Encyclopaedia Biblica/Satraps-Scythians

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Encyclopaedia Biblica
Thomas Kelly Cheyne and John Sutherland Black
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(D^-npTIN, and JT, ahashdarpenim, - in ; CATRATTAI [satrapai], but CTpATHfOi [strategoi] in Esth. 3:12 [not La] ; Vg. Satrapae ; AV 'princes', or 'lieutenants', RV always 'satraps') are mentioned in Ezra 8:36 (LXX SioiKr/Tal [dioiketai]) Esth. 3:12, 8:9 (LXX{BALB[beta]} OIKOVO/J.OI. [oikonomoi]), 9:3, Dan. 3:2-3, 3:27, 6:2-5, 6:7-8. {1} It is the O. Pers. khshatrapavan (khshatra, 'realm, empire' + pa, 'to protect' ), not to be confounded with the Avest. shoithrapan, which has a different meaning. The division of the empire into satrapies is due to Darius I. Hystaspis. Though really bound to an implicit obedience to the king's orders and controlled by other officials, the satraps grew into a kind of viceroys, who exercised in their provinces an all but sovereign power, and in their household imitated the royal court. See, further, PERSIA, 18, SHERIFFS; and cp A. Buchholz, Quastiones de Persarum satrapis (Leipsic, 1896). c. P. T.

1 <ra.Tpaita.i [satrapai] does not occur in Dan. 3:2-3, 3:27, 6:7-8

2 And in 2 K. 23:8 which originally spoke of c"! < J B .1 niD2 = the 'bamoth of the se'irim' (not as MT n nj B : ri = the gates); so Hoffmann in ZATW, 1882, p. 175, subsequently others (e.g., Kautzsch). For post-biblical references to C Vj s 1 , see ^ - Schwab, 'Vocabulaire d'Angelologie' (Academic des Inscriptions 10 [1897] 370 420 (s.vv. c vye 1 and Eiyipiu [sigirim]


is the EV rendering of the Heb. she'irim, in Is. 13:21, 34:14 (RV mg 'he-goats' ; American RV 'wild goats'); and RVmg in Lev 17:7, 2 Ch. 11:15 ( RV 'he-goats' ; AV 'devils' ).

1. Meaning of the term.[edit]

In these four passages 2 it is quite clear that the reference is not to the natural animal - the he-goat - which the Hebrew word sha'ir (an abbreviation for the fuller and frequent locution she'ir 'izzim) generally denotes (cp GOAT, i [4] 5). It is true that some scholars (e.g. , Hengstenberg ; similarly Baethgen in Riehm, HWB (2) 'Feldgeister') have retained this meaning by explaining the sacrifices to the she'irim referred to in Lev. and Ch. as belonging to an Egyptian cultus of the goat (cp Herod. 2:46), borrowed by the Hebrews from the Egyptians and practised by them in the wilderness and revived by Jeroboam after his residence in Egypt. But (apart from the consideration that these two references are exilic and post-exilic respectively) this interpretation fails to do justice to the passages in Isaiah.

The ancient tradition (as preserved in the versions) is substantially consistent and substantially also correct. In all four passages the versions agree in not rendering sha'ir by the equivalent of he-goat. They render either by a word denoting demon or false god, or by a term probably implying demons though signifying directly only 'hairy' - a meaning which the Hebrew word possessed (cp Gen. 27:11) and out of which the use of the word for 'he-goat' probably sprang. Thus LXX renders by Sai/j.oi ia [diamonia] or na.Ta.ia [mataia] (in 2 Ch. 11:15 there is probably a 'doublet'; TOIS i6ciAois kai TOIS jiaTcu ois [tois eidolous kai tois mataiois]), Syr. by sheda, Tg. pi s?, Vg. daemon or pilosus ; cp, further, Field s notes in the Hexapla on Is. 13:21 and 34:14.

The suggestion of the versions (see above) that sha'ir was a term for demons or a particular kind of demon is confirmed by the contexts of the five passages (including 2 K. 23:8) already mentioned. Thus in Is. 34:14 LILITH (q.v.) is also mentioned; and although certain natural animals (e.g. , wolves, jackals) are mentioned in the same connection both here and in Is. 13:21, they are not domestic animals like the goat ; moreover, we have the same combination of actual animals and demonic beings in an Assyrian description of devastation (G. Smith, Annals of Ashur-bani-pal ; see Che. on Is. 13:21). The association of demons with desert places was a prevalent element in popular belief (cp DEMONS, 3). Note, further, that the she'irim are described as dancing and calling to one another. In 2 K. 23:8, Lev. 17:7 and 2 Ch. 11:15, where the bamoth of the she'irim and sacrifices offered to them are mentioned, the term may be used in derision of false and forbidden objects of worship in general - for which abundant parallels could be cited. In Lev. 17:7, however, the association of the she'irim with the 'open field' (v. 5) suggests a connection, direct or indirect, with the custom or rite of sending a goat to Azazel on the day of Atonement (see AZAZEL).

2. Characteristics of the she'irim.[edit]

It remains to consider how far the she'irim were a clearly defined class of demons and what were their special characteristics. We have really little more than the etymology to guide us. In general it can be assumed, on the ground of the usual significance of sha'ir, that they were goat-shaped. This is not improbable, and if correct, the use of the term 'satyr' is sufficiently appropriate ; only it must be remembered that we have no reason for attributing to the Hebrew-conception the richer details that characterise the Greek. Some (e.g. , Duhm ; Marti, Gesch. d. Isr. Rel. 236) suggest that Azazel (cp above) was chief of the she'irim ; we might then compare the relation to the Greek satyr. But this is not very probable (see Cheyne's paper in ZATW, 1895 : and cp AZAZEL). Wellhausen, on the other hand, seems inclined to limit his inference from the etymology to the hairiness of these beings ; see Heid. (1) 135-136; (2) 151-152 where some Arabic parallels will be found. If she'ir (=demon), in spite of being confined to exilic and post-exilic literature (for which there may be sufficient reason ; cp DEMONS, i), is actually of early origin, probably it merely expressed the 'hairiness' of the demons ; but if late, it was most probably chosen on account of its secondary sense (goat) because these beings were regarded as goat-shaped.

Cp in general Boch. Hieroz. bk. 6:7 ; Ges. Jes. 46:5-6; Baudissin, St. 1:136+ and the article 'Feldgeister' in PRE(2) ; Mannhardt Wald-u. Feldkulte, ch. 3 ( 8 refers to a trace of Syrian goat spirits in a story of Iamblichus). G. B. G.


  • Origin (1).
  • Wars (2-3).
  • End ; character (4-5)
  • Family (6).

Saul p-INK , sha'ul, as if 'asked for', 56 ; according to Jastrow [JBL 19 (1900) 101] 'devoted', viz. , to Yahwe ; but see below [ 1, midway] ; cAOyA [saoul] [BAL]) is traditionally regarded as the first king of Israel. His story has passed through phases little less various than that of David, with which it is so closely interlaced (see DAVID). In its present form, indeed, it raises insoluble problems both of history and of character ; neither the outer nor the inner life of the heroic king is intelligible to us. Reluctant, therefore, as we may be to touch narratives which are universally interesting - though the interest partly arises from their enigmas - we cannot avoid criticising them, and we may be well assured that the gain which will result from critical thoroughness will be far greater than the seeming loss. There cannot but be a more potent attraction in narratives which can be read more nearly as they were meant to be read ; and if the historical element turns out to be less than we have supposed, we can at any rate use it with some confidence, whilst in a secondary sense even the less historical elements are of documentary value for the period to which the tra ditions in their present form can be shown to belong (see SAMUEL [BOOKS]).

1. Origin.[edit]

The traditions agree (and we shall find good reason to accept the statement) that Saul was a Benjamite of Gibeah (1 S. 9:1, 10:26, 11:4, 15:34), though the most ingenious of our modern historians (Winckler) seeks to show that he was a Gileadite. The short genealogy in 1 S. 9:1 represents his father KISH as a 'son of Bechorath' (APHIAH which follows is a corruption of 'Gibeah'), and in 10:21 Saul ben Kish is as signed to the family called MATRI [q.v.], while in 2 S. 20:1 SHEBA the Benjamite, David's opponent, is called 'ben Bichri' - i.e. , a Bichrite (cp BECHER, and see below on the 'Bezek' of 1 S. 11:8). Taking these names Bechorath, Matri, and Bichri together, and noticing LXX{L}'s reading paxeip [macheir] in 1 S. 9:1, it is difficult not to see that Saul's family, according to the tradition underlying 9:1 and 10:21, was known as Machirith (cp mi33 = n Y33 in 9:1) or Jerahme'elith (cp 6) ; cp 1 Ch. 8:29-30, where the origin of Kish is traced to 'Maachah' (a corruption of 'Jerahme'el'). In other words, the clan and family to which the first king belonged were ultimately of semi-Jerahmeelite origin. Nevertheless the early writers were quite consistent in regarding Saul as a Benjamite, for the tribe of Benjamin (as its very name may perhaps indicate) had a strong Jerahmeelite element ; this is suggestively expressed in 1 Ch. 7:7-8 where (by no mere arbitrary fiction) Jerimoth, at once son of Bela and son of Becher, is recognised as a Benjamite ; now 'JERIMOTH' is certainly not 'excelsa' [Ges.] but one of the most unmistakable popular corruptions of 'Jerahme'el'. 1

This theory suggests an explanation of the name of Saul's father Kish, which, in spite of the very plausible connection suggested by Robertson Smith (see col. 2682), is perhaps best explained as a corruption of 'Cush' (s^a) or 'Cushi' ( 1n12). Cush and Mitstsur (Mutsri) were contiguous regions in N. Arabia ; if there were Mitsrite elements in Israel (see MOSES, 4), there were, of course, equally developed Cushite elements.

1 It may no doubt be asserted that this way of regarding Saul was erroneous. It is said in 1 Ch. 7:14 of Machir, whose wife was MAACAH ( = Jerahme'elith), that he was the son of Manasseh, and Winckler holds that Saul was not a Benjamite but a Manassite of Gilead. But surely the right view is that there were both northern and southern clans of Machirite (i.e., Jerahmeelite) affinities. According to 1 Ch. 8:29-33 Kish and Saul belonged to the southern Jerahmeelites (MAACAH). This is the theory expressed above.

a. Name[edit]

The name of the king himself does not admit of as ready an explanation, and it seems to have been very much misunderstood. The key to it is probably to be found in 1 S. 1:28, where the name JXICB (Samuel) is expressly made equivalent to ^ixiy (Saul), and connected (cp v, 20) with nj^ttv (Id al], 'to ask'. It is at any rate plausible to suppose that Shemu'el and Sha'ul (also Ishmael and Shobal?) are modifications of a common original, 1 viz., the southern clan-name Shema ( = Sheba, LXX{B} ffa/j.aa [samaa], Josh. 19:27) with the afformative *? [L] or *?K ['L]. It will be remembered that elsewhere Saul (SAUL, 2 ; SHAUL) is a N. Arabian name, given both to a Simeonite and to a Mutsrite ; also that Samuel, according to tradition, was a son of JEROHAM - i.e., belonged to a clan which had Jerahmeelite (N. Arabian) affinities. It is even possible that the narrator who worked up the legends respecting Saul's connection with Samuel may have been ignorant of the seer's real name, and have selected for him one of two variants of the traditional name of the first king. 2

The view of the origin of the name 'Saul' here recommended may help to account for the fact that ancient scribes were liable to confound the two names Saul and Samuel, for evidence of which it is enough to refer to 1 S. 11:7, where the rival readings ^IXt? "inx ('after Saul') and SxiOty ION ('after Samuel') stand side by side, and 1 S. 28:12, where the cry of the 'witch of Endor' is said to have been called forth by the sight of 'Samuel', a palpable error (as Perles has pointed out) for 'Saul'. 3

The true name of the first king, however, has probably passed into oblivion, like so much besides connected with this dim far-off figure.

b. Home.[edit]

The true name of Saul's native place is perhaps recoverable. It was most probably not Gibeath-shaul (EV Gibeah of Saul), but Gibeath-shalishah (ViNtr and nc ^B may reasonably be taken to be kindred forms) ; i.e. , Shalishah was the name of the district in which this Gibeah was situated. Near it were (a) LAISH, also called in MT Laishah and Zela (both corruptions of Shalishah), and (b) Gilgal or Beth-gilgal - i.e., very probably Beth-jerahmeel (see 6). Beth-jerahmeel 4 (if we may adopt this name as the true one), which was apparently a walled city of some importance, may be regarded as the centre of Saul s clan. As we shall presently see, it was the city which this hero relieved when in a very critical situation ; it was also the place where his married daughter (see MERAB, PALTI) and his grandson (see MEPHIBOSHETH) resided, and where Sheba the Bichrite took refuge with his clansmen when pursued by Joab. 8 The restoration of the true name throws a bright light on a number of passages (cp GALLIM).

1 For the same idea somewhat differently applied see Wi. GI 2:224, KAT (3) 225. This scholar's own explanation of 5iXw is fully set forth in KAT (3), l.c. ; the Hebrew name ( 'asked' ) is the literal translation of bel purusse, 'the oracle-god', a title of Sin, the moon-god.

2 Cp Sayce, Hibbert Lectures (1887), 52. 'Sheba', too, was hardly the birth-name of the Bichrite mentioned in 2 S. 20:1.

3 2ajxoi)A. [samouel] represents piNtf [Sh'VL] in Gen. 46:10 (A), 1 S. 11:13 (B*), 11:15 (BA), 15:12 (B), while SaouA [saoul] represents ^>N1P[? [ShMVAL] in 1 S. 15:12 (B).

4 There were, of course, different places called Beth-jerahmeel. Cp GALLIM, SACK (4).

5 The passage (2 S. 20:11-12) should probably be read thus, 'And Sheba passed on to Beth-jerahme'el, and all the Bichrites (Jerahmeelites) assembled and went in after him. And they came and besieged him in Beth-jerahme'el' ; hence in v. 18 ^x should be ^xafrrv]. In v. 14 > !32B ( i 7D;) should be jnB>, and n^jt* W^ should be rtSwDnT I the following words rt3J, D JVSl should be S2nT n 3 ( an early correction). Other references to Beth-jerahmeel probably underlie certain corrupt words in Am. 1:3, Hos. 10:14 (see Crit. Bib.).

c. Predecessors?[edit]

It is a disputed point whether or no Saul was the first to realise the idea of kingly government. According to Winckler (GI 2:56, 2:157), the stories of Gideon, Abimelech, and Jephthah were brought into shape as justifications of the claim made by the Gileadite (?) Saul to the sovereignty of western Israel and to the possession of the religious capital - Shechem. This theory is decidedly ingenious ; but it is more probable (see ISRAEL, 10 ; GIDEON ; but cp ABIMELECH, 2) that Gideon was, strictly speaking, the first Israelitish king. It remains true, however, that Saul is the first king of a section of the Israelites of whom fairly definite traditions are preserved, and it is to these traditions, not all equally trustworthy, that we now direct our attention.

d. Traditions.[edit]

Traditions of much interest respecting Saul have come down to us from a school of writers trained under prophetic influence. According to these, it was a seer called Samuel 1 who, by his preternatural insight, recognised in the son of Kish the destined 'captain' or 'prince' (nagid, see PRINCE) of united Israel (1 S. 9:16). This patriotic Israelite (see SAMUEL) is introduced to us going up to the bamah of an unnamed city to 'bless the sacrifice' and partake of the sacrificial repast. By a happy accident - as it seems - Saul, on a journey in search of his father's lost asses, appears before him, and timidly asks the way to the seer's house. At once Samuel (who, if a member of a Jerahmeelite clan, would perhaps recognise Saul) discloses his identity. He treats his visitor with marked consideration, and on the morrow, in strict privacy, communicates to him a divine oracle respecting him. 2 At the same time he solemnly anoints * and then kisses him (see SALUTATIONS). Finally, to strengthen Saul's faith, he specifies three remarkable experiences which the favourite of heaven will have as he returns home. One was that he would meet two men (see RACHEL'S SEPULCHRE) who would give news respecting the lost asses and would mention the paternal anxiety of Kish. Another was that three pilgrims whom he would also meet (see TABOR) would be so struck by his bearing that they would salute him and offer him a present of two loaves. The third sign was that Saul would meet a company of nebi'im in a state of frenzy (see PROPHET, 4), and would be seized upon by the spirit of Yahwe and pass into the same state (calling out perhaps for the advent of Israel's war-god to lead his people to victory). All this, we are told, came to pass ; yet it was not this, but the disclosures of the seer Samuel, which transformed Saul's nature, and made him a true king (10:9).

e. Winckler's theory.[edit]

In about a month's time Saul was called upon to justify the seer's selection. So at least the true text of 1 S. 11:1 (preserved by LXX) {4} tells us. Winckler, however, rejects the words which assert a month's interval, as not belonging to the original tradition. According to this scholar, it is quite a fresh account of Saul and his origin that we have in 1 S. 11:1-11, the original story having been recast when, to soothe patriotic feelings, the Gileadite hero was converted into a Benjamite. After undoing what he regards as the work of the later editor of the tradition, Winckler arrives at this simple statement of fact which he considers to be authentic. Nahash, king of the Ammonites, was besieging the city of JABESH in Gilead, and pressing it hard. By a bold stroke, akin to that related, Winckler thinks, by anticipation in Judg. 7 (see GIDEON), Saul relieved the city (v. 11), which appears to have been his birthplace. 5 The points which seem to Winckler to force upon us the view that Saul was a Jabeshite are three

  • (1) the tradition in 1 S. 31:11-13 relative to the pious care of the Jabeshites for the bones of Saul and his sons,
  • (2) the stand made by Saul's son and heir ISHBOSHETH, as king of E. Israel, at Mahanaim, and
  • (3) the legendary statement in Judg. 21:8-14 that Jabesh-gilead sent no warriors against the offending tribe of Benjamin, and (virtually) recognised the right of connubium enjoyed by Jabeshites and Benjamites.

1 According to Winckler (GI 2:151), Zuph in Mt. Ephraim, whence the earlier prophetic legend brought Samuel, was within the ancient limits of Benjamin. See, however, ZUPH.

2 The relation between the prince-elect and the seer reminds us of the traditions respecting Elisha as a king-maker (1 K. 19:15-16, 2 K. 8:13, 9:3). No doubt it appeared natural to the prophetic school of narrators. Observe that there is an omission in the MT of 1 S. 10:1 (see Var. Bib.) which can be supplied from LXX. The sentence dropped out by homoeoteleuton.

3 Whether this is historical may be doubted (see Smend, Rel-gesch.(2) 66, n. i).

4 iiaj. fyfvrj&T] ws /jLtra. /miji/a [kai egeuethe oos meta mena] (BA) ; Kal eyeVero fiera fiTJi a TlUffwv [kai egeneto oos koopheuoon] (L). MT has C"inC3 TVl (<co.i. eyei^flij <os Kia^evuif [kai egenethe oos koopheuoon] [L]); LXX{L} points to a Heb. text in which 2> "ir;D and cnn both had a place at the end of 1 S. 10:26, giving not only a wrong reading but a wrong connection. For clearly 11:1 is a continuation of the narrative which breaks off at 10:16. See H. P. Smith.

5 So, not only GI 2 but also KAT (3) 227.

f. Cheyne's theory[edit]

Winckler's conclusion, however, though plausible {cp MANASSEH, 4), cannot well be admitted. As to the statement in Judg., 2l:8-14 does indeed imply the currency of a belief in the connection between the Benjamite king Saul and Jabesh-gilead, but in its present form (the text is, in the opinion of the present writer, in need of revision) it is too late to have any critical value. As to (2), Ishbosheth's stand at Mahanaim could only prove that Saul's sovereignty extended in some degree to Gilead. As to (1), the statement in the traditional text of 1 S. 31:11-13 is impossible, if, as the present writer believes, the place where the bodies 1 of Saul and his sons were exposed on the wall was, according to the original tradition, not Beth-shan, but some southern town, such as Eshean (Josh. 15:52), i.e. , perhaps Beer-sheba 2 (cp ESHEAN, ASHAN). Who the friends of Saul really were, we shall see later ; Jabeshites of Gilead, they most certainly were not.

Saul therefore was not a Gileadite but a Benjamite. The difficulty arising out of the improbable geographical statement in 1 S. 9:3+; (see SHALISHA, ZUPH), and out of the statement in the traditional text (rejected) of 1 S. 31:11-13 (so far as it refers to Beth-shan and the Jabeshites), must be met by stricter criticism of the text. Underlying 'Jabesh-gilead' there must be the name of some place easily accessible from Saul s home at Gibeah. 3 What that name is, no one who has studied the errors of the scribes, both in MT and in LXX, can doubt for a moment. It is Beth-gilgal, i.e., Beth-jerahmeel, a place-name to which we have already been introduced - the city intended was in the S. of Benjamin near Gibeah and Anathoth ; and the foes who threatened the city and all Benjamin besides, 4 were not the Ammonites but the 'Amalekites' - i.e. , a branch of the Jerahmeelites (pay was miswritten for pSny SscnT ; cp Judg. 3:13), the name of whose king was Achish (B"DN), as we should probably read for 'Nahash' (BTH ; see NAHASH). It may be noticed in passing that the danger to which Beth-jerahmeel was exposed from the N. Arabians was, in the opinion of the present writer, not always averted ; in Hos. 10:14 and Am. 1:3 there is possibly a reference to the cruel conduct of the Salmaeans ( nearly = Cushites) at their conquest either of this fortress or of a fortress with the same name in the Negeb. See SALMA.

The place where the Israelites mustered in obedience to Saul's summons was Bezek (1 S. 11:8), which on the supposition that the distressed city was in Gilead is suitably identified with Khirbet Ibzik. If so, there will appear to be two places called Bezek, for in Judg. 1:4-5. we meet with a Bezek 5 which is undeniably in the S. of Palestine (see BEZEK).

If, however, the threatened city was in Benjamin, and the foes were Jerahmeelites from the extreme S., it is probable that the warriors who responded to Saul were from Benjamin and from the territory farther S., and that the mustering place was in (or, less probably, to the S. of) the district occupied by Saul s clan. Of Bezek we know nothing ; but a southern clan-name -3^ is attested by the name fl<3T and by the place-name ron3 (near Tekoa). Most probably, however, we should read, for pj;;, not -pa, but 133; BECHER [q.v.] was in fact one form of the name of Saul's clan. The proceedings of the heroic leader thus become geographically clear; 'Gilgal' in 1 S. 11:12-15 may be emended into 'Jerahmeel', i.e., Beth-jerahmeel, the name of the central place of Saul's clan.

1 On 1 Ch. 10:10 see HEAD.

2 Not unfrequently in P's lists we find a corrupt variant of a place-name presented as the name of a fresh place.

3 This has a close bearing on the criticism of Judg. 21:8-14 (referred to above).

4 1 S. 11:2 has been thoroughly misunderstood owing to textual corruption. For "lip33 we should certainly -ead Tipp3. The passage then becomes, 'that I stop up to your loss every fountain of Benjamin' (cp 2 K. 2:25). Q and 3 can be confounded in Aramaic characters ; cp LXX{BA}'s [e]iaeis [[e]iabeis] in 1 S. 12:9 for p;j<.

5 'Adoni-bezek' in Judg. 1:5+ is probably a combination of two clan-names JIN (from <}ij; ; see PARADISE, 7) and -pa (see above). Cp 'Adonikam' and 'Adoniram', where 'kam' and 'ram' represent fragments of 'Jerahmeel'.

g. King of Benjamin.[edit]

Naturally enough, such an important event as the relief of Beth-jerahmeel (Jabesh-gilead) led to the recognition of Saul as king of Benjamin (v. 14 is rightly regarded by Driver as redactional, and may be omitted). Possibly other tribes, too, recognised him as in a qualified sense their king by sending him presents, so that they might profit in time of need by his proved ability in warfare ; but of this no certainty is attainable. The thoroughly antique action {1} ascribed to Saul in 1 S. 11:7 has been placed in a wrong setting. The compiler gives no hint that the action referred to made the war a holy war, and he represents the pieces of flesh as having been sent throughout all Israel. It is not likely, however, that other clans besides those most nearly connected with Saul and those which were in equal danger from the Jerahmeelites (on the significant notice in 1 S. 31:7 [emended text] respecting 'the men of Israel that were in Jerahmeelite Arabia' see 4c were summoned to his standard. Saul was by no means king of all Israel ; that distinction was reserved for David.

Still in such turbulent times even this moderate dominion demanded all the energy and fervent patriotism of the ruler, who was certainly no mere lad at his succession, though his precise age is not recorded. 2 The words in 1 S. 11:7 'whosoever comes not out after Saul', 3 suggest that Saul was already well-known as a bold warrior. The story in 1 S. 9:3+, which presents him as a youthful and modest dependent of his father Kish, does not inspire us with confidence ; indeed the whole connection of Saul with an individual called Samuel is historically not free from doubt.

1 For the archaeological origin of the custom referred to see WRS Rel. Sem. (2) 402, who illustrates from Lucian and Zenobius, and notices the parallel statement in Judg. 19:29. The narrative in Judg. 19-21 has been much edited, the statement referred to is partly connected with a mythological story relative to creation (see SODOM, 9), partly with an antique sacrificial rite (cp Schwally, Semit. Kriegsaltertumer, 1:54). Those who partook of the sacrificial pieces of flesh which Saul sent round became consecrated persons whom no enemy could harm. The later compilers of the story of Saul had forgotten this ; but it is the duty of the historical critic, so far as he can, to get behind their compilation, and restore the original setting of misunderstood traditions.

2 1 S. 13:1 gives no sense. Most critics since Wellhausen regard it as a gloss, and read '... years old was Saul when he began to reign, and he reigned ... years over Israel'. The glossator did not venture to fill up the number of years. This involves regarding nt before C JE 1 as a corrupt duplication of *yy. See, however, Driver and Liihr, ad loc. Klostermann s theory seems too complicated.

3 The following words '[and] after Samuel' are a variant, as explained already.

4 The conquest may be obscurely referred to in Judg. 20. Similarly, it seems, Noldeke (col. 536, n. 3).

5 On 1 S. 22:6 see TAMARISK ; on 'ye Benjamites', v. 7, see Crit. Bib.

2. Early wars.[edit]

a. Gibeon.[edit]

According to the tradition, Saul now returned to his home at GIBEAH. From 1 S. 13:2 it would seem that one of his first regal acts was to collect a small army of Israelitish warriors. Probably they were chiefly Benjamites under the leadership of Abner ; it is a plausible hypothesis of Winckler that Benjamin was at that time by no means 'the smallest of the tribes of Israel' (1 S. 9:21), and that its territory was more extensive than in the later period, after it had been conquered (?) by David. {4} This view of the composition of the army agrees with 1 S. 22:6+ where Saul is described as in Gibeah, surrounded by Benjamites, 5 when he pronounced an unjust sentence on the priests of Yahwe. It is probable, however, that he had also (like David) a bodyguard composed of foreigners, if ratsim (v. 17 , 'runners') is, as the present writer suspects, a mutilation and corruption of Zarephathim (Zarephathites). These foreigners, however, were virtually Israelites ; they had adopted Israelitish reverence for the persons of the priests of Yahwe, whom they refused to massacre at the bidding of the enraged king (v. 17). It was Doeg an 'Aramite' (see 1 S. 21:8 [21:7], LXX{BA}) {1} who, according to the narrative, out of hatred for David performed the dreadful act, for which, after David had come to the throne, a stern penalty was (not indeed by David) exacted (2 S. 21).

1 By Aramite we mean 'Jerahmeelite'. There is some reason to think that Doeg was one of the c jn or rather Zarephathites (cp Gratz's view, col. 1124). For some new evidence see Crit. Bib. LXX{L} has ISovn-aios [Idoumaios].

2 'Garrison' (EV) is not a probable rendering of TXJ. Like 3<jJ in the Hadad inscription found near Zenjirli, the word might mean either 'prefect' or 'pillar'. The meaning 'pillar' is to be preferred (cp, however, ISRAEL, 13). Jonathan would have slain more than one person, and t7N33 seems to point to some religious insult. Probably we should read nS l, 'he shattered' (Klo.). A sacred pillar seems to be meant ; we need not emend 3 !>p into J"OXS (cp JEHOSHAPHAT, n. 2, ; PHOENICIA, 9). In 10:5 for 'the hill of God' (o .l jNn njn j) read D ^NCnT nyi? 'Gibeah of the Jerahmeelites'. 'Jerahmeelites' and 'Zarephathites' (= 'Philistines') are synonymous terms. The sacred pillar of the Zarephathites (Philistines) caused the place to be called 'Gibeah of the Jerahmeelites'. From 13:3 it appears that Geba is meant.

b. Philistines.[edit]

The historical character of the massacre (apart from the details) cannot be doubted ; but the real cause of it is not clear - had the priestly clan of Gibeon like Samuel (a typical personage), 'rejected' Saul as king ? Had they really espoused the cause of a pretender, and so done all in their power to paralyse Saul's patriotic activity? However that may be, we must not forget the arduous nature of the task to which Saul had braced himself. He had to put an end to the disastrous incursions of a powerful enemy, the name of which is given as Pelishtim (d\\b<j>v\ot [allophyloi]) or PHILISTINES [q.v.]. The correctness of this name is generally accepted, but has, elsewhere by the present writer (see PELETHITES, ZAREPHATH), been questioned. In particular, there are passages in the narrative which is commonly used as evidence for David's outlawry, but may really be a transformed, distorted version of a tradition of a struggle between Saul and David (so Winckler), and also in the account of the closing scene of Saul's life, and of David's subsequent exploits, which force the present writer to hold that the Zarephathites - excluding those who had expatriated themselves and joined Saul's bodyguard - were, together with their neighbours 'the Amalekites', the true enemies of Saul and for a time at least of David after him (see PELETHITES, REHOBOTH, ZAREPHATH). In a word, the so-called 'Philistines' are Zarephathites, and their centre was not the 'Philistian sea-coast' but the NEGEB [q.v.].

A striking account is given by one of the narrators of the opening of the war against the 'Philistines' (1 S. 13) of course, before the massacre just referred to. Jonathan (whose relation to Saul the writer assumes to be well-known) had offered an open insult to the 'Philistines' (v. 3); we may perhaps suppose that it was an insult which affected their religion. 2 The 'Philistines' mustered in force to avenge it. Affrighted at their appearance, the Israelites took refuge in mountain-hollows, or crossed over into Gad and Gilead. From the camp at Michmash (opposite Geba where the outrage had been committed) the 'Philistines' plundered the country, secure of meeting with no opposition, because few of the Israelites had any weapons (1 S. 13:19-22; cp FORK). Only six hundred men, we are told, remained with Saul at 'the border of Gibeah'; but one of these was no less than Jonathan. This brave man, together with his armour-bearer, is said to have performed a most audacious exploit (1 S. 14 ; on the text of vv. 4-5 see MICHMASH). His object was to surprise the outpost of the .enemy, whose duty it was to watch the steep ravine between Geba on the S. and Michmash on the N. (the Wady es-Suwenit). The two men went secretly down into the valley below Geba, as if on their way to the caves where the timid Israelites were hidden. There is in fact a line of such caves on both sides of the wady, and they are practically impregnable (cp MICHMASH). Greeted with scoffs by the enemy, who noticed their first movements, Jonathan and his follower afterwards disappeared from view, and climbed up on the other side. 1 The Philistine outpost was thrown into confusion by the sudden appearance of the two men. Jonathan, fatigued as he was with his climb, smote right and left, and his armour-bearer quickly despatched the wounded. The 'spoilers' fled in dismay, and the general panic - so the legend says - was heightened by an earthquake (see EARTHQUAKE). Then Saul, who had (somewhat strangely) been tarrying under the pomegranate tree 'in the border of Geba' (14:2 ; see GIBEAH, 1 ; MICRON), arose, and discovering the absence of Jonathan and his follower, applied to the priest for guidance. Before there was time, however, for Ahijah to bring forward the EPHOD [q.v. ], circumstances had made the duty of the slowly moving king clear to him. Promptly he led his little band against the disordered enemy. At once those Israelites who had been compelled to serve with the 'Philistines' withdrew, and joined the patriots. The 'Philistines' were seen hurrying wildly towards Bethel across the watershed and down the steep descent of Aijalon. In hot chase the Israelites followed them. The story is vividly told, and is evidently ancient. How far is it trustworthy ? Certainly it cannot be a pure romance ; but Winckler has called attention to some very doubtful elements, and to these the present writer must now add the designation of the oppressors of the Israelites by the name of 'Philistines'.

We have also an account of a battle between the Israelites and the Philistines in the valley of Elah (rather, ha-Elah), or, as the scene appears to be otherwise described, in Ephesh-dammim (1 S. 17:1-2). The chief point in it, however, is the encounter of David with Goliath, which appears to be a reflection of the story of Elhanan and Goliath in 2 S. 21:19, where the scene of the combat is at Gob ( REHOBOTH). Probably 'emek ha-elah and ephesh-dammim are corruptions respectively of 'emek jerahme'el and 'emek arammim, synonymous phrases (arammim = jerahme'elim] for the valley of Jerahmeel ( = the wady el-Milh ?). It is important to mention this here, to prepare the reader for the change in our view of the localities of the last fatal fight ('Gilboa') necessitated by our criticism of the text (see 4). As has been shown elsewhere, the period as well as the scene of the traditional fight with Goliath is misstated in 1 S. 18.

1 Cp Miller, The Least of all Lands, 104 ; also Conder, Tentwork, 2:114-115.

2 2 S. 8:12 should probably run thus, or nearly thus (see Crit. Bib., but cp DAVID, 8),

'From Aram, and from Missur, and from the Amalekites, and from the Zarephathites, and from the spoil of Hadad, the Rehobothite, king of Mitstsur'. On 'Aram' (i.e., Jerahmeel), as an emendation of Edom, 1 cp JOKTHEEL, 2 ; REZIN ; SALT, VALLEY OF; ZAIR ; ZOBAH.

3. Other wars.[edit]

According to the statement in 1 S. 14:47-48, Saul had various other wars in which he was uniformly successful. It is doubtful from what source this passage is derived. Evidently the writer is an admirer of Saul, for he does not scruple to transfer exploits ascribed by tradition to David (2 S. 8:12) {2} to his neglected predecessor. The text of the passage needs rectification, and should probably run thus (see Crit. Bib.)

And when Saul had taken the kingdom over Israel [he fought against all his enemies round about, against Musur, against the Amalekites, against Jerahmeel-Missur, and against the Zarephathites, and whithersoever he turned, he was victorious], he showed valour ; he smote Amalek, and rescued Israel out of the hand of his spoiler.

Thus in its original form the passage was not the close of a history of Saul (Wellh. CH 246-247), but rather an introduction to the story of the campaign against 'Amalek', which is, in fact, the only war of Saul described at any length in our traditions before the tragedy of Mt. 'Gilboa' (see 1 S. 15, and cp AGAG, BESOR, HAVILAH, SHUR, TELAIM, SAMUEL).

The narrative suffers greatly from the want of preliminary explanations. Are we to suppose that the bands of raiders had already forced their way to Saul's territory ? Or should we rather assume that the clans to the S. of Benjamin had appealed for aid to the king's generosity? In order to answer these questions we must read the notice of Saul s expedition against 'Amalek' in the light of the new but 'in'dispensable theory (see above) that his warfare was chiefly with the Tsarephathites (Pelishtim [not] being a corruption of Tsarephathim as 'Amalek' is [not] a distortion of Jerahme'eiim). It may be assumed that if these raiders penetrated into Saul's kingdom (the territory of Benjamin was then perhaps more extensive than afterwards), the Amalekites (Jerahmeelites), whom we can only with some difficulty distinguish from the Zarephathites, were not less successful. It is true, the details respecting Samuel are, from a critical point of view, questionable. But we may perhaps accept the statement (so much more creditable, rightly considered, to Saul than to Samuel) that on a certain point of religious tradition the seers represented by Samuel were more conservative than the king. The statement is that Samuel was highly displeased because, after Saul had 'utterly destroyed' (c nnn) all 'the warriors' (cyn) of Amalek, he spared Agag and 'the best of the sheep and the oxen' (vv. 8-9), thus violating the fundamental religious custom (see BAN) of devoting enemies taken in war, and even the animals which belonged to them, to the wrathful God of Israel (cp 1 S. 28:18). Still this, even if correct, was surely not the only or the chief reason why the seer (or the seers?) broke off intercourse with the king. As most agree, there was some other cause for the breach which can only be divined.

We must not, of course, underrate the benefit of the application of methodical criticism to the corrupt proper names in this section (ch. 15); see BESOR, HAVILAH, SHUR, TELAIM, and especially JERAHMEEL. Thus, in v. 2 we should do well to read, 'I have marked that which Jerahmeel did to Israel' (the hostile section of the great Jerahmeelite people is intended), and should emend 'Amalek' and 'Amalekites' throughout accordingly. In v. 12 the word 'Jerahmeel' has undergone fresh transformations which obscure the narrative. Not improbably we should read, 'It was told Samuel (saying), Saul came to Jerahmeel, and, behold he destroyed the Jerahmeelites, and went clown to Gilgal' (1 S. 15:12; see Crit. Bib.). These gains are of the utmost value from the point of view of intelligibility. It is to be feared, however, that no textual criticism can make the narrative quite satisfactory as a piece of history. First of all, the success of Saul's expedition is evidently much exaggerated. If the 'Amalekites' had really been so completely crushed, we cannot believe that they would so soon have recovered from their overthrow. Next, the rupture between Samuel and the king (as was remarked above) is by no means fully intelligible. H. P. Smith considers the 'rejection' of Saul by Samuel in the name of his God to be an imaginary justification of the anointing of David as king ; if David was to be anointed, it was clear that Saul must have been rejected. We may also plausibly hold that 'the rejection' seemed to the ancients to account for Saul s subsequent calamity. It remains true, however, that the cause of the 'rejection' given in 1 S. 15 is far from adequate.

As an additional reason it was related (1 S. 13:7b-15a) that Saul had offered a sacrifice himself instead of waiting for bamuel, and (;he object of the narrative in 1 S. 28:4-25 can hardly have been different) that before the fatal struggle on 'Gilboa' Saul applied to a necromancer at En-dor (see ENDOR, HAROD WELL OF), - an act of infidelity to yahwe which naturally deprived Saul of the protection of his God. A modern historian (Kittel, Hist. 2:136) suggests a more critical reason, which however, is not entirely satisfactory. He thinks that the estrangement of Samuel from Saul may have been caused by Saul's continued inattention to the fate of the ark, and his want of comprehension of the peculiar religious character of Israel.

4. Saul's end.[edit]

a. His melancholy.[edit]

It is usual (in spite of the parallel feature in the legend of Alexander 1 ) to accept the report of Saul's morbid melancholy alternating with fits of passion as historical, and to connect with it his first acquaintance with David (cp MADNESS). Certainly there was enough in the manifold difficulty of the king s position to affect his mind injuriously ; but the circumstances in connection with which it is mentioned do not inspire us with much confidence. The whole story of Saul's relations with David, which has in general been regarded as founded on fact (see DAVID, 1-4), has received a great shock from the investigations of Winckler. Apart from some questionable details in this scholar s criticism, it appears to be at any rate very unsafe to follow the tradition in its present form. That David early became attached to Saul, partly by loyalty, partly by a family tie (cp MERAB, MICHAL), as the narratives represent, is, in the light of Winckler s criticism, very improbable. David appears to have been an ambitious freebooter from the Negeb who sought to carve out a realm for himself (see JUDAH, 4-5), starting first of all from 'Adullam' - i.e. , the southern 'Carmel' (Jerahmeel) - and afterwards, when that attempt was baffled, renewing his enterprise from Halutsah ('Ziklag'). Of course, to say this, is not to deny that he may have possessed some attractive qualities in which Saul was deficient, and which not only favoured his ambitious schemes, but also facilitated the idealising process of later narrators. We now hasten on to the pathetic closing scene of the life of the hapless king.

1 Winckler, GI 2:172.

2 See H. P. Smith, Samuel, Introd. pp. 24-25

b. Last battle.[edit]

We have two versions of the ancient tradition :

  • a, chaps. 28 and 31 belong to one document ;
  • b, chaps. 27 and 29-30 belong to another. {2}

In a the camp of the 'Philistines' is placed at Shunem ; in b at APHEK [q.v.]. In a we have the strangely fascinating story of the witch of Endor ; in b, a great deal of interesting information respecting David, who was at that time at Ziklag or rather Halutsah, a vassal of Achish (or Nahash?), king of Gath or REHOBOTH [q.v.] in the Negeb. There are also differences between the two accounts relative to the death of Saul. Neither of the two stories makes it clear what the precise object of the 'Philistines' was. An able geographer holds that they sought 'either to subjugate all the low country and so confine Israel to the hills, or else to secure their caravan route to Damascus and the East from Israel s descents upon it by the roads from Bezek to Beth-shan and across Gilboa' (G. A. Smith, HG 402). Hence, when Saul had taken up his position on Mt. Gilboa (or rather Haggilboa ya^jn), which is taken to be the ridge running SE. from the eastern end of the great central plain, the 'Philistines' did not hesitate to attack him on his superior position (see GILBOA ; HAROD, WELL OF). To dislodge him was imperative, because from Gilboa he could descend at will either on Jezreel or on the Jordan valley. Before the battle, as one of the documents states, the despondent king, who neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets could obtain any oracle from Yahwe (28:6, 28:15), applied to a female necromancer at En-dor, of whom he had heard from his servants. In former times he had done all in his power to exterminate such magicians from his realm ; but now he relapsed into the ancient superstition (see DIVINATION, 4). Accordingly the necromancer called up the shade of Samuel, who disclosed the terrible fact that on the morrow the king would die, and his army would be worsted, as a punishment for his disobedience in the matter of 'Amalek'. 1 On hearing this, Saul fell to the ground ; it is added that he had not eaten bread the whole day and the whole night, yet he could hardly be induced to break his fast. After this meal, we are told, Saul and his servants 'rose up and went away that night' (28:20-25). It is impossible to decide how far the story is based on fact. 2 As it stands, it appears to be meant as an explanation of Saul s desertion by his God (see 3). Whether in any degree historical or not, the narrative is highly natural, though considerable doubt attaches to the place-name, En-dor (see ENDOR ; HAROD, WELL OF : and the criticism below).

c. Emendations of names.[edit]

Thus far we have provisionally assumed the correctness of the MT. There is, however, a strong [im]probability that the text of both forms of the tradition is vitiated by a great misunderstanding, and that here, as in many other cases, there is an underlying tradition very different from that represented by the text. The geographical obscurity of the present text of 1 S. 28-29, 31, is undeniable ; one may therefore naturally suspect corruption. It is, moreover, difficult to believe that the form 'Philistines' is correct in chaps. 28-29 and 31, when close by (30:16; see PELETHITES) it has only been introduced by a textual error. The case is very similar to that of a passage in the famous elegy (2 S. 1:20). Whatever we may think of 'Gath' (the name is far from certain - see REHOBOTH), we can hardly say that the mention of 'Ashkelon' was to be expected, and even if we defend 'Philistines', we cannot assert that uncircumcised forms a natural parallel to it. 3 'Jezreel' (1 S. 29:1, 29:11) needs no correction ; the place intended is the Jezreel in the hill-country of Judah, not far from Carmel (i.e., Jerahmeel), to which David's wife Ahinoam by birth belonged. But the other names have been partly corrupted, partly manipulated, by an editor, till a com pletely false geographical setting of the narrative has been produced. The scene of the military operations has been supposed to be in the N. , whereas it was really in the S. It is not the least of the arguments for the correctness of this view that it enables us to emend and explain a historical notice (1 S. 31:7) which has been a great trouble to commentators (see ISRAEL, 16, and cp HPSm. ), but may, with the utmost probability, be read thus :- 'And when the men of Israel who were in Arab-jerahmeel [i.e., Jerahmeel in N. Arabia] saw that the men of Saul had tied and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities and fled, and the Zarephathites came and dwelt in them'. The cities referred to are the cities of the Jerahmeelites, where, according to 1 S. 30:29, 'elders of Judah' had quite lately been residing.

We must briefly indicate the emendations referred to ; the names form the skeleton of the history. For Shunem (cilz ?????; 1 S. 28:4) and 'Beth-shan' (JB- ri 3, 1 S. 31:10) it is the simplest course to read 'Eshean' (|VE X) and 'Beer-sheba' (> 3S? 1x3)- The same place is no doubt intended by both forms; see ESHEAN. Perhaps pya (29:1) should be jiyoa, at Maon. For 'Gilboa' (y&i) or rather Haggilboa (je^;n) we should restore 'Amalek' (ptaj?) or 'Jerahmeel' (VMDHT); so, too, in 2 S. 1:21. For 'to Aphek' (npDN," 29:1) we should read 'to Gibeah' (nyqj ; the same error is probable in Josh. 15:53 ; cp also rvBK in 9:1 [see APHIAH]) ; the 'Gibeah' of Josh. 15:57 (see GIBEAH, 1) or that of Judg. 7:1 seems to be meant. 'The house of Ashtaroth' (jmnvy n 3, 31:10) should probably be 'Beth-tsarephath' (nails JV3), better known to us as 'Beth-pelet' (2^5 n 3, rather rt^B fl 3, where nSs comes from riSIS [see PELETHITES]); the situation is suitable. 'Jabesh-gilead' ( i) should be 'Beth-giigal'; 'Ziklag' should be 'Halutsah', and Endor (-in py) should be En-'arad (-ny ;-y). In Judg. 7:1 En-harod is combined with Gibeath-hammoreh or rather Gibeath-jerahmeel [see MOREH], and in 2 S. 23:25-26, a Harodite and a Paltite are mentioned together ; Arad and Beth-pelet ('En-dor' and 'Beth-ashtaroth') are, if our explanations are correct, mentioned as in the same district in the narrative which contains chaps. 29, 31. To pass now to the elegy : the true names in 2 S. 1:20 are 'Rehoboth', 'Halutsah', 'Tsarephathim', and Jerahme'elim. 1

1 Probably the original tradition represented the 'Amalekites' and the 'Philistines' as allied on this occasion, so that the retribution to Saul would be exactly proportioned to his guilt.

2 Stade (GVI 1:255) rejects the narrative ; cp Schwally, Das Leben. nach dem Tode, 73-74. Budde and Kittel, on the other hand, accept it as historical.

3 The fourth line of the stanza ought, like the others, to contain an ethnic name.

d. Saul's death: Cheyne's theory.[edit]

These, then, are in all probability the historical circumstances of the great crisis. The Zarephathites, probably with the aid of the 'Amalekites' (cp 2 S. 1:6, 1:20), were on their march northwards ; David, lord of Halutsah (ZIKLAG), narrowly escaped accompanying them. Saul and his army went to meet the enemy, hoping to deal them such a blow as would effectually stop their incursions. He encamped, shifting his position from Maon by Jezreel (29:1, emended text) to the hills near 'Carmel' (i.e. , Jerahmeel), one of which we suppose to have been specially called Gibeah or Gibeath-jerahmeel. It was at this Gibeah (certainly not at any place called 'Aphek') that the Zarephathites encamped. Not far off was Arad, whither Saul may perhaps have gone to consult a necromancer ; Arad was presumably one of the 'cities of the Jerahmeelites' (1 S. 30:29) occupied by the Judahites. The original encampment of the Zarephathites was probably at Beersheba, 2 and it was perhaps on the ridge which runs from the southern 'Carmel' WSW. towards Beersheba that the fate of Saul was sealed. The Zarephathites attacked him fiercely. After a heroic resistance, he gave way, and bade his armour-bearer thrust him through with a sword, on account of a critical blow which had been dealt him by a great stone. 3 His attendant, however, hesitating to do his bidding. 4 the hapless king is said (but this is by no means certain) to have taken his own life (31:4).

A different tradition is reported in 2 S. 1 (the sequel of chaps. 29, 30), where the fate which in 1 S. 31:4 Saul is said to have deprecated, actually befalls him (cp ISRAEL, 15). An 'Amalekite' (i.e. , Jerahmeelite), who 'happened by chance upon Mt. Gilboa' (v. 6, EV), but who, as the narrator probably means us to suppose, had his own reason for being on the spot, {5} slays Saul. We need not, with Stade (GVI 1:258) reject the story altogether, though we must at any rate admit that it has been touched up by the writer who records it. Certainly it is in harmony with the well-known elegy ascribed to David, where the destined successor of Saul is represented as forbidding the sad news to be published in Halusah, lest the malicious Jerahmeelite women should triumph (compare 1 S. 3l:4a, 'lest the Jerahmeelites come and thrust me through' ).

In this connection it may be noticed that the elegy says nothing of Saul's 'sons', which is in accordance with the fact that 2 S. 21:12 speaks only of the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son. Very probably the statement in 1 S. 31:2 respecting Abinadab and Malchishua is incorrect (cp 6). 'Abinadab' seems to the present writer to be a double of 'Jonathan' ('Nathan' and 'Nadab' confounded), and 'Malchisua' to be a development (see 5) of 'Jerahme'el' (whose name is misread Ishbosheth). The latter certainly did not fall on the field of battle. On the contrary he lived to succeed his father on the throne. Tradition not impossibly said that he was lame (see MEPHIBOSHETH).

1 For r)3, ninn and pS??*, D P?H C /^Jj- See JASHER, BOOK OF, 2.

2 Both locations (reading 'Gibeah' for 'Aphek', and 'Eshean' or 'Beersheba' for 'Shunem') are plausible ; but Beersheba naturally comes before Gibeah. Beersheba was doubtless more important than Gibeah ; hence the omission of 'Gibeah' in one document and the probable reference to Beersheba in 31:10.

3 Read probably, in v. 3, imD l W1 rUZiS na C"lisn ?.1K!a 1 C]?" 1 ! 1 } | .?, 'and those who cast (stones) with engines found him, and they crushed him between the thighs'. See Che. Exp.T 11:137. We can now see the full force of Saul's remark to his armour-bearer, ?>. a,a, 'lest these Jerahmeelites come and thrust me through', etc. ; O ^IJJ (as often elsewhere) should be D SvCrrr- See Crit. Bib.

4 Unlike the armour-bearer of a grandson of Merodach-baladan in a similar case (KB 2:212-213).

5 The 'Amalekites' (Jerahmeelites), as we have seen, had possibly joined the Zarephathites.

The story of the death of Saul in its present form is a narrative of the heroic but useless sacrifice of the king s life for the deliverance of Israel from the Philistines. That we have had to interfere with it may be a subject for regret, but not for surprise. The story of Saul and of his relations with David was of course told and retold, edited and re-edited, and could not but be considerably modified in the process. Textual corruption, too, naturally increased the confusion. The story becomes to some extent intelligible only when the textual errors have been removed by a methodical criticism. We have also to consider alterations due to later hands. It was the editor who placed the story of the 'witch of Endor' where it now stands. Endor (or En-harod?) is in the N. ; {1} but the scene of the great battle was in the S. The account of the indignities offered to the bodies of the king and of his sons (vv. 9 10 ; see Exp. T 10:522), however, has the impress of truth, and we can well believe that fierce resentment arose in the city so gallantly liberated by Saul. All night the warriors of Beth-gilgal 2 in Benjamin are said to have journeyed. Not the northern fortress of Beth-shan, but more possibly Beer-sheba was their goal ; there they found the dead bodies of the heroes fastened to the city walls. Piously they took them down and brought them to Beth-gilgal, where they raised a fitting dirge over them, 3 and gave an honoured burial to the bones beneath the sacred tree (see TAMARISK). Afterwards, we are told, David sent his warrior Benaiah 4 for them, and the) were reinterred in the family grave at Shalisha (not 'Zela') near Beth-gilgal (see ZELAH, and cp RIZPAH).

There is a third reference to this generous action in 2 S. 2:4b-7 which needs elucidation. vv. 4b-5 should probably run thus, 'And they told David, " The men of Beth-gilgal have buried Saul under the Asherah " (nniTXrr n[W ; cp 1 S. 31:13, above). And David sent presents (D JbSff) to the men of Jabesh-gilgal', etc. In v. 6 EV's 'will requite you this kindness' should be 'show you this friendliness'. David sends presents, nominally to acknowledge the generous act of the men of Beth-gilgal, but really to induce them to work for the extension of his sovereignty over Benjamin. 'Your lord' means 'the lord of Benjamin', not 'the lord of Gilead'.

1 Of course there is the possibility that dor of En-dor (in pj?) may have come from 'Arad ("Hl X and that the original story may have been recast in accordance with a later view of the scene of the conflict. This may be the simplest solution of the problem.

2 Not Jabesh-gilead (see i).

3 Reading crt7 nsif l (Klo. Budde). H. P. Smith's objection is of no weight ; the mourning is naturally mentioned before the burial (Klo. refers to 25:1, 28:3). W. R. Smith's suggestion (RS(2) 372), that the burning (iSTtJ"l) may have had a religious intention, is ingenious ; but see MOURNING.

4 2 S. 21:12 LXX ; see Klostermann, ad loc.

5 Saul, it appears, had tabooed all eating before sunset. The only person who tasted food was Jonathan, who had not heard Saul impose the taboo. Yahwe was believed to be offended by this transgression. By the sacred lot (see URIM AND THUMMIM) Jonathan was found to be the culprit, and condemned by his father to death. But 'the people ransomed Jonathan that he died not' (v. 4;, MT). How this was effected, we are not told. Ewald supposes that it was by the substitution of another human life of less value ; Kittel (Hist. 2:116) and Driver (note ad loc.) modify this view. But LXX's Trpocrevfaro vrepi [proseuxato peri] points to the reading ?N *? S l, 'and they acted as arbitrators concerning (Jonathan)', i.e., they mediated between Jonathan and the sacred custom or law. So Klostermann, who paraphrases, 'they imposed a fine on Jonathan'. [Winckler, GI 2:163-164, assumes a mythological basis for the detail. ]

5. Saul's character.[edit]

The impression which Saul produced on the later editor of the tradition was not on the whole favourable. His fine physical gifts, his patriotism, and his inextinguishable courage were readily acknowledged (1 S. 10:23-24, 11:11, 13:7, 17:32-33 cannot be quoted on the other side); but we also hear of fits of passion and cruelty (1 S. 20:27-34, 22:6-19), of a dangerous religious scrupulosity (1 S. 14:36-45), {5} and (cp section 4) of sudden accesses of a disturbing melancholy (1 S. 16:14, 18:10, 19:9 ). This mental disturbance is described (in 18:10) by the same phrase C?V nVs) that is used elsewhere for that heightening of the physical powers under the influence of rage against Yahwe's enemies which characterised the successful great warriors and athletes. Was it a melancholy produced by a wild longing for battle ? 1 Was it 'but the morbid reflex of the prophetic inspiration of Saul's heroic period'?. 2 Does the story of the witch of Endor suggest that it was a frenzied anticipation of evil for Saul himself and his people ? Or is it historical at all ? May not the statement be due to the influence of a wide-spread Oriental tale (see 4) ? At any rate it is connected with statements respecting David which, if our criticism is justified, cannot be even approximately correct. Tradition has in fact been at once too kind to David and too unkind to his predecessor. That Saul had good cause to oppose David has been stated already ( 4), and even if we consider the loyalty of the men of Beth-gilgal (1 S. 31:11+) to be largely the result of clan-loyalty (since Jabesh-gilead = Beth-gilead = Beth-jerahmeel), it is plain that nothing had been done by Saul which seemed to his fellow-clansmen to be unworthy of a great Israelite. Kittel (Hist. 2:135+) has given an eloquent and sympathetic portrait 3 of the heroic king to all of which one would gladly subscribe if the historical evidence were slightly stronger. The chief difficulty connected with Saul is his massacre of the priests of Gibeon ('Nob') ; but we cannot say that we know the circumstances sufficiently well to pass a peremptory judgment.

6. Family.[edit]

The best attested names in Saul's family are those of his concubine Rizpah and his son Jonathan, unless indeed Jonathan was originally represented as Saul's brother. 4 ABINADAB and MALCHISHUA, however (1 S. 31:2 ; cp 1 Ch. 8:33, 9:39, and see above, 4), are suspicious. Abinadab is probably a variant of 'Jonathan', Malchishua a corruption of 'Jerahme'el [be'ne] Sha'ul'. The names of the two sons of Rizpah (2 S. 218 ????), Armoni and Mephibosheth, are also doubtful. Armoni is probably a corruption of 'Abinadab'; Mephibosheth seems to be borrowed from one of the two historic 'Mephibosheths'. Tradition probably did not preserve the names of the two hapless sons of Saul and Rizpah. The present writer has suggested that both Eshbaal (1 Ch. 8:33) and Ishbosheth may be corruptions of Jerahme'el or Ishmael, and a similar origin may with reasonable probability be assigned to the current name of Saul's grandson (see MEPHIBOSHETH, and cp Crit. Bib.}.

It is remarkable that, according to a new theory which fits in with a well - supported theory of the course of the history of Israel, no less than eleven of the personal names connected in MT with the family of Saul are corruptions of Jerahmeel and Ishmael, or of fragments of those names. These are - MERAB, MICHAL, PALTIEI,, ADKIEL, MEPHIBOSHETH, ESHBAAL, ISHBOSHETH, MERIBBAAL, MICHA, MACHIR, AMMIEL. This theory throws doubt on the genealogy in 1 Ch. 8:33+. 9:39+, which was possibly inserted to gratify a post-exilic family professedly descended from Saul. It is obvious that some of the names must be variants of the name of the same person; also that the names Jerahmeel or Ishmael were given, sometimes at least, as a substitute for the true name which had been forgotten. Jerahme'el or Jerahme'elith was in fact most probably the name of Saul s clan (see i), and Beth-jerahmeel that of the chief seat of the clan. Here probably 'Mephibosheth' resided, not in 'the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lo-debar' {5} (2 S. 9:4). See 1, and cp MEHOLATHITE, SHEBA.

1 Schwally, Semitische Kriegsaltertumer, 1:105.

2 Budde, Religion of Israel to the Exile, 95.

3 See also Tiele, Vergelijkende Geschiedenis van de Egypt, en Mesopotam. Godsdiensten (1872), 607+.

4 This is a startling suggestion of Winckler (GI 2:191), based on 2 S. 1:22-23. Compare the doubt (SODOM, 10) whether Lot was not originally Abraham's brother.

5 The repetition of the elaborate description in 2 S. 9:5 is suspicious. Note here, to supplement LO-DEBAR, that 13 i n m I 1 ? may have arisen out of jva> and m^ out of ny^J) which was u corruption of ^3^3. Cp Jabesh-gilead in 1 S. 11 for Beth-gilgal. Also that -m N S in Am. (i 13 is most probably a corruption of nyS^ pp^ (Beth-gilead). The two cities conquered by the Israelites appear to have been Reth-gilead i.e., Beth-jerahmeel and either Mahanaim or Horonaim. See further MAHANAIM, and cp Crit. Rib.

2. (RV SHAUL). An early Edomite king (Gen. 36:37-38, 1 Ch. 1:48-49). Was he, however, an Edomite or a Jerahmeelite ? DIN ['DM] and QIN ['RM] are so much alike that we may choose that reading which best suits the circumstances. On the whole, DIN, i-e-, VxDriT (Jerahmeel), best accords with the notices of the kings, though a connected examination of these would be required to make this appear as probable as it really is. To suppose that this Shaul was a foreign conqueror and founder of a dynasty, 1 is a serious error. Certainly it is plausible at first sight to identify the river (in the phrase 'Rehoboth by the river' ) with the Euphrates (see Onk. ), and to compare the Rehoboth-Ir of Gen. 10:11. Sayce (Hibb. Lect. 55) would even identify our Rehoboth with Babylon, and make Saul the Hebraised form of Savul or Sawul (cp i), which he regards as a name of the Babylonian sun-god ; 2 Furrer, however, thinks of a place called Rahaba, on the W. side of the Euphrates (Riehm's HWB 1291). But all this is even hazier than the speculations about Rehoboth-Ir in Gen. 10:11. nnjri and Q-IXO -TO (Gen. 15:18) may both mean 'the stream of Mutsri', - i.e., some wady in the Negeb, perhaps the Wady el-Arish, the border-stream of the N. Arabian land of Mutsri (see EGYPT, BROOK OF ; ABEL-MIZRAIM, but cp SHIHOR), so that Rehoboth is er-Ruhaibeh, the REHOBOTH (q.v.) of Gen. 26:22, SW. of Beersheba. Cp BELA, PETHOR. See also SHAUL.

See WMM As. u. Ettr. 134 (RP 2:115). An ancient Egyptian text mentions Ra-ph and R-hu-bu-ra-ti next to Naharu (the 'stream'). The Robotha in Gebalene (OS 28:677; 14:175) is not to be compared.

T. K. C.

1 See Buhl, Gesch. der Edomiter, 47.

2 To illustrate Sayce's theory, see Schr. KAT (2) 576 ( = COT 2:256). Del. Ass. HWB explains samullu, 'a tree or plant'. The same ideograph elsewhere = nuru, 'light'.


(AYAP&N [auaran] [AXV]). 1 Macc. 6:43 , RV 'Avaran'. See ELEAZAR, 9 ; MACCABEES i., 3 [2].


(CAOYIA [saouia] [A]), 1 Esd. 8:2 = Ezra 7:4, UZZI [1]


The saws of the Egyptians, so far as known, were all straight and single-handed ; but the double-handed saw seems to have been known to the Assyrians (Layard, Nin. and Bab., 195), and we suppose from the reference in 1 K. must have been known to the Hebrews. Cp HANDICRAFTS, 2-3 On the Egyptian saws see especially Petrie, Temple of Gizeh, 173+. Petrie infers that the blades of the saws were of bronze, and that jewel-points were sometimes fixed in the teeth. Circular saws were also employed. According to Schliemann (Tiryns, 264-265) the ancient Mycenean saw took the form of an ordinary knife or blade. See, further, Dict. Class. Ant., s.v. 'serra', and for Egyptian saws, Wilk. Anc. Eg. 2:261, and illustration, 1401 (nos. 7, 8).

The OT words for saw are :

1. mashshor, "lili D, npiiav [prioon], serra, used for cutting wood, Is. 10:15+.

2. megerah, rnJO, 2 S. 12:31 || 1 Ch. 20:3b (in 1 Ch. 20:3c it is usual to emend nvija into rmTJD, 'axes', after 2 S. 12:31 [so already EV]) ; used for cutting stone, 1 K. 7:9 (e SiacmjjixaTOS [ek diastematos] = nyiJ32i cp 6:6). See AXE, 6.

[There is a remarkable difference of expression between 1 Ch. 20:3 and 2 S. 12:31. The 1 Ch. passage has rnssa njj"i, 'and he sawed (them) with saws' (the verb corresponding to iiwa), bLfirpivtv [dieprisen] [LXX{L} ^Kpurfv ^c [ekrisen en]] Trpiocriv [priosin] ; Vg. fecit super eos tribulas ... ita ut dis. secarentur et contererentur. 2 S. 12:31 has maaa cb"i, K.o.1 drjKfv e T<j3 wpiwi [kai etheken en too prioni] (LXX{L} - Sifirpifffv tv irpiotn [dieprisen en priosi]) ; Vg. serravit. That the Chronicler's statement gives a gross caricature of David, is becoming more and more generally admitted, and G. Hoffmann's explanation ('he set them at the saw and at the iron pickaxes', etc.) gains ground. The difficulties in this explanation are referred to by Driver (TBS 228-229) ; but the corruptness of the whole passage, perhaps, has not been adequately realised, except by Klostermann. That able critic's restoration, however, does not produce very good Hebrew. If we take due account of the three verbs N xin, CB"I, and vaym, the general meaning of the passage ought to be clear. The people of Rabbah of the b'ne Jerahmeel (not Rabbath-ammon) were brought out from their city, and 'placed' in other parts of David's realm ; so he 'made (them) to pass' from Jerahmeel. {1} ,T"O must, therefore, be a place-name. 2 This fits in with other results of a more searching criticism of the history of David and Solomon. Cp SOLOMON, and see Crit. Bib.

T. K. c.]


i. 31|, garabh, Dt. 28:27 AV, RV 'scurvy'. See DISEASES, 8.

2. ns 1 !", yallepheth, Lev. 21:20, 22:22+. See DISEASES, 4.


(li3, BACIC [basis], basis) in EV of 2 Ch. 6:13 denotes the specially-made platform or stage of bronze on which Solomon stood and kneeled at the dedication of the temple. Kiyyor is elsewhere rendered 'pot', 'basin', or 'laver' ; and interpreters, therefore, have been led to suppose that Solomon's platform also was 'probably round, bowl-like in shape' (so BDB, s. v. ); this, however, is not a likely shape, nor is it suggested by the terms of length, breadth (each 5 cubits), and height (3 cubits) in which its dimensions are given. Klostermann followed by Oettli (ad loc. ] proposes, therefore, to emend to p>3 (\/p3); cp LXX, Vg. (cp also j|, used of the laver ; IVD, itself, is sometimes written va).

With the measurements cp the description of the base in 1 K. 7:27 (see LAVER, 1) ; four (LXX, Jos. five) cubits long, the same in breadth, and three (<B5, Jos. six) high. The position, too, would correspond with P's statement (see LAVER, 2), as also would the inference that there was only one base in the temple. Finally, it should be noticed, that v^y 1CJ? li f r which EV has 'stood upon it', means equally naturally 'stood by the side of it' (on this not infrequent use of ^y, see BDB s.v. 756a), in which case the MT li 3 may refer to the 'laver' itself, and no emendation is necessary.

2- it^l D, AVmg, Neh. 9:4. See STAIRS, 3.


(pn3, Lev. 13:30+). See LEPROSY, 2.


(!?|NJlf), Lev. 16:8+, AV, RV AZAZEL.


(rrpoBACKANiON [probaskanion]), Baruch 6:70 [6:69]. See GARDEN, 9 (end). Ewald, Graetz, Giesebrecht, etc., restore the 'scarecrow' in Jer. 10:5 (late), and RVmg accordingly renders nrpo ~>sn3, 'like a pillar in a garden of cucumbers'.


is used in EV as rendering the following words and phrases :-

1. shani, iyy (Gen. 38:28 and many other places), a common word of uncertain etymology, which may be connected either with Ar. sana - according to Philippi (ZDMG 32:79) this root has for its original sense 'to be bright or shining' - or with Ass. shinitu, 'a dyed cloth'. The plur. shanim is found twice, Is. 1:18, Prov. 31:21.

2. The fuller sheni tola'ath (nySin -jy, lit. 'worm-scarlet') occurs in Lev. 14 (five times) and in Nu. 19:6.

3. Another equivalent phrase is the tola'ath shani (nyVw ir, lit. 'scarlet-worm') so frequent in Exodus, as well as (4) the shorter tola (y^ m) of Is. 1:18 (EV 'crimson') and Lam. 4:5.

5. A Pu'al participle, methulla'im (c yWr;, derived from tola), occurs once (Nah. 2:3 [2:4]) to signify 'clothed in scarlet'. 3

6. ic6KKivos [kokkinos] in Mt. 27:28, Heb. 9:19, Rev. 17:3 has, no doubt, the same meaning as shani, of which it is LXX's rendering. See CRIMSON.

7. argewana, KJijPN, the Aram, equivalent of p-nx, is in Dan. 5:7, 5:16, 5:29 rendered 'scarlet' in AV (AV mg, RV 'purple'), and AVmg suggests the same rendering for the Hebrew word in Ezek. 27:7. See COLOURS, 14 ; PURPLE.

N . M .

1 (v. 26), D^O (v. 30), and p^o (v. 31; prefixed 2 should be c) all [im]probably come from SKDm*- [jerahameel]

2 miua (cp ASA, 6) is a variant to m^D- Read, perhaps, a"W3 or D 713 '(the land of) the Geshurites' or Girzites.

3 But see SHOE, 3, and cp Crit. Bib.


1. Terms.[edit]

1. t33tJ>, shebet, cp Ass. shibtu. In Nu. 24:17 (EV) we read of a 'sceptre' which shall smite. The translators apparently take 'sceptre' as a symbolic expression for 'king'. Here, however, as also in Ps. 2:9 (EV 'rod'), shebet seems to denote rather a warlike instrument - a mace. For Egyptian representations of such a weapon see Wilk. Anc. Eg. 1:216-217. 3 frontispiece; some, too, will remember the large heavy maces of limestone with relief sculptures, of the period before the sixth dynasty, exhibited lately (1900) in London, and found by Mr. Quibell at Kom el-Ahmar (Hierakonpolis). An 'iron shebet' is referred to in the traditional text of Ps. 2:9 ; such a weapon was, at any rate, known to the last editor of the Psalter (cp the aiSypd-ri Kopvvq [siderein koryne] of Il. 7:140). For a representation of Ashur-natsir-pal holding a short staff or sceptre see Perrot-Chipiez, Art in Ass. 2:123; and for another of Sargon with a long one, see SARGON. In Ps. 125:5 'sceptre' is adequate (so RV, AV 'rod' ) ; in Is. 14:£ (EV 'sceptre') we seem to need 'staff' as a parallel to 'rod'. Less common are :

2. a aiE*, sharbit, a late form of shebet, perhaps influenced by <TKT\irrpov [skeptron] (Ko. Lehrgeb. 2:152), only in Esth. 4:11, 5:2, 8:4.

3. pphD, mehohek, V ppn [root HQQ], Nu. 21:18 RV+ (|| ruyefti), Gen. 49:10 RV (|| B3s?); Ps. 60:7 [60:8] RV ( = Ps. 108:8 [108:9] RV). In all these three passages, however, Cheyne suspects that the text is corrupt. In Nu. 21:18 and in Ps. 60:7 [60:8] o has probably come from ^KSrtT Jerahmeel(Che.), and in Gen. 49:10 "Q means a ruler (read, in ||, DSjr). See SHILOH, 1, Che. Ps. (2), and Crit. Bib. ; but cp Moore, Judges, 153 (on Judg. 5:14).

2. Form.[edit]

As to the form of the sceptre, it is plausible to hold that it was a reminiscence of the shepherd's staff or perhaps crook (cp Ass. re'u = r\y\ [1] shepherd, [2] ruler). Koran, Sur. 20:17-18 may be quoted in illustration. 'What is that in thy right hand, O Moses? Said he, It is my staff on which I lean, and wherewith I beat down leaves for my flock, and for which I have other uses'. We find the shepherd's crook (combined with the whip - mistaken by Diod. Siculus [3:3] for a plough) as an emblem of Egyptian royalty and vice-royalty ; see Erman, Eg. 60, 63, also Wilk. Anc. Eg, 3:371 (early, and Seti I.) and 3:128 (Ah, son of Athor), 1:183 (no. 7). As the emblem of Hebrew royalty we find not only a 'rod' or staff (Ezek. 19:11, 19:14) but a spear (hanith, from hanah, 'to bend, curve, bend down'), 1 S. 18:10, 22:6 ; in Is. 2:4, Joel 3:10 the 'spear' is parallel to the 'pruning-hook', out of which it might conceivably, according to the writers, be made.

To illustrate the 'golden sceptre' of Esth. 4:11, 6:2, 8:4, see Middleton in EB, s.v. 'Sceptre' ; Dict. Gr. and Rom. Antiq., s.v. 'Sceptrum' ; and Frazer, Paus. 5:210+.


(CKEYAC), 'a Jew, a chief-priest', whose seven 'sons' (or disciples [Baur]) practised exorcism at Ephesus, with the results described with reference to two of them (v. 16 a^oTtpuv [amphoteroon], but TR avrwv [autoon]) in Acts 19:14-17. See EXORCISTS. Schurer thinks that dpxtfpfws [archiereoos] (gen.) in v. 14 means 'member of a high-priestly family'. More plausibly we might read ap\Luvvay^-yov [archisynagoogou]; the tep&os [hiereoos] of D seems too slight an emendation. As to the name Sceva, it may be a Graecised Latin name (Blass).

T . K. C.




(AKINAKHC [akinakes]), Judith 13:6, 16:9 RV, AV 'fauchion'. See SWORD, WEAPONS, 1.


(Tjipr, 'akrab, CKORTTIOC [skorpios]). Scorpions are especially common in the peninsula of Sinai and the desert of et-Tih (cp Dt. 8:15, and see AKRABBIM), and the Arabian desert generally.

'Scorpions lurk under the cool stones', says Doughty ;

'I have found them in my tent, upon my clothing, but never had any hurt. I have seen many grown persons and children bitten, but the sting is not perilous ; some wise man is called to "read " over them' (Ar. Des. 1:328 ; Doughty's statements about Arabia must not be taken too generally; cp 3)

1. References.[edit]

The form of expression, therefore, in Lk. 10:19 ( 'I empower you to tread upon serpents and scorpions' ) is not quite so striking as that in the || passage, Ps. 91:13 LXX ( 'Thou shall go upon the asp and the basilisk' ), and in the description of the locusts from the 'pit of the abyss' the weakest part may seem to be the detail of their 'tails like (those of) scorpions' (Rev. 9:10, see RV). From a picturesque point of view, however, this detail is quite in place ; it is indeed a formidable appearance which the 'appendages' of the scorpion present.

Ezekiel apparently likens bitter words to the sting of a scorpion (Ezek. 2:6); so, perhaps, Ecclus. 26:7. In 1 K. 12:11, 12:14 (2 Ch. 10:11, 10:14) 'whips' and 'scorpions' are parallel, but the 'scorpions' intended are worse than those of nature (see WHIP).! In 1 Macc. 6:51 the forcible term cncopTrt Sia [skorpidia] ('little scorpions') is used for instruments for hurling darts ; cp Caes. Bell. Gall. 7:25, 'scorpionem'. The term, weakened by EV into 'pieces' (without mg.), arose from the resemblance of part of the instrument to the uplifted tail of a scorpion.

2. Criticism: Lk. 11:12.[edit]

There is also a reference to the scorpion in Lk. 11:12, which needs fresh investigation. The saying of which, in Lk., it forms part, occurs also in Mk. 7:9-11 ; but there a hungry son appears asking his father for a loaf, or a fish, confident that he will not get a stone or even a serpent, whereas in Lk. (in the ordinary texts) the son is also represented as asking for an egg, sure that he will not get a scorpion. There is good evidence (cod. B, Vet. Lat. , Syr. Sin. ) for the omission of the loaf and the stone in Lk., and Plummer and Julicher accept this form of the text, the insertion from Mt. being, it is urged, more probable than the omission. But how can Lk. have been satisfied with such a form of the saying ? The hungry child s first request is for bread, and the connection in which the saying stands being more original in Lk. than in Mt. , we have a right to presume that Lk. did not omit the loaf and the stone. But there is this prior difficulty to meet. How came Lk. to suppose that one of the antitheses of Jesus was egg and scorpion? One commentator suggests that 'scorpion' may mean the egg of a scorpion ; another, that when it is dormant, a scorpion is egg-shaped. Tristram passes over this point, and remarks (NHB 1:302) that Jesus adopts a current Greek proverb, 'a scorpion instead of a perch' dvrl TrepKijs ffKOpwiov [anti perkes skorpion]) ; similarly Julicher (Gleichnisreden, 2:39). But if we compare this Greek proverb, we are bound to show either that <^6f [ooon = egg] can mean 'fish' or some kind of fish, or that ubv [ooon] can have been corrupted out of some Greek word meaning fish. The second alternative alone is feasible ; (pov [ooon] may be a corruption of 6\j/ov [opson], which does not indeed occur in the NT, but might occur just as well as fydpiov [opsarion]. 2 The third pair of objects thus becomes 'fish' (6\f/ov [opson]) and 'scorpion' (cr/oopTn os [skorpios]). These are variants to 'fish' (l^Ous [ichthys]) and 'serpent' (&&lt;pis [ophis]). There are two pairs, not three, and the trouble of explaining the egg is removed. 'Scorpion' is probably correct.

1 The Q aipj; may refer to scarifying instruments (Ass. zukakipu, syn. akrabu) ; so Uhnpfund, BA 4:224.

2 Both words are used in the Greek Tobit.

3. Species, etc.[edit]

Scorpions are nocturnal in habit, and carnivorous, living on the juices of insects, spiders, etc., which they kill with their pointed sting borne on the last joint of their tail. When the animal is running about, the tail is often carried turned forward over the trunk. Scorpions are provided with a pair of small clawed appendages on the head, and these are followed by a large pair of nippers or jointed claws which resemble those of a lobster and which serve to catch and hold their prey. Behind these are four pairs of walking legs. The sting is very painful, and if it occurs in such a part of the body as the throat, or if the sufferer be out of health, may cause death.

Zoologically scorpions belong to the group Scorpiones of the Arachnida. The following species are described from Syria, Palestine, and Sinai, Buthus australis, B. crassicauda, B. bicolor, B. judaicus confined to these regions, B. occitanus, B. quinquestriatus, Butheolus melanurus, Nebo hierechonticus, N. flavipes. Numerous other species are recorded from Egypt, Arabia, and Asia Minor.

T. K. C. , 1-2

A. E. S. , 3.


See LAW AND JUSTICE, 12. The words are :-

1. ~i~. stt, 1 K. 12:11, 12:14, 2 Ch. 10:11, 10:14, Prov. 26:3, Nah. 3:2. Metaphorically, of the tongue (Job 5:21), and of a divine judgment, Is. 10:26, 28:5 (here, of invasion), Job 9:23. Cp WHIP.

2. EC s?, shotet Josh. 23:13+ (metaphorically ; cp 'plague').

3. rrf2- bikkoreth, Lev. 19:20+, AV 'she shall be scourged', AV mg. (following Mishnah) 'there shall be a scourging', RV 'they shall be punished'. RVmg. (probably rightly) 'there shall be inquisition' (i.e., judicial inquiry).

The NT words are:-

4. ficwrrif [mastix] (Mk. 3:10. etc), naoTtyooi [mastigooo] (Mt. 10:17, etc.), nao~riu [mastizoo] (Acts 22:25). See SYNAGOGUE, 4 (a).

5. <fyxrxAA6 [phragellooo] (Mt. 27:26, Mk. 15:15), .JpaycAAioiv [phragellion] (Jn. 2:15); Lat. flagello, flagellum. Cp LAW AND JUSTICE, 12.


(rvW>). Is. 34:14 , RV 'night-monster'. RVmg LILITH.


i^C^; erriCTTACTpON [epispastron]). Ex. 26:36; see TABERNACLE.

1 Kraepelin, 'Scorpiones u. Pedipalpi', Das Thierreich, 8 Lief., Berlin, 1899.


1. Terms.[edit]

To do justice to this heading it is not enough to register and explain the three Hebrew words rendered 'scribe' in AV and RV taken together. We are bound to notice the fact that LXX sometimes renders TBJT (shoter} as well as ~sz ????????? (sopher) by ypa.fjifJM.Tfis [grammateus], and to consider the sense which this queen of the versions gives to that Greek word. The two Hebrew words will illustrate what is said elsewhere in this work on writing, literature (in its various branches), and government ; in studying them we shall see how sopher came to mean 'theologian', and shoter came to signify 'official'. The strange word tiphsar ("2t. rendered 'scribe' in RVmg at Nah. 3:17, will also have to be considered ; the discovery of the meaning of this word suggests literary influences, which are likely to receive more and more justification.

For a hardly less strange word, kartom (;;;n-X) rendered 'sacred scribe' in RVmg. at Gen. 41:8. etc., see MAGIC ( 3); the rendering of RVmg. is not very probable, and has no ancient support (but cp Ges.-Bu. s.v.).

2. The sopher and shoter.[edit]

Sopher (Ass. shapiru) seems to be a denom. of sepher (Ass. shipru), and to judge from the Assyrian usage, sopher may have had a very wide sense, including every sort of message, and even permitting the rendering 'command'. It is a question whether sipher in Judg. 5:14 should not be taken in accordance with this (possible) early usage as 'commander' ; but to this we will return presently. The root-meaning of shtr. on the other hand, is 'to write' ; the distinction should be remembered - shapiru in Ass. = 'to send' ; shataru = 'to write', cp Aram, shetara, 'document'. In Heb. 'to write' is not spr (-IEC! or shtr (e*I) but ktb (",1;) (see the Lexicons), a word not found in Ass. Presumably, therefore, sopher (also, of course, sepher ; cp EPISTOLARY LITERATURE, 5) and shoter were borrowed from Assyrian or Babylonian. We find the Ass. noun shapiru used as a syn. of aklu, 'secretary' ; one or the other term was often wanted, for the most different classes needed secretaries to prepare legal documents and other business records. So, doubtless, among the Israelites. In Judg. 5:14, as also in Is. 33:18, we meet with a sopher in the army (the Isaiah passage, being a late literary work, may be used as a Jewish record). There were, no doubt, different grades of military sophirim ; the highest would be the military adjutant who enrolled the warriors, and who might even (but this is an uncertain inference 1 from 2 K. 20:19) be the same person as the 'captain of the host' (cp Ass. shapiru, 2. 'ruler' ). The king, too, naturally had his sephir (2 S. 8:17, 20:25, 2 K. 12:10 [12:11], etc.), EVmg 'secretary' (see GOVERNMENT. 21 ). Only twice do we find the sing. shoter - viz. , in Prov. 6:7 (between katsin and moshel) and in 2 Ch. 26:11 (of a military enroller, syn. with sopher). 2 Repeatedly, however, the shoterim are mentioned either next to the 'elders' of the people (Nu. 11:16, Dt. 29:9 [29:10], 31:28, Josh. 8:33, 23:2, 24:1), or beside the 'judges' (Josh. 8:33, 23:2, 24:1, Dt. 16:18). Proclamations or orders in time of war were made known through them (Dt. 20:5, 20:8-9, Josh. 1:10, 3:2).

In Ex. 5:6, 5:10, etc., the Israelitish overseers appointed by the Egyptian taskmasters are designated shoterim; LXX gives ypoji^arcif [grammateis]; cp LXX's rendering of shoter in Prov. 6:7, TO* eu-ayca^oira [ton anagkazonta]. The term also occurs six times in Chronicles (1 Ch. 23:4, 26:29, 27:1, 2 Ch. 19:11, 26:11, 34:13). Evidently sopherim and shoterim were synon. terms, and could be used of any subordinate office which required ability to write. No doubt, too, in 1 Macc. 5:42 ypauuaTfis Tou Aaou [grammateis tou laou] = Oyn '8Ow [ShTRY HAM]

3. Later use of sopher.[edit]

Thus the later Jewish meaning of sopher (see SCRIBES AND PHARISEES) must be kept carefully apart, when we are considering the old and very slowly-forgotten meaning of the term. When the plur. sepharim took the new sense of 'holy writings' (Dan. 9:2, /3iJ\oi [bibloi], LXX Theod. ), it was natural that sopher should come to mean 'theologian' or 'lawyer' (so EV for ro/uxos [nomikos]). But the older meaning was precisely that which was most natural to Alexandrian Jews. Both under the Pharaohs and under the Ptolemies a 'scribe' was a government clerk, or registrar - in short, an official (see HISTORICAL LITERATURE, 3, 5). He was not a theologian ; the priests were the theologians. He was not properly a military man, for he was exempt from military service. Hence in Judg. 5:14 shebet sopher (TSO E:~) becomes 57ry77<rea>s 7pa^areu>j [diegeseoos grammateoos] (LXX{B}), 'the report of an official' (?), and in Is. 33:18 sopher becomes ol 7pa^/iarjKoi [oi grammatikoi]. Under the Ptolemies, it is true, the term 'scribe' received a military colouring ; but, for clearness sake, it was usual to fill out the phrase and put 7/xt/u.uarei>s TUV fj.a\i/jMjv [grammateus toon machimoon] or r>2 i Svrdftewr [toon dynameoon]. 3

Svi-dfitif [dynameis] is actually found once in LXX, which gives in Jer. 52:25 (see note 1) T<>ryp<m/iaTeo rwr SvrafLcuic [ton grammatea toon dynameoon], reading f*^^ " "!?. The term ypanfiaTOfttTayayfvs [grammateisagoogeus] in LXX, Ex. 18:21, 18:25 (not in LXX{B} in these two passages) Dt. 1:15, 16:18, 29:9 [29:10], 31:28, awaits explanation from the papyri.

1 MT reads here N=V~ Ijr ~?i:~, but LXX presupposes 1EC, whilst L reads fEw (TOC iacVii [ton saphan]) and Vg. Sopher, both as proper names, "" r-, too, is MT's reading in Jer. 52:25 (LXX does not express >). 'Saphan' is adopted from LXX{L} (Kings) by Klo.: 'scribe of the general' is also a possible rendering in Jer., and is preferred by Kamph. in Kau. HS and Nowack {Arch. 1:360). Otherwise K^STl "V w "*" be a gloss (but cp Giesebrecht).

2 LXX however, gives PITJS [krites] for shoter. ypaiifiarcvt [grammateus] for sopher.

3 Deissmann, Bibelstudien, 106 (1895).

4 In Jer. LXX gives /3<Ao<rrotrtts [belostaeis], a mere guess(?); 5 Nah. 6 OTUUOCTO? ox>v [o symmiktos sou], which seems to represent ~;iv> a possible variant to riZTKr which in LXX's Heb. text supplanted - CB21- owinj to the similarity of 7*1 to };%

5 La Langue primitive de la Chaldee, 365 (1875) : Etudes sur syllabaires cuneiformes, 186 (1876). So Schrader. KAT (2) 424.

6 Halevy (Origins de la civ. Bab. 235 [1875]) compares duppu, 'tablet', with New Heb. *]3. [DP] column (of a scroll) or page. Cp also Syr. dappa, 'plank', 'board' (e.g. Acts 27:44). Duppu also = 'letter'; see EPISTOLARY LITERATURE, 5.

4. Tiphsar[edit]

The third and most difficult word remains - a word on which LXX throws no light, 4 and for which our revisers in their uncertainty give two renderings - 'marshal' and 'scribe'. 'Marshal', no doubt, was chosen for tiphsar or (Nah.) taphsar. because this sense suited Jer. 51:27. But it can be shown that it does not suit Nah. 8:17, and in Jer. (l.c.) we expect the name of a country ; here TDBC is probably corrupt (see Crit. Bib. ). In fact, tiphsar, as Lenormant first showed, 5 is the Ass. dup-sharru, 'tablet-writer', 6 which is of Sumerian origin, but occurs countless times in the contract-tablets. See TAKPELITES. The proof of the correctness of this explanation is that a similar one is equally needful for the parallel word -puo (EV 'thy crowned'; so Kimchi, unsuitably) which is perhaps corrupt in one letter (i for -i), and should be read r^iio (so P. Ruben). Mindidu, like dupsharru, occurs often in contract tablets ; it means one who is legally empowered to measure wheat, dates, etc. These two officers are naturally mentioned after the merchants (Nah. 3:16).

The same words (tiphsar and mindidu) have been recognised by the present writer in Is. 33:18, where, for D VlJDfTOIt "IE3 n K we should read D T^D n N O lDEQ rVN, 'where are the tablet-writers? where are the measuring clerks?' (Che. SBOT 'Isa.' [Heb.]), and mindidu is probably to be found also in Zech. 9:6, where 'a mamzer (EV 'bastard' ; see MAMZER) shall dwell in Ashdod' should be 'a mindid shall dwell in Ashdod' - i.e. ,Ashdod shall be subject to Assyrian (or foreign) civil functionaries (Che. PSBA, May, 1900). This is at any rate at once a possible and a suitable explanation.

T. K. C.


In NT (1-2). Name and position (3-4). Character and beliefs (5-10). Earlier history ( 11-16). Assidaeans = Pharisees (17). Later history ( 18-20). Bibliography ( 21).

1. Incidental references in NT.[edit]

It is too often forgotten that the gospel narratives make only incidental references to the Scribes and Pharisees. The stern reproofs uttered by Jesus against their arrogant self-righteousness, narrowness, and deadening spiritual pride, were undoubtedly well deserved as applied to the later form of Pharisaism ; but they do not aid us in discovering, either the fundamental principles of the school, or the causes which produced such a religious development. Our present object must therefore be, first, to ascertain what the two classes of Jews, designated in the NT Scribes and Pharisees, really represented in the current theological thought, and thus to determine, as nearly as possible, the character of their party, and secondly, to trace their historical development clown from its beginnings at the time following the Babylonian exile.

2. Usage of writers.[edit]

The usage of the terms 'Scribes' and 'Pharisees' throughout the Gospels shows that a conscious distinction was made between them, as may be seen for example, from the common expression 'Scribes and Pharisees', passim. It is significant that the word 'Scribe' is not used by any evangelist with reference to single individuals. It is in every instance applied to a literary class, as in Mt. 7:29, Mk. 1:22 (more specifically Mt. 15:1, Mk. 3:22 'the Scribes who came from Jerusalem', who naturally were the most important and most influential members of the party). Where single scribes are meant, the writer usually designates them 'some of the Scribes' (Mt. 9:3, 12:38, Mk. 7:1), or else classes them with the Pharisees, as just indicated. On the other hand, the term Pharisees is frequently used in passages where the writer evidently means to refer to individual members of a certain school (Mt. 9:11, 9:34, 12:2, 14:24, Mk. 2:18, 2:24, etc.).

Josephus also refers to the Scribes as those 'learned in the law' (iepoypa;uju.aT(.s [hierogrammateis], BJ 6:5:3), and as 'expositors of the law' firarptw efr;yr;rai v6fj.iav [patrioon exegetai nomai], Ant. 17:6:2), whereas by the term 'sophists' (<7o<f>ia-Ta.f [sophistai], BJ 1:33:2, 2:8+), he may mean the members of the distinctly Pharisaic party, some of whom taught law. Josephus, who uses the regular expression <j-api<ra.loi [pharisaioi] much more often than any of the other terms, neglects to inform his readers (for example in Ant. 13:10:6) of the close connection between the Scribes and the Pharisees, probably because it was too well-known a fact to require explanation.

There can be no doubt that in the NT, especially in the many speeches of Jesus directed against the Scribes and Pharisees, the term 'scribes' (usually ypa/j./j.a.Teis [grammateis]) is used of those learned persons who made a special study of the law ('the lawyers', {1} Lk. 14:3 ; 'doctors, teachers of the Law', vofj.odiddffKa\oi [nomodidaskaloi], Lk. 5:17, Acts 5:34), and that the expression 'Pharisees' always means the peculiar body of men who affected to live according to the letter of the law. In spite of this evident distinction, however, it is quite clear that wherever the Scribes and the Pharisees are mentioned side by side in the NT they were purposely brought together as the representatives of the same intellectual tendency (cp Mt. 5:20, 12:38, etc.). Furthermore, in Mk. 2:6, in the account of the cure of the palsied man, we find the term 'Scribes'; but in the parallel passage Lk. 5:21, the expression 'Scribes and Pharisees' is used in an evidently synonymous sense. Finally, the application of both terms to the same school of thought is found in the later Jewish literature, where the earlier Scribes of Maccabaean times are generally made to call themselves hakamim, 'learned men', but are also referred to as Pharisees, especially in passages inspired by hostile Sadducee sentiment (Yadaim, 4:6+; Bab. Sot. 22b). Cp ISRAEL, 81+.

1 NofiiKot [nomikoi]; cp Mt. 22:35, Lk. 7:30, 10:25, 11:45, 11:52, 14:3.

3. Name Pharisees.[edit]

The meaning of the name Pharisees ($>apiffatoi [pharisaioi]) is perfectly clear. Its original Heb. form o tfrs, perushim (Aram - IT" 1 ? N^"??) can signify only those who have been 'set apart' - i.e., from the mass of the people (pixrr Dp). The opprobrious sense in which the word was often used was imposed upon it by enemies. In itself the term means simply a school of ascetics 1 and is really quite in harmony with the general character of the Pharisees, who may have used it of themselves at first. Their own term for themselves was habirim, 'brethren' - that is to say, members of the true congregation of Israel.

4. Relations of Scribes and Pharisees.[edit]

Our data regarding the Scribes and Pharisees would appear to indicate that, while the Scribes were a class of literatates devoted to the study and exposition of the Law, the Pharisees were more properly a distinct religious party, most of whose members belonged to the class of Scribes. The object of the Pharisees was, clearly, to live according to the Law, which the orthodox Scribes interpreted. It follows, therefore, that from the very inception of the Pharisaic party, its leaders must have been orthodox Scribes. As the Sadducees also followed the written Law, there must have been Sadducee Scribes as well, and it is highly likely that there were also Scribes who belonged to neither party. This explains the distinctive expressions 'Scribes of the Pharisees' (Mk. 2:16, Acts 23:9); 'the Pharisees and their Scribes' (Lk. 5:30), from which it is evident that not all the Scribes were Pharisees. It is probable also that some of the Pharisees, owing no doubt to lack of education, belonged only nominally to the scribal class and practised blindly the precepts laid down for them by their more scholarly scribal leaders.2 At the time of Jesus, we almost always find Scribes in judicial positions ; thus, whereever the high priests and elders are mentioned, the Scribes are generally included - without, however, any specification as to whether they belonged to the Pharisees or the Sadducees, or whether they were merely neutral scholars (cp Mt. 16:21, Mk. 11:27, Lk. 9:22, 'the elders and chief priests and scribes' ; Mt. 20:18, 'the chief priests and scribes', Lk. 20:1 '. . ., with the elders' ; Mt. 26:57 Acts 6:12, 'the scribes and elders' ).

1 The abstract form n7WHS is used in the sense 'abstinence, continence', Yom. 74b.

2 Wellhausen's statement (Pharisaer u. Sadducaer, 11) that the Pharisees were the party of the Scribes needs some qualification.

3 EV's rendering in Acts 15:5, 26:5 is unfortunate; <upe<Ti? [hairesis] means here 'a party which professes certain philosophical principles', in fact, 'a school'. Cp Sext. Emp. 1:16. See HERESY.

5. Not a sect.[edit]

It is certainly an error to characterise the Pharisees as a religious sect, 3 because that word implies a divergence in creed from other followers of the same cult. This was distinctly not the position of the Pharisees - they were really from their first development, representatives of orthodox Judaism who distinguished themselves from the mass of their co-religionists rather by the Strictness of their observances than by any deviation from accepted doctrine. The words of Jesus in Mt. 23:2 clearly prove the Pharisees position ; 'the scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses seat ; all things, therefore, whatsoever they bid you, these do and observe' ; but, he adds, as a reproof to their externalism, 'do ye not after their works, for they say and do not'. The sole object of the Pharisees religious life was to fulfil, regardless of consequences, the requirements of the law which they believed to be the clearly expressed will of Yahwe. According to Josephus, when Petronius asked the Pharisee leaders whether they were ready to make war against Caesar without considering his strength and their own weakness, they replied: 'we will not make war with him ; but still we will die rather than see our laws set aside'. 1 This short sentence expresses most characteristically their fundamental principles.


6. Oral law.[edit]

The Pharisaic dogmatic peculiarities, as outlined in 2-3, all tend to show how fully their religious position was in accord with orthodox Judaism, and to what an extent their opponents the Sadducees had remained behind and apart from the current religious development. The chief point in the Pharisees' code wherein they differed from the Sadducees was their insistence on the validity of a mass of oral tradition (Mt. 15:2, Mk. 7:3) which had accumulated in the course of centuries as a supplement to the written law. The Pharisees held that this traditional matter, regulating and explaining the observance of the written law, was as binding on the Israelites of every generation as the law itself (Sanh. 11:3), whereas the Sadducees rejected all such oral traditions and held strictly to the written Mosaic ordinances (Ant. 13:10:6). Herein the Pharisees, rather than the Sadducees, represent the natural religious development, because traditions, both oral and written, recording, for example, precedents for the interpretation of the law are a necessary and logical supplement to a fixed code, and, whilst they should not be accorded the same authority as the code itself, are undoubtedly a permissible and normal growth. 2 In the case of the Pharisees, however, their reverence for traditional precepts gradually degenerated into a slavish regard, first, for the text of the law itself, and, secondly, for a purely arbitrary supplementary oral code which had exceeded the legitimate functions and authority of tradition.

This oral matter had largely originated among the scribes since the time of Ezra, 3 although most of the literary class undoubtedly believed that it descended from Moses. They consequently even went so far as to lay down the principle that, in case of a contradiction between a written and an oral precept, the preference must be given to the oral. Their observance of law and tradition became, finally, so thoroughly formal, that the Pharisees actually seemed to have lost sight of the contents of the Law in their endeavour to carry out its demands in proper form.

7. Resurrection.[edit]

The Pharisees believed in a resurrection of the body and in a future state of rewards and punishments (Acts 23:8, Jos Ant. 13:1:3).

The resurrection referred to in Dan. 12:2 is most probably confined to the Israelites ; probably the author of Daniel did not believe in eternal life for the heathen. The resurrection of all human beings, however, is announced in Enoch 22, and was the prevailing orthodox dogma in the time of Jesus. The author of Dan. 12 also teaches the doctrine of future rewards and punishments for the Israelites, and for the first time uses the expression 'everlasting life' 4 (Dan. 12:2).

The Sadducees denied both resurrection of the body and a future life (Mt. 22:23, Mk. 12:18, Jos. Ant. 13:1:4). See SADDUCEES, 6.

1 Ant. 18:8:3.

2 Scharer in Riehm, HWB 2:1209.

3 The oral law was regularly codified in writing in the second century A.D. Cp LAW LITERATURE, 23.

4 It is identical with the tiay aiuii ios [zoon aioonios] of the NT, and must not be confused with cSljn ~iy C"rt of Ps. 133:3, 'eternal life' for Israel as a nation.

8. Other points.[edit]

The Pharisees, unlike the Sadducees, believed in the existence of angels and spirits (Acts 23:8). This was a doctrine which had been part of orthodox Judaism since the days of Zechariah (Zech. ????" 7:17 ; 520 B.C.), and had in later times become expanded into a definite hierarchical system (cp Dan. 10:13, Tobit 12:15, and the Book of Jubilees). Here, also, the Pharisees were undoubtedly the representatives of orthodox opinion. See ANGELS, DEMONS.

Furthermore, the Pharisees held in general the doctrine of predestination, which was a natural outgrowth of their strict literalism, attributing the origin of everything, even of evil, to the far-seeing wisdom of Yahwe. Unlike the Essenes, however, they made a distinction between such actions as were controlled entirely by fate (Yahwe's will) and such as were, to some extent, directed by man's will, which, according to their theory, was permitted to operate within certain fixed limits - e.g. , rb irpaTTtiv TO. diKaia [to prattein ta dikaia], 'to choose the right' (Jos. BJ 2:8:14, Ant. 13:5:9, 18:1:3). The Sadducees, on the other hand, held that man's own will regulated all the events of human life and determined his happiness or unhappiness.

The Pharisees were the most eager cultivators of Messianic ideas. They longed for and awaited the temporal Messiah of the earlier Israelitish hopes (see MESSIAH). They therefore, quite naturally, were among the most bitter opponents of the more spiritual teachings of Jesus, which they regarded as a dangerous departure from their point of view. Their ideal of a personal Messiah may be gathered from Jos. Ant. 17:2:4 where the author relates that the Pharisees were involved in an intrigue of Pheroras against his brother Herod, and that they sided with Pheroras, in order to accomplish the overthrow of Herod and place Pheroras on the throne. This statement is, without doubt, based on a misunderstanding of the Pharisees motives.

In the first place, the prophecy which they made to Pheroras that Herod's government and dynasty should cease was uttered quite openly. This would hardly have been done had the Pharisees really been plotting directly against Herod with the aim of supplanting him by another. Secondly, they are said to have told Bagoas the eunuch that the new king would have control over all things and would be able to restore to him his powers of procreation. Such a statement could scarcely refer to Pheroras, a mere human monarch, but was plainly an allusion to the expected Messiah whose reign, according to Is. 66, should be a time of miraculous fruitfulness. 1 It was quite natural that such an idea should arise among the Pharisees at a time when the impious Herod was sitting as an usurper on the throne of David.

9. Defects.[edit]

Jesus' frequent and bitter denunciations of both Scribes and Pharisees because of their intense immovable bigotry and cold formalism, show very clearly their intellectual attitude in his time. They bound heavy burdens and laid them on men's shoulders (Mt. 23:4, Lk. 11:46) - i.e., they laid the utmost stress on a minute external observance of details. Such a formalism, although originally the product of a true desire to stand in the right way and follow the injunction of Yahwe, was certain to become the most crass externalism in a very short space of time. According to this system, the man who fulfilled to the letter all the physical requirements of the law, such as fasting, wearing the prescribed dress, etc., was technically 'righteous', quite irrespective of his true inner feelings. This position is admirably illustrated by the well-known comparison between the Pharisee and the publican (Lk. 18:9-14) Such externalism could only breed a love of religious show, a tendency to display their formal 'righteousness' before the world, and was certain not only to kill all appreciation of the spiritual meaning which underlay the various forms (Mt. 6:1, 23:5), but also to engender a spirit of casuistry which manifested itself whenever the strict requirements of an ordinance became unpleasantly onerous.

This cannot perhaps be better illustrated, than by citing the extraordinary means adopted by the later Pharisees to obtain a greater degree of freedom on the Sabbath than was allowed by the written law.

According to Jer. 17:21-24 (post-exilic) it was forbidden to convey or carry anything on the Sabbath from one place to another. It is clearly stated in Jer. that the ordinance refers, not merely to the city gates, but also to private houses out of which nothing might be carried. The Pharisees, whose tradition used the word reshuth, 'district', to define the limit in which carrying was legal, deliberately enlarged the reshuth artificially according to their own pleasure. Thus, if it was desired to fetch and carry on the Sabbath within the limits of a street or large space, they barred the street at either end or enclosed the space on four sides with beams or cords, thus making technically a legally defined limit (reshuth) within which the labour of carrying or loading might go on! {1} Cp SABBATH, 4, notes.

It is not surprising then that Jesus stigmatises the Scribes and Pharisees as hypocrites 'who paid the tithes but neglected the weightier matters of the law'; 'men who cleansed the outside of the cup and platter, but within are full of extortion and excess'; whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear beautiful but inwardly are full of dead men's bones (Mt. 23:23+).

1 On this discussion see Wellhausen, Phar. u. Sadd. 25.

10. Jewish classification.[edit]

The following Jewish classification of the Pharisees is an interesting confirmation of Jesus' estimate of them. Certain Rabbinical writers divided the Pharisees under seven heads: {2}

  • (1) the shoulder Pharisee, who wore openly on his shoulders a list of his own good actions.
  • (2) The temporising Pharisee, who begged for time in order to perform a good deed.
  • (3) The calculating Pharisee who said : 'my sins are more than counterbalanced by my many virtues'.
  • (4) The saving Pharisee who said : 'I will save a little from my modest fortune to perform a work of charity'.
  • (5) The Pharisee who said: 'would that I knew of a sin which I had committed, in order that I might make reparation by an act of virtue'.
  • (6) The God-fearing Pharisee (Job),
  • (7) The God-loving Pharisee (Abraham).

Of these, only the last two may be understood in a good sense. In spite of the general self-righteous tone of the party, such epithets were not infrequently applied to Pharisees. It must not, of course, be supposed that every member of the party was of necessity a spiritless formalist, dead to all true religious feeling. We need only remember the case of the righteous Nicodemus, and especially the words of Jesus already quoted (Mt. 23:2-3), confirming the Pharisees in their principle of observing the law, but attacking their insincere and external manner of carrying out their own precepts. Paul him self boasts that he followed the Pharisaic ideas regarding the law (Phil. 3:5), thereby implying that he recognised the authority of both the written and the oral law.


11. Growth of scribal party.[edit]

In considering this subject, it is necessary to seek the reason why the Pharisees enjoyed such an ascendancy over the people, and to examine into the causes which had produced such a lamentable state of religion among the Jews of party. the time of Jesus. These are all to be found in the history of the gradual rise, after the Babylonian exile, of the scribal class, and in the account of the development of the distinctively Pharisaic party from their ranks.

As both Josephus and the NT writers, whose statements regarding the Scribes and Pharisees are certainly the most important that we have at our disposal, were familiar with this school of thought only when it was in an advanced state of development, their account is of use chiefly in showing the character of the party in later times. The sources which are most instructive, however, for the study of the origin and growth of the scribal party are the OT Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha, especially the Psalter of Solomon. Besides these, the canonical books of Ezra, Neh., Dan., Ch. , and Esther are of great value in indicating the beginnings of the tendencies which produced the post-exilic literary and religious development.

It is useless to seek the origin of religious parties as far back as the period of the Babylonian exile.

1 See Schurer in Riehm, HWB 2:1207.

2 See Levy, NHWB 4:142.

12. Pre-exilic times.[edit]

The capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonians had of course completely shattered the Jewish political organisation, so that whatever differences of thought there had been before that event could hardly have, survived in a concrete form under the radically changed conditions which obtained afterwards. In the pre-exilic days the people had been led, on the one hand, by the priests and priestly families, who were the real literalists and ritualists, and, on the other hand, by prophets who claimed to speak in the name and with the special commission of Yahwe, and who, as spiritual reformers professing to guide Israel through the crises of her history. {1} were, in general, opposed to the more formal and worldly priestly caste. As it is impossible to trace here any of the differences between the Pharisees and the Sadducees already noted, the rise of all of them must be sought in the post-exilic times.

13. Two exilic schools.[edit]

Directly after the return, we find the people divided, as shown by many passages in Ezra and Nehemiah, into two hostile schools, of which one approved of uniting by marriage with the neighbouring peoples, especially with the Samaritan mixed race which they did not regard as heathen, and the other opposed such amalgamation most strongly, urging the necessity of keeping Yahwe's favoured nation intact (cp Ezra 9:1-2, 10:2, 10:18+). Both Ezra and Nehemiah were most zealous upholders of a strict observance of the law (Neh. 8:1+, 8:14+), and the bitterest opponents of the tendency manifested by all classes of Jews to contaminate themselves by foreign alliances. Ezra's and Nehemiah's earnest efforts to spread a knowledge of the law met, therefore, with only partial success (Ezra 10:15, Neh. 6:7, 6:10-14, 10:30, etc. ). The worst offenders against their injunctions were among the prominent high-priestly families who constituted the aristocracy, and in many cases had already allied themselves with outsiders seeking admission into the Jewish nation (note the relationship in Neh. 6:18, between the Persian official Tobiah and a prominent Jew, and in 13:28, between Sanballat and the son of the high priest Eliashib). It should be said in all fairness that the position so strongly taken by Ezra and Nehemiah was not necessarily the strictly legal one, as their opponents could cite many precedents from the earlier history which justified a considerate treatment of such strangers as wished to live at peace and in union with Israel (Lev. 24:22, Nu. 15:16, etc. ; cp STRANGER, 10). In fact, in the earlier law it was only marriage with the Canaanites that was expressly forbidden (cp Ex. 34:16, but see Judg. 3:6, etc. ). This being the case, the rise of two post-exilic parties at bitter feud with each other can easily be understood. The one consisted of the high-priestly families, the real aristocracy (Ezra 10:18), who were anxious to connect themselves with another aristocracy in order to increase their own strength, not, as some scholars thought, to form an anti-Persian alliance. The pious leaders, on the other hand, were the strictly Jewish party, who sought to follow the Law as they understood it. These latter formed the beginnings of the class of scribes whose founder was Ezra 'the priest and scribe' (Ezra 7:11, Neh. 8:1). It should be remarked that the Book of Ruth, which derives the house of David from a Moabitish stock, is now considered by many to be a conscious polemic against the extreme position of Ezra with regard to foreign marriages (but cp RUTH [BOOK], 7).

1 Cp Briggs, Messianic Prophecy, 26.

2 For priestly Pharisees, see Jos. Vit. 1+, 39 and in the Mishna, 'Eduyoth 2:1-2, 8:2; Aboth 2:8, 3:2.

14. Juristic students.[edit]

From this time onwards, a circle of Jewish scholars, many of whom were of priestly 2 (not high-priestly) race, applied themselves with increasing devotion to the study of the law from a juristic point of view. Among these men began and developed the system of oral tradition already mentioned which eventually took rank in their minds with the law itself. Between the time of Ezra and the period of Antiochus Epiphanes (520-175 B.C.) the differences became even more accentuated between this student class and the aristocratic high-priestly party whose policy of associating themselves with the nobility of the adjacent or dominant heathen people (Samaritan, Persian, Greek) remained unchanged. By the time the Graeco-Syrian domination began, the scholarly class, who edited and circulated the historical and prophetical Scriptures, treating them from the same minute dogmatic-ethical point of view as they did the law, had founded many schools.

Into these schools gathered great numbers of students who, of course, assisted in promulgating the peculiar orthodox doctrines already described. In these schools it was especially laid down as the imperative duty of the faithful student to remember accurately the principles which he had learned and to transmit them with equal accuracy to others. This is fully illustrated by two characteristic maxims of the Talmud : (1) 'To him who forgets a precept it is accounted by the scribe as if he had deliberately forfeited his life'. (ii.) 'Every one is bound to teach with the exact words of the teacher'. 1

In spite of these prescribed lines which the faithful student should follow, we find the caste of the Scribes at the time of Christ divided into two distinct schools, viz., the school of Hillel and the school of Shammai, which differed from each other, however, more on minor questions of interpretation than on any serious points of doctrine. In general, the school of Hillel was more lenient than that of Shammai (cp CANON, 53, n. 3).

The Scribes were undoubtedly the originators of the Synagogue service which was a natural result of their religious position. 2 Separated as they were from the high-priestly class, the teachers in these synagogal schools developed of necessity into a well-defined independent order of religious leaders called Rabbis, whom Sirach, writing at the beginning of the second century B.C., praises most heartily (39-40). It is doubtful whether the Scribes had crystallised into a distinctly political party as early as the time of Sirach. 3

15. Assmonaeans.[edit]

The first thing which tended to turn the religious students called Scribes into a fierce politico-religious faction was the attempts of Antiochus Epiphanes, so bitterly stigmatised in the book of Daniel, to Hellenise the entire Jewish people. In this, Antiochus was aided by the aristocratic party which, from the beginning of his reign, had manifested marked phil-Hellenic tendencies. Among the opponents of the Hellenistic movement we find a party calling themselves ASSIDAEANS [q.v. ] or 'the pious', and representing the most rigid development of the ideas of the Scribes.

They were strict observers of the law (1 Macc. 2:42), and in particular so rigid in their views of the Sabbath that they even refused to defend themselves on the holy day (1 Macc. 2:32+). That they were ascetics in their mode of life may be inferred from 1 Macc. 1:62+, and that they were evidently a well-organised body is seen from the unanimity with which they acted together (1 Macc. 7:13). See ASSIDAEANS.

It is interesting to notice that the author of Daniel shows many Assidaean tendencies. We need observe only the stress which he lays on the necessity of observing the law, and the indifference with which he regards the Maccabaean rising, calling it only 'a little help' (11:34). This is probably an allusion to the fact that many of the Maccabaean combatants attached more importance to the political than to the religious aspect of the question at issue.

1 See Schurer in Riehm, HWB 2:1453.

2 See SYNAGOGUE. Cp Sieffert, 'Die jud. Synagoge zur Zeit Jesu', in Beweis des Glaubens, 1876, pp. 8+, also Kuenen, Over de Mannen der Groote Synagoge (Amsterdam, 1876).

3 Cp Sieffert, RE (2) 13:220.

16. The popular rising.[edit]

The reasons for the rebellion of the Assidaeans against Antiochus Epiphanes must not be confounded with those which produced the popular rising of the Maccabees. The fundamental impulse of the Maccabaean rebellion was a pure patriotism, a true feeling for the miseries which the common people were undergoing (1 Macc. 2:7+). The Assidaeans were much more selfish in their aims, as they were perfectly willing to recognise the dominion of the heathen king, as long as they were left undisturbed in the observance of the law. They accordingly took part in the contest only long enough to insure their own religious freedom and, as soon as this seemed safe, promptly surrendered to Alcimus the Hellenistic high priest.

The statement in 2 Macc. 14:6 that the Assidaeans were the real Maccabaean war party is in direct contradiction to the data in 1 Macc, regarding them. In order to explain this, Hitzig (GV 1:417) considers 1 Macc. 7:13 as an interpolation. The probability is, as was suggested by Sieffert (RE (2) 13:223), that 1 Macc, was written from a Maccabaean, and 2 Macc, from a Pharisaic point of view. The Pharisees wished to claim for themselves the credit of the Maccabaean victories. The true attitude of the Assidaeans is probably given in 1 Macc. 7:13 (see also Wellhausen, l.c. pp. 79+; cp MACCABEES 1, 4).

17. Assidaeans = Pharisees.[edit]

There can be little doubt that these Assidasans were practically identical with that party of the Scribes which came to be called Pharisees under Johannes Hyrcanus (135-105 B.C.). As soon as the Maccabaean dynasty had become established, the new rulers assumed the high-priesthood, and so the ancient aristocratic and high-priestly families who, up to that time, had been the kernel of the phil-Hellenic party, were now forced to relinquish their position as political leaders. They retained a great part of their influence, however, as party leaders of their own faction which continued under the name Sadducees with essentially the same principles.

Later history.[edit]

18 Rupture with Hasmonaeans.[edit]

At the time of Hyrcanus, we find the Pharisees opposed to the Maccabaean or Hasmonaean family, with whom during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes they had temporarily made common cause.

It is not difficult to account for this change of attitude. As has already been stated, the Assidaeans cared little for political freedom and were therefore not in sympathy with the Maccabees as to the main issue. It was only natural, therefore, that, as soon as the Maccabees had succeeded in founding a temporal dynasty, they should begin to drift apart from the stricter scribal religious class who had now quite evidently assumed the leadership of their own party. The first rupture between the royal family and the Pharisees occurred in the reign of Hyrcanus who, although himself a Pharisee at first, deliberately left that party and became a Sadducee (cp ISRAEL, 78).

The son and successor of Hyrcanus, Alexander Jannaeus (104-78 B.C.), inherited his father's spirit, and waged a six years war against the now powerful Pharisaic party. On the death of Jannreus, however, his widow and successor Salome Alexandra (78-69 B.C.), realising the futility of attempting to resist the Pharisees, who were becoming stronger and stronger under opposition, made peace and allied herself with them (Ant. 13:6:1). It was at this period that the Pharisees gained over the minds of the people the ascendancy, retained without interruption until the days of Jesus, which appears so plainly in the pages of the NT. Indeed, their opponents the Sadducees never again became prominent as a political party after the advent of the Romans, who in 63 B.C. appointed the Pharisaic Hyrcanus, son of Alexandra, as their vassal-king, giving him the preference over his Sadducee brother, Aristobulus (cp Ps. Sol. 2).

1 Sieffert denies the identity of the Assidaeans and Pharisees, claiming that they were merely alike in principle, and not necessarily the same party. He finds it therefore impossible to trace the Pharisees farther back than the time of Hyrcanus (l.c. 226). It seems quite clear, however, that the party divisions of the Hasmonaean period were merely continuations of early differences and, as long as we can note in the Assidaeans the chief characteristics afterwards found in the Pharisees, there is every reason to see in the later party the logical development of the earlier.

19. As leaders.[edit]

The Pharisees now appear as the leaders of Jewish national religious feeling, although they must not be regarded as forming the kernel of the people, nor as being the people's party. This is true in spite of their violent opposition to Herod, with whom the Sadducees had allied themselves. The Pharisees naturally hated all religious oppression and were therefore on the people's side. Their position, like that of the earlier Assidaeans, was purely religious, however, and their object can be said to have been political only in so far as they desired to establish the theocratic idea. The Pharisees hated the Romans, therefore, with perfect consistency, because it was from them that the anti-legal exactions came. Extremists like the Scribes refused, accordingly, to pay the foreign tax and were consequently in a constant state of friction with the Roman provincial authorities whom the Sadducees, ever true to their foreign predilections, supported. It cannot be said, however, that the later Sadducees like their phil-Hellenic predecessors were entirely anti-national.

20. Rebellion.[edit]

There can be no doubt that this bigoted theocratic nationalistic tendency, which the Pharisees never ceased to preach eventually caused the disastrous anti-Roman rebellion that ended so fatally for the Jewish nation. Indeed, according to Josephus (BJ 4:3:9+, Ant. 18:1:1), it was the Zealots, a distinctly Pharisaic development, who were the instigators and ringleaders of this movement. It happened then that those who wished to lead the people to righteousness and to the realisation of the Messianic hopes of centuries became, through their own blind pride, the chief instruments in the downfall of their nation and religion. The Pharisees bigotry and narrow short-sightedness, therefore, which Jesus had condemned so frequently and so vehemently, were punished in the most terrible manner conceivable.

21. Bibliography.[edit]

The literature on the subject is very extensive. Among the modern publications the following should be mentioned : Cohen, Les Phariseens (Paris, 1877); Ewald, Gesch. dcs Volkes Israelis 357 ff. 476^ (1864); Geiger, Sadd. u. Phar. in Jud. Ztschr. 1-Li.ff. (1863); Gfrorer, Das Jahrhundert d. Heils, 1 309.^ (1838) ; Gratz, Gesch. derjuden, 71^ 455^: ^863) ; Hamburger, Realencycl.fiir Bibelu. Talmud,\\. 1038^(1882); Hausrath, Neutest, Zeitgesch. \-]dff., Kriiger, Beitrage zur Kenntniss der Pharisaer u. Essener in Theol. Quartalschr. 80431-96 ; Kuenen, De Godsdienst van Israel, l^i.ff. (1869) ; Volksreligion und Weltreligion, 206 ff. (Berlin, 1883); Reuss, ^^11496^; Schenkel, Bibellex. 4 518^; Schiirer, Gesch. desjiid. I olkcs im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, 2 -ztfiff. 314^". (1886) ; in Riehm s HWB 2 1205-1210 1451-54 (1894); Sieflert, PRE(1) 18210-44(1884); Wellhausen, Pharisaer u. Sadduca.er(i?,j^).

J. D. P.


i. E-1p^, yalkut(^ Ass. lakatu = T\\h, 'to rake together' ; or Ar. kal'atun, 'pouch, satchel, knapsack' ), 1 S. 17:40 f (cyAAorH).

2. TTHPA, Mt. 10:10, Mk. 6:8, Lk. 9:3, 10:4, 22:35-36. (RV WALLET). A scrip is a pouch or wallet used by shepherds (Milton, Comus, l. 626) ; cp CATTLE, 6. But the yalkut was also used by travellers. It is probably the 7n)pa [pera]of Judith 10:5, 13:10, 13:15 (EV 'bag' ), and of Mt. 10:10, etc.; aip 1 ? or (n)nySp may (Che.) also be restored in Judg. 5:26 (MT irr), where it would mean a household box or bag (see JAEL).


i. In Dan. 10:21 the seer's supernatural visitant is reported as saying, 'I will show thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth' (AV), or rather (RV), 'I will show thee that which is inscribed in the writing of truth' - i.e., in the book in which the destinies of mankind are written down beforehand. The expression stands in close relation to the growing interest of the later Jews in the 'last things'. Prophecy in the grand old style having ceased, it became necessary to look to the source of all true knowledge of the future - viz. , to God - or more specially to those seers and sages of primitive times whom Yahwe, it was believed, favoured by giving them special revelations, either directly, or by one of those angels who 'see his face' (Enoch, Seth, Daniel, etc.). The phrase in its context is important for the comprehension of those late writings to which the name of some one of those primitive seers is prefixed. It is, of course, related to such an expression as the 'book of life', or, 'of the living', Ps. 69:28 [69:29], cp Dan. 12:1, but very much more closely to the conception of the 'heavenly tablets' (TrXd/ces TOV ofipavov, see Test. xii. Patriarch; Enoch, 81:1-2), which are the Jewish equivalent of the tablets of Marduk. The idea survives in the popular Jewish view of the Jewish New Year's Day (=the Zakmuk festival at Babylon), according to which God holds session on that day with a book before him in which he inscribes the fates of men (Jastrow, Karppe). For the later Jewish references see Charles, Enoch, note on pp. 131/1, and for the origin of the tablets of Marduk see the Babylonian Creation-story, 1:33, 4:131, and the first myth of Zu, KB, vi. pt. i. pp. 47 J, and cp Jastrow, RBA 428, 540.

2. al ypafraC [graphai] (some eighteen times in NT e.g., Jn. 5:39 of OI), see CANON, 2; ypa^ai a-yiat, Rom. 1:2 ; r/ vpcufm Mk. 12:10, 15:28 (?), Lk. 4:21, Jn. 2:22, 7:38, 7:42, 10:35, 13:18, 17:12, 19:24, 19:28, 19:36, 19:37 20:9, Acts 1:16, 8:32, 8:35, Rom. 4:3, 9:17, 10:11, 11:2, Gal. 3:8, 3:22, 4:30, 1 Tim. 5:18, Ja. 2:82, 3:45, 1 Pet. 2:6, 2 Pet. 1:20 ; Trio-a ypa^, 2 Tim. 8:16 ; rd tepi ypa.fj.paTa (AV, the holy scriptures RV. the_ sacred writings) 2 Tim. 3:15 ; cp 1 Macc. 12:9 ( T a jSi/SAi a ra ayia) ; 2 Macc. 8:23 (TTJI/ iepotf /3i /3Aoj>).

Observe that in 1 Pet. probably, and in Jas. , Jn. , and 2 Pet. certainly, 7? ypa<prj [e graphe] is used of the Scripture as a whole. In 2 Tim. 3:16, however, RV is doubtless right in changing AV's 'all scripture (is given by inspiration of God, and is)' into 'every scripture (inspired of God is also)'. ypcKpTrj [graphe] means here, as also in Paul, any single passage of Scripture. 'The writer shares the Jewish view of the purely supernatural origin of the Scripture in its strictest form, according to which " theopneustia " is ascribed directly to the Scripture' (Holtzmann, Lehrb. der NTlichen Theologie, e 2.zf>i\. Cp the Jewish belief in the heavenly origin of the Torah, the denial of which made a man an 'Epicurean' or apostate, and excluded him from the future age (Sanhedrin, 90a).


(inS), Lev. 21:20, 22:22, Dt. 28:27 f ; see DISEASES, 8.


For Jer. 50:16 AVmg- (*?;), see AGRICULTURE, 7. For Is. 2:4, Joel 3:10 [4:10], Mic. 4:3 [all AVmg.] (nTDID), see PRUNINGHOOK. For 2 Macc. 13:2 ( scythe-bearing, SpeTra.irri<f>6pa [drepanephora]), see CHARIOT, 11.


1. EKu0ns [Skythes] in LXX and NT = Scythian?[edit]

The LXX contains some apparent references to the Scythians.

In 2 Macc. 447 Antiochus IV. Epiphanes is charged with such injustice as would not be found in a Scythian court, and in 3 Macc. 7:5 the servants of Ptolemy IV. Philopator are accused of cruelties after the fashion of Scythians. The city of BETH-SHEAN (q.v.) is called Scythopolis (Swe^v TToAis;) in Judg. 127, Judith 3:10, 2 Macc. 12:29-30. Symmachus translated C7 y (Elam) in Gen. 14:19, 2,KvOiav [skythen].

Moreover 'Scythian' (Z/ci ^s) is mentioned with 'barbarian' in TR of Col. 3:11.

It is not certain that in any of these instances the reference is to the historic Scythians.

Jason of Cyrene in the days of Caesar, and the author of 3 Macc, at the time of Caligula, may indeed have had in mind such descriptions as those in Herod. 4:62-69 or some proverbial sayings based on them. It is also possible, however, that they used the term 'Scythians' only as a synonym for 'barbarians'. According to Georgius Syncellus (Chron. 1:405) the origin of the name Scythopolis for BETH-SHEAN, also known to Josephus (Ant. 12:8:5 [ 348]), Eusebius (OS 23:755), an d others, was the presence in that city of a body of Scythians remaining from the invasion in the time of Psammetichus. The name, however, does not occur on an inscription before 218 BC. Pliny states (HN 5:74) that Scythopolis formerly had the name of Nysa. Whilst it is not in itself improbable that some Scythians in 625 B.C. remained as an enclave in Beth-shean and played as important a part there as the exiles from Cutha seem to have done in Samaria, it is also possible that the name is due to the settlement of some people deported by Ashur-bani-pal, such as the Parthian Dahae (Ezra 4:9, where Hoffmann s conjecture tHp-n is more ingenious than convincing). Symmachus may have used Scythian for Parthian.

In Col. 3:11 the text is clearly not in order. It probably originally read 'Jew and Gentile' ('Iou8aios Kai E0viKos ; Syr. Ihudhaye w-'Armaye; Eth. Aykudawe wa 'Alamawe; Lat. Gentilis et Iudaeus), 'circumcision and uncircumcision, Greek and barbarian' (nepiToun Kai aKpoBucrTia 'EAAnv Kai BapBapos; Syr. Yaundye weBarberaye; cp. Ignatius, Philad. 6 'EAAncri TE Kai BapBapois, 8ouAos Kai EAEu0Epos); 'Scythian' (EKu0ns [skythes]) seems to be a gloss to 'barbarian'.

It is exceedingly probable that in MT the Scythians are referred to as Ashkenaz 1 (LXX Acrxavaf) in Gen. 10:3, 1 Ch. 1:6, Jer. 51:27.

1 [The question of the origin and meaning of the name 'Ashkenaz' and the related names needs to be re-examined in connection with the 'Jerahmeelite theory'. See Crit. Bib. on Gen. 10:2-4.]

2. Askenaz = Scythian.[edit]

Originally the Hebrew word may have been pronounced Ashkunza (U3K, USiS N, !J3B>N, IJ3C ; K, T33C*N) ; it is as Delitzsch has pointed out (see ASHKENAZ) identical with Ashkuza and Ishkuza occurring in Assyrian inscriptions (see 6). In the Behistun inscription the Saka chief Shuka is called, in the Susian version, Iskunka. Already Vater (Comm., 1802, p. ioo)observed that a name beginning with Sc would be suitable on account of the prosthetic A, E, or I. The essential part of the name seems to be Sku : cp 2<cu-Arjs [skyles], SKO-AOTOI [skylotoi], Sicou-Tratrts [skypolis], Chinese Szu, Persian Sa-ka. Askuza -Skuza is apparently the origin of EKu0ns [skythes]

In Gen. 10:3 the Scythian is, then, regarded as a son of the Kimmerian (GOMER, Gimirra, Gamir, K.i/jLfj^pioi [kimmerioi]) and a brother of Riphath and Togarmah, whilst in Jer. 51:27 he appears as the companion of the Mannoean and Urartaean. The author of Jer. 50-51:58, whose production is largely a patchwork of quotations, seems to have used in 51:27 some old writing now lost, since the connection of MINNI and ARARAT (q.v.) with Ashkenaz reflects a definite historical situation centuries before his own time (cp JEREMIAH [BOOK], 20, viii. ). Whether Riphath and Togarmah were current designations of certain countries in the N. at the time of the priestly editor of the Pentateuch, or likewise drawn from some older source, must be left in doubt.

3. Gog and Magog.[edit]

It has also been maintained that the Scythians are alluded to under the names Gog and Magog. Magog was interpreted as Scythians by Josephus (Ant. 1:6:1 [123]), Jerome, Theodoret, and others. The fact that Gomer (Kimmerian), Madai ( Mede), Javan (Greek), Meshech (Moschi), Tubal (Tibarenes), and Tiras (Tursa, Tyrrhenians) are so manifestly names of famous nations renders it quite certain that, if the word has been accurately transmitted, or formed at all a part of the original text, Magog must also represent the name of a well-known people. It must be confessed that the absence of so important a name alike in cuneiform and classical sources makes one suspect the correctness of the name.

This has led Cheyne to suppose a dittography of "lOi in Gen. 10:2, and a corruption of p~liO in Ezek. 38-39. (see GOG AND MAGOG, 11.). The interpretation of ARMAGEDDON (q.v.) by this scholar is indeed as plausible as it is brilliant. It seems doubtful, however, whether the new-found chthonic divinity will be of service in Ezek. 38 (cp textual corrections in col. 3881, n. i, and for the opposite view that a great historic personage is reflected by the Gog of Ezek. 38 see 5). A simpler suggestion as to Gen. 10:2 would be that Magog (31]30]) was miswritten for Gog (3n13) under the influence of 'Madai' (OtoX) as a consequence of a changed conception of Gog, because at one time it was customary to contract the Assyrian mat Gag into Magag (Streck), or as a designation of a people akin to the Scythians and derived from Gog (3130)1 such as the Sarmatians or Massagetae. It is interesting that Saadia in this place has JIJN (ed. Derenbourg), the customary rendering of 313 at his time ; cp Kur'an 2196 and Arabic writers quoted by Herbelot. In Ezek. 38:2, 'land of the Magog' (3130.1 flt<) is apparently an interpolation (Stade), and in Ezek. 39:6 the original seems to have been Gog (LXX{BQ}). [On Ezek. 38 see further Crit. Bib.} In Targ. Jer. 1 to Nu. 11:26 n31301 NS1M JO T^D KD^Oi 'a king shall arise from the land of Magog', depends on Ezek. 38:2, while in Targ. Jer. 2 n31301 113 PI ni7 rll 'Gog and Magog and his armies', 313^1 is probably an interpolation ; but Magog seems to be the name of a king, as it certainly is in Targ. Jon. to 1 S. 2:10.

Amenhotep III. (Am. Tab. 1:38-39) mentions three countries - Gag, Hanigalbat, and Ugarit. Hanigalbat is probably Melitene, and Gog is likely to have been situated NE of Commagene (Streck, ZA 15:321). A people called Gag, or Gog, was thus known in the fifteenth century B.C. Concerning its ethnic relations we as yet know nothing. In view of the marked Iranian character of some names in the Amarna letters (see 13), it is not too bold an assumption that Gag may have been a forerunner of Ashkenaz in Anatolia belonging to the same family. Like the Mushki, the Kashki, the Tubali, and the Haldi, the Gagi may have been driven X. by new invaders ; and it is significant that, in the days of Strabo, there was a province Gogarene immediately E of the territory occupied by the Moschi, the Colchians, the Tibarenes, and the Chaldaeans (Geogr. 11:14, pp. 452-453 ed. Didot). In the time of Ashur-bani-pal Gagi still lingered in the neighbourhood of Urartu as the name of a chief of Sahi (Cyl. B. 4:1-2). That the memory of Gog as a people was not lost is shown by Rev. 20:8. Ewald rightly felt that the phrase 'Gog and Magog' was not the creation of the NT apocalytic. After the name Gogarene had attached itself to the territory occupied by Scythians, at least since the beginning of the seventh century B.C., Gog naturally was understood as a Scythian people, whatever its original character may have been.

4. 'King Gog'.[edit]

As, according to Ezek. 38:17, the coming of Gog, prince of Meshech and Tubal, had been predicted by the former prophets. Jerome looked for such a prophecy and found it in Nu. 24:7 where LXX and Sam. with Aq. Sym. read 'his king shall be higher than Gog'. l There can be little doubt that this is more original than MT, though the whole verse is probably a late interpolation. [Cp OG].

Peyron (Sur les prophttes, 1693, p. 136 f.) called attention to Am. 7:1c where LXX read 'and behold, one caterpillar, king Gog', and made this passage refer to a Scythian invasion. Here, too, the Hebrew text gives no satisfactory sense, and Nowack rightly rejects it as a gloss. 2 probably reproduces more nearly the words of the glossator ; but it may be questioned whether the original read jij -|Sa, 'king of Gog', or -jVcrt J13> 'Gog, the king'. If 'king of Gog' was the reading, 'Gog the king', and with it 'king Gog' himself, may have originated in a misunderstanding of this marginal comment to Am. 7:1. But the idea of this king may also have been suggested by descriptions of Gagi, ruler of Sahi, given by some of Ashur-bani-pal's Syrian colonists, unless it should ultimately prove to have its roots in Babylonian mythology, where a divine messenger Gaga figures in the Inuma. ilish epic, 3:2-3, 3:67. That the descriptions of Jer. 4-6 and Zeph. 2 (see 6, and ZEPHANIAH, 4) cannot by themselves have led to the definite conception of king Gog, is sufficiently evident from Jewish and Christian exegesis, which so long has been satisfied (but see 27, and Crit. Bib.) with seeing in these passages references to the Chaldaeans only.

5. Mithridates = Gog of Ezek. 38.[edit]

That, with all its apocalyptic character, Ezek. 38-39 reflects the career of a great historic personage, was already felt by Polychronius (about 427 A.D.) who thought of Antiochus III. He was followed in this by Grotius, whose commentary gives a detailed application of the text to the history of the Seleucid king. Winckler most ingeniously interprets the prophecy as occasioned by the career of Alexander (AOF 2:160+). But neither Antiochus nor Alexander would naturally be designated prince of Meshech and Tubal, and there is in neither case any motive for the feeling of hostility displayed, whilst there is evidence of a different disposition toward these kings on the part of the Jews. The present writer would suggest that the conqueror whose career inspired this prophecy is far more likely to have been Mithridates VI. Eupator Dionysus of Pontus.

Mithridates alone could rightly be entitled 'prince of Meshech and Tubal', his seat of power being where the Moschi and the Tibarenes lived, and his sway extending over the territory once associated with those names. None could more aptly be considered as the coming Gog than the proud conqueror of Scythia who reigned over all the coast-lands of the Black Sea and brought from the farthest N. his armies. No other ruler of these realms had with him Paras, Cush, and Put, Corner, Togarmah, and the extreme N. than Mithridates, whose general Pelopidas could justly boast of the Persian auxiliaries, Egyptian ships, Cappadocian troops, Armenian contingents, and Scythian, Sarmatian, Bastarnian, and Thracian hordes that swelled the king's forces. Mithridates dark intrigues, his boundless ambition, his insatiable greed, the 'Ephesian vespers' with their 80,000 victims, the persecutions of the Jews in Cos and elsewhere, who were at the time warm friends and allies of Rome, must, in 88 B.C., have filled many a heart in Palestine with fear of an invasion, hatred, and abomination. But, in an age of eschatological hopes, the confidence could not fail that, should he invade the 'navel of the earth' where quiet and prosperity had been restored, and prove indeed to be the predicted Gog, he would there meet with a miserable end. By the sword of the faithful and the wrath of heaven he would perish, and his hosts would be buried during seven months in the 'Valley of the Travellers to the Sea' (LXX of Ezek. 39:11), whilst for himself would he reserved a famous sepulchre in Israel in this vahcy of Hamon-Gog (Esdraelon), apparently in the city named after the foreign horde Hamonah (Scythopolis). Thus the king of Scythia would be buried in the city of the Scythians, the new Dionysus in the tomb where Dionysus-Oitosyrus buried Leucothea, his nurse (Pliny, 5:74), who was identified with Artimpasa, the Scythian Diana (Hegesippus 3:19 ).l

1 MT 33N the addition of the prosthetic N may be explained as in Arab. Aj iij for 313 in Ezek. 38:2 Ar.

2 [This alternative can, it would seem, be avoided by the course suggested in LOCUSTS, 3 with note 6. Cp Crit, Bib. ad loc.]

6. Scythians in Jer. and Zeph.[edit]

It is possible that already Photius understood Jeremiah as referring to the Scythians in 6:22+.

In his first homily on the Russian invasion in 865 Photius seems to regard himself as speaking of the same northern people that the prophet had in mind. He no doubt shared the view of his contemporary Nicetas who, in his life of Ignatius, speaks of the Russians as a Scythian people {S.Kv8lav edvos Ae-yojuei/oi Pws), as does also the unknown continuator of Theophanes's chronography ; see 'De Russorum incursione' in Lexicon. Vindobonense, ed. Nauck, 203-204 and 24-25.

In modern times, Cramer, Eichhorn, Dahler, Hitzig, Ewald, and most recent critics have seen in Jer. 4-6, Zeph. 2 original references to the Scythians, though admitting subsequent retouching under the impression of Chaldaean invasions. It has seemed to them impossible that Jeremiah should have feared a Chaldaean attack in the thirteenth year of Josiah, whilst the Scythian invasion mentioned by Herodotus (1:103+) seems to have occurred about that time. In JEREMIAH [BOOK], 20, i. , it has been suggested that Chaldosan designs upon Syria may have become apparent already in 625, and that the Scythian army may have contained a Chaldasan contingent by virtue of the agreement between Nabopolassar and the Umman Manda prince alluded to in the Nabuna'id inscription. That view must now be somewhat modified, as Winckler s researches have rendered it highly probable that the Umman Manda in this case are the Medes, and that there was an alliance between the Askuza-Scythians and the Assyrians. A prayer to Shamash, published by Knudtzon (Assyrische Gebcte, no. 29), mentions the request of Bartatua of Askuza for a daughter of Esarhaddon. Winckler identifies this chief with Protothyas, father of Madyas, king of the Scythians (Herod. 1:103), and reasonably supposes that there was effected an alliance which led Madyas to defend Nineveh against Cyaxares. If Madyas was the son of Bartatua who flourished about 675, he is likely to have taken just such a part in the events of 625 as Herodotus indicates. Phraortes had fallen in a battle against the Assyrians 625. To avenge his father, Cyaxares marched against Nineveh and invested the city. It is as natural that he should accept the aid of Nabopolassar as that this Chaldnean usurper should be eager to gain an alliance with him by sending an army. In this predicament Madyas came to the aid of Nineveh. The Medes were worsted in the battle, and the city was saved. Another ally of Cyaxares and Nabopolassar had, however, to be dealt with. Psammetichus had long been encroaching on Assyrian territory. Since 639 he seems to have laid siege to Ashdod. The Scythians, therefore, went on from Nineveh to invade Egypt. Their ostensible object was further to defend the endangered interests of Assyria. Hence the absence of any record of violence done. Even in the disorders in Ashkelon, it is distinctly stated that the mass of the army took no part, only a few individuals. Such treatment at the hands of Scythians could scarcely be expected. Prophets like Jeremiah and Zephaniah naturally watched their approach as a new scourge in the hand of Yahwe, amply justified by the moral condition of Judah. That these hordes should quietly come and go in peace, having received their tribute from Egypt, they could not dream. This line of conduct finds its explanation only in the political relations between Scythians and Assyrians. The editor of Jer. 1-20 (see JEREMIAH [BOOK], 5/. ) had an important landmark to go by, and rightly put the beginning of his prophet s ministry in the memorable thirteenth year of Josiah (625).

1 There is nothing in the history of the Hebrew canon that forbids so late a date ; see the present writer s articles on the canon in the Jewish Encyclopaedia and the New International Encyclopedia and Daniel among the Prophets, Hibbert Journ. vol. i. Nor is there any evidence that this appendix already formed a part of the book that no doubt was translated a generation earlier (preface to Ecclus.).

7. Winckler's criticism.[edit]

Winckler assumes that the defence of Nineveh by Madyas occurred at the time when the city was finally destroyed (606), and that the Scythians were then routed. He correctly observes that a parenthesis begins after the statement of the appearance of Madyas, and concludes that only the beginning of Herodotus account (1:103a) and the end of it (1:106, end) were drawn from an older source, the remainder being the historian's own work. But the parenthesis only tells how the Scythians happened to be in Asia, and the narrative manifestly continues with 'Then the Medes fought with the Scythians' in 1:104, end. The rest presents only one difficulty, which, however, may be satisfactorily met. If the twenty-eight years of Scythian rule fell within Cyaxares reign (625-585), as 1:107 distinctly affirms, they must have extended from 625 to 597 ; yet the capture of Nineveh in 606 is mentioned after the recovery of the nations ruled before 625. But the restoration of Media s former territory is not unnaturally mentioned first, even though it had not been fully accomplished before 597, and the important addition of Assyria only afterwards with emphasis, though occurring already in 606. There is no evidence that Scythia lost anything but an ally by the fall of Assyria. If the king of the Umman Manda in the Nabu-na'id inscription is Cyaxares, there is no hint in that document of a Scythian army appearing for the defence of Nineveh in 606. Had the Scythian power in Asia Minor been crushed in that year, it is not likely that hostilities between Media and Lydia would have been so long deferred. In 597 the two allies, Media and Chaldasa, seem to have made a great attack upon the W. , Media destroying the Scythian power in Armenia and Cappadocia, Chaldtea humiliating Egypt's Syrian buffer state, Judah. They were still united when in 586 Nebuchadrezzar put an end to the Judaean kingdom, and the next year secured for his 'helper', Cyaxares, an honourable peace after the battle of the eclipse, Cilicia being then the heir to the position and policy of Scythia. Winckler s hypothesis apparently makes the distance too great between Madyas and his father Protothyas, and does not sufficiently re cognise the importance of the political situation in 625.

8. Jerahmeelite theory.[edit]

Such doubts concerning the first siege of Nineveh by Cyaxares and its attendant circumstances (already expressed by We. , Kl. Proph.(1) 156(2), 160), questions as to the reliability of Jer. 46:2 (cp JEREMIAH [BOOK], 14), and particularly a searching and much-needed criticism of proper names in MT, finally led Cheyne to look for an invasion from the S. by the Jerahmeelites instigated by Nebuchadrezzar in the years immediately before 604 (see PROPHETIC LITERATURE, 40). The Jerahmeelite theory unquestionably promises to throw much light on the obscure history of the Negeb. That the Arabian neighbours of Egypt, as well as the peoples E. of Judah, should have been inflamed by Nebuchadrezzar is altogether probable ; and that Jeremiah, watching these repeated raids, should have felt behind them the master-hand of the Chaldasan is not incredible. Nor need it be denied that p7ss has occasionally been understood as the North, where, in reality, a place-name was intended. It is even possible that the reports of the prophet s earlier speeches have been coloured by the memory of more recent words of his occasioned by such raids by the neighbours. In view, however, of the account by Herodotus of a Scythian invasion of Palestine, following the relief of Nineveh by Madyas, the suggestion in a cuneiform letter of a Scytho-Assyrian alliance already in the time of Bartatua-Protothyas, the occasion for Scythian interference in the accession of Cyaxares forty years before the eclipse of 585, the insurrection of Nabopolassar, dated by Ptolemy's canon in 625, and the united attack of Cyaxares and Nabopolassar upon Assyria, and the assignment of these prophecies to the same year by an editor apparently dependent on an early biographer, it seems safer to adhere to the construction of the history given above. [See, further, Crit. Bib.}

9. Cuneiform, classical, and Chinese sources.[edit]

At most, little knowledge concerning the Scythians could be derived from these biblical references. If the identification of Ashkuza is correct, the Scythians are mentioned in cuneiform inscriptions such as 1 R 45 col. 2:27, and Knudtzon, Ass. Gebete, 29, 35, in a manner that throws light upon the beginnings of Scythian rule in Asia Minor.

In a Persian cuneiform inscription at Behistan, Saka humavarka, and Saka tigrakhuda are referred to by Darius, who also speaks of the 'Saka at the ends of the earth' in a hieroglyphic list of nations at the Suez canal. The Scythians are not mentioned by name in the Homeric poems, though they may be referred to as tn-mjinoAyoi [ippemolgoi], ll. 13:5. Strabo (7:3) quotes a direct reference from Hesiod ; but whether this was drawn from an otherwise unknown genuine yrj? Trepiofiosor [ges periodos] from the third KO.TOAo-yos [katalogos] written about 600 B.C., as Kirchhoff emends the text, is uncertain. About 600 B.C. the name occurs in a fragment of Alcaeus, and that is probably also the date of the poem of Aristeas of Proconnesus. Aeschylus refers to the good laws of the Scythians (Strabo, l.c.), and Hecataeus of Miletus gave valuable information concerning them. The most important source is Herodotus. His fourth book is devoted to Scythia. Much of his knowledge is derived from native Scythians in Olbia, as well as from resident Greeks. Hippocrates also seems to have visited Scythia, and, like Herodotus, still confined the name Scythians to the Scoloti. Pseudo-Scylax (about 337 B.C.) and Ephorus begin to use it in a somewhat wider sense, though familiar with the character and history of the Scoloti. Some of the representations in art of Scythian life found at Kertsch (Panticapaeum), Kum Olba and Altun Olba (see 11) belong to the fourth and third centuries. The Greek inscriptions of Olbia containing Scythian names are not older than the second century B.C. Diodorus adds little to the earlier sources ; but Strabo s geography throws much light upon the Scythia of his day. The changed conditions there inspired him with undue scepticism as to the accuracy of Herodotus. Trogus Pompeius in Justin, Ptolemy the geographer, Polyaenus, Ammianus Marcellinus, and others acquaint us with some facts. For the history of the eastern Scythians Ktesias is not without value. Coins give the names of Scythian kings. Of great importance are the Chinese writings of Sse-ma-tsien (about 100 B.C.) translated by Brosset, Jaurn. As. 2:8:418+, and of Panku (about 80 A. D.), both because of their sober descriptions of lands and peoples, and because of the aid they furnish to the chronology.

1 Such names of Kimmerian kings as Teuspa, Tuktammi (Auyfiafits [dugdamis] = AvyajLu$ [lygdamis], Sayce) and Sandrakiatra, occurring in the seventh century, are clearly Iranian.

10. Home and migrations of the Scythians.[edit]

Whilst, in historical times, there have been important centres of Scythian life in Asia Minor and in Europe, in Margiana, Bactria, Kophene, and India, the people neither considered itself nor was regarded by others as autochthonous in any of these lands. Even in the territory between the Danube and the Don, which might properly be called Scythian, because for so many centuries the seat of a Scythian civilisation, a native tradition declared the Scoloti to be strangers. Many indications point to the region N. of Jaxartes, between the Aral Sea and Lake Balkash, in modern Turkestan and the adjoining Khirgis steppe, as the home of the Scythians in the days when their immediate Iranian kinsmen, the Aryan invaders of India, were still their neighbours S. and SE. in the old Airyanem Vaejo.

The presence of Mongolian and Tibetan tribes on the NE. and E. , and of the kindred Massagetae on the SE. , occasioned by the expansion of Chinese power, gradually forced a branch of the people across the Ural, the Volga, and finally the Don. The time of this invasion of Western Scythia cannot be determined with certainty ; but it may have occurred as early as in the sixteenth century B.C. (see 14). Another Iranian people, the Kimmerians, 1 occupying the land so far S. as to the Danube, were gradually driven into the Crimea or, at different times and by different roads, into Asia Minor. The Kimmerian invasion that followed the E. coast of the Black Sea in the eighth century was probably the last. Down the W. coast of the Caspian Sea the Scythian tribes E. of the Don followed and established themselves E. of the Kimmerians and N. of Mannaeans and Medes, whence they apparently extended their power over all Armenia and Cappadocia. Their old places E. of the Azov Sea were taken by a Median people, the Sauromata; or Sarmatians, possibly not before the return of Median power.

On the plateau through which the Dniester (Tyras), the Bog (Hypanis), the Dnieper (Borysthcnes), and the Inguletz (Panticapes) flow, and so far as to the Don (Tanais), the Scoloti took possession of the land, some settling down to agricultural pursuits, others retaining their nomadic life.

The arrival of Milesian colonists (Olbia founded about 650) created mixed Graeco-Scythian tribes such as the Kallipidae and Alizones. A kindred Thracian tribe, the Agathyrsi, was subdued. Northwards the territory extended into Ukraine. Beyond their own clans in that direction lived Slavonic tribes, the Neari, the Melanchlaeni, and the Anthropophagi (wrongly so called). Up the Volga there were the Budinae (Permians !), and across the Ural the Thyssagetae and Tyrkae, Finnish peoples, whilst E. of these were the Turkish Argimpaei and the Tibetan Issedones, and their neighbours the Ariamaspae, fighting with griffins for the possession of gold.

The Scythians do not seem to have been driven out of their home in S. Russia, but rather to have been absorbed in the Sarmatian and then in the Slavonic tribes.

The eastern branch of the people was not allowed undisturbed possession of its lands N. of the Jaxartes. Already in the time of Cyrus and Darius a part of the Scythians had been pressed into Margiana (see 17), and at the end of the third century another part was forced by the Massagetae into S. Sogdiana, and some what later into Bactria. In Bactria these Scythians found only a temporary home, as they were driven from there by the Massagetae (Yuechi) ; but they maintained themselves longer farther east.

In S. Kabulistan, Arachosia, Drangiana, and Sakestan (Kipin), and in Kasmir, Nepal, and Punjab they established themselves. Finally, they were there also submerged by new powers and absorbed in the native population.

11. Language and ethnic relations.[edit]

That the Scythians spoke an Iranian language, is already evident from Herod. 4:117, where the Sauromatae, a Median people, are said to speak the Scythian language though in an imperfect manner. The Scythian words explained by Herodotus are manifestly Iranian, and the many names of persons and places recorded by Greek writers and in the Olbian inscriptions leave no room for doubt. It is the merit particularly of Zeuss and Mullenhoff to have proved conclusively the Iranian character of Scythian speech. That the Eastern Scythians spoke substantially the same language is evident not least from the names of the Caka kings in India (see Hoffmann, Syrische Akten persischer Martyrer, 139+)-

An occasional Scythian loan-word in a neighbouring Slavonic or Turkish dialect cannot affect this result. The discussions of Neumann, Cuno, Fressl, and others, who have tried to invalidate the arguments of Zeuss, would have proved quite futile even if their philological method had been more discriminating. Still, it should not be denied that neighbouring dialects of the same family have a tendency to shade off into each other.

For determining the ethnic relations of the Scythians the pictorial representations on objects found at Kertsch, Kum Olba, and elsewhere on the Kimmerian Bosphorus are of utmost importance.

As the best of these are not later than the fourth century B.C., apd were probably made for Scolotian grandees (see Rayet, Etudes d'archeologie, 196+), they may be taken to represent fairly the Scythian type. The similarity to Russian mujiks, in dress, hair, beard, and general appearance, due to climatic con ditions and the same mode of life, cannot obscure the fact that the features are essentially Iranian. If they all should prove to be likenesses of Sarmatians, as the later ones probably are, this would not weaken the conclusion, since the Iranian character of the Sarmatians admits of no doubt.

12. Religion.[edit]

Through Herodotus we know that the Scythians worshipped Tahiti ( ICTTI T) [istie], Vesta), goddess of the fire ; Papaeus (probably Papai or Babai, Zeus), the heaven-father ; Api (yr| [ge]), the earth ; Oitosyrus (Apollo, possibly descriptive name of Mithra), the Sun ; Artimpasa (Aphrodite Urania), Venus ; Thamisadas (Poseidon), the Sea ; Herakles and Ares.

The Scythians had no images, or altars, or temples. Their chief sacrifices were horses, which they offered in a peculiar manner ; but prisoners in warwere also at times offered. Only the god of war had a few great shrines. There is evidence of ancestral cults. Divination by rods or linden bark was practised, and the soothsayers formed distinct classes. A comparison with Persian divinities and religious customs shows a remarkable similarity. Whilst a heptad of divinities occurs ( A/3dapda ['abdarda]), there is no trace of Ahura Mazda. Whether any of the E. Scythians accepted the Mazdayasnian faith, is not known.

Buddhism may have made some progress among the Sse in Kipin and Punjab; but the Yuechi king Kaniska (78 A. D.) seems to have been the first monarch officially to embrace that form of religion.

13. Character and civilisation.[edit]

The earlier Greek writers speak in terms of high praise of the character of the Scythians, giving instances of their justice, sincerity, love of truth, and sharp intelligence.

It is possible, however, that these descriptions have to some extent been coloured by a priori reasoning as to the virtues of a nomadic life, such as may still be found in modern works. On the other hand, the less flattering tone of later authors was, no doubt, due in no small measure to their confusion of the Scythians with their ruder Slavonic, Finno-Ugric, and Turkish neighbours. In Roman times, the conflicts with the Sarmatians naturally added bitterness to the references to Scythians.

The Scythians probably possessed, in addition to the general characteristics of all Iranian peoples, some qualities peculiar to that nomadic life so large a part of them continued to lead. The role which the Askuza played in Asia, at a time when the Assyrian empire had reached its greatest extent, and in the days of its decadence, indicates a somewhat highly developed political organisation and a certain adaptability to conditions of settled life, sagacity as well as energy, diplomacy not less than enterprise.

In Russia the long contact of the Scythians with Greek civilisation, at a time when it had attained its very highest development, could not but exercise a profound influence upon them. The antiquities found on the Kimmerian Bosphorus, now in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, amply prove what the tastes of Scythian lords were and what enviable means they had of gratifying them. One class of these finds probably represents the work of native artists trained upon Grecian models. These Scythian masters produced a type of art the influence of which maybe traced beyond (N. of) the Baltic. Since some tribes had for centuries cultivated the soil, and large numbers of Scythians lived in cities, many nobles undoubtedly had their residences built by Greek architects. King Skyles had a palace in Olbia. Concerning their industrial skill, we have no information, except that they excelled in metallurgy. In Bactria the Scythians became the heirs of another Greek civilisation ; and in India they evidently adapted themselves to native and Greek traditions, not without themselves exerting an influence upon the life of Punjab and Sindh.


14. Earliest period[edit]

Concerning the period in which the Scythians still had for their neighbours in the Airyanem Vaejo (Vendidad, 1) the other branches of the Iranlan family, before these had passed into Sogdiana, Margiana, Bactria, Hyrcania, Herat, and Kabul, we possess no direct information. The presence of Iranian names in the Amarna Tablets and early Assyrian and Egyptian inscriptions indicated by Ball (PSBA, 1882, pp, 424+), Bezold-Budge (Tell el Amarna Tablets, 1892, p. 14), Rost (MVAG, 1897), and especially Hommel (Sitz.-ber. Bohm. Ges. d. Wiss. 1898), seems to show that Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Syria, and Elam had already become acquainted with some members of the Iranian family in the sixteenth century B.C.

According to the native tradition of the Scoloti found in Olbia by Herodotus (4:7), the first king of Scythia, Targitaus, reigned 1000 years before Darius Hystaspis 'and no more'. We have no means of determining on what data this computation rests, and its historical value appears doubtful, Targitaus himself being probably a mythical personage. Hommel connects this story with the accounts of a Scythian conquest as far as the Nile and an invasion of Asia to the borders of Syria by an Amazonian queen (Diodorus, 243:46). and regards Strabo's (15:16) Idanthyrsus as a mistake for Targitaus. But it is probable that the accounts in Diodorus are only reflections of the invasion in the time of Psammetichus, and that Idanthyrsus has in Strabo received credit for the work accomplished by Madyas. The narratives of the conquest of Scythia by Sesostris (Ramessu II.) are clearly late exaggerations; but Hommel s notable theory, accounting for Iranian names in Kadavaduna ( = Cappadocia, a country closely allied to the centre of Hittite power, Melitene, and Cilicia ; see Muller, Asien, 288,335) by the Scythian character of its people, also tends to explain this confusion of Hittite and Scythian. The people called Gag may prove to be akin to the Kimmerians and forerunners of the Ashkuza. As regards the history of the Scoloti in Russian Scythia before their contact with the Greeks in the seventh century, we have no information.

15. Asianic rule : Protothyas, Madyas.[edit]

From tablets inscribed in the reign of Esarhaddon (681-668) we learn that Scythians had established themselves N. of lake Urumiah. Fear is expressed lest the Scythians should break through Mannaean into Assyrian territory, the chief Ishpakai is said to be an ally of the Mannaeans, and king Bartatua (Protothyas) is referred to as seeking an alliance and the hand of Esarhaddon's daughter. That the alliance was concluded is highly probable, since in 625 Madyas, Protothyas son, came to the aid of Assyria by defeating Cyaxares, who was besieging Nineveh, and by checking the advances of Psammetichus in Syria. In consideration of these services, it is natural that the suzerainty of Assyria over Urartu acknowledged by Sarduris III. should pass to Scythia, and that such states as Cappadocia, Commagene, and Melitene should become tributary. What the relation of Cilicia to the new power was, it would be interesting to know ; but it cannot yet be discerned. The Median border states Atropatene, Matiene, and others are likely to have been subdued. From 625 to 597 Scythian rule in Asia Minor continued. Then the power was broken by Cyaxares. In 591 Scythian refugees from the Median court fled to Lydia for protection ; but Scythians continued to live under Median and Persian domination in Asia Minor. There was a Sacastene in Cappadocia as well as in Armenia.

16. Scythians in Russia.[edit]

Darius claims to have conquered the Saka beyond the Sea. By these he means the Scythians N. of the Euxine. He probably also refers to them as the saka tigrakhuda, since the pictorial representations from the Kimmerian Bosporus show that these wore the Phrygian cap. It is to Darius campaign into Russia in 512 that we owe the elaborate account of the Scythians by Herodotus. That Darius marched as far as to the Volga may be doubted, and some other points in the narrative are manifestly unhistorical.

There is no reason, however, to question the important role ascribed to Idanthyrsus, through whose adroit management of the defence Darius was frustrated in his object. His father Saulius seems to have already impressed himself upon the colonists, as his name is especially mentioned. No events of any importance, however, have been recorded by the Greek writers before Herodotus who refer to the Scythians. Whether the use by them of the name Scythian (Sjcvflrjs [skythes]) shows that their knowledge of the people was derived from the Ashkuza of Asia Minor, or that Sku-za was as much a native designation of the people as Sko-lot, cannot be determined.

The Milesian colonists were, of course, tributary to the Scythian suzerain ; but the relations seem to have been cordial.

Only when a king like Skylas forgot his native traditions, to the extent of taking part in the Dionysiac orgies in Olbia, the Scythians resented his proceeding. Friendly relations also prevailed between Ariapeithes and Teres of Thrace, in the beginning of the fifth century. It is doubtful whether Spartacus (438-432), the founder of the Bosporanian kingdom, was a Greek or of mixed race. There are some indications that the king whose skeleton was found in a tomb at Kertsch (Panticapaeum) had Scythian blood in his veins. The Spartacidae were not a serious menace to Scythian power in the fourth century. Danger threatened first from Macedonia, whose ambitious ruler Philip invaded Scythia and killed in battle king Ateas in 339, and subsequently from the Sarmatians who crossed the Don and made themselves during the third century the most important people in the territory once claimed by the Scythians. In the beginning of the second century the German Bastarnians made their appear ance. A Scythian reaction seems to have occurred under Scilurus who, however, was defeated by Mithridates VI., 105 B.C. After Mithridates (132-163) had conquered the country N. of the Euxine, he could lead armies of Scythians as well as Sarmatians, Bastarnians, and Thracians against the Romans. Later, the legionaries of Rome found Sarmatians as soon as they had crossed the Danube. Finally, the Scythians were absorbed in the prevailing Slavonic population.

17. Eastern Scythians.[edit]

From their old home the eastern branch of this people was also driven by invaders across the Jaxartes into Chorasmia, Margiarm, and Bactria. According to Ktesias, Cyrus fought against these Scythians, and forced Amorges to aid him in his* war upon Croesus (546). There is probably also a nucleus of truth in his account of Cyrus war with the Derbikkae, though he has wrongly connected his death with this war. There is no reason for doubting the substantial accuracy of Herodotus account of his death in the war upon Tomyris, queen of the Massagetae, though there are as usual some embellishments. The grounds on which Duncker rejected this story are quite insufficient.

Darius had to fight with Scythians whom he designates as Saka humavarka. These are probably identical with the Amyrgian Scythians. Fressl may be right in connecting both these words with Margiana. According to Fr. Muller (WZKM 7:258) they are the Soma-preparing Scythians ; but Ed. Meyer (GA 3:110-111) doubts this interpretation. Scythian archers took part in the battle of Marathon, and were also in the army of Xerxes. Where their home was, is not indicated. Alexander came into contact with Scythians only after he had crossed the Jaxartes in Sogdiana. For some time before 138, Scythians had held possession of Margiana.

Through Chang-kian's account of his mission (in Ssematsien), it is possible to trace the political situation in Iran in 128, and to discern some of the events that led up to it. Pressed by the Hiungnu, a Turkish people, the Yuechi (probably Massagetae) had forced the Szu (Caka, Saka, Scythians) across the Jaxartes. In 175 the Szu conquered Sogdiana from Eucratides of Bactria. This king defended Bactria against their attack with the aid of Mithridates I. in 160. In 130 the Scythians took most of Bactria from Heliocles. But they were in their turn driven from Bactria, and fled into Kipin, Kashmir, Nepal, and India, where they established kingdoms. Maues reigned in Kipin and Punjab (130-110), Azes (110-80), and Aspavarma, Aziles, and Vanones after So. Between 70 and 30 Spalahoras, Spalagdames, Spalyris, and Spalyrisis reigned in W. India, though their power was much limited by Hermaios. They were finally overthrown by Kadphizes I. (Kiutsiu-Kio), the founder of the Yuechi dynasty. This dynasty (until 116 A.D.), whose most famous king is Kunishka (70-90 A.D.), was also designated as the Scythian (Caka [c has cedilla]), and the Caka-era begins with the year 78 A.D. The E. Scythians were* confused with their kinsmen, the Massagetae, and other neighbours in India, as the W. Scythians had been confused with their kinsmen, the Sar matians, and other neighbours in Europe. In India, as in Afghanistan, the Scythians were absorbed in the native population.

18. Literature.[edit]

(i) On the biblical references see the commentaries on Genesis, Jeremiah, Zephaniah, and Ezekiel, and the histories of Israel [also Crit. Bib.\. The best modern history of Mithridates of Pontus is by Theodore Reinach (jMithridate Eufxitor, 1890).

(2) For descriptions of Scythia see especially Ukert, Geog. derGriech. un.i Roiner, 3 2 ; Reclus, Geog. Univ.; Lindner, Skythien u. d. Skvthen lies Hcrodot, 1841, and especially Neumann, Die HclUnen im Skythenlande, 1855 ; Baer, Hist. Fragen, 1873, and Tomaschek in Berichte d. Wiener Akademie, 1888.

(3) The most important works on the language are Zeuss, Die Deutschen und die Nachl>arstaime, 1837 ; and Miillenhoff, Deutsche Altertumskunde, 8(1892). Fressl, Die Skythen-Saken, 1886, is not sufficiently critical.

(4) For the antiquities see Stephani, Antiquites du Bosplwe Cimmcrien, 1854; MacPherson, An tiquities of Kertch, 1857 ; Neumann, (see under 2). Rayet, Etudes d archfologie et if art, 1888 ; Solomon Reinach, An tiquites du Bosphorc Cimmtrien, 1885.

(5) For the history, see, in addition to primary sources, Winckler, Gesch. d. Altertums, 1878, () 2 43 o^f. : Gutschmid, EBW, artt. Scythia and Persia, discriminating, but wrongly excluding the eastern Scythians; the suggestive discussions of H. Winckler, AOF \4,mJf.\ the admirable summaries of Ed. Meyer, GA, especi ally 3, fx>ff- (1901); Lassen, Indische Altertumskunde, 1847-1857 ; Schroder, Indiens Literaiur und Cultur, 1887, and Lefmann, Gesch. des Alien Indiens, 1890. N. S.