Encyclopaedia Biblica/Ecclesiasticus-Eglon (king)

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  • Title, etc. (1-2)
  • Text, etc. ( 3-6)
  • Date ( 7-9).
  • Fortunes ( 10).
  • Structured (11-12)
  • Sources ( 13-15).
  • Form and Contents (16-17)
  • Religious teaching ( 18-22).
  • Ethical ( 23).
  • Greek thought ( 24).
  • Literature ( 25).

Ecclesiasticus (abbrev. Ecclus. ) is the usual Latin and English name of one of the deuterocanonical books of the OT (see APOCRYPHA, 28).

1. Title.[edit]

It is not probable that the author himself gave his book a title ; later it is referred to under various names. In the Talmud it is cited simply by the name of the author, as Ben-Sira (NTD p)> or by the formula the sages say (though this last may point not immediately to our book, but to material from which it drew). Jerome (Prczf. in Libr. Sal. ) declares that he had seen a Hebrew copy entitled Parabolas (o Vrc), and this designation, natural and appropriate, is employed also by Saadia. 1

In the LXX the book is called Wisdom of Jesus, Son of Sirach (2o0a Irjcrov viov 2[e]tpdx [NAC] ; B incorrectly 2. S. ; but in the subscription B agrees with NA. The title of the Prologue in C is irpoXoyos St/mx).

This form (found also in the Syriac Versions and in some MSS of the Vet. Lat.) was the one generally used by the Greek writers, as is expressly stated by Rufinus (Vers. Or. Horn, in Nu. xviii. 3). The title 2o$i a occurs also in other combinations: in the honorary name All-virtuous Wisdom (^ Travaperos 2o<|u a) given to the book in patristic writings (Jer. Prczf. in Lib. Sal.), as also to Proverbs (Clem. Rom. i Cor. 57; Clem. Alex. i. 1085; Eus. HE iv. 22) and to Wisd. of Sol. 2 (Epiph. iii. 244) ; and in the more general designations Wisdom (Orig. In Matt. 184) and Wisdom of Solomon (Cypr. Test. iii. 20).

With regard to the term HDDH applied in the Talmud to the work of Ben-Sira it is uncertain whether it is used as a title ; but it appears to have been employed as a descriptive term. Possibly it was an old Jewish designation, which was adopted by the Greek Christians as a title ; in the case of the Book of Proverbs Hege- sippus (in Eus. HE 4zz) refers the term to unwritten Jewish traditions.

On the Talmudic use cp Blau (in J?E/35zi), who cites Jer. Sota, 2+c : after the death of R. Eliezer the rtD3rlfl D was buried (TJJJ). It seems probable that the expression n D includes Ben-Sira.

Whilst the Greeks thus named the work from the nature of its material, the Latins preferred a title descrip tive of its relation to the Church services. The term dKK\ri(naa TiK6s is used by the Greeks of the KO.VUV of the Church (Clem. Alex. Sir. 6125), and generally of what was in accord with the Church. Adopted by the Latins, the term was employed by them in a like general way (pacemecclesiasticam, Tert. De Pudicit. 22), and came to be used especially of books which, though not canonical, were regarded as edifying and proper to be read in the churches (Ruf. Comm. in Symb., 38, Vers. Orig. in Num. 183 ; Ath. Ep. Fest., sub fine). So high was the esteem in which our book was held that it was termed Ecclesiasticus, the liber ecclesiasticus par ex cellence (Cypr. Test. 2i 3i ; Aug. De Doct. CAr.2i3). The name of the author is given variously.

1 The Oxford editors of the Hebrew Fragments (see below, 8 4) refer (Preface, ix, n. 4) to a statement of Saadia (S adyah) ( 17Jn 130 e d- Harkavy, p. 151, /. \if.~), that Ben-Sira wrote a Book of Instruction (IQIO IBD^- This expression, however, seems to be rather a description than a title.

2 Probably given first to Proverbs, and then to all the supposed Solomonic wisdom-books.

2. Author.[edit]

The Hebrew text has, in 5027, Shim on b. Yeshua b. Eliezer b. Sira (so also Saadia, I^Jfl D US 1 ), ar >d in 61.30 the same formula, and also Shim on b. Y., called , b. Sira ; B 5027 ITJO-OUS v. veipax (cripa^ [A], a-eipa/c [N]), eAeafap [in other MSS -pos or -pou] ; S a K subscription : Yeshua b. Shimeon, who is called Bar Asira fin some MSS Sirak ], and in the title Barsira ; S w al, title : Y. b. Shim on Asira, and also Bar Asira ; Book of the Bee (A need. Oxon., Sem. Series i. 279): Shim on b. Sira ; Talmud, Ben-Sira.

In this medley of readings two things seem clear. The author s name proper was Yeshua (Jesus) : so he is called by the Greek translator in his prologue ; and his familiar surname was Ben-Sira, as all ancient authorities attest. The significance of the other names is less clear.

The Hebrew text and Saadia must be changed so as to read Yeshua b. Shim on (cp Zunz, GV 106), and the whole name, as given by them, may then be accepted (so Harkavy, Stud. u. Mittheil. 6200; Blau in REJ^zo, and Kautzsch). In that case we may suppose that and S have abridged the genealogy, and that the form in the Book of the Bee is defective. This seems to be the most natural construction of the data. It is less probable that Shim on (Simon) and Eleazar are scribal additions, the former made in order to connect the author with the famous high priest of that name (50 i), 1 the latter in order to connect him with the high priest (the brother and successor of Simon I.) to whom, according to the Letter of Aristeas, Ptolemy Philadelphus sent his request for the translation of the Torah (Fritzsche). This sort of invention of a genealogy would be very bold, and would hardly be called for by Ben-Sira s position as a sage. Nor is it likely that Eleazar is another name of Sira (Krauss, in JQR, Oct. 1898). It is simpler to suppose that Simon and Eleazar (the names are common) were men otherwise unknown father and grandfather of the author. 2

We may thus assume that the name of the author in the Greek Version, Yeshua Ben-Sira, rests on a good tradition. The origin and signification of the Ben- Sira are not clear ; the most probable view is that it is a family name, though we know nothing of how it arose.

Blau (in REJ 35 20) refers to the family names Bcnc Hezir (Chwolson, Corp. Inscr. Heb. 65) and Bcne Hashnwnai. Of Sira nothing is known ; the word (apparently Aram.) may mean coat of mail or thorn ; it does not occur elsewhere in this form as a proper name. The Asira of Pesh. seems to be a scribal error (cp the Barsira of the title in S la g). Krauss, however (in JQR, Oct. 1898), holds Sira to be an abbreviation of an original Asira = Heb. TDK; bound, which occurs in lists of priests (Ex. 6 24 i Ch. 3 17). This is possible (Krauss cites ex amples of similar abridgments); but the testimony of the primary Vss. is against it ; and the Ar. Vs. (as Edersheim points out), which commonly follows Syr., has Jesu b. Sirach. The Gk. form, with final x (or K), is best explained as intended to show that the foreign word is indeclinable (see Dalm. Gram. 161, n. 6); cpaKeASa/ouxx = NOT ^pn (ACELDAMA, i).

The genealogies in 50 27 51 30 have only the authority of tradition they are not from the hand of the author. He is described in 50 27 in the Greek and Latin Vss. as a Jerusalemite, a statement in itself not improbable it is in keeping with the detailed description of the high-priestly ritual in 50 ; but since it is not found in the H. and S. it cannot be regarded as certain. One Gk. MS calls him a priest ; but this is merely a scribal error.

Instead of lepocroAvjuem)? N* has tepeus o <roA. This error seems to have given rise to further unwarranted statements (see below). Cp the argument of Krauss in JQR, Oct. 1898.

As to Ben-Sira s life we have only the general conclusions which may be drawn from the nature of his thought and from a few references which he makes to his experiences. He seems to have been a Palestinian sage, a philosophical observer of life, an ardent Israelite and devoted lover of the Torah, but probably neither a priest 3 (Zunz, Noldeke) nor a safer (Fritzsche) (see SCRIBE), unless that term be understood in a very wide sense (see 21 ). He had too wide a circle of interests to be easily identified with either of those classes, though he was in close relation with them both ; and he may perhaps be best described as one who sympathised with that mode of thought which after his time developed into Sadduceeism. He early devoted himself to the pursuit of wisdom, travelled much, was often exposed to danger, and sometimes near to death (34n/. 51), and his book was probably composed in his riper years.

1 So Bar-Hebrseus.

2 On the Eleazar b. Irai (Iri) from whom Saadia ( l^jrj D ed. Hark. 178) quotes a saying which is attributed in the Talmud to Ben-Sira and is found in our Greek (32if.), see Bacher, Agad. d. pal. Amor. 2 n n. 5, C. and N., Eccles. n, and Blau, in R JT/3524. It seems likely that Irai is a corruption of Sira (see the full name in the Hebrew); the work cited by Saadia was possibly a different recension of Ben-Sira (Blau). But this Eleazar cannot be the Talmudic doctor Eleazar b. Pedat, who frequently cites Ben-Sira (Harkavy, Bacher).

3 Schiir. (Hist. 5 25), referring to the erroneous statement of Syncellus (Chron. ed. Dindorf, 1, 525) that Ben-Sira was high priest, remarks that it must have arisen from the fact that in the Chronicle of Eus. (ad Ol. 137^), which Syncellus used, Ben-Sira is mentioned (though only as the author of Sapientia) just after the high priest Simon II. Other untenable opinions are that he is the unworthy Jason (=Jesus, high priest 175-172 B.C.), or that he was a physician (inferred by Grotius from 38 1-15). See Wette, Spez. Einl. in d. dwterokan. Bitcli., Edersheim.

3. Original language.[edit]

Until quite recently the work was known to modern scholars only in scanty citations and in translations (Gk. , Lat., Syr., and versions derived from them). According to the Greek translator s preface, it was originally written in Hebrew, a term which might mean either Hebrew proper or Aramaic. On this point the citations of Rabbinical writers (Pirke Aboth, Pirke of R. Nathan, etc. ) sometimes without acknowledgment, sometimes under the name of Ben-Sira, sometimes in Hebrew, sometimes in Aramaic or debased form were not decisive, since it was not certain that they came from a Hebrew original ; and even the quotations of Saadia (10th cent.), which are in classical Hebrew, were similarly open to suspicion. After this the traces of a Hebrew text of Ecclesiasticus become indistinct, and knowledge of such a book did not reach the Christian world (see Cowley and Neubauer s Ecclesiasticus}. Still, that its language was Hebrew, not Aramaic, had been inferred by critics from certain obvious errors in the Greek Version for example, 24 27, light for Nile (IN>) ; 25 15, head for poison (tn) ; 46 18, Tyrians for enemies (nns). It was thought probable, also, that, since the Palestinian vernacular of the time was Aramaic, and Hebrew was a learned language, the author s vocabulary, whilst based on the Hebrew Sacred Writings (with which he was familiar), would contain late-Hebrew and Aramaic words and expressions.

1 The recognition of this text is due to S. Schechter, Reader in Talmudic at the University of Cambridge, now also Professor of Hebrew in University College, London.

2 On the two leaves discovered later, see below, n. 43.

3 The first Cambridge leaf and the Oxford leaves were pub lished by Cowley and Neubauer, with the Gk., Lat. and Syr. texts ( 97), the eleven Genizah fragments by Schechter and Taylor ( 99), and the Brit. Mus. fragments by G. Margoliouth (mJQR, Oct. 99). See below, 26 a.

4 [a. Early in 1900 Schechter found two leaves (<x. 4231$ y>f. 64-7 9-13 36 iqa ; j3. 25 si 13 17-24 26 i 20) of, apparently, a third MS (CSchech. : published mJQR 12456-465 [Ap. 1900]).

b. About the same time I. Levi discovered fragments of two MSS : (i.) apparently a third leaf of the MS just spoken of, Schechter s C (Lvi calls it D), containing 6 is-7 25 in a recension different from that in Camb. MS A : the text is abridged by the omission of 620-2729-34367: 73 5 6<r-i6 17-1922 ; (ii.) a leaf of apparently, a fourth MS (CUv.), containing 36 24-88 i : it is thus parallel to most of the second Brit. Mus. fragment (of MS B) and the upper part of the following Camb. leaf (of B). It gives in its text some of the glosses on the margin of the Camb. B and has one verse (37 3) punctuated and accentuated.

Both Levi s fragments are published (with facsimile of the new MS [n.]) in REJ 40 1-30 [antedated Jan.-Mar. 1900]

4. Hebrew MSS.[edit]

Under these circumstances it was natural that the discovery of a Hebrew text of part of the book should awaken keen interest. One leaf (containing 39 I5 _ 40 ^ with a hint of v. 8) was brought from the East to Cambridge by Mrs. Lewis, 1 and in a box of fragments acquired for the Bodleian Library (through Sayce) Cowley and Neubauer found nine leaves, apparently of the same MS (409-49n); eleven 2 leaves (363-7 2 9 <z 1134-5 12a-1626 of a second MS [A], 30n-31n 32ifc-333 35g-2o 36 1-21 3727-31 38 1-27 49 12-51 30 of the first MS [B]) were discovered by Schechter in the fragments brought by him from the Cairo gZnizah ; and in matter recently acquired by the British Museum other fragments (of MS B) were found (31 12-31 3622-3726) ; these all together give the greater part of chaps. 3-7 12-16 30-32 35-51, about one-half of the book. 3

The texts discovered down to the end of 1899 4 appear to belong to at least two different MSS, A and B.

The one, A (chaps. 3-16), is written without metrical division of lines, its marginal notes, corrections of obvious scribal errors, are few (only four, beskles the iii>crtion of an omitted ver-M:), and its abbreviation of the divine name is triangular (,O I the other, B (chaps. 30-51), is written stichometrically (except 4617-20), part of it (to 45 8) has numerous glosses (among them four in Persian), and its abbreviation of the divine name is horizontal (>V). In A there is predominant agreement with the Syriac ; in B (except in chaps. 50 /,) the agreements with the Greek against the Syriac are more numerous ; in chap. 51, after v. 12 is inserted a hymn which is not found in the Vss.l

The MSS (assigned by Cowley and Neubauer, and by Schechter, provisionally, to the nth cent. ), with the exception of a few passages, are very carelessly written, abounding in errors, not all of which are corrected.

The scribes appear to have been not very well acquainted with Hebrew ; they sometimes make several futile attempts at the correction of particular words or expressions. In the glossed portion the annotator seems to have been a man whose ver nacular was Persian ; at 85 20 he notes in Persian the omission of a verse ; at 40 22, where the margin gives a saying ascribed in the B. Talmud (Sank, icoi) to Ben-Sira, he remarks that this was probably not in the original copy [of Ben-Sira] ; and at the point where the glosses cease (458) he explains that this MS reached thus far. This last remark appears to mean that the MS which he was copying ended here ; and in that case it is probable that the remainder (through chap. 51) belongs to another MS. With the supposition that the copyist or annotator lived where Arabic was spoken accords the fact that several Arabisms occur in the MS : p^n in the sense of create, 81 13 (doublet), 31 33 (doublet), 38 i 3925 40 i ; perhaps njn as = honour, 38 i ; in 43srf Vtyo U"j*+ presenting one s self, is an explanation or correction of the word in the text, tislD Hi. of p-\\y as = shine, 43 9 (marg.) ; perhaps in 42:11c a scribe understood .0^.0 as Arabic ( lattice ). The MS has evidently not only suffered from the ordinary carelessness of copyists, but also passed through the hands of an ignorant Arabic-speaking man who freely inserted terms of his Arabic vocabulary.

If we omit Arabisms and other scribal faults, the diction of the text is that of a man who, while his vernacular is that of an incipient late-Hebrew, similar to that of Koheleth (Eccles. ), is familiar with the greater part of the Hebrew OT, and freely quotes or imitates its language. 2 According to Bacher (JQR, 1897) and Schechter (of. fit. 28) the text exhibits post-Talmudical mosaic (paitanic) features, that is to say, a number of ready-made expressions and phrases borrowed from the OT. This, however, seems to be too strong a state ment the language of Ben-Sira rarely produces the impression of being artificial or lacking in spontaneity. Nor can it be said to contain midrashic elements (so Schechter, op. cit., 29 /f), if by midrash is meant the style of the Talmud.

As examples of mosaic work Bacher cites 45 n (cp Is. 54 12) 46 9 (cp Dt. 23 29) 39 27 (cp Job 9 5) 47 20 (cp Gen. 49 4) 44 2 1 (cp Ps. 72 8) 48 2 (cp Lev. 26 26), etc. ; Schechter, 4 28 (cp Ex. 14 14) 14 23 (cp Judg. 5 28) 35 15 (cp Lam. 1 2) 49 16 (cp Is. 44 13), etc. These are cases of adoption and adaptation ; but they hardly deserve to be called mosaic work.

Schechter's instances of midrash are not convincing. The confession of intellectual or religious limitations in 3 18-24 is not necessarily an adaptation of Ps. 131 I (in which the reference is political)--!! may be based on Job 42 3 ; puns (6 17^ a 22 i) are common in OT : 15 9 (cp Ps. 33 i) and 47 22<r (cp Ps. 145 20) are commonplace inferences; in 167 the allusion (Gen. 61-4) is not to the sons of the Elohim but to the Nephllim (cp Ezek. 32 27) ; the lesson derived in 38 5 from Ex. 15 24 is very simple- there are many such interpretations in Wisd. of Sol., and so of the legend possibly alluded to in the obscure statement in 44 16 ; the borrowing, in 45 15*:, of the expressions of Ps. 89 30 is not remarkable ; that Samuel was a Aazirite (46 13*:) is a natural inference from i S. 1 u there is no need of the formal Rabbinical rule niB* ,TPU and the simile in 47 2 (cp Ps. 89 20 Lev. 4 8) is equally natural for a man interested in the temple- ritual ; text and translation of 47 loc are doubtful (the couplet is lacking in S.), and the comparison with the Talmudic legend (of David awaking at midnight, Bcr. 3 b) is precarious ; 49 i may be based on Cant. 1 3 (so Schechter), or, what is equally probable, it may come from the same literary tendency that produced the simile in Canticles. The passages above cited may be taken to show the beginning of the mode of thought that later produced the Talmudic midrash. In this sense only can we adopt Schechter s conclusion : if he thought like a Rabbi he wrote like a Paitan. 1

c. Lastly, E. N. Adler discovered the two leaves of MS A musing between A 2 v and A 3 r- v iz., 7 2 9 -12 . (82 showing A>.

Kl^h" T, e K V 7 a .:, t \ emg , s PPMed with vowels and accents) : published I (with facsimile) in JQ K 12 466-480 (Ap. TOOO).]

1 For detailed descriptions of MS B see Cowleyknd Neu- bauer Smend L*vi (befow | 26 a i.) ; for description of MSS A , and B, Schechter and Taylor (below, 26 a ii ) [For the other MSS see preceding note.]

2 Schechter, in , his Ben Sira, I3 ^, g i ves a l ong list of parallelisms, some of which, however, are common expressions familiar to every educated Jew. In the prologue Ben-Sira "s said to have been a diligent student of the Scriptures.

5. Relation to Original.[edit]

Over and above these characteristics of the Hebrew MSS the question has been raised whether the text is substantially the original Hebrew or only a translation, and both views are strenuously maintained by competent critics. Those who regard it as a translation refer it either (i. ) to a Persian or (ii. ) to a Syriac source.

i. The opinion that it is the rendering of a Persian version (which itself is held to have been derived from the Syriac and the Greek) is based partly on the presence of Persian glosses, partly on the supposition that certain doubtful or incorrect expressions result from the misunderstanding of Persian words ; the hypothesis is that the Syriac version used was revised from the Greek, and this revised text was rendered from Persian into Hebrew by an unintelligent Persian Jew who knew neither Syriac nor Greek. This theory is incompatible with the known facts : the agreements (often literal) and the disagreements of the Hebrew with the primary Versions make it practically inconceivable that it could have arisen in the way described. The alleged explan ations of obscure Hebrew expressions as misunder standings of Persian terms must be regarded as accidental coincidences, or, possibly, as in some cases due to a Persian-speaking scribe. So far as . the theory supposes a Syriac-Greek basis for the Persian version it falls in with the other view that the Hebrew is a translation of the Syriac, on which see below.

The argument for a Persian origin of the Hebrew is made by D. S. Margoliouth in his essay The origin of the original Hebrew (>fEcctesiasticus(i%i)i)). His points are not convincing. The Persian glosses merely show the hand of a Persian copyist or annotator, who was a critic, as appears from his remark on the addition at 4022 (see above, 4). The absurd or impossible Hebrew words cited by Margoliouth are scribal errors, and may be got rid of by emendation (e.g. 40 2fo 16 43 6 17^ 22 42 14 41 12 47346ii); cp Smend and Kautzsch. Prof. Margoliouth does not distinguish between author and copyist ; the latter may have used Arabic words (43981/4). The most striking case of apparent rendering from Persian is in 43 13, where G has snow (Pers. *_ jf) and H 2 lightning (Pers. Ji^) obviously, says Margoliouth, H misunderstood the Persian ; but the force of this argument is practically destroyed by Margoliouth s remark that is corrupt and should read storm, which may represent an original Hebrew p-Q. Other such cases cited are forced (4326174:22). Margoliouth adds (Exp. T., Nov. 1899) that the Cairene text cannot be genuine, since it was known to no mediaeval author but Saadia ; 3 in reply Konig, Schechter, and Abrahams point out (Exp. T., Dec. 1899) that such ignorance of a book is no proof that it did not exist (e.g., Rashi seems not to have known the Jer. Talmud), and that Ben-Sira was probably used by the Synagogal hymnologists (paitanim).

ii. The apparent dependence of the Hebrew on the Syriac presents a more serious problem. There are certain cases in which the reading of H seems inexplic able except as a misunderstanding of S. The cases are few in chaps. 1-16 (which are written as prose), more numerous in 30-51 (written stichometrically). On the other hand H sometimes agrees with G against S, sometimes differs from both, sometimes appears to account for one or both. Further, in a considerable number of cases certain Greek MSS (especially j< c - a , and No. 248 of Holmes and Parsons) agree with H (and often with S and L) against the Vatican Greek text. Add to this that not a few citations in the Talmud and in Saadia agree with H (sometimes against and S), and it becomes probable that H represents a genuine Hebrew text of Ben-Sira, which, however, has been altered in some places so as to agree with the Syriac, and bristles, besides, with errors of copyists. The result is that many passages present perplexing problems, and the details of the history of the text have yet to be made out.

1 On the pa.ita.ns, the late Jewish hymn-writers, see Zunz GWI, 393, Gratz, Gesrh. [Hi.ct. of Ue/ewsl, vol. 3, chap. 4. 2 In the following discussion H= ' Hehrew,' S=' Syriac' ( S d =Walton's text, Sk=Lagarde's, SH=Hexaplar text), G=Gk. 3 Even this he now questions (JQR 12 502-531 [Ap. 1900], The Seplter Jta-GalSy ). Cp Noldeke in Z/i TW 20 81-94.

The following are examples of passages in which H seems to follow S :

8:13 aitp= 'pardon', after S patj> (unless y be late Heb.); 31 15, H = (B nearly (for rixjB read J\*wy)i and doublet of IS<T = S to this last is attached the line = S 160. with marginal variant nearly = S 16^ ; of 5 16 there is a doublet very corrupt. Margoliouth (Origin, etc., 157^) cites 42 ne, where H a^tt N lattice ) may be a misunderstanding of S pat? (in Arab. = lattice ), and 43 2, H no as misunderstanding of S KJO (but H may be merely a scribal error). Levi (REJ, July 1899) regards the acrostic in chap. 51 as translated from S : v . 28 the unintel ligible Q ai is a misunderstanding of S JD (? 2 ?)i and is transposed so as to obscure the initial jy of i*. 28, and v. 14 = 8 which is composed of lines belonging to two different couplets ; there are doublets in which one verse = G, the other S (30 17 20, etc.); and in 30 20 H jDNJ = faithful (a sense here inapposite) is a reproduction of S N3DTID eunuch (which the connection requires). Bickell (in WZKM, 18251-256 [ 99]) takes the same view of the acrostic as Levi, and further instances 12 n, where H HNJp jealousy, he holds, is a misunderstanding of S flNJlp has made black (from /cuaveos).

These examples (to which others might be added) appear to show, not that H is a translation of S, but that it has passed through the hands of a man or of men (of some of whom Arabic was the vernacular) familiar with S, and in places has been conformed thereto in text or margin.

Where the three (HGS) agree, no conclusion as to priority can be drawn. Where only two agree, the third may be preferable, as in 6 22 where S fools suits the connection better than HG many. The numerous cases, however, in which H agrees, wholly or in part, with G against S indicate a Hebrew text independent of S: see, for example, 5 $6a 1^ 12ioi8 14 1017 l>2yC 17 16 6 323 15 39 16. It is possible in such cases to suppose a correction of H after G ; but the hypothesis of emendations derived from both S and G is a complicated one. Moreover, in some passages H seems to be better than G and S : cp 4 6 roc 14 26f. 161419 1614.

On the inferences to be drawn from the still (March, 1900) unpublished fragments (see above col. 1166, n. 4), see SIRACH.

6. Versions.[edit]

Of the ancient Versions the Greek and the Syriac are renderings of Hebrew texts, the Latin is a translation from the Greek.

Critical editions of the Greek and Syriac texts are still desiderata, though valuable remarks are made by Fritzsche, Edersheim, Levi, Bacher, and others.

The Hebrew, soon after its composition, was translated into Greek by the author s grandson (see his prologue), who had gone to live in Egypt, and desired to make the work accessible to his Greek-speaking fellow-citizens. He was clearly a man of piety and good general culture, with a fair command of Hebrew and Greek a consistent Jew, yet probably not unaffected by Greek influences. His translation is not seldom obscure from its literalness and compression ; in the prologue his style is freer and more ambitious. His name and history are unknown.

By Epiphanius (I.e.) he is called Jesus, and in a second pro logue or preface, found in the Synop. Script. Sanct. of Pseudo- Athanasius (and in Cod. 248 and Comp. Polygl.), Jesus son of Sirach. Neither Epiphanius nor the confessedly late second prologue (see Fritzsche s Comm.) can be considered authoritative on this point. The statement may be true, but is more probably a guess, or based on a misunderstanding of Ecclus. 50 27.

The Greek represents a faithful translation of the original ; but its text is not in good condition, and in many cases it is hardly possible to do more than give a conjectural emendation. A similar remark applies to the Syriac, which likewise is based on the Hebrew, but may in some places have been influenced by the Greek. l

1 The book has been translated into Heb. by J. L. Ben-Zeeb (Breslau, 1798 ; Vienna, 1828) [by Joshua b. Sam. Hesel from German (Warsaw, 1842)], and by S. J. Fraenkel (Leipsic, 30) ; chap. 24 by Bishop Lowth (reproduced in Fritzsch s Comm.) and by Wessely ; chap. 51 by Bi., and some verses by D. S. Mar goliouth (Place of Ecclus. in Sent. Lit., Oxf., 90).

For an account of the MSS of G see Fritzsche, Edersheim, Hatch, Schlatter, Nestle (in PKEP), s.v. Bibeliibersctzungen), and Kautzsch (below, g 26). All appear to go back to one archetypal text, for the displacement of chapters (see below) is found in all except No. 248, and this has probably been cor rected, (a) The great uncials, B, K, C, and partly A, though comparatively free from glosses, give an inferior text ; (ft) the better form is preserved in V (Cod. Venetus=No. 23 of Holmes and Parsons), in c a > in part of A, and in certain cursives, of which the most remarkable are Nos. 248 (followed in Compl., Poly, and Eng. AV) and 253 (which agrees strikingly with S H ), though these have many glosses. The history of these two subdivisions is obscure ; the first (a) has been called Palestinian, the second (|3) Alexandrian ; but this is not certain. 1 With the second agree largely L and S. These Vss. then appear to represent a text earlier than that of the Greek uncials ; and our Hebrew fragments, which so often accord with S, may have a history like that of the Greek cursives they may represent an early text which has been greatly corrupted by glosses, though they have suffered more than the Greek from scribal miswriting. The Gk. glosses resemble those of in Proverbs ; they are expansions of the thought, or Hellenizing interpreta tions, or additions from current collections of gnomic sayings.

The Peshitta Syriac is now considered by scholars, with scarcely an exception, to be a translation from the Hebrew ; see especially Edersheim. It is a generally faithful and intelligent rendering, not without misconceptions, expansions, condensations, and glosses, but on the whole simple and intel ligible. In some cases (as in 43 2/.) it agrees curiously with the Greek ; but it is a question whether in such cases S follows G or the two follow the same Hebrew.

The Vss. derived from are valuable primarily for the establish ment of the Gk. text, sometimes also for the Heb. For particular discussions (Old Lat., Copt., Eth., Hexapl. Syr., Arm.), and for Pesh. Syr. see Edersheim, Nestle, and Kautzsch.

7. Date : Simon.[edit]

In the body of the work there is only one mark of date : the list of great men (44-50) closes with the name of the high priest Simon, son of Onias, who, because he stands last and is described at great length and with great enthusiasm, may be supposed to have lived somewhere near the author's time. There were two high priests of this name : Simon I. , son of Onias I. (circa B.C. 310-290), and Simon II., son of Onias II. (circa 218-198): lack of material makes it hard to determine from the name which of the two is here meant.

(a) Of the first, Josephus relates (Ant. xii. 2 5) that, on account of his piety and kindliness, he was surnamed the Just ; the second (Ant. xii. 4 io_/C) intervened in the quarrel of the sons of Tobias and the banished Hyrcanus, though it does not follow that he was friendly to the worse side of the party. 2

(b) Another datum is found in the Mishna-tract Aboth, i 2, in which it is said that Simon the Just was one of the last members ( TB n) of the Great Synagogue ; the Talmud, further, surrounds this Simon with a halo of legend. Though the Great Synagogue is largely or wholly legendary (cp CANON, 18), the high priest, Simon the Just, is doubtless a historical and important personage ; but is he to be identified with Simon I. or with Simon II.? Jose phus favours the former possibility ; but the authority of Josephus on such a point is by no means unimpeachable. In the Talmudic tradition Simon seems to represent a turning-point in the national fortunes : after him, it is said, the signs of divine favour in the temple service began to fail ; but this condition of things may be referred, not without probability, either to Simon I. (Edersheim) or to Simon II. (Derenbourg). In the list of bearers of the tradi- tion in Aboth Simon is followed by Antigonos of Soko, and he by the two named Jose, who belonged in the second cent. B.C. ; this would point clearly to Simon II. as the Just, if the chronology of the tract could be relied on ; this, however, is not the case - theJewish chronology of the period’is of the vaguest sort.4

(c) Further in Ecclus. Simon is lauded for having repaired the temple and iortified it and the city; Uerenbourg, referring to the letter of Antiochus the Great (Jos. Ant. xii. 13 3) concerning the finishing of the temple, thinks that this identifies Ben-Sira s Simon with Simon II. ; Edersheim answers that the city needed fortifying in the time of Simon I., but not under Simon II. ; and Bois insists that, though the temple may have been finished under Simon II., it may none the less have been repaired under Simon I. Compare Halevy (Rev. Sent. July, 99) and Kautzsch.

1 In fifty-six quotations by Clem. Alex, from Ben-Sira Edersheim found five which corresponded markedly with the text of No. 248.

2 The story of him in 2 Mace. 3 is obviously a legend, but may perhaps bear witness to the esteem in which he was held in later times.

3 Cp A. Geiger, Nachgelassene Schriften, 4 286.

4 Simon is not called the Just in the present text of Ecclus., perhaps (Bois) because the epithet had not yet been applied to him. Gratz, however, discovers the term in 6024, following the Syriac ( with Simon instead of with us ), only reading ,TDn for rnon (Gesch. tier Juden, 2235 n.).

(d) Halevy (I.e.) argues for Simon I. on the jjround that a considerable time between author and translator is required in order to account for the errors in the Greek text and for the fact that the translator had lost the tradition of the meaning of the Hebrew. This ground is not decisive. Whether in the translator s time the exegetical tradition had been lost cannot be determined till we have a correct Hebrew text ; and the scribal errors of <8 are due to copyists after the translator s time. Further, on Halevy s own ground, an interval of fifty or sixty years would account for much.

(e) Finally, the connection of Ben-Sira s discourse may seem to point to the earlier high priest, for Simon (50) really follows on Nehemiah (49 13), the intervening verses interrupting the chrono logical order, 1 and we should then naturally think of Simon I. ; but here, again, the Jewish conception of chronology makes the conclusion uncertain : the author may easily have passed on a century later.

Of these data the most that can be said is that they slightly favour the second Simon as the hero of Ben-Sira s chap. 50.

8. Euergetes.[edit]

A more definite sign of date is found in the preface of the Greek translator, who says that he came to Egypt 'in the thirty-eighth year iirl rou ^ fpy ^ TOV 0acriX<?wj. This, it is true, may mean either the thirty-eighth year of the life of the writer or the thirty-eighth regnal year of Euergetes ; but there seems to be no reason why the translator should here give his own age, whilst the mention of the king's year (the common OT chronological datum) is natural. 2

If this interpretation be adopted, the date of the translation is approximately given. Of the two Ptolemies called Euergetes, the first reigned only twenty-five years (247-222) and is thus excluded ; the second, surnamed Physcon, reigned fifty -four years in all, partly as co-regent (170-145) and partly as sole king (145-116). It appears that in his thirty-eighth year, 132 B.C., the translator reached Egypt, and the translation was in that case made a few years later. The author s date may thence be fixed ; for in the prologue the translator calls the author his irdirwos, a term which is here most naturally taken in its ordinary sense of grandfather. 3 The composition of the book would thus fall in the first quarter of the second century a date which agrees with that of the high priest Simon II.

1 The section 49 14-16 seems to be an addition by a scribe or by an editor (possibly by the translator) for the purpose of introducing names (Enoch, Joseph, Shem, Seth, Adam) omitted by the author. Chap. 44 16 (Enoch), wanting in the Syr., may be a late addition. In the Hebrew a scribe has repeated 173 in i6; in the rest (55 = H, except that for riyT (perhaps taken as = thought ) it has |ierai/oi a; (perhaps an error for tyyotoc) ; 166 seems to be in part copied from 49 14, in part a repetition from 44 14. The expression an example of knowledge (or thought) to all generations is strange ; we should in any case omit knowledge (with <B 2 53 S H ).

2 The Greek construction (absence of article before CTTI) has been objected to as hard ; but Hag. 1 1 2 i, Zech. 1 7 7 i, i Mace. 18 42 14 27 prove that it is possible (see note by Ezra Abbot in Amer. ed. of Smith s DB). For examples of this use of firl in inscriptions see Deissmann, Bibelstudien, 255^ [ 95].

3 It sometimes means ancestor ; but in such cases the con nection usually indicates the wider sense (Seligmann).

4 Ecclus. 44 16 is, however, probably an interpolation (see above, 7, last n.).

5 See also 20 29 (Dt. 16 19) 44 17-21 (Gen. 69 17 4 22 18) 45 8/ (Ex. 38 35 y: ?) 49 7 (Jer. 1 10) 46 19 (i S. 12 3, cp Gen. 14 23).

8 This, of course, does not imply that the canons were com pleted in his time. The omission of the names of Ezra, Daniel, and Mordecai in the list of great men is to be noted. Daniel, if he had been known to the author, would certainly have been mentioned just before or after Ezekiel (498/1); 49i2./, near which we should expect the other two to appear, are not found in our Hebrew fragments, but the versions show no sign of a lost passage. I f the three had been inadvertently omitted, they would probably have been added, as are Enoch, Joseph, Shem, Seth, and Adam, in 49 14-16. The natural inference is that our books of Daniel, Esther, and Ezra did not exist in Ben-Sira s time. Noldeke (ZA TW, 2088 /.) would add to these Chron.

9. Internal evidence.[edit]

This date is further favoured by indications (i) in the book itself : by the picture of national oppression given in 233 33 " 3 36 16-22 (EV 36 1-17) (up to the end of the third century the Jews enjoyed comparative quiet, and for the Maccabean period we should expect a more poignant tone of suffering) ; by the traces of Greek influence on the thought as in the personifications of wisdom in chaps. 1 24 and by the acquaintance with Greek customs, as the having music at feasts, 35 3-6 ; (2) in the translation, by signs of acquaintance with the LXX version of the Torah, as in 17 17 (after the Greek of Dt. 328/), 44i6 4 (<& Gen. 624) ; 5 and (3) in the translator s preface by the reference to three divisions or canons of the Hebrew Scriptures. 6

(4) Another note of date might be drawn from the relation of Ecclus. to the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes ; but to exhibit it clearly would require a detailed examina tion of those two books. The three appear, by their thought (Proverbs in its latest recension), to be the product of a well-advanced stage of Grasco-Jewish culture. l

10. Fortunes of the book.[edit]

The book was never admitted into the Jewish and Christian canons (CANON, 39, 47). Among other reasons it is enough to mention that, unlike some other late books (Cant. , Prov. , Dan. , Eccles. ), it was not issued under the authority of a great national name : the schools accepted from Solomon what they would not accept from Joshua ben-Sira. The work, though not canonised, was highly esteemed, and is frequently cited in Talmud and Midrash, sometimes byname, sometimes anonymously. 2 There are also many coincidences of thought between Ecclus. and the Talmud, which, however, do not neces sarily show that the latter borrowed directly from the former. Further, not all the citations in the Talmud are now to be found in our text and versions of Ecclus. ; these latter are perhaps incomplete, or perhaps Ben-Sira became a name to which anonymous proverbs were attached. Later he is cited by Nathan (gth cent.) and Saadia (loth cent.). There is a second collection, en titled The Alphabet of Ben-Sira, 3 apparently compiled late in the Talmudic period, in which, along with genuine material (cited in the Talmud), there are sayings that seem not to belong to Ben-Sira. The translation of some of his proverbs into Aramaic and the spurious additions to his work show the estimation in which he was held by his co-religionists. 4 He was not less esteemed by the early Christians. It is not clear that he is cited in the NT ; 5 but he is frequently appealed to in post-biblical Christian writers, under a variety of names, or anonymously, and with different introductory formulas. Though his book was never formally recog nised as canonical (it is found in no canonical list), it is quoted as scripture, divine scripture, prophetical, and was appealed to in support of church doctrine.

The first example of its use is found in the Ep. of Barnabas, 19; cp Ecclus. 431. After this it is quoted by Clem.Alex., Orig., Cypr., August., Jer., Greg.Naz., Greg.Nyss., Chrys., Cyr.Alex., Joan.Damasc., Theophyl., Leo the Great, Greg. I., Alcuin, though not by Justin, Iren., or Eus. Athan. (/*. Fest. 39) distinguishes it from the books called apocryphal, and August. (Civ. Dei 17 20) declares that only the unlearned ascribed it to Solomon. Jer. seems to have been the first to draw the line sharply between it and the canonical books. Aelfric, Archbishop of Canterbury (see Westcott, Bible in the Church, 209), speaks of the book as read in the churches. By Luther and other Protestant writers of the sixteenth cent, it was treated with great respect.8

1 For further discussions of the date of Ecclus. see Fritzsche s Comm. (in KGH), Derenbourg (Geogr.), Seligmann (U eisk. d. Jes. Sir.), Edersheim (Comm. on Ecclus. in Wace s Apocr.), Bois, Orig. de la phil. judeo-alex. ; Kautzsch (Af>okr.\ Halevy (Rev. Sem., 99) ; and, for the relation between Ecclus. and Proverbs, O. Holtzmann in CK/(Oncken s series), 2 202 ; Che. Job and Sol. 184.

2 For a list of quotations from Ecclus. in Talm. and Rabb. literature see Ecclus., ed. Cowley and Neub., where also are given references to Bacher, Gaster, Schechter, and others. Cp, further, Dukes, Rabbin. Blumenlese, GdgeT,Al>ot/i (in his Nach- gelass. Schrift. iv.). In his Secrets Charles cites passages in that work which appear to be taken from or based on Ecclus. ; cp Ecclus. 1 2 with Secrets, 47 5 ; 24 with 51 3 ; 7 3 32 with 42 1 1 51 1 ; 14 19 with 65 n, etc.

3 See Zunz, Gottcsd. Vortr.; Dukes, ut sup.\ Cowley and Neub., Ecclus.; Steinschneider, Alphabet. Sirac. utnimquc. The work consists of two alphabetical lists of proverbs, one Aram., the other Hebrew, with commentary. Another late collection is given by J. Drusius, Proverbia Ben Sira, Franeker, 1507.

4 The Talmud seems not quite sure of the work, placing it sometimes among the external and forbidden books, sometimes among the c ^lriD (citing it with the formula TJNJC )-

5 Among the more promising passages are Ja. 1 2-4(cp Ecclus. 2 1-5), Lk. 12 \gff. (cp Ecclus. 29 i2/.) and Ja. 1 19 (cp Ecclus. 5n).

6 On the attitude of modern churches towards the OT Apocr. see Bissell, Apocr. (Gen. Introd.), and Zockler, Einl. in vol. ix. of Strack and Zockler s Kurzgef. Koinm.

11. Structure.[edit]

The book naturally divides itself, according to the subject-matter, into sections. Chap. 1 is a general introduction ; 33 (361-17) is a prayer for Israel ; 42 15- 5626 is a separate discourse (praise of great men) ; 50:27-29 is a colophon (probably by an editor) ; and 51 is an appended prayer and exhortation. In the body of the work new starting-points are indicated at 1624 [22] 24 1 and 39 12, and there are further paragraphal divisions (marked by the address my son ) at 2 1 3 17 4 1 6 18 23 32, etc. , besides the subdivisions obvious in the subject matter (see the headings in the Greek Version). Beyond this paragraphal and sectional arrangement it seems impossible to dis cover any plan in the book. 1 It consists, like Proverbs, of a mass of observations on life, put together in the interests not of logical order but of edification.

12. Dislocation.[edit]

A curious arrangement of material is found in most Greek MSS (in all hitherto examined on this point except No. 248 of Holmes and Parsons) : the section 33:16-36 n is placed after 30:24 .2

The right order is given in the Pesh., the Latin, the Armenian, and the G MS No. 248 (which is followed by Complut., as this last is followed in EV). The cause of the derangement was prob ably the displacement of rolls of the G MS from which most existing MSS are derived, 3 or possibly of the Heb. MS from which the Gk. translation was made. Similar instances of dis placement are mentioned by Fritzsche (Comm. 170) and Edersheim (Comm. i54>. 4 The Pesh. was made from an inde pendent Heb. MS, which had the right order. The Latin may have been made from a G MS earlier than that from which our present G texts are derived ; it may have been corrected after the Heb. ; it may come from a corrected G text like that of No. 248.

13. Sources.[edit]

As to the author s sources nothing very precise can be said. Whilst his own experience and observation probably furnished a great part of his material, it is possible that he drew also from books or from unpublished discourses of sages. There are not a few resemblances between him and Proverbs ; but the most of these are best explained as independent treatment of common material. The same thing is true of the points of contact between Ecclesiasticus and Ecclesiastes. 5 If our author quotes those two books, he apparently treats them as wisdom-books having no more authority than he himself claims. There was, no doubt, much that might be considered common property, which different moralists would use each in his own way : the maxim, for example, that the be ginning (or root, or completion, or crown) of wisdom is the fear of God must have been an axiom in the teach ing of the Palestinian sages. A comparison between Ecclus. 24 and Prov. 8 shows how differently the two books treat the same general conception.

14. Unity[edit]

The traditional account, which represents the book as composed by one man, seems on the whole to be supported by the character of the contents. There are, indeed, differences of tone, as in various paragraphs on women (25 and 26), and on the happiness and misery of life (39 16-35 and 40 i-n), and in general there is a contrast between the geniality of some passages and the cynicism of others, and between the conceptions of wisdom, on the one hand as a universal divine influence, and on the other as common-sense shrewdness. The diversities, however, do not go beyond the bounds of a single experience, and in the book as a whole there is an evident unity of tone the attitude toward God, life, wisdom, theTorah, is the same throughout. 6 The authenticity of chap. 51 has been questioned ; but the case has not been made out.

1 For proposed plans see Eichhorn (Einl.), Ew. (Gesch. 4300), Fritzsche (Einl. in his Comm.), Deane (^.r^w. 1883), Edersheim (Introd. in his Comm.), and cp remarks of Herbst in his Einl.

2 Or, according to the verse-numbering in Swete s Sept. , the two sections 3025-33 IT,O. and 33 13^-86 160. have changed places.

3 This, Fritzsche s suggestion, is now generally accepted. See Deane, Expos. 1883, and Swete, Sept. vol. ii. p. vii.

1 Tisch. retains the Greek order ; Swete gives the Latin.

B The comparison between Ecclus. and Proverbs is made most fully by Seligmann (Weisheit d. Jes. Sir.), and that between Ecclus. and Eccles. by Wright (KoheletK). See also Montefiore, in/@/e 2430.^, and Toy, Proverbs (in Internal. Crit. Com.). The difference between Ben-Sira and Pirke Aboth in form and style indicates an earlier date for the former.

6 On the enigmatical Eleazar ben-Irai, a possible double of Ben-Sira, see above, 2 (n. 2).

There seems to be nothing out of keeping with the rest of the book, and, as to the insertion of a prayer, we may compare the one (very different in tone from this) in Wisd. Sol. (9). There is, indeed, a striking resemblance between Ecclus. 51 13-30 and Wisd. Sol. 7 1-14 ; but if there be imitation here, it is not clear that it is on the part of the passage in Ecclesiasticus.

The psalm (an imitation of Ps. 13C) which is found in the Hebrew after v. 12, and does not appear in the Vss. , may be doubtful. Schechter suggests that it was omitted in the Greek because the mention of the Zadokite priestly line was considered to be inappropriate under the Maccabees. This consideration, however, would not apply at all to the Syriac Vs., and the omission of a single couplet would have sufficed in the Greek.

15. Integrity.[edit]

How far the author's work has been added to by scribes and editors is a more difficult question. It is clear that the Hebrew and the versions have suffered in the process of trans mission (see above, 4). In various passages one or another of the texts shows additions or omissions ; each case must be treated by itself. In general, as between a Greek conception in one text and a Jewish in another, the preference is to be given to the latter ; though it is obvious that this rule must be applied carefully, so as not to prejudge the question of a Greek influence on the author. When the final text obtainable by MS. evidence has been reached, there will still remain the question whether this gives the author s thought accurately, or has itself been coloured by editors. By some the Greek translator is supposed to have made additions to his text in the interests of Jewish Alexandrian philosophy ; others see evidence of Christian interpolation. The evidence for those conclusions is not distinct.

Alexandrian passages need not be additions of the translator, and of the cases cited by Edersheim (Comm. 23), 1 T,f. and 24 31 are not non-Jewish, whilst to call 28 2 ( forgive and thou shall be forgiven ) a Christian addition on internal grounds is to prejudge the question. The evidence is stronger in the case of 4827 (^JH Nl.T, TO irav ecrnv OVTOS) and 44 16 (Enoch is called mx fljn, i;roSeiyjua jxeTaiWas [evvoias]), both omitted by Pesh. The first expression is Hellenising, and may be an addition by the author, or by a Hebrew scribe, or it may have been made first in <S, and thence transferred to H ; the second, something like a parallel to which is found in Philo (De prtzm. et pa?n., Mangey, 24io_/;, where Enoch is explained to be true man hood, based on hope in God), may be Jewish (see Siegfried, Drummond, Bois), or may be a Hellenising expression of the author, or an allegorising remark by a scribe. (The expressions was found perfect and knowledge appear to be scribal addi tions.) After the omission of all probable additions, however, there remains enough to fix the author s relation to Greek thought (see below, 24).

16. Literary form.[edit]

The book is arranged in short discourses or paragraphs, each of which consists in general of distichs or tetrastichs; the lines are mostly ternary (with three ictus) or quaternary, though in this respect there is considerable variety. The parallelism is less antithetic and looser, and the discourse more flowing than in Proverbs. Bickell (Zt.f. kath. Theol. 1882) regards 51 1-20 (in the Heb. ) as forming an alphabetic psalm. x The attempt to discover metre in the work (Bickell, Margoliouth) must be pronounced unsuccessful. 2

An irregular strophic arrangement results from the author s method of dividing his material by subjects (cp Prov. 1-9 22-29 ). 3

1 Bickell worked with his translation into Hebrew from the Greek ; Taylor (in Schechter and Taylor s Ben Sira) goes over the lately discovered Hebrew text, and discusses the initial letters of the couplets, in support of Bickell. The acrostic form is in itself not improbable (Prov. ends with an alphabetic poem), but it is not yet clearly made out.

2 On metre in OT Heb. see the works of Ley, Bickell, Briggs, Gunkel, D. H. Miiller, and the art. of Grimme in ZDMG, 604.

3 For an attempt to make out a regular division into groups of 50 or too couplets see Schlatter (below, 26 a, i.).

17. Contents.[edit]

Ecclesiasticus belongs to the category of Wisdom - literature ( Hokma) , which, in contrast with the prophetic, priestly, and legal points of view (for all of which the nation Israel is the centre), gives a universal moral-religious criticism of life. The history of the genesis and development of the Hokma demands a separate treatment. (See WISDOM LITERATURE. ) The nationalistic tone of a few passages in Ecclesiasticus does not affect the general character of the book. The material is so varied and so loosely arranged that a table of contents would take more space than can here be given. It deals with all the ordinary social and religious duties (cp Che. Job and Sol. 190-193). The style is for the most part bright and vigorous, and not without a gleam of humour. The author shows wide acquaintance with men and things, and his advice is usually full of good sense. Without claiming for him self special inspiration, he speaks as an independent teacher of religion and morals, citing no external authority for what he says, but, like the sages in Pro verbs, assuming its truth and obligation, and making his appeal to reason and conscience.

A. Religious teaching.[edit]

18. God.[edit]

In accordance with the tone of the later Judaism, Ecclesiasticus regards God as the lord of the whole world of things and men, the absolute, righteous judge, the author of all conditions and changes of life (chaps. 16-18 33/ ). It has not the full conception of divine fatherhood ; but it gives a description of divine forbearance toward men (181013) which is identical in spirit with that of Ps. 103.

19. Angels.[edit]

Concerning itself with the visible facts of life, Ecclesiasticus (like Prov. ) takes little account of subordinate supernatural beings. Angels are not mentioned in the Hebrew (not in 43 26), and in the Greek only in citations from the OT. In 38 140 the intercession that in Job 8826 is ascribed to a heavenly being is ascribed to a physician. In 4821 (a statement taken from 2 K. 1935), in which the Gk (followed by Lat. ) has dyyeXos, the Heb. has nsis> plague, and the Syr. JK^> jicuoo, a heavy blow. In another passage (17 17), quoted freely from Dt. 328/. as in (S, 1 the term ruler (rryovfj-evov) seems to be substituted for < angel (Kara api.Qij.bv ayyt\wv) here a divine (angelic ?) head of every nation except Israel, whose guardian is Yahwe. Spirits, good or evil, are nowhere mentioned. 2 Whether there is mention of Satan is doubtful. In 21 27, where (5 has The ungodly, when he curses rbv traravav, curses himself, the context (see v. 28) and Syr. favour the sense, adversary, or a reading, neighbour, for aa.Ta.vav (and for ungodly we should probably read fool ). Further, the author, if (as Cheyne thinks) he means Satan, seems to identify him with the man s own evil impulse, a conception foreign to the whole pre-Christian time 3 as well as to the NT. In general, Ecclus. may be said to anticipate Sadduceeism in holding aloof from angels and demons, whose agency in actual life it does not recognise.

20. 'Wisdom'[edit]

The central moral - religious idea of the book is wisdom, in the conception of which Ben-Sira is sub stantially at one with Proverbs. He treats sometimes the human attribute, sometimes the divine. As a quality of man it is theoretical knowledge of the right and ability to embody it in life. Nothing is said of the origin of this capacity (it is treated as an ultimate fact); but it is identified with the fear of God (1 14, etc.) that is, the wise life is directed according to the divine commandments, or, as it may perhaps be put, human wisdom comes from the communion between the mind of man and the mind of God. The unity of the divine and the human attributes (implicitly contained in the book) appears to involve the conception that the divine wisdom fills and controls all things, including man s mind, and thus manifests itself in human thought.

1 MT has VNIC" 33, for which BAL reads c rt^N J3, clearly the right reading.

2 The vvn^ara of 39 28 (Syr. JL*O>, Heb. almost obliter ated) are winds | (so Fritzsche) ; iv. 29 f. give, not the definition of the term spirits, but a parallel list of natural agencies.

3 Cheyne (Job and Sol. 189, cp 297) and Edersheim (Comitt.) refer to a Talmudic passage (Bafia Bathra, \da) which identifies Satan with the jn ns ; cp also Weber, System der altsyn. Theol. 228f. The y-\ is appears to be personified (Trocrjpbv trMfOgUL) in 37 3 ; but H and S are here very different, and the text seems to be corrupt beyond recovery.

As a quality of God, wisdom is almost always personified. It is called eternal (li), universal (246), unsearchable (16), the formative creative power in the world (243), yet created (14 24g) and established in the midst of Yahwe s people in Jerusalem (24io_/i), where alone there was obedience to Yahwe s law. 1 This nationalistic conception of wisdom (involved, but not explicitly stated, in Proverbs) is noteworthy, but not unexpected : the pious Jews of that time could hardly fail to find the highest expression of the divine wisdom in the guidance of Israel through the Law. Ben-Sira s treatment of divine wisdom is personification (as in Prov. and Wisd. Sol.), not hypostatisation. In one passage (243, I ... covered the earth as a mist ) there appears to be an approach to this position 2 : wisdom is identified with the creative word, as Wisd. Sol. further identifies it with the Stoic Logos. Like Wisd. , Sol. , and Philo, however, Ben-Sira lacked a historical figure with which to identify his philosophical conception.

21. The Law.[edit]

Greater prominence is given to the Law of Moses in our book than in Proverbs. It is glorified in the persons of Mpses and Aaron (45 1-22) and Simon (50i-2i). The author was by no means indifferent to the ritual of sacrifice and song. He dwells with enthusiasm on the details of the high priest s costly dress, on the offering and the singers; he counsels men to come with full hands to the altar (32[35] i-u), though he adds a warning against attempt ing to bribe God with unrighteous gifts (v. 12). His philo sophical view of life does not prevent his taking joyous part in the outward service of God, which he possibly regarded as being a symbol as well as a prescribed duty. He shows similar friendliness toward the scribes (8824-34 39i-n), who, in contrast with handicraftsmen, devote themselves to the study of the law, the prophets, and paroemiac sayings (a reference to parts of our book of Proverbs?), listen to the discourses of famous men (teachers in the legal schools), travel in foreign lands to find out good and evil among men, open their mouths in prayer, and ask forgiveness for their sins. This, the earliest extant description of the life of a safer, gives a picture of wide activity, and shows that the law-students of that time did not confine themselves to Palestine. With such scribes, not hagglers over words and letters, but cultivated and liberal students of the earlier literature, our author would naturally find himself in hearty sympathy. As to the term law, it appears that, when used of the Israelitish code, it may stand for all the Jewish sacred books ; but it is sometimes em ployed for law in general, as in 35 [32] 24 36 [33] 1-3.

1 Wisdom seems not to be exactly identified with the Mosaic Law. The Greek text of 24 23 is difficult (raura m-ayra in app. with j3t 0Aos), and we should perhaps read, with Pesh., in the book." On the other hand, cp Bar. 83641, and see notes of Edersheim (on Ecclus. 24 23) and Bois (O rig. zoo/.).

2 Ecclus. 243-6 is an imitation of Prov. 822^, from which L here introduces additional matter. The mist may be taken from Gen. 26, or it may be an independent figure.

3 The sin-offering is not mentioned.

4 In 51 10 H and S show that the reading of <E>, the father of my lord (cp Ps. 110 i), is erroneous.

5 In the generally peaceful and prosperous life of the third century B.C., the Jews seem for the time to have given up the expectation of a special interposition of God in their behalf.

22. Aspirations[edit]

The preceding citations show Ben-Sira s warm national feeling. This is expressed most distinctly in chap. 33 [36], in which he bemoans the afflicted state of Israel, and prays that, in fulfilment of his promise, God would gather all the tribes of Jacob and make the people possess its land as in times of old (cp 4421 47 1 1 48 10). He looks for no special deliverer (not even in 44-50), and hopes only, in general accordance with the earlier prophets, for national quiet and prosperity. 4 He is so much absorbed in this desire that he does not think of the conversion of foreign nations to the worship of Yahwe. We have no right to take him as the representative of the whole nation in this regard ; but we may fairly suppose that he expresses a current opinion. 6

Ben-Sira s scheme of life, like that of Proverbs, or Ecclesiastes, of the Law, and of the prophets, is confined to the present world. In Vtwf. he repeats the senti ment of Is. 38 iSf. He speaks neither of the resurrection of the body 1 nor of the immortality of the soul (14 16 21 10 41 4, etc.). He belonged to the conservative priestly party (though probably not himself a priest) which adopted the social but not the religious ideas of Gentile neighbours. He retained the old Hebrew con ception of ShSol (see SHEOL), whilst the progressive portion of the nation (represented later by the book of Daniel) adopted or developed the idea of resurrection.

23. B. Ethical and social ideas.[edit]

Ben-Sira s ethical scheme is that of the greater part of the OT (if we omit, that is, such passages as Jer. 31:33 Exodus 36:26 Psalms 51). Sin is the transgression of the divine law ; righteousness is conformity thereto. The moral life is considered in its external aspect as a mass of acts. Nothing is said of the inward life, of disposition of mind, of motives, ideals, aspirations, struggles. Those were, doubtless, not absent from the author s thought ; but he does not regard them as practi cally important. What is important is the outcome : men are known by their fruits. Sin is accepted as a fact, which began historically with the first woman (the same view is given in i Tim. 2 14 in contrast with that of Rom. 5) ; but there is no attempt to explain its psychological origin. Conscience, freedom, and responsibility are assumed (15 11-17 and pass. ). On the other hand (as throughout OT and NT), the absolute control of man by God is everywhere taken for granted, and in one place (8813) distinctly affirmed. The motive for righteous living is the well-being it secures : the good man prospers, the bad man suffers, in this life. There is no reference to inward peace, consciousness of rectitude, and com munion of soul with God. Ben-Sira s point of view (sometimes called hedonistic or utilitarian) is that of Proverbs and the OT generally. It is determined partly by the old Semitic external conception of life, partly by the absence of belief in ethical immortality (cp Wisd. Sol. 2-5). The old nationalism of the prophets it rejects in favour of a pronounced individualism : it does not recog nise the well-being of humanity as an aim of life. The moral code of the book is that of the OT : it inculcates honesty, truthfulness, purity, sympathy, kindness 2 all the virtues of the civilised society of that time. The limit ations are either those of the time (national narrowness, 24 3 ; treatment of slaves as chattels, 8824-31) or those of all time (selfish prudence, 12 1-5). Pride is denounced (10? 12 f. ) as in Proverbs, and humility (3 18) and forgive ness (282) are enjoined. Almsgiving (as in Tob. 49-11 Dan. 427 [24] Mt. 61) is identified with righteousness a conception that naturally arose when the care of the persecuted poor became the most pressing moral-religious duty ; 4 but this does not exclude in Ben-Sira the higher idea of righteousness. His treatment of social relations and duties is fuller than that of Proverbs. He lived in the midst of a highly developed civilisation, and is in terested in all sides of life. He gives directions for the governing of the household, the training of wife, children, and servants, dealing with debtors and creditors, deport ment in society(daily intercourse, feasts), bearing towards rulers and rich men he recognises many distinctions and classes of men he is familiar with the temptations of city-life, and praises agriculture. He gives special warnings against sexual licentiousness, against becoming security for other men s debts, against involving one s self in other people s affairs ; in general he counsels an attitude of caution toward men, on the ground of personal comfort (3222/. ). On the same ground, he advises the observance of the social proprieties, such as a decent show of mourning for the dead, failure in which brings one into ill repute (38 16/ ). He is friendly to physicians seems, indeed, to defend them against doubts and objections and approves of music and the temperate use of wine. See especially chaps. 7 13 18 31/. 38, and Seligmann, Deane, and Cheyne. He is generally acute, sometimes a little cynical, never pessimistic.

1 The raising of the dead by Elijah (48 5) has nothing to do with the doctrine of resurrection, and 19 19, which speaks of immortality, occurs in a paragraph (p. 18 f.) which is found only in No. 248 of <B, and appears to be an interpolation.

- On its ethical-religious vocabulary see Merguet and Hatch (as below, 26). The golden rule does not occur.

3 50 2$f. (though in H<SS) is probably an interpolation.

  • So the position assigned to almsgiving by Mohammed was

suggested by the conditions of the Arabian society of his time.

24. Relation to Greek thought[edit]

A real, though not very well defined, Greek influence is to be recognised in the book. The author does not accept the Greek philosophy (his thought is in the main of the practical unphilosophic Jewish type); but he is affected by general Greek culture. In this respect he stands between Proverbs and Wisd. Sol. , but much nearer to the former than to the latter. Palestine was at this time (c. 180 B.C.) not without a Greek atmo sphere, and Ben-Sira had travelled in Greek-speaking countries (cp Che. ). The traces of Greek influence are found in certain general conceptions in his book. He does not, it is true, go so far as Wisd. Sol. and Philo ; he does not allegorise, as they do, nor make so near an approach to hypostatisation. His conception of human liberty and divine predetermination and his reference to Enoch (44 16), if it be genuine, are probably Jewish. We | cannot adduce particular words and phrases in proof of j Greek influence, for these may be scribal additions. The expression in 4827, for example (bon Kin, TO irdv iffriv ai/ros), found in the Heb. and the Gk. , though not in the Syriac, might be regarded as of doubtful genuineness, and in general the possibility of editorial modification must be admitted. After we allow for such a possibility, however, there remain broad touches which cannot well be re garded as spurious, and which have a Greek tone. The most marked is the identification of virtue with knowledge (a point for the full treatment of which see WISDOM LITERATURE). This conception, though not without roots in the older thought, has here been developed under the stimulus of Greek philosophy, with, however, a marked Jewish colouring. There are, according to Ben-Sira, only two classes in society, wise men and fools. These are often identified with the righteous and the wicked ; but the intellectual basis of men s natures and judgments is constantly insisted on. The divine law is recognised as the rule of action ; but it is not different from the wise man s thought. Hence the importance attached to instruction, the one thing necessary for men being discipline in the art of right thinking ; and all God s dealings with men may be viewed as divine train ing in the perception of moral truth. Similarly, the stress laid on moderation in action (821-24 31 /! ) reminds us of the fj.-r]dev &yat> of Koh^leth and of the Greeks. In another direction we have the conception of wisdom in chap. 24 (nearly identical with that of Prov. 8), which contains the Greek ideas of the cosmos and the logos (cp tK6<rfj.i]ffti>, 1627 422i ; in 42zi Heb. has pn).

25. Critical edition.[edit]

A complete critical edition is yet in the distance. Only about a half of the Hebrew text being known, we are dependent on the Vss. , the texts of which are not in good condition.

26. Literature.[edit]

A selection of works on Ecclesiasticus is all that can be given.

(a) For the text of the Hebrew fragments : (i.) The Oxford fragments and first Cambridge leaf: Cowley and Neubauer, The original Hebrew of a portion of Ecclesiasticus, etc. [ 97] (also collotype facsimile ed. [ 97]), and R. Smend, Das hebr. Frag ment d. Weisheit d. JS [ 97] ; Schlatter, Das neugefundene Heb. Stiick des Sirack [ 97] ; cp Israel Levi, L Ecclesiastigue, tcxte original hebreu [ 98] ; and see the critical remarks on the text in REJ, Jan. -Mar. 97 ; the Expositor, May 97 ; WZKM\\ [ 97]; cp the literature cited in AJSL, 1642 n. 2 [ 98]; Kau. Apokr. 1257-9. ( i-) The 1897 eleven Cambridge leaves : S. Schechter and C. Taylor, The H isdont of Ben-Sira, Portions of the Book of Ecclesiasticus from Heb. MSS in the Cairo Genizah [ 99] ; two new leaves, JQR 12 456-465 [Ap. 1900]. (iii.) The two British Museum leaves : G. Margoliouth, JQR 12 1-33 [Oct. 99] (also separately [Williams and Norgate]). (iv.) The two Paris leaves : I. Levi, REJ 40 1-30 [1900]. (v.) The two Adler leaves : E. N. Adler, JQR 12466-480 [Ap. 1900],

(b) Among commentaries, those of Frit/sche (Kurzge/. Ex. 1 1 Much.) and Edersheim (in Wace s Apocrypha) are especially to be commended ; Bretschneider (1806) is full of material and suggestion.

(c) For text-criticism, see Horowitz in MGWJ 14; Dyser- inck, De Spreuken van J. den Zoon v. Sir. [ 70] ; Hatch, Essays in Bibl. Grk. [ 89] ; Bickell in ZKT, 82 ; D. S. Mar- goliouth, Place of Ecclesiasticus, etc. [ 90] (criticisms of Mar- goliouth s position by Dr. in Oxford Mag., Che. in Acad., Schiir. in TLZ, and reply by Margoliouth in Expos., all in 1890); H. Hois, Essai sur torig. d. I. j>hil.-jud. alex. [ 90] ; I. Levi, L. Ecclesiastique [ 98] and art. in REJ, July 99 ; Margoliouth, 2081-94 (1900).

(d) General works : Hody, De Bibl. text. orig. [1705] ; A. T. Hartmann, Die enge Verbind. d. AT tnit d. JVeutn [ 31]; Zunz, Gottesdienstl. Vortr. d. Juden [ 32], new ed. [ 92] ; Del. Gesch. d. hebr. Poesie [ 36] ; Derenbourg, Hist, et Gfog. de la Pal. [ 67].

(e) Special works : Ew. in /ah&. 3 1'511 Horowitz Jes. Sirad ['65]; Gratz in MGlVJ, ' 7 2 ; Illerquet, GLuu6ks 14. Sittenlehre des 6. yes. Sir. r741; Seligmann Weisheit d. Jes. Sohn d. Sir. in s. Verhdlt. zu d. Salomon. Sprtichen , et:. ['a31 ; Deane in Expositor, '83 : Che. Job and Sol. ['87] (sections on Sirach)

(/) On Greek, especially Alexandrian, elements in Ben-Sira : Gfrorer, Philo [ 31); Dahne, Darstel. d. jifd.-alex. Religions- phil. [ 34]; J. F. Bruch, H eisheitslehre d. Heb. [ 51]; Frankel, Einfluss d. paliist. Exeg. auf d. alex. Hermeneutik[ s\\\ A. Geiger, U rschrift [ 57] ; Nicolas, Doctr. relig. d. JuifsV] [ 66] ; Siegfried, Philo i>. Alex, als Ausleger d. AT [ 75] ; Drummond, Phiio-jud. [ 88]; Bois, Orig., etc. [ 90].

(j?) On other versions : H. Herkenne, De vet. latinct Eccclesi- astici capit. i.-xliii. Una cunt notis ex ejusdem libri translatt. sEth. Arm., Copt., Lat., alt. Syro-Hexaplari dcpromptis. Dr. Norbert Peters, Die Sahidisch-Koptische Uebersetzung des Buches Ecclesiasticus, Biblische Studien [ 98].

C. H. T.


1. Historical eclipses, Am. 89 Jer. 15g?[edit]

It is possible that the words of Amos (89), 'To cause the sun to go down at noon, and to darken the earth while it is yet day',[1] refer to a total eclipse of the sun on 15th June, 763 B.C. (see AMOS, 4, ASSYRIA, 19).

If so, the prophet, in reproducing from memory the discourses which he had delivered in N. Israel, introduced a reference to a subsequent event, which seemed like the beginning of the end spoken of in S 2. Amos, who is so fond of references to contemporary circumstances, may very well have referred to this particular eclipse, which is also specially recorded by the Assyrians. Possibly, too, one of the details in Jer. log may be suggested by the famous solar eclipse of Thales in 585 B.C. (Herod. 1 54 Pliny 24 2 53). I v. 6^-9 may have been written (by whom we cannot venture to say[2]) in the year after the fall of Jerusalem.

2. Figurative language.[edit]

No other prophetic passages can safely be taken to relate to any particular eclipses. The phenomenon of an eclipse was a periodically recurring excitement to the unscientific mind, and Am g jg 2o M;C g g Zeph 1 15 Ezek 30i8 327/ Is. 13io 242 3 Joel 2io 37 815 Zech. 146 cannot with any probability be connected with historical eclipses. The language is conventional. It pre supposes the phenomena of eclipses, but is merely symbolic, and such as naturally suggested itself in descriptions of judgments. Is. 388 (in a late report of a supposed prophecy of Isaiah) has been much mis understood by Bosanquet. To his theory that the solar eclipse of 689 B.C. is referred to there are strong chronological as well as text - critical and exegetical objections (see Che. Intr. Isa. 227, and DIAL).

Almost all modern scholars have found a reference to the phenomena of eclipses in Job 858 31 13. Thus Davidson paraphrases the blackness of the day (Job 85 AV; all that maketh black the day, RV) eclipses, supernatural obscurations, and the like, and remarks on v. 8 and 26 13 that there is an allusion to the popular mythology, according to which the darkening or eclipse of the sun and moon was caused by the serpent throw ing its folds around them, and swallowing them up (Job, I9/. ; similarly 185). Unfortunately the two most significant words in w. 58 appear to be corrupt,[3] and the illustrative material derived from Babylonian mythology is inconsistent with the view that the Hebrews (like the Indians) believed in a cloud-dragon which seeks to swallow up the sun and moon. What we have before us, as Gunkel was the first to show fully, is one of the current applications of the myth of Tiamat. The text of Job 3 is a matter for critical discussion. See Dillmann and Budde(on the conservative side), and see further DRAGON, 5, BEHEMOTH, zf.

3. NT references[edit]

Most of the NT references (Mt. 2429 Acts 220 Rev. 6128 12) are sufficiently explained as the conventional phraseology of prophetic writers. * Nor would most persons hesitate to explain the darkness over the whole earth[4] (or land, Mk. 15 33 Mt. 27 45) as an addition to plain historical facts involuntarily made by men brought up on the prophetic Scriptures, and liable, too, to the innocent superstitions of the people. When Yahwe was sore displeased with his people, the prophets constantly described universal nature as awestruck, and poets like David had a similar sense of the sympathy of nature when great men died (2 S. l2i). It is Lk. , a non- Israelite, who involuntarily rationalises the poetic tra dition of a sudden darkness over the earth at the Crucifixion. In Lk. 234S/ we read (in RV) according to the best form of the Greek text, A darkness came over the whole land [or earth] until the ninth hour, the sun's light failing (τοῦ ἡλίου ἐκλείποντος). No doubt the evangelist believed that a solar eclipse was the cause of this naively supposed phenomenon, though, according to his own narrative, Jesus died at the Passover season when, there being a full moon, a solar eclipse was im possible. Origen indeed ( Comm. in Matth., Opera, ed. Delarue, 892/1) rejected the reading now adopted by the Revisers on this very ground, regarding it ae a falsification of the text. Lauth (TSBA, 4245) frankly admits that no ordinary eclipse can be meant, and thinks that the darkness was probably caused by the extinction of the star of the Magi. T. K. c.


(עֵד, 'witness'), the name of an altar of the eastern tribes in EV of Josh. 22 34 (not in MT or G). The text being imperfect, and the choice of a name partly open, Dillmann would supply Galeed(q.v., 2).

It is at any rate impossible to identify the 'Witness Altar' with Karn Sartabeh,—(1) because this bold bluff is on the western side of the Jordan, and (2) because it is not certain whether any part of the story of the altar belongs to either of the great narrators J and E. See Galeed, 2.


See Eder, Tower of.


(ⲓⲉⲇⲇⲓⲁⲥ [A]), 1 Esd. 9 26 AV = Ezra 10 25 AV, Jeziah.


(ⲉⲇⲇ[ⲉ]ⲓⲛⲟⲩⲥ [BA]), 1 Esd. 1 15 RV, AV Jeduthun.


(עֵדֶן). A Levite, temp. Hezekiah (2 Ch. 29 12, ιωδαν [BA], -ωαδ. [L]; 31 15, οδομ [BA], ιαδαν [L]). The right form is probably Jehoaddan(q.v.). T. K. C.


(עֵדֶן). For Gen. 28, etc. (Garden of Eden) see Paradise. For Amos 15 ('House of Eden' EV) see Beth-eden (so RVmg.). For Ezek. 27 23 see Canneh.


(עֵדֶך, 'flock'; ⲁⲣⲁ [B], ⲉⲇⲣⲁⲓ [A], ⲉⲃⲉⲣ [L]), a city in the S. of Judah, close to Edom (Josh. 15 21) ; probably no more than a village with a 'tower of the flock' (see below); cp Nu. 13 19 2 K. 188 2 Ch. 26 10.


(AV Edar), (מִגְדַּלעֵדֶך, i.e., 'tower of the flock'), a place (perhaps a village) to the S. of Ephrath[5] (see Bethlehem, § 3), 'beyond' which Jacob pitched his tent after the death and burial of Rachel (Gen. 35 21). It was so called from a watch-tower built for the protection of the flocks against robbers (see Eder i. , and cp Cattle, § 6), and according to Jerome (OS 101 19) was about i R. m. from Bethlehem. The same phrase is rendered in Mic. 48 'tower of the flock,' no actually existing tower being referred to. The description is symbolical. Either Jerusalem 'is in siege, standing alone in the land, like one of those solitary towers with folds round them' (GASm. ; cp Is. 18), or, on the analogy of Is. 32 14, we have before us a picture of the desolation of the already captured Jerusalem, which is no longer a city but a hill on whose slopes flocks may lie down. The latter view is preferable, even if, with G. A. Smith, we assign Mic. 48 to Micah as its author (see Che. Micah(1) [Camb. Bib.], 1882, p. 38; cp p. 33 f.) Micah has previously said, not 'Zion shall become like a tower of the flock, like a besieged city' (cp Is. l.c.), but 'Zion shall be ploughed as a field.'

In G there is a similar variety of rendering. In Gen. 35 16 (the notice is transferred thither from v. 21 ; see Di.) we have (ἐπέκεινα) τοῦ πύργον γάδερ [BDL], ... γαβερ [E] ; in Mic. 48 πύργος ποιμνίου [BAQ].


(עֵדֶך, ⲉⲇⲉⲣ [AL]).

1. Apparently a post-exilic Benjamite sept, mentioned along with Arad and many others; 1 Ch. 815† (Benjamin, § 9 ii. β): AV Ader (עָדֶך ; ωδηδ [B], ωδερ [A], αδαρ [L]).

2. A Levite: 1 Ch. 23 23 (αιδαθ [B]) 24 30 (ηλα [B]). The name may be derived from Eder 1.


RV Edos (ⲏⲇⲟⲥ [B]), 1 Esd. 9 35 = Ezra 10 43 , RV Iddo (ii.).


(ⲉⲇⲛⲁ [BAא]—i.e., עֶדְזָה ; ANNA), the wife of Raguel and mother of Sara Tobias's bride (Tob. 7 2, etc.).


  • Name and origin ( 1-4).
  • Country ( 5).
  • History ( 6-10).
  • Civilisation, etc. ( 11-13).

1. Name[edit]

Edom (am ; eAcoM [BAL], lAoyM&iA [BNAQF], 1 whence AV IDUMEA in Is. 34s/ Ez. 35 15 36s), and EV IDUMEA in Mk.38 [Ti. WH, lAoyM&iA]). from an older form addm, may possibly be rightly treated by Baethgen 2 as a variation of dddm mankind (origiiftilly adam) ; similar terms have, in fact, often been used as national names. As applied to the nation, Edom always has a collective sense, the only exception being the somewhat late passage (Ps. 137?) in which the Edomites are called sons of Edom. The resemblance between the national name Edom and the name of the god contained in D~IN~QJ; (traditionally read OBED-EDOM [y.w.], but of uncertain pronunciation) is probably an accident. On early traces of a name equiva lent to Edom, see below, 3.

2. Affinities of story of Esau.[edit]

The Edomites, according to the OT, were descendants of Esau, who is represented as identical with Edom, the eponym of the nation, just as Jacob is represented as identical with Israel. The story of the rival brothers Esau and Jacob symbolises the history of the peoples of Edom and Israel respectively, in their varying relations to each other (cp EsAU, 2). In form it is purely legendary, and Esau, with whom we are here specially concerned, has been identified by Tiele ( Verge-lijk. Gesch. 447) and many others with the Phoenician mythic hero Usoos (OiVwos ; Philo Bybl. , ap. Eus. PrcBp. Ev. i. lO?). The statements of Philo must, no doubt, be received with caution. His work, as far as we know it, is by no means purely Phoenician in origin, though he claims for it the authority of the ancient writer Sanchuniathon. It is a medley of Phoenician and Hellenic myths, combined with theoretical inter pretations and arbitrary fancies of his own. Never theless, it appears certain that Usoos was borrowed by Philo not from the OT but from Phoenician tradition, and several parallelisms in the story of Esau and in that of Usoos seem to the present writer to point to a common origin of the two legends. 1 In this case the original form of wy or Usoos will probably have been ~\vy, Osau (cp ESAU, i, HOSAH). Another suggestion has been made by W. M. Miiller. He connects Esau with the desert-goddess Asiti, a Semitic name mentioned in two Egyptian inscriptions (As. u. Eur. 316 f.}. It is, at all events, probable that Esau was originally a god whom the Edomites regarded as their ancestor ; Israelite patriarchs, Abraham and Jacob, also seem to have been gods at a very early period (cp ABRAHAM, 2, JACOB).

1 In several places and in more than one MS lovSaia. and ISovfiaia are confused in <S.

2 Beitr. 10 ; cp ZDMG 42 470 [ 88].

3. Early traces of Edom or Seir.[edit]

According to an Egyptian papyrus, some of the Sasu (a term nearly equivalent to Bedouins ) belonging to (the land of) Aduma (i.e. , Edom) 2 received permission, in the twelfth century B. c. , to pasture their cattle in a district on the Egyptian frontier (see WMM As. u. Eur. 135) precisely what happened in the case of the Israelites according to the tradition contained in the OT. About 1200 B.C. the Sasu of Sa ai ra were defeated (ib. 136). Here Sa'aira is, of course, Seir 3 (Heb. Se ir) ; but whether the Edomites or some older inhabitants of those mountains are meant is uncertain. In any case, it is not permissible to infer (with WMM op. cit. 137) that the Edomites took possession of the district in question only a short time before the period of the Israelite kings : the list of Edomite kings (see 4), with the names of places con tained in it, bears witness to the contrary.

1 In both stories we have a strife between two brothers. Usoos, like Esau, is a hunter ; his brother is <ra;iiT)jU.po{JjU.os 6 <cai v^iovpa.vio i, where the former name is obviously CfTO CB*. The myth of the stone of Jacob (Gen. 28 12 17) may perhaps here be compared. The stone lies at the foot of the heavenly ladder, and may thus represent the gate or entrance of heaven.

2 [Name of Edom. The equation Edom = (the land of) Udumu or Udumi (for Assyrian references see KA T(%) 150 = COT 1 136) is undisputed. But it is unwise, wherever a name resembling Edom occurs in the Assyrian or the Egyptian inscriptions, to insist on identifying the two names. In the Amarna tablets (iSth cent. B.C.) we find a city in the land of Gar called Udumu (Wi. 237 [L 64] 24). It would be bold, however, to speak of this city as the city of Edom (so Sayce, Pat. Pal. 153; cpWi. below), and to proceed to a further combination of both names with Adumu, the capital of mat Aribi, conquered by Sennacherib (see DUMAH, i). Yakut, the Arabic geographer, knew of several places called Duma, and it is probable that a similar name had several references in antiquity. Even in the famous passage, Pap. Anast. vi. 4 14, where a high official (temp. Merneptah^II.) asks permission for the entrance into Egypt of tribes of Sasu (Bedouin) from the land of Aduma (Brugsch, GA 202; WMM As. it. Eur. 135), there is still a doubt as to the reference of Aduma (Wi. Gl 1 189). More reason is there to question the identification proposed by Chabas, Brugsch, and Maspero of the land of Adim or Atuma (so read by these scholars in the story of Senuhyt ; RP& 2 n ff.) with the land of Edom. As E. Meyer (GA 182) and other good judges (including Maspero himself) now assure us, the right reading of the name is not Adim but Kdm (see KEDEMAH), and Prof. Sayce has, therefore, in Pat. Pal. 206, silently retracted what he said in his earlier attack on criticism (Crit. ATon. 203). Winckler (I.e.) thinks it not impossible that the Edomites may have derived their name from the region of the city of Udumu (he calls it here Adumu), where they may by degrees have formed settlements. This he illustrates by the often-quoted passage in the Harris Papyrus, where Rameses III. claims to have destroyed the Saira among the tribes of the Sasu (Brugsch, 203; WMM I35./; cp 240). Here the name Saira is evidently later than the name (Mount) Seir. Winckler does not, however, adhere to his own suggestion, and thinks the two names Adumu and Udumu are more probably unconnected. It only needs to be added here that in 1879 Mr. Baker Greene brought the passage in the Anastasi Papyrus into connection with the settlement of Hebrew tribes, such as the Josephites and, as he thinks, the Kenites, in Egypt (Hebrew Migration, 37, 117, IQO, 310); and that W. M. Miiller considers that the Saira of the Harris Papyrus are a race distinct from the Edomites. According to this scholar, the Saira are the same as the Horites the aboriginal inhabitants of the land of Seir. This involves bringing down the conquest of Seir by the Edomites much later than is consistent with Dt. 3 Nu. 20.

T. K.C.]

3 According to" Zimmern (ZA 6251), Seir seems to occur in the Amarna tablets in the expression mat scri.

It is true that, according to Gen. 146 8620 Dt. 21222, the mountains of Seir were occupied, before the time of the Edomites, by the sons of Seir the Horite or the Horites. W. M. Miiller (I.e.), however, rightly observes that the word Hori i.e. , Troglodyte (cp Job 306) is not properly the name of a nation, and serves only to express the idea entertained by later generations con cerning their predecessors. In like manner, the sons of Seir can scarcely be regarded as a national name, since Seir denotes nothing more than the mountain range in question. We must, however, suppose that among the Edomites, as among the Israelites, there survived remnants of older peoples ; and the lists in Gen. 36 seem clearly to indicate that, after the analogy of what happened in Israel, the Horites frequently mingled with the Edomites just as, on the other hand, we find manifold traces of a mingling of Edomites and Horites with the neighbouring Israelite tribes (see Nold. Unters. 178 /. and We. De gent. 29, 38 f. ). It should be noticed, in particular, that remnants of the small nation known as Kenaz were to be found both among the Edomites and among the Israelites (see K.ENA7.). Similarly, a portion of the Amalekites was merged in the Edomite people (see AMALEK, 4).

4. Kings, Tribes, Clans.[edit]

It is shown elsewhere (see ESAU, 2) that the Israelites had a consciousness of their lateness as a people in comparison with the Edomites. The tradition, which was sound, illustrates the statements in Gen. 8631-39. Even if the first four of the kings there enumerated are mythical (see Nold. Unters. 87 n. ), the last four are certainly historical. There is, however, a doubt whether they are arranged in strict chronological sequence, and whether all of them ruled over the whole nation (see BEL A ii. , i). The other lists in the same chapter also are of great historical value, though the details are often obscure. 1 That inconsistencies occasionally appear is quite in accordance with what we should expect in lists drawn up at various times or under the influence of conflicting notions ; for it would be a great mistake to suppose that the tribes and families were separated, by absolutely rigid limits, one from another. So far as we can judge, however, there is no reason to believe that the traditions embodied in the lists above mentioned are later than the overthrow of the kingdom of Judah. Of the localities enumerated in Gen. 36, either in the form of tribal names or as possessions of the various chieftains (see especially vv. 40-43), all those which can be identified are situated in the ancient territory of Edom, not in the region occupied by the Edomites after the fall of Judah. The antiquity of the title (IJ^K. alluph, EV DUKE [q.v.]) given to the Edomite princes in this chapter appears to the present writer to be proved by Ex. 1615.

5. Country (Mount Seir).[edit]

In the OT the territory of Edom (properly speaking) is Mount SEIR (q.v. , i). It is, of course, to be supposed, however, that the Edomite country spread out both to the east and to the west of the mountains, and probably varied in dimensions at different periods. The sites of a very few Edomite towns can be determined with precision ; the sites of others (for example, that of Teman i.e., south, southern place which is often mentioned, and appears also as a grandson of Edom) can be determined at least approximately. In general, however, the country of Edom is still very imperfectly known.

The name Seir, applied to the mountain-range, signifies hairy, a meaning to which the narratives in Gen. allude on several occasions (Gen. 25 25 27 1123). If we may judge by analogy, hairy must here be equivalent to wooded, or at least covered with brush-wood : in Arabia there are two distinct localities where we find a mountain called by the equivalent name al-As ar, the hairy, whilst a neighbouring mountain is known as al-Akra or al-Ajrad the bare (cp the mountain called Sa rfo in Assyria).

i [Cp WRS / Phil. 9 V)ff. ; Ndld. ZDMG 40 168^ ( 86).] 1183

At the present day the region of Seir is, for the most part, barren ; but it contains some fruitful valleys, and in the country immediately to the E. of it are to be found districts covered with luxuriant vegetation, as both ancient and modern authorities attest (see Buhl, Edomi- ter, i$/. [ 93]). It is, therefore, hardly necessary to take the prophetic utterance on Edom in Gen. 27 39 (see ESAU, 2) as any thing other than a blessing which is the most obvious interpretation. Nor is the benediction incon sistent with the fact (which agrees with the conditions of life to-day in some mountainous districts of Arabia) that the Edomites were largely dependent upon the chase for their sustenance.

6. Edom and Israel : earlier times.[edit]

According to Gen. 324 368, Esau took up his abode on Mount Seir. Hence it is that in one passage Jacob, when on his journey from Gilead to Shechem, passes southward over the Jabbok, although in reality he had nothing to do in that region and would gladly have avoided Esau ; the story, however, requires that the two brothers should meet. See JABBOK, 2.

What were the relations between the Israelites and the Edomites at the time of the Exodus is a matter about which the narratives of the Pentateuch leave us in doubt. According to one story, the Israelites marched straight through the Edomite territory (cp Nu. 3337/! 42/1 ) ; according to a more detailed account, they avoided it altogether by performing a circuit to the south (cp WANDERINGS, 13). It must be re membered, however, (i) that it is quite uncertain whether at that time the Edomites were already in possession of the country which they afterwards occupied, and (2) that the immigration of the Israelite tribes was probably not a single united movement, but a series of separate undertakings which followed different lines of march (see ISRAEL, 7).

One of the ancient kings of Edom is said to have defeated the Midianites on the Moabite table-land (Gen. 8635 ; see MIDIAN, and cp BELA ii., i). Whether the brief mention of Saul s victory over the Edomites in i S. 1447 is historical we cannot determine: the fact that his chief herdman was DOEG the Edomite ( i S. 2 1 7 [8] 22 [BA, offvpos]; cp Ps. 522) does not, of course, imply any dominion of Israel over Edom. David, however, subdued the Edomites after a severe contest.

A short account of this war may be obtained by combining 2 S. 8 \if. (where the text is in part very corrupt ; cp B) with i Ch. 1811-13 a "d Ps. 602 ( omits Edom ), to which we should add i K. 11 15^; but much still remains obscure. A great battle was fought in the Valley of Salt, by which is prob ably meant the northern extremity of the vast barren lowland usually called the Ariibah (cp Buhl, Edomiter, 20 ; but for another view see SALT, VALLEY OF). Joab, David s general, is said to have extirpated all the male Edomites in the course of six months. This is unquestionably a gross exaggeration, for had such been the case the nation could never have re appeared in history. There can be little doubt, however, that David s conquest gave rise to the deadly hatred afterwards manifested between Edom and Israel or at least between Edom and Judah. See DAVID, 8 c.

A prince of the royal house contrived to escape to Egypt (on cnxD, cp HADAD i. , 2), and his son GENU- BATH (q.v. ) regained the sovereignty of Edom after David s death (i K. 1114-22, to which last verse <@ BL rightly appends the second half of v. 25, with the read ing Edom fcnx or oi.x] instead of Aram [DIN])- The statement that Solomon included Edomite women among his wives (i K. 11 1) does not seem irreconcilable with the foregoing account ; but the extensive traffic which he carried on with Ophir from the port of Elath (at the NE. extremity of the Red Sea) certainly implies that he was master of the intervening territory. We may suppose that the kingdom of Genubath included only a part of the Edomite country, or else that the new king recognised the king of Judah as his superior. In any case, the Edomite state cannot, at this time, have been really powerful : a few generations later we find the same seaport in the hands of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and it is expressly stated that the Edomites were then without a king (i K. 2247 [48] /. ).

7. Time of divided.[edit]

It would, therefore, seem that the narrative of the campaign undertaken by Jehoram and uiviucu jehoshaphat against Mesha king of Moab arcny. can scarce ]y jj e correct in representing a king of Edom as taking part in the expedition (2 K. 3). This story, as a whole, doubtless rests on genuine tradition ; but it contains much that is fabulous (cp JEHORAM, $/.}. The utmost that can be conceded is that the king of Edom was a prince subject to Judah. Moreover, the statement in i K. 22 47 [48] must be taken in connection with another, according to which the Edomites rebelled in the time of Jehoshaphat s son Jorani and set up a king of their own. The attempt to subdue them afresh proved a failure. (The details of the narrative in 2 K. 820-22 = 2 Ch. 2l8-io again present difficulties of interpretation. ) The Blessing upon

Esau (Gen. 27 39 f- ), at least in its present form, probably dates from this period of independence Esau will serve Jacob [cp Gen. 2623] but the following words, presum ably added somewhat later, state that if he makes an effort he will shake off the yoke. The narratives of Genesis assign the pre-eminence to Jacob, nor do they fail to re cognise the enmity between the two brothers ; but, at the same time, the character of Esau is treated with respect, and much stress is laid upon the final reconciliation. All this seems to represent the feeling of those who desired to see peace permanently established between the two peoples ; or, possibly, the sentiments here expressed may proceed rather from subjects of the Ephraimite kingdom, to whom the dominion of Judah over Edom appeared a matter of no great importance. On the other hand, the Judahite prophets Joel and Amos of whom the first is now usually regarded as post-exilic, whilst the second undoubtedly belongs to the period which we are at present considering threaten the Edomites with a severe chastisement from God on account of their crimes against Israel (Joel 3 [4] 19 Am. ln/i). The view that the latter passage is not really by Amos (see AMOS, 9) does not commend itself to the present writer ; but, with regard to Am. 9 11-15, which predicts, among other things, that Judah is to dispossess the remnant of Edom (<S 1!A -i TU>V dvdpuTruv), it is plain that there is grave cause for doubt. This was the period of the war in which the hostile Moabites burned the bones of a certain king of Edom to lime (Am. 2i). There is reason to believe that a great trade in slaves was then carried on by the Edomites : we read of whole troops of exiles being delivered over to Edom by the inhabitants of Gaza and Tyre (see We. on Am. 169).

Amaziah king of Judah again subdued Edom and captured the town of Sela i.e. , Rock" (see AMAZIAH, i, JOKTHEEL, 2). Buhl s denial of the equivalence of Sela and Petra is hardly justified (see PETRA). Whether this conquest was maintained and, if so, by what means through all the disturbances which soon after wards arose in Judah we cannot say.

8. Later days of monarchy.[edit]

In the reign of Ahaz, Rezin king of Damascus restored Elath to the Edomites ( 2 K - 166, where we should read Edom [DIN] and Edomites [cranx] with): hence we may conclude that till then the men of Judah had been in possession not only of the town in question but also of the country to the N. of it, or at least of some route whereby it could be safely reached, a route which perhaps lay partly outside of the Edomite territory. The statement in 2 Ch. 28 17 seems to be a modified form of the tradition relating to those events. To the same (or possibly to a much earlier) period we may assign the ancient fragment which is found in Ps. 608-n [10-13] ( = Ps. 108 8-n [10-13]), em bedded among quite late pieces : here occur the scornful words, Over Edom will I cast my shoe (see SHOES, 4 [6]), and Who will lead me to Edom? l Moreover, several of the discourses uttered by the prophets against Edom appear to date from about this time, after the nation had recovered its independence e.g. , the piece which (as Ew. pointed out) is partially reproduced by the post-exilic prophet OBADJAH (q. v. , ii. ), as well as by his predecessor Jeremiah (ch. 497-22). The details of the prophecy, however, are no longer intelligible. Similar utterances are found in Is. 11 14 Jer. 925 25 21 497-22 (cp Jer. 27s). On the other hand, the author of Deuteronomy emphatically teaches that Israel has no right to the territory of Edom, and likewise recommends a friendly treatment of the kindred nation (Dt. 2 5-8 23? [8]/. ).

1 In the critical analysis of Ps. 60 the present writer agrees, in the main, with Ew., who assigns ZT . 1-5 10 (except wilt not thou, O God, which, RV mg.) ii f. (EV s numeration) to a psalmist shortly before Nehemiah, and irv. 6-9, and the opening of v. 10, to David (warring against the Aramaeans). The Davidic origin of those words is, however, highly questionable. (Cp PSALMS.)

In the Assyrian inscriptions Kaus-malak king of Edom appears, together with his contemporary, Ahaz king of Judah, as a tributary of Tiglath-pileser III. (745-727 B.C.); see KB ii. 21. Similarly, Malik-ram king of Edom (ib. 291) paid tribute to Sennacherib (705-681 B.C. ), and Kaus-gabr king of Edom, as well as Manasseh king of Judah, paid tribute to Esarhaddon (681-668 B.C.) and to Astir-bani-pal (668-626 B. c. ) : ib. 149 and 239 ; cp Del. Par. 295, Schr. KATW 149 /

9. Exilic and post-exilic times.[edit]

At the approach of Nebuchadrezzar, the nations bordering on Judah - the Edomites among them - sent envoys to Jerusalem to consult together (J er - 27 3>- After the destruction of their royal city, many Jews sought refuge in Edom ( j en 40ll ), but the Edomites, as was natural, hailed with delight the over throw of the kingdom of Judah (Obad. 11-14 Lam. 4 21 Ps. 137?). They seized the opportunity to occupy part of the territory of Judah (Ezek. 863), though perhaps another partial cause for the migration may be suggested (see NABATAEANS). At a later period we find them in possession of S. Judaea, to which the special name of Idumaea was given ; this term occurs as early as 312 B.C. (Diod. Sic. xix. 98, a passage based upon the contemporaneous testimony of Hieronymus of Kardia). Hebron, the ancient capital of the tribe of Judah, within an ordinary day s march of Jerusalem, became an Edomite city (r Mace. 065 Jos. BJ iv. 9 7). 1 We can scarcely doubt that from the time of the Babylonian Exile the Edomites held this territory, which, though for the most part not very fertile, was preferable to their original home.

The exilic and the post-exilic prophets and poets of the Israelites, as we might have expected, denounce the Edomites in no measured terms (see Ezek. 25 12-14 35 14 863 Obad. Lam. 4 21 Is. 34 63 1-6 Ps. 137? Mai. 1 2 - S ). Similar were the sentiments of Jesus Ben-Sira (who wrote about the year 190 B.C.) ; in 5026 the Cairo Hebrew fragment (see ECCLESIASTICUS, 4) has TJW acr; 2 we must suppose the author to have made use of an antiquated phrase no longer applicable to the Edomites of his own time. The author of the book of Daniel (167 or 166 B.C.) 3 appears, on the contrary, to have been less unfriendly to Edom, as well as to Moab and Ammon, following in this the example of his predecessor, the Deuteronomist (see Dan. 11 41). There is, it may be remarked, no ground for the assumption that the Edomites had, during the intervening period, retired from S. Judaea and had afterwards taken possession of it a second time (see Buhl, Edomiter, 77). The list of places in Neh. 11 25-36 is, at any rate, not contemporary with Nehemiah, and if authentic in any sense must be borrowed from a pre-exilic source. 4

Judas the Maccabee fought against the Edomites on the territory which had formerly belonged to the tribe of Judah (i Mace. 6365). They are mentioned as enemies in Ps. 887 [6], which was composed about this time. Cp Judith 78 18 of the same period.

1 [On the Edomites in Judah in the early post-exilic period see Mey. Entst. 114^.]

2 It has now been proved therefore that Fritzsche and others were fully justified in reading Seir (oTjei p).

3 [See Mold. A T Lit. 223 ( 68) ; but cp DANIEL ii., 18.]

4 [Several critics e.g., Torrey, Francis Brown, and E. Meyer have lately come to the conclusion that the catalogue in ques tion is a fiction of the Chronicler.]

10. End of Edom.[edit]

At length Judah gained the victory over Edom. John Hyrcanus first wrested ADORA (q.v.) and MARESHAH (q.v.) out of the hands of the Edomites (Jos, Ant - X " i- 9l> BJL 26 ). About the end of the seconcd century B.C. he compelled the whole Edomite nation, it is said, to adopt the practice of circumcision, and the Jewish Law (Ant. xiii. 9 1 xv. 7 9). Henceforth they were included among the Jews (ib. , Strabo, 760). Idumaen is several times mentioned as a district belonging to Judaea (e.g. , Jos. BJ iii. 85)-

The conquest, however, did not prove a blessing to the Jews ; for, in consequence of those events, it came about that the ill-starred family of Antipas, the dynasty of the Herods, whom we should no doubt regard, in accordance with the common opinion, as of Edomite origin (see Jos. Ant. xiv. lOa, BJ i. 62 ; cp Mishna. Sota, vii. 8), made themselves masters of Judrea and of all Palestine, and thus were enabled to plunge the Jews into great misfortune. The Edomites also had reason to regret their union with their former rivals. Consider ing themselves Jews in the fullest sense, the fierce and turbulent inhabitants of Idumeea (Jos. BJ iv. 4i 5i) eagerly joined in the rebellion against the Romans, and played a prominent part both in the intestine struggles and in the heroic but altogether hopeless resistance to the enemy (ib. iv. 4/ 81 9s/ v. 92 vi. 26 82). Thus Edom was laid waste with fire and sword, and the nation as such ceased to be. Even the fact that the Edomites had at length become Jews was soon completely forgotten by the exponents of Jewish tradition. The frequent denunciations of Edom in the OT caused the name to be remembered only as an object of hatred, and hence the Jews came at an early date to employ it as a term indicating Rome, the most abhorred of all their enemies. And yet many of the Jews, it would seem, must have had Edomite blood in their veins ; for we may reasonably assume not only that the Edomites, after they had adopted Judaism, intermarried largely with their co-religionists, but also that those Edomites who survived the final catastrophe, whether in the con dition of slaves or otherwise, were regarded as Jews both by themselves and by the outer world (cp CHUZA).

11. Civilisation.[edit]

With respect to the habits and intellectual culture of the Edomites we possess scarcely any information. In spite of their ferocity, to which the OT writings as well as the accounts of the closing struggle bear testimony, the Edomites, and especially Teman, appear, strangely enough, to have enjoyed a reputation for great wisdom (Obad. 8 = Jer. 49?). It is not without reason that in the Book of Job the sage who occupies the foremost place among Job s friends is called Eliphaz of Teman, after two of the most important clans of Edom, Eliphaz being the first-born of Esau and Teman the first-born of Eliphaz. Perhaps Job himself also is to be regarded as an Edomite, since his country, the land of Uz (q.v. ; see also JOB [BOOK], 4), is mentioned in connection with Edom (Lam. 4 21 [<S omits Uz], cp Gen. 3628). At all events, we may conclude that at a tolerably early period some portion at least of this people acquired a certain civilisation, as was the case with the later occupants of the same district, the NABATVEANS (q.v. ). In all probability this was largely due to the fact that the trade route from Yemen to Palestine and Syria passed through the country in question.

12. Religion.[edit]

Of the ancient religion of the Edomites nothing definite is known. Whatever legends they may have possessed concerning their ancestors, Abraham, Sarah, and Esau, have wholly perished. Josephus (Ant. xv. 7 9) mentions Kose as an Edomite deity ; the name has been identified with that of the Arabian god Kozah sacrificed to in the neighbour hood of Mecca, after whom the rainbow was called by the Arabs the bow of Kozah (cp WRS, Kin. 296). Nothing more has been ascertained respecting him. Still less do we know about the god who figures in several Edomite proper names under the Assyrian form A aul, in Kau$-malak and Kaus-gabr, and the Greek form Kos, in Kostobaros (Jos. Ant.xv.7g) and some other names, which, however, are not actually stated to be Edomite ; the same god appears in the Nabatoean inscriptions at al-Hegr as op in jruop. Kocrvdravos (i.e. , Kos has given ) whilst in the Sinaitic inscriptions the name is spelt nip, in -nyoip (i-t-, Kos has helped ). Malik, king, in the proper name Malikram (see above, 8), is a general title of Semitic deities. The heathen feast celebrated at Mamre near Hebron, at length sup- preated by Constantine (see the interesting account in Sozom. HEI^}, was perhaps mainly of Edomite origin. It is even possible that on this soil, hallowed by patri archal legend, there may have survived some rites which had teen practised long before in ancient Israel, rites which might well seem heathenish both to the later Jews and to the Christians.

From the statement that the practice of circumcision was imposed upon the Edomites by John Hyrcanus (Jos. Ant. xiii. 9i) it might be concluded that there was no such custom among them previously. This, however, is extremely improbable. The OT assumes that all descendants of Abraham were circumcised, and since, in later times at least, this practice was universal among the Arabs, we can hardly believe that the whole Edomite nation had abandoned it in the course of ages. Prob ably Josephus was here misled by a statement that the Edomites had adopted the religious customs of the Jews, and himself added, with his usual inaccuracy, the special reference to circumcision, which was considered the most important characteristic of Judaism. Or per haps we are to understand that the Jewish rite of circum cision shortly after birth was substituted for the rite in use among the kindred peoples, namely circumcision shortly before puberty (cp CIRCUMCISION, 4/. ), the former alone being recognised as real circumcision by the Jews.

How thoroughly the Edomites were at length trans formed into Jews is shown, for example, by the fact that among the very few names which are mentioned as having been borne by Edomites in those times, that of Jacob (the brother and rival of Esau !) occurs twice (Jos. BJ\\. 96 v. 61 vi. 26 83). We find, moreover, the characteristically Jewish names, Simon (ib. v. 61 vi. 26), John (ib. v. 65), and Phinehas (ib. iv. 42).

13. Language.[edit]

The language of the ancient Edomites probably resembled that of Israel at least as closely as did the language of the Moabites. It is possible that the discovery of some inscription may throw further light on the subject ; at present our information is derived solely from a few proper names of persons and places. In the later period of their history the Edomites, like the Jews, doubtless spoke the Aramaic language, which was in common use throughout all Syria. T. N.


(ⲏⲗⲟⲥ [B]), 1 Esd. 9 35 RV, AV Edes.


(^ITTtN, deriv. uncertain ; cp Arab, midhrā, land between desert and cultivated soil ; also Aram, jm to sow, as if analogous to ?NJT)T* ; cp Bedawi name below ; ⲉⲇⲣⲁⲉⲓⲛ [B], -ⲙ [A], ⲁⲇⲣⲁⲓ or ⲉⲇ. [L]).

(1) A chief city of Bashan, one of the residences of Og 'who dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei' (Josh. 12 4 13 12-31 ; cp also Dt. 14, 'in Ashtaroth at Edrei,' where probably 'and' has fallen out). Along with Salcah, which lay far to the E., it is given as the frontier of Og's kingdom (Dt. 3 10). According to the deuteronomist, Israel reached it on the way to Bashan, and found Og and all his people planted there to meet them (Dt. 3 1 Nu. 2133-35 Josh. 1312); Og was defeated and slain. The town fell to the half-tribe of Manasseh (Josh. 13 31 P), but is not mentioned again. It appears to be the Otara's of the Egyptian inscriptions (WMM As. u. Eur. 159).

Edrei was the Ἄδρα of Ptolemy, the Ἀδραα or Αδρα of Eusebius and Jerome, and the Adraha of the Peutinger Tables. The position to which it is assigned by all these (Ptolemy puts it due E. of Gadara, Eus. 24 or 25 R. m. from Bosra, and the Tab. Pent. 16 m. from Capitolias, the modern Beit-er-Rās) closely agrees with that of the modern Edra'āt (Adri'āt, Der'āt, Der'ā, Derā'ā; in the Bedawi dialect Āzra'āt}, about 22 m. NW. from Bosra, 6 m. SE. from el-Muzeirib, and 15 NE. of Beit-er-Rās. The site is strong, on the S. of the deep gorge that forms the S. boundary of the plain of Ḥaurān, 6 m. E. from the present Hajj road. This agrees with the data given above, that it was a frontier town, and on the way into Bashan. The gorge winds, and, with a tributary ravine, isolates the present city on all sides but the S. The citadel is completely cut off, on a hill which projects into the gorge and may have held the whole ancient town. The ruins, probably from Roman times, cover a circuit of two miles.

The most prominent are those of a large reservoir, fed by the reat aqueduct (Ḳanāt Fir'aun, Pharaoh's aqueduct) which runs from a small lake near Yābis in Ḥaurān viâ Edrei to Gadara, a distance as the crow flies of 40 m. ; but the aqueduct winds. There is a building, 44 yards by 31, with a double colonnade, evidently the Christian cathedral of Bosra, but now a mosque. Some Greek inscriptions are given by Le Bas and Waddington : the present writer found another of the year 165 A.D. (HG 606, n. 2).

The most notable remains, however, are the caves beneath the citadel. They form a subterranean city, a labyrinth of streets with shops and houses, and a market place (Wetzstein, Reisebericht, 47 f.: cp Porter, Five Years in Damascus).

Wetzstein says, 'The present city, which, judging from its walls, must have been one of great extent, lies for the most part directly over the old subterranean city, and I believe that now, in case of a devastating war, the inhabitants would retire to the latter for safety.'

The OT makes no mention of so great a marvel, which probably dates, in its present elaborate form, from Greek times ; but such refuges must have been always a feature of a land so swept by Arab raids.

It is puzzling that Edrei appears neither in the E. campaign of Judas the Maccabee (1 Macc. 5); nor is it in Pliny's list of the original Decapolis(q.v.). However, it was early colonised by Greeks, and (on the evidence of a coin) De Saulcy dates its independence from as far back as 83 B.C. (Numism. de la Terre Sainte, 374 f.). After Pompey it belonged to the Roman province of Syria, and after Trajan to that of Arabia. Its inhabitants worshipped Astarte and the Nabatæan god Dusara. Eus. and Jer., who describe it as a notable town of Arabia (OS 1184 218 37), place it in Βαταναία. Its bishop sat at the Councils of Seleucia, Constantinople (381) and Chalcedon (451). The Crusaders who besieged it (Will. Tyr. 16 10) called it Adratum. Other authorities are : Porter, Five Years in Damascus, whose theory ((1),2 221 f. ; (2), 271 f.), that Og's city is the modern Ezra or Zorawa on the W. limit of the Lejā, is unfounded ; Schumacher, Across Jordan(136 ff.); Wright, Palmyra and Zenobia, 284 ff.; Merrill, East of Jordan, 349 ff.; A. G. Wright, PEFQ, '95. p. 72 ff. cp. ZDMG 29 431-435.

2. An unidentified site, one of the fenced cities of Naphtali (Josh. 19 37: ασσαρει [B], εδραει [A], αδ. [L]). Conder suggests Ya'tir (PEF Mem. 1203 205).


1 For Hebrew terms see 3.


  • I. Before Ezra ( 1-4).
  • II. Ezra to ben-Shetach
    • Synagogue (6).
    • Scribes and the Wise (7-8)
    • Prov. and Ecclus. (9-10).
    • Greek influence (11).
    • Details 1 ( 12).
  • III. To end of Jewish state (13-23).
    • i. Elementary ( 14-20).
      • Teachers, etc. ( 15-17).
      • Studies, etc. ( 18-20).
    • ii. Scribes College (21).
      • Education of girls ( 22).
    • Conclusion ( 23).
  • Bibliography ( 24).

1. Periods.[edit]

Systematic education among the Jews may be traced to the influence of Hellenism. The foundation of Alexandria was an event as important for education as for the development and enrichment of Jewish thought. Consequently there are, properly, two periods in the history of Jewish education in biblical times, the first lasting to the end of the Persian rule, the second beginning with the Greek and continuing into the Roman. Within the first period there are two notable breaks, the one caused by the growth of commerce and luxury among the pre-exilic Israelites, the other by the rise of Judaism as a book-religion ; within the second there is but one break, marked by the reported introduction of compulsory education by Simon ben-Shetach (noe*). We have so little definite knowledge, however, about the early part of the first period that we may conveniently group the facts which we can collect under three heads, viz. : (I.) down to the time of Ezra; (II.) from Ezra to Simon ben-Shetach; and (III.) from Simon ben-Shetach to the end of the Jewish State.

On oral instruction see below, §§ 3, 12, 20.

I. Before Ezra.[edit]

2 Earliest Practice.[edit]

In primitive times education was purely a domestic and family concern (see Family, § 13). The home was the only school and the parents the only teachers. The parental authority and claim to reverence forms part of the earliest legislation (Ex. 20 12, cp also 21 1517 in the 'Book of the Covenant') and is reiterated in the later literature (Prov. 1926 20 20 and often). In the purely agricultural stage it must have been a primary object with fathers to train up their children to share the labours of husbandry, or to carry on the skill in useful arts which had become hereditary in certain families. We may be sure, however, that even such instruction was given in a religious spirit. Among the Israelites, as among other early peoples, traditional methods of work were traced to a divine origin[6] (cp Agriculture, § 14). For this idea we may compare the parable of the ploughman, Is. 28 23 ff., (which, whatever be its date, is antique in feeling), and the evidently primitive stories in Genesis about the rise of civilisation (see Cainites, § 3 ff.).

The religious sense, however, was no doubt specially cultivated in the minds of the children. The boys would in due time be initiated (-;:n) in religious rites (cp Ex. 138 Dt. 49, etc. ; see {sc|Catechise}}, and cp {sc|Dedicate}}), and all children would be instructed by the mother in the primary moral, as distinguished from the ritual and institutional, elements in the old religion (e.g., reverence for elders, and the like). At a later time the mother is expressly mentioned as the giver of moral instruction (see below, § 5) ; this is clearly a survival of a more ancient custom. The ōmēn (JON ; RV 'nursing father') or παιδαγωγός (tutor) was also no doubt an instructor of the children under his charge[7] (see Nurse).

3. Higher culture.[edit]

The introduction of commerce with its attendant luxury brought about great social changes by the time of the earliest prophets whose discourses are preserved to us. According to Isaiah grave social evils had arisen (WRS Proph.(1), 204; OTJC(2), 349 f.); but we may venture to assume that the high culture of which this prophet is himself an example was not unconnected with the inrushing of new ideas and habits caused by an increased knowledge of other peoples (see Writing). A knowledge of books, it is true, is not now, and never has been, essential to culture in the East. 'The ideal of instruction is oral teaching, and the worthiest shrine of truths that must not die is the memory and heart of a faithful disciple,' and the term Torah, which ultimately came to be applied to the Written Law, was originally applied to an oral decision (OTJC(2) 299 ff.). Cp Israel, § 61 ; Law and Justice, § 1 ; Law Literature, Priests.

Not much can be said here on the specialised training of certain persons, such as craftsmen, prophets, and priests (see Handicrafts, Prophets, Priests). It is enough to remark that prophets and priests were in a very true sense 'stays' (Is. 31) of the social structure, not only on account of the awe they inspired but also because of the teaching which they gave to their disciples and hearers.

It is well known that in Mishnic Hebrew the characteristic word for both 'to learn' and 'to teach' is rMB i šānăh, 'to repeat' ; whilst njtyOi mišnah (prop. 'repetition') is 'instruction' (see further below, § 20). It is noticeable that in Bib. Hebrew .-ijgf does not occur in this special sense. The biblical words are -\j^j, lāmadh, 'to learn' (Pi. 'to teach'); nes šinnēn, 'to inculcate' ; min hōrāh (v/m ), 'to instruct' (mid mōreh, 'teacher') ; pan, hēbhīn ( 30, mēbhīn, 'teacher') ; S DK ,1, hiškīl, also meaning 'to teach.' In this connexion the following quotation from the final tablet of the Babylonian epic of Creation (Reverse 1. 22 f.) is interesting :—

Let them stand forth (?)—let the elder enlighten ;
Let the wise, the learned, meditate together!
Let the father rehearse (šānû, šunnû = njc), make the son apprehend!
Open be the ears of Shepherd and Flockmaster (i.e.,the king).[8]

4. Systematic moral instruction.[edit]

The publication of the Book of Deuteronomy (621 B.C. ) had far-reaching consequences for popular education. The public recognition by king and people of a written code of law 'which was intended to cover the whole life of a citizen, both on its religious and secular side'(C. G. Montefiore, Hibb. Lect. 188) involved a conception of life which was akin to, and prepared the way for, the later Judaism. Under its influence, some time in the seventh century, an attempt was perhaps made to enforce upon each Israelite 'the necessity of instilling right religion and morality into his children and household' (Che. Jew. Rel. Life, 130, citing Gen. 18 17-19 which probably belongs to this period). The exhortations in D to instruct children in the sacred history and law (49 6720 11 19) point in the same direction, though the date of these passages may be later than 621 B.C., and the ideal which they set forth was not fully carried out till after the time of Ezra. There were also in the pre-exilic period some anticipa tions of the 'wisdom' ideas, first expressed by Isaiah (31 2), which later played so important a part in the development of the educational system (see further Che. op. cit. 130 f.).

II. From Ezra to Simon ben-Shetach (75 B.C.)[edit]

5. Second period: Ezra - 75 B.C.[edit]

The period which extends from the fall of Jerusalem to the arrival of Ezra was a period of extraordinary activity, both moral and intellectual, in the choicest part of the Jewish people. The task which now devolved on the nation was the inventorying of the spiritual property of Israel (Cornill, Proph. Isr. 125). Hence quite naturally there arose a literary class, the SCRIBES (q.v.}, who were not only students but also teachers of law and sacred literature, and may perhaps be connected with the growth of an institution closely identified at a later time with the educational movement viz., the SYNAGOGUE 2 (q.v. ). Henceforth the Jews became emphatically the people of the book. The sacred writings became the spell ing book, the community a school, religion an affair of teaching and learning. Piety and education were inseparable ; whoever could not read was no true Jew ( Wellhausen). Surely we may say that we are now assisting at the birth of a truly popular education, rooted and grounded in morality and religion. Even if the ac count of Ezra s introduction of the Law in Neh. 8 is not, as it stands, historical (see EZRA i. , 8), it may serve as a record of the beginnings on Palestinian soil of the synagogue, of which Ezra is the traditional founder. (Note the description of the reading and exposition of the Torah by Ezra and the Levite teachers, especially the phrase 0*3*30, * caused [the people] to under stand. )

1 Ball, Lis^ht from the East, 17. The opening expression is uncertain (Del. Wcltschdff. 160). - Cp Montefiore, op. cit. 230.

As to what constituted the new popular education, we may safely say that it led up to an accurate knowledge of the sacred history and the Law.

It may be regarded as highly probable also that however prominent was the part taken by the father 2 in the early religious instruction of the child, the mother, as in the earlier period (see above, 2), and always, exercised an important influence.

My son (i.e., my disciple), says a wise man, keep the commandment of thy father, and forsake not the instruction (rnin) f tn V mother (Prov. 20 ; other passages speaking of the torah of the mother are 1 8 623 ; cp 31 1-9, which seems to be a poetical embodiment of such). A NT writer refers (2 Tim. 1 5) to the religious influence exercised on Timothy by his mother and grandmother.

Throughout, it is oral instruction that is presupposed (see esp. Dt. 67). No doubt reading, and in a less degree writing, became increasingly important and more widely diffused as time went on (see below, 19).

6. The synagogue.[edit]

The importance of the synagogue, from the educational point of view, lies in its character as a teaching institution. Schiirer remarks (GJV 2 357^ ET4 /-). that the main object of the sabbath day assemblages in the synagogue was not public worship in its stricter sense i.e. , not devo tion but religious instruction, and this for an Israelite was, above all, instruction in the Law. With this agrees the evidence both of Philo and of the NT. The former calls synagogues houses of instruction in which the native philosophy was studied and every kind of virtue taught ( I it. A fas. 827) ; whilst in the latter a character istic word applied to the activities centred in the syna gogue is SiddffKfiv (Mt. 4 23 and often).

7.The scribes.[edit]

The scribes (D"IBID, sophtrim i.e. , homines literati) were, from the Maccabean times onward, the real teachers of the people, and what complete sway they bore over the people s life may be seen from the NT. We must remember, indeed, that the scribes of the Herodian age were in some respects very unlike the earlier scribes ; but the point in which the scribes of all ages agreed was their character as teachers.

Teachers and scholars are proverbially opposed in i Ch. 25 8 b (cp DISCIPLE, i). Teachers of the people (C^ ^ 2C P) i.e., probably, scribes are mentioned in Daniel (11 33 35 12 3), and a company of scribes (crvi aytoyr) ypa/u.^aTeW) in i Mace. 7 12. For the references to the scribes in Ecclus. see next section.

8. The 'wise'[edit]

Were the scribes, then, the only teachers? The wise men of Proverbs, who cultivated the art of teaching with so much enthusiasm and in Prov. 5 13 are actually called teachers (DHa^p, D"ib), were hardly scribes. They were earnestly religious men, who, feeling that wisdom was a practical thing, devoted their energy to instilling it into the minds of the young.

The disciples are to them as their own children (Prov. 1 8 2 i 3 i 4 1, and often; cp Ps. 34n[i2]); and the teaching which they impart is called the words of the wise (n CDn "m> Prov. I622i7[cp 2423], Eccles. 9 17 12 n ; cp the Mishnic >iai DHS1D, applied to the dicta of scribes of a former age.

1 Neh. 7 7. The same phrase is rendered teachers in Ezra 8i6RV.

2 According to the later enactments, as soon as a child could speak (i.e., in his third year) he was to be instructed in the Torah by his father (Sitkka, 42 a). In the Talmudic period the child did not attend the elementary school before his sixth year (Kethutoth, 50 a \ see further below, 18).

These sages, no less than the scribes, seem to be regarded as a special guild (Prov. 16 13i4 22i7 24z3 Eccles. 12n), though we are left almost entirely in the dark as to the formation and constitution of these societies, the extent and the methods of their investiga tion (Kautzsch, Outline of Hist, of Lit. of OT 151 ; cp also BDB Lex. , s.v. DDH). On the other hand, the guild of the wise was already organised in pre-exilic times (see Che. Job and Solomon, 123, and elsewhere) ; in the later period their attitude to the Law, though by no means unsympathetic (see Che. Jew. Rel. Life, 138 /.), was hardly that which would characterise the disciples of Ezra. 1 On the whole it is best, perhaps, to suppose that the soph/trim and the wise formed two distinct but allied classes in the Persian and the early Greek periods, but that by the time of Ben-Sira the distinction had largely disappeared (so We. //Gl 1 154, n. i ; sage and scribe are identified in Ecclus. 382 4 /.; cp6 3 3/ 9i 4 / 14 2o/).

Though distinct, however, the earlier sophZrlm cannot have bpen uninfluenced by the wise ; they may even sometimes have adopted their literary style (see Che. OPs. 348), and in any case were saved from the barren literalism which begins to characterise the scribes of the post-Maccabean age. For the victory of the Law which crowned the Maccabean struggle foreshadowed the close of the OT literature. Contrast, from a literary point of view, the Pharisaic Psalms of Solomon (written 63 B.C. ?) with the canonical Psalms.

9. Pedagogic wisdom : proverbs.[edit]

Whatever be the true view as to the mutual relation between scribes and wise, the latter played a great part educational matters during the period 1 under review. Some of the results of theirtheir pedagogic experience are enshrined in the Book of Proverbs. These can only be summed up briefly here.

Ihe idea of life as a discipline (inusar, ^D^O> thirty times in Prov.) is fundamental in the book ; God educates men and men educate each other (Holtzmann, quoted in Driver, Introd.) 404). The foundation of all instruction is emphasised in the precept The fear of Yahwe is the beginning or the chief part (RVm^-) of knowledge (I?) ; the instructors of the child are his parents, reverence towards whom is again enforced (184 1-4 6 20 13 i SOi;).

The development of the child s character is to be studied (20 ii ), and the educational means employed are to be adjusted accordingly.

Among these means the use of the rod is constantly recom mended (13 24, he that spareth the rod hateth his son ; cp 23 IT,/. 291517); but the correction is not to be too strict (19 18 RV), and it is recognised that to an intelligent child a rebuke is of more avail than a hundred stripes (17 10). The sovereign remedy, however, for expelling the innate foolishness of children is the rod (22 15). A fool who does not prove amenable to this treatment seems to have been considered hope less by the Jewish teachers [2V 22, even if thou pound a fool in the midst of his fellows thou wilt not remove his foolishness from him (crit. emend.); see Che. Jew. Rel. Life, 136]. Cp FOOL.

The importance of a good education is repeatedly emphasised. A well-educated child is a joy to his parents (lOi 2824 ; cp 1725). In wealthier families (cp Ecclus. 5128) the child, if he aspired to wisdom, would pass from the parents to professional teachers (013) viz., the sages who would inculcate the higher teaching current in the circles of the wise (for an account of this see Che. Jew. Rel. Life, iss/. ).

10. Ecclesiasticus.[edit]

The other great manual of posdagogic principles is the work of Ben-Sira (200-180 B.C.), who in spite of his late and cosmopolitan training seems to have been comparatively uninfluenced by the surrounding Hellenism (for which see below, n). As is the case in Proverbs (on which his book is modelled) the wisdom of Joshua ben-Sira or Ecclesiasticus is an ethical manual. The same points are insisted upon as in the earlier book, sometimes with added emphasis.

Thus, e.g., the fear of the Lord is not only the beginning of wisdom (1 14), but also wisdom s fulness (1 16) and crown (1:18). Again the old reverence for parents is enforced with unmistakable vigour (3:2-9 7:27-28 etc.). 'Wisdom' is to be sought after diligently (6:36) :'If thou seest a man of understanding, get thee betimes unto him, and let thy foot wear out the steps of his doors. Cp 8 &/. 9 15, etc., and Aboih 1 4).

1 On the priestly character of the earliest sopherlm see We. Sketch of Hist, of Isr. and Jud. ( 91), 131.

Though perhaps there are more direct references to organised religion (e.g. , 7 29 : Fear the Lord with all thy soul ; and reverence his priests, cp 2423) than in Proverbs, the religious and ethical tone of Ecclesiasticus is distinctly lower. Of this the unbending severity recommended towards sons and daughters is an instance (7 23 f. 30i-i3). Among other points that call for mention here are the interesting reference to oral instruction ( 4 24^ : instruction by the word of the tongue ), and the disparagement of manual labour, as being inconsistent with the pursuit of knowledge, which cometh by opportunity of leisure (8824; with 8825, however, how shall he become wise that holdeth the plough ? contrast 7 15). Among the subjects of his dis course is the etiquette of dining (31 16-21). The im portant references to the scribes have already been pointed out ( 8).

11. Greek influence[edit]

The Greek period, which commenced with Alexander the Great s conquest of the Persian empire (332 B.C.) marks the rise of wholly new educational influences. The Palestinian Jews were, however, affected by this far less than their brethren abroad, especially those who became citizens of the new Greek city of Alexandria. Still the reflex influence of the Greek- Egyptian capital (not to speak of the Greek towns that began to grow up on Palestinian soil) must, for nearly a century and a half after 332, have been considerable even in Judaea. Slowly but surely Hellenic ideas penetrated to the centre of Judaism till the crisis that precipitated the Maccabean revolt was reached. In the reaction that followed, Hellenism was so far overcome that it ceased to be dangerous to to the root-ideas of Judaism (see ISRAEL, 68ft).

There is good reason to suppose that during this critical time Greek educational methods found their way to Jerusalem. This may be inferred from the fact that just before the Maccabean rising there was there a gymnasium ephebeum (i Mace. 1 14 /! 2 Mace. 4912). Doubtless, too, the education afforded to his children by the notorious Joseph, son of Tobias (Jos. Ant. xii. 46), was of the Greek type. At a later time Herod also probably attended a school of similar character (see below, 14). A good instance of the ultimate extent and limitations of Greek influence can be seen in the author of Ecclesiasticus, who wrote when Hellenising influence was at its highest in Judaea. In essentials he is untouched by it. Still his emphasizing of leisure as the condition of wisdom (8824) is distinctly Greek, no less than his comprehensive view of a wise man s culture (39i-s).

12. Practical details.[edit]

To the questions as to practical details that suggest themselves only hesitating answers can be given. The scribes, doubtless, gave instruction in the synagogues; the Talmud speaks of the bells which were rung at the beginning of the lessons (Low, Die Lebensalter, 287, 421 [ 75], quotes Shabb. 58^). From Prov. l2o/. we might infer that the city-gates or the adjacent city-squares or broad places on which the streets converged, were the places where the wise men awaited their disciples. Perhaps, however, it was in private houses that instruc tion, both by scribe and by sage, was most often given (cp Ecclus. 626 quoted above, 10, and the other re ferences there given). Regarding the methods employed there is greater uncertainty. Oral instruction ( Ecclus. 4.246) and, probably, frequent repetition, would be in vogue. The use of acrostic (Ps. 119, etc.) and other mnemonic devices, such as Athbask 1 (cp Jer. 2626 51 1) and the numerical proverbs (Prov. 30 11-31, cpA&otA 5) also may be assigned to this period. 2 That reading was a widespread accomplishment at the beginning of the Maccabean age ( 167 B. c. ) appears from i Mace. 1 57.

1 The reader substitutes for each Hebrew letter in a word a letter from the other half of the alphabet, the letters inter changed being equidistant from the extremes. Thus in English A and Z, B and Y would interchange.

2 So Kennedy, as cited, 24.

III. Simon ben-Shetach (75 B.C.) to End of Jewish State (70 A.D.).[edit]

13. Third period 75 B.C.-70 A.D.[edit]

The ideal of education is well ex pressed by Josephus. Contrasting the Israelitish system of culture with that of the Spartans, on the one hand, who educated by custom, not by theoretic in struction (ZOtaiv (Trai8fi>ov, ov\6yois), and, on the other, with that of the Athenians and the rest of the Greeks, \\lio contented themselves with theoretic instruction, and neglected practice, he says : But our law-giver very care fully combined the two. For he neither left the practice of morals silent, nor the teaching of law unperformed (c. Ap. 2i6 /. quoted by Schiirer). The knowledge and practice of the Law thus set forth was to be the common possession of the whole nation, and the life- work of every Israelite. It began in early youth in the family circle, was carried (as we shall see) a stage further in the school, and continued in the synagogue, to which was also attached (for higher studies) the scribes college (Beth ham-midrash ; see 21). 1

14. The elementary school.[edit]

We have already seen that the necessity of (orally) instructing the children in the written Law was insisted upon comparatively early (see the exhortations in D enumerated above, 4). This, as has been pointed out, would be, as a rule, the duty of the parents. From the great importance attached to the early education of children, however, even in Proverbs (e.g. 226) and this would naturally be enhanced with the elaboration of scribal traditions it was inevitable that some system of popular elementary education should be organised. When, then, was this effected? According to the Jerusalem Talmud (Ktthubuth, 8n, p. 32 b} it was the work of the famous scribe Simon ben-Shetach, the brother of Queen Alexandra (reigned 78-69 B.C.).

Simon s ordinance runs thus : That the children shall attend the elementary school (ison JV3 1 ? J sSin mpimn Vn tf)- I has been pointed out (e.g., by Kennedy, as cited, 24) that the meaning of the regulation is not free from ambiguity. It may also be interpreted to mean that attendance on schools already existing was henceforth to be compulsory.

In view of the fact that Simon s enactment is the second of three (apparently closely connected) marriage regulations added by him to the statute-book (see the passage in full in Derenbourg, Hist. 108), it is natural to suppose that it refers to attendance at existing schools rather than to the institution of such schools for the first time. The context certainly suggests that a hitherto neglected or half-performed duty was to be henceforth rigidly enforced. If, as is possible, for the higher (professional) teaching of the scribes, colleges (BTIDH Ti3 ; see below, 21) had already come into existence, it is hard to suppose that preparatory schools for these had not been organised already, especially when it is remembered that schools of the Greek type had been established in Jerusalem for a long time (see above, 1 1 ). It is quite in accordance, also, with the forward movement of the Pharisaic party in the reign of Alexandra that measures should have been taken for extending the scope of these schools, and thus more widely diffusing Pharisaic principles among the people (cp ISRAEL, 80^). May it not, too, have been designed by means of them to check and counteract the more extreme forms of the surrounding Greek education ? There seems, therefore, no good reason for rejecting the tradition respecting Simon s efforts on behalf of popular education, though Schiirer dismisses the famous scribe s claims" with un usual curtness. This Simon ben Shetach, we are told, is quite a meeting-point for all kinds of myths (GJV 2353 = ET 449). The same scholar following the tradition of the Babylonian Talmud (Bdbd Bathrdzia] ascribes the complete organisation of the elementary school to Joshua ben-Gamla (Gamaliel), who was high priest about 63-65 A.D.

1 Unfortunately the earliest Hebrew literature dealing with these subjects (the Mishna), though it contains earlier material, was not as a whole compiled and written down till the second century A.D. The quotations from the .Mishnic treatise Pir^e Al oth (cited as A both) are numbered in this article according to Strack s edition of the Hebrew text.

2 Heb. icon rt 3 bfthhassipher 1 House of the Book. For other names see 17 end.

The passage runs as follows: Truly may it be remembered to this man s credit ! Joshua ben-Gamla is his name. If he had not lived, the Law would have been forgotten in Israel. For at first, he who had a father was taught the Law by him, he who had none did not learn the Law. . . . Afterwards it was ordained, that teachers of boys should be appointed in Jeru salem. . . . But (even this did not suffice, for) he who had a father was sent to school by him, he who had none did not go there. Then it was ordained that teachers should be appointed in every province, and that boys of the age of sixteen or seventeen should be sent to them. But he whose teacher was angry with him ran away, till Joshua ben-Gamla came, and enacted that teachers should be appointed in every province and in every town (-]>jn vy *?331 .i:"IDl fUHD *?33). and children of six or seven years old brought to them.

As the measures of Joshua obviously presuppose that there had been boys schools for some time (Schiirer, ibid. ) the two traditions are not really inconsistent. It is not unreasonable to suppose that Simon s earlier efforts, especially as regards the provincial schools, had been attended with only partial success, owing to the political and religious troubles of the time. Certainly if Josephus s statement regarding Herod s attendance at school (Ant. xv. 10s) be correct though doubtless the school in question conformed to the Greek rather than to the Jewish type we may fairly infer that some time before 40 B.C. schools had been instituted, at any rate in the larger towns. That they existed in the time of Jesus, though not as a general and established institution, is admitted by Schiirer. It is decidedly curious that the word school should not occur before the NT, and in the NT only once viz. , of the lecture room of a Greek rhetorician at Ephesus (crxoXi?, Acts 199). J The explanation, probably, is that the school (in both its elementary and its higher forms) was so intimately associated with the synagogue that in ordinary speech the two were not distinguished. The term synagogue included its schools. 2

Thus it is said {Jalfcnt Jes., 257) that the synagogues in Jerusalem had each a Beth Sefher and a Beth Taint fid (i.e., the lower and the upper divisions of the school).

The statement that Jerusalem was destroyed because schools and school children ceased to be there (Shabbath, 119), is obviously only a rhetorical way of emphasising the importance attached to the school in the Talmudic period ; as also the similar one : Jerusalem was destroyed because the instructors were not respected (ibid.). According to the Jalkiit Jes. (I.e.) Jerusalem, about the same period, possessed 480 schools !

There is no doubt that during the period under review either the synagogue proper (which was to be found in every Jewish town and village of any import ance) or a room within its precincts was used for school purposes (the references are BZrdkhoth, ija, with Rashi, Ta anith, 23^, Kiddushln, 300).

The teacher s house also was sometimes requisitioned (hence the name N1SD 1V3 teacher s house i.e , school : Hamburger). Special buildings also were built as children s schools, but how early is quite uncertain. According to the Targum (Jerus. i. Gen. 33 17) the patriarch Jacob erected a college (Numo 3) n Succoth !

1 The schoolmaster (iraiievrrjs, Rom. 2 20) is however men tioned, as well as the tutor (Traiiaywyds), and the teacher (i6<i(rcaAos).

2 Curiously enough in the Latin documents of the Middle Ages the synagogue was also termed Scola (school) ; J. Jacobs, Javish Year Book, 96, p. 191. So also J. Simon (L ediica- tion cliez les Juifs) who, speaking of the synagogue as it existed in France in the early Middle Ages, says : La synagogue etait une ecole autant qu un lieu de culte. La priere n avait d ef- ficacite que si elle 6tait accompagnee de 1 etude.

15. Teachers.[edit]

The classical passage for determining the gradations of the teaching profession is found in the Mishnic treatise Sotd 9 15 (ed. Surenh. 3 308 ; the passage can be seen also in Buxtorf, Lex., ed. Fischer, 3780).

It runs as follows: R. Eliezer the Great says: Since the destruction of the Temple the sages (i>rD3n) have begun to be like the scribes (NHSD), and the scribes like the master (of the school, Njtn), ar >d the master like the uneducated. It has been usual to identify the hazzan (master) of the school with the hazzan (minister) of the synagogue (npJSH |}n = vinqpirris minister, Lk. 4 20). Thus Buxtorf (I.e.) renders the second clause of the above et scribae sicut minister synagogse. It has been pointed out, however, by the latest writer on the subject (Kennedy) that Jin is a word of general application, meaning "overseer," "inspector," or the like ; and its exact significance has to be decided by the context. 1 The context of the above passage, as also of the other Mishna passage usually cited in this connection (Shalilxith 1 3), in the absence of the qualifying word riD33n ( synagogue ), requires us to render overseer or master (of the school). That the two offices were not identical further appears from the fact that, whereas the hazzdn of the synagogue occupied a low position in the social scale (he was a kind of sexton, and his duties included such menial offices as the whipping of criminals {Makkath 3 12]), the hazzdn of the school, being a teacher ; would share the social prestige attaching to the teaching profession.

The three grades of teachers, then, are sage and scribe (who taught in the scribes college), and the elementary school teacher officially designated hazzdn (the general term is nipirn nD^D or nn^D alone). From the manner in which the three classes are connected in the above-cited passage Kennedy infers that \hehazzdn, no less than the scribe and the sage, belonged to the powerful guild of the scribes, called in the NT doctors of the law, vofj.odi5d<TKa\oi.

This would help to explain the fact that doctors of the law or teachers were, according to Lk. (5 17), to be found in every village (KU/J.JJ) of Galilee and Juda:a. Whilst every village would, with its synagogue, possess an elementary school, it is impossible to suppose that there were colleges for higher teaching in equally large numbers.

16. Their status.[edit]

The extraordinary honour in which the teaching profession was held in this period is shown by the respectful form of address employed by the people.

The usual formula was Rabbi ( 3i, rabbi, never a title in NT) my great one = my master (see further under RABBI). Rab gradually acquired the meaning teacher. It is thus used in a saying attributed to Jeshua ben-Perachiah (2nd cent. B.C.): make unto thyself a Rab (Aboth 1 6). In the Mishna Ral> and Talmud are master and scholar (see e.g., the passage cited below).

In the interview with Nicodemus, Jesus himself recognises the high distinction of the teacher s office (Jn. 3io): Art thou the teacher (6 5i5d<rKa\os = a2n, the highest grade) in Israel ?

In later times this was carried to an even greater extent. Thus R. Eliezer (and cent. A.D.) says : Let the honour of thy disciple (Talmld) be dear unto thee as the honour of thine associate and the honour of thine associate as the fear of thy master (Kab) ; and the fear of thy master as the fear of Heaven (A both 4 12). The honour to be paid to a teacher even exceeded that due to parents (Hdrdyoth 13 a). [See further on this subject the notes in C. Taylor, AiotMtyji, or Spiers, School System of the Talmud, idf. ( 98).]

17; Qualifications.[edit]

The later rules regarding the personal qualifications and competency of the teacher are elaborate (see Spiers, op. cit. I3/)-

For our purpose little can be quoted. According to a saying ascribed to Hillel, piety and learning go together ; and an even temper is essential to a teacher (Aboth. 2$). So according to i Tim. 822 Tim. 2 24 Tit. 1 7 an en-iV/con-os should be SI&XKTIKOS and not opyi Aos (Taylor op. cit. 31). The former of HillePs maxims may be illustrated also from Aboth de Rabbi Nathan, ii. : Woe to him who is occupied with the Torah and has no fear of God. According to a dictum ascribed to R. Eliezer an unmarried man was not permitted to teach in the schools (o D lfllD ID 1 ? 11 N 1 ? new I 1 ? TNt? Mishna, Kiddushln 413). A woman also was ineligible (ibid.).

According to the rule of the profession all the work of the scribes, both educational and judicial, was to be gratuitous. 1 Make not them (the words of Torah) a crown to glory in ; nor an axe to live by (Aboth 4 56), well expresses the principle. In practice its observance was difficult perhaps possible only in the case of judicial work (cp Mishna, Btkhdroth 46). It is impossible to suppose that the elementary school teachers in the provinces can have laboured without fee or reward.

1 In the inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III. J^azdnu is the regular official designation of the governor of a city. Similarly in the Amarna letters it is an official title of honour ( = governor ).

2 So the modern teachers at the great Cairo " university " [el- Azhar]. (Che. Job ami Sol. 124.)

Paul (i Cor. 93-18 etc.) certainly claimed the right of mainten ance from those to whom he preached, though he preferred to live by practising his trade. Similarly the teachers of the Law especially, perhaps, some of the rich doctors in Jerusalem may have sometimes taught gratuitously. This, however, can hardly have been the rule, though the rabbis, like Paul, had usually learned and practised a trade. The combination of study with a handicraft is strongly enforced {Aboth 2 2 : Excellent is Torah study together with worldly business, for the practice of them both puts iniquity out of remembrance. Contrast Ecclus. 38 25 f. : How shall he become wise that holdeth the plough, etc.). See HANDICRAFTS.

In the Aramaic of the period *O2D (=Heb. ns lD scribe ) probably already means teacher, since NiSD jv3 (i.e., house of the teacher ) is one of the early names of the elementary school. Cp also i Ch. 25 8 Targ. Another apparently a general and later name for school is 1 ^13DN = < X ^ ?- The supposed mention of schools in Sdhi9g (Surenh. 8291) rests upon a mistake. The passage states that since the time of Jose (? 140-130 B.C.) the niSlDOK ceased; but niSl3DN here can hardly mean schools. See Schurer, GJVW 2, 25 n. 135 [ = ET4 357 n. 135], (3) 25, iv. n. 16.

18/ Organisation.[edit]

(a) Entrance -age and previous training. As to entrance-age the available evidence is unfortunately of too late a date to be of much value for our purpose.

The passage usually cited here forms an appendix to Aboth (621), and belongs to the post-Talmudic period (Schurer). It runs as follows : At five years old, Scripture (npo) I at ten, Mishna ; at thirteen, the commandments ; at fifteen, Talmud ; at eighteen, the bridal, etc. The universal Talmudic rule is expressed in the advice of Rab (Abba Areka, begin. 3rd cent. A .D.) to the elementary schoolmaster: Do not receive a boy into school before his sixth year (Kethuboth 50 a).

A certain amount of instruction had, however, been given in the earlier period by the father, from whom the child would learn to repeat the first verse of the SMma (Dt. 64), and other short sentences of Scripture (Bdbd Bathrd 21 a, Sukkd 42 a). Though the Law was not in the strict sense binding upon children they were accustomed to its requirements from an early age.

Thus, according to the Mishna, the elders were to enjoin upon children sabbath observance (Shabbdth 16 6); one or two years before the legal age fasting preparatory to the requirements of the Day of Atonement was to be begun (Ydmd 8 4). Children were bound to the usual prayer (an earlier form of the Shcmdneh Esreh), and to grace at table (pTBH H313, Berakhoth 3 3).

The utilisation of certain rites, within the domestic circle, for educating the child s religious consciousness is already a feature of the pentateuchal precepts (Ex. 1226 /. 138, passover; cp. Dt. 620, Josh. 46). 1 This was also extended to public worship. Boys had to be present at the tenderest age in the Temple at the chief festivals (Chag. 1 1) 2 ; a boy who no longer needs his mother must observe the feast of tabernacles (Sitkkd 28). At the first signs of puberty (Niddd 6 n) the young Israelite was bound to the strict observance of the Law, and henceforth was (what in the later period was called) a Bar-misvah (nisD 13, i.e., subject to [son of] legal requirements [the commands]).

19. Subjects of study.[edit]

As knowledge of the Law was the chief thing, and as great importance was attached to the public reading of it in the synagogue - a privilege which was open to any competent Israelite (cp Lk. 4i6/.) it follows that reading was one of the principal subjects of instruction in the elementary school (cp Actsl52i). Writing also was taught.

With this agrees the testimony of Josephus, who says : He (Moses) commanded to instruct children in the elements of knowledge (ypaju/u.aTa = the elements of knowledge, reading and writing), 3 to teach them to walk according to the laws, and to know the deeds of their forefathers (c. A/>.li2; for other passages see Schurer, op. cit. 2357 [ET447_/]).

It must be remembered, however, that writing, being a much more difficult art than reading, would be less widely diffused.

1 The questioning by the child, only in an expanded form, is still a feature of the Passover rite. Cp The Revised Hagada, ed. A. A. Green, 27.

2 It may be inferred from Lk. 242 that those who dwelt at a distance from Jerusalem would not take part in the pilgrimages till their twelfth year.

3 In Jn. 7 15 ypapnaTa. means(sacretf) book /frtr? ^-(especially as pursued by the scribes; cp ypajuju.aTev s) rather than the elements of learning. Cp Acts 2*124.

The swift writer of the Psalmist (TTO 1S1D> P S - 45 i [2]) no doubt belonged to a learned class. In the period of the Mishna also, the writers evidently formed a special guild, something like that of the scriveners of the Middle Ages (cp Shabbiith \2 where the writer ["T 2J^ = libeUarius} with his reed [iD!07ip3 = KoAafiO] is mentioned. Such a statement, therefore, as that during the Bar-Kokhba revolt the cry of the school youth in Hethar was : If the enemy comes against us we will go up against them with these writing styli in order to poke out their eyes (Git tin 60 a), must he read critically.

Probably the elements of arithmetic also were taught in the elementary school.

See Ginsburg in Kitto, Bibl. Cyc., art. Education, and note that a knowledge of the arithmetical method of exegesis called geinatria^ [N"ncD3 = y e lJ M f pt(i] is presupposed on the part of his readers by the writer of Rev. 13 17 f. See NUMBERS.

As the name House of the Book implies, the one text-book of the schools was the sacred writings ; and this to a Jew meant and means above all else the Pentateuch, which has always enjoyed a primacy of honour in the Jewish canon. That the rest of the OT also was read and studied is shown (to take an in stance) by the large use made of the prophetic literature and of the Psalms, for popular purposes, in the pages of the NT.

Not improbably instruction in the Law at this period (as later) commenced with Leviticus, acquaintance with which would t>e important to every Jew when the Temple sacrifices were actually offered. When these had ceased the reason given for beginning with Leviticus was a fanciful one ( Sacrifices are pure, and children are pure [from sins] ; let the pure be occupied with that which is pure Midra.sk Rabba).

Great care was evidently taken that the texts used at any rate of the Pentateuch should be as accurate as possible (cp Mt. 5i8, Pisdchim, 112 a; and note that the LXX conforms to the received Hebrew text in the Pentateuch more strictly than elsewhere). This care would extend, too, to the reading aloud of the Sacred Books, accuracy of pronunciation, etc., being insisted on ; the books themselves were, of course, read (as in the public services) in the original sacred tongue (Hebrew), though the language of everyday life in Palestine was already Aramaic, which was employed (in the synagogues) in interpreting the sections of Scripture there read (see TEXT).

Though it is evident from the statements of Jose- phus (Ant. xx. 11 2) that the systematic study of foreign languages formed no part of a Palestinian Jew s regular education, the fact that, during this period, the popula tion of Palestine outside Judrea was without exception of a mixed character, consisting of Jews, Syrians, and Greeks intermingled, whilst Jerusalem itself was con stantly being visited by foreign - speaking Jews and proselytes (cp Acts 2 sf. ), who even had their own syna gogues in the Holy City (Acts 6 9), makes it practically certain that Greek at least cannot have been altogether unfamiliar to the (Aramaic -speaking) Judaeans (cp HELLENISM, 3).

For the abounding indications of indirect Greek influence on Jewish life of the NT and earlier period see Schiirer, 2 26 f. (ET 3 29_/). On the question discussed above, his conclusion is, it is probable that a slight acquaintance with Greek was pretty widely diffused, and that the more educated classes used it without difficulty." It should be noted that the inscription on the cross was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek (Jn. 19 19/1). According to tradition (Sank. 170) a knowledge of Greek was essential in order to qualify for membership of the sanhedrin. Possibly Hebrew with an admixture of Greek words (cp the language of the Mishna) was still spoken in learned circles. To illustrate the later estimation of Greek two quotations must suffice : What need, says Rabbi (i.e., Judah the Holy, Compiler of the Mishna, 2nd cent. A.D.), has one in Palestine to learn Syriac (i.e., Aramaic, the language of the country)? One should learn either Hebrew or Greek (Sotfi 49*1). The Torah may be translated only into Greek, because only by Greek can it he adequately rendered (Jerus. MtgillaJk 1 8).

1 The reader substitutes for a word another the sum of the numerical values of whose letters is the same. Thus 666 Casar Nero (pi: -p).

Both the extent and the limits of Greek influence on Palestinian Jewish life can be very well illustrated by the Jewish view of games, gymnastics, etc. (see HELLENISM, 5). It is well known that the erection of a gymnasium in Jerusalem by the Hellenisers in the Maccabean period called forth the indignant protest of the strict party (see above, n). This continued to be the attitude of legal Judaism, even Josephus de nouncing the theatre and amphitheatre as un-Jewish (Ant. xv. 81). In time, however, even the most pious modified this rigid puritanism, and tales are actually told of the gymnastic skill of famous Rabbis (e.g. , Simon ben-Gamaliel, Sukkd, 58 a). The bath, originally a Greek institution, became entirely naturalized, and was given a Hebrew name (j rre)- We even find a Talmudic precept enjoining every father to teach his son swimming (Kiddfishin, 290)*

20. Methods of study, etc.[edit]

The characteristic method both of teaching and of learning was constant repetition. Hence ., nyp, prop, to repeat, comes to mean both to teach and to learn (see above, 3).

The following dictum is ascribed to R. Aklba (2nd cent. A.D.) : The teacher should strive to make the lesson agreeable to the pupils by clear reasons, as well as by frequent repetitions, until they thoroughly understand the matter, and are able to recite it with great fluency ( F .rnbln 54 b). The pupil was to repeat the lesson aloud : Open thy mouth that the subject of thy study may abide with thee and live (Erfibin, 54 a).

Oral instruction is often referred to in NT e.g. , in Rom. 2i8; cp Lk. 14 (cp CATECHISE). In Jerome s time (4th cent. A.D.) Jewish children in Palestine had to learn by heart the alphabet in the regular and the reverse order. He reproaches the Pharisees with always repeating, never reflecting.

Jerome notes the remarkable powers of memory thus de veloped : In childhood they acquire the complete vocabulary of their language, and learn to recite all the generations from Adam to Zerubbabel with as much accuracy and facility, as if they were simply giving their names (see S. Krauss in JQR 6231^, where the reff. are given). The endless genealogies of i Tim. 1 4 may be a further illustration (but see GENEALOGIES i., 4, second note). Repetition with fellow scholars is recom mended (Ta iintth 7 a). In teaching, mechanical devices for assisting the memory were used (nieinoria technica : cp Mishna, Sliekallm v., and elsewhere, and Buxt. Lex. [ed. Fischer, 677 b\ s.v. ppnou)-

The idiosyncrasy of the pupil was to be considered (Prov. 226, AbBdA Zdrd 19 a). Instruction was to be methodical and givenjwith a high sense of responsibility (Pfsdchim 30, and Aboth 3 n).

Regarding school discipline the later rules are elaborate.

Perhaps the following may be mentioned. Partiality on the part of the teacher was to be avoided (Ta anith 24^). Punctuality is insisted upon (Kcthfibdth 1 1 1 b). Punishments were mild, the Rabbinical rules in this respect showing a marked advance on the ideas of Ben-Sira. Thus reliance in the case of older scholars who proved refractory was placed in the chastening effect of the public opinion of class-fellows (Bdbd Bathra 21 a). In the case of young children, when punishment was necessary it was to be administered with a strap (ibid.).

The pa;dagogic ideal of the period was realised in R. FJiezer- a preceptor of R. Aklba who is compared to a plastered cistern that loseth not a drop (Aboth 280).

That the usual position of the scholar was on the ground, facing the teacher, appears from Acts 22 3 (wapa roi>s TroSas Ya/j.a\Lr)\).

Cp Lk. 246 1039, anc l tne saying ascribed to R. Jose: Let thy house be a meeting-place for the wise ; and powder thyself in thedust of their feet (Aboth 14). Benches (^ys^ = svbsellia) were a later innovation (Bfrnkhoth, 28 a). In some cases it would be convenient for teacher or taught to stand (Acts 13 16 Mt. 182); but this was not the rule. These remarks largely apply to the scribal college.

21. Scribes' colleges.[edit]

Besides the elementary school there were also colleges for higher training, where those who were to devote themselves to the study of the Law (both written and oral) attended (emen rva, Beth -ham . midrash, house of study ) another name is pan a, Mtgilld 280). These, too, were usually attached (at any rate when the system had been developed) to the synagogues. No doubt they grew out of assemblies in private houses (cp Aboth 1 4 cited above), which probably still continued to be used in some cases for this purpose. In Jerusalem the temple (i.e. , the colonnades or some other space of the outer court) was often so utilised (Lk. 246 Mt. 2X23 etc. ). Thus the famous scribes and doctors of the law taught, their instruction being chiefly catechetical a method which has left its impress upon the style of the Mishna. Questions, asked and answered by teacher and disciple alike, counter-questions, parables, debates, allegories, riddles, stories such were the methods em ployed. They throw an interesting light on NT forms of teaching.

Thus (for instance) the Rabbinic parables, like those of the NT, are commonly introduced by some such formula as To what is the matter like? (Y rtoS)- The fuller consideration of these and other points (.e.g., the extent of the studies pursued in the Beth Hammidrash) belongs to the article SCRIBES (ff-v.).

22. Education of girls.[edit]

What has been said above applies exclusively to boys. For the education of girls no public provision was made. From birth to marriage they remained under the mother's care - With their brothers they would learn those simple lessons in morality and religion which a mother knows so well how to instil. Special care would, of course, be given to their training in the domestic arts ; but the higher studies (both sacred and secular) were considered to be outside a woman s sphere. Reading, however, and perhaps writing, were taught to girls, and they were made familiar with the written, but not the oral, Law. Strangely enough, too, they were apparently encouraged to acquire a foreign language, especially Greek (/. Pe dh. 26). That great importance was attached to girls education from an early period appears from Ecclus. 7 247. , 26 io/., 42g/

Above all, the ideal of Jewish womanhood was that of the virtuous (or capable) wife, actively engaged in the management of her household, and in the moral and religious training of her children (Prov. 31 10-29).

23. Conclusion.[edit]

It must not be supposed that the system of education sketched above was the only one to be found in Palestine during the period ; As has already been pointed out, there were doubtless Jewish as well as Greek-speaking centres within the Holy Land where schools of the Greek type flourished. Among the Jewish communities abroad, too, which doubtless possessed schools with their synagogues, Greek influence would be especially felt. Still, in all Jewish centres the dominant note was the same. Educa tion was almost exclusively religious. Its foundation was the text of Scripture, and its highest aim to train up its disciples in the fear of God which is based upon a detailed knowledge of the Law. The noble precept Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it ( Prov. 226) is re-echoed, in more prosaic language, in the Talmud : If we do not keep our children to religion while they are young, we shall certainly not be able to do so in later years ( Yomd 82 a). The means by which this could be accomplished as the Jewish teachers were the first to perceive was a system of definite religious training in the schools.

In thus endowing its children with a possession which lived in intellect, conscience, and heart, Judaism en trenched itself within an impregnable stronghold. For it is undoubtedly the love of sacred study, instilled in school and synagogue, that has saved the Jewish race , from extinction. The beautiful saying, attributed to R. Judah the Holy: The world exists only by the breath of school-children, has its justification at any rate as regards the Jewish world in the later history of the Jewish people.

24. Bibliography.[edit]

On the subject generally the following works may be referred to : Oehler, Padagogik d. AT, in Schmid s Encyclof>ddie d. gesammten Erziehungs- und Unterricktswtttn. vol. 5 ; Hamburger, REJ, 96 (reprint), vol. 1, art. Erziehung ; 2, Lehrer, Lehrhaus, Schule, Schiller, Unterricht, etc. (a mine of information, but mainly for the later period) ; Schurer, C/K(3), 2 305 ff., Die Schriftgelehrsamkeit (ET, Div. ii. vol. 1, 25), 24197?. Schule und Synagoge (ET, Div. ii. vol. 2, 27, where the literature is given); Ginsburg In Kitto s Bibl. Cyclop.$), art. Education (conservative, but is also discussed in Edersheim, Sketches of Jewish. Social Life, etc. (chaps. 7 /.), Life and Times of Jesus, etc. \ 225/1, and History of the Jewish Nation (ed. White), 277^: [ 96], (Jewish philosophy, art, and science are also fully discussed in this volume); Laurie, Historical Survey of Pre-Christian Education, 69-105 [ 95] ; L. Low, Die Lebensalter in d. jiid. Literatur, iy>f. [ 75] ; and S. Schechter, Studies in Judaism, 343/1 The relevant sections in Benzinger and Nowack (HA), also, should not be overlooked.

Of monographs and special treatises the following are the most important : J. Lewit, Darstellung d. theorctischen u. praktischen Piidagogik in jud. Altertum, 96; E. van Gelder Die Volkschulc d. jud. Altertums, 92 ; J. Simon, L Education et f instruction des En/ants chez les Anciens Juifs 1 ?}, 81 ; Seidel, Ueber die Padagogik d. Pr&ierbien, 75 (with which compare Che. Jew. Rel. Life); M. Duschak, Schulgesetzgebung und Methodik d. alien Israeliten, 72.

For the Talmudic period (in English) Spiers, The School System of the Talmud 1 ^), 98, may be mentioned. There are many books on Jewish education of this later period (see Strack, Einl. in den ThalmudP), 128 titles). Other references have been given in the body of the present article. G. H. B.


(fl-PS), Deut - 226 ; see FOWLS, 4, SCORPION.


(rPjy, young cow, § 68 ; ⲁⲅⲗⲁ [AL] ; in 2S. ⲁⲓⲅⲁⲗ [B], -ⲅⲁⲥ [A] ; in 1 Ch. ⲁⲗⲁ [B], ⲉⲅ [L] ; ⲅⲁⲗⲁ [Jos.]). Mother of David's son Itheream(q.v.), 2 S. 35 1 Ch. 33. It is doubtful whether 'wife of David' in 2 S. 35 is correct or not. 'David' might be a scribe's error for some other name ; Abigail (v. 3) is called 'wife of Nabal' (her first husband). So Well- hausen, Driver, Budde. According to a late exegetical tradition, however (see Jer. Quæst. Hebr. on 2 S. 35 623, and Lag. Proph. Chald. p. xviii.), Eglah was Michal, daughter of Saul, David's first wife. This view is also that of Thenius and Klostermann, and is plausible. To stop short here, however, would be impossible. No early writer would have written Eglah meaning Michal. The most probable explanation is suggested by 2 Ch. 11 18. n^y is a corruption of V rraNp 'Abihail,' the name given to the mother of Jerimoth(q. v.), or rather Ithream, ben David, in 2 Ch. l.c. We now understand GB's reading αιγαλ (αιχαλ?) in 2 S. 35, and can do justice to the late Jewish tradition respecting Eglah. For almost certainly SaD ('Michal') also is a corruption of rrrax, 'Abihail.' See Itheream, Michal. T.K.C.


(Dv?N, probably 'place of a reservoir'? — or a softened form of DvJJJ? on form of name see Names, § 107 — ⲁⲅⲁⲗⲉⲓⲙ [B], -ⲗⲗ[ⲉ]ⲓⲙ [NAQ], GALLIM), a town of Moab (Is. 15:8), mentioned together with Beer-elim in such a way as to suggest that it lay on the S. frontier. Beer-elim, however, should rather be read 'in Elealeh' (close to the N. frontier). Eglaim must therefore have been on the S. border, and Eusebius and Jerome identify it with αγαλλειμ(Agallim), a village 8 R. m. S. from Areopolis (OS, 2286:1 9810). T.K.C.


( AA[e]i/) mentioned in the RV of the prophecy against Moab, Is. 15s (ⲇⲁⲙⲁⲗⲓⲥ ... ⲧⲣⲓⲉⲧⲏⲥ [BXAQF]) Jer. 48 24 (ⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲓⲁⲛ ⲥⲁⲗⲁⲥⲉⲓⲁ [B], om. N*, h. ⲉⲓⲥ ⲥⲁⲗⲓⲥⲁ [N c.a.], -ⲗⲓⲁ [AQ], ⲥⲁⲗⲓⲥⲓⲁ [A], ⲥⲁⲗⲁⲥⲓⲁ [Q]). The rendering adopted by Graf and others the third Eglath implies that there were three places of this name near together. Whether such a title as 'the third Eglath' is probable in a poem the reader may judge. Duhm and Marti take the words to be an insertion from Jer. l.c. ; Cheyne, however (see Luhith), supposes .TB ^B rtay to be a corruption of c ^Jj; rtSyc. 'the ascent of Eglaim'[q.v.],' cancelling as a dittogram the ascent of Luhith[q.v.].' According to the rendering of AV and of RVmg. ('an heifer of three years') the crying of Moab is compared to a thwarted heifer, one which in its third year is on the point of being broken in ; others regard 'heifer' as a metaphorical description of Zoar (cp Hos. 10 11) ; but one expects npVrip rtajj, cp Gen. 15 9.[9]


Cfh^tf, § 77 ; cp Eglah, Eglaim, ⲉⲅⲗⲱⲙ [BAL]), the king of Moab, who oppressed Israel for eighteen years. He was finally killed by the Benjamite Ehud [q.v., i. (1)], who at the head of his tribesmen destroyed all the Moabites W. of Jordan (Judg. 3 12-30). That Moab was aided by Ammon and Amalek is probably an exaggeration due to D ; cp Bu. Ri. Sa. 99. From the fact that Eglon seized Jericho (v. 13) it is often assumed (cp e.g., Jos.) that this was the scene of his assassination. This, however, does not agree with the finale, and since Gilgal lies between Jericho and the fords of Moab, we must assume from vv. 18 f. 26 that his residence was E. of Gilgal, most probably in Moab. See Judges §§ 6, i6(beg.); Seirath.



  1. Reading בְּעוׂריוׂם (cp Jer. 15 9). See Che. Exp. T. 10336 (April 1899).
  2. Giesebrecht, too, doubts Jeremiah's authorship of vv. 6b-9a.
  3. במרירי is improbable, because there is no genuine root במר 'to be black'; יםר, because the parallelism requires יָם 'sea,' 'ocean' (cp Ps. 74 13 f. Is. 27 1. See Che. Expos., '97 a, p. 404 f.).
  4. The rendering 'earth' is to be preferred ; the crucifixion had a significance for more than the little country of Judæa.
  5. See, however, Ephrath.
  6. That the ancient sentiment lingered late may be seen from the fact that several treatises of the Mishna deal with agriculture (cp Vogelstein, Die Landwirthschaft in Palästina zur Zeit d. Mischna, i. '94).
  7. Cp the later identification παιδαγωγός (Gi;nB) = ?1DN = wisdom = Torah (Buxtf., 1698), which illustrates Gal. 824 (see Taylor, Pirḳe Ābōth(2), 173).
  8. Ball, Light from the East, 17. The opening expression is uncertain (Del. Weltschöpf. 160). - Cp Montefiore, op. cit. 230.
  9. See Dietrich in Merx. Archiv, 1342 ff.