Alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet, as Omega is the last. These letters occur in the text of Rev. 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13, and are represented by “Alpha” and “Omega” respectively (omitted in R.V., 1:11). They mean “the first and last.” (Comp. Heb. 12:2; Isa. 41:4; 44:6; Rev. 1:11, 17; 2:8.) In the symbols of the early Christian Church these two letters are frequently combined with the cross or with Christ’s monogram to denote his divinity.
Aaron The eldest son of Amram and Jochebed, a daughter of Levi (Ex. 6:20). Some explain the name as meaning mountaineer, others mountain of strength, illuminator. He was born in Egypt three years before his brother Moses, and a number of years after his sister Miriam (2:1, 4; 7:7). He married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab of the house of Judah (6:23; 1 Chr. 2:10), by whom he had four sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. When the time for the deliverance of Isarael out of Egypt drew nigh, he was sent by God (Ex. 4:14, 27-30) to meet his long-absent brother, that he might co-operate with him in all that they were required to do in bringing about the Exodus. He was to be the “mouth” or “prophet” of Moses, i.e., was to speak for him, because he was a man of a ready utterance (7:1, 2, 9, 10, 19). He was faithful to his trust, and stood by Moses in all his interviews with Pharaoh.
When the ransomed tribes fought their first battle with Amalek in Rephidim, Moses stood on a hill overlooking the scene of the conflict with the rod of God in his outstretched hand. On this occasion he was attended by Aaron and Hur, his sister’s husband, who held up his wearied hands till Joshua and the chosen warriors of Israel gained the victory (17:8-13).
Afterwards, when encamped before Sinai, and when Moses at the command of God ascended the mount to receive the tables of the law, Aaron and his two sons, Nadab and Abihu, along with seventy of the elders of Israel, were permitted to accompany him part of the way, and to behold afar off the manifestation of the glory of Israel’s God (Ex. 19:24; 24:9-11). While Moses remained on the mountain with God, Aaron returned unto the people; and yielding through fear, or ignorance, or instability of character, to their clamour, made unto them a golden calf, and set it up as an object of worship (Ex. 32:4; Ps. 106:19). On the return of Moses to the camp, Aaron was sternly rebuked by him for the part he had acted in this matter; but he interceded for him before God, who forgave his sin (Deut. 9:20).
On the mount, Moses received instructions regarding the system of worship which was to be set up among the people; and in accordance therewith Aaron and his sons were consecrated to the priest’s office (Lev. 8; 9). Aaron, as high priest, held henceforth the prominent place appertaining to that office.
When Israel had reached Hazeroth, in “the wilderness of Paran,” Aaron joined with his sister Miriam in murmuring against Moses, “because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married,” probably after the death of Zipporah. But the Lord vindicated his servant Moses, and punished Miriam with leprosy (Num. 12). Aaron acknowledged his own and his sister’s guilt, and at the intercession of Moses they were forgiven.
Twenty years after this, when the children of Israel were encamped in the wilderness of Paran, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram conspired against Aaron and his sons; but a fearful judgment from God fell upon them, and they were destroyed, and the next day thousands of the people also perished by a fierce pestilence, the ravages of which were only stayed by the interposition of Aaron (Num. 16). That there might be further evidence of the divine appointment of Aaron to the priestly office, the chiefs of the tribes were each required to bring to Moses a rod bearing on it the name of his tribe. And these, along with the rod of Aaron for the tribe of Levi, were laid up overnight in the tabernacle, and in the morning it was found that while the other rods remained unchanged, that of Aaron “for the house of Levi” budded, blossomed, and yielded almonds (Num. 17:1-10). This rod was afterwards preserved in the tabernacle (Heb. 9:4) as a memorial of the divine attestation of his appointment to the priesthood.
Aaron was implicated in the sin of his brother at Meribah (Num. 20:8-13), and on that account was not permitted to enter the Promised Land. When the tribes arrived at Mount Hor, “in the edge of the land of Edom,” at the command of God Moses led Aaron and his son Eleazar to the top of that mountain, in the sight of all the people. There he stripped Aaron of his priestly vestments, and put them upon Eleazar; and there Aaron died on the top of the mount, being 123 years old (Num. 20:23-29. Comp. Deut. 10:6; 32:50), and was “gathered unto his people.” The people, “even all the house of Israel,” mourned for him thirty days. Of Aaron’s sons two survived him, Eleazar, whose family held the high-priesthood till the time of Eli; and Ithamar, in whose family, beginning with Eli, the high-priesthood was held till the time of Solomon. Aaron’s other two sons had been struck dead (Lev. 10:1, 2) for the daring impiety of offering “strange fire” on the alter of incense.
The Arabs still show with veneration the traditionary site of Aaron’s grave on one of the two summits of Mount Hor, which is marked by a Mohammedan chapel. His name is mentioned in the Koran, and there are found in the writings of the rabbins many fabulous stories regarding him.
He was the first anointed priest. His descendants, “the house of Aaron,” constituted the priesthood in general. In the time of David they were very numerous (1 Chr. 12:27). The other branches of the tribe of Levi held subordinate positions in connection with the sacred office. Aaron was a type of Christ in his official character as the high priest. His priesthood was a “shadow of heavenly things,” and was intended to lead the people of Israel to look forward to the time when “another priest” would arise “after the order of Melchizedek” (Heb. 6:20). (See MOSES.)
Aaronites The descendants of Aaron, and therefore priests. Jehoiada, the father of Benaiah, led 3,700 Aaronites as “fighting men” to the support of David at Hebron (1 Chr. 12:27). Eleazar (Num. 3:32), and at a later period Zadok (1 Chr. 27:17), was their chief.
Abaddon Destruction, the Hebrew name (equivalent to the Greek Apollyon, i.e., destroyer) of “the angel of the bottomless pit” (Rev. 9:11). It is rendered “destruction” in Job 28:22; 31:12; 26:6; Prov. 15:11; 27:20. In the last three of these passages the Revised Version retains the word “Abaddon.” We may regard this word as a personification of the idea of destruction, or as sheol, the realm of the dead.
Abagtha One of the seven eunuchs in Ahasuerus’s court (Esther 1:10; 2:21).
Abana Stony (Heb. marg. “Amanah,” perennial), the chief river of Damascus (2 Kings 5:12). Its modern name is Barada, the Chrysorrhoas, or “golden stream,” of the Greeks. It rises in a cleft of the Anti-Lebanon range, about 23 miles north-west of Damascus, and after flowing southward for a little way parts into three smaller streams, the central one flowing through Damascus, and the other two on each side of the city, diffusing beauty and fertility where otherwise there would be barrenness.
Abarim Regions beyond; i.e., on the east of Jordan, a mountain, or rather a mountain-chain, over against Jericho, to the east and south-east of the Dead Sea, in the land of Moab. From “the top of Pisgah”, i.e., Mount Nebo (q.v.), one of its summits, Moses surveyed the Promised Land (Deut. 3:27; 32:49), and there he died (34:1, 5). The Israelites had one of their encampments in the mountains of Abarim (Num. 33:47, 48) after crossing the Arnon.
Abba This Syriac or Chaldee word is found three times in the New Testament (Mark 14:36; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6), and in each case is followed by its Greek equivalent, which is translated “father.” It is a term expressing warm affection and filial confidence. It has no perfect equivalent in our language. It has passed into European languages as an ecclesiastical term, “abbot.”
Abda Servant. (1.) The father of Adoniram, whom Solomon set over the tribute (1 Kings 4:6); i.e., the forced labour (R.V., “levy”).
(2.) A Levite of the family of Jeduthun (Neh. 11:17), also called Obadiah (1 Chr. 9:16).
Abdeel Servant of God, (Jer. 36:26), the father of Shelemiah.
Abdi My servant. (1.) 1 Chr. 6:44. (2.) 2 Chr. 29:12. (3.) Ezra 10:26.
Abdiel Servant of God, (1 Chr. 5:15), a Gadite chief.
Abdon Servile. (1.) The son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, the tenth judge of Israel (Judg. 12:13-15). He is probably the Bedan of 1 Sam. 12:11.
(2.) The first-born of Gibeon of the tribe of Benjamin (1 Chr. 8:30; 9:36).
(3.) The son of Micah, one of those whom Josiah sent to the prophetess Huldah to ascertain from her the meaning of the recently discovered book of the law (2 Chr. 34:20). He is called Achbor in 2 Kings 22:12.
(4.) One of the “sons” of Shashak (1 Chr. 8:23).
This is the name also of a Levitical town of the Gershonites, in the tribe of Asher (Josh. 21:30; 1 Chr. 6:74). The ruins of Abdeh, some 8 miles north-east of Accho, probably mark its site.
Abednego Servant of Nego=Nebo, the Chaldee name given to Azariah, one of Daniel’s three companions (Dan. 2:49). With Shadrach and Meshach, he was delivered from the burning fiery furnace (3:12-30).
Abel (Heb. Hebhel), a breath, or vanity, the second son of Adam and Eve. He was put to death by his brother Cain (Gen. 4:1-16). Guided by the instruction of their father, the two brothers were trained in the duty of worshipping God. “And in process of time” (marg. “at the end of days”, i.e., on the Sabbath) each of them offered up to God of the first-fruits of his labours. Cain, as a husbandman, offered the fruits of the field; Abel, as a shepherd, of the firstlings of his flock. “The Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering; but unto Cain and his offering he had not respect” (Gen. 4:3-5). On this account Cain was angry with his brother, and formed the design of putting him to death; a design which he at length found an opportunity of carrying into effect (Gen. 4:8, 9. Comp. 1 John 3:12). There are several references to Abel in the New Testament. Our Saviour speaks of him as “righteous” (Matt. 23:35). “The blood of sprinkling” is said to speak “better things than that of Abel” (Heb. 12:24); i.e., the blood of Jesus is the reality of which the blood of the offering made by Abel was only the type. The comparison here is between the sacrifice offered by Christ and that offered by Abel, and not between the blood of Christ calling for mercy and the blood of the murdered Abel calling for vengeance, as has sometimes been supposed. It is also said (Heb. 11:4) that “Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” This sacrifice was made “by faith;” this faith rested in God, not only as the Creator and the God of providence, but especially in God as the great Redeemer, whose sacrifice was typified by the sacrifices which, no doubt by the divine institution, were offered from the days of Adam downward. On account of that “faith” which looked forward to the great atoning sacrifice, Abel’s offering was accepted of God. Cain’s offering had no such reference, and therefore was rejected. Abel was the first martyr, as he was the first of our race to die.
Abel (Heb. abhel), lamentation (1 Sam. 6:18), the name given to the great stone in Joshua’s field whereon the ark was “set down.” The Revised Version, however, following the Targum and the LXX., reads in the Hebrew text ‘ebhen (= a stone), and accordingly translates “unto the great stone, whereon they set down the ark.” This reading is to be preferred.
Abel (Heb. abhel), a grassy place, a meadow. This word enters into the composition of the following words:
Abel-beth-maachah Meadow of the house of Maachah, a city in the north of Palestine, in the neighbourhood of Dan and Ijon, in the tribe of Naphtali. It was a place of considerable strength and importance. It is called a “mother in Israel”, i.e., a metropolis (2 Sam. 20:19). It was besieged by Joab (2 Sam. 20:14), by Benhadad (1 Kings 15:20), and by Tiglath-pileser (2 Kings 15:29) about B.C. 734. It is elsewhere called Abel-maim, meadow of the waters, (2 Chr. 16:4). Its site is occupied by the modern Abil or Abil-el-kamh, on a rising ground to the east of the brook Derdarah, which flows through the plain of Huleh into the Jordan, about 6 miles to the west-north-west of Dan.
Abel-cheramim (Judg. 11:33, R.V.; A. V., “plain of the vineyards”), a village of the Ammonites, whither Jephthah pursued their forces.
Abel-meholah Meadow of dancing, or the dancing-meadow, the birth-place and residence of the prophet Elisha, not far from Beth-shean (1 Kings 4:12), in the tribe of Issachar, near where the Wady el-Maleh emerges into the valley of the Jordan, “the rich meadow-land which extends about 4 miles south of Beth-shean; moist and luxuriant.” Here Elisha was found at his plough by Elijah on his return up the Jordan valley from Horeb (1 Kings 19:16). It is now called Ain Helweh.
Abel-mizraim Meadow of Egypt, or mourning of Egypt, a place “beyond,” i.e., on the west of Jordan, at the “threshing-floor of Atad.” Here the Egyptians mourned seventy days for Jacob (Gen. 50:4-11). Its site is unknown.
Abel-shittim Meadow of the acacias, frequently called simply “Shittim” (Num. 25:1; Josh. 2:1; Micah 6:5), a place on the east of Jordan, in the plain of Moab, nearly opposite Jericho. It was the forty-second encampment of the Israelites, their last resting-place before they crossed the Jordan (Num. 33:49; 22:1; 26:3; 31:12; comp. 25:1; 31:16).
Abez Tin, or white, a town in the tribe of Issachar (Josh. 19:20), at the north of the plain of Esdraelon. It is probably identified with the ruins of el-Beida.
Abia My father is the Lord, the Greek form of Abijah, or Abijam (Matt. 1:7), instead of Abiah (1 Chr. 7:8). In Luke 1:5, the name refers to the head of the eighth of the twenty-four courses into which David divided the priests (1 Chr. 24:10).
Abi-albon Father of strength; i.e., “valiant”, one of David’s body-guard of thirty mighty men (2 Sam. 23:31); called also Abiel (1 Chr. 11:32).
Abiasaph Father of gathering; the gatherer, the youngest of the three sons of Korah the Levite, head of a family of Korhites (Ex. 6:24); called Ebisaph (1 Chr. 6:37).
Abiathar Father of abundance, or my father excels, the son of Ahimelech the high priest. He was the tenth high priest, and the fourth in descent from Eli. When his father was slain with the priests of Nob, he escaped, and bearing with him the ephod, he joined David, who was then in the cave of Adullam (1 Sam. 22:20-23; 23:6). He remained with David, and became priest of the party of which he was the leader (1 Sam. 30:7). When David ascended the throne of Judah, Abiathar was appointed high priest (1 Chr. 15:11; 1 Kings 2:26) and the “king’s companion” (1 Chr. 27:34). Meanwhile Zadok, of the house of Eleazar, had been made high priest. These appointments continued in force till the end of David’s reign (1 Kings 4:4). Abiathar was deposed (the sole historical instance of the deposition of a high priest) and banished to his home at Anathoth by Solomon, because he took part in the attempt to raise Adonijah to the throne. The priesthood thus passed from the house of Ithamar (1 Sam. 2:30-36; 1 Kings 1:19; 2:26, 27). Zadok now became sole high priest. In Mark 2:26, reference is made to an occurrence in “the days of Abiathar the high priest.” But from 1 Sam. 22, we learn explicitly that this event took place when Ahimelech, the father of Abiathar, was high priest. The apparent discrepancy is satisfactorily explained by interpreting the words in Mark as referring to the life-time of Abiathar, and not to the term of his holding the office of high priest. It is not implied in Mark that he was actual high priest at the time referred to. Others, however, think that the loaves belonged to Abiathar, who was at that time (Lev. 24:9) a priest, and that he either himself gave them to David, or persuaded his father to give them.
Abib An ear of corn, the month of newly-ripened grain (Ex. 13:4; 23:15); the first of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, and the seventh of the civil year. It began about the time of the vernal equinox, on 21st March. It was called Nisan, after the Captivity (Neh. 2:1). On the fifteenth day of the month, harvest was begun by gathering a sheaf of barley, which was offered unto the Lord on the sixteenth (Lev. 23:4-11).
Abida Or Abi’dah, father of knowledge; knowing, one of the five sons of Midian, who was the son of Abraham by Keturah (1 Chr. 1:33), and apparently the chief of an Arab tribe.
Abidan Father of judgment; judge, head of the tribe of Benjamin at the Exodus (Num. 1:11; 2:22).
Abieezer Father of help; i.e., “helpful.” (1.) The second of the three sons of Hammoleketh, the sister of Gilead. He was the grandson of Manasseh (1 Chr. 7:18). From his family Gideon sprang (Josh. 17:2; comp. Judg. 6:34; 8:2). He was also called Jeezer (Num. 26:30).
(2.) One of David’s thirty warriors (2 Sam. 23:27; comp. 1 Chr. 27:12).
(3.) The prince of the tribe of Dan at the Exodus (Num. 1:12).
Abiel Father (i.e., “possessor”) of God = “pious.” (1.) The son of Zeror and father of Ner, who was the grandfather of Saul (1 Sam. 14:51; 1 Chr. 8:33; 9:39). In 1 Sam. 9:1, he is called the “father,” probably meaning the grandfather, of Kish. (2.) An Arbathite, one of David’s warriors (1 Chr. 11:32); called also Abi-albon (2 Sam. 23:31).
Abiezrite Father of help, a descendant of Abiezer (Judg. 6:11, 24; 8:32).
Abigail Father (i.e., “leader”) of the dance, or “of joy.” (1.) The sister of David, and wife of Jether an Ishmaelite (1 Chr. 2:16, 17). She was the mother of Amasa (2 Sam. 17:25).
(2.) The wife of the churlish Nabal, who dwelt in the district of Carmel (1 Sam. 25:3). She showed great prudence and delicate management at a critical period of her husband’s life. She was “a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance.” After Nabal’s death she became the wife of David (1 Sam. 25:14-42), and was his companion in all his future fortunes (1 Sam. 27:3; 30:5; 2 Sam. 2:2). By her David had a son called Chileab (2 Sam. 3:3), elsewhere called Daniel (1 Chr. 3:1).
Abihail Father of might. (1.) Num. 3:35. (2.) 1 Chr. 2:29. (3.) 1 Chr. 5:14.
(4.) The second wife of King Rehoboam (2 Chr. 11:18), a descendant of Eliab, David’s eldest brother.
(5.) The father of Esther and uncle of Mordecai (Esther 2:15).
Abihu Father of Him; i.e., “worshipper of God”, the second of the sons of Aaron (Ex. 6:23; Num. 3:2; 26:60; 1 Chr. 6:3). Along with his three brothers he was consecrated to the priest’s office (Ex. 28:1). With his father and elder brother he accompanied the seventy elders part of the way up the mount with Moses (Ex. 24:1, 9). On one occasion he and Nadab his brother offered incense in their censers filled with “strange” (i.e., common) fire, i.e., not with fire taken from the great brazen altar (Lev. 6:9, etc.), and for this offence they were struck dead, and were taken out and buried without the camp (Lev. 10:1-11; comp. Num. 3:4; 26:61; 1 Chr. 24:2). It is probable that when they committed this offence they were intoxicated, for immediately after is given the law prohibiting the use of wine or strong drink to the priests.
Abihud Father (i.e., “possessor”) of renown. (1.) One of the sons of Bela, the son of Benjamin (1 Chr. 8:3); called also Ahihud (ver. 7).
(2.) A descendant of Zerubbabel and father of Eliakim (Matt. 1:13, “Abiud”); called also Juda (Luke 3:26), and Obadiah (1 Chr. 3:21).
Abijah Father (i.e., “possessor or worshipper”) of Jehovah. (1.) 1 Chr. 7:8. (2.) 1 Chr. 2:24.
(3.) The second son of Samuel (1 Sam. 8:2; 1 Chr. 6:28). His conduct, along with that of his brother, as a judge in Beer-sheba, to which office his father had appointed him, led to popular discontent, and ultimately provoked the people to demand a royal form of government.
(4.) A descendant of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, a chief of one of the twenty-four orders into which the priesthood was divided by David (1 Chr. 24:10). The order of Abijah was one of those which did not return from the Captivity (Ezra 2:36-39; Neh. 7:39-42; 12:1).
(5.) The son of Rehoboam, whom he succeeded on the throne of Judah (1 Chr. 3:10). He is also called Abijam (1 Kings 14:31; 15:1-8). He began his three years’ reign (2 Chr. 12:16; 13:1, 2) with a strenuous but unsuccessful effort to bring back the ten tribes to their allegiance. His address to “Jeroboam and all Israel,” before encountering them in battle, is worthy of being specially noticed (2 Chr. 13:5-12). It was a very bloody battle, no fewer than 500,000 of the army of Israel having perished on the field. He is described as having walked “in all the sins of his father” (1 Kings 15:3; 2 Chr. 11:20-22). It is said in 1 Kings 15:2 that “his mother’s name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom;” but in 2 Chr. 13:2 we read, “his mother’s name was Michaiah, the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.” The explanation is that Maachah is just a variation of the name Michaiah, and that Abishalom is probably the same as Absalom, the son of David. It is probable that “Uriel of Gibeah” married Tamar, the daughter of Absalom (2 Sam. 14:27), and by her had Maachah. The word “daughter” in 1 Kings 15:2 will thus, as it frequently elsewhere does, mean grand-daughter.
(6.) A son of Jeroboam, the first king of Israel. On account of his severe illness when a youth, his father sent his wife to consult the prophet Ahijah regarding his recovery. The prophet, though blind with old age, knew the wife of Jeroboam as soon as she approached, and under a divine impulse he announced to her that inasmuch as in Abijah alone of all the house of Jeroboam there was found “some good thing toward the Lord,” he only would come to his grave in peace. As his mother crossed the threshold of the door on her return, the youth died, and “all Israel mourned for him” (1 Kings 14:1-18).
(7.) The daughter of Zechariah (2 Chr. 29:1; comp. Isa. 8:2), and afterwards the wife of Ahaz. She is also called Abi (2 Kings 18:2).
(8.) One of the sons of Becher, the son of Benjamin (1 Chr. 7:8). “Abiah,” A.V.
Abijam Father of the sea; i.e., “seaman” the name always used in Kings of the king of Judah, the son of Rehoboam, elsewhere called Abijah (1 Kings 15:1, 7, 8). (See ABIJAH.)
Abilene A plain, a district lying on the east slope of the Anti-Lebanon range; so called from its chief town, Abila (Luke 3:1), which stood in the Suk Wady Barada, between Heliopolis (Baalbec) and Damascus, 38 miles from the former and 18 from the latter. Lysanias was governor or tetrarch of this province.
Abimael Father of Mael, one of the sons or descendants of Joktan, in Northern Arabia (Gen. 10:28; 1 Chr. 1:22).
Abimelech My father a king, or father of a king, a common name of the Philistine kings, as “Pharaoh” was of the Egyptian kings. (1.) The Philistine king of Gerar in the time of Abraham (Gen. 20:1-18). By an interposition of Providence, Sarah was delivered from his harem, and was restored to her husband Abraham. As a mark of respect he gave to Abraham valuable gifts, and offered him a settlement in any part of his country; while at the same time he delicately and yet severely rebuked him for having practised a deception upon him in pretending that Sarah was only his sister. Among the gifts presented by the king were a thousand pieces of silver as a “covering of the eyes” for Sarah; i.e., either as an atoning gift and a testimony of her innocence in the sight of all, or rather for the purpose of procuring a veil for Sarah to conceal her beauty, and thus as a reproof to her for not having worn a veil which, as a married woman, she ought to have done. A few years after this Abimelech visited Abraham, who had removed southward beyond his territory, and there entered into a league of peace and friendship with him. This league was the first of which we have any record. It was confirmed by a mutual oath at Beer-sheba (Gen. 21:22-34).
(2.) A king of Gerar in the time of Isaac, probably the son of the preceeding (Gen. 26:1-22). Isaac sought refuge in his territory during a famine, and there he acted a part with reference to his wife Rebekah similar to that of his father Abraham with reference to Sarah. Abimelech rebuked him for the deception, which he accidentally discovered. Isaac settled for a while here, and prospered. Abimelech desired him, however, to leave his territory, which Isaac did. Abimelech afterwards visited him when he was encamped at Beer-sheba, and expressed a desire to renew the covenant which had been entered into between their fathers (Gen. 26:26-31).
(3.) A son of Gideon (Judg. 9:1), who was proclaimed king after the death of his father (Judg. 8:33-9:6). One of his first acts was to murder his brothers, seventy in number, “on one stone,” at Ophrah. Only one named Jotham escaped. He was an unprincipled, ambitious ruler, often engaged in war with his own subjects. When engaged in reducing the town of Thebez, which had revolted, he was struck mortally on his head by a mill-stone, thrown by the hand of a woman from the wall above. Perceiving that the wound was mortal, he desired his armour-bearer to thrust him through with his sword, that it might not be said he had perished by the hand of a woman (Judg. 9:50-57).
(4.) The son of Abiathar, and high priest in the time of David (1 Chr. 18:16). In the parallel passage, 2 Sam. 8:17, we have the name Ahimelech, and Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech. This most authorities consider the more correct reading. (5.) Achish, king of Gath, in the title of Ps. 34. (Comp. 1 Sam. 21:10-15.)
Abinadab Father of nobleness; i.e., “noble.” (1.) A Levite of Kirjath-jearim, in whose house the ark of the covenant was deposited after having been brought back from the land of the Philistines (1 Sam. 7:1). It remained there twenty years, till it was at length removed by David (1 Sam. 7:1, 2; 1 Chr. 13:7).
(2.) The second of the eight sons of Jesse (1 Sam. 16:8). He was with Saul in the campaign against the Philistines in which Goliath was slain (1 Sam. 17:13).
(3.) One of Saul’s sons, who peristed with his father in the battle of Gilboa (1 Sam. 31:2; 1 Chr. 10:2).
(4.) One of Solomon’s officers, who “provided victuals for the king and his household.” He presided, for this purpose, over the district of Dor (1 Kings 4:11).
Abinoam Father of kindness, the father of Barak (Judg. 4:6; 5:1).
Abiram Father of height; i.e., “proud.” (1.) One of the sons of Eliab, who joined Korah in the conspiracy against Moses and Aaron. He and all the conspirators, with their families and possessions (except the children of Korah), were swallowed up by an earthquake (Num. 16:1-27; 26:9; Ps. 106:17).
(2.) The eldest son of Hiel the Bethelite, who perished prematurely in consequence of his father’s undertaking to rebuild Jericho (1 Kings 16:34), according to the words of Joshua (6:26). (See JERICHO.)
Abishag Father of (i.e., “given to”) error, a young woman of Shunem, distinguished for her beauty. She was chosen to minister to David in his old age. She became his wife (1 Kings 1:3, 4, 15). After David’s death Adonijah persuaded Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, to entreat the king to permit him to marry Abishag. Solomon suspected in this request an aspiration to the throne, and therefore caused him to be put to death (1 Kings 2:17-25).
Abishai Father of (i.e., “desirous of”) a gift, the eldest son of Zeruiah, David’s sister. He was the brother of Joab and Asahel (2 Sam. 2:18; 1 Chr. 2:16). Abishai was the only one who accompanied David when he went to the camp of Saul and took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster (1 Sam. 26:5-12). He had the command of one of the three divisions of David’s army at the battle with Absalom (2 Sam. 18:2, 5, 12). He slew the Philistine giant Ishbi-benob, who threatened David’s life (2 Sam. 21:15-17). He was the chief of the second rank of the three “mighties” (2 Sam. 23:18, 19; 1 Chr. 11:20, 21); and on one occasion withstood 300 men, and slew them with his own spear (2 Sam. 23:18). Abishai is the name of the Semitic chief who offers gifts to the lord of Beni-Hassan. See illustration facing page 10.
Abishua Father of welfare; i.e., “fortunate.” (1.) The grandson of Benjamin (1 Chr. 8:4).
(2.) The son of Phinehas the high priest (1 Chr. 6:4, 5, 50; Ezra 7:5).
Abishur Father of the wall; i.e., “mason”, one of the two sons of Shammai of the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 2:28, 29).
Abital Father of dew; i.e., “fresh”, David’s fifth wife (2 Sam. 3:4).
Abitub Father of goodness, a Benjamite (1 Chr. 8:11).
Abjects (Ps. 35:15), the translation of a Hebrew word meaning smiters; probably, in allusion to the tongue, slanderers. (Comp. Jer. 18:18.)
Ablution Or washing, was practised, (1.) When a person was initiated into a higher state: e.g., when Aaron and his sons were set apart to the priest’s office, they were washed with water previous to their investiture with the priestly robes (Lev. 8:6).
(2.) Before the priests approached the altar of God, they were required, on pain of death, to wash their hands and their feet to cleanse them from the soil of common life (Ex. 30:17-21). To this practice the Psalmist alludes, Ps. 26:6.
(3.) There were washings prescribed for the purpose of cleansing from positive defilement contracted by particular acts. Of such washings eleven different species are prescribed in the Levitical law (Lev. 12-15).
(4.) A fourth class of ablutions is mentioned, by which a person purified or absolved himself from the guilt of some particular act. For example, the elders of the nearest village where some murder was committed were required, when the murderer was unknown, to wash their hands over the expiatory heifer which was beheaded, and in doing so to say, “Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it” (Deut. 21:1-9). So also Pilate declared himself innocent of the blood of Jesus by washing his hands (Matt. 27:24). This act of Pilate may not, however, have been borrowed from the custom of the Jews. The same practice was common among the Greeks and Romans.
The Pharisees carried the practice of ablution to great excess, thereby claiming extraordinary purity (Matt. 23:25). Mark (7:1-5) refers to the ceremonial ablutions. The Pharisees washed their hands “oft,” more correctly, “with the fist” (R.V., “diligently”), or as an old father, Theophylact, explains it, “up to the elbow.” (Compare also Mark 7:4; Lev. 6:28; 11: 32-36; 15:22) (See WASHING.)
Abner Father of light; i.e., “enlightening”, the son of Ner and uncle of Saul. He was commander-in-chief of Saul’s army (1 Sam. 14:50; 17:55; 20:25). He first introduced David to the court of Saul after the victory over Goliath (1 Sam. 17:57). After the death of Saul, David was made king over Judah, and reigned in Hebron. Among the other tribes there was a feeling of hostility to Judah; and Abner, at the head of Ephraim, fostered this hostility in the interest of the house of Saul, whose son Ish-bosheth he caused to be proclaimed king (2 Sam. 2:8). A state of war existed between these two kings. A battle fatal to Abner, who was the leader of Ish-boseth’s army, was fought with David’s army under Joab at Gibeon (2 Sam. 2:12). Abner, escaping from the field, was overtaken by Asahel, who was “light of foot as a wild roe,” the brother of Joab and Abishai, whom he thrust through with a back stroke of his spear (2 Sam. 2: 18-32).
Being rebuked by Ish-bosheth for the impropriety of taking to wife Rizpah, who had been a concubine of King Saul, he found an excuse for going over to the side of David, whom he now professed to regard as anointed by the Lord to reign over all Israel. David received him favourably, and promised that he would have command of the armies. At this time Joab was absent from Hebron, but on his return he found what had happened. Abner had just left the city; but Joab by a stratagem recalled him, and meeting him at the gate of the city on his return, thrust him through with his sword (2 Sam. 3:27, 31-39; 4:12. Comp. 1 Kings 2:5, 32). David lamented in pathetic words the death of Abner, “Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?” (2 Sam. 3:33-38.)
Abomination This word is used, (1.) To express the idea that the Egyptians considered themselves as defiled when they ate with strangers (Gen. 43:32). The Jews subsequently followed the same practice, holding it unlawful to eat or drink with foreigners (John 18:28; Acts 10:28; 11:3).
(2.) Every shepherd was “an abomination” unto the Egyptians (Gen. 46:34). This aversion to shepherds, such as the Hebrews, arose probably from the fact that Lower and Middle Egypt had formerly been held in oppressive subjection by a tribe of nomad shepherds (the Hyksos), who had only recently been expelled, and partly also perhaps from this other fact that the Egyptians detested the lawless habits of these wandering shepherds.
(3.) Pharaoh was so moved by the fourth plague, that while he refused the demand of Moses, he offered a compromise, granting to the Israelites permission to hold their festival and offer their sacrifices in Egypt. This permission could not be accepted, because Moses said they would have to sacrifice “the abomination of the Egyptians” (Ex. 8:26); i.e., the cow or ox, which all the Egyptians held as sacred, and which they regarded it as sacrilegious to kill.
(4.) Daniel (11:31), in that section of his prophecies which is generally interpreted as referring to the fearful calamities that were to fall on the Jews in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, says, “And they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” Antiochus Epiphanes caused an altar to be erected on the altar of burnt-offering, on which sacrifices were offered to Jupiter Olympus. (Comp. 1 Macc. 1:57). This was the abomination of the desolation of Jerusalem. The same language is employed in Dan. 9:27 (comp. Matt. 24:15), where the reference is probably to the image-crowned standards which the Romans set up at the east gate of the temple (A.D. 70), and to which they paid idolatrous honours. “Almost the entire religion of the Roman camp consisted in worshipping the ensign, swearing by the ensign, and in preferring the ensign before all other gods.” These ensigns were an “abomination” to the Jews, the “abomination of desolation.”
This word is also used symbolically of sin in general (Isa. 66:3); an idol (44:19); the ceremonies of the apostate Church of Rome (Rev. 17:4); a detestable act (Ezek. 22:11).
Abraham Father of a multitude, son of Terah, named (Gen. 11:27) before his older brothers Nahor and Haran, because he was the heir of the promises. Till the age of seventy, Abram sojourned among his kindred in his native country of Chaldea. He then, with his father and his family and household, quitted the city of Ur, in which he had hitherto dwelt, and went some 300 miles north to Haran, where he abode fifteen years. The cause of his migration was a call from God (Acts 7:2-4). There is no mention of this first call in the Old Testament; it is implied, however, in Gen. 12. While they tarried at Haran, Terah died at the age of 205 years. Abram now received a second and more definite call, accompanied by a promise from God (Gen. 12:1, 2); whereupon he took his departure, taking his nephew Lot with him, “not knowing whither he went” (Heb. 11:8). He trusted implicitly to the guidance of Him who had called him.
Abram now, with a large household of probably a thousand souls, entered on a migratory life, and dwelt in tents. Passing along the valley of the Jabbok, in the land of Canaan, he formed his first encampment at Sichem (Gen. 12:6), in the vale or oak-grove of Moreh, between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south. Here he received the great promise, “I will make of thee a great nation,” etc. (Gen. 12:2, 3, 7). This promise comprehended not only temporal but also spiritual blessings. It implied that he was the chosen ancestor of the great Deliverer whose coming had been long ago predicted (Gen. 3:15). Soon after this, for some reason not mentioned, he removed his tent to the mountain district between Bethel, then called Luz, and Ai, towns about two miles apart, where he built an altar to “Jehovah.” He again moved into the southern tract of Palestine, called by the Hebrews the Negeb; and was at length, on account of a famine, compelled to go down into Egypt. This took place in the time of the Hyksos, a Semitic race which now held the Egyptians in bondage. Here occurred that case of deception on the part of Abram which exposed him to the rebuke of Pharaoh (Gen. 12:18). Sarai was restored to him; and Pharaoh loaded him with presents, recommending him to withdraw from the country. He returned to Canaan richer than when he left it, “in cattle, in silver, and in gold” (Gen. 12:8; 13:2. Comp. Ps. 105:13, 14). The whole party then moved northward, and returned to their previous station near Bethel. Here disputes arose between Lot’s shepherds and those of Abram about water and pasturage. Abram generously gave Lot his choice of the pasture-ground. (Comp. 1 Cor. 6:7.) He chose the well-watered plain in which Sodom was situated, and removed thither; and thus the uncle and nephew were separated. Immediately after this Abram was cheered by a repetition of the promises already made to him, and then removed to the plain or “oak-grove” of Mamre, which is in Hebron. He finally settled here, pitching his tent under a famous oak or terebinth tree, called “the oak of Mamre” (Gen. 13:18). This was his third resting-place in the land.
Some fourteen years before this, while Abram was still in Chaldea, Palestine had been invaded by Chedorlaomer, King of Elam, who brought under tribute to him the five cities in the plain to which Lot had removed. This tribute was felt by the inhabitants of these cities to be a heavy burden, and after twelve years they revolted. This brought upon them the vengeance of Chedorlaomer, who had in league with him four other kings. He ravaged the whole country, plundering the towns, and carrying the inhabitants away as slaves. Among those thus treated was Lot. Hearing of the disaster that had fallen on his nephew, Abram immediately gathered from his own household a band of 318 armed men, and being joined by the Amoritish chiefs Mamre, Aner, and Eshcol, he pursued after Chedorlaomer, and overtook him near the springs of the Jordan. They attacked and routed his army, and pursued it over the range of Anti-Libanus as far as to Hobah, near Damascus, and then returned, bringing back all the spoils that had been carried away. Returning by way of Salem, i.e., Jerusalem, the king of that place, Melchizedek, came forth to meet them with refreshments. To him Abram presented a tenth of the spoils, in recognition of his character as a priest of the most high God (Gen. 14:18-20).
In a recently-discovered tablet, dated in the reign of the grandfather of Amraphel (Gen. 14:1), one of the witnesses is called “the Amorite, the son of Abiramu,” or Abram.
Having returned to his home at Mamre, the promises already made to him by God were repeated and enlarged (Gen. 13:14). “The word of the Lord” (an expression occurring here for the first time) “came to him” (15:1). He now understood better the future that lay before the nation that was to spring from him. Sarai, now seventy-five years old, in her impatience, persuaded Abram to take Hagar, her Egyptian maid, as a concubine, intending that whatever child might be born should be reckoned as her own. Ishmael was accordingly thus brought up, and was regarded as the heir of these promises (Gen. 16). When Ishmael was thirteen years old, God again revealed yet more explicitly and fully his gracious purpose; and in token of the sure fulfilment of that purpose the patriarch’s name was now changed from Abram to Abraham (Gen. 17:4, 5), and the rite of circumcision was instituted as a sign of the covenant. It was then announced that the heir to these covenant promises would be the son of Sarai, though she was now ninety years old; and it was directed that his name should be Isaac. At the same time, in commemoration of the promises, Sarai’s name was changed to Sarah. On that memorable day of God’s thus revealing his design, Abraham and his son Ishmael and all the males of his house were circumcised (Gen. 17). Three months after this, as Abraham sat in his tent door, he saw three men approaching. They accepted his proffered hospitality, and, seated under an oak-tree, partook of the fare which Abraham and Sarah provided. One of the three visitants was none other than the Lord, and the other two were angels in the guise of men. The Lord renewed on this occasion his promise of a son by Sarah, who was rebuked for her unbelief. Abraham accompanied the three as they proceeded on their journey. The two angels went on toward Sodom; while the Lord tarried behind and talked with Abraham, making known to him the destruction that was about to fall on that guilty city. The patriarch interceded earnestly in behalf of the doomed city. But as not even ten righteous persons were found in it, for whose sake the city would have been spared, the threatened destruction fell upon it; and early next morning Abraham saw the smoke of the fire that consumed it as the “smoke of a furnace” (Gen. 19:1-28).
After fifteen years’ residence at Mamre, Abraham moved southward, and pitched his tent among the Philistines, near to Gerar. Here occurred that sad instance of prevarication on his part in his relation to Abimelech the King (Gen. 20). (See ABIMELECH.) Soon after this event, the patriarch left the vicinity of Gerar, and moved down the fertile valley about 25 miles to Beer-sheba. It was probably here that Isaac was born, Abraham being now an hundred years old. A feeling of jealousy now arose between Sarah and Hagar, whose son, Ishmael, was no longer to be regarded as Abraham’s heir. Sarah insisted that both Hagar and her son should be sent away. This was done, although it was a hard trial to Abraham (Gen. 21:12). (See HAGAR; ISHMAEL.)
At this point there is a blank in the patriarch’s history of perhaps twenty-five years. These years of peace and happiness were spent at Beer-sheba. The next time we see him his faith is put to a severe test by the command that suddenly came to him to go and offer up Isaac, the heir of all the promises, as a sacrifice on one of the mountains of Moriah. His faith stood the test (Heb. 11:17-19). He proceeded in a spirit of unhesitating obedience to carry out the command; and when about to slay his son, whom he had laid on the altar, his uplifted hand was arrested by the angel of Jehovah, and a ram, which was entangled in a thicket near at hand, was seized and offered in his stead. From this circumstance that place was called Jehovah-jireh, i.e., “The Lord will provide.” The promises made to Abraham were again confirmed (and this was the last recorded word of God to the patriarch); and he descended the mount with his son, and returned to his home at Beer-sheba (Gen. 22:19), where he resided for some years, and then moved northward to Hebron.
Some years after this Sarah died at Hebron, being 127 years old. Abraham acquired now the needful possession of a burying-place, the cave of Machpelah, by purchase from the owner of it, Ephron the Hittite (Gen. 23); and there he buried Sarah. His next care was to provide a wife for Isaac, and for this purpose he sent his steward, Eliezer, to Haran (or Charran, Acts 7:2), where his brother Nahor and his family resided (Gen. 11:31). The result was that Rebekah, the daughter of Nahor’s son Bethuel, became the wife of Isaac (Gen. 24). Abraham then himself took to wife Keturah, who became the mother of six sons, whose descendants were afterwards known as the “children of the east” (Judg. 6:3), and later as “Saracens.” At length all his wanderings came to an end. At the age of 175 years, 100 years after he had first entered the land of Canaan, he died, and was buried in the old family burying-place at Machpelah (Gen. 25:7-10).
The history of Abraham made a wide and deep impression on the ancient world, and references to it are interwoven in the religious traditions of almost all Eastern nations. He is called “the friend of God” (James 2:23), “faithful Abraham” (Gal. 3:9), “the father of us all” (Rom. 4:16).
Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22, 23) refers to the custom of reclining on couches at table, which was prevalent among the Jews, an arrangement which brought the head of one person almost into the bosom of the one who sat or reclined above him. To “be in Abraham’s bosom” thus meant to enjoy happiness and rest (Matt. 8:11; Luke 16:23) at the banquet in Paradise. (See banquet; MEALS.)
Abram Exalted father. (see ABRAHAM.)
Abronah R.V., one of Israel’s halting-places in the desert (Num. 33:34, 35), just before Ezion-gaber. In A.V., “Ebronah.”
Absalom Father of peace; i.e., “peaceful” David’s son by Maacah (2 Sam. 3:3; comp. 1 Kings 1:6). He was noted for his personal beauty and for the extra-ordinary profusion of the hair of his head (2 Sam. 14:25,26). The first public act of his life was the blood-revenge he executed against Amnon, David’s eldest son, who had basely wronged Absalom’s sister Tamar. This revenge was executed at the time of the festivities connected with a great sheep-shearing at Baal-hazor. David’s other sons fled from the place in horror, and brought the tidings of the death of Amnon to Jerusalem. Alarmed for the consequences of the act, Absalom fled to his grandfather at Geshur, and there abode for three years (2 Sam. 3:3; 13:23-38).
David mourned his absent son, now branded with the guilt of fratricide. As the result of a stratagem carried out by a woman of Tekoah, Joab received David’s sanction to invite Absalom back to Jerusalem. He returned accordingly, but two years elapsed before his father admitted him into his presence (2 Sam. 14:28). Absalom was now probably the oldest surviving son of David, and as he was of royal descent by his mother as well as by his father, he began to aspire to the throne. His pretensions were favoured by the people. By many arts he gained their affection; and after his return from Geshur (2 Sam. 15:7; marg., R.V.) he went up to Hebron, the old capital of Judah, along with a great body of the people, and there proclaimed himself king. The revolt was so successful that David found it necessary to quit Jerusalem and flee to Mahanaim, beyond Jordan; where upon Absalom returned to Jerusalem and took possession of the throne without opposition. Ahithophel, who had been David’s chief counsellor, deserted him and joined Absalom, whose chief counsellor he now became. Hushai also joined Absalom, but only for the purpose of trying to counteract the counsels of Ahithophel, and so to advantage David’s cause. He was so far successful that by his advice, which was preferred to that of Ahithophel, Absalom delayed to march an army against his father, who thus gained time to prepare for the defence.
Absalom at length marched out against his father, whose army, under the command of Joab, he encountered on the borders of the forest of Ephraim. Twenty thousand of Absalom’s army were slain in that fatal battle, and the rest fled. Absalom fled on a swift mule; but his long flowing hair, or more probably his head, was caught in the bough of an oak, and there he was left suspended till Joab came up and pierced him through with three darts. His body was then taken down and cast into a pit dug in the forest, and a heap of stones was raised over his grave. When the tidings of the result of that battle were brought to David, as he sat impatiently at the gate of Mahanaim, and he was told that Absalom had been slain, he gave way to the bitter lamentation: “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Sam. 18:33. Comp. Ex. 32:32; Rom. 9:3).
Absalom’s three sons (2 Sam. 14:27; comp. 18:18) had all died before him, so that he left only a daughter, Tamar, who became the grandmother of Abijah.
Acacia (Heb. shittim) Ex. 25:5, R.V. probably the Acacia seyal (the gum-arabic tree); called the “shittah” tree (Isa. 41:19). Its wood is called shittim wood (Ex. 26:15, 26; 25:10, 13, 23, 28, etc.). This species (A. seyal) is like the hawthorn, a gnarled and thorny tree. It yields the gum-arabic of commerce. It is found in abundance in the Sinaitic peninsula.
Accad The high land or mountains, a city in the land of Shinar. It has been identified with the mounds of Akker Kuf, some 50 miles to the north of Babylon; but this is doubtful. It was one of the cities of Nimrod’s kingdom (Ge 10:10). It stood close to the Euphrates, opposite Sippara. (See SEPHARVAIM.)
It is also the name of the country of which this city was the capital, namely, northern or upper Babylonia. The Accadians who came from the “mountains of the east,” where the ark rested, attained to a high degree of civilization. In the Babylonian inscriptions they are called “the black heads” and “the black faces,” in contrast to “the white race” of Semitic descent. They invented the form of writing in pictorial hieroglyphics, and also the cuneiform system, in which they wrote many books partly on papyrus and partly on clay. The Semitic Babylonians (“the white race”), or, as some scholars think, first the Cushites, and afterwards, as a second immigration, the Semites, invaded and conquered this country; and then the Accadian language ceased to be a spoken language, although for the sake of its literary treasures it continued to be studied by the educated classes of Babylonia. A large portion of the Ninevite tablets brought to light by Oriental research consists of interlinear or parallel translations from Accadian into Assyrian; and thus that long-forgotten language has been recovered by scholars. It belongs to the class of languages called agglutinative, common to the Tauranian race; i.e., it consists of words “glued together,” without declension of conjugation. These tablets in a remarkable manner illustrate ancient history. Among other notable records, they contain an account of the Creation which closely resembles that given in the book of Genesis, of the Sabbath as a day of rest, and of the Deluge and its cause. (See BABYLON; CHALDEA.)
Accho Sultry or sandy, a town and harbour of Phoenicia, in the tribe of Asher, but never acquired by them (Judg. 1:31). It was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans by the name of Ptolemais, from Ptolemy the king of Egypt, who rebuilt it about B.C. 100. Here Paul landed on his last journey to Jerusalem (Acts 21:7). During the crusades of the Middle Ages it was called Acra; and subsequently, on account of its being occupied by the Knights Hospitallers of Jerusalem, it was called St. Jean d’Acre, or simply Acre.
Accuser Satan is styled the “accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10. Comp. Job 1:6; Zech. 3:1), as seeking to uphold his influence among men by bringing false charges against Christians, with the view of weakening their influence and injuring the cause with which they are identified. He was regarded by the Jews as the accuser of men before God, laying to their charge the violations of the law of which they were guilty, and demanding their punishment. The same Greek word, rendered “accuser,” is found in John 8:10 (but omitted in the Revised Version); Acts 23:30, 35; 24:8; 25:16, 18, in all of which places it is used of one who brings a charge against another.
Aceldama The name which the Jews gave in their proper tongue, i.e., in Aramaic, to the field which was purchased with the money which had been given to the betrayer of our Lord. The word means “field of blood.” It was previously called “the potter’s field” (Matt. 27:7, 8; Acts 1:19), and was appropriated as the burial-place for strangers. It lies on a narrow level terrace on the south face of the valley of Hinnom. Its modern name is Hak ed-damm.
Achaia The name originally of a narrow strip of territory in Greece, on the north-west of the Peloponnesus. Subsequently it was applied by the Romans to the whole Peloponnesus, now called the Morea, and the south of Greece. It was then one of the two provinces (Macedonia being the other) into which they divided the country when it fell under their dominion. It is in this latter enlarged meaning that the name is always used in the New Testament (Acts 18:12, 27; 19:21; Rom. 15: 26; 16:5, etc.). It was at the time when Luke wrote the Acts of the Apostles under the proconsular form of government; hence the appropriate title given to Gallio as the “deputy,” i.e., proconsul, of Achaia (Acts 18:12).
Achaichus (1 Cor. 16:17), one of the members of the church of Corinth who, with Fortunatus and Stephanas, visited Paul while he was at Ephesus, for the purpose of consulting him on the affairs of the church. These three probably were the bearers of the letter from Corinth to the apostle to which he alludes in 1 Cor. 7:1.
Achan Called also Achar, i.e., one who troubles (1 Chr. 2:7), in commemoration of his crime, which brought upon him an awful destruction (Josh. 7:1). On the occasion of the fall of Jericho, he seized, contrary to the divine command, an ingot of gold, a quantity of silver, and a costly Babylonish garment, which he hid in his tent. Joshua was convinced that the defeat which the Israelites afterwards sustained before Ai was a proof of the divine displeasure on account of some crime, and he at once adopted means by the use of the lot for discovering the criminal. It was then found that Achan was guilty, and he was stoned to death in the valley of Achor. He and all that belonged to him were then consumed by fire, and a heap of stones was raised over the ashes.
Achbor Gnawing = mouse. (1.) An Edomitish king (Gen. 36:38; 1 Chr. 1:49).
(2.) One of Josiah’s officers sent to the prophetess Huldah to inquire regarding the newly-discovered book of the law (2 Kings 22:12, 14). He is also called Abdon (2 Chr. 34:20).
Achish Angry, perhaps only a general title of royalty applicable to the Philistine kings. (1.) The king with whom David sought refuge when he fled from Saul (1 Sam. 21:10-15). He is called Abimelech in the superscription of Ps. 34. It was probably this same king to whom David a second time repaired at the head of a band of 600 warriors, and who assigned him Ziklag, whence he carried on war against the surrounding tribes (1 Sam. 27:5-12). Achish had great confidence in the valour and fidelity of David (1 Sam. 28:1, 2), but at the instigation of his courtiers did not permit him to go up to battle along with the Philistine hosts (1 Sam. 29:2-11). David remained with Achish a year and four months. (2.) Another king of Gath, probably grandson of the foregoing, to whom the two servants of Shimei fled. This led Shimei to go to Gath in pursuit of them, and the consequence was that Solomon put him to death (1 Kings 2:39-46).
Achmetha (Ezra 6:2), called Ecbatana by classical writers, the capital of northern Media. Here was the palace which was the residence of the old Median monarchs, and of Cyrus and Cambyses. In the time of Ezra, the Persian kings resided usually at Susa of Babylon. But Cyrus held his court at Achmetha; and Ezra, writing a century after, correctly mentions the place where the decree of Cyrus was found.
Achor Trouble, a valley near Jericho, so called in consequence of the trouble which the sin of Achan caused Israel (Josh. 7:24, 26). The expression “valley of Achor” probably became proverbial for that which caused trouble, and when Isaiah (Isa. 65:10) refers to it he uses it in this sense: “The valley of Achor, a place for herds to lie down in;” i.e., that which had been a source of calamity would become a source of blessing. Hosea also (Hos. 2:15) uses the expression in the same sense: “The valley of Achor for a door of hope;” i.e., trouble would be turned into joy, despair into hope. This valley has been identified with the Wady Kelt.
Achsah Anklet, Caleb’s only daughter (1 Chr. 2:49). She was offered in marriage to the man who would lead an attack on the city of Debir, or Kirjath-sepher. This was done by Othniel (q.v.), who accordingly obtained her as his wife (Josh. 15:16-19; Judg. 1:9-15).
Achshaph Fascination, a royal city of the Canaanites, in the north of Palestine (Josh. 11:1; 12:20; 19:25). It was in the eastern boundary of the tribe of Asher, and is identified with the modern ruined village of Kesaf or Yasif, N.E. of Accho.
Achzib Falsehood. (1.) A town in the Shephelah, or plain country of Judah (Josh. 15:44); probably the same as Chezib of Gen. 38:5 = Ain Kezbeh.
(2.) A Phoenician city (the Gr. Ecdippa), always retained in their possession though assigned to the tribe of Asher (Josh. 19:29; Judg. 1:31). It is identified with the modern es-Zib, on the Mediterranean, about 8 miles north of Accho.
Acre Is the translation of a word (tse’med), which properly means a yoke, and denotes a space of ground that may be ploughed by a yoke of oxen in a day. It is about an acre of our measure (Isa. 5:10; 1 Sam. 14:14).
Acts of the Apostles The title now given to the fifth and last of the historical books of the New Testament. The author styles it a “treatise” (1:1). It was early called “The Acts,” “The Gospel of the Holy Ghost,” and “The Gospel of the Resurrection.” It contains properly no account of any of the apostles except Peter and Paul. John is noticed only three times; and all that is recorded of James, the son of Zebedee, is his execution by Herod. It is properly therefore not the history of the “Acts of the Apostles,” a title which was given to the book at a later date, but of “Acts of Apostles,” or more correctly, of “Some Acts of Certain Apostles.”
As regards its authorship, it was certainly the work of Luke, the “beloved physician” (comp. Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1). This is the uniform tradition of antiquity, although the writer nowhere makes mention of himself by name. The style and idiom of the Gospel of Luke and of the Acts, and the usage of words and phrases common to both, strengthen this opinion. The writer first appears in the narrative in 16:11, and then disappears till Paul’s return to Philippi two years afterwards, when he and Paul left that place together (20:6), and the two seem henceforth to have been constant companions to the end. He was certainly with Paul at Rome (28; Col. 4:14). Thus he wrote a great portion of that history from personal observation. For what lay beyond his own experience he had the instruction of Paul. If, as is very probable, 2 Tim. was written during Paul’s second imprisonment at Rome, Luke was with him then as his faithful companion to the last (2 Tim. 4:11). Of his subsequent history we have no certain information.
The design of Luke’s Gospel was to give an exhibition of the character and work of Christ as seen in his history till he was taken up from his disciples into heaven; and of the Acts, as its sequel, to give an illustration of the power and working of the gospel when preached among all nations, “beginning at Jerusalem.” The opening sentences of the Acts are just an expansion and an explanation of the closing words of the Gospel. In this book we have just a continuation of the history of the church after Christ’s ascension. Luke here carries on the history in the same spirit in which he had commenced it. It is only a book of beginnings, a history of the founding of churches, the initial steps in the formation of the Christian society in the different places visited by the apostles. It records a cycle of “representative events.”
All through the narrative we see the ever-present, all-controlling power of the ever-living Saviour. He worketh all and in all in spreading abroad his truth among men by his Spirit and through the instrumentality of his apostles.
The time of the writing of this history may be gathered from the fact that the narrative extends down to the close of the second year of Paul’s first imprisonment at Rome. It could not therefore have been written earlier than A.D. 61 or 62, nor later than about the end of A.D. 63. Paul was probably put to death during his second imprisonment, about A.D. 64, or, as some think, 66.
The place where the book was written was probably Rome, to which Luke accompanied Paul.
The key to the contents of the book is in 1:8, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” After referring to what had been recorded in a “former treatise” of the sayings and doings of Jesus Christ before his ascension, the author proceeds to give an account of the circumstances connected with that event, and then records the leading facts with reference to the spread and triumphs of Christianity over the world during a period of about thirty years. The record begins with Pentecost (A.D. 33) and ends with Paul’s first imprisonment (A.D. 63 or 64). The whole contents of the book may be divided into these three parts:
(1.) Chaps. 1-12, describing the first twelve years of the Christian church. This section has been entitled “From Jerusalem to Antioch.” It contains the history of the planting and extension of the church among the Jews by the ministry of Peter.
(2.) Chaps. 13-21, Paul’s missionary journeys, giving the history of the extension and planting of the church among the Gentiles.
(3.) Chaps. 21-28, Paul at Rome, and the events which led to this. Chaps. 13-28 have been entitled “From Antioch to Rome.”
In this book it is worthy of note that no mention is made of the writing by Paul of any of his epistles. This may be accounted for by the fact that the writer confined himself to a history of the planting of the church, and not to that of its training or edification. The relation, however, between this history and the epistles of Paul is of such a kind, i.e., brings to light so many undesigned coincidences, as to prove the genuineness and authenticity of both, as is so ably shown by Paley in his Horae Paulinae. “No ancient work affords so many tests of veracity; for no other has such numerous points of contact in all directions with contemporary history, politics, and topography, whether Jewish, or Greek, or Roman.” Lightfoot. (See PAUL.)
Adah Ornament. (1.) The first of Lamech’s two wives, and the mother of Jabal and Jubal (Gen. 4:19, 20, 23).
(2.) The first of Esau’s three wives, the daughter of Elon the Hittite (Gen. 36:2, 4), called also Bashemath (26:34).
Adam Red, a Babylonian word, the generic name for man, having the same meaning in the Hebrew and the Assyrian languages. It was the name given to the first man, whose creation, fall, and subsequent history and that of his descendants are detailed in the first book of Moses (Gen. 1:27-ch. 5). “God created man [Heb., Adam] in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Adam was absolutely the first man whom God created. He was formed out of the dust of the earth (and hence his name), and God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and gave him dominion over all the lower creatures (Gen. 1:26; 2:7). He was placed after his creation in the Garden of Eden, to cultivate it, and to enjoy its fruits under this one prohibition: “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
The first recorded act of Adam was his giving names to the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, which God brought to him for this end. Thereafter the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon him, and while in an unconscious state took one of his ribs, and closed up his flesh again; and of this rib he made a woman, whom he presented to him when he awoke. Adam received her as his wife, and said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” He called her Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Being induced by the tempter in the form of a serpent to eat the forbidden fruit, Eve persuaded Adam, and he also did eat. Thus man fell, and brought upon himself and his posterity all the sad consequences of his transgression. The narrative of the Fall comprehends in it the great promise of a Deliverer (Gen. 3:15), the “first gospel” message to man. They were expelled from Eden, and at the east of the garden God placed a flame, which turned every way, to prevent access to the tree of life (Gen. 3). How long they were in Paradise is matter of mere conjecture.
Shortly after their expulsion Eve brought forth her first-born, and called him Cain. Although we have the names of only three of Adam’s sons, viz., Cain, Abel, and Seth, yet it is obvious that he had several sons and daughters (Gen. 5:4). He died aged 930 years.
Adam and Eve were the progenitors of the whole human race. Evidences of varied kinds are abundant in proving the unity of the human race. The investigations of science, altogether independent of historical evidence, lead to the conclusion that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26. Comp. Rom. 5:12-12; 1 Cor. 15:22-49).
Adamah Red earth, a fortified city of Naphtali, probably the modern Damieh, on the west side of the sea of Tiberias (Josh. 19:33, 36).
Adamant (Heb. shamir), Ezek. 3:9. The Greek word adamas means diamond. This stone is not referred to, but corundum or some kind of hard steel. It is an emblem of firmness in resisting adversaries of the truth (Zech. 7:12), and of hard-heartedness against the truth (Jer. 17:1).
Adam, a type The apostle Paul speaks of Adam as “the figure of him who was to come.” On this account our Lord is sometimes called the second Adam. This typical relation is described in Rom. 5:14-19.
Adam, the city of Is referred to in Josh. 3:16. It stood “beside Zarethan,” on the west bank of Jordan (1 Kings 4:12). At this city the flow of the water was arrested and rose up “upon an heap” at the time of the Israelites’ passing over (Josh. 3:16).
Adar Large, the sixth month of the civil and the twelfth of the ecclesiastical year of the Jews (Esther 3:7, 13; 8:12; 9:1, 15, 17, 19, 21). It included the days extending from the new moon of our March to the new moon of April. The name was first used after the Captivity. When the season was backward, and the lambs not yet of a paschal size, or the barley not forward enough for abib, then a month called Veadar, i.e., a second Adar, was intercalated.
Adbeel Miracle of God, the third of the twelve sons of Ishmael, and head of an Arabian tribe (Gen. 25:13; 1 Chr. 1:29).
Addar Ample, splendid, son of Bela (1 Chr. 8:3); called also “Ard” (Gen. 46:21)
Adder (Ps. 140:3; Rom. 3:13, “asp”) is the rendering of, (1.) Akshub (“coiling” or “lying in wait”), properly an asp or viper, found only in this passage. (2.) Pethen (“twisting”), a viper or venomous serpent identified with the cobra (Naja haje) (Ps. 58:4; 91:13); elsewhere “asp.” (3.) Tziphoni (“hissing”) (Prov. 23:32); elsewhere rendered “cockatrice,” Isa. 11:8; 14:29; 59:5; Jer. 8:17, as it is here in the margin of the Authorized Version. The Revised Version has “basilisk.” This may have been the yellow viper, the Daboia xanthina, the largest and most dangerous of the vipers of Palestine. (4.) Shephiphon (“creeping”), occurring only in Gen. 49:17, the small speckled venomous snake, the “horned snake,” or cerastes. Dan is compared to this serpent, which springs from its hiding-place on the passer-by.
Addi Ornament, (Luke 3:28), the son of Cosam, and father of Melchi, one of the progenitors of Christ.
Addon Low, one of the persons named in Neh. 7:61 who could not “shew their father’s house” on the return from captivity. This, with similar instances (ver. 63), indicates the importance the Jews attached to their genealogies.
Adiel Ornament of God. (1.) The father of Azmaveth, who was treasurer under David and Solomon (1 Chr. 27:25). (2.) A family head of the tribe of Simeon (1 Chr. 4:36). (3.) A priest (1 Chr. 9:12).
Adin Effeminate. (1.) Ezra 8:6. (2.) Neh. 10:16.
Adina Slender, one of David’s warriors (1 Chr. 11:42), a Reubenite.
Adino The Eznite, one of David’s mighty men (2 Sam. 23:8). (See JASHOBEAM.)
Adjuration A solemn appeal whereby one person imposes on another the obligation of speaking or acting as if under an oath (1 Sam. 14:24; Josh. 6:26; 1 Kings 22:16).
We have in the New Testament a striking example of this (Matt. 26:63; Mark 5:7), where the high priest calls upon Christ to avow his true character. It would seem that in such a case the person so adjured could not refuse to give an answer.
The word “adjure”, i.e., cause to swear is used with reference to the casting out of demons (Acts 19:13).
Admah Earth, one of the five cities of the vale of Siddim (Gen. 10:19). It was destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrah (19:24; Deut. 29:23). It is supposed by some to be the same as the Adam of Josh. 3:16, the name of which still lingers in Damieh, the ford of Jordan. (See ZEBOIM.)
Adnah Delight. (1.) A chief of the tribe of Manasseh who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:20). (2.) A general under Jehoshaphat, chief over 300,000 men (2 Chr. 17:14).
Adonibezek Lord of Bezek, a Canaanitish king who, having subdued seventy of the chiefs that were around him, made an attack against the armies of Judah and Simeon, but was defeated and brought as a captive to Jerusalem, where his thumbs and great toes were cut off. He confessed that God had requited him for his like cruelty to the seventy kings whom he had subdued (Judg. 1:4-7; comp. 1 Sam. 15:33).
Adonijah My Lord is Jehovah. (1.) The fourth son of David (2 Sam. 3:4). After the death of his elder brothers, Amnon and Absalom, he became heir-apparent to the throne. But Solomon, a younger brother, was preferred to him. Adonijah, however, when his father was dying, caused himself to be proclaimed king. But Nathan and Bathsheba induced David to give orders that Solomon should at once be proclaimed and admitted to the throne. Adonijah fled and took refuge at the altar, and received pardon for his conduct from Solomon on the condition that he showed himself “a worthy man” (1 Kings 1:5-53). He afterwards made a second attempt to gain the throne, but was seized and put to death (1 Kings 2:13-25).
(2.) A Levite sent with the princes to teach the book of the law to the inhabitants of Judah (2 Chr. 17:8).
(3.) One of the “chiefs of the people” after the Captivity (Neh. 10:16).
Adonikam Whom the Lord sets up, one of those “which came with Zerubbabel” (Ezra 2:13). His “children,” or retainers, to the number of 666, came up to Jerusalem (8:13).
Adoniram (Adoram, 1 Kings 12:18), the son of Abda, was “over the tribute,” i.e., the levy or forced labour. He was stoned to death by the people of Israel (1 Kings 4:6; 5:14)
Adoni-zedec Lord of justice or righteousness, was king in Jerusalem at the time when the Israelites invaded Palestine (Josh. 10:1, 3). He formed a confederacy with the other Canaanitish kings against the Israelites, but was utterly routed by Joshua when he was engaged in besieging the Gibeonites. The history of this victory and of the treatment of the five confederated kings is recorded in Josh. 10:1-27. (Comp. Deut. 21:23). Among the Tell Amarna tablets (see EGYPT) are some very interesting letters from Adoni-zedec to the King of Egypt. These illustrate in a very remarkable manner the history recorded in Josh. 10, and indeed throw light on the wars of conquest generally, so that they may be read as a kind of commentary on the book of Joshua. Here the conquering career of the Abiri (i.e., Hebrews) is graphically described: “Behold, I say that the land of the king my lord is ruined”, “The wars are mighty against me”, “The Hebrew chiefs plunder all the king’s lands”, “Behold, I the chief of the Amorites am breaking to pieces.” Then he implores the king of Egypt to send soldiers to help him, directing that the army should come by sea to Ascalon or Gaza, and thence march to Wru-sa-lim (Jerusalem) by the valley of Elah.
Adoption The giving to any one the name and place and privileges of a son who is not a son by birth.
(1.) Natural. Thus Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses (Ex. 2:10), and Mordecai Esther (Esther 2:7).
(2.) National. God adopted Israel (Ex. 4:22; Deut. 7:6; Hos. 11:1; Rom. 9:4).
(3.) Spiritual. An act of God’s grace by which he brings men into the number of his redeemed family, and makes them partakers of all the blessings he has provided for them. Adoption represents the new relations into which the believer is introduced by justification, and the privileges connected therewith, viz., an interest in God’s peculiar love (John 17:23; Rom. 5:5-8), a spiritual nature (2 Pet. 1:4; John 1:13), the possession of a spirit becoming children of God (1 Pet. 1:14; 2 John 4; Rom. 8:15-21; Gal. 5:1; Heb. 2:15), present protection, consolation, supplies (Luke 12:27-32; John 14:18; 1 Cor. 3:21-23; 2 Cor. 1:4), fatherly chastisements (Heb. 12:5-11), and a future glorious inheritance (Rom. 8:17, 23; James 2:5; Phil. 3:21).
Adoram See ADONIRAM.
Adore To worship; to express reverence and homage. The forms of adoration among the Jews were putting off the shoes (Ex. 3:5; Josh. 5:15), and prostration (Gen. 17:3; Ps. 95:6; Isa. 44:15, 17, 19; 46:6). To “kiss the Son” in Ps. 2:12 is to adore and worship him. (See Dan. 3:5, 6.) The word itself does not occur in Scripture.
Adrammelech Adar the king. (1.) An idol; a form of the sun-god worshipped by the inhabitants of Sepharvaim (2 Kings 17:31), and brought by the Sepharvite colonists into Samaria. (2.) A son of Sennacherib, king of Assyria (2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38).
Adramyttium A city of Asia Minor on the coast of Mysia, which in early times was called AEolis. The ship in which Paul embarked at Caesarea belonged to this city (Acts 27:2). He was conveyed in it only to Myra, in Lycia, whence he sailed in an Alexandrian ship to Italy. It was a rare thing for a ship to sail from any port of Palestine direct for Italy. It still bears the name Adramyti, and is a place of some traffic.
Adria (Acts 27:27; R.V., “the sea of Adria”), the Adriatic Sea, including in Paul’s time the whole of the Mediterranean lying between Crete and Sicily. It is the modern Gulf of Venice, the Mare Superum_ of the Romans, as distinguished from the Mare Inferum_ or Tyrrhenian Sea.
Adriel Flock of God, the son of Barzillai, the Meholathite, to whom Saul gave in marriage his daughter Merab (1 Sam. 18:19). The five sons that sprang from this union were put to death by the Gibeonites (2 Sam. 21:8, 9. Here it is said that Michal “brought up” [R.V., “bare”] these five sons, either that she treated them as if she had been their own mother, or that for “Michal” we should read “Merab,” as in 1 Sam. 18:19).
Adullam One of the royal cities of the Canaanites, now Aid-el-ma (Josh. 12:15; 15:35). It stood on the old Roman road in the valley of Elah (q.v.), which was the scene of David’s memorable victory over Goliath (1 Sam. 17:2), and not far from Gath. It was one of the towns which Rehoboam fortified against Egypt (2 Chr. 11:7). It was called “the glory of Israel” (Micah 1:15).
The Cave of Adullam has been discovered about 2 miles south of the scene of David’s triumph, and about 13 miles west from Bethlehem. At this place is a hill some 500 feet high pierced with numerous caverns, in one of which David gathered together “every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented” (1 Sam. 22:2). Some of these caverns are large enough to hold 200 or 300 men. According to tradition this cave was at Wady Khureitun, between Bethlehem and the Dead Sea, but this view cannot be well maintained.
Adullamite An inhabitant of the city of Adullam (Gen. 38:1, 12, 20).
Adultery Conjugal infidelity. An adulterer was a man who had illicit intercourse with a married or a betrothed woman, and such a woman was an adulteress. Intercourse between a married man and an unmarried woman was fornication. Adultery was regarded as a great social wrong, as well as a great sin.
The Mosaic law (Num. 5:11-31) prescribed that the suspected wife should be tried by the ordeal of the “water of jealousy.” There is, however, no recorded instance of the application of this law. In subsequent times the Rabbis made various regulations with the view of discovering the guilty party, and of bringing about a divorce. It has been inferred from John 8:1-11 that this sin became very common during the age preceding the destruction of Jerusalem.
Idolatry, covetousness, and apostasy are spoken of as adultery spiritually (Jer. 3:6, 8, 9; Ezek. 16:32; Hos. 1:2:3; Rev. 2:22). An apostate church is an adulteress (Isa. 1:21; Ezek. 23:4, 7, 37), and the Jews are styled “an adulterous generation” (Matt. 12:39). (Comp. Rev. 12.)
Adummim The red ones, a place apparently on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem, “on the south side of the torrent” Wady Kelt, looking toward Gilgal, mentioned Josh. 15:7; 18:17. It was nearly half-way between Jerusalem and Jericho, and now bears the name of Tal-at-ed-Dumm. It is supposed to have been the place referred to in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). Recently a new carriage-road has been completed, and carriages for the first time have come along this road from Jerusalem.
Adversary (Heb. satan), an opponent or foe (1 Kings 5:4; 11:14, 23, 25; Luke 13:17); one that speaks against another, a complainant (Matt. 5:25; Luke 12:58); an enemy (Luke 18:3), and specially the devil (1 Pet. 5:8).
Advocate (Gr. parakletos), one who pleads another’s cause, who helps another by defending or comforting him. It is a name given by Christ three times to the Holy Ghost (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7, where the Greek word is rendered “Comforter,” q.v.). It is applied to Christ in 1 John 2:1, where the same Greek word is rendered “Advocate,” the rendering which it should have in all the places where it occurs. Tertullus “the orator” (Acts 24:1) was a Roman advocate whom the Jews employed to accuse Paul before Felix.
AEnon Springs, a place near Salim where John baptized (John 3:23). It was probably near the upper source of the Wady Far’ah, an open valley extending from Mount Ebal to the Jordan. It is full of springs. A place has been found called Ainun, four miles north of the springs.
Affection Feeling or emotion. Mention is made of “vile affections” (Rom. 1:26) and “inordinate affection” (Col. 3:5). Christians are exhorted to set their affections on things above (Col. 3:2). There is a distinction between natural and spiritual or gracious affections (Ezek. 33:32).
Affinity Relationship by alliance (2 Chr. 18:1) or by marriage (1 Kings 3:1). Marriages are prohibited within certain degrees of affinity, enumerated Lev. 18:6-17. Consanguinity is relationship by blood.
Afflictions Common to all (Job 5:7; 14:1; Ps. 34:19); are for the good of men (James 1:2, 3, 12; 2 Cor. 12:7) and the glory of God (2 Cor. 12:7-10; 1 Pet. 4:14), and are to be borne with patience by the Lord’s people (Ps. 94:12; Prov. 3:12). They are all directed by God (Lam. 3:33), and will result in the everlasting good of his people (2 Cor. 4:16-18) in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:35-39).
Agabus A “prophet,” probably one of the seventy disciples of Christ. He prophesied at Antioch of an approaching famine (Acts 11:27, 28). Many years afterwards he met Paul at Caesarea, and warned him of the bonds and affliction that awaited him at Jerusalem should he persist in going thither (Acts 21:10-12).
Agag Flame, the usual title of the Amalekite kings, as “Pharaoh” was of the Egyptian. (1.) A king of the Amalekites referred to by Balaam (Num. 24:7). He lived at the time of the Exodus.
(2.) Another king of the Amalekites whom Saul spared unlawfully, but whom Samuel on his arrival in the camp of Saul ordered, in retributive justice (Judg. 1), to be brought out and cut in pieces (1 Sam. 15:8-33. Comp. Ex. 17:11; Num. 14:45).
Agagite A name applied to Haman and also to his father (Esther 3:1, 10; 8:3, 5). Probably it was equivalent to Amalekite.
Agate (Heb. shebo), a precious stone in the breast-plate of the high priest (Ex. 28:19; 39:12), the second in the third row. This may be the agate properly so called, a semi-transparent crystallized quartz, probably brought from Sheba, whence its name. In Isa. 54:12 and Ezek. 27:16, this word is the rendering of the Hebrew cadcod, which means “ruddy,” and denotes a variety of minutely crystalline silica more or less in bands of different tints.
This word is from the Greek name of a stone found in the river Achates in Sicily.
Age Used to denote the period of a man’s life (Gen. 47:28), the maturity of life (John 9:21), the latter end of life (Job 11:17), a generation of the human race (Job 8:8), and an indefinite period (Eph. 2:7; 3:5, 21; Col. 1:26). Respect to be shown to the aged (Lev. 19:32). It is a blessing to communities when they have old men among them (Isa. 65:20; Zech. 8:4). The aged supposed to excel in understanding (Job 12:20; 15:10; 32:4, 9; 1 Kings 12:6, 8). A full age the reward of piety (Job 5:26; Gen. 15:15).
Agee Fugitive, the father of Shammah, who was one of David’s mighty men (2 Sam. 23:11)
Agony Contest; wrestling; severe struggling with pain and suffering. Anguish is the reflection on evil that is already past, while agony is a struggle with evil at the time present. It is only used in the New Testament by Luke (22:44) to describe our Lord’s fearful struggle in Gethsemane.
The verb from which the noun “agony” is derived is used to denote an earnest endeavour or striving, as “Strive [agonize] to enter” (Luke 13:24); “Then would my servants fight” [agonize] (John 18:36). Comp. 1 Cor. 9:25; Col. 1:29; 4:12; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7, where the words “striveth,” “labour,” “conflict,” “fight,” are the renderings of the same Greek verb.
Agriculture Tilling the ground (Gen. 2:15; 4:2, 3, 12) and rearing cattle were the chief employments in ancient times. The Egyptians excelled in agriculture. And after the Israelites entered into the possession of the Promised Land, their circumstances favoured in the highest degree a remarkable development of this art. Agriculture became indeed the basis of the Mosaic commonwealth.
The year in Palestine was divided into six agricultural periods:-
I. SOWING TIME. Tisri, latter half (beginning about the autumnal equinox.) Marchesvan. Kisleu, former half. Early rain due = first showers of autumn.
II. UNRIPE TIME. Kisleu, latter half. Tebet. Sebat, former half.
III. COLD SEASON. Sebat, latter half. Adar. [Veadar.] Nisan, former half. Latter rain due (Deut. 11:14; Jer. 5:24; Hos. 6:3; Zech. 10:1; James 5:7; Job 29:23).
IV. HARVEST TIME. Nisan, latter half. (Beginning about vernal equinox. Barley green. Passover.) Ijar. Sivan, former half., Wheat ripe. Pentecost.
V. SUMMER (total absence of rain) Sivan, latter half. Tammuz. Ab, former half.
VI. SULTRY SEASON Ab, latter half. Elul. Tisri, former half., Ingathering of fruits.
The six months from the middle of Tisri to the middle of Nisan were occupied with the work of cultivation, and the rest of the year mainly with the gathering in of the fruits. The extensive and easily-arranged system of irrigation from the rills and streams from the mountains made the soil in every part of Palestine richly productive (Ps. 1:3; 65:10; Prov. 21:1; Isa. 30:25; 32:2, 20; Hos. 12:11), and the appliances of careful cultivation and of manure increased its fertility to such an extent that in the days of Solomon, when there was an abundant population, “20,000 measures of wheat year by year” were sent to Hiram in exchange for timber (1 Kings 5:11), and in large quantities also wheat was sent to the Tyrians for the merchandise in which they traded (Ezek. 27:17). The wheat sometimes produced an hundredfold (Gen. 26:12; Matt. 13:23). Figs and pomegranates were very plentiful (Num. 13:23), and the vine and the olive grew luxuriantly and produced abundant fruit (Deut. 33:24).
Lest the productiveness of the soil should be exhausted, it was enjoined that the whole land should rest every seventh year, when all agricultural labour would entirely cease (Lev. 25:1-7; Deut. 15:1-10).
It was forbidden to sow a field with divers seeds (Deut. 22:9). A passer-by was at liberty to eat any quantity of corn or grapes, but he was not permitted to carry away any (Deut. 23:24, 25; Matt. 12:1). The poor were permitted to claim the corners of the fields and the gleanings. A forgotten sheaf in the field was to be left also for the poor. (See Lev. 19:9, 10; Deut. 24:19.)
Agricultural implements and operations.
The sculptured monuments and painted tombs of Egypt and Assyria throw much light on this subject, and on the general operations of agriculture. Ploughs of a simple construction were known in the time of Moses (Deut. 22:10; comp. Job 1:14). They were very light, and required great attention to keep them in the ground (Luke 9:62). They were drawn by oxen (Job 1:14), cows (1 Sam. 6:7), and asses (Isa. 30:24); but an ox and an ass must not be yoked together in the same plough (Deut. 22:10). Men sometimes followed the plough with a hoe to break the clods (Isa. 28:24). The oxen were urged on by a “goad,” or long staff pointed at the end, so that if occasion arose it could be used as a spear also (Judg. 3:31; 1 Sam. 13:21).
When the soil was prepared, the seed was sown broadcast over the field (Matt. 13:3-8). The “harrow” mentioned in Job 39:10 was not used to cover the seeds, but to break the clods, being little more than a thick block of wood. In highly irrigated spots the seed was trampled in by cattle (Isa. 32:20); but doubtless there was some kind of harrow also for covering in the seed scattered in the furrows of the field.
The reaping of the corn was performed either by pulling it up by the roots, or cutting it with a species of sickle, according to circumstances. The corn when cut was generally put up in sheaves (Gen. 37:7; Lev. 23:10-15; Ruth 2:7, 15; Job 24:10; Jer. 9:22; Micah 4:12), which were afterwards gathered to the threshing-floor or stored in barns (Matt. 6:26).
The process of threshing was performed generally by spreading the sheaves on the threshing-floor and causing oxen and cattle to tread repeatedly over them (Deut. 25:4; Isa. 28:28). On occasions flails or sticks were used for this purpose (Ruth 2:17; Isa. 28:27). There was also a “threshing instrument” (Isa. 41:15; Amos 1:3) which was drawn over the corn. It was called by the Hebrews a moreg, a threshing roller or sledge (2 Sam. 24:22; 1 Chr. 21:23; Isa. 3:15). It was somewhat like the Roman tribulum, or threshing instrument.
When the grain was threshed, it was winnowed by being thrown up against the wind (Jer. 4:11), and afterwards tossed with wooden scoops (Isa. 30:24). The shovel and the fan for winnowing are mentioned in Ps. 35:5, Job 21:18, Isa. 17:13. The refuse of straw and chaff was burned (Isa. 5:24). Freed from impurities, the grain was then laid up in granaries till used (Deut. 28:8; Prov. 3:10; Matt. 6:26; 13:30; Luke 12:18).
Agrippa I. The grandson of Herod the Great, and son of Aristobulus and Bernice. The Roman emperor Caligula made him governor first of the territories of Philip, then of the tetrarchy of Lysanias, with the title of king (“king Herod”), and finally of that of Antipas, who was banished, and of Samaria and Judea. Thus he became ruler over the whole of Palestine. He was a persecutor of the early Christians. He slew James, and imprisoned Peter (Acts 12:1-4). He died at Caesarea, being “eaten of worms” (Acts 12:23), A.D. 44. (Comp. Josephus, Ant. xix. 8.)
Agrippa II. Son of the foregoing, was born at Rome, A.D. 27. He was the brother of Bernice and Drusilla. The Emperor Claudius (A.D. 48) invested him with the office of superintendent of the Temple of Jerusalem, and made him governor (A.D. 50) of Chalcis. He was afterwards raised to the rank of king, and made governor over the tetrarchy of Philip and Lysanias (Acts 25:13; 26:2, 7). It was before him that Paul delivered (A.D. 59) his speech recorded in Acts 26. His private life was very profligate. He died (the last of his race) at Rome, at the age of about seventy years, A.D. 100.
Ague The translation in Lev. 26:16 (R.V., “fever”) of the Hebrew word kaddah’ath, meaning “kindling”, i.e., an inflammatory or burning fever. In Deut. 28:22 the word is rendered “fever.”
Agur Gatherer; the collector, mentioned as author of the sayings in Prov. 30. Nothing is known of him beyond what is there recorded.
Ah! An exclamation of sorrow or regret (Ps. 35:25; Isa. 1:4, 24; Jer. 1:6; 22:18; Mark 15:29).
Aha! An exclamation of ridicule (Ps. 35:21; 40:15; 70:3). In Isa. 44:16 it signifies joyful surprise, as also in Job 39:25, R.V.
Ahab Father’s brother. (1.) The son of Omri, whom he succeeded as the seventh king of Israel. His history is recorded in 1 Kings 16-22. His wife was Jezebel (q.v.), who exercised a very evil influence over him. To the calf-worship introduced by Jeroboam he added the worship of Baal. He was severely admonished by Elijah (q.v.) for his wickedness. His anger was on this account kindled against the prophet, and he sought to kill him. He undertook three campaigns against Ben-hadad II., king of Damascus. In the first two, which were defensive, he gained a complete victory over Ben-hadad, who fell into his hands, and was afterwards released on the condition of his restoring all the cities of Israel he then held, and granting certain other concessions to Ahab. After three years of peace, for some cause Ahab renewed war (1 Kings 22:3) with Ben-hadad by assaulting the city of Ramoth-gilead, although the prophet Micaiah warned him that he would not succeed, and that the 400 false prophets who encouraged him were only leading him to his ruin. Micaiah was imprisoned for thus venturing to dissuade Ahab from his purpose. Ahab went into the battle disguised, that he might if possible escape the notice of his enemies; but an arrow from a bow “drawn at a venture” pierced him, and though stayed up in his chariot for a time he died towards evening, and Elijah’s prophecy (1 Kings 21:19) was fulfilled. He reigned twenty-three years. Because of his idolatry, lust, and covetousness, Ahab is referred to as pre-eminently the type of a wicked king (2 Kings 8:18; 2 Chr. 22:3; Micah 6:16).
(2.) A false prophet referred to by Jeremiah (Jer. 29:21), of whom nothing further is known.
Ahasuerus There are three kings designated by this name in Scripture. (1.) The father of Darius the Mede, mentioned in Dan. 9:1. This was probably the Cyaxares I. known by this name in profane history, the king of Media and the conqueror of Nineveh.
(2.) The king mentioned in Ezra 4:6, probably the Cambyses of profane history, the son and successor of Cyrus (B.C. 529).
(3.) The son of Darius Hystaspes, the king named in the Book of Esther. He ruled over the kingdoms of Persia, Media, and Babylonia, “from India to Ethiopia.” This was in all probability the Xerxes of profane history, who succeeded his father Darius (B.C. 485). In the LXX. version of the Book of Esther the name Artaxerxes occurs for Ahasuerus. He reigned for twenty-one years (B.C. 486-465). He invaded Greece with an army, it is said, of more than 2,000,000 soldiers, only 5,000 of whom returned with him. Leonidas, with his famous 300, arrested his progress at the Pass of Thermopylae, and then he was defeated disastrously by Themistocles at Salamis. It was after his return from this invasion that Esther was chosen as his queen.
Ahava Water, the river (Ezra 8:21) by the banks of which the Jewish exiles assembled under Ezra when about to return to Jerusalem from Babylon. In all probability this was one of the streams of Mesopotamia which flowed into the Euphrates somewhere in the north-west of Babylonia. It has, however, been supposed to be the name of a place (Ezra 8:15) now called Hit, on the Euphrates, east of Damascus.
Ahaz Possessor. (1.) A grandson of Jonathan (1 Chr. 8:35; 9:42).
(2.) The son and successor of Jotham, king of Judah (2 Kings 16; Isa. 7-9; 2 Chr. 28). He gave himself up to a life of wickedness and idolatry. Notwithstanding the remonstrances and warnings of Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah, he appealed for help against Rezin, king of Damascus, and Pekah, king of Israel, who threatened Jerusalem, to Tiglath-pileser, the king of Assyria, to the great injury of his kingdom and his own humilating subjection to the Assyrians (2 Kings 16:7, 9; 15:29). He also introduced among his people many heathen and idolatrous customs (Isa. 8:19; 38:8; 2 Kings 23:12). He died at the age of thirty-five years, after reigning sixteen years (B.C. 740-724), and was succeeded by his son Hezekiah. Because of his wickedness he was “not brought into the sepulchre of the kings.”
Ahaziah Held by Jehovah. (1.) The son and successor of Ahab. He followed the counsels of his mother Jezebel, and imitated in wickedness the ways of his father. In his reign the Moabites revolted from under his authority (2 Kings 3:5-7). He united with Jehoshaphat in an attempt to revive maritime trade by the Red Sea, which proved a failure (2 Chr. 20:35-37). His messengers, sent to consult the god of Ekron regarding his recovery from the effects of a fall from the roof-gallery of his palace, were met on the way by Elijah, who sent them back to tell the king that he would never rise from his bed (1 Kings 22:51; 2 Kings 1:18).
(2.) The son of Joram, or Jehoram, and sixth king of Judah. Called Jehoahaz (2 Chr. 21:17; 25:23), and Azariah (2 Chr. 22:6). Guided by his idolatrous mother Athaliah, his reign was disastrous (2 Kings 8:24-29; 9:29). He joined his uncle Jehoram, king of Israel, in an expedition against Hazael, king of Damascus; but was wounded at the pass of Gur when attempting to escape, and had strength only to reach Megiddo, where he died (2 Kings 9:22-28). He reigned only one year.
Ahiam Mother’s brother, one of David’s thirty heroes (2 Sam. 23:33; 1 Chr. 11:35).
Ahiezer Brother of help; i.e., “helpful.” (1.) The chief of the tribe of Dan at the time of the Exodus (Num. 1:12; 2:25; 10:25).
(2.) The chief of the Benjamite slingers that repaired to David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:3).
Ahihud Brother (i.e., “friend”) of union. (1.) A son of Bela, the son of Benjamin (1 Chr. 8:7).
(2.) Name different in Hebrew, meaning brother of Judah. Chief of the tribe of Asher; one of those appointed by Moses to superintend the division of Canaan among the tribe (Num. 34:27).
Ahijah Brother (i.e., “friend”) of Jehovah. (1.) One of the sons of Bela (1 Chr. 8:7, R.V.). In A.V. called “Ahiah.”
(2.) One of the five sons of Jerahmeel, who was great-grandson of Judah (1 Chr. 2:25).
(3.) Son of Ahitub (1 Sam. 14:3, 18), Ichabod’s brother; the same probably as Ahimelech, who was high priest at Nob in the reign of Saul (1 Sam. 22:11). Some, however, suppose that Ahimelech was the brother of Ahijah, and that they both officiated as high priests, Ahijah at Gibeah or Kirjath-jearim, and Ahimelech at Nob.
(4.) A Pelonite, one of David’s heroes (1 Chr. 11:36); called also Eliam (2 Sam. 23:34).
(5.) A Levite having charge of the sacred treasury in the temple (1 Chr. 26:20).
(6.) One of Solomon’s secretaries (1 Kings 4:3).
(7.) A prophet of Shiloh (1 Kings 11:29; 14:2), called the “Shilonite,” in the days of Rehoboam. We have on record two of his remarkable prophecies, 1 Kings 11:31-39, announcing the rending of the ten tribes from Solomon; and 1 Kings 14:6-16, delivered to Jeroboam’s wife, foretelling the death of Abijah the king’s son, the destruction of Jeroboam’s house, and the captivity of Israel “beyond the river.” Jeroboam bears testimony to the high esteem in which he was held as a prophet of God (1 Kings 14:2, 3).
Ahikam Brother of support = helper, one of the five whom Josiah sent to consult the prophetess Huldah in connection with the discovery of the book of the law (2 Kings 22:12-14; 2 Chr. 34:20). He was the son of Shaphan, the royal secretary, and the father of Gedaliah, governor of Judea after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians (2 Kings 25:22; Jer. 40:5-16; 43:6). On one occasion he protected Jeremiah against the fury of Jehoiakim (Jer. 26:24). It was in the chamber of another son (Germariah) of Shaphan that Baruch read in the ears of all the people Jeremiah’s roll.
Ahimaaz Brother of anger = irascible. (1.) The father Ahinoam, the wife of Saul (1 Sam. 14:50).
(2.) The son and successor of Zadok in the office of high priest (1 Chr. 6:8, 53). On the occasion of the revolt of Absalom he remained faithful to David, and was of service to him in conveying to him tidings of the proceedings of Absalom in Jerusalem (2 Sam. 15:24-37; 17:15-21). He was swift of foot, and was the first to carry to David tidings of the defeat of Absalom, although he refrained, from delicacy of feeling, from telling him of his death (2 Sam. 18:19-33).
Ahiman Brother of a gift = liberal. (1.) One of the three giant Anakim brothers whom Caleb and the spies saw in Mount Hebron (Num. 13:22) when they went in to explore the land. They were afterwards driven out and slain (Josh. 15:14; Judg. 1:10).
(2.) One of the guardians of the temple after the Exile (1 Chr. 9:17).
Ahimelech Brother of the king, the son of Ahitub and father of Abiathar (1 Sam. 22:20-23). He descended from Eli in the line of Ithamar. In 1 Chr. 18:16 he is called Abimelech, and is probably the same as Ahiah (1 Sam. 14:3, 18). He was the twelfth high priest, and officiated at Nob, where he was visited by David (to whom and his companions he gave five loaves of the showbread) when he fled from Saul (1 Sam. 21:1-9). He was summoned into Saul’s presence, and accused, on the information of Doeg the Edomite, of disloyalty because of his kindness to David; whereupon the king commanded that he, with the other priests who stood beside him (86 in all), should be put to death. This sentence was carried into execution by Doeg in the most cruel manner (1 Sam. 22:9-23). Possibly Abiathar had a son also called Ahimelech, or the two names, as some think, may have been accidentally transposed in 2 Sam. 8:17; 1 Chr. 18:16, marg.; 24:3, 6, 31.
Ahinadab Brother of liberality = liberal, one of the twelve commissariat officers appointed by Solomon in so many districts of his kingdom to raise supplies by monthly rotation for his household. He was appointed to the district of Mahanaim (1 Kings 4:14), east of Jordan.
Ahinoam Brother of pleasantness = pleasant. (1.) The daughter of Ahimaaz, and wife of Saul (1 Sam. 14:50).
(2.) A Jezreelitess, the first wife of David (1 Sam. 25:43; 27:3). She was the mother of Amnon (2 Sam. 3:2). (See 1 Sam. 30:5, 18; 2 Sam. 2:2.)
Ahio Brotherly. (1.) One of the sons of Beriah (1 Chr. 8:14).
(2.) One of the sons of Jehiel the Gibeonite (1 Chr. 8:31; 9:37).
(3.) One of the sons of Abinadab the Levite. While Uzzah went by the side of the ark, he walked before it guiding the oxen which drew the cart on which it was carried, after having brought it from his father’s house in Gibeah (1 Chr. 13:7; 2 Sam. 6:3, 4).
Ahira Brother of evil = unlucky, or my brother is friend, chief of the tribe of Naphtali at the Exodus (Num. 1:15; 2:29).
Ahishar Brother of song = singer, the officer who was “over the household” of Solomon (1 Kings 4:6).
Ahithophel Brother of insipidity or impiety, a man greatly renowned for his sagacity among the Jews. At the time of Absalom’s revolt he deserted David (Ps. 41:9; 55:12-14) and espoused the cause of Absalom (2 Sam. 15:12). David sent his old friend Hushai back to Absalom, in order that he might counteract the counsel of Ahithophel (2 Sam. 15:31-37). This end was so far gained that Ahithophel saw he had no longer any influence, and accordingly he at once left the camp of Absalom and returned to Giloh, his native place, where, after arranging his wordly affairs, he hanged himself, and was buried in the sepulchre of his fathers (2 Sam. 17:1-23). He was the type of Judas (Ps. 41:9).
Ahitub Brother of goodness = good. (1.) The son of Phinehas. On the death of his grandfather Eli he succeeded to the office of high priest, and was himself succeeded by his son Ahijah (1 Sam. 14:3; 22:9, 11, 12, 20).
(2.) The father of Zadok, who was made high priest by Saul after the extermination of the family of Ahimelech (1 Chr. 6:7, 8; 2 Sam. 8:17).
Ahlab Fatness, a town of Asher lying within the unconquered Phoenician border (Judg. 1:31), north-west of the Sea of Galilee; commonly identified with Giscala, now el-Jish.
Ahoah Brotherly, one of the sons of Bela, the son of Benjamin (1 Chr. 8:4). He is also called Ahiah (ver. 7) and Iri (1 Chr. 7:7). His descendants were called Ahohites (2 Sam. 23:9, 28).
Ahohite An epithet applied to Dodo, one of Solomon’s captains (1 Chr. 27:4); to his son Eleazar, one of David’s three mightiest heroes (2 Sam. 23:9; 1 Chr. 11:12); and to Zalmon, one of the thirty (2 Sam. 23:28; 1 Chr. 11:29), from their descent from Ahoah.
Aholah She has her own tent, a name used by Ezekiel (23:4, 5, 36, 44) as a symbol of the idolatry of the kingdom of Israel. This kingdom is described as a lewdwoman, an adulteress, given up to the abominations and idolatries of the Egyptians and Assyrians. Because of her crimes, she was carried away captive, and ceased to be a kingdom. (Comp. Ps. 78:67-69; 1 Kings 12:25-33; 2 Chr. 11:13-16.)
Aholiab Tent of the father, an artist of the tribe of Dan, appointed to the work of preparing materials for the tabernacle (Ex. 31:6; 35:34; 36:1, 2; 38:23).
Aholibah My tent is in her, the name of an imaginary harlot, applied symbolically to Jerusalem, because she had abandoned the worship of the true God and given herself up to the idolatries of foreign nations. (Ezek. 23:4, 11, 22, 36, 44).
Aholibamah Tent of the height, the name given to Judith, the daughter of Beeri = Anah (Gen. 26:34; 36:2), when she became the wife of Esau. A district among the mountains of Edom, probably near Mount Hor, was called after her name, or it may be that she received her name from the district. From her descended three tribes of Edomites, founded by her three sons.
Ai Ruins. (1.) One of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Josh. 10:1; Gen. 12:8; 13:3). It was the scene of Joshua’s defeat, and afterwards of his victory. It was the second Canaanite city taken by Israel (Josh. 7:2-5; 8:1-29). It lay rebuilt and inhibited by the Benjamites (Ezra 2:28; Neh. 7:32; 11:31). It lay to the east of Bethel, “beside Beth-aven.” The spot which is most probably the site of this ancient city is Haiyan, 2 miles east from Bethel. It lay up the Wady Suweinit, a steep, rugged valley, extending from the Jordan valley to Bethel.
(2.) A city in the Ammonite territory (Jer. 49:3). Some have thought that the proper reading of the word is Ar (Isa. 15:1).
Aijeleth Shahar Hind of the dawn, a name found in the title of Ps. 22. It is probably the name of some song or tune to the measure of which the psalm was to be chanted. Some, however, understand by the name some instrument of music, or an allegorical allusion to the subject of the psalm.
Air The atmosphere, as opposed to the higher regions of the sky (1 Thess. 4:17; Rev. 9:2; 16:17). This word occurs once as the rendering of the Hebrew ruah (Job 41:16); elsewhere it is the rendering of shamaiyim, usually translated “heavens.”
The expression “to speak into the air” (1 Cor. 14:9) is a proverb denoting to speak in vain, as to “beat the air” (1 Cor. 9:26) denotes to labour in vain.
Ajalon And Aij’alon, place of deer. (1.) A town and valley originally assigned to the tribe of Dan, from which, however, they could not drive the Amorites (Judg. 1:35). It was one of the Levitical cities given to the Kohathites (1 Chr. 6:69). It was not far from Beth-shemesh (2 Chr. 28:18). It was the boundary between the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, and is frequently mentioned in Jewish history (2 Chr. 11:10; 1 Sam. 14:31; 1 Chr. 8:13). With reference to the valley named after the town, Joshua uttered the celebrated command, “Sun, stand thou still on Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon” (Josh. 10:12). It has been identified as the modern Yalo, at the foot of the Beth-horon pass (q.v.). In the Tell Amarna letters Adoni-zedek (q.v.) speaks of the destruction of the “city of Ajalon” by the invaders, and describes himself as “afflicted, greatly afflicted” by the calamities that had come on the land, urging the king of Egypt to hasten to his help.
(2.) A city in the tribe of Zebulun (Judg. 12:12), the modern Jalun, three miles north of Cabul.
Akkub (another form of Jacob). (1.) The head of one of the families of Nethinim (Ezra 2:45).
(2.) A Levite who kept the gate of the temple after the return from Babylon (1 Chr. 9:17; Ezra 2:42; Neh. 7:45).
(3.) A descendant of David (1 Chr. 3:24).
Akrabbim Scorpions, probably the general name given to the ridge containing the pass between the south of the Dead Sea and Zin, es-Sufah, by which there is an ascent to the level of the land of Palestine. Scorpions are said to abound in this whole district, and hence the name (Num. 34:4). It is called “Maaleh-acrabbim” in Josh. 15:3, and “the ascent of Akrabbim” in Num. 34:4.
Alabaster Occurs only in the New Testament in connection with the box of “ointment of spikenard very precious,” with the contents of which a woman anointed the head of Jesus as he sat at supper in the house of Simon the leper (Matt. 26:7; Mark 14:3; Luke 7:37). These boxes were made from a stone found near Alabastron in Egypt, and from this circumstance the Greeks gave them the name of the city where they were made. The name was then given to the stone of which they were made; and finally to all perfume vessels, of whatever material they were formed. The woman “broke” the vessel; i.e., she broke off, as was usually done, the long and narrow neck so as to reach the contents. This stone resembles marble, but is softer in its texture, and hence very easily wrought into boxes. Mark says (14:5) that this box of ointment was worth more than 300 pence, i.e., denarii, each of the value of sevenpence halfpenny of our money, and therefore worth about 10 pounds. But if we take the denarius as the day’s wage of a labourer (Matt. 20:2), say two shillings of our money, then the whole would be worth about 30 pounds, so costly was Mary’s offering.
Alamoth Virgins, a musical term (1 Chr. 15:20), denoting that the psalm which bears this inscription (Ps. 46) was to be sung by soprano or female voices.
Alarm A particular quivering sound of the silver trumpets to give warning to the Hebrews on their journey through the wilderness (Num. 10:5, 6), a call to arms, or a war-note (Jer. 4:19; 49:2; Zeph. 1:16).
Alemeth Covering. (1.) One of the nine sons of Becher, the son of Benjamin (1 Chr. 7:8).
(2.) One of the sons of Jehoadah, or Jarah, son of Ahaz (1 Chr. 8:36).
(3.) A sacerdotal city of Benjamin (1 Chr. 6:60), called also Almon (Josh. 21:18), now Almit, a mile north-east of the ancient Anathoth.
Alexander Man-defender. (1.) A relative of Annas the high priest, present when Peter and John were examined before the Sanhedrim (Acts 4:6).
(2.) A man whose father, Simon the Cyrenian, bore the cross of Christ (Mark 15:21).
(3.) A Jew of Ephesus who took a prominent part in the uproar raised there by the preaching of Paul (Acts 19:33). The Jews put him forward to plead their cause before the mob. It was probably intended that he should show that he and the other Jews had no sympathy with Paul any more than the Ephesians had. It is possible that this man was the same as the following.
(4.) A coppersmith who, with Hymenaeus and others, promulgated certain heresies regarding the resurrection (1 Tim. 1:19; 2 Tim. 4:14), and made shipwreck of faith and of a good conscience. Paul excommunicated him (1 Tim. 1:20; comp. 1 Cor. 5:5).
Alexander the Great The king of Macedonia, the great conqueror; probably represented in Daniel by the “belly of brass” (Dan. 2:32), and the leopard and the he-goat (7:6; 11:3, 4). He succeeded his father Philip, and died at the age of thirty-two from the effects of intemperance, B.C. 323. His empire was divided among his four generals.
Alexandria The ancient metropolis of Lower Egypt, so called from its founder, Alexander the Great (about B.C. 333). It was for a long period the greatest of existing cities, for both Nineveh and Babylon had been destroyed, and Rome had not yet risen to greatness. It was the residence of the kings of Egypt for 200 years. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament, and only incidentally in the New. Apollos, eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures, was a native of this city (Acts 18:24). Many Jews from Alexandria were in Jerusalem, where they had a synagogue (Acts 6:9), at the time of Stephen’s martyrdom. At one time it is said that as many as 10,000 Jews resided in this city. It possessed a famous library of 700,000 volumes, which was burned by the Saracens (A.D. 642). It was here that the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek. This is called the Septuagint version, from the tradition that seventy learned men were engaged in executing it. It was, however, not all translated at one time. It was begun B.C. 280, and finished about B.C. 200 or 150. (See VERSION.)
Algum (2 Chr. 2:8; 9:10, 11), the same as almug (1 Kings 10:11).
Alien A foreigner, or person born in another country, and therefore not entitled to the rights and privileges of the country where he resides. Among the Hebrews there were two classes of aliens.
(1.) Those who were strangers generally, and who owned no landed property.
(2.) Strangers dwelling in another country without being naturalized (Lev. 22:10; Ps. 39:12).
Both of these classes were to enjoy, under certain conditions, the same rights as other citizens (Lev. 19:33, 34; Deut. 10:19). They might be naturalized and permitted to enter into the congregation of the Lord by submitting to circumcision and abandoning idolatry (Deut. 23:3-8).
This term is used (Eph. 2:12) to denote persons who have no interest in Christ.
Allegory Used only in Gal. 4:24, where the apostle refers to the history of Isaac the free-born, and Ishmael the slave-born, and makes use of it allegorically.
Every parable is an allegory. Nathan (2 Sam. 12:1-4) addresses David in an allegorical narrative. In the eightieth Psalm there is a beautiful allegory: “Thou broughtest a vine out of Egypt,” etc. In Eccl. 12:2-6, there is a striking allegorical description of old age.
Alleluia The Greek form (Rev. 19:1, 3, 4, 6) of the Hebrew Hallelujah = Praise ye Jehovah, which begins or ends several of the psalms (106, 111, 112, 113, etc.).
Alliance A treaty between nations, or between individuals, for their mutual advantage.
Abraham formed an alliance with some of the Canaanitish princes (Gen. 14:13), also with Abimelech (21:22-32). Joshua and the elders of Israel entered into an alliance with the Gibeonites (Josh. 9:3-27). When the Israelites entered Palestine they were forbidden to enter into alliances with the inhabitants of the country (Lev. 18:3, 4; 20:22, 23).
Solomon formed a league with Hiram (1 Kings 5:12). This “brotherly covenant” is referred to 250 years afterwards (Amos 1:9). He also appears to have entered into an alliance with Pharaoh (1 Kings 10:28, 29).
In the subsequent history of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel various alliances were formed between them and also with neighbouring nations at different times.
From patriarchal times a covenant of alliance was sealed by the blood of some sacrificial victim. The animal sacrificed was cut in two (except birds), and between these two parts the persons contracting the alliance passed (Gen. 15:10). There are frequent allusions to this practice (Jer. 34:18). Such alliances were called “covenants of salt” (Num. 18:19; 2 Chr. 13:5), salt being the symbol of perpetuity. A pillar was set up as a memorial of the alliance between Laban and Jacob (Gen. 31:52). The Jews throughout their whole history attached great importance to fidelity to their engagements. Divine wrath fell upon the violators of them (Josh. 9:18; 2 Sam. 21:1, 2; Ezek. 17:16).
Allon Oak. (1.) The expression in the Authorized Version of Josh. 19:33, “from Allon to Zaanannim,” is more correctly rendered in the Revised Version, “from the oak in Zaanannim.” The word denotes some remarkable tree which stood near Zaanannim, and which served as a landmark.
(2.) The son of Jedaiah, of the family of the Simeonites, who expelled the Hamites from the valley of Gedor (1 Chr. 4:37).
Allon-bachuth Oak of weeping, a tree near Bethel, at the spot where Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, was buried (Gen. 35:8). Large trees, from their rarity in the plains of Palestine, were frequently designated as landmarks. This particular tree was probably the same as the “palm tree of Deborah” (Judg. 4:5).
Almodad Immeasurable, the first named of the sons of Joktan (Gen. 10:26), the founder of an Arabian tribe.
Almon Hidden, one of the sacerdotal cities of Benjamin (Josh. 21:18), called also Alemeth (1 Chr. 6:60).
Almond A native of Syria and Palestine. In form, blossoms, and fruit it resembles the peach tree. Its blossoms are of a very pale pink colour, and appear before its leaves. Its Hebrew name, shaked, signifying “wakeful, hastening,” is given to it on account of its putting forth its blossoms so early, generally in February, and sometimes even in January. In Eccl. 12:5, it is referred to as illustrative, probably, of the haste with which old age comes. There are others, however, who still contend for the old interpretation here. “The almond tree bears its blossoms in the midst of winter, on a naked, leafless stem, and these blossoms (reddish or flesh-coloured in the beginning) seem at the time of their fall exactly like white snow-flakes. In this way the almond blossom is a very fitting symbol of old age, with its silvery hair and its wintry, dry, barren, unfruitful condition.” In Jer. 1:11 “I see a rod of an almond tree [shaked]…for I will hasten [shaked] my word to perform it” the word is used as an emblem of promptitude. Jacob desired his sons (Gen. 43:11) to take with them into Egypt of the best fruits of the land, almonds, etc., as a present to Joseph, probably because this tree was not a native of Egypt. Aaron’s rod yielded almonds (Num. 17:8; Heb. 9:4). Moses was directed to make certain parts of the candlestick for the ark of carved work “like unto almonds” (Ex. 25:33, 34). The Hebrew word luz, translated “hazel” in the Authorized Version (Gen. 30:37), is rendered in the Revised Version “almond.” It is probable that luz denotes the wild almond, while shaked denotes the cultivated variety.
Alms Not found in the Old Testament, but repeatedly in the New. The Mosaic legislation (Lev. 25:35; Deut. 15:7) tended to promote a spirit of charity, and to prevent the occurrence of destitution among the people. Such passages as these, Ps. 41:1; 112:9; Prov. 14:31; Isa. 10:2; Amos 2:7; Jer. 5:28; Ezek. 22:29, would also naturally foster the same benevolent spirit.
In the time of our Lord begging was common (Mark 10:46; Acts 3:2). The Pharisees were very ostentatious in their almsgivings (Matt. 6:2). The spirit by which the Christian ought to be actuated in this duty is set forth in 1 John 3:17. A regard to the state of the poor and needy is enjoined as a Christian duty (Luke 3:11; 6:30; Matt. 6:1; Acts 9:36; 10:2, 4), a duty which was not neglected by the early Christians (Luke 14:13; Acts 20:35; Gal. 2:10; Rom. 15:25-27; 1 Cor. 16:1-4). They cared not only for the poor among themselves, but contributed also to the necessities of those at a distance (Acts 11:29; 24:17; 2 Cor. 9:12). Our Lord and his attendants showed an example also in this (John 13:29).
In modern times the “poor-laws” have introduced an element which modifies considerably the form in which we may discharge this Christian duty.
Almug (1 Kings 10:11, 12) = algum (2 Chr. 2:8; 9:10, 11), in the Hebrew occurring only in the plural almuggim (indicating that the wood was brought in planks), the name of a wood brought from Ophir to be used in the building of the temple, and for other purposes. Some suppose it to have been the white sandal-wood of India, the Santalum album of botanists, a native of the mountainous parts of the Malabar coasts. It is a fragrant wood, and is used in China for incense in idol-worship. Others, with some probability, think that it was the Indian red sandal-wood, the pterocarpus santalinus, a heavy, fine-grained wood, the Sanscrit name of which is valguka. It is found on the Coromandel coast and in Ceylon.
Aloes (Heb. ahalim), a fragrant wood (Num. 24:6; Ps. 45:8; Prov. 7:17; Cant. 4:14), the Aquilaria agallochum of botanists, or, as some suppose, the costly gum or perfume extracted from the wood. It is found in China, Siam, and Northern India, and grows to the height sometimes of 120 feet. This species is of great rarity even in India. There is another and more common species, called by Indians aghil, whence Europeans have given it the name of Lignum aquile, or eagle-wood. Aloewood was used by the Egyptians for embalming dead bodies. Nicodemus brought it (pounded aloe-wood) to embalm the body of Christ (John 19:39); but whether this was the same as that mentioned elsewhere is uncertain.
The bitter aloes of the apothecary is the dried juice of the leaves Aloe vulgaris.
Alphaeus (1.) The father of James the Less, the apostle and writer of the epistle (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13), and the husband of Mary (John 19:25). The Hebrew form of this name is Cleopas, or Clopas (q.v.).
(2.) The father of Levi, or Matthew (Mark 2:14).
Altar (Heb. mizbe’ah, from a word meaning “to slay”), any structure of earth (Ex. 20:24) or unwrought stone (20:25) on which sacrifices were offered. Altars were generally erected in conspicuous places (Gen. 22:9; Ezek. 6:3; 2 Kings 23:12; 16:4; 23:8; Acts 14:13). The word is used in Heb. 13:10 for the sacrifice offered upon it–the sacrifice Christ offered.
Paul found among the many altars erected in Athens one bearing the inscription, “To the unknown God” (Acts 17:23), or rather “to an [i.e., some] unknown God.” The reason for this inscription cannot now be accurately determined. It afforded the apostle the occasion of proclaiming the gospel to the “men of Athens.”
The first altar we read of is that erected by Noah (Gen. 8:20). Altars were erected by Abraham (Gen. 12:7; 13:4; 22:9), by Isaac (Gen. 26:25), by Jacob (33:20; 35:1, 3), and by Moses (Ex. 17:15, “Jehovah-nissi”).
In the tabernacle, and afterwards in the temple, two altars were erected.
(1.) The altar of burnt offering (Ex. 30:28), called also the “brasen altar” (Ex. 39:39) and “the table of the Lord” (Mal. 1:7).
This altar, as erected in the tabernacle, is described in Ex. 27:1-8. It was a hollow square, 5 cubits in length and in breadth, and 3 cubits in height. It was made of shittim wood, and was overlaid with plates of brass. Its corners were ornamented with “horns” (Ex. 29:12; Lev. 4:18).
In Ex. 27:3 the various utensils appertaining to the altar are enumerated. They were made of brass. (Comp. 1 Sam. 2:13, 14; Lev. 16:12; Num. 16:6, 7.)
In Solomon’s temple the altar was of larger dimensions (2 Chr. 4:1. Comp. 1 Kings 8:22, 64; 9:25), and was made wholly of brass, covering a structure of stone or earth. This altar was renewed by Asa (2 Chr. 15:8). It was removed by Ahaz (2 Kings 16:14), and “cleansed” by Hezekiah, in the latter part of whose reign it was rebuilt. It was finally broken up and carried away by the Babylonians (Jer. 52:17).
After the return from captivity it was re-erected (Ezra 3:3, 6) on the same place where it had formerly stood. (Comp. 1 Macc. 4:47.) When Antiochus Epiphanes pillaged Jerusalem the altar of burnt offering was taken away.
Again the altar was erected by Herod, and remained in its place till the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans (70 A.D.).
The fire on the altar was not permitted to go out (Lev. 6:9).
In the Mosque of Omar, immediately underneath the great dome, which occupies the site of the old temple, there is a rough projection of the natural rock, of about 60 feet in its extreme length, and 50 in its greatest breadth, and in its highest part about 4 feet above the general pavement. This rock seems to have been left intact when Solomon’s temple was built. It was in all probability the site of the altar of burnt offering. Underneath this rock is a cave, which may probably have been the granary of Araunah’s threshing-floor (1 Chr. 21:22).
(2.) The altar of incense (Ex. 30:1-10), called also “the golden altar” (39:38; Num. 4:11), stood in the holy place “before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony.” On this altar sweet spices were continually burned with fire taken from the brazen altar. The morning and the evening services were commenced by the high priest offering incense on this altar. The burning of the incense was a type of prayer (Ps. 141:2; Rev. 5:8; 8:3, 4).
This altar was a small movable table, made of acacia wood overlaid with gold (Ex. 37:25, 26). It was 1 cubit in length and breadth, and 2 cubits in height.
In Solomon’s temple the altar was similar in size, but was made of cedar-wood (1 Kings 6:20; 7:48) overlaid with gold. In Ezek. 41:22 it is called “the altar of wood.” (Comp. Ex. 30:1-6.)
In the temple built after the Exile the altar was restored. Antiochus Epiphanes took it away, but it was afterwards restored by Judas Maccabaeus (1 Macc. 1:23; 4:49). Among the trophies carried away by Titus on the destruction of Jerusalem the altar of incense is not found, nor is any mention made of it in Heb. 9. It was at this altar Zacharias ministered when an angel appeared to him (Luke 1:11). It is the only altar which appears in the heavenly temple (Isa. 6:6; Rev. 8:3, 4).
Altaschith Destroy not, the title of Ps. 57, 58, 59, and 75. It was probably the name of some song to the melody of which these psalms were to be chanted.
Alush One of the places, the last before Rephidim, at which the Hebrews rested on their way to Sinai (Num. 33:13, 14). It was probably situated on the shore of the Red Sea.
Amalek Dweller in a valley, the son of Eliphaz and grandson of Esau (Gen. 36:12; 1 Chr. 1:36); the chief of an Idumean tribe (Gen. 36:16). His mother was a Horite, a tribe whose territory the descendants of Esau had seized.
Amalekite A tribe that dwelt in Arabia Petraea, between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. They were not the descendants of Amalek, the son of Eliphaz, for they existed in the days of Abraham (Gen. 14:7). They were probably a tribe that migrated from the shores of the Persian Gulf and settled in Arabia. “They dwelt in the land of the south…from Havilah until thou comest to Shur” (Num. 13:29; 1 Sam. 15:7). They were a pastoral, and hence a nomadic race. Their kings bore the hereditary name of Agag (Num. 24:7; 1 Sam. 15:8). They attempted to stop the Israelites when they marched through their territory (Deut. 25:18), attacking them at Rephidim (Ex. 17:8-13; comp. Deut. 25:17; 1 Sam. 15:2). They afterwards attacked the Israelites at Hormah (Num. 14:45). We read of them subsequently as in league with the Moabites (Judg. 3:13) and the Midianites (Judg. 6:3). Saul finally desolated their territory and destroyed their power (1 Sam. 14:48; 15:3), and David recovered booty from them (1 Sam. 30:18-20). In the Babylonian inscriptions they are called Sute, in those of Egypt Sittiu, and the Amarna tablets include them under the general name of Khabbati, or “plunderers.”
Amana Perennial. (1.) The Hebrew margin of 2 Kings 5:12 gives this as another reading of Abana (q.v.), a stream near Damascus.
(2.) A mountain (Cant. 4:8), probably the southern summit of Anti-Libanus, at the base of which are the sources of the Abana.
Amariah Said by Jehovah. (1.) One of the descendants of Aaron by Eleazar (1 Chr. 6:7, 52). He was probably the last of the high priests of Eleazar’s line prior to the transfer of that office to Eli, of the line of Ithamar.
(2.) A Levite, son of Hebron, of the lineage of Moses (1 Chr. 23:19; 24:23).
(3.) A “chief priest” who took an active part in the reformation under Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 19:11); probably the same as mentioned in 1 Chr. 6:9.
(4.) 1 Chr. 6:11; Ezra 7:3. (5.) One of the high priests in the time of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 31:15). (6.) Zeph. 1:1. (7.) Neh. 11:4. (8.) Neh. 10:3. (9.) Ezra 10:42.
Amasa Burden. (1.) The son of Abigail, a sister of king David (1 Chr. 2:17; 2 Sam. 17:25). He was appointed by David to command the army in room of his cousin Joab (2 Sam. 19:13), who afterwards treacherously put him to death as a dangerous rival (2 Sam. 20:4-12).
(2.) A son of Hadlai, and chief of Ephraim (2 Chr. 28:12) in the reign of Ahaz.
Amasai Burdensome. (1.) A Levite, son of Elkanah, of the ancestry of Samuel (1 Chr. 6:25, 35).
(2.) The leader of a body of men who joined David in the “stronghold,” probably of Adullam (1 Chr. 12:18).
(3.) One of the priests appointed to precede the ark with blowing of trumpets on its removal from the house of Obed-edom (1 Chr. 15:24).
(4.) The father of a Levite, one of the two Kohathites who took a prominent part at the instance of Hezekiah in the cleansing of the temple (2 Chr. 29:12).
Amashai The son of Azareel, appointed by Nehemiah to reside at Jerusalem and do the work of the temple (Neh. 11:13).
Amasiah Burden of (i.e., “sustained by”) Jehovah, the “son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself unto the Lord,” a captain over thousands under Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 17:16; comp. Judg. 5:9).
Amaziah Strengthened by Jehovah. (1.) A Levite, son of Hilkiah, of the descendants of Ethan the Merarite (1 Chr. 6:45).
(2.) The son and successor of Joash, and eighth king of the separate kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 14:1-4). He began his reign by punishing the murderers of his father (5-7; 2 Chr. 25:3-5). He was the first to employ a mercenary army of 100,000 Israelite soldiers, which he did in his attempt to bring the Edomites again under the yoke of Judah (2 Chr. 25:5, 6). He was commanded by a prophet of the Lord to send back the mercenaries, which he did (2 Chr. 25:7-10, 13), much to their annoyance. His obedience to this command was followed by a decisive victory over the Edomites (2 Chr. 25:14-16). Amaziah began to worship some of the idols he took from the Edomites, and this was his ruin, for he was vanquished by Joash, king of Israel, whom he challenged to battle. The disaster he thus brought upon Judah by his infatuation in proclaiming war against Israel probably occasioned the conspiracy by which he lost his life (2 Kings 14:8-14, 19). He was slain at Lachish, whither he had fled, and his body was brought upon horses to Jerusalem, where it was buried in the royal sepulchre (2 Kings 14:19, 20; 2 Chr. 25:27, 28).
(3.) A priest of the golden calves at Bethel (Amos 7:10-17).
(4.) The father of Joshah, one of the Simeonite chiefs in the time of Hezekiah (1 Chr. 4:34).
Ambassador In the Old Testament the Hebrew word tsir, meaning “one who goes on an errand,” is rendered thus (Josh. 9:4; Prov. 13:17; Isa. 18:2; Jer. 49:14; Obad. 1:1). This is also the rendering of melits, meaning “an interpreter,” in 2 Chr. 32:31; and of malak, a “messenger,” in 2 Chr. 35:21; Isa. 30:4; 33:7; Ezek. 17:15. This is the name used by the apostle as designating those who are appointed by God to declare his will (2 Cor. 5:20; Eph. 6:20).
The Hebrews on various occasions and for various purposes had recourse to the services of ambassadors, e.g., to contract alliances (Josh. 9:4), to solicit favours (Num. 20:14), to remonstrate when wrong was done (Judg. 11:12), to condole with a young king on the death of his father (2 Sam. 10:2), and to congratulate a king on his accession to the throne (1 Kings 5:1).
To do injury to an ambassador was to insult the king who sent him (2 Sam. 10:5).
Amber (Ezek. 1:4, 27; 8:2. Heb., hashmal, rendered by the LXX. elektron, and by the Vulgate electrum), a metal compounded of silver and gold. Some translate the word by “polished brass,” others “fine brass,” as in Rev. 1:15; 2:18. It was probably the mixture now called electrum. The word has no connection, however, with what is now called amber, which is a gummy substance, reckoned as belonging to the mineral kingdom though of vegetable origin, a fossil resin.
Ambush Joshua at the capture of Ai lay in ambush, and so deceived the inhabitants that he gained an easy victory (Josh. 8:4-26). Shechem was taken in this manner (Judg. 9:30-45. Comp. Jer. 51:12).
Amen This Hebrew word means firm, and hence also faithful (Rev. 3:14). In Isa. 65:16, the Authorized Version has “the God of truth,” which in Hebrew is “the God of Amen.” It is frequently used by our Saviour to give emphasis to his words, where it is translated “verily.” Sometimes, only, however, in John’s Gospel, it is repeated, “Verily, verily.” It is used as an epithet of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 3:14).
It is found singly and sometimes doubly at the end of prayers (Ps. 41:13; 72:19; 89:52), to confirm the words and invoke the fulfilment of them. It is used in token of being bound by an oath (Num. 5:22; Deut. 27:15-26; Neh. 5:13; 8:6; 1 Chr. 16:36). In the primitive churches it was common for the general audience to say “Amen” at the close of the prayer (1 Cor. 14:16).
The promises of God are Amen; i.e., they are all true and sure (2 Cor. 1:20).
Amethyst One of the precious stones in the breastplate of the high priest (Ex. 28:19; 39:12), and in the foundation of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:20). The ancients thought that this stone had the power of dispelling drunkenness in all who wore or touched it, and hence its Greek name formed from a_, “privative,” and _methuo, “to get drunk.” Its Jewish name, ahlamah’, was derived by the rabbins from the Hebrew word halam, “to dream,” from its supposed power of causing the wearer to dream.
It is a pale-blue crystallized quartz, varying to a dark purple blue. It is found in Persia and India, also in different parts of Europe.
Amittai True, the father of Jonah the prophet, a native of Gath-hepher (2 Kings 14:25; Jonah 1:1).
Ammah A cubit, the name of a hill which Joab and Abishai reached as the sun went down, when they were in pursuit of Abner (2 Sam. 2:24). It lay to the east of Gibeon.
Ammi My people, a name given by Jehovah to the people of Israel (Hos. 2:1, 23. Comp. 1:9; Ezek. 16:8; Rom. 9:25, 26; 1 Pet. 2:10).
Ammiel People of God. (1.) One of the twelve spies sent by Moses to search the land of Canaan (Num. 13:12). He was one of the ten who perished by the plague for their unfavourable report (Num. 14:37).
(2.) The father of Machir of Lo-debar, in whose house Mephibosheth resided (2 Sam. 9:4, 5; 17:27).
(3.) The father of Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, and afterwards of David (1 Chr. 3:5). He is called Eliam in 2 Sam. 11:3.
(4.) One of the sons of Obed-edom the Levite (1 Chr. 26:5).
Ammihud People of glory; i.e., “renowned.” (1.) The father of the Ephraimite chief Elishama, at the time of the Exodus (Num. 1:10; 2:18; 7:48, 53).
(2.) Num. 34:20. (3.) Num. 34:28.
(4.) The father of Talmai, king of Geshur, to whom Absalom fled after the murder of Amnon (2 Sam. 13:37).
(5.) The son of Omri, and the father of Uthai (1 Chr. 9:4).
Amminadab Kindred of the prince. (1.) The father of Nahshon, who was chief of the tribe of Judah (Num. 1:7; 2:3; 7:12, 17; 10:14). His daughter Elisheba was married to Aaron (Ex. 6:23).
(2.) A son of Kohath, the second son of Levi (1 Chr. 6:22), called also Izhar (2, 18).
(3.) Chief of the 112 descendants of Uzziel the Levite (1 Chr. 15:10, 11).
Amminadib A person mentioned in Cant. 6:12, whose chariots were famed for their swiftness. It is rendered in the margin “my willing people,” and in the Revised Version “my princely people.”
Ammishaddai People of the Almighty, the father of Ahiezer, who was chief of the Danites at the time of the Exodus (Num. 1:12; 2:25). This is one of the few names compounded with the name of God, Shaddai, “Almighty.”
Ammizabad People of the giver, the son of Benaiah, who was the third and chief captain of the host under David (1 Chr. 27:6).
Ammon Another form of the name Ben-ammi, the son of Lot (Gen. 19:38). This name is also used for his posterity (Ps. 83:7).
Ammonite The usual name of the descendants of Ammon, the son of Lot (Gen. 19:38). From the very beginning (Deut. 2:16-20) of their history till they are lost sight of (Judg. 5:2), this tribe is closely associated with the Moabites (Judg. 10:11; 2 Chr. 20:1; Zeph. 2:8). Both of these tribes hired Balaam to curse Israel (Deut. 23:4). The Ammonites were probably more of a predatory tribe, moving from place to place, while the Moabites were more settled. They inhabited the country east of the Jordan and north of Moab and the Dead Sea, from which they had expelled the Zamzummims or Zuzims (Deut. 2:20; Gen. 14:5). They are known as the Beni-ammi (Gen. 19:38), Ammi or Ammon being worshipped as their chief god. They were of Semitic origin, and closely related to the Hebrews in blood and language. They showed no kindness to the Israelites when passing through their territory, and therefore they were prohibited from “entering the congregation of the Lord to the tenth generation” (Deut. 23:3). They afterwards became hostile to Israel (Judg. 3:13). Jephthah waged war against them, and “took twenty cities with a very great slaughter” (Judg. 11:33). They were again signally defeated by Saul (1 Sam. 11:11). David also defeated them and their allies the Syrians (2 Sam. 10:6-14), and took their chief city, Rabbah, with much spoil (2 Sam. 10:14; 12:26-31). The subsequent events of their history are noted in 2 Chr. 20:25; 26:8; Jer. 49:1; Ezek. 25:3, 6. One of Solomon’s wives was Naamah, an Ammonite. She was the mother of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:31; 2 Chr. 12:13).
The prophets predicted fearful judgments against the Ammonites because of their hostility to Israel (Zeph. 2:8; Jer. 49:1-6; Ezek. 25:1-5, 10; Amos 1:13-15).
The national idol worshipped by this people was Molech or Milcom, at whose altar they offered human sacrifices (1 Kings 11:5, 7). The high places built for this idol by Solomon, at the instigation of his Ammonitish wives, were not destroyed till the time of Josiah (2 Kings 23:13).
Amnon Faithful. (1.) One of the sons of Shammai, of the children of Ezra (1 Chr. 4:20; comp. 17).
(2.) The eldest son of David, by Ahinoam of Jezreel (1 Chr. 3:1; 2 Sam. 3:2). Absalom caused him to be put to death for his great crime in the matter of Tamar (2 Sam. 13:28, 29).
Amon Builder. (1.) The governor of Samaria in the time of Ahab. The prophet Micaiah was committed to his custody (1 Kings 22:26; 2 Chr. 18:25).
(2.) The son of Manasseh, and fourteenth king of Judah. He restored idolatry, and set up the images which his father had cast down. Zephaniah (1:4; 3:4, 11) refers to the moral depravity prevailing in this king’s reign.
He was assassinated (2 Kings 21:18-26: 2 Chr. 33:20-25) by his own servants, who conspired against him.
(3.) An Egyptian god, usually depicted with a human body and the head of a ram, referred to in Jer. 46:25, where the word “multitudes” in the Authorized Version is more appropriately rendered “Amon” in the Revised Version. In Nah. 3:8 the expression “populous No” of the Authorized version is rendered in the Revised Version “No-amon.” Amon is identified with Ra, the sun-god of Heliopolis.
(4.) Neh. 7:59.
Amorites Highlanders, or hillmen, the name given to the descendants of one of the sons of Canaan (Gen. 14:7), called Amurra or Amurri in the Assyrian and Egyptian inscriptions. On the early Babylonian monuments all Syria, including Palestine, is known as “the land of the Amorites.” The southern slopes of the mountains of Judea are called the “mount of the Amorites” (Deut. 1:7, 19, 20). They seem to have originally occupied the land stretching from the heights west of the Dead Sea (Gen. 14:7) to Hebron (13. Comp. 13:8; Deut. 3:8; 4:46-48), embracing “all Gilead and all Bashan” (Deut. 3:10), with the Jordan valley on the east of the river (4:49), the land of the “two kings of the Amorites,” Sihon and Og (Deut. 31:4; Josh. 2:10; 9:10). The five kings of the Amorites were defeated with great slaughter by Joshua (10:10). They were again defeated at the waters of Merom by Joshua, who smote them till there were none remaining (Josh. 11:8). It is mentioned as a surprising circumstance that in the days of Samuel there was peace between them and the Israelites (1 Sam. 7:14). The discrepancy supposed to exist between Deut. 1:44 and Num. 14:45 is explained by the circumstance that the terms “Amorites” and “Amalekites” are used synonymously for the “Canaanites.” In the same way we explain the fact that the “Hivites” of Gen. 34:2 are the “Amorites” of 48:22. Comp. Josh. 10:6; 11:19 with 2 Sam. 21:2; also Num. 14:45 with Deut. 1:44. The Amorites were warlike mountaineers. They are represented on the Egyptian monuments with fair skins, light hair, blue eyes, aquiline noses, and pointed beards. They are supposed to have been men of great stature; their king, Og, is described by Moses as the last “of the remnant of the giants” (Deut. 3:11). Both Sihon and Og were independent kings. Only one word of the Amorite language survives, “Shenir,” the name they gave to Mount Hermon (Deut. 3:9).
Amos Borne; a burden, one of the twelve minor prophets. He was a native of Tekota, the modern Tekua, a town about 12 miles south-east of Bethlehem. He was a man of humble birth, neither a “prophet nor a prophet’s son,” but “an herdman and a dresser of sycomore trees,” R.V. He prophesied in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and was contemporary with Isaiah and Hosea (Amos 1:1; 7:14, 15; Zech. 14:5), who survived him a few years. Under Jeroboam II. the kingdom of Israel rose to the zenith of its prosperity; but that was followed by the prevalence of luxury and vice and idolatry. At this period Amos was called from his obscurity to remind the people of the law of God’s retributive justice, and to call them to repentance.
The Book of Amos consists of three parts:
(1.) The nations around are summoned to judgment because of their sins (1:1-2:3). He quotes Joel 3:16.
(2.) The spiritual condition of Judah, and especially of Israel, is described (2:4-6:14).
(3.) In 7:1-9:10 are recorded five prophetic visions. (a) The first two (7:1-6) refer to judgments against the guilty people. (b) The next two (7:7-9; 8:1-3) point out the ripeness of the people for the threatened judgements. 7:10-17 consists of a conversation between the prophet and the priest of Bethel. (c) The fifth describes the overthrow and ruin of Israel (9:1-10); to which is added the promise of the restoration of the kingdom and its final glory in the Messiah’s kingdom.
The style is peculiar in the number of the allusions made to natural objects and to agricultural occupations. Other allusions show also that Amos was a student of the law as well as a “child of nature.” These phrases are peculiar to him: “Cleanness of teeth” [i.e., want of bread] (4:6); “The excellency of Jacob” (6:8; 8:7); “The high places of Isaac” (7:9); “The house of Isaac” (7:16); “He that createth the wind” (4:13). Quoted, Acts 7:42.
Amoz Strong, the father of the prophet Isaiah (2 Kings 19:2, 20; 20:1; Isa. 1:1; 2:1). As to his personal history little is positively known. He is supposed by some to have been the “man of God” spoken of in 2 Chr. 25:7, 8.
Amphipolis City on both sides, a Macedonian city, a great Roman military station, through which Paul and Silas passed on their way from Philippi to Thessalonica, a distance of 33 Roman miles from Philippi (Acts 17:1).
Amplias A Roman Christian saluted by Paul (Rom. 16:8).
Amram Kindred of the High; i.e., “friend of Jehovah.” (1.) The son of Kohath, the son of Levi. He married Jochebed, “his father’s sister,” and was the father of Aaron, Miriam, and Moses (Ex. 6:18, 20; Num. 3:19). He died in Egypt at the age of 137 years (Ex. 6:20). His descendants were called Amramites (Num. 3:27; 1 Chr. 26:23). (2.) Ezra 10:34.
Amraphel King of Shinar, southern Chaldea, one of the confederates of Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, in a war against Sodom and cities of the plain (Gen. 14:1, 4). It is now found that Amraphel (or Ammirapaltu) is the Khammu-rabi whose name appears on recently-discovered monuments. (See CHEDORLAOMER). After defeating Arioch (q.v.) he united Babylonia under one rule, and made Babylon his capital.
Anab Grape-town, one of the cities in the mountains of Judah, from which Joshua expelled the Anakim (Josh. 11:21; 15:50). It still retains its ancient name. It lies among the hills, 10 miles south-south-west of Hebron.
Anah Speech. (1.) One of the sons of Seir, and head of an Idumean tribe, called a Horite, as in course of time all the branches of this tribe were called from their dwelling in caves in Mount Seir (Gen. 36:20, 29; 1 Chr. 1:38).
(2.) One of the two sons of Zibeon the Horite, and father of Esau’s wife Aholibamah (Gen. 36:18, 24).
Anak Long-necked, the son of Arba, father of the Anakim (Josh. 15:13; 21:11, Heb. Anok).
Anakim The descendants of Anak (Josh. 11:21; Num. 13:33; Deut. 9:2). They dwelt in the south of Palestine, in the neighbourhood of Hebron (Gen. 23:2; Josh. 15:13). In the days of Abraham (Gen. 14:5, 6) they inhabited the region afterwards known as Edom and Moab, east of the Jordan. They were probably a remnant of the original inhabitants of Palestine before the Canaanites, a Cushite tribe from Babel, and of the same race as the Phoenicians and the Egyptian shepherd kings. Their formidable warlike appearance, as described by the spies sent to search the land, filled the Israelites with terror. They seem to have identified them with the Nephilim, the “giants” (Gen. 6:4; Num. 13:33) of the antediluvian age. There were various tribes of Anakim (Josh. 15:14). Joshua finally expelled them from the land, except a remnant that found a refuge in the cities of Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod (Josh. 11:22). The Philistine giants whom David encountered (2 Sam. 21:15-22) were descendants of the Anakim. (See GIANTS.)
Anamim The name of an Egyptian tribe descended from Mizraim (Gen. 10:13; 1 Chr. 1:11).
Anammelech One of the gods worshipped by the people of Sepharvaim, who colonized Samaria (2 Kings 17:31). The name means “Anu is king.” It was a female deity representing the moon, as Adrammelech (q.v.) was the male representing the sun.
Anan Cloud, one of the Israelites who sealed the covenant after the return from Babylon (Neh. 10:26).
Ananiah Protected by Jehovah, the name of a town in the tribe of Benjamin between Nob and Hazor (Neh. 11:32). It is probably the modern Beit Hanina, a small village 3 miles north of Jerusalem.
Ananias A common Jewish name, the same as Hananiah. (1.) One of the members of the church at Jerusalem, who conspired with his wife Sapphira to deceive the brethren, and who fell down and immediately expired after he had uttered the falsehood (Acts 5:5). By common agreement the members of the early Christian community devoted their property to the work of furthering the gospel and of assisting the poor and needy. The proceeds of the possessions they sold were placed at the disposal of the apostles (Acts 4:36, 37). Ananias might have kept his property had he so chosen; but he professed agreement with the brethren in the common purpose, and had of his own accord devoted it all, as he said, to these sacred ends. Yet he retained a part of it for his own ends, and thus lied in declaring that he had given it all. “The offence of Ananias and Sapphira showed contempt of God, vanity and ambition in the offenders, and utter disregard of the corruption which they were bringing into the society. Such sin, committed in despite of the light which they possessed, called for a special mark of divine indignation.”
(2.) A Christian at Damascus (Acts 9:10). He became Paul’s instructor; but when or by what means he himself became a Christian we have no information. He was “a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt” at Damascus (22:12).
(3.) The high priest before whom Paul was brought in the procuratorship of Felix (Acts 23:2, 5, 24). He was so enraged at Paul’s noble declaration, “I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day,” that he commanded one of his attendants to smite him on the mouth. Smarting under this unprovoked insult, Paul quickly replied, “God shall smite thee, thou whited wall.” Being reminded that Ananias was the high priest, to whose office all respect was to be paid, he answered, “I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest” (Acts 23:5). This expression has occasioned some difficulty, as it is scarcely probable that Paul should have been ignorant of so public a fact. The expression may mean (a) that Paul had at the moment overlooked the honour due to the high priest; or (b), as others think, that Paul spoke ironically, as if he had said, “The high priest breaking the law! God’s high priest a tyrant and a lawbreaker! I see a man in white robes, and have heard his voice, but surely it cannot, it ought not to be, the voice of the high priest.” (See Dr. Lindsay on Acts, in loco.) (c) Others think that from defect of sight Paul could not observe that the speaker was the high priest. In all this, however, it may be explained, Paul, with all his excellency, comes short of the example of his divine Master, who, when he was reviled, reviled not again.
Anath An answer; i.e., to “prayer”, the father of Shamgar, who was one of the judges of Israel (Judg. 3:31).
Anathema Anything laid up or suspended; hence anything laid up in a temple or set apart as sacred. In this sense the form of the word is anath(ee)ma, once in plural used in the Greek New Testament, in Luke 21:5, where it is rendered “gifts.” In the LXX. the form anathema is generally used as the rendering of the Hebrew word herem, derived from a verb which means (1) to consecrate or devote; and (2) to exterminate. Any object so devoted to the Lord could not be redeemed (Num. 18:14; Lev. 27:28, 29); and hence the idea of exterminating connected with the word. The Hebrew verb (haram) is frequently used of the extermination of idolatrous nations. It had a wide range of application. The anathema_ or _herem was a person or thing irrevocably devoted to God (Lev. 27:21, 28); and “none devoted shall be ransomed. He shall surely be put to death” (27:29). The word therefore carried the idea of devoted to destruction (Num. 21:2, 3; Josh. 6:17); and hence generally it meant a thing accursed. In Deut. 7:26 an idol is called a herem = anathema, a thing accursed.
In the New Testament this word always implies execration. In some cases an individual denounces an anathema on himself unless certain conditions are fulfilled (Acts 23:12, 14, 21). “To call Jesus accursed” [anathema] (1 Cor. 12:3) is to pronounce him execrated or accursed. If any one preached another gospel, the apostle says, “let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8, 9); i.e., let his conduct in so doing be accounted accursed.
In Rom. 9:3, the expression “accursed” (anathema) from Christ, i.e., excluded from fellowship or alliance with Christ, has occasioned much difficulty. The apostle here does not speak of his wish as a possible thing. It is simply a vehement expression of feeling, showing how strong was his desire for the salvation of his people.
The anathema in 1 Cor. 16:22 denotes simply that they who love not the Lord are rightly objects of loathing and execration to all holy beings; they are guilty of a crime that merits the severest condemnation; they are exposed to the just sentence of “everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.”
Anathoth The name of one of the cities of refuge, in the tribe of Benjamin (Josh. 21:18). The Jews, as a rule, did not change the names of the towns they found in Palestine; hence this town may be regarded as deriving its name from the goddess Anat. It was the native place of Abiezer, one of David’s “thirty” (2 Sam. 23:27), and of Jehu, another of his mighty men (1 Chr. 12:3). It is chiefly notable, however, as the birth-place and usual residence of Jeremiah (Jer. 1:1; 11:21-23; 29:27; 32:7-9). It suffered greatly from the army of Sennacherib, and only 128 men returned to it from the Exile (Neh. 7:27; Ezra 2:23). It lay about 3 miles north of Jerusalem. It has been identified with the small and poor village of Anata, containing about 100 inhabitants.
Anchor From Acts 27:29, 30, 40, it would appear that the Roman vessels carried several anchors, which were attached to the stern as well as to the prow. The Roman anchor, like the modern one, had two teeth or flukes. In Heb. 6:19 the word is used metaphorically for that which supports or keeps one steadfast in the time of trial or of doubt. It is an emblem of hope.
“If you fear, Put all your trust in God: that anchor holds.”
Ancient of Days An expression applied to Jehovah three times in the vision of Daniel (7:9, 13, 22) in the sense of eternal. In contrast with all earthly kings, his days are past reckoning.
Andrew Manliness, a Greek name; one of the apostles of our Lord. He was of Bethsaida in Galilee (John 1:44), and was the brother of Simon Peter (Matt. 4:18; 10:2). On one occasion John the Baptist, whose disciple he then was, pointing to Jesus, said, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:40); and Andrew, hearing him, immediately became a follower of Jesus, the first of his disciples. After he had been led to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, his first care was to bring also his brother Simon to Jesus. The two brothers seem to have after this pursued for a while their usual calling as fishermen, and did not become the stated attendants of the Lord till after John’s imprisonment (Matt. 4:18, 19; Mark 1:16, 17). Very little is related of Andrew. He was one of the confidential disciples (John 6:8; 12:22), and with Peter, James, and John inquired of our Lord privately regarding his future coming (Mark 13:3). He was present at the feeding of the five thousand (John 6:9), and he introduced the Greeks who desired to see Jesus (John 12:22); but of his subsequent history little is known. It is noteworthy that Andrew thrice brings others to Christ, (1) Peter; (2) the lad with the loaves; and (3) certain Greeks. These incidents may be regarded as a key to his character.
Andronicus Man-conquering, a Jewish Christian, the kinsman and fellowprisoner of Paul (Rom. 16:7); “of note among the apostles.”
Anem Two fountains, a Levitical city in the tribe of Issachar (1 Chr. 6:73). It is also called En-gannim (q.v.) in Josh. 19:21; the modern Jenin.
Aner A boy. (1.) A Canaanitish chief who joined his forces with those of Abraham in pursuit of Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:13, 24).
(2.) A city of Manasseh given to the Levites of Kohath’s family (1 Chr. 6:70).
Angel A word signifying, both in the Hebrew and Greek, a “messenger,” and hence employed to denote any agent God sends forth to execute his purposes. It is used of an ordinary messenger (Job 1:14: 1 Sam. 11:3; Luke 7:24; 9:52), of prophets (Isa. 42:19; Hag. 1:13), of priests (Mal. 2:7), and ministers of the New Testament (Rev. 1:20).
It is also applied to such impersonal agents as the pestilence (2 Sam. 24:16, 17; 2 Kings 19:35), the wind (Ps. 104:4).
But its distinctive application is to certain heavenly intelligences whom God employs in carrying on his government of the world. The name does not denote their nature but their office as messengers. The appearances to Abraham at Mamre (Gen. 18:2, 22. Comp. 19:1), to Jacob at Peniel (Gen. 32:24, 30), to Joshua at Gilgal (Josh. 5:13, 15), of the Angel of the Lord, were doubtless manifestations of the Divine presence, “foreshadowings of the incarnation,” revelations before the “fulness of the time” of the Son of God.
(1.) The existence and orders of angelic beings can only be discovered from the Scriptures. Although the Bible does not treat of this subject specially, yet there are numerous incidental details that furnish us with ample information. Their personal existence is plainly implied in such passages as Gen. 16:7, 10, 11; Judg. 13:1-21; Matt. 28:2-5; Heb. 1:4, etc.
These superior beings are very numerous. “Thousand thousands,” etc. (Dan. 7:10; Matt. 26:53; Luke 2:13; Heb. 12:22, 23). They are also spoken of as of different ranks in dignity and power (Zech. 1:9, 11; Dan. 10:13; 12:1; 1 Thess. 4:16; Jude 1:9; Eph. 1:21; Col. 1:16).
(2.) As to their nature, they are spirits (Heb. 1:14), like the soul of man, but not incorporeal. Such expressions as “like the angels” (Luke 20:36), and the fact that whenever angels appeared to man it was always in a human form (Gen. 18:2; 19:1, 10; Luke 24:4; Acts 1:10), and the titles that are applied to them (“sons of God,” Job 1:6; 38:7; Dan. 3:25; comp. 28) and to men (Luke 3:38), seem all to indicate some resemblance between them and the human race. Imperfection is ascribed to them as creatures (Job 4:18; Matt. 24:36; 1 Pet. 1:12). As finite creatures they may fall under temptation; and accordingly we read of “fallen angels.” Of the cause and manner of their “fall” we are wholly ignorant. We know only that “they left their first estate” (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 12:7, 9), and that they are “reserved unto judgement” (2 Pet. 2:4). When the manna is called “angels’ food,” this is merely to denote its excellence (Ps. 78:25). Angels never die (Luke 20:36). They are possessed of superhuman intelligence and power (Mark 13:32; 2 Thess. 1:7; Ps. 103:20). They are called “holy” (Luke 9:26), “elect” (1 Tim. 5:21). The redeemed in glory are “like unto the angels” (Luke 20:36). They are not to be worshipped (Col. 2:18; Rev. 19:10).
(3.) Their functions are manifold. (a) In the widest sense they are agents of God’s providence (Ex. 12:23; Ps. 104:4; Heb. 11:28; 1 Cor. 10:10; 2 Sam. 24:16; 1 Chr. 21:16; 2 Kings 19:35; Acts 12:23). (b) They are specially God’s agents in carrying on his great work of redemption. There is no notice of angelic appearances to man till after the call of Abraham. From that time onward there are frequent references to their ministry on earth (Gen. 18; 19; 24:7, 40; 28:12; 32:1). They appear to rebuke idolatry (Judg. 2:1-4), to call Gideon (Judg. 6:11, 12), and to consecrate Samson (13:3). In the days of the prophets, from Samuel downward, the angels appear only in their behalf (1 Kings 19:5; 2 Kings 6:17; Zech. 1-6; Dan. 4:13, 23; 10:10, 13, 20, 21).
The Incarnation introduces a new era in the ministrations of angels. They come with their Lord to earth to do him service while here. They predict his advent (Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:26-38), minister to him after his temptation and agony (Matt. 4:11; Luke 22:43), and declare his resurrection and ascension (Matt. 28:2-8; John 20:12, 13; Acts 1:10, 11). They are now ministering spirits to the people of God (Heb. 1:14; Ps. 34:7; 91:11; Matt. 18:10; Acts 5:19; 8:26; 10:3; 12:7; 27:23). They rejoice over a penitent sinner (Luke 15:10). They bear the souls of the redeemed to paradise (Luke 16:22); and they will be the ministers of judgement hereafter on the great day (Matt. 13:39, 41, 49; 16:27; 24:31). The passages (Ps. 34:7, Matt. 18:10) usually referred to in support of the idea that every individual has a particular guardian angel have no such meaning. They merely indicate that God employs the ministry of angels to deliver his people from affliction and danger, and that the angels do not think it below their dignity to minister even to children and to the least among Christ’s disciples.
The “angel of his presence” (Isa. 63:9. Comp. Ex. 23:20, 21; 32:34; 33:2; Num. 20:16) is probably rightly interpreted of the Messiah as the guide of his people. Others have supposed the expression to refer to Gabriel (Luke 1:19).
Anger The emotion of instant displeasure on account of something evil that presents itself to our view. In itself it is an original susceptibility of our nature, just as love is, and is not necessarily sinful. It may, however, become sinful when causeless, or excessive, or protracted (Matt. 5:22; Eph. 4:26; Col. 3:8). As ascribed to God, it merely denotes his displeasure with sin and with sinners (Ps. 7:11).
Anim Fountains, a city in the mountains of Judah (Josh. 15:50), now el-Ghuwein, near Eshtemoh, about 10 miles south-west of Hebron.
Animal An organized living creature endowed with sensation. The Levitical law divided animals into clean and unclean, although the distinction seems to have existed before the Flood (Gen. 7:2). The clean could be offered in sacrifice and eaten. All animals that had not cloven hoofs and did not chew the cud were unclean. The list of clean and unclean quadrupeds is set forth in the Levitical law (Deut. 14:3-20; Lev. 11).
Anise This word is found only in Matt. 23:23. It is the plant commonly known by the name of dill, the Peucedanum graveolens of the botanist. This name dill is derived from a Norse word which means to soothe, the plant having the carminative property of allaying pain. The common dill, the Anethum graveolens, is an annual growing wild in the cornfields of Spain and Portugal and the south of Europe generally. There is also a species of dill cultivated in Eastern countries known by the name of shubit. It was this species of garden plant of which the Pharisees were in the habit of paying tithes. The Talmud requires that the seeds, leaves, and stem of dill shall pay tithes. It is an umbelliferous plant, very like the caraway, its leaves, which are aromatic, being used in soups and pickles. The proper anise is the Pimpinella anisum.
Anna Grace, an aged widow, the daughter of Phanuel. She was a “prophetess,” like Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah (2 Chr. 34:22). After seven years of married life her husband died, and during her long widowhood she daily attended the temple services. When she was eighty-four years old, she entered the temple at the moment when the aged Simeon uttered his memorable words of praise and thanks to God that he had fulfilled his ancient promise in sending his Son into the world (Luke 2:36, 37).
Annas Was high priest A.D. 7-14. In A.D. 25 Caiaphas, who had married the daughter of Annas (John 18:13), was raised to that office, and probably Annas was now made president of the Sanhedrim, or deputy or coadjutor of the high priest, and thus was also called high priest along with Caiaphas (Luke 3:2). By the Mosaic law the high-priesthood was held for life (Num. 3:10); and although Annas had been deposed by the Roman procurator, the Jews may still have regarded him as legally the high priest. Our Lord was first brought before Annas, and after a brief questioning of him (John 18:19-23) was sent to Caiaphas, when some members of the Sanhedrim had met, and the first trial of Jesus took place (Matt. 26:57-68). This examination of our Lord before Annas is recorded only by John. Annas was president of the Sanhedrim before which Peter and John were brought (Acts 4:6).
Anoint The practice of anointing with perfumed oil was common among the Hebrews. (1.) The act of anointing was significant of consecration to a holy or sacred use; hence the anointing of the high priest (Ex. 29:29; Lev. 4:3) and of the sacred vessels (Ex. 30:26). The high priest and the king are thus called “the anointed” (Lev. 4:3, 5, 16; 6:20; Ps. 132:10). Anointing a king was equivalent to crowning him (1 Sam. 16:13; 2 Sam. 2:4, etc.). Prophets were also anointed (1 Kings 19:16; 1 Chr. 16:22; Ps. 105:15). The expression, “anoint the shield” (Isa. 21:5), refers to the custom of rubbing oil on the leather of the shield so as to make it supple and fit for use in war.
(2.) Anointing was also an act of hospitality (Luke 7:38, 46). It was the custom of the Jews in like manner to anoint themselves with oil, as a means of refreshing or invigorating their bodies (Deut. 28:40; Ruth 3:3; 2 Sam. 14:2; Ps. 104:15, etc.). This custom is continued among the Arabians to the present day.
(3.) Oil was used also for medicinal purposes. It was applied to the sick, and also to wounds (Ps. 109:18; Isa. 1:6; Mark 6:13; James 5:14).
(4.) The bodies of the dead were sometimes anointed (Mark 14:8; Luke 23:56).
(5.) The promised Deliverer is twice called the “Anointed” or Messiah (Ps. 2:2; Dan. 9:25, 26), because he was anointed with the Holy Ghost (Isa. 61:1), figuratively styled the “oil of gladness” (Ps. 45:7; Heb. 1:9). Jesus of Nazareth is this anointed One (John 1:41; Acts 9:22; 17:2, 3; 18:5, 28), the Messiah of the Old Testament.
Ant (Heb. nemalah, from a word meaning to creep, cut off, destroy), referred to in Prov. 6:6; 30:25, as distinguished for its prudent habits. Many ants in Palestine feed on animal substances, but others draw their nourishment partly or exclusively from vegetables. To the latter class belongs the ant to which Solomon refers. This ant gathers the seeds in the season of ripening, and stores them for future use; a habit that has been observed in ants in Texas, India, and Italy.
Antichrist Against Christ, or an opposition Christ, a rival Christ. The word is used only by the apostle John. Referring to false teachers, he says (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7), “Even now are there many antichrists.”
(1.) This name has been applied to the “little horn” of the “king of fierce countenance” (Dan. 7:24, 25; 8:23-25).
(2.) It has been applied also to the “false Christs” spoken of by our Lord (Matt. 24:5, 23, 24).
(3.) To the “man of sin” described by Paul (2 Thess. 2:3, 4, 8-10).
(4.) And to the “beast from the sea” (Rev. 13:1; 17:1-18).
Antioch (1.) In Syria, on the river Orontes, about 16 miles from the Mediterranean, and some 300 miles north of Jerusalem. It was the metropolis of Syria, and afterwards became the capital of the Roman province in Asia. It ranked third, after Rome and Alexandria, in point of importance, of the cities of the Roman empire. It was called the “first city of the East.” Christianity was early introduced into it (Acts 11:19, 21, 24), and the name “Christian” was first applied here to its professors (Acts 11:26). It is intimately connected with the early history of the gospel (Acts 6:5; 11:19, 27, 28, 30; 12:25; 15:22-35; Gal. 2:11, 12). It was the great central point whence missionaries to the Gentiles were sent forth. It was the birth-place of the famous Christian father Chrysostom, who died A.D. 407. It bears the modern name of Antakia, and is now a miserable, decaying Turkish town. Like Philippi, it was raised to the rank of a Roman colony. Such colonies were ruled by “praetors” (R.V. marg., Acts 16:20, 21).
(2.) In the extreme north of Pisidia; was visited by Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey (Acts 13:14). Here they found a synagogue and many proselytes. They met with great success in preaching the gospel, but the Jews stirred up a violent opposition against them, and they were obliged to leave the place. On his return, Paul again visited Antioch for the purpose of confirming the disciples (Acts 14:21). It has been identified with the modern Yalobatch, lying to the east of Ephesus.
Antiochus The name of several Syrian kings from B.C. 280 to B.C. 65. The most notable of these were, (1.) Antiochus the Great, who ascended the throne B.C. 223. He is regarded as the “king of the north” referred to in Dan. 11:13-19. He was succeeded (B.C. 187) by his son, Seleucus Philopater, spoken of by Daniel (11:20) as “a raiser of taxes”, in the Revised Version, “one that shall cause an exactor to pass through the glory of the kingdom.”
(2.) Antiochus IV., surnamed “Epiphanes” i.e., the Illustrious, succeeded his brother Seleucus (B.C. 175). His career and character are prophetically described by Daniel (11:21-32). He was a “vile person.” In a spirit of revenge he organized an expedition against Jerusalem, which he destroyed, putting vast multitudes of its inhabitants to death in the most cruel manner. From this time the Jews began the great war of independence under their heroic Maccabean leaders with marked success, defeating the armies of Antiochus that were sent against them. Enraged at this, Antiochus marched against them in person, threatening utterly to exterminate the nation; but on the way he was suddenly arrested by the hand of death (B.C. 164).
Antipas (1.) Herod Antipas, a son of Herod the Great by his Samaritan wife Malthace. He was tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea during the whole period of our Lord’s life on earth (Luke 23:7). He was a frivolous and vain prince, and was chargeable with many infamous crimes (Mark 8:15; Luke 3:19; 13:31, 32). He beheaded John the Baptist (Matt. 14:1-12) at the instigation of Herodias, the wife of his half-brother Herod-Philip, whom he had married. Pilate sent Christ to him when he was at Jerusalem at the Passover (Luke 23:7). He asked some idle questions of him, and after causing him to be mocked, sent him back again to Pilate. The wife of Chuza, his house-steward, was one of our Lord’s disciples (Luke 8:3).
(2.) A “faithful martyr” (Rev. 2:13), of whom nothing more is certainly known.
Antipatris A city built by Herod the Great, and called by this name in honour of his father, Antipater. It lay between Caesarea and Lydda, two miles inland, on the great Roman road from Caesarea to Jerusalem. To this place Paul was brought by night (Acts 23:31) on his way to Caesarea, from which it was distant 28 miles. It is identified with the modern, Ras-el-Ain, where rise the springs of Aujeh, the largest springs in Palestine.
Antonia A fortress in Jerusalem, at the north-west corner of the temple area. It is called “the castle” (Acts 21:34, 37). From the stairs of this castle Paul delivered his famous speech to the multitude in the area below (Acts 22:1-21). It was originally a place in which were kept the vestments of the high priest. Herod fortified it, and called it Antonia in honour of his friend Mark Antony. It was of great size, and commanded the temple. It was built on a plateau of rock, separated on the north from the hill Bezetha by a ditch about 30 feet deep and 165 feet wide.
Antothite An inhabitant of Anathoth, found only in 1 Chr. 11:28; 12:3. In 2 Sam. 23:27 it is Anethothite; in 1 Chr. 27:12, Anetothite. (R.V., “Anathothite.”)
Anvil The rendering of the Hebrew word , “beaten,” found only in Isa. 41:7.
Ape An animal of the monkey tribe (1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chr. 9:21). It was brought from India by the fleets of Solomon and Hiram, and was called by the Hebrews koph_, and by the Greeks _kepos, both words being just the Indian Tamil name of the monkey, kapi, i.e., swift, nimble, active. No species of ape has ever been found in Palestine or the adjacent regions.
Apelles A Christian at Rome whom Paul salutes (Rom. 16:10), and styles “approved in Christ.”
Apharsachites A company of the colonists whom the Assyrian king planted in Samaria (Ezra 5:6; 6:6).
Apharsites Another of the tribes removed to Samaria (Ezra 4:9), or perhaps the same as the preceding.
Aphik (Judg. 1:31); Aphek (Josh. 13:4; 19:30), stronghold. (1.) A city of the tribe of Asher. It was the scene of the licentious worship of the Syrian Aphrodite. The ruins of the temple, “magnificent ruins” in a “spot of strange wildness and beauty”, are still seen at Afka, on the north-west slopes of Lebanon, near the source of the river Adonis (now Nahr Ibrahim), 12 miles east of Gebal.
(2.) A city of the tribe of Issachar, near to Jezreel (1 Sam. 4:1; 29:1; comp. 28:4).
(3.) A town on the road from Damascus to Palestine, in the level plain east of Jordan, near which Benhadad was defeated by the Israelites (1 Kings 20:26, 30; 2 Kings 13:17). It has been identified with the modern Fik, 6 miles east of the Sea of Galilee, opposite Tiberias.
Apocalypse The Greek name of the Book of Revelation (q.v.).
Apocrypha Hidden, spurious, the name given to certain ancient books which found a place in the LXX. and Latin Vulgate versions of the Old Testament, and were appended to all the great translations made from them in the sixteenth century, but which have no claim to be regarded as in any sense parts of the inspired Word.
(1.) They are not once quoted by the New Testament writers, who frequently quote from the LXX. Our Lord and his apostles confirmed by their authority the ordinary Jewish canon, which was the same in all respects as we now have it.
(2.) These books were written not in Hebrew but in Greek, and during the “period of silence,” from the time of Malachi, after which oracles and direct revelations from God ceased till the Christian era.
(3.) The contents of the books themselves show that they were no part of Scripture. The Old Testament Apocrypha consists of fourteen books, the chief of which are the Books of the Maccabees (q.v.), the Books of Esdras, the Book of Wisdom, the Book of Baruch, the Book of Esther, Ecclesiasticus, Tobit, Judith, etc.
The New Testament Apocrypha consists of a very extensive literature, which bears distinct evidences of its non-apostolic origin, and is utterly unworthy of regard.
Apollonia A city of Macedonia between Amphipolis and Thessalonica, from which it was distant about 36 miles. Paul and Silas passed through it on their way to Thessalonica (Acts 17:1).
Apollos A Jew “born at Alexandria,” a man well versed in the Scriptures and eloquent (Acts 18:24; R.V., “learned”). He came to Ephesus (about A.D. 49), where he spake “boldly” in the synagogue (18:26), although he did not know as yet that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. Aquila and Priscilla instructed him more perfectly in “the way of God”, i.e., in the knowledge of Christ. He then proceeded to Corinth, where he met Paul (Acts 18:27; 19:1). He was there very useful in watering the good seed Paul had sown (1 Cor. 1:12), and in gaining many to Christ. His disciples were much attached to him (1 Cor. 3:4-7, 22). He was with Paul at Ephesus when he wrote the First Epistle to the Corinthians; and Paul makes kindly reference to him in his letter to Titus (3:13). Some have supposed, although without sufficient ground, that he was the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Apollyon Destroyer, the name given to the king of the hosts represented by the locusts (Rev. 9:11). It is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Abaddon (q.v.).
Apostle A person sent by another; a messenger; envoy. This word is once used as a descriptive designation of Jesus Christ, the Sent of the Father (Heb. 3:1; John 20:21). It is, however, generally used as designating the body of disciples to whom he intrusted the organization of his church and the dissemination of his gospel, “the twelve,” as they are called (Matt. 10:1-5; Mark 3:14; 6:7; Luke 6:13; 9:1). We have four lists of the apostles, one by each of the synoptic evangelists (Matt. 10:2-4; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14), and one in the Acts (1:13). No two of these lists, however, perfectly coincide.
Our Lord gave them the “keys of the kingdom,” and by the gift of his Spirit fitted them to be the founders and governors of his church (John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-15). To them, as representing his church, he gave the commission to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Matt. 28:18-20). After his ascension he communicated to them, according to his promise, supernatural gifts to qualify them for the discharge of their duties (Acts 2:4; 1 Cor. 2:16; 2:7, 10, 13; 2 Cor. 5:20; 1 Cor. 11:2). Judas Iscariot, one of “the twelve,” fell by transgression, and Matthias was substituted in his place (Acts 1:21). Saul of Tarsus was afterwards added to their number (Acts 9:3-20; 20:4; 26:15-18; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:11).
Luke has given some account of Peter, John, and the two Jameses (Acts 12:2, 17; 15:13; 21:18), but beyond this we know nothing from authentic history of the rest of the original twelve. After the martyrdom of James the Greater (Acts 12:2), James the Less usually resided at Jerusalem, while Paul, “the apostle of the uncircumcision,” usually travelled as a missionary among the Gentiles (Gal. 2:8). It was characteristic of the apostles and necessary (1) that they should have seen the Lord, and been able to testify of him and of his resurrection from personal knowledge (John 15:27; Acts 1:21, 22; 1 Cor. 9:1; Acts 22:14, 15). (2.) They must have been immediately called to that office by Christ (Luke 6:13; Gal. 1:1). (3.) It was essential that they should be infallibly inspired, and thus secured against all error and mistake in their public teaching, whether by word or by writing (John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Thess. 2:13).
(4.) Another qualification was the power of working miracles (Mark 16:20; Acts 2:43; 1 Cor. 12:8-11). The apostles therefore could have had no successors. They are the only authoritative teachers of the Christian doctrines. The office of an apostle ceased with its first holders.
In 2 Cor. 8:23 and Phil. 2:25 the word “messenger” is the rendering of the same Greek word, elsewhere rendered “apostle.”
Apothecary Rendered in the margin and the Revised Version “perfumer,” in Ex. 30:25; 37:29; Eccl. 10:1. The holy oils and ointments were prepared by priests properly qualified for this office. The feminine plural form of the Hebrew word is rendered “confectionaries” in 1 Sam. 8:13.
Apparel In Old Testament times the distinction between male and female attire was not very marked. The statute forbidding men to wear female apparel (Deut. 22:5) referred especially to ornaments and head-dresses. Both men and women wore (1) an under garment or tunic, which was bound by a girdle. One who had only this tunic on was spoken of as “naked” (1 Sam. 19:24; Job 24:10; Isa. 20:2). Those in high stations sometimes wore two tunics, the outer being called the “upper garment” (1 Sam. 15:27; 18:4; 24:5; Job 1:20). (2.) They wore in common an over-garment (“mantle,” Isa. 3:22; 1 Kings 19:13; 2 Kings 2:13), a loose and flowing robe. The folds of this upper garment could be formed into a lap (Ruth 3:15; Ps. 79:12; Prov. 17:23; Luke 6:38). Generals of armies usually wore scarlet robes (Judg. 8:26; Nah. 2:3). A form of conspicuous raiment is mentioned in Luke 20:46; comp. Matt. 23:5.
Priests alone wore trousers. Both men and women wore turbans. Kings and nobles usually had a store of costly garments for festive occasions (Isa. 3:22; Zech. 3:4) and for presents (Gen. 45:22; Esther 4:4; 6:8, 11; 1 Sam. 18:4; 2 Kings 5:5; 10:22). Prophets and ascetics wore coarse garments (Isa. 20:2; Zech. 13:4; Matt. 3:4).
Appeal A reference of any case from an inferior to a superior court. Moses established in the wilderness a series of judicatories such that appeals could be made from a lower to a higher (Ex. 18:13-26.)
Under the Roman law the most remarkable case of appeal is that of Paul from the tribunal of Festus at Caesarea to that of the emperor at Rome (Acts 25:11, 12, 21, 25). Paul availed himself of the privilege of a Roman citizen in this matter.
Apphia Increasing, a female Christian at Colosse (Philemon 1:2), supposed by some to have been the wife of Philemon.
Appii Forum I.e., “the market of Appius” (Acts 28:15, R.V.), a town on the road, the “Appian Way,” from Rome to Brundusium. It was 43 miles from Rome. Here Paul was met by some Roman Christians on his way to the capital. It was natural that they should halt here and wait for him, because from this place there were two ways by which travellers might journey to Rome.
Apple (Heb. tappuah, meaning “fragrance”). Probably the apricot or quince is intended by the word, as Palestine was too hot for the growth of apples proper. It is enumerated among the most valuable trees of Palestine (Joel 1:12), and frequently referred to in Canticles, and noted for its beauty (2:3, 5; 8:5). There is nothing to show that it was the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Dr. Tristram has suggested that the apricot has better claims than any other fruit-tree to be the apple of Scripture. It grows to a height of 30 feet, has a roundish mass of glossy leaves, and bears an orange coloured fruit that gives out a delicious perfume. The “apple of the eye” is the Heb. ishon, meaning manikin, i.e., the pupil of the eye (Prov. 7:2). (Comp. the promise, Zech. 2:8; the prayer, Ps. 17:8; and its fulfilment, Deut. 32:10.)
The so-called “apple of Sodom” some have supposed to be the Solanum sanctum (Heb. hedek), rendered “brier” (q.v.) in Micah 7:4, a thorny plant bearing fruit like the potato-apple. This shrub abounds in the Jordan valley. (See ENGEDI.)
Apron Found in the Authorized Version in Gen. 3:7, of the bands of fig-leaves made by our first parents. In Acts 19:12, it denotes the belt or half-girdle worn by artisans and servants round the waist for the purpose of preserving the clothing from injury. In marg. of Authorized Version, Ruth 3:15, correctly rendered instead of “vail.” (R.V., “mantle.”)
Aquila Eagle, a native of Pontus, by occupation a tent-maker, whom Paul met on his first visit to Corinth (Acts 18:2). Along with his wife Priscilla he had fled from Rome in consequence of a decree (A.D. 50) by Claudius commanding all Jews to leave the city. Paul sojourned with him at Corinth, and they wrought together at their common trade, making Cilician hair-cloth for tents. On Paul’s departure from Corinth after eighteen months, Aquila and his wife accompanied him to Ephesus, where they remained, while he proceeded to Syria (Acts 18:18, 26). When they became Christians we are not informed, but in Ephesus they were (1 Cor. 16:19) Paul’s “helpers in Christ Jesus.” We find them afterwards at Rome (Rom. 16:3), interesting themselves still in the cause of Christ. They are referred to some years after this as being at Ephesus (2 Tim. 4:19). This is the last notice we have of them.
Arab Ambush, a city in the mountains of Judah (Josh. 15:52), now Er-Rabiyeh.
Arabah Plain, in the Revised Version of 2 Kings 14:25; Josh. 3:16; 8:14; 2 Sam. 2:29; 4:7 (in all these passages the A.V. has “plain”); Amos 6:14 (A.V. “wilderness”). This word is found in the Authorized Version only in Josh. 18:18. It denotes the hollow depression through which the Jordan flows from the Lake of Galilee to the Dead Sea. It is now called by the Arabs el-Ghor. But the Ghor is sometimes spoken of as extending 10 miles south of the Dead Sea, and thence to the Gulf of Akabah on the Red Sea is called the Wady el-Arabah.
Arabia Arid, an extensive region in the south-west of Asia. It is bounded on the west by the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the east by the Persian Gulf and the Euphrates. It extends far into the north in barren deserts, meeting those of Syria and Mesopotamia. It is one of the few countries of the world from which the original inhabitants have never been expelled.
It was anciently divided into three parts:, (1.) Arabia Felix (Happy Arabia), so called from its fertility. It embraced a large portion of the country now known by the name of Arabia. The Arabs call it Yemen. It lies between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. (2.) Arabia Deserta, the el-Badieh or “Great Wilderness” of the Arabs. From this name is derived that which is usually given to the nomadic tribes which wander over this region, the “Bedaween,” or, more generally, “Bedouin,” (3.) Arabia Petraea, i.e., the Rocky Arabia, so called from its rocky mountains and stony plains. It comprehended all the north-west portion of the country, and is much better known to travellers than any other portion. This country is, however, divided by modern geographers into (1) Arabia Proper, or the Arabian Peninsula; (2) Northern Arabia, or the Arabian Desert; and (3) Western Arabia, which includes the peninsula of Sinai and the Desert of Petra, originally inhabited by the Horites (Gen. 14:6, etc.), but in later times by the descendants of Esau, and known as the Land of Edom or Idumea, also as the Desert of Seir or Mount Seir.
The whole land appears (Gen. 10) to have been inhabited by a variety of tribes of different lineage, Ishmaelites, Arabians, Idumeans, Horites, and Edomites; but at length becoming amalgamated, they came to be known by the general designation of Arabs. The modern nation of Arabs is predominantly Ishmaelite. Their language is the most developed and the richest of all the Semitic languages, and is of great value to the student of Hebrew.
The Israelites wandered for forty years in Arabia. In the days of Solomon, and subsequently, commercial intercourse was to a considerable extent kept up with this country (1 Kings 10:15; 2 Chr. 9:14; 17:11). Arabians were present in Jerusalem at Pentecost (Acts 2:11). Paul retired for a season into Arabia after his conversion (Gal. 1:17). This country is frequently referred to by the prophets (Isa. 21:11; 42:11; Jer. 25:24, etc.)
Arad (1.) Now Tell Arad, a Canaanite city, about 20 miles south of Hebron. The king of Arad “fought against Israel and took of them prisoners” when they were retreating from the confines of Edom (Num. 21:1; 33:40; Judg. 1:16). It was finally subdued by Joshua (12:14).
(2.) One of the sons of Beriah (1 Chr. 8:15).
Aram The son of Shem (Gen. 10:22); according to Gen. 22:21, a grandson of Nahor. In Matt. 1:3, 4, and Luke 3:33, this word is the Greek form of Ram, the father of Amminadab (1 Chr. 2:10).
The word means high, or highlands, and as the name of a country denotes that elevated region extending from the northeast of Palestine to the Euphrates. It corresponded generally with the Syria and Mesopotamia of the Greeks and Romans. In Gen. 25:20; 31:20, 24; Deut. 26:5, the word “Syrian” is properly “Aramean” (R.V., marg.). Damascus became at length the capital of the several smaller kingdoms comprehended under the designation “Aram” or “Syria.”
Aram-naharaim Aram of the two rivers, is Mesopotamia (as it is rendered in Gen. 24:10), the country enclosed between the Tigris on the east and the Euphrates on the west (Ps. 60, title); called also the “field of Aram” (Hos. 12:12, R.V.) i.e., the open country of Aram; in the Authorized Version, “country of Syria.” Padan-aram (q.v.) was a portion of this country.
Aram-zobah (Ps. 60, title), probably the region between the Euphrates and the Orontes.
Aran Wild goat, a descendant of Seir the Horite (Gen. 36:28).
Ararat Sacred land or high land, the name of a country on one of the mountains of which the ark rested after the Flood subsided (Gen. 8:4). The “mountains” mentioned were probably the Kurdish range of South Armenia. In 2 Kings 19:37, Isa. 37:38, the word is rendered “Armenia” in the Authorized Version, but in the Revised Version, “Land of Ararat.” In Jer. 51:27, the name denotes the central or southern portion of Armenia. It is, however, generally applied to a high and almost inaccessible mountain which rises majestically from the plain of the Araxes. It has two conical peaks, about 7 miles apart, the one 14,300 feet and the other 10,300 feet above the level of the plain. Three thousand feet of the summit of the higher of these peaks is covered with perpetual snow. It is called Kuh-i-nuh, i.e., “Noah’s mountain”, by the Persians. This part of Armenia was inhabited by a people who spoke a language unlike any other now known, though it may have been related to the modern Georgian. About B.C. 900 they borrowed the cuneiform characters of Nineveh, and from this time we have inscriptions of a line of kings who at times contended with Assyria. At the close of the seventh century B.C. the kingdom of Ararat came to an end, and the country was occupied by a people who are ancestors of the Armenians of the present day.
Araunah Agile; also called Ornan 1 Chr. 21:15, a Jebusite who dwelt in Jerusalem before it was taken by the Israelites. The destroying angel, sent to punish David for his vanity in taking a census of the people, was stayed in his work of destruction near a threshing-floor belonging to Araunah which was situated on Mount Moriah. Araunah offered it to David as a free gift, together with the oxen and the threshing instruments; but the king insisted on purchasing it at its full price (2 Sam. 24:24; 1 Chr. 21:24, 25), for, according to the law of sacrifices, he could not offer to God what cost him nothing. On the same place Solomon afterwards erected the temple (2 Sam. 24:16; 2 Chr. 3:1). (See ALTAR.)
Arba Four, a giant, father of Anak. From him the city of Hebron derived its name of Kirjath-arba, i.e., the city of Araba (Josh. 14:15; 15:13; 21:11; Gen. 13:18; 23:2). (See HEBRON.)
Arbathite A name given to Abi-albon, or, as elsewhere called, Abiel, one of David’s warriors (2 Sam. 23:31; 1 Chr. 11:32), probably as being an inhabitant of Arabah (Josh. 15:61), a town in the wilderness of Judah.
Arch An architectural term found only in Ezek. 40:16, 21, 22, 26, 29. There is no absolute proof that the Israelites employed arches in their buildings. The arch was employed in the building of the pyramids of Egypt. The oldest existing arch is at Thebes, and bears the date B.C. 1350. There are also still found the remains of an arch, known as Robinson’s Arch, of the bridge connecting Zion and Moriah. (See TYROPOEON VALLEY.)
Archangel (1Thess. 4:16; Jude 1:9), the prince of the angels.
Archelaus Ruler of the people, son of Herod the Great, by Malthace, a Samaritan woman. He was educated along with his brother Antipas at Rome. He inherited from his father a third part of his kingdom viz., Idumea, Judea, and Samaria, and hence is called “king” (Matt. 2:22). It was for fear of him that Joseph and Mary turned aside on their way back from Egypt. Till a few days before his death Herod had named Antipas as his successor, but in his last moments he named Archelaus.
Archer A shooter with the bow (1 Chr. 10:3). This art was of high antiquity (Gen. 21:20; 27:3). Saul was wounded by the Philistine archers (1 Sam. 31:3). The phrase “breaking the bow” (Hos. 1:5; Jer. 49:35) is equivalent to taking away one’s power, while “strengthening the bow” is a symbol of its increase (Gen. 49:24). The Persian archers were famous among the ancients (Isa. 13:18; Jer. 49:35; 50:9, 14, 29, 42. (See BOW).
Archevite One of the nations planted by the Assyrians in Samaria (Ezra 4:9); the men of Erech.
Archi A city on the boundary of Ephraim and Benjamin (Josh. 16:2), between Bethel and Beth-horon the nether.
Archippus Master of the horse, a “fellow-soldier” of Paul’s (Philemon 1:2), whom he exhorts to renewed activity (Col. 4:17). He was a member of Philemon’s family, probably his son.
Archite The usual designation of Hushai (2 Sam. 15:32; 17:5, 14; 1 Chr. 27:33), who was a native of Archi. He was “the king’s friend”, i.e., he held office under David similar to that of our modern privy councillor.
Arcturus Bear-keeper, the name given by the ancients to the brightest star in the constellation Bootes. In the Authorized Version (Job 9:9; 38:32) it is the rendering of the Hebrew word ‘ash, which probably designates the constellation the Great Bear. This word (ash) is supposed to be derived from an Arabic word meaning night-watcher, because the Great Bear always revolves about the pole, and to our nothern hemisphere never sets.
Ard Descent, a grandson of Benjamin (Num. 26:38-40). In 1 Chr. 8:3 he is called Addar. His descendants are mentioned in Num. 26:40.
Ardon Descendant, the last of the three sons of Caleb by his first wife Azubah (1 Chr. 2:18).
Areopagite A member of the court of Areopagus (Acts 17:34).
Areopagus The Latin form of the Greek word rendered “Mars’ hill.” But it denotes also the council or court of justice which met in the open air on the hill. It was a rocky height to the west of the Acropolis at Athens, on the south-east summit of which the council was held which was constituted by Solon, and consisted of nine archons or chief magistrates who were then in office, and the ex-archons of blameless life.
On this hill of Mars (Gr. Ares) Paul delivered his memorable address to the “men of Athens” (Acts 17:22-31).
Aretas The father-in-law of Herod Antipas, and king of Arabia Petraea. His daughter returned to him on the occasion of her husband’s entering into an adulterous alliance with Herodias, the wife of Herod-Philip, his half-brother (Luke 3:19, 20; Mark 6:17; Matt. 14:3). This led to a war between Aretas and Herod Antipas. Herod’s army was wholly destroyed (A.D. 36). Aretas, taking advantage of the complications of the times on account of the death of the Emperor Tiberius (A.D. 37), took possession of Damascus (2 Cor. 11:32; comp. Acts 9:25). At this time Paul returned to Damascus from Arabia.
Argob Stony heap, an “island,” as it has been called, of rock about 30 miles by 20, rising 20 or 30 feet above the table-land of Bashan; a region of crags and chasms wild and rugged in the extreme. On this “island” stood sixty walled cities, ruled over by Og. It is called Trachonitis (“the rugged region”) in the New Testament (Luke 3:1). These cities were conquered by the Israelites (Deut. 3:4; 1 Kings 4:13). It is now called the Lejah. Here “sixty walled cities are still traceable in a space of 308 square miles. The architecture is ponderous and massive. Solid walls 4 feet thick, and stones on one another without cement; the roofs enormous slabs of basaltic rock, like iron; the doors and gates are of stone 18 inches thick, secured by ponderous bars. The land bears still the appearance of having been called the land of giants’ under the giant Og.” “I have more than once entered a deserted city in the evening, taken possession of a comfortable house, and spent the night in peace. Many of the houses in the ancient cities of Bashan are perfect, as if only finished yesterday. The walls are sound, the roofs unbroken, and even the window-shutters in their places. These ancient cities of Bashan probably contain the very oldest specimens of domestic architecture in the world” (Porter’s Giant Cities). (See BASHAN.)
Arieh The lion, the name of one of the body-guard slain with Pekahiah at Samaria (2 Kings 15:25) by the conspirator Pekah.
Ariel The lion of God. (1.) One of the chief men sent by Ezra to procure Levites for the sanctuary (Ezra 8:16).
(2.) A symbolic name for Jerusalem (Isa. 29:1, 2, 7) as “victorious under God,” and in Ezek. 43:15, 16, for the altar (marg., Heb. ariel) of burnt offerings, the secret of Israel’s lion-like strength.
Arimathea A “city of the Jews” (Luke 23:51), the birth-place of Joseph in whose sepulchre our Lord was laid (Matt. 27:57, 60; John 19:38). It is probably the same place as Ramathaim in Ephraim, and the birth-place of Samuel (1 Sam. 1:1, 19). Others identify it with Ramleh in Dan, or Rama (q.v.) in Benjamin (Matt. 2:18).
Arioch Lion-like, venerable. (1.) A king of Ellasar who was confederate with Chedorlamer (Gen. 14:1, 9). The tablets recently discovered by Mr. Pinches (see CHALDEA) show the true reading is Eri-Aku of Larsa. This Elamite name meant “servant of the moon-god.” It was afterwards changed into Rimsin, “Have mercy, O moon-god.” (2.) Dan. 2:14.
Aristarchus Best ruler, native of Thessalonica (Acts 20:4), a companion of Paul (Acts 19:29; 27:2). He was Paul’s “fellow-prisoner” at Rome (Col. 4:10; Philemon 1:24).
Aristobulus A Roman mentioned in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (16:10), whose “household” is saluated.
Ark Noah’s ark, a building of gopher-wood, and covered with pitch, 300 cubits long, 50 cubits broad, and 30 cubits high (Gen. 6:14-16); an oblong floating house of three stories, with a door in the side and a window in the roof. It was 100 years in building (Gen. 5:32; 7:6). It was intended to preserve certain persons and animals from the deluge which God was about to bring over the earth. It contained eight persons (Gen. 7:13; 2 Pet. 2:5), and of all “clean” animals seven pairs, and of “unclean” one pair, and of birds seven pairs of each sort (Gen. 7:2, 3). It was in the form of an oblong square, with flat bottom and sloping roof. Traditions of the Deluge, by which the race of man was swept from the earth, and of the ark of Noah have been found existing among all nations.
The ark of bulrushes in which the infant Moses was laid (Ex. 2:3) is called in the Hebrew teebah, a word derived from the Egyptian teb, meaning “a chest.” It was daubed with slime and with pitch. The bulrushes of which it was made were the papyrus reed.
The sacred ark is designated by a different Hebrew word, ‘aron’, which is the common name for a chest or coffer used for any purpose (Gen. 50:26; 2 Kings 12:9, 10). It is distinguished from all others by such titles as the “ark of God” (1 Sam. 3:3), “ark of the covenant” (Josh. 3:6; Heb. 9:4), “ark of the testimony” (Ex. 25:22). It was made of acacia or shittim wood, a cubit and a half broad and high and two cubits long, and covered all over with the purest gold. Its upper surface or lid, the mercy-seat, was surrounded with a rim of gold; and on each of the two sides were two gold rings, in which were placed two gold-covered poles by which the ark could be carried (Num. 7:9; 10:21; 4:5, 19, 20; 1 Kings 8:3, 6). Over the ark, at the two extremities, were two cherubim, with their faces turned toward each other (Lev. 16:2; Num. 7:89). Their outspread wings over the top of the ark formed the throne of God, while the ark itself was his footstool (Ex. 25:10-22; 37:1-9). The ark was deposited in the “holy of holies,” and was so placed that one end of the poles by which it was carried touched the veil which separated the two apartments of the tabernacle (1 Kings 8:8). The two tables of stone which constituted the “testimony” or evidence of God’s covenant with the people (Deut. 31:26), the “pot of manna” (Ex. 16:33), and “Aaron’s rod that budded” (Num. 17:10), were laid up in the ark (Heb. 9:4). (See TABERNACLE) The ark and the sanctuary were “the beauty of Israel” (Lam. 2:1). During the journeys of the Israelites the ark was carried by the priests in advance of the host (Num. 4:5, 6; 10:33-36; Ps. 68:1; 132:8). It was borne by the priests into the bed of the Jordan, which separated, opening a pathway for the whole of the host to pass over (Josh. 3:15, 16; 4:7, 10, 11, 17, 18). It was borne in the procession round Jericho (Josh. 6:4, 6, 8, 11, 12). When carried it was always wrapped in the veil, the badgers’ skins, and blue cloth, and carefully concealed even from the eyes of the Levites who carried it. After the settlement of Israel in Palestine the ark remained in the tabernacle at Gilgal for a season, and was then removed to Shiloh till the time of Eli, between 300 and 400 years (Jer. 7:12), when it was carried into the field of battle so as to secure, as they supposed, victory to the Hebrews, and was taken by the Philistines (1 Sam. 4:3-11), who sent it back after retaining it seven months (1 Sam. 5:7, 8). It remained then at Kirjath-jearim (7:1, 2) till the time of David (twenty years), who wished to remove it to Jerusalem; but the proper mode of removing it having been neglected, Uzzah was smitten with death for putting “forth his hand to the ark of God,” and in consequence of this it was left in the house of Obed-edom in Gath-rimmon for three months (2 Sam. 6:1-11), at the end of which time David removed it in a grand procession to Jerusalem, where it was kept till a place was prepared for it (12-19). It was afterwards deposited by Solomon in the temple (1 Kings 8:6-9). When the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and plundered the temple, the ark was probably taken away by Nebuchadnezzar and destroyed, as no trace of it is afterwards to be found. The absence of the ark from the second temple was one of the points in which it was inferior to the first temple.
Arkite (Gen. 10:17; 1 Chr. 1:15), a designation of certain descendants from the Phoenicians or Sidonians, the inhabitants of Arka, 12 miles north of Tripoli, opposite the northern extremity of Lebanon.
Arm Used to denote power (Ps. 10:15; Ezek. 30:21; Jer. 48:25). It is also used of the omnipotence of God (Ex. 15:16; Ps. 89:13; 98:1; 77:15; Isa. 53:1; John 12:38; Acts 13:17)
Armageddon Occurs only in Rev. 16:16 (R.V., “Har-Magedon”), as symbolically designating the place where the “battle of that great day of God Almighty” (ver. 14) shall be fought. The word properly means the “mount of Megiddo.” It is the scene of the final conflict between Christ and Antichrist. The idea of such a scene was suggested by the Old Testament great battle-field, the plain of Esdraelon (q.v.).
Armenia High land, occurs only in Authorized Version, 2 Kings 19:37; in Revised Version, “Ararat,” which is the Hebrew word. A country in western Asia lying between the Caspian and the Black Sea. Here the ark of Noah rested after the Deluge (Gen. 8:4). It is for the most part high table-land, and is watered by the Aras, the Kur, the Euphrates, and the Tigris. Ararat was properly the name of a part of ancient Armenia. Three provinces of Armenia are mentioned in Jer. 51:27, Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz. Some, however, think Minni a contraction for Armenia. (See ARARAT.)
Armoni Inhabitant of a fortress, the first-named of the two sons of Saul and Rizpah. He was delivered up to the Gibeonites by David, and hanged by them (2 Sam. 21:8, 9).
Armour Is employed in the English Bible to denote military equipment, both offensive and defensive.
(1.) The offensive weapons were different at different periods of history. The “rod of iron” (Ps. 2:9) is supposed to mean a mace or crowbar, an instrument of great power when used by a strong arm. The “maul” (Prov. 25:18; cognate Hebrew word rendered “battle-axe” in Jer. 51:20, and “slaughter weapon” in Ezek. 9:2) was a war-hammer or martel. The “sword” is the usual translation of hereb, which properly means “poniard.” The real sword, as well as the dirk-sword (which was always double-edged), was also used (1 Sam. 17:39; 2 Sam. 20:8; 1 Kings 20:11). The spear was another offensive weapon (Josh. 8:18; 1 Sam. 17:7). The javelin was used by light troops (Num. 25:7, 8; 1 Sam. 13:22). Saul threw a javelin at David (1 Sam. 19:9, 10), and so virtually absolved him from his allegiance. The bow was, however, the chief weapon of offence. The arrows were carried in a quiver, the bow being always unbent till the moment of action (Gen. 27:3; 48:22; Ps. 18:34). The sling was a favourite weapon of the Benjamites (1 Sam. 17:40; 1 Chr. 12:2. Comp. 1 Sam. 25:29).
(2.) Of the defensive armour a chief place is assigned to the shield or buckler. There were the great shield or target (the tzinnah), for the protection of the whole person (Gen. 15:1; Ps. 47:9; 1 Sam. 17:7; Prov. 30:5), and the buckler (Heb. mageen) or small shield (1 Kings 10:17; Ezek. 26:8). In Ps. 91:4 “buckler” is properly a roundel appropriated to archers or slingers. The helmet (Ezek. 27:10; 1 Sam. 17:38), a covering for the head; the coat of mail or corselet (1 Sam. 17:5), or habergeon (Neh. 4;16), harness or breat-plate (Rev. 9:9), for the covering of the back and breast and both upper arms (Isa. 59:17; Eph. 6:14). The cuirass and corselet, composed of leather or quilted cloth, were also for the covering of the body. Greaves, for the covering of the legs, were worn in the time of David (1 Sam. 17:6). Reference is made by Paul (Eph. 6:14-17) to the panoply of a Roman soldier. The shield here is the thureon, a door-like oblong shield above all, i.e., covering the whole person, not the small round shield. There is no armour for the back, but only for the front.
Armour-bearer An officer selected by kings and generals because of his bravery, not only to bear their armour, but also to stand by them in the time of danger. They were the adjutants of our modern armies (Judg. 9:54; 1 Sam. 14:7; 16:21; 31:6).
Armoury The place in which armour was deposited when not used (Neh. 3:19; Jer. 50:25). At first each man of the Hebrews had his own arms, because all went to war. There were no arsenals or magazines for arms till the time of David, who had a large collection of arms, which he consecrated to the Lord in his tabernacle (1 Sa,. 21:9; 2 Sam. 8:7-12; 1 Chr. 26:26, 27).
Army The Israelites marched out of Egypt in military order (Ex. 13:18, “harnessed;” marg., “five in a rank”). Each tribe formed a battalion, with its own banner and leader (Num. 2:2; 10:14). In war the army was divided into thousands and hundreds under their several captains (Num. 31:14), and also into families (Num. 2:34; 2 Chr. 25:5; 26:12). From the time of their entering the land of Canaan to the time of the kings, the Israelites made little progress in military affairs, although often engaged in warfare. The kings introduced the custom of maintaining a bodyguard (the Gibborim; i.e., “heroes”), and thus the nucleus of a standing army was formed. Saul had an army of 3,000 select warriors (1 Sam. 13:2; 14:52; 24:2). David also had a band of soldiers around him (1 Sam. 23:13; 25:13). To this band he afterwards added the Cherethites and the Pelethites (2 Sam. 15:18; 20:7). At first the army consisted only of infantry (1 Sam. 4:10; 15:4), as the use of horses was prohibited (Deut. 17:16); but chariots and horses were afterwards added (2 Sam. 8:4; 1 Kings 10:26, 28, 29; 1 Kings 9:19). In 1 Kings 9:22 there is given a list of the various gradations of rank held by those who composed the army. The equipment and maintenance of the army were at the public expense (2 Sam. 17:28, 29; 1 Kings 4:27; 10:16, 17; Judg. 20:10). At the Exodus the number of males above twenty years capable of bearing arms was 600,000 (Ex. 12:37). In David’s time it mounted to the number of 1,300,000 (2 Sam. 24:9).
Arnon Swift, the southern boundary of the territory of Israel beyond Jordan, separating it from the land of Moab (Deut. 3:8, 16). This river (referred to twenty-four times in the Bible) rises in the mountains of Gilead, and after a circuitous course of about 80 miles through a deep ravine it falls into the Dead Sea nearly opposite Engedi. The stream is almost dry in summer. It is now called el-Mujeb. The territory of the Amorites extended from the Arnon to the Jabbok.
Aroer Ruins. (1.) A town on the north bank of the Arnon (Deut. 4:48; Judg. 11:26; 2 Kings 10:33), the southern boundary of the kingdom of Sihon (Josh. 12:2). It is now called Arair, 13 miles west of the Dead Sea.
(2.) One of the towns built by the tribe of Gad (Num. 32:34) “before Rabbah” (Josh. 13:25), the Ammonite capital. It was famous in the history of Jephthah (Judg. 11:33) and of David (2 Sam. 24:5). (Comp. Isa. 17:2; 2 Kings 15:29.)
(3.) A city in the south of Judah, 12 miles south-east of Beersheba, to which David sent presents after recovering the spoil from the Amalekites at Ziklag (1 Sam. 30:26, 28). It was the native city of two of David’s warriors (1 Chr. 11:44). It is now called Ar’arah.
Arpad (Isa. 10:9; 36:19; 37:13), also Arphad, support, a Syrian city near Hamath, along with which it is invariably mentioned (2 Kings 19:13; 18:34; Isa. 10:9), and Damascus (Jer. 49:23). After a siege of three years it fell (B.C. 742) before the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser II. Now Tell Erfud.
Arphaxad Son of Shem, born the year after the Deluge. He died at the age of 438 years (Gen. 11:10-13; 1 Chr. 1:17, 18; Luke 3:36). He dwelt in Mesopotamia, and became, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, the progenitor of the Chaldeans. The tendency is to recognize in the word the name of the country nearest the ancient domain of the Chaldeans. Some regard the word as an Egypticized form of the territorial name of Ur Kasdim, or Ur of the Chaldees.
Arrows At first made of reeds, and then of wood tipped with iron. Arrows are sometimes figuratively put for lightning (Deut. 32:23, 42; Ps. 7:13; 18:14; 144:6; Zech. 9:14). They were used in war as well as in the chase (Gen. 27:3; 49:23). They were also used in divination (Ezek. 21:21).
The word is frequently employed as a symbol of calamity or disease inflicted by God (Job 6:4; 34:6; Ps. 38:2; Deut. 32:23. Comp. Ezek. 5:16), or of some sudden danger (Ps. 91:5), or bitter words (Ps. 64:3), or false testimony (Prov. 25:18).
Artaxerxes The Greek form of the name of several Persian kings. (1.) The king who obstructed the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 4:7). He was probably the Smerdis of profane history.
(2.) The king mentioned in Ezra 7:1, in the seventh year (B.C. 458) of whose reign Ezra led a second colony of Jews back to Jerusalem, was probably Longimanus, who reigned for forty years (B.C. 464-425); the grandson of Darius, who, fourteen years later, permitted Nehemiah to return and rebuild Jerusalem.
Artificer A person engaged in any kind of manual occupation (Gen. 4:22; Isa. 3:3).
Artillery 1 Sam. 20:40, (Heb. keli, meaning “apparatus;” here meaning collectively any missile weapons, as arrows and lances. In Revised Version, “weapons”). This word is derived from the Latin artillaria = equipment of war.
Arvad Wandering, (Ezek. 27:8), a small island and city on the coast of Syria, mentioned as furnishing mariners and soldiers for Tyre. The inhabitants were called Arvadites. The name is written Aruada or Arada in the Tell-el-Amarna tablets.
Asa Physician, son of Abijah and grandson of Rehoboam, was the third king of Judah. He was zealous in maintaining the true worship of God, and in rooting all idolatry, with its accompanying immoralities, out of the land (1 Kings 15:8-14). The Lord gave him and his land rest and prosperity. It is recorded of him, however, that in his old age, when afflicted, he “sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians” (comp. Jer. 17:5). He died in the forty-first year of his reign, greatly honoured by his people (2 Chr. 16:1-13), and was succeeded by his son Jehoshaphat.
Asahel Made by God, the youngest son of Zeruiah, David’s sister. He was celebrated for his swiftness of foot. When fighting against Ish-bosheth at Gibeon, in the army of his brother Joab, he was put to death by Abner, whom he pursued from the field of battle (2 Sam. 2:18, 19). He is mentioned among David’s thirty mighty men (2 Sam. 23:24; 1 Chr. 11:26). Others of the same name are mentioned (2 Chr. 17:8; 31:13; Ezra 10:15).
Asaph Convener, or collector. (1.) A Levite; one of the leaders of David’s choir (1 Chr. 6:39). Psalms 50 and 73-83 inclusive are attributed to him. He is mentioned along with David as skilled in music, and a “seer” (2 Chr. 29:30). The “sons of Asaph,” mentioned in 1 Chr. 25:1, 2 Chr. 20:14, and Ezra 2:41, were his descendants, or more probably a class of poets or singers who recognized him as their master.
(2.) The “recorder” in the time of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:18, 37).
(3.) The “keeper of the king’s forest,” to whom Nehemiah requested from Artaxerxes a “letter” that he might give him timber for the temple at Jerusalem (Neh. 2:8).
Ascension See CHRIST.
Asenath An Egyptian name, meaning “gift of the sun-god”, daughter of Potipherah, priest of On or Heliopolis, wife of Joseph (Gen. 41:45). She was the mother of Manasseh and Ephraim (50-52; 46:20).
Ash (Heb. o’ren, “tremulous”), mentioned only Isa. 44:14 (R.V., “fir tree”). It is rendered “pine tree” both in the LXX. and Vulgate versions. There is a tree called by the Arabs aran, found still in the valleys of Arabia Petraea, whose leaf resembles that of the mountain ash. This may be the tree meant. Our ash tree is not known in Syria.
Ashdod Stronghold, a Philistine city (Josh. 15:47), about midway between Gaza and Joppa, and 3 miles from the Mediterranean. It was one of the chief seats of the worship of Dagon (1 Sam. 5:5). It belonged to the tribe of Judah (Josh. 15:47), but it never came into their actual possession. It was an important city, as it stood on the highroad from Egypt to Palestine, and hence was strongly fortified (2 Chr. 26:6; Isa. 20:1). Uzziah took it, but fifty years after his death it was taken by the Assyrians (B.C. 758). According to Sargon’s record, it was captured by him in B.C. 711. The only reference to it in the New Testament, where it is called Azotus, is in the account of Philip’s return from Gaza (Acts 8:40). It is now called Eshdud.
Ashdoth-pisgah (Deut. 3:17; Josh. 12:3; 13:20) in Authorized Version, but in Revised Version translated “slopes of Pisgah.” In Deut. 4:49 it is translated in the Authorized Version “springs of Pisgah.” The name Ashdoth is translated “springs” in the Authorized Version, but “slopes” in the Revised Version, of Josh. 10:40 and 12:8. It has been identified with the springs under Mount Nebo, now called Ayun Musa.
Asher Happy, Jacob’s eigth son; his mother was Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid (Gen. 30:13). Of the tribe founded by him nothing is recorded beyond its holding a place in the list of the tribes (35:26; 46:17; Ex. 1:4, etc.) It increased in numbers twenty-nine percent, during the thirty-eight years’ wanderings. The place of this tribe during the march through the desert was between Dan and Naphtali (Num. 2:27). The boundaries of the inheritance given to it, which contained some of the richest soil in Palestine, and the names of its towns, are recorded in Josh. 19:24-31; Judg. 1:31, 32. Asher and Simeon were the only tribes west of the Jordan which furnished no hero or judge for the nation. Anna the prophetess was of this tribe (Luke 2:36).
Asherah And pl. Asherim in Revised Version, instead of “grove” and “groves” of the Authorized Version. This was the name of a sensual Canaanitish goddess Astarte, the feminine of the Assyrian Ishtar. Its symbol was the stem of a tree deprived of its boughs, and rudely shaped into an image, and planted in the ground. Such religious symbols (“groves”) are frequently alluded to in Scripture (Ex. 34:13; Judg. 6:25; 2 Kings 23:6; 1 Kings 16:33, etc.). These images were also sometimes made of silver or of carved stone (2 Kings 21:7; “the graven image of Asherah,” R.V.). (See GROVE .).
Ashes The ashes of a red heifer burned entire (Num. 19:5) when sprinkled on the unclean made them ceremonially clean (Heb. 9:13).
To cover the head with ashes was a token of self-abhorrence and humiliation (2 Sam. 13:19; Esther 4:3; Jer. 6:26, etc.).
To feed on ashes (Isa. 44:20), means to seek that which will prove to be vain and unsatisfactory, and hence it denotes the unsatisfactory nature of idol-worship. (Comp. Hos. 12:1).
Ashkelon =Askelon=Ascalon, was one of the five cities of the Philistines (Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 6:17). It stood on the shore of the Mediterranean, 12 miles north of Gaza. It is mentioned on an inscription at Karnak in Egypt as having been taken by king Rameses II., the oppressor of the Hebrews. In the time of the judges (Judg. 1:18) it fell into the possession of the tribe of Judah; but it was soon after retaken by the Philistines (2 Sam. 1:20), who were not finally dispossessed till the time of Alexander the Great. Samson went down to this place from Timnath, and slew thirty men and took their spoil. The prophets foretold its destruction (Jer. 25:20; 47:5, 7). It became a noted place in the Middle Ages, having been the scene of many a bloody battle between the Saracens and the Crusaders. It was beseiged and taken by Richard the Lion-hearted, and “within its walls and towers now standing he held his court.” Among the Tell Amarna tablets (see EGYPT) are found letters or official despatches from Yadaya, “captain of horse and dust of the king’s feet,” to the “great king” of Egypt, dated from Ascalon. It is now called Askalan.
Ashkenaz One of the three sons of Gomer (Gen. 10:3), and founder of one of the tribes of the Japhetic race. They are mentioned in connection with Minni and Ararat, and hence their original seat must have been in Armenia (Jer. 51:27), probably near the Black Sea, which, from their founder, was first called Axenus, and afterwards the Euxine.
Ashpenaz The master of the eunuchs of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 1:3), the “Rabsaris” of the court. His position was similar to that of the Kislar-aga of the modern Turkish sultans.
Ashtaroth A city of Bashan, in the kingdom of Og (Deut. 1:4; Josh. 12:4; 13:12; 9:10). It was in the half-tribe of Manasseh (Josh. 13:12), and as a Levitical city was given to the Gershonites (1 Chr. 6:71). Uzzia, one of David’s valiant men (1 Chr. 11:44), is named as of this city. It is identified with Tell Ashterah, in the Hauran, and is noticed on monuments B.C. 1700-1500. The name Beesh-terah (Josh. 21:27) is a contraction for Beth-eshterah, i.e., “the house of Ashtaroth.”
Ashteroth Karnaim Ashteroth of the two horns, the abode of the Rephaim (Gen. 14:5). It may be identified with Ashtaroth preceding; called “Karnaim”, i.e., the “two-horned” (the crescent moon). The Samaritan version renders the word by “Sunamein,” the present es-Sunamein, 28 miles south of Damascus.
Ashtoreth The moon goddess of the Phoenicians, representing the passive principle in nature, their principal female deity; frequently associated with the name of Baal, the sun-god, their chief male deity (Judg. 10:6; 1 Sam. 7:4; 12:10). These names often occur in the plural (Ashtaroth, Baalim), probably as indicating either different statues or different modifications of the deities. This deity is spoken of as Ashtoreth of the Zidonians. She was the Ishtar of the Accadians and the Astarte of the Greeks (Jer. 44:17; 1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:13). There was a temple of this goddess among the Philistines in the time of Saul (1 Sam. 31:10). Under the name of Ishtar, she was one of the great deities of the Assyrians. The Phoenicians called her Astarte. Solomon introduced the worship of this idol (1 Kings 11:33). Jezebel’s 400 priests were probably employed in its service (1 Kings 18:19). It was called the “queen of heaven” (Jer. 44:25).
Ashurites Mentioned among those over whom Ish-bosheth was made king (2 Sam. 2:9).
Asia Is used to denote Proconsular Asia, a Roman province which embraced the western parts of Asia Minor, and of which Ephesus was the capital, in Acts 2:9; 6:9; 16:6; 19:10, 22; 20:4, 16, 18, etc., and probably Asia Minor in Acts 19:26, 27; 21:27; 24:18; 27:2. Proconsular Asia contained the seven churches of the Apocalypse (Rev. 1:11). The “chiefs of Asia” (Acts 19:31) were certain wealthy citizens who were annually elected to preside over the games and religious festivals of the several cities to which they belonged. Some of these “Asiarchs” were Paul’s friends.
Asnapper Probably the same as Assur-bani-pal (Sardanapalos of the Greeks), styled the “great and noble” (Ezra 4:10), was the son and successor (B.C. 668) of Esar-haddon (q.v.). He was “luxurious, ambitious, and cruel, but a magnificent patron of literature.” He formed at Nineveh a library of clay tablets, numbering about 10,000. These are now mostly in the British Museum. They throw much light on the history and antiquities of Assyria.
Assur-bani-pal was a munificent patron of literature, and the conqueror of Elam. Towards the middle of his reign his empire was shaken by a great rebellion headed by his brother in Babylon. The rebellion was finally put down, but Egypt was lost, and the military power of Assyria was so exhausted that it could with difficulty resist the hordes of Kimmerians who poured over Western Asia. (See NINEVEH.)
Asp (Heb. pethen), Deut. 32:33; Job 20:14, 16; Isa. 11:8. It was probably the Egyptian cobra (Naja haje), which was very poisonous (Rom. 3:13; Gr. aspis). The Egyptians worshipped it as the uraeus, and it was found in the desert and in the fields. The peace and security of Messiah’s reign is represented by the figure of a child playing on the hole of the asp. (See ADDER.)
Ass Frequently mentioned throughout Scripture. Of the domesticated species we read of, (1.) The she ass (Heb. athon), so named from its slowness (Gen. 12:16; 45:23; Num. 22:23; 1 Sam. 9:3). (2.) The male ass (Heb. hamor), the common working ass of Western Asia, so called from its red colour. Issachar is compared to a strong ass (Gen. 49:14). It was forbidden to yoke together an ass and an ox in the plough (Deut. 22:10). (3.) The ass’s colt (Heb. air), mentioned Judg. 10:4; 12:14. It is rendered “foal” in Gen. 32:15; 49:11. (Comp. Job 11:12; Isa. 30:6.) The ass is an unclean animal, because it does not chew the cud (Lev. 11:26. Comp. 2 Kings 6:25). Asses constituted a considerable portion of wealth in ancient times (Gen. 12:16; 30:43; 1 Chr. 27:30; Job 1:3; 42:12). They were noted for their spirit and their attachment to their master (Isa. 1:3). They are frequently spoken of as having been ridden upon, as by Abraham (Gen. 22:3), Balaam (Num. 22:21), the disobedient prophet (1 Kings 13:23), the family of Abdon the judge, seventy in number (Judg. 12:14), Zipporah (Ex. 4:20), the Shunammite (1 Sam. 25:30), etc. Zechariah (9:9) predicted our Lord’s triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, “riding upon an ass, and upon a colt,” etc. (Matt. 21:5, R.V.).
Of wild asses two species are noticed, (1) that called in Hebrew ‘arod, mentioned Job 39:5 and Dan. 5:21, noted for its swiftness; and (2) that called pe’re, the wild ass of Asia (Job 39:6-8; 6:5; 11:12; Isa. 32:14; Jer. 2:24; 14:6, etc.). The wild ass was distinguished for its fleetness and its extreme shyness. In allusion to his mode of life, Ishmael is likened to a wild ass (Gen. 16:12. Here the word is simply rendered “wild” in the Authorized Version, but in the Revised Version, “wild-ass among men”).
Asshur Second son of Shem (Gen. 10:22; 1 Chr. 1:17). He went from the land of Shinar and built Nineveh, etc. (Gen. 10:11, 12). He probably gave his name to Assyria, which is the usual translation of the word, although the form Asshur is sometimes retained (Num. 24:22, 24; Ezek. 27:23, etc.). In Gen. 2:14 “Assyria” ought to be “Asshur,” which was the original capital of Assyria, a city represented by the mounds of Kalah Sherghat, on the west bank of the Tigris. This city was founded by Bel-kap-kapu about B.C. 1700. At a later date the capital was shifted to Ninua, or Nineveh, now Koyunjik, on the eastern bank of the river. (See CALAH; NINEVEH.)
Assos A sea-port town of Proconsular Asia, in the district of Mysia, on the north shore of the Gulf of Adramyttium. Paul came hither on foot along the Roman road from Troas (Acts 20:13, 14), a distance of 20 miles. It was about 30 miles distant from Troas by sea. The island of Lesbos lay opposite it, about 7 miles distant.
Assurance The resurrection of Jesus (Acts 17:31) is the “assurance” (Gr. pistis, generally rendered “faith”) or pledge God has given that his revelation is true and worthy of acceptance. The “full assurance [Gr. plerophoria, full bearing’] of faith” (Heb. 10:22) is a fulness of faith in God which leaves no room for doubt. The “full assurance of understanding” (Col. 2:2) is an entire unwavering conviction of the truth of the declarations of Scripture, a joyful steadfastness on the part of any one of conviction that he has grasped the very truth. The “full assurance of hope” (Heb. 6:11) is a sure and well-grounded expectation of eternal glory (2 Tim. 4:7, 8). This assurance of hope is the assurance of a man’s own particular salvation.
This infallible assurance, which believers may attain unto as to their own personal salvation, is founded on the truth of the promises (Heb. 6:18), on the inward evidence of Christian graces, and on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption (Rom. 8:16). That such a certainty may be attained appears from the testimony of Scripture (Rom. 8:16; 1 John 2:3; 3:14), from the command to seek after it (Heb. 6:11; 2 Pet. 1:10), and from the fact that it has been attained (2 Tim. 1:12; 4:7, 8; 1 John 2:3; 4:16).
This full assurance is not of the essence of saving faith. It is the result of faith, and posterior to it in the order of nature, and so frequently also in the order of time. True believers may be destitute of it. Trust itself is something different from the evidence that we do trust. Believers, moreover, are exhorted to go on to something beyond what they at present have when they are exhorted to seek the grace of full assurance (Heb. 10:22; 2 Pet. 1:5-10). The attainment of this grace is a duty, and is to be diligently sought.
“Genuine assurance naturally leads to a legitimate and abiding peace and joy, and to love and thankfulness to God; and these from the very laws of our being to greater buoyancy, strength, and cheerfulness in the practice of obedience in every department of duty.”
This assurance may in various ways be shaken, diminished, and intermitted, but the principle out of which it springs can never be lost. (See FAITH.)
Assyria The name derived from the city Asshur on the Tigris, the original capital of the country, was originally a colony from Babylonia, and was ruled by viceroys from that kingdom. It was a mountainous region lying to the north of Babylonia, extending along the Tigris as far as to the high mountain range of Armenia, the Gordiaean or Carduchian mountains. It was founded in B.C. 1700 under Bel-kap-kapu, and became an independent and a conquering power, and shook off the yoke of its Babylonian masters. It subdued the whole of Northern Asia. The Assyrians were Semites (Gen. 10:22), but in process of time non-Semite tribes mingled with the inhabitants. They were a military people, the “Romans of the East.”
Of the early history of the kingdom of Assyria little is positively known. In B.C. 1120 Tiglath-pileser I., the greatest of the Assyrian kings, “crossed the Euphrates, defeated the kings of the Hittites, captured the city of Carchemish, and advanced as far as the shores of the Mediterranean.” He may be regarded as the founder of the first Assyrian empire. After this the Assyrians gradually extended their power, subjugating the states of Northern Syria. In the reign of Ahab, king of Israel, Shalmaneser II. marched an army against the Syrian states, whose allied army he encountered and vanquished at Karkar. This led to Ahab’s casting off the yoke of Damascus and allying himself with Judah. Some years after this the Assyrian king marched an army against Hazael, king of Damascus. He besieged and took that city. He also brought under tribute Jehu, and the cities of Tyre and Sidon.
About a hundred years after this (B.C. 745) the crown was seized by a military adventurer called Pul, who assumed the name of Tiglath-pileser III. He directed his armies into Syria, which had by this time regained its independence, and took (B.C. 740) Arpad, near Aleppo, after a siege of three years, and reduced Hamath. Azariah (Uzziah) was an ally of the king of Hamath, and thus was compelled by Tiglath-pileser to do him homage and pay a yearly tribute.
In B.C. 738, in the reign of Menahem, king of Israel, Pul invaded Israel, and imposed on it a heavy tribute (2 Kings 15:19). Ahaz, the king of Judah, when engaged in a war against Israel and Syria, appealed for help to this Assyrian king by means of a present of gold and silver (2 Kings 16:8); who accordingly “marched against Damascus, defeated and put Rezin to death, and besieged the city itself.” Leaving a portion of his army to continue the siege, “he advanced through the province east of Jordan, spreading fire and sword,” and became master of Philistia, and took Samaria and Damascus. He died B.C. 727, and was succeeded by Shalmanezer IV., who ruled till B.C. 722. He also invaded Syria (2 Kings 17:5), but was deposed in favour of Sargon (q.v.) the Tartan, or commander-in-chief of the army, who took Samaria (q.v.) after a siege of three years, and so put an end to the kingdom of Israel, carrying the people away into captivity, B.C. 722 (2 Kings 17:1-6, 24; 18:7, 9). He also overran the land of Judah, and took the city of Jerusalem (Isa. 10:6, 12, 22, 24, 34). Mention is next made of Sennacherib (B.C. 705), the son and successor of Sargon (2 Kings 18:13; 19:37; Isa. 7:17, 18); and then of Esar-haddon, his son and successor, who took Manasseh, king of Judah, captive, and kept him for some time a prisoner at Babylon, which he alone of all the Assyrian kings made the seat of his government (2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38).
Assur-bani-pal, the son of Esarhaddon, became king, and in Ezra 4:10 is referred to as Asnapper. From an early period Assyria had entered on a conquering career, and having absorbed Babylon, the kingdoms of Hamath, Damascus, and Samaria, it conquered Phoenicia, and made Judea feudatory, and subjected Philistia and Idumea. At length, however, its power declined. In B.C. 727 the Babylonians threw off the rule of the Assyrians, under the leadership of the powerful Chaldean prince Merodach-baladan (2 Kings 20:12), who, after twelve years, was subdued by Sargon, who now reunited the kingdom, and ruled over a vast empire. But on his death the smouldering flames of rebellion again burst forth, and the Babylonians and Medes successfully asserted their independence (B.C. 625), and Assyria fell according to the prophecies of Isaiah (10:5-19), Nahum (3:19), and Zephaniah (3:13), and the many separate kingdoms of which it was composed ceased to recognize the “great king” (2 Kings 18:19; Isa. 36:4). Ezekiel (31) attests (about B.C. 586) how completely Assyria was overthrown. It ceases to be a nation. (See NINEVEH; BABYLON.)
Astrologer (Dan. 1:20; 2:2, 10, 27, etc.) Heb. ashshaph’, an enchanter, one who professes to divine future events by the appearance of the stars. This science flourished among the Chaldeans. It was positively forbidden to the Jews (Deut. 4:19; 18:10; Isa. 47:13).
Astronomy The Hebrews were devout students of the wonders of the starry firmanent (Amos 5:8; Ps. 19). In the Book of Job, which is the oldest book of the Bible in all probability, the constellations are distinguished and named. Mention is made of the “morning star” (Rev. 2:28; comp. Isa. 14:12), the “seven stars” and “Pleiades,” “Orion,” “Arcturus,” the “Great Bear” (Amos 5:8; Job 9:9; 38:31), “the crooked serpent,” Draco (Job 26:13), the Dioscuri, or Gemini, “Castor and Pollux” (Acts 28:11). The stars were called “the host of heaven” (Isa. 40:26; Jer. 33:22).
The oldest divisions of time were mainly based on the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, the “ordinances of heaven” (Gen. 1:14-18; Job 38:33; Jer. 31:35; 33:25). Such observations led to the division of the year into months and the mapping out of the appearances of the stars into twelve portions, which received from the Greeks the name of the “zodiac.” The word “Mazzaroth” (Job 38:32) means, as the margin notes, “the twelve signs” of the zodiac. Astronomical observations were also necessary among the Jews in order to the fixing of the proper time for sacred ceremonies, the “new moons,” the “passover,” etc. Many allusions are found to the display of God’s wisdom and power as seen in the starry heavens (Ps. 8; 19:1-6; Isa. 51:6, etc.)
Asuppim (1 Chr. 26:15, 17, Authorized Version; but in Revised Version, “storehouse”), properly the house of stores for the priests. In Neh. 12:25 the Authorized Version has “thresholds,” marg. “treasuries” or “assemblies;” Revised Version, “storehouses.”
Atad Buckthorn, a place where Joseph and his brethren, when on their way from Egypt to Hebron with the remains of their father Jacob, made for seven days a “great and very sore lamentation.” On this account the Canaanites called it “Abel-mizraim” (Gen. 50:10, 11). It was probably near Hebron. The word is rendered “bramble” in Judg. 9:14, 15, and “thorns” in Ps. 58:9.
Ataroth Crowns. (1.) A city east of Jordan, not far from Gilead (Num. 32:3).
(2.) A town on the border of Ephraim and Benjamin (Josh. 16:2, 7), called also Ataroth-adar (16:5). Now ed-Da’rieh.
(3.) “Ataroth, the house of Joab” (1 Chr. 2:54), a town of Judah inhabited by the descendants of Caleb.
Ater Shut; lame. (1.) Ezra 2:16. (2.) Neh. 10:17. (3.) Ezra 2:42.
Athaliah Whom God afflicts. (1.) The daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, and the wife of Jehoram, king of Judah (2 Kings 8:18), who “walked in the ways of the house of Ahab” (2 Chr. 21:6), called “daughter” of Omri (2 Kings 8:26). On the death of her husband and of her son Ahaziah, she resolved to seat herself on the vacant throne. She slew all Ahaziah’s children except Joash, the youngest (2 Kings 11:1, 2). After a reign of six years she was put to death in an insurrection (2 Kings 11:20; 2 Chr. 21:6; 22:10-12; 23:15), stirred up among the people in connection with Josiah’s being crowned as king.
(2.) Ezra 8:7. (3.) 1 Chr. 8:26.
Athens The capital of Attica, the most celebrated city of the ancient world, the seat of Greek literature and art during the golden period of Grecian history. Its inhabitants were fond of novelty (Acts 17:21), and were remarkable for their zeal in the worship of the gods. It was a sarcastic saying of the Roman satirist that it was “easier to find a god at Athens than a man.”
On his second missionary journey Paul visited this city (Acts 17:15; comp. 1 Thess. 3:1), and delivered in the Areopagus his famous speech (17:22-31). The altar of which Paul there speaks as dedicated “to the [properly “an”] unknown God” (23) was probably one of several which bore the same inscription. It is supposed that they originated in the practice of letting loose a flock of sheep and goats in the streets of Athens on the occasion of a plague, and of offering them up in sacrifice, at the spot where they lay down, “to the god concerned.”
Atonement This word does not occur in the Authorized Version of the New Testament except in Rom. 5:11, where in the Revised Version the word “reconciliation” is used. In the Old Testament it is of frequent occurrence.
The meaning of the word is simply at-one-ment, i.e., the state of being at one or being reconciled, so that atonement is reconciliation. Thus it is used to denote the effect which flows from the death of Christ.
But the word is also used to denote that by which this reconciliation is brought about, viz., the death of Christ itself; and when so used it means satisfaction, and in this sense to make an atonement for one is to make satisfaction for his offences (Ex. 32:30; Lev. 4:26; 5:16; Num. 6:11), and, as regards the person, to reconcile, to propitiate God in his behalf.
By the atonement of Christ we generally mean his work by which he expiated our sins. But in Scripture usage the word denotes the reconciliation itself, and not the means by which it is effected. When speaking of Christ’s saving work, the word “satisfaction,” the word used by the theologians of the Reformation, is to be preferred to the word “atonement.” Christ’s satisfaction is all he did in the room and in behalf of sinners to satisfy the demands of the law and justice of God. Christ’s work consisted of suffering and obedience, and these were vicarious, i.e., were not merely for our benefit, but were in our stead, as the suffering and obedience of our vicar, or substitute. Our guilt is expiated by the punishment which our vicar bore, and thus God is rendered propitious, i.e., it is now consistent with his justice to manifest his love to transgressors. Expiation has been made for sin, i.e., it is covered. The means by which it is covered is vicarious satisfaction, and the result of its being covered is atonement or reconciliation. To make atonement is to do that by virtue of which alienation ceases and reconciliation is brought about. Christ’s mediatorial work and sufferings are the ground or efficient cause of reconciliation with God. They rectify the disturbed relations between God and man, taking away the obstacles interposed by sin to their fellowship and concord. The reconciliation is mutual, i.e., it is not only that of sinners toward God, but also and pre-eminently that of God toward sinners, effected by the sin-offering he himself provided, so that consistently with the other attributes of his character his love might flow forth in all its fulness of blessing to men. The primary idea presented to us in different forms throughout the Scripture is that the death of Christ is a satisfaction of infinite worth rendered to the law and justice of God (q.v.), and accepted by him in room of the very penalty man had incurred. It must also be constantly kept in mind that the atonement is not the cause but the consequence of God’s love to guilty men (John 3:16; Rom. 3:24, 25; Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:9; 4:9). The atonement may also be regarded as necessary, not in an absolute but in a relative sense, i.e., if man is to be saved, there is no other way than this which God has devised and carried out (Ex. 34:7; Josh. 24:19; Ps. 5:4; 7:11; Nahum 1:2, 6; Rom. 3:5). This is God’s plan, clearly revealed; and that is enough for us to know.
Atonement, Day of The great annual day of humiliation and expiation for the sins of the nation, “the fast” (Acts 27:9), and the only one commanded in the law of Moses. The mode of its observance is described in Lev. 16:3-10; 23:26-32; and Num. 29:7-11.
It was kept on the tenth day of the month Tisri, i.e., five days before the feast of Tabernacles, and lasted from sunset to sunset. (See AZAZEL.)
Augustus The cognomen of the first Roman emperor, C. Julius Caesar Octavianus, during whose reign Christ was born (Luke 2:1). His decree that “all the world should be taxed” was the divinely ordered occasion of Jesus’ being born, according to prophecy (Micah 5:2), in Bethlehem. This name being simply a title meaning “majesty” or “venerable,” first given to him by the senate (B.C. 27), was borne by succeeding emperors. Before his death (A.D. 14) he associated Tiberius with him in the empire (Luke 3:1), by whom he was succeeded.
Augustus band (Acts 27:1.: literally, of Sebaste, the Greek form of Augusta, the name given to Caesarea in honour of Augustus Caesar). Probably this “band” or cohort consisted of Samaritan soldiers belonging to Caesarea.
Ava A place in Assyria from which colonies were brought to Samaria (2 Kings 17:24). It is probably the same with Ivah (18:34; 19:13; Isa. 37:13). It has been identified with Hit on the Euphrates.
Aven Nothingness; vanity. (1.) Hosea speaks of the “high places of Aven” (10:8), by which he means Bethel. He also calls it Beth-aven, i.e., “the house of vanity” (4:15), on account of the golden calves Jeroboam had set up there (1 Kings 12:28).
(2.) Translated by the LXX. “On” in Ezek. 30:17. The Egyptian Heliopolis or city of On (q.v.).
(3.) In Amos 1:5 it denotes the Syrian Heliopolis, the modern Baalbec.
Avenger of blood (Heb. goel, from verb gaal, “to be near of kin,” “to redeem”), the nearest relative of a murdered person. It was his right and duty to slay the murderer (2 Sam. 14:7, 11) if he found him outside of a city of refuge. In order that this law might be guarded against abuse, Moses appointed six cities of refuge (Ex. 21:13; Num. 35:13; Deut. 19:1, 9). These were in different parts of the country, and every facility was afforded the manslayer that he might flee to the city that lay nearest him for safety. Into the city of refuge the avenger durst not follow him. This arrangement applied only to cases where the death was not premeditated. The case had to be investigated by the authorities of the city, and the wilful murderer was on no account to be spared. He was regarded as an impure and polluted person, and was delivered up to the goel (Deut. 19:11-13). If the offence was merely manslaughter, then the fugitive must remain within the city till the death of the high priest (Num. 35:25).
Avim A people dwelling in Hazerim, or “the villages” or “encampments” on the south-west corner of the sea-coast (Deut. 2:23). They were subdued and driven northward by the Caphtorim. A trace of them is afterwards found in Josh. 13:3, where they are called Avites.
Awl An instrument only referred to in connection with the custom of boring the ear of a slave (Ex. 21:6; Deut. 15:17), in token of his volunteering perpetual service when he might be free. (Comp. Ps. 40:6; Isa. 50:5).
Axe Used in the Authorized Version of Deut. 19:5; 20:19; 1 Kings 6:7, as the translation of a Hebrew word which means “chopping.” It was used for felling trees (Isa. 10:34) and hewing timber for building. It is the rendering of a different word in Judg. 9:48, 1 Sam. 13:20, 21, Ps. 74:5, which refers to its sharpness. In 2 Kings 6:5 it is the translation of a word used with reference to its being made of iron. In Isa. 44:12 the Revised Version renders by “axe” the Hebrew maatsad, which means a “hewing” instrument. In the Authorized Version it is rendered “tongs.” It is also used in Jer. 10:3, and rendered “axe.” The “battle-axe” (army of Medes and Persians) mentioned in Jer. 51:20 was probably, as noted in the margin of the Revised Version, a “maul” or heavy mace. In Ps. 74:6 the word so rendered means “feller.” (See the figurative expression in Matt. 3:10; Luke 3:9.)
Azal (Zech. 14:5) should perhaps be rendered “very near” = “the way of escape shall be made easy.” If a proper name, it may denote some place near the western extremity of the valley here spoken of near Jerusalem.
Azariah Whom Jehovah helps. (1.) Son of Ethan, of the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 2:8).
(2.) Son of Ahimaaz, who succeeded his grandfather Zadok as high priest (1 Chr. 6:9; 1 Kings 4:2) in the days of Solomon. He officiated at the consecration of the temple (1 Chr. 6:10).
(3.) The son of Johanan, high priest in the reign of Abijah and Asa (2 Chr. 6:10, 11).
(4.) High priest in the reign of Uzziah, king of Judah (2 Kings 14:21; 2 Chr. 26:17-20). He was contemporary with the prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Joel.
(5.) High priest in the days of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 31:10-13). Of the house of Zadok.
(6.) Several other priests and Levites of this name are mentioned (1 Chr. 6:36; Ezra 7:1; 1 Chr. 9:11; Neh. 3:23, etc.).
(7.) The original name of Abed-nego (Dan. 1:6, 7, 11, 16). He was of the royal family of Judah, and with his other two companions remarkable for his personal beauty and his intelligence as well as piety.
(8.) The son of Oded, a remarkable prophet in the days of Asa (2 Chr. 15:1). He stirred up the king and the people to a great national reformation.
Azazel (Lev. 16:8, 10, 26, Revised Version only here; rendered “scape-goat” in the Authorized Version). This word has given rise to many different views. Some Jewish interpreters regard it as the name of a place some 12 miles east of Jerusalem, in the wilderness. Others take it to be the name of an evil spirit, or even of Satan. But when we remember that the two goats together form a type of Christ, on whom the Lord “laid the iniquity of us all,” and examine into the root meaning of this word (viz., “separation”), the interpretation of those who regard the one goat as representing the atonement made, and the other, that “for Azazel,” as representing the effect of the great work of atonement (viz., the complete removal of sin), is certainly to be preferred. The one goat which was “for Jehovah” was offered as a sin-offering, by which atonement was made. But the sins must also be visibly banished, and therefore they were symbolically laid by confession on the other goat, which was then “sent away for Azazel” into the wilderness. The form of this word indicates intensity, and therefore signifies the total separation of sin: it was wholly carried away. It was important that the result of the sacrifices offered by the high priest alone in the sanctuary should be embodied in a visible transaction, and hence the dismissal of the “scape-goat.” It was of no consequence what became of it, as the whole import of the transaction lay in its being sent into the wilderness bearing away sin. As the goat “for Jehovah” was to witness to the demerit of sin and the need of the blood of atonement, so the goat “for Azazel” was to witness to the efficacy of the sacrifice and the result of the shedding of blood in the taking away of sin.
Azaziah Whom Jehovah strengthened. (1.) One of the Levitical harpers in the temple (1 Chr. 15:21).
(2.) The father of Hoshea, who was made ruler over the Ephraimites (1 Chr. 27:20).
(3.) One who had charge of the temple offerings (2 Chr. 31:13).
Azekah Dug over, a town in the Shephelah or low hills of Judah (Josh. 15:35), where the five confederated Amoritish kings were defeated by Joshua and their army destroyed by a hailstrom (10:10, 11). It was one of the places re-occupied by the Jews on their return from the Captivity (Neh. 11:30).
Azel Noble, a descendant of king Saul (1 Chr. 8:37; 9:43, 44).
Azmaveth Strong as death. (1.) One of David’s thirty warriors (2 Sam. 23:31).
(2.) An overseer over the royal treasury in the time of David and Solomon (1 Chr. 27:25).
(3.) A town in the tribe of Judah, near Jerusalem (Neh. 12:29; Ezra 2:24).
(4.) 1 Chr. 8:36
Azotus The Grecized form (Acts 8:40, etc.) of Ashdod (q.v.).
Azubah Deserted. (1.) The wife of Caleb (1 Chr. 2:18, 19).
(2.) The daughter of Shilhi, and mother of king Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:42).
Azur and Azzur Helper. (1.) The father of Hananiah, a false prophet (Jer. 28:1).
(2.) The father of Jaazaniah (Ezek. 11:1).
(3.) One of those who sealed the covenant with Jehovah on the return from Babylon (Neh. 10:17).
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