death; slaughter, the name of a Babylonian god, probably the
planet Mars (Jer. 50:2), or it may be another name of Bel, the
guardian divinity of Babylon. This name frequently occurs as a
surname to the kings of Assyria and Babylon.
Merodach has given a son, (Isa. 39:1), "the hereditary chief of
the Chaldeans, a small tribe at that time settled in the marshes
at the mouth of the Euphrates, but in consequence of his
conquest of Babylon afterwards, they became the dominant caste
in Babylonia itself." One bearing this name sent ambassadors to
Hezekiah (B.C. 721). He is also called Berodach-baladan (2 Kings
20:12; 2 Chr. 20:31). (See HEZEKIAH.)
height, a lake in Northern Palestine through which the Jordan
flows. It was the scene of the third and last great victory
gained by Joshua over the Canaanites (Josh. 11:5-7). It is not
again mentioned in Scripture. Its modern name is Bakrat
el-Huleh. "The Ard el-Huleh, the centre of which the lake
occupies, is a nearly level plain of 16 miles in length from
north to south, and its breadth from east to west is from 7 to 8
miles. On the west it is walled in by the steep and lofty range
of the hills of Kedesh-Naphtali; on the east it is bounded by
the lower and more gradually ascending slopes of Bashan; on the
north it is shut in by a line of hills hummocky and irregular in
shape and of no great height, and stretching across from the
mountains of Naphtali to the roots of Mount Hermon, which towers
up at the north-eastern angle of the plain to a height of 10,000
feet. At its southern extremity the plain is similarly traversed
by elevated and broken ground, through which, by deep and narrow
clefts, the Jordan, after passing through Lake Huleh, makes its
rapid descent to the Sea of Galilee."
The lake is triangular in form, about 4 1/2 miles in length by
3 1/2 at its greatest breadth. Its surface is 7 feet above that
of the Mediterranean. It is surrounded by a morass, which is
thickly covered with canes and papyrus reeds, which are
impenetrable. Macgregor with his canoe, the Rob Roy, was the
first that ever, in modern times, sailed on its waters. (See JORDAN.)
a name given to Jehdeiah, the herdsman of the royal asses in the
time of David and Solomon (1 Chr. 27:30), probably as one being
a native of some unknown town called Meronoth.
a plain in the north of Palestine, the inhabitants of which were
severely condemned because they came not to help Barak against
Sisera (Judg. 5:23: comp. 21:8-10; 1 Sam. 11:7). It has been
identified with Marassus, on a knoll to the north of Wady Jalud,
but nothing certainly is known of it. Like Chorazin, it is only
mentioned in Scripture in connection with the curse pronounced
middle district, Vulgate, Messa.
(1.) A plain in that part of
the boundaries of Arabia inhabited by the descendants of Joktan
(2.) Heb. meysh'a, "deliverance," the eldest son of Caleb (1
Chr. 2:42), and brother of Jerahmeel.
(3.) Heb. id, a king of Moab, the son of Chemosh-Gad, a man of
great wealth in flocks and herds (2 Kings 3:4). After the death
of Ahab at Ramoth-Gilead, Mesha shook off the yoke of Israel;
but on the ascension of Jehoram to the throne of Israel, that
king sought the help of Jehoshaphat in an attempt to reduce the
Moabites again to their former condition. The united armies of
the two kings came unexpectedly on the army of the Moabites, and
gained over them an easy victory. The whole land was devastated
by the conquering armies, and Mesha sought refuge in his last
stronghold, Kir-harasheth (q.v.). Reduced to despair, he
ascended the wall of the city, and there, in the sight of the
allied armies, offered his first-born son a sacrifice to
Chemosh, the fire-god of the Moabites. This fearful spectacle
filled the beholders with horror, and they retired from before
the besieged city, and recrossed the Jordan laden with spoil (2
The exploits of Mesha are recorded in the Phoenician
inscription on a block of black basalt found at Dibon, in Moab,
usually called the "Moabite stone" (q.v.).
the title given to Mishael, one of the three Hebrew youths who
were under training at the Babylonian court for the rank of Magi
(Dan. 1:7; 2:49; 3:12-30). This was probably the name of some
drawing out, the sixth son of Japheth (Gen. 10:2), the founder
of a tribe (1 Chr. 1:5; Ezek. 27:13; 38:2,3). They were in all
probability the Moschi, a people inhabiting the Moschian
Mountains, between the Black and the Caspian Seas. In Ps. 120:5
the name occurs as simply a synonym for foreigners or
barbarians. "During the ascendency of the Babylonians and
Persians in Western Asia, the Moschi were subdued; but it seems
probable that a large number of them crossed the Caucasus range
and spread over the northern steppes, mingling with the
Scythians. There they became known as Muscovs, and gave that
name to the Russian nation and its ancient capital by which they
are still generally known throughout the East"
friendship of Jehovah, a Levite of the family of the Korhites,
called also Shelemiah (1 Chr. 9:21; 26:1, 2, 9, 14). He was a
temple gate-keeper in the time of David.
(1.) The father of Berechiah (2 Chr. 28:12).
(2.) A priest, the son of Immer (Neh. 11:13).
(1.) One of the chief Gadites in Bashan in the time
of Jotham (1 Chr. 5:13).
(2.) Grandfather of Shaphan, "the scribe," in the reign of
Josiah (2 Kings 22:3).
(3.) A priest, father of Hilkiah (1 Chr. 9:11; Neh. 11:11), in
the reign of Ammon; called Shallum in 1 Chr. 6:12.
(4.) A Levite of the family of Kohath (2 Chr. 34:12), in the
reign of Josiah.
(5.) 1 Chr. 8:17.
(6.) 1 Chr. 3:19.
(7.) Neh. 12:13.
(8.) A chief priest (Neh. 12:16).
(9.) One of the leading Levites in the time of Ezra (8:16).
(10.) A priest (1 Chr. 9:12).
(11.) One of the principal Israelites who supported Ezra when
expounding the law to the people (Neh. 8:4).
friend, the wife of Manasseh, and the mother of Amon (2 Kings
21:19), Kings of Judah.
the country between the two rivers (Heb. Aram-naharaim; i.e.,
"Syria of the two rivers"), the name given by the Greeks and
Romans to the region between the Euphrates and the Tigris (Gen.
24:10; Deut. 23:4; Judg. 3:8, 10). In the Old Testament it is
mentioned also under the name "Padan-aram;" i.e., the plain of
Aram, or Syria (Gen. 25:20). The northern portion of this
fertile plateau was the original home of the ancestors of the
Hebrews (Gen. 11; Acts 7:2). From this region Isaac obtained his
wife Rebecca (Gen. 24:10, 15), and here also Jacob sojourned
(28:2-7) and obtained his wives, and here most of his sons were
born (35:26; 46:15). The petty, independent tribes of this
region, each under its own prince, were warlike, and used
chariots in battle. They maintained their independence till
after the time of David, when they fell under the dominion of
Assyria, and were absorbed into the empire (2 Kings 19:13).
a portion of food given to a guest (Gen. 43:34; 2 Sam. 11:8).
(Heb. mal'ak, Gr. angelos), an angel, a messenger who runs on
foot, the bearer of despatches (Job 1:14; 1 Sam. 11:7; 2 Chr.
36:22); swift of foot (2 Kings 9:18).
(Heb. mashiah), in all the thirty-nine instances of its
occurring in the Old Testament, is rendered by the LXX.
"Christos." It means anointed. Thus priests (Ex. 28:41; 40:15;
Num. 3:3), prophets (1 Kings 19:16), and kings (1 Sam. 9:16;
16:3; 2 Sam. 12:7) were anointed with oil, and so consecrated to
their respective offices. The great Messiah is anointed "above
his fellows" (Ps. 45:7); i.e., he embraces in himself all the
three offices. The Greek form "Messias" is only twice used in
the New Testament, in John 1:41 and 4:25 (R.V., "Messiah"), and
in the Old Testament the word Messiah, as the rendering of the
Hebrew, occurs only twice (Dan 9:25, 26; R.V., "the anointed
The first great promise (Gen. 3:15) contains in it the germ of
all the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament regarding the
coming of the Messiah and the great work he was to accomplish on
earth. The prophecies became more definite and fuller as the
ages rolled on; the light shone more and more unto the perfect
day. Different periods of prophetic revelation have been pointed
out, (1) the patriarchal; (2) the Mosaic; (3) the period of
David; (4) the period of prophetism, i.e., of those prophets
whose works form a part of the Old Testament canon. The
expectations of the Jews were thus kept alive from generation to
generation, till the "fulness of the times," when Messiah came,
"made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were
under the law." In him all these ancient prophecies have their
fulfilment. Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the great
Deliverer who was to come. (Comp. Matt. 26:54; Mark 9:12; Luke
18:31; 22:37; John 5:39; Acts 2; 16:31; 26:22, 23.)
bridle of the mother, a figurative name for a chief city, as in
2 Sam. 8:1, "David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the
Philistines" (R.V., "took the bridle of the mother-city"); i.e.,
subdued their capital or strongest city, viz., Gath (1 Chr.
champion of El; man of God, a descendant of Cain (Gen. 4:18), so
called, perhaps, to denote that even among the descendants of
Cain God had not left himself without a witness.
man of the dart, the son of Enoch, and grandfather of Noah. He
was the oldest man of whom we have any record, dying at the age
of nine hundred and sixty-nine years, in the year of the Flood
(Gen. 5:21-27; 1 Chr. 1:3).
water of gold, the father of Matred (Gen. 36:39; 1 Chr. 1:50),
and grandfather of Mehetabel, wife of Hadar, the last king of
=Mijamin, from the right hand.
(1.) The head of one of the
divisions of the priests (1 Chr. 24:9).
(2.) A chief priest who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel
(Neh. 12:5), called Mijamin (10:7) and Miniamin (12:17).
choice, a Hagarene, one of David's warriors (1 Chr. 11:38);
called also Bani the Gadite (2 Sam. 23:36).
(1.) One of Ishmael's twelve sons, and head of an
Arab tribe (Gen. 25:13).
(2.) A son of Simeon (1 Chr. 4:25).
fortress, one of the Edomitish "dukes" descended from Esau (Gen.
36:42; 1 Chr. 1:53).
a shortened form of Micaiah, who is like Jehovah?
(1.) A man of
Mount Ephraim, whose history so far is introduced in Judg. 17,
apparently for the purpose of leading to an account of the
settlement of the tribe of Dan in Northern Palestine, and for
the purpose also of illustrating the lawlessness of the times in
which he lived (Judg. 18; 19:1-29; 21:25).
(2.) The son of Merib-baal (Mephibosheth), 1 Chr. 8:34, 35.
(3.) The first in rank of the priests of the family of
Kohathites (1 Chr. 23:20).
(4.) A descendant of Joel the Reubenite (1 Chr. 5:5).
(5.) "The Morasthite," so called to distinguish him from
Micaiah, the son of Imlah (1 Kings 22:8). He was a prophet of
Judah, a contemporary of Isaiah (Micah 1:1), a native of
Moresheth of Gath (1:14, 15). Very little is known of the
circumstances of his life (comp. Jer. 26:18, 19).
Micah, Book of
the sixth in order of the so-called minor prophets. The
superscription to this book states that the prophet exercised
his office in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. If we
reckon from the beginning of Jotham's reign to the end of
Hezekiah's (B.C. 759-698), then he ministered for about
fifty-nine years; but if we reckon from the death of Jotham to
the accession of Hezekiah (B.C. 743-726), his ministry lasted
only sixteen years. It has been noticed as remarkable that this
book commences with the last words of another prophet, "Micaiah
the son of Imlah" (1 Kings 22:28): "Hearken, O people, every one
The book consists of three sections, each commencing with a
rebuke, "Hear ye," etc., and closing with a promise, (1) ch. 1;
2; (2) ch. 3-5, especially addressed to the princes and heads of
the people; (3) ch. 6-7, in which Jehovah is represented as
holding a controversy with his people: the whole concluding with
a song of triumph at the great deliverance which the Lord will
achieve for his people. The closing verse is quoted in the song
of Zacharias (Luke 1:72, 73). The prediction regarding the place
"where Christ should be born," one of the most remarkable
Messianic prophecies (Micah 5:2), is quoted in Matt. 2:6.
There are the following references to this book in the New
5:2, with Matt. 2:6; John 7:42.
7:6, with Matt. 10:21,35,36.
7:20, with Luke 1:72,73.
who is like Jehovah?, the son of Imlah, a faithful prophet of
Samaria (1 Kings 22:8-28). Three years after the great battle
with Ben-hadad (20:29-34), Ahab proposed to Jehoshaphat, king of
Judah, that they should go up against Ramoth-Gilead to do battle
again with Ben-hadad. Jehoshaphat agreed, but suggested that
inquiry should be first made "at the word of Jehovah." Ahab's
prophets approved of the expedition; but Jehoshaphat, still
dissatisfied, asked if there was no other prophet besides the
four hundred that had appeared, and was informed of this
Micaiah. He was sent for from prison, where he had been
confined, probably on account of some prediction disagreeable to
Ahab; and he condemned the expedition, and prophesied that it
would end, as it did, in disaster. We hear nothing further of
this prophet. Some have supposed that he was the unnamed prophet
referred to in 1 Kings 20:35-42.
(1.) 2 Sam. 9:12 =MICAH (2).
(2.) The son of Zabdi, a Levite of the family of Asaph (Neh.
who is like God?
(1.) The title given to one of the chief angels
(Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1). He had special charge of Israel as a
nation. He disputed with Satan (Jude 1:9) about the body of
Moses. He is also represented as warning against "that old
serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole
world" (Rev. 12:7-9).
(2.) The father of Sethur, the spy selected to represent Asher
(3.) 1 Chr. 7:3, a chief of the tribe of Issachar.
(4.) 1 Chr. 8:16, a Benjamite.
(5.) A chief Gadite in Bashan (1 Chr. 5:13).
(6.) A Manassite, "a captain of thousands" who joined David at
Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:20).
(7.) A Gershonite Levite (1 Chr. 6:40).
(8.) The father of Omri (1 Chr. 27:18).
(9.) One of the sons of king Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 21:2, 4). He
was murdered by his brother Jehoram.
(1.) The queen-mother of King Abijah (2 Chr. 13:2). (See MAACAH ).
(2.) One of those sent out by Jehoshaphat to instruct the
people in the law (2 Chr. 17:7).
(3.) 2 Kings 22:12.
(4.) The son of Gemariah. He reported to the king's officers
Jeremiah's prediction, which he had heard Baruch read (Jer.
36:11, 13) from his father Gemariah's chamber in the temple.
(5.) A Levite (Neh. 12:35).
(6.) A priest (Neh. 12:41).
rivulet, or who as God?, the younger of Saul's two daughters by
his wife Ahinoam (1 Sam. 14:49, 50). "Attracted by the graces of
his person and the gallantry of his conduct, she fell in love
with David and became his wife" (18:20-28). She showed her
affection for him by promoting his escape to Naioth when Saul
sought his life (1 Sam. 19:12-17. Comp. Ps. 59. See TERAPHIM). After this she did not see David for many years.
Meanwhile she was given in marriage to another man, Phalti or
Phaltiel of Gallim (1 Sam. 25:44), but David afterwards formally
reclaimed her as his lawful wife (2 Sam. 3:13-16). The relation
between her and David soon after this was altered. They became
alienated from each other. This happened on that memorable day
when the ark was brought up in great triumph from its temporary
resting-place to the Holy City. In David's conduct on that
occasion she saw nothing but a needless humiliation of the royal
dignity (1 Chr. 15:29). She remained childless, and thus the
races of David and Saul were not mixed. In 2 Sam. 21:8 her name
again occurs, but the name Merab should probably be here
substituted for Michal (comp. 1 Sam. 18:19).
something hidden, a town of Benjamin (Ezra 2:27), east of Bethel
and south of Migron, on the road to Jerusalem (Isa. 10:28). It
lay on the line of march of an invading army from the north, on
the north side of the steep and precipitous Wady es-Suweinit
("valley of the little thorn-tree" or "the acacia"), and now
bears the name of Mukhmas. This wady is called "the passage of
Michmash" (1 Sam. 13:23). Immediately facing Mukhmas, on the
opposite side of the ravine, is the modern representative of
Geba, and behind this again are Ramah and Gibeah.
This was the scene of a great battle fought between the army
of Saul and the Philistines, who were utterly routed and pursued
for some 16 miles towards Philistia as far as the valley of
Aijalon. "The freedom of Benjamin secured at Michmash led
through long years of conflict to the freedom of all its kindred
tribes." The power of Benjamin and its king now steadily
increased. A new spirit and a new hope were now at work in
Israel. (See SAUL.)
hiding-place, a town in the northern border of Ephraim and
Manasseh, and not far west of Jordan (Josh. 16:6; 17:7).
prize of Jehovah, a Benjamite, the father of Uzzi (1 Chr. 9:8).
writing; i.e., a poem or song found in the titles of Ps. 16;
56-60. Some translate the word "golden", i.e., precious. It is
rendered in the LXX. by a word meaning "tablet inscription" or a
"stelograph." The root of the word means to stamp or grave, and
hence it is regarded as denoting a composition so precious as to
be worthy to be engraven on a durable tablet for preservation;
or, as others render, "a psalm precious as stamped gold," from
the word kethem, "fine or stamped gold."
measures, one of the six cities "in the wilderness," on the west
of the Dead Sea, mentioned along with En-gedi (Josh. 15:61).
strife, the fourth son of Abraham by Keturah, the father of the
Midianites (Gen. 25:2; 1 Chr. 1:32).
an Arabian tribe descended from Midian. They inhabited
principally the desert north of the peninsula of Arabia. The
peninsula of Sinai was the pasture-ground for their flocks. They
were virtually the rulers of Arabia, being the dominant tribe.
Like all Arabians, they were a nomad people. They early engaged
in commercial pursuits. It was to one of their caravans that
Joseph was sold (Gen. 37:28, 36). The next notice of them is in
connection with Moses' flight from Egypt (Ex. 2:15-21). Here in
Midian Moses became the servant and afterwards the son-in-law of
Reuel or Jethro, the priest. After the Exodus, the Midianites
were friendly to the Israelites so long as they traversed only
their outlying pasture-ground on the west of the Arabah; but
when, having passed the southern end of Edom, they entered into
the land of Midian proper, they joined with Balak, the king of
Moab, in a conspiracy against them (Num. 22:4-7). Balaam, who
had been sent for to curse Israel, having utterly failed to do
so, was dismissed by the king of Moab; nevertheless he still
tarried among the Midianites, and induced them to enter into
correspondence with the Israelites, so as to bring them into
association with them in the licentious orgies connected with
the worship of Baal-Peor. This crafty counsel prevailed. The
Israelites took part in the heathen festival, and so brought
upon themselves a curse indeed. Their apostasy brought upon them
a severe punishment. A plague broke out amongst them, and more
than twenty-four thousand of the people perished (Num. 25:9).
But the Midianites were not to be left unpunished. A terrible
vengeance was denounced against them. A thousand warriors from
each tribe, under the leadership of Phinehas, went forth against
them. The Midianites were utterly routed. Their cities were
consumed by fire, five of their kings were put to death, and the
whole nation was destroyed (Josh. 13:21, 22). Balaam also
perished by the sword, receiving the "wages of his
unrighteousness" (Num. 31:8; 2 Pet. 2:15). The whole of the
country on the east of Jordan, now conquered by the Israelites
(see SIHON; OG), was divided between the two
tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh.
Some two hundred and fifty years after this the Midianites had
regained their ancient power, and in confederation with the
Amalekites and the "children of the east" they made war against
their old enemies the Israelites, whom for seven years they
oppressed and held in subjection. They were at length assailed
by Gideon in that ever-memorable battle in the great plain of
Esdraelon, and utterly destroyed (Judg. 6:1-ch. 7). Frequent
allusions are afterwards made to this great victory (Ps. 83:10,
12; Isa. 9:4; 10:6). They now wholly pass away from the page of
history both sacred and profane.
The two midwives mentioned in Ex. 1:15 were probably the
superintendents of the whole class.
tower of the flock, a place 2 miles south of Jerusalem, near the
Bethlehem road (Gen. 35:21). (See EDAR.)
tower of God, a fortified city of Naphtali (Josh. 19:38),
supposed by some to be identical with Magdala (q.v.).
tower of fortune, a town in the plains of Judah, probably the
modern el-Mejdel, a little to the north-east of Ascalon (Josh.
(1.) A strongly-fortified place 12 miles from Pelusium,
in the north of Egypt (Jer. 44:1; 46:14). This word is rendered
"tower" in Ezek. 29:10, but the margin correctly retains the
name Migdol, "from Migdol to Syene;" i.e., from Migdol in the
north to Syene in the south, in other words, the whole of Egypt.
(2.) A place mentioned in the passage of the Red Sea (Ex.
14:2; Num. 33:7, 8). It is probably to be identified with Bir
Suweis, about 2 miles from Suez.
precipice or landslip, a place between Aiath and Michmash (Isa.
10:28). The town of the same name mentioned in 1 Sam. 14:2 was
to the south of this.
(1.) An officer under Dodai, in the time of David and
Solomon (1 Chr. 27:4).
(2.) A Benjamite (1 Chr. 8:32; 9:37, 38).
eloquent, a Levitical musician (Neh. 12:36) who took part in the
dedication of the wall of Jerusalem.
(the rendering of a Hebrew word meaning "to be yellow,"
yellowness), the result of cutting east winds blighting and thus
rendering the grain unproductive (Deut. 28:22; 1 Kings 8:37; 2
(from Lat. mille, "a thousand;" Matt. 5:41), a Roman measure of
1,000 paces of 5 feet each. Thus the Roman mile has 1618 yards,
being 142 yards shorter than the English mile.
(Miletum, 2 Tim. 4:20), a seaport town and the ancient capital
of Ionia, about 36 miles south of Ephesus. On his voyage from
Greece to Syria, Paul touched at this port, and delivered that
noble and pathetic address to the elders ("presbyters," ver. 28)
of Ephesus recorded in Acts 20:15-35. The site of Miletus is now
some 10 miles from the coast. (See EPHESIANS, EPISTLE TO.)
(1.) Hebrew halabh, "new milk", milk in its fresh state (Judg.
4:19). It is frequently mentioned in connection with honey (Ex.
3:8; 13:5; Josh. 5:6; Isa. 7:15, 22; Jer. 11:5). Sheep (Deut.
32:14) and goats (Prov. 27:27) and camels (Gen. 32:15), as well
as cows, are made to give their milk for the use of man. Milk is
used figuratively as a sign of abundance (Gen. 49:12; Ezek.
25:4; Joel 3:18). It is also a symbol of the rudiments of
doctrine (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, 13), and of the unadulterated
word of God (1 Pet. 2:2).
(2.) Heb. hem'ah, always rendered "butter" in the Authorized
Version. It means "butter," but also more frequently "cream," or
perhaps, as some think, "curdled milk," such as that which
Abraham set before the angels (Gen. 18:8), and which Jael gave
to Sisera (Judg. 5:25). In this state milk was used by
travellers (2 Sam. 17:29). If kept long enough, it acquired a
slightly intoxicating or soporific power.
This Hebrew word is also sometimes used for milk in general
(Deut. 32:14; Job 20:17).
for grinding corn, mentioned as used in the time of Abraham
(Gen. 18:6). That used by the Hebrews consisted of two circular
stones, each 2 feet in diameter and half a foot thick, the lower
of which was called the "nether millstone" (Job 41:24) and the
upper the "rider." The upper stone was turned round by a stick
fixed in it as a handle. There were then no public mills, and
thus each family required to be provided with a hand-mill. The
corn was ground daily, generally by the women of the house (Isa.
47:1, 2; Matt. 24:41). It was with the upper stone of a
hand-mill that "a certain woman" at Thebez broke Abimelech's
skull (Judg. 9:53, "a piece of a millstone;" literally, "a
millstone rider", i.e., the "runner," the stone which revolves.
Comp. 2 Sam. 11:21). Millstones could not be pledged (Deut.
24:6), as they were necessary in every family.
a thousand years; the name given to the era mentioned in Rev.
20:1-7. Some maintain that Christ will personally appear on
earth for the purpose of establishing his kingdom at the
beginning of this millennium. Those holding this view are
usually called "millenarians." On the other hand, it is
maintained, more in accordance with the teaching of Scripture,
we think, that Christ's second advent will not be premillennial,
and that the right conception of the prospects and destiny of
his kingdom is that which is taught, e.g., in the parables of
the leaven and the mustard-seed. The triumph of the gospel, it
is held, must be looked for by the wider and more efficient
operation of the very forces that are now at work in extending
the gospel; and that Christ will only come again at the close of
this dispensation to judge the world at the "last day." The
millennium will thus precede his coming.
(Heb. dohan; only in Ezek. 4:9), a small grain, the produce of
the Panicum miliaceum of botanists. It is universally cultivated
in the East as one of the smaller corn-grasses. This seed is the
cenchros of the Greeks. It is called in India warree, and by the
Arabs dukhan, and is extensively used for food, being often
mixed with other grain. In this country it is only used for
(Heb. always with the article, "the" Millo).
(1.) Probably the
Canaanite name of some fortification, consisting of walls filled
in with earth and stones, which protected Jerusalem on the north
as its outermost defence. It is always rendered Akra i.e., "the
citadel", in the LXX. It was already existing when David
conquered Jerusalem (2 Sam. 5:9). He extended it to the right
and left, thus completing the defence of the city. It was
rebuilt by Solomon (1 Kings 9:15, 24; 11:27) and repaired by
Hezekiah (2 Chr. 32:5).
(2.) In Judg. 9:6, 20 it is the name of a rampart in Shechem,
probably the "tower of Shechem" (9:46, 49).
(Heb. taphoph, Isa. 3:16), taking affectedly short and quick
steps. Luther renders the word by "wag" or "waggle," thus
representing "the affected gait of coquettish females."
The process of mining is described in Job 28:1-11. Moses speaks
of the mineral wealth of Palestine (Deut. 8:9). Job 28:4 is
rightly thus rendered in the Revised Version, "He breaketh open
a shaft away from where men sojourn; they are forgotten of the
foot [that passeth by]; they hang afar from men, they swing to
and fro." These words illustrate ancient mining operations.
one who serves, as distinguished from the master.
meshereth, applied to an attendant on one of superior rank, as
to Joshua, the servant of Moses (Ex. 33:11), and to the servant
of Elisha (2 Kings 4:43). This name is also given to attendants
at court (2 Chr. 22:8), and to the priests and Levites (Jer.
33:21; Ezek. 44:11).
(2.) Heb. pelah (Ezra 7:24), a "minister" of religion. Here
used of that class of sanctuary servants called "Solomon's
servants" in Ezra 2:55-58 and Neh. 7:57-60.
(3.) Greek leitourgos, a subordinate public administrator, and
in this sense applied to magistrates (Rom. 13:6). It is applied
also to our Lord (Heb. 8:2), and to Paul in relation to Christ
(4.) Greek hyperetes (literally, "under-rower"), a personal
attendant on a superior, thus of the person who waited on the
officiating priest in the synagogue (Luke 4:20). It is applied
also to John Mark, the attendant on Paul and Barnabas (Acts
(5.) Greek diaconos, usually a subordinate officer or
assistant employed in relation to the ministry of the gospel, as
to Paul and Apollos (1 Cor. 3:5), Tychicus (Eph. 6:21), Epaphras
(Col. 1:7), Timothy (1 Thess. 3:2), and also to Christ (Rom.
only in Jer. 51:27, as the name of a province in Armenia, which
was at this time under the Median kings. Armenia is regarded by
some as = Har-minni i.e., the mountainous country of Minni. (See ARMENIA.)
distribution, an Ammonitish town (Judg. 11:33) from which wheat
was exported to Tyre (Ezek. 27:17). It was probably somewhere in
the Mishor or table-land on the east of Jordan. There is a
gentle valley running for about 4 miles east of Dhiban called
Kurm Dhiban, "the vineyards of Dibon." Tristram supposes that
this may be the "vineyards" mentioned in Judg. (l.c.).
(Matt. 9:23), a flute-player. Such music was a usual
accompaniment of funerals. In 2 Kings 3:15 it denotes a player
on a stringed instrument.
(Gr. heduosmon, i.e., "having a sweet smell"), one of the garden
herbs of which the Pharisees paid tithes (Matt. 23:23; Luke
11:42). It belongs to the labiate family of plants. The species
most common in Syria is the Mentha sylvestris, the wild mint,
which grows much larger than the garden mint (M. sativa). It was
much used in domestic economy as a condiment, and also as a
medicine. The paying of tithes of mint was in accordance with
the Mosiac law (Deut. 14:22), but the error of the Pharisees lay
in their being more careful about this little matter of the mint
than about weightier matters.
an event in the external world brought about by the immediate
agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use
of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed
to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and
the truth of his message (John 2:18; Matt. 12:38). It is an
occurrence at once above nature and above man. It shows the
intervention of a power that is not limited by the laws either
of matter or of mind, a power interrupting the fixed laws which
govern their movements, a supernatural power.
"The suspension or violation of the laws of nature involved in
miracles is nothing more than is constantly taking place around
us. One force counteracts another: vital force keeps the
chemical laws of matter in abeyance; and muscular force can
control the action of physical force. When a man raises a weight
from the ground, the law of gravity is neither suspended nor
violated, but counteracted by a stronger force. The same is true
as to the walking of Christ on the water and the swimming of
iron at the command of the prophet. The simple and grand truth
that the universe is not under the exclusive control of physical
forces, but that everywhere and always there is above, separate
from and superior to all else, an infinite personal will, not
superseding, but directing and controlling all physical causes,
acting with or without them." God ordinarily effects his purpose
through the agency of second causes; but he has the power also
of effecting his purpose immediately and without the
intervention of second causes, i.e., of invading the fixed
order, and thus of working miracles. Thus we affirm the
possibility of miracles, the possibility of a higher hand
intervening to control or reverse nature's ordinary movements.
In the New Testament these four Greek words are principally
used to designate miracles:
(1.) Semeion, a "sign", i.e., an
evidence of a divine commission; an attestation of a divine
message (Matt. 12:38, 39; 16:1, 4; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16; 23:8;
John 2:11, 18, 23; Acts 6:8, etc.); a token of the presence and
working of God; the seal of a higher power.
(2.) Terata, "wonders;" wonder-causing events; portents;
producing astonishment in the beholder (Acts 2:19).
(3.) Dunameis, "might works;" works of superhuman power (Acts
2:22; Rom. 15:19; 2 Thess. 2:9); of a new and higher power.
(4.) Erga, "works;" the works of Him who is "wonderful in
working" (John 5:20, 36).
Miracles are seals of a divine mission. The sacred writers
appealed to them as proofs that they were messengers of God. Our
Lord also appealed to miracles as a conclusive proof of his
divine mission (John 5:20, 36; 10:25, 38). Thus, being out of
the common course of nature and beyond the power of man, they
are fitted to convey the impression of the presence and power of
God. Where miracles are there certainly God is. The man,
therefore, who works a miracle affords thereby clear proof that
he comes with the authority of God; they are his credentials
that he is God's messenger. The teacher points to these
credentials, and they are a proof that he speaks with the
authority of God. He boldly says, "God bears me witness, both
with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles."
The credibility of miracles is established by the evidence of
the senses on the part of those who are witnesses of them, and
to all others by the testimony of such witnesses. The witnesses
were competent, and their testimony is trustworthy. Unbelievers,
following Hume, deny that any testimony can prove a miracle,
because they say miracles are impossible. We have shown that
miracles are possible, and surely they can be borne witness to.
Surely they are credible when we have abundant and trustworthy
evidence of their occurrence. They are credible just as any
facts of history well authenticated are credible. Miracles, it
is said, are contrary to experience. Of course they are contrary
to our experience, but that does not prove that they were
contrary to the experience of those who witnessed them. We
believe a thousand facts, both of history and of science, that
are contrary to our experience, but we believe them on the
ground of competent testimony. An atheist or a pantheist must,
as a matter of course, deny the possibility of miracles; but to
one who believes in a personal God, who in his wisdom may see
fit to interfere with the ordinary processes of nature, miracles
are not impossible, nor are they incredible. (See LIST OF
(1.) The sister of Moses and Aaron (Ex. 2:4-10;
1 Chr. 6:3). Her name is prominent in the history of the Exodus.
She is called "the prophetess" (Ex. 15:20). She took the lead in
the song of triumph after the passage of the Red Sea. She died
at Kadesh during the second encampment at that place, toward the
close of the wanderings in the wilderness, and was buried there
(Num. 20:1). (See AARON; MOSES.)
(2.) 1 Chr. 4:17, one of the descendants of Judah.
(Deut. 32:27, R.V.). The Authorized Version reads, "should
behave themselves strangely;" i.e., not recognize the truth,
misunderstand or mistake the cause of Israel's ruin, which was
due to the fact that God had forsaken them on account of their
height, a town of Moab, or simply, the height=the citadel, some
fortress so called; or perhaps a general name for the highlands
of Moab, as some think (Jer. 48:1). In Isa. 25:12, the word is
rendered "high fort."
who is like God!
(1.) A Levite; the eldest of the three sons of
Uzziel (Ex. 6:22).
(2.) One of the three Hebrew youths who were trained with
Daniel in Babylon (Dan. 1:11, 19), and promoted to the rank of
Magi. He and his companions were afterwards cast into the
burning fiery furnace for refusing to worship the idol the king
had set up, from which they were miraculously delivered
(3:13-30). His Chaldean name was Meshach (q.v.).
a city of the tribe of Asher (Josh. 21:30; 1 Chr. 6:74). It is
probably the modern Misalli, on the shore near Carmel.
their cleansing or their beholding, a Benjamite, one of the sons
of Elpaal (1 Chr. 8:12).
(Josh. 19:26), a town of Asher, probably the same as Mishal.
(1.) One of the sons of Ishmael (Gen. 25:14), and
founder of an Arab tribe.
(2.) A Simeonite (1 Chr. 4:25, 26).
fatness, one of the Gadite heroes who gathered to David at
Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:10).
burning of waters, supposed to be salt-pans, or lime-kilns, or
glass-factories, a place to which Joshua pursued a party of
Canaanites after the defeat of Jabin (Josh. 11:8). It is
identified with the ruin Musheirifeh, at the promontory of
en-Nakhurah, some 11 miles north of Acre.
contraction of minute, from the Latin minutum, the translation
of the Greek word lepton, the very smallest bronze of copper
coin (Luke 12:59; 21:2). Two mites made one quadrans, i.e., the
fourth part of a Roman as, which was in value nearly a
halfpenny. (See FARTHING.)
sweetness, one of the stations of the Israelites in the
wilderness (Num. 33:28, 29).
given by Mithra, or dedicated to Mithra, i.e., the sun, the
Hebrew form of the Greek name Mithridates.
(1.) The "treasurer"
of King Cyrus (Ezra 1:8).
(2.) Ezra 4:7, a Persian officer in Samaria.
(Heb. mitsnepheth), something rolled round the head; the turban
or head-dress of the high priest (Ex. 28:4, 37, 39; 29:6, etc.).
In the Authorized Version of Ezek. 21:26, this Hebrew word is
rendered "diadem," but in the Revised Version, "mitre." It was a
twisted band of fine linen, 8 yards in length, coiled into the
form of a cap, and worn on official occasions (Lev. 8:9; 16:4;
Zech. 3:5). On the front of it was a golden plate with the
inscription, "Holiness to the Lord." The mitsnepheth differed
from the mitre or head-dress (migba'ah) of the common priest.
the chief city of the island of Lesbos, on its east coast, in
the AEgean Sea. Paul, during his third missionary journey,
touched at this place on his way from Corinth to Judea (Acts
20:14), and here tarried for a night. It lies between Assos and
Chios. It is now under the Turkish rule, and bears the name of
(Ex. 12:38), a class who accompanied the Israelites as they
journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, the first stage of the
Exodus. These were probably miscellaneous hangers-on to the
Hebrews, whether Egyptians of the lower orders, or the remains
of the Hyksos (see EGYPT; MOSES), as some
think. The same thing happened on the return of the Jews from
Babylon (Neh. 13:3), a "mixed multitude" accompanied them so
smallness, a summit on the eastern ridge of Lebanon, near which
David lay after escaping from Absalom (Ps. 42:6). It may,
perhaps, be the present Jebel Ajlun, thus named, "the little",
in contrast with the greater elevation of Lebanon and Hermon.
or Miz'peh, watch-tower; the look-out.
(1.) A place in Gilead,
so named by Laban, who overtook Jacob at this spot (Gen. 31:49)
on his return to Palestine from Padan-aram. Here Jacob and Laban
set up their memorial cairn of stones. It is the same as
Ramath-mizpeh (Josh. 13:26).
(2.) A town in Gilead, where Jephthah resided, and where he
assumed the command of the Israelites in a time of national
danger. Here he made his rash vow; and here his daughter
submitted to her mysterious fate (Judg. 10:17; 11:11, 34). It
may be the same as Ramoth-Gilead (Josh. 20:8), but it is more
likely that it is identical with the foregoing, the Mizpeh of
Gen. 31:23, 25, 48, 49.
(3.) Another place in Gilead, at the foot of Mount Hermon,
inhabited by Hivites (Josh. 11:3, 8). The name in Hebrew here
has the article before it, "the Mizpeh," "the watch-tower." The
modern village of Metullah, meaning also "the look-out,"
probably occupies the site so called.
(4.) A town of Moab to which David removed his parents for
safety during his persecution by Saul (1 Sam. 22:3). This was
probably the citadel known as Kir-Moab, now Kerak. While David
resided here he was visited by the prophet Gad, here mentioned
for the first time, who was probably sent by Samuel to bid him
leave the land of Moab and betake himself to the land of Judah.
He accordingly removed to the forest of Hareth (q.v.), on the
edge of the mountain chain of Hebron.
(5.) A city of Benjamin, "the watch-tower", where the people
were accustomed to meet in great national emergencies (Josh.
18:26; Judg. 20:1, 3; 21:1, 5; 1 Sam. 7:5-16). It has been
supposed to be the same as Nob (1 Sam. 21:1; 22:9-19). It was
some 4 miles north-west of Jerusalem, and was situated on the
loftiest hill in the neighbourhood, some 600 feet above the
plain of Gibeon. This village has the modern name of Neby
Samwil, i.e., the prophet Samuel, from a tradition that Samuel's
tomb is here. (See NOB.)
Samuel inaugurated the reformation that characterized his time
by convening a great assembly of all Israel at Mizpeh, now the
politico-religious centre of the nation. There, in deep
humiliation on account of their sins, they renewed their vows
and entered again into covenant with the God of their fathers.
It was a period of great religious awakening and of revived
national life. The Philistines heard of this assembly, and came
up against Israel. The Hebrews charged the Philistine host with
great fury, and they were totally routed. Samuel commemorated
this signal victory by erecting a memorial-stone, which he
called "Ebenezer" (q.v.), saying, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped
us" (1 Sam. 7:7-12).
number, one of the Jews who accompanied Zerubbabel from Babylon
(Ezra 2:2); called also Mispereth (Neh. 7:7).
the dual form of matzor, meaning a "mound" or "fortress," the
name of a people descended from Ham (Gen. 10:6, 13; 1 Chr. 1:8,
11). It was the name generally given by the Hebrews to the land
of Egypt (q.v.), and may denote the two Egypts, the Upper and
the Lower. The modern Arabic name for Egypt is Muzr.
despair, one of the four sons of Reuel, the son of Esau (Gen.
reminding, or remembrancer, a Christian of Jerusalem with whom
Paul lodged (Acts 21:16). He was apparently a native of Cyprus,
like Barnabas (11:19, 20), and was well known to the Christians
of Caesarea (4:36). He was an "old disciple" (R.V., "early
disciple"), i.e., he had become a Christian in the beginning of
the formation of the Church in Jerusalem.
the seed of the father, or, according to others, the desirable
land, the eldest son of Lot (Gen. 19:37), of incestuous birth.
(2.) Used to denote the people of Moab (Num. 22:3-14; Judg.
3:30; 2 Sam. 8:2; Jer. 48:11, 13).
(3.) The land of Moab (Jer. 48:24), called also the "country
of Moab" (Ruth 1:2, 6; 2:6), on the east of Jordan and the Dead
Sea, and south of the Arnon (Num. 21:13, 26). In a wider sense
it included the whole region that had been occupied by the
Amorites. It bears the modern name of Kerak.
In the Plains of Moab, opposite Jericho (Num. 22:1; 26:63;
Josh. 13:32), the children of Israel had their last encampment
before they entered the land of Canaan. It was at that time in
the possession of the Amorites (Num. 21:22). "Moses went up from
the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of
Pisgah," and "died there in the land of Moab, according to the
word of the Lord" (Deut. 34:5, 6). "Surely if we had nothing
else to interest us in the land of Moab, the fact that it was
from the top of Pisgah, its noblest height, this mightiest of
the prophets looked out with eye undimmed upon the Promised
Land; that it was here on Nebo, its loftiest mountain, that he
died his solitary death; that it was here, in the valley over
against Beth-peor, he found his mysterious sepulchre, we have
enough to enshrine the memory in our hearts."
the designation of a tribe descended from Moab, the son of Lot
(Gen. 19:37). From Zoar, the cradle of this tribe, on the
south-eastern border of the Dead Sea, they gradually spread over
the region on the east of Jordan. Rameses II., the Pharaoh of
the Oppression, enumerates Moab (Muab) among his conquests.
Shortly before the Exodus, the warlike Amorites crossed the
Jordan under Sihon their king and drove the Moabites (Num.
21:26-30) out of the region between the Arnon and the Jabbok,
and occupied it, making Heshbon their capital. They were then
confined to the territory to the south of the Arnon.
On their journey the Israelites did not pass through Moab, but
through the "wilderness" to the east (Deut. 2:8; Judg. 11:18),
at length reaching the country to the north of the Arnon. Here
they remained for some time till they had conquered Bashan (see
SIHON; OG). The Moabites were alarmed, and
their king, Balak, sought aid from the Midianites (Num. 22:2-4).
It was while they were here that the visit of Balaam (q.v.) to
Balak took place. (See MOSES.)
After the Conquest, the Moabites maintained hostile relations
with the Israelites, and frequently harassed them in war (Judg.
3:12-30; 1 Sam. 14). The story of Ruth, however, shows the
existence of friendly relations between Moab and Bethlehem. By
his descent from Ruth, David may be said to have had Moabite
blood in his veins. Yet there was war between David and the
Moabites (2 Sam. 8:2; 23:20; 1 Chr. 18:2), from whom he took
great spoil (2 Sam. 8:2, 11, 12; 1 Chr. 11:22; 18:11).
During the one hundred and fifty years which followed the
defeat of the Moabites, after the death of Ahab (see MESHA), they regained, apparently, much of their former
prosperty. At this time Isaiah (15:1) delivered his "burden of
Moab," predicting the coming of judgment on that land (comp. 2
Kings 17:3; 18:9; 1 Chr. 5:25, 26). Between the time of Isaiah
and the commencement of the Babylonian captivity we have very
seldom any reference to Moab (Jer. 25:21; 27:3; 40:11; Zeph.
After the Return, it was Sanballat, a Moabite, who took chief
part in seeking to prevent the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Neh.
2:19; 4:1; 6:1).
a basalt stone, bearing an inscription by King Mesha, which was
discovered at Dibon by Klein, a German missionary at Jerusalem,
in 1868. It was 3 1/2 feet high and 2 in breadth and in
thickness, rounded at the top. It consisted of thirty-four
lines, written in Hebrew-Phoenician characters. It was set up by
Mesha as a record and memorial of his victories. It records (1)
Mesha's wars with Omri, (2) his public buildings, and (3) his
wars against Horonaim. This inscription in a remarkable degree
supplements and corroborates the history of King Mesha recorded
in 2 Kings 3:4-27.
With the exception of a very few variations, the Moabite
language in which the inscription is written is identical with
the Hebrew. The form of the letters here used supplies very
important and interesting information regarding the history of
the formation of the alphabet, as well as, incidentally,
regarding the arts of civilized life of those times in the land
This ancient monument, recording the heroic struggles of King
Mesha with Omri and Ahab, was erected about B.C. 900. Here "we
have the identical slab on which the workmen of the old world
carved the history of their own times, and from which the eye of
their contemporaries read thousands of years ago the record of
events of which they themselves had been the witnesses." It is
the oldest inscription written in alphabetic characters, and
hence is, apart from its value in the domain of Hebrew
antiquities, of great linguistic importance.
birth, a city in the south of Judah which fell to Simeon (Josh.
15:21-26; 19:2). It has been identified with the modern el-Milh,
10 miles east of Beersheba.
Heb. tinshameth (Lev. 11:30), probably signifies some species of
lizard (rendered in R.V., "chameleon"). In Lev. 11:18, Deut.
14:16, it is rendered, in Authorized Version, "swan" (R.V.,
The Heb. holed (Lev. 11:29), rendered "weasel," was probably
the mole-rat. The true mole (Talpa Europoea) is not found in
Palestine. The mole-rat (Spalax typhlus) "is twice the size of
our mole, with no external eyes, and with only faint traces
within of the rudimentary organ; no apparent ears, but, like the
mole, with great internal organs of hearing; a strong, bare
snout, and with large gnawing teeth; its colour a pale slate;
its feet short, and provided with strong nails; its tail only
In Isa. 2:20, this word is the rendering of two words _haphar
peroth_, which are rendered by Gesenius "into the digging of
rats", i.e., rats' holes. But these two Hebrew words ought
probably to be combined into one (lahporperoth) and translated
"to the moles", i.e., the rat-moles. This animal "lives in
underground communities, making large subterranean chambers for
its young and for storehouses, with many runs connected with
them, and is decidedly partial to the loose debris among ruins
and stone-heaps, where it can form its chambers with least
king, the name of the national god of the Ammonites, to whom
children were sacrificed by fire. He was the consuming and
destroying and also at the same time the purifying fire. In Amos
5:26, "your Moloch" of the Authorized Version is "your king" in
the Revised Version (comp. Acts 7:43). Solomon (1 Kings 11:7)
erected a high place for this idol on the Mount of Olives, and
from that time till the days of Josiah his worship continued (2
Kings 23:10, 13). In the days of Jehoahaz it was partially
restored, but after the Captivity wholly disappeared. He is also
called Molech (Lev. 18:21; 20:2-5, etc.), Milcom (1 Kings 11:5,
33, etc.), and Malcham (Zeph. 1:5). This god became Chemosh
among the Moabites.
Of uncoined money the first notice we have is in the history of
Abraham (Gen. 13:2; 20:16; 24:35). Next, this word is used in
connection with the purchase of the cave of Machpelah (23:16),
and again in connection with Jacob's purchase of a field at
Shalem (Gen. 33:18, 19) for "an hundred pieces of money"=an
hundred Hebrew kesitahs (q.v.), i.e., probably pieces of money,
as is supposed, bearing the figure of a lamb.
The history of Joseph affords evidence of the constant use of
money, silver of a fixed weight. This appears also in all the
subsequent history of the Jewish people, in all their internal
as well as foreign transactions. There were in common use in
trade silver pieces of a definite weight, shekels, half-shekels,
and quarter-shekels. But these were not properly coins, which
are pieces of metal authoritatively issued, and bearing a stamp.
Of the use of coined money we have no early notice among the
Hebrews. The first mentioned is of Persian coinage, the daric
(Ezra 2:69; Neh. 7:70) and the 'adarkon (Ezra 8:27). The daric
(q.v.) was a gold piece current in Palestine in the time of
Cyrus. As long as the Jews, after the Exile, lived under Persian
rule, they used Persian coins. These gave place to Greek coins
when Palestine came under the dominion of the Greeks (B.C. 331),
the coins consisting of gold, silver, and copper pieces. The
usual gold pieces were staters (q.v.), and the silver coins
tetradrachms and drachms.
In the year B.C. 140, Antiochus VII. gave permission to Simon
the Maccabee to coin Jewish money. Shekels (q.v.) were then
coined bearing the figure of the almond rod and the pot of
(Matt. 21:12; Mark 11:15; John 2:15). Every Israelite from
twenty years and upwards had to pay (Ex. 30:13-15) into the
sacred treasury half a shekel every year as an offering to
Jehovah, and that in the exact Hebrew half-shekel piece. There
was a class of men, who frequented the temple courts, who
exchanged at a certain premium foreign moneys for these
half-shekels to the Jews who came up to Jerusalem from all parts
of the world. (See PASSOVER.) When our Lord drove the
traffickers out of the temple, these money-changers fared worst.
Their tables were overturned and they themselves were expelled.
Among the Egyptians the month of thirty days each was in use
long before the time of the Exodus, and formed the basis of
their calculations. From the time of the institution of the
Mosaic law the month among the Jews was lunar. The cycle of
religious feasts depended on the moon. The commencement of a
month was determined by the observation of the new moon. The
number of months in the year was usually twelve (1 Kings 4:7; 1
Chr. 27:1-15); but every third year an additional month
(ve-Adar) was inserted, so as to make the months coincide with
"The Hebrews and Phoenicians had no word for month save
'moon,' and only saved their calendar from becoming vague like
that of the Moslems by the interpolation of an additional month.
There is no evidence at all that they ever used a true solar
year such as the Egyptians possessed. The latter had twelve
months of thirty days and five epagomenac or odd days.",
Palestine Quarterly, January 1889.
heb. yareah, from its paleness (Ezra 6:15), and lebanah, the
"white" (Cant. 6:10; Isa. 24:23), was appointed by the Creator
to be with the sun "for signs, and for seasons, and for days,
and years" (Gen. 1:14-16). A lunation was among the Jews the
period of a month, and several of their festivals were held on
the day of the new moon. It is frequently referred to along with
the sun (Josh. 10:12; Ps. 72:5, 7, 17; 89:36, 37; Eccl. 12:2;
Isa. 24:23, etc.), and also by itself (Ps. 8:3; 121:6).
The great brilliance of the moon in Eastern countries led to
its being early an object of idolatrous worship (Deut. 4:19;
17:3; Job 31:26), a form of idolatry against which the Jews were
warned (Deut. 4:19; 17:3). They, however, fell into this
idolatry, and offered incense (2 Kings 23:5; Jer. 8:2), and also
cakes of honey, to the moon (Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19, 25).
the son of Jair, of the tribe of Benjamin. It has been alleged
that he was carried into captivity with Jeconiah, and hence that
he must have been at least one hundred and twenty-nine years old
in the twelfth year of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). But the words of
Esther do not necessarily lead to this conclusion. It was
probably Kish of whom it is said (ver. 6) that he "had been
carried away with the captivity."
He resided at Susa, the metropolis of Persia. He adopted his
cousin Hadassah (Esther), an orphan child, whom he tenderly
brought up as his own daughter. When she was brought into the
king's harem and made queen in the room of the deposed queen
Vashti, he was promoted to some office in the court of
Ahasuerus, and was one of those who "sat in the king's gate"
(Esther 2:21). While holding this office, he discovered a plot
of the eunuchs to put the king to death, which, by his
vigilance, was defeated. His services to the king in this matter
were duly recorded in the royal chronicles.
Haman (q.v.) the Agagite had been raised to the highest
position at court. Mordecai refused to bow down before him; and
Haman, being stung to the quick by the conduct of Mordecai,
resolved to accomplish his death in a wholesale destruction of
the Jewish exiles throughout the Persian empire (Esther 3:8-15).
Tidings of this cruel scheme soon reached the ears of Mordecai,
who communicated with Queen Esther regarding it, and by her wise
and bold intervention the scheme was frustrated. The Jews were
delivered from destruction, Mordecai was raised to a high rank,
and Haman was executed on the gallows he had by anticipation
erected for Mordecai (6:2-7:10). In memory of the signal
deliverance thus wrought for them, the Jews to this day
celebrate the feast (9:26-32) of Purim (q.v.).
an archer, teacher; fruitful.
(1.) A Canaanite probably who
inhabited the district south of Shechem, between Mounts Ebal and
Gerizim, and gave his name to the "plain" there (Gen. 12:6).
Here at this "plain," or rather (R.V.) "oak," of Moreh, Abraham
built his first altar in the land of Palestine; and here the
Lord appeared unto him. He afterwards left this plain and moved
southward, and pitched his tent between Bethel on the west and
Hai on the east (Gen. 12:7, 8).
Moreh, the Hill of
probably identical with "little Hermon," the modern Jebel
ed-Duhy, or perhaps one of the lower spurs of this mountain. It
is a gray ridge parallel to Gilboa on the north; and between the
two lay the battle-field, the plain of Jezreel (q.v.), where
Gideon overthrew the Midianites (Judg. 7:1-12).
possession of the wine-press, the birthplace of the prophet
Micah (1:14), who is called the "Morasthite" (Jer. 26:18). This
place was probably a suburb of Gath.
the chosen of Jehovah. Some contend that Mount Gerizim is meant,
but most probably we are to regard this as one of the hills of
Jerusalem. Here Solomon's temple was built, on the spot that had
been the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite (2 Sam. 24:24,
25; 2 Chr. 3:1). It is usually included in Zion, to the
north-east of which it lay, and from which it was separated by
the Tyropoean valley. This was "the land of Moriah" to which
Abraham went to offer up his son Isaac (Gen. 22:2). It has been
supposed that the highest point of the temple hill, which is now
covered by the Mohammedan Kubbetes-Sakhrah, or "Dome of the
Rock," is the actual site of Araunah's threshing-floor. Here
also, one thousand years after Abraham, David built an altar and
offered sacrifices to God. (See JERUSALEM; NUMBERING
(Heb. homer), cement of lime and sand (Gen. 11:3; Ex. 1:14);
also potter's clay (Isa. 41:25; Nah. 3:14). Also Heb. 'aphar,
usually rendered "dust," clay or mud used for cement in building
(Lev. 14:42, 45).
Mortar for pulverizing (Prov. 27:22) grain or other substances
by means of a pestle instead of a mill. Mortars were used in the
wilderness for pounding the manna (Num. 11:8). It is commonly
used in Palestine at the present day to pound wheat, from which
the Arabs make a favourite dish called kibby.