(1.) A city of Judah near Lachish (Josh. 15, 38). Perhaps the ruin Kutlaneh, south of Gezer.
(2.) Amaziah, king of Judah, undertook a great expedition against Edom (2 Chr. 25:5-10), which was completely successful. He routed the Edomites and slew vast numbers of them. So wonderful did this victory appear to him that he acknowledged that it could have been achieved only by the special help of God, and therefore he called Selah (q.v.), their great fortress city, by the name of Joktheel (2 Kings 14:7).
(1.) The son of Rechab, and founder of the Rechabites (q.v.), 2 Kings 10:15; Jer. 35:6, 10.
Jonah and his story is referred to by our Lord (Matt. 12:39, 40; Luke 11:29), a fact to which the greatest weight must be attached. It is impossible to interpret this reference on any other theory. This one argument is of sufficient importance to settle the whole question. No theories devised for the purpose of getting rid of difficulties can stand against such a proof that the book is a veritable history.
There is every reason to believe that this book was written by Jonah himself. It gives an account of (1) his divine commission to go to Nineveh, his disobedience, and the punishment following (1:1-17); (2) his prayer and miraculous deliverance (1:17-2:10); (3) the second commission given to him, and his prompt obedience in delivering the message from God, and its results in the repentance of the Ninevites, and God's long-sparing mercy toward them (ch. 3); (4) Jonah's displeasure at God's merciful decision, and the rebuke tendered to the impatient prophet (ch. 4). Nineveh was spared after Jonah's mission for more than a century. The history of Jonah may well be regarded "as a part of that great onward movement which was before the Law and under the Law; which gained strength and volume as the fulness of the times drew near.", Perowne's Jonah.
(1.) A Levite descended from Gershom (Judg. 18:30). His history is recorded in 17:7-13 and 18:30. The Rabbins changed this name into Manasseh "to screen the memory of the great lawgiver from the stain of having so unworthy an apostate among his near descendants." He became priest of the idol image at Dan, and this office continued in his family till the Captivity.
(2.) The eldest son of king Saul, and the bosom friend of David. He is first mentioned when he was about thirty years of age, some time after his father's accession to the throne (1 Sam. 13:2). Like his father, he was a man of great strength and activity (2 Sam. 1:23), and excelled in archery and slinging (1 Chr. 12:2;2 Sam. 1:22). The affection that evidently subsisted between him and his father was interrupted by the growth of Saul's insanity. At length, "in fierce anger," he left his father's presence and cast in his lot with the cause of David (1 Sam. 20:34). After an eventful career, interwoven to a great extent with that of David, he fell, along with his father and his two brothers, on the fatal field of Gilboa (1 Sam. 31:2, 8). He was first buried at Jabesh-gilead, but his remains were afterwards removed with those of his father to Zelah, in Benjamin (2 Sam. 21:12-14). His death was the occasion of David's famous elegy of "the Song of the Bow" (2 Sam. 1:17-27). He left one son five years old, Merib-baal, or Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 4:4; comp. 1 Chr. 8:34).
(1.) One of the kings of Israel (2 Kings 8:16, 25, 28). He was the son of Ahab.
(1.) From the western base of a hill on which once stood the city of Dan, the northern border-city of Palestine, there gushes forth a considerable fountain called the Leddan, which is the largest fountain in Syria and the principal source of the Jordan. (2.) Beside the ruins of Banias, the ancient Caesarea Philippi and the yet more ancient Panium, is a lofty cliff of limestone, at the base of which is a fountain. This is the other source of the Jordan, and has always been regarded by the Jews as its true source. It rushes down to the plain in a foaming torrent, and joins the Leddan about 5 miles south of Dan (Tell-el-Kady). (3.) But besides these two historical fountains there is a third, called the Hasbany, which rises in the bottom of a valley at the western base of Hermon, 12 miles north of Tell-el-Kady. It joins the main stream about a mile below the junction of the Leddan and the Banias. The river thus formed is at this point about 45 feet wide, and flows in a channel from 12 to 20 feet below the plain. After this it flows, "with a swift current and a much-twisted course," through a marshy plain for some 6 miles, when it falls into the Lake Huleh, "the waters of Merom" (q.v.).
During this part of its course the Jordan has descended about 1,100 feet. At Banias it is 1,080 feet above sea-level. Flowing from the southern extremity of Lake Huleh, here almost on a level with the sea, it flows for 2 miles "through a waste of islets and papyrus," and then for 9 miles through a narrow gorge in a foaming torrent onward to the Sea of Galilee (q.v.).
"In the whole valley of the Jordan from the Lake Huleh to the Sea of Galilee there is not a single settled inhabitant. Along the whole eastern bank of the river and the lakes, from the base of Hermon to the ravine of Hieromax, a region of great fertility, 30 miles long by 7 or 8 wide, there are only some three inhabited villages. The western bank is almost as desolate. Ruins are numerous enough. Every mile or two is an old site of town or village, now well nigh hid beneath a dense jungle of thorns and thistles. The words of Scripture here recur to us with peculiar force: 'I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation...And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it...And your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate' (Lev. 26:31-34).", Dr. Porter's Handbook.
From the Sea of Galilee, at the level of 682 feet below the Mediterranean, the river flows through a long, low plain called "the region of Jordan" (Matt. 3:5), and by the modern Arabs the Ghor, or "sunken plain." This section is properly the Jordan of Scripture. Down through the midst of the "plain of Jordan" there winds a ravine varying in breadth from 200 yards to half a mile, and in depth from 40 to 150 feet. Through it the Jordan flows in a rapid, rugged, tortuous course down to the Dead Sea. The whole distance from the southern extremity of the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea is in a straight line about 65 miles, but following the windings of the river about 200 miles, during which it falls 618 feet. The total length of the Jordan from Banias is about 104 miles in a straight line, during which it falls 2,380 feet.
(1.) The Wady Mandhur, called the Yarmuk by the Rabbins and the Hieromax by the Greeks. It formed the boundary between Bashan and Gilead. It drains the plateau of the Hauran. (2.) The Jabbok or Wady Zerka, formerly the northern boundary of Ammon. It enters the Jordan about 20 miles north of Jericho.
The first historical notice of the Jordan is in the account of the separation of Abraham and Lot (Gen. 13:10). "Lot beheld the plain of Jordan as the garden of the Lord." Jacob crossed and recrossed "this Jordan" (32:10). The Israelites passed over it as "on dry ground" (Josh. 3:17; Ps. 114:3). Twice afterwards its waters were miraculously divided at the same spot by Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 2:8, 14).
The Jordan is mentioned in the Old Testament about one hundred and eighty times, and in the New Testament fifteen times. The chief events in gospel history connected with it are (1) John the Baptist's ministry, when "there went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and were baptized of him in Jordan" (Matt. 3:6). (2.) Jesus also "was baptized of John in Jordan" (Mark 1:9).
(1.) The elder of the two sons of Jacob by Rachel (Gen. 30:23, 24), who, on the occasion of his birth, said, "God hath taken away [Heb. 'asaph] my reproach." "The Lord shall add [Heb. yoseph] to me another son" (Gen. 30:24). He was a child of probably six years of age when his father returned from Haran to Canaan and took up his residence in the old patriarchal town of Hebron. "Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age," and he "made him a long garment with sleeves" (Gen. 37:3, R.V. marg.), i.e., a garment long and full, such as was worn by the children of nobles. This seems to be the correct rendering of the words. The phrase, however, may also be rendered, "a coat of many pieces", i.e., a patchwork of many small pieces of divers colours.
When he was about seventeen years old Joseph incurred the jealous hatred of his brothers (Gen. 37:4). They "hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him." Their anger was increased when he told them his dreams (37:11).
Jacob desiring to hear tidings of his sons, who had gone to Shechem with their flocks, some 60 miles from Hebron, sent Joseph as his messenger to make inquiry regarding them. Joseph found that they had left Shechem for Dothan, whither he followed them. As soon as they saw him coming they began to plot against him, and would have killed him had not Reuben interposed. They ultimately sold him to a company of Ishmaelite merchants for twenty pieces (shekels) of silver (about $2, 10s.), ten pieces less than the current value of a slave, for "they cared little what they had for him, if so be they were rid of him." These merchants were going down with a varied assortment of merchandise to the Egyptian market, and thither they conveyed him, and ultimately sold him as a slave to Potiphar, an "officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard" (Gen. 37:36). "The Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake," and Potiphar made him overseer over his house. At length a false charge having been brought against him by Potiphar's wife, he was at once cast into the state prison (39; 40), where he remained for at least two years. After a while the "chief of the cupbearers" and the "chief of the bakers" of Pharaoh's household were cast into the same prison (40:2). Each of these new prisoners dreamed a dream in the same night, which Joseph interpreted, the event occurring as he had said.
This led to Joseph's being remembered subsequently by the chief butler when Pharaoh also dreamed. At his suggestion Joseph was brought from prison to interpret the king's dreams. Pharaoh was well pleased with Joseph's wisdom in interpreting his dreams, and with his counsel with reference to the events then predicted; and he set him over all the land of Egypt (Gen. 41:46), and gave him the name of Zaphnath-paaneah. He was married to Asenath, the daughter of the priest of On, and thus became a member of the priestly class. Joseph was now about thirty years of age.
As Joseph had interpreted, seven years of plenty came, during which he stored up great abundance of corn in granaries built for the purpose. These years were followed by seven years of famine "over all the face of the earth," when "all countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy corn" (Gen. 41:56, 57; 47:13, 14). Thus "Joseph gathered up all the money that was in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought." Afterwards all the cattle and all the land, and at last the Egyptians themselves, became the property of Pharaoh.
During this period of famine Joseph's brethren also came down to Egypt to buy corn. The history of his dealings with them, and of the manner in which he at length made himself known to them, is one of the most interesting narratives that can be read (Gen. 42-45). Joseph directed his brethren to return and bring Jacob and his family to the land of Egypt, saying, "I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land. Regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land is yours." Accordingly Jacob and his family, to the number of threescore and ten souls, together with "all that they had," went down to Egypt. They were settled in the land of Goshen, where Joseph met his father, and "fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while" (Gen. 46:29).
The excavations of Dr. Naville have shown the land of Goshen to be the Wady Tumilat, between Ismailia and Zagazig. In Goshen (Egyptian Qosem) they had pasture for their flocks, were near the Asiatic frontier of Egypt, and were out of the way of the Egyptian people. An inscription speaks of it as a district given up to the wandering shepherds of Asia.
Jacob at length died, and in fulfilment of a promise which he had exacted, Joseph went up to Canaan to bury his father in "the field of Ephron the Hittite" (Gen. 47:29-31; 50:1-14). This was the last recorded act of Joseph, who again returned to Egypt.
"The 'Story of the Two Brothers,' an Egyptian romance written for the son of the Pharaoh of the Oppression, contains an episode very similar to the Biblical account of Joseph's treatment by Potiphar's wife. Potiphar and Potipherah are the Egyptian Pa-tu-pa-Ra, 'the gift of the sun-god.' The name given to Joseph, Zaphnath-paaneah, is probably the Egyptian Zaf-nti-pa-ankh, 'nourisher of the living one,' i.e., of the Pharaoh. There are many instances in the inscriptions of foreigners in Egypt receiving Egyptian names, and rising to the highest offices of state."
By his wife Asenath, Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (Gen. 41:50). Joseph having obtained a promise from his brethren that when the time should come that God would "bring them unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob," they would carry up his bones out of Egypt, at length died, at the age of one hundred and ten years; and "they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin" (Gen. 50:26). This promise was faithfully observed. Their descendants, long after, when the Exodus came, carried the body about with them during their forty years' wanderings, and at length buried it in Shechem, in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor (Josh. 24:32; comp. Gen. 33:19). With the death of Joseph the patriarchal age of the history of Israel came to a close.
The Pharaoh of Joseph's elevation was probably Apepi, or Apopis, the last of the Hyksos kings. Some, however, think that Joseph came to Egypt in the reign of Thothmes III. (see PHARAOH), long after the expulsion of the Hyksos.
(4.) The foster-father of our Lord (Matt. 1:16; Luke 3:23). He lived at Nazareth in Galilee (Luke 2:4). He is called a "just man." He was by trade a carpenter (Matt. 13:55). He is last mentioned in connection with the journey to Jerusalem, when Jesus was twelve years old. It is probable that he died before Jesus entered on his public ministry. This is concluded from the fact that Mary only was present at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee. His name does not appear in connection with the scenes of the crucifixion along with that of Mary (q.v.), John 19:25.
(5.) A native of Arimathea, probably the Ramah of the Old Testament (1 Sam. 1:19), a man of wealth, and a member of the Sanhedrim (Matt. 27:57; Luke 23:50), an "honourable counsellor, who waited for the kingdom of God." As soon as he heard the tidings of Christ's death, he "went in boldly" (lit. "having summoned courage, he went") "unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus." Pilate having ascertained from the centurion that the death had really taken place, granted Joseph's request, who immediately, having purchased fine linen (Mark 15:46), proceeded to Golgotha to take the body down from the cross. There, assisted by Nicodemus, he took down the body and wrapped it in the fine linen, sprinkling it with the myrrh and aloes which Nicodemus had brought (John 19:39), and then conveyed the body to the new tomb hewn by Joseph himself out of a rock in his garden hard by. There they laid it, in the presence of Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Joses, and other women, and rolled a great stone to the entrance, and departed (Luke 23:53, 55). This was done in haste, "for the Sabbath was drawing on" (comp. Isa. 53:9).
(6.) Surnamed Barsabas (Acts 1:23); also called Justus. He was one of those who "companied with the apostles all the time that the Lord Jesus went out and in among them" (Acts 1:21), and was one of the candidates for the place of Judas.
He was born in Egypt, and was probably of the age of Caleb, with whom he is generally associated. He shared in all the events of the Exodus, and held the place of commander of the host of the Israelites at their great battle against the Amalekites in Rephidim (Ex. 17:8-16). He became Moses' minister or servant, and accompanied him part of the way when he ascended Mount Sinai to receive the two tables (Ex. 32:17). He was also one of the twelve who were sent on by Moses to explore the land of Canaan (Num. 13:16, 17), and only he and Caleb gave an encouraging report. Under the direction of God, Moses, before his death, invested Joshua in a public and solemn manner with authority over the people as his successor (Deut. 31:23). The people were encamped at Shittim when he assumed the command (Josh. 1:1); and crossing the Jordan, they encamped at Gilgal, where, having circumcised the people, he kept the Passover, and was visited by the Captain of the Lord's host, who spoke to him encouraging words (1:1-9).
Now began the wars of conquest which Joshua carried on for many years, the record of which is in the book which bears his name. Six nations and thirty-one kings were conquered by him (Josh. 11:18-23; 12:24). Having thus subdued the Canaanites, Joshua divided the land among the tribes, Timnath-serah in Mount Ephraim being assigned to himself as his own inheritance. (See SHILOH; PRIEST.)
His work being done, he died, at the age of one hundred and ten years, twenty-five years after having crossed the Jordan. He was buried in his own city of Timnath-serah (Josh. 24); and "the light of Israel for the time faded away."
Joshua has been regarded as a type of Christ (Heb. 4:8) in the following particulars: (1) In the name common to both; (2) Joshua brings the people into the possession of the Promised Land, as Jesus brings his people to the heavenly Canaan; and (3) as Joshua succeeded Moses, so the Gospel succeeds the Law.
The character of Joshua is thus well sketched by Edersheim:, "Born a slave in Egypt, he must have been about forty years old at the time of the Exodus. Attached to the person of Moses, he led Israel in the first decisive battle against Amalek (Ex. 17:9, 13), while Moses in the prayer of faith held up to heaven the God-given 'rod.' It was no doubt on that occasion that his name was changed from Oshea, 'help,' to Jehoshua, 'Jehovah is help' (Num. 13:16). And this name is the key to his life and work. Alike in bringing the people into Canaan, in his wars, and in the distribution of the land among the tribes, from the miraculous crossing of Jordan and taking of Jericho to his last address, he was the embodiment of his new name, 'Jehovah is help.' To this outward calling his character also corresponded. It is marked by singleness of purpose, directness, and decision...He sets an object before him, and unswervingly follows it" (Bible Hist., iii. 103)
(1.) The history of the conquest of the land (1-12). (2.) The allotment of the land to the different tribes, with the appointment of cities of refuge, the provision for the Levites (13-22), and the dismissal of the eastern tribes to their homes. This section has been compared to the Domesday Book of the Norman conquest. (3.) The farewell addresses of Joshua, with an account of his death (23, 24).
This book stands first in the second of the three sections, (1) the Law, (2) the Prophets, (3) the "other writings" = Hagiographa, into which the Jewish Church divided the Old Testament. There is every reason for concluding that the uniform tradition of the Jews is correct when they assign the authorship of the book to Joshua, all except the concluding section; the last verses (24:29-33) were added by some other hand.
(1.) The miracle of the standing still of the sun and moon on Gibeon. The record of it occurs in Joshua's impassioned prayer of faith, as quoted (Josh. 10:12-15) from the "Book of Jasher" (q.v.). There are many explanations given of these words. They need, however, present no difficulty if we believe in the possibility of God's miraculous interposition in behalf of his people. Whether it was caused by the refraction of the light, or how, we know not.
(2.) Another difficulty arises out of the command given by God utterly to exterminate the Canaanites. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" It is enough that Joshua clearly knew that this was the will of God, who employs his terrible agencies, famine, pestilence, and war, in the righteous government of this world. The Canaanites had sunk into a state of immorality and corruption so foul and degrading that they had to be rooted out of the land with the edge of the sword. "The Israelites' sword, in its bloodiest executions, wrought a work of mercy for all the countries of the earth to the very end of the world."
This book resembles the Acts of the Apostles in the number and variety of historical incidents it records, and in its many references to persons and places; and as in the latter case the epistles of Paul (see Paley's Horae Paul.) confirm its historical accuracy by their incidental allusions and "undesigned coincidences," so in the former modern discoveries confirm its historicity. The Amarna tablets (see ADONIZEDEC) are among the most remarkable discoveries of the age. Dating from about B.C. 1480 down to the time of Joshua, and consisting of official communications from Amorite, Phoenician, and Philistine chiefs to the king of Egypt, they afford a glimpse into the actual condition of Palestine prior to the Hebrew invasion, and illustrate and confirm the history of the conquest. A letter, also still extant, from a military officer, "master of the captains of Egypt," dating from near the end of the reign of Rameses II., gives a curious account of a journey, probably official, which he undertook through Palestine as far north as to Aleppo, and an insight into the social condition of the country at that time. Among the things brought to light by this letter and the Amarna tablets is the state of confusion and decay that had now fallen on Egypt. The Egyptian garrisons that had held possession of Palestine from the time of Thothmes III., some two hundred years before, had now been withdrawn. The way was thus opened for the Hebrews. In the history of the conquest there is no mention of Joshua having encountered any Egyptian force. The tablets contain many appeals to the king of Egypt for help against the inroads of the Hebrews, but no help seems ever to have been sent. Is not this just such a state of things as might have been anticipated as the result of the disaster of the Exodus? In many points, as shown under various articles, the progress of the conquest is remarkably illustrated by the tablets. The value of modern discoveries in their relation to Old Testament history has been thus well described:
"The difficulty of establishing the charge of lack of historical credibility, as against the testimony of the Old Testament, has of late years greatly increased. The outcome of recent excavations and explorations is altogether against it. As long as these books contained, in the main, the only known accounts of the events they mention, there was some plausibility in the theory that perhaps these accounts were written rather to teach moral lessons than to preserve an exact knowledge of events. It was easy to say in those times men had not the historic sense. But the recent discoveries touch the events recorded in the Bible at very many different points in many different generations, mentioning the same persons, countries, peoples, events that are mentioned in the Bible, and showing beyond question that these were strictly historic. The point is not that the discoveries confirm the correctness of the Biblical statements, though that is commonly the case, but that the discoveries show that the peoples of those ages had the historic sense, and, specifically, that the Biblical narratives they touch are narratives of actual occurrences."
In the eighteenth year of his reign he proceeded to repair and beautify the temple, which by time and violence had become sorely dilapidated (2 Kings 22:3, 5, 6; 23:23; 2 Chr. 34:11). While this work was being carried on, Hilkiah, the high priest, discovered a roll, which was probably the original copy of the law, the entire Pentateuch, written by Moses.
When this book was read to him, the king was alarmed by the things it contained, and sent for Huldah, the "prophetess," for her counsel. She spoke to him words of encouragement, telling him that he would be gathered to his fathers in peace before the threatened days of judgment came. Josiah immediately gathered the people together, and engaged them in a renewal of their ancient national covenant with God. The Passover was then celebrated, as in the days of his great predecessor, Hezekiah, with unusual magnificence. Nevertheless, "the Lord turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah" (2 Kings 22:3-20; 23:21-27; 2 Chr. 35:1-19). During the progress of this great religious revolution Jeremiah helped it on by his earnest exhortations.
Soon after this, Pharaoh-Necho II. (q.v.), king of Egypt, in an expedition against the king of Assyria, with the view of gaining possession of Carchemish, sought a passage through the territory of Judah for his army. This Josiah refused to permit. He had probably entered into some new alliance with the king of Assyria, and faithful to his word he sought to oppose the progress of Necho.
The army of Judah went out and encountered that of Egypt at Megiddo, on the verge of the plain of Esdraelon. Josiah went into the field in disguise, and was fatally wounded by a random arrow. His attendants conveyed him toward Jerusalem, but had only reached Hadadrimmon, a few miles south of Megiddo, when he died (2 Kings 23:28, 30; comp. 2 Chr. 35:20-27), after a reign of thirty-one years. He was buried with the greatest honours in fulfilment of Huldah's prophecy (2 Kings 22:20; comp. Jer. 34:5). Jeremiah composed a funeral elegy on this the best of the kings of Israel (Lam. 4:20; 2 Chr. 35:25). The outburst of national grief on account of his death became proverbial (Zech. 12:11; comp. Rev. 16:16).
(1.) The youngest of Gideon's seventy sons. He escaped when the rest were put to death by the order of Abimelech (Judg. 9:5). When "the citizens of Shechem and the whole house of Millo" were gathered together "by the plain of the pillar" (i.e., the stone set up by Joshua, 24:26; comp. Gen. 35:4) "that was in Shechem, to make Abimelech king," from one of the heights of Mount Gerizim he protested against their doing so in the earliest parable, that of the bramble-king. His words then spoken were prophetic. There came a recoil in the feelings of the people toward Abimelech, and then a terrible revenge, in which many were slain and the city of Shechem was destroyed by Abimelech (Judg. 9:45). Having delivered his warning, Jotham fled to Beer from the vengeance of Abimelech (9:7-21).
(2.) The son and successor of Uzziah on the throne of Judah. As during his last years Uzziah was excluded from public life on account of his leprosy, his son, then twenty-five years of age, administered for seven years the affairs of the kingdom in his father's stead (2 Chr. 26:21, 23; 27:1). After his father's death he became sole monarch, and reigned for sixteen years (B.C. 759-743). He ruled in the fear of God, and his reign was prosperous. He was contemporary with the prophets Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah, by whose ministrations he profited. He was buried in the sepulchre of the kings, greatly lamented by the people (2 Kings 15:38; 2 Chr. 27:7-9).
(2.) A Sabbath-day's journey is 2,000 paces or yards from the city walls (Acts 1:12). According to Jewish tradition, it was the distance one might travel without violating the law of Ex. 16:29. (See SABBATH.)
(1.) One of the Benjamite archers who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:4).
The return of the jubilee year was proclaimed by a blast of trumpets which sounded throughout the land. There is no record in Scripture of the actual observance of this festival, but there are numerous allusions (Isa. 5:7, 8, 9, 10; 61:1, 2; Ezek. 7:12, 13; Neh. 5:1-19; 2 Chr. 36:21) which place it beyond a doubt that it was observed.
The advantages of this institution were manifold. "1. It would prevent the accumulation of land on the part of a few to the detriment of the community at large. 2. It would render it impossible for any one to be born to absolute poverty, since every one had his hereditary land. 3. It would preclude those inequalities which are produced by extremes of riches and poverty, and which make one man domineer over another. 4. It would utterly do away with slavery. 5. It would afford a fresh opportunity to those who were reduced by adverse circumstances to begin again their career of industry in the patrimony which they had temporarily forfeited. 6. It would periodically rectify the disorders which crept into the state in the course of time, preclude the division of the people into nobles and plebeians, and preserve the theocracy inviolate."
It was Judah that interposed in behalf of Joseph, so that his life was spared (Gen. 37:26, 27). He took a lead in the affairs of the family, and "prevailed above his brethren" (Gen. 43:3-10; 44:14, 16-34; 46:28; 1 Chr. 5:2).
Soon after the sale of Joseph to the Ishmaelites, Judah went to reside at Adullam, where he married a woman of Canaan. (See ONAN; TAMAR.) After the death of his wife Shuah, he returned to his father's house, and there exercised much influence over the patriarch, taking a principal part in the events which led to the whole family at length going down into Egypt. We hear nothing more of him till he received his father's blessing (Gen. 49:8-12).
For the first sixty years the kings of Judah aimed at re-establishing their authority over the kingdom of the other ten tribes, so that there was a state of perpetual war between them. For the next eighty years there was no open war between them. For the most part they were in friendly alliance, co-operating against their common enemies, especially against Damascus. For about another century and a half Judah had a somewhat checkered existence after the termination of the kingdom of Israel till its final overthrow in the destruction of the temple (B.C. 588) by Nebuzar-adan, who was captain of Nebuchadnezzar's body-guard (2 Kings 25:8-21).
The inheritance of the tribe of Judah was at first fully one-third of the whole country west of Jordan, in all about 2,300 square miles (Josh. 15). But there was a second distribution, when Simeon received an allotment, about 1,000 square miles, out of the portion of Judah (Josh. 19:9). That which remained to Judah was still very large in proportion to the inheritance of the other tribes. The boundaries of the territory are described in Josh. 15:20-63.
(1.) The south (Heb. negeb), the undulating pasture-ground between the hills and the desert to the south (Josh. 15:21.) This extent of pasture-land became famous as the favourite camping-ground of the old patriarchs. (2.) The "valley" (15:33) or lowland (Heb. shephelah), a broad strip lying between the central highlands and the Mediterranean. This tract was the garden as well as the granary of the tribe. (3.) The "hill-country," or the mountains of Judah, an elevated plateau stretching from below Hebron northward to Jerusalem. "The towns and villages were generally perched on the tops of hills or on rocky slopes. The resources of the soil were great. The country was rich in corn, wine, oil, and fruit; and the daring shepherds were able to lead their flocks far out over the neighbouring plains and through the mountains." The number of towns in this district was thirty-eight (Josh. 15:48-60). (4.) The "wilderness," the sunken district next the Dead Sea (Josh. 15:61), "averaging 10 miles in breadth, a wild, barren, uninhabitable region, fit only to afford scanty pasturage for sheep and goats, and a secure home for leopards, bears, wild goats, and outlaws" (1 Sam. 17:34; 22:1; Mark 1:13). It was divided into the "wilderness of En-gedi" (1 Sam. 24:1), the "wilderness of Judah" (Judg. 1:16; Matt. 3:1), between the Hebron mountain range and the Dead Sea, the "wilderness of Maon" (1 Sam. 23:24). It contained only six cities.
(1.) The patriarch (Matt. 1:2, 3).
(2.) Son of Simon (John 6:71; 13:2, 26), surnamed Iscariot, i.e., a man of Kerioth (Josh. 15:25). His name is uniformly the last in the list of the apostles, as given in the synoptic (i.e., the first three) Gospels. The evil of his nature probably gradually unfolded itself till "Satan entered into him" (John 13:27), and he betrayed our Lord (18:3). Afterwards he owned his sin with "an exceeding bitter cry," and cast the money he had received as the wages of his iniquity down on the floor of the sanctuary, and "departed and went and hanged himself" (Matt. 27:5). He perished in his guilt, and "went unto his own place" (Acts 1:25). The statement in Acts 1:18 that he "fell headlong and burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out," is in no way contrary to that in Matt. 27:5. The sucide first hanged himself, perhaps over the valley of Hinnom, "and the rope giving way, or the branch to which he hung breaking, he fell down headlong on his face, and was crushed and mangled on the rocky pavement below."
Why such a man was chosen to be an apostle we know not, but it is written that "Jesus knew from the beginning who should betray him" (John 6:64). Nor can any answer be satisfactorily given to the question as to the motives that led Judas to betray his Master. "Of the motives that have been assigned we need not care to fix on any one as that which simply led him on. Crime is, for the most part, the result of a hundred motives rushing with bewildering fury through the mind of the criminal."
(3.) A Jew of Damascus (Acts 9:11), to whose house Ananias was sent. The street called "Straight" in which it was situated is identified with the modern "street of bazaars," where is still pointed out the so-called "house of Judas."
(4.) A Christian teacher, surnamed Barsabas. He was sent from Jerusalem to Antioch along with Paul and Barnabas with the decision of the council (Acts 15:22, 27, 32). He was a "prophet" and a "chief man among the brethren."
The province of Judea, as distinguished from Galilee and Samaria, included the territories of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Dan, Simeon, and part of Ephraim. Under the Romans it was a part of the province of Syria, and was governed by a procurator.
There is nothing very definite to determine the time and place at which it was written. It was apparently written in the later period of the apostolic age, for when it was written there were persons still alive who had heard the apostles preach (ver. 17). It may thus have been written about A.D. 66 or 70, and apparently in Palestine.
The epistle is addressed to Christians in general (ver. 1), and its design is to put them on their guard against the misleading efforts of a certain class of errorists to which they were exposed. The style of the epistle is that of an "impassioned invective, in the impetuous whirlwind of which the writer is hurried along, collecting example after example of divine vengeance on the ungodly; heaping epithet upon epithet, and piling image upon image, and, as it were, labouring for words and images strong enough to depict the polluted character of the licentious apostates against whom he is warning the Church; returning again and again to the subject, as though all language was insufficient to give an adequate idea of their profligacy, and to express his burning hatred of their perversion of the doctrines of the gospel."
In Ex. 2:14 Moses is so styled. This fact may indicate that while for revenue purposes the "taskmasters" were over the people, they were yet, just as at a later time when under the Romans, governed by their own rulers.
(1.) An introduction (1-3:6), connecting it with the previous narrative in Joshua, as a "link in the chain of books." (2.) The history of the thirteen judges (3:7-16:31) in the following order:
| FIRST PERIOD (3:7-ch. 5) | Years | I. Servitude under Chushan-rishathaim of | Mesopotamia 8 | 1. OTHNIEL delivers Israel, rest 40 | II. Servitude under Eglon of Moab: | Ammon, Amalek 18 | 2. EHUD'S deliverance, rest 80 | 3. SHAMGAR Unknown. | III. Servitude under Jabin of Hazor in | Canaan 20 | 4. DEBORAH and, | 5. BARAK 40 | (206) | | SECOND PERIOD (6-10:5) | | IV. Servitude under Midian, Amalek, and | children of the east 7 | 6. GIDEON 40 | ABIMELECH, Gideon's son, reigns as | king over Israel 3 | 7. TOLA 23 | 8. JAIR 22 | (95) | | THIRD PERIOD (10:6-ch. 12) | | V. Servitude under Ammonites with the | Philistines 18 | 9. JEPHTHAH 6 | 10. IBZAN 7 | 11. ELON 10 | 12. ABDON 8 | (49) | | FOURTH PERIOD (13-16) | VI. Seritude under Philistines 40 | 13. SAMSON 20 | (60) | In all 410
After Samson came Eli, who was both high priest and judge. He directed the civil and religious affairs of the people for forty years, at the close of which the Philistines again invaded the land and oppressed it for twenty years. Samuel was raised up to deliver the people from this oppression, and he judged Israel for some twelve years, when the direction of affairs fell into the hands of Saul, who was anointed king. If Eli and Samuel are included, there were then fifteen judges. But the chronology of this whole period is uncertain.
(3.) The historic section of the book is followed by an appendix (17-21), which has no formal connection with that which goes before. It records (a) the conquest (17, 18) of Laish by a portion of the tribe of Dan; and (b) the almost total extinction of the tribe of Benjamin by the other tribes, in consequence of their assisting the men of Gibeah (19-21). This section properly belongs to the period only a few years after the death of Joshua. It shows the religious and moral degeneracy of the people.
The author of this book was most probably Samuel. The internal evidence both of the first sixteen chapters and of the appendix warrants this conclusion. It was probably composed during Saul's reign, or at the very beginning of David's. The words in 18:30,31, imply that it was written after the taking of the ark by the Philistines, and after it was set up at Nob (1 Sam. 21). In David's reign the ark was at Gibeon (1 Chr. 16:39)
The judge is Jesus Christ, as mediator. All judgment is committed to him (Acts 17:31; John 5:22, 27; Rev. 1:7). "It pertains to him as mediator to complete and publicly manifest the salvation of his people and the overthrow of his enemies, together with the glorious righteousness of his work in both respects."
The rule of judgment is the standard of God's law as revealed to men, the heathen by the law as written on their hearts (Luke 12:47,48; Rom. 2:12-16); the Jew who "sinned in the law shall be judged by the law" (Rom. 2:12); the Christian enjoying the light of revelation, by the will of God as made known to him (Matt. 11:20-24; John 3:19). Then the secrets of all hearts will be brought to light (1 Cor. 4:5; Luke 8:17; 12:2,3) to vindicate the justice of the sentence pronounced.
As the Scriptures represent the final judgment "as certain [Eccl. 11:9], universal [2 Cor. 5:10], righteous [Rom. 2:5], decisive [1 Cor. 15:52], and eternal as to its consequences [Heb. 6:2], let us be concerned for the welfare of our immortal interests, flee to the refuge set before us, improve our precious time, depend on the merits of the Redeemer, and adhere to the dictates of the divine word, that we may be found of him in peace."
It proceeds on the imputing or crediting to the believer by God himself of the perfect righteousness, active and passive, of his Representative and Surety, Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:3-9). Justification is not the forgiveness of a man without righteousness, but a declaration that he possesses a righteousness which perfectly and for ever satisfies the law, namely, Christ's righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 4:6-8).
The sole condition on which this righteousness is imputed or credited to the believer is faith in or on the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is called a "condition," not because it possesses any merit, but only because it is the instrument, the only instrument by which the soul appropriates or apprehends Christ and his righteousness (Rom. 1:17; 3:25, 26; 4:20, 22; Phil. 3:8-11; Gal. 2:16).
The act of faith which thus secures our justification secures also at the same time our sanctification (q.v.); and thus the doctrine of justification by faith does not lead to licentiousness (Rom. 6:2-7). Good works, while not the ground, are the certain consequence of justification (6:14; 7:6). (See GALATIANS, EPISTLE TO.)
At the end of these years of wanderings, the tribes were a second time gathered together at Kadesh. During their stay here at this time Miriam died and was buried. Here the people murmured for want of water, as their forefathers had done formerly at Rephidim; and Moses, irritated by their chidings, "with his rod smote the rock twice," instead of "speaking to the rock before their eyes," as the Lord had commanded him (comp. Num. 27:14; Deut. 9:23; Ps. 106:32, 33). Because of this act of his, in which Aaron too was involved, neither of them was to be permitted to set foot within the Promised Land (Num. 20:12, 24). The king of Edom would not permit them to pass on through his territory, and therefore they commenced an eastward march, and "came unto Mount Hor" (20:22).
This place has been identified with 'Ain el-Kadeis, about 12 miles east-south-east of Beersheba. (See SPIES.)
(1.) A stream forming the boundary between Ephraim and Manasseh, from the Mediterranean eastward to Tappuah (Josh. 16:8). It has been identified with the sedgy streams that constitute the Wady Talaik, which enters the sea between Joppa and Caesarea. Others identify it with the river' Aujeh.
(2.) A town in the north of Asher (Josh. 19:28). It has been identified with 'Ain-Kana, a village on the brow of a valley some 7 miles south-east of Tyre. About a mile north of this place are many colossal ruins strown about. And in the side of a neighbouring ravine are figures of men, women, and children cut in the face of the rock. These are supposed to be of Phoenician origin.
It is the name for the nomadic tribes of Arabs, the Bedouins generally (Isa. 21:16; 42:11; 60:7; Jer. 2:10; Ezek. 27:21), who dwelt in the north-west of Arabia. They lived in black hair-tents (Cant. 1:5). To "dwell in the tents of Kedar" was to be cut off from the worship of the true God (Ps. 120:5). The Kedarites suffered at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 49:28, 29).
(1.) A place in the extreme south of Judah (Josh. 15:23). Probably the same as Kadesh-barnea (q.v.).
(3.) A "fenced city" of Naphtali, one of the cities of refuge (Josh. 19:37; Judg. 4:6). It was assigned to the Gershonite Levites (Josh. 21:32). It was originally a Canaanite royal city (Josh. 12:22), and was the residence of Barak (Judg. 4:6); and here he and Deborah assembled the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali before the commencement of the conflict with Sisera in the plain of Esdraelon, "for Jehovah among the mighty" (9, 10). In the reign of Pekah it was taken by Tiglath-Pileser (2 Kings 15:29). It was situated near the "plain" (rather "the oak") of Zaanaim, and has been identified with the modern Kedes, on the hills fully four miles north-west of Lake El Huleh.
It has been supposed by some that the Kedesh of the narrative, where Barak assembled his troops, was not the place in Upper Galilee so named, which was 30 miles distant from the plain of Esdraelon, but Kedish, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, 12 miles from Tabor.
(1.) The third son of Nahor (Gen. 22:21).
(1.) One of the sons of Eliphaz, the son of Esau. He became the chief of an Edomitish tribe (Gen. 36:11, 15, 42).
(2.) Caleb's younger brother, and father of Othniel (Josh. 15:17), whose family was of importance in Israel down to the time of David (1 Chr. 27:15). Some think that Othniel (Judg. 1:13), and not Kenaz, was Caleb's brother.
(1.) A town in the south of Judah (Josh. 15:25). Judas the traitor was probably a native of this place, and hence his name Iscariot. It has been identified with the ruins of el-Kureitein, about 10 miles south of Hebron. (See HAZOR ).
(2.) A city of Moab (Jer. 48:24, 41), called Kirioth (Amos 2:2).
The word is used figuratively of power or authority or office (Isa. 22:22; Rev. 3:7; Rev. 1:8; comp. 9:1; 20:1; comp. also Matt. 16:19; 18:18). The "key of knowledge" (Luke 11:52; comp. Matt. 23:13) is the means of attaining the knowledge regarding the kingdom of God. The "power of the keys" is a phrase in general use to denote the extent of ecclesiastical authority.
"Here began the troubles of the journey. First, complaints broke out among the people, probably at the heat, the toil, and the privations of the march; and then God at once punished them by lightning, which fell on the hinder part of the camp, and killed many persons, but ceased at the intercession of Moses (Num. 11:1, 2). Then a disgust fell on the multitude at having nothing to eat but the manna day after day, no change, no flesh, no fish, no high-flavoured vegetables, no luscious fruits...The people loathed the 'light food,' and cried out to Moses, 'Give us flesh, give us flesh, that we may eat.'" In this emergency Moses, in despair, cried unto God. An answer came. God sent "a prodigious flight of quails, on which the people satiated their gluttonous appetite for a full month. Then punishment fell on them: they loathed the food which they had desired; it bred disease in them; the divine anger aggravated the disease into a plague, and a heavy mortality was the consequence. The dead were buried without the camp; and in memory of man's sin and of the divine wrath this name, Kibroth-hattaavah, the Graves of Lust, was given to the place of their sepulchre" (Num. 11:34, 35; 33:16, 17; Deut. 9:22; comp. Ps. 78:30, 31)., Rawlinson's Moses, p. 175. From this encampment they journeyed in a north-eastern direction to Hazeroth.
Through this mountain ravine no water runs, except after heavy rains in the mountains round about Jerusalem. Its length from its head to en-Rogel is 2 3/4 miles. Its precipitous, rocky banks are filled with ancient tombs, especially the left bank opposite the temple area. The greatest desire of the Jews is to be buried there, from the idea that the Kidron is the "valley of Jehoshaphat" mentioned in Joel 3:2.
Below en-Rogel the Kidron has no historical or sacred interest. It runs in a winding course through the wilderness of Judea to the north-western shore of the Dead Sea. Its whole length, in a straight line, is only some 20 miles, but in this space its descent is about 3,912 feet. (See KEDRON.)
Recent excavations have brought to light the fact that the old bed of the Kidron is about 40 feet lower than its present bed, and about 70 feet nearer the sanctuary wall.
This title is applied to God (1 Tim. 1:17), and to Christ, the Son of God (1 Tim. 6:15, 16; Matt. 27:11). The people of God are also called "kings" (Dan. 7:22, 27; Matt. 19:28; Rev. 1:6, etc.). Death is called the "king of terrors" (Job 18:14).
Jehovah was the sole King of the Jewish nation (1 Sam. 8:7; Isa. 33:22). But there came a time in the history of that people when a king was demanded, that they might be like other nations (1 Sam. 8:5). The prophet Samuel remonstrated with them, but the people cried out, "Nay, but we will have a king over us." The misconduct of Samuel's sons was the immediate cause of this demand.
The Hebrew kings did not rule in their own right, nor in name of the people who had chosen them, but partly as servants and partly as representatives of Jehovah, the true King of Israel (1 Sam. 10:1). The limits of the king's power were prescribed (1 Sam. 10:25). The officers of his court were, (1) the recorder or remembrancer (2 Sam. 8:16; 1 Kings 4:3); (2) the scribe (2 Sam. 8:17; 20:25); (3) the officer over the house, the chief steward (Isa. 22:15); (4) the "king's friend," a confidential companion (1 Kings 4:5); (5) the keeper of the wardrobe (2 Kings 22:14); (6) captain of the bodyguard (2 Sam. 20:23); (7) officers over the king's treasures, etc. (1 Chr. 27:25-31); (8) commander-in-chief of the army (1 Chr. 27:34); (9) the royal counsellor (1 Chr. 27:32; 2 Sam. 16:20-23).
Christ is King and sovereign Head over his Church and over all things to his Church (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; Col. 1:18; 2:19). He executes this mediatorial kingship in his Church, and over his Church, and over all things in behalf of his Church. This royalty differs from that which essentially belongs to him as God, for it is given to him by the Father as the reward of his obedience and sufferings (Phil. 2:6-11), and has as its especial object the upbuilding and the glory of his redeemed Church. It attaches, moreover, not to his divine nature as such, but to his person as God-man.
Christ's mediatorial kingdom may be regarded as comprehending, (1) his kingdom of power, or his providential government of the universe; (2) his kingdom of grace, which is wholly spiritual in its subjects and administration; and (3) his kingdom of glory, which is the consummation of all his providential and gracious administration.
Christ sustained and exercised the function of mediatorial King as well as of Prophet and Priest, from the time of the fall of man, when he entered on his mediatorial work; yet it may be said that he was publicly and formally enthroned when he ascended up on high and sat down at the Father's right hand (Ps. 2:6; Jer. 23:5; Isa. 9:6), after his work of humiliation and suffering on earth was "finished."
They contain the annals of the Jewish commonwealth from the accession of Solomon till the subjugation of the kingdom by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians (apparently a period of about four hundred and fifty-three years). The books of Chronicles (q.v.) are more comprehensive in their contents than those of Kings. The latter synchronize with 1 Chr. 28-2 Chr. 36:21. While in the Chronicles greater prominence is given to the priestly or Levitical office, in the Kings greater prominence is given to the kingly.
The authorship of these books is uncertain. There are some portions of them and of Jeremiah that are almost identical, e.g., 2 Kings 24:18-25 and Jer. 52; 39:1-10; 40:7-41:10. There are also many undesigned coincidences between Jeremiah and Kings (2 Kings 21-23 and Jer. 7:15; 15:4; 19:3, etc.), and events recorded in Kings of which Jeremiah had personal knowledge. These facts countenance in some degree the tradition that Jeremiah was the author of the books of Kings. But the more probable supposition is that Ezra, after the Captivity, compiled them from documents written perhaps by David, Solomon, Nathan, Gad, and Iddo, and that he arranged them in the order in which they now exist.
In the threefold division of the Scriptures by the Jews, these books are ranked among the "Prophets." They are frequently quoted or alluded to by our Lord and his apostles (Matt. 6:29; 12:42; Luke 4:25, 26; 10:4; comp. 2 Kings 4:29; Mark 1:6; comp. 2 Kings 1:8; Matt. 3:4, etc.).
The sources of the narrative are referred to (1) "the book of the acts of Solomon" (1 Kings 11:41); (2) the "book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah" (14:29; 15:7, 23, etc.); (3) the "book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel" (14:19; 15:31; 16:14, 20, 27, etc.).
The date of its composition was some time between B.C. 561, the date of the last chapter (2 Kings 25), when Jehoiachin was released from captivity by Evil-merodach, and B.C. 538, the date of the decree of deliverance by Cyrus.
(1.) If any one from poverty was unable to redeem his inheritance, it was the duty of the kinsman to redeem it (Lev. 25:25,28; Ruth 3:9, 12). He was also required to redeem his relation who had sold himself into slavery (Lev. 25:48, 49).
(1.) A city of refuge in Naphtali (1 Chr. 6:76).
(2.) A town on the east of Jordan (Gen. 14:5; Deut. 2:9, 10). It was assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Num. 32:37). In the time of Ezekiel (25:9) it was one of the four cities which formed the "glory of Moab" (comp. Jer. 48:1, 23). It has been identified with el-Kureiyat, 11 miles south-west of Medeba, on the south slope of Jebel Attarus, the ancient Ataroth.