9-13; 44:6-8; 46:10; Da 2:22; Am 3:7), and this foreknowledge embraces the entire course of man's life (Ps 31:15 (Hebrew 16); Ps 39:5 (Hebrew 6); Ps 139:4-6,16; Job 14:5). These passages from Isa show that it is from the occurrence of events in accordance with Yahweh's prediction that the Prophet will prove his foreknowledge; and that in contrast with the worshippers of idols which are taken by surprise, Israel is warned of the future by the omniscient Yahweh.

In the New Testament likewise, God's omniscience is explicitly affirmed. Jesus taught that God knows the hidden secrets of man's heart (Lu 16:15); and this is also the teaching of the apostles (Ac 1:24; 15:8; 1Co 2:10; 3:20; 1Th 2:4; Re 2:23). In a word, according to the author of the Epistle to the He, everything is open to God, so that He is literally omniscient (Heb 4:13). And as in the Old Testament, so also in the New Testament, foreknowledge in the sense of prescience is ascribed to God. Jesus asserts a foreknowledge by God of that which is hidden from the Son (Mr 13:32), and James asserts that all God's works are foreknown by Him (Ac 15:18). Moreover, the many references in the New Testament to the fulfillment of prophecy all imply that the New Testament writers ascribed foreknowledge, in this sense of foresight, to God.

Denials of the Divine foreknowledge, in this sense of prescience, have been occasioned, not by exegetical considerations, but by the supposed conflict of this truth with human freedom. It was supposed that in order to be free, an event must be uncertain and contingent as regards the fact of its futurition, and that too in the most absolute sense, that is, from the Divine as well as the human point of view. Hence, the Socinians and some Arminians denied the foreknowledge of God. It was supposed either that God voluntarily determines not to foresee the free volitions of man, or else that since God's omniscience is simply the knowledge of all that is knowable, it does not embrace the free acts of man which are by their nature uncertain and so unknowable. And upon this view of freedom, this denial of God's foreknowledge was logically necessary. If the certainty of events with respect to the fact of their futurition is inconsistent with freedom, then human freedom does conflict with God's foreknowledge, since God cannot know future events as certainly future unless they actually are so. Since, therefore, the Divine foreknowledge is quite as inconsistent with this view of freedom as is the Divine foreordination, the view of those who regard God as a mere onlooker on the course of future events which are supposed to be entirely independent of His purpose and control, does not help matters in the least. If God foreknows future events as certain, then they must be certain, and if so, then the certainty of their actually occurring must depend either upon God's decree and providential control, or else upon a fate independent of God. It was to escape these supposed difficulties that the doctrine known as scientia media was propounded. It was supposed that God has a knowledge of events as conditionally future, that is, events neither merely possible nor certainly future, but suspended upon conditions undetermined by God. But this hypothesis is of no help and is not true. Besides being contrary to the Scripture in its idea that many events lie outside the decree of God, and that God must wait upon man in His government of the world, there is really no such class of events as this theory asserts. If God foreknows that the conditions on which they are suspended will be fulfilled, then these events belong to the class of events which are certainly future; whereas if God does not know whether or not the conditions will be fulfilled by man, then His foreknowledge is denied, and these events in question belong to the class of those merely possible. Nor do the Scripture passages to which appeal is made, such as Ge 11:6; Ex 3:19; De 7:3,4; 1Sa 23:10-13; 2Sa 12:8, etc., afford a basis for this doctrine. The Scripture of course recognizes that God has put all things in relations of mutual dependence, and speaks of what can or cannot happen under such and such conditions; but none of these passages assert or imply that the events are suspended upon conditions which are either unknown or undetermined by God.

3. Foreknowledge Based on Foreordination:

God's foreknowledge, according to the Scripture teaching, is based upon His plan or eternal purpose, which embraces everything that comes to pass. God is never represented as a mere onlooker seeing the future course of events, but having no part in it. That God has such a plan is the teaching of the entire Scripture. It is implied in the Old Testament conception of God as an Omnipotent Person governing all things in accordance with His will. This idea is involved in the names of God in the patriarchal revelation, 'El, 'Elohim, 'El Shadday, and in the prophetic name Yahweh of Hosts. This latter name teaches not only God's infinite power and glory, but also makes Him known as interposing in accordance with His sovereign will and purpose in the affairs of this world, and as having also the spiritual powers of the heavenly world at His disposal for the execution of His eternal purpose. Hence, this idea of God comes to signify the omnipotent Ruler of the universe (Ps 24:10; Isa 6:3; 51:5; 54:5; Jer 10:16; Am 9:5; compare Oehler, Theol. of the Old Testament, English translation, II, 280).

Not only in this conception of God as omnipotent and sovereign Ruler is the thought of His eternal plan evolved; it is explicitly asserted throughout the whole Old Testament. The purpose of God as determining human history in the Book of Ge lies clearly upon the surface of the narrative, as, for example, in the history of Abraham and of Joseph. And where there is no abstract statement of this truth, it is evident that the writer regards every event as but the unfolding of the purpose of God. In the Psalms, Prophets, and Wisdom literature, this truth finds explicit and reiterated assertion. Yahweh has an eternal purpose (Ps 33:11), and this purpose will certainly come to pass (Isa 14:27; 43:13). This purpose includes all events and renders certain their occurrence (Isa 14:24; 40:10; 46:9,10; Zec 1:6). In the Wisdom literature the ethical character of this plan is dwelt upon, as well as its all-embracing character, and the certainty of its fulfillment (Pr 16:4,33; 19:21; 20:24; Job 28:23). The providential control wherewith Yahweh executes this plan includes the heart of man (Pr 21:1).

The New Testament likewise regards all history as but the unfolding of God's eternal purpose (Ac 4:28), which includes man's salvation (Eph 1:4,5; 2Ti 1:9), the provision of Christ as Saviour (1Pe 1:20), and the good works of the Christian (Eph 2:10).


Now while the writers of the Old Testament and the New Testament do not write in an abstract or philosophical manner nor enter into metaphysical explanations of the relation between God's foreknowledge and foreordination, it is perfectly evident that they had a clear conception upon this subject. Although anthropomorphisms are used in regard to the manner in which God knows, He is never conceived as if He obtained His knowledge of the future as a mere onlooker gazing down the course of events in time. The idea that the omnipotent Creator and sovereign Ruler of the universe should govern the world and form His plan as contingent and dependent upon a mere foresight of events outside His purpose and control is not only contrary to the entire Scriptural idea of God's sovereignty and omnipotence, but is also contrary to the Scriptural idea of God's foreknowledge which is always conceived as dependent upon His sovereign purpose. According to the Scriptural conception, God foreknows because He has foreordained all things, and because in His providence He will certainly bring all to pass. His foreknowledge is not a dependent one which must wait upon events, but is simply the knowledge which God has of His own eternal purpose. Dillmann has called this "a productive foreknowledge" (Handbuch d. attest. Theol., 251). This is not exactly correct. The Old Testament does not conceive God's foreknowledge as "producing" or causing events. But when Dillmann says that in the Old Testament there is no hint of an "idle foreknowledge" on God's part, he is giving expression to the truth that in the Old Testament God's foreknowledge is based upon His foreordination and providential control of all things. The Divine foreknowledge, therefore, depends upon the Divine purpose which has determined the world plan (Am 3:7), and all its details (Job 28:26,27). Before man is born God knows him and chooses him for his work (Jer 1:5; Job 23:13,14), and God's thorough knowledge of man in Ps 139 is made to rest upon the fact that God has determined man's lot beforehand (Ps 139:14-16).

The same thing is true of the New Testament teaching on this subject. The Divine foreknowledge is simply God's knowledge of His own eternal purpose. This is especially clear in those cases where God's eternal purpose of redemption through Christ is represented as a mystery which is known by God and which can be known by man only when it pleases God to reveal it (Eph 1:9; 3:4,9).

4. Foreknowledge as Equivalent to Foreordination:

While, therefore, the foreknowledge of God in the sense of prescience is asserted in the New Testament, this is not the meaning of the term when used to translate the Greek words proginoskein and prognosis. These words which are translated in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) by the word "foreknowledge," and once by the word "foreordain" (1Pe 1:20 the King James Version), mean much more than mere intellectual foresight or prescience. Both the verb and the noun approach the idea of foreordination and are closely connected with that idea in the passages where these words occur. Thus, in Peter's speeches in Ac the predestination which finds expression in 1Pe 4:18 is practically identified with the term prognosis in 2:23. Everything which happened to Jesus took place in accordance with "the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God," so that nothing happened except that which God had foreordained. In this verse the term foreknowledge is an expansion of the idea of God's "counsel" or plan, regarding it as an intelligent prearrangement, the idea of foreknowledge being assimilated to that of foreordination. The same idea is found in 1Pe 1:20. Here the apostle speaks of Christ as a lamb "foreordained" by God before the foundation of the world. The Greek verb proegnosmenou, meaning literally, "foreknown" (as in the Revised Version (British and American)) is translated "foreordained" in the King James Version. It is evidently God's foreordination of Jesus as Saviour which Peter has in mind. Also in 1Pe 1:2 those to whom the apostle is writing are characterized as "elect according to the foreknowledge (prognosis) of God," where the election is based on the "foreknowledge." By the prognosis or foreknowledge, however, far more is meant than prescience. It has the idea of a purpose which determines the course of the Divine procedure. If it meant simply prevision of faith or love or any quality in the objects of the election, Peter would not only flatly contradict Paul (Ro 9:11; Eph 1:3,4; 2Ti 1:9); but also such a rendering would conflict with the context of this passage, because the objects of election are chosen "unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of .... Christ," so that their new obedience and relation to Christ are determined by their election by God, which election springs from a "foreknowledge" which therefore cannot mean a mere prescience.

In view of the fact that there was a classical use of the simple verb ginoskein in the sense of "resolve," and more especially of the fact that this word is used in the New Testament to denote an affectionate or loving regard or approbation in accordance with a common use of the Hebrew yadha` (Mt 7:23; 1Co 8:3; Ga 4:9; 2Ti 2:19), there is nothing arbitrary in giving it this sense when compounded with the preposition pro when the context clearly demands it, as it does in the above passage (compare Johnstone, Commentary on Peter in the place cited.: per contra Meyer on passages in Ac and Romans). The word prognosis is, however, discriminated from "predestination." It is that loving regard in God from which the Divine election springs, which election Peter evidently regarded as sovereign, since sanctification is only a confirmation of it (2Pe 1:10), and stumbling and disobedience are referred to `appointment to unbelief' (1Pe 2:8). Here, then, we have a pregnant use of foreknowledge in which it is assimilated to the idea of purpose, and denotes a sovereign and loving regard.

The word prognosis is also found in this sense in the writings of Paul, in cases where it is manifestly impossible to regard it as a mere intellectual foresight, not only because of Paul's doctrine that election is absolutely sovereign (Eph 1:3,4; Ro 9:11; 2Ti 1:9), but also because of the contexts in which the term occurs.

In Ro 8:29,30 the word "foreknow" occurs in immediate connection with God's predestination of the objects of salvation. Those whom God foreknew, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His son. Now the foreknowledge in this case cannot mean a mere prescience or foresight of faith (Meyer, Godet) or love (Weiss) in the subjects of salvation, which faith or love is supposed to determine the Divine predestination. This would not only contradict Paul's view of the absolutely sovereign and gracious character of election, but is diametrically opposed to the context of this passage. These verses form a part of the encouragement which Paul offers his readers for their troubles, including their own inward weakness. The apostle tells them that they may be sure that all things work together for good to them that love God; and these are defined as being those whom God has called in accordance with His purpose. Their love to God is evidently their love as Christians, and is the result of a calling which itself follows from an eternal purpose, so that their Christian love is simply the means by which they may know that they have been the subjects of this calll. They have not come within the sphere of God's love by their own choice, but have been "called" into this relationship by God, and that in accordance with an eternal purpose on His part.

What follows, therefore, must have as its motive simply to unfold and ground this assurance of salvation by tracing it all back to the "foreknowledge" of God. To regard this foreknowledge as contingent upon anything in man would thus be in flat contradiction with the entire context of the passage as well as its motive. The word "foreknowledge" here evidently has the pregnant sense which we found it to have in Peter. Hence, those whom God predestinates, calls, justifies and glorifies are just those whom He has looked upon with His sovereign love. To assign any other meaning to "foreknowledge" here would be out of accord with the usage of the term elsewhere in the New Testament when it is put in connection with predestination, and would contradict the purpose for which Paul introduces the passage, that is, to assure his readers that their ultimate salvation depends, not on their weakness, but on God's sovereign love and grace and power.

It is equally impossible to give the word prognosis any other sense in the other passage where Paul uses it. In Ro 11:2, speaking of the Jews, Paul says that "God did not cast off his people which he foreknew." It is quite impossible to regard this as meaning that God had a foresight or mere prevision of some quality in Israel which determined His choice of them, not only because it is the teaching of the entire Scripture that God's choice of Israel was sovereign and gracious, and not only because of the actual history of Israel, but also because of the context. Paul says that it would be absurd to suppose that God had cast off His people because He foreknew them, His foreknowledge of them being adduced as a ground for His not casting them off. Hence, the argument would have no force if anything in Israel, foreseen by God, were supposed to ground an assurance that He had not cast them off, because the context is full of the hardness of heart and unbelief of Israel. The foreknowledge here has evidently the same sense as in the former passage.

Foreknowledge, therefore, in the New Testament is more than mere prescience. It is practically identical with the Divine decree in two instances, and in the other places where the term occurs it denotes the sovereign loving regard out of which springs God's predestination or election of men to salvation.



Besides the Commentaries on the appropriate passages, especially those on Isaiah, see Dillmann, Handbuch d. alttest. Theol., 249-52; H. Schultz, Alttest. Theol., 417, 421; H Cremer, Die christliche Lehre volume den Eigenschaften Gottes, Beltrage zur Forderung christl. Theol., I, 93- 101; Stewart, article "Foreknowledge," HDB, II, 51-53. Considerable Biblical as well as historical material will be found in works on systematic theology, such as Bohl, Dogmatik, 54-59; Bavinck, Gereformeerde Dogmatik2 I, 182-95. For a history of the discussion of the problem of foreknowledge and freedom see J. Muller, Die christl. Lehre volume der Sunde, III, 2, 2.

See also literature under OMNISCIENCE.

On the relation of foreknowledge and foreordination, and the meaning of prognosis, see K. Muller, Die gottliche Zuvorsehung und Erwahlung, 37 f, 81 f; Pfleiderer, Paulinismus2, 268 f; Urchristentum, 289; Gcnnrich, Studien zur Paulinischen Heilsordnung, S. K., 1898, 377 f; and on the meaning of proginoskein in Ro 8:29 see especially pp. 382-95; also Cremer, Bibl.-theol. Worterb., 263-65; Beyschlag, Neutest. Theol., II, 109; B. Weiss, Bio. Theol. of New Testament, English translation, I, 205 f; II, 6; H. Holtzmann, Lehrbuch d. neutest. Theol., II, 165 f; B.B. Warfield, article "Predestination," HDB, IV, 52-57. See also discussions of the meaning of proginoskein in the Commentaries on 1 Peter and Romans, especially Fritzsche on Ro 8:29, and Johnstone on 1Pe 1:2.

See also literature under PREDESTINATION.

Caspar Wistar Hodge


for-or-dan', for-or-di-na'-shun:

The word "foreordain" is uniformly used in the Revised Version (British and American) to render the Greek proorizo, in the passages where this verb occurs (Ac 4:28; Ro 8:29,30; 1Co 2:7; Eph 15:11). In the passages in Romans and Ephesians it takes the place of the King James Version word "predestinate," a return to the usage of the older English versions The word has simply the sense of determining beforehand. It is thus kindred in meaning with a number of other New Testament words expressing the idea of Divine purpose, as "foreknow" (in pregnant sense, Ac 2:23; Ro 8:29, etc.); "determine" (Ac 17:26); "appoint" (1Pe 2:8). Foreordination, in the widest sense, is coextensive with the sphere of God's universal providence, being but another name for that Divine plan, purpose or counsel which embraces all things, great and small (Mt 10:29,30), that happen in Nature, or fall out in human life. Man's free actions are not regarded in Scripture as excluded from it (Ac 2:28). Foreordination, at the same time, is not to be conceived of as in any way overriding, or doing violence to, human freedom. Man acts freely, as Nature acts necessarily, but it is God who appoints the time, place and circumstances of the free act, permits its happening, and overrules it and its issues for the furthering of His own wise and holy ends. See PROVIDENCE. Foreordination in the sphere of grace has respect to the choice, calling and blessing of those who, through faith, are made partakers of eternal life (Ro 8:29,30; Eph 1:5,11). In this, its soteriological aspect, the subject is considered in special articles.


James Orr


for'-part: The translation of panim, "face" (Ex 28:27; 39:20; 1Ki 6:20, the Revised Version (British and American) "within"; Eze 42:7, the Revised Version (British and American) "before"), and of prora, the forward part of a ship, the prow (Ac 27:41, "the forepart stuck fast," the Revised Version (British and American) "the foreship struck").

ARV has "its forepart into" for "with his face towards" (Joe 2:20 margin "with its forepart"); "in the forepart thereof" for "before it" (Ex 28:25; 39:18).


for-run'-er (prodromos):

This word occurs but once in the Bible: "Whither as a forerunner Jesus entered for us" (Heb 6:20). The word signifies one who comes in advance to a place where the rest are to follow, or one who is sent on before as a scout to take observations. In this sense Christ is our forerunner for He has gone into heaven to prepare a place for His people into which He will eventually lead them. The idea of a forerunner is peculiar to the Christian dispensation. The Old Testament Levitical economy knew nothing of such. The high priest was a representative, not a forerunner: where he led, namely, into the Holy of Holies, the people could not follow. He was not the pioneer of the people; Christ is. Christ goes nowhere but where His people may follow. He is the file-leader (compare Heb 12:2, "the author .... of faith"). He goeth before His people to prepare the way for them, to open the gates of heaven by His atoning blood and priestly intercession. The believer is led into full fellowship with God through Jesus Christ.


William Evans


for'sal, for'-s'-l (Ac 27:40).



for'-ship (Ac 9,7:30).



for'-skin (`orlah; akrobustia, often euphemistically translated "uncircumcision"):

(1) In the literal sense the word is frequently mentioned owing to the rite of circumcision in vogue in Israel since the days of Abraham (Ge 17:9-14) and among several other peoples of antiquity and modern times. The act of circumcision is represented in the temple of Khonsu, a medical deity, at Karnak. Among the Jews of antiquity circumcision had to be performed by means of a flint or stone knife (Ex 4:25; Jos 5:2,3) on the eighth day after birth (Ge 17:12; 21:4; Le 12:3; Lu 2:21; Php 3:5), even if this day was the Sabbath (Joh 7:23).

Very early we find the practice one of which the descendants of Abraham became proud (Ge 34:14), so that we see the uncircumcised despised and scorned (1Sa 17:26), and in the time of oppression under King Antiochus Epiphanes many Israelites suffered martyrdom rather than give up the distinctive sign of their people ( /APC 1Macc 1:48,60,61; 2Macc 6:10). Among the Arabs and all Mohammedans the custom of circumcision prevails from pre-Islamic times, for it is nowhere ordered in the Koran, and the appellation "uncircumcised" ghalaf)is considered the greatest possible insult.

A peculiar martial custom is mentioned in 1Sa 18:25,27 (compare 2Sa 3:14), where Saul is represented as asking "a hundred foreskins of the Philistines" as a dowry from David for the hand of Michal. This does not seem to have been an exceptional booty in war, especially if it meant that no very careful operation was expected to be performed, but the act became practically equivalent to extermination. We find in Egyptian history at the time of Ramses III, that an invasion into Egypt had been made by several Libyan tribes (see Diimichen, Histor. Inschr., I, plates I-VI, and II, plates 47 ff). The Egyptian army sent against the invaders defeated them and returned with a large number of karnatha which is a transcription into hieroglyphics of the Semitic word, qarenoth, the word being used euphemistically as is proven by the accompanying determinative sign of a phallus. See Chabas, Etudes sur l'antiquite historique d'apres lee sources egyptienne,, etc., 234; Bondi, Hebr.-Phoen. Lehnworte im Egyptischen, Leipzig, 1886, 72-74. (2) Metaphorically the word is used in a variety of ways: (a) In the sense of "unlawful," "forbidden as food," "taboo." The fruit of newly planted trees was not to be eaten (Le 19:23-25). (b) In the sense of "obstinacy," "opposition to God's law." The rite of circumcision meant submission under the law. While an outward form could not be identical with an inward attitude toward God, the use of the word "circumcision" was soon extended to that of purity and obedience of the heart (De 10:16; 30:6; Col 2:11, where this circumcision is called a "circumcision not made with hands, .... the circumcision of Christ"). The uselessness of outward circumcision, which does not include obedience and purity, is shown by Paul (Ro 2:25; 1Co 7:18; compare Ac 7:51). (c) In the sense of "Gentiles," "non-Israelites" (Ga 2:7; Eph 2:11; Col 3:11).


H. L. E. Luering



(1) choresh (compare proper name Harosheth), 2Ch 27:4. In 1Sa 23:15 ff translated "wood"; in Isa 17:9, "wood"; in Eze 31:3, "forest-like shade." Applied to any thick growth of vegetation but not necessarily so extensive as (3).

(2) pardec: Ne 2:8, margin "park"; Ec 2:5, the King James Version "orchards," the Revised Version (British and American) "parks"; So 4:13, English Versions of the Bible "orchard," the Revised Version, margin "paradise." A word of Persian origin signifying probably an enclosure.


(3) ya`ar from root meaning "rugged"; compare Arabic wa`ar, "a rugged, stony region." It is sometimes rendered "forest" and sometimes (but less often in the Revised Version (British and American)) "wood." It is used of certain definite wooded tracts: "the forest in Arabia" (Isa 21:13, margin "thickets"); "the forest of Carmel" (2Ki 19:23 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "of his fruitful field"); "the forest of Hereth" (1Sa 22:5); "the forest of Lebanon" (1Ki 7:2 f; 10:17-21; 2Ch 9:16-20); "the forest of Ephraim," East of the Jordan (2Sa 18:6,8,17). The word ya`ar appears also in well- known Kiriath-jearim, "the city of forests," and Mr. Jearim (Jos 15:10). Among numerous other references the following may be cited: De 19:5; Jos 17:15,18; 1Ch 16:33; 2Ki 2:24; Ps 80:13; 83:14; 96:12; 132:6; Ec 2:6; So 2:3; 1Sa 7:2; 14:25,26; Jer 4:29; 46:23; Eze 34:29; Mic 3:12; 7:14.

(4) cebhakh, from root meaning "to interweave." A "thicket" (Ge 22:13; Jer 4:7); "thicket of trees" (Ps 74:5); "thickets of the forest" (Isa 9:18; 10:34).

(5) 'adbhim, "thicket" (Jer 4:29).

From many references it is evident that Palestine had in Old Testament times much more extensive forests and woodlands than today. For a discussion of the subject see BOTANY.

E. W. G. Masterman




for-tel', for-told': The King James Version occurrences of these words in the New Testament represent as many Greek terms, and are in each case rendered differently in Revised Version:

(1) Mr 13:23 (proeipon), the Revised Version (British and American) "told beforehand";

(2) Ac 3:24 (prokataggello), the Revised Version (British and American) simply "told";

(3) 2Co 13:2 (prolego), the Revised Version (British and American) "said beforehand," margin "plainly"; compare 1Th 3:4.

The foretelling of future events is claimed in the Old Testament as a prerogative of Yahweh (Isa 41:22,23; 42:9, etc.; compare De 18:22).



for'-fit (charam):

"Forfeit" (from forisfacere, "to act beyond") implies loss through transgression or non-observance of some law or rule. The word occurs only once as the translation of charam, "to shut in," frequently to devote or consecrate a person or thing to God beyond redemption (compare Le 27:28,29; Mic 4:13; Ezr 10:8, "That whosoever came not within three days, .... all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the assembly of the captivity," King James Version margin, the American Revised Version, margin and the Revised Version (British and American) "devoted"; compare /APC 1Esdras 9:4, "Their cattle should be seized to the use of the temple" (anieroo, "to consecrate," "devote"); 6:32, "all his goods seized for the king" (ta huparchonia autou einai (eis) basilika)).

The Revised Version (British and American) has "forfeited" (qadhesh, "consecrated,'; "devoted") for "defiled" (De 22:9), margin "Hebrew consecrated"; "forfeit his life" for "lose his own soul" (psuche) (Mt 16:26; Mr 8:36); "lose or forfeit his own self" for "lose himself or be cast away" (Lu 9:25, heauton de apolesas e zemiotheis; zemioo is the Septuagint for `anash, "to be mulcted," or "fined," Ex 21:22; De 22:19; Pr 17:26; 19:19; 21:11; 22:3); Weymouth renders Lu 9:25, "to have lost or forfeited his own self" (or "had to pay his own self--his own existence--as a fine"); in the other instances of zemioo (1Co 3:15; Php 3:8), the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) render "suffer loss," "suffered .... loss"; 2Co 7:9 the King James Version, "receive damage."

W. L. Walker


forj, for'-jer (Taphal):

"Forgers of lies" occurs in Job's reply to his comforters (13:4; compare 14:17); the word is the translation of Taphal, "to patch," "lay on," "besmear," hence, to impute, overcharge, etc.; in Ps 119:69, "forged" occurs with a similar meaning: "The proud have forged a lie against me" (compare Sirach 51:2). "Forger," in the sense of "one who forges, makes, anything," is the Revised Version (British and American) rendering of laTas "to smite," or "hammer," in Ge 4:22 King James Version: "Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron," the Revised Version (British and American) "the forger of every cutting instrument of brass and iron," margin "an instructor of every artificer of copper and iron."

W. L. Walker


for-get', for-get'-ful (shakhach; epilanthanomai):

"Forget" is to fail to hold in mind, and the forgetfulness may be either innocent or blameworthy. In the Old Testament the word is most frequently used as translation of shakhach in a blameworthy sense: to forget the covenant, the law, Yahweh their God (De 4:9,23,11; 6:12; Jud 3:7; 1Sa 12:9; Ps 44:20, etc.). In an innocent or neutral, sometimes good, sense it is used in Ge 27:45; De 24:19; Job 9:27; 11:16; 24:20; Ps 102:4, etc. It is also used of God forgetting or not seeming to care (Ps 9:12; 10:11,12; 13:1; 42:9; 77:9; Isa 49:15, etc.). To "forget" sometimes means to forsake (Ps 45:10; 74:19, etc.).

In the New Testament epilanthanomai is used of simple forgetting (Mt 16:5; Mr 8:14, etc.; in Lu 12:6 the sense of care is implied); Php 3:13, "forgetting the things which are behind," has the force of leaving behind. "Forgetful" in Jas 1:25 is epilesmone, the Revised Version (British and American) "a hearer that forgetteth." "Forgetfulness" Ps 88:12, "the land of forgetfulness," is a synonym for Sheol, where all forget and are forgotten. the Revised Version (British and American) has "forget not" for "be ignorant of" (2Pe 3:8; similarly 2Pe 3:5).

W. L. Walker


for-giv'-nes (kaphar, nasa', calach; apoluein charizesthai, aphesis paresis):

1. Etymology

2. Pagan and Jewish Ideas

3. The Teaching of Christ

4. Conditions of Forgiveness

5. The Offended Party

6. Divine and Human Forgiveness

7. Forgiveness and Justification

8. Old Testament Teaching

9. Limitations of Forgiveness

10. Christ's Power to Forgive Sins

11. The Need of an Atonement

12. The New Testament Doctrine of Atonement

1. Etymology:

Of the seven words, three Hebrew and four Greek, which are used to express the idea of forgiveness, the last two occur in this sense only once each. Apoluein (Lu 6:37) is used because of the analogy of sin to debt, and denotes the release from it. It has the meaning "forgiveness" in 2 Macc 12:45 also, in which passage the word for sin is expressed. In Ro 3:25 Paul uses paresis instead of the usual aphesis. The former means "putting aside," "disregarding," "pretermission"; the latter, "putting away" completely and unreservedly (Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, section xxxiii). It does not mean forgiveness in the complete sense, and in the King James Version is incorrectly translated "remission." Nor does it mean that God had temporarily suspended punishment which at some later date He might inflict (Sanday on Ro 3:25). It was apparent that God had treated sins as though He had forgiven them, though in fact such an attitude on the part of God was without such a foundation as was later supplied by an adequate atonement, and so the apostle avoids saying that God forgave them. This passing over of sins had the tendency of destroying man's conception of God's righteousness, and in order to avert this Christ was set forth as a propitiation and God's disregard of sin (paresis) became a real forgiveness (aphesis); compare Ac 14:16; 17:30. Charizesthai is not found outside of the writings of Luke and Paul, and in the sense "to forgive sins" is peculiarly Pauline (2Co 2:7;12:13; Eph 3:2; Col 2:13; 3:13). It expresses, as no other of these words does, his conception of the graciousness of God's pardon. Kaphar (De 21:8; Ps 78:38; Jer 18:23) and calah (Nu 30:5,8,12; 1Ki 30,34,36,39,50, etc.) are used only of Divine forgiveness, while nasa' is used in this sense (Ex 32:32; Nu 14:19; Jos 24:19; Ps 25:18; 32:1,5; 99:8; Isa 2:9), and also of human forgiveness (Ge 50:17; Ex 10:17; 1Sa 25:28). Remission (Mt 26:28; Mr 1:4; Lu 1:77;24:47; Ac 2:38; 10:43; Heb 9:22; 10:18) and blotting out (Ps 51:1,9; Isa 43:25; Jer 18:23; Ac 3:19) are synonyms of forgiveness, and to understand it fully such words as save, justify, reconcile and atonement should also be considered.

2. Pagan and Jewish Ideas:

Forgiveness was not a pagan virtue. The large-souled man might disregard offenses in cases where he considered them beneath his notice, but to forgive was weak-spirited (F. W. Robertson on 1Co 4:12). Even in the Old Testament, man's forgiveness of his fellow-man is infrequently mentioned. In every case the one asking forgiveness is in a position of subserviency, and is petitioning for that to which he has no just right (Ge 50:17; Ex 10:17; 1Sa 15:25; 25:28). The Imprecatory Psalms attest the fact that forgiveness of enemies was not esteemed as a virtue by Israel. They could appeal to the law which enjoined upon them to seek neither the peace nor the prosperity of their avowed enemies (De 23:6; compare Ezr 9:12). Jesus gave the popular summing-up of the law and not its exact words when he said, "Ye have heard that it was said .... hate thine enemy" (Mt 5:43), and this certainly does represent their attitude and their understanding of the teaching of the Scriptures.

3. The Teaching of Christ:

Christ taught that forgiveness is a duty. No limit can be set to the extent of forgiveness (Lu 17:4) and it must be granted without reserve. Jesus will not admit that there is any wrong so gross nor so often repeated that it is beyond forgiveness. To Him an unforgiving spirit is one of the most heinous of sins (Bruce, Parabolic Teaching, 376 ff). This is the offense which God will not forgive (Mt 18:34,35). It is the very essence of the unpardonable sin (Mr 3:22-30).

It was the one blemish of the elder son which marred an otherwise irreproachable life (Lu 15:28-30). This natural, pagan spirit of implacability Jesus sought to displace by a generous, forgiving spirit. It is so far the essence of His teaching that in popular language "a Christian spirit" is not inappropriately understood to be synonymous with a forgiving disposition. His answer to Peter that one should forgive not merely seven times in a day, but seventy times seven (Mt 18:21,22), not only shows that He thought of no limit to one's forgiveness, but that the principle could not be reduced to a definite formula.

4. Conditions of Forgiveness:

Jesus recognized that there are conditions to be fulfilled before forgiveness can be granted. Forgiveness is part of a mutual relationship; the other part is the repentance of the offender. God does not forgive without repentance, nor is it required of man. The effect of forgiveness is to restore to its former state the relationship which was broken by sin. Such a restoration requires the cooperation of both parties. There must be both a granting and an acceptance of the forgiveness. Sincere, deep-felt sorrow for the wrong which works repentance (2Co 7:10) is the condition of mind which insures the acceptance of the forgiveness. Hence, Jesus commands forgiveness when the offender turns again, saying, "I repent" (Lu 17:3,1). It was this state of mind which led the father joyfully to welcome the Prodigal before he even gave utterance to his newly formed purpose (Lu 15:21).

5. The Offended Party:

It is not to be supposed, however, that failure to repent upon the part of the offender releases the offended from all obligation to extend forgiveness. Without the repentance of the one who has wronged him he can have a forgiving state of mind. This Jesus requires, as is implied by, "if ye forgive not every one his brother from your hearts" (Mt 18:35). It is also implied by the past tense in the Lord's Prayer: "as we also have forgiven our debtors" (Mt 6:12). It is this forgiving spirit which conditions God's forgiveness of our sins (Mr 11:25; Mt 6:14,15). In such a case the unforgiving spirit is essentially unrepentance (Mt 18:23-35). "Of all acts, is not, for a man, repentance the most Divine?"

The offended is to go even farther and is to seek to bring the wrongdoer to repentance. This is the purpose of the rebuking commanded in Lu 17:3. More explicitly Jesus says, "If thy brother sin against thee, go, show him his fault between thee and him alone" (Mt 18:15-17). He is to carry his pursuit to the point of making every reasonable effort to win the wrongdoer, and only when he has exhausted every effort may he abandon it. The object is the gaining of his brother. Only when this is evidently unattainable is all effort to cease.

The power of binding and loosing, which means forbidding and allowing, was granted to Peter (Mt 16:19) and to the Christian community (Mt 18:18; Joh 20:23). It clearly implies the possession of the power to forgive sins. In the case of Peter's power it was exercised when he used the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Mt 16:19). This consisted in the proclamation of the gospel and especially of the conditions upon which men might enter into relationship with God (Ac 2:38; 10:34 ). It was not limited to Peter only, but was shared by the other apostles (Mt 16:19; 18:18). Christ left no fixed rules the observance or non-observance of which would determine whether one is or is not in the kingdom of God. He gave to His disciples principles, and in the application of these principles to the problems of life there had to be the exercise of discriminating judgment. The exercise of this judgment was left to the Christian community (2Co 2:10).

It is limited by the principles which are the basis of the kingdom, but within these principles the voice of the community is supreme. The forgiveness here implied is not the pronouncing of absolution for the sins of individuals, but the determination of courses of conduct and worship which will be acceptable. In doing this its decisions will be ratified in heaven (Westcott on Joh 20:23).

That there is a close analogy between human and Divine forgiveness is clearly implied (Mt 5:23,14; 6:12; Mr 11:25; Lu 6:37; Col 1:14; 3:13). God"s forgiveness is conditional upon man's forgiveness of the wrongs done him, not because God forgives grudgingly but because forgiveness alone indicates that disposition of mind which will humbly accept the Divine pardon.

6. Divine and Human Forgiveness:

Repentance is a necessary ingredient of the fully developed forgiveness. There is no essential difference between the human and the Divine pardon, though the latter is necessarily more complete. It results in the complete removal of all estrangement and alienation between God and man. It restores completely the relationship which existed prior to the sin. The total removal of the sin as a result of the Divine forgiveness is variously expressed in the Scriptures: "Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back" (Isa 38:17); "Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea" (Mic 7:19); "I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more" (Jer 31:34); "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions" (Isa 43:25); "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us" (Ps 103:12). Ideally this same result is attained in human forgiveness, but actually the memory of the sin remains with both parties as a barrier between them, and even when there is a complete restoration of amity the former state of alienation cannot entirely be removed from memory. When God forgives, however, He restores man to the condition of former favor. Release from punishment is involved, though Divine forgiveness is more than this. In most cases the consequences, which in some instances are spoken of as punishment, are not removed, but they lose all penal character and become disciplinary. Nor does the forgiveness remove from human mind the consciousness of sin and the guilt which that involved, but it does remove the mistrust which was the ground of the alienation. Mistrust is changed into trust, and this produces peace of mind (Ps 32:5-7; Ro 5:1); consciousness of the Divine love and mercy (Ps 103:2 ); removes fear of punishment (2Sa 12:13); and awakens love to God.

7. Forgiveness and Justification:

Paul rarely uses the term "forgiveness," but in its place prefers justification. They are to his understanding practically synonymous (Stevens, Theology of the New Testament, 418). He preferred the latter, however, because it was better fitted to express the idea of secure, present and permanent acceptance in the sight of God. It connoted both a complete and a permanent state of grace. In popular thought forgiveness is not so comprehensive, but in the Biblical sense it means no less than this. It removes all of the guilt and cause of alienation from the past; it assures a state of grace for the present; and promises Divine mercy and aid for the future. Its fullness cannot adequately be conveyed by any one term or formula. Divine, like human, forgiveness is always contingent upon the fulfillment of conditions. It must be preceded by repentance and a firmly fixed intention not to repeat the offense. In addition to this, one was required to conform to certain legal or formal acts before the assurance of pardon was his. These acts were expressive of the sinner's state of mind. They consisted of certain acts of sacrifice in the pre-Christian times and of baptism during the ministry of John the Baptist (Mr 1:4; Lu 3:3) and under Christ (Ac 2:38; 22:16). These acts are never regarded as in any sense a quid pro quo in return for which the benefit of forgiveness is granted. It is an act of pure grace on God's part, and these acts are required as expressions of the man's attitude toward God. The state of mind required in order to obtain the gift of forgiveness is that to which the Prodigal Son came (Lu 15:17-19), and that of the sinner who went to his house justified rather than the Pharisee (18:9-14), because he realized that forgiveness was to him an act of pure favor. There was real and actual forgiveness of sins in the Old Testament times as well as since Christ. Certain passages have been construed to teach that the Law provided only for a passing over or rolling back of sins, and that there was not then an actual forgiveness.

8. Old Testament Teaching:

The sacrifices prescribed by the Law were not adequate atonements, so that there was constant necessity of yearly remembrance of sin (Heb 10:3; compare Le 16:21). The atonement of Christ is, however, of permanent adequacy, and became retroactive in the sense that it unified in Christ the Divine arrangement for saving mankind in all ages (Heb 11:40). "The passing over of the sins done aforetime" (Ro 3:25) does not imply a partial or apparent forgiveness, but means that they were forgiven, though seemingly without adequate recognition on the part of God of their heinous character. In view of God's righteous character men might naturally have expected punishment, but instead the offenders were spared (compare Ac 14:16; 17:30). No expression in the Old Testament suggests any inadequacy of the forgiveness extended to Israel, but on the other hand many passages may be quoted to show how rich and full it was deemed to be (Ps 103; Mic 7:19; Isa 38:17, Jer 31:34).

9. Limitations of Forgiveness:

Two passages seem to limit God's forgiveness. They are Christ's discussion of the unpardonable sin (Mt 12:31,32; Mr 3:28-30; Lu 12:10), and the one which mentions the sin unto death ( 1Joh 5:16; compare Heb 6:4-6). In the former passage there is mentioned a sin which has no forgiveness, and in the latter, one on behalf of which the apostle cannot enjoin prayer that it be forgiven, though he does not prohibit it. In both cases the sin is excluded from the customary forgiveness which is extended to sins of all other classes.

The act of the Pharisees which led Jesus to speak of the unpardonable sin was the attributing of a good deed wrought by Him through the Spirit of God (Mt 12:28) to Beelzebub. No one could do such a thing unless his moral nature was completely warped. To such a person the fundamental distinctions between good and evil were obliterated. No ordinary appeal could reach him, for to him good seemed evil and evil seemed good. The possibility of winning him back is practically gone; hence, he is beyond the hope of forgiveness, not because God has set an arbitrary line of sinfulness, beyond which His grace of forgiveness will not reach, but because the man has put himself beyond the possibility of attaining to that state of mind which is the essential condition of Divine forgiveness. It is practically certain that John did not have any particular sinful act in mind when he spoke of the sin which is unto death.


There is no possible way of determining what specific sin, if any, he refers to. Probably the same principle applies in this case as in that of the unpardonable sin. God's forgiveness is limited solely by the condition that man must accept it in the proper spirit.

There are some passages which seem to imply that forgiveness was the principal Messianic task. This is suggested by the name given to the Messiah during His earthly career (Mt 1:21), and by the fact that He was the Saviour. The remission of sins was the preparation for the advent of the Messiah (Lu 1:77), and repentance and remission of sins were the prerequisites to a state of preparation for the kingdom.

10. Christ's Power to Forgive Sins:

It is not surprising, therefore, that we find Jesus laying claim to the power to forgive sins. This provoked a bitter controversy with the Jews, for it was axiomatic with them that no one could forgive sins but God only (Mr 2:7; Lu 5:21; 7:49). This Jesus did not question, but He would have them infer from His power to forgive sins that He was the possessor of Divine power. Jesus asserted His possession of this power on two occasions only, though it has been sfficiently inferred from Joh 5:14; 8:11 that He was accustomed to pronounce absolution upon all of those He healed. On one of these occasions He not merely asserted that He possessed the power, but demonstrated it by showing Himself to be the possessor of the Divine gift of healing. The impostor might claim some such intangible power as the authority to forgive sins, but he would never assert the possession of such easily disproved power as the ability to heal the sick. But Jesus claimed both, and based His claim to be the possessor of the former on the demonstration that He possessed the latter. God would not support an impostor, hence, his aid in healing the paralytic proved that Jesus could forgive sins. The multitude accepted this logic and "glorified God, who had given such authority unto men" (Mt 9:2-9;Mr 2:3-12; Lu 5:18-26).

On the other occasion when His possession of this power was under discussion (Lu 7:36-50), He offered no other proof than the forgiven woman's deep gratitude and love. One expression that He uses, however, has raised some discussion as to the relative order in time of her love and forgiveness (Lu 7:47). Did she love because she was forgiven, or vice versa? Manifestly the forgiveness precedes the love, in spite of the fact that Lu 7:47 seems to assert the opposite, for this is the bearing of the parable of the Two Debtors (7:41-43), and the latter part of 7:47 has the same implication. It is clear that she had previously repented and had been accepted, and the anointing of Jesus was an outpouring of her gratitude.

The phrase of 7:47, "for she loved much," is proof of the greatness of her sin rather than a reason why she was forgiven. In both cases where Jesus forgave sins, He did so because the state of mind of the person forgiven showed worthiness of the blessing. To this as a condition of forgiveness there is no exception. Christ's prayer on the cross (Lu 23:34) would not avail to secure the pardon of His murderers without their repentance.

11. The Need of an Atonement:

Though forgiveness is on God's part an act of pure grace prompted by His love and mercy, and though He forgives freely all those who comply with the condition of repentance and abandonment of sin, yet this does not dispense with the necessity of an atonement. The parable of the Prodigal Son was spoken to teach the freedom of God's forgiveness and acceptance of returning sinners, and the duty of men to assume the same attitude toward them. This much it teaches, but it fails to set forth entirely God's attitude toward sin. With reference to the sinner God is love and mercy, but with reference to sin He is righteous, and this element of God's nature is no less essential to Him than His love, and must be considered in any effort to set forth completely the doctrine of God's forgiveness of sinners. The atonement of Christ and the many atonements of the Law were manifestations of this phase of God's nature.

12. The New Testament Doctrine of Atonement:

The idea of an atonement is fundamental in the teachings of the New Testament (Ro 5:10; 2Co 5:18-21; Col 1:21). It is very clearly implied in such terms as reconciliation and propitiation, and is no less present in pardon, remission and forgiveness. The doctrine of the atonement is not developed by Jesus, but it is strongly hinted at and is unmistakably implied in the language of Mt 20:28; 26:28; Mr 10:45; Lu 24:46,47. John the Baptist's salute, "Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!" (Joh 1:29), also implies it. In the writings of the apostles it is repeatedly and clearly affirmed that our forgiveness and reconciliation to God is based upon the death of Christ. "In none other is there salvation" (Ac 4:12); through Him is the redemption (Ro 3:24); God set Him forth to be a propitiation (Ro 3:25); through Him "we have now received the reconciliation" (Ro 5:11); "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself" (2Co 5:19); "Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf" (2Co 5:21); and "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us" (Ga 3:13). Such citations might be greatly multiplied. That which was so perfectly accomplished by the offering of Christ was in an analagous though imperfect way accomplished by the sacrifices required by the Law. It had "a shadow of the good things to come" (Heb 10:1).

The unvarying effect of sin is to produce an estrangement between the injurer and the wronged. The nature of God is such and the relationship between Him and man is of such a character that sin brings about an alienation between them. It is this presupposition of an estrangement between them which renders the atonement necessary before forgiveness can be extended to man. This estrangement must be removed, and the alienation be transformed into a reconciliation. In what then does the alienation consist?

The sin of man produces a changed attitude toward each other on the part of both God and man. God holds no personal pique against man because of his sin. The New Testament language is very carefully chosen to avoid any statement which would seem to convey such a conception. Yet God's holy righteousness is such that He cannot be indifferent to sin. His wrath must rest upon the disobedient (Joh 3:36; Ro 1:18). It is not merely impersonal. It is not enough to say He hates the sin. Man's unrighteousness has not merely alienated him from God, but God also from him. The word "enemies" (echthroi) of Ro 5:10 is passive, and means the object of God's enmity (Sunday, at the place). It was because of this fact that God set forth Christ to be a propitiation to show His righteousness because of the passing over of sins done aforetime (Ro 3:25,26).

God's passing over, without inflicting punishment, the sins of pre-Christian times had placed in jeopardy His righteousness; had exposed Him to the implication that He could tolerate sin. God could not be true to Himself while He tolerated such an imputation, and so instead of visiting punishment upon all who sinned--which would have been one way of showing His righteousness--He set forth Christ to death ("in his blood"), and in this way placed Himself beyond the imputation of unrighteousness while it enabled Him to show mercy to sinners. The effect of sin upon man was to estrange him from God, to lead him farther and farther away from his Maker. Each successive sin produced a greater barrier between the two. Now the atonement was designed to remove the cause of this estrangement and restore the former relationship between God and man.

This too, it has been observed, is the purpose of forgiveness, so that the atonement finds its completion in forgiveness. It should be noted that the reconciliation originates with God and not with man (Ro 3:25; 2Co 5:19). God woos man before the latter seeks God. The effect of the atonement on man is to reconcile him, attract him, to God. It shows him God's love for man, and the forgiveness, in that it removes sin completely, takes away the estranging factor between them and so wins man back to God. "We love, because he first loved us." At the same time the atonement is such a complete expression of both the love and the righteousness of God that, while on the one hand it exhibits his yearning for man, on the other it shows that He is not tolerant toward sin. In the atonement of Christ, therefore, is the meeting-place and the reconcilement of God's holy horror of sin and the free bestowal of forgiveness upon penitent believers.

William Charles Morro


for-go' (from for, negative, and go):

Occurs in Ecclesiasticus 7:19, as translation of astocheo, which means "to miss the mark," "turn or swerve from." "Forgo not a wise and good wife (the King James Version "woman"); for her grace is above gold," meaning "Turn not away from her"; in Ecclesiasticus 8:9, the word is rendered "miss not"; compare 1Ti 1:6; 6:21; 2Ti 2:18.


fork (shelosh qilleshon):

This compound word, meaning strictly "three points" or "three prongs," is found only once (1Sa 13:21), and doubtless there refers to the agricultural tool now known as the pitchfork. It might, however, also be a weapon.


form (yatsar, to'ar; morphe):

(1) To form is "to fashion," "create," "produce." In the Old Testament it is for the most part the translation of yatsar, "to form," "to fashion" (Ge 2:7, etc., "Yahweh God formed man of the dust of the ground," etc.); also of chul and chil, "to be twisted" "turned round" "to bring forth (in pain)" (compare Isa 13:8; Mic 4:10; De 32:18 the King James Version, "God that formed thee"; Job 26:13 the King James Version; Ps 90:2, "or ever thou hadst formed the earth" etc.; Pr 26:10 the King James Version). In the New Testament we have morphoo, "to form" (Ga 4:19, "until Christ be formed in you"); plasso, "to form," "to mold" (Ro 9:20, "him that formed it"; 1Ti 2:13, "Adam was first formed"; /APC 2Macc 7:23, "the Creator .... who formed the generation of man," the Revised Version (British and American) "fashioned"; 7:22, "that formed the members (diarrhuthmizo)," the Revised Version (British and American) "brought into order").

(2) Form (noun) is used for

(a) appearance, mar'eh, "sight," "appearance" (Job 4:16, "I could not discern the form thereof" the Revised Version (British and American) "appearance" with "form" for "image" (temunah) in next sentence); tselem, Aramaic "image" (Da 3:19, "The form of his visage was changed"); rew, "form," "likeness" (Da 2:31; 3:25, the Revised Version (British and American) "aspect"); to'ar, "visage," "form" (1Sa 28:14, "What form is he of?");

(b) the fixed or characteristic form of anything, tabhnith, "model," "form" (Eze 8:3; 10:8, "the form of a hand"; Eze 8:10, "every form of creeping things"); morphe, characteristic form as distinguished from schema, changing fashion (Php 2:6, "in the form of God"; Php 2:7, "the form of a servant"; less distinctly Mr 16:12, "in another form");

(c) shape, model, pattern, mold, tsurah, "shape," from tsur, "to cut or carve" (Eze 43:11, ter, "the form of the house," etc.); mishpat, "rule" (2Ch 4:7 the King James Version); tupos, "type," "impress" (Ro 6:17, the Revised Version, margin "pattern"); hupotuposis, "outline," pattern (2Ti 1:13, the Revised Version (British and American) "pattern"); morphosis, "form," "appearance" (Ro 2:20, "the form of knowledge");

(d) orderly arrangement, giving shape or form (Ge 1:2; Jer 4:23, the earth was "without form," tohu, the Revised Version (British and American) "waste"; The Wisdom of Solomon /APC Wis 11:17, amorphos); "form of speech" (2Sa 14:20, aspect, panim, "face," the Revised Version (British and American) "to change the face of the matter"); as giving comeliness or beauty, to'ar (Isa 52:14; 53:2, "He hath no form nor comeliness"; compare Ge 29:17; 39:6, etc.; The Wisdom of Solomon /APC Wis 15:5, "desiring the form (eidos) of a dead image," the Revised Version (British and American) "the breathless form");

(e) Show, without substance, morphosis, "form" (2Ti 3:5, "holding a form of godliness").

ARV has "didst form" for "hast possessed" (Ps 139:13, so the English Revised Version, margin; both have "formed" for "made" (Ps 104:26), the American Standard Revised Version for "framed" twice (Isa 29:16); both for "formed thee," "gave birth" (De 32:18); "pierced" (Job 26:13); "woundeth" (Pr 26:10); "fastened" (Isa 44:10); for "are formed from" (Job 26:5), "tremble"; for "their form" (2Ch 4:7), "the ordinance concerning them"; "form" for "similitude" (Nu 12:8; De 4:12,15); for "size" (1Ki 6:25; 7:37); for "shape" (Lu 3:22; Joh 5:37); "in the form" for "similitude" (De 4:16); for "or the like" (De 4:23,15); the American Standard Revised Version "(beholding) thy form" for "thy likeness" (Ps 17:15, the English Revised Version, margin); "every form" for "all appearance" (1Th 5:22; so the English Revised Version, margin "appearance").

W. L. Walker



The word in the sense of "maker," "framer," occurs only in Jer 51:19, "He is the former (from yatsar, "to form") of all things." The adjective, in the sense of preceding in the order of time, is commonly in Hob the translation of ri'shon, "first," "foremost" (Ge 40:13; Nu 21:26; De 24:4, etc.); in Greek of proteros (Eph 4:22; Heb 10:32; 1Pe 1:14); and in two cases (Ac 1:1; Re 21:4) of protos, where the Revised Version (British and American) has (in Ac in the margin) "the first." As denoting place or position the word occurs in the Old Testament in Zec 14:8, "the former sea" as translation of qadhmoni, "in front," where the Revised Version (British and American) has "eastern," i.e. the Dead Sea, in contrast with the Mediterranean, or western sea (compare Eze 47:18; Joe 2:20). For "former iniquities" (Ps 79:8) the Revised Version (British and American) has simply "the iniquities"; Other changes may be seen in Nu 6:12; Isa 65:7; Eze 36:11; Mic 4:8; Hag 2:3.

W. L. Walker








forth: "Forth," adverb (from "for"), signifies movement

(1) forward,

(2) out of,

(3) beyond a certain boundary.

In a few instances in the Old Testament it is the translation of the preposition `al, properly "above," "upon" (2Ki 11:15; 2Ch 23:14; Am 7:17 the King James Version), and of chuts, "without" (Ge 39:13; Jud 19:25). "Forth" is often used as an expletive of various verbs, as "break (forth)," "bring (forth)," "call (forth)," etc. In the Gospel of John it is the translation of exo, "without," as "Lazarus, come forth" (11:43; so 15:6; 19:4 the King James Version, etc.; also Ac 5:34; 9:40). "Stand forth" in Mr 3:3 is the translation of egeire eis to meson, margin "Arise into the midst." the Revised Version (British and American) has a great many changes, frequently substituting "out," "away," "abroad," etc.; "forth from" for "out of" (Job 41:21; Isa 45:23); "spread forth" for "stretched out" (Ps 44:20; 88:9; 136:6), etc. In Col 1:6, for "bringeth forth fruit" the Revised Version (British and American) reads "bearing fruit."

W. L. Walker


for-ti-fi-ka'-shun (including):


1. Excavation of Tells

2. Sites

3. Primitive Character

4. Walls

5. Towers

6. Acropolis or Castle

7. Masonry

8. Gates

9. Water Supply


1. Before the Monarchy

2. In the Period of the Monarchy

3. In the Period of the Return


1. The Psalms

2. The Prophets


1. In Paul's Epistles

2. In the Ac of the Apostles

3. In the Gospel History


Has a number of words representing its various elements and aspects:

(1) mibhtsar, is the term generally rendered "fenced" or "defenced city." In both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) of Isa and Jer we find for the most part the more formal "defenced city." It is found by itself (Isa 17:3); with `ir, "city" (1Sa 6:18; 2Ki 3:19; plural `are mibhtsar, "fenced (the American Standard Revised Version "fortified") cities," Nu 32:17); with tsor, "Tyre" (Jos 19:29; 2Sa 24:7, where it is rendered "stronghold").

(2) misgabh, "high fort" (Isa 25:12; Jer 48:1 the Revised Version, margin; Ps 9:9, and many other places in the Pss).

(3) ma`oz, "fortress," "stronghold" (Jud 6:26; Ps 31:2; Da 11:39).

(4) metsudhah, "fort" the King James Version, "stronghold" the Revised Version (British and American) (2Sa 5:9,17).

(5) metsurah, "fort" (Isa 29:3 the King James Version; plural the Revised Version (British and American) "siege works").

(6) mutstsabh (Isa 29:3, "fort" the English Revised Version, "mount" the King James Version, "posted troops" the American Standard Revised Version).

(7) dayeq, "fort" (for the siege of a city, the wall of circumvallation cast up by the besiegers, 2Ki 25:1; Jer 52:4; Eze 4:2; 17:17; 21:22; 26:8).

(8) matsor, "fortress" (Jer 10:17 margin, wall of circumvallation: Hab 2:1, "tower" the King James Version, "fortress" the Revised Version, margin; Zec 9:3).

(9) birah, "palace" the King James Version, "castle" the Revised Version (British and American) (Ne 2:8; 7:2). Birah Grecized is baris, which has the double meaning of "palace" and "fortress." Nehemiah's "castle" figures largely in the books of Maccabees and in Josephus, and is the Castle of Antonia of the Ac of the Apostles.

(10) ochuroma (2Co 10:4, its only occurrence in the New Testament though it is the chief equivalent of mibhtsar in the Septuagint). In this connection it is to be noted that chomah, is Hebrew for "wall," Greek teichos; chel or cheyl, is Hebrew for the "ditch," or "rampart," or "bastion" of a fortress; mighdal, "tower"; pinnah plural pinnoth, "corner towers."

Fortified Places:

From the very beginning of their history as a nation the Israelites were acquainted with fortified cities. The report of cities "great and fortified up to heaven," inhabited by the sons of Anak, by Amalekites, Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites and Canaanites, struck terror into the hearts of the Israelites in the wilderness, and called forth murmurings from them on their way to Canaan (Nu 13:28; De 1:28). Not that these cities were at all of the extent or population of modern cities, or of Nineveh, Babylon and Memphis of old. But to a people who were as yet little better than a horde of fugitives accustomed to the simple camp life of the wilderness and unacquainted with appliances for siege and assault, the prospect of scaling the walls and conquering the inhabitants was appalling. The cities of the Canaanites were already old when Joshua led the Israelites to the conquest of the land. Not a little of their history has become known to us, and the character of their defensive works has been disclosed by Palestinian excavation in recent years.

I. In Recent Excavations.

1. Excavation of Tells:

It has been largely to the tells, or mounds of buried cities, chiefly in the southwest of the land, that exploration has been directed. The Palestine Exploration Fund, drawing its resources from Great Britain and also from America, was the first, and has all along been the foremost, in the work of excavation. Through the labors of Professor Flinders Petrie at Tell el-Hesy; of Dr. F. J. Bliss, and Professor Stewart Macalister at Tell Zakariyah, Tell ec-Safi, Tell ej-Judeideh, Tell Sandahannah, and more recently of Professor Macalister at Gezer, the Fund has added largely to our knowledge of the fenced cities of Canaan. The work of Sir Charles Warren, Sir Charles W. Wilson, Colonel Conder and other explorers at Jerusalem under the same auspices has been of great value for illustrating the defensive works of a later time. Germany and Austria have not been behind. The excavation, first, of Tell Ta'anek in the Plain of Esdraelon, and, at the present time (1911), of Jericho by Professor E. Sellin, formerly of Vienna, now of Rostock; and of Tell el-Mutesellim, the ancient Megiddo, by Gottlieb Schumacher, has yielded results of the highest importance. Since 1908 an American expedition from Harvard University, first under Schumacher and now under Dr. Reisner, who had previously excavated at the Pyramids and other places in Egypt, has explored with remarkable results the site of the capital of the Northern Kingdom, Samaria. Excavations have also been conducted by the German Orient Committee at Sinjerli which have thrown a flood of light upon the archaeology of Northern Syria and especially upon the wonderful Hittite people. The memoirs and reports of these excavations have furnished abundance of material for tracing the evolution and understanding the anatomy of the tell. They usefully supplement the Scripture narratives, and confirm them in many particulars.

2. Sites:

These cities of the primitive inhabitants of Canaan occupied sites easily capable of defense. They were built either upon a projecting spur of a mountain ridge, like Gezer, Megiddo, Tell ec-Safi (believed to be the ancient Gath) and primitive Jerusalem, or upon an isolated eminence in the plain like Tell el-Hesy (Lachish) or Taanach. Compared with modern cities the area was small--in the case of Gezer about a quarter of a mile square, Lachish 15 acres, Megiddo and Taanach 12 to 13 acres. A sufficient water supply within easy reach was an essential feature. Speaking of Gezer, Professor Macalister says: "Water, the first necessity of life, was in abundance. The three primitive modes of livelihood--hunting, pasturing, and agriculture--could be practiced here better than in many places. Further, for defense--another prime necessity in early days--the hill is admirably fitted. It is steep and not easy to climb; and being fairly high it commands a wide prospect, so that the approach of enemies can be seen and prepared for" (Bible Side-Lights from Gezer, 25,26).

3. Primitive Character:

Their history goes back in most cases to a very remote antiquity. "It cannot have been much later than 3000 BC," says Professor Macalister regarding Gezer, "when a primitive race of men first realized that the bare rocky hill (as it then was) would be a suitable dwelling-place. This tribe was a cave-dwelling race" (as above; and PEFS, 1904, 311 ff). The primitive race had occupied the hill perhaps five hundred years when the Canaanites drove them out, as they in turn were driven out by the Israelites. But the nature of their original habitations, the earliest relics of their social life, and what can be gathered of their religious rites all bear witness to a remote antiquity. From the mound of Tell el-Hesy, now almost certainly identified with the site of Lachish, eleven cities, one above the other have been disinterred, the eleventh or highest having nine cities between itself and the first Amorite buildings reared upon the original bluff. This lowest city is believed to go back some 2000 years BC, Professor Flinders Petrie having dated the successive cities by means of the pottery found in the strata of the mound. One of the eleven cities, possibly the fourth from the bottom, was that of Lachish, which fell a prey to Joshua (Jos 10:32), the walls of which, built of crude brick and 10-12 ft. in thickness, are a witness to its character as a fenced city (Bliss, A Mound of Many Cities, chapter iv).

4. Walls:

While the site of the Canaanite city was chosen for its natural strength, the first settlers soon felt the need of some fortification. At Sinjerli the excavators have been able to trace the general growth of the site from a group of shepherds' huts into a walled town. The earliest fortification attempted was a rampart of earth following the natural contour of the hill (PEFS, 1903, 113). Within some such enclosing wall, houses were built and the inhabitants lived and pursued their avocations safely. The primitive earthbank in the case of Gezer was in course of time replaced first by an inner and then by an outer wall in succession. The outer wall when it was added to strengthen the inner was the chel, rendered in the English version "bulwark" (Isa 26:1) or "rampart" (Na 3:8, where the waters of the Nile served the same purpose). Professor Macalister estimates that the inner wall of Gezer had fallen into disuse and ruin by about 1450 BC and that it was the outer that saw the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites. "Even in its present ruined form," says Professor Macalister, "the outer city wall is an imposing structure. In places it still stands to a height of from 10 to 14 ft., and these can hardly be regarded as being much more than the underground foundations. The outer face of the city wall, towering above the hill on which the city was built, may well have seemed impregnable to the messengers of Moses" (Bible Side-Lights, 142). The walls of a later time, as we learn from Assyrian representations, were provided with battlements, very often crenellated, and "thy pinnacles of rubies" (Isa 54:12, the Revised Version (British and American), the Revised Version, margin "windows") may refer to them. For the purpose of strengthening the walls, especially at the least defensible points, revetments or facings of stone or kiln-burnt bricks were sometimes added. Even these again would be rendered less assailable by a trench (chel) serving to cut off a fortress from adjacent level or sloping ground, as may still be seen outside the North wall of Jerusalem, and many parts ofthe walls of Constantinople.

5. Towers:

Towers were sometimes built at the corners or at points on the wall where attack was to be apprehended (Ze 1:16; 2Ch 14:7). Such towers have been disclosed on the crest of the hill at Tell Zakariyah. At Gezer 30 towers were found round the outer wall. On the walls of Sinjerli there rose no fewer than 800 towers (Garstang, Land of the Hittites, 273). On the evidence of the excavations at this ancient Hittite site we gather that the cities about the time of the entrance of the Israelites into Canaan "were already surrounded by masoned walls, supported by numerous external towers, and entered through gateways barred by a pair of double doors and guarded by wing towers on either hand" (Land of the Hittites, 367). For illustrations, see CITY.

6. Acropolis or Castle:

Every one of these ancient cities had an inner fortress which would be an internal means of protection, and the last refuge of the defenders in extremity. At Tell Zakariyah the acropolis wall has been traced, and its shape has been found to be conditioned by the contours of the hill on which it stood. In an old Hittite settlement a fortress has been found rectangular in shape and supported by an outer and lower wall at a distance of 12 to 30 yds. (Land of the Hittites, 162). There is evidence that the mound or bluff originally occupied remained the fortress or acropolis of the city when it spread out over a larger area, and this seems to have been the case for some time at least with the Jebusite fort taken by David and made the capital of the kingdom. At Sinjerli, while there was a wall surrounding the whole township, there was an outer as well as an inner defensive wall to the citadel. Upon this citadel were found palaces from which the Assyrian king, Tiglath-pileser I, copied the plan of a Hittite palace, called in Assyrian Hilani.

7. Masonry:

The excavations enable us to see the progress of the art of fortification from very primitive beginnings. Crude brick and rough stone-work were the materials of the earliest walls. They are usually found of uncoursed masonry in which the large stones are undressed field boulders. The facings of stone and the joints in walls were often packed with pebbles or with limestone chippings, the stones themselves being more or less roughly trimmed and dressed to shape by a hammer. Corner-stones are found in the towers showing marks of the chisel, but it is not till well on in the Hebrew period that stones are found with bosses and marginal drafting. At Zakariyah the walls of the acropolis were of rubble laid in mud, mixed with straw without lime, and they contained some well-worked stones, irregularly intermingled with field stones of various sizes. At a later time mortar was used to cover the walls and give greater strength and support. But the clay used for the purpose was apt to crack unless it was given consistency by treading with the feet and mixing with water. Thus we read of a wall daubed with untempered mortar (Eze 13:10-16; 22:28; compare Na 3:14). In the masonry of the Hittite fortress (see (6) above) the masonry of the inner wall is rough, dry stonewalling, while the outer is built of stones roughly pentagonal in shape, irregular in size, fitted to one another and laid without mortar, somewhat like the Cyclopean walls of the earliest periods of Greek history.


8. Gates:

The gates of the fenced cities of Canaan may not have had the social importance which the city gate came to possess in later times, but they were an important element in the defensive works of a city. They were as few as possible, so as to give only the necessary ingress and egress. The gate of Jericho was shut and secured at nightfall (Jos 2:5). The gate of Gaza had two leaves which were not hinged to the two gate-posts, but turned on pins moving in sockets in the sill and lintel, the bar stretching between the two posts and let into them to secure the gate (Jud 16:3, with Moore's notes). The hundred gates of Babylon, according to Herodotus, were all of brass (i.179); and Yahweh promises to Cyrus to break in pieces the doors of brass and to cut in sunder the bars of iron (Isa 45:2). That the bars were sometimes of wood is clear from what is said of the bars of Nineveh ( Hab 3:13). To protect the gate it was supplied with towers. Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate and at the valley gate, and fortilled them (2Ch 26:9). In the inner wall of Gezer, to which reference has been made, a gate of very remarkable structure has been found. The wall is of stone, but the gateway consists of a passage between two solid towers of brick. The passage is 9 ft. wide and 42 ft. long, roughly paved with stones. Stone slabs on each side of the passageway bear traces of fire, and the absence of any wooden barrier may be due to a conflagration at the capture of the city. The towers remain standing and rise to a total height of about 16 ft. In later times watchmen were set on the tower over the gate to descry the approach of friend or foe or messenger (2Sa 18:24 ff), and the tower had chambers in it which might be occupied by visitors or by a guard. For the more general purposes see GATE.

9. Water Supply:

One of the essential requisites of the primitive Canaanite fortress was a supply of water. At Gezer a copious spring within easy reach was available. Tell el-Hesy commands the only springs in that region (A Mound of Many Cities, 16). It is a strong point in favor of the modern theory of the ridge of Ophel being the site of Zion or David's town that the Virgin's Fountain, the only perennial spring in the whole circuit of Jerusalem, was close to it, and would have been an inducement to the Jebusites to build their fortress there. In the sites that have been excavated, cisterns, sometimes vaulted over and with steps down into them, have been constantly found. Traces have also been observed of concealed passages or tunnels by which access has been obtained to the nearest spring. Some such explanation has been given of the "gutter" (2Sa 5:8 the King James Version, "watercourse" the Revised Version (British and American)), by which Joab obtained access to the fortress of Jebus and enabled David to capture it (1Ch 11:6; compare Vincent, Canaan d'apres l'exploration recente, 26). During an investment of a fortified city by an enemy, it was a point in strategy for the inhabitants to secure the fountain and to divert or conceal the stream flowing from it so that the besiegers might be left without a water supply (2Ki 3:19,25; 2Ch 32:3; compare also 2Sa 12:26,27, Century Bible, Kennedy's note).

II. In Biblical History.

1. Before the Monarchy:

On the passage of the Jordan the Israelites found in Jericho a walled city of great strength barring their progress. The excavations recently made have disclosed the common features of Canaanite fortresses--an outer wall, surrounding the entire area, 6 1/2 ft. thick, a citadel and protecting walls of hardly less substantial workmanship. Nearby also is the essential spring to furnish the water supply. Within the citadel were found the walls and rooms of Canaanite houses, and in many cases remains of infants buried in jars under the clay floors (Driver, Modern Research as Illustrating the Bible, 91 ff). These examples of "foundation sacrifices" with which the excavations at Gezer have made us familiar give point to the account of the resettlement of the city in the days of Ahab, when Hiel the Bethelite rebuilt Jericho, laying the foundation thereof with the loss of Abiram, his firstborn, and setting up the gates thereof with the loss of his youngest son Segub (1Ki 16:34).


In the Book of Jud we read of the strong tower, or citadel, of Thebez, into which the inhabitants had crowded and to which Abimelech was setting fire when a woman upon the wall hurled a millstone upon him and broke his skull (Jud 9:51). It does not appear that at this period the Israelites were in possession of the strongholds of the land, for when the Philistines overran the country, they had no fortresses to flee to, but "did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in coverts, and in pits" (1Sa 13:6).

2. In the Period of the Monarchy:

When David captured the Jebusite fortress (2Sa 5:6) and transferred his capital from Hebron to Jerusalem, a new era of independence and even of conquest began. The natural strength of David's town, with such fortification as had been added, made it impregnable to any Philistine or Syrian foe, and one of the strongest fortresses in Western Asia.

Although Solomon was a man of peace, he included among the great buildings which he executed fortresses and works of defense. He built the wall of Jerusalem round about. He built Millo (called Akra ("citadel") in the Septuagint), and closed the breaches of the city of David, so that there might be no vulnerable point found in the defenses of the city (1Ki 9:15). This fortification is represented in Septuagint, which has here an addition to the Massoretic Text, as securing the complete subjection of the original inhabitants who remained. Solomon also built Hazor to watch Damascus, Megiddo to guard the plain of Jezreel, and Gezer overlooking the maritime plain, his work being one of refortification rather than of building from the foundation. He fortified also Beth-horon, Upper and Nether, to block the way against Philistine invasion. The store cities, and cities to accommodate his chariots and horses, were also part of his military system (1Ki 9:18).

The disruption of the kingdoms, and the jealousy and hostility that followed between Judah and Israel, necessitated fresh undertakings of fortification, on the part of both kingdoms. Rehoboam dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities for defense in Judah. He fortified the strongholds and provisioned them and stored arms within them in case of siege (2Ch 11:5). One of Jeroboam's first acts on ascending the throne was to build the two fortresses, Shechem to guard Mr. Ephraim, and Penuel to protect Gilead (1Ki 12:25). Baasha later pushed his frontier within a few miles of Jerusalem, fortifying Ramah to overawe Asa in his very capital. The long war which lasted through the reigns of Jeroboam, Nadab, Baasha and Elah, kings of Israel, was largely a war of sieges, one of them, that of Gibbethon, having apparently lasted 27 years (1Ki 15:27, compared with 1Ki 16:15).

With Omri there arose in Israel a powerful ruler whose name is mentioned with respect in the Assyrian monuments, which designate the kingdom of Israel Mat Bit Khumri, "the land of the house of Omri." He was the builder of Samaria which remained the capital of the Northern Kingdom till its fall in 722 BC. In excavations but recently carried on by the archaeological expedition of Harvard University, the walls of Omri's palace and fortress were laid bare, giving an impression of the great strength of the place.

While Solomon built the wall of Jerusalem, we read that Uzziah built towers at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them (2Ch 26:9). Jotham his son, continued his father's labors in the further fortification of the city (2Ch 27:3,1). Hezekiah had good reason to add still further to the strength of the city, seeing that he had to bear the brunt of Sennacherib's expedition to the west. Sennacherib boasts that of Hezekiah's fortified towns, he captured 46, with innumerable fortresses besides (Schrader, Schrader, The Cuneiform Inscriptions and the Old Testament, I, 286), but he cannot tell that Jerusalem was among them, for it came through the ordeal unscathed. In the reign of Manasseh Jerusalem was captured and the king himself carried away to Nineveh, but on his repentance he was restored to the throne and set himself to strengthen the fortifications of the city (2Ch 33:14). The city was unable, however, to hold out against Nebuchadrezzar and his captains; for it was taken in 597 BC, and King Jehoiachin and the flower of the population were deported to Babylon. After a siege of two years it was again taken in 586 BC, and temple and city were destroyed, and the walls razed to the ground.

3. In the Period of the Return:

The patriotic labor of Nehemiah in the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem belongs properly to the history of the city (see JERUSALEM). In the Maccabean struggle, the Akra ( /APC 1Macc 1:33; 3:45, etc.), the citadel, was long held by a Syrian garrison, and was in the end delivered up to the high priest by Demetrius ( /APC 1Macc 10:32). Notable also still later was the castle of Antonia (Ac 22:24) on the site of the earlier castle of Nehemiah's day (Ne 2:8; 7:2).

III. In the Psalms and the Prophets.

1. The Psalms

Under the image of a fortress, or mountain fastness, inaccessible to any common foot, where there is perfect safety from enemies and persecutors, the Psalmist delights to express his confidence in God. Yahweh, in virtue of His righteous judgments, is a high tower to the downtrodden, a place of refuge and security (misgabh) to those who are in trouble (Ps 9:9). When he exults in the strength of God who has given him deliverance, he multiplies words to utter his confidence: "I love Thee, O Yahweh, my strength. Yahweh is my rock, and my fortress (metsudhah), .... my God .... my high tower (misgabh)" (Ps 18:1,2). Thirteen times in the Psalms we find this word: Ps 9:9; 18:2; 46:7,11; 59:9,16,17 (where the King James Version translates "defence" and the Revised Version (British and American) "high tower"), etc. Elsewhere metsudhah is employed (Ps 31:2; literally, "house of fortresses"; Ps 91:2; 144:2). If we were at liberty to accept such psalms as Psalms 18:59 as Davidic, the appropriateness of them to the circumstances of the Shepherd King when persecuted by Saul, taking refuge in the cave of Adullam and enduring the perils and anxieties of an outlaw's life, would at once be apparent.

2. The Prophets:

Although Jeremiah has been called the weeping prophet, yet for the fearless fulfillment of his commission to a gainsaying people, God made him "a fortified city (`ir mibhtsar), and an iron pillar, and brazen walls" (Jer 1:18; compare Jer 6:27; 15:20). Hosea in the Northern Kingdom predicted the destruction of its "fortresses" (mibhtsar) by the invading Assyrians (10:14; compare 8:14). The prophets in proclaiming God's message to their day addressed themselves not only to Israel and Judah, but also to those great world-powers with which the Hebrew people had relations. In the oracles of the prophets to the nations--to Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Syria, Edom, and others--we obtain glimpses of great and fortified cities like No-amon (Thebes), Babylon, Nineveh, Damascus, whose natural defenses and added fortifications did not save them from capture and destruction. And the teaching of the prophets for the comfort of Israel and Judah is that Yahweh was a better defense to them than the great rivers of Assyria and Egypt were to those nations. When Nineveh was at the height of her pride, fierceness and worldly glory, Nahum asks her: "Art thou better than No-amon (Thebes of Egypt), that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about her; whose rampart (chel) was the sea (the Nile), and her wall (chomah) was of the sea?" (Na 3:8). Of Nineveh itself we know that it was protected, not only by walls and fortresses of great strength, but also by canals and streams drawn round the city. Yet Nahum declares in his sublime apostrophe: "All thy fortresses shall be like figtrees with the first-ripe figs: if they be shaken, they fall into the mouth of the eater" (Na 3:12). Babylon had walls whose strength and height, as described by Herodotus and other historians, were fabulous. Its great monarch Nebuchadrezzar was in his day the greatest ruler of the East, and Sir Henry Layard has told that scarcely a brick unearthed in the mounds of the great Babylonian plain was without his name. Yet when the day of reckoning came, the wall, said to be mountain-high, and 80 ft. thick, with its moat so broad that an arrow could not be shot over it, and all its elaborate works of defense, were as if they had not been; it surrendered to Cyrus without a blow being struck. It is in the visions of the prophets, in the universal peace which is to accompany the restoration of Israel, that we hear of "them that are at rest, that dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates" (Eze 38:11). "In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; salvation will he appoint for walls and bulwarks" (chel) (Isa 26:1). "Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, desolation nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise" (Isa 60:18). Building of fenced cities, with riding upon horses and military preparation, was a note of the false prophet, who urged alliances with foreign powers such as Assyria and Egypt, anal relied too much upon the material resources of the nation. The true prophet realized that the strength of the nation lay in God and urged the people to put their trust in Him (Ho 8:14). "Jerusalem," says Zechariah in the days of the Return, "shall be inhabited as villages without walls, by reason of the multitude of men and cattle therein. For I, saith Yahweh, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and I will be the glory in the midst of her" (2:4,5; compare 8:4,5).

IV. In the New Testament.

1. In Paul's Epistles:

In a well-known passage (2Co 10:3-5), Paul, as he often does, draws upon his knowledge of Roman methods of warfare, and introduces for the enforcement of great spiritual lessons the pulling down of "strong-holds" as the ultimate object of every campaign. The word employed (ochuromata) is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word commonly rendered "fortress" (mibhtsar). "The `strongholds' are the rock forts, such as those which once bristled along the coast of his native Cilicia and of which he must often have heard when his father told him how they were `pulled down' by the Romans in their wars against the pirates. Those `high things that exalt themselves'--those high eminences of the pride of Nature--occupied in force by hostile troops--had been a familiar experience in many wars throughout Asia Minor, while one of the grandest of all was the Acropolis that towered over Corinth" (Dean Howson, The Metaphors of Paul, 34 f).

2. In the Ac of the Apostles:

From the stairs of the Castle of Antonia, Paul, by leave of Claudius Lysias, the commandant of the garrison at Jerusalem, in whose charge he was, addressed the excited crowd and told the story of his conversion. Antonia was the quarters, then, as it was in the time of our Lord, of the Roman garrison, which occupied the Jewish capital (Ac 21:37; Joh 18:28); and the same site is to this day covered with a Turkish barracks.

3. In the Gospel History:

Although it is not mentioned by name, the gloomy fortress of Macherus on the East of the Dead Sea is believed to have been the scene of the imprisonment and murder of John the Baptist. The description of it given by Josephus (BJ, VII, vi, 1) shows it to have been a place of immense strength. "It was quite necessary that that fortress should be demolished lest it might draw away many into rebellion because of its strength; for the nature of the place was very capable of affording sure hope of safety to those who held it, and delay and fear to those who attacked it. For what was defended by a fort was itself a rocky hill, rising to a very great height, which circumstance alone made it very difficult to capture it. It was also so contrived by Nature that it could not easily be approached; for it is entrenched by ravines on all sides, so deep that the eye cannot reach their bottoms, nor are they easy to cross over, and it is quite impossible to fill them up with earth." Macherus, like the Herodium, Jotapata, Masada, figured largely in the tragic scenes of the Jewish War so graphically described by Josephus


Bliss and Macalister, Excavations in Palestine; Bliss, A Mound of Many Cities; Macalister, Bible Side-Lights from Mound of Gezer; PEFS for 1903-6, referring to Gezer; Driver, Modern Research as Illustrating the Bible; Vincent, Canaan d'apres l'exploration recente; Billerbeck, Der Festungsbau im alten Orient.

T. Nicol.


for-tu-na'-tus (Phortounatos):

A Roman proper name turned into Gr; same as Latin adjective fortunatus, meaning "blest," or "fortunate." Found only once in the Bible (1Co 16:17). Fortunatus, with Stephanas and Achaicus, was an amabassador of the Corinthian church, whose presence at Ephesus refreshed the spirit of the apostle Paul.


for'-tun (Gad): A god of Good Luck, possibly the Hyades.



for'-ti ('arba`im; tessarakonta).




the King James Version Appii Forum (Ac 28:15), is in the Revised Version (British and American) Market of Appius (see APPII FORUM).


for'-werd for'-werd-nes (hale'ah, naca`; spoudaios):

As an adverb "forward" has the meaning of "onward" in space or time, or in the movement of affairs. As an adjective it has the sense of "readiness," "willingness," etc. The adverb only is found in the Old Testament. It is the translation of hale'ah, "distance," "onward"; in space (Nu 32:19; 1Sa 10:3); in time (Eze 39:22, "from that day and forward"; Eze 43:27); once of halakh, "to go on" (Ge 26:13, "went forward," the King James Version margin, Hebrew "went going," the Revised Version (British and American) "grew more and more"); twice of ma`al, "above," "upward" (1Sa 16:13; 30:25, "from that day forward"); once of ya'al, "to cause to go up," "advance" (Job 30:13, "They set forward (advance or help on) my calamity"); twice of lephanim, "to the front" (Jer 7:24; Eze 10:22, "They went every one straight forward," literally, "on the side of their face"); once of qedhem, "before" (Job 23:8, "Behold, I go forward, but he is not there"); once with nakhah, "to smite" (2Ki 3:24); frequently in Nu, and once in Exodus, of naca`, "to lift up," "remove," "journey" (Ex 14:15, "Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward"; Nu 1:51, "when the tabernacle setteth forward"; Nu 2:24 the King James Version, "They shall go forward," etc.); it is also the translation of natsach (Piel), "to be over," "to take the lead," "to superintend" (1Ch 23:4, "to set forward (to carry onward, to advance) the work of the house of the Lord," the King James Version margin and text of the Revised Version (British and American) "to oversee"; 2Ch 34:12, "to set it forward," the Revised Version (British and American) retains, margin, "to preside over it"; Ezr 3:8 margin, "set forward the work"). This word means also "to lead" in music, to precent; hence, in the title of many psalms, la-menatseach, "For the chief musician." Proerchomai, "to go forward," etc., is translated "went forward" (Mr 14:35); propempo, "to send forward" (3 Joh 1:6, "bring forward," the Revised Version (British and American) "set forward"); proballo, "to throw or put forward" (Ac 19:33, "putting him forward"); as adjective it is the translation of thelo, "to wish," "will" (2Co 8:10, "to be forward a year ago"; the King James Version margin (Greek) "willing," the Revised Version (British and American) "to will"); of spoudaios, "speedy," "earnest" (2Co 8:17, "being more forward," the Revised Version (British and American) "very earnest"); of spoudazo, "to make haste," "to be earnest" (Ga 2:10, "which I also was forward to do," the Revised Version (British and American) "zealous to do").

"Forward" occurs several times in Apocrypha, e.g. /APC 1Esdras 1:27, "The Lord is with me hasting me forward" (epispeudo); /APC 2Esdras 3:6, "before ever the earth came forward" (adventaret), meaning, perhaps, before it was ready for planting.

Forwardness is the translation of spoude, "speed," "zeal," etc. (2Co 8:8, the Revised Version (British and American) "earnestness"); of prothumia "readiness of mind" (2Co 9:2, "the forwardness of your mind," the Revised Version (British and American) "your readiness"; The Wisdom of Solomon /APC Wis 14:17, "that by their forwardness (spoude) they might flatter," the Revised Version (British and American) "zeal").

For "forward" the Revised Version (British and American) has "forth" (Nu 2:24; compare 1Co 16:11); for "go forward" (Nu 10:5), "take their journey"; for "set forward" (Nu 21:10; 22:1), "journeyed"; "forward" for "ready" (De 1:41), for "forth" (Pr 25:6), for "farther" (Mt 26:39); "put forward" for "appointed" (Ac 1:23): "set forward according to" for "took" (Nu 10:12); "set forward" for "went" (Nu 10:14,34), for "departed" (Nu 10:33); "set me forward" for "bring me" (1Co 16:6).

W. L. Walker


foul (raphas; akdthartos):

The verb "to foul" (defile) occurs as the translation of raphas, "to trample" or "muddle" (streams) (Eze 32:2; 34:18); of chalmar, "to burn," "to be red" (Job 16:16, "My face is foul with weeping," the American Standard Revised Version and the English Revised Version, margin "red"); of mirpas, "a treading" (Eze 34:19). The adjective is the translation of akathartos, "unclean," "impure," "wicked" (Mr 9:25; Re 18:2, "foul spirit," the Revised Version (British and American) "unclean"), and of cheimon, "winter," "stormy or foul weather" (Mt 16:3). the Revised Version (British and American) has "The rivers shall become foul" (Isa 19:6) instead of the King James Version "They shall turn the rivers far away," the English Revised Version "The rivers shall stink."

W. L. Walker



In Hebrew the words for "foundation" are mostly derivatives from yacadh, "to found," and in Greek two words are used: one, katabole, of "foundation of the world" (Mr 13:35; 15:34; Lu 11:50; Joh 17:24, etc.); the other, themelios, of the foundation of a building (Lu 6:48,49; 14:29; Ac 16:26, etc.), in which sense it is also used metaphorically in various connections (Christ the foundation of the church, 1Co 3:11; or the apostles and prophets the foundation, with Christ as corner-stone, Eph 2:20; the foundation of repentance, Heb 6:1, etc.). In Ps 11:3, "if the foundations be destroyed," the Hebrew word is shath. In Jer 50:15, the Revised Version (British and American) reads "bulwarks" for "foundations"; conversely in Ps 89:14; 97:2, for the King James Version "habitation," the Revised Version (British and American) reads "foundation," and in Isa 6:4 for the King James Version "posts," reads "foundations."

James Orr


foun'-der (from tsaraph): A worker in molten metal (Jud 17:4, etc.).

The word in the King James Version in Jer 10:9,14; 51:17 is rendered in the Revised Version (British and American) "goldsmith," and in 6:29 by a paraphrase, "They go on refining."



foun'-tin, foun'-tan:

In a country where no rain falls for half of the year, springs sume an importance unknown in more favored lands. In both eastern and western Palestine and even in Lebanon there are many villages which depend entirely upon reservoirs or cisterns of rain water. Others are situated along the courses of the few perennial streams. But wherever a spring exists it is very apt to be the nucleus of a village. It may furnish sufficient water to be used in irrigation, in which case the gardens surrounding the village become an oasis in the midst of the parched land. Or there may be a tiny stream which barely suffices for drinking water, about which the village women and girls sit and talk waiting their turns to fill their jars, sometimes until far in the night. The water of the village fountain is often conveyed by a covered conduit for some distance from the source to a convenient spot in the village where an arch is built up, under which the water gushes out. See CISTERN; SPRING; WELL; EN-, and place-names compounded with EN-.


(1) of God (Ps 36:9; Jer 2:13; 17:13);

(2) of Divine pardon and purification, with an obvious Messianic reference (Zec 13:1);

(3) of wisdom and godliness (Pr 13:14; 14:27);

(4) of wives (Pr 5:18);

(5) of children (De 33:28; compare Ps 68:26; Pr 5:16);

(6) of prosperity (Ps 107:35; 114:8; Ho 13:15);

(7) of the heart (Ec 12:6; see CISTERN);

(8) of life everlasting (Re 7:17; 21:6).

Alfred Ely Day




for ('arba`; tessares): "Four" (cardinal number) was a sacred and complete number with the Hebrews, as well as with several other peoples. It occurs very frequently in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

(1) It indicates completeness. We have the four rivers of Paradise (Ge 2:10); the four winds of heaven (Eze 37:9; Da 7:2; 8:8; 11:4; Zec 6:5, the Revised Version, margin "spirits"; /APC 2Esdras 13:5); "the four winds" (Mt 24:31; Mr 13:27); "the four corners of the earth" (Isa 11:12; Re 7:1; 20:8, the King James Version "quarters"); "the four corners of the house" (Job 1:19); Jephthah's daughter was bewailed four days a year (Jud 11:40); "four cities" are several times mentioned in Jos in the allotment of inheritances (19:7; 21:18, etc.); Nehemiah's enemies sent to him "four times" (Ne 6:4); "four kinds" (the Revised Version, margin "families" of destroyers were threatened, Jer 15:3); Yahweh's "four sore judgments" (Eze 14:21); "four generations" were seen by Job ( Job 42:16).

(2) "Four" is frequent in prophetic visions: Daniel saw "four .... beasts" arise, representing four kings (7:3,17); "four notable horns" ( Dan 8:8,22; compare /APC 2Esdras 11:39); "four gates" ( /APC 2Esdras 3:19; four wings, 12:2 the King James Version); "four horns" were seen by Zechariah, as the powers that had scattered Israel, and "four smiths" (Revised Version) as powers that would cast the four horns down (1:18-21); "four chariots and .... horses" represented the "four spirits," the King James Version and the Revised Version, margin (better than "winds"), that went "forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth" ( Zech 6:1-5); in the visions of Ezekiel, "four living creatures," each with four faces, four wings, etc., were the bearers of the throne of God (1:5 f,23); so, in the visions of John there were "four living creatures" before and around the throne (Re 4:6; 5:6,8,14; 6:1; 15:7; 19:4); John saw "four angels" of destruction loosed for their work (Re 9:14).

(3) "Four" occurs frequently in the measurements of the sacred buildings, etc.

(a) of the tabernacle (Ex 25; 26; 27; 28:17; 36, etc.);

(b) of Solomon's temple (1Ki 7:2; 1Ch 9:24);

(c) of Ezekiel's temple (Eze 40:41; 41:5; 42:20; 43:14).

(4) "Four" is used as an alternative with "three" (Pr 30:15,18,21,24,29); we have "three or four" (2 Esdras 16:29,31); "the third and .... the fourth generation" (Ex 20:5; 34:7; Nu 14:18; De 5:9).

(5) Ten times four, or forty is also a special and sacred number, e.g. forty years did Israel eat manna (Ex 16:35); forty years in the wilderness (Nu 14:33; 32:13); "the land had rest forty years" (Jud 3:11; 5:31); Israel was delivered unto the hands of the Philistines for forty years (Jud 13:1); Eli judged Israel forty years (1Sa 4:18); Moses was forty years old when he visited his brethren (Ac 7:23); the flood continued for "forty days and forty nights" (Ge 7:4); Moses was in the Mount "forty days and forty nights" (Ex 24:18; 34:28; De 9:9); Jesus fasted in the desert forty days and nights (Mt 4:2); He remained with His disciples forty days after His resurrection (Ac 1:3).

(6) Fourscore is also frequent (shemonim) (Ex 7:7; Jud 3:30; Jer 41:5, etc.; ogdoekonta, Lu 2:37; 16:7).

(7) Four hundred represents a large number, e.g. the years of the oppression in Egypt (Ge 15:13); Esau's company (Ge 33:1); the men with David (1Sa 22:2; 25:13; 30:10,17); the prophets of Baal "four hundred and fifty," of Asherah, "four hundred" (1Ki 18:19,22); the prophets of Israel (1Ki 22:6). Four thousand represents a larger number, e.g. the musicians and porters of Solomon's temple (1Ch 23:5); the stalls for horses in Solomon's stables (2Ch 9:25); the Assassins who made insurrection under an Egyptian (Ac 21:38); Christ fed "four thousand men, besides women and children" (Mt 15:38). Four hundred thousand represents a very large number, e.g. the congregation of Israel that gathered at Mizpah, "four hundred thousand footmen that drew sword" (Jud 20:2,17); Abijah's army (2Ch 13:3; Jeroboam's, twice that number).

(8) The fourth part also frequently occurs (Ex 29:40; Le 23:13; Nu 23:10; Re 6:8, etc.).

W. L. Walker







Occurs but twice in English Versions: 2Sa 12:6, "He shall restore the lamb fourfold"; and Lu 19:8 the King James Version, "If I have wrongfully exacted ought .... I restore fourfold." From this statement of Zaccheus we are to understand that fourfold the amount of that which was stolen was the restoration the law required of a thief. This was the extreme penalty the law imposed. In some cases double the amount was to be restored (Ex 22:4,7); in others, a fifth of its value was added to the thing restored (Le 6:5); still again, an amount equal to that taken was to be restored (1Sa 12:3).





for'-skwar (rabha`; tetragonos):

"Foursquare," meaning equal in length and breadth, not round, is the translation of rabha` (from obsolete rebha`, "four"); it occurs in the description of the altar of burnt offering (Ex 27:1; 38:1); of the altar of incense (Ex 30:2; 37:25); of the breastplate of the high priest (Ex 28:16; 39:9); of the panels of the gravings upon the mouth of the brazen or molten sea in Solomon's temple (1Ki 7:31); of the inner court of Ezekiel's temple (Eze 40:47); of "the holy oblation" of the city of Ezekiel's vision (Eze 48:20, rebhi`i, "fourth"); of the new Jerusalem of John's vision (Re 21:16, tetragonos), and conveys the idea of perfect symmetry. In the King James Version marginof 1Ki 6:31, we have "five-square," square being formerly used for equal-sided, as it still is in "three-square file."

W. L. Walker







foul (`oph; peteinon): The word is now generally restricted to the larger, especially the edible birds, but formerly it denoted all flying creatures; in Le 11:20 the King James Version we have even, "all fowls that creep, going upon all four," Le 11:21, "every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four."

1. Old Testament Terms and References:

The word most frequently translated "fowl" is `oph from `uph, "to cover," hence, wing; it is used collectively for birds and fowl in general (Ge 1:20, etc.; 2:19,20, etc.); `ayit (from `ut, "to rush") means a ravenous beasts; or bird of prey, used collectively of ravenous birds (Ge 15:11 the King James Version; Isa 18:6 the King James Version "fowls"; Job 28:7, "a path which no fowl knoweth," the Revised Version (British and American) "no bird of prey"); in Isa 46:11 it is used as a symbol of a conqueror (compare Jer 12:9, "bird," "birds of prey"; Eze 39:4, "ravenous birds"); tsippor, Aramaic tsippar (from tsaphar, "to twitter or chirp"), "a chirper," denotes a small bird or sparrow (De 4:17 the King James Version; Ne 5:18; Da 4:14); to give the carcasses of men to the fowls (birds) of the air was an image of destruction (De 28:26 the King James Version; 1Sa 17:44,46; Ps 79:2; Jer 7:33, etc.); barburim, rendered (1Ki 4:23) "fatted fowl" (among the provisions for Solomon's table for one day), is probably a mimetic word, like Greek barbaros, Latin murmuro, English babble, perhaps denoting geese from their cackle (Gesenius, from barar, "to cleanse," referring to their white plumage; but other derivations and renderings are given). They might have been ducks or swans. They could have been guineas or pigeons. The young of the ostrich was delicious food, and no doubt when Solomon's ships brought peafowl they also brought word that they were a delicacy for a king's table. The domestic fowl was not common so early in Palestine,but it may have been brought by Solomon with other imports from the East; in New Testament times chickens were common; ba`al kanaph, "owner of a wing," is used for a bird of any kind in Pr 1:17. "In vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird," the King James Version margin Hebrew, "in the eyes of everything that hath a wing."

2. In the Levitical Law:

In the Levitical law fowls (birds) were distinguished as clean and unclean (Le 11:13; De 14:11-20; compare Ge 8:20); the first were allowed to be eaten because they fed on grains, seeds, and vegetables; the second were forbidden because they fed on flesh and carrion.

3. New Testament References and Illustrative Uses:

In the New Testament the common word for "fowl" is peteinon, "winged fowl." "The fowls of the air" (the Revised Version (British and American) "the birds of the heaven") are pointed to by our Lord as examples of the providential care of God (Mt 6:26; Lu 12:24); in another connection the "sparrows" (strouthion) sold cheap, probably for food, are so employed (Mt 10:29, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?" Lu 12:6, "five .... for two pence"); their quickly picking up seeds from the ground is made to illustrate the influences which render "the word" powerless (Mt 13:4); their being sheltered in the branches, the growth of the kingdom (Mt 13:32, peteinon); the hen's (ornis) sheltering care for her chickens, His desire to protect and save Jerusalem (Mt 23:37; compare /APC 2Esdras 1:30; Ru 2:12); the fowls were shown in vision to Peter as among the things made clean by God (Ac 10:12; 11:6); in Re 18:2; 19:17,21, orneon, "bird," "fowl," a carnivorous bird (the Revised Version (British and American) "bird"), is the representative of desolation and of destruction.

For "fowls" the American Standard Revised Version has "birds" (Ge 6:7,20; 7:3; Le 20:25; Ac 10:12; 11:6; with the English Revised Version Mt 6:26; 13:4; Mr 4:4,32; Lu 8:5; 12:24; 13:19); for "every feathered fowl" (Eze 39:17), the Revised Version (British and American) has "the birds of every sort"; for "all fowls that creep" (Le 11:20) and for "every flying creeping thing" (Le 11:21), "all winged creeping things."

W. L. Walker


See preceding article.


foul'-er (yoqesh): A professional birdcatcher. In the days previous to firearms, birds were captured with nets spread on the ground, in traps and snares. There was a method of taking young birds from a nest, raising them by hand, and when they had become very tame, they were confined in hidden cages so that their voices would call others of their kind to the spot and they could be killed by arrows of concealed bowmen or the use of the throw-stick (Ecclesiasticus 11:30) This was a stick 1 1/2 feet in length and 1/2 inches in diameter, hurled with a rotary motion at the legs of the birds and was very effective when thrown into flocks of ground birds, such as partridge or quail, especially if the birds were running up hill. There was also a practice of sewing a captured bird's eyelids together and confining it so that its cries would call large numbers of birds through curiosity and they could then be taken in the several ways mentioned. The fowlers supplied the demand for doves and other birds used for caged pets, and furnished the market with wild pigeons and doves for sacrifice and such small birds as were used for food. Ps 91:3: "For he will deliver thee from the snare of the fowler. And from the deadly pestilence."

This is David's promise that the Almighty will deliver us from the evil plans laid to ruin us, as a bird sometimes in its struggles slips the hair and escapes from the "snare" (which see) set for it. Ps 124:7:

"Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers:

The snare is broken, and we are escaped."

Here is the fulfillment of the former promise in a cry of rejoicing. Sometimes the snare held fast, sometimes it broke; then the joy in the heart of a freed man was like the wild exultation in the heart of the escaping bird. Pr 6:5:

"Deliver thyself as a roe from the hands. of the hunter.

And as a bird from the hand of the fowler."

With methods so primitive as these for taking birds, it must have occurred frequently that a stunned, wounded or entrapped bird slipped even from the hand that held it and made good its escape.

Jer 5:26: "For among my people are found wicked men: they watch, as fowlers lie in wait; they set a trap, they catch men." Here is the plain comparison strongly drawn between wicked men entrapping their fellows and fowlers taking unsuspecting birds.

The last reference is in Ho 9:8: "Ephraim was a watchman with my God: as for the prophet, a fowler's snare is in all his ways, and enmity in the house of his God." Wherever he goes, the prophet is in danger of being trapped.

Gene Stratton-Porter


(shu`al; compare Arabic tha`lab (Jud 15:4; Ne 4:3; Ps 63:10; So 2:15; La 5:18; Eze 13:4); alopex (Mt 8:20; Lu 9:58; 13:32)): The foxes of different parts of Europe and Western Asia differ more or less from each other, and some authors have given the local tyes distinct specific names. Tristram, for instance, distinguishes the Egyptian fox, Vulpes nilotica, of Southern Palestine, and the tawny fox, Vulpes flavescens, of the North and East It is possible that the range of the desert fox, Vulpes leucopus, of Southwestern Asia may also reach Syria. We have, however, the authority of the Royal Natural History for considering all these as merely local races of one species, the common fox, Vulpes alopex or Canis vulpes. The natives of Syria and Palestine do not always distinguish the fox and jackal although the two animals are markedly different. The jackal and wolf also are frequently confounded.


In Ps 63:9 f we have, "Those that seek my soul, to destroy it, .... shall be given over to the power of the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes" (shu`alim). It has been thought that the jackal is meant here (Revised Version margin), and that may well be, though it is also true that the fox does not refuse carrion. In the Revised Version, margin, "jackal" is suggested in two other passages, though why is not clear, since the rendering "fox" seems quite appropriate in both. They are Ne 4:3, ".... if a fox go up, he shall break down their stone wall," and La 5:17 f, ".... our eyes are dim; for the mountain of Zion which is desolate: the foxes walk upon it." the Revised Version, margin also has "jackals" in Jud 15:4 f, where Samson "caught three hundred foxes .... and put a firebrand in the midst between every two tails .... and let them go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks and the standing grain, and also the oliveyards." Jackals are probably more numerous than foxes, but the substitution does not appreciably diminish the difficulties in the way of any natural explanation of the story. In So 2:15 we have a reference to the fondness of the fox for grapes. In Mt 8:20 and Lu 9:58 Jesus says in warning to a would-be follower, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heaven have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." Foxes differ from most of the Canidae in burrowing holes for their lairs, unless indeed they take possession of the burrow of another animal, such as the badger. In Lu 13:32 Jesus compares Herod to a fox.

Alfred Ely Day.


frag'-ment (klasma): "Fragment," a piece broken off, occurs only in the plural, in the accounts of the miracles of the Loaves in the Gospels and references thereto. It is the translation of klasma (from klao, "to break"), "a piece broken off" (Mt 14:20 the King James Version); "broken meat" (Mt 15:37).

The Revised Version (British and American) has in each instance "broken pieces." The change is important because it shows that the pieces left over were not mere fragments or crumbs left by the people after eating, but some of the original pieces into which it is said in all the synoptic narratives and references Jesus "broke" the "loaves," which, being thin cakes, were usually broken before distribution; hence, the phrase, "breaking of bread." See Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes), under the word "Fragment"; Weymouth translates "broken portions," namely, "those into which the Lord had broken the loaves; not mere scraps or crumbs."

W. L. Walker



(1) yetser (from root yatsar, "to knead," mold with the fingers): "For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust" (Ps 103:14).

(2) `erekh (from root `arakh, "to put in order," "to set in a row," "to arrange"): "goodly frame" (Job 41:12, the King James Version "goodly proportion").

(3) `otsem "bony frame" "body": "My frame was not hidden from thee, when I was made in secret" (Ps 139:15), the King James Version "my substance," the King James Version margin "my strength, or, my body."

See also BONE.

(4) mibhneh, "building, frame" (Eze 40:2, "frame of a city").

(5) nathan, "to give," "to direct": "They will not frame their doings" (Ho 5:4, the King James Version and the Revised Version, margin).

(6) sunarmologeo, "to fit or join closely together" (Eph 2:21).

(7) katartizo, "to fit out," "make fit," "adjust" (Heb 11:3).

H. L. E. Luering


frants'-in-sens (lebhonah, from root meaning "whiteness," referring to the milky color of the fresh juice: Ex 30:34; Le 2:1 f,15 f; 5:11; 6:15; 24:7; Nu 5:15; 1Ch 9:29; Ne 13:5,9; So 3:6; 4:6,14; Isa 43:23; 60:6; 66:3; Jer 6:20; 17:26; 41:5; translated in the last six references "incense" in the King James Version, but correctly in the Revised Version (British and American); libanos: Mt 2:11; Re 18:13. The English word is derived from old French franc encens, i.e. "pure incense"): The common frankincense of the pharmacopeas is a gum derived from the common fir, but the frankincense of the Jews, as well as of the Greeks and Romans, is a substance now called Olibanum (from the Arabic el luban), a product of certain trees of the genus Boswellia (Natural Order, Amyridaceae), growing on the limestone rocks of south Arabia and Somali-land (Isa 60:6; Jer 6:20). The most important species are B. Carteri and B. Frereana. Some of the trees grow to a considerable height and send down their roots to extraordinary depths. The gum is obtained by incising the bark,

and is collected in yellowish, semitransparent tears, readily pulverized; it has a nauseous taste. It is used for making incense for burning in churches and in Indian temples, as it was among the Jews (Ex 30:34). See INCENSE. It is often associated with myrrh (So 3:6; 4:6) and with it was made an offering to the infant Saviour (Mt 2:11). A specially "pure" kind, lebhonah zakkah, was presented with the shewbread (Le 24:7).

E. W. G. Masterman


frank'-li (charizomai):

"Frankly" in the sense of "freely," "readily," "graciously," occurs only in the translation of charizomai, properly "to gratify," "to do that which is grateful or pleasing," "to forgive" (Lu 7:42, "He frankly forgave them both," the Revised Version (British and American) has simply "forgave"; the same word is translated in Lu 7:43, the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), "forgave," in Lu 7:21 the King James Version it is "gave," the Revised Version (British and American) "bestowed," granted to see). It occurs in the New Testament only in Luke and Paul.


fra (haradh, "to make afraid," "cause to tremble": the King James Version of De 28:26; Jer 7:33; Zec 1:21; the Revised Version (British and American) "frighten," "terrify").

See WAR.


frek'-'-ld, (bohaq; Septuagint alphos, called in the Revised Version (British and American) "a tetter," and described as a bright shining spot (beharoth lebhenoth):

These white eruptions did not render the person so marked ceremonially unclean (Le 13:39). This form of skin disease is described by Hippocrates as usually of no great importance and indicative of a sluggishness of body; it is probably some form of local psoriasis. There is a cognate modern Arabic word applied to a facial eczematous eruption. For other references to skin diseases, see LEPROSY.




fred'-man, fre'-man: The term occurs in 1Co 7:22; Col 3:11, and Re 6:15, and represents two slightly different words. In 1Co 7:22 the word is apeleutheros, "a freeman," one who was born a slave and has received freedom. In this case it refers to spiritual freedom. He that was in bondage to sin has been presented with spiritual freedom by the Lord. In Re 6:15 the word is simply eleutheros, "a free man" as opposed to a slave.


fre'-li (chinnam, nedhabhah; dorean parrhesiazomai):

"Freely" occurs in three senses:ts two slightly different words. In 1Co 7:22 the word is apeleutheros, "a freeman," one who was born a slave and has received freedom. In this case it refers to spiritual freedom. He that was in bondage to sin has been presented with spiritual freedom by the Lord. In Re 6:15 the word is simply eleutheros, "a free man" as opposed to a slave.

(1) Gratis, for nothing (Nu 11:5, chinnam, "for nought," "the fish which we did eat in Egypt freely," the Revised Version (British and American) "for nought"); Mt 10:8, dorean, "Freely ye have received, freely give," the Revised Version (British and American) omits "have"; Ro 3:24, "being justified freely by his grace"; 2Co 11:7, "I have preached to you the gospel freely," the Revised Version (British and American) "for nought"; Re 21:6; 22:17, "Take the water of life freely"; charizomai (Ro 8:32) is translated "freely give," ta charisthenta (1Co 2:12), "the things that are freely given," the American Standard Revised Version has "were" for "are."

(2) Willingly, spontaneously: nedhabhah, "willing offering" (Ps 54:6, "I will freely sacrifice unto thee," the Revised Version (British and American) "with a freewill-offering"; Ho 14:4, "I will love them freely"); nadhabh, "to give willingly'' (Ezr 2:68, the Revised Version (British and American) "willingly offered"; compare 1:6); nedabh Aramaic (7:15; compare 7:13,16).

(3) Without hindrance or restraint, 'akhal, "to eat" is rendered in Ge 2:16, "Thou mayest freely eat," the King James Version margin" Hebrew, eating thou shalt eat"; 1Sa 14:30, "if .... the people had eaten freely"; parrhesiazomai, "to speak freely, openly, boldly" (Ac 26:26, "Unto whom also I speak freely"); meta parrhesias, "with full speech" (Ac 2:29, "I may say unto you freely").

Revised Version has "have drunk freely" for "well drunk" (Joh 2:10). The word is methusko, Pass. "to become drunk." Comparison with Lu 12:45; Eph 5:18; 1Th 5:7; Re 17:2, where the same word is translated the King James Version "made drunk," the Revised Version (British and American) "made drunken" (Mt 24:49; Ac 2:15; 1Co 11:21; Re 17:6, "drunken"), will show that the meaning is "drunk," which was the rendering of Tyndale and Cranmer; Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) has cum inebriati fuerint; Plummer renders "have become drunk, are drunk."

W. L. Walker


fre'-wil of'-er-ing. See SACRIFICE.


fre'-woom-an (eleuthera): Found but 4 times in the King James Version (Ga 4:22,23,10,31). In the first three passages it refers to Sarah, the freewoman and true wife of Abraham as in contrast with Hagar, the Egyptian slave girl who became his concubine (Ge 16:1 ). In the last passage a metaphorical application of the term is made to the Christians who are the children of promise, of freedom, of the spirit, the children of the freewoman, in contrast with the Jews who are the children of the letter, of bondage, of the bondwoman.


fre'-kwent (peris-soteros):

"Frequent," adjective (from Latin frequens, frequentis, "crowded") occurs only once in the text of the King James Version, as the translation of perissoteros, adverb in comparative degree of perissos, "abundantly," hence, "more abundantly" (compare 2Co 1:12); in 2Co 11:23, "in prisons more frequent," the Revised Version (British and American) "more abundantly"; and once in the margin of the King James Version (Pr 27:6) as translation of `athar, "to be abundant," the Revised Version (British and American) in text, "profuse."

American Revised Version has "frequent" for "open" (1Sa 3:1, "The word of Yahweh was precious (margin, rare) in those days; there was no frequent vision," margin "(Hebrew) widely spread" (the word is parac, "to break forth," "to scatter," etc.). the English Revised Version retains "open," with "frequent, Hebrew widely spread" in the margin. "Frequent" (the verb) does not occur.

W. L. Walker



The translation of hadhash, "new," "fresh" (Job 29:20, "My glory is fresh in me"); of leshadh, "sap," "moisture" (Nu 11:8, of the manna, "as the taste of fresh oil," the Revised Version, margin "cakes baked with oil"); of ra`anan, "to be fresh and green" (Ps 92:10, "fresh oil"); of glukus, "sweet" (Jas 3:12, "salt water and fresh," the Revised Version (British and American) "sweet"). Fresher is the translation of rutaphash, "to become fresh" (Job 33:25; "His flesh shall be fresher than a child's").

Revised Version has "fresh" for "green" (Ge 30:37; Le 23:14), for "moist" (Nu 6:3), for "full" (Le 2:14; 2Ki 4:42), for "new" (Jud 15:15; Mt 9:17; Mr 2:22; Lu 5:38).

W. L. Walker


(charah, ma'ar):

To "fret" is from for (prefix) and etan, "to eat," "to consume." The word is both transitive and intransitive in King James Version:

(1) transitive as translation of charah, "to burn," Hithpael, "to fret one's self," "to be angry" (Ps 37:1, "Fret not thyself because of evil-doers"; Ps 37:7,8; Pr 24:19); of qatsaph, "to be angry," etc. (Isa 8:21, "They shall fret themselves, and curse," etc.); of raghaz, to be moved" (with anger, etc.) (Eze 16:43, "Thou hast fretted me in all these things," the American Standard Revised Version "raged against me"). For Le 13:55, see under Fretting below.

(2) Intransitive, it is the translation of ra`am, "to rage," Hiphil, "to provoke to anger" (1Sa 1:6, "Her rival provoked her sore, to make her fret"); of za`aph, "to be sad," "to fret" (Pr 19:3, "His heart fretteth against Yahweh").

Fretting in the sense of eating away, consuming, is used of the leprosy, ma'ar, "to be sharp, bitter, painful" (Le 13:51,52; 14:44, "a fretting leprosy"; in Le 13:55 we have "it (is) fret inward" ("fret" past participle), as the translation of pehetheth from pahath, "to dig" (a pit), the word meaning "a depression," "a hollow or sunken spot in a garment affected by a kind of leprosy," the Revised Version (British and American) "it is a fret."

Revised Version has "fretful" for "angry" (Pr 21:19), margin "vexation."

W. L. Walker





frend, frend'-ship: In the Old Testament two words, variously translated "friend" or "companion": re`eh, indicating a mere associate, passing friend, neighbor, or companion; 'ahabh, indicating affection natural or unnatural. In the New Testament also two words: hetairos, "a comrade," or "fellow," and philos, suggesting a more affectionate relation.

Literature abounds in concrete examples of friendship of either kind noted above, and of profoundly philosophic as well as sentimental and poetic expositions of the idea of friendship. Notable among these are the Old Testament examples. Abraham, because of the intimacy of his relations, was called "the friend of God" (2Ch 20:7; Isa 41:8; Jas 2:23). "Yahweh spake unto Moses face to face, as a man .... unto his friend" (Ex 33:11). The romantic aspect of the friendship of Ru and Naomi is interesting (Ru 1:16-18). The devotion of Hushai, who is repeatedly referred to as David's friend (2Sa 15:37; 16:16), is a notable illustration of the affection of a subordinate for his superior. The mutual friendship of David and Jonathan (1Sa 18:1), from which the author is made to say, "The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul," is another example. Again in his pathetic lament for Jonathan (2Sa 1:26), David says in highly emotional tones that his love "was wonderful, passing the love of women." Elijah and Elisha form a unique illustration of semiprofessional affection (2Ki 2).

In the New Testament, Jesus and His disciples illustrate the growth of friendship from that of teacher and disciple, lord and servant, to that of friend and friend (Joh 15:13-15). Paul and Timothy are likewise conspicuous (2Ti 1:2).

In general literature we have the classic incident, recorded by Plutarch, of Damon and Pythias during the rule of Dionysius. Pythias, condemned to death, was about to be executed but desired to see his family. Damon offered himself as a ransom in case he should not return in time for the hour of execution. Returning in time, both were released by the great Dionysius, who asked to be taken into the secret of such friendship. The writings on friendship are many. Plato and Cicero have immortalized themselves by their comments. Cicero held dearly the friendship of Scipio, declaring that of all that Nature or Fortune ever gave him there was nothing which could compare with the friendship of Scipio. Bacon, Emerson, Black, Gladden, King, Hillis, and many others in later days have written extensively concerning friendship. The best illustration of the double use of the word (see above) is that in Pr 18:24, "He that maketh many friends doeth it to his own destruction; but there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Again, "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" (27:17). The honesty and frankness of genuine friends are set forth in the maxim, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend" (27:6).

Walter G. Clippinger


(hoi philoi proton): Expressions used in 1 and 2 Macc to designate the favored courtiers of the Antiochi. Mattathias is promised enrollment among the king's Friends, to tempt him to apostatize (1 Macc 2:18); Alexander Balas writes Jonathan among his Chief Friends (1 Macc 10:65). Compare also 1 Macc 3:38; 6:10,14; 10:60; 11:26,27; 2 Macc 8:9.


frin'-jis (tsitsith, "tassel, lock" (Nu 15:38,39), gedhilim, "twisted threads," "festoons" (De 22:12)): Tassels worn by the Israelites on the four corners of their garments as reminders of "all the commandments of Yahweh," in accordance with the law set out in Nu 15:37-41 and De 22:12. These tassels originally contained a thread of tekheleth, "violet." Jewish tradition, however, has failed to retain the tekheleth, because of doubt as to the exact meaning of the term, and instead dark blue lines were dyed on the borders of the Tallith or garment in which the fringes were placed. According to tradition any garment having four corners required the mnemonic fringes, the importance of which was weighed against "all the commandments of the Lord." In New Testament times such garments were still worn (compare Mt 9:20; 14:36; 23:5). The later Jews, after adopting the garments of the Diaspora, in order to observe the tsitsith commandment began to use two extra four-cornered fringed garments: the large Tallith while at prayer, and the small Tallith, or 'arba` kanephoth, as an undergarment during the day. Their tradition prescribes the exact manner in which each tassel shall be made, and gives a symbolic meaning to the numbers of windings and knots, somewhat after the manner of the string-writing of several early civilizations (compare the Peruvian quipus). Thus in the tsitsith a long cord is wrapped around seven shorter cords first seven times, then eight, then eleven, and finally thirteen, each series being separated from the others by two knots. The numbers seven and eight constituting fifteen together suggest YH, and the number eleven, WH. Together they make up the holy name YaHWeH. The number thirteen stands for echadh, the letters of which taken as numerals equal thirteen. The sentence Yahweh 'echadh means "Yahweh is one." Many other suggestions, more or less fanciful, have been worked out, all tending to associate the fringes with the Law in the mind of the wearer.


Ella Davis Isaacs


frok (simlah; homolinon): The hempen frock, mentioned in Ecclesiasticus 40:4 as a mark of the lowly, was a simple garment consisting of a square piece of cloth wrapped around the body. It is the same as the garment (simlah) which we find the poor man using as his only bed covering by night (Ex 22:26 f); the traveler, as the receptacle for his belongings (compare Ex 12:34); and the common people of both sexes as their general outer garments, though there was some difference in appearance between the simlah of the man and that of the woman (De 22:5).


Ella Davis Isaacs


(tsephardea`; compare Arabic dafda` (Ex 8:2 ff; Ps 78:45; 105:30); batrachos (Re 16:13)): The references in Psalms, as well as in Exodus, are to the plague of flogs. In Re 16:13 we have, "And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, as it were frogs." The word tsephardea` probably referred both to frogs and to toads, as does the Arabic dafda`. In Palestine and Syria Rana esculenta, Bufo viridis and Hyla arborea are common. According to Mr. Michael J. Nicoll, assistant director of the Zoological Gardens at Gizah, near Cairo, the commonest Egyptian species are Rana mascariensis and Bufo regularis. Rana esculenta, Bufo viridis and Bufo vittatus are also found, but are much less common.

Alfred Ely Day


fron'-ter, frun'ter (katseh): The word occurs once in plural in Eze 25:9. the Revised Version, margin has "in every quarter."


frunt'-lets (ToTaphoth, from Tuph, "to bind"): Ornaments worn on the forehead, particularly phylacteries (which see), which were worn in this manner and also on the arms (Ex 13:16; De 6:8; 11:18; compare also Ex 13:9).


frost (kephor, "hoar-frost," Ex 16:14; Job 38:29; chanamal, perhaps "the aphis," Ps 78:47; qerach, "cold," Ge 31:40; Job 37:10 the King James Version; Jer 36:30):

1. Formation:

A temperature of freezing or lower is called frost. Dew forms when the temperature is decreased; and if below freezing, the dew takes the form of a white film or covering over rocks and leaves. This white covering is called hoar-frost. Like dew it is the result of condensation of the moisture of the air on objects which radiate their heat quickly. In order that condensation may take place the atmosphere must be saturated. Frost may be expected on clear, still nights when the radiation is sufficient to reduce the temperature below the freezing-point.

In Syria and Palestine frost is a very rare occurrence at sea-level; but on the hills and elevated plains it is usual in winter, beginning with November, and on the highest elevations throughout the year. Late spring frosts in March or early April do great damage to fruit.

2. In Syria and Palestine:

In clear weather there is often a great variation in the temperature of the day and the night, especially on the inland plains, so that literally, as Jacob said to Laban, "In the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night" (Ge 31:40); "In the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost" (Jer 36:30; compare Jer 22:19), a passage which suggests that Jehoiakim's corpse was left unburied.

3. In Egypt:

The meaning of chanamal, translated "frost" in Ps 78:47 (see above), "He destroyed .... their sycomore-trees with frost" (m "great hail stones"), is uncertain. "Frost is unknown in Egypt, and Gesenius suggests `ants,' comparing it with Arabic namal" (Temple, BD, S.V.).

4. Figurative Uses:

The manna in the wilderness is compared to hoarfrost. "A small round thing, small as the hoarfrost" (Ex 16:14). Manna is occasionally found in Syria now as a flaky, gelatinous substance formed on bushes and rocks. The elements of Nature are indications of God's power, and are referred to as signs of His might: "By the breath of God frost is given" (Job 37:10 the King James Version). "The hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?" (Job 38:29); "He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycamore-trees with frost" (Ps 78:47); "He scattereth the hoar-frost like ashes" (Ps 147:16).

Alfred H. Joy




See FOOD; BOTANY, and special articles on APPLE; FIG; VINE, etc.


frus'-trat (parar; atheteo): "Frustrate" (from frustra, "vain") is the translation of parar, "to break," "to make void," "to bring to nothing" (Ezr 4:5), "to frustrate their purpose" (Isa 44:25, "that frustrateth the signs of the liars"); of atheteo, "to displace," "to reject or make void or null": Ga 2:21, "I do not frustrate the grace of God" (by setting up the righteousness which is "through the law"), the Revised Version (British and American) "make void"; compare /APC 1Macc 11:36, "Nothing hereof shall be revoked," the Revised Version (British and American) "annulled" (atheteo).

Revised Version has "frustrateth" for "disappointeth" (Job 5:12, parar).

The adjective appears ( /APC 2Esdras 10:34), "frustrate of my hope" ( /APC Judith 11:11, "frustrate of his purpose" (apraktos)).

W. L. Walker





fu'-el ('okhlah, or ma'akholeth, "food"): Is mentioned specifically only in the Old Testament, in Isa 9:5,19; Eze 15:4,6; 21:32. Its general, literal meaning in these connections is "food for fire," and might include any sort of combustible material. The common forms of fuel were wood of various sorts (even including thorns, Ps 58:9; 118:12; Ec 7:6), and dried stalks of flowers or grass (Mt 6:30), charred wood as charcoal (Le 16:12; Isa 44:19, and frequently), and dried dung (Eze 4:12,15). There is no certain indication that our coal was known to the Hebrews as fuel, and their houses, being without chimneys, were not constructed for the extensive use of fuel for warmth.

Leonard W. Doolan


fu'-ji-tiv (paliT, from palaT, "to escape"; na`, from nua`, "to waver"; nophel, from naphal, "to fall"; bariach, beriach and mibhrach, from barach, "to flee"):

One who flees from danger (Isa 15:5; Eze 17:21); escapes from bondage ( /APC 2Macc 8:35 (as adjective)); deserts from duty (Jud 12:4; 2Ki 25:11 the King James Version; compare /APC Judith 16:12 the King James Version), or wanders aimlessly (Ge 4:12,14).


fool-fil' (male; pleroo, teleo, with other words): "Fulfill" is used

(1) in a sense more or less obsolete, "to fill up," complete (Ge 29:21,28; Ex 23:26; Job 36:17, the Revised Version (British and American) "full," margin "filled up"; Mt 3:15, "to fulfill all righteousness"; Php 2:2, "Fulfil ye my joy," the American Standard Revised Version "make full"; compare 2Co 10:6);

(2) in the sense of "to accomplish," "to carry into effect," as to fulfill the word of Yahweh (1Ki 2:27; 8:15,24; 2Ch 36:21, etc.); in the New Testament very frequently used of the fulfillment of prophetic Scripture (Mt 1:22; 2:15, etc.). Love is declared to be "the fulfillment (pleroma, "fullness") of the law" (Ro 13:10). For "fulfill" the Revised Version (British and American) has "do" (Re 17:17); for "fulfilled" has "performed" (2Sa 14:22), "accomplished" (Ezr 1:1; Mt 5:18; 24:34; Lu 21:32; Joh 19:28), with numerous other changes.

W. L. Walker


fool'-er (kabhac; literally, "to trample," gnapheus): The fuller was usually the dyer, since, before the woven cloth could be properly dyed, it must be freed from the oily and gummy substances naturally found on the raw fiber. Many different substances were in ancient times used for cleansing. Among them were white clay, putrid urine, and the ashes of certain desert plants (Arabic qali, Biblical "soap"; Mal 3:2). The fuller's shop was usually outside the city (2Ki 18:17; Isa 7:3; 36:2), first, that he might have sufficient room to spread out his cloth for drying and sunning, and second, because of the offensive odors sometimes produced by his processes. The Syrian indigo dyer still uses a cleaning process closely allied to that pictured on the Egyptian monuments. The unbleached cotton is soaked in water and then sprinkled with the powdered ashes of the ishnan, locally called qali, and then beaten in heaps on a flat stone either with another stone or with a large wooden paddle. The cloth is washed free from the alkali by small boys treading on it in a running stream or in many changes of clean water (compare En-rogel, literally, "foot fountain," but translated also "fuller's fountain" because of the fullers' method of washing their cloth). Mark describes Jesus' garments at the time of His transfiguration as being whiter than any fuller on earth could whiten them (Mr 9:3).

James A. Patch


fool'-ers feld, (sedheh khobhec): In all references occurs "the conduit of the upper pool, in the highway of the fuller's field"; this must have been a well-known landmark at Jerusalem in the time of the monarchy. Here stood Rabshakeh in his interview with Eliakim and others on the wall (2Ki 18:17; Isa 36:2); clearly the highway was within easy earshot of the walls. Here Isaiah met Ahaz and Shear-jashub his son by command of Yahweh (Isa 7:3). An old view placed these events somewhere near the present Jaffa Gate, as here runs an aqueduct from the Birket Mamilla outside the walls of the Birket Hamam el Batrah, inside the walls; the former was considered the "Upper Pool" and is traditionally called the "Upper Pool" of Gihon. But these pools and this aqueduct are certainly of later date (see JERUSALEM). Another view puts this highway to the North side of the city, where there are extensive remains of a "conduit" running in from the North. In favor of this is the fact that the North was the usual side for attack and the probable position for Rabshakeh to gather his army; it also suits the conditions of Isa 7:3. Further, Josephus (BJ, V, iv, 2) in his description of the walls places a "Monument of the Fuller" at the Northeast corner, and the name "fuller" survived in connection with the North wall to the 7th century, as the pilgrim Arculf mentions a gate. West of the Damascus gate called Porta Villae Fullonis. The most probable view, however, is that this conduit was one connected with Gihon, the present "Virgin's Fountain" (see GIHON). This was well known as "the upper spring" (2Ch 32:30), and the pool, which, we know, was at the source, would probably be called the "Upper Pool." In this neighborhood--or lower down the valley near En-rogel, which is supposed by some to mean "the spring of the fuller"--is the natural place to expect "fulling." Somewhere along the Kidron valley between the Virgin's Fountain and the junction with the Tyropeon was the probable scene of the interview with Rabshakeh; the conversation may quite probably have occurred across the valley, the Assyrian general standing on some part of the cliffs now covered by the village of Siloam.

E. W. G. Masterman




fool'-nes: The translation of pleroma, which is generally, but not invariably, rendered "fullness" in the New Testament. Etymologically, pleroma--which itself is derived from the verb pleroo, "I fill"--signifies "that which is or has been filled"; it also means "that which fills or with which a thing is filled"; then it signifies "fullness," "a fulfilling."

1. "Fullness" in the Gospels:

In the Gospels it occurs as follows: Mt 9:16 and Mr 2:21: in both of these passages it means "the fullness," that by which a gap or rent is filled up, when an old garment is repaired by a patch; Mr 6:43, `They took up fragments, the fullness of twelve baskets'; 8:20, `The fullness of how many baskets of fragments did ye take up?' Joh 1:16, `out of his fullness we all received.'

2. Its Use in the Pauline Epistles:

Elsewhere in the New Testament "fullness" is used by Paul alone, who employs it 12 t, in addition to the frequent use he makes of the verb "to fill." Of these 12, no fewer than 6 are in Ephesians and Colossians. The references are these: Ro 11:12, "If .... their loss (is) the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?" The "fullness" of Israel here refers to their being, as a nation, received by God to a participation in all the benefits of Christ's salvation. Ro 11:25, "A hardening .... hath befallen Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." Ro 13:10, "Love .... is the fulfillment (the fulfilling) of the law"; that is, love is not a partial fulfillment, by obedience to this or that commandment, but a complete filling up of what the law enjoins. Ro 15:29, "I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ." 1Co 10:26, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof." Ga 4:4, "when the fullness of the time came." The fullness of the time is that portion of time by which the longer antecedent period is completed. Eph 1:10, "unto a dispensation of the fullness of the times." Eph 1:23, "the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all." The church is the fullness of Christ; the body of believers is filled with the presence, power, agency and riches of Christ. Eph 3:19, "that ye may be filled unto all the fullness of God"--that ye may be wholly filled with God and with His presence and power and grace. Eph 4:13, "unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Col 1:19, "In him should all the fullness dwell." Col 2:9, "In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (compare Lu 2:40,52; 4:1).

3. "Fullness" in Ephesians and Colossians:

"Fullness" in Ephesians and Colossians is used to present some of the most prominent thoughts in these epistles, sometimes referring to Christ, sometimes to the church and the individual Christian. Christ is Himself to "fulfill" all things in heaven and on earth (Eph 4:10 King James Version margin). We cannot separate "the fullness of Christ" in this passage (Eph 4:13) from the statement in Eph 1:23, that the Christ is being fulfilled, and finds His fullness in the church. When all the saints have come to the unity which is their destined goal, or in other words, to the full-grown man, the Christ will have been fulfilled. Thus they will have together reached "the full measure of the maturity of the fullness of the Christ" (J. Armitage Robinson, Commentary on Ephesians, 183). The church and individual believers, have, by faith, the full possession of all that Christ has to impart--the grace and comfort and strength of Christ received by them now. Compare Joh 1:16; `In him ye are complete, are made full' (Col 2:10); that is, the fullness of moral, intellectual and spiritual perfection is communicated by Christ to all who are united to Him. "When as the result of the Holy Spirit's inward strengthening, Christ dwells in the heart, and His knowledge-surpassing love is known, the only limit to spiritual excellence is `to be filled unto all the fullness of God'!" (HDB, 735).

4. Its Use by the False Teachers at Colosse:

In the passages from Col, "the fullness" in Christ is contrasted with the mediating eons or angel-powers or spiritual manifestations supposed to be intermediate between God and the world. The false teachers at Colosse seem to have used "fullness," as a technical or semi-technical term, for the purpose of their philosophical or theosophical teaching, employing it to signify the entire series of angels or eons, which filled the space or interval between a holy God and a world of matter, which was conceived of as essentially and necessarily evil. Teaching of this sort was entirely derogatory to the person and work of Christ. In opposition, therefore, to the Colossian false teaching in regard to "the fullness," Paul shows what the facts really are, that in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

5. The Fullness in Christ:

The fullness of the Godhead is the totality of the Divine powers and attributes, all the wealth of the being and of the nature of God--eternal, infinite, unchangeable in existence, in knowledge, in wisdom, in power, in holiness, in goodness, in truth, in love. This is the fullness of the nature of God--life, light, love; and this has its permanent, its settled abode in Christ. All that is His own by right is His by His Father's good pleasure also. It was the Father's good pleasure that in Christ should all the fullness dwell.

Any limitation, therefore, of the meaning of "fullness," which would make the indwelling of the fullness of the Godhead in Christ a matter either of the future, or of the past only, is inconsistent with what is said of "the fullness" in Him, in Col 1:19; 2:9. The reference in both passages is to the timeless and eternal communication of the fullness of the Godhead from the Father to the Son.

It was in a sense developed along the lines of the Colossian teaching regarding "the fullness," that the Gnostics afterward used the term.


John Rutherfurd





fur'-long (stadion, "stadium"; Lu 24:13; Joh 6:19; 11:18; Re 14:20; 21:16): A Greek measure of length, being 600 Greek ft., or 100 orguiai equal to 606 3/4 English ft., and thus somewhat less than a furlong, which is 660 ft.



fur'-nas: The word is used in the Old Testament English Versions of the Bible to translate several Hebrew words:

Kibhshan, in Ge 19:28, where the smoke of the destruction of the cities of the plain is said to have ascended "as the smoke of a furnace"; in Ex 9:8, where Yahweh commands to take "handfuls of ashes of the furnace and .... sprinkle it toward heaven," etc.

Kur, in De 4:20, where Yahweh is represented, when speaking of taking the children of Israel out of Egypt, as taking them "out of the iron furnace."

`Alil in Ps 12:6, where "the words of Yahweh" are said to be "pure," "as silver tried in a furnace"; compare Pr 17:3, "furnace for gold."

`Attun, in Da 3:6, where mention is made of "a burning fiery furnace" into which Daniel and his companions were cast. There is good reason to believe that these words all stand for either a brick-kiln or a smelting furnace.

In the New Testament a notable figurative use is made of the word in the phrase "the furnace of fire," he kaminos tou puros. It is found in the parable of the Tares (Mt 13:42) as part of the remarkable imagery of that parable; while in the companion parable of the Drag-Net (Mt 13:50) it stands as a symbol of the final destiny of the impenitent, a synonym of "hell"; compare Jer 29:22; Da 3:6,22; Re 20:14-15, etc., and "eternal fire" (Mt 25:41), "unquenchable fire" (Mt 3:12), "the Gehenna of fire" (Mt 5:22 margin; Mt 18:9 parallel Mr 9:43 margin, etc.). A fact which modern travelers speak of, that furnaces for punishment have been found in Persia as elsewhere in the East, sheds some light upon this use of the expression "the furnace of fire."

George B. Eager


(Ne 3:11).



fur'-nish (male; plethomai):

To "furnish" is to supply with what is useful or necessary, to fit out, provide, equip. It is the translation of several Hebrew or Greek words: of male', "to fill in or up," "to complete" (Isa 65:11 the King James Version); nasa, "to lift up," "to aid" (1Ki 9:11); `anaq, Hiphil, probably "to lay on the neck," "to encircle" (with a bracelet) (De 15:14), of a slave set at liberty; `arakh, "to arrange in order," "to lay out a table" (Ps 78:19 the King James Version; Pr 9:2); `asah keli, "to make a vessel for containing things" (Jer 46:19, "Furnish thyself to go into captivity," the Revised Version, margin "Hebrew, make thee vessels of captivity"); plethomai, "to be filled" (Mt 22:10 the King James Version); stronnumi, "to strew," "to spread" (Mr 14:15; Lu 22:12); exartizo, "to complete fully," to equip" (2Ti 3:17).

In Ecclesiasticus 29:26 we have "furnish a table" (kosmeo); 44:6, "furnished with ability" (choregeo); /APC 1Macc 14:34 the King James Version, "He furnished them with all things" (tithemi).

W. L. Walker


fur'ni-tur (kar, kelim; skeue): In Ge 31:34 kar is translated "furniture" in the King James Version, but "saddle" in the American Standard Revised Version. The latter is decidedly preferable. It was the "camel-basket," or the basket-saddle of the camel, which was a sort of palanquin bound upon the saddle. Upon this saddle-basket Rachel sat with the teraphim hidden beneath, and her wily father did not suspect the presence of his gods in such a place. In other places the word kelim is used, and is generally rendered "vessels," though sometimes "furniture." It may have many other renderings also (see BDB). Ex 31:7; 39:33 mention the furniture of the Tent, which is specified in other places. Moses is instructed (25:9) to make a sanctuary or tabernacle and the furniture thereof according to the pattern showed him in the Mount. The furniture of the Court consisted of the brazen altar and laver (40:29,30); that of the Holy Place, of the table of showbread, the golden lampstand and altar of incense (39:36; 40:22-26; Heb 9:2); that of the Holy of Holies, of the ark and mercy-seat overshadowed by the cherubim. The tribe of Levi was set apart by Yahweh to "keep all the furniture of the tent of meeting" (Nu 3:8). When David organized the tabernacle-worship in Jerusalem and assigned the Levites their separate duties, certain men "were appointed over the furniture, and over all the vessels of the sanctuary" (1Ch 9:29). In Na 2:9 the singular form of the word keli is used, and is rendered "furniture." The prophet refers to the abundant, costly, luxurious furniture and raiment, largely the results of their conquests and plunder in many countries.

In Ac 27:19 the word skeue is translated in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) "tackling," with "furniture" in the Revised Version, margin.

By way of information regarding the general furniture of the house little is said directly in the Scriptures. The chamber built for Elisha upon the wall contained a bed, a table, a seat, and lampstand. This was doubtless the furnishing of most bedrooms when it could be afforded. The prophet Amos had a supreme contempt for the luxurious furniture of the grandees of Samaria (3:12; 6:4). For full particulars see HOUSE; TABERNACLE; TEMPLE.

J. J. Reeve


fur'-o (telem):

The word is translated "furrows" in Job 39:10; 31:38; Ps 65:10; Ho 10:4; 12:11 (Ps 65:10 the King James Version, "ridges"). In these passages the fields are pictured as they were in the springtime or late autumn. When the showers had softened the earth, the seed was sown and the soil turned over with the plow and left in furrows, not harrowed and pulverized as in our modern farming. The Syrian farmer today follows the custom of his ancient predecessors.

Another word, ma`anah, occurs in two passages, first in the figurative sense in Ps 129:3, and second in an obscure passage in 1Sa 14:14. Three other words, gedhudhah, `arughah, `ayin, translated "furrows" in the King James Version, are probably more properly rendered in the American Standard Revised Version "ridges" (Ps 65:10), "beds" (Eze 17:7,10), and "transgressions" (Ho 10:10).


James A. Patch


fur'-ther, fur'-therans (yacaph; eti, prokope); Further, adverb and adjective, is comparative of "forth," meaning "to a greater distance," "something more," "moreover," etc.; the verb "to further," means "to help forward," "advance," "assist." The verb occurs (Ezr 8:36) as the translation of nasa', "to lift up": "They furthered the people and the house of God" (compare 1Ki 9:11; Ezr 1:4); of puq "to send forth," "carry out" (Ps 140:8, "Further not his evil device").

Furtherance is the translation of prokope, "a going forward," "advance" (Php 1:12, "the furtherance of the gospel," the Revised Version (British and American) "progress" Php 1:25, "for your furtherance and joy," the Revised Version (British and American) "progress").

Furthermore is the translation of eita, "then," "so then" (Heb 12:9); of to loipon, "for the rest," or "as to the rest" (1Th 4:1, the Revised Version (British and American) "finally then").

Revised Version omits "further" (Ac 12:3); has "further" for "more than right" (Job 34:23), for "farther thence" (Mr 1:19, different text); "What further need have we of witnesses?" for "What need we any further witnesses?" (Mr 14:63); "your fellowship in furtherance of the gospel" (Php 1:5; 2:22); "to the furthest bound" for "all perfection" (Job 28:3).

W. L. Walker


fu'-ri (alastor, "not to forget," "significant of revenge"):

Occurs only in /APC 2Macc 7:9 the King James Version, "Thou like a fury (the Revised Version (British and American) "Thou, miscreant") takest us out of this present life."



fu'-tur, fu'-chur.