Encyclopaedia Biblica/Praetorium-Prophet (False)

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(TTPAITOOPION ; Syr. transliterates pr(a)etorium].

1. Meaning.[edit]

Meaning originally the tent of the commander of an army ( Liv. 3:5), it came to be applied to the residence, whether fixed or provisional, of the governor of a province (Cic. Verr. 2:4:28), and even to the large country villas of noble Romans (Suet. Calig. 37 ; see Rich, Dict, of Gk. and Rom. Antiqq.}. In the NT it seems to be used of the royal palaces as being temporary residences of the procurators. Thus in Acts 23:35 Trpair. r. Hpydov [praet. t. Heroodou] is taken to mean the palace of Herod in Caesarea (AV 'Herod's judgment-hall', RV 'Herod's palace' ). According to Meyer, the same is meant by TrpaiTupiov [praitoorion] in Phil. 1:13 (AV 'palace' ); but Lightfoot has contended strongly for the meaning 'praetorian guards' (see Philippians, 97-100). Further, some scholars (Keim) suppose the word to be used in the Gospel narrative of Herod's palace at Jerusalem.

1 E. Klost. Probl. im Aposteltexte, 15+.

2 7riKaAoC/aai ere TI\V fJs.cyi<rTr)V Svvo/jnv rr/v eV rip ovpafui vjrb /cv piov #eov Teraynevrfv (Pap. Par. bibl. nat. 1275+).

3 They are : [and dragged them into the agora before the magistrates] and [and bringing them to the presence of the praetorsj.

2. Its occurrence in the gospels.[edit]

The passages are Mk. 15:16 (EV 'Praetorium' ), Mt. 27:27 (AV 'the common hall' ), Jn. 18:28 (AV 'the hall of judgment ), 18:33 (AV 'judgment hall' ), 19:9 (AV 'judgment hall' ). RV has 'palace' everywhere, except Mk. where this rendering is placed in the margin. But even if we could consider the accounts in these passages reliable, the reference might more plausibly be supposed to be to the fortress of Antonia. As is justly pointed out in Meyer-Weiss, Matth. 484, Herod's palace would be reserved for his own use. The earliest of these passages (Mk. 15:16), however, is very vague. Jesus is said to have been led away by the soldiers 'within the court, which is the Praetorium' (&ru> TT;S av\fjs, 8 iarw irpa.irupi.oi>}. Here, as Brandt says, the words 'which is the Praetorium' are a strange addition and do not fit well into the text, whatever interpretation we may give to them. 'They are a gloss occasioned by the text of Matthew' (Evang. Gesch. 107). Mt. , not understanding the words &rw Trjs auXrjs [esoo tes aules], improves the story by laying the scene at the headquarters of the Roman garrison (Mt. 27:27, 7rapa\a/3jj Tes rbv \-rjaovv ets r6 irpo.iTupioi> ffvvfjyayov fir avrov SXrji/ TJJV ffirelpav). An editor of Mk. added the gloss after comparing the two accounts.

3. The account in Lk.[edit]

In Lk. the passage is wanting. But the Third Gospel tells us of a trial before Herod of which no mention is made in the other gospels. Several circumstances in this narrative (the mockery by the soldiers, the gorgeous robe) suggest that it owes its origin to Mk. 15:16 = Mt. 27:27. Lk. , we may suppose, had some form of Mk. before him. The words seemed to him to suggest that the scene of the mockery by the soldiers took place in the palace of Herod. He therefore introduces Herod himself into the narrative. That he realised the difficulty of the task is shown by such apologetic touches as 23:6-7, 23:12. In our earliest source, therefore, it seems very doubtful whether we have in the gospels any reference to the praetorium. On the narrative in the Fourth Gospel see PAVEMENT.

Westcott (St. John, Introduction, p. xii) seems to see no difficulty in the narratives. On the other hand, Brandt (Die Evang. Cesch. 167+), O. Holtzmann (Leben Jesu, 378 espec. n. 2), and Reville (Le Quatrieme Evangile, 265) point out divergences and difficulties in the accounts of the trial and death of Jesus as given in the Synoptists and in Jn. which seem to require us to treat this part of the Gospel story with some caution. It should be added that certain features in the narratives were perhaps suggested by the ceremonies connected with the sacrifice of the corn- and wine-god. See Frazer, GB ( 2 ) (2:171+, cp. 3:138+), and Grant Allen, Evol. of the Idea of GW (ch. 14-15).

M. A. C.


1. Words.[edit]

i. The ordinary word for 'to pray', 7>?Snn, hithpallel, which, like the word for 'prayer', n?DFI, tephillah, occurs in writings of all dates, has a root (?D, Arab, phalla) meaning 'to rend' (see Wellh. IJG (3) 102, Reste Arabischen Heidentums^ , 126).

This may possibly throw a light on the original meaning of tephillah ($%$). In illustration, cp Syr. fjconXi ethkashshaph, lit. 'to cut oneself' (WRS, Rel. Sem.W 321, 337) ; also -nu1nn. hithgoded (see below), 1 K. 18:28, Jer. 41:5, and [so LXX Hos. 7:14 (KarerenvovTO [katetemnonto]; 'for corn and wine they cut themselves' ). See CUTTINGS ( 1 ad fin.) and compare with what is there said ( 2) as to the significance of cuttings of the flesh Robertson Smith referred to above. If this is correct, we may contrast tephillah with the Ass. ikribu, 'prayer', from J[root] karabu, 'to show favour', also 'to do homage', unless, with some, we suppose an original form ikribu from J[root] karabu [k has a dot under it], 'to draw near'. See Muss-Arnolt, s.v. ikribu, and cp Franz Del. on Ps. "8277^

That 'prayer', as conceived by the early Israelites, really had a connection with cuttings of the flesh is at once suggested by the later use of nisma. 'totaphoth', for the tephillin, or 'phylacteries', if these prayer-bands are really a substitute for the sacred marks punctured in the flesh of a worshipper in primitive times (see FRONTLETS ; CUTTINGS, 7).

Compare also a striking emendation of Klostermann in 1 K. 17:21. It is usual to render Tlbn l (LXX </>V <TT) [enephusese]O- [??], Vg. 'expandit se atque mensus est' ) in that passage stretched himself, (EV ; so Kautzsch, Kittel, etc.), which appears to rest ultimately on a comparison of Ar. madda, 'trahendo extendit'. The suggested reading gives this sense, 'And he cut himself for the boy three times, and called on Yahwe, and said', etc. (j and o are frequently confounded.) In the parallel story in 2 K. 4:34 the same word TIJm may also be read for the IfU l ( LXX{L} gives both Tvp&afufw [synekampsen] and iyaaS [igaad]) of MT ; in 1 K. 18:42 VU 1 is more plausible, because of ns"lN which follows (but cp 8 2). That in the case of Klisha the effectual prayer precedes, whilst in that of Elijah it follows, the physical act, makes no difference : the prayer in either case interprets the ritual cutting. Elsewhere (see PROPHECY, 6-7) it has been shown that Elijah and Elisha very possibly came from the Negeb, and that the priests of Baal 'who cut themselves' (1 K. 18:28) were probably Jerahmeelites. Elijah may therefore have 'cut himself' ; the story of Elijah has older and more recent details. At any rate, the 'cuttings' of the priests of Baal were connected with the prayer, 'O Baal, answer us'.

2. Akin, apparently, to S jBnn, hithpallel, in root-meaning is -iny, 'athar, Hiph. Tni;n ; whence a'tara, a'tira, to sacrifice (see Wellh. IJG < 3) 103 n. ; Reste (2) 126, n. 5, and 142, n. 2).

In the Hexateuch only in J (Gen. 25:21, etc.) ; cp Judg. 138. But also in late passages, Job 22:27, 33:26. Hence Niph. iny, to hear prayer, Gen. 25:21 (J), 2 S. 21:14, 24:25, Is. 19:22, also in 1 Ch. and Ezra. On nnj; Zeph. 3:10, EV 'my suppliants', Vg. 'supplices mei', but A. B. Davidson (Camb. Bible) 'mine odours' (!| <nmcX see ZATW 10:203 and Crit. Bib. The reading is hardly safe.

3. A different metaphor underlies [ JB] n?n, hillah [pene], 'to mollify, appease' (v/nWl. Arab. Aram, 'to be sweet or pleasant' ), Ex. 32:11, 1 S. 13:12, Mal. 1:9, Ps. 45:13, etc.

4. |3nnn, hithhannen, to seek or implore favour (Vpn, 'to be inclined towards, to be favourable' ), 1 K. 8:33, 8:47, 8:59, Hos. 12:5, Job 8:5; whence H3nn, tehinnah, Ps. 6:10, 55:2 and |Unn, tahanun, Jer. 3:21, Ps. 86:6, for both EV 'supplication'.

5. yJS, paga , prop, 'to meet, come upon', Ruth 1:16, Jer. 7:16, 27:18. In Is. 53:12, 59:16, Jer. 36:25, EV assigns the sense 'to intercede' to the Hiphil, trjBrt, b ut this cannot well be sustained ; 'to interpose' would be safer.

6- NJ/3. be'a (Aram.) Dan. 6:14, etc. Cp rtJD, 'to seek an oracle', Is. 21:12+ (?).

7- K^, sela, prop. 'to bow' ; cp. Ass. sullu, 'to beseech' ; Aram, (in Pael), Dan. 6:11, Ezra 6:10+

8. nn p, sihah, Job 15:4 (AVmg. 'speech' ; RVmg. 'meditation' ); Ps. 119:97, 119:99, 'meditation'. On the former passage, see 5.

9. wm, lahash, AVmg 'secret speech' ;RVmg. Heb., 'whisper', Is. 26:16. But see SBOT (Heb.) ad loc., and cp MAGIC.

10. ru'7, rinnah, 'a piercing cry', V]?\ 1 K. 8:28 (RD), Jer. 14:12, 'when they fast I will not hear their cry', || n^SH, Jer. 7:16, 11:14, Ps. 17:1, 61:2. In Hebrew rinnah is used both of shouts of joy and of the cry of suppliants ; in Arabic, the root is used mainly of plaintive cries (Rel. Sem.(2) 432, n. 2).

11. JW, shiwwa, 'to cry for help', e.g., Job 30:20, Ps. 28:2 [1] ; with noun njW, saw'ah, Jer. 8:19 Pss. 18:7, etc.

12. pyi, za'ak, same meaning, e.g., Ps. 22:6 [22:5].

Besides many other more or less complete synonyms, such as [mrv, O nSx] CHI, daras ['Elohim, Yahweh], 'to seek or have recourse to', e.g., Ps. 34:5 [34:4], 'I sought ( nttm) Yahwe, and he answered me'.

13- [.Tirr TtN] B p3> bikkesh [ othi, Yahweh], 'to seek God', e.g., Jer. 29:12-13, ^Vsnn, hithpallel, and e*j33, bikkesh, parallel.

14. ap, kara, 'to call', e.g., Ps. 4:4 [4:3], 28:1.

15- E SJ ~3&&gt; shaphak nephesh, 1 S. 11:5, Ps. 42:5, [42:4]; ]3^1 -jsgf, shaphak tebhabh, Ps. 62:9 [62:8], Lam. 2:19 ; and n S "BBS shaphak siah, Ps. 102:1 (title), 143:3, 'to pour out the soul, the heart, a complaint'.

The commonest Greek word is eu^o/mat [euchomai], irpcxreuxo/oiat [proseuchomai], rrpoev^jj. Ac o/xat [deomas] is specially frequent in Lk. and Acts ; fie t)(rts [deesis] is also found there, but is commoner in the epistles. Airew [aiteoo], 'to ask' (cp Plat. Euthyph. 14, eux e ^ at [euchesthai] [f<mv] airelv roii? SeoOs) is also occasionally found, e.g., Mt. 6:8, 7:7, 7:11, 18:19, Jn. 14:14, 16:26 (note distinction from epwrdio [erootaoo), Jas. 1:5-6, 1 Jn. 3:22.

Note also ivTvy\a.vu> [entygchanoo], 'to intercede (for or against any one)', Rom. 8:27, 8:34, 11:2, Heb. 7:25 ; also 'to pray', Wisd. 16:28 ; [hyperentygchanein] virfpevTuyxa.vfiv, 'to intercede (for)', Rom. 826; with noun ei/reufis [enteooxis], 1 Tim. 2:1, 45.

Lastly [ixereuiu], iiceTijpi a [iketaria], 'supplication', 2 Macc. 9:18, Heb. 5:7.

2. Attitudes.[edit]

No attitude or gesture was prescribed for prayer. The attitudes and gestures adopted were those natural to Orientals (cp the Assyrian and Egyptian monuments). A man might stand or kneel or perhaps sit.

For the first of these attitudes, see 1 S. 1:26, 1 K. 8:22, 8:54, 2 Ch. 6:13, Dan. 6:10, Mt. 6:5, Mt. 11:25, Lk. 18:11 ; for the second, 1 K. 8:54, 2 Ch. 6:13, Ezra 9:5, Dan. 11:10 [11:11], Lk. 22:41, Acts 7:60 ; for the third, 1 Ch. 17:16 (prayerful meditation ?).

Whether standing or kneeling, the suppliant either lifted up his hands (Ps. 28:2, 134:2, Lam. 2:19, 3:41, 2 Macc. 3:20), or spread them out (Ex. 9:29, Is. 1:15, 1 K. 8:22, 2 Ch. 6:12-13, Ez. 9:5), originally no doubt towards the altar, 1 but afterwards (1 K. 8:22, 8:54, Lam. 3:41) towards heaven. There were indeed exceptions to this, as when, to express deep contrition, a man smote with his hands on his breast (Lk. 18:13, 23:48 where the Curetonian and Lewis-Gibson add in both passages, saying, 'Woe to us, what has befallen us ! woe to us for our sins' ) ; or when, for a reason which we cannot easily determine, Elijah is said to have 'bowed himself down (nnj i) to the earth, and put his face between his knees' (1 K. 18:42) ; or when the whole body was prostrated on the ground (Gen. 24;26, Ex. 34:8, Neh. 8:6 [nmcc o sx -S nnntri np i], Judith 9:1 ). On the so-called tephillln or phylacteries see FRONTLETS.

The exceptional attitude of Elijah in 1 K. 18:42 may perhaps represent the intensity of his feeling ; 'he prays with body and soul' is Gunkel's explanation, approved hy Kittel. Rosch, however, connects it with some rain-charm, and but for the following word nxlK ('arsah) we might conjecture that Elijah, like the priests of Baal, performed a ritual cutting. The text may not be quite complete. Delitzsch quotes this passage to illustrate the phrase in Ps. 38:13, 'and my prayer turned hack into my bosom' - i.e., as he (with the French translator Ferret- Gentil) explains, 'I prayed with my head drooping over my breast'. If this is to be admitted, the canons of exegesis are strangely pliable. But can it be admitted when the whole context of Ps. 35:13 is so strongly corrupt, as the present writer at least hopes to have shown (Ps. (2), ad loc.)?

1 Nowack, Heb. Arch. 2260 (cp illustration 7, 1 122).

2 See Tiele, Gifford Lectures, 2nd ser. lect. 6.

3 See Hamburger, Real-encycl. des jud. 2, Morgen-, Mincha-, Abend-gebet.

4 Cp Gratz, Gesch. 2 2, p. 419 ; Zunz, Gottesdienstl. Vortrtige ft, 382.

6 Dt. 6:4-9, with 11:13-21, and Nu. 15:37-41.

3. Times, forms, language.[edit]

In early times sacrifice and prayer often went hand in hand ; 2 the latter supplied the interpretation of the former (Gen. 128, 26:25 etc. ). Still, prayer was not tied to sacrifice, and in prayer, as well as in sacrifice, the individual hadmuch more freedom than afterwards. It was the need of religious organisation in all departments of life that introduced a change both into public and into private prayer. Three times in the day were specially appointed for prayer, 3 morning, the time of the afternoon sacrifice (about 3 p.m.), and evening.

For the second of these, compare (with Dalman) Dan. 9:21, Ezra 9:5, Judith 9:1, Acts 3:1, 103:30 (see PREP), 7:11 and cp DAY, 2 ; Schurer, GJV (3) 2:293, n. 40 ; ET 2:1:290-291, n. 248).

Only once in the Bible are the three times for prayers referred to, viz. in Dan. 6:10 [6:11], where Daniel is said to have 'kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed (R^SD), and given thanks before his God, because he had been wont to do it beforetime'. Some quote also Ps. 55:18 [55:17]; it is uncertain however (1) whether 'in the evening, in the morning, and at noonday' does not merely mean 'all day long' (so Hupf. , Del. , Dalman), and (2) whether the text is correct. A similar uncertainty as to the text of Ps. 5:4 [5:3] should make us hesitate to quote that passage as referring to the prayers connected with the morning-sacrifice. It may be quite true that, as Wellhausen puts it (IJG(3) 102), 'the altar was the wishing-place, and the sacrifice often the introduction to the bringing of some request before the deity', but it may reasonably be doubted whether in a moment of high excitement a psalmist would have supported a fervent appeal to Yahwe by a reference to his presence (or to the presence of the true Israel) at the morning sacrifice. We can, however, refer to Ps. 141:2 'Let my prayer stand before thee as incense ; mine uplifted hands as an evening oblation'.

May we suppose that the custom of saying the first prayer 4 - i.e. the benediction TIN isv, and the Shema (a compound of three sections of the Pentateuch) 5 at dawn, has any historical relation to the Zoroastrian usage of praying at daybreak, which we may of course assume to be much older than the forms of prayer given in the Khorda Avesta ? It is not absolutely necessary to do so. Zealous piety might be supposed to delight in 'preventing' the sun. The author of Wisdom (16:28) clearly thought it a natural duty 'to prevent the sun to give God thanks, and at the dayspring to pray (frrvyxdvfiv [entygchanein]) unto him'. But the contents of the benediction TIN nxv certainly favour the view that it had partly a polemical reference to the fire-worship of Zoroastrianism, 1 and we may perhaps infer from the strange statement in Jos. BJ 2:8:5, '[they offer] to it certain prayers which they have received from their forefathers, as though making a supplication far its rising' (irarpiovs TIVO.S ets avrbv [sc. TOP ij\toi>] fi>xas, wcrTrep t/cereiWrey dvarftXai) that the Essenes were specially strict in their early prayers, and justified them by the symbolism of the dawn. 2 It is conceivable that some persons may have misunderstood this. The biographer of Akbar tells us how his hero 'has been called a Zoroastrian, because he recognised in the sun the sign of the presence of the Almighty', and we all know how in Tertullian's time a familiar Christian custom received an equally gross misinterpretation. *

The Mishna (Yoma, 5:1) tells us that eight Benedictions were spoken in the temple on the Day of Atonement in the morning. From the description in J. Yom. 44b, they resembled the last four of the 'Eighteen Benedictions'. This famous liturgical prayer, the composite character of which is well known, together with the Habinenu and the Kaddish, are given in a convenient form by Dalman (cp 6). There were also at an early date special prayers for Sabbaths, new moons, festivals, and half-festivals, and as we learn from Ber. 44 (J. Ber. 8a, 9) shorter formulae appropriated to journeys.

Words of prayers, however, are not wanting in the OT itself; see, e.g., Dt. 36:5+ (liturgical), 1 K. 8:23+, Is. 63:15+, Ezra 9:6+, and Dan. 9:4+. There are also very interesting prayers and aspirations in the Book of Jeremiah (e.g., 11:20, 14:7-9, 18:19+, 20:12), though it is possible that, where the prayers are in the name of Israel (e.g., 14:7-9), they may belong not to Jeremiah himself, but to a supplementer (cp JEREMIAH [BOOK], 1 8). And there are the prayers of the Psalter, underlying many of which some have ventured to suppose earlier poetic prayers indited in the name of individuals. This theory is perhaps too hazardous to be recommended. 4 The individualistic interpretation, however, naturally arose at a later time, and the Talmud contains many prayers of individual Rabbis.

That Hebrew should be the traditional language of prayer is not surprising. Not only piety, but a regard for the clearness and correctness of religious ideas may have justified the great teachers of the first three centuries of our era in preferring Hebrew prayers. Still, in Alexandria and some of the Hellenised cities of Palestine (e.g. , Caesarea) the prayers of the Jews were offered in Greek. The subject led to keen discussion in the synedrium. 1

It may also be noticed that the early Judaism drew no sharp distinction between 'prayers' and 'praises', and that in Ps. 72:20 (if niSsn is correct) we actually find the 'Davidic' Psalter designated 'the prayers of David the son of Jesse' praises or thanksgivings and petitions being alike regarded as modes of influencing God - i.e. tephilloth (cp ^srn, 1 S. 2:1, Jon. 2:2 [2:1]). Five psalms also are expressly entitled n^BJji, 'prayer' (17, 18, 90, 102, 142), or six including the Psalm of Habakkuk, and one of these (102) is specially called 'a psalm of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before Yahwe', presupposing, some think, an individualistic interpretation of the psalms, and the existence of a collection, in which psalms were classified according to their applicability to particular states of mind, and therefore for private use. 2 It is strange but true that certain psalms, like the Vedic and Zoroastrian hymns, came at last to be regarded as charms.

One may admit that an equal value was not supposed to attach to all prayers. In the days preceding the great outpouring of the Spirit it could not well have been otherwise. The prayer of a prophet had a value such as that of no other man could claim.

See 1 K. 18:36+, 2 K. 19:4 ( = Is. 37:4), Am. 7:25, Jn. 18:20 ; also Ex. 8:4+ (Moses and Aaron), Dt. 9:20 (Moses for Aaron), 1 S. 7:9 (Samuel for the people) ; cp Jer. 15:1, Ps. 996.

Hence the awfulness of the divine prohibition in Jer. 7:16, 11:14. James, however, ventures on the statement that the supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working' (TroXu i<r\vei dtijcris diKaiov fvfpyov/j.^vr]), and confirms it by a reference to the prophet Elijah (Jas. 5:16+). Similarly, Judith being a pious woman (yvvr) eiVe/Srjs) is asked to pray for the people of Bethulia (Judith 8:31).

1 The Zoroastrian precept was, 'Three times a day one must worship, standing opposite the sun' (Pahlavi Texts, SBE, pt. iii.). The first prayer was to be at daybreak. Cp Koran, Sur. 17:80, 'Be thou steadfast in prayer from the declining of the sun until the dusk of the night, and the reading of the dawn ; verily the reading of the dawn is ever testified to'. Nowhere in the Koran are the five traditional 'prescribed' (Ar. fard) times of prayer referred to. In Sur. 11:116 the 'two ends of the day and the (former and latter) parts of the night' are mentioned ; in 30:17, morning, noon, and evening.

2 Cp Enoch's early prayer (Eth. Enoch 83:11, 83:84).

3 Ofs. 448, referring to Malleson, Akbar, p. 164 ; Tylor, Prim. Cult. 2:387.

4 See PSALMS, 6, 37. Schechter s remark, 'The inconvenient psalms of the later periods were easily neutralised by divesting them of all individualistic tendency', i.e., by those Christian scholars who had adopted a low theory of the spiritual position of Judaism (JQR 8 (18-6) 374), can scarcely be meant to apply to all Christian scholars of this country.

4. Places.[edit]

As to the place where prayer might be made, it is evident that in every period (see e.g., Gen. 24:26 [J], Ezra 9:5+) wherever a faithful Israelite might be, there he might meet his God in prayer. 'Call upon me in the day of trouble' (Ps. 50:15) certainly did not mean only in temple or synagogue. Favourite places in the later period were the house-top (Judith 8:5, 8:36, 9:1, 10:2, Acts 10:9 ; in Judith 8:5, a tent, i.e., perhaps booth, on the roof) ; the upper chamber (vTrep/^ov [hyperooon]: Dan. 6:11 [Aram, n ^y = Heb. n ^y], Tob. 3:17 [cp v. 11], cp 2 S. 18:33); the inner chamber (ra/me ioi [tameion] : Mt. 6:7, 24:26, Lk. 12324); mountains (1 K. 18:42, Mt. 14:23, Mk. 6:46, Lk. 6:12); the sea-side or the river-side (see below) ; and, we may presume, gardens or plantations of trees, such as Gethsemane. Naturally, however, sanctuaries were the chief places 'where prayer was wont to be made'. Such a place existed on the Mount of Olives (2 S. 15:32; see DESTRUCTION, MOUNT OF) ; such a place, too, in early days was the temple at Shiloh (1 S. 1:10-13). In later times great efficacy was attached (see J. Ber. 81) to prayer in the synagogues or proseuchae, which were sometimes roofed, sometimes roofless, 'like theatres' ( Epiphanius), sometimes by the sea, sometimes by the river side.

Cp Jos. Ant. 14:10:23 (decree of the city Halicarnassus), '[ as many men and women of the Jews as are willing so to do . . . ] may make their proseuchae at the seaside, according to the customs of their forefathers', ras Trpwrevxas n-oieicrSai napa. Tifj OaAacTOTj Kara TO ndrpiov 7j0o ; also the somewhat obscure passage Acts 16:13 (Paul at Philippi), irapa. ifora/ibv ov ev(tyu<Jbjue>> Trp<Hre\>\i}v eifai (x [A] [B] C ; RV, 'where we supposed there was a place of prayer' ), or ou ti/o/u.i feTO n-poo-eux ) elvai (EH LP ; AV, 'where prayer was wont to be made' ). 3 See SYNAGOGUE.

But above all other places of prayer stood the temple at Jerusalem (Is. 567, 'my house is called [ = is] a house of prayer' ; cp Lk. 18:10, Acts 3:1). Those who could not go to this holy house, could at least stretch forth their hands towards it and towards the holy city (1 K. 8:38, 2 Ch. 6:34, Dan. 6:10 [6:11], Tob. 3:11, 1 Esd. 4:58; but Ps. 5:7 [5:8], 28:1 [28:2], 134:2 {1} have a different meaning) ; one may compare the kibla of the Mohammedans. This substitute for bodily presence in the temple was not without importance for the development of a purer religion. It enabled Jews of a more advanced piety to superadd to the conception of a spiritual Israel that of a spiritual temple, and with this was naturally combined the conception, which we find in a group of psalms, of a spiritual sacrifice. 2

1 Hamburger, RR, 2353.

2 More probably, however, jy is to be understood collectively, like % jy HI in Ps. 34:7 and JV3N1 *yy in 37:14, 40:18 and similar passages.

3 Tertullian (Ad Nationes, 100 13) speaks of the orationes litorales of the Jews; cp also De Jejuniis, 100:16, 'quum omissis templis per omne litus quocunque in aperto aliquando jam precem ad coelum mittunt'. Cf Wetstein, Nov. Test., note on Acts 16:13.

5. Retrospect.[edit]

Let us now look back, and see the contrast between past and present. If it be true that the word tephillah originally implied the blood-sheddings by which men thought (by sympathetic magic ?) to influence the Deity, it will be readily seen what a prolonged effort was needed to purify and transform the popular conception. It is in a prophecy of Isaiah (Is. 1:15) that we first find a truly moral prayer insisted upon, but the prophet cannot have been the first to draw the all-important distinction between acceptable and unacceptable prayer ; Isaiah like all other reformers must have had his predecessors (cp Gen. 24:12, 24:15, but hardly 18:23+), who held that magic spells (such as to the last were customary in Babylonia) were inconsistent with the elementary principles of true religion. Frazer has recently told us that 'in so far as religion assumes the world to be directed by conscious agents who may be turned from their purpose by persuasion, it stands in fundamental antagonism to magic as well as to science, both of which take for granted that the course of nature is determined, not by the passions or caprice of personal beings, but by the operation of immutable laws acting mechanically'. 3 But the prophetic religion, and its successor, the religion of the best Jews and the best Christians, is fundamentally opposed, equally with that described by Frazer, not indeed to science, 4 but at any rate to all survivals of magic. 5 And this prophetic religion, taught and practised in its purity by Jesus, pervades all the finest of the post-exilic books of the OT. As regards the sacredness of places the writers have not indeed emancipated themselves completely from archaic tradition ; but as regards magic spells they have. Hence, whilst even in Zoroastrianism the conception of magic still lowered the character of public prayer, 6 in the best and truest Judaism such a conception is entirely absent.

The Book of Job is perhaps more advanced, religiously, than the Psalter, representing as it does rather a circle (or circles) of thinkers than the society of pious Israelites. One of the interlocutors in this book calls prayer a 'complaint before God' 7 (Job 15:4). According to him, Job, by his Titanic pride, 'abolished religion, and ignored complaint before God'. Could the poet of Job have written as he did in this and other passages, if he believed that the presence of a worshipper in a sanctuary was in any degree necessary for true prayer? The psalmists too, with all their love for the temple, recognise to a con siderable extent the needs of Israelites who could not frequent the temple. It might be difficult to classify the psalms from this point of view ; but we may assume that a part of them was probably written with a view to the frequenters of the prayer-houses or synagogues (see SYNAGOGUE). The Christian narrator who tells of Paul and Silas 'praying and singing hymns unto God' in the prison (Acts 16:25) acted in the spirit of the psalmists ; neither he nor Paul can have been the first to regard the Psalter as the prayer-book and hymn-book of all the scattered members of the church of the true God. 1

1 The worshippers here spoken of were not outside of the temple in its larger sense ; they turned, however, towards the jDYl in its narrower sense, i.e., the 7'in, which in Ps. 28:2 Driver (Par. Psalter) analogically renders 'chancel'.

2 Cheyne, Jewish Religious Life after the Exile, 251.

3 Golden Bough, 163. By 'religion' Frazer understands 'a propitiation or conciliation of powers superior to man which are believed to direct and control the course of nature and of human life'.

4 'This, surely, is the distinctive feature of Christian prayer - its conformity to the will of God'. G. Matheson, The Scientific Basis of Prayer, Expos., Nov. 1901, pp. 363 ff. ; cp Herrmann, Gebet, PR E(^.f>y)\.

5 On the question whether prayer was originally a magic act, see Tiele, Gifford Lectures, 2nd ser. lect. 6.

6 Cp OPs 396-397. The Gathas, however, which are not to be disparaged because of their awkward phraseology, supply grand examples of free, spiritual, prophetic prayer.

7 The present text of Job 15:4 is unsatisfactory. Budde (on Job 15:4b) renders ^tT"?? 1 ? nrrr JHJni, 'und zerrest Klagen vor Gottes Antlitz'. But 'draggest complaints' seems a very improbable phrase. Perhaps we should read nn t 1 JHEfll, 'and ignorest complaint'. Right complaints before God are approved by Eliphaz (Job 5:8) ; Job, however, according to him, destroys piety and ignores true devotion.

6. Jewish and early Christian prayers.[edit]

We turn with still greater interest to the subject of prayer in the early Christian literature, which it is now possible to study from a wider point of view, owing partly to the discovery of fresh early Christian texts and partly to the progress of Jewish and Christian study of Jewish documents. It is true, Schechter has recently complained 2 of the languid interest of Christian students in the documents which reveal the inner life of the Jews in and after the time of Jesus ; but we must surely allow time for the effects of the special studies of men like G. Dalman to become more visible in Christian exegesis. 3 A comparison of the forms of the elder Jewish and the older Christian prayers is not enough ; we have to compare also the ideas, and as a preliminary to this we have to study such phrases as the 'hallowing of God's name', 'the father in heaven', 'the new world', from a strictly Jewish point of view. As to Jewish forms, we should give special study to the 'Eighteen Benedictions', 4 (rnij j; npDE ), which was the chief liturgical Jewish prayer at the beginning of the second century, and is said (B. Ber. 28b) to have been redacted by Shimeon ha-Pakoli (about 110 A.D.). These Benedictions in their two recensions (Babylonian and Egyptian-Palestinian) are given in Dalman's Worte Jesu 1 (1898) 299-304. Next to this great composite prayer the student will find, in two recensions, the so-called 'Habinenu' ( = 'Make us to understand' ) a summary of the 'Eighteen', which, according to R. Akiba and Gamaliel II. , was used at an early date instead of the longer prayer. Its short, pregnant sentences remind us of those in the Lord's Prayer. This is followed, in the same work, by the 'Kaddish' 5 ( 'holy', Aram.), beginning j]n i7'ow? cnprn Viair, 'Magnified and sanctified be his great name', which also has a certain analogy to the most venerable Christian prayer.

That the Lord's Prayer has a close relation to parts of the early Jewish prayers, is undeniable, nor need one be surprised at this. Jesus knew the 'soul' of his people, but others had known it before him, and after his time too the spontaneous expression of Jewish hopes and aspirations would naturally assume a form resembling that of petitions in the Lord's Prayer. This most precious form, however, - the original extent of which is a matter for critical inquiry, - need not be discussed at length here, having been treated fully in a special article ( LORD'S PRAYER). Probably the earliest Jewish-Christian prayers, if they had been preserved, would have been even more strikingly Jewish in phraseology than the Lords Prayer.

1 On this point we are in perfect accord with Prof. Schechter.

2 Some Rabbinic Parallels to the New Testament, JQR, April 1900, p. 429.

3 Perhaps it is not unfair to refer in this connection to Sanday and Headlam on the Epistle to the Romans (International Commentary).

4 Hamburger, Real-encycl. 2:1092-1099.

5 Hamburger, Real-encycl. 2:603-608.

7. Prayer as regarded by Jesus.[edit]

Far more important, however, than the tradition that Jesus, like his Forerunner (Lk. 11:1, cp 5;33), gave his disciples a short specimen of a fitting prayer, is the tradition that he himself lived a life of prayer. 1 Prayer to him was not an occasional thing, to be used under the pressure of urgent need, or whenever the religious authorities might decree, but a constant aspiration towards God, which did not, however, exclude the more specialised aspiration expressed in words. There was no magic spell in it, no importunate pressing of limited earthly conceptions of what was right and necessary. There is importunity in the prayers of the psalmists ; there is argument ; there is persuasion. But these last relics of a provincial conception of God had disappeared from the inner life of Jesus, and therefore also from his prayers. Frazer's description of religion (see 5) as involving the attempt to turn the director of the world from his (apparent) purpose by persuasion, will not apply to the religion of Jesus, nor can his prayers have been religious in Frazer's sense.

It is at first sight opposed to this that in Lk. 11:5-8, 18:1-8 (parables of the importunate friend and the importunate widow), Jesus may seem to recommend importunate prayer, but in the present state of the criticism of the life of Jesus we can only venture to lay stress on those fundamental elements in his inner life about which (not merely on the ground of the constant evangelical tradition, but because of the course of subsequent Christian development) no doubt is possible. Of these fundamental elements only one concerns us here, viz. , the belief that God is a loving Father whose one great object in his dealings with men is the pro duction of a perfect human character, and who will one day reward those that earnestly seek for 'righteousness'. It follows from this belief that whilst believing prayer is altogether necessary, because to be without it would prove that men had no real longing for the perfect character, stormy, importunate prayer is a proof of imperfect trust in God. 'Not my will but thine be done', must have been the constant thought of Jesus ; importunity is thereby excluded. We must never forget that, as Schmiedel has pointed out, 'we possess only an excessively meagre precis of what Jesus said', and that we know very little indeed of the real occasion of many of his utterances, even granting the essential accuracy of the reported words. To the imperfect and spiritually uncultured men by whom Jesus was surrounded, it is credible, he may have said many things which for a disciple in some distant degree resembling himself he would have altogether recast. That the exhortation in Lk. 11:9-13 is genuine, can hardly be doubted. But if so, Mt. is surely right (see Mt. 7:7-11) in treating it as an independent passage. 2 E. von der Goltz, in his excellent monograph on early Christian prayer, sees no difficulty in admitting these two disputed parables ; but surely it is wiser to admit that they are not strictly consistent with the saying 'Your father knoweth what things ye need, before ye ask him' Mt. 6:8) ; cp GOSPELS, 40.

Throughout the Synoptic Gospels it is implied that Jesus was an extraordinarily great teacher. There is therefore nothing uncritical in supposing that he often adapted himself to the comprehension of backward and prejudiced minds, and in attaching a normative character only to his greatest sayings. One of these is certainly Mt. 6:33, 'Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you', and it is reasonable to believe that to his noblest scholars he uttered, not a recommendation of dvaiStia or importunity (such as we find in certain psalms), but something like this fine modification of the saying in Mt. 6:33 which we find in Origen, De Orat. c. 2 and (the first part at least) in Clem. Alex. Strom, 1:24:158, - 'seek what is great, and the little things shall be added unto you ; and seek what is heavenly, and the earthly things shall be added unto you', airfiffOe rd /J.eya\a Kal TO, fuKpa V/JLIV TTpoffreOricrfTai, Kal airfare TO. ^Trovpdvta KO.I TO, fTrlyfta V/MV irpoffTfOr]<TeTa.i. 1

1 Even in the Fourth Gospel (the Gospel of the Incarnate Logos) the miracles of Jesus are represented as answers to prayer (Jn. 6:11, 6:23, 9:31, 11:41-42, cp Mk. 6:41, 7:34, 8:6-7, 9:29).

2 Weizsacker, Untersuch. ub. die evang. Geschichte (w), 158.

Altogether we may assume that the prayers which, according to Jesus, were most fully justified were those which concerned the work which each of his disciples had to do for God. It is this idea which underlies the saying in Mk. 9:29, that a specially obstinate kind of demons could only be driven out of a sufferer by prayer (to which N cb ACD add 'and fasting' from Mt. 17:21; cp Tob. 128, 'prayer is good with fasting' ). It was the work of Jesus to bring men into the kingdom of God - i.e., to convince men that God was their rightful king - not by argument, but partly by a self-manifestation which was virtually the revelation of God, partly by the removal of all those hindrances which opposed themselves to the divine rule. 2 Such a self-manifestation and such a removal of hindrances could not be effected without the most intense aspiration (= prayer) on the part of God's agents ; on the other hand, such an aspiration ( = prayer) could not but succeed. It is true, this saying of Jesus (which, if genuine, must be under stood somewhat as it is here explained) was regarded in later ages as 'a receipt for the effectual driving out of demons' (so in Athanasius, De Virg. c. 87 ). 3 But an ascetic fasting and a mechanical use of prayer were far, very far, from the mind of Jesus.

It might seem as if a test of the right kind of prayer were provided by Jesus in Mt. 18:19-20

'If two of you shall agree on earth concerning anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them by my Father who is in heaven ; for where two or three are assembled in my name, there am I in the midst of them'.

Really, however, the saying refers to the small beginnings of the Christian brotherhood, or perhaps to the Master's custom of sending out his disciples two and two together, Mk. 6:7, Lk. 10:1. But even so it shows that the assurance of the fulfilment of prayers is given to the disciples as Christ s assistants. The form of the saying, however, can hardly be relied upon ; 'on earth' is clearly a later insertion, and the second half of the saying may possibly have been borrowed (see the parallels in Wiinsche s Neue Beitnige zur Erlauterung der Evangelien aus Talmud und Midrash} from a Jewish source.

1 It must be admitted, however, that TO. firovpdvia [ta epourania] and rafiriyfia [ta epigeia] reminds us of a saying of the Johannine Jesus (Jn. 3:12).

2 Cp Herrmann, Communion with God (transl. by Stanyon),

3 Referred to by Von der Goltz, Das Cebet, etc., p. 65.

8. In Johannine and Pauline writings.[edit]

The contributions to the fuller conception of Christian prayer in the Johannine and Pauline writings can hardly be considered at length without entering unduly into disputed questions of NT criticism. Contributions of the utmost value and interest they certainly are, whatever view we adopt of their historical origin. They enabled non-Jewish disciples to enter into the spirit of Jesus as such persons would otherwise have been unable to do ; they present a fusion of Jewish and Hellenic ideas (using the word 'ideas' in no pale, abstract sense) which is something entirely unparalleled in religious thought, and would only have been possible to the writers on the assumption that these ideas must have been actually realised in the historical Jesus. When they speak to us of the importance of the Person of Jesus for true prayer, we hear of something which Jesus himself cannot with any critical precision be shown to have said, and yet which forced itself by an inner necessity on the minds of the writers, as implied in the unique position of Jesus as the saviour of men.

Certainly it requires no critical acumen to see that Jesus was in the habit of requiring faith in his person before he granted the requests of sick persons, and it was a natural inference that faith in the heavenly Christ was equally necessary for disciples. But even that wonderful idealistic biographer whom tradition calls John can scarcely be quoted as favouring direct prayer to Jesus Christ. The originality of Jn. 14:14 is by no means free from doubt, because just before we find the same promise of the fulfilment of the disciples prayers without the difficult personal pronouns 'me' and 'I'. V. 13 runs thus, - 'and whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son' (Kal 6 TL av cuTTjarjre ev rip oco/uari fiov, TOVTO iroiTjffti), iva. doi;aff6rj 6 Trarrjp tv rip vlif). Then, strangely enough, comes a correction or interpretation, - 'if ye shall ask me anything in my name, that will I do', Hav TI airriffTjT^ ^.e ev rtf) 6vop.a.ri /J.QV, eyu woirjffd} (v. 14). We may of course omit the fj.e [me] (with ADGKLM, but against NBEHU), but then what is the object of the repetition of the promise ? One would rather omit 'in my name' but there is no manuscript authority for this. The awkwardness of 'me in my name' may perhaps be taken as a sign of non-originality. That the Fourth Gospel has passed through several phases, may surely be admitted as probable. It must also be remembered that Jesus himself is said in Jn. 4:23 to have uttered these remarkable words, which accurately represent his teaching in the Synoptic Gospels, 'The hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality) : for such the Father seeks to worship him'.

Paul, if we may follow the great majority in accepting the Epistles to the Corinthians as his work, gives this expressive description of Christians, 'all that in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ' (1 Cor. 1:2). Some (e.g. , Seeberg and Zahn) see in this a full confession of the deity of Christ, who therefore can be adored even without express reference to the Father. But it is surely more correct to paraphrase {TriKa\ov/j.tvovs thus, - 'those that call upon Jesus Christ as intrusted for the salvation of men with the powers of the divine sovereignty'. As Von der Goltz rightly states (p. 100), Paul knows nothing of an adoration of Jesus Christ side by side with the adoration of God. What is characteristic of this great Christian teacher is the close relation to the Spirit into which he brings the prayers of Christian believers. The Spirit makes intercession for us (Rom. 8:26) ; true prayer is prayer in the Spirit (Phil. 1:19). See SPIRIT. It is the chief weapon in the Christian warfare (Eph. 6:18; Pauline?), more especially when it is practised by a whole Christian community.

That in Acts 7:59 after cwucaAovpci Ot [epikaloumenon] we should understand r ov Kupiof [ton kyrion], 1 seems a probable view. But this passage, if it refers to Christ as the object of invocation, stands alone in the NT (Rev. 22:20 is hardly quite parallel), and, according to Harnack (History of Dogma, transl. by Buchanan, 1:184), there are but few examples of direct prayers to Jesus belonging to the first century, apart from the prayers in the Act. Joh. of the so-called Leucius. A valuable collection of early Christian prayers will be found in the appendix to Ed. von der Goltz's comprehensive monograph, Das Gebet in der altesten Christenheit (1901).

T. K. C.

1 Bentley and Valckenaer even think that these words fell out of the text.


(npoceyXH). Acts 16:13, 16:16 RV. See DISPERSION, 16-17. and SYNAGOGUE.




i. cr-ins, parwarim, 2 K. 23:11 RV, AV 'suburbs'. See PARMAR, TEMPLE.

2. 1319, parbar, 1 Ch. 26:18 RVmg., EV PARBAR (q.v.)




( H TTApACKeyH), Mt. 27:62, Mk. 15:42, Lk. 23:54, Jn. 19:14, 19:31, 19:42+ See WEEK, 2 ; cp further, CHRONOLOGY, 56.


1. Meaning.[edit]

The English word 'priest' is simply a contraction of the Latin presbyter. But, as it was commonly used to translate sacerdos, which the Western church freely employed as a title of the Christian ministry, its meaning was extended to include pre-Christian senses of sacerdos as well ; and thus a word originally signifying 'an elder' came to be used for the ministers of Jewish or heathen cults. In the AV indeed it is confined to these, and the word employed as the equivalent of presbyter is 'elder'.

The Greek word irpeafivTepos [presbyteros], like its English equivalent 'elder', has various shades of meaning, arising from the natural connection between age, honour, and office ; and they can be distinguished only by the context in which the word occurs. In the NT the word is used in reference both to the ancient Jewish polity (2) and to the new Christian Church (3+).

2. Among the Jews.[edit]

(a) The earliest form of the Gospel narrative contains the phrase 'the tradition of the elders' ( Mk. 7:3). Here it appears that the elders are the great religious leaders of the past ; just as today appeal is made to 'the Fathers'. Somewhat similarly, in Heb. 11:2 we are told that 'by faith the elders obtained a good report'.

(b) 'Elder' is also perpetually employed in the Synoptic Gospels and Acts, in conjunction with the 'scribes', the 'rulers' and the 'chief priests', to describe certain officials of the community, who are also spoken of collectively as the 'presbytery' or 'body of elders' (rb wpfffpi TepLov [to presbyterion]).

3. In the Christian Church.[edit]

(a) In Acts. - In Acts 11:30 we are suddenly introduced by the historian to 'the elders' of the church in Jerusalem. To them Barnabas and Saul bring the contributions collected in Antioch for the poorer brethren in Judaea. The persecution which the believers at Jerusalem had by this time (about 44 A. D. ) begun to suffer at the hands of their countrymen had doubtless tended to emphasise their separate existence as a community ; and in a community composed of Jews it would be very natural that the leading members should be spoken of as elders. Shortly after this a question of principle was raised at Antioch in reference to the circumcision of Gentile converts. Its decision was certain to be pregnant with issues for the future of the Christian church. After much discussion it was agreed to refer it to Jerusalem for settlement (Acts 15). [See COUNCIL OF JERUSALEM.] It was to 'the apostles and elders' that the delegates of the church in Antioch were sent ; 'the apostles and elders' received them on their arrival ; 'the apostles and the elders' - the reiteration cannot be accidental came together to see about this matter. A line of action was agreed upon by 'the apostles and elders with the whole church', and the letter sent to Antioch began thus : 'The apostles and the elder brethren to the brethren in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia that are of the Gentiles, greeting'. Later this letter is again referred to as 'the decisions of the apostles and elders that were in Jerusalem' (16:4). The expression of the letter itself differs from the phrase of the historian by the addition of a single word - 'the elder brethren'. It is not as an official class, but as the senior members of the church, that they make their voice heard ; beneath the precedence of office lies the natural precedence of age and of priority in discipleship. In fact this expression is the key to much of the difficulty that attaches to the use of the word 'elder' in the early Christian writings ; a distinction is not always sharply drawn between what we may call natural and official prestige. The word occurs again on another occasion of importance. Paul arrives in Jerusalem, bearing 'the offering of the Gentiles', - a large contribution which he has gathered among his Greek churches, and now brings, in some anxiety as to its reception, to the church in Jerusalem. His first act is to visit James. On this occasion, we are told, all the elders came together (Acts 21:18) ; and it was they who suggested a plan by which Paul's personal loyalty to the Mosaic law might be openly affirmed.

Even if this use of the word 'elders' in Acts, - to denote a class of men holding in the Christian church in Jerusalem a position parallel to that of the elders of the Jewish people - were regarded as the usage of a slightly later period, introduced almost unconsciously by Lk. into his narrative of earlier events ; or, again, even if (on another theory) the Lucan authorship were set aside and the date of the book slightly depressed ; we should still have very early evidence for the existence and title of a class of elders in Jerusalem ; for the writer is notably careful in his use of official designations, and verisimilitude would at least require that he should not introduce an institution to which there was not and had not been any counterpart in the Palestinian churches. It is important to bear this in mind as we pass on to the other allusions to Christian elders in Acts.

On their return to Lystra, Iconium, and the Pisidian Antioch, after their work in Derbe, Paul and Barnabas are said to have appointed elders in each of these churches (14:23). It was in itself wholly natural that the two apostles should establish in those communities, which no doubt embraced a large number, if not a majority, of Jews and proselytes, an institution with which, as the history has related, both of them had together come personally into contact in Jerusalem. Moreover, as they were acting in a sense as the delegates of the church of Antioch, we are justified in assuming, what in itself is highly probable, that the same institution already existed in that church as well. On the journey to Jerusalem which led to his imprisonment we are told that from Miletus Paul sent to Ephesus and summoned 'the elders of the church' (20:17+). Here then the same organisation is implied for the Ephesian church. The elders are exhorted to take heed to themselves and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Spirit has set them as overseers (eru(TK07rov [episkopous]): their duty is declared to be 'to feed (notfidiveiv [poimainein], 'to shepherd' or 'rule' ) the church of God'. Watchfulness is especially urged upon them in view of the certainty that wolves, or false teachers, will presently attack the flock : the apostle's own example will show them how they should labour with their own hands and assist those who need their help. It is noteworthy that Paul is not represented as himself using the word 'elders ' in addressing them : nor does the word occur in any sense in the Pauline Epistles, until we come to the Pastoral Epistles.

(b) In Timothy and Titus. - In 1 Tim. 4:14 'the hands of the presbytery' are said to have been laid on Timothy ; thus we seem to have another reference to the elders of Lystra. In 5:1 - 'rebuke not an elder' - it is probable from the subsequent reference to 'younger men', 'elder women', and 'younger women', that the idea of age is dominant. In v. 17 we have an injunction of considerable importance : 'The elders who preside well (ol KCL\WS TrpoecrT&Tfs TT pea (3vre poi) are to be accounted worthy of double honour (dnr\rjs Ti/J.rjs), especially those who labour in the word and teaching'. It is not clear whether this 'honour' is in reality an honorarium ; nor whether the word 'double' is used in contrast to the provision for widows mentioned just before (cp v. 3, x*IP as T / a > K.T.\.), or in comparison with other elders, or somewhat vaguely ; nor, again, whether all elders are regarded as 'presiding'. But undoubtedly a distinction is made in favour of such of the elders as exercise the gift of teaching ; and it seems on the whole fair to suppose that we have here a class of men whose public services entitle them to public support. In the command which follows - not to entertain hastily a charge against an elder (v. 19), - it is probable that the term is used in the same sense as in the previous context.

In the Epistle to Titus we have but one instance of the word, and there it is plainly official : 'that thou shouldest appoint elders in every city, as I commanded thee' (1:5).

(c) 1 Peter. - In 1 Pet. 5:1-5 we have an example of the recognition of the two elements which co-exist in the term elder. The first words are in themselves ambiguous : 'The elders among you' (or 'the elder among you', Trpfffpvrtpovs oiV eV iifj.lv) 'I exhort, who am your fellow-elder (6 <TVfj.Trpe<rftvrfpo^)'. The reference might be simply to age; or, again, to length of discipleship (cp 'and witness of the sufferings of Christ' ). The words of v. 5 - 'Likewise, ye younger, be subject to the elder' (or 'the elders' ) seem to point in a like direction. But between vv. 1 and 5 comes the solemn charge, 'Feed (iroi/jidvaTf) the flock of God that is among you', with a warning against covetousness and despotic rule, and with the promise of a reward from 'the Head Shepherd' (dpX" ro A"7 1 [archipoimen]). It is thus evident that a recognised authority is implied ; and when the term 'the younger' is used of those whose duty was to obey, this is because the original significance of the word 'elder' was felt, and because the contrast between rulers and ruled was in the main a contrast between the elder and the younger members of the congregation.

(d) Other Catholic Epistles. - In the Epistle of James the sick man is bidden to call 'the elders of the church', that they may pray over him and anoint him for his recovery. Here the institution is clearly attested, and once more for Jewish churches. It is to be observed that here as elsewhere the elders act not individually, but together ; the word is never in the NT used in the singular number when any duty pertaining to the office is described.

The second and third Epistles of John are written in the name of 'the elder' (6 irptafivTfpos [o presbyteros]) ; but they contain nothing which helps us to fix the precise meaning of the term. Nor is it easy to gain any light from the mention of the twenty-four elders in the visions of the Apocalypse. Apart from these instances the word is not used at all in the Johannine writings.

4. Summing up.[edit]

Let us endeavour now to sum up the evidence of the NT as to the meaning and usage of the word 'elder' as applied to leading men in the Christian church. If we accept the historical character of Acts and regard the letter from the church in Jerusalem as an authentic document, we are able to trace the institution practically from the very beginning. 'The elder brethren', as they are described in the letter, take rank below the apostles, but above the rest of the church ( 'the whole multitude', irav rb TrXrjOos, Acts 15:12). The expression 'the elder brethren', as contrasted with the more formal term 'the elders' used by the historian in his narrative, in itself supports the genuineness of the document ; it could scarcely have originated with the writer of its historical setting, for five times over he reiterates his own phrase in this connection. Either, then, we may suppose that the senders of the letter purposely modify the more official title by which others spoke of them ; or we may gather that at that time, while a body of leading persons actually existed as a recognised authority within the Church, they were still thought of as its senior members, rather than as formal officers strictly corresponding to the elders of the Jewish people. In the latter case we still see that it was natural and almost inevitable that the new institution should attach to itself the familiar title, and that 'the elder brethren' should become the Christian 'elders'. Our choice lies, in fact, between a conscious imitation of the old Jewish institution and an unconscious assimilation to it. The institution thus shaped in Jerusalem is seen to reproduce itself in the earliest churches of Paul's foundation. Whatever his practice may have been later, when he was guiding the Greek churches to a complete independence of Judaism, it was likely enough that in this first missionary journey he should fashion the organisation of his earliest converts on the one existing model of which alone we have any information, - that, namely, of the church in Jerusalem.

We have seen that 'the elders of the church' in Ephesus (Acts 20:17) are not so entitled in the address which the historian puts into the mouth of Paul. This is in strict harmony with the apostle's usage in all his epistles, if we except the Pastoral Epistles. That the historian, on the other hand, should speak of them as 'elders' does not necessarily imply more than that their functions were the same as were exercised by those whom he has hitherto described by this title ; in other words, that they were 'the elders of the church', even if they were not commonly addressed as such.

As in the case of Acts, so too in that of the Pastoral Epistles, the question of authorship and date does not seriously affect the evidence which they offer us on this subject. They cannot with any reason be placed so late as to disqualify them as witnesses to actual institutions of the close of the Apostolic age. Even a pseudonymous writer must have some regard to verisimilitude, and in laying down practical rules he will offer important testimony to the conditions of his own, if not of an earlier time. In these epistles, then, we see the same class of 'elders' spoken of for Ephesus and Crete ; but we seem to see them in a later stage than that which is represented by Paul s charge to the Ephesian elders in Acts. Paul had formerly encouraged the elders to be self-supporting after his own example ; he now comes before us as apparently claiming for them public maintenance, especially in the case of those who are devoting their strength to the labours of teaching. That there is no inconsistency in this is plain from his full discussion of the question in relation to his own practice in 1 Cor. 9:3-14. Incidentally we learn that it was natural and not uncommon that the elders should be not only the rulers but also the instructors of their flock ; and we can see that the combination of the two functions was certain to increase the influence of the individual who should exercise them both.

5. Other official terms.[edit]

With a view to the question of the relation between the term 'elder' (TrpccrfivTepos [presbyteros]) and the term 'bishop' (firiffKOTTOt [episkopos]), it is important to notice that those of the Pauline Epistles which do not contain the word 'elder' do nevertheless refer under various appellations to persons holding a prominent position in the communities to which they are written.

Thus the church of the Thessalonians, immediately after its foundation, is exhorted in these terms : 'to know them that labour among you and preside over you (TrpoicrTa[j.tvov$ V/JLUV [proistamenous hymoon]) in the Lord and admonish you ; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake' (1 Thes.5:12-13). Some organisation (cp Rom. 12:8, o ir/joKTrd/uefos eV awovSri ; 1 Tim. 3:4-5, 5:17), whether the title of 'elders' or any other title was connected with it or not, is certainly implied in these words. At the same time, as the second letter still more clearly shows (3:14-15), the community is addressed as a whole, and is held generally responsible for the suppression of disorder among its members. The Corinthian church is likewise called upon as a whole to exercise discipline (cp esp. 1 Cor. 5:3+) ; but at the same time we read of 'governments' (Kvfiepvrifffis [kyberneseis]) as 'set in the church by God' (12:28). 'The household of Stephanas', who were among the earliest converts and had received baptism from Paul himself, clearly held some position of preeminence. They had 'devoted themselves to minister to the saints' ( s SiaKoviav rots 0.7/015 trai;a.i> eavrovs): to such as these subjection was to be rendered (16:15-16, cp 1:16). It is noteworthy that in epistles which deal with so many points of practical order we do not find more definite indications of a constituted authority. The lack of such an authority - if we are justified in pressing the argument from silence - may perhaps in part account for the exceptionally disturbed condition of the Corinthian church.

In the Epistle to the Galatians the main trouble is with false teachings ; of organisation we hear nothing.

For the restoration of an erring brother Paul appeals to those who have a spiritual gift (vjiels oi irv(vfj.aTiicoi, 6:1 ; if this he not rather intended as a designation of the whole body): the taught (6 icaT>)xoii/affo?) is to make contributions for the support of his teacher (r<a KO.TTIXOUVTI), 6;6.

In the Colossian church Archippus is to be warned to fulfil some 'ministry' (dtaKoviav [diakonian]), which he has received in the Lord ; but it is not further defined. For the case of the Philippian church see BISHOP, 7.

It would appear that in these Pauline churches such organisation as there was held a very subordinate position at this period. The church as a whole in each place had alike full powers and full responsibility for the exercise of its powers. The authority of the founder and the influence of eminent men who laboured in connection with him were the main elements of guidance, and these at present retarded the development of any local form of government which there may have been.

The Epistle to the Hebrews bids the Christians to whom it is addressed 'remember their leaders' (TUV iffovfj.fvuv v/mUjv [ton hegoumenoon hymoon]) who have passed away, on the ground that 'they spake to them the word of God' (13:7). They are also charged to obey their present 'leaders', as those who 'watch for their souls' (13:17). At the close the writer salutes all their 'leaders' (13:24). The word thus used is in the present day a technical term (hegumenos) for the head of a Greek monastery, as it was in Egypt in the fourth century ; but here it must be regarded as simply a description of the ruling class in the church, and it is noticeable that honour is specially claimed for this class on the ground of the spiritual functions of teaching and 'watching for souls'.

Thus far, then, we have found three terms employed to describe the ruling class in the Christian church - 'elders', 'those who preside', and 'those who lead'. The first appears to be an official title ; the second and third are descriptive of the main function which these rulers perform. There is no ground for supposing that more than one institution is pointed to by these three terms.

The question whether the term 'bishop' (eTruncon-o? [episkopos]) describes the same or a different institution has been considered in the article BISHOP. To that article reference must also be made for patristic illustrations, and especially for the use of the word 7rpe<r/3iiTepo? [presbyteros] in the Epistle of Clement of Rome.

It only remains to be said that in the second century we find the word npfo-BuTfpos [presbyteros] used by Papias (Eus. HE 3:39) and Irenaeus (eg. 4:27:1) in speaking of 'disciples of the Lord' or 'disciples of the apostles' from whom certain traditions had been received. This sense reminds us of the first meaning of the word to which we made reference above ( 2) in speaking of the use of the term among the Jews.

J. A. R.


(TTAPOYCI&), Mt. 24:3, etc., RVmg See ESCHATOLOGY, 84^


(D JSn DP6), Ex. 25:30, etc., RVmg, EV SHEWBREAD (q.v.).


(r^HD, sarekin), Dan. 6:2-7 [6:3-8]+.

Most commentators take this Aramaic word to be of Persian origin = sarak, 'chief', from sar, 'head'. See Bevan, Marti, Driver. In Tg. it is used for nofc*. LXX has TOKTIKOS [taktikos], Vg. princeps.


i. na, gath, Is. 3:13. See OIL-PRESS, WINE-PRESS.

2. and 3. 3 ( T, yekeb, Is. 16:10, etc., and rn?3, purah, Hag. 2:16. See WINE-PRESS, WINE-FAT.


a contracted form of PRESBYTER [q.v.] a name of office in the early Christian church.

1. Meaning of word.[edit]

But in the EV the presbyters of the NT are called 'elders', not 'priests' ; the latter name is reserved for ministers of pre-Christian religions, the Sem. n jna (Kohanim, sing. Kohen) and D")D3 (Kemarim), or the Gk. ifpets [hiereis]. The reason of this will appear more clearly in the sequel ; it is enough to observe at present that, before our English word was formed, the original idea of a presbyter had been overlaid with others derived from pre-Christian priesthoods. The theologians of the Greek and Latin churches expressly found the conception of a Christian priesthood on the hierarchy of the Jewish temple, while the names by which the sacerdotal character is expressed - itpevs [hiereus], sacerdos - originally designated the ministers of sacred things in Greek and Roman heathenism, and then came to be used as translations into Greek and Latin of the Hebrew Kohen. Kohen, tepetfj [hiereus], sacerdos are in fact fair translations of one another ; they all denote a minister whose stated business was to perform, on behalf of the community, certain public ritual acts, particularly sacrifices, directed godwards. There were such ministers or priests in all the great religions of ancient civilisation, and indeed a priesthood in the sense now defined is generally found, in all parts of the world, among races which have a tribal or national religion of definite character, and not merely an unorganised mass of superstitious ideas, fears, and hopes, issuing in practices of sorcery. The term 'priest' is sometimes taken to include 'sorcerer', just as religion is often taken to include the belief in mysterious or superhuman powers which can be constrained by spells ; but this is an abuse of language. Religion begins when the relation of the divine powers to man is conceived - on the analogy of the relations of formed human society - as having a certain stable personal character on which the worshippers can calculate and act. The gods of the ancient religions might do arbitrary acts ; but their conduct towards man was not habitually arbitrary. The actions on the part of individuals or of the state by which their favour was maintained, lost, or regained were matter of tradition. It was the business of the community to see that the right course of action was pursued, and on behalf of the community, with which alone properly speaking the gods had intercourse, the right kind of service was performed either by its natural head or by specially appointed officials. There is the closest connection in early times between state and religion.

2. Origin of priesthood in general.[edit]

It would be too large a task to attempt a general survey of the priesthoods, royal or other, in antiquity. It may be wel1 however to notice one or two points which a comparative study of organised religions reveals to us. Priestly acts - that is, acts done by one and accepted by the gods on behalf of many - are common to all antique religions, and cannot be lacking where the primary subject of religion is not the individual but the natural community. But the origin of a separate priestly class, distinct from the natural heads of the community, cannot be explained by any such broad general principle ; in some cases, as in Greece, it is little more than a matter of convenience that part of the religious duties of the state should be confided to special ministers charged with the care of particular temples, while in others the intervention of a special priesthood is indispensable to the validity of every religious act, so that the priest ultimately becomes a mediator and the vehicle of all divine grace.

This position, we see, can be reached by various paths ; the priest may become indispensable through the growth of ritual observances and precautions too complicated for a layman to master, or he may lay claim to special nearness to the gods on the ground, it may be, of his race, or it may be of habitual practices of purity and asceticism which cannot be combined with the duties of ordinary life, as for example, celibacy was required of priestesses of Vesta at Rome.

The highest developments of priestly influence, however, are hardly separable from something of magical superstition ; the opus operatum of the priest has the power of a sorcerer s spell. The strength of the priesthood in Chaldea and in Egypt stands plainly in the closest connection with the survival of a magic element in the state religion, and Rome, in like manner, is more priestly than Greece because it is more superstitious. In most cases, however, where an ancient civilisation shows us a strong priestly system we are unable to make out in any detail the steps by which that system was elaborated ; the clearest case perhaps is the priesthood of the Jews, which is not less interesting from its origin and growth than from the influence exerted by the system long after the priests were dispersed and their sanctuary laid in ruins.

3. Origin of Semiti priesthood.[edit]

Among the nomadic Semites, to whom the Hebrews belonged before they settled in Canaan, there has never been any developed priesthood. The acts of religion partake of the general simplicity of desert life ; apart from the priesthood, private worship of household gods and the oblations and salutations offered at the graves of departed kinsmen, the ritual observances of the ancient Arabs were visits to the tribal sanctuary to salute the god with a gift of milk, first-fruits, or the like, the sacrifice of firstlings and vows (see NAZIRITE and PASSOVER), and an occasional pilgrimage to discharge a vow at the annual feast and fair of one of the more distant holy places. These acts required no priestly aid ; each man slew his own victim and divided the sacrifice in his own circle ; the share of the god was the blood which was smeared upon, or poured out beside, a stone (cp Ar. nosb, ghabghab] set up as an altar or perhaps a.? a symbol of the deity (see MASSKBAH). It does not appear that any portion of the sacrifice was burned on the altar, or that any part of the victim was the due of the sanctuary. We find, therefore, no trace of a sacrificial priesthood ; but each temple had one or more doorkeepers (sadin, hajib), whose office was usually hereditary in a certain family, and who had the charge of the temple and its treasures. The sacrifices and offerings were acknowledgments of divine bounty and means used to insure its continuance ; the Arab was the 'slave' of his god and paid him tribute, as slaves used to do to their masters, or subjects to their lords ; and the free Bedouin, trained in the solitude of the desert to habits of absolute self-reliance, knew no master except his god, and acknowledged no other will before which his own should bend.

Hence the other side of Arab religion was to look for divine direction in every grave or difficult concern of life ; what could not be settled in the free council of the tribesmen, or by the unenforced award of an umpire, was referred to the command of the god, and the oracle was the only authority by which dissensions could be healed, lawsuits determined, and judgment authoritatively spoken. The voice of the god might be uttered in omens which the skilled could read, or conveyed in the inspired rhymes of soothsayers ; but frequently it was sought in the oracle of the sanctuary, where the sacred lot was administered for a fee by the sadin. The sanctuary thus became a seat of judgment, and here, too, compacts were sealed by oaths and sacri ficial ceremonies.

These institutions, though known to us only from sources belonging to an age when the old faith was falling to pieces, are certainly very ancient. Their whole stamp is primitive, and they correspond in the closest way with what we know of the earliest religion of the Israelites, the only other Semitic people whose history can be traced back to a time when they had not fully emerged from nomad life. In fact, the fundamental type of the Arabic sanctuary can be traced through all the Semitic lands, and so appears to be older than the Semitic dispersion ; even the technical terms are mainly the same, so that we may justly assume that the more developed ritual and priesthoods of the settled Semites sprang from a state of things not very remote from what we find among the heathen Arabs.

Now among the Arabs, as we have seen, ritual service is the affair of the individual, or of a mass of individuals gathered in a great feast, but still doing worship each for himself and his own private circle ; the only public aspect of religion is found in connection with divination and the oracle to which the affairs of the community are submitted. In Greece and Rome the public sacrifices were the chief function of religion, and in them the priesthood represented the ancient kings. In the desert there is no king and no sovereignty save that of the divine oracle, and therefore it is from the soothsayers or ministers of the oracle that a public ministry of religion can most naturally spring. With the beginning of a settled state the sanctuaries must rise in importance and all the functions of revelation will gather round them. A sacrificial priesthood will arise as the worship becomes more complex (especially as sacrifice in antiquity is a common preliminary to the consultation of an oracle) ; but the public ritual will still remain closely associated with oracle or divination, and the priest will still be, above all things, a revealer. That this was what actually happened, may be inferred from the fact that the Canaanite and Phoenician name for a priest (Kohen) is identical with the Arabic Kahin, a 'soothsayer'.

Note also the intimate connection in 1 S. 6:2 between the Kohanim and the Kogemin of the Philistines. Soothsaying was no modern importation in Arabia ; its characteristic form - a monotonous croon of short rhyming clauses - is the same as was practised by the Hebrew 'wizards who peeped and muttered' in the days of Isaiah (Is. 29:4), and that this form was native in Arabia is clear from its having a technical name (saj), which in Hebrew survives only in derivative words with modified sense. 1

The Kahili, therefore, is not a degraded priest but such a soothsayer as is found in most primitive societies, and the Canaanite priests grew out of these early revealers.2 In point of fact there appears to have been some form of revelation or oracle in every great shrine of Canaan and Syria, 3 and the importance of this element in the cultus may be measured from the fact that at Hierapolis it was the charge of the chief priest, just as in the Levitical legislation.

The use of 'Kahin' for priest in the Canaanite area points, however, to more than this ; it is connected with the orgiastic character of Canaanite religion.

The soothsayer differs from the priest of an oracle by giving his revelation under excitement and often in a frenzy allied to madness. In natural soothsaying this frenzy is the necessary physical accompaniment of an afflatus which, though it seems to a rude people supernatural, is really akin to poetic inspiration. It is soon learned, however, that a similar physical state can be produced artificially, and at the Canaanite sanctuaries this was done on a large scale.

We see from i K. 18, 2 K. 10 that the great Baal temples had two classes of ministers, kohanim and nebi'im, 'priests' and 'prophets', and as the kohanim bear a name which primarily denotes a soothsayer, so the nebi'im are also a kind of priests who do sacrificial service with a wild ritual of their own. How deeply the orgiastic character was stamped on the priesthoods of N. Semitic nature-worship is clear from Greek and Roman accounts, such as that of Apuleius (Metam. bk. 8). Sensuality and religious excitement of the wildest kind went hand in hand, and a whole army of degraded ministers of a religion of the passions was gathered round every famous shrine.

1 Meshugga, 2 K. 9:11, Jer. 29:26 [Hos. 9:7] a term of contempt applied to prophets (cp PROPHETIC LITERATURE, 1, 3).

2 On the relation of the Canaanite (or Hebrew) priest to the Arabian kahin, see, further, Sprenger, Leben Muhammeds, 1255; Stade, GI 1 ( 2 ) 471 ; Wellhausen, Heid.W 131+. Sprenger and Stade consider the priesthood to have arisen out of the seer's function. According to Wellhausen, on the other hand, the kahin, who from the first had been connected with the sanctuary, with the development of the seer's office gradually took over from the priests the principal and most honourable share of their work, and at the same time their title of honour. Thus the priest at last sank to the grade of a mere door-keeper.

3 See Lucian, De Dea Syria, 36, for Hierapolis; Zosimus, 1:58, for Aphaca ; Pliny, HN 37:58 (compared with Lucian, ut supra, and Movers, Phoenizier, 1 655), for the temple of Melkart at Tyre ; 1 S. 6:2, for Ekron.

4 The pre-Mosaic priesthood, to the elucidation of which Fr. v. Hummeiauer (1899) has devoted a special treatise, can still only be regarded as imaginary.

4. Beginnings of the priesthood in Israel.[edit]

The Hebrews, who made the language of Canaan their own, took also the Canaanite name for a priest. But the earliest forms of Hebrew priesthood 4 are not Canaanite in character; the priest , as he appears in the older records of the time of the Judges, Eli at Shiloh, Jonathan in the private temple of Micah (see MICAH) and at Dan, is much liker the Arabian sadin than the kahin. 1 The whole structure of Hebrew society at the time of the conquest was almost precisely that of a federation of Arab tribes, and the religious ordinances are scarcely distinguishable from those of Arabia, save only that the great deliverance of the Exodus, and the period when Moses, sitting in judgment at the sanctuary of Kadesh, had for a whole generation impressed the sovereignty of Yahwe on all the tribes, had created an idea of unity between the scattered settlements in Canaan such as the Arabs before Mohammed never had. Neither in civil nor in religious life, however, was this ideal unity expressed in fixed institutions. The old individualism of the Semitic nomad held its ground. Thus the firstlings, first-fruits, and vows are still the free gift of the individual which no human authority exacts, and every householder presents and consumes with his circle in a sacrificial feast without priestly aid.

It is thus that Gideon (Judg. 6:17+) and Manoah (Judg. 13:19) offer sacrifice, with the express approval of Yahwe, or rather of his Mal'ak. As in Arabia, the ordinary sanctuary is still a sacred stone (n3SD = nosb) set up under the open heaven, and here the blood of the victim is poured out as an offering to God (see MASSEBAH and cp 1 S. 14:34, 2 S. 23:16-17).

The priest has no place in this ritual ; he is not the minister of an altar, 2 but the guardian of a temple, such as was already found here and there in the land for the custody of sacred images and palladia or other consecrated things (the ark at Shiloh, 1 S. 3:3 ; images in Micah's temple, Judg. 17:5 ; Goliath's sword lying behind the 'ephod' or plated image at Nob [see NOB], 1 S. 21:10 ; no doubt also money, as in the Canaanite temple at Shechem, Judg. 9:4). Such treasures required a guardian ; that they were occasionally liable to be stolen is shown by the story, just referred to, of the images in Micah's temple.

Above all, wherever there was a temple there was an oracle, a kind of sacred lot, just as in Arabia (1 S. 14:41 LXX), which could only be drawn where there was an 'ephod' and a priest (1 S. 14:18, LXX; 23:6+, 30:7). The Hebrews had already possessed a tent-temple and oracle of this kind in the wilderness (Ex. 33:7+), of which Moses was the priest and Joshua the sedituus, and ever since that time the judgment of God through the priest at the sanctuary had a greater weight than the word of a seer, and was the ultimate solution of every controversy and claim (1 S. 225, Ex. 22:7-8, where for AV's 'judge', 'judges', read 'God' 3 ). The temple at SHILOH, where the ark was preserved, was the lineal descendant of the Mosaic sanctuary - for it was not the place but the palladium and its oracle that were the essential thing - and its priests claimed kin with Moses himself. In the divided state of the nation, indeed, this sanctuary was hardly visited from beyond Mount Ephraim ; and every man (or tribe) that cared to provide the necessary apparatus (ephod, teraphim, etc.) and hire a priest might have a temple and oracle of his own at which to consult Yahwe (Judg. 17-18) ; but there was hardly another sanctuary of equal dignity.

The priest of Shiloh is a much greater person than Micah's priest Jonathan ; at the great feasts he sits enthroned by the doorway, preserving decorum among the worshippers ; he has certain legal dues, and if he is disposed to exact more no one ventures to resist (1 S. 2:12+; see SBOT [ Heb.]). The priestly position of the family survived the fall of Shiloh and the captivity of the ark, and it was members of this house who consulted Yahwe for the early kings until Solomon deposed Abiathar.

Indeed, though priesthood was not yet tied to one family, so that Micah's son, or Eleazar of Kirjath- jearim (1 S. 7:1), or Samuel, and perhaps by preference firstborn sons in general 1 (cp also Ex. 24:5), could all be priests, a Levite - that is, a man of Moses' tribe - was already preferred for the office elsewhere than at Shiloh (Judg. 17:13, see MiCAH i. , 2), and such a priest naturally handed down his place to his posterity (Judg. 18:30).

1 This appears even in the words used as synonyms for 'priest', fl lB p, r jpn ICE , which exactly correspond to the Ar. sadin and hajib. That the name of |i"I3 was borrowed from the Canaanites appears certain, for out of the multiplicity of words for soothsayers and the like common to Hebrew and Arabic (either formed from a common root or expressing exactly the same idea : JyV, 'arraf; 7]n, habir; n'm, nx5, hazi ; CDp, cp istiksam) the Hebrews and the Canaanites have chosen the same one to mean a priest. That they did so independently is, in view of the great difference in character between old Hebrew and Canaanite priesthoods, inconceivable. Besides p3 Hebrew has the word ~iK3 (pi. D lCS), which, however, is hardly applied to priests of the national religion (see CHEMARIM).

2 For the opposite view cannot be urged the etymology of the word Kohen as if, possibly derived from pa, it meant from the first 'one who served God at the altar' (Baudissin, 269) or even 'one who sets in order (j 3H) the offering' (so, for example, Ewald). It is not clear from 1 S. 2:15 whether even at Shiloh the priest had anything to do with sacrifice, whether those who burned the fat were the worshippers themselves or some subordinate ministers of the temple.

3 [Ex. 21:6 to which WRS also refers perhaps does not belong to this connection ; for DTI 1 ?!* there possibly denotes the ancestral image ; see Schwally, Leben nach dem Tode, 38-39 ; and cp further, Smend, Rel.-gesch.(~) 77, n. 3.]

5. Development of Israelite priesthood under the monarchy.[edit]

Ultimately, indeed, as sanctuaries were multiplied, and the priests all over the land came to form one well-marked class, 'Levite' and legitimate priest became equivalent expressions (see LEVITES). But between the priesthood of Eli at Shiloh, or Jonathan at Dan, and the priesthood of the Levites as described in Dt. 33:8+, there lies a period of the inner history of which we know almost nothing. It appears that the various priestly colleges regarded themselves as one order, that they had common traditions of law and ritual which were traced back to Moses, and common interests which had not been vindicated without a struggle (Dt. 33:11). The kingship had not deprived them of their functions as fountains of divine judgment. On the contrary, the decisions of the sanctuary had grown up into a body of sacred law, which the priests administered according to a traditional precedent ; and when in consequence of the Deuteronomic legislation all sanctuaries except that of Jerusalem were suppressed, the more important judicial cases at least came up for decision before the priesthood of Jerusalem (Dt. 17:8-9). According to Semitic ideas the declaration of law is quite a distinct function from the enforcing of it, and the royal executive came into no collision with the purely declaratory functions of the priests. Priestly functions, on the contrary, must have grown in importance with the unification and progress of the nation, and in all probability the consolidation of the priesthood into one class went hand in hand with a con solidation of legal tradition. Moreover, this work must have been well done, for, though the general corruption of society at the beginning of the Assyrian period was nowhere more conspicuous than at the sanctuaries and among the priesthood (cp, e.g., Micah 3:11), the invective of Hos. 4 equally with the eulogium of Dt. 33 (the author of which was, we may safely conjecture, himself a priest) proves that the position which the later priests abused had been won by ancestors who earned the respect of the nation as worthy representatives of a divine Torah.

1 So Baudissin, 267 ; on the other side, on the alleged priesthood of David's sons (2 S. 8:18), see also Cheyne, in Expos., 1899, pp. 453-457, also MINISTER [CHIEF],

The ritual functions of the priesthood still appear in Dt. 33 as secondary to that of declaring the sentence of God ; but they were no longer insignificant. With the prosperity of the nation, and especially through the absorption of the Canaanites and of their holy places, ritual had become much more elaborate, and in royal sanctuaries at least there were regular public offerings maintained by the king and presented by the priests (cp 2 K. 16:15). Private sacrifices, too, could hardly be offered without some priestly aid now that ritual was more complex ; at the same time we find Elijah sacrificing with his own hand (1 K. 18:33), as also does Elisha (1 K. 19:21). The provision of Dt. 18 as to the priestly dues is certainly ancient, and shows that besides the tribute of firstfruits and the like the priests had a fee in kind for each sacrifice, as we find to have been the case among the Phoenicians, according to the sacrificial tariff of Marseilles. Their judicial functions also brought profit to the priests, fines being exacted for certain offences and paid to them (2 K. 12:17, Hos. 4:8, Am. 2:8) ; they also, as we learn from Micah's reproach (3:11), exacted payment for imparting the Torah. The greater priestly offices were therefore in every respect very important places, and the priests of the royal sanctuaries were among the grandees of the realm. As such they were on the other hand largely dependent on the kings (cp 1 S. 2:35, Am. 7:13, 2 K. 12:5s+, 16:11+), and this close dependence on the monarchy was actually the cause of different development in the cases of the Israelitic and Judaic priesthood. Whilst in the northern kingdom the priesthood became involved in the fall of a dynasty (2 K. 10:11), in Judah it gradually rose with the stability of the royal house to an ever-increasing stability of its own (see specially the story of Jehoiada in 2 K. 11:4+). The great priests seem to have had the patronage of the minor sacred offices, which were often miserable enough, 1 the petty priest depending largely on what 'customers' he could find (2 K. 12:7 [12:8], Dt. 18:8). That at least the greater offices were hereditary was almost a matter of course as society was then constituted. This is already seen in the case of the family of Eli, which, to judge by the name of his son Phinehas (1 S. 4:19), probably traced its descent to Phinehas b. Eleazar (Josh. 22:13, 24:33), as also in the case of the sons of Zadok, who succeeded to the royal priesthood in Jerusalem after the fall of Abiathar. There is not the slightest trace, hosvever, of an hereditary hierarchy officiating by divine right, such as there wasafter the exile. The sons of Zadok, the priests of the royal chapel, were the king's servants as absolutely as any other great officers of the state ; they owed their place to the fiat of king Solomon, and the royal will was supreme in all matters of cultus ; indeed the monarchs of Judah, like those of Israel (1 K. 12:33) and of other nations, did sacrifice in person when they chose down to the time of the captivity (1 K. 9:25, 2 K. 16:12-13; cp 2 Ch. 26:16-17: Jer. 30:21). And as the sons of Zadok had no divine right as against the kings, so too they had no claim to be more legitimate than the priests of the local sanctuaries, who also were reckoned to the tribe which, in the seventh century B. C. , was recognised as having been divinely set apart as Yahwe's ministers in the days of Moses (Dt. 10:8, 18:1-2).

That at the same time there must have been certain gradations of rank among the sons of Zadok even in the pre-exilic period, at least during the later monarchy, is self-evident. One priest stands at their head (Kohen ha-rosh {2}, 2 K. 25:18, or simply 'the' Koen, 2 K. 12:8, 12:10 ; the name 'high priest', however, occurs first, it would seem, in Haggai). Next to him the Kohen mishneh (2 K 20:18) holds the second place. The existence of definite special offices is indicated by such designations as those of a pakid nagul or chief overseer in the temple (Jer. 20:1) or of the 'keepers of the threshold' (2 K. 23:4). On the other hand, the expression zikne hak-kohanim, 'the elders of the priests' (2 K. 19:2, Jer. 19:1), points to a gradation of the Zadokites according to their several families.-4

1 See 1 S. 2:36, a passage written after the hereditary dignity of the sons of Zadok at Jerusalem was well established. See ELI.

2 [Or hak-kohen ha-rosh? (cp 2 Ch. 31:10). The preceding word ends in i7. ]

3 So read also in 2 K. 23:4 [or in each case k. ham-mishneh ?]

4 Cp v. Hoonacker, 215.

6. Steps towards the post-exilic hierarchy.[edit]

The steps which prepared the way for the post-exilic hierarchy, the destruction of the northern sanctuaries and priesthoods by the Assyrians, the polemic of the spiritual prophets against the corruptions of popular worship, which issued in the reformation of Josiah, the suppression of the provincial shrines of Judah, and the transference of their ministers to Jerusalem, the successful resistance of the sons of Zadok to the proposal to share the sanctuary on equal terms with these newcomers, and the theoretical justification of the degradation of the provincials to the position of mere servants in the temple supplied by Ezekiel soon after the captivity, are explained elsewhere (see LEVITES), and only one or two points call for additional remark here.

It is instructive to observe how differently the prophets of the eighth century speak of the judicial or 'teaching' functions of the priests and of the ritual of the great sanctuaries. For the ritual they have nothing but condemnation ; but the 'teaching' they acknowledge as part of the divine order of the state, while they complain that the priests have prostituted their office for lucre. In point of fact, the one rested on old Hebrew tradition, the other had taken shape mainly under Canaanite influence, and in most of its features was little more than the crassest nature-worship. In this respect there was no distinction between the temple of Zion and other shrines, or rather it was just in the greatest sanctuary with the most stately ritual that foreign influences had most play, as we see alike in the original institutions of Solomon and in the innovations of Ahaz (2 K. 16:10+, 23:11+).

The Canaanite influence on the later organisation of the temple is clearly seen in the association of temple prophets with the temple priests under the control of the chief priest, which is often referred to by Jeremiah ; even the viler ministers of sensual worship, the male and female prostitutes of the Phoenician temples, had found a place on Mt. Zion, and were only removed by Josiah's reformation. 1 So too, the more complex sacrificial ritual which was now in force is manifestly not independent of the Phoenician ritual as we know it from the Marseilles tablet. All this necessarily tended to make the ritual ministry of the priests more important than it had been in old times ; but it was in the dark days of Assyrian tyranny, in the reign of Manasseh, when the sense of divine wrath lay heavy on the people, when the old ways of seeking Yahwe s favour had failed and new and more powerful means of atonement were eagerly sought for (Micah 6:6, 2 K. 21 ; and cp MOLECH), that sacrificial functions reached their full importance.

In the time of Josiah altar service and not the function of 'teaching' had become the essential thing in priesthood (Dt. 10:8, 18:7); the 'teaching', indeed, is not forgotten (Jer. 2:8, 18:18, Ezek. 7:26), but by the time of Ezekiel it also has mainly to do with ritual, with the distinction between holy and profane, clean and unclean, with the statutory observances at festivals and the like (Ezek. 44:23-24). What the priestly Torah was in the exilic period can be seen from the collection of laws in Lev. 17-26 (LEVITICUS, 13-23), which includes many moral precepts, but regards them, equally with ritual precepts, from the point of view of the mainten ance of national holiness. The sacrificial ritual of the Priestly Code (see SACRIFICE) is governed by the same principle. The holiness of Israel centres in the sanctuary, and round the sanctuary stand the priests, who alone can approach the most holy things without profanation, and who are the guardians of Israel s sanctity, partly by protecting the one meeting- place of God and man from profane contact, and partly as the mediators of the continual atoning rites by which breaches of holiness are expiated. In P it is the sons of Aaron alone who bear the priestly office. How these stand related to the sons of Zadok mentioned above is an excessively puzzling question to which a conclusive answer is, in the silence of the sources, perhaps impossible. It is probable, however, that the two expressions are not merely different designations for the same class of persons ; the new name seems rather to denote a more comprehensive category, so that Aaron includes Zadok. 2

We know as a fact that Ezra s band included not only priests of the sons of Eleazar (to whom the Zadokites traced their descent, 1 Ch. 6:38) but also sons of Ithamar (Ezra 8:2-3), not to mention that Chronicles at a later date assigns eight out of the twenty-four orders of priests to the sons of Ithamar (1 Ch. 244). But whom we are to understand by the sons of Ithamar - whether they are the priests of Anathoth, the descendants of the deposed Abiathar (1 K. 2:26-27), as Vogelstein (pp. 8-12) supposes, or whether others also are to be reckoned along with these (Kuenen, 490-491) - must be left undecided. We must content ourselves with saying - and the evidence warrants at least so much as this - that apparently, as against the attitude of exclusiveness shown by Ezekiel towards all non-Zadokites, the pressure of circumstances during the exile and perhaps also the prospect of a restoration led to a compromise which conceded to some, though not to all priestly families attached to sanctuaries outside of Jerusalem, the rights assigned to them in D (Kuenen, 489). That over and above this the Zadokites subsequently sought to secure certain special privileges for themselves may perhaps be gathered from such an interpolation as that in Nu. 25:10-13, and the equation Zadokites = Sadducees would seem definitely to prove it.

Still more difficult is the question how, in such a compromise, Aaron came to have the role of common ancestor when previously it had been only, or at least chiefly, the priests of the northern kingdom who had regarded him as their genealogical head (cp on the other hand Ex. 32, a passage of Judaic origin). A noteworthy attempt at a solution of this problem is offered in Oort's treatise De Aaronieden, where he goes back to the immigration of this class of priests - of Northern Israel who had betaken themselves after Josiah's reformation to Jerusalem, and here after some friction had gradually amalgamated with the sons of Zadok. 1

1 2 K. 23:7 ; cp Dt 23:18, where 'dogs' = the later Galli. See DOG, 3 ; IDOLATRY, 6 ; and cp Driver, ad Inc.

2 Cp Kuenen, Ges. Abh. 488, where, influenced by the further investigations of Oort and Vogelstein, he modifies his previously published view.

7. Importance of the post-exilic priesthood.[edit]

The bases of priestly power under this system are the unity of the altar, its inaccessibility to laymen and to the inferior ministers of the sanctuary, and the specific atoning function of the blood of priestly sacrifices. All these things were unknown in old Israel ; the altars were many, they were open to laymen, and the atoning function of the priest was judicial, not sacrificial. So fundamental a change as lies between Hosea and the Priestly Code was possible only in the general dissolution of the old life of Israel produced by the Assyrians and by the prophets ; and indeed, the new order did not take shape as a system till the exile had made a tabula rasa of all old institutions ; but it was undoubtedly the legitimate and consistent outcome of the latest development of the temple worship at Jerusalem before the exile. It was meant also to give expression to the demands of the prophets for spiritual service and national holiness ; but this it did not accomplish so successfully ; the ideas of the prophets could not be realised under any ritual system, but only in a new dispensation - (Jer. 31:31), when priestly Torah and priestly atonement should be no longer required. Nevertheless, the concentration of all ritual at a single point, and the practical exclusion of laymen from active participation in it - for the old sacrificial feast had now shrunk into entire insignificance in comparison with the stated priestly holocausts and atoning rites 2 - lent powerful assistance to the growth of a new and higher type of personal religion, the religion which found its social expression not in material acts of oblation but in the language of the psalms. In the best times of the old kingdom the priests had shared the place of the prophets as the religious leaders of the nation ; under the second temple they represented the unprogressive traditional side of religion, and the leaders of thought were the psalmists and the scribes, who spoke much more directly to the piety of the nation.

On the other hand, the material influence of the priests was greater than it had ever been before ; the temple was the only visible centre of national life in the ages of servitude to foreign power, and the priests were the only great national functionaries, who drew to themselves all the sacred dues as a matter of right and even appropriated the tithes paid of old to the king. The great priests had always belonged to the ruling class ; but the Zadokites were now the only hereditary aristocracy, and the high priest, who now stands forth above his brethren with a prominence unknown to the times of the first temple, is the one legitimate head of the theocratic state, as well as its sole representative in the highest acts of religion.

When the high priest stood at the altar in all his princely state, when he poured out the libation amidst the blare of trumpets, and the singers lifted up their voice and all the people fell prostrate in prayer till he descended and raised his hands in blessing, the slaves of the Greek or the Persian forgot for a moment their bondage and knew that the day of their redemption was near (Ecclus. 50). The high priest at such a moment seemed to embody all the glory of the nation, as the kings had done of old, and when the time came to strike a successful blow for freedom it was a priestly house that led the nation to the victory which united in one person the functions of high priest and prince. From the foundation of the Hasmonean state to the time of Herod the history of the high-priesthood merges in the political history of the nation ; from Herod onward the priestly aristocracy of the Sadducees lost its chief hold over the nation and expired in vain controversy with the Pharisees. (See ISRAEL, 83.)

1 See Kuenen's criticism on this and cp AARON.

2 Compare the impression which the ritual produced on the Greeks (see Bernays, Theophrastus, 8:5, 111-112)

8. Influence of the Hebrew priesthood upon Christian thought.[edit]

The influence of the Hebrew priesthood on the thought and organisation of Christendom was the influence not of a living institution, for it hardly began till after the fall of the temple, but of the theory embodied in the later parts of the Pentateuch. Two points in this theory were laid hold of - the doctrine of priestly mediation and the system of priestly hierarchy. The first forms the text of the principal argument in the Epistle to the Hebrews, in which the author easily demonstrates the inadequacy of the mediation and atoning rites of the OT, and builds upon this demonstration the doctrine of the effectual high-priesthood of Christ, who, in his sacrifice of himself, truly 'led his people to God', not leaving them outside as he entered the heavenly sanctuary, but taking them with him into spiritual nearness to the throne of grace. This argument leaves no room for a special priesthood in the Christian church ; even in the writings of Cyprian, it is not the notion of priestly mediation but that of priestly power that is insisted on. Church office is a copy of the old hierarchy. Now among the Jews, as we have seen, the hierarchy proper has for its necessary condition the destruction of the state and the bondage of Israel to a foreign prince, so that spiritual power is the only basis left for a national aristocracy. The same conditions have produced similar spiritual aristocracies again and again in the East, in more modern times, and even in antiquity more than one Oriental priesthood took a line of development similar to that which we have traced in Judaea.

Thus the hereditary priests of Kozah (Kofe) were the chief dignitaries in Idumaea at the time of the Jewish conquest of the country (Jos. Ant. 15:7:9), and the high priest of Hierapolis wore the princely purple and crown like the high priest of the Jews (De Dea. Syria, 42). The kingly insignia of the high priest of the sun at Emesa are described by Herodian (5:3:3), in connection with the history of Elagabalus, whose elevation to the Roman purple was mainly due to the extraordinary local influence of his sacerdotal place. Other examples of priestly princes are given by Strabo in speaking of Pessinus (567) and Olbe (672).l

As there was no such hierarchy in the West, it is plain that, if the idea of Christian priesthood was influenced by living institutions as well as by the OT, that influence must be sought in the East (cp Lightfoot, Philippians, 261). The further development of the notion of Christian priesthood lies beyond the scope of the present article. Cp MINISTRY.

9. Literature.[edit]

Wellhausen. Prof. (2-4) (1883, 1886, 1895; in Gesch. Isr.W [1878], Chap. IV. : Die Priester und Leviten : the Archaeologies of Nowack (1894) and of Benzinger(1894). Baudissin, Die Geschichtr des Alttestamentlichen Priestertumes (1889) contains a very comprehensive collection of facts, but is weak in its method. Along with Oort's de Aaronieden (Th. T 18 [1884] 289-335) and H. Vogelstein's Der Kainpf zwischen Priestern und Leviten seit den Tagen Ezechiels (1889) it is reviewed by Kuenen in his keen critical essay on the history of the priests of Yahwe and the age of priestly law, Th. T 24 (1890) 1-42, translated into German in Hudde s Gesammelte Abliand- Itingen zur bibl. Wissenscliaft Ton A. Kuenen (1894), 465-500. Cp also references to priests in OTJC (index, s.v.\

The critical view of which the foregoing article is an exposition has recently been met with an uncompromising opposition by van Hoonacker in Le Stutrdoct Leritique dans la loi et dans Fhistoirc des Hebreujc (1899), a work which shows great thoroughness of treatment and mastery of its subject, and bears ample witness to the author s acuteness and power of combination as well as to his confidence in the thesis he has taken up, but at the same time displays radical defects of method. Cp Baudissin s review in TLZ, 1899, 359-363. Van Hoonacker has two premises which are fundamental and render it im possible for those who do not share them to accompany the author in his arguments or adopt his conclusions ; the one is that there was but one sanctuary from the first, the other that Chronicles describes pre-exilic conditions, not those of the time of its composition. On the history of the priesthood in the later period see especially Schiirer, Gl^/P) 1 24, ( 3 ) 2 224-305.

W. K. S.-A. B.

1 See also Mommsen, Hist of Rome, ET4 150.


i. TJJ, nagid (HfOYMeNOc) : root meaning, to be high, conspicuous (cp "133, in front). Nagid is used of the 'governor' of the palace (Azrikam), 2 Ch. 287 (riyov/j-fvos rov OIKOV [hegoumenos tou oikon]: otKovofj-os [oikonomos] would have been better; cp 1 K. 4:6, 16:9; on the position of this officer see Is. 22:21-2) ; of the chief of the temple (1 Ch. 9:11, 2 Ch. 31:13); of PASHHUR (TJJ Tips, Jer. 20:1 ) ; of the 'leader of the Aaronites' ( 1 Ch. 12:27; Jehoiada) ; of the keeper of the sacred treasury ( 1 Ch. 26:24; Shebuel) ; of the chief of a tribe (2 Ch. 19:11 ; Zebadiah) ; of the 'captains' of the army (1 Ch. 13:1, 2 Ch. 32:21) ; of the eldest son of the king (2 Ch. 11:22, II t?!n ; Abijah, son of Rehoboam) ; of the king himself, e.g. , Saul (AV 'captain', 1 S. 9:16, etc.); of the high priest, 1-11 n t^D. 'the (an?) anointed, the (a?) prince' (Dan. 9:25 ; see RV), jvna TJ:, unless Ptolemy Philometor is meant (Dan. 11:22); see MESSIAH. In Ps. 76:13, the plur. Q-I-H, EV 'princes' || p D^D, 'kings of the earth'.

2. N b j, nasi , lit. one lifted up (yyov/uLfvos [hegoumenos], a<pt]yov- fjLfvos [aphegoumenos], dipxuv [archon]). Used of a Canaanitish prince, Gen. 34:2 (tipxuv [archon]) ; of princes of Ishmael (Gen. 17:20 [P]) ; of Abraham (Gen. 23:6 [P]) ; vaguely, of a secular authority (Ex. 22:28 [22:27], RV 'a ruler' ); of the king (1 K. 11:34) ; of Zerubbabel (Ezra 1:8).

A favourite word with Ezekiel (e.g., 7:27, 12:10, 12:12, 21:12 [2117], 30:13, 34:24, 45:7+, 46:2+), who has no place in his picture of Israel for a king, but only for a prince with very limited functions (see EZEKIEL ii., 23), and with P, especially of the tribal princes (Nu. 7:11+, 34:18+, more fully niyn N ^J, princes of the assembly [see ASSEMBLY], Ex. 17:22, Nu. 4: 34). P also uses it of the heads of families (Nu. 3:24, 3035), and of the highest tribal prince of the Levites (v. 32 ; cp 1 Ch. 7:40). Nasi was also the official title of the president of the Sanhedrin. See GOVERNMENT, 31 ; ISRAEL, 81 ; SYNEDRIUM.

3. ~\\y, sar, corresponding to Ass. sarru, king (see KING), a word used of nearly all degrees of chiefdom or \vardenship. It is applied to the chief baker of the Pharaoh (Gen. 40:16), to the chief butler (40:2), to the 'ruler over the cattle' (47:6), to the keeper of the prison (39:21), to the taskmaster of the Israelites (Ex. 1:11), to the 'prince of the eunuchs' (Dan. 1:7).

Further, to prefects, civil or military, of very limited or very extensive authority ; Zebul, the 'ruler of Shechem' (Judg. 10:30) ; 'Amon, the governor of the city' (1 K. 22:26) ; ni]'7cn w, 'prefects of the provinces' (1 K. 20:15); niE V B > 'Decurion' (Ex. 18:21); C E Crl t>> 'a captain of fifty', n-ei/nj/cdi/rap^os [pentekontarchos] (2 K. 1:19) ; niNO V, captains (judges) over hundreds (Dt. 1:15); over a thousand (1 S. 18:3), over many thousands (1 Ch. 15:25) ; 3D"irt JVurtD t! 'captain over half of the chariots of war' (1 K. 10:9); ^ nn K . 'captain of the host' (2 S. 24:2); general-in-chief, SOUn v (<ipxicrrpaTT)yos [archistrategos], Gen. 21:22, 1 S. 12:9); hence used - after n!N2X nSl<> God of hosts - of God himself (Dan. 8:11). It occurs by itself in the stat. absol. as a parallel to 'judge' ; 'who has made thee a prince [-ijj l and a judge over us?' (Ex. 2:14), to 'elder' (Ezra 10:8), to 'counsellor' (Ezra 8:25), to 'king' (Hos. 3:4).

The same term is applied to courtiers and high officers - e.g. , those of Egypt (Gen. 12:15, Is. 19:11, 19:13), and of Persia (Esth. 1:3, 2:18, 6:9 [where LXX gives the technical term <f>i\oi [philoi], see FRIEND]), also to the merchant-princes of Tyre (Is. 23:9). The priests are called enp &, chiefs, or princes, of the sanctuary (1 Ch. 25:5, but not Is. 43:28 ; see SBOT, ad loc.), and the chief priests again are called D 3n^n to (2 Ch. 36:14). The word came to be used also of guardian-angels of nations - e.g. , of Persia (Dan. 10:13, 10:20), of Greece (Dan. 10:20), of Israel (l0:21), Michael 'the great prince' (12:1), the chief princes (10:13), Dncri nt?, 'the Prince of Princes' ; God (8:25; cp LXX in Dt. 328). The use of 7w as guardian-angel (Esau, etc. ) is retained in the Midrash ; but the word is also applied in the Talmud to 'a hero at the table, a mighty drinker' (Nidd. 16, etc. ). The fem, mcs sharah, Princess, occurs

  • (1) of Solomon's wives, 1 K. 11:3,
  • (2) of ladies of the court, Esth. 1:18 RV (AV 'ladies' ),
  • (3) as a general term of dignity, Lam. 1:1 (rriyiea rns? || D;ia? nan) ; C p the proper name SARAH.

4- 3"i:, nadib (from 31:, which in Hithp. signifies 'to volunteer, to offer spontaneously' ), generous, noble-minded, noble by birth (1 S. 2:8, Ps. 47:10, 107:40, 113:8, 118:9, Prov. 25:7, etc.). This word is the converse of the preceding ; nagid means primarily a chief, and derivatively what is morally noble, excellent (Prov. 8:6); nadib means primarily what is morally noble, and derivatively one who is noble by birth or position.

5- IBIICTIX. ahashdarpan, RV 'satrap'. See PERSIA, SATRAP.

6. no, sagan, see DEPUTY, i.

7- TDJ> nasik, see DUKE, 2.

8- D DmS. partemim, see NOBLES.

9- J Spi kasin, see CAPTAIN, 6.

10, ii. Q 3i p-OI, rabreban, rabbin, see RAB.

12. w-^v, shalish, see CAPTAIN, 9 ; ARMY ; LORD, 6.

13, 14. jlh, rozen (Judg. 5:3, Is. 40:23, etc.) ; also jiin, razon (Prov. 14:28+), root meaning, gravity ; cp Ass. ruzsunu [Prince, JBL 16:175-176]. See REZON.

15- D JOrn. hashmannim, Ps. 68:31 [68:32]. For crit. emend, see Duhm and Che. ad loc.

16. apxtav. [archon] Cp RULER.

17. apxrjyos [archegos] (a. TTJS turjs, EV 'prince of life', RVmg. 'author', Acts 3:15 ; cp apxj)yb xai aiorijp, Acts 5:31 ; a.p\rnov Tijs (rto-njpias, Heb. 2:10 ; TTJS Triorews ap^-r/yov, Heb. 12:2). See CAPTAIN, 15.

18. ^ye/noii/ [hegemoon] (Mt. 2:6 || Mic. 5:1 [5:2], MT min3^X2; LXX iv XiAtaaii loufia [BAQ], but Mt. iv T<HS riyen6<riv lov&a, i.e., 1^3). See DUKE, i.


UPXAI). Rom. 8:38, Eph. 3:10, 6:12, Col. 1:16, 2:10, 2:15 ; cp 1 Cor. 10:24, Eph. 1:21, where 'all rule', retained in RV, should certainly be 'every principality'. See ANGEL, i.


(TTRICKA; so Ti.WH in Rom. 16:3, 1 Cor. 16:19, 2 Tim. 4:19), or, in the diminutive, Priscilla (npiCKiAAA; Acts 18:2, 18:18, 18:26 Ti.WH), the wife of AQUILA [q.v.]. In Acts 18:18, 18:26, Rom. 16:3, Priscilla is mentioned before Aquila. Her importance is well pointed out by Harnack in his ingenious essay on authorship, etc., of Hebrews (see HEBREWS [EPISTLE], ad fin.} ; cp also id. Ueb. d. beiden Recensionen d. Gesch. d. Prisca u. d. Aquila in Act. Ap. 18:1-17 (1899).

1 A parallel case is that of Livia (Tac. Ann. 2:44). the youngest child of Germanicus and Agrippina, who in Suetonius (Claud. i) is called Livilla.


1. References.[edit]

The references in the OT are too meagre to enable us to give any satisfactory account of early Jewish methods of restraint. As among the Greeks, imprisonment was seldom employed as a legal punishment, and it is not until the post-exilic age that it enters into the judicial system (Ez. 7:26, Bibl.-Aram. ) ; see LAW, 12. On the treatment of captives, see WAR.

Shimei, if not confined within four walls, was practically a prisoner within the bounds of Jerusalem (1 K. 2:36-37); but this kind of treatment may have been rare. Solomon's policy in 1 K. 2 is represented as being exceptionally generous by the narrator. A confinement of a more or less close nature is expressed by the term mishmar (see below, 2 [11]), which, in the case of David's concubines (rrct?.p JV3, 2 S. 20:3 EV 'ward' ), and Simeon (Gen. 42:19, EV 'prison', cp 42:24, 42:33) was hardly severe : 'surveillance' or 'safeguard' (similar to the treatment of a hostage) may be the best rendering. On the other hand, a confinement of a more rigorous nature would be exercised in the case of the man who broke the sabbath (Nu. 15:34), and the blaspheming Danite (Lev. 24:12), both of whom are placed 'in ward' (EV, na7eBs), pending Yahwe's decision. Similarly the officers of Pharaoh who have fallen under his displeasure are put 'in ward' as a temporary measure ; the sequel is familiar (Gen. 40 E).

In the time of the monarchy a place for the safekeeping of undesirable persons might often be required. Of such a kind was the Philistine 'house of the captives' at Gaza (Judg. 16:21). As an ordinary precaution Jeremiah was confined in the 'court of the guard' in the king's house, 1 where, however, he was free to conduct his business (Jer. 32). Probably this court was under the control of a military official, and was set apart for the highest class of offenders, or members of the royal household, just as in Gen. 40:3-4 the Pharaoh's officers are under the care of the 'captain of the guard' (D rname ). 2 On the other hand the inb ivs (Gen. 39:21+, see 2 [9]) was apparently the common prison, the keeper of which is called -non n % 3 nb- Far more rigorous was the treatment of Jeremiah when confined in the house of Jonathan the scribe (Jer. 37:15, cp v. 206b), which had been converted into a prison-house (N^D-ITS, 2 [8]). Whether the miry pit into which he was cast (Jer. 38:6) was really in the 'court of the guard' may be questioned. 3 The 'pit' (cp 2 [6]) was the place for the meanest of prisoners (Ex. 12:29, cp Gen. 40:15b, 41:14), but at the same time the readiest means of imprisonment (cp Gen. 37:24). For appliances for further restricting personal freedom see CHAINS, COLLAR, STOCKS, and 2 (7) below.

The references to prisons in the NT need little explanation. The probability is that the prisons were constructed on the Greek and Roman plan (cp Smith, Rich, Dict. Class. Ant., s.v. 'Carcer' ). The 'public ward' of Acts 5:18 (RV) would then answer to the custodia communis of the Roman prison, whilst the 'inner prison' (ib. 16:23), like the carcer interior or robur, would (as the context actually shows) be for the worst cases, and was possibly a cell underneath the custodia communis (cp illustr. in Rich, s.v. ).

For the allusion in Acts 12:66 cp Jos. Ant. 18:67 [Agrippa], also Acts 28;16 (?), and see CHAINS, 2 (end).

1 But the 'gate of the guard' (Neh. 12:39) seems to have been near the temple. Here, too, were the stocks (?) mentioned in Jer. 20:2 (see 2 [7]).

2 Cp 2 (9) below. We may perhaps compare the private prison (ergastulum) on the Roman farms.

3 It is obscurely described as the 'pit of Melchijah' (v. 6) ; in v. 11 it is apparently under the treasury (ijjlltn. which LXX{BAQ} [not Qmg.] om&.) is perhaps for isnn)- The text is probably corrupt ; cp 38:1 (Pashhur b. Malchijah), 38:7b (gate of Benjamin) with the names in 20:1-2.

2. Terms.[edit]

There are fifteen distinct Hebrew and Greek terms to be noticed :

i. m7ac, mattarah (lit. 'place of guarding' ), in Jer. 32:2, 32:8, 32:12, Neh. 3:25, etc., 'court of the prison' (RV 'guard' ), apparently the same as the D ~\yv Neh. 1:39, 'prison-gate' (RV 'gate of the guard' ). The cognate Aram. NrHBO is used in Tg., Gen. 40:3-4, 42:19 for 7cra.

2. "I3DC, masger (\/[root] close, shut up), used generally in Is. 24:22 (with 13D), and figuratively in Ps. 142:7 [142:8], and Is. 42:7 (|| n 3 K*?3, cp 8 below). Cp TJDH of the compulsory seclusion of the leper (Lev. 13:5), "HID, 'cage' (see LION, 5 end), and JVIJDO 'prisons' (?) in the Panammu inscr. of Zenjirli (ll. 4, 8).

3. nsy, oser (-v/[root] restrain, e.g., with force 2 K. 17:4, Jer. 33:1 etc.), Is. 53:8, AV 'prison', RV preferably 'oppression'.

4. niprijJS, pekahkoah, Is. 61:1 AV 'opening of the prison', RV preferably supplies the last three words in italics ; but the literal meaning of fl requires O TIJ? rather than D"I1DK (|| C 13B ) which, in turn, suggests the emendation mnnnS (loosing) ; cp Che. Is.(5) (Che. SBOT reads n pa)

5. -BDKnvva, lit. 'house of bondage', Jer. 37:15, cp 3 D -noM.! Judg. 16:21, 16:25 (Kre), Eccl. 4:14, lit. 'house of the bound [ones]' ; cp J I DN, 'imprisonment' (Aram. Ezra 7:26) and TON, asir, 'prisoner' or 'captive', Ps. 79:11, 102:20 [102:21] ; the verb 1DN like 6eii> [dein] does not necessarily imply the use of chains or fetters.

6. lisrrn S, beth hab-bor, lit. 'place of the pit' (see CONDUIT, i (i), col. 881), EV 'dungeon', in Ex. 12:29 and in an obscure and probably corrupt passage, Jer. 37:16 ( nvjnn fa gloss?], see CELLS). Observe that in v. 15-16 there are four distinct terms for prison.

7. nDSnsn n 3, beth ham-mahpeketh, 2 Ch. 16:10 'prison-house', but in accordance with the EV rendering of Jer. 20:2-3, 29:26 'house of the stocks' 1 (so RVmg.). The meaning of the root suggests a punishment compelling a crooked or distorted posture (BOB), and NnB D of the Tg. is, according to the Gemara on Sanh. 81b, a cramped vault not high enough for the criminal to stand in freely. See STOCKS. It is perhaps not too bold, on the strength of Tg. 3 (properly a prison, cp Bibl. Aram. ^33, 'be bound', Dan. 3:20+, apparently also an Ass. word, see Ges. Lex.W), to read rtnS20n 3> 'house of binding' = prison.

8. JcSa rT3, beth kele , lit. 'house of restraint' (\Xn^3, 'restrain', cp Jer. 32:2, and Ass. bit ki-(orkil-}li), 1 K. 22:27 ( = 2 Ch. 18:26), 2 K. 17:4, etc., pl. Is. 42:22, twice ni^3 (Kr. N ^D 3) Jer. 37:4, 52:31; cp 3 HJ3, 'prison-garb', 2 K. 25:29 = Jer. 52:33.

9. lilDrt JV2, beth has-sohar ( D roundness? as though 'round tower', cp Ass. siru 'enclosure', saaru 'ring' 1 ; Sam. has "inDi w tn which cp Ass. sihirtu 'enclosure', Syr. saharta 'citadel, palace' ), the 'prison' (EV) into which Joseph was cast upon a false charge (J, Gen. 39:20-23, RJE 40:35)- According to E, on the other hand, Joseph was no prisoner, but the head- servant of the captain of the guard (Gen. 37:36, 37:40), with whom offending officials in Pharaoh s court were placed 'in ward' (40:4, 41:10). It is not likely that the servant of a private Egyptian (Joseph's position in 39 J) would be set with the Pharaoh s officers, and the words in 39:20 identifying the inDn JV3 with the place where the king's servants were bound may, therefore, be redactional. A servant accused of the crime alleged in J's narrative would certainly have been put to death. J's story is quite out of place, and evidently secondary compared with E's sober narrative. The passages in 40:15b, 41:14 (RJE), which refer back to J's narrative, and are admittedly redactional, use the word bor (cp no. 6 above), in which case the dungeon (bor) was a particular cell in the -nB.l n 3 [beth has-sohar] ; cp Jer. 38:6 ( i above).

10. rnpBfJ"n 3i beth-hap-pikudoth (lit. place of over-seeing), Jer. 52:11, cp use of verb in Jer. 37:21, and perhaps mps ^i 3 Jer. 37:13 (EV 'captain of the ward', = 'captain of the prison'?), and ipaan ~\y& Neh. 3:31 (prison gate?).

11. TQ&Q n 3 beth mismar, EV 'prison house', Gen. 42:19, etc., see above ( i).

The NT terms are :

12. Sfait.taTript.Qv [desmooterion], Mt. 11:2 (of Machaerus), Acts 5:21, 5:23, 16:26; cp 6ec7>x.o</>iiAaf [desmoophylax], 'gaoler', Acts 16:23, 16:27, 16:36.

13. oiKrjjua [oikema], a euphemistic term, Acts 12:7 (RV 'cell' ), but in v. 4 no. 15 is used.

14. -njpijo-ts [teresis], Acts 4:3 'in hold', but RV 'ward', tv rijp. &r\fj.oai.a 5:18 'in the common prison', RV 'public ward', but in vv. 19, 22 no. 15 is used and in vv. 21, 23 no. 12.

15. $uA.aicrj [phylake], a very common term answering to the Heb. mismar, of a prison, Mt. 14:10, Lk. 3:20 (Machaerus), Acts 16:23+ (but in v. 26 no. 12), in Rev. 18:2 twice (AV 'hold', 'cage', RV 'hold', and mg. 'prison' ) in RV, 1 Macc. 9:53, and EV ib. 13:12, 14:3 'ward'. S. A. C.


(rrpoxopoc, Ti.WH]), one of the seven 'deacons' (Acts 6:5)+

He is mentioned in the lists of the 'Seventy' given by the Pseudo-Dorotheus, and according to Pseudo-Hippolytus was Bishop of Nicomedia. For an account of the Acts of Prochorus, which have a wide currency in the Greek church, see Lipsius, Apokr. Ap.-Gesch. 1:355-408. According to this apocryphal and very late source, Prochorus was a companion and helper of the apostle John for many years through a great variety of wanderings and adventures, and ultimately suffered martyrdom at Jerusalem. Pseudo-Hippolytus speaks of him as the first that departed.


the official designation of the governor of a senatorial province under the Empire. The word is literally rendered in Greek by dvOvTraros [anthypatos], for which AV gives 'deputy', but RV 'proconsul'. On the reference in Acts 13:7-8 (Sergius Paulus) see CYPRUS, 4 ; on that in Acts 18:12 (Gallio) see ACHAIA and GALLIC ; on that in Acts 19:38 see EPHESUS.

1 According to Jos. Kimhi, however, not for the feet, but for the neck or head. The Pesh. xnTin in Jer. 20:2-3 may here mean an outhouse (but see Payne Smith, Thes. col. 1205).


(enirponoc in Jos. Ant. 20:6:2 [ 132] etc.) was the specific title of the Roman governor of Judaea, who is called in the NT by the more general title HfeMCON [hegemon] (see GOVERNOR, 15).

1. Applications of title.[edit]

The title procurator was employed under the early empire to denote various officials, or rather officials of various degrees of power, for all were alike in respect of the fact that primarily the word connoted a collector or controller of revenue, public or private ; in time the procurator s competence extended to other departments of administration.

The title has three main applications,

  • (1) The procurator fisci, an officer in Caesarian provinces analogous to the quaestor of senatorial provinces, though he is

found in these latter also (Tac. Ann. 4:15), his functions gradually encroaching upon those of both the quaestor and the governor (proconsul) ; even in the Caesarian provinces the procurator acquired practical independence of the legatus propraetore governing the province, and in any case acted as an effective check upon him (cp Tac. Ann. 12:60, 14:32).

  • (2) Certain of the minor or specially circumstanced Caesarian provinces were administered wholly by procurators - e.g. Rhaetia, Vindelicia, Noricum, and Judaea, as also Cappadocia from the time of Tiberius to that of Vespasian. In course of time these were brought under the general imperial system. Under Claudius the powers of the procurators were largely increased, and even if it is not quite true that Judaea was the only province (save Egypt, whose case was peculiar) thus organised under Augustus (cp Hirschfeld, Unters. 288), the great provinces of Thrace and the two Maretaniae were placed by Claudius under the rule of procurators. The procurators of the two classes above described were drawn as a rule from the equestrian order (cp Jos. BJ 2:8:1 ; Strabo, 840), but some even of the procuratorial governors were, under Claudius, freedmen - e.g. , Felix, procurator of Judeea (Suet. Claud. 28) - and this was in general the case with
  • (3) that large class of imperial procurators supervising the private estates of the emperor in Italy or the provinces, or charged with various administrative departments in Italy (e.g. , procurator aquarum, procurator ad ripas, Tiberis, and many others).

1 See Tac. Ann. 12:54, and cp the expression of Jos. Ant. 17:13:5 [ 355] (TTJS ie Ap^eAaou ^uipas vTTOTeAou? irpocrvefii)- OeioTjf rjj ^.vptav) with BJ 2:8:1 [$ 117] (eis enap\ia.v rrepiypa-<ei<n)?), in both the reference being to Judaea (cp Ant. 19:9:2, 20:1:1).

2. NT references.[edit]

The procurator of the highest class, governing a province, possessed as a matter of course the civil and criminal jurisdiction belonging to any provincial governor, but he appears to have been partly responsible to the nearest legatus (governor of a Caesarian province). 1 The exact limits of this responsibility and subordination cannot be drawn, and perhaps were actually left purposely vague ; the deposition of Pilate by Vitellius (Jos. Ant. 18:4:2 ; Tac. Ann. 6:32) and of Cumanus by Ummidius Quadratus (Jos. Ant. 20:6:3 ; Tac. Ann. 12:54) was by virtue of special commission entrusted to the superior governor, and can hardly stand good as a measure of his supervising authority.

It is certain that the procurator of Judaea had troops (auxiliary, not legionary) under his orders (Mk. 15:16), their quarters being within the praetorium or old palace of Herod, which was also the residence of the procurator when he visited Jerusalem as a precautionary measure during the national festivals (cp Mt. 27:27, Mk. 15:16, Jn. 18:28, 18:33, 19:9, Acts 21:31-32). The ordinary headquarters of both the governor and the forces was at Caesarea on the coast, where also the Herodian palace was the procurator's residence (Acts 23:35, ev TI^ Trpairupiy rov Hpibdov).

The extent of the procurator's judicial authority is indicated clearly in the NT. Over provincials it was absolute - i.e., without right of appeal - as is seen in the case of Jesus (Jos. BJ 2:8:1, H^XP 1 T v xreiveiv ^ovcriav. Cp Id. Ant. 20:1:1, 20:5:2, BJ 2:13:2). The release of a prisoner at the Feast of the Passover (Mt. 27:15, Mk. 15:6, Jn. 18:39) must have been authorised, and in fact enjoined (cp Lk. 23:17, 'For of necessity he must release' ) by special edict of the emperor ; but the NT is the only evidence for the custom in Judaea. The case of Paul shows that the procurator's power of life and death extended even to Roman citizens in his province (subject to the right of the accused to demand that the case should be referred to the emperor [Acts 25:11] and the right to appeal to the same authority against a capital sentence of the procurator). In Judaea even under the direct rule of the Romans, the Sanhedrin still enjoyed to a large extent the right of legislating and of administering the law. And although the right of the imperial authorities to interfere in these matters was never formally surrendered (as it was in the case of the so-called 'free cities' ), the peculiar difficulties of government in Palestine made the practical effect of that right of little moment. Even Roman citizens were in some respects admittedly within the requirements of Jewish law - e.g. , citizenship could not save from execution the Gentile found trespassing upon the inner court of the Temple (Jos. BJ 6:2:4 ; cp Acts 21:28, 24:6). It still remained, however, an essential requirement that a death sentence of the Sanhedrin must be confirmed by the procurator, a requirement which practically guaranteed a right of appeal from the national council to the emperor's vicegerent (cp Acts 25:10 'I stand at Cossar's judgment seat' ). The case of Jesus is a striking example of this principle (Jn. 18:31). It is of course obvious that the limits of Roman toleration in Judaea as elsewhere would vary with the personal character of the governor. W. J. W.

1 "?Sn -\y (Che.) instead of J?CH *?Wl (Cornill): ye7 and tt are sometimes confounded.


Four words are rendered 'profane' in AV or RV.

1. Sn, hol, Ezek. 22:26, etc. ; see COMMON.

2. yjn. halal, Lev. 21:7, 21:14, fem. (EV), Ezek. 21:30 [21:25], 21:34 [21:39]- 'Profaned' is better. A woman who has lost her honour, and a prince deprived of the insignia of his rank, can be so designated. AV in Ezek. follows LXX (/S^/SijXe [bebele]) ; but Cornill rightly adopts the sense established for S^n in Lev. 21:7, 21:14 : 'Disgraced through wickedness', however, is a forced expression; 'dishonoured prince' is a probable emendation. 1 RV 'deadly wounded wicked one, prince of Israel'. So Ezek. 28:16 (EV) ; the king of Tyre 'cast as profane [deprived of his sacred character] out of the mountain of God' (cp CHERUB, 2; PARADISE, 3). SWi. hillel, 'to profane', occurs often.

3. f]m, haneph, Is. 9:16 [9:17], 10:6 RV ; fjjh, honeph, 'profaneness', Is. 32:16 RV. See HYPOCRITE.

4. /3^377\os, 1 Tim. 19, Heb. 12:16. 'The word describes a character which recognises nothing as higher than earth, for whom there is nothing sacred' (Westcott). Cp ESAU. It is also used of the tasteless (Gnostic?) oriental religious stories current in the post-Pauline age (1 Tim. 4:7 ; cp 6:20, 2 Tim. 2:16). The verb /3e/37;X6w [bebelooo] in Mt. 125, Acts 246.


(oMoAoriA)- 1 Tim. 6:12 - See CONFESSION, 4.


(D lTTlD D pnn 1 ?), Is. 47:13. See STARS, 5.


For laws relating to property see LAW AND JUSTICE, 15+.


See PROPHETIC LIT. 22+, and for 'the false prophet', Rev. 16:13, 19:20, 20:10. (yeyAonpo(})HTHc). cp ANTICHRIST, 4, col. 180.