The manner in which the Israelites encamped during their march through the wilderness is described in Num. 2 and 3. The order of the encampment (see CAMP) was preserved in the march (Num. 2:17), the signal for which was the blast of two silver trumpets. Detailed regulations affecting the camp for sanitary purposes are given (Lev. 4:11, 12; 6:11; 8:17; 10:4, 5; 13:46; 14:3; Num. 12:14, 15; 31:19; Deut. 23:10, 12).
In the subsequent history of Israel frequent mention is made of their encampments in the time of war (Judg. 7:18; 1 Sam. 13:2, 3, 16, 23; 17:3; 29:1; 30:9, 24). The temple was sometimes called "the camp of the Lord" (2 Chr. 31:2, R.V.; comp. Ps. 78:28). The multitudes who flocked to David are styled "a great host (i.e., "camp;" Heb. mahaneh), like the host of God" (1 Chr. 12:22).
(2.) The rendering of the Hebrew keshaphim, "muttered spells" or "incantations," rendered "sorceries" in Isa. 47:9, 12, i.e., the using of certain formulae under the belief that men could thus be bound.
(1.) A town in the plains of Judah (Josh. 15:34), north-west of Jerusalem, between Zanoah and Tappuah. It is the modern Umm Jina.
(2.) A city on the border of Machar (Josh. 19:21), allotted to the Gershonite Levites (21:29). It is identified with the modern Jenin, a large and prosperous town of about 4,000 inhabitants, situated 15 miles south of Mount Tabor, through which the road from Jezreel to Samaria and Jerusalem passes. When Ahaziah, king of Judah, attempted to escape from Jehu, he "fled by the way of the garden house" i.e., by way of En-gannim. Here he was overtaken by Jehu and wounded in his chariot, and turned aside and fled to Megiddo, a distance of about 20 miles, to die there.
The vineyards of Engedi were celebrated in Solomon's time (Cant. 1:4). It is the modern 'Ain Jidy. The "fountain" from which it derives its name rises on the mountain side about 600 feet above the sea, and in its rapid descent spreads luxuriance all around it. Along its banks the osher grows abundantly. That shrub is thus described by Porter: "The stem is stout, measuring sometimes nearly a foot in diameter, and the plant grows to the height of 15 feet or more. It has a grayish bark and long oval leaves, which when broken off discharge a milky fluid. The fruit resembles an apple, and hangs in clusters of two or three. When ripe it is of a rich yellow colour, but on being pressed it explodes like a puff-ball. It is chiefly filled with air...This is the so-called 'apple of Sodom.'" Through Samaria, etc. (See APPLE.)
(2.) Heb. mechi kobollo, i.e., the beating of that which is in front a battering-ram (Ezek. 26:9), the use of which was common among the Egyptians and the Assyrians. Such an engine is mentioned in the reign of David (2 Sam. 20:15).
(1.) The eldest son of Cain (Gen. 4:17), who built a city east of Eden in the land of Nod, and called it "after the name of his son Enoch." This is the first "city" mentioned in Scripture.
(2.) The son of Jared, and father of Methuselah (Gen. 5:21; Luke 3:37). His father was one hundred and sixty-two years old when he was born. After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch "walked with God three hundred years" (Gen. 5:22-24), when he was translated without tasting death. His whole life on earth was three hundred and sixty-five years. He was the "seventh from Adam" (Jude 1:14), as distinguished from the son of Cain, the third from Adam. He is spoken of in the catalogue of Old Testament worthies in the Epistle to the Hebrews (11:5). When he was translated, only Adam, so far as recorded, had as yet died a natural death, and Noah was not yet born. Mention is made of Enoch's prophesying only in Jude 1:14.
It was at this fountain that Jonathan and Ahimaaz lay hid after the flight of David (2 Sam. 17:17); and here also Adonijah held the feast when he aspired to the throne of his father (1 Kings 1:9).
The Bir Eyub, or "Joab's well," "is a singular work of ancient enterprise. The shaft sunk through the solid rock in the bed of the Kidron is 125 feet deep...The water is pure and entirely sweet, quite different from that of Siloam; which proves that there is no connection between them." Thomson's Land and the Book.
(2.) Heb. nes, a lofty signal, as a column or high pole (Num. 21:8, 9); a standard or signal or flag placed on high mountains to point out to the people a place of rendezvous on the irruption of an enemy (Isa. 5:26; 11:12; 18:3; 62:10; Jer. 4:6, 21; Ps. 60:4). This was an occasional signal, and not a military standard. Elevation and conspicuity are implied in the word.
(3.) The Hebrew word degel denotes the standard given to each of the four divisions of the host of the Israelites at the Exodus (Num. 1:52; 2:2; 10:14). In Cant. 2:4 it is rendered "banner." We have no definite information as to the nature of these military standards. (See BANNER.)
The guests were invited by servants (Prov. 9:3; Matt. 22:3), who assigned them their respective places (1 Sam. 9:22; Luke 14:8; Mark 12:39). Like portions were sent by the master to each guest (1 Sam. 1:4; 2 Sam. 6:19), except when special honour was intended, when the portion was increased (Gen. 43:34).
The Israelites were forbidden to attend heathenish sacrificial entertainments (Ex. 34:15), because these were in honour of false gods, and because at such feast they would be liable to partake of unclean flesh (1 Cor. 10:28).
(1.) One of the five sons of Midian, and grandson of Abraham (Gen. 25:4). The city of Ephah, to which he gave his name, is mentioned Isa. 60:6, 7. This city, with its surrounding territory, formed part of Midian, on the east shore of the Dead Sea. It abounded in dromedaries and camels (Judg. 6:5).
Ephah, a word of Egyptian origin, meaning measure; a grain measure containing "three seahs or ten omers," and equivalent to the bath for liquids (Ex. 16:36; 1 Sam. 17:17; Zech. 5:6). The double ephah in Prov. 20:10 (marg., "an ephah and an ephah"), Deut. 25:14, means two ephahs, the one false and the other just.
(1.) One of the sons of Midian, who was Abraham's son by Keturah (Gen. 25:4).
Contents of. The Epistle to the Colossians is mainly polemical, designed to refute certain theosophic errors that had crept into the church there. That to the Ephesians does not seem to have originated in any special circumstances, but is simply a letter springing from Paul's love to the church there, and indicative of his earnest desire that they should be fully instructed in the profound doctrines of the gospel. It contains (1) the salutation (1:1, 2); (2) a general description of the blessings the gospel reveals, as to their source, means by which they are attained, purpose for which they are bestowed, and their final result, with a fervent prayer for the further spiritual enrichment of the Ephesians (1:3-2:10); (3) "a record of that marked change in spiritual position which the Gentile believers now possessed, ending with an account of the writer's selection to and qualification for the apostolate of heathendom, a fact so considered as to keep them from being dispirited, and to lead him to pray for enlarged spiritual benefactions on his absent sympathizers" (2:12-3:21); (4) a chapter on unity as undisturbed by diversity of gifts (4:1-16); (5) special injunctions bearing on ordinary life (4:17-6:10); (6) the imagery of a spiritual warfare, mission of Tychicus, and valedictory blessing (6:11-24).
Planting of the church at Ephesus. Paul's first and hurried visit for the space of three months to Ephesus is recorded in Acts 18:19-21. The work he began on this occasion was carried forward by Apollos (24-26) and Aquila and Priscilla. On his second visit, early in the following year, he remained at Ephesus "three years," for he found it was the key to the western provinces of Asia Minor. Here "a great door and effectual" was opened to him (1 Cor. 16:9), and the church was established and strengthened by his assiduous labours there (Acts 20:20, 31). From Ephesus as a centre the gospel spread abroad "almost throughout all Asia" (19:26). The word "mightily grew and prevailed" despite all the opposition and persecution he encountered.
On his last journey to Jerusalem the apostle landed at Miletus, and summoning together the elders of the church from Ephesus, delivered to them his remarkable farewell charge (Acts 20:18-35), expecting to see them no more.
(1.) Acts 20:19 = Eph. 4:2. The phrase "lowliness of mind" occurs nowhere else.
Place and date of the writing of the letter. It was evidently written from Rome during Paul's first imprisonment (3:1; 4:1; 6:20), and probably soon after his arrival there, about the year 62, four years after he had parted with the Ephesian elders at Miletus. The subscription of this epistle is correct.
There seems to have been no special occasion for the writing of this letter, as already noted. Paul's object was plainly not polemical. No errors had sprung up in the church which he sought to point out and refute. The object of the apostle is "to set forth the ground, the cause, and the aim and end of the church of the faithful in Christ. He speaks to the Ephesians as a type or sample of the church universal." The church's foundations, its course, and its end, are his theme. "Everywhere the foundation of the church is the will of the Father; the course of the church is by the satisfaction of the Son; the end of the church is the life in the Holy Spirit." In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul writes from the point of view of justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ; here he writes from the point of view specially of union to the Redeemer, and hence of the oneness of the true church of Christ. "This is perhaps the profoundest book in existence." It is a book "which sounds the lowest depths of Christian doctrine, and scales the loftiest heights of Christian experience;" and the fact that the apostle evidently expected the Ephesians to understand it is an evidence of the "proficiency which Paul's converts had attained under his preaching at Ephesus."
Relation between this epistle and that to the Colossians (q.v.). "The letters of the apostle are the fervent outburst of pastoral zeal and attachment, written without reserve and in unaffected simplicity; sentiments come warm from the heart, without the shaping out, pruning, and punctilious arrangement of a formal discourse. There is such a fresh and familiar transcription of feeling, so frequent an introduction of coloquial idiom, and so much of conversational frankness and vivacity, that the reader associates the image of the writer with every paragraph, and the ear seems to catch and recognize the very tones of living address." "Is it then any matter of amazement that one letter should resemble another, or that two written about the same time should have so much in common and so much that is peculiar? The close relation as to style and subject between the epistles to Colosse and Ephesus must strike every reader. Their precise relation to each other has given rise to much discussion. The great probability is that the epistle to Colosse was first written; the parallel passages in Ephesians, which amount to about forty-two in number, having the appearance of being expansions from the epistle to Colosse. Compare:
Eph 1:7; Col 1:14 Eph 1:10; Col 1:20 Eph 3:2; Col 1:25 Eph 5:19; Col 3:16 Eph 6:22; Col 4:8 Eph 1:19-2:5; Col 2:12,13 Eph 4:2-4; Col 3:12-15 Eph 4:16; Col 2:19 Eph 4:32; Col 3:13 Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9,10 Eph 5:6-8; Col 3:6-8 Eph 5:15,16; Col 4:5 Eph 6:19,20; Col 4:3,4 Eph 5:22-6:9; Col 3:18-4:1
"The style of this epistle is exceedingly animated, and corresponds with the state of the apostle's mind at the time of writing. Overjoyed with the account which their messenger had brought him of their faith and holiness (Eph. 1:15), and transported with the consideration of the unsearchable wisdom of God displayed in the work of man's redemption, and of his astonishing love towards the Gentiles in making them partakers through faith of all the benefits of Christ's death, he soars high in his sentiments on those grand subjects, and gives his thoughts utterance in sublime and copious expression."
Many Jews took up their residence in this city, and here the seeds of the gospel were sown immediately after Pentecost (Acts 2:9; 6:9). At the close of his second missionary journey (about A.D. 51), when Paul was returning from Greece to Syria (18:18-21), he first visited this city. He remained, however, for only a short time, as he was hastening to keep the feast, probably of Pentecost, at Jerusalem; but he left Aquila and Priscilla behind him to carry on the work of spreading the gospel.
During his third missionary journey Paul reached Ephesus from the "upper coasts" (Acts 19:1), i.e., from the inland parts of Asia Minor, and tarried here for about three years; and so successful and abundant were his labours that "all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks" (19:10). Probably during this period the seven churches of the Apocalypse were founded, not by Paul's personal labours, but by missionaries whom he may have sent out from Ephesus, and by the influence of converts returning to their homes.
On his return from his journey, Paul touched at Miletus, some 30 miles south of Ephesus (Acts 20:15), and sending for the presbyters of Ephesus to meet him there, he delivered to them that touching farewell charge which is recorded in Acts 20:18-35. Ephesus is not again mentioned till near the close of Paul's life, when he writes to Timothy exhorting him to "abide still at Ephesus" (1 Tim. 1:3).
Two of Paul's companions, Trophimus and Tychicus, were probably natives of Ephesus (Acts 20:4; 21:29; 2 Tim. 4:12). In his second epistle to Timothy, Paul speaks of Onesiphorus as having served him in many things at Ephesus (2 Tim. 1:18). He also "sent Tychicus to Ephesus" (4:12), probably to attend to the interests of the church there. Ephesus is twice mentioned in the Apocalypse (1:11; 2:1).
Territory of. At the time of the first census in the wilderness this tribe numbered 40,500 (Num. 1:32, 33); forty years later, when about to take possession of the Promised Land, it numbered only 32,500. During the march (see CAMP) Ephraim's place was on the west side of the tabernacle (Num. 2:18-24). When the spies were sent out to spy the land, "Oshea the son of Nun" of this tribe signalized himself.
The boundaries of the portion of the land assigned to Ephraim are given in Josh. 16:1-10. It included most of what was afterwards called Samaria as distinguished from Judea and Galilee. It thus lay in the centre of all traffic, from north to south, and from Jordan to the sea, and was about 55 miles long and 30 broad. The tabernacle and the ark were deposited within its limits at Shiloh, where it remained for four hundred years. During the time of the judges and the first stage of the monarchy this tribe manifested a domineering and haughty and discontented spirit. "For more than five hundred years, a period equal to that which elapsed between the Norman Conquest and the War of the Roses, Ephraim, with its two dependent tribes of Manasseh and Benjamin, exercised undisputed pre-eminence. Joshua the first conqueror, Gideon the greatest of the judges, and Saul the first king, belonged to one or other of the three tribes. It was not till the close of the first period of Jewish history that God 'refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim, but chose the tribe of Judah, the Mount Zion which he loved' (Ps. 78:67, 68). When the ark was removed from Shiloh to Zion the power of Ephraim was humbled."
Among the causes which operated to bring about the disruption of Israel was Ephraim's jealousy of the growing power of Judah. From the settlement of Canaan till the time of David and Solomon, Ephraim had held the place of honour among the tribes. It occupied the central and fairest portions of the land, and had Shiloh and Shechem within its borders. But now when Jerusalem became the capital of the kingdom, and the centre of power and worship for the whole nation of Israel, Ephraim declined in influence. The discontent came to a crisis by Rehoboam's refusal to grant certain redresses that were demanded (1 Kings 12).
(1.) The second wife of Caleb, the son of Hezron, mother of Hur, and grandmother of Caleb, who was one of those that were sent to spy the land (1 Chr. 2:19, 50).
(2.) The ancient name of Bethlehem in Judah (Gen. 35:16, 19; 48:7). In Ruth 1:2 it is called "Bethlehem-Judah," but the inhabitants are called "Ephrathites;" in Micah 5:2, "Bethlehem-Ephratah;" in Matt. 2:6, "Bethlehem in the land of Judah." In Ps. 132:6 it is mentioned as the place where David spent his youth, and where he heard much of the ark, although he never saw it till he found it long afterwards at Kirjath-jearim; i.e., the "city of the wood," or the "forest-town" (1 Sam. 7:1; comp. 2 Sam. 6:3, 4).
(1.) The son of Zohar a Hittite, the owner of the field and cave of Machpelah (q.v.), which Abraham bought for 400 shekels of silver (Gen. 23:8-17; 25:9; 49:29, 30).
(1.) Paul's Epistles, fourteen in number, including Hebrews. These are not arranged in the New Testament in the order of time as to their composition, but rather according to the rank of the cities or places to which they were sent. Who arranged them after this manner is unknown. Paul's letters were, as a rule, dictated to an amanuensis, a fact which accounts for some of their peculiarities. He authenticated them, however, by adding a few words in his own hand at the close. (See GALATIANS, EPISTLE TO.)
The epistles to Timothy and Titus are styled the Pastoral Epistles.
(2.) The Catholic or General Epistles, so called because they are not addressed to any particular church or city or individual, but to Christians in general, or to Christians in several countries. Of these, three are written by John, two by Peter, and one each by James and Jude.
It is an interesting and instructive fact that a large portion of the New Testament is taken up with epistles. The doctrines of Christianity are thus not set forth in any formal treatise, but mainly in a collection of letters. "Christianity was the first great missionary religion. It was the first to break the bonds of race and aim at embracing all mankind. But this necessarily involved a change in the mode in which it was presented. The prophet of the Old Testament, if he had anything to communicate, either appeared in person or sent messengers to speak for him by word of mouth. The narrow limits of Palestine made direct personal communication easy. But the case was different when the Christian Church came to consist of a number of scattered parts, stretching from Mesopotamia in the east to Rome or even Spain in the far west. It was only natural that the apostle by whom the greater number of these communities had been founded should seek to communicate with them by letter."
(1.) The "chamberlain" of the city of Corinth (Rom. 16:23), and one of Paul's disciples. As treasurer of such a city he was a public officer of great dignity, and his conversion to the gospel was accordingly a proof of the wonderful success of the apostle's labours.
(2.) A companion of Paul at Ephesus, who was sent by him along with Timothy into Macedonia (Acts 19:22). Corinth was his usual place of abode (2 Tim. 4:20); but probably he may have been the same as the preceding.
In December B.C. 681 Sennacherib was murdered by two of his sons, who, after holding Nineveh for forty-two days, were compelled to fly to Erimenas of Ararat, or Armenia. Their brother Esarhaddon, who had been engaged in a campaign against Armenia, led his army against them. They were utterly overthrown in a battle fought April B.C. 680, near Malatiyeh, and in the following month Esarhaddon was crowned at Nineveh. He restored Babylon, conquered Egypt, and received tribute from Manasseh of Judah. He died in October B.C. 668, while on the march to suppress an Egyptian revolt, and was succeeded by his son Assur-bani-pal, whose younger brother was made viceroy of Babylonia.
At the age of forty years, to the great grief of his parents, he married (Gen. 26:34, 35) two Canaanitish maidens, Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Bashemath, the daughter of Elon. When Jacob was sent away to Padan-aram, Esau tried to conciliate his parents (Gen. 28:8, 9) by marrying his cousin Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael. This led him to cast in his lot with the Ishmaelite tribes; and driving the Horites out of Mount Seir, he settled in that region. After some thirty years' sojourn in Padan-aram Jacob returned to Canaan, and was reconciled to Esau, who went forth to meet him (33:4). Twenty years after this, Isaac their father died, when the two brothers met, probably for the last time, beside his grave (35:29). Esau now permanently left Canaan, and established himself as a powerful and wealthy chief in the land of Edom (q.v.).
(1.) A young Amoritish chief who joined Abraham in the recovery of Lot from the hands of Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:13, 24).
(2.) A valley in which the spies obtained a fine cluster of grapes (Num. 13:23, 24; "the brook Eshcol," A.V.; "the valley of Eshcol," R.V.), which they took back with them to the camp of Israel as a specimen of the fruits of the Promised Land. On their way back they explored the route which led into the south (the Negeb) by the western edge of the mountains at Telilat el-'Anab, i.e., "grape-mounds", near Beersheba. "In one of these extensive valleys, perhaps in Wady Hanein, where miles of grape-mounds even now meet the eye, they cut the gigantic clusters of grapes, and gathered the pomegranates and figs, to show how goodly was the land which the Lord had promised for their inheritance.", Palmer's Desert of the Exodus.
Esther appears in the Bible as a "woman of deep piety, faith, courage, patriotism, and caution, combined with resolution; a dutiful daughter to her adopted father, docile and obedient to his counsels, and anxious to share the king's favour with him for the good of the Jewish people. There must have been a singular grace and charm in her aspect and manners, since 'she obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her' (Esther 2:15). That she was raised up as an instrument in the hand of God to avert the destruction of the Jewish people, and to afford them protection and forward their wealth and peace in their captivity, is also manifest from the Scripture account."
This book is more purely historical than any other book of Scripture; and it has this remarkable peculiarity that the name of God does not occur in it from first to last in any form. It has, however, been well observed that "though the name of God be not in it, his finger is." The book wonderfully exhibits the providential government of God.
(1.) A village of the tribe of Simeon (1 Chr. 4:32). Into some cleft ("top," A.V.,; R.V., "cleft") of a rock here Samson retired after his slaughter of the Philistines (Judg. 15:8, 11). It was a natural stronghold. It has been identified with Beit 'Atab, west of Bethlehem, near Zorah and Eshtaol. On the crest of a rocky knoll, under the village, is a long tunnel, which may be the "cleft" in which Samson hid.
(2.) A city of Judah, fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chr. 11:6). It was near Bethlehem and Tekoah, and some distance apparently to the north of (1). It seems to have been in the district called Nephtoah (or Netophah), where were the sources of the water from which Solomon's gardens and pleasure-grounds and pools, as well as Bethlehem and the temple, were supplied. It is now 'Ain 'Atan, at the head of the Wady Urtas, a fountain sending forth a copious supply of pure water.
Their condition after casting off the mortal body is spoken of in these expressive words: "Fire that shall not be quenched" (Mark 9:45, 46), "fire unquenchable" (Luke 3:17), "the worm that never dies," the "bottomless pit" (Rev. 9:1), "the smoke of their torment ascending up for ever and ever" (Rev. 14:10, 11).
The idea that the "second death" (Rev. 20:14) is in the case of the wicked their absolute destruction, their annihilation, has not the slightest support from Scripture, which always represents their future as one of conscious suffering enduring for ever.
The supposition that God will ultimately secure the repentance and restoration of all sinners is equally unscriptural. There is not the slightest trace in all the Scriptures of any such restoration. Sufferings of themselves have no tendency to purify the soul from sin or impart spiritual life. The atoning death of Christ and the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit are the only means of divine appointment for bringing men to repentance. Now in the case of them that perish these means have been rejected, and "there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins" (Heb. 10:26, 27).
It occurs frequently in the New Testament (Matt. 7:14; 18:8, 9; Luke 10:28; comp. 18:18). It comprises the whole future of the redeemed (Luke 16:9), and is opposed to "eternal punishment" (Matt. 19:29; 25:46). It is the final reward and glory into which the children of God enter (1 Tim. 6:12, 19; Rom. 6:22; Gal. 6:8; 1 Tim. 1:16; Rom. 5:21); their Sabbath of rest (Heb. 4:9; comp. 12:22).
The newness of life which the believer derives from Christ (Rom. 6:4) is the very essence of salvation, and hence the life of glory or the eternal life must also be theirs (Rom. 6:8; 2 Tim. 2:11, 12; Rom. 5:17, 21; 8:30; Eph. 2:5, 6). It is the "gift of God in Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23). The life the faithful have here on earth (John 3:36; 5:24; 6:47, 53-58) is inseparably connected with the eternal life beyond, the endless life of the future, the happy future of the saints in heaven (Matt. 19:16, 29; 25:46).
(1.) "The Ezrahite," distinguished for his wisdom (1 Kings 4:31). He is named as the author of the 89th Psalm. He was of the tribe of Levi.
Its inhabitants were descendants of Ham (Gen. 10:6; Jer. 13:23; Isa. 18:2, "scattered and peeled," A.V.; but in R.V., "tall and smooth"). Herodotus, the Greek historian, describes them as "the tallest and handsomest of men." They are frequently represented on Egyptian monuments, and they are all of the type of the true negro. As might be expected, the history of this country is interwoven with that of Egypt.
The Euphrates is first mentioned in Gen. 2:14 as one of the rivers of Paradise. It is next mentioned in connection with the covenant which God entered into with Abraham (15:18), when he promised to his descendants the land from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates (comp. Deut. 11:24; Josh. 1:4), a covenant promise afterwards fulfilled in the extended conquests of David (2 Sam. 8:2-14; 1 Chr. 18:3; 1 Kings 4:24). It was then the boundary of the kingdom to the north-east. In the ancient history of Assyria, and Babylon, and Egypt many events are recorded in which mention is made of the "great river." Just as the Nile represented in prophecy the power of Egypt, so the Euphrates represented the Assyrian power (Isa. 8:7; Jer. 2:18).
It is by far the largest and most important of all the rivers of Western Asia. From its source in the Armenian mountains to the Persian Gulf, into which it empties itself, it has a course of about 1,700 miles. It has two sources, (1) the Frat or Kara-su (i.e., "the black river"), which rises 25 miles north-east of Erzeroum; and (2) the Muradchai (i.e., "the river of desire"), which rises near Ararat, on the northern slope of Ala-tagh. At Kebban Maden, 400 miles from the source of the former, and 270 from that of the latter, they meet and form the majestic stream, which is at length joined by the Tigris at Koornah, after which it is called Shat-el-Arab, which runs in a deep and broad stream for above 140 miles to the sea. It is estimated that the alluvium brought down by these rivers encroaches on the sea at the rate of about one mile in thirty years.
After the destruction of Samaria (B.C. 720) by Shalmaneser and Sargon (q.v.), there was a general deportation of the Israelites into Mesopotamia and Media (2 Kings 17:6; 18:9; 1 Chr. 5:26). (See ISRAEL, KINGDOM OF.)
(2.) Of the kingdom of the two tribes, the kingdom of Judah. Nebuchadnezzar, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim (Jer. 25:1), invaded Judah, and carried away some royal youths, including Daniel and his companions (B.C. 606), together with the sacred vessels of the temple (2 Chr. 36:7; Dan. 1:2). In B.C. 598 (Jer. 52:28; 2 Kings 24:12), in the beginning of Jehoiachin's reign (2 Kings 24:8), Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive 3,023 eminent Jews, including the king (2 Chr. 36:10), with his family and officers (2 Kings 24:12), and a large number of warriors (16), with very many persons of note (14), and artisans (16), leaving behind only those who were poor and helpless. This was the first general deportation to Babylon.
In B.C. 588, after the revolt of Zedekiah (q.v.), there was a second general deportation of Jews by Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 52:29; 2 Kings 25:8), including 832 more of the principal men of the kingdom. He carried away also the rest of the sacred vessels (2 Chr. 36:18). From this period, when the temple was destroyed (2 Kings 25:9), to the complete restoration, B.C. 517 (Ezra 6:15), is the period of the "seventy years."
In B.C. 582 occurred the last and final deportation. The entire number Nebuchadnezzar carried captive was 4,600 heads of families with their wives and children and dependants (Jer. 52:30; 43:5-7; 2 Chr. 36:20, etc.). Thus the exiles formed a very considerable community in Babylon.
When Cyrus granted permission to the Jews to return to their own land (Ezra 1:5; 7:13), only a comparatively small number at first availed themselves of the privilege. It cannot be questioned that many belonging to the kingdom of Israel ultimately joined the Jews under Ezra, Zerubbabel, and Nehemiah, and returned along with them to Jerusalem (Jer. 50:4, 5, 17-20, 33-35).
Large numbers had, however, settled in the land of Babylon, and formed numerous colonies in different parts of the kingdom. Their descendants very probably have spread far into Eastern lands and become absorbed in the general population. (See JUDAH, KINGDOM OF; CAPTIVITY.)
The time of their sojourning in Egypt was, according to Ex. 12:40, the space of four hundred and thirty years. In the LXX., the words are, "The sojourning of the children of Israel which they sojourned in Egypt and in the land of Canaan was four hundred and thirty years;" and the Samaritan version reads, "The sojourning of the children of Israel and of their fathers which they sojourned in the land of Canaan and in the land of Egypt was four hundred and thirty years." In Gen. 15:13-16, the period is prophetically given (in round numbers) as four hundred years. This passage is quoted by Stephen in his defence before the council (Acts 7:6).
| Years | | From the descent of Jacob into Egypt to the | death of Joseph 71 | | From the death of Joseph to the birth of | Moses 278 | | From the birth of Moses to his flight into | Midian 40 | | From the flight of Moses to his return into | Egypt 40 | | From the return of Moses to the Exodus 1 | | 430
Others contend for the shorter period of two hundred and fifteen years, holding that the period of four hundred and thirty years comprehends the years from the entrance of Abraham into Canaan (see LXX. and Samaritan) to the descent of Jacob into Egypt. They reckon thus:
| Years | | From Abraham's arrival in Canaan to Isaac's | birth 25 | | From Isaac's birth to that of his twin sons | Esau and Jacob 60 | | From Jacob's birth to the going down into | Egypt 130 | | (215) | | From Jacob's going down into Egypt to the | death of Joseph 71 | | From death of Joseph to the birth of Moses 64 | | From birth of Moses to the Exodus 80 | | In all... 430
During the forty years of Moses' sojourn in the land of Midian, the Hebrews in Egypt were being gradually prepared for the great national crisis which was approaching. The plagues that successively fell upon the land loosened the bonds by which Pharaoh held them in slavery, and at length he was eager that they should depart. But the Hebrews must now also be ready to go. They were poor; for generations they had laboured for the Egyptians without wages. They asked gifts from their neighbours around them (Ex. 12:35), and these were readily bestowed. And then, as the first step towards their independent national organization, they observed the feast of the Passover, which was now instituted as a perpetual memorial. The blood of the paschal lamb was duly sprinkled on the door-posts and lintels of all their houses, and they were all within, waiting the next movement in the working out of God's plan. At length the last stroke fell on the land of Egypt. "It came to pass, that at midnight Jehovah smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt." Pharaoh rose up in the night, and called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve Jehovah, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also." Thus was Pharaoh (q.v.) completely humbled and broken down. These words he spoke to Moses and Aaron "seem to gleam through the tears of the humbled king, as he lamented his son snatched from him by so sudden a death, and tremble with a sense of the helplessness which his proud soul at last felt when the avenging hand of God had visited even his palace."
The terror-stricken Egyptians now urged the instant departure of the Hebrews. In the midst of the Passover feast, before the dawn of the 15th day of the month Abib (our April nearly), which was to be to them henceforth the beginning of the year, as it was the commencement of a new epoch in their history, every family, with all that appertained to it, was ready for the march, which instantly began under the leadership of the heads of tribes with their various sub-divisions. They moved onward, increasing as they went forward from all the districts of Goshen, over the whole of which they were scattered, to the common centre. Three or four days perhaps elapsed before the whole body of the people were assembled at Rameses, and ready to set out under their leader Moses (Ex. 12:37; Num. 33:3). This city was at that time the residence of the Egyptian court, and here the interviews between Moses and Pharaoh had taken place.
From Rameses they journeyed to Succoth (Ex. 12:37), identified with Tel-el-Maskhuta, about 12 miles west of Ismailia. (See PITHOM.) Their third station was Etham (q.v.), 13:20, "in the edge of the wilderness," and was probably a little to the west of the modern town of Ismailia, on the Suez Canal. Here they were commanded "to turn and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea", i.e., to change their route from east to due south. The Lord now assumed the direction of their march in the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. They were then led along the west shore of the Red Sea till they came to an extensive camping-ground "before Pi-hahiroth," about 40 miles from Etham. This distance from Etham may have taken three days to traverse, for the number of camping-places by no means indicates the number of days spent on the journey: e.g., it took fully a month to travel from Rameses to the wilderness of Sin (Ex. 16:1), yet reference is made to only six camping-places during all that time. The exact spot of their encampment before they crossed the Red Sea cannot be determined. It was probably somewhere near the present site of Suez.
Under the direction of God the children of Israel went "forward" from the camp "before Pi-hahiroth," and the sea opened a pathway for them, so that they crossed to the farther shore in safety. The Egyptian host pursued after them, and, attempting to follow through the sea, were overwhelmed in its returning waters, and thus the whole military force of the Egyptians perished. They "sank as lead in the mighty waters" (Ex. 15:1-9; comp. Ps. 77:16-19).
Having reached the eastern shore of the sea, perhaps a little way to the north of 'Ayun Musa ("the springs of Moses"), there they encamped and rested probably for a day. Here Miriam and the other women sang the triumphal song recorded in Ex. 15:1-21.
From 'Ayun Musa they went on for three days through a part of the barren "wilderness of Shur" (22), called also the "wilderness of Etham" (Num. 33:8; comp. Ex. 13:20), without finding water. On the last of these days they came to Marah (q.v.), where the "bitter" water was by a miracle made drinkable.
Their next camping-place was Elim (q.v.), where were twelve springs of water and a grove of "threescore and ten" palm trees (Ex. 15:27).
After a time the children of Israel "took their journey from Elim," and encamped by the Red Sea (Num. 33:10), and thence removed to the "wilderness of Sin" (to be distinguished from the wilderness of Zin, 20:1), where they again encamped. Here, probably the modern el-Markha, the supply of bread they had brought with them out of Egypt failed. They began to "murmur" for want of bread. God "heard their murmurings" and gave them quails and manna, "bread from heaven" (Ex. 16:4-36). Moses directed that an omer of manna should be put aside and preserved as a perpetual memorial of God's goodness. They now turned inland, and after three encampments came to the rich and fertile valley of Rephidim, in the Wady Feiran. Here they found no water, and again murmured against Moses. Directed by God, Moses procured a miraculous supply of water from the "rock in Horeb," one of the hills of the Sinai group (17:1-7); and shortly afterwards the children of Israel here fought their first battle with the Amalekites, whom they smote with the edge of the sword.
From the eastern extremity of the Wady Feiran the line of march now probably led through the Wady esh-Sheikh and the Wady Solaf, meeting in the Wady er-Rahah, "the enclosed plain in front of the magnificient cliffs of Ras Sufsafeh." Here they encamped for more than a year (Num. 1:1; 10:11) before Sinai (q.v.).
The different encampments of the children of Israel, from the time of their leaving Egypt till they reached the Promised Land, are mentioned in Ex. 12:37-19; Num. 10-21; 33; Deut. 1, 2, 10.
It is worthy of notice that there are unmistakable evidences that the Egyptians had a tradition of a great exodus from their country, which could be none other than the exodus of the Hebrews.
(1.) An account of the increase and growth of the Israelites in Egypt (ch. 1) (2.) Preparations for their departure out of Egypt (2-12:36). (3.) Their journeyings from Egypt to Sinai (12:37-19:2). (4.) The giving of the law and the establishment of the institutions by which the organization of the people was completed, the theocracy, "a kingdom of priest and an holy nation" (19:3-ch. 40).
The time comprised in this book, from the death of Joseph to the erection of the tabernacle in the wilderness, is about one hundred and forty-five years, on the supposition that the four hundred and thirty years (12:40) are to be computed from the time of the promises made to Abraham (Gal. 3:17).
The authorship of this book, as well as of that of the other books of the Pentateuch, is to be ascribed to Moses. The unanimous voice of tradition and all internal evidences abundantly support this opinion.
The power of casting out devils was conferred by Christ on his apostles (Matt. 10:8), and on the seventy (Luke 10:17-19), and was exercised by believers after his ascension (Mark 16:17; Acts 16:18); but this power was never spoken of as exorcism.
The cover or lid of the ark is termed in the LXX. hilasterion, that which covered or shut out the claims and demands of the law against the sins of God's people, whereby he became "propitious" to them.
The expression (Prov. 23:31), "when it giveth his colour in the cup," is literally, "when it giveth out [or showeth] its eye." The beads or bubbles of wine are thus spoken of. "To set the eyes" on any one is to view him with favour (Gen. 44:21; Job 24:23; Jer. 39:12). This word is used figuratively in the expressions an "evil eye" (Matt. 20:15), a "bountiful eye" (Prov. 22:9), "haughty eyes" (6:17 marg.), "wanton eyes" (Isa. 3:16), "eyes full of adultery" (2 Pet. 2:14), "the lust of the eyes" (1 John 2:16). Christians are warned against "eye-service" (Eph. 6:6; Col. 3:22). Men were sometimes punished by having their eyes put out (1 Sam. 11:2; Samson, Judg. 16:21; Zedekiah, 2 Kings 25:7).
(1.) 1 Chr. 24:16, "Jehezekel."
(2.) One of the great prophets, the son of Buzi the priest (Ezek. 1:3). He was one of the Jewish exiles who settled at Tel-Abib, on the banks of the Chebar, "in the land of the Chaldeans." He was probably carried away captive with Jehoiachin (1:2; 2 Kings 24:14-16) about B.C. 597. His prophetic call came to him "in the fifth year of Jehoiachin's captivity" (B.C. 594). He had a house in the place of his exile, where he lost his wife, in the ninth year of his exile, by some sudden and unforeseen stroke (Ezek. 8:1; 24:18). He held a prominent place among the exiles, and was frequently consulted by the elders (8:1; 11:25; 14:1; 20:1). His ministry extended over twenty-three years (29:17), B.C. 595-573, during part of which he was contemporary with Daniel (14:14; 28:3) and Jeremiah, and probably also with Obadiah. The time and manner of his death are unknown. His reputed tomb is pointed out in the neighbourhood of Bagdad, at a place called Keffil.
(2.) Prophecies against various surrounding nations: against the Ammonites (Ezek. 25:1-7), the Moabites (8-11), the Edomites (12-14), the Philistines (15-17), Tyre and Sidon (26-28), and against Egypt (29-32).
(3.) Prophecies delivered after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar: the triumphs of Israel and of the kingdom of God on earth (Ezek. 33-39); Messianic times, and the establishment and prosperity of the kingdom of God (40;48).
The closing visions of this book are referred to in the book of Revelation (Ezek. 38=Rev. 20:8; Ezek. 47:1-8=Rev. 22:1,2). Other references to this book are also found in the New Testament. (Comp. Rom. 2:24 with Ezek. 36:2; Rom. 10:5, Gal. 3:12 with Ezek. 20:11; 2 Pet. 3:4 with Ezek. 12:22.)
It may be noted that Daniel, fourteen years after his deportation from Jerusalem, is mentioned by Ezekiel (14:14) along with Noah and Job as distinguished for his righteousness, and some five years later he is spoken of as pre-eminent for his wisdom (28:3).
Ezekiel's prophecies are characterized by symbolical and allegorical representations, "unfolding a rich series of majestic visions and of colossal symbols." There are a great many also of "symbolcal actions embodying vivid conceptions on the part of the prophet" (4:1-4; 5:1-4; 12:3-6; 24:3-5; 37:16, etc.) "The mode of representation, in which symbols and allegories occupy a prominent place, gives a dark, mysterious character to the prophecies of Ezekiel. They are obscure and enigmatical. A cloudy mystery overhangs them which it is almost impossible to penetrate. Jerome calls the book 'a labyrith of the mysteries of God.' It was because of this obscurity that the Jews forbade any one to read it till he had attained the age of thirty."
Ezekiel is singular in the frequency with which he refers to the Pentateuch (e.g., Ezek. 27; 28:13; 31:8; 36:11, 34; 47:13, etc.). He shows also an acquaintance with the writings of Hosea (Ezek. 37:22), Isaiah (Ezek. 8:12; 29:6), and especially with those of Jeremiah, his older contemporary (Jer. 24:7, 9; 48:37).
(1.) One of the sons of Seir, the native princes, "dukes," of Mount Hor (Gen. 36:21, 27). (2.) 1 Chr. 7:21; (3.) 4:4. (4.) One of the Gadite champions who repaired to David at Ziklag (12:9). (5.) A Levite (Neh. 3:19). (6.) A priest (12:42).
(1.) A priest among those that returned to Jerusalem under Zerubabel (Neh. 12:1).
(2.) The "scribe" who led the second body of exiles that returned from Babylon to Jerusalem B.C. 459, and author of the book of Scripture which bears his name. He was the son, or perhaps grandson, of Seraiah (2 Kings 25:18-21), and a lineal descendant of Phinehas, the son of Aaron (Ezra 7:1-5). All we know of his personal history is contained in the last four chapters of his book, and in Neh. 8 and 12:26.
In the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see DARIUS), he obtained leave to go up to Jerusalem and to take with him a company of Israelites (Ezra 8). Artaxerxes manifested great interest in Ezra's undertaking, granting him "all his request," and loading him with gifts for the house of God. Ezra assembled the band of exiles, probably about 5,000 in all, who were prepared to go up with him to Jerusalem, on the banks of the Ahava, where they rested for three days, and were put into order for their march across the desert, which was completed in four months. His proceedings at Jerusalem on his arrival there are recorded in his book.
He was "a ready scribe in the law of Moses," who "had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments." "He is," says Professor Binnie, "the first well-defined example of an order of men who have never since ceased in the church; men of sacred erudition, who devote their lives to the study of the Holy Scriptures, in order that they may be in a condition to interpret them for the instruction and edification of the church. It is significant that the earliest mention of the pulpit occurs in the history of Ezra's ministry (Neh. 8:4). He was much more of a teacher than a priest. We learn from the account of his labours in the book of Nehemiah that he was careful to have the whole people instructed in the law of Moses; and there is no reason to reject the constant tradition of the Jews which connects his name with the collecting and editing of the Old Testament canon. The final completion of the canon may have been, and probably was, the work of a later generation; but Ezra seems to have put it much into the shape in which it is still found in the Hebrew Bible. When it is added that the complete organization of the synagogue dates from this period, it will be seen that the age was emphatically one of Biblical study" (The Psalms: their History, etc.).
For about fourteen years, i.e., till B.C. 445, we have no record of what went on in Jerusalem after Ezra had set in order the ecclesiastical and civil affairs of the nation. In that year another distinguished personage, Nehemiah, appears on the scene. After the ruined wall of the city had been built by Nehemiah, there was a great gathering of the people at Jerusalem preparatory to the dedication of the wall. On the appointed day the whole population assembled, and the law was read aloud to them by Ezra and his assistants (Neh. 8:3). The remarkable scene is described in detail. There was a great religious awakening. For successive days they held solemn assemblies, confessing their sins and offering up solemn sacrifices. They kept also the feast of Tabernacles with great solemnity and joyous enthusiasm, and then renewed their national covenant to be the Lord's. Abuses were rectified, and arrangements for the temple service completed, and now nothing remained but the dedication of the walls of the city (Neh. 12).
(1.) The history of the first return of exiles, in the first year of Cyrus (B.C. 536), till the completion and dedication of the new temple, in the sixth year of Darius Hystapes (B.C. 515), ch. 1-6. From the close of the sixth to the opening of the seventh chapter there is a blank in the history of about sixty years.
There is no quotation from this book in the New Testament, but there never has been any doubt about its being canonical. Ezra was probably the author of this book, at least of the greater part of it (comp. 7:27, 28; 8:1, etc.), as he was also of the Books of Chronicles, the close of which forms the opening passage of Ezra.
The Jews prayed with their faces toward the temple and Jerusalem (1 Kings 8:38, 44, 48; Dan. 6:10). To "see God's face" is to have access to him and to enjoy his favour (Ps. 17:15; 27:8). This is the privilege of holy angels (Matt. 18:10; Luke 1:19). The "face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6) is the office and person of Christ, the revealer of the glory of God (John 1:14, 18).