Easton’s Bible Dictionary (complete text) by M.G. Easton – N through Q
Naam Pleasantness, one of the three sons of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh (1 Chr. 4:15).
Naamah The beautiful. (1.) The daughter of Lamech and Zillah (Gen. 4: 22).
(2.) The daughter of the king of Ammon, one of the wives of Solomon, the only one who appears to have borne him a son, viz., Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:21, 31).
(3.) A city in the plain of Judah (Josh. 15:41), supposed by some to be identified with Na’aneh, some 5 miles south-east of Makkedah.
Naaman Pleasantness, a Syrian, the commander of the armies of Benhadad II. in the time of Joram, king of Israel. He was afflicted with leprosy; and when the little Hebrew slave-girl that waited on his wife told her of a prophet in Samaria who could cure her master, he obtained a letter from Benhadad and proceeded with it to Joram. The king of Israel suspected in this some evil design against him, and rent his clothes. Elisha the prophet hearing of this, sent for Naaman, and the strange interview which took place is recorded in 2 Kings 5. The narrative contains all that is known of the Syrian commander. He was cured of his leprosy by dipping himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of Elisha. His cure is alluded to by our Lord (Luke 4:27).
Naamathite The designation of Zophar, one of Job’s three friends (Job 2:11; 11:1), so called from some place in Arabia, called Naamah probably.
Naarah A girl, the second of Ashur’s two wives, of the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 4:5, 6).
Naarai Youthful, a military chief in David’s army (1 Chr. 11:37), called also Paarai (2 Sam. 23:35).
Naaran Boyish, juvenile, a town in Ephraim between Bethel and Jericho (1 Chr. 7:28).
Naarath Girl, a town on the boundary between Ephraim and Benjamin (Josh. 16:7), not far probably from Jericho, to the north (1 Chr. 7:28).
Nabal Foolish, a descendant of Caleb who dwelt at Maon (1 Sam. 25), the modern Main, 7 miles south-east of Hebron. He was “very great, and he had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats…but the man was churlish and evil in his doings.” During his wanderings David came into that district, and hearing that Nabal was about to shear his sheep, he sent ten of his young men to ask “whatsoever cometh unto thy hand for thy servants.” Nabal insultingly resented the demand, saying, “Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse?” (1 Sam. 25:10, 11). One of the shepherds that stood by and saw the reception David’s messengers had met with, informed Abigail, Nabal’s wife, who at once realized the danger that threatened her household. She forthwith proceeded to the camp of David, bringing with her ample stores of provisions (25:18). She so courteously and persuasively pled her cause that David’s anger was appeased, and he said to her, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel which sent thee this day to meet me.”
On her return she found her husband incapable from drunkenness of understanding the state of matters, and not till the following day did she explain to him what had happened. He was stunned by a sense of the danger to which his conduct had exposed him. “His heart died within him, and he became as a stone.” and about ten days after “the Lord smote Nabal that he died” (1 Sam. 25:37, 38). Not long after David married Abigail (q.v.).
Naboth Fruits, “the Jezreelite,” was the owner of a portion of ground on the eastern slope of the hill of Jezreel (2 Kings 9:25, 26). This small “plat of ground” seems to have been all he possessed. It was a vineyard, and lay “hard by the palace of Ahab” (1 Kings 21:1, 2), who greatly coveted it. Naboth, however, refused on any terms to part with it to the king. He had inherited it from his fathers, and no Israelite could lawfully sell his property (Lev. 25:23). Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, was grievously offended at Naboth’s refusal to part with his vineyard. By a crafty and cruel plot she compassed his death. His sons also shared his fate (2 Kings 9:26; 1 Kings 21:19). She then came to Ahab and said, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” Ahab arose and went forth into the garden which had so treacherously and cruelly been acquired, seemingly enjoying his new possession, when, lo, Elijah suddenly appeared before him and pronounced against him a fearful doom (1 Kings 21:17-24). Jehu and Bidcar were with Ahab at this time, and so deeply were the words of Elijah imprinted on Jehu’s memory that many years afterwards he refers to them (2 Kings 9:26), and he was the chief instrument in inflicting this sentence on Ahab and Jezebel and all their house (9:30-37). The house of Ahab was extinguished by him. Not one of all his great men and his kinsfolk and his priests did Jehu spare (10:11).
Ahab humbled himself at Elijah’s words (1 Kings 21:28, 29), and therefore the prophecy was fulfilled not in his fate but in that of his son Joram (2 Kings 9:25).
The history of Naboth, compared with that of Ahab and Jezebel, furnishes a remarkable illustration of the law of a retributive providence, a law which runs through all history (comp. Ps. 109:17, 18).
Nachon Prepared, the owner of a thrashing-floor near which Uzzah was slain (2 Sam. 6:6); called also Chidon (1 Chr. 13:9).
Nadab Liberal, generous. (1.) The eldest of Aaron’s four sons (Ex. 6:23; Num. 3:2). He with his brothers and their father were consecrated as priests of Jehovah (Ex. 28:1). He afterwards perished with Abihu for the sin of offering strange fire on the altar of burnt-offering (Lev. 10:1, 2; Num. 3:4; 26:60).
(2.) The son and successor of Jeroboam, the king of Israel (1 Kings 14:20). While engaged with all Israel in laying siege to Gibbethon, a town of southern Dan (Josh. 19:44), a conspiracy broke out in his army, and he was slain by Baasha (1 Kings 15:25-28), after a reign of two years (B.C. 955-953). The assassination of Nadab was followed by that of his whole house, and thus this great Ephraimite family became extinct (1 Kings 15:29).
(3.) One of the sons of Shammai in the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 2:28, 30).
Nagge Illuminating, one of the ancestors of Christ in the maternal line (Luke 3:25).
Nahaliel Possession, or valley of God, one of the encampments of the Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 21:19), on the confines of Moab. This is identified with the ravine of the Zerka M’ain, the ancient Callirhoe, the hot springs on the east of the Jordan, not far from the Dead Sea.
Nahallal Pasture, a city in Zebulun on the border of Issachar (Josh. 19:15), the same as Nahalol (Judg. 1:30). It was given to the Levites. It has been by some identified with Malul in the plain of Esdraelon, 4 miles from Nazareth.
Naharai Snorer, a Berothite, one of David’s heroes, and armour-bearer of Joab (1 Chr. 11:39).
Nahash Serpent. (1.) King of the Ammonites in the time of Saul. The inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead having been exposed to great danger from Nahash, sent messengers to Gibeah to inform Saul of their extremity. He promptly responded to the call, and gathering together an army he marched against Nahash. “And it came to pass that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them [the Ammonites] were not left together” (1 Sam. 11:1-11).
(2.) Another king of the Ammonites of the same name is mentioned, who showed kindness to David during his wanderings (2 Sam. 10:2). On his death David sent an embassy of sympathy to Hanun, his son and successor, at Rabbah Ammon, his capital. The grievous insult which was put upon these ambassadors led to a war against the Ammonites, who, with their allies the Syrians, were completely routed in a battle fought at “the entering in of the gate,” probably of Medeba (2 Sam. 10:6-14). Again Hadarezer rallied the Syrian host, which was totally destroyed by the Israelite army under Joab in a decisive battle fought at Helam (2 Sam. 10:17), near to Hamath (1 Chr. 18:3). “So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more” (2 Sam. 10:19).
(3.) The father of Amasa, who was commander-in-chief of Abasolom’s army (2 Sam. 17:25). Jesse’s wife had apparently been first married to this man, to whom she bore Abigail and Zeruiah, who were thus David’s sisters, but only on the mother’s side (1 Chr. 2:16).
Nahath Rest. (1.) One of the four sons of Reuel, the son of Esau (Gen. 36:13, 17). (2.) A Kohathite Levite (1 Chr. 6:26). (3.) A Levite, one of the overseers of the sacred offerings of the temple (2 Chr. 31:13).
Nahbi Hidden, one of the twelve spies sent out to explore the land of Canaan (Num. 13:14).
Nahor Snorting. (1.) The father of Terah, who was the father of Abraham (Gen. 11:22-25; Luke 3:34).
(2.) A son of Terah, and elder brother of Abraham (Gen. 11:26, 27; Josh. 24:2, R.V.). He married Milcah, the daughter of his brother Haran, and remained in the land of his nativity on the east of the river Euphrates at Haran (Gen. 11:27-32). A correspondence was maintained between the family of Abraham in Canaan and the relatives in the old ancestral home at Haran till the time of Jacob. When Jacob fled from Haran all intercourse between the two branches of the family came to an end (Gen. 31:55). His grand-daughter Rebekah became Isaac’s wife (24:67).
Nahshon Sorcerer, the son of Aminadab, and prince of the children of Judah at the time of the first numbering of the tribes in the wilderness (Ex. 6:23). His sister Elisheba was the wife of Aaron. He died in the wilderness (Num. 26:64, 65). His name occurs in the Greek form Naasson in the genealogy of Christ (Matt, 1:4; Luke 3:32).
Nahum Consolation, the seventh of the so-called minor prophets, an Elkoshite. All we know of him is recorded in the book of his prophecies. He was probably a native of Galilee, and after the deportation of the ten tribes took up his residence in Jerusalem. Others think that Elkosh was the name of a place on the east bank of the Tigris, and that Nahum dwelt there.
Nahum, Book of Nahum prophesied, according to some, in the beginning of the reign of Ahaz (B.C. 743). Others, however, think that his prophecies are to be referred to the latter half of the reign of Hezekiah (about B.C. 709). This is the more probable opinion, internal evidences leading to that conclusion. Probably the book was written in Jerusalem (soon after B.C. 709), where he witnessed the invasion of Sennacherib and the destruction of his host (2 Kings 19:35).
The subject of this prophecy is the approaching complete and final destruction of Nineveh, the capital of the great and at that time flourishing Assyrian empire. Assur-bani-pal was at the height of his glory. Nineveh was a city of vast extent, and was then the centre of the civilzation and commerce of the world, a “bloody city all full of lies and robbery” (Nah. 3:1), for it had robbed and plundered all the neighbouring nations. It was strongly fortified on every side, bidding defiance to every enemy; yet it was to be utterly destroyed as a punishment for the great wickedness of its inhabitants.
Jonah had already uttered his message of warning, and Nahum was followed by Zephaniah, who also predicted (Zeph. 2:4-15) the destruction of the city, predictions which were remarkably fulfilled (B.C. 625) when Nineveh was destroyed apparently by fire, and the Assyrian empire came to an end, an event which changed the face of Asia. (See NINEVEH.)
Nail For fastening. (1.) Hebrew yathed, “piercing,” a peg or nail of any material (Ezek. 15:3), more especially a tent-peg (Ex. 27:19; 35:18; 38:20), with one of which Jael (q.v.) pierced the temples of Sisera (Judg. 4:21, 22). This word is also used metaphorically (Zech. 10:4) for a prince or counsellor, just as “the battle-bow” represents a warrior.
(2.) Masmer, a “point,” the usual word for a nail. The words of the wise are compared to “nails fastened by the masters of assemblies” (Eccl. 12:11, A.V.). The Revised Version reads, “as nails well fastened are the words of the masters,” etc. Others (as Plumptre) read, “as nails fastened are the masters of assemblies” (comp. Isa. 22:23; Ezra 9:8). David prepared nails for the temple (1 Chr. 22:3; 2 Chr. 3:9). The nails by which our Lord was fixed to the cross are mentioned (John 20:25; Col. 2:14).
Nail of the finger (Heb. tsipporen, “scraping”). To “pare the nails” is in Deut. 21:12 (marg., “make,” or “dress,” or “suffer to grow”) one of the signs of purification, separation from former heathenism (comp. Lev. 14:8; Num. 8:7). In Jer. 17:1 this word is rendered “point.”
Nain (from Heb. nain, “green pastures,” “lovely”), the name of a town near the gate of which Jesus raised to life a widow’s son (Luke 7:11-17). It is identified with the village called Nein, standing on the north-western slope of Jebel ed-Duhy (=the “hill Moreh” = “Little hermon”), about 4 miles from Tabor and 25 southwest of Capernaum. At the foot of the slope on which it stands is the great plain of Esdraelon.
This was the first miracle of raising the dead our Lord had wrought, and it excited great awe and astonishment among the people.
Naioth Dwellings, the name given to the prophetical college established by Samuel near Ramah. It consisted of a cluster of separate dwellings, and hence its name. David took refuge here when he fled from Saul (1 Sam. 19:18, 19, 22, 23), and here he passed a few weeks in peace (comp. Ps. 11). It was probably the common residence of the “sons of the prophets.”
Naked This word denotes (1) absolute nakedness (Gen. 2:25; Job 1:21; Eccl. 5:15; Micah 1:8; Amos 2:16); (2) being poorly clad (Isa. 58:7; James 2:15). It denotes also (3) the state of one who has laid aside his loose outer garment (Lat. nudus), and appears clothed only in a long tunic or under robe worn next the skin (1 Sam. 19:24; Isa. 47:3; comp. Mark 14:52; John 21:7). It is used figuratively, meaning “being discovered” or “made manifest” (Job 26:6; Heb. 4:13). In Ex. 32:25 the expression “the people were naked” (A.V.) is more correctly rendered in the Revised Version “the people were broken loose”, i.e., had fallen into a state of lawlessness and insubordination. In 2 Chr. 28:19 the words “he made Judah naked” (A.V.), but Revised Version “he had dealt wantonly in Judah,” mean “he had permitted Judah to break loose from all the restraints of religion.”
Naomi The lovable; my delight, the wife of Elimelech, and mother of Mahlon and Chilion, and mother-in-law of Ruth (1:2, 20, 21; 2:1). Elimelech and his wife left the district of Bethlehem-Judah, and found a new home in the uplands of Moab. In course of time he died, as also his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, who had married women of Moab, and three widows were left mourning the loss of their husbands. Naomi longs to return now to her own land, to Bethlehem. One of her widowed daughters-in-law, Ruth, accompanies her, and is at length married to Boaz (q.v.).
Naphish Refresher, one of the sons of Ishmael (Gen. 25:15; 1 Chr. 1:31). He was the father of an Arab tribe.
Naphtali My wrestling, the fifth son of Jacob. His mother was Bilhah, Rachel’s handmaid (Gen. 30:8). When Jacob went down into Egypt, Naphtali had four sons (Gen. 46:24). Little is known of him as an individual.
Naphtali, Mount The mountainous district of Naphtali (Josh. 20:7).
Naphtali, Tribe of On this tribe Jacob pronounced the patriarchal blessing, “Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words” (Gen. 49:21). It was intended thus to set forth under poetic imagery the future character and history of the tribe.
At the time of the Exodus this tribe numbered 53,400 adult males (Num. 1:43), but at the close of the wanderings they numbered only 45,400 (26:48-50). Along with Dan and Asher they formed “the camp of Dan,” under a common standard (2:25-31), occupying a place during the march on the north side of the tabernacle.
The possession assigned to this tribe is set forth in Josh. 19:32-39. It lay in the north-eastern corner of the land, bounded on the east by the Jordan and the lakes of Merom and Galilee, and on the north it extended far into Coele-Syria, the valley between the two Lebanon ranges. It comprehended a greater variety of rich and beautiful scenery and of soil and climate than fell to the lot of any other tribe. The territory of Naphtali extended to about 800 square miles, being the double of that of Issachar. The region around Kedesh, one of its towns, was originally called Galil, a name afterwards given to the whole northern division of Canaan. A large number of foreigners settled here among the mountains, and hence it was called “Galilee of the Gentiles” (q.v.), Matt. 4:15, 16. The southern portion of Naphtali has been called the “Garden of Palestine.” It was of unrivalled fertility. It was the principal scene of our Lord’s public ministry. Here most of his parables were spoken and his miracles wrought.
This tribe was the first to suffer from the invasion of Benhadad, king of Syria, in the reigns of Baasha, king of Israel, and Asa, king of Judah (1 Kings 15:20; 2 Chr. 16:4). In the reign of Pekah, king of Israel, the Assyrians under Tiglath-pileser swept over the whole north of Israel, and carried the people into captivity (2 Kings 15:29). Thus the kingdom of Israel came to an end (B.C. 722).
Naphtali is now almost wholly a desert, the towns of Tiberias, on the shore of the Lake of Galilee, and Safed being the only places in it of any importance.
Naphtuhim A Hamitic tribe descended from Mizraim (Gen. 10:13). Others identify this word with Napata, the name of the city and territory on the southern frontier of Mizraim, the modern Meroe, at the great bend of the Nile at Soudan. This city was the royal residence, it is said, of Queen Candace (Acts 8:27). Here there are extensive and splendid ruins.
Napkin (Gr. soudarion, John 11:44; 20:7; Lat. sudarium, a “sweat-cloth”), a cloth for wiping the sweat from the face. But the word is used of a wrapper to fold money in (Luke 19:20), and as an article of dress, a “handkerchief” worn on the head (Acts 19:12).
Narcissus Daffodil, a Roman whom Paul salutes (Rom. 16:11). He is supposed to have been the private secretary of the emperor Claudius. This is, however, quite uncertain.
Nathan Given. (1.) A prophet in the reigns of David and Solomon (2 Chr. 9:29). He is first spoken of in connection with the arrangements David made for the building of the temple (2 Sam. 7:2, 3, 17), and next appears as the reprover of David on account of his sin with Bathsheba (12:1-14). He was charged with the education of Solomon (12:25), at whose inauguration to the throne he took a prominent part (1 Kings 1:8, 10, 11, 22-45). His two sons, Zabad (1 Chr. 2:36) and Azariah (1 Kings 4:5) occupied places of honour at the king’s court. He last appears in assisting David in reorganizing the public worship (2 Chr. 29:25). He seems to have written a life of David, and also a life of Solomon (1 Chr. 29:29; 2 Chr. 9:29).
(2.) A son of David, by Bathsheba (2 Sam. 5:14), whose name appears in the genealogy of Mary, the mother of our Lord (Luke 3:31).
(3.) Ezra 8:16.
Nathanael Given or gift of God, one of our Lord’s disciples, “of Cana in Galilee” (John 21:2). He was “an Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile” (1:47, 48). His name occurs only in the Gospel of John, who in his list of the disciples never mentions Bartholomew, with whom he has consequently been identified. He was one of those to whom the Lord showed himself alive after his resurrection, at the Sea of Tiberias.
Nativity of Christ The birth of our Lord took place at the time and place predicted by the prophets (Gen. 49:10; Isa. 7:14; Jer. 31:15; Micah 5:2; Hag. 2:6-9; Dan. 9:24, 25). Joseph and Mary were providentially led to go up to Bethlehem at this period, and there Christ was born (Matt. 2:1, 6; Luke 2:1, 7). The exact year or month or day of his birth cannot, however, now be exactly ascertained. We know, however, that it took place in the “fulness of the time” (Gal. 4:4), i.e., at the fittest time in the world’s history. Chronologists are now generally agreed that the year 4 before the Christian era was the year of Christ’s nativity, and consequently that he was about four years old in the year 1 A.D.
Naughty figs (Jer. 24:2). “The bad figs may have been such either from having decayed, and thus been reduced to a rotten condition, or as being the fruit of the sycamore, which contains a bitter juice” (Tristram, Nat. Hist.). The inferiority of the fruit is here referred to as an emblem of the rejected Zedekiah and his people.
Nazarene This epithet (Gr. Nazaraios) is applied to Christ only once (Matt. 2:23). In all other cases the word is rendered “of Nazareth” (Mark 1:24; 10:47; 14:67, etc.). When this Greek designation was at first applied to our Lord, it was meant simply to denote the place of his residence. In course of time the word became a term of reproach. Thus the word “Nazarene” carries with it an allusion to those prophecies which speak of Christ as “despised of men” (Isa. 53:3). Some, however, think that in this name there is an allusion to the Hebrew netser, which signifies a branch or sprout. It is so applied to the Messiah (Isa. 11:1), i.e., he whom the prophets called the Netse, the “Branch.”
The followers of Christ were called “the sect of Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5). All over Palestine and Syria this name is still given to Christians. (See NAZARETH.)
Nazareth Separated, generally supposed to be the Greek form of the Hebrew netser, a “shoot” or “sprout.” Some, however, think that the name of the city must be connected with the name of the hill behind it, from which one of the finest prospects in Palestine is obtained, and accordingly they derive it from the Hebrew notserah, i.e., one guarding or watching, thus designating the hill which overlooks and thus guards an extensive region.
This city is not mentioned in the Old Testament. It was the home of Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:39), and here the angel announced to the Virgin the birth of the Messiah (1:26-28). Here Jesus grew up from his infancy to manhood (4:16); and here he began his public ministry in the synagogue (Matt. 13:54), at which the people were so offended that they sought to cast him down from the precipice whereon their city was built (Luke 4:29). Twice they expelled him from their borders (4:16-29; Matt. 13:54-58); and he finally retired from the city, where he did not many mighty works because of their unbelief (Matt. 13:58), and took up his residence in Capernaum.
Nazareth is situated among the southern ridges of Lebanon, on the steep slope of a hill, about 14 miles from the Sea of Galilee and about 6 west from Mount Tabor. It is identified with the modern village en-Nazirah, of six or ten thousand inhabitants. It lies “as in a hollow cup” lower down upon the hill than the ancient city. The main road for traffic between Egypt and the interior of Asia passed by Nazareth near the foot of Tabor, and thence northward to Damascus.
It is supposed from the words of Nathanael in John 1:46 that the city of Nazareth was held in great disrepute, either because, it is said, the people of Galilee were a rude and less cultivated class, and were largely influenced by the Gentiles who mingled with them, or because of their lower type of moral and religious character. But there seems to be no sufficient reason for these suppositions. The Jews believed that, according to Micah 5:2, the birth of the Messiah would take place at Bethlehem, and nowhere else. Nathanael held the same opinion as his countrymen, and believed that the great “good” which they were all expecting could not come from Nazareth. This is probably what Nathanael meant. Moreover, there does not seem to be any evidence that the inhabitants of Galilee were in any respect inferior, or that a Galilean was held in contempt, in the time of our Lord. (See Dr. Merrill’s Galilee in the Time of Christ.)
The population of this city (now about 10,000) in the time of Christ probably amounted to 15,000 or 20,000 souls.
“The so-called Holy House’ is a cave under the Latin church, which appears to have been originally a tank. The brow of the hill’, site of the attempted precipitation, is probably the northern cliff: the traditional site has been shown since the middle ages at some distance to the south. None of the traditional sites are traceable very early, and they have no authority. The name Nazareth perhaps means a watch tower’ (now en-Nasrah), but is connected in the New Testament with Netzer, ‘a branch’ (Isa. 4:2; Jer. 23:5; Zech. 3:8; 6:12; Matt. 2:23), Nazarene being quite a different word from Nazarite.”
Nazarite (Heb. form Nazirite), the name of such Israelites as took on them the vow prescribed in Num. 6:2-21. The word denotes generally one who is separated from others and consecrated to God. Although there is no mention of any Nazarite before Samson, yet it is evident that they existed before the time of Moses. The vow of a Nazarite involved these three things, (1) abstinence from wine and strong drink, (2) refraining from cutting the hair off the head during the whole period of the continuance of the vow, and (3) the avoidance of contact with the dead.
When the period of the continuance of the vow came to an end, the Nazarite had to present himself at the door of the sanctuary with (1) a he lamb of the first year for a burnt-offering, (2) a ewe lamb of the first year for a sin-offering, and (3) a ram for a peace-offering. After these sacrifices were offered by the priest, the Nazarite cut off his hair at the door and threw it into the fire under the peace-offering.
For some reason, probably in the midst of his work at Corinth, Paul took on himself the Nazarite vow. This could only be terminated by his going up to Jerusalem to offer up the hair which till then was to be left uncut. But it seems to have been allowable for persons at a distance to cut the hair, which was to be brought up to Jerusalem, where the ceremony was completed. This Paul did at Cenchrea just before setting out on his voyage into Syria (Acts 18:18).
On another occasion (Acts 21:23-26), at the feast of Pentecost, Paul took on himself again the Nazarite vow. “The ceremonies involved took a longer time than Paul had at his disposal, but the law permitted a man to share the vow if he could find companions who had gone through the prescribed ceremonies, and who permitted him to join their company. This permission was commonly granted if the new comer paid all the fees required from the whole company (fee to the Levite for cutting the hair and fees for sacrifices), and finished the vow along with the others. Four Jewish Christians were performing the vow, and would admit Paul to their company, provided he paid their expenses. Paul consented, paid the charges, and when the last seven days of the vow began he went with them to live in the temple, giving the usual notice to the priests that he had joined in regular fashion, was a sharer with the four men, and that his vow would end with theirs. Nazarites retired to the temple during the last period of seven days, because they could be secure there against any accidental defilement” (Lindsay’s Acts).
As to the duration of a Nazarite’s vow, every one was left at liberty to fix his own time. There is mention made in Scripture of only three who were Nazarites for life, Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist (Judg. 13:4, 5; 1 Sam. 1:11; Luke 1:15). In its ordinary form, however, the Nazarite’s vow lasted only thirty, and at most one hundred, days. (See RECHABITES.)
This institution was a symbol of a life devoted to God and separated from all sin, a holy life.
Neah Shaking, or settlement, or descent, a town on the east side of Zebulun, not far from Rimmon (Josh. 19:13).
Neapolis New city, a town in Thrace at which Paul first landed in Europe (Acts 16:11). It was the sea-port of the inland town of Philippi, which was distant about 10 miles. From this port Paul embarked on his last journey to Jerusalem (Acts 20:6). It is identified with the modern Turco-Grecian Kavalla.
Nebaioth Height. (1.) Ishmael’s eldest son (Gen. 25:13), and the prince of an Israelitish tribe (16). He had a sister, Mahalath, who was one of Esau’s wives (Gen. 28:9; 36:3).
(2.) The name of the Ishmaelite tribe descended from the above (Gen. 25:13, 18). The “rams of Nebaioth” (Isa. 60:7) are the gifts which these wandering tribes of the desert would consecrate to God.
Neballat Wickedness in secret, (Neh. 11:34), probably the village of Beit Nebala, about 4 miles north of Lydda.
Nebat Sight; aspect, the father of Jeroboam, the king of Israel (1 Kings 11:26, etc.).
Nebo Proclaimer; prophet. (1.) A Chaldean god whose worship was introduced into Assyria by Pul (Isa. 46:1; Jer. 48:1). To this idol was dedicated the great temple whose ruins are still seen at Birs Nimrud. A statue of Nebo found at Calah, where it was set up by Pul, king of Assyria, is now in the British Museum.
(2.) A mountain in the land of Moab from which Moses looked for the first and the last time on the Promised Land (Deut. 32:49; 34:1). It has been identified with Jebel Nebah, on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea, near its northern end, and about 5 miles south-west of Heshbon. It was the summit of the ridge of Pisgah (q.v.), which was a part of the range of the “mountains of Abarim.” It is about 2,643 feet in height, but from its position it commands a view of Western Palestine. Close below it are the plains of Moab, where Balaam, and afterwards Moses, saw the tents of Israel spread along.
(3.) A town on the east of Jordan which was taken possession of and rebuilt by the tribe of Reuben (Num. 32:3, 38; 1 Chr. 5:8). It was about 8 miles south of Heshbon.
(4.) The “children of Nebo” (Ezra 2:29; Neh. 7:33) were of those who returned from Babylon. It was a town in Benjamin, probably the modern Beit Nubah, about 7 miles north-west of Hebron.
Nebuchadnezzar In the Babylonian orthography Nabu-kudur-uzur, which means “Nebo, protect the crown!” or the “frontiers.” In an inscription he styles himself “Nebo’s favourite.” He was the son and successor of Nabopolassar, who delivered Babylon from its dependence on Assyria and laid Nineveh in ruins. He was the greatest and most powerful of all the Babylonian kings. He married the daughter of Cyaxares, and thus the Median and Babylonian dynasties were united.
Necho II., the king of Egypt, gained a victory over the Assyrians at Carchemish. (See JOSIAH; MEGIDDO.) This secured to Egypt the possession of the Syrian provinces of Assyria, including Palestine. The remaining provinces of the Assyrian empire were divided between Babylonia and Media. But Nabopolassar was ambitious of reconquering from Necho the western provinces of Syria, and for this purpose he sent his son with a powerful army westward (Dan. 1:1). The Egyptians met him at Carchemish, where a furious battle was fought, resulting in the complete rout of the Egyptians, who were driven back (Jer. 46:2-12), and Syria and Phoenicia brought under the sway of Babylon (B.C. 606). From that time “the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land” (2 Kings 24:7). Nebuchadnezzar also subdued the whole of Palestine, and took Jerusalem, carrying away captive a great multitude of the Jews, among whom were Daniel and his companions (Dan. 1:1, 2; Jer. 27:19; 40:1).
Three years after this, Jehoiakim, who had reigned in Jerusalem as a Babylonian vassal, rebelled against the oppressor, trusting to help from Egypt (2 Kings 24:1). This led Nebuchadnezzar to march an army again to the conquest of Jerusalem, which at once yielded to him (B.C. 598). A third time he came against it, and deposed Jehoiachin, whom he carried into Babylon, with a large portion of the population of the city, and the sacred vessels of the temple, placing Zedekiah on the throne of Judah in his stead. He also, heedless of the warnings of the prophet, entered into an alliance with Egypt, and rebelled against Babylon. This brought about the final siege of the city, which was at length taken and utterly destroyed (B.C. 586). Zedekiah was taken captive, and had his eyes put out by order of the king of Babylon, who made him a prisoner for the remainder of his life.
An onyx cameo, now in the museum of Florence, bears on it an arrow-headed inscription, which is certainly ancient and genuine. The helmeted profile is said (Schrader) to be genuine also, but it is more probable that it is the portrait of a usurper in the time of Darius (Hystaspes), called Nidinta-Bel, who took the name of “Nebuchadrezzar.” The inscription has been thus translated:, “In honour of Merodach, his lord, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in his lifetime had this made.”
A clay tablet, now in the British Museum, bears the following inscription, the only one as yet found which refers to his wars: “In the thirty-seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the country of Babylon, he went to Egypt [Misr] to make war. Amasis, king of Egypt, collected [his army], and marched and spread abroad.” Thus were fulfilled the words of the prophet (Jer. 46:13-26; Ezek. 29:2-20). Having completed the subjugation of Phoenicia, and inflicted chastisement on Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar now set himself to rebuild and adorn the city of Babylon (Dan. 4:30), and to add to the greatness and prosperity of his kingdom by constructing canals and aqueducts and reservoirs surpassing in grandeur and magnificence everything of the kind mentioned in history (Dan. 2:37). He is represented as a “king of kings,” ruling over a vast kingdom of many provinces, with a long list of officers and rulers under him, “princes, governors, captains,” etc. (3:2, 3, 27). He may, indeed, be said to have created the mighty empire over which he ruled.
“Modern research has shown that Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest monarch that Babylon, or perhaps the East generally, ever produced. He must have possessed an enormous command of human labour, nine-tenths of Babylon itself, and nineteen-twentieths of all the other ruins that in almost countless profusion cover the land, are composed of bricks stamped with his name. He appears to have built or restored almost every city and temple in the whole country. His inscriptions give an elaborate account of the immense works which he constructed in and about Babylon itself, abundantly illustrating the boast, Is not this great Babylon which I have build?'” Rawlinson, Hist. Illustrations.
After the incident of the “burning fiery furnace” (Dan. 3) into which the three Hebrew confessors were cast, Nebuchadnezzar was afflicted with some peculiar mental aberration as a punishment for his pride and vanity, probably the form of madness known as lycanthropy (i.e, “the change of a man into a wolf”). A remarkable confirmation of the Scripture narrative is afforded by the recent discovery of a bronze door-step, which bears an inscription to the effect that it was presented by Nebuchadnezzar to the great temple at Borsippa as a votive offering on account of his recovery from a terrible illness. (See DANIEL.)
He survived his recovery for some years, and died B.C. 562, in the eighty-third or eighty-fourth year of his age, after a reign of forty-three years, and was succeeded by his son Evil-merodach, who, after a reign of two years, was succeeded by Neriglissar (559-555), who was succeeded by Nabonadius (555-538), at the close of whose reign (less than a quarter of a century after the death of Nebuchadnezzar) Babylon fell under Cyrus at the head of the combined armies of Media and Persia.
“I have examined,” says Sir H. Rawlinson, “the bricks belonging perhaps to a hundred different towns and cities in the neighbourhood of Baghdad, and I never found any other legend than that of Nebuchadnezzar, son of Nabopolassar, king of Babylon.” Nine-tenths of all the bricks amid the ruins of Babylon are stamped with his name.
Nebuchadrezzar =Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 21:2, 7; 22:25; 24:1, etc.), a nearer approach to the correct spelling of the word.
Nebushasban Adorer of Nebo, or Nebo saves me, the “Rabsaris,” or chief chamberlain, of the court of Babylon. He was one of those whom the king sent to release Jeremiah from prison in Jerusalem (Jer. 39:13).
Nebuzaradan “the captain of the guard,” in rank next to the king, who appears prominent in directing affairs at the capture of Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:8-20; Jer. 39:11; 40:2-5). He showed kindness toward Jeremiah, as commanded by Nebuchadnezzar (40:1). Five years after this he again came to Jerusalem and carried captive seven hundred and forty-five more Jews.
Necho II An Egyptian king, the son and successor of Psammetichus (B.C. 610-594), the contemporary of Josiah, king of Judah. For some reason he proclaimed war against the king of Assyria. He led forth a powerful army and marched northward, but was met by the king of Judah at Megiddo, who refused him a passage through his territory. Here a fierce battle was fought and Josiah was slain (2 Chr. 35:20-24). Possibly, as some suppose, Necho may have brought his army by sea to some port to the north of Dor (comp. Josh. 11:2; 12:23), a Phoenician town at no great distance from Megiddo. After this battle Necho marched on to Carchemish (q.v.), where he met and conquered the Assyrian army, and thus all the Syrian provinces, including Palestine, came under his dominion.
On his return march he deposed Jehoahaz, who had succeeded his father Josiah, and made Eliakim, Josiah’s eldest son, whose name he changed into Jehoiakim, king. Jehoahaz he carried down into Egypt, where he died (2 Kings 23:31; 2 Chr. 36:1-4). Four years after this conquest Necho again marched to the Euphrates; but here he was met and his army routed by the Chaldeans (B.C. 606) under Nebuchadnezzar, who drove the Egyptians back, and took from them all the territory they had conquered, from the Euphrates unto the “river of Egypt” (Jer. 46:2; 2 Kings 24:7, 8). Soon after this Necho died, and was succeeded by his son, Psammetichus II. (See NEBUCHADNEZZAR.)
Neck Used sometimes figuratively. To “lay down the neck” (Rom. 16:4) is to hazard one’s life. Threatenings of coming judgments are represented by the prophets by their laying bands upon the people’s necks (Deut. 28:48; Isa. 10:27; Jer. 27:2). Conquerors put their feet on the necks of their enemies as a sign of their subjection (Josh. 10:24; 2 Sam. 22:41).
Necromancer (Deut. 15:11), i.e., “one who interrogates the dead,” as the word literally means, with the view of discovering the secrets of futurity (comp. 1 Sam. 28:7). (See DIVINATION.)
Nedabiah Moved of Jehovah, one of the sons of Jeconiah (1 Chr. 3:18).
Needle Used only in the proverb, “to pass through a needle’s eye” (Matt. 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25). Some interpret the expression as referring to the side gate, close to the principal gate, usually called the “eye of a needle” in the East; but it is rather to be taken literally. The Hebrew females were skilled in the use of the needle (Ex. 28:39; 26:36; Judg. 5:30).
Neginah In the title of Ps. 61, denotes the music of stringed instruments (1 Sam. 16:16; Isa. 38:20). It is the singular form of Neginoth.
Neginoth I.e., songs with instrumental accompaniment, found in the titles of Ps. 4; 6; 54; 55; 67; 76; rendered “stringed instruments,” Hab. 3:19, A.V. It denotes all kinds of stringed instruments, as the “harp,” “psaltery,” “viol,” etc. The “chief musician on Neginoth” is the leader of that part of the temple choir which played on stringed instruments.
Nehelamite The name given to a false prophet Shemaiah, who went with the captives to Babylon (Jer. 29:24, 31, 32). The origin of the name is unknown. It is rendered in the marg, “dreamer.”
Nehemiah Comforted by Jehovah. (1.) Ezra 2:2; Neh. 7:7. (2.) Neh. 3:16.
(3.) The son of Hachaliah (Neh. 1:1), and probably of the tribe of Judah. His family must have belonged to Jerusalem (Neh. 2:3). He was one of the “Jews of the dispersion,” and in his youth was appointed to the important office of royal cup-bearer at the palace of Shushan. The king, Artaxerxes Longimanus, seems to have been on terms of friendly familiarity with his attendant. Through his brother Hanani, and perhaps from other sources (Neh. 1:2; 2:3), he heard of the mournful and desolate condition of the Holy City, and was filled with sadness of heart. For many days he fasted and mourned and prayed for the place of his fathers’ sepulchres. At length the king observed his sadness of countenance and asked the reason of it. Nehemiah explained it all to the king, and obtained his permission to go up to Jerusalem and there to act as tirshatha, or governor of Judea. He went up in the spring of B.C. 446 (eleven years after Ezra), with a strong escort supplied by the king, and with letters to all the pashas of the provinces through which he had to pass, as also to Asaph, keeper of the royal forests, directing him to assist Nehemiah. On his arrival he set himself to survey the city, and to form a plan for its restoration; a plan which he carried out with great skill and energy, so that the whole was completed in about six months. He remained in Judea for thirteen years as governor, carrying out many reforms, notwithstanding much opposition that he encountered (Neh. 13:11). He built up the state on the old lines, “supplementing and completing the work of Ezra,” and making all arrangements for the safety and good government of the city. At the close of this important period of his public life, he returned to Persia to the service of his royal master at Shushan or Ecbatana. Very soon after this the old corrupt state of things returned, showing the worthlessness to a large extent of the professions that had been made at the feast of the dedication of the walls of the city (Neh. 12. See EZRA). Malachi now appeared among the people with words of stern reproof and solemn warning; and Nehemiah again returned from Persia (after an absence of some two years), and was grieved to see the widespread moral degeneracy that had taken place during his absence. He set himself with vigour to rectify the flagrant abuses that had sprung up, and restored the orderly administration of public worship and the outward observance of the law of Moses. Of his subsequent history we know nothing. Probably he remained at his post as governor till his death (about B.C. 413) in a good old age. The place of his death and burial is, however, unknown. “He resembled Ezra in his fiery zeal, in his active spirit of enterprise, and in the piety of his life: but he was of a bluffer and a fiercer mood; he had less patience with transgressors; he was a man of action rather than a man of thought, and more inclined to use force than persuasion. His practical sagacity and high courage were very markedly shown in the arrangement with which he carried through the rebuilding of the wall and balked the cunning plans of the adversaries.’ The piety of his heart, his deeply religious spirit and constant sense of communion with and absolute dependence upon God, are strikingly exhibited, first in the long prayer recorded in ch. 1:5-11, and secondly and most remarkably in what have been called his interjectional prayers’, those short but moving addresses to Almighty God which occur so frequently in his writings, the instinctive outpouring of a heart deeply moved, but ever resting itself upon God, and looking to God alone for aid in trouble, for the frustration of evil designs, and for final reward and acceptance” (Rawlinson). Nehemiah was the last of the governors sent from the Persian court. Judea after this was annexed to the satrapy of Coele-Syria, and was governed by the high priest under the jurisdiction of the governor of Syria, and the internal government of the country became more and more a hierarchy.
Nehemiah, Book of The author of this book was no doubt Nehemiah himself. There are portions of the book written in the first person (ch. 1-7; 12:27-47, and 13). But there are also portions of it in which Nehemiah is spoken of in the third person (ch. 8; 9; 10). It is supposed that these portions may have been written by Ezra; of this, however, there is no distinct evidence. These portions had their place assigned them in the book, there can be no doubt, by Nehemiah. He was the responsible author of the whole book, with the exception of ch. 12:11, 22, 23.
The date at which the book was written was probably about B.C. 431-430, when Nehemiah had returned the second time to Jerusalem after his visit to Persia.
The book, which may historically be regarded as a continuation of the book of Ezra, consists of four parts. (1.) An account of the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, and of the register Nehemiah had found of those who had returned from Babylon (ch. 1-7). (2.) An account of the state of religion among the Jews during this time (8-10). (3.) Increase of the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the census of the adult male population, and names of the chiefs, together with lists of priests and Levites (11-12:1-26). (4.) Dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the arrangement of the temple officers, and the reforms carried out by Nehemiah (12:27-ch. 13).
This book closes the history of the Old Testament. Malachi the prophet was contemporary with Nehemiah.
Nehiloth Only in the title of Ps. 5. It is probably derived from a root meaning “to bore,” “perforate,” and hence denotes perforated wind instruments of all kinds. The psalm may be thus regarded as addressed to the conductor of the temple choir which played on flutes and such-like instruments.
Nehushta Copper, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem, and the wife of Jehoiakin (2 Kings 24:8), king of Judah.
Nehushtan Of copper; a brazen thing a name of contempt given to the serpent Moses had made in the wilderness (Num. 21:8), and which Hezekiah destroyed because the children of Israel began to regard it as an idol and “burn incense to it.” The lapse of nearly one thousand years had invested the “brazen serpent” with a mysterious sanctity; and in order to deliver the people from their infatuation, and impress them with the idea of its worthlessness, Hezekiah called it, in contempt, “Nehushtan,” a brazen thing, a mere piece of brass (2 Kings 18:4).
Neiel Dwelling-place of God, a town in the territory of Asher, near its southern border (Josh. 19:27). It has been identified with the ruin Y’anin, near the outlet of the Wady esh Sha-ghur, less than 2 miles north of Kabul, and 16 miles east of Caesarea.
Nekeb Cavern, a town on the boundary of Naphtali (Josh. 19:33). It has with probability, been identified with Seiyadeh, nearly 2 miles east of Bessum, a ruin half way between Tiberias and Mount Tabor.
Nemuel Day of God. (1.) One of Simeon’s five sons (1 Chr. 4:24), called also Jemuel (Gen. 46:10). (2.) A Reubenite, a son of Eliab, and brother of Dathan and Abiram (Num. 26:9).
Nephilim (Gen. 6:4; Num. 13:33, R.V.), giants, the Hebrew word left untranslated by the Revisers, the name of one of the Canaanitish tribes. The Revisers have, however, translated the Hebrew gibborim, in Gen. 6:4, “mighty men.”
Nephtoah Opened, a fountain and a stream issuing from it on the border between Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:8, 9; 18:15). It has been identified with Ain Lifta, a spring about 2 1/2 miles north-west of Jerusalem. Others, however, have identified it with Ain’ Atan, on the south-west of Bethlehem, whence water is conveyed through “Pilate’s aqueduct” to the Haram area at Jerusalem.
Ner Light, the father of Kish (1 Chr. 8:33). 1 Sam. 14:51 should be read, “Kish, the father of Saul, and Ner, the father of Abner, were the sons of Abiel.” And hence this Kish and Ner were brothers, and Saul and Abner were first cousins (comp. 1 Chr. 9:36).
Nereus A Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent his salutation (Rom. 16:15).
Nergal The great dog; that is, lion, one of the chief gods of the Assyrians and Babylonians (2 Kings 17:30), the god of war and hunting. He is connected with Cutha as its tutelary deity.
Nergal-sharezer Nergal, protect the king! (1.) One of the “princes of the king of Babylon who accompanied him in his last expedition against Jerusalem” (Jer. 39:3, 13).
(2.) Another of the “princes,” who bore the title of “Rabmag.” He was one of those who were sent to release Jeremiah from prison (Jer. 39:13) by “the captain of the guard.” He was a Babylonian grandee of high rank. From profane history and the inscriptions, we are led to conclude that he was the Neriglissar who murdered Evil-merodach, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, and succeeded him on the throne of Babylon (B.C. 559-556). He was married to a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. The ruins of a palace, the only one on the right bank of the Euphrates, bear inscriptions denoting that it was built by this king. He was succeeded by his son, a mere boy, who was murdered after a reign of some nine months by a conspiracy of the nobles, one of whom, Nabonadius, ascended the vacant throne, and reigned for a period of seventeen years (B.C. 555-538), at the close of which period Babylon was taken by Cyrus. Belshazzar, who comes into notice in connection with the taking of Babylon, was by some supposed to have been the same as Nabonadius, who was called Nebuchadnezzar’s son (Dan. 5:11, 18, 22), because he had married his daughter. But it is known from the inscriptions that Nabonadius had a son called Belshazzar, who may have been his father’s associate on the throne at the time of the fall of Babylon, and who therefore would be the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. The Jews had only one word, usually rendered “father,” to represent also such a relationship as that of “grandfather” or “great-grandfather.”
Nero Occurs only in the superscription (which is probably spurious, and is altogether omitted in the R.V.) to the Second Epistle to Timothy. He became emperor of Rome when he was about seventeen years of age (A.D. 54), and soon began to exhibit the character of a cruel tyrant and heathen debauchee. In May A.D. 64, a terrible conflagration broke out in Rome, which raged for six days and seven nights, and totally destroyed a great part of the city. The guilt of this fire was attached to him at the time, and the general verdict of history accuses him of the crime. “Hence, to suppress the rumour,” says Tacitus (Annals, xv. 44), “he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished with the most exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who are hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of that name, was put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the reign of Tiberius; but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only throughout Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also, whither all things horrible and disgraceful flow, from all quarters, as to a common receptacle, and where they are encouraged. Accordingly, first three were seized, who confessed they were Christians. Next, on their information, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much on the charge of burning the city as of hating the human race. And in their deaths they were also made the subjects of sport; for they were covered with the hides of wild beasts and worried to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and, when day declined, burned to serve for nocturnal lights. Nero offered his own gardens for that spectacle, and exhibited a Circensian game, indiscriminately mingling with the common people in the habit of a charioteer, or else standing in his chariot; whence a feeling of compassion arose toward the sufferers, though guilty and deserving to be made examples of by capital punishment, because they seemed not to be cut off for the public good, but victims to the ferocity of one man.” Another Roman historian, Suetonius (Nero, xvi.), says of him: “He likewise inflicted punishments on the Christians, a sort of people who hold a new and impious superstition” (Forbes’s Footsteps of St. Paul, p. 60).
Nero was the emperor before whom Paul was brought on his first imprisonment at Rome, and the apostle is supposed to have suffered martyrdom during this persecution. He is repeatedly alluded to in Scripture (Acts 25:11; Phil. 1:12, 13; 4:22). He died A.D. 68.
Net In use among the Hebrews for fishing, hunting, and fowling. The fishing-net was probably constructed after the form of that used by the Egyptians (Isa. 19:8). There were three kinds of nets. (1.) The drag-net or hauling-net (Gr. sagene), of great size, and requiring many men to work it. It was usually let down from the fishing-boat, and then drawn to the shore or into the boat, as circumstances might require (Matt. 13:47, 48). (2.) The hand-net or casting-net (Gr. amphiblestron), which was thrown from a rock or a boat at any fish that might be seen (Matt. 4:18; Mark 1:16). It was called by the Latins funda. It was of circular form, “like the top of a tent.” (3.) The bag-net (Gr. diktyon), used for enclosing fish in deep water (Luke 5:4-9).
The fowling-nets were (1) the trap, consisting of a net spread over a frame, and supported by a stick in such a way that it fell with the slightest touch (Amos 3:5, “gin;” Ps. 69:22; Job 18:9; Eccl. 9:12). (2) The snare, consisting of a cord to catch birds by the leg (Job 18:10; Ps. 18:5; 116:3; 140:5). (3.) The decoy, a cage filled with birds as decoys (Jer. 5:26, 27). Hunting-nets were much in use among the Hebrews.
Nethaneel Given of God. (1.) The son of Zuar, chief of the tribe of Issachar at the Exodus (Num. 1:8; 2:5).
(2.) One of David’s brothers (1 Chr. 2:14).
(3.) A priest who blew the trumpet before the ark when it was brought up to Jerusalem (1 Chr. 15:24).
(4.) A Levite (1 Chr. 24:6).
(5.) A temple porter, of the family of the Korhites (1 Chr. 26:4).
(6.) One of the “princes” appointed by Jehoshaphat to teach the law through the cities of Judah (2 Chr. 17:7).
(7.) A chief Levite in the time of Josiah (2 Chr. 35:9).
(8.) Ezra 10:22.
(9.) Neh. 12:21.
(10.) A priest’s son who bore a trumpet at the dedication of the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 12:36).
Nethaniah Given of Jehovah. (1.) One of Asaph’s sons, appointed by David to minister in the temple (1 Chr. 25:2, 12).
(2.) A Levite sent by Jehoshaphat to teach the law (2 Chr. 17:8).
(3.) Jer. 36:14.
(4.) 2 Kings 25:23, 25.
Nethinim The name given to the hereditary temple servants in all the post-Exilian books of Scripture. The word means given, i.e., “those set apart”, viz., to the menial work of the sanctuary for the Levites. The name occurs seventeen times, and in each case in the Authorized Version incorrectly terminates in “s”, “Nethinims;” in the Revised Version, correctly without the “s” (Ezra 2:70; 7:7, 24; 8:20, etc.). The tradition is that the Gibeonites (Josh. 9:27) were the original caste, afterwards called Nethinim. Their numbers were added to afterwards from captives taken in battle; and they were formally given by David to the Levites (Ezra 8:20), and so were called Nethinim, i.e., the given ones, given to the Levites to be their servants. Only 612 Nethinim returned from Babylon (Ezra 2:58; 8:20). They were under the control of a chief from among themselves (2:43; Neh. 7:46). No reference to them appears in the New Testament, because it is probable that they became merged in the general body of the Jewish people.
Netophah Distillation; dropping, a town in Judah, in the neighbourhood, probably, of Bethlehem (Neh. 7:26; 1 Chr. 2:54). Two of David’s guards were Netophathites (1 Chr. 27:13, 15). It has been identified with the ruins of Metoba, or Um Toba, to the north-east of Bethlehem.
Nettle (1.) Heb. haral, “pricking” or “burning,” Prov. 24:30, 31 (R.V. marg., “wild vetches”); Job 30:7; Zeph. 2:9. Many have supposed that some thorny or prickly plant is intended by this word, such as the bramble, the thistle, the wild plum, the cactus or prickly pear, etc. It may probably be a species of mustard, the Sinapis arvensis, which is a pernicious weed abounding in corn-fields. Tristram thinks that this word “designates the prickly acanthus (Acanthus spinosus), a very common and troublesome weed in the plains of Palestine.”
(2.) Heb. qimmosh, Isa. 34:13; Hos. 9:6; Prov. 24:31 (in both versions, “thorns”). This word has been regarded as denoting thorns, thistles, wild camomile; but probably it is correctly rendered “nettle,” the Urtica pilulifera, “a tall and vigorous plant, often 6 feet high, the sting of which is much more severe and irritating than that of our common nettle.”
New Moon, Feast of Special services were appointed for the commencement of a month (Num. 28:11-15; 10:10). (See FESTIVALS.)
New Testament (Luke 22:20), rather “New Covenant,” in contrast to the old covenant of works, which is superseded. “The covenant of grace is called new; it succeeds to the old broken covenant of works. It is ever fresh, flourishing, and excellent; and under the gospel it is dispensed in a more clear, spiritual, extensive, and powerful manner than of old” (Brown of Haddington). Hence is derived the name given to the latter portion of the Bible. (See TESTAMENT.)
Neziah Victory; pure, Ezra 2:54; Neh. 7:56.
Nezib A town in the “plain” of Judah. It has been identified with Beit Nuzib, about 14 miles south-west of Jerusalem, in the Wady Sur (Josh. 15:43).
Nibhaz Barker, the name of an idol, supposed to be an evil demon of the Zabians. It was set up in Samaria by the Avites (2 Kings 17:31), probably in the form of a dog.
Nibshan Fertile; light soil, a city somewhere “in the wilderness” of Judah (Josh. 15:62), probably near Engedi.
Nicanor Conqueror, one of the seven deacons appointed in the apostolic Church (Acts 6:1-6). Nothing further is known of him.
Nicodemus The people is victor, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin. He is first noticed as visiting Jesus by night (John 3:1-21) for the purpose of learning more of his doctrines, which our Lord then unfolded to him, giving prominence to the necessity of being “born again.” He is next met with in the Sanhedrin (7:50-52), where he protested against the course they were taking in plotting against Christ. Once more he is mentioned as taking part in the preparation for the anointing and burial of the body of Christ (John 19:39). We hear nothing more of him. There can be little doubt that he became a true disciple.
Nicolaitanes The church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:6) is commended for hating the “deeds” of the Nicolaitanes, and the church of Pergamos is blamed for having them who hold their “doctrines” (15). They were seemingly a class of professing Christians, who sought to introduce into the church a false freedom or licentiousness, thus abusing Paul’s doctrine of grace (comp. 2 Pet. 2:15, 16, 19), and were probably identical with those who held the doctrine of Baalam (q.v.), Rev. 2:14.
Nicolas The victory of the people, a proselyte of Antioch, one of the seven deacons (Acts 6:5).
Nicopolis City of victory, where Paul intended to winter (Titus 3:12). There were several cities of this name. The one here referred to was most probably that in Epirus, which was built by Augustus Caesar to commemorate his victory at the battle of Actium (B.C. 31). It is the modern Paleoprevesa, i.e., “Old Prevesa.” The subscription to the epistle to Titus calls it “Nicopolis of Macedonia”, i.e., of Thrace. This is, however, probably incorrect.
Niger Black, a surname of Simeon (Acts 13:1). He was probably so called from his dark complexion.
Night-hawk (Heb. tahmas) occurs only in the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:16; Deut. 14:15). This was supposed to be the night-jar (Caprimulgus), allied to the swifts. The Hebrew word is derived from a root meaning “to scratch or tear the face,” and may be best rendered, in accordance with the ancient versions, “an owl” (Strix flammea). The Revised Version renders “night-hawk.”
Nile Dark; blue, not found in Scripture, but frequently referred to in the Old Testament under the name of Sihor, i.e., “the black stream” (Isa. 23:3; Jer. 2:18) or simply “the river” (Gen. 41:1; Ex. 1:22, etc.) and the “flood of Egypt” (Amos 8:8). It consists of two rivers, the White Nile, which takes its rise in the Victoria Nyanza, and the Blue Nile, which rises in the Abyssinian Mountains. These unite at the town of Khartoum, whence it pursues its course for 1,800 miles, and falls into the Mediterranean through its two branches, into which it is divided a few miles north of Cairo, the Rosetta and the Damietta branch. (See EGYPT.)
Nimrah Pure, a city on the east of Jordan (Num. 32:3); probably the same as Beth-nimrah (Josh. 13:27). It has been identified with the Nahr Nimrin, at one of the fords of Jordan, not far from Jericho.
Nimrim, Waters of The stream of the leopards, a stream in Moab (Isa. 15:6; Jer. 48:34); probably the modern Wady en-Nemeirah, a rich, verdant spot at the south-eastern end of the Dead Sea.
Nimrod Firm, a descendant of Cush, the son of Ham. He was the first who claimed to be a “mighty one in the earth.” Babel was the beginning of his kingdom, which he gradually enlarged (Gen. 10:8-10). The “land of Nimrod” (Micah 5:6) is a designation of Assyria or of Shinar, which is a part of it.
Nimshi Saved. Jehu was “the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi” (2 Kings 9:2; comp. 1 Kings 19:16).
Nineveh First mentioned in Gen. 10:11, which is rendered in the Revised Version, “He [i.e., Nimrod] went forth into Assyria and builded Nineveh.” It is not again noticed till the days of Jonah, when it is described (Jonah 3:3; 4:11) as a great and populous city, the flourishing capital of the Assyrian empire (2 Kings 19:36; Isa. 37:37). The book of the prophet Nahum is almost exclusively taken up with prophetic denunciations against this city. Its ruin and utter desolation are foretold (Nah. 1:14; 3:19, etc.). Zephaniah also (2:13-15) predicts its destruction along with the fall of the empire of which it was the capital. From this time there is no mention of it in Scripture till it is named in gospel history (Matt. 12:41; Luke 11:32).
This “exceeding great city” lay on the eastern or left bank of the river Tigris, along which it stretched for some 30 miles, having an average breadth of 10 miles or more from the river back toward the eastern hills. This whole extensive space is now one immense area of ruins. Occupying a central position on the great highway between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, thus uniting the East and the West, wealth flowed into it from many sources, so that it became the greatest of all ancient cities.
About B.C. 633 the Assyrian empire began to show signs of weakness, and Nineveh was attacked by the Medes, who subsequently, about B.C. 625, being joined by the Babylonians and Susianians, again attacked it, when it fell, and was razed to the ground. The Assyrian empire then came to an end, the Medes and Babylonians dividing its provinces between them. “After having ruled for more than six hundred years with hideous tyranny and violence, from the Caucasus and the Caspian to the Persian Gulf, and from beyond the Tigris to Asia Minor and Egypt, it vanished like a dream” (Nah. 2:6-11). Its end was strange, sudden, tragic. It was God’s doing, his judgement on Assyria’s pride (Isa. 10:5-19).
Forty years ago our knowledge of the great Assyrian empire and of its magnificent capital was almost wholly a blank. Vague memories had indeed survived of its power and greatness, but very little was definitely known about it. Other cities which had perished, as Palmyra, Persepolis, and Thebes, had left ruins to mark their sites and tell of their former greatness; but of this city, imperial Nineveh, not a single vestige seemed to remain, and the very place on which it had stood was only matter of conjecture. In fulfilment of prophecy, God made “an utter end of the place.” It became a “desolation.”
In the days of the Greek historian Herodotus, B.C. 400, it had become a thing of the past; and when Xenophon the historian passed the place in the “Retreat of the Ten Thousand,” the very memory of its name had been lost. It was buried out of sight, and no one knew its grave. It is never again to rise from its ruins.
At length, after being lost for more than two thousand years, the city was disentombed. A little more than forty years ago the French consul at Mosul began to search the vast mounds that lay along the opposite bank of the river. The Arabs whom he employed in these excavations, to their great surprise, came upon the ruins of a building at the mound of Khorsabad, which, on further exploration, turned out to be the royal palace of Sargon, one of the Assyrian kings. They found their way into its extensive courts and chambers, and brought forth form its hidded depths many wonderful sculptures and other relics of those ancient times.
The work of exploration has been carried on almost continuously by M. Botta, Sir Henry Layard, George Smith, and others, in the mounds of Nebi-Yunus, Nimrud, Koyunjik, and Khorsabad, and a vast treasury of specimens of old Assyrian art has been exhumed. Palace after palace has been discovered, with their decorations and their sculptured slabs, revealing the life and manners of this ancient people, their arts of war and peace, the forms of their religion, the style of their architecture, and the magnificence of their monarchs. The streets of the city have been explored, the inscriptions on the bricks and tablets and sculptured figures have been read, and now the secrets of their history have been brought to light.
One of the most remarkable of recent discoveries is that of the library of King Assur-bani-pal, or, as the Greek historians call him, Sardanapalos, the grandson of Sennacherib (q.v.). (See ASNAPPER.) This library consists of about ten thousand flat bricks or tablets, all written over with Assyrian characters. They contain a record of the history, the laws, and the religion of Assyria, of the greatest value. These strange clay leaves found in the royal library form the most valuable of all the treasuries of the literature of the old world. The library contains also old Accadian documents, which are the oldest extant documents in the world, dating as far back as probably about the time of Abraham. (See SARGON.)
“The Assyrian royalty is, perhaps, the most luxurious of our century [reign of Assur-bani-pa]…Its victories and conquests, uninterrupted for one hundred years, have enriched it with the spoil of twenty peoples. Sargon has taken what remained to the Hittites; Sennacherib overcame Chaldea, and the treasures of Babylon were transferred to his coffers; Esarhaddon and Assur-bani-pal himself have pillaged Egypt and her great cities, Sais, Memphis, and Thebes of the hundred gates…Now foreign merchants flock into Nineveh, bringing with them the most valuable productions from all countries, gold and perfume from South Arabia and the Chaldean Sea, Egyptian linen and glass-work, carved enamels, goldsmiths’ work, tin, silver, Phoenician purple; cedar wood from Lebanon, unassailable by worms; furs and iron from Asia Minor and Armenia” (Ancient Egypt and Assyria, by G. Maspero, page 271).
The bas-reliefs, alabaster slabs, and sculptured monuments found in these recovered palaces serve in a remarkable manner to confirm the Old Testament history of the kings of Israel. The appearance of the ruins shows that the destruction of the city was due not only to the assailing foe but also to the flood and the fire, thus confirming the ancient prophecies concerning it. “The recent excavations,” says Rawlinson, “have shown that fire was a great instrument in the destruction of the Nineveh palaces. Calcined alabaster, charred wood, and charcoal, colossal statues split through with heat, are met with in parts of the Nineveh mounds, and attest the veracity of prophecy.”
Nineveh in its glory was (Jonah 3:4) an “exceeding great city of three days’ journey”, i.e., probably in circuit. This would give a circumference of about 60 miles. At the four corners of an irregular quadrangle are the ruins of Kouyunjik, Nimrud, Karamless and Khorsabad. These four great masses of ruins, with the whole area included within the parallelogram they form by lines drawn from the one to the other, are generally regarded as composing the whole ruins of Nineveh.
Nisan Month of flowers, (Neh. 2:1) the first month of the Jewish sacred year. (See ABIB.) Assyrian nisannu, “beginning.”
Nisroch Probably connected with the Hebrew word nesher, an eagle. An Assyrian god, supposed to be that represented with the head of an eagle. Sennacherib was killed in the temple of this idol (2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38).
Nitre (Prov. 25:20; R.V. marg., “soda”), properly “natron,” a substance so called because, rising from the bottom of the Lake Natron in Egypt, it becomes dry and hard in the sun, and is the soda which effervesces when vinegar is poured on it. It is a carbonate of soda, not saltpetre, which the word generally denotes (Jer. 2:22; R.V. “lye”).
No Or No-A’mon, the home of Amon, the name of Thebes, the ancient capital of what is called the Middle Empire, in Upper or Southern Egypt. “The multitude of No” (Jer. 46:25) is more correctly rendered, as in the Revised Version, “Amon of No”, i.e., No, where Jupiter Amon had his temple. In Ezek. 30:14, 16 it is simply called “No;” but in ver. 15 the name has the Hebrew Hamon prefixed to it, “Hamon No.” This prefix is probably the name simply of the god usually styled Amon or Ammon. In Nah. 3:8 the “populous No” of the Authorized Version is in the Revised Version correctly rendered “No-Amon.”
It was the Diospolis or Thebes of the Greeks, celebrated for its hundred gates and its vast population. It stood on both sides of the Nile, and is by some supposed to have included Karnak and Luxor. In grandeur and extent it can only be compared to Nineveh. It is mentioned only in the prophecies referred to, which point to its total destruction. It was first taken by the Assyrians in the time of Sargon (Isa. 20). It was afterwards “delivered into the hand” of Nebuchadnezzar and Assurbani-pal (Jer. 46:25, 26). Cambyses, king of the Persians (B.C. 525), further laid it waste by fire. Its ruin was completed (B.C. 81) by Ptolemy Lathyrus. The ruins of this city are still among the most notable in the valley of the Nile. They have formed a great storehouse of interesting historic remains for more than two thousand years. “As I wandered day after day with ever-growing amazement amongst these relics of ancient magnificence, I felt that if all the ruins in Europe, classical, Celtic, and medieval, were brought together into one centre, they would fall far short both in extent and grandeur of those of this single Egyptian city.” Manning, The Land of the Pharaohs.
Noadiah Meeting with the Lord. (1.) A Levite who returned from Babylon (Ezra 8:33).
(2.) A false prophetess who assisted Tobiah and Sanballat against the Jews (Neh. 6:14). Being bribed by them, she tried to stir up discontent among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and so to embarrass Nehemiah in his great work of rebuilding the ruined walls of the city.
Noah Rest, (Heb. Noah) the grandson of Methuselah (Gen. 5:25-29), who was for two hundred and fifty years contemporary with Adam, and the son of Lamech, who was about fifty years old at the time of Adam’s death. This patriarch is rightly regarded as the connecting link between the old and the new world. He is the second great progenitor of the human family.
The words of his father Lamech at his birth (Gen. 5:29) have been regarded as in a sense prophetical, designating Noah as a type of Him who is the true “rest and comfort” of men under the burden of life (Matt. 11:28).
He lived five hundred years, and then there were born unto him three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gen. 5:32). He was a “just man and perfect in his generation,” and “walked with God” (comp. Ezek. 14:14, 20). But now the descendants of Cain and of Seth began to intermarry, and then there sprang up a race distinguished for their ungodliness. Men became more and more corrupt, and God determined to sweep the earth of its wicked population (Gen. 6:7). But with Noah God entered into a covenant, with a promise of deliverance from the threatened deluge (18). He was accordingly commanded to build an ark (6:14-16) for the saving of himself and his house. An interval of one hundred and twenty years elapsed while the ark was being built (6:3), during which Noah bore constant testimony against the unbelief and wickedness of that generation (1 Pet. 3:18-20; 2 Pet. 2:5).
When the ark of “gopher-wood” (mentioned only here) was at length completed according to the command of the Lord, the living creatures that were to be preserved entered into it; and then Noah and his wife and sons and daughters-in-law entered it, and the “Lord shut him in” (Gen. 7:16). The judgment-threatened now fell on the guilty world, “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Pet. 3:6). The ark floated on the waters for one hundred and fifty days, and then rested on the mountains of Ararat (Gen. 8:3, 4); but not for a considerable time after this was divine permission given him to leave the ark, so that he and his family were a whole year shut up within it (Gen. 6-14).
On leaving the ark Noah’s first act was to erect an altar, the first of which there is any mention, and offer the sacrifices of adoring thanks and praise to God, who entered into a covenant with him, the first covenant between God and man, granting him possession of the earth by a new and special charter, which remains in force to the present time (Gen. 8:21-9:17). As a sign and witness of this covenant, the rainbow was adopted and set apart by God, as a sure pledge that never again would the earth be destroyed by a flood.
But, alas! Noah after this fell into grievous sin (Gen. 9:21); and the conduct of Ham on this sad occasion led to the memorable prediction regarding his three sons and their descendants. Noah “lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years, and he died” (28:29). (See DELUGE).
Noah, motion, (Heb. No’ah) one of the five daughters of Zelophehad (Num. 26:33; 27:1; 36:11; Josh. 17:3).
Nob High place, a city of the priests, first mentioned in the history of David’s wanderings (1 Sam. 21:1). Here the tabernacle was then standing, and here Ahimelech the priest resided. (See AHIMELECH.) From Isa. 10:28-32 it seems to have been near Jerusalem. It has been identified by some with el-Isawiyeh, one mile and a half to the north-east of Jerusalem. But according to Isa. 10:28-32 it was on the south of Geba, on the road to Jerusalem, and within sight of the city. This identification does not meet these conditions, and hence others (as Dean Stanley) think that it was the northern summit of Mount Olivet, the place where David “worshipped God” when fleeing from Absalom (2 Sam. 15:32), or more probably (Conder) that it was the same as Mizpeh (q.v.), Judg. 20:1; Josh. 18:26; 1 Sam. 7:16, at Nebi Samwil, about 5 miles north-west of Jerusalem.
After being supplied with the sacred loaves of showbread, and girding on the sword of Goliath, which was brought forth from behind the ephod, David fled from Nob and sought refuge at the court of Achish, the king of Gath, where he was cast into prison. (Comp. titles of Ps. 34 and 56.)
Nobah Howling. (1.) Num. 32:42.
(2.) The name given to Kenath (q.v.) by Nobah when he conquered it. It was on the east of Gilead (Judg. 8:11).
Nobleman (Gr. basilikos, i.e., “king’s man”), an officer of state (John 4:49) in the service of Herod Antipas. He is supposed to have been the Chuza, Herod’s steward, whose wife was one of those women who “ministered unto the Lord of their substance” (Luke 8:3). This officer came to Jesus at Cana and besought him to go down to Capernaum and heal his son, who lay there at the point of death. Our Lord sent him away with the joyful assurance that his son was alive.
Nod Exile; wandering; unrest, a name given to the country to which Cain fled (Gen. 4:16). It lay on the east of Eden.
Nodab Noble, probably a tribe descended from one of the sons of Ishmael, with whom the trans-Jordanic tribes made war (1 Chr. 5:19).
Nogah Splendour, one of David’s sons, born at Jerusalem (1 Chr. 3:7).
Noph The Hebrew name of an Egyptian city (Isa. 19:13; Jer. 2:16; 44:1; 46:14, 19; Ezek. 30:13, 16). In Hos. 9:6 the Hebrew name is Moph, and is translated “Memphis,” which is its Greek and Latin form. It was one of the most ancient and important cities of Egypt, and stood a little to the south of the modern Cairo, on the western bank of the Nile. It was the capital of Lower Egypt. Among the ruins found at this place is a colossal statue of Rameses the Great. (See MEMPHIS.)
Nophah Blast, a city of Moab which was occupied by the Amorites (Num. 21:30).
North country A general name for the countries that lay north of Palestine. Most of the invading armies entered Palestine from the north (Isa. 41:25; Jer. 1:14, 15; 50:3, 9, 41; 51:48; Ezek. 26:7).
Northward (Heb. tsaphon), a “hidden” or “dark place,” as opposed to the sunny south (Deut. 3:27). A Hebrew in speaking of the points of the compass was considered as always having his face to the east, and hence “the left hand” (Gen. 14:15; Job 23:9) denotes the north. The “kingdoms of the north” are Chaldea, Assyria, Media, etc.
Nose-jewels Only mentioned in Isa. 3:21, although refered to in Gen. 24:47, Prov. 11:22, Hos. 2:13. They were among the most valued of ancient female ornaments. They “were made of ivory or metal, and occasionally jewelled. They were more than an inch in diameter, and hung upon the mouth. Eliezer gave one to Rebekah which was of gold and weighed half a shekel…At the present day the women in the country and in the desert wear these ornaments in one of the sides of the nostrils, which droop like the ears in consequence.”
Numbering of the people Besides the numbering of the tribes mentioned in the history of the wanderings in the wilderness, we have an account of a general census of the whole nation from Dan to Beersheba, which David gave directions to Joab to make (1 Chr. 21:1). Joab very reluctantly began to carry out the king’s command.
This act of David in ordering a numbering of the people arose from pride and a self-glorifying spirit. It indicated a reliance on his part on an arm of flesh, an estimating of his power not by the divine favour but by the material resources of his kingdom. He thought of military achievement and of conquest, and forgot that he was God’s vicegerent. In all this he sinned against God. While Joab was engaged in the census, David’s heart smote him, and he became deeply conscious of his fault; and in profound humiliation he confessed, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done.” The prophet Gad was sent to him to put before him three dreadful alternatives (2 Sam. 24:13; for “seven years” in this verse, the LXX. and 1 Chr. 21:12 have “three years”), three of Jehovah’s four sore judgments (Ezek. 14:21). Two of these David had already experienced. He had fled for some months before Absalom, and had suffered three years’ famine on account of the slaughter of the Gibeonites. In his “strait” David said, “Let me fall into the hands of the Lord.” A pestilence broke out among the people, and in three days swept away 70,000. At David’s intercession the plague was stayed, and at the threshing-floor of Araunah (q.v.), where the destroying angel was arrested in his progress, David erected an altar, and there offered up sacrifies to God (2 Chr. 3:1).
The census, so far as completed, showed that there were at least 1,300,000 fighting men in the kingdom, indicating at that time a population of about six or seven millions in all. (See CENSUS.)
Numbers, Book of The fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew be-midbar, i.e., “in the wilderness.” In the LXX. version it is called “Numbers,” and this name is now the usual title of the book. It is so called because it contains a record of the numbering of the people in the wilderness of Sinai (1-4), and of their numbering afterwards on the plain of Moab (26).
This book is of special historical interest as furnishing us with details as to the route of the Israelites in the wilderness and their principal encampments. It may be divided into three parts:
1. The numbering of the people at Sinai, and preparations for their resuming their march (1-10:10). The sixth chapter gives an account of the vow of a Nazarite.
2. An account of the journey from Sinai to Moab, the sending out of the spies and the report they brought back, and the murmurings (eight times) of the people at the hardships by the way (10:11-21:20).
3. The transactions in the plain of Moab before crossing the Jordan (21:21-ch. 36).
The period comprehended in the history extends from the second month of the second year after the Exodus to the beginning of the eleventh month of the fortieth year, in all about thirty-eight years and ten months; a dreary period of wanderings, during which that disobedient generation all died in the wilderness. They were fewer in number at the end of their wanderings than when they left the land of Egypt. We see in this history, on the one hand, the unceasing care of the Almighty over his chosen people during their wanderings; and, on the other hand, the murmurings and rebellions by which they offended their heavenly Protector, drew down repeated marks of his displeasure, and provoked him to say that they should “not enter into his rest” because of their unbelief (Heb. 3:19).
This, like the other books of the Pentateuch, bears evidence of having been written by Moses.
The expression “the book of the wars of the Lord,” occurring in 21:14, has given rise to much discussion. But, after all, “what this book was is uncertain, whether some writing of Israel not now extant, or some writing of the Amorites which contained songs and triumphs of their king Sihon’s victories, out of which Moses may cite this testimony, as Paul sometimes does out of heathen poets (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12).”
Nun Beyond the fact that he was the father of Joshua nothing more is known of him (Ex. 33:11).
Nuts Were among the presents Jacob sent into Egypt for the purpose of conciliating Joseph (Gen. 43:11). This was the fruit of the pistachio tree, which resembles the sumac. It is of the size of an olive. In Cant. 6:11 a different Hebrew word (egoz), which means “walnuts,” is used.
Nymphas Nymph, saluted by Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians as a member of the church of Laodicea (Col. 4:15). __________________________________________________________________
Oak There are six Hebrew words rendered “oak.”
(1.) El occurs only in the word El-paran (Gen. 14:6). The LXX. renders by “terebinth.” In the plural form this word occurs in Isa. 1:29; 57:5 (A.V. marg. and R.V., “among the oaks”); 61:3 (“trees”). The word properly means strongly, mighty, and hence a strong tree.
(2.) Elah, Gen. 35:4, “under the oak which was by Shechem” (R.V. marg., “terebinth”). Isa. 6:13, A.V., “teil-tree;” R.V., “terebinth.” Isa. 1:30, R.V. marg., “terebinth.” Absalom in his flight was caught in the branches of a “great oak” (2 Sam. 18:9; R.V. marg., “terebinth”).
(3.) Elon, Judg. 4:11; 9:6 (R.V., “oak;” A.V., following the Targum, “plain”) properly the deciduous species of oak shedding its foliage in autumn.
(4.) Elan, only in Dan. 4:11, 14, 20, rendered “tree” in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Probably some species of the oak is intended.
(5.) Allah, Josh. 24:26. The place here referred to is called Allon-moreh (“the oak of Moreh,” as in R.V.) in Gen. 12:6 and 35:4.
(6.) Allon, always rendered “oak.” Probably the evergreen oak (called also ilex and holm oak) is intended. The oak woods of Bashan are frequently alluded to (Isa. 2:13; Ezek. 27:6). Three species of oaks are found in Palestine, of which the “prickly evergreen oak” (Quercus coccifera) is the most abundant. “It covers the rocky hills of Palestine with a dense brushwood of trees from 8 to 12 feet high, branching from the base, thickly covered with small evergreen rigid leaves, and bearing acorns copiously.” The so-called Abraham’s oak at Hebron is of this species. Tristram says that this oak near Hebron “has for several centuries taken the place of the once renowned terebinth which marked the site of Mamre on the other side of the city. The terebinth existed at Mamre in the time of Vespasian, and under it the captive Jews were sold as slaves. It disappeared about A.D. 330, and no tree now marks the grove of Mamre. The present oak is the noblest tree in Southern Palestine, being 23 feet in girth, and the diameter of the foliage, which is unsymmetrical, being about 90 feet.” (See HEBRON; TEIL-TREE.)
Oath A solemn appeal to God, permitted on fitting occasions (Deut. 6:13; Jer. 4:2), in various forms (Gen. 16:5; 2 Sam. 12:5; Ruth 1:17; Hos. 4:15; Rom. 1:9), and taken in different ways (Gen. 14:22; 24:2; 2 Chr. 6:22). God is represented as taking an oath (Heb. 6:16-18), so also Christ (Matt. 26:64), and Paul (Rom. 9:1; Gal. 1:20; Phil. 1:8). The precept, “Swear not at all,” refers probably to ordinary conversation between man and man (Matt. 5:34, 37). But if the words are taken as referring to oaths, then their intention may have been to show “that the proper state of Christians is to require no oaths; that when evil is expelled from among them every yea and nay will be as decisive as an oath, every promise as binding as a vow.”
Obadiah Servant of the Lord. (1.) An Israelite who was chief in the household of King Ahab (1 Kings 18:3). Amid great spiritual degeneracy he maintained his fidelity to God, and interposed to protect The Lord’s prophets, an hundred of whom he hid at great personal risk in a cave (4, 13). Ahab seems to have held Obadiah in great honour, although he had no sympathy with his piety (5, 6, 7). The last notice of him is his bringing back tidings to Ahab that Elijah, whom he had so long sought for, was at hand (9-16). “Go,” said Elijah to him, when he met him in the way, “go tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.”
(2.) A chief of the tribe of Issachar (1 Chr. 7:3).
(3.) A descendant of Saul (1 Chr. 8:38).
(4.) A Levite, after the Captivity (1 Chr. 9:16).
(5.) A Gadite who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:9).
(6.) A prince of Zebulun in the time of David (1 Chr. 27:19).
(7.) One of the princes sent by Jehoshaphat to instruct the people in the law (2 Chr. 17:7).
(8.) A Levite who superintended the repairs of the temple under Josiah (2 Chr. 34:12).
(9.) One who accompanied Ezra on the return from Babylon (Ezra 8:9).
(10.) A prophet, fourth of the minor prophets in the Hebrew canon, and fifth in the LXX. He was probably contemporary with Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Of his personal history nothing is known.
Obadiah, Book of Consists of one chapter, “concerning Edom,” its impending doom (1:1-16), and the restoration of Israel (1:17-21). This is the shortest book of the Old Testament.
There are on record the account of four captures of Jerusalem, (1) by Shishak in the reign of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:25); (2) by the Philistines and Arabians in the reign of Jehoram (2 Chr. 21:16); (3) by Joash, the king of Israel, in the reign of Amaziah (2 Kings 14:13); and (4) by the Babylonians, when Jerusalem was taken and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (B.C. 586). Obadiah (1:11-14) speaks of this capture as a thing past. He sees the calamity as having already come on Jerusalem, and the Edomites as joining their forces with those of the Chaldeans in bringing about the degradation and ruin of Israel. We do not indeed read that the Edomites actually took part with the Chaldeans, but the probabilities are that they did so, and this explains the words of Obadiah in denouncing against Edom the judgments of God. The date of his prophecies was thus in or about the year of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Edom is the type of Israel’s and of God’s last foe (Isa. 63:1-4). These will finally all be vanquished, and the kingdom will be the Lord’s (comp. Ps. 22:28).
Obal Stripped, the eight son of Joktan (Gen. 10:28); called also Ebal (1 Chr. 1:22).
Obed Serving; worshipping. (1.) A son of Boaz and Ruth (Ruth 4:21, 22), and the grandfather of David (Matt. 1:5).
(2.) 1 Chr. 2:34-38.
(3.) 1 Chr. 26:7.
(4.) 2 Chr. 23:1.
Obed-Edom Servant of Edom. (1.) “The Gittite” (probably so called because he was a native of Gath-rimmon), a Levite of the family of the Korhites (1 Chr. 26:1, 4-8), to whom was specially intrusted the custody of the ark (1 Chr. 15:18). When David was bringing up the ark “from the house of Abinadab, that was in Gibeah” (probably some hill or eminence near Kirjath-jearim), and had reached Nachon’s threshing-floor, he became afraid because of the “breach upon Uzzah,” and carried it aside into the house of Obededom (2 Sam. 6:1-12). There it remained for six months, and was to him and his house the occasion of great blessing. David then removed it with great rejoicing to Jerusalem, and set it in the midst of the tabernacle he had pitched for it.
(2.) A Merarite Levite, a temple porter, who with his eight sons guarded the southern gate (1 Chr. 15:18, 21; 26:4, 8, 15).
(3.) One who had charge of the temple treasures (2 Chr. 25:24).
Obeisance Homage or reverence to any one (Gen. 37:7; 43:28).
Obil A keeper of camels, an Ishmaelite who was “over the camels” in the time of David (1 Chr. 27:30).
Oboth Bottles, an encampment of the Israelites during the wanderings in the wilderness (Num. 33:43), the first after the setting up of the brazen serpent.
Oded Restoring, or setting up. (1.) Father of the prophet Azariah (2 Chr. 15:1, 8).
(2.) A prophet in the time of Ahaz and Pekah (2 Chr. 28:9-15).
Offence (1.) An injury or wrong done to one (1 Sam. 25:31; Rom. 5:15).
(2.) A stumbling-block or cause of temptation (Isa. 8:14; Matt. 16:23; 18:7). Greek skandalon, properly that at which one stumbles or takes offence. The “offence of the cross” (Gal. 5:11) is the offence the Jews took at the teaching that salvation was by the crucified One, and by him alone. Salvation by the cross was a stumbling-block to their national pride.
Offering An oblation, dedicated to God. Thus Cain consecrated to God of the first-fruits of the earth, and Abel of the firstlings of the flock (Gen. 4:3, 4). Under the Levitical system different kinds of offerings are specified, and laws laid down as to their presentation. These are described under their distinctive names.
Og Gigantic, the king of Bashan, who was defeated by Moses in a pitched battle at Edrei, and was slain along with his sons (Deut. 1:4), and whose kingdom was given to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh (Num. 21:32-35; Deut. 3:1-13). His bedstead (or rather sarcophagus) was of iron (or ironstone), 9 cubits in length and 4 cubits in breadth. His overthrow was afterwards celebrated in song (Ps. 135:11; 136:20). (See SIHON.)
Ohad United, or power, the third son of Simeon (Gen. 46:10).
Ohel A house; tent, the fourth son of Zerubbabel (1 Chr. 3:20).
Oil Only olive oil seems to have been used among the Hebrews. It was used for many purposes: for anointing the body or the hair (Ex. 29:7; 2 Sam. 14:2; Ps. 23:5; 92:10; 104:15; Luke 7:46); in some of the offerings (Ex. 29:40; Lev. 7:12; Num. 6:15; 15:4), but was excluded from the sin-offering (Lev. 5:11) and the jealousy-offering (Num. 5:15); for burning in lamps (Ex. 25:6; 27:20; Matt. 25:3); for medicinal purposes (Isa. 1:6; Luke 10:34; James 5:14); and for anointing the dead (Matt. 26:12; Luke 23:56).
It was one of the most valuable products of the country (Deut. 32:13; Ezek. 16:13), and formed an article of extensive commerce with Tyre (27:17).
The use of it was a sign of gladness (Ps. 92:10; Isa. 61:3), and its omission a token of sorrow (2 Sam. 14:2; Matt. 6:17). It was very abundant in Galilee. (See OLIVE.)
Oil-tree (Isa. 41:19; R.V. marg., “oleaster”), Heb. etz shemen, rendered “olive tree” in 1 Kings 6:23, 31, 32, 33 (R.V., “olive wood”) and “pine branches” in Neh. 8:15 (R.V., “branches of wild olive”), was some tree distinct from the olive. It was probably the oleaster (Eleagnus angustifolius), which grows abundantly in almost all parts of Palestine, especially about Hebron and Samaria. “It has a fine hard wood,” says Tristram, “and yields an inferior oil, but it has no relationship to the olive, which, however, it resembles in general appearance.”
Ointment Various fragrant preparations, also compounds for medical purposes, are so called (Ex. 30:25; Ps. 133:2; Isa. 1:6; Amos 6:6; John 12:3; Rev. 18:13).
Old gate One of the gates in the north wall of Jerusalem, so called because built by the Jebusites (Neh. 3:6; 12:39).
Olive The fruit of the olive-tree. This tree yielded oil which was highly valued. The best oil was from olives that were plucked before being fully ripe, and then beaten or squeezed (Deut. 24:20; Isa. 17:6; 24:13). It was called “beaten,” or “fresh oil” (Ex. 27:20). There were also oil-presses, in which the oil was trodden out by the feet (Micah 6:15). James (3:12) calls the fruit “olive berries.” The phrase “vineyards and olives” (Judg. 15:5, A.V.) should be simply “olive-yard,” or “olive-garden,” as in the Revised Version. (See OIL.)
Olive-tree Is frequently mentioned in Scripture. The dove from the ark brought an olive-branch to Noah (Gen. 8:11). It is mentioned among the most notable trees of Palestine, where it was cultivated long before the time of the Hebrews (Deut. 6:11; 8:8). It is mentioned in the first Old Testament parable, that of Jotham (Judg. 9:9), and is named among the blessings of the “good land,” and is at the present day the one characteristic tree of Palestine. The oldest olive-trees in the country are those which are enclosed in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is referred to as an emblem of prosperity and beauty and religious privilege (Ps. 52:8; Jer. 11:16; Hos. 14:6). The two “witnesses” mentioned in Rev. 11:4 are spoken of as “two olive trees standing before the God of the earth.” (Comp. Zech. 4:3, 11-14.)
The “olive-tree, wild by nature” (Rom. 11:24), is the shoot or cutting of the good olive-tree which, left ungrafted, grows up to be a “wild olive.” In Rom. 11:17 Paul refers to the practice of grafting shoots of the wild olive into a “good” olive which has become unfruitful. By such a process the sap of the good olive, by pervading the branch which is “graffed in,” makes it a good branch, bearing good olives. Thus the Gentiles, being a “wild olive,” but now “graffed in,” yield fruit, but only through the sap of the tree into which they have been graffed. This is a process “contrary to nature” (11:24).
Olves, Mount of So called from the olive trees with which its sides are clothed, is a mountain ridge on the east of Jerusalem (1 Kings 11:7; Ezek. 11:23; Zech. 14:4), from which it is separated by the valley of Kidron. It is first mentioned in connection with David’s flight from Jerusalem through the rebellion of Absalom (2 Sam. 15:30), and is only once again mentioned in the Old Testament, in Zech. 14:4. It is, however, frequently alluded to (1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13; Neh. 8:15; Ezek. 11:23).
It is frequently mentioned in the New Testament (Matt. 21:1; 26:30, etc.). It now bears the name of Jebel et-Tur, i.e., “Mount of the Summit;” also sometimes called Jebel ez-Zeitun, i.e., “Mount of Olives.” It is about 200 feet above the level of the city. The road from Jerusalem to Bethany runs as of old over this mount. It was on this mount that Jesus stood when he wept over Jerusalem. “No name in Scripture,” says Dr. Porter, “calls up associations at once so sacred and so pleasing as that of Olivet. The mount’ is so intimately connected with the private, the devotional life of the Saviour, that we read of it and look at it with feelings of deepest interest and affection. Here he often sat with his disciples, telling them of wondrous events yet to come, of the destruction of the Holy City; of the sufferings, the persecution, and the final triumph of his followers (Matt. 24). Here he gave them the beautiful parables of the ten virgins and the five talents (25); here he was wont to retire on each evening for meditation, and prayer, and rest of body, when weary and harassed by the labours and trials of the day (Luke 21:37); and here he came on the night of his betrayal to utter that wonderful prayer, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt’ (Matt. 26:39). And when the cup of God’s wrath had been drunk, and death and the grave conquered, he led his disciples out again over Olivet as far as to Bethany, and after a parting blessing ascended to heaven (Luke 24:50, 51; Acts 1:12).”
This mount, or rather mountain range, has four summits or peaks: (1) the “Galilee” peak, so called from a tradition that the angels stood here when they spoke to the disciples (Acts 1:11); (2) the “Mount of Ascension,” the supposed site of that event, which was, however, somewhere probably nearer Bethany (Luke 24:51, 52); (3) the “Prophets,” from the catacombs on its side, called “the prophets’ tombs;” and (4) the “Mount of Corruption,” so called because of the “high places” erected there by Solomon for the idolatrous worship of his foreign wives (1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13; Vulg., “Mount of Offence”).
Olympas A Roman Christian whom Paul salutes (Rom. 16:15).
Omar Eloquent, the son of Eliphaz, who was Esau’s eldest son (Gen. 36:11-15).
Omega (Rev. 1:8), the last letter in the Greek alphabet. (See A.)
Omer A handful, one-tenth of an ephah=half a gallon dry measure (Ex. 16:22, 32, 33, 36)=”tenth deal.”
Omri Servant of Jehovah. When Elah was murdered by Zimri at Tirzah (1 Kings 16:15-27), Omri, his captain, was made king (B.C. 931). For four years there was continued opposition to his reign, Tibni, another claimant to the throne, leading the opposing party; but at the close of that period all his rivals were defeated, and he became king of Israel, “Tibni died and Omri reigned” (B.C. 927). By his vigour and power he gained great eminence and consolidated the kingdom. He fixed his dynasty on the throne so firmly that it continued during four succeeding reigns. Tirza was for six years the seat of his government. He then removed the capital to Samaria (q.v.), where he died, and was succeeded by his son Ahab. “He wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all that were before him.”
Beth-omri, “the house” or “city of Omri,” is the name usually found on Assyrian inscriptions for Samaria. In the stele of Mesha (the “Moabite stone”), which was erected in Moab about twenty or thirty years after Omri’s death, it is recorded that Omri oppressed Moab till Mesha delivered the land: “Omri, king of Israel, oppressed Moab many days, for Chemosh was angry with his land. His son succeeded him, and he also said, I will oppress Moab” (comp. 2 Kings 1:1; 3:4, 5). The “Moabite stone” also records that “Omri took the land of Medeba, and occupied it in his day and in the days of his son forty years.”
On Light; the sun, (Gen. 41:45, 50), the great seat of sun-worship, called also Bethshemesh (Jer. 43:13) and Aven (Ezek. 30:17), stood on the east bank of the Nile, a few miles north of Memphis, and near Cairo, in the north-east. The Vulgate and the LXX. Versions have “Heliopolis” (“city of the sun”) instead of On in Genesis and of Aven in Ezekiel. The “city of destruction” Isaiah speaks of (19:18, marg. “of Heres;” Heb. Ir-ha-heres, which some MSS. read Ir-ha-heres, i.e., “city of the sun”) may be the name given to On, the prophecy being that the time will come when that city which was known as the “city of the sun-god” shall become the “city of destruction” of the sun-god, i.e., when idolatry shall cease, and the worship of the true God be established.
In ancient times this city was full of obelisks dedicated to the sun. Of these only one now remains standing. “Cleopatra’s Needle” was one of those which stood in this city in front of the Temple of Tum, i.e., “the sun.” It is now erected on the Thames Embankment, London.
“It was at On that Joseph wooed and won the dark-skinned Asenath, the daughter of the high priest of its great temple.” This was a noted university town, and here Moses gained his acquaintance with “all the wisdom of the Egyptians.”
Onan Strong, the second son of Judah (Gen. 38:4-10; comp. Deut. 25:5; Matt. 22:24). He died before the going down of Jacob and his family into Egypt.
Onesimus Useful, a slave who, after robbing his master Philemon (q.v.) at Colosse, fled to Rome, where he was converted by the apostle Paul, who sent him back to his master with the epistle which bears his name. In it he beseeches Philemon to receive his slave as a “faithful and beloved brother.” Paul offers to pay to Philemon anything his slave had taken, and to bear the wrong he had done him. He was accompanied on his return by Tychicus, the bearer of the Epistle to the Colossians (Philemon 1:16, 18).
The story of this fugitive Colossian slave is a remarkable evidence of the freedom of access to the prisoner which was granted to all, and “a beautiful illustration both of the character of St. Paul and the transfiguring power and righteous principles of the gospel.”
Onesiphorus Bringing profit, an Ephesian Christian who showed great kindness to Paul at Rome. He served him in many things, and had oft refreshed him. Paul expresses a warm interest in him and his household (2 Tim. 1:16-18; 4:19).
Onion The Israelites in the wilderness longed for the “onions and garlick of Egypt” (Num. 11:5). This was the betsel of the Hebrews, the Allium cepe of botanists, of which it is said that there are some thirty or forty species now growing in Palestine. The onion is “the undivided’ leek, unio_, _unus, one.”
Ono A town of Benjamin, in the “plain of Ono” (1 Chr. 8:12; Ezra 2:33); now Kefr Ana, 5 miles north of Lydda, and about 30 miles north-west of Jerusalem. Not succeeding in their attempts to deter Nehemiah from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Sanballat and Tobiah resorted to strategem, and pretending to wish a conference with him, they invited him to meet them at Ono. Four times they made the request, and every time Nehemiah refused to come. Their object was to take him prisoner.
Onycha A nail; claw; hoof, (Heb. sheheleth; Ex. 30:34), a Latin word applied to the operculum, i.e., the claw or nail of the strombus or wing-shell, a univalve common in the Red Sea. The opercula of these shell-fish when burned emit a strong odour “like castoreum.” This was an ingredient in the sacred incense.
Onyx A hail; claw; hoof, (Heb. shoham), a precious stone adorning the breast-plate of the high priest and the shoulders of the ephod (Ex. 28:9-12, 20; 35:27; Job 28:16; Ezek. 28:13). It was found in the land of Havilah (Gen. 2:12). The LXX. translates the Hebrew word by smaragdos, an emerald. Some think that the sardonyx is meant. But the onyx differs from the sardonyx in this, that while the latter has two layers (black and white) the former has three (black, white, and red).
Open place Gen. 38:14, 21, mar. Enaim; the same probably as Enam (Josh. 15:34), a city in the lowland or Shephelah.
Ophel Hill; mound, the long, narrow, rounded promontory on the southern slope of the temple hill, between the Tyropoeon and the Kedron valley (2 Chr. 27:3; 33:14; Neh. 3:26, 27). It was surrounded by a separate wall, and was occupied by the Nethinim after the Captivity. This wall has been discovered by the engineers of the Palestine Exploration Fund at the south-eastern angle of the temple area. It is 4 feet below the present surface. In 2 Kings 5:24 this word is translated “tower” (R.V., “hill”), denoting probably some eminence near Elisha’s house.
Ophir (1.) One of the sons of Joktan (Gen. 10:29).
(2.) Some region famous for its gold (1 Kings 9:28; 10:11; 22:48; Job 22:24; 28:16; Isa. 13:12). In the LXX. this word is rendered “Sophir,” and “Sofir” is the Coptic name for India, which is the rendering of the Arabic version, as also of the Vulgate. Josephus has identified it with the Golden Chersonese, i.e., the Malay peninsula. It is now generally identified with Abhira, at the mouth of the Indus. Much may be said, however, in favour of the opinion that it was somewhere in Arabia.
Ophni Mouldy, a city of Benjamin (Josh. 18:24).
Ophrah A fawn. 1 Chr. 4:14. (1.) A city of Benjamin (Josh. 18:23); probably identical with Ephron (2 Chr. 13:19) and Ephraim (John 11:54).
(2.) “Of the Abi-ezrites.” A city of Manasseh, 6 miles south-west of Shechem, the residence of Gideon (Judg. 6:11; 8:27, 32). After his great victory over the Midianites, he slew at this place the captive kings (8:18-21). He then assumed the function of high priest, and sought to make Ophrah what Shiloh should have been. This thing “became a snare” to Gideon and his house. After Gideon’s death his family resided here till they were put to death by Abimelech (Judg. 9:5). It is identified with Ferata.
Oracle In the Old Testament used in every case, except 2 Sam. 16:23, to denote the most holy place in the temple (1 Kings 6:5, 19-23; 8:6). In 2 Sam. 16:23 it means the Word of God. A man inquired “at the oracle of God” by means of the Urim and Thummim in the breastplate on the high priest’s ephod. In the New Testament it is used only in the plural, and always denotes the Word of God (Rom. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, etc.). The Scriptures are called “living oracles” (comp. Heb. 4:12) because of their quickening power (Acts 7:38).
Oreb Raven, a prince of Midian, who, being defeated by Gideon and put to straits, was slain along with Zeeb (Judg. 7:20-25). Many of the Midianites perished along with him (Ps. 83:9; Isa. 10:26).
Oreb, The rock of The place where Gideon slew Oreb after the defeat of the Midianites (Judg. 7:25; Isa. 10:26). It was probably the place now called Orbo, on the east of Jordan, near Bethshean.
Oren Ash or pine, the son of Jerahmeel (1 Chr. 2:25).
Organ Some kind of wind instrument, probably a kind of Pan’s pipes (Gen. 4:21; Job 21:12; Ps. 150:4), which consisted of seven or eight reeds of unequal length.
Orion Heb. Kesil; i.e., “the fool”, the name of a constellation (Job 9:9; 38:31; Amos 5:8) consisting of about eighty stars. The Vulgate renders thus, but the LXX. renders by Hesperus, i.e., “the evening-star,” Venus. The Orientals “appear to have conceived of this constellation under the figure of an impious giant bound upon the sky.” This giant was, according to tradition, Nimrod, the type of the folly that contends against God. In Isa. 13:10 the plural form of the Hebrew word is rendered “constellations.”
Ornan 1 Chr. 21:15. (See ARAUNAH.)
Orpah Forelock or fawn, a Moabitess, the wife of Chilion (Ruth 1:4; 4:10). On the death of her husband she accompanied Naomi, her mother-in-law, part of the way to Bethlehem, and then returned to Moab.
Orphans (Lam. 5:3), i.e., desolate and without protectors. The word occurs only here. In John 14:18 the word there rendered “comfortless” (R.V., “desolate;” marg., “orphans”) properly means “orphans.” The same Greek word is rendered “fatherless” in James 1:27.
Osprey Heb. ozniyyah, an unclean bird according to the Mosaic law (Lev. 11:13; Deut. 14:12); the fish-eating eagle (Pandion haliaetus); one of the lesser eagles. But the Hebrew word may be taken to denote the short-toed eagle (Circaetus gallicus of Southern Europe), one of the most abundant of the eagle tribe found in Palestine.
Ossifrage Heb. peres = to “break” or “crush”, the lammer-geier, or bearded vulture, the largest of the whole vulture tribe. It was an unclean bird (Lev. 11:13; Deut. 14:12). It is not a gregarious bird, and is found but rarely in Palestine. “When the other vultures have picked the flesh off any animal, he comes in at the end of the feast, and swallows the bones, or breaks them, and swallows the pieces if he cannot otherwise extract the marrow. The bones he cracks [hence the appropriateness of the name ossifrage, i.e., “bone-breaker”] by letting them fall on a rock from a great height. He does not, however, confine himself to these delicacies, but whenever he has an opportunity will devour lambs, kids, or hares. These he generally obtains by pushing them over cliffs, when he has watched his opportunity; and he has been known to attack men while climbing rocks, and dash them against the bottom. But tortoises and serpents are his ordinary food…No doubt it was a lammer-geier that mistook the bald head of the poet AEschylus for a stone, and dropped on it the tortoise which killed him” (Tristram’s Nat. Hist.).
Ostrich (Lam. 4:3), the rendering of Hebrew pl. enim; so called from its greediness and gluttony. The allusion here is to the habit of the ostrich with reference to its eggs, which is thus described: “The outer layer of eggs is generally so ill covered that they are destroyed in quantities by jackals, wild-cats, etc., and that the natives carry them away, only taking care not to leave the marks of their footsteps, since, when the ostrich comes and finds that her nest is discovered, she crushes the whole brood, and builds a nest elsewhere.” In Job 39:13 this word in the Authorized Version is the rendering of a Hebrew word (notsah) which means “feathers,” as in the Revised Version. In the same verse the word “peacocks” of the Authorized Version is the rendering of the Hebrew pl. renanim, properly meaning “ostriches,” as in the Revised Version. (See OWL .)
Othni A lion of Jehovah, a son of Shemaiah, and one of the temple porters in the time of David (1 Chr. 26:7). He was a “mighty man of valour.”
Othniel Lion of God, the first of the judges. His wife Achsah was the daughter of Caleb (Josh. 15:16, 17; Judg. 1:13). He gained her hand as a reward for his bravery in leading a successful expedition against Debir (q.v.). Some thirty years after the death of Joshua, the Israelites fell under the subjection of Chushan-rishathaim (q.v.), the king of Mesopotamia. He oppressed them for full eight years, when they “cried” unto Jehovah, and Othniel was raised up to be their deliverer. He was the younger brother of Caleb (Judg. 3:8, 9-11). He is the only judge mentioned connected with the tribe of Judah. Under him the land had rest forty years.
Ouches An Old English word denoting cavities or sockets in which gems were set (Ex. 28:11).
Oven Heb. tannur, (Hos. 7:4). In towns there appear to have been public ovens. There was a street in Jerusalem (Jer. 37:21) called “bakers’ street” (the only case in which the name of a street in Jerusalem is preserved). The words “tower of the furnaces” (Neh. 3:11; 12:38) is more properly “tower of the ovens” (Heb. tannurim). These resemble the ovens in use among ourselves.
There were other private ovens of different kinds. Some were like large jars made of earthenware or copper, which were heated inside with wood (1 Kings 17:12; Isa. 44:15; Jer. 7:18) or grass (Matt. 6:30), and when the fire had burned out, small pieces of dough were placed inside or spread in thin layers on the outside, and were thus baked. (See FURNACE.)
Pits were also formed for the same purposes, and lined with cement. These were used after the same manner.
Heated stones, or sand heated by a fire heaped over it, and also flat irons pans, all served as ovens for the preparation of bread. (See Gen. 18:6; 1 Kings 19:6.)
Owl (1.) Heb. bath-haya’anah, “daughter of greediness” or of “shouting.” In the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:16; Deut. 14:15); also mentioned in Job 30:29; Isa. 13:21; 34:13; 43:20; Jer. 50:39; Micah 1:8. In all these passages the Revised Version translates “ostrich” (q.v.), which is the correct rendering.
(2.) Heb. yanshuph, rendered “great owl” in Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:16, and “owl” in Isa. 34:11. This is supposed to be the Egyptian eagle-owl (Bubo ascalaphus), which takes the place of the eagle-owl (Bubo maximus) found in Southern Europe. It is found frequenting the ruins of Egypt and also of the Holy Land. “Its cry is a loud, prolonged, and very powerful hoot. I know nothing which more vividly brought to my mind the sense of desolation and loneliness than the re-echoing hoot of two or three of these great owls as I stood at midnight among the ruined temples of Baalbek” (Tristram).
The LXX. and Vulgate render this word by “ibis”, i.e., the Egyptian heron.
(3.) Heb. kos, rendered “little owl” in Lev. 11:17; Deut. 14:16, and “owl” in Ps. 102:6. The Arabs call this bird “the mother of ruins.” It is by far the most common of all the owls of Palestine. It is the Athene persica, the bird of Minerva, the symbol of ancient Athens.
(4.) Heb. kippoz, the “great owl” (Isa. 34:15); Revised Version, “arrow-snake;” LXX. and Vulgate, “hedgehog,” reading in the text, kippod, instead of kippoz. There is no reason to doubt the correctness of the rendering of the Authorized Version. Tristram says: “The word [i.e., kippoz] is very possibly an imitation of the cry of the scops owl (Scops giu), which is very common among ruins, caves, and old walls of towns…It is a migrant, returning to Palestine in spring.”
(5.) Heb. lilith, “screech owl” (Isa. 34:14, marg. and R.V., “night monster”). The Hebrew word is from a root signifying “night.” Some species of the owl is obviously intended by this word. It may be the hooting or tawny owl (Syrnium aluco), which is common in Egypt and in many parts of Palestine. This verse in Isaiah is “descriptive of utter and perpetual desolation, of a land that should be full of ruins, and inhabited by the animals that usually make such ruins their abode.”
Ox Heb. bakar, “cattle;” “neat cattle”, (Gen. 12:16; 34:28; Job 1:3, 14; 42:12, etc.); not to be muzzled when treading the corn (Deut. 25:4). Referred to by our Lord in his reproof to the Pharisees (Luke 13:15; 14:5).
Ox goad Mentioned only in Judg. 3:31, the weapon with which Shamgar (q.v.) slew six hundred Philistines. “The ploughman still carries his goad, a weapon apparently more fitted for the hand of the soldier than the peaceful husbandman. The one I saw was of the oak of Bashan,’ and measured upwards of ten feet in length. At one end was an iron spear, and at the other a piece of the same metal flattened. One can well understand how a warrior might use such a weapon with effect in the battle-field” (Porter’s Syria, etc.). (See GOAD.)
Ozem Strong. (1.) One of David’s brothers; the sixth son of Jesse (1 Chr. 2:15).
(2.) A son of Jerahmeel (1 Chr. 2:25).
Ozias Son of Joram (Matt. 1:8); called also Uzziah (2 Kings 15:32, 34).
Ozni Hearing, one of the sons of Gad; also called Ezbon (Gen. 46:16; Num. 26:16). __________________________________________________________________
Paarai Opening of the Lord, “the Arbite,” one of David’s heroes (2 Sam. 23:35); called also Naarai, 1 Chr. 11:37.
Padan A plain, occurring only in Gen. 48:7, where it designates Padan-aram.
Padan-aram The plain of Aram, or the plain of the highlands, (Gen. 25:20; 28:2, 5-7; 31:18, etc.), commonly regarded as the district of Mesopotamia (q.v.) lying around Haran.
Pagiel God allots, a prince of the tribe of Asher (Num. 1:13), in the wilderness.
Pahath-moab Governor of Moab, a person whose descendants returned from the Captivity and assisted in rebuilding Jerusalem (Ezra 2:6; 8:4; 10:30).
Paint Jezebel “painted her face” (2 Kings 9:30); and the practice of painting the face and the eyes seems to have been common (Jer. 4:30; Ezek. 23:40). An allusion to this practice is found in the name of Job’s daughter (42:14) Kerenhappuch (q.v.). Paintings in the modern sense of the word were unknown to the ancient Jews.
Palace Used now only of royal dwellings, although originally meaning simply (as the Latin word palatium, from which it is derived, shows) a building surrounded by a fence or a paling. In the Authorized Version there are many different words so rendered, presenting different ideas, such as that of citadel or lofty fortress or royal residence (Neh. 1:1; Dan. 8:2). It is the name given to the temple fortress (Neh. 2:8) and to the temple itself (1 Chr. 29:1). It denotes also a spacious building or a great house (Dan. 1:4; 4:4, 29: Esther 1:5; 7:7), and a fortified place or an enclosure (Ezek. 25:4). Solomon’s palace is described in 1 Kings 7:1-12 as a series of buildings rather than a single great structure. Thirteen years were spent in their erection. This palace stood on the eastern hill, adjoining the temple on the south.
In the New Testament it designates the official residence of Pilate or that of the high priest (Matt. 26:3, 58, 69; Mark 14:54, 66; John 18:15). In Phil. 1:13 this word is the rendering of the Greek praitorion, meaning the praetorian cohorts at Rome (the life-guard of the Caesars). Paul was continually chained to a soldier of that corps (Acts 28:16), and hence his name and sufferings became known in all the praetorium. The “soldiers that kept” him would, on relieving one another on guard, naturally spread the tidings regarding him among their comrades. Some, however, regard the praetroium (q.v.) as the barrack within the palace (the palatium) of the Caesars in Rome where a detachment of these praetorian guards was stationed, or as the camp of the guards placed outside the eastern walls of Rome.
“In the chambers which were occupied as guard-rooms,” says Dr. Manning, “by the praetorian troops on duty in the palace, a number of rude caricatures are found roughly scratched upon the walls, just such as may be seen upon barrack walls in every part of the world. Amongst these is one of a human figure nailed upon a cross. To add to the offence of the cross,’ the crucified one is represented with the head of an animal, probably that of an ass. Before it stands the figure of a Roman legionary with one hand upraised in the attitude of worship. Underneath is the rude, misspelt, ungrammatical inscription, Alexamenos worships his god. It can scarcely be doubted that we have here a contemporary caricature, executed by one of the praetorian guard, ridiculing the faith of a Christian comrade.”
Palestine Originally denoted only the sea-coast of the land of Canaan inhabited by the Philistines (Ex. 15:14; Isa. 14:29, 31; Joel 3:4), and in this sense exclusively the Hebrew name Pelesheth (rendered “Philistia” in Ps. 60:8; 83:7; 87:4; 108:9) occurs in the Old Testament.
Not till a late period in Jewish history was this name used to denote “the land of the Hebrews” in general (Gen. 40:15). It is also called “the holy land” (Zech. 2:12), the “land of Jehovah” (Hos. 9:3; Ps. 85:1), the “land of promise” (Heb. 11:9), because promised to Abraham (Gen. 12:7; 24:7), the “land of Canaan” (Gen. 12:5), the “land of Israel” (1 Sam. 13:19), and the “land of Judah” (Isa. 19:17).
The territory promised as an inheritance to the seed of Abraham (Gen. 15:18-21; Num. 34:1-12) was bounded on the east by the river Euphrates, on the west by the Mediterranean, on the north by the “entrance of Hamath,” and on the south by the “river of Egypt.” This extent of territory, about 60,000 square miles, was at length conquered by David, and was ruled over also by his son Solomon (2 Sam. 8; 1 Chr. 18; 1 Kings 4:1, 21). This vast empire was the Promised Land; but Palestine was only a part of it, terminating in the north at the southern extremity of the Lebanon range, and in the south in the wilderness of Paran, thus extending in all to about 144 miles in length. Its average breadth was about 60 miles from the Mediterranean on the west to beyond the Jordan. It has fittingly been designated “the least of all lands.” Western Palestine, on the south of Gaza, is only about 40 miles in breadth from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea, narrowing gradually toward the north, where it is only 20 miles from the sea-coast to the Jordan.
Palestine, “set in the midst” (Ezek. 5:5) of all other lands, is the most remarkable country on the face of the earth. No single country of such an extent has so great a variety of climate, and hence also of plant and animal life. Moses describes it as “a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; a land wherein thou shalt not eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass” (Deut. 8:7-9).
“In the time of Christ the country looked, in all probability, much as now. The whole land consists of rounded limestone hills, fretted into countless stony valleys, offering but rarely level tracts, of which Esdraelon alone, below Nazareth, is large enough to be seen on the map. The original woods had for ages disappeared, though the slopes were dotted, as now, with figs, olives, and other fruit-trees where there was any soil. Permanent streams were even then unknown, the passing rush of winter torrents being all that was seen among the hills. The autumn and spring rains, caught in deep cisterns hewn out like huge underground jars in the soft limestone, with artificial mud-banked ponds still found near all villages, furnished water. Hills now bare, or at best rough with stunted growth, were then terraced, so as to grow vines, olives, and grain. To-day almost desolate, the country then teemed with population. Wine-presses cut in the rocks, endless terraces, and the ruins of old vineyard towers are now found amidst solitudes overgrown for ages with thorns and thistles, or with wild shrubs and poor gnarled scrub” (Geikie’s Life of Christ).
From an early period the land was inhabited by the descendants of Canaan, who retained possession of the whole land “from Sidon to Gaza” till the time of the conquest by Joshua, when it was occupied by the twelve tribes. Two tribes and a half had their allotments given them by Moses on the east of the Jordan (Deut. 3:12-20; comp. Num. 1:17-46; Josh. 4:12-13). The remaining tribes had their portion on the west of Jordan.
From the conquest till the time of Saul, about four hundred years, the people were governed by judges. For a period of one hundred and twenty years the kingdom retained its unity while it was ruled by Saul and David and Solomon. On the death of Solomon, his son Rehoboam ascended the throne; but his conduct was such that ten of the tribes revolted, and formed an independent monarchy, called the kingdom of Israel, or the northern kingdom, the capital of which was first Shechem and afterwards Samaria. This kingdom was destroyed. The Israelites were carried captive by Shalmanezer, king of Assyria, B.C. 722, after an independent existence of two hundred and fifty-three years. The place of the captives carried away was supplied by tribes brought from the east, and thus was formed the Samaritan nation (2 Kings 17:24-29).
Nebuchadnezzar came up against the kingdom of the two tribes, the kingdom of Judah, the capital of which was Jerusalem, one hundred and thirty-four years after the overthrow of the kingdom of Israel. He overthrew the city, plundered the temple, and carried the people into captivity to Babylon (B.C. 587), where they remained seventy years. At the close of the period of the Captivity, they returned to their own land, under the edict of Cyrus (Ezra 1:1-4). They rebuilt the city and temple, and restored the old Jewish commonwealth.
For a while after the Restoration the Jews were ruled by Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, and afterwards by the high priests, assisted by the Sanhedrin. After the death of Alexander the Great at Babylon (B.C. 323), his vast empire was divided between his four generals. Egypt, Arabia, Palestine, and Coele-Syria fell to the lot of Ptolemy Lagus. Ptolemy took possession of Palestine in B.C. 320, and carried nearly one hundred thousand of the inhabitants of Jerusalem into Egypt. He made Alexandria the capital of his kingdom, and treated the Jews with consideration, confirming them in the enjoyment of many privileges.
After suffering persecution at the hands of Ptolemy’s successors, the Jews threw off the Egyptian yoke, and became subject to Antiochus the Great, the king of Syria. The cruelty and opression of the successors of Antiochus at length led to the revolt under the Maccabees (B.C. 163), when they threw off the Syrian yoke.
In the year B.C. 68, Palestine was reduced by Pompey the Great to a Roman province. He laid the walls of the city in ruins, and massacred some twelve thousand of the inhabitants. He left the temple, however, unijured. About twenty-five years after this the Jews revolted and cast off the Roman yoke. They were however, subdued by Herod the Great (q.v.). The city and the temple were destroyed, and many of the inhabitants were put to death. About B.C. 20, Herod proceeded to rebuild the city and restore the ruined temple, which in about nine years and a half was so far completed that the sacred services could be resumed in it (comp. John 2:20). He was succeeded by his son Archelaus, who was deprived of his power, however, by Augustus, A.D. 6, when Palestine became a Roman province, ruled by Roman governors or procurators. Pontius Pilate was the fifth of these procurators. He was appointed to his office A.D. 25.
Exclusive of Idumea, the kingdom of Herod the Great comprehended the whole of the country originally divided among the twelve tribes, which he divided into four provinces or districts. This division was recognized so long as Palestine was under the Roman dominion. These four provinces were, (1) Judea, the southern portion of the country; (2) Samaria, the middle province, the northern boundary of which ran along the hills to the south of the plain of Esdraelon; (3) Galilee, the northern province; and (4) Peraea (a Greek name meaning the “opposite country”), the country lying east of the Jordan and the Dead Sea. This province was subdivided into these districts, (1) Peraea proper, lying between the rivers Arnon and Jabbok; (2) Galaaditis (Gilead); (3) Batanaea; (4) Gaulonitis (Jaulan); (5) Ituraea or Auranitis, the ancient Bashan; (6) Trachonitis; (7) Abilene; (8) Decapolis, i.e., the region of the ten cities. The whole territory of Palestine, including the portions alloted to the trans-Jordan tribes, extended to about eleven thousand square miles. Recent exploration has shown the territory on the west of Jordan alone to be six thousand square miles in extent, the size of the principality of Wales.
Pallu Separated, the second son of Reuben (1 Chr. 5:3); called Phallu, Gen. 46:9. He was the father of the Phalluites (Ex. 6:14; Num. 26:5, 8).
Palmer-worm (Heb. gazam). The English word may denote either a caterpillar (as rendered by the LXX.), which wanders like a palmer or pilgrim, or which travels like pilgrims in bands (Joel 1:4; 2:25), the wingless locusts, or the migratory locust in its larva state.
Palm tree (Heb. tamar), the date-palm characteristic of Palestine. It is described as “flourishing” (Ps. 92:12), tall (Cant. 7:7), “upright” (Jer. 10:5). Its branches are a symbol of victory (Rev. 7:9). “Rising with slender stem 40 or 50, at times even 80, feet aloft, its only branches, the feathery, snow-like, pale-green fronds from 6 to 12 feet long, bending from its top, the palm attracts the eye wherever it is seen.” The whole land of Palestine was called by the Greeks and Romans Phoenicia, i.e., “the land of palms.” Tadmor in the desert was called by the Greeks and Romans Palmyra, i.e., “the city of palms.” The finest specimens of this tree grew at Jericho (Deut. 34:3) and Engedi and along the banks of the Jordan. Branches of the palm tree were carried at the feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:40). At our Lord’s triumphal entrance into Jerusalem the crowds took palm branches, and went forth to meet him, crying, “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 21:8; John 12:13). (See DATE.)
Palm trees, The city of The name given to Jericho (q.v.), Deut. 34:3; Judg. 1:16; 3:13.
Palsy A shorter form of “paralysis.” Many persons thus afflicted were cured by our Lord (Matt. 4:24; 8:5-13; 9:2-7; Mark 2:3-11; Luke 7:2-10; John 5:5-7) and the apostles (Acts 8:7; 9:33, 34).
Palti Deliverance from the Lord, one of the spies representing the tribe of Benjamin (Num. 13:9).
Paltiel Deliverance of God, the prince of Issachar who assisted “to divide the land by inheritance” (Num. 34:26).
Paltite The designation of one of David’s heroes (2 Sam. 23:26); called also the Pelonite (1 Chr. 11:27).
Pamphylia Paul and his company, loosing from Paphos, sailed north-west and came to Perga, the capital of Pamphylia (Acts 13:13, 14), a province about the middle of the southern sea-board of Asia Minor. It lay between Lycia on the west and Cilicia on the east. There were strangers from Pamphylia at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (2:10).
Pan A vessel of metal or earthenware used in culinary operations; a cooking-pan or frying-pan frequently referred to in the Old Testament (Lev. 2:5; 6:21; Num. 11:8; 1 Sam. 2:14, etc.).
The “ash-pans” mentioned in Ex. 27:3 were made of copper, and were used in connection with the altar of burnt-offering. The “iron pan” mentioned in Ezek. 4:3 (marg., “flat plate ” or “slice”) was probably a mere plate of iron used for baking. The “fire-pans” of Ex. 27:3 were fire-shovels used for taking up coals. The same Hebrew word is rendered “snuff-dishes” (25:38; 37:23) and “censers” (Lev. 10:1; 16:12; Num. 4:14, etc.). These were probably simply metal vessels employed for carrying burning embers from the brazen altar to the altar of incense.
The “frying-pan” mentioned in Lev. 2:7; 7:9 was a pot for boiling.
Pannag (Ezek. 27:17; marg. R.V., “perhaps a kind of confection”) the Jews explain as the name of a kind of sweet pastry. Others take it as the name of some place, identifying it with Pingi, on the road between Damascus and Baalbec. “Pannaga” is the Sanscrit name of an aromatic plant (comp. Gen. 43:11).
Paper The expression in the Authorized Version (Isa. 19:7), “the paper reeds by the brooks,” is in the Revised Version more correctly “the meadows by the Nile.” The words undoubtedly refer to a grassy place on the banks of the Nile fit for pasturage.
In 2 John 1:12 the word is used in its proper sense. The material so referred to was manufactured from the papyrus, and hence its name. The papyrus (Heb. gome) was a kind of bulrush (q.v.). It is mentioned by Job (8:11) and Isaiah (35:7). It was used for many purposes. This plant (Papyrus Nilotica) is now unknown in Egypt; no trace of it can be found. The unaccountable disappearance of this plant from Egypt was foretold by Isaiah (19:6, 7) as a part of the divine judgment on that land. The most extensive papyrus growths now known are in the marshes at the northern end of the lake of Merom.
Paphos The capital of the island of Cyprus, and therefore the residence of the Roman governor. It was visited by Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary tour (Acts 13:6). It is new Paphos which is here meant. It lay on the west coast of the island, about 8 miles north of old Paphos. Its modern name is Baffa.
Parable (Gr. parabole), a placing beside; a comparison; equivalent to the Heb. mashal, a similitude. In the Old Testament this is used to denote (1) a proverb (1 Sam. 10:12; 24:13; 2 Chr. 7:20), (2) a prophetic utterance (Num. 23:7; Ezek. 20:49), (3) an enigmatic saying (Ps. 78:2; Prov. 1:6). In the New Testament, (1) a proverb (Mark 7:17; Luke 4:23), (2) a typical emblem (Heb. 9:9; 11:19), (3) a similitude or allegory (Matt. 15:15; 24:32; Mark 3:23; Luke 5:36; 14:7); (4) ordinarily, in a more restricted sense, a comparison of earthly with heavenly things, “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning,” as in the parables of our Lord.
Instruction by parables has been in use from the earliest times. A large portion of our Lord’s public teaching consisted of parables. He himself explains his reasons for this in his answer to the inquiry of the disciples, “Why speakest thou to them in parables?” (Matt. 13:13-15; Mark 4:11, 12; Luke 8:9, 10). He followed in so doing the rule of the divine procedures, as recorded in Matt. 13:13.
The parables uttered by our Lord are all recorded in the synoptical (i.e., the first three) Gospels. The fourth Gospel contains no parable properly so called, although the illustration of the good shepherd (John 10:1-16) has all the essential features of a parable. (See List of Parables in Appendix.)
Paradise A Persian word (pardes), properly meaning a “pleasure-ground” or “park” or “king’s garden.” (See EDEN.) It came in course of time to be used as a name for the world of happiness and rest hereafter (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 12:4; Rev. 2:7). For “garden” in Gen. 2:8 the LXX. has “paradise.”
Parah The heifer, a town in Benjamin (Josh. 18:23), supposed to be identical with the ruins called Far’ah, about 6 miles north-east of Jerusalem, in the Wady Far’ah, which is a branch of the Wady Kelt.
Paran Abounding in foliage, or abounding in caverns, (Gen. 21:21), a desert tract forming the north-eastern division of the peninsula of Sinai, lying between the Arabah on the east and the wilderness of Shur on the west. It is intersected in a north-western direction by the Wady el-Arish. It bears the modern name of Badiet et-Tih, i.e., “the desert of the wanderings.” This district, through which the children of Israel wandered, lay three days’ march from Sinai (Num. 10:12, 33). From Kadesh, in this wilderness, spies (q.v.) were sent to spy the land (13:3, 26). Here, long afterwards, David found refuge from Saul (1 Sam. 25:1, 4).
Paran, Mount Probably the hilly region or upland wilderness on the north of the desert of Paran forming the southern boundary of the Promised Land (Deut. 33:2; Hab. 3:3).
Parbar (1 Chr. 26:18), a place apparently connected with the temple, probably a “suburb” (q.v.), as the word is rendered in 2 Kings 23:11; a space between the temple wall and the wall of the court; an open portico into which the chambers of the official persons opened (1 Chr. 26:18).
Parched ground (Isa. 35:7), Heb. sharab, a “mirage”, a phenomenon caused by the refraction of the rays of the sun on the glowing sands of the desert, causing them suddenly to assume the appearance of a beautiful lake. It is called by the modern Arabs by the same Hebrew name serab.
Parchment A skin prepared for writing on; so called from Pergamos (q.v.), where this was first done (2 Tim. 4:13).
Pardon The forgiveness of sins granted freely (Isa. 43:25), readily (Neh. 9:17; Ps. 86:5), abundantly (Isa. 55:7; Rom. 5:20). Pardon is an act of a sovereign, in pure sovereignty, granting simply a remission of the penalty due to sin, but securing neither honour nor reward to the pardoned. Justification (q.v.), on the other hand, is the act of a judge, and not of a sovereign, and includes pardon and, at the same time, a title to all the rewards and blessings promised in the covenant of life.
Parlour (from the Fr. parler, “to speak”) denotes an “audience chamber,” but that is not the import of the Hebrew word so rendered. It corresponds to what the Turks call a kiosk, as in Judg. 3:20 (the “summer parlour”), or as in the margin of the Revised Version (“the upper chamber of cooling”), a small room built on the roof of the house, with open windows to catch the breeze, and having a door communicating with the outside by which persons seeking an audience may be admitted. While Eglon was resting in such a parlour, Ehud, under pretence of having a message from God to him, was admitted into his presence, and murderously plunged his dagger into his body (21, 22).
The “inner parlours” in 1 Chr. 28:11 were the small rooms or chambers which Solomon built all round two sides and one end of the temple (1 Kings 6:5), “side chambers;” or they may have been, as some think, the porch and the holy place.
In 1 Sam. 9:22 the Revised Version reads “guest chamber,” a chamber at the high place specially used for sacrificial feasts.
Parmashta Strong-fisted, a son of Haman, slain in Shushan (Esther 9:9).
Parmenas Constant, one of the seven “deacons” (Acts 6:5).
Parshandatha An interpreter of the law, the eldest of Haman’s sons, slain in Shushan (Esther 9:7).
Parthians Were present in Jerusalem at Pentecost (Acts 2:9). Parthia lay on the east of Media and south of Hyrcania, which separated it from the Caspian Sea. It corresponded with the western half of the modern Khorasan, and now forms a part of Persia.
Partridge (Heb. kore, i.e., “caller”). This bird, unlike our own partridge, is distinguished by “its ringing call-note, which in early morning echoes from cliff to cliff amidst the barrenness of the wilderness of Judea and the glens of the forest of Carmel” hence its Hebrew name. This name occurs only twice in Scripture.
In 1 Sam. 26:20 “David alludes to the mode of chase practised now, as of old, when the partridge, continuously chased, was at length, when fatigued, knocked down by sticks thrown along the ground.” It endeavours to save itself “by running, in preference to flight, unless when suddenly started. It is not an inhabitant of the plain or the corn-field, but of rocky hill-sides” (Tristram’s Nat. Hist.).
In Jer. 17:11 the prophet is illustrating the fact that riches unlawfully acquired are precarious and short-lived. The exact nature of the illustration cannot be precisely determined. Some interpret the words as meaning that the covetous man will be as surely disappointed as the partridge which gathers in eggs, not of her own laying, and is unable to hatch them; others (Tristram), with more probability, as denoting that the man who enriches himself by unjust means “will as surely be disappointed as the partridge which commences to sit, but is speedily robbed of her hopes of a brood” by her eggs being stolen away from her.
The commonest partridge in Palestine is the Caccabis saxatilis, the Greek partridge. The partridge of the wilderness (Ammo-perdix heyi) is a smaller species. Both are essentially mountain and rock birds, thus differing from the English partridge, which loves cultivated fields.
Paruah Flourishing, the father of Jehoshaphat, appointed to provide monthly supplies for Solomon from the tribe of Issachar (1 Kings 4:17).
Parvaim The name of a country from which Solomon obtained gold for the temple (2 Chr. 3:6). Some have identified it with Ophir, but it is uncertain whether it is even the name of a place. It may simply, as some think, denote “Oriental regions.”
Pasach Clearing, one of the sons of Japhlet, of the tribe of Asher (1 Chr. 7:33).
Pas-dammim The border of blood = Ephes-dammim (q.v.), between Shochoh and Azekah (1 Sam. 17:1; 1 Chr. 11:13).
Pashur Release. (1.) The son of Immer (probably the same as Amariah, Neh. 10:3; 12:2), the head of one of the priestly courses, was “chief governor [Heb. paqid nagid, meaning “deputy governor”] of the temple” (Jer. 20:1, 2). At this time the nagid, or “governor,” of the temple was Seraiah the high priest (1 Chr. 6:14), and Pashur was his paqid, or “deputy.” Enraged at the plainness with which Jeremiah uttered his solemn warnings of coming judgements, because of the abounding iniquity of the times, Pashur ordered the temple police to seize him, and after inflicting on him corporal punishment (forty stripes save one, Deut. 25:3; comp. 2 Cor. 11:24), to put him in the stocks in the high gate of Benjamin, where he remained all night. On being set free in the morning, Jeremiah went to Pashur (Jer. 20:3, 5), and announced to him that God had changed his name to Magor-missabib, i.e., “terror on every side.” The punishment that fell upon him was probably remorse, when he saw the ruin he had brought upon his country by advising a close alliance with Egypt in opposition to the counsels of Jeremiah (20:4-6). He was carried captive to Babylon, and died there.
(2.) A priest sent by king Zedekiah to Jeremiah to inquire of the Lord (1 Chr. 24:9; Jer. 21:1; 38:1-6). He advised that the prophet should be put to death.
(3.) The father of Gedaliah. He was probably the same as (1).
Passage Denotes in Josh. 22:11, as is generally understood, the place where the children of Israel passed over Jordan. The words “the passage of” are, however, more correctly rendered “by the side of,” or “at the other side of,” thus designating the position of the great altar erected by the eastern tribes on their return home. This word also designates the fords of the Jordan to the south of the Sea of Galilee (Judg. 12:5, 6), and a pass or rocky defile (1 Sam. 13:23; 14:4). “Passages” in Jer. 22:20 is in the Revised Version more correctly “Abarim” (q.v.), a proper name.
Passion Only once found, in Acts 1:3, meaning suffering, referring to the sufferings of our Lord.
Passover The name given to the chief of the three great historical annual festivals of the Jews. It was kept in remembrance of the Lord’s passing over the houses of the Israelites (Ex. 12:13) when the first born of all the Egyptians were destroyed. It is called also the “feast of unleavened bread” (Ex. 23:15; Mark 14:1; Acts 12:3), because during its celebration no leavened bread was to be eaten or even kept in the household (Ex. 12:15). The word afterwards came to denote the lamb that was slain at the feast (Mark 14:12-14; 1 Cor. 5:7).
A detailed account of the institution of this feast is given in Ex. 12 and 13. It was afterwards incorporated in the ceremonial law (Lev. 23:4-8) as one of the great festivals of the nation. In after times many changes seem to have taken place as to the mode of its celebration as compared with its first celebration (comp. Deut. 16:2, 5, 6; 2 Chr. 30:16; Lev. 23:10-14; Num. 9:10, 11; 28:16-24). Again, the use of wine (Luke 22:17, 20), of sauce with the bitter herbs (John 13:26), and the service of praise were introduced.
There is recorded only one celebration of this feast between the Exodus and the entrance into Canaan, namely, that mentioned in Num. 9:5. (See JOSIAH.) It was primarily a commemorative ordinance, reminding the children of Israel of their deliverance out of Egypt; but it was, no doubt, also a type of the great deliverance wrought by the Messiah for all his people from the doom of death on account of sin, and from the bondage of sin itself, a worse than Egyptian bondage (1 Cor. 5:7; John 1:29; 19:32-36; 1 Pet. 1:19; Gal. 4:4, 5). The appearance of Jerusalem on the occasion of the Passover in the time of our Lord is thus fittingly described: “The city itself and the neighbourhood became more and more crowded as the feast approached, the narrow streets and dark arched bazaars showing the same throng of men of all nations as when Jesus had first visited Jerusalem as a boy. Even the temple offered a strange sight at this season, for in parts of the outer courts a wide space was covered with pens for sheep, goats, and cattle to be used for offerings. Sellers shouted the merits of their beasts, sheep bleated, oxen lowed. Sellers of doves also had a place set apart for them. Potters offered a choice from huge stacks of clay dishes and ovens for roasting and eating the Passover lamb. Booths for wine, oil, salt, and all else needed for sacrifices invited customers. Persons going to and from the city shortened their journey by crossing the temple grounds, often carrying burdens…Stalls to change foreign money into the shekel of the temple, which alone could be paid to the priests, were numerous, the whole confusion making the sanctuary like a noisy market” (Geikie’s Life of Christ).
Patara A city on the south-west coast of Lycia at which Paul landed on his return from his third missionary journey (Acts 21:1, 2). Here he found a larger vessel, which was about to sail across the open sea to the coast of Phoenicia. In this vessel he set forth, and reached the city of Tyre in perhaps two or three days.
Pathros The name generally given to Upper Egypt (the Thebaid of the Greeks), as distinguished from Matsor, or Lower Egypt (Isa. 11:11; Jer. 44:1, 15; Ezek. 30:14), the two forming Mizraim. After the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, colonies of Jews settled “in the country of Pathros” and other parts of Egypt.
Patmos A small rocky and barren island, one of the group called the “Sporades,” in the AEgean Sea. It is mentioned in Scripture only in Rev. 1:9. It was on this island, to which John was banished by the emperor Domitian (A.D. 95), that he received from God the wondrous revelation recorded in his book. This has naturally invested it with the deepest interest for all time. It is now called Patmo. (See JOHN.)
Patriarch A name employed in the New Testament with reference to Abraham (Heb. 7:4), the sons of Jacob (Acts 7:8, 9), and to David (2:29). This name is generally applied to the progenitors of families or “heads of the fathers” (Josh. 14:1) mentioned in Scripture, and they are spoken of as antediluvian (from Adam to Noah) and post-diluvian (from Noah to Jacob) patriachs. But the expression “the patriarch,” by way of eminence, is applied to the twelve sons of Jacob, or to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
“Patriachal longevity presents itself as one of the most striking of the facts concerning mankind which the early history of the Book of Genesis places before us…There is a large amount of consentient tradition to the effect that the life of man was originally far more prolonged than it is at present, extending to at least several hundred years. The Babylonians, Egyptians, and Chinese exaggerated these hundreds into thousands. The Greeks and Romans, with more moderation, limited human life within a thousand or eight hundred years. The Hindus still farther shortened the term. Their books taught that in the first age of the world man was free from diseases, and lived ordinarily four hundred years; in the second age the term of life was reduced from four hundred to three hundred; in the third it became two hundred; in the fourth and last it was brought down to one hundred” (Rawlinson’s Historical Illustrations).
Patrobas A Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent salutations (Rom. 16:14).
Pau (Gen. 36:39) or Pai (1 Chr. 1:50), bleating, an Edomitish city ruled over by Hadar.
Paul =Saul (q.v.) was born about the same time as our Lord. His circumcision-name was Saul, and probably the name Paul was also given to him in infancy “for use in the Gentile world,” as “Saul” would be his Hebrew home-name. He was a native of Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia, a Roman province in the south-east of Asia Minor. That city stood on the banks of the river Cydnus, which was navigable thus far; hence it became a centre of extensive commercial traffic with many countries along the shores of the Mediterranean, as well as with the countries of central Asia Minor. It thus became a city distinguished for the wealth of its inhabitants.
Tarsus was also the seat of a famous university, higher in reputation even than the universities of Athens and Alexandria, the only others that then existed. Here Saul was born, and here he spent his youth, doubtless enjoying the best education his native city could afford. His father was of the straitest sect of the Jews, a Pharisee, of the tribe of Benjamin, of pure and unmixed Jewish blood (Acts 23:6; Phil. 3:5). We learn nothing regarding his mother; but there is reason to conclude that she was a pious woman, and that, like-minded with her husband, she exercised all a mother influence in moulding the character of her son, so that he could afterwards speak of himself as being, from his youth up, “touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless” (Phil. 3:6).
We read of his sister and his sister’s son (Acts 23:16), and of other relatives (Rom. 16:7, 11, 12). Though a Jew, his father was a Roman citizen. How he obtained this privilege we are not informed. “It might be bought, or won by distinguished service to the state, or acquired in several other ways; at all events, his son was freeborn. It was a valuable privilege, and one that was to prove of great use to Paul, although not in the way in which his father might have been expected to desire him to make use of it.” Perhaps the most natural career for the youth to follow was that of a merchant. “But it was decided that…he should go to college and become a rabbi, that is, a minister, a teacher, and a lawyer all in one.”
According to Jewish custom, however, he learned a trade before entering on the more direct preparation for the sacred profession. The trade he acquired was the making of tents from goats’ hair cloth, a trade which was one of the commonest in Tarsus.
His preliminary education having been completed, Saul was sent, when about thirteen years of age probably, to the great Jewish school of sacred learning at Jerusalem as a student of the law. Here he became a pupil of the celebrated rabbi Gamaliel, and here he spent many years in an elaborate study of the Scriptures and of the many questions concerning them with which the rabbis exercised themselves. During these years of diligent study he lived “in all good conscience,” unstained by the vices of that great city.
After the period of his student-life expired, he probably left Jerusalem for Tarsus, where he may have been engaged in connection with some synagogue for some years. But we find him back again at Jerusalem very soon after the death of our Lord. Here he now learned the particulars regarding the crucifixion, and the rise of the new sect of the “Nazarenes.”
For some two years after Pentecost, Christianity was quietly spreading its influence in Jerusalem. At length Stephen, one of the seven deacons, gave forth more public and aggressive testimony that Jesus was the Messiah, and this led to much excitement among the Jews and much disputation in their synagogues. Persecution arose against Stephen and the followers of Christ generally, in which Saul of Tarsus took a prominent part. He was at this time probably a member of the great Sanhedrin, and became the active leader in the furious persecution by which the rulers then sought to exterminate Christianity.
But the object of this persecution also failed. “They that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.” The anger of the persecutor was thereby kindled into a fiercer flame. Hearing that fugitives had taken refuge in Damascus, he obtained from the chief priest letters authorizing him to proceed thither on his persecuting career. This was a long journey of about 130 miles, which would occupy perhaps six days, during which, with his few attendants, he steadily went onward, “breathing out threatenings and slaughter.” But the crisis of his life was at hand. He had reached the last stage of his journey, and was within sight of Damascus. As he and his companions rode on, suddenly at mid-day a brilliant light shone round them, and Saul was laid prostrate in terror on the ground, a voice sounding in his ears, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” The risen Saviour was there, clothed in the vesture of his glorified humanity. In answer to the anxious inquiry of the stricken persecutor, “Who art thou, Lord?” he said, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” (Acts 9:5; 22:8; 26:15).
This was the moment of his conversion, the most solemn in all his life. Blinded by the dazzling light (Acts 9:8), his companions led him into the city, where, absorbed in deep thought for three days, he neither ate nor drank (9:11). Ananias, a disciple living in Damascus, was informed by a vision of the change that had happened to Saul, and was sent to him to open his eyes and admit him by baptism into the Christian church (9:11-16). The whole purpose of his life was now permanently changed.
Immediately after his conversion he retired into the solitudes of Arabia (Gal. 1:17), perhaps of “Sinai in Arabia,” for the purpose, probably, of devout study and meditation on the marvellous revelation that had been made to him. “A veil of thick darkness hangs over this visit to Arabia. Of the scenes among which he moved, of the thoughts and occupations which engaged him while there, of all the circumstances of a crisis which must have shaped the whole tenor of his after-life, absolutely nothing is known. Immediately,’ says St. Paul, I went away into Arabia.’ The historian passes over the incident [comp. Acts 9:23 and 1 Kings 11:38, 39]. It is a mysterious pause, a moment of suspense, in the apostle’s history, a breathless calm, which ushers in the tumultuous storm of his active missionary life.” Coming back, after three years, to Damascus, he began to preach the gospel “boldly in the name of Jesus” (Acts 9:27), but was soon obliged to flee (9:25; 2 Cor. 11:33) from the Jews and betake himself to Jerusalem. Here he tarried for three weeks, but was again forced to flee (Acts 9:28, 29) from persecution. He now returned to his native Tarsus (Gal. 1:21), where, for probably about three years, we lose sight of him. The time had not yet come for his entering on his great life-work of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles.
At length the city of Antioch, the capital of Syria, became the scene of great Christian activity. There the gospel gained a firm footing, and the cause of Christ prospered. Barnabas (q.v.), who had been sent from Jerusalem to superintend the work at Antioch, found it too much for him, and remembering Saul, he set out to Tarsus to seek for him. He readily responded to the call thus addressed to him, and came down to Antioch, which for “a whole year” became the scene of his labours, which were crowned with great success. The disciples now, for the first time, were called “Christians” (Acts 11:26).
The church at Antioch now proposed to send out missionaries to the Gentiles, and Saul and Barnabas, with John Mark as their attendant, were chosen for this work. This was a great epoch in the history of the church. Now the disciples began to give effect to the Master’s command: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
The three missionaries went forth on the first missionary tour. They sailed from Seleucia, the seaport of Antioch, across to Cyprus, some 80 miles to the south-west. Here at Paphos, Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul, was converted, and now Saul took the lead, and was ever afterwards called Paul. The missionaries now crossed to the mainland, and then proceeded 6 or 7 miles up the river Cestrus to Perga (Acts 13:13), where John Mark deserted the work and returned to Jerusalem. The two then proceeded about 100 miles inland, passing through Pamphylia, Pisidia, and Lycaonia. The towns mentioned in this tour are the Pisidian Antioch, where Paul delivered his first address of which we have any record (13:16-51; comp. 10:30-43), Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. They returned by the same route to see and encourage the converts they had made, and ordain elders in every city to watch over the churches which had been gathered. From Perga they sailed direct for Antioch, from which they had set out.
After remaining “a long time”, probably till A.D. 50 or 51, in Antioch, a great controversy broke out in the church there regarding the relation of the Gentiles to the Mosaic law. For the purpose of obtaining a settlement of this question, Paul and Barnabas were sent as deputies to consult the church at Jerusalem. The council or synod which was there held (Acts 15) decided against the Judaizing party; and the deputies, accompanied by Judas and Silas, returned to Antioch, bringing with them the decree of the council.
After a short rest at Antioch, Paul said to Barnabas: “Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.” Mark proposed again to accompany them; but Paul refused to allow him to go. Barnabas was resolved to take Mark, and thus he and Paul had a sharp contention. They separated, and never again met. Paul, however, afterwards speaks with honour of Barnabas, and sends for Mark to come to him at Rome (Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:11).
Paul took with him Silas, instead of Barnabas, and began his second missionary journey about A.D. 51. This time he went by land, revisiting the churches he had already founded in Asia. But he longed to enter into “regions beyond,” and still went forward through Phrygia and Galatia (16:6). Contrary to his intention, he was constrained to linger in Galatia (q.v.), on account of some bodily affliction (Gal. 4:13, 14). Bithynia, a populous province on the shore of the Black Sea, lay now before him, and he wished to enter it; but the way was shut, the Spirit in some manner guiding him in another direction, till he came down to the shores of the AEgean and arrived at Troas, on the north-western coast of Asia Minor (Acts 16:8). Of this long journey from Antioch to Troas we have no account except some references to it in his Epistle to the Galatians (4:13).
As he waited at Troas for indications of the will of God as to his future movements, he saw, in the vision of the night, a man from the opposite shores of Macedonia standing before him, and heard him cry, “Come over, and help us” (Acts 16:9). Paul recognized in this vision a message from the Lord, and the very next day set sail across the Hellespont, which separated him from Europe, and carried the tidings of the gospel into the Western world. In Macedonia, churches were planted in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea. Leaving this province, Paul passed into Achaia, “the paradise of genius and renown.” He reached Athens, but quitted it after, probably, a brief sojourn (17:17-31). The Athenians had received him with cold disdain, and he never visited that city again. He passed over to Corinth, the seat of the Roman government of Achaia, and remained there a year and a half, labouring with much success. While at Corinth, he wrote his two epistles to the church of Thessalonica, his earliest apostolic letters, and then sailed for Syria, that he might be in time to keep the feast of Pentecost at Jerusalem. He was accompanied by Aquila and Priscilla, whom he left at Ephesus, at which he touched, after a voyage of thirteen or fifteen days. He landed at Caesarea, and went up to Jerusalem, and having “saluted the church” there, and kept the feast, he left for Antioch, where he abode “some time” (Acts 18:20-23).
He then began his third missionary tour. He journeyed by land in the “upper coasts” (the more eastern parts) of Asia Minor, and at length made his way to Ephesus, where he tarried for no less than three years, engaged in ceaseless Christian labour. “This city was at the time the Liverpool of the Mediterranean. It possessed a splendid harbour, in which was concentrated the traffic of the sea which was then the highway of the nations; and as Liverpool has behind her the great towns of Lancashire, so had Ephesus behind and around her such cities as those mentioned along with her in the epistles to the churches in the book of Revelation, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. It was a city of vast wealth, and it was given over to every kind of pleasure, the fame of its theatres and race-course being world-wide” (Stalker’s Life of St. Paul). Here a “great door and effectual” was opened to the apostle. His fellow-labourers aided him in his work, carrying the gospel to Colosse and Laodicea and other places which they could reach.
Very shortly before his departure from Ephesus, the apostle wrote his First Epistle to the Corinthians (q.v.). The silversmiths, whose traffic in the little images which they made was in danger (see DEMETRIUS), organized a riot against Paul, and he left the city, and proceeded to Troas (2 Cor. 2:12), whence after some time he went to meet Titus in Macedonia. Here, in consequence of the report Titus brought from Corinth, he wrote his second epistle to that church. Having spent probably most of the summer and autumn in Macedonia, visiting the churches there, specially the churches of Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea, probably penetrating into the interior, to the shores of the Adriatic (Rom. 15:19), he then came into Greece, where he abode three month, spending probably the greater part of this time in Corinth (Acts 20:2). During his stay in this city he wrote his Epistle to the Galatians, and also the great Epistle to the Romans. At the end of the three months he left Achaia for Macedonia, thence crossed into Asia Minor, and touching at Miletus, there addressed the Ephesian presbyters, whom he had sent for to meet him (Acts 20:17), and then sailed for Tyre, finally reaching Jerusalem, probably in the spring of A.D. 58.
While at Jerusalem, at the feast of Pentecost, he was almost murdered by a Jewish mob in the temple. (See TEMPLE, HEROD’S.) Rescued from their violence by the Roman commandant, he was conveyed as a prisoner to Caesarea, where, from various causes, he was detained a prisoner for two years in Herod’s praetorium (Acts 23:35). “Paul was not kept in close confinement; he had at least the range of the barracks in which he was detained. There we can imagine him pacing the ramparts on the edge of the Mediterranean, and gazing wistfully across the blue waters in the direction of Macedonia, Achaia, and Ephesus, where his spiritual children were pining for him, or perhaps encountering dangers in which they sorely needed his presence. It was a mysterious providence which thus arrested his energies and condemned the ardent worker to inactivity; yet we can now see the reason for it. Paul was needing rest. After twenty years of incessant evangelization, he required leisure to garner the harvest of experience…During these two years he wrote nothing; it was a time of internal mental activity and silent progress” (Stalker’s Life of St. Paul).
At the end of these two years Felix (q.v.) was succeeded in the governorship of Palestine by Porcius Festus, before whom the apostle was again heard. But judging it right at this crisis to claim the privilege of a Roman citizen, he appealed to the emperor (Acts 25:11). Such an appeal could not be disregarded, and Paul was at once sent on to Rome under the charge of one Julius, a centurion of the “Augustan cohort.” After a long and perilous voyage, he at length reached the imperial city in the early spring, probably, of A.D. 61. Here he was permitted to occupy his own hired house, under constant military custody. This privilege was accorded to him, no doubt, because he was a Roman citizen, and as such could not be put into prison without a trial. The soldiers who kept guard over Paul were of course changed at frequent intervals, and thus he had the opportunity of preaching the gospel to many of them during these “two whole years,” and with the blessed result of spreading among the imperial guards, and even in Caesar’s household, an interest in the truth (Phil. 1:13). His rooms were resorted to by many anxious inquirers, both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 28:23, 30, 31), and thus his imprisonment “turned rather to the furtherance of the gospel,” and his “hired house” became the centre of a gracious influence which spread over the whole city. According to a Jewish tradition, it was situated on the borders of the modern Ghetto, which has been the Jewish quarters in Rome from the time of Pompey to the present day. During this period the apostle wrote his epistles to the Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, and to Philemon, and probably also to the Hebrews.
This first imprisonment came at length to a close, Paul having been acquitted, probably because no witnesses appeared against him. Once more he set out on his missionary labours, probably visiting western and eastern Europe and Asia Minor. During this period of freedom he wrote his First Epistle to Timothy and his Epistle to Titus. The year of his release was signalized by the burning of Rome, which Nero saw fit to attribute to the Christians. A fierce persecution now broke out against the Christians. Paul was siezed, and once more conveyed to Rome a prisoner. During this imprisonment he probably wrote the Second Epistle to Timothy, the last he ever wrote. “There can be little doubt that he appered again at Nero’s bar, and this time the charge did not break down. In all history there is not a more startling illustration of the irony of human life than this scene of Paul at the bar of Nero. On the judgment-seat, clad in the imperial purple, sat a man who, in a bad world, had attained the eminence of being the very worst and meanest being in it, a man stained with every crime, a man whose whole being was so steeped in every nameable and unnameable vice, that body and soul of him were, as some one said at the time, nothing but a compound of mud and blood; and in the prisoner’s dock stood the best man the world possessed, his hair whitened with labours for the good of men and the glory of God. The trial ended: Paul was condemned, and delivered over to the executioner. He was led out of the city, with a crowd of the lowest rabble at his heels. The fatal spot was reached; he knelt beside the block; the headsman’s axe gleamed in the sun and fell; and the head of the apostle of the world rolled down in the dust” (probably A.D. 66), four years before the fall of Jerusalem.
Pavement It was the custom of the Roman governors to erect their tribunals in open places, as the market-place, the circus, or even the highway. Pilate caused his seat of judgment to be set down in a place called “the Pavement” (John 19:13) i.e., a place paved with a mosaic of coloured stones. It was probably a place thus prepared in front of the “judgment hall.” (See GABBATHA.)
Pavilion A tent or tabernacle (2 Sam. 22:12; 1 Kings 20:12-16), or enclosure (Ps. 18:11; 27:5). In Jer. 43:10 it probably denotes the canopy suspended over the judgement-seat of the king.
Peace offerings (Heb. shelamim), detailed regulations regarding given in Lev. 3; 7:11-21, 29-34. They were of three kinds, (1) eucharistic or thanksgiving offerings, expressive of gratitude for blessings received; (2) in fulfilment of a vow, but expressive also of thanks for benefits recieved; and (3) free-will offerings, something spontaneously devoted to God.
Peacock (Heb. tuk, apparently borrowed from the Tamil tokei). This bird is indigenous to India. It was brought to Solomon by his ships from Tarshish (1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chr. 9:21), which in this case was probably a district on the Malabar coast of India, or in Ceylon. The word so rendered in Job 39:13 literally means wild, tumultuous crying, and properly denotes the female ostrich (q.v.).
Pearl (Heb. gabish, Job 28:18; Gr. margarites, Matt. 7:6; 13:46; Rev. 21:21). The pearl oyster is found in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Its shell is the “mother of pearl,” which is of great value for ornamental purposes (1 Tim. 2:9; Rev. 17:4). Each shell contains eight or ten pearls of various sizes.
Peculiar As used in the phrase “peculiar people” in 1 Pet. 2:9, is derived from the Lat. peculium, and denotes, as rendered in the Revised Version (“a people for God’s own possession”), a special possession or property. The church is the “property” of God, his “purchased possession” (Eph. 1:14; R.V., “God’s own possession”).
Pedahel Redeemed of God, the son of Ammihud, a prince of Naphtali (Num. 34:28).
Pedahzur Rock of redemption, the father of Gamaliel and prince of Manasseh at the time of the Exodus (Num. 1:10; 2:20).
Pedaiah Redemption of the Lord. (1.) The father of Zebudah, who was the wife of Josiah and mother of king Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:36).
(2.) The father of Zerubbabel (1 Chr. 3:17-19).
(3.). The father of Joel, ruler of the half-tribe of Manasseh (1 Chr. 27:20).
(4.) Neh. 3:25.
(5.) A Levite (8:4).
(6.) A Benjamite (11:7).
(7.) A Levite (13:13).
Pekah Open-eyed, the son of Remaliah a captain in the army of Pekahiah, king of Israel, whom he slew, with the aid of a band of Gileadites, and succeeded (B.C. 758) on the throne (2 Kings 15:25). Seventeen years after this he entered into an alliance with Rezin, king of Syria, and took part with him in besieging Jerusalem (2 Kings 15:37; 16:5). But Tiglath-pilser, who was in alliance with Ahaz, king of Judah, came up against Pekah, and carried away captive many of the inhabitants of his kingdom (2 Kings 15:29). This was the beginning of the “Captivity.” Soon after this Pekah was put to death by Hoshea, the son of Elah, who usurped the throne (2 Kings 15:30; 16:1-9. Comp. Isa. 7:16; 8:4; 9:12). He is supposed by some to have been the “shephard” mentioned in Zech. 11:16.
Pekahiah The Lord opened his eyes, the son and successor of Menahem on the throne of Israel. He was murdered in the royal palace of Samaria by Pekah, one of the captains of his army (2 Kings 15:23-26), after a reign of two years (B.C. 761-759). He “did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.”
Pekod Probably a place in Babylonia (Jer. 50:21; Ezek. 23:23). It is the opinion, however, of some that this word signifies “visitation,” “punishment,” and allegorically “designates Babylon as the city which was to be destroyed.”
Pelaiah Distinguished of the Lord. (1.) One of David’s posterity (1 Chr. 3:24).
(2.) A Levite who expounded the law (Neh. 8:7).
Pelatiah Deliverance of the Lord. (1.) A son of Hananiah and grandson of Zerubbabel (1 Chr. 3:21).
(2.) A captain of “the sons of Simeon” (4:42).
(3.) Neh. 10:22.
(4.) One of the twenty-five princes of the people against whom Ezekiel prophesied on account of their wicked counsel (Ezek. 11:1-13).
Peleg Division, one of the sons of Eber; so called because “in his days was the earth divided” (Gen. 10:25). Possibly he may have lived at the time of the dispersion from Babel. But more probably the reference is to the dispersion of the two races which sprang from Eber, the one spreading towards Mesopotamia and Syria, and the other southward into Arabia.
Pelet Deliverance. (1.) A descendant of Judah (1 Chr. 2:47).
(2.) A Benjamite who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:3).
Peleth Swiftness. (1.) A Reubenite whose son was one of the conspirators against Moses and Aaron (Num. 16:1).
(2.) One of the sons of Jonathan (1 Chr. 2:33).
Pelethites Mentioned always along with the Cherethites, and only in the time of David. The word probably means “runners” or “couriers,” and may denote that while forming part of David’s bodyguard, they were also sometimes employed as couriers (2 Sam. 8:18; 20:7, 23;1 Kings 1:38, 44; 1 Chr. 18:17). Some, however, think that these are the names simply of two Philistine tribes from which David selected his body-guard. They are mentioned along with the Gittites (2 Sam. 15:18), another body of foreign troops whom David gathered round him.
Pelicans Are frequently met with at the waters of Merom and the Sea of Galilee. The pelican is ranked among unclean birds (Lev. 11:18; Deut. 14:17). It is of an enormous size, being about 6 feet long, with wings stretching out over 12 feet. The Hebrew name (kaath, i.e., “vomiter”) of this bird is incorrectly rendered “cormorant” in the Authorized Version of Isa. 34:11 and Zeph. 2:14, but correctly in the Revised Version. It receives its Hebrew name from its habit of storing in its pouch large quantities of fish, which it disgorges when it feeds its young. Two species are found on the Syrian coast, the Pelicanus onocrotalus, or white pelican, and the Pelicanus crispus, or Dalmatian pelican.
Penny (Gr. denarion), a silver coin of the value of about 7 1/2d. or 8d. of our present money. It is thus rendered in the New Testament, and is more frequently mentioned than any other coin (Matt. 18:28; 20:2, 9, 13; Mark 6:37; 14:5, etc.). It was the daily pay of a Roman soldier in the time of Christ. In the reign of Edward III. an English penny was a labourer’s day’s wages. This was the “tribute money” with reference to which our Lord said, “Whose image and superscription is this?” When they answered, “Caesar’s,” he replied, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:19; Mark 12:15).
Pentateuch The five-fold volume, consisting of the first five books of the Old Testament. This word does not occur in Scripture, nor is it certainly known when the roll was thus divided into five portions Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. Probably that was done by the LXX. translators. Some modern critics speak of a Hexateuch, introducing the Book of Joshua as one of the group. But this book is of an entirely different character from the other books, and has a different author. It stands by itself as the first of a series of historical books beginning with the entrance of the Israelites into Canaan. (See JOSHUA.)
The books composing the Pentateuch are properly but one book, the “Law of Moses,” the “Book of the Law of Moses,” the “Book of Moses,” or, as the Jews designate it, the “Torah” or “Law.” That in its present form it “proceeds from a single author is proved by its plan and aim, according to which its whole contents refer to the covenant concluded between Jehovah and his people, by the instrumentality of Moses, in such a way that everything before his time is perceived to be preparatory to this fact, and all the rest to be the development of it. Nevertheless, this unity has not been stamped upon it as a matter of necessity by the latest redactor: it has been there from the beginning, and is visible in the first plan and in the whole execution of the work.”, Keil, Einl. i.d. A. T.
A certain school of critics have set themselves to reconstruct the books of the Old Testament. By a process of “scientific study” they have discovered that the so-called historical books of the Old Testament are not history at all, but a miscellaneous collection of stories, the inventions of many different writers, patched together by a variety of editors! As regards the Pentateuch, they are not ashamed to attribute fraud, and even conspiracy, to its authors, who sought to find acceptance to their work which was composed partly in the age of Josiah, and partly in that of Ezra and Nehemiah, by giving it out to be the work of Moses! This is not the place to enter into the details of this controversy. We may say frankly, however, that we have no faith in this “higher criticism.” It degrades the books of the Old Testament below the level of fallible human writings, and the arguments on which its speculations are built are altogether untenable.
The evidences in favour of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch are conclusive. We may thus state some of them briefly:
(1.) These books profess to have been written by Moses in the name of God (Ex. 17:14; 24:3, 4, 7; 32:7-10, 30-34; 34:27; Lev. 26:46; 27:34; Deut. 31:9, 24, 25).
(2.) This also is the uniform and persistent testimony of the Jews of all sects in all ages and countries (comp. Josh. 8:31, 32; 1 Kings 2:3; Jer. 7:22; Ezra 6:18; Neh. 8:1; Mal. 4:4; Matt. 22:24; Acts 15:21).
(3.) Our Lord plainly taught the Mosaic authorship of these books (Matt. 5:17, 18; 19:8; 22:31, 32; 23:2; Mark 10:9; 12:26; Luke 16:31; 20:37; 24:26, 27, 44; John 3:14; 5:45, 46, 47; 6:32, 49; 7:19, 22). In the face of this fact, will any one venture to allege either that Christ was ignorant of the composition of the Bible, or that, knowing the true state of the case, he yet encouraged the people in the delusion they clung to?
(4.) From the time of Joshua down to the time of Ezra there is, in the intermediate historical books, a constant reference to the Pentateuch as the “Book of the Law of Moses.” This is a point of much importance, inasmuch as the critics deny that there is any such reference; and hence they deny the historical character of the Pentateuch. As regards the Passover, e.g., we find it frequently spoken of or alluded to in the historical books following the Pentateuch, showing that the “Law of Moses” was then certainly known. It was celebrated in the time of Joshua (Josh. 5:10, cf. 4:19), Hezekiah (2 Chr. 30), Josiah (2 Kings 23; 2 Chr. 35), and Zerubbabel (Ezra 6:19-22), and is referred to in such passages as 2 Kings 23:22; 2 Chr. 35:18; 1 Kings 9:25 (“three times in a year”); 2 Chr. 8:13. Similarly we might show frequent references to the Feast of Tabernacles and other Jewish institutions, although we do not admit that any valid argument can be drawn from the silence of Scripture in such a case. An examination of the following texts, 1 Kings 2:9; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chr. 23:18; 25:4; 34:14; Ezra 3:2; 7:6; Dan. 9:11, 13, will also plainly show that the “Law of Moses” was known during all these centuries.
Granting that in the time of Moses there existed certain oral traditions or written records and documents which he was divinely led to make use of in his history, and that his writing was revised by inspired successors, this will fully account for certain peculiarities of expression which critics have called “anachronisms” and “contradictions,” but in no way militates against the doctrine that Moses was the original author of the whole of the Pentateuch. It is not necessary for us to affirm that the whole is an original composition; but we affirm that the evidences clearly demonstrate that Moses was the author of those books which have come down to us bearing his name. The Pentateuch is certainly the basis and necessary preliminary of the whole of the Old Testament history and literature. (See DEUTERONOMY.)
Pentecost I.e., “fiftieth”, found only in the New Testament (Acts 2:1; 20:16; 1 Cor. 16:8). The festival so named is first spoken of in Ex. 23:16 as “the feast of harvest,” and again in Ex. 34:22 as “the day of the firstfruits” (Num. 28:26). From the sixteenth of the month of Nisan (the second day of the Passover), seven complete weeks, i.e., forty-nine days, were to be reckoned, and this feast was held on the fiftieth day. The manner in which it was to be kept is described in Lev. 23:15-19; Num. 28:27-29. Besides the sacrifices prescribed for the occasion, every one was to bring to the Lord his “tribute of a free-will offering” (Deut. 16:9-11). The purpose of this feast was to commemorate the completion of the grain harvest. Its distinguishing feature was the offering of “two leavened loaves” made from the new corn of the completed harvest, which, with two lambs, were waved before the Lord as a thank offering.
The day of Pentecost is noted in the Christian Church as the day on which the Spirit descended upon the apostles, and on which, under Peter’s preaching, so many thousands were converted in Jerusalem (Acts 2).
Penuel Face of God, a place not far from Succoth, on the east of the Jordan and north of the river Jabbok. It is also called “Peniel.” Here Jacob wrestled (Gen. 32:24-32) “with a man” (“the angel”, Hos. 12:4. Jacob says of him, “I have seen God face to face”) “till the break of day.”
A town was afterwards built there (Judg. 8:8; 1 Kings 12:25). The men of this place refused to succour Gideon and his little army when they were in pursuit of the Midianites (Judg. 8:1-21). On his return, Gideon slew the men of this city and razed its lofty watch-tower to the ground.
Peor Opening. (1.) A mountain peak (Num. 23:28) to which Balak led Balaam as a last effort to induce him to pronounce a curse upon Israel. When he looked on the tribes encamped in the acacia groves below him, he could not refrain from giving utterance to a remarkable benediction (24:1-9). Balak was more than ever enraged at Balaam, and bade him flee for his life. But before he went he gave expression to that wonderful prediction regarding the future of this mysterious people, whose “goodly tents” were spread out before him, and the coming of a “Star” out of Jacob and a “Sceptre” out of Israel (24:14-17).
(2.) A Moabite divinity, called also “Baal-peor” (Num. 25:3, 5, 18; comp. Deut. 3:29).
Perazim, Mount Mount of breaches, only in Isa. 28:21. It is the same as BAAL-PERAZIM (q.v.), where David gained a victory over the Philistines (2 Sam. 5:20).
Peres Divided, one of the mysterious words “written over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall” of king Belshazzar’s palace (Dan. 5:28). (See MENE.)
Perez =Pharez, (q.v.), breach, the son of Judah (Neh. 11:4). “The chief of all the captains of the host for the first month” in the reign of David was taken from his family (1 Chr. 27:3). Four hundred and sixty-eight of his “sons” came back from captivity with Zerubbabel, who himself was one of them (1 Chr. 9:4; Neh. 11:6).
Perez-uzzah The breach of Uzzah, a place where God “burst forth upon Uzzah, so that he died,” when he rashly “took hold” of the ark (2 Sam. 6:6-8). It was not far from Kirjath-jearim (q.v.).
Perfection See SANCTIFICATION.
Perfumes Were used in religious worship, and for personal and domestic enjoyment (Ex. 30:35-37; Prov. 7:17; Cant. 3:6; Isa. 57:9); and also in embalming the dead, and in other funeral ceremonies (Mark 14:8; Luke 24:1; John 19:39).
Perga The capital of Pamphylia, on the coast of Asia Minor. Paul and his companions landed at this place from Cyprus on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:13, 14), and here Mark forsook the party and returned to Jerusalem. Some time afterwards Paul and Barnabas again visited this city and “preached the word” (14:25). It stood on the banks of the river Cestrus, some 7 miles from its mouth, and was a place of some commercial importance. It is now a ruin, called Eski Kalessi.
Pergamos The chief city of Mysia, in Asia Minor. One of the “seven churches” was planted here (Rev. 1:11; 2:17). It was noted for its wickedness, insomuch that our Lord says “Satan’s seat” was there. The church of Pergamos was rebuked for swerving from the truth and embracing the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitanes. Antipas, Christ’s “faithful martyr,” here sealed his testimony with his blood.
This city stood on the banks of the river Caicus, about 20 miles from the sea. It is now called Bergama, and has a population of some twenty thousand, of whom about two thousand profess to be Christians. Parchment (q.v.) was first made here, and was called by the Greeks pergamene, from the name of the city.
Perida Kernel, Neh. 7:57. (See PERUDA.)
Perizzites Villagers; dwellers in the open country, the Canaanitish nation inhabiting the fertile regions south and south-west of Carmel. “They were the graziers, farmers, and peasants of the time.” They were to be driven out of the land by the descendants of Abraham (Gen. 15:20; Ex. 3:8, 17; 23:23; 33:2; 34:11). They are afterwards named among the conquered tribes (Josh. 24:11). Still lingering in the land, however, they were reduced to servitude by Solomon (1 Kings 9:20).
Persecution The first great persecution for religious opinion of which we have any record was that which broke out against the worshippers of God among the Jews in the days of Ahab, when that king, at the instigation of his wife Jezebel, “a woman in whom, with the reckless and licentious habits of an Oriental queen, were united the fiercest and sternest qualities inherent in the old Semitic race”, sought in the most relentless manner to extirpate the worship of Jehovah and substitute in its place the worship of Ashtoreth and Baal. Ahab’s example in this respect was followed by Manasseh, who “shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another” (2 Kings 21:16; comp. 24:4). In all ages, in one form or another, the people of God have had to suffer persecution. In its earliest history the Christian church passed through many bloody persecutions. Of subsequent centuries in our own and in other lands the same sad record may be made.
Christians are forbidden to seek the propagation of the gospel by force (Matt. 7:1; Luke 9:54-56; Rom. 14:4; James 4:11, 12). The words of Ps. 7:13, “He ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors,” ought rather to be, as in the Revised Version, “He maketh his arrows fiery [shafts].”
Perseverance of the saints Their certain continuance in a state of grace. Once justified and regenerated, the believer can neither totally nor finally fall away from grace, but will certainly persevere therein and attain everlasting life.
This doctrine is clearly taught in these passages, John 10:28, 29; Rom. 11:29; Phil. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:5. It, moreover, follows from a consideration of (1) the immutability of the divine decrees (Jer. 31:3; Matt. 24:22-24; Acts 13:48; Rom. 8:30); (2) the provisions of the covenant of grace (Jer. 32:40; John 10:29; 17:2-6); (3) the atonement and intercession of Christ (Isa. 53:6, 11; Matt. 20:28; 1 Pet. 2:24; John 11:42; 17:11, 15, 20; Rom. 8:34); and (4) the indwelling of the Holy Ghost (John 14:16; 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14; 1 John 3:9).
This doctrine is not inconsistent with the truth that the believer may nevertheless fall into grievous sin, and continue therein for some time. (See BACKSLIDE.)
Persia An ancient empire, extending from the Indus to Thrace, and from the Caspian Sea to the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. The Persians were originally a Medic tribe which settled in Persia, on the eastern side of the Persian Gulf. They were Aryans, their language belonging to the eastern division of the Indo-European group. One of their chiefs, Teispes, conquered Elam in the time of the decay of the Assyrian Empire, and established himself in the district of Anzan. His descendants branched off into two lines, one line ruling in Anzan, while the other remained in Persia. Cyrus II., king of Anzan, finally united the divided power, conquered Media, Lydia, and Babylonia, and carried his arms into the far East. His son, Cambyses, added Egypt to the empire, which, however, fell to pieces after his death. It was reconquered and thoroughly organized by Darius, the son of Hystaspes, whose dominions extended from India to the Danube.
Persis A female Christian at Rome whom Paul salutes (Rom. 16:12). She is spoken of as “beloved,” and as having “laboured much in the Lord.”
Peruda One whose descendants returned with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:55); called also Perida (Neh. 7:57).
Peter Originally called Simon (=Simeon, i.e., “hearing”), a very common Jewish name in the New Testament. He was the son of Jona (Matt. 16:17). His mother is nowhere named in Scripture. He had a younger brother called Andrew, who first brought him to Jesus (John 1:40-42). His native town was Bethsaida, on the western coast of the Sea of Galilee, to which also Philip belonged. Here he was brought up by the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and was trained to the occupation of a fisher. His father had probably died while he was still young, and he and his brother were brought up under the care of Zebedee and his wife Salome (Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:40; 16:1). There the four youths, Simon, Andrew, James, and John, spent their boyhood and early manhood in constant fellowship. Simon and his brother doubtless enjoyed all the advantages of a religious training, and were early instructed in an acquaintance with the Scriptures and with the great prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah. They did not probably enjoy, however, any special training in the study of the law under any of the rabbis. When Peter appeared before the Sanhedrin, he looked like an “unlearned man” (Acts 4:13).
“Simon was a Galilean, and he was that out and out…The Galileans had a marked character of their own. They had a reputation for an independence and energy which often ran out into turbulence. They were at the same time of a franker and more transparent disposition than their brethren in the south. In all these respects, in bluntness, impetuosity, headiness, and simplicity, Simon was a genuine Galilean. They spoke a peculiar dialect. They had a difficulty with the guttural sounds and some others, and their pronunciation was reckoned harsh in Judea. The Galilean accent stuck to Simon all through his career. It betrayed him as a follower of Christ when he stood within the judgment-hall (Mark 14:70). It betrayed his own nationality and that of those conjoined with him on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:7).” It would seem that Simon was married before he became an apostle. His wife’s mother is referred to (Matt. 8:14; Mark 1:30; Luke 4:38). He was in all probability accompanied by his wife on his missionary journeys (1 Cor. 9:5; comp. 1 Pet. 5:13).
He appears to have been settled at Capernaum when Christ entered on his public ministry, and may have reached beyond the age of thirty. His house was large enough to give a home to his brother Andrew, his wife’s mother, and also to Christ, who seems to have lived with him (Mark 1:29, 36; 2:1), as well as to his own family. It was apparently two stories high (2:4).
At Bethabara (R.V., John 1:28, “Bethany”), beyond Jordan, John the Baptist had borne testimony concerning Jesus as the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29-36). Andrew and John hearing it, followed Jesus, and abode with him where he was. They were convinced, by his gracious words and by the authority with which he spoke, that he was the Messiah (Luke 4:22; Matt. 7:29); and Andrew went forth and found Simon and brought him to Jesus (John 1:41).
Jesus at once recognized Simon, and declared that hereafter he would be called Cephas, an Aramaic name corresponding to the Greek Petros, which means “a mass of rock detached from the living rock.” The Aramaic name does not occur again, but the name Peter gradually displaces the old name Simon, though our Lord himself always uses the name Simon when addressing him (Matt. 17:25; Mark 14:37; Luke 22:31, comp. 21:15-17). We are not told what impression the first interview with Jesus produced on the mind of Simon. When we next meet him it is by the Sea of Galilee (Matt. 4:18-22). There the four (Simon and Andrew, James and John) had had an unsuccessful night’s fishing. Jesus appeared suddenly, and entering into Simon’s boat, bade him launch forth and let down the nets. He did so, and enclosed a great multitude of fishes. This was plainly a miracle wrought before Simon’s eyes. The awe-stricken disciple cast himself at the feet of Jesus, crying, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8). Jesus addressed him with the assuring words, “Fear not,” and announced to him his life’s work. Simon responded at once to the call to become a disciple, and after this we find him in constant attendance on our Lord.
He is next called into the rank of the apostleship, and becomes a “fisher of men” (Matt. 4:19) in the stormy seas of the world of human life (Matt. 10:2-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:13-16), and takes a more and more prominent part in all the leading events of our Lord’s life. It is he who utters that notable profession of faith at Capernaum (John 6:66-69), and again at Caesarea Philippi (Matt. 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-20). This profession at Caesarea was one of supreme importance, and our Lord in response used these memorable words: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.”
“From that time forth” Jesus began to speak of his sufferings. For this Peter rebuked him. But our Lord in return rebuked Peter, speaking to him in sterner words than he ever used to any other of his disciples (Matt. 16:21-23; Mark 8:31-33). At the close of his brief sojourn at Caesarea our Lord took Peter and James and John with him into “an high mountain apart,” and was transfigured before them. Peter on that occasion, under the impression the scene produced on his mind, exclaimed, “Lord, it is good for us to be here: let us make three tabernacles” (Matt. 17:1-9).
On his return to Capernaum the collectors of the temple tax (a didrachma, half a sacred shekel), which every Israelite of twenty years old and upwards had to pay (Ex. 30:15), came to Peter and reminded him that Jesus had not paid it (Matt. 17:24-27). Our Lord instructed Peter to go and catch a fish in the lake and take from its mouth the exact amount needed for the tax, viz., a stater, or two half-shekels. “That take,” said our Lord, “and give unto them for me and thee.”
As the end was drawing nigh, our Lord sent Peter and John (Luke 22:7-13) into the city to prepare a place where he should keep the feast with his disciples. There he was forewarned of the fearful sin into which he afterwards fell (22:31-34). He accompanied our Lord from the guest-chamber to the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-46), which he and the other two who had been witnesses of the transfiguration were permitted to enter with our Lord, while the rest were left without. Here he passed through a strange experience. Under a sudden impulse he cut off the ear of Malchus (47-51), one of the band that had come forth to take Jesus. Then follow the scenes of the judgment-hall (54-61) and his bitter grief (62).
He is found in John’s company early on the morning of the resurrection. He boldly entered into the empty grave (John 20:1-10), and saw the “linen clothes laid by themselves” (Luke 24:9-12). To him, the first of the apostles, our risen Lord revealed himself, thus conferring on him a signal honour, and showing how fully he was restored to his favour (Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5). We next read of our Lord’s singular interview with Peter on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where he thrice asked him, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” (John 21:1-19). (See LOVE.)
After this scene at the lake we hear nothing of Peter till he again appears with the others at the ascension (Acts 1:15-26). It was he who proposed that the vacancy caused by the apostasy of Judas should be filled up. He is prominent on the day of Pentecost (2:14-40). The events of that day “completed the change in Peter himself which the painful discipline of his fall and all the lengthened process of previous training had been slowly making. He is now no more the unreliable, changeful, self-confident man, ever swaying between rash courage and weak timidity, but the stead-fast, trusted guide and director of the fellowship of believers, the intrepid preacher of Christ in Jerusalem and abroad. And now that he is become Cephas indeed, we hear almost nothing of the name Simon (only in Acts 10:5, 32; 15:14), and he is known to us finally as Peter.”
After the miracle at the temple gate (Acts 3) persecution arose against the Christians, and Peter was cast into prison. He boldly defended himself and his companions at the bar of the council (4:19, 20). A fresh outburst of violence against the Christians (5:17-21) led to the whole body of the apostles being cast into prison; but during the night they were wonderfully delivered, and were found in the morning teaching in the temple. A second time Peter defended them before the council (Acts 5:29-32), who, “when they had called the apostles and beaten them, let them go.”
The time had come for Peter to leave Jerusalem. After labouring for some time in Samaria, he returned to Jerusalem, and reported to the church there the results of his work (Acts 8:14-25). Here he remained for a period, during which he met Paul for the first time since his conversion (9:26-30; Gal. 1:18). Leaving Jerusalem again, he went forth on a missionary journey to Lydda and Joppa (Acts 9:32-43). He is next called on to open the door of the Christian church to the Gentiles by the admission of Cornelius of Caesarea (ch. 10).
After remaining for some time at Caesarea, he returned to Jerusalem (Acts 11:1-18), where he defended his conduct with reference to the Gentiles. Next we hear of his being cast into prison by Herod Agrippa (12:1-19); but in the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison gates, and he went forth and found refuge in the house of Mary.
He took part in the deliberations of the council in Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-31; Gal. 2:1-10) regarding the relation of the Gentiles to the church. This subject had awakened new interest at Antioch, and for its settlement was referred to the council of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. Here Paul and Peter met again.
We have no further mention of Peter in the Acts of the Apostles. He seems to have gone down to Antioch after the council at Jerusalem, and there to have been guilty of dissembling, for which he was severely reprimanded by Paul (Gal. 2:11-16), who “rebuked him to his face.”
After this he appears to have carried the gospel to the east, and to have laboured for a while at Babylon, on the Euphrates (1 Pet. 5:13). There is no satisfactory evidence that he was ever at Rome. Where or when he died is not certainly known. Probably he died between A.D. 64 and 67.
Peter, First Epistle of This epistle is addressed to “the strangers scattered abroad”, i.e., to the Jews of the Dispersion (the Diaspora).
Its object is to confirm its readers in the doctrines they had been already taught. Peter has been called “the apostle of hope,” because this epistle abounds with words of comfort and encouragement fitted to sustain a “lively hope.” It contains about thirty-five references to the Old Testament.
It was written from Babylon, on the Euphrates, which was at this time one of the chief seats of Jewish learning, and a fitting centre for labour among the Jews. It has been noticed that in the beginning of his epistle Peter names the provinces of Asia Minor in the order in which they would naturally occur to one writing from Babylon. He counsels (1) to steadfastness and perseverance under persecution (1-2:10); (2) to the practical duties of a holy life (2:11-3:13); (3) he adduces the example of Christ and other motives to patience and holiness (3:14-4:19); and (4) concludes with counsels to pastors and people (ch. 5).
Peter, Second Epistle of The question of the authenticity of this epistle has been much discussed, but the weight of evidence is wholly in favour of its claim to be the production of the apostle whose name it bears. It appears to have been written shortly before the apostle’s death (1:14). This epistle contains eleven references to the Old Testament. It also contains (3:15, 16) a remarkable reference to Paul’s epistles. Some think this reference is to 1 Thess. 4:13-5:11. A few years ago, among other documents, a parchment fragment, called the “Gospel of Peter,” was discovered in a Christian tomb at Akhmim in Upper Egypt. Origen (obiit A.D. 254), Eusebius (obiit 340), and Jerome (obiit 420) refer to such a work, and hence it has been concluded that it was probably written about the middle of the second century. It professes to give a history of our Lord’s resurrection and ascension. While differing in not a few particulars from the canonical Gospels, the writer shows plainly that he was acquinted both with the synoptics and with the Gospel of John. Though apocryphal, it is of considerable value as showing that the main facts of the history of our Lord were then widely known.
Pethahiah Loosed of the Lord. (1.) The chief of one of the priestly courses (the nineteenth) in the time of David (1 Chr. 24:16). (2.) A Levite (Ezra 10:23). (3.) Neh. 9:5. (4.) A descendant of Judah who had some office at the court of Persia (Neh. 11:24).
Pethor Interpretation of dreams, identified with Pitru, on the west bank of the Euphrates, a few miles south of the Hittite capital of Carchemish (Num. 22:5, “which is by the river of the land of the children of [the god] Ammo”). (See BALAAM.)
Pethuel Vision of God, the father of Joel the prophet (Joel 1:1).
Petra Rock, Isa. 16:1, marg. (See SELA.)
Peulthai Wages of the Lord, one of the sons of Obed-edom, a Levite porter (1 Chr. 26:5).
Phalec (Luke 3:35)=Peleg (q.v.), Gen. 11:16.
Phallu Separated, the second son of Reuben (Gen. 46:9).
Phalti Deliverance of the Lord, the son of Laish of Gallim (1 Sam. 25:44)= Phaltiel (2 Sam. 3:15). Michal, David’s wife, was given to him.
Phanuel Face of God, father of the prophetess Anna (q.v.), Luke 2:36.
Pharaoh The official title borne by the Egyptian kings down to the time when that country was conquered by the Greeks. (See EGYPT.) The name is a compound, as some think, of the words Ra, the “sun” or “sun-god,” and the article phe, “the,” prefixed; hence phera, “the sun,” or “the sun-god.” But others, perhaps more correctly, think the name derived from Perao, “the great house” = his majesty = in Turkish, “the Sublime Porte.”
(1.) The Pharaoh who was on the throne when Abram went down into Egypt (Gen. 12:10-20) was probably one of the Hyksos, or “shepherd kings.” The Egyptians called the nomad tribes of Syria Shasu, “plunderers,” their king or chief Hyk, and hence the name of those invaders who conquered the native kings and established a strong government, with Zoan or Tanis as their capital. They were of Semitic origin, and of kindred blood accordingly with Abram. They were probably driven forward by the pressure of the Hittites. The name they bear on the monuments is “Mentiu.”
(2.) The Pharaoh of Joseph’s days (Gen. 41) was probably Apopi, or Apopis, the last of the Hyksos kings. To the old native Egyptians, who were an African race, shepherds were “an abomination;” but to the Hyksos kings these Asiatic shepherds who now appeared with Jacob at their head were congenial, and being akin to their own race, had a warm welcome (Gen. 47:5, 6). Some argue that Joseph came to Egypt in the reign of Thothmes III., long after the expulsion of the Hyksos, and that his influence is to be seen in the rise and progress of the religious revolution in the direction of monotheism which characterized the middle of the Eighteenth Dynasty. The wife of Amenophis III., of that dynasty, was a Semite. Is this singular fact to be explained from the presence of some of Joseph’s kindred at the Egyptian court? Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee: the land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell” (Gen. 47:5, 6).
(3.) The “new king who knew not Joseph” (Ex. 1:8-22) has been generally supposed to have been Aahmes I., or Amosis, as he is called by Josephus. Recent discoveries, however, have led to the conclusion that Seti was the “new king.”
For about seventy years the Hebrews in Egypt were under the powerful protection of Joseph. After his death their condition was probably very slowly and gradually changed. The invaders, the Hyksos, who for some five centuries had been masters of Egypt, were driven out, and the old dynasty restored. The Israelites now began to be looked down upon. They began to be afflicted and tyrannized over. In process of time a change appears to have taken place in the government of Egypt. A new dynasty, the Nineteenth, as it is called, came into power under Seti I., who was its founder. He associated with him in his government his son, Rameses II., when he was yet young, probably ten or twelve years of age.
Note, Professor Maspero, keeper of the museum of Bulak, near Cairo, had his attention in 1870 directed to the fact that scarabs, i.e., stone and metal imitations of the beetle (symbols of immortality), originally worn as amulets by royal personages, which were evidently genuine relics of the time of the ancient Pharaohs, were being sold at Thebes and different places along the Nile. This led him to suspect that some hitherto undiscovered burial-place of the Pharaohs had been opened, and that these and other relics, now secretly sold, were a part of the treasure found there. For a long time he failed, with all his ingenuity, to find the source of these rare treasures. At length one of those in the secret volunteered to give information regarding this burial-place. The result was that a party was conducted in 1881 to Dier el-Bahari, near Thebes, when the wonderful discovery was made of thirty-six mummies of kings, queens, princes, and high priests hidden away in a cavern prepared for them, where they had lain undisturbed for thirty centuries. “The temple of Deir el-Bahari stands in the middle of a natural amphitheatre of cliffs, which is only one of a number of smaller amphitheatres into which the limestone mountains of the tombs are broken up. In the wall of rock separating this basin from the one next to it some ancient Egyptian engineers had constructed the hiding-place, whose secret had been kept for nearly three thousand years.” The exploring party being guided to the place, found behind a great rock a shaft 6 feet square and about 40 feet deep, sunk into the limestone. At the bottom of this a passage led westward for 25 feet, and then turned sharply northward into the very heart of the mountain, where in a chamber 23 feet by 13, and 6 feet in height, they came upon the wonderful treasures of antiquity. The mummies were all carefully secured and brought down to Bulak, where they were deposited in the royal museum, which has now been removed to Ghizeh.
Among the most notable of the ancient kings of Egypt thus discovered were Thothmes III., Seti I., and Rameses II. Thothmes III. was the most distinguished monarch of the brilliant Eighteenth Dynasty. When this mummy was unwound “once more, after an interval of thirty-six centuries, human eyes gazed on the features of the man who had conquered Syria and Cyprus and Ethiopia, and had raised Egypt to the highest pinnacle of her power. The spectacle, however, was of brief duration. The remains proved to be in so fragile a state that there was only time to take a hasty photograph, and then the features crumbled to pieces and vanished like an apparition, and so passed away from human view for ever.” “It seems strange that though the body of this man,” who overran Palestine with his armies two hundred years before the birth of Moses, “mouldered to dust, the flowers with which it had been wreathed were so wonderfully preserved that even their colour could be distinguished” (Manning’s Land of the Pharaohs).
Seti I. (his throne name Merenptah), the father of Rameses II., was a great and successful warrior, also a great builder. The mummy of this Pharaoh, when unrolled, brought to view “the most beautiful mummy head ever seen within the walls of the museum. The sculptors of Thebes and Abydos did not flatter this Pharaoh when they gave him that delicate, sweet, and smiling profile which is the admiration of travellers. After a lapse of thirty-two centuries, the mummy retains the same expression which characterized the features of the living man. Most remarkable of all, when compared with the mummy of Rameses II., is the striking resemblance between the father and the son. Seti I. is, as it were, the idealized type of Rameses II. He must have died at an advanced age. The head is shaven, the eyebrows are white, the condition of the body points to considerably more than threescore years of life, thus confirming the opinions of the learned, who have attributed a long reign to this king.”
(4.) Rameses II., the son of Seti I., is probably the Pharaoh of the Oppression. During his forty years’ residence at the court of Egypt, Moses must have known this ruler well. During his sojourn in Midian, however, Rameses died, after a reign of sixty-seven years, and his body embalmed and laid in the royal sepulchre in the Valley of the Tombs of Kings beside that of his father. Like the other mummies found hidden in the cave of Deir el-Bahari, it had been for some reason removed from its original tomb, and probably carried from place to place till finally deposited in the cave where it was so recently discovered.
In 1886, the mummy of this king, the “great Rameses,” the “Sesostris” of the Greeks, was unwound, and showed the body of what must have been a robust old man. The features revealed to view are thus described by Maspero: “The head is long and small in proportion to the body. The top of the skull is quite bare. On the temple there are a few sparse hairs, but at the poll the hair is quite thick, forming smooth, straight locks about two inches in length. White at the time of death, they have been dyed a light yellow by the spices used in embalmment. The forehead is low and narrow; the brow-ridge prominent; the eye-brows are thick and white; the eyes are small and close together; the nose is long, thin, arched like the noses of the Bourbons; the temples are sunk; the cheek-bones very prominent; the ears round, standing far out from the head, and pierced, like those of a woman, for the wearing of earrings; the jaw-bone is massive and strong; the chin very prominent; the mouth small, but thick-lipped; the teeth worn and very brittle, but white and well preserved. The moustache and beard are thin. They seem to have been kept shaven during life, but were probably allowed to grow during the king’s last illness, or they may have grown after death. The hairs are white, like those of the head and eyebrows, but are harsh and bristly, and a tenth of an inch in length. The skin is of an earthy-brown, streaked with black. Finally, it may be said, the face of the mummy gives a fair idea of the face of the living king. The expression is unintellectual, perhaps slightly animal; but even under the somewhat grotesque disguise of mummification there is plainly to be seen an air of sovereign majesty, of resolve, and of pride.”
Both on his father’s and his mother’s side it has been pretty clearly shown that Rameses had Chaldean or Mesopotamian blood in his veins to such a degree that he might be called an Assyrian. This fact is thought to throw light on Isa. 52:4.
(5.) The Pharaoh of the Exodus was probably Menephtah I., the fourteenth and eldest surviving son of Rameses II. He resided at Zoan, where he had the various interviews with Moses and Aaron recorded in the book of Exodus. His mummy was not among those found at Deir el-Bahari. It is still a question, however, whether Seti II. or his father Menephtah was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Some think the balance of evidence to be in favour of the former, whose reign it is known began peacefully, but came to a sudden and disastrous end. The “Harris papyrus,” found at Medinet-Abou in Upper Egypt in 1856, a state document written by Rameses III., the second king of the Twentieth Dynasty, gives at length an account of a great exodus from Egypt, followed by wide-spread confusion and anarchy. This, there is great reason to believe, was the Hebrew exodus, with which the Nineteenth Dynasty of the Pharaohs came to an end. This period of anarchy was brought to a close by Setnekht, the founder of the Twentieth Dynasty.
“In the spring of 1896, Professor Flinders Petrie discovered, among the ruins of the temple of Menephtah at Thebes, a large granite stela, on which is engraved a hymn of victory commemorating the defeat of Libyan invaders who had overrun the Delta. At the end other victories of Menephtah are glanced at, and it is said that the Israelites (I-s-y-r-a-e-l-u) are minished (?) so that they have no seed.’ Menephtah was son and successor of Rameses II., the builder of Pithom, and Egyptian scholars have long seen in him the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The Exodus is also placed in his reign by the Egyptian legend of the event preserved by the historian Manetho. In the inscription the name of the Israelites has no determinative of country’ or ‘district’ attached to it, as is the case with all the other names (Canaan, Ashkelon, Gezer, Khar or Southern Palestine, etc.) mentioned along with it, and it would therefore appear that at the time the hymn was composed, the Israelites had already been lost to the sight of the Egyptians in the desert. At all events they must have had as yet no fixed home or district of their own. We may therefore see in the reference to them the Pharaoh’s version of the Exodus, the disasters which befell the Egyptians being naturally passed over in silence, and only the destruction of the men children’ of the Israelites being recorded. The statement of the Egyptian poet is a remarkable parallel to Ex. 1:10-22.”
(6.) The Pharaoh of 1 Kings 11:18-22.
(7.) So, king of Egypt (2 Kings 17:4).
(8.) The Pharaoh of 1 Chr. 4:18.
(9.) Pharaoh, whose daughter Solomon married (1 Kings 3:1; 7:8).
(10.) Pharaoh, in whom Hezekiah put his trust in his war against Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:21).
(11.) The Pharaoh by whom Josiah was defeated and slain at Megiddo (2 Chr. 35:20-24; 2 Kings 23:29, 30). (See NECHO.)
(12.) Pharaoh-hophra, who in vain sought to relieve Jerusalem when it was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar (q.v.), 2 Kings 25:1-4; comp. Jer. 37:5-8; Ezek. 17:11-13. (See ZEDEKIAH.)
Pharaoh’s daughters Three princesses are thus mentioned in Scripture: (1.) The princess who adopted the infant Moses (q.v.), Ex. 2:10. She is twice mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 7:21: Heb. 11:24). It would seem that she was alive and in some position of influence about the court when Moses was compelled to flee from Egypt, and thus for forty years he had in some way been under her influence. She was in all probability the sister of Rameses, and the daughter of Seti I. Josephus calls her Thermuthis. It is supposed by some that she was Nefert-ari, the wife as well as sister of Rameses. The mummy of this queen was among the treasures found at Deir-el-Bahari.
(2.) “Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took (1 Chr. 4:18).
(3.) The wife of Solomon (1 Kings 3:1). This is the first reference since the Exodus to any connection of Israel with Egypt.
Pharez Breach, the elder of the twin sons of Judah (Gen. 38:29). From him the royal line of David sprang (Ruth 4:18-22). “The chief of all the captains of the host” was of the children of Perez (1 Chr. 27:3; Matt. 1:3).
Pharisees Separatists (Heb. persahin, from parash, “to separate”). They were probably the successors of the Assideans (i.e., the “pious”), a party that originated in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes in revolt against his heathenizing policy. The first mention of them is in a description by Josephus of the three sects or schools into which the Jews were divided (B.C. 145). The other two sects were the Essenes and the Sadducees. In the time of our Lord they were the popular party (John 7:48). They were extremely accurate and minute in all matters appertaining to the law of Moses (Matt. 9:14; 23:15; Luke 11:39; 18:12). Paul, when brought before the council of Jerusalem, professed himself a Pharisee (Acts 23:6-8; 26:4, 5).
There was much that was sound in their creed, yet their system of religion was a form and nothing more. Theirs was a very lax morality (Matt. 5:20; 15:4, 8; 23:3, 14, 23, 25; John 8:7). On the first notice of them in the New Testament (Matt. 3:7), they are ranked by our Lord with the Sadducees as a “generation of vipers.” They were noted for their self-righteousness and their pride (Matt. 9:11; Luke 7:39; 18:11, 12). They were frequently rebuked by our Lord (Matt. 12:39; 16:1-4).
From the very beginning of his ministry the Pharisees showed themselves bitter and persistent enemies of our Lord. They could not bear his doctrines, and they sought by every means to destroy his influence among the people.
Pharpar Swift, one of the rivers of Damascus (2 Kings 5:12). It has been identified with the Awaj, “a small lively river.” The whole of the district watered by the Awaj is called the Wady el-Ajam, i.e., “the valley of the Persians”, so called for some unknown reason. This river empties itself into the lake or marsh Bahret Hijaneh, on the east of Damascus. One of its branches bears the modern name of Wady Barbar, which is probably a corruption of Pharpar.
Phebe A “deaconess of the church at Cenchrea,” the port of Corinth. She was probably the bearer of Paul’s epistle to the Romans. Paul commended her to the Christians at Rome; “for she hath been,” says he, “a succourer of many, and of myself also” (Rom. 16:1, 2).
Phenice Properly Phoenix a palm-tree (as in the R.V.), a town with a harbour on the southern side of Crete (Acts 27:12), west of the Fair Havens. It is now called Lutro.
Phenicia (Acts 21:2) = Phenice (11:19; 15:3; R.V., Phoenicia), Gr. phoinix, “a palm”, the land of palm-trees; a strip of land of an average breadth of about 20 miles along the shores of the Mediterranean, from the river Eleutherus in the north to the promotory of Carmel in the south, about 120 miles in length. This name is not found in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament it is mentioned only in the passages above referred to.
“In the Egyptian inscriptions Phoenicia is called Keft, the inhabitants being Kefa; and since Keft-ur, or Greater Phoenicia,’ was the name given to the delta of the Nile from the Phoenician colonies settled upon it, the Philistines who came from Caphtor or Keft-ur must have been of Phoenician origin” (comp. Deut. 2:23; Jer. 47:4; Amos 9:7)., Sayce’s Bible and the Monuments.
Phoenicia lay in the very centre of the old world, and was the natural entrepot for commerce with foreign nations. It was the “England of antiquity.” “The trade routes from all Asia converged on the Phoenician coast; the centres of commerce on the Euphrates and Tigris forwarding their goods by way of Tyre to the Nile, to Arabia, and to the west; and, on the other hand, the productions of the vast regions bordering the Mediterranean passing through the Canaanite capital to the eastern world.” It was “situate at the entry of the sea, a merchant of the people for many isles” (Ezek. 27:3, 4). The far-reaching commercial activity of the Phoenicians, especially with Tarshish and the western world, enriched them with vast wealth, which introduced boundless luxury and developed among them a great activity in all manner of arts and manufactures. (See TYRE.)
The Phoenicians were the most enterprising merchants of the old world, establishing colonies at various places, of which Carthage was the chief. They were a Canaanite branch of the race of Ham, and are frequently called Sidonians, from their principal city of Sidon. None could “skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians” (1 Kings 5:6). King Hiram rendered important service to Solomon in connection with the planning and building of the temple, casting for him all the vessels for the temple service, and the two pillars which stood in the front of the porch, and “the molten sea” (1 Kings 7:21-23). Singular marks have been found by recent exploration on the great stones that form the substructure of the temple. These marks, both painted and engraved, have been regarded as made by the workmen in the quarries, and as probably intended to indicate the place of these stones in the building. “The Biblical account (1 Kings 5:17, 18) is accurately descriptive of the massive masonry now existing at the south-eastern angle (of the temple area), and standing on the native rock 80 feet below the present surface. The Royal Engineers found, buried deeply among the rubbish of many centuries, great stones, costly and hewed stones, forming the foundation of the sanctuary wall; while Phoenician fragments of pottery and Phoenician marks painted on the massive blocks seem to proclaim that the stones were prepared in the quarry by the cunning workmen of Hiram, the king of Tyre.” (See TEMPLE.)
The Phoenicians have been usually regarded as the inventors of alphabetic writing. The Egyptians expressed their thoughts by certain symbols, called “hieroglyphics”, i.e., sacred carvings, so styled because used almost exclusively on sacred subjects. The recent discovery, however, of inscriptions in Southern Arabia (Yemen and Hadramaut), known as Hemyaritic, in connection with various philogical considerations, has led some to the conclusion that the Phoenician alphabet was derived from the Mineans (admitting the antiquity of the kingdom of Ma’in, Judg. 10:12; 2 Chr. 26:7). Thus the Phoenician alphabet ceases to be the mother alphabet. Sayce thinks “it is more than possible that the Egyptians themselves were emigrants from Southern Arabia.” (See MOABITE STONE.)
“The Phoenicians were renowned in ancient times for the manufacture of glass, and some of the specimens of this work that have been preserved are still the wonder of mankind…In the matter of shipping, whether ship-building be thought of or traffic upon the sea, the Phoenicians surpassed all other nations.” “The name Phoenicia is of uncertain origin, though it may be derived from Fenkhu, the name given in the Egyptian inscriptions to the natives of Palestine. Among the chief Phoenician cities were Tyre and Sidon, Gebal north of Beirut, Arvad or Arados and Zemar.”
Phicol Great, the chief captain of the army of Abimelech, the Philistine king of Gerar. He entered into an alliance with Abraham with reference to a certain well which, from this circumstance, was called Beersheba (q.v.), “the well of the oath” (Gen. 21:22, 32; 26:26).
Philadelphia Brotherly love, a city of Lydia in Asia Minor, about 25 miles south-east of Sardis. It was the seat of one of the “seven churches” (Rev. 3:7-12). It came into the possession of the Turks in A.D. 1392. It has several times been nearly destroyed by earthquakes. It is still a town of considerable size, called Allahshehr, “the city of God.”
Philemon An inhabitant of Colosse, and apparently a person of some note among the citizens (Col. 4:9; Philemon 1:2). He was brought to a knowledge of the gospel through the instrumentality of Paul (19), and held a prominent place in the Christian community for his piety and beneficence (4-7). He is called in the epistle a “fellow-labourer,” and therefore probably held some office in the church at Colosse; at all events, the title denotes that he took part in the work of spreading a knowledge of the gospel.
Philemon, Epistle to Was written from Rome at the same time as the epistles to the Colossians and Ephesians, and was sent also by Onesimus. It was addressed to Philemon and the members of his family.
It was written for the purpose of interceding for Onesimus (q.v.), who had deserted his master Philemon and been “unprofitable” to him. Paul had found Onesimus at Rome, and had there been instrumental in his conversion, and now he sends him back to his master with this letter.
This epistle has the character of a strictly private letter, and is the only one of such epistles preserved to us. “It exhibits the apostle in a new light. He throws off as far as possible his apostolic dignity and his fatherly authority over his converts. He speaks simply as Christian to Christian. He speaks, therefore, with that peculiar grace of humility and courtesy which has, under the reign of Christianity, developed the spirit of chivalry and what is called the character of a gentleman,’ certainly very little known in the old Greek and Roman civilization” (Dr. Barry). (See SLAVE.)
Philetus Amiable, with Hymenaeus, at Ephesus, said that the “resurrection was past already” (2 Tim. 2:17, 18). This was a Gnostic heresy held by the Nicolaitanes. (See ALEXANDER .)
Philip Lover of horses. (1.) One of the twelve apostles; a native of Bethsaida, “the city of Andrew and Peter” (John 1:44). He readily responded to the call of Jesus when first addressed to him (43), and forthwith brought Nathanael also to Jesus (45, 46). He seems to have held a prominent place among the apostles (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; John 6:5-7; 12:21, 22; 14:8, 9; Acts 1:13). Of his later life nothing is certainly known. He is said to have preached in Phrygia, and to have met his death at Hierapolis.
(2.) One of the “seven” (Acts 6:5), called also “the evangelist” (21:8, 9). He was one of those who were “scattered abroad” by the persecution that arose on the death of Stephen. He went first to Samaria, where he laboured as an evangelist with much success (8:5-13). While he was there he received a divine command to proceed toward the south, along the road leading from Jerusalem to Gaza. These towns were connected by two roads. The one Philip was directed to take was that which led through Hebron, and thence through a district little inhabited, and hence called “desert.” As he travelled along this road he was overtaken by a chariot in which sat a man of Ethiopia, the eunuch or chief officer of Queen Candace, who was at that moment reading, probably from the Septuagint version, a portion of the prophecies of Isaiah (53:6, 7). Philip entered into conversation with him, and expounded these verses, preaching to him the glad tidings of the Saviour. The eunuch received the message and believed, and was forthwith baptized, and then “went on his way rejoicing.” Philip was instantly caught away by the Spirit after the baptism, and the eunuch saw him no more. He was next found at Azotus, whence he went forth in his evangelistic work till he came to Caesarea. He is not mentioned again for about twenty years, when he is still found at Caesarea (Acts 21:8) when Paul and his companions were on the way to Jerusalem. He then finally disappears from the page of history.
(3.) Mentioned only in connection with the imprisonment of John the Baptist (Matt. 14:3; Mark 6:17; Luke 3:19). He was the son of Herod the Great, and the first husband of Herodias, and the father of Salome. (See HEROD PHILIP I.)
(4.) The “tetrarch of Ituraea” (Luke 3:1); a son of Herod the Great, and brother of Herod Antipas. The city of Caesarea-Philippi was named partly after him (Matt. 16:13; Mark 8:27). (See HEROD PHILIP II.)
Philippi (1.) Formerly Crenides, “the fountain,” the capital of the province of Macedonia. It stood near the head of the Sea, about 8 miles north-west of Kavalla. It is now a ruined village, called Philibedjik. Philip of Macedonia fortified the old Thracian town of Crenides, and called it after his own name Philippi (B.C. 359-336). In the time of the Emperor Augustus this city became a Roman colony, i.e., a military settlement of Roman soldiers, there planted for the purpose of controlling the district recently conquered. It was a “miniature Rome,” under the municipal law of Rome, and governed by military officers, called duumviri, who were appointed directly from Rome. Having been providentially guided thither, here Paul and his companion Silas preached the gospel and formed the first church in Europe. (See LYDIA.) This success stirred up the enmity of the people, and they were “shamefully entreated” (Acts 16:9-40; 1 Thess. 2:2). Paul and Silas at length left this city and proceeded to Amphipolis (q.v.).
(2.) When Philip the tetrarch, the son of Herod, succeeded to the government of the northern portion of his kingdom, he enlarged the city of Paneas, and called it Caesarea, in honour of the emperor. But in order to distinguish it from the Caesarea on the sea coast, he added to it subsequently his own name, and called it Caesarea-Philippi (q.v.).
Philippians, Epistle to Was written by Paul during the two years when he was “in bonds” in Rome (Phil. 1:7-13), probably early in the year A.D. 62 or in the end of 61.
The Philippians had sent Epaphroditus, their messenger, with contributions to meet the necessities of the apostle; and on his return Paul sent back with him this letter. With this precious communication Epaphroditus sets out on his homeward journey. “The joy caused by his return, and the effect of this wonderful letter when first read in the church of Philippi, are hidden from us. And we may almost say that with this letter the church itself passes from our view. To-day, in silent meadows, quiet cattle browse among the ruins which mark the site of what was once the flourishing Roman colony of Philippi, the home of the most attractive church of the apostolic age. But the name and fame and spiritual influence of that church will never pass. To myriads of men and women in every age and nation the letter written in a dungeon at Rome, and carried along the Egnatian Way by an obscure Christian messenger, has been a light divine and a cheerful guide along the most rugged paths of life” (Professor Beet).
The church at Philippi was the first-fruits of European Christianity. Their attachment to the apostle was very fervent, and so also was his affection for them. They alone of all the churches helped him by their contributions, which he gratefully acknowledges (Acts 20:33-35; 2 Cor. 11:7-12; 2 Thess. 3:8). The pecuniary liberality of the Philippians comes out very conspicuously (Phil. 4:15). “This was a characteristic of the Macedonian missions, as 2 Cor. 8 and 9 amply and beautifully prove. It is remarkable that the Macedonian converts were, as a class, very poor (2 Cor. 8:2); and the parallel facts, their poverty and their open-handed support of the great missionary and his work, are deeply harmonious. At the present day the missionary liberality of poor Christians is, in proportion, really greater than that of the rich” (Moule’s Philippians, Introd.).
The contents of this epistle give an interesting insight into the condition of the church at Rome at the time it was written. Paul’s imprisonment, we are informed, was no hindrance to his preaching the gospel, but rather “turned out to the furtherance of the gospel.” The gospel spread very extensively among the Roman soldiers, with whom he was in constant contact, and the Christians grew into a “vast multitude.” It is plain that Christianity was at this time making rapid advancement in Rome.
The doctrinal statements of this epistle bear a close relation to those of the Epistle to the Romans. Compare also Phil. 3:20 with Eph. 2:12, 19, where the church is presented under the idea of a city or commonwealth for the first time in Paul’s writings. The personal glory of Christ is also set forth in almost parallel forms of expression in Phil. 2:5-11, compared with Eph. 1:17-23; 2:8; and Col. 1:15-20. “This exposition of the grace and wonder of His personal majesty, personal self-abasement, and personal exaltation after it,” found in these epistles, “is, in a great measure, a new development in the revelations given through St. Paul” (Moule). Other minuter analogies in forms of expression and of thought are also found in these epistles of the Captivity.
Philistia =Palestine (q.v.), “the land of the Philistines” (Ps. 60:8; 87:4; 108:9). The word is supposed to mean “the land of wanderers” or “of strangers.”
Philistines (Gen. 10:14, R.V.; but in A.V., “Philistim”), a tribe allied to the Phoenicians. They were a branch of the primitive race which spread over the whole district of the Lebanon and the valley of the Jordan, and Crete and other Mediterranean islands. Some suppose them to have been a branch of the Rephaim (2 Sam. 21:16-22). In the time of Abraham they inhabited the south-west of Judea, Abimelech of Gerar being their king (Gen. 21:32, 34; 26:1). They are, however, not noticed among the Canaanitish tribes mentioned in the Pentateuch. They are spoken of by Amos (9:7) and Jeremiah (47:4) as from Caphtor, i.e., probably Crete, or, as some think, the Delta of Egypt. In the whole record from Exodus to Samuel they are represented as inhabiting the tract of country which lay between Judea and Egypt (Ex. 13:17; 15:14, 15; Josh. 13:3; 1 Sam. 4).
This powerful tribe made frequent incursions against the Hebrews. There was almost perpetual war between them. They sometimes held the tribes, especially the southern tribes, in degrading servitude (Judg. 15:11; 1 Sam. 13:19-22); at other times they were defeated with great slaughter (1 Sam. 14:1-47; 17). These hostilities did not cease till the time of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:8), when they were entirely subdued. They still, however, occupied their territory, and always showed their old hatred to Israel (Ezek. 25:15-17). They were finally conquered by the Romans.
The Philistines are called Pulsata or Pulista on the Egyptian monuments; the land of the Philistines (Philistia) being termed Palastu and Pilista in the Assyrian inscriptions. They occupied the five cities of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath, in the south-western corner of Canaan, which belonged to Egypt up to the closing days of the Nineteenth Dynasty. The occupation took place during the reign of Rameses III. of the Twentieth Dynasty. The Philistines had formed part of the great naval confederacy which attacked Egypt, but were eventually repulsed by that Pharaoh, who, however, could not dislodge them from their settlements in Palestine. As they did not enter Palestine till the time of the Exodus, the use of the name Philistines in Gen. 26:1 must be proleptic. Indeed the country was properly Gerar, as in ch. 20.
They are called Allophyli, “foreigners,” in the Septuagint, and in the Books of Samuel they are spoken of as uncircumcised. It would therefore appear that they were not of the Semitic race, though after their establishment in Canaan they adopted the Semitic language of the country. We learn from the Old Testament that they came from Caphtor, usually supposed to be Crete. From Philistia the name of the land of the Philistines came to be extended to the whole of “Palestine.” Many scholars identify the Philistines with the Pelethites of 2 Sam. 8:18.
Phinehas Mouth of brass, or from old Egypt, the negro. (1.) Son of Eleazar, the high priest (Ex. 6:25). While yet a youth he distinguished himself at Shittim by his zeal against the immorality into which the Moabites had tempted the people (Num. 25:1-9), and thus “stayed the plague” that had broken out among the people, and by which twenty-four thousand of them perished. For his faithfulness on that occasion he received the divine approbation (10-13). He afterwards commanded the army that went out against the Midianites (31:6-8). When representatives of the people were sent to expostulate with the two and a half tribes who, just after crossing Jordan, built an altar and departed without giving any explanation, Phinehas was their leader, and addressed them in the words recorded in Josh. 22:16-20. Their explanation follows. This great altar was intended to be all ages only a witness that they still formed a part of Israel. Phinehas was afterwards the chief adviser in the war with the Benjamites. He is commemorated in Ps. 106:30, 31. (See ED.)
(2.) One of the sons of Eli, the high priest (1 Sam. 1:3; 2:12). He and his brother Hophni were guilty of great crimes, for which destruction came on the house of Eli (31). He died in battle with the Philistines (1 Sam. 4:4, 11); and his wife, on hearing of his death, gave birth to a son, whom she called “Ichabod,” and then she died (19-22).
Phlegon Burning, a Roman Christian to whom Paul sent salutations (Rom. 16:14).
Phoenicia (Acts 21:2). (See PHENICIA.)
Phrygia Dry, an irregular and ill-defined district in Asia Minor. It was divided into two parts, the Greater Phrygia on the south, and the Lesser Phrygia on the west. It is the Greater Phrygia that is spoken of in the New Testament. The towns of Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:14), Colosse, Hierapolis, Iconium, and Laodicea were situated in it.
Phut Phut is placed between Egypt and Canaan in Gen. 10:6, and elsewhere we find the people of Phut described as mercenaries in the armies of Egypt and Tyre (Jer. 46:9; Ezek. 30:5; 27:10). In a fragment of the annuals of Nebuchadrezzar which records his invasion of Egypt, reference is made to “Phut of the Ionians.”
Phygellus Fugitive, a Christian of Asia, who “turned away” from Paul during his second imprisonment at Rome (2 Tim. 1:15). Nothing more is known of him.
Phylacteries (Gr. phulakteria; i.e., “defences” or “protections”), called by modern Jews tephillin (i.e., “prayers”) are mentioned only in Matt. 23:5. They consisted of strips of parchment on which were inscribed these four texts: (1.) Ex. 13:1-10; (2.) 11-16; (3.) Deut. 6:4-9; (4.) 11:18-21, and which were enclosed in a square leather case, on one side of which was inscribed the Hebrew letter shin, to which the rabbis attached some significance. This case was fastened by certain straps to the forehead just between the eyes. The “making broad the phylacteries” refers to the enlarging of the case so as to make it conspicuous. (See FRONTLETS.)
Another form of the phylactery consisted of two rolls of parchment, on which the same texts were written, enclosed in a case of black calfskin. This was worn on the left arm near the elbow, to which it was bound by a thong. It was called the “Tephillah on the arm.”
Physician Asa, afflicted with some bodily malady, “sought not to the Lord but to the physicians” (2 Chr. 16:12). The “physicians” were those who “practised heathen arts of magic, disavowing recognized methods of cure, and dissociating the healing art from dependence on the God of Israel. The sin of Asa was not, therefore, in seeking medical advice, as we understand the phrase, but in forgetting Jehovah.”
Pi-beseth (Ezek. 30:17), supposed to mean. “a cat,” or a deity in the form of a cat, worshipped by the Egyptians. It was called by the Greeks Bubastis. The hieroglyphic name is “Pe-bast”, i.e., the house of Bast, the Artemis of the Egyptians. The town of Bubasts was situated on the Pelusian branch, i.e., the easternmost branch, of the Delta. It was the seat of one of the chief annual festivals of the Egyptians. Its ruins bear the modern name of Tel-Basta.
Pieces (1) of silver. In Ps. 68:30 denotes “fragments,” and not properly money. In 1 Sam. 2:36 (Heb. agorah), properly a “small sum” as wages, weighed rather than coined. Josh. 24:32 (Heb. kesitah, q.v.), supposed by some to have been a piece of money bearing the figure of a lamb, but rather simply a certain amount. (Comp. Gen. 33:19).
(2.) The word pieces is omitted in many passages, as Gen. 20:16; 37:28; 45:22, etc. The passage in Zech. 11:12, 13 is quoted in the Gospel (Matt. 26:15), and from this we know that the word to be supplied is “shekels.” In all these omissions we may thus warrantably supply this word.
(3.) The “piece of money” mentioned in Matt. 17:27 is a stater=a Hebrew shekel, or four Greek drachmae; and that in Luke 15:8, 9, Act 19:19, a Greek drachma=a denarius. (See PENNY.)
Piety Lat. pietas, properly honour and respect toward parents (1 Tim. 5:4). In Acts 17:23 the Greek verb is rendered “ye worship,” as applicable to God.
Pigeon Pigeons are mentioned as among the offerings which, by divine appointment, Abram presented unto the Lord (Gen. 15:9). They were afterwards enumerated among the sin-offerings (Lev. 1:14; 12:6), and the law provided that those who could not offer a lamb might offer two young pigeons (5:7; comp. Luke 2:24). (See DOVE.)
Pi-hahiroth Place where the reeds grow (LXX. and Copt. read “farmstead”), the name of a place in Egypt where the children of Israel encamped (Ex. 14:2, 9), how long is uncertain. Some have identified it with Ajrud, a fortress between Etham and Suez. The condition of the Isthmus of Suez at the time of the Exodus is not exactly known, and hence this, with the other places mentioned as encampments of Israel in Egypt, cannot be definitely ascertained. The isthmus has been formed by the Nile deposits. This increase of deposit still goes on, and so rapidly that within the last fifty years the mouth of the Nile has advanced northward about four geographical miles. In the maps of Ptolemy (of the second and third centuries A.D.) the mouths of the Nile are forty miles further south than at present. (See EXODUS.)
Pilate, Pontius Probably connected with the Roman family of the Pontii, and called “Pilate” from the Latin pileatus, i.e., “wearing the pileus”, which was the “cap or badge of a manumitted slave,” as indicating that he was a “freedman,” or the descendant of one. He was the sixth in the order of the Roman procurators of Judea (A.D. 26-36). His headquarters were at Caesarea, but he frequently went up to Jerusalem. His reign extended over the period of the ministry of John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ, in connection with whose trial his name comes into prominent notice. Pilate was a “typical Roman, not of the antique, simple stamp, but of the imperial period, a man not without some remains of the ancient Roman justice in his soul, yet pleasure-loving, imperious, and corrupt. He hated the Jews whom he ruled, and in times of irritation freely shed their blood. They returned his hatred with cordiality, and accused him of every crime, maladministration, cruelty, and robbery. He visited Jerusalem as seldom as possible; for, indeed, to one accustomed to the pleasures of Rome, with its theatres, baths, games, and gay society, Jerusalem, with its religiousness and ever-smouldering revolt, was a dreary residence. When he did visit it he stayed in the palace of Herod the Great, it being common for the officers sent by Rome into conquered countries to occupy the palaces of the displaced sovereigns.”
After his trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus was brought to the Roman procurator, Pilate, who had come up to Jerusalem as usual to preserve order during the Passover, and was now residing, perhaps, in the castle of Antonia, or it may be in Herod’s palace. Pilate came forth from his palace and met the deputation from the Sanhedrin, who, in answer to his inquiry as to the nature of the accusation they had to prefer against Jesus, accused him of being a “malefactor.” Pilate was not satisfied with this, and they further accused him (1) of sedition, (2) preventing the payment of the tribute to Caesar, and (3) of assuming the title of king (Luke 23:2). Pilate now withdrew with Jesus into the palace (John 18:33) and examined him in private (37, 38); and then going out to the deputation still standing before the gate, he declared that he could find no fault in Jesus (Luke 23:4). This only aroused them to more furious clamour, and they cried that he excited the populace “throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee.” When Pilate heard of Galilee, he sent the accused to Herod Antipas, who had jurisdiction over that province, thus hoping to escape the difficulty in which he found himself. But Herod, with his men of war, set Jesus at nought, and sent him back again to Pilate, clad in a purple robe of mockery (23:11, 12).
Pilate now proposed that as he and Herod had found no fault in him, they should release Jesus; and anticipating that they would consent to this proposal, he ascended the judgment-seat as if ready to ratify the decision (Matt. 27:19). But at this moment his wife (Claudia Procula) sent a message to him imploring him to have nothing to do with the “just person.” Pilate’s feelings of perplexity and awe were deepened by this incident, while the crowd vehemently cried out, “Not this man, but Barabbas.” Pilate answered, “What then shall I do with Jesus?” The fierce cry immediately followed. “Let him be crucified.” Pilate, apparently vexed, and not knowning what to do, said, “Why, what evil hath he done?” but with yet fiercer fanaticism the crowd yelled out, “Away with him! crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate yielded, and sent Jesus away to be scourged. This scourging was usually inflicted by lictors; but as Pilate was only a procurator he had no lictor, and hence his soldiers inflicted this terrible punishment. This done, the soldiers began to deride the sufferer, and they threw around him a purple robe, probably some old cast-off robe of state (Matt. 27:28; John 19:2), and putting a reed in his right hand, and a crowd of thorns on his head, bowed the knee before him in mockery, and saluted him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They took also the reed and smote him with it on the head and face, and spat in his face, heaping upon him every indignity.
Pilate then led forth Jesus from within the Praetorium (Matt. 27:27) before the people, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, saying, “Behold the man!” But the sight of Jesus, now scourged and crowned and bleeding, only stirred their hatred the more, and again they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” and brought forth this additional charge against him, that he professed to be “the Son of God.” Pilate heard this accusation with a superstitious awe, and taking him once more within the Praetorium, asked him, “Whence art thou?” Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate was irritated by his continued silence, and said, “Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee?” Jesus, with calm dignity, answered the Roman, “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.”
After this Pilate seemed more resolved than ever to let Jesus go. The crowd perceiving this cried out, “If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend.” This settled the matter. He was afraid of being accused to the emperor. Calling for water, he washed his hands in the sight of the people, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person.” The mob, again scorning his scruples, cried, “His blood be on us, and on our children.” Pilate was stung to the heart by their insults, and putting forth Jesus before them, said, “Shall I crucify your King?” The fatal moment had now come. They madly exclaimed, “We have no king but Caesar;” and now Jesus is given up to them, and led away to be crucified.
By the direction of Pilate an inscription was placed, according to the Roman custom, over the cross, stating the crime for which he was crucified. Having ascertained from the centurion that he was dead, he gave up the body to Joseph of Arimathea to be buried. Pilate’s name now disappears from the Gospel history. References to him, however, are found in the Acts of the Apostles (3:13; 4:27; 13:28), and in 1 Tim. 6:13. In A.D. 36 the governor of Syria brought serious accusations against Pilate, and he was banished to Vienne in Gaul, where, according to tradition, he committed suicide.
Pillar Used to support a building (Judg. 16:26, 29); as a trophy or memorial (Gen. 28:18; 35:20; Ex. 24:4; 1 Sam. 15:12, A.V., “place,” more correctly “monument,” or “trophy of victory,” as in 2 Sam. 18:18); of fire, by which the Divine Presence was manifested (Ex. 13:2). The “plain of the pillar” in Judg. 9:6 ought to be, as in the Revised Version, the “oak of the pillar”, i.e., of the monument or stone set up by Joshua (24:26).
Pine tree Heb. tidhar, mentioned along with the fir-tree in Isa. 41:19; 60:13. This is probably the cypress; or it may be the stone-pine, which is common on the northern slopes of Lebanon. Some suppose that the elm, others that the oak, or holm, or ilex, is meant by the Hebrew word. In Neh. 8:15 the Revised Version has “wild olive” instead of “pine.” (See FIR.)
Pinnacle A little wing, (Matt. 4:5; Luke 4:9). On the southern side of the temple court was a range of porches or cloisters forming three arcades. At the south-eastern corner the roof of this cloister was some 300 feet above the Kidron valley. The pinnacle, some parapet or wing-like projection, was above this roof, and hence at a great height, probably 350 feet or more above the valley.
Pipe (1 Sam. 10:5; 1 Kings 1:40; Isa. 5:12; 30:29). The Hebrew word halil, so rendered, means “bored through,” and is the name given to various kinds of wind instruments, as the fife, flute, Pan-pipes, etc. In Amos 6:5 this word is rendered “instrument of music.” This instrument is mentioned also in the New Testament (Matt. 11:17; 1 Cor. 14:7). It is still used in Palestine, and is, as in ancient times, made of different materials, as reed, copper, bronze, etc.
Piram Like a wild ass, a king of Jarmuth, a royal city of the Canaanites, who was conquered and put to death by Joshua (10:3, 23, 26).
Pirathon Prince, or summit, a place “in the land of Ephraim” (Judg. 12:15), now Fer’on, some 10 miles south-west of Shechem. This was the home of Abdon the judge.
Pirathonite (1.) Abdon, the son of Hillel, so called, Judg. 12:13, 15.
(2.) Benaiah the Ephraimite (2 Sam. 23:30), one of David’s thirty heroes.
Pisgah A part, a mountain summit in the land of Moab, in the territory of Reuben, where Balak offered up sacrifices (Num. 21:20; 23:14), and from which Moses viewed the promised land (Deut. 3:27). It is probably the modern Jebel Siaghah. (See NEBO.)
Pisidia A district in Asia Minor, to the north of Pamphylia. The Taurus range of mountains extends through it. Antioch, one of its chief cities, was twice visited by Paul (Acts 13:14; 14:21-24).
Pison Babylonian, the current, broad-flowing, one of the “four heads” into which the river which watered the garden of Eden was divided (Gen. 2:11). Some identify it with the modern Phasis, others with the Halys, others the Jorak or Acampis, others the Jaab, the Indus, the Ganges, etc.
Pit A hole in the ground (Ex. 21:33, 34), a cistern for water (Gen. 37:24; Jer. 14:3), a vault (41:9), a grave (Ps. 30:3). It is used as a figure for mischief (Ps. 9:15), and is the name given to the unseen place of woe (Rev. 20:1, 3). The slime-pits in the vale of Siddim were wells which yielded asphalt (Gen. 14:10).
Pitch (Gen. 6:14), asphalt or bitumen in its soft state, called “slime” (Gen. 11:3; 14:10; Ex. 2:3), found in pits near the Dead Sea (q.v.). It was used for various purposes, as the coating of the outside of vessels and in building. Allusion is made in Isa. 34:9 to its inflammable character. (See SLIME.)
Pitcher A vessel for containing liquids. In the East pitchers were usually carried on the head or shoulders (Gen. 24:15-20; Judg. 7:16, 19; Mark 14:13).
Pithom Egyptian, Pa-Tum, “house of Tum,” the sun-god, one of the “treasure” cities built for Pharaoh Rameses II. by the Israelites (Ex. 1:11). It was probably the Patumos of the Greek historian Herodotus. It has now been satisfactorily identified with Tell-el-Maskhuta, about 12 miles west of Ismailia, and 20 east of Tel-el-Kebir, on the southern bank of the present Suez Canal. Here have recently (1883) been discovered the ruins of supposed grain-chambers, and other evidences to show that this was a great “store city.” Its immense ruin-heaps show that it was built of bricks, and partly also of bricks without straw. Succoth (Ex. 12:37) is supposed by some to be the secular name of this city, Pithom being its sacred name. This was the first halting-place of the Israelites in their exodus. It has been argued (Dr. Lansing) that these “store” cities “were residence cities, royal dwellings, such as the Pharaohs of old, the Kings of Israel, and our modern Khedives have ever loved to build, thus giving employment to the superabundant muscle of their enslaved peoples, and making a name for themselves.”
Plague A “stroke” of affliction, or disease. Sent as a divine chastisement (Num. 11:33; 14:37; 16:46-49; 2 Sam. 24:21). Painful afflictions or diseases, (Lev. 13:3, 5, 30; 1 Kings 8:37), or severe calamity (Mark 5:29; Luke 7:21), or the judgment of God, so called (Ex. 9:14). Plagues of Egypt were ten in number.
(1.) The river Nile was turned into blood, and the fish died, and the river stank, so that the Egyptians loathed to drink of the river (Ex. 7:14-25).
(2.) The plague of frogs (Ex. 8:1-15).
(3.) The plague of lice (Heb. kinnim, properly gnats or mosquitoes; comp. Ps. 78:45; 105:31), “out of the dust of the land” (Ex. 8:16-19).
(4.) The plague of flies (Heb. arob, rendered by the LXX. dog-fly), Ex. 8:21-24.
(5.) The murrain (Ex. 9:1-7), or epidemic pestilence which carried off vast numbers of cattle in the field. Warning was given of its coming.
(6.) The sixth plague, of “boils and blains,” like the third, was sent without warning (Ex. 9:8-12). It is called (Deut. 28:27) “the botch of Egypt,” A.V.; but in R.V., “the boil of Egypt.” “The magicians could not stand before Moses” because of it.
(7.) The plague of hail, with fire and thunder (Ex. 9:13-33). Warning was given of its coming. (Comp. Ps. 18:13; 105:32, 33).
(8.) The plague of locusts, which covered the whole face of the earth, so that the land was darkened with them (Ex. 10:12-15). The Hebrew name of this insect, arbeh, points to the “multitudinous” character of this visitation. Warning was given before this plague came.
(9.) After a short interval the plague of darkness succeeded that of the locusts; and it came without any special warning (Ex. 10:21-29). The darkness covered “all the land of Egypt” to such an extent that “they saw not one another.” It did not, however, extend to the land of Goshen.
(10.) The last and most fearful of these plagues was the death of the first-born of man and of beast (Ex. 11:4, 5; 12:29, 30). The exact time of the visitation was announced, “about midnight”, which would add to the horror of the infliction. Its extent also is specified, from the first-born of the king to the first-born of the humblest slave, and all the first-born of beasts. But from this plague the Hebrews were completely exempted. The Lord “put a difference” between them and the Egyptians. (See PASSOVER.)
Plain (1.) Heb. abel (Judg. 11:33), a “grassy plain” or “meadow.” Instead of “plains of the vineyards,” as in the Authorized Version, the Revised Version has “Abel-cheramim” (q.v.), comp. Judg. 11:22; 2 Chr. 16:4.
(2.) Heb. elon (Gen. 12:6; 13:18; 14:13; 18:1; Deut. 11:30; Judg. 9:6), more correctly “oak,” as in the Revised Version; margin, “terebinth.”
(3.) Heb. bik’ah (Gen. 11:2; Neh. 6:2; Ezek. 3:23; Dan. 3:1), properly a valley, as rendered in Isa. 40:4, a broad plain between mountains. In Amos 1:5 the margin of Authorized Version has “Bikathaven.”
(4.) Heb. kikar, “the circle,” used only of the Ghor, or the low ground along the Jordan (Gen. 13:10-12; 19:17, 25, 28, 29; Deut. 34:3; 2 Sam. 18:23; 1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chr. 4:17; Neh. 3:22; 12:28), the floor of the valley through which it flows. This name is applied to the Jordan valley as far north as Succoth.
(5.) Heb. mishor, “level ground,” smooth, grassy table-land (Deut. 3:10; 4:43; Josh. 13:9, 16, 17, 21; 20:8; Jer. 48:21), an expanse of rolling downs without rock or stone. In these passages, with the article prefixed, it denotes the plain in the tribe of Reuben. In 2 Chr. 26:10 the plain of Judah is meant. Jerusalem is called “the rock of the plain” in Jer. 21:13, because the hills on which it is built rise high above the plain.
(6.) Heb. arabah, the valley from the Sea of Galilee southward to the Dead Sea (the “sea of the plain,” 2 Kings 14:25; Deut. 1:1; 2:8), a distance of about 70 miles. It is called by the modern Arabs the Ghor. This Hebrew name is found in Authorized Version (Josh. 18:18), and is uniformly used in the Revised Version. Down through the centre of this plain is a ravine, from 200 to 300 yards wide, and from 50 to 100 feet deep, through which the Jordan flows in a winding course. This ravine is called the “lower plain.”
The name Arabah is also applied to the whole Jordan valley from Mount Hermon to the eastern branch of the Red Sea, a distance of about 200 miles, as well as to that portion of the valley which stretches from the Sea of Galilee to the same branch of the Red Sea, i.e., to the Gulf of Akabah about 100 miles in all.
(7.) Heb. shephelah, “low ground,” “low hill-land,” rendered “vale” or “valley” in Authorized Version (Josh. 9:1; 10:40; 11:2; 12:8; Judg. 1:9; 1 Kings 10:27). In Authorized Version (1 Chr. 27:28; 2 Chr. 26:10) it is also rendered “low country.” In Jer. 17:26, Obad. 1:19, Zech. 7:7, “plain.” The Revised Version renders it uniformly “low land.” When it is preceded by the article, as in Deut. 1:7, Josh. 11:16; 15:33, Jer. 32:44; 33:13, Zech. 7:7, “the shephelah,” it denotes the plain along the Mediterranean from Joppa to Gaza, “the plain of the Philistines.” (See VALLEY.)
Plain of Mamre (Gen. 13:18; 14:13; R.V., “oaks of Mamre;” marg., “terebinths”). (See MAMRE; TEIL-TREE.)
Plane tree Heb. armon (Gen. 30:37; Ezek. 31:8), rendered “chesnut” in the Authorized Version, but correctly “plane tree” in the Revised Version and the LXX. This tree is frequently found in Palestine, both on the coast and in the north. It usually sheds its outer bark, and hence its Hebrew name, which means “naked.” (See CHESTNUT.)
Pledge See LOAN.
Pleiades Heb. kimah, “a cluster” (Job 9:9; 38:31; Amos 5:8, A.V., “seven stars;” R.V., “Pleiades”), a name given to the cluster of stars seen in the shoulder of the constellation Taurus.
Plough First referred to in Gen. 45:6, where the Authorized Version has “earing,” but the Revised Version “ploughing;” next in Ex. 34:21 and Deut. 21:4. The plough was originally drawn by oxen, but sometimes also by asses and by men. (See AGRICULTURE.)
Poetry Has been well defined as “the measured language of emotion.” Hebrew poetry deals almost exclusively with the great question of man’s relation to God. “Guilt, condemnation, punishment, pardon, redemption, repentance are the awful themes of this heaven-born poetry.”
In the Hebrew scriptures there are found three distinct kinds of poetry, (1) that of the Book of Job and the Song of Solomon, which is dramatic; (2) that of the Book of Psalms, which is lyrical; and (3) that of the Book of Ecclesiastes, which is didactic and sententious.
Hebrew poetry has nothing akin to that of Western nations. It has neither metre nor rhyme. Its great peculiarity consists in the mutual correspondence of sentences or clauses, called parallelism, or “thought-rhyme.” Various kinds of this parallelism have been pointed out:
(1.) Synonymous or cognate parallelism, where the same idea is repeated in the same words (Ps. 93:3; 94:1; Prov. 6:2), or in different words (Ps. 22, 23, 28, 114, etc.); or where it is expressed in a positive form in the one clause and in a negative in the other (Ps. 40:12; Prov. 6:26); or where the same idea is expressed in three successive clauses (Ps. 40:15, 16); or in a double parallelism, the first and second clauses corresponding to the third and fourth (Isa. 9:1; 61:10, 11).
(2.) Antithetic parallelism, where the idea of the second clause is the converse of that of the first (Ps. 20:8; 27:6, 7; 34:11; 37:9, 17, 21, 22). This is the common form of gnomic or proverbial poetry. (See Prov. 10-15.)
(3.) Synthetic or constructive or compound parallelism, where each clause or sentence contains some accessory idea enforcing the main idea (Ps. 19:7-10; 85:12; Job 3:3-9; Isa. 1:5-9).
(4.) Introverted parallelism, in which of four clauses the first answers to the fourth and the second to the third (Ps. 135:15-18; Prov. 23:15, 16), or where the second line reverses the order of words in the first (Ps. 86:2).
Hebrew poetry sometimes assumes other forms than these. (1.) An alphabetical arrangement is sometimes adopted for the purpose of connecting clauses or sentences. Thus in the following the initial words of the respective verses begin with the letters of the alphabet in regular succession: Prov. 31:10-31; Lam. 1, 2, 3, 4; Ps. 25, 34, 37, 145. Ps. 119 has a letter of the alphabet in regular order beginning every eighth verse.
(2.) The repetition of the same verse or of some emphatic expression at intervals (Ps. 42, 107, where the refrain is in verses, 8, 15, 21, 31). (Comp. also Isa. 9:8-10:4; Amos 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 13; 2:1, 4, 6.)
(3.) Gradation, in which the thought of one verse is resumed in another (Ps. 121).
Several odes of great poetical beauty are found in the historical books of the Old Testament, such as the song of Moses (Ex. 15), the song of Deborah (Judg. 5), of Hannah (1 Sam. 2), of Hezekiah (Isa. 38:9-20), of Habakkuk (Hab. 3), and David’s “song of the bow” (2 Sam. 1:19-27).
Poison (1.) Heb. hemah, “heat,” the poison of certain venomous reptiles (Deut. 32:24, 33; Job 6:4; Ps. 58:4), causing inflammation.
(2.) Heb. rosh, “a head,” a poisonous plant (Deut. 29:18), growing luxuriantly (Hos. 10:4), of a bitter taste (Ps. 69:21; Lam. 3:5), and coupled with wormwood; probably the poppy. This word is rendered “gall”, q.v., (Deut. 29:18; 32:33; Ps. 69:21; Jer. 8:14, etc.), “hemlock” (Hos. 10:4; Amos 6:12), and “poison” (Job 20:16), “the poison of asps,” showing that the rosh was not exclusively a vegetable poison.
(3.) In Rom. 3:13 (comp. Job 20:16; Ps. 140:3), James 3:8, as the rendering of the Greek ios.
Pomegranate I.e., “grained apple” (pomum granatum), Heb. rimmon. Common in Egypt (Num. 20:5) and Palestine (13:23; Deut. 8:8). The Romans called it Punicum malum, i.e., Carthaginian apple, because they received it from Carthage. It belongs to the myrtle family of trees. The withering of the pomegranate tree is mentioned among the judgments of God (Joel 1:12). It is frequently mentioned in the Song of Solomon (Cant. 4:3, 13, etc.). The skirt of the high priest’s blue robe and ephod was adorned with the representation of pomegranates, alternating with golden bells (Ex. 28:33, 34), as also were the “chapiters upon the two pillars” (1 Kings 7:20) which “stood before the house.”
Pommels (2 Chr. 4:12, 13), or bowls (1 Kings 7:41), were balls or “rounded knobs” on the top of the chapiters (q.v.).
Pontius Pilate See PILATE.
Pontus A province of Asia Minor, stretching along the southern coast of the Euxine Sea, corresponding nearly to the modern province of Trebizond. In the time of the apostles it was a Roman province. Strangers from this province were at Jerusalem at Pentecost (Acts 2:9), and to “strangers scattered throughout Pontus,” among others, Peter addresses his first epistle (1 Pet. 1:1). It was evidently the resort of many Jews of the Dispersion. Aquila was a native of Pontus (Acts 18:2).
Pool A pond, or reservoir, for holding water (Heb. berekhah; modern Arabic, birket), an artificial cistern or tank. Mention is made of the pool of Gibeon (2 Sam. 2:13); the pool of Hebron (4:12); the upper pool at Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:17; 20:20); the pool of Samaria (1 Kings 22:38); the king’s pool (Neh. 2:14); the pool of Siloah (Neh. 3:15; Eccles. 2:6); the fishpools of Heshbon (Cant. 7:4); the “lower pool,” and the “old pool” (Isa. 22:9, 11).
The “pool of Bethesda” (John 5:2, 4, 7) and the “pool of Siloam” (John 9:7, 11) are also mentioned. Isaiah (35:7) says, “The parched ground shall become a pool.” This is rendered in the Revised Version “glowing sand,” etc. (marg., “the mirage,” etc.). The Arabs call the mirage “serab,” plainly the same as the Hebrew word sarab, here rendered “parched ground.” “The mirage shall become a pool”, i.e., the mock-lake of the burning desert shall become a real lake, “the pledge of refreshment and joy.” The “pools” spoken of in Isa. 14:23 are the marshes caused by the ruin of the canals of the Euphrates in the neighbourhood of Babylon.
The cisterns or pools of the Holy City are for the most part excavations beneath the surface. Such are the vast cisterns in the temple hill that have recently been discovered by the engineers of the Palestine Exploration Fund. These underground caverns are about thirty-five in number, and are capable of storing about ten million gallons of water. They are connected with one another by passages and tunnels.
Pools of Solomon The name given to three large open cisterns at Etam, at the head of the Wady Urtas, having an average length of 400 feet by 220 in breadth, and 20 to 30 in depth. These pools derive their chief supply of water from a spring called “the sealed fountain,” about 200 yards to the north-west of the upper pool, to which it is conveyed by a large subterranean passage. They are 150 feet distant from each other, and each pool is 20 feet lower than that above it, the conduits being so arranged that the lowest, which is the largest and finest of the three, is filled first, and then in succession the others. It has been estimated that these pools cover in all a space of about 7 acres, and are capable of containing three million gallons of water. They were, as is generally supposed, constructed in the days of Solomon. They are probably referred to in Eccles. 2:6. On the fourth day after his victory over the Ammonites, etc., in the wilderness of Tekoa, Jehoshaphat assembled his army in the valley of Berachah (“blessing”), and there blessed the Lord. Berachah has been identified with the modern Bereikut, some 5 miles south of Wady Urtas, and hence the “valley of Berachah” may be this valley of pools, for the word means both “blessing” and “pools;” and it has been supposed, therefore, that this victory was celebrated beside Solomon’s pools (2 Chr. 20:26).
These pools were primarily designed to supply Jerusalem with water. From the lower pool an aqueduct has been traced conveying the water through Bethlehem and across the valley of Gihon, and along the west slope of the Tyropoeon valley, till it finds its way into the great cisterns underneath the temple hill. The water, however, from the pools reaches now only to Bethlehem. The aqueduct beyond this has been destroyed.
Poor The Mosaic legislation regarding the poor is specially important. (1.) They had the right of gleaning the fields (Lev. 19:9, 10; Deut. 24:19, 21).
(2.) In the sabbatical year they were to have their share of the produce of the fields and the vineyards (Ex. 23:11; Lev. 25:6).
(3.) In the year of jubilee they recovered their property (Lev. 25:25-30).
(4.) Usury was forbidden, and the pledged raiment was to be returned before the sun went down (Ex. 22:25-27; Deut. 24:10-13). The rich were to be generous to the poor (Deut. 15:7-11).
(5.) In the sabbatical and jubilee years the bond-servant was to go free (Deut. 15:12-15; Lev. 25:39-42, 47-54).
(6.) Certain portions from the tithes were assigned to the poor (Deut. 14:28, 29; 26:12, 13).
(7.) They shared in the feasts (Deut. 16:11, 14; Neh. 8:10).
(8.) Wages were to be paid at the close of each day (Lev. 19:13).
In the New Testament (Luke 3:11; 14:13; Acts 6:1; Gal. 2:10; James 2:15, 16) we have similar injunctions given with reference to the poor. Begging was not common under the Old Testament, while it was so in the New Testament times (Luke 16:20, 21, etc.). But begging in the case of those who are able to work is forbidden, and all such are enjoined to “work with their own hands” as a Christian duty (1 Thess. 4:11; 2 Thess. 3:7-13; Eph. 4:28). This word is used figuratively in Matt. 5:3; Luke 6:20; 2 Cor. 8:9; Rev. 3:17.
Poplar Heb. libneh, “white”, (Gen. 30:37; Hos. 4:13), in all probability the storax tree (Styrax officinalis) or white poplar, distinguished by its white blossoms and pale leaves. It is common in the Anti-Libanus. Other species of the poplar are found in Palestine, such as the white poplar (P. alba) of our own country, the black poplar (P. nigra), and the aspen (P. tremula). (See WILLOW.)
Porch, Solomon’s A colonnade on the east of the temple, so called from a tradition that it was a relic of Solomon’s temple left standing after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. (Comp. 1 Kings 7:6.) The word “porch” is in the New Testament the rendering of three different Greek words:
(1.) Stoa, meaning a portico or veranda (John 5:2; 10:23; Acts 3:11; 5:12).
(2.) Pulon, a gateway (Matt. 26:71).
(3.) Proaulion, the entrance to the inner court (Mark 14:68).
Porcius Festus See FESTUS.
Porter A gate-keeper (2 Sam. 18:26; 2 Kings 7:10; 1 Chr. 9:21; 2 Chr. 8:14). Of the Levites, 4,000 were appointed as porters by David (1 Chr. 23:5), who were arranged according to their families (26:1-19) to take charge of the doors and gates of the temple. They were sometimes employed as musicians (1 Chr. 15:18).
Post (1.) A runner, or courier, for the rapid transmission of letters, etc. (2 Chr. 30:6; Esther 3:13, 15; 8:10, 14; Job 9:25; Jer. 51:31). Such messengers were used from very early times. Those employed by the Hebrew kings had a military character (1 Sam. 22:17; 2 Kings 10:25, “guard,” marg. “runners”). The modern system of postal communication was first established by Louis XI. of France in A.D. 1464.
(2.) This word sometimes also is used for lintel or threshold (Isa. 6:4).
Potiphar Dedicated to Ra; i.e., to the sun-god, the Egyptian to whom the Ishmaelites sold Joseph (Gen. 39:1). He was “captain of the guard”, i.e., chief, probably, of the state police, who, while they formed part of the Egyptian army, were also largely employed in civil duties (37:36; marg., “chief of the executioners”). Joseph, though a foreigner, gradually gained his confidence, and became overseer over all his possessions. Believing the false accusation which his profligate wife brought against Joseph, Potiphar cast him into prison, where he remained for some years. (See JOSEPH.)
Potipherah A priest of On, whose daughter Asenath became Joseph’s wife (Gen. 41:45).
Potsherd A “shred”, i.e., anything severed, as a fragment of earthenware (Job 2:8; Prov. 26:23; Isa. 45:9).
Pottage Heb. nazid, “boiled”, a dish of boiled food, as of lentils (Gen. 25:29; 2 Kings 4:38).
Potters field The name given to the piece of ground which was afterwards bought with the money that had been given to Judas. It was called the “field of blood” (Matt. 27:7-10). Tradition places it in the valley of Hinnom. (See ACELDAMA.)
Pottery The art of, was early practised among all nations. Various materials seem to have been employed by the potter. Earthenware is mentioned in connection with the history of Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18), of Abraham (18:4-8), of Rebekah (27:14), of Rachel (29:2, 3, 8, 10). The potter’s wheel is mentioned by Jeremiah (18:3). See also 1 Chr. 4:23; Ps. 2:9; Isa. 45:9; 64:8; Jer. 19:1; Lam. 4:2; Zech. 11:13; Rom. 9:21.
Pound (1.) A weight. Heb. maneh, equal to 100 shekels (1 Kings 10:17; Ezra 2:69; Neh. 7:71, 72). Gr. litra, equal to about 12 oz. avoirdupois (John 12:3; 19:39).
(2.) A sum of money; the Gr. mna or mina (Luke 19:13, 16, 18, 20, 24, 25). It was equal to 100 drachmas, and was of the value of about $3, 6s. 8d. of our money. (See MONEY.)
Praetorium The Greek word (praitorion) thus rendered in Mark 15:16 is rendered “common hall” (Matt. 27:27, marg., “governor’s house”), “judgment hall,” (John 18:28, 33, marg., “Pilate’s house”, 19:9; Acts 23:35), “palace” (Phil. 1:13). This is properly a military word. It denotes (1) the general’s tent or headquarters; (2) the governor’s residence, as in Acts 23:35 (R.V., “palace”); and (3) the praetorian guard (See PALACE), or the camp or quarters of the praetorian cohorts (Acts 28:16), the imperial guards in immediate attendance on the emperor, who was “praetor” or commander-in-chief.
Prayer Is converse with God; the intercourse of the soul with God, not in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him. Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant, ejaculatory or formal. It is a “beseeching the Lord” (Ex. 32:11); “pouring out the soul before the Lord” (1 Sam. 1:15); “praying and crying to heaven” (2 Chr. 32:20); “seeking unto God and making supplication” (Job 8:5); “drawing near to God” (Ps. 73:28); “bowing the knees” (Eph. 3:14).
Prayer presupposes a belief in the personality of God, his ability and willingness to hold intercourse with us, his personal control of all things and of all his creatures and all their actions.
Acceptable prayer must be sincere (Heb. 10:22), offered with reverence and godly fear, with a humble sense of our own insignificance as creatures and of our own unworthiness as sinners, with earnest importunity, and with unhesitating submission to the divine will. Prayer must also be offered in the faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer, and that he will fulfil his word, “Ask, and ye shall receive” (Matt. 7:7, 8; 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13, 14), and in the name of Christ (16:23, 24; 15:16; Eph. 2:18; 5:20; Col. 3:17; 1 Pet. 2:5).
Prayer is of different kinds, secret (Matt. 6:6); social, as family prayers, and in social worship; and public, in the service of the sanctuary.
Intercessory prayer is enjoined (Num. 6:23; Job 42:8; Isa. 62:6; Ps. 122:6; 1 Tim. 2:1; James 5:14), and there are many instances on record of answers having been given to such prayers, e.g., of Abraham (Gen. 17:18, 20; 18:23-32; 20:7, 17, 18), of Moses for Pharaoh (Ex. 8:12, 13, 30, 31; Ex. 9:33), for the Israelites (Ex. 17:11, 13; 32:11-14, 31-34; Num. 21:7, 8; Deut. 9:18, 19, 25), for Miriam (Num. 12:13), for Aaron (Deut. 9:20), of Samuel (1 Sam. 7:5-12), of Solomon (1 Kings 8; 2 Chr. 6), Elijah (1 Kings 17:20-23), Elisha (2 Kings 4:33-36), Isaiah (2 Kings 19), Jeremiah (42:2-10), Peter (Acts 9:40), the church (12:5-12), Paul (28:8).
No rules are anywhere in Scripture laid down for the manner of prayer or the attitude to be assumed by the suppliant. There is mention made of kneeling in prayer (1 Kings 8:54; 2 Chr. 6:13; Ps. 95:6; Isa. 45:23; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; 9:40; Eph. 3:14, etc.); of bowing and falling prostrate (Gen. 24:26, 52; Ex. 4:31; 12:27; Matt. 26:39; Mark 14:35, etc.); of spreading out the hands (1 Kings 8:22, 38, 54; Ps. 28:2; 63:4; 88:9; 1 Tim. 2:8, etc.); and of standing (1 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kings 8:14, 55; 2 Chr. 20:9; Mark 11:25; Luke 18:11, 13).
If we except the “Lord’s Prayer” (Matt. 6:9-13), which is, however, rather a model or pattern of prayer than a set prayer to be offered up, we have no special form of prayer for general use given us in Scripture.
Prayer is frequently enjoined in Scripture (Ex. 22:23, 27; 1 Kings 3:5; 2 Chr. 7:14; Ps. 37:4; Isa. 55:6; Joel 2:32; Ezek. 36:37, etc.), and we have very many testimonies that it has been answered (Ps. 3:4; 4:1; 6:8; 18:6; 28:6; 30:2; 34:4; 118:5; James 5:16-18, etc.).
“Abraham’s servant prayed to God, and God directed him to the person who should be wife to his master’s son and heir (Gen. 24:10-20).
“Jacob prayed to God, and God inclined the heart of his irritated brother, so that they met in peace and friendship (Gen. 32:24-30; 33:1-4).
“Samson prayed to God, and God showed him a well where he quenched his burning thirst, and so lived to judge Israel (Judg. 15:18-20).
“David prayed, and God defeated the counsel of Ahithophel (2 Sam. 15:31; 16:20-23; 17:14-23).
“Daniel prayed, and God enabled him both to tell Nebuchadnezzar his dream and to give the interpretation of it (Dan. 2: 16-23).
“Nehemiah prayed, and God inclined the heart of the king of Persia to grant him leave of absence to visit and rebuild Jerusalem (Neh. 1:11; 2:1-6).
“Esther and Mordecai prayed, and God defeated the purpose of Haman, and saved the Jews from destruction (Esther 4:15-17; 6:7, 8).
“The believers in Jerusalem prayed, and God opened the prison doors and set Peter at liberty, when Herod had resolved upon his death (Acts 12:1-12).
“Paul prayed that the thorn in the flesh might be removed, and his prayer brought a large increase of spiritual strength, while the thorn perhaps remained (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
“Prayer is like the dove that Noah sent forth, which blessed him not only when it returned with an olive-leaf in its mouth, but when it never returned at all.”, Robinson’s Job.
Predestination This word is properly used only with reference to God’s plan or purpose of salvation. The Greek word rendered “predestinate” is found only in these six passages, Acts 4:28; Rom. 8:29, 30; 1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:5, 11; and in all of them it has the same meaning. They teach that the eternal, sovereign, immutable, and unconditional decree or “determinate purpose” of God governs all events.
This doctrine of predestination or election is beset with many difficulties. It belongs to the “secret things” of God. But if we take the revealed word of God as our guide, we must accept this doctrine with all its mysteriousness, and settle all our questionings in the humble, devout acknowledgment, “Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.”
For the teaching of Scripture on this subject let the following passages be examined in addition to those referred to above; Gen. 21:12; Ex. 9:16; 33:19; Deut. 10:15; 32:8; Josh. 11:20; 1 Sam. 12:22; 2 Chr. 6:6; Ps. 33:12; 65:4; 78:68; 135:4; Isa. 41:1-10; Jer. 1:5; Mark 13:20; Luke 22:22; John 6:37; 15:16; 17:2, 6, 9; Acts 2:28; 3:18; 4:28; 13:48; 17:26; Rom. 9:11, 18, 21; 11:5; Eph. 3:11; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:2. (See DECREES OF GOD; ELECTION.)
Hodge has well remarked that, “rightly understood, this doctrine (1) exalts the majesty and absolute sovereignty of God, while it illustrates the riches of his free grace and his just displeasure with sin. (2.) It enforces upon us the essential truth that salvation is entirely of grace. That no one can either complain if passed over, or boast himself if saved. (3.) It brings the inquirer to absolute self-despair and the cordial embrace of the free offer of Christ. (4.) In the case of the believer who has the witness in himself, this doctrine at once deepens his humility and elevates his confidence to the full assurance of hope” (Outlines).
Presidents Three presidents are mentioned, of whom Daniel was the first (Dan. 6:2-7). The name in the original is sarkhin, probably a Persian word meaning perfects or ministers.
Priest The Heb. kohen, Gr. hierus, Lat. sacerdos, always denote one who offers sacrifices.
At first every man was his own priest, and presented his own sacrifices before God. Afterwards that office devolved on the head of the family, as in the cases of Noah (Gen. 8:20), Abraham (12:7; 13:4), Isaac (26:25), Jacob (31:54), and Job (Job 1:5).
The name first occurs as applied to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18). Under the Levitical arrangements the office of the priesthood was limited to the tribe of Levi, and to only one family of that tribe, the family of Aaron. Certain laws respecting the qualifications of priests are given in Lev. 21:16-23. There are ordinances also regarding the priests’ dress (Ex. 28:40-43) and the manner of their consecration to the office (29:1-37).
Their duties were manifold (Ex. 27:20, 21; 29:38-44; Lev. 6:12; 10:11; 24:8; Num. 10:1-10; Deut. 17:8-13; 33:10; Mal. 2:7). They represented the people before God, and offered the various sacrifices prescribed in the law.
In the time of David the priests were divided into twenty-four courses or classes (1 Chr. 24:7-18). This number was retained after the Captivity (Ezra 2:36-39; Neh. 7:39-42).
“The priests were not distributed over the country, but lived together in certain cities [forty-eight in number, of which six were cities of refuge, q.v.], which had been assigned to their use. From thence they went up by turns to minister in the temple at Jerusalem. Thus the religious instruction of the people in the country generally was left to the heads of families, until the establishment of synagogues, an event which did not take place till the return from the Captivity, and which was the main source of the freedom from idolatry that became as marked a feature of the Jewish people thenceforward as its practice had been hitherto their great national sin.”
The whole priestly system of the Jews was typical. It was a shadow of which the body is Christ. The priests all prefigured the great Priest who offered “one sacrifice for sins” “once for all” (Heb. 10:10, 12). There is now no human priesthood. (See Epistle to the Hebrews throughout.) The term “priest” is indeed applied to believers (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6), but in these cases it implies no sacerdotal functions. All true believers are now “kings and priests unto God.” As priests they have free access into the holiest of all, and offer up the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, and the sacrifices of grateful service from day to day.
Prince The title generally applied to the chief men of the state. The “princes of the provinces” (1 Kings 20:14) were the governors or lord-lieutenants of the provinces. So also the “princes” mentioned in Dan. 6:1, 3, 4, 6, 7 were the officers who administered the affairs of the provinces; the “satraps” (as rendered in R.V.). These are also called “lieutenants” (Esther 3:12; 8:9; R.V., “satraps”). The promised Saviour is called by Daniel (9:25) “Messiah the Prince” (Heb. nagid); compare Acts 3:15; 5:31. The angel Micheal is called (Dan. 12:1) a “prince” (Heb. sar, whence “Sarah,” the “princes”).
Priscilla The wife of Aquila (Acts 18:2), who is never mentioned without her. Her name sometimes takes the precedence of his (Rom. 16:3; 2 Tim. 4:19). She took part with Aquila (q.v.) in insturcting Apollos (Acts 18:26).
Prison The first occasion on which we read of a prison is in the history of Joseph in Egypt. Then Potiphar, “Joseph’s master, took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound” (Gen. 39:20-23). The Heb. word here used (sohar) means properly a round tower or fortress. It seems to have been a part of Potiphar’s house, a place in which state prisoners were kept.
The Mosaic law made no provision for imprisonment as a punishment. In the wilderness two persons were “put in ward” (Lev. 24:12; Num. 15:34), but it was only till the mind of God concerning them should be ascertained. Prisons and prisoners are mentioned in the book of Psalms (69:33; 79:11; 142:7). Samson was confined in a Philistine prison (Judg. 16:21, 25). In the subsequent history of Israel frequent references are made to prisons (1 Kings 22:27; 2 Kings 17:4; 25:27, 29; 2 Chr. 16:10; Isa. 42:7; Jer. 32:2). Prisons seem to have been common in New Testament times (Matt. 11:2; 25:36, 43). The apostles were put into the “common prison” at the instance of the Jewish council (Acts 5:18, 23; 8:3); and at Philippi Paul and Silas were thrust into the “inner prison” (16:24; comp. 4:3; 12:4, 5).
Prophecy Or prediction, was one of the functions of the prophet. It has been defined as a “miracle of knowledge, a declaration or description or representation of something future, beyond the power of human sagacity to foresee, discern, or conjecture.” (See PROPHET.)
The great prediction which runs like a golden thread through the whole contents of the Old Testament is that regarding the coming and work of the Messiah; and the great use of prophecy was to perpetuate faith in his coming, and to prepare the world for that event. But there are many subordinate and intermediate prophecies also which hold an important place in the great chain of events which illustrate the sovereignty and all-wise overruling providence of God.
Then there are many prophecies regarding the Jewish nation, its founder Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; 13:16; 15:5; 17:2, 4-6, etc.), and his posterity, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants (12:7; 13:14, 15, 17; 15:18-21; Ex. 3:8, 17), which have all been fulfilled. The twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy contains a series of predictions which are even now in the present day being fulfilled. In the writings of the prophets Isaiah (2:18-21), Jeremiah (27:3-7; 29:11-14), Ezekiel (5:12; 8), Daniel (8; 9:26, 27), Hosea (9:17), there are also many prophecies regarding the events which were to befall that people.
There is in like manner a large number of prophecies relating to those nations with which the Jews came into contact, as Tyre (Ezek. 26:3-5, 14-21), Egypt (Ezek. 29:10, 15; 30:6, 12, 13), Ethiopia (Nahum 3:8-10), Nineveh (Nahum 1:10; 2:8-13; 3:17-19), Babylon (Isa. 13:4; Jer. 51:7; Isa. 44:27; Jer. 50:38; 51:36, 39, 57), the land of the Philistines (Jer. 47:4-7; Ezek. 25:15-17; Amos 1:6-8; Zeph. 2:4-7; Zech. 9:5-8), and of the four great monarchies (Dan. 2:39, 40; 7:17-24; 8:9).
But the great body of Old Testament prophecy relates directly to the advent of the Messiah, beginning with Gen. 3:15, the first great promise, and extending in ever-increasing fulness and clearness all through to the very close of the canon. The Messianic prophecies are too numerous to be quoted. “To him gave all the prophets witness.” (Comp. Micah 5:2; Hag. 2:6-9; Isa. 7:14; 9:6, 7; 11:1, 2; 53; 60:10, 13; Ps. 16:11; 68:18.)
Many predictions also were delivered by Jesus and his apostles. Those of Christ were very numerous. (Comp. Matt. 10:23:24; 11:23; 19:28; 21:43, 44; 24; 25:31-46; 26:17-35, 46, 64; Mark 9:1; 10:30; 13; 11:1-6, 14; 14:12-31, 42, 62; 16:17, etc.)
Prophet (Heb. nabi, from a root meaning “to bubble forth, as from a fountain,” hence “to utter”, comp. Ps. 45:1). This Hebrew word is the first and the most generally used for a prophet. In the time of Samuel another word, ro’eh, “seer”, began to be used (1 Sam. 9:9). It occurs seven times in reference to Samuel. Afterwards another word, hozeh, “seer” (2 Sam. 24:11), was employed. In 1 Ch. 29:29 all these three words are used: “Samuel the seer (ro’eh), Nathan the prophet (nabi’), Gad the seer” (hozeh). In Josh. 13:22 Balaam is called (Heb.) a kosem “diviner,” a word used only of a false prophet.
The “prophet” proclaimed the message given to him, as the “seer” beheld the vision of God. (See Num. 12:6, 8.) Thus a prophet was a spokesman for God; he spake in God’s name and by his authority (Ex. 7:1). He is the mouth by which God speaks to men (Jer. 1:9; Isa. 51:16), and hence what the prophet says is not of man but of God (2 Pet. 1:20, 21; comp. Heb. 3:7; Acts 4:25; 28:25). Prophets were the immediate organs of God for the communication of his mind and will to men (Deut. 18:18, 19). The whole Word of God may in this general sense be spoken of as prophetic, inasmuch as it was written by men who received the revelation they communicated from God, no matter what its nature might be. The foretelling of future events was not a necessary but only an incidental part of the prophetic office. The great task assigned to the prophets whom God raised up among the people was “to correct moral and religious abuses, to proclaim the great moral and religious truths which are connected with the character of God, and which lie at the foundation of his government.”
Any one being a spokesman for God to man might thus be called a prophet. Thus Enoch, Abraham, and the patriarchs, as bearers of God’s message (Gen. 20:7; Ex. 7:1; Ps. 105:15), as also Moses (Deut. 18:15; 34:10; Hos. 12:13), are ranked among the prophets. The seventy elders of Israel (Num. 11:16-29), “when the spirit rested upon them, prophesied;” Asaph and Jeduthun “prophesied with a harp” (1 Chr. 25:3). Miriam and Deborah were prophetesses (Ex. 15:20; Judg. 4:4). The title thus has a general application to all who have messages from God to men.
But while the prophetic gift was thus exercised from the beginning, the prophetical order as such began with Samuel. Colleges, “schools of the prophets”, were instituted for the training of prophets, who were constituted, a distinct order (1 Sam. 19:18-24; 2 Kings 2:3, 15; 4:38), which continued to the close of the Old Testament. Such “schools” were established at Ramah, Bethel, Gilgal, Gibeah, and Jericho. The “sons” or “disciples” of the prophets were young men (2 Kings 5:22; 9:1, 4) who lived together at these different “schools” (4:38-41). These young men were taught not only the rudiments of secular knowledge, but they were brought up to exercise the office of prophet, “to preach pure morality and the heart-felt worship of Jehovah, and to act along and co-ordinately with the priesthood and monarchy in guiding the state aright and checking all attempts at illegality and tyranny.”
In New Testament times the prophetical office was continued. Our Lord is frequently spoken of as a prophet (Luke 13:33; 24:19). He was and is the great Prophet of the Church. There was also in the Church a distinct order of prophets (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 2:20; 3:5), who made new revelations from God. They differed from the “teacher,” whose office it was to impart truths already revealed.
Of the Old Testament prophets there are sixteen, whose prophecies form part of the inspired canon. These are divided into four groups:
(1.) The prophets of the northern kingdom (Israel), viz., Hosea, Amos, Joel, Jonah.
(2.) The prophets of Judah, viz., Isaiah, Jeremiah, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah.
(3.) The prophets of Captivity, viz., Ezekiel and Daniel.
(4.) The prophets of the Restoration, viz., Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
Propitiation That by which God is rendered propitious, i.e., by which it becomes consistent with his character and government to pardon and bless the sinner. The propitiation does not procure his love or make him loving; it only renders it consistent for him to execise his love towards sinners.
In Rom. 3:25 and Heb. 9:5 (A.V., “mercy-seat”) the Greek word hilasterion is used. It is the word employed by the LXX. translators in Ex. 25:17 and elsewhere as the equivalent for the Hebrew kapporeth, which means “covering,” and is used of the lid of the ark of the covenant (Ex. 25:21; 30:6). This Greek word (hilasterion) came to denote not only the mercy-seat or lid of the ark, but also propitation or reconciliation by blood. On the great day of atonement the high priest carried the blood of the sacrifice he offered for all the people within the veil and sprinkled with it the “mercy-seat,” and so made propitiation.
In 1 John 2:2; 4:10, Christ is called the “propitiation for our sins.” Here a different Greek word is used (hilasmos). Christ is “the propitiation,” because by his becoming our substitute and assuming our obligations he expiated our guilt, covered it, by the vicarious punishment which he endured. (Comp. Heb. 2:17, where the expression “make reconciliation” of the A.V. is more correctly in the R.V. “make propitiation.”)
Proportion of faith (Rom. 12:6). Paul says here that each one was to exercise his gift of prophecy, i.e., of teaching, “according to the proportion of faith.” The meaning is, that the utterances of the “prophet” were not to fluctuate according to his own impulses or independent thoughts, but were to be adjusted to the truth revealed to him as a beliver, i.e., were to be in accordance with it.
In post-Reformation times this phrase was used as meaning that all Scripture was to be interpreted with reference to all other Scripture, i.e., that no words or expressions were to be isolated or interpreted in a way contrary to its general teaching. This was also called the “analogy of faith.”
Proselyte Is used in the LXX. for “stranger” (1 Chr. 22:2), i.e., a comer to Palestine; a sojourner in the land (Ex. 12:48; 20:10; 22:21), and in the New Testament for a convert to Judaism. There were such converts from early times (Isa. 56:3; Neh. 10:28; Esther 8:17). The law of Moses made specific regulations regarding the admission into the Jewish church of such as were not born Israelites (Ex. 20:10; 23:12; 12:19, 48; Deut. 5:14; 16:11, 14, etc.). The Kenites, the Gibeonites, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites were thus admitted to the privileges of Israelites. Thus also we hear of individual proselytes who rose to positions of prominence in Israel, as of Doeg the Edomite, Uriah the Hittite, Araunah the Jebusite, Zelek the Ammonite, Ithmah and Ebedmelech the Ethiopians.
In the time of Solomon there were one hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred strangers in the land of Israel (1 Chr. 22:2; 2 Chr. 2:17, 18). And the prophets speak of the time as coming when the strangers shall share in all the privileges of Israel (Ezek. 47:22; Isa. 2:2; 11:10; 56:3-6; Micah 4:1). Accordingly, in New Testament times, we read of proselytes in the synagogues, (Acts 10:2, 7; 13:42, 43, 50; 17:4; 18:7; Luke 7:5). The “religious proselytes” here spoken of were proselytes of righteousness, as distinguished from proselytes of the gate.
The distinction between “proselytes of the gate” (Ex. 20:10) and “proselytes of righteousness” originated only with the rabbis. According to them, the “proselytes of the gate” (half proselytes) were not required to be circumcised nor to comply with the Mosaic ceremonial law. They were bound only to conform to the so-called seven precepts of Noah, viz., to abstain from idolatry, blasphemy, bloodshed, uncleaness, the eating of blood, theft, and to yield obedience to the authorities. Besides these laws, however, they were required to abstain from work on the Sabbath, and to refrain from the use of leavened bread during the time of the Passover.
The “proselytes of righteousness”, religious or devout proselytes (Acts 13:43), were bound to all the doctrines and precepts of the Jewish economy, and were members of the synagogue in full communion.
The name “proselyte” occurs in the New Testament only in Matt. 23:15; Acts 2:10; 6:5; 13:43. The name by which they are commonly designated is that of “devout men,” or men “fearing God” or “worshipping God.”
Proverb A trite maxim; a similitude; a parable. The Hebrew word thus rendered (mashal) has a wide signification. It comes from a root meaning “to be like,” “parable.” Rendered “proverb” in Isa. 14:4; Hab. 2:6; “dark saying” in Ps. 49:4, Num. 12:8. Ahab’s defiant words in answer to the insolent demands of Benhadad, “Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off,” is a well known instance of a proverbial saying (1 Kings 20:11).
Proverbs, Book of A collection of moral and philosophical maxims of a wide range of subjects presented in a poetic form. This book sets forth the “philosophy of practical life. It is the sign to us that the Bible does not despise common sense and discretion. It impresses upon us in the most forcible manner the value of intelligence and prudence and of a good education. The whole strength of the Hebrew language and of the sacred authority of the book is thrown upon these homely truths. It deals, too, in that refined, discriminating, careful view of the finer shades of human character so often overlooked by theologians, but so necessary to any true estimate of human life” (Stanley’s Jewish Church).
As to the origin of this book, “it is probable that Solomon gathered and recast many proverbs which sprang from human experience in preceeding ages and were floating past him on the tide of time, and that he also elaborated many new ones from the material of his own experience. Towards the close of the book, indeed, are preserved some of Solomon’s own sayings that seem to have fallen from his lips in later life and been gathered by other hands’ (Arnot’s Laws from Heaven, etc.)
This book is usually divided into three parts: (1.) Consisting of ch. 1-9, which contain an exhibition of wisdom as the highest good.
(2.) Consisting of ch. 10-24.
(3.) Containing proverbs of Solomon “which the men of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, collected” (ch. 25-29).
These are followed by two supplements, (1) “The words of Agur” (ch. 30); and (2) “The words of king Lemuel” (ch. 31).
Solomon is said to have written three thousand proverbs, and those contained in this book may be a selection from these (1 Kings 4:32). In the New Testament there are thirty-five direct quotations from this book or allusions to it.
Providence Literally means foresight, but is generally used to denote God’s preserving and governing all things by means of second causes (Ps. 18:35; 63:8; Acts 17:28; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3). God’s providence extends to the natural world (Ps. 104:14; 135:5-7; Acts 14:17), the brute creation (Ps. 104:21-29; Matt. 6:26; 10:29), and the affairs of men (1 Chr. 16:31; Ps. 47:7; Prov. 21:1; Job 12:23; Dan. 2:21; 4:25), and of individuals (1 Sam. 2:6; Ps. 18:30; Luke 1:53; James 4:13-15). It extends also to the free actions of men (Ex. 12:36; 1 Sam. 24:9-15; Ps. 33:14, 15; Prov. 16:1; 19:21; 20:24; 21:1), and things sinful (2 Sam. 16:10; 24:1; Rom. 11:32; Acts 4:27, 28), as well as to their good actions (Phil. 2:13; 4:13; 2 Cor. 12:9, 10; Eph. 2:10; Gal. 5:22-25).
As regards sinful actions of men, they are represented as occurring by God’s permission (Gen. 45:5; 50:20. Comp. 1 Sam. 6:6; Ex. 7:13; 14:17; Acts 2:3; 3:18; 4:27, 28), and as controlled (Ps. 76:10) and overruled for good (Gen. 50:20; Acts 3:13). God does not cause or approve of sin, but only limits, restrains, overrules it for good.
The mode of God’s providential government is altogether unexplained. We only know that it is a fact that God does govern all his creatures and all their actions; that this government is universal (Ps. 103:17-19), particular (Matt. 10:29-31), efficacious (Ps. 33:11; Job 23:13), embraces events apparently contingent (Prov. 16:9, 33; 19:21; 21:1), is consistent with his own perfection (2 Tim. 2:13), and to his own glory (Rom. 9:17; 11:36).
Psalms The psalms are the production of various authors. “Only a portion of the Book of Psalms claims David as its author. Other inspired poets in successive generations added now one now another contribution to the sacred collection, and thus in the wisdom of Providence it more completely reflects every phase of human emotion and circumstances than it otherwise could.” But it is specially to David and his contemporaries that we owe this precious book. In the “titles” of the psalms, the genuineness of which there is no sufficient reason to doubt, 73 are ascribed to David. Peter and John (Acts 4:25) ascribe to him also the second psalm, which is one of the 48 that are anonymous. About two-thirds of the whole collection have been ascribed to David.
Psalms 39, 62, and 77 are addressed to Jeduthun, to be sung after his manner or in his choir. Psalms 50 and 73-83 are addressed to Asaph, as the master of his choir, to be sung in the worship of God. The “sons of Korah,” who formed a leading part of the Kohathite singers (2 Chr. 20:19), were intrusted with the arranging and singing of Ps. 42, 44-49, 84, 85, 87, and 88.
In Luke 24:44 the word “psalms” means the Hagiographa, i.e., the holy writings, one of the sections into which the Jews divided the Old Testament. (See BIBLE.)
None of the psalms can be proved to have been of a later date than the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, hence the whole collection extends over a period of about 1,000 years. There are in the New Testament 116 direct quotations from the Psalter.
The Psalter is divided, after the analogy of the Pentateuch, into five books, each closing with a doxology or benediction:
(1.) The first book comprises the first 41 psalms, all of which are ascribed to David except 1, 2, 10, and 33, which, though anonymous, may also be ascribed to him.
(2.) Book second consists of the next 31 psalms (42-72), 18 of which are ascribed to David and 1 to Solomon (the 72nd). The rest are anonymous.
(3.) The third book contains 17 psalms (73-89), of which the 86th is ascribed to David, the 88th to Heman the Ezrahite, and the 89th to Ethan the Ezrahite.
(4.) The fourth book also contains 17 psalms (90-106), of which the 90th is ascribed to Moses, and the 101st and 103rd to David.
(5.) The fifth book contains the remaining psalms, 44 in number. Of these, 15 are ascribed to David, and the 127th to Solomon.
Ps. 136 is generally called “the great hallel.” But the Talmud includes also Ps. 120-135. Ps. 113-118, inclusive, constitute the “hallel” recited at the three great feasts, at the new moon, and on the eight days of the feast of dedication.
“It is presumed that these several collections were made at times of high religious life: the first, probably, near the close of David’s life; the second in the days of Solomon; the third by the singers of Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 20:19); the fourth by the men of Hezekiah (29, 30, 31); and the fifth in the days of Ezra.”
The Mosaic ritual makes no provision for the service of song in the worship of God. David first taught the Church to sing the praises of the Lord. He first introduced into the ritual of the tabernacle music and song.
Divers names are given to the psalms. (1.) Some bear the Hebrew designation shir (Gr. ode, a song). Thirteen have this title. It means the flow of speech, as it were, in a straight line or in a regular strain. This title includes secular as well as sacred song.
(2.) Fifty-eight psalms bear the designation (Heb.) mitsmor (Gr. psalmos, a psalm), a lyric ode, or a song set to music; a sacred song accompanied with a musical instrument.
(3.) Ps. 145, and many others, have the designation (Heb.) tehillah (Gr. hymnos, a hymn), meaning a song of praise; a song the prominent thought of which is the praise of God.
(4.) Six psalms (16, 56-60) have the title (Heb.) michtam (q.v.).
(5.) Ps. 7 and Hab. 3 bear the title (Heb.) shiggaion (q.v.).
Psaltery A musical instrument, supposed to have been a kind of lyre, or a harp with twelve strings. The Hebrew word nebhel, so rendered, is translated “viol” in Isa. 5:12 (R.V., “lute”); 14:11. In Dan. 3:5, 7, 10, 15, the word thus rendered is Chaldaic, pesanterin, which is supposed to be a word of Greek origin denoting an instrument of the harp kind.
Ptolemais A maritime city of Galilee (Acts 21:7). It was originally called “Accho” (q.v.), and received the name Ptolemais from Ptolemy Soter when he was in possession of Coele-Syria.
Puah Splendid. (1.) One of the two midwives who feared God, and refused to kill the Hebrew male children at their birth (Ex. 1:15-21).
(2.) A descendant of Issachar (Judg. 10:1).
Publican One who farmed the taxes (e.g., Zacchaeus, Luke 19:2) to be levied from a town or district, and thus undertook to pay to the supreme government a certain amount. In order to collect the taxes, the publicans employed subordinates (5:27; 15:1; 18:10), who, for their own ends, were often guilty of extortion and peculation. In New Testament times these taxes were paid to the Romans, and hence were regarded by the Jews as a very heavy burden, and hence also the collectors of taxes, who were frequently Jews, were hated, and were usually spoken of in very opprobrious terms. Jesus was accused of being a “friend of publicans and sinners” (Luke 7:34).
Publius “the chief man of the island” of Malta (Acts 28:7), who courteously entertained Paul and his shipwrecked companions for three days, till they found a more permanent place of residence; for they remained on the island for three months, till the stormy season had passed. The word here rendered “chief man” (protos) is supposed by some to be properly a Maltese term, the official title of the governor.
Pudens Bashful, a Christian at Rome, who sent his greetings to Timothy (2 Tim. 4:21). (See CLAUDIA.)
Pul (1.) An Assyrian king. It has been a question whether he was identical with Tiglath-pileser III. (q.v.), or was his predecessor. The weight of evidence is certainly in favour of their identity. Pul was the throne-name he bore in Babylonia as king of Babylon, and Tiglath-pileser the throne-name he bore as king of Assyria. He was the founder of what is called the second Assyrian empire. He consolidated and organized his conquests on a large scale. He subdued Northern Syria and Hamath, and the kings of Syria rendered him homage and paid him tribute. His ambition was to found in Western Asia a kingdom which should embrace the whole civilized world, having Nineveh as its centre. Menahem, king of Israel, gave him the enormous tribute of a thousand talents of silver, “that his hand might be with him” (2 Kings 15:19; 1 Chr. 5:26). The fact that this tribute could be paid showed the wealthy condition of the little kingdom of Israel even in this age of disorder and misgovernment. Having reduced Syria, he turned his arms against Babylon, which he subdued. The Babylonian king was slain, and Babylon and other Chaldean cities were taken, and Pul assumed the title of “King of Sumer [i.e., Shinar] and Accad.” He was succeeded by Shalmanezer IV.
(2.) A geographical name in Isa. 66:19. Probably = Phut (Gen. 10:6; Jer. 46:9, R.V. “Put;” Ezek. 27:10).
Pulpit (Neh. 8:4). (See EZRA.)
Pulse (Dan. 1:12, 16), R.V. “herbs,” vegetable food in general.
Punishment The New Testament lays down the general principles of good government, but contains no code of laws for the punishment of offenders. Punishment proceeds on the principle that there is an eternal distinction between right and wrong, and that this distinction must be maintained for its own sake. It is not primarily intended for the reformation of criminals, nor for the purpose of deterring others from sin. These results may be gained, but crime in itself demands punishment. (See MURDER; THEFT.)
Endless, of the impenitent and unbelieving. The rejection of this doctrine “cuts the ground from under the gospel…blots out the attribute of retributive justice; transmutes sin into misfortune instead of guilt; turns all suffering into chastisement; converts the piacular work of Christ into moral influence…The attempt to retain the evangelical theology in connection with it is futile” (Shedd).
Purification The process by which a person unclean, according to the Levitical law, and thereby cut off from the sanctuary and the festivals, was restored to the enjoyment of all these privileges.
The great annual purification of the people was on the Day of Atonement (q.v.).
But in the details of daily life there were special causes of cermonial uncleanness which were severally provided for by ceremonial laws enacted for each separate case. For example, the case of the leper (Lev. 13, 14), and of the house defiled by leprosy (14:49-53; see also Matt. 8:2-4). Uncleanness from touching a dead body (Num. 19:11; Hos. 9:4; Hag. 2:13; Matt. 23:27; Luke 11:44). The case of the high priest and of the Nazarite (Lev. 21:1-4, 10, 11; Num. 6:6, 7; Ezek. 44:25). Purification was effected by bathing and washing the clothes (Lev. 14:8, 9); by washing the hands (Deut. 21:6; Matt. 27:24); washing the hands and feet (Ex. 30:18-21; Heb. 6:2, “baptisms”, R.V. marg., “washings;” 9:10); sprinkling with blood and water (Ex. 24:5-8; Heb. 9:19), etc. Allusions to this rite are found in Ps. 26:6; 51:7; Ezek. 36:25; Heb. 10:22.
Pur, Purim A lot, lots, a festival instituted by the Jews (Esther 9:24-32) in ironical commemoration of Haman’s consultation of the Pur (a Persian word), for the purpose of ascertaining the auspicious day for executing his cruel plot against their nation. It became a national institution by the common consent of the Jews, and is observed by them to the present day, on the 14th and 15th of the month Adar, a month before the Passover.
Purse (1.) Gr. balantion, a bag (Luke 10:4; 22:35, 36).
(2.) Gr. zone, properly a girdle (Matt. 10:9; Mark 6:8), a money-belt. As to our Lord’s sending forth his disciples without money in their purses, the remark has been made that in this “there was no departure from the simple manners of the country. At this day the farmer sets out on excursions quite as extensive without a para in his purse; and a modern Moslem prophet of Tarshisha thus sends forth his apostles over this identical region. No traveller in the East would hestitate to throw himself on the hospitality of any village.” Thomson’s Land and the Book. (See SCRIP.)
Puteoli A city on the coast of Campania, on the north shore of a bay running north from the Bay of Naples, at which Paul landed on his way to Rome, from which it was distant 170 miles. Here he tarried for seven days (Acts 28:13, 14). This was the great emporium for the Alexandrian corn ships. Here Paul and his companions began their journey, by the “Appian Way,” to Rome. It is now called Pozzuoli. The remains of a huge amphitheatre, and of the quay at which Paul landed, may still be seen here.
Put, Phut (1.) One of the sons of Ham (Gen. 10:6).
(2.) A land or people from among whom came a portion of the mercenary troops of Egypt, Jer. 46:9 (A.V., “Libyans,” but correctly, R.V., “Put”); Ezek. 27:10; 30:5 (A.V., “Libya;” R.V., “Put”); 38:5; Nahum 3:9.
Pygarg Heb. dishon, “springing”, (Deut. 14:5), one of the animals permitted for food. It is supposed to be the Antelope addax. It is described as “a large animal, over 3 1/2 feet high at the shoulder, and, with its gently-twisted horns, 2 1/2 feet long. Its colour is pure white, with the exception of a short black mane, and a tinge of tawny on the shoulders and back.”, Tristram’s Natural History. __________________________________________________________________
Quails The Israelites were twice relieved in their privation by a miraculous supply of quails, (1) in the wilderness of Sin (Ex. 16:13), and (2) again at Kibroth-hattaavah (q.v.), Num. 11:31. God “rained flesh upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea” (Ps. 78:27). The words in Num. 11:31, according to the Authorized Version, appear to denote that the quails lay one above another to the thickness of two cubits above the ground. The Revised Version, however, reads, “about two cubits above the face of the earth”, i.e., the quails flew at this height, and were easily killed or caught by the hand. Being thus secured in vast numbers by the people, they “spread them all abroad” (11:32) in order to salt and dry them.
These birds (the Coturnix vulgaris of naturalists) are found in countless numbers on the shores of the Mediterranean, and their annual migration is an event causing great excitement.
Quarantania A mountain some 1,200 feet high, about 7 miles north-west of Jericho, the traditional scene of our Lord’s temptation (Matt. 4:8).
Quarries (1.) The “Royal Quarries” (not found in Scripture) is the name given to the vast caverns stretching far underneath the northern hill, Bezetha, on which Jerusalem is built. Out of these mammoth caverns stones, a hard lime-stone, have been quarried in ancient times for the buildings in the city, and for the temples of Solomon, Zerubbabel, and Herod. Huge blocks of stone are still found in these caves bearing the marks of pick and chisel. The general appearance of the whole suggests to the explorer the idea that the Phoenician quarrymen have just suspended their work. The supposition that the polished blocks of stone for Solomon’s temple were sent by Hiram from Lebanon or Tyre is not supported by any evidence (comp. 1 Kings 5:8). Hiram sent masons and stone-squarers to Jerusalem to assist Solomon’s workmen in their great undertaking, but did not send stones to Jerusalem, where, indeed, they were not needed, as these royal quarries abundantly testify.
(2.) The “quarries” (Heb. pesilim) by Gilgal (Judg. 3:19), from which Ehud turned back for the purpose of carrying out his design to put Eglon king of Moab to death, were probably the “graven images” (as the word is rendered by the LXX. and the Vulgate and in the marg. A.V. and R.V.), or the idol temples the Moabites had erected at Gilgal, where the children of Israel first encamped after crossing the Jordan. The Hebrew word is rendered “graven images” in Deut. 7:25, and is not elsewhere translated “quarries.”
Quartus Fourth, a Corinthian Christian who sent by Paul his salutations to friends at Rome (Rom. 16:23).
Quaternion A band of four soldiers. Peter was committed by Herod to the custody of four quaternions, i.e., one quaternion for each watch of the night (Acts 12:4). Thus every precaution was taken against his escape from prison. Two of each quaternion were in turn stationed at the door (12:6), and to two the apostle was chained according to Roman custom.
Queen No explicit mention of queens is made till we read of the “queen of Sheba.” The wives of the kings of Israel are not so designated. In Ps. 45:9, the Hebrew for “queen” is not malkah, one actually ruling like the Queen of Sheba, but shegal, which simply means the king’s wife. In 1 Kings 11:19, Pharaoh’s wife is called “the queen,” but the Hebrew word so rendered (g’birah) is simply a title of honour, denoting a royal lady, used sometimes for “queen-mother” (1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chron. 15:16). In Cant. 6:8, 9, the king’s wives are styled “queens” (Heb. melakhoth).
In the New Testament we read of the “queen of the south”, i.e., Southern Arabia, Sheba (Matt. 12:42; Luke 11:31) and the “queen of the Ethiopians” (Acts 8:27), Candace.
Queen of heaven (Jer. 7:18; 44:17, 25), the moon, worshipped by the Assyrians as the receptive power in nature.
Quicksands Found only in Acts 27:17, the rendering of the Greek Syrtis. On the north coast of Africa were two localities dangerous to sailors, called the Greater and Lesser Syrtis. The former of these is probably here meant. It lies between Tripoli and Barca, and near Cyrene. The Lesser Syrtis lay farther to the west.
Quiver The sheath for arrows. The Hebrew word (aspah) thus commonly rendered is found in Job 39:23; Ps. 127:5; Isa. 22:6; 49:2; Jer. 5:16; Lam. 3:13. In Gen. 27:3 this word is the rendering of the Hebrew teli, which is supposed rather to mean a suspended weapon, literally “that which hangs from one”, i.e., is suspended from the shoulder or girdle.
Quotations From the Old Testament in the New, which are very numerous, are not made according to any uniform method. When the New Testament was written, the Old was not divided, as it now is, into chapters and verses, and hence such peculiarities as these: When Luke (20:37) refers to Ex. 3:6, he quotes from “Moses at the bush”, i.e., the section containing the record of Moses at the bush. So also Mark (2:26) refers to 1 Sam. 21:1-6, in the words, “in the days of Abiathar;” and Paul (Rom. 11:2) refers to 1 Kings ch. 17-19, in the words, “in Elias”, i.e., in the portion of the history regarding Elias.
In general, the New Testament writers quote from the Septuagint (q.v.) version of the Old Testament, as it was then in common use among the Jews. But it is noticeable that these quotations are not made in any uniform manner. Sometimes, e.g., the quotation does not agree literally either with the LXX. or the Hebrew text. This occurs in about one hundred instances. Sometimes the LXX. is literally quoted (in about ninety instances), and sometimes it is corrected or altered in the quotations (in over eighty instances).
Quotations are sometimes made also directly from the Hebrew text (Matt. 4:15, 16; John 19:37; 1 Cor. 15:54). Besides the quotations made directly, there are found numberless allusions, more or less distinct, showing that the minds of the New Testament writers were filled with the expressions and ideas as well as historical facts recorded in the Old.
There are in all two hundred and eighty-three direct quotations from the Old Testament in the New, but not one clear and certain case of quotation from the Apocrypha (q.v.).
Besides quotations in the New from the Old Testament, there are in Paul’s writings three quotations from certain Greek poets, Acts 17:28; 1 Cor. 15:33; Titus 1:12. These quotations are memorials of his early classical education.