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NAAMAH = sweetness. 1. Lamech’s daughter by Zillah ( Genesis 4:22). The refinement and luxury of Cain’s descendants appear in the names of their wives and daughters; as Naamah, Adah = beauty, Zillah = shadow. Naamah is associated with her brother Tubal-cain, the first worker in brass and iron. 2. The Ammonitess mother of Rehoboam ( 1 Kings 14:21,31; Chronicles 12:13), one of Solomon’s “strange women” ( 1 Kings 11:1).
The Vat. Septuagint makes Naamah daughter of Ana = Hanun, son of Nahash; thus David’s war with Hanun terminated in a re-alliance, and Solomon’s marriage to Naamah would be about two years before David’s death, for Rehoboam the offspring of it was 41 on ascending the throne, and Solomon’s reign was 40 years. 3. A town in the low hill country of Judah (the shephelah): Joshua 15:41.
NAAMAN 1. A son, i.e. grandson, of Benjamin ( Genesis 46:21; Numbers 26:40; 1 Chronicles 8:4); reckoned in the Genesis genealogy as a “son” because he became head of a distinct family, the Naamites. Came down to Egypt with Jacob. 2. Naaman the Syrian (2 Kings 5). Identified by Jewish tradition (Josephus, Ant. 8:15, section 5) with the archer ( 1 Kings 22:34) who drew his bow at a venture, and wounding Ahab mortally was Jehovah’s instrument in “giving deliverance to Syria.” Benhadad therefore promoted him to be captain of the Syrian host and the lord in waiting nearest his person, on whose arm the king leant in entering Rimmon’s temple (compare Kings 7:2,17). “But (for all earthly greatness has its drawbacks) he was a leper,” afflicted with white leprosy ( 2 Kings 5:27). (For the rest see ELISHA ). The case of Naaman was designed by God to shame Israel out of their half-heartedness toward Jehovah by a witness for Him the most unlikely. God’s sovereign grace, going beyond Israel and its many lepers to heal the Gentile Naaman, Jesus makes to be His justification for His not doing as many miracles in His own country as He had done in Capernaum, an earnest of the kingdom of God passing from Israel to the Gentiles; Luke the physician ( Luke 4:23-27) appropriately is the evangelist who alone records it.
NAAMATHITE Zophar the Naamathite ( Job 2:11; 11:1). From some Arabic place.
Fretelius says there was a Naamath in Uz.
NAARAH 1 Chronicles 4:5,6.
Keil thinks the latter form, Kennicott the former, the correct one.
NAARAN A city, the eastern limit of Ephraim ( 1 Chronicles 7:28). Probably =\parNAARATH or Naarah, a southern landmark of Ephraim ( Joshua 16:7), between Ataroth and Jericho, in one of the torrent beds leading down from the Bethel highlands to the Jordan valley.
A sheepmaster on the border of Judah which took its name from the great “Caleb” (3) ( 1 Samuel 30:14), next the wilderness. His history, as also that of Boaz, Barzillai, Naboth, is a sample of a Jew’s private life ( Samuel 25:2,4,36).
NABOTH = fruit (Gesenius); preeminence (Furst). 1 Kings 21; 2 Kings 9:21-26. (See AHAB , see ELIJAH ). Septuagint ( 1 Kings 21:1) omit “which was in Jezreel,” and read instead of “the palace” “the threshing floor of Ahab king of Samaria.” This locates Naboth’s vineyard on the hill of Samaria, close by the threshing floor, hard by the gate of the city; but Hebrew text is probably right. David’s offer to Araunah ( 2 Samuel 24:21-24) and Omri’s purchase from Shemer illustrate Ahab’s offer to Naboth. Naboth was “set on high,” i.e. seated on a conspicuous place before all the people.
Ahab’s blood in retribution was washed from the chariot in the pool of Samaria, where harlots were bathing (so translated instead of “and they washed the armour”), while dogs licked up the rest of the blood ( Kings 22:38); the further retribution was on his seed Joram (2 Kings 9).
NACHON’S THRESHING FLOOR Where Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark when the oxen shook it, and God smote him for his rashness, on its way from Kirjath Jearim or Baale (Abinadab’s house in Gibeah) to Zion ( 2 Samuel 6:6).CHIDON in Chronicles 13:9. David therefore named it “Perez Uzzah,” the breach of Uzza. Keil derives Nachon from nachah “the stroke,” answering to Chidon, from chid “destruction.” The threshing floor was named not from its owner but from the disaster there. Obed Edom’s house was near.
NACHOR, NAHOR Joshua 24:2; Luke 3:34. 1. Abraham’s grandfather. 2. Abraham’s brother. (See ABRAHAM ). Nahor was his elder brother; married Milcah his niece, Haran’s daughter, who bore eight sons ( Genesis 11:26-29; 22:20-24). His concubine Reumah bore Zebah and Maachah (whose descendants David came in contact with: 1 Chronicles 18:8; 19:6), Gaham and Thahash. Bethuel his son was Rebekah’s father.
She formed a tie between Abraham’s seed and the original Mesopotamian family. Laban and Jacob’s connection renewed it, then it closes. Laban, with polytheistic notions, distinguishes between his god “the god of Nahor” and “the God of Abraham,” Jacob’s God ( Genesis 31:3,5,19,29,42,49, 53; Joshua 24:2), “the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac.” El Naura is a town on Euphrates above Hit.
With Aaron and Abihu and 70 elders he had the privilege of nearer access to Jehovah at Sinai than the mass of the people, but not so near as Moses ( Exodus 24:1). Struck dead for kindling (probably under intoxication) the incense with “strange fire,” not taken from the perpetual fire on the altar ( Leviticus 6:13; 10:1-10). (See AARON and see ABIHU ). 2. Jeroboam’s son, who walked in his father’s evil way; reigned two years, 954-952 B.C. (1 Kings 25:25-31). Slain, in fulfilment of Ahijah the Shilonite’s prophecy, by the conspirator Baasha, while besieging Gibbethon of Dan ( Joshua 19:44; 21:23). Probably the neighbouring Philistines had seized Gibbethon when the Levites generally left it, to escape from Jeroboam’s apostasy to Judah. By a retributive coincidence it was when Israel was besieging Gibbethon, 24 years after, that the same destruction fell on Baasha’s family as Baasha had inflicted on Nadab ( 1 Kings 16:9-15). 3. 1 Chronicles 2:28. 4. 1 Chronicles 8:30; 9:36.
NAHALAL, NAHALOL, NAHALLAL Joshua 19:15; 21:35; Judges 1:30. A city of Zebulun, given to the Merarite Levites. Now Malul in the Esdraelon plain; four miles W. of Nazareth. Being in the plain Israel could not drive out of it the Canaanites with their chariots, which could act on the level ground.
NAHALIEL = torrent of God. A station of Israel toward the close of their journey to Canaan ( Numbers 21:19), N. of Arnon, the next stage but one to Pisgah. Probably the wady Encheyle with the letters transposed; it runs into Mojeb, the ancient Arnon.
NAHUM 1 Chronicles 4:19.
NAHAMANI Nehemiah 7:7.
NAHASH = serpent. 1. King of Ammon. Offered the citizens of Jabesh Gilead a covenant only on condition they should thrust out their right eyes, as a reproach upon all Israel (1 Samuel 11). Saul, enraged at this cruel demand, summoned all Israel, slew, and dispersed the Ammonite host. Among the causes which led Israel to desire a king had been the terror of Nahash’s approach ( Samuel 12:12). So successful had he been in his marauding campaigns that he self confidently thought it impossible any Israelite army could rescue Jabesh Gilead; so he gave them the seven days’ respite they craved, the result of which was their deliverance, and his defeat by Saul. If he perished, then the Nahash who befriended David was his son. That father and son bore the same name makes it, likely that Nahash was a common title of the kings of Ammon, the serpent being the emblem of wisdom, the Egyptian Kneph also being the eternal Spirit represented as a serpent. Jewish tradition makes the service to David consist in Nahash having protected David’s brother, when he escaped from the massacre perpetrated by the treacherous king of Moab on David’s family, who had been entrusted to him (22:3,4). Nahash the younger would naturally help David in his wanderings from the face of Saul, their common foe. Hence at Nahash’s death David sent a message of condolence to his son. (See HANUN ). The insult by that young king brought on him a terrible retribution (2 Samuel 10). Yet we read Nahash’s son Shobi ( 2 Samuel 17:27-29) was one of the three trans-jordanic chieftains who rendered munificent hospitality to David in his hour of need, at Mahanaim, near Jabesh Gilead, when fleeing from Absalom. No forger would have introduced an incident so seemingly improbable at first sight. Reflection suggests the solution. The old kindness between Nahash and David, and the consciousness that Hanun his brother’s insolence had caused the war which ended so disastrously for Ammon, doubtless led Shobi gladly to embrace the opportunity of showing practical sympathy toward David in his time of distress. 2. Father of the sisters Abigail and Zeruiah, whose mother on Nahash’s death married Jesse, to whom she bore David (17:25). 1 Chronicles 2:16 accordingly names Abigail and Zeruiah as “David’s sisters,” but not as Jesse’s daughters. Nahash is made by Stanley the king of Ammon, which is not impossible, considering Jesse’s descent from Ruth a Moabitess, and also David’s connection with Nahash of Ammon; but is improbable, since if the Nahash father of Abigail were the king of Ammon it would have been stated. Jewish tradition makes Nahash = Jesse. But if so, how is it that only in 2 Samuel 17:25 “Nahash” stands for Jesse, whereas in all other places “Jesse” is named as David’s father.
NAHSHON, NAASHON Son of Amminadab, prince of Judah; assisted Moses and Aaron at the first numbering in the wilderness ( 1 Chronicles 2:10; Exodus 6:23; Numbers 1:7). His sister Elisheba married Aaron. Salmon his son married Rahab after the fall of Jericho. First in the encampment, the march, as captain of Judah ( Numbers 2:3; 10:14; 7:12), and in offering for dedicating the altar; but third in order at the census ( Numbers 1:1-7); died in the wilderness ( Numbers 26:64,65). The sixth in descent from Judah, inclusive; David was fifth after him ( Ruth 4:18-20; Matthew 1:4; Luke 3:32; 1 Chronicles 2:10-12).
NAHUM = consolation and vengeance, to Israel and Israel’s foe respectively. The two themes alternate in Nahum 1; as the prophecy advances, vengeance on Assyria predominates. Country. “The Elkoshite” ( Nahum 1:1), from Elkosh or Elkesi a village of Galilee pointed out to Jerome (Preface in Nahum). Capernaum, “village of Nahum,” seemingly takes its name from Nahum having resided in the neighbourhood, though born in Elkosh. The allusions in Nahum indicate local acquaintance with Palestine ( Nahum 1:4,15; 2:2) and only general knowledge of Nineveh ( Nahum 2:4-6; 3:2,3). This confutes the notion that the Alkush (resembling the name Elkosh), E. of the Tigris and N. of Mosul, is Nahum’s place of birth and of burial, though Jewish pilgrims visit it as such.
So in Nahum 1:7,15, “Jehovah is a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth (with approval) them that trust in Him ... O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts.” Moreover Nahum has none of the reproofs for national apostasy which abound in the other prophets. Nahum in Elkosh of Galilee was probably among those of northern Israel, after the deportation of the ten tribes, who accepted Hezekiah’s earnest invitation to keep the Passover at Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 30). His graphic description of Sennacherib and his army ( 2 Chronicles 1:9-12) makes it likely he was near or in Jerusalem at the time. Hence, the number of phrases corresponding to those of Isaiah ( Nahum 1:8,9, compare Isaiah 8:8; 10:23; Nahum 2:10 with Isaiah 24:1; 21:3; Nahum 1:15 with Isaiah 52:7). The prophecy in Nahum 1:14, “I will make it (namely, ‘the house of thy gods,’ i.e. Nisroch) thy grave,” foretells Sennacherib’s murder 20 years after his return from Palestine, “as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god” ( Isaiah 37:38). He writes while Assyria’s power was yet unbroken ( Nahum 1:12; 2:11-13; 3:1, “the bloody city, full of lies ... the prey departeth not”: Nahum 3:15-17). The correspondence of sentiments in Nahum with those of Isaiah and Hezekiah implies he wrote when Sennacherib was still besieging and demanding the surrender of Jerusalem ( Nahum 1:2 ff, with 2 Kings 19:14,15; Nahum 1:7 with 2 Kings 18:22; 19:19,31; 2 Chronicles 32:7,8; Nahum 1:9,11 with 2 Kings 19:22,27,28; Nahum 1:14 with 2 Kings 19:6,7; Nahum 1:15 and Nahum 2:1,2 with 2 Kings 19:32,33; Nahum 2:13, “the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard,” namely, Rabshakeh the bearer of Sennacherib’s haughty message, with 2 Kings 19:22,23). The historical facts presupposed in Nahum are Judah’s and Israel’s humiliation by Assyria ( Nahum 2:2); the invasion of Judah ( Nahum 1:9-11); the conquest of No-Amon or Thebes in Upper Egypt, probably by Sargon (Isaiah 20) who, fearing lest Egypt should join Palestine against him, undertook an expedition against it, 717-715 B.C. ( Nahum 3:8-10). Tiglath Pileser and Shalmaneser had carried away Israel. Judah was harassed by Syria, and oppressed by Ahaz’s payments to Tiglath Pileser (2 Chronicles 28; Isaiah 8,9). As Nahum refers in part prophetically to Sennacherib’s (Sargon’s successor) last attempt on Judah ending in his host’s destruction, in part as matter of history ( Nahum 1:9-13; 2:13), he must have prophesied about 713-710 B.C., 100 years before the event foretold, namely, the overthrow of Nineveh by the joint forces of Cyaxares and Nabopolassar in the reign of Chyniladanus, 625 or else 603 B.C. The name “Huzzab” ( Nahum 2:7) answers to Adiabene, from the Zab or Diab river on which that region lay; a personification of Assyria, and seems to be an Assyrian word. So the original words, minzaraik , taphsarika , for crowned or princes ( Nahum 3:17) and “captains” or satraps (also in Jeremiah 51:27); contact with Assyria brought in these words. Nahum 2:18, “the faces gather blackness,” corresponds to Isaiah 13:8; Joel 2:6; Joel is probably the original. Nahum 1:6 with Joel 2:7; Amos 2:14; Nahum 1:3 with Joel 2:13; the mourning dove, Nahum 2:7, with Isaiah 38:14; the first ripe figs, Nahum 3:12, with Isaiah 28:4; Nahum 3:13 with Isaiah 19:16; Nahum 3:4 with Isaiah 23:15; Nahum 2:4,5,14 with Isaiah 22:7; 36:9; Micah 1:13; 5:10. The Assyrians, by just retribution, in turn should experience themselves what they caused to Israel and Judah (compare also Nab. 1:3 with Jonah 4:2; Nahum 1:13 with Isaiah 10:26,27; Nahum 1:8 with Isaiah 10:21,22; 8:8; Nahum 1:9,11 with Isaiah 37:23; Nahum 3:10 with Isaiah 13:16; Nahum 2:2 with Isaiah 24:1; Nahum 3:5 with Isaiah 47:2,3; Nahum 3:7 with Isaiah 51:19). Plainly, Nahum is the last of the prophets of the Assyrian period. Jeremiah borrows from, and so stamps with inspiration, Nahum ( Jeremiah 10:19 compare Nahum 3:19; Jeremiah 13:26 compare Nahum 3:5; Jeremiah 50:37; 51:30, compare Nahum 3:13). Nahum is seventh in position in the canon, and seventh in date.
Subject matter. “The burden of Nineveh.” The three chapters form one consecutive whole, remarkable for unity of aim. Nahum encourages his countrymen with the assurance that, alarming as their position seemed, assailed by the mighty foe which had already carried captive the ten tribes, yet that not only should the Assyrian fail against Jerusalem, but Nineveh and his own empire should fall; and this not by chance, but by Jehovah’s judgment for their iniquities.
STYLE. Clear and forcible. Several phases of an idea are presented in the briefest sentences; as in the sublime description of God in the beginning, the overthrow of Nineveh, and that of No Amon. Melting softness and delicacy alternate with rhythmical, sonorous, and majestic diction, according as the subject requires; the very sound of the words conveys to the ear the sense ( Nahum 2:4; 3:3). Paronomasia or verbal assonance is another feature of likeness to Isaiah, besides those already mentioned ( Nahum 1:3,6,10; 2:2,3,11; 3:2).
NAIL 1. Deuteronomy 21:12, “pare her (a captive woman’s) nails,” namely, in order that she might lay aside all belonging to her condition as an alien, to become a wife among the covenant people. Margin: “suffer to grow,” the opposite sense, will refer to her seclusion a month in mourning with shaven head and unpared nails. The former seems preferable, answering to her “putting the raiment of her captivity from her.” 2. Mismerim , masmerim , masmerot . Isaiah 41:7: “fastened (the idol) with nails” to keep it steady in its place! Jeremiah 10:4; 1 Chronicles 22:3; 2 Chronicles 3:9, where the “fifty shekels of gold” were to gild the nails fastening the sheet gold on the wainscoting; Ecclesiastes 12:11, “words of the wise are as nails fastened (by) the master of assemblies,” rather “the masters” or “associates in the collection (of the canonical Scriptures), i.e. authors of the individual books, are as nails driven in.” (Hengstenberg). Scripture has a power penetrating as a nail the depths of the soul, worldly literature reaches only the surface. So Revelation 1:16; Hebrews 4:12; though the associated sacred writers are many, yet they “are given from One Shepherd,” Jesus ( Ephesians 4:11), the Inspirer of the word, from whom comes all their penetrating power ( 2 Timothy 3:16). A canon whereby to judge sermons: they are worth nothing unless, like Scripture, they resemble goads and nails. The hearers too, instead of being vexed, should feel thankful when by the word they are “pricked in their heart” ( Acts 2:37; Ephesians 6:17; Psalm 45:3). 3. The large pin ( Judges 4:21,22; 5:26) by which the tent cords were fastened, giving shape and security to the tent. Jael drove it into Sisera’s temples. The tabernacle curtains were fastened with brass pins ( Exodus 27:19). In Zechariah 10:4, “out of him (Judah) shall come forth the nail,” namely, the large peg inside the Eastern tent, on which is hung most of its valuable furniture. Judah shall be under a native ruler, not a foreigner; the Maccabees primarily, Judah’s deliverers from the oppressor Antiochus Epiphanes: antitypically Messiah of the tribe of Judah. On Messiah hang all the glory and hope of His people. The “nail,” as expressing firmness, stands for a secure abode ( Ezra 9:8), “grace hath been showed from the Lord ... to give us a nail in His holy place” So Isaiah 22:23-25, “I will fasten him (Eliakim) as a nail in a sure place ... and they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue (high and low), all vessels of small quantity ... cups ... flagons (compare Song 4:4; Kings 10:16,17,21). The nail fastened in the sure place (Shebna) shall be ... cut down and fall, and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off,” i.e. all Shebna’s offspring and dependants and all his emoluments and honours shall fall with himself, as the ornaments hanging upon a peg fall when it falls. Vessels of glory hanging on Christ vary in capacity; but each shall be filled as full of bliss as the respective capacity admits ( Luke 19:17,19).
The print of the nails in Jesus’ hands and feet were Thomas’ test of the reality of the resurrection ( John 20:25). In Christ’s person “nailed to the cross,” the law ( Romans 3:21; 7:2-6; Colossians 2:14) and the old serpent ( John 3:14; 12:31,32) were nailed to it. A mode of canceling bonds in Asia was by striking a nail through the writing (Grotius).
NAIN The scene of Christ’s raising the widow’s son ( Luke 7:12). Now Nein on N.W. verge of jebel ed Duhy (Little Hermon) where it slopes down to Esdraelon plain. The rock W. of the village abounds in cave tombs, also in the E. side. Eighteen miles from Capernaum, where Jesus had been the preceding day. Josephus (Ant. 20:5, section 1) notices Nain as on the way from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very way Jesus was going.
NAIOTH =“dwellings.” So the Hebrew margin or Qeri; but the kethib or text has Nevaioth. At or near (not “in” as KJV) Ramah. The dwellings of a college of prophets, under Samuel ( 1 Samuel 19:18-23; 20:1). Thither David fled from Saul, and probably assumed their garb to escape discovery. Now probably Beit Haninah at the head of the wady Haninah; immediately to the E. of neby Samwil, the ancient Ramah of Samuel.
NAME In the Bible expressing the nature or relation for the most part. According as man has departed more and more from the primitive truth, the connection between names and things has become more arbitrary. In Genesis on the contrary the names are nearly all significant. Adam’s naming the animals implies at once his power of speech, distinguishing him above them, and his knowledge of their characteristics as enabling him to suit the name to the nature. God, in calling His people into new and close relationship with Himself, gives them a new name. see ABRAM becomes Abraham; Sarai, Sarah; see JACOB , see ISRAEL . So the name was given the child at the time of circumcision, because then he enters into a new covenant relationship to God ( Luke 1:59; 2:21). So spiritually in the highest sense God’s giving a new name implies His giving a new nature; Revelation 2:17; 3:12, Christ will give some new revelation (“new name”) of Himself hereafter to His saints, which they alone are capable of receiving, when He and they with Him shall take the kingdom. Christians receive their new name at baptism, indicating their new relation. They are “baptized into (eis onoma ) the name of (the revealed nature, 2 Peter 1:4, into living union with) the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” in their manifested relations and offices toward us ( Matthew 28:19). In Isaiah 65:15, “ye shall leave your name for a curse unto My chosen, for the Lord shall call His servants by another name”: instead of a “curse,” as the name of Jew had been, the elect Jews shall have a new name, God’s delight, “Hephzibah,” and married to Him, “Beulah,” instead of “forsaken” and “widow” ( Isaiah 62:2-4). The “name” of Jehovah is His revealed character toward us. Exodus 34:5-7: “Jehovah proclaimed the name of Jehovah ... Jehovah Elohim , merciful and gracious,” etc. So Messiah, Jesus, Immanuel, the Word, indicate His manifested relations to us in redemption ( Revelation 19:13); also Isaiah 9:6, “His name shall be called Wonderful,” etc. ( 1 Timothy 6:1; John 17:6; 26; Psalm 22:22). Also His gracious and glorious attributes revealed in creation and providence ( Psalm 8:1; 20:1,7). Authority ( Acts 4:7). Profession of Christianity ( Revelation 2:13). Manifested glory ( Philippians 2:9). (See GOD , see JEHOVAH ).
NAOMI =“sweetness”. Mother-in-law of Ruth. Ruth 1:20,21: “call me not Naomi, call me Mara (bitterness), for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.” Elimelech’s wife; lost her two sons and husband in Moab. (See BOAZ ). see RUTH her daughter in law returned with her to Israel, and married Boaz.
NAPHTALI =“my wrestling”. Jacob’s fifth son, second by Bilhah, Rachel’s maid. Genesis 30:8, Rachel said, “with wrestlings of God (i.e. earnest prayer, as her husband does in Genesis 32:24-28; he had reproved her impatience, telling her God, not he, is the giver of children: Genesis 30:1,2; so she wrestled with God) have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed,” i.e. succeeded in getting from God a child as my sister.
Thus allied to Dan ( Genesis 35:25). He had four sons at the descent to Egypt ( Genesis 46:24). At the census of Sinai Naphtali’s tribe numbered 53,400 able for war ( Numbers 1:43). At the borders of Canaan the tribe of Naphtali had fallen to 45,400 ( Numbers 26:48-50).
On march Naphtali was north of the tabernacle, next Dan his kinsman, and Asher ( Numbers 2:25-31), together forming “the camp of Dan,” hindmost or rearward of all the camps ( Numbers 10:25). Naphtali had its portion between the coastland strip of Asher and the upper Jordan. Dan shortly after sent a number from his less desirable position next the Philistines to seek a settlement near his kinsman Napthtali in the far north.
Zebulun was on S. of Naphtali; trans-jordanic Manasseh on the E. The ravine of the Leontes (Litany) and the valley between Lebanon and Antilebanon was on the N. Thus, Naphtali had the well watered district about Banias and the springs of the Jordan.
Jacob in his dying prophecy says, “Naphtali is a hind let loose, he giveth goodly words.” The targums of Pseudo-Jonathan and Jerusalem say Naphtali first told Jacob Joseph was alive. “Naphtali (say the targums) is a swift messenger, like a hind that runneth on the mountains, bringing good tidings.” Joshua ( Joshua 20:7) calls it “Mount Naphtali” from the mountainous parts of its possessions. Shelucha, “let loose,” is cognate to sheluchim, “the apostles,” who on Galilee mountains “brought good tidings” of Jesus ( Isaiah 52:7). Habakkuk 3:19, “the Lord will make my feet like hinds’ feet,” has in view Jacob’s prophecy as to Naphtali.
Temporally Naphtali disports gracefully and joyously in its fertile allotment, as a hind at large exulting amidst grass; it shall be famous too for eloquence. The “bind” symbolizes a swift warrior ( 2 Samuel 2:18; Chronicles 12:8). Barak with 10,000 men of Naphtali, at Deborah’s call, fought and delivered Israel from Jabin of Canaan. His war-like energy and his and Deborah’s joint song are specimens of the prowess and the eloquence of Naphtali (Judges 4--5); Naphtali and Zebulun “jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field” (verse 18). So they helped Gideon against Midian ( Judges 6:35; 7:23). Moses’ blessing on Naphtali is ( Deuteronomy 33:23), “Naphtali, satisfied with favor, and full with the blessing of Jehovah, possess thou the sect (yam ) and the sunny district” (not as KJV “the W. and the S.,” for its lot was N. but its climate in parts was like that of the S.), namely, the whole W. coast of the sea of Galilee, “an earthly paradise” (Josephus, B.J. 3:3, section 2), and lake Merom (Huleh). The district is still called Belad Besharah, “land of good tidings.” The climate of the lower levels is hot and suited for tropical plants, so that fruits ripen earlier than elsewhere ( Joshua 19:32, etc.). “The soil is rich, full of trees of all sorts, so fertile as to invite the most slothful to cultivate it” (Josephus); but now the population of this once thickly peopled, flourishing region, is as scanty as its natural vegetation is luxuriant. Its forests and ever varying scenery are among the finest in Palestine (Van de Velde, 1:170,293; 2:407). Naphtali failed to drive out the Canaanites ( Judges 1:33). Pagan neighbours soon made it and northern Israel “Galilee of the Gentiles.” Tiglath Pileser swept away its people to Assyria; Benhadad of Syria had previously smitten all Naphtali ( 1 Kings 15:20; 2 Kings 15:29). But where the darkness was greatest and the captivity first came, there gospel light first shone, as foretold of Zebulun and Naphtali ( Isaiah 9:1,2; Matthew 4:16).
NAPHTUHIM A Mizraite tribe ( Genesis 10:13; 1 Chronicles 1:11) coming in order after the Lehabim or Libyans. Niphaiat is Coptic for the country W. of the Nile. on Egypt’s N.W. borders, about the Mareotic lake. The Na-petu. the people called “the Nine Bows,” are mentioned in the Egyptian monuments (G. Rawlinson). Gesenius from Plutarch (de Isaiah 355) thinks the Naphtuhim were on the W. coast of the Red Sea, sacred to the goddess Nepthys wife of Typhon. Knobel derives Naphtuhim from the deity Phthah.
NATHAN =“given by God”. 1. The prophet who gave David God’s assurance of the perpetuity of his seed and throne (notwithstanding temporary chastening for iniquity). God by Nathan commended David’s desire to build the temple, but reserved the accomplishment for his son Solomon, the type of Him who should build the true temple (2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17). Nathan speaking first of himself had said, “do all that is in thine heart” (compare 1 Kings 8:18). God sometimes grants His children’s requests in a form real, but not as they had proposed. His glory proves in the end to be their truest good, though their wishes for the time be crossed. Nathan convicted David of his sin in the case of Uriah by the beautiful parable of the poor man’s lamb ( 2 Samuel 12:1-15,25; Psalm 51). Nathan conveyed Jehovah’s command to David, to name Solomon” Jedidiah,” not as a mere appellation, but an assurance that Jehovah loved him. Nathan was younger than David, as he wrote with Ahijah the Shilonite and Iddo the seer” the acts of Solomon first and last” ( 2 Chronicles 9:29). To Nathan David refers as having forbidden his building the temple on account of his having had “great wars” ( <142201> Chronicles 22:1-10; 28:2). Nathan secured the succession of Solomon by advising Bathsheba to remind David of his promise ( 1 Chronicles 22:9, etc.), and to inform him of Adonijah’s plot, and by himself venturing into the king’s presence to follow up Bathsheba’s statement. Nathan by David’s direction with Zadok the priest brought Solomon to Gihon on the king’s own mule, and anointed him king ( 1 Kings 1:10-38). “Azariah son of Nathan was over the officers, and Zabud son of Nathan was the king’s friend” under Solomon ( 1 Kings 4:5; 1 Chronicles 27:33; Samuel 15:37). A similarity between the apologue style of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 9:14-16 and Nathan’s in 2 Samuel 12:1-4 may be due to Nathan’s influence. Nathan along with Gad wrote “the acts of David first and last” ( 1 Chronicles 29:29). Nathan is designated by the later and higher title “the prophet,” but” Gad and Samuel the seer” (compare Samuel 9:9). His histories were doubtless among the materials from which the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles were compiled. His grave is shown at Halhul near Hebron. 2. Son of David and Bathsheba ( 1 Chronicles 3:5; 14:4; 2 Samuel 5:14). Luke traces Christ’s see GENEALOGY to David through Nathan (3:31); as Matthew gives the succession to the throne, so Luke the parentage of Joseph, Jeconiah’s line having failed as he died childless. “The family of the house of David and the family of the house of Nathan” represent the highest and lowest of the royal order; as “the family of the house of Levi and the family of Shimei” represent the highest and lowest of the priestly order ( Zechariah 12:12,13). 3. Father of Igal, one of David’s heroes, of Zobah, 2 Samuel 23:36, but in 1 Chronicles 11:38 “Joel, brother of Nathan” Kennicott prefers “brother.” 4. A head man who returned with Ezra on his second expedition, and whom Ezra despatched from his encampment at the river Ahava to the Jews at Casiphia, to get Levites and Nethinim for the temple ( Ezra 8:16). Perhaps the same as the son of Bani who gave up his foreign wife (10:39). 5. Son of Attai of Judah ( 1 Chronicles 2:36).
NATHANAEL =“God given.” Hebrew Nethaneel. Of Cana in Galilee ( John 1:47; 21:2). Three or four days after the temptation, Jesus when intending to “go forth into Galilee findeth Philip and saith, Follow Me.” Philip, like Andrew finding his own brother Simon ( John 1:41), and the woman of Samaria ( John 4:28,29) inviting her fellow townsmen, having been found himself by Jesus, “findeth” his friend Nathanael, and saith, “we have found (he should have said, we have been found by: Isaiah 65:1; Philippians 3:12 ff, Song 1:4) Him of whom the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph” (he should have said the Son of God). (For the rest see BARTHOLOMEW ). Tradition makes Nathanael to have been the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana, to which he belonged.
NATHAN-MELECH A eunuch or chamberlain in Josiah’s court, by whose chamber at the entering in of Jehovah’s house, in the suburbs, were the horses sacred to the sun; these Josiah took away and burned the sun chariots with fire ( Kings 23:11).
NAUM Luke 3:25.
NAZARETH, NAZARENE In a basin among hills descending into Esdraelon from Lebanon, and forming a valley which runs in a wavy line E. and W. On the northern side of the valley the rounded limestone hills rise to 400 or 500 ft. The valley and hill sides abound in gay flowers as the hollyhock growing wild, fig trees, olives, and oranges, gardens with cactus hedges, and grainfields.
Now en Nazirah on a hill of Galilee ( Mark 1:9), with a precipice nigh ( Luke 4:29); near Cane ( John 2:1,2,11). Its population of 4,000 is partly Muslim, but mainly of Latin and Greek Christians. It has a mosque, a Maronite, a Greek, and a Protestant church, and a large Franciscan convent. The rain pouring down the hills would sweep away a house founded on the surface, and often leaves the streets impassable with mud.
So the houses generally are of stone, founded, after digging deep, upon the rock ( Luke 6:47). On a hill behind is the tomb of neby Ismail, commanding one of the most lovely prospects in the world, Lebanon and snowy Hermon on the N., Carmel and the Mediterranean and Acca on the W., Gilead and Tabor on the S.E., the Esdraelon plain and the Samaria mountains on the S., and villages on every side; Cana, Nain, Endor, Jezreel (Zerin), etc. Doubtless in early life Jesus often stood on this spot and held communion with His Father who, by His Son, had created this glorious scene.
Nazareth is never named in Old Testament. It was there Gabriel was sent from God to announce to the Virgin her coming conception of Him who shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of whose kingdom there shall be no end ( Luke 1:26-33). After His birth and the sojourn in Egypt Joseph and Mary took the child to their original home in Nazareth, six miles W. of Mount Tabor ( Matthew 2:23; Luke 2:39; 4:16). As “John the Baptist; was in the desert until the day of his showing unto Israel,” so Messiah was growing up unknown to the world in the sequestered town among the mountains, until His baptism by the forerunner ushered in His public ministry. As Jews alone lived in Nazareth from before Josephus’ time to the reign of Constantine (Epiphanius, Haer.), it is impossible to identify the sacred sites as tradition pretends to do, namely, the place of the annunciation to Mary, with the inscription on the pavement of the grotto, “Hic Verbum caro factum est,” the mensa Christi, and the synagogue from whence Jesus was dragged to the brow of the hill. Of all Rome’s lying legends, none exceeds that of Joseph’s house (santa casa) having been whisked from Nazareth to Loretto in the 13th century; in spite of the bull of Leo X endorsing the legend, the fact remains that the santa casa is of a dark red stone, such as is not found in or about Nazareth, where the grey white limestone prevails, and also the ground plan of the house at Loretto is at variance with the site of the house at Nazareth shown by the Franciscans within their convent walls. Jesus taught in the synagogue of Nazareth, “His own country” ( Matthew 13:54), and was there “thrust out of the city and led unto the brow of the hill whereon if was built, to be cast down headlong,” but “passing through the midst of them He went His way” ( Luke 4:16-30). The hill of precipitation” is not the one presumed, two miles S.E. of Nazareth. The present village is on the hill side, nearer the bottom than the top. Among the rocky ledges above the lower parts of the village is one 40 ft. high, and perpendicular, near the Maronite church: this is probably the true site. It is striking how accurately Luke steers clear of a mistake; he does not say they ascended or descended to reach the precipice, but “led” Jesus to it. He does not say the “city” was built on the brow of the hill, but that the precipice was “on the brow,” without stating whether it was above (as is the case) or below the town. A forger could hardly go so near a topographical mistake, without falling into it. “Jesus of Nazareth” was part of the inscription on the cross ( John 19:19). It is the designation by which He revealed Himself to Saul ( Acts 22:8). Nazareth bore a bad name even in Galilee (for Nathanael who said “can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” was of Galilee), which itself, because of its half pagan population and rude dialect, was despised by the people of Judea. The absence of “good” in Nazareth appears from the people’s willful unbelief in spite of Jesus’ miracles, and their attempt on His life ( Matthew 13:54-58), so that He left them, to settle in Capernaum ( Matthew 4:13). “The fountain of the Virgin” is at the N.E. of the town.
Matthew, 2:23, writes “Jesus came and dwelt in Nazareth that it might be fulfilled which is spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene”; not “by the prophet,” but “by the prophets,” meaning no particular quotation but the general description of Messiah in them as abject and despised ( Isaiah 53:2,3). The Nazarene people were proverbially so. “Called,” as in Isaiah 9:6, expresses what He should be in His earthly manifestation; not that the prophets gave Him the literal name, though His contemporaries did. Matthew plays on similar sounds, as Micah on Achzib ( Micah 1:14) and Ekron ( Micah 2:4). The Nazarene dweller (Natsri ) was, as all the prophets foretold, a pain sufferer (natsari from the Aramaic tsear , pain); the Aramaeans pronounced the Hebrew “a” as “o,” from whence arose the Greek form Nazoraios . (Biesenthal, Jewish Intelligence, December, 1874). The nickname “Nazarene” agreed with His foretold character as: (1) despised in man’s eyes, (2) really glorious. Men in applying the name unconsciously and in spite of themselves shed glory on Him; for Nazarene is related to neetser , a “branch,” Messiah’s distinctive title, indicating His descent from royal David yet His lowly state ( Isaiah 11:1); the same thought and image appear in the term tsemach ( Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12). Also Naziraios , applied to a Nazarite by vow in Old Testament (from the Hebrew root nezer “dedication,” “the high priest’s mitre,” and “sovereignty”), indirectly refers to Christ under His New Testament distinct designation “Nazarene” and [Nazoraios ], i.e. belonging to Nazarene. Samson the Nazarite, “separated” or “dedicated unto God,” typically foreshadowed Him ( Judges 13:5; 16:30), separated as holy unto God, and separated as an “alien” outcast by men ( Psalm 69:8). Though the reverse of a Nazarite in its outward rules ( Matthew 11:18), He antitypically fulfilled the spirit of the Nazarite vow and ritual. Had the prophets expressly foretold He should be of Nazareth, it would not have been so despised; nor would the Pharisees, who were able from Micah 5 to tell Herod where Messiah’s birthplace was -- Bethlehem (Matthew 2) -- have been so ignorant of the prophecy of His connection with Nazareth as to say, “out of Galilee ariseth no prophet” ( John 7:52). (See NAZARITE ).
NAZARITE properly,NAZIRITE; Hebrew nazir Elohim , “one separated to God,” Greek, [naziraios ]. (See NAZARENE ). Nezer is also a crows or diadem on the head; and the hair, the natural crown ( Jeremiah 7:29). Joseph in Genesis 49:26; Deuteronomy 33:16, is nezir , one “separated” from his brethren, at the same time “separated” to God and to be lord of Egypt, typifying the two sides of Jesus’ realizing the designation given Him, “Nazarene,” in accordance with general prophecy ( Matthew 2:23). In Leviticus 25:5,11, “neither gather the grapes of thy ‘Nazarite’ (undressed) vine,” the figure is taken from the “unshorn” locks of the Nazarite, “separated” (by being unpruned) from common use in the sabbatical and the jubilee years. In Leviticus 15:31 nazar expresses separation” from uncleanness.
The rule of the Nazarite is given Numbers 6:2; “when either man or woman shall separate themselves to ... vow of a Nazarite” implies, it was no new institution, but one now regulated by divinely given rules.
Voluntary vows accorded with legalism. Noah’s excess in wine, Joseph’s untrimmed hair separating him from the closely polled Egyptians, the distinction of clean and unclean, and the connection of death with sin known long before, suggested voluntary vows prompted by religious zeal, to which now was afforded legal sanction. Man or woman might ordinarily of their own free will take the vow. In special cases God imposed the vow through the parent. The Pentateuch lays down the rule only for a “Nazarite of days” as the Mishna terms it; “the Nazarite for perpetuity” appears only in the Scripture history. Samson ordained to be a Nazarite from the womb ( Judges 13:5,6; 16:17). Samuel in a great degree (but not as to abstinence from wine) was the same ( 1 Samuel 1:11), by Hannah before his birth “given unto the Lord all the days of his life ... no razor coming upon his head.” Also John the Baptist, “drinking neither wine nor strong drink ... filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb,” but not letting the hair grow ( Luke 1:15). The three were called of God to be instruments of a revival in great crises of Israel and the church. The seeming violation of the Nazarite law in Samson’s contact with the dead shows that the spirit of the law herein rises above the letter; the object of his mission justified the deviation from rule even without ceremonial purification.
In three things the Nazarite separated himself from ordinary men, though otherwise freely mixing with them: 1. Abstinence from wine, strong drink (including date and palm wine), and the grape in whatever form; so the high priest and priests when performing official functions ( Leviticus 10:9). 2. Not cutting the hair during the vow; it symbolized physical strength and youthful manhood, and thus the man’s whole powers dedicated to the service of God; answering to the high priest’s” crown (neetser ) of the anointing oil of his God” ( Leviticus 21:12). 3. Noncontact with a corpse even of a nearest relative; so the high priest ( Leviticus 21:11,12). Samuel’s Nazarite prerogative, with God’s extraordinary call, seem to have given him a sacerdotal character. The Nazarites did not form an ascetic fraternity, but followed observances typifying restraint of self will and fleshly appetite and separation unto God; Romans 12:1,2, expresses the corresponding obligation of our Christian life to “present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,” etc. Accidental defilement entailed loss of the previous time and recommencing the days of his dedication, shaving the head and the ordinary purification enjoined for others Numbers 6:9-12; 19:11,12), besides a trespass offering peculiar to his case. In concluding his term of days he offered a sin offering, a burnt offering (implying whole self dedication), and a peace offering (thanksgiving) with unleavened bread.
That the three offerings might represent the one reality, namely, his realizing in himself penitent faith in God’s atoning mercy covering sin, whole self-surrender to God, and thankfulness to Him, the three animals were of one species, a lamb of the first year, an ewe, a ram. His shorn hair was put on the fire of the altar, in order that, although human blood must not be offered, something of the Nazarite’s body, and that representing his manly strength, should be offered. “Separation unto Jehovah ( Numbers 6:2) is the radical idea. Whereas the Nazarite marked this by abstaining from wine, the Christian seals his consecration by obeying Christ’s invitation, “drink ye all of this.” Lightfoot (Exercit. Luke 1:15) leans to the Jews’ identification of the vine with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the N. vow with Adam’s state before he fell.(?)
Paul’s shaving his head at Cenchreae was not a strict Nazarite’s vow, otherwise he would have offered his hair with the sacrifices at the temple door; but a modified Nazarite vow, usual then in respect to deliverances from sickness or other calamity ( Acts 18:18). In Acts 21:24-27 a strict Nazarite vow is referred to on the part of four poor men. Paul as a charity defrayed the charges of their offerings to show his respect for the law. God by Amos ( Amos 2:11,12) complains, “I raised up of your young men for Nazarites.” It was part of Israel’s high privilege that there were, of the class most addicted to self-indulgence, youths who by solemn vow abstained from wine and all defilements. God left nothing undone to lead Israel to holiness. “Her Nazarites were purer than snow ... whiter than milk ... more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphires” ( Lamentations 4:7). God made their body not less, but more, fair by abstinence. Similarly, Daniel ( Daniel 1:8-15); David ( 1 Samuel 16:12; 17:42), type of Messiah (Song 5:10). But Israel so despised God’s favors to tempt the Nazarite to break the vow; “ye gave the Nazarite wine to drink.” Though not cut off from the social world, the Nazarite would feel in spirit reminded by his peculiar dedication, which was a virtual protest against the self indulgence and self seeking of the world, that he was not of the world. Our rule is similar ( John 17:15,16).
NEAPOLIS 1. In Macedonia, the port of Philippi, ten miles off, where first in Europe Paul landed ( Acts 16:11). The Turkish Kavalla. The mountains, including Mount Symbolum, form a noble background. Among the remains are those of Roman work in the substructions of a massive aqueduct, built on two tiers of arches, and carrying water from twelve miles’ distance along the sides of Symbolum over the valley between the promontory and the mainland into Kavalla. The harbour has good anchorage. Dion Cassius (Hist. Romans 47:35) mentions Neapolis as opposite Thasos, which is the position of Kavalla. 2. = Shechem in Old Testament, Sychar in New Testament Now Nablus, corrupted from Neapolis.
NEBAI Nehemiah 10:19.
Forefather of the Nabateans of Arabia Petraea mentioned at the close of the fourth century B.C. as extending from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, Petra being their capital. In 310 B.C. they were strong enough to resist Antigonus (Diodorus Siculus, 2:732,733). In the first century B.C. they flourished under their “illustrious” (Josephus, Ant. 13:13, section 3; 15, section 2) king Aretas, who was chosen also king of Damascus; his successors assumed the name as an official designation ( 2 Corinthians 11:32). Coins are extant of the dynasty which ended A.D. 105, their Nabathaean kingdom being incorporated with Rome as the province” Arabia.” Josephus (Ant. 1:12, section 4) regards “Nabateans” as synonymous with “Arabs,” and says that “Ishmael’s twelve sons inhabit all the regions from the Euphrates to the Red Sea” (compare Genesis 25:18). Many think the rock inscriptions of Sinai to be Nabatean, and to belong to the centuries immediately before and after Christ. Forster (One Primeval Lang.) thinks them Israelite. The name “Nabatean,” as applied to a people S. and E. of Palestine, is unknown to the Arab writers, yet it is on native coins, it must therefore have been lost long before any Arab wrote on geography or history. But the Arab writers use Nabat for Babylonians not Arabians. M. Quatremere from them shows that these Nabateans inhabited Mesopotamia between the Euphrates and Tigris; they were Syro Chaldaeans, and were celebrated among the Arabs for agriculture, magic, medicine, and astronomy.
Four of their works remain: the book on agriculture, that on poisons, that of Tenkeloosha the Babylonian, and that of the secrets of the sun and moon. Chwolson (Remains of ancient Babyl. Literature in Arabic Translations) thinks that “the book of Nabat agriculture,” commenced by Daghreeth, continued by Yanbushadth and finished by Kuthamee, according to the Arab translator, Ibn Wahsheeyeh, the Chaldaean of Kisseen, was so commenced 2500 B.C., continued 2100, and ended under the sixth king of a Canaanite dynasty mentioned in the book, i.e. 1300 B.C.
But the mention of names resembling Adam, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Abraham, and of Hermes, Agathodaemon, Tammuz, and the Ionians, and the anachronisms geographical, linguistic, historical, and religious, point to a modern date even as late as the first century A.D. The Greeks and Romans identified the Nabateans as Arabs, and though the Nabateans of Petra were pastoral and commercial whereas the Nabathaeans of Mesopotamia were, according to the books referred to above, agricultural and scientific, it is probable they were both in origin the same people.
Scripture takes no notice of the Nabathaeans unless “the rams of Nebaioth” ( Isaiah 60:7) refer to them, though so often mentioning Edom. The Nabathaeans must therefore have come into celebrity after the Babylonian captivity. Pliny (v. 11) connects the Nabateans and Kedreans as Isaiah connects Nebaioth and Kedar.
Pisgah was a ridge of the Abarim mountains, W. from Heshbon. Nebo was a part of Pisgah named from the town, NEBO close by. Isaiah 15:2, “Moab shall howl at (al ) Nebo.” ( Jeremiah 48:1; Numbers 32:3,38; 33:47). As Israel’s encampment was “before Nebo,” i.e. to the E. of Nebo, probably Nebo was on Pisgah’s western slope. The peakless, horizontal straightness of the ridge caused the parts to be distinguished only by the names of adjoining villages. As Nebo “faced Jericho,” and “the ravine of Moses’ burying place in Moab faced Beth-Peor,” Attarus suggested by Seetzen is too far S., and jebel el Jilad too far N. to correspond. Grove suggests jebel Nebbah, S. of wady Hesban. 2. “The other (town) NEBO” was W. of Jordan, in Benjamin ( Ezra 2:29; 10:43; Nehemiah 7:33). Perhaps Beit Nubah.
Answering the Egyptian “Thoth,” the Greek “Hermes,” “Mercury,” the “inspired” interpreter or nabiy of the gods, designated in one place “inventor of the writing of the royal tablets.” Presided over learning and letters. Pul, from some special connection with Babylon (Ivalush III) gave Nebo a prominence in Assyrian worship which he had not before. A statue of Nebo with the god’s epithets written across the body, set up at Calah by Pul, is in the British Museum. Babylon from early ages held Nebo among the chief gods. At Birs Nimrud (Borsippa) was his ancient temple, which Nebuchadnezzar rebuilt. He also called his seaport on the Persian gulf Teredon, i.e. given to Tir = Nebo. The names Nabo-nassar, Nabo-polassar, Nebu-chadnezzar, Nabo-nadius, show Nebo was their guardian god. The tower of Nebo had the form of the seven spheres. Nebo’s sphere has the blue sacred to him. But “Nebo stoopeth,” i.e. is prostrate, “a burden to the weary beast” of the conqueror who carried the idol away; so far was Nebo from saving Babylon ( Isaiah 46:1; 1 Samuel 5:3,4; Psalm 20:8).
NEBUCHADNEZZAR; NEBUCHADREZZAR In the monuments Nabu-juduri-utsur, the middle syllable being the same as Kudur = Chedor-laomer. Explained by Gesenius “the prince favored by Nebo”; Oppert, “Nebo, kadr = power, and zar = prince”; Rawlinson, “Nebo his protector (participle from naatsar ‘protect’) against misfortune” (kidor “trouble”). His father Nabo-polassar having overthrown Nineveh, Babylon became supreme. Married his father’s Median ally, Cyaxares’ daughter, Amuhia, at the time of their alliance against Assyria 625 B.C. (Abydenus in Eusebius, Chronicles Can., i. 9). Possibly is the Labynetus (Herodotus i. 74) who led the Babylonian force under Cyaxares in his Lydian war and whose interposition at the eclipse (610 B.C.) concluded the campaign. Sent by Nabopolassar to punish Pharaoh Necho, the conqueror of Josiah at Megiddo. Defeated Necho at Carchemish (605 B.C.) and wrested from him all the territory from Euphrates to Egypt ( Jeremiah 46:2,12; 2 Kings 24:7) which he had held for three years, so that “he came not again any more out of his land.” Became master of Coelo-Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine. Took Jerusalem in the third year of Jehoiakim, and “carried into the land of Shinar, to the house of his god (Merodach), part of the vessels of the house of God” ( Daniel 1:1,2; 2 Chronicles 36:6). Daniel and the three children of the royal seed were at that time taken to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar mounted the throne B.C., having rapidly re-crossed the desert with his light troops and reached Babylon before any disturbance could take place. He brought with him Jehovah’s vessels and the Jewish captives. The fourth year of Jehoiakim coincided with the first of Nebuchadnezzar ( Jeremiah 25:1). In the earlier part of the (year Nebuchadnezzar smote Necho at Carchemish, Jeremiah 46:2). The deportation from Jerusalem was shortly before, namely, in the end of Jehoiakim’s third year; with it begins the Babylonian captivity, 605 B.C. ( Jeremiah 29:1-10). Jehoiakim after three years of vassalage revolted, in reliance on Egypt ( 2 Kings 24:1).
Nebuchadnezzar sent bands of Chaldees, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites against him ( 2 Kings 24:2). Next, Phoenicia revolted. Then in person Nebuchadnezzar marched against Tyre. In the seventh year of his reign he marched thence against Jerusalem; it surrendered, and see JEHOIAKIM fell, probably in battle. Josephus says Nebuchadnezzar put him to death (Ant. 10:6, section 3). Jehoiakim after a three months’ reign was carried away to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar with the princes, warriors, and craftsmen, and the palace treasures, and Solomon’s gold vessels cut in pieces, at his third advance against Jerusalem ( 2 Kings 24:8-16). Tyre fell 585 B.C., after a 13 years’ siege. Meantime Zedekiah, Nebuchadnezzar’s sworn vassal, in treaty with Pharaoh Hophra (Apries) revolted ( Ezekiel 17:15). Nebuchadnezzar besieged him 588-586 B.C., and in spite of a temporary raising of the siege through Hophra ( Jeremiah 37:5-8) took and destroyed Jerusalem after an 18 months’ siege (2 Kings 25). Zedekiah’s eyes were put out after he had seen his sons slain first at Riblah, where Nebuchadnezzar “gave judgment upon him,” and was kept a prisoner in Babylon the rest of his life. (See GEDALIAH , see NEBUZARADAN , see JERUSALEM ). Phoenicia submitted to him (Ezekiel 26--28; Josephus, Ap. 1:21), and Egypt was punished ( Jeremiah 46:13-26; Ezekiel 29:2-10, Josephus, Ant. 10:9, section 7).
Nebuchadnezzar is most celebrated for his buildings: the temple of Bel Merodach at Babylon (the Kasr), built with his Syrian spoils (Josephus, Ant. 10:11, section 1); the fortifications of Babylon, three lines of walls ft. broad, 300 ft. high, enclosing 130 square miles; a new palace near his father’s which he finished in 15 days, attached to it were his “hanging gardens,” a square 400 ft. on each side and 75 ft. high, supported on arched galleries increasing in height from the base to the summit; in these were chambers, one containing the engines for raising the water to the mound; immense stones imitated the surface of the Median mountain, to remind his wife of her native land. The standard inscription (“I completely made strong the defenses of Babylon, may it last forever ... the city which I have glorified,” etc.) accords with Berosus’ statement, and nine-tenths of the bricks in situ are stamped with Nebuchadnezzar’s name. Daniel ( Daniel 4:30) also records his boast, “is not this great Babylon which I have built by the might of my power and for the honour of my majesty?”
Sir H. Rawlinson (Inscr. Assyr. and Babyl., 76,77) states that the bricks of 100 different towns about Bagdad all bear the one inscription, “Nebuchadnezzar, son of Nabopolassar, king of Babylon.” Abydenus states Nebuchadnezzar made the nahr malcha, “royal river,” a branch from the Euphrates, and the Acracanus; also the reservoir above the city Sippara, miles round and 120 ft. deep, with sluices to irrigate the low land; also a quay on the Persian gulf, and the city Teredon on the Arabian border. The network of irrigation by canals between the Tigris and Euphrates, and on the right bank of the Euphrates to the stony desert, was his work; also the canal still traceable from Hit at the Euphrates, framing 400 miles S.E. to the bay of Grane in the Persian gulf. His system of irrigation made Babylonia a garden, enriching at once the people and himself. The long list of various officers in Daniel 3:1-3,27, also of diviners forming a hierarchy ( Daniel 2:48), shows the extent of the organization of the empire, so that the emblem of so vast a polity is “a tree ... the height reaching unto heaven, and the sight to the end of all the earth ... in which was meat for all, under which the beasts ... had shadow and the fowls dwelt in the boughs and all flesh was fed of it” ( Daniel 4:10-12). In Daniel 2:37 he is called “king of kings,” i.e. of the various kingdoms wheresoever he turned his arms, Egypt, Nineveh, Arabia, Phoenicia, Tyre.
Isaiah’s patriotism was shown in counseling resistance to Assyria; Jeremiah’s (Jeremiah 27) in urging submission to Babylon as the only safety; for God promised Judah’s deliverance from the former, but “gave all the lands into Nebuchadnezzar’s hands, and the beasts of the field also, to serve him and his son and his son’s son.” The kingdom originally given to Adam ( Genesis 1:28; 2:19,20), forfeited by sin, God temporarily delegated to Nebuchadnezzar, the “head of gold,” the first of the four great world powers (Daniel 2 and Daniel 7). As Nebuchadnezzar and the other three abused the trust, for self not, for God, the Son of Man, the Fifth, to whom of right it belongs, shall wrest it from them and restore to man his lost inheritance, ruling with the saints for God’s glory and man’s blessedness ( Psalm 8:4-6; Revelation 11:15-18; Daniel 2:34,35,44,45; 7:13-27).
Nebuchadnezzar was punished with the form of insanity called lycanthropy (fancying himself to be a beast and living in their haunts) for pride generated by his great conquest and buildings (Daniel 4). When man would be as God, like Adam and Nebuchadnezzar he sinks from lordship over creation to the brute level and loses his true manhood, which is likeness to God ( Genesis 1:27; 2:19; 3:5; Psalm 49:6,10-12; 82:6,7); a key to the symbolism which represents the mighty world kingdoms as “beasts” (Daniel 7). Angel “watchers” demand that every mortal be humbled whosoever would obscure God’s glory. Abydenus (268 B.C.) states: “Nebuchadnezzar having ascended upon his palace roof predicted the Persian conquest of Babylon (which he knew from Daniel 2:39), praying that the conqueror might be borne where there is no path of men and where the wild beasts graze”; a corruption of the true story and confirming it. The panorama of the world’s glory that overcame Nebuchadnezzar through the lust of the eye, as he stood on his palace roof, Satan tried upon Jesus in vain ( Matthew 4:8-10). In the standard inscription Nebuchadnezzar says, “for four years in Babylon buildings for the honour of my kingdom I did not lay out. In the worship of Merodach my lord I did not sing his praises, I did not furnish his altar with victims, nor clear out the canals” (Rawlinson, Herodotus, ii. 586). It was “while the word was in the king’s mouth there fell a voice from heaven ... thy kingdom is departed from thee” (compare Herod, Acts 12:19,20). His nobles cooperated in his being “driven from men” ( Daniel 4:33); these same “counselors and lords sought unto him,” weary of anarchy after the “seven times,” i.e. a complete sacred cycle of time, a week of years, had passed over him, and with the glimmer of reason left he “lifted up his eyes unto heaven,” instead of beast like turning his eyes downward (compare Jonah 2:1,2,4), and turned to Him that smote him ( Isaiah 9:13), and “honoured Him” whom before he had robbed of His due honour. <19B612> Psalm 116:12,14; Mark 5:15,18,19; compare on the spiritual lesson Job 33:17,18; 1 Samuel 2:8; Proverbs 16:18. Messiah’s kingdom alone will be the “tree” under whose shadow all nations, and even the dumb creatures, shall dwell in blissful harmony ( Ezekiel 17:23; Matthew 13:32; Isaiah 11:6-9).
Nitocris was probably his second queen, an Egyptian (for this ancient name was revived about this time, as the Egyptian monuments prove), for he lived 60 years after his marriage to his first queen Amuhia (625 B.C.).
Herodotus ascribes to Nitocris many of the works assigned by Berosus to Nebuchadnezzar. On his recovery, according to the standard inscription, which confirms Scripture, he added “wonders” in old age to those of his earlier reign. He died 561 B.C., 83 or 84 years old, after reigning 43 years.
Devotion to the gods, especially Bel Merodach, from whom he named his son and successor Evil Merodach, and the desire to rest his fame on his great works and the arts of peace rather than his warlike deeds, are his favorable characteristics in the monuments. Pride, violence and fury, and cruel sternness, were Nebuchadnezzar’s faults ( Daniel 2:12; 3:19; Kings 25:7; 24:8).
Not to Daniel but to Nebuchadnezzar, the first representative head of the world power who overcame the theocracy, the dreams were given announcing its doom. The dream was the appropriate form for one outside the kingdom of God, as Nebuchadnezzar and Pharaoh (Genesis 41). But an Israelite must interpret it; and Nebuchadnezzar worshipped Daniel, an earnest of the future prostration of the world power before Christ and the church ( Revelation 3:9; 1 Corinthians 14:25; Philippians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Luke 19:17). The image set up by Nebuchadnezzar represented himself the head of the first world power, of whom Daniel had said “thou art this head of gold.” Daniel was regarded by Nebuchadnezzar as divine, and so was not asked to worship it ( Daniel 2:46). The 60 cubits’ height includes together the image, 27 cubits (40 1/2 ft.), and the pedestal, 33 cubits (50 ft.). Herodotus, i. 183, similarly mentions Belus’ image in the temple at Babylon as 40 ft. high. Oppert found in the Dura (Dowair) plain the pedestal of what must have been a colossal statue. Nebuchadnezzar is the forerunner of antichrist, to whose “image” whosoever will not offer worship shall be killed ( Revelation 13:14).
NEBUSHASBAN Derived from Nebo; an officer of Nebuchadnezzar at the taking of Jerusalem; he was Rabsaris, i.e. chief of the eunuchs (as Ashpenaz, Daniel 1:3), as Nebuzaradan was Rab-tabbachim, i.e. chief of the body guard, and Nergal Sharezer was Rabmag, i.e. chief of the priests ( Jeremiah 39:13).
NEBUZARADAN From Nebo, the idol; zar , “prince”; and adan or ‘adown , “lord” (Gesenius); but Furst, from dana (Sanskrit), “cut off.” “Captain of the guard,” literally, “chief of the slaughterers”; next to the royal person ( 2 Kings 25:8-18; Jeremiah 39:9-13). Assumed the chief command on arriving after the siege of Jerusalem. Directed what was to be done with the plunder and captives (see CAPTIVITY ). Took the chief Jews for judgment to Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah. Visited Jerusalem four years later, and took away more captives ( Jeremiah 52:30). By Nebuchadnezzar’s direction, Nebuzaradan “looked well to Jeremiah,” gave him his choice of going to Babylon or staying, then sent him with victuals and a present, to be protected by Gedaliah the governor left over Judah, after having first told the Jews “Jehovah hath done according as He hath said, because ye have sinned against Jehovah” ( Jeremiah 39:11-14; 40:2-5). The pagan knew, through Jeremiah, it was Jehovah’s doing; compare the prophecy, Deuteronomy 29:24,25. How humiliating to the Jews to be admonished of their sin by a Gentile ruler!
NECK ”Lay down necks,” i.e. risked their lives ( Romans 16:4). Psalm 18:40, “Thou hast given ... necks of enemies,” i.e. made them turn their backs in flight before me (Keil); so Exodus 23:27, or enabled me to put my foot on their necks, subjecting them utterly to me; as Joshua 10:24; 11:8,12; <19B005> Psalm 110:5. Isaiah 8:8, “he shall overflow, he shall reach even to the neck”: when the waters reach the neck a man is near drowning; Sennacherib’s overflowing hosts reached so far, but Jerusalem the head was not overflowed ( Isaiah 30:28; Habakkuk 3:13). The “stiff neck” is an image from oxen unpliant and casting the “yoke” off the neck ( Acts 7:51; Matthew 11:29). Contrast the yoke men must wear who reject Christ’s easy yoke ( Deuteronomy 28:48).
NECROMANCERS Evokers of the spirits of the dead ( Deuteronomy 18:11). (See DIVINERS ).
NEDABIAH 1 Chronicles 3:16,18. Brother of Salathiel or Shealtiel; son, i.e. grandson, of Jeconiah. Zedekiah, Jeconiah’s son (not the Zedekiah his uncle, last king: 2 Kings 24:17), died “childless” ( Jeremiah 22:30).
Assir, another son, left only a daughter who, according to the law of heiresses ( Numbers 27:8), married into her paternal tribe, namely, Neri, sprung from Nathan, David’s son (Keil). Lord A. Hervey makes Nedabiah, etc., sons of Neri in lineal descent, the list in Chronicles only giving the order of succession.
NEGINAH Hebrew neginath (singular). Title of Psalm 61. The construct form; translated therefore “upon the instrumental music of David.” As Habakkuk 3:19 “to the chief singer on my stringed instruments”; also Amos 6:5, “invent instruments of music like David.”NEGINOTH (plural), the general name for all stringed instruments ( 1 Samuel 18:6,10; 19:9; 16:16-18,23; Psalm 33:2, 92:3; 68:25; 150:4), played with the hand or a plectrum or quill; from nigeen , “performed music.”
Psalm 4’s title: for “on” translated ([...]) “to be accompanied with stringed instruments” (Hengstenberg); chapters 6, 54, 55, 67, 76. But Delitzsch: “Neginah denotes not a particular stringed instrument, but the music on such instruments (often a taunting song in Hebrew, Psalm 69:12; Job 30:9); Neginoth is the music formed by numerous notes running into one another, not various instruments.” In Habakkuk 3:19 the direction is the prophet’s to the precentor or “chief singer,” how the ode was to be performed in the temple liturgy. He had a stringed instrument of his own (“my”) of a form adapted to accompany his subject; or rather (Hengstenberg) the “my” is Israel’s sacred national temple music. As Shigionoth in the beginning marks the melody erratic and enthusiastically irregular as suited to the subject, so Neginoth at the close directs as to the instrument to be used (compare Isaiah 38:20).
NEHEMIAH (See EZRA , see MALACHI ). 1. Son of Hachaliah, seemingly of Judah, as his kinsman Hanani was so ( Nehemiah 1:2); and Jerusalem was “the place of his fathers’ sepulchres” ( Nehemiah 2:3). Probably he was of David’s lineage, as his name varied appears in it, “Naum” ( Luke 3:25), and his kinsman’s name too, Hananiah, son of Zerubbabel ( 1 Chronicles 3:19); his “fathers’ sepulchres” would be those of David’s royal line. Cupbearer of Artaxerxes (Longimanus) according to his own autobiography, at Susa or Shushan, the principal Persian palace; Ecbatana was the royal summer residence, Babylon the spring, Persepolis the autumn, and Susa the winter. In Artaxerxes’ 20th year Hanani with other Jews came from Jerusalem, reporting that the remnant there were in great affliction, the wall broken down, and the gates burned. Sorrow at the news drove him to fasting in expression of sadness, and prayer before the God of heaven, who alone could remedy the evil. His prayer ( Nehemiah 1:4-11) was marked by importunate continuity, “day and night” (compare Isaiah 62:6,7; Luke 18:7), intercession for Israel, confession of individual and national sin, pleading that God should remember His promises of mercy upon their turning to Him, however far cast out for transgression; also that He should remember they are His people redeemed by His strong hand, therefore His honour is at stake in their persons; and that Nehemiah and they who pray with him desire to fear God’s name ( Isaiah 26:8; contrast Psalm 66:18; compare Daniel 9, Leviticus 26:33-39; Deuteronomy 4:25-31); lastly he asks God to dispose Artaxerxes’ heart to “mercy” ( Proverbs 21:1). “Let Thine ear ... Thine eyes be open ... hear the prayer,” is an allusion to Solomon’s prayer ( 1 Kings 8:28,29). After four months ( Nehemiah 1:1; 2:1), from Chisleu to Nisan, of praying and waiting, in Artaxerxes’ 20th year Nehemiah with sad countenance ministered as his cupbearer. The king noticed his melancholy ( Proverbs 15:13) and asked its cause. Nehemiah was “sore afraid,” but replied it was for the desolation of the city “the place of his fathers’ sepulchres.”
Artaxerxes said, “for what dost thou ... request?” Nehemiah ejaculated his request to God first, then to the earthly king. There seemed no interval between the king’s question and Nehemiah’s answer, yet a momentous transaction had passed between earth and heaven that decided the issue in behalf of Nehemiah ( Isaiah 65:24). Artaxerxes, “according to the good hand of Nehemiah’s God upon him,” granted him leave to go to Jerusalem for a time, and letters to the provincial governors beyond the Euphrates to convey him forward, and to Asaph to supply timber for the palace gates, etc.
As “governor” (pechah , also tirshatha’ ) he had an escort of cavalry, and so reached Jerusalem, where he stayed inactive three days, probably the usual term for purification after a journey. Notwithstanding see EZRA’S commission in Artaxerxes’ seventh year (457 B.C.), after the dead period from the sixth of Darius to that year, a period in which there is no history of the returned Jews ( Ezra 6:15--7:1, etc.) and only the history of the foreign Jews in Esther, and notwithstanding the additional numbers and resources which Ezra had brought, Nehemiah now, in Artaxerxes’ 20th year, in his secret ride of observation by night found Jerusalem in deplorable plight ( Nehemiah 2:12-16; compare Isaiah 64:9-12). The account is given in the first person, which often recurs; he forms his secret resolution to none but God in whose strength he moved. How the greatest movements for good often originate with one individual! He next enlisted in the restoration the nobles, priests, and rulers. But his continual dependence was “the hand of his God good upon him” ( Nehemiah 2:8,18), a phrase common to Ezra also ( Ezra 7:6,9,28; compare 5:5), and marking their joint fellowship in God. Where a good work is there will be opposition; so Sanballat the Horonite, and the slave Tobiah the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian mocked the work, and alleged it was rebellion against the king; Nehemiah told them he would persevere in reliance upon “the God of heaven,” but “ye have no right in Jerusalem.”
Psalm 123 was eventually written at this time in reference to their “scorn” while “at ease themselves”; Nehemiah’s “hear, O our God, for we are despised” ( Nehemiah 4:3,4) answers to Israel’s “unto Thee lift I up mine eyes, our soul is filled with the contempt,” etc. His great work was the restoration of the city walls as the first step toward civil government, the revival of the national spirit, and the bringing back of the priests and Levites to reside with a feeling of security for their persons and for the tithes and offerings. Messiah’s advent was associated by Daniel ( Daniel 9:25-27) with the command to “restore and build Jerusalem”; and Jeremiah too had foretold “the city shall be built to the Lord from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner, and the measuring line shall go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb ... to Gath” ( Jeremiah 31:39). Each repaired over against his house (Nehemiah 3), teaching that in the spiritual building we must each begin with our own home and neighbourhood and circle; then charity beginning at home will not end there. “Shallum repaired, he and his daughters” (3:12; compare Romans 16:1,3-5,6,12).
Even Eliashib the half hearted high priest repaired. The Tekoite “nobles (alone) put not their necks to the work of their Lord” (compare Judges 5:23); but generally “the people had a mind to work” ( Nehemiah 4:6), so that soon “all the wall was joined.” The 42 stations of restoration (chapter 3) answer to the 42 stations of Israel’s pilgrim march in the desert (Numbers 33). Sanballat’s party then “conspired to fight against Jerusalem and hinder it.” Nehemiah used means, “setting a watch day and night,” at the same time “praying unto our God” to bless the means. He had not only to contend with adversaries plotting to attack when the Jews should “not know nor see,” but with his own men complaining “the strength of the bearers is decayed, and there is much rubbish, so that we are not able to build” ( Nehemiah 4:8-11). Moreover, the Jews dwelling among the adversaries again and again kept him in alarm with warnings, “from all places (from whence) ye shall return unto us (i.e. from whence ye can come out to us) they will set upon you.” L. De Dieu takes asher not “from whence” but “truly” (as in 1 Sam 15:20): “yea, from all places, truly (yea) return to us,” leaving off your work, for the foes are too many for you; counsel of pretended friends (compare Nehemiah 4:12 with Nehemiah 6:17-19). But Nehemiah, by setting the people by families with weapons in the lower as well as the higher places of the wall, and encouraging them to “remember the Lord,” baffled the enemy; thenceforward half wrought and half held the weapons, the builders and the bearers of burdens wrought with one hand and with the other held a weapon. Nehemiah had the trumpeter next him to give alarm, so as to gather the people against the foe wherever he should approach; none put off their clothes all the time ( Nehemiah 4:23).
Nehemiah also remedied the state of debt and bondage of many Jews by forbidding usury and bond service, and set an example by not being chargeable all the twelve years that he was governor, as former governors had been, on the Jews; “so did not I,” says he, “because of the fear of God” (Nehemiah 5). Nay, more, he daily entertained 150 Jews, besides those that came from among the pagan. His prayer often repeated is “think upon me, my God, for good according to all that I have done for this people” ( Nehemiah 5:19; 13:14; compare Hebrews 6:10; Acts 10:4; Matthew 10:42). While he pleads his efforts, not feigning a mock humility, he closes with “remember me, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of Thy mercy” ( Nehemiah 13:22,31), the publican’s and the dying thief’s prayer. Sanballat in vain tried to decoy him to a conference (Nehemiah 6). Nehemiah replied, “I am doing a great work, I cannot come down” ( Luke 9:62). Then Shemaiah, suborned by Sanballat, tried to frighten him to flee into the temple, where he was detained by a vow ( 1 Samuel 21:7), in order to delay the work and give an appearance of conscious guilt on the part of Nehemiah; but neither he nor the prophetess Noadiah could put him in fear, “should such a man as I (the governor who ought to animate others) flee!” Fearing God ( Nehemiah 6:9,14; 5:15) I have none else to fear ( Isaiah 28:16). His safeguard was prayer; “strengthen my hands, my God, think Thou upon” my enemies ( Nehemiah 6:9,14). So David repelled the false friends’ counsel to “flee” ( Psalm 11:1). Nehemiah’s foes were “much cast down when they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.” <19C602> Psalm 126:2 is Israel’s song at the time: “then said they among the pagan, the Lord hark done great things Jot them ... turn again our captivity (reverse our depression by bringing prosperity again) as the streams of the S. (as the rain streams in the Negeb or dry S. of Canaan return, filling the wadies and gladdening the parched country); they that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” The Jews kept the Passover “with joy” on the dedication of God’s house, the foundation of which had been laid amidst “loud weeping” mingled with shouts of joy ( Ezra 3:11-13; 6:22). Psalm 125 belongs to the same period, encouraging the godly to persevere, “for they that trust in Jehovah shall be as Mount Zion which cannot be removed,” for they have “Jehovah round about” them “as the mountains are round about Jerusalem,” and “the sceptre (rod) of the wicked (Persia, the world power then) shall not (always) remain upon the lot of righteous” Israel, lest, patient faith giving way ( Psalm 73:13), God’s people should relieve themselves by unlawful means ( Isaiah 57:16); “putting forth the hands” is said of presumptuous acts, as in Genesis 3:22. “Turners aside unto their own crooked ways” were those who held correspondence with Tobiah, as Shemaiah and the nobles of Judah ( Nehemiah 6:10-14,17-19; 13:4, Eliashib).
The wall having been built and the doors set up (Nehemiah 7), Nehemiah gave charge of Jerusalem to Hanani and Hananiah, “a faithful man who feared God above many,” and set “every one in his watch over against his house.” Next he found a register of the genealogy of those who first returned from Babylon, 42,360, and took the census; see Ezra 2, which is drawn from the same document. Nehemiah took the register in a later form than that given by Ezra, for the number of those who could not prove their pedigree is reduced by subsequent searches from 652 in Ezra 2:60 to 642 in Nehemiah 7:62. The tirshatha in Ezra 2:63 is Zerubbabel years before, in Nehemiah Nehemiah himself. The items vary, the sum total 42,360 is the same, Ezra 2:64; Nehemiah 7:66; Ezra has 200, Nehemiah 245, singers, the number being augmented by his time. In offerings, the drams of gold in sum are 61,000 in Ezra, but in Nehemiah ( Nehemiah 7:70-72) 20,000 from the chief fathers, 20,000 from the people, and 1,000 from the tirshatha. Only 100 priests’ garments were needed in “setting up the house of God” at its foundation ( Ezra 2:68,69); but at its dedication after complete renovation 530 were given by the tirshatha and 67 by the people ( Nehemiah 7:70,72). The occasions of Ezra 2 and Nehemiah 7 are palpably distinct, though each embodied from a common document sanctioned by Haggai and Zechariah (Zerubbabel’s helpers) as much as suited their distinct purposes. Ezra’s reading of the law to the assembled people followed: Nehemiah 8 (he had just returned from Persia with Nehemiah), 445 B.C. Nehemiah comforted them when weeping at the words of the law: “weep not, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” ( Isaiah 61:3; Matthew 5:4; Psalm 51:12,13); “send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared” ( Luke 14:13); and the keeping of the feast of tabernacles more formally according to the law than the earlier one in Ezra 3:4 at the setting up of the altar, indeed with greater enthusiasm of all as one man (not excepting 1 Kings 8:2,65) than had been since Joshua’s days, reading the law not merely the first and eighth days (as enjoined in Lev 23:35,36), but every day of the feast ( Nehemiah 8:18). The 119th Psalm doubtless was written (probably by Ezra) at this time, expressing such burning love to the law throughout. A fast followed. The law awakened a sense of sin (Nehemiah 9); so first they put away strangers, as Israel must be a separate people, and read the law a fourth of the day, and another fourth confessed sin and worshipped, the Levites leading; then they made a covenant to walk in God’s law, not to intermarry with pagan, to keep the sabbath, and to pay a third of a shekel each for the service of God’s temple, to bring the firstfruits and firstborn, and not to “forsake the house of our God,” (Nehemiah 10) the princes, Levites, and priests sealing it. The reason for taking the census in Nehemiah 7:4,5, etc., now appears, namely, to arrange for so disposing the people who were “few” in the “large” but scantily built city as to secure its safety and future growth in houses (Nehemiah 11). Of the census the heads of Judah and Benjamin dwelling at Jerusalem are given, also of priests and Levites there; but merely the names of the villages and towns through the country (Nehemiah 11, compare Chronicles 9). Then the heads of the courses of priests, and the corresponding names at the time of the return from Babylon, with a few particulars of the priests’ and Levites’ genealogy ( Nehemiah 12:1-26).
The rulers were to dwell at Jerusalem; of the people one of ten by lot were to dwell there and nine in other cities (Nehemiah 11). In Nehemiah 12 the high priests are given from the national archives down to see JADDUA , and the Levites down to his contemporary see DARIUS the Persian, Codomanus.
The dedication of the walls by Nehemiah, the princes, priests, and Levite singers in two companies, followed ( Nehemiah 12:27-47); 2 Maccabees alleges that the temple too was now dedicated after its repair by funds gathered from the people. This will explain Nehemiah’s contributions including “priests’ garments” ( Nehemiah 7:70) after the census, besides other gifts. Finally, in Artaxerxes’ 32nd year (434 B.C.) Nehemiah severed from Israel all the mixed multitude (Nehemiah 13), Ammonites and Moabites, and boldly cast out Tobiah from the chamber in the temple which Eliashib his connection had assigned him, and restored to it, after its cleansing, the temple vessels, meat offerings, and frankincense which had been previously kept there. Firmly he reproved the rulers for breaking their covenant ( Nehemiah 10:39 ff), saying “why is the house of God forsaken?” and insisting that the Levites’ portions should be given them, for the neglect of this duty had driven the Levites to their country fields.
Nehemiah caused Judah to bring the tithes to the temple treasuries (in which see MALACHI supported him, Malachi 3:8), and appointed Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and the Levite Pedaiah, as “faithful” treasurers, to distribute unto their brethren. Also he “testified against” those selling victuals and treading winepresses, and contended with the nobles for trafficking with Tyrian and other waresmen on the sabbath, one great cause of God’s past judgment on the nation ( 2 Chronicles 36:21; Leviticus 26:34,35,43). So, he closed the gates from sabbath eve to the end of the sabbath, and drove away the merchants lodging outside the wall.
His last recorded act is his contending with, cursing, smiting, and plucking the hair off, some of those who formed intermarriages with pagans, the source of Solomon’s apostasy, and his chasing away Joiada’s son, Eliashib’s grandson, for marrying the daughter of Sanballat the Horonite.
Zeal for the purity of God’s worship, priesthood, and people, makes the act praiseworthy as one of faith, whatever exception may be taken to the manner. The Antitype combined holy firmness and rigor of act with calm dignity of manner ( John 2:13-17; Psalm 59:9; Matthew 21:12,13). The language of Malachi ( Malachi 2:4,5,10-12), Nehemiah’s supporter, is in undesigned harmony with Nehemiah 13:27,29, “transgress against our God in marrying strange wives,” “defiled ... the covenant of the priesthood.”
After Artaxerxes’ 32nd year we know no more of Nehemiah. Like Moses, he left a splendid court, to identify himself with his countrymen in their depression. Disinterestedly, patriotic, he “came to seek the welfare of the children of Israel” ( Nehemiah 2:10). Courageous and prompt as a soldier in a crisis requiring no ordinary boldness, at the same time prudent as a statesman in dealing alike with his adversaries and with the Persian autocrat, rallying about him and organizing his countrymen, he governed without fear or partiality, correcting abuses in high places, and himself setting a bright example of unselfishness and princely liberality, above all walking in continual prayerfulness, with eyes ever turned toward God, and summing up all his work and all his hope in the humble prayer at the close, “remember me, O my God, for good.” 2. A chief who returned with Zerubbabel ( Ezra 2:2). 3. Son of Azbuk, ruler of half Bethzur, repaired the wall ( Nehemiah 3:16).
NEHEMIAH, BOOK OF The book is not an appendix to Ezra as its distinct title proves, “the words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah,” nor would the same author give two lists of those returned from Babylon (Ezra 2; Nehemiah 7), and yet leave seeming discrepancies in details. In Nehemiah 8; Nehemiah 9; and Nehemiah 10, the prominence of Ezra is probably the cause why Nehemiah uses the third person of himself, instead of the first which he uses elsewhere. The “we” and “our” in Nehemiah 9 and Nehemiah 10, as to sealing the covenant, identifies the writer as an eye witness, yet not singled out for notice from the rest. The prayer in Nehemiah 9 is in style such as Ezra “the ready scribe in the law of Moses” would compose. The close fellowship of Nehemiah and him would naturally in these passages produce the similarity of phraseology ( Ezra 4:18; 6:22, with Nehemiah 8:8,17). Nehemiah 12:10,11,22,23 mentions Jaddua and Darius the Persian; it is probably the addition of those who closed the Old Testament canon, testifying the continuance to their time of the ordinances and word of God. It is even possible that Nehemiah lived long enough to record there being an heir presumptive to the high priesthood, Jaddua, then an infant.
The register of Levites in “the book of Chronicles” reached only down to “Johanan son of Eliashib,” Nehemiah 12:23. The two “and’s” in Nehemiah 12:22 show “and Jaddua” is a later addition. Nehemiah was governor for 12 years ( Nehemiah 12:14), then in Artaxerxes’ 32nd year returned to his post as “cupbearer”; he “at the end of days” (margin, so 1 Samuel 27:7 “a full year,” margin “a year of days”) after a full year obtained leave to return; “all this time,” namely, a year, Nehemiah was not at Jerusalem, and Eliashib introduced the abuses ( Nehemiah 13:1,4-6 ff). How long Nehemiah stayed this second time is not recorded. “On that day” does not refer to the dedication, but to Nehemiah’s return: Nehemiah 13:6,7. It is a general expression, not strictly chronological.
Nehemiah’s description of Artaxerxes’ character as amiable ( Nehemiah 2:1-8) accords with Plutarch (Vit. Artax., namely, Longimanus), “the first of the Persian monarchs for mildness and magnanimity.” Diodorus Siculus ( Nehemiah 11:71, section 2) says the Persians celebrated the equity and moderation of his government. The mention of the building of the city “walls” in the adversaries’ letter to Artaxerxes Pseudo Smerdis does not justify Smith’s Bible Dictionary in the conjecture that this letter ( Ezra 4:12, etc.) was written under Nehemiah’s government, and is in its wrong place in Ezra, for it is an exaggeration of the adversaries, the truth being that only the temple walls, which might be regarded as a city wall on that side of the city, and the walls of private houses, were then being built.
In style the book of Nehemiah resembles Chronicles and Ezra, proving that it is of the age it purports to be. The word metsiltaim , “cymbals,” occurs in the three and nowhere else. So igartha , “a letter,” in the three and Esther.
Birah said of the palace or temple in the four and Daniel. “The God of the heavens,” in Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel. Peculiar to Nehemiah are certain words and meanings: sabar B, “to view” (2:13,15); meah , “the hundredth part” interest ( Nehemiah 5:11); guwph (hiphil ), “shut” ( Nehemiah 7:3); moal , “lifting up” ( Nehemiah 8:6); miqerah , “read” (ver. 8); huyedot , “psalms of thanksgiving” ( Nehemiah 12:8); tahalukaah , procession” ( Nehemiah 12:31); otsrah ( Nehemiah 13:13), “treasurers.” Aramaisms also agree with the age when Nehemiah wrote. (See CANON OF THE OLD TESTAMENT ) Nehemiah and Malachi, under Ezra, the arranger and finisher of the canon, added their inspired writings as a seal to complete the whole. The Book of Nehemiah bears on it the impress of the author’s earnest piety and intense patriotism. And though the opening words, “Dibhree Nehemiah,” could mean “the affairs of Nehemiah,” yet the fact that the first person is used in Nehemiah 1--7:5 and mostly Nehemiah 11:1--12:47 and Nehemiah 13 renders it more likely that the heading is “the words of Nehemiah.” Probably, as compiler as well as author of the whole, he inserted from public documents Nehemiah 8:1--10:39, for here the third person is used; also Nehemiah 12:26,27.
NEHILOTH Title of Psalm 5, Gesenius explains, “upon the flutes,” from chalil a perforated instrument, chaalal = “to bore”; a direction “to the chief musician” that it was to be sung to wind instruments in the temple service; compare Psalm 87:7, “players on instruments,” i.e. flute or pipe players (cholelim , Gesenius), “dancers” (Hengstenberg, from chuwl ).
Hengstenberg on Psalm 5 title objects, el (“upon”) is never used to introduce the instruments. The title enigmatically and poetically expresses the subject. Septuagint translated “concerning the heiress”; so Vulgate. She is the church, possessing the Lord as her “inheritance” ( Psalm 16:5), or possessed by Him as “His inheritance” ( Deuteronomy 32:9). The plural “upon the inheritances” marks the plurality of members in the church; or else “upon the lots,” namely, the twofold inheritances, blessing from God to the righteous, misery to the wicked.
NEHUSHTAN = brazen. 2 Kings 18:4, “a piece of brass.” The contemptuous name (so the Septuagint, Vulgate, etc.) given to the brazen serpent when Hezekiah broke it in pieces because it was made an idol of, Israel burning incense to it because of its original use in the typical miracle ( Numbers 21:8,9; John 3:14). The Targum of Jonathan, the Peshito Syriac, and Buxtorf less forcibly make Nehushtan the name by which the brass serpent had been generally known. A prescient protest against relic worship.
NEKODA Ezra 2:48,60-62.
NEPHILIM (See NOAH ).
NEPHISHESIM, NEPHUSIM, NAPHISI Nehemiah 7:52.
NEPHTOAH The source of the waters of Nephtoah was a landmark between Judah and Benjamin ( Joshua 15:8,9; 18:15). N.W. of Jerusalem, in a line with the Hinnom valley and Kirjath Jearim, S.W. of Benjamin. Now probably Ain Lifta, two miles and a half from the city, and six from Kuriet el Enab (formerly Kirjath Jearim, but others say Emmaus and place Kirjath Jearim on the mount on the N. of which now Chesla is found; and identify Ain Karim with N.E. of wady Haninah; see Imperial Bible Dictionary).
NER Son of Jehiel, father of Kish, grandfather of Saul; also father of Ner, Saul’s uncle ( 1 Chronicles 8:33; 1 Samuel 14:50). Kish in 1 Chronicles 9:35,36, is an elder Kish, brother of Ner; or else is enumerated with Jehiel’s “sons” (though really his grandson), because he was head of a house of fathers. Gibeon was the family abode. Jehiel’s wife Maachah seemingly was descendant of Caleb by Ephah his concubine, and heiress of the estate in Gibea or Gibeon ( 1 Chronicles 2:46,48,49; 8:29; 9:35; 14:16; Lord A. Hervey in Smith’s Bible Dictionary).
NEREUS A Christian at Rome whom Paul salutes ( Romans 16:15). Of Philologus’ and Julia’s household, Origen guesses. Tradition makes him to have been beheaded at Terracina under Nero, and his ashes deposited in the church of Nereo and Archilleo at Rome.
NERGAL A Hamite name = “great hero.” Some of the Assyrian kings pretended descent from him. In the monuments he is called “the great brother,” “the storm ruler,” “king of battle,” “the strong begetter”; “god of the chase,” which is his special attribute. Nimrod deified, “the mighty hunter before the Lord,” from whom naturally the kings of Babylon and Nineveh would claim descent. Cutha or Tiggaba (Nimrod’s city in Arab tradition) is in the inscriptions especially dedicated to him. In accurate conformity with this the men of Cutha ( 2 Kings 17:30) planted by the Assyrian king as colonists in Samaria “made Nergal their god.” Nergal appears in the compound Nergal-sharezer ( Jeremiah 39:3,13). A human headed lion with eagles’ wings was his symbol. His Semitic name Aria (which when transposed is Nir) means “lion”; Greek Ares; Mars is his planet. Nerig is still its Mendaean name, and the Mendaeans call the third day of the week from him. The lion as lord of the forest was a fit symbol of the god of the chase. Tiglath Pileser (1150 B.C.) attributes to his gift the arrows wherewith he slew wild beasts; so Assur-dani-pal or Sardanapalus. Pul sacrificed to Nergal in Cutha, and Sennacherib built a temple to him in Tarbisa near Nineveh.
NERGAL-SHAREZER (See NERGAL and see BABYLON ). Sharezer, in Zend, would mean “prince of fire.” Two are mentioned ( Jeremiah 39:3,13) as accompanying Nebuchadnezzar at the capture of Jerusalem, and as releasing Jeremiah: one has the title (for it is not a distinct person) Rubmag, “chief priest.” On Babylonian bricks he is called Nergal-shar-uzar, Rubuemga; the same as Neriglissar (Josephus, Ap. 1:20) who murdered his brother-in-law, Evil Merodach, Nebuchadnezzar’s son, and succeeded to the throne as having married Nebuchadnezzar’s daughter. Intemperance, lawlessness, and his elevation of Jehoiachin above the other kings at Babylon, disgusted the Babylonians, so that they deposed Evil Merodach. Nergal-sharezer reigned three or four years, 559-556 B.C., and was succeeded by his son Laborosoarchod, who was murdered after reigning nine months. The palace of Nergal-sharezer is the only large building discovered on the Euphrates’ right bank. The bricks state he was “son of Belzikkariskun, king of Babylon,” possibly the “chief Chaldaean” (Berosus) who kept the throne for Nebuchadnezzar at Nabopolassar’s death, until his arrival at Babylon.
NERI Contracted from Neriah, “Jehovah is my lamp”; son of Melchi, and father of Salathiel ( Luke 3:27). Of Nathan’s line; but when Jeconiah’s issue failed Salathiel succeeded as heir of Solomon’s throne, and is therefore reckoned in the genealogy as Jeconiah’s son, as inheriting his status and prerogatives ( 1 Chronicles 3:17; Matthew 1:12).
NERIAH Jeremiah 51:59; 32:12NERI, 36:4; 43:3.
NEST Hebrew ken . The see KENITE is represented as “putting his nest (ken , playing on the name) in a rock” ( Numbers 24:21,22). So Edom, Obadiah 1:3,4: “thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock ... though thou set thy nest among the stars” (in thy ambitious pride regarding thy lofty dwelling as raised beyond the reach of injury; type of antichrist: Isaiah 14:13; Daniel 8:10; 11:37), i.e. Petra, in the wady Musa, Edom’s capital cut in the rocks. So Moab ( Jeremiah 48:28), “like the dove that maketh her nest in the sides of the hole’s mouth,” i.e. the blue rock dove which tenants the clefts and caves on the wall-like eastern sides of the Dead Sea, also on the western sides; abundant at Mar Saba, where the monks are employed in feeding them. So the bride in the clefts of Christ, the smitten Rock (Song 2:14; Psalm 27:5; Isaiah 33:16).
Contrast the clefts in which the proud sinner like Edom hides ( Jeremiah 49:16). The compartments in Noah’s ark are literally “nests” or berths ( Genesis 6:14). (See BIRD on Psalm 84:3). In Isaiah 10:14 Assyria boasts, “my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people,” implying the ease with which he pillaged the most precious treasures, not his own, as a boy robbing a helpless bard’s nest; “none moved the wing or peeped (chirped)” as a parent bird does when its young are stolen; none dare resist me even with a word.
NET 1. Diktuon (from dikoo “to throw”); let down, cast, and drawn to shore ( Luke 5:2-6; John 21:6-11; Matthew 4:18-22). 2. Amfibleestron , “a cast net,” from amfiballoo “cast about,” “cast hither and there” ( Matthew 4:18; Mark 1:16). The Egyptians make it a tent over their sleeping place to ward off insects (Herodotus ii. 95). 3. Sageene , from sattoo “to load” ( Matthew 13:47), “a net ... cast into the sea ... gathered (together) of every kind,” a sweepnet or dragnet ( Habakkuk 1:14 michmereth ), or drawnet “seine,” that takes in the compass of a small bay. (See BIRD ). In Proverbs 1:17 explain” surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird,” because the bird sees the net and is on its guard; so youths warned by God’s word raise their souls heavenward, on the wings of the fear, faith, and love of God, as the bird flies upward; and therefore escape the net which the tempters fancy they are going to entrap the “innocent” in, but in which really “their own blood and their own lives” are taken ( Proverbs 1:11,18). The tempters think that their intended victims are “innocent in vain” (so translated for “without cause”), i.e. that their innocence will not save them; but it is themselves who “spread the net in vain” ( Psalm 7:15,16; 9:15; Revelation 16:6).
A net is also the image of God’s vengeance, which surprises in a moment and inextricably the sinner, when he least expects ( Lamentations 1:13; Ezekiel 12:13; Hosea 7:12). In 1 Kings 7:17 netted checker work about a pillar’s capital.
NETHANEEL =NATHANAEL in the New Testament = God-given. 1. Prince of Issachar at the exodus, son of Zuar. On the E. of Israel on march, and next Judah (Num 1:8; 2:5; 7:18,23; 10:15). 2. 1 Chronicles 2:14. 3. 1 Chronicles 15:24. 4. 1 Chronicles 24:6. 5. 1 Chronicles 26:4. 6. 2 Chronicles 17:7. 7. Under Josiah gave liberal offerings for the solemn Passover ( Chronicles 35:9). 8. A priest of Pashur’s family who married a foreign wife ( Ezra 10:22). 9. Representative of Jedaiah in the days of Joiakim, son of Jeshua ( Nehemiah 12:21). 10. A Levite, of the sons of Asaph; performed with the musical instruments of David, at the dedication of the wall ( Nehemiah 12:36).
NETHINIM = “given.” Nehemiah 11:21; Ezra 2:43; 7:24; 8:17,20; Chronicles 9:2. Servants of the temple (Josephus uses of them the name given to the slaves attached to the Greek temples, hiero douloi , Ant. 11:5, section 1). So the see LEVITES were “given” (nethunim ) unto Jehovah instead of the firstborn, and by Jehovah “given” to Aaron (see Numbers 3:9; 8:16-19). Nethinim occurs only in the later books: Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. To the Levites 320 of the Midianite captives were given, and 32 to the priests (31:40,42,47). To these slaves doubtless the Levites and priests assigned the more laborious work of the tabernacle service. The Gibeonites similarly, having obtained by craft a covenant from Joshua ( Joshua 9:9,27), “because of the name” and “fame of Jehovah, Israel’s God,” were made “hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and altar.” The Nethinim were their successors; a larger number of servants of the sanctuary being needed when David was reorganizing the worship, he and the princes “appointed” (Hebrew, “gave”) Nethinim for the service of the Levites ( Ezra 8:20), probably from the prisoners taken in war, upon their embracing the worship of Jehovah. The foreign or Canaanite names confirm this view: “Mehunim, Nephusim, and the children of Sisera” ( Ezra 2:43-54). So “Solomon’s servants” ( Ezra 2:55; Nehemiah 7:60), those “left of the Amorites, Hittites ... upon whom he levied a tribute of bond service” ( 1 Kings 9:20). The rabbis represent them as having no right of intermarriage with Israelites (Gemara Babyl., Jebam. ii. 4, Kiddusch. iv. 1, Carpsov. App. Crit. de Neth.); below the children of mixed marriages (mamzerim ), but above proselytes fresh from paganism and emancipated slaves. But when the see LEVITES were slow in coming forward at the return from Babylon, only under Zerubbabel as contrasted with 4,289 priests ( Ezra 2:36-58) and none under Ezra until especially called ( Ezra 8:15,17,20), the Nethinim became more conspicuous, 392 under Zerubbabel, 220 under Ezra, “all expressed by name,” registered after the Levites ( 1 Chronicles 9:2) and admitted to join the covenant ( Nehemiah 10:28, compare Deuteronomy 29:11). Exempted from taxation by Artaxerxes ( Ezra 7:24). Ophel and the Levite cities were their dwelling place, and they had their own rulers ( Ezra 2:70; Nehemiah 11:21). Josephus (B.J. ii. 17, section 6) mentions a feast of carrying wood, xylophoria, in which all the people brought wood for the sacrifices of the year, probably relieving the Nethinim; its beginning may be traced in Nehemiah 10:34.
NETOPHAH = “dropping.” A town coupled with Bethlehem in Nehemiah 7:26, also in 1 Chronicles 2:54; therefore near it. Two of David’s heroes ( <132701> Chronicles 27:1,13,15), captains of two of the 12 monthly military courses, wereNETOPHATHITES ( 2 Samuel 23:28,29). “Villages of Netophathites” were Levite singers’ residences ( 1 Chronicles 9:16; Nehemiah 12:28). The Targum ( 1 Chronicles 2:54; Ruth 4:20; Ecclesiastes 3:11) states that they slew the guards whom Jeroboam stationed on the roads to Jerusalem, to intercept the firstfruits from the villages to the temple. The fast on the 23rd Sivan, still in the Jewish calendar, commemorates Jeroboam’s opposition. Between Bethlehem and Anathoth.
NETTLE charul . Job 30:7, “brambles” (Umbreit). But the bushmen of whom Job speaks “gathered together under the (tall) nettles” to boil them for potherbs (see Job 30:4). The root chaaral “to burn” also favors the Urtica; wrens, “burning” or “stinging nettle.” Royle, from the Arabic khardul, our charlock, argues for the wild mustard. Also qimowsh , Isaiah 34:13.
NEW MOON (See MONTH ). On it work was suspended ( Amos 8:5), the temple was opened for worship ( Isaiah 66:23), and in northern Israel the godly repaired to the prophets for religious instruction ( 2 Kings 4:23). The trumpets were blown, in token of gladness, at the sacrifices peculiar to the clay ( Numbers 10:10; Psalm 81:3); but there was no “holy convocation” as on the sabbath. The seventh new moon of the religious year was the feast of trumpets and began the civil year.
NEW TESTAMENT (See BIBLE , see CANON , see INSPIRATION ). hee kainee diatheekee . See Hebrews 9:15-17; 8:6-13. The Greek term diateeeekee combines the two ideas “covenant” and “testament,” which the KJV gives separately, though the Greek is the same for both. “Covenant” expresses its obligatory character, God having bound Himself by promise ( Galatians 3:15-18; Hebrews 6:17,18). “Testament” expresses that, unlike other covenants, it is not a matter of bargaining, but all of God’s grace, just as a testator has absolute power to do what he will with his own. Jesus’ death brings the will of God in our favor into force. The night before His death He said “I appoint unto you by testamentary disposition (diatitheemi ) a kingdom” ( Luke 22:29). There was really only one Testament -- latent in the Old Testament, patent in the New Testament. The disciples were witnesses of the New Testament, and the Lord’s Supper was its seal. The Old and New Testament Scriptures are the written documents containing the terms of the will.
TEXT. The “Received Text” (i.e. the Textus Receptus or TR) is that of Robert Stephens’ edition. Bentley (Letter to Wake in 1716 A.D.) said truly, “after the Complutenses and Erasmus, who had very ordinary manuscripts, the New Testament became the property of booksellers. R.
Stephens’ edition, regulated by himself alone, has now become as if an apostle were its compositor. I find that by taking 2,000 errors out of the Pope’s Vulgate (i.e. correcting by older Latin manuscripts the edition of Jerome’s Vulgate put forth by Sixtus V, A.D. 1590, with anathemas against any who should alter it ‘in minima particula,’ and afterwards altered by Clement VIII (1592) in 2,000 places in spite of Sixtus’ anathema) and as many out of the Protestant pope Stephens’ edition, I can set out an edition of each (Latin, Vulgate, and Greek text) in columns, without using any book under 900 years old, that shall so exactly agree word for word, and order for order, that no two tallies can agree better. ... These will prove each other to a demonstration, for I alter not a word of my own head.” The first printed edition of the Greek Testament was that in the Complutensian Polyglot, January, 10, 1514 A.D. Scripture was known in western Europe for many ages previously only through the Latin Vulgate of Jerome. F. Ximenes de Cisneros, of Toledo, undertook the work, to celebrate the birth of Charles V. Complutum (Alcala) gave the name.
Lopez de Stunica was chief of its New Testament editors. The whole Polyglot was completed the same year that Luther affixed his 95 theses against indulgences to the door of the church at Wittenberg. Leo X lent the manuscripts used for it from the Vatican. It follows modern Greek manuscripts in all cases where these differ from the ancient manuscripts and from the oldest Greek fathers. The Old Testament Vulgate (the translation which is authorized by Rome) is in the central column, between the Greek Septuagint and the Hebrew (the original); and the editors compare the first to Christ crucified between the impenitent (the Hebrew) and the penitent (the Greek) thief! Though there is no Greek authority for 1 John 5:7, they supplied it and told Erasmus that the Latin Vulgate’s authority outweighs the original Greek! They did not know that the oldest copies of Jerome’s Vulgate omit it; the manuscript of Wizanburg of the eighth century being the oldest that contains it.
Owing to the Complutensian Greek New Testament not being published, though printed, until the Polyglot was complete, Erasmus’ Greek New Testament was the first published, namely, by Froben a printer of Basle, March 1516, six years before the Complutensian. The providence of God at the dawn of the Reformation thus furnished earnest students with Holy Scripture in the original language sanctioned by the Holy Spirit. Erasmus completed his edition in haste, and did not have the scruples to supply, by translating into Greek front the Vulgate, both actual hiatuses in his Greek manuscripts and what he supposed to be so, especially in the Apocalypse, for which he had only one mutilated manuscript To the outcry against hint for omitting the testimony of the three heavenly witnesses he replied, it is not omission but non-addition; even some Latin copies do not have it, and Cyril of Alexandria showed in his Thesaurus he did not know it; on the Codex Montfortianus (originally in possession of a Franciscan, Froy, who possibly wrote it, now in Trinity College, Dublin) being produced with it, ErasmusINSERTED it. So clumsily did the translator of the Vulgate Latin into Greek execute this manuscript that he neglects to put the necessary Greek article before “Father,” “Word,” and” Spirit.” Erasmus’ fifth edition is the basis of our “Received Text.” In 1546 and 1549 R. Stephens printed two small editions at Paris, and in 1550 a folio edition, following Erasmus’ fifth edition almost exclusively, and adding in the margin readings from the Complutensian edition and from 15 manuscripts collected by his son Henry, the first large collection of readings. The fourth edition at Geneva, 1551, was the first divided into modern verses. Beza next edited the Greek New Testament, generally following Stephens’ text, with a few changes on manuscript authority. He possessed the two famous manuscripts, namely, the Gospels and Acts, now by his gift in the university of Cambridge; “Codex Bezae” or “Cantabrigiensis,” D; and the epistles of Paul, “Codex Clermontanus” (brought from Clermont), now in the Bibliotheque du Roi at Paris; both are in Greek and Latin. The Elzevirs, printers at Leyden, published two editions, the first in 1624, the second in 1633, on the basis of R. Stephens’ third edition, with corrections from Beza’s. The unknown editor, without stating his critical principles, gravely declares in the preface: “texture habes ab omnibus receptum, in quo nihil immutatum aut corruptum damus”; stranger still, the public for two centuries has accepted this so-called “Received Text” as if infallible. When textual criticism was scarcely understood, theological convenience accepted it as a compromise between the Roman Catholic Complutensian edition and the Protestant edition of Stephens and Beza. Mill (1707) has established Stephens’ as the Received Text in England; on the continent the Elzevir is generally recognized. Thus, an uncritical Greek text of publishers has been for ages submitted to by Protestants, though abjuring blind assent to tradition, and laughing at the claim to infallibility of the two popes who declared each of two diverse editions of the Vulgate to be exclusively authentic. (The council of Trent, 1545, had pronounced the Latin Vulgate to be the authentic word of God).
Frequent handling and transmission soon destroyed the originals. If the autographs of the inspired writers had been preserved, textual criticism would not have been necessary. But the oldest MSS, existing, Codex Sinaiticus (‘aleph) Codex Vaticanus (B), Codex Alexandrinus (A), are not older than the fourth century. Parchment was costly ( 2 Timothy 4:13).
Papyrus paper which the sacred writers used ( 2 John 1:12; 3 John 1:13) was fragile. No superstitious or antiquarian interest was felt in the autographs which copies superseded. The Diocletian persecution (A.D. 303) attacked the Scriptures, and traditores (Augustine, 76, section 2) gave them up. Constantine ordered 50 manuscripts to be written on fair skins for the use of the church. God has not seen fit (by a perpetual miracle) to preserve the text from transcriptional errors. Having by extraordinary revelation once bestowed the gift, He leaves its preservation to ordinary laws, yet by His secret providence furnishes the church, its guardian and witness, with the means to ensure its accuracy in all essentials ( Romans 3:2). Criticism does not make variations, but finds them, and turns them into means of ascertaining approximately the original text. More materials exist for restoring the genuine text of New Testament than for that of any ancient work. Whitby attacked Mill for presenting in his edition 30,000 various readings found in manuscripts. Collins, the infidel, availed himself of Whitby’s unsound argument that textual variations render Scripture uncertain. Bentley (Phileleutherus Lipsiensis), reviewing Collins’ work, shows if ONLY ONE manuscript had come down there would have been no variations, and therefore no means of restoring the true text; but by God’s providence MANY manuscripts have come down -- some from Egypt, others from Asia, others from the western churches. The numbers of copies and the distances of places prove that there could be no collusion nor interpolation of all the copies by ANY ONE of them. Moreover, by the mutual help of the various copies, all the faults may be mended -- one copy preserving the true reading in one place, another in another. The ancient versions too, the ante-Jerome Latin, Jerome’s Vulgate, the Syriac (second century), the Coptic, and the Thebaic or Sahidic (third century), as well as the citations in Greek and Latin fathers, additionally help toward ascertaining the true text. The variety of readings, so far from making precarious, makes the textALMOST CERTAIN. The worst manuscript extant contains all the essentials of Christianity. Bentley collated the Alexandrinus manuscript, and was deeply interested to find that Wetstein’s collation of the Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus of Paris (C) confirmed the Alexandrinus readings. Comparative criticism begins with Bentley. He found the oldest manuscripts of Jerome’s Vulgate differ widely from the Clementine, and agree both in the words and in their order (which Jerome preserved in his translated “because even the order of the words is a mystery”: Ep. ad Pamm.) with the oldest Greek manuscripts The citations of the New Testament by fathers are then especially valuable as evidences, when a father cites words expressly, or a special word which agrees with ancient manuscripts and versions, for such could hardly come from transcribers.
Bentley obtained a collation of the Codex Vaticanus from Mico, an Italian, which his nephew T. Bentley verified in part. Woide transcribed it, and H.
Ford edited it in 1799.
The Latin version before Jerome’s having become variously altered in different copies caused the need for his translation from the original Greek of manuscripts current at Rome (and in a few passages probably from Origen’s Greek manuscripts in the Caesarean library), at Damasus’ suggestion. He acknowledges he did not emend all that he could have. And in his commentaries, he appeals to manuscripts against what he had adopted at Rome. Origen’s readings show a text agreeing with manuscripts A, B, C (usually considered Alexandrian) rather than with the Western and Latin authorities. The Alexandrian and the western authorities coming from different quarters are independent witnesses. Bengel (1734) laid down the principle, “the hard is preferable to the easy reading,” the copyist would more probably originate an easy than a hard reading. He observed differences in classes of manuscripts and versions. The Alexandrian manuscripts, few but far weightier, represent the more ancient ones; the far more numerous Byzantine manuscripts the more recent, family or class.
The Byzantine or Constantinopolitan mutually concur, because copied from one another; the Alexandrian have some mutual discrepancies which render their concurrence in many more passages against the received text the weightier, because they prove the absence of collusion and mutual copying. The Greek fathers prior to Jerome’s Vulgate in quoting the Greek Testament agree with the readings in the oldest manuscripts, as does the Vulgate.
Griesbach (1774) affirmed the sound rule, “no reading, however good it seems, ought to be preferred to another unless it has at least some\parANCIENT testimonies.” Also, coeteris paribus, “the shorter is preferable to the longer reading,” for copyists tend to add rather than omit; notes in the margin, such as the parallel words of the same incident in different Gospels, creep into the text, and texts, like snowballs, grow in transmission. Lachmann first cast aside the received text as an authority entirely, and reconstructed the text as transmitted by our most ancient authorities, namely, the oldest Greek manuscripts: A, B, C, D, Delta (Claromontanus), E, G, H, P, Q, T, Z; citations in Origen; the ante-Jerome Latin in the oldest manuscripts: a, b, c, d, e, Laudianus, Actuum, f Claromontanus Paul. Epp., f f Sangermanensis Paul. Epp., g Bornerianus Paul. Epp., h Primasius in the Apocalypse; Jerome’s Vulgate in the oldest manuscripts: Fuldensis, and its corrections by Victor of Capua, and Amiatinus or Laurentianus; readings in Irenaeus, Cyprian, Hilary of Poictiers, and Lucifer of Cagliari.
Wiseman suggested that the “Old Latin” (ante-Jerome) version was made in Africa, of which “the Italian version” (Augustine de Doctr. Christ., 2:15) was a particular recension current in upper Italy. To Lachmann’s authorities other ancient versions besides the Latin ones need to be added; also the oldest manuscripts need accurate collation. Cardinal Mai’s edition of the Vaticanus manuscript is not altogether reliable. Tischendorf has added to our Greek manuscripts Codex Sinaiticus (‘aleph), which he found on Mount Sinai in 1844 and rescued from papers intended to light the stove in the convent of Catherine. Only in 1859 did he obtain the whole -- the Septuagint, the whole New Testament, the whole Epistle ascribed to Barnabas, and a large part of the Shepherd of Hermas (on vellum). It was first deposited in St. Petersburg, having been presented to Alexander II of Russia, who had 300 copies, in four folio volumes, printed at his own expense in 1862. In 1863 the popular edition was published, containing the New Testament, Barnabas, and Hermas; Scrivener has published a cheap collation of it. Lachmann is wrong in slavishly adhering to the principal authorities when agreeing in an unquestionable error; still “the first Greek Testament printed wholly on ancient authority, irrespective of modern traditions, is due to C. Lachmann” (Tregelles, “Printed Text of Greek Testament,” an admirable work).
Tischendorf followed, adding however many manuscripts and versions of later date to the older authorities (including the two old Egyptian and the two Syriac versions). Rightly, in parallel passages (e.g. the synoptical Gospels) he prefers those testimonies in which accordance is not found, unless there be good reason to the contrary, for copyists tried to bring parallel passages into accordance. Also in discrepant readings he prefers that one which may have been the common starting point to the rest. Also those which accord with New Testament Greek and with the writer’s particular style. It retains the Alexandrian forms of Greek words, though seeming barbarous, for this style of Greek was common in the New Testament era to Palestine, Egypt, and Libya, and appears in the Septuagint. As leempsetai for leepsetai ; vowels changed, katherizo for katharizo ; augment doubled, or omitted; rho (r) not doubled, as erantisen ; unusual forms, epesa , anathema for anatheema , etc. While maintaining the paramount weight of ancient authorities, he admits more modern ones in case of conflicting evidence. Alexandria was in the early ages the center for publishing Greek manuscripts; hence, our oldest manuscripts were copied there, though the originals were written elsewhere. The oldest manuscripts are written in uncial (capital) letters; the modern ones in cursive or small letters. Besides the versions above mentioned the Gothic of Ulphilas (fourth century), the Aethiopic, and the Armenian are important. These all were translated surely from the Greek itself; we are not sure of the rest.
THE ORDER OF THE NEW TESTAMENT BOOKS. The fragment of Muratori’s see CANON , Melito, Irenaeus, and Origen, arrange the Gospels as we have them. Acts follow. Then Paul’s epistles in Eusebius, in the Latin church, and in Jerome’s Vulgate (oldest manuscripts) But the uncial manuscripts A, B, C, also Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, and the council of Laodicea (A. D. 364) place the general or universal epistles before Paul’s. A, B, C also place epistle to Hebrews after 2 Thessalonians.
Codex Sinaiticus (‘aleph) puts Hebrews after 2 Thessalonians, Acts after Philemon, the universal (general) epistles after Paul’s letters and the Book of Acts.
OLDEST MANUSCRIPTS. ‘aleph, B, fourth century; A, C, Q, T, fragments, fifth century; D, P, R, Z, E2, D2, H3, sixth century; theta, seventh century; E, L, lambda, xi, B2, eighth century; F, K, M, X, T, delta, H2, G2=L2, F2, G2, K2, M2, ninth century; G, H, S, V (E3), tenth century. In the Gospels ‘aleph, A, B, C, D, and the fragments Z, J, N, gamma, P, Q, T, are of primary authority; the uncial manuscripts are of secondary authority, and mostly agreeing with these, are L, X, delta; there are cursive manuscripts -- 1, 33, 69 -- which support the old manuscripts. In Acts, the oldest manuscripts are ‘aleph, A, B, C, D, E; G, H, and the F(a) fragment have a text varying from the oldest manuscripts; the cursives 13 and 31 agree with the oldest manuscripts. In the universal epistles ‘aleph, A, B, C, G; the uncial J differs from these oldest manuscripts. In the Pauline epistles ‘aleph, A, B, C, D (and E Sangermanensis, its copy), and H; the cursives 17 and 37 agree with the oldest manuscripts. In Revelation ‘aleph, A, C; B Basilianus (not Codex Vaticanus), a valuable but later uncial; cursives and 38 agree often with the oldest manuscripts.
PRIMARY AUTHORITIES. Codex Sinaiticus (‘aleph), see above. The Codex Alexandrinus (A) given by Cyril Lucar, patriarch of Constantinople, to Charles I, 1628; now in the British Museum; it contains the Old Testament, the Septuagint, and begins the New Testament with Matthew 25:6, and lacks John 6:50--8:52; the New Testament part was published in facsimile by Woide in 1786.
Codex Vaticanus (B) contains the Old Testament and the New Testament (down to Hebrews 9:14; the remainder, to end of Revelation, was added in the 15th century. Also, the original does not have epistles to Timothy, Titus, Philemon. There are four collations: by Bartolocci, 1669, in manuscript, in Bibliotheque du Roi, Paris; that by Mico for Bentley, 1720, published 1799; that by Birch, except Luke and John, 1798; that by Mai, published 1858 4to, 1859 8vo; was still not accurate. It was originally written in the middle of the fourth century in Egypt; its text agrees with Alexandrian authorities.
Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, or palimpsest (C); the Syrian Ephraem wrote 38 tracts on the parchment, after sponging out the old writing, to save writing materials. It was scarce even then. Peter Allix, a French pastor, 17th century, detected the Old and New Testament uncials underneath. C.
Hase, 1834, restored the writing by chemicals. Wetstein collated it. Written in Egypt early in fifth century, corrected in sixth, and again in ninth century, to agree with Constantinopolitan text. Brought to Florence at the fall of the Greek empire; thence Catherine de Medici brought it to the Bibliotheque du Roi, Paris. It lacks 2 Thessalonians, 2 John 1, and several passages. Tischendorf edited it 1843.
Bezae Cantabrigiensis (D), Beza having presented it 1581. It was brought from Greece to the monastery of Irenaeus at Lyons; at the sack of Lyons Beza found it in 1562. It comes from the sixth century. Kipling edited it 1793. It contains the Gospels and Acts with a Latin version. Mutilated and interpolated; the interpolations are easily distinguished from the original.
Its text is mostly like the ancient Latin versions. It has peculiarities that were probably not in the sacred originals. Nevertheless, it still supports Codex Vaticanus (B) in readings which have been proved to be independently ancient.
Codex Dublin (Z) rescriptus fragment of Matthew. Barrett had it correctly engraven, facsimile, 1787. In 1801 he, when eyesight was failing, gave the text in ordinary Greek letters on each opposite page, full of errors which the accompanying uncials confuted. Tregelles by chemicals discovered additional portions and restored the whole. It comes from the sixth century.
Codex Cottonianus (J), in the British Museum. Fragments of Matthew and John. Published by Knittel in 1762.
Codex Caesareus Vindobonensis (N), a fragment of the same manuscript:
Luke 24. Vaticanus (gamma), fragment of the same manuscript: part of Matthew.
Codex Guelpherbytani (P, Q), two fragmentary rescriptae, sixth century: P, the Gospels; Q, Luke and John: in the ducal library at Wolfenbuttel.
SECONDARY AUTHORITIES. L., Bib. Reg. Paris., of the Gospels; text related to B; Tischendorf edited it. Monacensis (X), fragment of the four Gospels. San Gallensis (delta), in the library of Gall, Greek and Latin four Gospels. Delta and G, Boernerianus, of Paul’s epistles, are severed parts of the same book.
Manuscripts of Acts, besides ‘aleph, A, B, C, D. E, Laudianus, Greek and Latin; Laud gave it to Bodleian Library, Oxford; brought from Sardinia; Hearne edited it 1715; sixth century (Tischendorf). F(a), fragm. in Scholia of Old Testament manuscript in Bened. Library, Germain; seventh century.
G, Bibl. Angelicae at Rome; ninth century. So H, Mutinensis.
Manuscripts of the universal epistles, besides ‘aleph, A, B, C, G.
Manuscripts of Paul’s epistles besides ‘aleph, A, B, C, D (delta in Lachmann), Claromontanus, Greek and Latin, in Royal Library, Paris; came from Clermont, Beza had owned it; all Paul’s epistles except a few verses; Tischendorf published it, 1852; sixth century. H, Coislinianus, at Paris; fragment of Paul’s epistles; brought from Mount Athos; Montfaucon edited it in 1715; though Constantinopolitan in origin it agrees with the ancient authorities, not the Byzantine and received text; sixth or seventh century, but its authority is that of the best text of Caesarea in the beginning of the fourth century; the transcriber’s note is, “this copy was collated with a copy in Caesarea belonging to the library of S. Pamphilus and written with his own hand.” F, G, agree with the oldest manuscripts F, Angiensis, Greek and Latin, bequeathed by T. Bentley to Trin. Coll., Cambridge, agrees in most readings with Boernerianus G. Epistle to Hebrews is wanting in both. The Latin in F is the Vulgate, in G the old Italian or ante-Jerome Latin. C.F. Matthaei published it in 1791. Both come from the ninth century.
Manuscripts of Revelation besides ‘aleph, A, C. B, Basilianus, in the Vatican, eighth century; Tischendorf edited it.
MANUSCRIPTS IN CURSIVE LETTERS. From the 10th to 16th century. of the Gospels, 200 of Acts and universal epistles, 300 of Paul’s epistles, 100 of Revelation; besides 200 evangelistaria, and 70 lectionaria or portions divided for reading as lessons in church. Scrivener makes the total -- 127 uncials, 1461 cursives.
ANCIENT VERSIONS. (1) The ante-Jerome Latin. Translated from oldest Greek manuscripts, a text related to D, and of a different family from the Alexandrian manuscripts. It adheres to the original Greek tenses, cases, etc., in violation of Latin grammar. A Jew probably was the translator (Ernesti, Inst. 2:4, section 17). The copies, though varying, have a mutual resemblance, indicating there was originally one received Latin version.
From their agreement with the citations of African fathers, Tertullian and Cyprian, Wiseman infers the archetypal text originated in northern Africa, from whence it passed to Italy (second century) when Irenaeus’ translator knew it. Variations arose in different copies; alluding to these Augustine said, “the Italian (i.e. a particular revision of the old Latin version current in upper Italy) is to be preferred to the rest.” He distinguishes between “emended copies,” (i.e. brought from Africa to Italy, and there emended from Greek manuscripts also improved in Latinity,) and “nonemended copies,” i.e. retaining the text of their African birthplace unaltered. The purest text is in Codex Vercellensis and Codex Veronensis, a and b, transcribed by Eusebius the martyr, fourth century, published by Blanchini, Evang. Quadr., at Rome, 1749. Colbertinus Evang., c, 11th century, but agreeing with oldest text; Sabatier published at Paris, 1751. Cantabrigiensis of the Gospels, Acts, and 3 John, d; accompanies D, but is not translated from it. Palatinus of the Gospels, e; in Libr. Vienn.; fourth or fifth century; Tischendorf edited it, Lips., 1847. Laudianus, of Acts; in E, e.
Claromontanus, the Latin version in D of Paul’s epistles, Sangermanensis, the Latin in E of Paul’s epistles. Boernerianus in G, of Paul’s epistles. Also Corbeiensis (ff in Tisch.) of universal Epistles; Martianay edited it at Paris, 1695; very ancient. (2) The same version revised in upper Italy appears with a Byzantine tendency in Codex Brixianus, f. (3) The Old Latin appears more accordant with the Alexandrian old Greek manuscripts in Bobbiensis, k, containing a fragment of the New Testament.
Tischendorf edited it at Vienna in 1847.
THE VULGATE OF JEROME (i.e. the version which supplanted all former versions in the then common tongue, Latin, and came into common use), made A.D. 383; see above. The copies of the old Latin had fallen into mutual discrepancies. Jerome, collating the Latin with Greek manuscripts considered by him, the greatest scholar of the Latin church, ancient at the end of the fourth century, says he “only corrected those Latin passages which altered the sense, and let the rest remain.” He rejects certain interpolated Greek manuscripts, “a Luciano et Hesychio nuncupatos,” on the ground that the versions made in various languages before the additions falsify them, suggesting the use of the oldest versions, namely, to detect interpolations unknown in the Greek text of their day. The texts of Sixtus V (1590) and Clement VIII (1592), authorized with anathemas, differ widely from Jerome’s true text as restored by the Amiatinus manuscript or Laurentianus, which was transcribed by Servandus, abbot of Monast.
Amiata, 541; now in Laurentian Lib., Florence. Tischendorf published it 1850. Fuldensis manuscript of whole New Testament, the four Gospels harmonized, with preface by Victor of Capua.
EGYPTIAN VERSIONS. (1) The Coptic or Memphitic, of Lower Egypt, third century; D.
Wilkins edited it, Oxford, 1716. (2) Sahidic or Thebaic, of Upper Egypt; Woide, or rather his successor H. Ford, edited it in the New Testament from Codex Alexandrinus, 1799. (3) Basmuric, a third Egyptian dialect.
SYRIAC VERSIONS. (1) Cureton published the Syriac manuscripts brought by Dr. Tattam from the Natrian monastery, Lower Egypt, now in the British Museum.
These differ widely from the common (as in Rich’s manuscript 7157 in British Museum, much altered by transcribers) Peshito, i.e. pure Syriac, version, called so from its chose adherence to the original Greek; second century. (2) The Harclean, a later Syriac version by Polycarp, suffragan to Philoxenus, bishop of Hierapolis, 508; White published it as “the Philoxenian.”
The Gothic, by Ulphilas, from the Greek; fourth century. Gabelentz and Loebe edited it, 1836. Versions later than sixth century are valueless as witnesses to the ancient text.
Citations in Greek and Latin fathers down to Eusebius inclusive; important in fixing the text of the fourth and previous centuries, only in cases where they must be quoting from manuscripts and not from memory. Origen quotes almost two thirds of New Testament except James, 2 Peter, 2 and John, and Revelation. Adamantius’ (= Origen) copies appealed to by Jerome (on Matthew 24:36; Galatians 3:1) were written probably by Origen; Pamphilus’ copy was from Origen’s text.
Textual variations and ancient manuscripts of Origen who died in A.D., and of Tertullian in 220 A.D., testify that the text varied in different copies and versions even then. The earliest Christians, being filled themselves with the Spirit, and having enjoyed intercourse with the apostles, were less tenacious of the letter of Scripture than the church had found it necessary to be ever since. The internal evidence of the authority of the New Testament, and its public reading in church, and its universal acceptance by Christians and heretics alike as the standard for deciding controversies, indicate the reverence felt for it from the first. But the citations of the Gospels in Justin Martyr, and previously in the apostolic fathers, show that besides the written word the oral word was still in men’s memories; also frequent transcription, the Harmonies (Ammonius in third century made a Diatessaron, weaving the four Gospels into one) trying to bring all four into literal identity by supplying omissions in one from another, marginal notes creeping into the text; variation gradually arising in distant regions, “the indolence of some transcribers, and corrections by others by way of addition, or taking away as they judged fit” (Origen in Matthew 8), all caused copies to differ in different places. Providentially early versions of diverse regions afford means of detecting variations.
Citations in fathers often support the versions’ readings against the interpolated texts, so that if even there were no Greek manuscripts to support the versions’ readings the evidence would still be on the side of these. But we have manuscripts habitually supporting the readings which are independently proved the original ones by the testimony of both versions and patristic citations. Therefore the manuscripts above, though few, are proved to be the safest guides to the ancient text. The accordance of versions from various regions in the disputed passages proves their trustworthiness at least in these. Further, the older the copies of the version (as the Amiatinus of Vulgate and the Curetonian of the Syriac), the greater their agreement with our ancient manuscripts. So in patristic citations, it is just in those passages where the copyists could not have altered the readings to the modern ones without altering the whole context that the testimony of fathers agrees with the text of the few ancient Greek manuscripts in opposition to the numerous modern ones. Thus a trustworthy text is secured by a threefold cord, a testimony internal and external: (1) oldest manuscripts, (2) oldest versions supporting the manuscripts readings independently, (3) earliest patristic citations agreeing with both.
The true classification of manuscripts (Tregelles) is into ancient and modern, or rather those presenting what is independently proved to be the ancient text (including a few modern manuscripts, as the cursive 1 in the Gospels and 33 throughout) and those presenting the modern text with which the modern versions accord. “Recension” ought to be restricted to those attempts to correct the ancient text out of which modern readings arose. Rude Hellenistic gave place to the politer Greek of Constantinople in the numerous copies made there, and this tendency continued to act on the Byzantine manuscripts down to its fall. Mohamedanism checked the multiplication of copies in Africa and Syria, Greek ceased to be current in the west. Thus, the Alexandrian and the western text manuscripts remained as they were, while the Byzantine were becoming more and more molded into a uniform modern text.
Eusebian canons. Eusebius of Caesarea composed ten canons which afford us means of detecting later additions.
II. Those common to Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
III. Those common to Matthew, Luke, and John.
IV. Matthew, Mark and John.
V. Matthew and Luke.
VI. Matthew and Mark.
VII. Matthew and John.
VIII. Luke and Mark.
IX. Luke and John.
X. Those peculiar to each of the four.
Each Gospel was divided, by numbers in the margin, into the portions of which it consisted; Matthew has 355, Mark 233. With these numbers was also that of the canon to which each belonged. Thus, in Mark’s “resurrection” ( Mark 16:2-5) the number was 231, and I. the canon mark, showing the paragraph is in all four evangelists. In canon I. the three parallel paragraphs would be marked by their respective numbers: Matthew 28:1-4 by 352; Luke 24:1-4 by 336; John 20:11,12 by 211. They appear in Jerome’s Vulgate.
Criticism, punctuation, orthography. Where oldest manuscripts, versions, and citations concur, the reading is certain; conjecture must not say what the text ought to be, but accept it as it is: still palpable errors must be rejected. Where the trustworthy witnesses differ, our knowledge of the origin of various readings, and of the kind of errors to which copyists were liable, must be used. Griesbach’s rule holds good, “the shorter is preferable to the longer,” and Bengel’s, “the harder is preferable to the easier reading.” But where the shorter is due to the recurrence of the same word or syllable at the end or beginning of two clauses, the copyist’s eye passing over, the fuller is the original reading. Liturgical use occasioned the insertion of the doxology in the Lord’s prayer, Matthew 6:13; and probably Acts 8:37. Tregelles’ Greek Testament is superior to Lachmann’s Greek Testament in appealing to more witnesses, and to Tischendorf’s in more leaning on ancient authorities. Iota, now subscribed, was at first postscribed, but was omitted before the date of our oldest manuscripts except its postscription rarely in the Sinaiticus manuscript.
Stops were not in the originals, but were inserted by transcribers. In many old manuscripts pauses are marked by a dot, or blank between two words.
Stichometry subsequently served the same end, i.e. divisions into lines ([stichoi]) written like blank verse, marking both pauses of sentences and divisions of the words; the letters running together in Greek manuscripts.
The comma was invented in the eighth century, the semicolon in the ninth.
In A.D. 496 Paul’s epistles were divided into chapters with titles, perhaps by Theodore of Mopsuestia. Euthalius divided them and Acts into lections or lessons and stichoi or lines. Hugo of Cher originated our modern chapters; R. Stephens, traveling on horseback, our verses. Accents are not found in manuscripts before the eighth century; breathings marks and apostrophes came a little earlier.
LANGUAGE. That of the New Testament is Hellenistic, i.e. Hebrew idiom and conceptions clothed in Greek expression, Eastern thoughts joined to western words (see GRECIAN ). Greek activity and freedom were combined with Hebrew reflective depth and divine knowledge. The Septuagint Greek translated of Old Testament in Alexandria considerably molded the Greek dialect of the Jews in Asia, Palestine, and Egypt. At the same time the harsher Alexandrian forms of the Septuagint were smoothed down among Greek speaking Jews of other places than Egypt. The New Testament Greek in oldest manuscripts retains many of the rougher forms, but not all of them; it has also many Latinisms. Words with new senses, chreematizoo , sunistemi , hina , hotan , are with the present and even imperfect and aorist indicative. Hebrew idioms, as “multiplying I will multiply.” Words already current in lower senses are consecrated to express Christian truths: “faith” (pistis ), justify (dikaioo ), sanctify (hagiazoo ), grace (charis ), redeem (lutrousthai ), edify (oikodomein , literally, to build up), reconcile (katallassein ), etc. (See JOHN , style, on the construction of the sentences; on the sense of the title New Testament see COVENANT ). Kainee expresses “new” in the sense of something different from the “old” and superseding it, not merely “recent” (nea ). (See GOSPEL CANON , see BIBLE on other aspects of New Testament) Tregelles (Horne, 106) exhibits “the genealogy of the text” thus. The manuscripts placed together are those related in character of text; those placed under others show still more and more of the intermixture of modernized readings.
D ‘aleph B Z C L xi 1 33 P Q T R A X (delta) 69 K M H E F G S U, etc.
NEZIB = garrison. A city in the shephelah or lower hills of Judah ( Joshua 15:43). Between Eleutheropolis and Hebron. Now Beit Nusib or Chirbeh Nasib, on an elevation at the S. of wady es Sur, in the region of the hills between the mountains and the plain. The accuracy of Scripture in its geographical hints is remarkable.
NIBHAZ The Avites’ idol introduced into Samaria by the Assyrian colonists planted there ( 2 Kings 17:31). Botta represents a bitch suckling a puppy on a slab at the entrance of a temple at Khorsabad. A colossal figure of a dog was formerly between Berytus and Tripoli. So the rabbis derive N. from nabach , “to bark”; a dogheaded human figure, like the Egyptian Anubis.
NICODEMUS A ruler of the Jews, a master (“teacher”) of Israel, and a Pharisee. John ( John 3:1-10) alone mentions him. John knew the high priest ( John 18:15), so his knowledge of Nicodemus among the high priest’s associates is natural. John watched with deep interest his growth in grace, which is marked in three stages ( Mark 4:26-29). (1) An anxious inquirer. The rich were ashamed to confess Jesus openly, in spite of convictions of the reality of His mission; so Joseph of Arimathea “a disciple, but secretly for fear of the Jews” ( John 19:38). The poor “came” by day, but Nicodemus “by night.” By an undesigned coincidence marking genuineness, Jesus’ discourse is tinged, as was His custom ( John 6:26,27; 4:7-14,35), with a coloring drawn from the incidents of the moment: “this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light,” etc.; “every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light ... but he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God” ( John 3:19-21). Nicodemus was now a timid but candid inquirer; sincere so far as his belief extended. Fear of man holds back many from decision for Christ ( John 7:13; 9:22; 12:42,43; 5:44; Proverbs 29:25; contrast Isaiah 51:7,8; 66:5; Acts 5:41). Where real grace is, however, Jesus does “not quench the smoking flax.” Many of Nicodemus’ fellow rulers attributed Jesus’ miracles to Beelzebub; Nicodemus on the contrary avows “ we (including others besides himself) know Thou art a teacher come from God, for no man can do these miracles which Thou doest, except God be with him.” Nicodemus was probably one of the many who had “seen His miracles on the Passover feast day, and believed (in a superficial way, but in Nicodemus it ultimately became a deep and lasting faith) when they saw” ( John 2:23,24); but “Jesus did not commit Himself unto them ... for He knew what was in man,” as He shows now in dealing with Nicodemus. Recognition of the divine miracle. working Teacher is not enough for seeing the kingdom of God, Jesus with a twice repeated Amen solemnly declares; there must be new birth from above (margin John 3:3,5,7), “of water (the outward sign) and of the Spirit” (the essential thing, not inseparably joined to the water baptism: Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38 (see BAPTISM )), so that, as an infant just born, the person is a “new creature”; compare Naaman the type, Kings 5:14; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ezekiel 36:25,26. For, being fleshly by birth, we must continue fleshly until being born of the Spirit we become spiritual ( John 3:6). Nature can no more east out nature than Satan cast out Satan. Like the mysterious growth of the child in the womb, and like “the wind” whose motions we cannot control but know only its effects, “the sound,” etc., so is the new birth ( John 3:8; Ecclesiastes 11:5; 1 Corinthians 2:11). Such was the beginning and growth of the new life in Nicodemus ( Mark 4:27). Regeneration and its fruits are inseparable; where that is, these are ( 1 John 3:9; 5:1,4). Nicodemus viewed Jesus’ solemn declaration as a natural man, “how can these things be?” ( John 3:4,9; compare 6:52,60; 1 Corinthians 2:14). Yet he was genuinely open to conviction, for Christ unfolds to him fully His own divine glory as having “come down from heaven,” and as even then while speaking to him “being in heaven” in His divine nature; also God’s love in giving His Son, and salvation through the Son who should be lifted up, as the brazen serpent was, to all who look to Him in faith, and condemnation to unbelievers. (2) A sincere but as yet weak believer. The next stage in Nicodemus’ spiritual history appears John 7:45-53. Naturally timid, Nicodemus nevertheless remonstrates with bigots. The Pharisees, chagrined at the failure of their officers to apprehend Jesus, said, “why have ye not brought Him?” They replied, “never man spoke like this man.” The Pharisees retorted, “are ye also deceived? surely none of the rulers or the Pharisees have believed on Him, have they? (Greek) But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.” Here one who, as they thought, should have stood by them and echoed their language, ventures to cast a doubt on their proceedings: “doth our law judge any before it hear him and know what he doeth?” (compare Leviticus 19:15; Exodus 23:1). Indignantly they ask, “art thou also of Galilee? ... out of Galilee hath arisen (Greek) no prophet.” Spite made them to ignore Jonah and Nahum. John marks the spiritual advance in Nicodemus by contrasting his first coming “by night” ( John 7:50). He now virtually confesses Jesus, though in actual expression all he demands is fair play for an injured Person. As before he was an anxious inquirer, so now he is a decided though timid believer. (3) The third stage is ( John 19:39) when he appears as a bold and strong believer, the same Nicodemus (as John again reminds us) as “came at the first to Jesus by night.” When even the twelve shrank from the danger to be apprehended from the mob who had clamored for Jesus’ crucifixion, and whose appetite for blood might not yet be sated, and when Christ’s cause seemed hopeless, the once timid Nicodemus shows extraordinary courage and faith Christ’s crucifixion, which shook the faith of others, only confirms his. He remembers now Jesus had said He “must be lifted up,” like the brazen “serpent,” that all believers in Him might have eternal life. So Nicodemus had the honour of wrapping His sacred body in linen with 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes, in company, with Joseph of Arimathea. Christ’s resurrection richly rewarded the faith of him who stumbled not at His humiliation. Compare on the spiritual lesson Matthew 12:20; Zechariah 4:10; Proverbs 4:18. Like Mary who “anointed Christ’s body to the burying,” “what Nicodemus did is and shall be spoken of for a memorial of him wheresoever the gospel is preached throughout the whole world.” Where real desire after the Saviour exists, it will in the end overcome the evil of the heart, and make a man strong in faith through the Holy Spirit. The Talmud tells of a Nicodemus ben Gorion who lived until the fall of Jerusalem, a Pharisee, wealthy, pious, and of the Sanhedrin; bearing originally a name borne by one of the five rabbinical disciples of Christ (Taanith, f. 19, Sanhedrin f. 43); and that his family fell into squalid poverty.
NICOLAITANS Revelation 2:6,14,15. Irenaeus (Haer. 1:26, section 3) and Tertullian (Praescr. Haeret. 46) explain, followers of Nicolas one of the seven ( Acts 6:3,5) as there was a Judas among the twelve; confounding the later Gnostic Nicolaitans with those of Michaelis explains Nicolas (conqueror of the people) is the Greek for the Hebrew Balsam (“destroyer of the people,” bela’ ‘am ); as we find both the Hebrew and Greek names, Abaddon, Apollyon; Satan, devil. A symbolical name. Lightfoot suggests a Hebrew interpretation, nikola , “let us eat”; compare 1 Corinthians 15:32. Not a sect, but professing Christians who, Balsam like, introduce a false freedom, i.e. licentiousness. A reaction from Judaism, the first danger of the church. The Jerusalem council ( Acts 15:20,29), while releasing Gentile converts from legalism, required their abstinence from idol meats and concomitant fornication. The Nicolaitans abused Paul’s doctrine of the grace of God into lasciviousness; such seducers are described as followers of Balsam, also in 2 Peter 2:12,13,15-19; Jude 1:4,7,8,11 (“the son of Bosor” for Beor, to characterize him as “son of carnality”: bosor = flesh). They persuaded many to escape obloquy by yielding as to “eating idol meats,” which was then a test of faithfulness (compare 1 Corinthians and 1 Corinthians 10:25-33); they even joined in the “fornication” of the idol feasts, as though permitted by Christ’s “law of liberty.” The “lovefeasts” ( Jude 1:12) thus became pagan orgies. The Nicolaitans combined evil “deeds” which Jesus “hates” with evil “doctrine.”
NICOLAS Of the seven. Probably having no connection with the Nicolaitans, though Epiphanius (adv. Haer. i. 2, section 25) represents him as sinking into corrupt doctrine and practice. Clemens Alex. (Strom. iii. 4) says that Nicolas, when reproached by the apostles with jealousy, offered his wife to any to marry, but that Nicolas lived a pure life and used to quote Matthias’ saying, “we ought to abuse (i.e. mortify) the flesh.” No church honours Nicolas, but neither do they honor four others of the seven men.
Confounders of Nicolas with the Nicolaitans probably originated these legends.
NICOPOLIS = “city of victory”. In Epirus, founded by Augustus to celebrate his victory at Actium. On a peninsula W. of the bay of Actium. Titus 3:12 was written from Corinth in the autumn, Paul then purposing a journey through Aetolia and Acarnania into “Epirus,” there “to winter”; a good center for missionary tours N. to Illyricum ( Romans 15:19) and Dalmatia ( Timothy 4:10).
NIGER Surname of Simeon, second of the five teachers and prophets of the Antioch church ( Acts 13:1). = black. Probably an African proselyte, because he is associated with Lucius of Cyrene in Africa. His Hebrew name, Simeon, shows his Hebrew extraction.
NIGHT (See DAY ). Figuratively: (1) the time of distress ( Isaiah 21:12). (2) Death, the time when life’s day is over ( John 9:4). (3) Children of night, i.e. dark deeds, filthiness, which shuns daylight ( Thessalonians 5:5). (4) The present life, compared with the believer’s bright life to come ( Romans 13:12).
Rather “the owl.” Bochart and Gesenius take it “the male ostrich” and bath hayanah (KJV “owl”) “the female ostrich.” But the Septuagint and the Vulgate translated it “owl.” The Arabic chamash is “to tear a face with claws.” The “oriental owl” (Hasselquist), “the nightjar,” appearing only in twilight, and passing and repassing round a tree to catch large insects; hence regarded with superstitious awe. The white barn owl (Strix flammea) may be the one meant, since it has gleaming blue eyes, corresponding to the Septuagint Greek glaux, whereas others have yellow or orange-colored eyes.
NILE Not so named in the Bible; related to Sanskrit Nilah, “blue.” The Nile has two names: the sacred name Hapi, or Hapi-mu, “the abyss of waters,” Hp- ro-mu, “the waters whose source is hidden”; and the common name Yeor Aor, Aur (Atur): both Egyptian names. Shihor, “the black river,” is its other Bible name, Greek Melas or Kmelas, Latin Melo, darkened by the fertilizing soil which it deposits at its overflow ( Jeremiah 2:18). The hieroglyphic name of Egypt is Kam, “black.” Egyptians distinguished between Hapi-res, the southern Nile of Upper Egypt, and Hapi-meheet, the northern Nile of Lower Egypt. Hapi-ur, “the high Nile,” fertilizes the land; the Nile low brought famine. The Nile god is painted red to represent the inundation, but blue at other times. An impersonation of Noah (Osburn).
Famine and plenty are truly represented as coming up out of the river in Pharaoh’s dream (Genesis 41). Therefore they worshipped it, and the plague on its waters (see EGYPT , see EXODUS ) was a judgment on that idolatry ( Exodus 7:21; <19A529> Psalm 105:29). The rise begins at the summer solstice; the flood is two months later, after the autumnal equinox, at its height pouring through cuttings in the banks which are higher than the rest of the soil and covering the valley, and lasting three months. ( Amos 8:8; 9:5; Isaiah 23:3).
The appointed S.W. bound of Palestine ( Joshua 13:3; 1 Chronicles 13:5; 2 Chronicles 9:26; Genesis 15:18). 1 Kings 8:65 “stream” (nachal , not “river”). Its confluent is still called the Blue river; so Nilah = “darkblue,” or “black.” The plural “rivers” is used for the different mouths, branches, and canals of the Nile. The tributaries are further up than Egypt ( Psalm 78:44; Exodus 7:18-20; Isaiah 7:18; 19:6; Ezekiel 29:3; 30:12). “The stream (nachal ) of Egypt” seems distinct ( Isaiah 27:12), now “wady el Arish” (where was the frontier city Rhino-corura) on the confines of Palestine and Egypt ( Joshua 15:4,47, where for “river” should stand “stream,” [nachal ]). Smith’s Bible Dictionary suggests that [nachal ] is related to the Nile and is that river; but the distinctness with which [nachal ] is mentioned, and not as elsewhere Sihor, or “river,” Ye’or , forbids the identification. “The rivers of Ethiopia” ( Isaiah 18:1,2), Cush, are the Atbara, the Astapus or Blue river, between which two rivers Meroe (the Ethiopia meant in Isaiah 18) lies, and the Astaboras or White Nile; these rivers conjoin in the one Nile, and wash down the soil along their banks from Upper Egypt, and deposit it on Lower Egypt; compare “whose land (Upper Egypt) the rivers have spoiled” or “cut up” or “divided.”
The Nile is called “the sea” ( Isaiah 19:5), for it looks a sea at the overflow; the Egyptians still call it El Bahr “the sea” ( Nahum 3:8). Its length measured by its course is probably 3,700 miles, the longest in the world. Its bed is cut through layers of nummulitic limestone (of which the pyramids of Ghizeh are built, full of nummulites, which the Arabs call “Pharaoh’s beans”), sandstone under that, breccia verde under that, azoic rocks still lower, with red granite and syenite rising through all the upper strata at the first cataract. Sir Samuel Baker has traced its (the White Nile’s) source up to the Tanganyika, Victoria, and Albert Nyanza lakes, filled with the melting snows from the mountains and the periodical equatorial heavy rains. The Hindus call its source Amana, the name of a region N.E. of the Nyanza. The shorter confluent, the Blue river, is what brings down from the Abyssinian mountains the alluvial soil that fertilizes Egypt. The two join at Khartoom, the capital of Soodan, the black country under Egypt’s rule. The Atbara falls into the main stream further N. The river thenceforth for 2,300 miles receives no tributary. Through the breaking down of a barrier at Silsilis or at the first cataract, the river is so much below the level of the valley in lower Nubia that it does not overflow on the land. On the confines of Upper Egypt it forms two cataracts, the lower near Syene. Thence it runs 500 miles onward. A short way below Cairo and the pyramids it parts into two branches, bounding the Delta E. and W. and falling into the Mediterranean. Always diffusing its waters, and never receiving any accession of water from sky or tributary, its volume at Cairo is but half what it is at the cataract of Syene. The water is sweet, especially when turbid. Stagnant waters left by the overflow in Nubia’s sandy flats are carried into the Nile by the new overflow, thus the water is at first a green shiny color and unwholesome for two or three days. Twelve days later it becomes red like blood, and is then most wholesome and refreshing; and all living beings, men, beasts, birds, fish, and insects are gladdened by its advent.
Egypt having only a little rain ( Zechariah 14:17,18) depends on the Nile for its harvests; see in Deuteronomy 11:10-12 the contrast to the promised land, where the husbandman has to look up to heaven for rain instead of looking down, irrigating the land. with watercourses turned by the foot as in Egypt (a type of the spiritual state of the two respectively), and where Jehovah’s eyes are upon it from the beginning to the end of the year. The waters reach their lowest in nine months groin their highest point in the autumn equinox; they remain stationary for a few days and then begin to rise again. If they reach no higher than 22 ft. at the island Rhoda, between Cairo and Ghizeh, where a nilometer is kept, the rise is insufficient; if 27, good; if more, the flood injures the crops, and plague and murrain ensue. The further S. one goes, the earlier the inundation begins; at Khartoom as early as April. The seven years’ famine under Joseph is confirmed by the seven years’ famine in the reign of Fatimee Khaleefeh El-Mustansir bi-’llah, owing to the failure of water. The universal irrigation maintained, even during the low season of the Nile, made the results of failure of its waters more disastrous then than now. The mean rise above the lowest level registered at Semne, near the second cataract, in Moeris’ reign, 2000 B.C., was 62 ft. 6 inches, i.e. 23 ft. inches above the present rise which is 38 ft. 8 inches (Lepsius in the Imperial Dictionary) The average rate of deposit in Egypt now is four and a half inches in the century. But other causes were at work formerly; the danger of inferences as to man’s antiquity from such data is amusingly illustrated by Homer’s (Philippians Transac. 148) inference from pottery found at a great depth that man must have lived there in civilization 13,000 years ago, which Bunsen accepted! Unfortunately for the theory the Greek honeysuckle was found on some of it. The burnt brick still lower, on which he laid stress, was itself enough to have confuted him, for burnt brick was first introduced into Egypt under Rome (see Quarterly Revue, April, 1859).
Champollion holds no Egyptian monument to be older than 2,200 B.C.
In Upper Egypt bore yellow mountains, a few hundred feet high, and pierced with numerous tombs, bound the N. on both sides; this gives point to Israel’s sneer, “because there were no graves in Egypt hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness?” ( Exodus 14:11). In Lower Egypt the land spreads out on either side of the Nile in a plain bounded E. and W. by the desert. At the inundation the Nile rushes along in a mighty torrent, made to appear more violent by the waves which the N. wind, blowing continually then, raises up ( Jeremiah 46:7,8). Two alone of the seven noted branches of the mouth (of which the Pelusiac was the most eastern) remain, the Damietta (Phanitic) and Rosetta (Bolbitine) mouths, originally artificial (Herodotus ii. 10), fulfilling Isaiah 19:5 and probably Isaiah 11:11-15; Ezekiel 30:12. The Nile in the numerous canals besides the river itself formerly “abounded with incredible numbers of all sorts of fish” (Diodorus Siculus i.; Numbers 11:5). These too, as foretold ( Isaiah 19:8-10), have failed except about lake Menzaleh. So also the papyrus reeds, from whence paper receives its designation, flags, reeds, and the lotus with its fragrant and various colored flowers, have almost disappeared as foretold ( Isaiah 19:6,7), the papyrus boats no more skim its surface ( Isaiah 18:2).
NIMRAH = leopard, or clear water. 1. Numbers 32:3,36, a city in “the land of Jazer and of Gilead.” (See BETHNIMRAH ). NOW Nimrun; E. of Jordan, E.N.E. from Jericho. The name is from leopards infesting the thick wood between the inner and outer banks of the Jordan, which overflows at times into that intermediate space and drives the wild beast out of its lair ( Jeremiah 49:19; 50:44). In Isaiah 15:6 “the waters of Nimrim shall be desolate ... there is no green thing”; even the city Nimrah, whose name means “limpid waters,” which came down from the mountains of Gilead near Jordan, is without water, so that herbage is gone ( Jeremiah 48:34), i.e. “the well watered pastures of Nimrah shall be desolate.” 2. Another Nimrah is in Moab, near the wady Beni Hammed, E. of the Dead Sea near its southern end, Khirbet en (ruins of) Nemeireh. 3. The plural,NIMRIM, thus would comprise both the N. of Gad and the N. of Moab. see BETHNIMRA is perhaps = see BETHABARA beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing ( John 1:28); for the pure water of Bethnimra, its situation in the center of “the region round about Jordan,” and its accessibleness from “Jerusalem and Judaea” all accord. Tradition makes it the scene of Israel’s “passage” over Jordan; this would cause Bethabara (house of passage) to be substituted for Bethnimra. The Septuagint has Bethanabra, a link between the two names. see BETHBARA is distinct ( Judges 7:24).
NIMROD Cush’s son or descendant, Ham’s grandson ( Genesis 10:8). “Nimrod began to be a mighty one in the earth,” i.e. he was the first of Noah’s descendants who became renowned for bold and daring deeds, the Septuagint “giant” (compare Genesis 6:4,13; Isaiah 13:3). “He was a mighty hunter before Jehovah,” so that it passed into a proverb or the refrain of ballads in describing hunters and warriors, “even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before Jehovah.” Not a mere Hebrew superlative, but as in Genesis 27:7 “bless thee before Jehovah,” i.e. as in His presence, Psalm 56:13 “walk before God.” Septuagint translated “against Jehovah”; so in Numbers 16:2 lipneey , “before,” means opposition. The Hebrew name Nimrod means “let us rebel,” given by his contemporaries to Nimrod as one who ever had in his mouth such words to stir up his band to rebellion. Nimrod subverted the existing patriarchal order of society by setting up a chieftainship based on personal valor and maintained by aggression. The chase is an image of war and a training for it. The increase of ferocious beasts after the flood and Nimrod’s success in destroying them soon gathered a band to him. From being a hunter of beasts he became a hunter of men. “In defiance of Jehovah,” as virtually” before Jehovah” ( Proverbs 15:11) means, Nimrod, a Hamite intruded into Shem’s portion, violently set up an empire of conquest, beginning with Babel, ever after the symbol of the world power in its hostility to God. From that land he went forth to Asshur and builded Nineveh. The later Babylonians spoke Semitic, but the oldest inscriptions are Turanian or Cushite. Tradition points to Babylon’s Cushite origin by making Belus son of Poseidon (the sea) and Libya (Ethiopia): Diodorus Siculus i. 28. Oannes the fish god, Babylon’s civilizer, rose out of the Red Sea (Syncellus, Chronog. 28). “Cush” appears in the Babylonian names Cissia, Cuthah, Chuzistan (Susiana). Babylon’s earliest alphabet in oldest inscriptions resembles that of Egypt and Ethiopia; common words occur, as Mirikh, the Meroe of Ethiopia, the Mars of Babylon. Though Arabic is Semitic, the Mahras’ language in southern Arabia is non-Semitic, and is the modern representative of the ancient Himyaric whose empire dates as far back as 1750 B.C. The Mahras is akin to the Abyssinian Galla language, representing the Cushite or Ethiopic of old; and the primitive Babylonian Sir H. Rawlinson from inscriptions decides to resemble both. The writing too is pictorial, as in the earliest ages of Egypt. The Egyptian and Ethiopic hyk (in hyk-sos, the shepherd kings), a “king,” in Babylonian and Susianian is khak. “Tyrhak” is common to the royal lists of Susiana and Ethiopia, as “Nimrod” is to those of Babylon and Egypt. Ra is the Cushite supreme god of Babylon as Ra is the sun god in Egypt. (See BABEL ).
Worshipped (as the monuments testify) as Bilu Nipra or Bel Nimrod, i.e, the god of the chase; the Talmudical Nopher, now Niffer. Josephus (Ant. 1:4) and the tortures represent him as building, in defiance of Jehovah, the Babel tower. If so (which his rebellious character makes likely) he abandoned Babel for a time after the miraculous confusion of tongues, and went and founded Nineveh. Eastern tradition pictures hint a heaven- storming giant chained by God, among the constellations, as Orion, Hebrew Keciyl , “fool” or “wicked.” Sargon in an inscription says: “350 kings of Assyria hunted the people of Bilu-Nipru”; probably = the Babylon of Nimrod, nipru meaning hunter, another form of Nebrod which is the Septuagint form of Nimrod. His going to Assyria ( Genesis 10:10,11,12) accords with Micah’s designating Assyria “the hind of Nimrod” ( Micah 5:6). Also his name appears in the palace mound of Nimrud. The fourfold group of cities which Nimrod founded in Babylonia answer to the fourfold group in Assyria. So Kiprit Arba, “king of the four races,” is an early title of the first monarchs of Babylon; Chedorlaomer appears at the head of four peoples; “king of the four regions” occurs in Nineveh inscriptions too; after Sargon’s days four cities had the pre-eminence (Rawlinson, 1:435,438,447).
The early seat of empire was in the southern part of Babylonia, where Niffer represents either Babel or Calneh, Warka Erech, Mugheir Ur, Senkereh Ellasar. The founder (about 2200 B.C.) or embellisher of those towns is called Kinzi Akkad, containing the name Accad of Genesis 10:1. Tradition mentions a Belus king of Nineveh, earlier than Ninus; Shamas Iva (1860 B.C.), son of Ismi Dagon king of Babylon, founded a temple at Kileh Shergat (= Asshur); so that the Scripture account of Babylon originating the Assyrian cities long before the Assyrian empire of the 13th century B.C. is confirmed. (Layard, Nineveh 2:231). Sir H.
Rawlinson conjectures that Nimrod denotes not an individual but the “settlers,” and that Rehoboth, Calah, etc., are but sites of buildings afterward erected; but the proverb concerning Nimrod and the history imply an individual; the Birs (temple) Nimrud, the Sukr (dam across the Tigris) el Nimrud, and the mound Nimrud, all attest the universal recognition of him as the founder of the empire.
NINEVEH (See ASSYRIA ). Nimrod builded Nineveh ( Genesis 10:11); Herodotus (i. 7) makes Ninus founder of Nineveh. and grandson of Belus founder of Babylon; which implies that it was from Babylon, as Scripture says, that Nineveh’s founder came. Nin is the Assyrian Hercules. Their mythology also makes Ninus son of Nimrod. see JONAH is the next Scripture after Genesis 10 that mentions Nineveh. Sennacherib after his host’s destruction “went and dwelt at Nineveh” ( 2 Kings 19:36). Jonah ( Jonah 3:3) describes it as an “exceeding great city of three days’ journey” round (i.e. 60 miles, at 20 miles per day) with 120,000 children “who knew not their right hand from their left” ( Jonah 4:11), which would make a population in all of 600,000 or even one million. Diodorus Siculus (ii. 3), agreeing with Jonah’s “three days’ journey,” makes the circumference miles, pastures and pleasure grounds being included within, from whence Jonah appositely ( Jonah 4:11) mentions “much cattle.” G. Smith thinks that the ridges enclosing Nebi Yunus and Koyunjik (the mounds called “tels” opposite Mosul) were only the walls of inner Nineveh, the city itself extending beyond to the mound Yarenijah. The parallelogram in Assyria covered with remains has Khorsabad N.E.; Koyunjik and Nebi Yunus (Nineveh in the narrow sense) near the Tigris N.W.; Nimrud and Athur between the Tigris and Zab, N.W.; and Karamles at a distance inward from the Zab S.E. From Koyunjik to Nimrud is 18 miles; from Khorsabad to Karamles 18; from Koyunjik to Khorsabad 13 or 14; from Nimrud to Karamles 14. The length was greater than the breadth; so Jonah 3:4 “entered into the city a day’s journey.” The longer sides were 150 furlongs each, the shorter 90 furlongs, the whole circuit 480 or 460 miles. Babylon had a circuit of only 385 miles (Clitarchus in Diod. ii. 7, Strabo xvi. 737).
The walls were 100 ft. high, with 1,500 towers, and broad enough for three chariots abreast. Shereef Khan is the northern extremity of the collection of mounds on the eastern bank of the Tigris, and is five and a half miles N. of Koyunjik. There is also an enclosure, 5,000 yards in circuit, once enclosed by a moat at Selamivah three miles N. of Nimrud. Nimrud in inscriptions is called Kalkhu = Calah in Genesis 10:11; Khorsabad is called Sargina from Sargon. At Kileh Sherghat is the presumed original capital,” Asshur,” 60 miles S. of Mosul, on the right or western bank of the Tigris.
Sennacherib first made Nineveh the capital.
Nineveh was at first only a fort to keep the Babylonian conquests around.
It subsequently, with Rehoboth, Ir, Calah, and Resen, formed one great city, “Nineveh” in the larger sense. Thothmes III of Egypt is mentioned in inscriptions as capturing Nineveh. Phraortes the Mede perished in attempting to do so (Herodotus i. 102). Cyaxares his successor, after at first raising the siege owing to a Scythic invasion (Herodotus i. 103,106) 625 B.C., finally succeeded in concert with the Babylonian Nabopolassar, 606 B.C., Saracus the last king, Esarhaddon’s grandson, set fire to the palace and perished in the flames, as Ctesias states, and as the marks of fire on the walls still confirm. So Nahum 3:13,15, “fire shall devour thy bars.” Charred wood, calcined alabaster, and heat splintered figures abound. Nahum (Nahum 2) and Zephaniah ( Zephaniah 2:13-15) foretold its doom; and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 31) shortly after attests the completeness of its overthrow, as a warning of the fatal issue of pride, Isaiah 10:7-14: Diodorus (ii. 27) says there was a prophecy that Nineveh should not fall until the river became its enemy. The immediate cause of capture was the city walls destruction by a sudden rise in the river.
So Nahum ( Nahum 1:8; 2:6,8) foretold “with an over running flood He will make an utter end of the place;” “the gates of the rivers shall be opened and the palace shall be dissolved,” namely, by the inundation; “Nineveh is of old like a pool of water (though of old defended by water around), yet (its inhabitants) shall flee.” There was a floodgate at the N.W. angle of the city, which was swept away; and the water pouring into the city “dissolved” the palace foundation platform, of sundried bricks.
Nineveh then totally disappears from history; it never rose again. Nahum ( Nahum 1:10; 3:11) accords with Diodorus Siculus that the final assault was made during a drinking bout of king and courtiers: “while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry ... Thou shalt be drunken,” etc. The treasures accumulated by many kings were rifled, as Nahum foretells; “take ye the spoil of silver ... gold, for there is none end of the store;” the people were “scattered upon the mountains” ( Nahum 3:18). He calls it “the city of bloods,” truly ( Nahum 3:1); the wall carvings represent the king in the act of putting out his captives’ eyes, and dragging others by a hook through the lips and a cord. Other cities have revived, but Nahum foretells “there is no healing of thy bruise” ( Nahum 3:19). Lucian of Samosara near the Euphrates asserts none in his day even knew where Nineveh stood. Its former luxury is embodied in the statue of Sardanapalus as a dancer, which he directed (Plutarch says) to be erected after his death, with the motto “eat, drink, enjoy lust ... the rest is nothing!”
The language of its inscriptions is Semitic, for the main population was a colony of Asshur, son of Shem; and besides the prevalent Semitic a Turanian dialect has been found on tablets at Koyunjik, derived from its original Cushite founder Nimrod of Babylon and his band. At Nimrud the oldest palaces are in the N.W. grainer, the most recent at the S.E. The table of Karnak in Egypt (1490 B.C.) connects Niniu (Nineveh) with Naharaima = Naharaim = Mesopotamia. Sir H. Rawlinson published an Assyrian canon from the monuments. The first kings reigned when the early Chaldee empire had its seat in lower Mesopotamia. Asshur-bil-nisis, Buzur Ashur, and Asshur Vatila from 1653 to 1550 B.C., when Purnapuriyas and Durri-galazu were the last of the early Chaldaean monarchy.
Then Bel Sumill Kapi founds a dynasty after a chasm of two centuries. “Bellush, Pudil, and Ivalush” are inscribed on bricks at Kileh Sherghat, 1350-1270 B.C. Shalmaneser I, son of Ivalush I, is mentioned on a genealogical slab as founder of Nimrud. Tiglath-i-nin his son inscribes himself” conqueror of Babylon”; Sargon finally conquered it. Tiglath-inin’s successor Ivalush II (1250 B.C.) enlarged the empire and closes the dynasty. By a revolution Nin pala Zira ascends the throne, “the king of the commencement” as the Tiglath Pileser cylinder calls him. Then Asshurdahil, Mutaggil Nebo, Asshur-ris-ilim (conqueror of a Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon), Tiglath Pileser I (subdued Meshech), Asshur-belkala; a blank of two centuries follows when David’s and Solomon’s extensive dominion has place. Asshur-iddin-akhi begins the next dynasty (950-930 B.C.).
Asshur-danin-il and Iralush III follow; then Tiglath-i-nin; Asshur-idanni-pal next after ten victorious campaigns built a palace at Calah, 360 ft. long by 300 broad, with man lions at the gateways, and by a canal brought the Zab waters to Calah; he was “lord from the upper Tigris to Lebanon and the great sea.” His son Shalmaneser II took tribute from Tyre and Sidon and fought Benhadad and Hazael. A picture represents him receiving from Jewish captives tribute of Jehu king of Israel, gold, pearl, and oil. He built the central palace of Nimrud, opened by Layard. The black marble obelisk (the British Museum) records his exploits and Jehu’s name. Then Shamas- Iva, Iralush IV and his wife Semiramis, a Babylonian princess, Shalmaneser III, Asshur-danin-il II, Asshur-lush. Then Tiglath Pileser II, probably Pul, usurps the throne by revolution, for he does not mention his father as others do, 744 B.C. Under him “Menahem” appears in inscriptions, and “tribute from the house of Omri” i.e. Samaria ( 2 Kings 15:19,29). Ahaz enlisted him as ally against Samaria and Damascus; Tiglath Pileser conquered them and received tribute from Jahu-khazi = Ahaz. An inscription in the British Museum records Rezin’s death (Rawlinson’s Monarchies, 2:398,399). Tiglath Pileser built a new palace at Nimrud.
Then Shalmaneser IV (not in the canon) ( 2 Kings 17:3,4) assailed Samaria, upon Hoshea’s leaguing with So of Egypt, and withholding tribute. In a chamber at Koyunjik was found among other seals now in British Museum the seal of So or Sabacho and that of Sennacherib affixed to a treaty between them, of which the parchment has perished. Sargon (meaning king de facto) usurped the throne and took Samaria (he says in inscriptions) in his first year; he built the palace at Khorsabad. see SENNACHERIB his son succeeded 704 B.C. and reigned 24 years. He built the palace at the S.W. corner of Koyunjik, covering 100 acres almost, excavated by Layard. Of it 60 courts, halls (some 150 ft. square), and passages (one 200 ft. long) have been discovered. The human headed lions and bulls at its many portals are some 20 ft. high. Esarhaddon succeeded, as he styles himself “king of Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Meroe, and Ethiopia;” = see ASNAPPER ; he imprisoned see MANASSEH . He built a temple at the S.W. corner of Nimrud, and a palace at Nebi Yunus. Asshurbani- pal succeeded, a hunter and warrior; his library of clay tablets, religious, legal, historical, and scientific, is in British Museum. He built a palace at Koyunjik, near Sennacherib’s. His son, the last king, Asshuremid- ilin or Asshur-izzir-pal (= Saracus or Sardanapalus), built the S.E. edifice at Nimrud.
The palace walls were from five to fifteen feet thick, erected on an artificial platform 30 to 50 ft. above the surrounding level, and paneled with slabs of coarse alabaster sculptured and inscribed. The plaster above the alabaster wainscoting was ornamented with figures; the pavement was of alabaster or flat kiln-burnt bricks resting on bitumen and fine sand. The Nimrud grand hall is only 35 ft. broad (though 160 ft. long), to admit of roofing with the short beams to be had. The ceilings were gaily colored. The portals were guarded by colossal human headed bulls; thence was an ascent to a higher platform, and on the top a gateway, sometimes 90 ft. wide, guarded also by winged bulls; inside was the great door, opening into a sculpture adorned passage; then the inner court, then the state apartments.
There may have been an upper story of sun-dried bricks and wood, for there are no stone or marble columns or burnt brick remains. The large halls may have been roofless, a ledge projecting round the four sides and supporting an awning as shelter against rain and sun. However Zephaniah 2:14 mentions “the cedar work,” cedars from Lebanon may have reached from wall to wall with openings for light. The chambers were built round the central hall.
In Nahum 2:3 translated “the chariots (shall be furnished) with fire flashing scythes,” literally, “with the fire of scythes” or “iron weapons.” No traces of such scythe-armed chariots are found in Assyria; either then it applies to the besiegers, or “the chariots shall come with the glitter of steel weapons.” The “red shield” ( Nahum 2:3) accords with the red painting of the shields and dresses in the sculptures. The king, with beardless eunuch behind holding an umbrella and the winged symbol of Deity above, appears in various carvings; he was despotic. Kitchen operations, husbandry and irrigation implements are represented also.
Religion. The man bull and man lion answer to Nin and Nergal, the gods of war and the chase. Nisroch the eagle-headed god and Dagon the fishheaded god often appear in the sculptures. The sacred tree answers to Asheerah, “the grove” ( 2 Kings 21:7). The chief gods were Asshur, Bel, Beltis or Myletta, Sin the moon, Shamash (Hebrew shemesh ) the sun, Vul or Iva the thunder wielder, Nin, etc. “Witchcrafts” and “whoredoms” in connection with Nineveh’s worship are denounced by Nahum 3:4. The immense palaces, the depositories of the national records, were at once the gods’ temple and the king’s abode, for he was the religious head of the nation and the favorite of the gods.
Language and writing. Clay cylinders pierced through so as to turn round and present their sides to the reader, bricks, and slabs are the materials inscribed on. The wedge (cuneus from whence “cuneiform”) in various forms and directions, upright, horizontal, and diagonal, is the main element of the 250 distinct alphabetical characters. This mode of writing prevailed for 2000 years B.C. in Assyria, Babylonia, and eastern Persia. The alphabet is syllabic. Determinatives are prefixed to some words, as | prefixed marks the word as a man’s name; |-- marks the plural; || marks the dual. It is related to Hebrew, thus, u “and” is the Hebrew ve ; ki is in both “if”; anaku = Hebrew ‘anoki “I”; ‘atta’ in both is “thou”; ‘abu = ‘ab (Hebrew), “father”; nahar in both is a “river.” Feminine nouns end in -it or -at; Hebrew end with -ith. Sh is the shortened relative pronoun “who, which,” as in later Hebrew; mah in both asks a question. The verb as in Hebrew is conjugated by pronominal suffixes. The roots are biliteral, the Hebrew both biliteral and triliteral. Mit , “to die”; Hebrew muth . Sib , “to dwell”; Hebrew yashab . Tiglath means “adoration.” Pal , “son,” the Aramaic bar ; sat “king”; ris, Hebrew rosh , “head.” The northwestern palace of Nineveh has the longest inscription; it records concerning Sardanapalus II.
Sennacherib’s inscription concerning Hezekiah, on two man-headed bulls from Koyunjik, is the most interesting. Bas-reliefs of the siege of see LACHISH accompany it. By a tentative process recurring proper names were first deciphered by Grotefend, Rawlinson, Hincks, Fox Talbot, Oppert, etc., as in Darius’ inscription at Behistun. Parallel parts of the same inscription in snorter language (as the hieroglyphics and Greek on the Rosetta stone enabled Champollion to discover the former) verified the results, and duplicate phrases brought, out the meaning of words.
TOMBS. Chaldaea is as full of tombs as Assyria is void of them. Probably Chaldaea was the burial place of the Assyrian kings; Arrian (Exped. Alex. 7:22) states that their tombs were in the marshes S. of Babylon.
ART,COMMERCE. Egyptian art is characterized by calm repose, Assyrian art by energy and action. Egyptian architecture is derived from a stone prototype, Assyrian from a wooden one, in agreement with the physical features of the respective countries. Solomon’s temple and palace, with grand hall and chambers, paneled with slabs sculptured with trees, the upper part of the walls painted in various colors, the winged cherubim carved all round, the flowers and pomegranates, correspond to the Nineveh palaces in a great measure. Silk, blue clothes, and embroidered work were traded in by Nineveh’s merchants ( Ezekiel 27:23,24; Nahum 3:16).
NISROCH The god of Nineveh, in whose temple Sennacherib was assassinated by his sons ( 2 Kings 19:37; Isaiah 37:38). From nisr Arabic (Hebrew nesher , “eagle”), with the intensive och, “the great eagle.” The eagle headed human figure that overcomes the lion or bull, depicted in colossal size upon the walls and the portals, and in the groups upon the embroidered robes; a type of the supreme God. Philo Bybl. in Eusebius, Praepar. Evang. i. 10 says first Zoroaster taught that Ormuzd the Persian god was symbolized by the eagle’s head. The constellation Aquila represented it. Nisroch may be a corruption for Asarak, Assar (related to Asshur), an Assyrian god met with in many Assyrian proper names.
Septuagint in many copies have for N. Asorach, Esorach, for which Josephus (Ant. 10:1, section 5) has Araskes. Sir H. Rawlinson says “Asshur had no temple in Nineveh in which Sennacherib could have been worshipping.” Jarchi explains Nisroch “a beam of Noah’s ark.” Nisroch is apparently the eagle headed winged figure, with cone in one hand and basket in the other, taken from the N.W. palace, Nimrud. G. Rawlinson says Nisr is not found with this meaning, and Nisroch nowhere in the inscriptions; Nisroch he regards as a corruption.
NITRE (See FULLER ). Proverbs 25:20, “as vinegar upon nitre so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.” To the feelings of the heavy at heart songs are as grating and irritative as acid poured on alkali. Nitre is carbonate of soda or potash; mixed with oil it was used as “soap” (borit ): Jeremiah 2:22.
NO = No Amon (margin, Nahum 3:8), rather than “populous No.” So Jeremiah 46:25, “the multitude,” rather “Amon of No.” So Ezekiel 30:14-16. Named from Amen, Thebes’ chief god (from whence the Greeks call it “the city of Zeus” or “Diospolis”). Appearing in many kings’ names, as Amenophis. Connected by some with Ham, Noah’s son, or Aman “the nourisher,” or Hamon “the sun god,” or Amon “the artificer.” Septuagint translated “the portion of Amon.” Inscriptions call him Amon-re, “Amon the sun.” A human figure with ram’s head, seated on a chair (see AMEN ).
Nahum describes Thebes as “situate among the rivers” (including the canals watering the city) on both sides of the Nile, which no other town of ancient Egypt is. Ezekiel’s prophecy that it should be “rent asunder” is fulfilled to the letter, Amen’s vast temple lying shattered as if by an earthquake (30:16). Famed in Homer’s Iliad (ix. 381) for its “hundred gates,” but as no wall appears traceable either the reference is to the propylaea or portals of its numerous temples (Diod. Sicul., but warriors would not march through them), or else the surrounding mountains (100 of them pierced with catacombs and therefore called Beeban el Meluke, “the gates of the kings”) which being mutually detached form so many avenues between them into the city. But the general usage of walling towns favors the view that the walls have disappeared. Her “rampart was the sea, and her wall from (or, as Maurer, consisted of) the sea,” namely, the Nile ( Isaiah 19:5). Homer says it possessed 20,000 war chariots, which Diodorus Siculus confirms by saying there were 100 stables along the river capable of accommodating 200 horses each. Sargon after destroying Samaria attacked Hoshea’s ally, So or Sabacho II, and destroyed in part No-Amon or Thebes (Isaiah 20). “The monuments represent Sargon warring with Egypt and imposing tribute on the Pharaoh of the time, also Egypt as in that close connection with Ethiopia which Isaiah and Nahum imply” (G.
No is written Ni’a in the Assyrian inscriptions. Asshur-bani-pal twice took Thebes. “No,” if Semitic, is related to naah, “abode,” “pasture,” answering to Thebes’ low situation on a plain. The sacred name was Ha-Amen, “the abode of Amen”; the common name was Ap or Ape, “capital.” The feminine article prefixed made it Tape, Thape, Coptic Thabu, Greek Thebes. No hieroglyphics are found in it earlier than the sixth dynasty, three centuries later than Menes, a native of This in the Thebaid, the founder of Memphis. Diodorus states the circuit was 140 furlongs. Strabo (xvii. 47) describes the two colossal figures, “each a single stone, the one entire, the upper part of the other from the chair fallen, the result of an earthquake ( Ezekiel 30:16). Once a day a noise as of a slight blow issues from that part of the statue which remains still in the seat and on its base”: the vocal Memnon. The Nile’s deposit has accumulated to the depth of seven feet around them. It is two miles broad, four long; the four landmarks being Karnak and Luxor on the right bank, Quurnah and Medinet Haboo on the left. Temples and palaces extended along the left bank for two miles. First the Maneptheion palace or temple of Seti Oimenepthah of the 19th dynasty, a mile from the river. A mile S. is the so named Memnonium of Amenophis III, called Miamun or “Memnon,” really the Ramesseium of Rameses the Great, with his statue of a single block of syenite marble,75 ft. high, 887 tons weight, the king seated on his throne.
The vocal Memnon and its fellow are a quarter of a mile further S.
Somewhat S. of this is the S. Ramesseium, the magnificent palace temple of Rameses III, one of the ruins of Medinet Haboo. The columns are seven feet diameter at the base and 23 ft. round. Within the second and grand court stood a Christian church afterward. The right bank has the facade of Luxor facing the river. The chief entrance looks N. toward Karnak, with which once it was joined by an avenue more than a mile long, of sphinxes with rams’ heads and lions’ bodies (one is in the British Museum). Colossal statues of Rameses the Great are one on each side of the gateway. In front stood a pair of red granite obelisks, one of which now adorns the Place de la Concorde, Paris. The courts of the Karnak temple occupy 1,800 square feet, and its buildings represent every dynasty from Ptolemy Physcon, B.C., 2000 years backward. It is two miles in circumference. The grand hall has twelve central pillars,66 ft. high, 12 ft. diameter. On either side are seven rows, each column 42 ft. high, nine feet diameter. There are in all 134 pillars in an area 170 ft. by 329. The outer wall is 40 ft. thick at the base and 100 high. On it is represented Shishak’s expedition against Jerusalem and “the land of the king of Judah “under Rehoboam ( Kings 14:25; 2 Chronicles 12:2-9). It records also Tirhakah the Ethiopian’s exploits.
In the 12th and 13th dynasties of Manetho, first, Theban kings appear.
When the nomads from the N.E., the Hyksos or shepherd kings, invaded Egypt and fixed their capital at Memphis, a native dynasty was maintained in Thebes. Ultimately, the Hyksos were expelled and Thebes became the capital of all Egypt under the 18th dynasty, the city’s golden era. Thebes then swayed Libya and Ethiopia, and carried its victorious arms into Syria, Media, and Persia. It retained its supremacy for 500 years, to the close of the 19th dynasty, then under the 20th dynasty it began to decline. Sargon’s blow upon Thebes was inflicted early in Hezekiah’s reign. Nahum ( Nahum 3:8,10) in the latter part of that reign speaks of her being already “carried away into captivity, her young children dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets, lots cast for her honourable men, and all her great men bound in chains,” notwithstanding her having Ethiopia, Egypt, Put, and Lubim as “her strength and it was infinite,” and makes her a warning to Nineveh. A still heavier blow was dealt by Nebuchadnezzar, as Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 46:25,26) foretells: “Behold I will punish Anjou No and Pharaoh and Egypt, with their gods and their kings. Afterward it shall be inhabited.”
This last prophecy was fulfilled 40 years after Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Egypt, when under Cyrus it threw off the Babylonian yoke. So Ezekiel 29:10-15, “I will make ... Egypt ... waste ... from the tower of Syene (N.) even unto Ethiopia (the extreme S.) ... Yet at the end of 40 (the number expressing affliction and judgment, so the 40 days of the flood rains) years will I ... bring again the captivity of Egypt.” The Persian Cambyses gave the finishing blow to No-Amon’s greatness, leveling Rameses’ statue and setting fire to the temples and palaces. In vain the Ptolemies tried subsequently to restore its greatness. It now consists of Arab huts amidst stately ruins and drifting sands.
NOADIAH 1. Ezra 8:33: weighed the temple gold and silver vessels brought from Babylon. 2. The prophetess, suborned by Sanballat and Tobiah to frighten Nehemiah ( Nehemiah 6:14; compare Ezekiel 13:17).
NOAH Son of see LAMECH , grandson of Methuselah; tenth from Adam in Seth’s line. In contrast to the Cainite Lamech’s boast of violence with impunity, the Sethite Lamech, playing on Noah’s (= rest) name, piously looks for comfort (nachum ) through him from Jehovah who had “cursed the ground.” At 500 years old Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The phrase, “these are the generations of Noah” ( Genesis 6:9) marks him as the patriarch of his day. The cause of the flood is stated Genesis 6:1-3, etc. “The sons of God (the Sethites, adopted by grace, alone keeping themselves separate from the world’s defilements, ‘called by the name of Jehovah’ as His sons: Genesis 4:26 margin, or as KJV; while the Cainites by erecting a city and developing worldly arts were laying the foundation for the kingdom of this world, the Sethites by unitedly ‘calling on Jehovah’s name’ founded the church made up of God’s children, Galatians 3:26) saw the daughters of men (Cainites) and they took them wives of all which they chose” (fancy and lust, instead of the fear of God, being their ruling motive). When “the salt of the earth lost its savour” universal corruption set in. Jude 1:6,7, does not confirm the monstrous notion that “the sons of God” mean angels cohabiting carnally with women. The analogy to Sodom is this, the angels’ ambition alienating their affections from God is a spiritual fornication analogous to the Sodomites’ “going after strange flesh”; so covetousness is connected with whoremongering, as spiritually related ( Ephesians 5:5). The book of Enoch takes the carnal cohabitation view; but because Jude 1:accords with it in sonic particulars it does not follow he accords with it in all. The parallel 2 Peter 2:4 refers to the first fall of the apostate angels, not to Genesis 6:2. The Israelites were “sons of God” ( Deuteronomy 32:5; Hosea 1:10); still more “sons of Jehovah” the covenant God ( Exodus 4:22; Deuteronomy 14:1; Psalm 73:15; Proverbs 14:26). “Wives” and “taking wives,” i.e. marriage, cannot be predicated of angels, fornication and going after strange flesh; moreover Christ states expressly the “angels neither marry nor are given in marriage” ( Matthew 22:30; Luke 20:35,36). “Unequal yoking” of believers with unbelievers in marriage has in other ages also broken down the separation wall between the church and the world, and brought on apostasy; as in Solomon’s case (compare Nehemiah 13:23-26; Corinthians 6:14). Marriages engrossing men just before the flood are specified in Matthew 24:38; Luke 17:27. Mixed marriages were forbidden ( Exodus 34:16; Genesis 27:46; 28:1). “There were giants in the earth in those days”: nephilim , from a root to fall, “fallers on others,” “fellers,” tyrants; applied in Numbers 13:33 to Canaanites of great stature. Smith’s Bible Dictionary observes, if they were descendants of the Nephilim in Genesis 6:4 (?) the deluge was not universal. Distinct from these are the children of the daughters of men by the sons of God, “mighty men of old, men of renown.” “The earth was corrupt before God, and filled with violence through them” ( Genesis 6:11,13). So God’s long suffering at last gave place to zeal against sin, “My Spirit shall not always strive with (Keil, rule in) man,” i.e. shall no longer contend with his fleshliness, I will give him up to his own corruption and its penalty ( Romans 1:24,26-28), “for that he also (even the godly Sethite) is flesh,” or as Keil, “in his erring he is fleshly,” and so incapable of being ruled by the Spirit of God; even the godly seed is apostate and carnal, compare John 3:6.
Noah was “just and perfect (sincere in aim, whole-hearted: Matthew 5:48; Genesis 17:1; Philippians 3:15) in his generations,” among the successive generations which passed during his lifetime. God renews His covenant of grace to mankind in Noah’s person, the one beacon of hope amidst the ruin of the existing race ( Genesis 6:18). He was now years old, because he entered the ark at 600 ( Genesis 7:6). He was when he begat his three sons, subsequently to God’s threat ( Genesis 5:32 in time is later than Genesis 6:3). In the 120 years’ respite Noah was “a preacher of righteousness,” “when the long suffering of God was continuing to wait on to the end (apexedecheto , and no ‘once’ is read in the Alexandrinus, the Vaticanus, and the Sinaiticus manuscripts) in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing,” the limit of His long suffering ( 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5; Hebrews 11:7). “Warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with reverential (not Slavish) fear (eulabetheis , contrasted with the world’s sneering disbelief of God’s word and self deceiving security) prepared an ark by faith (which evidenced itself in acting upon God’s word as to the things not yet seen) to the saving of his house (for the believer tries to bring ‘his house’ with him: Acts 16:15,31,33,34; 10:2), by the which he condemned the world (since he believed and was saved, so might they; his salvation showed their condemnation just: John 3:19) and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” In Ezekiel 14:14 Noah, etc., are instanced as saved “by their righteousness,” not of works, but of grace ( Romans 4:3). The members of his family alone, his wife, three sons and their wives, were given to him amidst the general wreck. The ark which Noah built by God’s order was like a ship in proportions, but with greater width ( Genesis 6:14,15). The Hebrew teebah is the same as Moses’ see ARK of bulrushes ( Exodus 2:3): an Egyptian word for a “chest” or “coffer,” fitted for burden not for sailing, being without mast, sail, or rudder. Of “gopher,” i.e. cypress wood, fitted for shipbuilding and abounding in Syria near Babylon, the region perhaps of Noah. With “rooms,” literally, nests, i.e. berths or compartments, for men and animals. Pitched with “bitumen” making it watertight. The length 300 cubits (i.e., the cubit = 21 inches, 525 ft.), the width was 50 cubits (i.e. 87 ft. 6 inches), the height was 30 cubits (i.e. ft. 6 inches). The “Great Eastern” is longer but narrower. Peter Jansen in 1609 built a vessel of the same proportions, but smaller, and it was found to contain one-third more freight than ordinary vessels of the same tonnage, though slow. Augustine (de Civ. Dei, 15) notices that the ark’s proportions are those of the human figure, the length from sole to crown six times the width across the chest, and ten times the depth of the recumbent figure measured from the ground. Tiele calculated there was room for 7,000 species; and J. Temporarius that there was room for all the animals then known, and for their food. “A window system” (Gesenius) or course of windows ran for a cubit long under the top of the ark, lighting the whole upper story like church clerestory windows. A transparent substance may have been used, for many arts discovered by the Cainites ( Genesis 4:21,22) and their descendants in the 2,262 years between Adam and the flood (Septuagint; Hebrew 1656 years) were probably lost at the deluge. The root of tsohar “window” implies something shining, distinct from challon , a single compartment of the larger window (7:6); and “the windows of heaven,” ‘arubbowt , “networks” or “gratings.” Noah was able to watch the bird’s motions outside so as to take the dove in; this implies a transparent window. One door beside the window course let all in. As under Adam ( Genesis 2:19,20) so now the lower animals come to Noah and he receives them in pairs; but of clean animals seven pairs of each kind, for sacrifice and for subsequent multiplication of the useful species, the clean being naturally distinguished from the unclean, sheep and (used for milk and wool) from carnivorous beasts of prey, etc. The physical preservation of the species cannot have been the sole object; for if the flood were universal the genera and species of animals would exceed the room in the ark, if partial there would be no need for saving in the ark creatures of the limited area man then tenanted, for the flooded area might easily be stocked from the surrounding dry land after the flood. The ark typified the redemption of the animal as well as of the human world. The hopes of the world were linked with the one typical representative human head, Noah ( Genesis 5:29). Death existed in the animal world before man’s creation, for man’s fall foreseen and the world reflected the sad image of the fall that was to be; moreover, the pre-existing death and physical evil had probably a connection with Satan’s fall. The regeneration of the creature (the animal and material world) finally with man, body as well as soul, is typified by Noah and the animals in the ark and the renewed earth, on which they entered ( Romans 8:18-25; Revelation 21:1; 2 Peter 3:13; Matthew 19:28). The deluge began on the 17th day of the second month, i.e. the middle of November, the beginning of the rainy season, Tisri the first month beginning at the autumnal equinox. It lasted 150 days, i.e. five months of 30 days each; and the ark rested on Ararat the 17th of the seventh month ( Genesis 7:11,12,24; 8:4). The year thus was then 360 days, the old Egyptian year, which was corrected by the solar year, which also the Egyptians knew. “The fountains of the deep breaking up and the windows of heaven being opened” is phenomenal language. “The Lord shut Noah in,” as it shall be in the last days ( Isaiah 26:20); so Israel on the night of the slaying of the firstborn ( Exodus 12:22,23; Psalm 31:20; 83:3; 27:5). The simplicity of the history, the death of all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, and the six times mention of the rescue of the favored few, impress one with the feeling of the completeness of the desolation and the special grace which saved the eight. The “40 days and 40 nights of rain” were part of the 150; forty is the number significant of judgment and affliction; as Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness; Moses’, Elijah’s, and our Lord’s 40 days of foodlessness. The Speaker’s Commentary considers the Ararat meant to be southern Armenia (as in 2 Kings 19:37; Isaiah 37:38; the only other passages having the word), not the mountain 17,000 ft. above the sea, for 15 cubits water above it would submerge the whole earth. Noah successively sent, to ascertain the state of the earth, at intervals of seven days, a raven which rested on the ark but never entered it, wandering up and down and feeding on the floating caresses (emblem of the restless worldly spirit), and a dove, which finding no rest for the sole of her foot returned and Noah put forth his hand and took her and pulled her in unto him into the ark (emblem of the soul first drawn by Jesus to Himself: John 6:44; 10:28,29); next she brought a fresh olive leaf (emblem of peace and the Holy Spirit, the earnest of our inheritance: Ephesians 1:13,14), which can live under a flood more than most trees; Theophrastus (Hist. Plant. 4:8) and Pliny (H.N. 50) mention olives in the Red Sea. At the third sending she returned no more (the emblem of the new heavens and earth which shall be after the fiery deluge, 2 Peter 3:1-13; Romans 8:21, when the ark of the church to separate us from the world shall be needed no more, Revelation 21:1-22); contrast Isaiah 57:20 with Matthew 3:16; 11:29. Noah did not leave the ark until God gave the word; as Jesus waited in the tomb until with the third messenger of day the Father raised Him ( Ephesians 1:20).
Noah’s first act was a sacrifice of thanksgiving; “and Jehovah smelled a savour of rest,” in consonance with Noah’s name meaning rest, and promised, in consideration of man’s evil infirmity, not to curse the ground any more nor to smite every living thing as He had done, but to cause seedtime and harvest, day and night, not to cease.
In the three great ethnological divisions, Semitics, Aryans (Indo- Europeans), and Turanians, the tradition of the flood exists. The Aryan has the Greek accounts of Ogyges’ and Deucalion’s floods, on account of men’s deterioration in the brazen age (Pindar, Ol. 9:37). As Deucalion threw the bones Of mother earth behind his back, and they became men, so the Tamanaki on the Orinoco represent the surviving man to have thrown the palm fruit. (Ovid, Metam. 1:240; Apollodorus, i.) Lucian (de Syra Des, 12,13) says it destroyed all mankind. Hindu tradition says Manu was ordered by a great fish to build a ship secured to the horn of Brahma in a fish form to escape the deluge, and was at last landed on a northern mountain. The Phrygian Annakos who lived more than 300 years in Iconium (Enoch, whose years were 365) foretold the deluge. A medal of Apamea, a pagan monument, in Septimius Severus’ reign represented the current tradition namely, a floating ark, two persons within, two going out of it; a bird is on the ark, another flying to it with a branch; No is on some coins: evidently borrowed from the Hebrew record. The Chinese Fahe, the founder of their civilization, escapes from the flood, and is the first man with his wife, three sons and three daughters, in the renovated world (Hardwick, “Christ and other Masters,” 3:16). The Fiji islanders (Wilkes’ Expl. Exped.) believe in a deluge from which eight were saved in a canoe (Hardwick, 3:185). The aborigines of America were of one stock, the Turanian; the Mexicans (the Aztecs, Mixtecs, Zapotecs, Plascaltecs, and Mechoacans) represent a man (Coxcox) and woman in a barque, a mountain, the dove, and the vulture. The Cherokee Indians believe a dog incited one family to build a boat wherein they were saved from the flood which destroyed all people.
In the royal library of the old palace of Nineveh were found about 20,000 inscribed clay tablets, now in the British Museum. Mr. G. Smith has deciphered the account of the flood in three distinct copies, containing duplicate texts of an ancient original. The copies are of the Assyrian king Assurbanipal’s time, i.e. 660 B.C. The original, according to the tablets, belonged to the city of Erech, and was in Semitic Babylonian. The variant readings in the three copies have crept into the text in the lapse of ages.
The Assyrian copyists did not always know the modern representatives of the ancient forms of the characters in the original, so have left some in their obsolete hieratic form. The scribe has recorded the divisions of lines in the original. What were originally explanatory glosses have been incorporated in the text. The Assyrians used commonly to copy Babylonian classics.
Assurbanipal was closely connected with Erech, it alone remaining loyal when the rest of Babylonia revolted; to it therefore he restored the idol Nana, which the Elamites carried away 1635 years before (2295 B.C.). Mr.
Smith thinks the original text was about 1700 B.C. Izdubar (Nimrod according to Smith) the hero, a sage, asks Sisit or Hasisadra (Greek Xisuthrus), an immortal, son of Ubaratutu, how he became so; in reply he narrates the story of the flood, and assigns his own piety as the cause of his translation. The gods revealed to him their decree: “make a great ship ... for I will destroy the sinners and life ... cause to go in the seed of life, all of it to preserve them. The ship ... cubits shall be the measure of its length, and ... cubits the amount of its breadth and height. Into the deep launch it. ... I said, this that thou commandest me I will perform. I brought on the fifth day ... in its circuit 14 measures ... its sides 14 measures ... over it a roof ... I poured over the outside three measures of bitumen ... I poured over the inside three measures of bitumen ... I caused to go up into the ship all my male and female servants, the beasts, the animals of the field ....
Shamas spoke, I will cause it to rain from heaven heavily, enter ... the ship, shut thy door ... I entered ... shut my door ... to guide the ship to Buzursadiribi the pilot I gave. The bright earth to a waste was turned. The flood destroyed all life from the face of the earth ... Ishtar ... the great goddess said, the world to sin has turned. Six days and nights the storm overwhelmed, on the seventh the storm was calmed. I opened the window, I sent forth a dove .... it searched a rest which it did not find, and returned.
I sent forth a swallow and it returned. I sent forth a raven and it did not return. I poured out a libation, I built an altar on the peak of the mountain (Mizir, the Ararat of the Bible; in Assyrian geography the precipitous range overlooking the valley of the Tigris N.E. of Mosul, Arabic Judi, Assyrian Guti). When his judgment was accomplished, Bel went up to the midst of the ship and took my hand and brought me out ... my wife ... he purified the country, he established in a covenant, ... then dwelt Sisit at the mouth of the rivers. Sisit said, the chief who grasps at life, the like way a storm shall be laid upon him.” This account agrees with the Bible in making the flood a divine punishment for sin, and threatening the taking of life for life.
Surippak in the Babylonian king Hammurabi’s inscriptions 1600 B.C. is called “the city of the ark.” The “ark” becomes a “ship,” it is launched into the sea in charge of a pilot. Berosus’ fragment preserves a similar Chaldean story: “Xisuthrus, warned by Kronos of a coming flood, wrote a history of the beginning, course, and end of all things, and buried it in the city of the sun, Sippara; built a vessel five stadia long and two broad, and put on board food, birds, and quadrupeds, wife, children and friends. After the flood abated Xisuthrus sent out birds which not finding food or rest returned. Again he sent, and they returned with mud on their feet. The third time they returned no more. The vessel being stranded on a mountain, Nizir, E. of the Tigris, he quitted it, built an altar, and sacrificed to the gods and disappeared.
The rest went to Babylon from Armenia, where part of the vessel remains in the Corcyrean (Kurdistan) mountains; they dug up the writings at Sippara, and built temples and cities, and Babylon became inhabited again” (Cory’s Anc. Fragm. 26-29).
No record of the flood appears in the Egyptian monuments, but Plato (Timaeus, 21) testifies that the Egyptians believed that catastrophes from time to time by God’s anger had visited all lands but Egypt; the last was a deluge submerging all lands but Egypt, 8,000 years before Solon’s visit to Amosis, no rain falling in Egypt. The various yet mainly agreeing accounts imply the original unity of mankind diverging from one common center after the flood, and carrying to their various lands the story which has by corruption assumed various shapes. The Bible narrative unites details scattered up and down in various traditions but nowhere else combined: (1) The divine warning in the Babylonian, Hindu, and Cherokee accounts. (2) The care for animals in the Babylonian, Indian, and Polynesian versions. (3) The eight saved in the Fiji and Chinese stories (the latter specifying a man, his wife, three sons and their wives). (4) The birds sent forth before leaving the ark, in the Babylonian. (5) The dove, in the Greek and the Mexican. (6) The olive branch, in the Phrygian legend. (7) The building of the altar afterward, in the Babylonian and the Greek account. (8) The bitumen, in the Erech version; also shutting the door; the cause, sin; the seven days, the dove returning, the raven not so; the mountain; the Deity bringing out from the ark and establishing a covenant; the retribution for taking life.
Probably Shem related the event as it would strike an eye witness, “all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered ... 15 cubits upward,” as doubtless they ascertained by a plumbline. If Babylonia were the region of Noah few hills were in view and those low, possibly the Zagros range. Deuteronomy 2:25; Genesis 41:57; 1 Kings 18:10, show the limited sense of “all the high hills under the whole heaven.” A flood destroying all the existing race of man, and those animals alone in the limited region, as yet occupied by man, and covering the visible horizon, satisfies the requirements of Scripture. Thus geological, physical, and zoological (namely, the distribution of animals, each continent having for ages before the flood its own peculiar species, and the numbers being vast) objections are solved. Not that there is insufficiency of water to submerge the earth, nay the water is to the land as three-fifths to two-fifths; a universal flood might have been for 150 days, and yet leave no trace discernible now. But the other difficulties make a partial one probable. The geological diluvium is distinct from the historical. The diluvium or drift in many places, consisting of sand, pebbles, organic remains, and rock fragments, was produced by violent eruptions of water at various times, not the comparatively tranquil flood of Scripture. Traces of man are supposed to be found during the formation of the drift, but that formation was apparently the work of ages, and these before Noah, not of a temporary submersion. Moses implies the ark did not drift far from where it was first lifted up, and grounded about the same place. The flood rose by degrees, not displacing the soil, nor its vegetable tribes as the olive, nor rendering the ground unfit for cultivating the vine. Hence the nonappearance of traces of the flood accords with the narrative. But the elevation of mountains followed by floods submerging whole regions is traceable, and further confirms the account of Noah’s flood. Depression of the large tracts occupied by the existing race of men would open the fountains of the deep, so that the land would be submerged. Psalm 29:10 translated “Jehovah sat (so sit, Psalm 9:4,7,8; Joel 3:12) at the flood”; mabbul , Noah’s deluge; as King and Judge vindicating His people and destroying their ungodly foe, “and therefore Jehovah will sit King for ever.” Their foes now are what “the flood” was then ( Isaiah 28:2; 59:19; Jeremiah 46:7,8; 47:2). Jehovah will not let them overwhelm His people, as He did not let it overwhelm Noah. “As God swore the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth,” so He swears He will, after His mercy returns to Israel, “no more be angry with nor rebuke her” ( Isaiah 54:9). Christ stamps the history as true, declaring that the world’s unpreparedness for His second coming, through engrossment in business and pleasure, shall be such as it was in Noah’s days before the flood ( Matthew 24:37; Luke 17:26). Peter ( 2 Peter 3:3-13) confutes the scoffers of the last days who deny the Lord’s coming to judgment on the plea “all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation,” but the same objection might have been urged before the flood against its possibility. Yet the earth was deluged by that water out of which it had originally risen; (ver. 6) “by which (plural Greek) heavens and earth, in respect to the waters which flowed together from both, the then world perished, in respect to its occupants, men and animals, and its existing order” (kosmos ); for “the fountains of the great deep were broken up” from the earth below, and “the windows of heaven above were opened. So “the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word (which first made the existing order of men and animals, and then destroyed them) are kept in store, reserved unto fire (stored up within our earth, and the action of which appears in our igneous reeks once in a state of fusion, also in the sun our central luminary) against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
Noah as second head of mankind receives God’s blessing (Genesis 9), the first part of it the repetition of that on Adam ( Genesis 1:28), “be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth,” which blessing had been marred by man’s sin. Terror, not as in Eden love, should subject the lower animals to man, God’s vicegerent. Vegetable diet had heretofore been the sole one sanctioned ( Genesis 1:29), as it is still in some Eastern countries.
Whether men restricted themselves from flesh or not, previous to the flood, is unknown. Now first its use was explicitly conceded, man’s needs often finding insufficient food from the ground under the curse; thus Lamech’s prophecy was fulfilled ( Genesis 5:29), Noah his son becoming head of the regenerated world under more favorable circumstances. But flesh with the life or blood in it was not to be eaten, both for humanity’s sake, and also as typifying His blood shedding in whom is our life ( Leviticus 17:10,11; Acts 15:29). Moreover, henceforth (though formerly having let Cain live) God requires man’s blood of the shedder, whether man or beast ( Exodus 21:28; Psalm 9:12). As the priesthood belonged to all Israel, before it was delegated to Aaron’s family as Israel’s representative, so the judicial and magisterial authority belonged to mankind, and was subsequently delegated to particular magistrates as mankind’s representatives. The security of the natural world from destruction by flood is guaranteed by God’s promise, and that of the social world by God’s making human life inviolable on the ground of man’s bearing God’s image.
These three precepts, abstinence from blood, murder punishable by death ( Romans 13:1-4, etc.), the civil authority, have four more added by inference, constituting the “seven precepts of Noah”: abstinence from blasphemy, incest and unchastity, theft, and idolatry. As Noah the head of the new family of man represents all peoples, God takes the rainbow, a natural phenomenon (see BOW ), seen by all everywhere, as pledge of His covenant with mankind; so when covenanting with one nation in Abraham’s person, He made circumcision, an arbitrary sign, His seal.
Noah, having planted a vine (Armenia being celebrated for vines), through sinful ignorance and infirmity suffered himself to be overcome by wine. The saint’s sin always brings its chastisement. He exposed his person; his shame stirred up see HAM ’S (see CANAAN ) mocking undutifulness and dislike of his father’s piety. Canaan shared Ham’s guilt, and by undutifulness should wound his father as the latter had wounded Noah. God overruled, as always, this fall of Noah to His glory, His righteousness becoming known by Noah’s prophecy, reaching to the last ages. Ham, who despised his duty as a son, hears his son’s doom to be a slave. The curse fell on Ham at the sorest point, namely, in his son’s person. Canaan became “slave of Shem’s” descendant, Israel. Tyre fell before Greece, Carthage before Rome, and Africa for ages has been the land of slaves. (See JAPHETH on his foretold “dwelling in the tents of Shem.”) “Blessed be Jehovah (the covenant fulfilling) God of Shem” marks that to Israel, Shem’s representative, Jehovah should especially reveal Himself as their God, and through Israel ultimately to “the whole earth” ( Psalm 72:18,19; Isaiah 2:2-5; Romans 11:12-32). Noah lived after the flood 350 years. Noah was the second father and federal representative head of man- kind; alone after the flood, as Adam was alone in Eden. The flood brought back man to his original unity. The new world emerging from the water was to Noah what Eden had been to Adam. Noah’s vine was the counterpart to the two trees of Eden: a tree of life in the moderate use of its fruit, a tree of knowledge of evil, shame, and death in excess, which, lust persuaded him as in Eve’s case, would raise him to expanded knowledge and bliss.
NOB A sacerdotal city in Benjamin, on a height near Jerusalem; the last stage of Sennacherib’s march from the north on Jerusalem, from whence he could see and “shake his hand against Zion” ( Isaiah 10:28-32). The high priest see AHIMELECH ’S (see DOEG , see DAVID ) residence in Saul’s time, near Anathoth and Gibeah of Saul. The scene of Saul’s murder of the priests and smiting of the townspeople, on Doeg’s information that Ahimelech had given David shewbread ( 1 Samuel 20:1-19; 21:1-9; 22:9-19). Inhabited again on the return from Babylon ( Nehemiah 11:31-35). E. of the north road, opposite Shafat, is a tell with cisterns hewn in the rock and traces of a town (Courier, Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement). From the hill-top is a full view of Zion, though Moriah and Olivet are hid by an intervening ridge. “The hill of God” ( 1 Samuel 10:5,10), where the Spirit came on Saul on his way from Bethlehem after Samuel’s anointing, was probably Nob, the seat then of the tabernacle, and meaning “prophecy.” Shafat is Arabic for “view,” answering to Josephus’ Greek name Scopus. Nob may be related to Nabat, “to view.” namely, the point from whence the full view of Zion breaks on the traveler from the N.
Mizpeh is mentioned in Joshua (18:26) and in Nehemiah ( Nehemiah 3:7) in connection with Gibeon. At Mizpeh probably the tabernacle was erected on its removal from Shiloh. Mizpeh, “watchtower,” corresponds to Nob “a high place commanding a view.” They never are named in the same passage as distinct. They both are mentioned in connection with the royal town Gibeon. Gilgal was the first temporary abode of the tabernacle, then Shiloh for more than three centuries and a half, then the Nob or high place of Gibeon, finally Jerusalem. Warren (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement) objects to Nob’s being identified with Nebi Samwil that the latter is four miles and a half from Jerusalem, and separated from it by the deep ravine, wady Beit Hanina; the Assyrian king marching (Isaiah 10) from Geba to Jerusalem would be more likely to find Nob on his way, at that Scopus (near the city) from whence Titus looked down upon Jerusalem, rather than turning away four miles and a half to Nebi Samwil.
NOBAH 1. An Israelite of Manasseh the conqueror of Kenath and its dependent villages E. of Jordan ( Numbers 32:42). 2. The town so named by Nobah instead of its former name, Kenath ( Judges 8:11). The old name is revived in Kenawat in the Lejah or Trachonitis. But Ewald identified Nobah with Nawa on the Damascus road, 16 miles E. from the N. end of the sea of Tiberias.
NOD = “wandering”. E. of Eden. Cain’s place of flight.
NOGAH 1 Chronicles 3:7; 14:6.
NOHAH 1 Chronicles 8:2.
NOPHAH Numbers 21:30. Mentioned in the Amorites’ triumphal song, after recounting the conquest of Heshbon from Moab. Ewald locates Nobah near Heshbon ( Numbers 32:35,42) and identifies Nophah with it.
NOSE JEWEL (See FOREHEAD ). A ring of gold or silver from one to three inches diameter, with beads or jewels strung on it, passed through the right nostril ( Ezekiel 16:12). “I put a jewel on thy forehead,” rather “a ring in the nose” ( Isaiah 3:21). Women in the East wore also rings or jewels hanging from the forehead on the nose; “I put the ring upon her face” ( Genesis 24:22,47).
NUMBER After the captivity the Hebrews used the alphabet letters for numbers, ‘aleph=1; beth=2, etc.; yodh=10; qoph=100, etc. The final letters expressed 500 to 900; ‘aleph + a line over it=1000. Our manuscripts all write numbers at full length. But the variations make it likely that letters (which copyists could so easily mistake) originally were written for numbers: compare 2 Kings 24:8 with 2 Chronicles 36:9; Isaiah 7:8, where 65 is in one reading, 16 and 5 in another. 1 Samuel 6:19 has 50,070, but Syriac and Arabic 5070 ( 1 Kings 4:26 with 2 Chronicles 9:25).
Numbers also have often a symbolical rather than a mere arithmetical value. But straining is to be avoided, and subtle trifling. The author’s sense, history, the context, and the general analogy of the Scripture scheme as a whole are to be examined, in order to decide whether a figure is employed in a merely ordinary sense, or in an ordinary and symbolical, or in an exclusively symbolical sense. Zechariah and Daniel dwell upon seven; Daniel and Revelation use several numbers to characterize periods, rather than indicate arithmetical duration. Science reveals in crystallization and chemical combinations what an important part number plays in the proportion of combining molecules of organic and inorganic life.
Two notes intensification ( Genesis 41:32), requital in full ( Job 42:10; Jeremiah 16:18; Isaiah 61:7; Revelation 18:6); the proportions of the temple were double those of the tabernacle; two especially symbolizes testimony ( Zechariah 4:11; 11:7; Isaiah 8:2; Revelation 11:3), two tables of the testimony ( Exodus 31:18), two cherubim over the ark of the testimony. God is His own witness; but that witness is twofold, His word and His oath ( Hebrews 6:13,17), Himself and His Son ( John 8:18).
Three, like seven, is a divine number. The Trinity ( Revelation 1:4; 4:8); three great feasts ( Exodus 23:14-17; Deuteronomy 16:16); the threefold blessing ( Numbers 6:14,24); the thrice holy ( Isaiah 6:3); the three hours of prayer ( Daniel 6:10; Psalm 55:17); the third heaven ( 2 Corinthians 12:2). Christ is “the Way, the Truth, the Life,” “Prophet, Priest, and King.” The threefold theophany ( Genesis 18:2; 1 Samuel 3:4,6,8; Acts 10:16).
The number 3 1/2, one-half of 7, is a period of evil cut short, shortened for the elect’s sake ( Matthew 24:22; James 5:17, three years’ and a half drought in Israel; Luke 4:25; Revelation 11:2,3,9; 12:6). Daniel 7:25; 12:7, “time, times, and a half,” “1,260 days,” “three days and a half.”
The 42 months (30 days in each) answer to the 1,260 days; three years and a half = 1,260 days (360 in each year). Probably the 1,260 years of the papal rule date from A.D. 754, when his temporal power began, and end 2014 (see ANTICHRIST ). At the close of spurious Christianity’s long rule open antichristianity and persecution will prevail for the three years and a half before the millennium. Witnessing churches will be followed by witnessing individuals, even as the apostate church will give place to the personal man of sin ( Daniel 7:25; Revelation 11:2,3). The 2,300 ( Daniel 8:14) years may date from Alexander’s conquests (323 B.C.), and end about the same time as the 1,260, namely, 1977. The ( Daniel 12:11,12) and 1,335 days correspond to 1290, during which Antiochus Epiphanes profaned the temple, from the month Ijar, 145th year of the era of the Seleucidae, to Judas Maccabeus’ restoration of worship, the 25th day of the ninth month Chisleu, 148th year (1 Macc. 1:54; 4:52- 56); in 45 days more Antiochus died, ending the Jews’ calamities; in all 1,335. Again, 1,260, 1,290 and 1,335 may be counted from Mahomet’s retirement to the cave, A.D. 606-610, and his flight from Mecca, 622: these figures added may mark the closing epochs of Mahometan power.
Again, the 2,300 may be the years between 480 B.C., the time of Xerxes’ invasion of Greece ( Daniel 11:2), and A.D. 1820, when Ali Pasha cast off the yoke of the Porte and precipitated the Greek revolution. Thirdly, the 2,300 may date from Antichrist’s profanation ( Daniel 9:27). After the 1,260 days Jesus in person will deliver the Jews; during the 30 more their consciences are awakened to penitent faith, making 1,290; in 45 more Israel’s outcasts are gathered, and the united blessing descends. These all are conjectures. Evidently these numbers symbolize the long “Gentile times” from the overthrow of Judah’s kingdom by Babylon, and of Jerusalem by Titus, down to the restoration of the theocracy in Him “whose right it is” ( Ezekiel 21:27). The seven times of Israel’s punishment ( Leviticus 26:18,21,24) are the times of the Gentile monarchies; the seven times of antichrist’s tyranny in the Holy Land will be the recapitulation and open consummation of what is as yet “the mystery of iniquity.” The three and a half during which the two witnesses prophesy in sackcloth is the sacred seven halved, for the antichristian world powers’ time is broken at best, and is followed immediately by judgment on them. It answers to the three years and a half of Christ’s witness for the truth, when the Jews disowned and the God-opposed world power crucified Him ( Daniel 9:27). He died in the midst of the last of the 70 weeks; the three and a half which seemed the world’s triumph over Him was immediately followed by their defeat in His resurrection ( John 12:31). The world powers never reach the sacred fullness of seven times 360, i.e. 2,520, though they approach it in the 2,300 ( Daniel 8:14). The 42 months answer to Israel’s 42 sojournings in the desert ( Numbers 33:1-50), contrasted with the sabbatic rest of Canaan. Three and a half represents the church’s time of toil, pilgrimage, persecution. Three and a half is the antagonism to seven.
Four symbolizes worldwide extension. The four winds and quarters of the earth ( Revelation 7:1; Daniel 7:2). The four living creatures or cherubim with four wings and four faces ( Ezekiel 1:5, etc.; Revelation 4:6, in contrast to the four beasts, Daniel 7; Daniel 2:40 the four kingdoms); Eden’s four streams ( Genesis 2:10; Ezekiel 40:47). Four expresses the spread of God’s kingdom over the earth. As Christ’s seamless vest marks its unity, so the rending of the outer garment into four by the four Roman soldiers symbolizes its ultimate worldwide extension ( John 19:23,24).
The numbers especially symbolical are 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 40; 6 is so because coming short of the sacred 7, 8 as coming after 7 and introducing a new series or era. Three and a half is seven broken in two. The Bible begins with seven days, and ends with a succession of sevens. Seven represents rest and release from toil, also a divine work, in judgment or mercy or revelation ( Genesis 4:24; 41:3,7; Matthew 18:22; Exodus 7:25). Leviticus 26:18, “I will punish you seven times more for your sins,” Leviticus 26:21,24,28; Isaiah 4:1; 11:15; 2 Samuel 24:13. Daniel 4:16,25, “seven times shall pass over thee” (Nebuchadnezzar). Revelation 15:1, “the seven last plagues.” divine fullness and completeness is the thing signified; as Revelation 1:4, “the seven spirits ... before His throne” are the one Holy Spirit in His manifold fullness; Isaiah 11:2,3 corresponds. So in offerings and divine rites: Leviticus 12:2,5; 13:4,6,21,26,31,33,50,54; 14:7,8,9,16,27,38,51; 15:13,19,28; 16:14,19; Numbers 12:14; 2 Kings 5:10,14. The seven days’ grace ( Genesis 7:1-10); and at the taking of Jericho ( Joshua 5:13--6:20); the antitype, spiritual Babylon, shall fall at the sounding of the seventh trumpet ( Revelation 11:13,15; 14:8). The sevenfold candlestick ( Exodus 25:37), the seven churches corresponding ( Revelation 1:12,20), the seven deacons (Acts 6), the sevenfold ministry (Romans 12; Corinthians 12). Seven prayers are given in full in the Old Testament (See PRAYER ). Seven petitions of the Lord’s prayer in the New Testament The seven beatitudes (Matthew 5; Psalm 12:7). Satan mimics the divine seven ( Proverbs 6:16; 26:25): Mary Magdalene’s seven devils ( Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2); the unclean spirit returning with seven ( Matthew 12:45); the seven Canaanite nations subdued by Israel ( Deuteronomy 7:1; Acts 13:19); the dragon with seven heads and seven crowns ( Revelation 12:3; Numbers 23:1).
Eight begins a new era and life after the seven has been completed ( Exodus 22:30; Leviticus 9:1; 22:27). Lepers are reinstated on the eighth day ( Leviticus 14:10; 15:13,29). Circumcision on the eighth day begins a new life in the covenant. The eighth day after the seven of the feast of tabernacles ( Leviticus 23:36). From the eighth day, when the firstfruit sheaf was waved, the seven sevens were counted; and on the 50th day or Pentecost (the eighth day after seven) a new era began ( Leviticus 23:11,15,16; Acts 2:1). Leviticus 25:8,9, type of the eternal sabbath, the new era of a regenerated world ( Romans 8:21; Isaiah 61:1; Acts 3:21); the Lord’s day, the eighth after the seventh, ushers in the new Christian era. The eight saved souls left the ark on the eighth day, after the last seven of anxious waiting, the representative heads of regenerated mankind. Of man in his fallen state Ecclesiastes ( Ecclesiastes 1:15) writes, “that which is crooked cannot be made straight,” but what is “impossible with man is possible with God” ( Luke 18:27); at Messiah’s coming “the crooked shall be made straight” ( Isaiah 40:4); “that which is wanting (compare Daniel 5:27) cannot be numbered,” i.e. what is wholly wanting, man’s state, cannot be numbered, but believers are “complete in Christ” ( Colossians 2:10).
Ten represents perfected universality. The “thousand” years ( Revelation 20:2) is ten raised to the third power, i.e. the world (10) pervaded by the divine (3). The Ten Commandments contain the whole cycle of God’s moral requirements. The tithe represented the whole property as belonging to God ( Genesis 14:20). Genesis has the formula ten times, “these are the generations” ( Genesis 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10,27; 25:12,19; 36:1; 37:2). The Ten Commandments of the Decalogue logically follow; God’s fingers wrote it. Our fingers are ten ( Exodus 31:18; Psalm 8:1). The ten plagues were the entire round of judgments from God’s hand. The tabernacle, temple, and New Jerusalem have ten as the prevailing figure in measurements. In the New Testament the ten lepers, ten talents, ten cities in reward for ten pounds gained, ten virgins. Antichrist too has his ten, comprising the whole cycle of the world power: ten nations opposed to Abraham’s seed ( Genesis 15:19); ten toes on Nebuchadnezzar’s image to be stricken by the stone ( Daniel 2:41); ten horns on the fourth beast ( Daniel 7:7, 20,24; Revelation 12:3; 13:1; 17:3,7,12, “ten kings”); ten days of Smyrna’s tribulation, the complete term of the world power’s persecution of the church ( Revelation 2:10). In combination with 7,10 appears in the 70 nations (Genesis 10), the 70 who went down to Egypt ( Genesis 46:27), the 70 palms at Elim, the 70 elders of Israel ( Exodus 24:1; Numbers 11:16), the 70 disciples, the 70 years’ captivity ( Jeremiah 25:11). Daniel’s 70 sevens, weeks ( Daniel 9:24).
Seventy-fold ( Genesis 4:24; Matthew 18:22). As 3 1/2 is related to 7, so 5 is related to 10; 5 is the penal number ( Exodus 22:1; Leviticus 5:16; Numbers 18:16); the fifth kingdom punishes with destruction the four world kingdoms (Daniel 2).
Twelve is the church number. The 12 tribes; 12 Elim wells; 12 stones in the high priest’s breastplate; 12 shewbread loaves; 12 patriarchs; 12 apostles; 12 foundation stones; 12 gates; 12,000 furlongs of New Jerusalem; angels ( Revelation 21:16-21; 12:1). Twelve squared and multiplied by 1,000, the symbol of the world divinely perfected, gives 144,000, the sealed Israelites ( Revelation 7:4). The 24 elders are the 12 heads of the Old Testament and the 12 of the New Testament churches combined, “elders” is the term for ministers; the 24 courses of priests anticipate the final combination of the two, Jews and Gentiles, made one new man in Christ ( Revelation 4:4). Seven times twelve is connected with the Lamb’s bride. Six is to twelve as three and a half to seven. Six symbolizes the world given over to judgment. The judgments on the world are complete in six; by the fulfillment of seven the world kingdoms become Christ’s. Hence there is a pause between the sixth and seventh seals, the sixth and seventh trumpets. As 12 is the church’s number, so six (its half) symbolizes the world kingdom broken. Six, the world number, is next to the sacred seven which it mimics ( Revelation 13:1) but can never reach.
The raising of the six from units to tens, and from tens to hundreds (666), indicates that the beast, notwithstanding his progression to higher powers, can only rise to greater ripeness for judgment. Thus, 666, the number of the beast ( Revelation 13:18), the judged world power, contrasts with the 144,000 sealed and transfigured ones. (See ANTICHRIST ).
The 40 days’ rain of the flood ( Genesis 7:4,12,17); Moses’ 40 years in Egypt, and 40 in Midian. Times of temptation and trial: 40 days on the mountain ( Exodus 24:18); a second 40 after Israel’s sin of the calf ( Deuteronomy 9:18,25); 40 years in the desert wanderings ( Numbers 14:34), the penal issue of the 40 days’ probation in searching Canaan (13:26; Psalm 95:10; also Judges 13:1); 40 days and nights of Elijah ( 1 Kings 19:8); Jonah’s 40 days’ warning to Nineveh ( Jonah 3:4); 40 days of Christ’s temptation ( Matthew 4:2). Also a time of probation by tranquil prosperity ( Judges 3:11; 5:31; 8:28).
Ezekiel (4:4-6) lay on his right side 40 days a day for a year, which with the 390 on his left side makes the 430 of Israel’s sojourn in Egypt ( Exodus 12:40,41; Galatians 3:17). God will bring them back to a bondage as bad as that in Egypt, but shortened by the 40 years’ sojourn in the desert for discipline. Also Ezekiel 29:11,12.
NUMBERS, BOOK OF The book takes its name from the numberings (Numbers 1 and Numbers 26). The Hebrews name it from its first word waedaber , or its first distinctive word Bemidbar . It narrates Israel’s stay in the desert from the law giving at Sinai ( Leviticus 27:34) to their mustering in Moab’s plains before entering Canaan. The parts are four: (1) Preparations for breaking up the camp at Sinai to march to Canaan (Numbers 1--10:10). (2) March from Sinai to Canaan’s border; repulse by the Amorites ( Numbers 10:11--14:45). (3) Selected incidents and enactments during the 38 years’ penal wandering ( Numbers 15:1--19:22). (4) Last year in the desert, the 40th year after the exodus ( Numbers 20:1--36:13). Israel’s first encampment near Kadesh was at Rithmah (from retem , the broom) in midsummer, in the second year after the exodus; there for 40 days they awaited the spies’ report ( Numbers 13:20,25,26; 33:18,19, from verses 20 to 36 are the stages of penal wandering). On the first month of the 40th year they are at Kadesh once more. The tabernacle and Moses remained at Kadesh on the first occasion, while Israel attempted to occupy Canaan too late ( Numbers 14:44). For a long period (“many days”) they stayed still here, after failure, in hope God would yet remit the sentence ( Deuteronomy 1:45,46). Then they “compassed Mount Seir (the wilderness of Paran) many days,” until that whole generation died ( Deuteronomy 2:1). The 17 stations belong to that dreary period ( Numbers 33:19-36).
The people spread about the ridges of Paran, while the tabernacle and camp moved among them from place to place. At the second encampment at Kadesh they stayed three or four months ( Numbers 20:1 with Numbers 1:22-28; 33:38). Miriam died, and was buried there. The people mustering all together exhausted the natural water supply; the smiting of the rock, and the sentence on Moses and Aaron followed ( Numbers 20:2 ff; 12, 13); from Kadesh Israel sent the message to Edom (14, etc.). On the messengers’ return Israel left Kadesh for Mount Hor, where Aaron dies; then proceeded by the marches in Numbers 33:41-49 round Edom to Moab. The camp and tabernacle, with the priests and chiefs, during the wanderings, were the nucleus and rallying point; and the encampments named in Numbers 33:18-36 are those at which the tabernacle was pitched. Kehelathah (“assembling”: ver. 22) and Makheloth (“assemblies”) were probably stages at which special gatherings took place.
During the year’s stay at Sinai the people would disperse to seek food: so also during the 38 years’ wandering. They bought provisions from neighbouring tribes ( Deuteronomy 2:26-29). Fish at Ezion Geber ( Numbers 33:35) was obtainable. Caravans passed over the desert of wandering as the regular route between the East and Egypt. The resources of the region sufficed in that day for a comparatively large population whose traces are found. The excessive hardships detailed Deuteronomy 1:19; 8:15, belong to the closing marches of the 40th year through the Arabah, not to the whole period ( Numbers 21:4). Between the limestone cliffs of the Tih on the W. and the granite range of Seir on the E. the Arabah is a mountain plain of loose sand and granite gravel, with little food or water, and troubled with sand storms from the gulf.
CHRONOLOGY. Numbers begins with the first day of the second month of the second year after they left Egypt ( Numbers 1:1). Aaron’s death occurred in the first day of the fifth month of the 40th year ( Numbers 33:38), the first encampment in the final march to Canaan ( Numbers 20:22). Between these two points intervene 38 years and three months of wandering ( Deuteronomy 2:14; Numbers 14:27-35). Moses recapitulated the law after Sihon’s and Og’s defeat in the beginning of the eleventh month of the 40th year ( Deuteronomy 1:3,4). Thus six months intervene between Aaron’s death and Deuteronomy; in them the events of the fourth part of the Book of Numbers ( Numbers 20:1 to the end) occurred, excepting Arad’s defeat. The first month mourning for Aaron occupies, Numbers 20:29; part of the host in this month avenged Arad’s attack during Israel’s journey from Kadesh to Mount Hor. Arad’s attack would be while Israel was near, nor would be wait until Israel withdrew 60 miles S. to Mount Hor ( Numbers 20:23,25). His attack was evidently when the camp moved from Kadesh, which was immediately S. of Arad.
He feared their invasion would be “by way of the spies,” namely, from the same quarter as before ( Numbers 14:40-45; 21:1), so he took the offensive. The war with Arad precedes in time Numbers 20, Aaron’s burial at Mount Hor, and is the first of the series of victories under Moses narrated from this point. (See HORMAH ). Next, from Mount Hor Israel compassed Edom by way of the Red Sea ( Numbers 21:4), a 220-mile journey, about four weeks, to the brook Zered ( Numbers 21:12), the first westward flowing brook they met, marking therefore an epoch in their march. Then follows Sihon’s and Og’s overthrow at Jahaz and Edrei, about the middle of the third of the six months. Their defeat caused Balak to summon Balaam to curse Israel from “Pethor, which was on the river (Euphrates) in his native land” (so, Numbers 22:5), at least 350 miles distant. Two months suffice for his ambassadors to go and return twice, and for Balaam’s prophesying (Numbers 22--24). Israel probably was meanwhile securing and completing the conquest of Gilead and Bashan.
Six weeks thus remain for Midian’s seduction of Israel, the plague (Numbers 25), the second numbering on the plains of Moab (Numbers 26), and the attack on Midian (Numbers 31), God retributively scourging the tempters by their own victims: “beside those (kings) that fell in the battle they put to death the kings of Midian (five, namely) Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba” ( Numbers 31:8), “Balaam also they slew” judicially, not in battle. So Moses’ death is foreannounced as to follow the vengeance upon Midian ( Numbers 31:2). Deuteronomy is his last testimony, just after the war, and before his death in the eleventh month of the 40th year.
AUTHOR AND DATE. The catalog of stages from Egypt to Moab ( Numbers 33:2) is expressly attributed to Moses. The living connection of special enactments with incidents which occasioned them proves that this characteristic mixture of narrative and legislation comes from a contemporary annalist. Leviticus completed the Sinai legislation, but the stay in tents in the wilderness required supplementary directions not originally provided, as Numbers 19:14, also Numbers 5; 9:6-14; Numbers 19 ( Numbers 19:11 the plague after Korah’s rebellion necessitating ordinances concerning defilement by contact with the dead), Numbers 30; Numbers 36, the law of heiresses marrying in their tribe, being at the suit of the Machirite chiefs, as the law of their inheriting was issued on the suit of Zelophehad’s daughters (Numbers 27), and that was due to Jehovah’s command to divide the land according to the number of names, by lot ( Numbers 26:52-56). So the ordinances Numbers 15:4, etc., 22,24,32. The author’s intimate knowledge of Egypt appears in the trial of jealousy ( Numbers 5:11), the purifications of the priests ( Numbers 8:7, etc.), the ashes of the red heifer (Numbers 19); all having an affinity to, though certainly not borrowed from, Egyptian rites. So the people refer to their former Egyptian foods ( Numbers 11:5,6). The building of Hebron seven years before Zoan (Tanis: probably connected here because both had the scale builder, one of the Hyksos, shepherd kings of Egypt, who originally perhaps came from the region of the Anakim), the N.E. frontier town of Egypt ( Numbers 13:22). References to the exodus from Egypt ( Numbers 3:13; 14:19; 15:41).
The regulations for encamping and marching (Numbers 2; 9:16; etc., 10:1- 28), and Moses’ invocation ( Numbers 10:35,36). The directions for removing the tabernacle (Numbers 3 and Numbers 4). The very inconsistency seeming between Numbers 4:3,23,30, fixing the Levites’ limit of age to 30, and Numbers 8:24 appointing the age 25 (the reason being, the 30 was temporary, the number of able-bodied Levites between 30 and 50 sufficing for the conveyance of the tabernacle in the wilderness; but, when Israel was in Canaan, the larger number afforded by the earlier limit 25 to 50 was required: David enlarged the number, as the needs of the sanctuary service required, by reducing the age for entrance to 20 ( Chronicles 23:24-28), younger men being able then for the work, carrying the tabernacle being no longer needed). The tabernacle is presupposed near, which is true only while Israel was in the wilderness; “Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites” ( Numbers 21:13), could only be written in Moses’ time; the Amorites were not yet supplanted by the two and a half tribes: Numbers 32. Gad held Dibon when Numbers 32:34 was written, but subsequently Joshua ( Joshua 13:9- 15,17) assigned it to Reuben. In Numbers 34 more territory is assigned to Israel than they permanently occupied, and less than they for a time held (namely, Damascus, in the reigns of David, Solomon, and Jeroboam II).
Hardly anyone but Moses could have written the pleadings and God’s communications in Numbers 14:11-16, presuming they are historical, and they are inseparably connected with the history and legislation. Moses made his memoranda at intervals during the 38 years of wandering; hence arises the variety of style in different parts. He used also existing materials, as in Numbers 21:14,17,27-30, “the book of the wars of the Lord” (the writers piously and truly call them “Jehovah’s wars,” not Israel’s; compare Exodus 17:14,16), a collection of sacred odes commemorating Israel’s triumphs, from Egyptian days downward, including the passage of Arnon, the Song of the Well, the Conquest of Sihon, and the story and prophecies of Balaam, perhaps found in writing among the spoils of Midian when Balaam was slain ( Numbers 31:8). In Numbers 21:14 read as margin “Vaheeb in Suphah,” i.e. He, the Lord, conquered “Vaheeb in Suphah,” i.e.
Saphia; Vaheeb was Moab’s boundary on the S. as Arnon was its boundary in the N. Gesenius however for “in Suphah” translated “in a whirlwind (the Lord conquered) Vaheeb,” so the Hebrew is, Job 21:18. In Numbers 12:3 “Moses was very meek above all the men upon the face of the earth,” he writes not by his own but the Spirit’s prompting ( Numbers 11:17).
He records his own faults as candidly, simply, and self ignoringly ( Numbers 20:10-12; Exodus 4:24; Deuteronomy 1:37; compare the Antitype, Matthew 11:29). Moses’ “meekness” is mentioned to show why he did not vindicate himself; therefore God vindicated him.
Traces of independent accounts interwoven together ( Numbers 13:30, etc., Numbers 14:11-25,38,39), repetitions, and lack of consecutiveness, are observed. They are such as would result from separate memoranda put together; but the Spirit has guided the writer and compiler. The words “while the children ... were in the wilderness” ( Numbers 15:32) do not prove they were no longer there, but that the sabbath ordinance ( Exodus 31:14) now violated was in force already, whereas other ordinances were to come in force only “when Israel should come into the land” ( Numbers 15:2, etc., 18, etc.). “Prophet” applied to Moses ( Numbers 11:29; 12:6) was a usual term then ( Genesis 20:7; Exodus 7:1), but fell into disuse in the time of the judges when there were strictly no “prophets,” directly inspired ( 1 Samuel 3:1); hence, “seer” was the term for those consulted in difficult eases ( 1 Samuel 9:9). Samuel restored the name and reality of “prophet”; so “seer” is found afterwards only in 2 Samuel 15:27; 2 Chronicles 16:7,10. The organic connection of Numbers with the Pentateuch, of which it forms part, involves the Mosaic authorship of the former if Moses was author of the rest of the Pentateuch.
The followers of Israel were numbered with the holy seed, those born in the house or bought of a stranger ( Genesis 17:12,13). A mixed multitude went with them at the exodus ( Exodus 12:38; Numbers 11:4). Children begotten of Egyptians entered the congregation in the third generation ( Deuteronomy 23:7,8). So the Egyptian servant Jarha’s descendants ( 1 Chronicles 2:34,35) appear among Judah’s descendants.
These considerations will account for the multiplication from 70, at Jacob’s going to Egypt, to two million. Formerly, the forests in Arabia attracted rain, and so the Sinai desert afforded food more than now. Remains of mines, numerous inscriptions, and other proofs exist of a considerable population having lived there once. But independent of natural supplies Israel was fed by miracle. The first census gave a total of 603,550, the second census 601,730. The main decrease was in Simeon, owing to their prominence in the idolatry and owing to the plague consequently falling heaviest on them ( Numbers 25:6,14). An objection is started because of the disproportion between 22,273, the firstborn, and 603,550 men of war ( Numbers 3:43; 1:46). But the firstborn meant are those born at and after the Passover on the eve of the exodus ( Numbers 13:2,11,12), which was the ground of God’s claim on them; the 603,550 include none of them, the 273 above the Levites’ 22,000 had to be redeemed at five shekels each. In Numbers 9:1 the regular Passover in the first month, fourteenth day, is mentioned ( Numbers 1:1); but Numbers 9:11 the supplementary Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month. The lambs were slain, as at the first institution, in groups of families in private, not at the sanctuary door as subsequently in Canaan ( Numbers 9:3,12; Deuteronomy 16). Considering how many would not be clean, the number of communicants was probably 700,000; 50,000 lambs would suffice, allowing 14 persons for each lamb ( Exodus 12:4).
NURSE Anciently a position of honour; so see DEBORAH (seen), Genesis 24:59; 35:8; Ruth, 4:16. Figuratively; Moses was “as a nursing father bearing the sucking child” ( Numbers 11:12). So Isaiah 49:23. So Paul, “we were gentle” (so the Alexandrinus manuscript and the Ephraemi Rescriptus (C), epioi , but the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus ‘infants,’ neepioi ) among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her own (Greek) children” ( Thessalonians 2:7).
NUT (1) Botnim , pistachio tree fruit. Sent as a present to Joseph in Egypt from Jacob in Canaan ( Genesis 43:11). As the pistachio did not grow in Egypt, it would be especially acceptable. The tree is from 15 to 30 ft. high, the male and female flowers grow on separate trees. The name of Betonim, a town in Gad, is derived from it ( Joshua 13:26). The fruit is the size of an olive, bulging on one side, hollow on the other; red pulp encases a shell, the kernel of which is green, sweet, and oily. (2) Egowz : Song 6:11, “the garden of nuts.” i.e. walnuts.
So delta, G, f, g, the Vulgate (see NEW TESTAMENT ). But the Sinaiticus and the Alexandrinus and the Ephraemi Rescriptus manuscripts read “which is in their house,” the Vaticanus manuscript has “her house,” making Nymphas a woman.
O OAK eeyl , from uwl “strong,” as the Latin robur. The terebinth or turpentine tree. Eloth, Elim, etc., take their name hence; so for “teil tree” ( Isaiah 6:13; 1:29), and for “elms” ( Hosea 4:13), eelah ; allon is the “oaks”; also eelon is “the oak.” The Quercus psedo-coccifera is the most abundant in Palestine, covering Carmel with dense brushwood eight to twelve feet high. Its roots are dug up as fuel in the valleys S. of Lebanon, where the living tree is no longer to be seen. Abram’s oak near Hebron is of this species, still flourishing in the midst of a field, the stock 23 ft. in girth, and the branch spreading over a circle 90 ft. in diameter. It is probably sprung from some far back offshoot of the original grove under which he pitched his tent ( Genesis 13:18), “Abram dwelt at the oaks of Mamre in Hebron.” The Quercus aegilops, or prickly cupped Valonia oak, is found on the hills E. of Nazareth and Tabor. The Quercus infectoria or dyeing oak is seldom higher than 30 ft., growing on the eastern sides of Lebanon and the hills of Galilee; its gall-nuts, formed by the puncture of an insect, contain tannin and gallic acid used for dyeing and ink. Dr. Hooker conjectures the two aegilops to represent the “oaks of Bashan” ( Isaiah 2:13). Deborah was buried under an oak ( Genesis 35:8). So Saul ( Samuel 31:13). Idolaters sacrificed under oaks ( Isaiah 1:29). Under one Joshua set up a pillar at Shechem to commemorate the nation’s covenant with God ( Joshua 24:26). The “tree” in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Daniel 4) is ‘ilan , any strong tree.
OATH Hebrews 6:16: “an oath for confirmation is the end of strife (contradiction).” Therefore, Christianity sanctions oaths, but they are to be used only to put an end to contradiction in disputes and for confirmation of solemn promises. God, in condescension to man’s mode of confirming covenants, confirmed His word by oath; by these “two immutable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we have strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.” And “because He could swear by no greater, He sware by Himself”: also Hebrews 7:28.
Paul often calls God to witness the truth of his assertions ( Acts 26:29; Romans 1:9; 9:1; 2 Corinthians 1:23; 11:31; Galatians 1:20; Philippians 1:8). So the angel, Revelation 10:6. The prohibition “swear not at all” ( Matthew 5:34; James 5:12) refers to trivial occasions, not to oaths on solemn occasions and before magistrates. In every day conversation your simple yea or nay suffices to establish your word. The Jews held oaths not binding if God’s name did not directly occur (Lightfoot, Hor. Heb.). “Thou shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths” meant in the Jews’ view, which Christ combats, if not sworn to the Lord the oath is not binding. Jesus says on the contrary, every oath by the creature, heaven, earth, etc., is by the Creator whether His name be mentioned or not, and is therefore binding. In the perfect Christian state all oaths would be needless, for distrust of another’s word and untruth would not exist. Meantime, they are needed on solemn occasions. But men do not escape the guilt of “taking God’s name in vain” by avoiding the name itself, as in the oaths, “faith!” “gracious!” “by heaven,” etc.
The connection in James 5:12 is, Swear not through impatience to which trials may tempt you ( James 5:10,11); in contrast stands the proper use of the tongue, James 5:13. To appeal to a pagan god by oath is to acknowledge his deity, and is therefore forbidden ( Joshua 23:7; Jeremiah 5:7; 12:16; Amos 8:14), as in swearing to appeal to God is recognizing Him ( Deuteronomy 6:13; Isaiah 19:18; 65:16). An oath even to a pagan king is so binding that Jehovah’s chief reason for dethroning Zedekiah and giving him over to die in Babylon was his violating his oath to Nebuchadnezzar ( Ezekiel 17:13-20; Chronicles 36:13).
Jewish criminal procedure admitted the accused to clear himself or herself by oath ( Numbers 5:19-22; 1 Kings 8:31); our Lord, Matthew 26:63. Oath gestures were “lifting up the hand” ( Deuteronomy 32:40; Genesis 14:22; Isaiah 3:7; Ezekiel 20:5,6). Witnesses laid their hands on the head of the accused ( Leviticus 24:14). Putting the hand under the thigh of the superior to whom the oath was taken in sign of subjection and obedience (Aben Ezra): Genesis 24:2; 47:29; or else because the hip was the part from which the posterity issued (46:26) and the seat of vital power. In making (Hebrew cutting) a see COVENANT the victim was divided, and the contracting parties passed between the portions, in token that the two became joined in one. In Genesis 15:8-17 Abram was there, and God signified His presence by the burning lamp which passed between the pieces ( Jeremiah 34:18). Compare Judges 19:29; 1 Samuel 11:7, where a similar slaughter of the oxen of any who should not follow Saul is symbolized. The false witness was doomed to the punishment due to the crime which he attested ( Deuteronomy 19:16-19). Blasphemy was punishable with death ( Leviticus 24:11,16). The obligation in Leviticus 5:1 to testify when adjured (for “swearing” translated “adjuration,” ‘alah ) was that on which our Lord acted before Caiaphas ( Matthew 26:63). Alah , from ‘Eel “God,” is used for “imprecations” ( Numbers 5:23). “Shaba,” from sheba’ “seven” the sacred number, is the general word “swear”; compare the seven ewe lambs given by Abraham to Abimelech in covenanting ( Genesis 21:30).
OBADIAH = worshipper of Jehovah; Arabic: Abdallah. 1. One of Israhiah’s “five” sons, of Issachar ( 1 Chronicles 7:3). But as four only are mentioned, Kennicott with four manuscripts omits “and the sons of Israhiah,” thus making him brother not father of Obadiah, and both sons of Uzzi. Syriac and Arabic have our text, but “four.” 2. 1 Chronicles 8:38; 9:44. 3. 1 Chronicles 9:16; Nehemiah 12:24,25. 4. 1 Chronicles 3:21. 5. 1 Chronicles 12:8,9. 6. 2 Chronicles 17:7. 7. Ezra 8:9. 8. Nehemiah 10:5. 9. Over Ahab’s house. A kind of lord high chamberlain or mayor of the palace ( 1 Kings 18:3). As there were saints in Nero’s palace ( Philippians 1:13; 4:22), so they were in wicked Ahab’s palace. Had not his value as a servant made him necessary to Ahab, his piety would have destroyed him. The pressure of the drought in the third year was such that Ahab could trust none so well as Obadiah to search throughout the land for water to preserve his “beasts,” his stud of “horses and mules.” Ahab cared more for these than for his perishing subjects! In a corrupt court, in spite of the persecuting idolatrous queen Jezebel, “Obadiah feared Jehovah,” not merely a little but “greatly.” So much so that he dared to hide from her fury 100 prophets, feeding them by fifty in a cave (compare on love to the Lord’s brethren, Matthew 25:40). Ahab went in one direction in search of water, Obadiah another by himself. The latter was startled by the sudden appearance of Elijah, who had disappeared since his first announcement of the drought coming at his word ( 1 Kings 17:1). Obadiah knew him and reverently fell on his face saying, “art thou that my lord Elijah?” The suddenness of his appearing and Obadiah’s past avoidance of direct contact with him for prudence sake made him ask in order to be sure he was not making a mistake. Elijah told him to tell Ahab of his presence. Obadiah in distrustful fear (for Scripture records the failings as well as the graces of its heroes, for our learning) regarded the message as tantamount to his destruction, supposing the Spirit would carry Elijah elsewhere and so Ahab, disappointed of his victim, would wreak his vengeance on Obadiah.
No boastful spirit, but a desire to deprecate Elijah’s exposing him to death, prompted his mention of his services to the cause of God. He could truly say what ought to be a motto for the young, “I fear Jehovah from my youth” (compare 2 Timothy 3:15). Elijah’s assurance that he would show himself to Ahab sufficed to dispel his fears and to re-establish his faith. After his return to Ahab we hear of him no more. Godliness is a hardy plant that can live amidst the frosts of persecution and the relaxing warmth of a corrupt court, and not merely in the conservatory of a pious family ( 1 Corinthians 10:13; Isaiah 27:3; 1 Peter 1:5). 10. The prophet. Many conjecture Obadiah to be the same as (6), but that is too early a date. His prophetic theme is Edom; and Edom’s revolt under Joram, Jehoshaphat’s son, is recorded 2 Chronicles 21:10. He stands fourth of the minor prophets in the Hebrew canon, fifth in the Septuagint Jerome makes him contemporary with Hosea, Joel, and Amos. This is more likely than that he was a contemporary of Jeremiah, and that he refers to Edom’s cruelty to the Jews at Jerusalem’s capture by the Chaldees in Chronicles 21:11-16,20 (compare Lamentations 4:21,22; Ezekiel 25:12-14,35; <19D707> Psalm 137:7). The prophecy of Obadiah is too terse and fresh and compact a whole to have been copied from Jeremiah. It must be Jeremiah who copies from Obadiah and stamps him as inpired; compare Obadiah 1:5 with Jeremiah 49:9; Obadiah 1:6 with Jeremiah 49:10; Obadiah 1:8 with Jeremiah 49:7. What is disjointed in Jeremiah is progressive and consecutive in Obadiah. Jeremiah would be more likely to copy from an old prophet than from a contemporary. The capture of Jerusalem alluded to by Obadiah is probably that by the Philistines and Arabs under Joram ( 2 Chronicles 21:8-10,16,17), when Edom, who had just before revolted from under Judah and had been punished by Joram, in revenge gave an earnest of that unbrotherly cruelty which he in a still worse degree showed at Jerusalem’s capture by Nebuchadnezzar. Amos 1:6,11, and Joel 4:19, refer to the same capture by Philistines and Arabs. It cannot be that by Israelites under Pekah in Amaziah’s reign, for Obadiah calls the captors “strangers” and “foreigners” ( Obadiah 1:11). He evidently belongs to the same prophetic cycle as Joel and Amos, and so is connected with them in the canon. Joel drew the outline which succeeding prophets fill in (compare Obadiah 1:10 with Joel 3:19; Amos 1:11; Obadiah 1:11 with Joel 3:3,5,17, where the language is the same, “strangers,” “cast lots,” “the day of the Lord,” Obadiah 1:15; Joel 3:14. The same retribution in kind, Obadiah 1:15; Joel 3:4,7; Obadiah 1:17 also with Joel 3:17; verse 18 with Joel 2:3,5; verse 21 with Amos 9:12). Joel probably was in Joash’s reign, Obadiah in Amaziah’s, Amos in Uzziah’s. Amaziah slew of Edom in the valley of Salt ten thousand, and took Selah by war ( 2 Kings 16:7), an earnest of Edom’s foretold doom ( Obadiah 1:1, etc.).
Expanding southward, westward, eastward, and northward, they shall acquire additionally Edom, Philistia, and northern Canaan to Zarephath (Sarepta near Sidon). Benjamin’s acquiring Gilead implies that the transjordanic tribes will acquire new possessions. (See EDOM for the fulfillment). “Saviours shall come up on Mount Zion to judge the Mount of Esau, and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s”; no longer under the usurping prince of this world. In the millennial kingdom to come there will be a “prince” not a “king” ( Ezekiel 44:3; 44:7); “saviours” or “deliverers” like the “judges,” bringing in sabbattic rest. The Maccabees (Judah’s deliverers from Antiochus Epiphanes) who conquered Edom were types. “To judge Esau” means to punish, as 1 Samuel 3:13. Edom typifies Israel’s and God’s last foes ( Isaiah 63:1-4). The Mount of Esau shall be abased before Mount Zion. Messiah will assume the kingdom with His transfigured saints, the Antitype to all former “saviours.” They shall “judge the world,” and as king priests shall be mediators of blessing to the nations in the flesh. ( Daniel 2:44; 7:14,27; Zechariah 14:9; Luke 1:33; Revelation 11:15; 19:6, “Alleluia! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”) Obadiah quotes here Psalm 22:28, “the kingdom is the Lord’s.” 11. 1 Chronicles 27:19. 12. 2 Chronicles 34:12.
OBED 1. Son of Boaz and Ruth ( Ruth 4:17); father of Jesse, David’s father ( 1 Chronicles 2:12; Matthew 1:5; Luke 3:22). Hannah in her song ( 1 Samuel 2:5,7,10, “they that were hungry ceased ... the barren hath borne seven ... the Lord maketh poor and maketh rich”) apparently alludes to Ruth’s experience as reproduced in her own. Ruth poor and gleaning in the grain becomes wife of Boaz, the “mighty man of wealth.”
The famine which drove Elimelech’s sons to Moab was not long before, due in part to Philistine inroads (compare 1 Samuel 4). The women congratulated Naomi on Obed’s birth: “the Lord hath not left thee without a kinsman (goel = redeemer), that his name may be famous in Israel, and he shall be ... a nourisher of thine old age, for thy daughter in law, which is better to thee than sorest sons, hath borne him” ( Ruth 4:14,15). 2. 1 Chronicles 2:37,38. 3. 1 Chronicles 11:47. 4. 1 Chronicles 26:7. 5. Father of Azariah ( 2 Chronicles 23:1).
OBED EDOM 1. 2 Samuel 6:11. (On his title “the see GITTITE ”). Gath-rimmon was a city of the Levite Kohathites in Dan ( Joshua 21:24). He was a Kohathite and distinguished by his title “Gittite” from Obed Edom, son of Jeduthun, a Merarite ( 1 Chronicles 16:38). Lived near Perez Uzzah, on the way from Kirjath Jearim to Jerusalem. After Uzzah’s stroke David in fear took the ark aside to the house of Obed Edom. Instead of the Levites bearing the ark (as was commanded, Numbers 7:9), David had put it in a cart, in the Philistine fashion ( 1 Samuel 6:8). His turning aside from the direct way to go to Obed Edom’s house is accounted for by his sudden fear owing to the punishment of Uzzah’s presumption; he goes to a Kohathite Levite, one of the family especially appointed to bear the ark on their shoulders, and deposits the ark with him, conscious that he himself might have been punished for irregularity. Accordingly, in 1 Chronicles we find the ark was no longer taken in a cart, but borne on the Levites’ shoulders, with Obed Edom “a doorkeeper for the ark,” and it is emphatically said it was “as Moses commanded, according to the word of Jehovah” (1 Chronicles15:15,18,24). The minute propriety of these details establishes the truthfulness of the narrative of the divine visitation on Uzzah. The Lord blessed Obed Edom and all his household in consequence during its three months’ stay with him; so David brought it up front Obed Edom’s house with joy. While the ark brought a plague every one was glad to be rid of it; but when it brought a blessing to Obed Edom, they wished for it. Many will own a blessing ark; he is an Obed Edom indeed that will own a persecuted, tossed, banished ark (Trapp). “God blessed him” with eight sons who were temple porters ( 1 Chronicles 26:1-5,8). Obed Edom and his sons guarded the S. temple gate and the house Asuppim, i.e. of gatherings, a store of the temple goods near the S. gate in the outer court ( 1 Chronicles 26:15). Obed Edom was doorkeeper for the ark ( 1 Chronicles 15:24). Those whom the Lord hath blessed, and who have received God’s ark into their home and heart, are best fitted to serve in the sanctuary and to open the kingdom of heaven ministerially. The site of his house is still pointed out, a very green plateau, Kuryet es saideh “the abode of the blessed,” on the way from Kirjath Jearim to Jerusalem, a little beyond Khirbet el Uz (Perez Uzzah). In 1 Chronicles 16:38 Obed Edom the singer appears distinct from Obed Edom the “porter” or gatekeeper ( 1 Chronicles 16:4,5,38). Obed Edom and his colleagues could not possibly at the same time as porters precede, and as singers come after, the priests and the ark. 2. (See 1). A Merarite Levite of the second degree ( 1 Chronicles 16:38). 3. A Levite in Amaziah’s time, having charge of the vessels of God’s house, taken captive with the king by Joash king of Israel at Bethshemesh battle ( 2 Chronicles 25:23,24). Probably sprung from “Obed Edom the Gittite.” The blessed of the Lord shall dwell in the Lord’s house forever.
OBOTH A stage in Israel’s journey, on the border of Edom and Moab ( Numbers 21:10; 33:43). N. of Punon, E. of the northern part of Edom. Now the halting place el Ahsa on the pilgrim route between Damascus and Mecca.
Oboth means “holes dug for water”; plural of Ob or obah, Arabic weibeh.
OCRAN Numbers 1:13.
ODED 1. Father of Azariah the prophet under Asa ( 2 Chronicles 15:1); in Chronicles 15:8 “of Oded the prophet” must be an interpolation, for “the prophecy” in the Hebrew is absolute, not in the construct state as it would necessarily be if the words were genuine; besides not Oded but Azariah was “the prophet,” the Alexandrinus manuscript and Vulgate read in Chronicles 15:8 “Azariah son of Oded.” 2. A prophet of Samaria under Pekah. When the Israelites led away 200,000 Jews captive to Samaria, “Oded went out before the host and said, Because Jehovah was angry with Judah, He hath delivered them into your hands, and ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up into heaven (calling for divine vengeance on yourselves); and now ye purpose to keep the children of Judah bondmen ... but are there not with you, even with you, sins against Jehovah? (compare Matthew 7:1-5; James 2:13).
Now ... deliver the captives again,” etc. It was a bold venture so to reprove to the face men flushed with triumph. But God often blesses an effort more than one durst expect. Certain chiefs of Ephraim, touched by his appeal, said, “ye shall not bring in the captives here,” etc. Then they took and clothed the naked, and shod them, and gave them to eat and drink, and anointed them (oil is refreshing and herding in the sultry East), and carried all the feeble upon donkeys (compare Luke 10:34) and brought them to Jericho ( Romans 12:20).
OG] An Amorite king of Bashan, ruling 60 cities, including Ashteroth Karnaim and Edrei ( Joshua 13:12; 12:4; Genesis 14:5). After conquering Sihon’s land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, Israel marched by way of see BASHAN (see ARGOB ) which is N. of the Jabbok. Og met them and perished with all his people at Edrei, and Israel took his land ( Numbers 21:33-35). Og was of a different race, namely, “of the remnant of the giants,” the Rephaim before the Amorites came ( Deuteronomy 3:13).
The Amorites by intermarriage with the Rephaim were in “height like that of the cedars and strong as the oaks” ( Amos 2:9). Og’s bedstead was in Rabbath of Ammon when Moses wrote Deuteronomy 3:1-11. Either the Ammonites, like the Bedouin, followed in the wake of Israel’s armies as pillagers, and so got possession of it; or Israel sent it to Ammon as a pledge of their having no hostile intentions, the Lord having forbidden them to disturb Ammon, and as a visible token of Israel’s power in having overcome such mighty kings as Sihon and Og. It was nine cubits long and four broad. “Of iron,” perhaps the black basalt of the country, which is called by the Arabs “iron,” having 20 percent of that metal. His body was of course shorter. Knobel thinks Og’s “bier” is meant, a sarcophagus of black basalt. His corpse may have been carried, in this view, to the territory of the friendly Ammonites. So Dr. Geddes conjectures Og, after his defeat, fled to Rabbath where he died and was buried in this coffin. After traversing the smooth pasture land, Israel suddenly came on the marvelous rock barrier of Argob, an oval basalt island,60 miles by 20 miles, “all the girdle (Hebrew) of Argob” (the stony country), rising abruptly 30 ft. from the surrounding Bashan plains. The rocky fastnesses, on which Og’s cities were, almost impregnable, compensated by security for their inconveniences. Had Og remained in them, Israel could not have dislodged him. God therefore saw it needful to encourage Israel in facing such a foe, “fear him not”; and God sent hornets which, as well as infatuation, drove Og into the open field where he was overthrown ( Joshua 24:12). God’s special interposition for Israel against Og is the theme of praise ( <19D511> Psalm 135:11; 136:20).
OHEL 1 Chronicles 3:20.
OIL Its three principal uses among the Hebrews were: (1) To anoint the body so as to mollify the skin, heal injuries, and strengthen muscles ( <19A415> Psalm 104:15; 109:18; 141:5; Isaiah 1:6; Luke 10:34; 2 Chronicles 28:15; Mark 6:13; James 5:14) (see ANOINT ). (2) As we use butter, as food ( Numbers 11:8; 1 Kings 17:12; Chronicles 12:40; Ezekiel 16:13,19; Hosea 2:5). (3) To burn in lamps ( Exodus 25:6; Matthew 25:3). Type of the Holy Spirit’s unction ( 2 Corinthians 1:21; 1 John 2:20,27) and illumination ( Zechariah 4:11,12). The supply of grace comes not from a dead reservoir of oil, but through living “olive trees.” Ordinances and ministers are channels, not the grace itself; Zechariah 4:14, “anointed ones,” Hebrew sons of oil; Isaiah 5:1, “very fruitful hill,” Hebrew “horn of the son of oil.” The Lord Jesus has the fullness of grace from the double olive tree of the Holy Spirit, so as to be at once our priest and king; He is the tree, ministers the branches, “emptying the golden oil out of themselves” for the supply of the church and to the glory of the Author of grace. In the sanctuary oil served the three purposes: (1) anointing the priests and holy things, (2) as food in the bloodless offerings (minchah ), (3) it kept alive the lights in “the pure candlestick,” “the lamp of God” ( 1 Samuel 3:3) in the holy place. Messiah is the Antitype “anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows” ( Hebrews 1:9; Psalm 45:7); not only above us, the adopted members of God’s family, but above the angels, partakers with Him, though infinitely His inferiors, in the holiness and joys of heaven. His anointing with “the oil of exulting joy” took place not at His baptism when He began His ministry for us, but at His triumphant completion of His work, at His ascension ( Ephesians 4:8; Psalm 68:18), when He obtained the Holy Spirit without measure ( John 3:34), to impart to us in measure. The oil of gladness shall be in the fullest sense His “in the day of His espousals, in the day of the gladness of His heart” (Song 3:11; Revelation 19:7). Guests were anointed with oil at feasts; so He anoints us, Psalm 23:5. The offering of oil on the altar was the offerer’s acknowledgment that all his spiritual gifts were from Jehovah. The “beaten oil” for the sanctuary light was made from olives bruised in a mortar. So Messiah’s bruising preceded His pouring out the Spirit on us ( Exodus 25:6; 27:20). The olives were sometimes “trodden” ( Micah 6:15), or “pressed” in a “press,” making the fats overflow ( Joel 2:24; 3:13; Haggai 2:16). The oil was stored in cellars, in cruses ( 1 Kings 17:14). Solomon supplied Hiram with “20,000 baths of oil” ( 2 Chronicles 2:10), “20 measures of pure oil” ( 1 Kings 5:11). Oil was exported to Egypt as the special produce of Palestine ( Hosea 12:1). Meat offerings were mingled or anointed with oil ( Leviticus 7:10,12); but the sin offering and the offering of jealousy were without oil (5:11; Numbers 5:15). The oil indicated” gladness”; its absence sorrow and humiliation ( Isaiah 61:3; Joel 2:19; Psalm 45:7).
OIL TREE ‘eets shemen ( Isaiah 41:19), but in KJV Nehemiah 8:15 “pine branches.” Probably the zackum or Balanites Aegyptiaca is meant. Distinct from the zayit , “olive tree.” The zackum is a small tree abundant in the Jordan plain. It is found all the way from India to Syria, Abyssinia, and the Niger. The zackum oil is highly esteemed by the Arabs as a remedy for wounds.
OINTMENT See ANOINT .
OLD TESTAMENT The conscientious preservation of the discrepancies of parallel passages (as Psalm 14 and Psalm 53; Psalm 18 and 2 Samuel 22; Isaiah 36--39; and Kings 18--20; Jeremiah 52 and 2 Kings 24--25; Ezra 2 and Nehemiah 7), notwithstanding the temptation to assimilate them, proves the accuracy of Ezra and his associates in transmitting the Scriptures to us. The Maccabean coins and the similar Samaritan character preserve for us the alphabetical characters in which the text was written, resembling those in use among the Phoenicians. The targums, shortly before Christ, introduced the modern Aramaic or square characters now used for Hebrew. Keil however attributes these to Ezra. No vowel points were used, but in the later books matres lectionis or vowel letters. The words were separated by spaces, except those closely connected. Sections, parshioth, are marked by commencing a new line or by blank spaces. The greater parshioth are the sabbath lessons marked in the Mishna, and perhaps dating from the introduction of the square letters; distinct from the verse divisions made in Christian times. Pesukim is the term for “verses.”
The Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch are the oldest documents with which to criticize our Hebrew text. Gesenius has shown the inferiority of the Samaritan text to our Hebrew Pentateuch: (1) it substitutes common for unusual grammatical forms; (2) it admits glosses into the text; (3) it emends difficult passages, substituting easier readings; (4) it corrects and adds words from parallel passages; (5) it interpolates from them; (6) it removes historical and other difficulties of the subject matter; (7) Samaritanisms in language; (8) passages made to agree with the Samaritan theology.
However, as a help in arriving at the text in difficult passages, it has its use.
The Samaritan text agrees with the Septuagint in more than one thousand places where both differ from the Masoretic, yet their independence is shown in that the Septuagint agree with the Masoretic in a thousand places, and both herein differ from the Samaritan text. A revised text existed probably along with our Hebrew one in the centuries just before Christ, and was used by the Septuagint. The Samaritans altered it still more (Gesenius); so it became “the Alexandrian Samaritan text.” The Samaritans certainly did not receive their Pentateuch from the Israelite northern kingdom, for they have not received the books of Israel’s prophets, Hosea, Jonah, Amos. Being pagan, they probably had the Pentateuch first introduced among them from Judah by Manasseh and other priests who joined them at the time of the building of the Mount Gerizim temple.
Josephus (contra Apion i. 8) boasts that through all past ages none had added to, or taken from, or transposed, aught of the sacred writings. The Greek translation of Aquila mainly agrees with ours. So do the targums of Onkelos and Jonathan. Origen in the Hexapla, and especially Jerome, instructed by Palestinian Jews in preparing the Vulgate, show a text identical with ours in even the traditional unwritten vowel readings. The learning of the schools of Hillel and Shammai in Christ’s time was preserved, after Jerusalem’s fall, in those of Jabneh, Sepphoris, Caesarea, and Tiberias. R. Judah the Holy compiled the Mishna, the Talmud text, before A. D. 220. The twofold Gemara, or commentary, completed the Talmud; the Jerusalem Gemara of the Jews of Tiberias was written at the end of the fourth century; the Babylonian emanated from the schools on the Euphrates at the end of the fifth century. Their assigning the interpretation to the targumist, as distinguished from the transcriber, secured the text from the conjectural interpolations otherwise to be apprehended. The Talmudic doctors counted the verses in each book, and which was the middle verse, word, and letter in the Pentateuch, and in the psalms, marking it by a large letter or one raised above the line ( Leviticus 11:42; Psalm 80:14). The Talmudists have a note, “read, but not written,” to mark what ought to be read though not in the text, at 2 Samuel 8:3; 16:23; Jeremiah 31:38; 50:29; Ruth 2:11; 3:5,17; also “written but not (to be) read,” 2 Kings 5:18; Deuteronomy 6:1; Jeremiah 51:3; Ezekiel 48:16; Ruth 3:12. So the Masoretic Qeri’s (marginal readings) in Job 13:15; Haggai 1:8. Their scrupulous abstinence from introducing what they believed the truer readings guarantees to us both their critical care in examining the text and their reverence in preserving it intact. They rejected manuscripts not agreeing with others (Taanith Hierosol. 68, section 1). Their rules as to transcribing and adopting manuscripts show their carefulness.
The soph-pasuk (:) marking the verse endings, and the maqqeph (hyphen), joining words, were introduced after the Talmudic time and earlier than the accents. The maqqeph embodies the traditional authority for joining or separating words; words joined by it have only one accent. Translate therefore Psalm 45:4 without “and,” “meekness-righteousness,” i.e. righteousness manifesting itself in meekness. The Masorah, i.e. tradition (first digested by the doctors in the fifth century), compiled in writing the thus accumulated traditions and criticisms, and became a kind of “fence of the law.”
In the post-Talmudic period THE MASORAH (Buxtorf, Tiberias) notes: (1) as to the verses, how many are in each book, the middle verse in each; how many begin with certain letters, or end with the same word, or had a certain number of words and letters, or certain words a number of times; (2) as to the words, the Qeri’s (marginal readings) and kethib’s (readings of the text); also words found so many times in the beginning, middle, or end of a verse, or with a particular meaning; also in particular words where transcribers’ mistakes were likely, whether they were to be written with or without the vowel letters; also the accentuation; (3) as to the letters, how often each occurred in the Old Testament, etc., etc. The written Masorah was being formed from the sixth century to the tenth century. Its chief value is its collection of Qeri’s, of which some are from the Talmud, many from manuscripts, others from the sole authority of the Masoretes. The Bomberg Bible contains 1171. The small number in the Pentateuch,43, is due to the greater care bestowed on the law as compared with the other Scriptures. The Masorah is distinguished into magna and parva (an abridgment of the magna, including the Qeri’s and printed at the foot of the page). The magna is partly at the side of the text commented on, partly at the end. Their inserting the vowel marks in the text records for us the traditional pronunciation. The vowel system was molded after the Arabian system, and that after the Syrian system. The acceders in their logical signification were called “senses”; in their musical signification, “tones.” They occur in the Masorah, not in the Talmud. The very difficulties which are left unremoved, in explaining some passages consistently with the accents and the vowel points, show that both embody, not the Masoretes’ private judgment, but the traditions of previous generations. Walton’s Polyglot gives readings also of the Palestinian and of the Babylonian Jews; the former printed first in the Bomberg Bible by R.
Jacob ben Chaim, 216 in all, concerning the consonants, except two as to the mappik. Aaron ben Asher, a Palestinian, and R. Jacob, a Babylonian Jew, having collated manuscripts in the 11th century, mention 864 different readings of vowels, accents, and makkeph, and (Song 8:6) the division of a word. Our manuscripts generally agree with Ben Asher’s readings. The Masorah henceforward settled the text of Jewish manuscripts; older manuscripts were allowed to perish as incorrect.
Synagogue rolls and manuscripts for private use are the two classes known to us. Synagogue rolls contain separately the Pentateuch, the [haphtaroth] (literally, “dismissals,” being read just before the congregations departed) or sections of the prophets, and the [megilloth], namely, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther: all without vowels, accents, and sophpasuks. The Sopherim Tract appended to the Babylonian Talmud prescribes as to the preparation of the parchment for these rolls, and the ceremonial required in writing them. They are not sold; it is supposed that only vitiated copies, rejected by the synagogue, have gotten into Christian hands. The Spanish writing is rounder and modern, the German and Polish writing is more angular, designated the tam (“perfect”) and the [welsh] (“foreign”) respectively. Private manuscripts are in book form, the inner margin being used for the Masorah Parva, the upper and lower margins for the Masorah and rabbinical comments. Sections and verses are marked.
One wrote the consonants, another the vowels and accents in a fainter ink, another the Masorah. Most manuscripts are of the 12th century. Kennicott assigns No. 590 of his collation to the 10th century. DeRossi assigns to A.D. 1018, and his own (No. 634) to the eighth century. The Spanish manuscripts, like the Masorah, place Chronicles before the hagiographa; the German manuscripts, like the Talmud, place Jeremiah and Ezekiel before Isaiah; and Ruth, separate from the other [megilloth], before Psalms. Of the 581 manuscripts collated by Kennicott, 102 have the whole Old Testament.
Pinner found at Odessa manuscripts (presented by a Karaite of Eupatoria in 1839 to the Odessa Hist. and Antiq. Society), one of which, brought from Derbend in Daghestan, appears from the subscription older than A.D. 580.
If this is correct, it is the oldest extant. Another, a manuscript of the prophets, inscribed A.D. 916, has vowels and accents differing from the ordinary form, and placed above the letters. The China manuscripts resemble the European; so the manuscript brought by Buchanan from Malabar. The manuscript in a cave under the synagogue of Aleppo bears inscription: “I Moses ben Asher wrote this cycle of Scripture with all correctness, as the good hand of God was upon me ... in the city of Tiberias. Amen. Finished 827 years after the destruction of the second temple.”
The Psalter, with Kimchi’s commentary, was the first printed Hebrew scripture, at Bologna, in A.D. 1477; at Soncino the first whole Hebrew Bible, one of which edition is in Exeter College, Oxford. In 1494 Gersom printed at Brescia the edition from which Luther made his German translated Bomberg at Venice printed in 1518 the first edition with Masorah, targums, and rabbinical comments; Felix del Prato, a converted Jew, being editor. Bomberg at Venice printed the second rabbinical Bible, four vols. fol., 1525, with the text corrected from the Masorah by R. Jacob ben Chaim, a Tunisian Jew. Jos. Athias, a rabbi and printer at Amsterdam, compared previous editions with a manuscript, A.D. 1299, and a Spanish manuscript 900 years old, and printed an edition 1661 with preface by Leusden, professor at Utrecht. Van der Hooght’s edition, 2 vols. 8vo, 1705, which is our textus receptus, rests on Athias’.
Kennicott’s Dissertations on the Printed Text, 1753 and 1759, drew from the English public 10,000 British pounds to secure a collation of manuscripts throughout Europe. He and Brans of Helinstadt collated Jewish and 16 Samaritan manuscripts (half of them throughout, the rest only in select passages), and 40 printed editions. The result was printed with Van der Hooght’s text, 1776-80. DeRossi at Parma gave from ancient versions various readings ofSELECT PASSAGES, and from the collation on them of 617 manuscripts, and 134 besides, which Kennicott had not seen; four vols. 1784-1788, a fifth vol. 1798. The variations were trifling, chiefly of vowel letters; so that we have the assurance that our Old Testament text is almost as pure as attainable. The ancient versions alone need more careful scrutiny. Jerome’s Vulgate is the best critical help on disputed passages. Aquila’s, Symmachus’, and Theodotion’s versions are only fragments. The Syriac leans on the Septuagint. The targums are only paraphrases; still, they, if all agreeing together for a reading, furnish a strong presumption in its favor. The Septuagint confirms a reading if otherwise rendered probable, but not by itself alone. Smith’s Bible Dictionary. conjectures on Psalm 76:10, from the Septuagint, techageka for tachgor , “the remainder of wrath shall keep holiday to Thee.” But the Hebrew text is susceptible of the KJV if the cognate Arabic is an authority.
Or else the Hebrew literally, is “Thou girdest Thyself with the remainder of the foe’s wrath,” i.e., even to its last remains (compare Psalm 75:8) it serves as a weapon to gird Thyself with for their destruction (Hengstenberg); or, “those left of the foe, who vented their wrath against Thee, Thou girdest Thyself with, making them acknowledge and praise Thy power” (Maurer): Psalm 75:11; Isaiah 49:18; Psalm 68:30.
The Septuagint is two centuries later than the last book of Old Testament It is only in the period immediately following the closing of the Old Testament canon that its few corruptions have arisen, for subsequently the jealous care of its purity has been continually on the increase. The Septuagint translators neither knew enough Hebrew for rightly fulfilling their task, nor used what they knew to the best purpose. Transcription subsequently has much corrupted their version, it being in great demand and often therefore transcribed hastily without the scrupulous care with which the Hebrew text was most carefully guarded. The New Testament quotes mainly the Septuagint Old Testament, but corrects it by the Hebrew when needful ( Matthew 21:5; 9:13; 4:15,16; John 19:37; Corinthians 3:19; 15:54; Luke 22:37; Romans 9:33). The Septuagint alone is quoted throughout Epistle to the Hebrews, except for Hebrews 10:30.
A specimen of corrections from the Qeri in conjunction with the Septuagint is Isaiah 9:3, “its” for “not”; but the difficulty of the reading favors the text, “Thou hast multiplied the nation and (soon after) not increased the joy”; for the increase of the true Israel by Gentile converts to Christianity was soon followed by the growth of corruption and antichrist; but he in turn is to be destroyed, as Midian was by Gideon, to the “joy” of the elect nation. In Psalm 22:16 Aquila (A.D. 133), a Jew, reads “they disfigured,” confirming the reading in KJV, “they pierced my hands,” in opposition to “they enclosed as a lion my hands,” etc. So the Septuagint, Syriac, Ethiopic, Arabic, Vulgate. The little Masorah admits that the Hebrew, which in Isaiah 38:13 means “as a lion,” has a different sense here. The Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch agree in the easier reading of Deuteronomy 32:5, “they (belong) not to Him, children of spot” (defilement); compare Ephesians 5:7; but the Hebrew text is intelligible, “they are not His children, but their blemish,” i.e. the disgrace of God’s children. For “after the commandment” ( Hosea 5:11) the Septuagint, Syriac, and targums read “vanity,” Jerome “filthiness.” But the “commandment” which Ephraim “walked after” is Jeroboam’s ( 1 Kings 12:28-33; 2 Kings 10:28-33; Micah 6:16).
Interpretation. The literal system prevailed in Palestine, the allegorical in the Alexandria. Philo is an instance of the latter class. Later Jewish writers searched for recondite meanings in the places, construction, and orthography, apart from the logical context. The Kabala (“reception,” “received tradition”) attached symbolical meanings to the number of times a word or letter recurred, or to the number which letters represented. For instance the Hebrew letter [ a ], a, is found six times in the first verse of Genesis and six times in 2 Chronicles 36:23, the last verse of the Hebrew Bible, therefore the world will last 6,000 years. This is the [Gematria] method. By the Notarjekon process new significant words were formed out of the initial or final words of the text, or a word’s letters were made the initials of a new significant series of words. By the [Temurah ] (“change”) process new words were obtained, by anagram (or transposition of letters; whereby they supposed, for instance, that Michael must be the angel meant in Exodus 23:23, because it has the same letters as “my angel” in Hebrew by transposition) or by the Atbash alphabet where the last letter of the alphabet represented a, the last but one b , and so on; thus Sheshach would mean Babel or Babylon. The Christian interpreters soon rejected these subtleties and maintained the historical reality of Old Testament events. Clement of Alexandria laid down the fourfold view of the Old Testament: literal, symbolical, moral, and prophetic (Strom. 1:28). Origen (de Princip. 4:11) his scholar recognizes in it a body, soul, and spirit; the first for the simple, the second for the more advanced, the third for the perfect. Allegory (of which the Song and Galatians 4:21-31 are divinely sanctioned instances) and analogy are pressed too far by him, so much so that he denies the literal sense of Genesis 1--4. Contrast the right use, the moral deduced from the literal sense ( Deuteronomy 25:4 with 1 Corinthians 9:9), and spiritual truths shadowed forth in the literal. ( 1 Corinthians 10:1-11; Hebrews 8:5; Romans 11:4,5; 9:13-21, etc.) Diodore of Tarsus in the fourth century attended only to the letter of Scripture. Theodore of Mopsuestia pursued the grammatical method so exclusively that he rejected rationalistically the Old Testament prophetic references, as if the application to Messiah was only by accommodation. Chrysostom accepted the literal and spiritual, and especially dwelt on the moral sense. Theodoret similarly combined the literal, historical, allegorical, and prophetical. Hilary of Poictiers drew forth the sense that Scripture intended, not what might be forced out of it. Augustine made the literal sense of Scripture history the basis of the mystical, so that the latter should not be “a building resting on air” (Serm. ii. 6). Luther truly says, “the best grammatical (literal) interpreter is also the best theologian.” On the Old Testament Jarchi (A.D. 1105), Aben Ezra (1167), Kimchi (1240), and especially Nicholas of Lyre (1341, in his Postillae Perpetuae) set the example of literal interpretation. It was said, “Si Lyra non lyrasset, Luther non saltasset”; if Lyra had not piped, Luther would not have danced. The moral must rest on the grammatical (literal) historical, and the spiritual on both. These four in some passages co-exist. Others, as the genealogies and many historical details, are links joining together the significant parts. Others are simply moral and spiritual, as Proverbs. Often the moral teaching lies not in separate passages, as, for instance, the speeches of the book of Job, but in the general tenor and issue of the whole, to unfold which the separate passages work together.
The New Testament is the key to the Old Testament. As Christ and His apostles in the New Testament interpreted many parts and facts of the Old Testament, so we must interpret other parts and facts of the Old Testament which they have left uninterpreted, on analogous principles of interpretation. The New Testament does not note the spiritual meaning of every Old Testament type and history, and the fulfillment of every prophecy; space would not admit of it. That is our part, with prayer for the Holy Spirit. “In Vetere Testamenlo Novum latet, in Novo Vetus patet”; the New Testament is hidden in the Old Testament, the Old Testament is revealed in the New ( 2 Corinthians 3:6-18). The whole substance of the Old Testament is in the New Testament, but the details are to be unfolded by prayerful search. The literal interpretation is quite consistent with recognizing metonymies, as “mouth” substituted for “word,” the cause put for the effect; metaphors, as “hardness” said of the heart; parabolic images ( Isaiah 5:1-7; Judges 9:8-15, where the history can be discerned only by recognizing the allegory); personifications; anthropomorphisms, or human conceptions as the “hand,” “fingers,” “wrath,” etc., applied to God; allegory, having no outward reality, as the Song of Solomon is nevertheless the vehicle of representing the historical being, the heavenly Bridegroom, and His church the bride. Again, the prophets depict events as accomplished at once, which in fact were the work of a long period, e.g.
Babylon’s destruction (Isaiah 13). Each fresh stage in the gradually fulfilled accomplishment is an earliest of a further stage, and at length of the final consummation. Preliminary typical fulfillments do not exhaust but point onward to the exhaustive fulfillment.
The moral aim is the reason for the disproportionate space occupied by personal biographies of men remarkable for piety or wickedness, and for the gaps which occur in parts of the Old Testament history. Whatever illustrates God’s providence, man’s sinfulness, believers’ frailties, God’s mercy and faithfulness, is narrated at length at the sacrifice of symmetry.
Important wars and political revolutions are briefly noticed. Those events are made prominent and full which illustrate the onward march of the kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit’s inspiration alone could enable the writers to put the events in the due proportion of God’s design. Christ and His apostles bring to light the moral and spiritual truths wrapped up in the Old Testament letter (Matthew 5--7; 19:5,6; 22:32; John 10:34,35; Acts 7:48,49; 1 Corinthians 9:9,10; 2 Corinthians 8:13-15). So in the Old Testament histories ( Luke 6:3; Romans 4; 9:12,13,17; Corinthians 10:6-11; Hebrews 3:7-11; Hebrews 11; 2 Peter 2:15,16; 1 John 3:11-15).
Scripture does not sanction every act of a believer which it records, even though it expresses no condemnation ( Judges 3:21; 1 Samuel 21:13; 27:8-12). Elisha’s non-condemnation of Naaman’s temporizing with his master’s idolatry for expediency does not sanction it ( 2 Kings 5:18,19); its record of Jephthah’s rash vow gives no approval. The praise of one’s faith does not involve commendation of all his or her recorded acts. The speeches of Job’s friends are recorded; it is our part, by comparing them with God’s revealed will in other parts of Scripture, to ascertain which sentiments are true and which erroneous, and in the end of the book disapproved by God ( Job 42:7). Jacob’s deceits toward his father, and taking advantage of his brother’s recklessness, are not approved of, but his faith at the root is what constituted him heir of the promises. It is God’s design that spiritual truths should not lie always on the surface, but often need reverent, diligent, and prayerful search. This is our probation; it is also an excellence of the Bible, that it presents to us living men as they are, faulty like the best of us (excepting the one faultless model), so that we may copy the good and shun the evil. ”The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” ( Revelation 19:10).
The Old Testament is one great type and prophecy, which finds and will find its fullest accomplishment in Him ( Luke 24:44; Matthew 26:54; 5:17,18). It cannot be mere accident that the evangelic history runs parallel with the Mosaic; Genesis 3:15 is the germ of all succeeding revelation; its one subject is man in conflict with Satan, Satan’s temporary successes, man’s final victory. In the Case of Jonah the spiritual Antitype confirms the reality of the typical outward fact, the Antitype was even more marvelous than the marvelous type. Moreover the spiritual must rest upon the literal and moral; therefore mere outward fulfillments of prophecy do not suffice; e.g. there must be a further deeper and more spiritual fulfillment of the type, Israel’s sojourn in Egypt, than that of our Lord’s sojourn there; it marks Him as the true Israel with high destiny before Him after His temporary sojourn in this Egypt world. The New Testament quotes Old Testament prophecies as “fulfilled” in certain events, but not necessarily completely, for the same prophecy has progressive fulfillments down to the final one. There is a succession of events, each of which partially fills up but does not cover the whole ground, which shall only be covered when the whole succession shall be filled up; like concentric circles all referable to one center ( Acts 2:17-21). So the same verse has manifold bearings, as Psalm 24:1, quoted for opposite aspects of the same truth ( Corinthians 10:26,28). Jesus and His apostles alone use “fulfill” for the New Testament accomplishment of Old Testament Scripture. Matthew (2:15,18,23) alleges three events in Jesus’ youth as occurring “in order that it (Scripture) might be fulfilled,” for the Old Testament word divinely causes its own fulfillment in the New Testament. Again, the New Testament writers show the Holy Spirit’s inspiration in the liberty they take in altering the Old Testament words for their purpose ( Matthew 26:31, compare Zechariah 13:7; Romans 11:26,27, compare Isaiah 59:20; 2:3; Matthew 8:17; Isaiah 53:4).
OLIVE Its foliage is the earliest mentioned ( Genesis 8:11). Tradition from Noah’s days has ever made it symbolize peace. It is the emblem of “fatness” in the oldest parable ( Judges 9:8,9). Emblem of the godly ( Psalm 52:5,8), in spirit constantly dwelling “in the house of God”; in contrast to slave-like formalists now sojourning outwardly in it for a time, but not abiding ever ( John 8:34,35; Psalm 15:1; 23:6; 27:4,5; 36:8); the wicked and antichrist shall be “rooted out of (God’s) dwelling place,” literally, 5 (‘ohel ). The Septuagint, Chaldee, Vulgate, and Aben Ezra interpret ‘ohel “the tabernacle” ( 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Daniel 11:44,45). The saint’s children are “like olive plants round about his table” ( <19C803> Psalm 128:3). The old olive sends out young suckers which spring up round the parent tree, and which in after ages, when the parent’s strength fails, shelter it on every side from the blast. It is the characteristic tree of Judea on Roman coins, Deuteronomy 8:8. Asher “dipped his foot in oil” ( Deuteronomy 33:24). Emblem of Judah’s adoption of God by grace ( Jeremiah 11:16; Romans 11:17), also of joy and prosperity. The Gentile church is the wild twig “engrafted contrary to nature” on the original Jewish olive stock; it marks supernatural virtue in the stock that it enables those wild by nature to bear good fruit; ordinarily it is only a superior scion that is grafted on an inferior.
The two witnesses for God (antitypes to Elijah and Moses, Zerubbabel and Joshua, the civil ruler and the priest: Malachi 4:5,6; Matthew 17:11; Acts 3:21; Jude 1:6) are “the two olive trees,” channels of the oil (the Holy Spirit in them) feeding the church ( Revelation 11:3,4; Zechariah 4:11,12). The wood, fine grained, solid, and yellowish, was used for the cherubim, doors, and posts ( 1 Kings 6:23,31-33). The tree was shaken to get the remnant left after the general gathering (by “beating,” Deuteronomy 24:20), Isaiah 24:13; image of Israel’s “remnant according to the election of grace.” The least breeze makes the flowers fall; compare Job 15:33, “he shall cast off his flower as the olive,” i.e. the least blast sweeps away in a moment the sinner’s prosperity.
The tree poetically is made to cast off its own blossom, to mark that the sinner brings on his own ruin ( Isaiah 3:11; Jeremiah 6:19). It thrives best in a sunny position. A rocky calcareous subsoil suits it; compare “oil out of the flinty rock” ( Deuteronomy 32:13). The trunk is knotty and gnarled, the bark smooth and ash colored. Its growth is slow, but it lives very long. The leaves are grey green, not deciduous, suggestive of tenacious strength.
OLIVES, MOUNT OF Har-hazzey-thim. E. of Jerusalem ( Ezekiel 11:23), separated from it by “the valley of Jehoshaphat” ( Zechariah 14:4). “The mount of the olive grove” (Elaionos ), Acts 1:12. Arabic jebel es Zeitun. In 2 Samuel 15:30 “the ascent of the olives” (Hebrew). “The mountain facing Jerusalem” ( 1 Kings 11:7); called “the hill of corruption” from Solomon’s high places built to Chemosh and Moloch ( 2 Kings 23:13,14). The road by which David fled from Absalom across Kedron, and passed through trees to the summit, where was a consecrated spot (an old sanctuary to Elohim , like Bethel) at which he worshipped God ( Samuel 15:30,32). Turning the summit he passed Bahurim (16:5), probably near Bethany, then through a “dry and weary (Hebrew hayeephim ) land where no water was,” as he says Psalm 63:1; 2 Samuel 16:2,14 (the same Hebrew), 17:2. In Psalm 42 he was beyond Jordan; in Psalm 63 he is in the wilderness on the near side of Jordan (15:28; 17:21,22). Shimei, scrambling along the overhanging hill, flung down the stones and dust of the rough and parched descent.
The range has four hills. Josiah defiled Solomon’s idolatrous high places, breaking the “statues,” cutting down the groves, and filling their places with men’s bones. After the return from Babylon the olive, pine, palm, and myrtle branches for booths at the feast of tabernacles were thence procured ( Nehemiah 8:15). The ridge runs N. and S., separating the city which lies on its western side from the wilderness reaching from the eastern side of Olivet to the Dead Sea. At the northern extremity the range bends to the W., leaving a mile of level space between it and the city wall; whereas on the E. the mountain approaches the wall, separated only by a narrow ravine, Kedron, to which the descent from the Golden gate, or the gate of Stephen, is steep, and the ascent from the valley bed up the hill equally so.
The northern part, probably Nob, Mizpeh, and Scopus (so called from the view it commands of the city), is distinct historically, though geologically a continuation, from “the Mount of Olives.” So too the “mount of evil counsel” on the S. The Latin Christians call the northern part “Viri Galilaei,” being the presumed site of the angels’ address to the disciples at the ascension, “ye men of Galilee,” etc. ( Acts 1:11).
Olivet (Et Tur), the historical hill so called, separated from Scopus by a depression running across, is a limestone rounded hill, the whole length two miles; the height at the Church of the Ascension on the summit is 2,700 ft. above the Mediterranean, Zion is 2,537 ft. above, Moriah (temple area or Haram) at 2,429 ft., the N.W. corner of the city at 2,581 ft. Thus it is considerably higher than the temple mountain, and even than the socalled Zion. S. of the mount of ascension, and almost a part of it, stands that of the tombs of the prophets; again, S. of that, the mount of offense.
Of the three paths from the valley to the summit the first follows the natural shape of the ground, the line of depression Between the central and the northern hill. It was evidently David’s route in fleeing. It was also the Lord’s route between Bethany and Jerusalem ( Luke 19:28-37), and that whereby the apostles returned to Jerusalem after the ascension. The second path at 50 yards beyond Gethsemane strikes off directly up the steep to the village. The third turns S. to the tombs of the prophets, and then to the village.
The reputed sites at the W. of the central mount are: the tomb of the Virgin, then successively up the hill see GETHSEMANE , namely, an olive garden, cavern of Christ’s prayer and agony, rock where the disciples slept, place of Jesus’ capture, spot from whence the Virgin saw Stephen stoned, spot where her girdle dropped at her assumption, spot of Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem ( Luke 19:41), tombs of the prophets, including Haggai and Zechariah (the Jews say; Matthew 23:29), place of the ascension, and church. On the eastern side, descending from the ascension church to Bethany, are the field of the fruitless figtree, Bethphage, Bethany, Lazarus’ house, Lazarus’ tomb, stone on which Christ sat when Martha and Mary came to Him. Gethsemane is doubtless authentic. The empress Helena (A.D. 325) was the first who connected the ascension with Olivet (Eusebius Vit. Const. 3:43, Demonstr. Evang. 6:18); not that she fixed the precise spot but she erected a memorial ascension church with a glittering cross on this conspicuous site near the cave, the reputed place of Christ’s teaching the disciples. The tradition was not an established one until more than 300 years later.
The real place of ascension was Bethany, on the eastern slope, a mile beyond the traditional site ( Luke 24:50,51; Acts 1:6-11). The “sabbath day’s journey” (about six furlongs) specified for the information of Gentiles not knowing the locality in Acts 1 is from Olivet’s main part and summit (or from Kefr et Tur, Bethphage according to Ganneau: see below), not from the place of actual ascension, Bethany, which is more than twice a sabbath day’s journey. So public a spot as the summit, visible for miles from all points, would ill suit the ascension of Him who after the resurrection showed Himself “not unto all the people but to witnesses chosen before of God” ( Acts 10:41,42). The retired and wooded slopes of Bethany on the contrary were the fit scene of that crowning event. “The Mount of Olives” is similarly used in a general sense for Bethany ( Luke 21:37, compare Matthew 21:17; 26:6). “Bethany” does not mean (as Alford says) the district of Bethany extending to the summit, but the village alone.
The traditional site of the lamentation over Jerusalem is similarly unreal, for it can only be reached by a walk of hundreds of yards over the breast of the hill, the temple moreover and city being in full view all the time. The real site must have been a point on the road. from Bethany where the city bursts into view. The Lord’s triumphal entry was not by the steep short path of pedestrians over the summit, but the long easy route round the S. shoulder of the southernmost of the three divisions of Olivet; thence two views present themselves in succession; the first of the S.W. part of the city, namely, so called “Zion,” the second, after an interval, of the temple buildings, answering to the two points of the history, the hosannas and the weeping of Jesus. Luke 19:37, “when He was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount,” etc.; Luke 19:41-44, “when He was come near He beheld the city and wept over it.” On the slope the multitude found the palm branches when going to meet the Lord ( John 12:13).
The catacomb called “the tombs of the prophets,” on the hill S. of the central ascension hill and forming part of it with a slight depression between, is probably that cave where according to Eusebius Jesus taught mysteries to His disciples (Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, 453).
The mount of offense (Baten el Hawa, Arabic, “bag of the wind”) is the most southern portion of the range. The road in the hollow between it and the hill of “the tomb of the prophets” is the road from Bethany whereby Christ in triumph entered Jerusalem. The identification of “the hill of offense” with Solomon’s “mount of corruption” ( 1 Kings 11:7; Kings 23:13) is a late tradition of the 13th century. Stanley makes the northern hill (Viri Galilaei) to be “the mount of corruption” (why so called is uncertain in that case) because the three sanctuaries were on the right side, i.e. S. of it, namely, on the other three summits. But 2 Kings 23:13 rather means the three high places were on the S. side of “the mount of corruption,” i.e. the S. side or else peak of the Mount of Olives, which from Brocardus’ time (13th century) has been called “the mount of offense” from the Vulgate translated of 2 Kings 23:13. The southern hill is lower and more rugged. The wady en Nar, continuing the Kedron valley eastward to the Dead Sea, is the southern boundary of the southern hill. Its bald surface contrasting with the vegetation of the other hills may have suggested the identification of it as the “mount of corruption.” On its steep western face is the dilapidated village of Silwan (see SILOAM ). On a projecting part of its eastern side, overlooking Christ’s triumphal route, are tanks and foundations, supposed by Barclay (City, etc., 66) to be the site of Bethphage; but the discovery of “an almost square block of masonry or rock, covered with paintings,” not separated from the porous limestone rock of which it forms a part, on the strip to the N. of this road, shows that in the 11th century Christians identified Bethphage with that site. The block is 4 ft. 3 inches by 3 ft. 6 inches, and 3 ft. 10 inches high, and has on the S. side a representation of the raising of Lazarus, on the N. the disciples fetching the donkey; the supposition in the 11th century was that this was the stone on which our Saviour rested while the disciples were absent on their divine errand. Bethphage must have been, as this stone is, not on the road which Jesus was taking, namely, the narrow ridge to the Mount of Olives; otherwise He need not have sent disciples if He would have to pass it Himself; He said to them, “Go to the village over against you” ( Matthew 21:2). Ganneau identifies Bethphage with Kefr et Tur, “the village of the Mount of Olives,” where exist ancient remains; he thinks it marked on the E. the sabbath day’s journey from Jerusalem (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, April 1878).
The notion that the northern hill (Arabic Karem es Serjad, “the vineyard of the sportsmen”) was the scene of the angels’ address to the apostles after the ascension first came into existence in the 16th century. Its first name in 1250 was “Galilee” (Perdiccas in Reland Pal., 52), either from its having been the lodging place of Galilaeans coming up to Jerusalem or from corruption of an ancient name, perhaps Geliloth, on Benjamin’s southern boundary ( Joshua 18:17). The place of the angels’ address was from the 12th to the 16th century more appropriately assigned to a place in the Church of the Ascension, marked by two columns. Now it is only in the secluded slopes of the northern hill that venerable olives are seen spreading out into a wood; anciently the hills were covered with them. No date palms (from which Bethany took its name) are to be seen for miles. Fig trees are found chiefly on the road side. Titus at the siege stripped the country all round of trees, to construct embankments for his engines.
Rabbi Janna in the Midrash Tehillim (Lightfoot, 2:39) says that the shechinah (divine presence), after retiring from Jerusalem, dwelt three years and a half on Olivet, to see whether the Jews would repent; but when they would not, retired to its own place. Jesus realized this in His three years’ and a half ministry. “The glory of Jehovah went up from the city and stood upon the mountain on its E. side.” Its return into the house of Jehovah shall be “from the way of the E., by the gate whose prospect is toward the E.” ( Ezekiel 11:23; 43:2,4). “His feet shall stand upon the Mount of Olives which is before Jerusalem on the E., and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the E. and to- ward the W., and there shall be a very great valley, and half of the mount shall remove toward the N. and half of it toward the S.” The place of His departure shall be the place of His return, the manner too shall be similar ( Acts 1:11).
The direction shall be “as the lightning cometh out of the E.” ( Matthew 24:27). The scene of His agony shall be that of His glory, the earnest of which was His triumphal entry from Olivet ( Matthew 21:1-10). It was His favorite resort ( John 8:1).
Ganneau (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement) identifies Scopus with Mecharif, where is a great well. The Mussulmen place little heaps of stones there as the point from which Jerusalem and the Sakhrah mosque are first observed in coming from Nablus. “Scopus” may comprise the whole chain from Mecharif to Olivet. Conder fixes on a site E. of the great northern road from Jerusalem to Nablus. Jerusalem is wholly hidden from view until the last ridge is reached, from which the road rapidly descends and passes to the Damascus gate; the grey northern wall and the mosque, etc., here burst on the view at a mile and a half distance, as Josephus describes. Before the ridge is a plateau large enough to afford camping ground for the two Roman legions of Titus, and at the same time hidden from view of the city; it has also the military advantages of being directly upon the line of communication, of being difficult to approach from the front, and having good communication with the flanks and rear. Beyond the ridge, three furlongs to the N., the second camp, the fifth legion, could camp on a large plain stretching toward Tel el Ful, close to the great northern road. The name El Mesharif, or “the look out,” Greek Scopos, is still constantly applied to the ridge. Josephus’ “seven furlongs” from the center of the plateau reaches exactly to the large masonry discovered by Major Wilson, and supposed to be part of the third wall, proving Jerusalem extended northwards far beyond its present limits. This again discredits the popular site of the Holy Sepulchre.
OLYMPAS A Christian at Rome ( Romans 16:15). The addition, “and all the saints which are with them,” implies that each of the five, of whom Olympas is one, was a center round whom others gathered for prayer, edification, and good works.
Genesis and Revelation meet in Him. The last presents man and God reconciled in paradise, as the first presented him innocent and in God’s favor in paradise. I accomplish finally what I begin ( Philippians 1:6).
OMRI = servant of Jehovah. 1. Elah’s captain. Besieged Gibbethon in Dan, the siege had some time before been begun by Nadab ( 1 Kings 15:27). On Elan’s murder at Tirzah by Zimri the army made Omri king, 935 B.C. He took Tirzah, and Zimri after a seven days’ reign perished in the flames. Half the people desired Tibni ( 1 Kings 16:15-27), who according to the Septuagint was helped by his brother Joram, but died defeated. The civil war was of four years’ duration. In 931 B.C. Omri began his sole reign. For six years he reigned at the beautiful Tirzah (Song 6:4). But having proved its inability to resist a siege, he bought for two silver talents from Shemer the hill Shomron or Samaria, six miles from the old capital, Shechem, and distinguished for strength, beauty, and fertility. Here he reigned for six years more, and died in 919 B.C. Determined and unscrupulous he “walked in Jeroboam’s sin of the calf worship, provoking Jehovah God of Israel to anger with vanities.” His “might which he showed” was celebrated in the royal chronicles. To strengthen his dynasty he allied himself to Benhadad I of Damascus, surrendering cities as the price of the alliance ( 1 Kings 20:34), including Ramoth Gilead ( 1 Kings 22:3). (See AHAB). For the same end his son Ahab married the Sidonian king Ethbaal’s daughter Jezebel, which issued in the introduction of Baal worship into Israel.
Beth Omri, “the house of Omri,” is the regular designation for Samaria in Assyrian monuments, thus confirming 1 Kings 16:24. In the black obelisk even Jehu as king of Israel is called “son of Omri” In the Dibon stone Mesha records that Omri subjected and oppressed Moab until Mesha delivered his country. This agrees with the Hebrew date for Omri, and with the “might” attributed to him ( 1 Kings 16:27). 2. 1 Chronicles 7:8. 3. 1 Chronicles 9:4. 4. 1 Chronicles 27:18.
ON Son of Peleth, chief of Reuben; took part with Korah, Dathan, etc., against Moses ( Numbers 16:1). Since his name is not repeated, he probably renounced the conspiracy. The rabbis say that his wife saved him.
ON Heliopolis in the Septuagint. Beth Shemesh (“house of the sun”) in Jeremiah 43:13. “Nebuchadnezzar shall break the standing images of Beth Shemesh in Egypt.” The “standing images” may mean “obelisks,” for which the On sun temple was famed; they stood before the temple gates. “The houses of the gods shall he burn with fire.” Shu the god of light, Tafnet the fire goddess, and Ra the sun god, could not save their own dwellings from the element which they were thought to rule! E. of the Pelusiac branch of the Nile, 30 miles N.E. of Memphis, Ephraem Syrus says the statue rose 60 cubits high, the base 10, above was a mitre 1,008 lbs. weight. The obelisk of red granite there now is 68 ft. high above the pedestal, the oldest and one of the finest in Egypt. It was part of the temple of the sun; its sculptured dedication is by Osirtasin I of the 12th dynasty.
Josephus (Ant 10:9, section 7) says Nebuchadnezzar, the fifth year after Jerusalem’s fall, left the siege of Tyre to march against Egypt. (See HOPHRA ). Ezekiel (30:17) calls it Aven; perhaps a play on the name, meaning vanity, because of its idolatry. Re-Athom is the Egyptian hieroglyphical designation, the sun (Ra) the father of the gods, as Adam or Athom was of mankind. Manetho says Mnevis the bull was first worshipped here under the second king of the second dynasty. Atum is represented as “the setting sun,” the “sun of the nether world” ( Genesis 41:45,50). In Isaiah 19:18, “five cities in Egypt shall speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the Lord of hosts; one shall be called the city of destruction” (Ha-Heres). Onias who fled into Egypt, in disappointment at not getting the high priesthood, and rose to rank under Ptolemy Philometor, read “city of the sun” (Ha-Cheres). He persuaded Philometor to let him build a temple (149 B.C.) at Leontopolis in the prefecture (nome) of Heliopolis, on the ground that it would induce Jews to reside there, and that Isaiah almost 600 years before foretold the site. “City of destruction,” if referring to this temple, will mean censure of it, as violating God’s law that sanctioned only the one temple at Jerusalem. Gesenius translated “city of deliverance,” God “sending them a saviour” to “deliver them because of the oppressors” ( Isaiah 19:20). (See IR-HA-HERES ).
Ha-ra is the Egyptian sacred name, “abode of the sun”; AN is the Egyptian common name; Cyril of Alexandria says On means “the sun”; the hieroglyphic uben, related to aven, means shining. Reputed the oldest capital in Egypt, it and Memphis are mentioned in very early inscriptions as the two seats of justice; Thebes is added in hieroglyphics of the 18th dynasty; “the three seats of justice of both Egypts.” Under the Greek rulers, On, Memphis, and Thebes sent forth ten justices to the surrounding districts. Shu, son of Atum, and Tafnet his daughter, were worshipped, as well as Ra to whom Mnevis was sacred, also Bennu the phoenix, represented by a living bird of the crane kind; the rising from its ashes indicated symbolically a recommencing cycle of time. On was famed for learning. It was the ecclesiastical metropolis of Lower Egypt, where the Greek historians and philosophers obtained their information about Egypt.
Plato studied under its priests. (See JOSEPH ). Tradition makes On the place visited by Joseph, Mary, and our Lord, and a sycamore is shown under which they rested in their flight ( Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:15).
ONAN Judah’s second son by the Canaanitess, daughter of Shua ( Genesis 38:4). Slain by Jehovah for the unnatural means which he took to have no issue by his brother Er’s widow, whom he had married according to the custom, to perpetuate the race ( Genesis 38:4-9).
ONESIMUS = profitable. Philemon’s runaway slave, of Colosse ( Colossians 4:9, “one of you”), in whose behalf Paul wrote the epistle to Philemon: Philemon 1:10-16. Slaves were numerous in Phrygia, from whence Paul dwells on the relative duties of masters and slaves ( Colossians 3:22; 4:1). Paul’s “son in the faith,” begotten spiritually while Paul was a prisoner at Rome, where Onesimus hoped to escape detection amidst its vast population. Onesimus doubtless had heard the gospel before going to Rome, in Philemon’s household, for at Paul’s third missionary tour ( Acts 18:23) there were in Phrygia believers. Once unprofitable, by conversion Onesimus became really what his name implies, “profitable” to his master, to Paul, and to the church of God; “the faithful and beloved brother” of the apostle and of his master; godliness is profitable for both worlds, and makes men so ( 1 Timothy 4:8). Sent with Tychicus his safeguard, and put under the spiritual protection of the whole Colossian church and of Philemon. He probably had defrauded his master, as well as run away (ver. 18); Paul offered to make good the loss. The Apostolic Canons (73) make him to have been emancipated by Philemon. The Apostolic Constitutions (7:46) make him to have been consecrated bishop of Berea by Paul, and martyred at Rome. Ignatius (Ep. ad Ephes. i.) makes an Onesimus the Bishop of the Ephesians.
Instead of violently convulsing society by stirring up slaves against their masters, Christianity introduces love, a principle sure to undermine slavery at last; “by christianizing the master, Christianity enfranchises the slave” (Wordsworth). Onesimus so endeared himself to Paul by Christian sympathy and by personal services that he calls him “mine own bowels,” i.e. vitals: he bore for him a parent’s intense affection for a child. Paul would gladly have kept him to minister to him, but delicate regard to Philemon’s rights, and self denying love, made him waive his claims on Philemon and Onesimus ( Philemon 1:13,14,19). Onesimus “was parted” from his master “for a season” to become his “forever” in Christian bonds.
ONESIPHORUS 2 Timothy 1:16-18; 4:19: “the Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus (as Onesiphorus showed mercy), for he oft refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chain (compare Matthew 25:36,45), but when he was in Rome he sought me out very diligently and found me. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy (as he found me) of the Lord in that day; and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus thou knowest very well.” “Salute the household of Onesiphorus” ( 2 Timothy 4:19). Absence from Ephesus probably is the cause of the expression; he had not yet returned from his visit to Rome. If the master were dead the household would not be called after his name. A good man’s household shares in his blessing from God as in his deeds for God. Nowhere does Paul use prayers for the dead; Onesiphorus therefore was not dead. “The household of Stephanas” does not exclude “Stephanas” ( 1 Corinthians 1:16; 16:17) so “the household of Onesiphorus” does not necessarily exclude Onesiphorus.
ONIONS Hasselquist (Travels, 290) says “they are in Egypt sweet, not nauseous and strong as in other countries .... They eat them roasted, cut into four pieces, with roasted bits of meat (the Turkish kekab); and with this dish they are so delighted that they wish they may enjoy it in paradise.” This gives point to Israel’s regrets ( Numbers 11:5). They were the staple food of the labourers on the pyramids (Herodotus, ii. 125). They contain nitrogen largely, and are considered equivalent in nutriment to four times their weight of any other vegetable. In warm countries they grow to the size of a large orange.
ONO A town of Benjamin ( 1 Chronicles 8:12). The men of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, 721 in number, returned from Babylon ( Nehemiah 7:37). Its plain is mentioned ( Nehemiah 6:2); identified by some with “the valley of craftsmen” ( Nehemiah 11:35). Kefr Ana and Ania are suggested as representing Ono; but there are objections to both.
ONYCHA An ingredient of the anointing unguent ( Exodus 30:34). Shechecleth means literally, a shell or scale, the horny cap of a shell. The operculum or cover of the strombus or wing shell, which abounds in the Red Sea, is employed in compounding perfume, and was the medicine named blatta Byzantina or unguis odoratus in the middle ages. Pliny (H. N. 32:46) and Dioscorides (Matthew Med. 2:11) mention a shell, onyx, “both a perfume and a medicine”; “odorous because the shell fish feed on the nard, and collected when the heat dries up the marshes; the best kind is from the Red Sea, whitish and shining; the Babylonian is darker and smaller; both have a sweet odor when burnt, like castoreum.” The onyx “nail” refers to the clawlike shape of the operculum of the strombus genus; the Arabs call this mollusc “devil’s claw.” Shell fish were unclean; hence, Gosse conjectures a gum resin.
ONYX shoham . Found in the land of Havilah ( Genesis 2:12). Onyx means “nail”; then the agate, resembling in color a man’s nail. Two onyx stones, with six names of Israel’s tribes engraven on each, were on the high priest’s shoulders as “stones of memorial unto Israel” ( Exodus 28:9-12). The onyx was the second stone in the fourth row on his breastplate (ver. 20). Josephus (Ant. 3:7, section 5) calls the shoulder stones “sardonyxes” (compounded of sard or chalcedony and onyx, deep red and milkwhite layers alternating). David’s onyxes “prepared for the house of his God” ( 1 Chronicles 29:2) probably came from Tyre ( Ezekiel 28:13). Tyre’s king, like the high priest with his precious stones, was the type of humanity in its unfallen perfection in Eden; antichrist will usurp the divine King Priest’s office ( Zechariah 6:13; compare Acts 12:21-23). Job ( Job 28:16) calls it “precious,” but not so much so as “wisdom,” priceless in worth. The Arabian sardonyxes have a black ground color, sachma, is Arabic “blackness”; opaque white covers black or blue strata. Sahara in Arabic means to be pale; from whence Gesenius derives shoham. The kinds of onyx and sardonyx vary so as to answer to either derivation. The onyx has two strata, the sardonyx has three.
OPHEL Hebrew “the Ophel,” i.e. the swelling declivity by which the temple hill slopes off on its southern side as a long round narrow promontory between the mouth of the Tyropeon central valley of the city and the Kedron valley of Jehoshaphat. On its eastern side is the fount of the Virgin; at the bottom is the lower outlet of the same spring, the pool of Siloam. Here was the “great tower” (Eder? Hebrew Micah 4:8) and the Levites’ residence. It was near the water gate ( Nehemiah 3:26,27; 11:21). Jotham “built much on the wall of Ophel” Manasseh “compassed about Ophel” ( Chronicles 27:3; 33:14); on the Ophla, as Josephus calls it (see B.J. 5:4, section 2; 6, section 1, 3). For “the forts” ( Isaiah 32:14). translated Ophel “the mound.” James the Less was called Oblias, explained “bulwark of the people” (Hegesippus, in Eusebius H.E. ii. 23), perhaps originally Ophli-am, from Ophel. He was martyred by being thrown from the temple pinnacle near the boundary of Ophel.
Ptolemy calls it Sapphara, now Zaphar. Eleventh of Joktan’s sons.
Gesenius explains Ophir, if Semitic, “fruitful region.” The Himyaritic ofir means red. The Mahra people call their country “the ofir country” and the Red Sea Bahr Ofir. Aphar means dust. In 1 Kings 9:26-28; 10:11, Solomon’s navy on the Red Sea fetched from Ophir gold and almug trees; and in 10:22, once in three years (which included the stay in Ophir as well as the long coasting voyage) Tarshish ships (i.e. like our term for far voyaging ships, “Indiamen”) brough; “gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.” Mauch, an African traveler, found at latitude 20 degrees, minutes S.l longitude 26 degrees 30 minutes E., ruins resembling Solomon’s temple, which he connects with Ophir. The gold of western Asia was anciently obtained principally from Arabia. Saba in the southwestern part of Yemen is the only other place for gold besides Ophir mentioned in Scripture ( Isaiah 60:6). Strobe, 16:777, 778, 784, Diodorus Siculus, 2:50; 3:44, describe Arabia as rich in gold. No gold is now found there; whether it has been exhausted as in Spain, or we know not the interior sufficiently to be sure there is no gold left. (See PARAN ).
The “al” in almug or algum is the Arabic article “the,” and mica is “sandalwood” (Gesenius), so that that wood must have come to the Hebrews through Arabic merchants. But Lassen derives it from Sanskrit valgu or valgum, “sandalwood.” The wares and animals, from India or Africa, if such was their source (as the Sanskrit, Tamil, and Malay origin of the words ivory, peacocks, and apes respectively implies), came through Arabia. Ophir probably therefore was the entrepot there. In Palestine and Tyre the articles even of India and Africa would be designated from Ophir, from which they more immediately came. The indigo used in Egyptian dyeing from of old must have come from India; muslins of Indian origin are found with the mummies; Josephus (Ant. 8:6, section 4) connects Ophir with India (Malacca, so Sir J. E. Tennant); Chinese porcelain vases have been found in the tombs of kings of the 18th dynasty, i.e. before 1476 B.C.
Gold of Ophir was proverbial for fineness ( Psalm 45:9; Job 28:16; 22:24; Isaiah 13:12; 1 Chronicles 29:4; 1 Kings 22:48). The Ishmaelites abounded in gold: Numbers 31:22; Judges 8:24-26; Psalm 72:15 “gold of Sheba (Arabia).” Agatharchides in the second century B.C. (in Photius 250, and Hudson’s Geograph. Minores, 1:60), living in Egypt, and guardian to a Ptolemy in his minority and so familiar with the commerce between Egypt and Arabia, attests that gold was found in Arabia. Two of his statements have been confirmed: (1) that there were gold mines in Egypt, Linant and Bonomi found theta in the Bisharce desert (Wilkinson, Ant. Egypt. 9); (2) that there were large gold nuggets.
OPHNI A town in the N.E. of Benjamin ( Joshua 18:24.). Possibly founded by a non Israelite tribe. The Gophna of Josephus, said to be only second in importance to Jerusalem (B.J. 3:3, section 5; Ant. 14:11, section 2, 12:2).
Now Jufna, 2 1/2 miles N.W. of Bethel.
OPHRAH 1. In Benjamin ( Joshua 18:23; 1 Samuel 13:17). Jerome makes it five miles E. of Bethel. Probably the same as see EPHRON , see EPHRAIM . Taiyibeh is now on its site. 2. Ophrah of the Abiezrites, Gideon’s place of birth ( Judges 6:11,24; 8:32; 9:5), residence, and burial. He put the ephod here which he had adorned with the Midianites’ gold, and to it all Israel resorted in pilgrimage for worship, a spiritual “whoring” ( Judges 8:27). In Manasseh, not far from Shechem ( Judges 9:1,5). Now Erfai (Van de Velde); Erafa (Schwartz). Epher a head of Manasseh probably gave the name ( Chronicles 5:24), migrating there with Abiezer and Shechem ( Numbers 26:30; Joshua 17:2). 3. 1 Chronicles 4:14, “Meonothai begat (or else founded) Ophrah” of Judah.
ORACLES (1) divine utterances, as those by Urim and Thummim and the ephod of the high priest: 1 Samuel 23:9; 30:7,8. (2) The place where they were given ( 2 Samuel 16:23; 1 Kings 6:16), “the most holy place.” In the New Testament the Spirit-inspired Scriptures ( Romans 3:2; Hebrews 5:12; 1 Peter 4:11) of the Old Testament are so called. Others translated, “let him speak as (becomes one speaking) oracles of God,” which designates the New Testament words (afterward written) of inspired men by the same term as was applied to the Old Testament Scriptures; in the Greek there is no article. The pagan “oracles” ceased when Christianity supplanted paganism. Paul’s casting out “the spirit of pithon” (divination) implies that the ancient oracles were not always imposture, but were sometimes energized by Satanic powers ( Acts 16:16).
ORATOR (1) Isaiah 3:3, “the eloquent orator”; rather as Vulgate, “skilled in whispering,” i.e. incantation ( Psalm 58:5), lachash . (2) Tertullus, the Jewish accusers’ advocate against Paul ( Acts 24:1).
Paul as a Roman citizen was tried with Roman judicial forms ( Acts 25:9,10), the Roman lawyer pleading in Latin, as Norman French was formerly the language of law proceedings in England in Norman times.
OREB = raven. Prince of Midian defeated by Gideon ( Judges 7:25; 8:3). His name, as Zeeb (= wolf), indicates a fierce and ravenous warrior. Slain upon the rock Oreb in the pursuit after the battle, by the men of Ephraim, who intercepted and slew with great slaughter the Midianites after the Jordan fords. This second part of the victory is celebrated Psalm 83:11-14; Isaiah 10:26, “according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb.” Oreb and Zeeb were the prince generals of Midian. Zebah and Zalmunna were their kings ( Judges 8:5,10,12,18,21). “Make them like a wheel, as the stubble before the wind, as the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountain on fire.” The Arabic imprecation illustrates this, “may you be whirled as the ‘akkub before the wind, until you are caught in the thorns or plunged in the sea!” Thomson describes the wild artichoke when dry thus swept before the wind. The chaff from the exposed threshing floor, and the rapidly sweeping flame on a wooded hill in hot countries, are equally expressive images.
OREB, ROCK OF = raven’s cliff. The scene of Midian’s slaughter by Ephraim ( Judges 7:25; 8:1; Isaiah 10:26). E. of Jordan. Orbo near Bethshean may represent it. Conder identifies it with a sharp conical peak, ‘Ash el Ghorab, “raven’s nest.” Tuwayl el Diab, a wady and mound, answering to the Press of Zeeb, “the wolf,” stands two miles N.W. of ‘Ash el Ghorab. If for “ravens” we understand the men of Oreb to have fed Elijah, ‘Ash el Ghorab is close to wady Kelt, the traditional Cherith.
OREN 1 Chronicles 2:25.
ORGAN uwgab from agab “to blow.” (See MUSIC ). A wind instrument, a perforated pipe. Pandean pipe or syrinx (still a pastoral instrument in Syria) as distinguished from the HARP, stringed instruments ( Genesis 4:21; Job 21:12; 30:31; <19F004> Psalm 150:4).
ORION The constellation ( Job 9:9; 38:31,32; Amos 5:8). Kecil , “a fool” or “wicked one.” The Arabs represent Orion as a mighty man, the Assyrian see NIMROD , who rebelled presumptuously against Jehovah, and was chained to the sky as a punishment; for its rising is at the stormy season.
Sabaism or worship of the heavenly hosts and hero worship were blended in his person. The three bright stars which form Orion’s girdle never change their relative positions. “Canst thou loose the bands of Orion?” is God’s challenge to self sufficient man; i.e., canst thou loose the bonds by which he is chained to the sky? The language is adapted to the current conceptions (just as we use the mythological names of constellations without adopting the myths), but with this significant difference that whereas those pagan nations represented Orion glorified in the sky the Hebrews view him as a chained rebel, not with belt, but in “bands.” Orion is visible longer and is 17 degrees higher in the Syrian sky than in ours.
ORNAMENT (See DRESS , see EARRINGS , see NOSE JEWEL , see ANKLET , see FOREHEAD ). Song 1:10,11: “thy cheeks are comely with rows” (of pearls), torim , alluding to torah the law ( Ezekiel 16:11). Jehovah adorns His bride with His ordinances ( Proverbs 1:8,9). See Song 7:1, “the rounding (“graceful curve”) of thy thighs is like (the rounding of) the knobs of a necklace.”
ORNAN = see ARAUNAH . The variety of forms of the name indicate a non- Israelite.
ORPAH (See NOAMI ; see BOAZ .) Wife of see CHILION . On her husband’s death accompanied Naomi toward Bethlehem a short distance, but, in spite of professions of attachment and tears, she went back to “her people and her gods,” and lost the golden opportunity which Ruth embraced of having Israel’s God for her God. “Orpah kissed her mother in law, but Ruth clave unto her” ( Ruth 1:14, compare Proverbs 17:17; 18:24; compare Demas, 2 Timothy 4:10). Orpah’s name is now dishonoured, and her seed if she had any is consigned to oblivion. Ruth’s Seed -- Jesus Christ -- is the name at which every knee shall bow ( Philippians 2:10).
OSHEA; HOSEA see JOSHUA ’s original name ( Numbers 13:8). His faith, in contrast to the unbelieving spies, procured for him the addition of Jehovah’s name to his own ( Numbers 14:6-10; Deuteronomy 32:44), meaning “Jah his salvation.”
OSPRAY; OSPREY ozniah ( Leviticus 11:13; Deuteronomy 14:12). The sea eagle or fish hawk, Pandion haliaetus, the Septuagint. Or the short-toed eagle that feeds upon reptiles. The ossifrage (peres , means “the bone-breaker,” the lamergeyer, Gypaetus (eagle and vulture combined) barbatus, “the bearded vulture.” “Ospray” is a corruption of “ossifrage.” It flies in easy curving lines, and then pounces perpendicularly with unerring aim on a fish.
OSSIFRAGE (See OSPRAY ; see OSPREY ) The most powerful bird of prey in our hemisphere. He pushes kids, lambs, hares, calves, and even men off the rocks, and takes the bones of animals high up in the air, and lets them fall on stones to crack them and render them more digestible. The vulture proper has a bald head and neck, a provision against the dirting of the feathers of birds which plunge the head into putrefying carcasses. But the ossifrage has its head and neck feathered and a beard of black hair under the beak. The plumage of the head and neck is dirty white, with a black stripe through the eye; the back, wings, and tail are brown, the parts underneath are fawn-colored.
OSTRICH So translated for “owl” ( Leviticus 11:16), bath haya’anah “daughter of greediness” or “daughter of wailing.” Isaiah 34:13 translated “a dwelling for ostriches,” not “a court for owls” ( Isaiah 43:20, margin).
Feminine to express the species. Some Arabs eat the flesh. It will swallow almost any substance, iron, stone, etc., to assist the triturating action of the gizzard. The date stone, the hardest of vegetable substances, is its favourite food. Its cry resembles the lion’s, so that Hottentots mistake it. Dr.
Livingstone could only distinguish them by the fact that the ostrich roars by day, and the lion roars by night. Rosenmuller makes the derivation “daughter of the desert.” ( Micah 1:8), Job 30:29 -- “I am a companion to ostriches” (not “owls”), living among solitudes. In Lamentations 4:3, yeenim , “cruel like the ostriches in the wilderness.” renanim , Job 39:13, “peacocks.” Rather, “the ostrich hen,” literally, “cries,” referring to its dismal night cries, as in Job 30:29. Translated: “the wing of the ostrich hen vibrates joyously. Is it like the quill and feathers of the pious bird (the stork)? (surely not.)” The quivering wing characterizes the ostrich in full course. Its white and black feathers in the wing and tail are like the stork’s feathers; but, unlike that bird, the symbol of parental love, it deserts its young. If the “peacock” (which has a distinct name, tukiyim ) had been meant, the tail, its chief beauty, not the wings, would have been mentioned. Ostriches are polygamous. The hens lay their eggs promiscuously in one nest, a mere hole scratched in the sand, and they cover them with sand a foot deep. The parent birds incubate by turn during the night, but leave them by day to the sun’s heat in tropical countries.
Hence, arose the notion of her lack of parental love: “which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust.” But in non-tropical countries the female incubates her eggs by day, the male takes his turn on the nest at night. There they watch the eggs so carefully that they will even kill jackals in their defense. Moreover, she lays some of her eggs on the surface around the nest; these seem to be forsaken; “she forgeteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beasts may break them.” They are actually for the nutriment of the young birds. It is a shy bird. The only stupidity in the ostrich which warrants the Arab designation “the stupid bird” at all is its swallowing at times of substances which prove fatal to it, for instance, hot bullets, according to Dr. Shaw (Travels, ii. 345); also its never swerves from the course it once adopts, so that hunters often kill it by taking a shortcut, to which it only runs faster. Livingstone calculates its stride at ft. on an average, and 30 strides in every 10 seconds, i.e. 26 miles an hour. “She is hardened against her young ones as though they were not hers,” i.e. to man she seems (Scripture uses phenomenal language, not thereby asserting the scientific accuracy of it) as if she neglected her young; but she is guided by a sure instinct from God, as much as animals whose instincts seem (at first sight) to be more provident. At a slight noise she forsakes her eggs, as if hardened toward her young; but it is actually a mark of young sagacity, since her capture might be the only result of returning. “Her labour (in producing eggs) is in vain, (yet she is) without fear,” unlike other birds who, if one and another egg be removed, will go on laying until the full number is restored. “Because God hath deprived her of wisdom,” etc.: the argument is, her very seeming lack of wisdom is not without the wise design of God, just as in the saint’s trials, which seem so unreasonable to Job, there lies hidden a wise design. Her excellencies, notwithstanding her seeming deficiencies, are enumerated next; “she (proudly) lifteth up herself on high (Gesenius, ‘she lasheth herself’ up to the course by flapping her wings), she scorneth the horse.” The largest and swiftest of cursorial animals. Its strength is immense; the wings are not used for flying, but are spread “quivering” (see above) as sails before the wind, and serve also as oars. The long white plumes in the wing and tail come to us from Barbary; the general plumage is black, the head and neck is bare. Their height is more than eight feet. Zoologically, it approaches the mammalian type. Its habitat is the desert here and there, from the Sahara to the Cape of South Africa, and in the Euphratean plains ( Isaiah 13:21, margin).
OTHNI From ‘othen , obsolete for “lion.” 1 Chronicles 26:6-8.
OTHNIEL = lion of God. 1 Chronicles 4:13. Son of see KENAZ (see, on his relation to Caleb or “the Kenizzite”). Caleb’s younger brother ( Joshua 15:17; Judges 1:13; 3:9). First of the judges. Took Kirjath Sepher (Debir), in the mountainous region of Hebron in Judah ( Joshua 14:12-14), and received see ACHSAH , his wife, as the prize. Van de Velde believes “the upper and nether springs” which she received was a spring rising on a hill N. of wady Dilbeh (two hours S.W. of Hebron), and brought down by an aqueduct to the foot of the hill. (But see DEBIR .)
Othniel delivered Israel from see CHUSHAN RISHATHAIM , and gave “the land rest 40 years.” He had a son, Hathath ( 1 Chronicles 4:13,14), “and see MEONOTHAI ” . In Judges 3:11 it is not asserted that Othniel lived to the end of the 40 years, which would make his life unduly long as the brother of Caleb; but simply, he died after restoring rest to the land. It was in answer to Israel’s cry that Jehovah raised up Othniel as their “saviour” ( <19A713> Psalm 107:13-19; 50:15). “The Spirit of Jehovah” came upon his human spirit, enabling him to accomplish what his natural strength could not. “He judged Israel (not merely settling their internal disputes in justice as civil judge, but restoring their right in relation to their foreign oppressor, for it is added), and went out to war.” “Judging” means lastly restoring Israel to its right attitude toward Jehovah, putting down idolatry ( Judges 2:18,19; 6:25-32). All this needed the sevenfold “spirit of wisdom and understanding,” etc. Isaiah 11:2,3.)
Sometimes there was an erection of clay in the form of a jar, built on the house floor. Every house had one ( Exodus viii. 3 ); only in a famine (lid one suffice for several faro- flies (Leviticus xxvi. 26). Tile heating fuel was dry grass and twigs (Blurt. vt. 30: “grass, which to-day is, to-morrow is cast into the oven”). The loaves were placed inside, and thin cakes outside of it. Image of consuming vengeance ( Malachi 4:1). Psalm 21:9: “Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of Thine anger... burning with Thy hot, wrath in the day of the Lord.” Hosea 7:4,7: “they are all adulterers, as an oven heated by (burning from ) the baker,” i.e. the fire burns of itself, even after tlle baker has ceased to feed it with fuel. “Who teaseth from raising (rather from heating it meeir ) after he hath kneaded the dough until it be leavened:” he omits to feed it only during the short time of the fermentation of the bread. So their lusts were on fire even in the short respite that Satan gives, till his leaven has worked. 2 Peter 2:14, “cannot cease from sin.”
OWL (See OSTRICH , the true rendering of bath hayanah . Yanshowph , Leviticus 11:17, “the great owl.” From a root, “twilight” (Bochart), or to puff the breath (Knobel). Deuteronomy 14:16; Isaiah 34:11. The horned owl, Bubo maximus, not as Septuagint the ibis, the sacred bird of Egypt. Maurer thinks the heron or crane, from nashaf “to blow,” as it utters a sound like blowing a horn ( Revelation 18:2). Chaldee and Syriac support “owl.” Kos , Leviticus 11:17, “the little owl.” Athene meridionalis on coins of Athens: emblem of Minerva, common in Syria; grave, but not heavy. <19A206> Psalm 102:6, “I am like an owl in a ruin” (Syriac and Arabic versions), expressing his loneliness, surrounded by foes, with none to befriend. The Arabs call the owl “mother of ruins,” um elcharab. The Hebrew means a cup, perhaps alluding to its concave face, the eye at the bottom, the feathers radiating on each side of the beak outward; this appears especially in the Otus vulgaris, the long-cared owl. Kippoz . Isaiah 34:15, “the great owl.” But Gesenius “the arrow snake,” or “the darting tree serpent”; related to the Arabic kipphaz . The context favors “owl”; for “gather under her shadow” applies best to a mother bird fostering her young under her wings. The Septuagint, Chaldee, Arabic, Syriac, Vulgate read kippod , “hedgehog.” The great eagle owl is one of the largest birds of prey; with dark plumage, and enormous head, from which glare out two great eyes. Lilith . Isaiah 34:14, “screech owl”; from layil “the night.” Irby and Mangles state as to Petra of Edom “the screaming of hawks, eagles, and owls, soaring above our heads, annoyed at anyone approaching their lonely habitation, added much to the singularity of the scene.” The Strix flammea, “the barn owl”; shrieking in the quietude of the night, it appalls the startled hearer with its unearthly sounds.
OX (See BULL ). The law prohibiting the slaughter of clean beasts in the wilderness, except before the tabernacle, at once kept Israel from idolatry and tended to preserve their herds. During the 40 years oxen and sheep were seldom killed for food, from whence arose their lustings after flesh ( Leviticus 17:1-6).
PADAN ARAM ”The flat land of Aram,” contrasted with the more mountainous region of the N. and N.E. of Mesopotamia ( Hosea 12:12), “the field (sedeh ) of Aram” ( Genesis 25:20), the same as Aram Naharaim, “Aram of the two rivers,” or see MESOPOTAMIA ( Genesis 24:10). Aram expresses the highland of Syria, contrasted with the lowland of Canaan. The land between Tigris and Euphrates is a vast flat, except where the Sinjar range intersects it. The home of Rebekah, Laban, etc.
PADON Ezra 2:44.
PAGIEL Numbers 1:13.
PAHATH MOAB (“governor of Moab”). Head of a chief house of Judah. Their high rank appears from their being fourth in the two lists ( Ezra 2:6; Nehemiah 7:11). Their chief signed second among the lay princes ( Nehemiah 10:14). Pahath Moab was probably a family of the Shilonites or sons of Shelah of Judah “who anciently had the dominion in Moab” ( Chronicles 4:22; compare 1 Chronicles 4:14 with 1 Chronicles 2:54, Joab). This gives some clue to Elimelech’s migration to Moab (Ruth 1).
Ophrah ( 1 Chronicles 4:14) is related to Orpah ( Ruth 1:4). The most numerous family (2,818) in the lists, except the Benjamite house of Senaah ( Nehemiah 7:38). Hence they repair two portions of the wall ( Nehemiah 3:11,23). As the Benjamites and Shilonites are together in 1 Chronicles 9:5-7; Nehemiah 11:5-7, so Benjamin and Hashub of Pahath Moab are together in Nehemiah 3:23.
PALACE Solomon’s palace is illustrated by those of Nineveh and Persepolis lately discovered. The great hall of state was “the house of the forest of (pillars of cedar of) Lebanon,” 150 ft. long (100 cubits) by 75 broad ( 1 Kings 7:2). There were “four rows of cedar pillars with cedar beams upon the pillars. It was covered with cedar above upon the beams, that lay on pillars,15 in a row.” Three rows stood free, the fourth was built into the outer wall (Josephus, Ant. 7:5, section 2, 11:5). “There were windows in three rows, and light against light in three ranks”; namely, clerestory windows. The throne was in the center of the longer side.
Behind was the inner court ( 1 Kings 7:8) with gardens, fountains, and cloisters, and courts for residence of attendants and guards, and for the women of the harem. On the side of the great court opposite the inner court was the palace of Pharaoh’s daughter. “The foundation” ( 1 Kings 7:10) was an artificial platform of masonry, as at Sennacherib’s palace at Koyunjik and at Baalbek, some stones being 60 ft. long. The halls of the palace were wainscoted with three tiers of polished stone, surmounted by a fourth, elaborately carved with leaves and flowers ( 1 Kings 7:12).
Above this the walls had plaster with colored arabesque. At Nineveh, on the eight feet high alabaster wainscoting were sculptured men and animals ( Ezekiel 23:14), whereas the second commandment restrained the Jews from such representations. But coloring was used freely for decoration ( Jeremiah 22:14). ”The palace” in Philippians 1:13 is the barrack of the Praetorian guards attached to Nero’s palace on the Palatine hill at Rome. So “Caesar’s household” is mentioned ( Philippians 4:22). The emperor was “praetor” or commander in chief; so the barrack of his bodyguard was the” praetorium.” The “all the praetorium” implies that the whole camp, whether inside or outside the city, is included. The camp of the Praetorians, who became virtual masters of the empire, was outside the Viminal gate.
Paul was now no longer “in his own hired house” chained to a soldier, by command (probably) of Burrus, one of the two prefects of the praetorium ( Acts 28:16,20,30,31), but in strict custody in the praetorium on Tigellinus becoming prefect. The soldiers relieving one another in guard would naturally spread through the camp the gospel story heard from Paul, which was the occasion of his imprisonment. Thus God overruled what befell him “unto the furtherance of the gospel” ( Philippians 1:12).
A recent traveler, Dr. Manning, describes a remarkable illustration of the reference to “Caesar’s household”: “in the chambers which were occupied as guard rooms by the Praetorian troops on duty in the palace, a number of rude caricatures are found roughly scratched upon the walls, just such as may be seen upon barrack walls in every part of the world. Among these is one of a human figure nailed upon a cross. To add to the ‘offense of the cross’ the crucified one is represented with the head of an animal, probably that of an ass. Before it stands the figure of a Roman legionary, with one hand upraised in the customary attitude of worship. Underneath is the rude, misspell, ungrammatical inscription, Alexamenos worships his god. It can scarcely be doubted that we have here a contemporary caricature, executed by one of the Praetorian guard, ridiculing the faith of a Christian comrade.”
PALAL Nehemiah 3:25.
PALESTINE Peleshet . Four times in KJV, found always in poetry ( Exodus 15:34; Isaiah 14:29,31; Joel 3:4); same as Philistia ( Psalm 60:8; 87:4; 83:7 “the Philistines”). The long strip of seacoast plain held by the Philistines. The Assyrian king Ivalush’s inscription distinguishes “Palaztu on the western sea” from Tyre, Samaria, etc. (Rawlinson, Herodotus 1:467.) So in the Egyptian Karnak inscriptions Pulusata is deciphered. The Scriptures never use it as we do, of the whole Holy Land. (See CANAAN for the physical divisions, etc.) “The land of the Hebrews” Joseph calls it, because of Abraham’s, Isaac’s, and Jacob’s settlements at Mamre, Hebron, and Shechem ( Genesis 40:15). “the land of the Hittites” ( Joshua 1:4); so Chita or Cheta means the whole of lower and middle Syria in the Egyptian records of Rameses II. In his inscriptions, and those of Thothmes III, Tu-netz, “Holy Land,” occurs, whether meaning Phoenicia or Palestine. In Hosea 9:3 “land of Jehovah,” compare Leviticus 25:23; Isaiah 62:4. “The holy land,” Zechariah 2:12; 7:14, “land of desire”; Daniel 8:9. “the pleasant land”; 11:16, 41, “the glorious (or goodly) land”; Ezekiel 20:6,15, “a land that I had espied for them flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands.” God’s choice of it as peculiarly His own was its special glory ( <19D213> Psalm 132:13; 48:2; Jeremiah 3:19 margin “a good land, a land of brooks of water (wadies often now dry, but a few perennial), of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills (the deep blue pools, the sources of streams), a land of wheat, barley, vines, figtrees, pomegranates, oil olive, honey (dibs, the syrup prepared from the grape lees, a common food now) ... wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack anything in it; whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass” ( Deuteronomy 8:7-9). “The land of the Amorite” ( Amos 2:10). “The land of Israel” in the larger sense ( 1 Samuel 13:19); in the narrower sense of the northern kingdom it occurs 2 Chronicles 30:25. After the return from Babylon “Judaea” was applied to the whole country S. and N., and E. beyond Jordan ( Matthew 19:1). “The land of promise” ( Hebrews 11:9). “Judaea” in the Roman sense was part of the province “Syria,” which comprised the seaboard from the bay of Issus to Egypt, and meant the country from Idumea on the S. to the territories of the free cities on the N. and W., Scythopolis, Sebaste, Joppa, Azotus, etc. The land E. of Jordan between it and the desert, except the territory of the free cities Poilu, Gadara, Philadelphia, was “Perea.”
From Dan (Banias) in the far N. to Beersheba on the S. is 139 English miles, two degrees or 120 geographical miles. The breadth at Gaza from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea is 48 geographical miles; at the Litany, from the coast to Jordan is 20 miles; the average is 34 geographical or English miles. About the size of Wales. The length of country under dominion in Solomon’s days was probably 170 miles, the breadth 90, the area 12,000 or 13,000 square miles. The population, anciently from three to six millions, is now under one million. The Jordan valley with its deep depression separates it from the Moab and Gilead highlands. Lebanon, Antilebanon, and the Litany ravine at their feet form the northern bound.
On the S. the dry desert of Paran and “the river of Egypt” bound it. On the western verge of Asia, and severed from the main body of Asia by the desert between Palestine and the regions of Mesopotamia and Arabia, it looks on the other side to the Mediterranean and western world, which it was destined by Providence so powerfully to affect; oriental and reflective, yet free from the stagnant and retrogressive tendencies of Asia, it bore the precious spiritual treasure of which it was the repository to the energetic and progressive W. It consists mainly of undulating highlands, bordered E. and W. by a broad belt of deep sunk lowland. The three main features, plains, hills, and torrent beds, are specified ( Numbers 13:29; Joshua 11:16; 12:8). Mount Carmel, rising to the height of above 1,700 ft., crosses the maritime plain half way up the coast with a long ridge from the central chain, and juts out into the Mediterranean as a bold headland. The plain of Jezreel or Esdraelon on its northern side, separating the Ephraim mountains from those of Galilee, and stretching across from the Mediterranean to the Jordan valley, was the great battlefield of Palestine.
The long purple wall of Gilead and Moab’s hills on the eastern side is everywhere to be seen. The bright light and transparent air enable one from the top of Tabor, Gerizim or Bethel at once to see Moab on the E. and the Mediterranean on the W. On a line E. of the axis of the country and running N. and S. lie certain elevations: Hebron 3,029 ft. above the sea; Jerusalem, 2,610; Olivet, 2,724; Neby Samwil on the N., 2,650; Bethel, 2,400; Ebal and Gerizim, 2,700; Little Hermon and Tabor, N. of the Esdraelon plain, 1,900. The watershed sends off the drainage of the country in streams running W. to the Mediterranean and E. to the Jordan, except at the Esdraelon plain and the far N. where the drainage is to the Litany. Had the Jews been military in character, they would easily have prevented their conquerors from advancing up the precipitous defiles from the E., the only entrances to the central highlands of Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim, from the Jordan valley; as Engedi ( 2 Chronicles 20:1,2,16) and Adummim, the route between Jericho and Jerusalem by which Pompey advanced when he took the capital. The slope from the western valleys is more gradual, as the level of the plain is higher, and the distance up the hills longer, than from the eastern Jordan depression; still the passes would be formidable for any army with baggage to pass. From Jaffa up to Jerusalem there are two roads: the one to the right by Ramleh and the wady Aly; the other the historic one by Lydda and the Bethorons, or the wady Suleiman, and Gibeon. By this Joshua drove the Canaanites to the plains; the Philistines went up to Michmash, and fled back past Ajalon. The rival empires, Egypt and Babylon-Assyria, could march against one another only along the maritime western plain of Palestine and the Lebanon plain leading toward and from the Euphrates. Thus Rameses II marched against the Chitti or Hittites in northern Syria, and see PHARAOH NECHO fought at see MEGIDDO in the Esdraelon plain, the battlefield of Palestine; they did not meddle with the central highlands, “The S. country” being near the desert, destitute of trees, and away from the mountain streams, is drier than the N., where springs abound. The region below Hebron between the hills and the desert is called the Negeb (the later Daroma) from its dryness. Hence Caleb’s daughter, having her portion in it, begged from him springs, i.e. land having springs ( Judges 1:15). The “upper and lower springs” spring from the hard formation in the N.W. corner of the Negeb ( Joshua 15:19); here too Nabal lived, so reluctant to give “his water” ( 1 Samuel 25:11). The verdure and blaze of scarlet flowers which cover the highlands of Judah and Benjamin in spring, while streams pour down the ravines, give place to dreary barrenness in the summit. Rounded low hills, with coarse gray stone, clumps of oak bushes, and the remains of ancient terraces running round them, meet one on each side, or else the terraces are reconstructed and bear olives and figs, and vineyards are surrounded by rough walls with watchtowers. Large oak roots are all that attest the former existence of trees along the road between Bethlehem and Hebron. Corn or dourra fills many of the valleys, and the stalks left until the ensuing seedtime give a dry neglected look to the scene. More vegetation appears in the W. and N.W. The wady es Sumt is named from its acacias. Olives, terebinths, pines, and laurels here and ten miles to the N. at Kirjath Jearim (city of forests) give a wooded aspect to the scenery. The tract, nine miles wide and 35 long, between the center and the sudden descent to the Dead Sea, is desolate at all seasons, a series of hills without vegetation, water, and almost life, with no ruins save Masada and one or two watchtowers. (On the see CAVES .)
No provision is made in the S. for preserving the water of the heavy winter and spring rains, as in Malta and Bermuda. The valley of Urtas, S. of Bethlehem, abounding in springs, and the pools of Solomon, are exceptions to the general dryness of the S. The ruins on every hill, the remains of ancient terraces which kept the soil up from being washed into the valleys, and the forests that once were in many parts of Judea until invasions and bad government cleared them away, and which preserved the moistness in the wadies, confirm the truth of the Bible account of the large population once maintained in Judah and Benjamin. The springs and vegetation as one advances N. toward Mount Ephraim especially strike the eye. (See FOUNTAINS ; see EN HAKKORE ; see GIHON ; see ENGEDI ; see HAROD ; see ENGANNIM ; see ENDOR ; see JEZREEL .) Such springs as Ain Jalud or Rasel Mukatta, welling forth as a considerable stream from the limestone, or Tel el Kady forming a deep clear pool issuing from a woody mound, or Banias where a river issues roaring from its cave, or Jenin bubbling from the level ground, are sights striking by their rarity.
Mount Ephraim (jebel Nablus) contains some of the most productive land in Palestine. Fine streams, with oleanders and other flowering trees on their banks, run through the valleys which are often well cultivated. N.W. of Nablus is the large, rich, grain abounding, and partly wooded district toward Carmel, which reaches to where the mountains slope down to Sharon plain under Mount Carmel. Extensive woods there are none, and the olives which are found everywhere but little improve the landscape.
This absence of woods elsewhere makes their presence on Carmel’s sides, and parklike slopes, the more striking. N. of Esdraelon the Galilee hills abound in timber, the land round Tabor is clad in dark oak, forming a contrast to jebel ed Duhy (Little Hermon) and Nazareth’s white hills. Oaks, terebinths, maples, arbutus, sumach, etc., cover the ravines and slopes of the numerous swelling hills, and supply the timber carried to Tyre for export as fuel to the seacoast towns.
The hills throughout Palestine are crowned with remains of fenced cities, scarcely a town existed in the valleys. Inaccessibility was their object, for security; also the treacherous nature of the alluvial sand made the lower position unsafe in times of torrent floods from the hills, whereas the rock afforded a firm foundation ( Matthew 7:24-27). Unlike ordinary conquests, the Israelite conquerors took the hills, but the conquered Canaanites kept the plains where their chariots could maneuver ( Judges 1:19-35). Appropriately a highland coloring tinges their literature ( Psalm 72:3,16; Isaiah 2:2; Ezekiel 36:1,; 1 Kings 20:28). The hills were the sites also of the forbidden “high places.” The panoramic views from many hills, trodden by patriarchs, prophets, and heroes, as Olivet, Bethel, Gerizim, Carmel, Tabor, etc., are remarkable for their wide extent, comprising so many places of historic interest at once, owing to the clearness of the air.
The seacoast lowland between the hills and sea stretches from El Arish (river of Egypt) to Carmel. The lower half, Philistia, is wider; the upper, or Sharon, narrower. This region from the sea looks a low undulating strip of white sand. Attached to the plain is the shephelah or region of lower hills intermediate between the plain and the mountains of Judah. Low calcareous hills, covered with villages and ruins, and largely planted with olives, rise above broad arable valleys. Olive, sycamore, and palm encircle Gaza and Ashdod in the plain along the shore. The soil is fertile brown loam, almost without a stone. Brick made of the loam and stubble being the material of the houses, these have been washed away by rains, so that the ancient villages have left few traces. The plain is one vast grainfield, produced without manure, save that supplied by the deposits washed down by the streams from the hills, without irrigation, and with only the simplest agriculture. Sharon is ten miles wide from the sea to the mountain base; there are no intermediate hills, as the shephelah in Philistia. Its undulations are crossed by perennial streams from the central hills, which instead of spreading into marshes, as now, might be utilized for irrigation. The ancient irrigatory system, with passes cut through the solid wall of cliff near the sea for drainage, is choked up. The rich soil varies from red to black, and on the borders of the marshes and streams are rank meadows where herds still feed, as in David’s days ( 1 Chronicles 27:29). The white sand is encroaching on the coast. In the N. between Jaffa and Caesarea sand dunes are reported to exist, three miles wide, 300 ft. high.
The Jews, though this region with its towns was assigned to them ( Joshua 15:45-47; 13:3-6; 16:3 Gezer, Joshua 17:11 Dor), never permanently occupied it. The Philistines kept their five cities independent of, and sometimes supreme over, Israel (1 Samuel 5; 21:10; 27:2; Kings 2:39; 2 Kings 8:2,3). The Canaanites held Dor ( Judges 1:27) and Gezer until Pharaoh took it and gave it to his daughter, Solomon’s wife ( 1 Kings 9:16). Lod (Lydda) and Ono were in Benjamin’s possession toward the end of the monarchy and after the return from Babylon ( Nehemiah 11:34; 2 Chronicles 28:18). Gaza and Askelon had regular ports (majumas, Kenrick, Phoen. 27-29). Ashdod was strong enough to withstand the whole Egyptian force for 29 years. Under Rome Caesarea, (now a ruin washed by the sea) and Antipatris in this region were leading cities of the province. Joppa between Philistia and Sharon. is still the seaport for travelers from the W. to Jerusalem, and was Israel’s only harbor. They had no word for harbor, so unversed in commerce were they; yet their sacred poets show their appreciation of the phenomena of the sea ( <19A425> Psalm 104:25,26; 107:23-30). Bedouin marauders and Turkish misrule have closed the old coast route between N. and S., and left the fertile and to be comparatively uncultivated.
The Jordan valley is the special feature of Palestine. Syria is divided, from Antioch in the N. to Akaba on the eastern extremity of the Red Sea, by a deep valley parallel to the Mediterranean and separating the central highlands from the eastern ones. The range of Lebanon and Hermon crosses this valley between its northern portion, the valley of the Orontes. and its main portion the valley of Jordan (the Arabah of the Hebrews, the Aulon of the Greeks, and the Ghor of the Arabs). Again, the high ground S. of the Dead Sea crosses between the valley of the Jordan and the wady el Arabah running to the Red Sea. The Jordan valley divides Galilee, Ephraim, and Judah from Bashan, Gilead, and Moab respectively. The bottom of Jordan valley is actually more than 2,600 ft. below the level of the Mediterranean, and must have once been far deeper, being now covered with sediment accumulated by the Jordan. The steepness of the descent front Olivet is great, but not unparalleled; the peculiarity which is unique is that the descent is into the bowels of the earth; one standing at the Dead Sea shore is almost as far below the ocean surface as the miner in the lowest depths of any mine. The climate of the Jordan valley is tropical and enervating, and the men of Jericho a feeble race. “The region round about Jordan” was used of the vicinity of Jericho ( Matthew 3:5).
The Jordan is perennial, but most of the so-called “rivers” are mere winter torrents (nachal ), dry during fully half the year ( Job 6:15-17). The land of promise must have been a delightful exchange for the dreary desert, especially as the Israelites entered it at Passover ( Joshua 5:10,11), i.e. springtime, when the country is lovely with verdure and flowers. There is a remarkable variety of climate and natural aspect, due to the differences of level between the different parts, and also to the vicinity of snowy Hermon and Lebanon on the N. and of the parched desert of the S., and lastly to the proximity of the ever fresh and changing sea. The Jordan valley, in its light fertile soil and torrid atmosphere where breezes never penetrate, somewhat resembles the valley of the Nile ( Genesis 13:10). The contrast between highland and lowland is marked by the phraseology “going up” to Judah, Jerusalem. Hebron; “going down” to Jericho, Gaza, Egypt. “The mountain of Judah,” “of Ephraim,” “of Naphtali,” designate the three great groups of highlands. In these the characteristic names occur, Gibeah, Geba, Gibeon (hill), Ramah, Ramathaim (brow), Mizpeh, Zonhim (watchtower, watchers). The lower hills and southern part of the seacoast plain is the “shephelah”; the northern part Sharon; the Jordan valley Ha-Arabah; the ravines, torrent beds, and small valleys (‘eemeq , nachal , gay ) of the highlands are never confounded. The variations in temperature, from the heat of midday and the dryness of summer to the rain, snow, and frosts of winter, are often alluded to ( Psalm 19:6; 32:4; 147:16-18; Isaiah 4:6; 25:5; Genesis 18:1; 1 Samuel 11:9; Nehemiah 7:3; Jeremiah 36:30). The Bible by its endless variety of such allusions, familiar to the people of the W. and suggested by Palestine which stands between E. and W., partaking of the characteristics of both, suits itself to the men of every land.
ANTIQUITIES. In contrast to Egypt, Assyria, and Greece, Palestine does not contain an edifice older than the Roman occupation. There are but few remains left illustrating Israelite art. The coins, rude and insignificant, the oldest, being possibly of the Maccabean era, are the solitary exception. The enclosure round Abraham’s tomb at Hebron we know not the date of Solomon’s work still remains in some places. Wilson’s arch (see JERUSALEM ) is probably Solomonic, and the part of the sanctuary wall on E. side. The “beveling,” thought to be Jewish, is really common throughout Asia Minor; it is found at Persepolis, Cnidus, and Athens. The prohibition (1) of making graven images or likenesses of living creatures, and (2) of building any other temple than that at Jerusalem, restricted art.
Solomon’s temple was built under Hiram’s guidance. The synagogues of the Maccabean times were built in the Greek style of architecture. Tent life left its permanent impression on Israel ( 2 Samuel 20:1; 1 Kings 12:16; 2 Chronicles 10:16; 2 Kings 14:12; Jeremiah 30:18; Zechariah 12:7; Psalm 78:55; 84:1; Isaiah 16:5).
GEOLOGY. Palestine is a much disturbed mountainous tract of limestone, of the secondary or jurassic and cretaceous period. It is an offshoot from Lebanon, much raised above the sea, with partial interruptions from tertiary and basaltic deposits. The crevasse of the Jordan is possibly volcanic in origin, an upheaval tilting the limestone so as to leave a vast split in the strata, but stopping without intruding volcanic rocks into the fissure. The basins of the sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea resemble craters.
Others attribute the chasm to the ocean’s gradual action in immense periods. The hills range mainly N. and S. The limestone consists of two groups of strata. The upper is a solid stone varying from white to reddish brown, with few fossils, and abounding in caverns; the strata sometimes level for terraces, oftener violently disarranged, and twisted into various forms, as on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. This limestone is often topped with flint-abounding chalk, as on the western side of the Dead Sea, where it has many salt and sulfurous springs. Dolomite or magnesian limestone, a send-crystalline rock, white or brown with glistening surface, blends with the mass of limestone, near Jerusalem. The lower limestone group has two series of beds: the upper darkish, cavernous, and ferruginous; the lower dark gray, solid, abounding in the fossil cidaris, an extinct echinus, the spines of which are the “olives” of the convents. This is the substratum of the whole country E. and W. of Jordan. The ravine from Olivet to Jericho affords an opportunity of examining the strata through which it cuts. After the limestone had assumed its present outline, lava burst, from beneath and overflowed the stratified beds, as basalt or trap, long before historic times. These volcanic rocks are found in the cis- Jordanic country, only N. of the Samaria mountains, e.g. S.W. of Esdraelon plain and N. of Tabor. The two centers of eruption were: (1) The older about Kuru Hattin, the traditional mount of beatitudes, from whence the lava flowed forming the cliffs at the back of Tiberius; the disintegration of the basalt formed the fertile black soil of the plain of Gennesaret. (2) The more recent, near Safed, where three craters have become the lakes el Jish, Taiteba, and Delata. The earthquake in Uzziah’s time ( Zechariah 14:5), which injured the temple and brought down a mass of rock from Olivet (Josephus, Ant. 9:10, section 4), shows that volcanic action has continued in historic times. From the 13th to the 17th centuries A.D. earthquakes were unknown in Syria and Judaea, but the Archipelago and southern Italy suffered greatly. Since than their activity has been resumed, destroying Aleppo in 1616 and 1822. Antioch in 1737, and Tiberius and Safed in 1837. See Amos 4:11; compare Matthew 27:51; Psalm 46:1,2. The hot salt and fetid springs at Tiberias, Callirrhoe (wady Zerka Main, E. of the Dead Sea), and other places along the Jordan valley, and round the lakes, as Ain Tabighah N.E. of lake Tiberias, the rock salt, niter, and sulphur of the Dead Sea, evidence volcanic agency. The Tiberias hot springs flowed more abundantly and increased in temperature during the earthquake of 1837. W. of the lower Jordan and Dead Sea no volcanic formations appear. The igneous rocks first appear in situ near the water level at wady Hemarah, a little N. of wady Zerka Main N.E. of the Dead Sea. Here and E. of the upper Jordan the most remarkable igneous rocks are found; the limestone lies underneath. The Lejah, anciently see ARGOB or Trachonitis, has scarcely anything exactly like it on the earth. Traces of two terraces appear in the Jordan valley. The upper is the broader and older; the second, 50 to 150 ft. lower, reaching to the channel of the Jordan, was excavated by the river before it fell to its present level, when it filled the space between the eastern and western faces of the upper terrace. The inner side of both terraces is furrowed by the descending rains into conical hillocks. The lower terrace has much vegetation, oleanders, etc. The tertiary beds, marls, and conglomerates prevail round the margin of the Dead Sea; at its S.E. corner sandstone begins and stretches N. to wady Zerka Main.
The alluvial soil of Philistia is formed of washings from the highlands by winter rains. It is loamy sand, red or black, formed of sandstone disintegrated by the waves and cast on the shore, or, as Josephus (Ant. 15:9, section 6) states, brought from Egypt by the S.S.W. wind. It chokes the streams in places, and forms marshes which might be utilized for promoting fertility. The plain of Gennesaret is richer land, owing to the streams flowing all the year round, and to the decay of volcanic rocks on the surrounding heights. Esdraelon plain is watered by the finest springs of Palestine, and has a volcanic soil. Asphalt or bitumen is only met with in the valley of the Jordan, and in fragments floating on the water or at the shore of the Dead Sea. Bituminous limestone probably exists in thick strata near neby Musa; thence bitumen escapes from its lower beds into the Dead Sea, and there accumulates till, becoming accidentally detached, it rises to the surface. Sulphur is found on the W., S., and S.E. shore of the Dead Sea, a sulfurous crust spreading over the beach. Niter is rare. Rock salt abounds. The Khasm Usdum, a mound at the S. of the Dead Sea, is five miles and a half long by two and a half broad, and several hundred feet high; the lower part rock salt, the upper Sulphate of lime and salt with alumina.
BOTANY. Palestine is the southern and eastern limit of the Asia Minor flora, one of the richest in the earth, and contains many trees and herbs as the pine, oak, elder, bramble, dogrose, hawthorn, which do not grow further S. and E. owing to the dryness and heat of the regions beyond hilly Judaea. Persian forms appear on the eastern frontier, Arabian and Egyptian on the southern. Arabian and Indian tropical plants of about 100 different kinds are the remarkable anomaly in the torrid depression of the Jordan and Dead Sea. The general characteristics, owing to the geographical position and mountains of Asia Minor and Syria, are Mediterranean European, not Asiatic. Palestine was once covered with forests which still remain on the mountains, but in the lower grounds have disappeared or given place to brush wood. Herbaceous plants deck the hills and lowlands from Christmas to June, afterward the heat withers all. The mountains, unlike our own, have no alpine or arctic plants, mosses, lichens, or ferns. Volney objected to the sacred history on the ground of Judaea’s present barrenness, whereas Scripture represents it as flowing with milk and honey; but this is strong testimony for its truth, for the barrenness is the fulfillment of Scripture prophecies. Besides our English fruits, the apple, vine, pear, apricot, plum, mulberry, and fig, there are dates, pomegranates, oranges, limes, banana, almond, prickly pear, and pistachio nut, etc.; out no gooseberry, strawberry, raspberry, currant, cherry, Besides our cereals and vegetables there are cotton, millet, rice, sugar cane, maize, melons, cummin, sweet potato, tobacco, yam, etc.
Three principal regions are distinguishable: (1) the western half of Syria and Palestine, resembling the flora of Spain; (2) the desert and eastern half, resembling the flora of western India and Persia; (3) the middle and upper mountain regions, the flora of which resembles that of northern Europe.
The trans-jordanic region stretching to Mesopotamia is botanically unexplored. (1) In western, Syria and the commonest tree is the Quercus pseudococcifera (see OAK ), then the pistacia, the carob tree (Ceratona siliqua) (see HUSKS ), the oriental plane, the sycamore fig, Arbutus Andrachne, Zizyphus spina Christi (Christ’s thorn), tamarisk, the blossoming oleander along the banks of streams and lakes, gum cistus, the caper plant. The vine is cultivated in all directions; the enormous bunches of grapes at Eshcol are still fatuous; those near Hebron are so long as to reach the ground when hung on a stick resting between two men’s shoulders. (See OLIVE and see FIG thereon.) Of more than 2,000 plants in this botanical division, 500 are British wild flowers. Legum nosae abound in all situations. Of the Compositae, centauries and thistles. The hills of Galilee and Samaria are perfumed with the Labiatae, marjoram, thyme, lavender, sage, etc. Of Cruciferae, the giant mustard and rose of Jericho. Of Umbelliferae, the fennels. Of the Caryophylleae, pinks and sabonaria. Of Boragineae, the beautiful echiums, anchusas, and onosmas. Of Scrophularineae, veronica and vebascum. The grasses seldom form a sward as in humid and colder countries; the pasture in the East is afforded by herbs and herbaceous shrubs. The Arundo donax, Saccharum, Aegyptiacum, and Erianthus Rarennoe are gigantic in size, and bear silky flower plumes of great beauty.
Of Liliaceae there is a beautiful variety, tulips, fritillaries, and squills. The Violaceae and Resaceae (except the Poterium spinosum) and Lobeliaeceae are scarce, the Geraniaceae beautiful and abundant, also the Campauulaceae, Euphorbiaceae, and Convolvuli. Ferns are scarce, owing to the dryness of the climate. The papyrus is the most remarkable of all.
Once it grew along the Nile, but now it grows nowhere in Africa N. of the tropics. Syria is its only habitat besides, except one spot in Sicily. It forms tufts of triangled smooth stems, six to ten feet high, crowned by atop of pendulous threads; it abounds by the lake of Tiberius. The Cucurbitaceae abound, including gourds, pumpkins, the colocynth apple which yields the drug, and the squirting cucumber. The landscape in spring is one mass of beauty with adonis, the Ranunculus Asiaticus, phloxes, mallows, scabicea, orchis; narcissus, iris, gladiolus, crocuses, colchicum, star of Bethlehem, etc. (2) The difference of the flora of eastern Syria and Palestine from the western appears strikingly in going down from Olivet to the Dead Sea. In the valleys W. and S. of Jerusalem there are dwarf oaks, pistacia, smilax, arbutus rose, bramble, and Cratoegus Aronia; the last alone is on Olivet.
Not one of these appears eastward. Toward the Dead Sea salsolas, Capparideae, rues, tamarisks, etc., appear. In the sunken valley of the Jordan the Zizyphus spina Christi, the Balanites Aegyptiaca yielding the zuk oil, the Ochradenus baccatus, the Acacia Furnesiana with fragrant yellow flowers, the mistletoe Loranthus acacioe with flaming scarlet flowers, the Alhagi Maurorum the prickly Solanum Sodomoeum with yellow fruit called the Dead Sea apple. On the Jordan banks the Populus Euphratica, found all over central Asia but not W. of Jordan. In the saline grounds Atriplex halimus, statices (sea pinks), salicornias. Other tropical plants are Zygophyllum coccineum, Astragali, Cassias, and Nitraria. In Engedi valley alone Sida nautica and Asiatica, Calotropis procera, Amberboa, Batatas littoralis, Aerva Javanica, Pluchea Dioscoridis, and Salvadora Persica (see MUSTARD ), found as far S. as Abyssinia and E. as India, but not W. or N. of the Dead Sea. In reascending from the N.W. shore on reaching the level of the Mediterranean the Poterium spinosum, anchusa, pink, of the Mediterranean coast, are seen, but no trees until the longitude of Jerusalem is reached. (3) Middle and upper mountains region. Above the height of 5,000 feet the Quercus cerris of S. Europe, the Q. Ehrenbergii or Castanaefolia, Q. Toza, Q. Libani, Q. manifera are found, junipers, and cedars. The dry climate and sterile limestone, and the warm age that succeeded the glacial (the moraines of the cedar valley attesting the former existence: of glaciers), account for the flora of Lebanon being unlike to that of the Alps of Europe, India, and N. America. The most boreal forms are restricted to clefts of rocks or the neighborhood of snow, above 9,000 feet, namely, Drabas, Arenaria, one Potentilla, a Festuca, an Arabis, and the Oxyria reniformis, the only arctic type surviving the glacial period. The prevalent forms up to the summit are astragali, Acantholimon statices, and the small white Nocea.
ZOOLOGY. Palestine epitomizes the natural features of all regions, mountain and desert, temperate and tropical, seacoast and interior, pastoral, arable and volcanic; nowhere are the typical fauna of so many regions and zones brought together. This was divinely ordered that the Bible might be the book of mankind, not of Israel alone. The bear of Lebanon (Ursus Syriacus) and the gazelle of the desert, the wolf of the N. and the leopard (Leopardus varius in the central mountains) of the tropics; the falcons, linnets, and buntings of England, and the Palestine sun bird (Cinnyris osea), the grackle of the glen (Amydrus Tristramii), “the glossy starling” in the Kedron gorge (whose music rolls like that of the organ bird of Australia, a purely African type), the jay of Palestine, and the Palestine nightingale (Icos xanthopygos), the sweetest songster of the country. Of 322 species of birds noted by Tristram, 79 are common to the British isles, 260 are in European lists, 31 of eastern Africa, 7 of eastern Asia,4 of northern Asia,4 of Russia, 27 peculiar to Palestine. He obtained a specimen of ostrich (Struthio camelus) from the Belka E. of the Dead Sea.
Jackals and foxes abound, the hyena and wolf are not numerous. (See LION thereon.) Of the pachyderms, the wild boar (Sus scrofa) on Tabor and Little Hermon, also the Syrian hyrax. (See CONEY .) A kind of squirrel (Sciurus Syriacus) on Lebanon, the Syrian and the Egyptian hare, the jerboa (Dipus Aegyptius, the porcupine, the short-tailed field mouse, and rats, etc., represent the Rodentia. The gazelle is the antelope of Palestine.
The fallow deer is not uncommon. The Persian ibex Canon Tristram found S. of Hebron. (See UNICORN as to the wild ox, urus, or bison.) The buffalo is used for draught and plowing. The ox is small. The sheep is the broad tailed. Of reptiles: the stellio lizard, which the Turks kill as they think that it mimics them saying prayers; the chameleon; the gecko (Tarentola); the Greek tortoise. Of serpents and snakes, the Naia, Coluber, and Cerastes Hasselquistii, etc. Large frogs. Of fish in the sea of Galilee the binny, a bird of barbel, is the most common. The fish there resemble those of the Nile. The land mollusks are very numerous, in the N. the genus Clausilia and opaque bulimi. In the S. and hills of Judah the genus Helix like that of Egypt and the African Sahara. In the valley of Jordan the bulimus. No mollusk can exist in the Dead Sea owing to its bitter saltiness.
The butterflies of southern Europe are represented in Sharon; the Apollo of the Alps is represented on Olivet by the Parnassius Apollinis. The Thais and Glorious Vanessa abound.
CLIMATE. January (temperature average 49 degrees F., greatest cold degrees F.) is the coldest month; July and August the hottest (average degrees F.; greatest heat in shade, 92 degrees F.; in sun, 148 degrees F.).
The mean annual temperature is 65 degrees F. The temperature and seasons resemble California. A sea breeze from the N.W. from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. mitigates the four months’ midsummer heat. The khamsin or sirocco blows in February, March, and April. When it comes from the E. it darkens the air and fills everything with fine dust. Snow often falls in January and February ( Psalm 68:14; Isaiah 55:10; 2 Samuel 23:20); but plants do not need shelter from the frost. The average fall of rain at Jerusalem is 61.6 inches; whereas the London mean is only 25. Rain comes most from S. or S.W. ( Luke 12:54) It begins in October or early in November, and continues to the end of February or middle of March, rarely to the end of April. Not a continuous rain, but a succession of showers or storms with intervals of fine weather for a few weeks in December and January. A drought of three months before harvest is fatal to the crops ( Amos 4:7). None falls from April to October or November. Thus but two seasons are specified, “winter and summer,” “cold and heat,” “seedtime and harvest.” But heavy saturating dews fall in summer, and thick fogs often prevail at night. In Jericho and the Ghor, sunk so deep below the sea level, the heat is much greater, owing to the absence of breeze, the enclosure by heights, the sandy soil, and the earth’s internal heat; the harvest is a month in advance of that of the highland. The seacoast lowland has the heat mitigated by sea breeze, but it is hotter than the uplands.
The Bible nomenclature of places still exists almost unchanged. Israel accepted it front the Canaanites; as is proved by the correspondence between it as recorded in Joshua and the nomenclature in the lists and conquests of Thothmes III. Thus the modern fellaheen seem to be the mixed descendants of the old Canaanites.
PALMTREE tamar . The Phoenix dactylifera, the date palm; for which Palestine was famous, as appears from the many names derived from it. Grows best at “fountains” ( Exodus 15:27; Numbers 33:9 see ELIM , Deuteronomy 2:8 see ELATH . see JERICHO was “the city of palmtrees” ( Deuteronomy 34:3; Judges 1:16; 3:13; 2 Chronicles 28:15). (See HAZEZON TAMAR or see ENGEDI ).BAAL TAMAR ( Judges 20:33).TAMAR the last town of Judaea, by the Dead Sea ( Ezekiel 47:19); Robinson makes its site El-Milh between Hebron and wady Muse. ForTADMOR ( 2 Chronicles 8:4) in 1 Kings 9:18 the best reading is Tamar, “the palm city,” Roman “Palmyra,” on an oasis of the Syrian desert, in the caravan route between Damascus and the Euphrates.BETHANY means “house of dates”; thence the multitude took the palm branches to honor Christ ( John 12:13), and from Olivet the people under Nehemiah ( Nehemiah 8:15) took palms, the tree named in instituting the feast of tabernacles ( Leviticus 23:40). Phoenicia ( Acts 11:19) takes its name from the palm; compare Phenice in Crete, Acts 27:12. From the uprightness and beauty of the palm the name Tamar was applied to women (Song 7:7; Genesis 38:6; 2 Samuel 13:1; 14:27).
The walls, doors, bases and posts of the temples of Solomon and Ezekiel ( Ezekiel 40:16,22,26,31,34,37; 41:18-20,25,26; 1 Kings 6:29,32,35; 7:36) were decorated with palmtrees in relief. Rigid motionless uprightness is the point of comparison to the pagan idols in Jeremiah 10:4,5. “The righteous shall flourish like the palmtree” ( Psalm 92:12); full of the “oil” of grace ever “fresh” ( Psalm 92:10), looking calmly down on the world below and bearing its precious fruit for generations. The psalm refers to the church in holy convocation on the Sabbath (title). The tabernacle is alluded to, the meeting place between God and His people; the oil-fed candlestick had the form of a tree with flowers and fruits. The palm denotes the saint’s spiritual beauty, ever fresh joy, and fruitfulness; his orderly upright aspect, perpetual verdure, rising from earth toward heaven. Also the elastic fibber sending it upward, however loaded with weights and agitated by winds, symbolizes the believer sitting already in heavenly places, in spite of earthly burdens ( Colossians 3:1,2; Ephesians 2:6; Philippians 3:20; 4:6; Acts 20:23,24). Rough to the touch, encased below in dry bark, but fruitful and green above; so the saint despised below, beautiful above, straitened with many trials here, but there bearing fruit before God unto everlasting life ( 2 Corinthians 4:8-18). The “great multitude of all nations before the Lamb with palms in their hands” are antitypical to that which escorted Christ at His triumphal entry ( Revelation 7:9, etc.). The palm symbolizes their joyful triumph after having come out of “the great tribulation.” The palm was carried with willows and thick trees (rabbinically called lulab ) in the hand at the feast of tabernacles, the thanksgiving for the ingathered fruits, and the commemoration of Israel’s 40 years’ sojourn in tabernacles in the wilderness. The earthly feast shall be renewed in commemoration of Israel’s wilderness-like dispersion and sojourn among the nations ( Zechariah 14:16). The final and heavenly antitype is Revelation 7:9, etc.
The palm is dioecious, i.e. the male stamens and female pistils are on different trees. Fertilization, or impregnating the female plant with the pollen of the male, is effected by insects or artificially. In Song 7:8 the “daughters of Jerusalem,” no longer content with admiring, resolve, in spite of the height of the fruit at the utmost top of the palm, and the difficulty of climbing the stem, bore for a great height, to “take hold of the boughs” with their crown of fruit ( Psalm 34:8). The palm grows from 30 to 80 feet, does not bear fruit for the first six or seven years, but will bear for a hundred ( Psalm 92:14). Slowly, but steadily and enduringly, the average crop is 100 pounds a year. The Arabs are said to have designations for the palm and to enumerate 360 uses of it. The abortive fruit and date stones ground the camels eat. Of the leaves they make couches, baskets, bags, mats, brushes, fly flaps; from the trunk cages and fences; from the fibber of the leaves, thread for cordage; from the sap collected by cutting the head off, and scooping a hollow in the stem, a spirituous liquor. The pilgrims to Palestine used to bring home palms, from whence they were called “palmers.” Vespasian’s coin bore the palm and Zion as a woman sitting sadly beneath, and the legend “Judaea captive” (see p. 405). Once the prevalent fruit tree, it now is nowhere in Palestine except in the Philistine plain.
PALSY Paralysis affecting part of the body. The “grievously tormented” ( Matthew 8:6) refers to the convulsions, foamings, and heavy breathings of the sufferer, giving the appearance of torment, whether himself conscious of pain or not.
PALTI Numbers 13:9.
PALTIEL Numbers 34:26.
PAMPHYLIA Southern province of Asia Minor, bounded on the N. by Pisidia, from which it was separated by the Taurus range, W. by Lycia, E. by Cilicia, S. by the Levant. In Paul’s time it with Lycia formed a province under the emperor Claudius. His “peril of robbers” was in crossing Taurus, the Pisidians being notorious for robbery. He visited Pamphylia at his first missionary tour, sailing from Paphos in Cyprus to Perga in Pamphylia on the river Cestrus, where Mark forsook him ( Acts 13:13; 15:38). They stayed only a short time then, but on their return front the interior “they preached the word” ( Acts 14:24,25). Then they “went down (sea being lower than land) to Attalia,” the chief seaport of Pamphylia. The minute accuracy of the geographical order, confirming genuineness, is observable, when, in coasting westward, he is said to “sail over the sea of Cilicia, and Pamphylia.” Also Acts 13:13,14, “from Perga to Antioch in Pisidia,” and Acts 14:24, “after Pisidia ... to Pamphylia,” in returning to the coast from inland.
PANNAG Grotius identifies with Phoenice or Canaan ( Ezekiel 27:17). “Judah and Israel supplied thy market with wheat” The Septuagint translated “cassia,” Syriac translated “millet.” Pannaga in Sanskrit is an aromatic plant (compare Genesis 43:11).
PAPHOS A town in the western end of Cyprus, as Salamis was in the E. Paul passed through the isle from Salamis to Paphos ( Acts 13:6-13.) Here Barnabas and Saul were instrumental in converting Sergius Paulus the proconsul, in spite of see ELYMAS ’ opposition. Saul is here called Paul when “filled with the Holy Spirit” he inflicted blindness from “the hand of the Lord” upon the sorcerer, and thenceforth became more prominent than Barnabas.
Here Aphrodite or Venus was said to have risen from the foam of the sea.
PARABLE Hebrew maashaal , Greek parabolee , a placing side by side or comparing earthly truths, expressed, with heavenly truths to be understood (see FABLE ). The basis of parable is that man is made in the image of God, and that there is a law of continuity of the human with the divine. The force of parable lies in the real analogies impressed by the Creator on His creatures, the physical typifying the higher moral world. “Both kingdoms develop themselves according to the same laws; Jesus’ parables are not mere illustrations, but internal analogies, nature becoming a witness for the spiritual world; whatever is found in the earthly exists also in the heavenly kingdom.” (Lisco.)
The parables, earthly in form heavenly in spirit, answer to the parabolic character of His own manifestation. Jesus’ purpose in using parables is judicial, as well as didactic, to discriminate between the careless and the sincere. In His earlier teaching, as the Sermon on the Mount, He taught plainly and generally without parables; but when His teaching was rejected or misunderstood, He in the latter half of His ministry judicially punished the unbelieving by parabolic veiling of the truth ( Matthew 13:11-16), “therefore speak I to them in parables, because they seeing see not ... but blessed are your eyes, for they see,” etc. Also Matthew 13:34,35. The disciples’ question ( Matthew 13:10), “why speakest Thou unto them in parables?” shows that this is the first formal beginning of His parabolic teaching. The parables found earlier are scattered and so plain as to be rather illustrations than judicial veilings of the truth ( Matthew 7:24-27; 9:16; 12:25; Mark 3:23; Luke 6:39). Not that a merciful aspect is excluded even for the heretofore carnal hearers. The change of mode would awaken attention, and judgment thus end in mercy, when the message of reconciliation addressed to them first after Jesus’ resurrection ( Acts 3:26) would remind them of parables not understood at the time.
The Holy Spirit would “bring all things to their remembrance” ( John 14:26). When explained, the parables would be the clearest illustration of truth. The parable, which was to the carnal a veiling, to the receptive was a revealing of the truth, not immediate but progressive ( Proverbs 4:18).
They were a penalty era blessing according to the hearer’s state: a darkening to those who loved darkness; enshrining the truth (concerning Messiah’s spiritual kingdom so different from Jewish expectations) from the jeer of the scoffer, and leaving something to stimulate the careless afterward to think over. On the other hand, enlightening the diligent seeker, who asks what means this parable? and is led so to “understand all parables” ( Mark 4:13; Matthew 15:17; 16:9,11), and at last to need no longer this mode but to have all truth revealed plainly ( John 16:25).
The truths, when afterward explained first by Jesus, then by His Spirit ( John 14:26), would be more definitely and indelibly engraven on their memories. About 50 out of a larger number are preserved in the Gospels ( Mark 4:33). Each of the three synoptical Gospels preserves some parable peculiar to itself; John never uses the word parable but “proverb” or rather brief “allegory,” parabolic saying (paroimia ). Parabolic sayings, like the [paroimia ] in John ( John 10:1,6-18; 16:25; 15:1-8), occur also in Matthew 15:15; Luke 4:23; 6:39; Mark 3:23, “parable” in the sense “figure” or type, Hebrews 9:9; 11:19 Greek Fable introduces brutes and transgresses the order of things natural, introducing improbabilities resting on fancy. Parable does not, and has a loftier significance; it rests on the imagination, introducing only things probable.
The allegory personifies directly ideas or attributes. The thing signifying and the thing signified are united together, the properties and relations of one being transferred to the other; instead of being kept distinct side by side, as in the parable; it is a prolonged metaphor or extended simile; it never names the object itself; it may be about other than religious truths, but the parable only about religious truth. The parable is longer carried out than the proverb, and not merely by accident and occasionally, but necessarily, figurative and having a similitude. The parable is often an expanded proverb, and the proverb a condensed parable. The parable expresses some particular fact, which the simile does not. In the fable the end is earthly virtues, skill, prudence, etc., which have their representatives in irrational creation; if men be introduced, they are represented from their mere animal aspect.
The rabbis of Christ’s time and previously often employed parable, as Hillel, Shammai, the Gemara, Midrash (Lightfoot, Hor. Hebrew, Matthew 13:3); the commonness of their use was His first reason for employing them, He consecrated parables to their highest end. A second reason was, the untutored masses relish what is presented in the concrete and under imagery, rather than in the abstract. Even the disciples, through Jewish prejudices, were too weak in faith impartially to hear gospel truths if presented in naked simplicity; the parables secured their assent unawares.
The Pharisees, hating the truth, became judicially hardened by that vehicle which might have taught them it in a guise least unpalatable. As in the prophecies, so in parables, there was light enough to guide the humble, darkness enough to confound the willfully blind ( John 9:39; Psalm 18:26). A third reason was, gospel doctrines could not be understood fully before the historical facts on which they rested had been accomplished, namely, Jesus’ death and resurrection. Parables were repositories of truths not then understood, even when plainly told ( Luke 18:34), but afterward comprehended in their manifold significance, when the Spirit brought all Jesus’ words to their remembrance. The veil was so transparent as to allow the spiritual easily to see the truth underneath; the unspiritual saw only the sacred drapery of the parable in which He wrapped the pearl so as not to cast it before swine. “Apples of gold in pictures (frames) of silver.”
The second, the position of mankind relatively to Satan’s kingdom. The third and fourth, the greatness of the gospel kingdom contrasted with its insignificant beginning. The fifth and sixth, the inestimable value of the kingdom. The seventh, the mingled state of the church on earth continuing to the end. The first four parables have a mutual connection ( Matthew 13:3,24,31,33), and were spoken to the multitude on the shore; then Matthew 13:34 marks a break. On His way to the house He explains the parable of the sower to the disciples; then, in the house, the tares ( Matthew 13:36); the three last parables ( Matthew 13:44-52), mutually connected by the thrice repeated “again,” probably in private. The seven form a connected totality. The mustard and leaven are repeated in a different connection ( Luke 13:18-21). Seven denotes completeness; they form a perfect prophetic series: the sower, the seedtime; the tares, the secret growth of corruption; the mustard and leaven, the propagation of the gospel among princes and in the whole world; the treasure, the hidden state of the church ( Psalm 83:3); the pearl, the kingdom prized above all else; the net, the church’s mixed state in the last age and the final separation of bad from good.
The second group of parables are less theocratic, and more peculiarly represent Christ’s sympathy with all men, and their consequent duties toward Him and their fellow men. The two debtors ( Luke 7:41), the merciless servant (Matthew 18), the good Samaritan ( Luke 10:30), the friend at midnight ( Luke 11:5), the rich fool ( Luke 12:16), the figtree ( Luke 13:6), the great supper ( Luke 14:16), the lost sheep, piece of silver, son (Luke 15; Matthew 18:12), the unjust steward ( Luke 16:1), Lazarus, etc. ( Luke 16:19), unjust judge ( Luke 18:2), Pharisee and publican ( Luke 18:9), all in see LUKE , agreeable to his Gospel’s aspect of Christ. Thirdly, toward the close of His ministry, the theocratic parables are resumed, dwelling on the final consummation of the kingdom of God. The pound ( Luke 19:12), two sons ( Matthew 21:28), the vineyard ( Matthew 21:33), marriage ( Matthew 22:2); the ten virgins, talents, sheep and goats (Matthew 25). Matthew, being evangelist of the kingdom, has the largest number of the first and third group. Mark, the Gospel of Jesus’ acts, has (of the three) fewest of the parables, but alone has the parable of the grain’s silent growth ( Mark 4:26). John, who soars highest, has no parable strictly so-called, having reached that close communion with the Lord wherein parables have no place. For a different reason, namely, incapacity to frame them, the apocryphal Gospels have none.
INTERPRETATION. Jesus’ explanation of two parables, the sower and the tares, gives a key for interpreting other parables. There is one leading thought round which as center the subordinate parts must group themselves. As the accessories, the birds, thorns, heat, etc., had each a meaning, so we must in other parables try to find the spiritual significance even of details. The mistakes some have made are no reason why we should not from Scripture seek an explanation of accessories. The fulfillment may be more than single, applying to the church and to the individual at once, both experimental and prophetic. But (1) The analogies must be real, not imaginary, and subordinate to the main lesson of the parable. (2) The parable in its mere outward form must be well understood, e.g. the relation of love between the Eastern shepherd and sheep ( 2 Samuel 12:3, an Old Testament parable, as the vineyard Isaiah 5 also) to catch the point of the parable of the lost sheep. (3) The context also introducing the parable, as Luke 15:1,2 is the starting point of the three parables, the lost sheep, etc.; so Luke 16:14-18 (compare John 8:9) introduces and gives the key to the parable of the rich man and Lazurus. (4) Traits which, if literally interpreted, would contradict Scripture, are coloring; e.g. the number of the wise virgins and the foolish being equal; compare Matthew 7:13,14. But there may be a true interpretation of a trait, which, if misinterpreted, contradicts Scripture, e.g. the hired laborers all alike getting the penny, not that there are no degrees of rewards ( John 1:8) but the gracious gift of salvation is the same to all; the key is Matthew 19:27-30; 20:16. So the selling the debtor’s wife and children ( Matthew 18:25) is mere coloring from Eastern usage, for God does not consign wife and children to hell for the husband’s and father’s sins.
PARADISE (See EDEN ). From Sanskrit paradesa,” a foreign ornamental garden” attached to a mansion ( Nehemiah 2:8; Ecclesiastes 2:5 “gardens,” Song 4:13 “orchard,” pardes ). An earthly paradise can never make up for losing a heavenly paradise ( Revelation 2:7; 22:1,2,14). Compare the Holy Land turned from a garden of Eden into a wilderness, with Israel’s wilderness made like Eden the garden of Jehovah ( Numbers 24:6; Joel 2:3; Isaiah 51:3; Ezekiel 36:35; contrast Ezekiel 28:13).
Paradise is the blessed resting place with Jesus to which the penitent thief’s soul was received until the resurrection of the body ( Luke 23:43). Paul in a trance was caught up even to the third heaven, into paradise ( 2 Corinthians 12:2,4). In Eden Adam and Eve lived solitary, exhibiting the perfection of the individual. The heavenly home shall be not merely a garden, but a city, the perfect communion of saints ( Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 21; 22). Earthly cities, Nineveh, Babylon, and Thebes, rested on mere force; Athens and Corinth on intellect, art, and refinement, divorced from morality; Tyre on gain; even Jerusalem on religious privileges more than on love, truth, righteousness, and holiness of heart before God. But the coming city shall combine all that was excellent of the first Eden, with the perfect polity that rests on Christ the chief corner stone, in which symmetry, grace, power, and the beauty of holiness shall shine for ever.
PARAN EL PARAN. The Et Tih (the wanderings) desert, N. of the wilderness of Sinai. Israel passed from the latter into Paran on their way N. toward see KADESH ( Numbers 10:12; 13:26). Paran comprises one third of the peninsula which lies between Egypt and Canaan, the eastern half of the limestone plateau which forms the center of the peninsula. Bounded on the N. by southern Canaan; on the W. by the brook or river of Egypt, parting it from Shur wilderness, the other half of the plateau; on the S. by the great sand belt sweeping across the peninsula in a concave northward line from gulf to gulf, and forming the demarcation between it and Sinai; on the E. by the northern part of the Elanitic gulf, and the Arabah dividing it from the Edom mountains. The Zin (not Sin) wilderness, Canaan’s ( Numbers 34:3) immediate boundary, was its N.E. extremity, from whence Kadesh is spoken of as in Zin wilderness or in Paran ( Numbers 13:26; 20:1.) In 1 Samuel 25:1,2 the southern parts of Canaan are called Paran. The beautiful wady Feiran is probably distinct (Speaker’s Commentary, Numbers 10:12). Phara, a Roman station between the heads of the two gulfs, takes its name from Paran. Paran is a dreary waste of chalk covered with coarse gravel, black flint, and drifting sand, crossed by watercourses and low horizontal hills. Not so wild looking as the Arabah, nor yet relieved by such fertile valleys as lie amidst the granite mountains of Sinai.
Vegetation would probably cover the level plains, which have red clay soil in parts, but for the reckless destruction of trees for charcoal, so that the winter rains run at once to waste. Ishmael’s dwelling ( Genesis 21:21,14; compare Genesis 14:6). “Mount Paran” in Deuteronomy 33:2 is the range forming the northern boundary of the desert of Sinai. In Deuteronomy 1:1 Paran is either Mount Paran or a city mentioned, by Eusebius and Jerome near the mountain. The Paran of Hadad the Edomite ( 1 Kings 11:18) lay to N.W. or the Egyptian side of Horeb, between Midian and Egypt.
Capt. Burton has found extensive mineral districts in Midian, the northern Being little worked, the southern with many traces of ancient labor, shafting and tunneling. Silver and copper abound in northern, gold in southern, and turquoise in northern southern, and central Midian. How strikingly accurate are Scripture details! We should never have guessed that a nomadic people like the Midianites would have wrought mines; but research confirms fully the truth of Scripture, which represents them as having ornaments and tablets of gold, and chains for their camels’ necks.
The Haj route from Egypt by Elath to Mecca still runs through the Paran desert. Hadad would take that road to Egypt, “taking men with them out of Paran” as guides through the desert. Seir (Edom and Teman), Sinai, and Paran are comparatively adjacent, and therefore are associated together in God’s giving the law ( Habakkuk 3:3), as in Deuteronomy 33:2.
PARBAR 1 Chronicles 26:16,18. A place or outbuilding with” chambers” for laying up temple goods (Keil), on the W. or hinder side of the temple enclosure, the same side as the causeway and gate of Shallechoth, on the S. side of the latter. The Parvarim in 2 Kings 23:11, “suburbs,” were probably on the E. side, where “the horses of the sun” would be kept in full view of the rising sun, not in the deep valley on the W. where Parbar was.
A portico or porch (Gesenius). The rabbis translate, it “the outside place.”
Josephus mentions a “suburb” in the valley separating the W. wall of the temple from the city opposite, i.e. the S. end of the Tyroproeon valley, which lies between the wailing place and the modern Zion.
PARMASHTA Esther 9:9.
PARNACH Numbers 34:25.
PARSHANDATHA Esther 9:7. Persian frashnadata, “given by prayer.”
PARTHIANS Acts 2:9; i.e. Jews settled in Parthia. Parthia proper lay S. of Hyreania, E. of Media; but in the apostles’ time the Parthian empire stretched from India to the Tigris and from the Kharesm desert to the southern ocean.
Arsaces (256 B.C.), revolting from the Seleucid successors of Alexander the Great, founded it. Rising out of the ruins of the Persian empire it was the only power that Rome dreaded, the Roman Crassus having been defeated by Parthians at Carrhae (Haran). Selencia was a chief city, also Hecatompylon. Ecbatana was their kings’ summer residence. Mithridates I ruled from the Indian Koosh to the Euphrates. Horsemen and bowmen were their chief force, expert in terribly injuring any enemy who durst follow them in flight. In A.D. 226 the last Arsacid yielded the kingdom to the Persians revolting under Artaxerxes. They were Scythic Tatars of the Turanian race. The arch at Tackt-i-Bostan shows they were not unskillful in art.
PARTRIDGE kore’ . 1 Samuel 26:20, “a partridge in the mountains.” Jeremiah 17:11, “the partridge sitteth on eggs and hatcheth them not” (“sitteth on eggs which it has not laid,” Henderson), typifying the profitlessness of unlawful gain ( Psalm 39:6; 49:16,17; 55:23) in the end. Breeding in the desert mountain regions it makes its rude nest, a hole scratched in the earth and lined with dried leaves, and deposits 15 eggs. Like many of the rasorial birds they lay in one another’s nests, and a different bird hatches from the bird who laid the eggs. This is Jeremiah’s reference, or rather to its nest being on the ground, liable to be trodden under foot or robbed by carnivorous animals, notwithstanding all the beautiful maneuvers of the parent bird to save the brood. Jehoiakim’s covetous grasping acts are here glanced at. [Kore’ ] is from Hebrew “call,” referring to the call of the cock bird, as German rebhuhn is from rufen “to call.” [Kore’ ] imitates the call note of the Caccabis saxatilis, “Greek partridge,” which frequents rocky, brushwood covered, ground. The Ammopedix Heyii is the partridge of the mountains, often hunted from place to place, until being fatigued it is knocked down by the sticks, zerwattys, of the Arabs (Shaw Tray. 1:425); familiar to David in his camping near Adullam cave, and less apt to take wing than the Caccabis saxatilis. So Saul sought, by surprising David in his haunts from time to time, at last to destroy him.
PARUAH 1 Kings 4:17.
From Sanskrit paru “hill,” the two hills in Arabia mentioned by Ptolemy (vi. 7, section 11, Hitzig). Abbreviated front Sepharvaim, which stands in Syriac version and the targum of Jonathan for Sephar (Zaphar a seaport on the coast of Hadramaut; Genesis 10:30, Knobel). From Sanskrit purva,” eastern” (Gesenius, Thessalonians 2:1125).
PASACH 1 Chronicles 7:33.
PASHUR (“prosperity everywhere”) (Gesenius). 1. Jeremiah 20:1-6. A priest, Immer’s son, of the 16th order ( Chronicles 9:12), “chief governor in the house of the Lord.” There were in all: 16 of Eleazar’s sons, eight of Ithamar’s, answering ( Luke 22:4) to the captains of the temple ( 1 Chronicles 24:14). Smote and put in the stocks Jeremiah for foretelling Jerusalem’s desolation. On the following day Jeremiah, when brought out of the stocks, foretold that he should be not Pashur but see MAGOR-MISSABIB , a terror to himself and his friends; he and all in his house, and all his friends to whom he had “prophesied lies” ( Jeremiah 5:31; 18:18), should go into captivity and die in Babylon. 2. Jeremiah 21:1,9; 38:1,2-6; 1 Chronicles 24:9,14; Nehemiah 11:12. The house was a chief one in Nehemiah’s time ( Nehemiah 7:41; 10:3; 12:2). He was sent by Zedekiah to consult Jeremiah on the issue of Nebuchadnezzar’s threatened attack, and received a reply foreboding Judah’s overthrow. Subsequently, after the respite caused by Pharaoh Hophra had ended and the Chaldees returned to the siege, Pashur was one who besought the king to kill Jeremiah for weakening the hands of the men of war by dispiriting prophecies, and who cast the prophet into the pit of Malchiah. 3. Jeremiah 38:1.
PASSOVER (See FEASTS ). Pecach ( Exodus 12:11, etc.). The word is not in other Semitic languages, except in passages derived from the Hebrew Bible; the Egyptian word pesht corresponds, “to extend the arms or wings over one protecting him.” Also she’or , “leaven,” answers to Egyptian seri “seething pot,” seru “buttermilk,” Hebrew from shaar something left from the previous mass. Pass-over is not so much passing by as passing so as to shield over; as Isaiah 31:5, “as birds flying so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem, defending also He will deliver it, passing over He will preserve it” ( Matthew 23:37, Greek episunagon , the “epi” expresses the hen’s brooding over her chickens, the “sun” her gathering them together; Ruth 2:12; Deuteronomy 32:11). Lowth, “leap forward to defend the house against the destroying angel, interposing His own person.” Vitringa, “preserve by interposing.” David interceding is the type ( 2 Samuel 24:16); Jehovah is distiller from the destroying angel, and interposes between him and the people while David intercedes. So Hebrews 11:28; Exodus 12:23. Israel’s deliverance front Egyptian bondage and adoption by Jehovah was sealed by the Passover, which was their consecration to Him. Exodus 12:1-14 directs as to the Passover before the exodus, Exodus 12:15-20 as to the seven days’ “feast of unleavened bread” (leaven symbol(sing corruption, as setting the dough in fermentation; excluded therefore from sacrifices, Leviticus 2:11). The Passover was a kind. of sacrament, uniting the nation to God on the ground of God’s grace to them. The slain lamb typified the “Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world” ( John 1:29). The unleavened loaves, called “broad of affliction” ( Deuteronomy 16:3) as reminding them of past affliction, symbolized the new life cleansed from the leaven of the old Egyptian-like nature ( 1 Corinthians 5:8), of which the deliverance from the external Egypt was a pledge to the believing. The sacrifice (for Jehovah calls it “My sacrifice”: Exodus 23:15-18; 34:25) came first; then, on the ground of that, the seven days’ feast of unleavened bread to show they walked in the strength of the pure bread of a new life, in fellowship with Jehovah. Leaven was forbidden in all offerings ( Leviticus 2:4,5; 7:12; 10:12); symbol of hypocrisy and misleading doctrine ( Matthew 16:12; Luke 12:1). The seven stamped the feast with the seal of covenant relationship. The first and seventh days (the beginning and the end comprehending the whole) were sanctified by a holy convocation and suspension of work, worship of and rest in Jehovah, who had created Israel as His own people ( Isaiah 43:1,15-17). From the 14th to the 21st of Nisan. See also Exodus 13:3-10; Leviticus 23:4-14.
In Numbers 9:1-14 God repeats the command for the Passover, in the second year after the exodus; those disqualified in the first month were to keep it in the second month. Talmudists call this “the little Passover,” and say it lasted but one day instead of seven, and the Hallel was not sung during the meal but only when the lamb was slain, and leaven was not put away. In Numbers 28:16-25 the offering for each day is prescribed. In Deuteronomy 16:1-6 directions are given as to its observance in the promised land, with allusion to the voluntary peace offerings (chagigah , “festivity”) or else public offerings ( Numbers 28:17-24; 2 Chronicles 30:22-24; 35:7-13). The [chadigah ] might not be slain on the Sabbath, though the Passover lamb might. The [chagigah ] might be boiled, but the Passover lamb only roasted. This was needed as the Passover had only once been kept in the wilderness (Numbers 9), and for 38 years had been intermitted. Joshua ( Joshua 5:10) celebrated the Passover after circumcising the people at Gilgal.
First celebration. On the 10th of Abib 1491 B.C. the head of each family selected a lamb or a kid, a male of the first year without blemish, if his family were too small to consume it, he joined his neighbor. Not less than ten, generally under 20, but it might be 100, provided each had a portion (Mishna, Pes. 8:7) as large as an olive, formed the company (Josephus, B.
J., 6:9, section 3); Jesus’ party of 13 was the usual number. On the 14th day he killed it at sunset ( Deuteronomy 16:6) “between the two evenings” (margin Exodus 12:6; Leviticus 23:5; Numbers 9:3-5).
The rabbis defined two evenings, the first the afternoon (proia ) of the sun’s declension before sunset, the second (opsia ) began with the setting sun; Josephus (B. J., 6:9, section 3) “from the ninth (three o’clock) to the 11th hour” (five o’clock). The ancient custom was to slay the Passover shortly after the daily sacrifice, i.e. three o’clock, with which hour Christ’s death coincided. Then he took blood in a basin, and with a hyssop sprig sprinkled it (in token of cleansing from Egypt-like defilements spiritually: 1 Peter 1:2; Hebrews 9:22; 10:22) on the lintel and two sideposts of the house door (not to be trodden under; so not on the threshold: Hebrews 10:29). The lamb was roasted whole ( Genesis 22:8, representing Jesus’ complete dedication as a holocaust), not a bone broken ( John 19:36); the skeleton left entire, while the flesh was divided among the partakers, expresses the unity of the nation and church amidst the variety of its members; so 1 Corinthians 10:17, Christ the antitype is the true center of unity. The lintel and doorposts were the place of sprinkling as being prominent to passers by, and therefore chosen for inscriptions ( Deuteronomy 6:9). The sanctity attached to fire was a reason for the roasting with fire; a tradition preserved in the hymns to Agni the fire god in the Rig Veda. Instead of a part only being eaten and the rest burnt, as in other sacrifices, the whole except the blood sprinkled was eaten when roast; typifying Christ’s blood shed as a propitiation, but His whole man hood transfused spiritually into His church who feed on Him by faith, of which the Lord’s supper is a sensible pledge. Eaten with unleavened bread ( 1 Corinthians 5:7,8) and bitter herbs (repentance Zechariah 12:10).
No uncircumcised male was to partake ( Colossians 2:11-13). Each had his loins girt, staff in hand, shoes on his feet; and ate in haste (as we are to be pilgrims, ready to leave this world: 1 Peter 1:13; 2:11; Hebrews 11:13; Luke 12:35,36; Ephesians 6:14,15), probably standing. Any flesh remaining was burnt, and none left until morning. No morsel was carried out of the house.
Jehovah smote the firstborn of man and beast, and so “executed judgment against all the gods of Egypt” ( Exodus 12:12; Numbers 33:3,4), for every nome and town had its sacred animal, bull, cow, goat, ram, cat, frog, beetle, etc. But the sprinkled blood was a sacramental pledge of God’s passing over, i.e. sparing the Israelites. The feast was thenceforth to be kept in “memorial,” and its significance to be explained to their children as “the sacrifice of the Passover (i.e. the lamb, as in Exodus 12:21, ‘kill the Passover,’) to Jehovah” (Hebrew Exodus 12:27). In such haste did Israel go that they packed up in their outer mantle (as the Arab haik or burnous) their kneading troughs containing the dough prepared for the morrow’s provision yet unleavened ( Exodus 12:34). Israel’s firstborn, thus exempted from destruction, became in a special sense Jehovah’s; accordingly their consecration follows in Exodus 13. This is peculiar to the Hebrews; no satisfactory reason for so singular an institution can be given but the Scripture account.
Subsequently ( Leviticus 23:10-14) God directed an omer or sheaf of firstfruits (barley, first ripe, 2 Kings 4:42), a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, with meat offerings, on the morrow after the sabbath (i.e. after the day of holy convocation) to be presented before eating bread or parched grain in the promised land ( Joshua 5:11). If Luke 6:1 mean “the first Sabbath after the second day of unleavened bread,” the day on which the firstfruit sheaf was offered, from whence they counted 50 days to Pentecost, it will be an undesigned coincidence that the disciples should be walking through fields of standing grain at that season, and that the minds of the Pharisees and of Jesus should be turned to the subject of grain at that time (Blunt, Undesigned Coincidences, 22). (But see SABBATICAL YEAR .) The consecration of the firstborn in Exodus 13, naturally connects itself with the consecration of the firstfruits, which is its type. Again these typify further “Christ the firstfruits of them that slept”; also the Spirit, the firstfruits in the believer and earnest of the coming full redemption, namely, of the body ( Romans 8:23); also Israel, the firstfruit of the church ( Romans 11:16; Revelation 14:4), and elect believers ( James 1:18). ”The barley was smitten, for the barley was in the ear ... but the wheat was not smitten, for it was not grown up” ( Exodus 9:31,32). The seasons in Judaea and Egypt. were much the same. Therefore in Deuteronomy 16:9 the direction is “seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the grain,” namely, at the Passover when the wave sheaf was offered, the ceremony from which the feast of weeks was measured. By “grain” the barley harvest is meant: had Moses written “wheat” it would have been impossible to reconcile him with himself; but as “corn” means here barley, all is clear, seven weeks still remaining until wheat harvest, when at Pentecost or the feast of weeks the firstfruit loaves were offered (Blunt, Undesigned Coincidences, 1).
Moreover, the Passover lambs were to be slain at the sanctuary, and their blood sprinkled on the altar, instead of on the lintel and doorposts ( Deuteronomy 16:1-6). The Mishna (Pesachim, 9:5) marks the distinctions between “the Egyptian Passover” and “the perpetual passover.” The lamb was at the first Passover selected on the tenth day of the month (not so subsequently: Luke 22:7-9; Mark 14:12-16); the blood was sprinkled on the lintels and side-posts; the hyssop was used; the meal was eaten in haste; and only for a day was unleavened bread abstained from. The subsequent command to burn the fat on the altar, and that the pure alone should eat ( Numbers 9:5-10; 18:11), and that the males alone should appear ( Exodus 23:17; Deuteronomy 16:16), was unknown at the first celebration; nor was the Hallel sung as afterward ( Isaiah 30:29); nor were there days of holy convocation; nor were the lambs slain at a consecrated place ( Deuteronomy 16:2-7). Devout women, as Hannah and Mary, even in late times attended ( 1 Samuel 1:7; Luke 2:41,42).
The fat was burned by the priests ( Exodus 23:18; 34:25,26), and the blood sprinkled on the altar ( 2 Chronicles 35:11; 30:16). Joy before the Lord was to be the predominant feeling ( Deuteronomy 27:7). The head of the family or anyone ceremonially clean brought the lamb to the sanctuary court, and slew it, or on special occasions gave it to Levites to slay ( 2 Chronicles 30:17). Numbers at Hezekiah’s Passover partook “otherwise than it was written,” “not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary” ( Numbers 9:5-10). Instead therefore of the father of the family slaying the lamb and handing the blood to the priest, to sprinkle on the altar, the Levites did so; also at Josiah’s Passover ( 2 Chronicles 35:6,11). Hezekiah prayed for the unpurified partakers: “the good Jehovah pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God ... though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.” Hezekiah presumes that those out of Ephraim coming to the Passover were sincere in seeking Jehovah the God of their fathers, though they had been unable to purify themselves in time for the Passover. Sincerity of spirit in seeking the Lord is acceptable to Him, even where the strict letter of the law has been unavoidably unfulfilled ( Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:8; Matthew 9:13).
Hezekiah kept the Passover as “the little passover” in the second month, for “they could not keep it” at the regular time, “because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the priests gathered themselves to Jerusalem.” They kept other seven days beside the first seven, (1) because Hezekiah had given so many beasts that there was more than they could use during the ordinary seven days; (2) so many priests bad sanctified themselves as to be able to carry on the altar services with such numerous sacrifices. Josiah’s Passover is the next recorded (2 Chronicles 35). Then Ezra’s (6).
The Pesachim (7:1) say a wooden (pomegranate) spit was thrust lengthwise through the lamb; Justin Martyr says (Trypho, 40) another spit was put crosswise, to which the front feet were attached; so do the modern Samaritans in roasting the Passover lamb; type of the cross, it was roasted thoroughly in an earthen beehive-shaped oven, but not touching the sides, that the roasting might be wholly by fire ( Exodus 12:9; 2 Chronicles 35:6-13). The modern Jews use dry thin biscuits as unleavened bread; a shoulder of lamb thoroughly roasted, instead of a whole one; a boiled egg, symbolizing wholeness; sweet sauce to represent the sort of work in Egypt; a vessel of salt and water (representing the Red Sea) into which they dip their bitter herbs; a cup of wine stands all the night on the table for Elijah ( Malachi 4:5); before filling the guests’ cups a fourth time an interval of dead silence follows, and the door is opened to admit him. The purging away of leaven from the house, and the not eating leavened bread, is emphatically enforced under penalty of cutting off ( Exodus 12:15-20; 13:7). The rabbis say that every corner was searched for leaven in the evening before the 14th Nisan. The bitter herbs (wild lettuces, endive, chicory, or nettles, all articles of Egyptian food: Pesachim 2:6) symbolized Israel’s past bitter affliction, and the sorrow for sin which becomes us in spiritually feeding on the Lamb slain for us ( Luke 22:62). The sauce is not mentioned in the Pentateuch, but in John 13:26; Matthew 26:23.
Called [haroseth ] in the Mishna: of vinegar and water (Bartenora). Some say it was thickened to the consistency of mortar to commemorate Israel’s brick-making hardships in Egypt. Four cups of wine handed round in succession were drunk at the paschal meal (Mishna, Pes. 10:1,7), which the Pentateuch does not mention; usually red, mixed with water (Pes. 7:13). (See Luke 22:17,20; 1 Corinthians 10:16; and see LORD’S SUPPER .) The second cup was filled before the lamb was eaten, and the son ( Exodus 12:26) asked the father the meaning of the Passover; he in reply recounted the deliverance, and explained Deuteronomy 26:5, which was also connected with offering the firstfruits. The third was “the cup of blessing.” The fourth the cup of the Hallel; others make the fourth, or “cup of the Hallel,” the “cup of blessing” answering to “the cup after supper” ( Luke 22:20). Schoettgen says “cup of blessing” was applied to any cup drunk with thanksgiving (compare <19B613> Psalm 116:13). The Hallel consisted of Psalm 113; 114, sung in the early part of the Passover, before the lamb was carved and eaten; Psalm 115--118, after the fourth cup (the greater Hallel sung at times was Psalm 120--138). So the “hymn” sung by Jesus and His apostles ( Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26).
The ancient Israelites sat. But reclining was the custom in our Lord’s time ( Luke 22:14; Matthew 26:20; John 21:20 Greek). A marble tablet found at Cyricus shows the mode of reclining at meals, and illustrate, the language of the Syrophoenician woman, “the dogs eat of the crumbs.”
The inhabitants of Jerusalem accommodated at their houses as many as they could, so that our Lord’s direction to His disciples as to asking for a guestchamber to keep the Passover in was nothing unusual, only His divine prescience is shown in His command ( Matthew 26:18; Mark 14:13-15). Those for whom there was no room in the city camped outside in tents, as the pilgrims at Mecca. In Nero’s reign they numbered, on one occasion, 2,700,000, according to Josephus (B. J. 6:9, section 3); seditions hence arose ( Matthew 26:5; Luke 13:1). After the Passover meal many of the country pilgrims returned to keep the remainder of the feast at their own homes ( Deuteronomy 16:7). The release of a prisoner at the Passover was a Jewish and Roman custom which see PILATE complied with ( Matthew 27:15; John 18:39).
As to the reconciling of the synoptical Gospels, which identify the last supper with the Passover, and John, who seems to make the Passover a day later, probably John 13:1,2 means “before the Passover (i.e. in the early part of the Passover meal) Jesus gave a proof of His love for His own to the end. And during supper” (ginomenou , the Vaticanus, Sinaiticus manuscripts, even if [genomenou ] be read with the Alexandrinus manuscript it means when supper had, begun to be), etc. Again, John 13:29, “buy those things that we have need of against the feast,” refers to the chagigah provisions for the seven days of unleavened bread. The day for sacrificing the [chagigah] was the 15th, then beginning, the first day of holy convocation. The lamb was slain on the 14th, and eaten after sunset, the beginning of the 15th. Also John 18:28, the rulers “went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover,” means that they might go on keeping the Passover, or that they might eat it even yet, though having suffered their proceedings against Christ to prevent their eating it before, or especially that they might eat the [chagigah ] ( Deuteronomy 16:2; 2 Chronicles 35:7-9); the Passover might be eaten by those not yet cleansed ( 2 Chronicles 30:17), but not so the [chagigah ]. Joseph however did not scruple to enter the praetorium and beg Jesus’ body from Pilate ( Mark 15:43). Had the Passover supper not been until that evening ( John 18:28) they might have been purified in good time for it by ablution; but as the feast had begun, and they were about to eat the [chagigah ] (or the Passover lamb itself, which they ought to have eaten in the early part of the night), they could not. Lastly, John 19:14, “the preparation of the passover,” is explained by Mark 15:42, “the preparation, the day before the subbark” in the Passover week; the day of holy convocation, the 15th Nisan, not “before the Passover.” So John 19:31, “the preparation for the sabbath” began the ninth hour of the sixth day of the week (Josephus, Ant. 16:6, section 2). “That sabbath was a high day,” namely, because it was the day (next after the day of holy convocation) on which the omer sheaf was offered, and from which were reckoned the 50 days to Pentecost. It is no valid objection that our Lord in this view was tried and crucified on the day of holy convocation, for on the “great day of the feast” of tabernacles the rulers sent officers to apprehend Jesus ( John 7:32-45). Peter was seized during the Passover ( Acts 12:3,4). They themselves stated as their reason for not seizing Him during the Passover, not its sanctity, but the fear of an uproar among the assembled multitudes ( Matthew 26:5). On the Sabbath itself not only Joseph but the chief priests come to Pilate, probably in the praetorium ( Matthew 27:62). However, Caspari (Chronicles and Geogr.
Introduction Life of Christ) brings arguments to prove Christ did not eat the paschal lamb, but Himself suffered as the true Lamb at the paschal feast. (See JESUS CHRIST .) The last supper and the crucifixion took place the same (Jewish) day. No mention is made of a lamb in connection with Christ’s last supper. Matthew ( Matthew 27:62) calls the day after the crucifixion “the next day that followed the day of preparation.” The phrase, Caspari thinks, implies that “the preparation” was the day preceding not merely the Sabbath but also the first day of the Passover feast.
All the characteristics of sacrifice, as well as the term, are attributed to the Passover. It was offered in the holy place ( Deuteronomy 16:5,6); the blood was sprinkled on the altar, the fat burned ( 2 Chronicles 30:16; 35:11; Exodus 12:27; 23:18; Numbers 9:7; Deuteronomy 16:2,5; 1 Corinthians 5:7). The Passover was the yearly thank offering of the family for the nation’s constitution by God through the deliverance from Egypt, the type of the church’s constitution by a coming greater deliverance. It preserved the patriarchal truth that each head of a family is priest. No part of the victim was given to the Levitical priest, because the father of the family was himself priest. Thus when the nation’s inherent priesthood ( Exodus 19:6) was delegated to one family, Israel’s rights were vindicated by the Passover priesthood of each father ( Isaiah 61:6; 1 Peter 2:5,9). The fact that the blood sprinkled on the altar was at the first celebration sprinkled on the lintel and doorposts of each house attested the sacredness of each family, the spiritual priesthood of its head, and the duty of family worship. Faith moving to obedience was the instrumental mean of the original deliverance ( Hebrews 11:28) and the condition of the continued life of the nation. So the Passover kept in faith was a kind of sacrament, analogous to the Lord’s supper as circumcision was to baptism. The laying up the lamb four days before Passover may allude to the four centuries before the promise to Abram was fulfilled (Genesis 15), typically to Christ’s being marked as the Victim before the actual immolation ( Mark 14:8,10,11). Christ’s blood must be sprinkled on us by the hyssop of faith, else guilt and wrath remain ( Isaiah 53:7; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:18,19). Being first in the religious year, and with its single victim, the Passover stands forth preeminent.
PATARA A city on the S.W. shore of Lycia, near the left bank of the Xanthus and opposite Rhodes ( Acts 21:1,2). Paul coming from Rhodes at the end of his third missionary journey here found a ship going to Phoenicia, and in it completed his voyage. The seat of a bishopric subsequently. The river and harbor are now becoming choked with sand.
PATHROS PATHRUSIM. A district (the Pathyrite nome) of Egypt near Thebes; named from a town called by the Egyptians Ha-Hather or with the article Pha- Hat-her, “the abode of Hather” the Egyptian Venus. Originally independent of Egypt, and ruled by its own kings, In the Mosaic genealogy the Pathros were the inhabitants of Upper Egypt; originally in the Bible view a colony of Mizraites from Lower Egypt ( Genesis 10:13,14; 1 Chronicles 1:12). Isaiah ( Isaiah 11:11) foretells Israel’s return from Pathros ( Jeremiah 44:1,15; Ezekiel 29:14.) “Pathros the land of their birth” (margin Ezekiel 30:13-18). The Thebaid was the oldest part of Egypt in civilization and art, and was anciently called “Egypt” (Aristotle): Herod. 2:15. Tradition represented the people of Egypt as coming from Ethiopia, and the first dynasty as Thinite. “Pa-t-res” in Egyptian means the land of the South.
PATMOS Revelation 1:9. One of the Sporades. A small rugged island of the Icarian Sea, part of the Aegean; 20 miles S. of Samos, 24 W. of Asia Minor, 25 in circumference. The scene of John’s banishment (by Domitian), where he “was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” The rocky solitude suited the sublime nature of the Revelation. On a hill in the southern half of the island is the monastery of John the divine, and the traditional grotto of his receiving the Apocalypse. In the middle ages called Palmosa from its palms; now there is but one, and the island has resumed its old name Patmo or Patino. It is unvisited by Turks, without any mosque, and saddled with moderate tribute, free from piracy, slavery, and any police but their own.
PATRIARCHS Heads of races, tribes, clans, and families. Abraham ( Hebrews 7:4), Jacob’s sons ( Acts 7:8,9), David ( Acts 2:29). The” patriarchal system” before Moses developed itself out of family relations, before the foundation of nations and regular governments. The “patriarchal dispensation” is the covenant between God and the godly seed, Seth, Noah, Abraham, and their descendants; the freedom of intercourse with God is simple and childlike, as contrasted with the sterner aspect of the Mosaic dispensation. It is the innocence of childhood, contrasted with the developed manhood of our Christian dispensation. The distinction between the seed of the woman and that of the serpent appears in God’s revealing Himself to the chosen as He did not to the world; hence their history is typical ( Galatians 4:21-31; Hebrews 7:1-7; Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:28-32; Romans 9:10-13). Yet God is revealed as God not merely of a tribe, but of all the earth ( Genesis 18:25). All nations were to be blessed in Abraham. The Gentile Pharaoh and Abimelech have revelations. God is called “almighty” ( Genesis 17:1; 28:3; 35:11).
Melchizedek, of Canaanite Salem, is His king priest, and He punishes Canaanite Sodom and Gomorrah. Authority is grounded on paternal right, its natural ground and source, even as God is the common Father of both patriarch and children. The birthright is the privilege of the firstborn, but requiring the father’s confirmation. Marriage is sacred ( Genesis 34:7,13,31; 38:24). Intermarriage with idolaters is treason to God and the chosen seed ( Genesis 26:34,35; 27:46; 28:1,6-9). The patriarchs severally typify Him in whom all their several graces meet, without blemish.
PAUL (See ACTS .) The leading facts of his life which appear in that history, subsidiary to its design of sketching the great epochs in the commencement and development of Christ’s kingdom, are: his conversion (Acts 9), his labours at Antioch (Acts 11), his first missionary journey (Acts 13; 14), the visit to Jerusalem at the council on circumcision (Acts 15), introduction of the gospel to Europe at Philippi (Acts 16),: visit to Athens (Acts 17), to Corinth (Acts 18), stay at Ephesus (Acts 19), parting address to the Ephesian elders at Miletus (Acts 20), apprehension at Jerusalem, imprisonment at Casesarea, and voyage to Rome (Acts 21--27). Though of purest Hebrew blood ( Philippians 3:5), “circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, (bearing the name of the eminent man of that tribe, king Saul,) an Hebrew of the Hebrews,” yet his birthplace was the Gentile Tarsus. ( Acts 21:39, “I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city.”) His father, as himself, was a Pharisee ( Acts 23:6). Tarsus was celebrated as a school of Greek literature (Strabo, Geogr. 1:14). Here he acquired that knowledge of Greek authors and philosophy which qualified him for dealing with learned Gentiles and appealing to their own writers ( Acts 17:18-28. Aratus; 1 Corinthians 15:33, Menander; Titus 1:12, Epimenides). Here too he learned the Cilician trade of making tents of the goats’ hair cloth called “cilicium” ( Acts 18:3); not that his father was in straitened circumstances, but Jewish custom required each child, however wealthy the parents might be, to learn a trade. He possessed the Roman citizenship from birth ( Acts 22:28), and hence, when he commenced ministering among Gentiles, he preferred to be known by his Roman name Paul rather than by his Hebrew name Saul. His main education (probably after passing his first 12 years at Tarsus, Acts 26:4,5, “among his own nation.” Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, Sinaiticus manuscripts read “and” before “at Jerusalem”) was at Jerusalem “at the feet of see GAMALIEL ,taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers” ( Acts 22:3). Thus the three elements of the world’s culture met in him: Roman citizenship, Grecian culture, Hebrew religion. Gamaliel had counseled toleration ( Acts 5:34-39); but his teaching of strict pharisaic legalism produced in Saul’s ardent spirit persecuting zeal against opponents, “concerning zeal persecuting the church” ( Philippians 3:6). Among the synagogue disputants with Stephen were men “of Cilcia” ( Acts 6:9), probably including Saul; at all events it was at his feet, while be was yet “a young man,” that the witnesses, stoning the martyr, laid down their clothes ( Acts 6:9; 7:58; Deuteronomy 17:7). “Saul was consenting unto his death” (Acts 6; 7); but we can hardly doubt that his better feelings must have had some misgiving in witnessing Stephen’s countenance beaming as an angel’s, and in hearing his loving prayer for his murderers. But stern bigotry stifled all such doubts by increased zeal; “he made havock of (elumaineto , ‘ravaged as a wild beast’) the church, entering into the houses (severally, or worship rooms), and haling men and women committed them to prison” ( Acts 8:3). But God’s grace arrested Paul in his career of blind fanaticism; “I was had mercy upon, be. cause I did it ignorantly in unbelief” ( 1 Timothy 1:12-16). His ignorance was culpable, for he might have known if he had sought aright; but it was less guilty than sinning against light and knowledge. There is a wide difference between mistaken zeal for the law and willful striving against God’s Spirit. His ignorance gave him no claim on, but put him within the range of, God’s mercy ( Luke 23:34; Acts 3:17; Romans 10:2). The positive ground of mercy is solely God’s compassion ( Titus 3:5).
We have three accounts of his conversion, one by Luke (Acts 9), the others by himself (Acts 22; 26), mutually supplementing one another. Following the adherents of “the (Christian) way ... unto strange cities,” and “breathing out threatenings and slaughter,” he was on his journey to Damascus with authoritative letters from the high priest empowering him to arrest and bring to Jerusalem all such, trusting doubtless that the pagan governor would not interpose in their behalf. At midday a light shone upon him and his company, exceeding the brightness of the sun; he and all with him fell to the earth ( Acts 26:14; in Acts 9:7 “stored speechless,” namely, they soon rose, and when he at length rose they were standing speechless with wonder), “hearing” the sound of a “voice,” but not understanding (compare 1 Corinthians 14:2 margin) the articulate speech which Paul heard ( Acts 22:9, “they heard not the voice of Him that spoke”) in Hebrew ( Acts 26:14),” Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?” (in the person of My brethren, Matthew 25:40). “It is hard for thee to kick against the goads” (not in Acts 9:5 the Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus manuscripts, but only in Acts 26:14), which, as in the case of oxen being driven, only makes the goad pierce the deeper ( Matthew 21:44; Proverbs 8:36). Saul trembling (as the jailer afterward before him, Acts 16:30,31) said, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” the usual question at first awakening ( Luke 3:10), but here with the additional sense of unreserved surrender of himself to the Lord’s guidance ( Isaiah 6:1-8). The Lord might act directly, but He chooses to employ ministerial instruments; such was Ananias whom He sent to Saul, after he had been three days without sight and neither eating nor drinking, in the house of Judas (probably a Christian to whose house he had himself led, rather than to his former co-religionists). Ananias, whom he would have seized for prison and death, is the instrument of giving him light and life.
God had prepared Ananias for his visitor by announcing the one sure mark of his conversion, “behold he prayeth” ( Romans 8:15). Ananias had heard of him as a notorious persecutor, but obeyed the Lord’s direction. In Acts 26:16-18 Paul condenses in one account, and connects with Christ’s first appearing, subsequent revelations of Jesus to him as to the purpose of his call;” to make thee a minister and witness of these things ... delivering thee from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee.” Like Jonah, the outcast runaway, when penitent, was made the messenger of repentance to guilty Nineveh.
The time of his call was just when the gospel was being opened to the Gentiles by Peter (Acts 10). An apostle, severed from legalism, and determined unbelief by an extraordinary revulsion, was better fitted for carrying forward the work among unbelieving Gentiles, which had been begun by the apostle of the circumcision. He who was the most learned and at the same time humblest ( Ephesians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 15:9) of the apostles was the one whose pen was most used in the New Testament Scriptures. He”saw” the Lord in actual person ( Acts 9:17; 22:14; 23:11; 26:16; 1 Corinthians 15:8; 9:1), which was a necessary qualification for apostleship, so as to be witness of the resurrection. The light that flashed on his eyes was the sign of the spiritual light that broke in upon his soul; and Jesus’ words to him ( Acts 26:18), “to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light” (which commission was symbolized in the opening of his own eyes through Ananias, Acts 9:17,18), are by undesigned coincidence reproduced naturally in his epistles ( Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 1:18, contrast Ephesians 4:18; 6:12). He calls himself “the one untimely born” in the family of the apostles ( 1 Corinthians 15:8). Such a child, though born alive, is yet not of proper size and scarcely worthy of the name of man; so Paul calls himself” least of the apostles, not meet to be called an apostle” (compare 1 Peter 1:3). He says, God’s “choice” ( Acts 9:15; 22:14), “separating me (in contrast to his having been once a Pharisee, from pharash , i.e. a separatist, but now ‘separated’ unto something infinitely higher) from my mother’s womb (therefore without any merit of mine), and calling me by His grace (which carried into effect His ‘good pleasure,’ eudokia ), revealed His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the pagan,” independent of Mosaic ceremonialism ( Galatians 1:11-20). Ananias, being “a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews there,” was the suitable instrument of giving him bodily and spiritual sight in his transition stage.
Saul directly, on his conversion “preached Christ in the synagogues that He is the Son of God,” to the astonishment of his hearers ( Acts 9:20,21); then followed his retirement to Arabia for a considerable part of the whole “three years” between his conversion and his visit to Jerusalem. From Arabia he returned to Damascus, where with his increased spiritual “strength” he confounded the Jews. Then on their watching to kill him lie was “let down by the wall in a basket,” under see ARETAS ( Corinthians 11:32; Galatians 1:15-18). His three years of direction by the Lord alone answer to the about three years’ intercourse of Jesus with His twelve apostles. This first visit to Jerusalem is that mentioned Acts 9:26, at which occurred the vision ( Acts 22:17,18). His “increase in strength” ( Acts 9:22) was obtained in communion with the Lord in Arabia near the scene of giving the law, a fit scene for the revelation of gospel grace which supersedes it ( Galatians 4:25). Ananias his first instructor, esteemed for his legal piety, was not likely to have taught him the gospel’s independence of the Mosaic law. Paul received it by special revelation ( 1 Corinthians 11:23; 15:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:15). The “many days” ( Acts 9:23) answer to “three years” ( Galatians 1:18), as in 1 Kings 2:38,39. In Arabia he had that retirement after the first fervor of conversion which great characters need, preparatory to their life work for God, as Moses in Midian ( Acts 7:20,22). His familiarity with Mount Sinai in Arabia, the scene of the giving of the law, appears in Galatians 4:24,25; Hebrews 12:18; here he was completely severed from his former legalism. Thence He returned to Damascus; then he went to Jerusalem to see Peter. He saw only Peter and James, being introduced by Barnabas not to seek their sanction but to inform them of Jesus’ independent revelation to him ( Acts 9:26-29; Galatians 1:18,19). His Grecian education adapted him for successfully, like Stephen, disputing against the Grecians. He had a vision later than that of Acts 22:17,18, namely, in 2 Corinthians 12:1, etc., six years after his conversion, A.D. 43. Thus Paul was an independent witness of the gospel. When he compared his gospel with that of the apostles there was found perfect harmony ( Galatians 2:2-9). After staying only 15 days at Jerusalem, wherein there was not time for his deriving his gospel commission from Peter with whom he abode, having had a vision that he should depart to the Gentiles ( Acts 22:18,19), and being plotted against by Hellenistic Jews ( Acts 9:29), he withdrew to the seaport Caesarea ( Acts 9:30), thence by sea to Tarsus in Cilicia ( Galatians 1:21), and thence to Syria.
His journey by sea, not land, accounts for his being “unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea” ( Galatians 1:22), so that he could not have derived his gospel from them. lie puts “Syria” before “Cilicia,” as it was a geographical phrase, the more important being put first. Meantime at Antioch the gospel was preached to Gentile “Greeks” (Hellenas in the Alexandrinus manuscript, not “Grecians,” Acts 11:20) by men of Cyprus and Cyrene scattered abroad at the persecution of Stephen; Barnabas went down then from Jerusalem, and glad in seeing this special grace of God (see CHRISTIANS ), “exhorted them that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.” Desiring a helper he fetched Saul from Tarsus to Antioch, and for a whole year they laboured together, and in leaving for Jerusalem (Paul’s second visit there, not mentioned in Galatians, being ford special object and for but “few days,” Acts 11:30; 12:25) brought with them a token of brotherly love, a contribution for the brethren in Judaea during the famine which was foretold by Agabus and came on under Claudius Caesar ( Acts 11:22-30: A.D. 44).
Here (Acts 13) while their minds were dwelling on the extraordinary accession of Gentile converts, “as they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them,” namely, to labors among the Gentiles, such as was the specimen already given at Antioch, in which these two had taken such an efficient part. Very striking is the patient humility with which Paul waited for the Lord’s time, as he had already received his call to be “a chosen vessel to bear His name before the Gentiles.” In going forth on his first missionary journey he was subordinate to Barnabas; but after preaching the word in Cyprus, where in the Lord’s name he had smitten with blindness Elymas the sorcerer (even as he had tried to blind spiritually the governor), and when Sergius Paulus who had sent for Barnabas and Saul believed, he thenceforth under the name Paul takes the lead. Peter’s smiting Simon Magus (Acts 8), who sought spiritual powers for gain, corresponds. The unity of God’s dealings with His people is the true explanation of the parallelism between the histories of Paul and Peter, just as profound resemblances of form and typical structure exist between species and genera of both plants and animals which in many respects are widely divergent. Peter heals the man lame from birth at the temple gate, Paul the man impotent in feet from birth at Lystra; both fixed their eyes upon the men. As Peter at midnight was miraculously delivered from Herod’s prison, so Paul at Philippi was loosed from his chains with an earthquake. As Peter raised Dorcas, so Paul Eutychus. Peter’s striking Ananias and Sapphira dead answers to Paul’s striking Elymas blind. As Peter’s shadow healed the sick, so Paul’s handkerchiefs. As Peter confirmed with the laying on of hands the Samaritans, and the Holy Spirit came on them, so Paul the Ephesian disciples of John Baptist (Acts 19).
Luke marks the transition point between Saul’s past ministrations to Jews and his new ministry among Gentiles, which was henceforth to be his special work, by his Gentile designation, borne from infancy but now first regularly applied to him, Paul. At Perga in Pamphylia see MARK forsook him and Barnabas.
In Antioch in Pisidia, as in Cyprus, they began their preaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath. In Paul’s remarkable address we have a specimen of his mode of dealing with “the Jews ... men of Israel ... and religious proselytes ... ye that fear God.” He bases all on the covenant God made with “our fathers,” brings out God’s “raising up of David to be king, a man after His own heart,” shows that it was “of his seed” that” God according to promise raised unto Israel a Savior Jesus,” applies the message of salvation to them, proves that the rulers in condemning Him in spite of themselves fulfilled the prophecies read every Sabbath concerning Him; for instance the promise of the second psalm, “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee,” God fulfilled in raising Jesus. These are “the sure mercies” (the holy or gracious promises, osia Greek, chacid Hebrew) of the covenant made with David; hence ( Psalm 16:10) he anticipates “Thou wilt not suffer Thy Holy (Gracious: chacid , ‘in God’s favor’: John 1:14,16, osion ) One to see corruption,” which cannot apply to David (for he saw corruption) and can only apply to Christ. He winds up with the characteristically Pauline doctrine of the epistles to Romans and Galatians: “by Him all that believe are justified from all things from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” On the other hand a work of wonder and destruction is foretold by the prophets against all “despisers.” After the congregation was broken up many Jews and proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, and heard more of “the grace of God.” But when almost the whole city came together the next Sabbath to hear the word of God, envy of the admission of Gentiles to gospel privileges without being first proselytized to Judaism incited the Jews to blaspheme and to contradict Paul. This caused Paul to wax bolder and say, It was necessary to speak the word first to you, but seeing ye judge yourselves unworthy (it is not God who counted them” unworthy”: Matthew 20:19: 22:8) of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
This too accords with the prophets ( Isaiah 42:6: 49:6). The Gentiles rejoiced, and many believed; but the Jews influenced their proselyte women of the higher class, and chief men, to drive Paul and Barnabas away.
The apostles proceeded to Iconium cheered by the joy with which the Holy Spirit filled the disciples. There “long time abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of His grace and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands” ( Acts 14:3). But persecution drove them thence, and they fled to see LYSTRA and Derbe of Lycaonia. Again as at Cyprus Paul’s ministry resembles Peter’s, the cure of’ the impotent man in Lystra corresponding to Peter’s cure of the same disease at the Beautiful gate of the temple (3); indeed the parallelism probably led three very old manuscripts, C, D, E, to insert from Acts 3:8, in Acts 14:10, “I say unto thee in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,” etc. His mode of address is happily suited to the heathen of Lystra in turning them from their purpose of sacrificing to him and Barnabas as see MERCURY (for Paul was the chief speaker) and Jupiter respectively.
Instead of appealing to the Scriptures, he appeals to what they knew, the witness of God in His gifts of “rain and fruitful seasons “; he urges them to “turn from these vanities (dead idols) to serve the living God who made all things,” in undesigned coincidence with Pauline language ( Thessalonians 1:9,10). His address to the pagan Athenians corresponds ( Acts 17:24-29); there he says “God winked at the times of ignorance, but now commandeth all to repent,” as here, “who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways,” and Romans 3:25, “on account of the praetermission (passing by without judicial cognizance) of the past sins in the forbearance of God.” With characteristic fickleness the mob stoned him whom just before they idolized. But he arose and went into the city, and next day to Derbe and to Lystra again, and to Iconium and Antioch, ordaining elders in every church, and confirming the disciples by telling them “that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” From Pisidia they came to Perga and Attalia; thence to Antioch, where they reported at what may be called the first missionary meeting or covention “all that God had done with them, opening the door of faith unto the Gentiles”; and so ended Paul’s first missionary tour.
Next ( Acts 14:28; Acts 15), during Paul’s stay at Antioch, men from Judaea came teaching that the Gentile converts must be circumcised. He and Barnabas strenuously opposed them, and were selected to go to Jerusalem and lay the question before the apostles and eiders. Paul had also a divine” revelation” ( Galatians 2:2) that he should go, besides his public commission. On their way they announced in Phenice and Samaria the conversion of the Gentiles, “causing great joy unto all the brethren.” At Jerusalem “they declared all things that God had done with them,” the facts and miracles of their mission among the Gentiles in general to the Christian multitude there; “but privately” to the apostles the details of his doctrine, in order to compare it with their teaching, to let them see that he was not “running in vain,” in not requiring circumcision of Gentile converts. Certain Pharisees however rose up, insisting on it, but Paul would not yield “for an hour” (Galatians 2); the council followed, in which Peter silenced arguments by the logic of facts, God having given the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles, who believed through him, even as He did to the believing Jews.
Why then should the burdensome legal yoke be imposed on them, which God had not made a necessary preliminary to their salvation? Barnabas and Paul confirmed by their experience the fact: of God’s work among the Gentiles. James wound up by showing that Amos’ prophecy ( Amos 9:11,12) of the call of the Gentiles, consequent on the building again of David’s tabernacle, accords with the facts just stated. The decree followed, binding the Gentiles only to abstinence from idol pollutions, fornication, and, in deference to the Jews’ feelings, from things strangled and blood. So Judas Barsabas and Silas, chosen men of their own company, were sent with Paul and Barnabas to carry the decree to Antioch, the apostles having previously “given Paul the right hand of fellowship” as a colleague in the apostleship, and having recognized that the apostleship of the uncircumcision was committed to Paul as that of the circumcision to Peter.
The realization of the brotherly bond uniting the whole church (circumcision no longer separating the Jew from the Gentile) was further to be kept up by alms for the poor brethren (Galatians 2). The nonreference in Galatians to the decree is (1) because Paul’s design in that epistle was to show Paul’s own independent apostolic authority, which did not rest upon their decision; (2) he argues on principle not authority; (3) the decree did not go the length of his position, it merely did not impose Mosaic ordinances, but, he here maintains the Mosaic institution itself is at an end; (4) the Galatians Judaized, not because they thought it necessary to Christianity, but necessary to higher perfection ( Galatians 3:3; 4:21).
The decree would not disprove their view. Paul confutes them more directly,” Christ is become of no effect unto you whosoever are justified by the law” ( Galatians 5:4,11). If Paul had proselytized Gentiles as the Jews always received proselytes, namely, with circumcision, persecution would have ceased. But the truth was at stake, and he must not yield ( Galatians 6:13).
The Judaizers soon followed Paul to Antioch, where Peter had already come. Unable to deny that Gentiles are admissible to the Christian covenant without circumcision, they denied that they were so to social intercourse with Jews; pleading the authority of James, they induced Peter, in spite of his own avowed principles ( Acts 15:7-11) and his practice ( Acts 11:2-17), through fear of man ( Proverbs 29:25), to separate himself from those Gentiles with whom he had heretofore eaten; this too at Antioch, the stronghold of universality and starting point of Paul’s missions to Gentiles. He betrayed his old character, ever the first to recognize and the first to draw back from great truths ( Matthew 14:30). The rest of the Jews there “dissembled” with Peter, and “Barnabas was carried away with their dissimulation”; then Paul “before them all withstood to the face” (compare 1 Timothy 5:20) and charged Peter, “seeing that thou a Jew habitually from conviction livest as a Gentile, eating of every food and with every one, how is it that now thou by example virtually compellest the Gentiles to Judaize?” In 2 Peter 3:15 we see how thoroughly their misunderstanding was cleared up, Peter praising the epistles of Paul which condemned him.
At his second missionary tourBARNABAS, desiring to take see MARK against Paul’s judgment, parted company with him. Their “sharp contention” shows they were not always infallible or impeccable. Silas or Silvanus became Paul’s companion through Syria and Cilicia where he confirmed the churches, his circumcising Timothy at Derbe ( Acts 16:1-3, “whom he would have to go forth with him”), on the ground of his mother being a Jewess, was that by becoming, when principle was not at stake, “to the Jews a Jew, he might gain the Jews.” Titus on the contrary, being a Greek, he would not circumcise “because of false brethren” ( Galatians 2:3,4) who, had he yielded, would have perverted the case into a proof that he deemed circumcision necessary. To insist on Jewish usages for Gentile converts would have been to make them essential to Christianity; to violate them abruptly, before that the destruction of the temple and Jewish polity made them to cease, would have been against Christian charity ( 1 Corinthians 9:22; Romans 14:1-7,13-33). Paul Silas, and Timothy went through Phrygia and Galatia. Bodily infirmity detained him in Galatia ( Galatians 4:13 translated “on account of an infirmity,” the “thorn in the flesh” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10), and was overruled to his preaching the gospel there. The impulsive Galatians “received him as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus,” at first, but with Celtic fickleness heeded other teachers who with Judaizing doctrine supplanted the apostle in their affections (verses 12-29). “Where is your former felicitation of yourselves on having the blessing of my ministry?” Ye once “would have plucked out your eyes and have given them to me” ( Matthew 5:29). Sensitiveness may have led him to overrate his bodily defect; at all events it did not prevent his enduring hardships which few could bear ( 2 Corinthians 10:10; 11:23-33). His “eyes” may have been permanently weakened by the blinding vision ( Acts 22:11), hence the “large letters” (Greek) he wrote ( Galatians 6:11).
From the border of Mysia he essayed to go N.E. into Bithynia, “but the Spirit of Jesus (the Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, and Alexandrinus manuscripts) suffered them not” ( Acts 16:6,7,10). Passing by Mysia they came to Troas, and here the “man of Macedonia appeared, saying, Come over into Macedonia and help us.” At this point Luke the historian intimates his presence by the “we”; “the beloved physician” probably ministered to Paul’s “infirmity” in Galatia. The party from Troas sailed by Samothrace to Neapolis, then proceeded to Philippi. The conversion of see LYDIA was the first in Europe, though she was an Asiatic. Then followed Paul’s casting out the spirit of divination from the damsel, and her master’s violence to Paul because of their loss of gains, under the old plea against saints that they “trouble” the commonwealth ( 1 Kings 18:17); his imprisonment after scourging (referred to 1 Thessalonians 2:2); his feet fastened in the stocks; the midnight cheerful hymns ( Ephesians 5:20; Job 35:10; Psalm 42:8); the earthquake loosing their bonds (so Acts 12:6-10; 5:19); the intended suicide; the jailer’s trembling question, the answer, and his joy in believing, and his fruits of faith, love, washing Paul’s stripes ( John 13:14; Matthew 25:36), and entertaining him. The apostle’s self-respect appears in declining to allow the magistrates to thrust him out privily, after having beaten and imprisoned a Roman citizen uncondemned, for Cicero (in Verrem, 66) informs us it was counted “a daring misdemeanor to bind, a wicked crime to scourge, a Roman citizen.” Upon their beseeching re. quest he went out, and after a visit to the brethren in Lydia’s house he left Philippi (Luke and perhaps Timothy staying behind for a time) for Thessalonica by way of Amphipolis and Apollonia. The fervent attachment of the Philippian church was evinced by their sending supplies for his temporal wants twice shortly after he left them, “in the beginning of the gospel,” to Thessalonica ( Philippians 4:15,16), and a third time by Epaphroditus shortly before writing the epistle ( Philippians 4:10,18; 2 Corinthians 11:9). Few Jews were at Philippi to excite distrust of Paul. There was no synagogue, but a mere oratory or prayer place (proseuchee ) by the river side. Only there no opposition was offered by the Jews. His sufferings there strengthened the union between him and them, as they too suffered for the gospel’s sake ( 1 Thessalonians 2:2).
At Thessalonica (Acts 17) for three Sabbaths Paul, “as his manner was,” reasoned in the synagogue out of the Scriptures, showing that the Messiah to fulfill them must suffer and rise again, and that Jesus is that Messiah. A multitude of Gentile proselytes and chief women, with some Jews, joined him. In consequence the unbelieving Jews incited the rabble (“fellows of the baser sort,” literally, loungers in the market place, ‘agoraious ’: Acts 17:5, in harmony with 1 Thessalonians 2:14) to assault the house of Jason, Paul’s host. Failing to find Paul they dragged Jason and certain brethren before the rulers, crying “these that have turned the world upside down are come here also” (South quaintly remarks, Considering how the world then stood, with idolatry at the head and truth under foot, turning it upside down was the only way perhaps to restore it to its right position); “these do contrary to Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another King, one Jesus.” It is an undesigned coincidence that Jesus’ coming kingdom is the prominent thought in the epistles to the Thessalonians ( Thessalonians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:10). They perverted the doctrine of Christ’s coming to reign with His saints into treason against Caesar; so in Jesus’ case ( John 18:33-37; 19:12). He writes to them as mostly Gentiles ( 1 Thessalonians 1:9,10); he had worked night and day, not to be chargeable unto them ( 1 Thessalonians 2:9,10; 2 Thessalonians 3:8), and had guarded against the abuse of the doctrine of Christ’s coming ( 1 Thessalonians 4:11,12; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3; 3:5-13). The magistrates contented themselves with taking security of Jason, and the brethren sent away Paul and Silas to Berea by night.
Here too they entered the Jews’ synagogue. The see BEREANS are praised as “more noble” than the Thessalonians generally, for (1) their ready reception of the preached word, and (2) their searching the Scriptures daily whether it accorded with them. Accordingly many believed, Jews as well as Greeks, men and honourable women. But the Thessalonian Jews followed him, and the brethren sent away Paul by sea, Silas and Timothy staying behind. Some brethren escorted Paul to Athens, then returned with a message from him to Silas and Timothy to join him “with all speed.” He had intended to defer preaching until he had them by his side, but “his spirit was stirred within him when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry,” so he began at once disputing in the synagogue with the Jews and proselytes, and in the market daily with them that met him.
Among the latter were Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. To the Epicureans, the ancient materialists, who denied a future life and made the supreme good consist in a calm enjoyment of the present, Paul offered “the peace which passeth understanding,” through Him who through self denying agony and death secures life eternal to us. To the Stoics, the ancient pantheists and fatalists, who made man independent on any being but self, he preached self renunciation and reliance on the personal Jesus, and the resurrection through Him. Some said, “what will this babbler (Greek spermologos , ‘seed picker,’ as a bird; so market loungers, ready to pick up droppings from loads of ware; so one babbling what he has picked up from others) say?” Others said, as was the charge against Socrates who similarly used to reason in the market with those he met, “he seemeth a setter forth of strange gods” (namely, God and Jesus, Acts 17:24,31) “because he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection.” Curiosity and love of novelty were noted characteristics of Athenians. So they took him to Mars’ hill, arranged with benches and steps of stone in the open air.
They had charged him with setting forth strange gods: he begins by gently retorting, “I perceive in every point of view you are religious to a fault” (deisidaimonestorous , not such censure as “too superstitious” would convey). Taking their “altar to an unknown god” (for such altars were erected in times of plague, when the known gods failed to help) as his text, “what (the Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus manuscripts for whom) ye worship confessing your ignorance of, that (the divinity) I declare unto you.” “Whom, ... Him,” would contradict 1 Corinthians 10:20; John 4:22. God may be known. He is the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things, has made all men of one blood, assigning them their times and habitations, that they should feel after Him (pseelfeeseian ; as thoughtful pagan will do, but it is only groping in the dark until revelation comes; contrast 1 John 1:1), though He is really near every one of us ( Romans 10:8,9), having our being in Him, as your own poet sings, “we are His offspring.” God has overlooked the times of ignorance (huperidon ; looking on to Christ’s sacrifice which vindicates God’s righteousness in passing by the intermediate transgressions: Romans 3:25), but now commands all everywhere to repent, since He will judge all by that Man whom He hath ordained as the Savior and Judge, raising Him from the dead as the pledge of assurance. At the mention of the resurrection some mocked, others deferred (compare Acts 24:25) the further hearing of the subject. A few believed, including the Areopagite Dionysius and Damaris, a woman.
Next he came to Corinth, the commercial and stirring capital of Greece, and so more alive to his serious message than the dilettanti philosophers and quidnuncs of Athens. His tentmaking here brought him into close connection with Jews just expelled by Claudius from Rome, Aquila and Priscilla. When Silas and Timothy came from Macedon, Paul was earnestly occupied with the word (see the Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus manuscripts Acts 18:5 for “the spirit”), the crisis of their acceptance or else rejection of his message having come. Timothy he bad sent from Athens to Thessalonica ( 1 Thessalonians 3:1,2), Silas elsewhere. Their arrival at Corinth suggested his writing the first epistle to Thessalonians. It and 2 Thessalonians were the only epistles he wrote on this missionary journey, both from Corinth. The epistles to Galatians, Romans, and Corinthians belong to his next journey. The epistles to Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, and Philippians belong to his first captivity at Rome.
His versatility appears in his being able to write 1 Thessalonians when earnestly occupied with the Corinthians; and in his writing 1 and Corinthians between the kindred epistles to the Galatians and Romans; if Galatians was written at Ephesus on his first arrival, and not subsequently at Corinth (see GALATIANS ). He attested all his genuine letters with his autograph at the close, to enable the churches to distinguish them from spurious ones ( 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 3:17).
When the Jews opposed and blasphemed Paul shook his raiment ( Nehemiah 5:13; Acts 13:51), and said, “your blood be upon your own heads ( Ezekiel 33:4), henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.” So he withdrew to the house of a Gentile next the synagogue, Justus. Crispus the ruler of the synagogue believed, and was baptized by Paul himself ( Corinthians 1:14); many Corinthians too were baptized. Paul’s fear of the Jews’ consequent wrath was dispelled by the Lord in a vision: “be not afraid, but speak and hold not thy peace, for I am with thee and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee, for I have much people in this city.” He therefore continued at Corinth a year and a half, teaching. The Jews with one accord set on and brought him before see GALLIO ’S judgment seat, saying, this fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law. But Paul experienced God’s faithfulness to His promise that none should beat him, for Gallio without waiting for Paul to plead drave his enemies from the judgment seat and winked at the beating the Greeks gave Sosthenes, the Jews’ ringleader and ruler of the synagogue. Paul’s compassion to his enemy in distress probably won Sosthenes, for we find him associated with Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:1.
Paul left Corinth to keep the feast (probably Pentecost) at Jerusalem ( Acts 20:16). At Cenchreae he cut off his hair in fulfillment of a vow, made probably in some sickness ( Galatians 4:13) like the Nazarite vow, and ending with a sacrifice at Jerusalem to which he therefore hastened.
Third missionary tour. Acts 18:23--21:17. His aim at this period was to vindicate Christians’ freedom from the law, yet unity through the higher bond of love. Hence he gives prominence to the collections of the Gentile churches for the relief of the poor brethren at Jerusalem ( Galatians 2:10). The epistles of this time, Galatians, Corinthians, and Romans, mainly discuss the relations of the believer to the Jewish law. From Antioch Paul went over all Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples ( Acts 18:23) and ordering the collection ( 1 Corinthians 16:1). Then on reaching Ephesus he wrote epistle to see GALATIANS , else later at Corinth. Ephesus Paul reached from the upper regions (Phrygia: Acts 19:1). Being the metropolis of Asia and the meeting ground of oriental, Jew, Greek, and Roman, Paul stayed at Ephesus two or three years ( Acts 19:10; 20:31), so that he founded in it a mother church for the whole Asian region. Here he met the 12 disciples who had been, like Apollos ( Acts 18:25,26), baptized only unto John’s baptism. On his asking “did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye became believers?” they answered, “we did not so much as hear whether the Holy Spirit is (given).”
Paul taught them the further truths, baptism into the Lord Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; and in laying hands on them after baptism the Holy Spirit came on them, just as upon the Samaritans when Peter and John laid hands on them ( Acts 8:15,17). The first three months Paul spoke boldly in the synagogue at Ephesus; then, on many hardening themselves in unbelief, he separated the disciples from the synagogue and disputed daily in the school of Tyrannus (whether a “private synagogue,” bet midrash , where he might assemble the believing Jews privately and receive inquiring Gentiles, or more probably the school of a Gentile sophist). This continued for two years, so that all both Jews and Greeks had the opportunity of hearing the word of the Lord Jesus. God wrought special miracles by Paul, so that handkerchiefs and aprons from his body were used to heal the sick and cast out demons. So “the shadow of Peter” ( Acts 5:15), the hem of Christ’s garment ( Matthew 9:20,21). So far from confirming the virtue of “relics,” his case disproves them; they were “special” and extraordinary instances; all miracles having generally ceased, a fortiori, what even then were rarest must have now ceased also. Sorcery abounded at Ephesus; seven sons of Sceva, a Jew, exorcists, having presumed to call over the demon-possessed the name of the Lord Jesus preached by Paul, as a magic formula, two of them ( Acts 19:16, “prevailed against both” in the Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus manuscripts) were wounded and driven out of the house by the man, the demon saying, “Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are ye?” ( Matthew 12:27.) Such fear fell on those who, along with Christianity, secretly practiced magic arts that they confessed openly their sin and brought their costly books of incantations (the notorious Ephesia grammata) and burnt them publicly, at the sacrifice of their estimated value, 50,000 drachmas, 1770 British pounds. “So mightily grew the word of God. During the first half of his stay at Ephesus he paid. a second short visit to Corinth, alluded to in 2 Corinthians 1:15,16; 2:1; 12:14,21; 13:1,2. (See CORINTHIANS, FIRST EPlSTLE .) After this visit he wrote a letter alluded to in 1 Corinthians 5:9; 4:18. He purposed in spirit going through Macedon and Achaia (Corinth) to Jerusalem, then to Rome; meanwhile he sent Timothy and Erastus to Macedon, but stayed himself in Ephesus for a season.
His first epistle to the Corinthians was written while still at Ephesus ( Corinthians 16:8), about the Passover time ( 1 Corinthians 16:7,8), shortly before the outbreak that drove him away at Pentecost time ( Acts 19:23-41), when he had already encountered beast-like “adversaries” ( 1 Corinthians 15:32), a premonitory symptom of the final tumult ( 1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 1:8; Romans 16:4); not after it, for immediately after it he left Ephesus for Macedon. How large his heart was, to be able to enter so warmly into the minute interests of the Corinthian churches in the midst of his engrossing ministry amidst threatening storms at Ephesus. In 1 Corinthians 4:9-13 he sketches the hardships of his apostolic life. His tact in dealing with the questions submitted to him by the Corinthians and those also omitted by them, but known otherwise, as well as his singleness of aim for Christ, shine conspicuously in this epistle. (See DEMETRIUS on the outbreak; also see EPHESUS ; see ASIARCHS ; see ALEXANDER ; see DIANA .) Demetrius’ hypocritical zeal for Diana while his “wealth” (euporia only here “easy means”; equivalent to the ominous 666 (see ANTICHRIST ): 1 Kings 10:14; 2 Chronicles 9:13; Revelation 13:18) was his real concern, the wild and blind excitement of the mob, “the more part not knowing wherefore they were come together,” the unreasoning religious party cry “great is Diana of the Ephesians,” the tact and good sense of the secretary of state (“the town clerk”) in calming the mob while incidentally testifying to Paul’s temperance in assailing the idol of the town, vividly appear in the narrative. It can have been no light impression that Paul’s preaching made, and no small danger he daily incurred.
From Macedonia (probably Philippi) he wrote see 2 CORINTHIANS . He had a door of preaching opened to him in Troas ( 2 Corinthians 2:12); but his anxiety to meet Titus, who had disappointed him in not coming to Troas, urged him forward to Macedon. Having there met, and heard from him the tidings which he so eagerly longed for, namely, the good effect of his first epistle on the Corinthians, he wrote his second epistle, in which he glances at those Judaizing emissaries (especially one) who had tried to disparage his apostolic authority ( 2 Corinthians 12:11,12; 3:1; 11:4,12- 15) and malign his personal motives ( 2 Corinthians 1:12; 12:17,18); scoffing at his want of courage as evinced by his delay in coming, and at his threats as impotent ( 2 Corinthians 1:17,23), and at his weak personal appearance and simple speech ( 2 Corinthians 10:10). His sensitive, affectionate tenderness appears in the anguish with which he wrote the first epistle, using the authority which some had denied, and threatening soon to enforce it in person ( 2 Corinthians 2:2-4,13; 7:5,8); also in his shrinking from going as soon as he had intended (rather he would wait to see the effect of his letter 2 Corinthians 1:15,16; 2:1), that his visit might be a happy instead of a sorrowful one; and in his triumphant joy at the news of their better state of mind ( 2 Corinthians 2:18,14). His list of hardships in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 shows how much more he endured than the book of Acts records: “of the Jews five times I received 40 stripes save one; thrice was I beaten with rods (whereas elsewhere only one scourging is recorded, that at Philippi); once was I stoned ( Acts 14:19); thrice I suffered shipwreck; a night and a day I have been in the deep.” Not one of these sea perils is recorded in Acts; that of Acts 27, was subsequent. The” perils of rivers” (Greek for” waters”) would be in fording them in floods, bridges in mountain roads traversed by torrents being rare. The perils of robbers: the Pisidians ( Acts 13:14), Pamphylians, and Cilicians of the mountains separating the tableland of Asia from the coast were notorious for robbery (Strabo, xii. 6,7). The “thorn in the flesh ( 2 Corinthians 12:7), a messenger of Satan (compare Job 2:7; Luke 13:16) to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations,” was probably some painful, tedious, bodily malady, which shamed him before those to whom he ministered ( Galatians 4:13-15); it followed the revelation wherein he was caught up to the third heaven (see PARADISE ) (perhaps at his second visit to Jerusalem: Acts 22:17). “Thorn” implies bodily pain; “buffet,” shame ( 1 Peter 2:20); after hearing and seeing the joys of holy angels, he is buffeted by an emissary of the evil one. But he was enabled to glory in infirmities, when his thrice offered prayer for the thorn’s removal was answered by Christ’s promise of His all sufficient grace and strength having its perfect manifestation in man’s weakness. God needs our weakness as the arena for displaying His power, not our strength, which is His rival.
Traveling through Macedon, probably as far as to Illyricum ( Romans 15:19), he at least visited Greece and stayed three months ( Acts 20:2,3). From Corinth he wrote the epistle to the see ROMANS . He had longed to see the church which already existed at Rome, and whose faith was celebrated throughout the world, also to impart some spiritual gift to them ( Romans 1:8,11-13). Hereto he had been hindered coming to them; he intends to come, and go on from Rome to Spain ( Romans 15:16,24,28), and so to preach to the Gentiles of the remote West to whom, as to Rome itself, he feels himself a debtor as to the gospel, being the apostle of the uncircumcision, a spiritual priest, offering up the Gentile converts as a sacrifice acceptable unto God ( Romans 1:14,15,16). He must now first go to Jerusalem, to take the offerings of the Macedonian and Achaian Christians for the relief of the poor saints there. Meantime he writes, begging their prayers that he may be delivered from the unbelieving in Judaea ( Romans 15:25-32). The awful unrighteousness of the world, whose capital was Rome, suggested his subject, the righteousness of God, condemning Jew and Gentile alike (Romans 1; 2), but capable of being appropriated by faith in Jesus whom God set forth as a propitiation through faith in His blood.
Before leaving Corinth Luke joined him, as the “us” implies ( Acts 20:1-5). He had intended to sail direct to Syria ( Acts 20:3; 19:2; Corinthians 16:3-7), but to avoid a Jewish plot against him he went through Macedon. Several were appointed with him as the joint bearers of the churches’ contributions for the poor brethren at Jerusalem. These went before by sea to Troas while he and Luke went through Macedonia. From Philippi, after the Passover, in five days Paul and Luke reached Troas, and stayed seven days. At the meeting there “to break bread” (i.e. to keep the lovefeast with which the eucharist was joined) on the first day of the week Paul preached earnestly until midnight, and the youth see EUTYCHUS in deep sleep fell from the third left, and was taken up dead, but was restored by Paul. Preachers ought to be considerate of their hearers, avoiding undue length and lateness! Hearers should avoid Carelessness, inattention, and drowsiness! Paul on returning proceeded to “break bread and eat” the love-feast meal (geusamenos , “having made a meal”), which closed the meeting. Paul made the journey from Troas to Assos by land on foot alone, while the rest went before in ship. At Assos he went on board with them, and by Mitylene, Chios, Samos, and Trogyllium, came to Miletus. Instead of calling to see the chief church of Asia, at Ephesus, which might have made him too late for the Pentecost at Jerusalem, he invited their elders to him at Miletus and gave the striking address recorded in Acts 20:18-35.
He reminds them of his manner of ministry among them with many tears, and amidst temptations owing to the Jews’ plots, his keeping back nothing profitable, but without reserve teaching both publicly and from house to house the gospel testimony, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus. “Now,” says he, “I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there, save that the Holy Spirit witnesseth in every city that bonds and afflictions abide me; but none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” This accords with his epistles ( 2 Corinthians 4:1,16; 2 Timothy 4:7; Philippians 2:17). His inspired knowledge (for the words “I know” can hardly be a mere surmise, as Alford thinks from the use of the word in Acts 26:27; Romans 15:29; Philippians 1:19,20) that they all should not see his face again was what most affected them. He visited Miletus and no doubt Ephesus again ( 1 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:18; 4:20). His being “pure from the blood of all” he rests on his “not having shunned to declare all the counsel of God”; a warning to ministers against having an esoteric teaching for the few, not imparted to the multitude, and against one-sidedness in teaching. The safeguard lies in taking heed (1) to themselves, (2) to all the flock; none is to be neglected, for the Holy Spirit makes overseers for the purpose of feeding the church of God (the Vaticanus, Sinaiticus manuscripts, but Alexandrinus manuscript “of the Lord”) bought with His own blood. (1) The best manuscript evidence favors the reading “God”; (2) being the more difficult it is less likely to be an interpolation than the easier reading, “Lord”; (3) “the church of God” is a common expression in Paul’s epistles, “church of the Lord” never.
His prophecy of “grievous wolves not sparing the flock,” and of “men arising of their own selves speaking perverse things, drawing away disciples,” is the germ expanded further in 1 Timothy 4; 2 Timothy 2:17-19; 3; 2 Thessalonians 2; the antichrist in 1 John 2:22,23; 4:1-3; Revelation 11--19. His warning for three years every one, night and day, with tears, accords with his character in the epistles ( Philippians 3:18; 2 Timothy 1:3). So his appeal to their consciousness of his having coveted nothing of theirs, and of his setting them the example of manual labour to support others as well as himself, remembering “it is more blessed to give than to receive” ( 1 Corinthians 4:12; 9:12; Corinthians 7:2; 11:9; 12:14,17; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; Thessalonians 3:8). It was an affecting parting, when after prayer together on bended knee they wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him, and accompanied him to the ship.
By Cos, Rhodes, Patara, and past Cyprus, Paul sailed to Tyre, where the ship unladed her cargo. Finding disciples there, by a kind of freemasonry of Christianity, he stayed seven days, and was warned by them through the Spirit not to go to Jerusalem. The parting scene would form an exquisite picture. All with wives and children escorted them until they were out of the city; then he and they kneeled down on the shore and prayed. By Ptolemais Paul reached Caesarea, and there abode with Philip the evangelist, whose four prophesying daughters probably repeated the warning. Lastly Agabus from Judaea (compare Acts 11:28), symbolically binding his hands and feet with Paul’s girdle, foretold so should the Jews bind Paul and deliver him to the Gentiles. All then, both his fellow travelers and the Christians of the place, besought him not to go forward. His resolution was unshaken; “what mean ye to weep and break my heart? I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the Lord Jesus” ( Philippians 1:21-23). So Jesus Himself ( Luke 9:51,57,61,62; Isaiah 50:7). At last all recognized it as of God’s ordering, “the will of the Lord be done”; the way of realizing his desire to visit the church at Rome, not what man would have chosen but what proved ultimately best, being God’s appointment ( Philippians 1:12,13).
After tarrying “many days” in Caesarea, not to be too long at Jerusalem before the feast, as a prudent precaution, Paul went to Jerusalem (his fifth and probably last visit), where see MNASON lodged him. In compliance with the counsel of James and the elders, in order to silence the false charges against him of teaching the JEWS to forsake the law and not to circumcise their children, he next day put himself under the vow with four Nazarites, signifying to the temple priests their intention to fulfill the days of purification, he defraying the charge of their offerings, which was accounted a meritorious act. The process required seven days for completion; toward their close Jews of Asia stirred up the people against him in the temple, saying he had brought Greeks into it, meaning Trophimus, whom they had seen with Paul but not in the temple. They dragged Paul out of the temple, and would have killed him with blows, but “the chief captain” commanding the garrison