Encyclopaedia Biblica/Paulus-Persia

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Encyclopaedia Biblica
Thomas Kelly Cheyne and John Sutherland Black
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'deputy' 1 (AV) or 'proconsul' (RV ; ANGyTTATOc) of Cyprus at the time of Paul's visit, about 47 A.D. (Acts 13:73+). See CYPRUS, 4


1. Hebrew terms.[edit]

The word is used occasionally in OT to translate HSV"), rispah ( X /C|V"1 [root RTsP], Ass. rasapu, 'to join together' ; cp Ar. rasafa, 'to put together stones' in building), 2 Ch. 7:3, Ezek. 40:17-18, 42:3, Esth. 1:6.

In 2 K. 16:17 occurs the compound phrase C 32N nSi lO ( C P Syr. rasiphta de kephe in Jn. 19:13 for KiQoarpia-rov [lithostrooton]) ; in Jer. 43:9 RVmg gives 'pavement' for J3/D, but RV has 'brick-work' and AV translates the word here as elsewhere 'brick-kiln' ; see BRICK.

LXX has in Ezek. 40:17-18, 42:3 TO irfpiarvkov [to peristylon], in 2 K. 16:17 fia<riv \idii>T)v [basin lithinen, and in 2 Ch. 7:3, Esth. 1:6, and Cant. 3:10 (in the last passage for r!isi) AtOooTpajToc [lithostrooton]. For Esth. 1:6, see MARBLE, and for Cant. 3:10, LITTER.

2. Lithostroton.[edit]

The word XiBoarpbiTov [lithostrooton] occurs once in NT, in a passage peculiar to the fourth gospel (Jn. 19:13). The writer tells us that after Pilate had questioned Jesus in the PRAETORIUM [q.v.] (Jn. 18:28), he led him outside and sat (or set him ? ; see Blass, Gramm. of NT, 54, cp Justin, Apol. 1:35) upon the bema in a place called 'lithostroton, but in Hebrew GABBATHA' (ei s rbwov \fyofJLevov KiObaTpurov EBpaio-Ti dE raBBa0a)

Tatian (Diatess. 136) uses the same words; OS 18987 raBBa0a XiBoarpbiTov, 202:62 r, XiBoarpbiTov; Vg. Lithostrotos . . . Gabbatha; Pesh. rasiphta de kcphe . . . gephiphta, 'pavement of stones, etc.' ; Delitzsch (Heb. New Test.P*) renders by nDST

Here \idb<TTpuTov [lithostrooton] is generally taken to mean a pavement on which the bema was placed to give it a suitable elevation. Borrowed from the Greeks, the word was used by Latin authors to denote a pavement of natural stones or of different coloured marbles 1 (see Rich, Dict. of Gk. and Latin Antiqq., S.T., 'Lithostroton' ). Such pavements were first introduced into Rome, according to Pliny (HN 366:4), in the time of Sulla ; in Pliny's own day there were fragments of a pavement dating from Sulla's time still at Pragneste. Glass mosaics came into use later. Julius Caesar is even said to have carried about with him on his military expeditions 'tessellata et sectilia pavimenta' to be laid down, wherever he encamped, in the praetorium (Suet. Vit. Div. Jul. 46) ; and we are told by Josephus (Ant. 18:4:6) that Philip the tetrarch's tribunal 'on which he sat in judgment, followed him in his progress'. Now it is thought by some scholars that Pilate, like Caesar, had a portable pavement in the place (r6iros \id6<rrpuTos [topos lithostrootos]) where his tribunal was set up. It is difficult, however, to understand how a mere portable pavement could have given a name to a locality. Other commentators think that the forecourt of the temple (BJ 6:1:8, and 6:3:2), which is known to have been paved, is intended. 1 Pilate, however, can hardly have held his inquiry on a spot consecrated by the Jews. Nor is there much to be said in favour of the view that the n TJJI Bai? 1 ?. the meeting-place of the great Sauhedrin, which was half within, half without, the temple forecourt (see Schur. < 2 ) 2:163, < 3) 2:211) is meant (Lightfoot, Selden). Again, the view that the pavement intended was inlaid on a terrace running along one side of the praetorium does not seem to do justice to the Greek expressions. The author speaks of a locality. It may be presumed, therefore, that he was thinking of some public place 'paved-with-stones' (cp BJ 2:9:3, where we are told that on the occasion of the Jewish uprising when Pilate introduced the so-called ensigns into Jerusalem, he sat upon his tribunal in the open market-place ) where it was customary to place the bema. i

1 Cp Farrar, Life of Christ, the elevated pavement of many-coloured marble in this case a picturesque but doubtful description.

3. Relation to Gabbatha.[edit]

We now have to consider the relation of this word to Gabbatha. Two views of this relationship have been held.

i. The words have been supposed to be practically synonymous. But the word 'Gabbatha' does not seem to mean 'pavement' or the like.

An Aramaised form (Nnn) of Heb. 33, 'back, elevation', is unknown. Nor is it likely that Nn33 > s f r Nnrn;i with some such meaning as 'open space' (cp Heb. H33, and see Dalman, Worte Jesu, 6). To suppose, again, that Gabbatha, if it can bear this meaning, means 'elevated place' = 'elevated pavement' is equally unsatisfactory. If the word means 'elevated place' the correct form would be Nn3? (st. emph. of a fem. N33 from 333); so Zahn, Winer. Nestle, however, points out (Hastings, DB , under 'Gabbatha' 3) that both origin and meaning of the word are doubtful. Winer gives as an alternative Kn3J-= Nnjnjl ; but this could only mean 'hill' or the like.

2. The terms have been thought to be different names of the same spot. On this view 'elevated place' might, some commentators think, mean 'terrace', the pavement (XiOoffTpurov [lithostrooton]) being set in the terrace. But we have already found 'terrace' unsuitable.

Brandt translates 'terrace', but explains the use of 33 differently. He thinks that the evangelist perhaps misunderstood some notice about the place where the sittings of the college of elders were held (he quotes Sanh. 18a), and that he has made use of it in his narrative in a false connection.

There is perhaps more to be said in favour of the view of Meyer and Grimm - viz. , that the different names were chosen from different characteristics of the place. Grimm thinks the Aramaic name 'was given to the spot from its shape, the Greek name from the nature of its pavement'. 1 But here again, even if the Aramaic name means 'elevation', it is too indefinite, one would think, to be a likely one.

Nestle is of opinion that 'the exact form and meaning' of the word 'must be left in suspense'.

It has been suggested as the most probable solution of the difficulty (Riehm, HWB) that the author thought of the proceedings as having taken place in the palace of Herod. In this case we are to understand by \idoarpurov [lithostrooton] a paved, open space, either immediately in front of the palace or at a short distance from it. But Lk. 23:6-16, if historical (see, however, GOSPELS, 108), hardly seems to favour this. Josephus, indeed, tells us (BJ ii. 148) that Florus took up his headquarters at the palace, and on the next day had his tribunal set before it. But we have no good reasons for supposing that Pilate was so privileged ; and had the author been thinking of Herod's palace he would surely have been more explicit.

1 So apparently Westcott (Conun. 272), who (comparing Talm. Jerus. Sanh. f. 18d, quoted by Wunsche) thinks Gabbatha represents Gab Baitha, Nn 3 33, 'the ridge (back) of the House', i.e., of the temple. Westcott ignores the difficulties of the word, both here and in his 'Introduction' (p. xii).

2 Cp Renan, Vie de Jesus, 412, 'Pilate, averti de leur presence monta au bima on tribunal situe en plein air a l'endroit qu'on nommait Gabbatha ou, en grec, Lithostrotos, a cause du carrelage qui revetait le sol'.

3 The article treats fully the philological difficulties of the word.

3 6 39

4. Conclusion.[edit]

No such place as \i66ffTpurov [lithostrooton]-Gabbatha is known to have existed. The NT narrative in which the words occur is hardly to be relied upon as a historical source ; l it consists, as Keim has pointed out, of a series of dialogues. It seems not unlikely, therefore, that the place Lithostroton-Gabbatha existed, as a definite locality, only in the mind of the author. The writer realised that he must represent the sentence as given, after the Roman custom, in a public place. He knew that such open spaces were often paved with stones ; whence the name \i06ffTpuTov [lithostrooton]. He, or some editor, added as a Hebrew name Gabbatha. What suggested this name it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine. It may have been a purely artificial formation, the writer himself attaching no meaning to it.2 Or possibly the bema itself was sometimes alluded to as nsjn (Aramaised NJ-QJ), 'the [artificial] hump' (fem, from 33), 3 and this suggested the name 'Gabbatha'. M. A. c.

1 Brandt (Evang. Gesch. 133) says it 'presupposes a regular government-building, with a raised terrace, where the procurator had a sella curulis set up and performed the duties of his judicial office a building, which, so far as we know (and the elaborate histories of Flavius Josephus would hardly fail us here), did not exist'. But if we are unable to accept his explanation of jtri3J ( = 'terrace' ), Brandt's words lose some of their force. On the whole question of the value of the fourth gospel as a historical source, see besides JOHN (SON OF ZEBEDEE), 37, Oscar Holtzmann's recently publjshed Leben Jesu (1901), 31 ff., and J. Reville, Le quatrieme Evangile (1901 ; for Jn. 19, especially pp. 265^).

2 The writer would naturally wish, with no idea of deceiving his readers, to give a certain definiteness to the narrative, especially as he was making its general form so artificial. On the ancient Idea of history cp Bolingbroke, Letters on the Study and Use of History, 1-4; Tylor, Anthropology, chap. 15.

3 The forms 0033, Ezek. 1:18, and ni33 perhaps presuppose a feminine H33.

  • Aq. rf yos ; Sym. vopveiov (irvpiviov, etc.); Vg. lupanar; cp AVmg.'s view of 3] in Ezek. 16:24 etc.; see HIGH PLACE, 6, n. 3.


i. H3D, sukkah, is rendered 'pavilion' in 1 K. 20:12, 20:16 (cp SUCCOTH, i), Ps. 18:11 [18:12 ] = 2 S. 22:12, Ps. 27:5, 31:20 (also Job 36:29, which alludes to Ps. 18:11 and Is. 46, RV). AV, in fact, takes n-p as a synonym of SnN, and like Milton uses 'pavilion' as well as 'tabernacle' as a choicer expression for 'tent'. Elsewhere rendered 'booth' (Jonah 4:5 and often), 'covert' (Job 38:40), 'hut' (1 K. 20:12, 20:16 RVmg- a misread passage; see SUCCOTH, i), tabernacle or tent. See TABERNACLE, TENT.

2. nap, kubbah, Nu. 25:8+ RV. RV mg 'alcove' (Sp. alcova = Ar. al-kobbah, 'vaulted recess' ). The antiquity of the reading is vouched for by LXX (if for ejj TT]v icdfuvov [eis ten kaminon] we may read et s TTJV Ka^dpav [eis ten kamaran] [cod. 15 has ffKijvr [skenen] ] , so Rodiger). But what can an 'arched pavilion' do in this narrative? Nothing indicates that a sacred tent of Baal-Peor or anything like it is meant. 4 Kubbah must be a corruption due to the neighbouring word n]p. The true reading is clearly n@n, which is practically 'nuptial chamber'. See TENT.

3- TISB*. saphrir (from \7nsc- [root ShPR], to glitter), Jer. 43:10-11 EV. The word probably means the glittering hangings of the royal canopy (G. Hoffmann, ZATH 2(>&), an.d possibly occurs again in Mic. 1:11 (see SHAPHIR). See THRONE. T. K. c.




(D s> 3n, DV?W ; TACONCC ; /*) i. Peacocks are mentioned, if an old opinion is correct, with 'apes' or 'monkeys' among the rarities brought to Solomon by the 'navy of Tarshish' (1 K. 10:22 ; cp v. 11 ; om. BL ; and 2 Ch. 9:21 ; om. BA, rex"/* [techeim] [! ]) The rendering 'peacocks' is favoured by most moderns, following Tg. , Pesh. , Vg. , and the Jewish expositors. The philological basis of the theory, however, is very weak.

It is supposed that ']n (tukki?) is derived from the Tamil tokei, which in the old classical tongue means the peacock, though now it generally signifies the peacock s tail (so, e.g., Max Miiller, Sc. of Lang., 209). Of course, if Ophir is some where on the Indian coast, as Lassen supposed, a Tamil origin gains in plausibility; but OHHIR [q.v.] is at any rate not in India.

It should also be noticed that LXX (except LXX{a} in 1 K. ) knows nothing of 'apes and peacocks, and that c arw, which precedes n"ani D Spi, is certainly corrupt (cp EBONY, 2 (b), IVORY, n. 3). In 1 K. 10:11 we read of precious stones as coining from Ophir. It is therefore neither rare animals nor vessels full of aromatic oil, etc. (Hatevy ; see APE), that we should expect to find mentioned in v. 22, but some precious stone. If Klostermann's emendation of the corrupt C 3n:B> be accepted, we shall do well to look out for the name of some precious stone which might be corrupted both into o flp and into o3n ( for these words probably represent the same original}. Probably (see OPHIR) we should read ijEnli] lasm - i.e., 'and the hipindu stone' (written twice over in error). Cp HAVILAH.

On the peacock of Ceylon (Pavo cristatus), see Tennent, Ceylon, 1 165. In the Talmud this bird is called D1JB ; cp TaWs [taoos], Persian tavus. The Greeks called it Persian bird (Aristoph. Aves, 484).

2. 'Peacock' (C MI) in Job 39:13, AV, should rather be OSTRICH [q.v.]. T. K. C.


Pearls (/uapyapiTctt [margaritai]) are referred to in the NT several times (Mt. 7:6, 13:45-46, 1 Tim. 2:9, Rev. :21), and in a manner which shows the great value then as now attached to them.

That they were well known in OT times also may be taken for granted, though the word fiapyapirat [margaritai] does not occur in LXX. In AV 'pearl' renders gabis in Job 28:18 ; but see CRYSTAL. In RVmg. of Job 28:18 it is suggested as a possible rendering for peninim; see CORAL.1 Pearl or mother-of-pearl is at any rate probably the correct interpretation of the "H of Esth. 1:6 ; cp Ar. durrun, and see MARBLE.

Pearls are formed from the inner nacreous layer of the shell of a species of bivalved mollusc, Avicula margaritifera, which, although allied to the Ostreidae, is not a true oyster. They are not produced in perfectly healthy animals, but are, as a rule, met with where overcrowding and the presence of parasitic worms, etc. , have induced abnormalities. The inner layer of the shell of the same mollusc is known commercially as mother-of-pearl ; this is still an article of commerce in Palestine, where it is frequently carved into religious ornaments. The shells are usually obtained by divers, and to this day the pearl-fisheries of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Persia rank amongst the most important. Pearls of an inferior colour and size are produced by several other species of mollusc. A. E. s.

1 The Targ. reads J^HD - i.e. really 'precious stones'. In Syr., too, the word has an extended meaning and includes chrysolite (cp Payne Smith, Thes., s.v.).


The former is the (Latinising) rendering (in EV of OT) of two Hebrew phrases ; the latter, in AV of NT, of two Septuagint Greek phrases. It was only to be expected that expressions of such an origin would obtain a deeper significance in NT. This is not so marked, perhaps, in the case of the phrase in 1 Pet. 2:9, where Xa6s s irepLiroii]<Tiv (AV 'peculiar people', RV 'people for God's own possession' ) mainly expresses the fact that the Christian body, like Israel of old, is God's purchased possession - a privilege, however, which involves moral duties - but certainly in the case of that in Tit. 2:14, where Xaos ireptownoj (EV as before) is primarily, not 'a people acquired as a possession' (6 ^yKTijros, Suidas), but 'a people fit to be God's own'. This is in fact the explanation of Vg. ( 'acceptabilem' ; Wycliffe, 'acceptable' ), which, although Bishop Ellicott thinks it too remote from the primary meaning, seems fairly to express the writer s meaning. Render, therefore, in Tit. 2:14, 'and (that he might) purify for himself a people fit to be his own, zealous of good works', and in 1 Pet. 2:9, 'a nation devoted to God, a people owned by him' (cp CLEAN AND UNCLEAN, 1 [6]). This last rendering (a people owned by God) is also the most suitable in Dt. 7:6, 14:2, 26:18. In Ex. 19:5, Mal. 3:17, Ps. 13:54 render 'a prized possession' ; in Eccles. 2:8 'treasure' will suffice. So also in 1 Ch. 29:3. RV of OT needlessly retains, or even inserts, 'peculiar' everywhere except in 1 Ch. 29:3; in Dt. 7:6 'special' 1 takes the place of 'peculiar', and in Mal. 3:17, mg. , 'jewels' becomes 'special treasure' (RV 'a peculiar treasure' ).

The primary meaning of rt?JD (8 times in OT) is no doubt 'possession' (peculium; cp Ass. sugallate, 'herds', Del. Ass. HWB 490). In 1 Ch. l.c. (6 TrepureTToi ijuoi [o peripepoiemai]) and Eccl. l.c. (n-epioucrtacriuous [periousiasmous]) it denotes the private property ( 'privy purse' ) of a king. Elsewhere it is applied metaphorically to Israel (rrVjO, Ex. 19:5, Mal. 3:17 [AV, 'jewels' ], Ps. 135:4; nVjD DJ7, Dt. 7:6, l4:2, 26:18 ; Aabs jrepiovKTios in Ex. and Dt. [also Ex. 23:22], cp Tit. 2:14; eis TrepiTrotijffii in Mal. ; ti nfpiovtTia.cr^ov in Ps. ; Vg. peculium, peculiaris, except in Ps. [possessto], and Eccl. [substantias]).

1 Cp Judith 15:14 [n], where Vg. has 'universa qua: Holofernis peculiaria probata sunt'.


(?rnB [see Ginsb.], 30; as if 'El has redeemed', cp PEDAIAH ; (b&X.&HA [BAFL]), a Naphtaiite prince ; Nu. 34:28+.

Lagarde (Sym. 1877, p. 107) supposes a Pedahel to have written Ps. 25, which closes with a supernumerary Pr-distich (D p7M mS). The suggestion, however, might produce an embarrassing crop of similar theories elsewhere (B. Jacob, /,A TW 16 [1896], p. 153, n.). On the origin of the name see PEDAHZUR.


p-IVrnS, 43 ; as if 'the Rock [God] has redeemed', but see below; 4>&AACCOYP [BAFL]), a Manassite prince; Nu. 1:10 (4>&AACOYP [B]), 2:20, 7:54, 7:59, 10:23+ , all P.

The other names containing the divine title ^jj (ZUR) having aroused suspicion, it is not unlikely that Pedahzur may also be a corrupt form. The meaning given above is indeed plausible ; but it was natural that P, like the Chronicler, should endeavour to suggest a possible meaning for distorted names. If iE"iis (ZURISHADDAI) and ^N llS have arisen out of Asshuri ( = Geshuri), Pedahzur probably sprang from some S. Palestinian or N. Arabian ethnic. Pedahur's son is called Gamaliel, which is probably (like Gemalli and Ammiel in Nu. 13:12) one of the many distortions of Jerahmeel. Observe, too, that in Nu. 34:23 'Hanniel b. Ephod' corresponds to 'Gamaliel b. Pedahzur' in Nu. 1:10. 'Ephod' p2N) is probably a corruption of 'Rephael' (^KBI), 'Hanniel' (^K Sn) of 'Hamael' ("?NCn) - i.e., Jerahmeel. Very possibly then Pedahzur, Pedahel, and Padi came out of Sarephathi (l seems to be an afformative). The Jerahmeelites, also called Zarephathites, were most probably one of the most widely spread of the tribes of Canaan. See JERAHMEEL; cp also PASHHUR. T. K. C.


(rVH3 and -inHB no. 3, perhaps [so Che.] adapted from an ethnic name Padi [so a king of Ekron. temp. Hezekiah, is called], but as it stands = 'Yahwe has redeemed', see NAMES, g 30, 53, and PEDAHEL).

1. 'of RUMAH', father of Jehoiakim's mother Zebudah (2 K. 23:36). In 2 Ch. 36:5 ( LXX{BA} ) the name is given as Neriah (5 and j confounded), whilst LXX{L} both in K. and Ch. introduces from 2 K. 24:18 Amital (Hamutal) the daughter of Jeremiah (itptfjuov) of Libnah, and LXX{BA} substitutes JIDLAPH, the daughter of 6ei\ [edeil] [B], or eieSSiAa [eieddila] [A], which perhaps comes from Phadael ( = Phadaia), a variant to Jidlaph (Che.).

2. b. JECONIAH [q.v.] (i Ch.3:18-19, <f>a[A]Saias [BA], <f,aa.a [L] ; in v. 19 LXX{BA} substitutes o-oAa^DjA [salathiel]).

3. Father of JOEL [q.v.], a Manassite (1 Ch. 27:20 WT^S, (fxxAaSeua [B], <J>aX8u [A], <j>aSaiov [L]).

4. b. PAROSH [q.v.] (Neh. 3:25, ^aSaifa] [BNAL]).

5. A priest (Neh. 8:4, ^a&xias), in 1 Esd. 9:44 PHALDAIUS, RV PHALDEUS (<aA[al5euo9 [BA], <i>aSaia? [L]). Was he also a Psalmist? Lagarde thought so (see PEDAHEL), deducing this from the supernumerary distich beginning with the letter pe in Ps. 34.

6. A Benjamite (Neh. 11:7, ^oAata [BN], -5. [AL]).

7. A Levite overseer (Neh. 13:13, </>a6ota [BNAL]).


(p), 1 K. 7:31 RV, AV BASE. See LAYER.


(neAiAc [B], muAeiAC [A]), 1 Esd. 9:34 RV = Ezra 10:35, BEDEIAH.


(n[3S, 50, see PEKAHIAH ; 4>&Kee [BXAQL], <J><5,Kec [T])- Son of Remaliah, king of Israel (735-730? See CHRONOLOGY , 32, 34), perhaps a Jerahmeelite or Gileadite (see REMALIAH, ARGOB, 2), 2 K. 15:25+, 16:1, 16:5, Is. 7:1, 2 Ch. 28;6+. We hear more than usual of the successful usurper (originally a shalish 1 or 'high officer' under PEKAHIAH) because he came into collision with the kingdom of Judah (see AHA /., i). A few years afterwards another revolution hurled him from the throne. His death is referred to by Tiglath-pileser, who, according to Schrader (COT" 1 1247; KB 232), claims to have killed Pekah himself. Winckler, however, reads differently, and makes Tiglath-pileser ascribe Pekah's death to his subjects, who probably felt the necessity of having a ruler who was acceptable to the Assyrian king (cp HOSEA). See ISRAEL, 32, and on the war with the kingdom of Judah, in which Pekah is said to have taken part, see REZIN.

T. K. C.


(HTlpS, 'Yahwe opens [or enlightens, the mind]', 1:26, or else a clan-name = Pikhi ; 4>AKeciAC [B], 4>&K6IAC [A], 4>AKIA [L,]). son and successor of Menahem, was murdered by Pekah (cp AKGOB, 2) after a reign of two years (737-736 B.C.) ; but LXX{L} gives him ten years (2 K. 15:22+).

It may be questioned whether this king does not owe his literary existence to a misunderstanding. The author of Kings made Jotham and Ahaz of Judah contemporaneous with Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah, kings of Israel. We infer this from the circumusance that 2 K. 16:8-31, which relates to these five kings, is interposed between 2 K. 15:7 (accession of Jotham) and 16:1 (accession of Ahaz). This allows very short reigns for these five kings, and although the revolutionary tendencies of N. Israel, produced by the swift alternations of political parties, may partly account for such short reigns, it will be some slight gain to remove Pekahiah from the list, as due to the error of a Jewish chronologist, who found the bold usurper Pekah sometimes referred to by the fuller name Pekahiah. T. K. C.


(lips ; in Jer. eK&IKHCON (BXAQ], visitu [Vg.]; v*^U/ ; in Ezek. <t>AKOYK [B], KM 4>oyA [A], (J>AKOYA [Q]; nobiles [?], ka3), a Babylonian district mentioned in Jer. 50:21, Ezek. 23:23-24. Granting that Merathaim should be Marrathim, S. Babylonia, we may naturally hold that Pekod, or rather Pekud, is not a symbolic name meaning punishment, but a geographical name = Pukudu. In the Taylor cylinder inscription of Sennacherib, col. i, line 45 (A /?284/.), a people called the Pukudu are mentioned with the Hamranu, the Hagaranu, and the Nabatu ; and one of the Egibi tablets refers to a city called Pikuclu (Pinches, RP 11:92) which is evidently in Babylonia. At the same time, it is not certain that the prophetic writers meant this place. Both Jer. 50 and (partly) Ezek. 23 have probably been edited so as to refer to peoples not originally meant (see PROPHET, 45). For iipa the prophets may have written [njairn, Rehoboth. See MERATHAIM ; also Crit. Bib. T. K. c.

1 For the origin of this term see EUNUCH.


i. (n;Ss, as if 'Yahwe has done a wonder' [cp 2 iTN^S], but originally an ethnic name to be explained like PALLU [q.v.] , the n [h] is an accretion [Che.]), a descendant of Zerubbabel ; 1 Ch. 3:24 ((jtapa [B], dxxAcua [A], $aS.[LT).

2. (ITSOS, $aAaiat [L]), a Levite, expounder of the law (see EZRA ii., 13 [13-14]; cp i., 8, ii., i6| 5 l, i 5 []c); Neh.S 7 (RNA om., 4>aA<jua? [L])=i Esd. 9 48, BIATAS, RV PHALIAS (4>iAia? [B], </>ia0as [A], </>aAaia [ L]), and signatory to the covenant (see EZRA i., 7); Neh. 10:10 [10:11] (BN* om., $eAeia [Xc.aiiK.A], ^xxAaia* [L]).


(iv!?7B, as if 'Yahwe judges', 36; but this name, like Jeroboam, presumably comes from 'Jerahmeel', cp PELAIAH), a name in the genealogy of Adaiah ; Neh. 11:12 (BN* om. , 4>A.AA.Ai<\ [X c am e- inf. A], <J>AAA<\AiOY [L,])- T. K. c.


(.Tt^>3. as if 'Yahwe delivers'. 30, 53, but really an ethnic name = PALTI [q.v.] the ""I being probably an accretion [Che.]).

1. A descendant of Zerubbabel ; 1 Ch. 3:21 (<^aAAfri IB), <aA-Atria [Aj, <f>aAaTia [L)).

2. A Simeonite captain, temp. Hezekiah ; 1 Ch. 4:42 ((/>aAaTTfia [B], <>aAtTTta [A], </>aA T ia* [L|).

3. Signatory to the covenant (see EZRA i., g 7); Neh. 10:22 [10:23], (4>aA Tl a IBA], <f>aAeta | |, ^aArtm [?], <fraATia 1 1.|).

4. b. Benaiah, a 'prince of the people' ; Ezek. 11:1, 11:13 (iba\Tiav [BAgrj, cWT.a |B* in v. i)).

Pelaliah and Jaazaniah are mentioned as belonging to a party of twenty-five men whom Ezekiel saw (in an ecstasy) at the door of the gateway of the temple. 'And while I was prophesying', says Ezekiel, 'Pelaliah ben Benaiah died. And I fell on my face, and cried with a loud voice, Alas, O Lord, Vahwe, wilt thou make an end of the remnant of Israel?' Possibly Ezekiel regarded this as prophetic of the lot in store for those who resembled Pelatiah. See Davidson, Kraetzschmar, Bertholet.


(^S, ct)&A6K [AEL] Phaleg), elder son of EBER, brother of JOKTAN, and father of REU ; Gen. 10:25, 11:16+ (<J> A AK A* in v. 17), 1 Ch. 1:19, 1:25 (4> A Aex [B* b ], 4>&Aer [B^L]); Lk. 3:35+ (AV PHALEC). Taking this to be a geographical name, Knobel connected it with Phalga, a place situated at the confluence of the Chaboras and the Euphrates ; * for another suggestion see Lagarde, Or. 2:50. The root-meaning is commonly thought to be 'division' (cp Gen. 10:25 [RJ] ; 'in his days was the [people of the] earth divided', n^Bj); Cp. Judg. 6:15b, ni-iSs, 'tribal divisions'? (Moore, Bu. ; AV 'divisions'; RV 'watercourses' ); cp DISTRICT. In connection with a wider study of the names in Gen. 10-11, however, it is doubtful whether we can attach weight to conjectures based on the traditional reading 'Peleg', 'Arpachshad' is very possibly a corruption of 'Arab-cush' or 'Cush-arab'. When we consider how often, in the OT genealogical lists, old names are split into two, it is very possible that Peleg and his son Re u represent different fragments of Jerahme'el C?nDrrr) i-e. , i l ?s = n ( ?0, and ijn= K-!. Cp PAGIEL. T. K. c.


(t37S, 50). i. Perhaps a secondary Calebite clan; cp BETH-PALET (1 Ch. 2:47: 4>aAcx [B], <aAcT [A |, (/rnAeylL]).

2. b. AZMAVETH, one of David's warriors ; 1 Ch. 12:3 (iax|>a AT;T [Bu], </>aAA7/T [A], <t>a\cr [L]). See DAVID, 11 (c).


(J"l72 ; on the origin of the form see ZAREPHATH).

1. A Reubenite, father of On, the associate of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram ; Nu. 16:1 ((fxiAefl [BAF], 4>aAe* [L]).

2. A Jerahmeelite; 1 Ch. 233 (0aAe0 [B], <j>a\tO [A], <J>aAaT [L]). Cp JERAHMEEL, 3.


constantly coupled with the CHERETHITES [q.v.], 2 S. 8:18 and elsewhere - i.e., probably, the Rehobothites (see REHOBOTH). The connection of the Pelethites with the Negeb, and more particularly with Zarephath, may be regarded as in the highest degree probable (see ZAREPHATH). Their true name indeed was Zarephathites, and a severe struggle seems to have been necessary before they became David's faithful servants.

This depends, however, on the correctness of the view (in itself extremely plausible; see ZAREPHATH) that Pelethites or Zarephathites should be restored in place of Philistines, not only in 1 S. 23:1-2, etc., 30:17, but also in 2 S 21:15+ Cp PELETH : SAUL. 3.

Winckler (GI 2 185) supposes that Plethi (or rather Palti) is derived from Peleth, and that Krethi (original form Karti?) and Palti are the names of the gentes of the Negeb from which David was descended. Peleth, according to him, is the same as Pelet in Beth-pelet (cSsTl 3), a place in the far S. of Judah towards Edom (Josh. 15:27). This ingenious view, however, does not take account of all the difficult textual phenomena. Probably Pelet = Peleth = Zarephath. For another view see JERAHMEEL, 3. T. K. C.

1 On the site of Phaliga see Peters, Nippur, 1 123, 311.


(neAiAC [B], n<M^eiAC [A]), AV 1 Esd. 9:34 = Ezra 10:35, BEDEIAH.


(HSi? ; neAeKAN. OPNCON, KATAPAKTHC, XAMAlAeooN [or KOp*5 ? - transposition ; see Zeph. ]; onocrotalus, but in Ps. pellicanus]. One of the unclean birds, Lev. 11:18, Dt. 14:17. The reference in Is. 34:11. however, seems due to thoughtlessness, at least if ka'ath means the 'pelican', for this bird (like the bittern) loves marshy ground, whereas Edom (to the fate of which Is. 34 is devoted) was to become parched. On the other hand, the 'pelican' is well placed in the ruins of Nineveh (Zeph. 2:14), for there are many reedy marshes near the Tigris. In Ps. 10:26, again, the reference to the pelican (if nxp means this bird) indicates a conventionalised zoology ; for though it may be true that the term naiD (EV in Ps. 'wilderness' ) does not convey the meaning of 'desert', it is certainly applied to relatively dry districts where the pelican would not be at home. The rendering 'pelican', however, is by no means free from doubt.

It has been suggested by the supposed etymology of nNj5> ka'ath, viz. xipi 'to vomit', which accords with the pelican's well-known habit of regurgitating its food ; cp Talm. p?p ( = riNp). One would certainly have expected, however, to find the pelican indicated by more characteristic features in the OT literature. Noticing that in Ps. 102:6 the ka'ath and the kos (i.e., 'owl' ) are mentioned in parallel lines, the question arises whether the former word may not be a mutilated form of kadyath, and mean 'owl'. We find x'7p, kadya (Ass. kadu), in Tg. Onk. of Lev. 11:17 for 013, kos, and it is not impossible that two species of owl (a great and a small ?) may have been combined by the psalmist as images of desolation.

The pelican's habit of 'storing great quantities of fish in the capacious pouch under its lower mandible, and then disgorging them to feed its young' is well known ; the fable of its feeding its young with its blood arose in Egypt, and was attached originally to the vulture (see Houghton, letter in Acad., Apr. 5, 1884, p. 243 /. ). There are, according to Tristram, two species of pelican found on the coasts of Syria - Pelicanus onocrotalus, or the White Pelican, and P. crispus, the Dalmatian Pelican, both birds of enormous size, about 6 ft. long, and the spread of their wings reaching over 12 ft. Tristram thinks that the allusion in Ps. 102:6a is to 'the melancholy attitude of this bird as, after gorging itself, it sits for hours or even days with its bill resting on its breast' (NHP 251). T. K. c. A. E. S.



i. 1 Ch. 11:27, 27:10, a corruption for PALTITE (q.v.) - i.e., man of BETH-PELET (q.v.).

2. 1 Ch. 11:36, a corruption for GILONITE - i.e., man of GILOH (q.v.) , see ELIAM, i, AHITHOPHEL (end).


(pp), Ezek. 30:15 AVmg. EV SIN.


The earliest writing implement was probably the stylus (rp&cfric, 1 rPA<t>[e] ON, in late writers CTyAoc), a pointed bodkin of metal, bone, or ivory, used for making incised or engraved letters on lead, clay, stone, wood, or wax. Such was the pen of Isaiah (Is. 8:1 ; Bnn, ypa<f>is [graphis], stylus). The same word occurs m Ex. 32:4 (EV 'graving tool' ; the implement with which the molten calf was fashioned ; F has pact s [raphis]), and should perhaps be read in Is. 44:13. See PENCIL. The iron pen (Spa uy, y[ia<pflov ffiSrjpovv [grapheion sideroun], stylus ferreus) is also mentioned in Job 19:24, Jer. 17:1. The calamus or arundo, the hollow tubular stalk of grasses growing in marshy lands, was the true ancient representative of the modern pen. The use of such reed pens can be traced to a remote antiquity among the civilised nations of the East. 2 To make and mend them, a penknife (is.n "ijw : Jer. 36:23+) or 'scribes' razor (see BEARD) was required. A reed pen is probably intended in Ps. 45:2 (ay, Ka\afj.os, calamus] and in Jer. 88: (ay ; ayjoivos [schoinos]; stylus], and in 3 Jn. 13 (/cdXa^os [kalamos]). The earliest specific allusion to the quill pen is in the Etymologies of Isidore of Seville, who died 636 A.D. ('instrumenta scribae calamus et penna . . . sed calamus arboris est, penna avis, cujus acumen dividitur in duo'). That, however, does not prove that the quill pen was not in use earlier. A bronze pen, nibbed like a modern steel pen, found at Pompeii, is now preserved in the Museum at Naples.

On the 'pen of the writer' (Judg. 5:14, ISO B3B 1 RV 'marshal's staff' ) see SCRIBE, 5.

1 ypac|u9 [graphis] was also used for a fine brush {penicilliis, pencil) used in drawing.

  • Hollow joints of bamboo were similarly employed.


(Pr. 19:19 RV). See TRIBUTE, 7; cp FINE.


("nfe i sered; LXX incomplete and corrupt ; Is. 44:13+ RV), the instrument with which the wood-carver made his first rough sketch of the image he was to produce. Kimhi and others think of a red-coloured thread (hence AV's 'line' ); RVmg records the sense 'red ochre' ; RV gives 'pencil' (cp Aq. irapaypatyis [paragraphis] - i.e., stilus); Vg. rumina - i.e. , 'plane'. All plausible meanings, if justifiable.

TIB , however, seems to be corrupt ; the root would mean 'to weave together'. 1 We should expect 0~in (see PEN). Haupt, however, would render -nt? 'compasses', and connect Ass. sirdu 'yoke' (see SBOT Isaiah, Heb. 137).


(niD 12:, Judg. 8:26 RV, AV 'collars' ; riiBBJ Is. 3:19 RV, AV 'chains' ). See RING, 2.


(bfiWSJ.Gen. 32:30 [32:31], in v. 31 [32] PENUEL.


(H332, 71 ; cJ>eNNAN& [HAL]), wife of Elkanah (1 S. 1:2). 1 The name is apparently the singular of peninim, a word of doubtful signification, in AV 'rubies' (see RUBY). As a woman's name it probably alludes to the complexion ; cp Lam. 4 7.

W. K. S.


(iSbn Tim ; TO ?YPON TOY rP<w\- M&TeooC ; scalpellum scribae], Jer. 36:23+. See PEN.


Under this head we treat of the various coins of which the Greek names are translated by 'penny', 'farthing', and 'mite' respectively, reserving the 'drachm' and 'stater' for separate discussion (see STATER).

1. Denarius.[edit]

Penny is used in both AV and RV to represent Sf]vdpiov [denarion] (denarius), the silver coin issued by the Roman Imperial mint; it was current in all parts of the Empire, and in terms of it and its sixteenth part, the as, all public accounts were presented. Its normal weight during the time of Christ and until the reign of Nero was 1/84 of the Roman pound - i.e., 60 grains troy. 2 Its nominal value was 1/25 of the Imperial gold coin, or aureus ; of lower denominations, which were issued in bronze or copper, it contained 4 sestertii, or 16 asses. As an almost invariable rule it bore on one side (the obverse) the head of the Emperor or some member of the Imperial family, with titles - the 'image and superscription' mentioned in Mt. 22:20, Mk. 12:16, Lk. 20:24. On the reverse is a representation (usually historical or mythological) with an inscription either alluding to the object represented, or amplifying the titles of the person who figures on the obverse.

The denarius of Tiberius reproduced in next col. was issued between 16 and 37 A.D., and therefore current about the time of Christ. Around the laureate head of the Kmperor runs the inscription TI . CAESAR . DIVI . AVG . F . AVGVSTVS ( Tiberius Caesar Augustus, son of the deified Augustus ). On the reverse the inscription PONTIF(ex)MAX(imus) completes the titles of Tiberius, whilst the seated figure, with her right hand resting on a sceptre, her left holding a flower, is the Empress Livia.

This then is the kind of coin in which the tribute was paid. A standard silver coin of the same normal weight (60 grs. troy) would at the present time be equivalent to 8.25 d. The legal value of the denarius, however, is better estimated by its relation to the aureus. That coin weighed normally 126.3 grs. troy, and the denarius was therefore legally equivalent to 1/25 of the same amount of gold, which, at the present rate of £3 : 17 : 10.5 for the ounce troy, works out at 9.83 d. The best idea of the actual purchasing power of the denarius is gained from its employment as a fair day's wage for the agricultural labourer (Mt. 20:2-14), from the payment of two denarii by the good Samaritan, and from the fact that the Roman legionary's pay in those times was 225 denarii a year, or 5/8 denarius a day. Hence it is clear that the American RV translation 'shilling', if not entirely satisfactory, is nearer the mark than the English 'penny'.

[picture of Denarius of Tiberius. goes here]

1 Bateson-Wrihht (Was Israel ever in Egypt? 231) connects Peninnah with Jephunneh, Elkanah being a son of Jeroham.

2 The standard weight of the British shilling is 87.27273 grains, that of the sixpence 43.63636.

2. 'Farthing'.[edit]

Farthing is the rendering adopted for two Greek words, the KoSpdvrijs, kodrantes (rbv ^a^arof Kodpavrrji , 'the last farthing', Mt. 5:26; \cirTa 5vo ^ ffTil/ K0 ^p^ VTri ^ t < 'two mites, which make a farthing', Mk. 12:42) and the dffffdpioi , assarion (Svo crrpovDia dffffapiov iruXeirai, 'two sparrows sold for a farthing', Mt. 10:29, cp Lk. 12:6). Both names are of Latin origin, assarius being a by-form of as, and quadrans representing the fourth part of the as in the Roman divisional system. Assarion must be the name of a provincial coin which corresponds in some way to the Roman as. In the Hellenistic system the unit was the silver drachm (for ordinary purposes ranking as equivalent to the denarius, but by the Romans for official purposes tariffed at 0.75 denarius or 12 asses). This drachm contained 6 6po\oi [oboloi] or 48 ^aX/cot [chalkoi]. Now the evidence of the coins of Chios (see Imhoof-Blumer, Griechische Munzen, 660) shows that, in that island at least, the obol was equivalent to 2 assaria, and the drachm to 12 assaria. Since assarion thus corresponds to as, it follows that the ^aX/coCs, chalkous (or 1/8 of the obol of 2 assaria) corresponds to the quadrans (or 0.25 as). Kodrantes may therefore be regarded as an alternative name for this chalkous, used especially where it was desirable to be understood by non-Hellenistic readers. Hence its occurrence in the explanatory clause in Mk. 12:42 ; its use by Mt. 5:26, where Lk. 12:59 has \eirr6v [lepton] (see 3), has been explained by Mt.'s familiarity with the Roman system of accounting. As regards the quadrans itself, the Roman coin of that name ceased to be issued early in the first century B. C. , and was revived for a short period under the Empire (from Nero to Trajan). There is no good evidence of its existence in the Roman currency during the time with which we are immediately concerned, nor is there any probability that a provincial coin was at any time known in common speech by the name of kodrantes. The bearing of this point on the text need not be discussed here.

3. 'Mite'.[edit]

The word XCTTTOV, lepton, already mentioned, is fittingly translated mite (Mk. 12:42, Lk 21:2 and 12:59). As to this coin there is much evidence confirming the equation of two lepta to one kodrantes given in the first passage, although most of that evidence seems to be derived from the same source. In Hebrew literature, however, we find the smallest Jewish coin, perutah, equated with 1/8 Roman as. We need not hesitate to identify lepton and perutah. From this, since we have identified chalkous and quadrans, it would seem to follow that the lepton was half the chalkous. Nevertheless, numismatists have serious difficulty in finding, among the small coins of Judaea, separate denominations for chalkous and lepton. The minute pieces of the Hasmonsaean and Idumaean rulers, which it has been proposed to regard as a different denomination from the larger, seem to owe their small size and low weight to carelessness on the part of the moneyers, or to long circulation. On the other hand, the following consideration will show that chalkous and lepton are probably the same, and that the apparent discrepancy is due to different systems of valuation.

4. Chalkous and lepton.[edit]

In addition to the system (A), in which the drachm was equivalent to 12 assaria-asses, there was in Judaea, at least during the second century, another system (B), According to it (see Kennedy, 429) the drachm was divided into 6 obols (ma'oth) and 24 assaria (issarim). To the same system presumably belonged the lepton-perutah, which would bear the same relation to the assarion of system B as the chalkous-kodrantes did to the assarion of the system A.

There is much probability in the view advocated by Kennedy that we have in this double system a case of tariff and current values. System A represents the values adopted for accounting, B those according to which coins passed in ordinary transactions. The three systems with which we have to reckon may thus be stated in tabular form, where in each column is placed opposite the unit in terms of which the other denominations in that column are calculated.

Denomination|rowspan="2"|Roman System|colspan="2"|Provincial
System A System B
Denarius 1 rowspan="2"|1
ApaxM>;, drachme [3/4] 1
Sestertius 1/4 ..
'OoAo, obolos [1/8] 1/6 1/6
As 1/16 .. ..
A<T<raptoi>, assarion [1/16] 1/12 1/24
Quadrans 1/64 ..
XaAKoOs-Aen-TOi , chalkous-lepton [1/64] 1/48 1/96

On system A, the assarion, as 1/16, of the denarius estimated at 9.83 d, is to be rated at 0.6 d, and the KO&p6.frr]<;, kodrantes (\a\US, chalkous) at 0.15 d. On system B the assarion would be worth 0.3 d., and the \a\Kovs-\eirTov, chalkous-lepton 0.075 d. It is probably the lower values that we must assign to the words aaaapiov (assarion) and Aeirroi/ (lepton) wherever they are used in the NT, since there is nothing to show that they are not used in a popular sense.

If it is desirable not to use the actual Greek names, practical purposes are best served by the use of 'penny' for assarion, 'farthing' for kodrantes, and 'mite' for lepton.

The identification of these minor denominations with extant pieces is hampered by two facts ; very few ancient coins bear their names ; and bronze and copper, being token currency, were not issued according to accurate weight-standards. Size, in fact, rather than weight, seems to have been the distinctive mark of denomination. Among Jewish coins we have pieces of Herod I. which bear the letter X (Madden, p. in), and of Agrippa II. with the inscription XAAKOYE [chaakous] (ib. p. 146 ; the same legend occurs on other small coins issued perhaps from Antioch). The coin of Herod is probably like the latter, the ^oX/iroCs-XfTrrov, chalkous-lepton. Of coins actually issued during the time of Christ, the small pieces of the Procurators (from 7/10 to 6/10 of an inch in diameter, and weighing from 40 to 23 grs. troy), may; be regarded as of the same denomination, since they most nearly approach the two coins of Herod I. and Agrippa II.

[picture of Coin issued (by Pontius Pilate) in 29-30 A.D. goes here]

As an instance, we give the accompanying coin, which was issued in the 16th year (LIS) of the Emperor Tiberius (TIBelMOY KAICAPOC), and therefore by Pontius Pilate in the year 29-30 A.D. The types are a sacrificial ladle (simpulum) and three ears of corn bound together ; on the reverse is the name of Julia (Livia), mother of the Emperor IOYAIA KAICAPOC.

5. Assaria.[edit]

The assaria may have been coins like the larger pieces of Herod I. (Madden, 107; two specimens in the British Museum weigh 107.9 and 97 grs. respectively). More probably, however, these were pieces of three ^aX/co?, chalkoi (Madden, 108), and the commonest assaria were coins of the Syrian Antioch. In addition to its coins with Greek inscriptions meant chiefly for local use, this mint issued a series with Latin inscriptions, and with the letters S. C. (i.e. , Senatus consulto}. These coins, resembling the issues of the Roman mint, were meant for more than local circulation. Under Augustus and Tiberius we find two denomina tions ; the larger weigh from over 300 to 225 grs. , and measure 1.175 to 1.1 inch ; the smaller, from 150 to 114 grs., measure 1 to 0.9 inch. The two denominations are generally supposed to be the sestertius and the as. In the smaller, therefore, we probably see the assarion of the NT.

[picture of Assarion of the year 31 A.D. goes here]

The assarion here illustrated was struck in the year 31 A.D. On the obverse, it bears a laureate head of the emperor with the titles Tl(berius) CAESAR AVG(ustus) TR(ibunicia) POT(estate) XXXIII ; on the reverse the letters S C within a wreath.

Literature. - See. especially F. W. .Madden, Coins of the Jews (1881); A. R. S. Kennedy s art. Money 1 in Hastings DB 3 (1900), 417+

G. F. H.




1. In J and E.[edit]

In J and E {1} (Ex. 34:18-26, cp 23:10-37) the feast of weeks is the second of the three festivals to be celebrated by the attendance of all males at the sanctuary. The expressions in the two forms of the law are not quite the same.

Ex. 34:22 runs 'thou shalt observe the feast of weeks (niy3C> jn), [the feast] of the first-fruits of the wheat-harvest (Q tpn Tsp ni33)' ; Ex. 23:16, on the other hand, has 'the feast of harvest, the first-fruits of thy labours which thou sowest in the field' (1 B ^D ni33 TS(3rt jn).

Substantially, both come to the same thing ; Ex. 34:22 is merely expressed more precisely. It is not the feast of corn-harvest as a whole that is spoken of, but the festival at its conclusion, the wheat-harvest being the last to be reaped.

The time of celebration is thus clearly and distinctly fixed for the end of harvest. The first-fruits of the new harvest (fsyyo '7]]) are now presented more precisely, the first-fruits of the wheat-harvest, for the first-fruits of the barley-harvest are presented at the beginning of harvest, at the feast of unleavened bread. A more exact, yet equally relative determination of the date seems to lie in the plainly ancient name Sabu'oth ; at least it is so taken in Dt. 16:9, where the feast of weeks is brought into a close time connection with the feast at the beginning of harvest. The duration of the corn-harvest (it is only the corn-harvest that is to be taken into account) is computed at seven weeks - an estimate which still answers fairly well to the climatic conditions of Palestine. These seven weeks of the harvest are the great annual season of gladness, the weeks of joy, the weeks /car eo\r)v [kat hexochen]. The 'joy of harvest' is proverbial among the ancient Hebrews (cp Is. 9:3 [9:2]) ; the period opens and closes with the two feasts we have named.

The old law contains no further detailed enactment of any kind regarding this feast, the manner of its celebration, the sacrifices to be offered, or the like. Indeed, this is no case where definite offerings and legally fixed dues are to be rendered ; it is a question of voluntary presentation of first-fruits, as it still stands enacted in Dt. (16:10) : 'Thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto Yahwe thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand which thou shalt give according as Yahwe thy God hath blessed thee'.

The meaning of the gifts and of the feast as a whole is easily recognised when we hear in Hosea (9:4), that in exile the people shall have nought to eat but mourners' bread, since none of it shall have come up into the house of Yahwe. By this gift made to God, a gift which in turn is consumed by men in the joyous sacrificial meal, the whole is made holy (see TAXATION). That at the same time the gift has the character of a thank-offering is also manifest. The next step is easy : such an offering came to be regarded as a tribute of homage in which the deity is recognised as the 'lord', the Baal of the land, and the bestower of the gifts of the soil. At how early a date this last conception came to be the leading and normative one we do not know. It finds explicit expression first in the passage of Dt. already quoted, where the offering to be offered at the feast is determined by the wealth of the offerer, in other words by the produce of his fields.

1 The question of the literary relationship of the two passages is discussed elsewhere (PASSOVER, 1; EXODUS ii, 3, 4), but may be disregarded here, the answer to it having no bearing on the history of the development of the Pentecost feast.

2. In D.[edit]

The law of Dt. , as already seen, adds nothing to the ancient custom ; all that it does is to lay greater stress on the character of the offering as a divine tribute which may be rightly claimed by the deity as due to him out of that which he has bestowed on his human vassal. This appears also in the precept of Dt. 26:1-2 (see below). In spite of the general tendency of Dt. to assign a historical origin to the feasts, we do not find in it in the present case any such definite reference to the Exodus as is found in that of the passover (see PASSOVER, 6). Even here it is only in a quite general way that reference is made to the exodus when in Dt. 26:1 there is prescribed a sort of confession to be made at the bringing of the first-fruits ( = tithes ; see TAXATIONS), in which amongst other things the offering of the produce of the land is represented as a thanks giving for the bestowal of the land. After the offering of the first-fruits at the autumn festival (see TABERNACLES, FEAST OF) had come to be so regarded, only a very short step was needed in order to bring the offering of the first-fruits at the harvest festival into connection with the same thought.

More important, however, than the points just mentioned are the changes which, though not indeed intended and enjoined by Dt. , inevitably arose in the case of this feast as a consequence of the concentration of the worship at a central sanctuary ; the fixing of a definite day in the calendar, and the transformation of the celebration from being a popular festival to being an act of public worship. On these points see, further, FEASTS, 10.

3. In H and in Ezek.[edit]

The third stage in the development of the three feasts is marked by H in Lev. 23:15-21. Here again we find the date of the feast of weeks still left vague, just as it is in Dt. On the other hand, the amount and kind of the festal offering is more precisely determined in the law of H than before. It is no longer left to the discretion of the individual to bring as he chooses according to the yield of his land - this tribute of first-fruits has already become a fixed tithe to be paid at the sanctuary (see TAXATION) - but it is now laid upon the entire community 1 to bring a definite first-fruit offering ; two first-fruit loaves (cn?33rt cnS) of new meal, of two tenths of an ephah, baked with leaven. With the loaves is performed the ceremony of waving, whence the loaves are called 'wave loaves'. They were to be leavened, for they were to be taken from what was in common daily use. In this we may safely conjecture a survival from ancient custom : at the beginning of harvest in the feast of unleavened bread the grain was offered raw, or roasted, or in the form of quickly-baked unleavened cakes (see PASSOVER) ; at the end of the harvest what was offered was fully prepared bread. It must not be taken as an argument against the antiquity of this religious custom that it is not mentioned in D or JE ; JE has no ritual prescriptions at all as to the bringing of these offerings, and U has them only in the case of the passover, not in that of the harvest festival or of the autumn (ingathering) festival with its peculiar customs. For the pentecost offering H (Lev. 23:19) further orders two yearling lambs as a sacrifice of peace offerings. The bread and the flesh, after having been presented to Yahwe, fall to the lot of the priests.

In the programme of Ezekiel, singularly enough, the pentecostal offering finds no mention; in 45:21, it has been introduced by a later hand and is absent from LXX.

The omission is perhaps connected with the fact that Ezekiel divides the entire ecclesiastical year into two portions, with two parallel series of feasts ; thus no suitable place is left for pentecost. In any case, however, this proves that Ezekiel does not regard the feast of pentecost as of particular interest ; and from this we can infer further that in his time it was the least important of the great yearly festivals.

1 'Out of your dwellings' (Dp rVaCNes) in Lev. 23:17 does not mean, as has been supposed (so Graf and others), 'out of each several house', so that every householder or owner of land would have had the duty of bringing this offering ; it means 'out of your land' - i.e., of home-grown flour (see Dillm. ad loc.).

4. In P.[edit]

In P (Nu. 28:26-27) pentecost still continues to be a purely harvest feast. In agreement with the name 'feast of the first-fruits' is the specific ritual prescription, the bringing of a meal offering of new meal. To this characteristic pentecostal offering P adds, besides the stated daily offering, an accumulated series of animal sacrifices, just as in the case of the passover : two young bullocks, one ram, seven he-lambs of the first year as a burnt offering, besides a meal offering of three tenth-parts mingled with oil for each bullock, two tenth-parts for the ram and one tenth- part for each lamb. Lastly, there is a sin-offering, consisting of one he-goat. The fixing of a definite date is in the case of pentecost the natural consequence of the passover being fixed for 15th-21st Nisan. In P also we observe that a less value is attached to this feast than to the others : it is held only for one day, whilst the passover and tabernacle feasts are spread over a longer time. This valuation is also reflected in the fact that no significance as commemorating any event in the redemptive history of the nation is assigned to the festival.

1 In vv. 18:19 various other offerings are also enjoined as in Nu. 28:27-28. These, however, do not belong to the original text. See Dillm. ad loc.

5. In later Judaism.[edit]

Later Judaism made up for what was lacking in the law in this respect, and gave the feast the historical interpretation which it had hitherto lacked.

It was assumed, in accordance with Ex. 19:1, where the giving of the law is dated on the third month after the Exodus, that the promulgation of the law on Sinai was on the sixth or seventh of Siwan, the day of the feast of pentecost (Pesach. 68b ; cp Jubil. 1:1, 6:1, 6:17, 14:1, 15:1 where God's covenants with Moses, Noah, Abraham, are made at new moon, or, as the case may be, on the sixteenth day of the third month). It is certain, however, that this metamorphosis of the feast of the corn harvest into the feast of the law-giving was late, probably not earlier than the destruction of the temple when the system of sacrifices and offerings came to an end. Even in Josephus and Philo we still find no trace of it. In Josephus (Ant. 3:10:6, 252) the feast is called Asartha (ao-ap0a [asartha] = Heb. rmy, Aram. KJJPISJ7); so also in the Talmud (Pesach. 42b and often). This expression will be intended to characterise the feast either as the 'conclusion' of the great feast of unleavened bread, or as the closing harvest festival. In the more precise dating of the feast the second day of the feast of unleavened bread was taken as the starting point for which the fifty days were reckoned and the 'sabbath' of Lev. 23:15 was taken to mean the first day of that feast.

6. Probable origin.[edit]

We have dealt so far with the development of the feast as shown in the various stages of the written legislation. Unfortunately, in the case of the feast of Pentecost we are not in a position to show from the historical books at what period it began to be celebrated, or what part it played in the religious life of the Israelites, although many passages allude in quite general terms to various feasts. It is not till the period of later Judaism is reached that we are expressly informed of its regular celebration. The narrative in Acts shows a multitude of worshippers from foreign parts as attending the festival in Jerusalem (Acts 2 ; cp Jos. BJ 2:3:1, Ant. 14:13:4, 17:15:2). The silence of the older literature of course proves nothing against the observance of the feast in earlier times as attested by Josephus. As bearing on the question of the antiquity of the festival, however, the following circumstance is not without interest. So far as the great spring festival at the beginning of harvest is concerned, we hear that even the pre-Mosaic period knew something of the kind (see PASSOVER) ; of the autumn feast we are told that even the Canaanites had observed a closely allied festival and this festival had already become almost fully naturalised in Israel at the time of the division of the monarchy, as we see from 1 K. 12:32 (see TABERNACLES, FEAST OF). Pentecost, on the other hand, is not only relegated to a very subordinate part in P and passed over in complete silence by Ezekiel, but is also left unmentioned as existing in the older time. It would be too much to infer from this single circumstance that the feast was of late origin ; and even from the difference of name in J and E (see above, 1) it is by no means safe to conclude that it did not arise till after the revolt of the ten tribes (so Steuernagel on Dt. 16:1). Even on the assumption that E belonged to the northern kingdom and J to the southern (though this is by no means certain), all that could with certainty be inferred, would be a diversity of local designation, which there may very well have been, even in the case of an ancient feast.

There are other considerations, however, which, taken in conjunction with what has been already adduced, suggest the secondary character of pentecost. Under FEASTS (q.v. ) the general thesis has already been propounded that all three feasts of harvest and ingathering were of Canaanite origin. This applies to pentecost in particular, in so far as it at least presupposes settlement in the country, and if it is of equal antiquity with the feast of the ingathering it will in all probability have had its origin also in the Canaanite worship. If, however, we closely scrutinise the significance of the feast we shall find that, coming between passover and tabernacles, it is, strictly, a superfluity. For this reason Ezekiel is able quietly to set it aside. If the purpose of the feast is to consecrate the harvest by offering the first-fruits to God, that has already been done at the passover feast, and very fittingly, at the beginning of harvest. If the chief stress is to be laid on its character as a harvest thanksgiving, then again it seems somewhat superfluous alongside of the great feast of the ingathering which was held at the close of the entire year s husbandry ; there was no real occasion for a special feast of thanksgiving or consecration for each separate kind of produce. Strict symmetry is somewhat broken if a feast is held at the beginning and at the end of the corn harvest whilst there is only one to celebrate the ingathering of the fruits of vineyard and orchard. Thus arises the conjecture that perhaps the opening and closing feasts connected with the corn harvest were not, originally, essentially distinct feasts celebrated invariably and everywhere as separate ; that it was one and the same feast celebrated at different times, according to the nature of the case, in different parts of the country. The difference between the times at which harvest begins is in Palestine very considerable ; between the climate of the Jordan valley and that of Jerusalem and the colder districts of the 'hill country' it amounts to some three or four weeks. The beginning of the harvest at Jerusalem and the close of the harvest in the Jordan valley approximately coincide. In this way it becomes easy to see how, out of a single harvest festival, when celebrated at such different times, there should ultimately have arisen, as the separate districts of the country were brought into closer relations and religious customs tended more and more to be assimilated, a double feast, or to speak more accurately, a double celebration of the same festival idea. The connection of the passover with the feast of unleavened bread - a connection whereby the latter was thrust into the back ground by the passover feast - could not but favour the rise of an independent harvest festival.

7. Literature.[edit]

See the relative sections in the Archaeologies of Saalschutz, De Wette, Ewald, Keil, De Visser, Benzinger, Nowack ; Orelli s art. Pfingsten in PR E(^, vol. xi.; also the literature cited under FEASTS and PASSOVER. I. B.


or PENIEL (KB, 3B [Gen. 32:30-31 [32:31-32]] ; Egypticised as Penu'aru [WMM, As. u. Eur. 168] ; (J)&NOYHA [BNAL], but in Gen. eiAOC TOY

i. A place mentioned in connection with Jacob's wrestling with a divine being (Gen. 32:31 [31:32], cp 33:10), and with the story of Gideon (Judg. 8:8-9, 8:17) ; fortified, it is said, by Jeroboam (1 K. 12:25). In Phoenicia the name Qeov irpoffujrov [theou prosoopon] was given to a promontory near Tripolis (Strabo, xvi. 2 15 f. ), perhaps because in profile it suggested a huge face. The god referred to in Penuel, 'face of God', would be the God, originally hostile to the Jacob-tribe, who was worshipped at the sanctuary of the city (?) of Penuel. Where was this city situated ? From the story in Genesis, as it stands, no sure conclusion can be reached, since it is uncertain

  • (1) on which side of the JABBOK (q.v. ) J's narrative means us to place Penuel, and
  • (2) whether originally the story of Jacob at Penuel may not have been quite unconnected with the crossing of the Jabbok (or Yarmuk?).

Conder thinks of the summit of the Jebel Osha in S. Gilead ; Merrill (East of the Jordan, 370) of the Tulul ed-Dahab ( 'Hills of Gold' ), between which the Jabbok forces its way into the Jordan. It was at any rate on a hill (Judg. 8:8), and it was near Succoth (if the received reading is correct), as both the Gideon-story and the Jacob-story agree. If the present writer s view of the true form of the name now read 'Succoth' be accepted, Penuel will be the Hebrew name of the 'tower', or castle, of Salhad (the true reading, not only for JEGAR-SAHADUTHA in Gen. 31:47, but also for 'Succoth' in Gen. 33:17a, Judg. 8:5+). See SUCCOTH, and cp WRESTLING.

The reference to 'Penuel' in 1 K. 12:25 is due to corruption of the text. *?Ni:B should probably be ^Nits" 33, 'the Israelites'.

2. Penuel appears twice as a personal name :

  • (a) in the genealogy of Judah, 1 Ch. 4:4, cp v. 18 JERED ;
  • (b) in that of BENJAMIN ( 9, ii. /3) in 1 Ch. 8:25 6n<js [Kt.] ; (/>eA.iT)A. [B]).

T. K. C.


(Dlf). Gen. 11:6. See GENTILES.


("m?Sn, 'the Peor', as if 'the cleft' ; or, if the name is correct, cp f"^S, PARAN ; (^opwp 1 )-

i. A mountain 'that looketh toward Jeshimon' (AV), or that looketh down upon the desert (RV), i.e. , NE of the Dead Sea (Nu. 23:28); cp 'Baal (of) Peor'. It was on 'the top of the Peor' that Balaam is said to have delivered his third oracle, and though a Mt. Peor is mentioned nowhere else, it is conceivable that a mountain not far from Beth-peor might have borne this name; Eusebius (233:79 ; 300:2) at any rate asserts this. It is, however, as Bennett (Hastings, DB, 3:743(2) truly says, 'not certainly identified'. Conder's eloquent description of the prospect from his 'cliff of Peor' - i.e. , the narrow spur which runs out to Minyeh, overlooking the Dead Sea (Heth and Moab W, 146+) - may indeed make one wish to adopt his view of the scene of Balaam's prophecy ; but, even if we accept the text as it stands, there are reasons against it, as well as against rival theories. Cp BETH-PEOR ; Driver, Dt. 62, Buhl, Pal. 123. Wellhausen(C7/ 113) and Ed. Meyer (ZAT 1 129) assume the identity of 'Peor' and 'Pisgah', which may be practically right, but raises a serious critical problem. Recognising this, B. W. Bacon (Trip. Trad. 229) supposes 'the Peor' in Nu. , l.c., to have been substituted by RJE for 'the Pisgah' (cp Nu. 21:20). The problem of 'Peor', however, cannot be treated alone ; the set of names to which it belongs needs critical examination. 'Peor', wherever it occurs, may be corrupt. See NEBO, 2.

2. A late abbreviation of BAAL-PEOR (q.v.), Nu. 25:18, 31:16, Josh. 22:17 (cp Dillm.).

3. See PAU.

4. A Judahite town, mentioned only by LXX{BAL} in Josh. 15:59a (<ayu>p [phaeoor]) and by Eusebius (OS 300, 4 <j>oy(ap [phagor]), identified with the mod. Kh. Faghur, SW. from Bethlehem on the way to Hebron.


1 There is mention of a <j>oy(ap [phogoor] in Tobit 1:2 [x].


(D Vna~in ; for see BAAL-PERAZIM), Is. 28:21+, commonly identified with Baal-perazim.

In Crit. Bib., however, Cheyne reads for D iTS "n, D inS TV, '(against) the city of liars', || DHJ3 QJ7. (On {"TB see Cheyne, /V.(2), on


(tlha ; B om. (J) A pec [AL] ; Phares) a Machirite name ; 1 Ch. 7:16+. Peresh has a brother called Sheresh, and yet the text continues 'his sons were Ulam and Rekem'. 'Sheresh' is possibly a corrupt variant of 'Peresh' (Che.). Cp MANASSEH, 9, ii.


(f~|a, apparently 'a breach', but see below; 4><\pec)> son of Judah by Tamar (Gen. 38:29 [J], 46:12 [P], Ruth 4:12, 4:18, where AV PHAREZ ; Mt. 1:3 AV PHARES). In Neh. 11:4 (crepes [B], cp Peresh and Sheresh in last article) 'the children of Perez', are the Perez clan, called in Num. 26:20 [P] the PHARZITE, RV Perezite ( snsri [gentilic], d <ape<r[i] [L]). Probably a place-name as well as a clan-name ; see 2 S. 5:20, where, 'perazim' in BAAL-PERAZIM is popularly explained by 'perez-maim' (an outburst of water). In 2 S. 5:23-24, it has been maintained elsewhere (see MULBERRY), we should probably restore a place-name Perez-jerahme'elim (see below), and the same place-name meets us in 2 S. 6:8 as PEREZ-UZZAH. The special mention of 'the house of Perez' in Ruth 4:12 and the appending of the 'generations of Perez' in Ruth 4:18-22 (cp RUTH, BOOK OF) are completely accounted for by the theory that there is an older story underlying the narrative of Ruth, in which certain members of a Jerahmeelite family were made to take a journey to Missur (not Moab). Zarephath of Missur was a natural refuge for a Jerahmeelite family. Bethlehem (a corruption of Beth-jerahmeel ?) had a Jerahmeelite or Calebite connection (1 Ch. 2:19, 2:24, 2:50-51), and the post-exilic genealogical theorists regarded Hezron b. Perez as the father of Jerahmeel and Caleb (1 Ch. 2:9). See RUTH.

As to the origin of the name : the origins suggested in Gen. 38:29 and 2 S. 6:20, to which we may add 2 S. 6:7 (on the theory that the Zarephathites and not the Philistines were the captors of the ark) are popular fancies. 'Perez', we may reasonably conjecture, is a mutilation and corruption of Zarephath, just as TAMAR (q.v.) is perhaps a corruption of Jerahme'elith. It is very significant that in Neh. 11:4 Shephatiah, who in Ezra 8:8 is closely related to Michael - i.e., Jerahmeel (see MICHAEL, 10) - appears as son of MAHALALEEL (q.v.) which is another popular or literary distortion of Jerahmeel, and that Mahalaleel is called a son of Perez. Perez Jerahmeelim is therefore fully justified. Cp SHEPHATIAH, 9. T. K. C.


(2 S. 6:8, or Perez-uzza 1 Ch. 13:11; Ai&KOTTH [BNAL] OZA [or &ZZA]). as if 'Breach of Uzzah'. The name of the place where Uzzah (q.v. ) died, on the way from Kirjath-jearim to the 'city of David'. Probably, however, the name was rather different in the ancient story on which 2 S. 6:1-13 is based. The name which seems to be required is Sarefath (nflix), out of which Peres (ps) may easily have arisen ; 'Uzzah' has perhaps come from 'azzah (n]y), which was appended to Sarefath, as rabbah ( 'great' ) was appended to Sidon (Josh. 11:8, 19:28). Perez-uzzah thus became 'Strong (city) Zarephath'. See ZAREPHATH.

Winckler's view (GI 2 199) may be compared ; see also H. P. Smith's Commentary. T. K. C.


(n\T\. rokah; MypON MYPeyiKON, MypeyiKON, unguent um, Ex. 30:25, 30:35+; or D*nj3"], rikkuhim, royc MAKpAN ATTO COY [BNAQ], TA MYpeyiA coy [Symm. in Qmg ; so Aq. cyNOeceiC, Theodot. MYpeyoycJ. pigmenta tua. Is. 57:9+)- The art of manipulating and compounding odoriferous substances for the gratification of the sense of smell, is (needless to say) very ancient and very widely diffused, especially in the East, still the principal source of supply. For their supply of odoriferous materials the ancients, like ourselves, were dependent mainly on the vegetable kingdom - most frequently the odoriferous gum-resins or balsams which exude naturally or from wounds in the trunks of various trees and shrubs, but sometimes the wood, bark, or leaves themselves, rarely the flowers or seeds. There is no evidence of the Israelites having been acquainted with the use in perfumery of the animal products which elsewhere have played so great a part, such as Ambergris, Castor, Civet, Musk ; perhaps the only animal substance so employed by them was ONYCHA (q. v. ).

See ALOES, ALMUG, BALM, BALSAM, BDELLIUM, CALAMUS, CANE, CASSIA, CINNAMON, FRANKINCENSE, GALBANUM, LADANUM, MYRRH, SAFFRON, SPICE, SPIKENARD, STACTE, STORAX. The list supplies important evidence as to the geographical extent and limits of Hebrew trade and commerce (see TRADE AND COMMERCE).

As for the modes of preparation : some of the most important modern methods such as those of distillation, infusion, tincture, enfleurage were wholly unknown. The method of treatment with boiling oil or heated fat so as to produce a precious oil or ointment was, however, familiar ; the process is apparently alluded to in Job 41:31 [23]. The pestle and mortar (Prov. 27:22), too, were indispensable for the preparation of the powder of the merchant [ 'perfumer', see LXX] Cant. 3:6.

Perfumes may be applied either as fumigations or as unguents. On the former compare INCENSE. 1 On the latter compare OIL, ANOINTING, PERFUME BOXES.

On the religious symbolism of perfume and its use in divine service and in exorcisms see INCENSE, MAGIC, and SACRIFICE, 2 and on its place in social and festive life compare DRESS, 4, and MEALS, ir.


AV 'tablets' (^SSH ^2, batte hannephesh, Vg. olfactoriola], Is. 3:20+. A bag of myrrh was sometimes suspended from the neck (Cant. 1:13). But there is no other passage in which jysj, nephesh can be proved to mean 'perfume' ; the supposed reference to 'scented words' in Prov. 27:9 (vsrnxy) is extremely doubtful. Hence Haupt (on Is. :20 in SBOT, Heb. ) would connect this E-BJ with Ass. pashashu, 'to anoint oneself' (cp napshashtu, Del. HWB, 551). 'Boxes of unguents' may perhaps be meant. W. R. Smith thought that 'some kind of amulet' was intended.


RV's substitute for AV's APOTHECARIES (q.v. ).

By one of the curiosities of textual corruption the Jerahmeelites (who stepped into fresh prominence after the exile) have become in the text of Neh. 38 Q PI|Tin, 'the perfumers' ; by a similar corruption in v. 32, they have become D 7p1rt, 'the merchants' (Che.). Cp SPICE MERCHANTS.

1 The r17ap of Ex. 30:35, perfume 1 in AV, is in RV rightly translated INCENSE. So also Ecclus. 49:1; RV 'incense prepared by the work of the apothecary', Heb. 'salted, the work, etc.', npn ne yo nSocn D oo map-

2 See Tobit 8:3, Ecclus. 38:48 and reff. in Rel. Sem. 453, and on the "IT|JN (cp FRANKINCENSE) see INCENSE, 4(i),SACRIFICE.

3 But Perge in Plin. HN5 26, Perga, Pomp. Mela, 1 14.


(neprn, Acts 13:13-14, 14:25 ; PERGJ}.* Perga lay, according to Strabo (66:7), on the river Cestrus, 60 stades, or 79 mi., from its mouth, the river being navigable as far as the town. As a matter of fact, the ruins of Perga at Mnrtana, about 12 mi. NE. of Adalia (Attalia), are about 5 mi. W. of the Ak-Su (Cestrus), but about the distance inland indicated by Strabo (hence Ptol. v. 5:7 reckons Perga among the inland towns /j.fff6yfioi). The acropolis of the city was one of the heights on the fringe of the plateau between the Cestrus and the Catarrhactes : the town, in Strabo's time, and in the time of Paul, lay on the plain to the south of the hill.

On the hill itself stood the great temple of Artemis (Strabo, 667 ; iri fitrfiapov TOJTOV TO rrjs Ilepyoias ApTf ft Sos ifpor) ; six fragmentary granite columns on a platform to the SE. of the hill have been considered to belong to the Artemisium ; but this opinion is rejected on grounds of style by Petersen, in Lanckoronski (Stadte Pantph. 136).

The greatness of the city was closely connected with the worship of Artemis (cp coins). Though called Artemis by the Greeks, this deity was similar to the Artemis of Ephesus (see DIANA), and the same as the Cybele of northern and eastern Phrygia. On coins she is sometimes Vanassa Preiia (written in the Pamphylian alphabet), 'the Pergaean Queen' (according to interpretation given by Ramsay in J. Hell. Stud., 1880, p. 246, now commonly accepted), sometimes Artemis of Perga ( A/xr^utSos Ilepyalas : see coin figured by Conybeare and Howson, 1 194). The type is either that of the Greek huntress Artemis, 1 with sphinx or stag by her side, and armed with the bow, or a native type representing the cultus-image, a stone column bearing a rude resemblance to a human figure (see PAPHOS, 2). It is to this same deity that the name Leto belongs (cp inscr. published by Rams, in Bull, de Corr. Hell., 1883, p. 263 : lep^a dia fiiov 0eSs Ar/rovt rrjs Ilepyalwv TroXews ; and see Rams. Cities and Bish. of Phrygia, 1:90-91). An annual festival was held in her honour (Strabo, l.c.}. It is clear from this that Perga would be a centre of native feeling, in opposition to the Hellenic city of Attaleia, a later foundation. Hence the preaching of Paul and Barnabas made apparently no impression during their short stay ; and the town was not sufficiently important to call for long-continued effort (contrast the case of Ephesus). For the probable route of Paul northwards, see PISIDIA.

Perga and SIDE (q.v.) seem to have been rivals in dignity, and both on their coins claim the title metropolis, and in ecclesiastical administration (but apparently not in civil) Pamphylia was divided between the two cities, Perga being the metropolis of the western part ; when this division of the bishoprics between the two metropolitans was made, is not known. During the Byzantine period, Perga gradually fell into decay, and Attaleia took its place as the seat of the metropolitan and the chief city of Pamphylia. (For the history of Christian organisation in Pamphylia, see Ramsay, Hist. Geogr. of AM 415+, and papers by Gelzer in JPT 12). w. J. W.

1 Sometimes this type shows the variation of a long tunic, in place of the ordinary short tunic appropriate to the huntress goddess.


(etc neprAMON. Rev. 1:11; N Tlepyafita [pergamoo], Rev. 2:12, thus leaving the nom. uncertain. AV Pergamos = i) nepyapof [e pergamos] [Lat. Pergamus], found in Paus. 5:13:3, ei/ rf) Uepyajucu 777 vnrep jroTa/aou Katieov ; id. 7:16:1, 8:4:9, etc., and in other authors. RV Pergamum = ?b \\fpyaiiov [to pergamon] [Lat. Pergamum, the usual form in inscriptions and authors [so always in Strabo and Polybius]).

1. History.[edit]

A Mysian city, about 15 mi. from the sea, commanding the valley of the Caicus (Bakir Chai], from which river it was distant about 4 mi. to the N. This district was the richest land in Mysia (Strabo, 624). The earliest settlement occupied the conical hill, 1000 feet high, which rises between the Selinus on the W. and the Cetius on the E. , both flowing southwards into the Caicus. The later Hellenic and Roman city spread over the ground at the foot of the hill, south-westwards beyond the Selinus. The modern town of Bergama, covers part of the site of the lower town. The hill was the Acropolis of the later city.

The town was of little importance until after the death of Alexander the Great. On its strong hill King Lysimachus deposited 9000 talents of his treasure, and this was appropriated by its guardian, Philetaerus of Tion in Pontus to found the independent kingdom of the Attalids (Strabo, 623-624). With the support of Seleucus, the King of Syria, Philetaerus consolidated his power (284-263 B.C.) and bequeathed it to his nephew Eumenes I. (263-241 B.C.). The glory of Pergamos began with the reign of Attalus I. , another nephew of Philetaerus (241-197 B.C.). The prestige of the Pergamene kings was gained by their championship of Hellenic civilisation against the Gauls or Galatians, who for long terrorised western Asia (see GALATIA, i). After defeating the Gauls near the sources of the Caicus (cp Paus. 1:82), Attalus took the title of king. His success inspired Pergamene art. 1 Other victories added to the dominions of Attalus a large part of western Asia Minor, as far as Pamphylia (Pol. 18:41) ; and he enlarged his capital so that it became the fairest city in the East. Then the Seleucid power increased, and the Pergamene kingdom was reduced to its original narrow limits ; but having sided with Rome in the struggle with the Seleucid monarchy Attalus gradually reconquered his lost possessions, and by the peace of 189 B.C. received from Rome all within the Taurus. Under his son, Eumenes II. (197-159 B.C.), Pergamos reached the zenith of her splendour. He carried on the artistic and scientific schemes of his father. He it was who built the great Altar of Zeus, and beautified the temple and grove of Athena Nicephorus below the Acropolis (cp Strabo, 624, Pol. 16:1). He also enlarged the library founded by Attalus, which rivalled ultimately that of Alexandria, and contained 200,000 books (Strabo, 609). Attalus II., his brother (159-138 B.C.), founded Attalia and PHILADELPHIA (q.v.). Attalus III., the last king (138-133 B.C. ), who inherited little of the capacity of his ancestors, left a will 2 stipulating that Pergamos and other cities should be free, whilst the rest of his kingdom was bequeathed to the Romans. One Aristonicus, who claimed to have the blood of the Attalids in his veins, made an abortive attempt to seize the kingdom.

Pergamos continued to be the capital of the Roman province 3 (from 129 B.C.), even as it had been the capital of the Attalid monarchy - a position which had its justification in history, and was recognised for at least the next two hundred years. There is, however, nowhere any express statement to this effect. 4

The three cities, Smyrna, Pergamos, and Ephesus were in fact rivals for the honour of being capital of the Province (each called itself TrpuJrr) Acn as [proote asias]), and in this struggle Pergamos had nothing but her history to set against the steadily growing com mercial supremacy of her rivals ; and in the end the rivals won. Ephesus, lying on the main route of eastern trade, asserted her superiority over both Smyrna and Pergamos. 5 Probably the practical fact of the supremacy of Ephesus was recognised popularly long before it became the official view, and the change came about gradually and without any official imperial enactment. The order of enumeration in Rev. 1:11, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, etc., is true to the facts of the time, and the two commercial cities stand at the head of the list.

1 Plin. HN 34:84; Paus. 1:25:2. See Harrison, Myth, and Mon. of Anc. Athens, 474^; Gardner, Hist. of Gk. Sculpture, 452-453

2 Suspicion has sometimes been cast upon the genuineness of the will ; but an inscription has vindicated the honour of Rome (see Frankel, Insckriften von Perg. i., no. 249).

3 Phrygia Magna had been separated from the rest of the Pergamos realm ; it was given to Mithridates of Pontus until 120 B.C., when he died. It was not definitely attached to the Province of Asia until Sulla s time, 84 B.C.

4 For the expression of Pliny, HN 5:30, longe clarissimum Asiae, is simply on a level with that of Strabo, 623, e7u</>ai r)S iroAis, both primarily referring to the place of the city in history and art. Strabo's remark, l.c. , e^ei fie TLVO. mtfua>iaa> Trpbs TOUS TOTTOUS TOVTOVS TO llfpya/jLOv, shows how little we have to do with any definite officially-fixed status.

5 The long struggle for supremacy has continued, and Ephesus has had to yield the palm to Smyrna, which is now the greatest city in Asia Minor (see Murray, Handbook to AM, jof., and cp SMYRNA).

2. Reference in Rev 2:13.[edit]

That for the first two centuries of the Roman occupation of Asia Pergamos was in the official view the chief city of the province, is to be gathered indirectly from the fact that, as early as 29 B.C., the city possessed a temple dedicated to Rome and Augustus by the Provincial Synod (\Hoivbv Acr/aj [koinon asias) as its place of meeting (Tac. Ann. 4:37). Ephesus was not then recognised as a leading city. Pergamos thus gained the honour of the Neokorate before either Smyrna (temple erected to Tiberius, 26 A.D. , Tac. Ann. 4:56) or Ephesus 1 (temple to Claudius, 41-54 A.D. possibly). The second Neokorate (and second temple of the Emperors) in the case of Pergamos dates from the reign of Trajan ; in the case of Ephesus only after 127 A.D. , in the reign of Hadrian (see NEOCOROS). The discussion of this point is necessary as upon a correct appreciation of the position of the city depends the interpretation of the striking phrase of Rev. 2:13, 'thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is' (so AV ; better, RV 'where Satan's throne is', STTOV 6 6pbvos TOU Zarai/a).

Various interpretations have been proposed.

(a) In view of the special prominence at Pergamos of the worship of four of the greatest deities 2 of the pagan religion - Zeus, Athena, Dionysus, and Asclepius - some have referred the phrase thereto. Zeus Soter (the Saviour), Athena Nicephorus (Bringer of Victory) were honoured as having given victory over the Galatai. Athena s greatest temple as Warden of the City (Polias) occupied nearly the highest point of the Acropolis. This view must be rejected on the ground that Pergamos in no wise stood in the position of champion of pagan ritual against Christianity. Moreover, in Asia Minor the most formidable rival of the new religion was not the religion of Greece, but the development of that primitive Oriental nature-worship which presented itself with overpowering might in the cult of the so-called Aphrodite of Paphos and Diana of Ephesus.

If any city and worship merited the figure in the Apocalypse, it was Ephesus with her goddess Diana ; more especially as perhaps already at the time of the composition of the Apocalypse there had occurred a pagan revival at Ephesus (this revival took place as early as 104 A.D. See Hicks, Inscr. of Brit. Mus. 3:67-87, and cp Rams. Ch. in Rom. Emp. 143).

(b) More specifically, some have seen in the phrase a reference to the great Altar of Zeus on the terrace below the temple of Athena Polias.

The sacrificial altar proper consisted, like that at Olympia, of the ashes of the sacrifices (Paus. 5:13:8), but rose in this case from the centre of a platform about 90 feet square and 20 feet high, with a flight of steps cut into it on the western side. This substructure has been recovered, together with the famous frieze of the Gigantomachia which ran round it. This frieze is 'a theatrical work of tremendous energy' (Holm, Gk. Hist., ET, 4:468) : in it the whole Hellenic pantheon appeared in conflict with the Giants, many of the latter being represented with a human body ending in serpents coils (see Mitchell, Hist. of Gk. Sculpture, 57:3-4).

Artists skill combined with the natural grandeur of its position to make the great altar a fit emblem of the kingdom of Satan as the smoke of the sacrifice rose into the air from the huge platform 800 feet above the city. Still, we must be on our guard against our modern feeling for what is picturesque or grand. Would a dweller in the great cities of Asia, among the treasures of an art which lived only through its connection with religion, feel that the altar at Pergamos was something apart and typical ?

(c) A third view is that the reference is to the worship of Asclepius, whose temple was, as usual, the centre of a medical school, with the right of asylum (Tac. Ann. 3:63; Paus. 2:26:8). Under the empire this cult was fashionable (cp coins), and Asclepios ultimately became the representative deity of the city. The snake was his special attribute (cp art. 'Asklepios' in Reseller's Lex. der Myth. 1:615+ , and Pauly-Wiss. Realenc . 2:1642+; Farnell, Cults of the Greek States), and the snake was to the Christians the symbol of evil (cp Rev. 12:9, 20:2, 2 Cor. 11:3). His special title was 'Saviour' (2uT7J/j, or 2wrrj/j TUV 8\uv), which would have very different associations for the Christian. In spite of these striking features, the reference in Rev. can hardly be to this worship.

Laodiceia also had an Asklepieion, and SMYRNA (q.v.). The word Opovos [thronos] also undoubtedly refers to the Acropolis hill ; but the temple of Asclepius lay in the plain, at some little distance from the town (Pol. 32:27, cp Paus. 5:13:3).

1 The temple dedicated to Augustus some time before 5 B.C. was not one that entitled the city to be called Neocoros, because

  • (1) it was a dedication by the city merely, not by the K.OLVOV [koinon],

(2) it stood in the precinct of Artemis, not independently. Cp Hicks, Inscr. of Brit. Mus., no. 522.

2 Cp the oracle in Frankel, Inschr. von Perg. 2 239, of date about 167 A.D., where all four are mentioned.

(d) The reference is to the primacy of the city as a centre of the worship of the emperors ; it was the earliest and the chief centre of that worship, which was the outward expression of loyalty to the imperial system. 'Refusal to comply with the established and official worship of the emperors' became the 'regular test and touchstone of persecution' (Rams. Church in the Rom. Emp. 250-251), for the imperial cultus was part of the machinery of government, and such refusal constituted treason. The whole history of early Christianity is the story of the passage from legality to absolute proscription. If Rev. 2:13 was written after the accession of Trajan (98 A.D. ) the expression 'throne of Satan' becomes specially appropriate. For, towering at the very summit of the Acropolis, there had recently been erected the temple of Trajan, a symbol visible far and wide of that worship which was the declared foe of Christianity. The primacy of I ergamos in the province, and as the seat of the imperial cult, explains the allusion to the martyr Antipas. For Antipas must be taken to typify a long series of 'faithful witnesses' who had defied the power of 'Satan' at the tribunal of the Roman governor, whose duty it was to proceed against the illegal religion. The reference of v. 13 may be to the persecution of Domitian (after 95 A.D. ). [Cp ROMAN EMPIRE.] The thought of official persecution has suggested the words of v. 12, 'he that hath the sharp two-edged sword', selected from the description in Rev. 1:12+ (cp v. 16). The actuality of the message to Pergamos as compared with the colourlessness of most of the other messages (especially of that to Ephesus) probably throws somelightupon the placeof composition.

For the history of the Pergamene kingdom see Holm, Gk. Hist., ET, 4:279-280, 464-465, with references there. Good account of history and recent discoveries by Ussing, Pergantos (1899). The results of the German excavations are as yet only partially published. W. J. W.


(cpepeiAA [BK]), Neh. 7:57 = Ezra 2:55 PERUDA (q.v. ).


RV PERIZZITE (T)?ri; 01 (}>epez<MOi [or -zeoi] [BN ADEFL]; in Ezra 9:1 cj>epec9ei [B], -pezi [A]), one of the pre- Israelitish populations of Palestine (Gen. 16:20, Ex. 3:8, 3:17, etc.; see AMORITES) ; also PHERESITES 1 (in 1 Esd. 8:69 ; RV -EZITES, so EV 2 Esd. 1:21 and AV Judith 5:6). The name, however, requires renewed investigation, the prevalent theory being open to serious objection.

1. References.[edit]

We begin by collecting the biblical notices. According to Judg. 1:4-5, the Perizzites were overcome by Judah and Simeon; but Josh. 17:15 (as the text now stands ; LXX{BA} omits the two names) mentions 'the Perizzites and the Rephaim' as occupying a wild un-cleared region (ny), perhaps N. of Shechem, which was to be taken from them and cleared by the b'ne Joseph. According to Josh. 11:3 they dwelt in the hill-country (like the Amorites, etc.). In Gen. 13:7, 34:30 (J) the Canaanites and the Perizzites are mentioned together; also in 2 Esd. 1:21 (ferezei), with the addition of the Philistines. In Gen. 10:16-17 (R) the Philistines are not mentioned at all (but cp v. 14), and the Perizzites too are conspicuous by their absence.

1 1 Esd. 8:69 agrees with Ezra 9:1 (glossed, see Guthe, SSOF).

2. Earlier theory.[edit]

Some of these data have been thought (e.g. , by Dillmann and Kautzsch 1 ) to favour the theory that the Perizzites were survivors of the pre-Canaanitish population of W. Palestine, which, after the Canaanitish invasion, could maintain itself only in the open country. But to infer from Gen. 10:15, where the Perizzites are not mentioned, that they were pre-Canaanitish, is difficult in the face of Gen. 13:7, 34:30 (see, however, Kautzsch). J no doubt believed that the Perizzites (if that be really the name) were a separate people, contemporary with the Canaan ites. As to the reference to 'the Perizzites and the Rephaim' in Josh. 17:15, it gives no support to Dillmann's theory, <riBn and c KBin being most probably alternative readings (cp REPHAIM).

3. Later theories.[edit]

Since ns, Dt. 3:5, 1 S. 6:18 (cp VILLAGE), means the inhabitants of unwalled villages, it is plausible to deny any distinction between ns and TIS, and to suppose that the term 'Perizzite' is really a clan-name equivalent to ns (so Moore, Judges, 17). But there are still stronger grounds for thinking that <jns is really an early corruption of TIJ. GIRZITE.

LXX may be quoted for the theory that 'Perizzite' is the name of a clan, for in Dt. and 1 S. it has <epe<Jaioi [pherezaioi] (-<Je. [-ze] LXX{A} in Sam.) ; the other Gk. versions have a.rfi.\>.<noi [ateichistoi], anixtoTOf [ateichistos] (cp Symm. in Judg. 5:11, Zech. 2:4). It appears to be more probable, however, that the older view that Perizzites is the name of a people is nearer the truth. >ns may be a corrupt form either of TIB-IS, 'Zarephathite' (see PELETHITES), or of nj, 'Girzite' (i.e., Geshurite). It is somewhat in favour of 'Zarephathite' that in Josh. 17:15 'Perizzite' and 'Rephaim' are put side by side for the same people, and that TlB i 7B is almost certainly (like Q NSl) a corruption of C nSli. It is also true, however, that j and j are liable to confusion, and in 1 S. 27:8 H. P. Smith proposes to emend nj into *ns (the Perizzites and those dwelling in Gezer are combined in LXX of Josh. 16:10). At any rate, the people referred to cannot be safely described as a remnant of the pre-Canaanitish population of Palestine. T. K. C.


(nepcerroAeiN [A], nepcipoAiN [V], in accus. ). The city where, according to 2 Macc. 9:2+, Antiochus Epiphanes attempted to plunder a temple (or temples, iepovvXeiv) ; he was put to flight by the people of the country, and broke up his camp with disgrace (shortly before his death). See ELYMAIS, where it is pointed out that the name Elymais in the || passage, 1 Macc. 6:1, is probably corrupt. From 2 Macc. 1:13 it appears that a temple of Nanaea was meant. Now NANAEA (q.v. ) was an ancient Elamite goddess. It would be not unnatural that out of the statement 'Persepolis is a city renowned for wealth' (ne/><r^7roXs iffTi TroXis fr So^os Tr\ovT<fj) should arise the corrupt reading, 'Elym(a)is in Persia is a city renowned for wealth' (tariv e\i /u.(a)ts 2 IT. e. TT\. ). But that there was a temple of Naneea near the ruins of Persepolis in 164-163 B.C. is not probable. For Persepolis was not in Elymais ; it was the capital of Persia proper, and had long since been shorn of its splendour by Alexander the Great, who gave up the city to be plundered, and caused the royal palaces (those can hardly have been temples only fire-altars) to be set on fire. It is, therefore, not as having any direct connection with biblical history (like Susa), but simply as the original home of the Achaemenian dynasty, and as the seat of the sepulchres of its kings, that Persepolis with its still magnificent ruins interests us.

See Noldeke, art. 'Persepolis', EBP) ; Stolze, Persepolis, 2 vols., Berl. 1882 (an account of the expedition of F. C. Andreas, with introd. on the inscriptions by Noldeke) ; Flandin et Coste, Perse ancienne, and Voyage en Perse (1851-52); Dieulafoy, L art antique de la Perse (1881); Curzon, Persia (1892), 2248^ T. K. C.

1 Riehm, HWBC& 1211.

2 en-oAis would be confounded with Av/n[a]n (f/iiuA[alis) under the influence of the tradition that Nanaea's was the temple referred to.

3 Near modern Azam on the coast-road on the west shore of the gulf of Salonica.


(rrepceyc). 'king of Chittim' (see KITTIM, end), is alluded to in 1 Macc. 8:5. The reference is to the battle of Pydna (168 B.C. ), 3 in which Perseus was defeated and the Macedonian kingdom brought to an end (cp MACEDONIA).

His conqueror was L. Aemilias Paullus. At SAMOTHRACB [q.v.], Perseus surrendered to the victor, and was taken as a captive to Rome, but allowed to pass the remainder of his days as a state-prisoner at Alba on Lake Fucinus. This was the end of the empire of Alexander which had lasted for 144 years. For the character and aims of Perseus, see Mommsen, Rom. Hist. ET 2:287-288, 2:293-294 W. J. W.


  • Name (1).
  • Biblical references (2).
  • Land and people (3).
  • Language and literature ( 4-6).
  • Religion and culture (7-9)
  • Chronology (10).
  • History (11-20).
  • Bibliography (21).

Under the name Persia Media also is included, Persia and Media, when known to the Hebrews, having been closely united.

1. Name.[edit]

Media in Hebrew is ID : ethnic, HO a Mede. Persia is D"1S ; rrepCCON [BKAL ; both Theod. and LXX in Dan.], bu^in Dan. 11:2 17; nepa-iSi [BAQ, 87], in 2 Ch. 36:20 priSiav [BAL] (so, in the reverse way, Ilepo-wr for ID in Is. 21:2); adj. Persian, pis, Neh. 12:22; N;D-IS [Kt.], ."IND-IS [Kr.] in Dan. 6:28 [6:29] (Aram.) ; TOU Hepo-ov [BNAL] ; five times plur. in EV Persians. In the inscriptions of the Achaemenids, O. Persian Parsa uta. Mada, Semitic version Parsu (gentilic Parsa), and Madai(da-a-a) [Nabun. Cyl. Parsu], Sus. or Elam. version Parsin and Mata (gentilic Parsir).

'Persia' and 'Persians' are the designations of the kingdom and dynasty (respectively) of Cyrus and his successors after the commencement of the Greek period (on DIB in Ezek. 27:10 see PARAS).

The passages both Hebrew and Aramaic are 2 Ch. 36:20-22 =Ezra 1:1-2, 1:8, 3:7, 4:3, 4:5, 4:7, 4:24, 6:14, 7:1, 9:9, Neh. 12:22, besides Dan. (11:2) and Esth. (5:1, 5:10), which are later than the Chronicler. The only one of the passages in Ezra-Neh. that appears on the surface to be free from the Chronicler's redaction is Ezra 9:9, and even if this passage be really from Ezra's hand, the presumption from the usage as exhibited is strong against the authenticity of the word DI_S ; of course, if the contention of C. C. Torrey (see EZRA, i, n. 2) be right, and the Chronicler s hand is the only one to be recognised in Ezra, the case is still clearer. Even in Dan. 9:1 , where Darius is said to have been made king over the kingdom of the Kasdim, he is called not 'the Persian', but 'son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes'.

With these phenomena agrees the usage of Babylonian contract tablets from Cyrus to Artaxerxes, where the king s name appears as 'Cyrus (Cambyses, Darius, etc. ), king of Babylon, king of the countries', or simply 'king of the countries' (see AT? 4, 1896, p. 258 ff., Peiser's transl. ).

No doubt Cyrus is called 'king of Persia' (Parsu) in the Chronicles of Nabonidus, 2, l. 15, but also 'king of Ansan' (an Elamitic province ; on the relation between these see Tiele, BAG 469), Id. ib. l. 1, Cyrus Cylinder, l. 12 ; but these both represent him prior to the capture of Babylon. The Cyrus Cylinder, ll. 20-22, gives his formal title thereafter : 'Cyrus, king of hosts, great king, mighty king, king of Babylon (lit. Tintinki), king of Sumer and Akkad (entire Babylonia), king of the four quarters (of the world), son of Cambyses, the great king, king of (the city) AnSan, grandson of Shishpish ( = Old Pers. Cishpish, Gk. Teispes), the great king, king of [the city] Ansan', etc. (For all these see KB 3:2+, 3:120+, and especially Hagen in Delitzsch and Haupt, Beitr. 2:205+)

Even in the Old Persian inscriptions, where we find Darius naming himself 'king in Persia' (Parsaiy), this title does not appear alone.

Thus, Behistun, 1:1, 'I, Darius, the great king, the king of kings, king in Persia, king of the provinces', and the much more common expression 'I, Darius, the great king, king of kings, king of the countries of many tribes, king of this great earth far and wide' (Inscr. Alvend, ll. 17+), or more briefly 'the great king, king of kings, king of these many regions' (Inscr. Persepolis, 2, ll. 1+), and the like, in connection with which he sometimes calls himself 'a Persian' (as Inscr. Nakshi-Rustam, 1, l. 13); these more general titles are those exclusively found in the (Persian) inscriptions of Xerxes and his successors, Artaxerxes I., Artax. Mnemon, and Artax. Ochus (see for these Spiegel, APK, esp. 2, 42, 46, 48, 50, 52, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68 transl. on opp. pp. ; especially Weissbach and Bang, APK 12, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46 transl. on opp. pp.).

Persia (Parsha) is mentioned repeatedly as one province of the empire (Behistun, 1:14, 1:34, 2:7, etc.). In the first inscription of Persepolis (Spiegel, 46+, Weissbach, 34+) Darius speaks of this land Persia more particularly, as is natural. In accord with these facts is the assumption by the Greek kings of a title similar to that of the earlier Babylonian kings ; so Antiochus Soter (280-260 B.C.) in his cuneiform inscr. l 1-2. (Schr. KB 3:2, 136, transl. by Peiser) :- 'Antiochus, the great king, the mighty king, the king of hosts, king of Babylon, king of the countries, . . . princely son of Seleucus the Macedonian (Makkadunai) king, king of Babylon'.

It seems probable that the Chronicler's frequent use of the name 013 is intended to distinguish the empire that began with Cyrus from the Macedonian power that overthrew and assumed it.

F. B.

Some scholars identify the Persians with the Parshuash or Barshuash of the Assyrian inscriptions ; but this is very doubtful as, even in the time of the Sargonids, they still lived much more to the N. than the Persians did during the Median rule. Parsuas seems rather to be an Assyrian form of Parthavas, the Parthians, called HapSvaiot [pardnaioi] by the Greeks.

2. Biblical references.[edit]

In Gen. 10:2 MADAI [q.v.] is named among the sons of Japheth, following Gomer and [Ma]gog - i.e., the Gimirrhi and the Lydians - and preceding Javan - i.e. , the lonians and others. Persia is not mentioned, but is certainly regarded by the author as belonging to Media. 2 K. 17:6 and 18:11 relate how the king of Assyria, after having conquered Samaria, transferred the captives from the kingdom of Israel to 'the towns of Media'. In Is. 13:17 the Medes 'who do not care for silver nor desire gold' are called upon by Yahwe to fight the Babylonians. Cp Is. 21:2, where Elam is added to Media. The kings of Media are mentioned among others in Jer. 25:25 and 51:11 as enemies of Babylon. In Ezra 6:2 a decree of Cyrus is found at Ahmetha (Ecbatana) in the country of Media.

The references in the OT to the Persians, either singly or joined to the Medes, are rather many, but only in the later historical books and in Daniel and Esther. It is very improbable that they are meant in Ezek. 27:10, 38:5, where they are said to serve in foreign armies with LUD and Put or with Cush (cp PARAS). Perhaps D7ns should be read instead of D7E

Kings of Persia are mentioned in Ezra 9:9; Cyrus in 2 Ch. 36:22-23. Ezra 1:1-2, 1:8, 3:7, 4:35; Darius in 4:24, Neh. 12:22; Artaxerxes in Ezra 7:1 ; all three in 6:14. Cyrus the Persian also in Dan. 6:29 [6:28], 10:1, and passim. For Darius the Mede in Dan. 6 and passim, see DARIUS. The prince or angel of the Persians is mentioned in Dan. 10:13, 10:20. By 'the kings of Medes and Persians', Dan. 8:20, is meant the whole Medo-Persian empire. Belshazzar's empire is given to the Medes and Persians, Dan. 5:28. The immutable laws of the Medes and Persians are referred to in Dan. 69:13, 69:16 [69:8, 69:12, 69:15] (cp Esth. 1:19) ; their army, seven princes, princesses in Esth. 1, 3:14, 3:18, and the chronicles of their kings in 10:2.

In the NT the Persians and Persia never occur, only, in Acts 2:9, M^Sot [medoi] with the Parthians and Elamites.

3. Land and people.[edit]

The Medes and Persians mentioned in the Bible inhabited in historical times only a part of Iran or Eran, the land of the Aryans, which extended W. to E. from the Zagros range to the Hindu Kush and the Indus, and N. to S. from the Caspian Sea and the Turanian steppes to the Erythraean Sea or Persian Gulf. The western countries Persia, Media proper, and Little Media (Atropatene) are separated from the eastern provinces, of which Bactria, Margiana (Merv), and Sogdiana (Sughda) are the best known, by an immense barren desert, running from N. to S. and ending only where the coastland, in a corresponding degree inhabitable, of the Persian Sea begins. It is only along the SE. shore of the Caspian Sea that the land of the Hyrcanians unites the eastern and western parts of Iran.

As a whole, Iran, lacking large rivers and extended valleys, and for the most part mountainous and cold , is not particularly fertile. There are several exceptions, however, such as Persia itself, and especially the north eastern provinces, Bactria and Sogdiana, where the climate is mild and the soil rich. It is remarkable that just those two important satrapies did not rise against Darius, whilst rebellion everywhere prevailed. In general it may be said, that Iran was a country well fitted to foster an industrious, proud, manly, and warlike race, and to be for some centuries the centre of a mighty empire.

It is quite certain that the founders of this empire, the Medo-Persians, were not the original inhabitants of the country. They belonged to the Aryan stock. When the Assyrians, as they often did, directed their expeditions to Media, and even built there some strong places to maintain their supremacy, the kings they fought did not bear Aryan names, which become more frequent only in the time of the Sargonids. Aryan tribes, coming from the NW. or the N. , and spreading first in the eastern part of the land, seem to have conquered the western regions little by little, and to have settled there in small independent kingdoms, before the Median monarchy was established. If there is any truth in what Berossos tells about a Median dynasty reigning over Babylon in the remotest times, this dynasty has nothing in common with the Aryan Medes, but probably was of the same origin as the Kassites, Elamites, and other eastern neighbours of Babylonia.

4. Language.[edit]

A complete ethnology and glossology of the Iranian peoples would be out of place here, as our scope is limited to the two nations with whom the Hebrews came into contact. The Old Persian language we know from the inscriptions of the Achaemenids and from the proper names and sundry words recorded by the ancients. It is closely allied to the Avestan language (the two dialects of which seem to have been spoken in the eastern and northern parts of the empire), and more remotely to the Vedic and Sanskrit languages. About the language of the Medes we know very little. Judging from the Median names that we know, and from the fact that Darius used the same Aryan language for the great Behistun inscription in Media as he did for those he had incised in Persia, we may assume that the Old Median language differed only dialectically from the Old Persian. Still, the inscriptions of the younger Achoemenids show that the Old Persian was then already in decline, and perhaps supplanted by a younger dialect or by the widespread Aramaic. Some scholars call the second of the three languages used in the Achaemenian inscriptions Median. If so, it would not be the language of the rulers, who were certainly Aryans, but the idiom of the conquered race, who may have constituted the majority of the population. In all probability the second language is better called Susian or Neo-Susian, as the idiom of the province where the Persian kings had their principal residence could hardly be wanting in their inscriptions.

5. System of writing.[edit]

The system of writing used for the Persian text of the Achaemenian inscriptions is one of those commonly called cuneiform. It has been taken for granted that it was taken by the Persians either from the Babylonian or Assyrian, or as some think, from the Susian, cuneiform. An accurate comparative study of the three systems, however, shows clearly that this is not the case. The Susians reduced the many hundreds of Babylonian signs to some hundred and twelve, but retained the syllabic character of the writing, the same signs for the same or cognate sounds, and the use of determinative signs with the same signification. Not so the Persians. All they took from their predecessors was the wedge in three shapes - [picture of cuneiform sign goes here], [picture of cuneiform sign goes here], and [picture of cuneiform sign goes here]. They rejected all determinatives, only separating the words by a sloping wedge [picture of cuneiform sign goes here], and, instead of a syllabary, they composed a real alphabet of thirty-six signs, none of which corresponds to the sign expressing the same sound in the Babylonian or Susian writing, or looks like a modification of it. If they had intended only to simplify the older syllabaries, they would at least have retained the simple vowel signs of the Babylonians ; but for a, i, and u they write [picture of cuneiform sign goes here], [picture of cuneiform sign goes here], and [picture of cuneiform sign goes here] instead of [picture of cuneiform sign goes here], [picture of cuneiform inscription goes here] and [picture of cuneiform inscription goes here]. Therefore, it is clear that they made independent combinations of the wedges. It is hardly conceivable, however, that they would have taken such trouble, only for the purpose of incising a few inscriptions, as the cuneiform, being only destined to be carved in stone or on clay tablets, could not be used for what had to be written on other material. They wrote royal annals, official documents, letters, and communications from the king to the Iranian satraps in their own language, and even the Aramaic or Greek despatches sent to the satraps and other governors of Western Asia and Egypt were translations of Persian originals. Now, for this purpose they apparently used, not the old Pahlavi, which appears first on the coins of the Arsacids, and, as its name indicates, is of Parthian origin, but one of the Aramaean alphabets of Babylonia or Assyria, adapted to their own idiom, and it is on such an already existing alphabet that the Old Persian cuneiform appears to be based. At any rate, in adopting this simple and practical method of writing instead of the clumsy system of their new subjects, the Persians showed great originality and a sound sense of the character of their language.

Weissbach (in ZDMG 48 664) tries to prove that the Persian cuneiform was invented not earlier than under Darius Hystaspis. Hut if the inscription of Cyrus, found at Murghab, refers to Cyrus the Great, which is most probable, not to Cyrus the Younger, the brother of Artaxerxes I., as Weissbach holds, the Persian cuneiform must have been in use at least in Cambyses time. Other arguments against Weissbach are urged by Ed. Meyer, GA 3:49.

6. Literature.[edit]

We do not know whether there ever was a written literature, properly so-called, in this Medo-Persian idiom. If there was, it is now irretrievably lost. That is not very probable. Though no longer barbarians, the subjects of the Median and Persian kings were a simple, hard-working people, and even the higher classes were given to riding and shooting more than to the cultivation of fine arts and letters. The great kings themselves were totally absorbed by the founding, organising, and maintaining of a large empire, and by constant warfare against rebels and foreign nations.

National songs, epic and lyric, they certainly had ; but these may have been transmitted orally from one generation to another. According to Pliny (HN 30:1), the Greek author Hermippus compiled his description of the Persian religion from two millions of original verses, and a well-known Persian tradition mentions two official copies of the holy scriptures of the Zoroastrians, preserved by the Achaemenian kings, one of which was burnt by Alexander, whilst the other was sent by him to Greece, to be studied and translated. There is some truth in both statements, however exaggerated they may be. But the religious documents of the Iranians were certainly composed in the language of the Avesta, even if they were not the same as the books, of which the Avesta known to us contains only the scanty remains, and this religious literature may have been the only one extant at the Medo-Persian time.

7. Religion.[edit]

The inscriptions of Darius Hystaspis and his successors prove that they were worshippers of Aura-mazda, 'the great God, who created this earth, who created this heaven, who created happiness for man', and to whom they owed their royal dignity as 'one king, one monarch over many'. It was this God who intrusted Darius with sovereign power over the land when it was full of lying rebels, and who helped him to smite them and to smother all revolt. Darius admonishes his subjects 'to obey the commands of this God, and to walk in the straight path unhesitatingly'. Now a God thus described has ceased to be a nature-god ; he is the supreme being of an ethical religion. It is true that the Achaemenids, as well as Darius, continued to worship their old clan-gods (hada bagaibish vithibish) ; but even in the Avesta Mazda, the all-wise Lord, is surrounded by a staff of minor heavenly powers, Amesha-spentas and Yazatas, partly personifications of his own attributes, partly old Iranian gods, too popular to be neglected, and therefore assimilated with some modifications by the new creed. There is no essential difference between the theology, the demonology, and the moral doctrines of the inscriptions and those of the Avesta. The Persians may not have followed all the precepts of the holy scriptures as perhaps only the Magi did ; but even the Avesta states that they were not observed everywhere among the Iranians, even in countries belonging to Mazda. The Auramazda of the inscriptions is no other than the Ahura Mazda of the Avesta. And if the Persians were Mazda-worshippers, as the younger Achaemenids certainly were, they were also Zarathustrians, for there is no other Mazdaism than the Zarathustrian. All suppositions to the contrary must be rejected as unhistorical. It has been said that the religion of the Persians, as described by Herodotus and other Greek writers, differs too much from the religion taught in the Avesta to be considered as identical with it. But there are manifest errors in Herodotus description, and it must be taken into consideration that the Greek historian only states what he had heard about the real religion of the Persian people, whilst the Avesta contains the ideals of the priests. The same argument might be used to maintain that the Bible was unknown to or at least not acknowledged as the Word of God by not a few Christian rulers and nations. Moreover, the Avesta was certainly not composed in Persia, nor even in Media proper, and the religious observances may have differed in the various provinces, according to the divergent local traditions that could not be disavowed even after the new faith was accepted. So the same gods are called bagas in Persia and Media, yazatas in the country where the Avestan language was spoken. And though the name for priests in the Avesta is only atharvans and the name magush is wholly unknown to it in that sense, it is the only name for priest in use as well in Persia as in Media, where the Magi formed a kind of tribe.

Whilst it is evident that the younger Achaemenids were Mazdayasnans we are not certain whether the same may be said of their predecessors of the older branch and of the Median kings. Those scholars who think that Zarathustra was a contemporary of Darius' father Hystaspes (Vishtaspa) cannot but regard them as the first confessors of the reformed religion, and others, though rejecting the premiss, equally hold that the Zoroastrian faith did not spread in Media and Persia till Darius I. ascended the throne, perhaps even later. According to both, Cyrus, Cambyses, and the kings of Media were polytheists, daevayasnans as the Avesta calls them. Others again, and among them such historians as Noldeke and Ed. Meyer, think it most probable that, at least from Phraortes (Fravartish) - which even means 'confessor' - downwards, all the rulers of Media and Persia were Mazda-worshippers. The writer of this article is of the same opinion, on grounds developed elsewhere (see 21, below) more amply than is here possible. If Cyrus, on his Babylonian cylinder, calls himself a worshipper of Marduk, as Cambyses appears on Egyptian monuments as an adorer of the gods of Memphis and Sais, it was only 'the priests' diplomacy' to which the kings did not object for political reasons. It has been truly said that trained historians (historisch geschulten, Noldeke) could not be led astray by such royal decrees. Besides, Darius and Xerxes, though avowed Mazdayasnans, did quite the same.

Still, if the Zoroastrian religion was that of the kings and of the ruling race and the upper classes in Persia and Media - in a Susian inscription Auramazda is called the god of the Aryans (annap arryanam] - it cannot be denied, and even the Avesta admits, that the worship of the old gods subsisted among the nomadic tribes and in various of the more remote parts of Iran. Mazdaism was never the generally accepted faith of all the Iranians. Not before the Sasanids was it the only tolerated religion of the State, and even under the Achaemenids it may have been divided into different sects. (For a description of the Zarathustrian religion, see ZOROASTRIANISM. )

8. Art and architecture.[edit]

Like the religion of the Hebrews, the national religion of the Aryans of Iran, with its tendency to monotheism, its vague personification of ethical ideas, and powers of nature, its sober and generally prosaic character, was not fitted to create or develop a national art. Its cult required no large and splendid temples, but only some small and simple places of worship and altars in the open air. The only image of the deity we know of is the human figure in the winged circle, which is fre quently seen hovering about the king s head, and is commonly thought to represent Auramazda or his fravashi, but may as well be meant for the fravashi of the king himself. Even this is borrowed from the Assyrians, who themselves had imitated it from the Egyptians. The statues of the goddess Anahita, which, as Berossos (frg. 16) tells us, were erected by Artaxerxes Mnemon at Babylon, Susa, and Ekbatana, and to which a passage of her Yasht seems to allude, were doubtless of foreign origin, as (it is all but certain) was the new cult and even the goddess herself, in spite of her pure Iranian name. Nevertheless, it cannot be said that Persian architecture and sculpture have been borrowed or even imitated from their western neighbours, for they have indeed a character of its own. It is called eclectic by high authorities, and in a certain sense it is. But it is not entirely deficient in originality. The able artists who planned and adorned the admirable palaces of Persepolis and Susa were mostly inspired by Assyro-Babylonian models, and they asssimilated also not a few Egyptian motives ; but, perhaps under the influence of what they had learned from Greek art in Asia Minor, they created a new style of building and sculpture which, by its elegance and taste, its boldness and finish, surpasses all oriental art in antiquity. It has been suggested that only Greeks, either captives or adventurers, could have done this, and that no Persians, tillers of the soil and warriors as they were, could ever have produced works of art of such excellence. This may be true in a measure. Whilst they may have had Greeks as technical advisers, and even as craftsmen of a higher class, it is improbable that a Greek would have conceived a plan of building so far different from his own standard of beauty, that, notwithstanding all its merits and charm, it must have seemed to him only adapted to the taste of barbarians. At any rate, Persian art is an artificial growth; it is a hot-house plant. It was invented only by the king's command, and lived only by the king's grace; therefore it did not develop. In two centuries it was not improved, but gradually decliaed. With the Achaemenids it rose, and with them it disappears.

9. Civilisation.[edit]

What is true of Persian art and architecture may also be said to a certain extent of their civilisation in general. The Medes led the way, and the Persians for a long time their vassals, followed, not only imitating the Median equipment, but adopting also the organisation Cyaxares had given to the at my and (we may be sure) much more that was new to them before, and that was borrowed by the Medes from the older nations they had conquered. Not that the Medo-Persians, before they came into contact with a more refined culture, had been an uncivilised nation. As Aryans proud of their Aryan descent, feeling their superiority to the aborigines whom they brought under their rule, they were a young, healthy, vigorous people, chivalrous and valiant, generous even to their enemies, though severe and even cruel to rebels and traitors. Their manners, while still unspoiled by opulence and luxury, were simple, except that they freely indulged in spirituous liquors. They hated nothing more than lying, and their given word was held sacred even where others proved false. But, as Herodotus tells us, they were prone to imitate strangers and to adopt foreign customs. The Medes inherited, with the empire of the Assyrians, their ancient civilisation. The Persians, after the conquest of Susa, found themselves in the capital of a still more ancient monarchy, known for its love of splendour and rich attire, and could hardly escape its influence. Then came the invasion of Babylonia, of Lydia and the Greek cities of Asia Minor, of Egypt. This led to the awakening of slumbering powers, but also, and perhaps in a greater degree, to moral degeneration. In marrying their nearest relations the Achaemenids of the younger branch followed the example of the Egyptians, for if the next-of-kin marriage (hvaetvadata), mentioned in the Avesta, was in its origin an Iranian institution, it was certainly restricted to the second degree of kinship, and only meant to keep the Aryan blood pure. From the Greeks the Persians learnt other sexual aberrations ; and their court, where the heads of the first families were expected to appear regularly, and where even the young nobles were educated, soon became depraved by the bad consequences of harem life, by the arrogance of the eunuchs, and by the intrigues of foreign favourites and ambitious politicians.

10. Chronology.[edit]

For the chronology of the Median empire we are dependent entirely on Herodotus and Ctesias, though some synchronisms with Assyrian history may help us in a few cases. Ctesias is not to be trusted ; his list of Median kings and the more than three centuries assigned by him as the total duration of their reigns, are equally fantastic. The computation of Herodotus is better, but also partly artificial. The reigns of 22, 40, and 35 years he assigns to Phraortes, Cyaxares, and Astyages may be nearly correct ; but the 53 years for Deioces serve only to fill up the round number of 150. The date of 647 B.C. for the beginning of Phraortes reign corresponds with the date of the subjection of Babylon by Asur-bani-pal, and the troubled state of the Assyrian empire during the gigantic struggle against a mighty confederation was indeed very favourable to the founding of some central power among the chieftains of Media. Though victorious over its rebellious vassals and afterwards over Elam, its hereditary foe, Assyria seems to have exhausted its own powers in those wars and to have rapidly declined during Asur-bani-pal s last years. Under the Sargonids who preceded him, Media appears still to have been divided into small principalities. It cannot have been a monarchy before 647 ; but this may be the date of its foundation.

For the chronology of the Persian empire we have the Canon of Ptolemy, which is certainly to be trusted, the Babylonian contract tablets dated under the reigns of the Persian kings, and the synchronisms of Greek history.

See CHRONOLOGY, 25, Table iii. Best edition of Ptolemy's Canon in Wachsmuth, KM. in das Stud. d. alt. Gesch., 305-306. Cp also Ed. Meyer, Forschungen z. alt. Gesch. n., en. 6, Ckron. Forschungen, 436+


We now give a short survey of the history of the Median and Persian empires.

11. Deioces.[edit]

According to Herodotus the Median tribes, living in a kind of anarchy and constantly quarrelling, but wishing to stop these everlasting raids and robberies, and to unite against the common foe, chose a king Deioces, the son of Phraortes, who fixed his residence in Ecbatana and held a regular court.

The name Deioces appears in Sargon's Annals as Dayaukku, a Shaknu or governor of Man, who with Rusa the Urartian plotted against Ullusun, the king of Man and vassal of the Assyrians, but was led captive by Sargon with his whole family and brought to Hamate (Hamath in Syria?). It is clear that this Mannaean conspirator, who was deported by the Assyrian king, cannot be the king who founded the Median empire.

Elsewhere a Bit-Dayaukku is mentioned in south western Media, near Ellip. This Dayaukku, after whose house the Assyrians called his country, as e.g. , they called Israel Bit-Humri and southern Chaldea or Sealand Bit-Yakin, must have been the head of a princely or royal house of some importance, unless Dahyauka (as the Iranian form would be) were only a general title, corresponding to the Avesta dahvyuma, and meaning 'the lord of the land' (der Landesherr), as the present author suggested in his Bab.-Ass. Gesch. 263, n. 3. Glorified by popular tradition, this Dahyauka (he may have been the head of a dynasty or the chosen r]yffj.div [hegemoon] of the Median tribes) grew into the founder of an empire, the Deiokes of Herodotus. The real founder of the monarchy, however, can have been only Phraortes, though a series of leading chieftains presiding over a confederation of tribes may have preceded him for even a much longer time than the fifty-three years assigned to Deiokes by Herodotus. However inviting it might be to regard the list of Median kings before Astyages, given by Ctesias, as comprising the names of such leading chieftains, the idea must be rejected, as the whole list is apparently a product of Ctesias fancy, invented only to contradict Herodotus.

12. Phraortes, 647-625.[edit]

Phraortes (Fravartish, cp the Avesta fravareta, 'confessor', which is only etymologically connected with fravashi, 'guardian spirit' ) is said to have first subjugated Persia and afterwards , little by little, nearly the whole of Asia. At last, however, the Assyrian power, though already on its decline, proved too strong for him. An expedition against a king of Ashshur, whom Berossos calls Saracos, was unsuccessful, and Phraortes himself succumbed. We may accept these statements as historical, though admitting that there is some exaggeration in what is told of Phraortes' conquests, and though we cannot explain why Sardanapalus (Ashur-bani-pal) is called Saracus. For it is this king only who can be meant. The subjugation of Persia most probably falls in the reign of Teispes (Cispis) - who is the first Persian ruler, called by Cyrus the Great 'King of Ansan' - or a short time earlier. Elam, to which Ansan certainly belonged, had just been annihilated by Ashur-bani-pal, and was bereft of all its old splendour and power ; it therefore fell an easy prey to a young and valiant nation like the Persians, who, though unable to resist the Median conqueror, may have striven to extend their power, as a compensation for the loss of their independence. They found an opportunity to do so in the year 625 B.C., when at the same time Media was defeated by Assyria and lost its king, Ashur-bani-pal died, and Babylon under Nabopolassar threw off the yoke of Ashshur, so that none of the three neighbouring powers could prevent the Persians from penetrating into the very heart of Elam. It is understood that a large part of Elam may have remained independent for many years afterwards.

Jer. 49:35-38, where the fall of Elam is prophesied, and which the redactor ascribes to Jeremiah as being spoken by him about 597 B.C., cannot refer to this first invasion of the Persians, at least if the date is accurate. Twelve years later Ezekiel (32:24) speaks of Elam as having already descended into Sheol. [On these passages see PROPHET.] Is. 22:6, regarded by some scholars (Prasek, and others) as belonging to this time, is much older and dates from the time of Sennacherib and Hezekiah. Forty years later Cyrus the Great was master of the whole country.

13. Cyaxares, 624-585.[edit]

Phraortes' son and successor Cyaxares (Uvakhshatara) saw at once why his father, though victorious in his struggle with the rude and semi-barbarous tribes of Iran - was overcome by the veteran-warriors of such a military state as Assyria. His army was, in fact, deficient in training and organisation. Wishing to avenge his father, Cyaxares set himself to work, divided his troops into lancers, archers, and horsemen, and fortified his capital Ecbatana ( Hagmatana, 'the place of gathering' ). Then, feeling stronger, he renewed his attack, defeated the Assyrians in a pitched battle, and invested Nineveh. Soon, however, he had to raise the siege. A wild horde of those northern nomads, included by the Greeks under the common name of Scythians and called by the Persians Saka, had invaded Media, and Cyaxares had to hurry home.

Whether this invasion was connected with that other more terrible irruption of Scythians by which western Asia was devastated, is not certain. The Scythians with whom Cyaxares had to deal probably came from the NE. of the Caspian Sea, and, though of the same kin as the Iranians, were savage or at least barbarous nomads. They did not reign in Media, for Cyaxares was neither dethroned nor banished by them. They seem, however, to have domineered over the peaceful householders, and as a kind of Janissaries or Mamelukes to have even held the court in check. It is said that the king got rid of them by killing their chiefs at a banquet, after having made them drunk. It is an old and very common folk-tale, and is only the popular substitute for the historical fact that such a gang of barbarians, rendered careless by an easy victory, and enervated by indulging too freely in all the unwonted luxuries of civilised life, could not but be overpowered at last by the shrewd policy and the superior tactics of a real king. It seems that Cyaxares did not chase the Saka, but that they submitted to him and joined his army. In a few years this result was obtained. The whole drama was played between the first and second expeditions to Assyria. The second ended in the fall of Nineveh (607 or 606 B.C.), the first, preceded by the military reform, cannot have happened much earlier than 620 B.C., 625 or 624 being the year of the accession of Cyaxares. If Herodotus is right in stating that the Scythians ruled Asia for twenty-eight years, this cannot refer to Media, where they did not even rule.

Cyaxares now felt able to renew his attack on Assyria, which, though no more than a shadow of what it was before, still hindered the Medes in extending their empire to the NW. This time he was successful and destroyed Nineveh about 607-606 B.C. For it was to Cyaxares, not to Astyages, as Berossos and those who depend on him have it, that the fall of the old imperial city was due. It is difficult to decide whether Nabopolassar and his Babylonians joined the Medes as allies against the common foe. Both Ctesias and Berossos tell us so, and even without their testimony we should expect it. Allies they were, and the prince royal of Babylon was married to Cyaxares daughter. The rising power of the Chaldeans was not to be neglected, and on the other side it was their interest to take an active part in the proceedings against a dynasty which, though paralysed, always claimed the suzerainty over Babylonia. If Herodotus does not mention the Chaldeans, he may have followed a one-sided Medo-Persian tradition. Lastly, it may be doubted whether Media would have left the Chaldeans in undisturbed possession of all the southern and south western provinces of the Assyrian monarchy, which Nabopolassar s great son not only maintained, but extended, if they had remained inactive in this final struggle for the hegemony of Western Asia. At any rate, Media played the principal part, and it would now direct its victorious arms against Armenia, Cappadocia, and the rich and mighty kingdom of the Lydians. The Lydian frontier, however, was destined to be the limit of the Median conquests. After five years of fighting the war was still undecided, and both parties seem to have been rather tired of it. At least, when, on 28th May 585, a great battle, probably near the Halys, was interrupted by a total eclipse of the sun - the same that Thales the Milesian is said to have predicted - they accepted it as a divine warning and ceased all hostilities. Syennesis of Cilicia, probably chosen by Lydia, and Nebuchadrezzar, erroneously called Labynetus by Herodotus, chosen by Media, acted as arbiters, and peace was concluded by their mediation. Astyages, who seems in the meantime to have ascended the throne, since Phraortes is said to have died in the year of the battle, married the daughter of Alyattes, the king of Lydia.

14. Astyages, 584-550.[edit]

Astyages (Istuvegu in the Nab. Cyr. Annals, cp Ctesias Astyigas) is called by the Greeks (Herod., Aesch. Pers. 766-767) a son of Phraortes; since however he is called by the Babylonians king of the Ummanmanda - which, whatever it may mean, cannot have indicated the Medes, but rather (probably) the Scythians, as Cyrus is said to have slain the numerous Ummanmanda with his few troops - since moreover the rebels, who, in the reign of Darius, rose in Media and Sagartia do not call themselves sons of Astyages, but pretend to belong to the family of Cyaxares, Winckler (Unters. z. alt. Gesch, 124-125) suggests, that Astyages was neither the son nor the lawful successor of Phraortes, but revived the Scythian supremacy in Media. It cannot be denied that this hypothesis is very alluring. To the arguments of Winckler may be added, that Cyrus himself, in his cylinder, glories in having defeated the Guti, the nomads of Mesopotamia, and the widespread Ummanmanda, the nomads of Iran, so that he himself seems to have regarded his conquest of Media as the liberation of that country from the yoke of a usurper. The man who delivered the greater part of the army of Astyages into the hands of Cyrus, Harpagus, belonged to the royal family. Finally, the name of Astyages has no Iranian sound, and is altogether unlike those of his predecessors. Be this as it may, Astyages reign seems not to have been a glorious one. The only thing we know of it is, that he encroached on the dominions of Babylonia, then weakened by internal troubles and by the government of a mere antiquary, and placed a garrison in Harran, which the Chaldean kings regarded as belonging to their empire. As soon, however, as the Persians under Cyrus revolted, the Ummanmanda from all parts of the empire were ordered home to reinforce the army. Astyages may at the outset have defeated the Persians, and even have chased them as far as Pasargadae ; we could believe it, if it were not Ctesias who told it. It is certain, however, that Astyages' own troops gave him up to the enemy, and that the man who betrayed him was Harpagus, whom Cyrus afterwards rewarded by bestowing on him an all but royal dignity in Asia Minor. In this the Babylonian account and Herodotus agree ; they are mutually complementary.

15. Significance of Median empire.[edit]

The history of the Median empire, very little of which unfortunately is known, is interesting as the first attempt of an Aryan or Indo-European people to found a great and conquering monarchy. But it was not much more than an attempt. In itself, the Median empire had no such great importance. Compared with the Assyrian empire which preceded, or with the Persian which followed it, it seems rather insignificant. It did not supplant the Assyrians, for this had been done already by the Chaldeans. All it could do, and this only after having failed at first and with the aid of the king of Babylon, was, to give the death-blow to the dying capital of the old empire, and to appropriate a part of the booty. It was unable to conquer Lydia and felt obliged to respect the still mighty dynasty of Nabopolassar. Still, what it achieved was by no means contemptible. It liberated Iran from the Semitic suzerainty ; it united the ever quarrelling tribes under a central power ; it laid the foundations of a higher civilisation, and so paved the way for that Persian empire, which in a short time equalled, if it did not outrival, the once supreme monarchies of Babylon and Assyria.

16. Cyrus.[edit]

With the title king of 'Anshan and Parsu', Cyrus, a descendant of Achasemenes (Hakhamanish), ascended the throne of the empire. This does not mean that a new monarchy, the Persian, supplanted the Median, but rather that there was a change of dynasty, by which the Median was developed into a Medo-Persian empire, differing from the former only in this, that the Persian branch, hitherto subject, was henceforth uppermost. The Greeks make scarcely any difference between Medes and Persians, and the latter ever regarded the Medes as their nearest kin, and, provided they respected the Persian supremacy, treated them with marked distinction, and entrusted them with high offices and honours.

Cyrus (O. Pers. Kurush the nominative, Bab. Kurash} was certainly of royal descent.

When Herodotus makes him the son of a private Persian noble married to the daughter of Astyages, and Ctesias the son of a common herdsman, they only repeat two different traditions of a popular story, such as Orientals especially - and not only they - like to tell about the origin of great monarchs and conquerors, who, from an obscure and modest position, unexpectedly rose to large power and world-wide renown. (See CYRUS, 1, to which must be added, that Darius calls Hakhamanis the father of Cyrus's great-grandfather Cishpish, who is therefore not merely his descendant ; he always distinguishes between putra, 'son', and taumaya, 'of the family, descendant of'. )

After having taken Ecbatana, the first care of Cyrus should have been to secure his supremacy over the Iranian provinces of the Median dominion. Before he could bring this to an end, however, he was compelled to wait for a more convenient season, since Croesus, the king of the Lydians, had invaded Cappadocia and devastated certain cities which, by the treaty between Alyattes and Astyages, belonged to the Medes. Cyrus hurried to the frontier, and a battle was fought in the district of Pteria, near Sinope, which, according to Herodotus, remained undecided. Croesus, however, seeing that the Persian army exceeded his own in number, thought it wiser to retreat, and to wait till the auxiliary troops of his allies, on which he reckoned, should have arrived. But he made the mistake of disdaining his enemy, and disbanded his army, feeling sure that Cyrus would not venture to march upon Sardis. This proved a fatal error. The Persian army advanced with great speed, invested the capital, and took it within a fortnight. Croesus was taken prisoner, but not put to death by the conqueror, who treated him kindly, and even assigned him a city for his living.

The well-known narrative of Herodotus and Xanthus about the pyre on which Croesus was to be burned with some of his subjects, but from which he was released by Cyrus's curiosity and the favour of the gods, cannot be regarded as history. Ctesias, though not partial to Cyrus, knows nothing of it, but ascribes the liberation of Croesus to another miracle.

Cyrus being now master of Lydia, returned to his country, where much had still to be done before the whole of Iran had submitted to his rule. The conquest of the Ionian cities, which had refused to accept his suzerainty instead of that of the Lydians, and the subjugation of the valorous Lydians, he left to his generals, principally to Harpagus. Even the government of Lydia, where there was a single and last revolt, was safe in their hands.

It was only (seven or eight years after the fall of Sardis) in 539 that Cyrus could venture to grapple with the power which even Cyaxares had not dared to assail - Babylon. The overthrow of this monarchy and the capture of the imperial city is related elsewhere (see DARIUS, 2 ; BABYLONIA, 69). It brought Cyrus to the acme of his power, and made it easy for him to extend it to the shores of the Mediterranean S. of Asia Minor. There is no record of any serious resistance on the part of the nations subject to Babylon ; and certainly the Phoenician cities, though so often rebellious against Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia, seem to have borne the light yoke of the Persians without reluctance.

On Cyrus's relations to the Hebrews see CYRUS, 3-6.

Next to nothing is known about Cyrus's doings after the fall of Babylon in 538. It appears that he did not make it his residence, but installed his son Cambyses as viceroy, preferring to live at Susa, and especially perhaps at his own Persian capital Pasargadae, which he had built and adorned out of the plunder of Ecbatana. Probably he was for most of the time engaged in one or another military expedition. He died on the battlefield about 529, nobody knows where, and the various sources mention different names for the remote and barbarous tribe which at last defeated and killed him. Whether his tomb at Pasargadct (Murghab) was only a mausoleum erected by his son to his memory, or whether it really contained his last remains, it is difficult to say.

Cyrus was neither the bloodthirsty tyrant he is represented in some stories current among the Greeks, nor the ideal ruler of Xenophon's Cyropiedia. It may be even doubted whether he was a great ruler, as he seems not to have done much for the organisation of his colossal empire. But that he broke with the hated Assyro-Babylonian system, respected every nationality, allowed every people to retain its own religion, laws, customs, language in its own home, proves him to have been a man of large views and, as such, a real statesman, highminded and generous, an Aryan of the Aryans. At any rate he was a great commander, and, if we may believe Herodotus, also a good tactician, one of those military geniuses who are born, not made.

17. Cambyses.[edit]

Cambyses (Kambujiya, or perhaps better Kabujiya), the son of Cyrus and Kassandana (also of Achaemenian descent), followed his father as ruler of the empire and devoted the first four years of his reign to the preparation of an expedition against Egypt, which, as long as it was independent, threatened his south-western frontier. Polycrates of Samos, the kings of Cyprus, and the Phoenician cities were his allies, and with their help he gathered a large fleet, commanded by the Halicarnassian Phanes, who, till then in Egyptian service, had gone over to him. Before he left Persia, Cambyses secretly killed his own brother Bardiya, called Smerdis by the Greeks, who therefore, according to an ingenious remark of Noldeke, cannot have been the governor of the eastern provinces of Iran, as Ctesias pretends. Then he put himself at the head of his army, entered Egypt, defeated the Egyptian army near Pelusium, and was soon the lord of the whole country. The Egyptian priests represented him to Herodotus as a brutal and cruel tyrant, an epileptic, unable to command his passions, as rude to his own wife and kin as to others, a scoffer, who laughed at the images of Ptah in Memphis, burned the mummy of Amasis, and with impious hand killed the sacred Apis. On the contrary, genuine Egyptian monuments depict him as a pious worshipper of those same gods, and a high priest of Sais praises him as the protector of his cult. The official representation on one side, popular gossip, inspired by national hate, on the other, - neither the one nor the other is to be trusted. But we may be sure that Cambyses action in Egypt was unwise and impolitic, and that he could not control his violent passions. Certain it is, that even at home he was not popular. His successor Darius states that as soon as the king had left his country a rebellious spirit showed itself in all the provinces, Persia and Media not excepted. At last a Magush, called Gaumata (Gometes, Justin), who knew of the murder of Bardiya, and indeed may have perpetrated it himself, put forth a claim to be the real Smerdis, and was speedily acknowledged as such by the whole empire. Those who doubted kept silent, for they knew that their life was in danger, the Magian having killed every one to whom the secret was known. That he really reigned is proved by Babylonian contract tables dated from the first year of Barziya. In the meantime Cambyses was hurrying home, though not yet aware of all that had happened ; but when the terrible news reached him in Syria, he killed himself.

18. Darius.[edit]

Upon this a member of a side-branch of the Achaemenids, named Darius (Darayavaush), son of Hystaspes ( Vishtaspa), aided by six other representatives of the highest Persian nobility, succeeded in murdering the false Smerdis, and ascended the throne (522). (Cp DARIUS. ) Darius states in his inscription at Behistun, that he restored the temples the Mage had destroyed and set right everything else that the usurper had altered ; though it is not clear what kind of religious and social reforms 'Smerdis' had introduced. This, however, was only a first step. An arduous task awaited the young king. A spirit of rebellion was fermenting through the whole empire. 'There was much lying in the land'. In nearly every province, except those of western Asia, a pretender rose, and had to be put down. The history of these struggles and of the pacification of the empire cannot be narrated here in detail. Nor can we follow Darius in his useless andunsuccessful expedition against the Scythians, his crushing of the Ionian revolt, and his war with Greece ; all this rather belongs to the history of Greece than to that of Persia.

Darius was not so great a general as Cyrus, but he was a greater king. He defined the rights and duties of the Satraps (Khshathrapavan, jamc*nn), the governors of the provinces, who were allowed a large autonomy, but were controlled by the 'eye of the king', the first counsellor of the realm or other high officials, and, though themselves commanders of an army corps, were held in check by the garrisons of the fortresses, immediately under the king's command. To keep the reins of government in the hands of the central power, Darius constructed a net of highways and instituted a regular system of posts. He substituted a new and better coinage for that of the Lydians, which was more primitive ; did his best to promote navigation and commerce - for example, by digging a canal between the Nile and the Red Sea. Instead of the compulsory presents which had in the olden time been extorted from the population, he assigned taxes for each province. The Persian nobles sneered at this and called the king a chaffer (/cd-TTT/Xos [kapelos]) ; it seemed to them undignified, just as the mediaeval knights would have thought it ; but the people and certainly the state profited by it. Darius did not enlarge the empire of Cyrus ; but he maintained it under great difficulties, and made it into an organised state. He could not indeed undo the mischief wrought in Egypt by Cambyses ; his wise policy and accumulated favours could not withhold it from revolting ; but perhaps if he had lived he would have recovered possession of it. The character of Darius stands very high ; even the Greeks, whose national feelings he severely hurt, spoke of him with respect. And it was no vain boast when he claimed to have been neither a liar nor a despot, but to have ruled according to the law.

19. Xerxes.[edit]

Unhappily, the son who succeeded Darius on the throne was in all points his inferior - Xerxes (Khshayarsha), who reigned from 485-464. He is the king called Ahashwerosh in the book of Esther (cp AHASUERUS). With him the decline of the monarchy began, and it was only the solid foundation Darius I. had given it that held it together for so long a time.

Of Persian history after Darius we know nothing except from foreign, and especially Greek, sources. Some of his successors record in their inscriptions the buildings they erected, either for their own use or in honour of the gods, and Xerxes, like his father, gives a list of the nations he ruled ; but upon the events of their reign they are silent. Their struggles with the Greeks, who more than once withstood them bravely, and whom they never were able to subjugate, belong to the most interesting parts of ancient oriental history, but do not fall within the scope of the present work. Perhaps the Greeks, if they had been less divided by internal dissensions and had not had so many traitors in their ranks, disappointed in their ambition and greedy for money, might have succeeded in wresting from the Persians at least the supremacy of Asia Minor. What we gather from classic writers as to the affairs of the Persian court is a sad history of alternate weakness and cruelty, corruption, murders, intrigues, and broken faith. The vainglorious and at the same time cowardly Xerxes was succeeded by Artaxerxes (Artakhshathra) I., of the Long Hand, under whose reign Nehemiah his cupbearer and Ezra the scribe were allowed to go to Jerusalem to help their fellow-countrymen in their miserable state (cp ARTAXERXES). He was not a bad, but a very weak man, governed by courtiers and women.

20. Darius II. Nothus and his successors.[edit]

We may pass over the short reign of Xerxes II. , who was murdered like his namesake. His successor was Darius II., surnamed Nothus, who left the supreme power in the hands of his cruel and troublesome sister and consort Parysatis. Perhaps if she had succeeded, after her husband s death, in putting the sceptre in the hands of her beloved son, the ambitious but energetic and able Cyrus, the fate of the empire might have been different. But Artaxerxes II. , surnamed Mnemon, ascended the throne, and during the long reign (404-358) of this mild and friendly but lazy monarch the power of Persia rapidly declined. It was he who suffered the foreign semi-idolatrous cult of the goddess called Anahita by the Iranians to be introduced even in Media and Persia. Under his son and successor Ochus ( Vahuka), who as king adopted the name Artaxerxes III. , the monarchy seemed to revive. Cruel, harsh, murderous, indifferent as to the means which he selected to realise his plans, he was intensely hated. By his energy he smothered every revolt, humiliated the Egyptians (whom he deeply offended by ridiculing and persecuting their religion), the Phoenicians, and probably also the Jews (cp ISAIAH ii., 9, n, 21), and really restored for the time the Persian supremacy. Just, however, when the Macedonian power was rising, and with it the greatest danger that ever threatened the empire, Artaxerxes was murdered by Bagoas, an Egyptian eunuch, the same who pacified Judaea in 348, and (when Johanan the high priest had killed his brother Jesus) entered the temple to the great offence of the pious (Jos. Ant. 11:7:1, 297 ; cp ISRAEL, 66). Bagoas placed on the throne Arses ; but when the king tried to get rid of his patron, Bagoas poisoned him. Bagoas then gave the crown to a great-grandson of Darius II., Darius surnamed Codomannus, the worst choice he could well have made. Only a Cyrus, perhaps not even a Darius Hystaspis, might have held his own against the terrible onslaught and the tactics of such a general as Alexander the Great, and so saved the empire. Here, however, was a king no better than Xerxes, valiant perhaps in ordinary fights, but quickly confused in great emergencies, and in no wise equal to the gigantic task imposed on his weak shoulders. His tragic fate cannot make us blind to his great faults ; but at the same time we cannot but feel disgusted at the burning of Persepolis by the conqueror. The flames which devoured the graceful buildings of the imperial city were to announce to the world that the lance of the Persian, which formerly reached so far, now lay broken for ever.

21. Bibliography.[edit]

The best surveys of Medo-Persian history down to the time of Alexander are those of Th. Noldeke (art. Persia, Pt. i. in EBP) [reprinted with emendations and additions in Aufseitze zur pers. Gesch. 1, 1884]) and F. Justi ( Geschichte Irans, in Gr. d. iran. Philologie, 23-4 1900); cp his Gesch. d. alt. Persiens in Oncken s AG 1 1 4. F. Spiegel, Eran. Alterthnms- kunde, 2, Bk.5, pp. 236-632, Masp. 3, and above all E. Meyer s GA 1-3, 1884-1901 (cp Entstch. and {orschungen z. alt. Gesch. 2 437-511 [Chronology]), should also be consulted. Interesting monographs are (among others) : V. Floigl, Cyrus and Herodot (1881). J.V. Prasek, Media u. d. Haus des Kyaxares, 1890; Forschungen z. Gesch. d, Alterth. 1. Kambyses u. d. Ueber- lieferung, Leipz. 1897,8, Z. Chronologic d. Kyros, Z. der Behi.stuninschrift, 1, Leipz. 1900, Die ersten Jahre Dareios des Hystaspiden, u.s.w., in Beitrdge z. alt. Gesch., ed. by C. F. Lehmann, i., 1 26-50. Th. A. Lincke s endeavour to re habilitate Cambyses in Zur Ldsung der Kambysesfrage (1891) is ingenious but not convincing.

The O. Pers. cuneiform inscriptions first deciphered by Sir H. Rawlinson, Lassen,and Henfey have been satisfactorily edited by Fr. Spiegel, APK, 18811 ^ ; more recently by Weissbach and Bang (1893). Cp Weissbach, Die Achiiinenideninschriften zweiter Art (1890), and Bezold and Haupt, Die Ach. Inschr. Babylon, text (1^2).

For the bibliography of Zoroastrianism, see ZOROASTRIANISM, and Tiele, Gesch. v. d. Godsdienst in de Oudheid, 2, 1901.

F. B. , I ; C. P. T. , 2-21.