Encyclopaedia Biblica/Phoenix-Politarchs

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(5in, or [the reading of the Massoretic school of Nehardea and of the Western recension, Ginsb. Introd. 515, but cp Kimhi, Bk. of Roots, who attests only the former] ^n, LXX below).

The name of a certain long-lived bird, Job 29:18 RVmg (text of EV has 'sand', which can hardly be right). This rendering harmonises with the preceding stichus in MT, which EV renders, 'Then I said, I shall die in my nest (i.e., in my home)', but RVmg more correctly, '. . . beside [Heb. with] my nest'. An allusion is supposed (Ew. , Hi., Del., Bu., Du. ) to the story of the bird called the Phoenix (Herod. 273), which lived 500 years, and then consumed itself and its nest with fire, to rise again as a young Phoenix out of the ashes. Franz Delitzsch even produces linguistic justification for the identification of 5in, hoi, or 5ii, hul (so pointed to preclude the rendering 'sand' ) with the Phoenix. But though Ezekielos, the Jewish dramatist of Alexandria (2nd cent. B.C.), introduces the Phoenix into his drama on the Exodus (Del. Gesch. d. jud. Poesie, 219, quotes the passage in its context), it is most unlikely that the Phoenix myth was known to Jewish writers as early as the composition of Job. There are three further objections to Ewald's view - viz.

  • (1) that the next verse leads us to expect a figure from a tree rather than from an animal,
  • (2) that there is considerable difficulty in explaining 'with my nest', in the first stichus, with reference both to Job and to the Phoenix, and
  • (3) that LXX points to a different and much more natural form of the text.

LXX renders v. 18 thus,

eiTra Se, T] ^AiKia /uov yr)pa<rei [eipa de, te elikia mon gerasei]
TaXa-nxr; X^paAi ] ^AiKia Ttox cii Tj xupaeiTra Se, [oosper stelechos phoinikos polun chronon bioosoo]

This suggests reading for 3p"Qtf, 'with my nest', 3p 3, 'in my old age', and for ^inpl, 'and as the sand' or 'and as the phoenix', SrU21, 'and as the palm tree' 1 (cp Che. JQR, July 1897). When we remember that the Phoenix of later literature is merely a materialised form of one of the fine old Egyptian symbols of the sun-god (of which another is the CROCODILE [q.v.]), we can give up Job's supposed reference to the fable without a pang. On the Phoenix, see art. 'Phoenix' in EB 1 ?) (where references are given) ; Delitzsch on Job 29:18; Bochart, Hieroz. 6:5; Charles, Secrets of Enoch, 12-13, James, Texts and Studies, v. 1 88 (4 Bar. 6), and cp ON, 2. For the Midrashic stories see Hamburger, RE des Judenthums, 2:908.

T. K. C.

1 Cp Ecclus. 50:12, where ^r\l = <t>olvi [phoinix].. See PALM.


Acts 27:12 RV, AV PHENICE (q.v.).


(4>opoc [BA]).

1. 1 Esd. 5:9 = Ezra 2:3, PAROSH (q.v.).

2. 1 Esd. 8:30 RV = Ezra 8:3, PAROSH (q.v.).

3. 1 Esd. 9:26 = Ezra 10:25, PAROSH (q.v.).


Esth. 11:1, RV, AV, PHURIM. See PURIM.


((JjpYriA [WH Ti -l- Acts 16:6, 18:23, doubtful whether as noun or as adjective [xoop^ understood].

1. Geography.[edit]

In 2 Macc. 5:22 the ethnic [ tpi . [phrn]] is applied to Philip, governor of Jerusalem under Antiochus Epiphanes - i.e., about 170 B.C.). Phrygia, the country of the Phryges, was the name given to a vast and ill-defined region in central Asia Minor. Speaking generally, we may say that it embraces the extreme western part of the plateau and the fringing mountains, from the confines of Bithynia to those of Pisidia. The more eastern portion of this country consists of broad open valleys, gradually merg ing into the great steppe which forms the centre of Asia Minor ; to the west it is more broken ; it has several important mountain ranges ; and its cities lie in mountain valleys, through which pass the main-lines of communication [e.g. , the valley of the Lycus]. Throughout it run the two great roads [the old Royal Road, and the Eastern Trade Route] which have at different periods connected the sea-coast and the interior ; and Phrygia has in consequence always had a double history - on the one side linked with the central plateau and the East, on the other with the sea-coast towns and the Greek peoples of the West (Headlam, in Authority and Archaeology, 363+). The original extent of Phrygia was much wider than is indicated above ; but it was only for a short time that there was an independent Phrygian kingdom.

The Phryges were a group of invaders from Macedonia (Herod. 7:73) who split up the old empire (Hittite?) that had its capital at Pteria in Cappadocia. Crossing the Hellespont, the Phryges spread over Asia Minor, eastwards across the Sangarius as far as the Halys, and south-eastwards to Lycaonia and the Taurus. In the south-east, Iconium was the last city of Phrygia. In the opposite direction, they bordered upon the Hellespont and the Propontis (cp the Greek tradition of a Phrygian Thalassocracy lasting twenty-five years from 905 B.C.; Diod. 7:11 ; Hom. Il. 24:545). The Trojan city and the dynasty of Priam belonged to this people. Tribes from Thrace, the Mysi, Thyni, and Bithyni, crossed the Bosporus and severed Phrygia into two parts Hellespontine or Little Phrygia, an undefined strip along the southern shore of the Propontis, of no account in history, and Great Phrygia (Phrygia Magna) the remainder (Strabo, 571).

The centre of power of Great Phrygia lay in the region of the Midas Tomb (see Murray's Handbook to AM, 134+): with this kingdom are connected the names of Gordius and Midas ; and to it the early kings of Lydia (the western fragment of the old Hittite [?] monarchy) owed allegiance. (For echoes of the Phrygian power, cp Hom. Il. 3:187, 2:862 ; Hom. Hymn to Aphrodite, 112.)

2. History.[edit]

The Cimmerian invasion (about 675 B. c. ) broke the Phrygian power, and caused a reversal of the relations with Lydia, which now developed into a great kingdom, and ruled as suzerain over Phrygia as far as the Halys (see LYDIA). There was henceforward no unity in Phrygian history ; for the old conquering race itself was absorbed by the native race which it had conquered : the Phryges sank to that placid level of character which belonged to the older subject population and is produced by the genius of the land in which they dwelt - the character of an agricultural and cattle-breeding population of rustics, peaceful and good-humoured (E. Meyer, GA 1300). This absorption was already complete when, in 278 B.C., the Gauls entered Asia Minor. As the result of their victories over the then unwarlike Phrygians, 1 and of their defeats at the hands of Attalus I., king of PERGAMUM (q.v.), the Gauls were finally restricted to north-eastern Phrygia, which thus became known as Galatia. 2 The northern part of Phrygia also gained a special name about 205 B.C. As the outcome of war with Prusias, king of Bithynia, Attalus I. made himself master of the region in which lay Cotiaeum and Dorylaeum, which henceforth was called Phrygia Epictetus (Acquired Phrygia : Strabo, 576).

The south-eastern corner, between the ranges now called Emir-Dagh and Sultan-Dagh, was called Phrygia Paroreus (Ilapwpeios); it contains the cities Polybotus, Philomelium, Tyriaeum, and others (Rams. Hist. Geogr. of AM 139-140). S. of the Sultan-Dagh, as far as the Taurus, came the district known as Pisidic (Pisidian) Phrygia, or Phrygia towards Pisidia (Strabo, 576, ^ jxe^aAj; "tpuyi a . . . i- ft earn/ TJ re Trapwpeios AryojueVrj 4>pvyi a icai T; Trpbs IU<ri6i a. Cp Polyb. 22:5:14, Ptol. 5:54); 3 its one important city was Antioch ( Airioxeia r\ n-pbs IltCTifita, Strabo, 557, 569, 577).

When Phrygia came to form part of the Roman provincial system it was dealt with in a way that did violence to history and ethnology. For, on the one hand, the eastern portion in which lay Iconium, and the southern portion in which lay Antioch, were attached to the province Galatia, whilst the rest fell to the province Asia ; on the other hand, the name Phrygia was extended in the W. to embrace all the Lycus valley, and in the SW. to embrace all the country towards Lycia. That part of Phrygia which belonged to Galatia was called Phrygia Galatica ; that which belonged to Asia was Phrygia Asiana (Galen, 4312 [Kuhn, 6:515]). 1 Hence many inscriptions enumerate Phrygia as a component part of the province Galatia (e.g. , CIL 36818, where the parts are Galatia, Pisidia, Phrygia, Lycaonia, Isauria, Paphlagonia, Pontus Galaticus, and Pontus Polemoniacus ; date, after 63 A. I). ). Phrygia experienced many vicissitudes ; but these fall outside the province of the student of NT history (for details, see Rams. Hist. Geogr. of AM 151+).

1 Cp Herod. 9:32, App. Mithr. 19, ai>Spd<riv aTroAe juois.

2 The Gauls also extended their conquests eastwards, over territory claimed by the Pontic kings and the Cappadocians.

3 See Rams. Cities and Bish. of Phrygia, 1:316-317

3. Jews in Phrygia.[edit]

The Jews were much favoured by the Seleucid kings, who planted large colonies of them on the routes leading from the Syrian Antioch through Lycaonia into Lydia and Phrygia. Antiochus the Great settled 2000 Jews in the cities of Lydia and Phrygia about 200 B.C. (Jos. Ant. 12:3:3, 148-149). Seleucus Nicator had granted the Jews full rights of citizenship, equal to those of Greeks and Macedonians, in all his foundations (id., Ant. 12:3:1, 119), and the later kings maintained this policy. Hence the Jews were members of the aristocracy in the Phrygian cities (see on this Rams. Cities and Bish, of Phrygia, 2:667+). The Phrygian Jews were considered in the Talmud as the Ten Tribes (for many of them had been transplanted from Babylonia) ; and it is said of them that the baths and wines of Phrygia had separated them from their brethren - by which we must understand that they had failed to maintain their own peculiar religion, and had approximated to the Graeco-Roman civilisation by which they were surrounded (cp Neubauer, Geogr. du Talmud, 315; Rams. St. Paul the Traveller, 142+). The marriage of the Jewess Eunice to a Greek at Lystra, and the fact that Timotheus, the offspring of the marriage, was not circumcised, is an illustration of this declension from the Jewish standard (Acts 16:1). The result was that the Jews had in their turn strongly influenced their neighbours, and thus prepared unconsciously a favourable field for Paul s teaching (cp the many proselytes at Antioch, Acts 13:43, 13:50). On the other hand, the Phrygian Christians were strongly inclined to Judaism (Gal. 16:49), for there was no strong racial antipathy between the natives and the Jews (cp Rams. Hist. Comm. on Gal. 189-190)

1 4 AopuAeuoi rj tori /nf e crxT>} nrjs Aerials <I pvyi as.

4. Phrygia in the NT.[edit]

The distinction between Galatic and Asian Phrygia which held during the first century A.D. (2), explains the passage in Acts 16:6 (rr]v $>pvyia.v Kal " I nXdTiKV xcipo^, AV 'Phrygia and the region of Galatia' ; RV 'the region of Phrygia and Galatia' ). The word Phrygian is here an adjective, connected with the following 'country' (xd/pav [choran]); and the whole phrase denotes that territory which was at once Phrygian and Galatian - Phrygian from the point of view of history and local feeling, Galatian from the point of view of the Roman provincial classification, i.e. , 'the Phrygo-Galatic Region', or, 'the Phrygian or Galatic Region'.

Even if 'Phrygian' (fcpvyiai ) in this passage he regarded as a noun, the interpretation must be the same. Paul was at Lystra (v. 3); and unless he abandoned his intention of visiting the brethren 'in every city' in which the word had been preached (Acts 15:36), he must necessarily have crossed the frontier of Lycaonia a few miles N. of Lystra (cp Acts 14:6) into Galatic Phrygia, the region (x<apa, Regio) in which the cities of Iconium and Antioch lay.

This interpretation is entirely independent of any view that may be held with regard to the whereabouts of the churches of Galatia. [See, however, GALATIA, 10-14]

More difficult is the explanation of Acts 18:23, where the same words are found, but in reverse order (TTJV Ya\a.TiKrii> x^P a " Ka ^ ^pvyiav, AV 'the country [RV region] of Galatia and Phrygia' ). The phrase in Acts 18:23 covers a larger extent of ground than does that of Acts 16:6 ; for the latter, we saw, fell NW. and W. of Lystra, but Derbe and Lystra are now included. The order of words is also important; whereas in Acts 16:6 two epithets are attached to one noun following them, in Acts 18:23 an epithet and noun are connected by 'and' with a following epithet (if fypiryiav be an adjective here also) to which the preceding noun must be supplied. 1 The explanation set forth by Ramsay is that t pifyiav is here an adjective - the 'Phrygian Region' being simply the briefer description of the territory spoken of in Acts 16:6 as the 'Phrygo-Galatic Region'. The region is combined with another, lying E. of it, the region containing the towns of Derbe and Lystra - i.e. , Galatic Lycaonia, as opposed to Antiochian Lycaonia which was ruled by king Antiochus (see LYCAONIA). This explanation involves the assumption that the titles Lycaonia Galatica and Lycaonia Antiochiana could become 'Galatic region' (TaXa-nxr; X^pa) and 'Antiochian region' ( Ai Ttox cii Tj xupa), respectively, in the mouth of a Greek (or of Greek-speaking Paul) passing through the country. Put in this way the parallelism is deceptive. On the one hand, of the Latin titles only the second, Lycaonia Antiochiana, has been found (CIL 10:8660), whilst the other is inferred from the analogy of Pontus Galaticus ; on the other hand, of the Greek terms only the second "(Aj Tiox ci.j Tj x^Y"* : Ptol. v. 6:17) occurs. The use of the term 'Galatic region' (raXariKTj \wpa) for the Roman part of Lycaonia (and even its supposed Latin equivalent, Lycaonia Galatica}, however possible on grounds of analogy and desirable in the interests of symmetry, is not yet proved. On this ground, not on that of its complexity, we reject Ramsay's explanation. Its weakness lies in the necessity of taking the passage in close connection and comparison with Acts 16:6.

Still, even so, what is there to suggest the contrast with the non-Roman part of Lycaonia whereby alone the expression 'Galatic region' (I aAartKT) \iupa.) is justified and explained ? In Acts 16:6 'Galatic region' (raAajiKT) ^copa) receives its explanation and limitation precisely from the word 'Phrygian' (4>pvytar) with which it appears in combination; but in Acts 18:23 the defining words 'of Lycaonia' (TTJS Avxaoftat ; cp Rams. St. Paul the Traveller, 104) have to be supplied by reference to Acts 14:6 (where Lystra and Derbe are called 'cities of Lycaonia' ). On formal grounds also the expression 'the Galatic region and Phrygian' (TTJI PaAaTUtnv \iupav KOL typvyiav) becomes objectionable if explained as Ramsay explains it. For the adjective 'Galatic' in the first member of it indicates the province, and the part (Lycaonia) is to be supplied by the reader; but the adjective 'Phrygian' (QpvyCa.v) in the second member of it indicates the part, and the province (Galatia) is to be supplied by the reader ; for, according to Ramsay, the expression means 'the Galatic Region (of Lycaonia) and the Phrygian Region (of the province Galatia)'. Cp GALATIA, 12.

It is a mistake to insist upon the parallelism of the two phrases; Acts 18:23 must be interpreted indepen dently of Acts 16:6. In 16:6 'Phrygian' (4>ptryt oi ) is an adjective, in 18:23 it is a noun. In Acts 18:23 'Phrygia' is not Phrygia Galatica but Phrygia Asiana ; the words 'the Galatic region' sum up the whole breadth of the province Galatia from Derbe to Antioch, including, therefore, both the Galatic part of Lycaonia (which, in Acts 14:6, is described as 'Lystra and Derbe' and the region that lieth round about ) and the Galatic part of Phrygia (which, in Acts 16:6, is described as the 'Phrygo-Galatic Region' ). See GALATIA, 9, col. 1598. On this view, Paul travelled westwards from Antioch (Pisidian) and struck the eastern trade route perhaps at Metropolis (in the Tchal-Ova) ; but, instead of following the road through Apameia and the Lycus valley, he took the more direct road through Higher Phrygia, by way of Seiblia (see Rams. Cities and Bish. of Phrygia, 2:579-580). This journey through Phrygia is described in Acts 19:1 as a journey 'through the upper coasts' (TO. dvurepiKO. fitpi), RV 'the upper country'). It is vain to explain this phrase as having reference to the distinction between High Phrygia and Low Phrygia (Rams. Church in Rom. Emp.W 94) if non-Galatian Phrygia has not previously been mentioned, but only Galatic Phrygia ; for that distinction had no validity for Galatic Phrygia. The phrase in Acts 19:1 refers back to, and is an expansion of, the word Phrygian (Qpvyiav) in Acts 18:23.

Phrygia is also mentioned in Acts 2:10 (on this list, see PONTUS). If we are not to admit here a cross-division (the names of Roman provinces being used indiscriminately with pre-Roman national divisions embraced by them), Phrygia must be taken to stand for Galatia ; Phrygia Galatica being, from the point of view of Jews, the most important part of the Phrygian province (cp Acts 13:14, 14:1).

1 For the grammatical point here involved, see Ramsay, Church in Rom. Emp. 486 ; St. Paul the Traveller, 210-211.

5. Christianity in Phrygia.[edit]

Christianity was introduced into Galatic Phrygia by Paul and Barnabas on the 'first missionary journey' (Acts 13:14-15, Pisidian Antioch ; Acts l4:1-2, Iconium; both revisited, 14:21). On the 'second journey' Paul and Silas traversed Asian Phrygia, probably from (Pisidian) Antioch to Dorylaeum (Acts l6:6-7. See MYSIA) ; but no public preaching was attempted as they were 'forbidden to preach the word in Asia'. On the 'third journey', Phrygia Galatica was traversed a fourth time, and Phrygia Asiana a second time ; but we have no record of the establishment of churches in the latter region. There is, however, no reason at all for imagining that the churches of the Lycus valley (Colossae, Laodiceia, and Hierapolis) were the earliest foundations in Phrygia ; although it is clear from Rev. 1:11 that Laodiceia was the representative church, at any rate in SW. Phrygia, in the first century A. n. The tradition that Bartholomew was the apostle of the Lycaones makes it probable that central Phrygia was the scene of his labours, for the Lycaones lay NW. of Synnada (Rams. Cities and Bish. of Phrygia, 2:709). In the history of Christianity in Asia Minor, Phrygia holds an important place, and from it comes a larger number of inscriptions claimed as Christian than from any other part of the world except Rome itself.

Christian remains come from four districts :

  • (1) central Phrygia, the region of the Pentapolis. From it comes the famous tomb-inscription of Avircius Marcellus, bishop or presbyter of Hierapolis (192 A.D.). He was the leader of the anti-Montanist party, a 'disciple of the pure Shepherd, who feedeth flocks of sheep on mountains and plains', who, 'with Paul for a companion followed while Faith led the way' (Rams. Cities and Bish. of Phrygia, 2:709+) ;
  • (2) the districts of Eumeneia and Apameia ;
  • (3) Iconium and the country N. and NE. from it (Rams. Hist. Comm. on Gal. 220);
  • (4) N. Phrygia, the valley of the Tembris (Rams. Expos., 1888, 2:401-402).

'These facts point distinctly to three separate lines of Christian influence in Phrygia during the early centuries. The first comes up the Maeander valley, and reaches on different lines as far as Akmonia, and the Pentapolis and Apameia and Pisidian Antioch ; the second belongs to Lycaonia and the extreme SE. district ; the third belongs to the NW. The spheres of these three influences are separated from each other by belts of country where early Christian inscriptions are non-existent' (Rams. Cit. and Bish. 2:511). Ramsay would trace all three centres to a Pauline source (ibid, and 715). The persecution of Diocletian practically destroyed Christianity throughout Phrygia.

See Ramsay's monumental work, The Cities and Bish. of Phrygia, of which only two parts i., Lycos Valley ; ii., West and West-Central Phrygia have as yet appeared. w. J. W.

1 [The view that this inscription owes its origin to a Christian is extremely doubtful. A mass of literature on the subject is cited, for example, in Rev. de l'hist. des rel. 1897, p. 418 f. The most noteworthy defence of its pagan origin is in Dietrich, Die Grabschrift des Aberkios, Leipsic, 1896.]


(4>OYA [BKA]), Judith 2:23 AV, RV PUT (q.v.)


RV Purah (ITIS; as if 'vat' ; cp 2\ 3XT, Judg. 7:25, but see below ; (J)&p<\ [BAL]), Gideon's attendant, or armour-bearer, Judg. 7:10-11. That a mere attendant's name is recorded, is remarkable. Purah must either be, or spring from, some clan-name, either .TJ9 (see GIDEON, i, n. 2, PUAH), or more probably Ophrah (Judg. 6:11 etc.) or Ephrath. Cp MEONENIM, MOREH. T. K. c.


(cppOYP<M [BL/ 3 ]), Esth. 11:1, AV. See PURIM.


(O-1S), Gen. 10:6, 1 Ch. 1:8 AV, RV PUT (q.v.).


(rnS), Gen. 46:13 AV, RV PUVAH = 1 Ch. 7:1 PUAH (q.v.}.


RV better, Phygelus (NCD), is mentioned in 2 Tim. 1:15+ beside Hermogenes as having become alienated from Paul. Pseudo-Dorotheus speaks of both (see HERMOGENES), and represents Phygelus as having been a follower of Simon (Magus), and afterwards bishop of Ephesus. Otherwise the voice of legend is silent.


(<}>YA(M<THpi<\). Mt. 23:5. See FRONTLETS.


(o <J>YA&PXHC), 2 Macc. 8:32 RVmg, AV PHILARCHES, RV 'the phylarch'.


(XE, Gen. 50:2 etc.; (AT poc, Mt. 9:12 etc.). See MEDICINE.


(npTB ; BoyB&CTOC [BAP], CTOMA [Q] ; Bubastus), a city of Egypt which along with On-Heliopolis is threatened with destruction by the Babylonian armies (Ezek. 30:17).

1. History.[edit]

In view of the connection with cities on the Western frontier of the Delta (Tahpanhes, v. 18) and the renderings in the versions, we must recognise here the famous city not far from the W. entrance to Goshen. Its ruins, which are still known as Tel(l) Basta, are situated just S. of the modern city and railway-centre Zakazik.

The earliest Egyptian name of the city was (W)bst l (signification unknown), probably to be pronounced Ubeset. The place acquired a religious importance so high that its divinity, a cat (sometimes also in form of a lioness) or cat-headed goddess, had no other name than (W)bstt 2, Ubastet, 'the one of Ubeset'. Later, the city was called 'house (or temple)3 of Ubastet', P (originally Per]-ubaste(t). The Greek rendering of this form changes the P to B, as always before w, 4 and drops the ending in accordance with the vulgar pronunciation. The Coptic version of the OT gives the rather old form cboYB&c9i [phoubasthi]- The Hebrew orthography has hardly been handed down correctly ; it is certainly influenced by the analogy of *3, 'mouth', (cp LXX{Q} as above). Besides, the vocalisation -beseth instead of -bast must have been introduced at a quite recent date after an analogy of Hebrew grammar. Originally, the name must have been pronounced by the Hebrews also like Pubast(e?). The modern shortening Basta(h) is as old as the Arabian conquest.

1. [hieroglyphs go here] Cp Brugsch, Dict. Geog. 206.

2. [hieroglyphs go here] The singular freedom of Egyptian writing allows the suppression of the initial in the common orthography. Occasionally, however, it is written, and the form of the name is made certain by the foreign transcriptions.

3. [hieroglyphs go here]

4. Cp ETHAM. Notice that the classical writers give Bubastus for the city, Bubastis for the goddess. The confusion between the forms which, unfortunately now prevails, is due to Herodotus, who does not distinguish (in the present text).

2. History.[edit]

Our knowledge of Bubastus has been greatly increased by the excavations of Ed. Naville, in the winters 1887-89, described in Memoir 8 of the Egypt Exploration Fund (1891) where also the literature relating to the city and its history are collected.

The city, the capital of the eighteenth nome of Lower Egypt, must have been very old. Naville found remains of buildings by the pyramid-builders Cheops and Chephren (Hwfw[i?] and Ha'f-re). At a still earlier date, the local goddess Ubastet-Bubastis (presupposing the existence of the city) is mentioned in the texts of the pyramids (cp EGYPT, 46). This goddess was called Artemis by the Greeks ; the Egyptians emphasised her joyous and benign nature as contrasted with various warlike goddesses in lioness-form. Cp the feasts of Bubastis at which hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all Egypt assembled for the revelries so vividly described by Herodotus (2:60). Of course, the goddess, like all important divinities, soon received a solar character, and one of her chief titles is, 'eye of the sun-god', by which evidently she is designated as the sun-disk itself. The cat was sacred to Bubastis, and consequently there was near the city an enormous cemetery for cats (and ichneumons), which in our prosaic time has been exploited for manure. That the cat was considered sacred not only in Bubastus but also throughout all Egypt proves the general worship of Bubastis. Male divinities worshipped along with her were Nefer-tem and Ma-hes, in lion-forms.

Various kings of all dynasties (6, 12, etc.) built at Bubastus, even the Hyksos-rulers Heyan and Apopi ; above all, however, the pharaohs of dynasty 22 among whom Lower Egypt had completely gained the upper hand over the Thebaid. Osorkon II. erected there a very large hall in commemoration of one of those jubilee-festivals called heb-sed by the Egyptians, Tpia.KOi>TO.fTripidts [triakontaeterides] (Inscr. Rosettana, 3) by the Greeks. See for the curious sculptures of that building Memoir 10 of the Egypt Exploration Fund. The twenty-second and twenty-third dynasties seem to have had their residence in Bubastus ; for the question, why Manetho calls them Bubastide kings, see EGYPT, 64. Herodotus gives a very impressive description of the temple. Later it was enlarged by Nectanebes (Nehtnebef], one of the last Egyptian kings. Diodorus (1649) narrates the capture of the place by the generals of Artaxerxes Ochus. Although the Greek and Roman rulers do not seem to have expended much on the temple, Bubastus continued to be a flourishing city down to Arab times. During the middle ages, it was abandoned ; the present ruins do not offer many attractions to tourists.

W. M. M.

1 Gunkel (Sc/wff. 50) thinks ni 3C to be a rare word for 'ships' ; but his theory has no solid basis.


The rendering is found only in AV.

i. nVri; 1 , sekiyyoth, Is. 2:16, RV 'imagery', RVmg 'watch-towers'. 'Figured works' would be the most natural rendering ; but we expect something tall to be mentioned. There seems to be corruption in the text. 'Ships of Tarshish' in v. 16a cannot be right ; they do not come in at all naturally after 'high towers and steep walls'. To correct JVfyy into nij BD, 'ships' (Siegfr.- Stade), is therefore unsatisfactory, even apart from the fact that this word, well known in Aramaic, only occurs in the late Book of Jonah l (Jon. 1:6). We can hardly defend it by LXX{BNA} , -rraa-av Oeav TrAoi iui /coAAous, which is paraphrastic. See EBONY, 2 (f).

2. nVSb S, maskiyyoth.

  • (a) Nu. 33:52 (cnconiai [skopiai]), rather 'figured (stones)', as RV ; cp Lev. 26:1, n 2C D J3X> 'figured stone' (AVmg., RV), and see IDOL, 1-2
  • (b) Prov. 25:11 (on LXX see BASKET), RV 'baskets' ; but the 'baskets of silver' are as doubtful as the 'pictures'. See BASKET.


i. iTO e-p, kesitah (Gen. 33:19 and || Josh. 24:32 [RV ; AV has 'pieces of silver' ]; also Job 42:11). A doubtful reading. See KESITAH.

2. a-Tarrip [stater], Mt. 17:27+ AV, EVmg. 'stater', RV SHEKEL (q.v.).

3. P jp3 miiX, 'agorath keseph (6j3oAoO apyvptou [obolou argurion]; nummum argenteum, 1 S. 2:36 ; EV 'a piece of silver' ). Doubtful (see SPELT).

4. In 2 K. 5:5 EV has 'six thousand [pieces] of gold' for ntJ B am D B^K- RVmg. suggests 'shekels' for 'pieces' ; cp Zech. 11:12-13 '[pieces] of silver'. See MONEY.

5. In Lk. 15:8-9 the 'piece of silver' is Spa\n^ [drachme] (EVmg. 'drachma; a coin worth about eightpence' ). The 'pieces of silver' of Mt. 26:15, 27:3+ are apyvpia [arguria] ; the fifty thousand pieces of silver in Acts 19:19, apyupi ou /AupidSes TreVre [argurion muriades pente].


(brt3, Gen. 15:9 ; iW, Lev. 128). See DOVE, FOWL.


(riTPirPB ; in Ex. THC errAyAecoc [BAFL], in Nu. CTOMA 6TTipu)9 [B], CT. 6lpco9 [B ab AFL]; Phihahiroth] Ex. 14:29, Nu. 33:7; also HAHIROTH (DTlin ; eipooG [BAFL]; Phihahirotfi) Nu. 33:8. See EXODUS i., 11 ; also BAAL-ZEPHON. and MIGDOL, 1.



1. Name and titles.[edit]

In Mt. 27:2 IlfiAoru) T<p riyffiovi ; thereafter o rUtAaros or 6 Tfyeii.<av simply ; Mk. 15:1 UtiAaru simply, thereafter 6 II. ; Lk. 3:1 rj-yep.ot euoi TOs flovriov IleiAarou (here only and Acts 427 the double name); for the title cp. 20:20 ; in other places o II. as in 23:1+ or II. simply (as also in Acts 3:13); Jn. 18:29+ has 4:27 only oTl.

The NT, as above shown, uses only the title rjyffj.wv, = Lat. praeses, a general term (cp -ijyf/jioi>ia [hegemonia] used in Lk. 3:1 of the emperor, in which place it is translated 'reign', EV), used also by Josephus in speaking of the 'governor' of Judaea (Ant. 18:3:1, 55). Josephus also often employs the word 1-ira.pxos [eparchos] (Ant. 19:9:2, 363) or fTn./j.e\r)Tr)s [epimeletes] (Ant. 18:4:2, 89) ; but the specific title of the governor of Judaea was procurator, in Greek ewirpoiroy [epitropos], and so he is called by Jos. Ant. 20:62, 132, BJ 2:8:1, 117, 2:9:2, 169 and elsewhere (cp Tac. Ann. 15:44 - the only passage in which Pilate is mentioned by a Roman writer). For an account of this office see PROCURATOR.

Pilate's birthplace is unknown ; but the legends offer an ample choice (Muller, Pont. Pil. 48-49). His nomen Pontius suggests a connection with the famous Samnite family of the Pontii ; his cognomen Pilatus, if it were really derived from the word pileatus (pilleatus), 'wearing the pilleus, or felt cap of the manumitted slave', would suggest the taint of slavery in the history of his family (cp the case of Felix, who although actually only a freedman held the procuratorship of Judaea). The word Pilatus may, however, just as probably be connected with pilatus (pilum) or pilatus (pilo), either of which derivations would start us upon a very different train of imagination, the conclusion of which would equally have no historical validity whatever.

On the death of Archelaus in 6 A.D. his kingdom, which had included Judaea, Samaria, and Idumaea, was made a Caesarian province (see HEROD [FAMILY], 8). Of the seven procurators who administered the province between 6 A.D. and 41 A.D. Pontius Pilate was the fifth ; he held office for ten years (26-36 A.D. Cp Jos. Ant. 18:4:2, 89).

2. Story of imperial usage.[edit]

According to Philo, Agrippa I. in his letter to Caligula describes Pilate as 'inflexible, merciless, and obstinate' (TT)I> tpvcriv d/ca/otirTjs jcat fjara. rod avOddovs d/uei XiKTOs), and charges him with 'corruption, violence, robbery, ill-usage, oppression, illegal executions, and never-ending most grievous cruelty' (Phil. Leg. ad Caium, 38). The few incidents recorded of his career are supposed to furnish completely satisfactory evidence of this undoubtedly overdrawn characterisation. So 'the very first act by which Pilate introduced himself into office was characteristic of him who treated with contempt the Jewish customs and privileges' (Schurer, GJV 1:400; ET 1:28:3). In order to satisfy Jewish scruples it was a standing order that the image of the emperor borne upon Roman military standards should be removed before troops entered Jerusalem ; but on one occasion, probably soon after Pilate s entry upon office, it was discovered that this rule had been evaded by a detachment which had entered the city by night (Jos. Ant. 18:3:1, 56 ; BJ 2:9:2, 169). For five days Pilate was deaf to the protestations of the crowd which gathered before his palace at Caesarea. On the sixth day the malcontents were surrounded by troops in the race-course ; but their fanatical obstinacy was proof against this display of power, and Pilate was obliged to give way. It was his first experience of that strange intractable temper which made the Jews so difficult to govern ; he learnt now, at the outset of his career as governor, how far the people were prepared to go for the sake of their religious scruples. That a massacre of the mob was seriously contemplated, it would be foolish to assert ; for the imperial system was a sensible attempt to govern by means of sensible men. The utmost that can be extracted from the narrative, in our ignorance of the exact circumstances of the breach of regulations, is the conclusion that the procurator erred through inexperience of the people and an inopportune insistence upon a point of honour. Pilate s Roman sentiments must claim weight equally with the punctilios of the Jewish mob ; but this is often overlooked.

The other instances of friction will be found upon a fair review to bear a very different interpretation from that usually put upon them.

3. Other stories.[edit]

The treasure accumulated in the temple was in part appropriated for the construction of an aqueduct to Jerusalem. This excited vehement opposition, and a visit of the procurator to the city was made the occasion of a great popular demonstration. Pilate having received previous information of the intended outburst issued the necessary orders, and the soldiers mingling with the crowd dispersed the rioters with bludgeons, and effectually silenced all open opposition to the scheme ; this was not accomplished without some loss of life (Jos. Ant. 18:3:2 ; BJ 2:94).

The incident to which reference is made in Lk. 13:1 ( 'the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices' ) is not elsewhere recorded. When account is taken of the disturbed state of the country, due to the fanatical mutual hatred of the various religious groups (op, for example, the act of the Samaritans who threw bones into the temple just before the Passover in order to pollute it - Jos. Ant. 18:22, 30), we must recognise in the incident only the strong hand of a governor concerned to carry out impartially the duty which was in fact the prime requirement of a provincial governor - the maintenance of order (cp Ramsay, Was Christ born at Bethlehem? 174-175). The permanent difficulty of this task in the case of Judaea is evidenced by the insurrection in which Barabbas had been prominent (Mk. 15:7, Lk. 23:19), and also by that collision between the government and the Samaritans which led to Pilate's recall. These Samaritans, under the leadership of an impostor, who promised to reveal the sacred utensils which were supposed to be concealed on Mt. Gerixim since the time of Moses, gathered in great numbers armed at the mountain, but were dispersed with bloodshed by Pilate s troops, and those of repute and influence among them executed. The Samaritans made complaint to Vitellius, who had come as legatus to Syria, and Yitellius sent Pilate to Rome to answer for his conduct, making over the administration of Judaea to Marcellus (Jos. Ant. 18:4:2).

4. Pilate's administration.[edit]

The true nature of the two incidents last sketched is clear. Upon the whole, we must refuse to subscribe to that unfavourable verdict which has been passed upon Pilate on the strength of evidence derived from hostile sources, whether Jewish or Christian. The peculiar misfortune of Pilate, that he was connected with the tragedy of Jesus (see ROMAN EMPIRE), has resulted in all treatment of his career being merely a search for evidence in support of a foregone conclusion. His ten years' tenure of office (a length of tenure equalled only by that of his predecessor Valerius Gratus, 15-26 A.D. ) is evidence of the general success of his administration ; for the reason assigned by Josephus (Ant. 18:6:5), that long tenure was due to deliberate intention on the part of Tiberius to secure if possible a mitigation of official rapacity, on the principle that 'it is better to leave the gorged flies on a sore than to drive them off' is simply foolish if taken as more than the jeu d'esprit of a malcontent (for other assigned reasons, cp Tac. Ann. 1:80). Pilate's suspension and dismissal to Rome just before the death of Tiberius (Tac. Ann. 632) proves only the greatness of the pressure brought to bear upon the newly-appointed legate of Syria, or at most the desire on the part of the central government to go still farther on a path of conciliation, signs of which tendency had not been wanting even before this event. For Pilate had already been compelled by imperial mandate to remove to Cassarea certain votive shields, without figures, gilded only and inscribed with the emperor s name, which he had hung up in the palace at Jerusalem, less for the honour of Tiberius than for the annoyance of the Jews, as the letter of Agrippa I. unfairly puts it (Philo, Leg. ad Caium, 38). This was probably after the death of Seianus (31 A.I). ) if it be true that Seianus was an arch-enemy of the Jews (cp Schurer, GVI 1:411 ; ET 1:286 note). Here a correct interpretation will see, not 'a piece of purely wanton bravado on the part of Pilate', but a small concession on the part of his imperial master overriding and correcting the attitude of a subordinate, in deference to a petition supported by powerful names. This new departure was entered upon very energetically by Vitellius (for the details, see Jos. Ant. 18:4:3), and had its natural sequel in the favour shown by Caligula to Agrippa 1. and the great advancement of Agrippa by Claudius (see IlKkon, FAMILY OF, 12).

Pilate has won notoriety through his connection with the trial and sentence of Jesus (Mk. 15:1-2, Mt. 27:2-3; more fully in Lk. 23:1-2, Jn. 18:28-29. adds much to the Synoptic accounts). See, further, ROMAN EMPIRE.

5. Legends.[edit]

Of Pilate's end nothing is known. Before he reached Rome Tiberius was dead (Jos. Ant, 18:4:2). Various traditions were current. Eusebius (Chron. and HE 27) asserts, on the authority of unnamed Greek or Roman chroniclers, that he fell into such misfortunes under Caligula that he committed suicide. In the apocryphal Mors Pilati, his suicide follows upon his condemnation to death by Tiberius for his failure to save Jesus. His body was cast into the Tiber ; but evil spirits disturbed the water so much that it was carried to Vienna ( Vienne) and cast into the Rhone, and after various vicissitudes, ended in the recesses of a lake on Mt. Pilatus, opposite Lucerne (for this legend and its origin, see Muller, Pont. Pil. 8:2-3; Ruskin, Mod. Paint. 5:128). In the apocryphal llapdSocris IhXdrov [paradosis pilatou] it is related that Tiberius called Pilate to account for the crucifixion of Jesus and condemned him to death ; and both he and his wife died penitent, and were assured of forgiveness by a voice from heaven (see Tisch. Evang. Apocr. 449-450). According to other accounts, Pilate's execution occurred under Nero (so Malalas, ed. Dind. 250-251; and authorities quoted by Schurer, op. cit. 88 n. ). The tendency of the tradition to represent both Pilate and his wife as embracing Christianity is easily understood, and is in contrast with the unsympathetic estimate of later times (cp Tertull. Ap. 21, jam pro siia conscientia Christianas, 'already in conviction a Christian', at or immediately after Jesus' death ; Gosp. of Nic. 2 ; Orig. Hom. on Mt. 35 ; Stanley, East. Ch. 13). Tradition gives the name of Pilate's wife as Claudia Procula or Procla, and by some she has been identified with the Claudia mentioned in 2 Tim. 4:21.

6. Literature.[edit]

G. A. Miiller, Pontius Pilatus der funfte Procurator von Judaea, etc., 1888 ; with full list to date of the literature on Pilate. Arnold, Die neronische Christenverfolgung, n6_/: Articles in Ex fos. ser. 2. vol. 8 (1884), 107 f. (Cox), and ser. 6, vol. i (1900), 59_/I (Macgregor). Taylor Innes, Trial of Jesus Christ, a legal HI allograph, 1899. The many Lives of Christ may also be consulted, hut with little profit as regards obtaining a correct view of Pilate himself. For the so-called Acts of Pilate (Gospel of Nicodeiints) consult J. C. Thilo, Codex apocr. NT \. , 1832, nSf. 4$if.\ R. A. Lipsius, Die Pilatus-Akten, 1871.

W. J. W.

1 Dillmann (ad loc.) cites a Nab. name 7w75Q; but the reading is more than doubtful.


(B^JpB), b. NAHOR (Gen. 22:22 : c{><\AAAC [AD ? L], -A [D*]). The name, however, looks doubtful, and may have been partly assimilated to the name fj^T which follows (Che.). 1


RV Pilha (nnSs; cp Palm. KI17B),

signatory to the covenant (see KZKA i., 7), Neh. 10:24 [10:25] (fa&ae^ [B], -eio [], </>oAai [A], aAA. [L]).


i. o-irar, nsr, 'ammid [V""3V [root 'MD], to stand]; cTyAOC I thrice KICON ; once cTACic)- See Judg. 16:25+, 1 K. 7:2, 7:6, 7:21 (Jachin and Boaz) Job 9:6 (pillars of earth), 26:11 (pillars of heaven), Ps. 75:3 [75:4] etc. Judg. 16:25+ gives the story of Samson's last feat of strength. The Philistines, both men and women, were making merry (at Gaza) at a sacrifice to Dagon, and Samson was sent for to make sport before them, and was stationed between the two middle pillars on which the house rested. But it was deadly sport that he made, for he took hold of the pillars, 'bracing himself against them' (Moore's rendering), and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people. Perhaps these two pillars are analogous to the pillars called Jachin and Boaz in the temple at Jerusalem (see JACHIN AND BOAZ), which appear to have been symbols of the vast 'mountain of God' (or, of the divine beings). See CONGREGATION [MOUNT OF THE]. To pull down these pillars, which represented the most immovable thing in the material world (there is a moral world too which has its 'pillars', Ps. 75:3 [75:4]), was a proof of supernatural strength, which justifies us in supposing a (perfectly harmless) mythical element in the Samson story, to some extent analogous to the mythical element in the Babylonian story of Gilgamesh. For only of a divine being can it be said, 'who shakes the earth out of its place, so that the pillars thereof (here the mountains) tremble' (Job 9:6). Cp SAMSON.

For pillars of the tabernacle and temple, see TABERNACLE, TEMPLE. By the C pltrn, hasuklm (EV 'fillets' ) of the tabernacle Gesenius (Thes.) and others understand connecting rods joining the tops of the pillars, from which curtains were hung. Dillmunn, Holzinger, and others (see BOB) prefer the meaning 'fillet' or 'ring' (clasping or 'binding' the pillars) ; to these rings the nails bearing the curtains were fastened.

A pillar is the emblem of firmness and steadfastness (Jer. 1:18, Rev. 3:12), and of that which sustains or supports (Gal. 2:9, 1 Tim. 3:15).

In 1 K. 7:18 RV reads C"isy for D JDI; the clause, however, should be transferred to v. 17 (The., Sta., Klo., Ki.). D llSJfn at the beginning of v. 18 should be C JJnn (cp ). Cp POMEGRANATES.

2 . pi s a, masuk, 1 S. 2:8 (LXX otherwise ; of the 'pillars' of the earth). The only other occurrence of the word is in 1 S. 14:5, 'the one crag rose up' (RV for !]isa), on which see MICHMASH, 2, ad fin.

3. naSB, massebah. See MASSEBAH.

4. 3 sp, nesib ((TDjArj), Gen. 19:26 (pillar of salt). On 1 S. 10:5 1837;, see SAUL, 2, note ; cp EZION-GEBER.

5. 3SS, mussab, Judg. 9:6 (ordcris [stasis]), see GARRISON ; cp Is. 29:3, AV 'mount', RV 'fort'.

6. nijSN, omenoth, 2 K. 18:16+ = doorposts ; ccm)piy^eVa [esterigmena].

7 . lyps, mis'ad (v^D, to support), 1 K. 10:12+ ; EVmg. rails, props ; BOB 'precise meaning unintelligible', virotTTr)piyna.Ta. [hyposterigmata].

8 and 9. rnB H,* 'pillars of smoke', Cant. 3:6 (ore Aex)> Joel 3:3 [2:30], Acts 2:19, 'vapour (ar/ou s [atmis]) of smoke', and nCFI, Jer. 10:5, RVmg. See SCARECROW. T. K. C.


p->* $?K), Judg. 9:6 AV, RV OAK OF THE PILLAR. See TEREBINTH, 3 (4), and MASSEBAH, 1.


In the stories of the Exodus and the subsequent wanderings in the wilderness, cloud as indicative of the divine presence is frequently referred to. The pillar-like form of the appearance is alluded to only in the two earliest Hexateuchal strata (J, E) ; but the references to 'the cloud' in the later narratives (D, P) as well as in some narratives outside the Hexateuch are so closely related that they must be discussed together.

1. The conception in J.[edit]

In immediate connection with the Exodus, J relates that Yahwe led the people by going before them in a pillar of cloud (jjy -msy) by day, and a pillar of fire by night : and that this mode of guidance was continuous (note the participle Tj^n, Ex. 13:21), and perpetual (Ex. 13:22) - i.e., presumably, till the end of their journeyings. One exception to the continuity is related. When the Hebrews, on becoming aware that the Egyptians were in pursuit, were seized with fear, the pillar of cloud removed to the rear and prevented the approach of the Egyptians (Ex. 14:19b, 14:20b). In the morning watch of the same night Yahwe looked out on the Egyptians and confounded them (Ex.14:24), the narrative perhaps implying that the confusion was occasioned by terrifying phenomena connected with the cloud (cp Di. ad loc.; Ew. Hist. 2:74). The only other reference in J to cloud as indicative of the divine presence is to a different phenomenon : when Moses ascended Mt. Sinai Yahwe descended in the cloud and stood with him (Ex. 34:5). In this case, the purpose of the cloud was no doubt to conceal the form and dangerous brightness of Yahwe.

1 For conjectures respecting this 'house', see Moore on v . 27, and cp VESTRY.

2. In E.[edit]

In E the appearance of the pillar of cloud is regarded as intermittent : moreover it serves a different purpose and appears in a different place from that indicated by J; nor is any fiery appearance of it ever alluded to. It came down from time to time and stood at the door of the 'tent of meeting', which was pitched without the camp. When Moses went thither to consult Yahwe and Yahwe spoke with Moses. as often as the people observed it they rose up and worshipped at their tent doors, Ex. 33:7-11 (the tenses are throughout frequentative). For special instances of the appearance of this pillar of cloud, see Nu. 12:5 Dt. 31:15 ; and of 'the cloud' Nu. 11:25 ; note also the reference to the departure of the cloud in Nu. 12:10.

There is therefore no real point of contact between the representations in J and E beyond the fact that both record a pillar-like appearance of cloud as indicating the divine presence. The theophanic character of the pillar of cloud is particularly marked in E in Ex. 339, where it speaks with Moses ; cp the identification of the angel of Yahwe and Yahwe (see THEOPHANY).

There are, however, other references to cloud in E. As in J, so in E, cloud accompanies the theophany on Sinai, Ex. 19:9-10.

1 The account of the different conceptions given in the text rests on a critical analysis which has commanded very general acceptance. The only disagreement of importance is Kuenen's reference (Hex. 151) of the whole of vv. 19-22 of Ex. 14 to E. We have followed Dillmann in regarding the phrase -|OV 1MP1 DrvSy in Nu. 14:14, and the present form of Nu. 10:34 as due to R.

2 Where restore |3!?8?, the 'tabernacle', for the senseless redactorial "lii7an, 'wilderness'.

3. References in D.[edit]

Dt. 1:33 is dependent on J, though the term pillar is not used. The only other references in Dt. are to the clouds on sinai, 4:11, 5:19 [5:22].

4. In P.[edit]

As in the earlier narratives, so in P, cloud covers Mt. Sinai at the giving of the law (Ex. 24:16-18) ; it forms the accompaniment of the fiery appearance of the glory of Yahwe (v. 17), and the envelope of the divine being (v. 16). This forms the starting point of P s narrative of the cloud which indicates the divine presence : subsequently it is frequently, as in this first instance, associated with the glory of Yahwe. It first appears in the camp on the day of the completion of the tabernacle ; it then covered, while the glory of Yahwe filled, the building, preventing Moses from entering (Ex. 40:34-35, Nu. 9:15). For other instances of the association of the cloud and the glory of Yahwe, see Ex. 16:10, 2 which belongs to a narrative that must originally have followed the record of the completion of the tabernacle in Ex. 40 (Di. , We., Bacon, etc.), and Nu. 16:42, [17:7]. and in LXX, 14:10. The presence of the cloud, which became fiery at night, was permanent from the day of the completion of the tabernacle till the journeys of the Israelites were over, Ex.40:38, Nu. 9:16; with this Nu. 16:42 [17:7] might appear to conflict, but cp Di. (ad loc. ), who dis tinguishes between the permanent abiding of the cloud over the tabernacle and the intermittent complete envelopment of the tabernacle by the cloud indicated by the word 'cover'. This explanation fails to take account of Nu. 9:16, or the equivalence of Ex. 40:34-35. In any case the permanence of the cloud is quite unambiguously asserted in Ex. 40:38, Nu. 9:6.

Thus P differs from E in making the phenomenon permanent and connecting it with the centre of the camp, where according to P the tabernacle was placed ; and from both E and J with regard to the form of the phenomenon. Not only does P never use the term 'pillar' ; he speaks of the cloud in ways which do not suggest, and perhaps exclude, such a form : thus the cloud 'covers' (nDj) or 'abides over' C?y pc*), or 'goes up from resting over' (^>j;j2 nSw) the tabernacle ; contrast with these expressions those of E with whom the pillar of cloud stands (icy) at the door. With J, P agrees in making the phenomenon permanent and a means of guidance on the march ; he differs, however, as to the place of appearance, the time of its first appearance (in J it appears directly after leaving Egypt, but in P not till after Sinai has been reached), and the manner in which it directed the march - in P it simply indicates by rising or falling that the march is to begin or cease (Nu. 9:15-23, 10:11-12), in J it actually precedes and leads the host.

The appearance of Yahwe over the mercy-seat also is in cloud (Lev. 16:2). Whether this cloud is rightly identified by Dillmann with the cloud perpetually resting over the tabernacle may be questioned, though he is probably right in rejecting the suggestion that the cloud intended by the writer is the cloud of incense (cp Lev. 16:13).

Such are the various accounts of the cloud in connection with the wanderings. It must suffice to allude, without discussion, to

  • (1) similar accounts of the later history - viz., those of the cloud that filled Solomon's temple when the ark was brought in ( 1 K. 8:11 = 2 Ch. 5:14, cp Ezek. 10:3), and of the great cloud of fiery appearance that enveloped the chariot of Ezekiel's vision (Ezek. 14);
  • (2) allusions in biblical literature to the cloud of the wanderings (Is. 4:5, Ps. 78:14, 105:39, Wisd. 10:17, 1 Cor. 10:1-2);
  • (3) the part played by the cloud in the transfiguration (Mt. 17:5, Mk. 9:7, Lk. 9:34), the ascension (Acts 1:9), and pictures of the Parousia (Mt. 24:30, 26:64, Mk. 13:26, 14:62 [all modified citations from Dan. 7:13],

1 Thess. 417).

5. Origin of conception.[edit]

It has been very generally held that the idea of a pillar of cloud preceding the people in the wilderness had its origin in the custom of carrying braziers containing burning wood at the head of an army or a caravan, the smoke by day, the fire by night serving to indicate to all the line of march.

Such a custom is vouched for by ancient authorities and modern travellers ; Curtius (5:2:7) relates it of Alexander's march through Babylonia and (3:3:9) of the Persians generally ; Harmer of Arabian caravans, and Pococke of a night-journey made by himself from the Jordan to Jerusalem (Pitts in Harmer, Observations (*) , 2278). The accounts given by Clement of Alexandria (Strom, 1:24) of a fiery pillar guiding Thrasybulus by night, and by Diodorus Siculus (16:66) of Timoleon being guided to Italy in a somewhat similar manner, may be cited as legendary parallels to the biblical story. 1

The form which the story has assumed in the narratives as we now possess them evidently owes much to the more general ideas concerning theophanies (see THEOPHANY), and in particular to the idea that, even when God manifested his presence by a physical appearance, some screening of the effulgence of his brightness was requisite. In brief, the cloud was the physical sign of Yahwe's presence, and its movement in guidance of the host, the indication that Israel's way through the wilderness was of Yahwe's ordering. In P's conception of the cloud that abode over or covered the tabernacle, the smoke rising from the altar may have been the physical basis, for the Heb. 'anan denotes a cloud of smoke (e.g. , Ezek. 8:11) as well as atmospheric cloud ; but here again the writer of course intends much more ; it is the visible sign of Yahwe's presence in the camp and, at the same time, the covering of the brightness of his glory. G. B. G.

1 For further references to earlier literature on these points, see Rosenmuller, Kautzsch, or Di. on Ex. 13:21. [Cp also Frazer, Golden Bought, 1305.]


(TO? [constr.], 1 S. 19:13, 19:16; jfinp3 [plur.J, Ezek. 181820). See BED, 4.


(?3h), Ezek. 27:8, 27:27, 27:29 ; also Jon. 16, where EV 'shipmaster'. See SHIP.


( B pa ; cp PALTIEL), head of the priestly b'ne MAADIAH (q.v.), Neh. 12:17 (om. BN*A, ^eAijret [Nc.amg.jj a^Arj^i [L]).


(ID*), Ex. 35:18; also 'tent-pin', 'stake'. See TENT, 3. T


occurs in AV as the rendering of two words.

1. es shemen, JOB* fV, the oleaster, in Neh. 8:15 AV 'pine', but 'oil tree' in Is. 41:19. See OIL TREE.

2. tidhar, irnn (Is. 41:19, 60:13, RVmg. in 41:19 'plane', Tg. f\nip)i is the name of some large tree growing on Lebanon. The word has been very variously interpreted, Celsius (2:271+) finds the uncertainty too great to allow of his offering an opinion. Lagarde ( Uebers. 130), how ever, has thrown fresh light upon the matter by comparing and indeed identifying irnn with Syr. daddar, deddar (see Payne Smith, Thes.}, which denotes occasionally the oak, but usually the elm (Low, 98+). The TrreXea [ptelea] of Sym. and ulmus of Vg. in Is. 41:19 would thus be justified as against the Tretf/oj [peuke] of LXX (60:13 ; where Sym. has TTUOJ [pyxos] with irevK-r) [peuke] for -IIBWI). The only difficulty is that the common elm - Ulmus campestris, L. - though found in northern Palestine, is uncommon (FFP, 411).

N. M.


i. fay, shemesh, Is. 54:12, RV. See BATTLEMENT.

2. nrepvyiov [pterygion], Mt. 4:5, RVmg. 'Wing'. See TEMPLE.


(}3 B), a 'duke' of Edom (Gen. 36:41 ; (|>iNec [A], <|>[e]iNa>N [DEL]; 1 Ch. 1:52 , 4>[e]iNOON [BA], (J>INA [L]). Eusebius and Jerome (OS 2998s; 1289) speak of a little village called Fenon (<j>cnvuv or <pivui>) in the Idumaean desert between Petra and Zoar, where mining was carried on by convicts ; cp the ruins called Kal at Phenan (Lagrange, 'Phonnon', Revue biblique, 7:122+ [1898]).

The Qtvvytria. fxernAAa [phennesia metalla], 'metalla ad Phoenum', are referred to by classical authors among the places to which Christian confessors were often condemned.

This Pinon is doubtless the PUNON (pis) of Nu. 33:42-43 (|rs [Sam.], <p[e]iv<i3 [HAL], <f>iv(av [F]), a station of the Israelites in their wanderings.


i. r jn, halil \J^n, 'bore, pierce' ; av\6s ; tibia : 1 S. 10:5, 1 K. 1:40 (LXX{BA} xopoc? , so xPV [chore] in the two Psalm passages ; cp also N in Is. 5:12) [Ps. 149:3, 150:4, read Snfor yinDi with Che.]; Is. 5:12, 30:29, Jer. 48:36, 1 Esd. 5:2, Ecclus. 40:21, 1 Macc. 3:45, 1 Cor. 147; cp Mt. 9:23, Rev. 18:22 avAT/TTJs.t See Music, 4 a.

2. 331J7, 'ugab, Vg. organum; AV 'organ '; Gen. 4:21 (Ki0<ipa); Job 21:12, 30:31 (v^aA/ids), Ps. 150:4 (opyavov). See Music, 4, 6. In Ps. 100:4, for 33V1 D ja3 Cheyne (Ps.W) reads 33J7 nD J733, 'with the sweet sounds of the flute' ; cp Ecclus. 469 (Heb.). E ilp, 'strings' cannot be defended by Ecclus. 39: 15 (Heb.), where TD ^>3 is a corruption of JVn 133, LXX ep Kivvpa.it [en kinyrais] (Hal.); nor by Ps. 45:9b, where we should perhaps read 7[7 D CSpS 3D, 'minas of Carchemish (they will bring) unto thee' (Che. Ps.(')); Cp MANEH.

3. 3jy, nekeb, Ezek. 28:13+ a7ro0>JK>] ? foramen ? Most, as BDB, explain as a 'term techn. of jewellers work', probably some hole or cavity ; it is best at present, to abstain from a translation, the text being corrupt (see CHERUB, 2).


(neip&c [B]), 1 Esd. 5:19, AV = Ezra 2:25 , CHEPHIRAH.


(DN~)E), i.e., perhaps, stripping off the gentilic ending, JOS, 'wild ass' ; but cp Ass. purimu 'wild ass', and pir'u, 'a sprout, scion', also used as a prop, noun [see below]), the king of JARMUTH (q.v. ) defeated by Joshua (Josh. 10:3 ; 4>eiAcoN [H], (J>ep&&lt;\M [A], <J>eA&M [L]). In the time of Sargon the king of the N. Arabian land of Musri was called Pir'u (see MIZRAIM) ; but this gives no support to the view that the Jarmuth of Josh. 10:3 was in the coast-lying region to the S. of Palestine, where it is possible (but not certain) that the Yarimuta of Am. Tab. was situated.

For Max Muller's bold suggestion that the original reading in Josh. 10:3 was 'Pharaoh of Jarimuta', and that 'king' was inserted after the name had become unintelligible, see MVG, 1897, 3:27+


(|inina ; [B], 4>p<N&6coN [AL], (J^p&eoo [J os -])> originally no doubt a clan- name ( = Pir'ath), but in Judg. 12:15, and virtually in 1 Macc. 9:50, a place-name.

1. ABDON (q.v. ), the Pirathonite ( :injns; Judg. 12:13, 12:15 o {jtapaduvfirys [B], 6 tppaBwviTrjs [A], 6 f<ppa- aGiiiviT^ [L]), was buried 'in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill-country of the Amalekites' (RV), Most scholars identify this Pirathon with the mod. Fer'ata, 6 mi. WSW. of Nablus (but see OPHRAH, 3). It is to be observed, however,

(1) that in 1 Ch. 8:23, 8:30 ( = 9:36) Abdon appears as a Benjamite family name. Benaiah, one of David's thirty, was also a Pirathonite (^hinp ; 2 S. 23:30,? TOV f>pa6aiov [BA ; om. L] ; 1 Ch. 11:31, <f>a.pa.duv[e~\i [BAL], <f>apa.6u>6eL [N*], <papa<puvei [N c - a ]; 1 Ch. 27:14. t <t>apa.0uv TUV viCiv e<j>p. [BAL]) ; surely he was more probably a Benjamite than an Ephraimite. That Abdon was really an Ephraimite, now becomes doubtful.

(2) Another important point is that the situation of Pirathon is described twice over, and that the second description is extremely difficult to reconcile with the first. 1 The text therefore must be suspected. D lEj* may be a corruption of ^KOrrv (as in 1 S. 1:11, 94, etc.). Saul's hill-country (see SAUL, 1 ) appears to have been known as Jerahmeelite ; in this region Pirathon may have been situated. Prob ably we should read in Judg. 12:15, 'in Pirathon in the hill-country of Jerahmeel', in and px being variants, and ptey, like c ^EN, a corruption of S^crn*. Judg. 12:15 is thus reconciled with 1 Ch. 8:23, 8:30. Were it not for the passage in 1 Ch. we might place Pirathon in Judah, where there seems to have been a clan-name nyis or njns (Par'ah or Par'ath) ; see PAROSH, BITHIAH.

2. We also meet with PHARATHON (AV PHARATHONI), i.e., Pir'athon, in 1 Macc. 9:50; it was one of the strong cities in Judaea fortified by Bacchides. Perhaps, as G. A. Smith suggests (HG 355), it stood at the head of the Wady Fari'a, an important strategical position.

In 1 Macc. 9:30 LXX{ANV} gives KOI. TT\V 8afj.va.6a. <j>apa.Q<av, Probably itat has dropped out before <j>ap. ; it is supplied, with correct insight, by Jos., Syr., and Vet. Lat. (The absence of n)f is of course unimportant ; cp Jos. Ant. 13:1:3. So Schu., GJV 1:170). T. K. C.


(napSri; (hAcr*)- In Dt. 34:1 as the text stands, the 'top of the Pisgah' (KOPY4>HN (pACf*. [BAFL]) is identified with MOUNT NEBO (q.v.). Elsewhere (in D) 'the Pisgah' appears as the mountain from which Moses surveyed the promised land, Dt. 3:27 (\e\a^fvjjievov [B], TOV X. [AFL]), and was perhaps so regarded by JE (Kopv<p-r)v <p. [BAFL]), who certainly name it as a station in Nu. 21;20 (TOV XeXaeii/u.ecoi> [BAFL]) and, as a place where Balak sacrificed (cp ZOPHIM, BAMOTH-BAAL) in 23:14 (\f\aevfj.evov [ibid.]). Elsewhere in D it is a boundary mark ; we hear of 'the slopes of Pisgah' Dt. 3:17 (affijowQ Tfjv <p. [BAL], a. T. (papayya [F]), 449 (a.ffT}?)taO TT\V Xaei>Ti7P [BAFL]), Josh. 12:3 (nrjdwO 0. [B], ao"r)8u6 <t>. [AF], yu.e<ri5w0 tf>. [L]) ; cp also Josh. 13:20 (P : aayouB $. [BA], affidwO <p. [L]).

(t>a.<Ty<a [phasgoo], Fasga, was still used for the region of Mount Nebo in the time of Eusebius (OS 216:69 89 10 13). The name has disappeared ; for the combination of it with Ras el-Feshkha on the N W. coast of the Dead Sea (Buhl) is surely very doubtful. (For a suggestion of new critical problems connected with the names of Nebo and Pisgah, see NEBO.) y. B.

1 Cp AMALEK, and Moore, Judges, 311.


(n|DSn rill^N), Dt. 3:17 , etc. RV, AV ASHDOTH-PISGAH (q.v.).


AV Pison (}te*3 ; (J>[e]icooN, PHISON), one of the four arms of the river of Paradise, Gen. 2:11; coupled with Tigris, Ecclus. 24:25+. Eusebius (OS 298 59) copies Josephus, who says (Ant. 1:1:3) that <f>fiffiav [phaison] means multitude, and identifies it with the river called by the Greeks Ganges. The current explanations of the name are:-

  • (1) from the Ass. pisan(n)u, (a) a repository of clay, (b) a conduit of clay or wood (Del. Ass. HWB 532-533, but with?). Cp Del. Par. 77. To this Nestle (Marg. 5) objects that we should in this case have expected the form p B, cp JVD JD : ;
  • (2) from *Jshs [root P?Sh], 'to spring up' (LXX ffKtprdu [skirtaoo]), of calves, as Jer. 50:11, Mal. 3:20 [4:2], or of horses, as Hab. 18, and (cp Syr. pash) 'to spread oneself', as Nah. 3:18. Nestle (l.c.) renounces Nah. 3:18 and Hab. 18 as

probably corrupt, but thinks Jer. 50:11 Mal. 3:20 safe. In both passages, however, the text probably needs a slight alteration, so that we should read ic>2En, cnrcc, from B>EB, 'to be fat' (so too Gra. in Mal. ). The presumption therefore is that 'Pishon' is corrupt. For a probable key to its meaning, see PARADISE.

T. K. c.


(H TTiciAiA [WH], Acts 14:24; Acts 13:14 , ANTIOX6IAN THN TTiCiAl&N [Ti.WH after NABC], THC TT C ^ 1 * t TR ] ; on the ethnic in Acts 13:14 see end of art )

1. Geograpy.[edit]

The broad mountain-region of the western Taurus, intervening between the plateau of Phrygia and the coast-plain of Pamphylia, and extending for about 100 mi. between Lycia and Isauria (Cilicia Tracheia). It is one of the wildest and most picturesque regions of Asia Minor, the birth-place of the three Pamphylian rivers (the Cestrus, Eurymedon, and Melas), and the country of the beautiful lakes Egirdir Gol (ancient Limnai), Bey-Shehr G. (anc. Caralis), Buldur G. (anc. Ascania), and others of less size. (See Murray s Handbook to AM, 150+)

2. History.[edit]

The Pisidian highlanders occupied the ridges of the Taurus, and its offshoots on the N. and S. (Strabo, 570 : ^ v " fft Te ^ a)S opfivoi, ol dt /cat /J.txpi TUV virupeiGiv /ca^r)/covres f<f> fKarepa). They were ruled by hereditary chieftains, and, like the western Cilicians, were born brigands, continually descending upon the lowlands and defying subjugation (Strabo, 571 : virtp 8 rrfi KO.TU TTJS re iv rrf IIa/x0i X({i /cat TTJS eVrds TOV Tavpov 8iefj.dxovTo Trpoj TOI)S ^SaatX^aj dei). Their conquest was taken in hand by the Galatian Amyntas, who reduced many of their fastnesses (Strabo, 569), but finally lost his life in operations against the Homonades lying on the skirts of Lycaonia (25 B.C.). The Romans were thus compelled to undertake the work of pacification themselves.

To this end Augustus, in 6 B.C., established a series of Roman Colonies or garrison towns on the flanks of Pisidia. In western Pisidia he founded Olbasa, Comama, and Cremna, all connected by a military road with the Pisidian Antioch. From Antioch another military road ran south-eastwards to Parlaisand Lystra, the Colonies which held in check eastern Pisidia and Isauria (see Ramsay, Hist. Geog. of AM, 398).

The policy of the Imperial government was to protect the existing Hellenic civilisation of Asia Minor, without attempting to force Roman civilisation upon the people in its place. The mountaineers of Pisidia, however, were practical!} untouched by Hellenic influences, and the attempt directly to Romanise this region was imperatively demanded in the interests of peace. Inscriptions show that the rural population, here as in Phrygia, spoke little or no Greek (cp Ramsay 'Inscr. en Langue Pisidienne', in Rev. des Univ. du Midi, 1895, p. 353-344; cp id. Hist. Comm. on Gal. 150). 1

Politically the whole country formed part of the Roman Province of Galatia, until 74 A. D., when great part of it was joined to the new double province Lycia-Pamphylia. After this date the name Pisidia gradually drifted northwards until it included most of southern Phrygia.

3. Paul's visit.[edit]

On his first journey Paul passed through Pisidia, apparently without stopping on the way, to Antioch (Acts 13:14). On the return, Paul and Barnabas 'passed throughout Pisidia' (Acts 14:24 AV, 5ie\66vTes TT\V IL<ri6iai> ; RV 'passed through' ), which seems to imply preaching (see Ramsay in Exp. May, 1895, p. 385) ; but apparently little success attended the effort. 2

Nevertheless, there seems to remain a trace of Paul s presence in Pisidia, in the name Kara Bavlo given to the imposing ruins of the town Adada ("ASa&a), the only important city on the direct road from the Pamphylian coast to Antioch. Bavlo is simply ITauAo [Paulo]: the modern town, also called Bavlo, lies 5 or 6 mi. to the S. of the ancient site. A fine church of early date stands in ruins about 1 mi. S. of the remains of Adada. (See Ramsay, Church in the Rom. Emp.(5) 20-21)

In passing through this region, Paul may have experienced those 'perils of waters', and 'perils of robbers', of which we hear in 2 Cor. 11:26 (KIVOVVOLS TroTa.fj.Cov, KivSvvois Xr/crrwc). The 'perils of waters' are very real in this country of mountain torrents (cp the implication in Strabo s remark, p. 571, yt(f>vpai S eiriKeivTai TCUS 65o?s. See also the dedication in Bull. de Corr. Hell. 3479). The danger from robbers is illustrated by the inscriptions referring to the corps guarding estates (bpo(pv\a,Kes [orophylakes], irapa.(f>v\a,KiTa.i. [paraphylakitai]: Ramsay, Hist. Geogr. of AM, 174) ; and by the epitaph on a tomb near Hadrianopolis dedicated by his parents to Sotiaov vlijj 6po<t>ti\a,Ki icrfiay^vTi inrb \rjffrwv (Sterrett, Epigraphic Journey in AM, no. 156 ; cp Ramsay, op. cit. 178). An inscription found on the borders of Pisidia proves that in later times there was a distinct corps charged with the maintenance of order in the mountains (Ramsay, Cities and Bish. of Phryg. 1328, no. 133 : AOp. Eipr/i/cuos eiVrpcmaiTT/s tarpareticreTO ev86i;<i]s, 7To\Xoi)s &\ecre Atords 5td ~x.ipGiv K.T.\. ).

In Acts 13:14 occurs the ethnic Ilia-iSt a, 'Pisidian', applied to Antioch, the proper style of which was "Aimdxeia rj Trpb? riicrtSio. The adjective was used by a natural development in order to distinguish the town from others of the same name. It was not until a much later period that it could be correctly described as Ttjs nicriSi as 'in Pisidia' as translated in AV (see ANTIOCH, i, col. 184, and col. 1597, n. 2).

In Mk. 14:3, vdpSov Trio-Tucrj? (cp Jn. 12:3), Jannaris conjectures rii<ri6ucTJs [pisidikes], and refers to Strabo 5707^ (the ointments of Selge).

W. J. W.

1 Cp id. Phrygian Inscriptions of the Roman Period, in Zeitschr. f. vergl. Sprachf., 1887, p. 3817:

2 If any church was founded, it would be accounted Galatian, and be included among those to which the Ep. to Gal. was sent.


(ilSpS), b. Jether, in a genealogy of ASHER (q.v., 4, ii.), 1 Ch. 7:38 (4>AC(t>(M [B], -d> A [AL]).


(D JB^), Gen. 43:11 RVmg, EV NUTS (q.v. ).


The words to be noticed are :

1. TQ, bor. For its uses see CONDUITS, 1, i, and cp PRISON. The phrase 'those that have gone down to the pit' (Is. 38:18, Ps. 28:1, cp 30:4 [30:3], 88:4 [88:5]) sounds strangely. 'Pits' were not commonly used for burial ; Jer. 41:9 is of course no proof that they were, nia 'pit' or 'cistern' and 1x3 'well' are used metaphorically for Sheol, which was regarded as spacious below but narrow at the top (cp Ps. 69:16 [69:15]). See Gunkel, Schopf. 132, n. 8, and cp 2.

2. -INS, be'er. See SPRINGS. Note that 1x3, like 113, sometimes = Sheol (Ps. 55:24 [55:23], 69:16 [69:15]). In the latter passage the 'mouth of the INS [be'er]' is spoken of.

3. nna>, sahath, .inur suhah and rwo si'hah (\/mw, to sink down, to be sunk into mire), literally a pit made to serve as a snare for animals or for men by being deceptively covered over with branches or with slight matting. Hence used figuratively (cp Eccles. 9:12), Ps. 16:10, 30:10 [ 30:9 ], 49:9 [49:10], 55:24 [55:23], Job l7:14, 33:24, 33:28. In some of these passages EV, following LXX (which in Ps. 9:16, 16:10, 30:10 has dia<t>6opd [diaphtheora], but in Ps. 7:16, 94:13, 94:15, Prov. 26:27, p66pos [bothros], and in Job 14:7, 33:18, etc. , 6a.va.Tos [thanatos]), gives 'corruption' ; but the supposed derivation from \/nntr 'to destroy, corrupt' is unnecessary and improbable.

4. N33, gebhe (\/N33, to gather together), rendered 'pit' in AV Is. 30:14. See CONDUITS, i, 2.

5. *?!!>, she'ol. See SHEOL.

6. fSU, gummas, /3o(?pos [bothros], Eccles. 10:8.

7. J\n3, pahath (2 S. 17:9, 18:17). Used figuratively in Is. 24:17-18, Jer. 48:43-44, Lam. 3:47. Cp SNARE. On Jer. 48:28 see DOVE, 4, iv.

8. The Gr. p66vvo<; [bothunos] (Mt. 15:14, etc.) = /3o0pos [bothros] (no. 3 above), signifies any hole or hollow.

9. <j>peap [phrear] (Lk. 14:5, Jn. 4:11) corresponds rather to no. 2 above, an artificial excavation ; for TO </>pe ap nijs a/3ii<r<rov (Rev. 9:1-2) see ABYSS.

10. For vTroATJi/ioi [hypolenion] (Mk. 12:1 RV) see WINEPRESS.


i. nQT, zepheth, Ar. zift, perhaps a loan word from Aram, ziphta (Frankel) ; Ex.23 (10112 nSTll <\c4>&XTOTTICC<\, bitumine ac pice], Is. 349 (nice*, pix); Ecclus. 13:1 (Heb. TT pmn nsn wo, 'Whoso touches pitch, it cleaves to his hand' [so Syr.]; LXX, o ATTTOMeNOC TTICCHC MOAyNQHCeTAl); also Bel 27, Dan. 3:46 LXX [Song of Three Children, 23]. A wide term including both vegetable and mineral pitch (see Is. 34:9, which Sir W. J. Dawson regards as a description of a bitumen eruption, Exp., 1886 b, p. 76). On Ex. 2:3 cp BITUMEN.

2. 123, kopher, a<r<<x\TOs [asphaltos], bitumen, Gen. 6:14+. See BITUMEN.


i. is, kad, idpia [hydria], Gen. 24:14. See CRUSE, i.

2. 733, nebhel, Lam. 4:2. See BOTTLE.

3. xepa^ioi [keramion] Mk. 14:13, Lk. 22:10. See POTTERY, cp BOTTLE.


(DrPS; neiGa) [B], rrieooM [A], ni6a)9 [F*], 4)10600 [F lm g], TTI0CO [L], TT6l0tON [etc., cp pJVQ, Sam.]), one of the store (? see below) cities built by the Israelites during the Egyptian oppression, according to Ex. 1:11. We assume it to have been identical with ETHAM (q.v.}.

1. Tell el-Maskhuta.[edit]

Uncertain as the geography of Goshen and of the Exodus remains in most points, the locality of Pithom is now generally assumed to have been determined by the excavations of E. Naville (in the spring of 1883), described by him in vol. 1 of the Egypt Exploration Fund Memoirs under the title : 'The Store City of Pithom and the Route of the Exodus', to which the reader is referred (1st edition 1885, reprinted and revised three times since then).

The ruins excavated by Naville are situated in the E. of the Wady Tumilat, between the railway to Isma'iliye-Suez and the new (Isma'iliye) sweet-water canal. The place is now called Tel(l)-el-Maskhuta, 'hill of the statue', from a granite group of Rameses II., which represents the king standing between the two sun-gods Re-Harmachis and Atum. Lepsius (Chron. 348, etc.) concluded from this sculpture that it indicates a place where Rameses II. was worshipped as a local deity (no cogent argument), and that, consequently, we have here the locality of the biblical city of Rameses. This hypothesis led the engineers engaged in excavating the Isma'iliye canal to call the temporary railway-station at that place 'Ramses', and some maps still retain that name, although Lepsius's theory has not been confirmed by the excavations. Some former visitors called the place Abu-Keisheib (or Kashab, Kesheb, Keisheid) ; the correct Arabic form seems to have been hashab. After the removal of the monuments (the group just mentioned, sphinxes, etc.) to Isma'iliye, very little remained to indicate the site of the city. Naville, however, traced a great square brick wall, enclosing about 55,000 square yards, and inside of it ruins of a temple and of store chambers (see below, 4).

2. Old names.[edit]

Several inscriptions were found, from which Naville concluded that the name of the city was P-atum 1 (or etom, earliest form etomu), 'house (i.e. , abode) of Atum'. 2 The city Pithom had its name from the sun-god of Heliopolis, the protector of the whole valley of Goshen, which was considered as a dependency of On-Heliopolis. The god Atum, represented in human form with the royal crown of Egypt on his head, was by later theology distinguished from other solar deities as the representative of the sinking sun. See ON. It is to be observed that the Coptic version of the OT has the more correct form TT60a)M [pethoom] (see below). Herodotus (2158) states that the canal dug by Necho and Darius 'ran somewhat above the city Bubastis at the side of Ilaroi /xos [patonmos], the Arabian (i.e., eastern) city. It runs into the Red Sea'. This description is evidently very vague. Formerly scholars inferred from it the identity of the place where that canal branched off to the E. with Patumos. 3 This conclusion was, however, always uncertain, Patumos being probably mentioned by Herodotus only - as the most important city on the shore of the canal - to determine its direction. 4

The geographical lists of the ancient Egyptians mention P(er)-atum (or etom[u], see above) as the capital of the Heroopolitan nome of Ptolemaic time, the 8th of Lower Egypt, and describe it as situated 'at the Eastern entrance of Egypt'. For the most part the name Tku (read Tuku ?) is connected with that place. Elsewhere ( EXODUS, 10) the question of identity or distinction of the names Pithom and T(u)ku (Succoth?) has been touched on. It might almost be assumed that the one was the sacred, the other the profane name. Naville's (p. 5) hypothesis is that T(u)ku was originally the name of the region and was at a later date transferred to the town. The present writer would rather prefer the theory that the two names marked two neighbouring places (Petom being evidently the younger foundation) which had grown together by expansion so as to form one city. Cp the passage, Pap. Anastasi, 6:416, speaking of 'a royal frontier castle (htm) of T-ku close by the pools of Pithom'. In the monuments found by Naville at Tel(l) el-Maskhuta the name Tku is used very often and refers undoubtedly to the place of the excavations, whilst the other name, 'house of Atum', occurs rather rarely, - in the great inscription of Ptolemy II., l. 14, together with Tku. Thus we seem to have the two biblical places Pithom and Succoth so closely adjoining each other that their names might be interchanged (as is done in the geographical lists) without their being fully identical. Finally, the biblical ETHAM seems to be the same place. Ex. 13:20 could, of course, not indicate a full day s march between Succoth and Etham, notwithstanding Nu. 336 which is usually understood thus.

1 Formerly pr, per. Cp ETHAM, PIBESETH, etc.

2 [hieroglyphs go here]

3 Lepsius, accordingly, tried to identify Pithom with the ruins of Tel(l) Abu Isleman near that junction, before the entrance to the valley of Goshen.

4 Naville tried to alter the text, so that it would read : at the side of Patumos, etc., it (the canal) runs into the Red Sea. Unfortunately, this alteration is rather violent.

3. History.[edit]

The excavations have shown that the city was founded by the coloniser of Goshen, the great Rameses II. See GOSHEN. It has to be added that the tradition in Strabo, 38 (Sesostris first connected the Nile with the Red Sea) contains an element of truth. It refers to the construction of a canal through Goshen to the Bitter Lakes, which canal, however, was evidently intended only to furnish a regular water supply. We have no proof that Rameses II. connected the Bitter Lakes with the Red Sea, which connection alone would have allowed successful navigation to the E. The traces of a large ancient canal, near Tel(l) el-Maskhuta, belong, probably, to the later constructions of Necho, Darius, and Trajan. The kings of dynasty 22 left traces of their building activity in Tel(l) el-Maskhuta, later Nectanebo. It must have been a very important place under the later dynasties and the Ptolemies, after the connection between the Bitter Lakes and the Red Sea had made it a port of trade. The Greeks, who called it Heroopolis or Heroonpolis, 1 describe it as such. Passages which speak of Heroopolis as a port of the Red Sea seem to refer to its situation on the canal (about the middle of its course) and not to mean that it was actually on the Red Sea. For the objections to the popular theory that a gulf of the Red Sea extended, at that time, as far as to Pithom-Succoth, see EXODUS. [A large inscription of Ptolemy II., Philadelphus, was found there, commemor ating various expeditions to the coast of Eastern Africa sent forth from that place. ] The Romans built there a large fortified camp, Hero Castra, for which they seem to have destroyed most of the earlier monuments, much to the disadvantage of modern archaeology. The Thou of the Itinerarium Antonini, however, does not seem to be Pithom as was assumed by Lepsius, etc. Only two MSS read Thoum ; the Notitia Dignitatum has the better reading Thohu, and the situation, 50 R. mi. from Heliopolis, 48 from Pelusium, does not agree with our Pithom (thus, correctly, Naville). The Coptic versions render the Heroonpolis of Gen. 46:29 LXX by rreGcoM. thus proving that the place retained its old Egyptian name by the side of the Greek one, even in the Christian period.

4. Store cities.[edit]

It remains to speak of the designation of Pithom, Rameses (and On, LXX) as 'treasure' (AV) or 'store cities'. The word used in Ex. 1:11 is n1]]oO which seems to mean 'cities for magazines'. Cp STORE CITIES. The translation of LXX, 'fortified cities', is inadequate (although, of course, such frontier places must have been fortified, and we have read of fortifications above, Papyrus Anastasi, 6). It is very remarkable that on the spot of Naville s excavations large store-houses or granaries were found for the first time. Naville (p. 9-10) describes them : large buildings with thick walls, 2 to 3 yds. thick, of crude bricks, consisting of a great number of rectangular chambers of various sizes, none of which had any communication with each other. These are the granaries which, according to numerous pictures, were filled from the top and could be emptied from above or through a reserve door in the side. The hieroglyphic sign shnwt,2 'granary', represents two such magazine chambers without connection between each other, constructed on a thick layer of beaten clay to keep the rats from digging into them. No other examples have been excavated besides those in Tel(l) el-Maskhuta, which is a very significant fact, and may serve as a confirmation to the translation given above. Whether those large royal granaries of Pithom-Succoth had a special (military or other) intention cannot be determined at present [cp Crit. Bib. ]. W. M. M.

1 We have other examples in which the Greeks translated the name Atum, Etom, by 'hero'.

2 [hieroglyphs go here]

3 cp EXODUS (BOOK), 3, ii.


(PIT S, 1 Ch. 835, I TVS 9 4 if, cp PUTHITE [niSl; <f>lali0oH [B; N in 9:41], <M<->" [A], $&&lt;*& [L]), descendant of Saul mentioned in a genealogy of BENJAMIN (q.v., 9 ii. b), 1 Ch. 8:35 = 9:41.


(Dl^bN 11), 1 S. 18:18. See ABSALOM, end ; and MONUMENT.


(M3, 51.33, nQ3?D, H3D), cp DISEASES; also LEPROSY, and PESTILENCE. For Plague-boils (D^SJ? ; Dt. 28:27 RVmg, 1 S. 5-6) see EMERODS, begin.



The signs and judgments which preceded the deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptian bondage. They are described in detail in Ex. 7:8-11:10, to which 12:29, 14:26-29 form an appendix, and are epitomised in Ps. 78:42-51, 78:53b, 105:27-36 {1} ; see also rhetorical references in Wisd. 16-19. The common term 'plague' is not strictly accurate. Some of the occurrences referred to have the character of 'reprisals' ; they are divine 'strokes' (jn:, nega , nS30, maggephah) or judgments on the obstinate king of Egypt. Others are rather 'signs', 'portents', 'significant wonders' (nsio, mopheth) and serve to accredit Moses and Aaron as Yahwe s ambassadors ; they are, however, not without a strong magical tinge, and it is even possible for the Egyptian magicians to reproduce, or at least attempt to reproduce, the same thing at Pharaoh s command.

1. Circumstances.[edit]

So much by way of preliminaries. Further details will follow as soon as we have given some attention to the circumstances under which the events are reported to have occurred.

It should be noticed that, however patriotic the writers are, they enable us to look at things to some extent from Pharaoh's point of view ; probably enough, the story which they severally reproduce is based on a much simpler tradition, which said nothing of 'portents' or 'plagues', and traced the Exodus of the Israelites to the apprehensions caused to the Misrites - by the excessive multiplication of their visitors, which occasioned frequent and bitter racial strifes, and also to a matter of profound religious importance to which we shall return. The later editors of the tradition are therefore perhaps, in spite of themselves, not wholly unjust to Pharaoh. This is what stands in Ex. 18 (J) :

Now there arose a new king who knew not Joseph. And he said to his people. Behold, the people of the b ne Israel are too many and too mighty for us ; come, let us deal cleverly with them, lest they multiply (further), and when any war happens, they join themselves to our enemies, and fight against us, and (so) withdraw from the land.

We learn in the sequel that Pharaoh set the Israelites to great public works, treating them with the oppressive ness usual to Oriental rulers in such cases, and that Moses, who enjoyed the immunity from personal violence proper to a prophet, and could therefore approach Pharaoh, asked leave for the Israelites to go three days journey into the wilderness to hold a hag (see FEASTS, 6, DANCE, 3) to their God. Now begins that strange contest between the two great powers, in which we cannot but blame the imperfect truthfulness (cp MOSES, 9) alike of Pharaoh, who breaks his word, and of Moses, who (according to J) attempts to mystify the Egyptian king by making believe that the Israelites only desire to go three days journey into the wilderness. It must be admitted, however, that both E and P ascribe a higher moral standard to Moses, whom they represent as saying with the utmost plainness, 'Thus saith Yahwe, Let my people go' 3 (5:1 ; cp 6:11), and that the imperative demands of Egyptian patriotism explain, if they do not altogether excuse, the conduct of Pharaoh. All Egyptian kings understood the danger to which the state might be exposed by the machinations of fugitives from Egypt. Ebers has already referred to a provision in the treaty between Rameses II. and Hetasar, the prince of the Heta, relative to such fugitives (Durch Gosen, 86). Pharaoh might well have thought that a combination of the Israelites with other Semitic tribes would have imperilled his kingdom. Hence, we can understand how, trusting in the protection of his own great god (Amen-re ?), and acting on the advice of his priests and prophets, the 'Pharaoh of the Exodus' could turn a deaf ear to the Semitic prophet. It was only natural too that, when entangled in a net which enfolded him the more tightly the more he sought to break from it, he gave way for a moment, and sought to impose conditions on the spokesman of the Israelites. At first they were not all to go ; then, they were not to go very far away (i.e. , not to leave the land of Egypt) ; then, they were to leave their flocks and herds behind as a pledge of their return. To this last demand Moses replies that 'not a hoof' shall be left, and the enraged king threatens even Moses with death if he enters his presence again. 1 The Hebrew leader rejoins with cutting irony, 'Thou hast spoken well ; I will see thy face again no more'. Thereupon Moses announces what should be Yahwe's final judgment - the death of the firstborn (though Yahwe still has in reserve another known only to himself). The threat is fulfilled. In hot haste the Israelites - are dismissed apparently however, in Pharaoh's intention, only for a time, 2 and the king even beseechingly says, as he dismisses them, 'bless me also' - i.e., save me by your potent influence with your God from a prolongation of his wrath.

1 The epitome in Ps. 78 is the more important ; that in Ps. 105 appears to imitate Ps. 78. The writer of Ps. 78 draws his material from J, on which Rothstein (ZWT, 1890) bases a theory that underlying our Ps. 78 is an earlier and shorter psalm of pre-exilic origin. It is perhaps more probable, however, that the contents of our Ps. 78 are a selection from a longer poem on the edifying use of the history of Israel, and that this poem had a wider range as regards the Egyptian plagues. Duhm's theory that 78:49-50 is an interpolation which originally had probably nothing at all to do with the Egyptian plagues is based on the unemended MT. 'Their soul', however, in v. 50 refers, not to the Egyptians in general, nor to 'godless Israelites', but to the firstborn of the Egyptians, who are described in the (doubtless) true text as 'the sons that they delighted in', jvilE D IN^D 1 ? IS ! CHlNn fZ^BVrh- (See Che. Ps. (l).)

2 Misrites, to leave the question open, whether Egyptians or Musrites of N. Arabia are meant. See MOSES, 6.

3 We assume (with Bacon) that the words 'that they may hold a feast (llhjl) to me in the wilderness' (5:1) are a harmonistic insertion.

2. Threefold representation.[edit]

We now return to the plagues. It has long ago been remarked that, with the exception of the first (the rod and the serpent - 7:8-13), which has the character of a magical performance, all stand connected with definite natural occurrences, and that the plagues related by P have a specifically Egyptian character. Nevertheless all these natural events have such intensifying details and occur in such rapid succession that we feel that we are not reading the record of an extraordinarily bad year but that a supernatural agency is at work. It is, however, a threefold representation that we have before us. The purpose of the wonders, as we have seen, is expressed in two different ways. It may be added that the agency is represented in three modes. At one time it is Aaron who is the wonder-worker, stretching forth his rod at the bidding of Moses ; at another it is Moses himself who does so at the command of Yahwe ; in yet other cases it is Yahwe who works the wonder after having announced it by Moses.

This threefold mode of representation corresponds to a threefold literary source (P J E). According to E, Moses has received from Yahw6 the potent rod, or staff, of God (cp 4:17, 4:20, and cp MOSES, 8). We may therefore attribute to E all those instances in which Moses is the wonder-worker. According to P, Yahwe sends Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh (cp 7:1+) ; thus we may assign to P all the passages in which Aaron works the wonders on the instructions of Moses. To J there will belong all those 'plagues' properly so called which are sent directly by Yahwe after being announced by Moses.

It is fortunate that in some cases the narratives of P and J have been preserved intact, so that we know the scheme or plan of representation adopted in these two documents, and, where there is a fusion of elements, can restore the original form of the respective accounts.

1 Moses, then, can hardly have been resident in an outlying province of Egypt. The old tradition seems to have placed the Israelites in the midst of the land of their sojourn (see Beke, Orig: Biblicae, 1:277 ; MOSES, 4).

2 Only for a time, - otherwise 12:31a and 12:32 would be superfluous; note also Dni3T "VVKl (v. 32, LXX om.) and 031313 (v. 31, Knob. Di. Rys.).

3 See Baentsch's full and lucid note on the Plagues in his commentary.

The usual frame-work of P is as follows : 3

Then Yahwe said to Moses, say to Aaron, Stretch forth thy rod . . . and there shall be ... And they did so and Aaron stretched forth his rod and there was . . . And so did the magicians witli their enchantments . . . And Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as Yahwe had said.

J's formula is quite different :

And Yahwe said to Moses, Go in to Pharaoh, and say to him, Thus saith Yahwe, the God of the Hebrews, Let my people go that they may worship me, and if thou refuse to let them go, behold I will . . . And Yahwe did so and sent . . . And Pharaoh called for Moses and said Entreat for me that Yahwe cause to depart . . . And Moses went out from Pharaoh and cried to Yahwe. And Yahwe did according to the word of Moses and caused to depart . . . But Pharaoh hardened his heart and did not let the people go.

It is noticeable here that the delivery of the divine command to Pharaoh by Moses and the refusal of Pharaoh to let the people go, are not expressly stated. The formula of E is best seen in 10:21-22

And Yahwe said to Moses, Stretch forth thy hand to ... that there may be ... And Moses stretched forth his hand to ... and there was . . . But Yahwe made Pharaoh's heart firm and he was not willing to let them go.

With these data as a clue we are able to assign the various portents and plagues to their several sources thus :

1. Rod and serpent.
2. Water into blood. 1. Waters smitten ; fish die. 1. Nile water into blood.
3. Frogs. 2. Frogs. [2. Frogs ; perhaps.]
4. Lice. 3. Flies.
5. Boils. 4. Murrain. [3. Boils ; perhaps.]
5. Hail. 4. Hail.
6. Locusts. 5. Locusts.
6. Darkness.
7. Death of firstborn. 7. Death of firstborn.

It will be noticed that in P there are only five plagues. P's object is to make them all specifically Egyptian. The second, third, and fourth follow the natural order of certain phenomena which are of regular recurrence in Egypt (cp Macalister, 'Plagues', Hast. DB 8892^, but see criticism below, 3). They are also wrought by Aaron by means of his rod or magic staff. Hence their co-ordination with the rod-and-serpent miracle, and their separation from the death of the firstborn and the destruction of the Egyptians in the yam suph (see RED SEA). These two events, however, serve as an appendix to the list of 'portents' ; in the case of the yam suph the stretching forth of the 'rod' is specially mentioned. Thus even with P the sacred number seven is duly recognised.

In J the 'plagues' strictly deserve the name: their one object is to break down the resistance of Pharaoh. Hence nothing is said about the rod and the serpent, and the death of the firstborn can be included. There is no human agency in the sending and in the removal of these calamities. All that Moses has to do is to announce the plague, and at Pharaoh's request to intercede for its removal. Moreover the events are described realistically. It is only in the circumstances that the miraculous element appears. Natural succession has nothing to do with this arrangement ; they are in an ascending scale of severity. Moreover, it is only the first three that are quite specifically Egyptian.

E, as we have seen elsewhere ( MOSES, 8), coincides to some extent with P in the importance attached to the wonder-working staff. Hence the wonderful works are at once credentials of Moses (who is the agent), and proofs of the might of him by whom Moses is sent. That E's heptad is less perfectly preserved than J's is a mere accident.

3. Period.[edit]

The last of the plagues is the only one that is dated ; the death of the firstborn was in the spring - in the month of Abib. P gives one the impression that blow follows on blow without any pause. E, too, since there is no mention of constantly renewed negotiations, presupposes a rapid succession of blows. Still, one of the plagues requires three days (Ex. 10:22-23), and afterwards the Israelites have time enough to obtain ornaments from the Egyptians. It is in J that the longest time is required for the due observance of solemn formalities, etc. Even in J, however, it is a question only of days, not of months ; otherwise, indeed, Pharaoh would have had time to plan new measures of oppression. We can hardly therefore venture with Macalister (Hast. DB 3:392b) to suppose that, in the intention of the narrators, the plagues are to be spread over the period between August and the following April.

4. Details.[edit]

It is unnecessary to give a complete investigation here of the natural phenomena described in the narratives. See the various illustrative articles - e.g. LICE, FLY, BOIL, HAIL, LOCUST, FIRSTBORN. Let us notice, however, that P's first sign - that of the rod and the serpent (Ex. 7:9) - is the converse of the common juggler's trick of benumbing venomous serpents so that they are as stiff as rods (cp SERPENT, 3). Macalister (Hast. DB 388:9a) states that he has seen both a snake and a crocodile thrown by hypnotism into complete rigidity. Unintentionally supplementing this, Ohnefalsch-Richter (Kypros, 195-196) compares the snake-staves (staves ending with the heads of snakes) of Cyprus, which he thinks originally belonged to sorcerers.

The plague of the water made blood is no mere natural phenomenon, though it may seem to resemble one. The Nile in Egypt towards the close of June changes colour from the successive floods turbid with mud. 'In eight or ten days it has turned from grayish-blue to dark red, occasionally of so intense a colour as to look like newly shed blood'. The Red Nile, however, is not unwholesome like the Green Nile (Maspero, Dawn of Civ. 23), and when a famous hymn to the Nile (RP^ 4:3 ; RPW 3:51) speaks of the unkindness of the Nile as bringing destruction to the fishes, it is the Nile at its lowest (first half of June) that is meant.

The plague of frogs is one that would frequently occur in Egypt but for the ibis. 'The bird, by seeking its proper food, does the country a singular service, freeing it from vermin, which, were they to remain and rot, would certainly occasion a stench mortal to men and beasts' (Hasselquist, Voyages, 86).

It is stated respecting the locusts that they were brought by an east wind (onp rrn, 10:13). It is not often that this wind brings locusts to Egypt ; on the other hand, it would be a perfectly natural phenomenon in Palestine where the writer lived. The writer of LXX, living in Egypt, substitutes the VOTOS [notos] or south(-west) wind. That locusts were in fact dreaded by ancient agriculturists in Egypt is attested by Erman, though Hasselquist ( Voyages, 233) states as the result of inquiry, that they 'at least never occasion a plagus to the country (Egypt), as they do in other places'.

The plague of darkness reminds one forcibly of the darkness of a great sand-storm such as the Hamsin (S. or SW. ) brings in early spring. This electrical wind may be expected during the twenty-five days before and the twenty-days after the vernal equinox (hence its name hamsin = 50). It blows, however, only for two or three or four days at a time. The Erench traveller Denon (Voyages, ap. Di. ) remarks that the dust-clouds of the Hamsin sometimes travel in streaks, so that some parts of a country might be free from the pernicious blast (cp Ex. 10:23b, 'but all the bne Israel had light in their dwellings' ). 1

It has been thought by some that the death of the firstborn was due to plague. The parallelism of 2 K. 19:35, Is. 37:36 might suggest this; but though a pestilential disease might, as Dr. C. Creighton points out, fall upon one class of people and spare another, the narrative distinctly confines its incidence to the Egyptian firstborn of men and beasts, which cannot be called a class in Dr. Creighton s sense. We are evidently to suppose the direct agency of a supernatural being called 'the destroyer' (see DESTROYER); cp Ex. 12:23, Ps. 78:49-50.

1 Elsewhere E presupposes that Israelites and Misrites dwelt together. See Baentsch's note, and Beke, l.c.

5. Death of firstborn.[edit]

A fresh light, however, seems to be thrown on the story by the well-grounded theory that the scene of the striking narrative in Gen. 22:1-14 was originally placed in Jerahmeelite or Musrite territory, not far (probably) from Kadesh ; see MORIAH, and cp Winckler, GI 2:44, n. i.

The object of that legendary narrative was to oppose the practice of sacrificing firstborn sons which must have been prevalent in the land of Musri where Israelitish clans (represented alike by Abraham and by Moses) probably sojourned (cp ISAAC, JACOB, MOSES). It is difficult not to think that the tradition on which the narrative in Ex. 12:29-36 was based had a similar object. 1 The clans of Israel, it was probably said, came out from Misrim, from the house of the Arabians (Ex. 13:3, emended, see MOSES, 11), because Yahwe had told them not to go on sacrificing their firstborn sons, but to redeem them (Ex. 13:11+). There was a time when the divine voice had spoken otherwise (cp Gen. 22:2) ; but now that voice bade them leave their native land, like Abraham, rather than persist in an antiquated and undesirable religious practice. When the story of the peaceful Exodus (see MOSES, 11) from Misrim (Musri) was transformed into the story of an Exodus in trembling haste from 'the land of Misraim (Egypt), from the house of servants', it became necessary to reshape the old tradition, so as to make the slaying of the firstborn of the Egyptian Misrites the punishment inflicted upon the foreign oppressors by the offended Yahwe. In a word, it became a 'plague', and the imagination of great narrators was at once stirred to produce other plagues to accompany it.

Taking the institution of the Passover (pesah) in connection with the slaying of the firstborn of the Misrim, one may ask whether the original tradition must not have represented the paschal sacrifice as Israel@s substitute for the sacrifice of the firstborn of men (cp Gen. 22:13). We are not at all obliged to accept this representation (cp y?5( 2 365) ; the simplest and most natural view of this characteristically Arabian practice (cp RS^ 227) is different. See FIRSTBORN, PASSOVER. But it is one which would naturally suggest itself at a certain stage of religious reflection.

It is useless to appeal in behalf of the historicity of the 'ten plagues' to the threefold tradition of JEP, or to the comparatively accurate local colouring. Egyptologists inform us that Min-mes was the name of the chief magician under Rameses II., and that Me(r)neptah lost a son. What critical use can we possibly make of these facts ? Egyptian history is silent on all the points of real critical importance. Even OT critics have thought it worth while to conjecture that some calamities which may have fallen upon Egypt and facilitated the Exodus may have been transformed into the so-called plagues. A needless suggestion, even from a conservative critical point of view. The fact of the migration, and the super natural powers of the leader being granted, it was natural to make the departure of the Israelites as full of the marvellous as possible, in order to enhance the greatness of Yahwe.

6. Religious characteristics.[edit]

In truth it is a 'theologoumenon' that we have before us, and as such the story of the plagues is of deep interest. Let us close this article with a description (from Baentsch. p.57) of the distinctive religious characteristics of the three great narrators.

The Yahwe of J is the Yahwe who personally interferes with the course of nature, and manifests himself as lord of the elements, who makes his personal presence everywhere felt, and transacts history under our very eyes. E's conception of God is more abstract ; still more so is that of P. In both Yahwe is seated above the world and does not interfere personally in its affairs. The growing tendency to introduce intermediate agents between God and the world finally led to the later de velopment of the doctrine of angels. Above all let us in conclusion remember that God is not banished from the history of Israel even if the Exodus was attended by no physical signs and wonders, no slaughter of the Egyptian firstborn, no drowning of a hostile king in the Red Sea.

T. K. c.

1 The connection between the story in Ex. 12:29+ and that of the sacrifice of Isaac has been pointed out by Frazer, Golden Bought), 2:49, who, however, works out the idea quite differently.


corresponds to seven Hebrew words in OT and one Greek word in NT.

1. 73X, abel, 'a meadow' ( 89-100); so Judg. 11:33, mg. (ABEL-CHERAMIM).

2. J17N, 'elon, 'oak' (?), or perhaps rather 'sacred tree' (see OAK, TEREBINTH). Only in place-names; thus Gen. 12:6, see MOREH ; 13:18, 14:13, see MAMRE ; Judg. 4:11, 9:6, 9:37, see BEZAANANNIM ; 1 S. 10:3, see TABOR, ALLON-BACHUTH. Here AV, like Vg. , is guided by the euphemistic rendering of the Targg. ( "Ity C), but LXX and Pesh. render correctly.

3. HJ?p3> bik'ah, 'a highland plain' (see VALLEY).

4. "133, kikkar, 'circle', often applied to some part of the Jordan valley, primarily the district of Jericho, see JORDAN, 2 (LXX generally^ Trepi ^wposor rairepi xcopa [BNADEFL], less often YI jrepi oifcos [BADEL], and in two passages treated as a proper name ; 2 S. 18:23, Ke\ a p [BL], Kai\ap [A] ; Neh. 3:22, ax e X a P [B], a XX e x a P [A], X e X a P [N]. where LXX{L} confusing 3 with 3 has irpiaroTOKOV [prototokou) called by Jos. (BJ 4:8:2) TO jx.e ya TreSiov [to mega pedion] a still common name for which is no. 6. In Neh. 3:22 the word 'plain', RV mg 'circuit', probably means 'district' (of Jerusalem). On 2 S. 18:23 ( 'by the way of the plain', RV) see MAHANAIM, and cp Wi. GI 2:235.

5. IV^ D, mishor, 'level land', as, e.g., in Is.40:4 ('the rugged shall become a level land' ; AV 'the crooked shall be made straight' ), but very often in the specialised sense of 'the tableland of MOAB' {q.v., and cp SHARON), e.g., Josh. 13:9, 13:16-17, (AV in Dt.443, 'plain country' = 77777} TTJ neSivfi [BAL]). LXX oftenest treats it as a proper name (ju.fc]icra)p [BXAFQL], fiiaiap [A once]), but sometimes renders neSiov [pedion], TreSioj [pedine].

6. illHJ!, 'arabah, preserved in RV (and Josh. 18:18 AV) as a proper name, Arabah, meaning the whole depression from the Sea of Galilee to the Gulf of 'Akaba, the S. part of which is still called W. el Araba ; see DESERT, 2 (4), 3 (2). We also hear of the 'plains ('arboth) of Jericho' (e.g., 2 K. 25:5) ; for this phrase and also for LXX's renderings see ARABAH, but cp MOAB, i, n. i. In 2 S. 15:28 and 17:16 Kr., 'the plains of the wilderness' (l3TDrT ni3iy) might mean 'the plains of Jericho' (cp 2 K. 25:5) ; still, though the versions (but see L) support Kr., the Kt. reading, 'the fords of the wilderness' (adopted by RV ; AV 'plain', 'plains' ), is preferable. See FORDS; FERRY-BOAT. L in 2 S. 15:28 eTrl rrjs eAcu as iv rrj epjjfia) (cp vv. 18, 23).

7. rPBC , shephelah, 'lowland', very frequent, e.g., Jer. 17:26 Ob. 19 Zech. 7:7 ; usually rendered in AV 'vale, valley, valleys', by RV everywhere correctly 'lowland'. See SHEPHELAH.

In EV mg- of Gen. 14:5 nil? ( 'a level place' ), regarded in the text as part of a pr. n. (see KIRIATHAIM and cp SHAVEH in v. 17), is rendered 'plain', as is vjf, 'tree' (Tep[e]/xtV#ou [AK], repefiivdov [terebinthon] [L], similarly Pesh. ; Vg. campestria) in AVmg. of Gen. 14:6. See EL-PARAN, and cp the explanation above under (2).

8. The only Greek word in the NT to be recorded is TreSipo? [pedinos] (both 7reS[e]ii>d? and irefiiW are frequent in (B and Apoc.). In Lk. 6:17 AV, 'stood in the plain' should be 'stood on a spot in the plain' (en-i TOTTOU -rre&ivov), i.e., at the foot of the mountain (according to Mk. and Lk. probably some definite hill near Capernaum) referred to in v. 12. RV renders 'on a level place', as if some flat place on the side of the mountain. Plummer remarks that this would suit the multitudes bringing sick people to be healed better than a plateau high up the mountain, irf&iov [pedion] Judith 1:5 (borders of Ragau), 1:6 (of Anoch), 1:8 (of Esdraelon), 2:21 (of Bectileth), 2:27 (of Damascus), 3:3 [BA] (fields of wheat), 4:5 (fields), 4:6 (open country near Dothaim), 5:1 (champaign countries), 6:4 (fields), 6:11 (plain), 7:18 (plain), 8:3 (field), 14:2 (field), 15:2 (plain), Wisd. 19:7, Ecclus. 24:14, 1 Macc. 3:24 (plain = Shephelah), 4:6, 4:14-15, 4:21, 5:52, 10:71, 10:73, 10:77, 10:83, 11:67-68, 12:49, 13:13, 14:8, 16:5, 16:11, 2 Macc. 14:33.


(ifc^BPI ny), Dt. 3:10. See ADMAH AND ZEBOIM, SODOM AND GOMORRAH, BELA, ZOAR ; also (Dt. 3:10) MOAB.


Passing over with brief mention 'the plaister (Dan. 5:5, "V3, glr ; KONI&M&) of the wall' on which MENE, MENE (q.v. ) was written, directions as to 'plaistering' anew the leprous house (Lev. 14:42, n-1D, e5<\Aeichco), the 'plaister' in Jer. 30:13 (RVmg for n?yri, but inconsistently not in 46:11), and the verb 'to plaister' (l"n?D) in Is. 38:21, the last two of which references have to do with wounds (see MEDICINE, and for Is. , l.c. , FIG, 3), we pause on the command of Moses in Dt. 27:2 that the Israelites set up great stones and plaister them with plaister (T I1 7T&, KONIAC6IC KONI&. cake levigabis}. If the text is correct, the 'plaistering' - which means here giving a coat of gypsum (see LIME) - stands in close relation to the recording of 'the words of this law'. The word used for this recording is ]na, which, according to Dillmann, means writing with ink (cp 17:18, 31:9), but, according to Driver, inscribing with some special pigment analogous to that employed in the wall-paintings and inscriptions of Egypt. The exegetical question, however, must be subordinated to a historical and text-critical one.

If - as many converging phenomena show - there was an older story of the migration of certain Israelite clans, which said no thing of crossing the Jordan, and represented the immediate goal of the migration to be the Negeb (see MOSES, 6 ; NEGEB), and if the text of Dt. 1:1 and 11:29 has been correctly restored elsewhere (Sui H, MOREH), it follows that the text of Dt. 27:2 needs careful revision in accordance with those passages. The duty is in fact urgent, for the commentaries are by no means satisfactory, and we are justified in building on the well-grounded textual emendations referred to. The scene of the address of Moses to the Israelites was originally represented as 'opposite Zarephath' (1:1), and the mountains spoken of in 11:29 were in 'Arab-jerahmeel, at the entrance of Cusham, in the I land of the Kenites'. Consequently it becomes natural to emend 27:2 thus, 'When ye have passed through Jerahmeel to the land . . . thou shall set thee up great stones in Zarephath of Missur'. (Cp ZAREPHATH.) See Crit. Bib. The words of this law were presumably to be engraved (cp Now. Arch. 1:290, and WRITING), not, however, on the altar- stones (as the writer of Josh. 8:32 supposed), but on the 'great stones', which were of course not unhewn like the altar-stones.

T. K. C.


(Dn in), Cant. 1:10-11. RV. See NECKLACE.


(nWXpO, TTApArPM> C P Aq. in Q*] BNAQl 1 om. ), Is. 44:13+. incomplete and corrupt. Cp HANDICRAFTS, 2.


AV Chestnut Tree (flltf, 'armon; TTAATANOC- Gen. 30:37 \ eAATH, Ezek. 31:8+ [Th. nA<\- TANOC])- The Hebrew name is most likely connected with a root meaning 'to scale off' (Ges. Thes. ), and is thus appropriate to the plane (Platanus orientalis, L. ) which peels annually. According to Tristram (NHD, 345) - who says 'we never saw the chestnut in Palestine, excepting planted in orchards in Lebanon' - the plane 'is frequent by the sides of streams and in plains, both on the coast and in the northern parts of the country. ... It is common on the banks of the Upper Jordan, and of the Leontes, where it overhangs the water'. The identification is supported by nearly all ancient authorities, though LXX goes astray in Ezek. 31:8. The mistaken rendering of AV is of Jewish origin.

For the "Win, tidhar, of Is. 41:19, 60:13+ RVmg, see PINE, 2.

N. M.


(nftjD), 2 K. 23:5 EV. See STARS.


(D JDW TIM), Is. 17:10 RVmg ~- See ADONIS.


i. EV rendering of j-s, tsits; Trera\ov [petalon]; lamina), the golden object in the high priest's mitre, Ex. 28:36 etc. See MITRE, if.

2. ra 1 ?, luah (LXX{B} om.), an obscure term in the description of the bases of the molten sea, 1 K. 7:36.

3. C 3~!D, seranim (TO. irpo(re\ovTa.), axles of bronze belonging to bronze wheels, 1 K. 7:30.

4. D nB, pahhim (AeTri Ses), thin plates of metal, Ex. 39:3 Nu. 17:3 [16:38]. Cp EMBROIDERY, OUCHES.


(TlBy), 2 K. 11:14, 23:3 RVmg, EV PILLAR (q.v. ).


(niN<\2), Lk. 11:39 . See CHARGER, 3; also meals, 9.


(73n, habol; eNeXYP^CMOC or- MA , Ezek. 18:12, 18:16 33:15 [A jpexvpoi ], or B13JJ, 'abot, ivf\vpov, Dt. 24:10+:; also Jijj?, 'erabon appafiuv, Gen. 38:17-18, 38:20, whilst n3"lj?, 'arubbah, occurs once in a general sense (1 S. 17:18, 'token', see BDB ; (ZSAoo-a av \pjjta<riv, <B I! omits, (B L TO epov/3a) and when used in a technical legal sense means 'security' (Prov. 17:18+). The corresponding verbs are 315;, 'to give in pawn', 'to pledge', and also 'to become security', and ^an> 'to take something in pawn or pledge'.

1. Practice.[edit]

Elsewhere (LAW AND JUSTICE, 16) it is pointed out that the old legislation as to pledges goes on the supposition that indebtedness between Israelites can only have its origin in the poverty of one of the parties which compels him to have recourse to his more prosperous brother for a loan of the means of subsistence. The provisions even of the oldest legislation on this subject, and still more those of Dt. , have therefore the express tendency and intention to protect the poor debtor against the oppres sion of his creditor. The usual method adopted by the creditor to secure his money was to exact a pledge. Houses and vineyards were so given (Neh. 5:3), although as to the form in which this was done we learn nothing. From Neh. 5:3-4 compared with 5:5 it would appear that the mortgaged land passed into the possession of the creditor and was redeemed only by repayment of the loan. So far as earlier times are concerned, we read nothing about the mortgaging of lands, nor yet does the law mention such a thing ; we are thus left in ignorance as to what the ancient custom was in this respect. If the needy person had no land he could give his sons and daughters in pledge ; when this happened they passed into the possession of the creditor as slaves (Neh. 5:5 ; see SLAVERY) ; where loans of comparatively small amount were concerned the creditor took such pledge as suited him from the household goods of the debtor - such as clothing, hand-mill, or other domestic implement, staff or signet-ring (cp Gen. 38:18).

2. Laws.[edit]

The old law in the Book of the Covenant intervenes in behalf of the debtor so far at least, as to enact that if the pledge be the upper garment or mantle it must be returned to its owner before nightfall, 'for it is his only covering : wherein shall he sleep?' (Ex. 22:26-27). Garments seem, as a rule, to have been favourite pledges (Am. 2:8, Job 226 Prov. 20:16, 27:13).

Dt. , with the humane disposition which it everywhere displays (cp DEUTERONOMY), extends the law of the Book of the Covenant just stated so as to prohibit the pledging of necessaries altogether. That articles necessary to life must not be pledged is the plain meaning of Dt., although the law does not express this generally but only in a series of detailed enactments : the garments of a widow, the hand-mill, or even only a part of it, may not be taken in pledge, for that would be to take a man's life in pledge (Dt. 24:6, 24:17). In particular - and this is an important check upon the exorbitance of the rich creditor - the creditor is no longer to have the right he seems formerly to have had, of going in person into the house of the debtor and choosing a pledge at his own discretion, but must stay outside before the door of the borrower and wait to receive what the latter may choose to give by way of pledge. The proviso that the pledge must be restored before nightfall is repeated here also ; although the expression is worded generally, we ought, no doubt, to see here a reference to the mantle in the first instance, as in the case of the earlier law, for it is added : that he (the debtor) may sleep in his own garment (Dt. 24:10-13). That the law was abundantly justified in its interposition against the merciless abuse of the system of pledging, but also that on the other hand it did not succeed in doing away with all hardship and even sometimes played into the hands of the unjust rich in their oppression and overreaching of the poor is clear from the many complaints upon the subject (Am. 2:8, Ezek. 18:7, 18:12, 18:16, 33:15, Job 22:6, 24:3, Prov. 20:16, 27:13, Neh. 5:2+).

In later Jewish times the law of pledges often supplied the means of evading the strict sabbath law which forbade any payment of money on that day ; the buyer gave, instead of the money for goods received, a pledge usually his upper garment which was redeemed when the sabbath ended, at sunset.

3. Security.[edit]

Security, that is a pledge given by a third party, is strangely enough never mentioned in the earlier period, nor alluded to in the Book of the Covenant, or in D. It is not till the later literature is reached that many warnings against the danger of suretyship show how common it was, and with what disastrous results it was often attended (Prov. 6:1+, 11:15, 17:18, 20:16, 22:26+, Job 17:3, Ecclus. 8:12-13, 29:14+). Cp DEPOSIT, EARNEST. i. B.


(niO 3 ; TTANTA [BAQ]in Am. 5:8? ARKTOYPON i" Job 9:9? [so Aq. Am. 5:8] nAei&Aec in Job 38:31 ? with Sym. and so Sym. Th. Am. 58), either Sirius, if this is not rather the 'bow-star' of Job 38:36, or the Pleiades (which may, however, be the 'Ayish of Job 38:32; see STARS, 3c, and Che. JBL 17 [1898] 105).




(^ ; A^AMAC [BAQ], trulla [trowel] coementarii}, Am. 7:7+. See LEAD and HANDICRAFTS, i, 2.


1 i. n^peHp, mishkoleth (2 K. 21:13, 0ra0/iioi> [B], otator [otathmon] [AL]), or ri.^WD, mishkeleth (Is. 28:17, <TTa9fj.oi [BNAQT], mensura). See HANDICRAFTS, 1-2.

2. In Is. 34:11 RV has 'plummet of emptiness' for ?ni"32N, 'abne bohu (AV 'stones of emptiness' ; LXX reads differently, but yecojueTpta [geoometria] seems to stand for mx, perpendiculum in desolationem).

3. ^"lari J3NH, ha-eben habbedil, Zech. 4:10 ; lit. 'the stone, the tin', so AVmg ; TOV \i&ov TOV Kacro-iTepivov [BNAQr, KO.V- <ri.ofpi.ov N*] ; lapidem stanneum). But 'the stone of tin' (AVmg.) is scarcely grammatical, 2 nor is 'plummet' the term that is wanted here, but rather E Nin |3Nn (cp r/. 7) - i.e., 'the top-stoning'. px, however, would suffice here, and since ^H3?l cannot have sprung out of e>n-in, it is better to suppose that it is either an incorrect gloss (Marti, Nowack) or a corruption of SzniT T3i or of some name corresponding to ^3317 (see ZERUBBABEL). T. K. C


(D^-yn rm S, or, Neh. , D^^-yn) AV, RV POCHERETH OF ZEBAIM. The names of two families reckoned among the sons of Solomon's servants (or rather 'men of Salmaean Arabia', see SOLOMON'S SERVANTS, CHILDREN OF) rolled into one.

Ezra 2:57 (viol <j>aa-pad viol acre/Suet)/ [B], . . . <f>a.K<-pa.9 . . . atrefttaeifi [A], . . . <j>aKepa.9 Ttav arafiioeifji [L] ; Neh. 7:59 . . . <t>a.Kapad [B], <f>axapa.T ({<], <j>axapa.O [A], . . . <7a/3aei|U. ; . . . <f>a.icepa.9 . . . <ra/3ioei/u. [L]).

In 1 Esd. 5:34, however, as in LXX above, Zebaim (AV SABI, RV SABIE ; <ra/3(e)t7/ [BA], r(av <ra/3wet/x [L]) is distinct from Pochereth (AV PHACARETH ; <pa.Ka.pfO [BA], (ftaKfpad [L]). and the sense 'hunter of gazelles' is in itself improbable for a family-name (see, however, NAMES, 96). AV is, therefore, more correct than RV, except that 'sons of' should have been prefixed to Zebaim. Pochereth is parallel to HASSOPHERETH (q.v. ) in v. 55, which we take to mean ZAREPHATH (a N. Arabian place). It is grouped with Shephati[ah] (i.e. , Zarephathite), with Hattil (i.e., Ahit[al] = Rehobothi), with Zebaim, and with Ami or rather 'Adlon (see 1 Esd. 5:34, viol ad\ui>, cp SHAPHAT, S) = Q^J;, probably a corruption of "jxcrrT (MT o^iy, Adullam). On the analogy of SOPHERETH for Zarephath, we may read 'Rehoboth' for 'Pochereth', so that two Rehobothite clan-names (misread Hattil and Pochereth) are mentioned together. Zebaim, too, seems to be a placename ; cp c Nzs (see ZEBOIM). T. K. c.

1 i.e., plumbet.

2 Cp C. H. H. Wright, Zechariah, p. 550.


  • Its amount (1).
  • Survey incomplete (2).
  • Three periods (3).
  • Six species (4).
  • Prophetic (5-6).
  • Later (7).
  • Metre (8).
  • Other artifices (9).
  • Bibliography (10).

1. Amount of poetry in OT.[edit]

Poetry occupies a large space in the OT, even if we take note only of the poetical books in the stricter sense, viz. Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Canticles, Lamentations. The number of these will be increased if we include Koheleth on the one hand, in which the restraints of metrical form give place to the freedom of poetic prose, and on the other hand Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, and the Psalms of Solomon, which were not received into the canon.

In reality, however, poetry plays a much greater part than this in the literature of the OT. In the Torah and the Former Prophets (Josh. - 2 K.) we find many songs and lyric fragments, and the Later Prophets (Is. -Mal. ) are full of poetry.

2. Complete survey impossible.[edit]

Yet we have not the means of obtaining a complete survey of the history of Hebrew poetry, and for the following three reasons : -

(i. ) Much lost. First, it is plain that only a small fraction of the poetical pieces once in existence has been preserved in the OT. The earliest collections are lost. We no longer possess the 'Book of the Righteous' (AV 'of Jasher' ; RV 'of Jashar' ; ne>n nso, Josh. 10:13 [om. BA] ; 2 S. 1:18 [/St/SXiV TOV fvdovs, or ei)Wws] 1 K. 8:53 [/3. rrjs ydrjs : BAL] = TE n, i.e. , -itrn, the whole phrase being omitted in MT [see JASHAR, BOOK OF]), or the 'Book of the WARS OF THE LORD' (Nu. 21:14, ,TI,T nbnSp nap ; /3i/3Xt y II6Xe/uos TOV Kvpiov [B], /ft^SXcp II. [TOV] Kvpiov [AL]), or the 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs that 1 K. 5:12-13 [4:32-33] assigns to Solomon - which have nothing in common with the collections traditionally associated with his name that are still extant. Of the wealth of popular poetry - wedding-songs, dirges, drinking-songs (Am. 6:5), recitations of rhapsodists (Nu. 21:27) - nothing has reached us but a few specimens and illustrations. Of the older devotional poetry too (Am. 5:23) we have not now the means of forming any true idea. Naturally the men to whom we owe the selection and arrangement of the sacred writings sternly suppressed all those old poetic productions that were too obviously in conflict with the spirit of the (later) religion of Yahwe.

(ii. ) Uncertain date and authorship. Secondly, even in regard to the poems that have been preserved, we can only occasionally determine the date of composition, still more rarely the authorship. Much as the Israelites wrote, they were devoid of the real spirit of the man of letters, and never cared for what we call the history of literature. Neither did the poets themselves work for future literary glory, nor did the general public trouble itself much about the authorship of what it read or sang. We must not be misled by the superscriptions in Psalms and Proverbs. It is not on any tradition or even a primitive literary criticism that they rest. They are prefixed to the poems with the arbitrariness and undiscerning recklessness that characterise the historical attempts of the last centuries, B.C. [Cp PSALMS, PROVERBS.]

Besides, a comparison of the Hebrew, Greek, Syriac, and other Aramaic texts, shows that the superscriptions varied greatly indifferent MSS. So long, therefore, as we know hardly a single poet, and only exceptionally the occasion and object of the poems, and their date and manifold mutual relations, a history of poetry cannot but be incomplete.

iii. Lack of information about metre and music. - A third consideration adds to our uncertainty. We know that the Israelites used definite metrical forms, and that their songs were provided with an accompaniment of more or less artistic instrumental music (see Music). We have, however, but few positive data on the subject, and these, some of which are concealed in the Psalm superscriptions, are, for the most part, unintelligible to us. We are consequently often in doubt where prose passes into metrical poetry, and one com mentator will find clearly marked verses and strophes, where another will find plain prose, or at best a poetical style. Almost the whole of the prophetic literature is involved at the present time in this ambiguity.

3. Three periods.[edit]

If, notwithstanding these difficulties, the attempt must be made to determine the great outstanding periods in the history of Hebrew poetry, the following must be distinguished.

i. The period of popular poetry, from the beginning of Israelitish history to the age of written prophecy. [Cp 10, B. 'Popular poetry'. ] From the earliest times down to Solomon we may call the pre-literary age ; much was sung, but little written. Its most important documents are the 'Song of Deborah (Judg. 5), the 'Blessing of Jacob' (Gen. 49), and the elegies of David (2 S. 1:3). 1 From Solomon onwards the art of reading aud writing seems to have spread widely in Israel. Since the popular connection - attested by the author of 1 K. 5:12-13 [4:32-33] - of the proverbs and songs referred to above with the name of Solomon, can hardly be entirely destitute of foundation of some kind, we may probably assume that Solomon had the 3000 proverbs and fables treating of all beasts and plants written down, either in whole or in part, for the glorification of his power, though it is quite improbable that so many fables and maxims replete with cosmopolitan wisdom should have originated within the limits of Israel, much less have been composed by the king himself. If we are to credit Solomon with this step it could not fail to lead to further production, and may have laid broader foundations for the rise of a poetic literature, of which unhappily we possess few relics.

ii. The second period, from Amos to Ezra, we may call the prophetic. Judged by such remains as have reached us, the prophets are, in both the stricter and the wider sense of the term, the most distinguished poets of this age, and even the poems that we owe to other authors - Job, Lamentations, the songs of the Servant of Yahwe - are subject to their influence. If we exclude a very few narrative pieces, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Deutero-Isaiah, and (to coin a new term) Trito-Isaiah (Is. 56-66) write in strict poetic form. The same seems to be true of the original notes of Jeremiah, although these are now indeed in great measure obscured by additions, made either by himself or by others, which are more or less of the nature of prose. Ezekiel frequently intersperses poetical pieces among his prose writings.

iii. The third period likewise contains many prophetic poems ; but it is pious lyric and didactic poetry that preponderates - poetry founded on the Law and on a scheme of ethics, the key- word of which is the 'fear of God'. Little secular poetry has found a place in the Canon (examples are Ps. 45, Is. 23:15-16).


4. Species of Poetry.[edit]

We should reach about the same results if we adopted as a principle of classification the various species of poetry.

i. Common life. - The poetry of common life is common to all periods. Mourning women skilled in the dirge, 'wise women', mothers, teaching their daughters to lament the dead, are known to Amos (5:16) and Jeremiah (9:17, 9:19) as well as to the NT (see MOURNING CUSTOMS, i). And equally common will have been the songs of joy to which women in their processional dances played the tabret and carousers plucked the guitar (see Music, 3 [ 1] ; DANCE, 5). The Song of the Well (see BEER), which Nu. 21:17-18 assigns to nomadic times, could also have been produced 1000 years later.

ii. Epic. - On the other hand, epic poetry is for us confined to the first period. Unfortunately so little of it has been preserved that before the decipherment of the cuneiform literature it was even supposed that the Semites had no epic poetry.

(i) In reality, however, Israel actually possessed epic poems with mythical features. The reference to the primeval contest between the god of light and the powers of chaos in Is. 51:9 and in Job 7:12, 9:13, 9:26 reminds us of the cosmogonic myths of the northern Semites (see CREATION, LEVIATHAN, RAHAH). These myths, however, which, though a product not of religious instinct, but of poetic philosophic thought, spring up only on the soil of nature-religion, must have undergone a radical transformation when poetically wrought up by an adherent of Yahwe, the god of plain history. In Gen. 6:1-4, too, we seem to detect features of the poetry of mythic epos ; it bespeaks a poetic original, e.g. , when we read in v. 1 that daughters were born to men - a prose writer would have spoken of sons and daughters.

(2) Other poems again take us from the realm of myth more into that of legend. From the culture-legend of the people of Kain (cp CAINITES), of which we have an abridgment in Gen. 4:16-24, we have (a) the Song of Lamech (v. 23-24). Then there are fragments of song telling of Yahwe s coming down from heaven, the material of which is not Israelitish in origin. One of these underlies the narrative of (b) the Babylonian tower-building 1 (Gen. 11:1-9), the author of which rather clumsily mixes up prose and verse. The following is in verse : -

v. 3. Come, we will make brick,
And bake them till they are hard.
v. 4. Come, let us build a city,
And a tower with its head in heaven,
And let us make us a landmark,
That we be not scattered over the earth
v. 7. Come, let us go down.
And confound there their speech.

It is clear that the last distich belongs to the poetic original, as the prose writer has already made Yahwe come down in v. 5. Some strophes of (c) a second song have been subsequently inserted into the Yahwistic story of the overthrow of Sodom (Gen. 18-19), a story which they do not at all suit. The first strophe (18:20-21) plants us in heaven :

The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah, ah ! it is great ;
And their sin, ah ! it is very grievous ;
I will go down and see whether . . .
Or, if it be not so, I must know.

Here the poet must have told of Yahwe's coming down. Farther on we read (19:24-25) :

And Yahwe rained on Sodom and Gomorrah,
Brimstone and fire came from Yahwe out of heaven,
And he overthrew the cities and the whole district,
And all that dwelt in the cities and all the fruit of the ground

That these strophes are not the work of the Yahwist is clear, apart from their poetic diction, from the following considerations :-

  • (1) 19:24-25 separates the prose account of Lot (v. 23) from that of his wife (v. 26) ;
  • (2) the Yahwist always speaks simply of Sodom, whilst these strophes, and later allusions to them, speak also of Gomorrah ;
  • (3) according to the Yahwist Sodom is destroyed by the two men that came thither, whilst, according to the poet, this is the work of Yahwe from heaven ;
  • (4) the determination of Yahwe (18:20-21) 'to go down' conflicts with the prose narrative - it is either a descent into the vale of Sodom that is meant, in which case the Yahwist does not after all make Yahwe go down at all, or it is a coming down from heaven to earth, in which case the determination is quite out of place in chap. 18, where Yahwe is already on earth.

That the subject-matter of the poems is not old Israelitish seems sufficiently proved by the fact of Yahwe s being thought of as dwelling in heaven. The Sodom legend is pre-Israelite ; the story of the Tower of Babel must have grown up among people to whom the tower served as a landmark - the caravans of the desert.

1 See BABEL, TOWER OF, and cp Crit. Bib.

(3) Not only myth and legend, however, but also real history is represented in song. The rhapsodists, whose recitations kept alive the lays of popular history, are called in Nu. 21:27 Moshelim (oWto)i and would seem, to judge from the usage elsewhere of the word mashal (cp PROVERB), to have also recited satirical songs on living persons. In the earlier days songs, treating of the fights and heroes so dear to the heart of peoples still in their youth, are, for the most part, improvised by the women, and naturally only in exceptional cases handed down to later generations. It appears to the present writer possible that (a) Ex. 15:21, the couplet that extols in glad wonder the unimagined might of the desert god :

Sing to Yahwe, for he hath greatly exalted himself;
The horse and his rider hath he cast into the sea,

is really to be attributed to Miriam, whilst the long poem vv. 2-19 is certainly a quite late artificial product (cp EXODUS [BOOK], 6). Moreover it is probable that a poem underlies the description of (b) the Red Sea catastrophe in Ex. 14:24-25. The song (c) in Nu. 21:27-30 is, perhaps, not earlier than the monarchy. Of the ancient song of victory on (d) the fight at Gibeon we have some fragments in Josh. 10:10+ which do not everywhere stand out from the prose framework, but are still sufficient to show that the supposed marvel of sun and moon standing still, rests on the early poetic conception of the stars as warlike beings lingering here as sympathetic spectators of the deeds of Yahwe, just as in (e) the Song of Deborah they actually take part in the fight (Judg. 5:20).

This Song of Deborah (Judg. 5) is the most important document of the whole period from Moses to David. In support of the view that it is of later date than the age of Deborah, no serious grounds have as yet been adduced. The song is the composition of some one who was more interested in the mar shalling and organising of the forces than in the fight itself, and who had authority to speak in the name of the mal'ak Yahwe (see THEOPHANY); for this reason we are justified in regarding Deborah herself as the author. The 'song' spoken of in v. 12, however, cannot be urged in proof of this ; it is rather the war-like benediction with which this Veleda of ancient Israel sends the warriors to the fight. The poem is composed in six-line strophes, the dialect is N. Israelitish (according to v, 15 Deborah belonged to Issachar), the text very corrupt. Cp JUDGES (BOOK), 7.

It is to the early days of the monarchy, when David was king at Hebron, that we are inclined to assign (f) the 'Blessing of Jacob' (Gen. 49:1-27), which, though inferior to the 'Song of Deborah' from an aesthetic point of view, does not fall far below it in historical value. Its author, who prophesies a time of glory for Shiloh and Judah, might conceivably be Abiathar, the last scion of the priestly clan of Shiloh, and faithful friend of David. Cp GENESIS, 8 (b).

The author hopes that Judah, brother of the Israelitish tribes, enriched and become great by plunder, may not lose its leader David, as Benjamin lost its Saul, till at Shiloh he attains to the hegemony of the tribes. The early monarchy suits the utterances about the other tribes : Issachar, which, fleeing from its seat on the overthrow of Saul (1 S. 31:7), returns later to its but too attractive abode, only to submit to the yoke of the Philistines ; Gad, which under the leadership of Abner gallantly defends itself; Reuben, which has lost its leading position (see 1 Ch. 5:10) ; Levi and Simeon, whose stubborn adherence to the old, wild, Bedouin life was irreconcilable with the milder spirit of a now agricultural people ; Dan, clearly no longer living, as at the time of the Song of Deborah, by the sea, but already removed to Laish (Judg. 17:18), and yet still self-governed - a proof that a monarchy after the Solomonic type does not yet exist. Only the saying about Joseph, differing as it does also in other respects from what is said of the other tribes, may be assigned to the days of the monarchy, at least if the expression VRN Tip (EV 'him that was separate from [RVmg. 'that is prince among' ] his brethren' ), v. 26, is to be rendered 'the crowned one of his brethren'.

To the category of historical songs of the first rank belong also (g) David's lament over Saul and Jonathan (2 S. 1:19-27), and (h) the lament on the death of Abner, of which only a four-line fragment (2 S. 3:33-34) has reached us, unless part of v. 38-39 also should be assigned to it - songs that give us a most favourable idea of David's character and poetic gifts. Much less certain, though not after all impossible, is the Davidic origin of (?) the swan-song, 2 S. 23:1-7. See DAVID, 13; JASHAR, BOOK OF, 2.

What remains is confined to some fragments. Mention should be made of (j) the song about Saul and David that the women sang as they danced (1 S. 18:7) ; (k) the insurrectionary song of Sheba with which the Israelites renounced their allegiance to the Davidic as an alien dynasty (2 S. 20:1, 1 K. 12:16) ; (l) the tetrastich on the temple building put into the mouth of Solomon, 1 though certainly belonging to a later time, 1 K. 8:12 (see LXX 1 K. 8:53) ; finally (m) the popular song of N. Israel mentioned in Is. 9:9 [9:10] :

Bricks are fallen
But we build with hewn stone,
Sycamores are cut down
But we set in their place cedars.

(4) Of the didactic poetry of the earlier times once so abundant (1 K. 5:12), all that remains to us, if we pass over the unmetrical fable of 2 K. 14:9, is the fable of Jotham (Judg. 9) and perhaps the riddle of Samson (Judg. 14:14). Jotham's fable marks the Israelitish peasants low estimate of the monarchy, to win which none would give up his useful work. The determination of its date is, as always in the case of fables, a precarious undertaking.

(5) The question whether the Israelites possessed a dramatic literature, may most probably be answered in the affirmative. It is true the OT gives not the slightest hint that they had a theatre like the Greeks or Indians. But a dramatic character belongs even to the primitive cultus, the festive processions and dances, certainly also many rites in which pilgrims to the various shrines had to take part, a liturgy making use of question and answer (cp, e.g. , Ps. 24), and those songs, mostly improvised, in which leader and choir alternately perform. If here those taking part do so in their own proper persons, the women who yearly bewailed the daughter of Jephthah (Judg. 11:39-40) played the part of another, and the same is true after all of the mourning- women when they raised the common cry for a stranger : Ah, my brother! Ah, Lord! (Jer. 22:18) ; and every wedding was a small drama. It is therefore not with out reason if the question whether the so-called 'Song of Solomon' is a kind of drama, is more and more generally answered in the affirmative. Difference of opinion is practically confined now to the question whether it is a sort of peasant's drama, like those still performed in Syria at weddings, perhaps, too, simply a collection of songs composed for such occasions, or on the other hand, a drama in the ordinary sense, or rather a sort of operetta akin to the miracle-plays of mediaeval times. The second alternative appears to the present writer the more natural [cp Driver, Introd. ch. 10, 1] ; it does not of course require us to assume an artificial stage or other theatrical accessories, nor any professional actors. The 'Song', or operetta, falls into twenty lyrico-dramatic passages, developing a very simple plot, in which true love gains the day over all the efforts of Solomon to part the attached lovers, and make the maiden of Shulem (Shunem ?) his favourite wife (see CANTICLES). The songs are sung partly by individuals - the Shulamite, Solomon, the young swain - partly by choruses : the maidens of the harem, the women of Zion, the friends of the bridegroom, the bridesmaids, the kinsmen and kinswomen of the lover. Some of the songs are in dialogue form ; but the dialogue remains throughout in the background as in the oldest dramas of the Greeks.

The composition is of N. Israelite origin, and belongs to the century following Solomon, when the bitterness engendered among the N. Israelites by the severity of that king s rule had disappeared, but when it was still not unpleasing to give a burlesque description of his character. In spite of a certain Oriental redundancy the work contains many passages of a graceful and tender poetry. Specially worthy of mention is the fine psychological insight in the poetical treatment of the heroine. (On the disputed questions involved, see CANTICLES.)

(6) With Amos begins for us the age of prophetic poetry. We refer not merely to poems explicitly indicated as such by the prophets themselves, such as Am. 5:1-2, Mic. 1:8+, 2:4, Is. 5:1+, Jer. 9:19+ etc. On the contrary, by far the greatest part of the prophetic literature consists of poems, which, if not sung, were also not declaimed after the manner of Demosthenes, but delivered with ecstatic fervour. Probably the hithnabbe (N23nn, see PROPHET, i [i]) or y\u<r<r<us \a\fiv [gloosais lalein] of the NT (see SPIRITUAL GIFTS) resembled in the first place the ecstatic babbling of the Pythia, and was then, if the subject-matter were sufficiently important, brought, as in the case of the Pythia, into a certain metrical form, when the ecstasy (i>ri nj5iri3, 'when the hand grasped' Is. 8:11) had ceased, but the exaltation of spirit had not yet vanished. Hence the earliest oracles (cp, e.g., Gen. 25:23, or the Balaam speeches [Nu. 23-24], as well as the 'Blessings' uttered under divine influence [Gen. 9:25+, 24:60, 27:27 etc.]) are also in poetic form ; and the musician who was set to excite the enthusiasm of Elisha will have likewise accompanied his words. The prophets were, moreover, aware that, like the vates of the Romans, they were prophets and poets in one, since they not seldom make use, in speeches designated 'the word of Yahwe', 1 of poetical artifices such as the refrain (e.g.. Is. 9:8 [9:7]+, Am. 1:3+, 4:6+). In fact religion is the mother of all arts, and it was originally not a form of speech when poets addressed the gods as the actual source of their creations.

1 [See JASHER, BOOK OF, 3, and cp Cheyne, Or. Ps. 212, 475, where further references are given; Driver, Intr.() 192.; Expositor, 1891 (i), pp. 398^]

5. True nature of prophetic addresses.[edit]

That the prophetic addresses are really not speeches but songs, is sufficiently clear from their brevity, but still more from their being divided into equal strophes. Most common are the four-line strophes in which, e.g., Hosea invariably writes; but more artificial forms are quite frequent. In so far as the utterances of the prophets give expression to the objects and demands of the divine ruler, and are addressed to the body of the people or the ruling classes, dealing therefore with foreign and home politics, they are political poems. Often indeed must the poet speak for himself, and in the case of Jeremiah the political element often gives place to the personal and even the lyric, so that of all the prophets he is most markedly a poet in the proper sense of the term. From the time of the exile, however, when the nation as a political power ceased to be, there begin to make their appearance - e.g., in a Deutero-Isaiah - those elements which suggest the spiritual song of a later time : it is to Jeremiah and Deutero-Isaiah, therefore, that such spiritual song traces its pedigree. Unhappily it was for the most part with ill-preserved, mutilated, and illegible texts that the later collectors of the early writings had to deal, and they made them still worse by glosses, additions, erroneous conjectures, and transpositions. Hence not seldom, in addition to internal criticism and comparisons of the Hebrew text with that of the LXX, metrical considerations have to be laid under contribution to secure a text representing in some measure the original. What a confusion, for example, now prevails in such passages as the following: -

(a) Am. 5:4-17. In vv. 4-6, 14-15. we have the following poem :

Seek Yahwe and live,
And seek not Bethel,
And to Gilgal come not,
And to Beersheba go not over.
Seek Yahwe and live
Lest there break out a flame, 1
Fire in the house of Joseph,
And consume with none to quench.
Seek good, not evil,
That ye may live,
And so Yahwe be with you,
As ye have said.

Between vv. 6 and 14 has been inserted a genuine piece (vv. 7, 10-13) belonging to v. 16-17, and a later addition (v. 8-9). Only v. 15, though its beginning is different, may belong to the same poem :-

Hate evil and love good,
And establish in the gate justice ;
Perhaps Yahwe will be gracious,
The god of hosts to the remnant of Joseph.

1 Read 5?K 3nV nSs and take t^N with the next clause. The letters nj? w i" have fallen out from their resemblance to the preceding pair.

We add some further examples of prophetic poems (b) Hos. 5:14-66:-

I am like a lion unto Ephraim,
And like a young lion unto the house of Judah ;
I, I rend and go away,
I carry off, none rescuing.
I will go back to my place,
Until they are brought to nought, 1
And seek my face,
In their distress search after me :
Up, let us return
To Yahwe our God ;
For he hath rent, and will heal us,
And smitten, 2 and will bind us up.
He will revive us after two days,
On the third day make us stand up,
That we may live before him,
And know . . .
We will pursue after Yahwe ;
As we seek him, so do we find him ;3
And he will come as a winter rain for us,
Like a late rain that waters the earth. 4
What should I do unto thee Israel (Ephraim?)
What should I do unto thee, Judah,
Your love being like morning clouds,
And like dew that early disappears?

(c) Mic. 3:9-12 :-

Hear, ye heads of Jacob,
And chiefs of the house of Israel,
Who abhor judgment,
And make all that is straight crooked ;
Who build 5 Zion with blood,
And Jerusalem with iniquity,
Where the chiefs give judgment for a bribe,
And the priests give counsel for hire ;
Where the prophets prophesy for silver,
And lean on Yahwe saying :
Is not Yahwe in our midst ?
There cannot befall us any evil !
Therefore on your account
Zion like a field shall be ploughed,
And Jerusalem become heaps,
And the temple mount a wooded height. 6

(d) Jer. 4:23-26 :-

I saw the earth and lo a chaos !
(I looked) to the heavens, and their light was gone ;
I saw the mountains, and lo, they quaked,
And all the hills had begun to totter.
I saw and lo man was gone,
And all the birds of heaven were fled ;
I saw and lo, the fruitful spot was desert, 7
And all its cities were overthrown before Yahwe.

(e) Jer. 20:7-12:-

Thou didst infatuate me, Yahwe, and I became infatuated,
Thou seizedst me, and didst prevail ;
I became a laughing-stock every day ;
Every one mocks me.
As often as I speak I cry out violence,
I bewail outrage.
The word of Yahwe became to me a reproach,
And an insult every day.
And I said : I will no more think of him,
Nor speak in his name ;
And it became in my heart as burning fire,
An oppression 8 in my bones.
And I became weary of bearing it,
And hold not out ;
For I heard the whisper of many :
'Denounce ! we will denounce him'.
All men of mine acquaintance
Watch for my fall ;
'Perhaps he will be infatuated, and we can master him,
And take our revenge'.
But Yahwe [of hosts] 9 is with me
As a mighty hero,
Therefore shall my pursuers stumble
And not prevail :
They shall be greatly ashamed, 1
For they have no insight ;
Their shame lasts for ever, 2
Will not be forgotten.
Yahwe is a righteous judge,
Seeing reins and heart ;
I shall see my revenge upon them,
For on thee have I rolled it. 3

1 So LXX.

2 Read Tjn with Wellhausen.

3 Read with Giesebrecht (cp LXX) nNSD3 [3 MIWB.

4 Read fllT.

5 LXX 33.

6 LXX naa for nC3.

7 Read 131D (without article).

8 Read isj? for 1SJ7.

9 niN3S has in MT made its way from here to v. 12, where it is lacking in LXX.

6. Lam. 'Servant of Yahweh', Job.[edit]

To the prophetic period belong (a) the five Lamentations, which, it is true, exhibit a metre favoured by Jeremiah, and are in the Greek text ascribed to him, but are a later artificial product and come probably from different authors. So also (b) the 'Servant of Yahwe' Songs (Is. 42:1-4, 49:1-6, 50:4-9, 52:13-53:12), prophetic lyrics of deep import and noble diction, belonging to the time of the post-exilic community. Probably also (c) the Book of job (apart from the pre-exilic prose introduction and conclusion) was written before Ezra, although a later date is possible. The poem deals with that deep problem which called Buddhism into being - the problem of misfortune - in an unrestrained, yet deeply religious, anything but philosophical spirit, and with a keen polemic against the Deuteronomistic theory of retribution. See JOB [BOOK].

Noteworthy, in a poem wholly based on the ethics of the prophets, is the absence of any reference to the prophetic hope of a better world ; this lack of the thought of a redemption, which gave such immense help to Christianity, as it did to Buddhism, explains how the theodicy does not turn out satisfactory, and the poet found more opponents than followers. The text is very badly preserved and has received many foreign additions (especially 12:4-6, 12:7-10, 24:1-24, 30:2-8, 30:28, 32-37, 40:15-41:26 [41:34]) ; both the original and the added speeches are in tetrastichs, only 12:4-6, 24, 30:2-8 being written in tnstichs.

7. Lyric and didactic.[edit]

If some prophetic poems were still produced in the time following Ezra, most of the poems of this period belong to lyric and didactic literature. Single specimens are to be found in the historical books as well as in the prophetic collections. In an age when pseudonymous authorship is prevalent it is a favourite practice to assign to celebrities of the past, not merely prophecies and prayers, but also religious songs, without always noticing whether the songs suit the person or the situation (cp, e.g. , 1 S. 2:1-10, Jon. 2:2-9). This predilection for the names of illustrious poets of the past finds special expression in the two great collections of the time - the Psalter, containing the lyric, and Proverbs containing the didactic poetry. Both collections have grown out of smaller collections for the most part still discernible. How late the smaller collections were united appears from 1 Ch. 16:8-36 (see PSALMS [BOOK], 8). 4 But the songs themselves are also late and refer to the inner and outer struggles of the community of the second temple.

1 Read ^3.1 B>13.

2 Read with LXX oVlJ^> Dn8^3.

3 Read Ifn for a revealing of the quarrel is unnecessary when Yahwe sees heart and reins.

4 On the still later so-called 'canticles' of the Apocrypha and NT, see also HYMNS, PSALMS [BOOK], 44.

5 See, however, Ginsburg, Introduction to the Massoretico-critical Edition of the Hehrejv Bible (London, 1897), p. 17.7? : 'In the best MSS the lines [in the Psalter, Proverbs, and Job] are poetically divided and arranged in hemistichs'.

8. Metre.[edit]

Had the second temple been preserved and with it the temple song, we should perhaps have had better traditional information regarding the metrical form of Hebrew poetry than is afforded us by the marginal notes of a musical nature, and the late accentual system devised for use in liturgical recitation. Only a few poems are stichometrically arranged (Judg. 5, Ex. 15, Dt. 32, 33, 2 S. 22), and not even the Psalms. 5 Still less are the strophes indicated ; even the refrains, recurring after a definite number of lines and indicating the end of the strophes, have through the excessive carelessness of the old copyists often fallen out (e.g. , in Ps. 46, 49, Job 28). Still, the expositor of the OT is in duty bound to take note of the metre, not simply because it offers the greatest assistance to the textual critic but also on (esthetic grounds, and above all out of respect for the authors who certainly did not choose without reason to submit themselves to the restrictions of metre.

(i. ) Distich. - The real basis of Hebrew metre is the distich. This was already known to the older theologians, who found the characteristic of OT poetry in the 'parallelismus membrorum', the device namely of having the second stichos reproduce the first not in identical but in similar terms e.g., Dt. 32:1,

Give ear, ye heavens, that I may speak,
And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.

This parallelism, in stricter or looser form, may be due to the earliest improvised verses having originated in responsive song amongst the women, the chorus taking up, modifying, supplementing, the thoughts expressed by the leader.

(ii. ) Scansion. - The first question at issue is how the stichos is to be scanned. Opinion has latterly come to be unanimous that the stresses are to be counted ; all that remains to be determined is whether the unaccented syllables are also to be counted. Bickell, to whose work we are far more indebted than to that of any other for our understanding of Hebrew metre, holds that they are [so Merx, Gietmann], and since he assumes an unaccented between every two accented syllables, he recognises only iambic and trochaic measures. But although he has succeeded in carrying his system through with wonderful consistency and without exces sive violence, it seems to the present writer more prudent to give up counting the unaccented syllables and the rule that between each two accented syllables there must stand one and only one unaccented syllable. It is simpler and less exposed to the risk of artificiality to suppose that Hebrew poetry, just like the German Volkslied, attended only to the number of accented syllables, and not to the number or position of unaccented, and allowed the greatest freedom in the treatment of long and short, permitting long syllables in the thesis and even - like German popular poetry - short syllables in the arsis. [So Ley, Neteler, Grimme, and (as repeatedly stated by himself) C. A. Briggs.] In this case we must of course give up the idea of definitely determining the tone syllable in each case ; but that is in any case wise, for we do not now know where the word -stress, which probably did not always agree with the system followed by the Massoretic punctuators, originally fell.

[Sievers claims to have found a uniform and definite rhythm which may be called pseudo-anapaestic, two unaccented syllables of any quantity being followed by a long accented syllable - e.g., J2l 3 i jnE JCE"1, Dt. 32:15. Sievers' researches (on which see Buhl, op. cit., Zimmern, 7.A, 1897, p. 383) are based on the MT ; see Metrische Studien in the Abhandl. of the Saxon Gesellsch. d. Wissenschaften, vol. 21.]

(iii. ) Various metres. - The distich spoken of above would accordingly have to be regarded as a verse of 3 + 3 accents, or (as Josephus says) a hexameter. Many poems are in this measure - e.g. , the whole of Job. Distichs of 2 + 2 accents are not so common, those of 4 + 4 again frequent - the former chiefly in lightly moving popular songs, of which indeed not many have survived, the latter often in the utterances of the prophets.

On this simple basis somewhat more artificial forms of verse were easily reared. The distich could become a tristich, the two stichoi might differ in the number of accents. Specially attractive is the long line produced out of the ordinary 'hexameter' by the dropping of one accent in the second stichos, and containing therefore 3 + 2 accents - it might be called pentameter. It is the favourite verse of Jeremiah, and is also often used else where in poems where feeling predominates, expressing with equal ease the energy of triumph and scorn (Is. 14:47) and the intensity of pain (cp Jer. above), the rapture of joy (Is. 40:1-4, 40:9-11), and idyllic repose (e.g., Ps. 23, 27:1-6). To call this measure the Kinah-metre (nrp, elegy) would therefore be a mistake, all the more that it is by no means universally chosen for elegies. [See LAMENTATION ; but cp Konig, Stylistik, 315-316. According to Grimme, the halting metre took its origin in prophetic oracles.]

(iv. ) Strophes. - A remarkable controversy has also broken out as to whether or not OT poetry combined those stichoi into strophes. It is indeed easy to understand how gnomic poetry could content itself with the distich form ; but that lyric poetry should also have done so would be very strange. The poems, however, - by no means rare -that intersperse refrains after every so many lines, are of themselves enough to prove the opposite. In fact, in spite of the frequent dis figurement of the text, it will force itself upon every reader that it is much easier to find symmetrical strophes in Hebrew poetry than in Greek choruses. The simplest and commonest strophe is naturally the tetrastich originating in the doubling of the distich. [So, e.g. , not only in Job and often in Psalms, but also in Ezek. 15 ; cp Bertholet and Kraetzschmar. ] The prophets probably further combine two tetrastichs together, and in Is. 9:8 [9:7]+ every three tetrastichs are held together by a refrain of two stichoi, the result being a strophe of fourteen stichoi ; similarly in Job 28, except that the refrain, which in this poem begins each strophe, has fallen out before v. 1 and v. 7. In Am. 1:3, 2:10, too, the refrain precedes, and is followed by two tetrastichs, which in turn repeat certain phrases. Of strophes of more than fourteen lines, as far as the present writer is aware, there are none.

Tristichs are comparatively rare (e.g., Job 24:1-24, 30:2-8, Cant. 3:1-4). Six-lined strophes have arisen from the combination of three distichs, rarely of two tristichs. A stately effect is produced by a strophe of 7 pentameters, as in Is. 18:2-22, 14:4-21, 47 in the first two cases subordinate groups of 2 + 2 + 3 being combined to form each strophe. Five-line strophes of many kinds are also to be met with.

9. Other artifices.[edit]

These are the outlines of the Hebrew metrical system. Simple as it is it cannot be charged with monotony, even when we must do without such artificial versification as is indulged in, e.g. in Is. 26:1-19 - long lines of 3 x 2 or 2 x 3 accents, in imitation, it would seem, of Greek hexameters. That advantage was taken of word-plays, assonances, even rhyme, to heighten the colour, every student of the Hebrew text knows, as also how many alphabetic poems were written. There is at least one acrostich (Ps. 119), whilst occasionally a writer of alphabetic songs seems to have interwoven his name (Ps. 25:22 34:23 [34:22]: Pedaiah). Artifices of this kind show that art is conscious. A complete knowledge of Hebrew versification we could hope to attain only if we were acquainted also with Hebrew music and the way in which prophets recited their productions. Here our knowledge must always be more fragmentary than in the domain of literary history.

10. Literature.[edit]

A. General. E. Meier, Gesch. der poet. National-Kit, der Hebruer (1856); E. Reuss, Hebr. Poesie, in PRE& ^b-jiff. ; Fr. Buhl, Dichtkunst bei den Israeliten, PREM 4 [1898] 626-638.

B. Popular poetry. Budde, Das Volkslied Israels im Munde der Propheten, P-reuss. Jahrbb. Sept. 1893; Noch etwas vom Volksliede, ibid., Dec. 1895; The Song of Songs, New World, 1894, pp. <ff.

C. Form of poetry. Clericus, Diss. critica de poese Heb- rceorum (1688) ; J. Ley, Die metr. Formen der hebr. Pcesie (1866); Casanowiez, Paronomasia in the OT (Boston, 1894; also in JBL).

D. Metre. Gomarus, David s Lyra, sen nova Hebr. Script. ars poetica (1637); Hare, Psalmorum liber in versiculos metrice tihnsits (Lond. 1736); Bellermann, Versitch -iiber die Metrik der Hebriier (1813); Saalschiitz, von der Form der hebr. Poesie(iZ2=,) ; Form und Geist derbibl.-hebr. Poesie(\^>^ ; E. Meier, Die Form der hebr. Poesie nachgemiesen (185?); J. Ley, Grundziige des Rhythmus, des I ers- n. Strophenbaues in der Hebr. Poesie (1875); Leitfaden der Metrik (1887) ; Merx, Das Gedichtvoti Hiob (\&T\\ pp. \xxxivjffl , Neteler, Grundziige der Metrik der Pss. (1879); Bickell, Carmina V.T. metrice (1882) ; Dichtungen der Hebriier . . . nach dent Versmasse des Urtextcs ubersetzt (1882); Kritische Bearbeitungen der Texte der Klagelieder, der Spruche, u. d. B. Hiob, WZKM 5-8 ; Budde, ZATW, 1882, pp. i jf. ; 1891, pp. 234^; Schlottmann, Ueb. den Strophenbau (1884); C. I. Ball, Text of Lamenta tions. PSBA 9 [1887] 131^!; P. Vetter, Die Metrik des B. Hiobs (1897); Zimmern, Ein vorlaufiges Wort iib. babyl. Metrik, in ZA 6\z\ff. (The Babylonian creation -story con sists almost throughout of strophes or stanzas of two verses each, in which each half-verse has two beats.) C. A. Briggs, Biblical Study W&$, and articles in Hcbraica (1886-1888), see also his forthcoming Book of Psalms (General Introduction); Konig, Stylistik (1900), 312^

E. Strophes. Kuster, Theol. Stud. *. Kr., 1831, pp. 40^; Sommer, Bibl. Abhandlungen, 1 ivfrff. ; Merx, Hiob, 75^; Delitzsch Die Psalmen(^, 21 ff. ; Das B. lobW, \ijff.; Budde, ZATW i^ff.; D. H. Mailer, Die Propheten in ihrer ursprungl. Form (1896); Strophenbau u. Responsion (1898); Perles, Zur althebr. Strophik (1896); Zenner, Die Chorgesange im B. der Pss. ( i 896) ; P. Ruben, Strophic Forms in the Bible, JQR 11(1899)431^:; Konig, Stylistik (1900), pp. 347^ (on Miiller and Zenner). H. D.


i. non, hemah ; GYMOC, ioc U/DIT. to be hot ; Aram. NIV, Arab, humatun, Ass. imtu 'spittle, breath, poison' ), only of animal poison in the phrases rcn "W I (Dt. 32:24), o ran n (Dt. 32:33 ), B*m n (Ps. 58:5 [58:4]), 31COy n (Ps. 140:4), all referring to the venom of snakes (see SERPENTS, especially 2), unless Ps. 140:4 be an exception (see SPIDER).

2. E>lh, ro'sh, in the expression D*:nS B*K1 (Dt. 32:33, Job 20:16 ; also, apparently, Ecclus. 25:15). See GALL, i.

3. ios, Rom. 3:13; cp, LXX Ps. 139:3, Jas. 3:8 (the tongue : 'full of deadly poison' ).


(rroAiTApx<M). Acts l7:6+, EV 'rulers of the city'. See THESSALONICA.