Raamah Thunder. (1.) One of the sons of Cush (Gen. 10:7). (2.) A country which traded with Tyre (Ezek. 27:22).
Raamiah Thunder of the Lord, one of the princes who returned from the Exile (Neh. 7:7); called also Reelaiah (Ezra 2:2).
Raamses (Ex. 1:11). (See RAMESES.)
Rabbah Or Rab’bath, great. (1.) “Rabbath of the children of Ammon,” the chief city of the Ammonites, among the eastern hills, some 20 miles east of the Jordan, on the southern of the two streams which united with the Jabbok. Here the bedstead of Og was preserved (Deut. 3:11), perhaps as a trophy of some victory gained by the Ammonites over the king of Bashan. After David had subdued all their allies in a great war, he sent Joab with a strong force to take their city. For two years it held out against its assailants. It was while his army was engaged in this protracted siege that David was guilty of that deed of shame which left a blot on his character and cast a gloom over the rest of his life. At length, having taken the “royal city” (or the “city of waters,” 2 Sam. 12:27, i.e., the lower city on the river, as distinguished from the citadel), Joab sent for David to direct the final assault (11:1; 12:26-31). The city was given up to plunder, and the people were ruthlessly put to death, and “thus did he with all the cities of the children of Ammon.” The destruction of Rabbath was the last of David’s conquests. His kingdom now reached its farthest limits (2 Sam. 8:1-15; 1 Chr. 18:1-15). The capture of this city is referred to by Amos (1:14), Jeremiah (49:2, 3), and Ezekiel (21:20; 25:5).
(2.) A city in the hill country of Judah (Josh. 15:60), possibly the ruin Rubba, six miles north-east of Beit-Jibrin.
Rabbi My master, a title of dignity given by the Jews to their doctors of the law and their distinguished teachers. It is sometimes applied to Christ (Matt. 23:7, 8; Mark 9:5 (R.V.); John 1:38, 49; 3:2; 6:25, etc.); also to John (3:26).
Rabboni (id.) occurs only twice in the New Testament (Mark 10:51, A.V., “Lord,” R.V., “Rabboni;” John 20:16). It was the most honourable of all the titles.
Rabmag Assyrian Rab-mugi, “chief physician,” “who was attached to the king (Jer. 39:3, 13), the title of one of Sennacherib’s officers sent with messages to Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:17-19:13; Isa. 36:12-37:13) demanding the surrender of the city. He was accompanied by a “great army;” but his mission was unsuccessful.
Rabsaris Chief of the Heads, one of the three officers whom Sennacherib sent from Lachish with a threatening message to Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:17; Jer. 39:3, 13).
Rabshakeh Chief of the princes, the name given to the chief cup-bearer or the vizier of the Assyrian court; one of Sennacherib’s messengers to Hezekiah. See the speech he delivered, in the Hebrew language, in the hearing of all the people, as he stood near the wall on the north side of the city (2 Kings 18:17-37). He and the other envoys returned to their master and reported that Hezekiah and his people were obdurate, and would not submit.
Raca Vain, empty, worthless, only found in Matt. 5:22. The Jews used it as a word of contempt. It is derived from a root meaning “to spit.”
Rachab =Rahab, a name found in the genealogy of our Lord (Matt. 1:5).
Rachal Traffic, a town in the tribe of Judah, to which David sent presents from the spoils of his enemies (1 Sam. 30:29).
Rachel Ewe, “the daughter”, “the somewhat petulant, peevish, and self-willed though beautiful younger daughter” of Laban, and one of Jacob’s wives (Gen. 29:6, 28). He served Laban fourteen years for her, so deep was Jacob’s affection for her. She was the mother of Joseph (Gen. 30:22-24). Afterwards, on Jacob’s departure from Mesopotamia, she took with her her father’s teraphim (31:34, 35). As they journeyed on from Bethel, Rachel died in giving birth to Benjamin (35:18, 19), and was buried “in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave”. Her sepulchre is still regarded with great veneration by the Jews. Its traditional site is about half a mile from Jerusalem.
This name is used poetically by Jeremiah (31:15-17) to denote God’s people mourning under their calamities. This passage is also quoted by Matthew as fulfilled in the lamentation at Bethlehem on account of the slaughter of the infants there at the command of Herod (Matt. 2:17, 18).
Raguel Friend of God, (Num. 10:29)=Reuel (q.v.), Ex. 2:18, the father-in-law of Moses, and probably identical with Jethro (q.v.).
Rahab Insolence; pride, a poetical name applied to Egypt in Ps. 87:4; 89:10; Isa. 51:9, as “the proud one.”
Rahab, (Heb. Rahab; i.e., “broad,” “large”). When the Hebrews were encamped at Shittim, in the “Arabah” or Jordan valley opposite Jericho, ready to cross the river, Joshua, as a final preparation, sent out two spies to “spy the land.” After five days they returned, having swum across the river, which at this season, the month Abib, overflowed its banks from the melting of the snow on Lebanon. The spies reported how it had fared with them (Josh. 2:1-7). They had been exposed to danger in Jericho, and had been saved by the fidelity of Rahab the harlot, to whose house they had gone for protection. When the city of Jericho fell (6:17-25), Rahab and her whole family were preserved according to the promise of the spies, and were incorporated among the Jewish people. She afterwards became the wife of Salmon, a prince of the tribe of Judah (Ruth 4:21; 1 Chr. 2:11; Matt. 1:5). “Rahab’s being asked to bring out the spies to the soldiers (Josh. 2:3) sent for them, is in strict keeping with Eastern manners, which would not permit any man to enter a woman’s house without her permission. The fact of her covering the spies with bundles of flax which lay on her house-roof (2:6) is an undesigned coincidence’ which strictly corroborates the narrative. It was the time of the barley harvest, and flax and barley are ripe at the same time in the Jordan valley, so that the bundles of flax stalks might have been expected to be drying just then” (Geikie’s Hours, etc., ii., 390).
Raham Merciful, one of the descendants of Caleb, the son of Hezron (1 Chr. 2:44).
Rain There are three Hebrew words used to denote the rains of different seasons, (1.) Yoreh (Hos. 6:3), or moreh (Joel 2:23), denoting the former or the early rain. (2.) Melqosh, the “latter rain” (Prov. 16:15). (3.) Geshem, the winter rain, “the rains.” The heavy winter rain is mentioned in Gen. 7:12; Ezra 10:9; Cant. 2:11. The “early” or “former” rains commence in autumn in the latter part of October or beginning of November (Deut. 11:14; Joel 2:23; comp. Jer. 3:3), and continue to fall heavily for two months. Then the heavy “winter rains” fall from the middle of December to March. There is no prolonged fair weather in Palestine between October and March. The “latter” or spring rains fall in March and April, and serve to swell the grain then coming to maturity (Deut. 11:14; Hos. 6:3). After this there is ordinarily no rain, the sky being bright and cloudless till October or November.
Rain is referred to symbolically in Deut. 32:2; Ps. 72:6; Isa. 44:3, 4; Hos. 10:12.
Rainbow Caused by the reflection and refraction of the rays of the sun shining on falling rain. It was appointed as a witness of the divine faithfulness (Gen. 9:12-17). It existed indeed before, but it was then constituted as a sign of the covenant. Others, however (as Delitzsch, Commentary on Pentateuch), think that it “appeared then for the first time in the vault and clouds of heaven.” It is argued by those holding this opinion that the atmosphere was differently constituted before the Flood. It is referred to three other times in Scripture (Ezek. 1:27, 28; Rev. 4:1-3; 10:1).
Raisins Dried grapes; mentioned 1 Sam. 25:18; 30:12; 2 Sam. 16:1; 1 Chr. 12:40.
Rakkath Shore-town, a “fenced city” of the tribe of Naphtali (Josh. 19:35). The old name of Tiberias, according to the Rabbins.
Rakkon A place upon the shore, a town belonging to Dan (Josh. 19:46). It is now Tell er-Rakkeit, 6 miles north of Joppa, on the sea-shore, near the mouth of the river Aujeh, i.e., “yellow water.” (See KANAH.)
Ram Exalted. (1.) The son of Hezron, and one of the ancestors of the royal line (Ruth 4:19). The margin of 1 Chr. 2:9, also Matt. 1:3, 4 and Luke 3:33, have “Aram.”
(2.) One of the sons of Jerahmeel (1 Chr. 2:25, 27).
(3.) A person mentioned in Job 32:2 as founder of a clan to which Elihu belonged. The same as Aram of Gen. 22:21.
Rama (Matt. 2:18), the Greek form of Ramah. (1.) A city first mentioned in Josh. 18:25, near Gibeah of Benjamin. It was fortified by Baasha, king of Israel (1 Kings 15:17-22; 2 Chr. 16:1-6). Asa, king of Judah, employed Benhadad the Syrian king to drive Baasha from this city (1 Kings 15:18, 20). Isaiah (10:29) refers to it, and also Jeremiah, who was once a prisoner there among the other captives of Jerusalem when it was taken by Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 39:8-12; 40:1). Rachel, whose tomb lies close to Bethlehem, is represented as weeping in Ramah (Jer. 31:15) for her slaughtered children. This prophecy is illustrated and fulfilled in the re-awakening of Rachel’s grief at the slaughter of the infants in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:18). It is identified with the modern village of er-Ram, between Gibeon and Beeroth, about 5 miles due north of Jerusalem. (See SAMUEL.)
(2.) A town identified with Rameh, on the border of Asher, about 13 miles south-east of Tyre, “on a solitary hill in the midst of a basin of green fields” (Josh. 19:29).
(3.) One of the “fenced cities” of Naphtali (Josh. 19:36), on a mountain slope, about seven and a half miles west-south-west of Safed, and 15 miles west of the north end of the Sea of Galilee, the present large and well-built village of Rameh.
(4.) The same as Ramathaim-zophim (q.v.), a town of Mount Ephraim (1 Sam. 1:1, 19).
(5.) The same as Ramoth-gilead (q.v.), 2 Kings 8:29; 2 Chr. 22:6.
Ramathaim-zophim The two heights of the Zophites or of the watchers (only in 1 Sam. 1:1), “in the land of Zuph” (9:5). Ramathaim is another name for Ramah (4).
One of the Levitical families descended from Kohath, that of Zuph or Zophai (1 Chr. 6:26, 35), had a district assigned to them in Ephraim, which from this circumstance was called “the land of Zuph,” and hence the name of the town, “Zophim.” It was the birth-place of Samuel and the seat of his authority (1 Sam. 2:11; 7:17). It is frequently mentioned in the history of that prophet and of David (15:34; 16:13; 19:18-23). Here Samuel died and was buried (25:1).
This town has been identified with the modern Neby Samwil (“the prophet Samuel”), about 4 or 5 miles north-west of Jerusalem. But there is no certainty as to its precise locality. Some have supposed that it may be identical with Arimathea of the New Testament. (See MIZPAH).
Ramathite The designation given to Shimei, the manager of David’s vineyard (1 Chr. 27:27).
Ramath-lehi Elevation of Lehi, or the jawbone height; i.e., the Ramah of Lehi (Judg. 15:15-17). The phrase “in the jaw,” ver. 19, Authorized Version, is in the margin, also in the Revised Version, “in Lehi.” Here Samson slew a thousand Philistines with a jawbone.
Ramath-mizpeh The height of Mizpeh or of the watch-tower (Josh. 13:26), a place mentioned as one of the limits of Gad. There were two Mizpehs on the east of the Jordan. This was the Mizpeh where Jacob and Laban made a covenant, “Mizpeh of Gilead,” called also Galeed and Jegar-sahadutha. It has been identified with the modern es-Salt, where the roads from Jericho and from Shechem to Damascus unite, about 25 miles east of the Jordan and 13 south of the Jabbok.
Ramath of the south (Heb. Ramath-negeb). The Heb. negeb is the general designation for south or south-west of Judah. This was one of the towns of Simeon (Josh. 19:8). It is the same as “south Ramoth” (1 Sam. 30:27; R.V., “Ramoth of the south”). Its site is doubtful. Some have thought it another name for Baalath-beer.
Rameses “the land of” (Gen. 47:11), was probably “the land of Goshen” (q.v.) 45:10. After the Hebrews had built Rameses, one of the “treasure cities,” it came to be known as the “land” in which that city was built.
The city bearing this name (Ex. 12:37) was probably identical with Zoan, which Rameses II. (“son of the sun”) rebuilt. It became his special residence, and ranked next in importance and magnificance to Thebes. Huge masses of bricks, made of Nile mud, sun-dried, some of them mixed with stubble, possibly moulded by Jewish hands, still mark the site of Rameses. This was the general rendezvous of the Israelites before they began their march out of Egypt. Called also Raamses (Ex. 1:11).
Ramoth Heights. A Levitical city in the tribe of Issachar (1 Sam. 30:27; 1 Chr. 6:73), the same as Jarmuth (Josh. 21:29) and Remeth (q.v.), 19:21.
Ramoth-gilead Heights of Gilead, a city of refuge on the east of Jordan; called “Ramoth in Gilead” (Deut. 4:43; Josh. 20:8; 21:38). Here Ahab, who joined Jehoshaphat in an endeavour to rescue it from the hands of the king of Syria, was mortally wounded (1 Kings 22:1-36). A similar attempt was afterwards made by Ahaziah and Joram, when the latter was wounded (2 Kings 8:28). In this city Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, was anointed by one of the sons of the prophets (9:1, 4).
It has with probability been identified with Reimun, on the northern slope of the Jabbok, about 5 miles west of Jerash or Gerasa, one of the cities of Decapolis. Others identify it with Gerosh, about 25 miles north-east of es-Salt, with which also many have identified it. (See RAMATH-MIZPEH.)
Ranges (1.) Lev. 11:35. Probably a cooking furnace for two or more pots, as the Hebrew word here is in the dual number; or perhaps a fire-place fitted to receive a pair of ovens.
(2.) 2 Kings 11:8. A Hebrew word is here used different from the preceding, meaning “ranks of soldiers.” The Levites were appointed to guard the king’s person within the temple (2 Chr. 23:7), while the soldiers were his guard in the court, and in going from the temple to the palace. The soldiers are here commanded to slay any one who should break through the “ranks” (as rendered in the R.V.) to come near the king. In 2 Kings 11:15 the expression, “Have her forth without the ranges,” is in the Revised Version, “Have her forth between the ranks;” i.e., Jehoiada orders that Athaliah should be kept surrounded by his own guards, and at the same time conveyed beyond the precincts of the temple.
Ransom The price or payment made for our redemption, as when it is said that the Son of man “gave his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28; comp. Acts 20:28; Rom. 3:23, 24; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; Gal. 3:13; 4:4, 5: Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; 1 Tim. 2:6; Titus 2:14; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19. In all these passages the same idea is expressed). This word is derived from the Fr. rancon; Lat. redemptio. The debt is represented not as cancelled but as fully paid. The slave or captive is not liberated by a mere gratuitous favour, but a ransom price has been paid, in consideration of which he is set free. The original owner receives back his alienated and lost possession because he has bought it back “with a price.” This price or ransom (Gr. lutron) is always said to be Christ, his blood, his death. He secures our redemption by the payment of a ransom. (See REDEMPTION.)
Rapha Tall. (1.) A Benjamite, the son of Binea (1 Chr. 8:2, 37), a descendant of Saul. (2.) Margin of 1 Chr. 20:4, 6, where “giant” is given in the text.
Raphu Healed, a Benjamite, whose son Palti was one of the twelve spies (Num. 13:9).
Raven Heb. orebh, from a root meaning “to be black” (comp. Cant. 5:11); first mentioned as “sent forth” by Noah from the ark (Gen. 8:7). “Every raven after his kind” was forbidden as food (Lev. 11:15; Deut. 14:14). Ravens feed mostly on carrion, and hence their food is procured with difficulty (Job 38:41; Ps. 147:9). When they attack kids or lambs or weak animals, it is said that they first pick out the eyes of their victims (Prov. 30:17). When Elijah was concealed by the brook Cherith, God commanded the ravens to bring him “bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening” (1 Kings 17:3-6). (See ELIJAH.)
There are eight species of ravens in Palestine, and they are everywhere very numerous in that land.
Razor The Nazarites were forbidden to make use of the razor (Num. 6:5; Judg. 13:5). At their consecration the Levites were shaved all over with a razor (Num. 8:7; comp. Ps. 52:2; Ezek. 5:1).
Reba Fourth, one of the Midianite chiefs slain by the Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 31:8; Josh. 13:21).
Rebekah A noose, the daughter of Bethuel, and the wife of Isaac (Gen. 22:23; 24:67). The circumstances under which Abraham’s “steward” found her at the “city of Nahor,” in Padan-aram, are narrated in Gen. 24-27. “She can hardly be regarded as an amiable woman. When we first see her she is ready to leave her father’s house for ever at an hour’s notice; and her future life showed not only a full share of her brother Laban’s duplicity, but the grave fault of partiality in her relations to her children, and a strong will, which soon controlled the gentler nature of her husband.” The time and circumstances of her death are not recorded, but it is said that she was buried in the cave of Machpelah (Gen. 49:31).
Rechab Horseman, or chariot. (1.) One of Ishbosheth’s “captains of bands” or leaders of predatory troops (2 Sam. 4:2).
(2.) The father of Jehonadab, who was the father of the Rechabites (2 Kings 10:15, 23; Jer. 35:6-19).
Rechabites The descendants of Rechab through Jonadab or Jehonadab. They belonged to the Kenites, who accompanied the children of Israel into Palestine, and dwelt among them. Moses married a Kenite wife (Judg. 1:16), and Jael was the wife of “Heber the Kenite” (4:17). Saul also showed kindness to the Kenites (1 Sam. 15:6). The main body of the Kenites dwelt in cities, and adopted settled habits of life (30:29); but Jehonadab forbade his descendants to drink wine or to live in cities. They were commanded to lead always a nomad life. They adhered to the law laid down by Jonadab, and were noted for their fidelity to the old-established custom of their family in the days of Jeremiah (35); and this feature of their character is referred to by the prophet for the purpose of giving point to his own exhortation. They are referred to in Neh. 3:14 and 1 Chr. 2:55. Dr. Wolff (1839) found in Arabia, near Mecca, a tribe claiming to be descendants of Jehonadab; and recently a Bedouin tribe has been found near the Dead Sea who also profess to be descendants of the same Kenite chief.
Reconcilation A change from enmity to friendship. It is mutual, i.e., it is a change wrought in both parties who have been at enmity.
(1.) In Col. 1:21, 22, the word there used refers to a change wrought in the personal character of the sinner who ceases to be an enemy to God by wicked works, and yields up to him his full confidence and love. In 2 Cor. 5:20 the apostle beseeches the Corinthians to be “reconciled to God”, i.e., to lay aside their enmity.
(2.) Rom. 5:10 refers not to any change in our disposition toward God, but to God himself, as the party reconciled. Romans 5:11 teaches the same truth. From God we have received “the reconciliation” (R.V.), i.e., he has conferred on us the token of his friendship. So also 2 Cor. 5:18, 19 speaks of a reconciliation originating with God, and consisting in the removal of his merited wrath. In Eph. 2:16 it is clear that the apostle does not refer to the winning back of the sinner in love and loyalty to God, but to the restoration of God’s forfeited favour. This is effected by his justice being satisfied, so that he can, in consistency with his own nature, be favourable toward sinners. Justice demands the punishment of sinners. The death of Christ satisfies justice, and so reconciles God to us. This reconciliation makes God our friend, and enables him to pardon and save us. (See ATONEMENT.)
Recorder (Heb. mazkir, i.e., “the mentioner,” “rememberancer”), the office first held by Jehoshaphat in the court of David (2 Sam. 8:16), also in the court of Solomon (1 Kings 4:3). The next recorder mentioned is Joah, in the reign of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:18, 37; Isa. 36:3, 22). In the reign of Josiah another of the name of Joah filled this office (2 Chr. 34:8). The “recorder” was the chancellor or vizier of the kingdom. He brought all weighty matters under the notice of the king, “such as complaints, petitions, and wishes of subjects or foreigners. He also drew up papers for the king’s guidance, and prepared drafts of the royal will for the scribes. All treaties came under his oversight; and he had the care of the national archives or records, to which, as royal historiographer, like the same state officer in Assyria and Egypt, he added the current annals of the kingdom.”
Redeemer Heb. goel; i.e., one charged with the duty of restoring the rights of another and avenging his wrongs (Lev. 25:48, 49; Num. 5:8; Ruth 4:1; Job 19:25; Ps. 19:14; 78:35, etc.). This title is peculiarly applied to Christ. He redeems us from all evil by the payment of a ransom (q.v.). (See REDEMPTION.)
Redemption The purchase back of something that had been lost, by the payment of a ransom. The Greek word so rendered is apolutrosis, a word occurring nine times in Scripture, and always with the idea of a ransom or price paid, i.e., redemption by a lutron (see Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45). There are instances in the LXX. Version of the Old Testament of the use of lutron in man’s relation to man (Lev. 19:20; 25:51; Ex. 21:30; Num. 35:31, 32; Isa. 45:13; Prov. 6:35), and in the same sense of man’s relation to God (Num. 3:49; 18:15).
There are many passages in the New Testament which represent Christ’s sufferings under the idea of a ransom or price, and the result thereby secured is a purchase or redemption (comp. Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; Gal. 3:13; 4:4, 5; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; 1 Tim. 2:5, 6; Titus 2:14; Heb. 9:12; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19; Rev. 5:9). The idea running through all these texts, however various their reference, is that of payment made for our redemption. The debt against us is not viewed as simply cancelled, but is fully paid. Christ’s blood or life, which he surrendered for them, is the “ransom” by which the deliverance of his people from the servitude of sin and from its penal consequences is secured. It is the plain doctrine of Scripture that “Christ saves us neither by the mere exercise of power, nor by his doctrine, nor by his example, nor by the moral influence which he exerted, nor by any subjective influence on his people, whether natural or mystical, but as a satisfaction to divine justice, as an expiation for sin, and as a ransom from the curse and authority of the law, thus reconciling us to God by making it consistent with his perfection to exercise mercy toward sinners” (Hodge’s Systematic Theology).
Red Sea The sea so called extends along the west coast of Arabia for about 1,400 miles, and separates Asia from Africa. It is connected with the Indian Ocean, of which it is an arm, by the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb. At a point (Ras Mohammed) about 200 miles from its nothern extremity it is divided into two arms, that on the east called the AElanitic Gulf, now the Bahr el-Akabah, about 100 miles long by 15 broad, and that on the west the Gulf of Suez, about 150 miles long by about 20 broad. This branch is now connected with the Mediterranean by the Suez Canal. Between these two arms lies the Sinaitic Peninsula.
The Hebrew name generally given to this sea is Yam Suph. This word suph means a woolly kind of sea-weed, which the sea casts up in great abundance on its shores. In these passages, Ex. 10:19; 13:18; 15:4, 22; 23:31; Num. 14:25, etc., the Hebrew name is always translated “Red Sea,” which was the name given to it by the Greeks. The origin of this name (Red Sea) is uncertain. Some think it is derived from the red colour of the mountains on the western shore; others from the red coral found in the sea, or the red appearance sometimes given to the water by certain zoophytes floating in it. In the New Testament (Acts 7:36; Heb. 11:29) this name is given to the Gulf of Suez.
This sea was also called by the Hebrews Yam-mitstraim, i.e., “the Egyptian sea” (Isa. 11:15), and simply Ha-yam, “the sea” (Ex. 14:2, 9, 16, 21, 28; Josh. 24:6, 7; Isa. 10:26, etc.).
The great historical event connected with the Red Sea is the passage of the children of Israel, and the overthrow of the Egyptians, to which there is frequent reference in Scripture (Ex. 14, 15; Num. 33:8; Deut. 11:4; Josh. 2:10; Judg. 11:16; 2 Sam. 22:16; Neh. 9:9-11; Ps. 66:6; Isa. 10:26; Acts 7:36, etc.).
Red Sea, Passage of The account of the march of the Israelites through the Red Sea is given in Ex. 14:22-31. There has been great diversity of opinion as to the precise place where this occurred. The difficulty of arriving at any definite conclusion on the matter is much increased by the consideration that the head of the Gulf of Suez, which was the branch of the sea that was crossed, must have extended at the time of the Exodus probably 50 miles farther north than it does at present. Some have argued that the crossing took place opposite the Wady Tawarik, where the sea is at present some 7 miles broad. But the opinion that seems to be best supported is that which points to the neighbourhood of Suez. This position perfectly satisfies all the conditions of the stupendous miracle as recorded in the sacred narrative. (See EXODUS.)
Reed (1.) “Paper reeds” (Isa. 19:7; R.V., “reeds”). Heb. aroth, properly green herbage growing in marshy places.
(2.) Heb. kaneh (1 Kings 14:15; Job 40:21; Isa. 19:6), whence the Gr. kanna, a “cane,” a generic name for a reed of any kind.
The reed of Egypt and Palestine is the Arundo donax, which grows to the height of 12 feet, its stalk jointed like the bamboo, “with a magnificent panicle of blossom at the top, and so slender and yielding that it will lie perfectly flat under a gust of wind, and immediately resume its upright position.” It is used to illustrate weakness (2 Kings 18:21; Ezek. 29:6), also fickleness or instability (Matt. 11:7; comp. Eph. 4:14).
A “bruised reed” (Isa. 42:3; Matt. 12:20) is an emblem of a believer weak in grace. A reed was put into our Lord’s hands in derision (Matt. 27:29); and “they took the reed and smote him on the head” (30). The “reed” on which they put the sponge filled with vinegar (Matt. 27:48) was, according to John (19:29), a hyssop stalk, which must have been of some length, or perhaps a bunch of hyssop twigs fastened to a rod with the sponge. (See CANE.)
Refiner The process of refining metals is referred to by way of illustrations in Isa. 1:25; Jer. 6:29; Zech. 13:9; Mal. 3:2, 3.
Refuge, Cities of Were six in number (Num. 35). 1. On the west of Jordan were (1) Kadesh, in Naphtali; (2) Shechem, in Mount Ephraim; (3) Hebron, in Judah. 2. On the east of Jordan were, (1) Golan, in Bashan; (2) Ramoth-Gilead, in Gad; and (3) Bezer, in Reuben. (See under each of these names.)
Regem-melech Friend of the king, one of the two messengers sent by the exiled Jews to Jerusalem in the time of Darius (Zech. 7:2) to make inquiries at the temple.
Regeneration Only found in Matt. 19:28 and Titus 3:5. This word literally means a “new birth.” The Greek word so rendered (palingenesia) is used by classical writers with reference to the changes produced by the return of spring. In Matt. 19:28 the word is equivalent to the “restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21). In Titus 3:5 it denotes that change of heart elsewhere spoken of as a passing from death to life (1 John 3:14); becoming a new creature in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17); being born again (John 3:5); a renewal of the mind (Rom. 12:2); a resurrection from the dead (Eph. 2:6); a being quickened (2:1, 5).
This change is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. It originates not with man but with God (John 1:12, 13; 1 John 2:29; 5:1, 4).
As to the nature of the change, it consists in the implanting of a new principle or disposition in the soul; the impartation of spiritual life to those who are by nature “dead in trespasses and sins.”
The necessity of such a change is emphatically affirmed in Scripture (John 3:3; Rom. 7:18; 8:7-9; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 2:1; 4:21-24).
Rehabiah Enlargement of the Lord, the son of Eliezer, and grandson of Moses (1 Chr. 23:17; 24:21).
Rehob Street; broad place. (1.) The father of Hadadezer, king of Tobah (2 Sam. 8:3, 12).
(2.) Neh. 10:11.
(3.) The same, probably, as Beth-rehob (2 Sam. 10:6, 8; Judg. 18:28), a place in the north of Palestine (Num. 13:21). It is now supposed to be represented by the castle of Hunin, south-west of Dan, on the road from Hamath into Coele-Syria.
(4.) A town of Asher (Josh. 19:28), to the east of Zidon.
(5.) Another town of Asher (Josh. 19:30), kept possession of by the Canaanites (Judg. 1:31).
Rehoboam He enlarges the people, the successor of Solomon on the throne, and apparently his only son. He was the son of Naamah “the Ammonitess,” some well-known Ammonitish princess (1 Kings 14:21; 2 Chr. 12:13). He was forty-one years old when he ascended the throne, and he reigned seventeen years (B.C. 975-958). Although he was acknowledged at once as the rightful heir to the throne, yet there was a strongly-felt desire to modify the character of the government. The burden of taxation to which they had been subjected during Solomon’s reign was very oppressive, and therefore the people assembled at Shechem and demanded from the king an alleviation of their burdens. He went to meet them at Shechem, and heard their demands for relief (1 Kings 12:4). After three days, having consulted with a younger generation of courtiers that had grown up around him, instead of following the advice of elders, he answered the people haughtily (6-15). “The king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the Lord” (comp. 11:31). This brought matters speedily to a crisis. The terrible cry was heard (comp. 2 Sam. 20:1):
“What portion have we in David? Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: To your tents, O Israel: Now see to thine own house, David” (1 Kings 12:16).
And now at once the kingdom was rent in twain. Rehoboam was appalled, and tried concessions, but it was too late (18). The tribe of Judah, Rehoboam’s own tribe, alone remained faithful to him. Benjamin was reckoned along with Judah, and these two tribes formed the southern kingdom, with Jerusalem as its capital; while the northern ten tribes formed themselves into a separate kingdom, choosing Jeroboam as their king. Rehoboam tried to win back the revolted ten tribes by making war against them, but he was prevented by the prophet Shemaiah (21-24; 2 Chr. 11:1-4) from fulfilling his purpose. (See JEROBOAM.)
In the fifth year of Rehoboam’s reign, Shishak (q.v.), one of the kings of Egypt of the Assyrian dynasty, stirred up, no doubt, by Jeroboam his son-in-law, made war against him. Jerusalem submitted to the invader, who plundered the temple and virtually reduced the kingdom to the position of a vassal of Egypt (1 Kings 14:25, 26; 2 Chr. 12:5-9). A remarkable memorial of this invasion has been discovered at Karnac, in Upper Egypt, in certain sculptures on the walls of a small temple there. These sculptures represent the king, Shishak, holding in his hand a train of prisoners and other figures, with the names of the captured towns of Judah, the towns which Rehoboam had fortified (2 Chr. 11:5-12).
The kingdom of Judah, under Rehoboam, sank more and more in moral and spiritual decay. “There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all their days.” At length, in the fifty-eighth year of his age, Rehoboam “slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David” (1 Kings 14:31). He was succeeded by his son Abijah. (See EGYPT.)
Rehoboth Broad places. (1.) A well in Gerar dug by Isaac (Gen. 26:22), supposed to be in Wady er-Ruheibeh, about 20 miles south of Beersheba.
(2.) An ancient city on the Euphrates (Gen. 36:37; 1 Chr. 1:48), “Rehoboth by the river.”
(3.) Named among the cities of Asshur (Gen. 10:11). Probably, however, the words “rehoboth’ir” are to be translated as in the Vulgate and the margin of A.V., “the streets of the city,” or rather “the public square of the city”, i.e., of Nineveh.
Rehum Merciful. (1.) One of “the children of the province” who returned from the Captivity (Ezra 2:2); the same as “Nehum” (Neh. 7:7).
(2.) The “chancellor” of Artaxerxes, who sought to stir him up against the Jews (Ezra 4:8-24) and prevent the rebuilding of the walls and the temple of Jerusalem.
(3.) A Levite (Neh. 3:17).
(4.) Neh. 10:25.
(5.) A priest (Neh. 12:3).
Rei Friendly, one who maintained true allegiance to king David (1 Kings 1:8) when Adonijah rebelled.
Reins The kidneys, the supposed seat of the desires and affections; used metaphorically for “heart.” The “reins” and the “heart” are often mentioned together, as denoting the whole moral constitution of man (Ps. 7:9; 16:7; 26:2; 139:13; Jer. 17:10, etc.).
Rekem Embroidered; variegated. (1.) One of the five Midianite kings whom the Israelites destroyed (Num. 31:8).
(2.) One of the sons of Hebron (1 Chr. 2:43, 44).
(3.) A town of Benjamin (Josh. 18:27).
Remaliah Adorned by the Lord, the father of Pekah, who conspired successfully against Pekahiah (2 Kings 15:25, 27, 30, 32, 37; Isa. 7:1, 4, 5, 9; 8:6).
Remeth Another form of Ramah (q.v.) or Ramoth (1 Chr. 6:73; Josh. 19:21), and probably also of Jarmuth (Josh. 21:29).
Remmon-methoar (Josh. 19:13), rendered correctly in the Revised Version, “Rimmon, which stretcheth unto Neah,” a landmark of Zebulun; called also Rimmon (1 Chr. 6:77).
Remphan (Acts 7:43; R.V., “Rephan”). In Amos 5:26 the Heb. Chiun (q.v.) is rendered by the LXX. “Rephan,” and this name is adopted by Luke in his narrative of the Acts. These names represent the star-god Saturn or Moloch.
Rent (Isa. 3:24), probably a rope, as rendered in the LXX. and Vulgate and Revised Version, or as some prefer interpreting the phrase, “girdle and robe are torn [i.e., are a rent’] by the hand of violence.”
Repentance There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance. (1.) The verb metamelomai is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Matt. 27:3).
(2.) Metanoeo, meaning to change one’s mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, with (3) the cognate noun metanoia, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.
Evangelical repentance consists of (1) a true sense of one’s own guilt and sinfulness; (2) an apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ; (3) an actual hatred of sin (Ps. 119:128; Job 42:5, 6; 2 Cor. 7:10) and turning from it to God; and (4) a persistent endeavour after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments.
The true penitent is conscious of guilt (Ps. 51:4, 9), of pollution (51:5, 7, 10), and of helplessness (51:11; 109:21, 22). Thus he apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares him to be. But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance (Ps. 51:1; 130:4).
Rephael Healed of God, one of Shemaiah’s sons. He and his brethren, on account of their “strength for service,” formed one of the divisions of the temple porters (1 Chr. 26:7, 8).
Rephaim Lofty men; giants, (Gen. 14:5; 2 Sam. 21:16, 18, marg. A.V., Rapha, marg. R.V., Raphah; Deut. 3:13, R.V.; A.V., “giants”). The aborigines of Palestine, afterwards conquered and dispossessed by the Canaanite tribes, are classed under this general title. They were known to the Moabites as Emim, i.e., “fearful”, (Deut. 2:11), and to the Ammonites as Zamzummim. Some of them found refuge among the Philistines, and were still existing in the days of David. We know nothing of their origin. They were not necessarily connected with the “giants” (R.V., “Nephilim”) of Gen. 6:4. (See GIANTS.)
Rephaim, Valley of (Josh. 15:8; 18:16, R.V.). When David became king over all Israel, the Philistines, judging that he would now become their uncompromising enemy, made a sudden attack upon Hebron, compelling David to retire from it. He sought refuge in “the hold” at Adullam (2 Sam. 5:17-22), and the Philistines took up their position in the valley of Rephaim, on the west and south-west of Jerusalem. Thus all communication between Bethlehem and Jerusalem was intercepted. While David and his army were encamped here, there occurred that incident narrated in 2 Sam. 23:15-17. Having obtained divine direction, David led his army against the Philistines, and gained a complete victory over them. The scene of this victory was afterwards called Baalperazim (q.v.).
A second time, however, the Philistines rallied their forces in this valley (2 Sam. 5:22). Again warned by a divine oracle, David led his army to Gibeon, and attacked the Philistines from the south, inflicting on them another severe defeat, and chasing them with great slaughter to Gezer (q.v.). There David kept in check these enemies of Israel. This valley is now called el-Bukei’a.
Rephidim Supports, one of the stations of the Israelites, situated in the Wady Feiran, near its junction with the Wady esh-Sheikh. Here no water could be found for the people to drink, and in their impatience they were ready to stone Moses, as if he were the cause of their distress. At the command of God Moses smote “the rock in Horeb,” and a copious stream flowed forth, enough for all the people. After this the Amalekites attacked the Israelites while they were here encamped, but they were utterly defeated (Ex. 17:1, 8-16). They were the “first of the nations” to make war against Israel (Num. 24:20).
Leaving Rephidim, the Israelites advanced into the wilderness of Sinai (Ex. 19:1, 2; Num. 33:14, 15), marching probably through the two passes of the Wady Solaf and the Wady esh-Sheikh, which converge at the entrance to the plain er-Rahah, the “desert of Sinai,” which is two miles long and about half a mile broad. (See SINAI; MERIBAH.)
Reprobate That which is rejected on account of its own worthlessness (Jer. 6:30; Heb. 6:8; Gr. adokimos, “rejected”). This word is also used with reference to persons cast away or rejected because they have failed to make use of opportunities offered them (1 Cor. 9:27; 2 Cor. 13:5-7).
Rereward (Josh. 6:9), the troops in the rear of an army on the march, the rear-guard. This word is a corruption of the French arriere-garde. During the wilderness march the tribe of Dan formed the rear-guard (Num. 10:25; comp. 1 Sam. 29:2; Isa. 52:12; 58:8).
Resen Head of the stream; bridle, one of Nimrod’s cities (Gen. 10:12), “between Nineveh and Calah.” It has been supposed that the four cities named in this verse were afterwards combined into one under the name of Nineveh (q.v.). Resen was on the east side of the Tigris. It is probably identified with the mound of ruins called Karamless.
Rest (1.) Gr. katapausis, equivalent to the Hebrew word noah (Heb. 4:1).
(2.) Gr. anapausis, “rest from weariness” (Matt. 11:28).
(3.) Gr. anesis, “relaxation” (2 Thess. 1:7).
(4.) Gr. sabbatismos, a Sabbath rest, a rest from all work (Heb. 4:9; R.V., “sabbath”), a rest like that of God when he had finished the work of creation.
Resurrection of Christ One of the cardinal facts and doctrines of the gospel. If Christ be not risen, our faith is vain (1 Cor. 15:14). The whole of the New Testament revelation rests on this as an historical fact. On the day of Pentecost Peter argued the necessity of Christ’s resurrection from the prediction in Ps. 16 (Acts 2:24-28). In his own discourses, also, our Lord clearly intimates his resurrection (Matt. 20:19; Mark 9:9; 14:28; Luke 18:33; John 2:19-22).
The evangelists give circumstantial accounts of the facts connected with that event, and the apostles, also, in their public teaching largely insist upon it. Ten different appearances of our risen Lord are recorded in the New Testament. They may be arranged as follows:
(1.) To Mary Magdalene at the sepulchre alone. This is recorded at length only by John (20:11-18), and alluded to by Mark (16:9-11).
(2.) To certain women, “the other Mary,” Salome, Joanna, and others, as they returned from the sepulchre. Matthew (28:1-10) alone gives an account of this. (Comp. Mark 16:1-8, and Luke 24:1-11.)
(3.) To Simon Peter alone on the day of the resurrection. (See Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5.)
(4.) To the two disciples on the way to Emmaus on the day of the resurrection, recorded fully only by Luke (24:13-35. Comp. Mark 16:12, 13).
(5.) To the ten disciples (Thomas being absent) and others “with them,” at Jerusalem on the evening of the resurrection day. One of the evangelists gives an account of this appearance, John (20:19-24).
(6.) To the disciples again (Thomas being present) at Jerusalem (Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:33-40; John 20:26-28. See also 1 Cor. 15:5).
(7.) To the disciples when fishing at the Sea of Galilee. Of this appearance also John (21:1-23) alone gives an account.
(8.) To the eleven, and above 500 brethren at once, at an appointed place in Galilee (1 Cor. 15:6; comp. Matt. 28:16-20).
(9.) To James, but under what circumstances we are not informed (1 Cor. 15:7).
(10.) To the apostles immediately before the ascension. They accompanied him from Jerusalem to Mount Olivet, and there they saw him ascend “till a cloud received him out of their sight” (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50-52; Acts 1:4-10).
It is worthy of note that it is distinctly related that on most of these occasions our Lord afforded his disciples the amplest opportunity of testing the fact of his resurrection. He conversed with them face to face. They touched him (Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:39; John 20:27), and he ate bread with them (Luke 24:42, 43; John 21:12, 13).
(11.) In addition to the above, mention might be made of Christ’s manifestation of himself to Paul at Damascus, who speaks of it as an appearance of the risen Saviour (Acts 9:3-9, 17; 1 Cor. 15:8; 9:1).
It is implied in the words of Luke (Acts 1:3) that there may have been other appearances of which we have no record.
The resurrection is spoken of as the act (1) of God the Father (Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:24; 3:15; Rom. 8:11; Eph. 1:20; Col. 2:12; Heb. 13:20); (2) of Christ himself (John 2:19; 10:18); and (3) of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 3:18).
The resurrection is a public testimony of Christ’s release from his undertaking as surety, and an evidence of the Father’s acceptance of his work of redemption. It is a victory over death and the grave for all his followers.
The importance of Christ’s resurrection will be seen when we consider that if he rose the gospel is true, and if he rose not it is false. His resurrection from the dead makes it manifest that his sacrifice was accepted. Our justification was secured by his obedience to the death, and therefore he was raised from the dead (Rom. 4:25). His resurrection is a proof that he made a full atonement for our sins, that his sacrifice was accepted as a satisfaction to divine justice, and his blood a ransom for sinners. It is also a pledge and an earnest of the resurrection of all believers (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 6:14; 15:47-49; Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:2). As he lives, they shall live also.
It proved him to be the Son of God, inasmuch as it authenticated all his claims (John 2:19; 10:17). “If Christ did not rise, the whole scheme of redemption is a failure, and all the predictions and anticipations of its glorious results for time and for eternity, for men and for angels of every rank and order, are proved to be chimeras. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.’ Therefore the Bible is true from Genesis to Revelation. The kingdom of darkness has been overthrown, Satan has fallen as lightning from heaven, and the triumph of truth over error, of good over evil, of happiness over misery is for ever secured.” Hodge.
With reference to the report which the Roman soldiers were bribed (Matt. 28:12-14) to circulate concerning Christ’s resurrection, “his disciples came by night and stole him away while we slept,” Matthew Henry in his “Commentary,” under John 20:1-10, fittingly remarks, “The grave-clothes in which Christ had been buried were found in very good order, which serves for an evidence that his body was not stolen away while men slept.’ Robbers of tombs have been known to take away the clothes’ and leave the body; but none ever took away the body’ and left the clothes, especially when they were fine linen’ and new (Mark 15:46). Any one would rather choose to carry a dead body in its clothes than naked. Or if they that were supposed to have stolen it would have left the grave-clothes behind, yet it cannot be supposed they would find leisure to fold up the linen.'”
Resurrection of the dead Will be simultaneous both of the just and the unjust (Dan. 12:2; John 5:28, 29; Rom. 2:6-16; 2 Thess. 1:6-10). The qualities of the resurrection body will be different from those of the body laid in the grave (1 Cor. 15:53, 54; Phil. 3:21); but its identity will nevertheless be preserved. It will still be the same body (1 Cor. 15:42-44) which rises again.
As to the nature of the resurrection body, (1) it will be spiritual (1 Cor. 15:44), i.e., a body adapted to the use of the soul in its glorified state, and to all the conditions of the heavenly state; (2) glorious, incorruptible, and powerful (54); (3) like unto the glorified body of Christ (Phil. 3:21); and (4) immortal (Rev. 21:4).
Christ’s resurrection secures and illustrates that of his people. “(1.) Because his resurrection seals and consummates his redemptive power; and the redemption of our persons involves the redemption of our bodies (Rom. 8:23). (2.) Because of our federal and vital union with Christ (1 Cor. 15:21, 22; 1 Thess. 4:14). (3.) Because of his Spirit which dwells in us making our bodies his members (1 Cor. 6:15; Rom. 8:11). (4.) Because Christ by covenant is Lord both of the living and the dead (Rom. 14:9). This same federal and vital union of the Christian with Christ likewise causes the resurrection of the believer to be similar to as well as consequent upon that of Christ (1 Cor. 15:49; Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:2).” Hodge’s Outlines of Theology.
Reuben Behold a son!, the eldest son of Jacob and Leah (Gen. 29:32). His sinful conduct, referred to in Gen. 35:22, brought down upon him his dying father’s malediction (48:4). He showed kindness to Joseph, and was the means of saving his life when his other brothers would have put him to death (37:21, 22). It was he also who pledged his life and the life of his sons when Jacob was unwilling to let Benjamin go down into Egypt. After Jacob and his family went down into Egypt (46:8) no further mention is made of Reuben beyond what is recorded in ch. 49:3, 4.
Reuben, Tribe of At the Exodus numbered 46,500 male adults, from twenty years old and upwards (Num. 1:20, 21), and at the close of the wilderness wanderings they numbered only 43,730 (26:7). This tribe united with that of Gad in asking permission to settle in the “land of Gilead,” “on the other side of Jordan” (32:1-5). The lot assigned to Reuben was the smallest of the lots given to the trans-Jordanic tribes. It extended from the Arnon, in the south along the coast of the Dead Sea to its northern end, where the Jordan flows into it (Josh. 13:15-21, 23). It thus embraced the original kingdom of Sihon. Reuben is “to the eastern tribes what Simeon is to the western. Unstable as water,’ he vanishes away into a mere Arabian tribe. His men are few;’ it is all he can do to live and not die.’ We hear of nothing beyond the multiplication of their cattle in the land of Gilead, their spoils of camels fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand’ (1 Chr. 5:9, 10, 20, 21). In the great struggles of the nation he never took part. The complaint against him in the song of Deborah is the summary of his whole history. By the streams of Reuben,’ i.e., by the fresh streams which descend from the eastern hills into the Jordan and the Dead Sea, on whose banks the Bedouin chiefs met then as now to debate, in the streams’ of Reuben great were the desires'”, i.e., resolutions which were never carried out, the people idly resting among their flocks as if it were a time of peace (Judg. 5:15, 16). Stanley’s Sinai and Palestine.
All the three tribes on the east of Jordan at length fell into complete apostasy, and the time of retribution came. God “stirred up the spirit of Pul, king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria,” to carry them away, the first of the tribes, into captivity (1 Chr. 5:25, 26).
Reuel Friend of God. (1.) A son of Esau and Bashemath (Gen. 36:4, 10; 1 Chr. 1:35). (2.) “The priest of Midian,” Moses’ father-in-law (Ex. 2:18)=Raguel (Num. 10:29). If he be identified with Jethro (q.v.), then this may be regarded as his proper name, and Jether or Jethro (i.e., “excellency”) as his official title. (3.) Num. 2:14, called also Deuel (1:14; 7:42).
Revelation An uncovering, a bringing to light of that which had been previously wholly hidden or only obscurely seen. God has been pleased in various ways and at different times (Heb. 1:1) to make a supernatural revelation of himself and his purposes and plans, which, under the guidance of his Spirit, has been committed to writing. (See WORD OF GOD.) The Scriptures are not merely the “record” of revelation; they are the revelation itself in a written form, in order to the accurate presevation and propagation of the truth.
Revelation and inspiration differ. Revelation is the supernatural communication of truth to the mind; inspiration (q.v.) secures to the teacher or writer infallibility in communicating that truth to others. It renders its subject the spokesman or prophet of God in such a sense that everything he asserts to be true, whether fact or doctrine or moral principle, is true, infallibly true.
Revelation, Book of =The Apocalypse, the closing book and the only prophetical book of the New Testament canon. The author of this book was undoubtedly John the apostle. His name occurs four times in the book itself (1:1, 4, 9; 22:8), and there is every reason to conclude that the “John” here mentioned was the apostle. In a manuscript of about the twelfth century he is called “John the divine,” but no reason can be assigned for this appellation.
The date of the writing of this book has generally been fixed at A.D. 96, in the reign of Domitian. There are some, however, who contend for an earlier date, A.D. 68 or 69, in the reign of Nero. Those who are in favour of the later date appeal to the testimony of the Christian father Irenaeus, who received information relative to this book from those who had seen John face to face. He says that the Apocalypse “was seen no long time ago.”
As to the relation between this book and the Gospel of John, it has been well observed that “the leading ideas of both are the same. The one gives us in a magnificent vision, the other in a great historic drama, the supreme conflict between good and evil and its issue. In both Jesus Christ is the central figure, whose victory through defeat is the issue of the conflict. In both the Jewish dispensation is the preparation for the gospel, and the warfare and triumph of the Christ is described in language saturated with the Old Testament. The difference of date will go a long way toward explaining the difference of style.” Plummer’s Gospel of St. John, Introd.
Revelation of Christ The second advent of Christ. Three different Greek words are used by the apostles to express this, (1) apokalupsis (1 Cor. 1;7; 2 Thess. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:7, 13); (2) parousia (Matt. 24:3, 27; 1 Thess. 2:19; James 5:7, 8); (3) epiphaneia (1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 1:10; 4:1-8; Titus 2:13). There existed among Christians a wide expectation, founded on Matt. 24:29, 30, 34, of the speedy return of Christ. (See MILLENNIUM.)
Rezeph Solid; a stone, (2 Kings 19:12; Isa. 37:12), a fortress near Haran, probably on the west of the Euphrates, conquered by Sennacherib.
Rezin Firm; a prince, a king of Syria, who joined Pekah (q.v.) in an invasion of the kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 15:37; 16:5-9; Isa. 7:1-8). Ahaz induced Tiglath-pileser III. to attack Damascus, and this caused Rezin to withdraw for the purpose of defending his own kingdom. Damascus was taken, and Rezin was slain in battle by the Assyrian king, and his people carried into captivity, B.C. 732 (2 Kings 16:9).
Rezon Prince, son of Eliadah. Abandoning the service of Hadadezer, the king of Zobah, on the occasion of his being defeated by David, he became the “captain over a band” of marauders, and took Damascus, and became king of Syria (1 Kings 11:23-25; 2 Sam. 8:3-8). For centuries after this the Syrians were the foes of Israel. He “became an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon.”
Rhegium Breach, a town in the south of Italy, on the Strait of Messina, at which Paul touched on his way to Rome (Acts 28:13). It is now called Rheggio.
Rhesa Affection, son of Zorobabel, mentioned in the genealogy of our Lord (Luke 3:27).
Rhoda A rose, the damsel in the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark. She came to hearken when Peter knocked at the door of the gate (Acts 12:12-15).
Rhodes A rose, an island to the south of the western extremity of Asia Minor, between Coos and Patara, about 46 miles long and 18 miles broad. Here the apostle probably landed on his way from Greece to Syria (Acts 21:1), on returning from his third missionary journey.
Riblah Fruitful, an ancient town on the northern frontier of Palestine, 35 miles north-east of Baalbec, and 10 or 12 south of Lake Homs, on the eastern bank of the Orontes, in a wide and fertile plain. Here Nebuchadnezzar had his head-quarters in his campaign against Jerusalem, and here also Necho fixed his camp after he had routed Josiah’s army at Megiddo (2 Kings 23:29-35; 25:6, 20, 21; Jer. 39:5; 52:10). It was on the great caravan road from Palestine to Carchemish, on the Euphrates. It is described (Num. 34:11) as “on the eastern side of Ain.” A place still called el Ain, i.e., “the fountain”, is found in such a position about 10 miles distant. (See JERUSALEM.)
Riddle (Heb. hodah). The oldest and, strictly speaking, the only example of a riddle was that propounded by Samson (Judg. 14:12-18). The parabolic prophecy in Ezek. 17:2-18 is there called a “riddle.” It was rather, however, an allegory. The word “darkly” in 1 Cor. 13:12 is the rendering of the Greek enigma; marg., “in a riddle.”
Righteousness See JUSTIFICATION.
Rimmon Pomegranate. (1.) A man of Beeroth (2 Sam. 4:2), one of the four Gibeonite cities. (See Josh. 9:17.)
(2.) A Syrian idol, mentioned only in 2 Kings 5:18.
(3.) One of the “uttermost cities” of Judah, afterwards given to Simeon (Josh. 15:21, 32; 19:7; 1 Chr. 4:32). In Josh. 15:32 Ain and Rimmon are mentioned separately, but in 19:7 and 1 Chr. 4:32 (comp. Neh. 11:29) the two words are probably to be combined, as forming together the name of one place, Ain-Rimmon=the spring of the pomegranate. It has been identified with Um er-Rumamin, about 13 miles south-west of Hebron.
(4.) “Rock of,” to which the Benjamites fled (Judg. 20:45, 47; 21:13), and where they maintained themselves for four months after the fearful battle at Gibeah, in which they were almost exterminated, 600 only surviving out of about 27,000. It is the present village of Rummon, “on the very edge of the hill country, with a precipitous descent toward the Jordan valley,” supposed to be the site of Ai.
Rimmon-parez A pomegranate breach, or Rimmon of the breach, one of the stations of the Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 33:19, 20).
Ring Used as an ornament to decorate the fingers, arms, wrists, and also the ears and the nose. Rings were used as a signet (Gen. 38:18). They were given as a token of investment with authority (Gen. 41:42; Esther 3:8-10; 8:2), and of favour and dignity (Luke 15:22). They were generally worn by rich men (James 2:2). They are mentioned by Isiah (3:21) among the adornments of Hebrew women.
Riphath A crusher, Gomer’s second son (Gen. 10:3), supposed to have been the ancestor of the Paphlagonians.
Rissah Heap of ruins; dew, a station of the Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 33:21, 22).
Rithmah Wild broom, a station in the wilderness (Num. 33:18, 19), the “broom valley,” or “valley of broombushes,” the place apparently of the original encampment of Israel, near Kadesh.
River (1.) Heb. aphik, properly the channel or ravine that holds water (2 Sam. 22:16), translated “brook,” “river,” “stream,” but not necessarily a perennial stream (Ezek. 6:3; 31:12; 32:6; 34:13).
(2.) Heb. nahal, in winter a “torrent,” in summer a “wady” or valley (Gen. 32:23; Deut. 2:24; 3:16; Isa. 30:28; Lam. 2:18; Ezek. 47:9).
These winter torrents sometimes come down with great suddenness and with desolating force. A distinguished traveller thus describes his experience in this matter:, “I was encamped in Wady Feiran, near the base of Jebel Serbal, when a tremendous thunderstorm burst upon us. After little more than an hour’s rain, the water rose so rapidly in the previously dry wady that I had to run for my life, and with great difficulty succeeded in saving my tent and goods; my boots, which I had not time to pick up, were washed away. In less than two hours a dry desert wady upwards of 300 yards broad was turned into a foaming torrent from 8 to 10 feet deep, roaring and tearing down and bearing everything upon it, tangled masses of tamarisks, hundreds of beautiful palmtrees, scores of sheep and goats, camels and donkeys, and even men, women, and children, for a whole encampment of Arabs was washed away a few miles above me. The storm commenced at five in the evening; at half-past nine the waters were rapidly subsiding, and it was evident that the flood had spent its force.” (Comp. Matt. 7:27; Luke 6:49.)
(3.) Nahar, a “river” continuous and full, a perennial stream, as the Jordan, the Euphrates (Gen. 2:10; 15:18; Deut. 1:7; Ps. 66:6; Ezek. 10:15).
(4.) Tel’alah, a conduit, or water-course (1 Kings 18:32; 2 Kings 18:17; 20:20; Job 38:25; Ezek. 31:4).
(5.) Peleg, properly “waters divided”, i.e., streams divided, throughout the land (Ps. 1:3); “the rivers [i.e., divisions’] of waters” (Job 20:17; 29:6; Prov. 5:16).
(6.) Ye’or, i.e., “great river”, probably from an Egyptian word (Aur), commonly applied to the Nile (Gen. 41:1-3), but also to other rivers (Job 28:10; Isa. 33:21).
(7.) Yubhal, “a river” (Jer. 17:8), a full flowing stream.
(8.) Ubhal, “a river” (Dan. 8:2).
River of Egypt (1.) Heb. nahar mitsraim, denotes in Gen. 15:18 the Nile, or its eastern branch (2 Chr. 9:26). (2.) In Num. 34:5 (R.V., “brook of Egypt”) the Hebrew word is nahal, denoting a stream flowing rapidly in winter, or in the rainy season. This is a desert stream on the borders of Egypt. It is now called the Wady el-Arish. The present boundary between Egypt and Palestine is about midway between this wady and Gaza. (See Num. 34:5; Josh. 15:4, 47; 1 Kings 8:65; 2 Kings 24:7; Isa. 27:12; Ezek. 47:19. In all these passages the R.V. has “brook” and the A.V. “river.”)
River of Gad Probably the Arno (2 Sam. 24:5).
River of God (Ps. 65:9), as opposed to earthly streams, denoting that the divine resources are inexhaustible, or the sum of all fertilizing streams that water the earth (Gen. 2:10).
Rivers of Babylon (Ps. 137:1), i.e., of the whole country of Babylonia, e.g., the Tigris, Euphrates, Chalonas, the Ulai, and the numerous canals.
Rivers of Damascus The Abana and Pharpar (2 Kings 5:12).
Rivers of Judah (Joel 3:18), the watercourses of Judea.
Rizpah Coal; hot stone, the daughter of Aiah, and one of Saul’s concubines. She was the mother of Armoni and Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 3:7; 21:8, 10, 11).
It happened that a grievous famine, which lasted for three years, fell upon the land during the earlier half of David’s reign at Jerusalem. This calamity was sent “for Saul and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.” David inquired of the Gibeonites what satisfaction they demanded, and was answered that nothing would compensate for the wrong Saul had done to them but the death of seven of Saul’s sons. David accordingly delivered up to them the two sons of Rizpah and five of the sons of Merab (q.v.), Saul’s eldest daughter, whom she bore to Adriel. These the Gibeonites put to death, and hung up their bodies before the Lord at the sanctuary at Gibeah. Rizpah thereupon took her place on the rock of Gibeah (q.v.), and for five months watched the suspended bodies of her children, to prevent them from being devoured by the beasts and birds of prey, till they were at length taken down and buried by David.
Her marriage to Abner was the occasion of a quarrel between him and Ishbosheth, which led to Abner’s going over to the side of David (2 Sam. 3:17-21).
Road (1 Sam. 27:10; R.V., “raid”), an inroad, an incursion. This word is never used in Scripture in the sense of a way or path.
Robbery Practised by the Ishmaelites (Gen. 16:12), the Chaldeans and Sabeans (Job 1:15, 17), and the men of Shechem (Judg. 9:25. See also 1 Sam. 27:6-10; 30; Hos. 4:2; 6:9). Robbers infested Judea in our Lord’s time (Luke 10:30; John 18:40; Acts 5:36, 37; 21:38; 2 Cor. 11:26). The words of the Authorized Version, “counted it not robbery to be equal,” etc. (Phil. 2:6, 7), are better rendered in the Revised Version, “counted it not a prize to be on an equality,” etc., i.e., “did not look upon equality with God as a prize which must not slip from his grasp” = “did not cling with avidity to the prerogatives of his divine majesty; did not ambitiously display his equality with God.”
“Robbers of churches” should be rendered, as in the Revised Version, “of temples.” In the temple at Ephesus there was a great treasure-chamber, and as all that was laid up there was under the guardianship of the goddess Diana, to steal from such a place would be sacrilege (Acts 19:37).
Rock (Heb. tsur), employed as a symbol of God in the Old Testament (1 Sam. 2:2; 2 Sam. 22:3; Isa. 17:10; Ps. 28:1; 31:2, 3; 89:26; 95:1); also in the New Testament (Matt. 16:18; Rom. 9:33; 1 Cor. 10:4). In Dan. 2:45 the Chaldaic form of the Hebrew word is translated “mountain.” It ought to be translated “rock,” as in Hab. 1:12 in the Revised Version. The “rock” from which the stone is cut there signifies the divine origin of Christ. (See STONE.)
Roe (Heb. tsebi), properly the gazelle (Arab. ghazal), permitted for food (Deut. 14:5; comp. Deut. 12:15, 22; 15:22; 1 Kings 4:23), noted for its swiftness and beauty and grace of form (2 Sam. 2:18; 1 Chr. 12:8; Cant. 2:9; 7:3; 8:14).
The gazelle (Gazella dorcas) is found in great numbers in Palestine. “Among the gray hills of Galilee it is still the roe upon the mountains of Bether,’ and I have seen a little troop of gazelles feeding on the Mount of Olives close to Jerusalem itself” (Tristram).
The Hebrew word (ayyalah) in Prov. 5: 19 thus rendered (R.V., “doe”), is properly the “wild she-goat,” the mountain goat, the ibex. (See 1 Sam. 24:2; Ps. 104:18; Job 39:1.)
Rogelim Fullers, a town of Gilead, the residence of Barzillai the Gileadite (2 Sam. 17:27; 19:31), probably near to Mahanaim.
Roll The common form of ancient books. The Hebrew word rendered “roll” or “volume” is meghillah, found in Ezra 6:2; Ps. 40:7; Jer. 36:2, 6, 23, 28, 29; Ezek. 2:9; 3:1-3; Zech. 5:1, 2. “Rolls” (Chald. pl. of sephar, corresponding to Heb. sepher) in Ezra 6:1 is rendered in the Revised Version “archives.” In the New Testament the word “volume” (Heb. 10:7; R.V., “roll”) occurs as the rendering of the Greek kephalis, meaning the head or top of the stick or cylinder on which the manuscript was rolled, and hence the manuscript itself. (See BOOK.)
Romamti-ezer Elevation of help, one of the sons of Heman, “the king’s seer in the words of God, to lift up the horn.” He was head of the “four-and-twentieth” course of singers (1 Chr. 25:4, 31).
Romans, Epistle to the This epistle was probably written at Corinth. Phoebe (Rom. 16:1) of Cenchrea conveyed it to Rome, and Gaius of Corinth entertained the apostle at the time of his writing it (16:23; 1 Cor. 1:14), and Erastus was chamberlain of the city, i.e., of Corinth (2 Tim. 4:20).
The precise time at which it was written is not mentioned in the epistle, but it was obviously written when the apostle was about to “go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints”, i.e., at the close of his second visit to Greece, during the winter preceding his last visit to that city (Rom. 15:25; comp. Acts 19:21; 20:2, 3, 16; 1 Cor. 16:1-4), early in A.D. 58.
It is highly probable that Christianity was planted in Rome by some of those who had been at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:10). At this time the Jews were very numerous in Rome, and their synagogues were probably resorted to by Romans also, who in this way became acquainted with the great facts regarding Jesus as these were reported among the Jews. Thus a church composed of both Jews and Gentiles was formed at Rome. Many of the brethren went out to meet Paul on his approach to Rome. There are evidences that Christians were then in Rome in considerable numbers, and had probably more than one place of meeting (Rom. 16:14, 15).
The object of the apostle in writing to this church was to explain to them the great doctrines of the gospel. His epistle was a “word in season.” Himself deeply impressed with a sense of the value of the doctrines of salvation, he opens up in a clear and connected form the whole system of the gospel in its relation both to Jew and Gentile. This epistle is peculiar in this, that it is a systematic exposition of the gospel of universal application. The subject is here treated argumentatively, and is a plea for Gentiles addressed to Jews. In the Epistle to the Galatians, the same subject is discussed, but there the apostle pleads his own authority, because the church in Galatia had been founded by him.
After the introduction (1:1-15), the apostle presents in it divers aspects and relations the doctrine of justification by faith (1:16-11:36) on the ground of the imputed righteousness of Christ. He shows that salvation is all of grace, and only of grace. This main section of his letter is followed by various practical exhortations (12:1-15:13), which are followed by a conclusion containing personal explanations and salutations, which contain the names of twenty-four Christians at Rome, a benediction, and a doxology (Rom. 15:14-ch. 16).
Rome The most celebrated city in the world at the time of Christ. It is said to have been founded B.C. 753. When the New Testament was written, Rome was enriched and adorned with the spoils of the world, and contained a population estimated at 1,200,000, of which the half were slaves, and including representatives of nearly every nation then known. It was distinguished for its wealth and luxury and profligacy. The empire of which it was the capital had then reached its greatest prosperity.
On the day of Pentecost there were in Jerusalem “strangers from Rome,” who doubtless carried with them back to Rome tidings of that great day, and were instrumental in founding the church there. Paul was brought to this city a prisoner, where he remained for two years (Acts 28:30, 31) “in his own hired house.” While here, Paul wrote his epistles to the Philippians, to the Ephesians, to the Colossians, to Philemon, and probably also to the Hebrews. He had during these years for companions Luke and Aristarchus (Acts 27:2), Timothy (Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:1), Tychicus (Eph. 6: 21), Epaphroditus (Phil. 4:18), and John Mark (Col. 4:10). (See PAUL.)
Beneath this city are extensive galleries, called “catacombs,” which were used from about the time of the apostles (one of the inscriptions found in them bears the date A.D. 71) for some three hundred years as places of refuge in the time of persecution, and also of worship and burial. About four thousand inscriptions have been found in the catacombs. These give an interesting insight into the history of the church at Rome down to the time of Constantine.
Rose Many varieties of the rose proper are indigenous to Syria. The famed rose of Damascus is white, but there are also red and yellow roses. In Cant. 2:1 and Isa. 35:1 the Hebrew word habatstseleth (found only in these passages), rendered “rose” (R.V. marg., “autumn crocus”), is supposed by some to mean the oleander, by others the sweet-scented narcissus (a native of Palestine), the tulip, or the daisy; but nothing definite can be affirmed regarding it.
The “rose of Sharon” is probably the cistus or rock-rose, several species of which abound in Palestine. “Mount Carmel especially abounds in the cistus, which in April covers some of the barer parts of the mountain with a glow not inferior to that of the Scottish heather.” (See MYRRH .)
Rosh (Ezek. 38:2, 3; 39:1) is rendered “chief” in the Authorized Version. It is left untranslated as a proper name in the Revised Version. Some have supposed that the Russians are here meant, as one of the three Scythian tribes of whom Magog was the prince. They invaded the land of Judah in the days of Josiah. Herodotus, the Greek historian, says: “For twenty-eight years the Scythians ruled over Asia, and things were turned upside down by their violence and contempt.” (See BETHSHEAN.)
Rosin Found only in Authorized Version, margin, Ezek. 27:17, Heb. tsori, uniformly rendered elsewhere “balm” (q.v.), as here in the text. The Vulgate has resinam, rendered “rosin” in the Douay Version. As used, however, by Jerome, the Lat. resina denotes some odoriferous gum or oil.
Ruby (Heb. peninim), only in plural (Lam. 4:7). The ruby was one of the stones in the high priest’s breastplate (Ex. 28:17). A comparison is made between the value of wisdom and rubies (Job 28:18; Prov. 3:15; 8:11). The price of a virtuous woman is said to be “far above rubies” (Prov. 31:10). The exact meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain. Some render it “red coral;” others, “pearl” or “mother-of-pearl.”
Rudder bands Ancient ships had two great broad-bladed oars for rudders. These, when not in use, were lifted out of the water and bound or tied up. When required for use, these bands were unloosed and the rudders allowed to drop into the water (Acts 27:40).
Rue A garden herb (Ruta graveolens) which the Pharisees were careful to tithe (Luke 11:42), neglecting weightier matters. It is omitted in the parallel passage of Matt. 23:23. There are several species growing wild in Palestine. It is used for medicinal and culinary purposes. It has a powerful scent, and is a stimulant. (See MINT.)
Rufus Red, the son of Simon the Cyrenian (Mark 15:21), whom the Roman soldiers compelled to carry the cross on which our Lord was crucified. Probably it is the same person who is again mentioned in Rom. 16:13 as a disciple at Rome, whose mother also was a Christian held in esteem by the apostle. Mark mentions him along with his brother Alexander as persons well known to his readers (Mark 15:21).
Ruhamah Having obtained mercy, a symbolical name given to the daughter of Hosea (2:1).
Rumah Elevation, probably the same as Arumah (Judg. 9:41; 2 Kings 23:36), near Shechem. Others identify it with Tell Rumeh, in Galilee, about 6 miles north of Nazareth.
Rush The papyrus (Job 8:11). (See BULRUSH.) The expression “branch and rush” in Isa. 9:14; 19:15 means “utterly.”
Ruth A friend, a Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, whose father, Elimelech, had settled in the land of Moab. On the death of Elimelech and Mahlon, Naomi came with Ruth, her daughter-in-law, who refused to leave her, to Bethlehem, the old home from which Elimelech had migrated. There she had a rich relative, Boaz, to whom Ruth was eventually married. She became the mother of Obed, the grandfather of David. Thus Ruth, a Gentile, is among the maternal progenitors of our Lord (Matt. 1:5). The story of “the gleaner Ruth illustrates the friendly relations between the good Boaz and his reapers, the Jewish land system, the method of transferring property from one person to another, the working of the Mosaic law for the relief of distressed and ruined families; but, above all, handing down the unselfishness, the brave love, the unshaken trustfulness of her who, though not of the chosen race, was, like the Canaanitess Tamar (Gen. 38:29; Matt. 1:3) and the Canaanitess Rahab (Matt. 1:5), privileged to become the ancestress of David, and so of great David’s greater Son'” (Ruth 4:18-22).
Ruth The Book of Was originally a part of the Book of Judges, but it now forms one of the twenty-four separate books of the Hebrew Bible.
The history it contains refers to a period perhaps about one hundred and twenty-six years before the birth of David. It gives (1) an account of Naomi’s going to Moab with her husband, Elimelech, and of her subsequent return to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law; (2) the marriage of Boaz and Ruth; and (3) the birth of Obed, of whom David sprang.
The author of this book was probably Samuel, according to Jewish tradition.
“Brief as this book is, and simple as is its story, it is remarkably rich in examples of faith, patience, industry, and kindness, nor less so in indications of the care which God takes of those who put their trust in him.”
Rye =Rie, (Heb. kussemeth), found in Ex. 9:32; Isa. 28:25, in all of which the margins of the Authorized and of the Revised Versions have “spelt.” This Hebrew word also occurs in Ezek. 4:9, where the Authorized Version has “fitches’ (q.v.) and the Revised Version “spelt.” This, there can be no doubt, was the Triticum spelta, a species of hard, rough-grained wheat. __________________________________________________________________
Sabachthani Thou hast forsaken me, one of the Aramaic words uttered by our Lord on the cross (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34).
Sabaoth The transliteration of the Hebrew word tsebha’oth, meaning “hosts,” “armies” (Rom. 9:29; James 5:4). In the LXX. the Hebrew word is rendered by “Almighty.” (See Rev. 4:8; comp. Isa. 6:3.) It may designate Jehovah as either (1) God of the armies of earth, or (2) God of the armies of the stars, or (3) God of the unseen armies of angels; or perhaps it may include all these ideas.
Sabbath (Heb. verb shabbath, meaning “to rest from labour”), the day of rest. It is first mentioned as having been instituted in Paradise, when man was in innocence (Gen. 2:2). “The sabbath was made for man,” as a day of rest and refreshment for the body and of blessing to the soul.
It is next referred to in connection with the gift of manna to the children of Israel in the wilderness (Ex. 16:23); and afterwards, when the law was given from Sinai (20:11), the people were solemnly charged to “remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Thus it is spoken of as an institution already existing.
In the Mosaic law strict regulations were laid down regarding its observance (Ex. 35:2, 3; Lev. 23:3; 26:34). These were peculiar to that dispensation.
In the subsequent history of the Jews frequent references are made to the sanctity of the Sabbath (Isa. 56:2, 4, 6, 7; 58:13, 14; Jer. 17:20-22; Neh. 13:19). In later times they perverted the Sabbath by their traditions. Our Lord rescued it from their perversions, and recalled to them its true nature and intent (Matt. 12:10-13; Mark 2:27; Luke 13:10-17).
The Sabbath, originally instituted for man at his creation, is of permanent and universal obligation. The physical necessities of man require a Sabbath of rest. He is so constituted that his bodily welfare needs at least one day in seven for rest from ordinary labour. Experience also proves that the moral and spiritual necessities of men also demand a Sabbath of rest. “I am more and more sure by experience that the reason for the observance of the Sabbath lies deep in the everlasting necessities of human nature, and that as long as man is man the blessedness of keeping it, not as a day of rest only, but as a day of spiritual rest, will never be annulled. I certainly do feel by experience the eternal obligation, because of the eternal necessity, of the Sabbath. The soul withers without it. It thrives in proportion to its observance. The Sabbath was made for man. God made it for men in a certain spiritual state because they needed it. The need, therefore, is deeply hidden in human nature. He who can dispense with it must be holy and spiritual indeed. And he who, still unholy and unspiritual, would yet dispense with it is a man that would fain be wiser than his Maker” (F. W. Robertson).
The ancient Babylonian calendar, as seen from recently recovered inscriptions on the bricks among the ruins of the royal palace, was based on the division of time into weeks of seven days. The Sabbath is in these inscriptions designated Sabattu, and defined as “a day of rest for the heart” and “a day of completion of labour.”
The change of the day. Originally at creation the seventh day of the week was set apart and consecrated as the Sabbath. The first day of the week is now observed as the Sabbath. Has God authorized this change? There is an obvious distinction between the Sabbath as an institution and the particular day set apart for its observance. The question, therefore, as to the change of the day in no way affects the perpetual obligation of the Sabbath as an institution. Change of the day or no change, the Sabbath remains as a sacred institution the same. It cannot be abrogated.
If any change of the day has been made, it must have been by Christ or by his authority. Christ has a right to make such a change (Mark 2:23-28). As Creator, Christ was the original Lord of the Sabbath (John 1:3; Heb. 1:10). It was originally a memorial of creation. A work vastly greater than that of creation has now been accomplished by him, the work of redemption. We would naturally expect just such a change as would make the Sabbath a memorial of that greater work.
True, we can give no text authorizing the change in so many words. We have no express law declaring the change. But there are evidences of another kind. We know for a fact that the first day of the week has been observed from apostolic times, and the necessary conclusion is, that it was observed by the apostles and their immediate disciples. This, we may be sure, they never would have done without the permission or the authority of their Lord.
After his resurrection, which took place on the first day of the week (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1), we never find Christ meeting with his disciples on the seventh day. But he specially honoured the first day by manifesting himself to them on four separate occasions (Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:34, 18-33; John 20:19-23). Again, on the next first day of the week, Jesus appeared to his disciples (John 20:26).
Some have calculated that Christ’s ascension took place on the first day of the week. And there can be no doubt that the descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost was on that day (Acts 2:1). Thus Christ appears as instituting a new day to be observed by his people as the Sabbath, a day to be henceforth known amongst them as the “Lord’s day.” The observance of this “Lord’s day” as the Sabbath was the general custom of the primitive churches, and must have had apostolic sanction (comp. Acts 20:3-7; 1 Cor. 16:1, 2) and authority, and so the sanction and authority of Jesus Christ.
The words “at her sabbaths” (Lam. 1:7, A.V.) ought probably to be, as in the Revised Version, “at her desolations.”
Sabbath day’s journey Supposed to be a distance of 2,000 cubits, or less than half-a-mile, the distance to which, according to Jewish tradition, it was allowable to travel on the Sabbath day without violating the law (Acts 1:12; comp. Ex. 16:29; Num. 35:5; Josh. 3:4).
Sabbatical year Every seventh year, during which the land, according to the law of Moses, had to remain uncultivated (Lev. 25:2-7; comp. Ex. 23:10, 11, 12; Lev. 26:34, 35). Whatever grew of itself during that year was not for the owner of the land, but for the poor and the stranger and the beasts of the field. All debts, except those of foreigners, were to be remitted (Deut. 15:1-11). There is little notice of the observance of this year in Biblical history. It appears to have been much neglected (2 Chr. 36:20, 21).
Sabeans Descendants of Seba (Gen. 10:7); Africans (Isa. 43:3). They were “men of stature,” and engaged in merchandise (Isa. 45:14). Their conversion to the Lord was predicted (Ps. 72:10). This word, in Ezek. 23:42, should be read, as in the margin of the Authorized Version, and in the Revised Version, “drunkards.” Another tribe, apparently given to war, is mentioned in Job 1:15.
Sabtah Rest, the third son of Cush (Gen. 10:7; 1 Chr. 1:9).
Sabtecha The fifth son of Cush (id.).
Sachar Hire. (1.) One of David’s heroes (1 Chr. 11:35); called also Sharar (2 Sam. 23:33).
(2.) A son of Obed-edom the Gittite, and a temple porter (1 Chr. 26:4).
Sackbut (Chald. sabkha; Gr. sambuke), a Syrian stringed instrument resembling a harp (Dan. 3:5, 7, 10, 15); not the modern sackbut, which is a wind instrument.
Sackcloth Cloth made of black goats’ hair, coarse, rough, and thick, used for sacks, and also worn by mourners (Gen. 37:34; 42:25; 2 Sam. 3:31; Esther 4:1, 2; Ps. 30:11, etc.), and as a sign of repentance (Matt. 11:21). It was put upon animals by the people of Nineveh (Jonah 3:8).
Sacrifice The offering up of sacrifices is to be regarded as a divine institution. It did not originate with man. God himself appointed it as the mode in which acceptable worship was to be offered to him by guilty man. The language and the idea of sacrifice pervade the whole Bible.
Sacrifices were offered in the ante-diluvian age. The Lord clothed Adam and Eve with the skins of animals, which in all probability had been offered in sacrifice (Gen. 3:21). Abel offered a sacrifice “of the firstlings of his flock” (4:4; Heb. 11:4). A distinction also was made between clean and unclean animals, which there is every reason to believe had reference to the offering up of sacrifices (Gen. 7:2, 8), because animals were not given to man as food till after the Flood.
The same practice is continued down through the patriarchal age (Gen. 8:20; 12:7; 13:4, 18; 15:9-11; 22:1-18, etc.). In the Mosaic period of Old Testament history definite laws were prescribed by God regarding the different kinds of sacrifices that were to be offered and the manner in which the offering was to be made. The offering of stated sacrifices became indeed a prominent and distinctive feature of the whole period (Ex. 12:3-27; Lev. 23:5-8; Num. 9:2-14). (See ALTAR.)
We learn from the Epistle to the Hebrews that sacrifices had in themselves no value or efficacy. They were only the “shadow of good things to come,” and pointed the worshippers forward to the coming of the great High Priest, who, in the fullness of the time, “was offered once for all to bear the sin of many.” Sacrifices belonged to a temporary economy, to a system of types and emblems which served their purposes and have now passed away. The “one sacrifice for sins” hath “perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
Sacrifices were of two kinds: 1. Unbloody, such as (1) first-fruits and tithes; (2) meat and drink-offerings; and (3) incense. 2. Bloody, such as (1) burnt-offerings; (2) peace-offerings; and (3) sin and trespass offerings. (See OFFERINGS.)
Sadducees The origin of this Jewish sect cannot definitely be traced. It was probably the outcome of the influence of Grecian customs and philosophy during the period of Greek domination. The first time they are met with is in connection with John the Baptist’s ministry. They came out to him when on the banks of the Jordan, and he said to them, “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matt. 3:7.) The next time they are spoken of they are represented as coming to our Lord tempting him. He calls them “hypocrites” and “a wicked and adulterous generation” (Matt. 16:1-4; 22:23). The only reference to them in the Gospels of Mark (12:18-27) and Luke (20:27-38) is their attempting to ridicule the doctrine of the resurrection, which they denied, as they also denied the existence of angels. They are never mentioned in John’s Gospel.
There were many Sadducees among the “elders” of the Sanhedrin. They seem, indeed, to have been as numerous as the Pharisees (Acts 23:6). They showed their hatred of Jesus in taking part in his condemnation (Matt. 16:21; 26:1-3, 59; Mark 8:31; 15:1; Luke 9:22; 22:66). They endeavoured to prohibit the apostles from preaching the resurrection of Christ (Acts 2:24, 31, 32; 4:1, 2; 5:17, 24-28). They were the deists or sceptics of that age. They do not appear as a separate sect after the destruction of Jerusalem.
Sadoc Just, mentioned in the genealogy of our Lord (Matt. 1:14).
Saffron Heb. karkom, Arab. zafran (i.e., “yellow”), mentioned only in Cant. 4:13, 14; the Crocus sativus. Many species of the crocus are found in Palestine. The pistils and stigmata, from the centre of its flowers, are pressed into “saffron cakes,” common in the East. “We found,” says Tristram, “saffron a very useful condiment in travelling cookery, a very small pinch of it giving not only a rich yellow colour but an agreable flavour to a dish of rice or to an insipid stew.”
Saint One separated from the world and consecrated to God; one holy by profession and by covenant; a believer in Christ (Ps. 16:3; Rom. 1:7; 8:27; Phil. 1:1; Heb. 6:10).
The “saints” spoken of in Jude 1:14 are probably not the disciples of Christ, but the “innumerable company of angels” (Heb. 12:22; Ps. 68:17), with reference to Deut. 33:2.
This word is also used of the holy dead (Matt. 27:52; Rev. 18:24). It was not used as a distinctive title of the apostles and evangelists and of a “spiritual nobility” till the fourth century. In that sense it is not a scriptural title.
Sala A shoot, a descendant of Arphaxed (Luke 3:35, 36); called also Shelah (1 Chr. 1:18, 24).
Salamis A city on the south-east coast of Cyprus (Acts 13:5), where Saul and Barnabas, on their first missionary journey, preached the word in one of the Jewish synagogues, of which there seem to have been several in that place. It is now called Famagusta.
Salathiel Whom I asked of God, the son of Jeconiah (Matt. 1:12; 1 Chr. 3:17); also called the son of Neri (Luke 3:27). The probable explanation of the apparent discrepancy is that he was the son of Neri, the descendant of Nathan, and thus heir to the throne of David on the death of Jeconiah (comp. Jer. 22:30).
Salcah Wandering, a city of Bashan assigned to the half tribe of Manasseh (Deut. 3:10; Josh. 12:5; 13:11), identified with Salkhad, about 56 miles east of Jordan.
Salem Peace, commonly supposed to be another name of Jerusalem (Gen. 14:18; Ps. 76:2; Heb. 7:1, 2).
Salim Peaceful, a place near AEnon (q.v.), on the west of Jordan, where John baptized (John 3:23). It was probably the Shalem mentioned in Gen. 33:18, about 7 miles south of AEnon, at the head of the great Wady Far’ah, which formed the northern boundary of Judea in the Jordan valley.
Sallai Basket-maker. (1.) A Benjamite (Neh. 11:8).
(2.) A priest in the days of Joshua and Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:20).
Sallu Weighed. (1.) A priest (Neh. 12:7).
(2.) A Benjamite (1 Chr. 9:7; Neh. 11:7).
Salmon Garment, the son of Nashon (Ruth 4:20; Matt. 1:4, 5), possibly the same as Salma in 1 Chr. 2:51.
Salmon Shady; or Zalmon (q.v.), a hill covered with dark forests, south of Shechem, from which Abimelech and his men gathered wood to burn that city (Judg. 9:48). In Ps. 68:14 the change from war to peace is likened to snow on the dark mountain, as some interpret the expression. Others suppose the words here mean that the bones of the slain left unburied covered the land, so that it seemed to be white as if covered with snow. The reference, however, of the psalm is probably to Josh. 11 and 12. The scattering of the kings and their followers is fitly likened unto the snow-flakes rapidly falling on the dark Salmon. It is the modern Jebel Suleiman.
Salmone A promontory on the east of Crete, under which Paul sailed on his voyage to Rome (Acts 27:7); the modern Cape Sidero.
Salome Perfect. (1.) The wife of Zebedee and mother of James and John (Mat. 27:56), and probably the sister of Mary, the mother of our Lord (John 19:25). She sought for her sons places of honour in Christ’s kingdom (Matt. 20:20, 21; comp. 19:28). She witnessed the crucifixion (Mark 15:40), and was present with the other women at the sepulchre (Matt. 27:56).
(2.) “The daughter of Herodias,” not named in the New Testament. On the occasion of the birthday festival held by Herod Antipas, who had married her mother Herodias, in the fortress of Machaerus, she “came in and danced, and pleased Herod” (Mark 6:14-29). John the Baptist, at that time a prisoner in the dungeons underneath the castle, was at her request beheaded by order of Herod, and his head given to the damsel in a charger, “and the damsel gave it to her mother,” whose revengeful spirit was thus gratified. “A luxurious feast of the period” (says Farrar, Life of Christ) “was not regarded as complete unless it closed with some gross pantomimic representation; and doubtless Herod had adopted the evil fashion of his day. But he had not anticipated for his guests the rare luxury of seeing a princess, his own niece, a grand-daughter of Herod the Great and of Mariamne, a descendant, therefore, of Simon the high priest and the great line of Maccabean princes, a princess who afterwards became the wife of a tetrarch [Philip, tetrarch of Trachonitis] and the mother of a king, honouring them by degrading herself into a scenic dancer.”
Salt Used to season food (Job 6:6), and mixed with the fodder of cattle (Isa. 30:24, “clean;” in marg. of R.V. “salted”). All meat-offerings were seasoned with salt (Lev. 2:13). To eat salt with one is to partake of his hospitality, to derive subsistence from him; and hence he who did so was bound to look after his host’s interests (Ezra 4:14, “We have maintenance from the king’s palace;” A.V. marg., “We are salted with the salt of the palace;” R.V., “We eat the salt of the palace”).
A “covenant of salt” (Num. 18:19; 2 Chr. 13:5) was a covenant of perpetual obligation. New-born children were rubbed with salt (Ezek. 16:4). Disciples are likened unto salt, with reference to its cleansing and preserving uses (Matt. 5:13). When Abimelech took the city of Shechem, he sowed the place with salt, that it might always remain a barren soil (Judg. 9:45). Sir Lyon Playfair argues, on scientific grounds, that under the generic name of “salt,” in certain passages, we are to understand petroleum or its residue asphalt. Thus in Gen. 19:26 he would read “pillar of asphalt;” and in Matt. 5:13, instead of “salt,” “petroleum,” which loses its essence by exposure, as salt does not, and becomes asphalt, with which pavements were made.
The Jebel Usdum, to the south of the Dead Sea, is a mountain of rock salt about 7 miles long and from 2 to 3 miles wide and some hundreds of feet high.
Salt Sea (Josh. 3:16). See DEAD SEA.
Salt, The city of One of the cities of Judah (Josh. 15:62), probably in the Valley of Salt, at the southern end of the Dead Sea.
Salt, Valley of A place where it is said David smote the Syrians (2 Sam. 8:13). This valley (the’ Arabah) is between Judah and Edom on the south of the Dead Sea. Hence some interpreters would insert the words, “and he smote Edom,” after the words, “Syrians” in the above text. It is conjectured that while David was leading his army against the Ammonites and Syrians, the Edomites invaded the south of Judah, and that David sent Joab or Abishai against them, who drove them back and finally subdued Edom. (Comp. title to Ps. 60.)
Here also Amaziah “slew of Edom ten thousand men” (2 Kings 14:7; comp. 8: 20-22 and 2 Chr. 25:5-11).
Salutation “Eastern modes of salutation are not unfrequently so prolonged as to become wearisome and a positive waste of time. The profusely polite Arab asks so many questions after your health, your happiness, your welfare, your house, and other things, that a person ignorant of the habits of the country would imagine there must be some secret ailment or mysterious sorrow oppressing you, which you wished to conceal, so as to spare the feelings of a dear, sympathizing friend, but which he, in the depth of his anxiety, would desire to hear of. I have often listened to these prolonged salutations in the house, the street, and the highway, and not unfrequently I have experienced their tedious monotony, and I have bitterly lamented useless waste of time” (Porter, Through Samaria, etc.). The work on which the disciples were sent forth was one of urgency, which left no time for empty compliments and prolonged greetings (Luke 10:4).
Salvation This word is used of the deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptians (Ex. 14:13), and of deliverance generally from evil or danger. In the New Testament it is specially used with reference to the great deliverance from the guilt and the pollution of sin wrought out by Jesus Christ, “the great salvation” (Heb. 2:3). (See REDEMPTION; REGENERATION.)
Samaria A watch-mountain or a watch-tower. In the heart of the mountains of Israel, a few miles north-west of Shechem, stands the “hill of Shomeron,” a solitary mountain, a great “mamelon.” It is an oblong hill, with steep but not inaccessible sides, and a long flat top. Omri, the king of Israel, purchased this hill from Shemer its owner for two talents of silver, and built on its broad summit the city to which he gave the name of “Shomeron”, i.e., Samaria, as the new capital of his kingdom instead of Tirzah (1 Kings 16:24). As such it possessed many advantages. Here Omri resided during the last six years of his reign. As the result of an unsuccessful war with Syria, he appears to have been obliged to grant to the Syrians the right to “make streets in Samaria”, i.e., probably permission to the Syrian merchants to carry on their trade in the Israelite capital. This would imply the existence of a considerable Syrian population. “It was the only great city of Palestine created by the sovereign. All the others had been already consecrated by patriarchal tradition or previous possession. But Samaria was the choice of Omri alone. He, indeed, gave to the city which he had built the name of its former owner, but its especial connection with himself as its founder is proved by the designation which it seems Samaria bears in Assyrian inscriptions, Beth-khumri (the house or palace of Omri’).”, Stanley.
Samaria was frequently besieged. In the days of Ahab, Benhadad II. came up against it with thirty-two vassal kings, but was defeated with a great slaughter (1 Kings 20:1-21). A second time, next year, he assailed it; but was again utterly routed, and was compelled to surrender to Ahab (20:28-34), whose army, as compared with that of Benhadad, was no more than “two little flocks of kids.”
In the days of Jehoram this Benhadad again laid siege to Samaria, during which the city was reduced to the direst extremities. But just when success seemed to be within their reach, they suddenly broke up the seige, alarmed by a mysterious noise of chariots and horses and a great army, and fled, leaving their camp with all its contents behind them. The famishing inhabitants of the city were soon relieved with the abundance of the spoil of the Syrian camp; and it came to pass, according to the word of Elisha, that “a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barely for a shekel, in the gates of Samaria” (2 Kings 7:1-20).
Shalmaneser invaded Israel in the days of Hoshea, and reduced it to vassalage. He laid siege to Samaria (B.C. 723), which held out for three years, and was at length captured by Sargon, who completed the conquest Shalmaneser had begun (2 Kings 18:9-12; 17:3), and removed vast numbers of the tribes into captivity. (See SARGON.)
This city, after passing through various vicissitudes, was given by the emperor Augustus to Herod the Great, who rebuilt it, and called it Sebaste (Gr. form of Augustus) in honour of the emperor. In the New Testament the only mention of it is in Acts 8:5-14, where it is recorded that Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached there.
It is now represented by the hamlet of Sebustieh, containing about three hundred inhabitants. The ruins of the ancient town are all scattered over the hill, down the sides of which they have rolled. The shafts of about one hundred of what must have been grand Corinthian columns are still standing, and attract much attention, although nothing definite is known regarding them. (Comp. Micah 1:6.)
In the time of Christ, Western Palestine was divided into three provinces, Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. Samaria occupied the centre of Palestine (John 4:4). It is called in the Talmud the “land of the Cuthim,” and is not regarded as a part of the Holy Land at all.
It may be noticed that the distance between Samaria and Jerusalem, the respective capitals of the two kingdoms, is only 35 miles in a direct line.
Samaritan Pentateuch On the return from the Exile, the Jews refused the Samaritans participation with them in the worship at Jerusalem, and the latter separated from all fellowship with them, and built a temple for themselves on Mount Gerizim. This temple was razed to the ground more than one hundred years B.C. Then a system of worship was instituted similar to that of the temple at Jerusalem. It was founded on the Law, copies of which had been multiplied in Israel as well as in Judah. Thus the Pentateuch was preserved among the Samaritans, although they never called it by this name, but always “the Law,” which they read as one book. The division into five books, as we now have it, however, was adopted by the Samaritans, as it was by the Jews, in all their priests’ copies of “the Law,” for the sake of convenience. This was the only portion of the Old Testament which was accepted by the Samaritans as of divine authority.
The form of the letters in the manuscript copies of the Samaritan Pentateuch is different from that of the Hebrew copies, and is probably the same as that which was in general use before the Captivity. There are other peculiarities in the writing which need not here be specified.
There are important differences between the Hebrew and the Samaritan copies of the Pentateuch in the readings of many sentences. In about two thousand instances in which the Samaritan and the Jewish texts differ, the LXX. agrees with the former. The New Testament also, when quoting from the Old Testament, agrees as a rule with the Samaritan text, where that differs from the Jewish. Thus Ex. 12:40 in the Samaritan reads, “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel and of their fathers which they had dwelt in the land of Canaan and in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years” (comp. Gal. 3:17). It may be noted that the LXX. has the same reading of this text.
Samaritans The name given to the new and mixed inhabitants whom Esarhaddon (B.C. 677), the king of Assyria, brought from Babylon and other places and settled in the cities of Samaria, instead of the original inhabitants whom Sargon (B.C. 721) had removed into captivity (2 Kings 17:24; comp. Ezra 4:2, 9, 10). These strangers (comp. Luke 17:18) amalgamated with the Jews still remaining in the land, and gradually abandoned their old idolatry and adopted partly the Jewish religion.
After the return from the Captivity, the Jews in Jerusalem refused to allow them to take part with them in rebuilding the temple, and hence sprang up an open enmity between them. They erected a rival temple on Mount Gerizim, which was, however, destroyed by a Jewish king (B.C. 130). They then built another at Shechem. The bitter enmity between the Jews and Samaritans continued in the time of our Lord: the Jews had “no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9; comp. Luke 9:52, 53). Our Lord was in contempt called “a Samaritan” (John 8:48). Many of the Samaritans early embraced the gospel (John 4:5-42; Acts 8:25; 9:31; 15:3). Of these Samaritans there still remains a small population of about one hundred and sixty, who all reside in Shechem, where they carefully observe the religious customs of their fathers. They are the “smallest and oldest sect in the world.”
Samgar-nebo Be gracious, O Nebo! or a cup-bearer of Nebo, probably the title of Nergal-sharezer, one of the princes of Babylon (Jer. 39:3).
Samos An island in the AEgean Sea, which Paul passed on his voyage from Assos to Miletus (Acts 20:15), on his third missionary journey. It is about 27 miles long and 20 broad, and lies about 42 miles south-west of Smyrna.
Samothracia An island in the AEgean Sea, off the coast of Thracia, about 32 miles distant. This Thracian Samos was passed by Paul on his voyage from Troas to Neapolis (Acts 16:11) on his first missionary journey. It is about 8 miles long and 6 miles broad. Its modern name is Samothraki.
Samson Of the sun, the son of Manoah, born at Zorah. The narrative of his life is given in Judg. 13-16. He was a “Nazarite unto God” from his birth, the first Nazarite mentioned in Scripture (Judg. 13:3-5; comp. Num. 6:1-21). The first recorded event of his life was his marriage with a Philistine woman of Timnath (Judg. 14:1-5). Such a marriage was not forbidden by the law of Moses, as the Philistines did not form one of the seven doomed Canaanite nations (Ex. 34:11-16; Deut. 7:1-4). It was, however, an ill-assorted and unblessed marriage. His wife was soon taken from him and given “to his companion” (Judg. 14:20). For this Samson took revenge by burning the “standing corn of the Philistines” (15:1-8), who, in their turn, in revenge “burnt her and her father with fire.” Her death he terribly avenged (15:7-19). During the twenty years following this he judged Israel; but we have no record of his life. Probably these twenty years may have been simultaneous with the last twenty years of Eli’s life. After this we have an account of his exploits at Gaza (16:1-3), and of his infatuation for Delilah, and her treachery (16:4-20), and then of his melancholy death (16:21-31). He perished in the last terrible destruction he brought upon his enemies. “So the dead which he slew at his death were more [in social and political importance=the elite of the people] than they which he slew in his life.”
“Straining all his nerves, he bowed: As with the force of winds and waters pent, When mountains tremble, those two massy pillars With horrible convulsion to and fro He tugged, he shook, till down they came, and drew The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder Upon the heads of all who sat beneath, Lords, ladies, captains, counsellors, or priests, Their choice nobility and flower.” Milton’s Samson Agonistes.
Samuel Heard of God. The peculiar circumstances connected with his birth are recorded in 1 Sam. 1:20. Hannah, one of the two wives of Elkanah, who came up to Shiloh to worship before the Lord, earnestly prayed to God that she might become the mother of a son. Her prayer was graciously granted; and after the child was weaned she brought him to Shiloh nd consecrated him to the Lord as a perpetual Nazarite (1:23-2:11). Here his bodily wants and training were attended to by the women who served in the tabernacle, while Eli cared for his religious culture. Thus, probably, twelve years of his life passed away. “The child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men” (2:26; comp. Luke 2:52). It was a time of great and growing degeneracy in Israel (Judg. 21:19-21; 1 Sam. 2:12-17, 22). The Philistines, who of late had greatly increased in number and in power, were practically masters of the country, and kept the people in subjection (1 Sam. 10:5; 13:3).
At this time new communications from God began to be made to the pious child. A mysterious voice came to him in the night season, calling him by name, and, instructed by Eli, he answered, “Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.” The message that came from the Lord was one of woe and ruin to Eli and his profligate sons. Samuel told it all to Eli, whose only answer to the terrible denunciations (1 Sam. 3:11-18) was, “It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good”, the passive submission of a weak character, not, in his case, the expression of the highest trust and faith. The Lord revealed himself now in divers manners to Samuel, and his fame and his influence increased throughout the land as of one divinely called to the prophetical office. A new period in the history of the kingdom of God now commenced.
The Philistine yoke was heavy, and the people, groaning under the wide-spread oppression, suddenly rose in revolt, and “went out against the Philistines to battle.” A fierce and disastrous battle was fought at Aphek, near to Ebenezer (1 Sam. 4:1, 2). The Israelites were defeated, leaving 4,000 dead “in the field.” The chiefs of the people thought to repair this great disaster by carrying with them the ark of the covenant as the symbol of Jehovah’s presence. They accordingly, without consulting Samuel, fetched it out of Shiloh to the camp near Aphek. At the sight of the ark among them the people “shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again.” A second battle was fought, and again the Philistines defeated the Israelites, stormed their camp, slew 30,000 men, and took the sacred ark. The tidings of this fatal battle was speedily conveyed to Shiloh; and so soon as the aged Eli heard that the ark of God was taken, he fell backward from his seat at the entrance of the sanctuary, and his neck brake, and he died. The tabernacle with its furniture was probably, by the advice of Samuel, now about twenty years of age, removed from Shiloh to some place of safety, and finally to Nob, where it remained many years (21:1).
The Philistines followed up their advantage, and marched upon Shiloh, which they plundered and destroyed (comp. Jer. 7:12; Ps. 78:59). This was a great epoch in the history of Israel. For twenty years after this fatal battle at Aphek the whole land lay under the oppression of the Philistines. During all these dreary years Samuel was a spiritual power in the land. From Ramah, his native place, where he resided, his influence went forth on every side among the people. With unwearied zeal he went up and down from place to place, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting the people, endeavouring to awaken in them a sense of their sinfulness, and to lead them to repentance. His labours were so far successful that “all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.” Samuel summoned the people to Mizpeh, one of the loftiest hills in Central Palestine, where they fasted and prayed, and prepared themselves there, under his direction, for a great war against the Philistines, who now marched their whole force toward Mizpeh, in order to crush the Israelites once for all. At the intercession of Samuel God interposed in behalf of Israel. Samuel himself was their leader, the only occasion in which he acted as a leader in war. The Philistines were utterly routed. They fled in terror before the army of Israel, and a great slaughter ensued. This battle, fought probably about B.C. 1095, put an end to the forty years of Philistine oppression. In memory of this great deliverance, and in token of gratitude for the help vouchsafed, Samuel set up a great stone in the battlefield, and called it “Ebenezer,” saying, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us” (1 Sam. 7:1-12). This was the spot where, twenty years before, the Israelites had suffered a great defeat, when the ark of God was taken.
This victory over the Philistines was followed by a long period of peace for Israel (1 Sam. 7:13, 14), during which Samuel exercised the functions of judge, going “from year to year in circuit” from his home in Ramah to Bethel, thence to Gilgal (not that in the Jordan valley, but that which lay to the west of Ebal and Gerizim), and returning by Mizpeh to Ramah. He established regular services at Shiloh, where he built an altar; and at Ramah he gathered a company of young men around him and established a school of the prophets. The schools of the prophets, thus originated, and afterwards established also at Gibeah, Bethel, Gilgal, and Jericho, exercised an important influence on the national character and history of the people in maintaining pure religion in the midst of growing corruption. They continued to the end of the Jewish commonwealth.
Many years now passed, during which Samuel exercised the functions of his judicial office, being the friend and counsellor of the people in all matters of private and public interest. He was a great statesman as well as a reformer, and all regarded him with veneration as the “seer,” the prophet of the Lord. At the close of this period, when he was now an old man, the elders of Israel came to him at Ramah (1 Sam. 8:4, 5, 19-22); and feeling how great was the danger to which the nation was exposed from the misconduct of Samuel’s sons, whom he had invested with judicial functions as his assistants, and had placed at Beersheba on the Philistine border, and also from a threatened invasion of the Ammonites, they demanded that a king should be set over them. This request was very displeasing to Samuel. He remonstrated with them, and warned them of the consequences of such a step. At length, however, referring the matter to God, he acceded to their desires, and anointed Saul (q.v.) to be their king (11:15). Before retiring from public life he convened an assembly of the people at Gilgal (ch. 12), and there solemnly addressed them with reference to his own relation to them as judge and prophet.
The remainder of his life he spent in retirement at Ramah, only occasionally and in special circumstances appearing again in public (1 Sam. 13, 15) with communications from God to king Saul. While mourning over the many evils which now fell upon the nation, he is suddenly summoned (ch. 16) to go to Bethlehem and anoint David, the son of Jesse, as king over Israel instead of Saul. After this little is known of him till the time of his death, which took place at Ramah when he was probably about eighty years of age. “And all Israel gathered themselves together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah” (25:1), not in the house itself, but in the court or garden of his house. (Comp. 2 Kings 21:18; 2 Chr. 33:20; 1 Kings 2:34; John 19:41.)
Samuel’s devotion to God, and the special favour with which God regarded him, are referred to in Jer. 15:1 and Ps. 99:6.
Samuel, Books of The LXX. translators regarded the books of Samuel and of Kings as forming one continuous history, which they divided into four books, which they called “Books of the Kingdom.” The Vulgate version followed this division, but styled them “Books of the Kings.” These books of Samuel they accordingly called the “First” and “Second” Books of Kings, and not, as in the modern Protestant versions, the “First” and “Second” Books of Samuel.
The authors of the books of Samuel were probably Samuel, Gad, and Nathan. Samuel penned the first twenty-four chapters of the first book. Gad, the companion of David (1 Sam. 22:5), continued the history thus commenced; and Nathan completed it, probably arranging the whole in the form in which we now have it (1 Chr. 29:29).
The contents of the books. The first book comprises a period of about a hundred years, and nearly coincides with the life of Samuel. It contains (1) the history of Eli (1-4); (2) the history of Samuel (5-12); (3) the history of Saul, and of David in exile (13-31). The second book, comprising a period of perhaps fifty years, contains a history of the reign of David (1) over Judah (1-4), and (2) over all Israel (5-24), mainly in its political aspects. The last four chapters of Second Samuel may be regarded as a sort of appendix recording various events, but not chronologically. These books do not contain complete histories. Frequent gaps are met with in the record, because their object is to present a history of the kingdom of God in its gradual development, and not of the events of the reigns of the successive rulers. It is noticeable that the section (2 Sam. 11:2-12: 29) containing an account of David’s sin in the matter of Bathsheba is omitted in the corresponding passage in 1 Chr. 20.
Sanballat Held some place of authority in Samaria when Nehemiah went up to Jerusalem to rebuild its ruined walls. He vainly attempted to hinder this work (Neh. 2:10, 19; 4:1-12; 6). His daughter became the wife of one of the sons of Joiada, a son of the high priest, much to the grief of Nehemiah (13:28).
Sanctification Involves more than a mere moral reformation of character, brought about by the power of the truth: it is the work of the Holy Spirit bringing the whole nature more and more under the influences of the new gracious principles implanted in the soul in regeneration. In other words, sanctification is the carrying on to perfection the work begun in regeneration, and it extends to the whole man (Rom. 6:13; 2 Cor. 4:6; Col. 3:10; 1 John 4:7; 1 Cor. 6:19). It is the special office of the Holy Spirit in the plan of redemption to carry on this work (1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Thess. 2:13). Faith is instrumental in securing sanctification, inasmuch as it (1) secures union to Christ (Gal. 2:20), and (2) brings the believer into living contact with the truth, whereby he is led to yield obedience “to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come.”
Perfect sanctification is not attainable in this life (1 Kings 8:46; Prov. 20:9; Eccl. 7:20; James 3:2; 1 John 1:8). See Paul’s account of himself in Rom. 7:14-25; Phil. 3:12-14; and 1 Tim. 1:15; also the confessions of David (Ps. 19:12, 13; 51), of Moses (90:8), of Job (42:5, 6), and of Daniel (9:3-20). “The more holy a man is, the more humble, self-renouncing, self-abhorring, and the more sensitive to every sin he becomes, and the more closely he clings to Christ. The moral imperfections which cling to him he feels to be sins, which he laments and strives to overcome. Believers find that their life is a constant warfare, and they need to take the kingdom of heaven by storm, and watch while they pray. They are always subject to the constant chastisement of their Father’s loving hand, which can only be designed to correct their imperfections and to confirm their graces. And it has been notoriously the fact that the best Christians have been those who have been the least prone to claim the attainment of perfection for themselves.”, Hodge’s Outlines.
Sanctuary Denotes, (1) the Holy Land (Ex. 15:17; comp. Ps. 114:2); (2) the temple (1 Chr. 22:19; 2 Chr. 29:21); (3) the tabernacle (Ex. 25:8; Lev. 12:4; 21:12); (4) the holy place, the place of the Presence (Gr. hieron, the temple-house; not the naos, which is the temple area, with its courts and porches), Lev. 4:6; Eph. 2:21, R.V., marg.; (5) God’s holy habitation in heaven (Ps. 102:19). In the final state there is properly “no sanctuary” (Rev. 21:22), for God and the Lamb “are the sanctuary” (R.V., “temple”). All is there hallowed by the Divine Presence; all is sancturary.
Sandals Mentioned only in Mark 6:9 and Acts 12:8. The sandal was simply a sole, made of wood or palm-bark, fastened to the foot by leathern straps. Sandals were also made of seal-skin (Ezek. 16:10; lit. tahash, “leather;” A.V., “badger’s skin;” R.V., “sealskin,” or marg., “porpoise-skin”). (See SHOE.)
Sanhedrim More correctly Sanhedrin (Gr. synedrion), meaning “a sitting together,” or a “council.” This word (rendered “council,” A.V.) is frequently used in the New Testament (Matt. 5:22; 26:59; Mark 15:1, etc.) to denote the supreme judicial and administrative council of the Jews, which, it is said, was first instituted by Moses, and was composed of seventy men (Num. 11:16, 17). But that seems to have been only a temporary arrangement which Moses made. This council is with greater probability supposed to have originated among the Jews when they were under the domination of the Syrian kings in the time of the Maccabees. The name is first employed by the Jewish historian Josephus. This “council” is referred to simply as the “chief priests and elders of the people” (Matt. 26:3, 47, 57, 59; 27:1, 3, 12, 20, etc.), before whom Christ was tried on the charge of claiming to be the Messiah. Peter and John were also brought before it for promulgating heresy (Acts. 4:1-23; 5:17-41); as was also Stephen on a charge of blasphemy (6:12-15), and Paul for violating a temple by-law (22:30; 23:1-10).
The Sanhedrin is said to have consisted of seventy-one members, the high priest being president. They were of three classes (1) the chief priests, or heads of the twenty-four priestly courses (1 Chr. 24), (2) the scribes, and (3) the elders. As the highest court of judicature, “in all causes and over all persons, ecclesiastical and civil, supreme,” its decrees were binding, not only on the Jews in Palestine, but on all Jews wherever scattered abroad. Its jurisdiction was greatly curtailed by Herod, and afterwards by the Romans. Its usual place of meeting was within the precincts of the temple, in the hall “Gazith,” but it sometimes met also in the house of the high priest (Matt. 26:3), who was assisted by two vice-presidents.
Sansannah A palm branch, or a thorn bush, a town in the south (the negeb) of Judah (Josh. 15:31); called also Hazarsusah (19:5), or Hazar-susim (1 Chr. 4:31).
Saph Extension, the son of the giant whom Sibbechai slew (2 Sam. 21:18); called also Sippai (1 Chr. 20:4).
Saphir Beautiful, a town of Judah (Micah 1:11), identified with es-Suafir, 5 miles south-east of Ashdod.
Sapphira Beautiful, the wife of Ananias (q.v.). She was a partner in his guilt and also in his punishment (Acts 5:1-11).
Sapphire Associated with diamonds (Ex. 28:18) and emeralds (Ezek. 28:13); one of the stones in the high priest’s breastplate. It is a precious stone of a sky-blue colour, probably the lapis lazuli, brought from Babylon. The throne of God is described as of the colour of a sapphire (Ex. 24:10; comp. Ezek. 1:26).
Sarah Princess, the wife and at the same time the half-sister of Abraham (Gen. 11:29; 20:12). This name was given to her at the time that it was announced to Abraham that she should be the mother of the promised child. Her story is from her marriage identified with that of the patriarch till the time of her death. Her death, at the age of one hundred and twenty-seven years (the only instance in Scripture where the age of a woman is recorded), was the occasion of Abraham’s purchasing the cave of Machpelah as a family burying-place.
In the allegory of Gal. 4:22-31 she is the type of the “Jerusalem which is above.” She is also mentioned as Sara in Heb. 11:11 among the Old Testament worthies, who “all died in faith.” (See ABRAHAM.)
Sarai My princess, the name originally borne by Sarah (Gen. 11:31; 17:15).
Sardine stone (Rev. 4:3, R.V., “sardius;” Heb. odhem; LXX., Gr. sardion, from a root meaning “red”), a gem of a blood-red colour. It was called “sardius” because obtained from Sardis in Lydia. It is enumerated among the precious stones in the high priest’s breastplate (Ex. 28:17; 39:10). It is our red carnelian.
Sardis The metropolis of Lydia in Asia Minor. It stood on the river Pactolus, at the foot of mount Tmolus. Here was one of the seven Asiatic churches (Rev. 3:1-6). It is now a ruin called Sert-Kalessi.
Sardonyx (Rev. 21:20), a species of the carnelian combining the sard and the onyx, having three layers of opaque spots or stripes on a transparent red basis. Like the sardine, it is a variety of the chalcedony.
Sarepta (Luke 4:26). See ZAREPHATH.
Sargon (In the inscriptions, “Sarra-yukin” [the god] has appointed the king; also “Sarru-kinu,” the legitimate king.) On the death of Shalmaneser (B.C. 723), one of the Assyrian generals established himself on the vacant throne, taking the name of “Sargon,” after that of the famous monarch, the Sargon of Accad, founder of the first Semitic empire, as well as of one of the most famous libraries of Chaldea. He forthwith began a conquering career, and became one of the most powerful of the Assyrian monarchs. He is mentioned by name in the Bible only in connection with the siege of Ashdod (Isa. 20:1).
At the very beginning of his reign he besieged and took the city of Samaria (2 Kings 17:6; 18:9-12). On an inscription found in the palace he built at Khorsabad, near Nieveh, he says, “The city of Samaria I besieged, I took; 27,280 of its inhabitants I carried away; fifty chariots that were among them I collected,” etc. The northern kingdom he changed into an Assyrian satrapy. He afterwards drove Merodach-baladan (q.v.), who kept him at bay for twelve years, out of Babylon, which he entered in triumph. By a succession of victories he gradually enlarged and consolidated the empire, which now extended from the frontiers of Egypt in the west to the mountains of Elam in the east, and thus carried almost to completion the ambitious designs of Tiglath-pileser (q.v.). He was murdered by one of his own soldiers (B.C. 705) in his palace at Khorsabad, after a reign of sixteen years, and was succeeded by his son Sennacherib.
Satan Adversary; accuser. When used as a proper name, the Hebrew word so rendered has the article “the adversary” (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7). In the New Testament it is used as interchangeable with Diabolos, or the devil, and is so used more than thirty times.
He is also called “the dragon,” “the old serpent” (Rev. 12:9; 20:2); “the prince of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30); “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2); “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4); “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). The distinct personality of Satan and his activity among men are thus obviously recognized. He tempted our Lord in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11). He is “Beelzebub, the prince of the devils” (12:24). He is “the constant enemy of God, of Christ, of the divine kingdom, of the followers of Christ, and of all truth; full of falsehood and all malice, and exciting and seducing to evil in every possible way.” His power is very great in the world. He is a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). Men are said to be “taken captive by him” (2 Tim. 2:26). Christians are warned against his “devices” (2 Cor. 2:11), and called on to “resist” him (James 4:7). Christ redeems his people from “him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb. 2:14). Satan has the “power of death,” not as lord, but simply as executioner.
Satyr Hairy one. Mentioned in Greek mythology as a creature composed of a man and a goat, supposed to inhabit wild and desolate regions. The Hebrew word is rendered also “goat” (Lev. 4:24) and “devil”, i.e., an idol in the form of a goat (17:7; 2 Chr. 11:15). When it is said (Isa. 13:21; comp. 34:14) “the satyrs shall dance there,” the meaning is that the place referred to shall become a desolate waste. Some render the Hebrew word “baboon,” a species of which is found in Babylonia.
Saul Asked for. (1.) A king of Edom (Gen. 36:37, 38); called Shaul in 1 Chr. 1:48.
(2.) The son of Kish (probably his only son, and a child of prayer, “asked for”), of the tribe of Benjamin, the first king of the Jewish nation. The singular providential circumstances connected with his election as king are recorded in 1 Sam. 8-10. His father’s she-asses had strayed, and Saul was sent with a servant to seek for them. Leaving his home at Gibeah (10:5, “the hill of God,” A.V.; lit., as in R.V. marg., “Gibeah of God”), Saul and his servant went toward the north-west over Mount Ephraim, and then turning north-east they came to “the land of Shalisha,” and thence eastward to the land of Shalim, and at length came to the district of Zuph, near Samuel’s home at Ramah (9:5-10). At this point Saul proposed to return from the three days’ fruitless search, but his servant suggested that they should first consult the “seer.” Hearing that he was about to offer sacrifice, the two hastened into Ramah, and “behold, Samuel came out against them,” on his way to the “bamah”, i.e., the “height”, where sacrifice was to be offered; and in answer to Saul’s question, “Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer’s house is,” Samuel made himself known to him. Samuel had been divinely prepared for his coming (9:15-17), and received Saul as his guest. He took him with him to the sacrifice, and then after the feast “communed with Saul upon the top of the house” of all that was in his heart. On the morrow Samuel “took a vial of oil and poured it on his head,” and anointed Saul as king over Israel (9:25-10:8), giving him three signs in confirmation of his call to be king. When Saul reached his home in Gibeah the last of these signs was fulfilled, and the Sprit of God came upon him, and “he was turned into another man.” The simple countryman was transformed into the king of Israel, a remarkable change suddenly took place in his whole demeanour, and the people said in their astonishment, as they looked on the stalwart son of Kish, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”, a saying which passed into a “proverb.” (Comp. 19:24.)
The intercourse between Saul and Samuel was as yet unknown to the people. The “anointing” had been in secret. But now the time had come when the transaction must be confirmed by the nation. Samuel accordingly summoned the people to a solemn assembly “before the Lord” at Mizpeh. Here the lot was drawn (10:17-27), and it fell upon Saul, and when he was presented before them, the stateliest man in all Israel, the air was rent for the first time in Israel by the loud cry, “God save the king!” He now returned to his home in Gibeah, attended by a kind of bodyguard, “a band of men whose hearts God had touched.” On reaching his home he dismissed them, and resumed the quiet toils of his former life.
Soon after this, on hearing of the conduct of Nahash the Ammonite at Jabeshgilead (q.v.), an army out of all the tribes of Israel rallied at his summons to the trysting-place at Bezek, and he led them forth a great army to battle, gaining a complete victory over the Ammonite invaders at Jabesh (11:1-11). Amid the universal joy occasioned by this victory he was now fully recognized as the king of Israel. At the invitation of Samuel “all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal.” Samuel now officially anointed him as king (11:15). Although Samuel never ceased to be a judge in Israel, yet now his work in that capacity practically came to an end.
Saul now undertook the great and difficult enterprise of freeing the land from its hereditary enemies the Philistines, and for this end he gathered together an army of 3,000 men (1 Sam. 13:1, 2). The Philistines were encamped at Geba. Saul, with 2,000 men, occupied Michmash and Mount Bethel; while his son Jonathan, with 1,000 men, occupied Gibeah, to the south of Geba, and seemingly without any direction from his father “smote” the Philistines in Geba. Thus roused, the Philistines, who gathered an army of 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen, and “people as the sand which is on the sea-shore in multitude,” encamped in Michmash, which Saul had evacuated for Gilgal. Saul now tarried for seven days in Gilgal before making any movement, as Samuel had appointed (10:8); but becoming impatient on the seventh day, as it was drawing to a close, when he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, Samuel appeared and warned him of the fatal consequences of his act of disobedience, for he had not waited long enough (13:13, 14).
When Saul, after Samuel’s departure, went out from Gilgal with his 600 men, his followers having decreased to that number (13:15), against the Philistines at Michmash (q.v.), he had his head-quarters under a pomegrante tree at Migron, over against Michmash, the Wady esSuweinit alone intervening. Here at Gibeah-Geba Saul and his army rested, uncertain what to do. Jonathan became impatient, and with his armour-bearer planned an assault against the Philistines, unknown to Saul and the army (14:1-15). Jonathan and his armour-bearer went down into the wady, and on their hands and knees climbed to the top of the narrow rocky ridge called Bozez, where was the outpost of the Philistine army. They surprised and then slew twenty of the Philistines, and immediately the whole host of the Philistines was thrown into disorder and fled in great terror. “It was a very great trembling;” a supernatural panic seized the host. Saul and his 600 men, a band which speedily increased to 10,000, perceiving the confusion, pursued the army of the Philistines, and the tide of battle rolled on as far as to Bethaven, halfway between Michmash and Bethel. The Philistines were totally routed. “So the Lord saved Israel that day.” While pursuing the Philistines, Saul rashly adjured the people, saying, “Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening.” But though faint and weary, the Israelites “smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon” (a distance of from 15 to 20 miles). Jonathan had, while passing through the wood in pursuit of the Philistines, tasted a little of the honeycomb which was abundant there (14:27). This was afterwards discovered by Saul (ver. 42), and he threatened to put his son to death. The people, however, interposed, saying, “There shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground.” He whom God had so signally owned, who had “wrought this great salvation in Israel,” must not die. “Then Saul went up from following the Philistines: and the Philistines went to their own place” (1 Sam. 14:24-46); and thus the campaign against the Philistines came to an end. This was Saul’s second great military success.
Saul’s reign, however, continued to be one of almost constant war against his enemies round about (14:47, 48), in all of which he proved victorious. The war against the Amalekites is the only one which is recorded at length (1 Sam. 15). These oldest and hereditary (Ex. 17:8; Num. 14:43-45) enemies of Israel occupied the territory to the south and south-west of Palestine. Samuel summoned Saul to execute the “ban” which God had pronounced (Deut. 25:17-19) on this cruel and relentless foe of Israel. The cup of their iniquity was now full. This command was “the test of his moral qualification for being king.” Saul proceeded to execute the divine command; and gathering the people together, marched from Telaim (1 Sam. 15:4) against the Amalekites, whom he smote “from Havilah until thou comest to Shur,” utterly destroying “all the people with the edge of the sword”, i.e., all that fell into his hands. He was, however, guilty of rebellion and disobedience in sparing Agag their king, and in conniving at his soldiers’ sparing the best of the sheep and cattle; and Samuel, following Saul to Gilgal, in the Jordan valley, said unto him, “Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he also hath rejected thee from being king” (15:23). The kingdom was rent from Saul and was given to another, even to David, whom the Lord chose to be Saul’s successor, and whom Samuel anointed (16:1-13). From that day “the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.” He and Samuel parted only to meet once again at one of the schools of the prophets.
David was now sent for as a “cunning player on an harp” (1 Sam. 16:16, 18), to play before Saul when the evil spirit troubled him, and thus was introduced to the court of Saul. He became a great favourite with the king. At length David returned to his father’s house and to his wonted avocation as a shepherd for perhaps some three years. The Philistines once more invaded the land, and gathered their army between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim, on the southern slope of the valley of Elah. Saul and the men of Israel went forth to meet them, and encamped on the northern slope of the same valley which lay between the two armies. It was here that David slew Goliath of Gath, the champion of the Philistines (17:4-54), an exploit which led to the flight and utter defeat of the Philistine army. Saul now took David permanently into his service (18:2); but he became jealous of him (ver. 9), and on many occasions showed his enmity toward him (ver. 10, 11), his enmity ripening into a purpose of murder which at different times he tried in vain to carry out.
After some time the Philistines “gathered themselves together” in the plain of Esdraelon, and pitched their camp at Shunem, on the slope of Little Hermon; and Saul “gathered all Israel together,” and “pitched in Gilboa” (1 Sam. 28:3-14). Being unable to discover the mind of the Lord, Saul, accompanied by two of his retinue, betook himself to the “witch of Endor,” some 7 or 8 miles distant. Here he was overwhelmed by the startling communication that was mysteriously made to him by Samuel (ver. 16-19), who appeared to him. “He fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel” (ver. 20). The Philistine host “fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines, and fell down slain in Mount Gilboa” (31:1). In his despair at the disaster that had befallen his army, Saul “took a sword and fell upon it.” And the Philistines on the morrow “found Saul and his three sons fallen in Mount Gilboa.” Having cut off his head, they sent it with his weapons to Philistia, and hung up the skull in the temple of Dagon at Ashdod. They suspended his headless body, with that of Jonathan, from the walls of Bethshan. The men of Jabesh-gilead afterwards removed the bodies from this position; and having burnt the flesh, they buried the bodies under a tree at Jabesh. The remains were, however, afterwards removed to the family sepulchre at Zelah (2 Sam. 21:13, 14). (See DAVID.)
(3.) “Who is also called Paul” (q.v.), the circumcision name of the apostle, given to him, perhaps, in memory of King Saul (Acts 7:58; 8:1; 9:1).
Saviour One who saves from any form or degree of evil. In its highest sense the word indicates the relation sustained by our Lord to his redeemed ones, he is their Saviour. The great message of the gospel is about salvation and the Saviour. It is the “gospel of salvation.” Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ secures to the sinner a personal interest in the work of redemption. Salvation is redemption made effectual to the individual by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Scapegoat Lev. 16:8-26; R.V., “the goat for Azazel” (q.v.), the name given to the goat which was taken away into the wilderness on the day of Atonement (16:20-22). The priest made atonement over the scapegoat, laying Israel’s guilt upon it, and then sent it away, the goat bearing “upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited.”
At a later period an evasion or modification of the law of Moses was introduced by the Jews. “The goat was conducted to a mountain named Tzuk, situated at a distance of ten Sabbath days’ journey, or about six and a half English miles, from Jerusalem. At this place the Judean desert was supposed to commence; and the man in whose charge the goat was sent out, while setting him free, was instructed to push the unhappy beast down the slope of the mountain side, which was so steep as to insure the death of the goat, whose bones were broken by the fall. The reason of this barbarous custom was that on one occasion the scapegoat returned to Jerusalem after being set free, which was considered such an evil omen that its recurrence was prevented for the future by the death of the goat” (Twenty-one Years’ Work in the Holy Land). This mountain is now called el-Muntar.
Scarlet This dye was obtained by the Egyptians from the shell-fish Carthamus tinctorius; and by the Hebrews from the Coccus ilicis, an insect which infests oak trees, called kermes by the Arabians.
This colour was early known (Gen. 38:28). It was one of the colours of the ephod (Ex. 28:6), the girdle (8), and the breastplate (15) of the high priest. It is also mentioned in various other connections (Josh. 2:18; 2 Sam. 1:24; Lam. 4:5; Nahum 2:3). A scarlet robe was in mockery placed on our Lord (Matt. 27:28; Luke 23:11). “Sins as scarlet” (Isa. 1:18), i.e., as scarlet robes “glaring and habitual.” Scarlet and crimson were the firmest of dyes, and thus not easily washed out.
Sceptre (Heb. shebet = Gr. skeptron), properly a staff or rod. As a symbol of authority, the use of the sceptre originated in the idea that the ruler was as a shepherd of his people (Gen. 49:10; Num. 24:17; Ps. 45:6; Isa. 14:5). There is no example on record of a sceptre having ever been actually handled by a Jewish king.
Sceva An implement, a Jew, chief of the priests at Ephesus (Acts 19:13-16); i.e., the head of one of the twenty-four courses of the house of Levi. He had seven sons, who “took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus,” in imitation of Paul. They tried their method of exorcism on a fierce demoniac, and failed. His answer to them was to this effect (19:15): “The Jesus whom you invoke is One whose authority I acknowledge; and the Paul whom you name I recognize to be a servant or messenger of God; but what sort of men are ye who have been empowered to act as you do by neither?” (Lindsay on the Acts of the Apostles.)
Schism A separation, an alienation causing divisions among Christians, who ought to be united (1 Cor. 12:25).
Schoolmaster The law so designated by Paul (Gal. 3:24, 25). As so used, the word does not mean teacher, but pedagogue (shortened into the modern page), i.e., one who was intrusted with the supervision of a family, taking them to and from the school, being responsible for their safety and manners. Hence the pedagogue was stern and severe in his discipline. Thus the law was a pedagogue to the Jews, with a view to Christ, i.e., to prepare for faith in Christ by producing convictions of guilt and helplessness. The office of the pedagogue ceased when “faith came”, i.e., the object of that faith, the seed, which is Christ.
Schools of the Prophets (1 Sam. 19:18-24; 2 Kings 2:3, 5, 7, 12, 15) were instituted for the purpose of training young men for the prophetical and priestly offices. (See PROPHET; SAMUEL.)
Scorpions Mentioned along with serpents (Deut. 8:15). Used also figuratively to denote wicked persons (Ezek. 2:6; Luke 10:19); also a particular kind of scourge or whip (1 Kings 12:11). Scorpions were a species of spider. They abounded in the Jordan valley.
Scourging (1 Kings 12:11). Variously administered. In no case were the stripes to exceed forty (Deut. 25:3; comp. 2 Cor. 11:24). In the time of the apostles, in consequence of the passing of what was called the Porcian law, no Roman citizen could be scourged in any case (Acts 16:22-37). (See BASTINADO.) In the scourging of our Lord (Matt. 27:26; Mark 15:15) the words of prophecy (Isa. 53:5) were fulfilled.
Scribes Anciently held various important offices in the public affairs of the nation. The Hebrew word so rendered (sopher) is first used to designate the holder of some military office (Judg. 5:14; A.V., “pen of the writer;” R.V., “the marshal’s staff;” marg., “the staff of the scribe”). The scribes acted as secretaries of state, whose business it was to prepare and issue decrees in the name of the king (2 Sam. 8:17; 20:25; 1 Chr. 18:16; 24:6; 1 Kings 4:3; 2 Kings 12:9-11; 18:18-37, etc.). They discharged various other important public duties as men of high authority and influence in the affairs of state.
There was also a subordinate class of scribes, most of whom were Levites. They were engaged in various ways as writers. Such, for example, was Baruch, who “wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord” (Jer. 36:4, 32).
In later times, after the Captivity, when the nation lost its independence, the scribes turned their attention to the law, gaining for themselves distinction by their intimate acquaintance with its contents. On them devolved the duty of multiplying copies of the law and of teaching it to others (Ezra 7:6, 10-12; Neh. 8:1, 4, 9, 13). It is evident that in New Testament times the scribes belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, who supplemented the ancient written law by their traditions (Matt. 23), thereby obscuring it and rendering it of none effect. The titles “scribes” and “lawyers” (q.v.) are in the Gospels interchangeable (Matt. 22:35; Mark 12:28; Luke 20:39, etc.). They were in the time of our Lord the public teachers of the people, and frequently came into collision with him. They afterwards showed themselves greatly hostile to the apostles (Acts 4:5; 6:12).
Some of the scribes, however, were men of a different spirit, and showed themselves friendly to the gospel and its preachers. Thus Gamaliel advised the Sanhedrin, when the apostles were before them charged with “teaching in this name,” to “refrain from these men and let them alone” (Acts 5:34-39; comp. 23:9).
Scrip A small bag or wallet usually fastened to the girdle (1 Sam. 17:40); “a shepherd’s bag.”
In the New Testament it is the rendering of Gr. pera, which was a bag carried by travellers and shepherds, generally made of skin (Matt. 10:10; Mark 6:8; Luke 9:3; 10:4). The name “scrip” is meant to denote that the bag was intended to hold scraps, fragments, as if scraped off from larger articles, trifles.
Scripture Invariably in the New Testament denotes that definite collection of sacred books, regarded as given by inspiration of God, which we usually call the Old Testament (2 Tim. 3:15, 16; John 20:9; Gal. 3:22; 2 Pet. 1:20). It was God’s purpose thus to perpetuate his revealed will. From time to time he raised up men to commit to writing in an infallible record the revelation he gave. The “Scripture,” or collection of sacred writings, was thus enlarged from time to time as God saw necessary. We have now a completed “Scripture,” consisting of the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament canon in the time of our Lord was precisely the same as that which we now possess under that name. He placed the seal of his own authority on this collection of writings, as all equally given by inspiration (Matt. 5:17; 7:12; 22:40; Luke 16:29, 31). (See BIBLE; CANON.)
Scythian The Scythians consisted of “all the pastoral tribes who dwelt to the north of the Black Sea and the Caspian, and were scattered far away toward the east. Of this vast country but little was anciently known. Its modern representative is Russia, which, to a great extent, includes the same territories.” They were the descendants of Japheth (Gen. 9:27). It appears that in apostolic times there were some of this people that embraced Christianity (Col. 3:11).
Seah In land measure, a space of 50 cubits long by 50 broad. In measure of capacity, a seah was a little over one peck. (See MEASURE.)
Seal Commonly a ring engraved with some device (Gen. 38:18, 25). Jezebel “wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal” (1 Kings 21:8). Seals are frequently mentioned in Jewish history (Deut. 32:34; Neh. 9:38; 10:1; Esther 3:12; Cant. 8:6; Isa. 8:16; Jer. 22:24; 32:44, etc.). Sealing a document was equivalent to the signature of the owner of the seal. “The use of a signet-ring by the monarch has recently received a remarkable illustration by the discovery of an impression of such a signet on fine clay at Koyunjik, the site of the ancient Nineveh. This seal appears to have been impressed from the bezel of a metallic finger-ring. It is an oval, 2 inches in length by 1 inch wide, and bears the image, name, and titles of the Egyptian king Sabaco” (Rawlinson’s Hist. Illus. of the O.T., p. 46). The actual signet-rings of two Egyptian kings (Cheops and Horus) have been discovered. (See SIGNET.)
The use of seals is mentioned in the New Testament only in connection with the record of our Lord’s burial (Matt. 27:66). The tomb was sealed by the Pharisees and chief priests for the purpose of making sure that the disciples would not come and steal the body away (ver. 63, 64). The mode of doing this was probably by stretching a cord across the stone and sealing it at both ends with sealing-clay. When God is said to have sealed the Redeemer, the meaning is, that he has attested his divine mission (John 6:27). Circumcision is a seal, an attestation of the covenant (Rom. 4:11). Believers are sealed with the Spirit, as God’s mark put upon them (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). Converts are by Paul styled the seal of his apostleship, i.e., they are its attestation (1 Cor. 9:2). Seals and sealing are frequently mentioned in the book of Revelation (5:1; 6:1; 7:3; 10:4; 22:10).
Sea of glass A figurative expression used in Rev. 4:6 and 15:2. According to the interpretation of some, “this calm, glass-like sea, which is never in storm, but only interfused with flame, represents the counsels of God, those purposes of righteousness and love which are often fathomless but never obscure, always the same, though sometimes glowing with holy anger.” (Comp. Ps. 36:6; 77:19; Rom. 11:33-36.)
Sea of Jazer (Jer. 48:32), a lake, now represented by some ponds in the high valley in which the Ammonite city of Jazer lies, the ruins of which are called Sar.
Seasons (Gen. 8:22). See AGRICULTURE; MONTH.
Sea, The (Heb. yam), signifies (1) “the gathering together of the waters,” the ocean (Gen. 1:10); (2) a river, as the Nile (Isa. 19:5), the Euphrates (Isa. 21:1; Jer. 51:36); (3) the Red Sea (Ex. 14:16, 27; 15:4, etc.); (4) the Mediterranean (Ex. 23:31; Num. 34:6, 7; Josh. 15:47; Ps. 80:11, etc.); (5) the “sea of Galilee,” an inland fresh-water lake, and (6) the Dead Sea or “salt sea” (Gen. 14:3; Num. 34:3, 12, etc.). The word “sea” is used symbolically in Isa. 60:5, where it probably means the nations around the Mediterranean. In Dan. 7:3, Rev. 13:1 it may mean the tumultuous changes among the nations of the earth.
Sea, The molten The great laver made by Solomon for the use of the priests in the temple, described in 1 Kings 7:23-26; 2 Chr. 4:2-5. It stood in the south-eastern corner of the inner court. It was 5 cubits high, 10 in diameter from brim to brim, and 30 in circumference. It was placed on the backs of twelve oxen, standing with their faces outward. It was capable of containing two or three thousand baths of water (comp. 2 Chr. 4:5), which was originally supplied by the Gibeonites, but was afterwards brought by a conduit from the pools of Bethlehem. It was made of “brass” (copper), which Solomon had taken from the captured cities of Hadarezer, the king of Zobah (1 Chr. 18:8). Ahaz afterwards removed this laver from the oxen, and placed it on a stone pavement (2 Kings 16:17). It was destroyed by the Chaldeans (25:13).
Seba (1.) One of the sons of Cush (Gen. 10:7).
(2.) The name of a country and nation (Isa. 43:3; 45:14) mentioned along with Egypt and Ethiopia, and therefore probably in north-eastern Africa. The ancient name of Meroe. The kings of Sheba and Seba are mentioned together in Ps. 72:10.
Sebat The eleventh month of the Hebrew year, extending from the new moon of February to that of March (Zech. 1:7). Assyrian sabatu, “storm.” (See MONTH.)
Secacah Enclosure, one of the six cities in the wilderness of Judah, noted for its “great cistern” (Josh. 15:61). It has been identified with the ruin Sikkeh, east of Bethany.
Sechu A hill or watch-tower, a place between Gibeah and Ramah noted for its “great well” (1 Sam. 19:22); probably the modern Suweikeh, south of Beeroth.
Sect (Gr. hairesis, usually rendered “heresy”, Acts 24:14; 1 Chr. 11:19; Gal. 5:20, etc.), meaning properly “a choice,” then “a chosen manner of life,” and then “a religious party,” as the “sect” of the Sadducees (Acts 5:17), of the Pharisees (15:5), the Nazarenes, i.e., Christians (24:5). It afterwards came to be used in a bad sense, of those holding pernicious error, divergent forms of belief (2 Pet. 2:1; Gal. 5:20).
Secundus Second, a Christian of Thessalonica who accompanied Paul into Asia (Acts 20:4).
Seer A name sometimes applied to the prophets because of the visions granted to them. It is first found in 1 Sam. 9:9. It is afterwards applied to Zadok, Gad, etc. (2 Sam. 15:27; 24:11; 1 Chr. 9:22; 25:5; 2 Chr. 9:29; Amos 7:12; Micah 3:7). The “sayings of the seers” (2 Chr. 33:18, 19) is rendered in the Revised Version “the history of Hozai” (marg., the seers; so the LXX.), of whom, however, nothing is known. (See PROPHET.)
Seethe To boil (Ex. 16:23).
Seething pot A vessel for boiling provisions in (Job 41:20; Jer. 1:13).
Segub Elevated. (1.) The youngest son of Hiel the Bethelite. His death is recorded in 1 Kings 16:34 (comp. Josh. 6:26).
(2.) A descendant of Judah (1 Chr. 2:21, 22).
Seir Rough; hairy. (1.) A Horite; one of the “dukes” of Edom (Gen. 36:20-30).
(2.) The name of a mountainous region occupied by the Edomites, extending along the eastern side of the Arabah from the south-eastern extremity of the Dead Sea to near the Akabah, or the eastern branch of the Red Sea. It was originally occupied by the Horites (Gen. 14:6), who were afterwards driven out by the Edomites (Gen. 32:3; 33:14, 16). It was allotted to the descendants of Esau (Deut. 2:4, 22; Josh. 24:4; 2 Chr. 20:10; Isa. 21:11; Exek. 25:8).
(3.) A mountain range (not the Edomite range, Gen. 32:3) lying between the Wady Aly and the Wady Ghurab (Josh. 15:10).
Seirath Woody district; shaggy, a place among the mountains of Ephraim, bordering on Benjamin, to which Ehud fled after he had assassinated Eglon at Jericho (Judg. 3:26, 27).
Sela =Se’lah, rock, the capital of Edom, situated in the great valley extending from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea (2 Kings 14:7). It was near Mount Hor, close by the desert of Zin. It is called “the rock” (Judg. 1:36). When Amaziah took it he called it Joktheel (q.v.) It is mentioned by the prophets (Isa. 16:1; Obad. 1:3) as doomed to destruction.
It appears in later history and in the Vulgate Version under the name of Petra. “The caravans from all ages, from the interior of Arabia and from the Gulf of Persia, from Hadramaut on the ocean, and even from Sabea or Yemen, appear to have pointed to Petra as a common centre; and from Petra the tide seems again to have branched out in every direction, to Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, through Arsinoe, Gaza, Tyre, Jerusalem, and Damascus, and by other routes, terminating at the Mediterranean.” (See EDOM .)
Selah A word frequently found in the Book of Psalms, and also in Hab. 3:9, 13, about seventy-four times in all in Scripture. Its meaning is doubtful. Some interpret it as meaning “silence” or “pause;” others, “end,” “a louder strain,” “piano,” etc. The LXX. render the word by daplasma i.e., “a division.”
Sela-hammahlekoth Cliff of divisions the name of the great gorge which lies between Hachilah and Maon, south-east of Hebron. This gorge is now called the Wady Malaky. This was the scene of the interview between David and Saul mentioned in 1 Sam. 26:13. Each stood on an opposing cliff, with this deep chasm between.
Seleucia The sea-port of Antioch, near the mouth of the Orontes. Paul and his companions sailed from this port on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:4). This city was built by Seleucus Nicator, the “king of Syria.” It is said of him that “few princes have ever lived with so great a passion for the building of cities. He is reputed to have built in all nine Seleucias, sixteen Antiochs, and six Laodiceas.” Seleucia became a city of great importance, and was made a “free city” by Pompey. It is now a small village, called el-Kalusi.
Semei Mentioned in the genealogy of our Lord (Luke 3:26).
Senaah Thorny, a place many of the inhabitants of which returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:35; Neh. 7:38).
Senate (Acts 5:21), the “elders of Israel” who formed a component part of the Sanhedrin.
Seneh The acacia; rock-thorn, the southern cliff in the Wady es-Suweinit, a valley south of Michmash, which Jonathan climbed with his armour-bearer (1 Sam. 14:4, 5). The rock opposite, on the other side of the wady, was called Bozez.
Senir =Shenir, the name given to Hermon by the Amorites (Deut. 3:9). It means “coat of mail” or “breastplate,” and is equivalent to “Sirion.” Some interpret the word as meaning “the prominent” or “the snowy mountain.” It is properly the name of the central of the three summits of Hermon (q.v.).
Sennacherib Sin (the god) sends many brothers, son of Sargon, whom he succeeded on the throne of Assyria (B.C. 705), in the 23rd year of Hezekiah. “Like the Persian Xerxes, he was weak and vainglorious, cowardly under reverse, and cruel and boastful in success.” He first set himself to break up the powerful combination of princes who were in league against him. Among these was Hezekiah, who had entered into an alliance with Egypt against Assyria. He accordingly led a very powerful army of at least 200,000 men into Judea, and devastated the land on every side, taking and destroying many cities (2 Kings 18:13-16; comp. Isa. 22, 24, 29, and 2 Chr. 32:1-8). His own account of this invasion, as given in the Assyrian annals, is in these words: “Because Hezekiah, king of Judah, would not submit to my yoke, I came up against him, and by force of arms and by the might of my power I took forty-six of his strong fenced cities; and of the smaller towns which were scattered about, I took and plundered a countless number. From these places I took and carried off 200,156 persons, old and young, male and female, together with horses and mules, asses and camels, oxen and sheep, a countless multitude; and Hezekiah himself I shut up in Jerusalem, his capital city, like a bird in a cage, building towers round the city to hem him in, and raising banks of earth against the gates, so as to prevent escape…Then upon Hezekiah there fell the fear of the power of my arms, and he sent out to me the chiefs and the elders of Jerusalem with 30 talents of gold and 800 talents of silver, and divers treasures, a rich and immense booty…All these things were brought to me at Nineveh, the seat of my government.” (Comp. Isa. 22:1-13 for description of the feelings of the inhabitants of Jerusalem at such a crisis.)
Hezekiah was not disposed to become an Assyrian feudatory. He accordingly at once sought help from Egypt (2 Kings 18:20-24). Sennacherib, hearing of this, marched a second time into Palestine (2 Kings 18:17, 37; 19; 2 Chr. 32:9-23; Isa. 36:2-22. Isa. 37:25 should be rendered “dried up all the Nile-arms of Matsor,” i.e., of Egypt, so called from the “Matsor” or great fortification across the isthmus of Suez, which protected it from invasions from the east). Sennacherib sent envoys to try to persuade Hezekiah to surrender, but in vain. (See TIRHAKAH.) He next sent a threatening letter (2 Kings 19:10-14), which Hezekiah carried into the temple and spread before the Lord. Isaiah again brought an encouraging message to the pious king (2 Kings 19:20-34). “In that night” the angel of the Lord went forth and smote the camp of the Assyrians. In the morning, “behold, they were all dead corpses.” The Assyrian army was annihilated.
This great disaster is not, as was to be expected, taken notice of in the Assyrian annals.
Though Sennacherib survived this disaster some twenty years, he never again renewed his attempt against Jerusalem. He was murdered by two of his own sons (Adrammelech and Sharezer), and was succeeded by another son, Esarhaddon (B.C. 681), after a reign of twenty-four years.
Seorim Barley, the chief of the forth priestly course (1 Chr. 24:8).
Sephar Numbering, (Gen. 10:30), supposed by some to be the ancient Himyaritic capital, “Shaphar,” Zaphar, on the Indian Ocean, between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.
Sepharad (Obad. 1:20), some locality unknown. The modern Jews think that Spain is meant, and hence they designate the Spanish Jews “Sephardim,” as they do the German Jews by the name “Ashkenazim,” because the rabbis call Germany Ashkenaz. Others identify it with Sardis, the capital of Lydia. The Latin father Jerome regarded it as an Assyrian word, meaning “boundary,” and interpreted the sentence, “which is in Sepharad,” by “who are scattered abroad in all the boundaries and regions of the earth.” Perowne says: “Whatever uncertainty attaches to the word Sepharad, the drift of the prophecy is clear, viz., that not only the exiles from Babylon, but Jewish captives from other and distant regions, shall be brought back to live prosperously within the enlarged borders of their own land.”
Sepharvaim Taken by Sargon, king of Assyria (2 Kings 17:24; 18:34; 19:13; Isa. 37:13). It was a double city, and received the common name Sepharvaim, i.e., “the two Sipparas,” or “the two booktowns.” The Sippara on the east bank of the Euphrates is now called Abu-Habba; that on the other bank was Accad, the old capital of Sargon I., where he established a great library. (See SARGON.) The recent discovery of cuneiform inscriptions at Tel el-Amarna in Egypt, consisting of official despatches to Pharaoh Amenophis IV. and his predecessor from their agents in Palestine, proves that in the century before the Exodus an active literary intercourse was carried on between these nations, and that the medium of the correspondence was the Babylonian language and script. (See KIRJATH-SEPHER.)
Septuagint See VERSIONS.
Sepulchre First mentioned as purchased by Abraham for Sarah from Ephron the Hittite (Gen. 23:20). This was the “cave of the field of Machpelah,” where also Abraham and Rebekah and Jacob and Leah were burried (79:29-32). In Acts 7:16 it is said that Jacob was “laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.” It has been proposed, as a mode of reconciling the apparent discrepancy between this verse and Gen. 23:20, to read Acts 7:16 thus: “And they [i.e., our fathers] were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor [the son] of Sychem.” In this way the purchase made by Abraham is not to be confounded with the purchase made by Jacob subsequently in the same district. Of this purchase by Abraham there is no direct record in the Old Testament. (See TOMB.)
Serah Abundance; princess, the daughter of Asher and grand-daughter of Jacob (Gen. 46:17); called also Sarah (Num. 26:46; R.V., “Serah”).
Seraiah Soldier of Jehovah. (1.) The father of Joab (1 Chr. 4:13, 14).
(2.) The grandfather of Jehu (1 Chr. 4:35).
(3.) One of David’s scribes or secretaries (2 Sam. 8:17).
(4.) A Netophathite (Jer. 40:8), a chief priest of the time of Zedekiah. He was carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon, and there put to death (2 Kings 25:18, 23).
(5.) Ezra 2:2.
(6.) Father of Ezra the scribe (7:1).
(7.) A ruler of the temple (Neh. 11:11).
(8.) A priest of the days of Jehoiakim (Neh. 12:1, 12).
(9.) The son of Neriah. When Zedekiah made a journey to Babylon to do homage to Nebuchadnezzar, Seraiah had charge of the royal gifts to be presented on that occasion. Jeremiah took advantage of the occasion, and sent with Seraiah a word of cheer to the exiles in Babylon, and an announcement of the doom in store for that guilty city. The roll containing this message (Jer. 50:1-8) Seraiah was to read to the exiles, and then, after fixing a stone to it, was to throw it into the Euphrates, uttering, as it sank, the prayer recorded in Jer. 51:59-64. Babylon was at this time in the height of its glory, the greatest and most powerful monarchy in the world. Scarcely seventy years elapsed when the words of the prophet were all fulfilled. Jer. 51:59 is rendered in the Revised Version, “Now Seraiah was chief chamberlain,” instead of “was a quiet prince,” as in the Authorized Version.
Seraphim Mentioned in Isa. 6:2, 3, 6, 7. This word means fiery ones, in allusion, as is supposed, to their burning love. They are represented as “standing” above the King as he sat upon his throne, ready at once to minister unto him. Their form appears to have been human, with the addition of wings. (See ANGELS.) This word, in the original, is used elsewhere only of the “fiery serpents” (Num. 21:6, 8; Deut. 8:15; comp. Isa. 14:29; 30:6) sent by God as his instruments to inflict on the people the righteous penalty of sin.
Sered Fear, one of the sons of Zebulun (Gen. 46:14).
Sergeants Acts 16:35, 38 (R.V., “lictors”), officers who attended the magistrates and assisted them in the execution of justice.
Sergius Paulus A “prudent man” (R.V., “man of understanding”), the deputy (R.V., “proconsul”) of Cyprus (Acts 13:6-13). He became a convert to Christianity under Paul, who visited this island on his first mission to the heathen.
A remarkable memorial of this proconsul was recently (1887) discovered at Rome. On a boundary stone of Claudius his name is found, among others, as having been appointed (A.D. 47) one of the curators of the banks and the channel of the river Tiber. After serving his three years as proconsul at Cyprus, he returned to Rome, where he held the office referred to. As he is not saluted in Paul’s letter to the Romans, he probably died before it was written.
Sermon on the mount After spending a night in solemn meditation and prayer in the lonely mountain-range to the west of the Lake of Galilee (Luke 6:12), on the following morning our Lord called to him his disciples, and from among them chose twelve, who were to be henceforth trained to be his apostles (Mark 3:14, 15). After this solemn consecration of the twelve, he descended from the mountain-peak to a more level spot (Luke 6:17), and there he sat down and delivered the “sermon on the mount” (Matt. 5-7; Luke 6:20-49) to the assembled multitude. The mountain here spoken of was probably that known by the name of the “Horns of Hattin” (Kurun Hattin), a ridge running east and west, not far from Capernaum. It was afterwards called the “Mount of Beatitudes.”
Serpent (Heb. nahash; Gr. ophis), frequently noticed in Scripture. More than forty species are found in Syria and Arabia. The poisonous character of the serpent is alluded to in Jacob’s blessing on Dan (Gen. 49:17; see Prov. 30:18, 19; James 3:7; Jer. 8:17). (See ADDER.)
This word is used symbolically of a deadly, subtle, malicious enemy (Luke 10:19).
The serpent is first mentioned in connection with the history of the temptation and fall of our first parents (Gen. 3). It has been well remarked regarding this temptation: “A real serpent was the agent of the temptation, as is plain from what is said of the natural characteristic of the serpent in the first verse of the chapter (3:1), and from the curse pronounced upon the animal itself. But that Satan was the actual tempter, and that he used the serpent merely as his instrument, is evident (1) from the nature of the transaction; for although the serpent may be the most subtle of all the beasts of the field, yet he has not the high intellectual faculties which the tempter here displayed. (2.) In the New Testament it is both directly asserted and in various forms assumed that Satan seduced our first parents into sin (John 8:44; Rom. 16:20; 2 Cor. 11:3, 14; Rev. 12:9; 20:2).” Hodge’s System. Theol., ii. 127.
Serpent, Fiery (LXX. “deadly,” Vulg. “burning”), Num. 21:6, probably the naja haje of Egypt; some swift-springing, deadly snake (Isa. 14:29). After setting out from their encampment at Ezion-gaber, the Israelites entered on a wide sandy desert, which stretches from the mountains of Edom as far as the Persian Gulf. While traversing this region, the people began to murmur and utter loud complaints against Moses. As a punishment, the Lord sent serpents among them, and much people of Israel died. Moses interceded on their behalf, and by divine direction he made a “brazen serpent,” and raised it on a pole in the midst of the camp, and all the wounded Israelites who looked on it were at once healed. (Comp. John 3:14, 15.) (See ASP.) This “brazen serpent” was preserved by the Israelites till the days of Hezekiah, when it was destroyed (2 Kings 18:4). (See BRASS.)
Serug Branch, the father of Nahor (Gen. 11:20-23); called Saruch in Luke 3:35.
Servitor Occurs only in 2 Kings 4:43, Authorized Version (R.V., “servant”). The Hebrew word there rendered “servitor” is elsewhere rendered “minister,” “servant” (Ex. 24:13; 33:11). Probably Gehazi, the personal attendant on Elisha, is here meant.
Seth Appointed; a substitute, the third son of Adam and Eve (Gen. 4:25; 5:3). His mother gave him this name, “for God,” said she, “hath appointed me [i.e., compensated me with] another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.”
Sethur Hidden, one of the spies sent to search the Promised Land. He was of the tribe of Asher (Num. 13:13).
Seven This number occurs frequently in Scripture, and in such connections as lead to the supposition that it has some typical meaning. On the seventh day God rested, and hallowed it (Gen. 2:2, 3). The division of time into weeks of seven days each accounts for many instances of the occurrence of this number. This number has been called the symbol of perfection, and also the symbol of rest. “Jacob’s seven years’ service to Laban; Pharaoh’s seven fat oxen and seven lean ones; the seven branches of the golden candlestick; the seven trumpets and the seven priests who sounded them; the seven days’ siege of Jericho; the seven churches, seven spirits, seven stars, seven seals, seven vials, and many others, sufficiently prove the importance of this sacred number” (see Lev. 25:4; 1 Sam. 2:5; Ps. 12:6; 79:12; Prov. 26:16; Isa. 4:1; Matt. 18:21, 22; Luke 17:4). The feast of Passover (Ex. 12:15, 16), the feast of Weeks (Deut. 16:9), of Tabernacles (13:15), and the Jubilee (Lev. 25:8), were all ordered by seven. Seven is the number of sacrifice (2 Chr. 29:21; Job 42:8), of purification and consecration (Lev. 42:6, 17; 8:11, 33; 14:9, 51), of forgiveness (Matt. 18:21, 22; Luke 17:4), of reward (Deut. 28:7; 1 Sam. 2:5), and of punishment (Lev. 26:21, 24, 28; Deut. 28:25). It is used for any round number in such passages as Job 5:19; Prov. 26:16, 25; Isa. 4:1; Matt. 12:45. It is used also to mean “abundantly” (Gen. 4:15, 24; Lev. 26:24; Ps. 79:12).
Seventy weeks A prophetic period mentioned in Dan. 9:24, and usually interpreted on the “year-day” theory, i.e., reckoning each day for a year. This period will thus represent 490 years. This is regarded as the period which would elapse till the time of the coming of the Messiah, dating “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” i.e., from the close of the Captivity.
Shaalabbin Or Shaal’bim, a place of foxes, a town of the tribe of Dan (Josh. 19:42; Judg. 1:35). It was one of the chief towns from which Solomon drew his supplies (1 Kings 4:9). It is probably the modern village of Selbit, 3 miles north of Ajalon.
Shaaraim Two gates. (1.) A city in the plain of Judah (1 Sam. 17:52); called also Sharaim (Josh. 15:36).
(2.) A town in Simeon (1 Chr. 4:31).
Shaashgaz Servant of the beautiful, a chief eunuch in the second house of the harem of king Ahasuerus (Esther 2:14).
Shabbethai Sabbath-born, a Levite who assisted in expounding the law and investigating into the illegal marriages of the Jews (Ezra 10:15; Neh. 8:7; 11:16).
Shaddai The Omnipotent, the name of God in frequent use in the Hebrew Scriptures, generally translated “the Almighty.”
Shadow Used in Col. 2:17; Heb. 8:5; 10:1 to denote the typical relation of the Jewish to the Christian dispensation.
Shadrach Aku’s command, the Chaldean name given to Hananiah, one of the Hebrew youths whom Nebuchadnezzar carried captive to Babylon (Dan. 1:6, 7; 3:12-30). He and his two companions refused to bow down before the image which Nebuchadnezzar had set up on the plains of Dura. Their conduct filled the king with the greatest fury, and he commanded them to be cast into the burning fiery furnace. Here, amid the fiery flames, they were miraculously preserved from harm. Over them the fire had no power, “neither was a hair of their head singed, neither had the smell of fire passed on them.” Thus Nebuchadnezzar learned the greatness of the God of Israel. (See ABEDNEGO.)
Shalem Perfect, a place (probably the village of Salim) some 2 miles east of Jacob’s well. There is an abundant supply of water, which may have been the reason for Jacob’s settling at this place (Gen. 33:18-20). The Revised Version translates this word, and reads, “Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem,” thus not regarding it as a proper name at all.
Shalim, Land of Land of foxes, a place apparently to the north-west of Jerusalem (1 Sam. 9:4), perhaps in the neighbourhood of Shaalabbin in Dan (Josh. 19:42).
Shalisha, Land of Probably the district of Baal-shalisha (2 Kings 4:42), lying about 12 miles north of Lydda (1 Sam. 9:4).
Shallecheth, The gate of I.e., “the gate of casting out,” hence supposed to be the refuse gate; one of the gates of the house of the Lord, “by the causeway of the going up” i.e., the causeway rising up from the Tyropoeon valley = valley of the cheesemakers (1 Chr. 26:16).
Shallum Retribution. (1.) The son of Jabesh, otherwise unknown. He “conspired against Zachariah, and smote him before the people, and slew him, and reigned in his stead” (2 Kings 15:10). He reigned only “a month of days in Samaria” (15:13, marg.). Menahem rose up against Shallum and put him to death (2 Kings 15:14, 15, 17), and became king in his stead.
(2.) Keeper of the temple vestments in the reign of Josiah (2 Kings 22:14).
(3.) One of the posterity of Judah (1 Chr. 2:40, 41).
(4.) A descendant of Simeon (1 Chr. 4:25).
(5.) One of the line of the high priests (1 Chr. 6:13).
(6.) 1 Chr. 7:13.
(7.) A keeper of the gate in the reign of David (1 Chr. 9:17).
(8.) A Levite porter (1 Chr. 9:19, 31; Jer. 35:4).
(9.) An Ephraimite chief (2 Chr. 28:12).
(10.) The uncle of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 32:7).
(11.) A son of king Josiah (1 Chr. 3:15; Jer. 22:11), who was elected to succeed his father on the throne, although he was two years younger than his brother Eliakim. He assumed the crown under the name of Jehoahaz (q.v.). He did not imitate the example of his father (2 Kings 23:32), but was “a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men” (Ezek. 19:3). His policy was anti-Egyptian therefore. Necho, at that time at Riblah, sent an army against Jerusalem, which at once yielded, and Jehoahaz was carried captive to the Egyptian camp, Eliakim being appointed king in his stead. He remained a captive in Egypt till his death, and was the first king of Judah that died in exile.
Shalman An Assyrian king (Hos. 10:14), identified with Shalmaneser II. (Sayce) or IV. (Lenormant), the successor of Pul on the throne of Assyria (B.C. 728). He made war against Hoshea, the king of Israel, whom he subdued and compelled to pay an annual tribute. Hoshea, however, soon after rebelled against his Assyrian conquerer. Shalmaneser again marched against Samaria, which, after a siege of three years, was taken (2 Kings 17:3-5; 18:9) by Sargon (q.v.). A revolution meantime had broken out in Assyria, and Shalmaneser was deposed. Sargon usurped the vacant throne. Schrader thinks that this is probably the name of a king of Moab mentioned on an inscription of Tiglath-pileser as Salamanu.
Shamgar The Philistines from the maritime plain had made incursions into the Hebrew upland for the purposes of plunder, when one of this name, the son of Anath, otherwise unknown, headed a rising for the purpose of freeing the land from this oppression. He repelled the invasion, slaying 600 men with an “ox goad” (q.v.). The goad was a formidable sharpointed instrument, sometimes ten feet long. He was probably contemporary for a time with Deborah and Barak (Judg. 3:31; 5:6).
Shamir A sharp thorn. (1.) One of the sons of Michah (1 Chr. 24:24).
(2.) A town among the mountains of Judah (Josh. 15:48); probably Somerah, 2 1/2 miles north-west of Debir.
(3.) The residence of Tola, one of the judges, on Mount Ephraim (Judg. 10:1, 2).
Shammah Desert. (1.) One of the “dukes” of Edom (Gen. 36:13, 17).
(2.) One of the sons of Jesse (1 Sam. 16:9). He is also called Shimeah (2 Sam. 13:3) and Shimma (1 Chr. 2:13).
(3.) One of David’s three mighty men (2 Sam. 23:11, 12).
(4.) One of David’s mighties (2 Sam. 23:25); called also Shammoth (1 Chr. 11:27) and Shamhuth (27:8).
Shammua Heard. (1.) One of the spies sent out by Moses to search the land (Num. 13:4). He represented the tribe of Reuben.
(2.) One of David’s sons (1 Chr. 14:4; 3:5, “Shimea;” 2 Sam. 5:14).
(3.) A Levite under Nehemiah (11:17).
Shaphan A coney, a scribe or secretary of king Josiah (2 Kings 22:3-7). He consulted Huldah concerning the newly-discovered copy of the law which was delivered to him by Hilkiah the priest (8-14). His grandson Gedaliah was governor of Judea (25:22).
Shaphat Judge. (1.) One of the spies. He represented the tribe of Simeon (Num. 13:5).
(2.) The father of Elisha (1 Kings 19:16-19).
(3.) One of David’s chief herdsmen (1 Chr. 27:29).
Shapher Brightness, one of the stations where Israel encamped in the wilderness (Num. 33:23, 24).
Sharaim Two gates (Josh. 15:36), more correctly Shaaraim (1 Sam. 17:52), probably Tell Zakariya and Kefr Zakariya, in the valley of Elah, 3 1/2 miles north-west of Socoh.
Sharezer (god) protect the king!, a son of Sennacherib, king of Assyria. He and his brother Adrammelech murdered their father, and then fled into the land of Armenia (2 Kings 19:37).
Sharon, Saron A plain, a level tract extending from the Mediterranean to the hill country to the west of Jerusalem, about 30 miles long and from 8 to 15 miles broad, celebrated for its beauty and fertility (1 Chr. 27:29; Isa. 33:9; 35:2; 65:10). The “rose of Sharon” is celebrated (Cant. 2:1). It is called Lasharon (the article la being here a part of the word) in Josh. 12:18.
Shaveh-Kiriathaim Plain of Kirja-thaim where Chedorlaomer defeated the Emims, the original inhabitants (Gen. 14:5). Now Kureiyat, north of Dibon, in the land of Moab.
Shaveh, Valley of Valley of the plain the ancient name of the “king’s dale” (q.v.), or Kidron, on the north side of Jerusalem (Gen. 14:17).
Shavsha (“Seraiah,” 2 Sam. 8:17; “Shisha,” 1 Kings 4:3), one of David’s secretaries (1 Chr. 18:16).
Shealtiel Asked for of God, father of Zerubbabel (Ezra 3:2, 8; Neh. 12:1).
Shearing-house (2 Kings 10:12, 14; marg., “house of shepherds binding sheep.” R.V., “the shearing-house of the shepherds;” marg., “house of gathering”), some place between Samaria and Jezreel, where Jehu slew “two and forty men” of the royal family of Judah. The Heb. word Beth-eked so rendered is supposed by some to be a proper name.
Shear-Jashub A remnant shall escape or return (i.e., to God), a symbolical name which the prophet Isaiah gave to his son (Isa. 7:3), perhaps his eldest son.
Sheba An oath, seven. (1.) Heb. shebha, the son of Raamah (Gen. 10:7), whose descendants settled with those of Dedan on the Persian Gulf.
(2.) Heb. id. A son of Joktan (Gen. 10:28), probably the founder of the Sabeans.
(3.) Heb. id. A son of Jokshan, who was a son of Abraham by Keturah (Gen. 25:3).
(4.) Heb. id. A kingdom in Arabia Felix. Sheba, in fact, was Saba in Southern Arabia, the Sabaeans of classical geography, who carried on the trade in spices with the other peoples of the ancient world. They were Semites, speaking one of the two main dialects of Himyaritic or South Arabic. Sheba had become a monarchy before the days of Solomon. Its queen brought him gold, spices, and precious stones (1 Kings 10:1-13). She is called by our Lord the “queen of the south” (Matt. 12:42).
(5.) Heb. shebha’, “seven” or “an oak.” A town of Simeon (Josh. 19:2).
(6.) Heb. id. A “son of Bichri,” of the family of Becher, the son of Benjamin, and thus of the stem from which Saul was descended (2 Sam. 20:1-22). When David was returning to Jerusalem after the defeat of Absalom, a strife arose between the ten tribes and the tribe of Judah, because the latter took the lead in bringing back the king. Sheba took advantage of this state of things, and raised the standard of revolt, proclaiming, “We have no part in David.” With his followers he proceeded northward. David seeing it necessary to check this revolt, ordered Abishai to take the gibborim, “mighty men,” and the body-guard and such troops as he could gather, and pursue Sheba. Joab joined the expedition, and having treacherously put Amasa to death, assumed the command of the army. Sheba took refuge in Abel-Bethmaachah, a fortified town some miles north of Lake Merom. While Joab was engaged in laying siege to this city, Sheba’s head was, at the instigation of a “wise woman” who had held a parley with him from the city walls, thrown over the wall to the besiegers, and thus the revolt came to an end.
Shebaniah Whom Jehovah hides, or has made grow up. (1.) A Levite appointed to blow the trumpet before the ark of God (1 Chr. 15:24).
(2.) Another Levite (Neh. 9:4, 5).
(3.) A priest (Neh. 10:12).
(4.) A Levite (Neh. 10:4).
Shebarim Breaks; ruins, a place near Ai (Josh. 7:5; R.V. marg., “the quarries”).
Shebna Tender youth, “treasurer” over the house in the reign of Hezekiah, i.e., comptroller or governor of the palace. On account of his pride he was ejected from his office, and Eliakim was promoted to it (Isa. 22:15-25). He appears to have been the leader of the party who favoured an alliance with Egypt against Assyria. It is conjectured that “Shebna the scribe,” who was one of those whom the king sent to confer with the Assyrian ambassador (2 Kings 18:18, 26, 37; 19:2; Isa. 36:3, 11, 22; 37:2), was a different person.
Shebuel Captive of God. (1.) One of the descendants of Gershom, who had charge of the temple treasures in the time of David (1 Chr. 23:16; 26:24).
(2.) One of the sons of Heman; one of those whose duty it was to “lift up the horn” in the temple service (1 Chr. 25:4, 5); called also Shubael (ver. 20).
Shecaniah One intimate with Jehovah. (1.) A priest to whom the tenth lot came forth when David divided the priests (1 Chr. 24:11).
(2.) One of the priests who were set “to give to their brethren by courses” of the daily portion (2 Chr. 31:15).
Shechani’ah, id. (1.) A priest whose sons are mentioned in 1 Chr. 3:21, 22.
(2.) Ezra 8:5.
(3.) Ezra 10:2-4.
(4.) The father of Shemaiah, who repaired the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:29).
(5.) The father-in-law of Tobiah (Neh. 6:18).
(6.) A priest who returned from the Captivity with Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:3; marg., or Shebaniah).
Shechem Shoulder. (1.) The son of Hamor the Hivite (Gen. 33:19; 34).
(2.) A descendant of Manasseh (Num. 26:31; Josh. 17:2).
(3.) A city in Samaria (Gen. 33:18), called also Sichem (12:6), Sychem (Acts 7:16). It stood in the narrow sheltered valley between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south, these mountains at their base being only some 500 yards apart. Here Abraham pitched his tent and built his first altar in the Promised Land, and received the first divine promise (Gen. 12:6, 7). Here also Jacob “bought a parcel of a field at the hands of the children of Hamor” after his return from Mesopotamia, and settled with his household, which he purged from idolatry by burying the teraphim of his followers under an oak tree, which was afterwards called “the oak of the sorcerer” (Gen. 33:19; 35:4; Judg. 9:37). (See MEONENIM.) Here too, after a while, he dug a well, which bears his name to this day (John 4:5, 39-42). To Shechem Joshua gathered all Israel “before God,” and delivered to them his second parting address (Josh. 24:1-15). He “made a covenant with the people that day” at the very place where, on first entering the land, they had responded to the law from Ebal and Gerizim (Josh. 24:25), the terms of which were recorded “in the book of the law of God”, i.e., in the roll of the law of Moses; and in memory of this solemn transaction a great stone was set up “under an oak” (comp. Gen. 28:18; 31:44-48; Ex. 24:4; Josh. 4:3, 8, 9), possibly the old “oak of Moreh,” as a silent witness of the transaction to all coming time.
Shechem became one of the cities of refuge, the central city of refuge for Western Palestine (Josh. 20:7), and here the bones of Joseph were buried (24:32). Rehoboam was appointed king in Shechem (1 Kings 12:1, 19), but Jeroboam afterwards took up his residence here. This city is mentioned in connection with our Lord’s conversation with the woman of Samaria (John 4:5); and thus, remaining as it does to the present day, it is one of the oldest cities of the world. It is the modern Nablus, a contraction for Neapolis, the name given to it by Vespasian. It lies about a mile and a half up the valley on its southern slope, and on the north of Gerizim, which rises about 1,100 feet above it, and is about 34 miles north of Jerusalem. It contains about 10,000 inhabitants, of whom about 160 are Samaritans and 100 Jews, the rest being Christians and Mohammedans.
The site of Shechem is said to be of unrivalled beauty. Stanley says it is “the most beautiful, perhaps the only very beautiful, spot in Central Palestine.”
Gaza, near Shechem, only mentioned 1 Chr. 7:28, has entirely disappeared. It was destroyed at the time of the Conquest, and its place was taken by Shechem. (See SYCHAR.)
Shechinah A Chaldee word meaning resting-place, not found in Scripture, but used by the later Jews to designate the visible symbol of God’s presence in the tabernacle, and afterwards in Solomon’s temple. When the Lord led Israel out of Egypt, he went before them “in a pillar of a cloud.” This was the symbol of his presence with his people. For references made to it during the wilderness wanderings, see Ex. 14:20; 40:34-38; Lev. 9:23, 24; Num. 14:10; 16:19, 42.
It is probable that after the entrance into Canaan this glory-cloud settled in the tabernacle upon the ark of the covenant in the most holy place. We have, however, no special reference to it till the consecration of the temple by Solomon, when it filled the whole house with its glory, so that the priests could not stand to minister (1 Kings 8:10-13; 2 Chr. 5:13, 14; 7:1-3). Probably it remained in the first temple in the holy of holies as the symbol of Jehovah’s presence so long as that temple stood. It afterwards disappeared. (See CLOUD.)
Sheep Are of different varieties. Probably the flocks of Abraham and Isaac were of the wild species found still in the mountain regions of Persia and Kurdistan. After the Exodus, and as a result of intercourse with surrounding nations, other species were no doubt introduced into the herds of the people of Israel. They are frequently mentioned in Scripture. The care of a shepherd over his flock is referred to as illustrating God’s care over his people (Ps. 23:1, 2; 74:1; 77:20; Isa. 40:11; 53:6; John 10:1-5, 7-16).
“The sheep of Palestine are longer in the head than ours, and have tails from 5 inches broad at the narrowest part to 15 inches at the widest, the weight being in proportion, and ranging generally from 10 to 14 lbs., but sometimes extending to 30 lbs. The tails are indeed huge masses of fat” (Geikie’s Holy Land, etc.). The tail was no doubt the “rump” so frequently referred to in the Levitical sacrifices (Ex. 29:22; Lev. 3:9; 7:3; 9:19). Sheep-shearing was generally an occasion of great festivity (Gen. 31:19; 38:12, 13; 1 Sam. 25:4-8, 36; 2 Sam. 13:23-28).
Sheep-fold A strong fenced enclosure for the protection of the sheep gathered within it (Num. 32:24; 1 Chr. 17:7; Ps. 50:9; 78:70). In John 10:16 the Authorized Version renders by “fold” two distinct Greek words, aule and poimne, the latter of which properly means a “flock,” and is so rendered in the Revised Version. (See also Matt. 26:31; Luke 2:8; 1 Cor. 9:7.) (See FOLD.)
Sheep-gate One of the gates of Jerusalem mentioned by Nehemiah (3:1, 32; 12:39). It was in the eastern wall of the city.
Sheep-market Occurs only in John 5:2 (marg., also R.V., “sheep-gate”). The word so rendered is an adjective, and it is uncertain whether the noun to be supplied should be “gate” or, following the Vulgate Version, “pool.”
Shekel Weight, the common standard both of weight and value among the Hebrews. It is estimated at 220 English grains, or a little more than half an ounce avoirdupois. The “shekel of the sanctuary” (Ex. 30:13; Num. 3:47) was equal to twenty gerahs (Ezek. 45:12). There were shekels of gold (1 Chr. 21:25), of silver (1 Sam. 9:8), of brass (17:5), and of iron (7). When it became a coined piece of money, the shekel of gold was equivalent to about 2 pound of our money. Six gold shekels, according to the later Jewish system, were equal in value to fifty silver ones.
The temple contribution, with which the public sacrifices were bought (Ex. 30:13; 2 Chr. 24:6), consisted of one common shekel, or a sanctuary half-shekel, equal to two Attic drachmas. The coin, a stater (q.v.), which Peter found in the fish’s mouth paid this contribution for both him and Christ (Matt. 17:24, 27). A zuza, or quarter of a shekel, was given by Saul to Samuel (1 Sam. 9:8).
Shelah Petition. (1.) Judah’s third son (Gen. 38:2, 5, 11, 14).
(2.) A son of Arphaxad (1 Chr. 1:18).
Shelemiah Whom Jehovah repays. (1.) Ezra 10:39.
(2.) The father of Hananiah (Neh. 3:30).
(3.) A priest in the time of Nehemiah (13:13).
(4.) Father of one of those who accused Jeremiah to Zedekiah (Jer. 37:3; 38:1).
(5.) Father of a captain of the ward (Jer. 37:13).
(6.) Jer. 36:14.
Shem A name; renown, the first mentioned of the sons of Noah (Gen. 5:32; 6:10). He was probably the eldest of Noah’s sons. The words “brother of Japheth the elder” in Gen. 10:21 are more correctly rendered “the elder brother of Japheth,” as in the Revised Version. Shem’s name is generally mentioned first in the list of Noah’s sons. He and his wife were saved in the ark (7:13). Noah foretold his preeminence over Canaan (9:23-27). He died at the age of six hundred years, having been for many years contemporary with Abraham, according to the usual chronology. The Israelitish nation sprang from him (Gen. 11:10-26; 1 Chr. 1:24-27).
Shema Rumour. (1.) A Reubenite (1 Chr. 5:8).
(2.) A Benjamite (1 Chr. 8:13).
(3.) One who stood by Ezra when he read the law (Neh. 8:4).
(4.) A town in the south of Judah (Josh. 15:26); the same as Sheba (ver. 5).
Shemaah Rumour, a Benjamite whose sons “came to David to Ziklag” (1 Chr. 12:3).
Shemaiah Whom Jehovah heard. (1.) A prophet in the reign of Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:22-24).
(2.) Neh. 3:29.
(3.) A Simeonite (1 Chr. 4:37).
(4.) A priest (Neh. 12:42).
(5.) A Levite (1 Chr. 9:16).
(6.) 1 Chr. 9:14; Neh. 11:15.
(7.) A Levite in the time of David, who with 200 of his brethren took part in the bringing up of the ark from Obed-edom to Hebron (1 Chr. 15:8).
(8.) A Levite (1 Chr. 24:6).
(9.) The eldest son of Obed-edom (1 Chr. 26:4-8).
(10.) A Levite (2 Chr. 29:14).
(11.) A false prophet who hindered the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Neh. 6:10).
(12.) A prince of Judah who assisted at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 12:34-36).
(13.) A false prophet who opposed Jeremiah (Jer. 29:24-32).
(14.) One of the Levites whom Jehoshaphat appointed to teach the law (2 Chr. 17:8).
(15.) A Levite appointed to “distribute the oblations of the Lord” (2 Chr. 31:15).
(16.) A Levite (2 Chr. 35:9).
(17.) The father of Urijah the prophet (Jer. 26:20).
(18.) The father of a prince in the reign of Jehoiakim (Jer. 36:12).
Shemariah Whom Jehovah guards. (1.) One who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:5).
(2.) Ezra 10:32, 41.
Shemeber Soaring on high, the king of Zeboiim, who joined with the other kings in casting off the yoke of Chedorlaomer. After having been reconquered by him, he was rescued by Abraham (Gen. 14:2).
Sheminith Eight; octave, a musical term, supposed to denote the lowest note sung by men’s voices (1 Chr. 15:21; Ps. 6; 12, title).
Shemiramoth Most high name. (1.) A Levite in the reign of Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 17:8).
(2.) A Levite in David’s time (1 Chr. 15:18, 20).
Shemuel Heard of God. (1.) The son of Ammihud. He represented Simeon in the division of the land (Num. 34:20).
(2.) Used for “Samuel” (1 Chr. 6:33, R.V.).
(3.) A prince of the tribe of Issachar (1 Chr. 7:2).
Shen A tooth, probably some conspicuous tooth-shaped rock or crag (1 Sam. 7:12), a place between which and Mizpeh Samuel set up his “Ebenezer.” In the Hebrew the word has the article prefixed, “the Shen.” The site is unknown.
Shenir =Senir, (Deut. 3:9; Cant. 4:8), the name given to Mount Hermon (q.v.) by the Sidonians.
Sheol (Heb., “the all-demanding world” = Gr. Hades, “the unknown region”), the invisible world of departed souls. (See HELL.)
Shepham A treeless place, Num. 34:10, 11: “The coast shall go down from Shepham to Riblah.”
Shephatiah Judged of the Lord. (1.) A son of David by Abital (2 Sam. 3:4).
(2.) A Benjamite who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:5).
(3.) A Simeonite prince in David’s time (1 Chr. 27:16).
(4.) One of Jehoshaphat’s sons (2 Chr. 21:2).
(5.) Ezra 2:4.
(6.) Ezra 2:57; Neh. 7:59.
(7.) One of the princes who urged the putting of Jeremiah to death (Jer. 38:1-4).
Shepherd A word naturally of frequent occurence in Scripture. Sometimes the word “pastor” is used instead (Jer. 2:8; 3:15; 10:21; 12:10; 17:16). This word is used figuratively to represent the relation of rulers to their subjects and of God to his people (Ps. 23:1; 80:1; Isa. 40:11; 44:28; Jer. 25:34, 35; Nahum 3:18; John 10:11, 14; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 2:25; 5:4).
The duties of a shepherd in an unenclosed country like Palestine were very onerous. “In early morning he led forth the flock from the fold, marching at its head to the spot where they were to be pastured. Here he watched them all day, taking care that none of the sheep strayed, and if any for a time eluded his watch and wandered away from the rest, seeking diligently till he found and brought it back. In those lands sheep require to be supplied regularly with water, and the shepherd for this purpose has to guide them either to some running stream or to wells dug in the wilderness and furnished with troughs. At night he brought the flock home to the fold, counting them as they passed under the rod at the door to assure himself that none were missing. Nor did his labours always end with sunset. Often he had to guard the fold through the dark hours from the attack of wild beasts, or the wily attempts of the prowling thief (see 1 Sam. 17:34).”, Deane’s David.
Sherebiah Flame of the Lord, a priest whose name is prominent in connection with the work carried on by Ezra and Nehemiah at Jerusalem (Ezra 8:17, 18, 24-30; Neh. 8:7; 9:4, 5; 10:12).
Sheresh Root, a descendant of Manasseh (1 Chr. 7:16).
Sherezer One of the messengers whom the children of the Captivity sent to Jerusalem “to pray for them before the Lord” (Zech. 7:2).
Sheriffs (Dan. 3:2), Babylonian officers.
Sheshach (Jer. 25:26), supposed to be equivalent to Babel (Babylon), according to a secret (cabalistic) mode of writing among the Jews of unknown antiquity, which consisted in substituting the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet for the first, the last but one for the second, and so on. Thus the letters sh, sh, ch become b, b, l, i.e., Babel. This is supposed to be confirmed by a reference to Jer. 51:41, where Sheshach and Babylon are in parallel clauses. There seems to be no reason to doubt that Babylon is here intended by this name. (See Streane’s Jeremiah, l.c.)
Sheshai Whitish, one of the sons of Anak (Num. 13:22). When the Israelites obtained possession of the country the sons of Anak were expelled and slain (Josh. 15:14; Judg. 1:10).
Sheshbazzar O sun-god, defend the lord! (Ezra 1:8, 11), probably another name for Zerubbabel (q.v.), Ezra 2:2; Hag. 1:12, 14; Zech. 4:6, 10.
Sheth Tumult. (1.) “The children of Sheth” (Num. 24:17); R.V., “the sons of tumult,” which is probably the correct rendering, as there is no evidence that this is a proper name here.
(2.) The antediluvian patriarch (1 Chr. 1:1).
Shethar A star, a prince at the court of Ahasuerus (Esther 1:14).
Shethar-boznai Star of splendour, a Persian officer who vainly attempted to hinder the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 5:3, 6; 6:6, 13).
Sheva Heb. Shebher. (1.) The son of Caleb (1 Chr. 2:49).
(2.) Heb. Sheva’, one of David’s scribes (2 Sam. 20:25).
Shewbread Ex. 25:30 (R.V. marg., “presence bread”); 1 Chr. 9:32 (marg., “bread of ordering”); Num. 4:7: called “hallowed bread” (R.V., “holy bread”) in 1 Sam. 21:1-6.
This bread consisted of twelve loaves made of the finest flour. They were flat and thin, and were placed in two rows of six each on a table in the holy place before the Lord. They were renewed every Sabbath (Lev. 24:5-9), and those that were removed to give place to the new ones were to be eaten by the priests only in the holy place (see 1 Sam. 21:3-6; comp. Matt. 12:3, 4).
The number of the loaves represented the twelve tribes of Israel, and also the entire spiritual Israel, “the true Israel;” and the placing of them on the table symbolized the entire consecration of Israel to the Lord, and their acceptance of God as their God. The table for the bread was made of acacia wood, 3 feet long, 18 inches broad, and 2 feet 3 inches high. It was plated with pure gold. Two staves, plated with gold, passed through golden rings, were used for carrying it.
Shibboleth River, or an ear of corn. The tribes living on the east of Jordan, separated from their brethren on the west by the deep ravines and the rapid river, gradually came to adopt peculiar customs, and from mixing largely with the Moabites, Ishmaelites, and Ammonites to pronounce certain letters in such a manner as to distinguish them from the other tribes. Thus when the Ephraimites from the west invaded Gilead, and were defeated by the Gileadites under the leadership of Jephthah, and tried to escape by the “passages of the Jordan,” the Gileadites seized the fords and would allow none to pass who could not pronounce “shibboleth” with a strong aspirate. This the fugitives were unable to do. They said “sibboleth,” as the word was pronounced by the tribes on the west, and thus they were detected (Judg. 12:1-6). Forty-two thousand were thus detected, and
“Without reprieve, adjudged to death, For want of well-pronouncing shibboleth.”
Shibmah Fragrance, a town of Reuben, east of Jordan (Num. 32:38).
Shield Used in defensive warfare, varying at different times and under different circumstances in size, form, and material (1 Sam. 17:7; 2 Sam. 1:21; 1 Kings 10:17; 1 Chr. 12:8, 24, 34; Isa. 22:6; Ezek. 39:9; Nahum 2:3).
Used figuratively of God and of earthly princes as the defenders of their people (Gen. 15:1; Deut. 33:29; Ps. 33:20; 84:11). Faith is compared to a shield (Eph. 6:16).
Shields were usually “anointed” (Isa. 21:5), in order to preserve them, and at the same time make the missiles of the enemy glide off them more easily.
Shiggaion From the verb shagah, “to reel about through drink,” occurs in the title of Ps. 7. The plural form, shigionoth, is found in Hab. 3:1. The word denotes a lyrical poem composed under strong mental emotion; a song of impassioned imagination accompanied with suitable music; a dithyrambic ode.
Shihon Overturning, a town of Issachar (Josh. 19:19).
Shihor Dark, (1 Chr. 13:5), the southwestern boundary of Canaan, the Wady el-Arish. (See SIHOR; NILE.)
Shihor-Libnath Black-white, a stream on the borders of Asher, probably the modern Nahr Zerka, i.e., the “crocodile brook,” or “blue river”, which rises in the Carmel range and enters the Mediterranean a little to the north of Caesarea (Josh. 19:26). Crocodiles are still found in the Zerka. Thomson suspects “that long ages ago some Egyptians, accustomed to worship this ugly creature, settled here (viz., at Caesarea), and brought their gods with them. Once here they would not easily be exterminated” (The Land and the Book).
Shilhim Aqueducts, a town in the south of Judah (Josh. 15:32); called also Sharuhen and Shaaraim (19:6).
Shiloah, The waters of =Siloah, (Neh. 3:15) and Siloam (q.v.)
Shiloh Generally understood as denoting the Messiah, “the peaceful one,” as the word signifies (Gen. 49:10). The Vulgate Version translates the word, “he who is to be sent,” in allusion to the Messiah; the Revised Version, margin, “till he come to Shiloh;” and the LXX., “until that which is his shall come to Shiloh.” It is most simple and natural to render the expression, as in the Authorized Version, “till Shiloh come,” interpreting it as a proper name (comp. Isa. 9:6).
Shiloh, a place of rest, a city of Ephraim, “on the north side of Bethel,” from which it is distant 10 miles (Judg. 21:19); the modern Seilun (the Arabic for Shiloh), a “mass of shapeless ruins.” Here the tabernacle was set up after the Conquest (Josh. 18:1-10), where it remained during all the period of the judges till the ark fell into the hands of the Philistines. “No spot in Central Palestine could be more secluded than this early sanctuary, nothing more featureless than the landscape around; so featureless, indeed, the landscape and so secluded the spot that from the time of St. Jerome till its re-discovery by Dr. Robinson in 1838 the very site was forgotten and unknown.” It is referred to by Jeremiah (7:12, 14; 26:4-9) five hundred years after its destruction.
Shilonite Ahijah the prophet, whose home was in Shiloh, is so designated (1 Kings 11:29; 15:29). The plural form occurs (1 Chr. 9:5), denoting the descendants of Shelah, Judah’s youngest son.
Shimea The hearing prayer. (1.) One of David’s sons by Bathsheba (1 Chr. 3:5); called also Shammua (14:4).
(2.) A Levite of the family of Merari (1 Chr. 6:30).
(3.) Another Levite of the family of Gershon (1 Chr. 6:39).
(4.) One of David’s brothers (1 Sam. 16:9, marg.).
Shimeah (1.) One of David’s brothers (2 Sam. 13:3); same as Shimea (4).
(2.) A Benjamite, a descendant of Gibeon (1 Chr. 8:32); called also Shimeam (9:38).
Shimei Famous. (1.) A son of Gershon, and grandson of Levi (Num. 3:18; 1 Chr. 6:17, 29); called Shimi in Ex. 6:17.
(2.) A Benjamite of the house of Saul, who stoned and cursed David when he reached Bahurim in his flight from Jerusalem on the occasion of the rebellion of Absalom (2 Sam. 16:5-13). After the defeat of Absalom he “came cringing to the king, humbly suing for pardon, bringing with him a thousand of his Benjamite tribesmen, and representing that he was heartily sorry for his crime, and had hurried the first of all the house of Israel to offer homage to the king” (19:16-23). David forgave him; but on his death-bed he gave Solomon special instructions regarding Shimei, of whose fidelity he seems to have been in doubt (1 Kings 2:8, 9). He was put to death at the command of Solomon, because he had violated his word by leaving Jerusalem and going to Gath to recover two of his servants who had escaped (36-46).
(3.) One of David’s mighty men who refused to acknowledge Adonijah as David’s successor (1 Kings 1:8). He is probably the same person who is called elsewhere (4:18) “the son of Elah.”
(4.) A son of Pedaiah, the brother of Zerubbabel (1 Chr. 3:19).
(5.) A Simeonite (1 Chr. 4:26, 27).
(6.) A Reubenite (1 Chr. 5:4).
(7.) A Levite of the family of Gershon (1 Chr. 6:42).
(8.) A Ramathite who was “over the vineyards” of David (1 Chr. 27:27).
(9.) One of the sons of Heman, who assisted in the purification of the temple (2 Chr. 29:14).
(10.) A Levite (2 Chr. 31:12, 13).
(11.) Another Levite (Ezra 10:23). “The family of Shimei” (Zech. 12:13; R.V., “the family of the Shimeites”) were the descendants of Shimei (1).
Shimeon Hearkening. Ezra 10:31.
Shimhi Famous, a Benjamite (1 Chr. 8:21).
Shimrath Guardian, a Benjamite, one of Shimhi’s sons (id.).
Shimri Watchman. (1.) A Simeonite (1 Chr. 4:37).
(2.) The father of one of the “valiant men” of David’s armies (1 Chr. 11:45).
(3.) Assisted at the purification of the temple in the time of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29:13).
Shimrom Watchman, the fourth son of Issachar (Gen. 46:13; 1 Chr. 7:1; R.V., correctly, “Shimron”).
Shimron Watch-post, an ancient city of the Canaanites; with its villages, allotted to Zebulun (Josh. 19:15); now probably Semunieh, on the northern edge of the plain of Esdraelon, 5 miles west of Nazareth.
Shimron-meron The same, probably, as Shimron (Josh. 12:20).
Shimshai The shining one, or sunny, the secretary of Rehum the chancellor, who took part in opposing the rebuilding of the temple after the Captivity (Ezra 4:8, 9, 17-23).
Shinab Cooling, the king of Adamah, in the valley of Siddim, who with his confederates was conquered by Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:2).
Shinar, The Land of LXX. and Vulgate “Senaar;” in the inscriptions, “Shumir;” probably identical with Babylonia or Southern Mesopotamia, extending almost to the Persian Gulf. Here the tower of Babel was built (Gen. 11:1-6), and the city of Babylon. The name occurs later in Jewish history (Isa. 11:11; Zech. 5:11). Shinar was apparently first peopled by Turanian tribes, who tilled the land and made bricks and built cities. Then tribes of Semites invaded the land and settled in it, and became its rulers. This was followed in course of time by an Elamite invasion; from which the land was finally delivered by Khammurabi, the son of Amarpel (“Amraphel, king of Shinar,” Gen. 14:1), who became the founder of the new empire of Chaldea. (See AMRAPHEL.)
Shiphmite Probably the designation of Zabdi, who has charge of David’s vineyards (1 Chr. 27:27).
Shiphrah Beauty, one of the Egyptian midwives (Ex. 1:15).
Shiphtan Judicial, an Ephraimite prince at the time of the division of Canaan (Num. 34:24).
Ships Early used in foreign commerce by the Phoenicians (Gen. 49:13). Moses (Deut. 28:68) and Job (9:26) make reference to them, and Balaam speaks of the “ships of Chittim” (Num. 24:24). Solomon constructed a navy at Ezion-geber by the assistance of Hiram’s sailors (1 Kings 9:26-28; 2 Chr. 8:18). Afterwards, Jehoshaphat sought to provide himself with a navy at the same port, but his ships appear to have been wrecked before they set sail (1 Kings 22:48, 49; 2 Chr. 20:35-37).
In our Lord’s time fishermen’s boats on the Sea of Galilee were called “ships.” Much may be learned regarding the construction of ancient merchant ships and navigation from the record in Acts 27, 28.
Shishak I =Sheshonk I., king of Egypt. His reign was one of great national success, and a record of his wars and conquests adorns the portico of what are called the “Bubastite kings” at Karnak, the ancient Thebes. Among these conquests is a record of that of Judea. In the fifth year of Rehoboam’s reign Shishak came up against the kingdom of Judah with a powerful army. He took the fenced cities and came to Jerusalem. He pillaged the treasures of the temple and of the royal palace, and carried away the shields of gold which Solomon had made (1 Kings 11:40; 14:25; 2 Chr. 12:2). (See REHOBOAM.) This expedition of the Egyptian king was undertaken at the instigation of Jeroboam for the purpose of humbling Judah. Hostilities between the two kingdoms still continued; but during Rehoboam’s reign there was not again the intervention of a third party.
Shittah-tree (Isa. 41:19; R.V., “acacia tree”). Shittah wood was employed in making the various parts of the tabernacle in the wilderness, and must therefore have been indigenous in the desert in which the Israelites wandered. It was the acacia or mimosa (Acacia Nilotica and A. seyal). “The wild acacia (Mimosa Nilotica), under the name of sunt, everywhere represents the seneh, or senna, of the burning bush. A slightly different form of the tree, equally common under the name of seyal, is the ancient ‘shittah,’ or, as more usually expressed in the plural form, the ‘shittim,’ of which the tabernacle was made.” Stanley’s Sinai, etc. (Ex. 25:10, 13, 23, 28).
Shittim Acacias, also called “Abel-shittim” (Num. 33:49), a plain or valley in the land of Moab where the Israelites were encamped after their two victories over Sihon and Og, at the close of their desert wanderings, and from which Joshua sent forth two spies (q.v.) “secretly” to “view” the land and Jericho (Josh. 2:1).
Shoa Opulent, the mountain district lying to the north-east of Babylonia, anciently the land of the Guti, or Kuti, the modern Kurdistan. The plain lying between these mountains and the Tigris was called su-Edina, i.e., “the border of the plain.” This name was sometimes shortened into Suti and Su, and has been regarded as = Shoa (Ezek. 23:23). Some think it denotes a place in Babylon. (See PEKOD.)
Shobab Apostate. (1.) One of David’s sons by Bathseheba (2 Sam. 5:14).
(2.) One of the sons of Caleb (1 Chr. 2:18), the son of Hezron.
Shobach Poured out, the “captain of the host of Hadarezer” when he mustered his vassals and tributaries from beyond “the river Euphrates” (2 Sam. 10:15-18); called also Shophach (1 Chr. 19:16).
Shobai Captors (Ezra 2:42).
Shobal Pilgrim. (1.) The second son of Seir the Horite; one of the Horite “dukes” (Gen. 36:20).
(2.) One of the sons of Caleb, and a descendant of Hur (1 Chr. 2:50, 52; 4:1, 2).
Shobi Captor, son of Nahash of Rabbah, the Ammonite. He showed kindness to David when he fled from Jerusalem to Mahanaim (2 Sam. 17:27).
Shocho (2 Chr. 28:18) = Shochoh (1 Sam. 17:1) = Shoco (2 Chr. 11:7). See SOCOH.
Shoe Of various forms, from the mere sandal (q.v.) to the complete covering of the foot. The word so rendered (A.V.) in Deut. 33:25, min’al, “a bar,” is derived from a root meaning “to bolt” or “shut fast,” and hence a fastness or fortress. The verse has accordingly been rendered “iron and brass shall be thy fortress,” or, as in the Revised Version, “thy bars [marg., “shoes”] shall be iron and brass.”
Shomer Watchman. (1.) The mother of Jehozabad, who murdered Joash (2 Kings 12:21); called also Shimrith, a Moabitess (2 Chr. 24:26).
(2.) A man of Asher (1 Chr. 7:32); called also Shamer (34).
Shophan Hidden, or hollow, a town east of Jordan (Num. 32:35), built by the children of Gad. This word should probably be joined with the word preceding it in this passage, Atroth-Shophan, as in the Revised Version.
Shoshannim Lilies, the name of some musical instrument, probably like a lily in shape (Ps. 45; 69, title). Some think that an instrument of six strings is meant.
Shoshannim-Eduth In title of Ps. 80 (R.V. marg., “lilies, a testimony”), probably the name of the melody to which the psalm was to be sung.
Shrines, Silver Little models and medallions of the temple and image of Diana of Ephesus (Acts 19:24). The manufacture of these was a very large and profitable business.
Shua Wealth. (1.) A Canaanite whose daughter was married to Judah (1 Chr. 2:3).
(2.) A daughter of Heber the Asherite (1 Chr. 7:32).
Shuah Prostration; a pit. (1.) One of Abraham’s sons by Keturah (Gen. 25:2; Chr. 1:32). (2.) 1 Chr. 4:11.
Shual, The land of Land of the fox, a district in the tribe of Benjamin (1 Sam. 13:17); possibly the same as Shalim (9:4), in the neighbourhood of Shaalabbin (Josh. 19:42).
Shuhite A designation of Bildad (Job 2:11), probably because he was a descendant of Shuah.
Shulamite The same, as some think, with “Shunammite,” from “Shunem:” otherwise, the import of the word is uncertain (Cant. 6:13; R.V., “Shulammite”).
Shunammite A person of Shunem (1 Kings 1:3; 2 Kings 4:12). The Syr. and Arab. read “Sulamite.”
Shunem Two resting-places, a little village in the tribe of Issachar, to the north of Jezreel and south of Mount Gilboa (Josh. 19:18), where the Philistines encamped when they came against Saul (1 Sam. 28:4), and where Elisha was hospitably entertained by a rich woman of the place. On the sudden death of this woman’s son she hastened to Carmel, 20 miles distant across the plain, to tell Elisha, and to bring him with her to Shunem. There, in the “prophet’s chamber,” the dead child lay; and Elisha entering it, shut the door and prayed earnestly: and the boy was restored to life (2 Kings 4:8-37). This woman afterwards retired during the famine to the low land of the Philistines; and on returning a few years afterwards, found her house and fields in the possession of a stranger. She appealed to the king at Samaria, and had them in a somewhat remarkable manner restored to her (comp. 2 Kings 8:1-6).
Shur An enclosure; a wall, a part, probably, of the Arabian desert, on the north-eastern border of Egypt, giving its name to a wilderness extending from Egypt toward Philistia (Gen. 16:7; 20:1; 25:18; Ex. 15:22). The name was probably given to it from the wall (or shur) which the Egyptians built to defend their frontier on the north-east from the desert tribes. This wall or line of fortifications extended from Pelusium to Heliopolis.
Shushan A lily, the Susa of Greek and Roman writers, once the capital of Elam. It lay in the uplands of Susiana, on the east of the Tigris, about 150 miles to the north of the head of the Persian Gulf. It is the modern Shush, on the northwest of Shuster. Once a magnificent city, it is now an immense mass of ruins. Here Daniel saw one of his visions (Dan. 8); and here also Nehemiah (Neh. 1) began his public life. Most of the events recorded in the Book of Esther took place here. Modern explorers have brought to light numerous relics, and the ground-plan of the splendid palace of Shushan, one of the residences of the great king, together with numerous specimens of ancient art, which illustrate the statements of Scripture regarding it (Dan. 8:2). The great hall of this palace (Esther 1) “consisted of several magnificent groups of columns, together with a frontage of 343 feet 9 inches, and a depth of 244 feet. These groups were arranged into a central phalanx of thirty-six columns (six rows of six each), flanked on the west, north, and east by an equal number, disposed in double rows of six each, and distant from them 64 feet 2 inches.” The inscriptions on the ruins represent that the palace was founded by Darius and completed by Artaxerxes.
Shushan-Eduth Lily of the testimony, the title of Ps. 60. (See SHOSHANNIM.)
Sibbecai The Lord sustains, one of David’s heroes (1 Chr. 11:29), general of the eighth division of the army (27:11). He slew the giant Saph in the battle of Gob (2 Sam. 21:18; R.V., “Sibbechai”). Called also Mebunnai (23:27).
Sibmah Coolness; fragrance, a town in Reuben, in the territory of Moab, on the east of Jordan (Josh. 13:19); called also Shebam and Shibmah (Num. 32:3, 38). It was famous for its vines (Isa. 16:9; Jer. 48:32). It has been identified with the ruin of Sumieh, where there are rock-cut wine-presses. This fact explains the words of the prophets referred to above. It was about 5 miles east of Heshbon.
Sichem =She’chem, (q.v.), Gen. 12:6.
Sickle Of the Egyptians resembled that in modern use. The ears of corn were cut with it near the top of the straw. There was also a sickle used for warlike purposes, more correctly, however, called a pruning-hook (Deut. 16:9; Jer. 50:16, marg., “scythe;” Joel 3:13; Mark 4:29).
Siddim, Vale of Valley of the broad plains, “which is the salt sea” (Gen. 14:3, 8, 10), between Engedi and the cities of the plain, at the south end of the Dead Sea. It was “full of slime-pits” (R.V., “bitumen pits”). Here Chedorlaomer and the confederate kings overthrew the kings of Sodom and the cities of the plain. God afterwards, on account of their wickedness, “overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities;” and the smoke of their destruction “went up as the smoke of a furnace” (19:24-28), and was visible from Mamre, where Abraham dwelt.
Some, however, contend that the “cities of the plain” were somewhere at the north of the Dead Sea. (See SODOM.)
Sidon Fishing; fishery, Gen. 10:15, 19 (A.V. marg., Tzidon; R.V., Zidon); Matt. 11:21, 22; Luke 6:17. (See ZIDON.)
Signet A seal used to attest documents (Dan. 6:8-10, 12). In 6:17, this word properly denotes a ring. The impression of a signet ring on fine clay has recently been discovered among the ruins at Nineveh. It bears the name and title of an Egyptian king. Two actual signet rings of ancient Egyptian monarchs (Cheops and Horus) have also been discovered.
When digging a shaft close to the south wall of the temple area, the engineers of the Palestine Exploration Fund, at a depth of 12 feet below the surface, came upon a pavement of polished stones, formerly one of the streets of the city. Under this pavement they found a stratum of 16 feet of concrete, and among this concrete, 10 feet down, they found a signet stone bearing the inscription, in Old Hebrew characters, “Haggai, son of Shebaniah.” It has been asked, Might not this be the actual seal of Haggai the prophet? We know that he was in Jerusalem after the Captivity; and it is somewhat singular that he alone of all the minor prophets makes mention of a signet (Hag. 2:23). (See SEAL.)
Sihon Striking down. The whole country on the east of Jordan, from the Arnon to the Jabbok, was possessed by the Amorites, whose king, Sihon, refused to permit the Israelites to pass through his territory, and put his army in array against them. The Israelites went forth against him to battle, and gained a complete victory. The Amorites were defeated; Sihon, his sons, and all his people were smitten with the sword, his walled towns were captured, and the entire country of the Amorites was taken possession of by the Israelites (Num. 21:21-30; Deut. 2:24-37).
The country from the Jabbok to Hermon was at this time ruled by Og, the last of the Rephaim. He also tried to prevent the progress of the Israelites, but was utterly routed, and all his cities and territory fell into the hands of the Israelites (comp. Num. 21:33-35; Deut. 3:1-14; Ps. 135: 10-12; 136:17-22).
These two victories gave the Israelites possession of the country on the east of Jordan, from the Arnon to the foot of Hermon. The kingdom of Sihon embraced about 1,500 square miles, while that of Og was more than 3,000 square miles.
Sihor (correctly Shi’hor) black; dark the name given to the river Nile in Isa. 23:3; Jer. 2:18. In Josh. 13:3 it is probably “the river of Egypt”, i.e., the Wady el-Arish (1 Chr. 13:5), which flows “before Egypt”, i.e., in a north-easterly direction from Egypt, and enters the sea about 50 miles south-west of Gaza.
Silas Wood, a prominent member of the church at Jerusalem; also called Silvanus. He and Judas, surnamed Barsabas, were chosen by the church there to accompany Paul and Barnabas on their return to Antioch from the council of the apostles and elders (Acts 15:22), as bearers of the decree adopted by the council. He assisted Paul there in his evangelistic labours, and was also chosen by him to be his companion on his second missionary tour (Acts 16:19-24). He is referred to in the epistles under the name of Silvanus (2 Cor. 1:19; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1; 1 Pet. 5:12). There is no record of the time or place of his death.
Silk Heb. demeshek, “damask,” silk cloth manufactured at Damascus, Amos 3:12. A.V., “in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch;” R.V., “in the corner of a couch, and on the silken cushions of a bed” (marg., “in Damascus on a bed”).
Heb. meshi, (Ezek. 16:10, 13, rendered “silk”). In Gen. 41:42 (marg. A.V.), Prov. 31:22 (R.V., “fine linen”), the word “silk” ought to be “fine linen.”
Silk was common in New Testament times (Rev. 18:12).
Silla A highway; a twig, only in 2 Kings 12:20. If taken as a proper name (as in the LXX. and other versions), the locality is unknown.
Siloah, The pool of Heb. shelah; i.e., “the dart”, Neh. 3:15; with the art. shiloah, “sending,” Isa. 8:6 (comp. 7:3)=Siloam (q.v.)
Siloam, Pool of Sent or sending. Here a notable miracle was wrought by our Lord in giving sight to the blind (John 9:7-11). It has been identified with the Birket Silwan in the lower Tyropoeon valley, to the south-east of the hill of Zion.
The water which flows into this pool intermittingly by a subterranean channel springs from the “Fountain of the Virgin” (q.v.). The length of this channel, which has several windings, is 1,750 feet, though the direct distance is only 1,100 feet. The pool is 53 feet in length from north to south, 18 feet wide, and 19 deep. The water passes from it by a channel cut in the rock into the gardens below. (See EN-ROGEL.)
Many years ago (1880) a youth, while wading up the conduit by which the water enters the pool, accidentally discovered an inscription cut in the rock, on the eastern side, about 19 feet from the pool. This is the oldest extant Hebrew record of the kind. It has with great care been deciphered by scholars, and has been found to be an account of the manner in which the tunnel was constructed. Its whole length is said to be “twelve hundred cubits;” and the inscription further notes that the workmen, like the excavators of the Mont Cenis Tunnel, excavated from both ends, meeting in the middle.
Some have argued that the inscription was cut in the time of Solomon; others, with more probability, refer it to the reign of Hezekiah. A more ancient tunnel was discovered in 1889 some 20 feet below the ground. It is of smaller dimensions, but more direct in its course. It is to this tunnel that Isaiah (8:6) probably refers.
The Siloam inscription above referred to was surreptitiously cut from the wall of the tunnel in 1891 and broken into fragments. These were, however, recovered by the efforts of the British Consul at Jerusalem, and have been restored to their original place.
Siloam, Tower of Mentioned only Luke 13:4. The place here spoken of is the village now called Silwan, or Kefr Silwan, on the east of the valley of Kidron, and to the north-east of the pool. It stands on the west slope of the Mount of Olives.
As illustrative of the movement of small bands of Canaanites from place to place, and the intermingling of Canaanites and Israelites even in small towns in earlier times, M.C. Ganneau records the following curious fact: “Among the inhabitants of the village (of Siloam) there are a hundred or so domiciled for the most part in the lower quarter, and forming a group apart from the rest, called Dhiabrye, i.e., men of Dhiban. It appears that at some remote period a colony from the capital of king Mesha (Dibon-Moab) crossed the Jordan and fixed itself at the gates of Jerusalem at Silwan. The memory of this migration is still preserved; and I am assured by the people themselves that many of their number are installed in other villages round Jerusalem” (quoted by Henderson, Palestine).
Silver Used for a great variety of purposes, as may be judged from the frequent references to it in Scripture. It first appears in commerce in Gen. 13:2; 23:15, 16. It was largely employed for making vessels for the sanctuary in the wilderness (Ex. 26:19; 27:17; Num. 7:13, 19; 10:2). There is no record of its having been found in Syria or Palestine. It was brought in large quantities by foreign merchants from abroad, from Spain and India and other countries probably.
Silverling (Isa. 7:23). Literally the words are “at a thousand of silver”, i.e., “pieces of silver,” or shekels.
Simeon Hearing. (1.) The second son of Jacob by Leah (Gen. 29:33). He was associated with Levi in the terrible act of vengeance against Hamor and the Shechemites (34:25, 26). He was detained by Joseph in Egypt as a hostage (42:24). His father, when dying, pronounced a malediction against him (49:5-7). The words in the Authorized Version (49:6), “they digged down a wall,” ought to be, as correctly rendered in the Revised Version, “they houghed an ox.”
(2.) An aged saint who visited the temple when Jesus was being presented before the Lord, and uttered lofty words of thankgiving and of prophecy (Luke 2:29-35).
(3.) One of the ancestors of Joseph (Luke 3:30).
(4.) Surnamed Niger, i.e., “black,” perhaps from his dark complexion, a teacher of some distinction in the church of Antioch (Acts 13:1-3). It has been supposed that this was the Simon of Cyrene who bore Christ’s cross. Note the number of nationalities represented in the church at Antioch.
(5.) James (Acts 15:14) thus designates the apostle Peter (q.v.).
Simeon, The tribe of Was “divided and scattered” according to the prediction in Gen. 49:5-7. They gradually dwindled in number, and sank into a position of insignificance among the other tribes. They decreased in the wilderness by about two-thirds (comp. Num. 1:23; 26:14). Moses pronounces no blessing on this tribe. It is passed by in silence (Deut. 33).
This tribe received as their portion a part of the territory already allotted to Judah (Josh. 19:1-9). It lay in the south-west of the land, with Judah on the east and Dan on the north; but whether it was a compact territory or not cannot be determined. The subsequent notices of this tribe are but few (1 Chr. 4:24-43). Like Reuben on the east of Jordan, this tribe had little influence on the history of Israel.
Simon The abbreviated form of Simeon. (1.) One of the twelve apostles, called the Canaanite (Matt. 10:4; Mark 3:18). This word “Canaanite” does not mean a native of Canaan, but is derived from the Syriac word Kanean or Kaneniah, which was the name of a Jewish sect. The Revised Version has “Cananaean;” marg., “or Zealot” He is also called “Zelotes” (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13; R.V., “the Zealot”), because previous to his call to the apostleship he had been a member of the fanatical sect of the Zealots. There is no record regarding him.
(2.) The father of Judas Iscariot (John 6:71; 13:2, 26).
(3.) One of the brothers of our Lord (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3).
(4.) A Pharisee in whose house “a woman of the city which was a sinner” anointed our Lord’s feet with ointment (Luke 7:36-38).
(5.) A leper of Bethany, in whose house Mary anointed our Lord’s head with ointment “as he sat at meat” (Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9).
(6.) A Jew of Cyrene, in North Africa, then a province of Libya. A hundred thousand Jews from Palestine had been settled in this province by Ptolemy Soter (B.C. 323-285), where by this time they had greatly increased in number. They had a synagogue in Jerusalem for such of their number as went thither to the annual feasts. Simon was seized by the soldiers as the procession wended its way to the place of crucifixion as he was passing by, and the heavy cross which Christ from failing strength could no longer bear was laid on his shoulders. Perhaps they seized him because he showed sympathy with Jesus. He was the “father of Alexander and Rufus” (Matt. 27:32). Possibly this Simon may have been one of the “men of Cyrene” who preached the word to the Greeks (Acts 11:20).
(7.) A sorcerer of great repute for his magical arts among the Samaritans (Acts 8:9-11). He afterwards became a professed convert to the faith under the preaching of Philip the deacon and evangelist (12, 13). His profession was, however, soon found to be hollow. His conduct called forth from Peter a stern rebuke (8:18-23). From this moment he disappears from the Church’s history. The term “Simony,” as denoting the purchase for money of spiritual offices, is derived from him.
(8.) A Christian at Joppa, a tanner by trade, with whom Peter on one occasion lodged (Acts 9:43).
(9.) Simon Peter (Matt. 4:18). See PETER.
Simri Watchman, a Levite of the family of Merari (1 Chr. 26:10).
Sin Is “any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God” (1 John 3:4; Rom. 4:15), in the inward state and habit of the soul, as well as in the outward conduct of the life, whether by omission or commission (Rom. 6:12-17; 7:5-24). It is “not a mere violation of the law of our constitution, nor of the system of things, but an offence against a personal lawgiver and moral governor who vindicates his law with penalties. The soul that sins is always conscious that his sin is (1) intrinsically vile and polluting, and (2) that it justly deserves punishment, and calls down the righteous wrath of God. Hence sin carries with it two inalienable characters, (1) ill-desert, guilt (reatus); and (2) pollution (macula).”, Hodge’s Outlines.
The moral character of a man’s actions is determined by the moral state of his heart. The disposition to sin, or the habit of the soul that leads to the sinful act, is itself also sin (Rom. 6:12-17; Gal. 5:17; James 1:14, 15).
The origin of sin is a mystery, and must for ever remain such to us. It is plain that for some reason God has permitted sin to enter this world, and that is all we know. His permitting it, however, in no way makes God the author of sin.
Adam’s sin (Gen. 3:1-6) consisted in his yielding to the assaults of temptation and eating the forbidden fruit. It involved in it, (1) the sin of unbelief, virtually making God a liar; and (2) the guilt of disobedience to a positive command. By this sin he became an apostate from God, a rebel in arms against his Creator. He lost the favour of God and communion with him; his whole nature became depraved, and he incurred the penalty involved in the covenant of works.
Original sin. “Our first parents being the root of all mankind, the guilt of their sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature were conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation.” Adam was constituted by God the federal head and representative of all his posterity, as he was also their natural head, and therefore when he fell they fell with him (Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:22-45). His probation was their probation, and his fall their fall. Because of Adam’s first sin all his posterity came into the world in a state of sin and condemnation, i.e., (1) a state of moral corruption, and (2) of guilt, as having judicially imputed to them the guilt of Adam’s first sin.
“Original sin” is frequently and properly used to denote only the moral corruption of their whole nature inherited by all men from Adam. This inherited moral corruption consists in, (1) the loss of original righteousness; and (2) the presence of a constant proneness to evil, which is the root and origin of all actual sin. It is called “sin” (Rom. 6:12, 14, 17; 7:5-17), the “flesh” (Gal. 5:17, 24), “lust” (James 1:14, 15), the “body of sin” (Rom. 6:6), “ignorance,” “blindness of heart,” “alienation from the life of God” (Eph. 4:18, 19). It influences and depraves the whole man, and its tendency is still downward to deeper and deeper corruption, there remaining no recuperative element in the soul. It is a total depravity, and it is also universally inherited by all the natural descendants of Adam (Rom. 3:10-23; 5:12-21; 8:7). Pelagians deny original sin, and regard man as by nature morally and spiritually well; semi-Pelagians regard him as morally sick; Augustinians, or, as they are also called, Calvinists, regard man as described above, spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1; 1 John 3:14).
The doctrine of original sin is proved, (1.) From the fact of the universal sinfulness of men. “There is no man that sinneth not” (1 Kings 8:46; Isa. 53:6; Ps. 130:3; Rom. 3:19, 22, 23; Gal. 3:22). (2.) From the total depravity of man. All men are declared to be destitute of any principle of spiritual life; man’s apostasy from God is total and complete (Job 15:14-16; Gen. 6:5, 6). (3.) From its early manifestation (Ps. 58:3; Prov. 22:15). (4.) It is proved also from the necessity, absolutely and universally, of regeneration (John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17). (5.) From the universality of death (Rom. 5:12-20).
Various kinds of sin are mentioned, (1.) “Presumptuous sins,” or as literally rendered, “sins with an uplifted hand”, i.e., defiant acts of sin, in contrast with “errors” or “inadvertencies” (Ps. 19:13). (2.) “Secret”, i.e., hidden sins (19:12); sins which escape the notice of the soul. (3.) “Sin against the Holy Ghost” (q.v.), or a “sin unto death” (Matt. 12:31, 32; 1 John 5:16), which amounts to a wilful rejection of grace.
Sin, a city in Egypt, called by the Greeks Pelusium, which means, as does also the Hebrew name, “clayey” or “muddy,” so called from the abundance of clay found there. It is called by Ezekel (Ezek. 30:15) “the strength of Egypt, “thus denoting its importance as a fortified city. It has been identified with the modern Tineh, “a miry place,” where its ruins are to be found. Of its boasted magnificence only four red granite columns remain, and some few fragments of others.
Sinai Of Sin (the moon god), called also Horeb, the name of the mountain district which was reached by the Hebrews in the third month after the Exodus. Here they remained encamped for about a whole year. Their journey from the Red Sea to this encampment, including all the windings of the route, was about 150 miles. The last twenty-two chapters of Exodus, together with the whole of Leviticus and Num. ch. 1-11, contain a record of all the transactions which occurred while they were here. From Rephidim (Ex. 17:8-13) the Israelites journeyed forward through the Wady Solaf and Wady esh-Sheikh into the plain of er-Rahah, “the desert of Sinai,” about 2 miles long and half a mile broad, and encamped there “before the mountain.” The part of the mountain range, a protruding lower bluff, known as the Ras Sasafeh (Sufsafeh), rises almost perpendicularly from this plain, and is in all probability the Sinai of history. Dean Stanley thus describes the scene:, “The plain itself is not broken and uneven and narrowly shut in, like almost all others in the range, but presents a long retiring sweep, within which the people could remove and stand afar off. The cliff, rising like a huge altar in front of the whole congregation, and visible against the sky in lonely grandeur from end to end of the whole plain, is the very image of the mount that might be touched,’ and from which the voice of God might be heard far and wide over the plain below.” This was the scene of the giving of the law. From the Ras Sufsafeh the law was proclaimed to the people encamped below in the plain of er-Rahah. During the lengthened period of their encampment here the Israelites passed through a very memorable experience. An immense change passed over them. They are now an organized nation, bound by covenant engagement to serve the Lord their God, their ever-present divine Leader and Protector. At length, in the second month of the second year of the Exodus, they move their camp and march forward according to a prescribed order. After three days they reach the “wilderness of Paran,” the “et-Tih”, i.e., “the desert”, and here they make their first encampment. At this time a spirit of discontent broke out amongst them, and the Lord manifested his displeasure by a fire which fell on the encampment and inflicted injury on them. Moses called the place Taberah (q.v.), Num. 11:1-3. The journey between Sinai and the southern boundary of the Promised Land (about 150 miles) at Kadesh was accomplished in about a year. (See MAP facing page 204.)
Sinaiticus codex Usually designated by the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, is one of the most valuable of ancient MSS. of the Greek New Testament. On the occasion of a third visit to the convent of St. Catherine, on Mount Sinai, in 1859, it was discovered by Dr. Tischendorf. He had on a previous visit in 1844 obtained forty-three parchment leaves of the LXX., which he deposited in the university library of Leipsic, under the title of the Codex Frederico-Augustanus, after his royal patron the king of Saxony. In the year referred to (1859) the emperor of Russia sent him to prosecute his search for MSS., which he was convinced were still to be found in the Sinai convent. The story of his finding the manuscript of the New Testament has all the interest of a romance. He reached the convent on 31st January; but his inquiries appeared to be fruitless. On the 4th February he had resolved to return home without having gained his object. “On that day, when walking with the provisor of the convent, he spoke with much regret of his ill-success. Returning from their promenade, Tischendorf accompanied the monk to his room, and there had displayed to him what his companion called a copy of the LXX., which he, the ghostly brother, owned. The MS. was wrapped up in a piece of cloth, and on its being unrolled, to the surprise and delight of the critic the very document presented itself which he had given up all hope of seeing. His object had been to complete the fragmentary LXX. of 1844, which he had declared to be the most ancient of all Greek codices on vellum that are extant; but he found not only that, but a copy of the Greek New Testament attached, of the same age, and perfectly complete, not wanting a single page or paragraph.” This precious fragment, after some negotiations, he obtained possession of, and conveyed it to the Emperor Alexander, who fully appreciated its importance, and caused it to be published as nearly as possible in facsimile, so as to exhibit correctly the ancient handwriting. The entire codex consists of 346 1/2 folios. Of these 199 belong to the Old Testament and 147 1/2 to the New, along with two ancient documents called the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas. The books of the New Testament stand thus: the four Gospels, the epistles of Paul, the Acts of the Apostles, the Catholic Epistles, the Apocalypse of John. It is shown by Tischendorf that this codex was written in the fourth century, and is thus of about the same age as the Vatican codex; but while the latter wants the greater part of Matthew and sundry leaves here and there besides, the Sinaiticus is the only copy of the New Testament in uncial characters which is complete. Thus it is the oldest extant MS. copy of the New Testament. Both the Vatican and the Sinai codices were probably written in Egypt. (See VATICANUS.)
Sinim, The land of (Isa. 49:12), supposed by some to mean China, but more probably Phoenicia (Gen. 10:17) is intended.
Sinite An inhabitant of Sin, near Arka (Gen. 10:17; 1 Chr. 1:15). (See ARKITE.)
Sin-offering (Heb. hattath), the law of, is given in detail in Lev. 4-6:13; 9:7-11, 22-24; 12:6-8; 15:2, 14, 25-30; 14:19, 31; Num. 6:10-14. On the day of Atonement it was made with special solemnity (Lev. 16:5, 11, 15). The blood was then carried into the holy of holies and sprinkled on the mercy-seat. Sin-offerings were also presented at the five annual festivals (Num. 28, 29), and on the occasion of the consecration of the priests (Ex. 29:10-14, 36). As each individual, even the most private member of the congregation, as well as the congregation at large, and the high priest, was obliged, on being convicted by his conscience of any particular sin, to come with a sin-offering, we see thus impressively disclosed the need in which every sinner stands of the salvation of Christ, and the necessity of making application to it as often as the guilt of sin renews itself upon his conscience. This resort of faith to the perfect sacrifice of Christ is the one way that lies open for the sinner’s attainment of pardon and restoration to peace. And then in the sacrifice itself there is the reality of that incomparable worth and preciousness which were so significantly represented in the sin-offering by the sacredness of its blood and the hallowed destination of its flesh. With reference to this the blood of Christ is called emphatically “the precious blood,” and the blood that “cleanseth from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
Sin, Wilderness of Lying between Elim and sinai (Ex. 16:1; comp. Num. 33:11, 12). This was probably the narrow plain of el-Markha, which stretches along the eastern shore of the Red Sea for several miles toward the promontory of Ras Mohammed, the southern extremity of the Sinitic Peninsula. While the Israelites rested here for some days they began to murmur on account of the want of nourishment, as they had by this time consumed all the corn they had brought with them out of Egypt. God heard their murmurings, and gave them “manna” and then quails in abundance.
Sion Elevated. (1.) Denotes Mount Hermon in Deut. 4:48; called Sirion by the Sidonians, and by the Amorites Shenir (Deut. 3:9). (See HERMON.)
(2.) The Greek form of Zion (q.v.) in Matt. 21:5; John 12:15.
Siphmoth Fruitful places, some unknown place in the south, where David found friends when he fled from Saul (1 Sam. 30:28).
Sirah Retiring, a well from which Joab’s messenger brought back Abner (2 Sam. 3:26). It is now called Ain Sarah, and is situated about a mile from Hebron, on the road to the north.
Sirion A breastplate, the Sidonian name of Hermon (q.v.), Deut. 3:9; Ps. 29:6.
Sisera (Egypt. Ses-Ra, “servant of Ra”). (1.) The captain of Jabin’s army (Judg. 4:2), which was routed and destroyed by the army of Barak on the plain of Esdraelon. After all was lost he fled to the settlement of Heber the Kenite in the plain of Zaanaim. Jael, Heber’s wife, received him into her tent with apparent hospitality, and “gave him butter” (i.e., lebben, or curdled milk) “in a lordly dish.” Having drunk the refreshing beverage, he lay down, and soon sank into the sleep of the weary. While he lay asleep Jael crept stealthily up to him, and taking in her hand one of the tent pegs, with a mallet she drove it with such force through his temples that it entered into the ground where he lay, and “at her feet he bowed, he fell; where he bowed, there he fell down dead.” The part of Deborah’s song (Judg. 5:24-27) referring to the death of Sisera (which is a “mere patriotic outburst,” and “is no proof that purer eyes would have failed to see gross sin mingling with Jael’s service to Israel”) is thus rendered by Professor Roberts (Old Testament Revision):
“Extolled above women be Jael, The wife of Heber the Kenite, Extolled above women in the tent. He asked for water, she gave him milk; She brought him cream in a lordly dish. She stretched forth her hand to the nail, Her right hand to the workman’s hammer, And she smote Sisera; she crushed his head, She crashed through and transfixed his temples. At her feet he curled himself, he fell, he lay still; At her feet he curled himself, he fell; And where he curled himself, there he fell dead.”
(2.) The ancestor of some of the Nethinim who returned with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:53; Neh. 7:55).
Sitnah Strife, the second of the two wells dug by Isaac, whose servants here contended with the Philistines (Gen. 26:21). It has been identified with the modern Shutneh, in the valley of Gerar, to the west of Rehoboth, about 20 miles south of Beersheba.
Sitting The attitude generally assumed in Palestine by those who were engaged in any kind of work. “The carpenter saws, planes, and hews with his hand-adze, sitting on the ground or upon the plank he is planning. The washerwoman sits by the tub; and, in a word, no one stands when it is possible to sit. Shopkeepers always sit, and Levi sitting at the receipt of custom (Matt. 9:9) is the exact way to state the case.”, Thomson, Land and Book.
Sivan A Persian word (Assyr, sivanu, “bricks”), used after the Captivity as the name of the third month of the Jewish year, extending from the new moon in June to the new moon in July (Esther 8:9).
Skin, Coats made of (Gen. 3:21). Skins of rams and badgers were used as a covering for the tabernacle (Ex. 25:5; Num. 4:8-14).
Skull, The place of a See GOLGOTHA.
Slave Jer. 2:14 (A.V.), but not there found in the original. In Rev. 18:13 the word “slaves” is the rendering of a Greek word meaning “bodies.” The Hebrew and Greek words for slave are usually rendered simply “servant,” “bondman,” or “bondservant.” Slavery as it existed under the Mosaic law has no modern parallel. That law did not originate but only regulated the already existing custom of slavery (Ex. 21:20, 21, 26, 27; Lev. 25:44-46; Josh. 9:6-27). The gospel in its spirit and genius is hostile to slavery in every form, which under its influence is gradually disappearing from among men.
Slime (Gen. 11:3; LXX., “asphalt;” R.V. marg., “bitumen”). The vale of Siddim was full of slime pits (14:10). Jochebed daubed the “ark of bulrushes” with slime (Ex. 2:3). (See PITCH.)
Sling With a sling and a stone David smote the Philistine giant (1 Sam. 17:40, 49). There were 700 Benjamites who were so skilled in its use that with the left hand they “could sling stones at a hair breadth, and not miss” (Judg. 20:16; 1 Chr. 12:2). It was used by the Israelites in war (2 Kings 3:25). (See ARMS.)
The words in Prov. 26:8, “As he that bindeth a stone in a sling,” etc. (Authorized Version), should rather, as in the Revised Version, be “As a bag of gems in a heap of stones,” etc.
Smith The Hebrews were not permitted by the Philistines in the days of Samuel to have a smith amongst them, lest they should make them swords and spears (1 Sam. 13:19). Thus the Philistines sought to make their conquest permanent (comp. 2 Kings 24:16).
Smyrna Myrrh, an ancient city of Ionia, on the western coast of Asia Minor, about 40 miles to the north of Ephesus. It is now the chief city of Anatolia, having a mixed population of about 200,000, of whom about one-third are professed Christians. The church founded here was one of the seven addressed by our Lord (Rev. 2:8-11). The celebrated Polycarp, a pupil of the apostle John, was in the second century a prominent leader in the church of Smyrna. Here he suffered martyrdom, A.D. 155.
Snail (1.) Heb. homit, among the unclean creeping things (Lev. 11:30). This was probably the sand-lizard, of which there are many species in the wilderness of Judea and the Sinai peninsula.
(2.) Heb. shablul (Ps. 58:8), the snail or slug proper. Tristram explains the allusions of this passage by a reference to the heat and drought by which the moisture of the snail is evaporated. “We find,” he says, “in all parts of the Holy Land myriads of snail-shells in fissures still adhering by the calcareous exudation round their orifice to the surface of the rock, but the animal of which is utterly shrivelled and wasted, ‘melted away.'”
Snare The expression (Amos 3:5), “Shall one take up a snare from the earth?” etc. (Authorized Version), ought to be, as in the Revised Version, “Shall a snare spring up from the ground?” etc. (See GIN.)
Snow Common in Palestine in winter (Ps. 147:16). The snow on the tops of the Lebanon range is almost always within view throughout the whole year. The word is frequently used figuratively by the sacred writers (Job 24:19; Ps. 51:7; 68:14; Isa. 1:18). It is mentioned only once in the historical books (2 Sam. 23:20). It was “carried to Tyre, Sidon, and Damascus as a luxury, and labourers sweltering in the hot harvest-fields used it for the purpose of cooling the water which they drank (Prov. 25:13; Jer. 18:14). No doubt Herod Antipas, at his feasts in Tiberias, enjoyed also from this very source the modern luxury of ice-water.”
So (Nubian, Sabako), an Ethiopian king who brought Egypt under his sway. He was bribed by Hoshea to help him against the Assyrian monarch Shalmaneser (2 Kings 17:4). This was a return to the policy that had been successful in the reign of Jeroboam I.
Soap (Jer. 2:22; Mal. 3:2; Heb. borith), properly a vegetable alkali, obtained from the ashes of certain plants, particularly the salsola kali (saltwort), which abounds on the shores of the Dead Sea and of the Mediterranean. It does not appear that the Hebrews were acquainted with what is now called “soap,” which is a compound of alkaline carbonates with oleaginous matter. The word “purely” in Isa. 1:25 (R.V., “throughly;” marg., “as with lye”) is lit. “as with bor.” This word means “clearness,” and hence also that which makes clear, or pure, alkali. “The ancients made use of alkali mingled with oil, instead of soap (Job 9:30), and also in smelting metals, to make them melt and flow more readily and purely” (Gesenius).
Socho A fence; hedge, (1 Chr. 4:18; R.V., Soco)=So’choh (1 Kings 4:10; R.V., Socoh), Sho’choh (1 Sam. 17:1; R.V., Socoh), Sho’co (2 Chr. 11:7; R.V., Soco), Sho’cho (2 Chr. 28:18; R.V., Soco), a city in the plain or lowland of Judah, where the Philistines encamped when they invaded Judah after their defeat at Michmash. It lay on the northern side of the valley of Elah (Wady es-Sunt). It has been identified with the modern Khurbet Shuweikeh, about 14 miles south-west of Jerusalem. In this campaign Goliath was slain, and the Philistines were completely routed.
Sodom Burning; the walled, a city in the vale of Siddim (Gen. 13:10; 14:1-16). The wickedness of its inhabitants brought down upon it fire from heaven, by which it was destroyed (18:16-33; 19:1-29; Deut. 23:17). This city and its awful destruction are frequently alluded to in Scripture (Deut. 29:23; 32:32; Isa. 1:9, 10; 3:9; 13:19; Jer. 23:14; Ezek. 16:46-56; Zeph. 2:9; Matt. 10:15; Rom. 9:29; 2 Pet. 2:6, etc.). No trace of it or of the other cities of the plain has been discovered, so complete was their destruction. Just opposite the site of Zoar, on the south-west coast of the Dead Sea, is a range of low hills, forming a mass of mineral salt called Jebel Usdum, “the hill of Sodom.” It has been concluded, from this and from other considerations, that the cities of the plain stood at the southern end of the Dead Sea. Others, however, with much greater probability, contend that they stood at the northern end of the sea. [in 1897].
Sodoma (Rom. 9:29; R.V., “Sodom”), the Greek form for Sodom.
Sodomites Those who imitated the licentious wickedness of Sodom (Deut. 23:17; 1 Kings 14:24; Rom. 1:26, 27). Asa destroyed them “out of the land” (1 Kings 15:12), as did also his son Jehoshaphat (22:46).
Solemn meeting (Isa. 1:13), the convocation on the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:36; Num. 29:35, R.V., “solemn assembly;” marg., “closing festival”). It is the name given also to the convocation held on the seventh day of the Passover (Deut. 16:8).
Solomon Peaceful, (Heb. Shelomoh), David’s second son by Bathsheba, i.e., the first after their legal marriage (2 Sam. 12). He was probably born about B.C. 1035 (1 Chr. 22:5; 29:1). He succeeded his father on the throne in early manhood, probably about sixteen or eighteen years of age. Nathan, to whom his education was intrusted, called him Jedidiah, i.e., “beloved of the Lord” (2 Sam. 12:24, 25). He was the first king of Israel “born in the purple.” His father chose him as his successor, passing over the claims of his elder sons: “Assuredly Solomon my son shall reign after me.” His history is recorded in 1 Kings 1-11 and 2 Chr. 1-9. His elevation to the throne took place before his father’s death, and was hastened on mainly by Nathan and Bathsheba, in consequence of the rebellion of Adonijah (1 Kings 1:5-40). During his long reign of forty years the Hebrew monarchy gained its highest splendour. This period has well been called the “Augustan age” of the Jewish annals. The first half of his reign was, however, by far the brighter and more prosperous; the latter half was clouded by the idolatries into which he fell, mainly from his heathen intermarriages (1 Kings 11:1-8; 14:21, 31).
Before his death David gave parting instructions to his son (1 Kings 2:1-9; 1 Chr. 22:7-16; 28). As soon as he had settled himself in his kingdom, and arranged the affairs of his extensive empire, he entered into an alliance with Egypt by the marriage of the daughter of Pharaoh (1 Kings 3:1), of whom, however, nothing further is recorded. He surrounded himself with all the luxuries and the external grandeur of an Eastern monarch, and his government prospered. He entered into an alliance with Hiram, king of Tyre, who in many ways greatly assisted him in his numerous undertakings. (See HIRAM.)
For some years before his death David was engaged in the active work of collecting materials (1 Chr. 29:6-9; 2 Chr. 2:3-7) for building a temple in Jerusalem as a permanent abode for the ark of the covenant. He was not permitted to build the house of God (1 Chr. 22:8); that honour was reserved to his son Solomon. (See TEMPLE.)
After the completion of the temple, Solomon engaged in the erection of many other buildings of importance in Jerusalem and in other parts of his kingdom. For the long space of thirteen years he was engaged in the erection of a royal palace on Ophel (1 Kings 7:1-12). It was 100 cubits long, 50 broad, and 30 high. Its lofty roof was supported by forty-five cedar pillars, so that the hall was like a forest of cedar wood, and hence probably it received the name of “The House of the Forest of Lebanon.” In front of this “house” was another building, which was called the Porch of Pillars, and in front of this again was the “Hall of Judgment,” or Throne-room (1 Kings 7:7; 10:18-20; 2 Chr. 9:17-19), “the King’s Gate,” where he administered justice and gave audience to his people. This palace was a building of great magnificence and beauty. A portion of it was set apart as the residence of the queen consort, the daughter of Pharaoh. From the palace there was a private staircase of red and scented sandal wood which led up to the temple.
Solomon also constructed great works for the purpose of securing a plentiful supply of water for the city (Eccl. 2:4-6). He then built Millo (LXX., “Acra”) for the defence of the city, completing a line of ramparts around it (1 Kings 9:15, 24; 11:27). He erected also many other fortifications for the defence of his kingdom at various points where it was exposed to the assault of enemies (1 Kings 9:15-19; 2 Chr. 8:2-6). Among his great undertakings must also be mentioned the building of Tadmor (q.v.) in the wilderness as a commercial depot, as well as a military outpost.
During his reign Palestine enjoyed great commercial prosperity. Extensive traffic was carried on by land with Tyre and Egypt and Arabia, and by sea with Spain and India and the coasts of Africa, by which Solomon accumulated vast stores of wealth and of the produce of all nations (1 Kings 9:26-28; 10:11, 12; 2 Chr. 8:17, 18; 9:21). This was the “golden age” of Israel. The royal magnificence and splendour of Solomon’s court were unrivalled. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, an evidence at once of his pride, his wealth, and his sensuality. The maintenance of his household involved immense expenditure. The provision required for one day was “thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal, ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallow-deer, and fatted fowl” (1 Kings 4:22, 23).
Solomon’s reign was not only a period of great material prosperity, but was equally remarkable for its intellectual activity. He was the leader of his people also in this uprising amongst them of new intellectual life. “He spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes” (1 Kings 4:32, 33).
His fame was spread abroad through all lands, and men came from far and near “to hear the wisdom of Solomon.” Among others thus attracted to Jerusalem was “the queen of the south” (Matt. 12:42), the queen of Sheba, a country in Arabia Felix. “Deep, indeed, must have been her yearning, and great his fame, which induced a secluded Arabian queen to break through the immemorial custom of her dreamy land, and to put forth the energy required for braving the burdens and perils of so long a journey across a wilderness. Yet this she undertook, and carried it out with safety.” (1 Kings 10:1-13; 2 Chr. 9:1-12.) She was filled with amazement by all she saw and heard: “there was no more spirit in her.” After an interchange of presents she returned to her native land.
But that golden age of Jewish history passed away. The bright day of Solomon’s glory ended in clouds and darkness. His decline and fall from his high estate is a sad record. Chief among the causes of his decline were his polygamy and his great wealth. “As he grew older he spent more of his time among his favourites. The idle king living among these idle women, for 1,000 women, with all their idle and mischievous attendants, filled the palaces and pleasure-houses which he had built (1 Kings 11:3), learned first to tolerate and then to imitate their heathenish ways. He did not, indeed, cease to believe in the God of Israel with his mind. He did not cease to offer the usual sacrifices in the temple at the great feasts. But his heart was not right with God; his worship became merely formal; his soul, left empty by the dying out of true religious fervour, sought to be filled with any religious excitement which offered itself. Now for the first time a worship was publicly set up amongst the people of the Lord which was not simply irregular or forbidden, like that of Gideon (Judg. 8:27), or the Danites (Judg. 18:30, 31), but was downright idolatrous.” (1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13.)
This brought upon him the divine displeasure. His enemies prevailed against him (1 Kings 11:14-22, 23-25, 26-40), and one judgment after another fell upon the land. And now the end of all came, and he died, after a reign of forty years, and was buried in the city of David, and “with him was buried the short-lived glory and unity of Israel.” “He leaves behind him but one weak and worthless son, to dismember his kingdom and disgrace his name.”
“The kingdom of Solomon,” says Rawlinson, “is one of the most striking facts in the Biblical history. A petty nation, which for hundreds of years has with difficulty maintained a separate existence in the midst of warlike tribes, each of which has in turn exercised dominion over it and oppressed it, is suddenly raised by the genius of a soldier-monarch to glory and greatness. An empire is established which extends from the Euphrates to the borders of Egypt, a distance of 450 miles; and this empire, rapidly constructed, enters almost immediately on a period of peace which lasts for half a century. Wealth, grandeur, architectural magnificence, artistic excellence, commercial enterprise, a position of dignity among the great nations of the earth, are enjoyed during this space, at the end of which there is a sudden collapse. The ruling nation is split in twain, the subject-races fall off, the pre-eminence lately gained being wholly lost, the scene of struggle, strife, oppression, recovery, inglorious submission, and desperate effort, re-commences.”, Historical Illustrations.
Solomon, Song of Called also, after the Vulgate, the “Canticles.” It is the “song of songs” (1:1), as being the finest and most precious of its kind; the noblest song, “das Hohelied,” as Luther calls it. The Solomonic authorship of this book has been called in question, but evidences, both internal and external, fairly establish the traditional view that it is the product of Solomon’s pen. It is an allegorical poem setting forth the mutual love of Christ and the Church, under the emblem of the bridegroom and the bride. (Compare Matt. 9:15; John 3:29; Eph. 5:23, 27, 29; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:2, 9; 22:17. Compare also Ps. 45; Isa. 54:4-6; 62:4, 5; Jer. 2:2; 3:1, 20; Ezek. 16; Hos. 2:16, 19, 20.)
Solomon’s Porch (John 10:23; Acts 3:11; 5:12), a colonnade, or cloister probably, on the eastern side of the temple. It is not mentioned in connection with the first temple, but Josephus mentions a porch, so called, in Herod’s temple (q.v.).
Songs Of Moses (Ex. 15; Num. 21:17; Deut. 32; Rev. 15:3), Deborah (Judg. 5), Hannah (1 Sam. 2), David (2 Sam. 22, and Psalms), Mary (Luke 1:46-55), Zacharias (Luke 1:68-79), the angels (Luke 2:13), Simeon (Luke 2:29), the redeemed (Rev. 5:9; 19), Solomon (see SOLOMON, SONGS OF).
Son of God The plural, “sons of God,” is used (Gen. 6:2, 4) to denote the pious descendants of Seth. In Job 1:6; 38:7 this name is applied to the angels. Hosea uses the phrase (1:10) to designate the gracious relation in which men stand to God.
In the New Testament this phrase frequently denotes the relation into which we are brought to God by adoption (Rom. 8:14, 19; 2 Cor. 6:18; Gal. 4:5, 6; Phil. 2:15; 1 John 3:1, 2). It occurs thirty-seven times in the New Testament as the distinctive title of our Saviour. He does not bear this title in consequence of his miraculous birth, nor of his incarnation, his resurrection, and exaltation to the Father’s right hand. This is a title of nature and not of office. The sonship of Christ denotes his equality with the Father. To call Christ the Son of God is to assert his true and proper divinity. The second Person of the Trinity, because of his eternal relation to the first Person, is the Son of God. He is the Son of God as to his divine nature, while as to his human nature he is the Son of David (Rom. 1:3, 4. Comp. Gal. 4:4; John 1:1-14; 5:18-25; 10:30-38, which prove that Christ was the Son of God before his incarnation, and that his claim to this title is a claim of equality with God).
When used with reference to creatures, whether men or angels, this word is always in the plural. In the singular it is always used of the second Person of the Trinity, with the single exception of Luke 3:38, where it is used of Adam.
Son of man (1.) Denotes mankind generally, with special reference to their weakness and frailty (Job 25:6; Ps. 8:4; 144:3; 146:3; Isa. 51:12, etc.).
(2.) It is a title frequently given to the prophet Ezekiel, probably to remind him of his human weakness.
(3.) In the New Testament it is used forty-three times as a distinctive title of the Saviour. In the Old Testament it is used only in Ps. 80:17 and Dan. 7:13 with this application. It denotes the true humanity of our Lord. He had a true body (Heb. 2:14; Luke 24:39) and a rational soul. He was perfect man.
Soothsayer One who pretends to prognosticate future events. Baalam is so called (Josh. 13:22; Heb. kosem, a “diviner,” as rendered 1 Sam. 6:2; rendered “prudent,” Isa. 3:2). In Isa. 2:6 and Micah 5:12 (Heb. yonenim, i.e., “diviners of the clouds”) the word is used of the Chaldean diviners who studied the clouds. In Dan. 2:27; 5:7 the word is the rendering of the Chaldee gazrin, i.e., “deciders” or “determiners”, here applied to Chaldean astrologers, “who, by casting nativities from the place of the stars at one’s birth, and by various arts of computing and divining, foretold the fortunes and destinies of individuals.”, Gesenius, Lex. Heb. (See SORCERER.)
Sop A morsel of bread (John 13:26; comp. Ruth 2:14). Our Lord took a piece of unleavened bread, and dipping it into the broth of bitter herbs at the Paschal meal, gave it to Judas. (Comp. Ruth 2:14.)
Sopater The father who saves, probably the same as Sosipater, a kinsman of Paul (Rom. 16:21), a Christian of the city of Berea who accompanied Paul into Asia (Acts 20:4-6).
Sorcerer From the Latin sortiarius, one who casts lots, or one who tells the lot of others. (See DIVINATION.)
In Dan. 2:2 it is the rendering of the Hebrew mekhashphim, i.e., mutterers, men who professed to have power with evil spirits. The practice of sorcery exposed to severest punishment (Mal. 3:5; Rev. 21:8; 22:15).
Sorek Choice vine, the name of a valley, i.e., a torrent-bed, now the Wady Surar, “valley of the fertile spot,” which drains the western Judean hills, and flowing by Makkedah and Jabneel, falls into the sea some eight miles south of Joppa. This was the home of Deliah, whom Samson loved (Judg. 16:4).
Sosipater (See SOPATER.)
Sosthenes Safe in strength, the chief ruler of the synagogue at Corinth, who was seized and beaten by the mob in the presence of Gallio, the Roman governor, when he refused to proceed against Paul at the instigation of the Jews (Acts 18:12-17). The motives of this assault against Sosthenes are not recorded, nor is it mentioned whether it was made by Greeks or Romans. Some identify him, but without sufficient grounds, with one whom Paul calls “Sosthenes our brother,” a convert to the faith (1 Cor. 1:1).
South Heb. Negeb, that arid district to the south of Palestine through which lay the caravan route from Central Palestine to Egypt (Gen. 12:9; 13:1, 3; 46:1-6). “The Negeb comprised a considerable but irregularly-shaped tract of country, its main portion stretching from the mountains and lowlands of Judah in the north to the mountains of Azazemeh in the south, and from the Dead Sea and southern Ghoron the east to the Mediterranean on the west.” In Ezek. 20:46 (21:1 in Heb.) three different Hebrew words are all rendered “south.” (1) “Set thy face toward the south” (Teman, the region on the right, 1 Sam. 33:24); (2) “Drop thy word toward the south” (Negeb, the region of dryness, Josh. 15:4); (3) “Prophesy against the forest of the south field” (Darom, the region of brightness, Deut. 33:23). In Job 37:9 the word “south” is literally “chamber,” used here in the sense of treasury (comp. 38:22; Ps. 135:7). This verse is rendered in the Revised Version “out of the chamber of the south.”
Sovereignty Of God, his absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure (Dan. 4:25, 35; Rom. 9:15-23; 1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 4:11).
Spain Paul expresses his intention (Rom. 15:24, 28) to visit Spain. There is, however, no evidence that he ever carried it into effect, although some think that he probably did so between his first and second imprisonment. (See TARSHISH.)
Sparrow Mentioned among the offerings made by the very poor. Two sparrows were sold for a farthing (Matt. 10:29), and five for two farthings (Luke 12:6). The Hebrew word thus rendered is tsippor, which properly denotes the whole family of small birds which feed on grain (Lev. 14:4; Ps. 84:3; 102:7). The Greek word of the New Testament is strouthion (Matt. 10:29-31), which is thus correctly rendered.
Spicery Heb. nechoth, identified with the Arabic naka’at, the gum tragacanth, obtained from the astralagus, of which there are about twenty species found in Palestine. The tragacanth of commerce is obtained from the A. tragacantha. “The gum exudes plentifully under the heat of the sun on the leaves, thorns, and exteremity of the twigs.”
Spices Aromatic substances, of which several are named in Ex. 30. They were used in the sacred anointing oil (Ex. 25:6; 35:8; 1 Chr. 9:29), and in embalming the dead (2 Chr. 16:14; Luke 23:56; 24:1; John 19:39, 40). Spices were stored by Hezekiah in his treasure-house (2 Kings 20:13; Isa. 39:2).
Spider The trust of the hypocrite is compared to the spider’s web or house (Job 8:14). It is said of the wicked by Isaiah that they “weave the spider’s web” (59:5), i.e., their works and designs are, like the spider’s web, vain and useless. The Hebrew word here used is ‘akkabish, “a swift weaver.”
In Prov. 30:28 a different Hebrew word (semamith) is used. It is rendered in the Vulgate by stellio, and in the Revised Version by “lizard.” It may, however, represent the spider, of which there are, it is said, about seven hundred species in Palestine.
Spies When the Israelites reached Kadesh for the first time, and were encamped there, Moses selected twelve spies from among the chiefs of the divisions of the tribes, and sent them forth to spy the land of Canaan (Num. 13), and to bring back to him a report of its actual condition. They at once proceeded on their important errand, and went through the land as far north as the district round Lake Merom. After about six weeks’ absence they returned. Their report was very discouraging, and the people were greatly alarmed, and in a rebellious spirit proposed to elect a new leader and return to Egypt. Only two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, showed themselves on this occasion stout-hearted and faithful. All their appeals and remonstrances were in vain. Moses announced that as a punishment for their rebellion they must now wander in the wilderness till a new generation should arise which would go up and posses the land. The spies had been forty days absent on their expedition, and for each day the Israelites were to be wanderers for a year in the desert. (See ESHCOL.)
Two spies were sent by Joshua “secretly” i.e., unknown to the people (Josh. 2:1), “to view the land and Jericho” after the death of Moses, and just before the tribes under his leadership were about to cross the Jordan. They learned from Rahab (q.v.), in whose house they found a hiding-place, that terror had fallen on all the inhabitants of the land because of the great things they had heard that Jehovah had done for them (Ex. 15:14-16; comp. 23:27; Deut. 2:25; 11:25). As the result of their mission they reported: “Truly Jehovah hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.”
Spikenard (Heb. nerd), a much-valued perfume (Cant. 1:12; 4:13, 14). It was “very precious”, i.e., very costly (Mark 14:3; John 12:3, 5). It is the root of an Indian plant, the Nardostachys jatamansi, of the family of Valeriance, growing on the Himalaya mountains. It is distinguished by its having many hairy spikes shooting out from one root. It is called by the Arabs sunbul Hindi, “the Indian spike.” In the New Testament this word is the rendering of the Greek nardos pistike. The margin of the Revised Version in these passages has “pistic nard,” pistic being perhaps a local name. Some take it to mean genuine, and others liquid. The most probable opinion is that the word pistike designates the nard as genuine or faithfully prepared.
Spirit (Heb. ruah; Gr. pneuma), properly wind or breath. In 2 Thess. 2:8 it means “breath,” and in Eccl. 8:8 the vital principle in man. It also denotes the rational, immortal soul by which man is distinguished (Acts 7:59; 1 Cor. 5:5; 6:20; 7:34), and the soul in its separate state (Heb. 12:23), and hence also an apparition (Job 4:15; Luke 24:37, 39), an angel (Heb. 1:14), and a demon (Luke 4:36; 10:20). This word is used also metaphorically as denoting a tendency (Zech. 12:10; Luke 13:11).
In Rom. 1:4, 1 Tim. 3:16, 2 Cor. 3:17, 1 Pet. 3:18, it designates the divine nature.
Spirit, Holy See HOLY GHOST.
Sponge Occurs only in the narrative of the crucifixion (Matt. 27:48; Mark 15:36; John 19:29). It is ranked as a zoophyte. It is found attached to rocks at the bottom of the sea.
Spouse (Cant. 4:8-12; Hos. 4:13, 14) may denote either husband or wife, but in the Scriptures it denotes only the latter.
Spring (Heb. ain, “the bright open source, the eye of the landscape”). To be carefully distinguished from “well” (q.v.). “Springs” mentioned in Josh. 10:40 (Heb. ashdoth) should rather be “declivities” or “slopes” (R.V.), i.e., the undulating ground lying between the lowlands (the shephelah) and the central range of hills.
Stachys Spike; an ear of corn, a convert at Rome whom Paul salutes (Rom. 16:9).
Stacte (Heb. nataph), one of the components of the perfume which was offered on the golden altar (Ex. 30:34; R.V. marg., “opobalsamum”). The Hebrew word is from a root meaning “to distil,” and it has been by some interpreted as distilled myrrh. Others regard it as the gum of the storax tree, or rather shrub, the Styrax officinale. “The Syrians value this gum highly, and use it medicinally as an emulcent in pectoral complaints, and also in perfumery.”
Stargazers (Isa. 47:13), those who pretend to tell what will occur by looking upon the stars. The Chaldean astrologers “divined by the rising and setting, the motions, aspects, colour, degree of light, etc., of the stars.”
Star, Morning A name figuratively given to Christ (Rev. 22:16; comp. 2 Pet. 1:19). When Christ promises that he will give the “morning star” to his faithful ones, he “promises that he will give to them himself, that he will give to them himself, that he will impart to them his own glory and a share in his own royal dominion; for the star is evermore the symbol of royalty (Matt. 2:2), being therefore linked with the sceptre (Num. 24:17). All the glory of the world shall end in being the glory of the Church.” Trench’s Comm.
Stars The eleven stars (Gen. 37:9); the seven (Amos 5:8); wandering (Jude 1:13); seen in the east at the birth of Christ, probably some luminous meteors miraculously formed for this specific purpose (Matt. 2:2-10); stars worshipped (Deut. 4:19; 2 Kings 17:16; 21:3; Jer. 19:13); spoken of symbolically (Num. 24:17; Rev. 1:16, 20; 12:1). (See ASTROLOGERS.)
Stater Greek word rendered “piece of money” (Matt. 17:27, A.V.; and “shekel” in R.V.). It was equal to two didrachmas (“tribute money,” 17:24), or four drachmas, and to about 2s. 6d. of our money. (See SHEKEL.)
Stealing See THEFT.
Steel The “bow of steel” in (A.V.) 2 Sam. 22:35; Job 20:24; Ps. 18:34 is in the Revised Version “bow of brass” (Heb. kesheth-nehushah). In Jer. 15:12 the same word is used, and is also rendered in the Revised Version “brass.” But more correctly it is copper (q.v.), as brass in the ordinary sense of the word (an alloy of copper and zinc) was not known to the ancients.
Stephanas Crown, a member of the church at Corinth, whose family were among those the apostle had baptized (1 Cor. 1:16; 16:15, 17). He has been supposed by some to have been the “jailer of Philippi” (comp. Acts 16:33). The First Epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi some six years after the jailer’s conversion, and he was with the apostle there at that time.
Stephen One of the seven deacons, who became a preacher of the gospel. He was the first Christian martyr. His personal character and history are recorded in Acts 6. “He fell asleep” with a prayer for his persecutors on his lips (7:60). Devout men carried him to his grave (8:2).
It was at the feet of the young Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, that those who stoned him laid their clothes (comp. Deut. 17:5-7) before they began their cruel work. The scene which Saul then witnessed and the words he heard appear to have made a deep and lasting impression on his mind (Acts 22:19, 20).
The speech of Stephen before the Jewish ruler is the first apology for the universalism of the gospel as a message to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. It is the longest speech contained in the Acts, a place of prominence being given to it as a defence.
Stoics A sect of Greek philosophers at Athens, so called from the Greek word stoa i.e., a “porch” or “portico,” where they have been called “the Pharisees of Greek paganism.” The founder of the Stoics was Zeno, who flourished about B.C. 300. He taught his disciples that a man’s happiness consisted in bringing himself into harmony with the course of the universe. They were trained to bear evils with indifference, and so to be independent of externals. Materialism, pantheism, fatalism, and pride were the leading features of this philosophy.
Stomacher (Isa. 3:24), an article of female attire, probably some sort of girdle around the breast.
Stone Stones were commonly used for buildings, also as memorials of important events (Gen. 28:18; Josh. 24:26, 27; 1 Sam. 7:12, etc.). They were gathered out of cultivated fields (Isa. 5:2; comp. 2 Kings 3:19). This word is also used figuratively of believers (1 Pet. 2:4, 5), and of the Messiah (Ps. 118:22; Isa. 28:16; Matt. 21:42; Acts 4:11, etc.). In Dan. 2:45 it refers also to the Messiah. He is there described as “cut out of the mountain.” (See ROCK.)
A “heart of stone” denotes great insensibility (1 Sam. 25:37).
Stones were set up to commemorate remarkable events, as by Jacob at Bethel (Gen. 28:18), at Padan-aram (35:4), and on the occasion of parting with Laban (31:45-47); by Joshua at the place on the banks of the Jordan where the people first “lodged” after crossing the river (Josh. 6:8), and also in “the midst of Jordan,” where he erected another set of twelve stones (4:1-9); and by Samuel at “Ebenezer” (1 Sam. 7:12).
Stones, Precious Frequently referred to (1 Kings 10:2; 2 Chr. 3:6; 9:10; Rev. 18:16; 21:19). There are about twenty different names of such stones in the Bible. They are figuratively introduced to denote value, beauty, durability (Cant. 5:14; Isa 54:11, 12; Lam. 4:7).
Stoning A form of punishment (Lev. 20:2; 24:14; Deut. 13:10; 17:5; 22:21) prescribed for certain offences. Of Achan (Josh. 7:25), Naboth (1 Kings 21), Stephen (Acts 7:59), Paul (Acts 14:19; 2 Cor. 11:25).
Stork Heb. hasidah, meaning “kindness,” indicating thus the character of the bird, which is noted for its affection for its young. It is in the list of birds forbidden to be eaten by the Levitical law (Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18). It is like the crane, but larger in size. Two species are found in Palestine, the white, which are dispersed in pairs over the whole country; and the black, which live in marshy places and in great flocks. They migrate to Palestine periodically (about the 22nd of March). Jeremiah alludes to this (Jer. 8:7). At the appointed time they return with unerring sagacity to their old haunts, and re-occupy their old nests. “There is a well-authenticated account of the devotion of a stork which, at the burning of the town of Delft, after repeated and unsuccessful attempts to carry off her young, chose rather to remain and perish with them than leave them to their fate. Well might the Romans call it the pia avis!”
In Job 39:13 (A.V.), instead of the expression “or wings and feathers unto the ostrich” (marg., “the feathers of the stork and ostrich”), the Revised Version has “are her pinions and feathers kindly” (marg., instead of “kindly,” reads “like the stork’s”). The object of this somewhat obscure verse seems to be to point out a contrast between the stork, as distinguished for her affection for her young, and the ostrich, as distinguished for her indifference.
Zechariah (5:9) alludes to the beauty and power of the stork’s wings.
Strain at Simply a misprint for “strain out” (Matt. 23:24).
Stranger This word generally denotes a person from a foreign land residing in Palestine. Such persons enjoyed many privileges in common with the Jews, but still were separate from them. The relation of the Jews to strangers was regulated by special laws (Deut. 23:3; 24:14-21; 25:5; 26:10-13). A special signification is also sometimes attached to this word. In Gen. 23:4 it denotes one resident in a foreign land; Ex. 23:9, one who is not a Jew; Num. 3:10, one who is not of the family of Aaron; Ps. 69:8, an alien or an unknown person. The Jews were allowed to purchase strangers as slaves (Lev. 25:44, 45), and to take usury from them (Deut. 23:20).
Straw Used in brick-making (Ex. 5:7-18). Used figuratively in Job 41:27; Isa. 11:7; 25:10; 65:25.
Stream of Egypt (Isa. 27:12), the Wady el-Arish, called also “the river of Egypt,” R.V., “brook of Egypt” (Num. 34:5; Josh. 15:4; 2 Kings 24:7). It is the natural boundary of Egypt. Occasionally in winter, when heavy rains have fallen among the mountains inland, it becomes a turbulent rushing torrent. The present boundary between Egypt and Palestine is about midway between el-Arish and Gaza.
Street The street called “Straight” at Damascus (Acts 9:11) is “a long broad street, running from east to west, about a mile in length, and forming the principal thoroughfare in the city.” In Oriental towns streets are usually narrow and irregular and filthy (Ps. 18:42; Isa. 10:6). “It is remarkable,” says Porter, “that all the important cities of Palestine and Syria Samaria, Caesarea, Gerasa, Bozrah, Damascus, Palmyra, had their straight streets’ running through the centre of the city, and lined with stately rows of columns. The most perfect now remaining are those of Palmyra and Gerasa, where long ranges of the columns still stand.”, Through Samaria, etc.
Stripes As a punishment were not to exceed forty (Deut. 25:1-3), and hence arose the custom of limiting them to thirty-nine (2 Cor. 11:24). Paul claimed the privilege of a Roman citizen in regard to the infliction of stripes (Acts 16:37, 38; 22:25-29). Our Lord was beaten with stripes (Matt. 27:26).
Subscriptions The subscriptions to Paul’s epistles are no part of the original. In their present form they are ascribed to Euthalius, a bishop of the fifth century. Some of them are obviously incorrect.
Suburbs The immediate vicinity of a city or town (Num. 35:3, 7; Ezek. 45:2). In 2 Kings 23:11 the Hebrew word there used (parvarim) occurs nowhere else. The Revised Version renders it “precincts.” The singular form of this Hebrew word (parvar) is supposed by some to be the same as Parbar (q.v.), which occurs twice in 1 Chr. 26:18.
Succoth Booths. (1.) The first encampment of the Israelites after leaving Ramesses (Ex. 12:37); the civil name of Pithom (q.v.).
(2.) A city on the east of Jordan, identified with Tell Dar’ala, a high mound, a mass of debris, in the plain north of Jabbok and about one mile from it (Josh. 13:27). Here Jacob (Gen. 32:17, 30; 33:17), on his return from Padan-aram after his interview with Esau, built a house for himself and made booths for his cattle. The princes of this city churlishly refused to afford help to Gideon and his 300 men when “faint yet pursuing” they followed one of the bands of the fugitive Midianites after the great victory at Gilboa. After overtaking and routing this band at Karkor, Gideon on his return visited the rulers of the city with severe punishment. “He took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth” (Judg. 8:13-16). At this place were erected the foundries for casting the metal-work for the temple (1 Kings 7:46).
Succoth-benoth Tents of daughters, supposed to be the name of a Babylonian deity, the goddess Zir-banit, the wife of Merodach, worshipped by the colonists in Samaria (2 Kings 17:30).
Sukkiims Dwellers in tents, (Vulg. and LXX., “troglodites;” i.e., cave-dwellers in the hills along the Red Sea). Shiskak’s army, with which he marched against Jerusalem, was composed partly of this tribe (2 Chr. 12:3).
Sun (Heb. shemesh), first mentioned along with the moon as the two great luminaries of heaven (Gen. 1:14-18). By their motions and influence they were intended to mark and divide times and seasons. The worship of the sun was one of the oldest forms of false religion (Job 31:26, 27), and was common among the Egyptians and Chaldeans and other pagan nations. The Jews were warned against this form of idolatry (Deut. 4:19; 17:3; comp. 2 Kings 23:11; Jer. 19:13).
Suph (Deut. 1:1, R.V.; marg., “some ancient versions have the Red Sea,” as in the A.V.). Some identify it with Suphah (Num. 21:14, marg., A.V.) as probably the name of a place. Others identify it with es-Sufah = Maaleh-acrabbim (Josh. 15:3), and others again with Zuph (1 Sam. 9:5). It is most probable, however, that, in accordance with the ancient versions, this word is to be regarded as simply an abbreviation of Yam-suph, i.e., the “Red Sea.”
Suphah (Num. 21:14, marg.; also R.V.), a place at the south-eastern corner of the Dead Sea, the Ghor es-Safieh. This name is found in an ode quoted from the “Book of the Wars of the Lord,” probably a collection of odes commemorating the triumphs of God’s people (comp. 21:14, 17, 18, 27-30).
Supper The principal meal of the day among the Jews. It was partaken of in the early part of the evening (Mark 6:21; John 12:2; 1 Cor. 11:21). (See LORD’S SUPPER.)
Surety One who becomes responsible for another. Christ is the surety of the better covenant (Heb. 7:22). In him we have the assurance that all its provisions will be fully and faithfully carried out. Solomon warns against incautiously becoming security for another (Prov. 6:1-5; 11:15; 17:18; 20:16).
Susanchites The inhabitants of Shushan, who joined the other adversaries of the Jews in the attempt to prevent the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 4:9).
Susanna Lily, with other pious women, ministered to Jesus (Luke 8:3).
Susi The father of Gaddi, who was one of the twelve spies (Num. 13:11).
Swallow (1.) Heb. sis (Isa. 38:14; Jer. 8:7), the Arabic for the swift, which “is a regular migrant, returning in myriads every spring, and so suddenly that while one day not a swift can be seen in the country, on the next they have overspread the whole land, and fill the air with their shrill cry.” The swift (cypselus) is ordinarily classed with the swallow, which it resembles in its flight, habits, and migration.
(2.) Heb. deror, i.e., “the bird of freedom” (Ps. 84:3; Prov. 26:2), properly rendered swallow, distinguished for its swiftness of flight, its love of freedom, and the impossibility of retaining it in captivity. In Isa. 38:14 and Jer. 8:7 the word thus rendered (augr) properly means “crane” (as in the R.V.).
Swan Mentioned in the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11:18; Deut. 14:16), is sometimes met with in the Jordan and the Sea of Galilee.
Swelling Of Jordan (Jer. 12:5), literally the “pride” of Jordan (as in R.V.), i.e., the luxuriant thickets of tamarisks, poplars, reeds, etc., which were the lair of lions and other beasts of prey. The reference is not to the overflowing of the river banks. (Comp. 49:19; 50:44; Zech. 11:3).
Swine (Heb. hazir), regarded as the most unclean and the most abhorred of all animals (Lev. 11:7; Isa. 65:4; 66:3, 17; Luke 15:15, 16). A herd of swine were drowned in the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:32, 33). Spoken of figuratively in Matt. 7:6 (see Prov. 11:22). It is frequently mentioned as a wild animal, and is evidently the wild boar (Arab. khanzir), which is common among the marshes of the Jordan valley (Ps. 80:13).
Sword Of the Hebrew was pointed, sometimes two-edged, was worn in a sheath, and suspended from the girdle (Ex. 32:27; 1 Sam. 31:4; 1 Chr. 21:27; Ps. 149:6: Prov. 5:4; Ezek. 16:40; 21:3-5).
It is a symbol of divine chastisement (Deut. 32:25; Ps. 7:12; 78:62), and of a slanderous tongue (Ps. 57:4; 64:3; Prov. 12:18). The word of God is likened also to a sword (Heb. 4:12; Eph. 6:17; Rev. 1:16). Gideon’s watchword was, “The sword of the Lord” (Judg. 7:20).
Sycamine tree Mentioned only in Luke 17:6. It is rendered by Luther “mulberry tree” (q.v.), which is most probably the correct rendering. It is found of two species, the black mulberry (Morus nigra) and the white mulberry (Mourea), which are common in Palestine. The silk-worm feeds on their leaves. The rearing of them is one of the chief industries of the peasantry of Lebanon and of other parts of the land. It is of the order of the fig-tree. Some contend, however, that this name denotes the sycamore-fig of Luke 19:4.
Sycamore More properly sycomore (Heb. shikmoth and shikmim, Gr. sycomoros), a tree which in its general character resembles the fig-tree, while its leaves resemble those of the mulberry; hence it is called the fig-mulberry (Ficus sycomorus). At Jericho, Zacchaeus climbed a sycomore-tree to see Jesus as he passed by (Luke 19:4). This tree was easily destroyed by frost (Ps. 78:47), and therefore it is found mostly in the “vale” (1 Kings 10:27; 2 Chr. 1:15: in both passages the R.V. has properly “lowland”), i.e., the “low country,” the shephelah, where the climate is mild. Amos (7:14) refers to its fruit, which is of an inferior character; so also probably Jeremiah (24:2). It is to be distinguished from our sycamore (the Acer pseudo-platanus), which is a species of maple often called a plane-tree.
Sychar Liar or drunkard (see Isa. 28:1, 7), has been from the time of the Crusaders usually identified with Sychem or Shechem (John 4:5). It has now, however, as the result of recent explorations, been identified with Askar, a small Samaritan town on the southern base of Ebal, about a mile to the north of Jacob’s well.
Sychem See SHECHEM.
Syene Opening (Ezek. 29:10; 30:6), a town of Egypt, on the borders of Ethiopia, now called Assouan, on the right bank of the Nile, notable for its quarries of beautiful red granite called “syenite.” It was the frontier town of Egypt in the south, as Migdol was in the north-east.
Synagogue (Gr. sunagoge, i.e., “an assembly”), found only once in the Authorized Version of Ps. 74:8, where the margin of Revised Version has “places of assembly,” which is probably correct; for while the origin of synagogues is unknown, it may well be supposed that buildings or tents for the accommodation of worshippers may have existed in the land from an early time, and thus the system of synagogues would be gradually developed.
Some, however, are of opinion that it was specially during the Babylonian captivity that the system of synagogue worship, if not actually introduced, was at least reorganized on a systematic plan (Ezek. 8:1; 14:1). The exiles gathered together for the reading of the law and the prophets as they had opportunity, and after their return synagogues were established all over the land (Ezra 8:15; Neh. 8:2). In after years, when the Jews were dispersed abroad, wherever they went they erected synagogues and kept up the stated services of worship (Acts 9:20; 13:5; 17:1; 17:17; 18:4). The form and internal arrangements of the synagogue would greatly depend on the wealth of the Jews who erected it, and on the place where it was built. “Yet there are certain traditional pecularities which have doubtless united together by a common resemblance the Jewish synagogues of all ages and countries. The arrangements for the women’s place in a separate gallery or behind a partition of lattice-work; the desk in the centre, where the reader, like Ezra in ancient days, from his pulpit of wood,’ may open the book in the sight of all of people and read in the book of the law of God distinctly, and give the sense, and cause them to understand the reading’ (Neh. 8:4, 8); the carefully closed ark on the side of the building nearest to Jerusalem, for the preservation of the rolls or manuscripts of the law; the seats all round the building, whence the eyes of all them that are in the synagogue’ may be fastened’ on him who speaks (Luke 4:20); the chief seats’ (Matt. 23:6) which were appropriated to the ‘ruler’ or rulers’ of the synagogue, according as its organization may have been more or less complete;”, these were features common to all the synagogues.
Where perfected into a system, the services of the synagogue, which were at the same hours as those of the temple, consisted, (1) of prayer, which formed a kind of liturgy, there were in all eighteen prayers; (2) the reading of the Scriptures in certain definite portions; and (3) the exposition of the portions read. (See Luke 4:15, 22; Acts 13:14.)
The synagogue was also sometimes used as a court of judicature, in which the rulers presided (Matt. 10:17; Mark 5:22; Luke 12:11; 21:12; Acts 13:15; 22:19); also as public schools.
The establishment of synagogues wherever the Jews were found in sufficient numbers helped greatly to keep alive Israel’s hope of the coming of the Messiah, and to prepare the way for the spread of the gospel in other lands. The worship of the Christian Church was afterwards modelled after that of the synagogue.
Christ and his disciples frequently taught in the synagogues (Matt. 13:54; Mark 6:2; John 18:20; Acts 13:5, 15, 44; 14:1; 17:2-4, 10, 17; 18:4, 26; 19:8).
To be “put out of the synagogue,” a phrase used by John (9:22; 12:42; 16:2), means to be excommunicated.
Syntyche Fortunate; affable, a female member of the church at Philippi, whom Paul beseeches to be of one mind with Euodias (Phil. 4:2, 3).
Syracuse A city on the south-east coast of Sicily, where Paul landed and remained three days when on his way to Rome (Acts 28:12). It was distinguished for its magnitude and splendour. It is now a small town of some 13,000 inhabitants.
Syria (Heb. Aram), the name in the Old Testament given to the whole country which lay to the north-east of Phoenicia, extending to beyond the Euphrates and the Tigris. Mesopotamia is called (Gen. 24:10; Deut. 23:4) Aram-naharain (=Syria of the two rivers), also Padan-aram (Gen. 25:20). Other portions of Syria were also known by separate names, as Aram-maahah (1 Chr. 19:6), Aram-beth-rehob (2 Sam. 10:6), Aram-zobah (2 Sam. 10:6, 8). All these separate little kingdoms afterwards became subject to Damascus. In the time of the Romans, Syria included also a part of Palestine and Asia Minor.
“From the historic annals now accessible to us, the history of Syria may be divided into three periods: The first, the period when the power of the Pharaohs was dominant over the fertile fields or plains of Syria and the merchant cities of Tyre and Sidon, and when such mighty conquerors as Thothmes III. and Rameses II. could claim dominion and levy tribute from the nations from the banks of the Euphrates to the borders of the Libyan desert. Second, this was followed by a short period of independence, when the Jewish nation in the south was growing in power, until it reached its early zenith in the golden days of Solomon; and when Tyre and Sidon were rich cities, sending their traders far and wide, over land and sea, as missionaries of civilization, while in the north the confederate tribes of the Hittites held back the armies of the kings of Assyria. The third, and to us most interesting, period is that during which the kings of Assyria were dominant over the plains of Syria; when Tyre, Sidon, Ashdod, and Jerusalem bowed beneath the conquering armies of Shalmaneser, Sargon, and Sennacherib; and when at last Memphis and Thebes yielded to the power of the rulers of Nineveh and Babylon, and the kings of Assyria completed with terrible fulness the bruising of the reed of Egypt so clearly foretold by the Hebrew prophets.”, Boscawen.
Syriac (2 Kings 18:26; Ezra 4:7; Dan. 2:4), more correctly rendered “Aramaic,” including both the Syriac and the Chaldee languages. In the New Testament there are several Syriac words, such as “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” (Mark 15:34; Matt. 27:46 gives the Heb. form, “Eli, Eli”), “Raca” (Matt. 5:22), “Ephphatha” (Mark 7:34), “Maran-atha” (1 Cor. 16:22).
A Syriac version of the Old Testament, containing all the canonical books, along with some apocryphal books (called the Peshitto, i.e., simple translation, and not a paraphrase), was made early in the second century, and is therefore the first Christian translation of the Old Testament. It was made directly from the original, and not from the LXX. Version. The New Testament was also translated from Greek into Syriac about the same time. It is noticeable that this version does not contain the Second and Third Epistles of John, 2 Peter, Jude, and the Apocalypse. These were, however, translated subsequently and placed in the version. (See VERSION.)
Syrophenician “a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation” (Mark 7:26), i.e., a Gentile born in the Phoenician part of Syria. (See PHENICIA.)
When our Lord retired into the borderland of Tyre and Sidon (Matt. 15:21), a Syro-phoenician woman came to him, and earnestly besought him, in behalf of her daughter, who was grievously afflicted with a demon. Her faith in him was severely tested by his silence (Matt. 15:23), refusal (24), and seeming reproach that it was not meet to cast the children’s bread to dogs (26). But it stood the test, and her petition was graciously granted, because of the greatness of her faith (28).