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1. C D IIC , shebisim, Is. 3:18 EVmg- ; see CAUL.

2. V33, kebir, 1 S. 19:13, 19:16, RVmg. ; see BED, 3/.

3. lin, horay, Is. 19:9 AV ; see LINEN, 8.

4. n33C, shebakah, in 1 K. 7:18, Jer. 52:22-23 EV, and 2 Ch. 4:12 RV (AV 'wreaths' ), used of the ornamentation on the capitals of the pillars JACHIN AND BOAZ [q.v.]. On 1 K. 7:17, and the further usages of this word see NET (5). The particular kind of decoration intended is quite obscure ; for a purely conjectural restoration see de Vogue's, reproduced by Perrot and Chipiez, Art in Jutitfa, 1 251^ (fig. 164).

5. J1.cn n.C .Vp 1320, mikbar ma'aseh resheth, 'a grate (RV grating) of network', Ex. 27:4, 38:4; mikbar alone Ex. 35:16, 38:5, 38:30, 39:39 (LXX ia-\apa [eschara], but Trapa#ejua [parathema] 38:4-5, and om. in 35:16, 38:30, 39:39). What is meant by this appendage to the altar is uncertain ; see Di., ad loc., and cp ALTAR, 9. Mikbar may be connected with makber 2 K. 8:15 (cp BED, 3), or, more probably, with mikmar (inso), for which see NET (3). The incense-altar (see ALTAR, n), also, according to Jos. (Ant. 3:6:8), had a 'brazen grating' (d<7xapa vpuo-eia [eschara chryseia) a detail unmentioned in Ex. 30:1.

NEW MOON[edit]

(CH; see below, i, small type).

1. Lunar feasts.[edit]

The appearance of the new moon signified (see MONTH) for the Hebrews from a very early period the beginning of a new division of time - a new month. The festal observance of the day on which this happened is also a very ancient custom, certainly going back to a date earlier than the settlement in Canaan, this festival along with the passover being indeed the only one which in its origin and meaning has absolutely nothing to do with agriculture (see FEASTS, 2). Lunar feasts, it would seem, are common to the whole of antiquity, and among them that of the new moon is the most frequently attested (cp the evidence in Dillmann, Ex.-Lev.W 633). The high antiquity of the new-moon festival in particular is shown by its diffusion throughout the Semitic peoples.

Lagarde (0r;V/a/. 2:13-14) connected the Heb. ^n 'to begin the festal-celebration' with the Ar. hilal 'new moon', a derivation which would certainly require us to assume the new moon to have been the festival par excellence (cp on the other side, Wellh. Skizzen, 3:107+). Heb. does not now designate the new moon by a name cognate with hilal; it calls it BHh hodesh, the 'New [Moon]', twice (in the plural) rashe hodshekem, 'your month-heads' (Nu. 10:10, 28:11 ; vov^via, vto/j. . ; calendae, Vg. sometimes momenta).

Still another circumstance speaks for the high antiquity of the feast : its connection with the clan-sacrifices (1 S. 20:6; see below).

At all events, the New Moon, according to all our sources, figures also in the historical period as a very important festival, still ranking above the Sabbath. At new moon Saul was wont to gather round him his whole court for a common sacrificial meal (1 S. 20:4-5). At a new moon the clans also were accustomed to hold their yearly family sacrifices ; so, for example, the Bethlehemite clan to which David belonged (i S. 20:6). The second day of the new moon seems also to have been solemnly observed (1 S. 20:27, 20:34 ).

The story related in 1 S. 20 shows us clearly what importance was attached to the feast ; it was permissible to no one to absent himself from court on this occasion without adequate reason. Further, we see that in the life of the people the new moon in one respect stood on the same plane with the Sabbath ; on both days it was the practice to suspend work-day labour, and thus time was made available for other things, such as a visit to a prophet, for which servants were not available on other days (cp 2 K. 4:23).

In the earlier of the literary prophets we still find the new moon not only placed on a level with the Sabbath as regards rest from labour and business, but also ranked with the three pilgrimage feasts in general as a religious festival ; as part of the heavy punishment of Israel it is said that in exile the new-moon celebration also will come to an end along with the other feasts (Hos. 2:13, Is. 1:13).

1 This - not ensf> or B>iSj3 - appears to be the proper spelling (Ba., Gi.). On the form of noun see Lag. Uebers. 117-118, 181-182

2. Ignored in earlier laws.[edit]

The great actual importance of the new-moon festival for the religious and secular life of the ancient Israelites being thus so abundently evident, it becomes becomes a11 the more surprising that the new moon is nowhere mentioned either in the Book of the Covenant or in the Deuteronomic law. Dillmann's explanation (Ex.-Lev. < 3 > 635) is that both those bodies of laws are incomplete, and above all that 'in the new-moon festival a widespread pre-Mosaic custom persisted with great tenacity, the regulation of which by positive law was not held to be necessary'. This cannot, however, be regarded as a satisfactory solution of the difficulty, for similar ancient customs, deeply rooted in popular usage, are frequently enough dealt with in the law. In fact, the Book of the Covenant is nothing else than a codification of customs established in actual practice and of prevailing usages, religious, legal, and other. We shall be nearer the truth if we regard as applicable also to the earlier codes what Dillmann says (loc. cit. ) with reference to the depreciation of the new-moon festival in P - namely, that the increasing importance of the Sabbath and the preponderance it ultimately obtained, forced the new-moon festival into the background. As soon as the Sabbath came to be observed as an independent festival every seventh day without reference to the new moon, its celebration collided with that of the new moon, which fell to be held every 29th or 30th day (see MONTH). Yet even this reason is not quite sufficient by itself, and we are compelled to fall in with the conjecture of Wellhausen (Prol.C 2 ) 118) that the ignoring of the new moon in the law is deliberate and intentional, being too conspicuous to be due merely to chance. To understand the motive of this silence it has only to be remembered that it was precisely with the lunar festivals and more particularly with that of the new moon, which dated from the very remotest antiquity that, among the Israelites as among the Canaanites and kindred peoples, all sorts of superstitions could most readily be connected. Reference has already been made to the connection between this festival and the clan-worships, which in fact strictly speaking were in competition with Yahwe-worship.

3. Importance maintained.[edit]

If in this ignoring of the new moon and its celebration the intention of the legislation actually was to depreciate it, or perhaps even to abolish it, the plan did not succeed. The new moon continued to maintain its old importance in the religious and secular life of the Israelites until long after the exile. If we find the later prophets so often dating their utterances precisely by reference to the new moon (Ezek. 26:1, 29:17, 31:1, 32:1, Hag. 1:1), the fact is indirect but conclusive evidence of the popular observance of the day. The prophets assume the continuance of new-moon observance even in the Messianic time ( Ezek. 46:1+, Is. 66:23). For how long a time importance continued to be attached to it is shown by such passages as Judith 8:6, Col. 2:16.

The legislation (i) of Ezekiel and (2) of P at last takes up this festival,

  • (1) According to the sacrificial ritual of the day in Ezekiel (46:1+), it would even seem as if the prophet ranked the new moon above the Sabbath. The offering he enjoins consists of a young bullock, six lambs, and a ram ; the accompanying meal-offering is one ephah for the bullock, an ephah for the ram, and for the lambs according to his ability, and moreover a hin of oil for every ephah. This is more than the Sabbath offering by one bullock and the corresponding meal-offering.
  • (2) In like manner P (Nu. 28:11-15) enjoins for the new moon a larger offering than for the Sabbath ; namely, two young bullocks, a ram, seven yearling lambs with corresponding meal- and drink-offerings, besides a he-goat for a sin-offering, and of course the regular daily burnt-offering besides. These offerings are the same as those prescribed for the seven days of the Passover feast and of the feast of weeks. When the offering is made the silver trumpets (TRUMPET-BLOWING) are to be blown on new moon as on the other high feast-days (Nu. 10:10).

With this we must compare the notices of the same offering to be found in the Chronicler (1 Ch. 23:31, 2 Ch. 2:3, 8:13, 31:3 ; Ezra 3:5, Neh. 10:34). On the other side, it has to be conceded that in one point the new moon comes short of the Sabbath and the great feasts : it is not marked by a great festal gathering (rip tops) and abstention from labour. But ought we not to regard this as indicating an essential lowering of the new-moon festival ? A festival of this kind is differentiated by purely practical considerations. By the method of determining the time of new moon (see below, 4) it is often impossible to tell at the beginning of the very day whether it is the festival day or not, and so to sanctify it wholly by rest from labour. The appropriate offering, on the other hand, could at all times be held in readiness for the declaration of new moon. By thus taking up the new-moon festival and giving it a place among the other feasts the law may here, as in so many other points, have been accommodating itself to an already established custom that refused to be repressed. We shall probably, however, find a better conjectural explanation of the difference between the attitude of the old law and that of the new to this feast in the considera tion that the new moon now possessed for the regula tion of the worship a greater importance than formerly : when all the other festivals had come to be definitely attached to fixed days of the month and so to be regu lated by new moons, the observance of this becomes of fundamental importance for all the rest of the cultus.

4. Details of practice.[edit]

We do not know how the day of new moon was determined in primitive times. As the length of the lunar month varies from twenty-nine to thirty days (see MONTH), we must suppose that in the earliest days as well as in those of later Judaism, the punctual celebration of the day depended on direct observation of the moon itself. In later Judaism great care was expended in ascertaining with precision the first visibility of the new-moon (cp, M. Rosh ha-Shana , 1:5+, 2). The synedrium assembled in the early morning of the thirtieth day of each month and continued sitting, if necessary, till the time of evening sacrifice. Whoever first saw the crescent moon was bound to let the synedrium know of it at once. As soon as the fact was established by witnesses, the word 'let it be sanctified' was pronounced, and the day was forthwith observed as new-moon day. By fire-signals from the Mount of Olives, and afterwards by couriers, the tidings were sent all over the country. If, however, direct observation of the moon was rendered impossible by cloudy weather, this thirtieth day was forthwith reckoned as the last of the old month, and the new-moon observances were held on the following day.

It was not till some two centuries after the destruction of the temple that the Jews began to reckon the new moon by astronomy. The Karaites, however, continued to follow the old method.

For the literature of the subject see FEASTS, 15.

I. B.

NEW YEAR[edit]

(njpn V*C\, on which see below, n. 2).

On the civil and ecclesiastical year and the dates on which they were held to begin at various periods in the history of Israel, see YEAR, 6+. The present article will deal with the New Year only as an ecclesiastical festival.

1. No early law.[edit]

As is shown elsewhere (YEAR, 6), the year of the ancient Israelites began in autumn ; it was not until the exile that there came in the custom of placing its com mencement in spring. The ecclesiastical festival is even after that still held in the autumn. The practice of celebrating the beginning of the year with special offerings and the like may have been ancient ; it is, however, a striking fact that no mention of any such celebration is found (in the writings that have come down to us) till Ezekiel and Leviticus (25:9). * The passage from Leviticus shows that once, at some time or other, probably during the exile, the beginning of the year was ecclesiastically observed on the tenth day of the seventh month, for the tenth is, according to the law just cited, the first day of the year of Jubilee. The blowing of trumpets which is enjoined is charac teristic also of the later festival of the New Year (see below, 2).

The same day, the tenth of the seventh month, is also to be understood in Ezek. 40:1, although there the month is not specified. 2 The day is designated as njc n VK~\ [RASh HShNH], which cannot mean anything but 'New Year's day'. It is certainly also not accidental that Ezekiel has his vision of the new Jerusalem and the new temple on a New Year's day. This New Year's day in Ezekiel is preceded by an atonement solemnity and expiatory offerings on the first day of the seventh month (in other words, at the seventh New Moon), exactly as on the first day of the first month (Ezek. 45:20; 3 cp ATONEMENT, DAY OF).

In the further development of the post-exilic worship, the two seventh-month festivals of Ezekiel by and by simply exchanged places. The tenth clay became the great day of Atonement, the first day the festival of the New Year. How it was that this so fell out we do not precisely know. Perhaps the change is connected with the fact that it was on the first of the seventh month that the returned exiles for the first time resumed the regular religious services which had been so long sus pended. It is natural to assume that a day of such momentous importance was commemorated yearly. A day of penitence had little appropriateness to so joyful an anniversary, and doubtless, on the other hand, a day of such associations as these was marked out, as no other could be, as an appropriate beginning for the ecclesiastical year. That somehow or other it came at a comparatively early date to be thus observed may be inferred also from Neh. 8:1+ ; that it was exactly on this day that in 444 A. D. the first solemn reading of the new law took place, hardly seems to be a mere coin cidence.

1 Verse 96 is, according to Wellh. (Jahrbb. f d. Theol. 21 437), a later interpolation, because the blowing of trumpets seemed incompatible with the character of a day of atonement. The addition comes from the time when the great festival of the atonement was held on the tenth day of the seventh month.

2 A different view is taken by, e.g., Siegfried in Kautzsch's translation, which here understands the tenth of the first month. On this view, however, it is not easy to see how this day could be designated as New Year's day. If the year began with the first day of the first month, the tenth day of the same month could not very well be observed as the ecclesiastical New Year. If New Year was actually observed on the tenth day of a month, this will betoken that the civil and ecclesiastical New Year fell quite apart, and in that case all that we know compels us to find here the ecclesiastical New Year in the seventh month, in harvest. The civil New Year began on the first day of the first month. The translation of 3 : n 1^X12 by 'in the beginning of the year', as in Kautzsch, is hardly possible. What is of importance in this passage of the prophet is precise dating; this being so, the phrase 'In the twenty-fifth year, in the beginning of the year, namely on the tenth day of the month', instead of the simple 'In the twenty-fifth year on the tenth day of the month', sounds strangely. Cp Smend and Bertholet, ad loc.

3 The MT is here corrupt ; read with LXX cnri^ inO y 2 3 ; cp Smend, Cornill, Bertholet, ad loc.

2. In P.[edit]

However that may be, at any rate the law of P sets apart the day in question - the first of the seventh month - as a joyful festival. It prescribes, in the first place, that in addition to the ordinary new moon offerings and the daily burnt offering there be presented, a young bullock, a ram, and seven yearling lambs without blemish, along with the appropriate meal offering ; also a he-goat as sin offering. Further, the day is to be sanctified by Sabbath rest and by a great festal assembly at the sanctuary (Nu. 29:1-6, Lev. 26:23-25). The day receives a quite peculiar distinction from the fact that on it the trumpets are to be blown (Lev. 23:24). From this it derives its special designation as yom teru'ah (Nu. 29:1 ; cp TRUMPET-BLOWING). By this, therefore, must be meant something different from the blowing of the silver trumpets that marked every new moon (see NEW MOON, 3) and all the great feasts (Nu. 10:10); doubtless, to judge by the analogy of the trumpet-blowing at the beginning of the year of jubilee, mentioned above ( i), what is meant is a blowing on the shophar (-\s&) as distinguished from blowing on the hasoserah (rnskn). Cp Music, 5.

In the law the first day is never designated 'New Year'. We know, however, that it was observed as such amongst the Jews, at any rate from the Seleucidan era, and Jewish tradition has always regarded it in this light. Dillmann ( S/M IV, 1881, p. 919) has disputed this interpretation of it, pointing out that the economical year began later, and that the calendar year could have begun regularly with the seventh new moon only if the year were lunar, an assumption which cannot be made. The seventh new moon, he argues, comes into account in the law only because the autumn New Year did not begin with the new moon. If, however, as has been indicated above, the civil and the ecclesiastical New Year were at that time separate, it was quite possible that even in a solar year the beginning of the ecclesiastical year should be fixed for the seventh new moon. I. B.


(n^. 'excellent', 1 67), a family of Nethinim in the great post-exilic list (see EZRA ii., 9), Ezra 2:54 (ca(roii<r[B], >>e0ie [Al, ;u.e<reia. [L]) = Neh. 7:56 (a.<reia [BX], veia-eia [A], veo-ia [L])= I Esd. 532 (ya<Tet [B], va<ri.O [A], vecria [L] ; AV NASITH, RV NASI).


(2 <i y3, probably 'sacred pillar' or 'prefect', see SAUL, 2, on 1 S. 10:5), situated, according to Josh. 15:43, in the lowland of Judah (Nec[e]lB [AL], NACeiB [B]). The Onomastica mention a place Nesib, Nasib, 7 mi. from Eleutheropolis, on the way to Hebron (OS^, 142:18 ; 28:38), and the ruins of Bet Nasib have been found on the E. of Bet Jibrin (cp Guer. Jud. 111:343-344 ; Buhl, Pal. 193), near Kh. Kila (see KEILAH). In the list of Thotmes III. we find a place Kerti-nasena, and in one of the Amarna tablets (Wi. 263) Na-si-ma, probably meaning the same place, but hardly a town so far S. as the Nezib of Joshua. In the Egyptian list the name has a determinative, showing that the word means 'stake'. 3-i 1 :, then, was at one time a synonym for mrx Asherah. 1


(Trpj with large \ in MT ; THN eBA&zep [B], THN A,B&A.zep K <M THN N&IB&C [A], THN eB- A&iezep [I] 1). or Nibhan (jrQJ, Sanhedrin, 63b; MSS, according to D. Kimhi), apparently an Avvite deity (see AVVA), 2 K. 17:31. The Greek forms are hardly more original than the Hebrew. LXX{L}'s form seems remodelled after the type of Eliezer. The opening letter N (in all but LXX{A}'s second form) fell out through the preceding v. The second a in LXX{A} represents n- The Talmud (Sanh. I.c.) connects Nibhan (final n) with m3, 'to bark', the idol being supposed to have had the form of a dog ! Norberg (Onom. 99) has referred to the obscure Mandaean Nebaz, an evil demon. But of course it is only Assyriology that can help us, and there being no Assyrian or Babylonian divine name which approaches Nibhaz or Nibhan (perhaps the better form), we must make a closer study of the phenomena of the text. Probably Nibhaz is a corrupt reading for TARTAR (q.v. ). T. K. C.

1 WMM, OLZ, May 1899, p. 137-138? Robertson Smith takes the same view of 3<sj as a place-name ; cp Nisibis, the pillars (,RSV\ 204, n. i).


(|Sr:?3n ; N6.(1>A<5,Z6GN [B], N eBcS [A], NeBCAN [L]), the fourth in order of the six cities 'in the wilderness' of Judah (Josh. 15:62). For the ordinary view of the site, see BETH-ARABAH ; but note the caution given below.

The name does not look right. Hitzig (Ps. 2:65) and Wellhausen (ProI.W, 344) read je[7an - i.e., strictly, the 'furnace' (see Gen. 19:24, 19:28, Wisd. 10:7 ; and cp DEAD SEA, 4, end). In this case, the sites occupied by ez-Zuweiret el-foka and ez-Zuweiret et-tahta would be not unsuitable (see Baed. Pal. 144). The ordinary view of the site, however, can hardly perhaps be maintained (cp MIDDIN, end). It is probable that P has led subsequent ages into a great misunderstanding by putting 'Engedi' for 'En-kadesh'. 'Nibshan' (Kibshan) and 'Secacah' (the preceding name) may possibly be corruptions, the one of KABZEEL, the other of Halusah (see ZIKLAG). In reality, the same place may be intended - viz., Halusah. P, as elsewhere, treats variants as names of distinct places. T. K. C.


i. Son of Patroclus, a Syrian general, who was sent by LYSIAS, together with Ptolemy and Gorgias, against Judas the Maccabee, B.C. 166 ( 1 Macc. 3:38, cp 2 Macc. 8:8). He was again sent in the reign of Demetrius (B.C. 161), and under the pretence of friendship endeavoured to bring about the fall of Judas. In this he was discovered and defeated at CAPHARSALAMA (i Macc. 7:26-32). He met with his death at the battle of Adasa, on the 13th of Adar (March, 161 B.C.), a day which was afterwards kept as 'Nicanor's day' (i Macc. 7:49, 2 Macc. 15:36, and cp Meg. Ta'amth, 30 ; Jos. Ant. 12:10:5). The account in 2 Mace, differs from the above in several essential particulars. In his first commission, Nicanor - not Gorgias - is the chief general ; and in the second, no mention is made of the battle at Capharsalama. Nicanor s friendship with Judas was free from deceit, and it was against his will that he was obliged to resume hostilities with him.

2. One of the seven deacons (Acts 6:5). His name is mentioned in the lists of the 'seventy' given by Pseudo-Dorotheus and Pseudo-Hippolytus ; according to the former he was martyred at the same time as Stephen.


(NIKOAHMOC [Ti. WH]) occurs in the NT only in Jn. 3:1+, 7:50, 19:39. The name is sometimes said to have been 'not uncommon among the Jews' ; but the only evidence alleged is Josephus, Ant. 14:3:2 - the only instance recognised in Niese's Index to Josephus. Ta'anith (Hor. Hebr. ad loc.) derives the name of Nicodemon b. Gorion from a story of divine answer to his prayer, interpreting the name as a contraction of 'because there shone out for him the sun' (pa"ipj i 1 ? mpjty). Would such a legend have arisen if the name had been not uncommon ?

1. Who is meant?[edit]

Wetstein, who mentions several Greek instances of the use of the name, gives none from Jewish history except Nicodemon b. Gorion. These facts indicate that the name was uncommon among the Jews, but that it belonged, a little before the siege of Jerusalem, to a son of Gorion, a man of extraordinary wealth and high position, frequently mentioned by the Talmudists. 1

1 Smith's DB (1863) says 'Some would derive it from pj, innocent, ci, blood {i.e. " sceleris purus ") ; Wetstein, JVTl 150' ; but there is no mention of Nicodemus in Wetst. 1 150, and no mention of this derivation in Wetst. 1 850.

2. Nicodemon b. Gorion in Jewish tradition.[edit]

Nicodemon the son of Gorion (Hor. Hebr. and Wetst. ad loc. ) was one of three (or four) 1 sometimes called 'Bouleutai' - ie. counsellors - sometimes 'rich men', sometimes 'great men of the city', the wealthiest in Jerusalem. His special duty was to provide water for the pilgrims that came up for the feasts. Besides the legend above quoted concerning the origin of his name, another was that 'As the sun stood still for Joshua, so did it for Moses and Nicodemon b. Gorion'. On the other hand, his daughter, at whose marriage vast sums were spent, became so impoverished, she and her whole family, that she was seen gathering barleycorns out of the dung of the Arabs' cattle. The preservation of this story would harmonise with a Jewish belief that some sin of Nicodemus (who would seem to have been dead at the time) was visited on his children. Ta'anith, after explaining, as above, the origin of 'Nicodemon', says that his real name was Buni (']!])- Now, according to Sanhedrin (Schottg. 2:703), a Buni was one of five disciples of Jesus, 2 put to death by the Jews. These statements, and the story about the daughter, favour the belief that the Talmudic Nicodemon was regarded by the Jews as a disciple of Jesus. It is, at all events, probable that Jn. identified him with the man whom he calls (3:1 ) 'a ruler of the Jews', and describes as present at a council of the (7:45) 'chief priests and Pharisees' (i.e., the Sanhedrin) under the name of 'Nicodemus'.

3. Origin of Johannine tradition.[edit]

With the aid of Josephus and the LXX it is possible to indicate the way in which Nicodemon b. Gorion might pass into the Fourth Gospel as Nicodemus, under the shadow, as it were, of Joseph of Arimathtea, with whom, in Jn. alone, he shares the honour of burying Jesus (see JOSEPH [in NT], 4). Joseph is called by Mk.-Lk. (Mk. 15:43) 'an honourable councillor', (Lk. 23:50) 'councillor', (Mk. 15:43, Lk. 23:51) 'waiting for the kingdom of God', (Mt. 27:51) 'rich' and 'made a disciple of Jesus'. 'Arimathaea', in 1 S. 1:1, represents a Hebrew (Ha)ramathaim-zophim, supposed to be 4 mi. NW. of Jerusalem. The Targum of Jonathan renders this 'Ramatha of the scholars of the prophets' 3 taking 'Zophim' as 'place of watching', and apparently identifying it with Mizpeh, from the root sph (nBs) which means 'watch', 'wait', 'hope for'. So here, Mk.-Lk. appear to have taken D Siss, 'm-zophim' as 'waiting for (the kingdom of God)', while Mt. paraphrased it as implying discipleship to Jesus.

As regards the statement made by Mk.-Lk. (but not by Mt. Jn.) that Joseph was a 'councillor', if it is not historical, it may have arisen from a metaphorical explanation of Zophim as 'watchers', 'rulers', 'counsellors'. Cp the explanation of 1 S. 1:1 (Levy 4:210a) 'one of two hundred seers (Zophim) who arose for Israel' (and Heb. 13:17). Or it may have sprung from a gloss on 'Haramah', i.e., 'the Ramah', or 'the eminence'. The root of Ramah, in New Hebrew, is sometimes applied to 'eminent' people (cp 'your Eminence' ) and once, at least, with a special reference to taking counsel. 4

1 The 'four', mentioned in only one of several traditions, were made up by reading Ben Gorion and Ben Nicodemon.

2 Another of the five was named (Schottg. 2 703) Nakai (pj) i.e., innocent - which (see note above) has been suggested by some as an explanation of the first two syllables of Nicodemus. The name Bunni (BUNNI) ^3 and "313 is given to Levites in Neh. and Ezra and is sometimes translated vios, being naturally confused with Ben, 'son of'. See also BANI and BINNUI, with which it is often confused. It betokens post-exilic and Levitical connection.

3 [x N 23 H aSnO NDSIO "in Jp3> Note, too, that Kimhi interprets Q BlS as C N Hj, comparing Ezek. 3:17 etc.]

4 See Levy, 4:453a where QT frequently = 'eminent', and especially fuhre dein Nasiat nnter den Grosscn (Q>ma) um dich mit ihnen zu berathen'. For LXX corruptions in connection with counsellor, cp 2 S. 8:18 'Benaiah the son of Jehoiada' (jn irvV LXX 'Banai son of Janak' (A, Jodte, L, Joad) counsellor (arvp. /SouAos), apparently conflating. On the other hand, 1 Ch. 26:14 'a counsellor (vyv) in wisdom (V^tio)' is in LXX changed into a name, 'Soaz (A, Joias) to Melcheias', where L conflates, 'Joad a counsellor in wisdom'. (If counsellor was part of the original, it may have referred to the local council of Arimathaca ; but it probably sprang from a gloss.) 'Ram(ah)', being conflated as 'eminent', might give rise to Hebrew glosses which would explain Mt.'s rich (see the present writer s Diatess. 518-19).

4. References in John.[edit]

Finding one, Joseph, described as an 'honourable councillor', and 'rich', evangelists familiar with Josephus' history might naturally identify the man with the famous Joseph, son of Gorion, mentioned by that historian as one of two appointed to rule and repair the city just before the siege. 1 Thus 'son of Gorion' might be inserted in the margin. But Josephus himself is supposed to confuse Joseph son of Gorion with Gorion son of Joseph. 2 We have also seen that one of the Jewish traditions about the 'counsellors' converted the son of Gorion into two persons, calling one the son of Gorion and the other the son of Nicodemon. Much more easily may we suppose that Christian evangelists, finding 'Joseph' in the text and 'son of Gorion' in the margin, might explain the words as 'Joseph and the son of Gorion'. Then they might take this son of Gorion to be the wealthy son of Gorion, the celebrated Nicodemon (or, as they began to call him, Nicodemus).

There appears no authority for the derivation, given above, 'innocent from blood', for the name of Nicodemus ; but it is not at all unlikely that, during the plastic period of interpolation, Lk. confused the name with 'Nakemidam', 'innocent from blood' (DID pj [NKY MDM]) - the words used by Delitzsch to translate Pilate's protest, Mt. 27:24 ('innocent from the blood of this just man' - and paraphrased it accordingly (Lk. 23:51, 'this man had not consented', etc. ).

Jn.'s statement that Joseph was a 'concealed' disciple of Jesus can be explained as one of the many conflations of the above-mentioned Zophim, the root of which (<BX) closely resembles, and is actually confused with (Levy, 4:211) 'conceal (jDs)' - Moreover, when Jn. developed Joseph into two persons, Joseph and Nicodemus, he may have conflated two statements, (i) that Joseph, a concealed disciple, came to seek the body of Jesus, (2) that Nicodemus came to Jesus under the concealment of night. The latter he may have supposed to refer to a previous occasion.

5. Nicodemus in John.[edit]

i. Nicodemus, being the official provider of water for the purposes of purification in Jerusalem, was a very appropriate character in a dialogue setting forth the doctrine of regeneration through something more than water. He is introduced as 'a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews', who 'came to Jesus by night', and showed such incapacity to understand the doctrine of regeneration from above that he was rebuked by Jesus in the phrase usually addressed by the common people to incompetent teachers. In view of the fact that the doctrine of a 'new birth' was familiar to the Jews, Nicodemus's apparent want of intelligence has caused difficulty to commentators, who have explained it (Hor. Hebr.) on the ground that the Rabbis applied the doctrine only to proselytes, or (Schottg.) on the ground of 'troubled times' resulting in ignorance of tradition. The former view is the more probable. But Jn. may also be using hyperbole in order to bring home to readers the perverse and wilful stupidity (as he conceives it) of the Pharisees, by representing the best among them, a man half convinced of the justice of Christ's claims, as ignoring everything that is 'from above l and bound up in the grossest materialism. See (ii. ) below.

1 BJ 2:20:3. If this son of Gorion was called Buni, as a nickname, it is worth noting that the word may mean 'builder'. It is applied to the Sanhedrin (Levy, 1:241b) as 'Builders (spiritually) of Jerusalem'.

2 Schur. 1:2:228. 'Gorion the son of Joseph', mentioned in Jos. BJ 4:3:9 is probably identical with Joseph son of Gorion mentioned above - i.e., BJ 2:20:3. Gorion was killed by the zealots (BJ 4:6:1) ; at least if Schurer (1:2:230) is right - as he probably is - in tacitly assuming that the Gorion (Niese, rovpi<uc, Huds. Topuav) mentioned in BJ 4:6:1 is the same as that (Niese and Huds. 1 ujpu.n , Big. Foppuur) mentioned in BJ 4:3:9. Concerning the murdered man it is said that 'he was eminent in birth and reputation, but democratic', and that 'his freedom of speech' (cp Jn. 7:50) 'was his ruin'. Of course, all these traditions could only be applied to the Johannine Nicodemus by anachronism ; but in a gospel of spiritual types and tendencies, anachronisms are to be expected.

ii. Nothing comes of the Pharisee's interview, in which he declared - apparently describing the secret conviction of the ruling class to which he belonged - 'We know that thou art a teacher sent from God'. On the next appearance of Nicodemus, he is sitting in council when his fellow-councillors thus address the officers who have failed to bring Jesus (Jn. 7:48), 'Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed on him ?' Nicodemus, a ruler and a Pharisee, if he believed, did not at least respond to this indirect appeal. The Laodicean state of his mind is perhaps hinted at by the words 'he came to Jesus' (but he was) 'one of them', that is, still a Pharisee. But he pleads - though not for one whom 'they knew to be a teacher sent from God' - at all events for justice. The reply is that, since he will not side with his party, right or wrong, he must be 'on the side of Galilee'. Then comes the astonishing saying, 'out of Galilee ariseth no prophet'. If the text is correct, the whole narrative is stamped as unhistorical ; for it is impossible that the Sanhedrin could use such language in the face of the Galilean origin of Jonah and Hosea, and possibly also Elijah, Elisha, Amos, and Nahum. 2

iii. No mention is made of Nicodemus as protesting against the resolution of the council (Jn. 11:47-53) to put Jesus to death. He is perhaps alluded to in the words (12:42), 'Even of the rulers many believed on him ; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess [it], lest they should be put out of the synagogue : for they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God' ; but his name is not mentioned till the burial of Jesus. Here he is subordinate to Joseph (see JOSEPH [IN NT] i. ), who alone 'took away his body' ; Nicodemus does not come till afterwards. Apparently he is represented as afraid to go to Pilate with Joseph. 3 Characteristically Jn. repeats here the words expressive of the Pharisee's timidity - which he dropped when he described the protest of Nicodemus (7:50 'he that came to him before' ) in behalf of justice - 'he who at the first came to Jesus by night'. Nicodemus, however, tries to compensate for want of courage by the excessive costliness of his offering to the dead body of Jesus, 'one hundred pounds weight of myrrh and aloes' - a hundred times as much (measured by mere weight) as the single 'pound' (Jn. 12:5) of Mary, and yet the latter was valued at 'three hundred denarii' ! Probably the ointment was more expensive than the same weight of 'myrrh and aloes' ; but still the suggestion is unquestionably that Nicodemus the son of Gorion, who spent twelve thousand denarii on his daughter's wedding', 1 spent a great deal more on the dead body of 'the teacher sent from God'. Only it was 'by night'. It is implied that Mary's affectionate gift of a single 1 'pound' of ointment, given to Jesus openly while he lived, outweighed the 'hundred pounds of spices' offered by the millionaire who gave him scarcely anything in the way of support, and nothing in the way of public confession, while he lived, but (Jn. 12:7) kept his gift 'against the day of his burial', ending, as he began, a Laodicean. 2 He is a Johannine conception, representing the liberal, moderate, and well-meaning Pharisee, whose fate it was to be crushed out of existence in the conflict between Judaism and its Roman and Christian adversaries. E. A. A.

1 'From above'. v Ayu>#ei> may in certain contexts, mean over again ; but (Field's Otium Nerv., ad loc.) 'St. John's writings furnish no example of this use of the word, and . . . the Heb. VtfOS s always local'. Cp Jn. 3:31, 19:11 and 19:23, and NT passim; also Philo 1:482, 6 ica.Ta7n/eu<r0eis av<aOfv (and Phil. 1:263 and 498 2:442). Menander (Eus. HE 3:26) connects baptism with his own mission avioOev, and see Hippol. 6:18 quoting Simon Magus. Schottg. 2:632 quotes Zohar commenting on 'the new spirit', and on purification aquis mundis supernis. Against such evidence, Artemid. Oneirocr. 1:13 (where the context demands the sense 'from the beginning' ) is futile. As to the argument from Justin, see GOSPELS, 101 (2). As regards the rebuke, see the boy s answer to R. Jeshua, Hor. Hebr. (on Jn. 3:10) ^B> D3n Kin nnN SKI;? , translated by Lightfoot, 'Art thou a wise man in Israel?' (not, as Jn., 'the teacher' ).

2 If we were to suppose an o dropped after the final s in TaAtAaias [Galilaias], the meaning would be 'the prophet is not to arise out of Galilee'. The omission of o after (written c in uncial MSS) is frequent in codex B, but not in Jn. In view of the hyperdramatic hyperbole sometimes found in Jn. it is impossible to deny that the text may be genuine. The actual order of the words is uncertain, many MSS, e.g. ND, putting npo<t>. before . According to Tisch. the Sahidic version read 6 irpo^rfn]^.

3 Cp Acta Pil. (B), 11. 'I am afraid', said Nicodemus [to Joseph], 'lest Pilate should be enraged. . . . But if thou wilt go alone . . . then will I also go with thee and help thee to do every thing necessary for the burial'. It is only a conjecture, but a reasonable one, that, if Nicodemus was the employer of the water-carriers in Jerusalem during the Passover, the man bearing a pitcher of water (Mk. 14:13, Lk. 22:10) was regarded as his emissary.


printed in Greek and Latin from various MSS by Tischendorf (Evang. Apocr. 1853, 1876 (2 >) is a true apocryphon, in the sense that it does not come within the category of Old-Christian Literature in the stricter meaning of that expression (see OLD-CHRISTIAN LITERATURE). The book professes to have been originally written by Nicodemus, in Hebrew, from which language it was translated by a certain Ananias about 425 A.D. It consists of three parts, the first and second of which are entitled vTrof^vrnj-ara TOU Kvpiov r]/j,wv Irjffov XpicrroO irpa^d^vra firl \\ovriov IliXdrov [last word = Pilatou], the third relates to Christ's Descensus ad inferos. Chaps. 1-13 describe the trial of Jesus before Pilate, his condemnation, crucifixion, and resurrection, substantially in agreement with the canonical gospels. Chaps. 14-16, originally by another hand, give a copious report of the debate held by the Jewish authorities upon the resurrection of Jesus and the liberation of Joseph of Arimathea from prison. Chaps. 17-27, by yet another hand, is a lively description of the brief stay of Jesus in Hades (cp 1 Pet. 3:18-20). All three pieces, originally written in Greek, are generally held to be not earlier than the fourth century, and when they were brought together to have been placed under the name of Nicodemus which occurred frequently in them and sounded well. Cp, however, APOCRYPHA, 27(1)-

In the Middle Ages this Gospel was widely read, as is shown by the many still extant MSS both of the original text and of translations, by the traces found in literature of acquaintance with the work, and by widely diffused poetical adaptations. Cp Tischendorf, Ev. Apoc., Prolegomena; Wiilcker, Das Ev. Nicodemi in der abendliindischen Literatur, i872;,Gaston Paris and Alphonse Bros, Trois Versions rimees de fEvangile de Nicodeine, 1885.

The value of this writing for our knowledge of Old-Christian literature lies in the fact of its containing some traits relating to the gospel history of which we learn nothing, or very little, from the NT. w. C. v. M.

1 Wetst., ad lac., lectus erat stratus XII. M. denariis ; Hor. Hebr. 'the furniture of whose bed was twelve thousand denars'. Another tradition mentions (Hor. Hebr. 2:449) 'a daughter of Nicodemus b. Gorion to whom the wise men appointed four hundred crowns of gold for a chest of spices for one day'.

2 If the obscure and probably corrupt Jn. 12:7 could be interpreted 'Let her alone. Ought she to keep it (or, would you keep it) till the day of my burial?' - this would bring out the contrast between the gift of Mary and the gift of Nicodemus.


AV NICOLAITANES ( N i KO^AITAI [Ti. WH]), are mentioned in NT only in Rev. 26:15, and in other old Christian writers - Irenaeus Tertullian, and others only in connection with these two passages.

1. Character.[edit]

We may safely identify them with the followers of Balaam and Jezebel referred to in 2:14, 2:20 (cp BALAAM, col. 464 ; JEZEBEL, col. 2457). The persons aimed at are apostates who, according to the author of the Apocalypse, had been troubling and leading astray the churches of Asia Minor and especially the seven addressed in chaps. 2-3. It has been commonly, but erroneously, thought that such a description must be intended for persons who were in principle more pagan than Christian, and might therefore be regarded as mere libertines in the ordinary sense of that word. What the writer actually says of them - and there is no other authority to whom we can turn - shows them to be Pauline Christians, in other words, believers after the type with which we become best acquainted through the Epistles that bear the name of Paul. Like these, they too had arisen after the churches had already subsisted for some considerable time, a time long enough to make it possible to point with thankful recognition to the good work the churches had done in the past, their patience and fidelity under poverty, oppression, and persecution in a word, to their first works/ to their love and faith which, alas, are now threatened with extinction (2:2-3, 2:5, 2:9-10, 2:13, 2:19, 3:3-4, 3:8, 3:10, 3:32; cp PAUL, 35, 40). Their leaders called 'themselves apostles', but in the estimation of those who opposed them were not such, but were liars (2:2). This same consideration it was that led Paul to lay such emphasis upon his own apostleship and that of those who wrought with him, and to defend it so persistently (Rom. 1:1, 5:11, 5:13, 1 Cor. 1:1, 9:1-18, 2 Cor. 1:1, 11:5-6, 12:11-12, Gal. 1:1, 2:8, Eph. 1:1, Col. 1:1, 1 Tim. 1:1, 2:7, 2 Tim. 1:1, 1:11, Tit. 1:1). In Rev. 2:20 it is brought as a charge against Jezebel that she calls herself a prophetess ; with no less distinctness does Paul claim for himself mid his followers the gift of prophecy (Rom. 126, 1 Cor. 11:4-5, 12:10, 12:28-29, 13:2, 13:9, 14:1-6, 14:24, 14:31, 14:39). The Smyrnaeans and Philadelphians are warned in Rev. 2:9, 3:9 against those who say that they are Jews although they are not, but lie and are a synagogue of Satan ; precisely so does Paul designate his spiritual allies irrespective of descent or birth as the true Jews, the seed of Abraham, and the rightful Israel (Rom. 2:28-29, 4:96-97, 11:17, 1 Cor. 10:18, Gal. 3:7-9, 3:29, 4:22, 4:28, 4:31, 6:16, Eph. 2:12), though very far from wishing to have it forgotten that he himself is an Israelite according to the Mesh and full of tenderness for his people (Rom. 9:1-5, 9:10, 11:1, 2 Cor. 11:22, Gal 2:15, Phil. 3:4-5).

2. Doctrine.[edit]

The Nicolaitans had their own particular doctrine (dtdax^ [didache]; Rev. 2:15, 2:24), just as 'Paul' had his (Rom. 6:17, 16:17, 1 Cor. 4:17, 7:17). Their gnosis, their sounding of the deep things of God ( Rom. 10:33, 1 Cor. 2:10), could easily lead to the designation of those who were opposed to it and to the new revelation altogether as being those who know not the deep things of Satan (oiVtves OVK Zyvta<Ta.v TO. J3a6ea rov ffarava : Rev. 2:24). The stumbling-block which the apostates cast before the Israelites is stated to be eating things sacrificed to idols and committing fornication ((payflf eidwXodi To. KO.I iropvevffcu : 2:14, 2:20), not because they made a mock of all that is holy and trampled honour underfoot, but because they, like Paul, had set aside the Jewish laws regarding foods and marriage, freely using food that had been set before heathen deities (Rom. 14:2, 14:6, 14:20, 1 Cor. 8:14, 10:19, 10:25-27), and contracting marriages within the prohibited degrees which in the eyes of the author of the Apocalypse were unchaste unions, just as in the eyes of the writer of 1 Cor. 5:1 the marriage of the Christian who had freed himself from scruples with his deceased father s wife (not his own mother) was so, or as in the eyes of so many Englishmen the marriage with a deceased wife's sister is at the present day. For the expressions, see Acts 15:20, 15:29, 21:25 (cp also COUNCIL, 11).

3. Identification.[edit]

The reason why the identity of the Nicolaitans and their allies in Rev. 2-3, with the followers of Paul has not sooner found general recognition, although many scholars since Baur have considered that Paul himself was aimed at in the passage, is not far to seek. Paul's name is not mentioned, and his personality not brought before the reader's attention, so that it was natural to see in the allusions a reference to later developments. No one thought of suggesting Paulinism such as is seen in the Epistles and must be dissociated from the person and period of the historical Paul.

Why the Nicolaitans were called so is unknown. Probably the name was given by opponents, and, like 'Balaam' and 'Jezebel', was intended to express censure and reproach. Perhaps it was originally bestowed by some one before the time of the writer of the Apocalypse who had in view some well-known though now forgotten personality of evil repute. We may be sure that it does not come, as Irenaeus and Tertullian will have it, from the deacon Nicolas of Acts 6:5, nor yet, as many moderns have conjectured, from NucoAaos [nikulaos] (VIKO.V [nikan] and Aoos [laos])as a rendering of Balaam = /3aAaa/i [balaam] = Cy J?|?3 or CV tya This, however ingenious, is a mere guess.

In the middle ages we meet with 'Nicolaitans' who seek to release the clergy from enforced celibacy ; in the fifteenth century, in Bohemia, 'Nicolaitans' anticipated the Quakers in their repudiation of outward ordinances and in finding a place for special revelations by the side of the written word. They do not stand, however, in any real connection with the Nicolaitans of the Apocalypse.

See for these PRE^, s.v. 'Nikolaiten' ; for the first, W. C. van Manen, 1 anlus, ii., 1891, pp. 244-251 ; for another view, W. Bousset, Offenbarung Jokannis, 1896, 238-241. 278_/I

W. C. v. M.


(NIKO\AOC). a proselyte, of Antioch, one of the seven named in Acts 6:5 (see DEACONS, 5). His name - but only the name - occurs also in more than one of the lists of the seventy (see Lipsius, Apocr. Ap.-gesch. 1:205; Ergiinzungsheft, 2), and a large body of tradition has been connected with it under the sup position that he was the founder of the heresy of the NICOLAITANS [q.v.]


( N i KonoAic [Ti. WH]).

1. Identification.[edit]

Paul, according to the traditional view, 1 writing to Titus expresses his intention of spending the approaching winter at Nicopolis (Tit. 3:12), and desires Titus to 'be diligent' to come to him thither. There were many towns called Nicopolis.

  • (1) One founded in Armenia by Pompeius on the field of his victory over Mithridates (65 B.C.), a great military and civil post and centre of the road system under the Empire (mod. Purkh. Strabo, 555 ; Ptol. 8:17: 40. Cp Murray Handbook to AM 48).
  • (2) In Egypt, near Alexandria (Strabo, 795 800, Jos. BJ 4:11:5).
  • (3) On Mt. Amanus, in Cilicia (Strabo, 676, Ptol. v. 87). (4) In Bithynia, on the Bosporus (Plin. HN 5:32).
  • (5) On the upper Nestus, in Thrace (Ptol. 3:11:13).
  • (6) The town still called Nicopolis (Nikup) near the Danube; 2
  • (7) Nicopolis in Epirus.

This enumeration is necessary, as there is no direct evidence as to the identity of the town mentioned in Titus. The subscription to the Epistle to Titus, according to which the letter was written from Nicopolis of Macedonia, is of no authority.

Considerations as to the date of foundation or name, or as to the situation, of most of the towns above enumerated, are fatal to their claims ; and there is a general agreement that the place meant was Nicopolis in Epirus, for this agrees best with the meagre data as to Paul s last years derivable from the Pastoral Epistles on the assumption of their genuineness.

2. Environment.[edit]

Nicopolis (the 'city of victory' ) in Epirus was founded by Augustus in commemoration of his victory over Antonius and Cleopatra (Sept. 31 B.C., Suet. Aug. 1:8 ; Strabo, 325). The site chosen was that on which his land forces had their camp before the battle, on the northern promontory at the mouth of the Ambracian gulf (mod. Gulf of Atba). The whole surrounding territory - southern Epirus, the opposite region of Acarnania with Leucas, and even part of Aetolia - was united in a single urban domain, and the inhabitants of the dwindling townships were transferred to the new city (Strabo, I.c. , Dio Cass. 51:1, Paus. 5:23:3, 7:188, 10:884, Anthol. Gr. 9553). Nicopolis was made a 'free city' (like Athens and Sparta), 3 and it possessed six out of the thirty votes in the Amphictyonic Council representing all Greece ( Paus. 10:8:2-3). Furthermore, the old festival to the Actian Apollo on the opposite promontory was magnifi cently renewed and enlarged, a quinquennial festival (ra A/crta [ta aktia]), with musical and athletic competitions, and chariot races and other contests, being instituted and placed on the same level as the four great Games of Greece (Strabo, I.c. ). Herod the Great contributed to the adornment of the city (Jos. Ant. 16:5:3). The result of this imperial and other patronage was that Nicopolis became the greatest city on the W. coast of Greece, far exceeding in importance all other cities of the same name (cp Strabo, 325).

1 [However impossible, on critical grounds, the Pauline author ship of the Epistle to Titus may be, many critics now hold that Tit. 3:12-13 is a genuine fragment of the work of Paul, written shortly before 2 Cor., when Paul (in Ephesus?), unable to count on the loyalty of Corinth, was planning to await the outcome in Macedonia and Epirus (Bacon, Intr. to the NT 136; cp v. Soden, HC iii. 181 221 c). Cp Rom. 15:19. - ED.]

2 Other places called Nicopolis will be found mentioned by Ramsay, Hist. Geogr. of AM Palaeapolis in the valley of the Cayster (105); in Pisidia (= Metropolis, 403); Emmaus [mod. Amwas] in Palestine was known as Nicopolis in the third century. Naturally these do not enter into the question.

3 Tac. Ann. 5 to, Arrian, Epict. Diss. iv. 1 14 IT) -rr[v Kcu crapo; Tu\t\v, eAevOepoi ftTfiev.

3. Paul's visit.[edit]

Nicopolis was therefore admirably adapted to be a centre of missionary work in western Greece - a region as yet untouched. An additional reason for the decision attributed to Paul would be found if it were certain that Epirus and Acarnania had at this date been severed from Achaia and constituted as a separate province. 1 The despatch of Titus northwards into Illyricum 2 (cp 2 Tim. 4:10, and see DALMATIA) seems to indicate a reasoned plan of far-reaching operations in this quarter. The above remark assumes both that Paul himself reached Nicopolis, and that Titus was able to go to him before the expiration of the winter (probably that of 65-6 A.D. , or perhaps a year later) ; but of this there is no proof. Paul was certainly not at Nicopolis at the time of writing Tit. 3:12 3 (see i, n. i above) ; probably Miletus and Corinth (2 Tim. 4:20) were stages on the journey thither. It would seem most probable that Nicopolis was the scene of his arrest, in the course of the winter.

Nicopolis fell into decay, and, having been destroyed by the Goths, was restored by Justinian (Procop. de Aed. 4:2). During the Middle Ages the site was deserted for one about 5 mi. farther S. on the end of the promontory, and thus the modern town of Prevesa (Trpe jSe^a [pribiza]) originated. There are many remains of the ancient city.

See Journ. Roy. Geogr. Soc. 889, Leake, Travels in N. Gr. 1 178 8491, Murray s Handbook to Greece. For the foundation of Nicopolis, consult Kuhn, Entstehung der Stadte der A lien.

W. J. W.

1 See Marq.-Momms., Staafsveriu.W, 131. Tac. Ann. 2:53( = 17 A.D.) calls Nicopolis an urbs A chaite, but Epict. Diss. 3:4:1, speaks of it as the headquarters of an en-iVpOTros Hireipov : cp Zahn, Eiitl. 1 435.

2 [2 Tim. 4:6 (9)-22 may plausibly be regarded as a Pauline fragment, though i and 2 Tim., as wholes, cannot be the work of Paul. See Bacon. Introd. to the NT. 135 : v. Soden, HC, 3:181. ED.]

3 Note the use of eicet, 'there', and the tense Ke icpuca, 'I have determined' - not the epistolary past, but expressing the mental state at the moment of writing.

4 From the time of Aristotle, peculiar attributes have been ascribed to the night-hawk or goat-sucker, and it was supposed to come at night-time and tear nd eat the flesh off young children's faces.




(fl^?), Gen. 1:5 etc. See DAY.


(DOOF1, tahmas; pAayS < noctua], one of the unclean birds (Lev. 11:16, Dt. 14:15+). The true meaning of the Hebrew word is unknown. Tristram thinks that AV meant by 'night-hawk' the night-jar 4 (Caprimulgus), a bird of nocturnal habits, of which three species are recorded from Palestine ; but LXX and Vg. suggest a reference to some species of OWL (q.v.). Among the moderns, Bochart and Gesenius favour the male ostrich (root- meaning, 'to treat violently' ), whilst others, led by the same root-meaning, prefer the cuckoo. Finally, others have thought of the swallow (so possibly Targ. Jon. NnSBn, and Saad. ) ; Niebuhr the traveller states that the Jews in Mosul still call the swallow tahmas. A. E. S.


Is. 34:14 RV, RV mg LILITH.


(nrO?K), Ps. 63:6 [63:7 ], 119:148. See DAY.


The present name of the great river of F.gypt conies from the Greek (6 NetXos). This is found as early as Hesiod ; Homer, however, Od. SB 4:477, calls it Aegyptus (6 Ar-ywroj [o Aigyptos] in distinction from 17 AryuTrros [e Aigyptos], the country), indicating, correctly, by this name that Egypt is only the Nile valley. No derivation from the Egyptian is possible for the name Nile. 1 Whether, according to a hypothesis of Movers, NetXos [Neilos] comes from a supposed Phoenician

  • nehel = Hebrew nahal ( 'brook, stream' ) must remain

doubtful ; neither does a hypothetical Egyptian mutilation of nahar 'river' (Lepsius, Chronologic, 275) present more probability. If the Arabic name of the canal Shatt-en-Nll in Central Babylonia has any con nection with the Egyptian river, it would be due to a comparison by the Arabs. The Egyptians call their river H'p (something like *t]jm) or H'pi (earliest orthography in the pyramid-texts Hp), which, if we may judge from Herodotus Kpw<j>i [Kroophi] and M(00( [Moophi], was probably vocalised Ho'p(i). 2 Although the latest theology tried to explain the Apis-bull (Eg. Hp) as a personification of the Nile, the two names are totally different (cp NOPH). S The river s sacred name h'p began at an early period to be used less than the simple designation 'river' yetor, later pronounced ye'or, yo'or (earliest orthography ytrw, the addition of w being meant to express the fact that w had taken the place of the lost t ; later spelling ywr], whence Coptic eiOOp 'branch of the river', distinguished from i<\pO. S. Egyptian eiepo 'the Nile' ; originally y(e)tar-o(') 'the great river'. This last expression is rendered by the Assyrians iaru'u (Ashur-bani-pal, 4X32; cp Delitzsch, Paradies, 31:2) 4 - i.e. , N. Egyptian |&po or i^po) - whilst the other expression has become very familiar through the Hebrews as -)isr IN (in Am. 8:8 mutilated into -IN).

) is used exclusively of the Nile (Gen. 41:1, Ex. 1:22, 2:3 etc. Ezek. 29:39, Am. 8:8, 9:5; in the last two passages with the addition of 'Egypt', which is requent with the plural), in the plural of the Nile branches in the delta (Ezek. 29:3, 30:12, Ps. 78:44, Is. 7:18, 19:6, 37:25), only in Is. 33:21 of ideal rivers in as late passages as Dan. 12567 of the Tigris (in Job 28:10, where the sense shafts of mines is forced on it by the com mentaries, the text is hardly correct). That LXX mostly renders iroTa.fj.6i; [potamos] may be noted. On the name SHIHOR, see the article on that word.

Naturally, the name Gihon of Gen. 2:13 does not refer to the Nile, although already Ecclus. 24:27 and Josephus know that application. Christian writers, of course, called the Nile Geon after the LXX, in order to show their knowledge of the Bible ; but this is not to be considered as a tradition of any weight. The question where that second river of Paradise is really to be sought for, does not belong here. See GIHON, and PAKADISE, 5.

1 W. GrofTs ne-il-u 'the rivers' (Bnll. Inst. Eg. 1892, p. 165) would, in correct pronunciation, be n-ierou, which has no resemblance to Nile.

2 No etymology is possible. Paronomasias with the root lip. (something like *rj<n) to hide, are, of course, not to be taken seriously.

3 Wiedemann, Herodot's sweites Buck, 93, enumerates various rare Greek designations for the river (Okeane, Aetos, Neileus, Triton), and some ridiculous etymologies from the Greek for the usual name Neilos.

4 Delitzsch s statement that a word ia-u-ri rivers (?) occurs already in an inscription of Adad-nirari I. (about 1325 B.C.) is retracted in Assyr. HandwSrterb. 203 303.

5 Mostly differentiated into the two Nile gods of Upper and Lower Egypt.

6 Papyrus Sallier II. and Anastasi VII. ; cp Maspero, Hytnne au Nil, 1868 (see also Records of the fasti 1 ), 4 105).

2. Beliefs and ceremonies.[edit]

Personified, the Nile is frequently figured as a fat, androgynous deity, 5 with skin painted blue (like water ; sometimes green), wearing a bunch of aquatic plants on his head and the girdle of a fisnerman around his loins, and presenting fresh water (in vases), lotus flowers, fish, and fowl. Such representations are found as early as on statues of dyn. 12. One of the classic school-books, dating from the middle empire, contains a hymn to the good god Nile, 6 'the creator of all good things' ; but he received less regular worship than the local gods presiding over the watercourse of some districts (Satet near the first cataract, for example). Temples are mentioned at Memphis, Heliopolis, and Nilopolis.

[picture of Nile Deity goes here]

At Silseleh (between Asuan and Edfu), where the sandstone range, in prehistoric times, had separated Egypt and Nubia, certain ceremonies and sacrifices from time immemorial welcomed the Nile at the yearly commencement of his rise - i.e. , at the entering of the inundation into Egypt proper. The 'Nile-festivals' (XetXcfSa [Neilooa]) 1 were celebrated through the whole country at that time.

Some of the religious rites have survived to the present day in Christian or Muhammedan disguise, such as the celebration of the 'night of the drop' (falling now on the 17th of June), originally the night in which tears of Isis weeping over Osiris cause the Nile to rise. 2 Also the feast of cutting the dam in August must date from pagan times. 3

1 Described by Heliodorus, 9 9. Cp Wiedemann, Herodofs zweites Buch, 365.

2 Isis' tears drop, according to this myth, from heaven, in the 'night of weeping'. According to another version, she mourns in the lower world where her dead husband lies. A variant makes the river come out of Osiris 'body itself. Thus the statement of Greek times, identifying Osiris and the Nile, is intelligible, as well as the importance of Isis in the preservation of all organic life, due, in Egypt, entirely to the irrigation. See below on the earliest form of these myths combining Osiris and the invisible source. [Cp G. Margoliouth, Liturgy of the Nile,}

3 A strange tale of the Talmud to the effect that Joseph's coffin rested in the depths of the Nile, has no parallel in Egyptian customs. The sacred river seems to have been kept from defilement by corpses, in great contrast to the negligence of the modern Egyptians.

4 Half correctly Anaxagoras : the melting of snow in the Ethiopian mountains.

5 Cp Odyss. 4477 fitijrTT)s irora/iidt?

6 This view is found in Greek writers, and already in the Petersburg tale, written about 1900 B.C.

3. Sources and yearly rise.[edit]

The true causes of the yearly rise of the Nile were, of course, not known to the ancient Egyptians ; for this their geographical horizon was to narrow. (In dynasties eighteen to twenty-one, the pharaohs had a certain rule over the valley as far S. as the sixth cataract, and even before that time [EGYPT, 47] commercial expeditions may have penetrated farther S. , but neither into the highlands of Abyssinia nor to the equatorial lake-regions. ) The ancient Greeks discussed the mystery with special interest (Strabo, 136 ; Herod. 2:19+, etc. ) ; the correct explanation (the tropical winter-rains) 4 is found first in Aristotle (Meteor, i. 12:19). Herodotus (2:19) wonders at the lack of interest in the problem which he found among the Egyptian priests ; they were, indeed, perfectly satisfied with the old mythological explanations, exactly as they taught to the last days of paganism the childish geography inherited from the most primitive period : the Nile has his source or sources at the seat of Osiris, in the realm of the dead, which is both in the Lower World and in heaven ; 5 it comes to light at the first cataract, flowing in two whirlpools from two 'fountain-holes' (Kerti} ; one river runs N. , the other S. ; as the northern branch empties into the Mediterranean, so the southern river ends in the Indian ocean. 6 We see here the tendency to confine the name Nile to the part flowing through Egypt N. and S. of Elephantine and Philas. The endless course of the river is alluded to frequently, 1 so that the proverbial idea about its real source- may be older than Greek times.

The true beginning of the White Nile (cp EGYPT, 6) is now sought in the Kagera river, 3[degrees] S. of the equator, so that the total length of the Nile is about 4000 miles. Its six cataracts are all situated N. of Khartum. Whilst it has many affluents S. of the roth degree, N. of this it receives only the Atbara and the Blue (better Black - i.e. , turbid) Nile, the rivers Astaboras and Astapus of the Ancients. The yearly inundation is chiefly due to the Blue Nile, which brings the water of the Abyssinian winter-rains. The swelling of the river is noticed in Khartum in the first days of May, near the first cataract about June 1st, at Cairo at the end of that month. The maximum is there reached in October (EGYPT, 7). The classical writers are approximately correct in speaking of 100 days of swelling. The water becomes turbid and red (for some days it is coloured green by parts of rotten water-plants) ; it turns clear again when the river begins to sink. With the exception of the time of the 'green Nile', the water is pleasant and wholesome.

The great importance of the yearly inundation, which alone makes agriculture possible in Egypt, was well known to the Greeks ; less generally known was the necessity of artificial assistance by dykes, canals, and machines for lifting the water, which makes the life of the Egyptian peasant so hard. In antiquity, the inundation seems to have been somewhat more abundant, as old water-marks show, 3 but hardly more regular. Too high inundation causes great ravages, especially in the lowlands of the Delta ; an insufficient rise, on the other hand, brings a failure of the crops and famine. The most desirable rise was considered to be 16 Egyptian cubits. 4 Bad years in consequence of a 'small Nile' 5 are mentioned frequently from the time of the middle empire (see EGYPT, 7, n. 2, on a legend of seven years of famine). The rising of the floods was accordingly observed with great anxiety by means of official Nilometers - i.e. , graduated wells (most famous are the ancient one of Elephantine and that from Arabian times on the island of Roda at Cairo). Religious services for the purpose of imploring the granting of a great Nile are known from all ages, from pagan down to Muhammedan times. Whether the annual sacrifice (to the Nile) of a virgin at Memphis is historical may be doubted - at least for the Christian age of Egypt, to which Arab writers wish to attribute it. Cp for all the preceding remarks, EGYPT, 6-7.

W. M. M.

1 'The circle of gods does not know whence thou art', AZ, 1873, p. 129 ; only the souls of the dead will see Isis 'revealing the Nile in his secrecy', Book of the Dead, 146.

2 Kniitgen, Die Ansickten tier Alien iil erdie Nilquellen, 1876 (Wiedemann, I.e. 113).

3 Cp especially those at Thebes, A Z 34, 1896, in and 95. The strange water-marks at Semneh in Nubia (LD ii. 189), which would show that, in dynasty 12, the Nile rose there (above the second cataract, where the river may not yet have broken through) 25 ft. higher than nowadays, are best left aside (cp col. 1208, n. 2, end). In Egypt proper the (very slow) raising of the ground by the alluvium may have changed the conditions somewhat. The frequent assumption that the fields are raised faster than thp bed of the river is, however, disputed.

4 Cp the sixteen children playing round the famous statue of the Nile in the Vatican. The height varies, however, con siderably according to the locality. Does sixteen apply to Memphis? (Plut. fs. 43, Arist. 2361, give fourteen cubits for M.)

6 Decree of Canopus, l. 7, Greek text, l. 16. The Greek text translates by a.fipo\ia. [abrochia].


(rnPJ), Nu. 32:3. See BETH-NIMRAH.


(Dn3 VD, leopard waters ; cp BETH-NIMRAH ; much less probably limpid waters ), a stream in the land of Moab (Is. 156, N6MHpeiM [BQ m &-], NeBpiM [X], Ne/vxpeiM [AQ*], NeBnpeiM [r]; Jer.48 34 . NeBpeiN [B], -M [N], Ne/wpei/yv [Q]. eBplM [A]). The elegy on Moab (see ISAIAH ii., 9) complains that the waters of Nimrim are becoming 'a desolation ; withered is the grass, gone is the herbage, verdure there is none'. It is not a prophecy of what God will bring about ; the picture is not merely anticipative ; the barbarity of foemen is to blame (2 K. 3:19, 3:25). The picture is completed in Is. 15:9 (emended text), which states that 'the waters of Nimrim (see DIMON) are full of blood' ; the warriors of Moab have teen cut down on its banks, and the stream is reddened with gore (cp Jer. 48:2, where MADMEN [q.v] should be Nimrim). This apparently explains the cry of woe (v. 8) which echoes from the S. to the N. of the land (see EGLAIM). Presumably Nimrim itself is in the S. of Moab. It is therefore not the same as BETH-NIMRAH (q.v. ) or Nimrah - i.e., Tell Nimrin - at the foot of the mountains opposite Jericho, though apart from its situation the Wady Nimrin, as the lower part of the W. So'aib (cp HOBAB) is called, answers to the description of the former state of Nimrim. 1 We must look for a trace of a Nimrim farther S. ; in fact, it seems doubtful whether Beth-Nimrah is not too far N. to have been reckoned as Moabitish.

According to Eusebius and Jerome (OSW, 28432 ; 143:11) the place intended is one which was known in their day as fhivva- jxapeiji, bennamerium, and lay to the N. of Zoar (at the extreme S. end of the Dead Sea ; see ZOAR). Either the reference is to the Wfuly en-Numera, which traverses a region now waste and stony, but perhaps not so in early times, or, if not, the name which was once applied more widely has lingered here by the caprice of fortune. 2

Tristram speaks of the 'plenteous brooks gushing from the lofty hills into the Ghor en-Numeira' (Land of Moab, 46-47). The name, which may possibly contain a relic of totemism (cp LEOPARD), was apparently not very un common. See OS^, 28422, 142:32, for another evidence of this (it is the great Wady Nimreh in Hauran, E. of Shubha, that is meant). T. K. C.


(TtipX "lhO3 [1 Ch. 1:10, Mic. 5:5]; NeBPOOA, NeBpOON [E and D in Gen. 10:9] ; N&BpCOAHC [ ? - / - NeBp.], Jos.). A son of Cush, and one of the primitive heroes (Gen. 10:8+, [J2 ], 1 Ch. 1:10+). There is much that is singular and exciting to the curiosity in the account of Nimrod.

1. Biblical references.[edit]

The sons of Cush in Gen. lOy (P) are the representatives of peoples ; but here is a son of Cush who, however legendary, is no mere genealogical fiction, but apparently the first of the imperial despots known to the Israelites. His name was evidently as familiar to those from whom the tradition in Gen. 108^ is derived as it was to the people of his own country ; and if we could only understand what is said about him, we ought to be able to restore the name which underlies the form Nimrod. It is stated in the tradition (vv. 10-12) that his rule began in Babylon, and then extended to Erech, Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar, from which country he went to Assyria, and founded Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and Resen. Several of these names, however, are obscure. Even SHINAR and ACCAD have not been explained beyond question, whilst CALNEH, REHOBOTH-IR, and especially RESEN still remain in a high degree doubtful. The description of Nimrod in v. 8-9 is also somewhat puzzling. 'He began to be a mighty one (133, yiyas [gigas], see GIANTS) in the earth. He was a mighty one in hunting (TS 132) before Yahwe ; therefore, it is said, like Nimrod a mighty one in hunting before Yahwe'. We also meet with the phrase 'the land of Nimrod', parallel to Assyria, in Mic. 5:6 [5:5]. This too has not been adequately explained (see 2, end).

Bruston's supposition that Nimrod ben Cush is the name symbolised by the mystic number in Rev. 13:18 is, we may fear, only a curiosity.

1 This is the view of Ges., Hi., Del., Che. [formerly], Bad.- Socin ( 'probably' ), and especially Wetzstein (see Del. Gt fi.W, 572)-

2 Buhl (Pal. 272), Di. This view suits the identification of Horonaim with the ruins near the Wady ed-Derfi a (Buhl, 272). Horonaim is mentioned in the elegy just before Nimrim.

2. Earlier theories of name.[edit]

That the name Nimrod must have suggested to the Hebrews the idea of 'rebellion' ( v /-no [root MRD]) is obvious. The foreign cities, however, shows that it is merely a Hebraised form of a foreign name. Sayce formerly (TSBA 2m/.}, Grivel (ib. 8136^1), and Wellhausen (CH 309^) have combined Nimrod with Merodach (Marduk), who was originally the local god of Babylon, and is said to have had four dogs (Jensen, Kosmol. 131). Apart, however, from the reference to Nimrod's hunting (if 7'X is correct), there is no parallelism between the two, and it was therefore a more plausible idea of G. Smith the Assyriologist ( TSBA 1:205 and elsewhere), Maspero (Dawn of Civ., 1899, p. 573), P. Haupt (Nimrod-epos), and A. Jeremias (Izdubar-Nimrod) to identify Nimrod with the legendary hunter-king of Erech, whose name is now read as Gilgamesh (see CAINITES, ENOCH), and with whom one of the cities (Erech) mentioned in the traditional text of Gen. 10:10 is closely connected. liven this parallelism, however, is incomplete, and the name remains unexplained. 1 Haupt and Hilprecht have, therefore, looked out for a historical personage whose name might conceivably be worn down into Nimrod. The hero selected is Nazimarattash 2 (14th cent. B. C. ), one of those warlike Kashshite kings of Babylonia (see CUSH, 2) who were constantly invading Palestine, and continued their intrigues in that country to the very end of the Egyptian rule.

The contract tablets of the Kassite period are said to abound in such abbreviations as that of TC3 [NMRD] for Nazimarattash. The theory is well thought out. This Kassite king might conceivably have been remembered as a representative of the Kassite kings, and have been credited with the conquests of other Kassites. It should be noticed, however, that the synchronous history of Assyria and Babylonia states that Nazimarattash was defeated at Kar-Ishtar-akarsal by Adad-nirari I., king of Assyria, which was followed by an extension of the Assyrian frontier (A~.#li97; J?P( l ), 830; cp BABYLONIA, 47).

1 No one would now explain 'Nimrod' as Namra-uddu, 'the brightly shining', or Namra-zit, 'the brightly rising'.

2 See Haupt, A ndove r Review, July 1884 ( The Language of Nimrod the Cushite ), and cp University Circulars (Baltimore), vol. xi. no. 98 (May 1892), and Hilprecht, Assyriaca. This view was accepted as probable by Sayce (Acad. March 2, 1895; cp Pat. Pal. 269 ; Exp. T 8 180) and Cheyne (Acad. March 9 and May ii, 1895). Marattas is stated to be the Kassite god of hunting.

3. Probable key to legend.[edit]

This identification of Nimrod, however, is not free from objection. If Nimrod had been represented solely as a conqueror it would be adequate on the grounds mentioned above. He is more especially represented, however, as a great founder or fortifier of cities, and Haupt's theory does not throw any light on this representation. Moreover, the difficulties connected with the names of the cities and with the phrase gibbor sayid, TX 133, remain, and as a point of method we ought first of all to seek to clear up these names in the light of probable conclusions attained elsewhere in the criticism of traditional names (see, e.g. , SODOM).

The least serious difficulty is that connected with TS 123 (EV a mighty hunter) in Gen. 10:9a. This phrase can hardly be right. Esau was surely the great mythical hunter of the Israelites. If Gilgames, the hunting king of Erech, is to be identified with Enoch (see CAINITES, 6, ENOCH), we must suppose that he was despoiled of his reputation as a hunter to please Israelitish taste. For TS 133 there are plausible alternatives - to read j "l3 133, as in v. 8), or to regard TS as a corrupt fragment of some word meaning 'ruler' or leader (most probably J SJ3, judge, general, prince ). The second alternative is preferable : it was as an able ruler and general, not as a hunter, that 'Nimrod' made his reputation, and was remembered in a popular song.

The key to the names will be found by recognising the Arabian Cush not only in Gen. 10:6-7, but also in v. 8. It follows from this that, as in Gen. 14 and elsewhere, the editors of the traditional text have made a huge mistake, through starting with a wrong theory. The following restoration may not be in all points correct ; but it probably approaches the truth. For J3 l we should almost certainly read ^1, 'and he smote' (to suit | S(5).

The suggested restoration of the text makes the passage read as follows :

And the beginning of his kingdom was Jerahmeel in the land of Seir. From that land he went forth into Geshur, and smote Hebron, Rehoboth, Jerahmeel, and Beersheba, which is between Hebron and Jerahmeel.

On the possible or probable connection of the Nimrod passage with Gen. 6:1-4 and 11:1-8 see NKPHILIM, and on the Jerahmeelite origin of early Hebrew stones see PARADISE.

Now as to the name of the conqueror. LXX{AD} gives it as Nehrod, which is almost certainly right. It is probably a condensed form of Bir-dadda, which is given else where (see BEDAD) as the probable original of Bedad. Considering that the conqueror spoken of must have been prominent in Hebrew tradition, we may without undue boldness assume that the Husham ben Zerah and the Hadad ben Bedad in the list of Edomite kings (Gen. 36:34-35) have been rolled into one by Hebrew legend. Husham is probably the original of the CUSHAN-RISHATHAIM [q.v.] of Judg. 3:7-11, whose name should be read 'Cushan from the land of the Temanites'. That this oppressor was traditionally king of Edom, not Mesopotamia, is probable from the Kenizzite origin of Othniel. His real name may have been Bir-dadda ; 4 'Cushan' is a term descriptive of his origin, not his name. So Hadad b. Bedad would be really the son of the so-called Cushan-rishathaim, and his conquests may have been added to those of his father to com plete the legendary picture. The main point, however, is that Nimrod led the Jerahmeelite migration from Edom into S. Canaan ; this may well be a historical fact. We now understand the parallelism of 'land of Nimrod' and Assyria in Mic. 5:6 [5:5]. -iiB K (Asshur) is constantly used in lieu of -iitr: (Geshur), and refers to a district on the border of S. Canaan. Cp MICAH [BOOK], 4, MIZRAIM, 2b.

4. Nimrod not a myth.[edit]

The theories considered above differ radically from one which had considerable vogue formerly, and was accepted by Hitzig (BHw ff.), Tuch { Genesis w t l83)j and Finzi (Kicerche, 542) - that Nimrod was originally, not the legendary first king of Babylon (?), but the constellation of Orion. The Chronicon Paschale (ed. Dindorf, 64) says that the Persians assert of Nimrod that he became a god, and was identical with the constellation of Orion ; cp the Arabic name of Orion jabbar = Heb. gibbar, liaa. the title given to 'Nimrod' in Gen. 10:8-9 (see ORION). It is just as plausible, however, to make 'Nimrod' into a solar hero (so Goldziher in 1876) on the deceptive ground that it is said in a Midrash that 365 kings (equal to the days of the solar year) ministered to him. Cp ENOCH, 2.

5. Jewish Aggada.[edit]

Jewish Aggada made Nimrod the founder of the Tower of Babel (Jos Ant. 1:4:2-3), and, by a still further licence, imagined him to have persecuted Abraham, because the patriarch would not worship his false gods (cp Josh. 24:2). The latter legend migrated to the Arabs (cp Koran, Sur. 21:52-59), and several mounds of ruins even now bear Nimrod's name, especially the well-known Birs Nimrud (see BABEL, TOWER OF).

On the name and application of Nimrod cp also Lagarde, Armemsche Studien in A bh. Ges. Gott. 22 77 and N old. ZDMG 28 270 (Persia called house of Nimrod in an old Syrian book) ; and on earlier explanations of the name, cp Dr. in Guardian, May 20, 1896. T. K. C.

1 There is much dittography, as often (e.g., i S. 1 i) where the name Jerahmeel is concerned. See Crit. Bib.

2 On these see Winckler, GI 1 192.

3 The initial comes from dittography (accidental repetition of a letter).


( C 5 IM, N A/v\e[c]c[e]l [BAL]), ancestor of JEHU (q.v. ) ; cp ISSACHAR, 4 ; 1 K. 19:16 (NAMecGei [B, om. A]) 2 K. 9:2 (A./v\ecei [A]) 14 (NAMGCCA [A a ]) ao ( N AAA6[c]c[]lOY[BA]) 2 Ch. 22:7 . The name should probably be Amashai (a more plausible form than Amasai). 3 Jehu was lien Jehoshaphat = ben Sephathi, 'son of a Zephathite' ; also ben Amashai = ben Yishmaeli, 'son of an Ishmaelite'. Elijah and Elisha, who, according to different versions of the tradition, promoted Jehu's accession, were both, it has been suggested elsewhere (PROPHET, 7), Zarephathites. Now Zephath and Zarephath are designations of the same famous place on the border of N. Arabia. See SHAPHAT, TISHBITE, ZAREPHATH. Jehu (whose name perhaps = Jehoel = Elijah = Jerahmeel) may therefore have been an adventurer from the far south. T. K. c.


(H1V3, NiNeyH [NHNCYH, NHNCYI], Ninive ; classical H NINOC, Ass. Ninaa, Ninua ; Lk. 11:32, 'men of Nineve', AtsiApec NiNeyeiT&i [Ti.WH], Lk. 11:30 Ninevites; and so NiNey |THC [ A Tob . 1:12 ], MIN YHTHC [* Tob. 2*]).

1. The name.[edit]

No satisfactory derivation of the name has been given ; nor can be till the question has been settled whether the city was originally peopled by a non-Semitic race. The ideogram seems composed of those for 'house' and 'fish' (cp JONAH [BOOK], 4). This has suggested to some (Tiele, BAG 84, 90) the connection of Ishtar, the city goddess, with a fish-goddess, daughter of the god Ea. A non-Semitic derivation of Ni-na-a has been attempted. So far as -na is concerned, Delitzsch was of opinion that it means 'resting-place' (Par. 260). We might also explain Nin-ia, 'my lady', comparing the many by-names of Ishtar as 'the lady' ; if it could be shown that Nin, 'lady', had ever passed into Semitic.

Nineveh is said (Gen. 10:11) to have been founded by Nimrod in Assyria. This may be taken to assume the previous existence of the old capital Ashur. The mention with it and Calah of Rehoboth-Ir and Resen as forming the Assyrian 'Tetrapolis', may be due to a desire to balance the Babylonian Tetrapolis (in Gen. 10:10). At any rate, there is no reason to suppose that in early times these four formed a continuous city. [For the bearing of this remark and for criticism of the traditional text of Gen. 10:10-12, see NIMROD]. In later times with such historians as Ctesias and Diodorus the name Nineveh may simply have denoted a province, the Assyria proper between the four rivers. There is, however, no proof that, in the Sargonide period up to the fall of Nineveh, Calah was subordinate. Each city retained its separate Shaknu or prefect, and in the official lists Nineveh stands below Calah. Great emphasis has been laid on the approximate correspond ence of a tetrapolis formed by Nineveh, Calah, Khorsabad, and Keramlis with the dimensions of Nineveh given by Diodorus, and with a forced interpretation of the vague phrase in Jonah (3:3), 'an exceeding great city, of three days journey'. 1 Against this must be set the results of Jones survey of the ruins and district (JRAS 15:297-298). There is no trace of a common wall. Moreover, the separate cities of Nineveh, Calah, and Khorsabad are fortified as strongly towards the interior of the assumed city as on the exterior. In sales of land in Nineveh itself, the road to Calah is as frequently named as the 'king's highway' to Arbela.

2. Situation.[edit]

Nineveh was situated at the NW. angle of an irregular trapezium of land which lay between the rivers Husur (Khausar] on the NW., Gomel on the NE and E Upper Zab on the SE. and S., and Tigris on the S. and W. In extent this plain is 25 mi. by 15 mi. , and contains the ruins of Nineveh at Kuyunjik and Nebi Yunus, of Dur-Sargon at Khor sabad to the NE. , and of Calah to the S. of Nimrud. The whole plain has a gradual slope from the low range of Jebel Maklub and the hill of Ain-es-safra to the Tigris on the W. This plain was for those days amply protected on three sides by the two rapid broad currents of the Tigris and the Zab, the hills on the NE. and the river Gomel at their base. The weak NW. side was partly protected by the Husur, in winter impassable but in summer easily fordable. The floods caused by the Husur were frequent and destructive ; on one occasion sweeping away part of the palace and exposing the coffins of the kings. A series of dams was therefore constructed (mapped and described in 'Topography of Nineveh', 1 JRAS 318+) which controlled the floods and filled the ditches and moats of Nineveh. One of these ditches runs over 2 mi. with a breadth of 200 ft. and was lined with a rampart on the city-side. To these dams there may be a reference in Nah. 2:6 [2:7], 'The gates of the rivers are opened'.

The city on the river-side of the Tigris extended about 2.5 mi. , its N. wall measured 7000 ft. , the eastern wall was nearly 3 mi. long, and the southern about 1000 ft. The city thus formed a narrow long strip against the Tigris, pierced at right angles by the Husur, the waters of which could, by closing the great dam, be sent round the moats instead. The actual extent of Nineveh proper is about 1800 acres or about two-thirds the size of Rome within Aurelian's Wall. It would contain a population of 175,000 on the allowance of 50 sq. yds. to a person. Outside this citadel city lay the 'outskirts' (kablu), which seem to have had an independent municipal existence under their own Shaknu (or shakintu = lady-governor). Farther afield and apparently close to Khorsabad lay Rebit Ninua, or the piazza (see REHOBOTH-IR). In the case of a siege, doubtless the whole population of this outlying neighbourhood would take refuge within the city moats and walls.

1 [For the probable origin of the very strange topographical note in Jon. 3:3b, see PROPHET.]

3. Modern explorations.[edit]

[district map of Nineveh goes here] Nineveh was first localised in modern times by Rich, Resident at Bagdad for the East India Company about 1820. Sir H. Layard by his explorations definitely fixed it at Kuyunjik (1845-47 and 1849-51).

The excavations were continued by H. Rassam (1854), G. Smith (1873-76), and again Rassam up to 1882. The enormous mound of Juyunjik, separated from that of Nebi Yunis by the Khausar, marks the site of Sennacherib's palace, covering quite 100 acres. It has been explored to the extent of about 60 rooms (5 are 150 ft. square), all panelled with sculptured slabs of alabaster. The entrances to the palace and to the principal halls were flanked with colossal winged bulls and human-headed lions some 20 ft. high. Close beside this palace was one built by Esarhaddon where the sculpture was of the finest character; but the entire building has not been explored. The mound of Nebi Yitnis, surmounted by the tomb of Jonah, is a sacred spot to the Mohammedans and could not be explored properly. By sinking a shaft within the walls of a private house, however, some sculptured slabs were recovered and the Turkish government opened out, later, part of a palace of Esarhaddon. Outside these mounds excavations were made at two of the great city-gates and showed them to have been built by Sennacherib. The architecture of these palaces is exhaustively dealt with in Fergusson's Palaces of Nineveh and Persepolis Restored (see also Perrot and Chipiez, Art in Chaldiea and Assyria). It should be noted that each palace was in itself a fort, and would require a separate attack. The mounds formed a sort of Acropolis to the town which was walled, moated, and protected by outlying forts.

Within this enclosure and surrounding the palaces were extensive orchards and gardens. It is not possible to decide from the superficial appearance of the ruins whether any part was densely populated by dwellers in streets of houses. The houses unless all built of sun-dried brick without stone must have left more evident remains. The inscriptions, however, imply streets, as well as orchards in Nineveh, so that a house abutted on three sides against other houses.

[close-up map of Nineveh goes here]

4. History[edit]

The history of Nineveh is of course that of Assyria ; but as most of the Assyrian documents known to us come from Ashur-bani-pal's palace in Nineveh (cp ASHUR-BANI-PAL, 11), and the Kuyunjik collections of tablets in tne British Museum include many commercial documents, there are materials from native sources for its municipal history and topography. Till these are published and understood it would be rash to dogmatise on conjectural grounds. Gudea, king of Lagash (about 2800 B.C.), records having built (or rebuilt) a temple of Ishtar at Nineveh (A Z?3s). Dungi, king of Ur (about 2700 B.C.), left an inscription in Nineveh, unless indeed this was carried there by some Assyrian royal antiquary. The Amarna tablets (1500 B.C.) name Nineveh twice (KB 5 , see under 'Nina' ), each time in connection with Ishtar. The earliest native notices are on the votive bowls of Shalmaneser I. (about 1300 B.C.). These short notices (KB 1:9; 3 R , pl. 5, no. 3-5) are to be read in the light of Tiglath-pileser's reminiscences of Shalmaneser (G. Smith, Ass. Disc. 248). Shalmaneser claims to have renewed the temple of Ishtar (3 /? 5, no. 4).

From later notices we gather that Samsi-Adad (about 1821 B.C.) built a temple of Ishtar, E-Mash-mash and may have renewed Gudea's. Shalmaneser I. (3 R 3, no. 12) relates that his father Adad-nirari (about 1845 B.C.), after an expedition into Babylon, brought back the gods of Babylon, Merodach and Nebo, and built them temples. He also built a palace in Nineveh as well as at Ashur and Calah. Mutakkil-Nusku and Ashur-resh-ishi (1150 B.C.) continued to build at Nineveh. Sennacherib, however, found Nineveh still a wretched poor place, and to him its chief development is due. There were already a factory, an arsenal, a temple, and some fortifications. The place was short of water in summer and flooded in winter. The waters of the Tigris and the Husur (Khausar) were unpalatable, being full of salts, and the inhabitants depended on the 'rains of heaven for drink' ; Sennacherib, therefore, brought an aqueduct from the hills (A 2:117) right into the city. He raised both the wall and the rampart 'mountain high'. He erected there an 'unrivalled' palace (Meissner-Rost, Bau-inschr. Sank. }, built in two portions, one in the Hittite style, the other in the native Assyrian. This is now buried beneath the Nebi Yunis mound. He laid out a paradise with all sorts of exotic plants, and established a kind of zoological garden. Stables for the royal stud, magazines for war-material, extensive offices for all departments of state were closely attached to the palace. At the same time he repaired the king's highway and made a new channel for the Husur. As a consequence Nineveh became and remained the capital and centre of Assyrian empire and culture, soon rivalling in wealth and importance Babylon itself. Here this same king, Sennacherib, brought the chief spoils of his capture and ruthless spoliation of Babylon and other Babylonian cities. Here also he was murdered (68 1 B.C.). In what sense the word 'capital' could be applied to Nineveh before Sennacherib's time, it is hard to see. It was 'the court-residence' under Ashur- bel-kala (about 1050 B.C.), who has left an inscription upon a statue found at Kuyunjik, probably that of a captured goddess. Asur-nasir-pal (about 880 B.C.) also made it his chief seat during the completion of his great works at Calah. To Sennacherib is due its position as capital without rival till its fall. Esarhaddon and Ashur-bani-pal maintained this position. Under the last kings Ashur-edil-ilani and Sin-shar-ishkun, sons of Ashur-bani-pal, the history of Nineveh becomes very obscure. The relations of classical authors are to be received with great caution till the data of the inscriptions have been worked out.

5. Its fall.[edit]

The date of the fall of Nineveh has been placed in 608-7 B.C. It was due to the overwhelming onslaught of the Manda hordes. Whether the Babylonians took any active part in its capture awaits decision. Nabonidus in his recently discovered stele (Scheil, Receuil de Travaux, 18:15+, and Messerschmidt, Mitt. der Vorderas. Ges. , no. I ) gives us the first published inscriptional reference to the fall of Nineveh. The pious king regards it as a retribution from the gods for the desecration and spoliation of their temples by Sennacherib. He does not attribute any share in its destruction to the Babylonians, but claims the invader as an ally of Babylon, and emissary of Marduk.

Actual details as to the fall of Nineveh are scarcely to be expected from its own inscriptions. The contribution made to the question by the state of the ruins is small, but definite as far as it goes. Most of the buildings laid bare in Kuyunjik had suffered from fire ; but no portion of the walls seems to have been washed away by water. The dykes and dams on the Husur seem to have been the vulnerable part, and once these were broken by an unusual flood or the hostile efforts of the invader the city must have lain open to assault. A full discussion of the fall of Nineveh cannot be given here. For this and for other important archaeological and historical details the reader should consult Billerbeck and Jeremias in the work referred to below, on which, in its relation to the prophecy of Nahum, see NAHUM.

For maps and illustrations (profuse), see Billerheck and Jeremias's Der Untergang Ninives in vol. 3 of Haupt's Beitr. z. Ass.

See now T. Friedrich s exhaustive art. Nineve's Ende in Fastgaben for Budinger.

H. C. \V. J.


(N6I<J)6IC [B]), 1 Esd. 5:21 RV = Ezra 2:30, MAGBISH (q.v. ), or possibly Nebo.


(tp i), Neh. 2:1. See MONTH.


Clpj ; in 2 K., ecApA\ [B]; ecGp. [A]; AC p. [L] ; in Is. NAC&P&X [B]- AC&p. [AOQ], ACARAK [K] ; Jos. ARACKH [Ant. x. 1 s ]). An

Assyrian god, in whose temple SENNACHERIB (q.v. } was worshipping when he was slain (2 K. 19:37, Is. 37:38). The two most prominent explanations are :

  • (1) to omit n and ch as, possibly, accretions, and restore ncM - i.e. , Ashur, to whom Sennacherib in his inscriptions repeatedly refers as 'my lord' (so Schr. KAT^, 329) ; or
  • (2) to read 7J1DJ, the 'constr. state' of Nusku, a god connected with Nabu, and also identified with Gibil, the fire-god (so in the main Sayce, Theol. Rev. 1873, p. 27; Hal. REJ, Oct.-Dec., 1881, p. 183; Del. Calwer Bib.-Lex., 1893, p. 630). On Nusku, see Jastrow, Rel. of Bab. and Ass.; G. Hoffm. 7. A \\-zbo /.

But to ignore n and ch altogether is hazardous. On the other hand, it is not likely that one of the less-known deities should be specified as Sennacherib's god. We must wait for further light, remarks Kittel (Dillm. Jes. 329). Light on the name Nisroch, however, can hardly be expected, the presumption being that, like other names of Assyrian and Babylonian deities in the later narratives, it is corrupt. We may suppose it to be miswritten either

  • (i) for ^a[i]:j?, 'Anumelech' (the Anammelech of MT, 2 K. 17:31; see SHAREZER), or
  • (2), more probably, for 77ro. Marduk (the 'Merodach' of MT). The pointing reminds us of -npj. which has

also been lately identified with -p-)O.

It may be pointed out here that the name 'Adrammelech', given to one of Sennacherib's murderers, is almost certainly, like 'Nisroch', a corruption of -pio 'Marduk'. Probably it stood originally in the margin as a variant to -pDj, and made its way into the text at the wrong point. Cp Che. Exp. T 9 429 (1898).

Meinhold (Jesajacrzcihhingcn, 1898, p. fif.) thinks ach in LXX's form of Nisroch may represent aku, the Sumerian name of the moon-god. The view is as improbable as a similar explanation of MESHACH and SHADRACH (qq.v.). T. K. C.


(~irO, nether: Prov. 25:20 [RVmg SODA]; Jer. 2:22+ [RV LYE]), as now used, denotes potassium nitrate, which is often found as an efflorescence on the soil in dry hot districts. The ancients, however, certainly meant by vlrpov or nitrum a carbonate of soda (natron). This salt occurs native in W. Europe, Egypt, India, etc. ; the natron lakes in Egypt, dreary as the country is, are visited for the sake of the famous Christian monasteries. The best natron is that taken from the low ground surrounding the lakes, which is not covered by water, inj, nether, as representing a mineral alkali, is opposed to jvna, borith, which represents a vegetable alkali (see LYE and SOAP). Mixed with oil, it was apparently used for washing clothes (see Jer. 2:22).

What 'vinegar on nitre' (or 'soda' ) in the received text of Prov. 25:20 can mean, is not obvious. The effect of the acid vinegar on the alkali natron would be to destroy the efficiency of the latter, an idea quite unsuitable to the context. LXX has 'as vinegar for a wound'. See Toy, ad lac.


See No-AMON.


(nHiriJ, as if 'Yahwe promises', 1:33; probably an ethnic, cp Moadiah, Maadiah, Neariah).

1. b. Binnui, a Levite, temp. Ezra, Ezra 8:33 (voaSfi [BA 1 ], VUIOL&O. [A*], icoa66eia [L])=MoETH son of Sabban [RV SABANNUS] 1 Esd. 8:63 (/utoefl o-a/San/ou [BA], iiaiaSfia [L]).

2. A prophetess or (LXX) prophet, an opponent of Nehemiah, Neh. 6 14 (\T Sia. TU> wpo^Tjrr) [BN], [TW] via.] T(u np. [A], [rfl]

  • )5>) 77) 7rpo</> [L]).


(HJ ; Nooe [BAL, occasionally NOAl]), son of Lamech in the Sethite genealogy, chief survivor from the Deluge, and second father of mankind, Gen. 5:28-32 (P, but in v.29 J1), 6:8-9:17, 9:28 (P, J, R), 1 Ch. 1:4 ; also the first husbandman to plant vines, Gen. 9:20-27 (J1).

1. Name.[edit]

Hommel has lately derived 'Noah' from Nuh-napishti, which he prefers to Sit-napishti 1 as the name of the hero of the Babylonian Deluge-story.

The ideogram (UD) before napishti may in fact mean 'to pacify, or quiet', pushshuhu ; and nuhu is a synonym for pushshuhu. In usage, however, nuhu is found only with libbi (heart) and kabitti (liver), not with napishti (which, moreover, generally means 'life', not 'mind' ).

It is a more important objection that the hero of the Deluge-story cannot have been the Noah of Gen. 9:20-27. Either there were two Noahs - a most improbable view - or Noah in the Deluge-story is incorrect (see below). Ball's ingenious argument in favour of Nuh-napisti (Teachers Bible, 1898) is therefore unavailing. This scholar (in SBOT, Gen. ) would correct ucnr in Gen. 5:29 into nr (5ia.v<nra.u(re<.i]/ji8.s [dianapausei emas]), whilst Wellhausen retaining the text imagines a second form of the name, Noham 'comforter'. 2 Wellhausen's view is the more plausible. It is, however, not impossible to suppose that Lamech merely plays on the name Noah (cp Gen. 17:5 ). He may be pointing prophetically to some refreshment which man, wearied by his labour on the ungrateful soil, will receive through Noah. Almost certainly his speech alludes to the discovery of the properties of the vine (cp the use of comfort in Jer. 167). It is true, such a reference does not at all suit the role played by Noah in the Deluge-story of J2 . However, most probably the original name of the hero of this narrative was not Noah, but Enoch ; the final T in -pn became effaced, n and 3 were transposed, and, other editorial reasons probably facilitating this, the hero of the Deluge and the inventor of wine (who belongs to a narrative of human origines which had no Deluge) were, infelicitously enough, combined (see DELUGE). It is worth noticing that according to P the Deluge lasted 365 days - i.e. , a solar year - whilst 365 years are stated in Gen. 5:23 to have been the duration of Enoch's life. The coincidence is hardly accidental (cp also DELUGE, 16, n).

1 Sit-napisti should mean 'rescue of life' ; the phrases ust napisti and ana napisti usu occur. But if Scheil's reading of a fragment of a new Deluge-story is correct the name is Pir-napishti. See DELUGE, 2, n. 2, and 22.

2 We. De xcntibus, 38, n. 3 ; cp Ber. rabba, 25 (on Gen. 5:29) According to R. Johanan, name and explanation do not tally. Either he named him Noah, or he named him Nahman. See further, 3.

2. Place in legends.[edit]

Noah, however (i.e. , the true Noah mentioned by J1), was more than the inventor of wine ; he represents the first halt, or rather the starting-point, in the migration of the group of peoples, with which J1 connects the Israelites, from their earlier home in Babylonia, or rather (see PARADISE) in N. Arabia. He was, therefore, not a divine hero (like other mythical inventors of wine) but personifies the starting-point of the migrating Hebrews 1 which may in the original story have been placed in the Jeralimeelite Rehoboth, so that Noah would correspond to TERAH in the document on which J2 appears to be based, just as SHEM (q.v. ) corresponds to Abraham. There - in a soil suitable for the culture of the vine (cp NEGEB, 7), Noah began to till 2 the ground (Gen. 9:20) - i.e., according to this early fragment he was the first nomad who became a systematic agriculturist (a duplicate therefore of Jabal). His name agrees with this. It describes him as no longer a wanderer (-n ; cp Gen. 4:12), but 'settled' (n:) ; ru 'rest' ( = rm ; cp Driver, Sam. xxxii. ) might refer to the dispersion referred to in 11:9. His special service to civilisation was that he planted a vineyard. The consequences are described in Gen. 9:21-23, and, naturally enough, are not referred to by later writers. It was enough for them that Noah was 'a righteous and a blameless man', and, like Enoch, 'walked with God' (Gen. 6:9 P). As such he is wellknown to Ezekiel (who doubtless had a fuller JE than we have); see Ezek. 14:14, 14:20, and cp ENOCH. He is also one of the heroes praised by Sirach (Ecclus. 44:17-18), who says that, 'in a time of extermination he became a representative' or 'successor' (tj^nn, avraXXay/jLa. [autallagma]), and that 'for his sake there was a remnant'. The second Isaiah, or his continuator, mentions him as the hero of the Deluge (Is. 54:9), and several didactic references are made to Noah in the New Testament.

3. As eponym.[edit]

We can now arrive at a more definite conclusion as to the name of this personage which was originally, not Noah but Naham. The clans called NAHAM and NAHAMANI probably revered this hero of legend as specially their heros eponymos, and it may perhaps be more than a mere chance that the prophet Nahum (whose name probably sprang out of a clan-name) is called Tp jN.i, which (see ELKOSHITE) admits of no certain explanation, and may plausibly be corrected into ^C N.T ha-eshkoli - i.e. , the Eshcolite. Cp PROPHET, 39.

Fragments of a lost Apocalypse of Noah (mentioned in Jubilees 10:21) are to be found in the Book of Enoch ; cp APOCRYPHA, 17; APOCALYPTIC, 24, 57. In one of these (ch. 10:6) the birth of Noah is described, and the description suggests that in the Aggada of the time Noah had become assimilated to some extent to Enoch. He appears, in fact, just like a solar hero or even like the 'Ancient of days' himself (see Dan. 7:9 ; cp 10:6). See DELUGE; ENOCH ; SHEM ; HAM ; JAPHETH. T. K. C.

1 The suggestion of this theory is due to Budde, Urgesch. 446+. The whole chapter deserves a careful perusal ; cp Kue. TA.T, 1884, pp. 126 jf. But the hypothesis that the earlier tradition connected the ancestor of the Israelites, not with SHINAR, UR OF THE CHALDEES, and HARAN, but with Geshur, Ir Kadesh, and Rehoboth (also with Hnuran) necessitates a change in the geographical setting of Budde's theory.

2 For B* N which cannot follow Srt l, read BHfP but render this, not 'to plough', but 'to cultivate'. The same meaning is required in Job 4:8, Hos. 10:13. Cp Ass. ereshu, 'to plant, sow, cultivate' ; ereshi (irishi) 'tillage' (Am. Tab. 55:1).


(HW ; NOY& [ so to in L for Neah Josh. 19:13], a daughter of Zelophehad (Nu. 26:33 [26:37], NOYCA [F] I 27:1, 36:11, Josh. 17:3). Probably the name of a town or district ; cp NEAH, which, however, was in Zebulun. See HOGLAH, MENUHAH.

NO / NO-AMON[edit]

([jlK] N3) is the name of a large Egyptian town.

1. Name.[edit]

LXX in Nah. has 'part of Ammon' [fj.epis 1 Afifj,uv] ; elsewhere Ai6s ir6Xu, Vg. Alexandria (rendering Amon by 'populorum' ; so also AV with 'populous No' ).

The passages are : Nah. 3:8, where the past power and the recent downfall of No-Amon are held up as parallel to the future destruction of Nineveh. Jer. 46:25 threatens with future punishment 'Amon from No (N3O, LXX erroneously, TOV Afifjuav (T OI>) uiof auTTJs = rt33) Vg. tumultum Alexandra), and Pharaoh and Egypt'. Ezek. 30:14-16 mentions No (No, Hex. in various forms) three times, once parallel with Zoan-Tanis, 2 twice with SIN [q.v.], [On the possibility of going behind the present text, and recovering an older form of these prophecies, see PATHROS, 2, PROPHET, 39, etc., and Crit. Bib. T. K. c.]

The tradition given by LXX - Diospolis (i.e., Theboe, Thebes in Upper Egypt) - is doubtless correct, as the combination of No with Am(m)on the local god of Thebes sufficiently shows. Nahum, too, distinctly in dicates that the great capital city of Upper Egypt is meant ( 'Ethiopia was her strength and Egyptians innumerable' ). Less favourable to the identification is the description (v. 8') situated among the rivers (or Nile-branches?), that had the waters round about her, whose rampart was the sea, (and) her wall was of the sea' (better read: whose strength was the sea - or waters? 3 - and [LXX] water her walls). Here the prophet iseems to represent Thebes after the model of most Delta-cities i- .e. , situated on the plain on an artificial mound, surrounded by canals.

It would be difficult to use the term D' strictly in connection with Thebes, which had the Nile only on one (the W.) side. Thebes may indeed have had moats with water on two other sides, but scarcely to the E. Evidently the prophet was not acquainted with the locality of the remote city. (Brugsch, Dict. Geogr. 291, insisting on the encircling waters, identified No with a city in the N E. of the Delta in which he tried to find Rameses ; but his only reason was that Amon once had a temple there.)

The Hebrew name No (cp the Hexaplaric form Nois) is best elucidated by the Assyrian form Ni- ( + vowel?) in Ashur-bani-pal's reports (see Del. Par. 318, etc.).

The Assyrian Ni is clearly identical with the Egyptian expression Nt, 4 'the city', - i.e., the metropolis - which is actually found on the monuments. 5 Probably we should vocalise Ne'e(t).*

1 Transposing and taking N2O as=!~nb. The Hexaplaric versions have uTrep ( = [C) AJU.CUI .

2 Cornill reads with Noph = Moph = Memphis in v. 15 instead of No. Certainly the threefold repetition of the name without apparent reason is strange and unpoetical.

3 This connection with the sea led to an absurd identification with Alexandria - 'per anticipationem' Jerome said. C , 'sea', however, can be used of large rivers such as the Nile (Is. 19:5); or we may emend into D C, 'water'.

4. [hieroglyphs go here]

5. The earliest passage seems to be in the Golenischeff papyrus of the twenty-first dynasty (Rec. Trav. 21, 99); Spiegelberg (op. cit. 53) has furnished an example from about the same time. As for the pronunciation, the sign 'city' stood for nvt, nwyt ; the word itself is written ny, n, etc. In the royal name </<ou(reVT)s [psousennes] it appears as ne, in a Protocoptic text (AZ, 1883, p. 103)35 N. On the demotic form which is traceable to Roman times, cp Griffith, Stories of the High Priests, 97. Evidently the Assyrian and Hebrew orthography represents an earlier form. Cp Brugsch, Diet. Geogr. 316.

6 Brugsch (G. Ag. 373, etc.) supposed as the Egyptian prototype Nit-aa [hieroglyphs go here] (i.e., the consonants nt-'(')t; vocalise approximately ne(i)-o [in later pronunciation]), 'the great city, the capital'. The Assyrian transcription would permit also the reading 'u for 'u, necessary for this etymology. The Egyptian group of signs, however, is not found for Thebes in the inscriptions, and the Hebrew orthography, by its close identity with the Assyrian form, makes it clear that we have no 'Ain at the end.

2. History.[edit]

As capital of the fourth nome of Upper Egypt, we may assign to Thebes a very high antiquity, though before the eleventh dynasty, which was of Theban origin and resided there, it was nothing more than a mediocre country town. Its greatness begins with the rise of the New Empire. After the expulsion of the Hyksos the eighteenth dynasty adorned it with temples and palaces which found no equal in antiquity and, even in ruins, claim our highest admiration. The nineteenth and twentieth dynasties added to its splendour, though some kings now began to reside in the N. of Egypt. The succeeding dynasties neglected Thebes ; but it was still the largest city of Upper Egypt, and the high priests of Amon, residing there, were unrivalled in wealth, even after the failure of their attempt (in 21st dyn. ) to rule the whole country as Pharaohs. Homer's glowing description of hundred-gated Thebes (ll. 9:382) may date from a much later time. The repeated sieges in the wars between the Ethiopians and the Assyrians seem to have largely diminished its population. It is not certain to which of these conquests by the Assyrians Nahum's oracle refers. The first - by Esarhaddon in 670 - seems to have been rather a peaceful occupation ; the second by Ashur-bani-pal (667) and the third (663?)* were accompanied by a plundering of the city, and might have impressed themselves more deeply on the prophet's mind, cp v. 10. Cp NAHUM, 2 ; PROPHET, 39.

There is no evidence or probability that Cambyses exhibited himself at Thebes in that character of senseless destroyer in which he was represented to the Greeks. The Ptolemies still did some building and repairing at Thebes ; but their foundation, Ptolemais (or Psois, el-Menshiyeh), which becamethemost populous city of Upper Egypt, seems to have contributed much to the decay of the old metropolis. The various great revolts against the Ptolemies, especially those under Ptolemy V. Epiphanes and under Ptolemy X. Soter II. (who is reported to have besieged Thebes for 3 [?] years), finally, a siege and storming by Cornelius Gallus (29 B.C.), also an earthquake in 27 B.C., did much to bring ruin to the great temples ; the immense population of former times seems to have dwindled down to some scattered villages from 200 B.C. onwards. To Strabo (24 B.C. ) Thebes was only a city of ruins, exactly as now. The modern ruins of Luxor, Karnak, and Medamut mark the extension of the city proper from S. to N. The suburbs on the western bank of the river may, at certain times, have been considerable ; Rameses III. even seems to have built his residence at the S. end of this part (at Medinet Habu) ; but, in general, the W. side of Thebes (called the Memnonia by classical writers) belonged only to the dead and their worship. The long row of temples, skirting the edge of the arable land like a selvedge, from Medinet Habu to Kurnah, served only for the worship and memory of defunct kings. Behind them, thousands of tombs were hewn in the rocks of Drah abu-l-Negga, Shekh 'abd-el-Kurnah, Kurnet-Murrai, etc. The kings had their tombs in more remote valleys (at Biban el- Muluk) which could easily be shut off by walls. The frequent attempt to explain Nahum's description of No (as surrounded by the Nile), by the situation of Thebes on both sides, is, consequently, very weak. The ancient name 2 is of uncertain pronunciation, probably to be read Wese(t). Why the Greeks called the city Thebes is uncertain ; Lepsius's explanation by the name of the quarter of Karnak, Ope(t), with the article t-ope, is highly improbable.

1 See Winckler, AOF 1 480.

2 [hieroglyphs go here]

3 [hieroglyphs go here]

3. Divinities.[edit]

The local divinities of Thebes were the triad Amon (Ammon of the Greeks, &MOYN in later pronunciation), 3 Mut (or Maut), and Khonsu. Many other divinities also had temples there. In earlier times the divinity of the neighbouring Hermonthis, Montu, held the first place also in Thebes ; later, Amon 1 obtained pre-eminence and, with the rise of Thebes, became the official chief god of Egypt, a function which he kept till after the time of Alexander. Thus he was adopted as chief deity even by the Libyan neighbours of Egypt, and the Ethiopians paid him a fanatical worship as their national god. The Greeks accordingly identified him with their supreme god Zeus, and called his city Diospolis magna (in distinction from Diospolis parva in Middle Egypt ; mod. Hu). Amon has, when represented in human form, a blue skin, and bears two immense feathers on his head, evidently in imitation of the earlier god Minu of Koptos. In animal form he is represented as a ram, mostly distinguished by the sun-disk on his head, thus indicating his solar nature (which, of course, is secondary). On the vehement persecution of Amon by Amenhotep IV. , who even tried to erase the name Amon on all earlier monuments, see EGYPT, 56.

A description of the remarkable ruins of Thebes, among which the great temple of Karnak (chiefly the work of Thotmes III.), that of Luxor (built by Rameses II.), and that of Medinet-Habu (Rameses III.) are the most remarkable, cannot be given here.

W. M. M.

1 The etymology of the name ( 'the hidden one' ) which the priests of the latest time assumed, certainly does not give the original meaning. Perhaps, like the representation (see above, 3), the name has some connection with the god Minu of Coptos. Unaccented, it becomes Amen. The Amarna tablets write Amanu.

2 See Neub. Geogr. 23 ; Buhl, 96.


pj ; NOMBA [BL], N oB& [A] ; but in 1 S. 22:11 NOMMA [B], NOB&G [A]).

The name occurs in the story of David's wanderings (1 S. 21:1 [21:2], 22:9, 22:11, 22:19), also in a vivid prophecy commonly assigned to Isaiah (Is. 10 32), and in a list of Benjamite cities (Neh. 1132). There is also probable evidence of the existence of such a name elsewhere than in Benjamin (cp Guerin, Judte, 8349).

1. Name.[edit]

We find a Nab, NE of Flk in Jaulan, on the road to Damascus, and a Bet Nuba, a little to the right of Yalo (Aijalon), which Robinson identifies with the Peroavvafl or Bethannaba of Eusebius and Jerome (cAST-), 218, 46 ; 90, 27), four (or, as most said eight) R. mi. E. of Lydda (BR 3:54); Eusebius and Jerome themselves, indeed, connect this name with the Anab of Josh. 11:21, 15:50, but are in error (see ANAB). Jerome elsewhere mentions a place called Nobe (cp MX in 1 S. 21:1 H3J), near Lydda, which he identifies with Nob the city of the priests (see BR, I.c.; Buhl, 198, and cp ISHBI-BENOB, NEBO).

If the name Nob (hitherto unexplained) is really a mutilation of Anab, 'grape-town', as suggested elsewhere (see ATHACH), we cannot be surprised at finding the name in different parts of the country.

2. Identification.[edit]

The rather difficult task remains, however, of identifying the Nob mentioned in 1 S. , Is., and Neh. It may be plausibly inferred from Is. 10:32 (@ ^ ^ .^ [en (te) odoo] [corrupt]) and Neh. 11:32 (vo@ [nob] [N c - am s- inf -L] BN*A om. ) that Nob must have lain a little to the N. of Jerusalem, between Anata (Anathoth) on the E. and Bet Hanina (Hananiah) on the W. We require some high point from which Jerusalem shall be visible ; el-Isawiyeh, which has been proposed by Kiepert and others (cp Baed.( 2 117-118), will therefore not do indeed, this place corresponds rather to LAISHAH (g.v.).

The favourite sites are

  • (1) on the ridge on the N. side of the upper Kidron valley (SW of el-Isawiyeh), called by the Arabs sadr, 'breast' (see Valentiner, ZDMG 12:169+ , Muhlau in Riehm, HWB):
  • (2) the hill of Scopus (or cra<j>ei.i [saphein] =D S ^) from which Titus and his legions looked down on the Holy City (Wilson, PEFQ, 1875, p. 95 ; Buhl); and
  • (3) the village of Sha'fat, on the hill to the left of Scopus, where Guerin placed the ancient Mizpah (Grove in Smith, DB ; Conder, PEFQ, 1875, p. 183).

There has, however, perhaps been a fault of method in the investigation as hitherto pursued, and the fact that there is no trace of the name Nob either in the lists of priestly cities, or (except in a passage which must refer to the NE. of Palestine) in the Talmud, 2 or in the modern Palestinian topography, ought to have awakened the suspicions of critics. In the present state of criticism we cannot make any use of Neh. 11:32, for the list in which Nob occurs is too probably the composition of the Chronicler, and in v. 32 the mention of Nob (omitted in BK*A of LXX) is evidently suggested by Is. 10:32.

3. Criticism of Is. 10:32.[edit]

We have to ask, therefore, Does the name Nob really occur in Is. 10:32? The answer must be in the negative. In both parts of v.32 there are clear indications of corruption. The text should run -icy- cTiSx nyrna 'on the hill of God he takes his stand', and at the end of the verse the inappropriate and superfluous phrase dyVTP njnj is a corruption of D n^N nj, 3J 'hill of God', which was originally a marginal correction of the faulty reading which opens v. 32. Was there any specially sacred hill in the line of march between Geba (now Jeba] and Jerusalem ? Of course, it has to be very near the city. There is one - the northern summit of the Mt. of Olives, identified elsewhere (see DESTRUCTION, MOUNT OF) as 'the summit where one worships God' (2 S. 15:32) and 'the mountain of those who worship' (2 K. 23:13 emended text). It is noteworthy that Dean Stanley (Sin. and Pal. 187) had already proposed this summit as the site of the city of Nob. Probably there were houses near the sanctuary ; but there is no evidence of the existence of a town there.

3. Nob in 1 S.[edit]

Nob is also said to be referred to in 1 S. 21:1, 22:9, 22:19. In the first two passages, however, the Hebrew text has -Q:. which it is arbitrary to explain as meaning 'to Nob' (with the locative ending), because not only here, but also in 22:11, 22:19 LXX recognises a dissyllabic name. One is at first inclined to read the name Nubbah and to identify the place with Bet Nuba (see above) ; but the situation of Bet Nuba is unsuitable; the 'priests' city' 1 (1 S. 22:19) cannot have been very far from Gibeah of Saul (1 S. 22:9). Poels (see reference below) thinks that Nob was the name of the summit, on which the sanctuary of Yahwe stood, and that towns (viz., Gibeon and Kirjath-jearim) stood on either side of this hill. This is too bold, but points in the right direction. Plainly Gibeon is meant.

rnj is a corruption of ny^j or pynj ! from 2 S. 21:6 (We., Dr., Bu., Lohr, also H. P. Sm., read nin lna J1J73J3) we learn that Gibeon stood on or near 'a mountain of Yahwe'. Poels acutely points out that the dread act of vengeance in 2 S. 21, which was too important an event to have escaped record in the life of Saul, must have been the massacre related in 1 S. 22. 'In Gibeon, on the mountain of Yahwe', the offence of Saul was expiated by his children.

Nob, therefore, the 'city of the priests', where Ahimelech of the house of Eli ministered (1 S. 21:1, cp 14:3), and where David deposited the sword of Goliath (in 1 S. 17:54 1 'in his tent' should be 'in the tent of Yahwe' Snxn), was Gibeon, where, according to tradition, was 'the greatest high place' (1 K. 3:4). No inferior sanctuary can be intended ; no other name than Gibeon (or Gibeah) can be the original of the mutilated and corrupted form Nob. This view will be confirmed if the view presented elsewhere respecting the Shiloh where Eli ministered be accepted. See GOB, SHILOH.

Besides the usual helps, cp H. A. Poels, Le sanctuairn de Kitjath-jearim : etude sur Ic litu decultc, etc. (Louvain, 1894).

1 'To Jerusalem' should be 'to Saul'


(fa: ; Judg., NA B&I [B], -66 [A], -Be [L] ; Nu., -BAY -Boo0 [BAL], NOB [Vg.]).

1. A (Manassite?) clan which conquered KENATH, and gave it the name of Nobah (Nu. 32:42). Cp MANASSEH, 9.

2. A place on Gideon's route in his pursuit of the Manassite kings (Judg. 8:11 ). Though it is mentioned together with Jogbehah, this does not prove that the two places were near each other. See GIDEON, 2, where reason is given for accepting the view thai Nobah is the mod. Kanawat, in Hauran, NW. of Salhad (see KENATH) ; old names have a tendency to reappear.

T. K. c.


COia.Kt., or Nebai, TJ, Kr. ; Bo)NAi[BN], rt>/3ai [AL], one of the signatories of the covenant (Neh. 10 19). He corresponds to the fifty-two men of the other Nebo (Neh. 733), or of the other Nob (Meyer). Nobai should either be Gibeon (jij 33), or better see NEBO Nedabi

(:n?). T. K. c.


The rendering of :

1. O yj, horim (lit. 'free', an Aramaism). The 'elders and nobles' of Jezreel are twice referred to in the story of Naboth's judicial murder (1 K. 21:8, 21:11, where Ki. regards D inn as a late post-exilic gloss, but cp Dr. Intr.V>\ 188) ; and the 'nobles and rulers' of Jerusalem are frequently conjoined in the narrative of Nehermah (Neh. 2:16, 4:8, 4:13 [4:14, 4:19], 5:7, 7:5). As Wellhausen (IJG- 1 ), 190) and Meyer (Ent. 132) have pointed out, horim and seganim (Q-JJD) seem to be used as convertible terms (Neh. 6:17 compared with 12:40, 13:11 with 13:17). In Is. 34:12 (400 B.C. or later) reference is made to the horim of Edom, and in Eccles. 10:17 the land is said to be happy whose king is 'the son of nobles', RVmg 'a free man'. (LXX renders errtjuioi [entimos], except in 1 K. 21:8, 21:ii [A ; om. B], Neh. 13:17, Rccles. 10:17 eAevfltpoi, and Is. 34:12.) See further, GOVERNMENT, 26.

2. D yiN, addirim (v^TIN. 'to be wide, great' ), are referred to in Nah. 2:6 (EV 'worthies', AVmg. 'gallants' ), 3:18 (RV 'worthies', AVmg. 'gallant ones' ), Jer. 14:3 (Judah and Jerusalem), Jer. 25:34-36 (figurative), 30:21 (RV 'prince' ), Zech. 11:2, Neh. 3:5 (of Tekoa), 10:30. The nobles of Judah took part with the 'captains of hundreds' and the 'governors' at the coronation of Joash (2 Ch. 23:20). LXX has /otyi<TTo> es [megistanes] thrice, ia\vpo-Tepoi [ischyrateroi] once, &VVO.TOI. [dynatoi] (2 Ch.), Jm-dcrTai [dynastai] (Nah. 3:18), and atupr)ejm [adornem] [BN], -pr, v [A] (Neh. 3:5).

3. C DHIS, parlemim (cp Pers. fratama, 'first' ; but Sym. and Pesh. translate 'Parthians', and the originality of the reading 5 is strongly questioned in Crit. Bib.), Dan. 1:3 (AV 'princes' ) Esth. 13:69. (LXX has ei>6ofot [endoxoi] in Esth. ; in Dan. ejri AeicToi [epilektoi] [cod. 87], </>op0 OW ui[e]i./ [pharthomm[e]in], irop. [BQT, A Theod.].)

4, 5. TJ3, nagid (Job 29:10), 3-13, nadib (Nu. 21:18, etc.). See PRINCE.

6, 7, 8. Dy SK, asilim (Ex. 24:11, 'the chosen ones' ? but see BDB, s.v.), Vna, gadol, lit. 'great one' (Jon. 3:7), 133:, nikbad, lit. 'honoured one' (Ps. 149:8, cp Is. 23:8-9).

9. nn3, bariah, Is. 43:14. See SBOT, 'Is.' , Heb. ed.,adloc.

10. TT3, nasir, Lam. 4:7, RV ; see NAZIRITE, 3.

The NT terms are :

11. /Sao-iAticos [basilikos], Jn. 4:46, lit. 'king's officer', so RVmg., and

12. eiiyen; [eugenes], Lk. 19:12, EV nobleman (in Job 1:3, LXX for no. 7).


(113), Gen. 4:16. See CAIN.


(TfW; N&AAB&IWN [BA], N HAAB. K<M NAAlB<MU)N [ !-]) the name of a tribe which adjoined the trans-Jordanic Israelites, 1 Ch. 5:19 (see HAGRITES). It is mentioned together with Jetur and Naphish, who in Gen. 25:15 [P] and 1 Ch. 131, are two of the last three sons of Ishmael, the last-named son being Kedemah (q.v. ). Very possibly 3113, Nodab, is equivalent to 313, Nadab, a Jerahmeelite name. Kedemah, being doubtless a corruption of Jerahmeel (see KADMONITES, REKEM), is a fitting alternative for Nodab. 1 Blau ventures to find an echo of Nodab in the village Nudebe, SE. of the Bosra in Hauran. T. K. c.

1 Precisely so the improbable niJJ? in Ps. 22:25 [22:24] may be an error for npj?[xl


(iMU>e[Ti.WH]), Lk. 3:36, etc., RV NOAH (,7.1-.).


(isioeBA [BA]), i Esd. 5:31 = Ezra 2:48, NEKODA, i.


(Piab, as if 'sunrise', 72), a son of David,

1 Ch. 3:7, 14:6 (i/ayai, -yt6 [B], vayc, -6 [A], -T [14 6 (K)]; vfffi, vaye [L]). In the parallel list 2 S. 5 the name is omitted in MT (similarly LXX{BA}), it is supplied in L (vayeft) and in B's second list (vayeS) ; cp ELIPHELET, i, and see DAVID, 17:11.


(nnia, 'rest' ; ICGA [B], N 60A [A]. NOY&A [L,]), a name in a genealogy of BENJAMIN (q.v. , 9, ii. ft), 1 Ch. 8:2 ; perhaps corrupted from Naaman (cp JQR 11:109). Cp MENUHAH.


(|ia), 1 Ch. 7:27. See NUN.


(NOOMA [A]), 1 Esd. 9:35 RV = Ezra 10:43, NEBO, iv.


(*p) occurs frequently in the prophets as one of the principal cities of Egypt. Thus in Is. 19:13 it is parallel with Zoan-Tanis, in Jer. 2:16 with Tahpanhes, which proves that it must have belonged to northern Egypt. Jer. 44:1, enumerating the places where colonies of fugitive Jews had been formed in Egypt, proceeds from N. to S. (Migdol, Tahpanhes, Noph, Pathros) ; Ezek. 30:16 (Sin [read Syene?], No, Noph) seems to arrange from S. to N.

1. Name.[edit]

Hitzig, Smend, and Cornill try, however, to correct the name here, LXX reads its consonants but does not recognise the name ; Memphis, however, in Qmg. (see Swete) Sym. Vg. Syr. On the other hand, Cornill wishes with LXX to read Noph, v. 15, instead of No, so that Noph would stand parallel with Sin.

Jer. 46:14 (Migdol, Noph, Tahpanhes) does not seem to be arranged in strict geographical order ; but the repetition of the statement that Noph belonged to those cities in which the exiled Jews settled is important, confirming the position near the Eastern frontier of Egypt. Ezek. 30:13 mentions it, evidently, as the most important city where 'the princes of Egypt' reside. All this points to Memphis, which the versions read for Noph throughout. Strangely, the correct orthography is found in MT only in one passage, Hos. 9:6, where Moph (tp - only here - AV MEMPHIS, following the versions) is the principal city or, perhaps, the political capital of Egypt to which the Jews shall be led back. [On the (possible) underlying text see PATHROS, 2, PROPHET, and Crit. Bib. - T. K. c.]

The consonants Noph of MT were defended by de Roug (Rev. Arc/teal. New Ser. viii. 127; Lenormant, Ii 22*15; E. Meyer, GA, 350), who tried to explain Noph as Napata. This ought, however, to have the ending -t, -th ; moreover, Noph is a city of Egypt, not of Ethiopia ; no Jews would flee to Napata, etc.

The name of the city 1 is written in Egyptian Mn-nfr* vocalise Men-nofer, later Men-nufe or shortened Men-nefe, Afenfe. This abbreviation was borrowed by other nations as M^tt^is [memphis] (Mev0ty [menphis] on coins ; cp Targumic Mephis], Assyrian Mempi, Mimpi. The Copts wrote Menbe, Membe, Mem*, Mefe, whence Arabic Manf (sometimes Munf?) and later Maphe. 3 Thus we should expect the pronunciation Meph in Hebrew ; the present punctuation Moph, Noph needs explanation. 4 On the etymology in Egyptian, see below ( 2).

1 Brugsch, Diet. Gtogr. 259.

2 [hieroglyphs go here]

3 See L. Stern, /.A, 1885, P- 148.

  • After the analogy of No ? rp may also have become *ip and then *rij, whence rj.

5 Cp Pap. Anastasi, iv. 63.

6 Z. A 30, 1892, p. 44, calling the god 'the Ptah of Men-na'. What name is intended by the Uchoreus whom Diodorus calls the founder of Memphis is uncertain.

2. Origin.[edit]

Memphis is one of the most ancient cities of Egypt - that is to say, a small city, called 'the White Wall' (cp Herod. 891, Thuc. 1104), stood there in the earliest times as the capital of the first nomos of Lower Egypt. In it stood the temple of Ptah which gave the city (and later Memphis) the sacred name Ha(t)-ka-ptah, 'temple of Ptah's likeness', whence the name 'Egypt' seems to be derived (cp EGYPT, i). The antiquity of the temple and of the quarter of Memphis in which it stood was proverbial. 5 The later Egyptians used to call king Menes the founder (Herod. 2:99), and that claim is observable already on inscriptions of the nineteenth dynasty. 6 Whether it is historical truth may remain an open question ; Herodotus report of Menes' making a large dyke, 100 stadia S. of Memphis, is certainly erroneous. It is questionable whether any kings resided in the vicinity before the third dynasty. Manetho calls the third dynasty Memphitic, and, to judge from the pyramid of king Zoser at Sakkarah, its kings built very near Memphis. We can then, with the following 'Memphitic' dynasties of Manetho, notice a continual shifting of the royal palaces and court-cities (traceable now only by the pyramids which were built W. of those residences) in that region from Medum in the S. to Abu-Roash in the N. Finally the great king Pepy (Apopy?) I. of the sixth dynasty built his tomb and city directly W. of the 'White Wall' ; and this city lasted and imparted its name to the resulting complex of earlier and later settlements. From that time dates the history of Memphis, under the classical name - i.e. , from the time when the pyramic Men-nofer, 'good-resting', 1 was erected. Although the old temple of Ptah-Hephaestus and the surrounding quarter, forming a kind of citadel by its separate wall, was always recognised as the city proper and furnished the religious name (see above), the new name Men-nefe(r), even in the latest time, always written with the sign of the pyramid, prevailed.

Memphis was situated some 10 mi. S. of modern Cairo, W. of the Nile. By position, between northern and southern Egypt, near the S. end of the Delta, it was well suited for being the capital. The mounds at the modern villages of Mit-Rahineh 2 and el-Bedrashen mark the principal part of Memphis ; that it really ran 150 stadia from N. to S. (Diodorus) is doubtful. The mounds of Abadiyeh and En-Nagiziyeh seem to mark the N. end of the city proper. Besides the quarter mentioned above, we read of those of 'the Southern wall', of 'the balance of both countries', of 'the life of both countries'. 'The life of both countries', 1 situated on the bank of the river, contained, around the temple of Ptah Nefer-ho (i.e., 'fair of face' ), a Phoenician settlement, with a temple of the 'foreign Aphrodite' (=Astarte?). The description in Herod. 2:112 does not enable us to determine whether this 'camp of the Tyrians' was a bazaar of the foreign traders or a colony of deported captives given to the temple as serfs. The many divinities and sanctuaries to which the inscriptions and the classical writers refer cannot be enumerated completely here. They include the local divinity Ptah (figured in human form, usually standing, and explained as the 'divine workmaster', and creator of the world as demiurgos), who had three different forms and three large temples here. Sokaris was the local god of the western part, therefore of the necropolis (near the modern Sakkarah, which name is, possibly, the same as Sokaris ; cp ISSACHAR, 6). The latest theology tried to find the emanation of the combined Ptah-Sokaris-Osiris in the famous Apis (hap) bull. Originally, this black bull with various mysterious marks, after whose death a search for a successor was held throughout all Egypt, sometimes for a long time, must have been a separate local divinity. 3

3. History.[edit]

Memphis was the most important city of Egypt and the principal royal residence until the rise of the eighteenth ( Theban ) dynasty. The kings of the eighteenth dynasty began to neglect Memphis ; but they still resided there occasionally, and the second place among all Egyptian cities remained undisputed to it. It does not seem that the storming by the Ethiopian P[i]'ankhy, by the Assyrians, by Cambyses, etc., depopulated it very much. It outlived Thebes and Sais, and continued to be populous among the Ptolemies, who treated it as a kind of second capital, although Alexandria drew off all wealth from it. They even were crowned there (cp Rosetta Inscription, l. 7, etc. ) as pharaohs. Sinking very slowly in population, Memphis survived as a city until the Arab conquerors built a new capital very near it, on the opposite bank of the Nile, as Fostat or Old Cairo.

This completed the depopulation of Memphis. The stones of its old palaces and temples were conveyed to the new capital ; modern Cairo, too, has been very largely built with such material. Thus the ruins of Memphis, still described by 'Abd el-latif (about 1200 A.D.) and Abulfeda as very remarkable have disappeared almost entirely. Of the city itself nothing of general interest remains but two large fallen monolithic statues of Rameses II., probably identical with the statues described by Herodotus and Strabo as flanking the entrance to the great temple of Ptah. The immense necropolis, on the border of the desert, has been better preserved, containing the three great pyramids and smaller remnants of some forty others the mysterious, gigantic sphinx of Gizeh, and thousands of tombs (although the earliest and most remarkable of these monuments did not belong to Memphis proper ; see above).

W. M. M.

1 Also the etymology mnw-nfr, 'good monument', occurs (Petrie, Dendereh, 7:13:1). Later etymologies like dpuos [ormos] (=m'n, Coptic mone) aya0wv [agathon] (nfrw) or Ta0os 'Oo-ipidos [taphos hosiridos] (as 'the good god') is given by Plutarch (de Iside, 20), are worthless

2 From an Egyptian name meaning 'alley of sphinxes' (after W. Spiegelberg). One of the mounds is said still to have the name Tel(l)-Munf.

3 The Apis-tombs near Sakkarah were discovered by Mariette in 1851.


(na]), a place in Moab, mentioned with Medeba in Nu. 21:30+

The text, however, is very uncertain. LXX has Kai at yvvaiices (ai-Twc) en jrpoo-ff eicaixrai/ TrOp CTT I Mua/3; i.e., nDj becomes inB> Delitzsch, Dillmann, and Strack prefer l^N HBJ iy 'so that fire was kindled as far as Medeba', whilst G. A. Smith (HG, 560), suggests raj-TV, and changes K3TD ~\y to l^tO ^y 'on the desert' (cp Pesh.).




(S)Xn DT.3). Is. 3:21, and Nose-ring (nn), Judg. 8:24 RVmg., EV 'earring', Exod. 35:22 RVmg., EV 'earring'. See RING.


(Neod>YTOC I neophytus; 1 Tim. 3:6+). A better rendering would be 'neophyte', literally 'newly planted', 'newly put forth', 'a fresh sprout'. The meaning is, as AVmg. has it, 'one newly come to the faith'. The metaphor is sufficiently explained by the use of veixjiVTov [neophyton] to render yaj, neta, Q-y&i, neti'im, in Job 14:9, Ps. 144:12, Is. 5:7, and S nr, shathil, in Ps. 128:3. ve6tf>. [neoph] is used by Aristophanes (Pollux) ; also in Egyptian papyri of second century A.D. (Deissmann, Neue Bibel-studien, 48).

The classical adjective novicius, almost equivalent to novus, and applied to new wine, to a slave who has recently lost his freedom, and the like, became, in ecclesiastical language, the technical term for a candidate for admission to a coenobium, whilst neophyte was applied to all the newly baptised (yeo<ioTi<7Tot).


1. The Semite system of numbers.[edit]

The Hebrews, like the other Semites, expressed numbers by the decimal system. That system was devised before the separation of the Semites from the Hamites, since it is common to all the Semitic peoples and to the hieroglyphic Egyptian. The names even of some of the numerals are the same in the two families of languages.

Thus in Semitic 'two' is expressed by the root shn, tn, tn, in Old Egyptian, Coptic, and Tamasheq by sn ; 'six' in Semitic by the root shdsh (contracted [except in Ethiopic] - e.g., Heb. shsh), in Hamitic by sds (which appears in Tamasheq, though contracted in Egyptian to ss) ; 'seven' in N. Semitic by shb , S. Semitic sb; , Egyptian sfh; 'eight', Semitic shmn, smn, tmn, tmn, Coptic, smn; 'nine', N. Semitic tsh' , S. Semitic ts' , Tamasheq tss'.

The method of treatment also is the same ; in both the tens are formed from the units by using the plural of the former. 1

The native Hamitic system is, therefore, the decimal.

Behind this there lay a quintal system based on the fingers of one hand. This is still found in some of the languages of the more backward of the Hamitic races, as the Bedza, Bilin, and Chamir (cp Miiller, op. cit., 306). In the Semite-Egyptian group the decimal system had developed before their separation.

The Sumerian system of numbers was sexagesimal.

The measurements of time in Babylonia, where day and night were divided into six equal parts, cannot, as Ihering has pointed out, have arisen among a people who used the decimal system, not, therefore, among Semites. His theory that these divisions of time arose in keeping the time of labourers 2 is, however, superficial. There are sexagesimal systems in many parts of the world. They originate in a mystical addition of zenith and nadir to the four points of the compass. 1

As the early Semitic Babylonians borrowed their system of writing from the Sumerians, they also to some extent borrowed this system of numbers. From the period of the oldest known writing, the Semites, who appear to have been in Babylonia in prehistoric times, mingled elements from their decimal system with the sexagesimal. This is shown by the presence of a special sign for ten. 2 In later inscriptions the decimal system gradually supplants the other. Thus in the Mesopotamian valley the native Semitic system reasserted itself.

1 Cp Erman, in ZDMG 4693-129, and his Aegyptische Grammatik, 140-147; Steindorff, Koptische Grammatik, 157^.; Brugsch, Grammaire Hieroglyphique, 32-35 ; Zimmern, Verleichende Grammatik der semitischen Sprachen, 179-182 ; and Friedr. Muller, Grundriss der Sprachwissenschaft, Bd. III., Abt. II., 305.

2 Cp Ihering, Evolution of Aryan, 121+

2. The Hebrew system.[edit]

Among the Hebrews, so far as we know, it was the system always in use ; but before the time of the Maccabees there is no evidence that the Hebrews expressed numbers by figures.

Numbers were, during these centuries, written in words. This is the case on the Moabite Stone, in the Siloam Inscription, and throughout the OT, including the Book of Daniel. In later Hebrew numbers were expressed by letters of the alphabet ; but no such notation for numerals as that used by the Phoenicians appears among the Hebrews. 3

At an early time in the history of man certain numbers were regarded as having a sacred significance. In this respect the Hebrews were no exception. Three, four, seven, ten, twelve, forty, and seventy were either sacred or had a symbolical force.

3. Three.[edit]

Three (ohv, shalosh ; Syr. telath, rpeis [treis]) is the simplest of these numbers, and was widely considered sacred. It was so regarded by the Babylonians before the birth of the Hebrew people, and its sacred character in Israel may be due to Babylonian influence, unless - as is probably the case - it goes much farther back to primitive Semitic society. One of the earliest indications of it in Babylonia is the great triad of gods, Anu, Bel, and Ea, which appears in the inscriptions of Gudea, about 3000 B. C. They represent respectively heaven, earth, and water. 4

Probably the origin of the sacredness of the number three is to be found in the fact that to primitive man the universe appeared to be divided into the three regions represented by these gods. This cause rendered the number sacred among the Vedic peoples of India. 6

Its sacred or symbolical use among the Hebrews the following instances will illustrate : - David is given the choice of three plagues into each of which the number three enters (2 S. 24:13, 1 Ch. 21:12); 6 Elijah stretches himself on the dead child three times ( 1 K. l7:21); Daniel prays three times a day (Dan. 6:10) ; Tartarus is divided into three parts (Eth. En. 22:9); there are three princes of Persia (1 Esd. 3:9) ; Ezra waits three days for a vision (2 [4] Esd. 13:58, 14:i); the plagues of the Apocalypse destroy a third of all that they attack (Rev. 8, 9, and 12) ; the twelve gates of the heavenly city face three towards each of the points of the compass (Eth. En. 34:2, 35:1 and 36:1-2, also Rev. 21:13); and at last the divine nature is under the same influence conceived by the early Christians as a trinity (Mt. 28:19).

Multiples of sacred numbers came in time to have a sacred or symbolic character, as twenty-one (Eth. En. 69:2), thirty (Slav. En. 36:1-2), thirty-six (Eth. En. 90:1), and many others. Connected with the symbolic character of three is its use to indicate that a course of action or a series of events has passed a normal point (Am. 1 and 2, Prov. 30:15-31 and 2 Esd. 16:29-31).

1 Cp M'Gee in American Anthropologist, 1:656+.

2 Cp the Blau Monuments, Am. Journ. of Arch, new ser. 4 pl. iv. v., and JAOS 22:118, also Cuneiform Texts of British Museum, pts. i. in. v. vii. ix. and x. passim, and the inscription of Mainshtu-irba in Scheil's Textes elamites-semitiques.

3 See Lidzbarski, Nordsem. Epigr. 1 igBft

4 Cp Jastrow's Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, 107 ff.\ and King's Babylonian Religion, 14.

8 Cp Hopkins, The Holy Numbers of the Rig Veda, in Oriental Studies of the Oriental Club of Philadelphia, M,\ff.

6 MT in 2 S. 24:13 reads 'seven years' ; but this, as Houbigant saw long ago (1777), and all recent critics agree, is a mistake for 'three', which LXX and Ch. have preserved.

4. Four.[edit]

The sacredness of four (y:n<, arba; Syr. arba; [tessares]) was probably derived from the fact that the compass has four cardinal points. It is regarded as sacred in widely different parts of the world more often than any other number (cp Amer. Anthrop. 1:155). Cp the Bab. phrase 'the four quarters of the world' (kibrat irbitta, see EARTH, i ) ; and in connection with this note the Hebrew ideas about the four winds (see WINDS) and the singular theory of the origin of the name Adam in Or. Sib. 3:24-26, Slav. En. 30:13-14 (ed. Charles, 41). The number came to denote completeness or sufficiency, which accounts for many biblical details. Thus there are four rivers of paradise (Gen. 2:10); Jephthah's daughter is bewailed four days (Judg. 11:40); Nehemiah's enemies sent to him four times (Neh. 6:4) ; God sends four kinds of pestilence (Jer. 15:3) or four sore judgments (Ezek. 14:21) ; four horns scatter Judah (Zech. 1:18-19); four angels of destruction are sent from heaven (Rev. 9:13-15).

The number four is used similarly (though by no means exclusively) in the measurements of sacred furniture - e.g., in Solomon's temple (i K. 7), in Ezekiel's temple (Ezek. 41-43), in the tabernacle of the P document (Ex. 25+ and 36+).

In like manner the guardians or bearers of the throne of God appeared in fours to different seers (Ezek. 1 and 10, Eth. En. 40:28, Rev. 4:68, 5:6, 5:8, 5:14, 6:1, 15:7, 19:4).

Multiples of four were also used. Thus we have twenty-eight in the measurement of the curtains of the tabernacle, forty as indicated below (8), four hundred used to express the idea of a large number (Gen. 15:13, Judg. 21:12, and often), and 400,000 in great exaggerations (Judg. 20:2, 20:17, 2 Ch. 13:3).

5. Seven.[edit]

Seven (jni?, sheba ; Syr. sheba , ^irrd [hepta]), the most sacred number of the Hebrews, was also sacred among the Babylonians, where seven planets were known and each represented a god, 1 where there were seven evil spirits, 2 and the underworld was surrounded by seven walls. 3

The greetings in the Amarna tablets show that seven had a sacred significance in Palestine at an early date, and indicate that it was also sacred in Egypt. We know that it was held sacred in India by the Vedic people (Hopkins, op. cit.}. The sacredness of seven probably originated in the fact that it is the sum of three and four, but among the Babylonians a great impetus must have been given to its use by the fact that there were seven sacred planets ; by the influence of Babylon it became very popular with other Semites.

Ihering (Evolution of the Aryan, 113) holds that the Sabbath was of Babylonian origin and arose from the sexagesimal system, which we have seen was native with the Sumerians. They worked six days and rested the seventh. If this be true, possibly we should see in it the primary cause of the sacredness of seven. Cp SABBATH. Some anthropologists hold that seven arose from a sacred six by the addition of unity (cp M'Gee, op. cit. 663/1).

The most liberal application of the number seven among the Hebrews is found in comparatively late Apocalypses, where direct Babylonian influence is probable - e.g. , the seven planets appear (Slav. En. 27:3); seven planetary deities (Eth. En. 21:3-6); there are seven heavens, one for each planet (Slav. En. 3 to 20) ; seven circles of heaven (Slav. En. 48:1) ; then the earth and moon are divided into seven corresponding parts (Eth. En. 73:5-8; 2 [4] Esd. 6:50, 6:52). The week of seven days, early associated with the seven planets, 4 gave to P the idea of the creative week (Gen. 1:1-23). From these came the notion that seven enters into the constitution of man he is made of seven substances and has seven natures (Slav. En. 30:8-9). Corresponding to this is the conception that there are seven rivers in the world and seven islands, and that frosts come from seven mountains (Eth. En. 77:4-8).

The sacred character of seven shows itself in every period of the Hebrew ritual ; we hear of seven altars built, seven sacred wells, seven lamps, blood is sprinkled seven times, etc. (Gen. 7:2-3, 21:28-30, 1 K. 18:43 Dt. 16:9, Ezek. 40:22, 41:3, Lev. 14, Nu. 23 and 29 passim, and elsewhere). Cp BEER-SHEBA, 3 ; WRS Rel.Sem.W, 181-182.

Closely connected with this is the thought that seven days is a sacred or fitting period of time (cp Gen. 8:10-12, 50:10, Exod. 7:25, Lev. 8:33, Dt. 10:4, Josh. 6 passim, Ps. 12:6 [12:7], Apoc. Bar. 20:5, 2 [4] Esd. 7:30, Acts 21:4, 21:27, Heb. 11:30, etc.).

From this usage seven came to express a complete or round number (Job 1:2, Mic. 5:5, Esth. 1:10, 2:9, 1 Esd. 8:6, Tob. 3:8, 2 Macc. 7:1, Mt. 22:25-28, Mk. 12:20-23, Acts 6:3, 19:14 etc.). Once (Dt. 7:1) seven is equated with many.

1 Jensen's Kosmologie, loijf.

2 Jastrow, op. cit., 264.

3 Jeremias, Bab.- Ass. Vorstellungen vom Leben nach dim Tode, 15.

4 Jensen, loc. cit. ; Gunkel, Schopfung und Chaos, 301.

6. Ten.[edit]

Ten (~\n-y, 'eser ; Syr. 'eshar, d^Ka [deka]) had a certain symbolic character, in part because it was the basis of the decimal system, and in part because it is the sum of three and seven. l Its simplest use is to denote a round or complete number, as ten lambs, ten shekels, ten men, ten virgins, ten talents, etc. This usage runs through both OT and NT (cp, e.g. , Gen. 24:10, 24:22, Josh. 22:14, Judg. l7:10, 2 K. 20:9-11, Job 19:3, Jer. 4l:2, 41:8, 2 [4] Esd. 5:46, Mt. 25:1, 25:28, Lk. 19 passim, Rev. 2:10 etc. ).

A more sacred use of ten is found in the ritual. Not only were there tithes, but also sacrifices and many implements of the sanctuary were arranged in tens (Exod. 26:1, 26:16, Nu. 7:28 and 29 passim, 1 K. 6 and 7 passim, 2 Ch. 4 passim, and Ezek. 45 passim}.

Because of this sacred character ten is used in apocalyptic symbolism (Dan. 7:7, 7:20, 7:24, Rev. 12:3, 13:1, 17:3, 17:7, 17:12, 17:16).

7. Twelve.[edit]

Twelve (-\c-y c V3, senem asar ; Syr. tere'sar, ScoSe/ca [dodeka]) derived its sacred character from the fact that it is the product of three and four, helped no doubt by the fact that the Sumerian sexagesimal system had made the number of months twelve. The most obvious application of its originating principle is found in the fact that the gates of heaven (cp Gen. 28:17) were conceived as twelve - three facing each of the four points of the compass (Eth. En. 34:2, 35:1, 36:1-2 and Rev. 21:12-14). From each of these in turn the sun goes forth (Eth. En. 72:3, Slav. En. 14 and 15 passim}. Of kindred nature is the idea that the tree of life bears a fruit for each of the twelve months (Rev. 222).

Because the number was sacred the tribes of Israel were made up to twelve (Gen. 35:27, 42:13, 42:32, 49:28, Nu. 144). That this was in part an artificial reckoning, the shadowy existence of some of the tribes, as Simeon, shows. Similarly the tribes of Ishmael were made twelve (Gen. l7:20, 25:16). See GENEALOGIES i., 5; TRIBES.

Many representative men and things were made twelve to accord with the number of the tribes (Ex. 24:4, Nu. 17:26, Josh. 4 passim, etc.). For this reason the disciples were twelve (Mt. 19:28).

The number twelve for all the reasons given entered into Hebrew ritual (Ex. 15:27, Nu. 33:9, Lev. 24:5, Nu. 7 passim, Jer. 52:20-21, Ezek. 43:16 etc.).

As a symbolic number twelve was chosen to express completeness (2 S. 2:15, 1 K. 10:20, Rev. 12:1).

The OT tribal usage and the NT apostolic are combined in the Apocalypse and produce twenty-four (Rev. 4:4, 4:10, 5:8, 11:16, 19:4 ).

8. Forty.[edit]

Forty (D jniK, arba'im; Syr. arbein, TeffaapaKovra [tessarakonta]) was a symbolic, if not a sacred number. Its simplest use is to denote a somewhat indefinite period of time the exact length of which was not known. Thus the wilderness wandering was forty years (Ex. 16:35, Am. 2:10, 5:25, Ps. 95:10 etc.); but cp MOSES, ii, e. Probably this and several similar periods (e.g., Judg. 3:11, 5:31, 8:28, 13:1 and 1 S. 4:18) are intended to represent a generation, since the period from the Exodus to the building of the temple is counted (1 K. 6:1) as 480 years or twelve generations. 2 In some instances a semi-sacred character attaches to forty; thus Moses was in the mount forty days (Ex. 24:18, 34:28) ; Elijah fasted forty days (1 K. 19:8); Christ did the same (Mt. 4:2, Mk. 1:13, Lk. 4:1-2) ; and the ascension occurred after forty days (Acts 13).

1 M'Gee would seem to account for it as nine plus unity (i.e., 6+3+ 1). Cp op. cit. 664 672.

2 Cp Moore, Judges, xxxviii.

9. Seventy.[edit]

Seventy (0728*, shib'im; Syr. shab'in, f^do^Kovra [ebdomekonta]) has a sacred or symbolical meaning in five cases. Seventy palm trees grow in an old sacred spot (Ex. 15:27) ; here 7 x 10 seems to be the origin of the number ; seventy elders of Israel go up into the mount (Ex. 24:1, 24:9, J), and out to the tent (Nu. 11:24-25, E) ; in the latter passage Eldad and Medad (vv. 26-27) make up the number to seventy-two ; 6x 12 or six for each tribe is, therefore, probably its origin here, though the former explanation is also possible if Eldad and Medad are not included ; seventy 'souls' go down to Egypt (Gen. 46:27, Ex. 1:5 (P) and Dt. 10;22 : in these passages the number is made up artificially to the ideal 7 x 10) ; l seventy years (Jer. 25:11-12), or weeks of years (Dan. 9:24+), must elapse before the restoration of the kingdom (i.e., 7x10 years); and seventy disciples are sent forth (Lk. 10:1, 10:17). On the seventy, or seventy-one, or seventy-two peoples of the Table of Nations (Gen. 10), and on subsequent Jewish and Christian beliefs, S. Krauss has written with great fulness of learning (ZATlVlQi-n 2038-43 [1899, 1900]; cp Driver, Deut. 355 f. ).

In Lk. 10:1 the reading is uncertain and the explanation difficult.

Many MSS, including NACL and other authorities read efSSo^jjicoi Ta [ebdomekonta] (so Treg., Tisch., Weiss), whilst BDMR and many other authorities read d/SSofirj/coi Ta Svo [ebdomekonta duo] (so WH). The number may perhaps be chosen to represent the peoples of the earth, each of which should have a Christian messenger ; cp Dt. 32:8, where makes the number of peoples equal that of the angels 2 ( jN 33 instead of VwHtT 33). Cp, however, Zahn, Einl. 2:392.

10. Three and a half.[edit]

Two other numbers fall to be considered here on account of the use made of them in the Apocalypses.

(a) The first of these is three and a half, with its derivatives. Scholars agree that the 'times, time, and half a time' (ny 3^3? ;\nj?i ny, Dan. 7:25; ? n1 n "]^ ia "Wis, Dan 12:7; < xa-ipov Ko.1 Kaipous KO.I ijfj.tffv Kaipou, Rev. 12:14), also the half week of Daniel 9:27, stand for three years and a half. Meinhold (Dan. 304) holds, on the basis of Dan. 9:27, that the three and a half is a broken seven. 3 Cornill holds that its origin is to be found in the three and a half years of the persecution of Antiochus. 4 If we could be sure of a Hebrew origin, one of these ex planations might be accepted. Gunkel has, however, with great probability traced the origin of this number with other apocalyptic imagery to Babylon, and holds that the three and a half represented the half of Kislev, and the three months, Tebet, Shebat, Adar, the time from the winter solstice to the festival of Marduk - the time covered by the period of winter - i.e. , the period of the supremacy of Tiamat. 5 If this be its origin, the application to the years of oppression, on which all scholars are agreed, would be most natural, as would also its explanation as a broken seven (Dan. 9:27). There have been various attempts to define more precisely the three and a half : the 2300 evenings and mornings ( 1150 odays: Dan. 8:14); 1290 days (Dan. 12:11) ; 1335 days (Dan. 12:12) ; with these we should put the 1260 days of Rev. 11:3, 12:6 and the 42 months of Rev. 11:2, 13:5. Scholars who insist on the unity of Daniel explain these differences of statement in that book by supposing that the author conceived the coming of the kingdom as a progressive event, the different stages of which are indicated in these numbers. 1 The theory of composite authorship affords a more satisfactory explanation.

On the most probable view of the composition of Daniel (cp JBL 17:62-86), the original use of three and a half is in 7:25, where jSf means 'part', not necessarily 'half', This writer, imbued with Babylonian learning, drew from Babylonian material. His own explanation - 1150 - days is given in 8:14. A less well-informed writer, imbued only with Hebrew lore, related it to Heb. imagery in ch. 9, making it a broken seven (v. 27). The final editor and two later glossators are responsible for its introduction into ch. 12, and its varying explanations in vv. 11-12."

The numbers mentioned in Revelation are clearly interpretations by the NT writer of the three and a half of Daniel.

1 Cp Dillmann, on Gen. 46 27.

2 According to Stade (ZATW 5:300 [1885]) and Bertholet (ad loc.), who prefer <B> s reading, Dt. 32 8 is perhaps an inter polation, as reflecting a late belief.

3 So also Behrmann, Dan. 50, and von Gall, Einheit d. Dfin. 92.

  • Siefi. Jahrwochen Dan. 22 ff.

6 Scliopfung und Chaos, yx)ff. ; cp CREATION, 16 (b).

11. Six hundred and sixty-six.[edit]

(b} The second number referred to above ( 10) is 666 (X&, f^K^ai [-101 -La] itfKorra ? [chzs, hexakosiai [-ioi, -ia] hexekonta hex], Rev. 13:18), variant, 616 (Iren. v. 30:1). Not to mention uncritical interpretations of this number which find in it references to the Pope, to Napoleon, etc., the following explanations may be noted:-

  • (1) Briggs' explanation: 'a straining after the holy number seven and falling short of it in every particular, marking the beast, therefore, and his subjects as deceivers'. 3
  • (2) Adretvoj [Lateinos] = 666 (Iren. v. 30:3), which makes the Beast the Roman empire. Cp Clemen's similar theory and van Manen Th. T35:477.
  • (3) Nero Caesar (nop p: [hebrew]= 666) has been widely accepted since the omission of the final j [hebrew letter - vav] of Nero would give the variant 616. 4
  • (4) Volter thinks Trajan Hadrianus or Hadrian the meaning (OU TON }WB [hebrew] = 666. another spelling being oirmK pna [hebrew] = 616). 3
  • (5) Zahn 6 and Spitta 7 hold 616 to be the original and Caligula to be the beast (roibs Karap [Gaios kaisar] = 616).
  • (6) Gunkel holds that the number originated, like other apocalyptic material, in Babylon, and originally referred to Tiamat or Primeval Chaos ( .TJiDip Di nn [hebrew] = 666 ). 8

Other modern explanations which need not be enumerated here may be found in Zahn. Einl. 2:622-626.

Of these solutions (2) and (5) hold that this part of Revelation was written in Greek. If, as many recent interpreters hold, and rightly, it was written in Hebrew, these explanations would not be adequate (cp APOCALYPSE, 13). Of the others, that of Gunkel (6), in view of the Babylonian origin of apocalyptic material which he has proven, gives the best explanation. The number would be likely to be perpetuated because it fell just short of the sacred number seven at all points, and would naturally be applied by apocalyptists to persecutors like Nero (3) and Hadrian (4). When translated into Greek the explanation of Irenaeus (2) would be very natural. The application to Caligula (5) may have been made in some form in ancient times, but could only have been made through the Greek. 9 G. A. B.

1 Cp Cornill, op. fit. 22 ff., Bevan, Bk. of Dan. Boehmer, Reich Gottes u. Menschensohn t. B. Dan. 195-206.

2 Cp Gunkel, of>. cit. 269 n.

3 Messiah of the Apostles, 324. .

4 Bousset (cp. APOCALYPSE, 43) still holds to it It was first proposed in 1831 by Fritzsche (Annalen der ges. theol. Lit.

5 Problem der Apok. (1893), p. 215. Cp Aberle, Th. Quartalschr.. 1872.

6 Zeit. fiir kirchl. V iss., 1885, pp. 595^ Cp his Einleitung

7 Offenbaning des Johannes, 392 ff.

8 Schopfung u. Chaos, 378.

9 Cp discussion of this point in Am. Jour, of Theol. - 797 n.

10 In certain ancient lists of the OT books Numbers stands third, changing places with Leviticus ; see Sanday in Stud. bio. ^241.