Encyclopaedia Biblica/Tobiel-Trachonitis

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Encyclopaedia Biblica
Thomas Kelly Cheyne and John Sutherland Black
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(TO)BlHA[BKA] *.., ?K*3 lt3 ; cpTabeel), the father of TOBIT (Tob. 1:1). Cp TOBIJAH.


(rVTlD, once -irPintt [tobiyahu], 'Yahwe is good', 28, but ultimately, like TOBIEL, perhaps from Tubali, 'a man of TUBAL'; TtoBiAC [AL]).

1. A Levite temp. Jehoshaphat (2 Ch. 17:8 ; in aip ; om. BA). All the associated names in 2 Ch. (l.c.) admit of being traced to Negeb ethnics or gentilics.

2. EV TOBIAH, a post-exilic family, unable to prove its pedigree: Ezra 2:60 (rw/Seia [B], rov/Siou [L]) = Neh. 7:62 (Tu>/3ia [BXA]) = 1 Esd. 5:37 where the name is corrupted to BAN, RVmg BAENAN (/Saerai/ [B], fiav [A]), and he appears as the father of Ladan (sea DELAIAH). See GENEALOGIES 1, 3, and note the place-names in Ezra 2:59 = Neh. 7:61 = 1 Esd. 5:36 (e.g., TEL-MELAH, TEL-HARSHA), all of which may plausibly be viewed as Negeb-names.

3. One of a party of Jews from Babylon (?), temp. Zerubbabel (Zech. 6:10, 6:14 ; LXX translates ^P1)atVta"/ [<"] <*VTI)S [-w> / ] [chresimoon [-ois] autes [-oon]], i.e., rrsm). See ZERUBBABEL.

4. EV TOBIAH (the form Tw/3[e]ta [toob[e]ia] is a constantly recurring form for no. 4 instead of rujiia.! [toobias]. The form rwpis [toobis] [X*] occurs in Neh. 4:3 [4:9]). An 'Ammonite, one of the chief opponents of the fortification of Jerusalem by Nehemiah (Neh. 2:10, etc.). Whether 'Ammonite' is a race-name (cp AMMON, 8) or means 'native of Chephar-Ammoni' (see BETHHORON, 4) is uncertain. The latter view is superficially plausible through Tobiah's connection with leading Judaeans (Neh. 6:17-19), from one of whom - the priest Eliashib - he received a chamber in the temple formerly used by the Levites, for his own special purposes. But we incline to think that 'Ammonite', as often, = 'Jerahmeelite'; a connection between nobles of Judah and Jerahmeelites is historically probable.

The title 'the servant' given him in Neh. 2:10, 2:19 ('the servant, the Ammonite'), but nowhere else, is explained as meaning 'the officer of the government' (Ryssel), or, 'one who had formerly been a slave' (Rawlinson). Both explanations are forced. 7iyn is almost certainly corrupted from myn, 'the Arabian', which the scribe in Neh. 2:19 (LXX{B*} omits Tobias altogether) wrote as a gloss on joj?n, 'the Ammonite'. From this passage it made its way into Neh. 2:10 (through the harmonising of an editor), most probably also into Neh. 4:1 [4:7] ; if n^Dynl D 311 ni (regarded by Guthe as an addition of the Chronicler, or a later gloss) is miswritten for -joyn mj/ n- In Neh. 2:10, 2:19 the senseless mjn became -nj;n ! in 4:1 [4:7] (as we have seen) it went through another transformation. Later, in 4:1, mnc Nni (not in LXX{BX*A}) was added, not by an ill-timed reminiscence of Neh. 13:23, but (reading IIB Nn, 'the Asshurite'), as a second gloss on 3DJ?n. Here, as in Neh. (l.c.). not Ashdod, but Asshur (Ashhur), the name of a N. Arabian district, is most probably referred to. Cp Che. Das Relig. Leben nach dem Exile (by Stocks), appended note.

T. K. C.


  • Various recensions (1).
  • I. Interpolations (2-10).
    • Ahikar additions (2).
      • Hist. of Ahikar story (3).
      • Various forms (4).
      • Common matter (5).
      • Stages of growth (6).
      • Story foreign (7).
      • Ultimately mythical (8).
    • Didactic additions (9).
    • Summary (10).
  • II. Uninterpolated text(11-12).
    • Not original (11).
    • How redacted (12).
  • III. Conjectural reconstruction (13-14).
    • Reconstruction (13).
    • Hist.: time of greatest vogue (14).
  • IV. Ultimate sources (15-20).
    • Final redactor (15).
    • His work (16).
    • Basis in folk-lore (17).
      • Armenian form (18).
      • Feature common (19).
    • Foreign origin ( 20).
  • Bibliography (21)

Tobit (TO)B[e]iT [BA], rcoBeiG [N] ; Tobias) is one of the books of the OT APOCRYPHA (q.v., 5, 3). In the first sentence of the work itself it is called 'Book of the words [ = doings : see CHRONICLES, i] of Tobit, son of', etc. (/3t/3\os \byuv Tu/3eir [BA ; N -pert]}- More than in the case of the other apocryphal writings of the OT the investigation is complicated by our having various groups of texts.

1. Various recensions.[edit]

  • 1. To begin with, there are three Greek forms:
    • (a) that of LXX{BA} which the Syriac [Syr. ] follows down to 7:9;
    • (b) that of LXX{X[aleph]}, which is for the most part that followed by the Vetus Latina [Vet. Lat.]; and
    • (c) that of Codd. 44, 106, 107 (Tob. 6:9, 13:8). From 1:1 to 6:8 the text of these codices agrees with LXX{AB}; and the continuation of the Syriac version (from 7:10 onwards) coincides with it exactly.
  • 2. Jerome's version is independent of all these; he tells us that he made it from an Aramaic original (praef. in vers. libri Tob.). Here it is noteworthy that the whole story of Tobit is told in the third person.
  • 3. The same is the case with an extant Aramaic text edited by Neubauer.l This text, however, to judge by its language, would appear to be recent 2 and cannot therefore be identified with the MS used by Jerome, but is to be classed with three Hebrew versions which are also extant, as productions of a later date.

The recent essay by Margarete Plath 'Zum Buche Tobit' (in St. Kr. , 1901, pp. 377-414), which gives an analysis of the book with special reference to its stylistic peculiarities, will be found singularly helpful towards a right understanding of Tobit. As, however, it simply takes LXX{A} for its basis without any discussion of the originality of that text, this essay, which otherwise might be regarded as final on the stylistic features of the book, as a matter of fact is valid only for one of the traditional forms in which it has reached us. Before entering upon an analysis of style, therefore, it will be necessary to go into the question as to the original form of the book. In the first place we must examine the versions and seek to ascertain the form of text to which they carry us back ; next, this form will have to be examined with a view to testing whether it be original or whether rather it does not show traces of having been worked over ; the approximately original form will then have to be analysed ; and finally the ultimate source of the materials will have to be considered. 3

1 The Book of Tobit, a Chaldae Text from a unique MS in the Bodleian Library, ed. by Neubauer, Oxford, 1878.

2 So Dalman, Gramm. des jud.-palastin. Aramaisch, 27-79.

3 [On some special points relative to the original form of the text of Tobit, see Crit. Bib., and cp THISBE.]


2. Ahikar additions.[edit]

In the first place we may be sure that the Ahikar-episodes do not belong to the original form of the book.

(a) In 1:20 we are told that all Tobit's goods were forcibly taken away and there was nothing left to him save his wife Anna and his son Tobias. In 2:1, however, we read that on his return home these two were were restored to him. The contradiction is manifest, but becomes explicable if we consider how it arose: this good deed also had been attributed to Tobit's protector; and the supplementer has betrayed himself by his incorporation of the Ahikar-episode. The original sequence in 1:21, though it has been smoothed down in LXX{A}, is observed in LXX{X}: 'And Sacherdonos, his son, reigned in his stead - and in the reign of king Sacherdonos I returned to my home'.

Underlying this we have the truly oriental idea that a new accession generally, an accession after a revolution always, brings with it a complete change of system. By LXX{X[aleph]}, Ahikar is represented as having been cupbearer and keeper of the signet, steward and overseer of the accounts, as early as in the time of Sennachereim (Sennacherib, 705-682), whilst LXX{A} and LXX{B} have it that he first received his appointments from Sacherdonos (Esarhaddon, 682-669). LXX{X[aleph]} has the older reading ; that it is the older is shown by the whole structure of the sentence. In the other Greek text the statement that Ahikar was, even in the reign of Sennachereim, the most influential person in the kingdom has been deleted so as to avoid making Ahikar in any way responsible for the expedition against Judaea and the resultant cruelties of the Assyrian against Ahikars own people. Thus we perceive that the original story of Ahikar needed a rectifying hand in order to connect it with the story of Tobit with as little inconsistency as possible : again a proof that it was not from the first an integral part of it. Our opinion of the text offered by Jerome may be a poor one, yet when we note that to all appearance the story of Ahikar seems to have had no place in the authority that lay before him, we may perhaps venture to say that, even if it has been greatly manipulated, Jerome's text still points back to a form of the text which had not yet passed through the hands of the supplemented

(b) Ahikar, the protector, afterwards becomes the supporter of the blind Tobit. Here the episode is brought in to lead up to an effective climax ; first a relative takes care of the unfortunate man, afterwards his wife has to support him by doing work for strangers. In LXX{X} even the duration of this period is given ; it is two years. In the same text, all his brethren are represented as sorrowing for Tobit, though to judge by the scorn shown by the neighbours at his burying of the dead we should rather expect the opposite. In fact, the original story itself seems to have been so constructed as to exclude the notion of compassion by outsiders. His toiling wife is the blind man's only support, and when even she turns against him he longs for death. This Ahikar feature also is wanting in Jerome.

It ought not to surprise us if even so secondary an authority should still be able to show us something original. In other cases as well as in that of the present book it will gradually come to be recognised that we must emancipate ourselves from the gratuitous assumption that all forms of an extant text can always ultimately be traced back to one of these which must accordingly be regarded as the original.

(c) Ahikar appears again in 11:18, this time as a wedding-guest along with his nephew Nasbas. LXX{X} mentions Ahikar and Nabad as Tobit's nephews. That some wedding-guests should be specified ought not to seem strange in a book that deals so lavishly in names ; and if we consider how insecure the tradition of names is, we cannot lay much stress on the fact that one of the wedding-guests bears the same name as Tobit s quondam protector and supporter. Moreover, Jerome gives Achior, like Syr. (1:24, >o**/). Perhaps, therefore, the mention of two wedding- guests by name may be original, one of them, however, having been transformed into that of Tobit's patron and supporter.

(d) Lastly, the story of Ahikar is introduced in order to give Tobias an example of what compassion can accomplish. So LXX{A} Syr. and Vet. Lat. adduce it as showing the depravity prevalent at the time in Nineveh. LXX{X} has it in both connections. One sees from this that uncertainty was felt as to the purpose of the story in Tobit's discourse to his son, and that various conjectures were made. The story was, therefore, no original part of the organism. Here again Jerome supports our inference.

The wording of his version leads to the conclusion that possibly it goes back to a form of the text which bore no traces of the work of the Ahikar supplemented If we arrange the text recensions by reference to their attitude towards these interpolations, we shall find that Jerome's original stands in contrast with that of all the others. The latter already has the Ahikar interpolations. Whilst the paths by which A and B on the one hand, and Syr. and Vet. Lat. on the other, were reached are quite independent, X seems to represent a union of the divergent forms of the text at a certain stage of the development.

3. History of Ahikar story.[edit]

The introduction of the Ahikar episodes shows that his story was widely known; it was possible to add weight to an admonition by a reference to what had happened to him. Like the story of Tobit, that of Ahikar relates to the period of the exile.

The present writer has elsewhere 1 endeavoured to show that among the lews of the exile there gradually arose a cycle of exilic legends. The individual legends belonging to this cycle have reached us not in original but in revised form ; the persons figuring in them who of old maintained their fidelity amidst the most trying circumstances are exhibited by the various editors to the people of their own time, in circumstances of renewed distress, as conspicuous examples of Jewish piety and of Jewish patriotism. Our attitude indeed may well be sceptical, as regards the sources again and again cited - in Esther the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia, in Tobit the relater of the wonderful experiences in 12:20 - but we are not thereby justified in refusing to believe in the existence of widely circulated collections of legends from which the present texts had their origin, especially when we bear in mind the passion for writing which characterised those times.

4. Its various forms.[edit]

The peculiar way in which the stories of Tobit and of Ahikar are worked together points also in the same direction. The supplementer has made out out the two men to have been kinsmen ; this was all the easier as Tobit himself is represented as having once upon a time held an important position at the Assyrian court. So also Ahikar, the son of Anael, is represented as already cupbearer, keeper of the signet, steward and overseer of the accounts under Sennachereim, and confirmed in his offices by Sacherdonos. X makes mention of his journey to Elymais (Elam) ; A and B, which make Tobit go there himself, present an unwarranted alteration of the text, and, we may be pretty certain, are hardly to be corrected in conformity with Vet. Lat. with which they otherwise in these episodes have but little affinity. Perhaps the circumstance may be taken as an indication that both forms of the text come from a region where the allusions to Ahikar would have been unintelligible, his story being unknown. The chief event of Ahikar's life is touched on in chap. 14:10. It will be of interest to place in juxtaposition the various forms in which it is given.

SYR. VET. LAT. B(A) X[aleph]
So, my son, after thou hast buried me and thy mother, do thou leave Nineveh, for there are many unrighteous persons there. For there 'Akab evilly requited Akikar who had nourished him for happiness (?) : for no cause did he bring him down into the earth. And Akab descended into darkness, and Akikar went forth into light out of the snare which Akab had set for him, and this one went down into the earth. But now, my son, do thou leave Nineveh, and tarry no longer here, but on the day that thou hast buried thy mother beside me tarry no longer within her territory; for I see that there is much unrighteousness there and much deception is practised, and her people will not be moved therefrom. Behold, my son, what Nadab did to Ahikar who had nourished him, whom he brought down alive to the earth. But God requited that man's wickedness before his own face, and Ahikar went forth into light, but Nadab went down into eternal darkness, because Nadab had sought to kill Ahikar. Bury me decently and thy mother with me, and dwell ye no longer in Nineveh. Behold, my child, what Adam (Haman) did to Achiacharus that nourished him, how out of light he brought him into darkness and how he requited him; and indeed, he saved (there was saved) Achiacharus, but that other had his recompense, and he himself went down into darkness. Manasseh practised mercy and escaped the snare of death which he had set for him, but Adam (Haman) fell into the snare and perished. And now, my children, behold what mercy does, and how righteousness doth deliver. And now, my child, leave thou Nineveh, and tarry not here. On the day thou hast buried thy mother beside me, on that same day stay no longer in her territory. For I see that there is much unrighteousness in her and much deception is practised, and they are not ashamed. Behold, my child, what Nadab did to Achikarus who had nourished him; was he not brought alive down into the earth? And God requited his infamy to his face; and Achikarus ascended into light, and Nadab descended into eternal darkness, because he had tried to kill Achikarus. Since he showed mercy to me, he escaped the snare of death which Nadab had set for him, and Nadab fell into the snare of death, and he (death) destroyed him. And now, my children, see, what mercy does, and what unrighteousness does, for it kills.

1 Die Purimsage in der Bibel: Untersuchungen uber das Buch Ester und der Estersage verwandte Sagen des spateren judentums (1900), 45-59.

5. Their common matter.[edit]

The various recensions agree in the following points: Ahikar brings up a youth who, however, drives him down into the earth (darkness). Ahikar in the end is saved, and the other has to suffer the fate he had contrived for his benefactor. The young man's name is given variously : Akab, Nabad, Nadab, Adam, Haman. A and B unexpectedly call Ahikar Manasseh. Akab is probably a corruption of Nakab and may perhaps go back to one or other of the forms Nabad, Nadab, as also may Adam. On the other hand the names Manasseh and Haman point to a separate tradition which, to all appearance, first came out in A and B. In this the introduction of the story of Ahikar has its motive in the reference to the value of mercy. The characteristic phrase of this variant is: 'the snare of death which was set'. This phrase must have had a definite meaning in the narrative as well as that which occurs in the first: 'he was brought to the earth (darkness)'. This is shown by the fact that, doubtless independently of A and B, the other variant has also found its way into X; this becomes evident if we consider that here it is plainly not original. It has already been brought into connection with the story of Tobit; what is accentuated is that the showing of compassion has brought deliverance to Tobit. Moreover, the original names have given place to those which we now find. Along with this variant the new motive for referring to the Ahikar episode has made its way into the X text.

6. Successive stages of growth.[edit]

Accordingly we shall have to imagine the steps in the process of interpolation somewhat as follows. With the formula 'Behold, my child!' a supplementer introduces a Nineveh story with which he is acquainted. Afterwards it is endeavoured to bring it into connection with the book of Tobit, first by means of the moral it supplies 'Such wickednesses are done in Nineveh', and next (with the view of securing a still closer connection) by introducing a variant which lays stress upon the virtue of compassion.

Whilst the first variant deals with the ungrateful youth and with the punishment of his ingratitude, what is emphasised by the other is that an act of compassion saves him who is lost. The two are not mutually exclusive; both may have their origin in one and the same story though in different aspects of it. The important thing to observe is that they are taken from different forms of this story, and in point of fact, as the introduction of the various separate elements occurred at different dates, we are thus enabled to gain an insight into the history of the story amongst the Jews. First we find the story which tells of Ahikar and Nadab. The names are, to all appearance, foreign, and show at once that this material had been appropriated by Judaism comparatively recently. Next, the names, and especially that of the hero, give place to Jewish ones, and so the process of appropriation is completed. Nor are the new names insignificant or chosen at random ; Manasseh is the name of the husband of the brave heroine of the Book of Judith, Haman is that of the notorious enemy of the Jewish race. By the alteration of the names of the chief actors the story of Ahikar itself received a new stamp of nationality, and so became an integral part of the cycle of exilic legends.

7. Ahikar-story of foreign origin.[edit]

That the story of Ahikar is not native to Jewish soil is shown by its wide diffusion (cp the literature of this subject in The Story of Ahikar by F. C. Conybeare, J. Rendel Harris, and A Smith-Lewis, London, 1898). It is found in Syriac, Armenian, Arabic, Greek, and Slavonic redactions, and is to be met with in the Arabian Nights and in the fables of Aesop (cp ACHIACHARUS). It runs somewhat as follows :

The vizier and privy councillor of the Assyrian king Sennacherib, Ahikar by name, having no child of his own, brings up his nephew Nadan and receives from the king the assurance that Nadan will be his successor in the offices that he holds so advantageously for the kingdom. Nadan receives from his uncle in wise discourse the ripe fruits of a rich experience. Soon, however, he begins to abandon himself to a loose and dissipated life, so that Ahikar finds himself compelled, with the king's permission, to disinherit him. Nadan then begins to intrigue for the overthrow of his uncle, and at last with success; by means of forged letters Ahikar is made to appear a betrayer of his country. The deluded Sennacherib condemns his faithful vizier to death and charges an executioner to carry out the sentence in front of Ahikar's own house. But with the help of his devoted wife the vizier is able to induce the executioner, who is grateful for a former act of kindness, to spare him, and to substitute a criminal slave in his place. He himself is hidden in a cavity beneath the door of his house, and secretly fed by the executioner and his own wife, whilst overhead his ingrate nephew begins a reckless life. At this juncture the king of Egypt sends a letter to Sennacherib in which he challenges him to solve a problem. In the event of his succeeding, the king of Egypt will pay him tribute; should he fail, Assyria is to become tributary to Pharaoh. Sennacherib is to get a palace high up in the air built for him in Egypt (the same motive is found also among the Suaheli in a story of Abunawas). 1 In Assyria every one is helpless; if only Ahikar were still alive ! Whereupon the executioner comes forward and tells the king the truth. Sennacherib is overjoyed. Ahikar is fetched from his den and brought before the king; his unshorn, unkempt hair reached down to his shoulders, and his beard to his breast. His nails were like eagle's claws, and his body had become withered and disfigured. The fashion of his countenance was changed, and was like ashes (cp Dan. 430). Carefully tended he is speedily restored, takes the problem in hand, and sets out for Egypt, where he is able to meet cunning with cunning and Pharaoh is compelled to acknowledge defeat. Crowned with glory the hero returns home, and now condign punishment overtakes Nadan. First he is scourged, and next he is thrown into a foul den near his uncle's door: and as often as Ahikar went in and out, he railed at him, his words of chastisement still taking proverbial form. As Nadan heard these words, in that same moment he became inflated like a leather bottle, all his members and bones swelled, and he split open and burst. Thus he came to his end and died (cp as to this manner of death the account of Marduk's triumph over Tiamat in the Babylonian creation-myth; Jensen, Ass.-bab. Mythen. u. Epen, Berlin, 1900, p. 26+)

1 Lieder und Geschichten der Suaheli, transl. and introd by Buttner, Berlin, 1894, p. 89+

8. Ultimately mythical.[edit]

The manner in which the story is told in the Book of Tobit points very clearly beyond the legendary form in which it has been handed down to an original which exhibited mythological motives. Some one is delivered from the snare of death - so a legend says. This is the latest shape the material receives; it is at the same time also a new interpretation and explanation. We meet with the characteristic colouring of myth, however, when we read of someone being brought down from light into darkness, how he reascends to light, and how his adversary is plunged into eternal night. These are characteristic features of the original form which first are gradually smoothed down and then continue to be carried along as a metaphorical manner of speaking for a considerable length of time, but finally the bold myth is toned down till it becomes a mere illustration of a popular proverb: 'He who digs a pit for others falls into it himself', or: 'Behold, what mercy does, and how righteousness delivers', or: 'Mercy delivers from death, and will not suffer him who practises it to go into darkness'.

The appropriation of this story by Judaism through a change of names, depends on a primary affinity of material which made it possible and easy. Manasseh in the Book of Judith, who is struck down by a burning wind in the days of the barley-harvest, and so deeply lamented by his widow (Judith 8:2-3), and Haman the persecutor of the Jews are both of them figures which Judaism found and appropriated in foreign lands. They afterwards became typical figures for the whole cycle of exilic legends; but originally it was between mythical figures that the struggle lay as to which should thrust the other down into everlasting darkness.

From the fact that the Book of Tobit contains references to the story of Ahikar, we must not, with M. Plath, draw the inference that the Tobit material is the later: 'The story of Tobit is set forth in full detail whilst the other may be taken for granted as known already'. On the contrary we here see in operation the natural desire to bring the characters of legend into relation with each other and with contemporary life. In this way Judaism is exhibited, even by its legends dating from those days of oppression which had become classical for subsequent post-exilic times, as a close and mutually coherent community in which each individual helps his neighbour. It is in a similar manner that, on German soil, the figures of Siegfried and Dietrich have been brought into relation with each other in the 'Great Rosen-garden'. But whilst the Jews help one another the German heroes are at war. The former sort of legend circulates among a people that finds itself in adversity, the later in a nation that finds its delight in battle and tournament.

9. Didactic additions.[edit]

There can be no doubt that the didactic portions of Tobit have also received interpolations; this is evident from the extant texts.

Chap. 4, which contains Tobit's exhortations to his son before his departure, is shortest in X, fuller in Jerome, most copious in A, B, and Vet. Lat. Whilst in Jerome there is prefixed an exhortation to attend to what is about to be said, and lay it to heart, in the other MSS Tobit, starting from the actual situation, begins with an admonition to Tobias to attend to his father's burial and care suitably for his widowed mother. This admonition is all the more effective, and eo ipso shows itself to be an integral portion of the story, because shortly before the blind old man has had to listen to bitter reproaches which almost drove him to despair from the very wife whom he now so thoughtfully remembers. Natural, too, in like manner is the admonition, generalising as it were the fundamental thought of what precedes, to be pious and to keep God s commandments. The prospect of a happy life is held out as a reward for such conduct.

The climax of the exhortation having thus been reached, the conclusion we expect is 'Remember these commandments, and suffer them not to be effaced from thy heart!' Only X, however, closes thus; assuredly it represents the original rounded form. We cannot suppose any omission or shortening; for elsewhere X is much the more detailed and copious.

The other texts have forcibly introduced into this rounded text manifold pieces of good advice:

  • (i) Practise compassion, for this will give the best results;
  • (2) Live chastely and marry within your own people as the patriarchs did, for this brings great blessing in its train;
  • (3) Be not proud, above all not to any of your own people: pride brings ruin;
  • (4) Give the hireling his wages; be well-bred in all your actions, and refrain from doing to others what would be unpleasing to yourself;
  • (5) Beware of drunkenness; be compassionate;
  • (6) Walk with the righteous and the wise.

Jerome has a like number of separate counsels, but they are more concisely worded, and it is noteworthy that the advice to marry within one's own kin is absent.

Thus there has been a gradual interpolation of this apparently favourite chapter of the Book of Tobit. People liked to read how the old man instructs the youth. More and more words were put into his mouth, of the sort which the various redactors would like to impress upon the minds of readers. It is interesting to see that the Ahikar story also exhibits the same mixture of the epic and the didactic styles. Certain of the actual words too in the rules of wisdom it contains echo those of Tobit. The following examples are among the most noticeable :

My son, pour out thy wine on the tombs of the just, rather than drink it with wicked people. Pour out (funde) thy wine and thy bread on the tombs of the just, and give it (illud) not to sinners. Place thy wine and thy bread upon the tomb of the just; but eat and drink not of it with sinners. Dispense freely thy food at the burial of the just; but give not to sinners.

The original meaning of this saying, which has reference to libations at sepulchres, has gradually been toned down until at last what has come out of it is an exhortation to prepare a funeral repast. Thus we can clearly see that the counsels which by degrees found their way into Tobit s exhortation have in part at least been taken from the general oriental stock of quotations. On the other hand the accentuation of definite Jewish precepts of morality is deliberate. The time, from which their introduction dates, loved to inculcate them at every possible opportunity. Apparently it had every need to do so.

The peculiar circumstance that the advice to marry within one's kin is wanting in X and Jer. raises the question, whether this element, upon which much weight is sought to be laid in the history itself, be original.

There is the further fact that in 6:16 [X] Azariah reminds Tobias of it, although the admonition itself has not been previously recorded in this form of the text. The verse in question must therefore have been introduced by way of correction from the other forms of the text. We are confirmed in this inference when we observe that Jerome makes no mention at all of Azariah's reminder. But as in the dialogue between Azariah and Tobias, he deviates much from the other MSS, his evidence would not be so weighty as it is if we did not read in the third Greek recension simply these words: 'Dost thou not remember all thy father s commandments?' thus without express allusion to the particular exhortation now in question.

Further, the statement that Tobias is related to Raguel disturbs the whole structure of the story. If Raguel would indeed become by the Mosaic law guilty of death should he give his daughter to any other than Tobias, - an assertion of the angel's which in point of fact is not correct, - then it becomes inconceivable how the narrator could possibly have found any excuse for his having already previously betrothed her to seven suitors in succession. Sara herself, before abandoning herself to despair, must surely have had some thought of the one possibility of escape from her sad predicament - that, namely, of being married by the man whom the law required. Her prayer must have been that God should send her this deliverer. Nor is it possible that Tobit in receiving his daughter-in-law into his house, could have failed to recall the ties of kinship that united them. Raguel himself must have given thanks to God not merely 'for having had mercy upon two only children'; he would also have had every reason for pointing out how a faithful keeping of the law had found its reward.

Finally, the scene which above all others must determine as to the relationship between the two families, that namely in which Tobias enters the house of Raguel, is not always rendered in the same way. According to one version of the story the two travellers first meet with Sara and are afterwards led by her to the house, and according to another they first find Raguel himself sitting at his house door, and are hospitably welcomed by him; according to the one Tobit's loss of sight is already known to those in Raguel's house, whilst according to the other they first hear of it from the travellers. Also, X shows a much greater interest than A and B in the relationship (cp 6:18 and 7:10), although it does not contain the exhortation mentioned above. The editor therefore, we may be quite certain, would not have omitted it if he had found it lying before him.

This want of agreement shows clearly the smoothing touches of later hands. It is plausible to conjecture that without all arriving at one and the same result they all sought to incorporate the discovery by Raguel and his family that their new arrival was their nearest kinsman. This addition, intended to exhibit in concrete form by means of the story of Tobit the blessing which such marriages of kinsfolk bring, must have been made in a time which was trying to set aside this ancient Jewish custom. People 'turned away with haughty minds from the sons and the daughters of their own nation, nor took they wives from amongst them' (4:13 [A]). 'In pride - such was the teaching of this addition - lies destruction and much confusion'. On the other hand the progeny of those who are true to the customs of their forefathers 'inherits the land'. We see that political and religious hopes were believed to be affected by such deviations from traditional practice.

10. Summary of foregoing discussions.[edit]

If we take a comprehensive survey of the work that has been expended upon the Book of Tobit, so far as can be judged from the extant forms of the text, it becomes plain that the introduction of certain episodes points to a heightening of the didactic character of the story, and to a desire to give it more and more the character of a family tale. In other respects, though the various MSS vary from each other in many ways, they never do so to such an extent that the course of events is changed. But copyists and translators seem to have treated their text with a good deal of arbitrariness ; they might almost be called redactors. They have fully exercised what they deemed their own proprietory rights in copy or translation. The various forms of text thus produced were again compared at a distinctly later period, and here and there we find unmistakable attempts to harmonise them. It is therefore difficult to define in any brief formula the nature of their mutual relationship. We can do so, however, quite definitely so far as their attitude towards the Ahikar episode is concerned.


11. Not original.[edit]

At this stage there arises at once the question whether the text to which the various extant MSS go back presents us with the original form of the Book of Tobit. In the opinion of the present writer it does not. Various indications go to show that what it offers us is a redaction of a story previously fixed in writing.

In the speech in which the angel makes himself known he declares the part he has taken in the events in the life of Tobit (12:12+). He it was who brought the memorial of his prayer before God ; who was by his side when he buried the dead ; likewise when he did not delay to rise up and leave his dinner in order to go and cover the 'dead' (sing, in X, pl. in A). The allusion to Tobit's activity in burying the dead in the times of oppression caused by Sennacherib is abrupt; to say the least it stands in the wrong place, the events being enumerated in reverse order of their occurrence. It has the appearance of being an element that has been introduced at a late stage into the text with the effect in v. 13 of making the 'dead man' into 'the dead' (pl.). If this impression be correct, the originality of the introduction would then come into question. And in point of fact it is given as the hero s own account of himself in the first person whilst everywhere else the book is written in the third person. At a very early date this difficulty was felt. Jerome and the Aramaic (ed. Neubauer) give the introduction in the third person. M. Plath indeed points to the similar change between the first and the third person in the Aramaic version of the story of Ahikar. In the latter case, however, it would seem as if we had to deal with an oversight or slip of the Chronicler rather than with a peculiarity of style. If the editor of the Book of Acts, skilled in literature as he was, placed in immediate juxtaposition the we-passages and those written in the third person, his intention was that the impression of dependence on ancient sources which gives his narrative the stamp of authenticity might be left unimpaired. Thus M. Plath's reference to Acts goes rather to prove the opposite of what is intended ; the inference is that here also as well as in the Book of Acts the manner in which the subject is presented enables us to discern the traces of a second hand.

Again, the mention of the various Assyrian kings, and the references to the history of that period altogether are quite uncalled for so far as the remainder of the narrative is concerned. Only at the very close of the narrative are similar allusions at all met with ; but here too the various versions do not agree (e.g., as to the ages of the persons).

Once more, Tobit's loss of sight is given as the sole reason for his impoverishment. After the return from the flight before Sennacherib he can afford to have a rich meal prepared; thus his poverty is not the consequence of the confiscation of his goods by Sennacherib.

Lastly, it is left wholly unexplained why it is that the neighbours say on the burial of the dead man at the feast of Pentecost that Tobit 'was no more afraid to be put to death for this matter'. No mention has previously been made that the Jew referred to had been slain by King Sacherdonos. The corpse is lying in the market place ; but the Jews put to death by Sennacherib are not, it need hardly be said, left lying in the middle of the town ; they are thrown outside the walls of Nineveh. The saying of the neighbours just cited, therefore, being irreconcilable with the narrative itself, and presupposing impossible conditions, cannot be original. If not original, the things to which it alludes, the Sennacherib story, are also brought into question.

We shall be safe, therefore, in excluding from the original text of the Book of Tobit, both this Sennacherib-Story and the reference to the burials of the dead. What we have here is simply a later reduplication of one and the same motive - viz. , that of the burial of the dead man - just as in the story of Esther the feast is reduplicated. In Esther the object is to interweave the Mordecai episodes by means of which the book read at the Purim festival was brought into harmony with the spirit of the age; we may well suppose a similar motive to have been at work in the case of the Book of Tobit. Preiss 1 has placed its date in the middle of the second century A. D., that is to say, immediately after the suppression of the Jewish revolt, and the annihilation of all their national hopes. If now we endeavour to represent to ourselves what it was that the redactor of the original text of the book of Tobit (possibly written in Hebrew) aimed at and has accomplished we shall arrive at some such conclusion as the following:

12. How redacted.[edit]

The story, such as the redactor found it already reduced to writing, as an edifying tale of family life, was laid in the Assyrian times. The redactor shows himself to be, for his time, a man possessed of a certain degree of historical knowledge. He was acquainted with the almost legendary story of Sennacherib's fruitless expedition against Judah; and this he blended with the story of Tobit, perhaps after having first put it into a Greek dress. With the adoption of so free a treatment is explained also the stylistic character of the Greek text, which led Noldeke to maintain its originality. 2 The redactor had along with his contemporaries passed through the bitter experiences of the suppression of the Jewish revolt against Rome. It had been a life-and-death struggle. 'In this conflict of races, that ended in 135 with the complete subjugation of the Jews, the fields were strown with dead bodies ; nay (as Graetz has it) "the whole Jewish nation lay like one huge corpse on the gory fields of its native land" and in Media alone was peace any more to be found' (Preiss). These ghastly experiences were introduced by the redactor into an old tale of family life. He threw them back into the Assyrian time ; and thus the old book with its limited horizon, with its personages who are 'no heroes in deeds, but heroes in suffering' (M. Plath) was adapted to the times for which he wrote.

Tobit who, braving the wrath of the king, buries the slaughtered brethren, thus receives a touch of the heroic valour of the fighters of Bar Kochba s time ; but, at the same time, by his resignation and by his quiet patience and persistent hopefulness he could also become a conspicuous example to the Jews of those days, disheartened as they were by the failure of their effort to shake off the Roman yoke. As they read the new introduction to the old book, their hearts were captivated by this bold kindred spirit, to be guided by him forthwith along the only road on which they could possibly find healing for their grievous wounds. Perhaps therefore it was psychologically a very skilful touch on the part of the redactor to introduce this man at the outset as speaking in propria persona. Possibly he allowed himself here to be guided by his own feeling. In any case his intervention has impaired the compactness of the older narrative.

1 'Zum Buche Tobit' in ZWT, 1885, pp. 24+

2 MBBA, 1879, pp. 45+

The introduction of passages from general history into such a tale as this, dealing with events so domestic and private, strikes us as out of place; we instinctively feel that here some extraneous element has been imported into an already completed unity, that we have to do with the work of some editor, that a local and temporary interest is at work which has no universality in its appeal.

Our account of the redactor s interference with the older narrative is not yet finished. In 12:20 the angel, when taking his departure, bids Tobit commit to writing all that has happened. The reader notes that the matter is exhausted, and what he expects next to hear is that Raphael's command has been carried out. Perhaps afterwards the deaths of Tobit and Anna might have been added, and the removal of Tobias into Media, - a removal that considered in itself seems quite natural when we remember that his wife's relations live in Ecbatana and are possessors of great wealth which Sara and her husband are destined one day to inherit. But instead of any such natural conclusion as this we have in the first instance a thanksgiving prayer of Tobit's, of which we are told in A and B that it was put into writing by Tobit himself. The Syriac version has the same prayer in a shorter form. The other versions, however, make Tobit s discourse rise to a climax in an apocalyptic prophecy of the upbuilding of the heavenly Jerusalem. According to this discourse God's tabernacle in Jerusalem is for the present destroyed, and thus the city taken away from the nation and from its God.

Tobit appears of course to speak from his own proper standpoint, which has in view the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadrezzar. It need hardly be said, however, that in reality the prophecy relates to the time of the author. Now it might not be impossible to think of the oppression of Jerusalem by Antiochus Epiphanes. The glowing colours, however, with which the rebuilding of the holy city is depicted suggest a period when a speedy natural restoration of the city and its worship was hardly to be expected. At such a period, when it is plainly seen that self-help is of no avail, men cling to the hope of some miraculous intervention. Heavenly powers shall build up Jerusalem (13:16) 'with sapphires, and emeralds, and precious stones, her walls and towers and battlements with pure gold ; and her streets shall be paved with beryl and carbuncle and stones of Ophir'. A joyful expectation of this sort takes us beyond the times of the Maccabees. And as the opening of the book most probably emanates from one who had lived through the struggles of the second century A.D. it will be to him that we ought most probably to attribute not only the placing of the story in a similar historical background, but also the introduction into it of those ardent wishes and hopes regarding the future which at the time of writing were stirring his own heart. By this supposition we are best able to understand on the one hand the interest shown in events in the far East in the introduction, and on the other in the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the restoration of its worship at the close. For a contemporary of the Maccabaean struggles Palestine alone would have come into consideration.

The interest felt at one and the same time in the far East and in the city of Jerusalem finally reaches pointed expression in the parting speech of Tobit to his son (chap. 14). 'For a time' Jerusalem shall be desolate and God's worship be suspended there. During this period 'in Media there shall rather be peace for a season'. But at last the fulness of time shall be ac complished, the Jews shall be restored, and the gentiles turn from their idolatries. Jerusalem shall rise in glory and with her the house of God, 'but not like unto the first'. This prophecy clearly refers to the last times. The temple, which is to be built anew, will not be the production of human hands, but in contrast to the first will be God s own workmanship. Jerusalem will be the splendid city of the latter days, the heavenly Jerusalem, the temple of God's glorious building, not to be likened to any building of former times, not even to that of a Herod. It is therefore a mistake to attempt to determine from this passage the historical standpoint of the writer as if he had lived sometime within the period between the post-exilic building of Zerubbabel and the work of Herod (so Schurer in PRE (3) 1:644). Rather are all temples of former times brought into contrast with this splendid structure destined to be raised in the end of the ages. The writer of this prophecy discloses himself by his simultaneous interest in the far East and in the West. A characteristic note is that he takes pains to make out the events of the future as fulfilment of prophetic prediction. We can perceive from this how important the time in which he lived must have been for the text of our prophetical books. In particular we must attribute to it a large share in the enlargement by way of commentary of our book of Jeremiah, the Hebrew text of which is much more copious than that of the Greek translation. 1

This peculiar method, of filling out the ancient story with the prophecies, hopes, and interests of a later time, strikes the reader just as much as does the introduction of universal history into a tale of family life. The mixture of styles resulting from this combination is neither elegant nor pleasing. Beautiful or attractive it can have been only to an age which found reflected in it its own expectations and wishes. Here once more we come to the conclusion that a redactor has been at work whose inherent weaknesses escaped notice for but a short time. The moment the interest which has dictated the procedure relaxes, we inevitably perceive the violence it has done to the ancient story by the improbabilities which it has forced upon it.

1 Cp Erbt, Jeremia. und seine Zeit, 1902, and see JEREMIAH ii., 21.


13. Reconstruction.[edit]

If we pursue our inquiry as to the original form of the book of Tobit which lay before the redactor and was operated on by him, we shall find the story to be somewhat as follows :-

In Nineveh there lives a. pious man, Tobit by name,: his wife is Anna, and his son Tobias. He is one of the Jewish exiles. On a certain occasion, at Pentecost, just before sitting down to meat, he sends out his son to invite any needy one from among his brethren. Tobias returns with the news that a Jew who has been strangled is lying dead in the market-place. Tobit buries the body, and as incidental to this loses his eyesight. He thus becomes dependent on his wife; on one occasion a misunderstanding arises between them and she casts his alms and his righteous deeds in his teeth. Deeply stirred, he falls into great sadness and prays for death. In Ecbatana, Sara the daughter of Raguel is cherishing the same wish. An evil spirit, Asmodeus, has slain seven successive husbands of hers on the wedding-night. Her father's maidservants reproach her with having herself put her husbands to death. In answer to the prayers of Tobit and Sara God sends forth the angel Raphael to cure Tobit of his blindness, and bring about a union between Tobias and Sara and thus deliver the virgin wife from the evil spirit.

Such, in brief outline, is the scheme of the story ; the scene is laid at Nineveh and Ecbatana, and the theme is the deliverance from undeserved misfortune of two families living in these two places. The solution is brought about by the direct intervention of God and Raphael, the powers of the celestial world.

The occurrences in Nineveh are related at some length, but only one scene is devoted to the story of Sara. At Nineveh we are first of all introduced to the pious, benevolent Tobit. His benevolence leads him to show an act of mercy to a dead man and this act of mercy in turn becomes the cause of misfortune to himself. The development of this scene indicates that Tobit's misfortune is wholly undeserved. A pious man such as this - so the reader is given to understand from the very beginning - cannot possibly remain unhappy, if there is a righteous God.

In the second scene we see how poverty comes on the back of misfortune. Tobit s wife becomes dependent for her own and her husband s support upon the kindness of aliens. And, strange to say! to the benevolent Tobit who now finds himself in the same position as those whom he has so often formerly befriended there never occurs the thought of any possibility that his former kindnesses may now be requited to himself and to his house. In the end Tobit, after the misunderstanding with his wife, finds himself completely isolated. Where is he to look for either comfort or support? The good deed which has been the outward occasion of his misfortune is cast in his teeth. Must he remain an innocent sufferer throughout all the rest of his life ? His prayer is the answer to either question; it is thus of vital importance for the course of the narrative. Forsaken by men, Tobit turns to God from whom alone comfort and help can come. He prays that death may come to his rescue. We are deeply moved by the spectacle of the aged sufferer. Any other man would have prayed for recovery. Thus our feelings are kept in tension. In what way will God intervene?

The composition of the two scenes at Nineveh can almost be characterised as faultless. We are greatly moved as we see this pious man brought to misfortune by an act of kindness. In the train of the original calamity comes poverty. It is the indirect cause of a misunderstanding between Tobit and his loyal wife. A venial fault leaves the old man absolutely friendless ; it instantly brings its own punishment, but at the same time drives him into the arms of Him who alone can help. For the time being we are reassured, and free to turn our attention to the other scene of action.

Sara scourges her maids, whether with reason or without, we are not told, nor does it matter. Her maids know how to avenge themselves on her passionate temper. They reproach her with her undeserved misfortune. Misfortune, scorn, and open contempt; we are touched by the maiden's fate. She would fain lay down life's burden; another proof of her passionate nature. The aged man bears his troubles quietly; only when they pass the limits of endurance does he pray to God to take away his life. For a moment Sara thinks of ending her troubles with her own hand; but it is only for a moment: she is too good a daughter; she remembers her father. In the one case, Tobit's difference with his wife throws him into the arms of God; in the other case, the same effect is wrought by the daughter's reflection on what would be the sorrow of her father.

The narrator relieves the fatiguing similarity of the two scenes by contrasting the motives. Sara s prayer is framed after the same model as 'Tobit's': invocation and adoration ; petition for deliverance from distress. Whilst, however, the prayer of the old man moves quietly towards its climax, Sara s emotion is manifest throughout. Thus her prayer is much more concrete. She had just been on the verge of suicide, and now she implores God to let her die. But again the image of her father rises before her eyes. The love of life breaks in once more upon this passionate nature, the secret, unuttered wish that God may help her in some other way.

Thus the narrator has still further prepared us for the divine intervention. The scene that follows is laid in heaven - God sends down Raphael to deliver the two petitioners out of their distress. The reader at once perceives how the business is to end. Our story is no drama that gradually unfolds itself before the eyes of the spectator ; the various personages henceforth lose their dramatic interest, for we know what the end must be. All that remains still unknown is merely the working out of the details. With disclosure of the final issue the question is at the same time started as to how God will bring it about. To this the reader is intended to give his undivided attention. God s wisdom has to show itself in the skill with which the result is effected ; from this point onward the story will be an illustration of the wisdom of divine providence. And the illustration being so naive, our interest in it is but small. The art of the narrator, which we were able to admire in the opening chapters, seems to leave him. This, however, is only because he has attempted too ambitious a task and not kept within the bounds of his limited abilities. He laboriously seeks to keep up our interest by a succession of minor artifices.

Tobit sets his house in order before his death to which he is looking forward. At Rages in Media he has deposited a sum of money with Gabael, and Tobias must go and fetch it. We are not now able to say whether this element figured in the original form of the Book of Tobit. In the present text we have word of it as early as in 1:14. To Rages the way lies through Ecbatana ; we are thus able to divine that God is about to make use of the journey of Tobias for fulfilment of his plans. But we must have patience.

First the father has to give wise instructions to his son ; they are, he may well believe, the last words he will ever speak to Tobias. We for our part know that Tobit is to be rendered happy once more by this journey, and thus, touched by the old mans love, we are titled over the delay in the action Next, the father provides for the safety of his son as best he can: he chooses for him the most trustworthy travelling companion he can find. Again the narrator discloses too much. the companion is no other than Azaria, the angel Raphael in human shape. It is touching to read how strictly Tobit examines the stranger, so strictly that he has almost to apologise for his zeal. With our minds fixed on the blind father and his affectionate solicitude, we again forget that we are being detained. At last an agreement is come to, even in the matter of wages! A start can be made at last. The father gives his blessing, and wishes that the angel of God may go with his son. We smile to ourselves, knowing that the father s prayer is already fulfilled. \Vith the narrator, the religious interest, that of showing his readers how God guides the destinies of men beyond all human thinking, predominates over the aesthetic interest which should have taught him not to relieve the tension prematurely. At the parting, there are tears; the blind old man has faith in God and remains calm, but not so the mother, whose one thought is that her only child is leaving, and when she reflects that some sacrifice has to be made if the money is to be recovered, she deems the present one too great; 'We have enough to live on'. Has the narrator forgotten that Tobit is reduced to poverty? Or is it his intention to touch us still more deeply by putting into Anna s mouth the sentiment that she would rather go on with her present life of care and toil, if only her dear son might stay at home? Tobit attempts to divert his wife from her sorrow by 'gently trying to excite her pity for himself; thine eyes shall see him! He himself is blind: even should he survive till his son's return, still he will not see him!' (M. Plath).

We see how the author's main endeavour is to keep up the reader's interest by touching his heart. He tries to reach his audience where it is most susceptible ; it is one of the artifices he employs to maintain the life of a narrative which has lost the element of suspense.

The departure in its various scenes - the decision, the parting instructions, the choice of a companion, the farewell - occurs in Nineveh. The next scenes, describing the journey, naturally are laid in a variety of places ; the most important are the encampment by the Tigris, and the stay at Raguel's house, so important that the original object of the journey, the recovery of the money entrusted to Gabael at Rages, becomes a mere episode, appended to the scene in Ecbatana. We know beforehand the real providential purpose of the journey, and thus are not surprised at the turn it takes. But that in the end the angel, not Tobias, should fetch the money, seems a small but charming variation: 'things fall out quite differently from what we imagine' (M. Plath).

Before going to sleep one night young Tobias bathes in the Tigris. A fish leaps out upon him and snaps at his foot. A and B have aggravated the natural situation, in order to make the story as marvellous as possible. With them the fish threatens to swallow the youth. And yet, at the angel's bidding, he is forthwith able to seize hold of it and to cast it on the bank so that there is no real danger. At Raphael's request he takes with him the heart, the liver, and the gall of the fish. The pair continue their journey and draw near to Media, the true goal predetermined by God.

The decisive stay at the house of Raguel is led up to by two preparatory scenes - conversations between the angel and Tobias in the course of their journey - and is followed by two others relating to the recovery of the money from Gabael, and the arrival of the latter at Ecbatana. The two dialogues, on the borders of Media, before Ecbatana is reached, are intended to shorten the long story of the journey and to relieve the reader. Again the artist deprives us of all the pleasure of suspense by elaborately describing beforehand every thing that is going to happen.

Tobias himself gives occasion for this before Media is entered (so X; A and B less effectively have substituted Ecbatana) by his question as to the object in carrying with them the heart, gall, and liver of the fish they had killed on the evening of their first day s journey. When we learn that an evil spirit can be driven away by the fumes of this liver and heart, we at once perceive exactly how it is that Sara is to be delivered. All that remains in doubt is as to whether Tobias will make up his mind to marry her, and whether Raguel is going to give him his daughter in marriage. That the son, however, should not think at once of his blind father when he hears that with the gall the malady Tobit is suffering from can be cured, astonishes us, especially when we see later how mindful Tobias is of his father: 'My father counts the days!' are the words with which he sends the angel to Gabael. Nor does he linger with his parents-in-law an hour beyond the exact time he had promised. Clearly the narrator took no special interest in the characterisation of his various personages; his main interest is in exhibiting and proving the wise governance of God: 'God rules supreme and rules all things well' is his central theme.

The way having been prepared by an explanation of the healing virtues of the various parts of the fish, the angel proceeds to disclose his plans. They are now before the gates of Ecbatana (A and B again read, wrongly, Rages). Their next lodging-place is to be Raguel s house. He has but one child, a daughter, who is fair and wise. Azaria will speak to her father that she may be given in marriage to Tobias. The wedding will be held after the return from Rages. ('Afterwards things turn out differently from what had been thought'.)

To Tobias, more than to any other, does the right of inheritance belong. This proposition, which doubtless originally simply meant that Tobias, the son of a poor but pious father, was the husband chosen for the girl by the wise counsel of God ('she is appointed unto thee from the beginning', (6:18) was only at a later date thought out in the manner of commentary to the effect that the two were nearly related, and their marriage as near relations would be well-pleasing to God and to the Jewish nation.

Had Tobias known nothing of Sara's misfortune, he would now have consented on the spot. As it is, he pleads that, being the only son of his parents, he dare not lightly risk his life. In itself considered the plan which the angel unfolds is not to be rejected.

He is already strongly prepossessed in favour of it. The young man's love for his parents is most touching. He thinks only of their sorrow, and does not fear the evil spirit except on their account. That Sara s story should be known even in Nineveh, presupposes a lively intercourse between the two places. And such there may have been, not only in the narrator s own time but also in former days ; we must not fall into the error of underestimating the trade of antiquity.

To repel his scruples, the angel reminds the youth of his father's injunctions. Unquestionably his reference at present is to the one injunction which bade him marry a woman of his own kindred. Originally, perhaps, no such reminiscence may have stood in this place.

Or possibly, as is also supported by tradition, the reference may have been simply to the father's injunctions generally. In that case we shall perhaps have to think of some such precepts as those in X [aleph]: 'They who practise sincerity, shall be blessed in their works ; and to all that work righteousness, God shall give good counsel'. In this case the angel will have seen an act of righteousness in the deliverance of Sara. To the present writer this explanation seems the best.

The argument brought forward by the angel constitutes the main point to which the whole dialogue leads up; the means exist, by which the evil spirit can be driven away.

Once more we get a description of the virtue that lies in the heart and liver of the fish. The narrator tries to make it interesting by giving Tobias at the same time precise directions as to the manner in which the remedy is to be applied. Tobias now changes his mind; he is in love with Sara, or, we should say, he finds the proposed marriage with the fair and wise daughter of the rich man most acceptable. Such sentiments to the ancient conception furnish foundation enough for a happy union.

The second scene before the stay at Ecbatana represents a dialogue of persuasion, the first one of instruction. Judged from our oesthetic standpoint the whole of the preliminary scene ought to have been given in the form of a single dialogue of persuasion. The narrator's tendency is to break up the action into as many scenes as possible. In the discussion as to the derivation of the material, we shall have to keep this consideration in mind (section 16).

There is no agreement in the rendering of the principal scene, that at Ecbatana. All that can be clearly seen from the varying versions of it is the emphasis that is everywhere laid on Kaguel s hospitality. In the end the betrothal comes about as planned by the angel.

Here again, according to A and B, which may reproduce the oldest reading, Azaria takes the most important part, inasmuch as it is he who communicates to Raguel the wish of young Tobias. In X, where, exceptionally, in these scenes the relationship between Sara and Tobias is particularly dwelt upon, Raguel overhears the young man talking to the angel about the marriage, and is at once captivated by the idea.

A marriage contract is drawn up in writing. Thereupon Edna prepares the bridal chamber for her daughter. Again tears are shed; the intention is to move the heart of the reader; there is something pathetic about the lot of the maid who has already buried seven spouses. The effect of the scene, however, has been destroyed from the outset as we already know of the impending happy issue. In the bridal chamber Tobias, at last, makes use of the angel's prescription. The fumes put the demon to flight. That he should be fettered by the angel in Upper Egypt is something we were not prepared for. From all we have been told so far, we should have expected the mere fumigation to suffice for complete deliverance from the evil spirit. The prayer the young man now offers is specially Jewish. In arrangement it resembles those previously recorded.

Meanwhile Raguel is digging a grave for his daughter's betrothed. The bridal is to be in secret ; the unhappy man dreads his neighbours' evil tongues. This proceeding shows that Sara's latest betrothal does not differ in any way from those which preceded it. No relationship, therefore, between the couple is presupposed. For the rest, we are at a loss to understand the feelings of the actors now before us who with cold hearts dig graves out of fear of their neighbours, who send a maidservant quickly into the bridal chamber to see whether the grave shall be needed ; nor yet the feelings of the readers who felt edified by the prayer of thanksgiving offered immediately afterwards by the digger of the grave. Instead of a funeral there is now a wedding. In the end it is the angel who has to collect the money for the happy bridegroom. Gabael himself comes to Ecbatana to the wedding. It is probable that X has here the more original text; in A and B the phraseology is so curt as to be almost unintelligible.

Gradually the story draws to an end. Two scenes prepare for the close. Again the narrator keeps his readers waiting. He takes us first to [to italicised] Nineveh. The old people are awaiting their son s return in vain. Whilst Tobit is patiently resigned, the mother in her anguish spends her nights in weeping and her days in watching the road along which her son had passed. At Ecbatana, on the other hand, the son amid all his happiness has not forgotten his lonely parents. Vainly does the hospitable Raguel press him to [to italicised] tarry. Amid the blessings of his new relations Tobias takes his departure along with his wife and the angel. After he has given his blessing, the father reminds his daughter of her duty to her parents-in-law. The mother, on the other hand, urges her son-in-law to be kind to his wife.

Shortly before Nineveh is reached the angel once more takes the part of a faithful adviser ; again, he gives instructions to Tobias how to heal his blind father. In a touching way the narrator brings before our eyes the helplessness of the blind old man before he is healed. The cure accomplished, Tobit praises God, and to the great astonishment of the neighbours, himself goes out to bring his daughter-in-law home. A seven days' wedding follows. At this point, now that the angel has brought Tobias safely back, rescued his wife, re covered his money, and healed his father, his task seems done, and we expect him to take his leave. But first he must carry out his role as travelling companion to the end. As trusty guide he must receive his wages. Tobias proposes to share equally with him the wealth he has acquired. Now at last the angel reveals to them his true nature. In a long discourse which, as M. Plath has observed, recalls the style of the psalms and of Sirach, he makes himself known after declaring that he had been a witness to the burial of the dead. They are bidden praise God and commit everything to writing. After the angel's command to write in a book all the things that have happened, what we expect to read is: 'And they wrote everything down, and here is the book' (M. Plath).

14. History of story : time of greatest vogue.[edit]

(a) On a survey of the book and its history, it becomes clear in the first place that it must have greatly interested the reading world.

This is shown by the varying MSS. Each individual possessor, copyist, and translator has by the introduction of certain turns and small alterations which commended themselves to him, given expression to his sympathy with the lot of those pious people who are the subjects of our story.

(b) Next we are carried back to a time in which this material was read with peculiar eagerness ; the time, namely, about 150 A. D. The failure of the Jewish rebellion presented a temptation to abandon Jewish peculiarities and the ancient manner of life altogether. It was at this time that the pious exhortations of Tobit were amplified, and the duty of cohesiveness was insisted upon since pride towards one s own brethren brings only confusion. Quite recently these days of woe had been made to throw their dark shadows on the very pages of the book. Tobit the faithful Jew of the unhappy Assyrian days, the pious sufferer in evil times, was the man to speak an earnest word to those of the Jews who had escaped the oppression of the revolt. At the same time he could also give them a word of comfort, by telling them about the Jerusalem of the final future. In such manner was the original form of the book modified so as to adapt it to the needs of the time.

(c) The original form must at one time have had a separate existence - perhaps in a collection of legends, since it represents a complete story, artfully constructed.


15. Tendency of final redactor.[edit]

The form of a book depends on three ractors: the character of the material, the personality of him who gives it shape, and the wants of him who reads. There must have been a public to welcome it if we find here a melting story, with characters doomed to suffer and to bear, to whom angels from heaven are familiar beings, whose lives are spent in prayer and pious contemplations. The readers rejoice over those who are compassionate, but only heaven can reward them. The story is not written for the rich but for the poor. These do not undertake long journeys ; but they like to hear about them. They know well what anxiety a son s journey can cause to a father and mother. To be sure, everyone has heard of people who have travelled ; these will be welcome as companions should necessity for travelling arise. Such things as these are not the staple in stories that circulate among traders and merchants. In those stay-at-home circles there is belief in magical medicaments such as are supposed to be found in foreign lands. In the great rivers of distant lands swim fish whose heart and liver can exorcise evil spirits, whose gall can heal blindness (cp 6). Such readers are at the same time rigorously exacting. Each marringe has to be preceded by a written contract; money is not handed over without a document. A reading public of this sort could have been found in Palestine, but in Egypt, as also in Babylonia, the Jews were doubtless, for the most part, engaged in trade. Moreover, the knowledge of the regions of Mesopotamia is by no means exact, and we read that the evil spirit is chained in Upper Egypt. Only a writer living sufficiently far off could think of that country as the battlefield for contending spirits. Yet the men address their wives as 'sister', in the Egyptian manner. Thus the flourishing period of Palestinian history under the rule of the Ptolemies about 300 B.C., and the influence they wielded, must have previously made itself felt. The year 200 B.C. , therefore, may be suggested as the approximate date of the original form of our book.

In the analysis given above (section 13) allusion has already been made to the tendencies shown by the individual who gave its final shape to the material before him. He is fond of breaking up the story into short separate scenes, of sharp contrasts, of elaborating particular scenes. Let us now try, on the basis of these observations, to ascertain what was the nature of his work upon the material handed down to him, and so to obtain approximately some idea of the story as it was when he found it.

16. His work.[edit]

First of all then, our attention is claimed by the artistic composition of the opening of the story. A popular legend does not deal in so complicated a manner with two separate scenes of action. The artful parallel composition of the scenes in Nineveh and in Ecbatana is the narrator's own work. The elaborate parting scenes in which we see the old man giving wise advice, the young man looking out for a travelling companion, the anxious father, the weeping mother, cannot be imagined otherwise than as a narrative definitely fixed in writing ; it is impossible to regard it as a tale popularly handed down by word of mouth. The dialogues between the two travellers are also highly artificial compositions. The waiting parents as contrasted with Raguel hospitably pressing his guests to tarry, seem also to have been introduced by the narrator. There remain, accordingly, only the following elements (which perhaps, however, might be still further reduced) to be noted as appertaining to the material upon which the narrator has operated,

  • (1) The burial of a dead body, and the blinding of a head of a family;
  • (2) impoverishment, so that the blind man's wife has to work for their living;
  • (3) a son, accompanied by a stranger, makes a journey to recover money;
  • (4) on the way they have an adventure with important consequences;
  • (5) a marriage with a rich heiress, whose lot has been made intolerable by the jealousy of an evil spirit who will not suffer her husbands to live;
  • (6) the healing of the blind father;
  • (7) the stranger declines to accept the acknowledgement offered to him (half of the entire estate) in order at last to disclose himself to be an angel who has been a witness of the burial of the dead.

17. Basis in folk-lore.[edit]

Since the appearance of Simrock's work Der gute Gerhard und die dankbaren Todten (Bonn, 1856) zealous efforts have continuously been made to trace back the raw material of the Book of Tobit to a widely-spread story of the gratitude of a departed spirit, of which several versions are collected by Simrock. A similar Armenian story has also been unearthed (originally published by A. v. Haxthausen in his Transkaukasia, Leipsic, 1:333+, and recently again by M. Plath). In dealing with the question whether the story of Tobit goes back to a tale of this sort, we have to bear in mind that all the kindred stories hitherto brought forward, whether from Germany, Holland, France, Italy, Denmark, or Armenia, have in every case passed through a long development. They have been current in many lands, and been told in many tongues.

18. Armenian form of tale.[edit]

The Armenian tale knows nothing of the father of the hero. The hero pays the dead man's debts with a view to his burial and finally is himself reduced to poverty. Here the impoverishment is not so well accounted for as in the Book of Tobit. Just as in our tale the Armenian hero also wins a rich but unfortunate heiress in marriage. He is aided in this by a man who afterwards makes himself known as the spirit of the dead man whom he had buried. To him, too, half of the estate is assigned; but, full of gratitude, he declines to accept the gift.

Here, plainly, the tale is essentially simpler. There is no journey. This last feature may have been introduced by preference in places where people liked to hear about such journeys into foreign countries. Elsewhere this feature of the story came to be forgotten. In the Armenian tale the inner connection of the parts is not so close ; oral tradition is not so strict about details as one who writes down his stories. The spirit fights with his sword against a serpent that on the wedding-night comes out of the bride s mouth and seeks to kill the bridegroom. The serpent, we may safely take it, represents an evil being. A reminiscence of a similar struggle is found also in the Book of Tobit ; Raphael binds the evil spirit. We are therefore led to the conclusion that two variations can be shown; in the one the hero wins the bride by conflict with an evil spirit, in the other it is by a magical charm. The interest in magical effects was particularly strong among the Babylonian Jews. 1 Possibly the tale may have acquired this feature in the course of its journey westwards from the regions of the Euphrates. A third variation, of a specially Jewish character, tells of the hero s effective prayer on the night after his wedding. This variation, the most important from the Jewish point of view, has not been able to supplant the other two in the Book of Tobit. In the Armenian tale the blind father is forgotten. Popular tradition has thought only of the hero, whilst in the Hook of Tobit the narrator who, we might almost say, is constantly occupied with the endeavour to find a motive for each separate incident in the narrative, has endeavoured also to account for the father s loss of sight ; possibly it was he who gave to the story the turn by which the father who buries the dead man is made to become blind. In that case we must suppose him to have attributed the meritorious work of burial to the old man. The son it is, indeed, who obtains the reward, but the old man recovers his sight, and, according to a truly Jewish notion, is rewarded in his son. An important element may have been lost in transit - the payment of the dead man's debts. But M. Plath is right in pointing out that the Jews, who were painfully punctilious about such things, may have found themselves unable to take any special interest in this feature of the story. Thus the Jewish narrator may willingly have dropped the point, seeking instead to explain the hero's impoverishment in another way - namely, as caused by his loss of sight.

1 See Judisch-Babylonische Zaubertexte, ed. Stube (Halle, 1895).

19. Feature common to all.[edit]

The stories collected by Simrock have one more feature in common : the hero runs the risk of losing his newly-won wife. She is restored to him by the aid of the spirit. What we have here is simply a favourite method of amplifying stories by repetition of the same motive. People listened with such interest to the story of the manner in which a wife was won, that they were eager to hear it again and again. Hence the hero has to be in danger of nearly losing his wife; by some one - often a previous suitor, or several of them (here we find the circumstance still preserved that the maid had many suitors) - the attempt is made to kill the hero, drown, wound, burn him. Frequently it is only at the crisis of these perils that the grateful deceased is brought into action, and helps in restoring the lost wife to the hero by whom she has previously been won single-handed. To the first successful effort to win the maid there was added another, and it was sought to make the repetition attractive by introducing variations. In doing so, no hesitation was felt in omitting the spirit s share in the exploit if this was thought desirable. The influence of Christianity also occasionally makes itself felt.

In one form of the story the rebuilding of a ruined church of St. Nicholas takes the place of pious burial of the dead. The saint afterwards plays the part usually assigned to the helpful spirit.

In many forms of these stories the aged father of the hero is retained, only he does not come so much to the front as in the Book of Tobit. It is he who sends the son forth on a journey.

Also the trait which represents the old man as blind and recovering his sight by the skill of the departed spirit, occurs in one of the stories. We may conjecture this point to have been a characteristic one in the old story. As the adventures of the son were added, the father easily fell more and more into the background ; the same interest was no longer felt in his fortunes, he became a secondary character, until he finally disappeared altogether in many variants of the tale. In Tobit the development has tended in precisely the opposite direction. The wife reduced to toiling for strangers is also a favourite figure in these stories ; only it is the wife of the hero, often represented as reduced to poverty in winning her.

Finally, the spirit of the departed does not always appear in human shape; some of the stories introduce him as a mere ghost. In one of them a vast figure supports the hero, in another a tiny, wrinkled mannikin, in a third a bird, in a fourth a raven, in a fifth a swan, in a sixth a talking wolf. In the Book of Tobit the rescuer appears in human shape; there are traces, however, which might seem to indicate that an animal-form appeared in one of the variations.

A dog follows the youth on his journey to and fro - in a meaningless way, one might almost say. Surely it would be exaggeration at least to call this, as M. Plath does, 'a charming touch of naive miniature-painting'. We should at least expect - on the homeward journey, that the dog would go before and make known the travellers' return. It was only in a late redaction that this natural expectation was gratified (so Syr. and Jer.). Now, just as in the account of the maiden s rescue from the evil spirit traces are to be found of an older tradition, it is possible that here also we have a trace of the same sort. The dog which accompanies the hero when he starts may have been in one of the variations of the tale the spirit of the dead man. In another, which has a more historical air, there survives only a feeble recollection of this feature, to which afterwards increased importance came once more to be attached.

If we choose to lay stress on the fact that the demon bears the name of Asmodeus, which comes from the Persian Aeshma daeva, wemight find further confirmation of the conjecture just offered when it is reflected that with the Persians a certain power over evil spirits was assigned to the dog. Thus we get four variations in the story of the winning of the maiden, somewhat as follows :

  • (a) The myth of the fight of a radiant heavenly being with a demon (cp on Persian soil the Sraosha's combat against Aeshma daeva);
  • (b) the story of a dog as a faithful protector and travelling-companion (cp the wolf in Simrock);
  • (c) the story of the magic remedy against the impure spirit;
  • (d) the edifying tale of the pious prayer on the wedding-night.


20. Foreign origin.[edit]

We shall therefore have to attribute to the Tobit legend a foreign origin. Nor shall we be going too far if we suppose that abroad numerous foreign variations were already afloat. In the story as it spreads by word of mouth, the separate features get displaced; many are forgotten, new things are added. One idea, however, is firmly held: the idea, namely, that to have pity on the unburied dead is a meritorious work; it is sure of its reward; the buried one is grateful. The history of the Book of Tobit shows us how even in remote times the nations learned from each other, and how they worked up the material they had thus acquired, each in its own way. The Jewish nation also, which we are erroneously in the habit of regarding as so exclusive, takes up a foreign legend, goes on repeating it until it has got it into fixed oral form, in order next to pass it on to some story-writer who is able to shape it into an edifying household tale, capable, in subsequent adaptations suited to the requirements of each successive time, of ministering comfort to many succeeding generations.

21. Literature.[edit]

The most important modern commentaries are those of Ilgen, Die Geschickte Toby's nack drey verschiedenen Originalen, dem Griechischen, dem Lateinischen des Hieronymus und einem Syrischen, etc., 1800; Fritzsche in KGH , 1853 ; Wace in Speaker's Comm., 1888; and Zockler in KGH, 1891. On the Ahikar story see the literature cited under ACHIACHARUS, especially The Story of Ahikar from the Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, Ethiopia, Greek, and Slavonic Persians, by F. C. Conybeare, J. Rendel Harris, and Agnes Smith-Lewis. Nestle, review of The Story of Ahikar, Exp. T [1899] 10:276-277, and 'Zum Buche Tobit', Septuagintastudie, [1899] 2:22+; J. Rendel Harris, 'The Double Text of Tobit', Amer. J. Theol., July 1899, pp. 541-544; Moulton, 'The Iranian Background of Tobit', Exp. T, March 1900, pp. 257-260.


(jD n ; 9oKK<\ [B], - X X&N [A], eN6eKeM [enthekem] [ = n J*l??]and iex9e/V\ [iechthem], perhaps a doublet, [L]), a village in Judah assigned to SIMEON (10), 1 Ch. 4:32. It corresponds to the Ether of || Josh. 19:7, which is probably a corruption of ATHACH (q.v.}.

In Josh. (l.c.) LXX{B} inserts Qa.\x.a. [thalcha] (var. in cursives Oaaic [thaak], Oa.a\ [thaal) - i.e., Tochen, - before ledep [iether] - i.e., Ether. Bennett (SBOT, Josh., Heb.) follows LXX{B}, but the insertion must be due to a later correction, pn i s [ThChN] perhaps a corruption of ^ny- [AThD or AThR]. See ATHACH.


(nCTtiH Gen. 10:3 [P], elsewhere nonjin: ffopya^a [thorgama] [BQDsilEL], Sepya^ia [thergama] [B in Ezek. 38:6 ; but Oaipya/na [thairgama] in 27:14 ; Q in Ezek. and A everywhere except 1 Ch. 1:6 9oppajj. [thorram]] ; Thogormah in Gen., elsewhere Thogonna, Pesh. tugarma).

Togarmah appears in Gen. 10:3, 1 Ch. 1:6 as third son of Gomer, son of Japheth; also (as Beth-Togarmah) in Ezek. 27:14 as a people trading with Tyre in horses and mules, and in 38:6 as representing the far north, and forming part, with Gomer, of the army of Gog. Josephus thought of the Phrygians, who were famous for their horses (Horn. Il. 3:185); the Armenians, however, in later times claimed Haik the son of Thorgom for their ancestor. The name has been identified by Delitzsch and Hal^vy independently with Tel-garimmu, a city (mentioned by Sargon and Sennacherib) situated on the border of Tabali (see TUBAL). That l (^ [lameth]) had become o in the document from which P drew, surprises Schrader (KAT (2) 85), nor can we blame him. The truth probably is that here, as elsewhere in Gen. 10, corruption and reconstruction are jointly the causes of the present form of the Table of Nations. 'Gomer' is [not] one of the current corruptions of 'Jerahmeel'; Ashkenaz is [not] a combination of Asshur and Kenaz ; Riphath is [not] a corruption of Zarephath (the southern Zarephath), and Togarmah represents either Gomer simply or Beth-gomer {= Beth-jerahmeel). This throws light on Ezek. 27:14 386. See Crit. Bib.

See Del. Par. 246 ; Calwer Bib.-Lex. 906 ; Hal. REJ 13:13 ; Lag. Armenische Studien, 865.

T. K. C.


(-inPl), b. Zuph, a name in the genealogy of Samuel (1 S. 1:1, 6oK6 [B], 0OOY t A ], 6<jOe [I-]), corresponding to NAHATH (nru ; K <MNA9 [kainath] [B], K.N<\6[A], N<\<\9 [L] ; nahath [Pesh.]) in 1 Ch. 6:26 [6:11], and to TOAH (niPI; eeie = rVn [B], eooye [A], NAA6 [naath] [L]; tahu [Pesh.]; Thohu [Vg. ] as in Sam.) in v. 34 [v.19]. The second of these forms (nm) may have arisen out of nnn by a scribe's error. But this is not certain, for Nahath, in Gen. 36:13, is the son of Re'uel = Jerahmeel (Che.). Most (e.g. , Klost. , Dr. , Bu. , Ki. ) adopt the form Tohu ; but, on the assumption that Zuph is really an Ephraimite place-name, some prefer jnn or nnn [ThHTh] (cp We. Prol. (4) 220 ; Marq. Fund. 12, and see TAHATH, EPHRAIM, 12).

[ The subject, though small, is intricate, and the correct reading of the text can only be decided as a part of a larger inquiry, which includes the question whether Samuel was not really of a Jerahmeelite family, belonging perhaps to Benjamite territory in the Negeb. Textual criticism, too, has to be practised comprehensively. Cp RAMATHAIM-ZOPHIM. T. K. C. ]


Cm eoyoy or eooy [B], e&ei [AL], 2 S. 8:9-10), or TOU (WH 660*. [BX], 900Y [A], 6oA<\ [thola] [L] ; Pul, king of the men of Antioch [Pesh.], 1 Ch. 18:9-10), king of Hamath, who sent his son Joram (or, as Ch. , HADORAM) to 'salute' David (i.e. , to recognise his suzerainty) and to offer presents of silver, gold, and bronze, after David's victory over Hadad-ezer. If the text is correct, Toi's Hamath cannot be the great Syrian city of Hamath, whose king was too powerful to mind David, and indeed was not one of David's neighbours, but a second Hamath, on the W. of Zobah, which formed a state on the same minute scale as Maacah ( = Geshur). So Winckler (GI 2:209-210). More probably, however, both here and wherever a Hamath is spoken of as on the border of Israel, ron (MT Hamath) should be royD (Maacath).

It is, to say the least, uncertain which of the two Maacahs is intended here (see MAACAH). The Hadad-ezer defeated by David may have been king of Zarephath (not ZOBAH). In this case 'Maacah' may be another name for the territory of REHOBOTH (q.v.), and <j;n will perhaps be a corrupt form of D^rii TALMAI (q.v.). Cp, however, Driver and Budde [SBOT] on 2 S., l.c.

T. K. C.


, krd}, 2 Ch. 34:22 ; see TIKVATH.


(i/?in, ecoAA [BADFL]), b. Puah, b. Dodo, an Issacharite, a deliverer of Israel, who dwelt, and finally was buried, at Shamir in mount 'Ephraim' (Judg. 10:1-2) , the name also occurs with Puvah, Job (or Jashub), and Shimron as a clan-name of Issachar (Gen. 46:13: eooAAN [L]; Nu. 26:23, 1 Ch. 7:1-2: eoAACK, GoAe, etoAAei [B] ; cp Tolaite, Nu. l.c., 6ooAA[e]i [BAFL]). On these minor judges in general, see JUDGES, 9; and on the difficulties arising out of

  • (1) the designation 'son of Dodo',
  • (2) the description of Tola's home as in Mt. Ephraim, and
  • (3) the reading Kapie [karie] (or Kapije [karee]) in eight minuscules which are, with one exception, without the reference to Issachar,

see ISSACHAR, 2, 7; lastly, on the coincidence between Tola, 'crimson worm, cochineal', and Puah (n.xir), a plant from which a red dye was obtained, see Moore, Judges, 273 (cp NAMES, 68). All these questions are still open.

The problems may seem small; but they are not insignificant. To understand Tola we must revise our notions respecting Abimelech, Jair, and Jephthah, between whom 'Tola, b. Puah, b. Dodo' is introduced. In reality the three former heroes all belong to the Jerahmeelite Negeb, Abimelech to Cusham (see SHECHEM), Jair and Jephthah to 'Ir-gil'ad' or 'Ir-jerahme'el'. 1 The personal names too have suffered change ; here the alteration was to a great extent caused by the wearing down of the old names in the mouth of the people. 'Abimelech', which, superficially regarded, appears to mean 'the heaven-god is father', maybe a modification of 'Arab-Jerahmeel'; 'Jair' of 'Jether', 'Jephthah' of 'Naphtoah'. 2 On the analogy of these and similar restorations, we are methodically bound to read thus in Judg. 10:1, 'Eshtaol, b. Ephrath, b. Dodi, b. Jerahmeel, a Zarhite ; he dwelt in SHAMIR (q.v.) in the highlands of Jerahmeel'. The least obvious of these restorations is VlKWN (Eshtaol) for ySin (Tola). The emendation, which is at any rate plausible, is suggested by the combination of Zerah and Shaul in Nu. 26:13 (Gen. 46:10). Eshtaol - i.e. , virtually Shaul - is, in fact, a N. Arabian clan-name of the Negeb ; 3 indeed, in 1 Ch. 253 the Eshtaolites are expressly connected with Kirjath-jearim - i.e. (as one can now see), Kirjath-jerahmeel. Kapie [karie]or /caprje [karee] should, according to sound method, represent rpp (Kareah or Korah), and this is probably the expansion of a fragment of Jerahmeel, which came to be adopted as the name of one of the Jerahmeelite clans. That Shemer is a N. Arabian clan-name could easily be shown at length, but is plain enough from the combination of names in 2 Ch. 24:26 (2 K. 12:21). That there is a southern Ephraim ( = Jerahmeel) has been repeatedly maintained by the present writer (cp MlCAH, i). As to the historical kernel of Judg. 10:1-2, it is enough to remark that, though genuine historical evidence is wanting, it is at any rate probable that king Saul was not the first member of the Saul-clan to strike an effective blow for Israel, and that the earliest achievements of this clan were not in Benjamin but in the Nt-geb.

The same emendation (mt for n2C E") should possibly be made in Judg. 5:15 (see Crit. Bid.).

T. K. C.

1 Kamon in Judg. 10:5 might come from 'Mahanaim' (cp KAMON), but also from 'Jerahmeel' (which is moreover the probable original of 'Mahanaim' and 'Karnaim' ). nv^j iv in 12;7 can hardly in the present state of inquiry be regarded other wise than as a corruption of i^j Tj;. There seems to the present writer to be evidence of a southern Gilead (another name for Jerahmeel ?).

2 Or, vice versa, Naphtoah (cp Naphtuhim) is a modification of Jiphtah ; cp Nathan and Ethan.

3 'Eshtaol' is probably a modification of the clan-name Shaul ; the t is a transition-consonant - i.e., it facilitates the transition from one articulation to another (cp Kon., Lehrg. 2:1, p. 472).


T7IP1), 1 Ch. 4:29 ; in Josh. 15:30 ELTOLAD.


1 Esd 9:55 = Ezra 10:24, TELEM.


(rn, Ezra 4:20 ; H^p, Ezra 4:13, 7:24). See TAXATION, 7 n. ; cp TRADE , 83-84 (2).


(roAMAN [A]), 1 Esd. 5:28 RV = Ezra 2:42, TALMON.



1. Religious conceptions.[edit]

As already observed (see DEAD, 1), the regular practice of the Israelites was to bury their dead, the instances in which they burned them being exceptional and extraordinary. 2 The explanation is to be sought in the idea that the human soul remained even after death in some kind of connection with the body ; in the case of unburied persons, as long as the body found no resting-place, the soul also had none. The spirits of such departed ones wander restlessly about, and even in the world of the dead, in Sheol, must hide themselves in holes and corners (Ezek. 32:23, Is. 14:15, etc.).

These views being held, one would expect to find the Israelites not only attaching great importance to burial but also giving special care to making their tombs as splendid and artistic as possible. It was by similar views, in point of fact, that the Egyptians were led not only to preserve - one might almost say, for ever - the bodies of their dead by embalming them, but also to build magnificent resting-places for them, dwellings resembling those of the living, and furnished with everything in which the soul when in life took most delight. Thus it was in the construction and adornment of its tombs that the art of Egypt found its most welcome tasks and the widest field for its development. With the Israelites, however, the case was quite different. With them, apart from cases where Greek or Roman influences interfered, the places of sepulture were always of the simplest description, without any resort to the arts of the painter or the sculptor. The cause of this is, naturally, to be sought in the first instance in the Israelites notorious deficiency in artistic endowment; in none of the fine arts did they ever make any important contribution of their own. Cp COLOURS, i. In the present case, however, we ought probably to take account also of the operation of a religious motive which prevented the Israelites, while borrowing from the Phoenicians in other respects, to imitate them in the architectural beauty and monumental grandeur of their tombs. The religion of Yahwe from the outset set itself against every kind of worship of the dead with the utmost emphasis.

However we may explain it, the fact is undeniable that Yahwism had at times to contend with a very strong inclination towards this form of worship. This could not fail to have its influence on the outward form given to places of burial. Everything that was fitted to promote worship of the dead in any form must have been antipathetic to Yahwism. And as the worship of the dead on the one hand led directly to the sumptuous adornment of the places where they lay, so on the other hand beauty and luxury displayed in these could not fail to promote that form of worship.

It was entirely in accordance with the spirit of Yahwism that the graves of the dead - though with all reverent piety towards the dead, and notwithstanding the existence of the view stated above - were kept as plain and simple as possible.

1 [For the various Hebrew and Greek terms, see below, section 9.]

2 [Recent investigations at Gezer seem to show that cremation was regular among the earliest inhabitants of that district at least. But it is impossible to speak more decidedly until the excavations are completed ; see PEFQ, 1902, pp. 347+]

2. Subterranean sepulchres.[edit]

The whole of Palestine is rich in ancient burying-places. It would be natural, therefore, to expect full and accurate information as to the ancient Israelite practice. This expectation, however, is not fulfilled; those which are known to us are far from having been sufficiently examined with respect to their origin and date, so that we are often unable (for example) to distinguish Christian from Jewish tombs. It lies indeed in the very nature of the case that there should be difficulty in dating these ; by reason of their very simplicity they show no very characteristic architectural forms by which their period could be fixed, and inscriptions, too, are almost wholly wanting. It is not possible therefore to describe the sepulchral styles of the various ages in the order of successive periods, - in other words to sketch the development and history of this department of art. We must rest content with describing the ancient sepulchres still extant, classifying them according to the differences they show and deducing from these the characteristic features of this class of structure in the Israelite domain.

The first generalisation which presents itself is that they are all of them rock-tombs, that is to say, hewn out of the living rock. Nowhere do we find any trace of built sepulchres. Of tombs above the level of the ground - mausoleums in which the sarcophagus was placed - no trace has reached us from ancient times nor do we hear of any such, any more than we hear of sarcophagi or coffins. With the Phoenicians, also, tombs above the surface are the exception, not the rule; but they are frequent in Syria in the Hellenistic period (cp, for example, the sepulchral towers of Palmyra). In so far as tombs above the surface occur in Palestine at all, they belong to the Hellenistic period ; and even then the characteristic examples of this type of sepulchre are not buildings, but are hewn out of the solid rock. The same holds good of the subterranean tombs. Nor does the OT contain any hint of built sepulchres though this has often teen supposed. 1 This is connected with the physical character of the country; the soft limestone of the mountains of Palestine presented many natural caverns which in the early period were used in the first instance as burial-places (see below). In particular, it was easily wrought, so that the excavation of vaults and chambers in it presented no difficulty too great for the technical skill of the Israelites to overcome.

There are indeed in Palestine (as already indicated) some examples of tombs above the surface. The best known are those of the Valley of Kedron ; the so-called Tomb of Absalom and the Pyramid of Zacharias. These two, however, show quite clearly in their ornamentation the influence of Greek and late-Egyptian art; moreover, they too have been carved out of the living rock, and their arrangement is so analogous to that of the subterranean tombs as to make it quite clear that it has been copied from these.

A solitary exception would seem to be the so-called monolith of Siloam which, according to the unanimous judgment of archaeologists, dates back to the pre-exilic period ; but this great rock 'die' of 6.10 metres in length, 5.60 in breadth, and about 4 in height is also cut out of the living rock. It bears evidence of Egyptian influence, but on the other hand there is no trace of the Greek style. Perrot and Chipiez, however (Hist, of Art in Jud. 1:275+), question for weighty reasons whether this monument really was originally and from the first intended as a tomb; more probably its purpose was formerly quite different (perhaps to serve as site for an altar) and the burial chambers and niches within must have been excavated later.

1 On Job 3:15, see below, section 9 [5].

3. Phoenician models.[edit]

The model which served for the Hebrew tomb was unmistakably the Phoenician not the Egyptain type, alike as regards single sepulchres and collective groups. Here also a leading characteristic of Phoenician architecture comes clearly into the foreground (cp PHOENICIA, 8) : the great part which is assigned to the perpendicular rock-wall. The individual tombs as well as the larger burial places were hewn by preference in steep rock-faces where nature offered these. For this purpose ready use was made of the walls of the caverns which are of such frequent occurrence in Palestine and which already furnish natural sepulchres (see below). Thus for example the hollow under the Haram of Hebron - which has not as yet been explored with any detail - is a cave sepulchre. The finest example of a system of rock-hewn sepulchres of the type indicated is supplied by Petra, the 'City of Tombs'. There can be seen the most magnificent tombs, series upon series, with sumptuous portals, hewn at almost inaccessible heights in the perpendicular wall. These tombs, it is true, belong all of them to the later period, but thus they bear witness merely to the persistent survival of the practice. If no natural rock wall was available, then such a wall was artificially made by excavating from the surface downwards in a rocky bed a rectangular space with perpendicular walls. A quite characteristic example of this kind of burying-place is to be seen in the so-called 'Sepulchres of the Kings' at Jerusalem (fig. 1), though these also belong to the later period (1st cent. A.D. ). Here we find a great enclosure (28 x 25.3 metres) excavated to a depth of 8 metres in the solid rock, and reached from the surface by a wide stair. The portal to the place of graves properly so-called, is on the western wall (see below).

[picture of FIG. 1. - Plan of the tombs of the kings. goes here]

On the other hand, no example has yet been found in Palestine of the shaft-tombs (tombs reached by a narrow perpendicular shaft), 1 so frequently met with in Egypt and so characteristic for this branch of architecture there. Yet it does not follow, of course, that this type of tomb was wholly unknown in Palestine in the olden time.

4. Form of tombs.[edit]

As regards the form of sepulchre proper in Palestine, the Phoenician type is closely followed. The extant examples fall into four classes:

  • (1) Pigeon-hole tombs usually called kokim, {2} rectangular recesses driven into the wall at right angles to the face, and measuring about 5-6 ft. in length by 1.5 ft. in breadth and depth. Into these the body was thrust lengthways.
  • (2) Sunken tombs which like our modern graves were hewn out on the upper surface of the rock and closed with a flat stone.
  • (3) Shelf tombs, that is to say benches or shelves on which the bodies were laid. These shelves either ran at a height of about 2 ft. round one or more walls of a sepulchral chamber, or else were hewn lengthways as niches in the rock wall (about 1.5 ft. square, and of the length required for the body); in the latter case they were as a rule provided with an arch above.
  • (4) Trough tombs, troughs hewn out of the perpendicular rock-wall, 1.5 , ft. wide and of the length of the body, some 2.5 ft. above the level of the floor. These also are invariably arched. They thus represent a combination of the shelf tomb with the sunken tomb: a shelf tomb is hewn into the rock-wall and in this shelf a sunken tomb or mould like a coffin is hollowed out.

The observed departures from these four types are unimportant and in no case alter the fundamental type but relate principally to the measurements. In the kokim double resting-places are met with, that is to say, kokim of twice the ordinary width in which two bodies could be laid side by side ; down the middle runs a little channel-like hollow about a handbreadth wide separating the two resting-places (see fig. 1) ; there are instances also of double benches for the reception of two bodies, though these are of rarer occurrence (see fig. 1, H).

In the trough-tomb class an interesting peculiarity is seen in a tomb near Haifa. Here the trough-tombs are not, as is usually the case, like shelf-tombs hewn out lengthways along the wall, but like koklin, at right angles to its surface. In this case also double tombs occur corresponding to the double kokim mentioned above; a narrow slit nearly 1 foot wide separates the individual resting-places. Each pair of these is connected breadthways by a semicircular arch.

1 [Two examples of the shaft-type, however, have been found at Tell ej-Judekleh. A cylindrical shaft over 2 metres deep is hollowed in the rock, and at the bottom a small doorway leads to an irregular chamber about 1.80 metres by 1.50 (Bliss and Macalister, PEF Excavations. 1898-1900, p. 190-191 (1902).]

[2 With the post-biblical D 313 (Dalman D 313), are connected the pniJ and pnCJ f Nabatean and Palmyrene inscr. respectively : ultimately the word seems to come from the Ass. kimahhu. For a discussion of other Nabatean terms, see De Vogue. 'Notes d'epigraphie arameenne', 1175+, J. As. (extrait), 1896.]

5. Form of sepulchral chambers and groups of chambers.[edit]

The tombs just described were not simply hewn out of the rock without further preparation. Even when it was but one grave for a single person that was in question, it was not the practice to excavate in the rock-surface a hollow like the graves we use; by preference a little subterranean chamber was made, and the grave was made in the floor or in the wall as the case might be. At first sight we might feel inclined to connect this general preference for subterranean sepulchral chambers with the original custom of using caves for purposes of burial. There was yet another element, however, which contributed to this result, namely the desire to keep the dead members of a family, or clan, still united even in the grave. In such a sepulchral chamber many graves of all the different kinds could easily be brought together. Subsequent stages were the adding of a second chamber to the first, or several chambers might be connected by passages, or great subterranean constructions made. Thus the places of burial fall into three distinct classes :

  • (1) simple chambers for one body only which is buried in a sunken tomb in the floor. These burial chambers are frequently unclosed.
  • (2) Single chambers with several graves of the different sorts mentioned, particularly kokim and shelf tombs.
  • (3) Larger complexes embracing several chambers.

Examples of all three classes are numerous in Palestine. To the first class, that of single chambers with only one grave, belong many of the tombs on the southern slope of the Valley of Hinnom. In agreement with the purpose they serve, these chambers are for the most part rather small. Amongst these, on the side of the Hill of Evil Counsel, are also some belonging to the second class : single chambers with several graves. For a fuller account of these see Tobler (op. cit., section 11 below). Very instructive examples of the third class of larger complexes are found in the so-called Sepulchres of the Kings and of the Judges in Jerusalem. Both examples indeed are of late date, but the Hellenistic influence (so far as it appears at all) is shown only in the ornamentation, particularly in the portal, not in the arrangement of the complex as a whole. The Sepulchres of the Kings display best the quite regular type. From the porch with a portal in Greek style a quite low narrow passage which was closed by a disk of stone leads into the approximately cubical antechamber which has no graves. Opening out of this on three sides are the three sepulchral chambers proper - also approximately cubical, with shelf and shaft tombs. Each of these chambers has a side-chamber also; of these, two (fig. 1, G) are at a lower level and partly go under the principal chamber - plainly on account of the configuration of the site.

[picture of FIG 2. - Plan of the tombs of the judges. goes here]

This difference of level in the various chambers is the characteristic feature of the sepulchres of the Judges. These (see fig. 2) are on two different levels and, besides, in the upper sepulchral chamber, above the graves on the ground level at a height of about 3 ft. from the surface, there is a second set of chambers and graves.

[picture of FIG 3. - Plan of the tombs of the prophets. goes here]

A complete departure from this regularity is shown in a very interesting way by the so-called Sepulchres of the Prophets on the Mount of Olives, which hitherto are quite unique among the tombs of Palestine. They belong to the ancient - that is to say, at least pre-Grecian - period, and exhibit no trace of Hellenistic influence. Their original feature (see fig. 3) is that instead of various chambers of square or rectangular plan opening into each other, two semicircular passages round a rotunda are hewn out of the rock, and connected with one another and with the rotunda by means of ray-like passages radiating from the rotunda. In the wall of the outermost passage are 27 kokim arranged in ray-fashion, hewn out of the solid rock. Connected with this passage moreover are two side-chambers, also with kokim.

6. Age of these forms.[edit]

The principal difference between single tombs and family sepulchres is to be sought not so much in comparative size (for even the single tomb can have its antechamber, etc. , as well as its chamber proper) as rather in the number and description of the separate resting-places. So far as we are at present in a position to judge, the single tombs (i.e., tombs with room for one or at most two occupants) have either shelf or trough tombs, and according to the pretty generally accepted opinion of Tobler, Mommert, and others, such tombs are to be regarded as ancient Jewish. On the other hand, according to the same authorities the single burying- place with grave hollowed in the ground is not to be dated earlier than the beginning of the Christian era, No instances are known of sepulchral chambers with only one or two kokim. This is easily accounted for : the use of this description of tomb, which demanded the smallest amount of space, was only desirable or necessary where the problem was to provide a relatively large number of resting-places within the same sepulchre. In the case of a single tomb even the smallest sepulchral chamber was always able to furnish room for a trough or shelf tomb (or alternatively a sunken tomb). Kokim Are thus peculiar to family sepulchres, which in other respects have the same characteristics as single graves. The sunken tomb is also, in the case of family burying-places for the most part regarded as a sign of a relatively late date. Until, however, all the known tombs shall have been systematically examined, this question ought not to be regarded as definitely settled. So also the other questions as to the age of the shelf-, niche-, and shaft-tomb, and the frequency of their occurrence respectively at the different periods remain open.

Of one form only, namely of the kokim, can it be definitely affirmed that it was already extensively in use in the older period, as we can also say that the single chambers (mentioned above under 5 [2]) are shown by the excavations to be, properly speaking, the oldest, and at all times the most usual type of tomb among the Israelites. These kokim placed at right angles to the wall surface, take up least room and permit the introduction of a large number of bodies into one chamber.

This arrangement appears as that most commonly in use in the Mishna also, where it alone is mentioned and precise regulations are laid down as to its size and the like (Baba. Bathra, 6:8). The sepulchral chamber ("H^ p, me'arah, see CAVES) has to be 4 cubits in breadth and 6 in length ; the entrance is to be on the short side; the other short side is to have two kokim, each of the longer sides three, making eight in all. It need not, however, cause any surprise to discover that the sepulchres which have been explored do not accurately answer these prescriptions (the nearest approach to them is found in a tomb at ed-Duwcimeh and another on the Hill of Evil Counsel); practical necessities were stronger than prescriptions, and, in particular, the number of resting-places in each tomb greatly varies. In reality no rule is observable, but complete freedom prevails, as in the instances already cited.

That we may safely assume for the older period the employment of large complexes is made evident by the fact that the kings of Judah had two great burial-places of this description. In the first and oldest of these were buried the kings down to Hezekiah's time ; Manasseh appears to have prepared a new sepulchre of the Kings (2 K. 4:18). We may safely suppose these tombs to have been of great extent, yet simpler than those of later date, and without much elaboration of ornament.

7. Protection of tombs.[edit]

Not each separate resting-place was closed, but only the entrance to the sepulchral chamber. The sunken tombs on the surface of the ground were doubtless as a rule covered with a flat stone, but the kokim on the other hand were often left open. At the same time there was no special difficulty in this case also in closing the entrance with a stone, and this may frequently have been done. In the case of bench tombs, however, shutting up was impossible, for there the body, enveloped only in grave-clothes - coffins were not usual - was simply laid upon the shelf. All the more care fully therefore in these circumstances must the sepulchral chambers have been closed and protected against the entrance of wild beasts. The passages to these chambers are therefore for the most part very low and narrow, so that in entering one has to creep rather than walk. Even in the case of great sepulchres with fine large porches, as for example in the Sepulchre of the Kings (see fig. 1), the accesses are of this narrow sort. The external opening in such cases was closed either by a regular stone door turning on hinges, or - the more frequent case - by a round stone disk which could be rolled and placed before the entrance. Such a disk closed for example the entrance to the Sepulchres of the Kings and is still preserved. For this purpose, naturally, large and heavy stones were employed, such as one man alone could hardly move (cp Mt. 27:60: 'he rolled a great stone'). In order to ensure against slipping, another large stone, and doubtless also an underpin was frequently placed against the stone that properly constituted the door (ZDPV, 1878, pp. 11-12, 14 ; 1890, p. 177).

Such a method of closing served to guard the tomb against the ravages of wild beasts, but not against human visitants. This last protection, however, was quite as necessary as the other. For nothing was so much dreaded as the desecration of the tomb by wilful violators - a dread which is easily explained from what has been said above (section 1). And yet, it was not mere plundering of the graves, which often contained things of more or less value, or yet injury to the bodies or their disturbance (Jer. 8:1, 2 K. 23:16) or even the total destruction of the tomb, that was feared. For the Hebrews it was already a great and wicked outrage if a corpse not belonging to it was laid in a grave, the dead body of one who did not belong to the family. Against such desecration at human hands full protection was certainly difficult. In some cases it was possible to hew out the sepulchre at an inaccessible height on the steep rock wall (Is. 22:16). But generally speaking it was found necessary to rely simply on the power of established custom which condemned any such wickedness in the strongest possible way. In another direction protection was sought by means of an inscription invoking the severest curses on any who should disturb the repose of the sleeper or introduce a strange body into the grave. 1

8. Monuments.[edit]

With the Phoenicians it was a frequent custom to mark the site of a subterranean tomb by the erection of a memorial above ground. Various very interesting Phoenician monuments of the kind are still extant. On the other hand we have none that date from Old Israelite times, and nowhere in the OT is any such practice indicated. The custom existed indeed of piling a heap of stones over the body in cases where it had been simply covered with earth ; the purpose of this, however, was merely to protect from wild beasts (cp 2 S. 18:17). The pillar in the Valley of Kedron which Absalom raised for himself in his life time to keep his name in remembrance (2 S. 18:18) was not strictly speaking a monument but rather a pillar (matstsebah} having a religious purpose. 2 The memorial also at the grave of the anonymous prophet spoken of in 2 K. 23:17 may also have the same meaning. That the Hebrews at a later date adopted foreign customs in this respect also is shown by what we read of the magnificent mausoleum of the Maccabees at Modin (1 Macc. 18:27+). See MODIN, 3.

1 Cp, for example, the inscription in the Eshmunazar sarcophagus, l. 6, and various Nabataean inscriptions (Euting, Nabataische Inschriften aus Arabien [Berlin, 1885], no. 2); or the inscription of Darius Hystaspis. Unfortunately no ancient Israelite tomb inscriptions have come down to us.

2 For matstsebah (in Ph. 'gravestone') see col. 2975, and for tsiyyun (?r!s), 2 K. 23:17, etc. (RV 'monument'), col. 2978 (e).

9. Biblical data.[edit]

Hitherto little account has been taken of the notices of the subject contained in the OT. These also leave us quite in the dark as to the form and description of the sepulchres of the Israelites.

[The following Hebrew and Greek terms require mention : -

1. keber, "I3p, EV 'grave', the commonest term, Gen. 234, etc. (Is. 22:16 with mn< pre-supposing a rock-hewn sepulchre [cp HANDICRAFTS, 1]); cp KIBROTH-HATTAAVAH.

2. keburah, "^rp, EV 'grave', Gen. 35:20, etc.

3. gadish, !? !:, Job 21:32-33 (see BDB ; <ro>p<k [sooros]).

4. netsurim (|| no. 1 in Is. 65:4) AV 'monuments', LXX cr7r>;Acuof [spelauion] suggests a burial-cave, but RV 'secret places' is preferable.

5. horaboth, niDnn, Job 3:15-16, 'desolate' (RV 'waste') 'places'. Che. (Exfi.T, Apr. 1899) reads nilllp [KBRVTh], following Hitz., Btidde, Duhm, etc., who see an allusion to the treasures in royal sepulchres. The view that the pyramids in particular are referred to, is maintained by Budde and Duhm, but controverted by Che. in Expositor, 1897, 6, 407. 01. and formerly Che. read ni3!21K> 'palaces'. But the reference seems to be to the splendour of the Sepulchre of the Kings (so at least Budde, Che., etc., but not Di. Davidson).

6. T(i(/)o? [taphos] (in Ecclus. 30:18=^1^, a stone placed over a grave), Mt. 23:29 AV 'tomb' (RV 'sepulchre', and so EV in v. 27), etc.

7. jurrJMi [mnema], Mk. 5:5, Lk. 8:27.

8. ni-weloi- [mnemeion], Mt. 23:29 RV (AV 'sepulchre'), 27:52-53 (AV 'grave'), 27:60a (in 27:60b AV 'sepulchre').

[Nos. 6-8 are frequently used by LXX indiscriminately to translate keber and keburah.]

The data supplied establish before aught else the great importance that was attached to having the members of the same family united even after death in a common tomb.

(Cp Gen. 15:15, 2 S. 17:23, 1 K. 4:31, 15:8, 15:24, 22:51, 2 K. 15:38, and often.) Barzillai desires to die beside the grave of his father and mother (2 S. 19:38 [19:37]); David in his magnanimity causes the bones of Saul to be buried in the tomb of Saul's father Kish (2 S. 21:14); Nehemiah gives it as his reason for wishing to go to Jerusalem that the fathers are buried there (Neh. 2:5). Jacob and Joseph lay upon their descendants an oath that they will bring their bones to the sepulchre of their fathers, in the cave of Machpelah at Hebron (Gen. 47:20-21, 49:29+, 50:25). Hence P's constantly repeated phrase 'to be gathered to one's fathers' (Gen. 25:8, 25:17, 35:29, Nu. 27:13, 31:2, Dt. 32:50) with the corresponding expression of Kings ('he slept with his fathers' (1 K. 14:31, 15:8, 15:24, 22:51, 2 K. 15:38, etc.), expressions both in the first instance to be understood literally of their being gathered to the sepulchre of their ancestors.

Not to be buried with one's ancestors is a great hardship, a punishment with which conspicuous offenders are threatened by God; as witness the case of the disobedient prophet (1 K. 13:22), of Ahaz (1 K. 21:24), and others. Poor people, indeed, who had not the means to procure family graves of their own, strangers from a distance - pilgrims, for example - as also criminals, had to be content to find a last resting-place in the common public burial-place (2 K. 23:6, Is. 53:9, Jer. 26:23, Mt. 27:7). In family tombs naturally none but members of the family came to be laid; to bury in it a stranger who had no title to the privilege was equivalent to desecrating it (see above). At the same time, on this point the views of a later age seem to have grown laxer, and instances are not wanting in which a stranger was admitted to the family tomb. But it is always a great sacrifice and a token of special esteem or regard for the deceased or for his people that is implied (Gen. 236, 1 K. 13:30+, 2 Ch. 24:16, Mt. 27:60).

These family tombs were made in the oldest times on the family property in the vicinity of the family abode, an arrangement which is easy to understand in view of the fact that community of family life was held to continue after death.

Thus Samuel is buried beside his house in Ramah (1 S. 25:1), Joab in his own house in the wilderness of Judah (1 K. 2:34). The sepulchres of the kings of Judah lay quite close to the palace within the citadel in the immediate neighbourhood of the temple, as we see from Ezekiel s sharp rebuke (cp Ezek. 43:7). From Manasseh onwards, the kings were buried in the 'Garden of Uzza' (see UZZA ii.); the old burying-place was probably full, but of course the new one was made not far from the old. The 'Garden of Uzza' (if Uzza = Azariah) may well have been a garden laid out by that king within the citadel, and thus the allusion may be to a palace built by Manasseh in the garden of Uzza, in or near which he also prepared his burial-place.

10. Impurity of tombs.[edit]

It will be readily understood, however, that this very soon became an impossibility in the towns, and that for practical reasons the sepulchres had to be placed outside the walls.

This became the case all the more as with a later age the idea of the impurity of sepulchres came into increasing prominence. The law of P enacts that everyone who has come into contact with a dead body or with a bone of a man, or even with a grave, shall be unclean for a period of seven days (Nu. 19:16). Since, as remarked above (section 8), the underground tombs of the Israelites were for the most part not marked out by means of monuments above ground, and it was not altogether easy at once to recognise from a safe distance a sepulchre or the entrance to one, the custom arose of white-washing afresh the stone at the door every spring. In this manner a grave was made recognisable from afar and the passer-by could guard himself against defilement (Mt. 23:27).

11. Literature.[edit]

Descriptions of particular tombs are to be met with in almost all books of travel in Palestine. Of researches of scientific value the most important will be found in the works named below. Titus Tobler, Golgotha, 1851, and Zwei Bucher Topographie von Jerusalem, esp. 2:227+; Robinson, BR ; Sepp, Jerusalem und das heilige Land, (2) 1873, esp. 2:273+: ; Karl Mommert, Golgotha und das heilige Grab zu Jerusalem (1900); The Survey of Western Palestine, 1881+. Copious material is also supplied by the journals devoted to Palestine exploration: PEFQ St. (1873+), ZPDV (1878+). Mittheilungen u. Nachrichten d. Deutschen Pal.-Vereins (1895+), Revue biblique trimestrielle (1882+). For description of the more important individual tombs see further Baedeker-Benzinger, Pal. (p. 111), and for Phoenician and Syrian tombs de Vogue, Syrie centrale (1865), 1:103-110, 2:70-97.

I. B.


(1) D^nO, melkahayim, Is. 6:6, etc., EV rightly. See COOKING UTENSILS, 4, and CANDLESTICK, 2.

(2) 1SJ?S, ma'atsad, Is. 44:12, AV wrongly. See AXE.






(TOTTAPXI& [AX^-V]), 1 Macc. 11:28 AV, RV PROVINCE (q.v.).


(i~np3, TOTTAZION [topazion]).

The precious stone called pitdah occurs in the list of stones on the high priest's breastplate (Ex. 28:17+ = 39:10+); also in the list (derived by an interpolator from that in Exodus) of the gems with which the king of Tyre (lis) or perhaps Mitstsur (iHfp ; see PARADISE, 3) is said in a prophetic poem to have been adorned in Eden (Ezek. 28:13). Lastly, a TOTra ftov [topazion] (EV 'topaz') is represented as one of the foundation-stones of the wall of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:20).

1. Topaz of Strabo and Rev. 21:20?[edit]

Strabo (16:770) describes the topaz as diaphanous and emitting a gold-like light (\i6os . . . 5ia(f>ai>r)s xpvao- f^fs d.TroffTi\j3u>v <f>fyyos [lithos ... diaphanes chrysoeides apostilboon pheggos]), not easily seen in the daytime for it is outshone (VTrepavyeirat yap [hyperhygeitai gar), and as obtained only in the Ophiodes island off the Troglodytic coast of the Red Sea, about the latitude of Berenice. 1 The monopoly was carefully guarded by the Ptolemies. Pliny (HN 378, cp 634) describes the stone as green, meaning doubtless olive green (e virenti genere), and calls the island Cytis or Topazus. This agrees with the Targum's rendering xpT nSjTDi 'yellow-green gem', in Job 28:19, and with the phrase c a rrrcs, 'pitdah of Ethiopia', in the (traditional) Hebrew text of this passage.

The stone intended by the Greek geographers was almost certainly the transparent variety of olivine now generally known as peridote, which is usually some shade of olive-pistachio or leek-green (on the yellow variety see CHRYSOLITE, TARSHISH [STONE]). The topaz of modern mineralogists (yellow, blue, or colourless) was unknown to the ancients.

2. Assyrian hipindu in OT.[edit]

This may no doubt be a correct identification of the Toirdfrov [topazion[ of Rev. 21 20. It is much less certain whether 'topaz' (explained as above) is the right rendering of pitdah. Is the theory more than a superficial conjecture, 2 based on the metathesis of p and t? Can we give any satisfactory philological account of pitdah? A Sanskrit etymology (pita, yellowish, pale; von Bohlen) is still to be found in some books of reference ; but for such a case there is no sure analogy (np-Q is surely not a Sanskr. loan-word ; see EMERALD), and no tradition mentions India as the home either of the Toira.iov [topazion] or of the pitdah. Experience leads us to suspect that there may be a transcriptional error, and if so it is reasonable to look to Assyria for a word out of which ,-nns [pitdah] may have been corrupted. Using this key we may very plausibly assume that mBB [PTDH] is an early corruption of -^sn [HPND] - i.e. , hipindu, or perhaps of *hipitdu (whence *hipiddu, hipindu).

1 Cp Diod. Sic. 3:39 : At Oo? SiafyaLvontvos ejriTepTrtJs, vdAco -<xpe/i4>epr)s KO.I 0avft.a(TTrir iyxpverov 7rp6<roi//ii> Trape^dfxei os 'a stone of a pleasing diaphanous ["glowing," see L. and S. ] character, somewhat like glass, and presenting a wonderful golden appearance'.

2 Precisely such a guess led to the rendering of 13 [PV] by Toirdi.ot> [topazion] in LXX Ps. 119:127, unless indeed TOTT. [topazion] there is a corruption of jraf [pazion] But in LXX Cant. 5:11, 13 [PV] is transliterated as </>af [phazion].

This is the name of a precious stone referred to in the Ass. inscriptions (see Del. and Muss-Arnolt, s.v.), and explained there by aban ishati - i.e., not literally 'a stone of fire', but 'a flashing stone' = PK J3K, 'eben 'esh, in Ezek. 28:14 (|| rn/T |3N = 'precious stone', v. 13). {1} Not only in Exodus and Ezekiel, but also in Gen. 2:12 (in the penultimate form of the text),2 in Nu. 117, and in Is. 54:12 a thorough textual criticism permits us to restore the word 7]@n (Ass. hipindu). In the first of these passages, the statement, 'there is bdellium and the onyx-stone', certainly misrepresents the writer s meaning. As the text stood at a comparatively early period it must have referred rather to the hipindu and the shoham. {3} In the second passage, we are bound to hold that the appearance (*, y) of the manna was likened, not to any resinous substance like BDELLIUM (q.v.), but to something which would at once strike the imagination. A precious stone like the hipindu satisfies this condition, 4 and we may plausibly adopt the view of LXX that crystal is intended ; the transparence of rock-crystal (see CRYSTAL) would make it an appropriate comparison. In the third, we can hardly rest satisfied with the purely conjectural rendering 'carbuncles' for rnpN J3K ! experience of corruption elsewhere leads one to emend the first of these words into ij2n (,hipindu\ disregarding the second as a corruption of a "dittographed "ID1D (see v. 12a). Read, therefore, in Is. 54:12, i:n i ? Y~i B% 'and thy gates of hipindu'. It only remains to be added that in Job 28:19, l?13TnUB also probably presents two corruptions - i.e., not only has n~lB come out of 132n, but B*53 is a mutilated and corrupt form of E VpSrW 'and halmish' (see TARSHISH, STONE OF), where halmis may perhaps be the white sapphire, a suitable stone to be combined with the hipindu, which seems to be the rock-crystal (see above). If this correction be accepted, together with the correction of v. 18a given under TARSHISH [STONE], 3, it will be plausible to identify the 'Edomite stone' mentioned in v. 18a with the hipindu-stone referred to in v. 19a. It is also at any rate possible that the hipindu-stone should displace the very questionable 'apes and peacocks' in 1 K. 10:22 (see OPHIR).

RVmg. 'topaz' for tarshishin Cant. 5:14 can hardly be justified, except as a warning of the Revisers not to be sure that tarshish is rightly rendered 'beryl'. See BERYL, TARSHISH (STONE OF).


pSfr ; TO^O\ [BAL]), a locality near the wilderness, mentioned with Laban, Hazeroth, and Di-zahab (Dt. 1:1-2). See SUPH, WANDERINGS, 10.


(Hahn), Is. 30:33, Jer. 7:31 etc. The Aramaic connection (see MOLECH, 3), rejected by Delitzsch (Isaiah, ET, 2:40) has been brilliantly defended by Robertson Smith (in RS(2) 377 n. ). We must not, however, lay too much stress on the supposed description of a Topheth (nnfin [ThPThH] becomes in EV 'Topheth') in Is. 30:33, for, as well as its context, it is (not incurably) corrupt ; see Crit. Bib. , ad loc. The ancient etymologies (from rh, 'tympanum' or nns [PThH], 'aperuit') need only bare mention. Cp MOLECH, 3.

T. K. C.

1 See CHERUB, n. 2. The same transition from 'burning' to 'flashing' occurs in the use of hamatu, (1) to burn, (2) to flash. Cp himtu, 'bright, shining'. See Del. Ass. HWB.

2 For the most probable original form of the text, see PARADISE, 5.

3 Read cneril IJSnn x CP- Cp GOLD, i ; ONYX. LXX, it is true, gives av8pa [anthrax], perhaps reading rnpN instead of nVlS-

4 i.e., for nSian jn read -uenn -jn-


(TS?, lappid; AAMTTAC [lampas])- Nah. 2:4 [2:5], Zech. 1:26, Jn. 18:3 (A&MTTAc). Cp LAMP. The military use of torches was common in ancient warfare ; cp Statius, Theb. 4:6.

On rrn|?S, peladoth, Nah. 2:3 [2:4], see IRON, 2.


HEnri ; for LXX see ARUMAH, and cp Moore, 'Judges', SBOT [Heb. ]), mentioned in the story of ABIMELECH (q.v. ), Judg. 9:31 EVmg. Moore and Budde identify it with ARUMAH (q.v. }.

Very [im] possibly both rtOIN (Arumah) and Tormah (ncin) are corruptions of ^MCriT- [jerahmeel] Underlying the present story of Gideon, who was of Ophrah near Shechem (so Moore), there seems [not] to have been an earlier tale with different geography. The districts of Ophrah and Cusham - jerahmeel were [not] among those which the children of the East (or rather the Amalekites) devastated, and which Gideon set free from their raids, and Mt. Jerahmeel (not Gilboa, see SAUL, 4) was the place where the hero encamped. Cusham-jerahmeel was the city of which Abimelech made himself king, and Jerahmeel (or rather, no doubt, some popular shortened form of it) was the name of the place (in the Jerahmeelite region) where Abimelech resided when Zebul sent word to him of Gaal's intrigues.


It is important to notice

  • (1) that P knows of Gideoni as a Benjamite name (Nu. 1:1, etc.),
  • (2) that the list of David's heroes (2 S. 23:27) contains the name of Abiezer the Anathothite, and
  • (3) that an Ophrah is known to have existed in the land of Benjamin;

Gideon was, upon this theory, a hero of S. Palestine. Cp MEONENIM, MOREH.

T. K. C.


py, tsab; o KpoxoAeiAoc o xep- CAIOC [o krokodeilos o chersaios]; crocodilus). The Heb. word thus rendered by the AV in Lev. 11:29, has been supposed by some to mean a kind of crocodile (cp LXX, Pesh., etc.), whilst, according to the Talmudists, it denoted a toad. Most, however, take the word, like its Ar. equivalent dabb, to mean some kind of LIZARD (q.v. ); RV renders GREAT LIZARD.

The tortoise, which AV preferred, belongs to that group of the Reptilia called the Chelonia, which is represented in Palestine by two species of land tortoise, and several aquatic. Testudo ibera, the Mauritanian tortoise, is the commonest species; it is widely distributed independent of soil, and is found from Mogador to Persia. In S. Palestine its place is taken by T. lethii, which prefers a sandy soil. The terrapins, Clemmys caspica, var. rivulata, are frequent in the streams and pools of Palestine, and Emys orbicularis, a synonym for E. europoea, is found in the lakes of Gennesaret and Huleh. The Egyptian soft tortoise, Trionyx triunguis = T. aegyptiacus, an African species, has been taken in the Litani and the Nahr-el-Kelb.

A. E. S. - S. A. C.




(Wh), 1 Ch. 18:9-10; in 2 S. 8:9 Tor.


(1) rtPKJ S, pishteh. Is. 43:17, RV FLAX.

(2) rnj J, ne'oreth, Judg. 16:9, Is. 1:31 ; i/~\yi [root NAR], 'to shake', so 'that which is shaken off' from the flax (see BDB).


The psalmists compare God to a lofty, impregnable tower or fort ; 3|t"p, misgab, and n7iYO, metsudah, occur in combination, 18:3 [18:2], also separately. Misgab conveys the idea of height ; Meshudah that of ambush (David's rmss, EV 'hold', may have suggested the application of the term {1} ). But the ordinary word for 'tower' is VtjC, migdal, an old Canaanitish term, also found as a loan-word in Egyptian {2} (see MIGDOL, and cp NAMES, 106). Towers were used both for the defence of cities (see FORTRESS, 5) and for the protection of flocks and vineyards (see CATTLE, 1, and cp 'tower of the watchmen', {3} 2 K. 17:9; 'tower of the flock', Mic. 4:8, cp EDER). These protecting towers were probably adjoined by the rude houses of peasants, and out of these groups of dwellings larger places would arise.

The towers of Babel (Gen. 11:4), Penuel (Judg. 8:9, 8:17), Shechem (Judg. 9:46+), and Siloam (Lk. 13:4, Trupyos [pyrgos]) are especially mentioned ; also in AV of 2 K. 5:24, a tower which, from v. 8, we might believe to be that of Samaria. But though 7Sy [APL], 'ophel, will bear the meaning 'tower' in Is. 32:14 (|| [n3), the primary sense of the word is 'hill' (lit. 'swelling'). Hence RV renders 'hill'. The versions all render as if they read 7jHt, 'ophel (e.g., Tg. D3 "IfwS, 'to a secret place'; LXX et? ro <rKOTfL> 6v [eis to skoteinon]). Pesh., however, implies ~nrr 72N" ?X [el-ophel HHD or el-ophel HHR]. Cp OPHEL. We also hear of a 'tower of David' (Cant. 4:4), which may be a slip for 'tower of Solomon' (cp 1 K. 7:2), and, at least in the EV, of the 'tower' of SYENE (q.v.), and cp MIGDOL.

A third word for 'tower' is 1n2, bahan, Is. 32:14 (RV 'watch-tower'), or pn] (Kr. pn]), Is. 28:13 (of siege-towers), and a fourth is tiyD, ma'oz, which unites the meanings of 'fortress' and 'refuge' (Ps. 27:1, 31:5 [31:4], etc.) ; see Del. on Ps. 31:5 [31:4].

1 In 1 Ch. 11:7, 12:8, 12:16, we find 1iD [MTsR] (EV 'hold', except in 11:7, where AV 'castle', RV 'stronghold'); the 'city of David' is meant, for which 2 S. 5:7 has n7iYO (EV 'strong hold').

2 It also exists in Libyan (an offshoot of Sabaean), and in MI ; but there is no trace of it in Assyrian.

3 The difficult phrase rendered in EV 'as a besieged city' (Is. 1:8) means rather, as Hitz. and Ges. (Thes.) suppose, 'a watch-tower' (misj Ty = D "lXJ SIM). Nearly so thinks Duhm. But this has no solid basis. Perhaps we shoud read ninvy I l i 'a forsaken city', or the like (see 'Isaiah', SBOT (Addenda)).


in EV sometimes corresponds to (1) Ttf, 'ir (see CITY) - e.g., in 'unwalled town' (Dt. 3:5 RVmg. 'country town'; Esth. 9:19), or 'town [RV city] in the country' 1 S. 27:5 (m v B:n "iy nnN3); also to four of the terms [(2), (3), (4). (8)] also rendered VILLAGE (q.v.).


(rp&MMATeyc), Acts 19:35. See EPHESUS, 2.


The name of the region surrounding and including the 'Trachon', a remarkable volcanic formation, beginning about 25 mi. S. of Damascus, and 40 mi. E. of the Sea of Galilee, mentioned in the Bible only once, Lk. 3:1 (T^J Irovpalai KO.L Tpaxuviridos xupas [tes Itouraias kai Trachoonitidos chooras]), as part of the tetrarchy of Philip, one of the sons of Herod the Great (see col. 2033-2034, 2041-2042).

1. Name.[edit]

The word itself is a derivative of Tpdxw [trachoon], the name given by the Greeks to the 'rough' and rugged areas, formed by lava deposits, which are characteristic of the region S. and E. of Damascus (see Fischer's Map of this district in ZDPV 12 [1889] H., 4 ). Strabo (16:2:20) speaks of two 'hills' called Tpaxw^es [trachoones] beyond Damascus (viripKfii>Ta.i 5 avTrjs Svb \ey6/j.evoi \6(f>oi Tp&xuvfs [hyperkeintai d'autes duo legomenoi lophoi trachoones]): the more remote and easternmost of these is the rugged basaltic area, bare and uninhabited, now called Tulul es-Safa ('the hills of stone'), 55 m. SE. of Damascus: 1 the other is the nearer and better known 'Trachonitis' of Philip, corresponding to the modern Leja (i.e., laja'ah, refuge, retreat), so called because, from its physical character, it forms a natural fortress or retreat, where bandits could feel themselves secure, or which could be held by a small body of defenders against even a determined invader. 2

1 See Wetzstein, Hauran, 6+; Porter, Damascus, (2) 152-153; Burton and Drake, Unexplored Syria (1872), 1:207-250; v. Oppenheim, Vom Mittelmeer zut Pers. Golf (1899), 12:29-33 (with photographs).

2 In 1838, 6000 Druses defended it successfully against Ibrahim Pasha, who lost 20,000 men in the attempt to force it.

2. Description.[edit]

The entire region S. and SE. of Damascus was once actively volcanic, and the SE. corner of the Leja is contiguous to the NW. end of the Jebel Hauran range - called also now, from its having been largely colonised by Druses migrating from Lebanon, the Jebel ed-Druz - with its many conical peaks (Ps. 68:16-17, [68:15-16]), the craters of extinct volcanoes ; and it is to the streams of basaltic lava, emitted in particular by the Ghararat el-Kibliyeh, and the neighbouring Tell Shihan (see view in Merrill, 15), at the Nw. end of this range, that the Leja owes its origin. In shape, the Leja resembles roughly a pear ; it is about 25 mi. long from N. to S. and 19 mi. broad from E. to W.; and it embraces an area of some 350 sq. mi. It rises to a height of from 20 to 40 ft. above the surrounding plain, so that it looks from a distance like a rocky coast ; its surface is rugged, and intersected by innumerable crevices and fissures. 'In its outline or edge the bed is far from being regular, but sends out at a multitude of points, black promontories of rock into the surrounding plain. Through this rugged shore there are a few openings into the interior, but for the most part it is impassable, and roads had to be excavated to the towns situated within it'. The appearance of the Leja is very strange. 'Its surface is black, and has the appearance of the sea when it is in motion beneath a dark cloudy sky, and when the waves are of good size, but without any white crests of foam. But this sea of lava is motionless, and its great waves are petrified. In the process of cooling the lava cracked, and in some cases the layers of great basalt blocks look as if they had been prepared and placed where they are by artificial means. In other cases, the hillocks have split lengthwise, or sometimes into separate portions ; and thus seams have been opened, forming great fissures and chasms which cannot be crossed. Elsewhere again the lava bed has not been broken into such small hillocks, but has more the appearance of what we call a rolling prairie. There are between the hillocks, and also in the rolling parts, many intervals of soil, free from stones, which are of surprising fertility' (Merrill, E. of Jordan, 11-12). The soil in these depressions is still cultivated in parts, and affords pasture for flocks : remains of ancient vineyards have also been found in them. At many points (ibid. 14) there are copious springs, though not, apparently (Rindfleisch, 15), in the interior. Besides the seams and fissures that have been spoken of, there are also many caves, which have been occupied as dwellings. Bands of robbers lurk in them at the present day (cp how Porter was attacked, Damascus, (2) 273+). Outlaws from the settled portions of the country flee hither, and are comparatively safe. In the vicinity of Dama (the highest point in the Leja), 'so rough and rugged is the country, so deep the gullies and ravines, and so lofty the overhanging rocks, that the whole is a labyrinth which none but the Arabs can penetrate' (Porter, 283). {1}

It is worthy of note how closely these descriptions agree with Josephus. He says, in connection with the order given by Augustus (see below, 4) to check the depreciations of the Trachonites, how difficult it was to do this:-

'For they possessed neither cities nor fields, but lived together with their cattle in subterranean retreats and caves. They had however, constructed reservoirs for water, and granaries for corn, and being invisible could long resist a foe. The entrances to the caves are narrow even for persons entering one at a time, whilst within they are incredibly large and made spacious. The ground above the dwellings is not high, but as it were a plain. The rocks are everywhere rugged and difficult to find a way among, except when a guide points out the paths; for even these are not straight, but have many windings' (Ant. 15:10:1).

[detailed map of Trachonitis goes here]


Parentheses indicating articles that refer to the place-names are in certain cases added to non-biblical names having no biblical equivalent. The alphabetical arrangement usually ignores prefixes : ard ('land ' ), bahret ('lake'), beit ('house'), 'belad' ('towns'), derb ('road'), deir ('monastery'), ed-, ej-, er-, es-, esh-, et-, ez- ('the'), iklim ('district'), J. (jebel, 'mountain'), kal'at ('castle'), kanat ('canal'), kasr ('castle'), kefr ('village'), merj ('meadow'), N. (nahr, 'river'), sheri'at ('watering place'), suk ('market'), tell ('mound '), tulul ('mounds'), umm ('mother'), W. (wady, ' valley').

jeleb el-'Abayeh, D3 Abil, B5 Abila, C1 Abila, B5 Adra, C5 el-Afineh, E5 (TRACHONITIS, 4) 'Aiha, B5 wady el-'Ajam, CD2 (GOLAN) jebel 'Ajlun, B6 (JEZREEL) el-'Al, A4 (ELBALEH) Alema, D4 nahr el-'Allan, B4 (GOLAN) mons Alsadamus, EF5 damet el-'Alya, D4 (TRACHONITS, 3) Aqueduct, Ancient, B5 Aqueduct of Palma, DE5 w. el-'Arab, A5 (EPHRON) el-A'raj, A4 (BETHSAIDA) Arbel, B5 nahr el-'Arni, BC2 (PHARPAR) tell el-Asfar, E3 tell el-'Asha'ir, F5 tell el-Ash'ari, C4 (BASHAN, 3) tell 'Ashtera, C4 (BASHAN, 3) bahret el-'Atebeh, E1-2 'Atil, E4 (TRACHONITIS, 3) Auranitis, DE4-5 nahr el-A'waj, CD2 (PHARPAR) merj 'Ayun, A2 (IJON)

Baniyas, A3 (BAAL-GAD) wady Barada, C1 (ABANA) suk wady Barada, C1 (ABANA) nahr Barbar, C2 (PHARPAR) nahr el-Baruk, A1 (LEBANON, 6) Bashan, BC3-4 ard el-Bathaniyeh, EF3-4 el-Bafiha, A4 (GALILEE, SEA OF, 3) iklim el-Bellan, B2 Bosor, D4 Bosra, E5 (TRACHONITIS, 3) Bostrenus, A1 Burak, D3 (TRACHONITIS, 3) Bureikeh, E3 (TRACHONITIS, 4) Butsr el-Hariri, D4 Butheneh, E4

Caesarea Paneas, A3 Casphor, C5

jebel ed-Dahr, AB1 (LEBANON, 3) Dama, D4 (TRACHONITIS, 3) Damascus, D1 Dan, A3 Dathema, C5 Decapolis, A3-D3 tell Delfa', E3 Der'at, C5 Dimashk, D5 jebel ed-Druz, E5-6 (TRACHONITIS, 2) Edrei, C5 'Edun, B6 w. el-Ehrer, BC4-5 Ephron 2, B5 Ezra', D4 (BASHAN, 3)

Fahl Tabakat, A6 tell el-Fara, F4 el-Fijeh, C1 (ABANA) Fik, A4 (APHEK, 3) kanat Fir'aun, B5 (CONDUITS)

Gadara, A5 Gerasa A4 (GERASENES, COUNTRY OF) kasr wady el-Ghafr, B5 Ghararet el-Kibliyeh, E4 (TRACHONITIS, 2) el-Ghor, A5-6 (JORDAN) Golan, B3-4 Golanitis, B3-4

el-Hadr, B2 (HAZAR-ENAN) derb el-Haj, CD2-6 Halbun, D1 (HELBON) Hamad, DE6 Hammath, A5 el-Hammeh, A5 Hara, B3 busr el-Hariri, D4 N. el-Hatsbani, A2 (AIN, 2) Hatsbeya, A2 (BAAL-HAMON) Hauran, DE4-5 Hauran, DE4-5 jebel Hauran, E5 el-Zasm, E3 (BASHAN, 3) Hebran, E5 (TRACHONITIS, 3) Hermon, B2 Heyat, E4 (BASHAN, 3) Hieromax, A5 (GADARA) Hippos, A5 (GALILEE, SEA OF, 7) Hit E4 (BASHAN, 3) kal'at el-Hotsn, A4 derb el-Huleh, A3 bahret el-Huleh, A3 (MEROM, WATERS OF)

'Ilma, D4 Irbid, B5 'Ire, E5

Jabesh, A6 Jaulan, B3-4 el-Jedur, C3 (GEDOR) tell ej-Jena, E5 beit Jenn, B2 (PHARPAR) nahr ej-Jennai, B2 (PHARPAR) umm el-Jimal, D6 (BETH-GAMUL) Jordan, A3-6 Jurein, D4 (ASHTAROTH)

tell el-Kadi, A3 jebel Kafkafa, B6 (GILEAD) jebel Kalamun, D1 Kanata, D5 (TRACHONITIS, 4) Kanawat, E4 deir Kanun, C1 w. el-Karn, BC1 sheruat el-Kebireh, A5-6 (Jordan, 1) kenath, E4 Kerak, D5 Kersa, A4 (GERASENES, COUNTRY OF) um Kes, A5 ard el-Khanafis, D3 Khisfin, B4 (CASPHOR) Khubab, C3 (BASHAN, 3) Kirateh, D4 (TRACHONITIS, 3) el-Kubbeh, D3 jebel el-Kuleib, E5 el-Kunetra, B4 el-Kunetra, B3 Kureim, D3 (TRACHONITIS, 3) Kureiyeh, E5 (TRACHONITIS, 3)

Lebanon, A2 el-Leja, D3 (TRACHONITIS, 3) jebel Libnan, A1 nahr Litani, A1-2 (LEBANON, 6) tell el-Loz, F5

kefr el-Ma, B4 (ALEMA) shari'at-el Manadireh, AB4-5 (GOLAN) jebel el-Mani, D2 el-Mas'adiyeh, A4 (BETHSAIDA) el-Merj, DE1-2 el-Merkez, C4 (ASHTAROTH) Miryamin, A6 Mismiyeh, D3 (TRACHONITIS, 3) jisr el-Mujami, A5 (JORDAN, 6) Mujeidel, D4 (TRACHONITIS, 3) el-Mushennef, F4 (TRACHONITIS, 4) el-Muzeirib, C5

Nawa, C4 (PALESTINE, 12) Nejran, D4 (TRACHONITIS, 4) deir Nileh, E3 (TRACHONITIS, 3) en-Nukra, BC2-4 (DECAPOLIS)

Palma, Aqueduct of, DE5 Pella, A6 Phaenae, D3

beit er Ras, B5 (EDREI) Rasheya, B1 er-Remtheh, C5 Roman Road, de2-6 nah er-Rukkad, B4 (GOLAN) sheik Sa'd, C4 (ASHTAROTH) Sahem el-Jaulan, B4 (GOLAN) Sahn, D3 (TRACHONITIs, 3) Salcah, F5 Salchad, F5 Tsamakh, A5 es-Tsanamen, C3 Sa'sa', C2 (PHARPAR) Tsauwarah, E3 (TRACHONITIS, 3) L. Semachonitis, A3 w. Semak, A4 (GERASENES, COUNTRY OF) tulul esh-Shahibat, E3 Shakka, E4 (TRACHONITIS) esh-Shari'a, A3-4 (JORDAN, 1) jebel esh-Sheikh, B2 tell esh-Sheikha, B3 tell Shihan, E4 (TRACHONITIS, 2) Shubbah, E4 (TRACHONITIS, 3) Susitha, A4-5 Susiyeh, A4 es-Suweda, E5 (TRACHONITIS, 3) jebel belad ets-Tsuwet, BC5

Tabakat Fahl, A6 bahr Tabariyeh, A4-5 lower wady et-Teim, A2 (SYRIA, 5) upper wady et-Teim, AB1-2 (SYRIA, 5) et-Tell, A4 jebel eth-Thelj, B2 Sea of Tiberias, A4-5 Tibneh, A6 Trachon, D4 Trachonitis, D4 Tsil, B4 et-Turra, B5

Yarmuk, B4 (GOLAN)

Zeizun B5 jebel ez-Zumieh, C5-6 (BASHAN, 1)

3. Cities and civilisation.[edit]

But, though this was the character of the population of the Leja in Josephus time, before long it changed (see section 5): civilisation entered, and cities were built, the remains of which are in many cases standing to the present day. Thus on the N. , just within the Leja, we have Burak (Porter, (2) 164-165); then (going southwards) on, or a little outside, the E. edge, es-Suwarah (p. 169), el-Hazm, and (inside the Leja) Sahr (Heber-Percy, 31-39, 43-44 : p. 32 'the track to Sahr winds amongst the fissures, gaps, holes, and waves of the lava, that now extends in an undulating unbroken sheet for a few yards, and then is cracked and broken up into every conceivable form. Even the semblance of a track soon faded away'), Der Nileh (HP 47), and Shuhbah, between the Leja and J. Hauran (P. 190+; HP 59+); on the S., Nejran and Busr el-Hariri (P. 266+); on the SW. Ezra (P. 271; Merrill, 26+); on the W. , Kirateh, Mujeidel, Khubab (Chabeb), and Kureim (P. 279+; M. 24-32) ; on the NW., Mismiyeh (M. 16-22, with illustration of temple : the ruins, according to Porter, 284, are 3 mi. in circuit, and contain many buildings of considerable size and beauty) ; and in the heart of the Leja, Dama (or Damet el-'Alya, Wetzst. 25), the largest town in the interior, with about 300 houses, mostly in good preservation (Burckh. 110). {2

Mismiyeh (the ancient Phaenae) is interesting on account of an inscription found there by Burckhardt in 1810 (Travels in Syria, 1822, p. 117; also Merrill, p. 20, and Waddington, No. 2524), which demonstrates the identity of the Leja with the Trachon. Julius Saturninus, consular legate of Syria, under Alex. Severus, issues a public notice informing the inhabitants that, there being temporary barracks in the place, they are not liable to have soldiers billeted upon them; and the inscription begins : louXios S.a.Tovpvtvos "bcuv-qaiois fj.7)TpOKW[j,ig. rod Tpaxwco? xcupetj/ [ioulios satourninos phainesios metrokoomiai tou trachoonos chairein]. Two other lj.rjTpoKWfj.iai [metrokoomiai], or capital cities, of the Trachon are also known, viz. popfxa.0 [borechath], now Bureikeh (Wadd. 2396), and Zorava, now Ezra (Wadd. 2480, cp 2479).

1 The soil of Hauran outside the Leja, it should be remarked, is singularly rich and fertile (cp BASHAN, 2).

2 See further the list of places in Hauran (including the Leja), with explanatory remarks in ZDPV, 1889, p. 278+

It must not, however, be supposed that such cities are peculiar to the Leja. The entire region, including the slopes of the J. Hauran, and the plains bordering on the Leja, is studded with deserted towns and villages, testifying to a once flourishing and prosperous civilisation. Thus we have Hit, Heyat, Butheneh, Shuka (Shakka, ~a.KKa.ia [sakkaia]), E. of the Leja ; Suleim, Kanawat, Si (with an inscription on a statue erected to Herod the Great : Wadd. 2364), Atil, Suweda, Hebran, Ire, Kureiyeh, and Salhad, with its great castle (see SALCAH), on the W. and SW. slopes of J. Hauran ; the important city and fortress of Bosra, 20 mi. S. of the Leja, {1} described by Porter (173-189, 200+, 218-239, 248+) and Merrill (32-58); Der'at (see EDREI) 20 mi. SW. of it; as well as many other places (Wetzstein says there are 300 on the E. and S. slopes of J. Hauran alone). The general character of all these deserted places is the same : the Leja supplied the building material ; and this determined the style of the architecture. The dwellings are constructed of massive well -hewn blocks of black basaltic lava, with heavy doors moving on pivots, outside staircases, galleries, and roofs, all of the same material (see the descriptions just quoted, and the photographs in Heber-Percy, frontispiece, 41, 46, 61, 65, 69, etc.). Many of these cities are in such a good state of preservation that, as Wetzstein observes (49), it is difficult for the traveller not to believe that they are inhabited, and to expect, as he walks along the streets, to see persons moving about the houses. The architecture of these deserted sites (which include temples, theatres, aqueducts, reservoirs, churches, etc. ) is of the Graeco-Roman period, and is such as to show that, between the first and the seventh century A. D., they were the home of a thriving and wealthy population.

The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan, followed by some moderns(as Porter, Merrill, and Heber-Percy), identify Trachon with the 'region of Argob' (Dt. 3:4, 3:13-14, 1 K. 4:13). See, against this view, ARGOB and BASHAN, above ; also Driver on Dt. 3:4-5, and Argob in Hastings' DB.

4. History.[edit]

Trachon, or the Trachonitis, 2 is mentioned frequently by Josephus, chiefly in connection with the predatory practices of its inhabitants. In 25 B.C. one Zenodorus, a bandit-chief, held, on payment of tribute to Cleopatra, the former domain of Lysanias (see col. 2841); and he, to increase his revenues, so encouraged the lawless Trachonites in their raids upon the people of Damascus, that the latter appealed to Varro, the governor of Syria, to lay their case before Augustus. Augustus sent back orders that this 'robbers' nest' (\ya-T-f) piov [lesterion]) should be destroyed; and Varro accordingly made an expedition against them. Afterwards, in order more permanently to reduce them to order, Augustus placed the country under the control of Herod the Great, who, with the help of skilful guides, successfully invaded it, and secured, at least for the time, 'peace and quietness for the neighbouring people' (Ant. 16:10:1 cp 16:10:3; more briefly, BJ 1:204). The Trachonites, however, dissatisfied with being obliged to 'till the ground and live quietly', and finding also that it rewarded their labours but meagrely, took advantage of Herod's absence in Rome (about 9 B.C.) to revolt, and resumed their raids upon the more ferflle territory of their neighbours. Herod's generals inflicted a defeat upon them ; but about forty of the robber-chiefs escaped into 'Arabia' (i.e. Nabataea, S. of Hauran), whence they raided both Judaea and Coele-Syria. Herod, upon his return to Syria, finding himself unable to reach the robbers themselves, invaded Trachon and slew many of their relations there, in retaliation for which they still more harassed and pillaged his territory (Ant. 16:9:1). In the end, Herod threw 2000 Idumaeans into Trachonitis (ib. 2), and placed a Babylonian Jew named Zamaris, a leader of mercenaries, in command of the surrounding districts. Zamaris built fortresses, and a village called Bathyra, and protected the Jews coming up from Babylon to attend the feasts in Jerusalem against the Trachonite robbers. The consequence was that, till the end of Herod's reign, the country around Trachonitis enjoyed tranquillity (Ant. 17:2:1-2).

1 Both Eus. (OS 268 269 298) and the Talm. (see Schurer, (2) 1:353, (3) 1:426) speak of Trachon as in the neighbourhood of, or bordering on, Bosra.

2 Josephus uses both terms.

Upon Herod's death, his son Philip (4 B.C.-34 A.D. ) received, by his father's will, the 'tetrarchy' of Gaulanitis (Jaulan), Batanaea (the 'Bashan' of the OT), Trachonitis, and Auranitis ('Hauran'), as well as a part of the former domain of Zenodorus (Ant. 17:8:1, 17:11:4 ; cp 18:4:6, 18:5:4, BJ 11:63). Under Philip's just and gentle rule (Ant. 18:4:6) the same tranquillity was no doubt maintained ; for Strabo, writing about 25 A. D., says (16:2:20) that since the robber bands under Zenodorus had been put down, the country round had, through the good government of the Romans, and as a result of the security afforded by the garrisons stationed in Syria, suffered far less from the raids of the barbarians. After Philip's death (34 A.D. ), as he left no sons, his tetrarchy was attached by Tiberius to the province of Syria (Ant. 18:4:6). In 37 A.D., however, Caligula bestowed it upon Herod Agrippa I. (Ant. 18:6:10 end; BJ 2:9:6), who held it - as an inscription commemorating his safe return from Rome (41 A. D. ), found at el-Mushennef, shows (Wadd. 2211) - as far as the E. slopes of the Jebel ed-Druz. The rule of Agrippa seems to mark the beginning of a new stage in the civilisation of the entire district : Greek inscriptions now begin to multiply, and we have many records in stone of the building of public edifices. Agrippa I. died (Acts 12:23) in 44 A. D., and, as his son was still a minor, Trachon and the neighbouring parts were administered by a procurator under the governor of Syria. From 53 to 100 the old tetrarchy of Philip formed part of the kingdom of Herod Agrippa II. (Acts 25:13+), inscriptions and buildings dating from whose reign are numerous both in the Leja itself and in other parts of Hauran. 1 The most important step in the history of the civilisation of this entire district, however, was taken in 106, when Trajan created it into the new province of 'Arabia', with Bosra as its capital. Trajan's agent in accomplishing this was Cornelius Palma, governor of Syria from 104 to 108, whose work in bringing an aqueduct into Kanata (now Kerak) is commemorated in an inscription found at el-'Afineh (Wadd. 2296-2297 ; cp 2301, 2305). It does not fall within the scope of the present article to pursue the history further: it may therefore suffice to remark generally that the direct influence of the Romans began almost immediately to make itself felt: roads and aqueducts were constructed; during the second and third centuries basilicas, temples, theatres, and other buildings rapidly multiplied; inscriptions, sepulchral, dedicatory, architectural, become more abundant; and a new and unique civilisation, externally Roman, but including within it a strange combination of Greek and Semitic elements, is the result (see further details and references in GASm. HG 624+). A Roman road, it may be added, starting from Damascus, runs through the Leja, passing Mismiyeh in the N. , and Bureikeh in the S. ; and going on to Bosra, Philadelphia (Rabbath Ammon), Moab, etc. (cp Rindfleisch, 24).

5. Literature.[edit]

Burckhardt, as cited above, 51+ (Haurun), 110+ (the Leja); J. G. Wetzstein, Reisebericht uber Hauran u. die Trachonen, 1860 (epoch-making), especially pp. 25+; Porter ( = P, section 3), Five Years in Damascus (2) ; Merrill ( = M, section 3), E. of Jordan, and Heber-Percy ( = HP, section 3), A Visit to Bashan and Argob, 1896, as referred to above ; the account of Stubel's 'Reise', with map, in ZDPV, 1889, pp. 225-302 (important) {2} ; Rindfleisch, 'Die Landschaft Hauran in romischer Zeit u. in der Gegenwart', in ZDPV, 1898, pp. 1-58 (on the Leja, 5-7, 14-15, 17, 24, 45) ; v. Oppenheim, op. cit. 1:87+ (chaps. 3, 5 on Hauran generally ; chap. 4 on the Druses). The standard authority on the architecture of Hauran is de Vogue's fine work, Syrie Centrale, Architecture Civile et Religieuse du ie au 7 siecle (1867), containing 150 plates, with explanatory descriptions (though little relating specifically to the Leja) ; see more briefly GASm. HG 629+.

For inscriptions (from Hauran generally, as well as the Leja) see the works cited under BASHAN, 5 ; and add Burton and Drake, op. cit. 2:379-388.

S. R. D.

1 For a list of inscriptions naming Herodian kings, see Wadd. 2365 end.

2 See also the map of Hauran and Jebel ed-Druz, accompanying Schumacher's Das sudliche Basan in ZDPV (1897) 50:67-227. In both these maps, however, there is an error in lat. and long.: Damascus is placed correctly; but by a fault in the triangulation the whole of Hauran and surrounding parts are shifted unduly S. and W., so that Bosra is 32[degrees] 30' 5" N., and 36[degrees] 263' E., instead of, as it ought to be, 32[degrees] 33.5' N. and 36[degrees] 32' E. (see MNDPV, 1899, pp. 12-14). This error has been corrected in Fischer's Handkarte von Pal. 1899, and also in the map in the present article (which is based upon the three maps named).