Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897)/M-Q
(4.) The daughter of Abishalom (called Absalom, 2 Chr. 11:20-22), the third wife of Rehoboam, and mother of Abijam (1 Kings 15:2). She is called "Michaiah the daughter of Uriel," who was the husband of Absalom's daughter Tamar (2 Chr. 13:2). Her son Abijah or Abijam was heir to the throne.
- Maaleh-acrabbim Ascent of the scorpions; i.e., "scorpion-hill", a pass on the south-eastern border of Palestine (Num. 34:4; Josh. 15:3). It is identified with the pass of Sufah, entering Palestine from the great Wady el-Fikreh, south of the Dead Sea. (See AKRABBIM.)
- Maarath Desolation, a place in the mountains of Judah (Josh. 15:59), probably the modern village Beit Ummar, 6 miles north of Hebron.
- Maaseiah The work of Jehovah. (1.) One of the Levites whom David appointed as porter for the ark (1 Chr. 15:18, 20).
(2.) One of the "captains of hundreds" associated with Jehoiada in restoring king Jehoash to the throne (2 Chr. 23:1).
(5.) The father of the priest Zephaniah (Jer. 21:1; 37:3).
(6.) The father of the false prophet Zedekiah (Jer. 29:21).
Maase'iah, refuge is Jehovah, a priest, the father of Neriah (Jer. 32:12; 51:59).
- Maath Small, a person named in our Lord's ancestry (Luke 3:26).
- Maaziah Strength or consolation of Jehovah. (1.) The head of the twenty-fourth priestly course (1 Chr. 24:18) in David's reign.
(2.) A priest (Neh. 10:8).
- Machaerus The Black Fortress, was built by Herod the Great in the gorge of Callirhoe, one of the wadies 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, as a frontier rampart against Arab marauders. John the Baptist was probably cast into the prison connected with this castle by Herod Antipas, whom he had reproved for his adulterous marriage with Herodias. Here Herod "made a supper" on his birthday. He was at this time marching against Aretas, king of Perea, to whose daughter he had been married. During the revelry of the banquet held in the border fortress, to please Salome, who danced before him, he sent an executioner, who beheaded John, and "brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel" (Mark 6:14-29). This castle stood "starkly bold and clear" 3,860 feet above the Dead Sea, and 2,546 above the Mediterranean. Its ruins, now called M'khaur, are still visible on the northern end of Jebel Attarus.
- Machbanai Clad with a mantle, or bond of the Lord, one of the Gadite heroes who joined David in the wilderness (1 Chr. 12:13).
- Machir Sold. (1.) Manasseh's oldest son (Josh. 17:1), or probably his only son (see 1 Chr. 7:14, 15; comp. Num. 26:29-33; Josh. 13:31). His descendants are referred to under the name of Machirites, being the offspring of Gilead (Num. 26:29). They settled in land taken from the Amorites (Num. 32:39, 40; Deut. 3:15) by a special enactment (Num. 36:1-3; Josh. 17:3, 4). He is once mentioned as the representative of the tribe of Manasseh east of Jordan (Judg. 5:14).
(2.) A descendant of the preceding, residing at Lo-debar, where he maintained Jonathan's son Mephibosheth till he was taken under the care of David (2 Sam. 9:4), and where he afterwards gave shelter to David himself when he was a fugitive (17:27).
- Machpelah Portion; double cave, the cave which Abraham bought, together with the field in which it stood, from Ephron the Hittite, for a family burying-place (Gen. 23). It is one of those Bible localities about the identification of which there can be no doubt. It was on the slope of a hill on the east of Hebron, "before Mamre." Here were laid the bodies of Abraham and Mal.ah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah (Gen. 23:19; 25:9; 49:31; 50:13). Over the cave an ancient Christian church was erected, probably in the time of Justinian, the Roman emperor. This church has been converted into a Mohammedan mosque. The whole is surrounded by the el-Haram i.e., "the sacred enclosure," about 200 feet long, 115 broad, and of an average height of about 50. This building, from the immense size of some of its stones, and the manner in which they are fitted together, is supposed by some to have been erected in the days of David or of Solomon, while others ascribe it to the time of Herod. It is looked upon as the most ancient and finest relic of Jewish architecture.
On the floor of the mosque are erected six large cenotaphs as monuments to the dead who are buried in the cave beneath. Between the cenotaphs of Isaac and Rebekah there is a circular opening in the floor into the cavern below, the cave of Machpelah. Here it may be that the body of Jacob, which was embalmed in Egypt, is still preserved (much older embalmed bodies have recently been found in the cave of Deir el-Bahari in Egypt, see PHARAOH), though those of the others there buried may have long ago mouldered into dust. The interior of the mosque was visited by the Prince of Wales in 1862 by a special favour of the Mohammedan authorities. An interesting account of this visit is given in Dean Stanley's Lectures on the Jewish Church. It was also visited in 1866 by the Marquis of Bute, and in 1869 by the late Emperor (Frederick) of Germany, then the Crown Prince of Prussia. In 1881 it was visited by the two sons of the Prince of Wales, accompanied by Sir C. Wilson and others. (See Palestine Quarterly Statement, October 1882).
- Madai Middle land, the third "son" of Japheth (Gen. 10:2), the name by which the Medes are known on the Assyrian monuments.
- Madmannah Dunghill, the modern el-Minyay, 15 miles south-south-west of Gaza (Josh. 15:31; 1 Chr. 2:49), in the south of Judah. The Pal. Mem., however, suggest Umm Deimneh, 12 miles north-east of Beersheba, as the site.
- Madmen Ibid., a Moabite town threatened with the sword of the Babylonians (Jer. 48:2).
- Madmenah Ibid., a town in Benjamin, not far from Jerusalem, towards the north (Isa. 10:31). The same Hebrew word occurs in Isa. 25:10, where it is rendered "dunghill." This verse has, however, been interpreted as meaning "that Moab will be trodden down by Jehovah as teben [broken straw] is trodden to fragments on the threshing-floors of Madmenah."
- Madness This word is used in its proper sense in Deut. 28:34, John 10:20, 1 Cor. 14:23. It also denotes a reckless state of mind arising from various causes, as over-study (Eccl. 1:17; 2:12), blind rage (Luke 6:11), or a depraved temper (Eccl. 7:25; 9:3; 2 Pet. 2:16). David feigned madness (1 Sam. 21:13) at Gath because he "was sore afraid of Achish."
- Madon Strife, a Canaanitish city in the north of Palestine (Josh. 11:1; 12:19), whose king was slain by Joshua; perhaps the ruin Madin, near Hattin, some 5 miles west of Tiberias.
- Magdala A tower, a town in Galilee, mentioned only in Matt. 15:39. In the parallel passage in Mark 8:10 this place is called Dalmanutha. It was the birthplace of Mary called the Magdalen, or Mary Magdalene. It was on the west shore of the Lake of Tiberias, and is now probably the small obscure village called el-Mejdel, about 3 miles north-west of Tiberias. In the Talmud this city is called "the city of colour," and a particular district of it was called "the tower of dyers." The indigo plant was much cultivated here.
- Magdalene A surname derived from Magdala, the place of her nativity, given to one of the Marys of the Gospels to distinguish her from the other Marys (Matt. 27:56, 61; 28:1, etc.). A mistaken notion has prevailed that this Mary was a woman of bad character, that she was the woman who is emphatically called "a sinner" (Luke 7:36-50). (See MARY.)
- Magic The Jews seem early to have consulted the teraphim (q.v.) for oracular answers (Judg. 18:5, 6; Zech. 10:2). There is a remarkable illustration of this divining by teraphim in Ezek. 21:19-22. We read also of the divining cup of Joseph (Gen. 44:5). The magicians of Egypt are frequently referred to in the history of the Exodus. Magic was an inherent part of the ancient Egyptian religion, and entered largely into their daily life.
All magical arts were distinctly prohibited under penalty of death in the Mosaic law. The Jews were commanded not to learn the "abomination" of the people of the Promised Land (Lev. 19:31; Deut. 18:9-14). The history of Saul's consulting the witch of Endor (1 Sam. 28:3-20) gives no warrant for attributing supernatural power to magicians. From the first the witch is here only a bystander. The practice of magic lingered among the people till after the Captivity, when they gradually abandoned it.
It is not much referred to in the New Testament. The Magi mentioned in Matt. 2:1-12 were not magicians in the ordinary sense of the word. They belonged to a religious caste, the followers of Zoroaster, the astrologers of the East. Simon, a magician, was found by Philip at Samaria (Acts 8:9-24); and Paul and Barnabas encountered Elymas, a Jewish sorcerer, at Paphos (13:6-12). At Ephesus there was a great destruction of magical books (Acts 19:18, 19).
- Magicians Heb. hartumim, (dan. 1:20) were sacred scribes who acted as interpreters of omens, or "revealers of secret things."
- Magistrate A public civil officer invested with authority. The Hebrew shophetim, or judges, were magistrates having authority in the land (Deut. 1:16, 17). In Judg. 18:7 the word "magistrate" (A.V.) is rendered in the Revised Version "possessing authority", i.e., having power to do them harm by invasion. In the time of Ezra (9:2) and Nehemiah (2:16; 4:14; 13:11) the Jewish magistrates were called seganim, properly meaning "nobles." In the New Testament the Greek word archon, rendered "magistrate" (Luke 12:58; Titus 3:1), means one first in power, and hence a prince, as in Matt. 20:25, 1 Cor. 2:6, 8. This term is used of the Messiah, "Prince of the kings of the earth" (Rev. 1:5). In Acts 16:20, 22, 35, 36, 38, the Greek term strategos, rendered "magistrate," properly signifies the leader of an army, a general, one having military authority. The strategoi were the duumviri, the two praetors appointed to preside over the administration of justice in the colonies of the Romans. They were attended by the sergeants (properly lictors or "rod bearers").
- Magog Region of Gog, the second of the "sons" of Japheth (Gen. 10:2; 1 Chr. 1:5). In Ezekiel (38:2; 39:6) it is the name of a nation, probably some Scythian or Tartar tribe descended from Japheth. They are described as skilled horsemen, and expert in the use of the bow. The Latin father Jerome says that this word denotes "Scythian nations, fierce and innumerable, who live beyond the Caucasus and the Lake Maeotis, and near the Caspian Sea, and spread out even onward to India." Perhaps the name "represents the Assyrian Mat Gugi, or `country of Gugu,' the Gyges of the Greeks" (Sayce's Races, etc.).
- Magor-missabib Fear on every side, (Jer. 20:3), a symbolical name given to the priest Pashur, expressive of the fate announced by the prophet as about to come upon him. Pashur was to be carried to Babylon, and there die.
- Mahalaleel Praise of God. (1.) The son of Cainan, of the line of Seth (Gen. 5:12-17); called Maleleel (Luke 3:37).
(2.) Neh. 11:4, a descendant of Perez.
- Mahalath A lute; lyre. (1.) The daughter of Ishmael, and third wife of Esau (Gen. 28:9); called also Bashemath (Gen. 36:3).
Mahalath Leannoth Maschil
- Mahalath Leannoth Maschil This word leannoth seems to point to some kind of instrument unknown (Ps. 88, title). The whole phrase has by others been rendered, "On the sickness of affliction: a lesson;" or, "Concerning afflictive sickness: a didactic psalm."
- Mahalath Maschil In the title of Ps. 53, denoting that this was a didactic psalm, to be sung to the accompaniment of the lute or guitar. Others regard this word "mahalath" as the name simply of an old air to which the psalm was to be sung. Others, again, take the word as meaning "sickness," and regard it as alluding to the contents of the psalm.
- Mahanaim Two camps, a place near the Jabbok, beyond Jordan, where Jacob was met by the "angels of God," and where he divided his retinue into "two hosts" on his return from Padan-aram (Gen. 32:2). This name was afterwards given to the town which was built at that place. It was the southern boundary of Bashan (Josh. 13:26, 30), and became a city of the Levites (21:38). Here Saul's son Ishbosheth reigned (2 Sam. 2:8, 12), while David reigned at Hebron. Here also, after a troubled reign, Ishbosheth was murdered by two of his own bodyguard (2 Sam. 4:5-7), who brought his head to David at Hebron, but were, instead of being rewarded, put to death by him for their cold-blooded murder. Many years after this, when he fled from Jerusalem on the rebellion of his son Absalom, David made Mahanaim, where Barzillai entertained him, his headquarters, and here he mustered his forces which were led against the army that had gathered around Absalom. It was while sitting at the gate of this town that tidings of the great and decisive battle between the two hosts and of the death of his son Absalom reached him, when he gave way to the most violent grief (2 Sam. 17:24-27).
The only other reference to Mahanaim is as a station of one of Solomon's purveyors (1 Kings 4:14). It has been identified with the modern Mukhumah, a ruin found in a depressed plain called el-Bukie'a, "the little vale," near Penuel, south of the Jabbok, and north-east of es-Salt.
- Mahaneh-dan Judg. 18:12 = "camp of Dan" 13:25 (R.V., "Mahaneh-dan"), a place behind (i.e., west of) Kirjath-jearim, where the six hundred Danites from Zorah and Eshtaol encamped on their way to capture the city of Laish, which they rebuilt and called "Dan, after the name of their father" (18:11-31). The Palestine Explorers point to a ruin called `Erma, situated about 3 miles from the great corn valley on the east of Samson's home.
- Mahath Grasping. (1.) A Kohathite Levite, father of Elkanah (1 Chr. 6:35).
(2.) Another Kohathite Levite, of the time of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29:12).
- Mahazioth Visions, a Kohathite Levite, chief of the twenty-third course of musicians (1 Chr. 25:4, 30).
- Maher-shalal-hash-baz Plunder speedeth; spoil hasteth, (Isa. 8:1-3; comp. Zephaniah 1:14), a name Isaiah was commanded first to write in large characters on a tablet, and afterwards to give as a symbolical name to a son that was to be born to him (Isa. 8:1, 3), as denoting the sudden attack on Damascus and Syria by the Assyrian army.
- Mahlah Disease, one of the five daughters of Zelophehad (Num. 27:1-11) who had their father's inheritance, the law of inheritance having been altered in their favour.
- Mahlon Sickly, the elder of Elimelech the Bethlehemite's two sons by Naomi. He married Ruth and died childless (Ruth 1:2, 5; 4:9, 10), in the land of Moab.
Mail, Coat of
- Mail, Coat of "a corselet of scales," a cuirass formed of pieces of metal overlapping each other, like fish-scales (1 Sam. 17:5); also (38) a corselet or garment thus encased.
- Main-sail (Gr. artemon), answering to the modern "mizzen-sail," as some suppose. Others understand the "jib," near the prow, or the "fore-sail," as likely to be most useful in bringing a ship's head to the wind in the circumstances described (Acts 27:40).
- Makheloth Assemblies, a station of the Israelites in the desert (Num. 33:25, 26).
- Makkedah Herdsman's place, one of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Josh. 12:16), near which was a cave where the five kings who had confederated against Israel sought refuge (10:10-29). They were put to death by Joshua, who afterwards suspended their bodies upon five trees. It has been identified with the modern village called Sumeil, standing on a low hill about 7 miles to the north-west of Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin), where are ancient remains and a great cave. The Palestine Exploration surveyors have, however, identified it with el-Mughar, or "the caves," 3 miles from Jabneh and 2 1/2 southwest of Ekron, because, they say, "at this site only of all possible sites for Makkedah in the Palestine plain do caves still exist." (See ADONI-ZEDEC.)
- Maktesh Mortar, a place in or near Jerusalem inhabited by silver merchants (Zephaniah 1:11). It has been conjectured that it was the "Phoenician quarter" of the city, where the traders of that nation resided, after the Oriental custom.
- Malachiah Princess, the wife and at the same time the half-sister of Abraham (Gen. 11:29; 20:12). This name was given to her at the time that it was announced to Abraham that she should be the mother of the promised child. Her story is from her marriage identified with that of the patriarch till the time of her death. Her death, at the age of one hundred and twenty-seven years (the only instance in Scripture where the age of a woman is recorded), was the occasion of Abraham's purchasing the cave of Machpelah as a family burying-place.
In the allegory of Gal. 4:22-31 she is the type of the "Jerusalem which is above." She is also mentioned as Malachia in Heb. 11:11 among the Old Testament worthies, who "all died in faith." (See ABRAHAM.)
- Malachiai My princess, the name originally borne by Malachiah (Gen. 11:31; 17:15).
- Malachidine stone (Rev. 4:3, R.V., "sardius;" Heb. `odhem; LXX., Gr. sardion, from a root meaning "red"), a gem of a blood-red colour. It was called "sardius" because obtained from Malachidis in Lydia. It is enumerated among the precious stones in the high priest's breastplate (Ex. 28:17; 39:10). It is our red carnelian.
- Malachiepta (Luke 4:26). See ZAREPHATH.
- Malachidis The metropolis of Lydia in Asia Minor. It stood on the river Pactolus, at the foot of mount Tmolus. Here was one of the seven Asiatic churches (Rev. 3:1-6). It is now a ruin called Sert-Kalessi.
- Malachidonyx (Rev. 21:20), a species of the carnelian combining the sard and the onyx, having three layers of opaque spots or stripes on a transparent red basis. Like the sardine, it is a variety of the chalcedony.
- Malachigon (In the inscriptions, "Malachira-yukin" [the god] has appointed the king; also "Malachiru-kinu," the legitimate king.) On the death of Shalmaneser (B.C. 723), one of the Assyrian generals established himself on the vacant throne, taking the name of "Malachigon," after that of the famous monarch, the Malachigon of Accad, founder of the first Semitic empire, as well as of one of the most famous libraries of Chaldea. He forthwith began a conquering career, and became one of the most powerful of the Assyrian monarchs. He is mentioned by name in the Bible only in connection with the siege of Ashdod (Isa. 20:1).
At the very beginning of his reign he besieged and took the city of Samaria (2 Kings 17:6; 18:9-12). On an inscription found in the palace he built at Khorsabad, near Nieveh, he says, "The city of Samaria I besieged, I took; 27,280 of its inhabitants I carried away; fifty chariots that were among them I collected," etc. The northern kingdom he changed into an Assyrian satrapy. He afterwards drove Merodach-baladan (q.v.), who kept him at bay for twelve years, out of Babylon, which he entered in triumph. By a succession of victories he gradually enlarged and consolidated the empire, which now extended from the frontiers of Egypt in the west to the mountains of Elam in the east, and thus carried almost to completion the ambitious designs of Tiglath-pileser (q.v.). He was murdered by one of his own soldiers (B.C. 705) in his palace at Khorsabad, after a reign of sixteen years, and was succeeded by his son Sennacherib.
- Malcam (2 Sam. 12:30, Heb., R.V., "their king;" Jer. 49:1, 3, R.V.; Zephaniah 1:5), the national idol of the Ammonites. When Rabbah was taken by David, the crown of this idol was among the spoils. The weight is said to have been "a talent of gold" (above 100 lbs.). The expression probably denotes its value rather than its weight. It was adorned with precious stones.
- Malchiah Jehovah's king. (1.) The head of the fifth division of the priests in the time of David (1 Chr. 24:9).
(5.) Neh. 3:11.
(6.) Neh. 3:31.
(7.) Neh. 3:14.
- Malchi-shua King of help, one of the four sons of Saul (1 Chr. 8:33). He perished along with his father in the battle of Gilboa (1 Sam. 31:2).
- Malchus Reigning, the personal servant or slave of the high priest Caiaphas. He is mentioned only by John. Peter cut off his right ear in the garden of Gethsemane (John 18:10). But our Lord cured it with a touch (Matt. 26:51; Mark 14:47; Luke 22:51). This was the last miracle of bodily cure wrought by our Lord. It is not mentioned by John.
- Mallothi My fulness, a Kohathite Levite, one of the sons of Heman the Levite (1 Chr. 25:4), and chief of the nineteenth division of the temple musicians (26).
- Mallows Occurs only in Job 30:4 (R.V., "saltwort"). The word so rendered (malluah, from melah, "salt") most probably denotes the Atriplex halimus of Linnaeus, a species of sea purslane found on the shores of the Dead Sea, as also of the Mediterranean, and in salt marshes. It is a tall shrubby orach, growing to the height sometimes of 10 feet. Its buds and leaves, with those of other saline plants, are eaten by the poor in Palestine.
- Malluch Reigned over, or reigning. (1.) A Levite of the family of Merari (1 Chr. 6:44).
- Mammon A Chaldee or Syriac word meaning "wealth" or "riches" (Luke 16:9-11); also, by personification, the god of riches (Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:9-11).
(2.) The name of the place in the neighbourhood of Hebron (q.v.) where Abraham dwelt (Gen. 23:17, 19; 35:27); called also in Authorized Version (13:18) the "plain of Mamre," but in Revised Version more correctly "the oaks [marg., `terebinths'] of Mamre." The name probably denotes the "oak grove" or the "wood of Mamre," thus designated after Abraham's ally.
This "grove" must have been within sight of or "facing" Machpelah (q.v.). The site of Mamre has been identified with Ballatet Selta, i.e., "the oak of rest", where there is a tree called "Abraham's oak," about a mile and a half west of Hebron. Others identify it with er-Rameh, 2 miles north of Hebron.
- Man (1.) Heb. ` Adam, used as the proper name of the first man. The name is derived from a word meaning "to be red," and thus the first man was called Adam because he was formed from the red earth. It is also the generic name of the human race (Gen. 1:26, 27; 5:2; 8:21; Deut. 8:3). Its equivalents are the Latin homo and the Greek anthropos (Matt. 5:13, 16). It denotes also man in opposition to woman (Gen. 3:12; Matt. 19:10).
(2.) Heb. `ish, like the Latin vir and Greek aner, denotes properly a man in opposition to a woman (1 Sam. 17:33; Matt. 14:21); a husband (Gen. 3:16; Hos. 2:16); man with reference to excellent mental qualities.
Man was created by the immediate hand of God, and is generically different from all other creatures (Gen. 1:26, 27; 2:7). His complex nature is composed of two elements, two distinct substances, viz., body and soul (Gen. 2:7; Eccl. 12:7; 2 Cor. 5:1-8).
The words translated "spirit" and "soul," in 1 Thess. 5:23, Heb. 4:12, are habitually used interchangeably (Matt. 10:28; 16:26; 1 Pet. 1:22). The "spirit" (Gr. pneuma) is the soul as rational; the "soul" (Gr. psuche) is the same, considered as the animating and vital principle of the body.
Man was created in the likeness of God as to the perfection of his nature, in knowledge (Col. 3:10), righteousness, and holiness (Eph. 4:24), and as having dominion over all the inferior creatures (Gen. 1:28). He had in his original state God's law written on his heart, and had power to obey it, and yet was capable of disobeying, being left to the freedom of his own will. He was created with holy dispositions, prompting him to holy actions; but he was fallible, and did fall from his integrity (3:1-6). (See FALL.)
- Manaen Consoler, a Christian teacher at Antioch. Nothing else is known of him beyond what is stated in Acts 13:1, where he is spoken of as having been brought up with (Gr. syntrophos; rendered in R.V. "foster brother" of) Herod, i.e., Herod Antipas, the tetrach, who, with his brother Archelaus, was educated at Rome.
- Mandrakes Hebrew dudaim; i.e., "love-plants", occurs only in Gen. 30:14-16 and [[../Solomon, Song of|Cant.]] 7:13. Many interpretations have been given of this word dudaim. It has been rendered "violets," "Lilies," "jasmines," "truffles or mushrooms," "flowers," the "citron," etc. The weight of authority is in favour of its being regarded as the Mandragora officinalis of botanists, "a near relative of the night-shades, the `apple of Sodom' and the potato plant." It possesses stimulating and narcotic properties (Gen. 30:14-16). The fruit of this plant resembles the potato-apple in size, and is of a pale orange colour. It has been called the "love-apple." The Arabs call it "Satan's apple." It still grows near Jerusalem, and in other parts of Palestine.
- Maneh Portion (Ezek. 45:12), rendered "pound" (1 Kings 10:17; Ezra 2:69; Neh. 7:71, 72), a weight variously estimated, probably about 2 1/2 or 3 lbs. A maneh of gold consisted of a hundred common shekels (q.v.). (Comp. 1 Kings 10:17, and 2 Chr. 9:16).
- Manger (Luke 2:7, 12, 16), the name (Gr. phatne, rendered "stall" in Luke 13:15) given to the place where the infant Redeemer was laid. It seems to have been a stall or crib for feeding cattle. Stables and mangers in our modern sense were in ancient times unknown in the East. The word here properly denotes "the ledge or projection in the end of the room used as a stall on which the hay or other food of the animals of travellers was placed." (See INN.)
- Manna Heb. man-hu, "What is that?" the name given by the Israelites to the food miraculously supplied to them during their wanderings in the wilderness (Ex. 16:15-35). The name is commonly taken as derived from man, an expression of surprise, "What is it?" but more probably it is derived from manan, meaning "to allot," and hence denoting an "allotment" or a "gift." This "gift" from God is described as "a small round thing," like the "hoar-frost on the ground," and "like coriander seed," "of the colour of bdellium," and in taste "like wafers made with honey." It was capable of being baked and boiled, ground in mills, or beaten in a mortar (Ex. 16:23; Num. 11:7). If any was kept over till the following morning, it became corrupt with worms; but as on the Sabbath none fell, on the preceding day a double portion was given, and that could be kept over to supply the wants of the Sabbath without becoming corrupt. Directions concerning the gathering of it are fully given (Ex. 16:16-18, 33; Deut. 8:3, 16). It fell for the first time after the eighth encampment in the desert of Sin, and was daily furnished, except on the Sabbath, for all the years of the wanderings, till they encamped at Gilgal, after crossing the Jordan, when it suddenly ceased, and where they "did eat of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more" (Josh. 5:12). They now no longer needed the "bread of the wilderness."
This manna was evidently altogether a miraculous gift, wholly different from any natural product with which we are acquainted, and which bears this name. The manna of European commerce comes chiefly from Calabria and Sicily. It drops from the twigs of a species of ash during the months of June and July. At night it is fluid and resembles dew, but in the morning it begins to harden. The manna of the Sinaitic peninsula is an exudation from the "manna-tamarisk" tree (Tamarix mannifera), the el-tarfah of the Arabs. This tree is found at the present day in certain well-watered valleys in the peninsula of Sinai. The manna with which the people of Israel were fed for forty years differs in many particulars from all these natural products.
- Manoah Rest, a Danite, the father of Samson (Judg. 13:1-22, and 14:2-4).
Man of sin
- Man of sin A designation of Antichrist given in 2 Thess. 2:3-10, usually regarded as descriptive of the Papal power; but "in whomsoever these distinctive features are found, whoever wields temporal and spiritual power in any degree similar to that in which the man of sin is here described as wielding it, he, be he pope or potentate, is beyond all doubt a distinct type of Antichrist."
- Manslayer One who was guilty of accidental homicide, and was entitled to flee to a city of refuge (Num. 35:6, 12, 22, 23), his compulsory residence in which terminated with the death of the high priest. (See CITY OF REFUGE.)
- Mantle (1.) Heb. `addereth, a large over-garment. This word is used of Elijah's mantle (1 Kings 19:13, 19; 2 Kings 2:8, 13, etc.), which was probably a sheepskin. It appears to have been his only garment, a strip of skin or leather binding it to his loins. 'Addereth twice occurs with the epithet "hairy" (Gen. 25:25; Zech. 13:4, R.V.). It is the word denoting the "goodly Babylonish garment" which Achan coveted (Josh. 7:21).
(2.) Heb. me'il, frequently applied to the "robe of the ephod" (Ex. 28:4, 31; Lev. 8:7), which was a splendid under tunic wholly of blue, reaching to below the knees. It was woven without seam, and was put on by being drawn over the head. It was worn not only by priests but by kings (1 Sam. 24:4), prophets (15:27), and rich men (Job 1:20; 2:12). This was the "little coat" which Samuel's mother brought to him from year to year to Shiloh (1 Sam. 2:19), a miniature of the official priestly robe.
(3.) Semikah, "a rug," the garment which Jael threw as a covering over Sisera (Judg. 4:18). The Hebrew word occurs nowhere else in Scripture.
(4.) Maataphoth, plural, only in Isa. 3:22, denoting a large exterior tunic worn by females. (See DRESS.)
- Maoch Compressed, the father of Achish, king of Gath (1 Sam. 27:2). Called also Maachah (1 Kings 2:39).
- Maon Habitation, a town in the tribe of Judah, about 7 miles south of Hebron, which gave its name to the wilderness, the district round the conical hill on which the town stood. Here David hid from Saul, and here Nabal had his possessions and his home (1 Sam. 23:24, 25; 25:2). "Only some small foundations of hewn stone, a square enclosure, and several cisterns are now to be seen at Maon. Are they the remains of Nabal's great establishment?" The hill is now called Tell M'ain.
- Mara Bitter; sad, a symbolical name which Naomi gave to herself because of her misfortunes (Ruth 1:20).
- Marah Bitterness, a fountain at the sixth station of the Israelites (Ex. 15:23, 24; Num. 33:8) whose waters were so bitter that they could not drink them. On this account they murmured against Moses, who, under divine direction, cast into the fountain "a certain tree" which took away its bitterness, so that the people drank of it. This was probably the `Ain Hawarah, where there are still several springs of water that are very "bitter," distant some 47 miles from `Ayun Mousa.
- Maralah Trembling, a place on the southern boundary of Zebulun (Josh. 19:11). It has been identified with the modern M'alul, about 4 miles south-west of Nazareth.
- Maranatha (1 Cor. 16:22) consists of two Aramean words, Maran'athah, meaning, "our Lord comes," or is "coming." If the latter interpretation is adopted, the meaning of the phrase is, "Our Lord is coming, and he will judge those who have set him at nought." (Comp. Phil. 4:5; James 5:8, 9.)
- Marble As a mineral, consists of carbonate of lime, its texture varying from the highly crystalline to the compact. In Esther 1:6 there are four Hebrew words which are rendered marble:, (1.) Shesh, "pillars of marble." But this word probably designates dark-blue limestone rather than marble. (2.) Dar, some regard as Parian marble. It is here rendered "white marble." But nothing is certainly known of it. (3.) Bahat, "red marble," probably the verd-antique or half-porphyry of Egypt. (4.) Sohareth, "black marble," probably some spotted variety of marble. "The marble pillars and tesserae of various colours of the palace at Susa came doubtless from Persia itself, where marble of various colours is found, especially in the province of Hamadan Susiana." The marble of Solomon's architectural works may have been limestone from near Jerusalem, or from Lebanon, or possibly white marble from Arabia. Herod employed Parian marble in the temple, and marble columns still exist in great abundance at Jerusalem.
- Marcheshvan The post-biblical name of the month which was the eighth of the sacred and the second of the civil year of the Jews. It began with the new moon of our November. It is once called Bul (1 Kings 6:38). Assyrian, Arah Samna, "eighth month,"
- Mareshah Possession, a city in the plain of Judah (John. 15:44). Here Asa defeated Zerah the Ethiopian (2 Chr. 14:9, 10). It is identified with the ruin el-Mer'ash, about 1 1/2 mile south of Beit Jibrin.
- Maroth Bitterness; i.e., "perfect grief", a place not far from Jerusalem; mentioned in connection with the invasion of the Assyrian army (Micah 1:12).
- Marriage Was instituted in Paradise when man was in innocence (Gen. 2:18-24). Here we have its original charter, which was confirmed by our Lord, as the basis on which all regulations are to be framed (Matt. 19:4, 5). It is evident that monogamy was the original law of marriage (Matt. 19:5; 1 Cor. 6:16). This law was violated in after times, when corrupt usages began to be introduced (Gen. 4:19; 6:2). We meet with the prevalence of polygamy and concubinage in the patriarchal age (Gen. 16:1-4; 22:21-24; 28:8, 9; 29:23-30, etc.). Polygamy was acknowledged in the Mosaic law and made the basis of legislation, and continued to be practised all down through the period of Jewish histroy to the Captivity, after which there is no instance of it on record.
It seems to have been the practice from the beginning for fathers to select wives for their sons (Gen. 24:3; 38:6). Sometimes also proposals were initiated by the father of the maiden (Ex. 2:21). The brothers of the maiden were also sometimes consulted (Gen. 24:51; 34:11), but her own consent was not required. The young man was bound to give a price to the father of the maiden (31:15; 34:12; Ex. 22:16, 17; 1 Sam. 18:23, 25; Ruth 4:10; Hos. 3:2) On these patriarchal customs the Mosaic law made no change.
In the pre-Mosaic times, when the proposals were accepted and the marriage price given, the bridegroom could come at once and take away his bride to his own house (Gen. 24:63-67). But in general the marriage was celebrated by a feast in the house of the bride's parents, to which all friends were invited (29:22, 27); and on the day of the marriage the bride, concealed under a thick veil, was conducted to her future husband's home.
Our Lord corrected many false notions then existing on the subject of marriage (Matt. 22:23-30), and placed it as a divine institution on the highest grounds. The apostles state clearly and enforce the nuptial duties of husband and wife (Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet. 3:1-7). Marriage is said to be "honourable" (Heb. 13:4), and the prohibition of it is noted as one of the marks of degenerate times (1 Tim. 4:3).
The marriage relation is used to represent the union between God and his people (Isa. 54:5; Jer. 3:1-14; Hos. 2:9, 20). In the New Testament the same figure is employed in representing the love of Christ to his saints (Eph. 5:25-27). The Church of the redeemed is the "Bride, the Lamb's wife" (Rev. 19:7-9).
- Marriage-feasts (John 2:1-11) "lasted usually for a whole week; but the cost of such prolonged rejoicing is very small in the East. The guests sit round the great bowl or bowls on the floor, the meal usually consisting of a lamb or kid stewed in rice or barley. The most honoured guests sit nearest, others behind; and all in eating dip their hand into the one smoking mound, pieces of the thin bread, bent together, serving for spoons when necessary. After the first circle have satisfied themselves, those lower in honour sit down to the rest, the whole company being men, for women are never seen at a feast. Water is poured on the hands before eating; and this is repeated when the meal closes, the fingers having first been wiped on pieces of bread, which, after serving the same purpose as table-napkins with us, are thrown on the ground to be eaten by any dog that may have stolen in from the streets through the ever-open door, or picked up by those outside when gathered and tossed out to them (Matt. 15:27; Mark 7:28). Rising from the ground and retiring to the seats round the walls, the guests then sit down cross-legged and gossip, or listen to recitals, or puzzle over riddles, light being scantily supplied by a small lamp or two, or if the night be chilly, by a smouldering fire of weeds kindled in the middle of the room, perhaps in a brazier, often in a hole in the floor. As to the smoke, it escapes as it best may; but indeed there is little of it, though enough to blacken the water or wine or milk skins hung up on pegs on the wall. (Comp. Ps. 119:83.) To some such marriage-feast Jesus and his five disciples were invited at Cana of Galilee." Geikie's Life of Christ. (See CANA.)
- Mars Hill The Areopagus or rocky hill in Athens, north-west of the Acropolis, where the Athenian supreme tribunal and court of morals was held. From some part of this hill Paul delivered the address recorded in Acts 17:22-31. (See AREOPAGUS.)
- Martyr One who bears witness of the truth, and suffers death in the cause of Christ (Acts 22:20; Rev. 2:13; 17:6). In this sense Stephen was the first martyr. The Greek word so rendered in all other cases is translated "witness." (1.) In a court of justice (Matt. 18:16; 26:65; Acts 6:13; 7:58; Heb. 10:28; 1 Tim. 5:19). (2.) As of one bearing testimony to the truth of what he has seen or known (Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8, 22; Rom. 1:9; 1 Thess. 2:5, 10; 1 John 1:2).
- Maschil Instructing, occurs in the title of thirteen Psalms (32, 42, 44, etc.). It denotes a song enforcing some lesson of wisdom or piety, a didactic song. In Ps. 47:7 it is rendered, Authorized Version, "with understanding;" Revised Version, marg., "in a skilful psalm."
- Mash (= Meshech 1 Chr. 1:17), one of the four sons of Aram, and the name of a tribe descended from him (Gen. 10:23) inhabiting some part probably of Mesopotamia. Some have supposed that they were the inhabitants of Mount Masius, the present Karja Baghlar, which forms part of the chain of Taurus.
- Mason An artificer in stone. The Tyrians seem to have been specially skilled in architecture (1 Kings 5:17, 18; 2 Sam. 5:11). This art the Hebrews no doubt learned in Egypt (Ex. 1:11, 14), where ruins of temples and palaces fill the traveller with wonder at the present day.
- Masrekah Vineyard of noble vines, a place in Idumea, the native place of Samlah, one of the Edomitish kings (Gen. 36:36; 1 Chr. 1:47).
- Massa A lifting up, gift, one of the sons of Ishmael, the founder of an Arabian tribe (Gen. 25:14); a nomad tribe inhabiting the Arabian desert toward Babylonia.
- Massah Trial, temptation, a name given to the place where the Israelites, by their murmuring for want of water, provoked Jehovah to anger against them. It is also called Meribah (Ex. 17:7; Deut. 6:16; Ps. 95:8, 9; Heb. 3:8).
- Mattan Gift. (1.) A priest of Baal, slain before his altar during the reformation under Jehoiada (2 Kings 11:18).
(3.) The father of Shephatiah (Jer. 38:1).
- Mattanah A gift, a station of the Israelites (Num. 21:18, 19) between the desert and the borders of Moab, in the Wady Waleh.
- Mattaniah Gift of Jehovah. (1.) A Levite, son of Heman, the chief of the ninth class of temple singers (1 Chr. 25:4, 16).
(2.) A Levite who assisted in purifying the temple at the reformation under Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29:13).
(2.) The son of Semei, in the same genealogy (Luke 3:26).
- Matthan Gift, one of our Lord's ancestry (Matt. 1:15).
(2.) Son of another Levi (Luke 3:29).
- Matthew Gift of God, a common Jewish name after the Exile. He was the son of Alphaeus, and was a publican or tax-gatherer at Capernaum. On one occasion Jesus, coming up from the side of the lake, passed the custom-house where Matthew was seated, and said to him, "Follow me." Matthew arose and followed him, and became his disciple (Matt. 9:9). Formerly the name by which he was known was Levi (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27); he now changed it, possibly in grateful memory of his call, to Matthew. The same day on which Jesus called him he made a "great feast" (Luke 5:29), a farewell feast, to which he invited Jesus and his disciples, and probably also many of old associates. He was afterwards selected as one of the twelve (6:15). His name does not occur again in the Gospel history except in the lists of the apostles. The last notice of him is in Acts 1:13. The time and manner of his death are unknown.
Matthew, Gospel according to
- Matthew, Gospel according to The author of this book was beyond a doubt the Matthew, an apostle of our Lord, whose name it bears. He wrote the Gospel of Christ according to his own plans and aims, and from his own point of view, as did also the other "evangelists."
As to the time of its composition, there is little in the Gospel itself to indicate. It was evidently written before the destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. 24), and some time after the events it records. The probability is that it was written between the years A.D. 60 and 65.
The cast of thought and the forms of expression employed by the writer show that this Gospel was written for Jewish Christians of Palestine. His great object is to prove that Jesus of Nazareth was the promised Messiah, and that in him the ancient prophecies had their fulfilment. The Gospel is full of allusions to those passages of the Old Testament in which Christ is predicted and foreshadowed. The one aim prevading the whole book is to show that Jesus is he "of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write." This Gospel contains no fewer than sixty-five references to the Old Testament, forty-three of these being direct verbal citations, thus greatly outnumbering those found in the other Gospels. The main feature of this Gospel may be expressed in the motto, "I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."
As to the language in which this Gospel was written there is much controversy. Many hold, in accordance with old tradition, that it was originally written in Hebrew (i.e., the Aramaic or Syro-Chaldee dialect, then the vernacular of the inhabitants of Palestine), and afterwards translated into Greek, either by Matthew himself or by some person unknown. This theory, though earnestly maintained by able critics, we cannot see any ground for adopting. From the first this Gospel in Greek was received as of authority in the Church. There is nothing in it to show that it is a translation. Though Matthew wrote mainly for the Jews, yet they were everywhere familiar with the Greek language. The same reasons which would have suggested the necessity of a translation into Greek would have led the evangelist to write in Greek at first. It is confessed that this Gospel has never been found in any other form than that in which we now possess it.
The leading characteristic of this Gospel is that it sets forth the kingly glory of Christ, and shows him to be the true heir to David's throne. It is the Gospel of the kingdom. Matthew uses the expression "kingdom of heaven" (thirty-two times), while Luke uses the expression "kingdom of God" (thirty-three times). Some Latinized forms occur in this Gospel, as kodrantes (Matt. 5:26), for the Latin quadrans, and phragello (27:26), for the Latin flagello. It must be remembered that Matthew was a tax-gatherer for the Roman government, and hence in contact with those using the Latin language.
As to the relation of the Gospels to each other, we must maintain that each writer of the synoptics (the first three) wrote independently of the other two, Matthew being probably first in point of time.
The book is fitly divided into these four parts: (1.) Containing the genealogy, the birth, and the infancy of Jesus (1; 2).
(3.) The discourses and actions of Christ in Galilee (4:12-20:16).
(4.) The sufferings, death and resurrection of our Lord (20:17-28).
- Mattithiah Gift of Jehovah. (1.) One of the sons of Jeduthun (1 Chr. 25:3, 21).
(2.) The eldest son of Shallum, of the family of Korah (1 Chr. 9:31).
- Mattock (1.) Heb. ma'eder, an instrument for dressing or pruning a vineyard (Isa. 7:25); a weeding-hoe.
(2.) Heb. mahareshah (1 Sam. 13:1), perhaps the ploughshare or coulter.
(3.) Heb. herebh, marg. of text (2 Chr. 34:6). Authorized Version, "with their mattocks," marg. "mauls." The Revised Version renders "in their ruins," marg. "with their axes." The Hebrew text is probably corrupt.
- Maul An old name for a mallet, the rendering of the Hebrew mephits (Prov. 25:18), properly a war-club.
- Mazzaroth Prognostications, found only Job 38:32, probably meaning "the twelve signs" (of the zodiac), as in the margin (comp. 2 Kings 23:5).
- Meadow (1.) Heb. ha'ahu (Gen. 41:2, 18), probably an Egyptain word transferred to the Hebrew; some kind of reed or water-plant. In the Revised Version it is rendered "reed-grass", i.e., the sedge or rank grass by the river side.
(2.) Heb. ma'areh (Judg. 20:33), pl., "meadows of Gibeah" (R.V., after the LXX., "Maareh-geba"). Some have adopted the rendering "after Gibeah had been left open." The Vulgate translates the word "from the west."
- Meals Are at the present day "eaten from a round table little higher than a stool, guests sitting cross-legged on mats or small carpets in a circle, and dipping their fingers into one large dish heaped with a mixture of boiled rice and other grain and meat. But in the time of our Lord, and perhaps even from the days of Amos (6:4, 7), the foreign custom had been largely introduced of having broad couches, forming three sides of a small square, the guests reclining at ease on their elbows during meals, with their faces to the space within, up and down which servants passed offering various dishes, or in the absence of servants, helping themselves from dishes laid on a table set between the couches." Geikie's Life of Christ. (Comp. Luke 7:36-50.) (See ABRAHAM'S BOSOM; BANQUET; FEAST.)
- Mearah A cave, a place in the northern boundary of Palestine (Josh. 13:4). This may be the cave of Jezzin in Lebanon, 10 miles east of Sidon, on the Damascus road; or probably, as others think, Mogheirizeh, north-east of Sidon.
- Measure Several words are so rendered in the Authorized Version. (1.) Those which are indefinite. (a) Hok, Isa. 5:14, elsewhere "statute." (b) Mad, Job 11:9; Jer. 13:25, elsewhere "garment." (c) Middah, the word most frequently thus translated, Ex. 26:2, 8, etc. (d) Mesurah, Lev. 19:35; 1 Chr. 23:29. (e) Mishpat, Jer. 30:11, elsewhere "judgment." (f) Mithkoneth and token, Ezek. 45:11. (g) In New Testament metron, the usual Greek word thus rendered (Matt. 7:2; 23:32; Mark 4:24).
(2.) Those which are definite. (a) `Eyphah, Deut. 25:14, 15, usually "ephah." (b) Ammah, Jer. 51:13, usually "cubit." (c) Kor, 1 Kings 4:22, elsewhere "cor;" Greek koros, Luke 16:7. (d) Seah, Gen. 18:6; 1 Sam. 25:18, a seah; Greek saton, Matt. 13:33; Luke 13:21. (e) Shalish, "a great measure," Isa. 40:12; literally a third, i.e., of an ephah. (f) In New Testament batos, Luke 16:6, the Hebrew "bath;" and choinix, Rev. 6:6, the choenix, equal in dry commodities to one-eighth of a modius.
- Meat-offering (Heb. minhah), originally a gift of any kind. This Hebrew word came latterly to denote an "unbloody" sacrifice, as opposed to a "bloody" sacrifice. A "drink-offering" generally accompanied it. The law regarding it is given in Lev. 2, and 6:14-23. It was a recognition of the sovereignty of God and of his bounty in giving all earthly blessings (1 Chr. 29:10-14; Deut. 26:5-11). It was an offering which took for granted and was based on the offering for sin. It followed the sacrifice of blood. It was presented every day with the burnt-offering (Ex. 29:40, 41), and consisted of flour or of cakes prepared in a special way with oil and frankincense.
- Mebunnai Construction, building of Jehovah, one of David's bodyguard (2 Sam. 23:27; comp. 21:18); called Sibbechai and Sibbecai (1 Chr. 11:29; 27:11).
- Medad Love, one of the elders nominated to assist Moses in the government of the people. He and Eldad "prophesied in the camp" (Num. 11:24-29).
- Mede (Heb. Madai), a Median or inhabitant of Media (Dan. 11:1). In Gen. 10:2 the Hebrew word occurs in the list of the sons of Japheth. But probably this is an ethnic and not a personal name, and denotes simply the Medes as descended from Japheth.
- Medeba Waters of quiet, an ancient Moabite town (Num. 21:30). It was assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Josh. 13:16). Here was fought the great battle in which Joab defeated the Ammonites and their allies (1 Chr. 19:7-15; comp. 2 Sam. 10:6-14). In the time of Isaiah (15:2) the Moabites regained possession of it from the Ammonites. (See HANUN.)
The ruins of this important city, now Madeba or Madiyabah, are seen about 8 miles south-west of Heshbon, and 14 east of the Dead Sea. Among these are the ruins of what must have been a large temple, and of three cisterns of considerable extent, which are now dry. These cisterns may have originated the name Medeba, "waters of quiet." (See OMRI.)
- Media Heb. Madai, which is rendered in the Authorized Version (1) "Madai," Gen. 10:2; (2) "Medes," 2 Kings 17:6; 18:11; (3) "Media," Esther 1:3; 10:2; Isa. 21:2; Dan. 8:20; (4) "Mede," only in Dan. 11:1.
We first hear of this people in the Assyrian cuneiform records, under the name of Amada, about B.C. 840. They appear to have been a branch of the Aryans, who came from the east bank of the Indus, and were probably the predominant race for a while in the Mesopotamian valley. They consisted for three or four centuries of a number of tribes, each ruled by its own chief, who at length were brought under the Assyrian yoke (2 Kings 17:6). From this subjection they achieved deliverance, and formed themselves into an empire under Cyaxares (B.C. 633). This monarch entered into an alliance with the king of Babylon, and invaded Assyria, capturing and destroying the city of Nineveh (B.C. 625), thus putting an end to the Assyrian monarchy (Nah. 1:8; 2:5, 6; 3:13, 14).
Media now rose to a place of great power, vastly extending its boundaries. But it did not long exist as an independent kingdom. It rose with Cyaxares, its first king, and it passed away with him; for during the reign of his son and successor Astyages, the Persians waged war against the Medes and conquered them, the two nations being united under one monarch, Cyrus the Persian (B.C. 558).
The "cities of the Medes" are first mentioned in connection with the deportation of the Israelites on the destruction of Samaria (2 Kings 17:6; 18:11). Soon afterwards Isaiah (13:17; 21:2) speaks of the part taken by the Medes in the destruction of Babylon (comp. Jer. 51:11, 28). Daniel gives an account of the reign of Darius the Mede, who was made viceroy by Cyrus (Dan. 6:1-28). The decree of Cyrus, Ezra informs us (6:2-5), was found in "the palace that is in the province of the Medes," Achmetha or Ecbatana of the Greeks, which is the only Median city mentioned in Scripture.
- Mediator One who intervenes between two persons who are at variance, with a view to reconcile them. This word is not found in the Old Testament; but the idea it expresses is found in Job 9:33, in the word "daysman" (q.v.), marg., "umpire."
This word is used in the New Testament to denote simply an internuncius, an ambassador, one who acts as a medium of communication between two contracting parties. In this sense Moses is called a mediator in Gal. 3:19.
Christ is the one and only mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). He makes reconciliation between God and man by his all-perfect atoning sacrifice. Such a mediator must be at once divine and human, divine, that his obedience and his sufferings might possess infinite worth, and that he might possess infinite wisdom and knowlege and power to direct all things in the kingdoms of providence and grace which are committed to his hands (Matt. 28:18; John 5:22, 25, 26, 27); and human, that in his work he might represent man, and be capable of rendering obedience to the law and satisfying the claims of justice (Heb. 2:17, 18; 4:15, 16), and that in his glorified humanity he might be the head of a glorified Church (Rom. 8:29).
This office involves the three functions of prophet, priest, and king, all of which are discharged by Christ both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation. These functions are so inherent in the one office that the quality appertaining to each gives character to every mediatorial act. They are never separated in the exercise of the office of mediator.
- Meekness A calm temper of mind, not easily provoked (James 3:13). Peculiar promises are made to the meek (Matt. 5:5; Isa. 66:2). The cultivation of this spirit is enjoined (Col. 3:12; 1 Tim. 6:11; Zephaniah 2:3), and is exemplified in Christ (Matt. 11:29), Abraham (Gen. 13; 16:5, 6) Moses (Num. 12:3), David (Zech. 12:8; 2 Sam. 16:10, 12), and Paul (1 Cor. 9:19).
- Megiddo Place of troops, originally one of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Josh. 12:21), belonged to the tribe of Manasseh (Judg. 1:27), but does not seem to have been fully occupied by the Israelites till the time of Solomon (1 Kings 4:12; 9:15).
The valley or plain of Megiddo was part of the plain of Esdraelon, the great battle-field of Palestine. It was here Barak gained a notable victory over Jabin, the king of Hazor, whose general, Sisera, led on the hostile army. Barak rallied the warriors of the northern tribes, and under the encouragement of Deborah (q.v.), the prophetess, attacked the Canaanites in the great plain. The army of Sisera was thrown into complete confusion, and was engulfed in the waters of the Kishon, which had risen and overflowed its banks (Judg. 4:5).
Many years after this (B.C. 610), Pharaohnecho II., on his march against the king of Assyria, passed through the plains of Philistia and Sharon; and King Josiah, attempting to bar his progress in the plain of Megiddo, was defeated by the Egyptians. He was wounded in battle, and died as they bore him away in his chariot towards Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chr. 35:22-24), and all Israel mourned for him. So general and bitter was this mourning that it became a proverb, to which Zechariah (12:11, 12) alludes. Megiddo has been identified with the modern el-Lejjun, at the head of the Kishon, under the north-eastern brow of Carmel, on the south-western edge of the plain of Esdraelon, and 9 miles west of Jezreel. Others identify it with Mujedd'a, 4 miles south-west of Bethshean, but the question of its site is still undetermined.
- Mehetabeel Whose benefactor is God, the father of Delaiah, and grandfather of Shemaiah, who joined Sanballat against Nehemiah (Neh. 6:10).
- Mehetabel Wife of Hadad, one of the kings of Edom (Gen. 36:39).
- Mehuman Faithful, one of the eunchs whom Ahasuerus (Xerxes) commanded to bring in Vashti (Esther 1:10).
- Mehunims Habitations, (2 Chr. 26:7; R.V. "Meunim," Vulg. Ammonitae), a people against whom Uzziah waged a successful war. This word is in Hebrew the plural of Ma'on, and thus denotes the Maonites who inhabited the country on the eastern side of the Wady el-Arabah. They are again mentioned in 1 Chr. 4:41 (R.V.), in the reign of King Hezekiah, as a Hamite people, settled in the eastern end of the valley of Gedor, in the wilderness south of Palestine. In this passage the Authorized Version has "habitation," erroneously following the translation of Luther.
- Me-jarkon Waters of yellowness, or clear waters, a river in the tribe of Dan (Josh. 19:46). It has been identified with the river `Aujeh, which rises at Antipatris.
- Melchizedek King of righteousness, the king of Salem (q.v.). All we know of him is recorded in Gen. 14:18-20. He is subsequently mentioned only once in the Old Testament, in Ps. 110:4. The typical significance of his history is set forth in detail in the Epistle to the Hebrews, ch. 7. The apostle there points out the superiority of his priesthood to that of Aaron in these several respects, (1) Even Abraham paid him tithes; (2) he blessed Abraham; (3) he is the type of a Priest who lives for ever; (4) Levi, yet unborn, paid him tithes in the person of Abraham; (5) the permanence of his priesthood in Christ implied the abrogation of the Levitical system; (6) he was made priest not without an oath; and (7) his priesthood can neither be transmitted nor interrupted by death: "this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood."
The question as to who this mysterious personage was has given rise to a great deal of modern speculation. It is an old tradition among the Jews that he was Shem, the son of Noah, who may have survived to this time. Melchizedek was a Canaanitish prince, a worshipper of the true God, and in his peculiar history and character an instructive type of our Lord, the great High Priest (Heb. 5:6, 7; 6:20). One of the Amarna tablets is from Ebed-Tob, king of Jerusalem, the successor of Melchizedek, in which he claims the very attributes and dignity given to Melchizedek in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
- Melea Fulness, the son of Menan and father of Eliakim, in the genealogy of our Lord (Luke 3:31).
- Melita (Acts 27:28), an island in the Mediterranean, the modern Malta. Here the ship in which Paul was being conveyed a prisoner to Rome was wrecked. The bay in which it was wrecked now bears the name of "St. Paul's Bay", "a certain creek with a shore." It is about 2 miles deep and 1 broad, and the whole physical condition of the scene answers the description of the shipwreck given in Acts 28. It was originally colonized by Phoenicians ("barbarians," 28:2). It came into the possession of the Greeks (B.C. 736), from whom it was taken by the Carthaginians (B.C. 528). In B.C. 242 it was conquered by the Romans, and was governed by a Roman propraetor at the time of the shipwreck (Acts 28:7). Since 1800, when the French garrison surrendered to the English force, it has been a British dependency. The island is about 17 miles long and 9 wide, and about 60 in circumference. After a stay of three months on this island, during which the "barbarians" showed them no little kindness, Julius procured for himself and his company a passage in another Alexandrian corn-ship which had wintered in the island, in which they proceeded on their voyage to Rome (Acts 28:13, 14).
- Melons Only in Num. 11:5, the translation of the Hebrew abattihim, the LXX. and Vulgate pepones, Arabic britikh. Of this plant there are various kinds, the Egyptian melon, the Cucumus chate, which has been called "the queen of cucumbers;" the water melon, the Cucurbita citrullus; and the common or flesh melon, the Cucumus melo. "A traveller in the East who recollects the intense gratitude which a gift of a slice of melon inspired while journeying over the hot and dry plains, will readily comprehend the regret with which the Hebrews in the Arabian desert looked back upon the melons of Egypt" (Kitto).
- Melzar Probably a Persian word meaning master of wine, i.e., chief butler; the title of an officer at the Babylonian court (Dan. 1:11, 16) who had charge of the diet of the Hebrew youths.
- Memphis Only in Hos. 9:6, Hebrew Moph. In Isa. 19:13; Jer. 2:16; 46:14, 19; Ezek. 30:13, 16, it is mentioned under the name Noph. It was the capital of Lower, i.e., of Northern Egypt. From certain remains found half buried in the sand, the site of this ancient city has been discovered near the modern village of Minyet Rahinch, or Mitraheny, about 16 miles above the ancient head of the Delta, and 9 miles south of Cairo, on the west bank of the Nile. It is said to have been founded by Menes, the first king of Egypt, and to have been in circumference about 19 miles. "There are few remains above ground," says Manning (The Land of the Pharaohs), "of the splendour of ancient Memphis. The city has utterly disappeared. If any traces yet exist, they are buried beneath the vast mounds of crumbling bricks and broken pottery which meet the eye in every direction. Near the village of Mitraheny is a colossal statue of Rameses the Great. It is apparently one of the two described by Herodotus and Diodorus as standing in front of the temple of Ptah. They were originally 50 feet in height. The one which remains, though mutilated, measures 48 feet. It is finely carved in limestone, which takes a high polish, and is evidently a portrait. It lies in a pit, which, during the inundation, is filled with water. As we gaze on this fallen and battered statue of the mighty conqueror who was probably contemporaneous with Moses, it is impossible not to remember the words of the prophet Isaiah, 19:13; 44:16-19, and Jeremiah , 46:19."
- Memucan Dignified, one of the royal counsellors at the court of Ahasuerus, by whose suggestion Vashti was divorced (Esther 1:14, 16, 21).
- Menahem Conforting, the son of Gadi, and successor of Shallum, king of Israel, whom he slew. After a reign of about ten years (B.C. 771-760) he died, leaving the throne to his son Pekahiah. His reign was one of cruelty and oppression (2 Kings 15:14-22). During his reign, Pul (q.v.), king of Assyria, came with a powerful force against Israel, but was induced to retire by a gift from Menahem of 1,000 talents of silver.
- Mene (Dan. 5:25, 26), numbered, one of the words of the mysterious inscription written "upon the plaister of the wall" in Belshazzar's palace at Babylon. The writing was explained by Daniel . (See BELSHAZZAR.)
- Meni Isa. 65:11, marg. (A.V., "that number;" R.V., "destiny"), probably an idol which the captive Israelites worshipped after the example of the Babylonians. It may have been a symbol of destiny. LXX., tuche.
- Meonenim (Judg. 9:37; A.V., "the plain of Meonenim;" R.V., "the oak of Meonenim") means properly "soothsayers" or "sorcerers," "wizards" (Deut. 18:10, 14; 2 Kings 21:6; Micah 5:12). This may be the oak at Shechem under which Abram pitched his tent (see SHECHEM), the "enchanter's oak," so called, perhaps, from Jacob's hiding the "strange gods" under it (Gen. 35:4).
- Mephaath Splendour, a Levitical city (Josh. 21:37) of the tribe of Reuben (13:18).
- Mephibosheth Exterminator of shame; i.e., of idols. (1.) The name of Saul's son by the concubine Rizpah (q.v.), the daughter of Aiah. He and his brother Armoni were with five others "hanged on a hill before the Lord" by the Gibeonites, and their bodies exposed in the sun for five months (2 Sam. 21:8-10). (2.) The son of Jonathan, and grandson of Saul (2 Sam. 4:4). He was but five years old when his father and grandfather fell on Mount Gilboa. The child's nurse hearing of this calamity, fled with him from Gibeah, the royal residence, and stumbling in her haste, the child was thrown to the ground and maimed in both his feet, and ever after was unable to walk (19:26). He was carried to the land of Gilead, where he found a refuge in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar, by whom he was brought up.
Some years after this, when David had subdued all the adversaries of Israel, he began to think of the family of Jonathan, and discovered that Mephibosheth was residing in the house of Machir. Thither he sent royal messengers, and brought him and his infant son to Jerusalem, where he ever afterwards resided (2 Sam. 9).
When David was a fugitive, according to the story of Ziba (2 Sam. 16:1-4) Mephibosheth proved unfaithful to him, and was consequently deprived of half of his estates; but according to his own story, however (19:24-30), he had remained loyal to his friend. After this incident he is only mentioned as having been protected by David against the vengeance the Gibeonites were permitted to execute on the house of Saul (21:7). He is also called Merib-baal (1 Chr. 8:34; 9:40). (See ZIBA.)
- Merab Increase, the eldest of Saul's two daughters (1 Sam. 14:49). She was betrothed to David after his victory over Goliath, but does not seem to have entered heartily into this arrangement (18:2, 17, 19). She was at length, however, married to Adriel of Abel-Meholah, a town in the Jordan valley, about 10 miles south of Bethshean, with whom the house of Saul maintained alliance. She had five sons, who were all put to death by the Gibeonites on the hill of Gibeah (2 Sam. 21:8).
- Meraiah Resistance, a chief priest, a contemporary of the high priest Joiakim (Neh. 12:12).
- Meraioth Rebellions. (1.) Father of Amariah, a high priest of the line of Eleazar (1 Chr. 6:6, 7, 52).
- Merari Sad; bitter, the youngest son of Levi, born before the descent of Jacob into Egypt, and one of the seventy who accompanied him thither (Gen. 46:11; Ex. 6:16). He became the head of one of the great divisions of the Levites (Ex. 6:19). (See MERARITES.)
- Merarites The descendants of Merari (Num. 26:57). They with the Gershonites and the Kohathites had charge of the tabernacle, which they had to carry from place to place (Num. 3:20, 33-37; 4:29-33). In the distribution of the oxen and waggons offered by the princes (Num. 7), Moses gave twice as many to the Merarites (four waggons and eight oxen) as he gave to the Gershonites, because the latter had to carry only the lighter furniture of the tabernacle, such as the curtains, hangings, etc., while the former had to carry the heavier portion, as the boards, bars, sockets, pillars, etc., and consequently needed a greater supply of oxen and waggons. This is a coincidence illustrative of the truth of the narrative. Their place in marching and in the camp was on the north of the tabernacle. The Merarites afterwards took part with the other Levitical families in the various functions of their office (1 Chr. 23:6, 21-23; 2 Chr. 29:12, 13). Twelve cities with their suburbs were assigned to them (Josh. 21:7, 34-40).
- Merathaim Double rebellion, probably a symbolical name given to Babylon (Jer. 50:21), denoting rebellion exceeding that of other nations.
- Merchant The Hebrew word so rendered is from a root meaning "to travel about," "to migrate," and hence "a traveller." In the East, in ancient times, merchants travelled about with their merchandise from place to place (Gen. 37:25; Job 6:18), and carried on their trade mainly by bartering (Gen. 37:28; 39:1). After the Hebrews became settled in Palestine they began to engage in commercial pursuits, which gradually expanded (49:13; Deut. 33:18; Judg. 5:17), till in the time of Solomon they are found in the chief marts of the world (1 Kings 9:26; 10:11, 26, 28; 22:48; 2 Chr. 1:16; 9:10, 21). After Solomon's time their trade with foreign nations began to decline. After the Exile it again expanded into wider foreign relations, because now the Jews were scattered in many lands.
- Mercurius The Hermes (i.e., "the speaker") of the Greeks (Acts 14:12), a heathen God represented as the constant attendant of Jupiter, and the god of eloquence. The inhabitants of Lystra took Paul for this god because he was the "chief speaker."
- Mercy Compassion for the miserable. Its object is misery. By the atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of mercy towards the sons of men, in harmony with the demands of truth and righteousness (Gen. 19:19; Ex. 20:6; 34:6, 7; Ps. 85:10; 86:15, 16). In Christ mercy and truth meet together. Mercy is also a Christian grace (Matt. 5:7; 18:33-35).
- Mercy-seat (Heb. kapporeth, a "covering;" LXX. and N.T., hilasterion; Vulg., propitiatorium), the covering or lid of the ark of the covenant (q.v.). It was of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, or perhaps rather a plate of solid gold, 2 1/2 cubits long and 1 1/2 broad (Ex. 25:17; 30:6; 31:7). It is compared to the throne of grace (Heb. 9:5; Eph. 2:6). The holy of holies is called the "place of the mercy-seat" (1 Chr. 28:11: Lev. 16:2).
It has been conjectured that the censer (thumiaterion, meaning "anything having regard to or employed in the burning of incense") mentioned in Heb. 9:4 was the "mercy-seat," at which the incense was burned by the high priest on the great day of atonement, and upon or toward which the blood of the goat was sprinkled (Lev. 16:11-16; comp. Num. 7:89 and Ex. 25:22).
- Meremoth Exaltations, heights, a priest who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:3), to whom were sent the sacred vessels (Ezra 8:33) belonging to the temple. He took part in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:4).
- Meribah Quarrel or strife. (1.) One of the names given by Moses to the fountain in the desert of Sin, near Rephidim, which issued from the rock in Horeb, which he smote by the divine command, "because of the chiding of the children of Israel" (Ex. 17:1-7). It was also called Massah (q.v.). It was probably in Wady Feiran, near Mount Serbal.
(2.) Another fountain having a similar origin in the desert of Zin, near to Kadesh (Num. 27:14). The two places are mentioned together in Deut. 33:8. Some think the one place is called by the two names (Ps. 81:7). In smiting the rock at this place Moses showed the same impatience as the people (Num. 20:10-12). This took place near the close of the wanderings in the desert (Num. 20:1-24; Deut. 32:51).
- Merib-baal Contender with Baal, (1 Chr. 8:34; 9:40), elsewhere called Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 4:4), the son of Jonathan.
- Merodach Death; slaughter, the name of a Babylonian god, probably the planet Mars (Jer. 50:2), or it may be another name of Bel, the guardian divinity of Babylon. This name frequently occurs as a surname to the kings of Assyria and Babylon.
- Merodach-baladan Merodach has given a son, (Isa. 39:1), "the hereditary chief of the Chaldeans, a small tribe at that time settled in the marshes at the mouth of the Euphrates, but in consequence of his conquest of Babylon afterwards, they became the dominant caste in Babylonia itself." One bearing this name sent ambassadors to Hezekiah (B.C. 721). He is also called Berodach-baladan (2 Kings 20:12; 2 Chr. 20:31). (See HEZEKIAH.)
- Merom Height, a lake in Northern Palestine through which the Jordan flows. It was the scene of the third and last great victory gained by Joshua over the Canaanites (Josh. 11:5-7). It is not again mentioned in Scripture. Its modern name is Bakrat el-Huleh. "The Ard el-Huleh, the centre of which the lake occupies, is a nearly level plain of 16 miles in length from north to south, and its breadth from east to west is from 7 to 8 miles. On the west it is walled in by the steep and lofty range of the hills of Kedesh-Naphtali; on the east it is bounded by the lower and more gradually ascending slopes of Bashan; on the north it is shut in by a line of hills hummocky and irregular in shape and of no great height, and stretching across from the mountains of Naphtali to the roots of Mount Hermon, which towers up at the north-eastern angle of the plain to a height of 10,000 feet. At its southern extremity the plain is similarly traversed by elevated and broken ground, through which, by deep and narrow clefts, the Jordan, after passing through Lake Huleh, makes its rapid descent to the Sea of Galilee."
The lake is triangular in form, about 4 1/2 miles in length by 3 1/2 at its greatest breadth. Its surface is 7 feet above that of the Mediterranean. It is surrounded by a morass, which is thickly covered with canes and papyrus reeds, which are impenetrable. Macgregor with his canoe, the Rob Roy, was the first that ever, in modern times, sailed on its waters. (See JORDAN.)
- Meronothite A name given to Jehdeiah, the herdsman of the royal asses in the time of David and Solomon (1 Chr. 27:30), probably as one being a native of some unknown town called Meronoth.
- Meroz A plain in the north of Palestine, the inhabitants of which were severely condemned because they came not to help Barak against Sisera (Judg. 5:23: comp. 21:8-10; 1 Sam. 11:7). It has been identified with Marassus, on a knoll to the north of Wady Jalud, but nothing certainly is known of it. Like Chorazin, it is only mentioned in Scripture in connection with the curse pronounced upon it.
- Mesha Middle district, Vulgate, Messa. (1.) A plain in that part of the boundaries of Arabia inhabited by the descendants of Joktan (Gen. 10:30).
(2.) Heb. meysh'a, "deliverance," the eldest son of Caleb (1 Chr. 2:42), and brother of Jerahmeel.
(3.) Heb. id, a king of Moab, the son of Chemosh-Gad, a man of great wealth in flocks and herds (2 Kings 3:4). After the death of Ahab at Ramoth-Gilead, Mesha shook off the yoke of Israel; but on the ascension of Jehoram to the throne of Israel, that king sought the help of Jehoshaphat in an attempt to reduce the Moabites again to their former condition. The united armies of the two kings came unexpectedly on the army of the Moabites, and gained over them an easy victory. The whole land was devastated by the conquering armies, and Mesha sought refuge in his last stronghold, Kir-harasheth (q.v.). Reduced to despair, he ascended the wall of the city, and there, in the sight of the allied armies, offered his first-born son a sacrifice to Chemosh, the fire-god of the Moabites. This fearful spectacle filled the beholders with horror, and they retired from before the besieged city, and recrossed the Jordan laden with spoil (2 Kings 3:25-27).
The exploits of Mesha are recorded in the Phoenician inscription on a block of black basalt found at Dibon, in Moab, usually called the "Moabite stone" (q.v.).
- Meshach The title given to Mishael, one of the three Hebrew youths who were under training at the Babylonian court for the rank of Magi (Dan. 1:7; 2:49; 3:12-30). This was probably the name of some Chaldean god.
- Meshech Drawing out, the sixth son of Japheth (Gen. 10:2), the founder of a tribe (1 Chr. 1:5; Ezek. 27:13; 38:2, 3). They were in all probability the Moschi, a people inhabiting the Moschian Mountains, between the Black and the Caspian Seas. In Ps. 120:5 the name occurs as simply a synonym for foreigners or barbarians. "During the ascendency of the Babylonians and Persians in Western Asia, the Moschi were subdued; but it seems probable that a large number of them crossed the Caucasus range and spread over the northern steppes, mingling with the Scythians. There they became known as Muscovs, and gave that name to the Russian nation and its ancient capital by which they are still generally known throughout the East"
- Meshelemiah Friendship of Jehovah, a Levite of the family of the Korhites, called also Shelemiah (1 Chr. 9:21; 26:1, 2, 9, 14). He was a temple gate-keeper in the time of David.
- Meshillemoth Requitals. (1.) The father of Berechiah (2 Chr. 28:12).
(2.) A priest, the son of Immer (Neh. 11:13).
- Meshullam Befriended. (1.) One of the chief Gadites in Bashan in the time of Jotham (1 Chr. 5:13).
(2.) Grandfather of Shaphan, "the scribe," in the reign of Josiah (2 Kings 22:3).
(4.) A Levite of the family of Kohath (2 Chr. 34:12), in the reign of Josiah.
(5.) 1 Chr. 8:17.
(6.) 1 Chr. 3:19.
(7.) Neh. 12:13.
(8.) A chief priest (Neh. 12:16).
(9.) One of the leading Levites in the time of Ezra (8:16).
(10.) A priest (1 Chr. 9:12).
- Mesopotamia The country between the two rivers (Heb. Aram-naharaim; i.e., "Syria of the two rivers"), the name given by the Greeks and Romans to the region between the Euphrates and the Tigris (Gen. 24:10; Deut. 23:4; Judg. 3:8, 10). In the Old Testament it is mentioned also under the name "Padan-aram;" i.e., the plain of Aram, or Syria (Gen. 25:20). The northern portion of this fertile plateau was the original home of the ancestors of the Hebrews (Gen. 11; Acts 7:2). From this region Isaac obtained his wife Rebecca (Gen. 24:10, 15), and here also Jacob sojourned (28:2-7) and obtained his wives, and here most of his sons were born (35:26; 46:15). The petty, independent tribes of this region, each under its own prince, were warlike, and used chariots in battle. They maintained their independence till after the time of David, when they fell under the dominion of Assyria, and were absorbed into the empire (2 Kings 19:13).
- Messenger (Heb. mal'ak, Gr. angelos), an angel, a messenger who runs on foot, the bearer of despatches (Job 1:14; 1 Sam. 11:7; 2 Chr. 36:22); swift of foot (2 Kings 9:18).
- Messiah (Heb. mashiah), in all the thirty-nine instances of its occurring in the Old Testament, is rendered by the LXX. "Christos." It means anointed. Thus priests (Ex. 28:41; 40:15; Num. 3:3), prophets (1 Kings 19:16), and kings (1 Sam. 9:16; 16:3; 2 Sam. 12:7) were anointed with oil, and so consecrated to their respective offices. The great Messiah is anointed "above his fellows" (Ps. 45:7); i.e., he embraces in himself all the three offices. The Greek form "Messias" is only twice used in the New Testament, in John 1:41 and 4:25 (R.V., "Messiah"), and in the Old Testament the word Messiah, as the rendering of the Hebrew, occurs only twice (Dan 9:25, 26; R.V., "the anointed one").
The first great promise (Gen. 3:15) contains in it the germ of all the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament regarding the coming of the Messiah and the great work he was to accomplish on earth. The prophecies became more definite and fuller as the ages rolled on; the light shone more and more unto the perfect day. Different periods of prophetic revelation have been pointed out, (1) the patriarchal; (2) the Mosaic; (3) the period of David; (4) the period of prophetism, i.e., of those prophets whose works form a part of the Old Testament canon. The expectations of the Jews were thus kept alive from generation to generation, till the "fulness of the times," when Messiah came, "made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law." In him all these ancient prophecies have their fulfilment. Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the great Deliverer who was to come. (Comp. Matt. 26:54; Mark 9:12; Luke 18:31; 22:37; John 5:39; Acts 2; 16:31; 26:22, 23.)
- Metheg-ammah Bridle of the mother, a figurative name for a chief city, as in 2 Sam. 8:1, "David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines" (R.V., "took the bridle of the mother-city"); i.e., subdued their capital or strongest city, viz., Gath (1 Chr. 18:1).
- Methusael Champion of El; man of God, a descendant of Cain (Gen. 4:18), so called, perhaps, to denote that even among the descendants of Cain God had not left himself without a witness.
- Methuselah Man of the dart, the son of Enoch, and grandfather of Noah. He was the oldest man of whom we have any record, dying at the age of nine hundred and sixty-nine years, in the year of the Flood (Gen. 5:21-27; 1 Chr. 1:3).
- Mezahab Water of gold, the father of Matred (Gen. 36:39; 1 Chr. 1:50), and grandfather of Mehetabel, wife of Hadar, the last king of Edom.
- Miamin =Mijamin, from the right hand. (1.) The head of one of the divisions of the priests (1 Chr. 24:9).
- Mibhar Choice, a Hagarene, one of David's warriors (1 Chr. 11:38); called also Bani the Gadite (2 Sam. 23:36).
- Mibsam Fragrance. (1.) One of Ishmael's twelve sons, and head of an Arab tribe (Gen. 25:13).
(2.) A son of Simeon (1 Chr. 4:25).
- Micaiah Who is like Jehovah?, the son of Imlah, a faithful prophet of Samaria (1 Kings 22:8-28). Three years after the great battle with Ben-hadad (20:29-34), Ahab proposed to Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, that they should go up against Ramoth-Gilead to do battle again with Ben-hadad. Jehoshaphat agreed, but suggested that inquiry should be first made "at the word of Jehovah." Ahab's prophets approved of the expedition; but Jehoshaphat, still dissatisfied, asked if there was no other prophet besides the four hundred that had appeared, and was informed of this Micaiah. He was sent for from prison, where he had been confined, probably on account of some prediction disagreeable to Ahab; and he condemned the expedition, and prophesied that it would end, as it did, in disaster. We hear nothing further of this prophet. Some have supposed that he was the unnamed prophet referred to in 1 Kings 20:35-42.
- Micha (1.) 2 Sam. 9:12 =MICAH (2).
(2.) The son of Zabdi, a Levite of the family of Asaph (Neh. 11:17, 22).
- Michaiah (1.) The queen-mother of King Abijah (2 Chr. 13:2). (See MAACAH ).
(2.) One of those sent out by Jehoshaphat to instruct the people in the law (2 Chr. 17:7).
(3.) 2 Kings 22:12.
(5.) A Levite (Neh. 12:35).
(6.) A priest (Neh. 12:41).
- Michal Rivulet, or who as God?, the younger of Saul's two daughters by his wife Ahinoam (1 Sam. 14:49, 50). "Attracted by the graces of his person and the gallantry of his conduct, she fell in love with David and became his wife" (18:20-28). She showed her affection for him by promoting his escape to Naioth when Saul sought his life (1 Sam. 19:12-17. Comp. Ps. 59. See TERAPHIM). After this she did not see David for many years. Meanwhile she was given in marriage to another man, Phalti or Phaltiel of Gallim (1 Sam. 25:44), but David afterwards formally reclaimed her as his lawful wife (2 Sam. 3:13-16). The relation between her and David soon after this was altered. They became alienated from each other. This happened on that memorable day when the ark was brought up in great triumph from its temporary resting-place to the Holy City. In David's conduct on that occasion she saw nothing but a needless humiliation of the royal dignity (1 Chr. 15:29). She remained childless, and thus the races of David and Saul were not mixed. In 2 Sam. 21:8 her name again occurs, but the name Merab should probably be here substituted for Michal (comp. 1 Sam. 18:19).
- Michmash Something hidden, a town of Benjamin (Ezra 2:27), east of Bethel and south of Migron, on the road to Jerusalem (Isa. 10:28). It lay on the line of march of an invading army from the north, on the north side of the steep and precipitous Wady es-Suweinit ("valley of the little thorn-tree" or "the acacia"), and now bears the name of Mukhmas. This wady is called "the passage of Michmash" (1 Sam. 13:23). Immediately facing Mukhmas, on the opposite side of the ravine, is the modern representative of Geba, and behind this again are Ramah and Gibeah.
This was the scene of a great battle fought between the army of Saul and the Philistines, who were utterly routed and pursued for some 16 miles towards Philistia as far as the valley of Aijalon. "The freedom of Benjamin secured at Michmash led through long years of conflict to the freedom of all its kindred tribes." The power of Benjamin and its king now steadily increased. A new spirit and a new hope were now at work in Israel. (See SAUL.)
- Michmethah Hiding-place, a town in the northern border of Ephraim and Manasseh, and not far west of Jordan (Josh. 16:6; 17:7).
- Michri Prize of Jehovah, a Benjamite, the father of Uzzi (1 Chr. 9:8).
- Michtam Writing; i.e., a poem or song found in the titles of Ps. 16; 56-60. Some translate the word "golden", i.e., precious. It is rendered in the LXX. by a word meaning "tablet inscription" or a "stelograph." The root of the word means to stamp or grave, and hence it is regarded as denoting a composition so precious as to be worthy to be engraven on a durable tablet for preservation; or, as others render, "a psalm precious as stamped gold," from the word kethem, "fine or stamped gold."
- Middin Measures, one of the six cities "in the wilderness," on the west of the Dead Sea, mentioned along with En-gedi (Josh. 15:61).
- Midwife The two midwives mentioned in Ex. 1:15 were probably the superintendents of the whole class.
- Migdal-Edar Tower of the flock, a place 2 miles south of Jerusalem, near the Bethlehem road (Gen. 35:21). (See EDAR.)
- Migdal-el Tower of God, a fortified city of Naphtali (Josh. 19:38), supposed by some to be identical with Magdala (q.v.).
- Migdal-gad Tower of fortune, a town in the plains of Judah, probably the modern el-Mejdel, a little to the north-east of Ascalon (Josh. 15:37).
- Migdol Tower. (1.) A strongly-fortified place 12 miles from Pelusium, in the north of Egypt (Jer. 44:1; 46:14). This word is rendered "tower" in Ezek. 29:10, but the margin correctly retains the name Migdol, "from Migdol to Syene;" i.e., from Migdol in the north to Syene in the south, in other words, the whole of Egypt.
- Migron Precipice or landslip, a place between Aiath and Michmash (Isa. 10:28). The town of the same name mentioned in 1 Sam. 14:2 was to the south of this.
(2.) A Benjamite (1 Chr. 8:32; 9:37, 38).
- Milaiai Eloquent, a Levitical musician (Neh. 12:36) who took part in the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem.
- Mildew (the rendering of a Hebrew word meaning "to be yellow," yellowness), the result of cutting east winds blighting and thus rendering the grain unproductive (Deut. 28:22; 1 Kings 8:37; 2 Chr. 6:28).
- Mile (from Lat. mille, "a thousand;" Matt. 5:41), a Roman measure of 1,000 paces of 5 feet each. Thus the Roman mile has 1618 yards, being 142 yards shorter than the English mile.
- Miletus (Miletum, 2 Tim. 4:20), a seaport town and the ancient capital of Ionia, about 36 miles south of Ephesus. On his voyage from Greece to Syria, Paul touched at this port, and delivered that noble and pathetic address to the elders ("presbyters," ver. 28) of Ephesus recorded in Acts 20:15-35. The site of Miletus is now some 10 miles from the coast. (See EPHESIANS, EPISTLE TO.)
- Milk (1.) Hebrew halabh, "new milk", milk in its fresh state (Judg. 4:19). It is frequently mentioned in connection with honey (Ex. 3:8; 13:5; Josh. 5:6; Isa. 7:15, 22; Jer. 11:5). Sheep (Deut. 32:14) and goats (Prov. 27:27) and camels (Gen. 32:15), as well as cows, are made to give their milk for the use of man. Milk is used figuratively as a sign of abundance (Gen. 49:12; Ezek. 25:4; Joel 3:18). It is also a symbol of the rudiments of doctrine (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, 13), and of the unadulterated word of God (1 Pet. 2:2).
(2.) Heb. hem'ah, always rendered "butter" in the Authorized Version. It means "butter," but also more frequently "cream," or perhaps, as some think, "curdled milk," such as that which Abraham set before the angels (Gen. 18:8), and which Jael gave to Sisera (Judg. 5:25). In this state milk was used by travellers (2 Sam. 17:29). If kept long enough, it acquired a slightly intoxicating or soporific power.
- Mill For grinding corn, mentioned as used in the time of Abraham (Gen. 18:6). That used by the Hebrews consisted of two circular stones, each 2 feet in diameter and half a foot thick, the lower of which was called the "nether millstone" (Job 41:24) and the upper the "rider." The upper stone was turned round by a stick fixed in it as a handle. There were then no public mills, and thus each family required to be provided with a hand-mill. The corn was ground daily, generally by the women of the house (Isa. 47:1, 2; Matt. 24:41). It was with the upper stone of a hand-mill that "a certain woman" at Thebez broke Abimelech's skull (Judg. 9:53, "a piece of a millstone;" literally, "a millstone rider", i.e., the "runner," the stone which revolves. Comp. 2 Sam. 11:21). Millstones could not be pledged (Deut. 24:6), as they were necessary in every family.
- Millennium A thousand years; the name given to the era mentioned in Rev. 20:1-7. Some maintain that Christ will personally appear on earth for the purpose of establishing his kingdom at the beginning of this millennium. Those holding this view are usually called "millenarians." On the other hand, it is maintained, more in accordance with the teaching of Scripture, we think, that Christ's second advent will not be premillennial, and that the right conception of the prospects and destiny of his kingdom is that which is taught, e.g., in the parables of the leaven and the mustard-seed. The triumph of the gospel, it is held, must be looked for by the wider and more efficient operation of the very forces that are now at work in extending the gospel; and that Christ will only come again at the close of this dispensation to judge the world at the "last day." The millennium will thus precede his coming.
- Millet (Heb. dohan; only in Ezek. 4:9), a small grain, the produce of the Panicum miliaceum of botanists. It is universally cultivated in the East as one of the smaller corn-grasses. This seed is the cenchros of the Greeks. It is called in India warree, and by the Arabs dukhan, and is extensively used for food, being often mixed with other grain. In this country it is only used for feeding birds.
- Millo (Heb. always with the article, "the" Millo). (1.) Probably the Canaanite name of some fortification, consisting of walls filled in with earth and stones, which protected Jerusalem on the north as its outermost defence. It is always rendered Akra i.e., "the citadel", in the LXX. It was already existing when David conquered Jerusalem (2 Sam. 5:9). He extended it to the right and left, thus completing the defence of the city. It was rebuilt by Solomon (1 Kings 9:15, 24; 11:27) and repaired by Hezekiah (2 Chr. 32:5).
(2.) In Judg. 9:6, 20 it is the name of a rampart in Shechem, probably the "tower of Shechem" (9:46, 49).
- Mincing (Heb. taphoph, Isa. 3:16), taking affectedly short and quick steps. Luther renders the word by "wag" or "waggle," thus representing "the affected gait of coquettish females."
- Mine The process of mining is described in Job 28:1-11. Moses speaks of the mineral wealth of Palestine (Deut. 8:9). Job 28:4 is rightly thus rendered in the Revised Version, "He breaketh open a shaft away from where men sojourn; they are forgotten of the foot [that passeth by]; they hang afar from men, they swing to and fro." These words illustrate ancient mining operations.
- Minister One who serves, as distinguished from the master. (1.) Heb. meshereth, applied to an attendant on one of superior rank, as to Joshua, the servant of Moses (Ex. 33:11), and to the servant of Elisha (2 Kings 4:43). This name is also given to attendants at court (2 Chr. 22:8), and to the priests and Levites (Jer. 33:21; Ezek. 44:11).
(3.) Greek leitourgos, a subordinate public administrator, and in this sense applied to magistrates (Rom. 13:6). It is applied also to our Lord (Heb. 8:2), and to Paul in relation to Christ (Rom. 15:16).
(4.) Greek hyperetes (literally, "under-rower"), a personal attendant on a superior, thus of the person who waited on the officiating priest in the synagogue (Luke 4:20). It is applied also to John Mark, the attendant on Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:5).
(5.) Greek diaconos, usually a subordinate officer or assistant employed in relation to the ministry of the gospel, as to Paul and Apollos (1 Cor. 3:5), Tychicus (Eph. 6:21), Epaphras (Col. 1:7), Timothy (1 Thess. 3:2), and also to Christ (Rom. 15:8).
- Minni Only in Jer. 51:27, as the name of a province in Armenia, which was at this time under the Median kings. Armenia is regarded by some as = Har-minni i.e., the mountainous country of Minni. (See ARMENIA.)
- Minnith Distribution, an Ammonitish town (Judg. 11:33) from which wheat was exported to Tyre (Ezek. 27:17). It was probably somewhere in the Mishor or table-land on the east of Jordan. There is a gentle valley running for about 4 miles east of Dhiban called Kurm Dhiban, "the vineyards of Dibon." Tristram supposes that this may be the "vineyards" mentioned in Judg. (l.c.).
- Minstrel (Matt. 9:23), a flute-player. Such music was a usual accompaniment of funerals. In 2 Kings 3:15 it denotes a player on a stringed instrument.
- Mint (Gr. heduosmon, i.e., "having a sweet smell"), one of the garden herbs of which the Pharisees paid tithes (Matt. 23:23; Luke 11:42). It belongs to the labiate family of plants. The species most common in Syria is the Mentha sylvestris, the wild mint, which grows much larger than the garden mint (M. sativa). It was much used in domestic economy as a condiment, and also as a medicine. The paying of tithes of mint was in accordance with the Mosiac law (Deut. 14:22), but the error of the Pharisees lay in their being more careful about this little matter of the mint than about weightier matters.
- Miracle An event in the external world brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the truth of his message (John 2:18; Matt. 12:38). It is an occurrence at once above nature and above man. It shows the intervention of a power that is not limited by the laws either of matter or of mind, a power interrupting the fixed laws which govern their movements, a supernatural power.
"The suspension or violation of the laws of nature involved in miracles is nothing more than is constantly taking place around us. One force counteracts another: vital force keeps the chemical laws of matter in abeyance; and muscular force can control the action of physical force. When a man raises a weight from the ground, the law of gravity is neither suspended nor violated, but counteracted by a stronger force. The same is true as to the walking of Christ on the water and the swimming of iron at the command of the prophet. The simple and grand truth that the universe is not under the exclusive control of physical forces, but that everywhere and always there is above, separate from and superior to all else, an infinite personal will, not superseding, but directing and controlling all physical causes, acting with or without them." God ordinarily effects his purpose through the agency of second causes; but he has the power also of effecting his purpose immediately and without the intervention of second causes, i.e., of invading the fixed order, and thus of working miracles. Thus we affirm the possibility of miracles, the possibility of a higher hand intervening to control or reverse nature's ordinary movements.
In the New Testament these four Greek words are principally used to designate miracles: (1.) Semeion, a "sign", i.e., an evidence of a divine commission; an attestation of a divine message (Matt. 12:38, 39; 16:1, 4; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16; 23:8; John 2:11, 18, 23; Acts 6:8, etc.); a token of the presence and working of God; the seal of a higher power.
(2.) Terata, "wonders;" wonder-causing events; portents; producing astonishment in the beholder (Acts 2:19).
(4.) Erga, "works;" the works of Him who is "wonderful in working" (John 5:20, 36).
Miracles are seals of a divine mission. The sacred writers appealed to them as proofs that they were messengers of God. Our Lord also appealed to miracles as a conclusive proof of his divine mission (John 5:20, 36; 10:25, 38). Thus, being out of the common course of nature and beyond the power of man, they are fitted to convey the impression of the presence and power of God. Where miracles are there certainly God is. The man, therefore, who works a miracle affords thereby clear proof that he comes with the authority of God; they are his credentials that he is God's messenger. The teacher points to these credentials, and they are a proof that he speaks with the authority of God. He boldly says, "God bears me witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles."
The credibility of miracles is established by the evidence of the senses on the part of those who are witnesses of them, and to all others by the testimony of such witnesses. The witnesses were competent, and their testimony is trustworthy. Unbelievers, following Hume, deny that any testimony can prove a miracle, because they say miracles are impossible. We have shown that miracles are possible, and surely they can be borne witness to. Surely they are credible when we have abundant and trustworthy evidence of their occurrence. They are credible just as any facts of history well authenticated are credible. Miracles, it is said, are contrary to experience. Of course they are contrary to our experience, but that does not prove that they were contrary to the experience of those who witnessed them. We believe a thousand facts, both of history and of science, that are contrary to our experience, but we believe them on the ground of competent testimony. An atheist or a pantheist must, as a matter of course, deny the possibility of miracles; but to one who believes in a personal God, who in his wisdom may see fit to interfere with the ordinary processes of nature, miracles are not impossible, nor are they incredible. (See LIST OF MIRACLES, Appendix.)
- Misdeem (Deut. 32:27, R.V.). The Authorized Version reads, "should behave themselves strangely;" i.e., not recognize the truth, misunderstand or mistake the cause of Israel's ruin, which was due to the fact that God had forsaken them on account of their apostasy.
- Misgab Height, a town of Moab, or simply, the height=the citadel, some fortress so called; or perhaps a general name for the highlands of Moab, as some think (Jer. 48:1). In Isa. 25:12, the word is rendered "high fort."
(2.) One of the three Hebrew youths who were trained with Daniel in Babylon (Dan. 1:11, 19), and promoted to the rank of Magi. He and his companions were afterwards cast into the burning fiery furnace for refusing to worship the idol the king had set up, from which they were miraculously delivered (3:13-30). His Chaldean name was Meshach (q.v.).
- Mishal A city of the tribe of Asher (Josh. 21:30; 1 Chr. 6:74). It is probably the modern Misalli, on the shore near Carmel.
- Misham Their cleansing or their beholding, a Benjamite, one of the sons of Elpaal (1 Chr. 8:12).
- Misheal (Josh. 19:26), a town of Asher, probably the same as Mishal.
- Mishma Hearing. (1.) One of the sons of Ishmael (Gen. 25:14), and founder of an Arab tribe.
(2.) A Simeonite (1 Chr. 4:25, 26).
- Misrephoth-maim Burning of waters, supposed to be salt-pans, or lime-kilns, or glass-factories, a place to which Joshua pursued a party of Canaanites after the defeat of Jabin (Josh. 11:8). It is identified with the ruin Musheirifeh, at the promontory of en-Nakhurah, some 11 miles north of Acre.
- Mite Contraction of minute, from the Latin minutum, the translation of the Greek word lepton, the very smallest bronze of copper coin (Luke 12:59; 21:2). Two mites made one quadrans, i.e., the fourth part of a Roman as, which was in value nearly a halfpenny. (See FARTHING.)
- Mithcah Sweetness, one of the stations of the Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 33:28, 29).
- Mithredath Given by Mithra, or dedicated to Mithra, i.e., the sun, the Hebrew form of the Greek name Mithridates. (1.) The "treasurer" of King Cyrus (Ezra 1:8).
- Mitre (Heb. mitsnepheth), something rolled round the head; the turban or head-dress of the high priest (Ex. 28:4, 37, 39; 29:6, etc.). In the Authorized Version of Ezek. 21:26, this Hebrew word is rendered "diadem," but in the Revised Version, "mitre." It was a twisted band of fine linen, 8 yards in length, coiled into the form of a cap, and worn on official occasions (Lev. 8:9; 16:4; Zech. 3:5). On the front of it was a golden plate with the inscription, "Holiness to the Lord." The mitsnepheth differed from the mitre or head-dress (migba'ah) of the common priest. (See BONNET.)
- Mitylene The chief city of the island of Lesbos, on its east coast, in the AEgean Sea. Paul, during his third missionary journey, touched at this place on his way from Corinth to Judea (Acts 20:14), and here tarried for a night. It lies between Assos and Chios. It is now under the Turkish rule, and bears the name of Metelin.
- Mixed multitude (Ex. 12:38), a class who accompanied the Israelites as they journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, the first stage of the Exodus. These were probably miscellaneous hangers-on to the Hebrews, whether Egyptians of the lower orders, or the remains of the Hyksos (see EGYPT; MOSES), as some think. The same thing happened on the return of the Jews from Babylon (Neh. 13:3), a "mixed multitude" accompanied them so far.
- Mizar Smallness, a summit on the eastern ridge of Lebanon, near which David lay after escaping from Absalom (Ps. 42:6). It may, perhaps, be the present Jebel Ajlun, thus named, "the little", in contrast with the greater elevation of Lebanon and Hermon.
- Mizpar Number, one of the Jews who accompanied Zerubbabel from Babylon (Ezra 2:2); called also Mispereth (Neh. 7:7).
- Mizraim The dual form of matzor, meaning a "mound" or "fortress," the name of a people descended from Ham (Gen. 10:6, 13; 1 Chr. 1:8, 11). It was the name generally given by the Hebrews to the land of Egypt (q.v.), and may denote the two Egypts, the Upper and the Lower. The modern Arabic name for Egypt is Muzr.
- Mizzah Despair, one of the four sons of Reuel, the son of Esau (Gen. 36:13, 17).
- Mnason Reminding, or remembrancer, a Christian of Jerusalem with whom Paul lodged (Acts 21:16). He was apparently a native of Cyprus, like Barnabas (11:19, 20), and was well known to the Christians of Caesarea (4:36). He was an "old disciple" (R.V., "early disciple"), i.e., he had become a Christian in the beginning of the formation of the Church in Jerusalem.
- Moladah Birth, a city in the south of Judah which fell to Simeon (Josh. 15:21-26; 19:2). It has been identified with the modern el-Milh, 10 miles east of Beersheba.
- Mole Heb. tinshameth (Lev. 11:30), probably signifies some species of lizard (rendered in R.V., "chameleon"). In Lev. 11:18, Deut. 14:16, it is rendered, in Authorized Version, "swan" (R.V., "horned owl").
The Heb. holed (Lev. 11:29), rendered "weasel," was probably the mole-rat. The true mole (Talpa Europoea) is not found in Palestine. The mole-rat (Spalax typhlus) "is twice the size of our mole, with no external eyes, and with only faint traces within of the rudimentary organ; no apparent ears, but, like the mole, with great internal organs of hearing; a strong, bare snout, and with large gnawing teeth; its colour a pale slate; its feet short, and provided with strong nails; its tail only rudimentary."
In Isa. 2:20, this word is the rendering of two words _haphar peroth_, which are rendered by Gesenius "into the digging of rats", i.e., rats' holes. But these two Hebrew words ought probably to be combined into one (lahporperoth) and translated "to the moles", i.e., the rat-moles. This animal "lives in underground communities, making large subterranean chambers for its young and for storehouses, with many runs connected with them, and is decidedly partial to the loose debris among ruins and stone-heaps, where it can form its chambers with least trouble."
- Money Of uncoined money the first notice we have is in the history of Abraham (Gen. 13:2; 20:16; 24:35). Next, this word is used in connection with the purchase of the cave of Machpelah (23:16), and again in connection with Jacob's purchase of a field at Shalem (Gen. 33:18, 19) for "an hundred pieces of money"=an hundred Hebrew kesitahs (q.v.), i.e., probably pieces of money, as is supposed, bearing the figure of a lamb.
The history of Joseph affords evidence of the constant use of money, silver of a fixed weight. This appears also in all the subsequent history of the Jewish people, in all their internal as well as foreign transactions. There were in common use in trade silver pieces of a definite weight, shekels, half-shekels, and quarter-shekels. But these were not properly coins, which are pieces of metal authoritatively issued, and bearing a stamp.
Of the use of coined money we have no early notice among the Hebrews. The first mentioned is of Persian coinage, the daric (Ezra 2:69; Neh. 7:70) and the `adarkon (Ezra 8:27). The daric (q.v.) was a gold piece current in Palestine in the time of Cyrus. As long as the Jews, after the Exile, lived under Persian rule, they used Persian coins. These gave place to Greek coins when Palestine came under the dominion of the Greeks (B.C. 331), the coins consisting of gold, silver, and copper pieces. The usual gold pieces were staters (q.v.), and the silver coins tetradrachms and drachms.
In the year B.C. 140, Antiochus VII. gave permission to Simon the Maccabee to coin Jewish money. Shekels (q.v.) were then coined bearing the figure of the almond rod and the pot of manna.
- Money-changer (Matt. 21:12; Mark 11:15; John 2:15). Every Israelite from twenty years and upwards had to pay (Ex. 30:13-15) into the sacred treasury half a shekel every year as an offering to Jehovah, and that in the exact Hebrew half-shekel piece. There was a class of men, who frequented the temple courts, who exchanged at a certain premium foreign moneys for these half-shekels to the Jews who came up to Jerusalem from all parts of the world. (See PASSOVER.) When our Lord drove the traffickers out of the temple, these money-changers fared worst. Their tables were overturned and they themselves were expelled.
- Month Among the Egyptians the month of thirty days each was in use long before the time of the Exodus, and formed the basis of their calculations. From the time of the institution of the Mosaic law the month among the Jews was lunar. The cycle of religious feasts depended on the moon. The commencement of a month was determined by the observation of the new moon. The number of months in the year was usually twelve (1 Kings 4:7; 1 Chr. 27:1-15); but every third year an additional month (ve-Adar) was inserted, so as to make the months coincide with the seasons.
"The Hebrews and Phoenicians had no word for month save 'moon,' and only saved their calendar from becoming vague like that of the Moslems by the interpolation of an additional month. There is no evidence at all that they ever used a true solar year such as the Egyptians possessed. The latter had twelve months of thirty days and five epagomenac or odd days.", Palestine Quarterly, January 1889.
- Moon Heb. yareah, from its paleness (Ezra 6:15), and lebanah, the "white" ([[../Solomon, Song of|Cant.]] 6:10; Isa. 24:23), was appointed by the Creator to be with the sun "for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years" (Gen. 1:14-16). A lunation was among the Jews the period of a month, and several of their festivals were held on the day of the new moon. It is frequently referred to along with the sun (Josh. 10:12; Ps. 72:5, 7, 17; 89:36, 37; Eccl. 12:2; Isa. 24:23, etc.), and also by itself (Ps. 8:3; 121:6).
The great brilliance of the moon in Eastern countries led to its being early an object of idolatrous worship (Deut. 4:19; 17:3; Job 31:26), a form of idolatry against which the Jews were warned (Deut. 4:19; 17:3). They, however, fell into this idolatry, and offered incense (2 Kings 23:5; Jer. 8:2), and also cakes of honey, to the moon (Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19, 25).
- Moreh An archer, teacher; fruitful. (1.) A Canaanite probably who inhabited the district south of Shechem, between Mounts Ebal and Gerizim, and gave his name to the "plain" there (Gen. 12:6). Here at this "plain," or rather (R.V.) "oak," of Moreh, Abraham built his first altar in the land of Palestine; and here the Lord appeared unto him. He afterwards left this plain and moved southward, and pitched his tent between Bethel on the west and Hai on the east (Gen. 12:7, 8).
Moreh, the Hill of
- Moreh, the Hill of Probably identical with "little Hermon," the modern Jebel ed-Duhy, or perhaps one of the lower spurs of this mountain. It is a gray ridge parallel to Gilboa on the north; and between the two lay the battle-field, the plain of Jezreel (q.v.), where Gideon overthrew the Midianites (Judg. 7:1-12).
- Moresheth-gath Possession of the wine-press, the birthplace of the prophet Micah (1:14), who is called the "Morasthite" (Jer. 26:18). This place was probably a suburb of Gath.
- Mortar (Heb. homer), cement of lime and sand (Gen. 11:3; Ex. 1:14); also potter's clay (Isa. 41:25; Nah. 3:14). Also Heb. `aphar, usually rendered "dust," clay or mud used for cement in building (Lev. 14:42, 45).
Mortar for pulverizing (Prov. 27:22) grain or other substances by means of a pestle instead of a mill. Mortars were used in the wilderness for pounding the manna (Num. 11:8). It is commonly used in Palestine at the present day to pound wheat, from which the Arabs make a favourite dish called kibby.
- Mosera A bond, one of the stations of the Israelites in the wilderness (Deut. 10:6), at the foot of Mount Hor. (Comp. Num. 33:37, 38). It has been identified with el-Tayibeh, a small fountain at the bottom of the pass leading to the ascent of Mount Hor.
- Moseroth Bonds, one of the stations in the wilderness (Num. 33:30, 31), probably the same as Mosera.
- Mote (Gr. karphos, something dry, hence a particle of wood or chaff, etc.). A slight moral defect is likened to a mote (Matt. 7:3-5; Luke 6:41, 42).
- Moth Heb. `ash, from a root meaning "to fall away," as moth-eaten garments fall to pieces (Job 4:19; 13:28; Isa. 50:9; 51:8; Hos. 5:12).
Gr. ses, thus rendered in Matt. 6:19, 20; Luke 12:33. Allusion is thus made to the destruction of clothing by the larvae of the clothes-moth. This is the only lepidopterous insect referred to in Scripture.
- Mouldy Of the Gibeonites it is said that "all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy" (Josh. 9:5, 12). The Hebrew word here rendered "mouldy" (nikuddim) is rendered "cracknels" in 1 Kings 14:3, and denotes a kind of crisp cake. The meaning is that the bread of the Gibeonites had become dry and hard, hard as biscuits, and thus was an evidence of the length of the journey they had travelled.
- Mourn Frequent references are found in Scripture to, (1.) Mourning for the dead. Abraham mourned for Mal.ah (Gen. 23:2); Jacob for Joseph (37:34, 35); the Egyptians for Jacob (50:3-10); Israel for Aaron (Num. 20:29), for Moses (Deut. 34:8), and for Samuel (1 Sam. 25:1); David for Abner (2 Sam. 3:31, 35); Mary and Martha for Lazarus (John 11); devout men for Stephen (Acts 8:2), etc.
(3.) Penitential mourning, by the Israelites on the day of atonement (Lev. 23:27; Acts 27:9); under Samuel's ministry (1 Sam. 7:6); predicted in Zechariah (Zech. 12:10, 11); in many of the psalms (51, etc.).
Mourning was expressed, (1) by weeping (Gen. 35:8, marg.; Luke 7:38, etc.); (2) by loud lamentation (Ruth 1:9; 1 Sam. 6:19; 2 Sam. 3:31); (3) by the disfigurement of the person, as rending the clothes (Gen. 37:29, 34; Matt. 26:65), wearing sackcloth (Gen. 37:34; Ps. 35:13), sprinkling dust or ashes on the person (2 Sam. 13:19; Jer. 6:26; Job 2:12), shaving the head and plucking out the hair of the head or beard (Lev. 10:6; Job 1:20), neglect of the person or the removal of ornaments (Ex. 33:4; Deut. 21:12, 13; 2 Sam. 14:2; 19:24; Matt. 6:16, 17), fasting (2 Sam. 1:12), covering the upper lip (Lev. 13:45; Micah 3:7), cutting the flesh (Jer. 16:6, 7), and sitting in silence (Judg. 20:26; 2 Sam. 12:16; 13:31; Job 1:20).
The period of mourning for the dead varied. For Jacob it was seventy days (Gen. 50:3); for Aaron (Num. 20:29) and Moses (Deut. 34:8) thirty days; and for Saul only seven days (1 Sam. 31:13). In 2 Sam. 3:31-35, we have a description of the great mourning for the death of Abner.
- Mouse Heb. `akhbar, "swift digger"), properly the dormouse, the field-mouse (1 Sam. 6:4). In Lev. 11:29, Isa. 66:17 this word is used generically, and includes the jerboa (Mus jaculus), rat, hamster (Cricetus), which, though declared to be unclean animals, were eaten by the Arabs, and are still eaten by the Bedouins. It is said that no fewer than twenty-three species of this group (`akhbar=Arab. ferah) of animals inhabit Palestine. God "laid waste" the people of Ashdod by the terrible visitation of field-mice, which are like locusts in their destructive effects (1 Sam. 6:4, 11, 18). Herodotus, the Greek historian, accounts for the destruction of the army of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:35) by saying that in the night thousands of mice invaded the camp and gnawed through the bow-strings, quivers, and shields, and thus left the Assyrians helpless. (See SENNACHERIB.)
- Mowing (Heb. gez), rendered in Ps. 72:6 "mown grass." The expression "king's mowings" (Amos 7:1) refers to some royal right of early pasturage, the first crop of grass for the cavalry (comp. 1 Kings 18:5).
- Moza A going forth. (1.) One of the sons of Caleb (1 Chr. 2:46).
- Mozah An issuing of water, a city of Benjamin (Josh. 18:26).
- Mufflers (Isa. 3:19), veils, light and tremulous. Margin, "spangled ornaments."
- Mulberry Heb. bakah, "to weep;" rendered "Baca" (R.V., "weeping") in Ps. 84:6. The plural form of the Hebrew bekaim is rendered "mulberry trees" in 2 Sam. 5:23, 24 and 1 Chr. 14:14, 15. The tree here alluded to was probably the aspen or trembling poplar. "We know with certainty that the black poplar, the aspen, and the Lombardy poplar grew in Palestine. The aspen, whose long leaf-stalks cause the leaves to tremble with every breath of wind, unites with the willow and the oak to overshadow the watercourses of the Lebanon, and with the oleander and the acacia to adorn the ravines of Southern Palestine" (Kitto). By "the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees" we are to understand a rustling among the trees like the marching of an army. This was the signal that the Lord himself would lead forth David's army to victory. (See SYCAMINE.)
- Mule (Heb. pered), so called from the quick step of the animal or its power of carrying loads. It is not probable that the Hebrews bred mules, as this was strictly forbidden in the law (Lev. 19:19), although their use was not forbidden. We find them in common use even by kings and nobles (2 Sam. 18:9; 1 Kings 1:33; 2 Kings 5:17; Ps. 32:9). They are not mentioned, however, till the time of David, for the word rendered "mules" (R.V. correctly, "hot springs") in Gen. 36:24 (yemim) properly denotes the warm springs of Callirhoe, on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. In David's reign they became very common (2 Sam. 13:29; 1 Kings 10:25).
Mules are not mentioned in the New Testament. Perhaps they had by that time ceased to be used in Palestine.
- Murder Wilful murder was distinguished from accidental homicide, and was invariably visited with capital punishment (Num. 35:16, 18, 21, 31; Lev. 24:17). This law in its principle is founded on the fact of man's having been made in the likeness of God (Gen. 9:5, 6; John 8:44; 1 John 3:12, 15). The Mosiac law prohibited any compensation for murder or the reprieve of the murderer (Ex. 21:12, 14; Deut. 19:11, 13; 2 Sam. 17:25; 20:10). Two witnesses were required in any capital case (Num. 35:19-30; Deut. 17:6-12). If the murderer could not be discovered, the city nearest the scene of the murder was required to make expiation for the crime committed (Deut. 21:1-9). These offences also were to be punished with death, (1) striking a parent; (2) cursing a parent; (3) kidnapping (Ex. 21:15-17; Deut. 27:16).
- Murmuring Of the Hebrews in the wilderness, called forth the displeasure of God, which was only averted by the earnest prayer of Moses (Num. 11:33, 34; 12; 14:27, 30, 31; 16:3; 21:4-6; Ps. 106:25). Forbidden by Paul (1 Cor. 10:10).
- Murrain Heb. deber, "destruction," a "great mortality", the fifth plague that fell upon the Egyptians (Ex. 9:3). It was some distemper that resulted in the sudden and widespread death of the cattle. It was confined to the cattle of the Egyptians that were in the field (9:6).
- Mushi Receding, the second of the two sons of Merari (Ex. 6:19; Num. 3:20). His sons were called Mushites (Num. 3:33; 26:58).
- Music Jubal was the inventor of musical instruments (Gen. 4:21). The Hebrews were much given to the cultivation of music. Their whole history and literature afford abundant evidence of this. After the Deluge, the first mention of music is in the account of Laban's interview with Jacob (Gen. 31:27). After their triumphal passage of the Red Sea, Moses and the children of Israel sang their song of deliverance (Ex. 15).
But the period of Samuel, David, and Solomon was the golden age of Hebrew music, as it was of Hebrew poetry. Music was now for the first time systematically cultivated. It was an essential part of training in the schools of the prophets (1 Sam. 10:5; 19:19-24; 2 Kings 3:15; 1 Chr. 25:6). There now arose also a class of professional singers (2 Sam. 19:35; Eccl. 2:8). The temple, however, was the great school of music. In the conducting of its services large bands of trained singers and players on instruments were constantly employed (2 Sam. 6:5; 1 Chr. 15; 16; 23;5; 25:1-6).
- Musician, Chief (Heb. menatstseah), the precentor of the Levitical choir or orchestra in the temple, mentioned in the titles of fifty-five psalms, and in Hab. 3:19, Revised Version. The first who held this office was Jeduthun (1 Chr. 16:41), and the office appears to have been hereditary. Heman and Asaph were his two colleagues (2 Chr. 35:15).
- Music, Instrumental Among instruments of music used by the Hebrews a principal place is given to stringed instruments. These were, (1.) The kinnor, the "harp." (2.) The nebel, "a skin bottle," rendered "psaltery." (3.) The sabbeka, or "sackbut," a lute or lyre. (4.) The gittith, occurring in the title of Ps. 8; 8; 84. (5.) Minnim (Ps. 150:4), rendered "stringed instruments;" in Ps. 45:8, in the form minni, probably the apocopated (i.e., shortened) plural, rendered, Authorized Version, "whereby," and in the Revised Version "stringed instruments." (6.) Machalath, in the titles of Ps. 53 and 88; supposed to be a kind of lute or guitar.
Of wind instruments mention is made of, (1.) The `ugab (Gen. 4:21; Job 21:12; 30:31), probably the so-called Pan's pipes or syrinx. (2.) The qeren or "horn" (Josh. 6:5; 1 Chr. 25:5). (3.) The shophar, rendered "trumpet" (Josh. 6:4, 6, 8). The word means "bright," and may have been so called from the clear, shrill sound it emitted. It was often used (Ex. 19:13; Num. 10:10; Judg. 7:16, 18; 1 Sam. 13:3). (4.) The hatsotserah, or straight trumpet (Ps. 98:6; Num. 10:1-10). This name is supposed by some to be an onomatopoetic word, intended to imitate the pulse-like sound of the trumpet, like the Latin taratantara. Some have identified it with the modern trombone. (5.) The halil, i.e, "bored through," a flute or pipe (1 Sam. 10:5; 1 Kings 1:40; Isa. 5:12; Jer. 48:36) which is still used in Palestine. (6.) The sumponyah, rendered "dulcimer" (Dan. 3:5), probably a sort of bagpipe. (7.) The maskrokith'a (Dan. 3:5), rendered "flute," but its precise nature is unknown.
Of instruments of percussion mention is made of, (1.) The toph, an instrument of the drum kind, rendered "timbrel" (Ex. 15:20; Job 21:12; Ps. 68:25); also "tabret" (Gen. 31:27; Isa. 24:8; 1 Sam. 10:5). (2.) The paamon, the "bells" on the robe of the high priest (Ex. 28:33; 39:25). (3.) The tseltselim, "cymbals" (2 Sam. 6:5; Ps. 150:5), which are struck together and produce a loud, clanging sound. Metsilloth, "bells" on horses and camels for ornament, and metsiltayim, "cymbals" (1 Chr. 13:8; Ezra 3:10, etc.). These words are all derived from the same root, tsalal, meaning "to tinkle." (4.) The menaan'im, used only in 2 Sam. 6:5, rendered "cornets" (R.V., "castanets"); in the Vulgate, "sistra," an instrument of agitation. (5.) The shalishim, mentioned only in 1 Sam. 18:6, rendered "instruments of music" (marg. of R.V., "triangles or three-stringed instruments").
The words in Eccl. 2:8, "musical instruments, and that of all sorts," Authorized Version, are in the Revised Version "concubines very many."
- Mustard A plant of the genus sinapis, a pod-bearing, shrub-like plant, growing wild, and also cultivated in gardens. The little round seeds were an emblem of any small insignificant object. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament; and in each of the three instances of its occurrence in the New Testament (Matt. 13:31, 32; Mark 4:31, 32; Luke 13:18, 19) it is spoken of only with reference to the smallness of its seed. The common mustard of Palestine is the Sinapis nigra. This garden herb sometimes grows to a considerable height, so as to be spoken of as "a tree" as compared with garden herbs.
- Muth-labben Occurring only in the title of Psalm 9. Some interpret the words as meaning "on the death of Labben," some unknown person. Others render the word, "on the death of the son;" i.e., of Absalom (2 Sam. 18:33). Others again have taken the word as the name of a musical instrument, or as the name of an air to which the psalm was sung.
- Muzzle Grain in the East is usually thrashed by the sheaves being spread out on a floor, over which oxen and cattle are driven to and fro, till the grain is trodden out. Moses ordained that the ox was not to be muzzled while thrashing. It was to be allowed to eat both the grain and the straw (Deut. 25:4). (See AGRICULTURE.)
- Myra One of the chief towns of Lycia, in Asia Minor, about 2 1/2 miles from the coast (Acts 27:5). Here Paul removed from the Adramyttian ship in which he had sailed from Caesarea, and entered into the Alexandrian ship, which was afterwards wrecked at Melita (27:39-44).
- Myrrh Heb. mor. (1.) First mentioned as a principal ingredient in the holy anointing oil (Ex. 30:23). It formed part of the gifts brought by the wise men from the east, who came to worship the infant Jesus (Matt. 2:11). It was used in embalming (John 19:39), also as a perfume (Esther 2:12; Ps. 45:8; Prov. 7:17). It was a custom of the Jews to give those who were condemned to death by crucifixion "wine mingled with myrrh" to produce insensibility. This drugged wine was probably partaken of by the two malefactors, but when the Roman soldiers pressed it upon Jesus "he received it not" (Mark 15:23). (See GALL.)
This was the gum or viscid white liquid which flows from a tree resembling the acacia, found in Africa and Arabia, the Balsamodendron myrrha of botanists. The "bundle of myrrh" in [[../Solomon, Song of|Cant.]] 1:13 is rather a "bag" of myrrh or a scent-bag.
(2.) Another word lot is also translated "myrrh" (Gen. 37:25; 43:11; R.V., marg., "or ladanum"). What was meant by this word is uncertain. It has been thought to be the chestnut, mastich, stacte, balsam, turpentine, pistachio nut, or the lotus. It is probably correctly rendered by the Latin word ladanum, the Arabic ladan, an aromatic juice of a shrub called the Cistus or rock rose, which has the same qualities, though in a slight degree, of opium, whence a decoction of opium is called laudanum. This plant was indigenous to Syria and Arabia.
- Myrtle (Isa. 41:19; Neh. 8:15; Zech. 1:8), Hebrew hadas, known in the East by the name as, the Myrtus communis of the botanist. "Although no myrtles are now found on the mount (of Olives), excepting in the gardens, yet they still exist in many of the glens about Jerusalem, where we have often seen its dark shining leaves and white flowers. There are many near Bethlehem and about Hebron, especially near Dewir Dan, the ancient Debir. It also sheds its fragrance on the sides of Carmel and of Tabor, and fringes the clefts of the Leontes in its course through Galilee. We meet with it all through Central Palestine" (Tristram).
- Mysia A province in the north-west of Asia Minor. On his first voyage to Europe (Acts 16:7, 8) Paul passed through this province and embarked at its chief port Troas.
- Mystery The calling of the Gentiles into the Christian Church, so designated (Eph. 1:9, 10; 3:8-11; Col. 1:25-27); a truth undiscoverable except by revelation, long hid, now made manifest. The resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15:51), and other doctrines which need to be explained but which cannot be fully understood by finite intelligence (Matt. 13:11; Rom. 11:25; 1 Cor. 13:2); the union between Christ and his people symbolized by the marriage union (Eph. 5:31, 32; comp. 6:19); the seven stars and the seven candlesticks (Rev. 1:20); and the woman clothed in scarlet (17:7), are also in this sense mysteries. The anti-Christian power working in his day is called by the apostle (2 Thess. 2:7) the "mystery of iniquity."
- Naam Pleasantness, one of the three sons of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh (1 Chr. 4:15).
- Naamah The beautiful. (1.) The daughter of Lamech and Zillah (Gen. 4: 22).
- Naaman Pleasantness, a Syrian, the commander of the armies of Benhadad II. in the time of Joram, king of Israel. He was afflicted with leprosy; and when the little Hebrew slave-girl that waited on his wife told her of a prophet in Samaria who could cure her master, he obtained a letter from Benhadad and proceeded with it to Joram. The king of Israel suspected in this some evil design against him, and rent his clothes. Elisha the prophet hearing of this, sent for Naaman, and the strange interview which took place is recorded in 2 Kings 5. The narrative contains all that is known of the Syrian commander. He was cured of his leprosy by dipping himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of Elisha. His cure is alluded to by our Lord (Luke 4:27).
- Naamathite The designation of Zophar, one of Job’s three friends (Job 2:11; 11:1), so called from some place in Arabia, called Naamah probably.
- Naarai Youthful, a military chief in David's army (1 Chr. 11:37), called also Paarai (2 Sam. 23:35).
- Naaran Boyish, juvenile, a town in Ephraim between Bethel and Jericho (1 Chr. 7:28).
- Naarath Girl, a town on the boundary between Ephraim and Benjamin (Josh. 16:7), not far probably from Jericho, to the north (1 Chr. 7:28).
- Nabal Foolish, a descendant of Caleb who dwelt at Maon (1 Sam. 25), the modern Main, 7 miles south-east of Hebron. He was "very great, and he had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats...but the man was churlish and evil in his doings." During his wanderings David came into that district, and hearing that Nabal was about to shear his sheep, he sent ten of his young men to ask "whatsoever cometh unto thy hand for thy servants." Nabal insultingly resented the demand, saying, "Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse?" (1 Sam. 25:10, 11). One of the shepherds that stood by and saw the reception David's messengers had met with, informed Abigail, Nabal's wife, who at once realized the danger that threatened her household. She forthwith proceeded to the camp of David, bringing with her ample stores of provisions (25:18). She so courteously and persuasively pled her cause that David's anger was appeased, and he said to her, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel which sent thee this day to meet me."
On her return she found her husband incapable from drunkenness of understanding the state of matters, and not till the following day did she explain to him what had happened. He was stunned by a sense of the danger to which his conduct had exposed him. "His heart died within him, and he became as a stone." and about ten days after "the Lord smote Nabal that he died" (1 Sam. 25:37, 38). Not long after David married Abigail (q.v.).
- Naboth Fruits, "the Jezreelite," was the owner of a portion of ground on the eastern slope of the hill of Jezreel (2 Kings 9:25, 26). This small "plat of ground" seems to have been all he possessed. It was a vineyard, and lay "hard by the palace of Ahab" (1 Kings 21:1, 2), who greatly coveted it. Naboth, however, refused on any terms to part with it to the king. He had inherited it from his fathers, and no Israelite could lawfully sell his property (Lev. 25:23). Jezebel, Ahab's wife, was grievously offended at Naboth's refusal to part with his vineyard. By a crafty and cruel plot she compassed his death. His sons also shared his fate (2 Kings 9:26; 1 Kings 21:19). She then came to Ahab and said, "Arise, take possession of the vineyard; for Naboth is not alive, but dead." Ahab arose and went forth into the garden which had so treacherously and cruelly been acquired, seemingly enjoying his new possession, when, lo, Elijah suddenly appeared before him and pronounced against him a fearful doom (1 Kings 21:17-24). Jehu and Bidcar were with Ahab at this time, and so deeply were the words of Elijah imprinted on Jehu's memory that many years afterwards he refers to them (2 Kings 9:26), and he was the chief instrument in inflicting this sentence on Ahab and Jezebel and all their house (9:30-37). The house of Ahab was extinguished by him. Not one of all his great men and his kinsfolk and his priests did Jehu spare (10:11).
The history of Naboth, compared with that of Ahab and Jezebel, furnishes a remarkable illustration of the law of a retributive providence, a law which runs through all history (comp. Ps. 109:17, 18).
- Nachon Prepared, the owner of a thrashing-floor near which Uzzah was slain (2 Sam. 6:6); called also Chidon (1 Chr. 13:9).
- Nadab Liberal, generous. (1.) The eldest of Aaron's four sons (Ex. 6:23; Num. 3:2). He with his brothers and their father were consecrated as priests of Jehovah (Ex. 28:1). He afterwards perished with Abihu for the sin of offering strange fire on the altar of burnt-offering (Lev. 10:1, 2; Num. 3:4; 26:60).
(2.) The son and successor of Jeroboam, the king of Israel (1 Kings 14:20). While engaged with all Israel in laying siege to Gibbethon, a town of southern Dan (Josh. 19:44), a conspiracy broke out in his army, and he was slain by Baasha (1 Kings 15:25-28), after a reign of two years (B.C. 955-953). The assassination of Nadab was followed by that of his whole house, and thus this great Ephraimite family became extinct (1 Kings 15:29).
- Nahaliel Possession, or valley of God, one of the encampments of the Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 21:19), on the confines of Moab. This is identified with the ravine of the Zerka M'ain, the ancient Callirhoe, the hot springs on the east of the Jordan, not far from the Dead Sea.
- Nahallal Pasture, a city in Zebulun on the border of Issachar (Josh. 19:15), the same as Nahalol (Judg. 1:30). It was given to the Levites. It has been by some identified with Malul in the plain of Esdraelon, 4 miles from Nazareth.
- Nahash Serpent. (1.) King of the Ammonites in the time of Saul. The inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead having been exposed to great danger from Nahash, sent messengers to Gibeah to inform Saul of their extremity. He promptly responded to the call, and gathering together an army he marched against Nahash. "And it came to pass that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them [the Ammonites] were not left together" (1 Sam. 11:1-11).
(2.) Another king of the Ammonites of the same name is mentioned, who showed kindness to David during his wanderings (2 Sam. 10:2). On his death David sent an embassy of sympathy to Hanun, his son and successor, at Rabbah Ammon, his capital. The grievous insult which was put upon these ambassadors led to a war against the Ammonites, who, with their allies the Syrians, were completely routed in a battle fought at "the entering in of the gate," probably of Medeba (2 Sam. 10:6-14). Again Hadarezer rallied the Syrian host, which was totally destroyed by the Israelite army under Joab in a decisive battle fought at Helam (2 Sam. 10:17), near to Hamath (1 Chr. 18:3). "So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more" (2 Sam. 10:19).
(3.) The father of Amasa, who was commander-in-chief of Abasolom's army (2 Sam. 17:25). Jesse's wife had apparently been first married to this man, to whom she bore Abigail and Zeruiah, who were thus David's sisters, but only on the mother's side (1 Chr. 2:16).
- Nahath Rest. (1.) One of the four sons of Reuel, the son of Esau (Gen. 36:13, 17). (2.) A Kohathite Levite (1 Chr. 6:26). (3.) A Levite, one of the overseers of the sacred offerings of the temple (2 Chr. 31:13).
- Nahbi Hidden, one of the twelve spies sent out to explore the land of Canaan (Num. 13:14).
(2.) A son of Terah, and elder brother of Abraham (Gen. 11:26, 27; Josh. 24:2, R.V.). He married Milcah, the daughter of his brother Haran, and remained in the land of his nativity on the east of the river Euphrates at Haran (Gen. 11:27-32). A correspondence was maintained between the family of Abraham in Canaan and the relatives in the old ancestral home at Haran till the time of Jacob. When Jacob fled from Haran all intercourse between the two branches of the family came to an end (Gen. 31:55). His grand-daughter Rebekah became Isaac's wife (24:67).
- Nahshon Sorcerer, the son of Aminadab, and prince of the children of Judah at the time of the first numbering of the tribes in the wilderness (Ex. 6:23). His sister Elisheba was the wife of Aaron. He died in the wilderness (Num. 26:64, 65). His name occurs in the Greek form Naasson in the genealogy of Christ (Matt, 1:4; Luke 3:32).
- Nail For fastening. (1.) Hebrew yathed, "piercing," a peg or nail of any material (Ezek. 15:3), more especially a tent-peg (Ex. 27:19; 35:18; 38:20), with one of which Jael (q.v.) pierced the temples of Sisera (Judg. 4:21, 22). This word is also used metaphorically (Zech. 10:4) for a prince or counsellor, just as "the battle-bow" represents a warrior.
(2.) Masmer, a "point," the usual word for a nail. The words of the wise are compared to "nails fastened by the masters of assemblies" (Eccl. 12:11, A.V.). The Revised Version reads, "as nails well fastened are the words of the masters," etc. Others (as Plumptre) read, "as nails fastened are the masters of assemblies" (comp. Isa. 22:23; Ezra 9:8). David prepared nails for the temple (1 Chr. 22:3; 2 Chr. 3:9). The nails by which our Lord was fixed to the cross are mentioned (John 20:25; Col. 2:14).
Nail of the finger (Heb. tsipporen, "scraping"). To "pare the nails" is in Deut. 21:12 (marg., "make," or "dress," or "suffer to grow") one of the signs of purification, separation from former heathenism (comp. Lev. 14:8; Num. 8:7). In Jer. 17:1 this word is rendered "point."
- Nain (from Heb. nain, "green pastures," "lovely"), the name of a town near the gate of which Jesus raised to life a widow's son (Luke 7:11-17). It is identified with the village called Nein, standing on the north-western slope of Jebel ed-Duhy (=the "hill Moreh" = "Little hermon"), about 4 miles from Tabor and 25 southwest of Capernaum. At the foot of the slope on which it stands is the great plain of Esdraelon.
This was the first miracle of raising the dead our Lord had wrought, and it excited great awe and astonishment among the people.
- Naioth Dwellings, the name given to the prophetical college established by Samuel near Ramah. It consisted of a cluster of separate dwellings, and hence its name. David took refuge here when he fled from Saul (1 Sam. 19:18, 19, 22, 23), and here he passed a few weeks in peace (comp. Ps. 11). It was probably the common residence of the "sons of the prophets."
- Naked This word denotes (1) absolute nakedness (Gen. 2:25; Job 1:21; Eccl. 5:15; Micah 1:8; Amos 2:16); (2) being poorly clad (Isa. 58:7; James 2:15). It denotes also (3) the state of one who has laid aside his loose outer garment (Lat. nudus), and appears clothed only in a long tunic or under robe worn next the skin (1 Sam. 19:24; Isa. 47:3; comp. Mark 14:52; John 21:7). It is used figuratively, meaning "being discovered" or "made manifest" (Job 26:6; Heb. 4:13). In Ex. 32:25 the expression "the people were naked" (A.V.) is more correctly rendered in the Revised Version "the people were broken loose", i.e., had fallen into a state of lawlessness and insubordination. In 2 Chr. 28:19 the words "he made Judah naked" (A.V.), but Revised Version "he had dealt wantonly in Judah," mean "he had permitted Judah to break loose from all the restraints of religion."
- Naphish Refresher, one of the sons of Ishmael (Gen. 25:15; 1 Chr. 1:31). He was the father of an Arab tribe.
- Naphtuhim A Hamitic tribe descended from Mizraim (Gen. 10:13). Others identify this word with Napata, the name of the city and territory on the southern frontier of Mizraim, the modern Meroe, at the great bend of the Nile at Soudan. This city was the royal residence, it is said, of Queen Candace (Acts 8:27). Here there are extensive and splendid ruins.
- Napkin (Gr. soudarion, John 11:44; 20:7; Lat. sudarium, a "sweat-cloth"), a cloth for wiping the sweat from the face. But the word is used of a wrapper to fold money in (Luke 19:20), and as an article of dress, a "handkerchief" worn on the head (Acts 19:12).
- Narcissus Daffodil, a Roman whom Paul salutes (Rom. 16:11). He is supposed to have been the private secretary of the emperor Claudius. This is, however, quite uncertain.
Nativity of Christ
- Naughty figs (Jer. 24:2). "The bad figs may have been such either from having decayed, and thus been reduced to a rotten condition, or as being the fruit of the sycamore, which contains a bitter juice" (Tristram, Nat. Hist.). The inferiority of the fruit is here referred to as an emblem of the rejected Zedekiah and his people.
- Neah Shaking, or settlement, or descent, a town on the east side of Zebulun, not far from Rimmon (Josh. 19:13).
- Neapolis New city, a town in Thrace at which Paul first landed in Europe (Acts 16:11). It was the sea-port of the inland town of Philippi, which was distant about 10 miles. From this port Paul embarked on his last journey to Jerusalem (Acts 20:6). It is identified with the modern Turco-Grecian Kavalla.
- Nebaioth Height. (1.) Ishmael's eldest son (Gen. 25:13), and the prince of an Israelitish tribe (16). He had a sister, Mahalath, who was one of Esau's wives (Gen. 28:9; 36:3).
- Neballat Wickedness in secret, (Neh. 11:34), probably the village of Beit Nebala, about 4 miles north of Lydda.
- Nebo Proclaimer; prophet. (1.) A Chaldean god whose worship was introduced into Assyria by Pul (Isa. 46:1; Jer. 48:1). To this idol was dedicated the great temple whose ruins are still seen at Birs Nimrud. A statue of Nebo found at Calah, where it was set up by Pul, king of Assyria, is now in the British Museum.
(2.) A mountain in the land of Moab from which Moses looked for the first and the last time on the Promised Land (Deut. 32:49; 34:1). It has been identified with Jebel Nebah, on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea, near its northern end, and about 5 miles south-west of Heshbon. It was the summit of the ridge of Pisgah (q.v.), which was a part of the range of the "mountains of Abarim." It is about 2,643 feet in height, but from its position it commands a view of Western Palestine. Close below it are the plains of Moab, where Balaam, and afterwards Moses, saw the tents of Israel spread along.
- Nebushasban Adorer of Nebo, or Nebo saves me, the "Rabsaris," or chief chamberlain, of the court of Babylon. He was one of those whom the king sent to release Jeremiah from prison in Jerusalem (Jer. 39:13).
- Nebuzaradan "the captain of the guard," in rank next to the king, who appears prominent in directing affairs at the capture of Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:8-20; Jer. 39:11; 40:2-5). He showed kindness toward Jeremiah , as commanded by Nebuchadnezzar (40:1). Five years after this he again came to Jerusalem and carried captive seven hundred and forty-five more Jews.
- Necho II An Egyptian king, the son and successor of Psammetichus (B.C. 610-594), the contemporary of Josiah, king of Judah. For some reason he proclaimed war against the king of Assyria. He led forth a powerful army and marched northward, but was met by the king of Judah at Megiddo, who refused him a passage through his territory. Here a fierce battle was fought and Josiah was slain (2 Chr. 35:20-24). Possibly, as some suppose, Necho may have brought his army by sea to some port to the north of Dor (comp. Josh. 11:2; 12:23), a Phoenician town at no great distance from Megiddo. After this battle Necho marched on to Carchemish (q.v.), where he met and conquered the Assyrian army, and thus all the Syrian provinces, including Palestine, came under his dominion.
On his return march he deposed Jehoahaz, who had succeeded his father Josiah, and made Eliakim, Josiah's eldest son, whose name he changed into Jehoiakim, king. Jehoahaz he carried down into Egypt, where he died (2 Kings 23:31; 2 Chr. 36:1-4). Four years after this conquest Necho again marched to the Euphrates; but here he was met and his army routed by the Chaldeans (B.C. 606) under Nebuchadnezzar, who drove the Egyptians back, and took from them all the territory they had conquered, from the Euphrates unto the "river of Egypt" (Jer. 46:2; 2 Kings 24:7, 8). Soon after this Necho died, and was succeeded by his son, Psammetichus II. (See NEBUCHADNEZZAR.)
- Neck Used sometimes figuratively. To "lay down the neck" (Rom. 16:4) is to hazard one's life. Threatenings of coming judgments are represented by the prophets by their laying bands upon the people's necks (Deut. 28:48; Isa. 10:27; Jer. 27:2). Conquerors put their feet on the necks of their enemies as a sign of their subjection (Josh. 10:24; 2 Sam. 22:41).
- Necromancer (Deut. 15:11), i.e., "one who interrogates the dead," as the word literally means, with the view of discovering the secrets of futurity (comp. 1 Sam. 28:7). (See DIVINATION.)
- Nedabiah Moved of Jehovah, one of the sons of Jeconiah (1 Chr. 3:18).
- Needle Used only in the proverb, "to pass through a needle's eye" (Matt. 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25). Some interpret the expression as referring to the side gate, close to the principal gate, usually called the "eye of a needle" in the East; but it is rather to be taken literally. The Hebrew females were skilled in the use of the needle (Ex. 28:39; 26:36; Judg. 5:30).
- Neginah In the title of Ps. 61, denotes the music of stringed instruments (1 Sam. 16:16; Isa. 38:20). It is the singular form of Neginoth.
- Neginoth I.e., songs with instrumental accompaniment, found in the titles of Ps. 4; 6; 54; 55; 67; 76; rendered "stringed instruments," Hab. 3:19, A.V. It denotes all kinds of stringed instruments, as the "harp," "psaltery," "viol," etc. The "chief musician on Neginoth" is the leader of that part of the temple choir which played on stringed instruments.
- Nehelamite The name given to a false prophet Shemaiah, who went with the captives to Babylon (Jer. 29:24, 31, 32). The origin of the name is unknown. It is rendered in the marg, "dreamer."
- Nehiloth Only in the title of Ps. 5. It is probably derived from a root meaning "to bore," "perforate," and hence denotes perforated wind instruments of all kinds. The psalm may be thus regarded as addressed to the conductor of the temple choir which played on flutes and such-like instruments.
- Nehushta Copper, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem, and the wife of Jehoiakin (2 Kings 24:8), king of Judah.
- Nehushtan Of copper; a brazen thing a name of contempt given to the serpent Moses had made in the wilderness (Num. 21:8), and which Hezekiah destroyed because the children of Israel began to regard it as an idol and "burn incense to it." The lapse of nearly one thousand years had invested the "brazen serpent" with a mysterious sanctity; and in order to deliver the people from their infatuation, and impress them with the idea of its worthlessness, Hezekiah called it, in contempt, "Nehushtan," a brazen thing, a mere piece of brass (2 Kings 18:4).
- Neiel Dwelling-place of God, a town in the territory of Asher, near its southern border (Josh. 19:27). It has been identified with the ruin Y'anin, near the outlet of the Wady esh Sha-ghur, less than 2 miles north of Kabul, and 16 miles east of Caesarea.
- Nekeb Cavern, a town on the boundary of Naphtali (Josh. 19:33). It has with probability, been identified with Seiyadeh, nearly 2 miles east of Bessum, a ruin half way between Tiberias and Mount Tabor.
- Nemuel Day of God. (1.) One of Simeon's five sons (1 Chr. 4:24), called also Jemuel (Gen. 46:10). (2.) A Reubenite, a son of Eliab, and brother of Dathan and Abiram (Num. 26:9).
- Nephilim (Gen. 6:4; Num. 13:33, R.V.), giants, the Hebrew word left untranslated by the Revisers, the name of one of the Canaanitish tribes. The Revisers have, however, translated the Hebrew gibborim, in Gen. 6:4, "mighty men."
- Nephtoah Opened, a fountain and a stream issuing from it on the border between Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:8, 9; 18:15). It has been identified with `Ain Lifta, a spring about 2 1/2 miles north-west of Jerusalem. Others, however, have identified it with `Ain' Atan, on the south-west of Bethlehem, whence water is conveyed through "Pilate's aqueduct" to the Haram area at Jerusalem.
- Ner Light, the father of Kish (1 Chr. 8:33). 1 Sam. 14:51 should be read, "Kish, the father of Saul, and Ner, the father of Abner, were the sons of Abiel." And hence this Kish and Ner were brothers, and Saul and Abner were first cousins (comp. 1 Chr. 9:36).
- Nergal The great dog; that is, lion, one of the chief gods of the Assyrians and Babylonians (2 Kings 17:30), the god of war and hunting. He is connected with Cutha as its tutelary deity.
- Nergal-sharezer Nergal, protect the king! (1.) One of the "princes of the king of Babylon who accompanied him in his last expedition against Jerusalem" (Jer. 39:3, 13).
(2.) Another of the "princes," who bore the title of "Rabmag." He was one of those who were sent to release Jeremiah from prison (Jer. 39:13) by "the captain of the guard." He was a Babylonian grandee of high rank. From profane history and the inscriptions, we are led to conclude that he was the Neriglissar who murdered Evil-merodach, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, and succeeded him on the throne of Babylon (B.C. 559-556). He was married to a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. The ruins of a palace, the only one on the right bank of the Euphrates, bear inscriptions denoting that it was built by this king. He was succeeded by his son, a mere boy, who was murdered after a reign of some nine months by a conspiracy of the nobles, one of whom, Nabonadius, ascended the vacant throne, and reigned for a period of seventeen years (B.C. 555-538), at the close of which period Babylon was taken by Cyrus. Belshazzar, who comes into notice in connection with the taking of Babylon, was by some supposed to have been the same as Nabonadius, who was called Nebuchadnezzar's son (Dan. 5:11, 18, 22), because he had married his daughter. But it is known from the inscriptions that Nabonadius had a son called Belshazzar, who may have been his father's associate on the throne at the time of the fall of Babylon, and who therefore would be the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. The Jews had only one word, usually rendered "father," to represent also such a relationship as that of "grandfather" or "great-grandfather."
- Net In use among the Hebrews for fishing, hunting, and fowling. The fishing-net was probably constructed after the form of that used by the Egyptians (Isa. 19:8). There were three kinds of nets. (1.) The drag-net or hauling-net (Gr. sagene), of great size, and requiring many men to work it. It was usually let down from the fishing-boat, and then drawn to the shore or into the boat, as circumstances might require (Matt. 13:47, 48). (2.) The hand-net or casting-net (Gr. amphiblestron), which was thrown from a rock or a boat at any fish that might be seen (Matt. 4:18; Mark 1:16). It was called by the Latins funda. It was of circular form, "like the top of a tent." (3.) The bag-net (Gr. diktyon), used for enclosing fish in deep water (Luke 5:4-9).
The fowling-nets were (1) the trap, consisting of a net spread over a frame, and supported by a stick in such a way that it fell with the slightest touch (Amos 3:5, "gin;" Ps. 69:22; Job 18:9; Eccl. 9:12). (2) The snare, consisting of a cord to catch birds by the leg (Job 18:10; Ps. 18:5; 116:3; 140:5). (3.) The decoy, a cage filled with birds as decoys (Jer. 5:26, 27). Hunting-nets were much in use among the Hebrews.
- Nethaneel Given of God. (1.) The son of Zuar, chief of the tribe of Issachar at the Exodus (Num. 1:8; 2:5).
(4.) A Levite (1 Chr. 24:6).
(5.) A temple porter, of the family of the Korhites (1 Chr. 26:4).
(7.) A chief Levite in the time of Josiah (2 Chr. 35:9).
(8.) Ezra 10:22.
(9.) Neh. 12:21.
- Nethaniah Given of Jehovah. (1.) One of Asaph's sons, appointed by David to minister in the temple (1 Chr. 25:2, 12).
(2.) A Levite sent by Jehoshaphat to teach the law (2 Chr. 17:8).
(3.) Jer. 36:14.
(4.) 2 Kings 25:23, 25.
- Nethinim The name given to the hereditary temple servants in all the post-Exilian books of Scripture. The word means given, i.e., "those set apart", viz., to the menial work of the sanctuary for the Levites. The name occurs seventeen times, and in each case in the Authorized Version incorrectly terminates in "s", "Nethinims;" in the Revised Version, correctly without the "s" (Ezra 2:70; 7:7, 24; 8:20, etc.). The tradition is that the Gibeonites (Josh. 9:27) were the original caste, afterwards called Nethinim. Their numbers were added to afterwards from captives taken in battle; and they were formally given by David to the Levites (Ezra 8:20), and so were called Nethinim, i.e., the given ones, given to the Levites to be their servants. Only 612 Nethinim returned from Babylon (Ezra 2:58; 8:20). They were under the control of a chief from among themselves (2:43; Neh. 7:46). No reference to them appears in the New Testament, because it is probable that they became merged in the general body of the Jewish people.
- Netophah Distillation; dropping, a town in Judah, in the neighbourhood, probably, of Bethlehem (Neh. 7:26; 1 Chr. 2:54). Two of David's guards were Netophathites (1 Chr. 27:13, 15). It has been identified with the ruins of Metoba, or Um Toba, to the north-east of Bethlehem.
- Nettle (1.) Heb. haral, "pricking" or "burning," Prov. 24:30, 31 (R.V. marg., "wild vetches"); Job 30:7; Zephaniah 2:9. Many have supposed that some thorny or prickly plant is intended by this word, such as the bramble, the thistle, the wild plum, the cactus or prickly pear, etc. It may probably be a species of mustard, the Sinapis arvensis, which is a pernicious weed abounding in corn-fields. Tristram thinks that this word "designates the prickly acanthus (Acanthus spinosus), a very common and troublesome weed in the plains of Palestine."
(2.) Heb. qimmosh, Isa. 34:13; Hos. 9:6; Prov. 24:31 (in both versions, "thorns"). This word has been regarded as denoting thorns, thistles, wild camomile; but probably it is correctly rendered "nettle," the Urtica pilulifera, "a tall and vigorous plant, often 6 feet high, the sting of which is much more severe and irritating than that of our common nettle."
New Moon, Feast of
- New Moon, Feast of Special services were appointed for the commencement of a month (Num. 28:11-15; 10:10). (See FESTIVALS.)
- Nezib A town in the "plain" of Judah. It has been identified with Beit Nuzib, about 14 miles south-west of Jerusalem, in the Wady Sur (Josh. 15:43).
- Nibhaz Barker, the name of an idol, supposed to be an evil demon of the Zabians. It was set up in Samaria by the Avites (2 Kings 17:31), probably in the form of a dog.
- Nibshan Fertile; light soil, a city somewhere "in the wilderness" of Judah (Josh. 15:62), probably near Engedi.
- Nicanor Conqueror, one of the seven deacons appointed in the apostolic Church (Acts 6:1-6). Nothing further is known of him.
- Nicodemus The people is victor, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin. He is first noticed as visiting Jesus by night (John 3:1-21) for the purpose of learning more of his doctrines, which our Lord then unfolded to him, giving prominence to the necessity of being "born again." He is next met with in the Sanhedrin (7:50-52), where he protested against the course they were taking in plotting against Christ. Once more he is mentioned as taking part in the preparation for the anointing and burial of the body of Christ (John 19:39). We hear nothing more of him. There can be little doubt that he became a true disciple.
- Nicolaitanes The church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:6) is commended for hating the "deeds" of the Nicolaitanes, and the church of Pergamos is blamed for having them who hold their "doctrines" (15). They were seemingly a class of professing Christians, who sought to introduce into the church a false freedom or licentiousness, thus abusing Paul's doctrine of grace (comp. 2 Pet. 2:15, 16, 19), and were probably identical with those who held the doctrine of Baalam (q.v.), Rev. 2:14.
- Nicolas The victory of the people, a proselyte of Antioch, one of the seven deacons (Acts 6:5).
- Nicopolis City of victory, where Paul intended to winter (Titus 3:12). There were several cities of this name. The one here referred to was most probably that in Epirus, which was built by Augustus Caesar to commemorate his victory at the battle of Actium (B.C. 31). It is the modern Paleoprevesa, i.e., "Old Prevesa." The subscription to the epistle to Titus calls it "Nicopolis of Macedonia", i.e., of Thrace. This is, however, probably incorrect.
- Niger Black, a surname of Simeon (Acts 13:1). He was probably so called from his dark complexion.
- Night-hawk (Heb. tahmas) occurs only in the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:16; Deut. 14:15). This was supposed to be the night-jar (Caprimulgus), allied to the swifts. The Hebrew word is derived from a root meaning "to scratch or tear the face," and may be best rendered, in accordance with the ancient versions, "an owl" (Strix flammea). The Revised Version renders "night-hawk."
- Nile Dark; blue, not found in Scripture, but frequently referred to in the Old Testament under the name of Sihor, i.e., "the black stream" (Isa. 23:3; Jer. 2:18) or simply "the river" (Gen. 41:1; Ex. 1:22, etc.) and the "flood of Egypt" (Amos 8:8). It consists of two rivers, the White Nile, which takes its rise in the Victoria Nyanza, and the Blue Nile, which rises in the Abyssinian Mountains. These unite at the town of Khartoum, whence it pursues its course for 1,800 miles, and falls into the Mediterranean through its two branches, into which it is divided a few miles north of Cairo, the Rosetta and the Damietta branch. (See EGYPT.)
- Nimrah Pure, a city on the east of Jordan (Num. 32:3); probably the same as Beth-nimrah (Josh. 13:27). It has been identified with the Nahr Nimrin, at one of the fords of Jordan, not far from Jericho.
Nimrim, Waters of
- Nimrim, Waters of The stream of the leopards, a stream in Moab (Isa. 15:6; Jer. 48:34); probably the modern Wady en-Nemeirah, a rich, verdant spot at the south-eastern end of the Dead Sea.
- Nimrod Firm, a descendant of Cush, the son of Ham. He was the first who claimed to be a "mighty one in the earth." Babel was the beginning of his kingdom, which he gradually enlarged (Gen. 10:8-10). The "land of Nimrod" (Micah 5:6) is a designation of Assyria or of Shinar, which is a part of it.
- Nimshi Saved. Jehu was "the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi" (2 Kings 9:2; comp. 1 Kings 19:16).
- Nisan Month of flowers, (Neh. 2:1) the first month of the Jewish sacred year. (See ABIB.) Assyrian nisannu, "beginning."
- Nisroch Probably connected with the Hebrew word nesher, an eagle. An Assyrian god, supposed to be that represented with the head of an eagle. Sennacherib was killed in the temple of this idol (2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38).
- Nitre (Prov. 25:20; R.V. marg., "soda"), properly "natron," a substance so called because, rising from the bottom of the Lake Natron in Egypt, it becomes dry and hard in the sun, and is the soda which effervesces when vinegar is poured on it. It is a carbonate of soda, not saltpetre, which the word generally denotes (Jer. 2:22; R.V. "lye").
- No Or No-A'mon, the home of Amon, the name of Thebes, the ancient capital of what is called the Middle Empire, in Upper or Southern Egypt. "The multitude of No" (Jer. 46:25) is more correctly rendered, as in the Revised Version, "Amon of No", i.e., No, where Jupiter Amon had his temple. In Ezek. 30:14, 16 it is simply called "No;" but in ver. 15 the name has the Hebrew Hamon prefixed to it, "Hamon No." This prefix is probably the name simply of the god usually styled Amon or Ammon. In Nah. 3:8 the "populous No" of the Authorized Version is in the Revised Version correctly rendered "No-Amon."
It was the Diospolis or Thebes of the Greeks, celebrated for its hundred gates and its vast population. It stood on both sides of the Nile, and is by some supposed to have included Karnak and Luxor. In grandeur and extent it can only be compared to Nineveh. It is mentioned only in the prophecies referred to, which point to its total destruction. It was first taken by the Assyrians in the time of Mal.gon (Isa. 20). It was afterwards "delivered into the hand" of Nebuchadnezzar and Assurbani-pal (Jer. 46:25, 26). Cambyses, king of the Persians (B.C. 525), further laid it waste by fire. Its ruin was completed (B.C. 81) by Ptolemy Lathyrus. The ruins of this city are still among the most notable in the valley of the Nile. They have formed a great storehouse of interesting historic remains for more than two thousand years. "As I wandered day after day with ever-growing amazement amongst these relics of ancient magnificence, I felt that if all the ruins in Europe, classical, Celtic, and medieval, were brought together into one centre, they would fall far short both in extent and grandeur of those of this single Egyptian city." Manning, The Land of the Pharaohs.
(2.) A false prophetess who assisted Tobiah and Sanballat against the Jews (Neh. 6:14). Being bribed by them, she tried to stir up discontent among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and so to embarrass Nehemiah in his great work of rebuilding the ruined walls of the city.
- Nob High place, a city of the priests, first mentioned in the history of David's wanderings (1 Sam. 21:1). Here the tabernacle was then standing, and here Ahimelech the priest resided. (See AHIMELECH.) From Isa. 10:28-32 it seems to have been near Jerusalem. It has been identified by some with el-Isawiyeh, one mile and a half to the north-east of Jerusalem. But according to Isa. 10:28-32 it was on the south of Geba, on the road to Jerusalem, and within sight of the city. This identification does not meet these conditions, and hence others (as Dean Stanley) think that it was the northern summit of Mount Olivet, the place where David "worshipped God" when fleeing from Absalom (2 Sam. 15:32), or more probably (Conder) that it was the same as Mizpeh (q.v.), Judg. 20:1; Josh. 18:26; 1 Sam. 7:16, at Nebi Samwil, about 5 miles north-west of Jerusalem.
After being supplied with the sacred loaves of showbread, and girding on the sword of Goliath, which was brought forth from behind the ephod, David fled from Nob and sought refuge at the court of Achish, the king of Gath, where he was cast into prison. (Comp. titles of Ps. 34 and 56.)
- Nobah Howling. (1.) Num. 32:42.
(2.) The name given to Kenath (q.v.) by Nobah when he conquered it. It was on the east of Gilead (Judg. 8:11).
- Nobleman (Gr. basilikos, i.e., "king's man"), an officer of state (John 4:49) in the service of Herod Antipas. He is supposed to have been the Chuza, Herod's steward, whose wife was one of those women who "ministered unto the Lord of their substance" (Luke 8:3). This officer came to Jesus at Cana and besought him to go down to Capernaum and heal his son, who lay there at the point of death. Our Lord sent him away with the joyful assurance that his son was alive.
- Nod Exile; wandering; unrest, a name given to the country to which Cain fled (Gen. 4:16). It lay on the east of Eden.
- Nodab Noble, probably a tribe descended from one of the sons of Ishmael, with whom the trans-Jordanic tribes made war (1 Chr. 5:19).
- Noph The Hebrew name of an Egyptian city (Isa. 19:13; Jer. 2:16; 44:1; 46:14, 19; Ezek. 30:13, 16). In Hos. 9:6 the Hebrew name is Moph, and is translated "Memphis," which is its Greek and Latin form. It was one of the most ancient and important cities of Egypt, and stood a little to the south of the modern Cairo, on the western bank of the Nile. It was the capital of Lower Egypt. Among the ruins found at this place is a colossal statue of Rameses the Great. (See MEMPHIS.)
- Nophah Blast, a city of Moab which was occupied by the Amorites (Num. 21:30).
- North country A general name for the countries that lay north of Palestine. Most of the invading armies entered Palestine from the north (Isa. 41:25; Jer. 1:14, 15; 50:3, 9, 41; 51:48; Ezek. 26:7).
- Northward (Heb. tsaphon), a "hidden" or "dark place," as opposed to the sunny south (Deut. 3:27). A Hebrew in speaking of the points of the compass was considered as always having his face to the east, and hence "the left hand" (Gen. 14:15; Job 23:9) denotes the north. The "kingdoms of the north" are Chaldea, Assyria, Media, etc.
- Nose-jewels Only mentioned in Isa. 3:21, although refered to in Gen. 24:47, Prov. 11:22, Hos. 2:13. They were among the most valued of ancient female ornaments. They "were made of ivory or metal, and occasionally jewelled. They were more than an inch in diameter, and hung upon the mouth. Eliezer gave one to Rebekah which was of gold and weighed half a shekel...At the present day the women in the country and in the desert wear these ornaments in one of the sides of the nostrils, which droop like the ears in consequence."
- Nun Beyond the fact that he was the father of Joshua nothing more is known of him (Ex. 33:11).
- Nuts Were among the presents Jacob sent into Egypt for the purpose of conciliating Joseph (Gen. 43:11). This was the fruit of the pistachio tree, which resembles the sumac. It is of the size of an olive. In [[../Solomon, Song of|Cant.]] 6:11 a different Hebrew word (`egoz), which means "walnuts," is used.
- Nymphas Nymph, saluted by Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians as a member of the church of Laodicea (Col. 4:15).
- Oak There are six Hebrew words rendered "oak."
(1.) `El occurs only in the word El-paran (Gen. 14:6). The LXX. renders by "terebinth." In the plural form this word occurs in Isa. 1:29; 57:5 (A.V. marg. and R.V., "among the oaks"); 61:3 ("trees"). The word properly means strongly, mighty, and hence a strong tree.
(2.) `Elah, Gen. 35:4, "under the oak which was by Shechem" (R.V. marg., "terebinth"). Isa. 6:13, A.V., "teil-tree;" R.V., "terebinth." Isa. 1:30, R.V. marg., "terebinth." Absalom in his flight was caught in the branches of a "great oak" (2 Sam. 18:9; R.V. marg., "terebinth").
(3.) `Elon, Judg. 4:11; 9:6 (R.V., "oak;" A.V., following the Targum, "plain") properly the deciduous species of oak shedding its foliage in autumn.
(4.) `Elan, only in Dan. 4:11, 14, 20, rendered "tree" in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. Probably some species of the oak is intended.
(6.) `Allon, always rendered "oak." Probably the evergreen oak (called also ilex and holm oak) is intended. The oak woods of Bashan are frequently alluded to (Isa. 2:13; Ezek. 27:6). Three species of oaks are found in Palestine, of which the "prickly evergreen oak" (Quercus coccifera) is the most abundant. "It covers the rocky hills of Palestine with a dense brushwood of trees from 8 to 12 feet high, branching from the base, thickly covered with small evergreen rigid leaves, and bearing acorns copiously." The so-called Abraham's oak at Hebron is of this species. Tristram says that this oak near Hebron "has for several centuries taken the place of the once renowned terebinth which marked the site of Mamre on the other side of the city. The terebinth existed at Mamre in the time of Vespasian, and under it the captive Jews were sold as slaves. It disappeared about A.D. 330, and no tree now marks the grove of Mamre. The present oak is the noblest tree in Southern Palestine, being 23 feet in girth, and the diameter of the foliage, which is unsymmetrical, being about 90 feet." (See HEBRON; TEIL-TREE.)
- Oath A solemn appeal to God, permitted on fitting occasions (Deut. 6:13; Jer. 4:2), in various forms (Gen. 16:5; 2 Sam. 12:5; Ruth 1:17; Hos. 4:15; Rom. 1:9), and taken in different ways (Gen. 14:22; 24:2; 2 Chr. 6:22). God is represented as taking an oath (Heb. 6:16-18), so also Christ (Matt. 26:64), and Paul (Rom. 9:1; Gal. 1:20; Phil. 1:8). The precept, "Swear not at all," refers probably to ordinary conversation between man and man (Matt. 5:34, 37). But if the words are taken as referring to oaths, then their intention may have been to show "that the proper state of Christians is to require no oaths; that when evil is expelled from among them every yea and nay will be as decisive as an oath, every promise as binding as a vow."
- Obed Serving; worshipping. (1.) A son of Boaz and Ruth (Ruth 4:21, 22), and the grandfather of David (Matt. 1:5).
(2.) 1 Chr. 2:34-38.
(3.) 1 Chr. 26:7.
(4.) 2 Chr. 23:1.
- Obed-Edom Servant of Edom. (1.) "The Gittite" (probably so called because he was a native of Gath-rimmon), a Levite of the family of the Korhites (1 Chr. 26:1, 4-8), to whom was specially intrusted the custody of the ark (1 Chr. 15:18). When David was bringing up the ark "from the house of Abinadab, that was in Gibeah" (probably some hill or eminence near Kirjath-jearim), and had reached Nachon's threshing-floor, he became afraid because of the "breach upon Uzzah," and carried it aside into the house of Obededom (2 Sam. 6:1-12). There it remained for six months, and was to him and his house the occasion of great blessing. David then removed it with great rejoicing to Jerusalem, and set it in the midst of the tabernacle he had pitched for it.
(2.) A Merarite Levite, a temple porter, who with his eight sons guarded the southern gate (1 Chr. 15:18, 21; 26:4, 8, 15).
(3.) One who had charge of the temple treasures (2 Chr. 25:24).
- Obeisance Homage or reverence to any one (Gen. 37:7; 43:28).
- Obil A keeper of camels, an Ishmaelite who was "over the camels" in the time of David (1 Chr. 27:30).
- Oboth Bottles, an encampment of the Israelites during the wanderings in the wilderness (Num. 33:43), the first after the setting up of the brazen serpent.
- Oded Restoring, or setting up. (1.) Father of the prophet Azariah (2 Chr. 15:1, 8).
(2.) A prophet in the time of Ahaz and Pekah (2 Chr. 28:9-15).
(2.) A stumbling-block or cause of temptation (Isa. 8:14; Matt. 16:23; 18:7). Greek skandalon, properly that at which one stumbles or takes offence. The "offence of the cross" (Gal. 5:11) is the offence the Jews took at the teaching that salvation was by the crucified One, and by him alone. Salvation by the cross was a stumbling-block to their national pride.
- Offering An oblation, dedicated to God. Thus Cain consecrated to God of the first-fruits of the earth, and Abel of the firstlings of the flock (Gen. 4:3, 4). Under the Levitical system different kinds of offerings are specified, and laws laid down as to their presentation. These are described under their distinctive names.
- Og Gigantic, the king of Bashan, who was defeated by Moses in a pitched battle at Edrei, and was slain along with his sons (Deut. 1:4), and whose kingdom was given to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh (Num. 21:32-35; Deut. 3:1-13). His bedstead (or rather sarcophagus) was of iron (or ironstone), 9 cubits in length and 4 cubits in breadth. His overthrow was afterwards celebrated in song (Ps. 135:11; 136:20). (See SIHON.)
- Ohad United, or power, the third son of Simeon (Gen. 46:10).
- Ohel A house; tent, the fourth son of Zerubbabel (1 Chr. 3:20).
- Oil Only olive oil seems to have been used among the Hebrews. It was used for many purposes: for anointing the body or the hair (Ex. 29:7; 2 Sam. 14:2; Ps. 23:5; 92:10; 104:15; Luke 7:46); in some of the offerings (Ex. 29:40; Lev. 7:12; Num. 6:15; 15:4), but was excluded from the sin-offering (Lev. 5:11) and the jealousy-offering (Num. 5:15); for burning in lamps (Ex. 25:6; 27:20; Matt. 25:3); for medicinal purposes (Isa. 1:6; Luke 10:34; James 5:14); and for anointing the dead (Matt. 26:12; Luke 23:56).
- Oil-tree (Isa. 41:19; R.V. marg., "oleaster"), Heb. `etz shemen, rendered "olive tree" in 1 Kings 6:23, 31, 32, 33 (R.V., "olive wood") and "pine branches" in Neh. 8:15 (R.V., "branches of wild olive"), was some tree distinct from the olive. It was probably the oleaster (Eleagnus angustifolius), which grows abundantly in almost all parts of Palestine, especially about Hebron and Samaria. "It has a fine hard wood," says Tristram, "and yields an inferior oil, but it has no relationship to the olive, which, however, it resembles in general appearance."
- Ointment Various fragrant preparations, also compounds for medical purposes, are so called (Ex. 30:25; Ps. 133:2; Isa. 1:6; Amos 6:6; John 12:3; Rev. 18:13).
- Old gate One of the gates in the north wall of Jerusalem, so called because built by the Jebusites (Neh. 3:6; 12:39).
- Olive The fruit of the olive-tree. This tree yielded oil which was highly valued. The best oil was from olives that were plucked before being fully ripe, and then beaten or squeezed (Deut. 24:20; Isa. 17:6; 24:13). It was called "beaten," or "fresh oil" (Ex. 27:20). There were also oil-presses, in which the oil was trodden out by the feet (Micah 6:15). James (3:12) calls the fruit "olive berries." The phrase "vineyards and olives" (Judg. 15:5, A.V.) should be simply "olive-yard," or "olive-garden," as in the Revised Version. (See OIL.)
- Olive-tree Is frequently mentioned in Scripture. The dove from the ark brought an olive-branch to Noah (Gen. 8:11). It is mentioned among the most notable trees of Palestine, where it was cultivated long before the time of the Hebrews (Deut. 6:11; 8:8). It is mentioned in the first Old Testament parable, that of Jotham (Judg. 9:9), and is named among the blessings of the "good land," and is at the present day the one characteristic tree of Palestine. The oldest olive-trees in the country are those which are enclosed in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is referred to as an emblem of prosperity and beauty and religious privilege (Ps. 52:8; Jer. 11:16; Hos. 14:6). The two "witnesses" mentioned in Rev. 11:4 are spoken of as "two olive trees standing before the God of the earth." (Comp. Zech. 4:3, 11-14.)
The "olive-tree, wild by nature" (Rom. 11:24), is the shoot or cutting of the good olive-tree which, left ungrafted, grows up to be a "wild olive." In Rom. 11:17 Paul refers to the practice of grafting shoots of the wild olive into a "good" olive which has become unfruitful. By such a process the sap of the good olive, by pervading the branch which is "graffed in," makes it a good branch, bearing good olives. Thus the Gentiles, being a "wild olive," but now "graffed in," yield fruit, but only through the sap of the tree into which they have been graffed. This is a process "contrary to nature" (11:24).
- Omar Eloquent, the son of Eliphaz, who was Esau's eldest son (Gen. 36:11-15).
- Omega (Rev. 1:8), the last letter in the Greek alphabet. (See A.)
- Omer A handful, one-tenth of an ephah=half a gallon dry measure (Ex. 16:22, 32, 33, 36)="tenth deal."
- On Light; the sun, (Gen. 41:45, 50), the great seat of sun-worship, called also Bethshemesh (Jer. 43:13) and Aven (Ezek. 30:17), stood on the east bank of the Nile, a few miles north of Memphis, and near Cairo, in the north-east. The Vulgate and the LXX. Versions have "Heliopolis" ("city of the sun") instead of On in Genesis and of Aven in Ezekiel . The "city of destruction" Isaiah speaks of (19:18, marg. "of Heres;" Heb. `Ir-ha-heres, which some MSS. read Ir-ha-heres, i.e., "city of the sun") may be the name given to On, the prophecy being that the time will come when that city which was known as the "city of the sun-god" shall become the "city of destruction" of the sun-god, i.e., when idolatry shall cease, and the worship of the true God be established.
In ancient times this city was full of obelisks dedicated to the sun. Of these only one now remains standing. "Cleopatra's Needle" was one of those which stood in this city in front of the Temple of Tum, i.e., "the sun." It is now erected on the Thames Embankment, London.
"It was at On that Joseph wooed and won the dark-skinned Asenath, the daughter of the high priest of its great temple." This was a noted university town, and here Moses gained his acquaintance with "all the wisdom of the Egyptians."
- Onan Strong, the second son of Judah (Gen. 38:4-10; comp. Deut. 25:5; Matt. 22:24). He died before the going down of Jacob and his family into Egypt.
- Onesiphorus Bringing profit, an Ephesian Christian who showed great kindness to Paul at Rome. He served him in many things, and had oft refreshed him. Paul expresses a warm interest in him and his household (2 Tim. 1:16-18; 4:19).
- Onion The Israelites in the wilderness longed for the "onions and garlick of Egypt" (Num. 11:5). This was the betsel of the Hebrews, the Allium cepe of botanists, of which it is said that there are some thirty or forty species now growing in Palestine. The onion is "the `undivided' leek, unio_, _unus, one."
- Ono A town of Benjamin, in the "plain of Ono" (1 Chr. 8:12; Ezra 2:33); now Kefr `Ana, 5 miles north of Lydda, and about 30 miles north-west of Jerusalem. Not succeeding in their attempts to deter Nehemiah from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Sanballat and Tobiah resorted to strategem, and pretending to wish a conference with him, they invited him to meet them at Ono. Four times they made the request, and every time Nehemiah refused to come. Their object was to take him prisoner.
- Onycha A nail; claw; hoof, (Heb. sheheleth; Ex. 30:34), a Latin word applied to the operculum, i.e., the claw or nail of the strombus or wing-shell, a univalve common in the Red Sea. The opercula of these shell-fish when burned emit a strong odour "like castoreum." This was an ingredient in the sacred incense.
- Onyx A hail; claw; hoof, (Heb. shoham), a precious stone adorning the breast-plate of the high priest and the shoulders of the ephod (Ex. 28:9-12, 20; 35:27; Job 28:16; Ezek. 28:13). It was found in the land of Havilah (Gen. 2:12). The LXX. translates the Hebrew word by smaragdos, an emerald. Some think that the sardonyx is meant. But the onyx differs from the sardonyx in this, that while the latter has two layers (black and white) the former has three (black, white, and red).
- Open place Gen. 38:14, 21, mar. Enaim; the same probably as Enam (Josh. 15:34), a city in the lowland or Shephelah.
- Ophel Hill; mound, the long, narrow, rounded promontory on the southern slope of the temple hill, between the Tyropoeon and the Kedron valley (2 Chr. 27:3; 33:14; Neh. 3:26, 27). It was surrounded by a separate wall, and was occupied by the Nethinim after the Captivity. This wall has been discovered by the engineers of the Palestine Exploration Fund at the south-eastern angle of the temple area. It is 4 feet below the present surface. In 2 Kings 5:24 this word is translated "tower" (R.V., "hill"), denoting probably some eminence near Elisha's house.
- Ophir (1.) One of the sons of Joktan (Gen. 10:29).
(2.) Some region famous for its gold (1 Kings 9:28; 10:11; 22:48; Job 22:24; 28:16; Isa. 13:12). In the LXX. this word is rendered "Sophir," and "Sofir" is the Coptic name for India, which is the rendering of the Arabic version, as also of the Vulgate. Josephus has identified it with the Golden Chersonese, i.e., the Malay peninsula. It is now generally identified with Abhira, at the mouth of the Indus. Much may be said, however, in favour of the opinion that it was somewhere in Arabia.
- Ophni Mouldy, a city of Benjamin (Josh. 18:24).
- Ophrah A fawn. 1 Chr. 4:14. (1.) A city of Benjamin (Josh. 18:23); probably identical with Ephron (2 Chr. 13:19) and Ephraim (John 11:54).
(2.) "Of the Abi-ezrites." A city of Manasseh, 6 miles south-west of Shechem, the residence of Gideon (Judg. 6:11; 8:27, 32). After his great victory over the Midianites, he slew at this place the captive kings (8:18-21). He then assumed the function of high priest, and sought to make Ophrah what Shiloh should have been. This thing "became a snare" to Gideon and his house. After Gideon's death his family resided here till they were put to death by Abimelech (Judg. 9:5). It is identified with Ferata.
- Oracle In the Old Testament used in every case, except 2 Sam. 16:23, to denote the most holy place in the temple (1 Kings 6:5, 19-23; 8:6). In 2 Sam. 16:23 it means the Word of God. A man inquired "at the oracle of God" by means of the Urim and Thummim in the breastplate on the high priest's ephod. In the New Testament it is used only in the plural, and always denotes the Word of God (Rom. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, etc.). The Scriptures are called "living oracles" (comp. Heb. 4:12) because of their quickening power (Acts 7:38).
- Oreb Raven, a prince of Midian, who, being defeated by Gideon and put to straits, was slain along with Zeeb (Judg. 7:20-25). Many of the Midianites perished along with him (Ps. 83:9; Isa. 10:26).
Oreb, The rock of
- Oreb, The rock of The place where Gideon slew Oreb after the defeat of the Midianites (Judg. 7:25; Isa. 10:26). It was probably the place now called Orbo, on the east of Jordan, near Bethshean.
- Oren Ash or pine, the son of Jerahmeel (1 Chr. 2:25).
- Organ Some kind of wind instrument, probably a kind of Pan's pipes (Gen. 4:21; Job 21:12; Ps. 150:4), which consisted of seven or eight reeds of unequal length.
- Orion Heb. Kesil; i.e., "the fool", the name of a constellation (Job 9:9; 38:31; Amos 5:8) consisting of about eighty stars. The Vulgate renders thus, but the LXX. renders by Hesperus, i.e., "the evening-star," Venus. The Orientals "appear to have conceived of this constellation under the figure of an impious giant bound upon the sky." This giant was, according to tradition, Nimrod, the type of the folly that contends against God. In Isa. 13:10 the plural form of the Hebrew word is rendered "constellations."
- Ornan 1 Chr. 21:15. (See ARAUNAH.)
- Orpah Forelock or fawn, a Moabitess, the wife of Chilion (Ruth 1:4; 4:10). On the death of her husband she accompanied Naomi, her mother-in-law, part of the way to Bethlehem, and then returned to Moab.
- Orphans (Lam. 5:3), i.e., desolate and without protectors. The word occurs only here. In John 14:18 the word there rendered "comfortless" (R.V., "desolate;" marg., "orphans") properly means "orphans." The same Greek word is rendered "fatherless" in James 1:27.
- Osprey Heb. `ozniyyah, an unclean bird according to the Mosaic law (Lev. 11:13; Deut. 14:12); the fish-eating eagle (Pandion haliaetus); one of the lesser eagles. But the Hebrew word may be taken to denote the short-toed eagle (Circaetus gallicus of Southern Europe), one of the most abundant of the eagle tribe found in Palestine.
- Ossifrage Heb. peres = to "break" or "crush", the lammer-geier, or bearded vulture, the largest of the whole vulture tribe. It was an unclean bird (Lev. 11:13; Deut. 14:12). It is not a gregarious bird, and is found but rarely in Palestine. "When the other vultures have picked the flesh off any animal, he comes in at the end of the feast, and swallows the bones, or breaks them, and swallows the pieces if he cannot otherwise extract the marrow. The bones he cracks [hence the appropriateness of the name ossifrage, i.e., "bone-breaker"] by letting them fall on a rock from a great height. He does not, however, confine himself to these delicacies, but whenever he has an opportunity will devour lambs, kids, or hares. These he generally obtains by pushing them over cliffs, when he has watched his opportunity; and he has been known to attack men while climbing rocks, and dash them against the bottom. But tortoises and serpents are his ordinary food...No doubt it was a lammer-geier that mistook the bald head of the poet AEschylus for a stone, and dropped on it the tortoise which killed him" (Tristram's Nat. Hist.).
- Ostrich (Lam. 4:3), the rendering of Hebrew pl. enim; so called from its greediness and gluttony. The allusion here is to the habit of the ostrich with reference to its eggs, which is thus described: "The outer layer of eggs is generally so ill covered that they are destroyed in quantities by jackals, wild-cats, etc., and that the natives carry them away, only taking care not to leave the marks of their footsteps, since, when the ostrich comes and finds that her nest is discovered, she crushes the whole brood, and builds a nest elsewhere." In Job 39:13 this word in the Authorized Version is the rendering of a Hebrew word (notsah) which means "feathers," as in the Revised Version. In the same verse the word "peacocks" of the Authorized Version is the rendering of the Hebrew pl. renanim, properly meaning "ostriches," as in the Revised Version. (See OWL .)
- Othni A lion of Jehovah, a son of Shemaiah, and one of the temple porters in the time of David (1 Chr. 26:7). He was a "mighty man of valour."
- Othniel Lion of God, the first of the judges. His wife Achsah was the daughter of Caleb (Josh. 15:16, 17; Judg. 1:13). He gained her hand as a reward for his bravery in leading a successful expedition against Debir (q.v.). Some thirty years after the death of Joshua, the Israelites fell under the subjection of Chushan-rishathaim (q.v.), the king of Mesopotamia. He oppressed them for full eight years, when they "cried" unto Jehovah, and Othniel was raised up to be their deliverer. He was the younger brother of Caleb (Judg. 3:8, 9-11). He is the only judge mentioned connected with the tribe of Judah. Under him the land had rest forty years.
- Ouches An Old English word denoting cavities or sockets in which gems were set (Ex. 28:11).
- Oven Heb. tannur, (Hos. 7:4). In towns there appear to have been public ovens. There was a street in Jerusalem (Jer. 37:21) called "bakers' street" (the only case in which the name of a street in Jerusalem is preserved). The words "tower of the furnaces" (Neh. 3:11; 12:38) is more properly "tower of the ovens" (Heb. tannurim). These resemble the ovens in use among ourselves.
There were other private ovens of different kinds. Some were like large jars made of earthenware or copper, which were heated inside with wood (1 Kings 17:12; Isa. 44:15; Jer. 7:18) or grass (Matt. 6:30), and when the fire had burned out, small pieces of dough were placed inside or spread in thin layers on the outside, and were thus baked. (See FURNACE.)
Pits were also formed for the same purposes, and lined with cement. These were used after the same manner.
- Owl (1.) Heb. bath-haya'anah, "daughter of greediness" or of "shouting." In the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:16; Deut. 14:15); also mentioned in Job 30:29; Isa. 13:21; 34:13; 43:20; Jer. 50:39; Micah 1:8. In all these passages the Revised Version translates "ostrich" (q.v.), which is the correct rendering.
(2.) Heb. yanshuph, rendered "great owl" in Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:16, and "owl" in Isa. 34:11. This is supposed to be the Egyptian eagle-owl (Bubo ascalaphus), which takes the place of the eagle-owl (Bubo maximus) found in Southern Europe. It is found frequenting the ruins of Egypt and also of the Holy Land. "Its cry is a loud, prolonged, and very powerful hoot. I know nothing which more vividly brought to my mind the sense of desolation and loneliness than the re-echoing hoot of two or three of these great owls as I stood at midnight among the ruined temples of Baalbek" (Tristram).
The LXX. and Vulgate render this word by "ibis", i.e., the Egyptian heron.
(3.) Heb. kos, rendered "little owl" in Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:16, and "owl" in Ps. 102:6. The Arabs call this bird "the mother of ruins." It is by far the most common of all the owls of Palestine. It is the Athene persica, the bird of Minerva, the symbol of ancient Athens.
(4.) Heb. kippoz, the "great owl" (Isa. 34:15); Revised Version, "arrow-snake;" LXX. and Vulgate, "hedgehog," reading in the text, kippod, instead of kippoz. There is no reason to doubt the correctness of the rendering of the Authorized Version. Tristram says: "The word [i.e., kippoz] is very possibly an imitation of the cry of the scops owl (Scops giu), which is very common among ruins, caves, and old walls of towns...It is a migrant, returning to Palestine in spring."
(5.) Heb. lilith, "screech owl" (Isa. 34:14, marg. and R.V., "night monster"). The Hebrew word is from a root signifying "night." Some species of the owl is obviously intended by this word. It may be the hooting or tawny owl (Syrnium aluco), which is common in Egypt and in many parts of Palestine. This verse in Isaiah is "descriptive of utter and perpetual desolation, of a land that should be full of ruins, and inhabited by the animals that usually make such ruins their abode."
- Ox Heb. bakar, "cattle;" "neat cattle", (Gen. 12:16; 34:28; Job 1:3, 14; 42:12, etc.); not to be muzzled when treading the corn (Deut. 25:4). Referred to by our Lord in his reproof to the Pharisees (Luke 13:15; 14:5).
- Ox goad Mentioned only in Judg. 3:31, the weapon with which Shamgar (q.v.) slew six hundred Philistines. "The ploughman still carries his goad, a weapon apparently more fitted for the hand of the soldier than the peaceful husbandman. The one I saw was of the `oak of Bashan,' and measured upwards of ten feet in length. At one end was an iron spear, and at the other a piece of the same metal flattened. One can well understand how a warrior might use such a weapon with effect in the battle-field" (Porter's Syria, etc.). (See GOAD.)
(2.) A son of Jerahmeel (1 Chr. 2:25).
- Paarai Opening of the Lord, "the Arbite," one of David's heroes (2 Sam. 23:35); called also Naarai, 1 Chr. 11:37.
- Padan A plain, occurring only in Gen. 48:7, where it designates Padan-aram.
- Padan-aram The plain of Aram, or the plain of the highlands, (Gen. 25:20; 28:2, 5-7; 31:18, etc.), commonly regarded as the district of Mesopotamia (q.v.) lying around Haran.
- Pahath-moab Governor of Moab, a person whose descendants returned from the Captivity and assisted in rebuilding Jerusalem (Ezra 2:6; 8:4; 10:30).
- Paint Jezebel "painted her face" (2 Kings 9:30); and the practice of painting the face and the eyes seems to have been common (Jer. 4:30; Ezek. 23:40). An allusion to this practice is found in the name of Job’s daughter (42:14) Kerenhappuch (q.v.). Paintings in the modern sense of the word were unknown to the ancient Jews.
- Palace Used now only of royal dwellings, although originally meaning simply (as the Latin word palatium, from which it is derived, shows) a building surrounded by a fence or a paling. In the Authorized Version there are many different words so rendered, presenting different ideas, such as that of citadel or lofty fortress or royal residence (Neh. 1:1; Dan. 8:2). It is the name given to the temple fortress (Neh. 2:8) and to the temple itself (1 Chr. 29:1). It denotes also a spacious building or a great house (Dan. 1:4; 4:4, 29: Esther 1:5; 7:7), and a fortified place or an enclosure (Ezek. 25:4). Solomon's palace is described in 1 Kings 7:1-12 as a series of buildings rather than a single great structure. Thirteen years were spent in their erection. This palace stood on the eastern hill, adjoining the temple on the south.
In the New Testament it designates the official residence of Pilate or that of the high priest (Matt. 26:3, 58, 69; Mark 14:54, 66; John 18:15). In Phil. 1:13 this word is the rendering of the Greek praitorion, meaning the praetorian cohorts at Rome (the life-guard of the Caesars). Paul was continually chained to a soldier of that corps (Acts 28:16), and hence his name and sufferings became known in all the praetorium. The "soldiers that kept" him would, on relieving one another on guard, naturally spread the tidings regarding him among their comrades. Some, however, regard the praetroium (q.v.) as the barrack within the palace (the palatium) of the Caesars in Rome where a detachment of these praetorian guards was stationed, or as the camp of the guards placed outside the eastern walls of Rome.
"In the chambers which were occupied as guard-rooms," says Dr. Manning, "by the praetorian troops on duty in the palace, a number of rude caricatures are found roughly scratched upon the walls, just such as may be seen upon barrack walls in every part of the world. Amongst these is one of a human figure nailed upon a cross. To add to the `offence of the cross,' the crucified one is represented with the head of an animal, probably that of an ass. Before it stands the figure of a Roman legionary with one hand upraised in the attitude of worship. Underneath is the rude, misspelt, ungrammatical inscription, Alexamenos worships his god. It can scarcely be doubted that we have here a contemporary caricature, executed by one of the praetorian guard, ridiculing the faith of a Christian comrade."
- Pallu Separated, the second son of Reuben (1 Chr. 5:3); called Phallu, Gen. 46:9. He was the father of the Phalluites (Ex. 6:14; Num. 26:5, 8).
- Palmer-worm (Heb. gazam). The English word may denote either a caterpillar (as rendered by the LXX.), which wanders like a palmer or pilgrim, or which travels like pilgrims in bands (Joel 1:4; 2:25), the wingless locusts, or the migratory locust in its larva state.
- Palm tree (Heb. tamar), the date-palm characteristic of Palestine. It is described as "flourishing" (Ps. 92:12), tall ([[../Solomon, Song of|Cant.]] 7:7), "upright" (Jer. 10:5). Its branches are a symbol of victory (Rev. 7:9). "Rising with slender stem 40 or 50, at times even 80, feet aloft, its only branches, the feathery, snow-like, pale-green fronds from 6 to 12 feet long, bending from its top, the palm attracts the eye wherever it is seen." The whole land of Palestine was called by the Greeks and Romans Phoenicia, i.e., "the land of palms." Tadmor in the desert was called by the Greeks and Romans Palmyra, i.e., "the city of palms." The finest specimens of this tree grew at Jericho (Deut. 34:3) and Engedi and along the banks of the Jordan. Branches of the palm tree were carried at the feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:40). At our Lord's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem the crowds took palm branches, and went forth to meet him, crying, "Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Matt. 21:8; John 12:13). (See DATE.)
Palm trees, The city of
- Palsy A shorter form of "paralysis." Many persons thus afflicted were cured by our Lord (Matt. 4:24; 8:5-13; 9:2-7; Mark 2:3-11; Luke 7:2-10; John 5:5-7) and the apostles (Acts 8:7; 9:33, 34).
- Palti Deliverance from the Lord, one of the spies representing the tribe of Benjamin (Num. 13:9).
- Paltiel Deliverance of God, the prince of Issachar who assisted "to divide the land by inheritance" (Num. 34:26).
- Paltite The designation of one of David's heroes (2 Sam. 23:26); called also the Pelonite (1 Chr. 11:27).
- Pamphylia Paul and his company, loosing from Paphos, sailed north-west and came to Perga, the capital of Pamphylia (Acts 13:13, 14), a province about the middle of the southern sea-board of Asia Minor. It lay between Lycia on the west and Cilicia on the east. There were strangers from Pamphylia at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (2:10).
- Pan A vessel of metal or earthenware used in culinary operations; a cooking-pan or frying-pan frequently referred to in the Old Testament (Lev. 2:5; 6:21; Num. 11:8; 1 Sam. 2:14, etc.).
The "ash-pans" mentioned in Ex. 27:3 were made of copper, and were used in connection with the altar of burnt-offering. The "iron pan" mentioned in Ezek. 4:3 (marg., "flat plate " or "slice") was probably a mere plate of iron used for baking. The "fire-pans" of Ex. 27:3 were fire-shovels used for taking up coals. The same Hebrew word is rendered "snuff-dishes" (25:38; 37:23) and "censers" (Lev. 10:1; 16:12; Num. 4:14, etc.). These were probably simply metal vessels employed for carrying burning embers from the brazen altar to the altar of incense.
The "frying-pan" mentioned in Lev. 2:7; 7:9 was a pot for boiling.
- Pannag (Ezek. 27:17; marg. R.V., "perhaps a kind of confection") the Jews explain as the name of a kind of sweet pastry. Others take it as the name of some place, identifying it with Pingi, on the road between Damascus and Baalbec. "Pannaga" is the Sanscrit name of an aromatic plant (comp. Gen. 43:11).
- Paper The expression in the Authorized Version (Isa. 19:7), "the paper reeds by the brooks," is in the Revised Version more correctly "the meadows by the Nile." The words undoubtedly refer to a grassy place on the banks of the Nile fit for pasturage.
In 2 John 1:12 the word is used in its proper sense. The material so referred to was manufactured from the papyrus, and hence its name. The papyrus (Heb. gome) was a kind of bulrush (q.v.). It is mentioned by Job (8:11) and Isaiah (35:7). It was used for many purposes. This plant (Papyrus Nilotica) is now unknown in Egypt; no trace of it can be found. The unaccountable disappearance of this plant from Egypt was foretold by Isaiah (19:6, 7) as a part of the divine judgment on that land. The most extensive papyrus growths now known are in the marshes at the northern end of the lake of Merom.
- Paphos The capital of the island of Cyprus, and therefore the residence of the Roman governor. It was visited by Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary tour (Acts 13:6). It is new Paphos which is here meant. It lay on the west coast of the island, about 8 miles north of old Paphos. Its modern name is Baffa.
- Parable (Gr. parabole), a placing beside; a comparison; equivalent to the Heb. mashal, a similitude. In the Old Testament this is used to denote (1) a proverb (1 Sam. 10:12; 24:13; 2 Chr. 7:20), (2) a prophetic utterance (Num. 23:7; Ezek. 20:49), (3) an enigmatic saying (Ps. 78:2; Prov. 1:6). In the New Testament, (1) a proverb (Mark 7:17; Luke 4:23), (2) a typical emblem (Heb. 9:9; 11:19), (3) a similitude or allegory (Matt. 15:15; 24:32; Mark 3:23; Luke 5:36; 14:7); (4) ordinarily, in a more restricted sense, a comparison of earthly with heavenly things, "an earthly story with a heavenly meaning," as in the parables of our Lord.
Instruction by parables has been in use from the earliest times. A large portion of our Lord's public teaching consisted of parables. He himself explains his reasons for this in his answer to the inquiry of the disciples, "Why speakest thou to them in parables?" (Matt. 13:13-15; Mark 4:11, 12; Luke 8:9, 10). He followed in so doing the rule of the divine procedures, as recorded in Matt. 13:13.
The parables uttered by our Lord are all recorded in the synoptical (i.e., the first three) Gospels. The fourth Gospel contains no parable properly so called, although the illustration of the good shepherd (John 10:1-16) has all the essential features of a parable. (See List of Parables in Appendix.)
- Paradise A Persian word (pardes), properly meaning a "pleasure-ground" or "park" or "king's garden." (See EDEN.) It came in course of time to be used as a name for the world of happiness and rest hereafter (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 12:4; Rev. 2:7). For "garden" in Gen. 2:8 the LXX. has "paradise."
- Parah The heifer, a town in Benjamin (Josh. 18:23), supposed to be identical with the ruins called Far'ah, about 6 miles north-east of Jerusalem, in the Wady Far'ah, which is a branch of the Wady Kelt.
- Paran Abounding in foliage, or abounding in caverns, (Gen. 21:21), a desert tract forming the north-eastern division of the peninsula of Sinai, lying between the `Arabah on the east and the wilderness of Shur on the west. It is intersected in a north-western direction by the Wady el-`Arish. It bears the modern name of Badiet et-Tih, i.e., "the desert of the wanderings." This district, through which the children of Israel wandered, lay three days' march from Sinai (Num. 10:12, 33). From Kadesh, in this wilderness, spies (q.v.) were sent to spy the land (13:3, 26). Here, long afterwards, David found refuge from Saul (1 Sam. 25:1, 4).
- Paran, Mount Probably the hilly region or upland wilderness on the north of the desert of Paran forming the southern boundary of the Promised Land (Deut. 33:2; Hab. 3:3).
- Parbar (1 Chr. 26:18), a place apparently connected with the temple, probably a "suburb" (q.v.), as the word is rendered in 2 Kings 23:11; a space between the temple wall and the wall of the court; an open portico into which the chambers of the official persons opened (1 Chr. 26:18).
- Parched ground (Isa. 35:7), Heb. sharab, a "mirage", a phenomenon caused by the refraction of the rays of the sun on the glowing sands of the desert, causing them suddenly to assume the appearance of a beautiful lake. It is called by the modern Arabs by the same Hebrew name serab.
- Parchment A skin prepared for writing on; so called from Pergamos (q.v.), where this was first done (2 Tim. 4:13).
- Pardon The forgiveness of sins granted freely (Isa. 43:25), readily (Neh. 9:17; Ps. 86:5), abundantly (Isa. 55:7; Rom. 5:20). Pardon is an act of a sovereign, in pure sovereignty, granting simply a remission of the penalty due to sin, but securing neither honour nor reward to the pardoned. Justification (q.v.), on the other hand, is the act of a judge, and not of a sovereign, and includes pardon and, at the same time, a title to all the rewards and blessings promised in the covenant of life.
- Parlour (from the Fr. parler, "to speak") denotes an "audience chamber," but that is not the import of the Hebrew word so rendered. It corresponds to what the Turks call a kiosk, as in Judg. 3:20 (the "summer parlour"), or as in the margin of the Revised Version ("the upper chamber of cooling"), a small room built on the roof of the house, with open windows to catch the breeze, and having a door communicating with the outside by which persons seeking an audience may be admitted. While Eglon was resting in such a parlour, Ehud, under pretence of having a message from God to him, was admitted into his presence, and murderously plunged his dagger into his body (21, 22).
The "inner parlours" in 1 Chr. 28:11 were the small rooms or chambers which Solomon built all round two sides and one end of the temple (1 Kings 6:5), "side chambers;" or they may have been, as some think, the porch and the holy place.
In 1 Sam. 9:22 the Revised Version reads "guest chamber," a chamber at the high place specially used for sacrificial feasts.
- Parmashta Strong-fisted, a son of Haman, slain in Shushan (Esther 9:9).
- Parmenas Constant, one of the seven "deacons" (Acts 6:5).
- Parshandatha An interpreter of the law, the eldest of Haman's sons, slain in Shushan (Esther 9:7).
- Parthians Were present in Jerusalem at Pentecost (Acts 2:9). Parthia lay on the east of Media and south of Hyrcania, which separated it from the Caspian Sea. It corresponded with the western half of the modern Khorasan, and now forms a part of Persia.
- Partridge (Heb. kore, i.e., "caller"). This bird, unlike our own partridge, is distinguished by "its ringing call-note, which in early morning echoes from cliff to cliff amidst the barrenness of the wilderness of Judea and the glens of the forest of Carmel" hence its Hebrew name. This name occurs only twice in Scripture.
In 1 Sam. 26:20 "David alludes to the mode of chase practised now, as of old, when the partridge, continuously chased, was at length, when fatigued, knocked down by sticks thrown along the ground." It endeavours to save itself "by running, in preference to flight, unless when suddenly started. It is not an inhabitant of the plain or the corn-field, but of rocky hill-sides" (Tristram's Nat. Hist.).
In Jer. 17:11 the prophet is illustrating the fact that riches unlawfully acquired are precarious and short-lived. The exact nature of the illustration cannot be precisely determined. Some interpret the words as meaning that the covetous man will be as surely disappointed as the partridge which gathers in eggs, not of her own laying, and is unable to hatch them; others (Tristram), with more probability, as denoting that the man who enriches himself by unjust means "will as surely be disappointed as the partridge which commences to sit, but is speedily robbed of her hopes of a brood" by her eggs being stolen away from her.
The commonest partridge in Palestine is the Caccabis saxatilis, the Greek partridge. The partridge of the wilderness (Ammo-perdix heyi) is a smaller species. Both are essentially mountain and rock birds, thus differing from the English partridge, which loves cultivated fields.
- Paruah Flourishing, the father of Jehoshaphat, appointed to provide monthly supplies for Solomon from the tribe of Issachar (1 Kings 4:17).
- Parvaim The name of a country from which Solomon obtained gold for the temple (2 Chr. 3:6). Some have identified it with Ophir, but it is uncertain whether it is even the name of a place. It may simply, as some think, denote "Oriental regions."
- Pasach Clearing, one of the sons of Japhlet, of the tribe of Asher (1 Chr. 7:33).
- Pas-dammim The border of blood = Ephes-dammim (q.v.), between Shochoh and Azekah (1 Sam. 17:1; 1 Chr. 11:13).
- Pashur Release. (1.) The son of Immer (probably the same as Amariah, Neh. 10:3; 12:2), the head of one of the priestly courses, was "chief governor [Heb. paqid nagid, meaning "deputy governor"] of the temple" (Jer. 20:1, 2). At this time the nagid, or "governor," of the temple was Seraiah the high priest (1 Chr. 6:14), and Pashur was his paqid, or "deputy." Enraged at the plainness with which Jeremiah uttered his solemn warnings of coming judgements, because of the abounding iniquity of the times, Pashur ordered the temple police to seize him, and after inflicting on him corporal punishment (forty stripes save one, Deut. 25:3; comp. 2 Cor. 11:24), to put him in the stocks in the high gate of Benjamin, where he remained all night. On being set free in the morning, Jeremiah went to Pashur (Jer. 20:3, 5), and announced to him that God had changed his name to Magor-missabib, i.e., "terror on every side." The punishment that fell upon him was probably remorse, when he saw the ruin he had brought upon his country by advising a close alliance with Egypt in opposition to the counsels of Jeremiah (20:4-6). He was carried captive to Babylon, and died there.
(3.) The father of Gedaliah. He was probably the same as (1).
- Passage Denotes in Josh. 22:11, as is generally understood, the place where the children of Israel passed over Jordan. The words "the passage of" are, however, more correctly rendered "by the side of," or "at the other side of," thus designating the position of the great altar erected by the eastern tribes on their return home. This word also designates the fords of the Jordan to the south of the Sea of Galilee (Judg. 12:5, 6), and a pass or rocky defile (1 Sam. 13:23; 14:4). "Passages" in Jer. 22:20 is in the Revised Version more correctly "Abarim" (q.v.), a proper name.
- Passion Only once found, in Acts 1:3, meaning suffering, referring to the sufferings of our Lord.
- Patara A city on the south-west coast of Lycia at which Paul landed on his return from his third missionary journey (Acts 21:1, 2). Here he found a larger vessel, which was about to sail across the open sea to the coast of Phoenicia. In this vessel he set forth, and reached the city of Tyre in perhaps two or three days.
- Pathros The name generally given to Upper Egypt (the Thebaid of the Greeks), as distinguished from Matsor, or Lower Egypt (Isa. 11:11; Jer. 44:1, 15; Ezek. 30:14), the two forming Mizraim. After the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, colonies of Jews settled "in the country of Pathros" and other parts of Egypt.
- Patmos A small rocky and barren island, one of the group called the "Sporades," in the AEgean Sea. It is mentioned in Scripture only in Rev. 1:9. It was on this island, to which John was banished by the emperor Domitian (A.D. 95), that he received from God the wondrous revelation recorded in his book. This has naturally invested it with the deepest interest for all time. It is now called Patmo. (See JOHN.)
- Patriarch A name employed in the New Testament with reference to Abraham (Heb. 7:4), the sons of Jacob (Acts 7:8, 9), and to David (2:29). This name is generally applied to the progenitors of families or "heads of the fathers" (Josh. 14:1) mentioned in Scripture, and they are spoken of as antediluvian (from Adam to Noah) and post-diluvian (from Noah to Jacob) patriachs. But the expression "the patriarch," by way of eminence, is applied to the twelve sons of Jacob, or to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
"Patriachal longevity presents itself as one of the most striking of the facts concerning mankind which the early history of the Book of Genesis places before us...There is a large amount of consentient tradition to the effect that the life of man was originally far more prolonged than it is at present, extending to at least several hundred years. The Babylonians, Egyptians, and Chinese exaggerated these hundreds into thousands. The Greeks and Romans, with more moderation, limited human life within a thousand or eight hundred years. The Hindus still farther shortened the term. Their books taught that in the first age of the world man was free from diseases, and lived ordinarily four hundred years; in the second age the term of life was reduced from four hundred to three hundred; in the third it became two hundred; in the fourth and last it was brought down to one hundred" (Rawlinson's Historical Illustrations).
- Pavement It was the custom of the Roman governors to erect their tribunals in open places, as the market-place, the circus, or even the highway. Pilate caused his seat of judgment to be set down in a place called "the Pavement" (John 19:13) i.e., a place paved with a mosaic of coloured stones. It was probably a place thus prepared in front of the "judgment hall." (See GABBATHA.)
- Pavilion A tent or tabernacle (2 Sam. 22:12; 1 Kings 20:12-16), or enclosure (Ps. 18:11; 27:5). In Jer. 43:10 it probably denotes the canopy suspended over the judgement-seat of the king.
- Peace offerings (Heb. shelamim), detailed regulations regarding given in Lev. 3; 7:11-21, 29-34. They were of three kinds, (1) eucharistic or thanksgiving offerings, expressive of gratitude for blessings received; (2) in fulfilment of a vow, but expressive also of thanks for benefits recieved; and (3) free-will offerings, something spontaneously devoted to God.
- Peacock (Heb. tuk, apparently borrowed from the Tamil tokei). This bird is indigenous to India. It was brought to Solomon by his ships from Tarshish (1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chr. 9:21), which in this case was probably a district on the Malabar coast of India, or in Ceylon. The word so rendered in Job 39:13 literally means wild, tumultuous crying, and properly denotes the female ostrich (q.v.).
- Pearl (Heb. gabish, Job 28:18; Gr. margarites, Matt. 7:6; 13:46; Rev. 21:21). The pearl oyster is found in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Its shell is the "mother of pearl," which is of great value for ornamental purposes (1 Tim. 2:9; Rev. 17:4). Each shell contains eight or ten pearls of various sizes.
- Peculiar As used in the phrase "peculiar people" in 1 Pet. 2:9, is derived from the Lat. peculium, and denotes, as rendered in the Revised Version ("a people for God's own possession"), a special possession or property. The church is the "property" of God, his "purchased possession" (Eph. 1:14; R.V., "God's own possession").
- Pedahzur Rock of redemption, the father of Gamaliel and prince of Manasseh at the time of the Exodus (Num. 1:10; 2:20).
- Pedaiah Redemption of the Lord. (1.) The father of Zebudah, who was the wife of Josiah and mother of king Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:36).
(2.) The father of Zerubbabel (1 Chr. 3:17-19).
(4.) Neh. 3:25.
(5.) A Levite (8:4).
(6.) A Benjamite (11:7).
(7.) A Levite (13:13).
- Pekahiah The Lord opened his eyes, the son and successor of Menahem on the throne of Israel. He was murdered in the royal palace of Samaria by Pekah, one of the captains of his army (2 Kings 15:23-26), after a reign of two years (B.C. 761-759). He "did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord."
- Pekod Probably a place in Babylonia (Jer. 50:21; Ezek. 23:23). It is the opinion, however, of some that this word signifies "visitation," "punishment," and allegorically "designates Babylon as the city which was to be destroyed."
(2.) A Levite who expounded the law (Neh. 8:7).
- Pelatiah Deliverance of the Lord. (1.) A son of Hananiah and grandson of Zerubbabel (1 Chr. 3:21).
(2.) A captain of "the sons of Simeon" (4:42).
(3.) Neh. 10:22.
- Peleg Division, one of the sons of Eber; so called because "in his days was the earth divided" (Gen. 10:25). Possibly he may have lived at the time of the dispersion from Babel. But more probably the reference is to the dispersion of the two races which sprang from Eber, the one spreading towards Mesopotamia and Syria, and the other southward into Arabia.
- Peleth Swiftness. (1.) A Reubenite whose son was one of the conspirators against Moses and Aaron (Num. 16:1).
(2.) One of the sons of Jonathan (1 Chr. 2:33).
- Pelethites Mentioned always along with the Cherethites, and only in the time of David. The word probably means "runners" or "couriers," and may denote that while forming part of David's bodyguard, they were also sometimes employed as couriers (2 Sam. 8:18; 20:7, 23;1 Kings 1:38, 44; 1 Chr. 18:17). Some, however, think that these are the names simply of two Philistine tribes from which David selected his body-guard. They are mentioned along with the Gittites (2 Sam. 15:18), another body of foreign troops whom David gathered round him.
- Pelicans Are frequently met with at the waters of Merom and the Sea of Galilee. The pelican is ranked among unclean birds (Lev. 11:18; Deut. 14:17). It is of an enormous size, being about 6 feet long, with wings stretching out over 12 feet. The Hebrew name (kaath, i.e., "vomiter") of this bird is incorrectly rendered "cormorant" in the Authorized Version of Isa. 34:11 and Zephaniah 2:14, but correctly in the Revised Version. It receives its Hebrew name from its habit of storing in its pouch large quantities of fish, which it disgorges when it feeds its young. Two species are found on the Syrian coast, the Pelicanus onocrotalus, or white pelican, and the Pelicanus crispus, or Dalmatian pelican.
- Penny (Gr. denarion), a silver coin of the value of about 7 1/2d. or 8d. of our present money. It is thus rendered in the New Testament, and is more frequently mentioned than any other coin (Matt. 18:28; 20:2, 9, 13; Mark 6:37; 14:5, etc.). It was the daily pay of a Roman soldier in the time of Christ. In the reign of Edward III. an English penny was a labourer's day's wages. This was the "tribute money" with reference to which our Lord said, "Whose image and superscription is this?" When they answered, "Caesar's," he replied, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's" (Matt. 22:19; Mark 12:15).
- Penuel Face of God, a place not far from Succoth, on the east of the Jordan and north of the river Jabbok. It is also called "Peniel." Here Jacob wrestled (Gen. 32:24-32) "with a man" ("the angel", Hos. 12:4. Jacob says of him, "I have seen God face to face") "till the break of day."
A town was afterwards built there (Judg. 8:8; 1 Kings 12:25). The men of this place refused to succour Gideon and his little army when they were in pursuit of the Midianites (Judg. 8:1-21). On his return, Gideon slew the men of this city and razed its lofty watch-tower to the ground.
- Peor Opening. (1.) A mountain peak (Num. 23:28) to which Balak led Balaam as a last effort to induce him to pronounce a curse upon Israel. When he looked on the tribes encamped in the acacia groves below him, he could not refrain from giving utterance to a remarkable benediction (24:1-9). Balak was more than ever enraged at Balaam, and bade him flee for his life. But before he went he gave expression to that wonderful prediction regarding the future of this mysterious people, whose "goodly tents" were spread out before him, and the coming of a "Star" out of Jacob and a "Sceptre" out of Israel (24:14-17).
- Perazim, Mount Mount of breaches, only in Isa. 28:21. It is the same as BAAL-PERAZIM (q.v.), where David gained a victory over the Philistines (2 Sam. 5:20).
- Peres Divided, one of the mysterious words "written over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall" of king Belshazzar's palace (Dan. 5:28). (See MENE.)
- Perez =Pharez, (q.v.), breach, the son of Judah (Neh. 11:4). "The chief of all the captains of the host for the first month" in the reign of David was taken from his family (1 Chr. 27:3). Four hundred and sixty-eight of his "sons" came back from captivity with Zerubbabel, who himself was one of them (1 Chr. 9:4; Neh. 11:6).
- Perez-uzzah The breach of Uzzah, a place where God "burst forth upon Uzzah, so that he died," when he rashly "took hold" of the ark (2 Sam. 6:6-8). It was not far from Kirjath-jearim (q.v.).
- Perfection See SANCTIFICATION.
- Perfumes Were used in religious worship, and for personal and domestic enjoyment (Ex. 30:35-37; Prov. 7:17; [[../Solomon, Song of|Cant.]] 3:6; Isa. 57:9); and also in embalming the dead, and in other funeral ceremonies (Mark 14:8; Luke 24:1; John 19:39).
- Perga The capital of Pamphylia, on the coast of Asia Minor. Paul and his companions landed at this place from Cyprus on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:13, 14), and here Mark forsook the party and returned to Jerusalem. Some time afterwards Paul and Barnabas again visited this city and "preached the word" (14:25). It stood on the banks of the river Cestrus, some 7 miles from its mouth, and was a place of some commercial importance. It is now a ruin, called Eski Kalessi.
- Pergamos The chief city of Mysia, in Asia Minor. One of the "seven churches" was planted here (Rev. 1:11; 2:17). It was noted for its wickedness, insomuch that our Lord says "Satan's seat" was there. The church of Pergamos was rebuked for swerving from the truth and embracing the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitanes. Antipas, Christ's "faithful martyr," here sealed his testimony with his blood.
This city stood on the banks of the river Caicus, about 20 miles from the sea. It is now called Bergama, and has a population of some twenty thousand, of whom about two thousand profess to be Christians. Parchment (q.v.) was first made here, and was called by the Greeks pergamene, from the name of the city.
- Perida Kernel, Neh. 7:57. (See PERUDA.)
- Perizzites Villagers; dwellers in the open country, the Canaanitish nation inhabiting the fertile regions south and south-west of Carmel. "They were the graziers, farmers, and peasants of the time." They were to be driven out of the land by the descendants of Abraham (Gen. 15:20; Ex. 3:8, 17; 23:23; 33:2; 34:11). They are afterwards named among the conquered tribes (Josh. 24:11). Still lingering in the land, however, they were reduced to servitude by Solomon (1 Kings 9:20).
- Persecution The first great persecution for religious opinion of which we have any record was that which broke out against the worshippers of God among the Jews in the days of Ahab, when that king, at the instigation of his wife Jezebel, "a woman in whom, with the reckless and licentious habits of an Oriental queen, were united the fiercest and sternest qualities inherent in the old Semitic race", sought in the most relentless manner to extirpate the worship of Jehovah and substitute in its place the worship of Ashtoreth and Baal. Ahab's example in this respect was followed by Manasseh, who "shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another" (2 Kings 21:16; comp. 24:4). In all ages, in one form or another, the people of God have had to suffer persecution. In its earliest history the Christian church passed through many bloody persecutions. Of subsequent centuries in our own and in other lands the same sad record may be made.
Christians are forbidden to seek the propagation of the gospel by force (Matt. 7:1; Luke 9:54-56; Rom. 14:4; James 4:11, 12). The words of Ps. 7:13, "He ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors," ought rather to be, as in the Revised Version, "He maketh his arrows fiery [shafts]."
Perseverance of the saints
- Perseverance of the saints Their certain continuance in a state of grace. Once justified and regenerated, the believer can neither totally nor finally fall away from grace, but will certainly persevere therein and attain everlasting life.
This doctrine is clearly taught in these passages, John 10:28, 29; Rom. 11:29; Phil. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:5. It, moreover, follows from a consideration of (1) the immutability of the divine decrees (Jer. 31:3; Matt. 24:22-24; Acts 13:48; Rom. 8:30); (2) the provisions of the covenant of grace (Jer. 32:40; John 10:29; 17:2-6); (3) the atonement and intercession of Christ (Isa. 53:6, 11; Matt. 20:28; 1 Pet. 2:24; John 11:42; 17:11, 15, 20; Rom. 8:34); and (4) the indwelling of the Holy Ghost (John 14:16; 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14; 1 John 3:9).
This doctrine is not inconsistent with the truth that the believer may nevertheless fall into grievous sin, and continue therein for some time. (See BACKSLIDE.)
- Persis A female Christian at Rome whom Paul salutes (Rom. 16:12). She is spoken of as "beloved," and as having "laboured much in the Lord."
- Pethahiah Loosed of the Lord. (1.) The chief of one of the priestly courses (the nineteenth) in the time of David (1 Chr. 24:16). (2.) A Levite (Ezra 10:23). (3.) Neh. 9:5. (4.) A descendant of Judah who had some office at the court of Persia (Neh. 11:24).
- Pethor Interpretation of dreams, identified with Pitru, on the west bank of the Euphrates, a few miles south of the Hittite capital of Carchemish (Num. 22:5, "which is by the river of the land of the children of [the god] Ammo"). (See BALAAM.)
- Petra Rock, Isa. 16:1, marg. (See SELA.)
- Peulthai Wages of the Lord, one of the sons of Obed-edom, a Levite porter (1 Chr. 26:5).
- Phallu Separated, the second son of Reuben (Gen. 46:9).
- Phalti Deliverance of the Lord, the son of Laish of Gallim (1 Sam. 25:44)= Phaltiel (2 Sam. 3:15). Michal, David's wife, was given to him.
- Pharaoh's daughters Three princesses are thus mentioned in Scripture: (1.) The princess who adopted the infant Moses (q.v.), Ex. 2:10. She is twice mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 7:21: Heb. 11:24). It would seem that she was alive and in some position of influence about the court when Moses was compelled to flee from Egypt, and thus for forty years he had in some way been under her influence. She was in all probability the sister of Rameses, and the daughter of Seti I. Josephus calls her Thermuthis. It is supposed by some that she was Nefert-ari, the wife as well as sister of Rameses. The mummy of this queen was among the treasures found at Deir-el-Bahari.
(2.) "Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took (1 Chr. 4:18).
- Pharez Breach, the elder of the twin sons of Judah (Gen. 38:29). From him the royal line of David sprang (Ruth 4:18-22). "The chief of all the captains of the host" was of the children of Perez (1 Chr. 27:3; Matt. 1:3).
- Pharpar Swift, one of the rivers of Damascus (2 Kings 5:12). It has been identified with the `Awaj, "a small lively river." The whole of the district watered by the `Awaj is called the Wady el-`Ajam, i.e., "the valley of the Persians", so called for some unknown reason. This river empties itself into the lake or marsh Bahret Hijaneh, on the east of Damascus. One of its branches bears the modern name of Wady Barbar, which is probably a corruption of Pharpar.
- Phebe A "deaconess of the church at Cenchrea," the port of Corinth. She was probably the bearer of Paul's epistle to the Romans. Paul commended her to the Christians at Rome; "for she hath been," says he, "a succourer of many, and of myself also" (Rom. 16:1, 2).
- Phenice Properly Phoenix a palm-tree (as in the R.V.), a town with a harbour on the southern side of Crete (Acts 27:12), west of the Fair Havens. It is now called Lutro.
- Phenicia (Acts 21:2) = Phenice (11:19; 15:3; R.V., Phoenicia), Gr. phoinix, "a palm", the land of palm-trees; a strip of land of an average breadth of about 20 miles along the shores of the Mediterranean, from the river Eleutherus in the north to the promotory of Carmel in the south, about 120 miles in length. This name is not found in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament it is mentioned only in the passages above referred to.
"In the Egyptian inscriptions Phoenicia is called Keft, the inhabitants being Kefa; and since Keft-ur, or `Greater Phoenicia,' was the name given to the delta of the Nile from the Phoenician colonies settled upon it, the Philistines who came from Caphtor or Keft-ur must have been of Phoenician origin" (comp. Deut. 2:23; Jer. 47:4; Amos 9:7)., Sayce's Bible and the Monuments.
Phoenicia lay in the very centre of the old world, and was the natural entrepot for commerce with foreign nations. It was the "England of antiquity." "The trade routes from all Asia converged on the Phoenician coast; the centres of commerce on the Euphrates and Tigris forwarding their goods by way of Tyre to the Nile, to Arabia, and to the west; and, on the other hand, the productions of the vast regions bordering the Mediterranean passing through the Canaanite capital to the eastern world." It was "situate at the entry of the sea, a merchant of the people for many isles" (Ezek. 27:3, 4). The far-reaching commercial activity of the Phoenicians, especially with Tarshish and the western world, enriched them with vast wealth, which introduced boundless luxury and developed among them a great activity in all manner of arts and manufactures. (See TYRE.)
The Phoenicians were the most enterprising merchants of the old world, establishing colonies at various places, of which Carthage was the chief. They were a Canaanite branch of the race of Ham, and are frequently called Sidonians, from their principal city of Sidon. None could "skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians" (1 Kings 5:6). King Hiram rendered important service to Solomon in connection with the planning and building of the temple, casting for him all the vessels for the temple service, and the two pillars which stood in the front of the porch, and "the molten sea" (1 Kings 7:21-23). Singular marks have been found by recent exploration on the great stones that form the substructure of the temple. These marks, both painted and engraved, have been regarded as made by the workmen in the quarries, and as probably intended to indicate the place of these stones in the building. "The Biblical account (1 Kings 5:17, 18) is accurately descriptive of the massive masonry now existing at the south-eastern angle (of the temple area), and standing on the native rock 80 feet below the present surface. The Royal Engineers found, buried deeply among the rubbish of many centuries, great stones, costly and hewed stones, forming the foundation of the sanctuary wall; while Phoenician fragments of pottery and Phoenician marks painted on the massive blocks seem to proclaim that the stones were prepared in the quarry by the cunning workmen of Hiram, the king of Tyre." (See TEMPLE.)
The Phoenicians have been usually regarded as the inventors of alphabetic writing. The Egyptians expressed their thoughts by certain symbols, called "hieroglyphics", i.e., sacred carvings, so styled because used almost exclusively on sacred subjects. The recent discovery, however, of inscriptions in Southern Arabia (Yemen and Hadramaut), known as Hemyaritic, in connection with various philogical considerations, has led some to the conclusion that the Phoenician alphabet was derived from the Mineans (admitting the antiquity of the kingdom of Ma'in, Judg. 10:12; 2 Chr. 26:7). Thus the Phoenician alphabet ceases to be the mother alphabet. Sayce thinks "it is more than possible that the Egyptians themselves were emigrants from Southern Arabia." (See MOABITE STONE.)
"The Phoenicians were renowned in ancient times for the manufacture of glass, and some of the specimens of this work that have been preserved are still the wonder of mankind...In the matter of shipping, whether ship-building be thought of or traffic upon the sea, the Phoenicians surpassed all other nations." "The name Phoenicia is of uncertain origin, though it may be derived from Fenkhu, the name given in the Egyptian inscriptions to the natives of Palestine. Among the chief Phoenician cities were Tyre and Sidon, Gebal north of Beirut, Arvad or Arados and Zemar."
- Phicol Great, the chief captain of the army of Abimelech, the Philistine king of Gerar. He entered into an alliance with Abraham with reference to a certain well which, from this circumstance, was called Beersheba (q.v.), "the well of the oath" (Gen. 21:22, 32; 26:26).
- Philetus Amiable, with Hymenaeus, at Ephesus, said that the "resurrection was past already" (2 Tim. 2:17, 18). This was a Gnostic heresy held by the Nicolaitanes. (See ALEXANDER .)
- Phinehas Mouth of brass, or from old Egypt, the negro. (1.) Son of Eleazar, the high priest (Ex. 6:25). While yet a youth he distinguished himself at Shittim by his zeal against the immorality into which the Moabites had tempted the people (Num. 25:1-9), and thus "stayed the plague" that had broken out among the people, and by which twenty-four thousand of them perished. For his faithfulness on that occasion he received the divine approbation (10-13). He afterwards commanded the army that went out against the Midianites (31:6-8). When representatives of the people were sent to expostulate with the two and a half tribes who, just after crossing Jordan, built an altar and departed without giving any explanation, Phinehas was their leader, and addressed them in the words recorded in Josh. 22:16-20. Their explanation follows. This great altar was intended to be all ages only a witness that they still formed a part of Israel. Phinehas was afterwards the chief adviser in the war with the Benjamites. He is commemorated in Ps. 106:30, 31. (See ED.)
(2.) One of the sons of Eli, the high priest (1 Sam. 1:3; 2:12). He and his brother Hophni were guilty of great crimes, for which destruction came on the house of Eli (31). He died in battle with the Philistines (1 Sam. 4:4, 11); and his wife, on hearing of his death, gave birth to a son, whom she called "Ichabod," and then she died (19-22).
- Phoenicia (Acts 21:2). (See PHENICIA.)
- Phrygia Dry, an irregular and ill-defined district in Asia Minor. It was divided into two parts, the Greater Phrygia on the south, and the Lesser Phrygia on the west. It is the Greater Phrygia that is spoken of in the New Testament. The towns of Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:14), Colosse, Hierapolis, Iconium, and Laodicea were situated in it.
- Phut Phut is placed between Egypt and Canaan in Gen. 10:6, and elsewhere we find the people of Phut described as mercenaries in the armies of Egypt and Tyre (Jer. 46:9; Ezek. 30:5; 27:10). In a fragment of the annuals of Nebuchadrezzar which records his invasion of Egypt, reference is made to "Phut of the Ionians."
- Phygellus Fugitive, a Christian of Asia, who "turned away" from Paul during his second imprisonment at Rome (2 Tim. 1:15). Nothing more is known of him.
- Phylacteries (Gr. phulakteria; i.e., "defences" or "protections"), called by modern Jews tephillin (i.e., "prayers") are mentioned only in Matt. 23:5. They consisted of strips of parchment on which were inscribed these four texts: (1.) Ex. 13:1-10; (2.) 11-16; (3.) Deut. 6:4-9; (4.) 11:18-21, and which were enclosed in a square leather case, on one side of which was inscribed the Hebrew letter shin, to which the rabbis attached some significance. This case was fastened by certain straps to the forehead just between the eyes. The "making broad the phylacteries" refers to the enlarging of the case so as to make it conspicuous. (See FRONTLETS.)
Another form of the phylactery consisted of two rolls of parchment, on which the same texts were written, enclosed in a case of black calfskin. This was worn on the left arm near the elbow, to which it was bound by a thong. It was called the "Tephillah on the arm."
- Physician Asa, afflicted with some bodily malady, "sought not to the Lord but to the physicians" (2 Chr. 16:12). The "physicians" were those who "practised heathen arts of magic, disavowing recognized methods of cure, and dissociating the healing art from dependence on the God of Israel. The sin of Asa was not, therefore, in seeking medical advice, as we understand the phrase, but in forgetting Jehovah."
- Pi-beseth (Ezek. 30:17), supposed to mean. "a cat," or a deity in the form of a cat, worshipped by the Egyptians. It was called by the Greeks Bubastis. The hieroglyphic name is "Pe-bast", i.e., the house of Bast, the Artemis of the Egyptians. The town of Bubasts was situated on the Pelusian branch, i.e., the easternmost branch, of the Delta. It was the seat of one of the chief annual festivals of the Egyptians. Its ruins bear the modern name of Tel-Basta.
- Pieces (1) of silver. In Ps. 68:30 denotes "fragments," and not properly money. In 1 Sam. 2:36 (Heb. agorah), properly a "small sum" as wages, weighed rather than coined. Josh. 24:32 (Heb. kesitah, q.v.), supposed by some to have been a piece of money bearing the figure of a lamb, but rather simply a certain amount. (Comp. Gen. 33:19).
(2.) The word pieces is omitted in many passages, as Gen. 20:16; 37:28; 45:22, etc. The passage in Zech. 11:12, 13 is quoted in the Gospel (Matt. 26:15), and from this we know that the word to be supplied is "shekels." In all these omissions we may thus warrantably supply this word.
- Piety Lat. pietas, properly honour and respect toward parents (1 Tim. 5:4). In Acts 17:23 the Greek verb is rendered "ye worship," as applicable to God.
- Pigeon Pigeons are mentioned as among the offerings which, by divine appointment, Abram presented unto the Lord (Gen. 15:9). They were afterwards enumerated among the sin-offerings (Lev. 1:14; 12:6), and the law provided that those who could not offer a lamb might offer two young pigeons (5:7; comp. Luke 2:24). (See DOVE.)
- Pi-hahiroth Place where the reeds grow (LXX. and Copt. read "farmstead"), the name of a place in Egypt where the children of Israel encamped (Ex. 14:2, 9), how long is uncertain. Some have identified it with Ajrud, a fortress between Etham and Suez. The condition of the Isthmus of Suez at the time of the Exodus is not exactly known, and hence this, with the other places mentioned as encampments of Israel in Egypt, cannot be definitely ascertained. The isthmus has been formed by the Nile deposits. This increase of deposit still goes on, and so rapidly that within the last fifty years the mouth of the Nile has advanced northward about four geographical miles. In the maps of Ptolemy (of the second and third centuries A.D.) the mouths of the Nile are forty miles further south than at present. (See EXODUS.)
- Pillar Used to support a building (Judg. 16:26, 29); as a trophy or memorial (Gen. 28:18; 35:20; Ex. 24:4; 1 Sam. 15:12, A.V., "place," more correctly "monument," or "trophy of victory," as in 2 Sam. 18:18); of fire, by which the Divine Presence was manifested (Ex. 13:2). The "plain of the pillar" in Judg. 9:6 ought to be, as in the Revised Version, the "oak of the pillar", i.e., of the monument or stone set up by Joshua (24:26).
- Pine tree Heb. tidhar, mentioned along with the fir-tree in Isa. 41:19; 60:13. This is probably the cypress; or it may be the stone-pine, which is common on the northern slopes of Lebanon. Some suppose that the elm, others that the oak, or holm, or ilex, is meant by the Hebrew word. In Neh. 8:15 the Revised Version has "wild olive" instead of "pine." (See FIR.)
- Pinnacle A little wing, (Matt. 4:5; Luke 4:9). On the southern side of the temple court was a range of porches or cloisters forming three arcades. At the south-eastern corner the roof of this cloister was some 300 feet above the Kidron valley. The pinnacle, some parapet or wing-like projection, was above this roof, and hence at a great height, probably 350 feet or more above the valley.
- Pipe (1 Sam. 10:5; 1 Kings 1:40; Isa. 5:12; 30:29). The Hebrew word halil, so rendered, means "bored through," and is the name given to various kinds of wind instruments, as the fife, flute, Pan-pipes, etc. In Amos 6:5 this word is rendered "instrument of music." This instrument is mentioned also in the New Testament (Matt. 11:17; 1 Cor. 14:7). It is still used in Palestine, and is, as in ancient times, made of different materials, as reed, copper, bronze, etc.
- Piram Like a wild ass, a king of Jarmuth, a royal city of the Canaanites, who was conquered and put to death by Joshua (10:3, 23, 26).
- Pirathon Prince, or summit, a place "in the land of Ephraim" (Judg. 12:15), now Fer'on, some 10 miles south-west of Shechem. This was the home of Abdon the judge.
- Pirathonite (1.) Abdon, the son of Hillel, so called, Judg. 12:13, 15.
- Pisgah A part, a mountain summit in the land of Moab, in the territory of Reuben, where Balak offered up sacrifices (Num. 21:20; 23:14), and from which Moses viewed the promised land (Deut. 3:27). It is probably the modern Jebel Siaghah. (See NEBO.)
- Pisidia A district in Asia Minor, to the north of Pamphylia. The Taurus range of mountains extends through it. Antioch, one of its chief cities, was twice visited by Paul (Acts 13:14; 14:21-24).
- Pison Babylonian, the current, broad-flowing, one of the "four heads" into which the river which watered the garden of Eden was divided (Gen. 2:11). Some identify it with the modern Phasis, others with the Halys, others the Jorak or Acampis, others the Jaab, the Indus, the Ganges, etc.
- Pit A hole in the ground (Ex. 21:33, 34), a cistern for water (Gen. 37:24; Jer. 14:3), a vault (41:9), a grave (Ps. 30:3). It is used as a figure for mischief (Ps. 9:15), and is the name given to the unseen place of woe (Rev. 20:1, 3). The slime-pits in the vale of Siddim were wells which yielded asphalt (Gen. 14:10).
- Pitch (Gen. 6:14), asphalt or bitumen in its soft state, called "slime" (Gen. 11:3; 14:10; Ex. 2:3), found in pits near the Dead Sea (q.v.). It was used for various purposes, as the coating of the outside of vessels and in building. Allusion is made in Isa. 34:9 to its inflammable character. (See SLIME.)
- Pitcher A vessel for containing liquids. In the East pitchers were usually carried on the head or shoulders (Gen. 24:15-20; Judg. 7:16, 19; Mark 14:13).
- Pithom Egyptian, Pa-Tum, "house of Tum," the sun-god, one of the "treasure" cities built for Pharaoh Rameses II. by the Israelites (Ex. 1:11). It was probably the Patumos of the Greek historian Herodotus. It has now been satisfactorily identified with Tell-el-Maskhuta, about 12 miles west of Ismailia, and 20 east of Tel-el-Kebir, on the southern bank of the present Suez Canal. Here have recently (1883) been discovered the ruins of supposed grain-chambers, and other evidences to show that this was a great "store city." Its immense ruin-heaps show that it was built of bricks, and partly also of bricks without straw. Succoth (Ex. 12:37) is supposed by some to be the secular name of this city, Pithom being its sacred name. This was the first halting-place of the Israelites in their exodus. It has been argued (Dr. Lansing) that these "store" cities "were residence cities, royal dwellings, such as the Pharaohs of old, the Kings of Israel, and our modern Khedives have ever loved to build, thus giving employment to the superabundant muscle of their enslaved peoples, and making a name for themselves."
- Plain (1.) Heb. `abel (Judg. 11:33), a "grassy plain" or "meadow." Instead of "plains of the vineyards," as in the Authorized Version, the Revised Version has "Abel-cheramim" (q.v.), comp. Judg. 11:22; 2 Chr. 16:4.
(3.) Heb. bik'ah (Gen. 11:2; Neh. 6:2; Ezek. 3:23; Dan. 3:1), properly a valley, as rendered in Isa. 40:4, a broad plain between mountains. In Amos 1:5 the margin of Authorized Version has "Bikathaven."
(4.) Heb. kikar, "the circle," used only of the Ghor, or the low ground along the Jordan (Gen. 13:10-12; 19:17, 25, 28, 29; Deut. 34:3; 2 Sam. 18:23; 1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chr. 4:17; Neh. 3:22; 12:28), the floor of the valley through which it flows. This name is applied to the Jordan valley as far north as Succoth.
(5.) Heb. mishor, "level ground," smooth, grassy table-land (Deut. 3:10; 4:43; Josh. 13:9, 16, 17, 21; 20:8; Jer. 48:21), an expanse of rolling downs without rock or stone. In these passages, with the article prefixed, it denotes the plain in the tribe of Reuben. In 2 Chr. 26:10 the plain of Judah is meant. Jerusalem is called "the rock of the plain" in Jer. 21:13, because the hills on which it is built rise high above the plain.
(6.) Heb. `arabah, the valley from the Sea of Galilee southward to the Dead Sea (the "sea of the plain," 2 Kings 14:25; Deut. 1:1; 2:8), a distance of about 70 miles. It is called by the modern Arabs the Ghor. This Hebrew name is found in Authorized Version (Josh. 18:18), and is uniformly used in the Revised Version. Down through the centre of this plain is a ravine, from 200 to 300 yards wide, and from 50 to 100 feet deep, through which the Jordan flows in a winding course. This ravine is called the "lower plain."
The name Arabah is also applied to the whole Jordan valley from Mount Hermon to the eastern branch of the Red Sea, a distance of about 200 miles, as well as to that portion of the valley which stretches from the Sea of Galilee to the same branch of the Red Sea, i.e., to the Gulf of Akabah about 100 miles in all.
(7.) Heb. shephelah, "low ground," "low hill-land," rendered "vale" or "valley" in Authorized Version (Josh. 9:1; 10:40; 11:2; 12:8; Judg. 1:9; 1 Kings 10:27). In Authorized Version (1 Chr. 27:28; 2 Chr. 26:10) it is also rendered "low country." In Jer. 17:26, Obad. 1:19, Zech. 7:7, "plain." The Revised Version renders it uniformly "low land." When it is preceded by the article, as in Deut. 1:7, Josh. 11:16; 15:33, Jer. 32:44; 33:13, Zech. 7:7, "the shephelah," it denotes the plain along the Mediterranean from Joppa to Gaza, "the plain of the Philistines." (See VALLEY.)
Plain of Mamre
- Plain of Mamre (Gen. 13:18; 14:13; R.V., "oaks of Mamre;" marg., "terebinths"). (See MAMRE; TEIL-TREE.)
- Plane tree Heb. `armon (Gen. 30:37; Ezek. 31:8), rendered "chesnut" in the Authorized Version, but correctly "plane tree" in the Revised Version and the LXX. This tree is frequently found in Palestine, both on the coast and in the north. It usually sheds its outer bark, and hence its Hebrew name, which means "naked." (See CHESTNUT.)
- Pledge See LOAN.
- Pleiades Heb. kimah, "a cluster" (Job 9:9; 38:31; Amos 5:8, A.V., "seven stars;" R.V., "Pleiades"), a name given to the cluster of stars seen in the shoulder of the constellation Taurus.
- Plough First referred to in Gen. 45:6, where the Authorized Version has "earing," but the Revised Version "ploughing;" next in Ex. 34:21 and Deut. 21:4. The plough was originally drawn by oxen, but sometimes also by asses and by men. (See AGRICULTURE.)
- Poetry Has been well defined as "the measured language of emotion." Hebrew poetry deals almost exclusively with the great question of man's relation to God. "Guilt, condemnation, punishment, pardon, redemption, repentance are the awful themes of this heaven-born poetry."
In the Hebrew scriptures there are found three distinct kinds of poetry, (1) that of the Book of Job and the Song of Solomon, which is dramatic; (2) that of the Book of Psalms, which is lyrical; and (3) that of the Book of Ecclesiastes, which is didactic and sententious.
Hebrew poetry has nothing akin to that of Western nations. It has neither metre nor rhyme. Its great peculiarity consists in the mutual correspondence of sentences or clauses, called parallelism, or "thought-rhyme." Various kinds of this parallelism have been pointed out:
(1.) Synonymous or cognate parallelism, where the same idea is repeated in the same words (Ps. 93:3; 94:1; Prov. 6:2), or in different words (Ps. 22, 23, 28, 114, etc.); or where it is expressed in a positive form in the one clause and in a negative in the other (Ps. 40:12; Prov. 6:26); or where the same idea is expressed in three successive clauses (Ps. 40:15, 16); or in a double parallelism, the first and second clauses corresponding to the third and fourth (Isa. 9:1; 61:10, 11).
(2.) Antithetic parallelism, where the idea of the second clause is the converse of that of the first (Ps. 20:8; 27:6, 7; 34:11; 37:9, 17, 21, 22). This is the common form of gnomic or proverbial poetry. (See Prov. 10-15.)
(4.) Introverted parallelism, in which of four clauses the first answers to the fourth and the second to the third (Ps. 135:15-18; Prov. 23:15, 16), or where the second line reverses the order of words in the first (Ps. 86:2).
Hebrew poetry sometimes assumes other forms than these. (1.) An alphabetical arrangement is sometimes adopted for the purpose of connecting clauses or sentences. Thus in the following the initial words of the respective verses begin with the letters of the alphabet in regular succession: Prov. 31:10-31; Lam. 1, 2, 3, 4; Ps. 25, 34, 37, 145. Ps. 119 has a letter of the alphabet in regular order beginning every eighth verse.
(2.) The repetition of the same verse or of some emphatic expression at intervals (Ps. 42, 107, where the refrain is in verses, 8, 15, 21, 31). (Comp. also Isa. 9:8-10:4; Amos 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 13; 2:1, 4, 6.)
(3.) Gradation, in which the thought of one verse is resumed in another (Ps. 121).
Several odes of great poetical beauty are found in the historical books of the Old Testament, such as the song of Moses (Ex. 15), the song of Deborah (Judg. 5), of Hannah (1 Sam. 2), of Hezekiah (Isa. 38:9-20), of Habakkuk (Hab. 3), and David's "song of the bow" (2 Sam. 1:19-27).
- Poison (1.) Heb. hemah, "heat," the poison of certain venomous reptiles (Deut. 32:24, 33; Job 6:4; Ps. 58:4), causing inflammation.
(2.) Heb. rosh, "a head," a poisonous plant (Deut. 29:18), growing luxuriantly (Hos. 10:4), of a bitter taste (Ps. 69:21; Lam. 3:5), and coupled with wormwood; probably the poppy. This word is rendered "gall", q.v., (Deut. 29:18; 32:33; Ps. 69:21; Jer. 8:14, etc.), "hemlock" (Hos. 10:4; Amos 6:12), and "poison" (Job 20:16), "the poison of asps," showing that the rosh was not exclusively a vegetable poison.
- Pomegranate I.e., "grained apple" (pomum granatum), Heb. rimmon. Common in Egypt (Num. 20:5) and Palestine (13:23; Deut. 8:8). The Romans called it Punicum malum, i.e., Carthaginian apple, because they received it from Carthage. It belongs to the myrtle family of trees. The withering of the pomegranate tree is mentioned among the judgments of God (Joel 1:12). It is frequently mentioned in the Song of Solomon ([[../Solomon, Song of|Cant.]] 4:3, 13, etc.). The skirt of the high priest's blue robe and ephod was adorned with the representation of pomegranates, alternating with golden bells (Ex. 28:33, 34), as also were the "chapiters upon the two pillars" (1 Kings 7:20) which "stood before the house."
- Pommels (2 Chr. 4:12, 13), or bowls (1 Kings 7:41), were balls or "rounded knobs" on the top of the chapiters (q.v.).
- Pontius Pilate See PILATE.
- Pontus A province of Asia Minor, stretching along the southern coast of the Euxine Sea, corresponding nearly to the modern province of Trebizond. In the time of the apostles it was a Roman province. Strangers from this province were at Jerusalem at Pentecost (Acts 2:9), and to "strangers scattered throughout Pontus," among others, Peter addresses his first epistle (1 Pet. 1:1). It was evidently the resort of many Jews of the Dispersion. Aquila was a native of Pontus (Acts 18:2).
- Pool A pond, or reservoir, for holding water (Heb. berekhah; modern Arabic, birket), an artificial cistern or tank. Mention is made of the pool of Gibeon (2 Sam. 2:13); the pool of Hebron (4:12); the upper pool at Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:17; 20:20); the pool of Samaria (1 Kings 22:38); the king's pool (Neh. 2:14); the pool of Siloah (Neh. 3:15; Eccles. 2:6); the fishpools of Heshbon ([[../Solomon, Song of|Cant.]] 7:4); the "lower pool," and the "old pool" (Isa. 22:9, 11).
The "pool of Bethesda" (John 5:2, 4, 7) and the "pool of Siloam" (John 9:7, 11) are also mentioned. Isaiah (35:7) says, "The parched ground shall become a pool." This is rendered in the Revised Version "glowing sand," etc. (marg., "the mirage," etc.). The Arabs call the mirage "serab," plainly the same as the Hebrew word sarab, here rendered "parched ground." "The mirage shall become a pool", i.e., the mock-lake of the burning desert shall become a real lake, "the pledge of refreshment and joy." The "pools" spoken of in Isa. 14:23 are the marshes caused by the ruin of the canals of the Euphrates in the neighbourhood of Babylon.
The cisterns or pools of the Holy City are for the most part excavations beneath the surface. Such are the vast cisterns in the temple hill that have recently been discovered by the engineers of the Palestine Exploration Fund. These underground caverns are about thirty-five in number, and are capable of storing about ten million gallons of water. They are connected with one another by passages and tunnels.
- Pools of Solomon The name given to three large open cisterns at Etam, at the head of the Wady Urtas, having an average length of 400 feet by 220 in breadth, and 20 to 30 in depth. These pools derive their chief supply of water from a spring called "the sealed fountain," about 200 yards to the north-west of the upper pool, to which it is conveyed by a large subterranean passage. They are 150 feet distant from each other, and each pool is 20 feet lower than that above it, the conduits being so arranged that the lowest, which is the largest and finest of the three, is filled first, and then in succession the others. It has been estimated that these pools cover in all a space of about 7 acres, and are capable of containing three million gallons of water. They were, as is generally supposed, constructed in the days of Solomon. They are probably referred to in Eccles. 2:6. On the fourth day after his victory over the Ammonites, etc., in the wilderness of Tekoa, Jehoshaphat assembled his army in the valley of Berachah ("blessing"), and there blessed the Lord. Berachah has been identified with the modern Bereikut, some 5 miles south of Wady Urtas, and hence the "valley of Berachah" may be this valley of pools, for the word means both "blessing" and "pools;" and it has been supposed, therefore, that this victory was celebrated beside Solomon's pools (2 Chr. 20:26).
These pools were primarily designed to supply Jerusalem with water. From the lower pool an aqueduct has been traced conveying the water through Bethlehem and across the valley of Gihon, and along the west slope of the Tyropoeon valley, till it finds its way into the great cisterns underneath the temple hill. The water, however, from the pools reaches now only to Bethlehem. The aqueduct beyond this has been destroyed.
Pools of Solomon
- Poor The Mosaic legislation regarding the poor is specially important. (1.) They had the right of gleaning the fields (Lev. 19:9, 10; Deut. 24:19, 21).
(3.) In the year of jubilee they recovered their property (Lev. 25:25-30).
(6.) Certain portions from the tithes were assigned to the poor (Deut. 14:28, 29; 26:12, 13).
(8.) Wages were to be paid at the close of each day (Lev. 19:13).
In the New Testament (Luke 3:11; 14:13; Acts 6:1; Gal. 2:10; James 2:15, 16) we have similar injunctions given with reference to the poor. Begging was not common under the Old Testament, while it was so in the New Testament times (Luke 16:20, 21, etc.). But begging in the case of those who are able to work is forbidden, and all such are enjoined to "work with their own hands" as a Christian duty (1 Thess. 4:11; 2 Thess. 3:7-13; Eph. 4:28). This word is used figuratively in Matt. 5:3; Luke 6:20; 2 Cor. 8:9; Rev. 3:17.
- Poplar Heb. libneh, "white", (Gen. 30:37; Hos. 4:13), in all probability the storax tree (Styrax officinalis) or white poplar, distinguished by its white blossoms and pale leaves. It is common in the Anti-Libanus. Other species of the poplar are found in Palestine, such as the white poplar (P. alba) of our own country, the black poplar (P. nigra), and the aspen (P. tremula). (See WILLOW.)
- Porcius Festus See FESTUS.
- Porter A gate-keeper (2 Sam. 18:26; 2 Kings 7:10; 1 Chr. 9:21; 2 Chr. 8:14). Of the Levites, 4,000 were appointed as porters by David (1 Chr. 23:5), who were arranged according to their families (26:1-19) to take charge of the doors and gates of the temple. They were sometimes employed as musicians (1 Chr. 15:18).
- Post (1.) A runner, or courier, for the rapid transmission of letters, etc. (2 Chr. 30:6; Esther 3:13, 15; 8:10, 14; Job 9:25; Jer. 51:31). Such messengers were used from very early times. Those employed by the Hebrew kings had a military character (1 Sam. 22:17; 2 Kings 10:25, "guard," marg. "runners"). The modern system of postal communication was first established by Louis XI. of France in A.D. 1464.
(2.) This word sometimes also is used for lintel or threshold (Isa. 6:4).
- Potipherah A priest of On, whose daughter Asenath became Joseph's wife (Gen. 41:45).
- Potsherd A "shred", i.e., anything severed, as a fragment of earthenware (Job 2:8; Prov. 26:23; Isa. 45:9).
- Potters field The name given to the piece of ground which was afterwards bought with the money that had been given to Judas. It was called the "field of blood" (Matt. 27:7-10). Tradition places it in the valley of Hinnom. (See ACELDAMA.)
- Pottery The art of, was early practised among all nations. Various materials seem to have been employed by the potter. Earthenware is mentioned in connection with the history of Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18), of Abraham (18:4-8), of Rebekah (27:14), of Rachel (29:2, 3, 8, 10). The potter's wheel is mentioned by Jeremiah (18:3). See also 1 Chr. 4:23; Ps. 2:9; Isa. 45:9; 64:8; Jer. 19:1; Lam. 4:2; Zech. 11:13; Rom. 9:21.
- Pound (1.) A weight. Heb. maneh, equal to 100 shekels (1 Kings 10:17; Ezra 2:69; Neh. 7:71, 72). Gr. litra, equal to about 12 oz. avoirdupois (John 12:3; 19:39).
(2.) A sum of money; the Gr. mna or mina (Luke 19:13, 16, 18, 20, 24, 25). It was equal to 100 drachmas, and was of the value of about 3, 6s. 8d. of our money. (See MONEY.)
- Praetorium The Greek word (praitorion) thus rendered in Mark 15:16 is rendered "common hall" (Matt. 27:27, marg., "governor's house"), "judgment hall," (John 18:28, 33, marg., "Pilate's house", 19:9; Acts 23:35), "palace" (Phil. 1:13). This is properly a military word. It denotes (1) the general's tent or headquarters; (2) the governor's residence, as in Acts 23:35 (R.V., "palace"); and (3) the praetorian guard (See PALACE), or the camp or quarters of the praetorian cohorts (Acts 28:16), the imperial guards in immediate attendance on the emperor, who was "praetor" or commander-in-chief.
- Prayer Is converse with God; the intercourse of the soul with God, not in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him. Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant, ejaculatory or formal. It is a "beseeching the Lord" (Ex. 32:11); "pouring out the soul before the Lord" (1 Sam. 1:15); "praying and crying to heaven" (2 Chr. 32:20); "seeking unto God and making supplication" (Job 8:5); "drawing near to God" (Ps. 73:28); "bowing the knees" (Eph. 3:14).
Prayer presupposes a belief in the personality of God, his ability and willingness to hold intercourse with us, his personal control of all things and of all his creatures and all their actions.
Acceptable prayer must be sincere (Heb. 10:22), offered with reverence and godly fear, with a humble sense of our own insignificance as creatures and of our own unworthiness as sinners, with earnest importunity, and with unhesitating submission to the divine will. Prayer must also be offered in the faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer, and that he will fulfil his word, "Ask, and ye shall receive" (Matt. 7:7, 8; 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13, 14), and in the name of Christ (16:23, 24; 15:16; Eph. 2:18; 5:20; Col. 3:17; 1 Pet. 2:5).
Prayer is of different kinds, secret (Matt. 6:6); social, as family prayers, and in social worship; and public, in the service of the sanctuary.
Intercessory prayer is enjoined (Num. 6:23; Job 42:8; Isa. 62:6; Ps. 122:6; 1 Tim. 2:1; James 5:14), and there are many instances on record of answers having been given to such prayers, e.g., of Abraham (Gen. 17:18, 20; 18:23-32; 20:7, 17, 18), of Moses for Pharaoh (Ex. 8:12, 13, 30, 31; Ex. 9:33), for the Israelites (Ex. 17:11, 13; 32:11-14, 31-34; Num. 21:7, 8; Deut. 9:18, 19, 25), for Miriam (Num. 12:13), for Aaron (Deut. 9:20), of Samuel (1 Sam. 7:5-12), of Solomon (1 Kings 8; 2 Chr. 6), Elijah (1 Kings 17:20-23), Elisha (2 Kings 4:33-36), Isaiah (2 Kings 19), Jeremiah (42:2-10), Peter (Acts 9:40), the church (12:5-12), Paul (28:8).
No rules are anywhere in Scripture laid down for the manner of prayer or the attitude to be assumed by the suppliant. There is mention made of kneeling in prayer (1 Kings 8:54; 2 Chr. 6:13; Ps. 95:6; Isa. 45:23; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; 9:40; Eph. 3:14, etc.); of bowing and falling prostrate (Gen. 24:26, 52; Ex. 4:31; 12:27; Matt. 26:39; Mark 14:35, etc.); of spreading out the hands (1 Kings 8:22, 38, 54; Ps. 28:2; 63:4; 88:9; 1 Tim. 2:8, etc.); and of standing (1 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kings 8:14, 55; 2 Chr. 20:9; Mark 11:25; Luke 18:11, 13).
If we except the "Lord's Prayer" (Matt. 6:9-13), which is, however, rather a model or pattern of prayer than a set prayer to be offered up, we have no special form of prayer for general use given us in Scripture.
Prayer is frequently enjoined in Scripture (Ex. 22:23, 27; 1 Kings 3:5; 2 Chr. 7:14; Ps. 37:4; Isa. 55:6; Joel 2:32; Ezek. 36:37, etc.), and we have very many testimonies that it has been answered (Ps. 3:4; 4:1; 6:8; 18:6; 28:6; 30:2; 34:4; 118:5; James 5:16-18, etc.).
- Predestination This word is properly used only with reference to God's plan or purpose of salvation. The Greek word rendered "predestinate" is found only in these six passages, Acts 4:28; Rom. 8:29, 30; 1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:5, 11; and in all of them it has the same meaning. They teach that the eternal, sovereign, immutable, and unconditional decree or "determinate purpose" of God governs all events.
This doctrine of predestination or election is beset with many difficulties. It belongs to the "secret things" of God. But if we take the revealed word of God as our guide, we must accept this doctrine with all its mysteriousness, and settle all our questionings in the humble, devout acknowledgment, "Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight."
For the teaching of Scripture on this subject let the following passages be examined in addition to those referred to above; Gen. 21:12; Ex. 9:16; 33:19; Deut. 10:15; 32:8; Josh. 11:20; 1 Sam. 12:22; 2 Chr. 6:6; Ps. 33:12; 65:4; 78:68; 135:4; Isa. 41:1-10; Jer. 1:5; Mark 13:20; Luke 22:22; John 6:37; 15:16; 17:2, 6, 9; Acts 2:28; 3:18; 4:28; 13:48; 17:26; Rom. 9:11, 18, 21; 11:5; Eph. 3:11; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:2. (See DECREES OF GOD; ELECTION.)
Hodge has well remarked that, "rightly understood, this doctrine (1) exalts the majesty and absolute sovereignty of God, while it illustrates the riches of his free grace and his just displeasure with sin. (2.) It enforces upon us the essential truth that salvation is entirely of grace. That no one can either complain if passed over, or boast himself if saved. (3.) It brings the inquirer to absolute self-despair and the cordial embrace of the free offer of Christ. (4.) In the case of the believer who has the witness in himself, this doctrine at once deepens his humility and elevates his confidence to the full assurance of hope" (Outlines).
- Presidents Three presidents are mentioned, of whom Daniel was the first (Dan. 6:2-7). The name in the original is sarkhin, probably a Persian word meaning perfects or ministers.
- Prince The title generally applied to the chief men of the state. The "princes of the provinces" (1 Kings 20:14) were the governors or lord-lieutenants of the provinces. So also the "princes" mentioned in Dan. 6:1, 3, 4, 6, 7 were the officers who administered the affairs of the provinces; the "satraps" (as rendered in R.V.). These are also called "lieutenants" (Esther 3:12; 8:9; R.V., "satraps"). The promised Saviour is called by Daniel (9:25) "Messiah the Prince" (Heb. nagid); compare Acts 3:15; 5:31. The angel Micheal is called (Dan. 12:1) a "prince" (Heb. sar, whence "Mal.ah," the "princes").
- Priscilla The wife of Aquila (Acts 18:2), who is never mentioned without her. Her name sometimes takes the precedence of his (Rom. 16:3; 2 Tim. 4:19). She took part with Aquila (q.v.) in insturcting Apollos (Acts 18:26).
- Prison The first occasion on which we read of a prison is in the history of Joseph in Egypt. Then Potiphar, "Joseph's master, took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound" (Gen. 39:20-23). The Heb. word here used (sohar) means properly a round tower or fortress. It seems to have been a part of Potiphar's house, a place in which state prisoners were kept.
The Mosaic law made no provision for imprisonment as a punishment. In the wilderness two persons were "put in ward" (Lev. 24:12; Num. 15:34), but it was only till the mind of God concerning them should be ascertained. Prisons and prisoners are mentioned in the book of Psalms (69:33; 79:11; 142:7). Samson was confined in a Philistine prison (Judg. 16:21, 25). In the subsequent history of Israel frequent references are made to prisons (1 Kings 22:27; 2 Kings 17:4; 25:27, 29; 2 Chr. 16:10; Isa. 42:7; Jer. 32:2). Prisons seem to have been common in New Testament times (Matt. 11:2; 25:36, 43). The apostles were put into the "common prison" at the instance of the Jewish council (Acts 5:18, 23; 8:3); and at Philippi Paul and Silas were thrust into the "inner prison" (16:24; comp. 4:3; 12:4, 5).
- Propitiation That by which God is rendered propitious, i.e., by which it becomes consistent with his character and government to pardon and bless the sinner. The propitiation does not procure his love or make him loving; it only renders it consistent for him to execise his love towards sinners.
In Rom. 3:25 and Heb. 9:5 (A.V., "mercy-seat") the Greek word hilasterion is used. It is the word employed by the LXX. translators in Ex. 25:17 and elsewhere as the equivalent for the Hebrew kapporeth, which means "covering," and is used of the lid of the ark of the covenant (Ex. 25:21; 30:6). This Greek word (hilasterion) came to denote not only the mercy-seat or lid of the ark, but also propitation or reconciliation by blood. On the great day of atonement the high priest carried the blood of the sacrifice he offered for all the people within the veil and sprinkled with it the "mercy-seat," and so made propitiation.
In 1 John 2:2; 4:10, Christ is called the "propitiation for our sins." Here a different Greek word is used (hilasmos). Christ is "the propitiation," because by his becoming our substitute and assuming our obligations he expiated our guilt, covered it, by the vicarious punishment which he endured. (Comp. Heb. 2:17, where the expression "make reconciliation" of the A.V. is more correctly in the R.V. "make propitiation.")
Proportion of faith
- Proportion of faith (Rom. 12:6). Paul says here that each one was to exercise his gift of prophecy, i.e., of teaching, "according to the proportion of faith." The meaning is, that the utterances of the "prophet" were not to fluctuate according to his own impulses or independent thoughts, but were to be adjusted to the truth revealed to him as a beliver, i.e., were to be in accordance with it.
In post-Reformation times this phrase was used as meaning that all Scripture was to be interpreted with reference to all other Scripture, i.e., that no words or expressions were to be isolated or interpreted in a way contrary to its general teaching. This was also called the "analogy of faith."
- Proselyte Is used in the LXX. for "stranger" (1 Chr. 22:2), i.e., a comer to Palestine; a sojourner in the land (Ex. 12:48; 20:10; 22:21), and in the New Testament for a convert to Judaism. There were such converts from early times (Isa. 56:3; Neh. 10:28; Esther 8:17). The law of Moses made specific regulations regarding the admission into the Jewish church of such as were not born Israelites (Ex. 20:10; 23:12; 12:19, 48; Deut. 5:14; 16:11, 14, etc.). The Kenites, the Gibeonites, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites were thus admitted to the privileges of Israelites. Thus also we hear of individual proselytes who rose to positions of prominence in Israel, as of Doeg the Edomite, Uriah the Hittite, Araunah the Jebusite, Zelek the Ammonite, Ithmah and Ebedmelech the Ethiopians.
In the time of Solomon there were one hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred strangers in the land of Israel (1 Chr. 22:2; 2 Chr. 2:17, 18). And the prophets speak of the time as coming when the strangers shall share in all the privileges of Israel (Ezek. 47:22; Isa. 2:2; 11:10; 56:3-6; Micah 4:1). Accordingly, in New Testament times, we read of proselytes in the synagogues, (Acts 10:2, 7; 13:42, 43, 50; 17:4; 18:7; Luke 7:5). The "religious proselytes" here spoken of were proselytes of righteousness, as distinguished from proselytes of the gate.
The distinction between "proselytes of the gate" (Ex. 20:10) and "proselytes of righteousness" originated only with the rabbis. According to them, the "proselytes of the gate" (half proselytes) were not required to be circumcised nor to comply with the Mosaic ceremonial law. They were bound only to conform to the so-called seven precepts of Noah, viz., to abstain from idolatry, blasphemy, bloodshed, uncleaness, the eating of blood, theft, and to yield obedience to the authorities. Besides these laws, however, they were required to abstain from work on the Sabbath, and to refrain from the use of leavened bread during the time of the Passover.
The "proselytes of righteousness", religious or devout proselytes (Acts 13:43), were bound to all the doctrines and precepts of the Jewish economy, and were members of the synagogue in full communion.
The name "proselyte" occurs in the New Testament only in Matt. 23:15; Acts 2:10; 6:5; 13:43. The name by which they are commonly designated is that of "devout men," or men "fearing God" or "worshipping God."
- Providence Literally means foresight, but is generally used to denote God's preserving and governing all things by means of second causes (Ps. 18:35; 63:8; Acts 17:28; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3). God's providence extends to the natural world (Ps. 104:14; 135:5-7; Acts 14:17), the brute creation (Ps. 104:21-29; Matt. 6:26; 10:29), and the affairs of men (1 Chr. 16:31; Ps. 47:7; Prov. 21:1; Job 12:23; Dan. 2:21; 4:25), and of individuals (1 Sam. 2:6; Ps. 18:30; Luke 1:53; James 4:13-15). It extends also to the free actions of men (Ex. 12:36; 1 Sam. 24:9-15; Ps. 33:14, 15; Prov. 16:1; 19:21; 20:24; 21:1), and things sinful (2 Sam. 16:10; 24:1; Rom. 11:32; Acts 4:27, 28), as well as to their good actions (Phil. 2:13; 4:13; 2 Cor. 12:9, 10; Eph. 2:10; Gal. 5:22-25).
As regards sinful actions of men, they are represented as occurring by God's permission (Gen. 45:5; 50:20. Comp. 1 Sam. 6:6; Ex. 7:13; 14:17; Acts 2:3; 3:18; 4:27, 28), and as controlled (Ps. 76:10) and overruled for good (Gen. 50:20; Acts 3:13). God does not cause or approve of sin, but only limits, restrains, overrules it for good.
The mode of God's providential government is altogether unexplained. We only know that it is a fact that God does govern all his creatures and all their actions; that this government is universal (Ps. 103:17-19), particular (Matt. 10:29-31), efficacious (Ps. 33:11; Job 23:13), embraces events apparently contingent (Prov. 16:9, 33; 19:21; 21:1), is consistent with his own perfection (2 Tim. 2:13), and to his own glory (Rom. 9:17; 11:36).
- Psaltery A musical instrument, supposed to have been a kind of lyre, or a harp with twelve strings. The Hebrew word nebhel, so rendered, is translated "viol" in Isa. 5:12 (R.V., "lute"); 14:11. In Dan. 3:5, 7, 10, 15, the word thus rendered is Chaldaic, pesanterin, which is supposed to be a word of Greek origin denoting an instrument of the harp kind.
- Ptolemais A maritime city of Galilee (Acts 21:7). It was originally called "Accho" (q.v.), and received the name Ptolemais from Ptolemy Soter when he was in possession of Coele-Syria.
- Puah Splendid. (1.) One of the two midwives who feared God, and refused to kill the Hebrew male children at their birth (Ex. 1:15-21).
(2.) A descendant of Issachar (Judg. 10:1).
- Publican One who farmed the taxes (e.g., Zacchaeus, Luke 19:2) to be levied from a town or district, and thus undertook to pay to the supreme government a certain amount. In order to collect the taxes, the publicans employed subordinates (5:27; 15:1; 18:10), who, for their own ends, were often guilty of extortion and peculation. In New Testament times these taxes were paid to the Romans, and hence were regarded by the Jews as a very heavy burden, and hence also the collectors of taxes, who were frequently Jews, were hated, and were usually spoken of in very opprobrious terms. Jesus was accused of being a "friend of publicans and sinners" (Luke 7:34).
- Publius "the chief man of the island" of Malta (Acts 28:7), who courteously entertained Paul and his shipwrecked companions for three days, till they found a more permanent place of residence; for they remained on the island for three months, till the stormy season had passed. The word here rendered "chief man" (protos) is supposed by some to be properly a Maltese term, the official title of the governor.
- Pudens Bashful, a Christian at Rome, who sent his greetings to Timothy (2 Tim. 4:21). (See CLAUDIA.)
- Pul (1.) An Assyrian king. It has been a question whether he was identical with Tiglath-pileser III. (q.v.), or was his predecessor. The weight of evidence is certainly in favour of their identity. Pul was the throne-name he bore in Babylonia as king of Babylon, and Tiglath-pileser the throne-name he bore as king of Assyria. He was the founder of what is called the second Assyrian empire. He consolidated and organized his conquests on a large scale. He subdued Northern Syria and Hamath, and the kings of Syria rendered him homage and paid him tribute. His ambition was to found in Western Asia a kingdom which should embrace the whole civilized world, having Nineveh as its centre. Menahem, king of Israel, gave him the enormous tribute of a thousand talents of silver, "that his hand might be with him" (2 Kings 15:19; 1 Chr. 5:26). The fact that this tribute could be paid showed the wealthy condition of the little kingdom of Israel even in this age of disorder and misgovernment. Having reduced Syria, he turned his arms against Babylon, which he subdued. The Babylonian king was slain, and Babylon and other Chaldean cities were taken, and Pul assumed the title of "King of Sumer [i.e., Shinar] and Accad." He was succeeded by Shalmanezer IV.
- Pulpit (Neh. 8:4). (See EZRA.)
- Pulse (Dan. 1:12, 16), R.V. "herbs," vegetable food in general.
- Punishment The New Testament lays down the general principles of good government, but contains no code of laws for the punishment of offenders. Punishment proceeds on the principle that there is an eternal distinction between right and wrong, and that this distinction must be maintained for its own sake. It is not primarily intended for the reformation of criminals, nor for the purpose of deterring others from sin. These results may be gained, but crime in itself demands punishment. (See MURDER; THEFT.)
Endless, of the impenitent and unbelieving. The rejection of this doctrine "cuts the ground from under the gospel...blots out the attribute of retributive justice; transmutes sin into misfortune instead of guilt; turns all suffering into chastisement; converts the piacular work of Christ into moral influence...The attempt to retain the evangelical theology in connection with it is futile" (Shedd).
- Purification The process by which a person unclean, according to the Levitical law, and thereby cut off from the sanctuary and the festivals, was restored to the enjoyment of all these privileges.
The great annual purification of the people was on the Day of Atonement (q.v.).
But in the details of daily life there were special causes of cermonial uncleanness which were severally provided for by ceremonial laws enacted for each separate case. For example, the case of the leper (Lev. 13, 14), and of the house defiled by leprosy (14:49-53; see also Matt. 8:2-4). Uncleanness from touching a dead body (Num. 19:11; Hos. 9:4; Hag. 2:13; Matt. 23:27; Luke 11:44). The case of the high priest and of the Nazarite (Lev. 21:1-4, 10, 11; Num. 6:6, 7; Ezek. 44:25). Purification was effected by bathing and washing the clothes (Lev. 14:8, 9); by washing the hands (Deut. 21:6; Matt. 27:24); washing the hands and feet (Ex. 30:18-21; Heb. 6:2, "baptisms", R.V. marg., "washings;" 9:10); sprinkling with blood and water (Ex. 24:5-8; Heb. 9:19), etc. Allusions to this rite are found in Ps. 26:6; 51:7; Ezek. 36:25; Heb. 10:22.
- Pur, Purim A lot, lots, a festival instituted by the Jews (Esther 9:24-32) in ironical commemoration of Haman's consultation of the Pur (a Persian word), for the purpose of ascertaining the auspicious day for executing his cruel plot against their nation. It became a national institution by the common consent of the Jews, and is observed by them to the present day, on the 14th and 15th of the month Adar, a month before the Passover.
- Purse (1.) Gr. balantion, a bag (Luke 10:4; 22:35, 36).
(2.) Gr. zone, properly a girdle (Matt. 10:9; Mark 6:8), a money-belt. As to our Lord's sending forth his disciples without money in their purses, the remark has been made that in this "there was no departure from the simple manners of the country. At this day the farmer sets out on excursions quite as extensive without a para in his purse; and a modern Moslem prophet of Tarshisha thus sends forth his apostles over this identical region. No traveller in the East would hestitate to throw himself on the hospitality of any village." Thomson's Land and the Book. (See SCRIP.)
- Puteoli A city on the coast of Campania, on the north shore of a bay running north from the Bay of Naples, at which Paul landed on his way to Rome, from which it was distant 170 miles. Here he tarried for seven days (Acts 28:13, 14). This was the great emporium for the Alexandrian corn ships. Here Paul and his companions began their journey, by the "Appian Way," to Rome. It is now called Pozzuoli. The remains of a huge amphitheatre, and of the quay at which Paul landed, may still be seen here.
- Put, Phut (1.) One of the sons of Ham (Gen. 10:6).
(2.) A land or people from among whom came a portion of the mercenary troops of Egypt, Jer. 46:9 (A.V., "Libyans," but correctly, R.V., "Put"); Ezek. 27:10; 30:5 (A.V., "Libya;" R.V., "Put"); 38:5; Nahum 3:9.
- Pygarg Heb. dishon, "springing", (Deut. 14:5), one of the animals permitted for food. It is supposed to be the Antelope addax. It is described as "a large animal, over 3 1/2 feet high at the shoulder, and, with its gently-twisted horns, 2 1/2 feet long. Its colour is pure white, with the exception of a short black mane, and a tinge of tawny on the shoulders and back.", Tristram's Natural History.
- Quails The Israelites were twice relieved in their privation by a miraculous supply of quails, (1) in the wilderness of Sin (Ex. 16:13), and (2) again at Kibroth-hattaavah (q.v.), Num. 11:31. God "rained flesh upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea" (Ps. 78:27). The words in Num. 11:31, according to the Authorized Version, appear to denote that the quails lay one above another to the thickness of two cubits above the ground. The Revised Version, however, reads, "about two cubits above the face of the earth", i.e., the quails flew at this height, and were easily killed or caught by the hand. Being thus secured in vast numbers by the people, they "spread them all abroad" (11:32) in order to salt and dry them.
These birds (the Coturnix vulgaris of naturalists) are found in countless numbers on the shores of the Mediterranean, and their annual migration is an event causing great excitement.
- Quarantania A mountain some 1,200 feet high, about 7 miles north-west of Jericho, the traditional scene of our Lord's temptation (Matt. 4:8).
- Quarries (1.) The "Royal Quarries" (not found in Scripture) is the name given to the vast caverns stretching far underneath the northern hill, Bezetha, on which Jerusalem is built. Out of these mammoth caverns stones, a hard lime-stone, have been quarried in ancient times for the buildings in the city, and for the temples of Solomon, Zerubbabel, and Herod. Huge blocks of stone are still found in these caves bearing the marks of pick and chisel. The general appearance of the whole suggests to the explorer the idea that the Phoenician quarrymen have just suspended their work. The supposition that the polished blocks of stone for Solomon's temple were sent by Hiram from Lebanon or Tyre is not supported by any evidence (comp. 1 Kings 5:8). Hiram sent masons and stone-squarers to Jerusalem to assist Solomon's workmen in their great undertaking, but did not send stones to Jerusalem, where, indeed, they were not needed, as these royal quarries abundantly testify.
(2.) The "quarries" (Heb. pesilim) by Gilgal (Judg. 3:19), from which Ehud turned back for the purpose of carrying out his design to put Eglon king of Moab to death, were probably the "graven images" (as the word is rendered by the LXX. and the Vulgate and in the marg. A.V. and R.V.), or the idol temples the Moabites had erected at Gilgal, where the children of Israel first encamped after crossing the Jordan. The Hebrew word is rendered "graven images" in Deut. 7:25, and is not elsewhere translated "quarries."
- Quartus Fourth, a Corinthian Christian who sent by Paul his salutations to friends at Rome (Rom. 16:23).
- Quaternion A band of four soldiers. Peter was committed by Herod to the custody of four quaternions, i.e., one quaternion for each watch of the night (Acts 12:4). Thus every precaution was taken against his escape from prison. Two of each quaternion were in turn stationed at the door (12:6), and to two the apostle was chained according to Roman custom.
- Queen No explicit mention of queens is made till we read of the "queen of Sheba." The wives of the kings of Israel are not so designated. In Ps. 45:9, the Hebrew for "queen" is not malkah, one actually ruling like the Queen of Sheba, but shegal, which simply means the king's wife. In 1 Kings 11:19, Pharaoh's wife is called "the queen," but the Hebrew word so rendered (g'birah) is simply a title of honour, denoting a royal lady, used sometimes for "queen-mother" (1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chron. 15:16). In [[../Solomon, Song of|Cant.]] 6:8, 9, the king's wives are styled "queens" (Heb. melakhoth).
Queen of heaven
- Queen of heaven (Jer. 7:18; 44:17, 25), the moon, worshipped by the Assyrians as the receptive power in nature.
- Quicksands Found only in Acts 27:17, the rendering of the Greek Syrtis. On the north coast of Africa were two localities dangerous to sailors, called the Greater and Lesser Syrtis. The former of these is probably here meant. It lies between Tripoli and Barca, and near Cyrene. The Lesser Syrtis lay farther to the west.
- Quiver The sheath for arrows. The Hebrew word (aspah) thus commonly rendered is found in Job 39:23; Ps. 127:5; Isa. 22:6; 49:2; Jer. 5:16; Lam. 3:13. In Gen. 27:3 this word is the rendering of the Hebrew teli, which is supposed rather to mean a suspended weapon, literally "that which hangs from one", i.e., is suspended from the shoulder or girdle.
- Quotations From the Old Testament in the New, which are very numerous, are not made according to any uniform method. When the New Testament was written, the Old was not divided, as it now is, into chapters and verses, and hence such peculiarities as these: When Luke (20:37) refers to Ex. 3:6, he quotes from "Moses at the bush", i.e., the section containing the record of Moses at the bush. So also Mark (2:26) refers to 1 Sam. 21:1-6, in the words, "in the days of Abiathar;" and Paul (Rom. 11:2) refers to 1 Kings ch. 17-19, in the words, "in Elias", i.e., in the portion of the history regarding Elias.
In general, the New Testament writers quote from the Septuagint (q.v.) version of the Old Testament, as it was then in common use among the Jews. But it is noticeable that these quotations are not made in any uniform manner. Sometimes, e.g., the quotation does not agree literally either with the LXX. or the Hebrew text. This occurs in about one hundred instances. Sometimes the LXX. is literally quoted (in about ninety instances), and sometimes it is corrected or altered in the quotations (in over eighty instances).
Quotations are sometimes made also directly from the Hebrew text (Matt. 4:15, 16; John 19:37; 1 Cor. 15:54). Besides the quotations made directly, there are found numberless allusions, more or less distinct, showing that the minds of the New Testament writers were filled with the expressions and ideas as well as historical facts recorded in the Old.
There are in all two hundred and eighty-three direct quotations from the Old Testament in the New, but not one clear and certain case of quotation from the Apocrypha (q.v.).
Besides quotations in the New from the Old Testament, there are in Paul's writings three quotations from certain Greek poets, Acts 17:28; 1 Cor. 15:33; Titus 1:12. These quotations are memorials of his early classical education.