Encyclopaedia Biblica/Sin (Wilderness of)-Socho

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(} D T3n), Ex. 16:1. etc. See GEOGRAPHY, 7, and WANDERINGS.


(TINGR), Lev. 4:3, etc. See SACRIFICE, 28+.


  • Two names (1).
  • Cosmological theory (2).
  • Bearing on Horeb-Sinai (3).
  • Babylon and Egypt (4).
  • Musri (5).
  • Minaeans and Sabaeans (6).
  • Magan and Meluha (7).
  • Amarna period (8).
  • Ma'in (9).
  • Hebrew traditions (10-11)
  • Oldest Arab, civilisation (12).
  • Moses story (13).
  • Mount variously placed (14-16).
  • Early sacred places (17).
  • Serbal and J. Musa (18).
  • Gal. 4:25 (19).
  • Various views (20).

Sinai is the usual name for the mountain where, according to one tradition, Yahwe had his seat and where, accordingly, Moses received the divine commands. Sinai is, therefore, the mountain of the giving of the law.

1. The two names.[edit]

Even the most superficial observation does not fail to note that the mountain where Yahwe dwells has also another name - Horeb. Criticism shows that the various sources can be sharply distinguished,

  • (a) Horeb is the name of the mountain where Yahwe has his seat in E (the principal passage is Ex. 3:1 ; next come 17:6, where it occurs in a passage of the nature of a gloss, and 33:6. In the last cited passage, however, the words 'from Mt. Horeb' 2 are out of place, having been introduced into the text from the margin; it properly belongs to the E section 33:7-11, and more particularly to v. 9: 'when Moses entered into the tent the pillar of cloud descended from Mount Horeb and stood at the door of the tent'). In this as elsewhere E is followed by D, and the mountain is called Horeb throughout in Dt. (1:6, 4:10 etc. ) except in the older non-deuteronomic song (33:2), the opening portion of which is a counterpart to the Song of Deborah (Judg. 5:3+, cp Ps. 68).
  • (b) On the other hand the mountain of Yahwe is called Sinai - generally Mt. Sinai ('a'i rn) in J (Ex. 19:11, 34:4) and P (Ex. 16:1, 24:16, 34:28, 34:32, Lev. 25:1, 26:46, 27:34). A 'wilderness of Sinai' (TO naiD) is spoken of only in P (Ex. 19:1-2, Lev. 7:38, Nu. 1:1, 1:19, 9:1). This is in agreement with the fact that Sinai came to be the more usual name, the later form of the tradition having as usual gained the upper hand.

We have no information from the older times regarding the Sinaitic Peninsula and the adjacent parts (see below), and it is, therefore, impossible to speak with any definiteness as to the relative frequency of the two names or their connotations. On the other hand, we are able to arrive at a quite clear perception of the idea that was connected with their use in the circle of legend and of the facts which caused the change of usage.

1 LXX's reading Sais (*a) for pa would furnish a good emendation, but is forbidden by the place being described as a fortress.

2 3Tin iria. There is nothing in the Hebrew corresponding to RV's 'onward'.

2. Cosmological theory expounded.[edit]

In the thought of the ancient East every land that can be looked upon as a geographical or political unity - and so also 'the promised land' - is regarded as a reflected image of the earth and of the cosmos (KAT (2) 176): the points which fix the limits of the earth as a whole must, therefore, reappear also in the lesser cosmos, the country, and once more, again, in the district. It is precisely by this that the land is shown to be a natural unity - i.e., a unity determined and ordained by God. According as a twofold or a fourfold division is adopted, the earth is denned by two or four points : E. and W. , or N. and S. , or else E. , S. , W. , and N. So also the year and the day are divided into two halves or four quarters in accordance with the corresponding points in the course of the sun. Any one of these two or four points can be taken as the beginning of the year or of the course of the sun ; the year can begin in spring as in Babylon, or in winter as with us (following Egyptian-Roman reckoning), in autumn as in the time before the rise of Babylon (end of the third millenium B.C.) in Hither Asia, and, therefore, with the Canaanites and the Israelites ; lastly, in summer. The beginning selected corresponds with the nature of the divinity who is principally worshipped. Because Marduk is the god of spring the year is held to begin with spring, and because in the W. the western (i.e., the autumn) god prevails, an autumn new year prevails in western lands, including Canaan, as long as there is independence.

In this connection between the year - i.e. , the course of the sun - and geographical conceptions we can already discern the essential character of all oriental religion and science, which is to regard all that is and all that happens as flowing from the activity of the deity. But the deity reveals himself primarily and before aught else in the heavenly bodies and their motions ; for the deities of Babylon and of all Hither Asia - as the OT itself abundantly shows - without exception bear an astral character. 1 The heavenly bodies which most plainly reflect the deity in its working, in other words the most conspicuous forms of the divine manifestation, or, in ordinary language, the gods principally worshipped are the moon, the sun, and the five planets. Their periods of revolution mark the divisions of time - month, year, and larger cycles - and compel attention by their importance for the course of natural life (Gen. 1:14, 8:22). In the Babylonian view of these seven great divinities the planet Venus is associated with the moon and the sun, so that the three together become rulers of the Zodiac (the shupuk shame - i.e., the highway of heaven, along which the seven travel). 'He (Bel) appointed Sin, Shamash, and Ishtar to rule in the Zodiac'. These three have each of them four quarter or two half phases ; for Venus, as an inner planet, shows the same phases as the moon, and the positions of the sun in the two or four seasons of the year are reckoned also as phases. The four remaining planets represent each one phase (one quarter) of the greater stars; thus Jupiter (Marduk) = the spring-sun, Mars (Ninib) = the summer sun, Mercury (Nabu) = the harvest sun, and Saturn (Nergal) = the winter sun.

To each of these four planets accordingly belongs one of the four points which regulate the sun's course and thus the universal order. When the division is by two, Mars and Saturn are eliminated ; the reckoning in that case is by the two solar phases from equinox to equinox (spring to autumn, or autumn to spring). The sun, moreover, is regarded as the god of the underworld, for the stars as they approach the sun become invisible, in other words, have their 'abode in the underworld'. Now, this 'underworld' aspect of the sun corresponds to Saturn (Nergal), the winter sun or the god of the underworld (Pluto). To the moon accordingly (since the full moon is in opposition to the sun) belongs the opposite pole of the universe and the opposite planet Mars (Ninib), which represents the summer sun. By a complete reversal of all our modern notions, the sun is the deity of winter or the underworld, the moon the deity of summer and the upper world.

Now when the sun takes up the position which properly belongs to it in the universe, that is, when it is a winter sun, it is at the most southerly point of its course in the zodiac ; and the corresponding full moon being in opposition is at the most northerly point. In other words, the sun is at the Saturn-sun point, the S. pole of the ecliptic, the moon at the Mars-moon point, the N. pole of the ecliptic.

The course of nature shows a similar cycle ; day is succeeded by night, summer by winter, and in the larger periods of time, the aeon, a similar procession is repeated. Everything that happens is divine ordering, the godhead is constantly manifesting itself anew in changed attitudes and changed activities. Thus Marduk becomes Nabu in autumn, and conversely. The same holds good of the N. and S. phase (summer and winter) of the sun or of the godhead in general; they pass each into its opposite. Further, the four (or two) quarters of the world present themselves in various aspects according to the character of the worship exercised at each given place, and according to the different methods of reckoning there employed. The Babylonian view, with the Marduk (or spring-) cult, takes as its point of orientation (Mohammedan kibla) the E. (= that which is before, cr7p), and thus for it the N. is to the left, the S. to the right, and the W. behind. To the older view, which faces westward, the N. is to the right and the S. to the left. Thus arises for a later time the possibility of an interchange of diametrically opposite points, according to the point of view assumed by each writer in his theory. Hence the phenomenon constantly observed in all forms of mythology, and therefore also of cosmology, that opposites pass into one another, that a given form bears also the marks of its antithesis.

1 For what follows cp Wi. AOF 3:185+, and in Der alte OHcrtt, 3, parts 2 and 3.

3. Bearing on Horeb and Sinai.[edit]

The selection of the two names, Horeb and Sinai, and their cosmological meaning thus become clear. As soon as scholars discovered the importance of the moon worship in ancient Babylonia, and the name of the moon-goddess Sin, the explanation of the name Sinai as Mountain of the Moon became natural. Proof, indeed, for this explanation of the word can be had only when the significance of this mountain in the cosmic scheme as a whole has been made out ; but this is accomplished precisely by means of the other name of the mountain of Yahwe - Horeb.

The earth - and so also on a smaller scale each land and each separate district - is imagined as a mountain with two summits, 1 the 'mountain of the countries' of the Babylonians and Assyrians (shad matate, ursag kurkurra). According to the orientation in each case (and as regulated by this the time at which the year was held to begin, and so forth) these two points are conceived of as E. and W. (equinoctial), or as N. and S. (solstitial). The E. (or N. ) point is that of the light half of the day or year, the W. (or S.) that of the dark half. For when the sun is in the E. the day (or the year) begins, when it is at the northern point of its path it is midday or midsummer, and so on. This is the thought which lies at the bottom of the religious observances on Ebal and Gerizim 2 (Dt. 11:29, 27:11+, Josh. 8:30+); Gerizim is the mount of blessing, Ebal that of cursing, that is, of the light and dark halves respectively, of good and evil omen (right and left are the lucky or unlucky sides according to the orientation) ; on each mountain stand six tribes, for each half of the year has six signs of the zodiac or six months. 1

When the two summits of the shad matate are the N. and S. points of the cosmos they belong respectively to the moon and to the sun. If Sinai takes its name from the moon-goddess Sin, Horeb is derived from the sun, for the name means Mountain of Glowing Heat (ain and 3~nn), the sun at the most northerly part of its course (our sign of cancer, summer-solstice) is the glowing sun. Thus Sinai and Horeb both express like cosmological conceptions.

1 Cp Hommel, Aufsatzeu. Abhandlungen, 344+ ; Winckler in MVG, 1901, 241, 283.

2 Both are brought into connection with the goddess worshipped at Shechem, who is identical with Tammuz - i.e., the god of the two halves of the year. Joseph and Joshua are the corresponding heroic figures: Wi. GI 2:75+, 2:96+. Joseph is mentioned principally in connection with Shechem, Joshua's life-work culminates in Shechem (Josh. 24). For Joshua the attainment of Shechem is what the arrival at Mt. Nebo was for Moses; Marduk (Moses) dies when the sun reaches the western point where the kingdom of Nabu (winter half of the year) begins.

4. Babylon and Egypt.[edit]

Making the moon point the most northerly of the ecliptic belongs to the old Babylonian order of ideas, according to which the moon stands at the head of the pantheon and the sun is regarded as god of the underworld. The opposite is also equally admissible, the moon being regarded as the star of the night and the sun as the power that quickens nature, as the star of the upper world, and as supreme deity. In this last interpretation, and, indeed, as the sole expression of the godhead, Akhenaten (Amen-hotep IV., see EGYPT, 56} sought to carry out a monotheistic worship of the sun. This would be of importance if it were held proven that it is Akhenaten that is intended by the Pharaoh of Joseph. 2 It would seem, in any case, as if a like view underlay the designation of Sinai (as of Horeb), for the mountain upon which Yahwe reveals himself lies on the S. of the promised land. If, now, Yahwe has his dwelling on the moon-mountain situated in the S., clearly the underlying cosmic orientation is the Egyptian one which regards the S. as being above (corresponding to the course of the Nile), whilst the Babylonians had the conception (corresponding also to the course of the Euphrates) according to which it is the N. that is above - the N. pole of the cosmos, as also of the ecliptic (this last the moon-point). For the highest godhead dwells above on the summit of the shad matate. To it, therefore, belongs the highest part of the ecliptic (the path of the sun) as of the sky ; the portion which lies to the N. of the zodiac and thus around the N. pole. The Egyptian view presupposes the opposite conception, and, therefore, looks for all these things in the S.

The assumption, accordingly, which should look for the seat of the highest godhead in the S. of the country, would rest more upon Egyptian conceptions, though at the same time for the present we must hold fast that the Egyptian doctrine and the Babylonian alike are daughters of a common view of the universe, and that their relation to this is somewhat the same as that of the political doctrine of two modern European civilised states to European culture and conception of the universe ; diverse in details, the views of the two are on the whole identical. It is in agreement with this that the rise of the nation of Israel is carried back by legend to Egypt ; and that the region where the nation found its god - i.e. , the expression of its political unification and its political-religious right to an independent existence as a people, in other words, to sovereignty - was still known to legend as Musri (see MIZRAIM, MOSES). Egypt and Musri alike are also in the Babylonian conception the land of the sun, representing as they do the S. so far as the earth is concerned ; but the S. of the sky is the celestial underworld where the sun has his place during winter, and thus in the Babylonian conception in the case of a revelation of the deity in Musri a reference to the Egyptian doctrine of the sun is presupposed.

1 The number twelve always symbolises the twelve signs of the zodiac.

2 The deduction would be that the doctrine of Yahwism consciously links itself on to this monotheism as its predecessor : see KAT (3) 211.

5. Musri.[edit]

Fresh light would certainly be shed on this side of the question should we ever come into possession of fuller information as to the state of civilisation and the religious and political conditions of the region in question (Musri) in early times. In the present state of our knowledge all that can be affirmed is that, the higher the antiquity we reach, the higher also the civilisation so far as the ancient orient is concerned. The Amarna period - that which comes under consideration in the present discussion - already seems to presuppose a retrogression so far as Palestine is concerned, and this would imply like conditions for the S. also. It is quite a mistake to picture to oneself the Sinaitic peninsula and the adjoining parts of Arabia as having then been under the same conditions as prevail to-day. We already know enough to justify us in affirming that these parts in ancient times were not wholly given up to nomads, and that the country possessed ordered institutions and seats of advanced civilisation. The Nabataean state about the time of the Christian era, and that of the Ghassanids at a later period had their earlier predecessors (see KAT (3) 136+). All of them were states in touch with the civilisation of their respective periods - pre-eminently with that of Egypt and Assyria-Babylonia - just as much as that Nabatoean kingdom with which we are in some measure acquainted through the monuments that have come down to our day and through the notices in classical authors. It is by no means impossible that we may yet come into possession of monumental evidence with regard to the region of ancient Musri dating from times which we at present ordinarily think of as completely without either history or civilisation. This, at least, is even already clear, that long before the period assumed for the sojourn of the Israelites oriental civilisation had been at work in these parts in a higher degree than was at a later date shown by Islam. 1

6. Minaeans and Sabaeans.[edit]

Above all, it has to be pointed out that we are in no position to decide definitely as to the state of civilisation of those regions during the times in question, as long as the countless records of S. Arabia, the inscriptions of the Minaeans and the Sabaeans, have not been made accessible and investigated. The commercial states of S. Arabia exercised political ascendency also in these regions at the time when they flourished ; they extended their civilising influence as far as to the havens of the Philistines and the gates of Damascus, 2 and even left behind them in those parts a civilisation that can be directly traced to them. 3 Very specially it is from the Mincean-Sabasan inscriptions that, after what the cunei form inscriptions and Egyptian documents have yielded or may yet yield, we may hope for glimpses alike into the political relations of the Sinaitic peninsula and adjacent regions, and still more into their civilisation - in other words into the spiritual development of the peoples and times by which the occurrences of the period of Israel's sojourn in Sinai were determined. It is chiefly on these inscriptions that we must depend for any know ledge as to the civilisation and manner of thinking - the 'genius' (geist, genie) - of the Semitic peoples in that quarter, where they received their purest development, and from which, in a certain sense, the tribes of Israel also took their origin (KAT (3) 8).

All that we as yet have come to know in the way of actual historical fact regarding the Sinaitic peninsula and adjacent regions, is still in the highest degree inadequate. The oldest monuments are the Egyptian inscriptions in Wady Maghara and those of Sarbut el-Khadem (EGYPT, 45). The Pharaohs designate the people whom they have subjugated there by the name of Mentu. The still extant mines show how it was that the much prized mafkat (malachite, or 'kupfergrun') was obtained. The oldest known Pharaohs exploited the country for this : Snefre (first king of the Fourth Dynasty), Chufu (Cheops, the builder of the Great Pyramid), various kings of the Fifth and the Sixth Dynasty, Usertesen II. and Amenemhe't of the twelfth ; the last whose name is recorded in any inscription is Rameses II.

1 Against the notion of Arabia and the Arabian spirit as being the sole basis of Semitism see Winckler, 'Arabisch-Semitisch-Orientalisch' in MVG, 1901, 4-5.

2 The 'Harra' inscriptions are in an alphabet which shows a prevailingly S. Arabian influence.

3 Cp the 'Libyan' inscriptions (ed. D. H. Muller, Epigraphische Denkmaler aus Arabien, 1889).

7. Magan and Meluha.[edit]

Babylonian references can be adduced only in a general way in so far as already in the earliest times we have evidence of a lively commerce between Babylonia and the whole of Arabia ; the information in our possession does not enable us to go into details. The Babylonian designation for Arabia is 'Magan and Meluha' and the two expressions are used distinctively, the one (Magan) to denote the eastern and southern part - that situated nearest to Babylonia, the other (Meluha) to denote the N. and W. The district of Sinai would thus form part of Meluha. It need hardly be said that in the many centuries of Babylonian-Assyrian history the relations with the two countries waxed and waned in importance with the fluctuations in political power and in the developments of trade; so also did the degree of knowledge regarding the regions of which we are speaking vary and the connotation of the names grow or shrink. Thus at certain times what was spoken of as Meluha will have been not much more than the northern fringe and the road to Egypt. The derivation of the name of the characteristic product of the Sinaitic peninsula - malachite - from Meluha seems obvious.

The ideas of antiquity as to the form of the earth are very far removed from the actual facts. Thus it is an essential element in the Babylonian conception that the whole of the southern part of the earth is regarded as a continuous territory stretching from utmost Nubia (Ethiopia) through South Arabia to India. The Red Sea and the Persian Gulf have nothing like their true importance assigned to them. Thus if 'Magan and Meluha' in the widest sense covers the whole of what lies to the S. we must include in Magan India and in Meluha Ethiopia (KAT (3) 137). This will explain how it is that Cush, the name of the upper valley of the Nile - thus the land to the S. of Musri = Egypt - designates also those lands which in Arabia are situated to the S. of Musri.

It is often possible, therefore, in cases where there are no special indications to guide us, for us to be in doubt as to what special regions ought to be understood by the names Magan, Meluha, Kush, Musri - precisely as we are when we hear 'America' or 'Africa' vaguely mentioned. It is thus beyond our power to determine with precision whence it was that Gudea prince of Lagash derived the material for his buildings which was brought (we are told) from 'Magan' and from 'Meluha'. We cannot be sure whether the usual opinion, which takes Sinai with its malachite to be meant by Meluha as the mountain of the samtu stone (II. R. 51a, b, 17), is correct, for we are not in a position to say what the samtu stone really is.

8. Amarna period.[edit]

The Amarna Letters seem to show that, essentially, the Egyptian sovereignty did not extend beyond the borders of southern Palestine. This is in agreement with the supposition that it was precisely in these times that the newly immigrating tribes of the Hebrews from North Arabia, to which also the Israelites belonged, pressed forward into the regions of civilisation. We may take it, accordingly, that this period was marked by a retrogres sion from the prosperity of a somewhat earlier time. It is impossible to tell with any certainty who were the 'Meluha-people' whom Rib-Addi, prince of Gebal, summoned to his aid along with the Egyptians ; it is, however, likely, in the known circumstances, that the Egyptian troops did not consist in the main of bands of Bedouins from Sinai and Midian ; more probably Nubians are intended.

9. Ma'in.[edit]

With the single exception of the inscription of Rameses II. in Wadi Maghara we have no information from these times relating to the regions at present under consideration; but this is precisely the period which covers the time of Israel's sojourn in Sinai. It is what usually and naturally happens ; of times during which great states have not dominated the border lands we hear nothing. So far as our present light carries us, however, it would seem that to this period also belongs the development of the power of the S. Arabian kingdom of Ma'in (Minaeans). For this kingdom was annihilated sometime in the eighth or seventh century B.C., and its beginnings must therefore be carried back at least as far as to the thirteenth century. 1 A period of weakness in the great civilised states has also always been favourable to the rise of petty states and to the development of separate kingdoms on the borders of the region of civilisation ; and a period of prosperity in the trading states of S. Arabia so far as we are able to trace their history also occurred precisely at such a time. We may venture, therefore, to hope some time or other to obtain some information regarding the regions of Sinai from the inscriptions of the Minaeans just as we are indebted to a Minaean inscription of about the ninth century for an illustration of the conditions prevailing on the S. Palestinian borders (Halevy, 535 = Glaser, 1155). 2 We must, accordingly, figure to ourselves the Minaean rule in those parts as having been after the manner of that of the Nabataeans. Just as these bore rule in the Sinaitic peninsula and left settle ments and inscriptions behind them, so we may be certain that the rule of the Minaeans had a determining influence on the civilisation and therefore also on the religion of those parts. As the Minaean rule in el-'Ula in N. Arabia has left its traces in numerous inscriptions, so we must suppose Minaean settlements to have existed all along the caravan routes to Palestine and to Egypt.

We must conceive of the relations between the regions of Sinai and S. Arabia in those days, then, somewhat after the analogy supplied by Islam ; they were not a mere El Dorado of Bedouin tribes who had remained stationary in some primitive phase of development and had remained wholly untouched by the civilisation of the orient and its knowledge (which is identical with its religion). Of course we are to believe that Bedouin tribes also did live there, and these were doubtless not genuine representatives of old oriental civilisation exactly as the peasant of to-day does not represent modern science and philosophy ; but they were just as far from remaining untouched by it as any section of a population can be from remaining altogether outside of the influences of an enveloping civilisation. And the higher the oldest civilisation, the more lasting must have been its effect upon all sections of the population. True, the Bedouin is never anything but a bad Moslem ; still he is one ; his religious and other conceptions are influenced by Islam, and if anywhere among the Bedouins of Arabia any intellectual or political movement, any impulse towards higher forms of development arises, it must in these days associate itself with Islam, just as in those days any similar movement was inevitably associated with the doctrines which then dominated the East and Arabia with it.

1 KAT (3) 141 O. Weber in MVG, 1901, 1.

2 See Winckler, 'Musri-Meluha-Ma'in' in MVG, 1808, 1; Hommel, Aufsatze u. Abhandl. 230+. (Hommel would give the inscription an earlier date).

10. Hebrew tradition.[edit]

Tradition itself brings this out very clearly in so far as it has not been artificially shaped with the design of representing tne nation of Israel as a purely religious community, but still proceeds upon the ordinary presuppositions as to the national conditions of national life ; the older tradition does so. To the sphere of Musri belongs the region of Midian and this last comes within the sphere of influence of the S. Arabian states. The Elohist 1 here also exhibits the original and natural view. He presupposes that Israel was heathen before Moses 2 and that Yahwe first revealed himself to Moses during his sojourn at Horeb before the Exodus (Ex. 3:9-14). In E JETHRO the father-in-law of Moses - whom, however, the author never calls priest of Midian 3 - still appears quite clearly in a role which con nects him with the worship of the god of the place - the Yahwe of Horeb (Ex. 18). When the Yahwist proceeds to make him priest of Midian he is giving true expression to the dependence of Mosaism on the civilisation prevailing there (writing of course from the standpoint of his own time - the eighth century - when Musri actually was a state ; see KAT (3)} although in turn he suppresses the old representation, made by the Elohist, of a connection between Yahwe and the older culture of these regions in favour of a more spiritualised doctrine thrown into stronger contrast with the ancient religions.

11. Value of traditions.[edit]

Every historical delineation, however, can only depict past conditions in terms of the conceptions of the historian's own time. Our oldest source can indeed conceive and set forth the subjects it deals with in the lively colours of its own age ; but the question as to the value of the historical contents of its narrative is to be carefully distinguished from that as to the correctness of its apprehension and representation of the milieu. The historical value of the accounts themselves is to be judged of solely by the antiquity of the date - i.e., by the possibility of a genuine historical tradition. The date at which the sources E and J were finally fixed in writing is to be sought somewhere in the eighth century ; how far these in turn rest on written authorities - the only ones possessing historical validity - we do not know ; but in no case can they be supposed to go so far back as to the days before the monarchy. An oral or popular tradition about earlier times possesses no direct historical value ; no people preserves definite recollections of its career going more than two or three generations back. What any Israelitic or Judahite source hands down to us from the tradition of its own people must always be judged therefore by reference to the possibility of historical - i.e., written - sources having been used (KAT (3) 204+). What does not rest upon these possesses no other value than that of the purely theoretical doctrine of an ancient writer upon a subject of which he knew nothing. And such theories are of course of less value, not more, than those of modern science.

A Judahite-Israelite historical tradition in the sense just indicated is excluded for the times of the sojourn in Sinai ; even were we to regard these as historical we could not carry the tradition back to the Sinaitic time. On the other hand, in the present case, as with the whole body of tradition relating to the patriarchal period (KAT (3) as above), we have always to apply the distinction drawn between 'nation' in the ethnological sense and the same word in its kulturgeschichtlich and therefore also its religious sense. In the view of antiquity and therefore of Judah there was no such distinction, and hitherto the tradition has always been followed. The nation is alone the bearer of religion, of truth, of civilisation, and thus of the right that alone is divine, and all tradition as all thought is valid for this people alone, alongside of which no others possess any right in any truth. In reality every nation, like every individual, belongs to the world around it in all its ideas and in the treasures of its material and spiritual possessions. The nation of Israel is therefore in an ethnological sense to be distinguished from that spiritual movement - or religion - of which it is represented by tradition as having been the bearer, but in which in its purity neither a complete nor an exclusive part can be claimed by the nation as an ethnological whole. The religious idea in its purity was grasped only by the spiritual leaders in Israel, and these, as we now know, and as indeed is in itself self-evident and in accordance with the nature of things, stood in spiritual connection with those of the great civilised nations. It is therefore possible that for the Sinai-period, as well as for the rest of the body of patriarchal legend, the historical tradition at bottom has a connection with older extraneous sources, a connection, the object of which is to set forth the relations between the religion of Yahwe in its principles and the religious and spiritual movements of the leading lands of civilisation : Abraham comes from Babylon ; Joseph goes to Egypt ; the revelation of religion, the close of the development, takes place in the region of a third civilisation, and is brought into clearly expressed connection therewith in the oldest tradition by means of the figure of Jethro.

1 According to the present writer's view the oldest source ; see KAT (3).

2 Stade, GVI 1:131; Gen. 35 ; Josh. 24.

3 Whether his name was Jethro in E, or whether he was not rather called Hobab the Kenite may be left an open question. On Hobab see Nu. 10:29, Judg. 1:16, 4:11. For our present inquiry it is indifferent which name belongs to E and which to J. The view which speaks of him as a Kenite appears to be the older and in that case would belong to E. This, however, would imply that Horeb was thought of as being not in the Sinaitic peninsula but much nearer the Israelite territory, in the region of the tribe of Kain (cp 15).

12. Oldest Arabian civilisation.[edit]

Thus for the special question as to how we are to picture to ourselves the life of the tribes ot Israel before the immigration we are again led back to investigation of the history of the oldest Arabian civilisation. Whether we may venture to hope for a satisfactory answer to this question, whether we shall ever find in that quarter the definite starting-point for those movements of a combined religious and political nature which are presupposed in the figure and the activity of a Moses, may perhaps seem doubtful when it is considered how far we still are even in the case of the Babylonians, notwithstanding the much greater fulness of the information we actually possess or may still hope for, from having reached any indication as to the historical facts of which perhaps tradition is taking account in what it hands down to us respecting Abraham and Jacob. Possibly we are somewhat better off in the case of Joseph (see JOSEPH).

Thus, for any conception as to the general lie of things, the conditions under which this great movement (to assume its historicity) may possibly have been brought about, we must be content to fall back upon historical parallels ; and these are very numerous. The first rise of Islam, and many of the religious political movements within Islam, enable us to form a conception of the manner in which also the national unification of Israel must have come about. The nation must have a god, and therefore also a worship ; in this manner only does it come to possess a claim to an independent existence as a political unity. The law according to which it lives and without which a nation cannot exist is in all oriental antiquity revealed by God and in every case rests upon (divinely imparted) knowledge. All knowledge and all law is thus of divine origin, - is religion. Hence political movements generally assume a prevailingly religious character, the secular demands being based upon divine right. So it was with Mohammed and many other prophets in Islam ; so also in our own Middle Ages down to the Reformation.

13. The Moses story.[edit]

The activity of Moses - or, if you will, the political developments which form the groundwork of the Moses legend - must be regarded as having been a movement of this sort. The Sinai-period would in that case represent in some sense the crowning of the work, the giving of the charter, in a word the political organisation of the movement. As such it is represented even in the legend, and there can be no doubt about the matter. For the theophany, etc. , see MOSES, 13.

The attempt at a historical criticism of the Exodus legend and its culminating point the legislation at Sinai, proceeds on the assumption that the Bedouin manner of life with its forms of organisation must supply also the key to any historical contents this episode may have as also to those of the whole legend of the early history of Israel. The 'Semitic peoples' are regarded as 'nomads' who develop their distinctive views and so also their religion from the midst of their primitive surroundings. The essence of their forms of organisation is held to find its clearest expression in the Arab Bedouin life as this is disclosed to us in Arabian poetry and in the tradition of Islam based upon this.

On this view the form of organisation that lies at the root of the Israelite national consciousness is the tribal. It is indisputable that this is the view presented also in the OT, and that Israel also in actual fact, exactly like other peoples of the East in a similar comparatively low stage of culture, is not unacquainted with this view and this form of organisation. This being so, the god who was to be the God of Israel, had of necessity to be the god of the leading tribe which laid hold on the hegemony, and thus made its tribal god into a national god in the same way as its chief or sheik raised himself to the position of king of the nation. Stade (GVI 1:131) supposes Kain to have been such a tribe, because the father-in-law of Moses (see above) the priest is brought into connection with Kain. Carrying this further, we should then have to suppose that the sanctuary of the god, and thus the tribal centre of worship, must be thought of as being at the place which the corresponding legend thinks of as Sinai (Wi. GI 1:29+)

This, however, would give only the one side of the legend, that which corresponds to the ethnological character of the entire conception, and looks upon the nation of Israel through the eyes of antiquity. All that follows from this is that in Judah-Israel, that is to say in the historical period or period of the monarchy, a tribe, royal house, and worship was in the ascendant which traced its home to the Sinai -region. The religious or kulturgeschichtlich side of the question will have to be kept quite separate. Whence did the worship, which is that of the nation of Israel in the kulturgeschichtlich sense, receive its real contents, its doctrine? Legend answers the question with the word revelation ; but if the matter is looked at from the historical and genetic point of view, it is necessary to assume a doctrine which had grown up on the soil of the ancient civilisations. For it is peoples of civilisation, not nomads and peasants, that develop new and higher ideas in the struggle with those of a lower and now no longer sufficient view of the world - Religion, i. e. , ethic and law.

14. Sinai-Horeb story variously placed.[edit]

The question which arises out of the possibility that Sinai or Horeb had been the centre of worship of a clan or tribe th had the predominance in Judah-Israel leads us to consideration of the position of this mountain. For even though we are able to prove that cosmological ideas nre here involved, many analogous phenomena show that the localities so viewed need not necessarily be pure figments of theory, that, on the contrary, a localisation of these theoretical ideas is the general rule. As is usually the case, however, so also in the present instance, a comparison of the different sources shows that relative objects of worship, or the earthly copies of heavenly places, are located by the various sources or traditions in very diverse situations. This holds good of the mountain upon which Yah we dwells, exactly as it holds good of any other seat of deity. Every nation, or every tribe, must necessarily point to it within its own domain ; but, as in every nation and state various strata of culture and population are represented, and in the course of time also various doctrines arise, so, in like manner, different localisations can be handed down in the various strata of the tradition. A classical example of this is presented by Mts. Ebal and Gerizim (see above, 3). The tradition (J) which places them beside Shechem has held its ground victoriously. In their cosmic meaning, however, as the two summits of the Mountain of the World, they can be shown to have been held in reverence also in other seats of worship, in the territory of other gods as well as at Shechem (Ephraim). So, for example, in the domain of worship of the once more extensive tribe (Winckler, GI 2) of Benjamin, in the region of Bethel. This is the meaning of the gloss in Dt. 11:30 (cp GERIZIM, 2): they are situated near the Gilgal, the political centre of Benjamin which stands in connection with the sanctuary of Bethel. Ebal and Gerizim are other names for Jachin and Boaz in so far as these stand for definite cosmological ideas (N. and S. , or E. and W. point) precisely as Sinai and Horeb do. Thus no difficulty ought to be felt if the mountain of Yahwe also is placed in various localities.

15. Pre-exilic.[edit]

The view which brings it into connection with the Kenite tribe and which we must regard as the oldest, doubtless has in mind not the Sinaitic peninsula, but the region to the S. of Judah, that is to say Edom. This still finds clear expression in the Song of Deborah (Judg. 5:4) : 'Yahwe, when thou goest forth from Se'ir and comest down from the mountain (rnc = Ass. shadu; see FIELD, 1) of Edom'; similarly also in Dt. 33:2 {1} (see PARAN, and cp We. Prol. (3) 359, and Di. ad loc. ). In like manner 1 K. 19:8 originally placed Horeb (thus belonging to E, the oldest source on which Dt. rests) in the region of Edom, that is, of Ken, for Elijah cannot have undertaken any remote desert journey when he is already at the point of fainting at the close of a single day. 2 The forty days were first introduced in order to establish a parallelism with the Moses-legend. 3 The words of the Song of Deborah (Judg. 5:5) indicate that even the tradition which used the name Sinai was influenced by the same view with regard to its situation. This would go to show that the Yahwistic tradition also - for Dt. follows E (cp. 1) - looked at matters in the same light. J and E, however, comprise the whole tradition which comes from the times of Judah's national existence. This would be in entire agreement with all that we have to presuppose for a period, the conceptions of which must have confined themselves within the limits of the actual and possible.

1 [Cp Dt. 33:16, where Renan, Wellhausen, and Steuernagel read 3 D JSP, 'he who dwells in Sinai'.]

2 Wi. GI 1:23 ; Smend, ATliche Rel.-gesch.(2) 35. [See also PROPHET, 7, 9. Kittel (HK, Kon. 150) still supposes the Horeb of the narrative to be in the Sinaitic peninsula ; so too von Gall, Altisroel. Kultstdtten, 15 (cp Ritter, Erdkunde, (2) 8:2, Abschn. i, p. 576). A somewhat keener criticism of the text, however, is adverse to this view (see Crit. Bib. on 1 K.19:8). T. K. C.]

3 Ex. 24:18 [P]. The forty days of absence in the wilderness (cp the temptation of Jesus). On the significance of the number see Wi. GI 2:83, 2:85 (cp NUMBER, 8).

16. Post-exilic.[edit]

The free play of fancy, as well as the enlargement of the claims of Judah to territory outside of its proper limits, could first come to their rights only after the nation had been torn away from its native soil, when Judah had come to be no longer a nation but only a religious community, the sphere of whose activity was limited only by the bounds of the civilisation of Hither Asia.

The writing which arose out of such ideas as these is what is now known as P ; we could, almost, therefore, have guessed beforehand that the transference of the cosmic idea of Sinai as the seat of Yahwe to the Sinaitic peninsula proceeds from this source or from the view upon which this source is based. It finally became the basis for a conception of Israel - of its proper significance and of its past - which could never have arisen in the times in which Judah had a national existence. All those alterations and trans positions of geographical ideas which extend Israel's power far beyond its historical frontiers 1 are post-exilic. With this it would agree that the list of stages, the precise itinerary of Israel s journey to Sinai and from Sinai to Canaan, is peculiar to P.

The localisation of the Mt. of God in the Sinai peninsula must thus at the earliest belong to a late - that is, post-exilic - date. Thus we cannot assign to it a historical value, nor can it prove anything for the know ledge of the older views of Israel, or of the religious and cosmographical conceptions of Judah before the exile. For the intellectual contents of the Judaism codified by P, however, the inquiry as to the site assumed for the mountain by P would be unimportant ; the essential thing to notice is that it has been transferred from regions which the national consciousness had regarded as adjoining (in the S. ) to regions more remote.

Yet in this case we must also leave it open as a possibility that the transposition was not made in a wholly arbitrary manner. The old orientals knew their world, and even the waste mountain massif of Sinai was not for them a mere land of fairy tales in which all things are possible. Just as little as the localisation of Ebal and Gerizim beside Shechem or beside the Gilgal (Bethel) was possible without some definite point of attachment in the adjacent cults, would it have been possible for the mountain of Yahwe to be transferred to the Sinaitic peninsula without a similar reference.

On this point, also, history fails us as well as the data of archaeology ; we possess no fact from the older time which would enable us to prove the existence of a centre of worship in the peninsula of Sinai. About this time, in all likelihood, Kedar (KAT (3)) ruled in the then Musri and Meluha as predecessors of the Nabataeans. In view of the likeness of all oriental worships in their fundamental thought, it is very easily possible that in pre-Christian times also the same spots which Judaism pointed to as its Sinai, and Christianity afterwards took over were already holy. What we can learn of the cults of those regions shows the same forms of worship and secret doctrine as Christianity has taken over from the ancient East.

1 The conception of Aram as Damascus, of eber ha-nahar as Syria, and so forth. See Wi. GI 2.

17. Early sacred places.[edit]

The worship of the morning-star (Lucifer i.e. , 'the Athtar of the southern Arabs) is to be supposed to have existed there from the earliest Minaean times and all subsequent conquerors successively took it over in its essential features. Athtar, however, is, alike in substance and in form, essentially identical with the Marduk of Babylon. Marduk is the spring sun and the morning sun, which is also represented by the kindred body which is the morning star, according as the sun is regarded - as in Babylon - as a masculine divinity, and the morning planet Ishtar as the feminine, or 'Athtar is regarded as masculine and the sun as feminine - as with the Arabs (see KAT (3)). The worship of the morning star is borne witness to by St. Nilus about 400 A. D. as being that of the Saracens of the Sinaitic peninsula, and the Nabataean Dushara merely gave to the primeval deity a Nabataean name. The mystic doctrines of his worship are exactly the same as those of the vernal god at all his seats and the same as were taken over by Christianity. Thus Isidore Characenus (see Hesychius, s.v. Aovcrap-njs [dousares]) knows him as 'Dionysus', that is, the son of the virgin Semele, who as summer and winter deity is the Tammuz of the Canaanites - i.e. , the Marduk (and Nebo) of the Babylonians, the Horus of the Egyptians (MVG , 1901, p. 278). This is not, as might perhaps be thought, a copying of Christian doctrine ; on the contrary, both alike spring from the same root, the primeval oriental one. So too, we hear in the regions of the Sinai peninsula down to the time of Mohammed, at Elusa ( = Halasa) of the worship of the alone God who is worshipped as dhu-'l-halasa and whose designation ultimately means, as indicated, the only God. 1 Here, also, the assumption of 'Christian influence' is merely a distortion of the question ; we are dealing with ancient oriental doctrines and seats of worship which, with new masters, changed only their names, not their forms or the fundamental thoughts underlying them. If, accordingly, that writing and body of doctrine of Judaism which sets forth monotheism in its strictest and most abstract presentation, namely P, removed the seat of Yahwe to the peninsula of Sinai, it may very well have connected it with actual seats of worship which in their worship set forth doctrines similar to those of Elusa.

18. Serbal and J. Musa.[edit]

Thus arises, finally, the question as to the value to be attached to the identification of the mountain in the Sinaitic peninsula for which the claim is made that it was the mountain of revelation. If what has already been said be accepted, the only possible question is as to an identification of the doctrine of late exilic Judaism with localities that had already, at an earlier date, been rendered sacred by a worship that was analogous so far as outward form was concerned.

By tradition two mountains have from the first been put forward, each as having been the mountain of revelation, and the question between them has continued under discussion down to the present day ; these are Mt. Serbal in the W. and Jebel Musa in the heart of the mountain massif of the peninsula.

If we are to attach any value to the tradition at all, then unquestionably Mt. Serbal has most to be said in its favour. The oldest witnesses, from Eusebius down to Cosmas Indopleustes, testify to it, and the numerous lauras or monastic settlements show that the first centuries of Christianity paid honour to the holy sites in Serbal and in Wady Firan near the episcopal town of Pheiran situated there (which is mentioned by Ptolemy in the second century). Jebel Musa was first declared to be a holy place by Justinian (527-565), who there founded a church in honour of St. Mary the Virgin. There is no earlier tradition in its favour. On the other hand, the reasons are transparently clear why, from henceforth, the dignity thus conferred upon the new site should remain with it.

The monastic settlements on Serbal were exposed to the attacks of the Saracens and were more than once devastated by them (so, for example, in 373 and again in 395 or 411, of which latter incident Ammonias and Nilus have given us accounts as eye-witnesses). Justinian supplied to his argument in favour of the sacred site the necessary support by erecting a fort also which gave the monks the protection they needed against the Bedouins, so that they gradually withdrew from Mt. Serbal to the safer neighbourhood of Jebel Musa. The true reason for the abandonment of Serbal and the transference of its associations elsewhere, however, is most likely to be sought in the fact that in the fifth century the monks of Pharan were threatened by the orthodox synods as Monothelete and Monophysite heretics. Justinian's measure was therefore dictated by policy and was simply a confirmation of the decisions of the councils.

1 See MVG, 1901, p. 278, on the meaning of dhu'l-halasa in the same sense as Mohammed's ahlas (Sur. 112). Elusa = Halasa according to Tuch (cp WRS, Rel. Sem. (2). On Halasa see Palmer, Desert of the Exodus, 423 [also BERED, NEGEB, 7, ZIKLAG],

Even if we choose to assume a connection of the post-exilic but pre-Justinian identification with the institutions of an older cultus, the sole witnesses that we have, the Nabataean, testify decidedly for Serbal. Many Sinaitic inscriptions, 1 which essentially contain merely the names of passing pilgrims and date from Nabatasan times onwards, are found in by far the greatest numbers in the Wady Mokatteb (Valley of Inscriptions) of the Serbal group ; the Mfisa group comes far behind it in this. The inscriptions cannot, however, be regarded as the idle scribblings of passing trade caravans ; without a doubt they are connected with the sanctity of the spot, and for the most part are the work of pilgrims.

If in these circumstances the question as to what mountain was thought of in later times is, in itself considered, one of little profit, we have the additional difficulty which stands in the way of the identification of the other sites which might be supposed to be made certain by the narrative of Exodus (Rephidim, etc.). It is doubtless true, indeed, that Judaism, like the ancient East in general, had a definite conception regarding the lands of which it spoke. If, accordingly, any one wanted to describe a definite route as that of the Exodus, he was quite able to do so. Hut the Exodus- legend, like all OT narratives, is full of mythological allusions, and in order to bring in these there is never any aversion to that arbitrariness which is so irreconcilable with our modern ideas of geographical fidelity. If Sinai was thought of as the earthly image of a definite cosmical idea then must also the legend - which also lay before P - indicate on the way to Sinai the corresponding phenomena of the heavenly path to the culminating point of the universe ; but it may well be questioned whether, when this was being done in a. representation so condensed and so excerpt-like as that of P, sufficient points of attachment would be given to render possible a comparison between the writer's representation and the actual geographical facts.

For the partisans of Jebel Musa there still remains the secondary question whether the actual Jebel Musa itself was the mountain of the giving of the law, or whether (so Robinson) this is not rather to be sought in the Ras es-Safsaf, NW of Jebel Musa.

From the point of view of historical criticism the Sinai question has, in common with so many other questions of biblical archaeology and geography, received but little attention. That the separate particulars regarding the occurrences and dates of the Sinai episode have but a limited attestation lies in the nature of the legends themselves, and in the form of their development. It is, however, upon an uncritical faith in these that all those researches and constructions rest, of which the most important are those of Lepsius (Reise von Thuben nach der Halbinsel des Sinai), and the works of travel by Burckhardt. Riippell, Fraas, Robinson, Palmer. The geographical details are presented clearly but uncritically in Ebers (Durck Gosen zui Sinai). As the Sinai-peninsula is pretty frequently visited by tourists, the handbooks also (see, e.g., Baed. Pal., (5) 1901) give the needful particulars as to the topography of the region. An attempt to apply the principles of geographical and historical possibility to the explanation of the biblical narratives was made by Greene, The Hebrew Migration from Egypt (2 ed. London, 1883). The stay in Egypt is, as usual, taken to be historical, and then it is conclusively shown that a 40-years stay in the desert and the march through the Sinaitic peninsula are impossible, that therefore an exodus from Egypt to Palestine cannot have been achieved otherwise than by the ordinary caravan-route (Greene proves his point ; only, the real historical impossibility lies rather in what he assumes : the stay in Egypt). Although he takes no account of variety of sources (cp section 10) Charles Beke (Discoveries of Sinai in Arabia and of Midian, London, 1878) is led so far by his sound sense on the right track in his attempts at identifica tion as to find Sinai in the territory of Midian. Only, here too, all the data of the legend are treated as available for geographi cal definition.

1 The Sinaitic inscriptions are discussed by M.A. Levy in ZDMG 14 (1860), 363-480, after the copies of Lepsius in Denkmaler aus Aegypten u. Athiopen, etc. Blatt 14-21 (Inscriptions of Wady Mokatteb). The inscriptions have been collected by Euting, Sinaitische Inschriften, Berlin 1891.

19. Gal. 4:25.[edit]

The allegorical interpretation of Sinai as Hagar by Paul in Gal. 4:25 rests doubtless upon the same astrological and cosmological identifications as does the double name of the mountain. For if there is also a play upon the name of Hagar, that in the writer's mind cannot be the Arab. hagar ('stone') - for this does not mean rock - but the Arab, hagr, 'midday', i.e., 'culmination point'. 1 Thus it becomes synonymous with Horeb. The culmination point - i.e. , the N. point of the ecliptic - corresponds, however, in the old cosmology to the N. point of the Universe (the N. pole), and this is represented upon earth by the terrestrial Jerusalem, of which the heavenly antitype is the heavenly Jerusalem (yvvffToix.fi 5t rjj vvv Itpoi traXri/j.).

H. W.

20. Various views.[edit]

[Von Gall (Altisr. Kullstatten, 15) regards the identification of Horeb and Sinai as a post-exilic confusion (see Mal. 3:22, Ps. 106:19). Origially they were distinct. Horeb lay in the Sinaitic peninsula, Sinai in Midian, on the W. coast of Arabia (cp We. Prol (3) 359 ; Moore, Judges, 140, 179; Stade, Entst. des Volkes Israel, 12). But see remarks above on 1 K. 19:8, and cp MOSES, 5. Not all critics, however, admit that the prevalent opinion is free from serious objections. Holzinger (KHC, Ex., p. 66) remarks that there are difficulties attending all attempts to locate the mountain of legislation. If we had only Judg. 5:4 before us, we should naturally seek for the mountain near Kadesh ; at any rate, 1 K. 19:8 does not favour a site in the Sinaitic peninsula. Captain A. E. Haynes, R.E. (of the Palmer Search Expedition) placed Mt. Sinai in the desert of Et-Tih, on the way from Egypt to Kadesh (PEFQ, 1896, p. 175+). Sayce (Crit. Mon. 263+) considers a site in the Sinaitic peninsula to be excluded by the presence of an Egyptian garrison in charge of the mines, and places Sinai in the eastern mountains of Seir. Cheyne (E. Bib., col. 3208) prefers some mountain-group near Kadesh on text-critical grounds, which favour the supposition that the Moses-clan was admitted to the jus connubii and to religious communion by a tribe of Misrites (not Midianites) or Kenites which dwelt near Kadesh. 2

As to the names 'Sinai' and 'Horeb' the most different theories have been offered. Gesenius ( Thes. 948a) suggests 'muddy' as opposed to ann 'dry'. The usual critical theory connects 3*0 with jo. 'Sin', the moon-god ; the plausibility of this is manifest (see section 3), even without referring to the fact that as late as the end of the sixth century A.D. moon-worship was practised by heathen Arabs in the Sinai peninsula ( Bathg. Beitr. 105; ZDMG 3:202+). The article ZIN, however, suggests another explanation ; both ps and po may be corruptions of ^Ni cs/" [YShMA'L = Ishmael] (parallel corruptions are frequent) ; consequently -ro maybe a corruption of ^NycsT- 3 This would correspond to ain, regarded as a corruption of VNCITV (see MOSES, 5) ; tradition knew no other name for the sacred mountain than Jerahmeelite, Ishmaelite. A more obvious explanation is 'drought' (from ^ mn [root HRB], 'to be dry'), or as Winckler explains, 'glowing (heat)'; see 3, end. Lagarde, however (Uebers. 85), connects with Aram, ???, 'to plough'. - T. K. c.]

H. W.

1 [On the reading of Gal. 4:25, and on the bearing of the text-critical problem on the question here discussed, see HAGAR, 3.]

2 The theory is that this is the view of things out of which the representation in our Hebrew text has arisen. It is based on a new criticism of the form of the Moses-narrative.

3 The alternative would be to connect Snycsr [ShMA'LY] with the name of the Babylonian Moon-god. The same connexion would then have to be supposed for the other members of the group of (probably) related names S NI^C - , V| K ne i , ^2iC , ^iNB (cp SAUL, SHOBAL, SHEMUEL). On the ground of numerous phenomena, not all of which are indicated in the present work, the writer hesitates to suppose this connection.


(Drp pS ; |- H rrepcooN [BXAQ]; terra australis ; Pesh. J^iSO), Is. 49:12-13. Formerly biblical geographers were inclined to see here a reference to China - the land of the Sinae or Thinae of the geographer Ptolemy (Ar. and Syr. sin). It was not supposed that the writer knew of Jewish exiles in China, but that he wished to express the idea that from the very farthest possible point the children of Zion should return. The theory, first suggested by Arias Montanus (16th cent.), has been both defended and opposed with much learning (see Strauss -Torney in Del. Jes. (2) 688+, cp (4) 488+: ; Che., Proph. Is. (3) 2:20+; Terrien de Lacouperie, {1} BOR [1886-7], 1:45, 1:l83+). but the philological and historical difficulties have decided recent critics against it (see Dillm.-Kittel, Duhm, Che. in SBOT, Marti). China became known too late, and we should expect D rs-. In accordance with his theory of the place of composition, Duhm thinks of the 'Phoenician Sinites' mentioned in Gen. 10:17 ; Klostermann, Cheyne (in SBOT), and Marti would read D Jip, and see a reference to SYENE [q.v.] - i.e. , Assouan on the Nile.

If however

  • (1) the view expressed elsewhere ( PROPHET, 43) is correct, and the Prophecy of Restoration relates to the return of the Jews from a N. Arabian captivity, and if
  • (2) the geographical horizon of Gen. 10 has been expanded, so that only a keen observer can discern its original limitation to the Negeb and Arabia, the problem of 'Sinim' is solved, and the remark of Skinner and Marti that it is a hopeless enigma is refuted.

Critically investigated, the ethnic names of Gen. 10:15-18a (which have been transformed by the redactor) are probably as follows:-

Kenaz(or Kain), Missur, Rehoboth, Ishmaelite, Arammite, Geshurite, Horite, Jerahmeelite, Sinite, Aradite (or Arpadite?), Misrite, Maacathite.

That the name 'Sin' was firmly rooted in the Negeb is shown by the occurrence of 'Sin' for a wilderness (Ex. 16:1) and of 'Sinai' (in Musri ; see MOSES, 14, SINAI, 4, 15) for a mountain. From this point of view, Duhm's theory was a step towards the true solution. Whether, however, Sin, Sini, Sinim are original, and connected with Sin the Babylonian moon-god, may be questioned. Analogy favours the view that Sin like Zin (|s) is a corruption of VKJ. CC (Ishmael) ; see SINAI, 20, and cp SHEM.

Filling up one obvious lacuna, the passage now becomes

Lo, these come from Jerahmeel (^KCrlTC)>
And lo, these from Zaphon, 2
And [lo, these] from Arabia (p 3lj, c)>
And these from the land of Sinim (or, Ishmael?).

T. K. C.


(T Dn i.e., the Sinite; AceNNAiON [AEL], ceiNAlOY [Jos. Ant. 1:6:2] ; SINAEUM), a Canaanite (Phoenician) tribe, Gen. 10:17 = 1 Ch. 1:15 (0111. B, ACENNei [L]). In Ass. inscr. (Siannu), as well as in OT, the name is grouped with Arka (ARKITE), and Simirra (ZEMARITE), in the former sometimes also with Usnu (e.g., KB 1:172, 2:27:26) which Fried. Del. (Par. 282) proposes to find in Kal'at el-Hosn NE. of Tripoli and W. of Homs. In spite of the different sibilant it is no doubt the same as the land of Shi-a-na-ai, 3 mentioned in the monolith of Shalmaneser II., immediately after Irkanat ( ARKITE, n. i), Arvad, and Usanat (cp Usnu) ; the king bears the characteristic name Adunuba'li (cp SjnnK CIS 1 no. 138, etc.). It is less certain whether Sin is to be found in the list of N. Syrian cities visited by Thotmes III. 4

Apart from such help as the above evidence yields, the site of 'Sin' is uncertain. The identification with Syn near the Nahr 'Arka (see GEOGRAPHY, 16 [2]) finds some support in the Targ. rendering 'Orthosia', the ruins of which town are probably situated a little to the S. of the Nahr Arka (see ORTHOSIA). This, however, seems too close to Arka, and it might be better to look further N. and find a trace of the name in the Nahr es-Sin (or Nahr-el-Melek) 1 about two hours N. from Baniyas on the road to el-Ladikiyeh (Laodicea) ; so Baed. (3) 411. But the Ass. siannu (=sianu) presupposes the form :>p [SYNY] (cp Fr. Del. l.c.), which is certainly older and presumably more correct than the MT yp [SYNY with dots] (with which LXX Vg. agree), and the difficulty of reconciling the two forms is a grave objection to the identifications hitherto proposed. The same applies also to the suggested connection with the fortress of Sinna (Strabo, 16:11:18 ; Di. ; BOB).

S. A. C.

1 This clever and much-regretted scholar thought of the tribes of the Shina on the slopes of the Hindu-cush. They are enumerated in the laws of Manu, in the Mahabharata, the great epos of India, in the Lalita vistara, in the Kamayana, the Puranas, and elsewhere, a body of evidence which goes back to the times before the Christian era. They are now, it is added, five in number, and still live in the same or nearly the same region.

2 Duhm and Marti (cp also SBOT) omit pEVC, as an interpolation from Ps. 107:3. This arises from their not rightly understanding prs ( see ZAPHON), and involves inserting a new stichus, pun nspO fl^KV See Crit. Bib,

3 So Craig, KB\ 172! 94 ; the older reading is Si-za-na-ai, cp KAT (2) 196.

4 Viz. : Sai-na-r-ka-y (207) and Sai-no-ra-g-n-na (211): the former may mean 'Sin the hinder' (cp Ass. 'arka, 'behind'); see WMM, As. u. Eur. 289.


i. | K C ; ; CHWN[BAF], ciu>N[L]; Dt. 4:48. See SIRION.

2. <n.iav [sioon], 1 Macc. 4:37, etc. See ZION.


(niOSb [Gi.], nige> [Ba.]), one of the places where David, when in Ziklag, had allies, 1 S. 30:28-30 (c&d>l [saphei] [B], but also, in a doublet [see v. 29] C&4>K [samek] ; C&cb&Mcoc [A], cecbeiMOoG [L]). The idea that the name may be connected with c7at? [SPM] (Nu. 34:10-11) is rejected by Wellhausen as impossible. But there is reason to think that the geographical references both of Nu. 34:2-12 and of 1 S. 30:27-31 have been misunderstood and consequently misrepresented by the editor ; originally both passages referred probably to the Negeb (cp RIBLAH).

In Nu. 34:11 Shepham and Riblah (i.e., probably Jerahmeel) are mentioned together. So too in 1 S. 30:29 (LXX{B}) o-a^eic [saphek], which corresponds with Siphmoth, is mentioned after Ket/ia0 [keimath] ( = Maacath, a region in the Negeb), and in v. 28 MT and LXX agree in combining Siphmoth (erou^ei) with Eshtemoa (ecrfleie [estheis] [v. 28], SfifjiaB [theimath] [v. 29]) and Racal (icap/iT)Aos [karelos]) - i.e., Jerahmeel. We also find a gentilic SHIPHMITE [q.v.], which certainly belongs to the far S. This view may require us to substitute 'Rehoboth' for 'Hebron' as David's first centre after leaving Ziklag, and to suppose Eshtemoa to be identical with SHEMA [q.v.]. It is at any rate plausible.

T. K. C.

1 This suggests that Sin has derived its name from the moon-god (Sin).


(" SO), a Rephaite slain by Sibbechai the Hushathite: i Ch. 204(c&d>OYT[B], ce4>d>l [A], CATT(}>I [L]). In 2 S. 21:18 he appears as Saph (rp ; cre<f> [B], <re0e [A]). The Pesh. in the superscription prefixed to Ps. 143 [144] has: 'To David, when he slew Asaph [Saph] brother of Gulyad [Goliath]' (cp LXX). In 2 S. 21:18 LXX{L} reads eVdra^e . . . roi S ^Triffvvijj/j^vovs rGiv diroyjvwv . . . which, as Klostermann has shown, presupposes the form spx (a name analogous to the further abbreviated ASAPH), and this may be near the correct reading, X ['] being easily dropped after the final ' [Y] of '^20- [SBChY]


1. Extent of Heb material.[edit]

The present article will deal with those portions of the Hebrew text of Ben-Sira that have been published since the completion of the article ECCLESIASTICS (March 1900). To the list of new fragments given there, we have up to this time (Jan. 1903) to add only 18:31-33, 19:12, 20:5-7, 20:13, 37:19, 37:22, 37:24, 37:26 published, with facsimile, translation, and annotations, by M. Gaster in JQR for July 1900. The material now published includes 3:5d-16:26, 18:31-33, 19:12, 20:5-7, 20:13, 25:8b, 25:13, 25:17-24, 26:1-2a, 30:11-33:3, 35:9-38:27, 39:15-51:30: about two-thirds of the whole book.

2. New fragments.[edit]

The new fragments agree in the main in character with those previously known, but also differ from them in some interesting particulars.

(a) Adler fragment. The passage published by Adler, 7:29-12:i (A {Adler} ), is written astichometrically, agreeing in this regard with MS A of Schechter and Taylor (A {Sch} ). The text is corrupt ; but in most cases it is possible to emend it with considerable probability. It has one kere (8:2) and one marginal note (10:13), and over several words (10:1, etc. ) are placed dots indicating the necessity of correction. 9:3-4, 10:2, 11:6-8 are provided with vowel-points and accents, and a few other words are pointed in whole or in part. 1 It thus appears that the passage has been revised by a scribe who, unfortunately, did not possess the material or the ability to correct the more serious errors of the text. Doublets occur in 8:1, 9:3, 10:30c, 10:30d-31, 11:25, 11:27a, 11:27b, 11:27c, 11:27d-28 ; in 8:1 the second clause is corrupt in the first couplet, correct in the second, and, as the first clause of the second couplet is nearly identical with the Syriac (S) - employing the word rtvp [PShH] in a Syriac non-Hebrew sense - the verse may have been revised in accordance with the Syriac, or it may offer a variant reading which was followed by S ; 10:30c, 10:30d is defective, v. 31 is complete and independent of LXX and S; 11:25 = S, v. 27a, 27b = LXX nearly (emend H r^y to rc-yc); 11:27c, 11:27d = S, v. 28 = LXX nearly (LXX renders jrnrm badly by 'children'). The agreement of the two couplets of a doublet with LXX and S respectively may suggest imitation of these versions by H, and in some cases doubtless there has been imitation. 2 On the other hand, in a number of couplets, as 7:33 (unless jn is error for jn) 8:6, 8:7b, 8:11, 8:14, 8:16, 9:4, 9:11, 9:15, 10:5, 10:7, 10:10, 10:17-18, 10:22, 11:28, in spite of the occurrence of a couple of Syriasms, it is clear that the text of H is not dependent on LXX or S. The obvious cases of dependence are rare, and the impression made by the passage as a whole is that it represents a genuine, though corrupt, Hebrew text.

That the MS has passed through the hands of an Aramaic-speaking scribe is shown by the occurrence of Syriasms : ne p (8:1), mtn (8:11), n:y apparently (:914), and probably i,TS fy Nii 3 (9:18, cp S nClS Sy 3D})- 3 There is no case of an Arabism in the present text ; but there is an indication that in the text from which our S was made the word pSn occurred in the sense of 'create': in 10:18 H reads: 'pride is not becoming' (niN}), for which LXX has 'pride was not created' (K-QJ), whilst the jSs; of S represents Heb. pSn ; it would seem, therefore, that in some Heb. MS or MSS pSn was employed in the sense of jro. 4 An example (8:1) of apparent translation from Syriac is given above, and a probable second example is found in 11:25c, which seems to be a corrupted doublet (rvnn f r TJ )- For quotations from this portion of Ben-Sira in Saadia and the Talmud, see below (3).

(b) Levi fragment. - The fragment 36:24-38:1 (C L ^ vi ), edited by Levi in REJ, Jan. -March 1900, with facsimile, translation, and annotations, offers a new recension of material already published (by Schechter and Taylor in their Ben-Sira, and G. Margoliouth in JQR, Oct. 1899). Unlike the latter it is written astichometrically ; this, however, is a difference to which no importance can be attached. It abounds in scribal errors, has harsh constructions (as in 37:1), and employs late Hebrew expressions (for example, pi, 37:2, in the sense of 'grief, misfortune'). 5 In general, however, it is superior to the text of MS B of Schechter and G. Margoliouth. It sometimes accounts for the errors of the versions ; for example, its tos ITU in 36:26 shows how the readings evfuii u and AA^^.^ V^? arose. In a couple of cases (37:26, 37:28) L agrees with H against lxx. The most interesting feature of this fragment is that in many cases its text is identical with the marginal readings of MS B, whence it appears that these readings are not the emendations of the scribe but are derived from another MS. This MS was not identical with C {Levi} since it sometimes differs from this latter ; but the two are derived from one earlier text. It is probable (as Levi points out) that the marginal readings in the rest of B (the Cowley-Neubauer fragment) come from the same or a similar source, and we thus have an indication of the existence of a third family of Ben-Sira manuscripts in addition to those represented by A and B.

1 Saadia remarks that the text of BS known to him was provided, like the biblical books, with vowel-points and accents. If the statement is to be taken literally it points to a MS written more carefully than those that have come down to us.

2 On the interpretation of doublets see the remarks of Xoldeke in ZATW , 1900, p. 1. D. S. Margoliouth in Exp. T, April 1902, calls attention to a doublet in Ben-Zev's translation of Ben-Sira (40:16), in which one couplet agrees with S, and the other with LX.

3 ~2-|j-| (9:4) is probably scribal miswriting for "DCD-

4 So Levi in JQR, Oct. 1900. Noldeke (ZATW, 1900, p. 1) and Houtsma (Th.T, 1900) hold that ps n = 'create' is a genuine Hebrew stem. The fundamental sense of the stem may be 'divide, cut up' (as Noideke suggests), whence, on the one hand, 'number, arrange, create', and, on the other hand, 'destroy'. These meanings are variously distributed in the Semitic languages ; but no North-Semitic dialect, as far as our documents go, employs the stem in the sense create this particular sense is found only in Arabic, in which it is the usual one. Still the possibility of this sense in Hebrew must be admitted. Cp Konig, Die Originalitat d. heb. Sirachtextes, 6:9-10, and Ryssel in St. Kr., 1901, p. 579.

5 pi here appears to be identical with Aram, jn 'anxiety' yOOj ; the writing pi may represent a local pronunciation, or may be a scribal error for p-|.

(c) Selections. - Still a different type of text is presented by three fragments containing selections from Ben-Sira : one, containing 4:23b, 4:30-31, 5:4-7, 5:9-13, 3:6, 3:19a, 20:17-19, 22-24, 26:1-2a and bits of 25:8, 25:13, 25:20-21 published, with annotations, by Schechter (in JQR, April 1900) ; a second, containing 6:18d, 6:19, 6:28, 6:35, 7:1, 7:4, 7:6, 7:17, 7:20-21, 7:23-25, published, with translation and annotations, by Levi (in REJ, Jan.-March 1900) ; and a third, containing 18:31 (one word) 18:32-33, 19:1-2, 20:5-7, 20:37 , 19:22, 19:24, 19:26, 20:13, published, with facsimile, translation, and annotations, by Gaster (in JQR, July 1900). Possibly a number of such selections existed ; this would be a natural result of the popularity of the book. Groups of couplets, taken from different parts of Ben-Sira, occur in the Talmud ; for example, in Sanhedrin, 100b . In such cases the object is to bring together the aphorisms relating to some one subject (women and the household in Sanh. 100b); these need not have been taken, and probably were not taken, from a book of extracts ; but they may have suggested the compilation of such books. In the fragments under consideration, whilst the couplets show a variety of subjects, a certain unity is observable ; in that of Schechter the chief points are the desirableness of moral firmness and the wickedness of women ; in that of Levi, the pursuit of wisdom and the cultivation of humility ; in that of Gaster, the characteristics of the wise man. For the sake of distinction these books of extracts may be designated by the letter E.

The Schechter fragment (E {Sch}, = his C) is in tolerably good form, having only two badly corrupted passages, 5:11 and 5:13 (5:1)a ( = 36:19a). It accords now with the Greek, now with the Syriac, differing in this regard sometimes in the same couplet. 1 Often it goes its own way, being sometimes (as in 5:12) of a curtness that suggests originality ; and its irregular oscillation between LXX and S indicates that it is not based on either of these versions. It is in general agreement with the Greek in several cases in which MS A{Sch} agrees with the Syriac.

The Levi fragment (E{Levi} , = his D) coincides in material with part of MS A {Sch}, and gives a better text than that of the latter. From 6:18 to 7:20 it is nearer to LXX than to S, and in the remaining couplets is nearer to S. It is carefully written ; there are two or three scribal miswritings of letters, and a word is omitted in 7:6 and probably also in 7:21. It contains no Syriasms or Arabisms, and has the tone of an independent text.

The Gaster fragment (E{Gaster}) resembles E{Sch} - in agreeing sometimes with LXX, sometimes with S. In several couplets (18:32-33, 19:1, 20:6) it serves to explain the errors of one or both of the versions ; clearly in some cases these last are free renderings of H. The Hebrew text is corrupt or defective in 19:26, 20:5, and has apparently one Syriasm (37:19, C2~3 for c:rr).

1 In 25:17 it agrees with LXX{XAVL}, in the expression 'like a bear', while LXX{B} and S read 'like sackcloth'; if op/cos [arkos] is Gk. corruption of craKicov [sakkon], H here follows a Greek text.

3. Genuineness of the Heb.[edit]

With the light got from the new fragments we may now speak more definitely than was possible two years ago of the conclusions to be drawn from the whole of the Ben-Sira Hebrew material. In the first place, we may consider the facts that make for the genuineness of the Hebrew text - that is to say, against the supposition that it is a translation from versions.

(a) Talmud. - The question of the quotations from Ben-Sira in the Talmud is complicated by the corruptions of the Talmud text as well as by the peculiar habits of the Talmudic doctors : their frequent disregard of literalness, and their fondness for grouping clauses or couplets from different parts of the book and adding or interweaving passages from the canonical books. Their citations are not necessarily authority for the wording of the original, but may testify to a form or forms current in the Talmudic period, and may help to establish the original text. 1

There are indications (though, for the reasons mentioned above, these are not clear) that the two Talmuds, the Jerusalem and the Babylonian, had, in some cases at least, different texts of Ben-Sira. Thus in 3:21 Talm. Jer. Hag. 77c, agrees with H in the first word (where Talm. Bab. and Saad. have a different word) and also in the last word, but in the rest of the couplet has a wholly different reading (perhaps based, on Job 11:8) 2 ; in the same passage Bab. Talm. Hag. 13a (and so Midr. Rab. , Gen. 8) has a doublet, in which the first couplet is identical with the form in LXX and S, whilst the second, although diverging from Jer. Talm., LXX, S, and H, agrees with H and Saad. in one peculiar expression (woo) ; in this doublet we may have an indication of at least two forms of the Ben-Sira text in the fifth century, one of which is here represented by LXX and S, and the other by H (there being also in this latter scribal variants) ; possibly, however, both couplets are original, and H has taken one, and LXX the other. In 7:17 the 'hope' of H is supported by Aboth 47 (against LXX and S fate ), but Abdth and the versions agree in reading 'humble thyself' instead of H 'humble pride'; in both cases the readings of the versions are the better. A noteworthy group of selections from Ecclus. 9 occurs in Talm. Bab. Sanh, 100b, Yebam. 63b, the order of lines being : 8a, 3b, 9a, 9b (in part), 8c (to which is added Prov. 7:26b); 8a = H (emended), LXX (S being different) ; 3b (where H has a doublet) agrees in part with one form of H, in part with the other ; in 9 the text of Bab. Talm. seems to be in disorder, or to be very free ; it has 'beside her' (nSsN) 3 instead of 'with a married woman' (LXX, S, and, by emendation, H n^ij3) and 'to mingle' instead of 'do not drink'; 8c is a slightly expanded form of emended H (=S). In 11:1b, 11:29a, 13:25, the Talmudic text is substantially the same as that of H and LXX, S. It is in general more correctly written than H, which is full of scribal blunders; yet the two are sufficiently alike to suggest that our H rests on a genuine Hebrew text. We cannot be surprised at scribal errors, doublets, omissions, and additions in a text of the tenth or the eleventh century when we find similar occurrences in the Talmud as well as in the versions. 4

1 On the quotations in the Talmud and Saadi.-v in addition to the authors mentioned above, col. 1172, n, 2, see Bacher (JQR, Jan. 1900), Edersheim (in Wace), Levi (Comm. and REJ and JQR) and Ryssel (in Kautzsch's Apokryphen and St. Kr., 1901-1902) ; cp Schechter in JQK 3 and 4.

2 Bacher suggests thar Jer. Talm. j-in is an erroneous completion of the abbreviation in, which should be read c"nn-

3 Rashi, nSv3 ^N- T h e text of Bab - Talm. should perhaps be emended after H and the versions. But in v. 9, where H has only 'strong drink' and LXX{BNAC} only 'wine' (S 'old wine'), Bab. Talm. has both terms, possibly accounting for the differences between H, P, and S.

4 On the Syriac of Ecclus. 9:8-9. see Levi, in JQR, Oct. 1900 p. 8-9

(b) Saadia. - The resemblance between Saadia and H is very close, the differences between the two being little more than variations of diction, and the advantage lying sometimes with one, sometimes with the other ; in 5:5-6. (H uri, Saad. uj?) and 6:6 (H ^j-a. Saad. rbi) the wording of H is the better, but in 6:6a the order of words in Saadia is the more correct ; on the other hand, in 6:7, 13:11 the Aramaic JVD: of H is probably to be emended into the naa and HMD of Saadia. He appears to have had a text that was substantially identical with ours; his citations may be considered to establish, as far as they go, a text of the tenth century, though of its history we know nothing. 1 Its special similarity to that of our Hebrew MSS may be a result of the proximity in time of the two. Saadia also quotes as from the 'Wisdom of Eleazar ben Irai' a passage that is found in our Ben-Sira (3:21-2), and the text quoted by him differs from that of our Hebrew in only a couple of unimportant forms (H niN^Si Saad. K^smi , H & nan, Saad. ic-to) ; 2 the natural conclusion is that the book of Eleazar ben Irai (if this name really belongs to a separate author and is not a corruption of 'Eleazar ben Sira') contained ex tracts from Ben-Sira or from some work based on Ben-Sira.

(c) Relation of H to LXX and S. It is a common remark that the Hebrew MSS of BS fall into two divisions : those that more resemble the Greek, and those that are nearer the Syriac ; to the former division belongs the B-group, to the latter the A-group. This classification holds in a general way, but may easily be pressed too far. Even in the earlier A and B material there are a number of passages that are adverse to such a classification, and many more appear in the new fragments. The division into these two classes has, however, been held to indicate that our Hebrew is a translation from the Greek or the Syriac. With the new material at our disposal it may be said that this supposition, as an explanation of the Hebrew as a. whole, seems to be definitely excluded. It appears to be set aside by the irregularity of the accordance of H with LXX or S, by its not infrequent divergence from and correction of both the versions, by its relation to the quotations in the Talmud and Saadia, and by its tone, which in many places is free and independent and is characterised by an aphoristic curtness that a translator would not be likely to attain. We must rather account for the general relation between H and the versions by supposing that H is the descendant of early texts, some of which were the basis of LXX, others the basis of S. The omissions in S call for fuller treatment than they have yet received. They may be due in part to the frequent fondness of this version for clearness and condensation, in part to the defectiveness of the i\IS from which it was made.

(d) Diction. - The testimony of the new fragments confirms the judgment of the language expressed under ECCLESIASTICUS. After allowance has been made for obvious scribal errors the diction of H does not differ materially from that of Koheleth. Aramaisms and New-Hebrew forms and expressions may well have been employed by Ben-Sira himself (such forms occur even in the Book of Proverbs), and, as regards the fragments, there was no time, from 200 B.C. to 1000 A. D., when Jewish scribes would not be likely to insert familiar Aramaic words the more that the text of Ben-Sira was not pro tected by canonical sanctity. The vocabulary of the fragments furnishes abundant material for lexicographical research. 3 The limits of the 'New-Hebrew' vocabulary are not sharply defined ; at present it is hardly possible to draw the line distinctly between 'Neohebraisms' and 'Syriasms', and there is a similar indistinctness (though a less clearly marked one) as to Arabisms. In respect of purity of style the fragments differ among themselves : C{Levi} is relatively free from faults ; parts of A and B are greatly disfigured. The blemishes testify mostly to the number of hands through which the MSS have passed, not to the work of a translator. The aphoristic curtness of style of the fragments has been referred to above.

1 The question whether the 'Sefer ha-Galuy' (in which the citations occur) is the work of Saadia is discussed by D. Margoliouth, Harkavy, and Bacher in JQR 12 (1899-1900). There seems to be no good reason to doubt its genuineness.

2 Here, as elsewhere, Saadia is nearer than H to the classic usage ; the scribes of H (except in C{Levi} and A{Adler}) are fond of the short rel. pron. jj> [Sh]. But this usage, though distinctive for a given MS, is not a mark of the date of a Ben-Sira text, since it is common in late OT writings and in the Talmud.

3 On this point cp the Comms. of Levi and Ryssel ; the articles of Noldeke and Houtsma (see above); Schwalry, Idioticon d. Christl.-pal. Aram. (1893); Fraenkel, in MGWJ, 1899; Jacob, in ZATW, 1902; art. ARAMAIC LANGUAGE, above; and various discussions in JQR and REJ.

4. Employment of Versions and Talmud.[edit]

On the other hand, whilst the fragments produce a general impression of originality, the text appears in some passages to have been translated rom or conformed to that of a Version or of the Talmud. Some instances of probable and apparent imitation of Versions are mentioned above ( ECCLESIASTICUS, 5), and others have been pointed out by critics ; most of the examples cited relate to the Syriac, a few only to the Greek. 1 These cases, which are relatively not numerous, do not prove a general translation or imitation, but exhibit the procedures of particular scribes in the passages in which they occur. The same remark is to be made of cases in which H appears to follow the Talmud ; 2 such imitations by late scribes are natural. The corruptions of the BS text began early and continued a long time ; there was little to restrain the fancies and the negligence of copyists. Taking into consideration the two sets of facts - the evidences of originality and the evidences of slavish imitation - the more reasonable conclusion seems to be that the text of the fragments is in general genuine, but full of corruptions.

1 On the acrostic, 51:13-30, see Taylor, in Schechter and Taylor's Wisdom of Ben Sira, p. 66+. Levi, in REJ, 1899, gives a number of cases of imitation. But 46:20 is not a case in point. H -p-| is not a translation of corrupt S, but a variant of earlier H rpNi which was a scribe's corruption of original H rrinx- If H had translated S (nmix), it would have written niN- See REJ 39:188.

2 A probable example is given by Professor Levi, in JQR, Oct. 1900, p. 15, and another by Professor Margoliouth, in Exp.T, April, 1902. Cp Bacher, in JQR, vol. 12 (1899-1900), p.

5. Classification of Heb. MSS.[edit]

It is hardly possible at present to make a helpful classification of the Heb. MSS of Ben-Sira ; for such a classification we need more Heb. material. An obvious and simple principle of division would be the rela tion of the fragments to the two main groups of Greek texts (LXX{Xa,c} etc - and LXX{B} etc) or to the two Greek and the Syriac. But, in addition to the fact that the relations of the versional texts to one another and to the original Hebrew are not clear, there is the difficulty that the fragments show a confusing variety of similarity and dissimilarity to the Versions and to one another. This is true of all the Heb. MSS so far published : in the same paragraph, and even in the same couplet, the text sometimes turns from one version to another, or, abandoning both, goes its own independent way. It is obvious that it has experienced a variety of fortunes, and that, whilst it sometimes corrects the Versions or is corrected by them, it in some cases goes baok to sources different from theirs. It can be, therefore, only a rough classification that is based on resemblances to the Versions. The direct testimony to the Hebrew text is contained in the Talmud (about 760 years after the composition of Ben-Sira's book) and Saadia (about 400 years after the Talmud). The Talmudic readings differ a good deal from our H, but Saadia is substantially identical with the latter ; the differences between the citations in the Talmud and those in Saadia may be taken to represent roughly the changes undergone by the Heb. text in the interval between the two. The text of the Talmud is in general accord with the unglossed Greek (LXX{B}), but is free from the scribal variations that crept into the latter ; it may, thus, represent a Hebrew text (perhaps as early as the and cent, of our era) which was in substantial accord with the Gk. text that underlay our two main Gk. recensions. This Heb. text was probably the basis of our fragments. We may suppose that the Heb. (handed clown through Jewish circles) and the Gk. (made 132 B.C., and transmitted by Alexandrian Jews and by Christians) did not differ materially from each other in the second century A.D. After that time they went their separate ways : the Gk. (under what circumstances we knosv not) fell into two divisions, with one of which the Syriac stood in some close relation;1 the Heb. was not similarly divided into families, but was roughly treated by scribes, who obscured its readings, and in a few cases copied or imitated the Versions, especially the Syr. 2 Our Hebrew fragments, after they have been freed, as far as possible, from scribal errors, must be classified accord ing to the degree of their purity or impurity, and according to their peculiarities of diction. 3 Such a classification, however, yields no very striking or important results - the differences between the fragments in correctness and style are not great. They must be examined and judged every one for itself. So far, they have not contributed much to the restitution of the original text in passages in which the Versions are obscure. They often confirm one or more of the Versions, and sometimes correct or explain words or lines ; but in general the text of Ben-Sira remains nearly as it was before the discovery of the fragments. These, however, apart from the emendation of the text, have called forth renewed study of the book, and have added to the vocabulary of the Hebrew language.

1 for some illustrations of the diversities of Gk. readings see N. Peters, 'Die sahidisch-koptische Uebersetz'. d. B. Ecclus. 57+. in Bibl Stud. 83 (1898).

2 The acrostic, 51:13-30, seems to be the only example of copying on a large scale ; the other cases, not numerous, affect only single words or expressions.

3 On palaeographic peculiarities see Schechter, in Schechter and Taylor's Ben Sira, and Gaster in JQR for July, 1900.

6. Literature.[edit]

In addition to the works on Ben-Sira given above (ECCLESIASTICUS) the following may be mentioned:- Raebiger, Ethice apocr. (1838); Daubanton, in Theol. Stud. 4 (1886); Houtsma, in Th. T 343 (1900); Ryssel s Comm. in St. Kr. (1900-02) (completion of his comm. on the Hebrew text) ; Grimme, Metres et strophes d. l. fragments heb. d. Manuscrit A. d. r Eccles. (Fr. trans.) (1901) ; Kartir, Die Scholien d. Greg. Abulf. Bar-Heb. z. Weisheitb. d. losuab. .SYra (180.2); and various short arts. \\\JQR, R KJ , ZATW , Rev. Bibl., Th. Rundschau.

C. H. T.


(irVpn 113, 'walled cistern' ? cp on "IHD, PRISON, 2 (9)), 2 S. 3:26, the name of the spot from which Abner was enticed back to Hebron, after he had concluded his interview with David (see ABNER], and had set out on his return journey northward. Josephus calls it J3ri[p](rr)pa [be[r]sera] - i.e. , mo IN 3 - and says that it was 20 stadia from Hebron (Ant. 7:1:5). Rosen has called attention (ZDMG 12:486) to a spring and reservoir, situated about a mile out of Hebron, a few steps to the W. of the old northern road, and now called 'Ain Sara. Grove (DB (2), s.v. 'Sirah') and Conder (Tentwork 286) agree that this may be the ancient 'well of (the) Sirah'; indeed, Conder goes so far as to say that 'this may be considered one of the few genuine sites in the neighbourhood of Hebron'. It is true, the original form of the name may have been rrvnp, Sehirah (i.e., 'enclosed'?), for LXX&{BA} gives (dtr& rov </>p<?aros [???? ton threatos]) TOV ffeeipa/jL [tou seiram], where fj. [m] may of course be disregarded (cp <T7;Xw/a [seloom] = Shiloh), LXX{L} . . . <f>p. creeipa [phr. seeira], Vg. a cisterna Sira ; Targ. NDTDI N21JS ; Aq. OTTO TOV \dnKov TTJS diroffTdffetjjs [apo ton lakkou tes apostaseoos] (m7en). It is more probable, however, that 'Hassirah' covers over some gentilic or ethnic, and if 'Hebron' is a corruption of 'Rehoboth', and David's first kingdom was really in the Negeb (as some recent articles in the present work assume), some gentilic or ethnic of the Negeb - such as nne Ki, Ashhur (cp D7n. Heres) - is to be expected.

T. K. C.


(pi! , linb ; CANICOP [sanioor] [BAFL] in Dt. ; O HrMTHMCNOC [o egapemenos] [BXARTU] - i.e., i-niT, in Ps.), a Sidonian or Phoenician designation of Hermon, Dt. 3:9, Ps. 29:6. It is also recognised by Pesh. in Dt. 4:48 I pX" for JK^J*) ; and in Jer. 18:14a, by Gratz and Cornill, according to whom, to show the unnaturalness of Israel's desertion of Yahwe, Jeremiah asks, 'Does the snow of Lebanon melt away (airn) from the rock of Sirion' (read p"i2> "nxs for ne c, 'from the rock of the field')? It is not clear, however, that 'Sirion' is the right form ; it is hardly confirmed by the Ass. sirara (KAT (2) 159, 184 ; cp Del. Par. 101, 103-104).

It is probable that 'Hermon' was also a designation of the mountains of Jerahmeel. Dt. 3:8+, in its original form, seems to have described the territoiy of Cusham, where OG (q.v.) reigned; similarly Dt. 4:48. 'Sirion' can now be explained. Like 'Hermon', it represents an ethnic - perhaps SKI:;" (Israel).

T. K. C.


RV SISMAI (n?pp, or V?pD [see Gi.]; COCOM&i [BA], cAC&Mei [L]). a jerahmeelite ; 1 Ch. 2:40-41

Baethgen (Beitr. 65) and Kittel on 1 Ch. l.c. call attention to the Ph. name "ODD [SSMY] in a bilingual where Gr. has <re<r/iao; [sesmaos]; and Baethgen, following Renan, accepts CDD [SSM] as divine name. But in spite of Kittel's implied suggestion (see SHALLUM, 3) it may well be questioned whether Sismai can be = COD 13i? [ABD SSM] 'servant of (the god) Sisam. Of all the other names in 1 Ch. 2:34-41 there is hardly one which cannot be at once with some confidence pronounced to be a clan-name. The names which follow Sismai are Shallum, Jekamiah, and Elishama, names which may plausibly be regarded as related to Ishmael and Jerahmeel. DID ar "d D DID have sometimes arisen by corruption out of C 13 and D C 13 ; it is possible that COO represents CC 3, 'one from Cusham' ( = the N. Arabian Cush). Cp jt- B (Sheshan ??), v. 34, the name of a Misrite slave, which may represent jtyj (Cushan); see, however, SHESHAN.

T. K. C.

1 This seems to be not original ; cp JABIN and see JUDGES, 7.

2 In Is. 6:1 the Tg. and LXX avoid the anthropomorphism of the figure by rendering , T i,T V7 ('the brilliancy of his glory') and Sofa [doxa] respectively.


(frOp^D, 51 ; on meaning, see below; ceic&p*. [B], CICAP& [AL] ; in Judg. 5:20, mA [iel] [A]).

1. The leader of the Canaanites opposed to Deborah and Barak (Judg. 4-5). The narrative, however, is inconsistent, and presents Sisera in a twofold aspect ; according to the poem (5) he is the greatest of the confederate Canaanite kings, whilst the prose account (4) represents him merely as the general 1 of Jabin king of Hazor, and as having his abode in Kadesh (so Marq., see HAROSHETH). See further DEBORAH and SHAMGAR. In the latter article the difficult name Sisera is considered ; it has probably not a Hittite but a N. Arabian origin. If the Nethinim are really (see Che. Amer. J. of Theol., July 1901, pp. 433+) Ethanites or N. Arabians, the explanation here offered will be confirmed (see, however, NETHINIM). See 2, below. The royal city of Sisera (or Jabin) is (ex hyp.) not the Hittite city Kadesh (see HAROSHETH) but the place known as Kadesh-barnea (Kadesh-jerahmeel).

2. The name of a family of (post-exilic) Nethinim : Ezra 2:53 (Bom. cricrapa[a.] [AL]) ; Neh. 7:55 (creicrapad [A], <re<m. [RK], om. L]); 1 Esd. 5:32 (crepap [BA], ASEKEK [AV], SERAR [RV]).


(CICINNHC). 'governor' of Syria (Coelesyria) and Phoenicia, 1 Esd. 6:7, 7:1. The name is also that of a faithful courtier of Darius, Arr. 1:25:3, 7:6:4 (iaii>r]s [sisines]). On its possible origin, see TATNAI (the corresponding name in Ezra, Neh.).


(TOpp), 1 Ch. 2:40-41 RV, AV SISAMAI.


See Music, 3 (3).


(njlptr ; e\epi& [ADL, om. E]), the name of one of the contested wells in the story of Isaac and Abimelech, Gen. 26:21. The name still lingers ; see REHOBOTH.


CnnV)- Ex. 6:22 RV, AV ZITHRI.


(fVD; Esth. 8:9; Bar. 1:8). See MONTH, 2.


1. shul ?/7& (Ex. 28: 3 RV [AV 'hem'], Is. 6:1 RVmg [EV 'train']). 2 The word, like the cognate shobel (^aw, Is. 17:2-3, RV 'train') is derived from a root meaning 'to hang down'. It is only the mantle that has a skirt or train, and in this lies the whole point of Is. 47:2 ; the tender and delicate maidens remove the veil and flowing robe to perform the work of slaves.

2. kanaph, H33, rather 'corner' or loose-flowing end. See FRINGES, and cp SACK.

3. peh, ns. See COLLAR, 2 (col. 858).

I. A.




(Gen. 37:36 AVmg, etc.). See EXECUTIONER, 1.


The word does not occur in EV. 'Slave' is found only twice in AV (Jer. 2:14, and here only in italics as an explanation of JV3 T 1 ?; ['home-born slave'] ; Rev. 18:13 for (Tia^aruiv [soomantoon]), and twice in RV (Dt. 21:14, 24:7, @2^V^, 'deal with as a slave [marg. chattel]'; AV 'make merchandise of'). The Heb. -\^y, 'ebed, is rendered 'servant' (1 K. 2:39 etc.).

1. Hebrew servants.[edit]

Among the Hebrews, as in the ancient world in general, there was no such thing as free labour in the modern sense; men-servants and maid-servants were the property of their masters in other words, were slaves. We must carefully dissociate this word, however, from certain ideas inseparably connected with it in the modern Christian world. In the Hebrew conception there was no such profound difference between the slave's relation to the head of the house, and that held by the other members of the family. Free-born wives and free-born children are legally all alike under the power of the master of the house. The father can sell his children as well as his slaves to another Israelite. The slaves are not regarded as beings of an inferior order, but are true members of the family, and, though destitute of civil rights, are nevertheless regarded as fellow-men, and, indeed, if of Israelite descent, are held in as high esteem as freemen who at the same time are foreigners. Considered in itself, therefore, there is no degradation attaching to slavery. This is sufficiently shown by the one notorious fact that a man would not infrequently sell himself into slavery, and voluntarily remain in that condition.

2. Slaves: their position, etc.[edit]

In the legal and actual standing of the slave the point whether he was an Israelite or not was exceedingly important. The bulk of the slaves in anclent Israel would seem to have belonged to the non-Israelite category. In the main they had become slaves - as all ancient law sanctioned - through the fortune of war. There existed, indeed, also in Israel the barbarous custom of the herem (see BAN). The war being regarded as a war of Yahwe, the entire booty was often devoted to Yahwe ; that is to say, every living thing was put to death, and every lifeless thing destroyed (see, e.g. , 1 S. 15). In the otherwise humane Dt. even, only the women and children of conquered towns are to be spared - i.e., made slaves. Desire of gain doubtless often interposed as a practical corrective of this cruel precept, and it is probable that, as a rule, the custom was to turn to account as slaves the men as well as the women (1 S. 15, 1 K. 20:39-30). Israelites also, we may be sure, had frequent opportunities, if so minded, for buying slaves in foreign markets. Their Phoenician neighbours, with whom they always had active commercial relations, were famous throughout antiquity as slave-dealers (cp Am. 1:6). The strangers within the gates must also, occasionally at least, have found themselves compelled to sell themselves or their children. And, lastly, the slave population was constantly augmented by the birth of children to slaves in the home of their master - the yelide bayith (n 3 n 1 ? ) of Gen. 14:14 children who, of course, were themselves also slaves.

3. Master and slave.[edit]

The master's right of property in his slaves of foreign origin was unlimited. He could sell them, or give them away to Israelites or non-Israelites as he chose. Yet these slaves, too, were by no means left absolutely defenceless to the caprice of their owner. The old consuetudinary law interposed energetically on their behalf. The master was not entitled to kill them ; the killing of a slave was a punishable offence - a provision which becomes all the more noticeable when it is remembered that in the case of children the father did possess a limited power of life and death (see LAW AND JUSTICE, 10, 14). With the Greeks and Romans this power was, as regards slaves, a matter of course. The master's right of punishment was, in Israel, further restricted, and the slave protected from serious maltreatment, by the rule that the slave became entitled to his freedom if his master in chastising him had done him some lasting bodily injury, such as the loss of an eye or of a tooth (Ex. 21:26-27). Even in such cases, indeed, the principle that the slave was the property of his master was not lost sight of. The law exempted the master from punishment if an interval of at least a day had elapsed between the maltreatment of the slave and his death. The presumption was that the death had not been intended, and it was held that the master had suffered penalty enough in the loss of his property, 'for he is his money' (Ex. 21:20 [21:21]). The killing or maiming of another man's slave was also regarded only as injury done to property, for which compensation was required. Thus, if a slave were gored by a vicious ox the owner of the ox had to pay a compensation of thirty shekels to the owner of the dead slave for his negligence in not looking after an ox known to be dangerous. (The sum mentioned clearly represents the average value of a good slave at the time of the enactment. ) The owner of the ox was not liable to any further penalty, however, though when a free man was killed in like circumstances the case was one of murder and the owner of the ox was punished with death (Ex. 21:28+). The runaway slave also enjoyed the protection of ancient custom. The prohibition of extradition indeed is not met with in express terms earlier than Dt. (23:15-16); but we may safely take it that ancient custom, at least, did not require extradition as a matter of course. The decision in each case, as it arose, lay in the discretion of the city to which the fugitive had betaken himself. Shimei, for example, must in person come and fetch his slaves who had fled to Gath (1 K. 23:9-10). Lastly, the slave was protected against over-driving by the institution of the Sabbath, which, in the view of the ancient law-giver, aimed specially at the benefit of slaves and the lower animals (Ex. 23:12, Dt. 5:12+).

The legal position of the foreign female slave was still better. She was often her master's concubine as is shown by the loan-word pilegesh (c jSs; Gr. 7ra\\a/a? [pallakis]), which the Hebrews doubtless got from the Phoenicians. Dt. (21:10+) gives precise regulations for the case of an Israelite owner who seeks thus to appropriate a female captive. He is not allowed to take her at once ; she must after coming into his house shave her head and pare her nails and bewail her father and mother for a full month, after which her master may espouse her. This regulation, also, we may safely assume to have rested on ancient custom.

It must further be remembered that to ancient feeling there was nothing degrading in the idea of the master of a female slave being lord also of her body, any more than there now is in modern Islam. As is shown elsewhere (see MARRIAGE, S i), the freewoman also became a wife by purchase, and there is no essential difference in the position of a secondary wife. The position of the concubine is superior to that of the ordinary slave in this, that her master is not at liberty to sell her again. As regards the foreign concubine indeed this is expressly laid down only in Deuteronomy : her master must free her if he desires to put her away. But this also certainly comes from ancient practice common to the Israelites with other Semitic peoples. Even now it is held among the Arabs to be a shameful thing for a master to sell a slave who has been his concubine, especially if she have borne children to him ; and this had the sanction of antiquity even in Mohammed's time (cp WRS, Kin. 73).

Slaves of Israelite descent were in the minority. Kidnapping of slaves within the tribes of Israel was severely prohibited both by law and by ancient usage (Ex. 21:16), though this did not prevent its occasional occurrence (Gen. 37:26+), in which case, however, it was prudent to send the victims abroad. There were, however, other ways in which Israelites could become the property of Israelites. The Hebrew parent was at liberty to sell his children into slavery, only not to a foreigner ; and doubtless there were many cases in which poor men availed themselves of this right (Ex. 21:7+). The insolvent debtor also was sold (2 K. 4:1, Am. 2:6, 8:6, Neh. 5:5, 5;8). So too the convicted thief, who was unable to make good his theft (Ex. 22:2-3); according to Josephus (Ant. 4:8:2) he was in this case given to the person he had robbed (cp a provision in the law of the twelve tables). Finally, in cases of great poverty, a last resort was for a man to declare himself and his family the property of some well-to-do person (Lev. 25:39, 25:47). What is related of the patriarch Jacob may also have frequently occurred ; a suitor who was unable to pay the mohar or purchase-money demanded for the bride would voluntarily hire himself as a slave for a fixed time to the father of the girl (Gen. 29:18 ; cp MARRIAGE, 1).

4. Manumission.[edit]

The position of such Israelite slaves was considerably better than that of those of foreign origin. The main difference, so far as the law was concerned lay in this, that the foreign slave remained a slave all his life, whilst the Hebrew slave had a legal right to manumission, and within a definite time had to be released for nothing. According to the Book of the Covenant the slavery of an Israelite lasted six years ; in the seventh year he again became free (Ex. 21:1+) The story of Jacob warrants the conjecture that in the original custom the Hebrew slave served for seven full years, and that later, under the influence of the Sabbatical idea, the beginning of the seventh year was taken as fixing the date of the release (cp Stade, GVI 1:378). By the seventh year of course is meant, not the Sabbatical year of a still later time, but a relative term reckoned from the date of the beginning of the bondage. If the slave had brought a wife along with him, she, and doubtless also their children, became free along with himself. If, however, he had entered into bondage alone and afterwards as a slave had received a wife from his master, she and also the children remained the property of the master (Ex. 21:7+). Manifestly, in the case of a wife being given to a slave, only a foreign woman could be intended ; for the Hebrew female slave the master had either to take to himself or give to his son (see below). A characteristic light on the whole position of the Hebrew slave is shed by another fact ; the law can presume that in many cases the slave will prefer not to use his legal right to his liberty, but will voluntarily elect to remain in bondage. The rule just mentioned, regulating the retention of wife and children, must frequently have produced such cases ; another cause will be mentioned later. If the slave desired to remain with his master in perpetuity, his master was to bring him before 'elohim' and there fix his ear with an awl to the door-post (Ex. 21:5-6; cp Dt. 15:16-17). Interpreters are not agreed as to whether by 'elohim' we are to understand the sanctuary, and that the declaration could only be duly made there. See col. 3224, note 2. Deuteronomy says nothing about the sanctuary, but doubtless assumes that the ceremony will be in the house of the master. This might be a result of the concentration of the cultus at Jerusalem ; but it might equally well be held to show that neither also did the ancient custom reflected in the Book of the Covenant prescribe a ceremony at the sanctuary, and that by 'elohim' are meant the household gods, 1 the Penates which in old times were found in every house (cp e.g. , 1 S. 19:13; see TERAPHIM). The ceremony can have had no other meaning than that the ear of the slave - that is, his obedience - is firmly nailed to this house and pledged to it for all time coming.

Elsewhere also boring the ears is met with as a sign of slavery ; e.g., among the Mesopotamians (Juv. 1:104), Arabs (Petr. Sat. 102), the Lydians (Xen. Anab, 3:1:31), and others (see Di. on Ex. 21:5-6).

1 [See Nowack, HA 177, and especially Eerdmans, TAh.T, 'De beteekenis van elohim in het Bondsboek', 28:272+ (1894).]

Deuteronomy advances a step (15:13-14), and requires of the master that he shall not send his slave assay empty but shall give him a liberal present from flock and threshing-floor and winepress. Here we catch sight of another motive which may have often induced the slave to remain in voluntary bondage : the emancipated slave, if quite destitute, was in worse case in a state of freedom than before - left to his own resources, exposed to every hardship and oppression. To the man who had no land of his own the position of a free working man, or any other favourable opportunity of earning a livelihood, was hardly attainable at all, or, if attainable, only to a very limited degree. Many a man might therefore prefer slavery with comfort to freedom with destitution. The precepts of Deuteronomy are not complied with. The legislator himself feels that he is leaving much to the discretion of masters, and therefore exhorts them all the more earnestly (v. 18) : 'It shall not seem hard to thee ; ... for Yahwe thy God shall bless thee [therefore] in all that thou doest'. What we read in Jer. 34:8+ is significant of much ; in the time of a great distress, when Jerusalem was under siege, Zedekiah ordered the inhabitants of the city to free their Israelite bondmen and bondwomen, :md so to fulfil the commandment that had been so neglected. But hardly had delis erance come and the siege been raised before the liberated slaves were again reduced to bondage.

5. Year of Jubilee.[edit]

P will not have any such thing as slavery for an Israelite. If an Israelite finds himself driven by poverty to sell himself into slavery, he is not in reality to be regarded as a slave, but as a free wage-earner or ger (Lev. 25:35, 25:39-40). For all Israelites together are the servants of Yahwe, who brought the nation up out of the land of Egypt ; they must not therefore treat one another as slaves (Lev. 25:42). In the matter of emancipation, indeed, the law had to yield to the force of custom ; but the emancipation of the Hebrew slave was no longer to occur in the seventh year of his slavery, but only in the year of jubilee, every fiftieth year. In this year (see JUBILEE) all land reverts to its original owner ; the liberated slave thus has the means of subsistence secured for himself and his family.

The attempt (Oehler, PRE (2) 14:341-342) to interpret this law as having in view only those slaves who, when the year of Jubilee came, had not yet been six years in bondage, and that thus the Jubilee release co-exists as an institution with that of the seven-years' release, finds no support in the text itself; neither can we (so Di.) interpret the law as relating only to those slaves who, previously, at the seventh year's release, had voluntarily remained in bondage, and who now in any case have to go free in the year of Jubilee ; had this been meant, it would have been said.

It is only in the case of his having been compelled to sell himself to a ger or foreigner in the land that the law offers the Israelite the possibility of an earlier release (in such a case he cannot reckon on the same brotherly treatment as with a brother Israelite). Here a redemption was possible, the right of which belonged not only to the nearest kinsman, the brother or uncle on the father s side, but also to the bondman himself if in the meanwhile he had come into possession of means. The price of redemption also was fixed by law, and in a sense very favourable to the slave or his redeemer. The purchase - money originally paid by his present owner was to be regarded as a sort of hire paid in advance for the years of service from the date of purchase till the next jubilee, 1 and above this a sum proportionate to the time which may have been spent up to the time of the Jubilee year was to be paid as redemption-money, so much for each year (Lev. 25:47+). Such a regulation clearly presupposes post-exilic conditions. Before the exile the case of an Israelite being compelled to sell himself to a foreigner was hardly conceivable. The foreigners in the land were few, and were themselves in a position more closely approaching that of the slave than that of the freeman (see LAW AND JUSTICE, 14b). Since the exile, however, a large non-Jewish population had settled in Judaea, and, to the great mortification of the Jews, had attained a position of wealth and prosperity in marked contrast with that of the poor returning exiles.

In so far as these laws are bound up with the idea of a year of jubilee they of course were never carried into practical effect any more than the year itself was ob served. But the idea underlying them nevertheless gained the upper hand ; the idea, namely, that for an Israelite to own his brother Israelite as a slave is irre concilable with the essential nature of the theocracy. The poor who had sunk to such a degree of poverty realised the ignominy of such a position as they had never done before ; essentially they knew themselves the equals of their rich brethren and the possessors of equal privileges. When in Nehemiah s day the severe stress of the times had compelled numbers of the poorer people to pledge themselves and their children to their richer brethren to save themselves from starvation, the situation was shocking to them, and they turned to Nehemiah. Nehemiah took their part, censured the nobles and wealthier classes for their impiety, and succeeded in inducing them to free their poor brethren from their mortgages (Neh. 5:1+). This fundamental principle - that no Jew can ever be a slave - was taken over by the later Talmudic law; even the thief, who had been sold for his crime, was not to be regarded as a slave (see Winter, op. cit. 10+). And when the manifold wars of Seleucids and Ptolemies again and again reduced multitudes of Jews to slavery under heathen masters, their redemption was regarded as a sacred duty and a meritorious service (1 Macc. 3:41, 2 Macc. 8:11).

The same legal principles apply substantially to the Israelite female slave ; but in the older period the release at the end of the seven years could not apply, the woman being her master's concubine. If an Israelite girl was sold by her father to a master - which of course happened only when he was unable to sell her to a husband - the purchaser was bound to treat her as his wife in respect of food and raiment and duty of marriage. If he failed in any of these respects, he had to set her at liberty for nothing. If the purchaser did not desire to marry her at all, he could give her to his son as concubine. If, however, he did not wish this either, then he could sell her only to a purchaser who wished her for a concubine, not to a foreigner ; but, holding this position, she could not become a freewoman in the seventh year. Not till we reach the time of D do we find the privilege of release in the seventh year claimed for her with the option of voluntarily remaining in slavery. It appears that in the time of D the ancient custom according to which the female slave had the position of concubine no longer prevailed. According to Talmudic decisions a wife can never be sold as a slave ; but the father had the right to sell his daughter as long as she was under marriageable age (cp Winter, op. cit.).

1 An indirect confirmation of what has already been said - that the law knows nothing of a release in the seventh year. Otherwise the reckoning would have to refer to the seventh year also, and not merely to the year of Jubilee.

6. Retrospect.[edit]

From what has been said it will be manifest that the lot of slaves, in its legal aspects, was not specially hard, and custom, even if in various respects often coming short of the law, in other important respects demanded more. From everything that we read about slaves we gather that they were treated as members of the family, and that the head cared for their well-being as for that of his own children. The whole manner of their relations with their masters shows that they were treated, not as dumb, driven creatures, but as men with minds of their own which they were free to express.

Saul is indebted to his slave for his information about Samuel the seer and his importance, and it is his slave who lends him the prophet's fee (1 S. 9:6+). It is a slave who advises Abigail to make peace with David - quite against the will of the master of the house - and she follows his advice (1 S. 20:14+.). Eliezer in the patriarchal legend figures as the comptroller of the household, and is invested with a sort of guardianship over Isaac, the son of the house (Gen. 24:1+). Compare also the relation of Ziba to Meribbaal, Jonathan's son (2 S. 9:1+, 16:1+). The slave could even marry the daughter of the house (1 Ch. 2:34-35), and, failing a son, become the heir (Gen. 15:2+).

In the last resort this favourable position of slaves arose from the fact that as members of the family they were admitted to the family worship. To the ancient view this came as a matter of course. The slave could not have his own worship, his own god ; as housemate he must necessarily participate in the worship of the master of the house. So Eliezer prays to 'the God of his master Abraham' (Gen. 24:12, etc.). The Priestly Code expressly demands the circumcision of slaves (Gen. 17:12). This, too, must have been in ancient times a matter of course. Otherwise the alien slave would have been a continual source of religious pollution for the whole house. This also is the tacit presupposition of Deuteronomy when in its humane concern for the slave it requires that he be allowed to participate in sacrifice and feast (12:18, 16:11). The non-Israelite, the uncircumcised person, could not possibly be admitted to a share in the sacrificial meal. The slave, being admitted to the family worship, becomes (in the earliest times when ancestor-worship comes in) capable of continuing this worship and thus of inheriting (see above). It is in this standing which the slave enjoys as a co-religionist and fellow-worshipper that the most powerful possible motive is found for his master to treat him with kindness and fatherly care, just as to-day, in Islam, slaves as fellow-believers are treated with all humaneness. The brotherhood in the faith in Islam now, as in Israel of old, is not, as unfortunately it has come to be in the Christian world, a mere empty phrase, but a very real force.

7. Bibliography.[edit]

See, besides the handbooks of Hebrew archaeology, Michaelis, Mos. Recht, 127-128; Saalschutz, Das mosaische Recht, 2:236-237; the articles on slavery in Winer, Schenkel, Riehm, Herzog-Plitt, Guthe ; the monographs by Mielziner (Die Verhaltnisseder Sklavenbei den alten Hebraern, 1859), Mandl (Das Sklavenrecht des AT, 1886), Grunfeld (Die Stellung der Sklavcn bei den fuden nach bibl. u. talmud. Quetlen, 1886), Winter (Die Stellung der Sklaven bei den Judcn in rechtlicher u. gesellschaftlicher Beziehung nach talm. Quellen, 1886).

I. H.


(DS), Gen. 37:3+, 2 S. 13:18 RVmg. See TUNIC, i.


(1On r Accb&ATOC [asphaltos] 1 ; in Ex. AccbAAro-TTICC& [asphaltopissa]). hemar, as distinguished from homer, 'mortar, clay', always denotes the raw material, RVmg correctly 'bitumen' (Gen. 11:3, 14:10 [where Var. Bib. suggests 'naphtha'], Ex. 2:3-4 [see PITCH]). On the philology of the two terms see Fraenkel, Aram. Fremdw. 161, and on the biblical passages cited, see BABEL [TOWER OF], SODOM AND GOMORRAH, and MOSKS, 3, respectively, and cp generally BABYLONIA, 15 ; BITUMEN ; CLAY ; DEAD SEA, 6 ; MORTER.

1 Derivation unknown. Possibly Semitic, though the suggested connection with the root found in the Heb. taphal, 'besmear', does not commend itself.


Two Hebrew words have been so rendered.

1. J77p, kela , <T<f>fi &6vr] [sphendone] [>Tpo|3dAos [petrobolos] in Job 41:20], funda ; 1 S. 17:40, 17:50, 26:29, 2 Ch. 20:14, Job 41:20, Zech. 9:15, Ecclus. 47:4.

2. ncs"l!2, margemah, cr^eycSdn) [sphendone], Prov. 26:8=9, AV and RVmg. (RV 'heap of stones' ; so Frankenberg). 'The least improbable translation is that of AV' (Toy, ad loc.); but the sense of 'sling' seems incapable of proof. Like rtOj"! i" Ps. 68:28 the word is probably corrupt.

3. o-Qei Soinj [sphendone], 1 Macc. 6:51 ('instruments for casting fire and stones, and pieces to cast darts and slings'). See SIEGE, 4.

[In 1 S. 14:14b, the text of which in MT is corrupt (as a reference to AV and RV will suggest), introduces a mention of 'pebbles', apparently meaning sling stones. The words are ei> /SoAiVi <cal [en bolisi kai] [fv Trerpo/SoAois Kal iv [en petrobolois kai en]] xoxAafii/ ^o\> TreSiov [kochlaxin tou pedion]. For ni(MD: LXX seems to have read rniS n 112J31, 'and with flints (of the plain)'. But this does not at all suit. We must look further. There are many parallels for this correction of riltP "IOS (RV 'in an acre of land'; cp ACRE), into 31(2rT, 'the garrison' (see v. 15). The scribe first wrote 3x0, and then, having omitted the article, wrote it again more correctly 3SD.T Out of 3i cn 3i O, by transposition and corruption, mtyios arose. 'Pebbles' (icoxAaf [kochlax]) also appears in 1 Macc. 10:73; slingers, it is implied, would rind a lack of sling-stones in the Philistian plain (cp FLINT). T. K. c.]

From its simplicity, it might have been inferred that the sling (ySp), an improvement upon the simple act of throwing stones, 1 was one of the earliest forms of weapon. It is not surprising, therefore, to find that it was employed in quite remote times by shepherds as a protection against wild animals, by agriculturists to drive away birds (Wilk. Anc. Eg. 1:381), and also by hunters (Dennis, Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria, 1:312 [1878]), and by the light-armed soldier in warfare (ibid. 1:210 ; for the Arabians cp Doughty, Ar. Des. 2:176). In Palestine the shepherd carried a sling, in addition to his staff, and a bag to hold his smooth stone bullets (1 S. 17:40); and the Benjamite warriors are supposed to have been renowned for their effective use of this weapon, employing it as well with the left hand as with the right (cp Judg. 20:16, 1 Ch. 122). In Judith 9:7 it is mentioned as one of the weapons in which the Assyrians trusted.

We possess illustrations of the sling from Egypt, from Assyria (Layard, Nineveh [1852], 332), and from Rome. The Egyptian slinger is in the act of throwing (Wilk. 1:210). The sling is made of a plaited thong, 2 the centre being broad enough to form a receptacle (]3, kaph, 1 S. 25:29) for the stone. 3 One end seems to be attached to the hand, the other being simply held ; the part of the sling in which the stone is lodged is loosely supported by the other hand. The sling is swung over the head (cp Ecclus. 47:4), apparently with some such motion as in bowling, the loose end flying into the air. The stones are carried in a bag which hangs from the shoulder. In the illustration from Rome the sling (funda) seems to be of the same kind (see Rich, Dict. under 'funda') ; but only one hand is employed, whilst the stones are held in a fold of the slinger's mantle by the other. 4 The slingers seem to have worn, as a rule, 5 no armour, and to have carried no other weapons (Erman, Anc. Eg. 524 ; cp Rich, under 'Funditores'). A. Lang (Homer and the Epic, 375-376) explains why there are so few references to the sling in Homer (see Il. 13:599, 13:716 ) by the remark that 'Homer scarcely ever speaks at all of the equipment of the light-armed crowd'; the sling 'was the weapon of the unarmed masses, as of David in Israel'.

The sling is still used in Syria, in Egypt, and in Arabia. You may still come upon young Syrian shepherds practising with their slings (see, e.g., Harper, In Scripture Lands, 140); Doughty speaks of Arab boys 'armed as it were against some savage beast with slings in their hands' (Ar. Des. 1:432), but Thomson (Land and Book [1894], 572) only saw it used at Hasbeiya, on Mount Hermon, by boys in 'mimic warfare'.

It was long in use among Europeans, too, even the simplest form of it (see above) surviving. Thus it was used by the Anglo-Saxons, though 'whether for warfare or the chase alone, it is not easy to determine' (Hewitt. Ancient Armour in Europe, 1:58-59, fig. on p. 59). Hewitt also gives later instances (1:156; see the interesting plates, 27:1, 27:2); it was used in battle as late as the sixteenth century (8:605).

M. A. C.

1 Still skilfully exercised by the Arabs (Doughty, Ar. Des. 2:238, 2:402), as it was amongst the N. American Indians (Schoolcraft, as quoted in Keller, Lake Dwellings [ET], 1:141 ; 'there is evidence to show that, as an amusement, it was "very common amongst the ancient races " '). The practice seems to have continued, even among the Romans, in addition to the other ; the accensi, as distinguished from the funditores, threw the stones with their hands (see Rich, Dict, under 'Funditores').

2 Slings were also made of 'twisted hair, sometimes human hair (Schliemann, Ilios. 437 [1880]).

3 Cp Keller, Lake Dwellings [ET], 1:141, 'broader in the middle, in order to keep the projectile as in a hood or cap'.

4 Like the bow, the sling gained its real importance after the Carthaginian wars, owing to the skill of the Balearic allies (F. Haeffer, The Life of the Greeks and Romans [ET], 574-575).

5 There were, no doubt, exceptions. Cp F. Haeffer, The Life of the Greeks and Romans [ET], 574-575


O3L"), Is. 19:10 AV, after Tg. Most moderns render, 'all those who work for hire (IDK-) will be grieved ( DJK, cp POOL, i) in soul'. So virtually RV.


i. t"hn ; see HANDICRAFTS, i ; cp CllAKASniM.

2. "I3DC, masger; 2 K. 24:1, 24:16, Jer. 24:1, 29:2, everywhere || chn (i. above).


(CMYPNA WH, 2M . Ti, Rev. 1:11; ev Lfvupfjf, Rev. 2:8). 1

1. History of old city.[edit]

Smyrna is a very ancient town ; its history falls into two distinct periods, associated with two distinct sites. Old Smyrna (TI iraXaia 2,/ui pca [e palaia smyrna], Strabo, 646 ; cp Paus. 7:5:1) stood at the NE. corner of the bay under Mt. Sipylos above the alluvial plain of the mod. Burnabat. It was said to have been built by the Amazons (Strabo, 550), in whom we may trace a tradition of the Hittite occupation of Lydia. To them also was ascribed the foundation of Ephesus, Cyme, and Myrina. 2

The Amazons were primarily the priestesses of that Asiatic nature-goddess whose worship the Hittites introduced into western Asia Minor (see EPHESUS, DIANA). Upon the arrival of the Greeks in Asia Minor the town was occupied by the northein section, who are called the Aeolians; but the Colophonians seized it by treachery, and thenceforth it ranked as an Ionic city (Herod. 1:150). Its position gave it the command of the trade of the valley of the Hermus which flows into its gulf, and made it the most powerful rival of the Lydian capital, Sardis, which lay on the middle Hermus, about 54 R. my. to the East. Hence a primary object of the policy of the Lydian dynasty of the Mermnadae was to make themselves masters of Smyrna and the other Greek towns on the coast (see LYDIA).

Smyrna successfully resisted the attack of Gyges (Paus. 4:21:5, 9:29:2), but succumbed to that of Alyattes (about 580 B.C. ; Herod. 1:16). Smyrna was destroyed, and its inhabitants dispersed in villages ; 'it was organised on the native Anatolian village system, not as a Greek ir6\is [polis]' (Rams. Hist. Geog. AM 6:2, n. ; cp Strabo, 646, AvS&v de Karacnra.cra,i>Tii)v rrfv /jLVpi>ai> irepi TerpaKoata ZTTJ SiereXecrfy oLKOv/j.evrj K<i)/J.r)d6v). The trade of Smyrna was taken over by Phocaea, which, like the other Greek towns, was absorbed in the Lydian empire ; when Phocasa in its turn was destroyed by the Persians, Ephesus became the chief commercial city in this region. Some of the extant early electrum or gold coins with the lion type, usually classed as issued by Sardis, may really be mementoes of the early commercial greatness of Smyrna (so Rams. op. cit. 62).

2. The new city.[edit]

Alexander the Great, warned, it is said, by a vision (Paus. 7:5:1), conceived the design of restoring Smyrna as a city. This design was actually carried into effect by his successors Antigonus and Lysimachus ; the earliest undoubtedly Smyrnraan coins are in fact tetradrachms of Lysimachus, bearing the turreted head of Cybele with whose worship Smyrna was always prominently associated. New Smyrna thus arose, nearly three hundred years after its destruction. The new site, about three miles (Strabo, 6:34, irtpl ef/cocrt crTadious [peri eikosi stradious]) S. of the old site, was on the shore of the gulf, at the foot of Mount Pagos, the last western member of that chain of hills which, under various names (Olympus, Tmolus), divides the valley of the Hermus from that of the Cayster. The natural beauty of the mountain-girt plain was remarked by the ancients. 3

1 S.fj.vpva.v [smyrnan] is read in the 'western' text for Mvppa [myrra] in Acts 27:5 in D. The more ancient form of the name, down to the end of Trajan, was i^vpva [zmyrna] or Ifivpni [imyrna]; later it was written in the familiar form 2/uv pi/a [smyrna] (Cfivpya [cmyrna]). See the coins, and cp Furneaux, note on Tac. Ann. 3:63.

2 The part of Ephesus which owed its foundation to the Amazons was called Samorna or Smyrna (Strabo, 6:33-34). And Myrina is evidently the same word, initial 2 [sigma] being lost, as in /xtKpot [mikros] for crjuixpos [omikros] (Sayce on Herod. 1:15).

3 Pliny, HN 5:31 'montes Asia; nobilissimi in hoc tractu fere explicant se'; Strabo, 6:46, Ka\\i<mri nil iratnor. /uepos /jieV TI e\ou(7a en- opc, K.T.A.

The architecture of the city was worthy of its setting. The streets were laid out in straight lines at right angles to one another, after the system of Hippodamus of Miletus, who had so laid out Thurii (443 B.C.) and the Piraeus for Pericles (for the ImToSdfj.eiO i rpoTros [hippodameios tropos] see Aristot. Pol. 4:11 (7:11) = 1330 6, :21-22). Extending from the temple of Cybele, the 'Golden Street' ran right across the city to the opposite temple of 'Zeus upon the Heights'. The only drawback was that, being unprovided with drains, the streets were sometimes flooded by storm-water (Strabo, 646). Many temples (those of Cybele, Zeus, the Nemeses, Apollo, Asklepios, and Aphrodite Stratonikis were the chief), a Stadium, an Odeum, a Public Library, an Homerium dedicated to Homer, a Theatre (one of the largest in Asia Minor), and several two-storied Stoai (Strabo, l.c. <noa.i re jneyaAai rerpayuivoi, eirtirfSoi re (cal uirepaioi) made Smyrna one of the most magnificent cities of the East. Few remains of this ancient splendour survive.

Smyrna also possessed a good harbour, which could be closed (Strabo, l.c. Ai/ur)i> (cAeiirTos [limen kleistos]). Apart from the prosperity arising from the fact that the bulk of the trade of the Hermus valley passed through its port, the territory of Smyrna was very fertile and produced much wine.

The people of New Smyrna were gifted with political sagacity which stood them in good stead in dealing with the Seleucidce and afterwards with the Romans. The decree is still extant (243 B.C.) in which mention is made of the temple of Aphrodite Stratonikis, which was (by a sort of false etymology or play upon words) associated with the honour paid by the Smyrnceans to Stratonice, wife of Antiochus I. (see CIG 3137 = Hicks, Manual, no. 176). In return, Seleucus II. declared both the temple and the city to have rights of asylum. By this pronouncement the city was removed from his jurisdiction and probably exempted from the necessity of providing troops or of receiving his garrisons (see Holm, Gk. Hist., ET, 4449). During the war with Antiochus the Great the Smyrnasans embraced the Roman cause and were, upon its conclusion, granted the privileges of a civitas (sine foedere) libera et immunis for their loyalty (cp Polyb. 21:48 and CIG 3202, 3204-3205). When the Romans finally occupied Asia, Smyrna became the centre of a conventus juridicus which embraced the region from Myriua to Teos and the skirts of Mount Sipylos as far as Magnesia (Pliny, HN 5:31, Cic. Pro Flacc. 29). In the war with Mithridates it retained its loyal attitude (cp Tac. Ann. 4:56). The sole exception to the course of prosperity arose when Trebonius, one of Caesar's murderers, took refuge within its walls and was besieged by Dolabella, who finally captured the city and put Trebonius to death (Strabo, 6:46 ; Dio Cass. 47:20, Cic. Phil. 11:2).

According to Tacitus (Ann. 4;56), the Smyrnaeans had, as early as the consulship of Marcus Porcius Cato (195 B.C.), erected a temple dedicated to Roma. On the ground of their constant loyalty, and this display of it, they made claim before Tiberius in 26 A.u. to the privilege of erecting a temple to the emperor. Out of the list of the contending Asiatic cities Sardis and Smyrna were preferred, and Smyrna won the day (see NEOCOROS). There is extant a Smyrnaean coin bearing on the obverse a figure of Tiberius in the centre of a temple, with the inscription Se/3acn-6y TijStpios [sebastos tiberios] (Eckh. 2547).

It is not surprising to find, therefore, that, Asia Minor being under the Empire 'the paradise of municipal vanity' (Mommsen, RG 5:302), Smyrna vied with its neighbours in the accumulation and assertion of empty tides. Like Sardis, Pergamos, and other cities (see Momms.-Marq. Rom. Staatsverw. 1:343), she held the title of metropolis.

Her great rival in this respect was Ephesus, who enjoyed the high-sounding titles wptarr\ Tta&tuv KCU fj-tyia-n] [proote pasoon kai megiste], and /LtrjrpOTroAis TTJS Ao-io* [metropolis tes asias]. What exactly the possession of the title wpuirr) [proote] implied that the mutual strife for this 'primacy' (wpiuTfia [prooteia]) should have been so keen (cp Aristides, Or. 1:771, Dind. ; Dio Chrys. Or. 2:148 R.) is not certainly known ; but probably it was connected with the question of precedence at the games of the icou bi/ Atrias [koinon asias] (see ASIARCH). The strife between Smyrna and Ephesus continued until the emperor Antoninus settled the dispute (Philostr. Op., ed. Kayser, p. 23124, ical dn-rjAflej/ r; 2/x.uppa TOL Trptureta VIKUXTO [kai apelthen e smyrna ta prooteia nikoosa]).

The coinage of Smyrna richly illustrates the above points. From the time of its ruin by Alyattes to that of its restoration, there was of course no issue of coins. The usual silver coins of Roman Asia, the Cistophori, in the case of Smyrna bear the legend ZMYP, with the head of Cybele as a symbol. The imperial coins bear the honorary titles NeuKopur [neookoroon]; irpwriav Ao-ias [prootoon asias], or wptarwv Awia? y VftaKOpuiv TU>I> mftaa T^i KciAAei KO.L fj.e-ye9ei [prootoon asias g [sic] neookoroon toon sebastoon kallei kai megethei] (the third Neocorate here asserted begins towards the end of Sept. Severus). Certain coins bearing a figure of Homer seated were called OfXTjpeia [homeria] (Strabo, 646), and perhaps reproduced some statue in the Homerium, In addition to the worship of the Sipylene Mother (Cybele) to which the epithet 2i7rvAr)> >) [sipylene] on certain coins refers, the cult of the Nemeses was largely practised in Smyrna, and on some coins are seen figures of two Nemeses appearing in a vision to Alexander and charging him to restore the city (Paus. 7:5:1-2). The Griffin, a frequent Smyrnaean type, symbolises this worship, just as the Lion symbolises that of Cybele.

3 NT references.[edit]

Points of contact between the above and the address in Rev. 2:8-9 are not very obvious, though not entirely wanting. Probably many phrases would fall upon the ears of those for whom the message was intended, with a force which is now quite lost. Especially may this have been the case at Smyrna, where much importance was attached to a method of divination from chance phrases (Paus. 9:117, 'divination by means of voices ... is, to my knowledge, more employed by the people of Smyrna than by any other such people'). Outside the walls there was a 'sanctuary of voices'. It has been suggested, therefore, that the words with which the message opens would come with peculiar force to those who perhaps had heard similar phrases in the pagan mysteries. Similarly, the phrase 'crown of life' (v. 10, rbv ffre^avov TTJS farjs [ton stephanon tes zooes]) must inevitably have suggested or have been suggested by a prominent feature of life at Smyrna - the public Games (cp Paus. 6:14:3-4 for a striking incident occurring at one of the celebrations held at Smyrna, in 68 A. D. ). It was on such an occasion that the Asiarch Philippus was forced by popular clamour to doom the aged Polycarp to death (155 A. u. ). The Games were characteristic of pagan life, and socially, though not politically, they would serve as an effective touchstone of sentiment. The fact that on the occasion of Polycarp's martyrdom the Jews also took part in accusing him of enmity to the state religion, is strikingly in accord with the words of Rev. 2:9, where the Jews of Smyrna are called a 'synagogue of Satan'. 'He that overcometh' must also be used with reference to the gymnastic and other contests familiar to the Smyrnaeans. It would, however, probably be a mistake to confine the suggestiveness of the phraseology too narrowly.

The 'crown of life', for example, may also have associations connected with the complimentary crown bestowed upon municipal and other officials for good service. It is also noteworthy that many Smyrnaean coins show a wreath or crown within which is the Lion symbol, or a magistrate's name or monogram (see illustration in Head, Hist. Numm. 509). This emblem also might enter into the complex associations of the words, which it is the task of historical imagination to revivify.

Smyrna, now Ismir, is the commercial capital of Turkey. Plan, with very full account of ancient remains and modern town, in Murray's Handbook of Asia Minor, 70-71. For the older Smyrna, see Curtius, Beitr. z. Gesck. und Topographie Kleinasiens, Berl. 1872.

W. J. W.


occurs twice in the OT as the translation of two terms.

i. BCil, homet (Lev. 11:30), where, however, some kind of LIZARD (q.v.) is meant (RV 'sand-lizard').

2. WfSUp, shabbelul ( Ps. 58:8 [58:9]), a word of uncertain etymology, which is found in the Targ. under the form 7^3 fl. The rendering 'snail' is probable and is supported by the Talm. Shabbath, 77b, where Rashi, in his commentary, explains it by limace. Ewald, with less probability, follows LXX and Vg. (/oj/ws [keros], cera) and renders 'melted wax'. Some land snail is probably referred to, and the allusion to its melting away may have reference to the trail of slime which the mollusc leaves behind it as it crawls, or may refer to the retirement of these animals into cracks and crevices, where they are no more seen, at the approach of the dry season. The land and freshwater mollusca of Syria are fairly numerous and varied, and it is interesting to note that the Dead Sea contains no molluscs, whilst the sea of Tiberias has a rich molluscan fauna. Bliss (A Mound of Many Cities, 110) found a quantity of snail shells; 'snails had doubtless been used for food'. [A strong protest is raised against the prevalent view of the text of this passage by Cheyne, Ps. (2)]

A. E. S. - S. A. C.


For tTpiD, mokesh ; HE), pah ; ^OPI. hebhel ; also fipo\o<; [broches] ( = mokesh) and nayif [pagis] ( = mokes and pah), see FOWL, 9. For iTTSS, metsodah, see NET, 4, and for 11331?, tsebakah (Job 18:8 AV), see NET, 5. For nnp. pahath (Lam. 3:47 AV), cp PIT, 7.


(Xfl?, sheleg; Bib. -Aram. 37PI, telag; Ass. shalgu ; xi CON [chion]).

Like rain and hail, the snow was traditionally supposed to be kept in store-chambers in the sky (Job 38:22). It is at God s command that it falls (Job 37:6, Ecclus. 43:13) ; it is he who 'plucks out snow like wool' (Ps. 147:16, read prtjn). Its sure effect in fertilising the ground supplies a figure for the certainty of prophecy (Is. 55:10-11) ; its brilliant whiteness, for the clear complexion of those exempt from agricultural toil (Lam. 4:7), for a conscience free from the sense of guilt (Ps. 51:7 [51:9], Is. 1:18), for the appearance of lepers (Ex. 4:6, Nu. 12:10 2 K. 5:27), for the shining raiment (Dan. 7:9) and hair (Rev. 114) of a heavenly or divine being. No less than five references to snow occur in the Book of Job. In describing the treachery of his friends, Job refers to the ice and snow which help to swell the streams from the mountains in spring 1 (Job 6:16) ; and twice again he refers to the snow water (9:30, 24:19 [not in LXX]).

The phrase 'it snowed on Zalmon' (so Driver, Par. Ps.) in Ps. 68:14 [68:15] is puzzling ; we should have expected 'on Hermon'. Appearances point strongly to the view that the passage is corrupt. See ZALMON.

A beautiful proverb (Prov. 25;13) reminds us how enduring Oriental customs are.

Like the cooling of snow [in a drink] in time of harvest,
Is a trustworthy messenger to him who has sent him ;
He refreshes the soul of his lord.

One could think that this proverb had been written in Damascus ; sherbet cooled with snow was hardly a summer drink at Jerusalem. Indeed, snow and 'summer' to an ordinary citizen of Jerusalem suggested incongruous ideas (see Prov. 26:1, LXX 5p6<ros [droosos]). Jeremiah refers to the eternal snows of Lebanon ( Jer. 18:14 ; see SIRION), and in the eulogy of the pattern woman it is said (Prov. 3l:21 {2] ) that she needs not to be afraid even of 'snow' (i.e., of the coldest days of winter) for her household because 'they are clothed with scarlet' (or, 'with double clothing'; see COLOURS, 14). In a famous passage (2 S. 23:20 = 1 Ch. 11:22) Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, is said to have slain, not only two lion-like men of Moab (so AV) and a 'goodly' Misrite (see MIZRAIM, 2b), but also 'a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow'. Why the snow is referred to, however, is not clear. An old French Hebraist (V?t?ble in Crit. Sac. 22462) says it is because lions are strongest in the winter. The Hebrew, however, has not 'in time of snow', but 'in the day of the snow' - i.e., on some one day on which heavy snow had fallen. 3 Such a snowfall might be mentioned as something remarkable from its rarity. In 1 Macc. 13:22 we read of 'a very great snow' which hindered the movements of Trypho, the opponent of Jonathan and Simon the Maccabees. It is conceivable that a lion 'had strayed up the Judaean hills from Jordan, and had been caught in a sudden snowstorm ' (GASm. HG 6:5), and that Benaiah went down into the cistern into which the animal had fallen and killed it ; but the passage is full of textual errors.

Klostermann and Budde read thus (cp ARIEL)

'The same (Benaiah) slew two young lions near their lair;* he also went down and slew the (parent) lion in the midst of the pit on the day of the snow.

More probably, however, the passage records the slaying of two Jerahmeelites in Maucath-'arab - i.e., Arabian Maacath, on the day (i.e., famous battle) of Ishmael. See Crit. Bib.

South of Hebron snow is rare, and along the sea board of Philistia and Sharon, as well as in the Jordan valley, it is altogether unknown. In Jerusalem it is to be seen in the streets two winters in three ; but it soon disappears. Very snowy winters, however, do occur.

In the winter of 1857 the snow was 8 inches deep and covered the eastern plains for a fortnight. The results were disastrous. 1 Nearly a fourth of the houses of Damascus were injured, and some of the flat-roofed bazaars and mosques were left in heaps of ruins. The winter of 1879 was still more remarkable ; 17 inches of snow, even where there was no drift, are recorded. 2

T. K. C.

1 Cp Geikie, The Holy Land and the Bible, 1:124.

2 LXX{B} , however, has no mention of snow.

3 H. P. Smith gives the very improbable sense, 'He used to go down (TV) and smite the lions in the pit on snowy days'.

4 CKina-^K "1K!J 33 (Klo., Bu.).


(JTinnp), Ex. 25:38 etc. See CENSER, 2 ; CANDLESTICK, 2.


i. n rnpnp (U/IOT [root ZMR], -'to pluck'?), mezammeroth, 1 K 7:50, 2 K. 12:13 [12:14], 25:14, Jer. 52:18, 2 Ch. 4:22-23, Cp CANDLESTICK, 2.

2. n;n / T C, melkahayim, Ex. 37:23. RV 'tongs'. See TONGS, CANDLESTICK, 2 ; COOKING, 4.


(X lD ; CHfOOp [segor] [B], CCOA [A], on L see below ; Vg. Sua). In 2 K. 17:4 we read the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea, for he had sent messengers to 'So, king of Egypt'. This happened in, or directly before, 725 B.C. Egyptologists formerly looked to the first two names of the Ethiopian or twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt, Shabaka or his successor Shabataka. In accordance with an erroneous chronology, that dynasty was believed to have begun in 728, and the conquest of Egypt and Hoshea's embassy seemed to coincide very remarkably. 3 In the first place, however, the names of Shaba(or bi)ka (Sabaku in cuneiform transcription, Sabakon in Herod 2:137, and in Manetho) or Shaba(or bi)taka (Sebichos, Manetho) could not satisfactorily be compared with So, which would have been an unparalleled mutilation, not to mention the insuperable difficulty of Egyptian sh as Semitic s. In the second place the chronology must now be considered impossible. We know, as the only firm point for the chronology of the Ethiopian kings, that Tirhaka-Tah(a)rko died in 668/67 and that his successor (Tandamani) was expelled from Egypt during the following year. Manetho gives to the first three Ethiopian kings, 40 (Africanus) or 44 years (Syncellus), Herodotus 50 years to the only Ethiopian king whom he knows, Diodorus 36 years to all four kings. The monuments insure 12 + 26 (not more) +3 + 3 (alleged, and not counted) years to the dynasty. The maximum for the beginning of the Ethiopian family in Egypt would thus be 712 ; probably it is rather to be assumed some years later (about 709 ?). Consequently, Samaria had been destroyed and Hoshea had perished before the Ethiopians conquered Egypt. As kings of Ethiopia alone, they could not come into consideration for Syrian politics. Winckler (MVAG, 1898, p. 29) has made it probable that Shabaka, the Ethiopian conqueror of Egypt, lived in peace with Assyria, exchanging presents with Sennacherib. Furthermore, we should expect the title 'king of Rush-Ethiopia' in the case of the alleged Ethiopian ruler, or Pharaoh in the case of a true Egyptian prince.

The cuneiform inscriptions of Sargon tell us of Sib'e, a tartanu - i.e. , general or viceroy - of Pir'u, king of Musri, who vainly assisted the rebellion of Hanunu of Gaza against Assyria and suffered a complete defeat at Raphia (Rapihi] in 720 by Sargon. We see from the cuneiform orthography that the biblical form So ought to be vocalised Sewe or, better still, that the w is a corruption for b and the original reading was Sib'e. Winckler's first suggestion of the possibility that this Sib'e was not a petty Egyptian prince but a Musrite, a representative of the king Pir'u (not Pharaoh) of Musri - i.e. , Northern Arabia - was in AOF 126 (cp GI 1:170); in MVAG, 1898, pt. i. , he finally treated it as certain (see now KAT (3) 146). The correctness of this view is evident (cp HOSHEA), although the old, impossible theory (see above) is still frequently found repeated.

Very remarkable is the form of 2 K. 17:4 in LXX{L} , which substitutes for So, 'Adramelech, the Ethiopian, residing in Egypt' ( A5pa,u.eXex T b" A-iOiotra rov KO.TOLKOVVTO, ev Alyi/irT<t>). Seductive as this piece of information looks - only the name Adramelech could never be treated as an Egyptian or Ethiopian name - it is shown by the data of the cuneiform inscriptions to be an exegetical addition, quite in harmony with the paraphrastic character of LXX which presents such an analogy to the Targum. It is quite remarkable that the Jewish scholars who inserted this addition knew enough about the history of Egypt to think of that Ethiopian dynasty (the date of which they, like modern Egyptologists, put too high, see above) and to conclude that an Egyptian ally of Israel could have been only a governor under the king, residing in remote Xapata. This imperfect (cp the date and the impossible name Adramelech) knowledge cannot be accepted, however, as historical evidence outweighing the direct testimony of the monuments. [See further Crit. Bib.]

W. M. M.

1 J. L. Porter (Kitto, Cyc. Bib. Lit. 8:399).

2 Geikie, The Holy Land and the Bible, 2:58.

3 The present writer was still under this impression when preparing the article EGYPT ( 66 a). Wiedemann (Gesch. Aeg. 587) compared So with the fabulous Sethon of Herodotus.


or SOPE, in modern language, means a compound of certain fatty acids with soda or potash, the potash forming the 'soft', the soda the 'hard' soaps of commerce. Soap is believed to have been invented by the Gauls, and became known to the Romans at a comparatively late date. Pliny says fit ex sebo et cinere, and that the best is prepared from goat-tallow and the ashes of the beech-tree. A soap-boiling establishment with soap in a good state of preservation has been excavated at Pompeii.

The word 'soap' is used in EV to translate the Heb. borith (n"i3, a derivation of ^/-ru [root BRR], cp na [B+vowel+R], 'cleanness') in two passages (Jer. 222, Mal. 3:2-3) which allude to the cleansing of the person and of fabrics respectively. It is not possible to ascertain exactly what substance, or substances, are intended. As a rule the ancients cleansed themselves by oiling their bodies and scraping their skins, and by baths, and they cleaned their clothes by rubbing with wood ashes and natural earths, such as fuller s earth, carbonates of sodium, etc. They cleansed their wine and oil casks and their marble statues with potash lyes. a Natural carbonate of soda (see NITRE) was also used, as well as the juices of certain plants (see below) which, owing to the presence of saponin, form a soap-like lather with water. See EYE, NITRE.

Canon Tristram states that considerable quantities of soft soap are, at the present day, manufactured in Palestine by boiling olive oil with potash, procured by burning several species of Salicornia (glass wort) and Sahola (salt wort), especially S. Kali, which abound in the neighbourhood of the Dead Sea and in the salt marshes which fringe the coast. Cp Low, 43.

A. E. S.


(toil"), 1 Ch. 4:18 AV, RV Soco, a name in the genealogy of the b'ne JUDAH, cp SOCOH, 1.