Encyclopaedia Biblica/Mashal-Mede

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Encyclopaedia Biblica
Thomas Kelly Cheyne and John Sutherland Black
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( PE B), i Ch. 6 74 . See MISHAL.


(MGICAIAC [B], MACIAC [A]), a group of children of the servants of Solomon (see NETHINIM) in the great post-exilic list (EZKA ii., 9, 8f), one of eight inserted in i Esd. 534 (om. L, or ? = ajxe<i) after Pochereth-hazzebaim of |l Ezra 2 57 =Neh. 7 59. [In the light of the article SOLOMON'S SERVANTS, we can hardly help emending Masiah or Misaiah (see n) into Ishma eli (Ishmaelite). Cp. Amasa, Amasiah, Maaseiah. T. K. C. ]


(MAACMAN [BA]), i Esd. 8:43 = Ezra 8:16, SHKMAIAH, 17.


(3>tl, etc.), i Ch. 22 2( etc. See HANDICRAFTS, i, 3.


i. (MACCHCDA [AKV]) i Macc. 3 4 6 AV, RV MIZPEH (q.v.).

2. Oiafatya [ANV]) i Macc. 5 35 AV, RV MIZPEH (q.v.).


(njr^fp ; MACCKKA [ADEL], in Ch. (55 U om. , @ L MACepi KA ; Theod. in Gen. [e] MACCH- (pAC), the home of the Edomite king SAMLAH (q. v. ), Gen. 36:36 i Ch. 1 47. The name should mean 'place of choice vines' (cp SOREK), but is probably corrupt, Samlah being probably a doublet of Saul (m and v interchanged), and Saul's city being Rehoboth, Masrekah very pos sibly comes from opT nxa, Missur of Rekem or Jerahme'el. T. K. C.


(NCPD ; MACCH [AEL]), a son of Ishmael

(Gen. 25 14, \i.a.va.<j<rt\ [D] ; i Ch. 1 30, nava.a-(rrj [B], fiourcra [L]). See ISHMAEL. For the Massa of Prov. 30 1 (RVmg-) and Prov. 31 1 (RV m e-) see AGUR and LEMUEL.


(Hanip-l HDO; @ generally translates neipACMOC or rreipA. etc., Aoi-AOPHCIC. or ANTlAOflA or TTApATTIKpACMOC- etc.), a place in the wilderness of wanderings, the scene of a miracle (Ex. 17:7).

1. Ex. 17 and Nu. 20.[edit]

In its present position the episode stands wedged in between the sweetening of the waters of Marah, the giving of the Manna (Ex. 15:22-16), and the fight at Rephidim (17:8-16), where it is actually located by P (17:1). The position is not wholly fortuitous. The tradition relates that the b'ne Israel, thirsty and murmuring, demand water. Moses is commanded to take with him [seventy ?] of the elders of Israel and to strike the rock in Horeb upon which Yahwe stands, and water shall come forth. This Moses does, and the place receives the above names, Temptation 1 (or Proving ) and Chiding (or strife ), because of the striving (an) of the people, and because they tempted (nnbr^y) Yahwe.

Closely related to this is the tradition preserved in Nu. 20:1-13 (almost wholly P). The people are at Kadesh, and suffer from want of water. They 'strive (3Ti. v. 3a) and murmur against Yahwe. Moses and Aaron go to the tent of meeting where 'the glory of Yahwe' 1 appears unto them. They are bidden to speak to the rock (here mentioned for the first time). Moses addresses the Israelites as rebels (cnan), strikes the rock twice, and water flows in abundance. Hence the name waters of Meribah (v. 13) because of the striving of Israel. 2

1 The letters were disarranged, and 13 mistaken for ^.

2. Two distinct traditions.[edit]

With the solitary exception of Ex. 17:7, the names Massah and Meribah never denote one place. They stand in parallelism in Ps. 953 (cp Dt. 338, Heb. 38), but, elsewhere, are men- tioned separately (viz. Massah, Dt. 6:16, 9:22, Meribah, Ps. 81:7 [8], 106:32). It is, therefore, highly probable that the two names are to be kept distinct, and that their fusion in Ex. 17:7 is due to editorial conflation of two sources.

The Meribah story is located at Kadesh (Nu. 20:1) ; note the fuller name MERIBATH-KADESH (t^P rQ "lp), Nu. 27:14 Dt. 32:51 3 Ezek. 48:28 (ftap^^d Ka&r,^ [KA], but /oiap. <c. [QT]), once MERIBOTH-KADESH, Ezek. 47:19 RV (^.api/uiud /caSri/j. [B, but icaSr)* AQ]), and the probable allusions to Kadesh in Nu. 20:12-13 ( JB Hpn ? Bnp l). Dt. 32:51 (cnBHpX The site of Massah is not clearly indicated (see Dt. 9:22). The context points to Horeb (Ex. 17:6, if not a gloss), or Rephidim (Ex. 17:1 8). For the view that the story of the manna, which Yahwe gave that he might prove (Ex. 16:4) Israel, belonged to Massah, see MANNA, 3. It is not improbable that other episodes were connected with the name. In Ex. 15:25b Bacon finds E's account of the origin of the name Massah. The verse may be already conflate, the giving of a statute and ordinance may well refer to Ex. 20 (cp esp. v. 20 : Elohim is come to prove [nDj] y u ), the covenant traditionally placed at Horeb. 4

1 Perhaps originally Yahwe alone.

  • Bacon, noting the command in v. 8b (speak to the rock),

compared with v. 11 (Moses . . . smote the rock), finds traces of a double tradition (Triple Trad, of the Exodus, 196 f,).

3 Also Dt. 33:2 [3] (Ew., Di., Wellh., Dr., etc.).

4 It is also possible that the name JEHOVAH-NISSI given to the altar on the hill at Rephidim was popularly associated with Massah.

5 For these references see end of 2, and cp MANNA, 3.

a Cp the emended text of Dt. 33:2 [Yahwe] came to Meribath- Kadesh. Massah and Meribah, too, seem to have been noted for a theophany (Ex. 15:25, Nu. 20:6).

3. Other references.[edit]

From a critical consideration of the OT references to these names it would seem that they played a far more important part in the early traditional history of Israel than appears on the surface. If it is Israel who contended against Yahwe at Meribah (Ex. 17:7), and tempted him at Massah (ib. 3, 7), it is Yahwe on the other hand who proved them at the former place (Ps. 81:7 [8]), and tested them at the latter (Ex. 15:25, 16:4). 5 With this tradition, where Yahwe is the subject, we must probably connect Dt. 33:8, where the two names are in some way connected with the earliest history of the Levites. The language is obscure ; it is evident that the reference is creditable.

Further, it is not so easy to account for the tradition that Moses and Aaron sinned at Meribah and were prohibited from entering Canaan (Nu. 20:12). The tradition is elsewhere referred to by P (Nu. 20:24, 27:14, Dt. 32:61), and a curious allusion is made to it in Ps. 106:33 I nevertheless, so thoroughly has P abbreviated his older sources in Nu. 20:1-13, in his endeavour to soften the guilt of the leaders, that he has omitted to record its origin.

The whole story of Massah and Meribah forms one of the most complicated problems in JE's account of the Exodus. This account, as modern criticism has proved, passes from Ex. 34 to Nu. 10:29+, and, as has been elsewhere indicated, has suffered considerable adjustment (Exodus i., 5, JETHRO, n. 2). Moreover, it has been argued that underlying Ex. 32-34 is the account of a theophany and law-giving at KADESH [q.v. 2]. 6 One of the most striking incidents in it is the reluctance of Moses to take charge of the people, and a fragment of his speech seems to have found its way into Nu. 11:10b-15 (see Bacon, and Oxf. Hex., ad he.). The reason for the adjustment may be easily guessed : a redactor found the words (originally, perhaps, as Bacon suggests, after Ex. 33:3 and before 33:12) so distasteful that he transferred them to a context where the expostulation of Moses (which really amounts to a renunciation of his responsibility) might appear more excusable. If now our view that Ex. 32-34 was originally placed at Kadesh (i.e., Meribah) be correct, it may be conjectured that it is to this babbling that the difficult words of Ps. 106:33 (NBTI. EV, 'and he spake unadvisedly' ) refer. It is noteworthy that the fragment (Nu. I.c.) has been transferred to a context which in all probability is to be connected with a Massah tradition. Is it, moreover, a mere coincidence that an editor should have found the present context a convenient one for in troducing E's account of the institution of the seventy elders to lighten Moses burden (Nu. 11:16-17), or that the judicial organ isation which Jethro institutes in Ex. 18 should be placed im mediately after the story of Massah and Meribah (Ex. 17)?

Granted that the sin of Moses (that Aaron was later included in the charge is only natural) lay in repudiating his responsibility, the antecedents of this act have yet to be ascertained. In the absence of direct evidence it must suffice to indicate what appear to be faint traces of traditions which may be associated with the episode. In the first place, since we can scarcely sever the old torso Ex. 32:25-29 from Ex. 32-34, we may conjecture that the oldest tradition placed the selection of the Levites 1 at Kadesh, and that allusion to this is made in Dt. 33:8-9, where the renun ciation inv. 9 seems to be connected with the severance of family ties in Ex. 32:27. That the oldest tradition of the selection of the Levites had anything to say about the golden calf is improbable for several reasons. Taken in the light of Dt. 33:8-9, it seems more likely that the narrative (Ex. 32:25-29) recounted a contending on behalf of Yahwe, a separation of his worshippers from idolaters. What this may have been must naturally be the purest conjecture. It is possible, too, that the sending of the spies from Kadesh (Nu. 13) once belonged to this narrative ; the promise to Caleb alone suggests a connection with the Levitical tradition,- and, indeed, according to D 's tradition, it was owing to the people's dis obedience on this occasion that Moses incurred guilt (Dt. 1:37 cp Dr. Deut. 27). But the absence of the name of Moses (and of Aaron) seems to imply that the order prohibiting them from entering the promised land had already been made. Finally, the name Meribah may give us another clue. May it not, on the analogy of HEPHZIHAH and OHOLIBAH [qq.v.], be an abbrevi ation of some such form as Merib(b)aal, in which case (cp Judg. 6:31-32) we may suppose that the sanctuary Kadesh was the scene of a contending on behalf of Yahwe, a separation of the Levites from the servants of Ba'al?3 The supplanting of such a tradition by the later not distantly-related episode of the calf- worship would be intelligible. For another treatment of the traditions in Nu. 20:1-13, see MOSES ( 15, etc.). s. A. C.

1 On the probable significance of the term Levite, see GENEALOGIES i., 7 [v], KADKSH, 3.

2 Caleb was the most important of the clans which ultimately settled in S. Judah. There were others, indeed (see JERAH- MEEL, i, 3), but they never attained to the same prominence. Another narrative which turns on selection and contention is the complicated narrative of the revolt of Korah, phases of which appear to have been traditionally located at Kadesh. The burning in Nu. 16:35 suggests that it may once have been con nected with TABERAH (?.? .). The murmuring of the people certainly presupposes an early stage in the march from Kadesh.

3 The later story of the sin of Moses, however, would hardly find a place in this tradition.

4 Ou iconic representations of the gods see IDOL ; on the wooden sacred poles or masts, ASHERAH ; for other objects of worship see IDOLATRY and NATURE WORSHIP.

6 On eben maskith. see IDOL, i (/).


Stone Pillars, and Other Sacred Stones.

  • NAMES (1).
    • a. Eben.
    • b. Massebah.
    • c. Hammanim.
    • d. Bethel.
    • e. Siyyun.
    • f. Gal.
    • g. Margemah.
    • h. 3^i,v ( ?).
    • i. Gilgal.
  • Holy stones and stone worship (2).
  • Among the Semites (3).
  • Cultus (4).
  • Massebah and altar (5).
  • Significance of Massebahs (6).
  • Holy stones in OT (7).

Massebah (see below, i b) is the Hebrew name for an upright stone, stele ; specifically for such a stone as the abode or symbol of a numen or deity. It has been found convenient to include in the present article the other aniconic stone agalmata mentioned in the OT obelisks, baetyls, cairns, cromlechs. 4

1. Names.[edit]

We proceed to a survey of the Hebrew words in use.

a. The common word eben, pl. abenim (c-JTN, ?2N), 5 'stone', is frequently used in connections where the context or the history shows that a holy stone is meant. Thus Joshua sets up a great stone under the holy tree (nVf<) in the sanctuary of Yahwe at Shechem (Josh. 24:26), probably the same stone which in Judg. 9:6 is called a massebah (MT ass). The twelve stones set up by Joshua at Gilgal after the passage of the Jordan (Josh. 4 3 3 20) are the stones of the cromlech which gave the place its name (see below, i). Cp, further, i K. 18:30-32 with Ex. 24:4; and see also Dt. 27:2+, Josh. 8:30+. In Ex.24:4 LXX and Sam. sub stitute abanim as a harmless word for the original masseboth ; the same change may, in some instances, be suspected in Hebrew. Proper names of places such as Eben-ha-ezer (1 S. 4:1, 5:1, cp 7:12), Eben-ha-zoheleth (1 K. 1:9, at a sanctuary), Eben-bohan (Josh. 15:6, 18:17 ; see BOHAN), 1 may attest the presence of an old holy stone, perhaps a natural rock of singular form rather than a massebah. The great stone at Beth-shemesh (1 S. 6:14-18) was doubtless a sacred stone; so also probably the great stone at Gibeon (2 S. 20:8).

In the prophets, stone (eben) is sometimes used opprobriously for stone agulmata (massebahs) or idols; thus in Jer. 2:27 the people say to the stock (j y, masc.), 'Thou art my father', and to the stone (]5*?, fern.), 'Thou hast brought me forth' ; see also 3:9, Hab. 2:19, 2 K. 19:18, Wisd. 13:10, 14:21, Sibyll. 4:7-8, etc.

b. Massebah (raiffi. 0^77X77, Pesh. kayemtha, stele, image, Tg. kama, kametha ; Vg. in the patriarchal story and in Ex.244, 2 S. 18:18, Is. 19:19, titulus; in the laws, historical books, and prophets, where the stigma of idolatry attaches to the word, statua, rarely simulacrum) ; AV, following Vg. in its discrimination, 'pillar', 'image', respectively; RV consistently 'pillar', with mg., 'or obelisk', in the second class of passages.

The word massebah, from 3x3 (Niph. , Hiph. , cogn. 3S ), 'stand or set upright, erect', is properly an upright object (cp crn^X?;, statua}, in usage always of stone, 2 'standing stone'. Derivatives of the same root with the same or similar meanings are found in most of the Semitic languages.

Cp Phoenician and Punic 2S]> rosCi cippus, grave-stone, often votive stele ; Aram. (Zenjlrli) pjjj, stele, statue, cp n. pr. Nisibis (in Assyr. inscriptions Nasibina, Syr. Nasibin), Philo Bybl. Sq/uouVci Se . . . NacrijStf ras <mjAas (F//G 3 57i) 3 ; Palmyr. N3SC> statue ; S. Ar. 353, 3^0, stele (Hommel, S&darabische Cnrestomathie, 128); Ar. nasiba, monument, grave-stone (Gold- ziher, Mvhant, Studien, 1 234), nusb or nusub, pi. ansab, standing stone as an object of worship, stone idol (Lisdn, s.z .).

The word was thus variously applied to the upright stone block or post as an object of worship ; as a votive stone, with or without a dedication ; as a boundary stone, especially around a sacred place ; or as a grave stone. It continued to be employed when the primitive rude stone gave place to the obelisk or other geometrical form, or by the statue (see below, 2).

In the OT the massebah is most frequently a holy stone at a place of worship (high place). It may, how ever, be a sepulchral stele, as in Gen. 35:20, where Jacob erects a massebah over the tomb of Rachel, and in 2 S. 18:18, where the name (massebeth} is applied to the monument (yad, cp 1 S. 15:12 [note the verb massib] Is. 56:5, and see HAND, a) which Absalom is said to have erected in his lifetime to perpetuate his memory. 4 [Cp Lagrange, Etudes, 19-20] Several recent scholars think that Gen. 35:14 in its original form followed im mediately after v. 8 ; Jacob set up a massebah at the grave of Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, just as in v. 20 at the grave of Rachel ; 5 the interest of this conjecture lies in the fact that, if it be correct, the verse bears witness to the custom of offering a libation at the tomb. 6 We may also note the use of the word nesib in the story of Lot s wife who became a 'pillar of salt' (Gen. 19:26), and the columns (oruXoi, n lioj?) at the graves of the Maccabees (i Macc. 13:29).

The massebah may also mark a boundary, as in Gen. 31:45 [see GALEED, GILEAD, 4], where Jacob sets up such a stone in Gilead on the Aramaean frontier (cp v. 53) ; in this sense many interpret Is. 19:19b. The sacredness of boundary stones is well known. 1

1 Eben ha-esel, i S. 20:19, is an error in the text ; see EZEL, and below, h.

2 In 2 K. 10:26, which speaks of burning the massebahs of the temple of Baal, we should read the 'asherah', in conformity with 1 K. 16:32-33 (Sta. ZATlVbz^ [1885]; for an alternative see JEHU, col. 2356, n. 5). Is. 6:13, even if we should not question the text, cannot be cited in support of a wooden massebah.

3 A town 3 S3 in Judah, Josh. 16:43.

4 The text is difficult, but hardly seems to require such radical measures as Wellhausen and Klostermann resort to.

5 So Co. ZA TW\\ 15-20 (1891), Gunkel, and others.

6 See below, 4, and cp AGRICULTURE, 5, col. 80.

Later the word massebah sounded of idolatry, and where the erection of a massebah by a hero of religion is nar rated scribes sometimes substituted a less obnoxious term.

Thus in Ex.244, as remarked above, Sam., LXX have merely 'stones' ; in Gen. 33:20 the verb shows that rt35fD has been supplanted by H3Jp. In 1 K. 18:31-32, also, an altar has taken the place of twelve masseboth (below, {S 7). In Hos. 34, LXX Pesh. read 'altar' instead of massebah. Other instances in which this substitution is suspected are Gen. 35:7 (VVellh.), 2 K. 12:9 [10] (Stade ; cp A a.fj.fj.acrf}ri, etc.). The Converse change is suspected in 2 K. 3:2, 10:27. It is likely that in some cases the change is accidental rather than deliberate.

c. Hammanim* (D jsrt, the sing, does not occur in OT, Tt^evr) [Ezek. 6:46 so Aq. Symm. Theod. in Is. 27:9], vi/7)Aa [2 Ch. 34:47], elsewhere uAii/a \eipoTroii]ra. [Lev. 26:30], etSioAa, /36eAvy/iaTa ; Vg. delubra, simulacra, statute ; Pesh. 'idols' [dehlatha, pethakhre, geliphe] ; Tg. trpJD jn, a word not satisfactorily explained ; AV 'images', RV uniformly 'sun- images'. The passages in which the word occurs are Ezek. 646 Lev. 26:30 [dependent on Ezek.] Is. 17:8, 27:9, 2 Ch. 14:5 [4], 34:47*).

The hammanim are associated with the high places, and the altars of the baals, and are named, together with the sacred posts ('asherim] and graven images (pesilim], as adjuncts of an idolatrous worship ; like the massebahs and asherahs they are to be shattered (n3C*), or hewn or cut down (y-jj, rro) ; they were, therefore, like these, objects of stone - or possibly of metal or wood 4 - which stood at the holy places. Since the hammanim are mentioned in connections in which we elsewhere find the massebahs, while the two words never occur in the same context, it is a probable inference that the hammanim were a species of masseboth, perhaps of peculiar form or specific dedication ; and inasmuch as the word is found first in Ezekiel and appears not to be of Hebrew formation, it may be surmised further that the hammdnim were introduced in the latter part of the seventh century from some foreign cult.

Outside the OT an inscription of the year 48 A.D. on a Palmy rene altar dedicates this hammana (xjon) and this altar to the sun (c Cf) ; 5 the hammana was presumably an obelisk or stele which stood by, or upon, the altar (cp 2 Ch. 34:4). In Mechilta the word hammanim is used repeatedly with apparent reference to Egyptian idolatry; 6 not improbably the obelisks, which in Jer. 43:13 are called masseboth, are meant. Siphra speaks of hammanim on the roofs of houses. Many scholars have connected the word with the airoicpu^a aft/uoufeiui/ ypafi- fiara. in the adyta of Phoenician temples from which, according to Philo of Byblos, Sanchuniathon derived his authentic wisdom, 8 the a/ifjiovveoL being conceived to be inscribed hammanim; but this is not probable.

Jewish scholars in the Middle Ages derived the name hammanim from the (poetical and late) Heb. hammah, sun, and interpreted, images or other objects of idolatrous veneration belonging to the worship of the sun (Rashi), or shrines of sun worship (Ibn Ezra). 10 This etymology, which does not seem to have sug gested itself to ancient interpreters, has been widely accepted, 11 and the word hammanim is accordingly translated sun images, sun pillars i.e., obelisks dedicated to the sun, 1 or steles with the solar disk in relief, 2 and the like.

I Dt. 19:14, 27;17 etc., Plato, Laws, 842 E/ ; Ovid, Fasti, 2641 ; Dion. Hal. 274; see Pauly-Wissowa, 2 726./C

  • Spencer, De legibus ritualtbus, ii. ch. 25 ; Pocari, De simu-

lacris solaribus, in Ugolini, Thes. 23 726-749 ; other literature PKEW, 2 330.

3 Lagarde introduces the word by conjecture in Is. 1 30, Graetz in Hos. 3 i, Che. in Mic. 1 7 also.

4 That they were of wood is too positively concluded by Kimhi from the verbs y-\i and rnD-

6 De Vogue, La Syrie Centrale, no. 1230.

6 Mechilta, Bo., Par. n (on Ex. 12 21); Vithro, Par. 5 (on 202) 6 (on 20 5).

7 Behar, Perek 9 (on Lev. 26 i) ; cp Rashi on Ezek. 64.

8 Philo Bybl. frag. 1 5, FHGSs^.

9 Schroder, Phoniz. Sprache, 125 ; E. Meyer in Roscher, Lex. 1 2870. The two words had been long ago combined, in a differ ent interpretation, by Bochart, Gcog. Sacra, i. ch. 17.

1" So also Arabs Erpenii, Zamsdt, suns ; the Persian version of Lev. 26:30 in the Polyglot should not be quoted for this inter pretation. Older Jewish explanations are 'divinations' (Siphra on Lev. 26:30, Tg.Jer. 1, ib., Lekach Tob, ib.)\ 'divining arrows' (gloss in Abulwalid, s.v. , cod. R.) ; 'idols' (Saadia), etc.

11 Among recent authors who have rejected it may be named HaLevy and E. Meyer.

Others, deriving the name directly from the root can, 'be hot', explained hammanim as equivalent to irvpa- 6eta, s irvpeia, shrines of sacred fire, which, as among the Persians, were associated with the worship of the sun. 4 It has more recently been suggested that the hammanim may have been a kind of metal candelabra or cressets, such as are represented on some Assyrian and Phoenician reliefs, 5 for example, on the stele of Lilybaeum, CIS 1 138, PI. xxix. , 6 and on coins of Paphos showing the temple of Aphrodite.

The hammanim are thought by many modern scholars to belong specifically to the worship of Baal-hammdn (or -hammon), 7 a god whose name appears on hundreds of Carthaginian votive steles in the stereotyped formula to the Mistress TNT and the Lord Ba'al-hamman, and without the companion goddess in many inscriptions from the dependencies of Carthage. 8 In Phoenicia it self the name Ba'al-hamman or El-hamman has thus far been found in only the two inscriptions from Umm el- Awamid 9 and Ma'sub ; 10 the name of the place Hammon in Asher (Josh. 19:28) is perhaps connected in some way with that of the god (see HAMMON, and BAAL, 3). The common opinion is that the hammanim were so called because they were sacred to Ba'al-hamman ; u some scholars, however, entertain the contrary view, that the name of the god is derived from the steles, signifying 'the deity to whom the hamman belongs'. 12

d. Beth'el C?xn 3). The oldest object of worship at Bethel was a holy stone, which, according to the sacred legend, had been discovered by Jacob, who set it up as a massebah and poured oil upon it (Gen. 28:11-12, 28:17-18, 28:22 ; cp 35:14). The name beth'el, which afterward was given to the sanctuary and the city (Gen. 28:19, 35:6, 48:3 etc.), primitively belonged to the holy stone itself as the abode (5os) of a numen, as in 33:20 where Jacob erects a massebah^ and gives it the name El-elohe-Israel ; cp also Gen. 35:7, Ex. 17:15, Judg. 6:24. If the text of Gen. 49:24 be sound, the words 'the stone of Israel' 14 may naturally be understood of the holy stone at Bethel ; so also in Jer. 48:13, where Bethel, the confidence of the Israelites, corresponds to Chemosh in whom the Moabites put their faith, the holy stone (beth'el) itself may perhaps be meant, rather than the golden bull idol at Bethel, as it is usually explained.

1 See Plin. NH 36 64 : trabes ex eo [syenite] fecere reges . . . obeliscos vocantes, Solis numini sacratos. Radiorum eius argumentum in effigie est. See also EGYPT, col. 1228.

2 G. Hoffmann and others.

3 Strabo, xv. 3 15, p. 733 ; Procop. De bello Persico, 2 24.

4 So Scaliger, Grotius, Vossius, Bochart, and others. WRS Rel. Sem.ft) 4 88/:

6 See also Ohnefalsch-Richter, Kypros, 182 f.

I Kopp, de Quatremere, Gesenius, Monumenta, 1 170 ; Schroder, Phoniz. Sprache, 125, and others.

8 See Baethg. Beitr. 25 ff. CIS 1 no. 8.

10 Ret: Arch. 3 ser. 5 380 (1885); G. Hoffmann, Uber Einige phon. Inschriften, ?off. (1889).

11 The many conjectures about the origin of this name, con necting it with Ammon, or with Hammon (a supposed name of Africa), or with Mt. Amanus, etc., cannot be discussed here.

12 WRS Rel. Sent.f-) 93, n. 6 | Ba al-hamman may be primarily 'Lord of the sun pillar' ; E. Meyer in Roscher, Lex. 1 2fdgjf.

13 So the verb requires us to read (see above />, end), MT 'altar'.

14 The parallelism requires at least ^NW J3N Jplp; see Bacon, Genesis of Genesis, 219.

15 For the literature see Hoeck, Kretn 1 ^66Jf., Baudissin in PR Eft), s.v. Male ; Reisch, in Pauly-Wissowa, 22779^; Lenormant, Les Betyles, in RHR 3 3 i_^ (1881).

16 The ancient etymology which derives /Scu ruAo? from Cretan /Jcu nj, goat, goat-skin, though revived by Svoronos and Maximilian Mayer, is untenable on historical grounds.

In the OT only indistinct and ambiguous traces of this primitive meaning of beth'el - a stone in which dwells a numen - have survived ; fortunately we have indubitable evidence from other quarters. 15 In Phoenicia the name baityl (Sxna*, /Scuri Xos, j3aiTV\iov) 16 was given to certain 'animated stones' (\idoi t/juf/vxoi) invented by Ouranos ; 1 in Sanchuniathon s theogony Bct/rvXos is a son of Ouranos and Ge, brother of El (Kronos), Dagon, and Atlas. 2 Descriptions of such stones are given by Pliny, NH 37 135 (from Sotacus of Carystus), and especi ally by Damascius, Vita Isidori (in Photius, Bibl. Codi- cum, cod. 242, p. 348 Bekker ; see also p. 342). The Lebanon region was noted for the numbers of baetyls found there. Another name for the baetyl is abaddir (Priscian, 69; August. Ep. 17; cp Zonaras, 371), also a word of Phoenician origin (' majestic father?' 1 ). The boetylia, at least in the period from which all our de scriptions come, were small stones, which were believed to have fallen from heaven ; they were probably some times aerolites, but it has been proved that they were often prehistoric stone implements. 3 Such stones were perhaps enclosed in the Israelite ark (see ARK OF THE COVENANT, 10) ; the connection of the ark with the oracle would then be clear. 4

e. Siyyun (ps I ffijfJLeiov [Ezek. ], ffKowe\ov, <TK($7reXos [LXX {L} ], OXOTTOS, a-KoiTia. [Aq., Sym. LXX in Jer. cr[e]iw>/ ; Vg. titulus, specula [Jer.]), 2 K. 23:17, Ezek. 39:15, Jer. 31:21 ; RV 'monu ment', 'sign', 'waymark." In the first two passages the siyyun marks a tomb, or the spot where an unburied body lies ; in Jer. it is a waymark. The word is used in MH of the whitewashed stone which shows where there is a grave (cp Mt. 23:27), and has developed a denominative verb j":, mark a grave. The root, which is not otherwise represented in Heb., is found in Syr. sewaya, heap of stones, cairn, Arab, saya, 'waymark' in the desert (monolith or cairn), pl. ( 'aswa') also, in a tradition, 'graves'. 5 Probably the older meaning is cairn ; at a grave and as a waymark the stone or stone heap had originally re ligious significance. *6

f. Gal C?j; /3ow6s[Gen.], <rup6s; Vg. tumul acervus ; Pesh. yagra ; Tg. degora ; EV 'heap' ), a pile of loose stones, cairn ; 7 cp GALLIM, the name of more than one place in Palestine. In Gen. 31:46+ the cairn in one source serves the same purpose as the pillar (massebah) in the other (see v. 45) ; v. 54 supposes a sacrifice. In Josh. 7:26, 8:29, 2 S. 18:17 a heap of stones is reared over the bodies of Achan, the king of Ai, and Absalom respectively (cp siyyun, 2 K. 23:17, Ezek. 39:15, above, e). Here also the cairn serves the same purpose in marking the grave as the massebah in Gen. 35:20 (above, b) ; 8 it is probable, however, that the heaping of stones upon the body of the traitor, the hated foe, and the sacrilegious man who had fallen under the ban, originally not only expressed aversion and contumely, but was meant to prevent their wicked spirits from wandering and doing more harm. 9

Heaps of stones of various significance are common in the religions of the ancient as of the modern world. In Greek they were called epfj.ala, epftaloi \6<poi, ^pyaa/ces, words closely connected with the ep/xTjs pillar. 10

In the Talmud they are frequently mentioned under the name markulis i.e. , Mercurius= Hermes - which term includes also table-stones (dolmens) ; see *Aboda- zara, 50a. Cairns at the crossways seem to be chiefly meant ; the traveller passing by threw his stone upon the heap : n as a religious act this falls under the con demnation of idolatry (M. Sanhedrln, 76). On corre- spending customs among other peoples see Haberland in Zeit. f. Volkerpsych. YL^ff. Cairns are now very abundant E. of the Jordan. 1

1 PhiloBybl., frag. 28, FHG 3 568 ./ : en-ei/drjo-e 0eos Oupavbs /JaiTvAta, Ai flovs eju.i//uxous fj.T)x aiVr l< r *> - evo i -

2 FHG 3 567.

3 See Lenormant, RHR 848; De Visser, 28; Ratzel, Hist, of Mankind, 2152 (Mexico); J. Evans, Ancient Stone Implt- ments, 6?Jf.

4 See the passage from Damascius cited above.

5 See Abulwalid, s.v. ; also Schulthess, Homonyme Wttrzel* im Syrischcn, 57.

6 Cairns as waymarks (iantar), Doughty, Ar. Des. 1 77.

V It is possible that (like markulis ; see below) the name gal was also applied to a dolmen.

8 Cairns at Arab graves, see Aghani, xiv. 131 26 ; Goldziher, Muham. Studien, \ 233 f. ; stone barrows, Doughty, A r. Des. 1 447, and elsewhere.

9 See Wellh. Ar. ffeid. log/ (< 2 ) m/); cp Frazer, Golden Bought-), 3zff., who prefers a different explanation (io/T).

10 Preller- Robert, Giiech. MyihologieW, 1401, cp 386 n. ; Roscher, Lex. 1 ^382 ; Frazer, Golden Bough^), 3 1 1 ; De Visser, SajT.

11 See Cornutus, De nafura deorum, ch. 16 ; ed. Villoison-Osann, Tzf., cp 282^

g. Margemah (rtQy^O, Prov. 20 at, <T^>evSotrr\, similarly Pesh. Tg. ; AV 'sling', RV 'heap of stones' ), according to the Talmud (Hullin, 133 a), a synonym of markulis ; Jerome translates, sicut qui mittit lapidem in acervum Mercurii. Abulwalid compares Ar. rajma, heap of stones, particularly at a grave ; the ancient stone tumuli in Haurun and far into Arabia are now called by the Bedouins rijm (pi. rijiim)." It is doubtful whether the difficult context admits tnis interpretation ; see Toy, Proverbs (ICC), ad loc.

h. In i S. 20:19, 20:41 many modern critics, following LXX (pya.fi, apyafi and -o/3, read 3jnn.1> and comparing the name AKC;OB [q.v.], interpret 'stone heap' (so LXX{L}, 1 S. 20:19), 3 'rude monu ment' of stone, or 'mound of earth' (cp regahim, Job 21:33, 38:38) ; see EZEL.

i. Gilgal (SiSiiri, always with the article [except Josh. 5:9 in an etymology] ; treated by the versions as a proper noun, raVyaXa, cp ^jSj, 'wheel' ), a stone circle, or 'cromlech', such as has given its name to several places in Palestine (see GILGAL). The origin of the most famous of these, near Jericho, is told in Josh. 43:8, 43:20; Joshua, after crossing the Jordan, set up at Gilgal twelve stones taken from the bed of the river (cp GILGAL, 2 ; QUARRIES). Numbers of stone circles are found E. of the Jordan, 4 many of them megalithic - though not often of colossal size - and, like the menhirs and dolmens of the same region, monuments of a prehistoric popula tion ; 5 others erected by the Arabs in recent times around graves. 6 Cromlechs are found also in Galilee, but are very rare in other parts of western Palestine (see GILGAL). A diminutive circle, only 7 ft. in diameter, the stones standing little more than i ft. high, was dis covered by Schick at 'Artuf. 7

1 Survey of Eastern Palestine, 1 205^

2 See Doughty, Ar. Des. 1 385^ 447 ; cp Goldziher, Muhant. Studien, 1 2337^

3 Ewald, Thenius, Wellhausen, \V. R. Smith, and others.

  • See Survey of Eastern Palestine, 1 i\f., and elsewhere.

5 See Fergusson, Rude Stone Monuments, 1872; Keane, Ethnology, 123^; Joly, Man before Metals, 144^

6 See, for example, Schumacher, /?/J/ J ( 9 271 (in Jolfm).

7 ZDPl \0 143 and PI. IV. Similar small circles in Australia, Girard de Rialle, i&f.

8 See Girard de Rialle, RIythologie comparee, 1 12-32 (1878) ; Tylor, Primitive Cultured, 2 \tooff.

9 The history of Greek religion is pec iliarly instructive ; see Overbeck, Das Cultusobject bei den Griechttn in seinen altesten Gestaltungen, Ber. d. siichs. Gesellsch. d. Wissensch., 1864, pp. 121^!; Reisch, in Pauly- Wissowa, 2 723 ff. (ap-yol Aiflot), where other literature will be found ; cp 1 909 jf. (Agyieus) ; Farnell, Cults of the Greek States, \ i^ff. 102 f. yo^f. etc. ; De Visser, De Gr<ecorum diis non referentibus speciem humanam, ~y>ff. (1901). For acts of councils and synods in Europe con demning stone worship and cognate superstitions, see Girard de Rialle, op. cit. 28 ; Du Cange, s.v. Petra ; Tylor, 2 \(*>f.

If Examples of these various types will be found in Survey of Eastern Palestine, 1, passim, and in Ohnefalsch-Richter, Kypros, Plates.

11 The last-named types are frequently represented upon coins, especially of Paphos. and of several cities in the Lebanon region and on the Syrian coast (Emesa, Chalcis, Byblos, Seleucia Pieria, etc.); see below, 3.

2. Holy stones 'worship'.[edit]

The worship of holy stones is one of the oldest forms of religion of which evidence has been preserved to us, and one of the most universal. 8 It has frequently persisted in venerable cults in the midst of high stages of civilisa tion and in the presence of elevated religious conceptions, while its survivals in popular superstition have proved nearly ineradicable, even in Christendom. 9

The holy stone was primitively a rude block, ordin arily oblong, roughly cylindrical or rectangular in section, frequently rounded or pointed at the top ; 10 sometimes a prehistoric megalith, sometimes of inconspicuous dimensions. Later, the tapering rectangular block became an obelisk or a pyramid, the cylindrical pillar was shaped to a cone with rounded top (me to.) or an omphalos. 11 As the conception of deity became more anthropomorphic, rough outlines of members of the human body were carved upon the stone as attributes, or a natural likeness was worked out more or less completely into a head and bust ; 1 simple indications of drapery on the lower part of the cylindrical or conical stone prepared the way for the final development, the statue of the god in human form. On the other hand, the rectangular cippus or the column might become a monolithic altar, as the cairn or dolmen became an altar of loose stones. 2 Columns of metal sometimes took the place of columns or obelisks of stone. 3

A sanctuary might have but one holy stone, or a pair 4 or triad, 5 or a greater number standing in a group or ring. The presence of several such stones does not imply that as many different deities were primitively worshipped at the place, 6 though this was doubtless the prevailing explanation in later times." Especial holiness attached to certain small stones of peculiar form and colour which were believed to have fallen from heaven, and to possess the power of motion and sometimes, at least of speech, with many other marvellous properties (boetylia).

3. Among the Semites.[edit]

On no race has this form of idolatry had a deeper or more lasting hold than on the Semites. Among the the nomadic branches of the stock the sacred stone was the universal object of veneration. 'The Arabs worshipped a stone', writes Clement of Alexandria in an often- quoted passage, 8 and his words are abundantly con firmed by the testimony of early Moslem authors concerning the religion of their forefathers. 9 Besides the rude or partly fashioned blocks which bore the names of particular gods, the nusb (pi. 'ansab : see above, 16) or, as it is also called, ghariy, was found everywhere. About the Phoenicians in the mother- country and the colonies, we have not only the testimony of the OT (see Ezek. 26:11, thy mighty massebdhs ) and of Greek and Roman writers, but also that of the native historian, Philo of Byblos ( 'Sanchuniathon' ), 10 and considerable monumental evidence besides. In Phoenician temples the old sacred stone was not, even in later times, superseded by an anthropo morphic idol.

Thus, at Paphos the goddess (Aphrodite-Astarte) was a round stone tapering upwards like the turning-post in the circus. H On the island of Gozo, near Malta, such a stone has been found about a metre high, shaped like a sugar loaf; it stood between two upright posts which supported a slab. 1 - A coin of the age of Macrinus shows the principal temple at Byblos ; in the court is a conical stone upon an altar-like basis. 1 * Similar stones appear on many coins of cities in the Lebanon and on the Syrian coast. 14

A stone obelisk found in Cyprus bears on its base an inscription beginning: This massebeth, etc. 15 From the OT we know that the massebah was regularly found at the holy places of the Canaanites (e.g. , Ex. 34:13 ; see below, 7) : two such stones have recently been discovered standing in situ by the ascent to the high place at Petra. The prohibition of cutting the stone of an altar in the old law Ex. 20:25, doubtless applied equally to the massebah. It expresses partly a religious scruple the use of a tool upon the sacred stone was, as it were, an assault on the numen, partly religious conservatism in opposition to the artificial altars and obelisks of the Canaanites.

1 On the development of the human figure on omphali and conical stones, see esp. Gerhard, Uber das Metroon zu A then, 1851 ( = ABAW, 1849, p. 459^)-

a See below, 5.

3 So at Tyre (Herod. 2 44), and Jerusalem (see JACHIN AND BOAZ).

4 So in many places, two obelisks.

6 See votive steles from Hadrumetum, Pietschmann, Phoenizier, 205, Evans, JHS 11 ; at Medain Salih, Doughty, Ar. Des. 1 121 187.

8 See Ex. 24 4, cp Herod. 3 8, seven stones smeared (by the Arabs) with blood in honour of Dionysos and the heavenly goddess; Wellhausen, Ar. Heid.V) 102; WRS, Rel. Sem.& 210 n.

7 So the thirty stones at Pharai, with the names of individual gods, Pausan. 7 22.

8 Cohort. 100 4 (p. 40, Potter).

See Wellh. Hcid.V\ ; WRS Rel. Sfi.W 200 ff. 210. On the stones at Taif, Doughty, Ar. Des. 2513/1; WRS Kinship,

29 lo See esp. frg. 1 7, FHG 3 564 B) ; 2 8 (566 BX U Tacitus, Hist. 23; cp Head, Hist. Num. 628.

12 Perrot and Chipiez.

13 Mionnet, Supplem. 8252^ (no. 74 f., PI. 17 no. 2); Renan, Mission de Phenicie, 177 ; Pietschmann, PhSnizier, 200.

14 Seleucia Pieria (near Antioch), Brit. Mus. Cat. of Greek Coins, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Syria, PI. XXXIII. 8; cp 3/. 7; Emesa(Herodian,v.3io), it. PI. XXVII. izff., cp 28 i ; Chalcis (sub Libano?), it. PI. XXXIII. 10, etc.

15 CIS I, no. 44; Ohnefalsch-Richter, Kypros, PI. LXXX. 5, and 17;

4. Cultus.[edit]

The rites of stone-worship were preserved in their most primitive form among the Arabs. Victims were slaughtered at the sacrificial stones (nusb, pl. ansab)2, upon which blood was smeared - whence their other name ghariy. At the foot of the stone, or near it, was, at least in some cases, a hole into which the blood was poured or allowed to flow (ghabghab) ; 3 votive offerings were also cast into it - we read of garments, silver and gold, and incense being found in such a pit. The flesh was cooked and con sumed in a feast ; 4 the god had no part but the blood. Meal was thrown into the pit of Al-Ukaisir, together with an offering of hair at his feast. 5 The anointing of certain stones at Medina with oil was, of course, a foreign rite. When no offering was made, reverence was shown the sacred stone by stroking it with the hand (tamassuh). Votive offerings, particularly garments or weapons, were hung upon the stone, or deposited in the pit or well beneath it.

Elsewhere oil was poured or smeared upon the holy stones (hence \nrapol \iffoi, Theophrast. Char. 16 ; Clem. Alex. Strom. 7 4, p. 843 Potter) ; this was the custom at Bethel, initiated by Jacob (Gen. 28:18, 31:13, cp 35:14), and it was general in the Greek and Roman world. 6 A libation is made by Jacob, Gen. 35:14 (? at a tomb). At some sanctuaries the stones were decor ated at festivals with garlands and fillets (see, e.g. , Pausan. x. 246 - raw wool), and they are frequently so represented on coins ; they were sometimes draped or swathed in garments. 7

5. Massebah and altar.[edit]

We have seen in our examination of Arab customs that the rites of sacrifice attached to the sacred stone (nusb). In the OT these rites are performed at the altar, upon which the victim's blood is smeared or dashed, in a sink at the foot of which the rest of the blood is poured, while the massebah stands beside the altar without any clearly defined place in the cultus. There can be no doubt that this difference is to be ascribed to the prevalence among the settled population of Canaan of offerings by fire ; but the course of the evolution is a matter of uncertain speculation, for the differentiation was com plete long before our earliest testimony. The altar may be conceived as merely a table of offerings or a sacrificial hearth before the deity represented by the old standing stone (massebah}. Or the altar may itself have been a primitive holy stone, the monolithic altar having developed out of a flat-topped block, others out of dolmens or cairns, the form of which permitted their being used to burn the fat of the victim on, as well as to receive its blood ; J the massebah upon this hypothesis being the tapering or pointed stone which could not be so used. 2 The peculiar holiness of the altar - as seen, for example, in the right of asylum - together with the fact that the blood was, so far as we are informed, applied exclusively to it, never to the massebah, makes it probable that the latter alternative is the true explana tion of the origin of the altar ; whilst it may be regarded as certain that the former view was the one commonly entertained by worshippers in the times in which the OT books were written. It is not without importance to observe that the comparative detachment of the massebah from the cultus made it easier to interpret the old holy stones at Israelite sanctuaries as mere monuments (see below, 7).

1 See Wellh. Ar. Heid.Pl ; WRS Rel. Scm.W. ^ A traditional account of such a sacrifice by Mohammed before his conversion, Lisan, ii. 256 20.

3 On the word see Wellh. ioof., but cp G. Hoffmann, ZA, 1896, p. 323.


5 Wellh. //</. (2) 63.

6 See, e.g. , Arnobius, Contra. Denies, 1 39 ; Verwey, De unctionibus, in Ugolini, Tkes. 30 1362^; Reisch, Pauly- Wissowa, 2727. A theory of the origin of the practice, WRS, Rel. Sem.W, 232 / 383^, controverted by Weinel, ZATW 1S 4 8/.

So the bcetyl described in Damascius (above, i c) , see Lenormant, Les Betyles, RHR,Z44S., and cp Tylor(3), 2 167. Cp DRESS, 8, col. 1141.

8 See WRS Rel. Sem.W 200/1 377^; cp ALTAR.

9 It should be borne in mind that the Hebrew word for 'altar' (tnizbe a li) denotes only 'slaughter-place'. An example like 1 S. 14:32-34 shows that the stone might be designated ad hoc, but that it was indispensable ; the offering by fire was not.

6. Significance of the massebahs.[edit]

Two theories which have had some currency may be briefly dismissed. The opinion that the holy stones are representations or symbols of sacred mountains, probably suggested by such examples as the conical stone of Zeus Kasios on coins of Seleucia Pieria, is an inference vastly too wide for the facts on which it relies, even on the supposition that they are correctly interpreted, and is connected with an untenable theory of primitive religion (see NATURE-WORSHIP). Nor for the latter reason is the view much more acceptable that standing-stones and cairns erected by men are the representatives of natural rocks which were regarded as divine. 4 An explanation which has found much wider currency and tenacious adherence, particularly among amateurs in the history of religion, is that the stone pillars, obelisks, cones, and the like, as well as the wooden posts or poles (see ASHERAH) are phallic emblems. 5 Aside from the awkward fact that the standing stone may be a goddess as well as a god, the notion that religion begins with a symbol of the repro ductive power in nature is singularly wide of the mark. That a late writer like the author of the Dea Syria describes the twin columns before the temple at Hiera- polis as phalloi can hardly be seriously offered as evid ence of the ideas of the worshippers at the temple, much less, of those of their remote ancestors when they set up their rude stone pillars. 6 For an explanation of stock and stone worship upon the general premises of animism (fetishism) the reader is referred to Tylor ; 7 for one adapted to the totemistic hypothesis, to Jevons. 8

It hardly falls within the scope of this Encyclopaedia to discuss the ultra-empirical question. It must suffice to observe that in some instances the stone was un doubtedly believed to be alive. The baetyl, as we have seen, was an animated stone ; late writers discussed the doubt whether divine or demonic. On the other hand, it is probable that when men set up a massebah it was not because they had discovered by some sign that a numen dwelt in it, but rather to furnish an abode or resting-place for the spirit or deity, that it might thus be present at the place of sacrifice, receive the blood of the victim, and fulfil the wishes of the worshippers. 9 It was thus an artificial sanctuary, 10 the rude pre cursor of the temple and the altar as well as of the idol.

1 See the description of an Arab sacrifice in Nilus, Narr. 3 (Migne, Patr. Gr<eca, 79, col. 612); cp Stengel, Kultusalter- tuiiierV), Taf. 1 5.

2 Cp Apollo Agyieus and the Agyieus altar ; Pauly-Wissowa, s.v.

3 So, e.g., Baudissin, Studien zur Semit. Rel.-gesch. 2 146 219242, esp. 266.

4 See against this theory WRS, Rel. Se /.(-), 209.

5 Cp, e.g., Movers, PhSnhier, 1 yjoff.\ see De Visser, i^f.

6 See on this point also WRS, I.e., and 456 ff.

7 Primitive Culture, 2 t(x>ff.

8 Introd. to the History of Religion, \-$\ff. , see also WRS, Rel. Sent, ft), vooff.

9 This distinction is said to have been first clearly made by Grimmel, De lapidum cultu, Marb. 1853.

10 See IDOLATRY, 4.

7. Holy stones in the OT.[edit]

In the patriarchal story massebdhs are erected by Jacob at Bethel (Gen. 28:18-22, cp 31:13) and near Shechem (33:20, MT 'altar' ), on the Aramaean fron tier in Gilead (at Ramoth? 31:45+), at the tomb of Rachel (35:20), and perhaps at that of Deborah (35:14, see above, 1b). The massebah in the sanctuary of Yahwe at Shechem was set up by Joshua (Josh. 24:26-27, cp Judg. 9:6), the stone at Ebenezer by Samuel (i S. 7:12). Moses, before the covenant sacrifice at Horeb, erects twelve massebahs at the foot of the mountain, beside or around the altar ( Ex. 24:4) ; * the cromlech at Gilgal was attributed to Joshua (Josh. 4:20); Elijah set up twelve stones on Carmel in the name of Yahwe (i K. 18:31-32). 2 It has been noted that all these instances are in Ephraimite sources ; they make it clear that down to the eighth century the massebahs stood unchallenged at the sanctuaries of Yahwe. Hosea speaks of the massebah 3 as an indispensable part of the furnishing of a place of worship (3:4); when their land prospered the Israelites made fine massebahs, which shall be destroyed with the altars (10:1). There is no reason to think that it was otherwise in Judah. 4

Of the prophets, Amos and Isaiah do not speak of the massebdhs, though the latter inveighs against idols ; Hosea s words have been cited above; Mic. 5:11-13 predicts the destruction, in the coming judgment, of idols (pesilim), massebahs and asherahs, together with magic and sorcery ; but it is doubtful whether the passage is by the eighth century prophet. 5 Jeremiah speaks only of Egyptian obelisks (43:13) ; Ezekiel of the mighty pillars of Tyre (26:11) ; the same prophet begins the denunciation of the hammdnlm. Is. 19:19 (late) fore tells the erection of a massebah to Yahwe in the border of Egypt. Is. 576, as generally interpreted, gives evidence of the persistence of the old rites of stone worship in the Persian period.

The laws in Ex. 34:13, 23:24 {6} command the destruc tion of the Canaanite massebahs with the dismantling of their sanctuaries (see also Dt. 12:3, 75). The seventh century legislation further prohibits the erection of 1 asherahs and massebahs to Yahwe (Dt. 16:22, Lev. 26:1). The deuteronomistic historians set at the head of their catalogue of the sins which brought ruin on the northern kingdom the asherahs and massebahs which the Israelites had reared on every high hill (2 K. 17:10); Judah was in the same condemnation (i K. 14:23); it is a mark of wicked kings that they erected massebahs (2 K. 3:2, cp i K. 16:32) ; good kings removed or destroyed them (2 K. 3:2, 10:26, 18:4, 28:14).

For the religious history see HIGH PLACE, 7 ; ISRAEL, 26.

8. Literature.[edit]

Most of the books dealing with the subject have been cited in the several paragraphs of the article. Here may be added : Zoega, De ol>eliscis(iit)-j); Dozy, De Israelites te Mekka, 18-32 (1864); H. Pierson, Heilige Steencn in Israel, 1864 ; Birtyliendienst, 1866 ; H. Ooit, De Heiligdommens van Jehovah te Dan en te Bethel voor Jeroboam I., Th. T \ 285-306 (1867); Kuenen, Religion of Israel, 1300-395 ; Ohnefalsch-Richter, Kypros, 144^; v. Gall, Altisraelitische Kultstiitten, 1898; Arthur rjyans, Mycenaean Tree and Pillar Cult (1901) ; Lagrange, Etudes sur les re ligions scmitiques ; enceintes et pierres sacrees (Extrait de la. RCT.IUC Biblique, Avril 1901). Q. p. M.

1 If the verse is a unit ; see EXODUS ii., 4, iv.

2 In ?. 32 he builds an altar of the twelve stones: but the altar has already been repaired (v. 30) ; the parallel to Ex. 244 is obvious.

3 LXX Pesh. altar.

4 That there was a massebah in the temple in Jerusalem in the days of Joash has been inferred from 2 K. 12 LXX{A} cp :9 [:10]. So Stade, ZATW 5:289-290 (1885), Kittel, and others.

5 See MICAH, 3 /

6 Probably not earlier than the seventh century.


(MA.CCIA.C [A]), i Esd. 22 = Ezra 10:22, MAASEIAH, 12.


(n fi). Is. 8823 Ezek. 27s ; also Is. 30 17 EV m s-. See BEACON, SHIP.






(rdwev) Eccles. 12 i if EV, RVmg. 'collectors of sentences' (irapa. TOM> <rvv9fndT<av [BC], n. T. <ruvayfj.a.T<av [N*A], rr. T. avvrayit.. [Nc.ag. See WISDOM LITERATURE.


EV mastick tree (CXINOC [87 and Theod.]), Sus. 54!, the Pistacia Lentiscus, L. , the most likely source of the OT sdri ( EV balm ). It is described as a dioecious evergreen, mostly found as a shrub a few feet high ; but when allowed to attain its full growth, it slowly acquires the dimensions of a small tree having a dense head of foliage (Pharmacogr.i-) 161).

Mastic appears in RVmg- in Gen. 37 25 as an alternative to balm ( "]), and is probably the better rendering. See BALM.


(MAT9<\Nl<\[c] [AL]), i Esd. 9:31 = Ezra 10:30, MATTANIAH, 8.


(MA9HA&C [A]), i Esd. 9:19 RV = Ezra 10:18, MAASEIAH, 10.


(/v\a,9OYCa,AA. [Ti.WH]), Lk. 3y AV ; RV METHUSELAH.


(TIPP), apparently the mother of Mehetabel, wife of HADAD II., king of Edom, Gen. 8639 (MATp&[e]ie [A>], -pee [L], MA.p<M9 [E]) i Ch. 150 (MATPA.A [A], -pn9 [L], om. B). Probably, however, the text is corrupt; Mehetabel was bath missur, i.e., a Musrite (N. Arabian). See ME-ZAHAB.


RV The Matrites (nOSH), the Benjamite family to which Saul belonged (i S. 10 21 bis, MATT&pei [BA], -eiT[Aonce], AMATTApl [I-]- ff7X/[Vg.]).

The name seems to be corrupt. Marquart {Fund. 14) sug gests 1-1 p2 (BicnRi)as a correction. YD> Machir, might also be thought of (see BECHORATH), and this is nearer the probable ultimate source, Jerahmeel (Che.). See MERAB, RAMATHAIM- ZOPHIM, SAUL, 6.


(jnO [common in Ph.], cp NAMES, 15, 50 ; MA.T9A.N [BAL]).

1. The priest of Baal slain by the people at the instigation of Jehoiada (2 K. 11 18, y.a.y6av [B], paxav [A] ; 2 Ch. 23 17). His full name was possibly Mattan-ba al ( gift of Baal ), a well- known Phoenician name (cp Muthum-balles [Plautus, Poen. v., 2 35] and Schr. KA 7"(2), 104). At the same time, in the light of the present writer's theory of the original ethnic affinities of Nathan, Nethaneel, Nethaniah, and many other names which as they now stand, admit of a religious meaning, it is more probable that Nathan is a modification either of Ethan or of Temani (from which indeed Ethan may perhaps come). Ob serve that MATTAN, 2, is the father of a Zephathite ; note also the ethnic relations of the Nethaniahs. T. K. C.

2. Father of SHEPHATIAH [g.v.] (Jer. 38 1, vadav [BKA], V<L06i [Qmg.]).


(HjriO, a gift ; MANOANAeiN [BAF 1 !,], MAN9A.NIN [A in v. 18], [MvOavev [F* and F m -]), if the text is right, a station of the Israelites between BEER and NAHALIEL (Nu. 21:18-1). The definition of its situation in the Onomasiica (277 82 137so) as on the Arnon, 12 m. E. of Medeba, is use less, because the Arnon flows S. of Medeba, and modern identifications are purely fanciful. For several reasons, however (note, for instance, that <5 L omits K(d airb fjiavOavaeiv in v. 19), it is not improbable that Mattanah is not a proper name at all, but belongs, with the meaning 'a gift', 1 to the last line of the Song of the Well, which was misunderstood. The initial misapprehension led to a tampering with the text of the itinerary in vv. 18b, 19, which should perhaps be corrected as proposed by Budde (see BEER, i ; NEBO).

T. K. C.


(H^TO, [-irVpPID, in nos. 4, 5]), gift of Yahwe ; 27, 50 ; cp Mattaniama on a cuneiform tablet from Nippur [5th cent. B.C.], but see MATTAN.MATTITHIAH; M&99&NiAc[B], -r9&- [AL]).

1. The earlier name of king ZEDEKIAH (2 K. 24i7, HaOOav [B], /uarfl. [B ab ], /uLfSOaviav [A]).

2. b. Micah, an Asaphite Levite in list of inhabitants of Jerusalem (EZRA ii., 5 [6], 15 [i]) (Neh. 11 17 H0.ea.via [B], -j [L], fj.a00ai>ias [N c - a A]). He appears as the chief singer in the post-exilic temple, 1 the second and third places being occupied by BAKBUKKIAH and Abda (see OBADIAH, 9) respectively. By a conven tional fiction each is traced back to one of the three chiefs of the Davidic singers (see ETHAN, 2, etc. ; cp GENEALOGIES, 7 [ii.]), though an attempt seems to have been made to incorporate two of them at least with the b ne Heman (see 5 ; and cp ABIASAPH). The enumera tion of these three among the door-keepers in Neh. 12 25 (/j.a.8()a.viat [K c - a ""* SU P-L, om. BN*A]) is clearly not original, as a comparison of i Ch. 9 17 Ezra 2 42 Neh. 7 43 will show. The mention of them ought to precede v. 24 ( ui DIM? D.rriNi). A great-grandson of Mattaniah is mentioned in Neh. 1122 (fj.a9da.viov [N c - a m s-)L]) as the overseer of the Levites (see Uzzi), and another appears among the sons of the priests at the dedication of the wall (Neh. 12ss ; see ZECHARIAH, 13, 26). The obvious irreconcilableness of the supposed dates of the passages in which this famous singer appears (e.g. , Neh. 128, time of Zerubbabel ; Neh. 11 17, time of Nehemiah) may warn us of the instability of the post-exilic gene alogies, and of the uncertainty of the name-lists in Ezra- Neh. (see GENEALOGIES i. , 7 ; EZRA ii. , 5, 6).

3. An Asaphite Levite, the great-grandfather of Zechariah the father of JAHAZIEL (2 Ch. 20 14, rov fjLa.Oda.viov [L], -vO. [B])- The number of links between Mattaniah and Zechariah agrees with Neh. 12ss (cp 2 above). This, perhaps, is not accidental, and we may suppose that Jahaziel is the name of one of the Chronicler s famous contemporaries (see GENEALOGIES j., 6, and 7 [ii. *]).

4. Another Asaphite Levite, mentioned together with ZECHA RIAH (2 Ch. 29 13, iJ.aT0a.via ; [Bab]).

5. One of the b ne Heman, mentioned together with Bukkiah and others (cp Bakbukkiah and see 2 above), i Ch. 264 16 (JJLO.V- Oavias [BJ).

6. 7, 8, and 9. Names in the list of those with foreign wives (EZRA i., 5, end) : viz.,

6. One of the b ne EI.AM (q.v, ), Ezra 10 26 (fj.a0avia [BN], fiaOea. [A])= i Esd. 9 27 MATTHANIASfuaravtB], (j.a.06avi.a<; [L]).

7. One of the b ne ZATTU (q.v.\ Ezra 10 27 (aXaSavia. [BJ, /SaAaflai/iai/ [ N ], /xaflflai/ai [AL])= I Esd. 9 28 OTHONIAS (ogoi/ta; [BA], rLa.T6a.via. [L]).

8. One of the b ne PAHATH-MOAB (q.v.\ Ezra 10 30 (na0avia [B], a/xaflai/eia [], iJLa80avia. [AL])= i Esd. 9 31, MATHANIAS, RV MATTHANIAS (/3ecncacr7ra<7ju.us [B], narQavia [L]).

9. One of theb neBANl(^.z.,2), Ezra 10 37 (^aBavia [BN], fnad- Oavia [AL]) who appears in I! i Esd. 9 34 in the corrupted form of MAMNITANAIMUS, RV MAMNITANEMUS.

10. Grandfather of HANAN (q.v.), Neh. 1813 (va.9a.via. [B]J f.- [N*], (taOOavia [Kc.a], -,u [AL]). S. A. C.


(MATTAGA [Ti. WH]), a name in the genealogy of Jesus (Lk. 831). See GENEALOGIES ii. , 3-


RV Mattattah (nnflO, for Mattithiah ; see NAMES, 27), b. Hashum, a layman in the list of ihose with foreign wives (EzRA i., 5 end), Ezra 10 33 (a6a [BN], Iia98a6 [L], -a. [A]). In || i Esd. 933 the name is MATTHIAS (AV], or MATTATHIAS [RV] Oua T Ta0ias [BA], M aT0tas [L]).



1. i Esd. 943. See MATTITHIAH, 4.

2. The father of the Maccabees (i Macc. 2:1-49, 14:29). See MACCABEES i., 3.

3. b. Absalom, a general who with Judas Chalphi stood by Jonathan the Maccabee in the fight against Demetiius (i Macc. 11:70).

4. b. Simon the Maccabee (i Macc. 16:14). See SIMON.

5. One of Nicanor's envoys (2 Macc. 14:19, fj.aTra0fi.av [A]).

6 and 7. Names appearing in the GENEALOGIES OF JESUS [q.v. 3](Lk.3 2S y:).

1 In Neh. 128 (ta.xa.via, [BN], fia9. [A], fjLaOOavias [L] he is said to have been over the thanksgiving (on the reading see CHOIR). In Neh. 11 17 RV styles him the chief to begin the thanks giving in prayer" (n?BFlS iTliiV Pl^fWfl E Nl). Tl is, however, disregards the strong indications of overgrowth in the text. fni,T (<SN c - a g- L ) iouSa(s) spiings from nVnrlt which is a cor rection of n^nn- ."l^SPi prayer is a variant to n7nn, song of praise. Substitute therefore for RV leader of the song of praise" (Nc.a mg. ip^ybs TOV aivov , L apx^v r. at.). See Che. JBL 18 2T.of. [1899]. On the II i Ch. see HERKSH.


(^JjlO, abbrev. of iTjJPHp, or from Temani [Che.]; M&GGANAI [N c - an) g- " AL]), a post-exilic name.

1. A priest temp. Joiakim (EzRAii., db, ii), Neh. 12 ig (na00avi.a [L ; BNA om.]).

2. and 3. In list of those with foreign wives (EZRA i., 5 end), viz.,

2. One of the b ne HASHUM, Ezra 10 33 (fia.0a.via [BN], fj.a09avia/j. [L])=i Esd. 933, Ai/TANEUS, RV MALTANNEUS (/laArai/patoc [B], aAr. [A]).

3. One of the b ne Bani, Ezra 10 37 (ij.a6a.vav [B], (ia99ava [j<], via [AL]). See MAMNITANAIMUS in II i Esd. 934.


(/WAGGON [Ti. WH]), a name in the genealogy of Jesus (Mt. lis). See GENEALOGIES ii. , 3-


i. i Esd. 9 27 = Ezra 1026, MATTANIAH, 6.

2. i Esd.93i RV = Ezral03o, MATTANIAH, 8.


(M<\66&0 [Ti-]. -T [WH v. 29], M d,T0&T [WH v. 24]), two names in the genealogy of Jesus (Lk. 82429). See GENEALOGIES ii. , 3.


(M<\GHA<\C [A]), i Esd. 9i 9 = Ezra 10 18, MAASEIAH, 10.


(MA.GGAIOC [Ti. WH], [TR]), according to our earliest gospel (Mk. 3:18) one of the Twelve Apostles, and placed there seventh in order, between Bartholomew and Thomas.

1. Name.[edit]

The writer of the first gospel (Mt. 10:3) transposes Matthew and Thomas and adds 'the tax-gatherer' (6 TeXc&vr;*) after 'Matthew'. This must be taken in connection with the fact that for the Levi son of Alphaeus of Mk. 2:14, Mt. (9:9) substitutes Matthew. It is clear that the writer of the first gospel intended his readers to under stand that Matthew the apostle was that Matthew the publican whom Jesus called from the receipt of custom. If we do not fall back upon the theory of corruption in the text of Mk. from which Mt. was copying we must acquiesce in the identification Matthew the apostle = Matthew the publican = Levi the publican. There is abundant justification for the double name. The meaning of 'Matthew' (Ma00cuos) is uncertain.

Dalman (Gram. 142, IVorte Jesu, 40) connects the name with the late Jewish rrnO> iTfinDi liTnriD , cp the Palmyrene Sl3fO (7ia=7jJ3^i NHD- Niildeke, however (GGA , 1884, p. 1023), with Ewald, Hitzig, Schmiedel, takes it to be the abbreviated form of TON or RDN. Grimm (Clavis Nov. Test.) derives it from flD = 'man'. In any case it is probably, like Levi, a Semitic name. But there are analogies for the bearing of two Semitic names, e.g. , Simeon = Cephas.

In Lk. 6:15 Matthew comes seventh in the list as in Mk. ; but in Acts 1:13 he has fallen to eighth as in Mt.

2. Mk. 2:15 = Lk. 5:29 = Mt. 9:10.[edit]

The only other fact in the Gospels about Matthew Levi is contained in Mk. 2:15 = Lk. 5:29 = Mt. 9:10. It has been much debated whether the house here spoken of belonged to Jesus or to Levi. Lk. says plainly that it was the house of Levi ; but he has, probably, misinterpreted Mk.'s narrative.

The <7vvavfKei.i To r<Z Irjo-oC of Mk. 2:15 is practically equiva lent to sat at table in the house of Jesus. Cp Lk. 14:10 ru>i truvavaKfiiJ.evtav <T<H = thy guests, Mk. 6:22 rots avvavaKfi^tvo^ = his (Herod s) guests. The avrov in Mk. 2:15a = Tov lnorouv.

It is quite in accordance with Mk.'s style to begin a narrative without specifying the subject of the sentence ; cp 2:23 where 'him' (avrov) again = 'Jesus' (TOV Itjffovv). There Jesus is the speaker of the preceding words ; but in 2:14, and frequently, the subject of the verb is 6 Ii)<rovs understood, though the preceding words referred to others than Jesus. If Mk. leaves it doubtful whether the house was that of Jesus or of Levi, Mt. seems certainly to have interpreted him in the former sense. For Mt. omits 'his' (avrov) after 'house' (o iKlq.) just because, being equivalent to 'of Jesus', it seemed superfluous. Moreover, Mt. who in 4:13 speaks of Jesus as settling in Capernaum, and in 9:1 of Capernaum as his own city, can hardly mean by the simple in the house (tv ry olidy) of 9:10 any other than Jesus own house. It seems probable, therefore, that the scene of Mk. 2:15-17 was the house of Jesus in Capernaum, and that this nar rative has no connection with the account of Levi's call other than the common subject of Jesus familiarity with 'tax gatherers' (reXtDvat).

3. Post-biblical literature.[edit]

In the post-biblical literature Matthew and Levi are sometimes distinguished. Heracleon, quoted in Clem. Strom, iv. 9:71 , says that Matthew, Philip, Thomas, and Levi died natural deaths. The same distinction is found in Orig. c. Cels. i 62. Origen says that Levi (6 Aeuijs, ed. Koetschau) the publican was not of the number of the twelve except in some of the copies of the Gospel according to Mark. Since no known authorities have the name Levi in Mk. s list of Apostles, it would seem that Origen read 'James' for 'Levi' in Mk. 2:14, where this reading is found in D a b c e ff.(-) g( ). Matthew and Levi are also distinguished in Kphrem, Ev. Cone, e.rfi., ed. Mosinger, 287, apparently in the Arabic Diatessaron (146 "9 (cp Hamlyn Hill, Earliest Life, 67, n. 4), and in the Syr. Didascalia, ed. Lag., 89 i, where it is said that Christ appeared to Levi and then he was seen also by us all - i.e., by the apostles. Amongst modern writers Resch (Ptirallelte.rte, 3 h29_/I) identifies Matthew Levi with Nathanael(cp MATTHIAS), but on insufficient grounds.

4. Literature.[edit]

For the Acts of Andrew and Matthew (Matthias, y.v.), cp Lipsius, Apokr. Ap.-gesch. 1 546^?! (Acts and) Martyrdom of Matthew have been re-edited by Bonnet in Lipsius, Acta A past. Apok. 2216-262. Cp Harnack, Gesch. Altcliristl. Lit. 139 ; Lipsius, Apokr. Ap.-gesch. 2 2, 103-141. For the tradition which connects Matthew with the first gospel, cp GOSPELS, 65, 71.

W. C. A.




i. (MA00IAC [B*D Ti. Treg. WH], V, abbrev. from M*.TTA6lAC, M&TO&OlAC, i"l T ^rip, Matuthiah) was elected by drawing or casting of lots to supply the place of Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:23-26). Zeller ( Contents and Origin of the Acts of the Apostles, 1 168) denies the historical character of this narrative on two grounds :

  • (a) its assumption that the apostles remained at Jerusalem ;
  • (b) its connection with the account of the Feast of PENTECOST (q. v. ).

The latter objection cannot be dealt with here. In answer to the first it has sometimes been urged that the Galilee of Christ's appearances was not the northern province, but a district near Jerusalem. So, recently, Zimmermann, Stud. u. A rit. 1901 447. H.esc\i(Parallel- lexte 1 381 ff. ) has attempted to strengthen this theory by supposing that Galilee in the gospel narratives of the Resurrection is a transliteration of the Heb. n ? ?3 = irfp^xwpos.

Resch appeals to the gospel of Peter airo lepoutraArj/u. icai rij? wep<.)(u>pov, to Tertullian. Apol. 21 (Galilaeam Jud;eae regionem), to the Acta Pilaii, and to the tradition of a Galilee near the Mount of Olives, which is frequently found in the Itineraria. To the references given by Resch may be added the following from the publications of the Pal. Pil. Text Society. Felix Fabri, 1 482 (Galilee, a village on the Mt. of Olives) ; Saewulf, 19 ; Anonymous Pilgrim, 5i ; Theoderich, 41 ; Fetellus, 4 (Galilee, a chapel on Mt. Sion) ; John Poloner, 8, 9 ; Guide-Book to Palestine, 16, 17 (Galilee, a mount near Jerusalem). John of Wiirzburg, 29. Cp also Itincra ffierosolymitana, ed. Geyer 155.

The Acta Pilati, however, and these Itineraries are too late to be valid as evidence ; cp Keim, Jesu von Nazara, ET, 6380. It is unlikely that Tertullian had in mind any other 'Galilee' than the northern province. And proof is required before it can be admitted that nS Si in a first-century writing could have any other meaning than that of Galilee the northern province. It is noticeable that the LXX never translates S %l ?j or nS 1 ?} by TTfpiXupos. But Zeller's objection is without good ground. Even if the author of Acts 1 supposed that the apostles remained in Jerusalem, and even if he were wrong in this supposition, nevertheless his statement that they were there not long after the death of Christ may be true in point of fact. The NT tells us nothing further of Matthias. Eusebius (HE 1:12) supposed him to have been one of the Seventy. Clement (Strom, iv. 635) says that some identified him with Zacchnsus. In the Clem. Recogn. ( 1:60) he is identified with Barnabas (Syr. ed. Lag., Barabbas). The Syriac translator of Eusebius four times substitutes Tholmai for Matthias. Amongst modern writers Hilgen- feld (NT Ext. Can. 105) identifies him with Nathanael.

The following were ascribed to Matthias :

  • (a) a gospel, cp Orig. Horn, i in Luc., Eus. HE 3 25;
  • (b) irapoioaei? [paradoseis] Clem. Strata. ii. 945 iii. 426 vii. 1382 ;
  • (c) according to Hippol. Philos. 7:20, Basilides and his son Isidore appealed to Ad-yot a7r6icpu</>oi [logoi apocryphoi] of Matthias. Zahn (Kanon, 2751 ff.) identifies all three. Cp

against this Harnack (Chronol. 597 ff.).

The Acts of Andrew and Matthias have been edited by Bonnet (Acta Apost. Apoc. li, 1898), in Syriac by Wright (Apoc. Acts). For the MSS and translations cp Harnack, Gcsch. Altchrist. Lit. 127. Lipsius thinks that Matthias has been confused with Matthew ; cp Apokr. Ap.-gcsch. ii. 2 258-264. In the Greek Acts, Matthias journeys to the city of the Cannibals. He is there cast into prison, and Christ promises to send Andrew to deliver him. In accordance with this promise Andrew is miraculously brought to the city of the Cannibals. He frees Matthias by a miracle and causes him to be removed on a cloud to a mountain where Peter was. Andrew, meanwhile, remains in the city and is imprisoned and tortured. At length Christ appears to him and heals him ; and after founding a Christian church in the city, he finally leaves it in peace.

2. i Esd. . 33, RV Mattathias. See MATTATHAH.

W. C. A.


(rvnnp. and in i Ch. 15 2 i -irvnriO see MATTAN, MATTANIAH and NAMES, 27, 50, and on vocalisation, 6 ; cp Mitinti, the name of a king of Ashdod ; probably of ethnic affinities [Che.] ; M&T- TAeiAC [BKAL]).

1. b. Shallum b. Korah aLevite(i Ch. 031 fi<XTT0ias [Bb. vid.J, ^ardaO. [L]).

2. An Asaphite Levite, a musician, i Ch. 15 18 21 (i^arradia ; /utTTaflw [B] ; fnaTraOia, M eTTa0i<i [ K ] , cp 165 M aT0aeias [L]) who appears among the sons of Jeduthun in i Ch. 25 3 21 (fj.a.66 a.6 ias [L], in v. 21 /xar^tas [AL]). See GENEALOGIES i., 7 (ii-)-

3. One of the b'ne NEBO (q.v.), Ezra 10 43 (fla^a&a [BK], fj.a.06a(lia.s [A], fj.a.r6. [L]); in i Esd. 9 35, MAZITIAS (jxamas IA], ^Tias [BJ, M a00a0!.a [L]).

4. A priest who was present at the reading of the law by Ezra (Neh. 84, ^aT0a0ias [N*], pnOBias [L]); in i Esd. 943, MATTATHIAS.


i. (Tiyp, mader; Vg. sarculum ; LXX has aporpiuiju.ei oi aporpiaO/jcreTcu ; Is. 7 2st) an implement used in vineyards; cp Is. 5:6 (oxat/ifj). See AGRICULTURE, 3.

2. nt5 ~in> J S. 182i, corresponding with riU inO n * 2oa where EV renders share. See SHARE. In v. 2c*/ the emended text reads goad for mattock. See SHOT.

3. 3in, hfreb, 2 Ch. 34 6 Kr., so AV ; RV, preferably in their ruins round about. Both Kt. and Kr. are mere guess- work (Ki.).


(] V DP, mep/iis [perhaps better } M SD, from j S: to break], pona.\ov [BNc.aA] poiravov [K*]), Prov. 25 18 EV. For cognate synonyms, see BATTLE-AXE, i ; and cp WEAPONS.


(D WO PI7K ; MAeozei[N] [Theod. BAQ], |CXYP A L 8 7] Pesh. apparently read D*W D*n!?R, strong gods ), Dan. 11:38 AV mg, the name of a god, variously rendered 'God's protectors', 'god of munitions' (AVmg), '. . . forces' (AV),' . . . fortresses' (RV). Most moderns have taken the refer ence to be to Jupiter Capitolinus (so Gesenius, Lengerke, Driver, Marti), in whose honour Antiochus began to build a temple in Antioch (Livy, 41 20). G. Hoffmann (Oeb. einige Phdn. Inschriften, 29), on the other hand, thought of Zetfj IloXiefo, and Che. (SHOT Is. Heb. 92) suggests the easy reading mehozim (c mn) 'cities'. 1 But since mauszim means primarily 'refuges' (cp Sym. confugia} it may be more probable that the true reference is to Jupiter Hospes (S& ioj) ; cp 2 Macc. 62^, and see HOSPITALITY, JUPITER. 2

Prof. Cheyne points out that the curious rendering 'God's protectors' (AVmg) is explained by Matthew Poole's remark, It signifies demons, or gods protectors, whom the Romans would worship with Christ, such as saints and angels.

A fresh line is taken by E. R. Bevan, Journal of Hell. Stud. 2026-30(1900), who argues that Antiochus Epiphanes assumed divine honours, and finds in the god of Mauzzim Zeus Olympios, with whom the king identified himself; cp Eng. Hist. Rev. 1901, pp. 625-639. S. A. C.

1 See further the comm. of Behrmann, Driver, and Marti, ad lac. For another view, see MODIN.

2 Hi.'s suggestion D^ tj S '[the god of] the fortress of the sea' - i.e., the Tyrian Melkart - is worthy of mention if only for the circumstance that there are several points of contact between this deity and Jupiter Hospes (cp Kel. Sem.C-} 376).


(MAZITIAC [A]), i Esd. 9:35 = Ezra 10:43, MATTITHIAH, 3.


pi^E), RVs- 2 K. 192 4 Is. 196 3725 Mic. 7 I2t, where RV has Egypt, and AV besieged places, defence, or fortified cities. See MIZRAIM, i.


(nJD ; MAZOYPOuO [BAL]), 2 K. 23:5 t.

Not the signs of the Zodiac, which are called the pictures (nipn) of heaven in Job 38:33, but rather those stars and planets which were called mansions (Ass. manzalti) of the great gods (STARS, 3 d). See MAZZAROTH.


(H njp ; MAZOypooG [BSA]), Job 38:32 t). See STARS, 3 d.

Duhm doubtfully explains as the signs of the Zodiac, but this has perhaps another designation (see MAZZALOTH). Cheyne finds a corruption of Zibanitu i.e., the Balance, a and /3 Librae (see Hommel, ZDMG 45 597 ; Jensen, Kosmol. 68). Another technical term Mezarlm (Q lTp Job 37 gt) maybe a corruption of Bab. mifri, the northern (star) i.e., Tartah (the corrupt nina of Job 38 36a). See Cheyne, JBL 17 [1898] 103^!


i. RV REED-GRASS (inK ; Gen. 41 2 18). See FLAG, 2.

2. AV PAPER-REEDS (rvnj?; Is. l!>7t). See REED, 2.

3. Judg. 20 33, RV ng- See MAAREH-GEBA.

MEAH (TOWER)[edit]

(HNSn ^D), Neh. 3i 12 3 9- See HAMMEAH.


(HmO), Lev. 614, etc. RV. See SACRIFICE.


(np[?; AAeYPON I farina), i K. 422 [62], etc. See FOOD, i, 2.


  • Meals (1-2).
  • Posture (3).
  • Procedure (4-7).
  • Menu, dishes, etc. (8-10).
  • Wine, entertainments (11-13).
  • Etiquette (14).

No universally recognised early Hebrew term for 'meal' seems to have been in use. 'At meal-time' in Ruth 2:14 (EV) is, literally, 'at food time' (Sjx ny 1 ?) ; to 'dine' (Gen. 43:16), is literally 'to eat' ("?DN) ; more frequently the word bread (nnS) is added (e.g., Gen. 43:25, Ex. 220). 'Dinner of herbs' in Prov. 15:17 should according to RV n K- and BDB be rather 'a portion of herbs' (i.e., a slender meal); but Che. (Exp. Times, Aug. 1899), pleads for the rendering 'meal'. Post- biblical literature, however, uses se'udah (rrrijm) for 'meal', and the word may have been known earlier, its root sa'ad (-IJ?D) 'to sustain', being a good OT word (see Gen. 18:5, Judg. 19:5). In the NT EV speaks of dining and dinner 1 (Mt. 22:4, Lk. 11:37-38, 14:12, cp Jn. 21:12, 21:15), of supping and supper x (Lk. 14:12, etc.); but RV gives a more correct rendering in one of these passages - 'break your fast' (Jn. 21:12, 21:15, AV 'dine' ).

1. Division of the day.[edit]

As to the time of the meals, the principal one was postponed to the period just before or after sunset. Thus, in the Gospels, master and servant alike take their meal after they are come day in from the field (Lk. 1? 7 ff. \ cp Ruth 87), which, in the seasons of harvest and vintage at least, would hardly be before sundown. In like manner the noon-tide heat, which suspends all out-door work, suggests a simple meal for the resting labourer (Ruth 214), and not for him alone (cp Joseph s dinner at noon, Gen. 43i6). If we add to these the morning snack, a morsel of bread and some simple relish, with which the peasant still breaks his fast, we have the ordinary meals of the population of early Palestine.

In the second Christian century the immemorial custom of three meals a day, even on the Sabbath, is illustrated by a pro vision of the later Jewish law. On the outbreak of a fire on the Sabbath, the Jews were allowed to rescue sufficient provisions to furnish three meals (niliyp vhv J11S) if the fire takes place in the night seasons of the Sabbath (032" v /3) ; sufficient for two meals, if it takes place in the forenoon ; for one meal only, if it takes place in the afternoon (Shabbath 16:2). The first of the three was a slight refreshment, scarcely constituting a meal in the proper sense of the word, to which Kamphausen (in Riehm, HWBm 955") finds a reference in Prov. 31:15 (in the Praise of the Virtuous Woman ).! The Talmud calls this the K"m& DS, the morning morsel. It is the aptcrTOi> irpta ivov or early breakfast of classical writers; it is referred to in Jn. 211215, and nowhere else (see RV).

1 For the corresponding terms in the original, see below, 2.

2. The principle meals.[edit]

The two proper meals of the day (cp Ex. 16:12, 1 K. 17:6) were taken, the one about noon, the other and more elaborate of the two, about sunset. The former is the Greek plffTOVi the latter the Greek aetu-i-ox. 2 These were the meals to which guests were generally invited (Lk. 14:12; cp 11:37, 14:16, etc.). To 'eat no bread', is synonymous with partaking of fj.r]Te tLpiarov /W.TJT6 Seiirvov (said of Ahab i K. 2l:4 = Jos. Ant. viii. 138; Niese, 356).

(a) The Apicrrov [ariston]. It is scarcely possible that there was a uniform hour for the apicrrov, despite the odd reading of LXX (1 S. 14:24; see HONEY, n. 4), all the land was breakfasting. The duties of the market (Mk. 74) and the synagogue had first to be at tended to. There is a Talmudic statement (Shabbath 10a) that the fourth hour (about 10 A.M.) 3 was the meal time of ordinary persons, the fifth hour, of labourers, the sixth hour, of the learned. The noontide meal at which Joseph entertained his brethren (Gen. 43:16, 43:25) is called by the Greek translators (about 250 B.C.) 'break fast' ; this was also, in their opinion, the meal to which a sovereign would invite a guest after the morning service at the altar of Bethel (1 K. 137, LXX 'come and breakfast with me' : Heb. -\yo, EV 'refresh thyself' ; see above). 4

It was to breakfast rather than to dinner (as EV) that Jesus was invited by the Pharisee of Lk. 11:37+ In ordinary cases it was a very simple meal ; for field labourers, bread dipped in vinegar with a handful of parched corn (Ruth 2:14) or 'pottage and bread broken into a bowl' (Bel 33 ; LXX{87} adds 'a cruise of wine' ), or bread with fish, dried or roasted, as relish (Jn. 21 9 13 ; cp Tob. 66 [<5 I! N A ], and see FISH, FOOD).

(b) Evening meal. The principal meal of the day, however, was undoubtedly the evening meal (Stiirvov [deipnon]), which was taken by rich and poor when the burden and heat of the day were past (cp Judg. 19:21 with v. 16), that is in the late afternoon, before or just after sundown (see above, i ). It would naturally fall later than the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice (1 K. 183641 Ps. 141:2); in NT times this took place daily about the ninth hour, which was consequently the hour of prayer (Acts 3:1). The Hebrews are re presented as having their chief meal in the evening as early as the time of the Exodus (Ex. 16:12), and the passover was from the first an evening meal. Josephus represents the spies dining with Rahab 'a little before sunset' which was also the royal dinner hour (Ant. v. l:2). The meal (Stiirvov, ibid. \\. i) referred to in 1 S. 9:13 was late in the afternoon when the maidens were fetching water from the village fountain ; it was a sacrificial meal (see SACRIFICE). When the meal was over it was time to retire to rest (Kotrijs &pa. Ant. I.c. ; cp i S. 9:25 [LXX] and Driver's note), as many instances besides this clearly show (Tob. 8:1+ ; Jos. Ant. ii. 6:7, xiv. 15:11 ; Vit. 44 ; cp Eccl. 5:12 [11]). The time of the first miracle of the loaves and fishes was when the evening had come (Mt. 14:15 ; cp Lk. 9:12), and it was toward evening that Jesus reclined at dinner with the two disciples at Emmaus 1 (Lk. 24:29-30. ).

1 [The words rh >( 7 TIJ73 Djjrn, 'and she rises while it is night," make the first line of the i distich overlong ; Bickell may be right in omitting them : note Pasek. The sense then becomes clear, 'Having obtained a good supply of provision, she assigns to each his due amount of food'. ]

2 The renderings 'dinner' and 'supper' respectively, adopted by EV, obscure the relative importance of the two meals, which would be better expressed by 'breakfast', - 'lunch' we fear is too modern - and 'dinner' corresponding to the French dejeuner and diner, with 'breakfast' and 'dine', in place of 'dine and 'sup' for the corresponding verbs. Delitzsch, we may add, is obliged in his Hebrew NT (e.g., Lk. 14:12), to make use of the circumlocutions D? 1 ] rn?J7D (noontide meal) and 3^ (evening meal).

3 Precisely 10 only at the equinoxes, at other times varying from about 6.40 to 10.20 A.M. according to the season of the year.

4 Cp Susanna 7:13 ; also 2 S. 24:15, in LXX ('till breakfast time ') where Pesh. renders 'till the sixth hour'. Josephus (Vit. 54) tells us that the Jews of his day felt bound to breakfast (apio-ro- Troiflo-Oai) at noon on Sabbaths. The practice of the Essenes was to work from sunrise till the fifth hour (about 11 A.M.), when they repaired, after an inteival spent in the bath, to breakfast in the common dining-hall (Stinvrirriptov) of the brotherhood (Jos. BJ\\. 8 5).

3. Posture.[edit]

(a) Tables. In the earliest times, the Hebrews, like their Bedouin kinsmen, must have sat upon the ground at meals, as in the idyllic scene, Gen. 18:1-2. (so Judg.6:19 , under the oak ; cp Judith's attitude, Jud. 12:15). This was the custom also in the lower ranks of the ancient Egyptians, among whom several varieties of the posture were in vogue (see illustrations in Wilk. Anc. Eg., 1878, 1419, cp 244). The Bedouins in some parts first spread on the ground a small mat of plaited straw or grass, or a round disc of leather (sufra; cp WRITING), round the edge of which a string has been inserted. By drawing the alter, the sufra becomes a bag, like a schoolboy s satchel, to hold the provisions for subsequent meals. On the outspread sufra is placed a large wooden bowl in which the meal is served ; the guests sit round 2 and help themselves with the right hand from the steaming mess. Now the etymology of the ordinary Hebrew word for 'table' (sulhan) 3 shows that it was originally identical with the sufra, a fact which throws light on the early Hebrew customs at meals. In course of time, however, it was found more convenient to raise the bowl or bowls in which the food was placed a few inches from the ground by means of a stand.

The stand must have resembled the stand or table composed of a tapering shaft about six inches high (Erman, Anc. Eg. 193, fig. 185) supporting a flat circular top largely used by the Egyptians, since the name of the round leather 'sulhan' was extended to it (for illustrations, see dining scene in Wilkinson, loc. cit.). This circular table, when introduced into Rome from the East, received the name monopodium (illustr. and reff. in Rich's Rom. and Gk. Antiq. s.v.). All the tables of the ancients strike us as uncomfortably low (for Jewish tables note the table of shewbread on the arch of Titus, which according to the measurements in Reland s plate [De Spoliis Templi, 70] is twenty inches in height).

(b) Seats. From the time that they came under Canaanitish influence the Hebrews appear to have sat at meals on chairs or stools (mosdb, EV seat, i S. 20:25); probably these differed but little in style from those in use in Egypt (see Wilk. op. cit. 1:408+) and Assyria. The place of honour in Saul s time was the 1 seat by the wall p jan 3B-io, i S. 20:25) i.e. . probably, by the wall opposite the entrance (as usually now). The fashion of sitting, however, gradually gave way before that of reclining on couches or divans (see BED, 5).

Reclining at meals was apparently not usual among the Assyrians (any more than among the Egyptians or the Homeric Greeks). In the famous garden scene (Brit. Mus. Assyrian sculptures) Asur-bani-pal reclines on a rich couch . . ., but this is an exceptional luxury. Even his favourite queen is seated on a chair of state. Another monument represents four guests seated at a table (Bonomi, Nineveh and its Palaces, 191 ; Ragozin, Story of Assyria, 403-404). Reclining was, however, general among more luxurious peoples, such as the Syrians and N. Israelites (in Amos's time; see Am. 3:12 64, and cp Hoff mann, ZATW, 1883, p. 102, and the engraving in Cesnola, Cyprus, its Cities, etc., 149), the Persians (Esth. 1:6, 7:8), and probably the Babylonians, on whose luxuriousness see Is. 47:8 Jer. 5l:39.-l

1 Josephus dined after nightfall (l r it. 63), and on one occasion was still at table two hours (oipa VIKCTO; Sevripa, ibid. 44) there after. The Essenes, like the rest of their countrymen, worked till evening Otc xP 1 Seifa^), when they dined. At Alexandria the Jewish translators are represented as working till the ninth hour, after which came relaxation and dinner (Jos. Ant. xii. 2 13 ; cp the notice as to the dinner hour at the court of Ptolemy Philopator, 3 Macc. 5:14).

2 Heb. 330 in OT = 'recline at table' only i S. 16:11 (3D.J X7), but frequently in later Hebrew in the Hiphil (see Levy, t.v.). Hence 30?, Cant. 1:12 of the king s round table (see Del. ; RV table ), na DO, a feast ; p3DO, guests, etc.

3 From nScJi to strip off (the skin) ; see Levy, Neuheb. Wtirterb. s.v., and especially the excursus in Moore's Judges, 19-20.

Reclining has become the usual position at meals for the writers of the Apocrypha (dvaKft/j-at, i Esd. 4:10; Ka.Ta.K\lvo/j.ai, Jud. 12:15 [also LXX in 1 S. 16:11, and four times in Lk.], dvawiirTw, Tob. 21 [BN] 78 [X], etc). It need hardly be said that in NT times the practice of reclin ing at meals (tir ayK&vos dfiirvfiv) was universal through out the peoples around the Mediterranean. 2 Among the Jews, however, as among the Greeks and Romans of the best period, it was only the men who reclined ; the wives, we may be sure, continued to sit, either on the couch (K\IVIJ) at the feet of their husbands - Lk. 10:39, however, is not a case in point or on chairs or stools (cp, again, the relief of Asur-bani-pal and his queen). The children sat on stools beside their parents (Mk. 7:28), as represented on various monuments of classical antiquity, dependents and slaves either on the ground (cp Judith 12:15) or, as at Rome, on benches (in sub- selliis, MH, ^oso mentioned along with couch, chair, and table, Kelim 2:3) with a rest (SPKI) at either end (ibid. 22:3).

The law, in later times, demanded that even the poorest Jews should enjoy the luxury of reclining at the festive Passover meal (Pesachim 10:1, cp Columella, De Re Rust. xi. 1:19). This association of reclining with festivity rendered it natural for the Jews on the occasion of a death to overturn their couches and sit at meals while in mourning, a practice observed, according to Plutarch, by the younger Cato.

The women of the family, as has been implied, took their meals with the men (1 S. 1:4+, Ruth 2:14, Job 1:4 ; cp Ex. 12:3+ [Passover], Dt. 16:14 [Succoth]), except when strangers or distinguished guests were present (see Gen. 18:6+ [Sarah 'in the tent' ], Judg. 19:6+ [only the two men of the party], 2 S. 13:23, Est. 1:9+). A

4. Procedure : order of feast, etc.[edit]

Let us now follow the course of an imaginary enter tainment in NT times, noting, as we proceed, the historical development of customs. The occasions for merry-makings were as numerous as among ourselves [see FAMILY, FEAST, MARRIAGE, BIRTHDAY, CIRCUMCISION]. It was usual to send invitations early (to invite is to call 4 ; i S. 9:13, Lk. 14:9, etc.) through servants (Mt. 22:3; cp Prov. 9:3). On the appointed day, it was not unusual to send a messenger (vocator] with a reminder (Mt. 22:4 Lk. 14:17), or even to conduct the guests to the place of entertain ment (Est. 6:14). This custom still prevails in the East (see Plummer s note on Lk. 14:18, 14:21).

1 Che. ftttr. Is. 126. On the lee ft aurati or inaurati and inargentati of the Romans, see Mar^uardt, Privatleben d. Ro nter, 1 301. Were the couches described in Esther such as these? Compare the description in Cant. 3 10 (see PALANQUIN).

2 The late Heb. term is 3Dn (in OT, in the sense of sitting at table, i S. 16:11), hence 3D? in Cant., a product of the Greek period, may well be table as EV (1:12). The favourite NT terms are ai/aKeijuai and Kara.KeliJ.aL, but not the simple verb ; ava- and (caTdKAiVo/^ai, ai/an-i iTTto ; WMUWMlpM (oi nMMUM^MPM, the guests, Mt. 149, etc.; cp oi <rvyKa.TOKfifj.evot, Jos. Ant. xii. 49); Josephus also supplies TrpoKaraK\ivu>, Ant.xv.V^; -K\ivofj.ai., vi. 4 1, to take a higher place at table ; viro- KaraK\tvotj.a<., to take a lower place, xii. 4 9. Cp Lk. 14 7 ff., and below.

3 Dan. 52^ cannot be cited for the normal Jewish practice.

  • On the curious term 6(nrvoK\ijnip, which occurs in the

interesting section of Codex Beza? after Mt 2028, see Nestle, Text. Crit. of the Gk. Text (1901), pp. 217, 255^

8 We infer this from the well-known aphorism in Pirkl Aboth (4 23, ed. Taylor).

8 The custom of washing the feet has not yet died out in the East. See Robinson, BR [1841], 3 26 ; Doughty, Ar. Des. 2 136.

Arrived at the host's residence, the guest is received with a kiss (Lk. 7:45), and probably conducted to the anteroom or vestibule of the dining-room 5 (see HOUSE, col. 2131). Here the welcome attention of washing the guest s feet doubly welcome if performed by the host or hostess in person (1 S. 26:41, 1 Tim. 5:10 ; cp Jn. 13:4+)- and anointing his head (see ANOINTING, 2), is offered. 6 Or, if the space of the house is too limited for this, the guest is ushered at once into the dining-room. Ten cubits by ten (nfc jr 1 ?}? iby) is given in the Mishna (Baba Bathra, 64) as the dimensions of an average triclinium (pSp iip), or dining-room, which gives a room from 15 to 18 feet square. 1 If its owner is inclined to follow the Roman fashion, doubtless adopted at the court of Herod, and, as the above-mentioned loan word shows, already familiar to the people, the room is furnished with three very wide couches - each sufficient to accomodate three guests reclining full-length at right- angles to the table - ranged round three sides of a square table, the fourth side, towards the door, being left free for the service. 2 In most Jewish houses, how ever, it must be assumed that there still prevailed the Greek custom, according to which the couches were much narrower, each holding only two guests as a rule, who reclined at an acute angle to the small oblong tables. Of these one was provided for each couch. If the party was small or the room very large, each guest might have a couch and table, as at the Egyptian court (Jos. Ant. xii. 49 : TI\V jra.pa.Kft.p^vqv avrip rpdirefav}.

Before the arrival of the guests, their respective claims to precedence have been duly weighed by the host. The 'chief places' (RV for irpuroKXia-iai, Mt. 23:6, Mk. 12:39, Lk. 14:7, 20:46 ; cp rrjv irpurriv dva.K\i<riv, Aristeas, ed. Wendland, 187) were demanded as a right by the priestly aristocracy ; but these claims were, in the time of Jesus, continually called in question by the more democratic Pharisees. If the guests were all of the same social status, arranging them was a simple matter. Precedence went according to age (napi inn, Baba Bathra, 120a], as in Joseph s entertainment (Gen. 43:33), and at the court of Ptolemy (Aristeas, loc. cit. ). As long as sitting at meals was customary, the seat of honour (xaQ^dpa 56??s, Ecclus. 74) was at the right hand of the host. But which were the -rrpuTOKXiffiai (literally, the chief reclining-places) in the later period ? Putting aside those houses into which the triclinium, with its strict etiquette, had been intro duced, we may suppose that the older custom of separate couches and tables, as explained above, was still observed.

It was in such a house that Jesus observed how the Pharisees 'chose out the chief seats' (Lk. 14:7), which were doubtless the places at the head of eack couch - i.e., at the end provided with the arm-rest (firiit\ivrpov , rTVTl = a.va.K\i.TOv [<&] or reclinatorium [Vg.], Cant. 3:10). To prove this we need not refer to the analogy of the Roman triclinium. In a Jewish treatise - of somewhat late date, it is true - the question is asked : 'What is the etiquette of reclining at table' (Tosefta. Berakh. 6:5)? The answer runs thus : 'When there are two couches, the most honourable (guest) reclines at the head of the first couch (rmtPN-! Vc> B>joa ap C), and the next to him (in rank) on the couch on his right. But when there are three couches, the most honourable (guest) reclines at the head of the middle couch, the next to him (in rank) above him [i.e., in the corresponding place on the couch to his left], the third (in rank) on the couch to his right'. 3 The place of the host was no doubt, as in Greece and Rome, close to the principal guest, most probably the second place on the centre couch.

1 According as the cubit is reckoned at eighteen or at twenty-one inches.

2 See arts. Lectus and Triclinium in the Diets, of Classical Antiquities.

3 This is clear and explicit enough. Nevertheless even good scholars (see, e.g., Thayer, sub TrpwroicAicria and Plummer on Lk. 14:7) have been misled by Edersheim (see Jesus the Messiah, 2 207yC), who unwarrantably (as the present writer thinks) renders IBS, in a Talmudic passage (Berakh. 46b) similar to that above quoted, by cushions, with the result that on a given couch if there are three cushions, the third worthiest lies below him who has lain down first (at his right), so that the chief person is in the middle (between the worthiest guest at his left hand, and the less worthy one at his right hand. ) By this mistaken rendering the TrpajroicAto-tat are wrongly transferred by Eders heim to the middle places on each couch i.e., from the locus summits to the locus medius ; or are we meant to infer that the three chief guests at a banquet were all accommodated on one couch?

Before leaving this part of our subject, we may refer briefly to the much debated question as to the relative positions of Jesus and his disciples at the Last Supper. From the narratives in the Gospels and from our knowledge of contemporary Jewish practice, it may safely be said that the little band reclined in the usual way round a single table. On this particular occasion they may have occupied four separate couches. Jesus and John, we know for certain, reclined on the same couch, the former, we can hardly doubt, in the place of honour at the head of the principal couch - perhaps the second from the left, facing the entrance to the upper room (av6.ya.iov, 1 Mk. 14:15, Lk. 22:12) in which they met - with the beloved disciple below him on his right (tv T$ K6\irij) TOV l-qaov, Jn. 13:23). Judas must have been within easy reach of the Master (see ibid. v. 26), either in the third place on the same couch (the second), or in the corresponding place on the couch (the first) above. 2 Peter, finally, must have reclined some places below John, on the third or fourth couch, from either of which he could easily be seen by John (see ibid. v. 24). Beyond this all is pure conjecture.

The vexed question of precedence settled, the guests take their places on the mattress (in Mishna ^), 3 on the couch assigned to them. These places are indicated by the cushions (ktseth, TrpoffK<f>d\aiov ; see CUSHION, BED) on which each leans his left elbow (cp Ezek. 13:18 (S, TrpoffKffidXaia vtrb TTCLVTO. dyK^va %p6s) leaving the right hand and arm free. In the houses of the rich, mattress and pillows were covered with silk (Am. 3:12, RV), in those of the poor with leather (Mikw. 10:2 Kel. 26:5). At this stage water was brought for the im portant ceremony of the 'washing of hands' (n T nS Bp).

5. 'Washing of hands'.[edit]

This washing of hands must be clearly distinguished from ordinary washing (ns rn), being, strictly, not a washing at all, but an affusion or pour ing of water from a vessel on the hands, as is indicated by the usual Hebrew phrase just given, which is shortened from G"] n Sy C D JiS BJ (lit. 'a lifting up of water upon the hands' ). 4

This practice of pouring water on the hands before meals is not mentioned in the OT (but see Tobit, 7:9, text of N [aleph]) ; it would be rash on that account to regard the ceremony as of late origin, in view of its universal observance by the civilised nations of antiquity (for Egypt see Erman, 179-181 ; Wilkinson, 1:425 ; for Greece, the Homeric poems -passim ; cp ALn. 1:705). By the first century of our era the greatest importance was attached to its observance, as we see from various passages of the NT (see esp. Mk. 7:1-4), especially by the adherents of the Pharisees. It is described as a tradition of the elders (I.c. , v. 3) : in other words it was not claimed as a Mosaic institution. At least two attempts to justify the practice from the Pentateuch, however, are found in the Talmud, one authority basing it on Lev. 15:11 (so Chullin, 105a), another on Lev. 20:7 (Berakh. 536).

The passage Lev. 20:7 affords a characteristic example of Rab binic exegesis: Sanctify yourselves therefore; this is the washing of hands before meals; and be ye holy: this is the washing of hands after meals, for I am the Lord your God : this is the blessing. A large part of the Mishna treatise Yaddiyim (hands) is devoted to discussing the minimum quantity of water necessary, which was fixed at a quarter log (= 1.5 egg- fuls ), the kind of water admissible, and other minutia:. Similar prescriptions are given in Chagiga 2:5 ; Before partaking of common food (J Vlri), the tithe and the terumah, water must be poured C?D3) over the hands ; before consecrated food (chip, i.e., portions of the sacrificial victims) the hands must be 'dipped (S^a) in water' (cp Chullin, 106a).

1 Not necessarily the same as the 'guest-chamber' (TO KaraAu^a), according to Plummer, in loc.

2 It IS doubtful if Judas' proximity to Jesus can be based on Mt. 26:23 (6 ;pp.'+as FCT' CpoG ev &pa i u 74 .rpv@Aiw: cp Mk. 14:17, 14:20) since there may have been only one such 'dish'; viz., that containing the haroseth (see PASSOVER, 17). If we could be sure that there was one dish for each couch, as some suggest, then Judas position would be decided in favour of the first of the two alternatives given above.

3 Perhaps in Is. 21:5, JVSX f!BX> 'they spread the mats' (for the grounds see Che. Intr. Is. 126). [But cp OHADIAH (BOOK), where this difficult phrase is emended in the light of the theory mentioned in Crit. Rev. 11 (1901) 18.]

4 Hence pavri^ofuii, the reading of NB adopted by WH and others, is a much more appropriate term for the ceremony than /3a7r-n. o;u.ai of TR in Mk. 7:4. The latter corresponds exactly to the Heb. 7*2BJJ, to dip the hands in water, as required in certain circumstances before eating. For further details of this distinction between "i.? B3 and fJ SBf see Maimomdes preface to the treatise Yaddyim (Surenhusius Mishna, vol. vi. p. 480, and Meuschen, Nov. Test, e Talmude illustr. 239).

As among the people of classical antiquity and in the East at the present day, an attendant made the round of the guests with a small ewer and basin, both generally of brass (see illust. in Lane's Mod. Egyptians], the ewer containing water which had been kept from possible defilement in large stone jars, the vSpiai of Jn. 26+. The hands were held over the basin, and the water allowed to run to the wrist (,-riBrriy, Yad. 23, Chull. 106a, 106b). This, after all, seems the simplest interpretation of the words in the second Gospel : 4aa> /U.TJ irvyfj.ri IUI/ WCTCU ras x f P a *> ^ K fffOiovffiv (Mk. 7:3 [SB, etc. ]).* Originally a single ablution sufficed ; but by the end of the second century, the process was repeated, the hands now being held downwards so that the water (distinguished as D J nnx C C, or second water, from the first water c Jic X i D D) might carry off the defilement supposed to be contracted by the water of the first washing (for details see Yad. 2:1-3 and Edersheim, Life and Times, 2:11-12). The Hebrew termini technici just quoted have often, with doubtful propriety, been applied to the washing before and after meals respectively. A napkin (nsa, mappah, Berakh. 83 : D T nnSBD, Kel. 9 3 24:14) was used to dry the hands, after which it might be laid on the table (so the school of Shammai) or on the cushion (so Hillel - see Berakh. loc. cit.}.

The washing of hands after meals, which may be here mentioned by anticipation, was more a matter of con venience than of ritual to people to whom the use of knives and forks was unknown. The description of Elisha as the prophet which poured water on the hands of Elijah" (2 K. 3:11) has in all probability a reference to the washing of hands after, if not also before, meals.

In later times, the more fastidious were wont to wash after each course, regarding which the Talmud holds that while the washing of hands before and after meals is a duty, washing during a meal, between one course and another, is a matter of choice (Chull. 105a). There was an order of precedence in this matter of washing also, the most honoured guest washing first (Berakh. 46b).

6. Serving.[edit]

The company having performed the required ablutions in due order, the host gives the sign 'to bring in the tables' (fiff&peiv rpaWfas ; cp irap46riKe Tpaire^av in the figurative sense of setting food], for before the introduction of the fixed table of the triclinium, the attendants carried in and placed before each couch a low table on which (to use a modern expression) the covers were already laid. Such was the spread table (Tjny inSc ) of Ezek. 23:41, -pj; 'arak being the word used for preparing the domestic table (Is. 21:5, Ps. 23:5, Prov. 9:2), as well as for arranging the sacrifice upon the altar, 'the table of Yahwe' (Ez. 41:22, 44:16 Mal. 1:7, 1:12).

In the more modest households, the meals were served, as well as prepared, by the women of the family (Mt. 8:15, Mk. 1:31), although exceptions are occasionally found (2 K. 443, Lk. 17:7-8). In the houses of the rich, the waiting (Esth. 6:35 [A]) was done entirely by men, who were in most cases no doubt slaves. The standing expression in Hebrew is sereth (roc*) (Siateoveui, ministro), of which the participle mesarethim (1 K. 10:5, 2 K. 4:43, Esth. 1:10, 2:2 etc. ; NT SIOLKOVOI [EV 'servants' ] Jn. 25:9) is the equivalent of our 'waiters', a word used by AV only in Judith 13:1 as the rendering of oi miptiniare<; (but RV 'them that waited' ; cp 17 Trapaarairts attendance," i Macc. 15:32). The Hebrew historians (see 1 K. 10:5, 2 Ch. 9:4) have given us a life-like picture of Solomon's table, the king presiding, flanked on either hand by the 'gentlemen of the household' on chairs (1"13JJ 2isnc), the waiters standing in attendance (VniB p "! -J?D, arao-te AeiToupyd)! ), dressed, like the cupbearers, in the royal livery (B^aSo). In later Hebrew a waiter is O&O (Berakh. 7:1, Pesach 7:13) from l?a (Aboth), the equivalent of the older JVW.

1 The late Professor Delitzsch in his Heb. translation of the NT here employs the words of the Mishna cited above. For alternative reading TTUKVO. [, etc.], and the interpretation generally, see the Commentaries.

7. The blessing.[edit]

At the stage of the dinner which we have now reached, the host, following ancient custom, says 'grace' (njia ; lit 'a blessing' )- The first trace* of lng a 'grace before meat' is usually de tected in the incident recorded in 1 S. 9:13, where the people delay partaking of the sacrificial meal until the arrival of Samuel to bless the sacrifice. The village feast here described, however, is not in any sense an ordinary domestic meal. The earliest mention of a grace in the ordinary acceptation of the term seems to be in the letter of the Pseudo-Aristeas ( not later than 200 B.C. ; Schurer), in which is given an account of the reception by Ptolemy Philadelphia of the Jewish scholars professedly sent to translate the Hebrew Scriptures for his library.

At the royal table one of the delegates, Elisha by name, a priest, was requested to say grace (jroiijercurSai Ka.Tfv\riv, Aristeas, ed. Wendland, 184, cp Jos. Ant. xii. 2:12), which he did standing. In the Gospels the blessing or thanksgiving before a meal has the repeated sanction of Jesus (eiiAoyt w Mt. 26:26, Mk. 8:7, Lk. 9:16; euxapio-Tc co Mt. 15:36, 26:27, Mk. 8:6, Lk. 22:17 etc.), as in Acts 27:35 it has that of Paul (cp 1 Tim. 4:3-4). Of the contemporary Essenes, we are informed by Josephus that a priest says grace (TrpoKarfuxerat) before meat, and it is unlawful for any one to taste food before grace (np\v TJJS ei>x*)S BJ ii, 8:5).

For the practice of saying grace after meat, which later Judaism finds enjoined in Dt. 8:10 (' when thou hast eaten and art full, then shall thou bless Yahwe thy God for the good land which he hath given thee'), we have no biblical evidence. From this fact, and from the stress laid by Josephus (loc. cit. } on the fact that the pious Essenes offered prayers both before and after meat, we gather that a second grace was not yet customary in the first century. By the end of the second, however, as the treatise Berakhoth (blessings) clearly proves, a grace, not only before and after a meal but also at various stages of it, had become the rule in orthodox households.

A considerable part (chaps. 6-8) of the treatise Berakhoth is de voted to discussing the various forms of grace appropriate to wine and different kinds of food, such as bread, fruit, etc., and at what points in the progress of the meal the various blessings should be said. Among the more noteworthy injunctions are the following : To say grace is incumbent on women, slaves and children all of whom were exempted from wearing the phylacteries and from certain other religious duties (Berakh. 2:3). 'If several people sit at table, each says grace for himself, but if they recline one says grace for all' (6:6). 'Whoso has eaten and has forgotten to say grace, must, the school of Shammai maintains, return to his place and say grace ; but the school of Hillel holds that he may say grace in the place where he remembers [the omission]' (8:7). 'Amen is to be said after an Israelite has said grace (cp i Cor. 14:16), but not after a non-Israelite, unless one has heard the whole blessing' (8:8). As specimens of these early graces, it must suffice to quote those to be said over bread and wine respectively. Over the former the 'blessing' runs - 'Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who bringest forth bread from the earth' ; over the latter - 'Blessed, etc. (these words being common to all the blessings), who Greatest the fruit of the vine' (cp Mt. 20:29 and parall.). To these may be added this specimen of a grace after meat - 'Blessed be the Lord our God the God of Israel, the God of hosts, enthroned upon the Cherubim, for the food which we have eaten' (7:3).

1 Banquet, in older English writers, has still this more limited application, see Oxf. Engl. Diet., s.v.

8. Menu.[edit]

An entertainment such as that now being described consisted among the Jews, as among their Gentile con- temporaries, of two parts, the Stltrvov or dinner, at which wine was taken sparingly or not at all, and the following 'banquet' mishteh (nntrn, from rtrts 'to drink', =<rv/j.irbffiov) which was chiefly devoted to the pleasures of the wine-cup. 1 This twofold division corresponds to the 'first' and 'second' tables of classical antiquity. The 'first table', to which we now proceed, consisted of various courses according to the wealth and inclination of the host, who, on week- days but not on the Sabbath, might have drawn up for him a list of dishes (cp ypa./j.fjLa.Tl8ioi>, menu-card, Athen. 2:33), as well as of his guests (see Shabb. 23:2). The dinner of the Essenes, according to Josephus, consisted of a single course (e tvbs ^5&r/u.o,Tos) ; but that of the average middle-class household probably consisted of two or three. The first course, corresponding in the main to the gustatio of the Romans, was composed of light, appetising dishes of the nature of hors-d'oeuvre.^ Among these were salted fish (see FISH, 7) without bread, eggs boiled or beaten with oil (Shabb. 8:5), pre served vegetables of all sorts, olives, and piquant sauce or vinegar into which the 'morsel of bread' might be dipped, etc. Appetisers like the caper (see CAPER- BERK Y) were for special occasions or special needs.

On this followed the deipnon [coena] in the narrower sense of the word, consisting of a varying number of courses of vegetables, fish, fowl, and Mesh, as described in detail in the general articles FOOD, FISH, FOWL. The more substantial courses were varied, on great occasions, by a number of side-dishes or entries, for which various names are found in later Jewish literature. Wine was handed round in the course of the meal (pian ^ina Berakh. 66).

9. The Plate.[edit]

The dishes in which the viands were served -the p CB n Sa or 'vessels for the service (of the table)' of the Mishna - naturally varied according to the wealth and social position of the household, vessels of earthenware and wood predomin ating in the houses of the poor, of brass, silver, etc., and even gold (see below) in the houses of the rich. The small size of the ancient table, however, did not allow of the same display of plate (Judith 12:1), as is customary in modern times. Thus, of the Greek table it has been said, the name irtva^ (besides signifying 'tray' ) is also given to the plates (see below), which, with the bread baskets and the small vessels to hold seasoning and hors-d'oeuvre, compose the whole table service (Darem- berg et Saglio, Diet, des Antiq., s.v. Cagna, 1275 a), a statement confirmed by many representations on Greek vases and elsewhere. Bread, which formed a con spicuous feature of every meal, was served in shallow wicker baskets (Vp OT and Mishna. passim - e.g. , Gen. 40:16-18; nsn "?p Kel. 2:3, criSS Sp Shabb. 163 LXX KO.VOVV) ; cp BASKETS. In ancient times a similar basket of closely plaited grass, reeds, or straw was even used to serve meat in (Judg. 6:19), and such trays are still common in the East (Palgrave, Cent. Arab, 1:52+, Landberg, Prov. 62). One of the most frequently mentioned of table dishes is the ke'arah (AV 'dish' ; 'charger' in Nu. 7:13 where mention is made of silver 'chargers' of 130 shekels weight ; LXX generally rpvjSKiov [troublion] ; cp also Ecclus. 34:14, Jos. Ant. iii. 8:10). This is 'the dish' mentioned in the accounts of the Last Supper (Mt. 26:23, Mk. 14:20). It must have been a round, deep dish not unlike the catinum 2 of the Romans, by which Vg. renders in Mk. 14:20. In the Mishna we very frequently find associated with the ke'arah a dish termed tamhuy (inon, Shabb. 35 Ned. 44 etc.), which appears to have been round like the ke'arah but much shallower. This we infer from the fact that, when made of metal, the tamhuy was capable of being used as a mirror (Kel. 30:2).

1 This course might, accordingly, be reckoned as purely hors- d'oeuvre, i.e., as preliminary to the proper meal (cp rn.S lS Jitari :sW, lit. a side dish before the meal, Berakh. 6:5), and offered to the guests even before they reclined at table, accompanied by a cup of wine. These being handed round as the guests were still seated in the vestibule or in the dining- room itself, grace (as we have just seen) was at this stage said by each guest individually, as distinguished from the common blessing when all had reclined. See the Gemara in Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds to the above Mishna.

3 For illustrations of the dishes mentioned in this paragraph see the Latin words in italics in Rich s Diet. o/Gk. and Roman Antiquities.

It may, therefore, be identified with the iriva.%, the charger of Mt. 14:8, 14:11, Mk. 6:25, 6:28 (see under Lanx in Rich). The iriva.% is also 'the platter' of Lk. 11:39, for which the parallel passage Mt. 23:25 has irapo^ls (AV also 'platter' ; Vg. paropsis] originally a four- cornered * dish for entries, as the etymology shows, but later a name for table dishes in general. It may be that tamhuy is a later name for the older sallahath (CRUSE, 3), the dish into which the sluggard thrusts his hand but is too lazy to bring it again to his mouth (Prov. 19:24, RV, 26:15, 2 K. 21:13). In the Mishna we also find an interesting variety of the same dish ( incn jiJTOn Kel. 16:1), evidently a large wooden tray with various compartments (a sort of compotier, Levy) in which several viands could be served at once. These 'service-vessels', as we have seen, were of very varied material, only the rich and high-placed, like Holofernes, having a service of 'plate' (TO. dpyvpu/jLara, Jud. 12:1, 15:11 AV; but RV 'silver vessels' ). Wealthy monarchs like Solomon and Ahasuerus may really have had all their plate of gold (1 K. 10:21, 2 Ch. 9:20, Esth. 1:7). A service of gold plate (xpva<J}/j.aTa Kal diaxoviav - a hendiadys, 'golden vessels to be served in' as AV) was sent by the young King Antiochus VI. to Jonathan the Asmonaean (i Macc. 11:58). Wealthy Romans were fond of displaying their plate on a species of sideboard known as abacus [see illust. in Rich] ; something very similar is intended by the KV\ LKIOV (EV 1 'cupboard' ) in or on which Jonathan's successor Simon displayed his 'gold and silver vessels', to the admiration of the Syrian envoy (i Macc. 15:32). Such, too, was 'the KvXlxiov of thirty talents weight', presented by Ptolemy Philadelphus to Eleazar, according to Aristeas (Wendl. 320). 2

10. Cutlery.[edit]

Knives and forks were used chiefly in the kitchen and for carving (see KNIFE, COOKING UTENSILS, 5). The former, however, were also used for peeling frui^t as we see from the dramatic incident of Herod s attempted suicide recorded by Josephus (Ant. xvii. 7, BJ \. 33 7 ^a.~)(o.(pi.ov\ 'Spoons' is hardly a correct rendering in Ex. 25:29 etc. ; see ALTAR, 10. The real 'spoon' (tarwad, Tnn) is first mentioned in post- biblical literature, but even then, like the cochlear of the Romans, chiefly in connection with medicine. It might be of metal (AW. 17:12), glass (ibid. 30:2), or bone (Shabb. 8:6}. 3 Even among the most civilised nations of antiquity, as in Eastern lands to this day, it was the universal custom to eat with the fingers without the aid of their modern substitutes, the first two fingers and the thumb of the right hand being used for this purpose (see reff. above, 5, also close of article). The 'broth' of Judg. 6:19, Is. 664, sauces, and the like, were eaten by dipping in them a piece of bread, the 'sop' (\f/wfj.iov) of Jn. 13:26+ (cp Ruth 2:14). Each guest had his 'portion' (mo, 1 S. 1:4-5, 923) or 'mess' (nNE D, Gen. 43:34 V-epb [I, 2 S. 11:8 dpcris [ I1A ] ; cp Lk. l0:42 the 'good part' or portion) placed before him by the attend ants, a guest whom the host wished specially to honour being helped to some special delicacy, as in Saul s case (1 S. 9:23 - by Josephus called (jitpls f3a.(n\iKri, Ant. vi. 4:1), or receiving a more ample portion than the others (Gen. 43:34, 1 S. 1:5 : read 'double portion' as AV mg). 'Portions' might also be sent, as a further token of honour, to the house of the recipient (2 S. 118 ; cp Neh. 8:12).

1 Quadrangulum et quadrilaterum vas ; Isidor, quoted by Marquardt, Privatleben d. Router, 635.

2 This, rather than a goblet (Becher in Wendland s translation in Kautzsch, Psetidepigr.), is suggested by the weight given.

3 In Yadayim 46 bones are said to be unclean, 'so that no one may make the bones of his father or his mother into spoons' !

11. Symposium.[edit]

At the close of the deipnon proper came the second washing of hands (see above), after which - if we may judge from contemporary usage elsewhere - 'the first tables' were removed (atpeiv, fK<j>tpfu> rpairtfas : Plut. Symp. 84). This custom, however, cannot have been universal- among the Jews, for according to the Mishna it was often the practice to wash the tables with a sponge (Shabb 21:3, cp Od. 1:111), at the same time that the crumbs (^ix a Mt. 15:27) which had fallen between the couches were swept up (Berakh. 84, Besa 2:7). In the former case the 'second tables' were brought in, and the attendants proceeded to place on them the dessert, consisting for the most part of some of the many varieties of fruit, fresh or preserved, for which Syria has been at all times famous (see FRUIT). Over the fruit was said an appropriate blessing : 'Blessed art Thou, etc. who createst the fruit of the tree' (Berakh. 61}. Whether the fruit was sent to table in 'baskets of silver' (Prov. 25:11 RV) is doubtful. See BASKETS.

Various designations for this part of the entertainment are found in the Talmud. One of these, ND jnp, is merely a naturalised form of the Greek word for dessert, rpayij^ara, while another, [Dip BN, by its etymology (probably iirl KUJJ.OV, ad commissationent , cp KUJ/J.O? EV 'revelling', 1 Pet. 4:3, Rom. 13:13, Gal. 4:21) indicates that dessert formed the transition to the second main division of the entertainment, the misteh or symposium.

Before the symposium proper began, however, the guests anointed afresh, wine and ointments being natur ally associated. With ointment is also associated incense (rnbp, Prov. 27:9, Ezek. 28:41), and in later times a special kind of incense or aromatic spice, known as nD2iD,was laid upon charcoal and handed round after the meal (Besa 2:7}. A special blessing was even said over it by the orthodox (Berakh. 64). With it the guests perfumed their clothes (Ps. 45:8 [9] Cant. 36) and probably their beards as well (see Lane, Mod. Rg. chap. 8, with illustr. , Palgrave, East, and Cent. Arab. 26). Nor, we may be sure, was it only among the Jews of Alexandria that the summons of the author of the Wisdom of Solomon found a ready response ; 'Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and perfumes ; and let no flower of spring pass us by ; Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they be withered' (Wisd. 2:7-8 RV).

Although the Hebrews may not have had the same fondness, amounting to a passion, for flowers, that characterised their Egyptian contemporaries (Wilk. l:426-9 with illust., Erman, 193-194, 255), the custom of wearing flowers either as chaplets (Is. 28:1+) or otherwise at their banquets was one, as we see, of considerable antiquity. The crown (o~r ^>ai os) which it was usual to award to the successful symposiarch (Ecclus. 32:1-2) was probably no more than a special garland of flowers. By the first century the custom in question had spread under Hellenistic influence to the common soldiers in the army (Jos. Ant. xix. 9:11, <TTe(f>avovij.evoi xal fjLvptf6fj.evoi ; cp CHAPLET).

Although there is evidence (see above, 8) that wine was not denied to the guests during the first part of the entertainment, still the Jews, like the Greeks, regarded the second part as the proper period for enjoying the fruit of the vine. 1 It was usual to appoint one of the ., guests to be 'ruler [or governor] of the feast' (ijyovfj.ei>ot Ecclus. 35:1 [AV 32:1]; probably also Lk. 22:26) whose duty it was to take measures for the conduct of the feast, as arbiter bibendi to regulate the manner and quantity of the drinking, and to enforce penalties in the case of any breach of etiquette. There has been much discussion among the learned as to whether the dpx<-TpiK\ivos of Jn. 2:3-4 is to be identified with the symposiarch in the sense indicated by Ben-Sira, or with the functionary, generally a slave, known as the TpiicXividpxrjs or head waiter who arranged the tables and couches and superintended the service generally. The distinction between the ruler and the 'servants' in v. 9 and the tone of equality which characterises the remarks of v. 10 seem to decide for the former alternative. 1

In the palaces of royalty, however, we find a special set of attendants who brought the wine to table - the (olvoxboi) or 'cupbearers' (1 K. 10:5 AV mg), over whom was set the chief butler (see CUPBEARER). At an Egyptian banquet, according to Wilkinson, while the men had male attendants, the women were waited upon by females, a custom which the Greek translators of Ecclesiastes evidently considered as obtaining at the court of Solomon (Eccl. 28 oivoxbov KO.I oiVoxdas). 1

1 The second of the above alternatives (TpiKki.vt.dpxi 1 ;) is suggested by the steward of RVmg.

12. Use of wine.[edit]

The Jews of the Greek and Roman periods certainly drank their wine mixed (see Bel 33 in LXX, 2 Macc. 15:39, Berakh. 7:5). It must, however, be left an open question whether this practice was customary in earlier times, since the biblical references to masak, mingling ( npo, Is. 5:22 Prov. 9:2, 9:5) are rather to be understood of the addition of aromatic herbs (but see Prov. 9:2 LXX). The use of hot water, also, is proved both by the mention of the heating apparatus (cnn) in Pesachim 7:13, and by the express testimony of Ma'aseroth 44.

From the scanty biblical data and from Assyrian and Egyptian analogies we may presume that the drinking- vessels of the Hebrews had different shapes, some being shallow, others deep. To the former class - the kos (ois) - belong such cups as are held by Asur-bani- pal and his queen in the famous garden-scene relief. Larger than the kos was the misrak (piic), as we may infer from its being used to catch the blood of the sacrificial victims. Large bowls were used by the Assyrians, and also, no doubt, by the Hebrews, for mixing wine with pounded aromatic herbs. Out of these bowls (the n y 23 of Jer. 35:5) the drinking-vessels appear to have been filled (i.e. , not, as the Greek custom required, by means of a kyathus). See also BASON, BOWL, CUP, FLAGON.

We have no means of knowing the drinking code by which, under the presidency of the 'ruler of the feast', a Jewish symposium was regulated. As our earliest evidence of this officer does not go beyond 200 B.C. (see above, n), the laws by which he ruled were probably modelled on those of the Greeks (for which see art. symposium in Smith's, and 'commissatio' in Darem- berg and Saglio's Diets.). The existence of such a code as we refer to among the Jews of the Greek period is further confirmed by the statement in Est. 1:8, the true meaning of which undoubtedly is (see LXX, Vg. ) that on this occasion the code was relaxed and the drinking proceeded 'according to every mans pleasure'. The same freedom characterises the picture drawn by Josephus of the Jewish soldiers toasting each other when celebrating by a debauch the death of Herod Agrippa (Ant. xix. 9i). It was customary for the host to drink to the health of his guests (irpoirlveiv, SiA TUIV irpoirbffeuv, Aristeas, ed. Wendland, 235, 261, 274).

1 mi? s probably a corrupt repetition of Cp ECCLESIASTES, 2, n. T. K.C.]

13. Entertainments.[edit]

No banquet such as we have had in view through out would have been complete, if it did not provide some higher form of entertainment than the mere emptying of wine-cups. Music, in particular, from the earliest times, was a never-failing accompaniment of the social feast. Thus Amos (6:5-6, see DAVID, 13, n. 3) and Isaiah (5:12) upbraid their contemporaries for their luxurious feasts, of which music was an element. David, according to 2 S. 19:35 [36], had already a choir of 'singing men and singing women', an institution which a late Hebrew writer represents as also flourishing at the court of Solomon (Eccl. 28). Not much later, in all probability, is the testimony of Ben Sira (Ecclus. 32:3-6 [35:3-6]; note the enthusiastic eulogy of a concert of music, ffi>yKpi/j.a /JLOIHTIKUV). With music, as a matter of course, went dancing, which was performed by the attendants (see DANCE), and since a feast is made for laughter (Eccl. 10:19), we find, as we might expect, riddles and conundrums propounded, such as that given by Samson (Judg. 14:12+), J and those with which the Talmud abounds. To these varied forms of enter tainment were probably added feats of agility, and jugglers tricks, similar to those in which the Egyptians delighted (see illustr. Wilk. 2:53+;, Erman, 248-249 ), the whole being comprised under the general name a.Kpoa/j.a (Ecclus. 32:4 [35:4]), a term as comprehensive as the Eastern fantasia of to-day (see 'Acroama' in Daremb. et Saglio). An ideal philosopher's banquet rather than a picture from real life has been sketched for us in great detail by the Pseudo-Aristeas, whose famous letter is now (1901) accessible to all in the editions of Wendland (Aristea ad Philocratem epistula, 1900, translated in Kautxsch s Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen, vol. ii. ) and Thackeray (in Swete s Introd. to the OT in Gk., 1900, pp. 499/1).

14. Etiquette.[edit]

This article may fitly be brought to a close with some remarks on what may be termed the manners of the table, 2 in addition to what has been already said on certain points of etiquette in connection with the chief seats, etc. It is hardly necessary to advert, even in a sentence, to the well-known iyKpareia (Ecclus. 18:30 in title LXX) of the Hebrews with regard to the pleasures of the table. It is not merely that they condemn such excesses as aroused the indignation of an Amos (4:1, 6:4+) or an Isaiah (5:12, 28:1-8); we find throughout a wise moderation as regards eating and drinking recommended both by precept (Prov. 23:20-21 ) and by example (cp the justifi able pride of Josephus in his countrymen s trw<f>po<njvri , c. Ap. 2:23, 2:32, and Pseudo-Aristeas, 223). Where ex ceptions are mentioned, as Gen. 9:20 LXX 1 K. 20:16^, they are for warning and reproof. We would rather call attention, as above indicated, to sentiments on a minor key, so to say, like those of Kohe leth on eating 'in due season' (Eccl. 10:16-17), and to such sound advice as that of Prov. 23:1-2. The chief authority, however, on the minor morals of the dinner table is Ben Sira, the author of the two loci classici Ecclus. 31:12-18, 32:3-12. In the latter passage the theme is mainly the etiquette of conversation at dinner (see vv. 34:7-9), in the former the reader is warned against greediness and unseemly haste at table (31:14 RV ; cp vv. 12, 16). He is further recommended not to be over scrupulous as to his diet (v. 16 ; cp Lk. 10:8). There is also sage advice regarding moderation in eating : Be first to leave off for manners sake, etc. (v. 17, cp v. 20 in praise of moderate eating, also 32:11), and in drinking : Wine is as good as life to a man, if thou drink it in its measure (v. 27; for the converse, see v. 29-30). It is pleasant to find (see Ecclus. 31:21 in RV compared with AV) that Ben Sira does not stamp with his approval the habit of the later Romans, by which their capacity for the pleasures of the table was increased. The emetic mentioned in the Mishna (Shabb. 226) is purely medicinal.

We have already seen that good manners required all food to be eaten with the right hand ; this is still one of the strictest laws of etiquette in the East. It was a difficult task to teach the young Greek how to use his fingers properly at meals, 'to touch salt fish with one finger, fresh fish, bread, meat with two, etc'. (Mahaffy, The Greek World, etc., 325, basing on Plutarch); it was no doubt equally difficult in the case of the young Jew.

As a curious trifle under this head it may be mentioned that the Jewish doctors did not disdain to legislate on the subject of toothpicks (see Besa 46, 'a man may lift up a splinter of wood to pick his teeth withal' fntr f xnS] ; cp Tosefta ib. 3:18, Jer. Shabb. 8 end, 11c).

Finally the privacy of an eastern house is in some respects greater (e.g., as regards the women s apart ments), in others much less than that of a western ; hence, as we see from more than one incident in the life of Jesus (e.g. , Lk. 7:37), a. stranger might enter unbidden even while a meal was in progress. If it were desired to add the late comer to the party, and the couches were full, he might be accommodated with a chair or stool (cp the incident related in Jos. Vit. 44).

1 On riddles at feasts Moore refers to Bochart, Hieroz. 3 382^, ed. Rosenmiiller. Cp also Spruch, Sprichwort, in Hamburger, Rcalencycl. 2.

2 Two tractates, entirely devoted to etiquette, Dtrek Ares, and Derek Eres ZiltA, are now generally included in editions of the Bab. Talm. (see extracts given by Edersheim, Life and Times, etc. 2 209-10). The latter treatise has been separately edited and translated into German by Tawrogi, 63 pp., 1885.

A. K. s. K.


(MANei [B]) ( RV MAANI, i Esd. 5:31 = Ezra 2:50, MEUNIM (g).


(i"ni p, cave ), a corrupt word - more strictly u-me'arah (rnittp-1) in Josh. 13:4, probably to be corrected into 'from Zarephath'.

The word must contain the preposition D = ?D 'from', and the name of some Sidonian city, the initial i being a mere accretion. LXX read, or conjectured, 'from Gaza' (rnj?C) ; but Gaza was a southern city (O.TTO ya^Vjs [L], or ivavriov yaf)S [B] ; A om. yar]s). Buhl and Steuernagel, improving a poor suggestion of Dillmann s, propose rnysc, 'from Mearah' ; but no such place as Mearah is known. Bennett (SSO T) suggests "VnNO, 'from Arvad', which is plausible (see ARVAD). But though Arvad was colonised from Sidon, it would hardly have been described as belonging to the Zidonians. The right reading seems to the present writer to be HS ISC, from Zarephath. Cp i K. 17:9 to Zarephath which belongs to Zidon ; even if Zidon here is in correct, a Sidonian Zarephath is presupposed by the phrase. Cp ZAREPHATH. T. K. C.


(HND, etc.), 2 K. 7i etc. See WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.


(rtapN, Gen. 1 29 /. etc.; fWO, Gen. 45:23, RV victual ). See FOOD.


(nPI3O), Lev. 6:14 etc. AV. See SACRIFICE.


( Slip ; a more plausible vocalisation is J3O, f< roil uitoi [BA]), a corrupt reading in 2 S. 23:27. See SIBBECAI.


CrnDD), i Ch. 11:36, probably a false reading for MAACATHITE (q.v.). See also ELIPHELET, 2.


(rnbD), Neh. 11:28 RV, AV MEKONAH (q.v.}.


(MHA<\BA [ANY]), i Macc. 9:36. See MEDEBA.


(ITD), Nu. 11:26-27. See ELDAD.


(p T D ; MAAAN [AZJEL]), a son of Abraham by Keturah, and brother of Midian, Gen. 252 (MAAAIM [A], MAAAI [A?]), i Ch. 132 (MAAIAM [B], MAAAIM [L])-

Whether it is worth while to compare the name of the \Yady Medan near the ruined city Dedan (Wetzstein, in Del. Jesaiai 1 ), 663) or the name of a Yemenite god Madan (Osiander ; Margo- liouth in Hastings, DB\ may be doubted. Medanites (so EVmg-, D jno) occurs in Gen. 8736, but should certainly be cor rected to D no as m v - 2 ^ ( C P )-


(H), Dan. 11 1 etc., MEDES (^D), 2 K. 176 etc. See PERSIA.