Some have argued from 2 Cor. 12:14; 13:1, that Paul visited Corinth a third time (i.e., that on some unrecorded occasion he visited the city between what are usually called the first and second visits). But the passages referred to only indicate Paul's intention to visit Corinth (comp. 1 Cor. 16:5, where the Greek present tense denotes an intention), an intention which was in some way frustrated. We can hardly suppose that such a visit could have been made by the apostle without more distinct reference to it.
The news which had reached him, however, from Corinth frustrated his plan. He had heard of the abuses and contentions that had arisen among them, first from Apollos (Acts 19:1), and then from a letter they had written him on the subject, and also from some of the "household of Chloe," and from Stephanas and his two friends who had visited him (1 Cor. 1:11; 16:17). Paul thereupon wrote this letter, for the purpose of checking the factious spirit and correcting the erroneous opinions that had sprung up among them, and remedying the many abuses and disorderly practices that prevailed. Titus and a brother whose name is not given were probably the bearers of the letter (2 Cor. 2:13; 8:6, 16-18).
(1.) The apostle deals with the subject of the lamentable divisions and party strifes that had arisen among them (1 Cor. 1-4).
(3.) In the third part he discusses various questions of doctrine and of Christian ethics in reply to certain communications they had made to him. He especially rectifies certain flagrant abuses regarding the celebration of the Lord's supper (7-14).
(4.) The concluding part (15; 16) contains an elaborate defense of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, which had been called in question by some among them, followed by some general instructions, intimations, and greetings.
This epistle "shows the powerful self-control of the apostle in spite of his physical weakness, his distressed circumstances, his incessant troubles, and his emotional nature. It was written, he tells us, in bitter anguish, 'out of much affliction and pressure of heart...and with streaming eyes' (2 Cor. 2:4); yet he restrained the expression of his feelings, and wrote with a dignity and holy calm which he thought most calculated to win back his erring children. It gives a vivid picture of the early church...It entirely dissipates the dream that the apostolic church was in an exceptional condition of holiness of life or purity of doctrine." The apostle in this epistle unfolds and applies great principles fitted to guide the church of all ages in dealing with the same and kindred evils in whatever form they may appear.
The subscription to this epistle states erroneously in the Authorized Version that it was written at Philippi. This error arose from a mistranslation of 1 Cor. 16:5, "For I do pass through Macedonia," which was interpreted as meaning, "I am passing through Macedonia." In 16:8 he declares his intention of remaining some time longer in Ephesus. After that, his purpose is to "pass through Macedonia."
(1.) Paul speaks of his spiritual labours and course of life, and expresses his warm affection toward the Corinthians (2 Cor. 1-7).
This epistle, it has been well said, shows the individuallity of the apostle more than any other. "Human weakness, spiritual strength, the deepest tenderness of affection, wounded feeling, sternness, irony, rebuke, impassioned self-vindication, humility, a just self-respect, zeal for the welfare of the weak and suffering, as well as for the progress of the church of Christ and for the spiritual advancement of its members, are all displayed in turn in the course of his appeal."--Lias, Second Corinthians.
Of the effects produced on the Corinthian church by this epistle we have no definite information. We know that Paul visited Corinth after he had written it (Acts 20:2, 3), and that on that occasion he tarried there for three months. In his letter to Rome, written at this time, he sent salutations from some of the principal members of the church to the Romans.
In Isa. 34:11, Zeph. 2:14 (but in R.V., "pelican") the Hebrew word rendered by this name is ka'ath. It is translated "pelican" (q.v.) in Ps. 102:6. The word literally means the "vomiter," and the pelican is so called from its vomiting the shells and other things which it has voraciously swallowed. (See PELICAN.)
In Gen. 41:35, 49, Prov. 11:26, Joel 2:24 ("wheat"), the word thus translated (bar; i.e., "winnowed") means corn purified from chaff. With this corresponds the use of the word in the New Testament (Matt. 3:12; Luke 3:17; Acts 7:12). In Ps. 65:13 it means "growing corn."
Corner-stone (Job 38:6; Isa. 28:16), a block of great importance in binding together the sides of a building. The "head of the corner" (Ps. 118:22, 23) denotes the coping, the "coign of vantage", i.e., the topstone of a building. But the word "corner stone" is sometimes used to denote some person of rank and importance (Isa. 28:16). It is applied to our Lord, who was set in highest honour (Matt. 21:42). He is also styled "the chief corner stone" (Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:6-8). When Zechariah (10:4), speaking of Judah, says, "Out of him came forth the corner," he is probably to be understood as ultimately referring to the Messiah as the "corner stone." (See TEMPLE, SOLOMON'S.)
(2.) A lodging-place (rendered "lodge" in Isa. 1:8); a slighter structure than the "booth," as the cucumber patch is more temporary than a vineyard (Isa. 24:20). It denotes a frail structure of boughs supported on a few poles, which is still in use in the East, or a hammock suspended between trees, in which the watchman was accustomed to sleep during summer.
The Jewish councils were the Sanhedrim, or supreme council of the nation, which had subordinate to it smaller tribunals (the "judgment," perhaps, in Matt. 5:21, 22) in the cities of Palestine (Matt. 10:17; Mark 13:9). In the time of Christ the functions of the Sanhedrim were limited (John 16:2; 2 Cor. 11:24). In Ps. 68:27 the word "council" means simply a company of persons. (R.V. marg., "company.")
In ecclesiastical history the word is used to denote an assembly of pastors or bishops for the discussion and regulation of church affairs. The first of these councils was that of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem, of which we have a detailed account in Acts 15.
(1.) He divided the priests into twenty-four courses (1 Chr. 24:1-19), sixteen being of the house of Eleazar and eight of that of Ithamar. Each course was under a head or chief, and ministered for a week, the order being determined by lot. (2.) The rest of the 38,000 Levites (23:4) were divided also into twenty-four courses, each to render some allotted service in public worship: 4,000 in twenty-four courses were set apart as singers and musicians under separate leaders (25); 4,000 as porters or keepers of the doors and gates of the sanctuary (26:1-19); and 6,000 as officers and judges to see to the administration of the law in all civil and ecclesiastical matters (20-32).
This arrangement was re-established by Hezekiah (2 Chr. 31:2); and afterwards the four sacerdotal courses which are said to have returned from the Captivity were re-divided into the original number of twenty-four by Ezra (6:18).
The corresponding word in the New Testament Greek is diatheke, which is, however, rendered "testament" generally in the Authorized Version. It ought to be rendered, just as the word berith of the Old Testament, "covenant."
This word is used (1) of a covenant or compact between man and man (Gen. 21:32), or between tribes or nations (1 Sam. 11:1; Josh. 9:6, 15). In entering into a convenant, Jehovah was solemnly called on to witness the transaction (Gen. 31:50), and hence it was called a "covenant of the Lord" (1 Sam. 20:8). The marriage compact is called "the covenant of God" (Prov. 2:17), because the marriage was made in God's name. Wicked men are spoken of as acting as if they had made a "covenant with death" not to destroy them, or with hell not to devour them (Isa. 28:15, 18).
(2.) The word is used with reference to God's revelation of himself in the way of promise or of favour to men. Thus God's promise to Noah after the Flood is called a covenant (Gen. 9; Jer. 33:20, "my covenant"). We have an account of God's covernant with Abraham (Gen. 17, comp. Lev. 26:42), of the covenant of the priesthood (Num. 25:12, 13; Deut. 33:9; Neh. 13:29), and of the covenant of Sinai (Ex. 34:27, 28; Lev. 26:15), which was afterwards renewed at different times in the history of Israel (Deut. 29; Josh. 1:24; 2 Chr. 15; 23; 29; 34; Ezra 10; Neh. 9). In conformity with human custom, God's covenant is said to be confirmed with an oath (Deut. 4:31; Ps. 89:3), and to be accompanied by a sign (Gen. 9; 17). Hence the covenant is called God's "counsel," "oath," "promise" (Ps. 89:3, 4; 105:8-11; Heb. 6:13-20; Luke 1:68-75). God's covenant consists wholly in the bestowal of blessing (Isa. 59:21; Jer. 31:33, 34).
The term covenant is also used to designate the regular succession of day and night (Jer. 33:20), the Sabbath (Ex. 31:16), circumcision (Gen. 17:9, 10), and in general any ordinance of God (Jer. 34:13, 14).
(1.) The contracting parties were (a) God the moral Governor, and (b) Adam, a free moral agent, and representative of all his natural posterity (Rom. 5:12-19). (2.) The promise was "life" (Matt. 19:16, 17; Gal. 3:12). (3.) The condition was perfect obedience to the law, the test in this case being abstaining from eating the fruit of the "tree of knowledge," etc. (4.) The penalty was death (Gen. 2:16, 17).
This covenant is also called a covenant of nature, as made with man in his natural or unfallen state; a covenant of life, because "life" was the promise attached to obedience; and a legal covenant, because it demanded perfect obedience to the law.
This covenant is abrogated under the gospel, inasmuch as Christ has fulfilled all its conditions in behalf of his people, and now offers salvation on the condition of faith. It is still in force, however, as it rests on the immutable justice of God, and is binding on all who have not fled to Christ and accepted his righteousness.
CONVENANT OF GRACE, the eternal plan of redemption entered into by the three persons of the Godhead, and carried out by them in its several parts. In it the Father represented the Godhead in its indivisible sovereignty, and the Son his people as their surety (John 17:4, 6, 9; Isa. 42:6; Ps. 89:3).
(1.) On the part of the Father (a) all needful preparation to the Son for the accomplishment of his work (Heb. 10:5; Isa. 42:1-7); (b) support in the work (Luke 22:43); and (c) a glorious reward in the exaltation of Christ when his work was done (Phil. 2:6-11), his investiture with universal dominion (John 5:22; Ps. 110:1), his having the administration of the covenant committed into his hands (Matt. 28:18; John 1:12; 17:2; Acts 2:33), and in the final salvation of all his people (Isa. 35:10; 53:10, 11; Jer. 31:33; Titus 1:2). (2.) On the part of the Son the conditions were (a) his becoming incarnate (Gal. 4:4, 5); and (b) as the second Adam his representing all his people, assuming their place and undertaking all their obligations under the violated covenant of works; (c) obeying the law (Ps. 40:8; Isa. 42:21; John 9:4, 5), and (d) suffering its penalty (Isa. 53; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13), in their stead.
Traditions of the creation, disfigured by corruptions, are found among the records of ancient Eastern nations. (See ACCAD.) A peculiar interest belongs to the traditions of the Accadians, the primitive inhabitants of the plains of Lower Mesopotamia. These within the last few years have been brought to light in the tablets and cylinders which have been rescued from the long-buried palaces and temples of Assyria. They bear a remarkable resemblance to the record of Genesis.
After the conversion, so-called, of Constantine the Great (B.C. 313), the cross first came into use as an emblem of Christianity. He pretended at a critical moment that he saw a flaming cross in the heavens bearing the inscription, "In hoc signo vinces", i.e., By this sign thou shalt conquer, and that on the following night Christ himself appeared and ordered him to take for his standard the sign of this cross. In this form a new standard, called the Labarum, was accordingly made, and borne by the Roman armies. It remained the standard of the Roman army till the downfall of the Western empire. It bore the embroidered monogram of Christ, i.e., the first two Greek letters of his name, X and P (chi and rho), with the Alpha and Omega. (See A.)
(2.) The more general name in Hebrew for a crown is 'atarah, meaning a "circlet." This is used of crowns and head ornaments of divers kinds, including royal crowns. Such was the crown taken from the king of Ammon by David (2 Sam. 12:30). The crown worn by the Assyrian kings was a high mitre, sometimes adorned with flowers. There are sculptures also representing the crowns worn by the early Egyptian and Persian kings. Sometimes a diadem surrounded the royal head-dress of two or three fillets. This probably signified that the wearer had dominion over two or three countries. In Rev. 12:3; 13:1, we read of "many crowns," a token of extended dominion.
(3.) The ancient Persian crown (Esther 1:11; 2:17; 6:8) was called kether; i.e., "a chaplet," a high cap or tiara. Crowns were worn sometimes to represent honour and power (Ezek. 23:42). They were worn at marriages (Cant. 3:11; Isa. 61:10, "ornaments;" R.V., "a garland"), and at feasts and public festivals.
The crown was among the Romans and Greeks a symbol of victory and reward. The crown or wreath worn by the victors in the Olympic games was made of leaves of the wild olive; in the Pythian games, of laurel; in the Nemean games, of parsley; and in the Isthmian games, of the pine. The Romans bestowed the "civic crown" on him who saved the life of a citizen. It was made of the leaves of the oak. In opposition to all these fading crowns the apostles speak of the incorruptible crown, the crown of life (James 1:12; Rev. 2:10) "that fadeth not away" (1 Pet. 5:4, Gr. amarantinos; comp. 1:4). Probably the word "amaranth" was applied to flowers we call "everlasting," the "immortal amaranth."
This punishment began by subjecting the sufferer to scourging. In the case of our Lord, however, his scourging was rather before the sentence was passed upon him, and was inflicted by Pilate for the purpose, probably, of exciting pity and procuring his escape from further punishment (Luke 23:22; John 19:1).
The condemned one carried his own cross to the place of execution, which was outside the city, in some conspicuous place set apart for the purpose. Before the nailing to the cross took place, a medicated cup of vinegar mixed with gall and myrrh (the sopor) was given, for the purpose of deadening the pangs of the sufferer. Our Lord refused this cup, that his senses might be clear (Matt. 27:34). The spongeful of vinegar, sour wine, posca, the common drink of the Roman soldiers, which was put on a hyssop stalk and offered to our Lord in contemptuous pity (Matt. 27:48; Luke 23:36), he tasted to allay the agonies of his thirst (John 19:29). The accounts given of the crucifixion of our Lord are in entire agreement with the customs and practices of the Roman in such cases. He was crucified between two "malefactors" (Isa. 53:12; Luke 23:32), and was watched by a party of four soldiers (John 19:23; Matt. 27:36, 54), with their centurion. The "breaking of the legs" of the malefactors was intended to hasten death, and put them out of misery (John 19:31); but the unusual rapidity of our Lord's death (19:33) was due to his previous sufferings and his great mental anguish. The omission of the breaking of his legs was the fulfilment of a type (Ex. 12:46). He literally died of a broken heart, a ruptured heart, and hence the flowing of blood and water from the wound made by the soldier's spear (John 19:34). Our Lord uttered seven memorable words from the cross, namely, (1) Luke 23:34; (2) 23:43; (3) John 19:26; (4) Matt. 27:46, Mark 15:34; (5) John 19:28; (6) 19:30; (7) Luke 23:46.
Isaiah speaks of a "lodge" (1:8; Heb. sukkah), i.e., a shed or edifice more solid than a booth, for the protection throughout the season from spring to autumn of the watchers in a "garden of cucumbers."
The "cup of salvation" (Ps. 116:13) is the cup of thanksgiving for the great salvation. The "cup of consolation" (Jer. 16:7) refers to the custom of friends sending viands and wine to console relatives in mourning (Prov. 31:6). In 1 Cor. 10:16, the "cup of blessing" is contrasted with the "cup of devils" (1 Cor. 10:21). The sacramental cup is the "cup of blessing," because of blessing pronounced over it (Matt. 26:27; Luke 22:17). The "portion of the cup" (Ps. 11:6; 16:5) denotes one's condition of life, prosperous or adverse. A "cup" is also a type of sensual allurement (Jer. 51:7; Prov. 23:31; Rev. 17:4). We read also of the "cup of astonishment," the "cup of trembling," and the "cup of God's wrath" (Ps. 75:8; Isa. 51:17; Jer. 25:15; Lam. 4:21; Ezek. 23:32; Rev. 16:19; comp. Matt. 26:39, 42; John 18:11). The cup is also the symbol of death (Matt. 16:28; Mark 9:1; Heb. 2:9).
No one on pain of death shall curse father or mother (Ex. 21:17), nor the prince of his people (22:28), nor the deaf (Lev. 19:14). Cursing God or blaspheming was punishable by death (Lev. 24:10-16). The words "curse God and die" (R.V., "renounce God and die"), used by Job's wife (Job 2:9), have been variously interpreted. Perhaps they simply mean that as nothing but death was expected, God would by this cursing at once interpose and destroy Job, and so put an end to his sufferings.
(2.) The sacred curtain, separating the holy of holies from the sanctuary, is designated by a different Hebrew word (peroketh). It is described as a "veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work" (Ex. 26:31; Lev. 16:2; Num. 18:7).
(3.) "Stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain" (Isa. 40:22), is an expression used with reference to the veil or awning which Orientals spread for a screen over their courts in summer. According to the prophet, the heavens are spread over our heads as such an awning. Similar expressions are found in Ps. 104:2l; comp. Isa. 44:24; Job 9:8.
(1.) A son, probably the eldest, of Ham, and the father of Nimrod (Gen. 10:8; 1 Chr. 1:10). From him the land of Cush seems to have derived its name. The question of the precise locality of the land of Cush has given rise to not a little controversy. The second river of Paradise surrounded the whole land of Cush (Gen. 2:13, R.V.). The term Cush is in the Old Testament generally applied to the countries south of the Israelites. It was the southern limit of Egypt (Ezek. 29:10, A.V. "Ethiopia," Heb. Cush), with which it is generally associated (Ps. 68:31; Isa. 18:1; Jer. 46:9, etc.). It stands also associated with Elam (Isa. 11:11), with Persia (Ezek. 38:5), and with the Sabeans (Isa. 45:14). From these facts it has been inferred that Cush included Arabia and the country on the west coast of the Red Sea. Rawlinson takes it to be the country still known as Khuzi-stan, on the east side of the Lower Tigris. But there are intimations which warrant the conclusion that there was also a Cush in Africa, the Ethiopia (so called by the Greeks) of Africa. Ezekiel speaks (29:10; comp. 30:4-6) of it as lying south of Egypt. It was the country now known to us as Nubia and Abyssinia (Isa. 18:1; Zeph. 3:10, Heb. Cush). In ancient Egyptian inscriptions Ethiopia is termed Kesh. The Cushites appear to have spread along extensive tracts, stretching from the Upper Nile to the Euphrates and Tigris. At an early period there was a stream of migration of Cushites "from Ethiopia, properly so called, through Arabia, Babylonia, and Persia, to Western India." The Hamite races, soon after their arrival in Africa, began to spread north, east, and west. Three branches of the Cushite or Ethiopian stock, moving from Western Asia, settled in the regions contiguous to the Persian Gulf. One branch, called the Cossaeans, settled in the mountainous district on the east of the Tigris, known afterwards as Susiana; another occupied the lower regions of the Euphrates and the Tigris; while a third colonized the southern shores and islands of the gulf, whence they afterwards emigrated to the Mediterranean and settled on the coast of Palestine as the Phoenicians. Nimrod was a great Cushite chief. He conquered the Accadians, a Tauranian race, already settled in Mesopotamia, and founded his kingdom, the Cushites mingling with the Accads, and so forming the Chaldean nation.
(2.) A Benjamite of this name is mentioned in the title of Ps. 7. "Cush was probably a follower of Saul, the head of his tribe, and had sought the friendship of David for the purpose of 'rewarding evil to him that was at peace with him.'"
A tax or tribute (q.v.) of half a shekel was annually paid by every adult Jew for the temple. It had to be paid in Jewish coin (Matt. 22:17-19; Mark 12:14, 15). Money-changers (q.v.) were necessary, to enable the Jews who came up to Jerusalem at the feasts to exchange their foreign coin for Jewish money; but as it was forbidden by the law to carry on such a traffic for emolument (Deut. 23:19, 20), our Lord drove them from the temple (Matt. 21:12: Mark 11:15).
Allusions are made in Revelation (13:16; 17:5; 19:20) to the practice of printing marks on the body, to indicate allegiance to a deity. We find also references to it, through in a different direction, by Paul (Gal. 6; 7) and by Ezekiel (9:4). (See HAIR.)
It is first mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 4:36) as the native place of Barnabas. It was the scene of Paul's first missionary labours (13:4-13), when he and Barnabas and John Mark were sent forth by the church of Antioch. It was afterwards visited by Barnabas and Mark alone (15:39). Mnason, an "old disciple," probaly one of the converts of the day of Pentecost belonging to this island, is mentioned (21:16). It is also mentioned in connection with the voyages of Paul (Acts 21:3; 27:4). After being under the Turks for three hundred years, it was given up to the British Government in 1878.
Hitherto the great kings of the earth had only oppressed the Jews. Cyrus was to them as a "shepherd" (Isa. 44:28; 45:1). God employed him in doing service to his ancient people. He may posibly have gained, through contact with the Jews, some knowledge of their religion.
The "first year of Cyrus" (Ezra 1:1) is not the year of his elevation to power over the Medes, nor over the Persians, nor the year of the fall of Babylon, but the year succeeding the two years during which "Darius the Mede" was viceroy in Babylon after its fall. At this time only (B.C. 536) Cyrus became actual king over Palestine, which became a part of his Babylonian empire. The edict of Cyrus for the rebuilding of Jerusalem marked a great epoch in the history of the Jewish people (2 Chr. 36:22, 23; Ezra 1:1-4; 4:3; 5:13-17; 6:3-5).
This decree was discovered "at Achmetha [R.V. marg., "Ecbatana"], in the palace that is in the province of the Medes" (Ezra 6:2). A chronicle drawn up just after the conquest of Babylonia by Cyrus, gives the history of the reign of Nabonidus (Nabunahid), the last king of Babylon, and of the fall of the Babylonian empire. In B.C. 538 there was a revolt in Southern Babylonia, while the army of Cyrus entered the country from the north. In June the Babylonian army was completely defeated at Opis, and immediately afterwards Sippara opened its gates to the conqueror. Gobryas (Ugbaru), the governor of Kurdistan, was then sent to Babylon, which surrendered "without fighting," and the daily services in the temples continued without a break. In October, Cyrus himself arrived, and proclaimed a general amnesty, which was communicated by Gobryas to "all the province of Babylon," of which he had been made governor. Meanwhile, Nabonidus, who had concealed himself, was captured, but treated honourably; and when his wife died, Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, conducted the funeral. Cyrus now assumed the title of "king of Babylon," claimed to be the descendant of the ancient kings, and made rich offerings to the temples. At the same time he allowed the foreign populations who had been deported to Babylonia to return to their old homes, carrying with them the images of their gods. Among these populations were the Jews, who, as they had no images, took with them the sacred vessels of the temple.
The situation of this city is said to be the most beautiful of all Western Asia. It is mentioned among the conquests of the Egyptian king Thothmes III. (B.C. 1500), and in the Amarna tablets (B.C. 1400).
It is first mentioned in Scripture in connection with Abraham's victory over the confederate kings under Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:15). It was the native place of Abraham's steward (15:2). It is not again noticed till the time of David, when "the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Hadadezer" (q.v.), 2 Sam. 8:5; 1 Chr. 18:5. In the reign of Solomon, Rezon became leader of a band who revolted from Hadadezer (1 Kings 11:23), and betaking themselves to Damascus, settled there and made their leader king. There was a long war, with varying success, between the Israelites and Syrians, who at a later period became allies of Israel against Judah (2 Kings 15:37).
The Syrians were at length subdued by the Assyrians, the city of Damascus was taken and destroyed, and the inhabitants carried captive into Assyria (2 Kings 16:7-9; comp. Isa. 7:8). In this, prophecy was fulfilled (Isa. 17:1; Amos 1:4; Jer. 49:24). The kingdom of Syria remained a province of Assyria till the capture of Nineveh by the Medes (B.C. 625), when it fell under the conquerors. After passing through various vicissitudes, Syria was invaded by the Romans (B.C. 64), and Damascus became the seat of the government of the province. In A.D. 37 Aretas, the king of Arabia, became master of Damascus, having driven back Herod Antipas.
This city is memorable as the scene of Saul's conversion (Acts 9:1-25). The street called "Straight," in which Judas lived, in whose house Saul was found by Ananias, is known by the name Sultany, or "Queen's Street." It is the principal street of the city. Paul visited Damascus again on his return from Arabia (Gal. 1:16, 17). Christianity was planted here as a centre (Acts 9:20), from which it spread to the surrounding regions.
In A.D. 634 Damascus was conquered by the growing Mohammedan power. In A.D. 1516 it fell under the dominion of the Turks, its present rulers. It is now the largest city in Asiatic Turkey. Christianity has again found a firm footing within its walls.
In Rom. 14:23 the word "damned" means "condemned" by one's own conscience, as well as by the Word of God. The apostle shows here that many things which are lawful are not expedient; and that in using our Christian liberty the question should not simply be, Is this course I follow lawful? but also, Can I follow it without doing injury to the spiritual interests of a brother in Christ? He that "doubteth", i.e., is not clear in his conscience as to "meats", will violate his conscience "if he eat," and in eating is condemned; and thus one ought not so to use his liberty as to lead one who is "weak" to bring upon himself this condemnation.
(1.) The fifth son of Jacob. His mother was Bilhah, Rachel's maid (Gen. 30:6, "God hath judged me", Heb. dananni). The blessing pronounced on him by his father was, "Dan shall judge his people" (49:16), probably in allusion to the judgeship of Samson, who was of the tribe of Dan.
The tribe of Dan had their place in the march through the wilderness on the north side of the tabernacle (Num. 2:25, 31; 10:25). It was the last of the tribes to receive a portion in the Land of Promise. Its position and extent are described in Josh. 19:40-48.
The territory of Dan extended from the west of that of Ephraim and Benjamin to the sea. It was a small territory, but was very fertile. It included in it, among others, the cities of Lydda, Ekron, and Joppa, which formed its northern boundary. But this district was too limited. "Squeezed into the narrow strip between the mountains and the sea, its energies were great beyond its numbers." Being pressed by the Amorites and the Philistines, whom they were unable to conquer, they longed for a wider space. They accordingly sent out five spies from two of their towns, who went north to the sources of the Jordan, and brought back a favourable report regarding that region. "Arise," they said, "be not slothful to go, and to possess the land," for it is "a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth" (Judg. 18:10). On receiving this report, 600 Danites girded on their weapons of war, and taking with them their wives and their children, marched to the foot of Hermon, and fought against Leshem, and took it from the Sidonians, and dwelt therein, and changed the name of the conquered town to Dan (Josh. 19:47). This new city of Dan became to them a new home, and was wont to be spoken of as the northern limit of Palestine, the length of which came to be denoted by the expression "from Dan to Beersheba", i.e., about 144 miles.
"But like Lot under a similar temptation, they seem to have succumbed to the evil influences around them, and to have sunk down into a condition of semi-heathenism from which they never emerged. The mounds of ruins which mark the site of the city show that it covered a considerable extent of ground. But there remains no record of any noble deed wrought by the degenerate tribe. Their name disappears from the roll-book of the natural and the spiritual Israel.", Manning's Those Holy Fields.
This old border city was originally called Laish. Its modern name is Tell el-Kady, "Hill of the Judge." It stands about four miles below Caesarea Philippi, in the midst of a region of surpassing richness and beauty.
(2.) This name occurs in Ezek 27:19, Authorize Version; but the words there, "Dan also," should be simply, as in the Revised Version, "Vedan," an Arabian city, from which various kinds of merchandise were brought to Tyre. Some suppose it to have been the city of Aden in Arabia. (See MAHANEH-DAN.)
It is spoken of as symbolical of rejoicing (Eccl. 3:4. Comp. Ps. 30:11; Matt. 11: 17). The Hebrews had their sacred dances expressive of joy and thanksgiving, when the performers were usually females (Ex. 15:20; 1 Sam. 18:6).
The ancient dance was very different from that common among Western nations. It was usually the part of the women only (Ex. 15:20; Judg. 11:34; comp. 5:1). Hence the peculiarity of David's conduct in dancing before the ark of the Lord (2 Sam. 6:14). The women took part in it with their timbrels. Michal should, in accordance with the example of Miriam and others, have herself led the female choir, instead of keeping aloof on the occasion and "looking through the window." David led the choir "uncovered", i.e., wearing only the ephod or linen tunic. He thought only of the honour of God, and forgot himself.
From being reserved for occasions of religious worship and festivity, it came gradually to be practised in common life on occasions of rejoicing (Jer. 31:4). The sexes among the Jews always danced separately. The daughter of Herodias danced alone (Matt. 14:6).
(1.) David's second son, "born unto him in Hebron, of Abigail the Carmelitess" (1 Chr. 3:1). He is called also Chileab (2 Sam. 3:3).
(2.) One of the four great prophets, although he is not once spoken of in the Old Testament as a prophet. His life and prophecies are recorded in the Book of Daniel. He was descended from one of the noble families of Judah (Dan. 1:3), and was probably born in Jerusalem about B.C. 623, during the reign of Josiah. At the first deportation of the Jews by Nebuchadnezzar (the kingdom of Israel had come to an end nearly a century before), or immediately after his victory over the Egyptians at the second battle of Carchemish, in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim (B.C. 606), Daniel and other three noble youths were carried off to Babylon, along with part of the vessels of the temple. There he was obliged to enter into the service of the king of Babylon, and in accordance with the custom of the age received the Chaldean name of Belteshazzar, i.e., "prince of Bel," or "Bel protect the king!" His residence in Babylon was very probably in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, now identified with a mass of shapeless mounds called the Kasr, on the right bank of the river.
His training in the schools of the wise men in Babylon (Dan. 1:4) was to fit him for service to the empire. He was distinguished during this period for his piety and his stict observance of the Mosaic law (1:8-16), and gained the confidence and esteem of those who were over him. His habit of attention gained during his education in Jerusalem enabled him soon to master the wisdom and learning of the Chaldeans, and even to excel his compeers.
At the close of his three years of discipline and training in the royal schools, Daniel was distinguished for his proficiency in the "wisdom" of his day, and was brought out into public life. He soon became known for his skill in the interpretation of dreams (1:17; 2:14), and rose to the rank of governor of the province of Babylon, and became "chief of the governors" (Chald. Rab-signin) over all the wise men of Babylon. He made known and also interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's dream; and many years afterwards, when he was now an old man, amid the alarm and consternation of the terrible night of Belshazzar's impious feast, he was called in at the instance of the queen-mother (perhaps Nitocris, the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar) to interpret the mysterious handwriting on the wall. He was rewarded with a purple robe and elevation to the rank of "third ruler." The place of "second ruler" was held by Belshazzar as associated with his father, Nabonidus, on the throne (5:16). Daniel interpreted the handwriting, and "in that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain."
After the taking of Babylon, Cyrus, who was now master of all Asia from India to the Dardanelles, placed Darius (q.v.), a Median prince, on the throne, during the two years of whose reign Daniel held the office of first of the "three presidents" of the empire, and was thus practically at the head of affairs, no doubt interesting himself in the prospects of the captive Jews (Dan. 9), whom he had at last the happiness of seeing restored to their own land, although he did not return with them, but remained still in Babylon. His fidelity to God exposed him to persecution, and he was cast into a den of lions, but was miraculously delivered; after which Darius issued a decree enjoining reverence for "the God of Daniel" (6:26). He "prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian," whom he probably greatly influenced in the matter of the decree which put an end to the Captivity (B.C. 536).
He had a series of prophetic visions vouch-safed to him which opened up the prospect of a glorious future for the people of God, and must have imparted peace and gladness to his spirit in his old age as he waited on at his post till the "end of the days." The time and circumstances of his death are not recorded. He probably died at Susa, about eighty-five years of age.
The historical part of the book treats of the period of the Captivity. Daniel is "the historian of the Captivity, the writer who alone furnishes any series of events for that dark and dismal period during which the harp of Israel hung on the trees that grew by the Euphrates. His narrative may be said in general to intervene between Kings and Chronicles on the one hand and Ezra on the other, or (more strictly) to fill out the sketch which the author of the Chronicles gives in a single verse in his last chapter: 'And them that had escaped from the sword carried he [i.e., Nebuchadnezzar] away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia'" (2 Chr. 36:20).
The prophetical part consists of three visions and one lengthened prophetical communication.
The genuineness of this book has been much disputed, but the arguments in its favour fully establish its claims.
(1.) We have the testimony of Christ (Matt. 24:15; 25:31; 26:64) and his apostles (1 Cor. 6:2; 2 Thess. 2:3) for its authority; and (2) the important testimony of Ezekiel (14:14, 20; 28:3). (3.) The character and records of the book are also entirely in harmony with the times and circumstances in which the author lived. (4.) The linguistic character of the book is, moreover, just such as might be expected. Certain portions (Dan. 2:4; 7) are written in the Chaldee language; and the portions written in Hebrew are in a style and form having a close affinity with the later books of the Old Testament, especially with that of Ezra. The writer is familiar both with the Hebrew and the Chaldee, passing from the one to the other just as his subject required. This is in strict accordance with the position of the author and of the people for whom his book was written. That Daniel is the writer of this book is also testified to in the book itself (7:1, 28; 8:2; 9:2; 10:1, 2; 12:4, 5). (See BELSHAZZAR.)
(1.) Darius the Mede (Dan. 11:1), "the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes" (9:1). On the death of Belshazzar the Chaldean he "received the kingdom" of Babylon as viceroy from Cyrus. During his brief reign (B.C. 538-536) Daniel was promoted to the highest dignity (Dan. 6:1, 2); but on account of the malice of his enemies he was cast into the den of lions. After his miraculous escape, a decree was issued by Darius enjoining "reverence for the God of Daniel" (6:26). This king was probably the "Astyages" of the Greek historians. Nothing can, however, be with certainty affirmed regarding him. Some are of opinion that the name "Darius" is simply a name of office, equivalent to "governor," and that the "Gobryas" of the inscriptions was the person intended by the name.
(2.) Darius, king of Persia, was the son of Hystaspes, of the royal family of the Achaemenidae. He did not immediately succeed Cyrus on the throne. There were two intermediate kings, viz., Cambyses (the Ahasuerus of Ezra), the son of Cyrus, who reigned from B.C. 529-522, and was succeeded by a usurper named Smerdis, who occupied the throne only ten months, and was succeeded by this Darius (B.C. 521-486). Smerdis was a Margian, and therefore had no sympathy with Cyrus and Cambyses in the manner in which they had treated the Jews. He issued a decree prohibiting the restoration of the temple and of Jerusalem (Ezra 4:17-22). But soon after his death and the accession of Darius, the Jews resumed their work, thinking that the edict of Smerdis would be now null and void, as Darius was in known harmony with the religious policy of Cyrus. The enemies of the Jews lost no time in bringing the matter under the notice of Darius, who caused search to be made for the decree of Cyrus (q.v.). It was not found at Babylon, but at Achmetha (Ezra 6:2); and Darius forthwith issued a new decree, giving the Jews full liberty to prosecute their work, at the same time requiring the Syrian satrap and his subordinates to give them all needed help. It was with the army of this king that the Greeks fought the famous battle of Marathon (B.C. 490). During his reign the Jews enjoyed much peace and prosperity. He was succeeded by Ahasuerus, known to the Greeks as Xerxes, who reigned for twenty-one years.
(3.) Darius the Persian (Neh. 12:22) was probably the Darius II. (Ochus or Nothus) of profane history, the son of Artaxerxes Longimanus, who was the son and successor of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). There are some, however, who think that the king here meant was Darius III. (Codomannus), the antagonist of Alexander the Great (B.C. 336-331).
On Mount Sinai, Moses (Ex. 20:21) "drew near unto the thick darkness where God was." This was the "thick cloud upon the mount" in which Jehovah was when he spake unto Moses there. The Lord dwelt in the cloud upon the mercy-seat (1 Kings 8:12), the cloud of glory. When the psalmist (Ps. 97:2) describes the inscrutable nature of God's workings among the sons of men, he says, "Clouds and darkness are round about him." God dwells in thick darkness.
Darkness (Isa. 13:9, 10; Matt. 24:29) also is a symbol of the judgments that attend on the coming of the Lord. It is a symbol of misery and adversity (Job 18:6; Ps. 107:10; Isa. 8:22; Ezek. 30:18). The "day of darkness" in Joel 2:2, caused by clouds of locusts, is a symbol of the obscurity which overhangs all divine proceedings. "Works of darkness" are impure actions (Eph. 5:11). "Outer darkness" refers to the darkness of the streets in the East, which are never lighted up by any public or private lamps after nightfall, in contrast with the blaze of cheerful light in the house. It is also a symbol of ignorance (Isa. 9:2; 60:2; Matt. 6:23) and of death (Job 10:21; 17:13).
(1.) A niece or any female descendant (Gen. 20:12; 24:48; 28:6). (2.) Women as natives of a place, or as professing the religion of a place; as, "the daughters of Zion" (Isa. 3:16), "daughters of the Philistines" (2 Sam. 1:20). (3.) Small towns and villages lying around a city are its "daughters," as related to the metropolis or mother city. Tyre is in this sense called the daughter of Sidon (Isa. 23:12). (4.) The people of Jerusalem are spoken of as "the daughters of Zion" (Isa. 37:22). (5.) The daughters of a tree are its boughs (Gen. 49:22). (6.) The "daughters of music" (Eccl. 12:4) are singing women.
His early occupation was that of tending his father's sheep on the uplands of Judah. From what we know of his after history, doubtless he frequently beguiled his time, when thus engaged, with his shepherd's flute, while he drank in the many lessons taught him by the varied scenes spread around him. His first recorded exploits were his encounters with the wild beasts of the field. He mentions that with his own unaided hand he slew a lion and also a bear, when they came out against his flock, beating them to death in open conflict with his club (1 Sam. 17:34, 35).
While David, in the freshness of ruddy youth, was thus engaged with his flocks, Samuel paid an unexpected visit to Bethlehem, having been guided thither by divine direction (1 Sam. 16:1-13). There he offered up sacrifice, and called the elders of Israel and Jesse's family to the sacrificial meal. Among all who appeared before him he failed to discover the one he sought. David was sent for, and the prophet immediately recognized him as the chosen of God, chosen to succeed Saul, who was now departing from the ways of God, on the throne of the kingdom. He accordingly, in anticipation, poured on his head the anointing oil. David went back again to his shepherd life, but "the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward," and "the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul" (1 Sam. 16:13, 14).
Not long after this David was sent for to soothe with his harp the troubled spirit of Saul, who suffered from a strange melancholy dejection. He played before the king so skilfully that Saul was greatly cheered, and began to entertain great affection for the young shepherd. After this he went home to Bethlehem. But he soon again came into prominence. The armies of the Philistines and of Israel were in battle array in the valley of Elah, some 16 miles south-west of Bethlehem; and David was sent by his father with provisions for his three brothers, who were then fighting on the side of the king. On his arrival in the camp of Israel, David (now about twenty years of age) was made aware of the state of matters when the champion of the Philistines, Goliath of Gath, came forth to defy Israel. David took his sling, and with a well-trained aim threw a stone "out of the brook," which struck the giant's forehead, so that he fell senseless to the ground. David then ran and slew him, and cut off his head with his own sword (1 Sam. 17). The result was a great victory to the Israelites, who pursued the Philistines to the gates of Gath and Ekron.
David's popularity consequent on this heroic exploit awakened Saul's jealousy (1 Sam. 18:6-16), which he showed in various ways. He conceived a bitter hatred toward him, and by various stratagems sought his death (1 Sam. 18-30). The deep-laid plots of the enraged king, who could not fail to observe that David "prospered exceedingly," all proved futile, and only endeared the young hero the more to the people, and very specially to Jonathan, Saul's son, between whom and David a life-long warm friendship was formed.
A fugitive. To escape from the vengeance of Saul, David fled to Ramah (1 Sam. 19:12-18) to Samuel, who received him, and he dwelt among the sons of the prophets, who were there under Samuel's training. It is supposed by some that the sixth, seventh, and eleventh Psalms were composed by him at this time. This place was only 3 miles from the residence of Saul, who soon discovered whither the fugitive had gone, and tried ineffectually to bring him back. Jonathan made a fruitless effort to bring his father to a better state of mind toward David (1 Sam. 20), who, being made aware of the fact, saw no hope of safety but in flight to a distance. We accordingly find him first at Nob (21:1-9) and then at Gath, the chief city of the Philistines. The king of the Philistines would not admit him into his service, as he expected that he would, and David accordingly now betook himself to the stronghold of Adullam (22:1-4; 1 Chr. 12:8-18). Here in a short time 400 men gathered around him and acknowledged him as their leader. It was at this time that David, amid the harassment and perils of his position, cried, "Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem;" when three of his heroes broke through the lines of the Philistines and brought him the water for which he longed (2 Sam. 23:13-17), but which he would not drink.
In his rage at the failure of all his efforts to seize David, Saul gave orders for the massacre of the entire priestly family at Nob, "persons who wore a linen ephod", to the number of eighty-five persons, who were put to death by Doeg the Edomite. The sad tidings of the massacre were brought to David by Abiathar, a son of Ahimelech, the only one who escaped. Comp. Ps. 52.
Hearing that Keilah, a town on the western frontier, was harassed by the Philistines, David with his men relieved it (1 Sam. 23:1-14); and then, for fear of Saul, he fled to the strongholds in the "hill country" of Judah. Comp. Ps. 31. While encamped there, in the forest in the district of Ziph, he was visited by Jonathan, who spoke to him words of encouragement (23:16-18). The two now parted never to meet again. Saul continued his pursuit of David, who narrowly escaped from him at this time, and fled to the crags and ravines of Engedi, on the western shore of the Dead Sea (1 Sam. 23:29). Here Saul, who still pursued him with his army, narrowly escaped, through the generous forbearance of David, and was greatly affected by what David had done for him. He returned home from pursuing him, and David betook himself to Maon, where, with his 600 men, he maintained himself by contributions gathered from the district. Here occurred the incident connected with Nabal and his wife Abigail (1 Sam. 25), whom David married after Nabal's death.
Saul again went forth (1 Sam. 26) in pursuit of David, who had hid himself "in the hill Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon," in the wilderness of Ziph, and was a second time spared through his forbearance. He returned home, professing shame and penitence for the way in which he had treated David, and predicting his elevation to the throne.
Fighting against Israel. Harassed by the necessity of moving from place to place through fear of Saul, David once more sought refuge among the Philistines (1 Sam. 27). He was welcomed by the king, who assigned him Ziklag as his residence. Here David lived among his followers for some time as an independent chief engaged in frequent war with the Amalekites and other tribes on the south of Judah.
Achish summoned David with his men to join his army against Saul; but the lords of the Philistines were suspicious of David's loyalty, and therefore he was sent back to Ziklag, which he found to his dismay may had been pillaged and burnt during his brief absence. David pursued after the raiders, the Amalekites, and completely routed them. On his return to Ziklag tidings reached him of Saul's death (2 Sam. 1). An Amalekite brought Saul's crown and bracelet and laid them at his feet. David and his men rent their clothes and mourned for Saul, who had been defeated in battle near Mount Gilboa. David composed a beautiful elegy, the most beautiful of all extant Hebrew odes, a "lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son" (2 Sam. 1:18-27). It bore the title of "The Bow," and was to be taught to the children, that the memory of Saul and Jonathan might be preserved among them. "Behold, it is written in the book of Jasher" (q.v.).
David king over Judah. David and his men now set out for Hebron under divine direction (2 Sam. 2:1-4). There they were cordially welcomed, and he was at once anointed as king. He was now about thirty years of age.
But his title to the throne was not undisputed. Abner took Ish-bosheth, Saul's only remaining son, over the Jordan to Mahanaim, and there crowned him as king. Then began a civil war in Israel. The first encounter between the two opposing armies, led on the one side by Abner, and on the other by Joab, took place at the pool of Gibeon. It resulted in the defeat of Abner. Other encounters, however, between Israel and Judah followed (2 Sam. 3:1, 5), but still success was on the side of David. For the space of seven and a half years David reigned in Hebron. Abner now sided with David, and sought to promote his advancement; but was treacherously put to death by Joab in revenge for his having slain his brother Asahel at Gibeon (3:22-39). This was greatly to David's regret. He mourned for the death of Abner. Shortly after this Ish-bosheth was also treacherously put to death by two Canaanites of Beeroth; and there being now no rival, David was anointed king over all Israel (4:1-12).
David king over all Israel (2 Sam. 5:1-5; 1 Chr. 11:1-3). The elders of Israel now repaired to Hebron and offered allegiance to David in name of all the people, among whom the greatest enthusiasm prevailed. He was anointed king over all Israel, and sought out a new seat of government, more suitable than Hebron, as the capital of his empire. At this time there was a Jebusite fortress, "the stronghold", on the hill of Zion, called also Jebus. This David took from the Jebusites, and made it Israel's capital, and established here his residence, and afterwards built for himself a palace by the aid of Tyrian tradesmen. The Philistines, who had for some time observed a kind of truce, now made war against David; but were defeated in battle at a place afterwards called, in remembrance of the victory, Baal-perazim. Again they invaded the land, and were a second time routed by him. He thus delivered Israel from their enemies.
David now resolved to bring up the ark of the covenant to his new capital (2 Sam. 6). It was in the house of Abinadab at Kirjath-jearim, about 7 miles from Jerusalem, where it had been for many years, from the time when the Philistines had sent it home (1 Sam. 6; 7). In consequence of the death of Uzzah (for it was a divine ordinance that only the Levites should handle the ark, Num. 4), who had put forth his hand to steady the ark when the cart in which it was being conveyed shook by reason of the roughness of the road, David stayed the procession, and conveyed the ark into the house of Obed-edom, a Philistine from Gath. After three months David brought the ark from the house of Obed-edom up to Jerusalem. Comp. Ps. 24. Here it was placed in a new tent or tabernacle which David erected for the purpose. About seventy years had passed since it had stood in the tabernacle at Shiloh. The old tabernacle was now at Gibeah, at which Zadok ministered. David now (1 Chr. 16) carefully set in order all the ritual of divine worship at Jerusalem, along with Abiathar the high priest. A new religious era began. The service of praise was for the first time introduced into public worship. Zion became henceforth "God's holy hill."
David's wars. David now entered on a series of conquests which greatly extended and strengthened his kingdom (2 Sam. 8). In a few years the whole territory from the Euphrates to the river of Egypt, and from Gaza on the west to Thapsacus on the east, was under his sway (2 Sam. 8:3-13; 10).
David's fall. He had now reached the height of his glory. He ruled over a vast empire, and his capital was enriched with the spoils of many lands. But in the midst of all this success he fell, and his character became stained with the sin of adultery (2 Sam. 11:2-27). It has been noted as characteristic of the Bible that while his military triumphs are recorded in a few verses, the sad story of his fall is given in detail, a story full of warning, and therefore recorded. This crime, in the attempt to conceal it, led to anoter. He was guilty of murder. Uriah, whom he had foully wronged, an officer of the Gibborim, the corps of heros (23:39), was, by his order, "set in the front of the hottest battle" at the siege of Rabbah, in order that he might be put to death. Nathan the prophet (2 Sam. 7:1-17; 12:1-23) was sent by God to bring home his crimes to the conscience of the guilty monarch. He became a true penitent. He bitterly bewailed his sins before God. The thirty-second and fifty-first Psalms reveal the deep struggles of his soul, and his spiritual recovery.
Bathsheba became his wife after Uriah's death. Her first-born son died, according to the word of the prophet. She gave birth to a second son, whom David called Solomon, and who ultimately succeeded him on the throne (2 Sam. 12:24, 25).
Peace. After the successful termination of all his wars, David formed the idea of building a temple for the ark of God. This he was not permitted to carry into execution, because he had been a man of war. God, however, sent Nathan to him with a gracious message (2 Sam. 7:1-16). On receiving it he went into the sanctuary, the tent where the ark was, and sat before the Lord, and poured out his heart in words of devout thanksgiving (18-29). The building of the temple was reserved for his son Solomon, who would be a man of peace (1 Chr. 22:9; 28:3).
A cloudy evening. Hitherto David's carrer had been one of great prosperity and success. Now cloudy and dark days came. His eldest son Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam of Jezreel, was guilty of a great and shameful crime (2 Sam. 13). This was the beginning of the disasters of his later years. After two years Absalom terribly avenged the crime against Tamar, and put Amnon to death. This brought sore trouble to David's heart. Absalom, afraid of the consequences of his guilt, fled to Geshur beyond Jordan, where he remained for three years, when he was brought back through the intrigue of Joab (2 Sam. 14).
After this there fell upon the land the calamity of three years' famine (2 Sam. 21:1-14). This was soon after followed by a pestilence, brought upon the land as a punishment for David's sinful pride in numbering the people (2 Sam. 24), in which no fewer than 70,000 perished in the space of three days.
Rebellion of Absalom. The personal respect for David was sadly lowered by the incident of Bathsheba. There was a strong popular sentiment against the taking of the census, and the outburst of the plague in connection with it deepened the feeling of jealously that had begun to manifest itself among some of the tribes against David. Absalom, taking full advantage of this state of things, gradually gained over the people, and at length openly rebelled against his father, and usurped the throne. Ahithophel was Absalom's chief counsellor. The revolt began in Hebron, the capital of Judah. Absalom was there proclaimed king. David was now in imminent danger, and he left Jerusalem (2 Sam. 15:13-20), and once more became a fugitive. It was a momentous day in Israel. The incidents of it are recorded with a fulness of detail greater than of any other day in Old Testament history. David fled with his followers to Mahanarm, on the east of Jordan. An unnatural civil war broke out. After a few weeks the rival armies were mustered and organized. They met in hostile array at the wood of Ephraim (2 Sam. 18:1-8). Absalom's army was defeated, and himself put to death by the hand of Joab (9-18). The tidings of the death of his rebellious son filled the heart of David with the most poignant grief. He "went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept" (33), giving utterance to the heart-broken cry, "Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" Peace was now restored, and David returned to Jerusalem and resumed the direction of affairs. An unhappy dispute arose between the men of Judah and the men of Israel (19:41-43). Sheba, a Benjamite, headed a revolt of the men of Israel. He was pursued to Abelbeth-maachah, and was there put to death, and so the revolt came to an end.
The end. After the suppression of the rebellion of Absalom and that of Sheba, ten comparatively peaceful years of David's life passed away. During those years he seems to have been principally engaged in accumulating treasures of every kind for the great temple at Jerusalem, which it was reserved to his successor to build (1 Chr. 22; 28; 29), a house which was to be "exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries" (22:5). The exciting and laborious life he had spent, and the dangers and trials through which he had passed, had left him an enfeebled man, prematurely old. It became apparent that his life was now drawing to its close. A new palace conspiracy broke out as to who should be his successor. Joab favoured Adonijah. The chiefs of his party met at the "Fuller's spring," in the valley of Kidron, to proclaim him king; but Nathan hastened on a decision on the part of David in favour of Solomon, and so the aim of Adonijah's party failed. Solomon was brought to Jerusalem, and was anointed king and seated on his father's throne (1 Kings 1:11-53). David's last words are a grand utterance, revealing his unfailing faith in God, and his joyful confidence in his gracious covenant promises (2 Sam. 23:1-7).
After a reign of forty years and six months (2 Sam. 5:5; 1 Chr. 3:4) David died (B.C. 1015) at the age of seventy years, "and was buried in the city of David." His tomb is still pointed out on Mount Zion.
Both in his prophetical and in his regal character David was a type of the Messiah (1 Sam. 16:13). The book of Psalms commonly bears the title of the "Psalms of David," from the circumstance that he was the largest contributor (about eighty psalms) to the collection. (See PSALMS.)
"The greatness of David was felt when he was gone. He had lived in harmony with both the priesthood and the prophets; a sure sign that the spirit of his government had been throughly loyal to the higher aims of the theocracy. The nation had not been oppressed by him, but had been left in the free enjoyment of its ancient liberties. As far as his power went he had striven to act justly to all (2 Sam. 8:15). His weak indulgence to his sons, and his own great sin besides, had been bitterly atoned, and were forgotten at his death in the remembrance of his long-tried worth. He had reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem and seven and a half at Hebron (2 Sam. 5:5). Israel at his accession had reached the lowest point of national depression; its new-born unity rudely dissolved; its territory assailed by the Philistines. But he had left it an imperial power, with dominions like those of Egypt or Assyria. The sceptre of Solomon was already, before his father's death, owned from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates, and from the Orontes to the Red Sea.", Geikie's Hours etc., iii.
The division of the day by hours is first mentioned in Dan. 3:6, 15; 4:19; 5:5. This mode of reckoning was borrowed from the Chaldeans. The reckoning of twelve hours was from sunrise to sunset, and accordingly the hours were of variable length (John 11:9).
The word "day" sometimes signifies an indefinite time (Gen. 2:4; Isa. 22:5; Heb. 3:8, etc.). In Job 3:1 it denotes a birthday, and in Isa. 2:12, Acts 17:31, and 2 Tim. 1:18, the great day of final judgment.
The waters of the Dead Sea contain 24.6 per cent. of mineral salts, about seven times as much as in ordinary sea-water; thus they are unusually buoyant. Chloride of magnesium is most abundant; next to that chloride of sodium (common salt). But terraces of alluvial deposits in the deep valley of the Jordan show that formerly one great lake extended from the Waters of Merom to the foot of the watershed in the Arabah. The waters were then about 1,400 feet above the present level of the Dead Sea, or slightly above that of the Mediterranean, and at that time were much less salt.
Nothing living can exist in this sea. "The fish carried down by the Jordan at once die, nor can even mussels or corals live in it; but it is a fable that no bird can fly over it, or that there are no living creatures on its banks. Dr. Tristram found on the shores three kinds of kingfishers, gulls, ducks, and grebes, which he says live on the fish which enter the sea in shoals, and presently die. He collected one hundred and eighteen species of birds, some new to science, on the shores, or swimming or flying over the waters. The cane-brakes which fringe it at some parts are the homes of about forty species of mammalia, several of them animals unknown in England; and innumerable tropical or semi-tropical plants perfume the atmosphere wherever fresh water can reach. The climate is perfect and most delicious, and indeed there is perhaps no place in the world where a sanatorium could be established with so much prospect of benefit as at Ain Jidi (Engedi).", Geikie's Hours, etc.
(1.) "The dust shall return to the earth as it was" (Eccl. 12:7).
Death is the effect of sin (Heb. 2:14), and not a "debt of nature." It is but once (9:27), universal (Gen. 3:19), necessary (Luke 2:28-30). Jesus has by his own death taken away its sting for all his followers (1 Cor. 15:55-57).
THE DEATH OF CHRIST is the procuring cause incidentally of all the blessings men enjoy on earth. But specially it is the procuring cause of the actual salvation of all his people, together with all the means that lead thereto. It does not make their salvation merely possible, but certain (Matt. 18:11; Rom. 5:10; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 1:4; 3:13; Eph. 1:7; 2:16; Rom. 8:32-35).
(1.) One of the eleven cities to the west of Hebron, in the highlands of Judah (Josh. 15:49; Judg. 1:11-15). It was originally one of the towns of the Anakim (Josh. 15:15), and was also called Kirjath-sepher (q.v.) and Kirjath-sannah (49). Caleb, who had conquered and taken possession of the town and district of Hebron (Josh. 14:6-15), offered the hand of his daughter to any one who would successfully lead a party against Debir. Othniel, his younger brother (Judg. 1:13; 3:9), achieved the conquest, and gained Achsah as his wife. She was not satisfied with the portion her father gave her, and as she was proceeding toward her new home, she "lighted from off her ass" and said to him, "Give me a blessing [i.e., a dowry]: for thou hast given me a south land" (Josh. 15:19, A.V.); or, as in the Revised Version, "Thou hast set me in the land of the south", i.e., in the Negeb, outside the rich valley of Hebron, in the dry and barren land. "Give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs."
(3.) The king of Eglon, one of the five Canaanitish kings who were hanged by Joshua (Josh. 10:3, 23) after the victory at Gibeon. These kings fled and took refuge in a cave at Makkedah. Here they were kept confined till Joshua returned from the pursuit of their discomfited armies, when he caused them to be brought forth, and "Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees" (26).
(1.) Rebekah's nurse. She accompanied her mistress when she left her father's house in Padan-aram to become the wife of Isaac (Gen. 24:59). Many years afterwards she died at Bethel, and was buried under the "oak of weeping", Allon-bachuth (35:8).
(2.) A prophetess, "wife" (woman?) of Lapidoth. Jabin, the king of Hazor, had for twenty years held Israel in degrading subjection. The spirit of patriotism seemed crushed out of the nation. In this emergency Deborah roused the people from their lethargy. Her fame spread far and wide. She became a "mother in Israel" (Judg. 4:6, 14; 5:7), and "the children of Israel came up to her for judgment" as she sat in her tent under the palm tree "between Ramah and Bethel." Preparations were everywhere made by her direction for the great effort to throw off the yoke of bondage. She summoned Barak from Kadesh to take the command of 10,000 men of Zebulun and Naphtali, and lead them to Mount Tabor on the plain of Esdraelon at its north-east end. With his aid she organized this army. She gave the signal for attack, and the Hebrew host rushed down impetuously upon the army of Jabin, which was commanded by Sisera, and gained a great and decisive victory. The Canaanitish army almost wholly perished. That was a great and ever-memorable day in Israel. In Judg. 5 is given the grand triumphal ode, the "song of Deborah," which she wrote in grateful commemoration of that great deliverance. (See LAPIDOTH, JABIN .)
(1.) The debtor was to deliver up as a pledge to the creditor what he could most easily dispense with (Deut. 24:10, 11).
These commandments have been divided since the days of Origen the Greek father, as they stand in the Confession of all the Reformed Churches except the Lutheran. The division adopted by Luther, and which has ever since been received in the Lutheran Church, makes the first two commandments one, and the third the second, and so on to the last, which is divided into two. "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house" being ranked as ninth, and "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife," etc., the tenth. (See COMMANDMENTS.)